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also fall into evil;—but they are the best, because they have set before them Christ and no idol, and thus have nothing to cast away, but need only to impress themselves with their ideas more constantly; "they need not save to wash the feet, and are then clean every whit." I have been looking through the Tracts“, which are to me a memorable proof of their idolatry ; some of the idols are better than others, some being indeed as very a “ Truncus ficulnus,” as ever the most degraded superstition worshipped; but, as to Christianity, there is more of it in any one of Mrs. Sherwood's or Mrs. Cameron's, or indeed of any of the Tract Society's, than in all the two Oxford octavos. And these men would exclude John Bunyan and Mrs. Fry, and John Howard, from Christ's Church, while they exalt the Non-jurors into confessors, and Laud into a martyr! .
(After a visit to the Isle of Wight.)
Fox How, July 28, 1836. I certainly was agreeably surprised rather than disappointed by all the scenery. I admired the interior of the island, which people affect to sneer at, but which I think is very superior to most of the scenery of common countries. As for the Sandrock Hotel, it was most beautiful, and Bonchurch is the most beautiful thing I ever saw on the sea coast on this side of Genoa.
Slatwoods was deeply interesting: I thought of what Fox How might be to my
a From a Letter to Dr. Hawkins.—“ I have been reading the Pusey and Newman tracts, with no small astonishment; they surpass all my expectations in point of extravagance, and in their complete opposition to the Christianity of the New Testament. But there are some beautiful things in Pusey's Tracts on Baptism, much that is holy, and pure, and truly Christian, till, like Don Quixote's good sense in ordinary matters, it all gets upset by some outbreak of his particular superstition."
children forty years hence, and of the growth of the trees in that interval; but Fox How cannot be to them what Slatwoods is to me,-the only home of my childhood, --while with them Laleham and Rugby will divide their affections. I had also a great interest in going over the College at Winchester, but I certainly did not desire to change houses with Moberly; no, nor situation, although I envy him the downs and the clear streams, and the southern instead of the midland country, and the associations of Alfred's capital with the tombs of Kings and Prelates, as compared with Rugby and its thirteen horse and cattle fairs. But when I look at the last Number of the Rugby Magazine, or at Vaughan or Simpkinson at Thorney How, I envy neither him nor any man, thinking that there is a good in Rugby which no place can surpass in its quality, be the quantity of it much or little.
Fox How, Ambleside, July 31, 1836. .... It gave me the greatest pleasure to hear you say, when you left Rugby, that you hoped to repeat your visit and bring Mrs. Hawkins with you. It is indeed a long time since I have seen you in so much quiet, and life is not long enough to afford such long interruptions of intercourse. And I have also had great pleasure in thinking that the result of your visit confirmed what I had hoped, and has shown that, if we differ on some points, we agree in
many more, and that the amount of difference was not so great as both, perhaps, during a long absence had been led to fancy.
I was amused to see the names of Pusey and some other strong High Churchmen attached to a Petition against one of the Bills drawn on the Church Commissioners' Report. It will be difficult to legislate where the most opposite extremes of parties seem united against the government. There are few men with whom I differ more than the Bishop of Exeter; but I cordially
approve of his Amendment on the Marriage Act so far as it goes; only I wish that he had added to the words “ in the presence of God," the true sign and mark of a Christian act, “ and in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” I do not believe that any Unitarian would have objected to it, nor any one else except those who seem to me to be utterly puzzled with the notions of a “civil act,” and “a religious act."
(Then appointed Governor of Van Diemen's Land.)
Fox How, July 20, 1836. .... I sometimes think that if the government would make me a Bishop, or principal of a college or school, -or both together,-in such a place as Van Diemen's Land, and during your government, I could be tempted to emigrate with all my family for good and all. There can be, I think, no more useful or more sacred task, than assisting in forming the moral and intellectual character of a new society; it is the surest and best kind of missionary labour. But our colonial society has been in general so Jacobinical in the truest sense of the word ;-every man has lived so much to and for himself, and the bonds of law and religion have been so little acknowledged as the great sanctions and securities of society,—that one shrinks from bringing up one's children where they must in all human probability become lowered, not in rank or fortune, but in what is infinitely more important, in the intellectual and moral and religious standard by which their lives would be guided.
Feeling this, and holding our West Indian colonies to be one of the worst stains in the moral history of mankind, a convict colony seems to me to be even more shocking and more monstrous in its very conception. I do not know to what extent Van Diemen's Land is so; but I am sure that no such evil can be done to mankind as by thus sowing with rotten seed, and raising up a nation mo
rally tainted in its very origin. Compared with this, the bloodiest exterminations ever effected by conquest were useful and good actions. If they will colonize with convicts, I am satisfied that the stain should last, not only for one whole life, but for more than one generation ; that no convict or convict's child should ever be a free citizen; and that, even in the third generation, the offspring should be excluded from all offices of honour or authority in the colony. This would be complained of as unjust or invidious, but I am sure that distinctions of moral breed are as natural and as just as those of skin or of arbitrary caste are wrong and mischievous; it is a law of God's Providence which we cannot alter, that the sins of the father are really visited upon the child in the corruption of his breed, and in the rendering impossible many of the feelings which are the greatest security to a child against evil.
Forgive me for all this; but it really is a happiness to me to think of you in Van Diemen's Land, where you will be, I know, not in name nor in form, but in deed and in spirit, the best and chief Missionary.
Rugby, September 14, 1836. I know not when I have been more delighted by any letter, than by that which I lately received from you. It contains a picture of your present state which is truly a cause for thankfulness, and speaking after the manner of men, it is an intense gratification to my sense of justice, as well as to my personal regard for you, to see a life of hard and insufficiently paid labour well performed, now, before its decline, rewarded with comparative rest and with comfort. I rejoiced in the picture which you gave of your house and fields and neighbourhood; there was a freshness and a quietness about it which always goes very much to my heart, and which at times, if I indulged the feeling, could half make me discontented with the perpetual turmoil
of my own life. For Westmoreland itself has not to me the perfect peacefulness of the idea of a country parsonage; the house is too new, the trees too young and small, the neighbourhood too numerous, and our stay is too short and too busily engaged, to allow of any thing like entire repose at it. It is a most delightful tonic to brace me for the coming half year; but it does not admit of a full abandonment to its enjoyments, and it is well that it does not. I sometimes look at the mountains which bound our valley, and think how content I could be never to wander beyond them any more, and to take rest in a place which I love so dearly. But whilst my health is so entire, and I feel my spirits still so youthful, I feel ashamed of the wish, and I trust that I can sincerely rejoice in being engaged in so active a life, and in having such constant intercourse with others. Still I can heartily and lawfully rejoice that you are permitted to rest whilst your age and spirits are also yet unbroken, and that the hurry of your journey is somewhat abating, and allows you more steadily to contemplate its close.
Our own two boys are gone to Winchester, and have taken a very good place in the school, and seem very comfortable there ; I am sure you will give them your prayers, that they may be defended amidst the manifold temptations of their change of life. I feel as if I could draw the remaining children yet closer around me, and as if I could not enough prize the short period which passes before they go out into life, never again to feel their father's house their abiding home. I turn from public affairs almost in despair, as I think that it will be a long time before what I most long for will be accomplished. Yet I still wish entirely well to the Government, and regard with unabated horror the Conservatives both in Church and State. They are, however, I believe, growing in influence, and so they will do, until there comes a check to our present commercial prosperity, for vulgar minds never can understand the duty of reform till it is impressed on them by.