Page images

events are tending towards a crisis, and one which involves the Te existence of Establishments. The Saturday Rerieur, which express the opinions of the Broad Church party, claims the vertas already given, and asserts that " the theory of a Christian state tas been long since abandoned.” “No State-aid to religion," ante Times, “is the watchword everywhere except at home. . . . cheerfully accept our position. Our Church is Voluntary, and y beg to congratulate it on its newly-acquired freedom.**

The Literary Churchman, speaking for the High Church in and alluding to the Divorce Bill, says, “ The animes of the may in both Houses of Parliament during the discussion on that shows, in no uncertain way, how little good the Church b . expect from the State, and gives a note of warning which we can heed too soon, that she must turn in upon herself and her cro realizing more than ever the integrity of her union with her Les the loftiness of her mission, and the meekness, and yet the Dr pendence, of the attitude she ought to assume, and the counge at fortitude with which she should work and endare in this time severe trial. Everything foreshadows that at some dar, perts not distant, the State and the Church will occupy very diseme relations towards each other than they now do. ... We dos say that any great disruption is likely to ensue, least of all m e own day ; but we think that little by little the links that bend tsa two will be broken, until thorough independence becomes the ultimate result."

“ There is one question," said the Press, ta large and it important question, which is more than looming in the distan Statesmen do not like to talk of it, or to think of it: for 3 S* hard and thorny question. But, whether they shrink from not, the controversy draws nearer and nearer; and it will bara possible for the most cautious politicians to avert an open stream for many years longer. That question is the continuanoe of union of Church and State..... This, unlike other questions not fading away, but coming daily more into the light. We that many statesmen shrink from the very mention of such que tions as these, and trust that such a controversy mas not be luni on in their time. But this is a delusive hope. The tide is hurt us forward ; and it will be our wiser course to take soundin find out whither we are going, rather than to drift blindly on the we get upon a sand-bank, or strike upon some dangerous red

But we must conclude. Of the direct results of the laten Congregationalists another shall speak Sir J. P. Kar Show worth, in his work on Education, says: “ The Congregate senters have ever been friends of freedom, defenders of the recita the minority, and missionaries to the benighted villages of Eng to the wild valleys of the Welsh mountains, or to the tare colonists of its mines, and to the regions of darkness and des

• April, 1858.

where typhus and cholera find their victims in our towns. They comprise a large and influential portion of the middle classes ; they claim to be descendants of the Puritans, who, whatever were their own errors, were stern and successful champions of the English Reformation, and have left a deep trace, not only in the history, but in the institutions, the manners, observances, and character of the nation. They have just cause to point to their own independence of the State, as the first conspicuous triumph in this country of religion unaided by traditional authority, by the power of a foreign hierarchy, or the protection of domestic princes. They embody principles of self-government, of which our race and country have in civil affairs exhibited the most successful examples, and they are at least sincere and earnest in their endeavours, after a primitive and apostolic simplicity in their discipline and ceremonial. Communions having these high claims to respect, comprising not less than 4,000 congregations, and 1,500,000 of members, representing 2,250,000 of the population, must wield no small influence on opinion.”

If, however, our argument be true, the indirect influence of Congregationalism has been far wider than its own immediate results. The light that is breaking over other and distant fields of Christian activity is pointing radiantly to this as their common centre. By the testimony of impartial witnesses and incontrovertible facts, the twin principles which mark its polity are rising to supremacy in the Christian Church. And though this paper was not written to inflate denominational pride, nor to lend any sanction to those who turn their liberty into licentiousness, still it may serve to encourage those who, amid success and failure, amid good report and evil, have laboured to vindicate the integrity of the action of essential and scriptural truths. Already they have survived the pampering ease of royal patronage and the fiery baptism of persecution. Stronger to-day than ever, their future is pregnant with hope. Let all who love them show a more sacrificial spirit in their mainteDance, and a gentler majesty in their own self-administration. And when other Christian denominations have plodded and struggled upward to a perfect liberty, and conscious of the labours and sacrifices with which it has been won, exclaim,“ With a great price obtained I this freedom," the Congregationalist may gratefully acknowledge that he has enjoyed these privileges, not by purchase but by heritage, and may respond, “ But I was free-born.'

Page 414, for, he rejects a competent Creation, read, Creator.

Brief Jatires.

