Page images


entering ever freshly into its mourning or its exultation. Her Confirmation time has been no sudden working up of scattered truths before half known, but a systematizing of knowledge gradually acquired, and now dealt with by a mind nearer maturity ; her vow is the completion of her baptismal rite, and spoken with a stedfastness that the tenor of her past life makes calm and earnest, not excited or spasmodic. Her Communions are frequent, but not without diligent preparation ; nor does heedlessness follow them, for her tone of mind is never heedless. She has lived from babyhood in a gentle discipline that has first repressed, then taught her to repress, such inirth as overpasses the bounds of discretion, so that her high spirits can now be ecstasy without betraying her. Her life at home may be, perhaps, serving at her mother's right hand in family cares; it may be as a loving teacher of younger children; it


be a trusty assistant in parish work; it may be all these at once, or none—for she may be equally wanted to aid her mother in the representation required by a high station, or nothing may be in her power but self-cultivation. Yet, be her present duties what they may, they are fulfilled with an ever fresh sense of happiness and peace, as her present office in the one Body, and as her loving service to those about her. Love to parents, brothers, sisters, friends, acquaintances, to the poor, makes her path bright, her self-denials unconscious, and the mere doing as she would be done by 'takes out the drop of poison that changes pleasure to dissipation. No one so little tries to please herself, no one is so constantly pleased, or has such a spring of unwearied joy. Guarded by continual self-discipline and by the purity that veils its eyes, instead of trying to stare down evil, she can be trusted anywhere, though her parents are chary of exposing her, and she herself rests under their decision. She has learnt not to be helpless, and is self-recollected enough to take care of herself and others when the time comes, but she does not run out to dare the danger. She is the friend and companion of her brothers, whether laughing, or counselling, or sympathizing ; but she has been early taught not to lower herself and them too by adopting their languaye or aping their habits; and thus she raises their standard of womanhood and of the honour and respect to be paid to their future wives. To their friends she is simply gracious and pleasant, entering into all that is passing, and deeming it her office to make her father's house agreeable; but her disciplined character breathes around her an atmosphere of modest dignity that prevents all attempts at those advances and coquetries that sear the heart ere the time for love has come. Her studies and her talents are still a conscience to her; she feels the steadying effect of regular exertion of the powers of mind and of per

severance. She endeavours to give some part of each day to some real labour, either alone or with sister, brother, or friend. Language, history, mathematics, science, be it what it will—nay if she be unintellectual—if it be mere steady application to some easy book, or actual plain needlework, it is a task which ballasts her for the rest of the day, and gives her power to enjoy recreation. She reads with caution the books of the day, but not in such multitudes that they lose their zest; and there is so strong a fund of sympathy with the Christian and the lofty, that her heart burns within her with discriminative enthusiasm, and deep, quiet joy, at 'whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report.' Have we not many such maidens ? Thank heaven, we know we have, and in them lies the chief hope of our English homes !

[blocks in formation]


Art. III.--1. Prize Essays on Free Worship and Finance. Four

Essays by Rev. T. P. Browning, Rev. $. H. Saxby, Rev. J. Hamilton, and Rev. W. P. S. BINGHAM: with a preface by JOHN SANDFORD, B.D., Archdeacon of Coventry. Rivingtons.

1865. 2. The Church of the People. (Monthly.) Vol. I.–VIII. 3. The Open Church Movement, as promoted by the National

Association for the Freedom of Worship. (Reprinted from

London Review.) 1865. 4. The Times, October 13th–19th, 1865. 5. Pew-rents Injurious to the Church. An Address by the DEAN

of MANCHESTER. 1865. 6. The Law of Pews and Sittings in Churches, by WILLIAM

BEAUMONT BADNALL. 1865. 7. Free and Open Worship in the Parish Churches of England.

A Sermon by C. J. VAUGHAN, D.D., Vicar of Doncaster.

Macmillan. 1865. 8. Publications of the National Association for Promoting

Freedom of Public Worship in the Church of England. 9. The Orb. (Weekly.) London.

