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indulgence, by the specious mantle of religious, or "gospel liberty ;" as if the doctrines of the Gospel could abrogate its precepts, or a life of self-denial be inconsistent with a life of faith. It seems as if the principle of adaptation were yet a desideratum in the English Church. A little of that wise system might have kept within its range much that has done harm, rather than good, by seeking scope elsewhere. Might not John Wesley have become a saint in the Church of Rome? and surely the celebrated Countess of Huntingdon, whose free chapels were scattered through the British kingdom, would, in a like case, have been the associate of Vincent de Paul in his reforms of the Clergy, and his College of Missionary Priests. The Church of England seldom thinks of finding employment for varieties of mind, or of adapting her works to them, or them to her work. The range these actually afford is rather limited, and most of her people either work without her sanction, as isolated individuals, or wander from her, unmissed, in search of warmth and encouragement elsewhere.
But by having gathered into unity under her own seal, the good and enthusiastic minds that have, at various times, been left to range at large, trying to do the good, of their own mere will, which sometimes turned to evil, often ended in nothing, not unfrequently produced only pain, disappointed and morbid feelings in the breasts of the doers—what great works within the last half century might have been done, if, not only as in the Church of Rome, but in some others also, the Church of England had taken all these under her own guidance and incorporated them into herself?
See what zeal, what energy, what talent, what enthusiasm, has burst forth within the Church of England in the course of this nineteenth century ? We call over the names of the first actors in that great Evangelical revival which poured over the United Kingdom, and, setting aside the wildness, the
errors with which it was accompanied, we think of · the giants of those, not very long passed away days,
who were followed by a generation that had little of the spirit or of the natural powers of that which went before; and then we look around, thinking of the various schemes, the colossal enterprises, the busy labours, of little more than a quarter of a century ago, and we wonder where all these arewhat has become of them? We hear of the zeal, the love, the enthusiasm that dictated them, but where are the works, and what are their results ? Does it not generally seem as if when these good men—and women too—were laid on sleep, their memorial perished with them? That doubtless is with Gon, a testimony for those who did what they could: but the labour seems to have left us together with the labourer.
I well remember when a child hearing every day, and from almost every mouth, of some new work begun, some fresh mission to be attempted. I remember how ships were chartered by private persons, and men and women, selling all that they had, went forth as missionaries to the dark places of the earth, resolved to act literally on the apostolic precept-sell that ye have and give alms. I remember how they had, or tried to have all things in common; how many suffered, painfully suffered, themselves and their families, because believing it their duty to follow the example of the early Christian Church they would “go forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles.” I have heard of all sorts and conditions of men throwing up their employments and lawful callings; the lawyer leaving his office and the clerk his desk; the barrister throwing away his wig and gown, and the shopman leaving his counter-for wbat ?-in general to carry to others the Gospel they had found precious to themselves.
Yes, I speak of the things I have seen or heard, and of such as your fathers have told me. In the present day all this might be called Romanism, or any other ism; in my childhood and bright youth it was called Evangelicalism—very unlike the easygoing thing that word signifies in our present day! Then I have known it counted wrong to use a silver spoon when a leaden or pewter one would answer the purpose, and the money saved could be devoted to the good of others; then it was “inconsistent ” to have a carpet on a floor, or an easy chair in one's house, or to wear any but sad coloured garments.
Yes, Bible readers then saw Bible precepts, and really wished, but did not always know how to practise them. Their zeal, overlooking home objects, took the widest, most distant scope.
I knew personally a young curate who left his charge in a large town in order to go into the Irish mountains, where he lived almost like a hermit of old times, and not alone either, for numbers flocked to him, and he became the head of a new sect.
And who has inherited this zeal ? I know not. Where are these attempts at apostolic practice? I know not? What remains of their works? I scarcely see them. What has been done by their works? That another day must tell.
Well, but many of these men might have been saints; they might have evangelized half heathendom, if zeal, if ardent piety, if individual exertion, could have done so.
Yes, they might—but they have passed away, and we look around, and still we groan and ask, What has been done? What have they done ?-It may be, in some cases, only that which causes the sons to lament the mistaken, unguided zeal of the fathers. But whatever else I know not, of this I am almost convinced, that if the greater part of these zealous persons had been born in the Church of Rome, they would have had in that Church at this hour their living representatives. The Church would have taken them up, and embodied them in herself, and perpetuated them there, the same to-day as they were yesterday; the same, perhaps, for centuries to There is a name which is high among women, that of Elizabeth Fry. She was not of us, but if she had been the result would not probably have been greater, perhaps not nearly so great. She has, I think, her memorial; she has done good, and the memory of the just is blessed. But where is the Elizabeth Fry of to-day? where is her representative—not in stone or brass, but in the work she did once, and might be visibly doing still? If she had been a Roman Catholic, certainly there would be to-day a living Elizabeth Fry,—she herself in her distinctive dress,-[honour to her sect for the courage to wear it so long]—she would be ever before our eyes when we saw her work going on by its own living organization; and she herself would be perpetuated and handed down from generation to generation in the living head of her community; in that community itself; in its rules which organized the community, and which were in themselves the Elizabeth Fry the whole represented. Yes, in that case, many a sister's hand would now be daily extending, as a disciple, and in the name of a disciple, the
of cold water which never has lost and never shall lose its reward.
But we may come still nearer home. We know the enthusiasm the “Song of the Shirt" kindled, Of England, above, I believe, all other countries, it may be said with truth “behold what a great fire a little matter kindleth ;” but the flame, whether good or bad, is soon burned out. The Song of the Shirt