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pect to awaken a joy in God in the mind of a modern Christian child yb teaching him that inspirited concerted music and singing are not fit for Sunday, and that the scent of sweet flowers in the school-room must be exchanged for the smell of thumbed and dirty catechisms, if he would rightly learn the peculiarities of the gospel.” Here is not a word against “storing the memory with scriptures and hymns;" nor is it likely that any such recommendation against them would have found its way into these pages. We only wish that the custom of committing the gospels and the best English hymns to memory were more common in our Sunday-schools, especially if the recitation were accompanied with a thorough explanation of their meaning from well-qualified teachers, suited to the capacity of the learners. We can imagine nothing more likely to fortify the soul against the temptations of future years than laying up a store of such treasures in the memory. But we have observed that, in theological argument, almost anything is accounted fair by some devout persons; and therefore this misrepresentation of the author of the article in question may pass without further wonder or rebuke. Meantime, we can generally judge of the quality of a cause by the candour of the argumentative processes by which it is supported, As to the project of introducing "sweet flowers” into the school-room in order to neutralise the unpleasant smell of old Sunday-school books and Assembly's catechisms, and to impart a somewhat more joyous aspect to the apartment, we plead guilty without further de fence. We do obstinately maintain, and hope it is no great heresy, that Sunday-schools ought to be made to look as cheerful as possible, and that it would be a good work to teach the children that He who gave the Scriptures made the world and its fulness, and has taught us to “ consider the lilies.” But when our correspondent goes on to say that the Christian Spectator has recommended flowers and music as a means of grace which may be preferred to those commended by St. Paul to Timothy, he falls into the old fallacy. It is quite possible to recommend flowers and harmonized song without seeking to set aside the Scriptures. Our friend says, and says truly, that “Old Adam will not be caught with chaff.” But both the Old and the New Adams are often “caught” by fallacious reasonings, and tempted to use very unfair arguments in religious controversy
, There are good men who seem to think that every jot and tittle of the prevailing system is of divine authority, and that all sorts of weapons may be lawfully used in keeping off reform or amendment. This is the old device for staving off reformation. Say that it is revolution, and that any alteration or addition will bring down the whole fabric of popular Christianity. Meantime, we heartily reaffirm the statements of the article in question, that it is the duty of Sunday-school teachers to qualify themselves to give inforination to their pupils respecting the works as well as the Word of God, re
specting the works of nature as well as respecting the great work of redemption. And we affirm, moreover, that when the world around and the human mind are not regarded as revelations of God as real, though far from so full and complete and suited to man's sinful state as that contained in the Scriptures, there is some radical mistake in the whole conception of religion. But, indeed, there is bo book which directs us so earnestly to the world as God's work, as the Bible itself. When Christianity is separated from so-called Natural Religion, it becomes either a degraded superstition like l'opery, or a virulent doctrinal fanaticism. There is nothing by
, which the Bible better proves its origin from the Author of Nature, than by its modes of reference to the creation around us. But these modes are far too little initiated in many Sunday schools and in many churches.
In advocating these and other connected views, we may seem, to those who do not understand the difficulty of writing on all sides of the truth at the same time, to undervalue spiritual instruction and spiritual reading on the Lord's day. But this is a mistake. When the time comes for setting forth an essay on the other side of the question, we shall be found quite sound in our judgment as to the use and value of the Scriptures, and of really good books, on the Lord's day. The short article objected to contained, as any careful reader would see, abundant evidence that there was no desigu of commending to our readers absolute heathenism as the best mode of improving the day of rest. In every step of the difficult enterprise of conducting a magazine written by many writers in many moods, something must be trusted to the candour of the readers, and something to their knowledge of its general contents, for a proper interpretation of individual passages. The article which is referred to above, required that which perhaps few magazine articles obtain--a careful and exact reading from one end to the other. Its aim and spirit could then scarcely have been regarded as anti-Christian, however warmly some of its principles might be opposed by those who bave not yet seized the full idea of sanctifying the Lord's day as a preparation for the Lord's service in the week.
TOPICS OF THE MONTH.
The two great topics of the month have been the different schemes for keeping Europe out of war, and the various projects for going out of town. These last have taken form in the usual descent of the population upon the shores that surround Great Britain and Ireland, and in the rush of travellers across the burning plains of Europe towards the snow mountains. The old scenes are enacted
again, each year on a wider scale. Here circulates in one endless procession along the broad esplanades which form a continuous road around the sea-side of England, the mighty throng of its gay and prosperous inhabitants-all who can find the time and the money to expend in the Briton's delight of dwelling upon the ocean shore. And it is a pretty sight to see those grave and solid elders, paterfamilias and materfamilias, in tweeds and carmelites, and their sons and daughters in wonderful and bright apparel, parading up and down to the music of the band, or of the waves that break in foam upon the pebbly beach. Is it not pretty to sit among the old fellows and watch the young men and maidens on evening parade,—to cast a slight glance upon the endless variety of agreeable faces, and to know that they are all looking upon life through the enamelling atmosphere of youth and passion—that they are all in love, or are going to be, or hope to be, some day? Is it not pretty to study the wonderful resources in outward array,—the whole modern world of young ladies' hats (the last thing being a boy's straw hat, with a blue riband and streamers),-the inexhaustible diversity of modes of arranging the hair, the exquisite glitter of pearl and coral and gold, the flat, but at the same time engaging, infraction of St. Peter's rule against "plaiting the hair ” and putting on of apparel ? And is it not pretty, when the sunset has faded, and the stars have come out over the green sea, to watch the lines of lamp-light that gradually stream along castle, and cliff, and harbour, and esplanade? while from the midst of the throng far below, now gathered under cover, rises the unspent voice of Mr. Sims Reeves, accompanying himself on the piano to the “Death of Nelson," or, more gloriously, the burst of the orchestra in the overture to “ William Tell.” Long may
." these peaceful August evenings last on England's shores ! albeit throughout the day, from beneath the Castle walls, the Artillery from morning till night make the air resound, and while away innumerable hours of the holiday folk with their practice at the sea. target,-set up in order to qualify the gunners in after-time to keep off the Americans or the French. There it goes-bangsplash—with a fountain of foam high in air-six feet this side the mark—and then one, two, three, four, six, eight fountains of foam afterwards, through the ricochetting of the ball.
