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and you shan't have one, John Shorne, ! “You never can have done such a stuyou shan't, if you keep me waiting one pid thing! — such a wicked, cruel thing, more second.”
John Shorne! If you have, I will never "Is it consarning they fighting fellows forgive you. Very likely you put it in you gets into such a hurry, Miss? Well, the crown of your hat." they have had a rare fight, sure enough !! “ Sure enough, and so I did. You Fourscore officers gone to glory, besides must be a witch, Miss Mabel. And all the others as was not worth count- here's the very corner I turned down
when I read it to the folk at the · Pig "Oh John, you give me such a dread- and Whistle.' "Glorious British victory ful pain here! Let me know the worst, - capture of Shoedad Rodleygo -eighty I do implore you."
British officers killed, and forty great “ He aint one of 'em. Now, is that guns taken !' There, there, bless your enough ?" John Shorne made so little bright eyes! now will you be content of true love now, and forgot his early sit- with it?" uation so, in the bosom of a hungry fam- “Oh, give it me, give it me! How ily, that he looked upon Mabel's "coort- can I tell until I have read it ten times ing” as an agreeable playground for lit-lover?" tle jokes. But now he was surprised / Crusty John blessed all the girls of the and frightened at her way of taking period (becoming more and more too them.
many for him) as his master's daughter " There, don't fee cry now, that's a ran away to devour that greasy journal. dear," he said, as she leaned on the And by the time he had pulled his coat shaft of the wagon, and sobbed so that off, and shouted for Paddy and another the near wheeler began in pure sympathy man, and stuck his own pitchfork into the to sniff at her.
litter, as soon as they had backed the “Lord bless 'ee, there be nothing to wheelers, Mabel was up in her own little cry about. He've a been and dooed room, and down on her knees to thank wonders, that a hath.”
the Lord for the abstract herself had “Of course he has, John; he could made of it. Somehow or other, the patnot help it. He was sure to do wonders, ural impulse of all good girls, at that time, don't you see, if only - if only they did was to believe that they had a Creator not stop him.”
and Father whom to thank for all mer. “ He hathn't killed Bonyparty yet," cies. But that idea has been improved said John, recovering his vein of humour, since then. as Mabel began to smile through her tears; “but I b’lieve he wool, if he gooeth on only half so well as he have begun. For my part, I'd soonder kill dree of un than sell out in a bad market, I
From Blackwood's Magazine.
ESSAYS BY RICHARD CONGREVE. know. But here, you can take it, and read all about un. Lor' bless me, wher THERE are few things easier to the ever have I put the papper ?".
philosopher and critic than to attack ex“Now do be quick, John, for once in isting religion. The mere fact that it is your life. Dear John, do try to be quick, existing connects the most divine faith
with the human imperfections of its be“Strornary gallantry of a young hof- lievers, and throws the mist of many a ficer ! Could have sworn that it were in futile interpretation and stupid comment my breeches-pocket. I always thought upon the purest and most celestial verity ; • gallantry' meant something bad. A not to speak of the still more evident running after strange women, and that." practical difficulty of reconciling the blun
“Oh no, John - oh no, John ; it never ders, faults, or even crimes of those who does. How can you think of such dread- profess to follow it, with its teachings ful things ? But how long are you going – a visible discrepancy which always to be, John?"
