« PrécédentContinuer »
arapet, through its whole length, was ornamented with lofty, nast-high standards, bearing the arms of Denmark and suspending ortraits of her kings; the hundred intervals between these being Id by bronze.censers pouring out volumes of sweet incense. The y end of London Bridge was spanned by an arch, the inost beauful that was erected in Great Britain. Its lofty summit was onded with the Jirandenburg Group of Fame and her white orses, of the size of life, looking like marble statuary; its front as decorated with paintings and medallions, its pinnacle with lifeze images of illustrious Danes. But in the journey through the ity it was the enormous concourse of people that formed the incipal attraction. The Mansion House pillars were magnificently aped in crimson and garlanded with evergreens, and the whole of heapside, St. Paul's Church Yard, and Fleet Street, were radiant ith banners and festoons in white, and red, and blue. But it was the onderful throngs that lined ihe streets, filled the houses, windows, nd galleries, and covered the roofs, that gave true splendour to the me Wherever you looked throngs of eager and animated faces, throngs in the Strand and up every adjacent street, throngs in afalgar Square, along Pall Mall, St. James' Street, Piccadilly, as as the eye could reach,—and then again throngs in Hyde Park, the houses, on the greensward, in the trees, and so on to Windsor If, till the eye was weary of gazing upon so much life and grand. and the ear was weary of listening to the ceaseless shouts of Velcome,” to the Danish Bride. The very lunatics of Hanwell Ded out as the train passed by, and waved their straw hats, and uted a mad hurrah amidst the chorus of England. t was impossible, in looking upon this wonderful breaking forth he reserved English soul in so unparalleled a demonstration of iness and enthusiasm, not to ask what it all could mean? It was elcome such as men might have given to their noblest saviours i benefactors, to those who had delivered them from destruction, governed them wisely for half a century, or raised them perpently in the rank of nations. But neither of these young ple had performed a single action as yet, or uttered a single d, which has become noteworthy among mankind. The one was ng, the other was beautiful, and both were promising; and in you have said this you have said nearly all that can be said Jersonal explanation of the mighty welcome. We must not ask sons for everything ; but we have not far to seek for reasons of 1 outburst. They are plentiful as May roses. The joy of the ion at the marriage of the Prince of Wales is measured by its ollection of the history of former eldest sons of British kings, and the happiness which seems likely to spring from an early and picious union. There was sufficient fear of a wild and sinful th to make the nation very glad of a happy marriage with a young lady who has been brought up with care by sensible and religious parents, and endowed by nature with personal attractions sufficient to overpower the taste for vagrancy that might have existed under a less fortunate influence. Next, the nation was weary of mourning, even for the best of Princes—weary of the monotonous strain of a time of oppressive gloom—and was anxious for a change—bent on a fête—longing for an outburst of joy and gladness. Then there was the remembrance of the Queen. She was stricken and still cast down: what more likely to cheer her than the outpouring of an euthusiastic attachment lavished upon her son. Certainly it was the character of the Queen which chiefly brought down on these young people this shower of national bles. ing, the remembrance of her spotless reign, the kindling affection of an empire's love and sympathy. Beneath these loftier sentiments there were no doubt others at work of a lower grade. People were tired of dull seasons in trade, especially in the ornamental lines of art, and everything prompted to a festival. So the bonfires blazed, the ribbons flaunted, and the illuminations glittered in one feast of lanterns over the breadth of England, amidst many thoughts of thankfulness for the stability of our institutions; while on one side Republicanism, and on the other, military despotism, are making the nations almost weary of their existence. And the self-congratulations of a mighty people were not absent, who saw in this young Royal pair the living impersonation of all their majesty and wealth and world-wide power; the inheritance and the promise of all their wisdom and their valour, the crowning flower of their history, their religion, and their renown. Long may they live, in the language of the Windsor address—the shortest and the best of all the addresses presented,—to be “A Joy To EACH OTHER, A SOLACE To THE QUEEN, AND A BLESSING To THE PEOPLE' "
SHIMEI versus THERSITES.—Verdict for Shimei, damages £30. The question involved fundamentally in this trial is the same with that which last year agitated the country in reference to the subscriptions of the Evangelical clergy—whether men are in the first place morally, and in the second place legally, justified in charging dishonesty upon offenders as well as upon offences. In point of law, we presume, there is no doubt that protection is afforded to the worst criminals in respect of the imputation of motives. In order to defend the characters of good men the English law throws its shield over the most worthless heads in the country. You may say what you please of any man's conduct, but you are not * liberty to give the abstract statement a personal form, and to so that he who has told a lie is a -— You may say what you think of religious puffery, but not of the religious puffer. It is this nice and delicate distinction which enabled the plaintiff to walk away with his verdict, amidst the smiles of a crowded court, and sneers at Dissent and Dissenters which might almost make Nonconformity mad to think of its representatives.
