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after the error of Bds, make merchandi who, through a
ready to be 'trodden under foot of men. And oh, ye ecclesiastical judges, organs of the hierarchy, ere it be too late we implore you, though unworthy to be censors, to listen to the divine voice within, which warns you that the practices you are now pursuing and defending are identical with those which brought down the last curses of Jesus Christ our Lord on the rulers of Jerusalem. Yes, Hell itself gapes with red and flaming mouth for all liars,' and thirsts for no blood more deeply than that of those who, through covetousness, with FEIGNED WORDS, make merchandize of souls, and run greedily after the error of Balaam for reward ! Surely, it is an evil time when the chief institution for teaching goodness and truth to the vation becomes the chief example of paltering with language for worldly ends. No other ends are conceivable in your tortuous policy. Your solemn and difficult arguments, pleadings, and precedents, your mitres and robes, and grave faces, cannot conceal that this, in plainest English, is the condition of your case. Let your own children, Mr. MacNaught, Mr. Baptist Noel, and Dr. John Henry Newman, be the three witnesses of your iniquities. It is not the moral condition of the working classes, but of the educated classes, and of the clergy, which is the bane of Great Britain, and the chief ground of alarm to those who yet believe that there is a 'God who judgeth in the earth.' My heart within me is broken because of the prophets.'
AIDS TO REFLECTION.
The Bible contains traces of two different inspirations—the one of ideas and words, the other of moral impulse and character. The one is as real as the other, but the effects are diverse. The first makes a man more or less infallible, the second makes him tender and great and good. It is this second inspiration which continues to the present day. Every one who would be saved must be inspired. “If any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of His.' The gifts of the Spirit' vanished away when their purposes were accom. plished; the fruits of the Spirit' remain until this present. The life of Paul was of infinitely greater value than his languages, and this life was the effect of an inspiration which has descended through all subsequent centuries. An uninspired life is a life without God in the world. Work out your own salvation, for it is God that worketh in you, both to will and to do according to His good pleasure.
Nations in their totality resemble, in the conduct of foreign affairs, great public boy-schools, much more than communities of disciplined men and women. In both you see a predominant reference to force rather than to reason or right. In both you see that the fear of being thought afraid overtops all other fears. In both you see that the patient endurance of a wrong is not even reckoned theoretically among the virtues, and that to 'overcome evil with good' is
thought the part of a milksop. In both you see the purely heathenish disregard of moral considerations, and the decision of the judgment by a balance of forces in the field. The reason is that bowever numerous may be the wise and good In a nation. they are always in a trivial minority compared with the animal. men,' who form the opinion of the public; and animal-men' are only grown up school-boys. The cry of every nation therefore is, who is like the beast ! Who is able to make war with him! And this cry drowns the protestations and remonstrances of the Christian party. Truth and nobleness are always in the position of Christ before Pilate, surrounded by the Jewish multitude. They were instant with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified.'
III. But the multitude of heathenish voices ought not to be permitted to dictate the course of national affairs without a vehement effort on the part of wise and good men to stem the torrent, or to suggest the nobler principles of action. There is no stronger temptation that besets a man of Christian principle than that which arises from the overwhelming din of crowds shouting aloud in a passion. The silence of the wise does as much mischief in this world as the Freech and noise of fools. Wisdom crieth without.' She will not be heard in the streets if she speak in a whisper. Boldness in the utterance of moral principles of action is that which all reformers require—a “forehead of adamant' to face the wicked mob of Jerusalem. There is always this encouragement; Passion spends itself, and soon grows weary of shouting. After about the space of two hours,' the town clerk can be heard. Principle grows stronger the longer it speaks, and patient continuance in faithful testimony is certain to secure at least a hearing at last.
IV. It is not, in the highest classes' of English society that the greatest intel. lectual and moral refinement prevails. On the contrary the grossest vulgarity of taste and conduct is to be found among the leaders of fashion, just as the lowest type of coarse and selfish feeling is to be found among many of the most popular preachers' of Christianity, Living in a blaze of worldly success is not favourable to the nurture of the graces of character and intelligence.
