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unbeliever, ever on the watch for occasion to accuse our holy faith, has found too much in the schisms of a kingdom which should have been, above all others, one and united; and in the fierce controversies of men the fundamental law of whose religion is one of mutual love.
We may say, indeed, that in a certain sense, there is a real unity amid all this diversity; but the world in general will hardly believe this till it see more visible appearance of it. And you hear it said, not without a certain coarse truth, that good comes of the competition of sects—that emulation may stimulate exertion that the parish clergyman may perhaps be all the more abundant in his labours, because of the existence, not far off, of a dissenting place of worship. But if the Church were right, it would need no such stimulus: and surely emulation is no worthy motive for preaching the Gospel ; and undoubtedly envy and jealousy walk in its train. True religion, or at any rate what may be called Churchism, may make more noise now when a host of various sects each claims the notice of the world, than if a single pure and kindly fold held within it all true believers ; but oh! how many hearts are sickened by this strife : and then stir and commotion do not always prove energy and power: the strength of a thousand brawling brooks flows quietly on in one mighty river. There is something sublime in the thought: we believe there would be a mighty energy of good in the action : of one glorious Christian Church, entitled to the name of Catholic as no Church ever has been since the Apostles died : omnipresent over the earth like the atmosphere : spreading itself broadly over broad continents, and ramifying its far-reaching arms into the nooks and straits of the world : sprinkling the great sea with the island bands of its members, cut off from all the rest by dividing waters, yet linked and made one by ties which count nothing of time and space. It is fine to think of a great central heart, whose throbs should vibrate off to the extremities of Christendom; of the undivided will of true unity of purpose, making some avail of every impulse of power, and turning the varied might of that vast machinery to one single glorious end. Yet good men have doubted whether the union of all Christians into one visible Church would further the great object of all members of the true Church invisible; and the discussion of the question need stir no feelings of debate, for in this age it is little likely to be brought to the test of fact.
I shall mention only one other cause which appears at the present day to operate against the reception of our holy religion-one which in itself might afford matter for long discourse. It is the narrowmindedness, moroseness, and unamiability, of many who make a very loud profession of religion.
The third passage of scripture on which these thoughts are founded
is that in which St. Paul tells us " by manifestation of the truth ” to
commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.” You see, it conveys the great principle, that the whole life, and conduct
, and character, of every true Christian ought to be a recommendation of Christianity-ought to be something that tends powerfully to win over to religion all who see it. We know that a Christian ought to be an epistle in commendation of the blessed faith he holds. But it is beyond question that many people who profess to be Christians do anything rather than recommend Christianity
. Their entire bearing rather goes to warn people off from having anything to do with Christianity.
There are few more woeful things to think of, than the certain fact, that people who evince a spirit in every respect the direct contrary of that of our blessed Redeemer, should fancy that they are Christians of singular attainments. But it is more woeful still to think that many young souls should be scared away into irreligion or unbelief by the wretched delusion, that these people, wickedly caricaturing Christianity, are fairly representing it. There are many who think that the spirit of religion is harsh, censorious, and uncharitable: intensely opinionated and self-satisfied: gloomy in itself, and reflective of gloom on all who came within its influence; and it must be admitted that if we suppose that the spirit of religion is exemplified in the temper
whose entire manner affected of others, and felt no sympathy with it; who on a bright summer day, in a fair and lovely scene, looked like a monstrous exception to the aspect of all God's universe.
who profess to be guided by it, all this must be granted. On this supposition we might be led to believe that the religion of Jesus was concentred in a dark asceticism, which interdicts pleasant sights and sounds, and declares war with rational enjoy
form. The spirit of Roman Monkery is far from being dead among us. Many Christians appear to think that a sour look, a whining voice, and an outlandish phraseology, are the indispensable marks of true Christianity. These misguided persons commonly interdict amusement of even the most innocent kind ; and dwell with especial delight on the darkest and most mysterious doctrines of our holy faith—doctrines whereof man should speak but little, and that little with the profoundest humility. God only knows how
many children, brought up in the gloomy homes of such people, have drawn in a hátred of religion and all connected with it, that led them, when grown up to be their own masters, to burst the hated bands
asunder, and fling off even the restraints of common morality. And you have all, I doubt not, met men and women whose genuine Christian principle you were willing to believe,
with an undefined and stronglyother people you ever knew; who took no interest in the happiness
amount of mischief which all this does. I believe, in my conscience, that one such Christian as we have spoken of, does more to retard the coming of Christ's kingdom than twenty men who never made any profession of religion at all. The sins and follies of the unbeliever are reckoned by all as his own; but it is hard to convince the world that Christianity is a genial, healthy, inviting thing, where it sees the very contrary characteristics exemplified by its sour, and odd, and ill-conditioned professor. O my friend, when I call to mind this day, certain Christian men whom it is my happiness to knowmen the purest in doctrine and the most devoted in life-men in whose presence you feel you breathe a holier atmosphere: yet with
he cheerful spirit which is like sunshine to all around them, and with the kind face that makes every little child their friend; and with the manly spirit which makes all who see them understand that the true Christian is not less, but more of the true man than ever; I see there the living epistles which St. Paul desiredsomething to commend to every thinking man the blessed faith which has made them what they are !
Let us be such living epistles! Let us pray for more of the mind -the kindly, sympathetic, holy mind—which was in our blessed Redeemer. And so, by our whole lives we shall be preaching His Gospel, and hastening the day when His kingdom shall come in all hearts. Or, to give the counsel in far better words than mine“ Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and” not think, nor say, what good people you are ; but rather think how blessed that faith must be which made you, poor sinful creatures : so“ that they may see your good works, and glorify your “Father which is in Heaven!”
