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and normal institutions, with her ad- a simple phenomenon which often takes mirable system of finance, indicate a place in a garden when the sunshine popular as well as a permanently-root- has succeeded a shower. A tremulous ed cause. And in the face of such a glittering thread floats slowly from resistlessly-advancing ocean-tide, can a rose bush, and fastens upon some it be that a few noble lords, and grave neighbouring twig; another and anoprovident esquires, will stand upon the ther parallel thread is thrown out; a shore, in the undignified attitude of. weaving of thousands of crossing lines Dame Partington, endeavouring, with follows; and at length a reticulated their mops, to chace back the waves, web, almost invisible except in the sideand dry up the inundation ? Verily, glance of the sun's rays, appears. The we pity them, and would spare them film is so frail and delicate, that it such labour and such scorn.
seems next to nothingness ; yet it is a would entreat them to pause, if they sure connection between two bushes, would avoid something even worse on which myriads of living creatures, than ridicule. The political horizon unfurnished with wings, may securely for years has been darkening. The travel to and fro. The minute artiwings of the fell demon which the zans have effected this union by an French Revolution evoked are effort of surpassing labour and skill; and anon heard to flap, at midnight, but a mere union of distant objects over our cities and villages ; and now was not their sole motive for exertion. that a famine crisis is in the midst of On the contrary, the work was their us, the voice of discontent is asking, only means of subsistence and aggranwith tenfold bitterness, Wherefore dizement, and such insects as come should all things be engrossed by a within the scope of these subtile meshes privileged few ? And unless a gracious must, no matter how, refund the conProvidence interpose with a preven- structors for their labour. In this tive which we have not merited, what way, our island is a vast cob-web of will be the end of all this? Is this a
railroads, by which localities the most season in which the noble, the far- remote are threaded together, and descended, and the wealthy, can af- from which the industrious fabricators ford to freeze affection and provoke naturally and justly expect a profitable opposition ?-to forego that rampart return. of devout prayers, and stalwart de- But, as is too often the case, this devoted arms which their fathers found sire of emolument has, in many into be their surest protection in the stances, overstepped the limits of what hour of difficulty and danger? Even is just and righteous; and, in an age yet we hope for better things from when all are rushing after riches, the them, although they have persevered proprietors of railways have endeauntil the eleventh hour.
voured to make the most of this head
long desire to get forward. Men soon During this month, a battle has found that, although in their pursuit been fought and a victory won in be- of light-heeled Mammon, they could half of a cause which we trust will get on at the rate of thirty miles an long continue to be endeared to the hour for six days in the week, yet it heart of Scotlandwe mean the sanc- was a grievous sacrifice to stand still tity of the Sabbath. It augurs well, on the seventh. If not for business, that in a question where pecuniary yet, at least, for pleasure and recreaprofits seemed so largely at stake, and tion, might they not wing their way where it was thought so much might upon the seventh also ? True, that have been won, by a mere act of re- day was the holy Sabbath, of which its laxation, so noble a stand has been Divine founder had said, “ In it thou made, and that not by the few but the shal: do no manner of work;" • it is a many.
day of rest unto the Lord.” But the In contemplating the changes upon Sabbath travellers got over their diffithe map of Britain during these few culties; the railway stations harnessed years, we seem to have been watching their trains, and the asmosphere of an
English Sunday, hitherto soothed by alleged that they neither were converthe sweet chime of the rural church- sant with the Scottish law, nor suffibells, was now defiled with the smoke ciently acquainted with the Scottish feeland startled by the reverberation of ing upon Sabbath observance, and thereflying locomotives. We may see with fore they would leave the people of what rapidity the practice grew, and Scotland to settle it among themhow universal it threatens to become, selves. And there were men in Scotfrom the statistics of Sabbath travelling land chivalrous enough to encounter the in England. At present, there are 1418 perilous task. These gallant patriots trains that run every lawful day, and had long grieved and lamented over of these, 810 run upon Sundays. Upon the Sabbatical bondage of their counthe borders, the desecration is still trymen, and resolved to set them free. worse ; for, of twenty-two trains that They would dulcify the morose echoes are daily employed, nineteen run upon of glen and mountain with the shrill pithe Sabbath.
