443. To George Coleridge Address: Revd G. Coleridge | Lymington | Hampshire MS. Lady Cave. Pub. E. L. G. i. 199. Stamped: Keswick. Keswick, Thurs: July 1. 1802 My dear Brother If you have had the same Tempest at Lymington, as has been playing it's freaks among our Lakes & mountains this whole Day, the sea must have 'shown off in a grand style', as the Tourists phrase it. May you have occasion to exclaim with the younger Pliny -- 'O Mare! O Littus! Verum secretumque Moυϭîoυ,quám multa invenitis, quám multa dictatis!' 1 It gave me great pleasure to hear from yourself a confirmation of what Mr Froude had hin[ted] to me -- namely, your intention of living hereafter for yourself -- because I am well assured, that in so doing you will, in some way or other, be living still for the benefit of others. You have purchased for yourself a high earthly Reward, the Love & Honor of men, whom you yourself have been the main Instrument of rendering worthy to be themselves loved & honored. -- It seems as if there were something originally amiss in the constitution of all our family -- if that can be indeed without presumption called 'amiss' which may probably be connected intimately with our moral & [int]ellectual characters -- but we all, I think, carry much passion, [& a] deep interest, into the business of Life -- & when to this is supe[ra]dded, as in my Brother James's Case, great bodily fatigue, the organs of digestion will be soon injured -in weak men this in general produces affections of the Bowels, more or less painful, in strong men spasmodic hypochondria, that will appear to have it's head quarters in the Stomach, & the Secretories of Bile -- and I suspect the latter to be my Brother's case, & that the only prescription is that of the old Latin Distich / Si tibi deficiant Medici, Medici tibi fiant Haec tria: Mens hilaris, Requies, moderata Diaeta. The last is an old acquaintance of the Colonel's; & the two former depend but little on our own arbitrement: so that alas! like advice in general, it is very true, and yet but little worth. ---- I have been better of late -- so much better, that I have hopes of soon becoming a tolerably healthy man / a stout man I never shall be. ----- From the latter part of your Letter I fear that I must have worded my Letter to you very inacc[ur]ately in what respected the change of sentiment -- in saying that I had no longer my former scruples ____________________ 1 Pliny, Epis. I. ix, to Minicius Fundanus. -805- respecting the establishment of the Church of England, I did not mean in any way to refer to it's peculiar Doctrines -- or to the Church of England in particular. The change in my opinions applies equally to the Gallic Church, antecedent to the Revolution, and to the regular & parochial Clergy of Spain & Portugal. -- The Clergy are called in a statute of Queen Elizabeth 'the great, venerable, third Estate of the Realm' -- that is to say, they & their property are an elementary part of our constitution, not created by any Legislature, but really & truly antecedent to any form of Government in England upon which any existing Laws can be built -They & their Property are recognized by the Statutes -- even as the common Law frequently is -- which was bona fide Law, & the most sacred Law, before the Statute / and recognized not for the purpose of having any additional authority conferred on it, but for the removing of any ambiguities & for the increasing of it's publicity. The Church is not depend[en]t on the Government, nor can the Legislature constit[ution]ally alter it's property without consent of the Proprietor -- any [more] than it constitutionally could introduce an agrarian Law. -- Now this is indeed an Establishment -res stabilita -- it has it's own foundations / whereas the present church of France has no foundation of it's own -- it is a House of Convenience built on the sands of a transient Legislature -- & no wise differs from a standing Army. The colonial Soldiers under the Roman Emperors were an established Army, in a certain sense -& so were the Timariots under the Turks / -- but the Church of France is a standing church, as it's army is a standing army. It stands; and so does a Child's House of Cards -- but how long it shall stand depends on the caprice of a few Individuals. -- This I hold to be indeed & in sad & sober Truth an antichristian union of the Kingdom of Christ with the Kingdom of this World -- & in a less degree I look upon the manner, in which the Dissenting Clergy are maintained, as objectionable on the same grounds. Now herein, & only herein, lies the Change in my opinions. -- When I was last with you, & we walked on a Sunday Evening with Mr Southey, toward the Head wier [Weir], you expressed your Dissent from Dr Priestley's opinions, & your disapprobation of the Spirit in which they had been made public; but you said, (& I had heard the same opinion from you before) that you did agree with him in thinking, that Church Establishments had been prejudicial to Christianity. -At that time I was wholl[y] of the same mind & so I remained till mor[e re]ading [and] Reflection removed that opinion, which I ha[d felt to be] common at that time to yourself & to me -----. Wi[th regard] to the particular Doctrines of the Church, or to any [change] I had no motive to speak -- for I have always [declared to] -806- you the truth & the whole truth, when I have talk[ed with you] on this subject -- & I could never discover any differen[ce in your] opinions and my own. -- I understood that in common [with all] the best & greatest men of the Church, with Bishop Tay[lor, Archb]ishop Tillotson, Bishop Law -- (not to mention W[illiam] Paley, & Jortin, because these are, rightly or wrongly believed to be semisocinians) you regretted that so many scholastic Terms & nice Distinctions had been introduced into our Articles & Liturgy -- I do no more. I have read carefully the original of the New Testament -& have convinced myself, that the Socinian & Arian Hypotheses are utterly untenable; but what to put in their place? I find [nothing so] distinctly revealed, that I should dare to impose my opinion as an article of Faith on others -- on the contrary, I hold it probable that the Nature of the Being of Christ is left in obscurity -- & that it behoves us to think with deep humility on the subject, & when we express ourselves, to be especially careful, on such a subject, to use the very words of Scripture. -- Dearest Brother! is there a serious Clergyman of all your acquaintance who does not, when he puts the Question seriously to himself, wish that this could be -- if it could be without too dear a purchase? -- But we know by sad Experience, that Innovations are almost always dearly purchased -- & I plead for no innovations -- not even of the rash Anathemas of the Preface to the athanasian Creed -- neither do I either with my Tongue or in my Heart censure those, who cling to the Church of England as they cling to their Wives -- first, because there is great evil in change -- & secondly, because all moral & all political attachment must be grounded, not on an immunity from defects & errors, but on the presence of Truths & Virtues practicable & suitable to us. ----- My Faith is simply this -- that there is an original corruption in our nature, from which & from the consequences of which, we may be redeemed by Christ -- not as the Socinians say, by his pure morals or excellent Example merely -but in a mysterious manner as an effect of his Crucifixion -- and this I believe -- not because I understand it; but because I feel, that it is not only suitable to, but needful for, my nature and because I find it clearly revealed. -- Whatever the New Testament says, I believe -- according to my best judgment of the meaning of the sacred writers. -- Thus I have stated to you this whole of the Change which has taken place in me -- which is however far from being 'the fi[rst] fruits' of my reverence for the τά ཰ͱχαîα κρ[ατε]ίτω -- My kindest Love to Mrs G. Coleridge -- in [whic]h & to you, & your dear little ones Mrs C. [joins] -- S. T. Coleridge -807-