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Here there is a clear and double echo from the word of Truth. We hear the voice of Solomon crying “Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child”;' and the warning declaration of S. James, who associates envying and strife with ruin and confusion. Again ; Let them obey that know not how to rule.

King Henry VI., Part II., v. 1. The grand duty inculcated both by the Apostle S. Paul and by Shakspere is submission to Authority. “ Order is Heaven's first law,” a law by which “some are and must be greater than the rest." 2

Let us hear how Shakspere carries out this thought.

When that the general is not like the live,
To whom the foragers shall all repair,
What honey is expected ? Degree being vizarded,
The unworthiest shows as fairly in the mask.
The heavens themselves, the planets and this centre,
Observe degree, priority, and place,
Insisture, course, proportion, season, form,
Office, and custom, in all line of order:
And therefore is the glorious planet, Sol,
In noble eminence enthron’d and spher'd
Amidst the other; whose med’cinable eye
Corrects the ill aspects of planets evil,
And posts, like the commandment of a king,
Sans check, to good and bad : But, when the planets,
In evil mixture, to disorder wander,
What plagues and what portents! what mutiny !
What raging of the sea ! shaking of earth!
Commotion in the winds ! fights, changes, horrors,
Divert and crack, rend and deracinate
The unity and married calm of states
Quite from their fixture! 0, when degree is shaked
Which is the ladder of all high designs,
The enterprise is sick! How could communities,
Degrees in schools, and brotherhoods in cities,
Peaceful commerce from dividable shores,
The primogenitive and due of birth,
Prerogative of age, crowns, sceptres, laurels,

1 Ecclesiastes, x. 16.

? Pope's Essay on Man.

But by degree, stand in authentic place?
Take but degree away, untune that string,
And, hark, what discord follows ! each thing meets
In mere oppugnancy: the bounded waters
Should lift their bosoms higher than the shores,
And make a sop of all this solid globe :
Strength should be lord of imbecillity,
And the rude son should strike his father dead :
Force should be right; or rather, right and wrong
(Between whose endless jar justice resides)
Should lose their names, and so should justice too.

Troilus and Cressida, i. 3. According to the Apostolic rule, all things should be done “ decently,”li.e. fittingly “and in order," and that they may be done “ decently,” they must be done “ in order.” The “ many members"2 are to act together with a single eye to the welfare and prosperity of the one body." This unity of action is indispensably requisite, both in the body spiritual and in the body politic.

Livy, the Roman Historian, has handed down to us an Apologue which was spoken by Menenius Agrippa to the popular seceders. This Apologue Shakspere has given us in his “ Coriolanus.” “In those days,” says the Historian, 66 when all was not at unity, as now, in man, but every member had its own plans and its own language, the other members became quite indignant that they should all toil and labour for the belly, while it remained at its ease in the midst of them, doing nothing, but enjoying itself. They therefore agreed among themselves, that the hands should not convey any food to the mouth, nor the mouth receive it, nor the teeth chew it. But while they thus thought to starve the belly out, they found themselves and the whole body reduced to the most deplorable state of feebleness, and they then saw that the belly is by no means useless ;

1 1 Corinthians, xiv. 40. 91 Corinthians, xii. 12, &c.

3 Hist. Lib., II. cap. xxxii.

that it gives as well as receives nourishment, distributing to all parts of the body the means of life and health.”

The moral of the story is so good and scriptural, and the strain in which Shakspere gives it so lively and humorous, that I shall be pardoned for quoting the entire passage. The speakers are Menenius and a discontented citizen. Menenius.

I shall tell you
A pretty tale; it may be, you have heard it;
But, since it serves my purpose, I will venture
To scale 't a little more.

l'll hear it, Sir; yet you must not think
To fob off our disgraces with a tale,
But, an't please you, deliver.

Men. There was a time, when all the body's members
Rebell'd against the belly; thus accus'd it:-
That only like a gulf it did remain
l' the midst o’the body, idle and inactive,
Still cupboarding the viand, never bearing
Like labour with the rest; where th' other instruments
Did see, and hear, devise, instruct, walk, feel,
And mutually participate; did minister
Unto the appetite and affection common
Of the whole body. The belly answered

Cit. Well, sir, what answer made the belly ?

