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tween them elements of miftrust and hatred, which must render their agreement highly improbable. The curate would be perpetually prying into every little advance which the rector made upon his tithes, and claiming his proportionate increase. No refpectable man could brook fuch inquifition;-fome, we fear, would endeavour to prevent its effects by clandeftine means. The church would be a perpetual fcene of difgraceful animofities; and the ears of the bifhop never free from the clamours of rapacity and irritation.
It is fome flight defect in fuch a bill, that it does not proportion reward to the labour done, but to the wealth of him for whona it is done. The curate of a parith containing 400 perfons, may be paid as much as another person who has the care of 10,000; for, in England, there is very little proportion between the value of a living, and the quantity of duty to be performed by its clergyman.
The bill does not attain its object in the best way. Let the bifhop refufe to allow of any curate upon a living above 500l. per annum, who is not a mafter of arts of one of the universities. Such curates will then be obtained at a price which will render it worth the while of fuch men to take curacies; and fuch a degree and fituation in fociety will fecure good curates, much more effectually than the complicated provifions of this bill: for, prima facie, it appears to us much more probable, that a curate fhould be refpectable who is a master of arts in fome English univerfity, than if all that we knew about him was that he had a fifth of the profits of the living. The object is, to fix a good clergyman in a parish. The law will not truit the non-refident rector to fix both the price and the perfon; but fixes the price, and then leaves him the choice of the perfon. Our plan is, to fix upon the defcription of perfon, and then to leave the price to find its level; for the good price by no means implies a good perfon, but the good perfon will be fure to get a good price.
Where the living will admit of it, we have commonly obferv ed, that the English clergy are defirous of putting in a proper fubflitute. If this is fo, the bill is unneceffary; for it proceeds on the very contrary fuppofition, that the great mass of opulent clergy confult nothing but economy in the choice of their curates.
It is very galling and irkfome to any clafs of men to be compelled to difclofe their private circumftances; a provifion contained in and abfolutely neceflary to this bill, under which the diocefan can always compel the minifter to difclofe the full value of his living.
After all, however, the main and conclusive objection to the bill is, that its provisions are drawn from such erroneous prin
ciples, and betray such gross ignorance of human nature, that though it would infallibly produce a thousand mischiefs foreseen. and not foreseen, it would evidently have no effect whatsoever in raising the salaries of curates. We do not put this as a case of common buyer and seller; we allow that the parish is a third party, having an interest *; we fully admit the right of the Legislature to interfere for their relief. We only contend, that such interference would be necessarily altogether ineffectual, so long as men can be found capable of doing the duty of curates, and willing to do it for less than the statutory minimum.
If there is a competition of rectors for curates, it is quite unnecessary and absurd to make laws in favour of curates. The demand for them will do their business more effectually than the law. If, on the contrary (as the fact plainly is), there is a competition of curates for employment, is it possible to prevent this order of men from labouring under the regulation price? Is it possible to prevent a curate from pledging himself to his rector, that he will accept only half the legal salary, if he is so fortunate as to be preferred among an host of rivals, who are willing to engage on the same terms? You may make these contracts, illegal : What then? Men laugh at such prohibitions; and they always become a dead letter. In nine instances out of ten, the contract would be honourably adhered to; and then, what is the use of Mr Perceval's law? Where the contract was not adhered to, whom would the law benefit ?-A man utterly devoid of every particle of honour and good faith. And this is the new species of curate, who is to reflect dignity and importance upon his poorer brethren? The law encourages breach of faith between gambler and gambler; it arms broker against broker :-but it cannot arm clergyman against clergyman. Did any human being, before, ever think of disseminating such a principle among the teachers of Christianity? Did any ecclesiastical law, before this, ever depend for its success upon the mutual treachery of men who ought to be examples to their fellow-creatures of every thing that is just and upright?
We have said enough already upon the absurdity of punishing all rich rectors for nonresidence, as for a presumptive delinquency. A law is already passed, fixing what shall be legal and sufficient causes for nonresidence. Nothing can be more unjust,
VOL. XII. NO. 25.
* We remember Horace's description of the misery of a parish where there is no resident clergyman.
Urgentur, ignotique longâ
then, than to punish that absence which you admit to be legal. If the causes of absence are too numerous, lessen them; but do not punish him who has availed himself of their existence. We deny, however, that they are too numerous. There are 6000 livings out of 11,000 in the English church under 801. per annum; many of these 20., many 30l. per annum. The whole task of education at the university, public schools, private families, and in foreign travel, devolves upon the clergy. A great part of the literature of their country is in their hands. Residence is a very proper and necessary measure; but, considering all these circumstances, it requires a great deal of moderation and temper to carry it into effect, without doing more mischief than good. At present, however, the torrent sets the other way. Every lay plunderer, and every fanatical coxcomb, is forging fresh chains for the English clergy; and we should not be surprised, in a very little time, to see them absenting themselves from their benefices by a kind of day-rule, like prisoners in the King's Bench. The first bill, which was brought in by Sir William Scott, always saving and excepting the power granted to the Bishops, is full of useful provisions, and characterized throughout by great practical wisdom. We have no doubt but that it has, upon the whole, improved the condition of the English church. Without caution, mildness, or information, however, it was peculiarly unfortunate to follow such a leader. We are extremely happy the bill was rejected. We have seldom witnessed more of ignorance and error stuffed and crammed into so very narrow a compass. Its origin, we are confident, is from the Tabernacle; and its consequences would have been, to have sown the seeds of discord and treachery in an ecclesiastical constitution, which, under the care of prudent and honest men, may always be rendered a source of public happiness.
