NEMESIS OF FAITH.
GEORGE WOODFALL AND SON,
AVGBL COURT, SKINNER STREET.
NEMESIS OF FAITH
J. A. FROUDE, M.A.,
FELLOW OP EXETER COLLEGE, OXFORD,
ra -rvruv, tg
JOHN CHAPMAN, M2, STRAND
NEMESIS OF FAITH
Huntley Parsonage, September, 4, 1843.
I PROMISED so long ago to write to you, dear
Arthur, that by this time, if you have not already
forgotten me, you will at least have begun to think
it desirable to forget me as soon as possible, for
an ungrateful, good-for-nothing fellow; but I am
going to be very just, and pay heavy interest and
I think letter debts are like all other debts. If
you pay them when they are due, they are taken
as a matter of course, and without gratitude ; but
leave them till your poor creditor leaves off expect-
ing, and then they fall in like a godsend. So I
hope you are already delighted at the sight of my
handwriting, and when you get to the end of these
long sheets, which I am intending to fill to you, I
shall be quite back again in my old favour. Per-
haps, though, I am too sanguine; I have nothing
2 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
but myself to write about, no facts, no theories, no
opinions, no adventures, no sentiments, nothing but
my own poor barren individualism, of considerable
interest to me, but I do not know why I should pre-
sume it will be so to you. Egotism is not tire-
some, or it ought not to be, if one is sincere about
oneself; but it is so hard to be sincere. Well, never
mind, I mean to be, and you know me well enough
to see through me when I am humbugging. A
year has gone since we parted ; I have had nothing
all this time to tell you, except that I was unsettled
and uncomfortable, and why should I trouble you
with that ? Now you will see I want your help, so
now I come to you. It is not that I have had any
positive grievance, but I seem to have had hold of
every thing by the wrong side. My father is very
anxious to see me settled into some profession or
other, and here have the three black graces alter-
nately been presenting their charms to me, and I
can't get the apple delivered; I turn from one to
the other, and the last 1 look at seems always the
ugliest, always has some disagreeable feature I can-
not reconcile myself with. I cannot tell why it is,
Arthur, but I scarcely know a professional man
I can like, and certainly not one who has been what
the world calls successful, that I should the least
wish to resemble. The roads they have to travel
are beaten in by the unscrupulous as well as the
scrupulous ; they are none of the cleanest, and the
race is too fast to give one time to pick one's way,
I know men try to keep their private conscience
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 3
distinct from their professional conscience, but it does
not always do. Their nature, like the dyer's hand, is
subdued to what it works in ; and you know a law-
yer when you see him, or a doctor, or a profes-
sional clergyman. They are not simply men, but
men of a particular sort, and, unfortunately, some-
thing not more but less than men men who have
sacrificed their own selves to become the paid in-
struments of a system. There may be exceptions
where there is very great genius ; but I am not a
genius, and I cannot trust myself to hope I should
be an exception, and so I go round and round, and
always end where I began, m difficulties. I be :
lieve you know something of my father a more
upright, excellent man never breathed ; and though
not very clever, yet he has a breadth of solid under-
standing which, for such creatures as we men are, is
far better furniture to be sent into the world with
than any cleverness ; and I am sure there must be
something wrong in my fastidiousness when he so
highly disapproves of it. He was contented to
laugh at me, you know, as long as I was at college,
because my dreaming, as he called it, did not inter-
fere with my succeeding there; but it is quite
another thing now, and he urges me again and
again, almost with a severity of reproof which is
bitterly distressing to me. I have shown talents,
he says, of which it is my duty to make use ; the
common sense of mankind has marked out the be&t
ways to use them, and it is worse than ridiculous in
a young man such as I am to set myself up to be dif-
4 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
ferent from everybody else, and to be too good to
do what many of the best and wisest men he knows,
are doing. My brothers were all getting on honour-
ably and steadily, and why was not I ? It was
true, he allowed, that unscrupulous men did some-
times succeed professionally, but it was not by their
faults but by their virtues, by activity and prudence,
and manly self-restraint He added some-
thing which made a deeper impression upon me
than this; for all this I had said often and often to
myself. I had told him that as I had a small inde-
pendence, I thought I might wait at least a year or
two, and give myself time to understand my own
wishes clearly before I committed myself. "You
say you wish to be a man, Markham," he answered,
" and not a professional man. I do not propose to
control you. At your age, and with your talents,
you must learn what life is now, not from me, but
from life itself; but if you will hear an old man's
opinion, I will give it you. If you think you can
temper yourself into manliness by sitting here over
your books, supposing you will grow into it as
a matter of course by a rule of necessity, in the
same way as your body grows old, it is the very
silliest fancy that ever tempted a young man into
his ruin. You cannot dream yourself into a cha-
racter ; you must hammer and forge yourself one.
Go out into life, you will find your chance there,
and only there. You ask to wait. It is like a
timid boy waiting on the river bank to take his
plunge. The longer he stands shivering the harder
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 5
he finds it. At the year's end you will see more
difficulties than you see now, because you yourself
will have grown feebler. Wait one more, and then
you will most likely go on to the end, into your
second childhood of helplessness."
What shall I do, Arthur? It is so true every
word of this. I feel it is. I know it is ; and it is
shameful, indeed, to rust into nothingness. Yet
what to do ! Surely it were kinder far, to train us
out from our cradles into a course which should be
chosen for us, and make us begin our crawling on
the road we are to travel, with spelling-books of law
and physic, and nursery courts of justice, or dis-
eased dolls to lecture or to doctor. All would be
so easy then ; we should form each about our proper
centre, and revolve calmly and surely in the orbit
into which we were projected. It is a frightful
business to bring us up to be only men, and then
bid us choose for ourselves one of three roads which
are to take us down again. For they do take us
down. Unless we are in Fortune's best books, and
among those same lucky sons of genius, for law or
physic, we must learn a very dirty lesson, and train
our lips into very smooth chicanery, or it is slow
enough her wheel will move with us. Speak the
truth, and the truth only, and in the first you are a
fool, and in the second you are a brute. " Ah, well,
but at least the Church is open to you," you will
say, and that is what my father says. There the
most fastidious person will find the purest course
he could mark down for himself fall infinitely short
6 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
of what is required of him. And you believe I
always intended to be a clergyman ; yes, and it is
true. I always did intend it ; and if you could tell
the envy with which I watch my friends passing in
within the precincts of its order into what ought to
be the holiest and happiest of lives ; alas ! here too
I seem to be barred out, and one of my worst
sorrows is that I cannot tell my father why I am.
I will tell you, Arthur, but not now. I must think
well over what I am to write on that subject, and
you shall have another letter about it. But, oh,
what a happy life that is ! I cannot understand
why, as a body, clergymen are so fatally uninterest-
ing ; they who through all their waking hours
ought to have for their one thought the deepest
and most absorbing interests of humanity. It is
the curse of making it a profession a road to get
on upon, to succeed in life upon. The base stain
is apparent in their very language, too sad an index
of what they are. Their " duty" what is it ? - to
patter through the two Sunday services. For a
little money one of them will undertake the other's
duty for him. And what do they all aim at? get-
ting livings ! not cures of souls, but livings ; some-
thing which will keep their wretched bodies Living
in the comforts they have found indispensable.
What business have they, any one of them, with a
thought of what becomes of their poor wretched
selves at all ? To hear them preaching, to hear the
words they use in these same duties of theirs, one
would suppose they really believed that getting on,
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 7
and getting rich, and getting comfortable, were
quite the last tilings a Christian should propose
to himself. They certainly say so. Alas ! with the
mass of them, the pulpit keeps its old meaning,
and is but a stage. Off the stage there is the old
prate of the old world stories, the patronage of this
rich man and that, the vacant benefice or cathedral
stall. So and so, lucky fellow, has married a
bishop's daughter, and the bishop himself has the
best dressed wife and the best equipage in London ;
and oh, bitterest satire of all ! the very pulpit elo-
quence with which they can paint the better life, the
beauty of Christianity, is valued only but as a means
of advancing them into what they condemn. Yet
this need not be, and this is not what I shrink
from. The Church is an ill-paid profession, and so
of the men who make a profession the main thing
in this life of ours, it must be contented with the
refuse of the educated. Not more than one in
fifty takes orders who has a chance in any other
line; but there is this one in each fifty, and so
noble some of these units are, that they are not
only enough for the salt of their class, but for the
salt of the world too. Men who do indeed spend
their lives among the poor and the suffering, who
go down and are content to make a home in those
rivers of wretchedness that run below the surface of
this modern society, asking nothing but to shed
their lives, to pour one drop of sweetness into that
bitter stream of injustice : oh, Arthur, what men they
are ! what a duty that might be ! I think if it is
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
true what they say who profit by this modern sys-
tem ; if there is indeed no help for it, and an ever
increasing multitude of miserable beings must drag
on their wretched years in toil and suffering that
a few may be idle and enjoy; if there be no hope
for them ; if to-morrow must be as to-day, and they
are to live but to labour, and when their strength is
spent, are but to languish out an unpensioned old
age on a public charity which degrades what it sus-
tains ; if this be indeed the lot which, by an irre-
vocable decree, it has pleased Providence to stamp
upon the huge majority of mankind, incomparably
the highest privilege which could be given to any
one of us is to be allowed to sacrifice himself to
them, to teach them to hope for a more just here-
after, and to make their present more endurable
by raising their minds to endure it. I have but one
comfort in thinking of the poor, and that is, that
we get somehow adjusted to the condition in which
we grow up, and we do not miss the absence of
what we have never enjoyed. They do not wear out
faster, at least not much faster, than the better
favoured ; that is, if you may reckon up life by
years, and if such as we leave them may be called
life. Oh what a clergyman might do ! To have
them all for an hour at least each week collected to
be taught by him, really wishing to listen, if he will
but take the trouble to understand them, and to
learn what they require to be told. How sick one
is of all sermons, such as they are ! Why will men
go on thrashing over and again the old withered
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 9
straw that was thrashed out centuries ago, when
every field is waving with fresh, quite other, crops
craving for their hand? Is it indolence or folly?
What is it ? I could linger on for hours over an
employment I so much long for. It seems to be
mine, as I dwell upon it; so entirely it is all I
crave for; I have not talent enough to create fresh
thought for strong cultivated men; but it has always
been my delight to translate downwards what others
have created; and I have been so much about
among the poor, and with all their faults and all
their ignorance, I love their simple hearty ways so
much that I could say with all my heart I felt
myself called, as the Prayer Book says, to be their
teacher; and yet, and yet .... well, good bye,
and bear with me.
" WHAT possible reason can I have for not taking
orders?"' you may well ask. I promised to tell
you, and I will; yet I know not what you will
think of me when I have done so. Wherever as
yet I have even dared to hint my feelings, I have
been met by looks so cold and withering that I
tremble at exposing them even to you. O,
Arthur, do not do not make my trial harder do
not you leave me too do not make me lose my
10 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
oldest, my only friend. Do not be frightened, I
have committed no crime, at least nothing which I
can conceive to he a crime ; and yet they say it is
one. Arthur, before I can be made a clergyman, I
must declare that I unfeignedly believe all " the
canonical writings of the Old Testament ;" and I
cannot. What does it mean unfeignedly believe
it all? That all the actions related there are good,
and all the opinions true? Not that, of course;
because then all that Job's friends said would be as
true as what Elihu said, and Lot's actions as good
as Abraham's. But, I suppose, we are to believe
that all those books were written by men imme-
diately inspired by God to write them, because He
thought them good for the education of mankind ;
that whatever is told in those books as a fact is a
real fact, and that the Psalms and Prophecies were
composed under the dictation of the Holy Spirit.
Now I am not going to weary you with all the
scientific difficulties and critical difficulties, and,
worse than all, metaphysical difficulties, which have
worn the subject so threadbare; though I think but
badly of this poor modern sophistry of ours, which
stumbles on between its two opinions, and, when it
is hunted to its death, runs its head into the sand
and will not see what it does not like to see. If
there were no difficulties but these, and only my
reason were perplexed, I could easily school my
reason ; I could tell myself that God accommodated
His revelations to the existing condition of mankind,
and wrote in their language. But, Arthur, bear
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 11
with me, and at least hear me; though my head
may deceive me, my heart cannot. I will not, I
must not, believe that the all-just, all-merciful, all-
good God can he such a Being as I find him there
described. He ! He ! to have created mankind
liable to fall to have laid them in the way of a
temptation under which He knew they would fall,
and then curse them and all who were to come of
them, and all the world, for their sakes ; jealous, pas-
sionate, capricious, revengeful, punishing children for
their fathers' sins, tempting men, or at least permit-
ting them to be tempted into blindness and folly, and
then destroying them. O, Arthur, Arthur ! this is not
a Being to whom I could teach poor man to look
up to out of his sufferings in love and hope. What !
that with no motive but His own will He chose out
arbitrarily, for no merit of their own, as an eastern
despot chooses his favourites, one small section of
mankind, leaving all the world besides to devil-wor*
ship and lies ; that the pure, truth-loving Persian of
the mountains, who morning and night poured out
his simple prayer to the Universal Father for the
good of all His children ; that the noble Greeks of
Marathon and Thermopyl, the austere and stately
Eomans, that then these were outcasts, aliens, devil-
worshippers ; and that one strange people of fanatics
so hideously cruel that even women and children
fell in slaughtered heaps before their indiscrimi-
nating swords, that these alone were the true God's
true servants ; that God bid them do these things,
and, exulting in their successful vengeance as a
vindication of His honour, compelled the spheres
12 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
out of their courses to stand still and assist the mur-
dering ! And why all this mur-
dering? Sometimes for sins committed five cen-
turies past; while, for those five centuries, genera-
tion was let go on to follow generation in a darkness
out of which no deliverance was offered them ; for
Israel monopolized God. It is nothing to say these
were exceptive peculiar cases. The nation to whom
they were given never thought them peculiar cases.
And what is Eevelation if it is but a catalogue of
examples, not which we are, hut which we are not,
to follow ? No, Arthur ! this is not God. This is
a fiend. Oh, surely this is not the faith of men who
worshipped the Father of mankind, but rather of
the followers of a god who was but one of many a
god among gods the God of Israel, as Baal was
the god of the nations ; and I cannot think the
disputes and jealousies of Heaven are tried and set-
tled by the swords of earth. No ! If I may be-
lieve that the Jews were men like the rest, and
distinguished from the rest not by any difference in
kind in the nature of their relations with Heaven,
but by their own extraordinary character; that,
more than any set of men who ever lived, they
realised the life and active energy of God upon
earth that they believed they were the favourites
of Heaven and that, in spite of the savage fanati-
cism into which it sometimes plunged them, their
faith did in a way make them what they professed
to be, and produced fruits of a most wonderful kind
all is easy to me then. Winning Canaan by
strength, it was natural they, or at least their
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 13
children, should think that God had given it them ;
and in those fierce and lawless times many dreadful
things might be done, which at least we can under-
stand and allow for, though in sorrow. But that
the unchanging God should have directly prompted,
should have interfered to assist in what humanity
shudders at while it reads oh, I would sooner perish
for ever than stoop down before a Being who may
have power to crush me, but whom my heart forbids
me to reverence. It runs through the whole Old
Testament this feeling, with but a few great excep-
tions, and it is little use to make particulars. David
may have been the man after God's heart if the
Israelites were His peculiar people ; and the furious
zealots in the last desperate wars in Palestine were
the same people as their fathers who slaughtered
Amalek. David himself is the great type of the
race in his savageness and in his piety ! Who could
believe that the same man who wrote the De pro-
fundis Domini could have craved to wash his foot-
steps in his enemy's blood ? The war of good and
evil is mightiest in mightiest souls, and even in
the darkest time the heart will maintain its right
against the hardest creed. Bear with me, Arthur,
we read the Bible with very different eyes. For
myself, the most delightful trait in the entire long
history is that golden thread of humanity which
winds along below the cruelty of the exclusive
theory, and here and there appears in protest, in
touches of deeper sympathy for its victims, than are
ever found for the more highly-favoured. Who are
14 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
those who most call out our tears ? Is it not the
outcast mother setting down her child that she may
not see it die, the injured Esau, the fallen Saul,
Aiah's daughter watching by her murdered children,
or that unhappy hush and who followed his wife
weeping all along the road as David's minions were
dragging her to his harem ?
If the Church is a profession, I know all this is
very weak and very foolish ; one might enter it
then, accepting what it insists upon, in the same
way as the lawyer takes the laws as he finds them,
not perhaps as he would have them if he had to
choose, hut as facts existing which it is not his
place to quarrel with. And many sensible people
do accept the Bible in this way. they take it as it
stands ; they are not responsible, and they are con-
tented to draw reasonable doctrines from it, gliding
over what is inconvenient. I know, too, there are
some excellent, oh, most excellent people, deep and
serious people, who do not find the difficulties there
at all which I find, and accept it all with awe and
fear, perhaps, but still with a real, serious conviction
that it is all true. Perhaps it is. And then I ...
I ... am ... am ...
And then there is another thing, Arthur, which
seems to be taught, not in the Old Testament but
in the New, which I should have to say I believed ;
a doctrine this, not a history, and a doctrine so
horrible that it could only have taken root in man-
kind when they were struggling in the perplexities
of Manicheeism, and believed that the Devil held a
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 15
divided empire with God. I mean that the largest
portion of mankind, these very people who live
about us, feel with us, act with us, are our daily
companions the people we meet at dinner or see
in the streets, that are linked in with us with innu-
merable ties of common interests, common sympa-
thies, common occupations these very people are to
be tortured for ever and ever in unspeakable agonies.
My God ! and for what ? They are thrown out
into life, into an atmosphere impregnated with
temptation, with characters unformed, with imperfect
natures out of which to form them, under necessity
of a thousand false steps, and yet with every one
scored down for vengeance ; and laying up for them-
selves a retribution so infinitely dreadful that our
whole soul shrinks horror-struck before the very
imagination of it ; and this under the decree of an
all-just, all-bountiful God the God of love and
mercy. O, Arthur! when a crime of one of our
fallen brothers comes before ourselves to judge, how
unspeakably difficult we find it to measure the
balance of the sin ; cause winding out of cause,
temptation out of temptation ; and the more closely
we know the poor guilty one, the nature with which
he was born, the circumstances which have deve-
loped it, how endlessly our difficulty grows upon
us ! how more and more it seems to have been
inevitable, to deserve (if we may use the word
deserve) not anger and punishment, but tears and
pity and forgiveness. And for God who knows all !
who not only knows all but who determined all
16 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
who dealt us out our natures and placed us as it
pleased Him ! " what more could have been done to
my vineyard that I have not done ? " Alas ! then, if
Omnipotence could not bring but wild grapes there,
why was the poor vineyard planted ? It never asked
to be. Why fling it out here into these few miserable
years ; when it cannot choose but fall to ruin, and
then must be thrown into hell-fire for ever ? . . . .
I cannot tell. It may be from some moral obli-
quity in myself, or from some strange disease ; but
for me, and I should think too for every human
being in whose breast a human heart is beating, to
know that one single creature is in that dreadful
place would make a hell of heaven itself. And
they have hearts in heaven, for they love there.
Justice ! what justice ! I believe that fallen crea-
tures perish, perish for ever, for only good can live,
and good has not been theirs ; but how durst men
forge our Saviour's words "eternal death" into so
horrible a meaning ? And even if he did use other
words, and seem to countenance such a meaning for
them (and what witness have we that He did, ex-
cept that of men whose ignorance or prejudice
might well have interpreted these words wrongly as
they did so many others?) .... But I am on dan-
gerous ground ; only it seems to me that it would be
as reasonable to build a doctrine on every poet's
metaphor, or lecture on the organic structure of the
Almighty because it is said the scent of Noah's
sacrifice pleased Him, as to build theories of the
everlasting destiny of mankind on a single vehe-
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 17
ment expression of one whose entire language was
I know but one man, of more than miserable in-
tellect, who in these modern times has dared defend
eternal punishment on the score of justice, and that
is Leibnitz ; a man who, if I know him rightly,
chose the subject from its difficulty as an oppor-
tunity for the display of his genius, and cared so
little for the truth that his conclusions did not cost
his heart a pang, or wring a single tear from him.
And what does Leibnitz say ? That sin, forsooth,
though itself be only finite, yet, because it is
against an Infinite Being, contracts a character of
infinity, and so must be infinitely punished. It is
odd that the clever Leibnitz should not have seen
that a finite punishment, inflicted by the same
Infinite Being, would itself of course contract the
same character of infinity. But what trifling all
this is, Arthur ! The heart spurns metaphysics, and
one good honest feeling tears their shrivelled spider
webs to atoms. No, if I am to be a minister of
religion, I must teach the poor people that they
have a Father in heaven, not a tyrant; one who
loves them all beyond power of heart to conceive ;
who is sorry when they do wrong, not angry ; whom
they are to love and dread, not with caitiff coward
fear, but with deepest awe and reverence, as the all-
pure, all- good, all-holy. I could never fear a God
who kept a hell prison-house. No, not though he
flung me there because I refused. There is a
power stronger than such a one ; and it is possible
18 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
to walk unscathed even in the burning furnace.
What ! am I to tell these poor millions of sufferers,
who struggle on their wretched lives of want and
misery, starved into sin, maddened into passion by
the fiends of hunger and privation, in ignorance
because they were never taught, and with but enough
of knowledge to feel the deep injustice under which
they are pining; am I to tell them, I say, that
there is no hope for them here, and less than none
hereafter ; that the grave is but a precipice off which
all, all of them, save here one and there one, will
fall down into another life, to which the worst of
earth is heaven ? " Why, why," they may lift up
their torn hands and cry in bitter anger, " why,
Almighty One, were we ever bom at all, if it was
but for this?" Nay, I suppose the happiest, the
most highly favoured, of mankind looking back over
a long unchequered life, where all the best and
highest which earth has to give her children has
been scattered at their feet, looking back and
telling over their days, might count upon their
fingers the hours which they had lived, which were
worth the pains it cost their mother to bear them.
And all for this ! No, Arthur, no ! I never can
teach this ; I would not so dishonour God as to
lend my voice to perpetuate all the mad and foolish
things which men have dared to say of Him. I
believe that we may find in the Bible the highest
and purest religion most of all in the his-
tory of Him in whose name we all are called. His
religion not the Christian religion, but the religion
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 19
of Christ the poor man's gospel ; the message of
forgiveness, of reconciliation, of love; and, oh, how
gladly would I spend my life, in season and out of
season, in preaching this ! But I must have no hell
terrors, none of these fear doctrines ; they were not
in the early creeds, God knows whether they were
ever in the early gospels, or ever passed His Lips.
He went down to hell, but it was to break the chains,
not to bind them. Advise me oh, advise me ! I
cannot stand by myself I am not strong enough,
without the support of system and position, to work
an independent way ; and my father and my friends
too, it would be endless bitterness with them. Ad-
vise me ! No, you cannot advise me ! With what
absurd childishness one goes on asking advice of
people, knowing all the while that only ones self can
judge, and yet shrinking from the responsibility;
only do not hate me, Arthur do not write me cold
stuffy letters about my state of mind. For Hea-
ven's sake, if you love me, if you ever loved me,
spare me that. Show me if I am wrong. It is
easy to be mistaken. But do not tell me it is
wicked of me to have thought all this, for it is not
I am certain it is not.
20 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
I DID not say half I wished to say, Arthur : ever
since I wrote I have heen thinking how confusedly
and stupidly I expressed myself Somehow one
never has one's thoughts in the right place when
they are wanted, either for writing or for talking;
and it is only after, when they can do no good, that
the stupid helpless tilings come poking up into one's
mind. " This is what I wanted ; this is what I
ought to have said," you think; you catch him,
and he is a Proteus in your fingers, and you have
only got a monster, half human and half heast.
Ah, well, it is ill laughing with a heavy heart. I
will try again. At any rate you will be clever
enough to see what I mean. I suppose most people
would allow they found some difficulties at any rate
with the Old Testament, when I find insuperable
ones, only they cannot feel them as I do. To
believe, for instance, that God worked miracles to
plague a nation for their ruler's sins, ought to make
their lives intolerable. Perhaps if it all really is as
they say, a certain apathy of heart is one of the
rewards of their implicit faith to save them from its
But why do they believe it at all ? They must
say because it is in the Bible. Yes, here it is. Other
books we may sit in judgment upon, but not upon
the Bible. That is the exception, the one book
which is wholly and entirely true. And we are to
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 21
believe whatever is there, no matter how monstrous,
on the authority of God. He has told us, and that
is enough. But how do they know He has told us.
The Church says so. Why does the Church say
so? Because the Jews said so. And how do we
know the Jews could not he mistaken? Because
they said they were God's people, and God guided
them. One would have thought if this were so, He
would have guided them in the interpreting their
books too, and we ought to be all Jews now. But,
in the name of Heaven, what is the history of those
books which we call the Old Testament ? No one
knows who the authors were of the greater part of
them, or even at what date they were written. They
make no claim to be inspired themselves; at least
only the prophets make such claim; before the
captivity there was no collection at all ; they had
only the Book of the Law, as it is called, of which
they took such bad care that what that was none of
us now know. The Pentateuch has not the slightest
pretensions to be what Moses read in the ears of all
the people, and Joshua wrote upon twelve stones.
There is no doubt at all that it was written, or at
least compiled into its present form, long long after.
All we can make out is, that in the later and fallen
age of the Jews, when their imaginative greatness
had forsaken them, when they were more than half
Chaldaicized, and their high enthusiastic faith and
passionate devotion to their God had dwindled down
into intolerant arrogance and barren fanaticism,
wishing to console themselves for their present de-
22 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
gradation by the glory of the past, they made a collec-"
tion out of the wreck of the old literature. Digests,
like the Books of Chronicles were compiled out of the
fragments of the old Prophets ; the whole was then
cast together in one great mould, where of course God
was the founder ; the number of books, sentences,
words, syllables, letters, were all counted, and sealed
with mystical meanings, and behold the one complete
entire Divine Kevelation of the Almighty, composed,
compiled, and finished by Himself. Were ever
such huge pretensions hung upon so slight a thread?
And the worst is, that by tin's tinsel veil we have
hung before it, the real splendour of the Bible is so
entirely hidden from us; what with our arbitrary
chapter readings cutting subjects into pieces, our
commentaries and interpretations, built not on
laboured examination of what the people were for
whom and by whom the books were written, but
piled together hap-hazard out of polemic lucubra-
tions as if they were all prophecies, and their mean-
ings fixed by after history; with the unfathomed
dulness of our Service, in which the Venite Ex-
ultemus is followed by the Miserere mei Domine in
the same dull, stupid, soulless tone, as if it was a
barrel organ that was playing them, and not a
human voice speaking out of human heart. Oh,
what are we doing but making a very idol of the
Bible, treating it as if we supposed that to read out
of it and in it had mechanical virtue, like spells and
charmsthat it worked not as thought upon thought,
but by some juggling process of talismanic mate-
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 23
rialism. Oh, Heavens ! how our hearts bleed with
the poor mourners by the waters of Babylon ; how
we exult with them, and share their happiness in
the glorious hymns they poured out on their return,
if we may believe that it was they themselves whose
souls were flowing out there in passionate simplicity.
But how are we flung back upon ourselves per-
plexed, confused, and stupified, when we are told
that all this is, as Coleridge calls it, but a kind
of superhuman ventriloquism that the voice and
the hearts of the singers no more made tin's music
than the sun clock makes the hours which it marks
upon the dial-plate! And then all David's prayers
in his banishment. What, were they not prayers
then ? Not his prayers as his broken spirit flung
itself upon God, but model prayers which God was
making for mankind, and using but David's lips to
articulate them into form ? Ah, well ! The Maho-
metans say their Koran was written by God. The
Hindoos say the Vedas were; we say the Bible was,
and we are but interested witnesses in deciding
absolutely and exclusively for ourselves. If it be
immeasurably the highest of the three, it is because
it is not the most divine but the most human. It
does not differ from them in kind ; and it seems to
me that in ascribing it to God we are doing a
double dishonour; to ourselves for want of faith in
our soul's strength, and to God in making Him re-
sponsible for our weakness. There is nothing in it
but what men might have written ; much, oh much,
which it would drive me mad to think any but men,
24 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
and most mistaken men, had written. Yet still as
a whole, it is by far the noblest collection of sacred
books in the world ; the outpouring of the mind of a
people in whom a larger share of God's spirit was
for many centuries working than in any other of man-
kind, or who at least most clearly caught and carried
home to themselves the idea of the direct and im-
mediate dependence of the world upon Him. It
is so good that as men looked at it they said this
is too good for man : nothing but the inspiration
of God could have given this. Likely enough men
should say so; but what might be admired as a
metaphor, became petrified into a doctrine, and per-
haps the world has never witnessed any more gro-
tesque idol worship than what has resulted from
it in modern Bibliolatry. And yet they say we are
not Christians, we cannot be religious teachers, nay,
we are without religion, we are infidels, unless we
believe with them. We have not yet found the
liberty with which Christ has made us free. In-
fidels, Arthur ! Ah, it is a hard word ! The only
infidelity I know is to distrust God, to distrust his
care of us, his love for us. And yet that word!