The prosecution of Mr. Bayne for the alleged libel of Kenealy in the Weekly Review, now discontinued, was likely to bring the question of the law of defamation into still greater prominence. Mr. Bayne, as we have aforetime urged on the readers of the Christian Spectator, is no common writer. Judging by his published works, and by the habitual strain of his periodical compositions, there is no man less likely to commit a violent outrage against society or against individuals. A fine scholar, a gentleman, a Christian, elaborately versed in the higher literature of Europe, this was no person fless likely even in a hasty critique to fling abroad firebrands, or to hurl inconsiderate anathemas. Beiugil. this, and more, Mr. Bayne has written a notice of Dr. Kenealy' Nello Pantomime, for which he was committed by Alderman Phillips to take his trial at a superior court. He intended to plead his own cause, and the question would have been whether it is forbedden to the press to denounce the writer of a work admitted to be a tissile of clever obscenity and profanity, or whether it is required by law that critics should restrict themselves to the denunBiation of such work only. Whatever may be the law, we have no doubt whatever that the decision of the Gospel is that he who is Donscious of a divine vocation must be prepared to endure the penalties, be they what they may, of denouncing offenders as well is offences. “Thou child of the devil, and enemy of all righteousless," is not pleasant language to utter or to hear at any time, but ranslated into modern English it is the proper language in which
address one who is seeking to “turn away others from the faith.” We know well enough how opposite this is to the tone of modern sciety within and without the Church of Christ, where the “power frebuke” is, as Mr. Isaac Taylor has pointed out, a piece of brgotten armour, and politeness is the pet virtue of the age. We now very well that the example of “inspired men” will be set side as inapplicable to our times by those who think all inspiration 0 ancient curiosity, yet would not know an inspired man even if hey had beheld him. Nevertheless, the foundation of God tandeth sure. If a man have the spirit of God he must charge bome sins upon the sinners who commit them, leaving prudent and legal" descriptions of iniquity to those who are not in earnest in ombating it. If it be the law that a profane dreamer of dreams who publishes hideous blasphemies must not be described by a eviewer in the only terms which rightly stigmatize him, then the boter the law of libel is altered the better. We apprehend that sore is at stake here than appears to a superficial observer. The 47 not only favours criminals, but is most unjust and severe
towards the supporters of truth, honour, and decency. We ask for no punishment to be inflicted on wrong doers in literature, but only that the advocates of purity and of morality may not be punished for giving their right names to the sons of Belial when they become authors. Let the law stand aside and leave good and evil to fight the battle out, so that when evil is getting the worst of it, it may no longer have power to shriek for a policeman to protect it from being vanquished. The present law is a terror to right-doers, and a praise to them that do ill.
