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collapse of the attempt to establish a Southern Confederacy. It is so palpable a failure, and has excited so much ridicule, that the French people are very sore and very much inclined to resent the expenditure of so much money on such a miserable fiasco. But the acute Emperor will probably extricate himself with adroitness and a certain ecât from his false position by resorting to his favourite device of a plebiscite. He will make a merit of necessity, and, in withdrawing Maximilian and his troops in favour of Juarez, he will profess to have had in view throughout, only the good and the wish of the people. Apparently he meditates some grand military coup, in the glory of which Mexico, Rome, and Germany shall all be forgotten; but his people are growing wiser, and the projects for enormously increasing the army meets with a strong opposition. Peace must, however, be kept next year that the pageant of the Great Exhibition may pass, and, before it is played out, the Inexorable may beckon the Emperor off the stage and shift all the scene.
The event of the month at home has been the Trades' Union Reform Demonstration in London. What it lacked in numbers, it made up in respectability and good order; and the manly bearing of the artizans who took part in it made quite as good an impression in favour of Reform as an assemblage of 200,000 persons of a less favourable type would have done. The Tory Cabinet have not yet come to any resolve as to what they shall do about Reform, but the majority are understood to be convinced, against their wills, that it is absolutely necessary they should have a Reform Bill of some kind, and Lord Stanley and Mr. Disraeli are for making it a reality. Household suffrage in the towns, counterbalanced by assured squirearchical influence in the counties, is understood to be their scheme. General Peel and Lord Cranborne are for playing the honest Tory role of opposition to all Reform. They say that the Radicals will insist upon household suffrage if proposed by the Tories, and will reject their ingenious counterpoise—a very likely result, indeed. Liberal politicians seem to be gradually drawing towards agreement on household suffrage. It is certain that, before long, the working classes will be invited to take part in governing the empire, and it is high time to ask why the artizans and the labourers, who follow their example,so uniformly stand aloof from our Christian organizations, and are so unfavourably disposed to Christianity itself. A Conference is to be held in the metropolis shortly, at which these questions are to be discussed by working men themselves, and some answers may be expected which will perhaps disturb the self-complacency of our comfortable middle class church-goers.
Lord Shaftesbury tells the editor of the Times that, if the laity
of the Church of England will not bestir themselves, “a miracle alone, nothing less can save the Reformation in Great Britain.” His Lordship is apt to talk a little wildly. In Scotland the Reformation does not appear to be imperilled, and the Nonconformists of England are not likely to betray the Protestant cause, though there are persons who suspect them of yielding to the fascinations of the Scarlet Lady, because they sing better and worship more reverently than they once did. But we have here Lord Shaftesbury's measure of the danger, and since Lord Ebury's belief is “that the greater portion of the influential laity are either in favour of the Tractarian movement or indifferent to it," no hope is left for the noble Earl but in a miracle. What then is become of the great Evangelical party which his Lordship heads? They have trusted in Prime Ministers and paltered with truth till there is no more virtue or strength left in them.
Peace has its awfulfields of death, as well as its victories. Nearly five-hundred hard-handed men burnt and blown to pieces in one week, while providing fuel for our Christmas fires, is, indeed, a terrible story. A great addition is thus made to the demands upon benevolence; but that, though the first, is perhaps the least serious consideration suggested of these repeated murderous colliery explosions : Englishmen will not endure to pay the price of blood for their coal,--some means must be devised for making the workings safer.
The only other event of which notice need be taken here is the appointment of a Positivist to the Mental Philosophy Chair at University College, vacated after thirty years of persevering labour by Professor Hoppus. The Council rejected the Rev.James Martineau in favour of Mr. J. Croom Robertson, a young man of ability, but little known, except as a protogée of Professor Bain. Mr. Martineau's Unitarianism has developed into a mild Theism— he appears to reject the supernatural, and to teach the eternity of matter, but he still abides by a spiritual philosophy in which alone faith can find any root. If the Mental Philosophy Chair is occupied by a gentleman who teaches Sensationalism, University College must become a mere school for mechanism and languages.
I. The action of the soldiers at the Crucifixion, who parted Christ's raiment among them, dividing to each a fragment, represents in a lively manner the general operation of the human mind upon Christianity. A readiness to tear truth to pieces, an inveterate proneness to one-sided thought and fragmentary faith, prevails throughout Christendom. The pictures in any public gallery of art show how steadily the Roman Church adheres to the Infant Christ, and the Dead Christ. The Unitarians know and honour Christ only as Man, and after the flesh. The ordinary Protestants direct their whole attention to Christ on the cross, too often even “counting his bones," as if He were only a skeleton of theology. The Irvingites worship the risen and reigning Christ, the Christ of the future. And the Quakers resolve Him almost into a pure Spirit, ignoring too much the historical and tangible revelation. But it is the whole Christ in whom we are “complete." Christ the child and the son of the blessed Mary, lifting up infancy and womanhood to glory through the incarnation; Christ the man, “eating and drinking with publicans and sinners,” and setting us an example that we should follow in His steps ; Christ dying for our sins according to the Scriptures; Christ rising again and ascending into the heavens, "that He may fill all things ;" and Christ returning in the glory of the Father, that He may “destroy them that did destroy the earth,” and create a “new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness." Slowly and gradually the mind yields itself to that Spirit who thus seeks to reveal the Image of the Invisible ; but there can be no real unity in Christendom until the Church has learned that “ Christ” must not be “divided,” and that all alike must receive in its fulness the "many-sided wisdom of God."
