Abbildungen der Seite

was dictated far less by commercial considerations, than by civil and religrous interests. Weary of oppression and resistance on the part of the Stuarts and their opponents, pilgrim-companies of Independents sought there an asylum for the maintenance of religion. What Vinet longed for—that Protestantism might be driven into the desert, and there, free from all connexion with the State, examine itself, and renew the vigour of its youth-was realized then, and continues still.

But how has religion been able to maintain its authority, and continue a blessing to the earth, when the Church has been gradually losing force, and the Reformation has delivered personal Christianity from a specific priesthood, and opened up the divine foundations of the State and family, of science and of labour, and has taught mankind to seek and find the true centre of gravity and point of union, not in Rome, but in the gospel of Christ ? Force oppresses ; authority sets five. Authority is not weakened, but increased, by the maintenance of liberty. Otherwise, the gospel could never stand higher than the law. The government of the world would, from the first, have been nothing, had it not been exercised over intelligent beings and free agents. Unless the truth conquers by itself, unless grace and truth conquer, there can be no grand and final victory.

We cannot imagine that religion will ever have to be ashamed of, or to shun any branch of culture of which it has sown and fostered the seeds, and which either is an instrument and ornament of its life, or from its nature can become so. It is true that the Reformation has established so wide a distinction between the individual and the congregation, the Church and the State, knowledge and faith, worship and art, that each has become conscious of its independent existence, and not only separation, but opposition has been the result. Yet, such distinctions promote the unity of the kingdom of God. The different members stand in need one of another.

One question still remains : How can a kingdom which is divided stand ? How can we speak of any single operation and government on the part of religion in the history of the world, when there are so many churches and sects, each asserting against the rest its divine right? We must here consider, that although religious quarrels and wars have been, are, and always will be, the most painful and most disastrous, they are so because religion is felt and known to be the all-controlling power in the life and actions of men. And thus we return to the point from which we set out, to the certain and determinable future of Christianity in the future history of the world, especially to the problematical condition of anterior Asia (not to speak of inner Asia and of Africa); to the decided vocation of Europe to open up that land to the influence of its own Christianity; and to the thousand years' sleep of the Eastern Church, which cannot be perpetual. Who will unite the churches of the West in at least a preliminary effort to perform this work of peace? The binding power of Christ is not yet exhausted, any more than his power to judge and divide. The outward forms of Christianity may be many. The gospel, which is moulded into these forms, is one, and unites them all.

If it be true that the liberty of Eastern Christianity cannot be secured without an appeal to the sword, it is at least certain that the final victory must be achieved by a crusade without the sword, and with the gospel alone. But before this is accomplished, a stronger feeling of Christian union must be aroused in the European nations themselves. All is yours, whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come ; all are yours, and ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's.

Modern Fables.



NO. 1.-THE ASS AND THE WOODBINE. A DONKEY was lazily picking the thistles and other rough herbage that grew beside a garden hedge, and a goose was nibbling the grass hard by. A beautiful honeysuckle grew in the hedge, and filled the air with its delicious scent. • What a useless thing you are,' said the ass to the woodbine; "what do you do in the world ? I wonder the gardener does not grub you up.' • And why, O ass?' asked a goldfinch, that had nestled among the leaves of the woodbine; and what do you pride yourself upon, I wonder?' 'I? Why, I can bray, to be sure.' And does not the woodbine perfume the air, and fill all the neighbourhood with fragrance ?' Fragrance! What is fragrance ?' asked the ass, and sniffed at the flower, and jerked out his heel at it; • fragrance! pshaw! one can't see fragrance, can't eat fragrance, can't carry fragrance to market, can you ? Now I make a noise in the world; I make myself heard ; I do. And forth with he lifted up his voice with such effect, that the goldfinch flew away, saying to the woodbine, “Good bye, love! I'm sorry for you, but how can an ass appreciate a sweet thing like you?' The flower blushed, and breathed forth more odours. The goose now came up and taunted it, encouraged by the ass, and said, “You silly thing, you, why don't you speak? Why I am better than you. I too make a noise in the world ; I can hiss.'