How words cling to us, and like an accursed spell
force us to become what they say we have become.
When I go to church, the old church of my old
child days, when I hear the old familiar bells, with
their warm sweet heart music, and the young and
the old troop by along the road in their best
Sunday dresses, old well-known faces, and young
unknown ones, which by and by will grow to be so
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 25
like them, when I hear the lessons, the old lessons,
being read in the old way, and all the old associations
come floating hack upon me, telling me what I too
once was, before I ever doubted things were what I
was taught they were; oh, they sound so sad, so
bitterly sad. The tears rise into my eyes; the
church seems full of voices, whispering round me,
Infidel, Infidel, Apostate ; all those believing faces
in their reverent attention glisten with reproaches,
so calm, they look so dignified, so earnestly composed.
I wish I wish I had never been born. Things grow
worse and worse at home. Little things I have let
fall are turned against me. The temperature is get-
ting very cold, and our once warm and happy family,
where every feeling used to flow so sweetly together
in one common stream, seems freezing up, at least
wherever I am, into disunited ice crystals. Arthur,
Arthur, the sick heart often wants a warm climate
as well as the sick body. They talk in whispers
before me. Religious subjects are pointedly avoided.
If I say anything myself, I am chilled with frosty
monosyllables, and to no one soul around me can I
utter out a single thought. What! Do they fancy
it is any such wonderful self-indulgence, this being
compelled to doubt what they stay trusting in?
That it is a license for some strange sin ? No, no,
no. And yet they are right too yes, it is very
good, and very right. They are only following the
old lesson, which I followed too once, that belief
comes of obedience ; and that it is only for disobe-
dience that it is taken from us. My father says
26 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
before them, that I am indolent and selfish ; and the
rest seems all of a piece and a part of the same
thing Yet God is my witness, nothing
which I ever helieved has parted from me, but it has
been torn up by the roots bleeding out of my heart.
Oh! that tree of knowledge, that death in life.
Why, why are we compelled to know anything,
when each step gained in knowledge is but one
more nerve summoned out into consciousness of
pain? Better, far better, if what is happier is better,
to live on from day to day, from year to year, caring
only to supply the wants each moment feels, leaving
earth to care for earth, and the present for the pre-
sent, and never seeking to disentomb the past, or
draw the curtain of the future. Suppose I was to
write a book, Arthur, and say I was inspired to
write it like Emmanuel Swedenborg a madhouse
would be the best place for me, because common
sense would at once pass sentence on the pre-
tension, and if it did not, the poor book would be
its own sentence. But no one dreams that there
is anything improbable in the Jewish writers hav-
ing been inspired; and they will not let us try
the books by their contents. No, it is written,
they say, and so we must believe. Was there
ever such a jumble of arguments? The Bible
is its own evidence, because it is so pure and holy.
This and that thing we find in parts of it seems
neither pure nor holy; but because it is there, we
must believe it on some other evidence therefore
on what, then? on the witness of the Church.
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 27
The Church proves the Bible, and the Bible proves
the Church cloudy pillars rotating upon air
round and round the theory goes whirling like the
summer wind- gusts. It has been the sacred book
by which for so many centuries so many human
souls have lived, and prayed, and died. So have
the Vedas, so has the Koran, so has the Zenda
Vesta. As many million souls day after day have
watched the sun rise for their morning prayer, and
followed its setting by committing themselves to
God's care for protection in the darkness from the
powers of night, have lived humble, God-fearing
lives, and gone to their graves with the same trust
of a life beyond waiting all who have been faithful
to those books as many, or more, perhaps, than the
Christians no, there is no monopoly of God's
favour. The evidence of religion ah, I know
where the true evidence lies, by the pleadings of my
own heart against me. Why, why must it be that
all these alien histories, these strange theories and
doctrines, should be all sown in together in the
child seed-bed with the pure grain of Christianity?
so that in after years it is impossible to root them
out without trampling over rudely on the good.
And we must do it. They may be harmless, grow-
ing there unrecognised; but known for what they
are, their poison opens then, and they or we must
die. Arthur, is it treason to the Power which has
given us our reason, and willed that we shall use it,
if I say I would gladly give away all I am, and all
I ever may become, all the years, every one of them
28 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
which may be given me to live, but for one week of
my old child's faith, to go back to calm and peace
again, and then to die in hope. Oh for one look of
the blue sky as it looked then when we called it
Heaven ! The old black wood lies round the house
as it lay then, but I have no fear now of its dark
hollow, of the black glades under its trees. There
are no fairies and no ghosts there any more ; only
the church bells and the church music have any-
thing of the old tones, and they are silent, too,
except at rare, mournful, gusty intervals. Whatever
after evidence we may find, if we are so happy as to
find any, to strengthen our religious convictions, it
is down in childhood their roots are struck, and it is
on old association that they feed. Evidence can
be nothing but a stay to prevent the grown tree
from falling; it can never make it grow or assist
its powers of life. The old family prayers, which
taught us to reverence prayer, however little we
understood its meaning; the far dearer private
prayers at our own bedside; the dear friends for
whom we prayed; the still calm Sunday, with its
best clothes and tiresome services, which we little
thought were going so deep into our heart, when
we thought them so long and tedious; yes, it is
among these so trifling seeming scenes, these, and
a thousand more, that our faith has wound among
our heartstrings ; and it is the thought of these
scenes now which threatens me with madness as I
call them up again.
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 29
I CAN do nothing but write to you, dear Arthur.
You must bear with me I am sure you will ; it is
so inexpressible a relief to me. My feelings have
begun to flow to you, and it is unsafe to check an
opening wound. I find little pleasure enough in
being at home : all day in the beautiful autumn I
wander about by myself, and listen to what my heart
is saying to me ; and then in the evening I creep
back and hide myself in my little room and write it
all down for you. I wonder whether I am serious
in wishing to die. I certainly am in wishing I had
never been born ; and at least it seems to me that
if I was told I was to go with this summer's leaves,
it would do more to make me happy for the weeks
they have got to hang upon the trees, than any other
news which could be brought to me. I love the au-
tumn. I love to watch my days dropping off one by
one before the steady blowing time. You and I,
Arthur, are but twenty-four, and your life is just be-
ginning and mine seems to be done. It is well for
me that I was never very hopeful ; and the sweetest
moments I can have now are when I stray at even-
ing alone along the shore and watch the sea-birds as
they sweep away after the sun on their gilded gleam-
ing wings, or when the swallows are gathering for
their long flight to bright smiling lands one knows
not where. Some hope there is in their parting
beauty, even when they seem to leave us desolate ;
and as the sweet planets come out above the purple
30 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
twilight, they are opening glimpses into some other
world to which peace has flown away, and I, perhaps,
may follow. There is a village in the wood, two or
three miles from here there was an ahbey there
once. But there is nothing left of the abhey but
its crumbling walls, and it serves only for a burying-
ground and for sentimental picnic parties. I was
there to-day ; I sat there a long time, I do not know
how long I was not conscious of the place. I was
listening to what it was saying to me. I will write
it down and look at it, and you shall look at it : an
odd enough subject for a Christian ruin to choose
it began to talk about paganism. " Do you know
what paganism means ? " it said. Pagani, Pagans,
the old country villagers. In all history there is no
more touching word than that one of Pagan.
In the great cities where men gather in their
crowds and the work of the world is done, and the
fate of the world is determined, there it is that the
ideas of succeeding eras breed and grow and gather
form and power, and grave out the moulds for the
stamp of after ages. There it was, in those old
Roman times, that the new faith rose in its strength,
with its churches, its lecture-rooms, its societies. It
threw down the gorgeous temples, it burnt their
carved cedar work, it defiled the altars and scattered
the ashes to the winds. The statues were sanctified
and made the images of saints, the augurs' colleges
were rudely violated, and they who were still faithful
were offered up as martyrs, or scattered as wander-
ers over the face of the earth, and the old gods
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 31
were expelled from their old dominion the divinity
of nature before the divinity of man. . . . Change is
strong, hut hahit is strong too ; and you cannot
change the old for new, like a garment. Far out in
the country, in the woods, in the villages, for a few
more centuries, the deposed gods still found a re-
fuge in the simple minds of simple men, who were
contented to walk in the ways of their fathers to
believe where they had believed, to pray where they
had prayed. What was it to these, the pomp of the
gorgeous worship, the hierarchy of saints, the proud
cathedral, and the thoughts wlu'ch shook mankind ?
Did not the sky bend over them as of old in its
calm beauty, the sun roll on the same old path, and
give them light and warmth and happy sunny hearts ?
The star-gods still watched them as they slept why
should they turn away ? why seek for newer guard-
ians ? Year by year the earth put on her robes of
leaves and sweetest flowers the rich harvests waved
over the corn-fields, and the fruit-trees and the vine-
yards travailed as of old ; winter and summer, spring
and autumn, rain and sunshine, day and night, moving
on in their never-ending harmony of change. The
gods of their fathers had given their fathers these
good things ; had their power waxed slack ? Was not
their powerful hand stretched out still ? Pan, almighty
Pan ! He had given, and he gave still. Who watched
over the travail pangs of the poor ewes at the breed-
ing time ? Pan, almighty Pan ! Who taught the
happy shepherd to carve his love-notes in the invi-
sible air, and fill the summer nights with softest,
32 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
sweetest flute music ? Pan, almighty Pan ! Had
the water-nymphs forsaken their grottoes where the
fountains were flowing as of old ? Were the sha-
dows of the deep woods less holy ? Did the en-
chanted nightingale speak less surely the tale of her
sorrow ? As it was in the days of their fathers so
it was in theirs their fathers had gone down to the
dust in the old ways, and so would they go down
and join them. They sought no better; alike in
death as in their life, they would believe where they
had believed, though the creed was but a crumbling
ruin; sacrifice where they had sacrificed; hope as
they hoped ; and die with them too ! Who shall say
that those poor peasants were not acting in the
spirit we most venerate, most adore ; that theirs was
not the true heart language which we cannot choose
but love ? And what has been their reward ? They
have sent down their name to be the by-word of all
after ages ; the worst reproach of the worst men
a name convertible with atheism and devil- worship.
" And now look at me," the old ruin said ; " cen-
turies have rolled away, the young conqueror is de-
crepit now; dying, as the old faith died, in the
scenes where that faith first died ; and lingering where
it lingered. The same sad sweet scene is acting over
once again. I was the college of the priests, and they
are gone, and I am but a dead ruin where the dead
bury their dead. The village church is outliving me
for a few more generations ; there still ring, Sunday
after Sunday, its old reverend bells, and there come still
the simple peasants in their simple dresses pastor
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 33
and flock still with the old belief; there beneath its
walls and ruins they still gather down into the dust,
fathers and children sleeping there together, waiting
for immortality ; wives and husbands resting side by
side in fond hope that they shall wake and link again
the love-chain which death has broken ; so simple,
so reverend, so beautiful ! Yet is not that, too, all
passing away, away beyond recall ? The old monks
are dead. The hermit- saints and hallowed relics are
dust and ashes now. The fairies dance no more
around the charmed forest ring. They are gone,
gone even here. The creed still seems to stand ; but
the creed is dead in the thoughts of mankind. Its
roots are cut away, down where alone it can gather
strength for life, and other forms are rising there ;
and once again, and more and more, as day passes
after day, the aged faith of aged centuries will be
exiled as the old was to the simple inhabitants of
these simple places. Once, once for all, if you would
save your heart from breaking, learn this lesson
once for all you must cease, in this world, to believe
in the eternity of any creed or form at all. What-
ever grows in time is a child of time, and is bom
and lives, and dies at its appointed day like our-
selves. To be born in pain and nursed in hardship,
a bounding imaginative youth, a strong vigorous
manhood, a decline which refuses to believe it is a
decline, and still asserts its strength to be what it
was, a decrepit old age, a hasty impatient heir, and a
death- bed made beautiful by the abiding love of
some few true-hearted friends ; such is the round of
34 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
fate through nature, through the seasons, through
the life of each of us, through the life of families, of
states, of forms of government, of creeds. It was
so, it is so, it ever shall be so. Life is change, to
cease to change is to cease to live ; yet if you may
shed a tear beside the death-bed of an old friend,
let not your heart be silent on the dissolving of a
This is what the old ruin said to me, Arthur.
Arthur, did the ruin speak true ?
THINGS grow worse and worse with me at home;
my brothers are all away, lucky fellows, happy and
employed. Oh, how I envy them. Letters come
home, such bright sunny letters. They are getting
on so well, Henry has just got his epaulets, and his
captain took the occasion of writing a most polite
letter to my father about it. He said he promised
to be one of the most excellent officers in the ser-
vice, and so much more than merely a sailor, nice
fellow, that he is ; and Ms highest pleasure seems to
be the pleasure he knows his success will give my
father. Then for James and Frederick; you know
they are both younger than I am, yet James is
already a junior partner in the house, and Frederick
tells us he is intending to strike for wages, as all
the hardest cases in his master's office are handed
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 35
over to him; they seem bom to get on, and when
they come here, it is such an entire happy hearty
holiday with them, riding, hunting, shooting, halls,
and parties ; they are the life of everything about
us ; while poor I I, who was once expected too
to be a credit to myself, am doing nothing and can
do nothing. I cannot work, for there is nothing
I can work upon, and yet I never have a holiday,
my wretched thoughts cling about me like evil
spirits. I have no taste for what is called amusement.
I suppose I do not like hunting and shooting, but I
say to myself that I think it wrong to make my plea-
sures out of helpless creatures' pain ; and for the
party- going, one had better have a light heart to like
parties, or to be liked by them. Books nauseate me;
I seem to have learnt all that I can learn from
books, or else to have lost the power of learning
anything from them ; and of all these modern writers
there is not one who will come boldly up and meet
the question which lies the nearest, or ought to he
the nearest, to our hearts. Carlyle ! Carlyle only
raises questions he cannot answer, and seems best
contented if he can make the rest of us as discon-
tented as himself; and all the others, all, that is, who
have any power at all, fight beside religion, either as
if it were not worth saving, or as if it had nothing
to do with them. Every day five columns of the
Times are full of advertisements of new books, most
of them with enough of flashy cleverness to let us
endure them through a single reading ; but then
there is an end of them. A really serious, open-
36 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
minded, single-hearted man there is not one in the
whole fraternity; and the impudent presumption of
these reviewers, critics and all; well, at any rate, I
am flung utterly upon myself, on my own resources,
sufficiently miserable ones. My sisters work hard
in the parish, if not in the hest way, yet with strong
enough sense of their duty, and with no lack of in-
dustry; they sometimes ask me to join them, but it
is in the patronising unpleasant sort of way which
reflects upon my helplessness, as if they partly pitied
and partly despised me ; not that I should care for
that; but somehow everything they do is in the
formal business style, as if " the poor" were a set of
things with which something had to be done, instead
of human beings with hearts to feel and sufferings
to be felt for and souls to be reverenced ; and so I
wander about mostly my own way. I go a good deal
among the poor too, but at a distance from here ;
and there are many pleasant cottages where I am
sure of a smile and plenty of affection from the
children. This is all very helpless, I know it is ; but
there is no mending it, it must be. I wait for guid-
ance, and my soul must have it, if I give it time.
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 37
WELL, Arthur, we are come to a crisis now. Here I
am at the parting of the ways; I look down one, and
I see a bright flowery road, with friends and fortune
smiling, and a happy home, and the work I longed
for, all which promise to make life delightful : down
the other and I see oh, I will not look down the
other ; if I do I shall never dare to choose it. Do
you not think that sometimes when matters are at
the worst with us, when we appear to have done all
which we ourselves can do, yet all has been unavail-
ing, and we have only shown we cannot, not we will
not, help ourselves; that often just then something
comes, almost as if supernaturally, to settle for us, as
if our guardian angel took pity on our perplexities,
and then at last obtained leave to help us ? And if it
be so, then what might only be a coincidence be-
comes a call of Providence, a voice from Heaven, a
command. But I am running on as usual with my
own feelings, and I have not told you what it is
which has happened after all it is nothing so very
great the bishop has offered my father a living for
me ; it was done in a most delicate way, and with a
high incidental compliment paid to myself. My
father, before he spoke to me, had at the first mention
of it reminded the bishop I was not yet in orders.
The bishop said that in my case it did not matter,
from the high character which I had borne at col-
lege, and from the way I had distinguished myself
38 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
there. I had been spending my time, he had no
doubt, to the very best advantage at home ; and he
thought it was a good sign in any young man when
he took a longer time for study and moral prepara-
tion, instead of rushing at once into his profession.
It was odd to see how flattered my father was, and
how immediately his own opinion of me began to
alter when he saw great people disposed to make
much of me. He was embarrassed, however, in
telling this to me, and ha evidently had more doubts
how I should take the information than he had
liked to tell the bishop. Both the ordinations could
be managed within a short time of one another, so
there was no escape that way; my face did not
brighten and my father's consequently fell ; I saw he
had set his heart upon it. I could not bring myself
to mortify him with the peremptory no, which my
conscience flung upon my lips ; I said I would think
about it and give him my answer in two days. In
justice to him as well as myself, I felt I could not
act any more entirely on my own judgment ; I could
not open myself to him, no matter why, I could
not but the next day I rode over to
to talk to the dean, my uncle. I made no mystery
of anything with him ; I told him exactly how it was
with me, my own difficulties and my embarrassment
at home. It relieved me to see how little he was
startled, and he was so kind that I could ill forgive
myself for having so long shrunk from so warm a
mediator. He said he was not at all surprised, not
that he thought there was anything particularly
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 39
wrong about myself which should have led me
astray, but my case he said was the case of almost
all young men of talent before they passed from the
school of books into that of life. Of course revela-
tion had a great many most perplexing difficulties
about it ; but then he said, just as my father said
before, I must remember that the real discipline of
the mind is action, not speculation; and regular
activity alone could keep soul or body from dis-
ease. To sit still and think was simply fatal; a
morbid sensitiveness crept over the feelings like the
nervous tenderness of an unhealthy body, and unless
I could rouse myself to exertion, there would be no
end at all to the disorder of which I complained.
It was odd he treated it simply as a disorder, like one
of the bodily disorders we have once in our lives to go
through, which a few weeks' parish routine and prac-
tical acquaintance with mankind would dissipate as
a matter of course. I felt I was sinking, but I
made another effort : would it not be better, I asked,
if I was to make trial first, and take work as a lay-
man under some sensible and experienced rector.
He thought not ; it would be difficult to find a person
with a mind which could influence mine, and it would
not do to risk a failure. The really valuable lessons
were the lessons we taught ourselves, and as this
opportunity had offered, it would be wrong, he fancied,
to reject it: my father's feelings ought to weigh
with me. Then surely, I said, I ought to tell the
bishop, at any rate, something of wliich I had told
him ; but my uncle said no again. At present, at
40 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
least, there was no occasion; of course it was all
nothing, as my own good sense in a very short
time must show me ; and though a person in high
authority might know things privately without any
inconvenience, yet a public or official communication
would be an embarrassing challenge upon him to
take a part, for which in reality he might be quite
sure there was no necessity. Well, I need not tell
you what I felt; it was something like a sentence of
death, and yet I had determined to abide by his
opinion. It seemed at any rate as if the responsi-
bility was not mine, though in my heart I knew it
was. I set my teeth and galloped home, and to
carry my fate through, and give myself no time to
quarrel with it, I went at once to my father and
committed myself to an assent. The heartfelt plea-
sure I saw I was giving him went far to relieve my
own heart; at any rate the sacrifice was not for
nothing. Life is more than a theory, and love of
truth butters no bread : old men who have had to
struggle along their way, who know the endless bit-
terness, the grave moral deterioration which follow
an empty exchequer, may well be pardoned for an
over- wish to see their sons secured from it ; hunger,
at least, is a reality, and when I am as old as he is,
and have sons of mine to manage for, I shall be
quite as anxious I dare say about the "provision."
He was delighted, you may be sure he was;
we seemed to forget that there had been any cool-
ness or difference between us; in a little while we
were talking over my income, the condition the
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 41
house was in, and the furniture he was going to pro-
vide for me : a good wife was to he a serious advantage
to me, and even more ambitious prospects were already
beginning to dawn over the horizon ; and now here I
am dismissed to my own room and my own reflection.
What have I done ? After all, only what many do under
a lower temptation. I have consented for the sake of
others, while they do it only for their own ; and after
all perhaps what my uncle says is true, and by and
by I shall find it so ; and then one remembers the
case of Synesius, who when he was pressed to take
a bishopric by the Alexandrian metropolitan, de-
clared he would not teach fables in church unless he
might philosophise at home. But Synesius made
his conditions and got them accepted ; while I ...
Arthur, I cannot cheat myself with sophistry : it is
not too late; I ought not, I think I ought not.
Oh, curses on this old helpless theological fanaticism
which encumbers us with a clumsy panoply of books
and doctrines before it will trust us with our duties.
Surely the character of the teacher, his powers,
and the culture he has given them, the heart that
there is in him., is what should be looked for in a
clergyman ; not the readiness of servility with which
he will plod along under chains, and mutter through
the Sunday ritual. I believe in God, not because
the Bible tells me that He is, but because my heart
tells me so ; and the same heart tells me we can only
have His peace with us if we love Him and obey
Him, and that we can only be happy when we each
love our neighbour better than ourselves. This is
42 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
what the clergyman's business is to teach : when the
Bible says the same, let him use the Bible language.
But there are many other things, besides what
are in the Bible, which he ought to learn if he would
assist the people to do what he tells them to do, if
he would really give them rest from that painful
vacancy of mind which life spent in routine of never-
ending work entails upon them ; he should study
their work, and the natural laws that are working in
it ; he should make another version of the Bible for
them in what is for ever before their eyes, in the corn-
field, in the meadow, in the workshop, at the weaver's
loom, in the market-places and the warehouses. Here,
better far than in any books, God has written the
tables of His commandments; and here, where men's
work lies, their teacher should show them how to read
them. Let every flower have a second image to their
eyes; let him bring in for witness to the love of the
great Creator, every bird, every beast, every poorest
insect; let the teeming earth tell of Him as in her
unwearied labour-pangs she fashions up the material
elements into the great rolling flood of life which
ebbs and flows around them. They might do some-
thing, these clergy, if they would go to work over
this ground ; labouring in good earnest they would be
for the souls of mankind. But they will not do it,
and I long to do it ; and yet, and yet, Arthur, my
conscience shrinks from those melancholy articles.
It seems to say I should not trifle with my own
soul ; and the guilt, if guilt there be, in all the sorrow
which may follow on my exclusion, will rest not on me
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 43
who shrink from them, hut on those who compel sub-
mission to them as the price at which we are to he
But if I decline this living, what is to become of
me? I shall finally offend those whose happiness
I value far more than I do my own. I shall con-
demn myself to an inert and self- destroying help-
lessness. Educated as I have been, there is no pro-
fession, except that of an author, which would be
tolerable to me ; and to be an author, I fear, I fear
I have too little talent. The men that write books,
Carlyle says, are now the world's priests, the spi-
ritual directors of mankind. No doubt they are;
and it shows the folly and madness of trying still
to enforce tests, that you do but silence a man in
the pulpit, to send his voice along the press into
every corner of the land. God abolished tests for
all purposes, except of misclu'ef and vexation, when
he gave mankind the Printing Press. What is the
result of sustaining them, but that we are all at the
mercy now of any clever self-assumer ? and while our
nominal teachers answer no end for us, except the
hour's sleep on Sunday, the minds of all of us, from
highest lords to enlightened operatives, are formed in
reading-rooms, in lecture-rooms, at the bar of public-
houses, by all the shrewdest, and often most worthless,
novel writers, or paper editors. Yet even this is better
than nothing better than that people should be left
to their pulpit teachers, such as they are. Oh ! how I
wish I could write. I try sometimes ; for I seem to
feel myself overflowing with thoughts, and I cry out
44 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
to be relieved of them. But it is so stiff and miser-
able when I get anything done. What seemed so clear
and liquid, comes out so thick, stupid, and frost-
bitten, that I myself, who put the idea there, can
hardly find it for shame, if I go look for it a few
days after. Still, if there was a chance for me ! To
be an author to make my thoughts the law of other
minds! to form a link, however humble, a real
living link, in the electric chain which conducts the
light of the ages ! Oh ! how my heart burns at the
very hope. How gladly I would bear all the cold-
ness, the abuse, the insults, the poverty, all the ill
things which the world ever pays as the wages of
authors who do their duty, if I could feel that I was
indeed doing my duty so being of any service so.
I should have no difficulty about this living then,
Arthur. I should know my work, and I would set
about it with all my soul. But to do nothing ; to
sit with folded hands, and the rust eating into my
heart ; or, because I cannot do the very best, to lie
down and die of despair ! Oh ! yes ; this life of
ours is like the deep sea-water, when with bold
exertion we may swim securely on the surface, but
to rest is to sink and drown. Tell me, Arthur, tell
me, what I ought to do.
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 45
THANK you a thousand times, my dear, dear friend,
for your most kind, most wise letter. I will try, as
you tell me, to have done with these inane specu-
lations. The world is a mystery ; and if the Bible
be the account which God has been pleased to give
us of it, we may well be content if we find no fewer
difficulties in the Bible, as Butler says, than we find
in the world. I am no better than the wise and
admirable men who have found deepest rest and
happiness there, and I think I can do what you say
is the least I ought to do subdue my doubts, if I
cannot satisfy them, and try the system which wise
men say can only be known in trying. I will taste
and see, and perhaps God will be gracious to me.
At any rate, believing, as I do, in Providence with
all my heart, I cannot doubt that it has been the
way in which God has chosen to have His people
taught ; and what am I, that I should dare to fancy
that I know better now ? I will take it in submis-
sion ; and as I am to teach with authority, so I will
endeavour to learn under authority. At any rate,
there can be no doubt what one ought to teach.
With the Bible for a text-book, there is no doubt
what, in the main, is the drift of its teaching, what-
ever one may think of parts of it. The best which
can be said to individuals to urge them to their duty,
is in that book ; and we have our conscience, too, and
the Bible of universal history too ; and, more than all,
46 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
experience the experience of our own hearts each
of which falls in with the great Bihle to the moulding
of our minds. They do as a fact mould them ; they
must do it ; and therefore it is God's will that they
should ; so that between them all there is no lack
of matter, without breaking debated ground. Well,
then, I will try; and if I am wrong, if I am indeed sin-
ning against light, I am at least led astray by no un-
worthy motive in wishing to do something for God's
service, and to spare distress to those who are most
dear to me. For the rest for advancement in the
world, for the favour and the smiles of men, for
comfort, and ease, and respectability, and position,
and those other tilings for which so many men in
these days sell their souls, God is my witness they
have not weighed so much in the balance with me,
as to put me on my guard against their influence.
Oh, no ! It were easy to go without all these things ;
far easier than to bear them. Oh ! what a frightful
business is this modern society ; the race for wealth
wealth. I am ashamed to write the word. Wealth
means well-being, weal, the opposite of woe. And
is that money ? or can money buy it ? We boast
much of the purity of our faith, of the sins of
idolatry among the Bomanists, and we send mis-
sionaries to the poor unenlightened heathens, to
bring them out of their darkness into our light, our
glorious light ; but oh ! if you may measure the
fearfulness of an idol by the blood which stains its
sacrifice, by the multitude of its victims, where in all
the world, in the fetish of the poor negro, in the
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 47
hideous car of Indian Juggernaut, can you find a
monster whose worship is polluted by such enor-
mity as this English one of money ! You must par-
don me, my heart is bleeding. I have made a
resolution which has cost me more than tears, and
now it is my best relief to flow out to you at ran-
dom. Yes, if God adapts His revelation to the
capacities of mankind, and the fierceness of His
rule over them to the depth of their abasement,
then, indeed, there is a cry in heaven for something
darker than the darkest discipline of the old idola-
ters. Riches! I suppose, at the smallest average,
for the making of a single rich man, we make a
thousand whose life-long is one flood- tide of misery.
The charnel-houses of poverty are in the shadow of
the palace; and as one is splendid, so is the other
dark, poisonous, degraded. How can a man grow
rich, except on the spoils of others' labour? His
boasted prudence and economy, what is it but the
most skilfully availing himself of their necessities,
most resolutely closing up his heart against their
cries to him for help ? In the homes of the poor,
Arthur, I have seen oh! I will not appal your
ears with what I have seen hunger, and vice, and
brutal ignorance, and savage rage, in fierce con-
sciousness of what they suffer. Poor wretches
struggling home from their day of toil, to find their
children waiting for them with a cry for food, when
they have none to give, and the famished mothers
in broken-hearted despair. Ah, Heaven! and our
beautiful account-books, so cleanly written, the
48 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
polished persiflage of our white-gloved rulers, and
the fair register of the nation's prosperity, what does
it look like, up in heaven, in the angel's book,
Arthur? No; God has saved me, at least, from
that had service ; there is no danger of my falling
down before that monster; and the one lasting
comfort which is left me now, is that I shall be able
to pay back something of my own long debt for
my easy life, and use this money they tell me I shall
have, to clean my hands against the long account.
