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The Englishman, naturally serious, meditative, and sad, did not regard life as a game or a pleasure; his eyes were habitually turned, not outward to smil ing nature, but inward to the life of the soul; he examines himself, ever descends within himself, confines himself to the moral world, and at last sees no other beauty but that which shines there; he enthrones justice as the sole and absolute queen of humanity, and conceives the plan of disposing all his actions according to a rigid code. He has no lack of force in this; for his pride comes to assist his conscience. Having chosen himself and by himself the route, he would blush to quit it; he rejects temptations as his enemies; he feels that he is fighting and conquering, that he is doing a difficult thing, that he is worthy of admiration, that he is a man. Moreover, he rescues himself from his capital foe, tedium, and satisfies his craving for action; understanding his duties, he employs his faculties and he has a purpose in life, and this gives rise to associations, endowments, preachings; and finding more steadfast souls, and nerves more tightly strung, it sends them forth without causing them too much suffering, too long strife, through ridicule and danger. The reflective character of the man has given a moral rule; the militant character now gives moral force. The mind, thus directed, is more apt than any other to comprehend luty; the will, thus armed, is more capable than any other of performing its duty. This is the fundamental faculty which is found in all parts of public life, concealed but present, like one of those deep primeval rocks, which, lying far it.land, give to all undulations of the Boil a basis and a support.
"There is no opera, no comedy, ne concert on a Sunday in London; caras even are expressly forbidden, so that only persons of quality, and those who are called respectable people, play or. that day." He amuses himself at the expense of the Anglicans, "so scrupu lous in collecting their tithes," the Presbyterians, "who look as if they were angry, and preach with a strong nasal accent; " the Quakers, "who go to church and wait for inspiration with their hats on their heads." But is there nothing to be observed but these externals? And do we suppose that we are acquainted with a religion_because we know the details of formulary and vestment? There is a common faith beneath all these sectarian differences: whatever be the form of Protestantism, its object and result are the culture of the moral sense; that is why it is popular in England: principles and dogmas all make it suitable to the instincts of the nation. The sentiment which in the Protestant is the source of every thing, is qualms of conscience; he pictures perfect justice, and feels that his uprightness, however great, cannot stand before that. He thinks of the Day of Judgment, and tells himself that he will be damned. He is troubled, and prostrates himself; he prays God to pardon his sins and renew his heart. He sees that neither by his desires, nor his deeds, nor by any ceremony or institution, nor by himself, nor by any creature, can he deserve the one or obtain the other. He betakes himself to Christ, the ore Mediator; he prays to him, he feels his presence, he finds himself justified by his grace, elect, healed, transformed, predestinated. Thus understood, relig ion is a moral revolution; thus simpli fied, religion is only a moral revolution. Before this deep emotion, metaphysics and theology, ceremonies and discipline, all is blotted out or subordinate. and Christianity is simply the purification of the heart. Look now at these men, dressed in sombre colors, speak box of dark wood, whilst a man in ing through the nose on Sundays, in bands, "with the air of a Cato," reads a psalm. Is there nothing in thei heart but theological "trash chanical phrases? There is a deer
sentiment-veneration. This bare Dis- things depends, enlighten them with senters' meeting-house, this simple unexpected flashes. The physical world service and church of the Anglicans, and its laws seem to them but a phanleave them open to the impression of tom and a figure; they see nothing what they read and hear. For they more real than justice; it is the sum of do hear, and they do read; prayer in humanity, as of nature. This is the the vulgar tongue, psalms translated deep sentiment which on Sunday closes into the vulgar tongue, can penetrate the theatre, discourages pleasures, fills through their senses to their souls. the churches; this it is which pierces They do penetrate; and this is why the breastplate of the positive spirit they have such a collected mien. For and of corporeal dulness. This shopthe race is by its very nature capable keeper, who all the week has been of deep emotions, disposed by the ve- counting his bales or drawing up colhemence of its imagination to compre- umns of figures; this cattle-breeding hend the grand and tragic; and the squire, who can only bawl, drink, jump Bible, which is to them the very word a fence; these yeomen, these cottagers, of eternal God, provides it. I know who in order to amuse themselves draw that to Voltaire it is only emphatic, blood whilst boxing, or vie with each unconnected, ridiculous; the