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contrary, it has been surely, and by no means slowly, proceeding, as is amply testified, not only by the author of this little volume, but also by Mr. Dallas, whose interest in Irish missions is well known, and by the Bishop of Rochester, by whom the introduction is written.

Many incidents are here narrated of the cheerfulness, contentment, and generosity of the converts, most of whom are peasants, while suffering privation and even persecution. Some of the scenes here portrayed are touchingly affecting. And we have the authority of the Bishop of Rochester, who, with Mr. Dallas, accompanied Mr. Plunket during a great part of his tour through the district of Connemara and Dublin, for stating that some of the scenes are given with photographic minuteness and power, and that there is nothing in this volume either exaggerated, coloured, or imaginative. With such a recommendation, we trust that this deeply interesting and well-authenticated report will have a wide circulation, and excite that sympathy towards the Irish converts which they are so justly entitled to expect.

We conclude our notices of new books with two pamphlets, which, for different reasons, deserve the attention of our readers. The first is, The Progress and Results of Missions ; a Letter to the Right Hon. the Earl of Chichester, President of the Church Missionary Society. By the Rev. Archibald Boyd, M.A., Incumbent of Paddington, and Rural Dean, Honorary Canon of Gloucester. Seeley and Co. London. 1864. - It contains, in an inviting form, a sufficient, and indeed an abundant, answer to all that has been lately written, whether in ignorance or with a malicious purpose, against our Protestant missions, more particularly the Church Missionary Society. Its calm tone, and its pure style, will recommend it to every wellcultivated mind, and therefore we cannot mention anything better calculated to serve the cause of missions amongst the higher classes, who, unfortunately, are for the most part but ill-acquainted with missions, and in consequence easily prejudiced against them. Queen Adelaide, whose charities were boundless, and who inquired minutely into the circumstances of all whom she assisted and the charities to which she subscribed, had, within a year or two of her decease, never heard of the Church Missionary Society; and when it was mentioned in her presence, was anxious to be informed as to the nature of its operations.

The other is, Three Years in Central Africa ; being a History of the Oxford, Cambridge, Dublin, and Durham Mission. Prepared by Order of the General Committee. London: Bell and Daldy. 1864.-When this Society was formed, we noticed with regret the too boastful spirit in which it was introduced, especially in the addresses made before the University of Cambridge. Other Church Societies were unnoticed, or slurred over with a sort of quiet disdain, and the Church was congratulated that she had at last entered upon the great work of missions in the right way-sending out a missionary bishop and his train of priests and catechists. We admit that we are not enamoured of the scheme itself, which seemed to us to be modelled rather upon the Romish than the New Testament pattern, and therefore we were not surprised when sorrow and painful disappointment followed. These, it is true, have occurred in all our missions, and in all probably

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with the same intention—"to humble us, and to prove us, and to do us good in our latter end." And we trust the Society, the first three years of whose existence are reported in this pamphlet, has learned more humility, more simple trust in God, and less reliance on her church machinery. We have much interesting information here, tending to show that there is a vast field, not yet whitening with the barvest, but ready to receive the good seed of the Word of Life.

We were all shocked at home-pious men, we mean, of every party- to learn that their missionary bishop had been fighting with the natives. The account of the battle or skirmish is related. But we allude to the subject, that we may do justice to both sides. We quote the following note, and refer our readers interested in the subject to the report itself. It is an extract from a letter of Dr. Livingstone to Sir Culling Eardley, written in 1863 :—"At first I thought Bishop Mackenzie wrong in fighting, but I don't think so now.. He defended his hundred and forty orphan children when there was no human arm besides to invoke. To fight, even in self-defence, must always be a sad necessity; but to sit still and let bloodthirsty slave-hunters tear away those orphans who cleave to us for protection, would be suffering martyrdom for our own folly."

PUBLIC AFFAIRS.