Well, I will not bore you any more ; we cannot get
on for ever with nothing but gloom and sulkiness,
and I have bothered you enough. It is night and
day (or it ought to be) with all of us, if we want to
keep in health. To be sure, now and then there will
come a North Pole winter, with its six months' frost
and darkness and mock suns : but Nature is still fair,
and pays them off with their six months of day.
I have had my share of the shadow, so I hope I am
not going to be cheated. It is marvellous the im-
portance I find I have stepped into. There has
been an expedition over to see my house that is to
be ; and my sisters have settled the drawing-room
paper, and the colour of the curtains, and promised
to set up my penny club for me. I never told you,
by the by, where this said establishment was to be.
It is one of the suburbs of Morville, so I shall have
a fashionable audience . And I hear there is already
a schism at the tea-parties ; one side have settled
that I am a Puseyite, and another, that that is im-
possible, because I have such beautiful eyes. My
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 49
eccentricities, which used to be my shame, have now
become " so interesting." One young lady says
Selina will do for me, she is so like me so enthu-
siastic ; another thinks that a good little plain com-
mon-sense, brisk, practical body, is what I want,
and so Clara was exactly made for me. My sisters
do not particularise names, but one thinks, and the
other thinks, and they look knowing, and say, " Well,
we shall see." " As long as thou doest well unto thy-
self, men will speak good of thee ; " what a word
is there ! It is hard, though, that the kind words
won't come, when one most wants them. But it is
a shame of me to be grumbling now.
My father has prescribed a good body of Anglican
divinity. By the by, how coolly we appropriate that
word, Arthur Go into a picture gallery, and ask
whose that rosy full-fed face may be, looking out from
those rounded and frilled canonicals, and you are
told it is Bishop So-and-So, an eminent divine; and
then one thinks of the Author of the Kevelation, the
only person, I believe, besides our own Anglicans,
who has been thought worthy of that title. Well,
any how, I am to have the divinity ; though I can-
not say that in any one of those worthy writers,
except in Butler and in Berkeley, I could ever take
much pleasure. But I will try by and by, not
now; I have closed up my books, much to my
father's dismay, who is in alarm for my examina-
tion. The Bishop has formed a high opinion of me,
and should not be disappointed. But, since my
degree, I have read almost nothing but church
50 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
history, and criticism, and theology, of all sorts,
and in all languages ; and as I am gorged with it
to the full, and as it has but left me where I am, or
where I was, it is wiser, perhaps, to leave it. And
now that every thing is settled, dear Arthur, write
me a nice bright letter. I have a fountain of cold
water playing inside my own heart, which all but
extinguishes me don't visit me with any more. It
is but smoking, my flax; do not quench it; and
when you come to see me, either soon, or in after
years, you shall find me not with six children and
a pony carriage, and rosy cheeks, and much anxie-
ties on my turnip crop not pale with long watch-
ings over folios, nor with oiled hair inditing hymn-
books for the pious children of the upper classes
not correcting the press of my last missionary sermon
but, I hope, a happier and a better man than I
am now and always your dear friend, Arthur.
Morville, Jan. 1.
WELL, my dear friend, it is over ; for good or evil I
am committed finally to my calling, and I must
abide by it. With three-fourths of what I have
undertaken it will be with all my heart with the
remaining fourth with
I do not console myself with the futile foolish-
ness which whispers to me that so many do the
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 51
same ; for, with such self-contradictory formularies
as those to which we bind ourselves, with Articles
insisting on our finding one thing in the Bible, and
a Liturgy insisting on another, yet the Articles com-
mitting themselves to the Liturgy, while notwith-
standing they tell us, too, that the Bible is the only
rule of faith ; it is impossible for any one who has
ever thought or read to take them all without
straining his conscience one way or another; I
dare say this is true ; yet what others may have to
do is nothing to me : I am only concerned with
myself. In theory it is a thorny road enough ; but
practically it is trodden in by so many sorts that I
shall make shift to get along. I was ordained
deacon privately a fortnight before Christmas, and
priest yesterday the Sunday after it. Exquisite
satire on my state of mind ! I was complimented
publicly on my examination, as having shown my-
self possessed of so much well- digested information,
and on being so prudent in avoiding extremes. In
spite of my protestations I was chosen to assist in
the service yesterday, and I was told privately that
I had only to persist in such sensible moderation,
and that with my talents, in these trying times, I
should be an ornament to the Church, and that its
highest places might be open to me. But, above
all, my admonition concluded " Be extreme in
nothing you do not require me to remind you of
Aristotle's caution. Puseyism is the error on one
side, German rationalism on the other. Walk stea-
dily in the position which our own admirable
52 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
Church has so wisely chosen, equidistant between
these two. Throw yourself into her spirit, and,
with God's grace, you may rise hereafter to he one
of those strong lights which it is her highest
honour and her highest witness to have nurtured."
I felt so sick, Arthur. So, I may live to he like
Burnet, or Tillotson, or Bishop Newton, or Arch-
deacon Paley may I die sooner! I had nearly
said so ; hut it was all so kind and so good, and
there was such a sort of comfortable dignity about
it, that in spite of myself I was awed and affected.
Oh why, why, is there no confessional among us
no wise and affectionate friend with a commission
to receive our sorrows, and with a right to guide
us ? It is the commission we should have, Arthur ;
anybody may advise us, but we want some one to
order. I dare say the Bishop, if I had spoken out
to him, would have been shocked enough, and would
have ordered me not to undertake the office ; only
it would not have been because I thought as I did,
but because of the scandal in a candidate for orders
saying he thought so. It would have been nothing
but a " You must not." He would defend the place
against me as an enemy ; but of my own soul might
become what I could myself make of it ; he would
have been troubled enough to have known what to
do with that. Well, now for my duties (I suppose
I may be extreme in them), and the blue chintz
curtains, and the Penny Club ; and may God guide
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 53
A year's interval elapses now between the date of
this last letter and of the events to which we must
now pass forward. Sutherland was busy, and wrote
less frequently than before ; and when they did come,
his letters had lost something of that passionate
truthfulness of tone which made them so telling
even in their weakness. They were mostly of the
self-blinded sort, and, as his power was but scanty
in that line, they were poor of their kind. It ap-
peared as if he was endeavouring to persuade him-
self that he was contented and happy ; when it was
too clear that all was still wrong with him, that he
had but silenced himself, not replied to himself; and
that the wound which, had it continued open, might
have made progress towards healing, or, at worst,
continued but itself, being now closed over was cor-
rupting inwardly, and the next outbreak might be
far worse than the first. No censure shall be
passed upon his conduct here ; and the casting of
stones shall be left to those who are happy in a
purer conscience than I can boast of. Some persons
may find it easy and obvious to condemn him ; others
may wonder at the foolishness of so much excite-
ment over such a very trifle, and regard such exces-
sive sensibility as a kind of moral disease. But
I, who was his friend, am unequal to either, and
consider myself happy in having but to tell the story
as it was ; to relate the facts as they grew into their
consequences; the judgment which Providence passed
upon him on the whole, perhaps, a judgment as
just as that Power's judgments usually are found to
54 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
be. We had kept our misgivings to ourselves ; but
from the first we had felt all of us a painful convic-
tion that Sutherland's was not a mind to compose
itself as he proposed and expected; and that the
ideas which were disturbing him were of a kind
which would grow ; whatever his own will liked to
say about it. Again, his occupation was sure to
prove less agreeable than he hoped to find it. To
be enthusiastic about doing much with human na-
ture is a foolish business indeed; and, throwing
himself into his work as he was doing, and expect-
ing so much from it, would not the tide ebb as
strongly as it was flowing ? It is a rash game this
setting our hearts on any future beyond what we
have our own selves control over. Things do not
walk as we settle with ourselves they ought to walk,
and to hope is almost the correlative of to be dis-
appointed. Moreover, for the practical work of this
world (and a parson's work is no exception), a
thinking man is far more likely to require the sup-
port of a creed to begin with, than to find the
quarry in his work out of which he can sculpture one.
Let his uncle the dean say what he pleased, it is no
such easy matter after all to believe that all the
poor unhappy beings we have left to rot in igno-
rance and animalism, with minds scarcely so well
cultivated as the instinct of a well-trained brute ;
that the fashionable loungers of the higher classes,
and the light, good-tempered, gossip-dealing, ball-
going young ladies, have really and truly immortal
souls, which God came down from heaven to re-
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 55
deem, and for which He and the Devil are con-
tending. It is easy to talk largely of the abstract
dignity of humanity, and to take Socrates or Shake-
speare for a type of it. One can understand some-
thing of spirits such as theirs continuing, because
we see they do continue ; but really, with the mass
of us, one would think the most reasonable as
well as the kindest thing which could be done
would be to put us out. The stars want no snuff-
ing ; but I fear, if we are all to be kept burning,
whoever has the trimming of us will have work
enough. Neither good enough for heaven, nor bad
enough for the other place, we oscillate in the tem-
perate inertia of folly ; answering no end whatever
either of God or Devil; surely, one would think,
we should be put out.
At any rate, for this unfortunate normal state
of the mass of mankind, Markham was not calcu-
lating; he was, he thought, to be teaching men
to love good and hate evil, and hardly any one of
those he came in contact with would have power
really to do either one or the other. Love and hate
of such matters are intellectual passions, with whose
names we must not dignify the commonplace self-
ishnesses or respectabilities of common people, who
may like and may dislike, but cannot love and cannot
hate. He fancied he was going to make the lot of
poverty more tolerable : as far as giving away money
went, no doubt he succeeded ; but it was unlucky for
him that his parish lay on the outskirts of a large
town. His poor were the operative poor, whose
56 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
senses were too keenly quickened to let them sink
into contentment, while they lived side by side with
luxury which they knew was trampling them under
foot while it was feeding itself upon their life juices ;
living, as they were, for the most part in filth and
vice, yet without that torpor of faculty which helps
the agricultural poor through their sufferings;
without the sense of home either which these have,
or of the feudalism which secures the most ill-
deserving landlord something of their respect and
of their hearts. It was ill-dealing for Markham
with such as they ; he was one of the hated order.
They would take his money with a kind of sullen
thanks, as if they knew very well they were but
receiving a small instalment of their own rights ;
but it was impossible to make them learn from him ;
and their hard stern questions often wrung from
him the bitter self- confession, that the doctrinal
food which the Church had to offer to men of
stamp like that was but like watered chaff for the
giant dray-horse of the coal-yard. He could have
more easily touched them if he had spoken out
what once had been his own feelings ; but he had
consented to be a declaiming instrument. He
could only speak now not as man to man, but as
thing to thing; and when he found a man who
would speak his own old doubts to him, he dis-
covered that he had not been rewarded for his sub-
mission with any enlightenment to answer them.
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 57
MY DEAR FRIEND,
SOMETHING very uncomfortable has befallen me : a
fool can fire a powder magazine as well as the wisest
of us ; and in spite of the mournful absurdity which
hangs about the story, I cannot tell in what disaster
it may not conclude. However, I will not anticipate ;
you shall have it all ab initio. You know, in all
large towns, there are those very detestable things,
religious tea-parties. In this place, where there are
such a number of business people, who have either
retired from business themselves, or have withdrawn
their families out of its atmosphere to make idle
ladies and gentlemen of them, they are particularly
rife; all people want some excitement, and as they
are in too uneasy a position in this world, and com-
mon ordinary intercourse with one another is too
vulgar to suit their ambition, they flit about in the
shadow of the other world ; and with wax lights, and
psalm singing, and edifying conversation, entertain
one another with evening soirees, in imitation, as
they fancy, of the angels. I hate these things, and
as I have never cared to avoid saying so, I have of
course made myself innumerable enemies, partly be-
cause I ought to be shining among them as the
central figure, and partly for the reason I have
given for my dislike. I fear the main element of
angel tea-parties is seldom there. These people can
really have very little love for one another from the
58 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
delight with which they mourn over each other's
failings ; and when, unhappily, no such topic has
newly presented itself, the edifying talk consists in
the showing up of the poor Puseyites; or, if the
party happen to be Puseyite, in the sort of self-
satisfied sham business-like we- are- the- wise assump-
tion, which is even more intolerable. I suppose the
angels do not stimulate the monotony of their lives
by half- envious stories of the unlawful words or un-
lawful enjoyments of the other place, do they Ar-
thur? Well, my place on the occasion has been
commonly supplied by the town curates and rectors,
who have done the honours, no doubt, far better
than I could do them ; and I was contented to let
it be so, and think no more about the matter. But
it seems I must have made myself the occasion of a
great deal of talk. I didn't marry any of them
that was the first great sin. I patronised no socie-
ties, and I threw cold water on philanthropy
schemes. The clergy! I hope it is not wrong of
me, but I cannot like them. Though I have not
avoided their acquaintance, we have never got
on; and after one or two ineffectual attempts, we
have tacitly given up all hopes of intimacy. I
never saw the clouds gathering. The Bishop cau-
tioned me against party, and here it has been my
sin that I am of none. What is not understood is
suspected ; and, what is worse, it is for ever talked
about. It is one of the oddest of men's infirmities,
that no talk of what they do understand, is spicy
enough to interest them. Well, never mind, I must
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 59
tell my story. About a fortnight ago I was asked
to dine with the Hickmans. They are one of the
few families that I really like here. Miss Hick-
man and I often meet in the dark staircases and the
hack alleys ; and, though the least trifle in the world
given to cant, they have enough good sense and active
conscience about them to be saved from any serious
harm from it. I had often been there before, and
yet I felt a strange reluctance on tins unhappy
evening. I think there is a spiritual scent in us
which feels mischief coming, as they say birds
scent storms. I felt somewhat assured on entering
the drawing-room. I was the last; and of the six
or seven people present, there was only one I did
not know at all, and one more with whom I was not
intimate this last, a young lady, a Miss Lennox,
a niece of Mrs. Hickman, who had been for some
weeks staying with them. The other was the newly-
arrived rector of a parish in the neighbourhood,
who, I understood, had brought with him a reputa-
tion of cleverness, and was shortly to be married
to the young lady. No one was coming in the
evening : alas ! who could have guessed from the plain
unthreatening surface of that quiet little assembly,
what a cunning mine had been run below it, that
I had been brought there to be dragged into an ar-
gumentary examination in which this new-found
chymist was to analyse me, to expose my structure
for his betrothed's spiritual pleasure, his own vanity,
and the parish scandal. Well, unsuspecting, I went
on tolerably well for some time : I rather liked the
60 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
fellow. He was acute, not unwitty, and with a
savoir faire about him which made his talk a pleas-
ing variety to me. Once or twice the ladies made
serious remarks ; but he, as well as I, appeared to
shrink from mixing more religion with our dinner
than the grace which went before and which suc-
ceeded it ; and in the half- hour we were left toge-
ther after the ladies were gone, there was nothing
to make me change my mind about him, except
that I felt I could never be his friend; he knew
too much and felt too little.
In the evening the conversation turned on a pro-
jected meeting of the Bible Society, where they were
all going. There was much talk what such talk is
you know. Nothing at first was directly addressed
to me, so I took no part in it. The good rector came
out with really some tolerably eloquent discours-
ing; and the poor ladies drank up his words; oh,
you should have seen them. I fancy the fair fiancee
drank a little too much of them, and got rather spi-
ritually intoxicated at least I hope she did as some
excuse for her. As he went rolling on for an hour
or more, he described the world as grinding between
the nether millstone of Popery and the upper mill-
stone of Infidelity, and yet a universal millennium
was very near indeed through this Bible activity.
At the end he turned sharp upon me. Of course
Mr. Sutherland would feel it his duty to take the
chair on so truly blessed an occasion ?
Now, conceive societies, with chairmen, dragging at
the poor world from between two such millstones ! !
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 61
" I believe you need not ask Mr. Sutherland," the
young lady said, in a tone of satiric melancholy :
" he never preaches the Bible."
I didn't laugh. I was very near it ; but I luckily
looked first at Mrs. Hickman, and saw her looking
so bitterly distressed and distressed, too, (how
much a look can say !) from her partly sharing her
niece's feeling, that I gathered up as much gravity
as I could command. " I believe I read it to you
twice every day," I said, " and my sermons are a
great deal better than my own practice, perhaps
than the practice of most of us." She coloured, be-
cause she thinks daily service formal and super-
stitious. I do not know what indignation would
not have bubbled out of her lips, when the rector
heroically flew in to the rescue, and with sufficient
tact only noticed her with a smile, and repeated his
" I fear not," I said. " I shrink from meetings
where a number of people are brought together,
not to learn something which they are themselves
to do, but to give money to help others in a re-
mote employment. There is a great deal of talk-
ing and excitement, and they go away home fan-
cying they have been doing great things, when
they have, in fact, only been stirring up some un-
profitable feeling, and giving away a few shillings or
pounds, when all their active feeling and all the
money they can spare is far more properly required
at home. Charity is from person to person ; and it
loses half, far more than half, its moral value when
62 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
the giver is not brought into personal relation with
those to whom he gives."
" Mr. Sutherland is general enough, and perhaps
vague enough," was the answer. " Permit me to
keep to my subject. The Bible Society in the
course of each year disperses over the world hun-
dreds of thousands of Bibles in many different lan-
guages. The Word of God is sent into lands of
Egyptian darkness, and souls at least may come to
saving knowledge who else were lost without
I said coldly, I was sorry. I found my own
duties far beyond my powers both of mind and
money. I had only expressed my own feelings to
explain my own conduct. I passed no opinion
" I fear you cannot defend yourself on so general
a ground without reflecting upon others, Mr. Su-
therland," he said. " I could understand you, in a
manner sympathise with you, if you took the ground
of objection so many good churchmen take, in
declining to act with a mixed body ; but in this
case, I fear, pardon me, I think you have some
other reason. I do not fancy the objects of the
society can entirely meet your approbation, or you
would not have spoken so coldly."
Miss Lennox was looking infinitely disagreeable ;
the Hickmans as much concerned. The vulgar im-
pertinence of such offensive personality disgusted me
out of temper. Partly, too, I was annoyed at feel-
ing he had heard, or she had been cunning enough to
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 63
see, I had some particular feeling on the point be-
yond what I had spoken out.
" Yes," I said, " it is true I have particular
feelings. I dislike societies generally; I would join
in none of them. For your society in particular, as
you insist on my telling you, I think it is the very
worst, with the establishment of which I have been
acquainted. Considering all the heresies, the enor-
mous crimes, the wickednesses, the astounding follies
which the Bible has been made to justify, and which
its indiscriminate reading has suggested ; considering
that it has been, indeed, the sword which our Lord
said that he was sending ; that not the Devil himself
could have invented an implement more potent to
fill the hated world with lies, and blood, and fury ; I
think, certainly, that to send hawkers over the world
loaded with copies of this book, scattering it in all
places among all persons not teaching them to un-
derstand it ; not standing, like Moses, between that
heavenly light and them ; but cramming it into their
own hands as God's book, which He wrote, and they
are to read, each for himself, and learn what they
can for themselves is the most culpable folly of
which it is possible for man to be guilty."
I had hardly spoken before I felt how wrong, how
foolish, I had been ; and that a mere vulgar charla-
tan, as I felt the man was, should have had the
power to provoke me so ! I had said nothing which
was not perfectly true, in fact ; but I ought to have
known it was not true to the ignorant women who
were listening with eyes fixed and ears quivering, as
64 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
if the earth was to open and swallow a blasphemer
What did they know of the world's melancholy
I saw Mr. 's eyes sparkle as he felt the tri-
umph I was giving him, and his next word showed
me it had been a preconcerted plan.
" It is as I told you," he said, turning away from
me; "the enemy is among us." The ladies ga-
thered together for mutual protection in a corner.
" What do you mean, Sir ? " I said ; (l this is
most unwarrantable language. With what purpose
did you come here ? "
" Language ! Sir/' he sighed, " unwarrantable !
I might ask you, Sir, what you mean with what
purpose you are come a wolf among these sheep ?
They know you now, Mr. Sutherland. I knew what
you were before, but your disguise had been too
cunning for their eyes."
Mrs. Hickman looked the picture of despair;
quite wretched enough to disarm any anger I might
feel at her.
" Really, Madam," I said, rising, " if you have
connived at this scene, you must be sufficiently
punished at its results. I will not add to your pain
by continuing my presence." The miserable young
lady was flushed with exultation ; the rector had
smoothed himself into an expression of meek tri-
umph in a successful exorcism. I had been too
much in the wrong myself to enable me to say then
what might have to be said. I would wait till the
next morning, which I supposed must bring my
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 65
hostess's apology, and so bowed coldly and departed.
The whole thing was so very insufferably bad that
I could not even let myself think of what I was to do
till I had considered it coolly. I went home and
went to bed. The next morning came, but no note,
and the day passed without any; and I began to
feel, as a clergyman, in a most embarrassing posi-
tion indeed. As a man, it was far too contemptible
to affect me ; but as I thought it over, I saw that it
was a seriously concerted design, whether from dislike
or suspicion what I do not know to attack my
position, and I had not heard the end of it. I called
once or twice at the Hickmans, but they were not at
home to me ; long faces began to show about the
parish. It was evident tongues had been busy, and
last Sunday the church was half empty. I was at a
loss what to resolve upon, and had been thinking
over various plans, when something came this even-
ing which- is likely to resolve it all for me and save
me the trouble. My folly has bred its consequence ;
the word flies out and has a life of its own, and goes
its own way and does its own work. Just now a
note was brought me, a very kind one, from the Bi-
shop, requesting me to take an early opportunity of
calling on him : if I were not engaged, fixing to-
morrow morning. The sooner down the better with
all nasty medicine, from the first magnesia draught
to the death finish. I shall present myself at the
first moment. I can have no doubt of the occa-
66 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
WELL, it is over, this interview; and a great deal
else is over, I believe. He is a good man, a really
good man, and a great one. Would to God I had
been open with him before ! however, it is idle la-
menting now. You shall hear : I found him alone
of course ; I was shown into his study ; he was good
enough to remember that the moments we are kept
waiting for such interviews are not the very sweetest,
and he joined me almost immediately. There was a
grave kindness in his manner, which told me at once
I had been right in looking for unpleasantness, and
his good sense kept him from hanging on the edge
of what was inevitable. He said he was very sorry,
&c., and that I was not to regard what he was going
to say to me as in the least official ; whether any-
thing of that kind might have to follow, would
depend very much on what he heard from me.
In the mean time he wished to speak to me, as
a friend, on some very serious matter which had been
communicated to him. I bowed. He said he con-
cluded from my manner that I was prepared for what
was coming ; and then he went on, that I was said to
have used certain very incautious language, to say
the least of it, at a private party in my parish, on the
subject of the Bible Society. Perhaps in itself it
was not a thing which he could formally notice.
With the society in question he had as little sym-
pathy as I could have ; and he could easily under-
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 67
stand that a young man of strong feelings might
have been led to express himself with an unwise
vehemence. But I must be aware how strongly in-
clined foolish people were to misunderstand and
misrepresent, and how extremely cautious in my po-
sition I was bound to be. He stopped there ; so, as
well as I could, I thanked him for his kindness. I
said I knew I had been very unwise, and, as nearly
as I could remember them, I repeated the exact
words which I had used. He answered very truly,
with a sort of a smile, that words like those, unex-
plained, were quite as dangerous as anything I could
find in the subject of them. But then, he went on,
that this was not all he had to say to me. There
was another matter, and a more serious one, he was
sorry to tell me, of which he hoped I could give ex-
planation. I had now been a year at my parish, and
on all, except on one point, he was happy to tell me
that if I had not exactly pleased my people, it was
their fault, not mine. But a very serious complaint
had been made to him on the nature of my sermons.
He need not go into detail ; but he had been in-
formed generally that during that entire season I
had not preached a single one which might not have
been a Socinian's. He did not charge me with hav-
ing taught Socinianism ; on the contrary (and per-
haps, as a general rule, I had done wisely), I had
steadily avoided all doctrine; but that I had not
said a word to prove that I held opinions which So-
cinians did not hold, on the points on which they
differed from us ; neither on the incarnation nor on
68 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
the atonement, as such, had I ever directly spoken.
I was silent. " I presume it is true," he continued,
" and from your present manner, that it has been
purposely so." " Yes," I said. He waited for me
to go on. "If the Catholic doctrine be true," I
said ; he started ; " if the Catholic doctrine be true,"
I repeated, " it is so overwhelming a mystery, that I
cannot think of it without its crushing me. I can-
not bring myself to speak in public of it, before such a
mixed assembly, or lend myself to the impiety (I can
use no other word) with which the holiest secret of
our faith is made common and profane. I think
there is no one in my parish to whom, even in pri-
vate, I should feel it possible to speak upon it."
" Then you have not spoken in private either ? "
" I have never been sought. If I had, however, I
should probably have been still silent."
"You said if the Catholic doctrine be true you
observed that I remarked your words, and you
desired that I should do so, from your repeating
them. Am I to suppose that you have any doubts
about it ? "
" My lord," I said, " you were good enough to
tell me you were speaking to me as a friend, and I
will show you my thanks by being entirely open
with you. Many times I have been on the point of
volunteering a confession to you ; I have only been
withheld by an unmanly fear ; a doubt of how you
might receive it. However, I will speak now. I
owe my situation to your goodness, and perhaps
I have hitherto made a bad return to you. Now I
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 69
put myself without reserve in your hands, and what-
ever you think I ought to do, I will do. Never,
either hy word or action, until this if, have I given
reason to living man to suppose I did question
it. But that in these times every serious person
should not in his heart have felt some difficulty with
the doctrines of the incarnation, I cannot helieve.
We are not as we were. When Christianity was
first puhlished, the imagination of mankind pre-
sented the relation of heaven to earth very dif-
ferently from what it does now. When heaven was
one place, and earth was another, imaginatively co-
extensive, extended under it with, in every nation,
a belief in a constant intercourse between them, sha-
dowing itself out in legends of God's appearing upon
earth, and mortals elevated among gods it cannot but
have seemed far simpler then that this earth should
have been the scene of a mystery so tremendous, than
it can now seem to us, knowing what we know of this
little earth's infinite insignificance. But as this is but
an imaginative difficulty, so it has not been on this,
but rather on the moral side of the doctrine, that I have
found my own deepest perplexity. I will be candid.
I believe God is a just God, rewarding and punish-
ing us exactly as we act well or ill. I believe that
such reward and punishment follow necessarily from
His will as revealed in natural law, as well as in the
Bible. I believe that as the highest justice is the
highest mercy, so He is a merciful God. That the
guilty should suffer the measure of penalty which
their guilt has incurred, is justice. What we call
70 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
mercy is not the remission of this, but rather the
remission of the extremity of the sentence attached
to the act, when we find something in the nature of
the causes which led to the act, which lightens the
moral guilt of the agent. That each should have
his exact due is just is the hest for himself. That
the consequence of his guilt should be transferred
from him to one who is innocent (although that in-
nocent one be himself willing to accept it), whatever
else it be, is not justice. We are mocking the word
when we call it such. If I am to use the word, justice
in any sense at all which human feeling attaches to
it, then to permit such transfer is but infinitely deep-
ening the wrong, and seconding the first fault by
greater injustice. I am speaking only of the doc-
trine of the atonement in its human aspect, and as
we are to learn anything from it of the divine
nature or of human duty. To suppose that by our
disobedience we have taken something away from
God, in the loss of which He suffers, for which He
requires satisfaction, and that this satisfaction has
been made to Him by the cross sacrifice (as if
doing wrong were incurring a debt to Him, which
somehow must be paid, though it matters not by
whom), is so infinitely derogatory to His majesty, to
every idea which I can form of His nature, that to
believe it in any such sense as this confounds and
overwhelms me. In the strength of my own soul,
for myself, at least, I would say boldly, rather let
me bear the consequences of my own acts myself,
even if it be eternal vengeance, and God requires it,
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 71
than allow the shadow of my sin to fall upon the
I stopped. He said, quietly, " You have more to
say, go on."
I continued. " I know that in early ages men
did form degraded notions of the Almighty, painting
Him like themselves, extreme only in all their pas-
sions : they thought He could be as lightly irritated
as themselves, and that they could appease His anger
by wretched offerings of innocent animals. From
such a feeling as this to the sense of the value of a
holy and spotless life and death from the sacrifice
of an animal to that of a saint is a step forward out
of superstition quite immeasurable. That between
the earnest conviction of partial sight, and the
strong metaphors of vehement minds, the sacrificial
language should have been transferred onwards from
one to the other, seems natural to me ; perhaps in-
evitable. On the other hand, through all history
we find the bitter fact that mankind can only be
persuaded to accept the best gifts which Heaven
sends them, in persecuting and destroying those
who are charged to be their bearers. Poetry and
romance shadow out the same truth as the stern and
mournful rule under which Heaven is pleased to
hold us, that men must pay their best to it as the
price of what they receive. I understand this
I can understand, as I can conceive, that as the
minds of men grew out into larger mould, these two
ideas united into one, in such a doctrine as that
which we are now taught to hold.