EXPOSITORY LECTURES ON St. Paul's healthy organization, having the great

EPISTLES TO THE CORINTHIANS. Byl and daily grace of a good divestim the late Rev. F. W. Robertson, M.A.

the “mens sana in corpore sano," . London : Smith, Elder, and Co., Cornhill.

dangerous competitor at cricket, ad

a formidable companion in mountain WE referred to these lectures in a ! climbing. Everything about him previous number. We notice them healthy and robust-only a physically here as having been recently perfect man could write in so genial published. This notice will suffice a way with so pure and rich enjoras à recommendation to those ment of all the exercises of the spirit who already know Robertson's Ser- as of the body. mons and Lectures. Though com Mr. Beecher may have finely-strung piled from imperfect and various nerves, but commend us to such a sources, such as the short-hand notes physical inheritance as his! He has of his hearers, and his own frag sometinies been called the America mentary MSS., this volume bears the Spurgeon ; but of English preachra, impress of his penetrating, stimu he oftener reminds us of Mr. Binne, lating, and ästhetic mind. We be with perhaps a pinch of Spuren's lieve Mr. Robertson grievously to coarser humour thrown in. He le have erred as to the doctrine of the same masculine breadth of Atonement; but his error lay rather thought, the same genial estimates in attacking the monstrous perver various and contrasting qualities, the sions of that doctrine, which had no same generous appreriation of all for existence save in the realm of the of good, the same hearty enjoyidet shades which peopled his own of the humorous, the same bopal imagination, or in the copper-clasped, outlook into the future, the 4** vellum-bound volumes of our me. utter scorn of wrong and littlepes, diæval libraries. He erred rather in as our great Nonconformist preacher, conceiving a certain phantasy of his only with a richer exuberaner of own to be the creed of orthodoxy, illustration and a greater raciness of than in his own faith. In truth, he anecdotes. He has less self-rustnint, was no dogmatic divine, and should less fastidious taste; he often have kept away from controversial verges on broad farce, and oftenet theology ; but in the earnest and therefore sins against our higher culnoble declaration of such Christian ture. He is more of a Luther than a truth as he had apprehended, we | Melancthon, of a Latimer rather than know no volumes distinguished by a cf John Howe. more simple, manly, pathetic eloquence than his.


J. C. Gaskell. A new edition. South SUMMER IN THE Sort; or, Views and

Elder, and C'e. Experience. By Henry Ward Beecber.

MESSRS. Sartu, ELDER, AND (a Edinburgh: Alexander Strahnn and Co.

have issued no buok in their han We are ignorant of Mr. Beccher's crown series of standard works where physique, but we have no hesitation will attain a larger or better deserunt at all in pronouncing him a man of sale than this with the exop

tion, perhaps, of Charlotte Brontë's , a history which enthrals the heart own work,““ Jane Eyre,” of which and memory with as strong a spell this is the fitting companion and as the most thrilling romance. It is the commentary. In this volume, graphically, truly, tenderly written, which is beautifully printed like the and is a monument of the sympathy others in the series, we have the re and ability of the writer, as of the cord of that struggling, mournful genius and sorrow of her lamented life which had already afforded the

friend. incidents and tempered the spirit revealed in "Jane Eyre.” Miss Bronté's novels, especially the first and best, THE BRITISH CONTROVERSIALIST. Vol. are but the reflex of her own experi

II. Third and enlarged Series. Lonence, and by the comparison of this

don: Houlston and Wright. 1859. biography with her works, we are The English monarch who preferred impressed more strongly than by any to determine a cause after he had previous study, of the truth that no heard only one side, since, as he originality or vigour of mind can over averred, if he listened to both he was step the necessary boundaries of its always prizzled, would have laid his experience ; that genius cannot create royal interdict upon the volume bebut only arrange; and that imagina fore us, as an ingenious and wicked tion can select and re-form the ele device for entangling the wits of ments which observation and con

kings and lieges. Its chief design is sciousness bring within its range, but to provide the arena upon which can produce nothing absolutely new. well equipped combatants may conWe read “Jane Eyre," and then this tend in courtly but earnest strife for life of C. Bronté, and breathe the same the laurel of truth in fields religious, atmosphere. We see that the men -- philosophical, political, and economic. the scenery-the quaintly-picturesque There are also biographical sketches, and weird Norse life, so grandly essays, reviews, and literary gossip portrayed in the novel, are no wild interesting to the general reader. unreal dreams, conjured up in the This periodical is well calculated to author's brain, but a revelation given promote a love of dispassionate critiwith photographic fidelity, of the cism among its contributors, and a neighbourhood in which her infancy large and judicial spirit among its and youth were nursed. It is true, readers. with poetic truthfulness and taste, Miss Bronté selected the most characteristic traits of her Yorkshire A SCHOOL AND COLLEGE HISTORY OF home, and illuminated them with the

ENGLAND. By J. C. Curtis, B.A.

