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Does he set his mind on some work? All other considerations must give way. The idea of relative importance, of comparison of interests, of balance and adjustment, goes. He runs into obliquities and extravagances. All this is necessary, because the individual is the individual, and not the body,-a fractional, a small being Commit the control and moulding then of the moral sense of mankind to individuals, and what must ensue? The moral sense of mankind will become partial and distorted. A change will take place like the great diluvial revolutions which geologists describe. Some whole tracts of duty will disappear, enormous new ones will be cast up. Some important moral rules will be forgotten entirely, others will domineer; and a capricious and artificial idea of right or wrong will supersede the natural one.

Indeed we have here the true direct answer to the rule, that no inferior in character must judge a superior. It is quite true, that no superior ought to be judged by an inferior on those points on which he is the superior, and has the better and truer perceptions of the two. But it does not follow that a person, who is superior, on the whole, in his perceptions of duty to another, is superior on every point. A person of inferior perceptions to him generally may have a superior perception, to his, of some one or other particular duty. The very possession of a more intense and earnest mind, will cause a too small estimate of some duties, as it will a too large one of others. And where an estimate is wrong, it may be corrected by another mind whose estimate is better.

There is another consideration. We have been supposing here all along that the extraordinary Christian, the one who makes some remarkable sacrifices of a tangible and distinct kind, and adopts a peculiar plan of life, is superior to an ordinary Christian ; meaning by that term, one who mixes with the main body, and has no external peculiarity. But it is obvious, that such an assumption as this must be largely modified, if it is to be made consistent with truth. This is so old a topic, that we need only touch on it. It is obvious to any one, who is an observer of character at all, that many persons who adopt no peculiar external plan of life, are better persons than some who do. The circumstance of making distinct tangible sacrifices, is no absolute test of superiority. The Christian character may be more deeply seated in one who has not made this class of sacrifices, than in one who has. And if the body of ordinary Christians contains, as it unquestionably does, such characters as these, we ought to be careful how we depreciate the judgment of that body.

If this whole line of remark on the situation of individuals, and their amenableness to criticism, be true, we will add, that they are not inopportune in the peculiar circumstances of the Church to which we belong. There have been always parties in the Christian Church, for there have always been differences of opinion within the Church. But our branch of the Church has been especially divided into parties, and the tone and feeling of these have of late years become more intense. We use the word “parties,' applying it alike to both the great divisions of the English Church; not that we think both alike in point of truth, but because we are going to speak now of a property which belongs to all parties, right and wrong ones, alike. It is the nature of all parties to be adulatory. They praise their prominent and serviceable adherents, without limit or qualification. And they do this upon a principle not unreasonable or unjust. We will illustrate the case by one, not wholly similar, but somewhat analogous. Everybody knows the unqualified tone which prevails at public meetings, especially at public dinners, with regard to individuals. That a man has lived so many years in a town or county respectably, and has been an attentive magistrate, a courteous mayor, an active church warden, or a vigilant poor-law guardian, is sufficient to procure him a tribute of commendation which would not have disappointed the appetite of a Roman Emperor or an Eastern Caliph. Every motive which has distinguished heroes, from the earliest dawn of history, is attributed to him in perfect purity. He has been inspired with the love of his fellow-citizens, and been absorbed in their interests. For their sake he has braved the greatest dangers, and surmounted the most overwhelming difficulties. His sacrifices are supposed to be incalculable ; but what is that to one to whom private interest has been always an idea unknown ? Such is the warm estimate of character which speakers adopt on such occasions, and the benevolence of praise grows with its exertion, and demands fresh and fresh objects. Perfect virtue before long owns for her sons the proprietors of the chief seats in the neighbourhood, and the leading inhabitants of the borough. In due course she has made a considerable inroad on the principal streets. Now a spectator of such a scene, who only looked upon the surface, would beyond a doubt set it down as ridiculous. But-we pardon a mistake which is so easily made—it is not. Let us not treat such a subject superficially. The basis on which these demonstrations take place is this, that that is the place for praising people. True, it is said, all these persons may have their faults, and they may be noticed in their proper place : but this is not the place for noticing them. We are met here to commend one another. That is our object. The theory of such demonstrations thus at once confines them to praise, to the entire omission of whatever may jar with that object. But praise which is without balance is obliged in consistency to be high. Its subject is by the hypothesis faultless, and it must equal its subject.

Now party praise proceeds upon a rationale not unlike this. Just as the public meeting is not the place to notice the faults of its principal attendants, so a party, if we may be allowed the expression, is not the person to notice errors in its eminent and conspicuous members. There may be two sides in the case, but it is only our function, says the party, to notice one. If there is anything wrong about our friends and supporters, let the opposition find it out, but it is not our especial duty to be calling attention to it. We have the duty of helping and encouraging them; so if they write anything we praise it; if they do anything, it is correct in our eyes. There is some reason in this ground. Parties are collections of persons who agree in certain main objects, which they wish to forward. To forward such objects it is necessary to encourage individual activity and zeal. But encouragement implies a hearty and warm tone in the encouraging tongue and pen. The criticizer is in the position, at the outset, of a friend. He is preengaged on the favourable side, as friends and relations are to one another. It would be out of place for him to be damning with faint praise' and studious balance every effort that zeal on his own side made.