72 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
' ' But if I am to believe that in plain prose it is
true as a single fact not which happens always, but
which has happened once for all that before the
world was made it was predetermined so, and we
must obey the Bible, and allow that this is justice
and this is mercy; then in awe and perplexity I
turn away from the Bible, not knowing, if it use our
words in a sense so different, so utterly different,
from any which we attach to them, what may not be
the mystical meaning of any or every verse and
fragment of it. It has but employed the words
which men use to mock and deceive them. A re-
velation ! Oh, no ! no revelation ; only rendering
the hard life- enigma tenfold harder. I thank you
very much for bearing with me. I will but say, in
conclusion, that I do not disbelieve that in some
mysterious transcendental sense, as involved in the
system of the entire universe, with so vast an arc
that no faculty of man can apprehend its curve,
that in some such sense the Catholic doctrine of the
atonement may be true. But a doctrine out of
which, with our reason, our feeling, our logic, I at
least can gather any practical instruction for man-
kind any deeper appreciation of the attributes of
God, any deeper love for Him, any stimulant to-
wards our own obedience such a doctrine I cannot
find it. I bury what I am to think of it in the
deepest corner of my own heart, where myself I fear
It was said and over. And oh ! what a relief I
felt. A weight which had been sinking me to the
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 73
earth was taken off. I was an honest man again, with
nothing more to conceal, and follow now what might,
I had done my duty, and I was not responsible.
He said my convictions seemed deeply thought
were they altogether new? formed since the time of
my taking orders?
I said I would be frank with him again. I had
had very great difficulty in taking orders. At that
time my feelings were far less denned than they
were at present ; but even then I had anxiously de-
sired an explanation with him, and it had only been
the advice of others, (which I had never sufficiently
regretted having followed,) which had deterred me.
I was told, and I partly believed it, that my un-
comfortable feelings were the result of want of em-
ployment, of my mind being so entirely flung in
upon itself; that they were but symptoms of a dis-
ease which required only exercise for its cure. I
determined, for myself, that I would submit abso-
lutely, in all I said and did ; in no way hint a doubt
even to myself; and, in, I believe, a spirit of real
humility, I did endeavour with all my heart to see
the truth as the Church sees it. It had pleased
God to govern my mind in His way, not in mine.
I had bitterly repented my orders, for I felt my
uneasiness not pass away, but deepen into convic-
tion. I was now more grateful for this opportunity
which he had given me of speaking out, than any
words could tell him. I had not come prepared to
make so full a confession ; but I had been forced on
by an impulse which I could not, if I had wished,
74 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
control. And now I threw myself on his hands, to
do with me as he thought right.
He said nothing for some time. He sat silent
His thoughts appeared to have left me, and travelled
off on some abstracted interest. I had no more to
speak. I did not interrupt him. After perhaps a
quarter of an hour, he seemed to make an effort to
collect himself, and said sharply, " Of course I have
but one duty." But the tone showed it was to him-
self he was speaking, not to me. Presently he turned
to me, and said with a voice of mournful kindness,
"May God help you, my son! It is a terrible trial.
Only He who is pleased to send such temptation
can give you strength to bear it. You shall have my
prayers . . . and my blessing . . . not as
your bishop, Markham. I cannot bless you as your
bishop. But as an old man and an old friend, who
can still love you and feel for you, yes, such a bless-
ing you shall not want, my poor, poor boy." There
were tears in his eyes. I was prepared for any
thing but this ; for ny rebuke, for any harshness.
I could not contain myself. I burst into tears too.
I caught his hand and kissed it. He did not take
it from me; but his eyes were seeking heaven and
God, and his lips were fast moving. Was it for me,
was it for himself, that he was praying ? I knew not,
I might not, I would not, hear. But his overflowing
heart poured out its secrets. Broken words fell in
upon my ears which 1 could not choose but catch.
He was praying to be taken away from the evil day,
that last dreadful time of terror, when the Devil
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 75
should have the power for a season over hearts not
sealed with the Devil's mark, when even the elect
would be tempted to deny their Lord.
Well I cannot tell you more of this, how kind he
was, how much I was overcome. He thanked me
for my candour, as he called it, while he allowed how
bitterly it distressed it embarrassed him : once there
was a passionate burst. " You, too, of whom I had
heard so much, and formed so many hopes ... I
knew more of you than you supposed, and sympa-
thised more with you; yours is a mind of no common
order, and I had looked, yes I had looked to you, I
had hoped that you, with a knowledge of the power
of that spirit of antichrist which is now working in
this world, so different from anything winch we knew,
or now at our age can ever learn, that you might have
been a chosen champion of the Church. God's will be
done and our duty; of course I cannot (I would
not if I could) take any public steps in consequence
of what you have disclosed to me; and I am sure
you yourself are too high-minded to take advantage
of your situation or mine ; what I advise you, you
will do. You cannot remain where you are ; give
your mind time, and try other scenes ; go travel, see
what men are ; see what all men are or must become
who allow their faith to glide out of their hearts, as
you have allowed yours ; and you may yet by God's
grace I cannot tell I have little hopes,
they have all gone; yes, there is not one, not one in
all these many years which I have seen upon the
earth, not one man of more than common power who
76 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
has been contented to abide in the old ways." He
was half speaking to himself, half to me. He took
down a book from his shelves ; it was the confession
of the Vicar of Savoy ; he saw I knew it. " This does
not content you," he said; "you cannot you are
too honest far, to take his terms for yours, and con-
tinue on in your position as he held on in his. No !
you will go ; I will find some one to supply your
place in your absence, and you will be generous in
what you will leave him. If at the end of three
years your mind is not changed, I think you will
leave the service for ever which is not yours, and you
will not shrink from what you will lose by it."
I answered at once my benefice was in his hands ;
what changes my mind might pass through I could
not tell; but that if if I ever came to feel that I
had been walking in a delirious dream, and that the
old way was the true way, it would be with far too
deep humiliation to permit me ever again to dare to
become its minister. A few words, he did not mean
of common-place advice, against over haste, against
imprudence, was all the weak opposition which he
made to this. My living is resigned my employ-
ment gone. I am again free again happy; and all
the poor and paltry net- work in which I was entan-
gled, the weak intrigues which like the flies in the
summer irritate far worse than more serious evils,
I have escaped them all; and if the kind good
people who have brought all this about, can find any
miserable pleasure in what they will suppose their
victory ; each one of the thousand pluming himself or
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 77
herself on the real secret the exact story the only
true, full, perfect and sufficient account of Mr.
Sutherland's disgrace, let them have it, I can afford
it; they gain their pleasure, I do but lose, what per-
haps it is our best credit to be without, the world's
good opinion. All I really grieve for is my father.
He, they, all of them, will never forgive me ; the old
feelings, or far worse than the old, will flow back
now into the old channel, and my small measure of
affection will turn sour in the thunder storm, and
curdle into contempt. It must be so, I shall go
away and they will forget me when they do not see
me. Perhaps if I live beyond their eyes, and my
vexing presence is not by to irritate, I may be at
least endured tolerated and in after
years when what now they most value has proved its
hollowness ; when the world passes by them and
through them, and they learn at last that they cannot
take it with them, cannot gain from it one kind smile
they do not pay for; that the world with all its
power, splendour, caresses, promises, for all the love
we waste upon it, cannot love us, for it is heartless;
perhaps then But I will not dwell upon
so melancholy a picture.
It is an easy way to get rid of the difficulties of
this world, to say, in the off-hand way in which it is
commonly said, that if a man cannot get along with
it, it is all his own fault ; that the world is a look-
ing-glass which gives every man his own image;
78 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
that he has no one to blame but himself; that he is
not active enough ; that he is not sensible enough ;
not enough of any thing that he should be, and too
much of every thing he should not be ; that he ex-
pects what he cannot find, and does not choose to
be contented with what he can ; anyhow to shift the
responsibility of his failure off Nature's shoulders
upon his own. And yet I think Nature, if she in-
terests herself much about her children, must often
feel that, like the miserable Frankenstein, with her
experimenting among the elements of humanity, she
has brought beings into existence who have no busi-
ness here ; who can do none of her work, and
endure none of her favours ; whose life is only suf-
fering ; and whose action is one long protest against
the ill foresight which flung them into conscious-
I cannot understand why the worst sentence which
could be pronounced against the worst man that
ever lived, should be nothing more than that it were
better for him if he had never been born. Surely
it were better for half mankind if they had never
been born, considering the use they make of them-
selves ; and then the stage would be left clear for the
other half, and both sides would be such infinite
gainers. The vicious, the foolish, and the pas-
sionate, would escape a service which is torture to
them; and the others would be spared the nuisance
of such disagreeable companionship. There is
already a fear the earth is growing overpeopled, and
this matter might really be taken into consideration.
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 79
should be the maxim, and, in future,
no colonists should be sent into this world who have
too much or too little of any thing.
The class of persons who get on best here, who
understand nature, and whom nature understands,
are the good sort of prudent people, who push their
way along the beaten track, neither loving very
strongly, nor loved very strongly. Allowing the
heart to have a voice when it does not plead against
understanding, they do not exactly love their neigh-
bours, but they keep on broad terms of reason-
able good-will with them ; liking such as do not
stand painfully in their way, and sympathising as far
as they can feel sympathy with all sensible persons
like themselves. They form their attachments, con-
nubial and otherwise, for mutual convenience and
comfort ; and in the routine of profitable occupa-
tion, intermittent like night and day with their
hours of pleasant relaxation, they pass through their
seventy years with no rest disturbed by any more
painful emotion than what might arise from an
infirm digestion, or a doubtful pecuniary speculation.
They love, they fear, they hope, they pray, they
fulfil all their duties to earth and heaven on the
broad principles of moral economy; and having
walked as the world judges them with unblemished
integrity, and lived prudently within their incomes,
money income and soul income, and never permitted
themselves in extravagance in either, they entertain
well-grounded hopes of continued prosperity beyond
the grave. And most likely they will find them
80 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
realised ; they have the monopoly of this world's good
they form the world's law and the world's opinions,
as the favourites and the exponents of the will of the
higher Powers ; and " coming in no misfortune like
other folk, neither being plagued like other men,"
wherever they are they will be still themselves ; and
carrying with them the elements of their prosperity
in their own moderation, it is difficult to conceive a
state of being in which they could be less happy than
Why need any other sort be compelled into
existence, besides these ? What use are fools ?
What use are bad people ? What use are dreamers
and enthusiasts ? Surely it cannot be necessary to
have them as foils to the excellence of the others,
and to indulge these in Pharisaic self- laudations
that they are not as the publicans. I know that
a holy father of the Church defines one mode of
the happiness of the blessed to be the contempla-
tion of the torments of the damned ; and I know
that those who succeed in life do now and then
make pleasant comparisons of themselves with their
less fortunate neighbours: but one would hope, if
they were asked, they would not say it was essen-
tial to them ; and, unless it be, it is a large price to
pay for what could be dispensed with. I should
be sorry to think there was so much favouritism in
Providential government; and I would sooner be-
lieve there is some impracticable necessity in the
nature of things than accept the holy father's de-
finition, and allow him to have seen clearly into
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 81
the conditions of happiness either upon earth or
Yet, whatever be the cause why things are as
they are, still to he conscious of nothing is bet-
ter than to be conscious only of pain; and to
do nothing than to do what entails pain. So that
whether this earth be all, and this little life-spark
of existence flicker but its small time and then
expire for ever; or whether there be, as we are
taught and we believe, some mysterious fuel which
will still feed it through the silence of eternity;
doubtless it would be better for half of us never to
have been at all. Les mechants, Jean Jacques says,
sont tres embarrassants, both in this world and in
the next; and if we are compelled to doubt so
much what just destination to assign to the wicked,
infinitely harder it is to know what to do with
natures which fail from excess of what we must
call rather a kind of good than of evil, and from a
delicacy of sensitive organization, to which their
moral energy of character bears too small propor-
tion; men who are unable to escape from them-
selves into healthy activity ; because they want the
strength to carve out their own independent road,
and the beaten roads offend their sensibility; and
are therefore engaged their lives long in a hopeless
struggle with elements too strong for them ; falling
down from failure to failure, and either yielding at
last and surrendering their souls to what they de-
spise, or else lying down to die of despair over a
barren past and a future without a prospect.
82 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
Whether it was a misfortune to himself or to the
world that Markham Sutherland was horn into it ;
beyond question it was a very great misfortune both
to himself and to his family that his lot was cast
among them. Upright and conscientious, their
tempers, as we have partly seen, were of the broad,
solid, sturdy kind ; which, as they never know the
meaning of a refined difficulty, so never experience
any which it is not easy for them to overcome.
He was quite right in his anticipation of the way in
which this last break-down would be received ; they
did not mean to be unkind, but as it was clear the
success by which they were accustomed to measure
their fellow creatures now never could be his, and
as he was the only one of a large family who had
failed to find it, their minds being all constructed
on a common type, to which his formed the only
exception, their affections circulated round and
round among themselves, and he lay outside the
circle which was complete without him. You can-
not reason people into loving those whom they are
not drawn to love ; they cannot reason themselves
into it ; and there are some contrarieties of temper
which are too strong even for the obligations of
relationship. Unhappily, too, they let themselves
despise Markham, and where the baneful glance of
contempt has once fallen, love is for ever banished.
The feeling was not returned, although, perhaps, it
might as deservedly have been so. Markham still
saw much in them to love; still struggled, perhaps,
to make up their short- comings by his own fulness.
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 83
His mind was wider than theirs, little as they
thought it was ; and he could understand and make
allowance for the unkindness which was wounding
him, while they could make none for his disap-
pointing their hopes, and being so unlike themselves.
Well, he was quite wise in deciding to keep away
from them. It would have been better, perhaps, if
he had gone at once abroad ; but he was anxious, he
told me, to spend some time at least in severer study
than hitherto he had been able to pursue, and try if
he could not calm his mind, instead of drowning it in
the excitement of motion. He was going to try what
philosophy would do for him, and at least for a time
it appeared to answer. " One of two things one
must have," he wrote to me, " either sufficient re-
spect for oneself to take whatever comes, <eqno
animo, even it be what is called damnation, I
mean so great an honouring of oneself, or con-
fidence in oneself, that nothing external can affect
one , or else, sufficient faith in an all-powerful,
external Being, of qualities which ensure His pre-
serving us on both sides of the grave. It is a
question, I think, whether we can have both ; but,
though we may go without houses, carpets, horses,
carriages, one of these two we cannot go without,
under penalty of madness or suicide, or, the com-
mon fate of mankind, of becoming machines for the
decomposing of dinners." He proposed the ques-
tion fairly to himself; it remained to be seen what
he would make of it. I confess I had serious mis-
givings. I am not going to follow his pilgrimage
84 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
along the road with any detail ; externally his life
had now, for the next year, little variety, and a few
specimens of the thoughts he left hehind him will
be enough to indicate the direction, and generally
the sort of view of nature, of the world, of human
life, and its conditions, which are likely to he the
goal of men who go astray from the old way as he
Why is it thought so very wicked to be an un-
believer ? Rather, why is it assumed that no one
can have difficulties unless he be wicked ? Be-
cause an anathema upon unbelief has been ap-
pended as a guardian of the creed. It is one way,
and doubtless a very politic way, of maintaining the
creed, this of anathema. When everything may be
lost unless one holds a particular belief, and nothing
except vulgar love of truth can induce one into
questioning it, common prudence points out the
safe course ; but really it is but a vulgar evidence,
this of anathema.
Genuine belief ended with persecution. As soon
as it was felt that to punish a man for maintaining
an independent opinion was shocking and unjust, so
soon a doubt had entered whether the faith estab-
lished was unquestionably true. The theory of
persecution is complete. If it be necessary for the
existence of society to put a man to death who has
a monomania for murdering bodies, or to exile him
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 85
for stealing what supports them ; infinitely more neces-
sary is it to put to death, or send into exile, or to
imprison those whom we know to he destroying weak
men's souls, or stealing from them the dearest of all
treasures. It is because whatever we choose to say
it is because we do not know, we are not sure
they are doing all this mischief; and we shrink from
the responsibility of acting upon a doubt.
Sometimes it is a spot of sunlight travelling over
a dark ground sometimes it is the black shadow of
a single cloud, the one speck in the great ocean of
light ; one wonders which, after all, human life is.
Where was ever the teacher who has not felt, at
least, if not said, " No man cometh to the Father
except through me ? "
The end of all culture is, that we may be able to
sustain ourselves in a spiritual atmosphere as the
birds do in the air. This is what philosophy
teaches. Men sustained by religion, take a creed
for a substitute, and hang, or believe that they are
hanging, suspended by a golden chain from the
throne of God. It is happy for mankind that they
are able to do this. For mankind not for philoso-
phers. I confess it sickens me to see our philosophic
savans, as they call themselves, swinging in this
way mid- air among the precipices of life, examining
86 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
a flower here, a rock there ; analysing them and
cutting them in pieces, and discovering the com-
bination of elements which went to their making,
and calling this wisdom. What is man the wiser
or the happier for knowing how the air-plants feed,
or how many centuries the flint- stone was in form-
ing, unless the knowledge of them can he linked on
to humanity, and elucidate for us some of our hard
In Christianity, as in every thing else which men
have thrown out of themselves, there is the strangest
mixture of what is most nohle with what is most
I shrink from the only word. A
man is born into the world a real man such a
one as it has never seen ; he lives a life consistently
the very highest ; his wisdom is the calm earnest
voice of humanity ; to the worldly and the common-
place so exasperating, as forcing upon them their
own worthlessness to the good so admirable that
every other faculty is absorbed in wonder. The
one killed him. The other said, this is too good to
be a man this is God. His calm and simple life
was not startling enough for their eager imagina-
tion ; acts of mercy and kindness were not enough,
unless they were beyond the power of man. To
cure by ordinary means the bruised body, to lift
again with deep sympathy of heart the sinking
sinner, was not enough. He must speak with power
to matter as well as mind; eject diseases and eject
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 87
devils with command. The means of ordinary birth,
to the oriental conception of uncleanness, were too
impure for such as he, and one so holy could never
dissolve in the vulgar corruption of the grave.
Yet to save his example, to give reality to his
sufferings, he was a man nevertheless. In him, as
philosophy came in to incorporate the first imagina-
tion, was the fulness of humanity as well as the
fulness of the Godhead. And out of this strange
mixture they composed a being whose life is with-
out instruction, whose example is still nothing
whose trial is but a helpless perplexity. The noble
image of the man is effaced, is destroyed. Instead
of a man to love and to follow, we have a man- god
to worship. From being the example of devotion, he
is its object; the religion of Christ ended with his
life, and left us instead but the Christian religion.
The afflictions which by an act of his own will, as
being himself the source of all power, he inflicts
upon himself what afflictions are these? The
trial of humanity, which gives dignity to the per-
severing endurance through life for truth's sake, and
which gives death its nobleness, is the constancy of
the mind to good, with uncertainty of the issue,
when it does but feel its duty, and does not know
the consequences. The conviction of the martyr
that the stake is the gate of Paradise, diminishes the
dignity of the suffering in proportion to its strength.
If it be absolute certainty, the trial is absolutely
nothing. And that all-wise Being who knew all,
who himself willed, erected, determined all, what
88 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
could the worst earthly suffering he to him to whom
all the gates which close our knowledge were shining
crystal? What trial, what difficulty was it all to
him ? His temptation is a mockery. His patience,
meekness, humility, it is hut trifling with words,
unless he was a man, and hut a man.
And yet what does it not say on the other side
for mankind, that the life of one good man, which
had nothing, nothing hut its goodness to recom-
mend it, should have struck so deep into the heart
of the race that for eighteen hundred years they
have seen in that life something so far ahove them
that they will not claim a kindred origin with him
who lived it. And while they have scarcely het-
tered in their own practice, yet stand, and ever since
have stood, self- condemned, in acknowledging in
spite of themselves that such goodness alone is
divine. This is their ideal, their highest.
People canvas up and down the value and utility
of Christianity, and none of them seem to see that it
was the common channel towards which all the
great streams of thought in the old world were tend-
ing, and that in some form or other when they came
to unite it must have heen. That it crystallized
round a particular person may have been an acci-
dent ; hut in its essence, as soon as the widening
intercourse of the nations forced the Jewish mind
into contact with the Indian and the Persian and
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 89
the Grecian, such a religion was absolutely in-
It was the development of Judaism in being the
fulfilment of the sacrificial theory, and the last and
purest conception of a personal God lying close
above the world, watching, guiding, directing, inter-
fering. Its object was no longer the narrow one of
the temporal interests of a small people. The
chrysalis had burst its shell, and the presiding care
extended to all mankind, caring not now for bodies
only but for souls. It was the development of Par-
sism in settling finally the vast question of the
double principle, the position of the evil spirit, his
history, and the method of his defeat ; while Zoroas-
ter's doctrine of a future state was now for the first
time explained and justified; and his invisible world
of angels and spirits, and the hierarchies of the
seven heavens, were brought in subjection to the
same one God of the Jews.
It was the development of the speculative Greek
philosophy of the school of Plato, of the doctrine of
the Spirit, and the mysterious Trinity, the e v Kai Trav,
the word or intellect becoming active in the primal
Being; while, lastly, the Hindoo doctrine of the in-
carnation is the uniting element in which the other
three combine, and which interpenetrates them with
an awful majesty which singly they had not known.
So these four streams uniting formed into an
enormous system, comprehending all which each
was seeking for, and bringing it all down home,
close to earth, human, direct, and tangible, and sup-
90 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
plying mankind with full measure of that spiritual
support with which only minds most highly dis-
ciplined can afford to dispense.
[These fragments require no comment. They are
their own. I will hut add one more, one which
I think really remarkable in itself.]
The source of all superstition is the fear of having
offended God, the sense of something within our-
selves which we call sin. Sin, in its popular and
therefore most substantial sense, means the having
done something to gratify ourselves which we knew,
or might have known, was displeasing to God. It
depends, therefore, for its essence on the doer having
had the power of acting otherwise than he did.
When there is no such power there is no sin. Now
let us examine this. In reflecting upon our own
actions we find that they arise from the determi-
nation of our will, as we call the ultimate moral
principle of action, upon some object. When we
will, we will something, not nothing. Objects at-
tract or repel the will by the appearance of some-
thing in themselves either desirable or undesirable.
And in every action, if analysed, the will is found to
have been determined by the presence of the greatest
degree of desirableness on the side towards which it
has been determined. It is alike self- contradictory
and contrary to experience, that a man of two goods
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 91
should choose the lesser, knowing it at the time to
be the lesser. Observe, I say, at the time of action.
We are complex, and therefore, in our natural state,
inconsistent, beings, and the opinion of this hour
need not be the opinion of the next. It may be
different before the temptation appear; it may return
to be different after the temptation is passed ; the
nearness or distance of objects may alter their rela-
tive magnitude, or appetite or passion may obscure
the reflecting power, and give a temporary impulsive
force to a particular side of our nature. But, uni-
formly, given a particular condition of a man's nature,
and given a number of possible courses, his action is
as necessarily determined into the course best corre-
sponding to that condition, as a bar of steel suspended
between two. magnets is determined towards the
most powerful. It may go reluctantly, for it will
still feel the attraction of the weaker magnet, but it
will still obey the strongest, and must obey. What
we call knowing a man's character, is knowing how
he will act in such and such conditions. The better
we know him the more surely we can prophecy. If
we know him perfectly, we are certain.
So that it appears that at the stage first removed
from the action, we cannot find what we called the
necessary condition of sin. It is not there; and we
must look for it a step higher among the causes
which determine the conditions under which the
man acts. Here we find the power of motives de-
pends on the character, or the want of charac-
ter. If no character be formed, they will in-
92 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
fluence according to the temporary preponderance
of this or that part of the nature; if there be formed
character, on the conditions, again, which have
formed it, on past hahits, and therefore on past
actions. Go back, therefore, upon these, and we
are again in the same way referred higher and still
higher, until we arrive at the first condition, the
natural powers and faculties with which the man has
been sent into the world.
Therefore, while we find such endless differences
between the actions of different men under the same
temptations, or of the same man at different times,
we shall yet be unable to find any link of the chain
undetermined by the action of the outward circum-
stance on the inner law ; or any point where we can
say a power lay in the individual will of choosing
either of two courses, in other words, to discover
sin. Actions are governed by motives. The power
of motives depends on character, and character on
the original faculties and the training which they
have received from the men or things among which
they have been bred.
Sin, therefore, as commonly understood, is a
If you ask me why, then, conscience so impera-
tively declares that it is real? I answer, con-
science declares nothing of the kind. We are con-
scious simply of what we do, and of what is done
to us. The judgment may come in to pass sen-
tence ; but the judgment is formed on instruction
and experience, and may be as wrong in this matter
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 93
as in any other : being trained in the ordinary theory
of morals, it will and must judge according to it;
but it does not follow that it must be right, any
more than if it be trained in a particular theory of
politics, and judges according to that, it must be
right. Men obey an appetite under present temp-
tation, to obey which they have before learned will be
injurious to them, and which, after the indulgence,
they again learn has been injurious to them ; but
which, at the time, they either expected would, in their
case, remit its natural penalty, or else, about which,
being blinded by their feelings, they never thought at
all. Looking back on their past state of mind, and
finding it the same as that to which they have
returned when the passions have ceased to work, it
seems to them that they knew better, and might
have done otherwise. They wish they had. They
feel they have hurt themselves, and imagine they
have broken a law. It is true they have broken the
higher law, but not in the way which they fancy, but
by obeying the lower law, which at the time was the
stronger. Our instinct has outrun our theory in this
matter ; for while we still insist upon free will and
sin, we make allowance for individuals who have
gone wrong, on the very ground of provocation, of
temptation, of bad education, of infirm character.
By and by philosophy will follow, and so at last we
may hope for a true theory of morals. It is curious
to watch, in the history of religious beliefs, the gra-
dual elimination of this monster of moral evil. The
first state of mankind is the unreflecting state. The
94 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
nature is undeveloped, looking neither before nor
after ; it acts on the impulse of the moment, and is
troubled with no weary retrospect, nor with any notions
of a remote future which present conduct can affect ;
and knowing neither good nor evil, better or worse,
it does simply what it desires, and is happy in it.
It is the state analogous to the early childhood of
each of us, and is represented in the common theory
of Paradise the state of innocence.
But men had to grow as we grew. Their passions
developed rapidly, their minds slowly; but fast enough
to allow them in the interval of passion, to reflect
upon themselves, to generalise, and form experience;
and, acquiring thus rudimental notions of laws from
observing the tendency of actions, men went through
what is called the Fall ; and obtained that know-
ledge of good and evil which Schiller calls <( ein
Biesen Schritt der Menscheit." Feeling instinc-
tively that the laws under which they were, were
not made by themselves, but that a power was
round and over them greater than themselves, they
formed the notion of a lawgiver, whom they con-
ceived they could please by obedience to the best
they knew, and make angry by following the worse.
It is an old remark, that as men are, such they paint
their gods ; and as in themselves the passionate, or
demonic nature, long preponderated, so the gods
they worshipped were demons like themselves, jea-
lous, capricious, exacting, revengeful, the figures
which fill the old mythologies, and appear partly in
the Old Testament. They feared them as they feared
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 95
the powerful of their own race, and sought to propi-
tiate them by similar offerings and services.
Go on, and now we find ourselves on a third
stage ; but now fast rising into a clearing atmosphere.
The absolute worth of goodness is seen as distinct
from power ; such beings as these demon gods could
not be the highest beings. Good and evil could not
coexist in one Supreme ; absolutely different in nature
they could not have a common origin; the moral
world is bipolar, and we have dualism, the two prin-
ciples, coeternal, coequal.
By and by, again, the horizon widens. The ultimate
identity of might and right glimmers out fully in the
Zenda Vesta as the stars come out above the moun-
tains when we climb out of the mist of the valleys.
The evil spirit is no longer the absolute independent
Ahriman; but Ahriman and Ormuzd are but each a
dependent spirit ; and an awful formless, boundless
figure, the eternal, the illimitable, looms out from the
abyss behind them, presently to degrade still farther
the falling Ahriman into a mere permitted Satan,
finally to be destroyed.
Such a position could not long continue : after two
hundred years of vague efforts after Pantheism, which
would have leapt the chasm, not bridged it, out
came the great doctrine of the atonement, the final
defeat of \h& power of sin; the last stage before the
dissolution of the idea.
Finally rises philosophy, which after a few mon-
strous efforts from Calvin to Leibnitz to reconcile
contradictions and form a theodice, comes out boldly
96 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
in Spinozism to declare the impossibility of the ex-
istence of a power antagonistic to God ; and defining
the perfection of man's nature, as the condition under
which it has fullest action and freest enjoyment of all
its powers, sets this as a moral ideal before us, toward
which we shall train our moral efforts as the artist
trains his artistic efforts towards his ideal. The sue-
cess is various, as the faculties and conditions which
God has given are various; but the spectre which
haunted the conscience is gone. Our failures are
errors, not crimes nature's discipline with which
God teaches us ; and as little violations of his law, or
rendering us guilty in His eyes, as the artist's early
blunders, or even ultimate and entire failures, are
laying store of guilt on him.
