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Hogarth and the other hideous records of low life in of cutting him more completely adrift írom the Oxford the eighteenth century. The most loyal Anglicans and High Church moorings of his youth. in the present day are the first to deplore the total Mr. Tyerman is not aware of a fact which lends failure of religious life in their church, and the indo- special interest to Wesley's connection with Lincoln lence of the clergy in those times. It is needless to College. That college was founded by Fleming and repeat the history of clerical indifference, sinecurism, Rotherham, two Catholic Bishops who were great pluralism, and even vice. The highest offices of the enemies of the Wycliffites, and who specially dedichurch were part
Tree than cated their foundation to the holy war against that worldly politicians. The best and most active-minded heresy. The fellows of the college were specially of the Anglican divines occupied themselves with enjoined by the statutes to devote themselves to the writing dry logical or historical apologies for Chris- suppression of “the novel and pestilent sect which tianity, of which it was justly said they proved the threatened all the sacraments and all the possessions truth but hardly knew what to do with it when they of the church.” One of the Fellows admitted under had proved it. A fair type of them was Paley, who, those very statutes was destined to do a good deal as the Cambridge tutor said, “had the credit of put. more than Wycliffe for the novel and pestilent seci. ting Christianity into a form which could be written Voltaire owed his immense influence over his genout in examinations.” With such an establishment, eration in a great degree to his longevity and to his bound hand and foot as it was, and precluded from long retention of his intellectual powers.
His great self-reform by political and social influences, the antagonist had the same advantage, which, in bis leader of a great movement of spiritual regeneration , case, was all the more vital, Lecause he had not only was inevitably destined to part company at last. doctrines to propagate, but a society to organize ; had Wesley clung with all the desperate tenacity of early Wesley been weak and short-lived, with all his masaffection, and perhaps also of professional sentiment, vellous qualities and powers, Methodism might have to the church, whose orders he had received; but been buried in his grave. As it was, he not only the necessity was too strong for him, the old bottle ; retained his intellectual faculties, and even his power would not hold the new wine, and, though unavowed- of preaching, almost unimpaired to the age of 85, ly and perhaps half unconsciously, he became before but underwent through life, in his career as an itinethe end of his life practically the founder of a new rant preacher and organizer of his church, in an age church.
of difficult locomotion, exertions and trials of his conNot only was Wesley a churchman, and a very stitution which may be almost literally called superloyal one, but he was a High Churchman, and to the human. He is on horse-back, with but an hour or end retained a decided tincture of the ascetism be- two's intermission from five in the morning till nearly longing to the character. It was natural that before eleven at night. Five hours after he sets out again abandoning the Anglican system, or bringing himself and rides ninety miles. At midnight he arrives a: to work outside it, he should prove to the uttermost an inn and wishes to sleep, but the woman who kept the system itself. Luther, in like manner, proved the inn refuses him admittance and sets four dogs Catholicism and Monasticism to the uttermost before at him. Again he rides five hours through a drenchhe thought of striking into a new path. Wesley's ing rain and furious wind, wet through to the very movement, in its Oxford phase, in fact, was very soles of his feet, but he is ready to preach at the end nearly a prototype of that afterwards led by Dr. of his journey, The frozen roads oblige him to disNewman. But Dr. Newman was a refined and elo- mount, but he pushes forward on foot amidst the quent intellectualist, who flattered the reactionary snow-storm, leading his horse by the bridle, for sentiments, both political and ecclesiastical, of the twenty miles, though tortured by a raging toothache. rich and fastidious, without, as we venture to think, At the age of 69, he encounters winter storms, wades any great force of practical conviction, and certainly mid-leg deep in snow, is bogged by the badness of without producing any extensiye change in the hearts the roads, preaches in the midst of piercing winds in of men. His logic at last forced him without his the open air, delivers sometimes as many as four serbeing prepared for it, or desiring it, to take a leap, his mons a day, yet makes noentry in his journal indicative accounts of which are mere bewilderment, and which of failing health. The amount of preaching which he terminated his course as a religious leader. Wesley I went through, besides all the work of governing his was originally a man of far more practical force and Church and that of writing a good many books and capacity than Dr. Newman, but happy circumstances tracts, would kill any preacher of the present day. also drew him away from his. Oxford seclusion, and This wonderful strength was partly the gift of nature, from the genteel to the practical world and to the ser- but it was preserved and confirmed by most careful vice of the poor.