But prettier still it seems, to the old leathern hearts that have lost their electricity, to sally forth to the sunny sands soon after breakfast, while the wind is fresh, and the sea, as it begins to return from the German Ocean or the huge Atlantic, breaks in billows of malachite crested with broken snow,-to walk upon
the streaming floor, trying to remember how it felt forty or fifty years ago-to gaze over the sail-covered horizon, or into the chrystallised pools of sea-water, deeply rippled with the cool bracing breeze—when it seemed like heaven on earth to dig with a wooden spade a chanel
from one translucent puddle to another, or to unearth a worm which had thrown up a coil of sand upon the level shore. Certainly it is pretty to look upon the crisp and playful waves, that dally with your footsteps on the extreme verge of sea and land, and you begin to think it is all a mistake that you have lost the old freshness of enjoyment, for the sun in the heavens is as bright to-day as ever, and there is a sun within which shines infinitely brighter than of yore. So let us rejoice and be glad, for this, too, is a “day which the Lord bath made," who hath “set the sand as a bound for the sea," and sends “ times of refreshment,” even before the crack of doom.
But now let us turn to LOUIS NAPOLEON ; for the movements of the mind of that “dark intelligencing "emperor have acquired new interest during the month that is gone, and one of the chief “topics" of conversation all around the sea-sides of England has been of him and his purposes. There he sits at his study in the Tuileries, or at Biarritz, contemplating the far extending lines of his policy throughout the earth, as a spider in his retreat might contemplate with his seren eyes the concentric expansions of his wonderful web, into which blue bottles and common flies fall as “French destiny ” directs them. The centre of his web is in Paris, and that centre is manufactured, after the most approved model of an imperial capital, for catching flies. On all sides round extends the most perfect system of municipal and social organization which the world has ever seenthe converging railways and telegraphs being not merely the instruments, but the emblems of a regimen of centralization which brings the whole
of France under the sovereign control of one man. By this system, his ideas are translated into actions day by day over the whole breadth of the empire. Perhaps there never lived a man who could look around and see more of his own thinking realized than Louis Napoleon; and certainly there never existed a more gigantic machinery for giving effect to one man's thought than that which now operates by ten thousand levers throughout France. See what he has done. He first destroyed, at a blow, the Republic by the coup d'état, and restored order by the massacre of the Parisians,-next, he proclaimed and established the Empire, winning over the army, the priesthood, and the peasantry to his cause he has rebuilt Paris almost from its foundations, making it the architectural wonder of the world-he has infused vigour into the entire system of the administration, both civil and military-he has broken down the obstinate prejudices of protection, and established free trade by a treaty with England, which is pouri: g a tide of wealth into both countries at once—he has confirmed the privileges of both Papists and Protestants, at once gratifying the priesthood and giving moderately good security to their opponents-he has provided employment for the ouvriers, tranquillity for trade and
commerce, and security for investments. For his foreign policy, he has rendered his Government respectable by a firm alliance with England in peace and war. He has doubled the French navy, and fortified all the French coasts, but, at the same time, has succeeded in winning the goodwill of the middle classes and manufacturers of Great Britain—he has lifted up the draggled banners of France, and covered them with the glory which the French love so well, by the war with Russia and the destruction of Sebastopol-he has
, alone and unaided, smitten down the whole power of the Austrian Empire; broken the chains of Italy, and raised her from slavery to a place among the great Powers of Europe. For the minor objects of his policy, he has laid the foundation of good government, by establishing the native land tenures of Algeria—he has “avenged” the massacre of the Christians in Syria, and strengthened the ancient French interest among the Maronites of the Lebanon—he has carried through the Suez Canal against the obstinate resistance of the British Government—he has confirmed the French interest in Egypt, and opened a new port in the Red Sea-he has established a French province in Cochin China, co-operated with England in the overthrow and restoration of the Government of Pekin, restored the public profession of the Roman Catholic religion in the "floweryland," and made the naval power of France felt throughout the East, for the first time in the present century. He has now added to his successes the conquest of Mexico, establishing a new Empire on the American continent in the teeth of the Federal resentment, and given away an imperial Crown to the proud family of Austria.
Thus supported by his own army, clergy, and peasantry, and by the immense host of civil functionaries who depend upon his empire-sustained by the sympathy of Spain, Portugal, and Italy, reigning at Rome by the side of the Popedom, strengthened by the English alliance, feared by Russia, whom he has humbled, and by Germany, which is divided against itself, the professed friend of down-trodden nations throughout the globe, “making war for an idea," and adding fresh territory to France as the price of every philanthropic enterprise, filling the whole world with the fame of his sagacity, his resolution, and his military successes, the Emperor of the French occupies at the present moment a position in which all things seem "given into his hand.”
Yet, perhaps, in his secret meditations in his own study, with maps of the World hanging on every side around him, the chief grievance which troubles him is that he has accomplished so little of all that it is the special “mission " and "destiny" of France to do, There is Prussia still unpunished for Waterloo, and still possessed of that Rhine which forms the natural frontier of France. There is Poland, weltering in its blood under the blows of the Russian