It could not last with Markham, this philosophis-
ing, I knew it could not. It was but the working off
in a sort of moral fermentation of the strong corrup-
tion with which his mind had become impregnated.
Markham's heart had more in it than blood, and his
nature was either too weak or else too genuine to
find its cravings satisfied, when he had resolved the
great life of humanity, these six thousand years of
man's long wrestle with the angel of destiny, into
a cold system in which he could calculate the ebb
and flow as on the tables of a tide. Doubtless,
some such way of reading it there is ; but wo to him
to whom it is given to read it so ; more than man
ever was, he must be, or far less, not such a one
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 97
at any rate as poor Markham. The spell broke;
one day I had a letter from him of the old sort, of
which his heart, not his head, had had the making.
He was unwell, and the philosophising spirit which
had possessed him, thinking a failing tenement no
longer worth its occupying, had flung it off again to
its old owner. Whether it was that the unclean
thing was but making a brief absence for some pro-
cess of sweeping and garnishing to take place against
a fuller possession, whatever it was, it was gone ;
and he himself, for the better comforting of soul and
body, was going off to spend a winter at Como. He
was going alone; one of his sisters offered to ac-
company him, but it was an offer of duty rather
than affection ; and as those very dutiful people are
so punctiliously scrupulous in keeping both sides of
the equation equal, and as, poor fellow, he felt he
would have to pay for what he received on one side
by a yet further reduction of the little stock he had
remaining upon the other, he thought it would be
better for himself, for her and all of them, to hold
himself under his own keeping and trouble them no
further. He was not ill enough to be alarmed or to
alarm us ; .... so only the seven devils were kept
away, which seemed the only danger.
Well, Markham went. Over the few centre pages
of his life, while this fermenting was at its worst,
we have till now been turning; what follows wilt
complete it from its beginning, and we shall see
what he was before, and whither, by and by, he was
determined. Scepticism, like wisdom, springs out
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
in full panoply only from the brain of a god, and
it is little profit to see an idea in its growth, un-
less we track its seed to the power which sowed it.
Among other matters with which he entertained
himself in this Italian winter was a retrospective
sketch, which to me, as I read it, appeared of a value
quite unspeakable as an analysis of a process through
which in these last years so many minds besides
his own have been slowly and silently devolv-
ing. I had intended to mutilate it, but that each
page pleaded with so much earnestness to be the
one that I was to choose, that I could only satisfy all
by taking all. It is not long, it was broken off
abruptly, we shall see by and by how broken; but
it is carried down to a point, when we can link it
on with no too serious aposiopesis to those first
letters which have already caused in us feelings
which I will not endeavour to analyse, lest I find
in myself more sympathy with them, than I wish
to think I feel.
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 99
CONFESSIONS OF A SCEPTIC.
THAT there is something very odd about this life of
ours, that it is a kind of Egyptian bondage, where
a daily tale of bricks must be given in, yet where we
have no straw given us wherewith to burn them, is
a very old confession indeed. We cry for some-
thing we cannot find ; we cannot satisfy ourselves
with what we do find, and there is more than cant
in that yearning after a better land of promise, as
all men know when they are once driven in upon
themselves and compelled to be serious. Every
pleasure palls, every employment possible for us is
in the end vanity and disappointment the highest
employment most of all. We start with enthusiasm
out we go each of us to our task in all the bright-
ness of sunrise, and hope beats along our pulses ;
we believe the world has no blanks except to
cowards, and we find, at last, that, as far as we our-
selves are concerned, it has no prizes; we sicken
over the endless unprofitableness of labour most
when we have most succeeded, and when the time
comes for us to lay down our tools we cast them
from us with the bitter aching sense, that it were
better for us if it had been all a dream. We seem
to know either too much or too little of ourselves
too much, for we feel that we are better than we can
100 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
accomplish ; too little, for, if we have done any good
at all, it has been as we were servants of a system
too vast for us to comprehend. We get along
through life happily "between clouds and sunshine,
forgetting ourselves in our employments or our
amusements, and so long as we can lose our con-
sciousness in activity we can struggle on to the end.
But when the end conies, when the life is lived and
done, and stands there face to face with us; or if
the heart is weak, and the spell breaks too soon, as
if the strange master- worker has no longer any work
to offer us, and turns us off to idleness and to our-
selves; in the silence then our hearts lift up their
voices, and cry out they can find no rest here,
no home. Neither pleasure, nor rank, nor money,
nor success in life, as it is called, have satisfied
or can satisfy ; and either earth has nothing at all
which answers to our cravings, or else it is some-
thing different from all these, which we have missed
finding this peace which passes understanding
and from which in the heyday of hope we had turned
away, as lacking the meretricious charm which then
seemed most alluring.
I am not sermonizing of Religion, or of God,
or of Heaven, at least not directly. These are often
but the catchwords on the lips of the vulgarly dis-
appointed; which, like Plato's Cephalus, they grasp
at as earthly pleasures glide out of their hands;
not from any genuine heart or love for them, but
because they are words which seem to have a mean-
ing shadows which fill up the blank when all else
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 101
is gone away. But there is one strong direction
into which the needle of our being, when left to
itself, is for ever determined, which is more than
a catchword, which in the falsest heart of all remains
still desperately genuine, the one last reality of which
universal instinct is assured.
When my eyes wander down the marble pages
on the walls of the church aisles, or when I stray
among the moss-grown stones lying there in their
long grassy couches in the churchyard, and spell
out upon them the groupings of the fast crumbling
names, there I find the talisman. It is home. Far
round the earth as their life callings may have scat-
tered men, here is their treasure, for here their heart
has been. They have gone away to live ; they
come home to die, to lay their dust in their fathers'
sepulcre, and resign their consciousness in the
same spot where first it broke into being. Whe-
ther it be that here are their first dearest recol-
lections of innocent happiness; whether the same
fair group which once laughed around the old fire-
side would gather in together and tie up again the
broken links in the long home where they shall
never part again; whether there be some strange
instinct, which compels all men back to the scene
of their birth, to lay their bodies down in the
same church which first received them, and where
they muttered their first prayer; whatever be the
cause like those cunning Indian weapons which,
projected from the hand, fly up their long arc into
the air, yet when their force is spent glide back
102 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
to the spot from which they were flung the spent
life travellers carry back their bodies to the old
starting point of home.
The fish struggle back to their native rivers;
the passage birds to the old woods where they made
their first adventure on the wings which since have
borne them round the world. The dying eagle
drags his feeble flight to his own eyrie, and men
toil-worn and careworn gather back from town and
city, from battle-field or commerce mart, and fling
off the load where they first began to bear it.
Home yes, home is the one perfectly pure earthly
instinct which we have. We call heaven our home,
as the best name we know to give it. So strong
is this craving in us, that, when cross fortune has
condemned the body to a distant resting-place, yet
the name is written on the cenotaph in the old
place, as if only choosing to be remembered in the
scene of its own most dear remembrance. Oh, most
touching are these monuments ! Sermons more
eloquent were never heard inside the church walls
than may be read there. Whether those hopes,
written there so confidently, of after risings and
blessed meetings beyond the grave, are any more
than the "perhaps" with which we try to lighten
up its gloom, and there be indeed that waking for
which they are waiting there so silently, or whether
these few years be the whole they are compelled to
bear of personal existence, and all which once
was is reborn again in other forms which are not
there any more, still are those marble stones the
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 103
most touching witness of the temper of the human
heart, the life in death protesting against the life
which was lived.
Nor, I think, shall we long wonder or have far to
look for the causes of so wide a feeling, if we turn
from the death side to the life side, and see what it
has been to us even in the middle of the very busi-
ness itself of living. For as it is in this atmosphere
that all our sweetest, because most innocent child
memories are embosomed, so all our life along,
when the world but knows us as men of pleasure or
men of business, when externally we seem to have
taken our places in professions, and are no longer
single beings, but integral parts of the large social
being ; at home, when we come home, we lay aside
our mask and drop our tools, and are no longer
lawyers, sailors, soldiers, statesmen, clergymen, but
only men. We fall again into our most human
relations, which, after all, are the whole of what
belongs to us as we are ourselves, and alone have
the key-note of our hearts. There our skill, if skill
we have, is exercised with real gladness on home
subjects. We are witty if it be so, not for ap-
plause but for affection. We paint our fathers'
or our sisters' faces, if so lies our gift, because
we love them ; the mechanic's genius comes out in
playthings for the little brothers, and we cease the
struggle in the race of the world, and give our
hearts leave and leisure to love. No wonder the
scene and all about it is so dear to us. How beau-
tiful to turn back the life page to those old winter
firesides, when the apple hoards were opened, and
104 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
the best old wine came up out of its sawdust, and
the boys came back from school to tell long stories
of their fagging labours in the brief month of so
dear respite, or still longer of the day's adventures
and the hair-breadth escapes of larks and black-
birds. The merry laugh at the evening game;
the admiring wonder of the young children woke
up from their first sleep to see their elder sisters
dressed out in smiles and splendour for the ball
at the next town. It may seem strange to say
things like these have any character of religion ;
and yet I sometimes think they are themselves reli-
gion itself, forming, as they do, the very integral
groups in such among our life pictures as have been
painted in with colours of real purity. Even of the
very things which we most search for in the busi-
ness of life, we must go back to home to find the
healthiest types. The loudest shouts of the world's
applause give us but a faint shadow of the pride
we drew from father's and sister's smiles, when we
came back with our first school prize at the first
holidays. The wildest pleasures of after-life are
nothing like so sweet as the old game, the old
dance, old Christmas, with its mummers and its
mistletoe, and the kitchen saturnalia. Nay, per-
haps, even the cloistered saint, who is drawing a
long life of penitential austerity to a close, and
through the crystal gates of death is gazing already
on the meadows of Paradise, may look back with
awe at the feeling which even now he cannot imi-
tate, over his first prayer at his mother's side in the
old church at home.
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 105
Yes. there we all turn our eyes at last; the world's
glitter for a time blinds us ; but with the first serious
thought the old notes come echoing back again. It
is as if God, knowing the weary temptations, the
hollow emptiness of the life which yet we needs must
lead, had ordained our first years for the laying in
an unconscious stock of sweet and blessed thoughts
to feed us along our way. We talk much of the
religious discipline of our schools, and moral training
and mind developing, and what more we will of the
words without meaning, the hollow verbiage of our
written and spoken thoughts about ourselves ; yet I
question whether the home of childhood has not
more to do with religion than all the teachers and
the teaching, and the huge unfathomed folios.
Look back and think of it, and we cannot separate
the life we lived from our religion, nor our religion
from our life. They wind in and in together, the
gold and silver threads interlacing through the
warp ; and the whole forms together then in one fair
image of what after-life might and ought to be, and
what it never is. No idle, careless, thoughtless
man, so long as he persists in being what he is,
can endure the thought of home any more than he
can endure the thought of God. At his first
return to himself, it is the first thought which God
sends . . . well for him if it be not too late. If
we could read the diary of suicide, and trace the
struggles of the bleeding heart, in suspense yet
between the desire and its execution, yet drawing
nearer and ever nearer, and gazing with more fixed
106 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
intensity on the grave as the end of its sorrow,
ah, will not the one fair thought then on which
it will last rest be the green memories of home!
The last deep warning note either filling up and
finishing the measure of despair with its madden-
ing loveliness, or else, if there be one spot not
utterly wasted and destroyed where life and love can
yet take root and grow, once more to quicken there,
and win back for earth its child again.
The world had its Golden Age its Paradise
and religion, which is the world's heart, clings to
its memory. Beautiful it lies there on the far
horizon of the past the sunset which shall, by
and by, be the sunrise of Heaven. Yes, and God
has given us each our own Paradise, our own old
childhood, over which the old glories linger to
which our own hearts cling, as all we have ever
known of Heaven upon earth And there, as
all earth's weary wayfarers turn back their toil-jaded
eyes, so do the poor speculators, one of whom is this
writer, whose thoughts have gone astray, who has
been sent out like the raven from the window of
the ark, and flown to and fro over the ocean of
speculation, finding no place for his soul to rest, no
pause for his aching wings, turn back in thought,
at least, to that old time of peace that village
church that child-faith which, once lost, is never
gained again strange mystery is never gained
again with sad and weary longing ! Ah ! you
who look with cold eyes on such a one, and lift
them up to Heaven, and thank God you are not
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 107
such as he, and call him hard names, and think
of him as of one who is forsaking a cross, and pur-
suing unlawful indulgence, and deserving all good
men's reproach! Ah! could you see down below
his heart's surface, could you count the tears stream-
ing down his cheeks, as out through some church-door
into the street come pealing the old familiar notes,
and the old psalms which he cannot sing, the
chaunted creed which is no longer his creed, and
yet to part with which was worse agony than to lose
his dearest friend ; ah ! you would deal him lighter
measure. What, is not his cup bitter enough, but
that all the good, whose kindness at least, whose
sympathy and sorrow, whose prayers he might have
hoped for, that these must turn away from him, as
from an offence, as from a thing forbid? that he
must tread the wine-press alone, calling no God-
fearing man his friend; and this, too, with the sure
knowledge that coldness, least of all, he is deserving,
for God knows it is no pleasant task which has been
laid upon him ! Well, be it so. You cannot take
my heart from me. You cannot take away my
memory. I will not say, would to God you
could, althoivgh it is through these that I am
wounded, and, if these nerves were killed, I should
know pain no longer. No, cost me what it will,
I will struggle back, and reproduce for myself
those old scenes where then I lived that old faith
which, then, alas ! I could believe which made
all my happiness, so long as any happiness was pos-
sible to me.
108 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
You will never have perfect men, Plato says, till
you have perfect circumstances. Perhaps a true
saying ! hut, till the philosopher is horn who can
tell us what circumstances are perfect, a sufficiently
speculative one. At any rate, one finds strange
enough results often the very "best coming up
out of conditions the most unpromising. Such a
bundle of odd contradictions we human heings are,
that perhaps full as many repellent as attracting
influences are acquired, before we can give our hearts
to what is right. Yet, as a whole, my own child-
hood found as much favour as any one can fairly
hope for ; and, as I look back, I can see few things
which I could wish had been otherwise. I say this,
neither in shame for what I am not, nor as refusing
credit for what I am. I am concerned only with
the facts what I was, and what has resulted out of
me. We were a religious family I mean a sober,
serious family not enthusiastically devotional
very little good comes to children from over-pas-
sionate straining in this matter. Grown men, who
have sinned, and who have known their sin, whose
hearts have shed themselves in tears of blood, who
can feel the fulness of the language of religion from
their own experience of their failings and their
helplessness, and have heard the voice of God speak-
ing to them in their despair, they may be enthu-
siastic if they will pour themselves out in long
prayers, and hymns, and psalms, and have His
name for ever on their lips they may, because it
will be real with them. But it is not so with child-
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 109
ren ; their young bright spirits know little yet of
the burden of life which is over them. They have
hardly yet sinned far less awakened out of sin
and it is ill wisdom, even if it be possible, to train
their conscience into precocious sensitiveness. Long
devotions are a weariness to healthy children. If,
unhappily, they have been made unhealthy if they
have been taught to look into themselves, and made
to imagine themselves miserable and fallen, and
every moment exciting God's anger, and so need
these long devotions their premature sensibility
will exhaust itself over comparative trifles; and,
by and by, when the real occasion comes, they will
find that, like people who talk of common things
in superlatives, their imagination will have wasted
what will then be really needed. Their present
state will explain to themselves the unreality of their
former state ; but the heart will have used out its
power, and thoughts, which have been made unreal,
by an unreal use of them, will be unreal still, and
for ever. This was not our case. We, happily,
were never catechised about our feelings ; and so
our feelings, slight as they were, were always
genuine. Eeligion, with us, was to do our duty ;
that is, to say our lessons every day ; to say our
prayers morning and evening ; to give up as many
as, we could of our own wishes for one another ;
and to earn good marks, which, though but slips of
blue paper, were found, at the end of the month, to
be good current paper of sterling value, and con-
vertible into sixpences, which we stored up to make
110 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
presents to our kind governess, and kinder aunt.
Our own little prayers we said always by ourselves,
at our bedside ; the Lord's Prayer out loud, and
small extempore ones, which we kept under a whis-
per, because they were commonly small intercessions
for some dear friends; which we shrunk from letting
those friends hear ; for fear they might be grateful to
us, and that would be stealing so much of our plea-
sure in ourselves. Then, besides these, we had family
prayers in the school-room, which were far from
being so pleasant or so easy to attend to. They
were read out of a book by the governess, and we
did not know them ; they were in long words which
we did not understand ; I always counted them
among the unpleasant duties, and I longed for them
to be over. Two long words particularly, that came
in the middle, I used to watch for, as I knew then
that half the time was past. If I had been asked
whether I did not know that this was very disre-
spectful, and that I ought to have had the same
reverence in the school-room as in the silence of
my own sleeping place, I suppose I should have
answered quite satisfactorily ; but I should not have
answered truly. Whatever may be the case with
men, children, at any rate, only feel ; they do not
know; I did not feel the same, and that was
enough. I had said what I wanted ; this was a
form which I might respect generally, but could not
enter into. Well, and after that came the Psalms and
chapters. The Psalms we used to read verse and
verse ; and here again I was very imperfectly what I
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. Ill
ought to have been. I could make nothing of them
read in this way ; I could not understand how anybody
could ; and very early then, I made an observation
which I have never seen reason to alter, that nothing
short of special interference with miracle will enable
any heads ever to understand them, into which they
have been beaten in the popular English fashion. I
got a general reverence for them, as for the rest of the
service, because they were treated reverentially by those
I reverenced ; but, for anything they taught me, they
might have been kept in the old Hebrew : far bet-
ter, indeed, as I should not then, as I do now, have
known them all by heart, finding still their meaning
sealed to me under the trodden familiarity of sound.
To this day I can make nothing of the Psalms,
except when I see a verse or two quoted, and the
meaning so held out before me, or else when I read
them in a less familiar language. Yet even so they
will translate into the old jingle, and the evil repro-
duces itself. It fared no better with the Prophecies
and Epistles. But all this was compensated by the
stories in the Old and New Testament, which were
the most intense delight to me. With a kind of
half- fear I was doing something wrong, I used to
transform my person into those I read about. I was
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob. Joseph I liked best of all ;
I believe because he had such a pretty coat, and
because he was good and ill-treated. Benjamin
never took my fancy; everything went too well
with him. I was always sorry at leaving off at the
ends of chapters; I should have liked better to
J12 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
have had the stories complete ; but I believed it was
all right ; that there was virtue in verses and chap-
ters, as in everything else in the Bible. Whatever
I may think at present of all this, and of the good
and ill effects on the whole of our mechanical treat-
ment of the Bible ; still, I am sure that it is in this
early unreasoning reverence that the secret lies of
our all believing it as we do ; and that it is here,
and not in authenticities, and evidences, and miracles,
and prophecy fulfilments, that our faith is rooted.
We start on our reasonings with foregone conclu-
sions ; and well for us that we do so, or they would
lead us certainly a very different road.
Well, so went OD our lives. The horizon of our little
home valley was not very wide ; and our moral horizon
was no wider; yet inside them lay all our world. We
visited little ; and what company came was always
company ; not nice pleasant friends, but a set of
alien beings, only made to be looked at when we
came in to dessert, and hardly known to be our fel-
low-creatures. They might have come from the
stars for all we cared ; and they took notice of us
in ways we did not like in the least. The people
of the village, our own family, and the servants,
were all we recognised as people. They were the
inhabitants of our own world. In the school-room
lay our duties ; outside, in the garden, or in the
copses beyond, where the brook ran and the violets
grew, was our pleasure place, while round it all lay the
great wood with its dark trees and gloomy under-
paths, into which we gazed with a kind of awful
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 113
horror, as the ghost and robber and fairy-haunted
edge of the world which closed it in. We were like
an old camp in the wilderness, on some Arabian oasis,
in which we lived as the old patriarchs lived. We
had our father, our mother, brothers, sisters ; and the
old faces of the old servants, and the sheep and the
cows in the meadow, and the birds upon the trees,
and the poultry in the bushes, and the sky, and
God who lived in it ; and that was all. And what
a beautiful all ! My delight, in the long summer
afternoons, was to lie stretched out upon the grass,
watching the thin white clouds floating up so high
there in the deep aether, and wondering how far it
was from their edge up to the blue, where God was,
I have often thought it is part of the inner
system of this earth that each one of us should
repeat over again in his own experience the spi-
ritual condition of each of its antecedent eras ; and
surely we at home in this way repeated over again
the old patriarchal era in all its richness. Here
were we in our little earth. There above was our
Father in heaven not so far away. He heard us
when we prayed to Him His eyes were ever upon
us He called us His children He loved us and
cared for us. The imagination is too true to dis-
criminate great distances of time. God had been
down on this earth of ours ; and talked to the patri-
archs and to Moses. They were very old; but then
papa was very old too, and I used to look at his
silver hair, and wonder whether he had ever seen
Abraham whether he perhaps had seen God. Nay
114 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
once I remember, in an odd confusion of the name
of father, the thought crossing me that he might
be something very high indeed.
Well, to such children as we were, Sunday was a
very intense delight. First of all, there were no
lessons ; then we had our best clothes ; we had no
employment which we liked, that Sunday interfered
with. We might not dig in the gardens ; but we
did not complain of that if we might still look at
the flowers and smell them. Every thing was at
rest about us. The school-room was shut up. The
family dined between churches, so that that day
we were admitted to the parlour, and going to
church was delightful. The day was God's own
particular day, and church was God's own house.
He was really there we were told, though I rather
wondered we did not see him ; and to go there was
the happiest thing we knew. I thought the ser-
vices rather long, and I did not much understand
them ; but I always liked all except the sermon. I
liked evening service best because it was shorter;
but I remember thinking it was not wisely shortened :
and I would gladly have compounded to take back
litany and communion to get off sermon. It was
long words again ; and I felt towards it much as I
did to school-room prayers. As Goethe says of
Gretchen, when we were at church it was
" Halb Kinderspiel halb Grott im Herzen."
Yet we loved God in our child's fashion, and it was
the more delightful that neither feeling absorbed us.
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 115
The singing was very pleasant ; but best of all it
was when a poor, too- curious robin had strayed into
the aisles, and went wandering in alarmed per-
plexity up and down among the long arches, beat-
ing its little beak against the window glass, or
alighting on the shoulder of one of the little
painted cherubims, with its shrill note lending a
momentary voice to the stone harp which hung
stringless in those angel-fingers. After church we
said our catechism, at which I was always best able
to answer my duty towards my neighbour; but
neither I nor my sister, who said it with me, could
ever make much of our duty towards God. We had
our own feelings, which this somehow interfered
with ; it was not in easy enough language, and, as
we knew the routine of it very tolerably, we took
turns to begin, that we might escape. Yet there
was always this compensation, that whichever got
off that had the two long answers. But best of all
were the Sunday evenings, alas, how unlike our
experience of later Sunday evenings, for one of
two delights was always sure to me ; either dear
Miss H read me the Fairy Queen, which then
was only second to the Bible with me, or else the
older ones of the party would play with us young
ones at animal, vegetable, and mineral that first
intrusion of philosophy into the holy place ; which
by and by would play work there we little enough
dreamed of then. Infinite was the glee with which
we strained our memory for the oddest stories, and
the oddest things in them, to be hunted down the
116 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
scent which the questions drew from us. The head
of the floating axe was a great favourite; so was
Jael's nail ; or, harder still, the lordly dish in which
the butter was presented. Kind elder ones, as then
we thought, to trifle so with us ; but my since ex-
perience of Sunday evenings in England has taught
me that they were not so altogether losers, and I
would gladly, as I grew up, have exchanged my
devout sermon readings for the smallest game with
the smallest child. Unhappily we fell, after a time,
under another regime ; we lost our games ; my
Fairy Queen, too, was sent to sleep upon her shelf;
a profane poet was thought unfit for Sunday's
serious perusing. In truth the allegory was not
thought much of; Una was a fair damsel in dis-
tress the lion a real, good, grand, noble lion, such
as we saw at the menagerie; how I hated that
Sansfoy for killing him. I am tempted to say here
how serious a mistake we grown Protestants make
with these 'modern Sundays of ours. I was after
taught no book not strictly religious might be read.
Sermons ! who can go on reading sermons ? I was
called naughty if I went to sleep; and, at that time,
" Wharton's Deathbed Scenes" was the only book
in our library which sweetened the dull medicine
with a story. I learnt these by heart, and then I
was destitute ; and my only comfort in thinking
that heaven was all Sunday was the hope that at
least there would be no long winter evenings there.
Grown people coquet with their consciences so
ridiculously in this matter. They will talk and
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 117
think all day of the foolishest of follies; young
ladies will wear their best "bonnets, thinking only
how pretty they look in them : but to read a book
of foolishness, or to act out the gay dress into a
pleasure party, is sin. Some people will read
letters, but not write them ; but generally both are
permitted, as well as newspapers. A magazine is a
debateable point questionable ; though many de-
grees better than a book. A book, if you will have
a book, must be a volume of sermons ; or, at least,
of commentaries. But to return to my healthy
young Sundays ; they were all bright. It seemed
as if on Sunday it never rained ; and one way or
another, at least at home, it has never lost its calm,
quiet beauty. The flowers wear a less business-like
colour; the fields catch the colour of our spirits,
and seem to lie in obedient repose. I cannot think
the cattle do not feel it is not as other days ; the
lambs have a kind of going to church frisk about
them ; your dog, on every other day your faithful-
lest of companions, lies out before the hall- door,
and never thinks of following you till after evening
service; and your horse, if you have him out in
the morning, looks a sermon full of puritan re-
proaches at you. The sacredness of Sunday is
stamped on the soil of England, and in the heart
of every Englishman ; and all this by the old Sun-
days we remember of the first ten years of our lives.
So it was that, without any notion of the mystery
of Christianity, I grew up in the intensest reverence
for it ; the more intense because I had no notion of
118 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
its meaning. I cannot say what the Bible was not
to me. I remember once in a fit of passionate
bravado, when I was required to do something I did
not like, saying " I swear I will not." I meant
nothing except a great expression of my resolution.
My sister told me I had taken God's name in vain ;
and my conscience burnt in what I had done upon
my heart as if with a branding iron, and there lies
its memory uneffaced and ineffaceable.
Alas, alas, for the change ! as I write, I seem for
a moment to feel the old pulsations : but it is all
gone away gone like a dream in the morning
gone with the fairy-peopled world where then I
thought we had our dwelling. " The things that I
have felt, I now can feel no more;" when God
gave them to me I felt them. He gave them
he has taken them away. The child is not as the
man, and heaven lies all round our lives; in our
young years we gambol upon its shores, and gather
images from the shapes of light that sparkle there ;
and those light beings hover round us in our after
wanderings, to hold our souls true in faith : that
as the child was so in the end the man may be ;
and better far than that.
I am not going to trouble further the old vexed
question of home and school education; but as I
have been speaking of the religious sensibilities
which form themselves at home, and as I have found
that home and the thoughts connected with it are the
elements out of which these are wrought, and the
food upon which they feed; so I am sure that these
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 119
sensibilities are the strongest among those who re-
main longest in this home nursery garden, and,
whatever may become of the others, their roots at
least will never strike in a foreign soil. Character,
vigour, independence, these may best form when
there is most occasion for independent action, and
the boy thrown upon himself in the hard world
atmosphere of school, having to make his way and
push himself and take his own position, will be
better formed by far, perhaps, to elbow along in after-
life by practice of elbowing among schoolboys.
And, till we know something (at present we know
nothing at all) of the form after which it is most
God's will man should most shape himself, it is idle
to lay down laws for the lest way of forming him.
Here I am concerned with religious sensibility, which
unquestionably is weakened in every school as it is
in the world. It leads to no results does religion, in
the first, any more than in the last ; the forms of reli-
gion may be kept up, the outside praying and the
chapel going, some instruction too for decency's
sake ; Greek Testament classes, article classes and
such like. But I will appeal to every boy's expe-
rience, whether all this has anything to do with his
real religion, or whether it looks to much advantage
by the side of the prayer-book his mother gave him,
or the Bible his sisters subscribed to buy for him.
I will ask him whether the tenderest form in which
his divinity is taught at school, has not seemed to
him worldly and irreverent; whether there, it is not
lessons, business, discipline not love, heart and
120 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
pleasure ; and whether passing from the school Sun-
day to the first Sunday at home in holidays has not
been passing from earth into heaven. The older we
grow, the more surely we each feel our own sincere
experience to be the type of all sincere experience,
and I make my appeal without any fear at all.
