Obrázky stránek

the funds at the disposal of the Church Societies, and partly by the piety and munificence of individual members of the Church. There are now (1853) twenty-five Bishops in our colonies and foreign dependencies, distributed in the following manner :-Seven in British North America; four in India and Ceylon; one in China; six in Australia; four in the West Indies; one at the Cape of Good Hope; one in Sierra Leone; and one for Gibraltar and the Mediterranean. The number of clergy in the colonies has vastly increased since the date of the first Bishop's mission, and is constantly increasing. Colleges for the education of candidates have been established in Barbados, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Upper and Lower Canada, Calcutta, Madras, Colombo, Sydney, Tasmania, Adelaide in Southern Australia, New Zealand, and Malta. The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts has been indefatigable in its efforts to spread the word of truth, and provide for its permanently taking root in distant regions; and it has been seconded since 1800 by another body called the Church Missionary Society. The year 1848 witnessed a grand experiment in the same holy cause. A college arose on the site of the monastery of St. Augustine at Canterbury, whose express object it is to educate students for the work of the ministry in the colonies and dependencies of the British empire. It owed its origin chiefly to the munificence of a member of the British House of Commons, Mr.A.J.B.Hope, who purchased the ground and the long desecrated buildings, with a view to devoting them to some object in connexion with the Church. We may trust that this noble act will be blessed both in earth and in heaven, and that the example which it affords to English Churchmen will find abundant imitators 5.

We have lingered upon these grateful topics, and anticipated somewhat the course of our history. It is time to return to the narrative, though the occurrences to which the year 1789 conducts us are such as the Christian annalist would fain, if he might, pass over.

5 It is computed that in England, Ireland, Scotland, the British Colonies, and the United States of America, there are, in the whole, four archbishops, one hundred and two bishops, and 22,542 clergy.


GEORGE III. 1789-1802.


THE Social system in France had long rested on a hollow foundation. The lower classes groaned under a galling yoke; while the luxury of the court, and the exorbitant privileges of a degenerate nobility, afforded too ready a handle to writers who, under the guise of a false philosophy, undermined the very foundations of civil and religious duty. A revolution at length broke forth, in which the most unexampled horrors were perpetrated under the standard of liberty and equality; and the throne and the altar were alike subverted. The innocent king was brought to the scaffold (1793), and the public exercise of the Christian religion was for a time forbidden by law.

It has been the general policy of England to abstain from interfering in the civil commotions of other countries; but the fierce and ignorant fanatics who directed the government of France proclaimed to the world their purpose of assisting all parties who in any foreign country would follow their example. As a measure of self-protection, it became necessary to prepare for war with revolutionary France and the danger of the principles adopted by that country was so strongly felt, that Mr. Burke, together with the sounder part of the Whigs, seceded from the party of which Mr. Fox was the leader, and supported the government of Mr. Pitt.

The war, which was declared against Great Britain in 1793, was marked by a series of the most brilliant naval victories, which rendered England the mistress of the seas, and went far to counterbalance the disasters that for several years attended the military measures of the minister. An expedition under the Duke of York to Holland (then invaded by the French armies) was an utter failure. In the south of France the city of Toulon had declared for Louis XVII., but no adequate assistance was sent from England; and Lord Hood, the British admiral, who had been received into the city, was forced to abandon it to the revolutionary army. A young officer distinguished himself in this siege,

who soon rose to the command of the armies of France, and led them to the most astonishing victories. This was Napoleon Buonaparte, who afterwards overthrew the government of the Directory, under which he was then serving; became first consul in 1799, and was crowned Emperor of France in 1804. The successes of this remarkable man on land were as wonderful as the victories of England on the


The first of these great naval triumphs was gained by Lord Howe with the Channel-fleet, June 1, 1794; and Lord Bridport in the following year obtained an advantage of less account. In 1797 Sir John Jervis, with fifteen sail, defeated the Spanish fleet of twenty-seven sail of the line, off Cape St. Vincent; for which he received the title of Lord St. Vincent. And in the same year Admiral Duncan destroyed the fleet of Holland (which by this time had become a province of France), for which he was created Lord Duncan of Camperdown.