His visit to America, unlucky in attention to health--early rising which ensured sound other respects, was fortunate pro bly the means sleep, extreme temperance in diet, abstinence from stimulants, even from tea. Mr. Wesley's mother wandering labour without a settled home, was at also deserves gratitude for a system of bringing up once most sure to crave for domestic happiness and her children directly opposed to that of most Ameri- most certain not to find it. His lingering Oxford can and Canadian mothers, who seem to think it the fancies about ecclesiastical celibacy add just another first of maternal duties to ruin the stomachs, and shade of absurdity to these affairs, and this is as with them the constitutions and the tempers of their much as can be said. Wesley's opportunities of obchildren. The immense fruits of Wesley's healthi- serving female character in society had been so limness and longevity are a lesson to all who affect to ited that he is not much to be blamed for having disregard physical health and to be indifferent to the been taken in by the detestable woman who, in an length of life provided it be useful, as though the evil hour, became his wife, and whose temper was usefulness of a life did not, in great measure depend such, that a friend going into the room one day, acupon its length and upon the exercise of the mature tually found Wesley on the floor, and Mrs. Wesley powers. At the same time there was nothing about with locks of his white hair in her hands. Wesley of the muscular Christian ; if he took great The biographer does not shrink from doing his pains to keep his body sound it was not for the sake duty with regard to these incidents. Nor has he of bodily soundness, much less of athleticism, but for any reason for shrinking. Wesley was the founder the sake of a sound mind and of the great objects of Methodism, but he was not its origin, nor is he which that mind was to serve.
its life. The amount of persecution and mal-treatment
The size and cost of Mr. Tyerman's work, even undergone by Wesley and his principal disciples was in the smaller and cheaper edition, will prevent its astounding. We might fill columns with details being ever very popular ; but it will take its place culled from these pages. The lower orders in Eng. in our book-cases as the most complete and authentic land at that time were neither Christian nor civilized account of the origin of one of the most important till Wesley diffused among them Christianity and movements in history. civilization with it. They baited a Methodist preacher as they baited bulls or badgers. The soldiery were, perhaps, a shade more brutal than the CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY AND MODERN SCEPTICISM. mass of the common people, as Hogarth's March to By the Duke of Somerset. New York : D. ApHounslow indicates, and it is a signal proof of the
pleton & Co. power of Methodism that it should have numbered The appearance of the Duke of Somerset in the among its earliest and sincerest converts soldiers who field of religious polemics has probably caused confaced death at once like Christians and heroes at siderable surprise. The head of one of the greatest Fontenoy. No one acquainted with the manners of whig families, the Duke has hitherto been known, the time will be surprised to learn that magistrates and very favourably known as the active and hardand clergymen, in some cases, abetted the perse working head of the department. During more cutions. Beau Nash tried to turn the vulgar intru. than one Administration he was First Lord of the der out of his realm of Bath, but was confronted by Admiralty, with credit to himself and advantage to Wesley with a tranquil firmness before which the the country. The greater part of the vessels now despot of the world of pleasure ignominiously re- forming the iron-clad navy of England were built coiled. From the bishops, who, though appointed under his auspices. Since the formation of Mr. by political influence, and of the “Greek play" | Gladstone's Government he has played the part of type, were superior to the mass of the clergy, Wesley an assiduous, honest and somewhat acrid critic. does not seem to have met, on the whole, treatment Though he now writes theology it is still as a poliwhich, considering the irregularity of the movement, tician, with a politician's object and in a politician's cald be called unkind. Bishop Lavington, of Exeter, style. He observes that for many years past, reliwho seems to have been a great blockhead, as well gious questions have incessantly interfered with the 25 a bari man, took a more hostile course and received social and educational improvement of the commun. severe chastisement at Wesley's hands Sympathy ity, and that the disturbance seems to be increasing. in high ecclesiastical quarters was not to be expected. A politician, he says, would gladly avoid touching As we have said before, the final independence of these thorny subjects, but religious teachers never Methodism was unavoidable.