The same feelings, if I know anything
of human nature, we shall all recognise ; the same
voice in which God has spoken to our hearts. Once
for all, religion cannot be taught to boys. Not till the
man is formed, not till the mind has been drawn out
of itself and forced to read, with its own eyes and not
with the eyes of books, the world and the men that
move and live in it ; not till the strangeness of their
own nature has broken upon them, till they have
looked fairly at this strange scene on earth here,
" this huge stage," and all its shows on " which the
stars with silent influence are commenting," not till
they have felt the meaning of history, have come to
feel that in very deed the actions of which they read,
the books in which they read them, were done and
made by beings in all points like themselves in the
same trials, mysteries and temptations not till then
can religion in its awfulness come out before men's
minds as a thing to be thought of; not till the
question is asked will reason accept the answer. It
is the last, not the first, scene of education. It
cannot, try how you will, it cannot come before; till
then it can be but a feeling and so with this writer ;
God knows whether all his teaching weakened his
feeling : it certainly could not deepen it yet at any
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 121
rate, ill obeyed as it was, the old faith he had learnt
to love still held its place next his heart, till the
time came for the change when the reason must
assume its own responsibilities. I will step lightly
over this period, long as it was ; I had been trained
in rigid Protestantism Faber on the Prophecies,
Southey's Book of the Church, had been the pet
books into which I had been directed. The Devil
was at the bottom, and the Pope, the unquestionable
Antichrist, very near him; and if possible an im-
provement on his ugliness. And the fulfilment, the
exact fulfilment, of the prophecies, in the matter, for
example, of the scarlet robe, the forbidding to marry,
and the meat fasting, had always struck me, not as
proofs of the truth of Christianity Heaven knows
I never thought of that but as the most wonderful in-
stances of the exactness with which the courses of the
world were marked out for it.
So I was at about sixteen. Young boys take
what they are told with readiest acquiescence, and
difficulties are easily put away by a healthy mind
as temptations of the devil. Cruelties said to have
been committed by God's order in the Old Testa-
ment never struck me as cruelties ; I glided on with-
out notice over the massacres of women and children,
much as good sensible people nowadays slide
over the sufferings of " the masses;" condensing
them into the one short word, and dismissing them
as briefly as the lips dismiss the sound
If misgivings ever for a moment arose, I had but to
remember they were idolaters ; and what was too bad
122 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
for a people so wicked as to be that ? I remember
thinking it odd that I should be taught to admire
Hector, and ^Eneas, and Ulysses, and so many of them,
when all they were idolaters too. What had we to
do with the wisdom of Cicero, when he was as great
a sinner as these Canaanites ? But I readily laid
the blame on the defects of my own understanding,
I was sure it was all right; and, though I read Hume
and Gibbon, I hated them cordially, only doubting
whether they were greater fools or greater knaves.
Why an all-knowing God, too, should re-
quire us to pray to Him, should threaten to punish us
if we did not, when He knew what we wanted better
than we knew ourselves; why we should put our
wishes into words when we even felt ourselves how im-
perfectly words expressed our feelings, and He could
know them without; nay, more, why, when as I began
to be taught we could not pray without He gave us
Himself the wish to pray, and the words to pray in, He
yet should be angry with us when we did not do it,
when He had not made us wish this, too, seemed
very odd to me, .... but I dismissed it all as it came,
as my own fault, and most likely as very wrong.
Just as I was leaving off being a boy, we fell
under a strong Catholicising influence at home, and
I used to hear things which were strange enough to
my ear. Faber was put away out of my studies ;
Newton was forbidden ; and Davison, that I thought
so dry and dull, put in his place. Transubstantiation
was talked of before me as more than possible ;
celibacy of the clergy and fasting on the fast days
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 123
were not only not wrong, but the very thing most
needful .... our own dinners indeed did not suffer
diminution .... but even to raise the question was
sufficiently alarming, and I sat by in silence, listen-
ing with the strangest sensations. The martyrdom
of Cranmer had always been a great favourite with
me; the miracle of the unconsumed heart was a
real miracle ; at least I had been told so. The ful-
filled prophecies about the Pope were real Scripture
prophecies, of which I thought the verification almost
terribly exact; and, what was worse, the interpreta-
tion was made sacred to me by early association ....
and how to unlearn all this ? I believe I may date
from this point the first disturbance my mind expe-
rienced, and, however long I went on laying the
blame upon myself, I never recovered it. I said to
myself, if this miracle was not a miracle, how do I
know there ever were miracles ? This was easily
answered, because one sort were in Scripture,
and the other only in Southey's book. But as to
fulfilment of prophecy, if this was not fulfilment,
then what was ? we could never be sure of any of
it. Davison was no help; for his double sense was
the wrong sort of double double-minded. I went
to the New Testament for old prophecies fulfilled
there, and I was still more bewildered ; for, in no one
case that I could find, would it have been possible
to conceive without the interpretation that there had
been any prophecy at all intended. So I was forced
altogether to give up prophecy till more inspiration
came to explain it for us
124 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
Alas ! how little we understand the strange mys-
tery of the heart. Thoughts come and go float
across our minds like the cloud shadows on a sunny
day ; the sun follows out, and no track is seen upon
the earth when they have passed all is hright as
before. But the heart lies out under the breath of
Providence like the prepared mirror of the photo-
genic draughtsman ; the figure falls there, it rests
but a few moments, and then passes away, and no
line is seen; but the rays have eaten in and left a
form which can never be effaced By and
by the acid touches it, and there lies the image,
full and faithful as the hand could paint it. The
first doubt of the affection of one who is dear to us,
how angrily we spurn it from us, how we despise
and hate ourselves for entertaining a thought so
detestable; one stone crumbled off a battlement,
how little it affects our sense of its strength, our
faith in its duration. Yet the same cause which
flung down that one may fling down another and
another, and what can begin to perish will at last
perish all. I am not speaking of Christianity as it
is in the eternal purpose of Almighty God ; but of
that image, that spiritual copy of it, which grows up
in the human microcosm. The first is older than the
universe is coeval with its Maker; but the second
is frail as the being in whom it is formed.
Wo to the unlucky man who as a child is
taught, even as a portion of his creed, what his
grown reason must forswear. Faith endures no
barking of the surface ; it is a fair, delicate plant
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 125
transported out of Paradise into an alien garden,
where surest care alone can foster it. But wound
the tenderest shoot but break away one single
flower, and though it linger on for years, feeding
upon stimulants and struggling through a languish-
ing vitality, it has had its death-blow ; the blighted
juices fly trembling back into the heart, never to
venture out again.
Nevertheless the mind of a young man is very
plastic. As personal affection lies at the root of
our first opinions, so the influence of persons whom
we love and venerate is for a long time paramount ;
and, by a natural necessity, a mind falling in its
growth under the influence of a great man, great
alike in genius and in character, assumes the im-
print such a man will fix upon it, and most imitates
what it most admires. Only wider experience
flings us back upon ourselves ; the experience
which shows us that men who, while they unite all
the greatest qualities in greatest measure, may yet
be as various in opinion as in the variety of their
gifts as various as the million varieties of beautiful
objects with which God has ornamented the earth.
Painful, indeed, is the moment when this first breaks
upon us. It is easy to be decided so long as we
feel so sure that all goodness is on our side ; and
only badness, moral badness, or else folly, can take
the other; but how terrible becomes the alternative
when we know men as they really are !
Well, the great men under whose influence I
now fell dealt tenderly with the imbibed preju-
126 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
dices even of Protestantism ; and, holding on by
persons standing so firmly as they seemed to stand,
I did not seem to have lost any thing to have
weakened my moral footing. They could make
all allowance, sympathise with my sorrow such
as it was, show how it was right and amiable that
I should feel it; and, in the position which they
had assumed, they seemed to have the antidote
against the mischief from the transfer of allegiance
from one set of teachers to another, in representing
themselves not as speaking their own words, but
those of the holy mother of us all the Church.
So a strange process began to form ; for, while it was
in reality but their own great persons which were
drawing us all towards them, they unwillingly de-
ceived us into believing it was not their influence, but
the body's power; and, while in fact we were only
Newmanites, we fancied we were becoming Catholics.
Most mournful for in the imagined security of
our new position, as our minds were now unfolding,
with deep faith in one great man, we began to follow
him along the subtle reasonings with which he drew
away from under us the supports upon which Pro-
testant Christianity had been content to rest its
weight; we allowed ourselves to see its contradic-
tions, to recognise the logical strength of the argu-
ments of Hume, to acknowledge that the old
answers of Campbell, the evidences of Paley, were
futile as the finger of a child on the spoke of an
engine's driving-wheel ; nay, more, to examine the
logic of unbelief with a kind of pleasure, as hitting
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH, 127
our adversaries to the death, and never approaching
us at all. So, gradually unknowing what we did,
to accept the huge bisection of mankind; to con-
fine Christianity to the Church visible, and exclude
those beyond its pale from the blessings of the
covenant to recognise the Catholic illustration of
the ark to continue the anathemas of the creeds,
while we determined the objects on whom they
rested to allow the world outside to have all
talent, all splendour, power, beauty, intellect, su-
periority, even the highest heroic virtues, and yet
to be without that peculiar goodness which flowed
out of the body of which the elect were members,
and which alone gave chance of salvation.
It is true that we were defrauded of the just in-
dignation with which our hearts would have rebelled
against so terrible a violation of their instincts, by
mysterious hints of uncovenanted mercies, of grace
given to the heathen in overflowing kindness ; and
gentle softening of the more consistent theology of
the fathers, which flung infants, dying unbaptised,
into the everlasting fire-lake. They would not let
us see what they perhaps themselves shrunk from
seeing, that in the law of Divine Providence there
is none of this vague unreal trifling ; that, if they
believed their histories and their illustrations, they
must not flinch from the conclusions. The sucking
children of the unchosen were not saved in Noah's
flood. The cities of the Canaanites were deluged
with the blood of hundreds of thousands whose inno-
cence appeals to outraged humanity. What had those
128 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
poor creatures done to justify their fate more than
the Christians beyond the pale, or the heathen whose
virtues plead to have intercession made for them ?
The Catholics must not trifle with their theory,
and on this twilight of uncovenanted mercies they
must allow me to ask them these questions.
Was the Christian sacrifice necessary, or was it
not ? That is, could mankind he saved without it ?
You will answer, at least Catholics always do answer,
They could not.
To derive the benefit of that sacrifice, is it neces-
sary to be within the Church, and receive it through
the sacraments ? If Yes ; then all beyond derive
no benefit, and so are lost. If No ; then what do
you mean ? There is no such thing as " partially
necessary ;" a thing is necessary or it is not. You
will say then Not necessary; but necessary in
such and such circumstances wherever God has
made it possible. But if God had pleased it would
have been universally possible; and with an at-
tached natural penalty of eternal damnation, which
can only be counteracted by a miracle, it is hard to
conceive him leaving men without the one essential.
Well, then, do you mean these sacraments are
essential to the living a saintly life ? But others
live saintly lives. If they do, you say that is by
the extraordinary mercy. But the Catholics do not
number a tithe of the human race as a rule we do
not find a larger proportion of good men among
them than among others ; and if, out of every age
and nation, those who fear God are under the influ-
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 129
ence of His grace, and are in the other world to
become members of His Church, a larger number
by far will be taken from those beyond the pale
than from within it; and, therefore, the Catholics
will receive by the extraordinary, the others by the
ordinary channels. The extra- sacramental is the
common way ; and how strange a system you make
the Almighty to have constructed, when it does but
answer a tenth of its purpose, and the rest is by
method of exception. Surely this is worse than
midsummer madness! The fathers are right
you are ridiculous. It may be that sacramental
grace is essential ; but the alternative is absolute
it is, or it is not. Begin to make exceptions; bend
your line, here a little and there a little, a curve
for the pious Lutherans, an angle for the better sort
of heathens, and you will soon make your figure
a helpless, shapeless no-figure. Take up the swim-
mers into the ark, and they will soon outnumber
the good family there; and ark and all will go
down, and you will have to take common chance
in the water with the rest.
No ! the earthly Canaan was given to the chosen
people without respect of virtue, as Jewish history
too painfully shows. So with your theory is the
heavenly. You need not come in with your text,
" Many shall come from the east and the west,"
giving it the human sense, which shall save the hea-
thens in the next world. For you it means, and but
must mean, the call of the Gentiles under baptism.
If you recoil from this conclusion, then, in God's
130 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
name,, have done with your covenant and your
theory; and do not in the same breath allow and
disallow human excellence as a title to heaven, or
the doctrine of the infinite divisibility of matter
must be called in to help you in your dividings.
A few words more shall be said to you, of which you
shall not like the hearing. I will not prejudge you ;
but, if you believe what you say, to allow us to go
on feeding ourselves upon the literature of those
old glorious Greeks ard Romans, to think by Aris-
totle and Cicero, to feel by ^Eschylus and Sophocles,
to reproduce among ourselves by exclusive study
the early figures of those great kings, patriots,
poets, princes, is the most barbarous snare which
was ever laid before the feet of weak humanity.
And you do this you who profess the care of our
souls ! Ah, if you did care for them, you would up
and gird yourselves, and cry Leave them, leave
them, they are heathens ! Learn your Greek in
Athanasius, and your Latin in Augustine. Those
were God's enemies whom He had not chosen, and
therefore has rejected. The more dangerous be-
cause they look so like His friends ; but splendid
sinners, as the wise fathers called them.
What, gentlemen, do you suppose that I am to
make friends with Socrates and Phocion, and be-
lieve that human nature is full of the devil, and that
only baptism can give chance for a holy life ? That
I will hand Plato into destruction ; that Sophocles,
and Phidias, and Pindar, and Germanicus, and Ta-
citus, and Aurelius, and Trajan were no better than
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 131
poor unenlightened Pagans, and that, where you not
only permit me to make acquaintance with them, but
compel me to it as a condition, forsooth, under which
I may become a minister of the Christian faith !
You think, perhaps, that I shall draw healthy
comparisons, and see what heathenism could not
make of man. That I will place (I will not com-
pare invidiously) that I will place David above Leo-
nidas, Eusebius above Tacitus, Jerome over Plato,
Aquinas over Aristotle, and yourselves over
Ah, Heaven ! where shall I find an antitype of you ?
You shall let me see and love whole generations of
men who would live long lives of self-denial and
heroic daring, for the love of God, and virtue, and
humanity; asking no reward but in the consciousness
that they Avere doing God's will ; and persevering
still, even with the grave as the limit of their hori-
zon, because they loved good and hated evil ; and
you point me out in contrast the noble army of
martyrs men who knew how to die in the strength
of the faith, that death was the gate of eternal Pa-
radise ; and which is the noblest, and which is the
hardest task, I wonder ? No, the world is mystery
enough, no doubt of that, and your Catholic Chris-
tianity may be true ; but, if you think so, you, who
are our soul's shepherds, at your peril be it, close
up the literature of the world ; like that deeply be-
lieving Caliph, close, close our eyes in seven-fold
blindness against all history except the Bible his-
tory, and mark out the paths of Christian teaching
132 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
in which you will have us walk within walls hard
and thick as the adamant round Paradise.
So much for the digressing upon an argument
which I have let fall here where it is lying, not as
what I felt at the time of which I speak, but as
what now, as I look back over it, appears the logical
account of the ill-satisfaction which I did feel. It
is with argument as it is with the poetry of passion
we feel before we can speak of what we feel ; and
it is only on the return of calmness, when the
struggle is past and the horizon clear again, that
we can delineate and analyse our experiences.
Among all the foolish and unmeaning cries over
which party spirit has gone distracted, that of "pri-
vate judgment" stands, perhaps, without parallel.
Whether, as the Protestant explains it, we take it as
a right, or as the Catholic, as a duty, the right of
judging for oneself, or the right of choosing one's
teacher, or the duty of doing both, or one, or nei-
ther, whatever we call it, never was so strange a
creature brought to birth out of our small but fer-
What is right or duty without power ? To tell
a man it is his duty to submit his judgment to the
judgment of the church, is like telling a wife it is
her duty to love her husband a thing easy to say,
but meaning simply nothing. Affection must be
won, not commanded. If the husband and wife
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 133
both continue the same persons as they were when
they did love each other (supposing it was so), the
love will continue ; but if the natures change, either
of both or one of them, and become antipathetic, it
would be as reasonable to lecture oxygen and hy-
drogen on the duty of continuing in combination
when they are decomposed by galvanism. They
may, indeed, be forcibly held together in juxtapo-
sition by external restraint ; but combined they are
not. And, while they are as they are, they can-
not be combined.
So it is with the church and its members. As long
as the church has the power to mould the minds of her
children after her own sort, in such a way that their
coherence in her shall be firm enough to overcome
whatever external attraction they may fall within
the sphere of, so long she has a right to their
hearts. While she has the power to employ the
external restraints of hope and fear so long as she
can torture and scourge, or so long as she directs
public opinion, and her frown can entail any prac-
tical inconvenience so long she has a right to the
external conformity of such individuals as are of a
kind to be governed by such considerations. As
soon as she loses both, the bereaved lady may still
cry, " I have a right to your affections, it is your
duty to submit to me;" but she will have lost her
divine sanction, and would be about as reasonable
as the last of the Stuarts whining over his rights to
the duty of the English.
Again, for an individual, be he who he will, in a
134 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
world where faculties are so unequally distributed,
and some are weaker than others, to say he has a
right to be his own teacher, or to choose who he
will have for a teacher, is much as if a satellite of
Jupiter betrayed a disposition to set up on his own
account, or took a fancy to older ways and wished
to transfer his allegiance to Saturn. If Saturn left
his orbit, and came down for him, and by right of
Stronger attraction could take him away in a strug-
gle, then of course he would have a right to him.
So it is with us all. I use magnetic illustrations,
not because I think the mind magnetic, but because
magnetic comparisons are the nearest we have, and
the laws are exactly parallel. Minds vary in sensi-
tiveness and in self-power, as bodies do in suscepti-
bility of attraction and repulsion. When, when
shall we learn that they are governed by laws as in-
exorable as physical laws, and that a man can as easily
refuse to obey what has power over him as a steel
atom can resist the magnet ? Take a bar of steel,
its component atoms cohere by attraction ; turn off
the current of electricity, or find means to negative
it, and the bar becomes a dust heap. The earth's
attraction calls off this portion, the wind scatters
that, or another magnetic body in the neighbour-
hood will proceed to appropriate. So it is with be-
lief: belief is the result of the proportion, whatever
it be, in which the many elements which go to
make the human being are combined. In some the
grosser nature preponderates ; they believe largely in
their stomachs, in the comforts and conveniences
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 135
of life, and being of such kind, so long as these are
not threatened, they gravitate steadily towards the
earth. Numerically this is the largest class of be-
lievers, with very various denominations indeed;
bearing the names of every faith beneath the sky,
and composing the conservative elements in them,
and therefore commonly persons of much weight in
established systems. But they are what I have
called them : their hearts are where I said they
were, and as such interests are commonly selfish,
and self separates instead of unites, they are not
generally powerful against any heavy trial. Others
of keener susceptibility are yet volatile, with slight
power of continuance, and fly from attraction to
attraction in the current of novelty. Others of
stronger temper gravitate more slowly, but com-
bine more firmly, and only disunite again when the
idea or soul of the body into which they form dies
out, or they fall under the influence of some very
attractive force indeed. It may be doubted, indeed,
whether a body which is really organised by a
living idea, can lose a healthy member except by
If it be difficult to follow the subtle features of
electric affinity among the inorganic bodies or sim-
plest elemental combinations, it may well be thought
impossible in organisms so curiously complicated as
that of the human being. However, such as it is,
the illustration will serve.
The cry of private judgment meant simply this,
tliut the authority of the office was ceasing to influ-
136 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
ence, and was being superseded by the authority of
the gifted man that the church had lost its power,
perhaps its life, and was decomposing. The talk of
the duty of determining to remain in her upon pri-
vate judgment, was an attempt to inspire the atoms
which were flying off with salutary fear of conse-
quences, which would submit them again to her
Well, as we had none of us any very clear idea
to magnetize us, and as yet had not approached the
point when the other influences would come to bear
upon us, and we should begin to feel the gravi-
tation downwards in the necessity of getting on in
the world, the leader of the movement took us all
his own way ; all that is who were not Arnoldized.
And even some of these he contrived to draw away
by the nearness and continuance of his action upon
them, as the comet's attraction played the deuce
with Jupiter's satellites while it continued in their
neighbourhood. It is true we thought, yes, we
thought we were following the church : but it was
like the goose in the child's toy, which is led by
the nose up and down the basin by the piece of
bread ... by the piece of bread . . . with the
loadstone inside it.
Well, everybody remembers the history of the
Tracts, and how the doctrine of development began
to show itself as the idea grew ; threatening such
mighty changes; and how unsteady minds began
to grow uneasy ; and heads of houses to frown, and
bishops to deliver charges. Hitherto these Tracts
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 137
had represented pretty exactly Anglican Oxford.
Though dangerously clever, and more dangerously
good, they had never broken bounds, and the unen-
thusiastic authorities had found themselves unable
to do more than warn, and affect to moderate. The
world outside seemed partially to smile on the
movement, as at any rate a digging over an unpro-
ductive soil. Rome was never spoken of as the
probable goal of any but a few foolish young men,
whose presence would be injurious to any cause,
and who were therefore better in the enemy's camp
than at home. And no worldly interests had as
yet been threatened with damage, except perhaps
the Friday dinner and the Lent second course; the
loss of which, being not enough to be painful, became
a piquant stimulant, and gave edge to appetite.
Now, to a single-minded man, who is either
brave enough or reckless enough to surrender him-
self wholly to one idea, and look neither right nor
left, but only forward, what earthly consequences
may follow is not material. Persecution strengthens
him; and so he is sure he is right, whether his
course end in a prison or on a throne is no matter
at all. But men of this calibre are uncommon in
any age or in any country very uncommon in this
age and this country. Most of us are sent to
universities or wherever it may be, not merely to be
educated into men, but to get along in the world ;
make money, it may be called, in an invidious way;
but it is not only to make money; it is that we
may take up our own position in life, and support
138 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
ourselves in the scale of society where we were bom.
We are placed in a road along which we have only
to travel steadily, and the professions, as they are
called, are trodden in hy the experience of the com-
mon sense of mankind, making large advance and
best success quite possible to average hack genius,
which would make nothing of its across country.
The world cares little about theology; and the
worldly professions soon leave it out of account
except on Sunday . . . But to the Oxford students,
and particularly to such of them as form the opi-
nion of Oxford, theology is itself the profession.
Chosen as a profession, it is followed with pro-
fessional aims, and, as the idea of the Tracts grew
clearer and more exclusive, the time came when the
angle at which the line of its course inclined to-
wards the professional influence became obtuse
instead of acute, and this last began to retard.
It became necessary to surrender tutorships,
fellowships, and the hopes of them ; to find diffi-
culties in getting ordained, to lose slowly the pros-
pects of pleasant curacies, and livings, and parson-
age houses, and the sweet little visions of home
paradises a serious thing to young high church-
men, who were commonly of the amiable enthusias-
tic sort, and so, of course, had fallen most of them
into early engagements and from this
time the leader's followers began to lag behind.
"They turned back, and walked no more after
him." I am not blaming them. They did
not know what was governing them, and, if they
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 139
did, they would have had very much to urge for
themselves. It is no light thing this mortifying
the hopes of friends, who have, perhaps, made pain-
ful sacrifices to lift us forward. It is no light thing
to encounter the hard words and hard facts of life,
without sympathy, till the cause is won and it is
not needed; rather perhaps with the coldness of
those we love, the sneers of society, the three meals
a-day never slacking their claims, and the where-
withal to provide them poorly forthcoming.
The idea drives a man into the wilderness before
he comes to the land of milk and honey
and little water and the scanty sprinkling of angel's
food he must make shift to be content with. Spe-
culation bakes no bread, and often, too, the sinking
heart flags and fails to trust itself, and the moments
of insight are short, and the hours of despondency
are long, and the unsteady reason rises among
vague misgivings, and points reproachfully back
to the fleshpots of Egypt, which we have left to die
in the desert. After all, too, is not the beaten road,
a road which men have beaten, good men who had
God's grace in them. Surely what presumption is
it not for here and there a self-wise impertinent to
refuse to listen to the old practised guides, and fly
off, he knows not where, after a mirage he calls an
" idea" . . . Peace, peace, perturbed spirits ! Per-
fection in tin's world is a dream Poor sheep !
listen to the call of your shepherd ; turn back before
the sand overwhelm you So reason with
themselves the many half- worshippers of trurh ; and
140 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
they turn back and find their account in turning.
They find their account in the peace they sought.
Genius only has a right to choose its own way, for
genius only has the power to face what it will find
there. There is a lion in the path let the
common man keep clear of him. So all men gra-
vitate into their spheres ; only wo to those who
swing suspended in the balance, and can follow
heartily neither earth nor heaven.
There is genius with its pale face and worn dress
and torn friendships and bleeding heart . . . strong
only in struggling ; counting all loss but truth and
the love of God; rewarded, as men court reward,
perhaps by an after apotheosis, yet never seeking
this reward or that reward, save only its own good
conscience steady to its aim; promising nothing;
least of all peace only struggles which are to end
but with the grave.
And there is respectability, with its sweet smiling
home, and loving friends, and happy family, a fair
green spring, a golden summer, an autumn sinking
fruit-loaded to the earth the final winter rest fol-
lowing on the full finished course of gentle duty
done, and for the future prospects, easy and secure.
Choose between them, O man, at the parting of the
ways ! Choose. You may have one ; both you
cannot have. Either will give you to yourself-
either perhaps to God. Yet, if you do choose the
first, choose it with all your heart. You will need
it all to bear what will be laid upon you. No wist-
ful lookings back upon the pleasant land which you
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 141
are leaving no playing with life. You have
chosen the heart of things, not the surface; and it
is no child's play. Fling away your soul once
for all, your own small self; if you will find it
again. Count not even on immortality. St Paul
would make himself anathema for the brethren.
Look not to have your sepulchre huilt in after ages
by the same foolish hands which still ever destroy
the living prophet. Small honour for you if they
do build it; and may be they never will build it.
A thousand patriots go to the scaffold amidst the
execrations of decent mankind. Out of these thou-
sand, perhaps the after generation remembers one
young Emmett; and his name finds honourable
memory; and young ladies drop sentimental tears
on the piano notes as they sing the sorrows of his
Enough of this .... But once in our lives we
have all to choose. More or less we have all felt
once the same emotions. We have not always been
what the professions make of us. Nature made us
men, and she surrenders not her children without a
struggle. I will go back to my story now with but
this one word, that it is these sons of genius, and
the fate they meet with, which is to me the one sole
evidence that there is more in "this huge state"
than what is seen, and that in very truth the soul
of man is not a tiling which comes and goes, is
builded and decays like the elemental frame in
wliich it is set to dwell, but a very living force,
142 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
a very energy of God's organic Will, which rules and
moulds this universe.
For what are they? Say not, say not, it is but a
choice which they have made; and an immortality
of glory in heaven shall reward them for what they
have sacrificed on earth. It may he so ; but they
do not ask for it. They are what they are from the
Divine power which is in them, and you would
never hear their complainings if the grave was the
gate of annihilation.
Say not they have their reward on earth in the
calm satisfaction of noble desires, nobly gratified,
in the sense of great works greatly done; that too
may be, but neither do they ask for that. They
alone never remember themselves; they know no
end but to do the will which beats in their heart's
deep pulses. Ay, but for these, these few mar-
tyred heroes, it might be after all that the earth was
but a huge loss-and-profit ledger book; or a toy ma-
chine some great angel had invented for the amuse-
ment of his nursery; and the storm and the sun-
shine but the tears and the smiles of laughter in
which he and his baby cherubs dressed their faces
over the grave and solemn airs of slow-paced re-
Yes, genius alone is the Kedeemer ; it bears our
sorrows, it is crowned with thorns for us; the children
of genius are the church militant, the army of the
human race. Genius is the life, the law of mankind,
itself perishing, that others may take possession
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 143
and enjoy. Religion, freedom, science, law, the
arts, mechanical or beautiful, all which gives respec-
tability a chance, have been moulded out by the toil
and the sweat and the blood of the faithful; who,
knowing no enjoyment, were content to be the ser-
vants of their own born slaves, and wrought out the
happiness of the world which despised and disowned
So much for the sons of genius .... one of
whom perhaps one of three or four at present alive
in this planet was at that time rising up in Oxford,
and drawing all men towards him. I myself was
so far fortunate, that the worldly influence of which
I spoke did not so immediately bear upon me.
I was, as the phrase goes, moderately provided for ;
and, in my own reflectings upon the matter, it seemed
to me that I in a way ought to take advantage of a
fortunate position ; and, without judging the motives
of others who acted differently because I could not
tell how I myself might have acted if I had been
tempted in the same way, to follow on where the
direct course seemed to lead me.