The general views which a man entertains of the attributes of God are always brought to a focus in his opinion of the condition of children. His opinion on an infant is a reflex of his opinion on God. Perhaps it is a test of trae theology that we can teach it to a child, without any sensation of shocking the child's moral constitution. Under this aspect let the mother consider the following statement of Jonathan Edwards. 'If those who complain so loudly of frighting poor innocent children with talk of hell-fire and eternal camnation, really believe what is the general profession of the country, such a complaint betrays a great deal of weakness and inconsideration. As innocent as children seem to be to us, yet if they are out of Christ they are not so in God's sight, but are young vipers, and are infinitely more hateful than vipers, and are in a most miserable condition, as well as grown persons; and they are naturally very stupid and senseless, being born as the wild asses' colt, and need much to awaken them. Let the mother take her baby in her arms, and repeat over it these words of the great New England divine, along with the Ninth Article of the Church of England, and let her steadily resolve to instil thee views of God into her child's opening intelligence; and she may look for the love of God in her boy, when she may bope to gather figs from thisties. We remember once walking, on a splendid May morning, through the
fields in the West of England, and encountering a peasant child of twelve years old at a style between two lofty ledges, covered with a snow-shower of blossoms. Well my boy,' was the question, 'look up at the blue sky, and tell me what you know about God.' The boy gazed steadfastly up towards Heaven, and looked at the glorious firmament for some moments; then facing his questioner, in a devout tone he replied, -He sends us to Hell, sir.' It was the natural out-come of a one-sided system of instruction truly infernal. Ah, if but one baby in its cradle could have been present at those councils of Christendom where the articles of belief were fixed, its voice might have counted for something in the framing of the formularies. But the men who were “neither husbands nor fathers, and to whom a mother's breast was an inscrutable mystery, thought and seasoned in a thick Egyptian darkness on matters in which, though evil,' the heart of maternal affection offers the best guide to the comprehension of the Eternal. Christ has himself taught us that Divine compassion is much more than parental love. The extirpation of the family spirit from the hierarchy of the Christian church was of itself sufficient to ensure the utter corruption of theology. No wonder that those who · forbid to marry,' are threatened by the God of Love with a punishment horrible enough in hell-fire to avenge the delusion of a world, and the concealment of all the tenderness of heaven.
VI. A service for the visitation of the healthy is wanted quite as much as a service for the visitation of the sick. In neither case is a form of exhortation or prayer exactly the most suitable mode of reaching the soul. No one will reveal himself to a black ecclesiastical official. The heart yearns for a wise and sympathizing friend. The gifts demanded in spiritual dealing with individuals, are far higher and deeper than those demanded for preaching to congregations. The Roman Confessional represents in a perverted form, a great want of struggling humanity, the need for a wise and able counsellor by the young and weak. Many young men are enfeebled during the earlier years of their Christian life from the want of some ductor dubitantium, which helpers are found among the laity, perhaps, as often as among the ministers. The elder women are the proper confessors' of maidens, the elder men of youths; and, perhaps, nothing is more lamentable than the small pains taken by elder Christians to smooth the path of beginners. Jesus said to Peter, ‘Feed my lambs.'
SHORT NOTICES OF BOOKS.
Leisure Hours in Town. By A.K.H.B.,
Author of 'Recreations of a Country Parson.' Parker, Son and Bourn. 1862.
There is no doubt that if the question were asked, “Which of the contributors to magazine literature during the last five years has succeeded in gaining most of the love and gratitude
of his readers ?' we should with one voice cry out, A. K. H. B. We are all the willing parishioners of this parson. We sit under' his ministry with great delight. We are disappointed if he leaves us alone without a visitation service for more than two months together. We are all of his
denomination,' and we make a point of believing all he tells us, whether
pablicly, or from house to house. We Dever yet found ourselves questioning any of his deliverances, let him 'condescend upon' whatever topic he may. To continue our little stock of Scotch, we'homologate' all his utterances, and our minds become Presbyterian din rectly he opens his mouth.