broch of their steam-whistle, and perThe innovation was of easy accom
meate their beloved country with the plishment in England, where the Sab- blessings of Sunday travelling, traffic, bath has never at any period been ob- and recreation. served with particular strictness, or re
As the discretion of these men, howgarded as a peculiar religious distinc- ever, was equal to their valour, they tion. But this victory extended to the resolved, like Dogberry, to go cunningly English border, and no farther. The to work. It would have been a very rest of the island, comprising nearly a blundering piece of valiancy indeed, half, was also intersected with its rail- to shout their war-cry and rush to the ways; but on these such a paralysis onset against such perilous odds. Being was laid, that on every first day of the the weaker party, they could only hope week, not an engine could stir into to succeed by a guerilla warfare of action, not a wheel move. The con- ambash and skirmishing. They therequest, to be complete, must sweep on fore commenced by hovering cautiously ward from Beersheba to Dan; but upon the outposts of the question, in list here its career was stopped midway. shoes and with silent bayonets. And The spirit of railway speculation look- first they endeavoured to relax the eå grimly northward, pondered the severity of a Scottish Sabbath, by provvery singular character of this Sabba- ing that it required too much ; and tical Scotland, and sighed for the even Counsel learned in the law, laying means of overcoming it. The people aside their briefs, and money-making who occupied this part of Britain Magnificoes closing their ledgers, took journeyed indeed on Sunday, but
on Sunday, but up the Bible, and rummaged its pages it was generally to the church, while in search of texts with which they they regarded with religious abhor- might rivet their conclusions. Great rence the idea of purloining any por- indeed must have been the emergency tion of the sacred day for the pur- that converted such men into theological poses of profit or recreation; and this casuists. And then they spoke of feeling was not the growth of a year, “ works of necessity and mercy but a national distinctive badge, con- being lawful to be done on the Sabbathsolidated through a course of centuries. day; and with bowels that yearned for Great, of a truth, must that caution be far-severed friends suffering and dying with which the argument is brought for- apart o' Sundays, they drew touching ward to pose these stubborn out-stand- pictures of the miseries of separation, ers--profound the cunning that can all which might be cured for ever by lure them from the church to the rail- the application of a little steam. And way, or even persuade them to look on then, too, the boon they demanded was with acquiescence! The English spe- so trifling—two trains-give them only culators shook their heads, and consi- a going and returning train! This derately turned away. They would commencement was as modest as that of not trust even their strongest engines Sir John Falstaff's bravado. He began to the encounter of such a rock. They with “ two men in buckram suits," and
speedily ran them up into eleven that the whole body of the land would rogues in buckram, not to speak of the soon throb responsively to its furthest “ three misbegotten knaves in kendal and remotest extremities. And what green.”
They also raised the now a hideous, vampyre vitality! The popular shout of philanthropy, and balance-sheets which were laid before talked of the right of the hard-wrought the meeting seemed to indicate what artisan to enjoy for one day in seven
Dr Johnson would have called “the a deliverance from his grinding labour potentiality of getting rich beyond the and smothering atmosphere, that he utmost dreams of avarice.” The dimight roam, like innocent Adam in vidend for the first half-year of 1846 Paradise, among sunny fields, inhaling was announced at the rate of six per health and devotion at every breath. cent., and that for the next half at eight. And when they had thus sufficiently What more could have been hoped lubricated, as they thought, the stub- or sought for in this generation of born heart-strings of Scottish poverty, shrunken per centages ?
Here was a they endeavoured to get up petitions return satisfactory enough even for from the labouring-classes of Scotland horse-leech greediness, and safe enough in behalf of Sabbath travelling on the to be let alone without the daring exrailways. Such were some of the periment of investing the first day of wedges, varying in size and character, the week on speculation along with but all so delicately pointed, with the other six. But they would have which they hoped to insinuate an in- quails to their manna ; and, therefore, troduction, and rive asunder the the anti-sabbatarians clamoured for gnarled sabbatarianism of their country- the wager and assize of battle, and
Not a word all the while about forthwith sounded to the onset. the profits to be derived from the spec ;
And that onset will not soon be fornot a whisper about pleasure jaunts gotten; it will form an era in the and rural sports on Sundays, and history of the ancient city of St lucrative trips in the way of business ! Mungo. When the attacking army is But the people were not to be so hood- the smallest, it is an excellent point of winked. They saw in the carefully generalship to make them believe that veiled perspective, a fearful and contin- the adversaries are fewer still; and ually swelling amount ofgodlessness and thus they march forward, blindly and desecration under which their be- bravely, into the very throat of danger. loved country, so long the cherished Such were the tactics of the gallant home of God's own day—that day leader of the anti-sabbatarians. “If which came down from the mercy-seat this system is to go on,” he said, “ if like a ministering angel-would be a small minority-for the real and no longer a fitting abode for such a genuine sabbatarians are but a small heavenly resident; and beholding in minority in the country—are to be this, the deadliest of all national cala- allowed to control the great majority lamities, they refused to be silenced or of the inhabitants of this country” – persuaded.