Life complete, is lived in two worlds; the one in-
side, and the one outside. The first half of our days is
spent wholly in the former ; the second, if it is what it
ought to be, wholly in the latter Pretty well till
we have done with our educating theories are only
words to us, and church controversy not of things
but of shadows of things. Through all that time life
and thought beyond our own experience is but a
great game played out by book actors ; we do not
144 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
think, we only think we think, and we have been too
busy in our own line to have a notion really of
what is beyond it. But while so much of our talk is
so unreal, our own selves, our own risings, fallings,
aspirings, resolutions, misgivings, these are real
enough to us; these are our hidden life, our sanc-
tuary of our own mysteries It was into
these that N/s power of insight was so remarkable.
I believe no young man ever heard him preach with-
out fancying that some one had been betraying his
own history, and the sermon was aimed specially at
him. It was likely that, while he had possession so
complete of what we did know about ourselves, we
should take his word for what we did not; and,
while he could explain tis, let him explain the rest
for us. But it is a problem heavier than has been
yet laid on theologians to make what the world has
now grown into square with the theory of Catholicism.
And presently as we began to leave the nest, and,
though under his eye, fly out and look about for
ourselves, some of us began to find it so. I was not
yet acquainted with any of the modern continental
writers, but I had read a great deal of English, and
clouds of things began to rise before me in hghts
wonderfully different from those in which I used to
see them. I will not go along the details, but I will
lay down a few propositions, all of which were
granted, with the conclusions I myself was tempted
to draw, and those which I was taught to draw.
1. That, if the Catholic theory be true, it is not
only necessary to talk of hating the Reformation, but
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 145
one must hate it with a hearty good- will as a rending
of the body of Christ and yet
That in the sixteenth century the church was full
of the most fearful abuses; that many of the clergy
were unbelievers, and many more worldly and sen-
sual; that to what we call an honest simple under-
standing, it had become a huge system of fraud,
trickery, and imposture. Granted.
2. That the after Eeformation in the Eoman
Catholic church was, humanly speaking, a conse-
quence of the great revolt from her, which had
shamed her into exerting herself. Granted.
3. That, ever since, the nations which have re-
mained Catholic have become comparatively power-
less, while the Protestant nations have uniformly
risen; that each nation, in fact, has risen exactly as
it has emancipated itself. Granted.
4. That the Catholic church since the Eeformation
has produced no great man of science, no statesman,
no philosopher, no poet. Granted.
5. That historical criticism, that scientific disco-
very have uniformly tended to invalidate the autho-
rity of histories to which the infallible church has
committed herself. Granted.
(3. That the personal character of the people in all
Koman Catholic countries is poor and mean; that
they are untrue in their words, unsteady in their
actions, disrespecting themselves in the entire tenor
of their life and temper. Granted.
7. And that this was to be traced to the moral
dependence in which they were trained ; to the con-
146 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
science being taken out of their own hands and de-
posited with the priests ; to the disrespect with
which this life is treated hy the Catholic theory;
the low esteem in which the human will and cha-
racter are considered; and, generally, to the condi-
tion of spiritual bondage in which they are held.
Not granted, but to be believed nevertheless.
Now if these things were facts, taken alone at
least, they were unquestionably serious. Happily I
had very early learned the fallacy of building much
on logic and verbal argument. Single sets of truths
I knew to be as little conclusive in theology as in
physics; and, in one as in the other, no theory to
be worth anything, however plausibly backed up
with Scripture texts or facts, which was not gathered
bvndjide from the analysis of all the attainable phe-
nomena, and verified wherever possible by experi-
ment, " Here is a theory of the world which you
bring for my acceptance : well, there is the world ;
try will the key fit ? can you read the language
into sense by it ?" was the only method; and so I
was led always to look at broad results, at pages and
chapters, rather than at single words and sentences,
where for a few lines a false key may serve to make
a meaning So of these broad observa-
tions I only expected a broad solution. I did not
draw conclusions for myself, I never yet doubted;
but I wished to be told what I was to make of facts
These answers which follow I do not mean to say
were given categorically to categorically asked ques-
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 147
tions, but on the whole they are such as were in
various ways and at considerable intervals of time
suggested to me.
1. Either it was true or it was not true, that man
was fallen and required redemption ; that from the
beginning of time a peculiar body of people, not
specially distinguished for individual excellen-
cies, had nevertheless been the objects of peculiar
care, the channels of peculiar grace; that their
language was inspired, their priests divinely guided.
2. If this was true, we were not to demand at
present results which never had been found.
3. That the Spirit worked not visibly, but in-
4. That my arguments told not only against Ca-
tholicism, but against Christianity, considered as
historical and exclusive.
5. That Protestant Christianity on the Conti-
nent had uniformly developed into Socinianism,
and thence into Pantheism, and from a fact was be-
coming an idea merely.
6. That Catholicism altogether was a preter-
natural system, treating the world as a place of trial
and temptation, and the Devil as the main director
of what seemed greatest and most powerful in it ;
and, therefore, that we should least look among
Christians for such power and greatness; and broken-
hearted penitence was not likely to produce such
effects as seemed to me so admirable.
7. The Bible everywhere denounced the world as
the enemy of God, not as the friend of God ; and by
148 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
the world must be meant the real world of fact, not a
fantastic world of all kinds of vice and wickedness,
which had no existence heyond our own imaginings.
The world was always what the world is now a
world of greatness as well as pleasure of intellect,
power, beauty, nobleness. This was the world we
forswore in baptism, and in our creed denounced.
The temper of a saint was quite different from the
temper of a world's great man ; and we had no
right, because we found this last attractive and beau-
tiful, to assume that he was not therefore what the
Bible warned us against. If man is fallen, his un-
sanctified virtues are vices.
9. That the hold of Christianity was on the heart,
and not on the reason. Reason was not the whole
of us ; and alone it must ever lead to infidelity.
10. Finally, we were Christians, or we were not.
Confessedly Christianity was mysterious; the my-
sterious solution of a mysterious world ; not likely
to be reasonable. If once we began accommodating
and assimilating, shrinking from that difficulty, and
stretching our creed to this, expanding liberalism
would grow stronger by concessions. The Bible
warned us sternly enough of what we were, and of the
little right we had to place confidence in ourselves.
Unbelief was a sin, not a mistake, and deserved not
argument, but punishment.
It was enough for me to learn, as now I soon did,
that all real arguments against Catholicism were, in
fact, arguments against Christianity; and I was
readily induced to acknowledge that the Reforma-
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 149
tion had been the most miserable infatuation. The
world was an enemy dangerous enough without
home feuds ; and the Keformers, in allowing reason
to sit in judgment in matters of faith, in appealing
to common sense, and in acknowledging the right of
personal independence, were introducing elements, no
one of which could produce anything but falsehood,
in a system which recognised none of them, which
was divine, not human, and, being divinely founded,
had the promise of divine sustaining. I saw that
in denying the continual authority of the Church's
witness, and falling back on individual experience,
or historic testimony, they had, in fact, cut away
the only support on which Eevelation could at all
sustain itself. That in the cry of " the Bible, and
the Bible only" (setting aside the absurdity of the
very idea, as if the Bible was not written in
human language, and language not dependent for
interpretation upon tradition; I say, setting aside
this), men are assuming the very point at issue;
for, if the Church was mistaken, why must the Bible
be true ? That is, why must it be wholly true ?
why not contain the same alloy of true and false to
be found in all other books?
In fact, they had cut the roots of the tree ; for a
few years it might retain some traces of its old life;
but they had broken off the supply, and they were
but trading on what was left of the traditionary
reverence for the Bible which the Church had in-
stilled into mankind. Experience had shown, that
the same reason which rejected the Saints' miracles
150 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
as incredible would soon make hard mouths at the
Bible miracles. The notion of inspiration was no
more satisfactory than that of the Church's infalli-
bility; and if the power of the keys, and sacra-
mental grace, and apostolic succession, were absur-
dities, the Devil was at least equally so. And with
the Devil fell sin, and the atonement fell, and all
revelation fell ; and we were drifting on the current
of a wide ocean, we knew not where, with neither
oar nor compass.
And so I held on, with all my heart, in the power
of old association ; and, clinging fast to what I could
comprehend of our leader's views, for a time dreamed
they were my own. Hitherto, in considering the
existing unhappy state of Catholic countries,England,
unquestionably the strongest country in the world, we
had taken as a Protestant country. The tendency
of Catholicism we saw to be to depress the external
character of man; that, the deeper he believed it,
the more completely he became subdued. Protest-
antism, on the contrary, cultivated man outwards on
every side, insisted on self-reliance, taught every one
to stand alone, and depend himself on his own ener-
gies. Now, then, came the question of the Church
of England was it Catholic, was it Protestant ? for,
if this were Protestantism, surely the English, as a
nation, were the most Protestant in the world. Long
before the Reformation, the genius of independence
had begun to struggle for emancipation among them,
and the dazzling burst of the Elizabethan era was the
vigorous expansion of long-imprisoned energy, spring-
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 151
ing out in bounding joyous freedom. The poets, from
Chaucer to Milton, were, without exception, on the
reforming side; and the strong practical heart of the
country found its fullest and clearest expression in
Oliver Cromwell. Unquestionably the English were
Protestants in the fullest sense of the word ; yet,
in spite of this unhealthy symptom, the English
Church had retained, apparently providentially,
something of a Catholic character. It had retained
the Succession, it had retained the Sacraments, it
had retained Liturgical forms, which committed it
to the just Catholic understanding of them. The
question with the Tract writers was, whether, with the
help of this old framework they could unprotest-
antize its working character, and reinspire it with so
much of the old life as should enable it to do the
same work in England which the Koman Church pro-
duced abroad; to make England cease to produce
great men as we count greatness and for poetry,
courage, daring, enterprise, resolution, and broad
honest understanding, substitute devotion, endu-
rance, humility, self-denial, sanctity, and faith.
This was the question at issue. It might take other
names ; it might resent the seeing itself represented
so broadly. But this was, at heart, what it meant,
if it meant anything to produce a wholly different
type of character. It was no longer now a nice
dispute about authority. Long-sighted men saw
now that Christianity itself had to fight for its life,
and that, unless it was very soon to die in England,
as it had died in Germany and France, something
152 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
else than the broad solid English sense must
be inoculated into the hearts of us. We were all
liberalizing as we were going on, making too much
of this world, and losing our hold upon the next ;
forgetting, as we all had, that the next was the only
real world, and this but a thorny road to it, to be
trod with bleeding feet, and broken spirits. It was
What a sight must this age of ours have been to
an earnest believing man like Newman, who had an
eye to see it, and an ear to hear its voices? A
foolish Church, chattering, parrot-like, old notes, of
which it had forgot the meaning; a clergy who
not only thought not at all, but whose heavy
ignorance, from long unreality, clung about them
like a garment, and who mistook their fool's cap
and bells for a crown of wisdom, and the music
of the spheres ; selfishness alike recognized prac-
tically as the rule of conduct, and faith in God, in
man, in virtue, exchanged for faith in the belly,
in fortunes, carriages, lazy sofas, and cushioned
pews ; Bentham politics, and Paley religion ; all
the thought deserving to be called thought, the flow-
ing tide of Germany, and the philosophy of Hume
and Gibbon ; all the spiritual feeling, the light froth
of the Wesleyans and Evangelicals ; and the only
real stern life to be found anywhere, in a strong re-
solved and haughty democratic independence, heaving
and rolling underneath the chaff- spread surface. How
was it like to fare with the clergy gentlemen, and
the Church turned respectable, in the struggle with
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 153
enemies like these? Erastianism, pluralities, pre-
bendal stalls, and pony-gigging parsons, what
work were they like to make against the proud,
rugged, intellectual republicanism, with a fire
sword between its lips, bidding cant and lies be still ;
and philosophy, with Niebuhr criticism for a reap-
ing sickle, mowing down their darling story-books?
High time it was to move indeed. High time for
the Church warriors to look about them, to burnish
up their armour, to seize what ground was yet re -
maining, what time to train for the battle.
It would not serve to cultivate the intellect. All
over Europe, since Spinoza wrote, what of strongest
intellect there was had gone over to the enemy.
Genius was choosing its own way, acknowledging
no longer the authority either of man or docu-
ment ; and unless in some way or other the heart
could be preoccupied unless the Church could win
back the love of her children, and temper them
quite differently from the tone in which they were
now tempered, the cause was lost and for ever.
So, then, they must begin with the clergy. To
wean the Church from its Erastianism into mili-
tancy, where it might at least command respect for
its sincerity to wean the bishops from their palaces
and lazy carriages and fashionable families, the
clergy from their snug firesides and marrying
and giving in marriage : tin's was the first step.
Slowly then to draw the people out of the whirl
of business to thought upon themselves from M'll-
asstTtion, for the clamouring for their rights, and
154 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
the craving for independence, to almsgiving, to en-
durance of wrong, to the confessional from doing
to praying from early hours in the office, or in the
field, to matins and daily service : this was the pur-
pose of the Tract movement. God knows, if
Christianity he true, a purpose needful enough to
get fulfilled. For surely it is madness, if the world
be the awful place the Bible says it is, the Devil's
kingdom the battle-field between good and evil
spirits for the eternal happiness or eternal perdition
of human souls to go out, as we all do, clergy and
all of us to go out into its highways and dust our
feet along its thoroughfares; to take part in its
amusements ; to eat, and drink, and labour, and
enjoy our labour's fruit, and find our home and
happiness here. Madness ! yes, and far worse than
madness ! For once more, the world is not visibly
at least the hideous place our early religion dreams
it to be ; it is not a world of profligates and pick-
pockets, and thieves and sensualists ; it is a world
of men and women, not all good, but better far than
bad ; a world of virtue as man's heart deems virtue ;
of human feelings, sympathies, and kindness; a
world we cannot enter into without loving it ....
and yet, if we love it, we are to die.
Oh, most miserable example of disbelief in their
own precepts are the English clergy ! Denouncing
the world, they yet live in it ; speaking in the old
language against indulgence, and luxury, and riches,
and vanity in the pulpit, how is it that they cannot
bring themselves, neither they nor their families, to
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 155
descend from the social position, as they call it, in
which they were bom ? Why must they he for ever
gentlemen ? Why is it that the only unworldliness
to he found among them is hut among those to
whom poverty leaves no alternative ?
It was a worldly Church ; yes, there was no douht
of it ; and, being so, it early began to scent danger,
to cry out and anathematize the new teachers who
prescribed a severer doctrine; who were trying to
shame the clergy into a more consistent life by
reminding them of the dignity of their office. New-
man had dared to tell them that their armour was
pasteboard ; the oil dying out of their lamps ; that
a tempest was rising which would scatter them like
chaff" before it. Catholic feeling Catholic energy
Catholic doctrine, exhibited in holy life, in prayer,
and fasting, their own witness at least of their own
fidelity, might save them. It was a chance, only a
chance : but their last. Let them rouse themselves,
and see what they did really believe, and why they
believed ; above all, let them come forward in deed
as well as word, and prove that they were alive : with
a faith really heart-rooted, they might yet stand in
the storm ; but their logic props were bruised reeds
indeed And what was his reward ? He
was denounced as a Cassandra prophet ; bid, go get
him gone, shake the dust from off his feet, and
depart to his own place. He took them at their
word, and left the falling house, not without scorn.
A little more slumber, a little more sleep. It was
the sluggard's cry, let them find the sluggard's
156 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
doom. But I had left him, too, before this. I
have outrun my own small history, and I must fall
back upon my own adventures. He was not the
only greatly gifted man then living in this England.
I think he was one of two. Another eye, deep-
piercing as his, and with a no less wide horizon,
was looking out across the same perplexed scene,
and asking his heart, too, what God would tell him
of it. Some one says that the accident of a ten
years' earlier or later birth into this world may
determine the whole direction and meaning of the
most powerful of minds. The accident of local
circumstances may produce the same result. Men
form their texture out of the atmosphere which
they inhale, and incline this way or that way as the
current of the wind in which they stand. Newman
grew up in Oxford, in lectures, and college chapels,
and school divinity; Mr. Carlyle, in the Scotch
Highlands, and the poetry of Goethe. I shall not
in this place attempt to acknowledge all I owe to
this very great man ; but, about three years before
Newman's secession, chance threw in my way the
" History of the French Eevolution." I shall but
caricature my feelings if I attempt to express them ;
and, therefore, I will only say that for the first time
now it was brought home to me, that two men may
be as sincere, as earnest, as faithful, as uncompro-
mising, and yet hold opinions far asunder as the
poles. I have before said that I think the moment
of this conviction is the most perilous crisis of our
lives ; for myself, it threw me at once on my own
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 157
responsibility, and obliged me to look for myself at
what men said, instead of simply accepting all be-
cause they said it. I began to look about me to
listen to what had to be said on many sides of the
question, and try, as far as T could, to give it all
Newman talked much to us of the surrender of
reason. Reason, first of every thing, must be
swept away, so daily more and more unreasonable
appeared to modern eyes so many of the doctrines
to which the Church was committed. As I began
to look into what he said about it, the more diffi-
cult it seemed to me. What did it mean ? Reason
could only be surrendered by an act of reason.
Even the Church's infallible judgments could only
be received through the senses, and apprehended by
reason ; why, if reason was a false guide, should we
trust one act of it more than another ? Fall back
on human faculty somewhere we must, and how
could a superstructure stone be raised on a chaff
foundation ? While I was perplexing myself about
this, there came a sermon from him in St. Mary's,
once much spoken of, containing a celebrated sen-
tence. The sermon is that on the development of
religious doctrine the sentence is this: " Scrip-
ture says the earth is stationary and the sun moves ;
science, that the sun is stationary and that the earth
moves." For a moment it seemed as if every one
present heard, in those words, the very thing they
had all wished for and had long waited for the
final mesothesis for the reconciling the two great
158 THE NEMESIS OF FATTH.
rivals, Science and Kevelation ; and yet it was that
sentence which at once cleared up my doubts the
other way, and finally destroyed the faith I had in
Newman, after "Tract 90" had shaken it. For to
what conclusions will it drive us ? If Scripture does
not use the word "motion" in the sense in which
common writers use it, it uses it in some trans-
cendental sense by hypothesis beyond our know-
ledge. Therefore Scripture tells us nothing except
what may be a metaphysical unattainable truth.
But if Scripture uses one word in such sense with-
out giving us warning, why not more words?
Why not every word and every sentence ? And
Scripture, instead of a revelation, becomes a huge
mysterious combination of one knows not what;
and, what is worse, seeming all the while to have a
plain and easy meaning constructed purposely to
lead us astray. The very thing which Des Cartes,
at the outset of his philosophy, thought it necessary
to examine the probability of, whether, that is,
Deus quidam deceptor existat, who can inten-
tionally deceive us. Nor is the difficulty solved in
the very least by the theory of an infallible inter-
pretation of Scripture. For, by hypothesis, the
interpretings are by the Holy Spirit; the same
spirit which has played one such strange trick, and
may therefore do it again ; nay, is most likely to do
it again and again.
This is carrying out the renunciation of the rea-
son with a vengeance. Perhaps it is consistent, the
legitimate development of the idea; the position
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 159
which all defenders of Bible infallibility must at last
be driven to assume. Deepest credulity and deepest
scepticism have been commonly believed to be near
neighbours; but we have but to state it in its naked-
ness, and the strain so long drawn by the mystery
of revelation upon submission and distrust of our
own ignorance is overdrawn at last We
may not know much, but we know enough to feel
that, if mankind were compelled to accept a doctrine
so monstrous, suicide and madness would speedily
make empty benches in the Church Catholic.
No ; once for all, I felt this could not be. If
there were no other way to save Scripture than this,
then, in the name of plain sense and honesty, let
Scripture go. Yet, here we had been brought at
last, amidst the noise and clatter of tongues, and
that by a man who had the deepest moral insight
into the human heart, and the keenest of logical
intellects. It was enough to shake our confidence
in our own reason that his reason could accept and
be satisfied by such a theory ; and certainly, let pas-
sion adopt what view it will, that treacherous wit of
ours will contrive to make a case for it.
Here it was at any rate that I finally cast off.
Farther along that track I would not go. I could
not then see the full force of the alternative, and the
compelling causes which were urging him. I could
not believe all was indeed so utterly at stake. I
would try for myself. He went on to the end to
the haven where sooner or later it was now clear he
must anchor at last. The arguments for the Ca-
160 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
tbolicity of the English church continued the same,
but he on whom they were to tell was changed.
He might have borne her supineness if he could
have found the life in her for which he thirsted ;
but, as his desires deepened with his advances in
the real feeling of Christianity, it was natural that
his heart should incline where he could find them
most fully gratified.
If there be any such thing as sin, in proportion
to the depth with which men feel it, they will gravi-
tate towards Home.
If it be true that the souls even of holy men are as
continually contracting infirmity as their bodies are ;
if absolution is as constantly necessary for the one as
ablution is for the other ; as men of cleanly habits
of body are more sensitive to the most trifling dirt
spot, so men of sensitive consciences are miserable
under taints upon a surface which to a vulgar eye
seems pure as snow .... add to this the convic-
tion that the priest's voice and hand alone can dis-
pense the purifying stream ; and beyond question,
where the fountain runs the fullest, thither they will
seek to go.
And sin with Newman was real ; not a misfor-
tune to be pitied and allowed for ; to be talked of
gravely in the pulpit, and forgotten when out of it ;
not a thing to be sentimentally sighed over at the
evening tea-party, with complacent feeling that we
were pleasing Heaven by calling ourselves children
of hell, but in very truth a dreadful monster, a real
child of a real devil, so dreadful that at its first
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 161
appearance among mankind it had convulsed the
infinite universe, and that nothing less than a sacri-
fice, so tremendous that the mind sinks crushed
before the contemplation of it, could restore the
deranged balance. Unreasonable as it seemed, he
really believed this; and, given such an element
among us as this, one may well give over hope of
finding truth by reasonable analysis and examina-
tion of evidence. One must go with what haste one
can to the system which best understands this mon-
ster sin, which is best provided with remedies and
arms against it. To the dry mathematicizing rea-
son, the Catholic, the Anglo -Catholic, the Lutheran,
Calvinist, the Socinian, will be equally unacceptable ;
and the philosopher will somewhat contemptuously
decline giving either of them the intellectual advan-
tage. But sin is of faith, not of mathematics. And
a real human heart, strong enough and deep enough
to see it and feel it in its enormity, will surely
choose from among the various religions that one
where the sacraments are most numerous and most
constant, and absolution is more than a name, and
confession is possible without episcopal interdict-
For myself I fell off; not because I had deter-
mined not to follow, but because I had not yet felt
this intensity of hunger and of thirst which could
drive me to accept the alternative, and consent to
so entire an abandonment of myself. I had learnt
enough of the reality and awfulness of human life
162 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
not to play with it ; and I shrank before what at
least might be a sin against my own soul.
My eyes were opening slowly to see for myself
the strangeness of this being of ours. I had flung
myself off into space, and seen this little earth ball
careering through its depths; this miserable ball, not
a sand grain in the huge universe of suns, and yet
to which such a strangely mysterious destiny was
said to have been attached. I had said to myself,
Can it be that God, Almighty God, He, the Creator
himself, went down and took the form of one of
those miserable insects crawling on its surface, and
died Himself to save their souls ? I had asked the
question. Did ever man ask it honestly, and
answer yes ? Many men have asked it with a fore-
gone conclusion; but that is not to ask it. I say,
did ever man who doubted, find his own heart give
him back the Church's answer?
I know not. I answered nothing; but I went
down again upon my old earth home; and, with no
anxiety for claiming any so high kindred for my
race, I felt myself one among them ; I felt that
they were my brothers, and among them my lot
was cast. I could not wish them to be children of
heaven; neither could I make away their weaker
ones to hell ; they were all my fellows ; I could
feel with them all, and love them all. For me
this world was neither so high nor so low as the
Church would have it; chequered over with its
wild light shadows, I could love it and all the chil-
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 163 .
dren of it, more dearly, perhaps, because it was not
all light. "These many men so beautiful," they
should be neither God's children nor the Devil's
children, but children of men.
Here ends this manuscript, abruptly. I know
not what others may think of it To me, at
least, as I read it, it seemed as if my friend were
working round, slowly perhaps, but surely, to a
stronger and more real grasp of life ; and, if he could
only have been permitted some few months or years
of further silent communing with himself, the reel-
ing rocking body might have steadied into a more
constant motion. But unhappily the trials of life
will not wait for us. They come at their own time,
not caring much to inquire how ready we may be
to meet them .... and we little know what we are
doing when we cast adrift from system. "How
is it," said Martin Luther's wife to him, " that in
the old Church we used to pray so often and so
earnestly, and now we can but mutter a few words
a poor once a day, with hearts far enough away" . .
. . Even superstition is a bracing girdle, which the
frame that is trained to it can ill afford to lose.
Markham was beginning to find a happiness to
which he had been long a stranger. With his
books and his pen he was making a kind of em-
ployment for himself; and, better perhaps than this,
he was employing a knowledge of medicine, which
at one time he had studied more than superficially,
164 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
much to the advantage of many peasant families,
with which he made acquaintance in his rambles.
In this way passed along the winter. He had
rooms in a small cottage close to the water; and
with the help of a little skiff he had made for
himself, as the spring came on, and the sky and
the earth put on their beauty again, the fair
shores of the lovely lake unfolded all their trea-
sures to him, and reproached him into peace.
.... A dreamer he was, and ever would be. Yet
dreaming need not injure us, if it do but take its
turn with 'Waking; and even dreams themselves
may be turned to beauty, by favoured men to whom
nature has given the powers of casting them into
form. "The accomplishment of verse" had not
been granted to Markham ; but music was able to
do for him what language could not,, and the flute
obeyed him as its master. Many an evening the
peasants wandering homewards along the shore had
stood still to listen to sounds rising from the water
which they little thought were caused by English
breath; and the nightingales took their turn to
listen to notes as sweet and more varied than their
own. After all, it is no sign of ill health of mind,
this power of self-surrender to the emotions which
nature breathes upon us. We are like the wind
harp under the summer breeze, and we may almost
test how far our spirits are in tune with hers by
the vagrant voices they send forth as she sweeps
across their strings.
One evening late in May he was drifting Ian-
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 165
guidly down the little bay which lay before his
window; the faintest air was slowly fanning him
towards the land ; it was too faint even to curl the
dreamy surface of the lake ; only it served to catch
the notes which were rising from off Ms flute and
bear them in fuller sweetness over the few hundred
yards of water to the shore. He had been lying in
this way an hour perhaps or more, playing as the
feeling rose, or pausing to watch the gold and
crimson fading from off the sky, and the mellow
planets streaming out with their double image in
the air and in the lake. His boat drifting against
the shore warned him at last to rise ; he sprung out,
and drew it up beyond danger of the waves, and
then for the first time observed that he had another
listener besides the nightingales. A lady was sit-
ting on the grass bank immediately behind where
he was standing. It was too dark to let him see
her face ; but, as she rose hastily, he perceived that
she was young and her figure very elegant ; and it
struck him that there was something English about
it. He took his hat off as he made way for her to
pass him, and something seemed to pass between
her lips, as if her involuntary admiration was melt-
ing into a half- conscious acknowledgment. He
returned home, and the next evening, on coming in
from a walk, he found on his table the card of a Mr.
Leonard. He was the husband of the lady. She
had sent him, it appeared, to make the acquaintance
of a countryman whom she had recognized by the
old English airs.
166 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
Mr. Leonard was an easy, good-natured, not very
sensible English country gentleman, whose fortune
more than whose person had some years before in-
duced a certain noble family at home to dispose
of an encumbrance to him in the form of a
distantly related young lady who had been thrown
upon them for support. She only knowing neglect
where she was, and what of duty she had ever been
taught being the duty simply of marrying well and
early to gain an independent position, had no cou-
rage, perhaps no wish, to decline Mr. Leonard's
proposals. Her personal beauty had been his at-
traction. She had married him, and ever since had
been tolerating a sort of inert existence, which she
did not know to be a wretched one, only because
her heart was still in its chrysalis, and she had
never experienced another. It could not have been
with any active pleasure that she found herself
chained for a life to a person she was obliged to
struggle not to despise, and glimpses now and then
of some higher state would flash across her like
a pang of remorse but, rare and fleeting as
they were, they had passed by her like the strange
misgivings which from time to time flit about us all
of some other second life we have lived we know not
where, and had happily been without the power to
wake her out of her apathetic endurance. The
Leonards had gone to Italy, as English people do
go there ; she had longed to be taken there, because
it was the land of art and poetry, and music and old
associations the land of romance and loveliest na-
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 167
ture ; he, because it was the right thing to have
been there ; because it would please his wife ; and
because he was promised a variety in the sporting
amusements which were his only pleasure.