gives room for the blaspheming of the “ Well, it did when I wor a boy, that's adversary. This is easy enough; and certain. But now they changes every- there has come at periodical intervals, thing so - even the words we was born through all the Christian era, a time when to. It have come to mean killing of it has become a sort of fashion to instrange men, hath it? Wherever now dulge in railings to this effect; nay, even can I have put that papper? I must to go farther, and denounce Christianity have dropped un on the road, after all.” itself as a thing ended and over - as a
religion which has had its day - as a can to redeem the foolishness, and vanspiritual system effete, and falling use-ity, and emptiness of the system of which less, unadapted to the requirements of the Mr. Congreve is a priest, we could time. The present moment is one of scarcely venture to insist upon such a those frequently recurring periods ; and portrait of a living man; but the lines are we are all tolerably well accustomed to drawn by his own hand and not by ours ; hear words said, which to our fathers an exhibition more pathetic or more huwould have seemed blasphemy, without morous has seldom been given to the wincing. Many a witling is to be heard world. The artist, however, is entirely complacently declaring that the old faith unconscious at once of the pathos and is not “up” to the requirements of the the humour; and ihe quaint mixture of day; and that Christianity has become philosophical atheism and materialism, blear-eyed and paralyzed and old, as John with the form and essence of a home misBunyan, no witling, but deceived as all sionary report, or Methodist class teachmen so easily are, once described his er's account of his “ work" and all its Giant Pope. Christianity survives the helps and hindrances - is made in the clatter of ill tongues, as Giant Pope most perfect good faith, and with the pro. survived the inspired dreamer's igno-foundest seriousness, with all the selfrant certainty; and so long as the belief of an apostle. Such qualities are men who thus execute their will upon rare in the world ; and of all places in religion live securely under her shadow, which to look for them, it is like enough they are safe, and no particular harm is that the Church of Humanity would have done. So long as no rebuilding is re- been the last which we should have tried. quired, the work of destruction is always Neither is it we or any profane spectator entertaining to the human spirit. From who has brought to light the private the baby to the philosopher, we all rejoice meetings of the Positivist community, in the dust and the clamour of demoli- and the discourses of the gentle, narrow, tion, even when it is but imaginary. But expansive, and excitable enthusiast, who when the iconoclast leaves the facile thus mixes up the smallest of parochial sphere in which he has it all his own way, details with the widest of doctrinal aband can knock down every man of straw stractions, and announces the vast claims he pleases to set up, and takes in hand a of a Priesthood destined to hold in its painful attempt to set something new in hands the education of all the world, in the place of the old, then difficulties arise the same breath with which he utters a and multiply round. Few people venture plaintive doubt whether the body to to undertake so difficult a task; and this which this Priesthood belongs will ever makes it all the more wonderful when we be able to acquire for itself a room in suddenly light, amid all the tumults of which to hold its worship! most whimordinary existence, upon an individual sical blending of the possible and imposwho has actually ventured to throw him- sible. Mr. Congreve was, we believe, in self into the forlorn hope, and become an other times, a man of distinction in the apostle of a bran-new creed, with new world which he has quitted ; but we have principles, new worship, and new hopes. nothing to do with his career before he
We are not, for our own part, deeply reached the mental cloister in which he interested in M. Comte any more than we worships the Founder of his new faith. are in Joe Smith or the Prophet Mormon; No son of Benedict or of Francis ever but such a revelation as that which is more entirely separated himself from the given to us by M. Comte's chief disciple * world. The hair-shirt and the coarse in England is full of interest to the curious gown were as nothing in comparison with spectator. Mr. Congreve's book contains the new, strange panoply of motive and his opinions on a great many subjects, thought in which this priest of a new repolitical, social, and as he chooses to use ligion has clothed himself. The picture the word, religious ; but these opinions of himself and his strange brotherhood are not nearly so interesting, so strange, which he sets before us is often, as we so novel, or so amusing as the spectacle have already said, as touching as it is of himself which he here sets up before odd — and, what is more strange still, as us. Were it not that this odd and start commonplace as it is quaint and out of ling exhibition of simplicity, devotion, the way. and faith, does all that such fine qualities It must be allowed that to start a bran
new religion, so low down here in the • Essays, Political. Social, and Religious. By nineteenth century, is such a task as the Richard Congreve. Longmans, 1874.
