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NoTES ON THE OPIUM TRADE. 7
An imperial commissioner came to Canton, put the merchants under arrest, compelled them through His Majesty's Superintendent of Trade to deliver up the whole of the opium then on the coast, amounting to 20,283 chests, and formally destroyed it by mixing it with lime and salt, and then casting it into the sea.
For some months after this, opium was almost unsaleable, and the pro
history measures against smoking it were so successful, that the con
sumption fell to less than a tenth of what it had been. The war ensued, and the trade went as before, only with fewer restrictions, the Chinese government being afraid to interfere. There is no doubt, however, of the sincerity of their desire to put down the trade, as we may judge from the severe measures against their own subjects, and from their steady refusal, from first to last, to legalize the trade, even with the prospect of a large revenue. Meanwhile, the trade has assumed all the importance of an established recognized traffic. The merchants engaged in it shelter themselves under the plea of the sanction given to it by the British government, and the alleged insincerity of the Chinese in wishing to prohibit it. In the early history of the traffic, the opium was conveyed to China in fast-sailing vessels built for the purpose; after the war it was conveyed in vessels of all kinds; and since the establishment of steam communication large supplies have been forwarded by the monthly steamers. Opium, however, has never been openly introduced into China by British merchants, nor do the most respectable Chinese merchants engage in the trade.
Opium when smoked is inhaled into the lungs and produces various effects, according to the quantity consumed. It may be tonic, soothing, exhilirating, stupifying, -as more or less is inhaled at one time.
The evidence as to the evils of opium-smoking is somewhat contradic. tory, but influenced mainly by the interests of the party who gives it. We have parallel evils at home in our dram-drinking population, but there is not a doubt that opium is more seductive and more tenacious in its grasp, and from this we may infer what the real state of the case is. The effects of opium-smoking, therefore, on the population, must be most pernicious, both morally and physically. It is called by the Chinese themselves a vice, and it is one which is rapidly extending with the present immunity from punishment and the low prices. The number of smokers is variously estimated from two and a half to four millions.
3.—EFFECTS ON LEGAL TRADE.
Poverty is extensively prevalent among the general population, and yet by the spread of civilization they are capable of becoming large consumers of our manufactures.
In our own country a drunken family cannot afford to purchase more than the scantiest supply of clothing, and we are warranted in saying the same of the opium-smoker's family. But what is true of the individual is true of the whole class, and hence we lose them as customers for our manufactures, and to an extent far greater than the value of the opium. For supposing the seven millions' sterling worth of opium thrown into the sea, instead of passing through their lungs as smoke, the loss would only affect their o i. the actual consumption not only sweeps away
the seven millions sterling, but incapacitates them for productive and prosperous labour.
It may be added, that the disturbance of the money circulation has been a very serious evil entailed on the general legal commerce. A mint at Pekin with the opening of their silver mines, and the extension of banking principles would in time remedy this evil.
4.--OBSTRUCTION OF FRIENDLY RELATIONS. This is self-evident. Both government and people look upon us with an unfavourable eye, and it is impossible to remove the impression while the Opium Trade continues ; nor can we fail to sympathize with them in their jealous prohibition of free access into the empire for the same reason. We have forfeited, in their eyes, all claim to disinterested generous conduct, such as becomes a Christian nation : discredit has been thrown on the Christian religion, and its progress in China is retarded in consequence.
5.-NATIONAL COMPLICITY IN THE TRADE. The East India Company, who are simply trustees for the British government, and are therefore one and the same, being perfectly cognizant of the contraband character of the trade, and preparing the drug nothwithstanding expressly for that market, there is no question on this score. About two-thirds of the supply are exported from Bengal, where it is prepared, and put up to auction by the government, and the remaining third is exported from Bombay, where it pays a transit duty of 400 rupees, or £40 per chest, to our government; this opium being the produce of independent native states in the interior.
Opium is grown to some extent in China itself, but only with the connivance of the local authorities. The quantity thus grown is not known, but it cannot be less than 10,000 chests. It is inferior to the Indian drug, and, being much cheaper, is used for mixing with it. As an instance of the Company's direct implication in the China trade, it may be stated, that information having reached the Company in 1848 that opium cultivation was extending in China, inquiries were made of the British authorities in China as to the truth of the statement; and, with the view of driving the Chinese drug out of the market, the supply from Bengal was largely increased, and has been increasing ever since.
