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there had been little progress in its scientific study. The Episcopal church of St. John the Evangelist at Edinburgh avoided the sin of a gallery-that beastly loft' is downright Spalding's phrase-but it has no chancel. Mr. Rickman furnished the design for the small parish church of the Ramshorn -since christened St. David's-at Glasgow: it is not one of his happiest efforts, but is above every other attempt at modern Gothic in the commercial metropolis of the north. More re

cently one or two Episcopal chapels in the country have been built from plans of English architects; and one native ScotMr. Henderson of Edinburgh-is making himself known by buildings for the Episcopal Church, of no small merit.

The last forty or fifty years have seen the erection of many hundreds of parochial and dissenting churches in Scotland. The number which will escape the censure of the most indulgent taste, is small; but in almost every instance there has been at least an intention to do well, which must be recognised with gratitude. The reproach which Scott put into the mouth of Andrew Fairservice, that many a dog-kennel in England was better than many a Scottish church, is no longer true; but that it was merited during nearly two centuries is not to be questioned. In 1631 the churches beyond the Tweed are deplored by one of the most learned of Scottish divines as vile cabins and squalid huts -'viles casæ et sordida tuguria.' Archbishop Abbot, whose Puritanism made him regard things in Scotland with no unfriendly eye, related to Sir Henry Spelman that, in 1605, he found only one bell in Edinburgh, and that not only had the country churches no bells, but when, at Dunbar, he asked how they chanced to be without such a commodity, 'the minister, a crumpt unseemly person, thinking the question as strange, replied, "It was one of the Reformed churches!" The same age proscribed as papistical the degree of Doctor in Divinity, which is now so universal in the north, that it will be difficult by and by to find a 'placed minister,' much less a dissenting preacher, without it. In the following century, Captain Burt tells how the spouse of an English colonel, having proposed to a minister's wife in Lothian or the Merse to hang her pew with cloth, was met with the exclamation, Line the desk! troth, madam, my goodman would think that rank popery!' Bells were not universal in parish churches, even at the end of the last century. It often happened that where they were provided, there was nowhere to hang them: a theologian of the year 1679 inveighs against that pitiful spectacle, bells hanging upon trees for want of bell-houses.' Such a 'bell-tree' is still shown in the park at Auldbar; but here, obviously, the bell was not placed on the church for the same


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reason that the campanile at the Curral in Madeira is built in the churchyard wall, and at the sequestered church of Ardclach in Murray, on the neighbouring promontory-in order that the bell might be better heard-the church itself, in all these cases, lying in a deep ravine. In the beginning of the reign of George III., Pennant wrote that 'in many parts of Scotland our Lord seems still to be worshipped in a stable, and often in a very wretched one: many of the churches are thatched with heath, and in some places are in such bad repair as to be half open at top.' This statement is confirmed by what we find in the Statistical Account, published between 1791 and 1799. We read there of two churches at Morven, in the West Highlands, which, without seats or bells, might as properly be called sheds' of the church at Glenmuick, in the Middle Highlands, thatched with heath'of Feteresso, on the east coast, 'in the area of which pools of water stand for several days after a heavy rain'—of St. Mungo's, in Annandale, as having no bell, neither plastered nor ceiled, the seats in a ruinous condition.' More generally, the minister of Glenorchy says, Many of our country kirks are dark, damp, and dirty hovels;' and the minister of Bedrule, on the Border, assigns the very indecent state of many of the parish churches' as one of the reasons of the increase of dissenters, 'whose houses of worship, though built by contribution, are decent and comfortable.' Until a date comparatively recent, few country churches, however respectable otherwise, were ceiled; but before the English ecclesiologist admire the fashion, let him hear the use to which the open timbers were occasionally put. A minister of Dunlop has narrated with great glee, as a proof of the popularity of one of his predecessors, that on the Sunday when the annual sacrament was to be administered, the church was so crowded from an early hour, you might have heard the boogers cracking at six o'clock in the morning,' which he explains, you might have seen the folk sitting on the balks [i. e. tie beams] of the kirk like bykes [i. e. swarms] of bees.' To all this might be added melancholy instances of gross and wilful profanation. Knox and his colleagues carried their respect for the house of God so far as to prohibit the holding of civil courts within kirks;' but it is told of some of those who professed to be the followers of Knox, during the excited period which succeeded the Revolution of 1688, that they eat, drink, and even smoke' within the walls of parish churches. The feeling which led to such miserable doings would seem to have arisen from a fanatical wish to testify against the reverence of holy places supposed to be inculcated by popery and prelacy.' We may charitably hope that such outrages would have been avoided, if they who committed them had only known that,

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in the age immediately preceding the Reformation, the Scottish temples were so habitually profaned to secular uses, that even in conventual churches women exposed linen for sale as in a market; and that in England, immediately after the Reformation, it was found necessary to admonish the people by authority, that the church is the house of prayer, not the house of talking, of walking, of brawling, of minstrelsy, of hawks, of dogs.'

We return to Mr. Billings' work, to add an expression of hope that it will receive that liberal patronage to which its merit gives it so just claim. If Scotland has been culpably negligent of the monuments bequeathed to her charge by the Church of the Middle Ages, the reproach cannot too soon be wiped away. Even they who think worst of the latter days of that ecclesiastical system—and we believe that it would not be easy to exaggerate the general corruption of the church and state of Scotland in the years immediately before the Reformation *—even those, we say, who judge most harshly of the Medieval hierarchy, may find wisdom as well as charity in the remark of Schlegel, that it is not just always to associate the idea of its latest degradation with the image of the thing itself, and thus in a moment to blunt all feeling of sympathy for the noble memorials of departed ages.