One glaring omission in this bill we had almost forgotten to mention. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has entirely neglected to make any provision for that very meritorious class of men, the lay curates, who do all the business of those offices, of which lazy and nonresident placemen receive the emoluments. So much delicacy and conscience, however, are here displayed on the subject of pocketing unearned emoluments, that we have no doubt the moral irritability of this servant of the Crown will speedily urge him to a species of reform, of which he may be the object as well as the mover.
ART. III. Efay on the Theory of Money and Exchange. By Thomas Smith. 8vo. pp. 231. London, Cadell & Davies. 1807.
[ONEY is fo remarkable an agent in that clafs of transactions about which political economy is converfant, that vague and confused ideas on that fubject almoft neceffarily infect our modes of thinking in regard to the whole fcience. The great difficulty with which the falutary doctrines of political economy are propagated in this country, is, in truth, a very ferious object of curiofity, as well as of regret. So long have the leading principles been demonftrated, and fo industriously have they been inculcated, that nothing short of direct experience could convince us of the extent to which ignorance prevails. The late Orders in Council, however, refpecting the trade of neutrals; the popularity of Mr Spence's doctrines in regard to commerce; our laws concerning the corn trade; a great part of our laws, in fact, refpecting trade in general; the fpeeches which are commonly delivered, the books which are often published, and the converfations which are conftantly held, fupply that experience in melancholy abundance.
There is, unfortunately, fomething extremely fallacious in the study of money. Its common uses are fo familiar to every man, that there appears no difficulty whatever in comprehending its nature; while many of the transactions in which it is concerned are fo complicated, and many of the terms employed to denote its functions are fo abridged, that it requires one of the most fubtle proceffes of thought to trace its real operations, and refer them to the original principle on which they depend. It has happened, accordingly, that though our countrymen have, in general, but little taste for abstract disquisitions, this, the most abstract of all the inquiries connected with political economy, has engaged an extraordinary fhare of their attention; and, fince the crifis in our pecuniary affairs which terminated in the suspension of cashpayments at the Bank of England, it would not be easy to enumerate the books and pamphlets in which inftruction has been offered to us on this difficult subject.
On this fucceffion of authors, one remark very forcibly fuggefts itself; that each, while he naturally imagined that he himfelf had made important difcoveries, uniformly found that no difcoveries had been made by his predeceffors, but that every new idea on which they had ventured was a delufion and mistake. In this course they proceeded, till Mr Smith himself appeared,-who finds, in his turn, that all which on this fubject fo many authors before him have written, is perfectly nugatory. How furprifC 2
ing is it,' he fays, that no real theory of money has yet been given to the public! All the writers on this fubject hitherto appear to have amufed themselves with fpeculations on the practical part; and having no fixed principle laid down, whereon to found thefe fpeculations, their different conclufions have been as oppofite to one another, as eaft is to weft; in confequence, the fubject has been daily more and more involved in obfcurity.' It may, indeed, be affirmed, and it is not a little remarkable, that, numerous as have been the writers on money fince the memorable event to which we before alluded, the fcience has not, in fact, been enriched with a fingle idea. If any benefit has accrued from their labours, it has arifen from the greater clearnefs with which they have explained fome of the more complicated operations of bufinefs; but the doctrine of money, in truth, remains as it was left by the great Father of political economy. Every writer, from Mr Henry Thornton downwards, has found this philofopher, indeed, to have been egregiously ignorant; but the doctrines, which each propofed to fubftitute, have been rejected by the fucceffors of each; and it is to be feared that Mr Thomas Smith will not experience more favourable treatment. Nothing can afford a stronger proof than this alternation of pofitions and refutations, that the ideas which prevail on the fubject of money are in the highest degree perplexed, obfcure, and defective; nor can we be furprifed, while this is the cafe, that abfurd theories in political economy find fo many fupporters and profelytes. If we can point out, therefore, fome of the principal fources of that confufion, from which fo many pernicious confequences appear to flow, and introduce but fo much light as may guide the inquirer into the path which leads to truth, we shall have performed a fervice, however humble, of no little importance to the best interefts of mankind and of our country.
Mr Smith divides his discourse into four inquiries; firft, (he propofes) to state what appears to be the groundwork, or true first principle, upon which the existence of money, or a circulating medium, depends;-fecond, to fhow the nature and properties. of coins, and their connexion with the first principle;-third, to fhow the nature and properties of paper money, and its connexion with the first principle;-fourth, to fhow the true theory of exchange, or connexion with foreign countries.' As this diftribution is not liable to much objection,-as it conducts, at leaft, to no confufion,-it will enable us to state the reflections which we mean to offer in more intimate connexion with the criticifms which the prefent work fuggefts, if we content ourfelves with the fame arrangement.
1. It would contribute greatly to infufe clearnefs into the views of