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128 Observations on the present State of Widows and Orphans. have the best opportunities of being acquainted with the real circumstances and exigencies of their Clergy; and who, if fuch a meafure shall appear to them, at any time, to be proper and desirable, are eminently qualified to contrive and accomplish the best scheme for so benevolent a purpose.
What our Author has in view, is to contrive a scheme for the support of the indigent Widows, and helpless Orphans, of such of the Protestant Clergy in England, Scotland, and Ireland, as are without the pale of these establishments. And this is, undoubtedly, a very charitable design ; for though these gentlemen are tolerated and protected by the laws of their country, yet they labour under many, and grievous disadvantages. Their appointments, in general, are very small; and, from the nature of things, must be somewhat precarious.
The Protestant Diffenting Ministers in England, our Author observes, are too numerous a body of men, and too distant from one another 'in their situation, ever to be brought to concur in one scheme, or contribute to one fund, for the Relief of their Widows and Orphans. But it does not appear to be very difficult, he thinks, for thirty, forty, or fifty of them, who are contiguous, to form themselves into a society for this purpose.
Ministers of the episcopal persuasion in Scotland, who are duly qualified for the public exercise of their office, not being very many, might without much difficulty be formed into one society for the same end.— The Presbyterian Ministers in Ireland, especially in the northern parts of that kingdom, might also form themselves into two or three bodies, as ihould to them appear most convenient, for the like purpose.
For the benefit of these, and of any other societies, who may think fit to make use of it, our Author has contrived and published a scheme, the out-lines of which are as follow:
Each Congregation, who pay yearly to their Minister 20 l. and upwards, but under 40 i. shall pay il. per annum to this fund.-Each Congregation, who pay yearly to their Minister 40 l. and upwards, but under col. thall pay il. 10s. per annum to this fund, and so on, in the same proportion. Each Minister shall pay yearly to this fund, a fum equal to that paid by the Congregation of which he is Minister. - Each Minister and his Congregation shall be jointly and severally liable for the whole sum paid by him and his Congregation to
Observations on the Provision made for Clergymen's Widows,&c. 129 this fund.Those yearly rates, both from Ministers and Con gregations, Ihall be payable at the term of Candlemas each year, and shall bear interest from that term to the time of their actual payment, at the rate of four per cent. per ann.
If any Minister shall be removed from a Congregation paying a lower, to a Congregation paying a higher yearly rate to this fund, the said Minister shall pay into this fund, within a year after his admission into the latter Congregation, a fum of money equal to the difference between the rate paid by him and his former Congregation and that paid by him and his present Congregation, for the whole time he had been Minister in his former Congregation, with interest thereon from the respective terms that the annual rates fell due ; in consideration of which his Widow and Children shall receive out of this fund, according to the rate paid by him and his last Congregation.
Minister shall remove from a Congregation interested in this fund, to one not interested in it, or Thall voluntarily demit, or by any means be divefted of the Charge of a Congregation interested in this fund, fuch Minister ihall continue to pay yearly, during his life, to this fund, a sum of money equal to what he and his Congregation had been in use to pay into it; in consideration of which his Widow and Children fhall be intitled to the same benefits and advantages from this fund, as if he had died in the actual possession of his Charge in the said Congregation.
Each Congregation, in the time of a vacancy, shall pay the double of their own usual rate. -No Congregation shall be allowed to make any alteration in the yearly
sum paid by thein and their Minister to this fund, during the incumbency of any Minister ; but, in the time of a vacancy, a change may be made, in this particular, by any Congregation, according to the change of their circumstances, provided timely notice be given of the intended change to the Trustees for the management of this fund.
Each Congregation shall require from each Minister, at his admiffion to the Ministry in the said Congregation, a written Obligation, that he will regularly and duly pay his part of the annual rate for the support of this fund, and at the fame time fhall deliver to the faid Minister, a like Obligation, signed by the Trustees for the Congregation, that they will regularly and duly pay their part of the said annual rates. Both which Obligations shall be lodged in the hands of the Clerk to the Rev. Feb. 17610
Trustees for the management of this fund-All the annual rätes, payable by Ministers and Congregations to this fund, shall be paid per advance for the year to come.
Our Author now proceeds to lay before his Readers the purposes for which this fund is to be raised, and the manner in which it is to be applied to these purposes, with regulations and directions for the management of it; bat the bounds assigned to this Article will not allow us to enlarge any farther. – The scheme, as far as appears to us, if pursued with zeal and unanimity, may be put into execution with little difficulty; and as the design is certainly a benevolent one, we sincerely with it may meet with succefs.
Fingal. An ancient Epic Poem, &c. concluded.
in our last Month's Review, page 56, we introduced the first battle in Fingal, to our Reader's attention ; and we now resume the consideration of that part of the work, in order to proceed regularly through the whole. The engagement is described as very long and bloody; night coming on, however, it appears to be indecisive, the heroes parting by consent. Cuchullin is indeed.fo extremely gallant and polite, as to invite Swaran to supper, being unwilling “ the feast should be spread for himself alone, while the King of Lochlin was on Ullin's shore, far from the deer of his hills and founding halls of his feafts.". This might, it is true, be a very good reason for Swaran to accept the invitation, were it not more natural for him to suspect fome treachery under such appearance of civility, than for Cuchullin to be in reality fo obliging to the hostile invader of his country. Had such an invitation been made out of infult or mockery, it would have been agreeable enough to the dispositions and manners of such a people, who might be supposed to have done it with a view to fhew their superior adùantage over a foreign enemy, or to express their contempt of the invading power : but, as it ftands here represented, it savours more of the affected ceremony, and unmeaning politeness of modern times, than of that simplicity, which ever prevailed in rude and uncivilized nations, always animated, as Tacitus observes, with the fame fincerity and źcal both in their friendthips and enmities.