6.-THE OPIUM CONNECTION SINFUL, AND A DISGRACE TO GREAT
With the previous facts that it is a contraband trade; that the drug is destructive of the health and morals of the Chinese ; that it is seriously affecting our international relations, and retarding the progress of Christianity in China; by the inconsistency of British Christians presenting the Bible with one hand and opium with the other; it is surely a sin and a disgrace to the British nation.
Let us suppose a trade to be opened with a country like Japan, (an event, probably, not far distant), would any inducement, however lucrative, lead us to incur the solemn responsibility of attempting to introduce this insidious scourge of opium-smoking into such a new field of commerce ? Surely not. And yet the same responsibility rests on us for participating in the same evil, although long established, in China.
may be left to the process of self-adjustment.
a select number of persons who could afford to pay for so dear a luxury.
“Woe unto the world because of offences ! for it must needs be that
afford to lose three or four millions sterling annually from this source;
MILMAN's LATIN CHRISTIANITY. 9
offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh !”
The continuance of the trade is entirely a question of revenue with the East India Company. This is the whole argument for it. They cannot
and it may be said the times are unfavourable for asking them to give it up. The Persian war threatening in India, while in China the difficulty of finding the means with which to pay for tea and silk, is also urgent. But there probably never will be a time without some such drawbacks; and, on the other hand, there are reasons for pressing the subject equally good. The resources of our Indian possessions are about to undergo a wonderful development, through the late facilities of railway and steam communication; and, as for the embarrassments of the China trade, they
Moreover, no sudden measure is desirable. The most feasible one is this:—
Opium, as an article of consumption, is affected very much by price. Whenever the price rises in China the consumption is checked; and, on the other band, when it falls to a low figure the consumption is large. The East India Company, acting on this fact, have the power of retaining their revenue but slightly diminished for some years, while they are annually curtailing the supplies of the drug. The effect of this, in China, would be to reduce gradually the number of consumers till they became
Let the Company then act on this humane principle; and, while doing so, be developing some other source of revenue less objectionable. As soon as possible she is bound, even by her charter obligations, to cease trading in opium in the way she now does by means of her monopoly in Bengal. This might form a preliminary step to an entire cessation of the poppy cultivation. We must, however, be prepared to face the possible contingency of other parties taking up the trade, or of China herself supplying her own people. Yet we may hope otherwise. Were the present revolutionists in China to succeed, they are determined opponents of opiumsmoking; but even the present emperor might effect a reform if backed by our national support, and with the aid of Christian missionaries, education, and medical skill.
We might lay much stress on the commercial value of a restoration of confidence and friendly relations. China, with her magnificent rivers and canals, and enterprizing population, is capable of enormous development by means of steam power and modern machinery, which would soon enable her to take our manufactured goods to an amount quite sufficient to pay for her produce.
MILMAN'S LATIN CHRISTIANITY.”
At last we have an English Church historian, who can take rank with the best of Germans. At last we have an English Church history, which can take place with the works of Grote, and Macaulay, and Merivale. The Dean of St. Paul's is well known as a classical and elegant poet; his
* John Murray, Albemarle Street.
popular work on “The History of the Jews" had shown his power of historical narration. His previous work on "The History of Christianity to the Fall of Paganism" had prepared the way for this, his most elabo. rate and scholarly undertaking.
The work before us, consisting of six volumes, combines the period from the victory of Christianity over paganism to the pontificate of Nicholas V. It is, in every page, replete with proofs of adequate and well-arranged learning. It must have occupied the studious leisure of many years. The quarter of a century, which M. Grote has devoted to “ The History of Greece," may have been well spent by Dean Milman, in composing his “ History of Latin Christianity."
Of course, no two parties, whose minds have been specially directed to a particular subject, will take exactly the same view of it. We could have wished Dean Milman more diffuse on some points, and more limited on others, than he has been. We could have spared somewhat of the details with which he has traced the very memorable pontificate of Innocent III., if he had given us longer details about the English Lol. lards, the Waldenses, and the Bohemian Hussites. We could have wished more full portraits of such foremost men as Anselm and Bernard. The former, the Augustine of the middle ages, was one of the very few who are theologians for all time. He takes rank, with the Bishop of Hippo, with Howe, Butler, Edwards, Foster, among the masters of religious thought. His life, as it has been written by Professor Husse, of Bonn, (with whose admirable book Dr. Milman appears unacquainted,) depicts him as indeed a master in Israel. Bernard, the father of medieval mysticism, the poet,* the theologian, the saint, the man of public action and influence, the man who united, as they never again have been combined, the virtues of the cloister with the genius of the cabinet, deserved a full-length portrait for which room might easily have been found by the omission of various rather unimportant details about the pontificates of inferior and second-rate popes.