ART. V.-1. Report of the Commissioners appointed to inquire into the State and Operation of the Law of Marriage, as relating to the Prohibited Degrees of Affinity; and to Marriages solemnized abroad or in British colonies. Presented to both Houses by command of Her Majesty. Folio, 1848.

2. The Report examined, in a Letter to Sir Robert H. Inglis, Bart. By Alex. J. Beresford Hope, Esq., M.P. 8vo. 1849. 3. Substance of the Speech of the Right Hon. James Stuart Wortley, in the House of Commons, February 22, 1849, on moving for leave to bring in a Bill to amend the Act 5 and 6 Will. IV. c. 54. [Lord Lyndhurst's Act.] 8vo.

4. Marriage with a deceased Wife's Sister prohibited by Holy Scripture as understood by the Church for 1500 years. By E. B. Pusey, D.D., with a Speech by Edward Badeley, Esq., M.A., in the Queen's Bench, June 15, 1847 (Queen v. St. Giles'-in-the-Fields). 8vo. 1849.

5. Letters by (the Five Divines) Rev. W. W. Champneys; Rev. Thos. Dale; Rev. J. H. Gurney; Hon. and Rev. H. Montagu

* See, on this point, the candid confession of a distinguished ecclesiastic of the seventeenth century, who died when on the point of being raised to the purple, George Cone, in his De Duplici Statu Religionis apud Scotos,' (1628) pp. 89-91. Villiers;

Villiers; and Rev. W. F. Hook, D.D.; in favour of the Repeal of the Law which prohibits Marriage with the Sister of a deceased Wife. 8vo. 1849.

6. Against profane dealing with Holy Matrimony. By the Rev. John Keble, M.A. 12mo. 1849.

7. Letter to Sir Robert H. Inglis. By an Englishwoman, a Sister and a Widow. 12mo. 1849.


HE two national characteristics which distinguish the people of the United Kingdom from the countries on the continent of Europe are the sanctity of the Lord's Day and the sanctity of the marriage relation.

A greater contrast cannot be found between England and France, or indeed between any two civilized nations, than that which would meet the eye of a non-European traveller, who, having passed one Sunday at Calais, should pass the following Sunday at Dover :-every shop open among the French, every shop closed among the English; one church in Calais, with scarcely one sermon except in Lent; four churches in Dover, with twelve sermons between them; Calais with its theatre more full on Sunday than on any other day; Dover, a town more populous than Calais, without any theatre, except when visited by some provincial company, and without one public amusement of any kind on the Sunday.

So, again, in respect to the marriage relation; though the facilities of divorce vary in different countries, and will always vary according to the nature of the law of marriage in each; and though there are very imperfect statistics in respect to the number of divorces as compared with the number of marriages in any one country; and though, even if the tables were more full and accurate than they are, the results would give no fair conclusion as to the sanctity in which the marriage relation is held, unless there be in the first instance something like uniformity in the sanctions under which it is contracted-it is clear to every English sojourner on the Continent that the number of divorces or equivalent separations among persons of the higher classes in society is immensely greater than in England. A woman whose life either before or after her marriage has been proved unchaste has never, unless in some rare cases where the offence had been committed in a foreign country, and the party was the wife of a foreign minister in England, been received into the hallowed circle of English society. Those liaisons which, though they may occasionally have been exaggerated, and may not in every single instance be evidence of personal corruption, nevertheless have for three centuries at least existed in the south of Europe-these have never been recognised, and have most rarely existed,

existed, in England; and, in truth, the palliation urged in southern countries for the licence, namely, that the married couple were united by the choice of their parents, and not by their own, cannot be pleaded in England; and the sin would therefore be in England, more than elsewhere, inexcusable.

In the United Kingdom the marriage of any man with any woman, both having arrived at years of discretion, is unfettered in fact as a general rule, whatever partial exceptions may exist.

It is very true that the law of marriage in different portions of this empire is different; and there are those who contend that such difference is in itself a sufficient ground for the interference of legislation; that uniformity ought to be obtained at all hazards; and that, whether by lengthening or by lopping, whether by stretching the facilities of marriages in England to the measure of Scotland, or by diminishing the facilities in Scotland to the lower measure of England, uniformity in the mode by which the most important of all the relations of life is to be legalised— is essential.

Without entering into this consideration-though some recent decisions on the question of Presbyterian marriages in Ireland render it a matter of deep, painful, and practical interest, in reference to the validity of certain marriages there celebratedwe revert to the fact that as between man and woman in the United Kingdom there is no impediment to a contract of marriage, except that impediment which the Law and the Church impose by the Table of Prohibited Degrees.

In the course of the last two years a considerable agitation has been carried on in and out of Parliament, with a view to the abrogation of that Table of prohibited degrees, or at least to the excision of two out of the number-namely, the marriage of a man with his deceased wife's sister, and the marriage of a man with his deceased wife's niece. The parliamentary agitation commenced, indeed, some years earlier, when Lord Francis Egerton moved in 1842 for leave to bring in a bill to alter the prohibited degrees.

No controversialist ever gained anything by mis-stating or understating the case of his antagonist. We will endeavour, therefore, as fairly as possible, to represent the views of those who advocate the alteration of the table of prohibited degrees.

They state in substance that in the first instance at the Creation, marriages, which no human being would now contemplate without horror, were lawful, because necessary:-That when the necessity ceased, GoD implanted in His creatures a sense of shame, and repugnance, and disgust at the very thought; and that they have never since been imagined to be possible, by

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