« PrécédentContinuer »
too solicitous about the effects of his words on others. If he pa to consider whether this phrase will inflict a wound, or that cut deeply, if he be over anxious to spare the feelings of his oppone or to avoid giving pain to individuals whilst he is contending aga their misdeeds, he is ipso facto enfeebled or unfitted for the 1 of playing the part of a reformer. This disqualification is so thing different from, and infinitely more respectable than, that m cowardice of which I have just spoken. It is not that the mar “ willing to wound and yet afraid to strike." His arm is paraly
and his blow loses its effectiveness and force not by fear, but · unwillingness to give pain. The motive is different, but the re is the same.
If amiability has these and similar disadvantages it may further inquired whether a bad temper has not some advanta The highest type of character is, of course, that calm serene stead force which moves on ward towards its end without excitement purturbation, that quiet, noiseless energy, unhasting yet unrest, undemonstrative yet unfaltering in its severe resolve, which from fixed principle as by an inner law of its being—which needs impulse from without, being sustained by its own indwelling reso But in the case of weaker natures a passionate energy is of almost the only alternative to inefficient languor. Housewives my acquaintance prefer a bad-tempered servant to any other. T1 say that when a girl is in a passion she scrubs with unusual fa and despatches her work with marvellous celerity. The excitem of feeling struggling to find vent somewhere passes off as by a saf valve in the broom and scrubbing brush. Where a good tempe girl would sit apathetically amongst her pots aud dishes opposin sluggish and imperturbable good humour to all the objurgations her angry mistress, an irascible one takes fire at the reproac addressed to her. Furor arma ministrat. She delivers mig blows at the demon of dirt wishing the while that it were mistress she had in her clutches, or even for the moment imagini it to be so. Our irate Betty furnishes an example of m titudes in every condition of life whose bad temper is notorio but who accomplish an amount of work at which languid imp sive amiability can only gaze with stolid wonder.
It must be admitted too that whilst a bad temper rather hindi than helps a man in the acquisition of friends, it yet brings w it some compensations. I am a very amiable man myself, and treated accordingly. Anything will do for me. I have prepar a speech with unusual care, when Dr. Bigwig unexpectedly mal his appearance on the platform, and the managers want to ma an opening for him to speak. Of course I am asked to give up ! Resolution to him, and of course I consent. I should like to s them ask old Surly to do so, or let them try to put him whe they habitually put me either just at the commencement, of the meeting, when everybody is coming in, or at the close when everybody is going out. In private life it is the same. My good nature is constantly imposed upon, and it is deemed a sufficient reason for putting me in the worst place--that "he's such a good fellow, he doesnt mind, he's always satisfied." I see ill-conditioned bad tempered people whose wishes are consulted, and whose preferences are studied lest they should take offence or make a disturbance. They get the warmest seat in winter and the coolest in summer, the liter-wing of the chicken, and the best cut from the baunch, the uppermost room at feasts, and the most scrupulous courtesy from the host, whilst I, from my place below the salt, look on and pick my bone in contented obscurity. I know one little minx, who In consequence of her notoriously bad temper, exacts and receives an amount of attention from her elders and betters which they do not reader to each other. They know too well what would be the emsagnentes of any neglect, real or apparent, and scrupulously aroid giving her any cause of offence, whilst I am left to sulk in the corner or shiver in the draught of the door.
But if I thus complain of the slights to which good tempered people are exposed, it must not be supposed that they are really in a forse position than the quarrelsome or exacting. “A contented mind is a continual feast." "Better is a dinner of herbs where ove is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith." The facts glanced I only form part of that wonderful and all pervading system of ompensations which tends to equalize all conditions, to mitigate that would otherwise be an unmixed evil, and to prevont the atsoment of an unmixed good. Each gain has its associated loss; och loss its attendant gain. There is flaw in the most perfect radition, a crook in every lot, in all sweetness some bitter crop; in me bitterest cup some drop of sweetness is infused. No human chaacter can exhaust and exemplify all the possibilities of excellence, o fortune can exclude all circumstances of disparagement. So, on he other hand, we may discover some gleams of good in all phases
human life-some alleviations in all conditions of earthly trial. That has been now said of temper, good and bad, will apply to most every aspect of life teaching us to moderate our expectations,
judge kindly of others, humbly of ourselves, to “be contentest with such things as we have,” and be thankful for the happiness moved " in that state of life into which it hath pleased God to all us."
CHURCH RATES IN THE LAW COURTS.
As our readers will see from our title, we are about to res ourselves within a narrow range of enquiry. We shall not dis the State-Church question, nor the propriety of organized effor the abolition of the State Church system. On both these to we may for our present purpose, presume our readers to have m up their minds. Nor do we think it needful to approve at ler the sound judgment which dictated the selection of church rate a battle-field. Among other advantages, however, it contained viz., that on this question the war could be carried on inde dently, both in Parliament and all over the country at the s time. And we believe that if the opinion could be gatheret those who have had the best opportunities of showing the rest they would have great difficulty in deciding which of the two 1 of operation has contributed, or is likely to contribute, most v ably to the final victory.
No doubt in neither has our success been uniform ; and tl have been one or two skirmishes lately in the law courts, wl are thought, we understand, by some of our friends, not to 1 turned out for us altogether as might have been hoped for. have had the opportunity of closely examining the cases in q tion, and we certainly can discover no occasion for uneasiness. I are hardly more than an affair of pickets; or if they may rer advisable some re-arrangement of our front, our main lines are endangered, not even assailed.
