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it may, perhaps, permanently contribute to the peace of Europe, and if it do this the Paris Exhibition will deserve to be remembered.
Meanwhile, since the only scintillation of all this splendour which will be suffered to fall upon these barbarian isles, will come from a brief visit of the Sultan, Englishmen are devoting themselves to the dull work of discussing politics. The process of transforming the Reform Bill still goes slowly on in the House of Commons. Every day it becomes more and more unlike the measure which Mr. Disraeli introduced three months ago, and every day Mr. Disraeli gets up to declare that the changes which the House of Commons makes are but the complements of his own ideas, the fulfilments of his own wishes. If it is so, then we have a measure of the greatness of the imposture with which he has imposed upon the Conservative party, and induced the Tory squires to assist him in working a political revolution. The Bill is now one of simple household suffrage,—nay, the inclusion of a lodger franchise takes it a long way on the road to manhood suffrage. That part of it, however, which relates to the redistribution of seats has been so cleverly manipulated by the Chancellor of the Exchequer that the Conservatives have a hopeful prospect of being able to secure a majority in the new Parliament, in spite of the large extension of the franchise. And this it is that perhaps reconciles the rank and file to follow their leader over bush and brake, moor and fen, blindly trusting that his wonderful skill at hocus pocus will somehow make it all right for them at last. Some of them have been at no pains to conceal that they intend by this Bill to break the power of the middle class, which has given such an impetus to liberal measures, and henceforth rule the country according to Tory principles by the help of the “residuum." All the provisions of the Bill look towards an attempt to get a majority by the votes of dependents, by the creation of faggot votes, and by working upon the prejudices of the most ignorant classes, whose appearance on the register Mr. Bright himself regrets; and the Liberal party are so disorganized, have so little confidence in themselves, and pay so little fealty to their great leader, that they (the ministry) are able to triumph over them and defeat the most reasonable amendments honestly proposed for the purpose of securing good representation. Thus, Mr. Laing's proposal to give an additional member to each of the six great towns having more than 150,000 inhabitants was rejected by a majority of 00, while the monstrous suggestion of the Government to leash together the University of Durham and the University of London, that they might return one meniber between them, was with the greatest difficulty set aside, after two days of hot fighting, and a number of divisions, all of which, except the last, went in favour of the ministry. The clauses of the Bill have now all passed through committee, but on the schedules another attempt will be made to get more members for the large provincial towns, if that is not sooner conceded by the Government, as there is a hope it may be. A sham fight will be made against the Bill in the Upper House, and possibly it may be made a little worse there, but that the Peers will throw it out need not be anticipated.
The Cominission now engaged in an inquiry at Sheffield into the trade outrages which have for years past lent so bad an eminence to that town, have succeeded in dragging to the light a dreadful tale of villany; and in the light which is now flashed upon the iniquities perpetrated in the name of the rights and interests of the operatives, the system which has begotten thein must wither and expire. Under the searching cross-examination of the Commissioners, backed by an indemnity for all who make a full and true disclosure, a variety of witnesses have detailed the particulars of a series of violent interferences with employers who would not comply with the demands of the Trades Unions
-such as stealing bands and other essential parts of their machinery, ham-stringing horses, blowing up houses, and, finally, murders. They have had before them the contriver, if not the instigator, of all these crimes in the person of the secretary to the Saw Grinders' Union, and from him they have learnt the exact price which has been paid for each atrocity. The Sheffield operatives now receive the men who have admitted their complicity in this villany with yells of execration, and the chief culprit, Broadhead, when he had made full confession, said, with a burst of tears, that he knew he should now be execrated by the whole nation ; yet, unless public opinion among the Sheffield operatives had not sustained the secret tribunals by which these outrages were directed, it is impossible that they could have been conceived, much less concealed. Combinations of operatives for trade purposes are not, in themselves, unrighteous, and must not be made illegal ; but the idea of the supporters of trades unions that their decisions must be maintained by force leads irresistibly to outrages like these. A bad system will bear fruit sooner or later in the acts of individuals. The men who were entrusted with the working out of the principles of the Sheffield Trades Unions felt as little compunction in planning the injury of their victims as the Spanish inquisitors did in applying the principles of Popery to the poor creatures in their dungeons. It may be hoped that the revelations of the Sheffield Commission will bring both men and masters to revise their ideas of the manner in which the delicate relations between them should be adjusted. The sad story has lessons for both parties.
Daughters of Eve! your mother did not well :
She laid the apple in your father's hand,
The man was not deceived, nor yet could stand;
Daughters of Eve! he did not fall so low,
Nor fall so far as that sweet woman fell;
That husband in that home left off to dwell :
The world's first hero died an uncrowned king;
And made his married love a sacred thing !
From JEAN INGELOW'S “ Story of Doom" and other Pooms.
BRIEF NOTICES OF BOOKS.