London : Simpkin, Marshall, and Co. rich prismatic colouring of her bril

1860. liant imagination. But by so doing she only thus gives them that living Tais history is primarily designed, as reality and force in her books its title indicates, for the young. It which they actually possessed, and begins with that ultima thule of our which they communicated to her annals, “the year B.c. 54," and closes sympathetic mind. Those who at a date no less recent than Novemwould understand “Jane Eyre," or ber, 1859. To tell the story of full "Shirley,” or “Vilette,” must read the nineteen centuries in the brief comlife of their author, where they will pass of some 500 pages, so that it discover the materials which were shall be at once comprehensive and woven into such gorgeous fabrics. in interesting, is not an easy task, as the loom of fancy. It is needless to many failures have sufficiently proved. characterise this volume, which has We may, therefore, the more heartily won a place among our standard congratulate Mr. Curtis upon a sucLiographies. Mrs. Gaskell has written | cess, which may perhaps be partially 136

[ocr errors]

Det exactly We douds of many a

attributable to his professional knor ledgmes Vice-Principal and Lecturer at the Borough Road Training College

ut exactly what a school history ought to be. We doubt not that he will earn the gratitude of many a school-bor for having clothed the out.

of English history in so pleasant

: while the more advanced i will appreciate the sound


dress, while the reader will appreciate ness of judgment with

generally characteris mention, that in mote the completeness much supplementary in furnished of the histo

manners and customs, and gible genealogical tables , at the commencement of each period.

bort the groundwork of every grey Lecturer i nature be not settled and staba

We do not consider this volumet
change the common estimate of Sca
ley's character save in one importar
respect, viz., it tells us that the blau
infidelity of his “ Queen Mab"
the savage delirium of his very young
est days, when chafed and tormente

he scarce knew what he wrote ; in indement with which his

was repudiated by himself as we of men and things is trash, and can in nowise be regarde characterised. We may

as the outflow of his proper natur that in order to pro or to represent the settled convicta completeness of the work, of his maturity. plementary information is What an undertone of discordia.

sadness runs through this life of : commerce, agriculture, and passionate, loving Shelley. The s and customs, and that intelli is no rest, no faith, no hope i

palogical tables are supplied it ; and the affection he wins by b commencement of the history pure fantastic earnestness but maki

us grieve the more for his kiluak misery. The thought of his 11

lingers in our memory like the wa SHELLEY MEMORIALS, FROM AUTHENTIC of a pine-forest, which seems to

SOURCES. Edited by Lady Shelley. To dened with an unearthly sorry which is appended an Essay on Chris. and it is thus we think of Sbeil. tianity, by Percy Bysshe Shelley, now

What a difference if his unquam first printed. London: Smith, Elder,

wild, yet beautiful nature back de and Co., Cornhill.

brought into peace with God thru The cocasion of the publication of Jesus Christ - if the steady purpus these Memorials is the recent “Life of of Divine consecration had embru Shelley," which was de licated to the and bound to one centre his genero lady who edits this volume, and was impulses and splendid talents, - , supposed to have her and her family's | the conviction of sin had hanke sanction. It now appears that the him, and the love of holiness family are indignant at the misuse exalted him, and the cross had beer made of the materials they put at the the model and inspiration of his be disposal of the author of that life, But he had no faith; and this is th and at the liberty he hås taken with source of his weakness and he sort their name; and hence these Me | Even his genius was underte morials are published by way of pro- and dimmed by lack of fuch: ki test and refutation. We cannot enter imagination was without controlinto this quarrel ; but we are glad the harp strings were med that Lady Shelley has laid these strung. The firmness, ant patre Memorials, in the shape of originalwhich religious faith alone could .. letters from and to Mr. and Mrs. duce were wanting to commands Shelley, before the public. Such a life chasten himself and his own w. as that of Shelley reads the most ! yet he hungered after this 1). solemn and profound lessons to this faith, and his changing theories on L age, and they cannot be too frequently universe, like the mirage, were plan repeated. It shows the misery of tasies awakened by an appeute wher life, if at the heart of its agita- | they only deceived and could ei tion there be not central peace-if i satisfy. Poor Shelley! His Lifri the religious faith which must be a monumental warning raised aga

« PreviousContinue »