cease from intermeddling with politics. " The The least agreeable passages in the life are those Church of Rome, as in olden times, pours imprecarelating to Wesley's love affairs and his marriage. tions on our heads; and the Roman Catholic clergy, These incidents are dark specks in a life of uncom- in the United Kingdom, administer the same balm
non brightness. After all, however, the sum of the in a more inconvenient form. The Established nanier is that a man like Wesley living a life of ! Church distracts us with so many doctrinal disputes
and perplexing doubts that we almost wish she hensiveness, in largeness of sympathy, and generally would slumber again, as she did during the greater in those qualities which are most essential to an ap. part of the last century. The non-conformists ap- preciation of what are commonly called the moral pear to be exasperated, and threaten to upset, from evidences of Christianity. On the other hand, he is the village school to the cabinet, unless they are to transparently honest, and his rank, though it can have their own way.” The Duke accordingly pro- lend no weight to his arguments, is a sufficient guarposes to administer a sedative to the Protestants at antee that his aims are not those of a mere religious all events, and it is impossible, notwithstanding the agitator or a political demagogue. The doubts to gravity of the subject, to abstain from smiling at his which he gives expression are, it would be idle to business-like and almost grim fulfilment of his in- deny, widely prevalent among the most intellectual tention. Within the compass of 182 pages he has classes, and disturb breasts far different from those condensed, besides a preface, index and introduction, of the sensual or scoffing sceptics of former gener. no less than thirty-nine chapters, each treating of a ations. It is too true, as the Duke says, that“ while distinct branch of the inquiry, the whole being writ- our clergy are insisting on dogmatic theology, sceften in the terse, incisive style of an official précis. ticism pervades the whole atmosphere of thought, The bulk of the work is on the sceptical and destruc- leads the most learned societies, colours the religious tive side, presenting against the existing forms of literature of the day, and even mounts the pulpits of historical and dogmatic Christianity critical argu- the Church.” There is but one rational, but one efments mainly derived from writers of the Tubingen fective, but one Christian way of dealing with such school, to which the Duke's intensely practical mind doubts. It is the way indicated by Bishop Watson naturally inclines rather than to the more speculative in his reply to Gibbon : “I look upon the right of and imaginative theories of Strauss and Renan. The private judgment in every concern respecting God constructive part of the work is comparatively limit. and ourselves as superior to the control of human ed and weak. The Duke, however, believes that authority.
Never can it become a he has preserved to Faith one unapproachable Christian to be afraid of being asked a reason for the sanctuary-faith in God.
“ Here at last the natur- hope that is in him, nor a Protestant to be studious al and supernatural will be merged in one harmoni- of enveloping his religion in mystery or ignorance. ous universe under one Supreme intelligence. In or to abandon that moderation by which she permits affliction and in sickness the thoughtful man will every individual et sentire quae velit et quae sentia: find here his safest support. Even in that dread dicere-to think what he will, and to speak what be hour when the shadows of death are gathering around thinks.” A higher than Bishop Watson had taught him, when the visible world fades from his sight and the same lesson before. The apostle who doubtei the human faculties fail, when the reason is enfeebled the Resurrection was answered not with unreasoning and the memory relaxes its grasp, Faith, the con- anathema, but with convincing proof. “Reach bither soler, still remains soothing the last moments and thy finger and behold my hands ; and reach hither pointing to a ray of light beyond the mystery of the thy hand and thrust it into my side ; and be not grave.” The Duke also looks forward to “ better faithless but believing." days,” wlien irrational dogma and sectarian distinctions having been eliminated, there will emerge a purely rational Christianity common to all Protes
THE LIFE OF JESUS, THE CHRIST. By Henry tants, when the clergy will again become the teach
Ward Beecher. Toronto : James Campbell & ers of the people, when the open Bible will irresistibly
Son. lead to the open Church, and the Church will with. diout any violent commotion become the Church of the
The world is now full of Lives of Christ, each of whole Protestant people. From the ascendancy of which is, in fact, the shadow of the writer prosuch a Christianity he expects inestimable benefits, jected across the Gospel. M. Renan's Life of Chris moral, social and intellectual, as well as religious. is the shadow of a French philosopher, not without It would be idle to attempt to discuss within the com
a touch of the Parisian coiffeur. Ecce Homo is the pass of a review the multitudinous questions raised shadow of an English Broad Churchman ; and so by the critical portion of the work, which states, with
with the rest. apothegmatic brevity, almost every objection made Dr. Dio Lewis, in “Our Girls,” says :by a certain school of sceptics. The Duke is well “ A great many people rather fancy a dyspeptic, read for a layman, and a man of business, but he is ghostly clergyman, and can hardly bring themselve not profoundly learned, or qualified to appear as an to listen to a prayer from a preacher with square original and independent inquirer. He is hard shoulders, a big chest, a ruddy face and a moustache. headed, but he is wanting in intellectual compre- The ghost, they think, belongs in some way to the
spirit world ; while the beef-eating, jolly fellow is Our curiosity, however, as yet remains, to a great dreadfully at home in this world.