II. As the children of the first Adam, being partakers of an animal nature, do not for a long time after their birth reveal the existence of any nature higher than the animal, but only gradually display the powers which are properly human, the rational and moral faculties; so, the children of the Second Adam, the “ babes in Christ,” being partakers of the nature of the first, do not reveal the existence of the new-created nature very distinctly, but often seem to grorel for a lengthened period amidst manifestations of an imperfect renewal. They will eventually " grow up to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ;" but you would never imagine from the phenomena of their spiritual childhood in what forms of beauty, power, and goodness, they will at last shine forth.
III. Success in all kinds of work depends on the possession of a wise confidence; and this must be taught, notwithstanding the dangers of its opposite. Faith precedes every victory. The little child takes its first journey across the room by faith in its own powers. The swimmer,
the skater, must believe in order to excel. How many there are who are hindered throughout their lives from exercise of their abilities by disbelief in their sufficiency, produced by an “education” which was & perpetual discouragement. Thus it is that many never succeed in society through unvanquished timidity of spirit; thus it is that many never excel in art, in speech, in thought. Their powers have withered under the influence of self-distrust. Confidence is essential to the development of power of every kind. Who would like to commit himself to the care of an engine-driver who only “humbly hoped" that he might be able to take an express train safely across the country. Power and confidence produce each other; and "all things” are, in a manner, possible to him that believeth. Thus, too, in religion, “ assurance," lies at the basis of the spiritual structure. Acceptance" precedes holiness and victory. " Access with confidence,” is the secret of Christianity; and since this cannot arise from nature it is bestowed by grace; and without faith in this new constitution of things, it is impossible to please God."
IV. The very idea of a law is that of an authoritative demand for uniformity of action throughout the Commonwealth. Whatever is established by law should therefore before all things else be that which can be enforced upon all, and demanded from all. If any department of the State, if any institution leagued with the power of the State, becomes itself a mass of illegalities, of precedents overriding legal decisions and express decrees of the governing authority, or becomes one vast embroglio of irregularities in thought, in custom, or even in speech, then that institution becomes a positive danger to the whole realm. The spirit of disorder extends on every side into every department of the State; uncertainty, through the decay of principle, pervades the laws of property, of punishment, of taxation; and the issue will be a general depravation of the life of the nation. If the institution so offending against law be the Church of the people the mischief is redoubled, for then the chief dependence of mankind for the preservation of truth and order is converted into the chief element of disintegration and corruption.
V. Popular language, being formed upon the perceptions of the multitude, often obscures, both by its distinctions and confusions of thought, spiritual truth. Thus we speak of that which we see as this world,” and of the unseen as “the other world," and the world which is unseen is regarded as being very much less real than this. But the limitations of the perceptions of sense are certainly not the limits of the worlds. Our vision is not co-extensive and conterminous with the reality which even here the popular mind appreciates. It is but a superficial custom of speech to call that which we see a world, and the unseen another world. It is as if an insect should call its own leaf this world, all other foliage of the forest the other world. There is truly but one world, all of whose parts are joined together, and the gradual extensions of knowledge reveal its existence by degrees to the individual mind. The extension of vision even here has made known “new worlds.” The microscope has revealed a “new earth," and the telescope a "new heaven.” Science has already unveiled a region of invisible forces which control the phenomena of visible nature; and in this world of our own there is a Spirit-region,—a world of mind, which determines the course of events, and governs the natural elements. Thus, too, religion makes known to the spiritually sensitive new worlds within worlds, holies and holiests; and every extension of insight shows that since “the vail has been rent in the midst,” there is but one “Father's house," and one world for the saints. He who “sees” possesses all things, and has already become an inhabitant of these spiritual realms, to which, through union with the all-pervading Power, he for ever belongs.
THOU DOEST ALL THINGS WELL.
BY THE LATE REV. W. M. BUNTING.
Thou doest all things well,
God only wise and true!
Of mercies always new.
I sink in welcome sleep ;
Yet patient vigil keep.
And each chill night its bourn ;
Ere rest or light return.
And sore the chastening rod-
My Glory, and my God!
If veiled, it makes me sad —
And morning finds me glad !
Instinctive look above;
Thy beams, unslumbering Love !
Lost hours have never seemed :
From earth, for heaven, redeemed !
Its hallowed issues—tell
Thou doest all things well !