senti- other in grinning through a horse-colments with which it is filled are out of lar,-all these uncultivated souls, imharmony with French sentiments. In mersed in material life, receive thus England the hearers are on the level from their religion a moral life. They of its energy and harshness. The cries love it; we hear it in the yells of a of anguish or admiration of the solitary mob, rising like a thunderstorm, when Hebrew, the transports, the sudden a rash hand touches or seems to touch outbursts of sublime passion, the de- the Church. We see it in the sale of sire for justice, the growling of the Protestant devotional books; the Pil thunder and the judgments of God, grim's Progress and The Whole Duty shake, across thirty centuries, these of Man are alone able to force their biblical souls. Their other books as- way to the window-ledge of the yeoman sist it. The Prayer Book, which is and squire, where four volumes, their handed down as an heirloom with the whole library, rest amid the fishingold family Bible, speaks to all, to the tackle. We can only move the men dullest peasant, or the miner, the sol- of this race by moral reflections and emn accent of true prayer. The new-religious emotions. The cooled Puriborn poetry, the reviving religion of the sixteenth century, have impressed their magnificent gravity upon it; and we feel in it, as in Milton himself, the pulse of the twofold inspiration which then lifted a man out of himself and raised him to heaven. Their knees bend when they listen to it. That Confession of Faith, these collects for the sick, for the dying, in case of public misfortune or private grief, these lofty sentences of impassioned and sus tained eloquence, transport a man to some unknown and august world. Let the fine gentlemen yawn, mock, and succeed in not understanding: I am sure that, of the others, many are moved. The idea of dark death and of the limitless ocean, to which the poor weak soul must descend, the thought of this invisible justice, everywhere present, ever foreseeing, on which the changing show of visible
tan spirit still broods underground, and is drawn in the only direction where fuel, air, fire, and action are to be found.
We obtain a glimpse of it when we look at the sects. În France Jansenists and Jesuits seem to be puppets of another century, fighting for the amusement of this age. Here Qua kers, Independents, Baptists exist, seri ous, honored, recognized by the State, distinguished by their able writers, their deep scholars, their men of worth, their founders of nations. * Their piety causes their disputes; it is be cause they will believe, that they dif fer in belief: the only men without religion are those who do not care for religion. A motionless faith is soon a dead faith; and when a man becomes a sectarian, it is because he is fervent This Christianity lives because it is de
tion, compelled others to follow in his footsteps. Nothing is more striking than the confessions of his reachers, mostly low-born and laymen. George
veloped; we see he sap, always flow- | he has a million. The qua as of con ing from the Protestant inquiry and science, which forced him in this direc faith, re-enter the old dogmas, dried up for fifteen hundred years. Voltaire, when he came to England, was surprised to find Arians, and amongst them the first thinkers in England-Story had the spleen, dreamed and Clarke, Newton himself. Not only dogma, but feeling, is renewed; beyond the speculative Arians were the practical Methodists; behind Newton and Clarke came Whitefield and Wes-tered a blasphemy; he read and prayed
No history more deeply illustrates the English character than that of these two men. In spite of Hume and Voltaire, they founded a monastical and convulsionary sect, and triumph through austerity, and exaggeration, which would have ruined them in France. Wesley was a scholar, an Oxford student, and he believed in the devil; he attributes to him sickness, nightmare, storms, earthquakes. His family heard supernatural noises; his father had been thrice pushed by a ghost; he himself saw the hand of God in the commonest events of life. One day at Birmingham, overtaken by a hailstorm, he felt that he received this warning, because at table he had not sufficiently exhorted the people who dined with him; when he had to determine on any thing, he opened the Bible at random for a text, in order to decide. At Oxford he fasted and wearied himself until he spat blood, and almost died; at sea, when he departed for America, he only ate bread, and slept on deck; he lived the life of an apostle, giving away all that he earned, travelling and preaching all the year, and every year, till the age of eighty-eight; *it has been reckoned that he gave away thirty thousand pounds, travelled about a hundred thousand miles, and preached forty thousand sermons. What could such a man have done in France in the eighteenth century? Here he was listened to and followed, at his death he had eighty thousand disciples; now On one tour he slept three weeks on the bare boards. One day, at three in the morning, he said to Nelson, his companion: "Brother Nelson, let us be of good cheer, I have one whole side yet; for the skin is off but on one side."-Southey's Life of Wesley, a vols., 1820, 11. ch. xv. 54.