strongest might quail before. None of those accessories which were of such in-never undertaken by any sane (or for finite service to the old primeval fathers that matter, insane) man. of human belief, so much as exist nowa- We have said that Mr. Congreve is days. Those stories which the wise call much more interesting to us than the myths, but which the unlearned always founder whom he worships. Of M. take for gospel, can no longer do the Comte we have nothing to say. He had philosophical framer of a new creed any at least all the élan and the satisfaction service. He cannot, alas ! call to his aid of an inventor launching forth a new those impersonations upon which all old thing into the world, and doubtless found beliefs are founded — those gods who in it enough of personal gratification and still hold a lingering poetical sway in the elevation to make up for any trouble in classic soul of here and there a dainty arranging the canons of his faith. His Grecian, in academic Oxford or else- disciple is infinitely more disinterested. where. Neither Apollo nor Brahma can To him, we presume, the Religion of aid him. Neither can he get the help of Humanity has brought much loss — it the strong hand as Mohammed did, and can have brought no gain. Neither honadd temporal ascendancy, power, and our nor applause, nor even respect, can greatness to celestial rewards as induce- have come to him from his devotion to a ments to believe. The last new religion set of principles which affect the general of all (except M. Comte's) has seized per- world with wonder or with ridicule only haps the only weapon remaining of a - not even with that vague admiration fleshly kind, and supports its ethical sys- for something beautiful, that moral approtem (if it has one) by such social overturn bation of something good, mixed up with as brings it within a vulgar level of popu- error, which every genuine Belief has lar effectiveness ; but even if this instru- secured from its candid critics. The ment had not been appropriated, we tenets which good sense rejects are often doubt whether that vulgar instrumen- lovely to the imagination, and those tality which does well enough for the which are condemned by the heart, lay, Salt Lake City, would have answered in in some cases, a bond of logical truth Paris, where there are less means of upon the understanding from which it actual expansion, and where the houses cannot escape even if it would. But we are not adapted for patriarchal institu- find it impossible to conceive that either tions. That which M. Comte and his the general heart, mind, or imagination, followers call the Religion of Humanity, could find anything in the Gospel which is thus deprived of all extraneous aid. Mr. Congreve believes so fervently to M. Auguste Comte himself, and Madame justify the childlike devotion which he Clotilde de Vaux, are the sole objects of gives it, or to vindicate the wonderful its mythology ; and sufficient time has faith and self-abnegation which are apscarcely elapsed since these great per- parent in these essays. We say to vinsonages left the world, to permit any dicate his self-abnegation ; for every sacgentle illusion of the imagination, any rifice, to gain respect, must be capable of softening mist of antiquity to fall upon vindication on some reasonable ground; the sharp outlines of the real. And this and this vindication has scarcely ever creed, which has no personal foundation been wanting even to fanatics. Putting except the life of a Frenchman of the aside Christianity – which we are not nineteenth century, no doctrines but ab- prepared to discuss on the same level stract ones, no rewards, no punishments, with any other belief prevalent among no hopes, no terrors — nothing tangible men, but which we believe to be as much enough, indeed, to come within the men-nobler and loftier in its earthly point of tal range of ordinary mortals – is the view as it is diviner in every sanction religion which Mr. Congreve is person- and authority of heaven – there is no ally propagating at 19 Chapel Street, one of what are commonly called the Bedford Row, in rooms which the com- false religions of the world, for which a munity has at last procured, and adorned man's sacrifice of himself might not be with busts, &c., to make them fit for the justified by the judgment of his fellofty purpose of regenerating the world lows, on condition of his personal faith - and of which he sets up the ensign in it. We can understand and respect and symbol in this book, so that circles the Mohammedan, the Hindoo, even the out of the reach of Chapel Street may gentleman whom, under the name of a hear and know and seek that shrine, to Fetishist, Mr. Congreve admits into his be instructed in the religion of the later fullest fellowship, and whose adoration of days. A bolder enterprise was surely his grim symbol of Godhead, refers, we do not doubt, dimly to some spiritual be- hymns that rise before this darkling ing. The old gods of Greece are so shrine, what can there be on earth more vague and far off that it is hard to realize pathetic ? - last effort of humanity, the time when there was any general faith which must cry out in its trouble, and in Jupiter or Apollo. Yet even for Apollo babble in its joy, to something - to the and Jupiter it is possible to understand air, to the desert, to the waste sands that a man might have lived and died, and seas, if to nothing that can hear, feeling in those high-seated shadows of and feel, and respond. Olympus some glory above himself, some. We will, however, permit Mr. Congreve greatness, soiled by fleshly symbol and bimself to describe ihe object, or rather imperfect revelation, but still more