Mem. (To my translator.) There can be no use in putting this into English, for in Christian England, I am told, they have neither donkeys nor geese.

NO. II.-THE REWARD OF EARNESTNESS. Johann Ernst was inducted as the master of a school in which mathematics professedly constituted a prominent element. Ernst found that the scholars had for the most part merely committed the demonstrations to memory, and so rattled them off on show days, memoriter, glibly enough. Now the ready fluency of the scholars gratified their parents and the trustees very highly. But Ernst

[ocr errors]


So poor


forbade the use of the familiar letters of the alphabet, and substituted figures, whereat most of the scholars were stumbled at once, and found almost every problem a pons asinorum ; so that their parents were mortified, and the honourable trustees very angry; and they said that Johann Ernst was either ignorant of the first principles of mathematics, or else he was insidiously introducing quite a new system, calculated and intended to undermine Euclidism ! Johann was discharged. And as the boys hooted him away from the play-ground, the trustees granted them a whole holiday. Mem. I dedicate this to our worthy English friends.

NO. III.-'SANCTA SIMPLICITAS' WITH A ? Hans Dümmling, the little son of Christian Wahrheit, had never seen his father in any dress but one, all his life. Hans was very fond of his father, and believed he should know him anywhere, or in any disguise, and said that even in the dark he could tell him from a thousand. One evening, the good house-father had arrayed himselt in a quite new costume, and so opened the door, as usual, and came in where his family was sitting. But our dear little Hans shrieked out in terror, and, shutting his eyes, and stopping his ears, rushed blindly by him to the door, and cried out, Fire! Thieves ! Murder ! Mad dog! and could not be pacified till his father had put on the old dress again. Thou clever little Hans ! Mem. There are no Hans Dümmling's in happy England, I hear.

NO. IV.-PIG-STYES FOR EVER ! A pig-stye was built in a day. The carpenter whistled as he fenced it in; it was soon pitched by the stonemason, and roofed over by the bricklayer, and finished out of hand; and at night a sow ready to farrow was put in, and next morning there were nine or ten little squeakers announcing their advent into the world. At a little distance there was a cathedral being slowly erected. But as year after year rolled on, and litter after litter went the way of sucking pigs in general, the completion of the cathedral seemed still distant, nor could its progress be seen by the eyes that twinkled over the trough. The pig-stye was never weary of expressing its wonder and disgust at the time it took. “Why,' said the stye, 'here was I built in a day! Ah, the builder worked with a will to erect me—but that cathedral-pish!' and the pig-stye listened to the noise within, and deemed it sweet music indeed. Certainly, it must be confessed that cathedrals, temples, and palaces, do take more time to build than pigstyes, and cow-sheds, and rabbit-hutches.

Mem. If now there were Christians that could not distinguish between pig-styes and cathedrals!

[ocr errors]

Outward Religion-1 Chapter in Scriptural Philology.

• The causes of superstition are pleasing and sensual rites and ceremonies; excess of outward and pharisaical holiness; over-great reverence of traditions, which cannot but load the Church.

"Superstition, without a veil, is a deformed thing; for as it addeth deformity to an ape to be so like a man, so the similitude of superstition to religion makes it the more deformed; and as wholesome mcat corrupte:h to little worms, so good forms and orders corrupt into a number of petty observances.'- Bacon. Of Superstition, In the following passages, we request the reader to notice the words in italics :

1. “My life and conduct from my youth, as it was at first among my own nation at Jerusalem, is known to all the Jews. They know me of old (I say) from the beginning, and can testify (if they would) that following the strictest sect of our religion, I lived a Pharisee.' (Acts xxvi. 4, 5.)

