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" It was the anxious wish of the author, repeatedly expressed, that these words should be understood with the modification implied, as in other passages of Holy Scripture, so very emphatically in Jer. vii. 22: “I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt-offering or sacrifices; but this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, &c.'
"Every one is familiar with the idiom of the Old Testament, in which God is said not to have commanded not to will—that which is of no avail without some other thing in contact with which it stands; e. g., 'I will have mercy, and not sacrifice. The author understood the words himself, and wished to be understood to mean, that to have Christ “in the hands, not in the heart,' is not to be a partaker of Christ.
“He referred also to some words of St. Bernard, as illustrating his meaning; and it is thought that the passage may have been this: 'Absque Spiritu, et Sacramentum ad judicium sumitur, et caro non prodest quidquam, et littera occidit, et fides mortua est. Sed spiritus est qui vivificat ut vivam in eis.' (S. Bernard in Cantica, Sermo 53, vol i. p. 2877, ed. Gaume, 1839.)
Without the Spirit the Sacrament is received to condemnation, and the flesh profiteth nothing, and the letter killeth, and faith is dead. But it is the Spirit ihat quickeneth, that I may live in them.'
“Fearing, however, that he was misleading others, a few weeks before his departure he determined that the verse should stand as it now appears.*
In December last, Dr. Pusey wrote as follows to the Times :
“ Discussion has begun, and will probably be prolonged, about one of the latest acts of one whom very many of your readers love, John Keble. I hope, then, that I am not intruding on your kindness by explaining facts of which I am myself coguizant. The discussion relates to a line in the poem of the Christian Year,' entitled 'Gunpowder Treason.' The whole ran thus:
O come to our Communion Feast;
There present in the heart,
Will His true self impart.'
The words, in their strict literal meaning, contradict what had been his belief so long as I have heard him speak on the subject. So taken, they affirm that our Lord gives Himself to the soul of the receiver only, and is not present objectively. This was not John Keble's belief. He himself (as is explained in the posthumous editions) understood his own words in the same way as when Holy Scripture says, “I will have mercy and not sacrifice' (i. e., not sacrifice without mercy), that the objective presence was of no avail unless our Lord was received within, in the cleansed abode of the heart.' This is plainly not the obvious meaning of the words, but it satisfied him. To myself, many years ago, when I spoke of the way in which his words were taken, he only answered by a disparaging remark on the “ Christian Year.” He looked upon it as the work of younger years, with
“() come to our Communion Feast ;
There present, in the heart
Ninety-sixth Edition, p. 301.
which he had no more to do. He called it, in his way, that book.' But when, in Convocation, the passage was cited, as expressing his matured conviction against the real objective Presence, it pained him to the quick, and he requested that a letter should be written to the Guardian, drawing attention to an explanation which he had given of the lines in 1857 :
“ After saying that the language of Anglican divines, which is often alleged against the doctrine of a real objective Presence, is really directed, among other things, against the notion of a gross carnal Presence.' he subjoins : “I may, perhaps, be excused for exemplifying this by the ex. pression sometimes quoted from the “Christian Year," " present in the heart, not in the hands." '
“This letter John Keble saw and approved.
"In the same publication he drew attention to a protest, which we united in drawing up in 1856, in which we said :
* We, being convinced that the doctrine of the Real Presence of “the body and blood of Christ under the form of bread and wine," has been uniformly held as a point of faith in the Church from the Apostolic times, and was accepted by General Councils, as it is also embodied in our own formularies, &c.'
" It was, however, brought home to him that the line would still be quoted against the doctrine which he believed, so long as it remained in the " Christian Year.” After considering for three days, he wrote, March 6th, 1866–
" I have made up my mind that it will be best, when a reprint is called for, to adopt — 's emendation and note, with a few words, pointing out that it does but express more directly the true meaning of the present text'
“The little note which says this, and which is now lying before me, is written in the same beautiful firm hand in which he wrote before his first illness. His mind was clear as ever. The second illness, by which he was taken from us, showed no signs of approach then. It began a fortnight afterwards (March 20th). During that short illness Mrs. Keble mentioned that it was a great comfort to him that he had decided to make he change. He himself expressed this."
Now, before we can admit the perfect fairness of these representations, we must read the poem itself. It is at least possible, as we have said, that in the lapse of years, the author may have so passed out of the mood of mind in which he conceived the verses, as to have lost the apprehension of what was then his meaning. If we can construe them in accordance with the recent commentary, we are, of course, bound to do so; but if they are absolutely inflexible to such a rendering, what then? Let any impartial reader take the stanza in question, as connected with those which precede and follow, and, we are bold to assert, he cannot give to it the meaning which Dr. Pusey acknowledges not to be the “obvious” one, or Mr. Keble's own later interpretation, without supposing an absolutely incredible looseness in the use of language, nay, without introducing a break into the argument which turns the whole appeal into nonsense. The idea of the poem is that of the true spiritual Church of Christ mourning over the perversions introduced
under the name of faith. At Rome, especially, she bears the cross, sorrowing because her professed children worship saints and angels, because they have stained the pure robe of religion with the blood of martyrs : and then follows an earnest appeal to doubters, hesitating with regard to certain doctrines, yet longing for the safety and shelter of the Church. The true Church, says Keble, does not require the reception of these doctrines. For example, with regard to Purgatory,—
"If thou hast loved, in hours of gloom,
To dream the dead are near,
With guardian spirits dear,
The lurid mist is o'er
Upon the eternal shore." We have marked by italics the lines that contain the point of the argument. “Your scepticism is a mistake. Do not suppose that if you give up Purgatory, Christ's Church has no place for you. Abandon that doctrine, and come to us!” Then follow the two stanzas on Communion, in a precisely similar spirit.
