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should say that the state which allied itself with such a church, postponed the primary end of government to the secondary; and ihat the consequences had been such as any sagacious observer would have predicted. Neither the primary nor the secondary end is attained. The temporal and spiritual interests of the people suffer alike. The minds of men, instead of being drawn to the church, are alienated from the state. The magistrate, after sacrificing order, peace, union, all the interests which it is his first duty to protect, for the purpose of promoting pure religion, is forced, after the experience of centuries, to admit that he has really been promoting error. The sounder the doctrines of such a church-the more absurd and noxious the superstition by which those doctrines are opposed—the stronger are the arguments against the policy which has deprived a good cause of its natural advantages. Those who preach to rulers the duty of employing power to propagate truth would do well to remember that falsehood, though no match for truth alone, bas often been found more than a match for truth and power together.
A statesman, judging on our principles, would pronounce without hesitation that a church, such as we have last described, never ought to have been set up. Further than this we will not venture to speak for him. He would doubtless remember that the world is full of institutions which, though they never ought to have been set up, yet, having been set up, ought not to be rudely pulled down ; and that it is often wise in practice to be content with the mitigation of an abuse which, looking at it in the abstract, we might feel impatient to destroy. . We have done; and nothing remains but that we part from Mr Gladstone with the courtesy of antagonists who bear no malice. We dissent from his opinions, but we admire his talents; we respect his integrity and benevolence; and we hope that he will not suffer political avocations so entirely to engross him, as to leave him no leisure for literature and philosophy.
Number CXL. will be published in July.
NOTE respecting Lord President Blair.
After the first article was printed, we happened to learn that a brief character of Lord President Blair, written by the late Professor Playfair, who for many years had lived inuch in his society, appeared in the Newspapers immediately after his Lordship's death ; and having succeeded in proeuring a copy of it, we here reprint it entire, as an appendix to the sketch contained in the article; thinking that as the production of so very eminent a writer, and one devoted to such different pursuits, it could not but be viewed as both interesting and curious in no ordinary degree.
It is with the deepest regret that we perform the painful task of announcing to our readers the irreparable loss which the country has suffered by the death of the Right Hon. Robert Blair of Avontoun, Lord President of the Court of Session. His Lordship entered upon the duties of the present Session, with every symptom of health and vigour, and at no time, for a number of years, did his appearance indicate a longer continuance of his valuable life. He complained of some slight disorder on Sunday, which appears to have gone off in the course of that day. But on Monday, while returning from his ordinary walk, his appearance was observed to be less regular and steady than usual. He was able, however, to reach his own door, which had just been opened to receive him, when he fell into the arms of his servant, and expired in a few minutes.*
• In consequence of this public calamity, a meeting of the Faculty of Advocates was held early on Tuesday morning, when, upon the motion of the Hon. Henry Erskine, seconded by John Clerk, Esq., it was unanimously resolved, that the Dean of Faculty should move the court to adjourn till Thursday. The court having soon after met, and the chair of the first division having been taken by Lord Craig, as the senior judge, who expressed, in strong terms, his sense of this national loss, both divisions of the court adjourned till Thursday. The meeting of the Faculty of Advocates was afterwards resumed, when it was unanimously resolved to attend the funeral as a body.
* To those who had the happiness of intimately knowing the late Lord President Blair, and of seeing him in the intercourse of private life, enjoying and promoting all the innocent relaxa
* Lord President Blair died on Monday, the 20th of May, 1811.
tions from severer duties, it may seem unnecessary to dwell upon other causes of regret. But the calamity which will be long and deeply felt by the country, is the loss of ibat rare union of great qualities which, after calling him forth into early notice, conducted him to the highest honours of his profession, and exacted the palm of distinction from the common suffrages of his brethen, during the whole course of a long and unblemished life. Of the first years of that life, or of the course of severe study by which he prepared himself to be what he became, little is known beyond the circle of his private friends ; but never surely was there exhibited upon the great theatre of public business a more profound erudition, greater power of discrimination, nor a more stern and invincible rectitude, combined with a degree of personal dignity that commanded more than respect, even from his equals. If any one, indeed, were to be selected from many great features as peculiarly distinguishing his character, we should certainly be apt to fix upon that innate love of justice, and abborrence of iniquity, without which, as he himself emphatically declared, when be took the chair of the court, all other qualities avail nothing, or rather they are worse than nothing; a sentiment that seemed to govern the whole course of his public duty. In the multiplicity of transactions, to which the extended commerce of the country gives rise, cases must occur to illustrate the darker side of the human character. Such questions seemed to call forth all his energy, and they who heard the great principles of integrity vindicated and enforced, in a strain of indignant eloquence, could scarce resist the impression, that they beheld, for a moment, the earthly delegate of Eternal Justice.
• During the short period for which his Lordship filled the chair of the court, it seemed to be his object to settle the law of Scotland upon great and permanent foundations. Far from seeking to escape from the decision of points of law under an affected delicacy, which he well knew might be a cloak for ignorance, he anxiously dwelt upon such questions; and pointed them out for discussion, that, by means of a deliberate judgment, he might fix a certain rule for the guidance of future times. With all his knowledge of law, his opinions upon these subjects were formed with singular caution, and what was at first thrown out merely as a doubt, was found, upon examination, to be the result of profound research, matured by the deepest reflection. But to enter into the merits of such a character, 10 describe the high sense of decorum, and the opposition to all affectation and insincerity, which carried him through the straight line of professional duty, not seeking the applause of men, but consulting only the spotless rectitude of his own mind, would carry us far beyond our present limits, even if it were possible. His true value is best estimated by the general gloom which his death has cast over the profession and the country.
His Lordship was within a few months of 70 years of age. He was the son of the Rev. Mr Blair, minister of Athelstonford, author of the celebrated poem of “The Grave.” He entered Advocate in 1764, and on the appointment of President Campbell to the Bench, he succeeded the present Lord Chief-Baron* as Solicitor-General, in which office be continued till the year 1806. On the promotion of Mr Robert Dundas to be Lord Chief-Baron in 1801, he was unanimously chosen by the Faculty of Advocates to be their Dean, in which honourable station he continued till 1808, when he received the appointment of Lord President of the Court of Session, on the resignation of Sir Islay Campbell, Bart. He married Miss Isabella Halket, one of the sisters of Lieutenant-Colonel John Halket, by whom he has one son and three daughters.'
* The late Right Honourable Robert Dundas.