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10. Meantime, don't be afraid that I am going to become a Roman Catholic, or that I am one, in disguise. I can no more become a Roman-Catholic, than again an Evangelical-Protestant. I am a “Catholic ” of those Catholics, to whom the Catholic Epistle of St. James is addressed _“the Twelve Tribes which are scattered abroad "2_the literally or spiritually wandering Israel of all the Earth. The St. George's creed includes Turks, Jews, infidels, and heretics; and I am myself much of a Turk, more of a Jew; alas, most of all, an infidel; but not an atom of a heretic: Catholic, I, of the Catholics; holding only for sure God's order to His scattered Israel,—“He hath shown thee, oh man, what is good; and what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to do justice, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God ?”3 11. “Humbly.”—Have you the least idea, do you

think, my Sheffield friends, what humility means,—or have any of your dress-coated lecturers? Is not almost everything you are trying to do begun in pride, or in ambition ? And for walking humbly with your God :-(your's, observe, and your Fathers', as revealed to you otherwise than a Greek's and his Fathers', or an Indian's and his Fathers'), have you ever taken the least pains to know what kind of Person the God of England once was ? and yet, do you not think

1 [Ten years later than this letter it was rumoured that Ruskin had joined the Church of 'Rome. He then wrote the following letter for publication :

“BRANTWOOD, April 1, 1887.
"DEAR SIR, I shall be entirely grateful to you if you will take the
trouble to contradict any news gossip of this kind which may be disturbing
the minds of any of my Scottish friends. I was, am, and can be, only a
Christian Catholic in the wide and eternal sense. I have been that these
five-and-twenty years at least. Heaven keep me from being less as I grow
older! but I am no more likely to become a Roman Catholic than a
Quaker, Evangelical, or Turk.

“ Ever faithfully yours,

John RuskIN.”
The letter was reprinted from the Christian Leader in the Pall Mall Gazette of
April 6, 1887 (with the explanation that the rumour in question arose from Ruskin's

recent act of neighbourly charity in giving a stained glass window to the Roman
Catholic Chapel at Coniston”). The letter was also reprinted in the Morning Post,
April 7, 1887; in Igdrasil, December 1890, vol. ii. p. 104; and in the privately issued
Ruskiniana, Part I., 1890, pp. 117–118.]
? (James i. 1.]

• [Micah vi, 8.]

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yourselves the cleverest of human creatures, because you have thrown His yoke off, with scorn? You need not crow so loudly about your achievement. Any young gutter-bred blackguard your police pick up in the streets, can mock your Fathers' God, with the best of you.

“He is my God, and I will prepare Him an habitation, -my Father's God, and I will exalt Him.”1 You will find that to be an entirely salutary resolve of true humility; and I have no hope of any prosperity for you in this or any other undertaking, but as you set yourselves to recover, and reform, in truest sense, the Christian Faith you have been taught to spit on, and defile.

Which, that you may be able to do, you must learn it from the Catholic epistles; which are written to you Sheffielders as much as to any one else ;—the Pauline epistles being only to special persons, and parts of them having no more help in them for you, than Jonah's message to Nineveh.” But the Catholic epistles are directly addressed to you-every word vital for you; and the most vital of these is the one that is given in nearly the same words by two of the Apostles, Peter and Judas (not Iscariot); namely, 11. Peter i. 19, to end of epistle, and the epistle of Jude entire, comparing it with his question and its answer, John xiv. 22.3

12. For if you understand those two epistles,* and that

* I may as well notice, now I am on the epistles, one of the grotesque mistakes that continually slip into Fors through my crowding of work® (I made two delicious ones in my Latin last month, and have had to cancel the leaf where I could : 4 what are left will be literary curiosities in time). I had written, in Fors of July, 1876, § 17 n., “true fact stated by St. James,” and gave the scrawled page to an assistant, to be copied ; who, reading the fair text afterwards to me, it struck me the passage was in Timothy. I bade my assistant look, and finding it so, said rapidly, “Put Timothy instead, then.” But the "Saint” was left, and only caught my eye as I corrected the press, and set me thinking “why Timothy was never called a saint like other people," and I let it go! 1 [Exodus xv. 2.)

? (Jonah iii. 4.] : [The answer is in verses 23, 24: “If a man love me, he will keep my words. . . . He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings.”).

[See the notes on pp. 65, 66, above. For the error in Fors of July," Letter 67, see Vol. XXVIII. p. 652 n.]

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question and answer, you will understand the great scientific fact respecting, not the origin, but the existence, of species : that there is one species of Men on God's side-called to be Saints-elect-precious;? (but by no means limited to the horizon of Monte Visoo) who have everything in Christ; and another on the side of the Prince of this world, whose spot is the spot of His Children who have nothing in Christ.

And that you must belong, whether knowingly or not, to one of these armies; and are called upon, by St. George, now to ascertain which :—the battle being henceforth like to be sore between them, and between their Captain Archangels, whose old quarrel over the body of Moses 5 is by no means yet decided.