glori- objects, of worship to which he has deous than anything of earth — something voted himself. He explains to us, first, which could understand the worshipper, how M. Comte became enlightened as and comprehend his littleness in its great to the central point in his creed ; how he ness, and overshadow him with sublime “ stood revealed to himself, and his work wings of spiritual reality, according to also stood in a new light before him.” the vision of the inspired Hebrew. With " The unity of the human race, over all these worshippers we have a certain whose progress he had pondered, had sympathy. Such as their gods were, they long been a conviction with him ; with were still beyond, above themselves ; dei- the conception, too, of humanity as a fications, if you choose, of their own ideal, higher organism, he had familiarized but yet proving that divine birthright himself, and by the light of that concepof human nature, the necessity for an tion had interpreted its past and meditatideal — the yearning of mankind for some ed on its future.” But when, in the stay and refuge above itself. Wherever course of events, M. Comte met Madame a man believes that he has found this, de Vaux and felt himself stimulated and however erroneous his conclusions may enlightened by “the genuine human love be, or ill-founded his confidence, he has of a noble woman," his previous concluyet a right to the sympathy of his fellows, sions all at once took force and form. and to their respect, for whatever sacri- “ The conviction became faith ; the orfice he may make.
| ganism in which he believed claimed and But what shall we think of the man received his veneration and his love – in wlio sacrifices himself, his reason and other words, his worship.” In such a learning, and all his advantages, at the delicate argument it is necessary to be shrine of an abstraction which it requires perfectly clear and definite in expression : a very great effort to apprehend at all, the conviction which became faith was and which, being apprehended, is nought, that of the “unity of the human race ;” and never can be but nought; too un- the organism which received his worship substantial even to be called a vision, too was Humanity. Mr. Congreve adds his vague to be realized ? The Positivist own profession of faith. Philosophy is one thing, the Religion of We who share that faith, that veneration, Humanity another : and it is one of the that love; we who would worship as he wormost curious revenges of Nature, that the shipped; we who would preach by our lives, most materialistic of all philosophical and, when possible, by our spoken or written systems — that which binds earth and words, that great Being whose existence is heaven within iron bands of immovable. now revealed — that Being of whom all the irresistible, physical law, rejecting all ea
ü earlier divinities which man has created as the mind, all thought, all soul in the govern
guardians of his childhood and early youth
are but anticipations, — we can appreciate the ment of the universe — should be thus
greatness of the change which his labour has linked to the most vague, abstract, and effected. We can see, and each in his several fantastic faith that ever entered into measure can proclaim to others, that what was the imagination of man. Or perhaps, in- but a dim instinct has become a truth, in the deed, it would be better to say that this power of which we can meet all difficulties; fanciful foolish faith is but a piteous ef- that where there was inquiry there is now fort of the mind to compensate itself knowledge; where there was anxious searchsomehow for a thraldom more than the ing there is now possession; that uncertainty spirit of man can bear : setting up a dim has now given way to conndence, despondency
to courage. We see families forming into image of itself — poor soul! – pot much
tribes, and tribes into cities or states, and knowing what it means, upon the ravaged sta
states into yet larger unions. ... We feel altar, to get a little coid comfort out of that the ascending series is not complete ; that that in the absence of any God or shadow i as the family in the earliest state is at war of a God. The fruitless prayers, the faint / with other families – the tribe at war with
other tribes, so the nations and races are at them an ideal being and a definite home in variance with each other; and that as the Space -- the second great creation which comremedy in each previous case has been the pletes the central one of Humanity. In the fusion of the smaller into the larger organism, bosom of Space we place the World - and so it must be still the same if the process is to , we conceive of the World, and this our mother be completed, and that no more than the earth, as gladly welcomed to that bosom with single family or the isolated tribe can the the simplest and purest love, and we give our greatest nation or the most powerful race love in return. stand wholesomely alone. All must bend, all |
Thou art folded, thou art lying, must acknowledge a common superior, a higher
In the light that is undying. organism, detached from which they lose Thus we complete the Trinity of our Relithemselves and their true nature, become sel- gion - Humanity, the World, and Space. So fish and degraded. Still higher organisms completed, we recognize its power to give there may be; we know not. If there be, we unity and definiteness to our thoughts, purity know that we cannot neglect the one we know, and warmth to our affections, scope and vigour nor refuse to avail ourselves of the aid which to our activity. We recognize its power to it can give us when once acknowledged and regulate our whole being ; to give us that accepted.