A. K. H. B.
GOLDWIN SMITH. *
MR: Goldwin Smith tells us that he was struck, nay, startled, by the appearance of Oliver Cromwell in the historic line of Oxford Chancellors. “I almost shrink,” he writes, from mentioning the name which intrudes so grimly into the long list of the Tory and High Church Chancellors of Oxford.” A similar effect is produced upon our intellectual and nervous systems by the spectacle of Goldwin Smith among Oxford Professors. How, we ask, has this ruddy athlete, florid with intellectual health, full of the hope, the
* Lectures on Modern History. Lectures on Irish History. Rational Religion, &c., &c.
aspiration, the audacity of the present, found his way into halls dedicated to the worship of the past ?' What has this vivacious stranger, in tight-buttoned coat and wide-awake, to do in the throng of big-wigs, whose faces are as long as those of the seven sleepers, whose robes fall in severe academic curves, and who seem to turn on him glassy eyes of upbraiding inquiry why he has intruded into these haunts of ghostly learning and hoary tradition? Goldwin Smith is simply the most modern man we know. His whole being vibrates in sympathy with this rapid and changeful time. He smiles at the idea that the vigour of humanity is exhausted, and rejoices in the faith that we are in the morning of the world. In Oxford he seems an incarnated rebellion against the genius loci. Well
, we like to come upon a fountain in a waste of sand ; we are glad when a railway startles a dosing old town out of its slumbers ; and in Oxford, of all places, we are happy to meet with Professor Goldwin Smith.
We have said that he is intensely modern, and we know not that we shall have anything more to do on the present occasion than to amplify, qualify, and illustrate this proposition. Mr. Smith's modernism is of a peculiarly excellent kind." It is not the flippancy of ignorance and conceit, which in the flying of a wheel cries down the past;" it is the frank acceptance of his own time as great and adrancing, by one whom culture has familiarised with the greatness of other times. The favourite task of criticism, it has been somewhat bitterly said, is to expose the faults of the living and to trumpet the merits of the dead. He is but one man in a thousand, who, having attained a real knowledge of the ancient world, having understood its ways of thought and feeling, having breathed the spirit of classic literature and felt the beauty of classic art, has capacity, courage and honesty enough to assign their due place to the master-pieces, of modern times. Mr. Matthew Arnold, for example, an admirable judge of poetry, himself a poet, and subject to as little affectation as most men, cannot rid himself of the belief that some mystic grandeur necessarily resides in the verses of Homer as distinguished from those of Walter Scott, and that the picture of a battle, in which gleamed the crests of gods and the white arms of goddesses
, on the banks of Scamander, must be better than that of a battle in which feudal standards,—the Howard lion, the Marmion falcon,-rose and sank in the swells of conflict on the grey slopes of Flodden field. It is to the credit of Jeffrey, by the way, that he dared to acknowledge the transcendent merit of that wonderful passage, and declared that, in his opinion, Scott's Flodden was superior in interest and animation, in breadth of drawing and magnificence of effect, to any poetical battle-piece from the days of Homer downwards. Mr. Goldwin Smith does justice to the ancients, but he looks upon them with no such admiring despair as would unfit
him for holding the balance equal between them and the moderns. His remarks upon the style of the ancient historians, excellent from every point of view, illustrate these observations, and shew how freely he can let his critical genius act in provinces where criticism has too frequently lost itself in feeble raptures. “The language of the ancients,” he says, “is of the time when a writer sought nothing but simply to express his thought, and when thought was fresh and young. The composition of the ancient bistorians is a model of simple narrative for the imitation of all time. But if they told their tale so simply, it was partly because they had a simple tale to tell. Such themes as Latin Christianity, European Civilisation, the History of the Reformation, the History of Europe during the French Revolution, are not so easily reduced to the proportions of artistic beauty, nor are the passions they excite so easily calmed to the serenity of Sophoclean art. Not all ancients are classics. The clumsiest and most prolis of modern writers need not fear comparison with Dionysius Halicarnassus, nor the dryest and most lifeless with the Hellenics. Nor are all moderns devoid of classical beauty. No narrative so complicated was ever conducted with so much skill and unity as that of Lord Macaulay. No historical painting was ever so vivid as that which lures the reader through all that is extravagant in Carlyle. Gibbon's shallow and satirical view of the Church and Churchmen, has made him miss the grand action and the grand actors on the stage. But turn to the style and structure of his great work; its condensed thought, its lofty and sustained diction, its luminous grandeur and august proportions, reared as it is out of a heap of materials the most confused and mean; and ask of what Greek or Roman edifice, however classical, it is not the peer ?” This is manly writing, and it is thus that Mr. Smith always bears himself towards other generations. He does not despise their achievements, but neither does he let his common sense be carried off in floods of vapid ecstasy. He can count the rings in the tree of humanity; but he believes that its leaves are yet green, and that buds are yet opening on its branches. His culture saves him from vulgarity and sciolism; but he reverences the spirit of his own time, and the might of modern tendency influences him more powerfully than any precedents gathered from past ages. We find, therefore, that those remarks of ours upon Oxford
may have been too severe, and that Goldwin Smith owes something to his University training. He is, in the best sense of both terms, an Oxonian and a Liberal,-his modernism sound, frank and ardent, but enriched by a delicate aroma from his classical attainments.
We have struck, it must be allowed, into a line of high commendation. If we have not said that Mr. Goldwin Smith is a great man, we have said, or implied, that he is a power in his country and