And then you will also understand the definition of true Religious service (Oproxela) by St. James the Bishop (which, if either Archdeacon Denison, or simpleton Tooth, or the stout British Protestant beadles of Hatcham, ever come to understand—as in God's good time they may, in Heaven—they will be a greatly astonished group of the Blessed, for some while),—to wit, “Pure service, and undefiled (even by its tallow-candle-dropping, if the candles are lighted for help of widows' eyes—compare Fors, June, 1871, § 9?)—before God, and the Father (God, of the Spirits of all Flesh &_and our Father, who know Him), is this, to visit the Fatherless and Widows in their affliction,

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1 [Romans i. 7; 1 Peter ii. 6.]
: (See above, § 8.]
3 John xii. 31.]
• See Deuteronomy xxxii. 5.]
5 See Jude 9.]

• (The Rev. Arthur Tooth, Vicar of St. James's, Hatcham, who had been inhibited for ritualistic practices by the Court of Arches, defied the Court and continued to hold services. He was thereupon pronounced contumacious and in contempt, and a warrant for his arrest was issued. On January 22, 1877, he was arrested and lodged in Horsemonger Lane Gaol. On the previous day there had been a conflict for the possession of the church between the curate licensed by the bishop and the clergyman chosen by Mr. Tooth. On February 17 he was released. "See the Annual Register for 1877, pp. 8, 9, etc.

For Archdeacon Denison's ritualistic propaganda, see ch. x. in his Notes of my Life, 1805–1878.]

? (Vol. XXVII. p. 109.] & Numbers xvi. 22.]

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95

LETTER 76 (APRIL 1877) and to keep himself unspotted from the world,l of whose spots, -leopard's, snake's, Ethiopian's, and fine lady's patches, -your anatomical Students, though dispensing knowledge only skin-deep, are too slightly cognizant; and even your wise Christian scarcely can trace them from skin to clothes, so as to hate rightly even the garment spotted by the

Flesh.”2

13. Well, I must draw to an end, for I have no more time this month. Read, before next Fors time, that epistle of Jude with intense care. It sums all the Epistles, coming, by the order of the Fors which grouped the Bible books, just before the Apocalypse; and it precisely describes your worst—in verity, your only,-Enemies of this day; the twice dead people,-plucked up by the roots, having once been rooted in the Holy Faith of Christendom; but now, filthy dreamers (apostles of the Gospel of Dirt,* in perpetual foul dream of what man was, instead of reverence for what he is); carried about of winds of vanity (pitiful apothecaries' apprentices), speaking evil of things they know not; but in the things they know naturally as brute beasts, in these, corrupting themselves ; going in the way of Cain—(brother kingdom at war with brother, France and Germany, Austria and Italy)-running after the error of Balaam for reward (the Bishop of Manchester-whom I finally challenged, personally and formally, through my Oxford Secretary, two months ago, not daring to answer me a word, knowing that the city he rules over is in every business act of it in mortal sin, and conniving,—to keep smooth with it-hel and the Bishop of Peterborough, “neutral,” 6 in sleek consent to the son of Zippor's prayer

1 [James i. 27.]
Jude 23.]

(Jude 12. For the other Bible references on this page, see Jude 8; Isaiah lvii. 13; Jude 10, 11; Numbers xxii.-xxiv.]

[See Letter 75, § 22 (p. 78).]

[For the earlier challenge, see Letter 49 (Vol. XXVIII. p: 243); for later references to it, Letters 78 and 82 (pp. 136, 244). For the Bishop's answer, see (in a later volume of this edition) Usury: a Reply and a Rejoinder.]

(See Letter 72, is 14 (Vol. XXVIII. p. 770).]

“Neither curse them at all, nor bless them at all”?), and perishing in the gainsaying of Kore, going down quick into volcanic petroleum pit, in the gathering themselves against Lawgiver and Priest, saying, “Wherefore lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the Lord ? the days of Kinghood and Priesthood are ended!”

14. A notable piece of the Word of God to you, this, , if ye

will receive it: and in this last clause of it, for us of St. George's Company, precisely imperative. You see that whole mysterious passage about the contest for the body of Moses (first, I suppose, of our Christian worshipping of relics, though old Greek motive of sacredest battle), comes in to enforce the not speaking evil of Dignities. And the most fearful practical lessons in modern history are that the entire teaching of Mazzini, a man wholly upright, pure, and noble, and of subtlest intellectual power :— Italian of the Italians, was rendered poisonous to Italy because he set himself against Kinghood; and the entire war of Garibaldi, a soldier of ten thousand, innocent and gentle and true, and of old Roman valour, was rendered utterly ruinous to Italy, by his setting himself against the Priesthood. For both King and Priest are for ever, after the Order of Melchizedek, and none that rise against them shall prosper: and this, in your new plannings and fancyings, my good Sheffielders, you will please take to heart, that though to yourselves, in the first confusion of things, St. George leaves all liberty of conscience consistent with the perfect law of liberty“ (which, however, you had better precisely understand from James the Bishop, who has quite other views concerning it than Mr. John Stuart Mill;

[Numbers xxiii. 25. For the other Biblical references in § 13, see Jude 11; Numbers xvi. 30 and 3.]

2 (Jude 8, 9.]

3 (For an earlier reference to Mazzini, see Vol. XXVIII. p. 350. great

* [For other references to Garibaldi, see Letters 1, $ 5; 3, $ 7; 7, 8 6 (Vol. XXVII. pp. 16, 51, 117).]

[Psalms cx. 4; Hebrews v. 6. Compare Vol. XXIII. p. 256, and Vol. XXVIII. p. 598.]

(James i. 25.]

1

He was a

5

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