which it has so long been the aim of all reliWe accept it then, and believe in it. We gion to give - internal union. ... It har. sec the benefits Humanity has reaped for us monizes us within ourselves by the strong by her toilsome and suffering past; we feel power of love, and it binds us to our fellowthat we are her children, that we owe her all; men by the same power. It awakens and and seeing and feeling this, we love, adore, quickens our sympathy with the past, uniting and serve. For we see in her no mere idea of us with the generations that are gone by the intellect, but a living organism within the firmer ties than have ever been imagined range of our knowledge. The family has ever hitherto. It teaches us to live in the interest been allowed to be real; the state has ever and for the good of the generations that are to been allowed to be real ; St. Paul felt, and follow in the long succession of years. It since him, in all ages, Christians have felt, teaches us that for our action in our own that the Church was real. We claim no less generation, we must live in dutiful submission for Humanity; we feel no less that Humanity to the lessons of the past, to the voice of the is real, requiring the same love, the same ser- dead, and at the same time we must evoke the vice, the same devotion. ... In the exercise future by the power of imagination, and enof her power she proceeds to complete herself deavour so to shape our action that it may by two great creations.
conduce to the advantage of that future. As we conteruplate man's action and ex- ! istence, we are led to think of the sphere in! This full exposition of the Religion of which they take place, and of the invariable Humanity will, we fear, make many a laws under which they are developed. We reader lose himself in sheer confusion rest not then in any narrow or exclusive spirit and bewilderment; for if his attention in Humanity, but we pass to the Earth, our
rth, our has faltered for a moment, it is not so common mother, as the general language of
easy to take up the thread or identify the man, the correct index to the universal feeling, has ever delighted to call her, and from
“being " whose existence Mr. Congreve the earth we rise to the system of which she is tells us “is now revealed," or those still a part. We look back on the distant ages, more shadowy abstractions which comwhen the earth was preparing herself for the plete, as he says, “the Trinity of our habitation of man, and with gratitude and religion.” For ourselves we are bound love we acknowledge her past and present to say, though not willing altogether to services. ... The invariable laws under which own ourselves deficient in that attribute, Humanity is placed have received various cuir
arious our imagination sinks back appalled at names at different periods. Destiny, Fate, the tremendous strain thus made upon Necessity, Heaven, Providence, all are many!
Sit. names of one and the same conception - the
The divine Trinity of the Christian laws that man feels himself under, and that Faith has tried many a devout soul into without the power of escaping from them. which doubt or unbelief never entered : We claim no exception from the cominon lot. but the Trinity of the Humanitarian goes We only wish to draw out into consciousness a long way beyond the Athanasian Creed. the instinctive acceptance of the race, and to How are we to lift our minds to the sumodify the spirit in which we regard them. 'preme regions in which Humanity means We accept, so have all men : we obey, so have not a vast multitude of faulty men and all men. We venerate, so have some in pastu
ast women, “but a great Being" — where ages or in other countries. We add but one
the Earth prepares herself for the habitaother term, we love. We would perfect our
of tion of man, and Space welcomes the submission, and so reap the full benefits of 1 submission in the improvement of our hearts Farth into her bosom “with the simplest and tempers. We take in conception the sum and purest love”? The words alone of the conditions of existence, and we give make the brain reel. We can but gasp