PARLIAMENT resumes its duties on the 4th instant. We fear it will not be opened by the Queen in person, though her household have laid aside the drapery of mourning, and Her Majesty herself is quietly resuming her public duties. In the birth of a son to the Prince and Princess of Wales (whom God preserve!), Her Majesty has found a new source of interest; and in the affection of all her family, and the loyalty of all her subjects, we trust that she may yet find much, even in this chequered world, worth living for, and that at length, in the world to come, she may have life everlasting. What course her ministers may pursue, must remain, until the session opens, a question of some uncertainty. They will, no doubt, if possible, maintain the same neutrality in foreign affairs which has gained for them, in so unusual a degree, the confidence of the nation, and almost put an end to the rivalry of parties. But the dreadful game is not altogether in our own hands; danger threatens on all sides. Like the Psalmist, England dwells near to those who "hate peace; and may exclaim with him, “I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war.” The disturbance of the north of Europe has arrived at its crisis; and a few days will determine whether Austria and Prussia will madly and wickedly, as it seems to us, attempt by violence to wrench from Denmark the provinces of Schleswig and Holstein, or either of them ; and if so, what consequences will follow, and how far England may at length, by her respect for treaties to which she is a party, be compelled to interfere. At present, the opinion seems to be, that we are not obliged to do more than to protest. Vol. 63.-No. 314.

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We have long been weary of fighting the battles of other nations, and "peace is our fond desire." A Society, which has already gained the support of several names of influence, has just been formed in London,

for promoting the cessation of hostilities in America.” It professes to disclaim all political motives, and to be animated solely by a feeling of humanity. It is impossible not to wish it success; but at the same time we think that it would have been more likely to attain it, if it had shown a less decided leaning to the Confederate States. It has issued a pamphlet on the mode in which the war is carried on by the Federals, as recorded by themselves. Anything more horrible was never put in print. The worst scenes in the French Revolution find their parallel in individual acts of cruelty, and the amount of suffering inflicted is far greater. It is only when we see the whole collected in one pamphlet, and presented to us in one view, that we obtain a real insight into the nature of this atrocious warfare. In the form of a petition to Parliament, the whole is summed up, though faintly, in the following sentence :- -“ That the sinking of stone fleets—the submerging of districts—the wholesale plunder and devastation of unarmed citizens—the introduction of Greek Fire—the shooting of non-belligerents in cold blood--the burning of peaceful villages and defenceless towns no less than the promotion and retention in command of such men as Butler, Milroy, McNeil, and Turchin, with their subordinate officers, are outrages (to quote the words of a great and philanthropic statesman) which Christian times have seen nothing to equal, and at which the whole world stands aghast almost to incredulity."" The “ statesman " is Lord Brougham.

But, on the other hand, the faults of the Confederates are very gently dealt with. The petition proceeds thus :-“ That, looking

-to the fact that the Confederate States neither contemplated nör desired other than a peaceable separation, and that the Federal States have entirely failed in the object for which they resorted to coercive measures-namely, the “Restoration of the Union ;' and that any prolongation of the war can only be attended with a purposeless sacrifice of human life, and by a prolonged interruption to the commerce of the world: your petitioners, therefore, in common with vast numbers of Her Majesty's subjects-disclaiming all political motives, and only desiring to see this war, with its horrors, brought to a close -humbly pray that your Right Honourable House will be pleased to adopt such measures as may seem wise and just for the accomplishment of this object."

It is now well known that the Confederates had for several years been preparing for war; and when it broke out, they entered upon it in almost as bad a temper as that which has since disgraced the Federals. We have not yet forgotten-nor, if we would do justice to both sides, ought we to forget—that one of the first Confederate regiments that marched northward carried with it, in insolent ostentation, a coffin inscribed “For Abe Lincoln.” It was only when the Confederates discovered that the Federals meant war in earnest, that they began to assume the moderate tone which, much to their honour, they have ever since retained under the greatest provocations, But the pamphlet before us is, we must be allowed to say, grossly one-sided. The last page is one absurd attempt to blind our eyes on

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the slavery question. We have a repetition of the stale falsehoods
which have long ceased to make the slightest impression. We are
told that there is no country in the civilized world in which the
labouring man is so well cared for, and so contented.
informed that the slaves not having risen, nor having claimed
their freedom under President Lincoln's proclamation, affords such
an answer to that clever fiction, “ Uncle Tom's Cabin,” that the
Southerner himself could not desire a more triumphant one.
are favoured with the following note, with which the pamphlet con-
cludes :-

“Our own papers have recently published the fact of a
in London roasting his child; of another poisoning his wife and
children in a cab. Now Uncle Tom's Cabin ’ is as worthy of credit
relatively to Southern Slavery, as a novel would be which purported
to give a view of English society at the present day founded upon
these exceptional cases."