Men. Sir, I shall tell you.-With a kind of smile,
(For, look you, I may make the belly smile,
As well as speak) it tauntingly replied
T'the discontented members, the mutinous parts
That envied his receipt; even so most fitly
As you malign our senators, for that
They are not such as you.

Cit. Your belly's answer? what!
The kingly crowned head, the vigilant eye,
The counsellor heart, the arm our soldier,
Our steed the leg, the tongue our trumpeter,
In this our fabric, if that they-

What then?-
'Fore me this fellow speaks! What then? what then?

Cit. Should by the cormorant belly be restrain'd
Who is the sink o’the body-

Well what then?
Cit. The former agents, if they did complain,
What could the belly answer?

I will tell you,
If you'll bestow a small (of what you have little)
Patience, awhile, you'll hear the belly's answer.

Cit. Y'are long about it.

Note me this, good frieud,
Your most grave belly was deliberate,
Not rash, like his accusers, and thus answer'd.
“ True is it, my incorporate friends," quoth he,
“ That I receive the general food at first,
Which you do live upon; and fit it is;
Because I am the storehouse, and the shop
Of the whole body : but, if you do remember,
I send it thro' the rivers of your blood,
Even to the court, the heart, the senate, brain;
And through the ranks and offices of man :
The strongest nerves, and small inferior veins,
From me receive that natural competency
Whereby they live. And tho' that all at once
You, my good friends”-(this says the belly, mark me)

Cit. Ay sir ; well; well.

“ Tho' all at once cannot
See what I do deliver out to each ;
Yet I can make my audit up, that all
From me do back receive the flour of all,
And leave me but the bran.” What say you to't ?
Cit. It was an answer.

Coriolanus, i, 1.

Menenius then proceeds to apply the Apologue to the case of the senators, and of the mutinous members of the Roman state ; and to show that there was no benefit which the latter received, but it was derived to them from the higher Powers, whom they foolishly imagined to be living in a state of idle inaction and profitless enjoyment.

Connected with the Moral Teaching of the Divine Founder of our Religion, there is a striking peculiarity, which proves at once his immeasurable superiority over all the moral teachers, whether Jewish or Pagan, who had preceded Him. The nature of man is fallen and depravedever averse from good, and continually lusting after evil. If then we would live unaffected by the turbulent disorders, which follow upon sensual indulgence, our natural propensities must be subjected to timely and proper regulation. But where is the check to be placed? Is the heart of man free to run riot among the extravagancies of unchaste

desires, provided only that no overt act of sin is admitted, no outward act of guilt allowed to obtain the dominion over us? Our Blessed Lord meets the difficulty, and places the check, where alone it should be placed, on the heart ;1 He (for He knows what is in man) nips sin in the bud ;' He lays the axe to the very root of the tree. With Him heart-purity is everything. To make the fruit good, He aims at first making good the tree. He follows the polluted and bitter stream up to its very source, and there throws in the salt of Divine Grace, and straightway the waters are purified and sweetened. “ All things are naked and opened unto the eyes” 4 of the Great Searcher, who discerns the thoughts and intents of the human heart. He it is who knoweth our downsitting, and our uprising, and understandeth our thoughts afar off.5

“ Between the acting of a dreadful thing and the first motion” (I am quoting from our Poet) “all the interim "6 is known to Him. Sin has its source and origin in the thoughts, and if unchecked there, will gradually and almost imperceptibly, attain to its full growth, and develope itself in violent and unrestrained action.

Great floods have flown
From simple sources. All's well, ii. 1.

Lust, when it hath conceived bringeth forth sin, and sin when it is finished bringeth forth death.7

Shakspere introduces Brutus employing a very lively and forcible figure, in order to set forth the danger that would ensue, if Cæsar were allowed to bring his ambitious thoughts

* Cf. Proverbs, xxiv. 9. 2 Psalm cxxxix. 23, 24. 3 2 Kings, ii. 21. 4 Hebrews, iv. 13. - Psalm cxxxix. 2. 6 Julius Cæsar, ii. l.

7 James, i. 15.

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