But while the ground which a party takes on this subject is not itself unreasonable, it is to be feared it has its disadvantageous effects; and that such a position, however necessary for it, and on the whole working well, is procured at some expense. It is quite true that really sensible minds will understand this position, and will value the praise they get accordingly. They will know that it is praise upon an hypothesis of partiality. They will take such a proper business-like view of it, as results from perceiving the natural laws of party action, and the original exigencies of party which create those laws. But, unfortunately, it is not every clever, or every zealous, or every sincere mind, that is sensible. Moreover, it is not every one who is sensible with regard to others, who is sensible with regard to himself. It is to be feared that unqualified praise does operate disadvantageously upon some, who receive the tribute, and forget the understanding on which it is paid ; are satisfied with the effect, and make no curious inquiries into the cause and foundation. There are many excellent persons who are tolerably indifferent as to what is underneath, in such a case, provided there is merit in the superstructure. To such the liberal offerings of party sympathy are somewhat of a snare, too

southing to the spirits, too grateful to the sense; they domesticate certain infirmities of the character, and drag upon the ascent in the path of Christian humility.

We may observe, by the way, that this rationale of party praise accounts for a fact which would otherwise be very inexplicable, viz., the coolness with which the desertion of an eminent champion is sometimes taken by the main body. After the favouring voice of several years has given an individual a position, he goes, and the body would seem to be in a great difficulty. But it proceeds almost unconscious of its loss. The reason is, that the great man was its own creation. It made him, by its own act of setting him and keeping him

up. The party itself, therefore, is the substance of the man. He cannot deprive it then of his substance, whatever he does, for that does not belong to him; but only of the residuum, which is left over and above the substance, that is to say, his own particular person. There are various degrees of the real and artificial in most reputations, and according as the one ingredient or the other predominates, the loss of the man is felt.

We may consider, then, that we have shown that, upon broad and general grounds, individuals are always amenable to criticism, and that the particular circumstances of our own Church and day, make it expedient to exert, occasionally, this right over them, the tendency of even honest and necessary party action being to over-estimate them and elevate them unduly.

No greater tribute can be paid to the character and services of Miss Sellon, than that we should think this long apology necessary before venturing to make the least independent criticism upon her proceedings. She may be assured that after all we feel ourselves not a little audacious; nevertheless having summoned spirit for the occasion, we shall speak with that freedom which is necessary for proper clearness and serviceableness.

We shall not go into details. The pamphlets before us are full of minute charges, affecting Miss Sellon's prudence, temper, and orthodoxy. She has refuted some of these particulars. We are willing to believe that she might refute more if she thought it requisite; and perhaps we could wish that she did think it requisite, for society has a claim upon her for every explanation which she can afford for its satiefaction.

But amidst much that is trivial and idle, these pamphlets reveal one point about Miss Sellon's institution, which we cannot pass over.

The Rule of Obedience,' as enforced there, would seem to involve a very large and serious change upon the original purpose of the Sisterhood. We give it as

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laid down in the rules of the Society-we say rules, for though Miss Sellon denies their formal and established character, calling them a little sketch, or suggestive sketch of rules, • which I was asked to write, which has passed from hand to hand, first in London and then elsewhere--I do not know who has it, I have not a copy;' it appears, at any rate, that they exist in writing, and facts which come out show that she practically adopts them. The rule on the subject of holy obedience' runs thus: “Ye who have offered up to God your judgment * and your will, must strive to persevere and grow in the submisósion ye have professed.' Ye shall ever address the

spiritual mother with honour and respect; avoid speaking of her among yourselves; cherish and obey her with holy love, • without any murmur or sign of hesitation or repugnance, but

simply, cordially, and promptly obey with cheerfulness, and • banish from your mind any question as to the wisdom of the * command given you. If ye fail in this, ye have failed to resist • a temptation of the Evil One. Ye shall never discuss with any person, (except by express direction of the spiritual mother,) either within the Society or without it, the rules of the Order * or the commands of the Superior . . . and ye shall make it a

subject of immediate confession to your Superior, if ye have * unhappily been betrayed into this error; and ye shall receive a “penance, but no word of admonition or reproof for the same

ye shall learn, through daily control, observation and practice, that through the exercise of lowly and entire obedience 'ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost ... If any sister ' fail in obedience, or resist with contumacy and rebellion, she * shall be punished at discretion . . . . Be ye well persuaded,

. • that on negligence or exactitude in obedience depends the preservation of discipline, the purity of the Society, and the progress of each soul in the way of life.'

Now when the Sisterhood at Devonport was first established, it was established upon a very simple and natural basis-a basis, viz., of Christian charity and self-denial, as these virtues are ordinarily understood. There was a large poor population, destitute of spiritual instruction and care, and appealing to the pity of Christian society. To supply this want a Sisterhood was formed, to reside upon the spot, and engage personally in the work of visiting and educating; besides administering the alms entrusted to them. There was nothing in such an institution, either as regarded the labours of the Sisterhood, or the objects to which they were applied, but what harmonized with natural feelings. All men are agreed that it is advantageous that the poor should be visited, the ignorant instructed; and all are agreed that it is a good and charitable thing to visit and


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