“ If with thy heart the strains accord,
That on His altar-throne
Yet leave Him most thine own;
There present, in the heart
Will His true self impart." Here, plainly, the doubter is supposed again to shrink from the doctrine of Transubstantiation. For him, Christ is in the highest heavens, not upon an earthly altar; and again the appeal is, “Come to us. The true Church does not demand the doctrine from which you shrink. To us Christ is in the heart, not in the hands.” The alteration, “as in the hands," makes the argument simply unintelligible; tells the sceptic that we also hold the Roman doctrine ; destroys the reason for bidding him to our communion, and, further, implies what the Ritualist does not mean to assert, that at the Roman altar Christ is not in the heart. We say, it is easier to believe that Keble in later years misread his own intention, than that, when he wrote the poem, he perpetrated such absurdities. He was plainly speaking of the Roman as a fallen church, and two of the doctrines that had caused this fall were these dogmas of Purgatory and Transubstantiation. The poem, accordingly, continues with a warning against being tempted "back to the enchanted air," and ends
with an appeal in which the very tenderness and pity convey but the more distinctly Keble's conviction of the Roman apostacy
" And O! by all the pangs and fears
Fraternal spirits know,
Of wakeful anguish flow,
Who knows but gentle love
The surer way to prove ?” What dissonance could be greater than that between the tone of these verses and that of our modern Anglicans ?
This controversy respecting the substitution of a word is far more than a mere literary question. The argument of the note we have quoted is essentially of the kind which Pascal has held up to the detestation of all ages as Jesuitical. The alteration marks an advance-or, as the phrase is, a “ developement”-of doctrine, in a dircction fatal to intelligence and spiritual freedom; and the reasonings which justify it show that the old fruit grows upon the old tree. We mourn that to any extent Mr. Keble should have been beguiled, and would far rather have had his account of the change than that of his literary executors, of Dr. Pusey, or even of Sir J. T. Coleridge.* The Christian Knowledge Society, We believe, has stopped the sale of the edition that contains the new reading.f True honour for the memory of the sweetest singer of our modern Israel has prompted the resolution. As to ourselves, we shall continue to prize the“ Christian Year” for all that we have ever prized, and shall repudiate this last perversion none the less earnestly for our previous dissent from many of the admitted teachings of the book. These, after all, may be removed without the loss of anything that is most precious in the volume. This ninety-sixth edition will be remembered as deformed by an unexpected heresy: let it not be forgotten as having first contained Keble's own “Dedication" of the work, long since written, but reserved for publication until after his death. With its deep and touching music we gladly close.
“When in my silent solitary walk,
I sought a strain not all unworthy Thee,
Gave forth no note of holier minstrelsy. * See the Guardian, January 23.
† Since writing, we have learned that editions are in future to be pub. lished without the poems on the (now disused) “State Services of the Church of England. This gets rid not only of these “Gunpowder Treason" verses, but of those on the "Martyrdom" of Charles I.,'and on the “Restoration." The knot is thus very ingeniously cut : and the “ Catholic” may be comforted as against the “ Anglican !'
" Prayer is the secret, to myself I said;
Strong supplication must call down the charm :
Knocking at Heaven's gate with earth-palsied ařm:
By whom the troubled waves of earthly sound
Some high-souled bard in his enchanted round
T'hy dove-like wing that makes confusion fly,
New worlds of music, strains that may not die.
With pure hands ever holding up on high
The undying lamp of heavenly Poesy.
Is my frail arm, O Lord; but I would fain
In the clear ray that makes Thy pathway plain.
The evil spirit from the troubled breast;
To listen to the strain, and be at rest."
THE TORY GOVERNMENT AND REFORM.
THE Tory government have once more vindicated their right to be regarded as the representatives of the “stupid party.” They had such an opportunity as does not often fall to the lot of any politicians of retrieving past errors, of showing that they were influenced by an enlightened patriotism, and of associating their names with important legislative measures which might have happily settled the most irritating controversy of the times. It is true that they are in the unfortunate, and what is to be hoped will long be the exceptional, position of ministers without an adequate following in the House of Commons. Mr. Disraeli, in his oration of the 11th February, talked of their accession to power. He should rather have said-accession to office, for power can hardly belong to those who, on any great question of national policy, would find themselves in a humiliating minority, and whose official position is due entirely to the existence of
happile that they arexceptional: