Imágenes de páginas


constitutional stimulants to cheerfulness beyond the power of expression.

* Her feelings were naturally violent, but she had such an extreme dislike of being uncomfortable, that she rarely suffered them to be very troublesome to her. When the news arrived that her only and darling son had died abroad of the yellow fever, many people thought that she would not long survive the intelligence. Her sorrow at first was ungovernable. She said she should never have another happy hour; but it is easier to be distracted for a week than sorrowful for

and Mrs. Palmer discovered surprisingly soon that she was still in possession of all those good things on which her daily pleasure depended. She had no son, it was true; but she had a pleasant house, handsone furniture, luxurious fare, a healthy appetite, a fine person, and expensive ornaments. She could still walk and drive, visit, receive company, and cultivate her fernery, and attend to her greenhouse, and arrange her cabinet : so that she recovered her cheerfulness rapidly. There was nothing on her mind with which sorrow could amalgamate; it was an unwelcome and unintelligible foreigner. By her son's dying at a distance; she was spared what were to her the most shocking circumstances attending such an event.'—P. 65.

This line of portraiture betrays perhaps some of the severity of a narrow training, which has not learnt to make allowances. The picture is in fact in marked contrast with that presented by the writer's own life, so far as the brother's not very clear or telling manner gives it. She was one very capable of retaining impressions, whether of sadness or of feeling, and the method of her early life devoted to labour beyond what is wholesome to most minds, held down any exuberance. The temper which clings to habit and associations and dreads change, is of necessity somewhat supercilious: these qualities, as proving stability and constancy, set themselves in flattering contrast with the transient facile attachments and curable sorrows of other people, without whom, however, the world would be a gloomier place than it is.

We have dwelt mainly on the character of Jane Taylor, both because her memoir and specimens of her works fill the greater part of these volumes, and because her religious history is a really remarkable one. To us it brings into strong relief the differences of the two opposing systems under which the religion of our country divides itself. We cannot doubt that she suffered under the liberty and self-guidance to which the practices of her hereditary principles rather than her own temper committed her. Few feel the difficulties and selfquestionings she did, because to most people it is natural to adopt the line which circumstances indicate to them, and to slip into the language and professions current among those they accept as guides. But self-respect, a high estimate of family intellect, and superiority, and true conscientiousness, withheld her from this mode of settling her religious position; and the freedom of intercourse she had been early allowed by her parents

with sceptical companions, implanted doubts and difficulties in her mind which the system of Nonconformity offered nothing either in creeds, or in rites, or authority to counteract. She had as it were to fight her harassing doubts single-handed. That these doubts were dispelled at length, and her last painful years brightened by the more confident belief and clearer hopes, we must in part at least attribute to her intercourse with devout members of our Church. Her brother considers that this experience enlarged her sympathies. It is evident to us that it also stimulated her faith and showed religion in a new aspect, and so connected her personally with its truths in a way unknown, and unfelt before.

The second volume is devoted to examples of the practice of the 'Family Pen,' by its different members. Of course the biographer's voluminous works cannot find a place in it, one little ingenious apologue is all that represents him, the rest of any value are by Jane Taylor, one long tale by Jefferys Taylor, highly commended by the editor, is curious in being to our taste-though not without ability, indeed with striking pointssimply unreadable, from the amount of minute and sometimes revolting detail, with which the history of a miser finding a treasure, is spun out to sixteen chapters; during which we contemplate a scarcely responsible human being brutalized by an instinct for gold, and crawling a good part of the time on all fours

. As the biographers of his sister we have been concerned mainly with the late Isaac Taylor. His son, the editor, is only responsible for a short introduction, and for the selection from the family archives of appropriate examples of their

distinctive powers.


[ocr errors]


ART. X.-1. The Church and the World: Essays on Questions

of the Day in 1867. By Various Writers. Edited by the

Rev. ORBY SHIPLEY, M.A. London: 1867. 2. Essays on the Re-union of Christendom. By Members of the

Roman Catholic, Oriental, and Anglican Communions. Edited by the Rev. FREDERICK GEORGE LEE, D.C.L., Editor of the First and Second Series of Sermons on the Re-union of Christendom.' With a Preface by the Rev. E. B. PUSEY, D.D.

London : 1867, 3. Essays on Religion and Literature. By Various Writers.

Edited by ARCHBISHOP MANNING. Second Series. London:

1867. In a multitude of counsellors there is safety :' this proverb ought to carry consolation to the troubled minds of men at the present day; for, certainly, counsellors gather together in goodly multitudes to offer their united wisdom upon every subject concerning which anxiety does or can exist. Again and again the advertising sheets of the publishers exhibit a list of some dozen or twenty gentlemen, of fair talent and learning, who volunteer their joint assistance to the public upon every matter comprehensible within the wide range of theology, politics, education, or mountain-climbing. In fact, it seems to be agreed on all hands in the world of letters that society is not to be lectured in a monologue by some master-mind equal to the task (if such, in this age of pigmies, can be found); but that, after the fashion of the Greek Drama, advice and exhortation should be served out by a chorus of respectable writers, who keep one another in check as well as in countenance, and are marshalled into a tolerably harmonious and symmetrical troop by a selected coryphæus, or editor. At the head of this paper are grouped three such bands of essayists under the experienced leadership of as many coryphæi, each of whom has brought, on previous occasions, equally respectable (and, perhaps some will think, more interesting and instructive) choruses upon the stage of public discussion. Our readers may remember that in two separate articles at two different times we introduced them to two of these troops?. Mr. Orby Shipley puts it forward on behalf of his present volume as a point of

i Christian Remembrancer, No. cxxix. art. “Ultramontane Essayists;' and No. cxxxv. art. The Churcb and the World.'

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

advantage, that no member of his first company of essayists appears in his second group; while Archbishop Manningwhether from the slender intellectual resources of that great and unknown association veiled in dignified obscurity under the magnificent title of the Academia of the Catholic Religion, or because his Grace is so well satisfied with the achievements of the first chorus that he thinks little improvement can be made in the cast-re-introduces four of the writers who contributed to the first series of · Essays on Religion and Literature.' But more of this anon. We will take the volumes as they stand in our list, and we shall leave the explanation of our having joined them together to come out in the course of our review.

We dealt with the first series of The Church and the World, by grouping the essays bearing upon kindred topics ; but the present volume does not lend itself so readily to that mode of treatment. We shall, however, find it convenient to assort some of the papers in pairs. Mr. Bennett leads off with an article on Some of the Results of the Tractarian Movement of 1833. It is quite unnecessary for us to traverse the ground which he goes over; for the Christian Remembrancer may fairly claim to be the continuous record of all the results that have flowed from, as well as of all the courses of action that have been taken upon, that movement; and we need only remark here that Mr. Bennett's paper is a tolerably fair résumé of its history. There are, however, two passages which we think might have been omitted to the great advantage of the general tone and good taste of his essay. Observe,' he writes, 'how 'S. Paul's, Knightsbridge, and S. Barnabas, Pimlico, though among the first churches of the western part of London, in setting forth the teaching of the “Tracts," and though nobly and 'bravely bearing the brunt of the battle of the world from *1850 to 1857—first, in the voices of the mob under Lord John Russell, and then in the Courts of Law under Mr. Westerton, still, since that time, have made the least progress 'in advancing Church order and ritual? This quiet snubbing of the churches with which Mr. Bennett was himself formerly connected, is none the more graceful because it comes after two favourable references to his present parish of Froome.

Again, we venture to observe that the following extract is unworthy both of the subject and the author :

'It might be that the tocsin of democracy shall be sounded again among the people by such men as Mr. Bright, and those who are one with him; and the working-classes shall rush out to assert their supposed rights against the aristocrat, the landlord, and the master; and who then shall be found the readiest mediators and the nearest defenders of order to stave off revolution ?


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

The rich are in the greater portion Protestants. The aristocracy are in the greater portion content with their sleek pews, and their seats in comfortable proprietary chapels; or, at the very furthest, a haughty exclusiveness in S. James', Piccadilly, or S. George's, Hanover Square. What will they do? To whom will they look? Will it be their bishops, their deans and chapters, all lodged comfortably in palaces equal to their own ? Will it be their old-fashioned rectors settled down to their one day service for the week, who never see the people but from the pulpit ? Or will it be the hard-working priests whose lives are spent among the poor, who mix among them, and are ever seen with them in their schools, and their parochial schemes of charitable love, who receive them for confession, and direct them by daily spiritual guidance, and, above all, who are offering at God's Altar, not the monthly, but the Daily Sacrifice of the Church?'—P. 25.

We rather think we hear something like the tocsin of democracy in this passage. Moreover, unless Mr. Bennett has failed to make himself clear to us, the point of his declaration turns upon the assumption that only the extreme Ritualists, the offerers of the Daily Sacrifice-are hard-working priests and sympathizing friends of the poor: a statement which is contradicted by facts. We do not think that Mr. Bennett can intend such a statement, but his words imply it. It is also a statement which is repeatedly made by the extreme section, or their organs on their behalf, with not a little arrogancy of selfassertion and supercilious contempt for all who not only pioneered the main road, but are not inclined to travel with them along their own side-path and at their own pace.

We are well aware that no school of thought-certainly no school of theological thought—is quite free from the vice of boastfulness; but the degree to which it is carried by the ‘Ritualist' party passes all bounds of decorum. The self-denying and arduous labours of many of that party are worthy of all praise (and, indeed, a goodly portion of praise has justly been accorded to them on all hands); but to make capital of, and constantly to advertise, their own efforts in order to puff the movement, is unspeakably vulgar, as well as being very

bad Christianity. Modesty and humble-rnindedness are graces which are distinguished by their absence from the Ritualist party—as a party. We only regret that a man of Mr. Bennett's stamp should have been even slightly infected by the spirit of braggardism.

And here we must step aside for a moment to remark upon the use, or misuse, of the word 'catholic' by the party in question. Any one acquainted with the style and phraseology of the extreme Ritualist publications, knows well how strong the tendency in them is to make more and more narrow the sense in which that noble word should be employed. Again and again one finds it applied to details of ritual which are the mere fringe, the veriest 'outward flourishes,' of public worship. A 6 catholic-minded' priest is, on inquiry, found to be a gentle

[ocr errors]


« AnteriorContinuar »