here was an astounding intimation ! Matters could not long remain in this Who, then, are these myriads who are condition, and the two parties mustered mustering against us in the distance ? their forces for the open tug of war. A
“ And Zebul said unto him, Thou special general meeting was accordingly seest the shadow of the mountains, as held in Glasgow, on the 5th instant, at if they were men.” As this plunge which the great bulk of those connected was so desperate, it must be persevered with the Edinburgh and Glasgow in, and therefore the speaker returned Railway were present in person, or by more to the subject. their proxies. It was upon this vast Jews,” he added, “I believe, are as line of circulation--this great aorta
numerous in Great Britain as are the of Scotland—that the experiment was
sabbatarians ;” and he founded upon to be commenced ; and if the pulses this, that the Jews might as justly of busy Sabbath stir and motion could prohibit us from the use of pork, as be but communicated there, it was felt the anti-sabbatarians hinder us from
Sabbath railway travelling. But what but that it is most injurious to the peopen can describe the astonishment pro- ple of Scotland.” And how so, we pray duced by this wondrous peroration ? you? He thus replies :
“ The conseCountenances began to lengthen or quence of attempting to bring about shorten ; the eyes of the sabbatarians such a state of things is, that the young brightened ; and strangers from Eng- in Scotland, not being allowed to give land, paralyzed with astonishment, way, during this only weekly holiday, seemed to ask, Can it be Scotland of to that exuberance of animal spirits, which he is speaking ?
the accompaniment of youth and The orator then entered into the heart health, in open and innocent amuseand pith of the argument, by investi- ments, are too often drawn on the gating the nature of the Sabbath itself, Sunday into degrading vices, accompafor the purpose of showing that its ob- nied by bare-faced profligacy in some, ligations did not prohibit those indul- by gross hypoerisy in others.” And gences which his party required. And thus the ingenuous youth of Scotland here he spoke broadly out-so broady, are to be reclaimed from bare-faced indeed, that the hearts of his stoutest profligacy” and “ gross hypocrisy, constituents must have trembled with by the mighty ministry of steam. The the consciousness that the move was ir- school-boy shall have a whole holiday recoverable. “I tell the sabbatarians," every week, besides the half of Saturhe exclaimed, “that according to my day, on which he may play at marbles, opinions and convictions, and according leap-frog, and foot-ball, or take a two to the convietions of the great majority hours' ride into the country, to inof the people of Scotland, the fourth dulge in the luxury of Sabbath birdcommandment is not a command- nesting; while the rustic juveniles of ment imperative on Christians, and strath and hamlet will have the same was abolished by the Saviour. It facilities of a Sunday trip to the city,
more binding and imperative that they may wander among the glothan any mere ceremonial law of the ries of Modern Athens, and study the Jews-it is no more binding upon wondrous devices of metropolitan life. Christians than is the law of circumci- And this is the process under which sion, or the law against eating pork, juvenile profligacy and hypocrisy or the Sabbatical year. This can be are to disappear from Sabbath-ridproved." Prodigious! Scotland and den Scotland! Warming and kindthe Christian world must have been ly- ling with his subject, as he rushes ing under a strange hallucination for onward, he discovers that almost all the eighteen centuries, until this new pro- vices and crimes of the land are to be phet arose to set them right. It is no traced, not to Sabbath breaking, as has wonder, therefore, if the astonished been frequently supposed to be their audience shouted, “Proof! proof!" origin, but to Sabbath-keeping! Yes, To this demand, he replied, “I have to Sabbath-keeping; and although we read the Bible with that view it is are not aware that, at this stage, the pointed out by numerous texts in the meeting again shouted “ proof, proof," New Testament, which the sabbatari- he generously volunteered to furnish deans never choose to quote or refer to." monstration after the fashion of Asmo
Quote! quote !" thundered the au- deus in the Diable Boiteux. “ Our dience in turn; but here discretion sabbatarians,” he alleged. “are continucame to the aid of his valour, and he ally referring with exultation to what wisely abstained from the hazards of they call the quiet and staid appearance quotation he merely repeated his of our Scottish towns on the Sunday, strange assertion, and proceeded to as a mark of the morality of the people build upon it a marvellous superstruc- and the good effect of the Judaical ob. ture. I have
no hesitation," he servance of that day. But if the roofs said, “in giving it as my conviction, were lifted off the houses, a very differthat the Judaical observance of the ent scene would be perceived. It would Sunday is not only inconsistent with, be found that more profligacy and and at variance to, the New Testament, debauchery of every kind takes place
on the Sunday in the towns of Scot- powerful and effective ever delivered land, than in any other towns of equal at a public meeting. Our readers will size in modern Europe.
be at no loss to appreciate the nature And all this is the natural and inevit
of the compliment. Like Samson, it able consequence of the young being de- pulled down its own cause about its barred from those innocent and health- ears, and thus settled the matter at ful recreations which are followed in once and beyond recovery. The adother countries, and condemned during vocates of Sabbath railway travelling a whole day in the week to listless in- made indeed a feeble rally ; but what action. Yes, I maintain it is the sab- availed it when the house of Dagon batarians who are the true cause of had thus fallen? We trust that neither the public-houses and brothels being the victory will be foregone by the filled on the Sundays.”'
friends of the Scottish Sabbath, nor the We are not so mischievously-minded defeat forgotten by its enemies, should as to quote further, but the speech, the design be entertained of renewing taken as a whole, was one of the most the contest at any future period.