The Reign of Law. By the Duke of Argyll. London: Alexander
The Duke of Argyll has produced a really valuable work on a subject of the highest importance. We certainly do not say this because he is a duke, or because he has been, and we hope soon will be again, a member of a Whig Cabinet, with, as it was understood, Liberal proclivities decidedly more prominent than those of his order. We rather think, indeed, that these considerations are likely to prevent the book from receiving its fair share of attention. The world is very reluctant to give a man credit for excellence in an entirely different department from that in which he is accustomed to employ his talents, and may, therefore, very probably scrutinize with considerable jealousy this venture of a politician into the department of religious philosophy. Then the duke is not a general favourite; a dead set has been made upon him in certain quarters, where probably his Liberal notions, not relished in any one, but regarded as specially unbecoming in an aristocrat, have brought him into disfavour, possibly there may be in him a little of what, for lack of a better term, we call “ bumptiousness.” On the whole, therefore, we think the book is not likely to gain much from the position of its noble author, and that the high commendations it has obtained are not more than is fairly due to its intrinsic excellence. Exercising, as we think we can, an unprejudiced judgment, we can heartily endorse the general verdict. We do not suppose that the duke can boast of any original and independent researches which would enable him to enlarge our knowledge of the world of nature and its laws; but he has read extensively, and, by means of a sound and vigorous intellect, has turned bis knowledge to the best account. The great object of his book is to contend against the tendency in a certain section of the scientific world, to substitute mere law for the personal will of God. “The notion (he says) that the uniformity, or invariableness of the laws of nature cannot be reconciled with their subordination to the exercises of will, is a notion contrary to our own experience. It is a confusion of thought arising very much out of the ambiguity of language. For let it be observed that of all the senses in which the word law is used, there is only one in which it is true that laws are immutable or invariable, and that is the sense in which law is used to designate an individual force." Very ably has our author worked out and illustrated this point, showing that science itself, instead of weakening the reasonings of natural theology, confirms and strengthens them. We cannot enter more fully at present into the duke's argument, to whose force it would be impossible to do justice without very carefully following out its course. The book is an important contribution to one of the grand controversies of our day, when perhaps more than in any other, a distinct, decided and yet intelligent stand should be taken by the believers in revelation. It is all the more valuable because coming from one who is not a professional theologian. Among the gratifying signs of the day is the fact that so many of the higher minds among the laity are directed to the great religious questions that are agitating the world, and doing battle 80 vigorously on behalf of the truth often so rudely and contemptuously assailed. Their words will penetrate where those of ministers of the Gospel cannot reach, and must have a weight which is not given to those who are supposed, however unjustly, to have looked at the subject from a prejudiced, if not an interested point of view. The duke bas an honourable place in the land, and deserves high commendation for the thoughtful and earnest manner in which, despite the pressure of other duties, he has executed the important work he undertook. Memorials of the Clayton Family. By the Rev. THOMAS W. A VÉLING.
London: Jackson, Walford, and Hodder. This book contains biographies of men who filled a prominent position and did a good work, in their days, and whose names are still held in affectionate remembrance by many who gratefully confess the
happy influence which they have exerted on the course of their lives. To all such this volume will be very acceptable. It will for them revive the memory of old scenes, of works in which they took intense interest, of men for whom they will always cherish unbounded respect. To others—to those to whom the Claytons themselves were unknown, but to whom they are the representatives of a certain type of Nonconformity which was once very influential but has hardly a place at all among ourselves—these sketches of dissenting life in the last generation have a different but scarcely less powerful attraction. The life of the father is more interesting and instructive than that of any of his sons, but all of them are distinguished examples of the power resulting from sincere piety, loyalty to their own views of duty, Thorough devotion to the work to which they had consecrated their lives. None of them were great men, or even great preachers. The father had most of intellectual power, and perhaps the greatest nobility of character, but all of them were energetic, useful, successful, and what is of higher moment, conscientious men, though very starched and pompous in their demeanour. That they were moderate Dissenters is well known, but it is not generally understood that their Nonconformity, though very mild and guarded in its utter. ances, was firm and decided in its convictions. It is greatly to the honour of John and George that they declined the offer of a valuable living in the Establishment, and the special circumstances under which the latter arrived at the resolution to refuse a very tempting offer make it extremely creditable to him, and leave no room to question the strength of the convictions under which lie acted. They were men of a particular order, with peculiarities arising ont of the circumstances of their position, wbo did important service in their own sphere, and whom we respect for what they were, while at the same time we differ from many of their views, and should be very sorry to see Nonconformist ministers occupying the same position now. To us it seems singular how men should see so much evil in the Anglican church that they could not conform, although evidently anxious to do so, and yet should be content to remain silent themselves as to what they felt to be so unscriptural, and in truth to dis. approve the conduct of those of their brethren who felt that their own sense of duty compelled them to bear their testimony against the errors which they alike condemned. The biographer quotes, unfortunately as we think, without the strictures which it deserves, a remark of Mr. Percival Bunting's, the Methodist champion of Church-rates, that they belonged to "a school which, by its steadfast loyalty to the old theology, and to those essential principles of Protestant Nonconformity which modern politics have, perhaps, tended somewhat to obscure, long retained the Puritan hold upon the middle order of society in this country.” This statement implies a slander upon the present generation of Congregational ministers which cannot be too strongly repudiated. We are perfectly willing to give the Claytons their fair meed of honour, but we are not content to see them exalted at the expense of others who are just as hearty in their attachment to evangelical truth, and are rendering it quite as sincere and con