extent, unsatisfied. The present volume does not "The ghost exclaims
present the problem in its full force, since it embraces Jerusal-m, my happy home,
i only the early part of Christ's Life and Ministry, conOh ! how I long for thee,
cluding with a discourse delivered on the shore of When will my sorrow have an end ?
the sea of Galilee. Over this period of the Life Mr. Thy joys when shall I see?
Beecher is able to throw a congenial hue of cheerful“The other, like Nir. Beecher, enjoys a good dinner, ness and even of joyousness. “It was the most joy. a nimble-footed horse, a big play with the children ful period of his life. It was a full year of beneficence and the dogs, seems joyous in the surshine, and, unobstructed. It is true that he was jealously wretched sinner, does not sigh to depart.”
watched, but he was not forcibly resisted. He was And here is an account of one of Mr. Ward' maliciously defamed by the emissaries of the temple, Beecher's sermons :
but he irresistibly charmed the hearts of the common " Henry Ward Beecher last Sunday evening, in people. Can we doubt but his life was full of exqui. discoursing on death, said that it was no evidence of site enjoyment? He had not within him those conpecial Christian grace to be willing to die.
flicts which common men have. There was entire far better to be willing to live and do the duties of harmony of faculties within and a perfect agreement life. In the course of his address he mentioned that between his inward and his external life. He bore his brother Charles, who was always in a dying other's burdens but had none of his own.
His body mood, once congratulated their father, old Dr. Ly- was in full health ; his soul was clear and tranquil ; man Beecher, on the fact that he couldn't live much his heart overflowed with an unending sympathy. He longer. “Umph,” said the old man, “I don't was pursuing the loftiest errand which benevolence thank any of my boys to talk to me in that way. I can contemplate. No joy known to the human soul don't want to die. If I had my choice, and, it was compares with that of successful beneficent labour. right to choose, I would fight the battle all over We cannot doubt that the earlier portion of this year, again.” Old Dr. Beecher, as his son adds, 'was a though full of intense excitement, was full of deep war horse, and after he was turned out to pasture, happiness to him.” “ Besides the wonder and adwhenever he heard the sound of the trumpet he miration which he excited on every hand, he received wanted the saddle and bridle.'
from not a few the most cordial affection and reMr. Ward Beecher, in fact, like his rival, in abil. turned a richer love." • It is impossible not to see ity and popularity, Mr. Collyer, of Chicago, is a from the simple language of the Evangelists that his preacher of “ The Life that now is." His sermons first circuits in Galilee were triumphal processions. are not so much religious discourses as lectures on the The sentences which generalize the history are few, formation of character and the rule of conduct in the but they are such as could have spring only out of present world, with as little as possible of the joyous memories and indicate a new and great deve"ghost ” in them, delivered in a good platform lopment of power on his side and an ebullition of style, enlivened with plenty of references to mundane joyful excitement through the whole community. interests, and not unfrequently seasoned with a hu- | •And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into mour broad enough to make the congregation laugh. Galilee ; and there went out a fame through all the
We were very curious to see what sort of a Life | region round about. And he taught in their synaof Christ would be produced by the projection of gogues, being glorified of all.' (Luke iv. 14—15).” this shadow across the Gospels. What would Mr. We are not so sure that the simple language of the Ward Beecher make of that part of Christ's history Evangelists will bear the sense which Mr. Beecher and teaching, not the smallest part in bulk or import- | has put on it, and which he tries to fix and intensify ance, which belongs so emphatically, not to the life that by his italics, as we are that Mr. Beecher's own words now is, but that which is to come? What would express the joyous excitement of a successful popular he make of the closing discourses, the agony, the preacher with a body in full health. passion, the resurrection? How would all these and A slight turn is given throughout to the Gospel the character revealed through them be made to teaching in favour of muscular, or at least, of robust harmonize with the robust philosophy of the Ply Christianity. Thus the comment on "Blessed are mouth Church and the hygienics of Dr. Dio Lewis ? the poor in spirit” is “Not poverty of thought, nor We confess that we opened the book more with the of courage nor of emotion, -- not empty-mindedness, hope of finding an answer to these questions than in nor any idea implying a real lack of strength, variety the expectation that the great popular orator would and richness of nature,—was here intended. It was be able to throw much light on the deep problems of to be a consciousness of moral incompleteness. As theology, which, in connection with the Life of the sense of poverty in this world's goods inspires Christ, are pressing on all minds and hearts. men to enterprise, so the conscionsness of poverty of
manliness might be expected to lead to earnest en- scrutiny as “the collective reminiscences of Christ by deavours for moral growth.” And in reference to the the most impressible of his disciples," and the miraculbaptism of Jesus by John, it is said: “That which ous element is accepted, we might almost say, repentance means in its true spirit, namely the rising swallowed in the lump, the author sheltering himfrom lower to higher moral states, Jesus experienced self rather ominously under the saying of Joubert in common with the multitude; although he had “ State truths of sentiment and do not try to prove not like them any need of the stings of remorse for them. There is danger in such proof; for an inpast misconduct to drive him upwards. Repent. quiry it is necessary to treat that which is in question ance is but another name for aspiration."