mused gloomily; took to slandering himself and the occupations of men. Mark Bond thought himself damned, because when a boy he had once ut
unceasingly and in vain, and at last in despair he enlisted, with the hope of being killed. John Haime had visions, howled, and thought he saw the devil. Another, a baker, had scruples because his master continued to bake on Sunday, wasted away with anxiety, and soon was nothing but a skeleton. Such are the timorous and impas sioned souls which become religious and enthusiastic. They are numerous in this land, and on them doctrine took hold. Wesley declares that "A string of opinions is no more Christian faith than a string of beads is Christian holiness. It is not an assent to any opinion, or any number of opinions." "This justifying faith implies not only the personal revelation, the inward evidence of Christianity, but likewise a sure and firm confidence in the individual believer that Christ, died for his sin, loved him, and gave his life for him." "By a Christian, I mean one who so believes in Christ, as that sin hath no more dominion over him." ↑
The faithful feels in himself the touch of a superior hand, and the birth of an unknown being. The old man has dis. appeared, the new man has taken his place, pardoned, purified, transfigured, steeped in joy and confidence, inclined to good as strongly as he was once drawn to evil. A miracle has been wrought, and it can be wrought at any moment, suddenly, under any circumstances, without warning. Some sin ner, the oldest and most hardened, without wishing it, without having dreamed of it, falls down_weeping, his heart melted by grace The hidden thoughts, which fermented long in these gloom imaginations, break out suddenly inte storms, and the dull brutal mood in * Southey's Life of W sley, ii. 176. Ibid. i. 251.
shaken by nervous fits which it had not methodic discipline, built chapels, chose known before. Wesley, Whitefield, preachers, founded scho、 6, organized and their preachers went all over Eng- enthusiasm. To this day his disciples land preaching to the poor, the peas- spend very large sums every year in ants, the workmen in the open air, missions to all parts of the world, and sometimes to a congregation of twenty on the banks of the Mississippi anc thousand people. "The fire is kindled the Ohio their shoutings repeat the in the country." "" There was sobbing violent enthusiasm and the conversions and crying. At Kingswood, White- of primitive inspiration. The saine infield, having collected the miners, a stinct is still revealed by the same savage race, 'saw the white gutters signs; the doctrine of grace survives made by the tears which plentifully fell in uninterrupted energy, and the race, down from their black cheeks, black as in the sixteenth century, puts its po as they came out from their coal-pits."*etry into the exaltation of the mora Some trembled and fell; others had transports of joy, ecstasies. Southey writes thus of Thomas Olivers: "His heart was broken, nor could he express the strong desires which he felt for righteousness. feelings during a Te Deum at the cathedral, as if he had done with earth, and was praising God before His throne." The god and the brute, which each man carries in himself, were let loose; the physical machine was upset; emotion was turned into madness, and the madness became contagious. An eye-witness says:
He describes his
"At Everton some were shrieking, some roaring aloud. The most general was a loud breathing, like that of people half strangled and gasping for life; and, indeed, almost all the cries were like those of human creatures dying in bitter anguish. Great numbers wept without any noise; others fell down as dead.
I stood upon the pew-seat, as did a young man in the opposite pew, an able-bodied, fresh, healthy, countryman, but in a moment, when he seemed to think of nothing else, down he dropt, with a violence inconceivable. . . . I heard the stamping of his feet, ready to break the boards, as he lay in strong convulsions at the bottom of the pew.... I saw a sturdy boy, about eight years old, who roared above his fellows; . . . his face was red as scarlet; and almost all on whom God laid his hand, turned either very red or almost black." *
and hides this glowing hearth which A sort of theological smoke covers this time, had visited the country, burns in silence. A stranger who, at would see in this religion only a choking vapor of arguments, controversies,
and sermons. All those celebrated divines and preachers, Barrow, Tillotson, South, Stillingfleet, Sherlock, Burnet, Baxter, Barclay, preached, says Addison, like automatons, monotonously, without moving their arms. For a Frenchman, for Voltaire, who did read them, as he read every thing, what a strange reading! Here is Tillotson first, the most authoritative of all, a kind of father of the church, so much admired that Dryden tells us that he learned from him the art of writing well, and that his sermons, the only property which he left his widow, were bought by a publisher for two thousand five hundred guineas. This work has, in fact, some weight; there are three folio volumes, each of seven hundred pages. To open them, a man must be a critic by profession, or be possessed by an absolute desire to be saved. And now his madness, wished to leave, but had let us open them. only gone a few steps when she fell being Religious," such is his first ser into as violent fits as others. Conver-mon, much celebrated in his time, and sions followed these transports; the the foundation of his success: converted paid their debts, forswore drunkenness, read the Bible, prayed, and went about exhorting others. Wesley collected them into societies, formed "classes" for mutual examination and edification, submitted spiritual life to a *Southey's Life of Wesley, i. ch. vi. 236. ↑ Ibid. ii. ch. xvii. 111.
