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the Scutari hospitals, and “poor, noble, wounded and sick men” kiss her shadow as it passes. The Emperor Napoleon III. does not make war to employ his armies, or to consolidate his power ; he does so for the sake of an “idea.” Mankind would revolt at the blunt, naked truth; and the taciturn Emperor knows that, as he knows most things. There can be little doubt that, when the political crimes of kings and governments, the hideous moral sores that fester in the heart of society, and all the “burden of the unintelligible world,” weigh heavy on the mind, that we have to thank Christianity for it. Its pure light makes the darkness visible. The Sermon on the Mount makes the morality of the nations ghastly. The Divine love makes human hate stand out in dark relief. This sadness, nobler than any joy, is the heritage of the Christian. An ancient Roman could not have felt so. Everything runs on sinoothly enough so long as Jove wields the thunder, and Olympus wears the coronet of gods. But Venus, and Mars, and Minerva, are far behind us now; the Cross is before us; and self-denial, and sorrow for sin, and the keeping of the poor, and the succouring of the oppressed, and the cleansing of our own hearts, are duties incumbent upon every one of us.

The Christmas night has fallen upon the world. In this little vil. lage the festive parties have dispersed. The lights have gone out in the windows. Midnight from the church tower vibrates on the frosty air. I look out on the brilliant heaven, and see a Milky Way of powdery splendour wandering through it, and clusters and knots of stars, and planets shining serenely in the blue frosty spaces; and the armed apparition of Orion, his spear pointing away into immeasurable space, gleaming overhead; and the familiar constellation of the Plough, dipping down into the west ; and at once the strife and tumult of this little ball, the plotting of its emperors, the marching and countermarching of its armies, all its crowded life of mingled crime and goodness, fade away before the idea of Him who makes visible space His antechamber, and in whose hands are the issues of all things. He knoweth His own purposes, and the ambition of mighty kings but works out His behests.

I have read Milton's " Hymn to the Nativity" to-night ; let me, before I sleep, read the Christmas song of another bard-of less majestic force, indeed, than the earlier strain, but more in consonance with our own times, and teaching, in eloquent music, the best aspirations of the best minds :

"Ring out wild bulls to the wild sky,

The flying cl ud, the frosty light;

The year is dying in the night,
Ring out wild bells, and let him die.

" Ring out the old, ring in the new,

Ring happy bells across the en:
The year is going, let him go :
Ring out the ialse, ring it the truc

“Ring out the grief that saps the mind

For those that here we see no more :

Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress for all mankind.
“Ring out a slowly dying cause,

And ancient forms of party strife:

Ring in the nobler modes of life
With sweeter manners, purer laws.
“Ring out the want, the care, the sin,

The faithless coldness of the times :

Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.
“Ring out false pride in place and blood,

The civic slander and the spite.

Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.
" Ring out old sbapes of foul disease,

Ring out the narrowing lust of gold,

Ring out the thousand wars of old :
Ring in the thousand years of peace.
“ Ring in the valiant man and free,

The larger heart, the kindlier hand :

Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.''

VIII. SIR JOHN COLERIDGE ON CHURCH-RATES. If it be not true, as is popularly believed, that “the wisdom's in the wig," how is it that judges who have doffed the horse-hair cannot talk about Church-rates without setting at defiance law and logic ? Exactitude of statement, cautiousness in assumption, a prescient recognition of possible objections, are usually the characteristics of the judicial mind ; and when a judge has sat long enough upon the bench to earn a pension, we should suppose that he would carry with him into privacy tendencies calculated to save him from the errors of vulgar disputants.

When the Church-rate Abolition Bill was debated in the Upper House, Lord St. Leonards, an ex-Irish Chancellor, made the astounding statement that there was not a peer who held any species of property the enjoyment of which was more sacredly guarded by the law of England than was the obligation to pay Church-rates ;" a declaration which must have made each lordly listener rejoice, with shrugging shoulders, that his rent-roll was not contingent on a vote of vestry, or the holding of his broad acres on a vote of parliament. We trust that, in his recently published Handbook on Property, Lord St. Leonards has disthe Scutari hospitals, and “poor, noble, wounded and sick men" kiss her shadow as it passes. The Emperor Napoleon III. does not make war to employ his armies, or to consolidate his power; he dors so for the sake of an “idea.” Mankind would revolt at the blunt, naked truth; and the taciturn Emperor knows that, as he knows most things. There can be little doubt that, when the political crimes of kings and governments, the hideous moral sores that fester in the heart of society, and all the “burden of the unintelligible world," weigh heavy on the mind, that we have to thank Christianity for it. Its pure light makes the darkness visible. The Sermon on the Mount makes the morality of the nations ghastly. The Divine love makes human hate stand out in dark relief. This sadness, nobler than any joy, is the heritage of the Christian. An ancient Roman could not have felt so. Everything runs on sinoothly enough so long as Jove wields the thunder, and Olympus wears the coronet of gods. But Venus, and Mars, and Minerva, are far behind us now; the Cross is before us; and self-denial, and sorrow for sin, and the keeping of the poor, and the succouring of the oppressed, and the cleansing of our own hearts, are duties incumbent upon every one of us.

