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must co-operate in setting forth what needs to be done, and what means for doing it exist, or can be invented. Many mistakes, and failures even, must precede the adoption of our cardinal · Suggestions.' For all wide and productive movements are, to human apprehension, slow, and their phases are many. But we will not despair respecting the final accomplishment of our desire ; and we will consider ourselves abundantly rewarded, if by what we have said, the possibility of effecting larger and more enduring good by Sunday-schools, than they have ever yet been employed to secure, should be admitted by those to whom we have offered these remarks.
Words for the Wise.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend.'--Solomox,
M'ORANGE had been the speaker, and these the last words of his closing appeal. The hall was still ringing with applause, and I had turned to leave, when my attention was arrested for a moment by the smile which mantled upon a face at my elbow. The face itself was quite a study, and I pleased myself with reading all I could of my neighbour's history in its lines. You are an artizan,' I said, mentally. * Your weekly earnings may be some 21., which you regularly entrust to your wife's care. You never enter a gin-palace, nor an ale-house. You sometimes look at the Dispatch, but it does not teach your creed. Your wife may have a sitting at the Methodist chapel, but if so, you seldom accompany her thither. You shun the district church. The preacher at the Baptist chapel is more to your taste, and occasionally you have been there, but every one has looked so well-dressed, and the whole affair has smacked so strongly of middle-class respectability, that you have felt out of your element, and have gradually withdrawn to your own fire-side. You believe the Bible, however, revere the Great Teacher, and count yourself a Christian and a Protestant; but for the rampant Protestantism of the day, it liketh you not. It hath an odour of some certain sects you have read of in the Inspired Books. It may be sincere, you think; but, like old Gobbo, it is more than sand-blind.
And what the lights of the Dissenting churches can be doing on the platform—the Samaritans worshipping at Jerusalem-would puzzle you grievously, if you were not in some respects more astute than they. Surely you have seen the face of that speaker at an Anti-statechurch meeting, where his text was “a clear stage and no favour;" and now he is bawling with the loudest of them. You smile again, and turn away. You will digest these thoughts at your leisure.'
This took place more than a year ago. The nation at that time was, or pretended to be, in a fever. The Prime Minister had stooped to give the alarm; and every churchwarden in the country was cheering him to the echo. The country gentlemen, mindful of their churchlivings, were mustering in the shire-halls, and the shopkeepers of London, at many a tumultuous vestry meeting, were making a noisy demonstration-against Puseyism. The Times' was rallying all good Protestants to the old war-cry; and the Reverend Melchizedek M-Orange, like the peripatetic orator that he is, was hurrying from place to place to preach his crusade. The fever has abated since then; but what with Maynooth and Dr. Achilli, we dare not be too sanguine. Unpleasant symptoms recur from time to time; and whilst the elections have been in progress, I have been reminded so often and so eloquently of our common Protestantism,' that I am sorely tempted to ask what the meaning of the phrase may be.
But where to ask, and of whom? What, indeed, are we to understand by · Protestantism' itself? Who shall define for us this somewhat hazy abstraction? Shall we put history to the question ? Shall we inquire for the origin of this singular appellation? Shall we go back to the Diet of Spires in 1529 ? Shall we listen to the Imperial edict which was read there and then? To the muttered complaints of the Saxon elector, that no former emperor had dared to use such language : To the whisper amongst the princes, that he who had ventured upon it now ought to be told, that their rights were more ancient than the elevation of his own house? Shall we see the German followers of the Swiss Zwingli joining hands with Luther for the occasion, and urging the indignant leaders to found and deliver in their Protest? If so, we shall discover that, on the 19th of April in that year, some of the states and princes of the German Confederacy took political action in a certain matter, and that these courageous men earned for themselves thereby the name of Protestants. So much is clearly discernible amidst the confusions of the time. But beyond this we shall not be able to make much progress. The negative term expands in a most perplexing manner; crosses the Rhine, the Alps, the sea; and is found, ere long, to cover and comprehend the most singular varieties of opinion, and the most diverse modes of action. It reminds one of the description which travellers have given of certain rivers. For a short time, they tell us, the stream flows steadily along its channel, and its course may be defined with sufficient clearness. But soon the sluggish waters begin to ooze through the dissolving banks. They diffuse themselves gradually over a wider extent of surface; until, at length, both stream and bank disappear. The traveller feels that if he attempt to follow its course, he will inevitably be lost; and the Queen's own hydrographer, puzzled to define its bounaries, would have to shade off the lazy expanse into infinite space. History, therefore, will not help us. There is nothing for it but to
take our stand here and now; and in the heart of England, and in the middle of the nineteenth century, to ask,' What is - Protestantism,” and who are the “ Protestants ?"" Singular question; which the compositor looks at in a dubious, hesitating manner. But necessary, it appears ; and, coûte qui coûte, I must endeavour to answer it. Well for M.Orange if he makes aught of the sentences which follow.