The history of mysticism has not been so traced by the Dean of St. Paul's as we could have wished. We could not, of course, have expected that he could, with so many other matters pressing on his historical regard, have devoted to it the attention which a writer like Mr. Vaughan specially embracing the same, could give. But some course intermediate between Mr. Vaughan's completeness and Dr. Milman's brevity might have been adopted. While the brief volume of Dr. Carl Schmidt on John Toule is several times quoted, the elaborate volume of Böhringer of Zurich on the Mystics is never referred to.
What an awful idea of Popery these volumes, with all their calm impartiality of narrative, give! Balthazo Casso, the pirate, the adulterer, the grasping and brutal man of the world, is raised, through sheer violence on his part, to move the intimidated cardinal to the chair of St. Peter. After the emperor had extracted from the Council of Constance the taking of extreme steps against this monster of a pontiff, he is merely obliged to abdicate the popedom; while the same Council pursues the blameless, the devout, the almost apostolic Huss and Jerome of Prague, to the stake, and, alas! even John Gerson stains his noble name by the advising of the destruction of Jerome, even in spite of his recantation!
* Perhaps, in some future edition of our hymn books, a translation of Bernard's noble hymn, "Jesu dulcis memoria,” may find a place.
MEN AND BOOKS OF THE DAY.
Again, what a view of the inefficiency of Popery, even in its best adherents, is given us in the case of Louis IX., commonly called St. Louis. The sanctity of his life cannot hide the awful profligacy of the crusader's camp, which he commanded. Even over his own brother, the royal example is devoid of influence. How far superior in influence, though in so much inferior in earthly rank, is the character of an evangelical soldier, like Hedley Vicars.
The concluding book, the 14th of this admirable history, is a resumé of the literature, art, and music of the Latin Church. Subjects which general church historians have either ignored, or prefatorily treated almost in a parenthesis, are here fully, clearly, and (with due allowance for necessary brevity) satisfactorily treated. To Dr. Milman's theology, we, as Calvinists, cannot subscribe. But we are glad to see that in a green old age, the friend of Heber is able to write so vigorously, and the hope held out in the last volume of tracing the downfall of Latin Christianity in Teutonic Europe, will, we trust, through his life being still spared, be carried out with equal power and erudition to that which characterises the present volumes.
(Original and Selected.)
MEN AND BOOKS OF THE DAY. REV. MAURICE HOLES, Church of England ; Rev. FRANK BLUNT, Presbyterian. "Well, Mr. Holes, your Broad Church leading and literary section of the friends have not got much share of the Evangelicals, it might have preferred recent bishoprics and deaneries that Birks, or Goode, or some one of the have been disposed of. Only think of (not very numerous) learned authors of Lord Palmerston, of all men, becoming the Evangelical party." a patron of evangelism!”
T “ Still, an active dean is rather a " I don't grudge the Evangelicals rarity, and it is as well to see one, even | their share, Mr. Blunt. But à body though not distinguished for acquirethat number only about a fifth (at the ments. Besides, his bishop (though most) of the clergy of our church one of the best of men) is an author should, in fairness, get only a fifth of only of shilling and eighteenpenny preferments."
volumes." " But remember their long exclusion “In one sense, Mr. Holes, all the -these ecclesiastical Whigs-from high more to Dr. Villier's credit that he office. Carlisle only once had an evan- aimed at popular and general usefulness. lical dean before, Isaac Milner ; and His tract on Balls and Theatres,' I numbers of other cathedrals never have suppose, is rather too stringent for had one yet!"
“True. I forgot that. But they will "Why, yes, Mr. Blunt, I hold with have their sbare now. Were Lord Professor Jowett, that what you EvanDerby to get back to office (which I gelicals in the church and out of it call hope he will not) the Marquis of the wold, only existed in the primitive Blandford might be able to see to it, times, and I don't object, when in that his Low Church friends were at. London, to go and see Phelps, or any tended to."
other actor of devout and respectable "I see the Christian Observer' is character. And, by the way, friend not very enamoured of Close's appoint-Blunt, I dare say if I were going in ment. “As the organ of the more some fine morning to your study, I