The Christmas night has fallen upon the world. In this little vil. lage the festive parties have dispersed. The lights have gone out in the windows. Midnight from the church tower vibrates on the frosty air. I look out on the brilliant heaven, and see a Milky Way of powdery splendour wandering through it, and clusters and knots of stars, and planets shining serenely in the blue frosty spaces; and the armed apparition of Orion, his spear pointing away into immeasurable space, gleaming overhead; and the familiar constellation of the Plough, dipping down into the west ; and at once the strife and tumult of this little ball, the plotting of its emperors, the marching and countermarching of its armies, all its crowded life of mingled crime and good. ness, fade away before the idea of Hiin who makes visible space His antechamber, and in whose hands are the issues of all things. He knoweth His own purposes, and the ambition of mighty kings but works out His behests.

I have read Milton's "Hymn to the Nativity" to-night ; let me, before I sleep, read the Christmas song of another bard-of less majestic force, indeed, than the earlier strain, but more in consonance with our own times, and teaching, in eloquent music, the best aspirations of the best minds :

"Ring out wild bills to the wild sky,

The flying cl ud, the frosty light;

The year is dying in the night,
Ring out wild bells, and let him die.

* Ring out the old, ring in the new,

Ring happy bells across the snow

The year is going, let him go :
Ring out the false, ring is the true

" Ring out the grief that saps the mind

For those that here we see no more :

Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress for all mankind.
“Ring out a slowly dying cause,

And ancient forms of party strife:

Ring in the nobler modes of life
With sweeter manners, purer laws.
“ Ring out the want, the care, the sin,

The faithless coldness of the times :

Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.
“Ring out false pride in place and blood,

The civic slander and the spite:

Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.
“ Ring out old shapes of foul disease,

Ring out the narrowing lust of gold,

Ring out the thousand wars of old :
Ring in the thousand years of peace.
“Ring in the valiant man and free,

The larger heart, the kindlier hand :
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.”

VIII.
SIR JOHN COLERIDGE ON CHURCH-RATES.

If it be not true, as is popularly believed, that “the wisdom's in the wig," how is it that judges who have doffed the horse-hair cannot talk about Church-rates without setting at defiance law and logic ? Exactitude of statement, cautiousness in assumption, a prescient recognition of possible objections, are usually the characteristics of the judicial mind ; and when a judge has sat long enough upon the bench to earn a pension, we should suppose that he would carry with him into privacy tendencies calculated to save him from the errors of vulgar disputants.

When the Church-rate Abolition Bill was debated in the Upper House, Lord St. Leonards, an ex-Irish Chancellor, made the astounding statement that "there was not a peer who held any species of property the enjoyment of which was more sacredly guarded by the law of England than was the obligation to pay Church-rates;" a declaration which must have made each lordly listener rejoice, with shrugging shoulders, that his rent-roll was not contingent on a vote of vestry, or the holding of his broad acres on a vote of parliament. We trust that, in his recently published Handbook on Property, Lord St. Leonards has distinguished between these two heads of property, else landlords who study it will begin to be troubled about their title-deeds.

Within the last month, however, Sir John Coleridge, another ex-judge, has confidently taken the same line, and, outstripping his legal brother, ventured on assertions still more boldly absurd and palpably inaccurate. He tells an Exeter audience, that “it is desirable that men should come together and have their minds somewhat informed about Churchrates ;" and then proceeds to illustrate the truthfulness of the remark, and the general need of enlightenment, by showing how slender is his own stock of information, and how ill able he is to make a right use of the little he possesses.

To describe Church-rates as a “permanent and continuous fund," or as a fund at all, in the face of the fact-proved by parliamentary returns—that every year they are, by the legal action of the parishes, diminishing in number and amount, is to trifle with language and to confound the most opposite things. When Sir John speaks of voluntary contributions as “ something that is uncertain, and that is dependant upon the goodwill of the parishioners for the time being," he exactly describes the character of his supposed Church-rate funil, which may exist this year, be largely reduced the next, and reach what artists term the vanishing point the third. If he will travel out of Devonshire and go northward, he will find, not only clusters of parishes, but whole tracts of country, without any other trace of his "legal, continuous, and permanent fund," than is supplied in the records of the struggles which finally destroyed it. “I will take," quoth he, “ £300,000 a year as the amount of the Church-rate, multiply that by 30 years' purchase, and you get a sum of £9,000,000," which he contends is the sum which abolition would put into the pockets of the landowners. Delightfully facile arithmetical formula! But how is it that the figure is £300,000 and not 4519,000 the amount raised by rates in 1827 ? Simply because the "continuous fund” has ben continuously diminishing ;* and, as the process is still going on at the same ratio, Sir John Coleridge and his friends have but to keep up a resistant attitude for some time longer, and the sum likely to find its way into the purses of the landlords will be too inconsiderable to present a formidable obstacle to the settlement of the question. When, therefore, it is complacently asked-—"Is our title baul ?” the reply may be—“Good or bad, as the case may be : good, if people chons to recognize it ; but utterly worthless if they prefer to question it." The tenure by which the residue of the Church-rate "fund " is now held, is, therefore, simply

“ The good old law, the ancient plan,

That they should get who have the power,

And they should keep who can." If churchmen think it politic to fight for cach successive pound, how

* From £519,000 in 1827 to £261,000 in 1508

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