The Archbishop of Canterbury then is a Protestant, of course ; and so likewise is Philosopher Single-Speech; and so I presume are the excellent reviewers who investigate his books. Harry of Exeter, also, is a · Protestant;' and eke my Lord Plantagenet, as well as Dr. Pliable, and the two new members for Liverpool. Signor Giacinto Achilli again is a . Protestant;' so was the judge who tried him ; so were the twelve gentlemen who found no fault in him; and so, it may be, was the writer in the • Times,' who doomed them all, next mo
morning, to everlasting infamy. But why go on? Is not England a Protestant country?' Her authorized Churchmen, from the dignified Primate who may not say grace'even, save in the ear of royalty, down, through innumerable grades, to the Tractarian curate who feels, for the first time to-day, a mysterious . virtue tingling at his fingers' ends, are • Protestants,' to a man, Her Evangelicals are Protestants;' from M'Orange himself (quantum immane discrepat) to my poor friend Discipulus. Most of her politicians even, from the clever gentleman who believes in the second part of the Jewish religion,' down to the meanest rioter who flung stones (on the right side) at Stockport, are sound Protestants. Litterateurs and lawyers, bishops and Dissenting deputies, Unitarian preachers and stockjobbers, believers and blasphemers, men who will sign anything and men who will sign nothing; only think, good reader, what a comprehensive term that must be which is used to denote the religious opinions or the religious condition of all these!
Or is it of our Protestant Establishment,' exclusively, that M'Orange speaks? Scarcely of that even. For he himself has been heard to affirm that several thousands of the clergymen whom it feeds are Papists, and not · Protestants.' True, he challenges their right to be there; and but by his own admission they are there, and that is enough. It can hardly be our Great Establishment, therefore, which is meant by our bewildered friend. As if indeed the three co-heirs, Laud, Cranmer, and Erastus, who divide amongst them that prodigious estate, could have anything in common,'-unless, perhaps, a common
. interest, or, better still the word, reader, is no invention of mine), a common incumbency!
• But are there not the Protestant Dissenters?' asks one; "and have not they Yes indeed, they have; to their shame be it spoken. Will posterity believe, that in 1850, two hundred years after Milton's time, the English Dissenters came forward, under pretexts ever so colourable, to join hands with the bishops in defence of English prelacy? Will it believe that they shouted, with might and main, for the supremacy of the Crown in matters ecclesiastical? Well, perhaps it may. Perhaps it will believe anything of a generation which reads
the 'Windbag.' But even these far-seeing Dissenters do not mean what you mean.
No, no. They have no intention of shouting for your « Protestantism.' They would take away your tithes and your Prayer-book to-morrow if they could. Oh, M'Orange, you are not a shadow yourself; for you were, when I last saw you, rather stout; but • what shadows' you 'pursue,'
• Credule ! Quid frustra simulacra fugacia captas ?
QUOD PETIS EST NUSQUAM,' The truth is, that our common Protestantism' is but a euphemism for ' No Popery.' It means that, or it means nothing. And as birds build their nests in spring on the scarecrows of the preceding autumn, so, if we must have a bugbear, it is some consolation to know that we have to do with a familiar one. For England knows that cry, and has determined already, with some misgivings, perhaps, that she can afford to smile at it; and refers it to the dead scarecrows of bygone years. Right or wrong, England has decided, on the whole, that Popery shall be allowed to try its strength upon her soil. The Manchester school will have it so.