Elsewhere, a woman, disgusted with
Ibid. xxiv. 320.
"The Wisdom of
"These words consist of two propositions, which are not distinct in sense;... So that metonymy, used in all sorts of authors, are frethey differ only as cause and effect, which by a quently put one for another." This opening makes us uneasy. Is this great orator a teacher of grammar ?
Tillotson's Sermons, 10 vols., 1760, i. 1.
"1st. By a direct proof of it;
"2d. By shewing on the contrary the folly and ignorance of irreligion and wickedness; "3d. By vindicating religion from those common imputations which seem to charge it with ignorance or imprudence. I begin with the direct proof of this.'
Thereupon he gives his divisions. What a heavy demonstrator! We are tempted to turn over the leaves only, and not to read them. Let us examine his forty-second sermon: Against Evil-speaking:
"Firstly: I shall consider the nature of
this vice, and wherein it consists.
"Secondly: I shall consider the due extent of this prohibition, To speak evil of no man. "Thirdly: I shall show the evil of this practice, both in the causes and effects of it. "Fourthly: I shall add some further con
siderations to dissuade men from it.
"Fifthly: I shall give some rules and directions for the prevention and cure of it." ↑
What a style! and it is the same throughout. There is nothing lifelike; it is a skeleton, with all its joints coarsely displayed. All the ideas are ticketed and numbered. The schoolmen were not worse. Neither rapture nor vehemence; no wit, no imagination, no original and brilliant idea, no philosophy; nothing but quotations of mere scholarship, and enumerations from a handbook. The dull argumentive reason comes with its pigeon-holed classifications upon a great truth of the heart or an impassioned word from the Bible, examines it "positively and negatively," draws thence "a lesson and an encouragement,' arranges each part under its heading, patiently, indefatigably, so that sometimes three whole sermons are needed to complete the division and the proof, and each of them contains in its exordium the methodical abstract of all the points treated and the arguments supplied. Just so were the discussions of the Sorbonne carried on. At the court of Louis XIV. Tillotson would have been taken for a man who had run away from a seminary; Voltaire would have called him a village curé. He has all that is necessary to shock men of the world,
* Tillotson's Sermons, i. 5. ↑ Ibid. iii, 2.
nothing to attract them. For he does not address men of the world, but Christians; his hearers neither need nor desire to be goaded or amused; they do not ask for analytical refine ments, novelties in matters of feeling, They come to have Scripture explained to them, and morality demonstrated The force of their zeal is only mani fested by the gravity of their attention Let others have a text as a mere pretext; as for them, they cling to it: it is the very word of God, they cannot dwell on it too much. They must have the sense of every word hunted out, the passage interpreted phrase by phrase, in itself, by the context, by parallel passages, by the whole doctrine. They are willing to have the different readings, translations, interpretations expounded; they like to see the orator become a grammarian, a Hellenist, a scholiast. They are not repelled by all this dust of scholarship, which rises from the folios to settle upon their countenance And the precept being laid down, they demanded an enumeration of all the reasons which support it; they wish to be convinced, carry away in their heads a provision of good approved motives to last the week. They came there seriously, as to their counting-house or their field, not to amuse themselves but to do some work, to toil and di̟ conscientiously in theology and logic to amend and better themselves. They would be angry at being dazzled. Their great sense, their ordinary common sense, is much better pleased with cold discussions; they want inquiries and methodical reports of morality, as if it was a subject of export and import du ties, and treat conscience as port wine or herrings.
In this Tillotson is admirable. Doubt less he is pedantic, as Voltaire called him; he has all "the bad manners learned at the university;" he has not been " 'polished by association with women; "he is not like the French preachers, academicians, elegant discoursers, who by rtly air, a welldelivered Advent sermon, the refine ments of a purified style, earn the first vacant bishopric and the favor of good society. But he writes like a perfectly honest man; we can see that he is not aiming in any way at the glory of an