There is no other man in Scotland who exercises so much inward power in England. Indeed, on reflection, we don't believe he is really Scotch. There must be some mistake; he will think it no compliment, but he has essentially a southern intelligence; his tature was never developed on brose and baggis. Let the audacious Professor Blackie rave as he may about his native barren land, and the .stupidity of the English,' A. K. H. B. was not born to be a trans-Tweedine Calvinist, and it is certain that he is more appreciated by his kindred spirits in the South, than by his reputed relations in the North:
If we ask ourselves what is the special charm of our minister's discourse whieh makes us think him English, and prevents us from ever deeming either his sermons or his visits too long, we suppose the answer to be that he is blessed with that rarest of all faculties, the gift of profitable musing. He has an interesting way of meditating on common things, and bring, ing the deeper interests of life to bear apon the panorama of daily life. His heart has a look southward upon all the sunny aspects of nature. We remarked in a notice of his former volume, how much he used to love grass. It is said that he has recently removed from the country to a large city in Scotland. Now, in most weathers, a Seotch city is an awful sight to look upon. May the love of grass continue to flourish in his heart! It is a trial of faithful affection. The grass near great cities is not genuine. It has a roué, blasé, worn-out look. It does not ástand dressed in living green, but in dying brown. It is clothed in 3 thin deposit of smut; it oppresses rather than exhilirates the spirit of ay man who has spent years among
the verdure and beauty of country meadow-land. A man might soon forget what a field is who lived in London. We shall see what the effect of town life is upon our minister. There is far less of nature in this volume than in the former two. Perhaps it is a compensation that there is a fuller picture of human life. The essay on 'Future Years' is a master-piece. It reminds you of Mendlessohn's 'Songs without Words,' of Keller's “Reverie,' and of twenty other beautiful pieces of minor music; but there is a blessing within the charm. There is a quiet tone of holy wisdom which makes you promise never to forget the man that wrote that essay; you thank him again and again, and you wish that the life of all your neighbours could be rendered interesting to them by just such a pure habit of daily contemplation as he possesses and here exhibits. The interest of life depends partly upon its great objects and general methods, and partly upon the undergrowth of its habitual meditation. To possess a wise and happy faculty of constant musing, redeems life from half its waste; and we can conceive nothing better fitted to awaken and sustain such a faculty, than a pretty frequent study of the books of this admirable writer. They are written in nearly the best and purest English of the day. We will give one golden paragraph :
Your children will not always be children. Enjoy their fresh youth while it lasts, for it will not last long. Do not skim over the present too fast through a constant habit of onwardlooking. Many men of an anxious turn are so eagerly concerned in providing for the future, that they hardly remark the blessings of the present. Yet it is only because the future will some day be present, that it deserves any thought at all. And many men, instead of heartily enjoying present blessings while they are present, train themselves to a habit of regarding these things as merely the foundation on which they are to build some vague fabric of they know not what. I have
known a clergyman who was v fond of music, and in whose to the music was very fine, who seemed incapable of , enjoying its solemn beauty as a thing to be enjoyed while passing, but who persisted in regarding each beautiful strain merely as a promising indication of what his choir would come at some future time to be. It is a very bad habit, and one which grows unless repressed. You, my readers, when you see your children racing on the green, train yourselves to regard all that as a happy end in itself. Do not grow to think that these sturdy young limbs promise to be stout and serviceable when they are those of a grown-up man; and rejoice in the smooth little forehead, with its curly hair, without any forethought of how it will look some day when overshadowed (as it is sure to be) by the great wig of the Lord Chancellor. Good advice: let us all try to take it. Let all happy things be enjoyed as ends, as well as regarded as means. Yet it is in the make of our nature to be ever onward-looking, and we cannot help it.'
Words of Comfort for Parents bereared of Little Children. Edited by WILLIAM Logan, of Glasgow. Nisbets. 1861.
This book supplies a large number of extracts in prose and verse from pieces on the death of children, and will, doubtless, be found valuable by the sorrowful persons for whom it is designed. The expression of our emotions is always sought for both in o and grief, and here is every variety of passionate lamentation over departed children. To us the chief interest of the book is the noble preface on infant salvation, by the eloquent Dr. Anderson, of Glasgow, and from this introduction we extract the following passages, warning the reader that they are the composition of a Scotchman, who ought to know the things whereof he affirms. If the same things had been said by an Englishman respecting Scottish theology, they would at once have been de
nounced as the offspring of Southern prejudice :- *It was well for the fore-described
mother that it was recently she came
forth from Popedom on her pilgrimage in quest of her infant among Protestants. I speak especially of the Protestantism of Scotland. Even so late as sixty years ago, unless she had chanced to enter at some singular corner, she would have found it better for her heart to return to Rome, and quiet her anxieties as she best could, with the reflection that the Popish Limbo was not so woeful as the Protestant Hell. Our Protestantism, commencing with the Sovereign decree of Election, equitably assigned to those who died in infancy their proportional share of the mercy, but not less equitably their proportional share of the judgment—the judgment of reprobation or preterition; so that calculating the infants' share by that of the adults', as manifested in faith and a holy life, there was left a vast multitude who perished eternally. Parental affection early demanded, and easily obtained the modification, that the whole of such children of pious parents as died in infancy should be included in the decree of salvation. With this the heart of Scottish Protestantism for a long time remained satisfied. . With the exception of those born of pious parents, and the proportion saved by the general decree, all the rest, in millions upon millions, were doomed to everlasting woe. For two centuries and a-half after the Reformation this was the prevailing dogma. And when fifty years ago, Common Sense, warming into life out of its dreadful torpidity, began to vindicate the character of God, the rights of Christ, and the feelings of humanity, it was with he: sitancy and bated breath, and amid suspicions of their soundness in the faith, that a few voices were heard suggesting the possibility that all who die in infancy are saved. The question was agitated in this form for a considerable time, and Common Sense gained ground. About forty years ago, when he who sketches