2. “If any man among you seem to be [rather, thinks that he is] religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. Pure religion, and undefiled, before God and the Father, is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their afiliction, and to keep himself [oneself ] unspotted from the world.' (James i. 26, 27.) 3. “Let no man succeed in his wish to defraud



your prize, persuading you to self-humiliation, and worship of the angels, intruding rashly into things which he has not seen, puffed up by his fleshy mind,' &c. (Col. ii. 18.)

4.If, then, when you died with Christ, you put away the childish lessons of outward things, why, as though you still lived in outward things, do you submit yourselves to decrees ("hold not, taste not, touch not -forbidding the use of things which are all made to be consumed in the using) founded on the precepts and doctrines of men? For these precepts, though they have a show of wisdom, in a self-chosen worship, and in humiliation, and chastening of the body, are of no value to check the indulgence of fleshly passions. (Col. ii. 20--23.)

In these passages, thus classed together, we have the same word now translated religion* (in No. 1 and No. 2), and now worship (in No. 3): the cognate adjective rendered reliyinus (in No. 2); and a compound substantive rendered will-worship (for a self-chosen worship] (in No. 4).

Now, it must be evident at the first glance that religion and worship are not the same things; and that it is unlikely that the same word


* In the passages from the Acts and Colossians I have given Conybeare and Howson's version; in the other from James, the common English translation. In respect, however, of the word to be illustrated, there is a difference only in that the English version gives us the unintelligible translation, will-worship,' in Col. ii, 23


can express two such different notions. We feel persuaded that, however plain and clear the other passages may be in the English version, or whatever meaning the reader may attach to the term will-worship in one of them, no serious and thoughtful mind ever reads or recalls the statement of St. James, that to visit the widowed and fatherless in their affliction, and to live a life of moral purity and honour, constitutes pure and uncorrupt religion in the eyes of God. For is this any more than the Pharisee required, or anything more than the corrupt doctrine of the sufficiency of good works asserts ? And does it not oppose the whole teaching of the New Testament, that pure religion and undefiled consists in the purity of the motives, the sanctity of the heart, and the good government of the affections? And is not a moral life and outward observance of religion, when it only covers rottenness and corruption, even more abhorrent to God than the union of a profligate life and a profligate heart? The truth is, there are two sides to religion; the internal, which is the answer of a good conscience toward God, purity of heart and holiness of motive; and the external, which is an outward and strict observance of the rites and ceremonies of religion, the outward service,''the rites, ceremonies, and ceremonial vestments.”

And this last is what was meant by the Greek original, and what was meant by our word religion also, when King James's translators used it; but now it corresponds better to what we call worshipthis meaning, when used by itself, rather what is external in the conduct, than what is internal in the heart.

But now to say a few words about the passages quoted above individually, and first of that from St. Paul's speech in the Acts of the Apostles :

1. What word could be fitter to express the Jewish religion, than one which looked rather at the compliance with outward ordinances -the external cultus—the many ablutions, and washing of dishes ?and he who best performed these was, in the eyes of his nation, the most religious Jew. And such was the Pharisee; and such was Saul of Tarsus. And here was the secret of the long contest between expir'ng Judais n and the new religion of the heart, where he that would worship God must worship him in spirit and in truth. The Jew, who, from his cradle, had been accustomed to the sacrifices, observances, rites, and covenants, could or would not understand that the only sacrifice now required was mercy and love; the only ordinances were the two simple ones of baptism and the Lord's Supper; that the only covenant was a covenant of grace!

2. And thus, the chief representative of the purely Jewish Church, Ja nes the Just,' finds it necessary, in his address to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad,' to state broadly an emphatic caution that his brethren should learn that the worship now required of the Jew was no longer in the letter, but in the spirit ; that morality itself is the service and ceremonial (vultus exterior) (tiphoketa)


* Coleride

* Aids to Reflection. Aphor. 23.

« ZurückWeiter »