We live in an age of movements. If there be a grievance to be redressed, an advantage to be attained, a long-lost good to be retrieved, or some threatening mischief to be averted, zealous persons get up a movement;' which means that they organize a society, collect subscriptions, publish tracts, and from the platform and through the press stir up the public mind. But the public mind sometimes takes a good deal of stirring, and not seldom, while in the unamiable transition state between sleeping and waking, growls out that no grievance exists, no good is to be got, but only that certain agitators have raised à cry out of all proportion to the wool. When, however, a * movement' has gathered round it a considerable, though ephemeral, literature ; can boast of its montḥly magazine and weekly paper; possesses the elaborate machinery of an association with diocesan branches and local societies ; reckons archbishops and bishops, deans and archdeacons, among its presidents, patrons, and spokesmen; to say nothing of the Times having opened its columns to the discussion of its objects,

albeit it utters but shallow nonsense in its thunder-tones; then it is of no use trying to make light of it, but even the unfriendly must accept civilly as grown-up what in its infancy they made free to snub. Such a movement is that, the two-handled title of which is at the head of this article. It would not beseem us, as reviewers, who may be supposed to play a judicial part, to adopt the tone and attitude of warm advocacy on behalf of this or any other cause; and the case in point does not require it at our hands on any account. The principles which underlie the free worship movement are, happily, universally known, very extensively understood, and largely acknowledged. Clergy and laity, bishops as well as parish priests, poor and rich, high-church and low-church, have all found their way to those principles, though by different roads. Some have reached them along the high levels of what may be called the catholic principia,—the pure theory and practice of primitive times. Others have, so to speak, been backed into them by force of expediency; have come upon them unawares; and, while casting about for some solution to the questions of church extension and home missions, have hit upon the plan of knocking down pews and setting up the offertory as a very practicable approach to the end in view. Moreover, the readers of the Christian Remembrancer would feel indifferently complimented by us if we were to assume, either their ignorance of the movement, or their want of sympathy with its efforts. Our assumptions, therefore, will be exactly the opposite to these: we shall take for granted that all know what is meant by the free worship movement, and so shall abstain from explanations; we shall likewise assume that all view it with favour, and consequently shall not waste time in making proselytes of the converted. In short, we shall keep strictly to our character, and review. And, as reviewers, we shall have to examine the arguments put forth by the promoters of the movement; as well as those advanced by its opponents, and in some cases, perhaps, feel bound to point out their weakness or misdirection : we shall have to detect false analogies, or exhibit the over-straining of true ones: we shall have to weigh, with more coolness of deliberation than may be quite agreeable to the ardent temper of its advocates, the difficulties which beset the practical working of the theory: in a word, we shall have to sum up, as best we may, the whole case, and in doing this we can hardly expect to escape the lot of all who view à subject in the cold white light of impartial criticism, and, by so doing, succeed in giving fall satisfaction to neither side. We have called the title which we have set to this


two handled; and, to be explicit, it must be so; for it is impossible to take up the subject fairly and fully without grasping, on the

one hand Free Worship, and on the other Free Offering. At the same time, each section is capable of separate treatment, and in fact demands it for the sake of clearness; while a comprehensive view of both, in their mutual relationship, is essential to a perfect understanding of the whole. Free Worship is one thing, and Free Offering another, and it is quite possible to conceive of their existing apart, the one without the other: as, for example, there may be free worship in a church where the necessity of free offering is precluded by ample sources of revenue for all purposes being already provided through tithes, rates, and endowments, and where the duty of free offering as an act of worship is not recognised : there may, on the other hand, be free offering in a church where free worship is excluded by a complete system of appropriation. Nevertheless this severance of the two is unnatural, and the reason why the movement in question invariably associates them in all its efforts is because one great principle grasps them both: Free Worship reposes on the principle of common right to the common church: Free Offering reposes on the principle that worship is incomplete without the dedication of worldly substance to God: both are united under one over-spanning principle that the privilege of free worship imposes the duty of free offering. We have made these observations as preliminary to what we shall have to say upon each head respectively, and by way of forecasting what we shall have to remark when we come to consider the two conjointly.

Our readers will understand that the literature of the subject is regarded in the present article as subordinate and accessory to the subject itself; and we shall refer to the publications arranged at the heading as to arguments, or evidence, for the one side or the other, but not for their own sake. We do not wish this to be taken as said in disparagement of the literary merits of the publications. The chief of them, that, namely, which stands at the head of the list, is about as complete an exhibition of the arguments on behalf of the movement as can well be made. The four essays which compose the book are divided equally between the two branches of the subject, and may be purchased separately. Their mere literary merits are not quite on a level, and the palm in this respect, we think, belongs to Mr. Bingham. In all other respects, however, they are alike admirable. Though earnest in their advocacy of the cause, they are candid in recognising the difficulties which beset its progress.

The case itself, however, is so good that its advocates need not go far to seek arguments in its support. Their best argument is a clear and unvarnished statement of the facts, and their ingenuity will be chiefly exercised in keeping that statement free from the embarrassing pressure of illustrations which are insufficient, because only partially true, and of reasonings

« PreviousContinue »