as something problematic : now that which we aeAs a set of Essays on the Life of Christ from this custom ourselves to treat as problematic, ends by special point of view, the work has unquestionable appearing to us really doubtful.” The tremendous merits. The style is fresh and vigorous, though i mystery of the incarnation is encountered ; but an occasionally marked by what seem to us faults of taste, attempt to find, obviously for a practical purpose, a among which we should be disposed to number certain middle passage between conflicting theories ends as touches of rhetorical woman-worship, such as “there might have been expected, in a purely arbitrary soluwas no circle of light about His head except His tion. mother's arms.” The effort to give human colour Renan, Pressense, the author of Ecce Homo, and and vividness to the Life by painting the local scenery Mr. Ward Beecher, all men of more or less ability, and surroundings, appears to us to be carried to a and all working upon the same materials, with which considerable length; but this is the fashion of the all of them are thoroughly familiar, bring out four day. The most successful passage in the work in a widely different Christs, each deeply coloured, as strictly biographical sense is, we think, that in which we before said, with the individuality of the a conception “not of Christ's person, but of his per- writer. Other writers again, especially those of the sonality,” is educed fairly enough on the whole from Ascetic School, bring out from the same Gospelí a what the Gospels tell us directly or by implication of Christ totally different from the four. The natura: his personal habits, bearing, look and gestures ; inference seems to be that the attempt is chimerica'. though here again there is a tendency to exaggerate You may have Diatessarons and Harmonies of the the social aspects of the character and to give the Gospels, you may have commentaries and sermons on quality of “free companionship,” an undue promin. Christ's acts and discourses, you may have topoence and significance.
graphical and antiquarian illustrations of the Gospel This work like Ecce Homo is totally destitute of History. But as to Lives of Christ-there is a life of the critical basis necessary to give any work on the Christ in the Gospels and there will never be alsubject a permanent value. The critical questions other. are totally ignored. The Gospels are taken without
Со *ONTEMPORARY poets, are not, it appears, as the studied depreciation of the other. The man:k
to have it all their own way. We have already of a satirist is, at best, a dangerous legacy ; that of noticed a criticism in the Contemporary Review on Gifford has made uneasy the shoulders of his sucess! "The Fleshly School of Poetry.' The paper was He cannot exactly imitate the savagery of the elder originally published under a pseudonym, but ulti- prophet, but the mission of both is substantially the mately acknowledged by Mr. Robert Buchanan. same—to assail every assertion of nascent talent in On that occasion Mr. D. G. Rossetti was the chief the current age. Critics of this stamp are always bori. object of attack ; but in an article in the last number too late. If Gifford had lived in the Elizabethar of the Quarterly, Messrs. Swinburne, Rossetti and period and the living critic had adorned the reign Morris are pilloried together as the chief exemplars Queen Anne, all would have been as it should be of “ The Latest Development of Literary Poetry.' Falling, however, upon evil times their mission was, In the previous number, the same critic, if we mis- and is, to take up their parable against the feet take not, treated his readers to a comparison between degeneracy around them. Into the controversy ko Byron and Tennyson, in which the laboured eulogy tween the Quarterly and the so-called “ Literary pronounced upon the one was as palpably factitious 'school, we have neither space nor inclination to enter;