As we understand the matter, the system of vestry tactics wl have for some years past been counselled by the Liberation Soc and its advisers, amounts to this :- That so long as church ri continue unabolished, the making and payment of them sho everywhere-in every parish in which they are sought to be m and levied—be resisted to the uttermost. Not that it is now be proposed to us to suffer distress—that was done long before Liberation Society was thought of, and will be done still with the exigency of any pressure likely to be needful from them; our friends at Serjeant's Ion have devised and elaborated in g detail, a means of resistance in and after vestry by the forms of and they have held out to us, as we understand, that if the cor advised is acted out with reasonable good sense and determinati it is always safe and mostly effectual. The rate will not be obtair and the recusant will be undespoiled of his goods, and un dangered as to his personal liberty.
If this be the result, the procedure to attain it is much too i portant to be given up until we are well satisfied of its ineffica
These vestry contests are the best of lectures on anti-state-churchism, and they have certainly had to do with that continuous decline in eburch rates, the significance of which is aggravated by the concurrent increase in church building and in the annual value of rateable property. As regards this matter of church building, indeed, their necessity is becoming serious. The law is that when once a Testry has legally agreed to anything in the shape of church baikling, and has authorized the effecting of the loans necessary for the purpose, it has no further control over the rates. The churchwardens-not the vestry, make the rates thenceforward ; and no matter how egregiously they may be misapplied, the parishioners must continue to pay them until the whole loan for which they are ecurity has been discharged. It is observed, by those who have to advise professionally, that church-building by means of rates appears to be becoming systematic and general; so that unless the country is to be saddled with the system for twenty years after it has been legislatively abolished by Sir John Trelawny, vestry contests must be systematically and generally persevered in.
What then is really our legal position in regard to church rates ? The truth is, that of all rates a church rate appears to lie under the singular disfavour of the law. Any other rate—a county rate, a highway rate, or a borough or watch rate—is made snugly enough by the justices or town council: and unless the recusant has sucbessfully taken proceedings against it himself in the first instance, or can at least show that he has either no property or is over-rated, pay it he must. But in order to the enforcement of a church rate, no less than five requirements must be fulfilled. It must have been teade by a legal vestry; the notice convening the vestry must have been legally sufficient; the proceedings incident to making the rate must have been substantially regular; it must not contain one illegal item ; and lastly, it must be enforced in time.
Into the manifold sub-requirements which go to make up each of these conditions of legality we cannot enquire here. They will be found fully treated of in the Society's “ Practical Directions,” Mr. Wills's “ Yestryman's Guide," and Dr. Foster's “Acts and Cases." Tue mere statement will satisfy our readers how it may be that gir sturdy recusants, relying courageously upon their advisers, and fighting every point at every step, have been able all through the şirovinces to interpose almost insuperable obstacles both to the valid making of a church rate, and to its practical levy, when it has been nominally made. It has happened, no doubt, as was to be exTected, that they have been met by counter tactics ; the committee of Laymen bave issued tracts* framed with considerable skill for brow-beating a vestry and carrying a rate coute qui coute ; but we
* Published by Seeleys, Fleet Street.
have not yet heard of a case in which a rate made in reliance u them, has been contended for in the Ecclesiastical Courts. | cases of failure to which we referred at the outset, hare rather l instances in which our friends, flushed perhaps with too g facility of former victory, have hardly paid due attention to conditions required for its repetition.
The truth is, that the very success of our tactics has driven opponents to defences, from which it requires corresponding coun moves to dislodge them. This is not, however, a matter of difficu For instance : one great recommendation of our advisers has by that when summoned for non payment, we should, upon such li grounds as in our particular case may be open to us, “ dispute validity ” of the rate, and thus by force of a statute in that provided, oust the magistrates from their jurisdiction to deal v The case. The church wardens are by this proceeding driven i the Ecclesiastical Court, into which, as the events have sho they are rarely inclined to go. To do this successfully, it is necessary to satisfy the magistrates that the rate is certainly by but it is necessary that there should be, and that there should shown to the magistrates to be at least some legally arguable groi of objection to it, and that upon the faith of such objection, the 1 is bona fide disputed. In a late case,* the solicitor for the defe took three objections to the rate, two of which he did not pr and were disposed of summarily. The third was on the face of substantial ; namely, that part only of the parish was rated. ? magistrates adjourned for further evidence, when the churchward produced an order in council, purporting to sever from the rest unrated portion of the parish. The solicitor, by some misund standing, was not present to contest the effect of the order ; a the magistrates decided that the objection was not bona fide. the matter coming before the Queen's Bench, Mr. Justice Cron ton upheld their decision ; saying, as we must think with mu reason, “You must show the magistrates that there is an objects not a possibility of an objection. The facts were agaiust you.”. another case not reported, a ratepeyer attending in person, his remedy by action against the magistrates for a distraipt up him under circumstances which would have gone far to enst exemplary damages, because from his ignorance of technicaliti he had failed to make it sufficiently apparent that he intend formally to dispute the rate, and so place himself under the pl tection of the statute. In a protracted litigation still pending, it yet to be seen whether a verdict actually recovered against mag trates in a similar action will be sustained or not on the leg merits. If it should be reversed, it will be so simply becau * Ex parte Crofts, Bail Court, Nov. 19, 1862. †11 & 12 Vict. c. 44.