In the midst of these naval successes a crisis had occurred in the history of England, which occasioned the deepest anxiety. A mutiny broke out at the Nore in the fleets, on which the very existence of England seemed to depend, and at one time assumed a most threatening character. In the following year (1798) a rebellion in Ireland, which had been fomented by French agents, struck dismay to the hearts of all who saw in the British empire the great bulwark (under Divine Providence) of ancient laws and pure religion. The mutiny in the fleet was quelled with less difficulty than had been apprehended; and Parker, the principal ringleader, was hanged. The Irish rebellion, which was supported by a French expedition, was not suppressed until the most dreadful crimes had been committed by the misguided people; nor without a great sacrifice of valuable lives, as well as of treasure, which could ill be spared from the great struggle with France. One good fruit was produced by this rebellion :it convinced men of the necessity of an union between the parliaments of Great Britain and Ireland, similar to that which had been arranged between England and Scotland in the reign of Queen Anne. The measure was not effected without difficulty, but was at length ratified, July 2, 1800. The kingdom thus consolidated was to be thenceforth

called the kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. May the union continue through all generations!

The year (1798) which was marked by this disastrous rebellion in Ireland, had been distinguished also by one of those unequalled triumphs, which will for ever render the name of Nelson familiar to Englishmen. This was the battle of the Nile (Aug. 1). Buonaparte had crossed with a large army to the coast of Egypt, with a view rather to strike at the British empire in India, than to conquer Egypt for its own sake. Sir Horatio Nelson was sent in pursuit of the French fleet, which he discovered in Aboukirbay, near Alexandria. His victory was most complete, after a severe engagement, which lasted through the day and night, and during which the L'Orient, the French admiral's flag ship, blew up, and all on board perished. Nelson was raised to the peerage by the title of Baron Nelson of the Nile.

In the following year another fruitless expedition was sent under the Duke of York to Holland; while Buonaparte made a rapid conquest of Egypt. He was advancing into Syria, when the progress of his arms was checked at Acre by Sir Sydney Smith. Having returned to Egypt, he soon afterwards crossed to France, with a view to take advantage of the crisis which he foresaw in the revolutionary government. The army which he left in Egypt was defeated in 1801 by a British force under Sir Ralph Abercrombie. This general died of the wounds which he received in the battle; but the result of his victory was the abandonment of Egypt by the French. About the same time (1801) an expedition under Sir Hyde Parker, with Nelson second in command, was sent to Copenhagen, to counteract the designs of the Northern powers, who had entered into an armed neutrality to resist the maritime rights claimed by England. A tremendous battle took place, and the victory achieved by England was due to the indomitable spirit of Lord Nelson. A favourable change to England took place in the counsels of Russia, on the murder of the Emperor Paul, and peace was concluded with Alexander, who succeeded to his throne.

Having by this time routed the Austrians in Germany and Italy, Buonaparte was now making vast preparations for the invasion of England, which called forth the [H. s. 1.]


national spirit in a remarkable degree. The whole kingdom was filled with volunteers, who were not daunted by the renown lately gained by the French in the victories of Marengo and Hohenlinden. Buonaparte wished, however, for a breathing time; and after much negotiation, a peace was signed at Amiens, between France and England (March 25, 1802). At this time Mr. Pitt had retired for a short time from office; and Mr. Addington, who afterwards became Lord Sidmouth, was prime-minister.

[blocks in formation]


THE peace of Amiens proved to be nothing but a truce. It became evident that Buonaparte (who was crowned by the pope as Napoleon I. Dec. 2, 1804) had no intention of fulfilling its terms: and when war was again declared, Mr. Pitt returned to office.

Napoleon continued his preparations for the invasion of England; but his purpose was completely baffled by the destruction of the French navy (Oct. 21, 1805) by Lord Nelson, off Cape Trafalgar, near Cadiz. The battle, which has its name from that cape, was the greatest of naval conflicts, but, important as was this victory to England, it was thought to be dearly purchased by the death of Nelson, who was shot at the close of the battle from the mizen-mast of the Redoubtable. His last signal was, "England expects every man to do his duty."

Mr. Pitt himself died in the following year, and a Whig ministry was formed, including Mr. Fox; who, however, soon followed his great political rival to the grave, and the remains of these statesmen repose side by side in Westminster Abbey. Mr. Pitt was not successful as a warminister; but his high principle and stedfast opposition to the revolutionary mania were a great means, under God, of preserving this country from its contagion. The ministry which succeeded him was nicknamed "all the talents," from the pretension which it made of combining men of

« PředchozíPokračovat »