We should not have thought this tissue of extravagance worth notice, were it not for the mischief it brings upon a good cause. Violent and unscrupulous advocates are the worst enemies truth has to fear. At the beginning of the American war, all England agreed that, while both parties were in fault, the Confederates had the greater share of blame. We believe that three-fourths of our coun. trymen bave now crossed over to the other side ; but it is not because they have learned to look on slavery with less abhorrence; and we must caution all those who may be disposed, in their eagerness to promote the return of peace, to palliate slavery, that their slightest admissions will one day be tortured by slave-owners and their friends to the serious injury of the Emancipation cause.

We hope it may be true that Mrs. Beecher Stowe's novel is founded on exceptional cases, but she has proved that the main facts are true. conduct of the slaves has certainly impressed us with a higher respect for their masters; but the inference it most forcibly conveys is one of contempt for the hypocrisy of the Federals. What can be a more stinging reproach than that a Southern slave prefers his state of bondage to freedom amongst the Federals ? - freedom and a dog's life in town and country-freedom and a lamp-post in New York, without a coroner's inquest on his body, or the slightest attempt to bring his murderers to justice. And how can a society which publishes such a statement of the case between the Federals and Confederates expect to gain the confidence of either party, or to have weight with the English Government ?

But our home affairs promise abundant employment to both Houses of Parliament. We can notice only a few of those questions which concern the interests of morality and religion, as connected with the Church of England. National education has to be settled on a sound basis. We must know what is to be taught, and who are to be the teachers. We must have something devised which shall suit the condition of those who are properly called poor children; at present we have not got down below the child of the respectable mechanic, who justly feels himself affronted when he is classed among poor people. The Ecclesiastical Commission, though it has published a clever pamphlet in its own defence, will probably have to make way for a cheaper and

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more expeditious machinery. We have seen the draft of a Bill which consolidates and amends the Church Building and New Parishes Acts. Our readers will forgive us if we decline to give an abstract of 96 pages of folio paper, containing 407 clauses. On the whole, as far as we have looked into it, it effects many reforms; but there are points not a few, which ought to be reconsidered. Our eye glances on clause 398; the purport is very good; it pronounces the validity of marriages performed by error, and without fraud, in churches or buildings licensed for Divine Service, wherein banns could not be legally published or marriages legally solemnized. But when we read the next few lines, we feel as if we trod on a quicksand underneath—“Or in any church which, or the chancel of which, should have been rebuilt without being reconsecrated.” It will soon be argued from this, not only that every new church must be consecrated, but that every old church, or even old chancel, when rebuilt, must be reconsecrated. At present the Church of England legally knows nothing of consecration; we have no service for it which forms any part of our Book of Common Prayer, much less for reconsecration. The service in use has not, like the state services at the end of the Prayer-book, the Royal sanction. We do not object to that commonly in use, but no bishop is compelled to use it. He may adopt a form of his own; or he may do as we believe archbishop Whately did, he may open a church without using any form whatever except the Liturgy. We were once at the consecration of a church at which the excellent Mr. Hughes, one of the founders of the Bible Society, and a Baptist minister, was also present by invitation. Returning from it, he quietly remarked, “We dissenters, you know, have a great objection to your consecration of churches. We think it superstitious; but I am happy to have been with you to-day. I see nothing superstitious in it. I have enjoyed it much.” So it is with many devout churchmen; the word “consecration" seems to them ill-chosen, seeing that God acknowledges no temple made with hands, but that in the souls of true believers He dwells as in living temples. We must pass on, since our space fails, or we should have added something here on the present state of the law as it regards the publication of banns, which is needlessly perplexing, and, as lately expounded, extremely unfair to the officiating minister. We may briefly mention, however, that he is held responsible not only for the publication of the banns, but for the truth of the statements they contain. It was but recently that a clergyman was punished in the West of England with suspension, because he had not ascertained in person whether or not the parties whom he married lived within his parish, although he had sent the clerk to make the inquiries. This decision rests upon a judgment of Eldon's, and indeed it has nothing else to rest upon. In the case which came before Lord Eldon, one of the parties was a minor, and a ward in Chancery. But the rubric, which is statute law, lays no such burden upon the clergyman. Nor can we believe that the superior courts would uphold such a decision. Its only effect is to degrade the clerical office, and to secularize the minister. In large towns, the inquiry is almost impossible, and if made it amounts to nothing; for the parties who wish to marry clandestinely have only to take lodgings for a few weeks, and the law is successfully evaded. At present it

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