THE HIGH Court of PARLIAMENT now assembled, probably through the patriotic and liberal legislation of foregone years, appears to be approaching that happy condition in which there is nothing left to do, except to pass dreamily a few railway bills for the destruction of London, and to maintain the status quo in relation to all other national affairs. There are no great questions of home or foreign policy to try the faculties or strain the energies of party men on either side of the house. Mr. Disraeli lights a slow match, but the powder does not explode, and the damp haystack will not burn. Suppose, then, that Parliament in its wisdom should resolve on devoting the session to the consideration of the state of the Established Church, as indicated by the recent letters of Dr. Pusey, Mr. Maurice, and Dean Close. Here is a subject which would at once render the debates interesting, and bring out some of the finest eloquence now slumbering in repose. There is matter here to exercise the minds of both Lords and Commons to the utmost. They might devote attention with much advantage to the question of subscription, and enlighten the country on the recondite secrets of that Parliamentary moral philosophy which decides that the religious teachers of the people shall be allowed in, and encouraged to use, a freedom in the employment of language, such as is unknown in any other departments of the State. They might discourse on the policy which dictates that the men whose great business it is, or should be, to teach all others to speak the truth, shall be the chief examples and advocates of equivocation and non-natural interpretation. They might devote a few evenings to the determination of the question whether the Established Church is in future to teach that Moses wrote the Pentateuch by inspiration of God, or that it is a farrago of “unhistorical” rhapsodies. They might lead the way in an attempt to discover whether it really is for the good of the nation that a hierarchy shall be supported by public funds, and in a position of honour, one portion of which is on the high road to infidelio, another portion on the road to Popery—and another part of which recommends, “Evangelical religion ” to public adoption by the sin of “unfaithfulness” in dealing with the formularies. They might then advance to the question of Establishments, and hold a pro
liminary session, in which Mr. Gladstone and Mr. Bright should ench be invited to say their best and their worst for and against the Union of Church and State. The Irish Church might come in for a fresh examination, and the whole system of subsidizing the Irish religionists. Those discussions must arrive some day. Why not come now? Alack, the grand policy, within and without the walls of Parliament, is quieta non movere—to let rotten fruit hang upon the tree until shaken off by the storm. But this is not goverument, any more than the charge of the six hundred at Balaklava was war. The men who will attempt reforms because they are right are everywhere few. Evil which will not create much disturbance is welcome to its reign. It may reckon on impunity so long as it maintains a respectable appearance and a * successful ” position. The Established Church, like the Temple of Diana, is the cause of a great many “craftsmen.” The professions all lean upon this old edifice. It forms an essential part of the system of society, and therefore, although the counter-arguments may be excellent, they do not take effect upon a Parliament whose principal business it is to prevent disturbances, and to prop up the ancient walls. The spirit of modern life is unfavourable to Puritanical thought, and nearly all the other thought, or thoughtlessness of the country, upholds the church and resists Reformation.
Whether any spiritual life exists in the country, powerful enough to generate a political opinion favourable to practical reform in religious affairs, is a question to which many will return a dispiriting answer. Church reforms do not spring merely from a " liberal” policy. The leaders of the Liberal party have always been staunch defenders of ecclesiastical abominations, until compelled to move by the religious portion of their supporters. And so it is still. Nothing but the fear of God will persuade men to amend their ways in departinents of action where many profits accrue from corruption, and much disturbance of thought will accompany alteration of conduct. The piety of the Church of England does not take the form of correcting abuses, or conforming the practice of the clergy to the rules of morality or the precepts of the New Testament. The measure of enlightened zeal in relation to such questions among the Dissenters may be estimated by the degree of attention they devote to the reformation of abuses, and the improvement of church organisation among themselves. The great national party, which is indifferent to religion, of course supports the Established Church as it is. We see, therefore, no hope whatever. of amendment until the spiritual life of the nation is raised to a level far above that at which it at present stands and stagnates. Spiritual evils can be overcome only by spiritual powers, and these are developed only through the union of the human mind with the unseen and eternal. The morality of the existing law of Subscription is exactly on a par with that of the Society of Jesus,
uch as meant to religiomselves. Anotheke im.
far rabat until the swe see, thereforse supports