The Peel-statesmen are of the same mind. The Irish brigade is recruiting its ranks. Even Oxford sends one representative to affirm the decree ; and the sharpshooters of Parliament, who acknowledge no leader, and agree in little else, agree to a man in this, that the Cardinal is no worthy mark for their Miniés. The Times' itself has left off favouring the gaping public with its property-thunderstorms. And as for the Whig leader, who sounded the note of alarm so vehemently in the Durham Letter,' all the world knows how swiftly he tightened the ligaments of his glottis, and let his lusty English cry go up into an Italian falsetto. He began, sure enough, with the voce di petto, as they say in Italy, the voice from the chest; but he ended in the voce di testa, the voice from the head, and even that seemed at one time about to leave off piping and whistling in its sound. If, then, I wished ever so to join in the No-Popery' cry, this fact alone would suffice to deter me, that it is now too late. Every one has heard of the seven reasons assigned by some good man for not lending a capote ; of which the seventh and last was, that he had not got one. Sensible people asked why he should have taken the trouble to name the other six, since that alone would have been sufficient. Even so M'Orange, are there seven good reasons why I should not shout · No Popery;' but the seventh may suffice,– It will be of no use.'
Perhaps, after all, the chief danger to be apprehended at present does not lie in the direction of Rome. Perhaps, if we could but see it, the storm with which, as many think, the air is already thick, is gathering in another quarter. Perhaps, in the matter of religion, men are casting off authority at the present moment, rather than invoking it; and it may be, that they will not distinguish accurately between the precepts of the priest and the restraints of Heaven. I, for one, think that what Discipulus has here written may be better worth attention than the eloquence of M.Orange. • Wise men,' says hē, 'must work whilst it is called to-day-yet in
the intervals of their toil they can scarcely choose but think of the morrow. And passionately, as in former times, so now, and never more passionately than now, are these endeavouring to question the dumb future. What new phase is society destined to present next? From the dead" belief in believing," which has by courtesy been called religion, the ardent and the thoughtful are beginning to turn away. Whither will they go ? For, go where they may, they will draw after them, for a time, the populations of the world. So much, as by an irresistible law, is decreed already. Will they, then, find a living Christianity, or will they have to wander for a generation or two in the mazes of doubt? The question of questions at this moment in men's minds !
Or again, somewhat abruptly, he exclaims, "A" common Protestantism?” Say rather, a common materialism! A common terror ! A common distrust of everything but the Queen's Bench! Prate about it as we may, old names have lost their significance in these new times. For the present, men will not list under the banner of Loyola; no, nor under Luther's; but, if at all, under Christ's. The old struggle between free thought and authority will go on; but on neither side will the combatants rally to the old watch-words. How should they indeed, when the very language of the Church is changing on her lips ? Not that Christianity itself can change. Men will always find it, where the martyrs and confessors of former ages found it, in the intercessory prayer of Christ, and the profound arguments of Paul. But it will put on new forms. It will learn more and more to dispense with forms. It will be seen by all, as it is now seen by some, to be not a system, but a life. And then, and not till then, we may look for something better than this stern “ Individualism,” which is all that is at present left us. Organization in the name of the Gospel may become something more than a mere aggregation of dead units. There will be no need of a “common Protestantism,” for we shall have a common Christianity, the fellowship of believers, the commuNION OF SAINTS.'
X. Y. Z.
The Primrunl Prriod of Britain.
History, it has been said, is the geology of the human world. The analogy is more correct than in the majority of imaginative utterances. It is, at least, admitted by the very unimaginative author of the work named below,* who rejects the usual expressions, an age of stone, an age of bronze, and an age of iron,' as divisions having no meaning in history, which cannot,' he says, be treated as a physical science,
The Celt, the Roman, and the Saxon; a History of the Early Inhabitants of Britain, down to the Conversion of the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity. Wus