But whether this be an error in the Poet, or that some such preposterous formality was in use among the people, and at the
imes represented, we do not take upon us absolutely to decide. However this be, Swaran, more naturally and very prudently, refuses to come ; sending the following fpirited and sensible answer back by Carril, who brought the message. “He answered like the sullen sound of Cromla before a storm. Though all thy daughters, Inisfail ! should extend their arms of snow, raise high the heavings of their breasts, and softly roll their eyes of love ; yet, fixed as Lochlin's thousand rocks, here Swaran shall remain ; till morn, with the young beams of the east, shall light me to the death of Cuchullin." -This is noble and sublime ; nor is the short reply of Cuchullin to the messenger less striking and spirited. “ Sad is the sound of Swaran's voice, said Carril of other times :--Sad to himself alone, said the blue-ey'd son of Semo.”
The Episode, immediately following, containing an account of Cairbar's killing Grudar, the lover of his sister Braffolis, is introduced, as the Translator observes, with great propriety; but, as it naturally calls to the Reader's mind the celebrated ftory of the Horatii, it will be impossible for him not to perceive how greatly the Poet might have improved on so interesting an incident.
“ Take, Brasfolis, Cairbar came and said, take, Braffolis, this shield of blood. Fix it on high within my hall, the armour of my foe. Heç soft heart beat against her side. Distracted, pale, she few. She found her youth in all his blood; she died on Cromla's heath." And this is all. How justly might not she have upbraided her brother for killing her lover!' How pathetically lamented his end; and, mixing her lamentations with the keenest reproaches on his murderer, have fallen more naturally by his resentment, than 'expired through mere affliction on the heath of Cromla.*
Some Critics may indeed object that the original cause of quarrel, between the brother and lover, was -not important enough to authorize the Poet to carry the matter fo far as to make the former kill his fifter ; but, as the effect was to her the same, and she is faid to have actually died, the might surely as well have had some visible way of dying, as to have gone off, no-body knows how, fighing and sobbing over the dead body of her lover: pure grief is feldom lo fa. tal. Perhaps, on mature confideration also, the cause of quarrel will not be found altogether fo trifling. They fought indeed only for their property in a bull; but, as the Reader will see hereafter the value they let in those times even on a grey hound, this bull, being by the bye a spotted one, might, for ought we know, be deemed an object as worthy contending for, as the honour of their country and patrician virtue among the antient Romans. It is befides clear, from K 2
The claffical Reader will recollect how greatly the Historian rises above the Poet, by comparing this passage in the work of Offian with the following one in Livy. “ Princeps Horatius ibat, tergemina spolia præ fe gerens : cui foror virgo, quæ desponsa uni ex Curatiis fuerat, obvia ante portam Capenam fuit: cognitoque super humeros fratris paludamento fponsi, quod ipfa confecerat, solvit crines, et Alebiliter nomine fponfum mortuum appellat. Movet feroci juveni animum comploratio sororis in victoria sua, tantoque gaudio publico. Stricto itaque gladio, fimul verbis increpans, transfigit puellam. Abi hinc cum immaturo amore ad fponsum, inquit, oblitá patrum mortuorum vivique.” The poetical incident of the ghost of Crugal appearing to Connal, at the opening of the second book, is introduced with great beauty and propriety. It comes to persuade him to avoid the battle and fore' Take the field; for that the sons of Erin shall fall. To municate this information, Connal hastens, in the dead of night, to Cuchullin; who, waking out of his fleep, thus naturally and heroically receives him, and replies to his tale :
6.The soft-voiced Connal role in the midst of his founding arms. He struck his thield above Cuchullin. The fon of battle waked.
“ Why, said the ruler of the car, comes Connal through my night? My spear might turn against the found; and Cuchullin mourn the death of his friend. Speak, Connal, lon of Colgar, speak, thy counsel is like the fun of heaven.
“ Son of Semo, replied the chief, the ghost of Crugal came from the cave of his hill.---The stars dim-twinkled through his form; and his voice was like the found of a distant ftream.
the great character given of the combatants, and the pathetic man. ner in which the Poet laments the existence of their cause of strife, that it could be no common bull, “ Cairbar, first of men was there, and Grudar, stately youth. Long had they ftrove for the spotted bull, that lowed on Golbun's echoing heath. Each claimed him as their own, and death was often at the point of their feel Whose name was fairer on the hill than the name of Cairbar and Grudar!But ah! why ever lowed the bull on Golbun's echoing heath? They faw him leap like the snow. The wrath of the chiefs returned.. On Lubir's grally banks they fought, and Grudar like a fun-beam fell.“ You see, Reader, this bull was not only a fpotted one, but had a very peculiar way of leaping too: unless there be here some error in the translation, or of the press. Perhaps leaping like the snow, should have been through or over the snow. At least we cannot find the fhadow of fimilitude in this fimile.