Ah ! if those good world educators, who in early
life crush the young shootings of the heart, and
blight its growth in their pestilential atmosphere,
would but innaturate it with their poison and make
it barren for ever ! how many a crime, as they are
pleased to call it, would be spared .... But they
only half do their work ; they cut off the fruit, but
they leave the life remaining ; to wake at enmity
with all it finds, and to speak only to betray. The
Leonards were to go to Kome in the winter ; but
for the hot months, as the style of friends whom he
liked best to visit were not the sort which best
suited her, and as she found the shores of an Italian
lake a more agreeable retiring place, they came to a
kind of a compromise. He took a villa near Como,
which she and her young child were to make their
home ; while he, who had many acquaintances, re-
ceived a dispensation from constant attendance, and
was allowed to relieve the monotony by frequent
absence, leaving her in a solitude which, if the
truth must be told, was more agreeable than his
society, and only coming back to her now and then
for a week at a time. He liked her very well, but
a longer tete-a-tete after four years of marriage
fatigued him. It was at one of these angel visits
that she had seen Markham. They inquired who
he was, and were told he was an Englishman, and
168 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
out of health. She had learned something more
of him in that evening music, which told her he
was not a common Englishman ; and Leonard, who
had a theory of race, and believed with all his heart
in the absolute virtue of everything English, was
very happy to call upon him. The visit was re-
turned. Markham was not quite a model Saxon,
and illness too was a drawbrack, a certain rude
health being part of the national idea ; but Leonard
liked him well enough to make this week a fort-
night ; and, at the end of it, their new friend had
become so intimate with them, that under plea of
his requiring attendance, and with the excuse that
they had found out a number of common acquaint-
ances at home which in Italy made them seem
almost to have claims upon one another, they had
begged him to leave his lodgings and make their
house his home.
It was the very thing for Leonard. He had an
excuse now for going away ; while before he had felt
some compunction at leaving his wife so much
alone, however poor a companion he felt he could
be for her. But a nice pleasant fellow who played
the flute and talked poetry would far more than
supply his absence ; and, with the honest English
confidence which is almost stupidity, he rejoiced for
his lady's sake at the friend which had been found
for her, and now stayed away as he pleased without
care or anxiety.
Women's eyes are rapid in detecting a heart which
is ill at ease with itself, and, knowing the value of
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 169
sympathy, and finding their own greatest happiness
not in receiving it, but in giving it, with them to be
unhappy is at once to be interesting. They never
ask for others' sympathy with them ; they do not re-
cognise their own troubles as of enough import-
ance to any but themselves. But instinct teaches
them their power; they know what they can be to
others: they feel their gentle calling and they follow
it It is curious too, whether it be that
people always admire most in others what they
have the least in themselves whatever be the reason
there is no kind of suffering in which they take
warmer interest, than the heart's sufferings over in-
tellectual perplexities. Many women have died of
broken hearts, but no woman's heart ever broke in such
a trial .... yet it is just those into which they are
the least able to enter, that they seem most to sympa-
thise in. Whether it be that such a case is a rare
exchange from the vulgar personal anxieties of com-
mon people, and they know that only a generous heart
can feel deeply on a question in which all the world
have as deep a stake as itself; whether, the danger
being said to be so great, a sceptic seems brave and
noble to risk it for the love of truth I cannot tell
why it is, but I think no more dangerous person than
Markham could have been thrown in the way of Mrs.
Leonard. His conversation was so unlike any she
had ever heard before ; his manner was so gentle ; his
disinterestedness in sacrificing his home, his friends,
his fortune, as it seemed to her, was so truly heroic
that he almost appeared like a being of another
170 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
world to her; and, long before she had dared to think
that her regard could be anything to him, she had at
the bottom of her heart resolved that she would be
all to him which others were not and ought to have
been ; and, in intending to be his sister, had already
begun to love him more dearly than any sister.
Their worst danger lay in their security : neither
of them had ever loved before, so that neither
could detect the meaning of their emotions. If the
idea of the possibility of his loving a married
woman, as husbands love, had been suggested to
Markham, he would have driven it from him with
horror; . . . . and she in her experience of marriage
had had no experience of love; she did not know
into how false a life she had betrayed herself. She
did not know that she was unhappy with her hus-
band ; her unrest was but of the vague indefinite kind
that rises in a dreary heart which feels that it might
be happy, yet cannot distinguish what it requires to
make it so. Poor thing, she was only twenty-five !
Nature had sown the seeds in her of some of the
fairest of her flowers, but had taken no care for
their culture ; and they were lying still in the emrbyo,
waiting for light and heart to wake them into life. . . .
It were better they had been left to die unborn than
that the light should have flowed in upon them from
Markham. How can we help loving best those who
first give us possession of ourselves ? All the day
long they were together : living as they did, they
could not help being so; only parting at
night for a few short hours to dream over the happy
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 171
past day, and to meet again the next morning, the
happier for their brief separation. It was a new life
to him : what had often hung before him as a fairy
vision what he had longed for, but never found ;
and here, as if sent down from heaven, was what more
than answered to his wildest dreams. Now for the first
time he found himself loved for himself slighted and
neglected as he had been .... suddenly he was sin-
gled out by a fascinating woman, who made no secret
of the pleasure his friendship gave her. All along
his life he had turned with disgust from every word
which was sullied with any breath of impurity; the
poetry of voluptuous passion he had loathed. Alas !
it would have been better far for him if it had not
been so. He would have had the experience of his
fallen nature to warn him by the taste of the fruit
which it had borne in others.
Mrs. Leonard's little girl, too, was not long in disco-
vering that he was her most delightful companion.
It was easy for children to love Markham ; he knew
how to abandon himself; and there they sat these
two, the child the third; the common element in
which their hearts could meet; Leonard seldom
paid much attention to the little Annie, and she
transferred her duty as well as her love to her friend ;
and when she would wind her fingers into his hair
as she sat upon his knee, and kiss him and call him
papa, he could meet her mother's sweet smiling eyes
with a smile as innocent and unconscious as her
own. Through the heat of the day they stayed in
the cool drawing-room. If Annie was sleeping,
J 72 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
she would draw or work, and Markham would
read. He read well, for he read generally his own
favourites which he knew, so that, unless she looked
at him, the words fell from him as if they were his
own. Nor less happy was she when, instead of
reading, he would talk to her, and, never having
known a willing listener hefore, would now pour out
the long pent-up stream of his own thoughts and
feelings. Weak Markham ! in the intense interest
with which she hung upon his lips, he fancied he
saw interest in the subject, which was only interest
In the evenings they would saunter down to
the boat-house, and go out upon the lake. They
seldom took a servant to row them ; it was more
pleasant to be alone : they felt it was, though they
had not told themselves why it was ; ah ! how near
are two hearts together when they understand each
other without expression.
They were both passionately fond of music. He
always took his flute, .... she would sing when
he was tired of playing, and each soon learnt to feign
fatigue for the pleasure of listening to the other.
It would be easy to linger over these scenes, yet
they can give but small pleasure to us. Those two
might be happy in them, only feeling themselves
gliding along a sunny stream between flowery mea-
dow banks ; but we, who hear the roar of the catar-
acts, can ill pardon the delirium which, only listening
to the sweet voices of the present, holds its ears
tight closed against every other .... So wise are
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 173
we for each other .... while each one of us has
liis own small dream, too, over which he, too, is slum-
bering as foolishly as they, and is as much the mark
of his wide-eyed neighbour's scorn.
Week hurried after week ; when they met in the
morning, they made their plans for the day, each
sure that the other's pleasure was what each was most
designing for. " Us commenQaient a dire nous. Ah,
qu'il est touchant, ce nous prononce par 1'amour." . . .
And it was par 1'amour. The altered tone of their
voices showed it; the hesitating tenderness of their
glances showed it; the hand lingering in the hand
when it had far more than said its morning greeting
or its evening parting; and yet they did not know.
.... They will soon know it now The
two metals are melting fast in the warm love fire ;
they are softening and flowing in and out, vein within
vein, a few more degrees of heat, and then
A month had passed, still Leonard did not return.
Letters came instead of Leonard. He knew his
wife was happy, he said : and as nothing made him
so happy as to know that she was so, and as he could
not add to it, he was going with Count - to a
castle in the Apennines. He would be absent another
six weeks, or perhaps two months; when he would
return finally to stay till their removal to Rome ;
where Markham was to be persuaded to go with
Markham had not been very well again. His
chest had been troublesome; he had caught cold
from staying too late upon the lake, and, for a day
174 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
or two, was unable to leave the sofa. One very hot
afternoon, Mrs. Leonard had been up-stairs for some
little time with Annie ; and, on her return, he was
sleeping : she glided noiselessly to his side and sat
down. Some few intense enjoyments are given us
in life; among them all, perhaps, there is none with
so deep a charm as to sit by the side of those we
love, and watch them sleeping. Sleep is so inno-
cent, so peaceful in its mystery and its helplessness ;
and sitting there we can fancy ourselves the guardian
angels holding off the thousand evils imagination
paints for ever hanging over what is most precious.,
most dear to us. The long deep-drawn breathing ;
the smile we love to hope is called up over the
features by our own presence in the heart; there
are no moments in life we would exchange for the
few we have spent by the side of these. What
thoughts, in that long half-hour, passed through
the lady's mind, I cannot tell. Markham felt that
she was close to him ; he was sleeping so lightly,
that it was rather he would not than he could not
rouse himself, to wake and break so sweet a charm.
She was bending over him ; he felt her breath
tremble down upon his lips ; her long ringlets were
playing upon his cheek with their strange electric
touches. As she gazed down so close upon him,
she forgot her self-command ; a tear fell upon his
face. He opened his eyes, and they met hers full
and clear. She did not turn away; no confusion
shook into her features. She was but feeling how
dear, how intensely dear he was to her ; and there
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 175
was no room for any other thought. One arm was
leaning over the end of the sofa "behind his head ;
the other had fallen down, and was resting on a
cushion by her side. Her look, her attitude, those
passionately tender tears, all told him the depth,
the bewildering depth of her love. He caught the
hand which lay beside him, and pressed it to his
lips ; and, as it lay upon them, he felt it was not
only his own which held it there. Dear, dear Mrs.
Leonard, was all he could say. How poor and yet
how full ! Not long volumes of love poetry and
wildest passion could bear more of tenderness to
the ear which could catch their intonation than
these few words. Their lips formed no sound, only
they trembled convulsively. They wished, and
knew not what they wished; a minute passed,
another, another, and still he lay there unmoving,
and she was kneeling at his side. Her hand was
still clasped in his, and they felt each other's beating
hearts in their wild and wilder pulsations; from
time to time the fingers closed tighter round their
grasp, and thoughts they could not, dared not utter,
thrilled through and through them. They did not
utter them. It was something in the after- struggle
to feel that at least no words, no fatal words, had
passed. Their treacherous consciences cheated them
into a delusive satisfaction that as yet, at least, they
had not sinned. How long a tune passed by they
knew not, for time is only marked by change of
thought and shifting feeling, and theirs was but one
long- absorbing consciousness of a delicious present.
176 THE NEMESIS OF FATTH.
But the change came at last. Interruption, not
from within, but from the outer world which they had
forgotten. Ah, Heaven! that at such a moment
such a messenger was sent to break the spell. There
was a knock, and the door handle turned faintly ;
she started. It was more, perhaps, from the in-
stinctive delicacy which would hide its deepest feel-
ings from common eye, than from any sense of
guilt, and yet something, something shot through
her she would have ill liked to explain to herself.
She sprung up, and threw herself in a chair as the
door opened; and little Annie came tottering in,
came in bright and innocent, in there where the
two friends were she loved so dearly, to hide her
laughing face on the knees of mamma.
It was more than Markham could bear. Far bet-
ter he could have faced her husband in his anger
better have borne, perhaps, at that moment to have
heard his summons to the judgment bar, than that
bright presence of unsuspicious innocence. He
started from the sofa, and holding his hands before
his face, concealing himself from he knew not what,
only feeling how ill it all was now with him, and
seeming to meet the all -seeing Eye wherever his own
eye fell ; he ran out of the room, and, hurrying to
his closet, flung himself in an agony upon his bed.
The child looked wonderingly at him. " Mamma,"
she said, " is Mr. Sutherland ill ? go to him, mamma
take me, and let us make him happy." Mrs.
Leonard's tears burst in streams over her little face,
from which she dried them off again with passionate
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 177
kisses; and, flinging herself upon her knees, she
prayed that Heaven would strengthen her and for-
give her if she was doing wrong.
And yet God helps not those who do not help
themselves, and she had not the strength to fulfil
her share of the condition. She hoped for strength
to control her feelings, and yet she could not com-
mand herself to send the temptation from her.
Twice she moved towards her writing-table : a note
should go to Markham, and tell him, pray him, for
both their sakes, to go away and leave her. Twice
her heart failed. The third time the emotion rose,
it was not strong enough to move her from her seat.
And then insidious reason pressed up to urge a
thousand arguments that it was far better he should
stay. Both he and she knew themselves now : she
knew him too well to fear that Markham was one
of those men who, themselves yielding to every
emotion, think less of the woman who is only as
weak, no weaker, than themselves. No, he was too
human to have withdrawn his respect from her;
but they were on their guard now, and could never
be in danger again. So sad, too, so lonely as he
had been ; and now his health so delicate ; and she
who had promised to be all to him which others
should have been she who, perhaps, alone under-
stood him, and could sympathise with him. How
could she, why should she, send him from her ?
Her husband, too, what reason could she give to
him ? Why need it be ? Because she loved him
because he loved her. Surely that was a strange
178 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
reason ; and, besides, they knew that before. Often
and often they had said how dear they had become
to one another. And now what difference? Be-
cause she would gladly have been more to him than
she could be because she felt (she did not deny it
to herself) that she would sooner have been his
wife than Leonard's. But why ? because they could
not be all to one another, must they be as nothing ?
Dear Mends they had been, and might still be, and
then and then there was something cowardly in
flying from temptation mere temptation. How
far nobler to meet and overcome our feelings than
basely to fly from them ! She had duties dear
duties to Markham as well as to her husband;
she would forget this afternoon, he would forget it,
and all would be as it had been.
There was something still which she had not ex-
plained she had not satisfied: the last nerve of
conscience which she had failed to paralyse still
whispered it was all wrong it was sophistry and
madness; but the dull unimpassioned voice was
unheard among the voluptuous melodies of her
wishes; and like the doomed city, which shrunk
from the voice of the prophetess, she pushed its
warnings from her as idle superstition.
When they met again at the tea table, all was not
as it had been ; such as that it could never be again.
Markham, too, in his silent room had felt that there
was no safety for them but in parting ; and the same
devil of sophistry had been at his ear whispering to
him. He had long left off writing, even thinking ;
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 179
that was over when he had ceased to "be alone. He
had been in the trial of life since then, where the sun
and the wind had fallen upon his theories to test them.
Alas ! where were they ? Whirling like the sibyl's
idle leaves before the passion gust Unequal to
the effort of a final resolution, yet still forcing him-
self to do something, he made a compromise with
his sense of duty. He would do a little if he would
not do all, and he wrote to Leonard urging his re-
turn. Unable to give the real reason, he invented
false reasons : he said his wife was delicate he said
that for opinion's sake it was better her husband
should, by a more frequent presence, show, at least,
his approval of his own intimacy with her; that
he could not urge this upon her himself as an oc-
casion for his own departure ; and, therefore, he
had thought it better to write openly to him. In
this way he satisfied himself that he had done all
he need do, and, let the future be what it would, he
had ceased to be responsible.
Fools, and blind ! They might have read each
the answer to their delusive pleadings, each in their
common embarrassment. They were uneasy when
alone ; their voices trembled as they spoke ; they
made no allusion to the past ; they could not speak
of it : it would have been far better if they could.
In open speaking and mutual confession then, there
would, at least, have been a chance of safety for
them; their game would have been all upon the
board, and they would have taken counsel. We are
often strong enough to persuade another against our
180 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
own wishes, when we have ceased to be able to per-
suade ourselves. But this neither of them dared to
begin to do. Perhaps it was impossible. Strange !
they fancied they intended to be less together, and
yet their outer lives went on as before. They left
off for a few days saying " we" but their eyes said
it with deeper tenderness than ever their lips had
done. They shrunk openly from each other's gaze,
yet each would catch the opportunity, when the
other's was turned away, to look as they had never
dared to look before ; and now they could feel the
glances which they did not see, thrilling through them
like those on that memorable afternoon. Leonard's
answer came. It was what Markham knew it would be
when he wrote, though he had not confessed it to
himself: "He was sorry his wife was out of health,
but Markham was a better sick-nurse than he was ;
he would not hear of his leaving her. As to the
world, what had the world to do with him ? He
knew them both, and could trust them too well to
let any such folly touch him ;" and such other con-
fiding madness as so often in this world makes love
And Markham did not go. He never thought of
going now. His conscience was satisfied with what
he had done. Unsteady as it was, and without the
support which a strongly believed religious faith had
once provided for it, he experienced at last what so
long he had denied, that to attempt to separate mora-
lity from religion is madness ; that religion, reduced to
a sentiment resting only on internal emotion, is like
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 181
a dissolving view, which will change its image as
the passions shift their focal distances ; that, un-
realized in some constant external form, obeying
inclination, not controlling it, it is but a dreamy
phantom of painted shadow, and vanishes before
temptation as the bright colours fade from off the
earth when a storm covers the sun.
Rather, in a mind like Markham's, unsupported
as his mind was, there is no conduct to which these
vague emotions will not condescend to adapt them-
selves, and which they will not varnish into love-
liness. If there be one prayer which, morning,
noon, and night, one and all of us should send up
to God, it is, " Save us from our own hearts ! " Oh !
there is no Lie we will not tell ourselves. The en-
chanted Armida garden of love! how like, how like
it is to Paradise ! Dreams, delusion, fantastic pre-
judice it may be called, which a strong mind should
spurn from it as a fable of the nursery ay, should
spurn if it can. Are not ashes bitter on the
tongue, though you bring proof in all the logic-
figures that they are sweet as Hybla honey ? And
those pleasures which are honey- sweet to the first
taste, is there not the sting with its venom-bag lying
unseen? Ah! we know not; we know not; we
know nothing. But something we can feel ; and what
is it to us what we know, when we are miserable ?
All men may not feel so. There are some who, as
Jean Paul says, Mithridates-like, feed on poison,
and suffer nothing from it; but all tender hearts,
who remember the feeling of innocence, will try
182 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
long before they can reason away the bitterness out
of pleasure which once they have believed not in-
nocent. It is ill changing the creed to meet each
rising temptation. The soul is truer than it seems,
and refuses to be trifled with.
Day followed after day, bringing with it what it
was God's great will should be. I will not pause
over these sad weeks of intoxicating delirium. If
they did not fall as vulgar minds count falling, what
is that to those who look into the heart? Her pro-
mise of her heart's truth was broken ; and he loved
her as he should not love; as once, he would have
loathed himself if he could have believed he could
ever love the plighted wife of another. I will not
judge them. Alas, what judgment could touch
them is past and over now !
It is strange, when something rises before us as a
possibility winch we have hitherto believed to be
very dreadful, we fancy it is a great crisis ; that
when we pass it we shall be different beings ; some
mighty change will have swept over our nature, and
we shall lose entirely all our old selves, and become
others. Much as, in another way, girls and boys
feel towards their first communion, or young men
to their ordination, which mechanically is to effect
some great improvement in them, there are certain
tilings which we consider sacraments of evil, which
will make us, if we share in them, wholly evil. Yet,
when the thing, whether good or evil, is done, we
find we were mistaken ; we are seemingly much the
same neither much better nor worse ; and then
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 183
we cannot make it out ; on either side there is a
weakening of faith ; we fancy we have been taken
in ; the mountain has been in labour, and we are
perplexed to find the good less powerful than we
expected, and the evil less evil.
Only, long after, when the first crime has begot-
ten its children, and the dark catalogue of conse-
quences follows out to make clear their parent's
nature ; when in lonely hours we are driven in upon
ourselves, and the images of onr unfallen days come
flitting phantom-like around us., gazing in so sadly,
like angels weeping for a lost soul ; when we are
forced to know what then we were, and, side by
side with it, stands the figure of what we have be-
come, it is then that what has passed over us comes
out in its real terrors. Our characters change as
world eras change, as our features change, slowly
from day to day. Nothing is sudden in this world.
Inch by inch ; drop by drop ; line by line. Even
when great convulsions shatter down whole nations,
cities, monarchies, systems, human fortunes, still
they are but the finish, the last act of the same long
preparing, slowly devouring change, in winch the
tide of human affairs for ever ebbs and flows, with-
out haste, and without rest. Well, so it was with
Markham. This final fall of his was but the result
of the slow collapsing of his system, His moral
nature had been lowered down to it before he
sinned ; he did not feel any such mighty change ;
he was surprised to findhow easily it lay upon him.
Then, in the first delirious trance of happiness, he
184 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
seemed to laugh to himself at his old worn-out pre-
judices. He had heen worshipping an idol, which
he had but to dare to disobey, to learn how helpless
the insulted Deity was to avenge itself. He could
still cheat himself with words. He had not yet heard
the voice of God calling him. His eyes were opened,
not as yet to evil, but only to find himself in a new
existence, which he could even dream was a higher
and a nobler one. And she she when a woman's
heart is flowing over for the first time with deep
and passionate love, she is all love. Every faculty
of her soul rushes together in the intensity of the
one feeling ; thought, reflection, conscience, duty, the
past, the future, they are names to her light as the
breath which speaks them ; her soul is full. Mark-
ham was all these to her ; her life, her hope, her
happiness. Fearfully mysterious as it is, yet even
love, which should never be, yet does not lose its
nobleness ; so absolutely it can enthral a woman's
nature, that self, that cunningest of demons, is de-
ceived, and flies before the counterfeit. Her love
is all her thought, her care, her worship. To die for
Markham would have been as delightful to Helen
as the martyr's stake to a saint. I say it is a fearful
mystery that, if love like theirs be what all men say
it is, such heroism for it is possible. Yet, indeed, it is
but possible for woman, not for man ; a man can
give his entire soul to an idea, not to a woman
some second thought, even with the highest of us,
and in the most permitted relation, will always
divide his place with her ; it is ever Abelard and
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 185
Eloise ; Eloise loves Abelard all ; Abelard loves
intellect and the battle of the truth.
Well, on went the summer. They never looked
forward, no thought of their guilt had yet intruded
to disturb them. How could anything so beautiful
be less than good ? Even Annie, Markham could
again bear upon his knee, and could laugh and tell
her stories as he used to do. They took her with
them in their rambles ; she was their boat com-
panion in their lovely evenings upon the water, and
once, when the poor child was suffering from in-
flammatory fever, no father could have watched
more anxiously, no physician more carefully put
out his skill for her than he did.
At last September came. The finger of love is
ineffectual on the wheel of Time ; and, though the
summer was deepening in loveliness, the changing
tints betrayed that they were but purchasing their
beauty at the price of decay ; and now, as it grew
clear that some change must come, something must
happen soon, Markham began to grow uneasy.
In one month at furthest Leonard would return, and
what was to follow then ? And his lips flagged in
their eloquence, and the clouds began to gather
again about his face and she saw them, and dimly
read the cause, which she feared to ask. It was
a beautiful afternoon. They had gone, he, she, and
Annie, to a distant island up the lake. They had
taken a basket with them, and a few cold things, as
they often did, arid they were not going to return
till the cool of the last daylight. The island was
186 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
several miles away, and they had overstayed the
time when prudence would have warned them home-
wards, in rambling about the place, and making
sketches of an old ruined chapel, which on certain
holidays was still a place of pious pilgrimage. It
wanted still an hour of dark, when they re-embarked,
and as a light warm air had sprung up, and Mark-
ham had taken a small sail with him, they still
hoped they would be at home before it. Their
anxiety was more for Annie than themselves. They
had often overstayed the sunset, and laughed to
find, when darkness came, how time had glided
by with them ; but Annie had been ill, and was
still delicate . . . . Well, the skiff was shooting away
under the sunset; the purple sky above them, the
purple wave below them ; they were sitting toge-
ther in the stern, and Annie was scrambling about
the boat, now listening to the rippling music of the
water under the bow, now clapping her little hands
in ecstasy at the lovely light flashing and sparkling
with a thousand glorious colours in the long frothy
wake the thin keel had carved along the surface.
Markham told her to come over to them and sit
quiet; but they did not seem disposed to talk to
her, and at last, under condition of her promising
to be perfectly still, he consented to let her stay by
herself under the sail, fenced in with cushions.
They were sad those two, and, for a long time,
silent. A painful unexplained uneasiness was hang-
ing over both of them. Thoughts were playing
across his mind which he feared to share with her,
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 187
for fear he might strike some unlucky chord. If,
as has been said, it be true that things which con-
cern us most nearly have an atmosphere around
them, which we feel when we are entering ; that, like
birds before a storm, we are conscious of the coming
change perhaps it was another weight which was
sinking down their spirits.
At last, as when after we have been some time in
darkness, our eyes expand, and objects slowly glim-
mer out before them into form, so their words
began to flow out of the silence, and for the first
time Markham spoke of the future.
"Another month and Leonard will return," he
said, in a thick, half- stifled voice . . . . *' and
then ? "
" I am yours, Markham," she said. "Dear Mark-
ham, you will never leave me ? "
" Leave you ! Helen," he answered ; " never with
my will ; but it may not be mine to choose."
" Oh ! yes, yes, it will, it shall. Do not think
I have not thought of it. I know what I am
going to do."
He looked inquiringly at her. "Leonard must
know we love each other, Helen. We could not, if
we would, conceal it from him."
"Conceal it? Deceive him?" she answered,
proudly. " No, not if he was as base as he is
noble-minded and generous. Never."
"Well!" he said, hesitating.
" Well," she answered; " well, I will tell him all.
I will throw myself at his feet, and ask his forgive-
188 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
ness ; not for loving you, but for ever having been
his. That was my sin ; to promise I knew not what,
and what I could not fulfil."
Markham smiled bitterly.
" I will tell him," she went on ; " I will tell him
I never loved him; only till I knew you I did not
know it. I will do my duty ; I will be his servant,
if he wishes it. I have done everything for him at
home; I will do all that, and far more than all
only as he cannot have my heart .... I ....
I .... Surely, if he cannot have it, my heart can
be little to him if I give it to you."
Poor, poor thing, when she had lived in the
world she had still lived out of it, and turned a
deaf ear to its voices. She had no idea what she
was doing. Ill instructed as she had been reli-
giously, her instinct had recoiled from the worldly
instruction which she might have learnt as a sub-
stitute ; and she had no notion of right and wrong
beyond what her heart said to her.
"That is what you think, Helen," Markham
answered. " Now, I will tell you what I think.
When you tell him what I am to you, he will kill
me, and for you "
" For me ; if it were so, I would die with you,
Markham ; we cannot live without each other. If
we have broken this world's laws, and must die, then
love will give us strength."
Markham shuddered. " We might fly," he said.
"Is it really certain that he will separate us,
Markham, as soon as he knows ?"
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 189
"Certain," lie answered. "Every man would
feel it his duty ; I should myself if I were as he is."
"Markham, Markham," she said, passionately,
"in all the world I have not a friend not one;
till I knew you I never knew what love, what
friendship meant. There is none but you on whom
I can lean ; there is none to whom I can turn even
in thought. Teach me, Markham, teach me ; what
you tell me I will do."
"There is no hope except in flight," he an-
swered, huskily; "if you will leave all for me, I
can offer you a home, though but a poor one, and
myself, in exchange for what you lose."
She was silent ; her head hung down ; he could
not see the tears which were raining from her eyes.
"We shall do what the world forbids," he con-
tinued. " The world will punish us with its scorn.
It is well. When we accept the consequences of
our actions, and do not try to escape from them, we
have a right to choose our own course, and do as
The last words scarce reached poor Helen's ear ;
her heart was far away.
" Tell me, Markham," she said (and she turned
her eyes, swimming with tears, full upon him)
" tell me, do not deceive me ; you know the world's
ways, or something of them. If I go with you,
shall I ever see my child again? "
" I shall be all which will be left you then," he
answered, slowly. " She is his child, and . . . ."
"And her mother's touch would taint her! Oh,
190 THE NEMESIS OF FAJTH.
no, no. Annie, my own darling. I cannot leave
my child. No, Markham, no; all but that. lean-
not . . . ." She sunk her head upon his shoulder,
and her breast shook as if her heart would burst its
Unhappy lady, wretched Markham, the solving
of their problem was nearer than they dreamed of.
Look your last, poor baby, on that purple sunset.
Turn, gaze out your full on your ill-fated mo-
ther. The angels are already cutting their swift
way down the arch of heaven to bear away
your soul. Yon mountain, whose snow-crusted
peaks are melting into the blue of heaven, will
again put on their splendour, and glitter crimson-
flushed in the glories of the morning but you will
never see them more. One day, and yet another,
and the sun winch rises on your eyes will be the
spirit's sun that lights the palaces of heaven when
the blessed are in their everlasting home. Gaze on,
gaze on upon your mother ! but a little, and then, it
must be there, if ever, that you will meet her any more.
The pure and innocent are there ; you may meet her
there, for she loves you with a pure and holy love,
and love unbroken here is never broken there.
The breeze had fallen with the sunset. The
crimson had melted off the clouds ; a few dissolving
specks of gray about the sky were all that was left
of the glorious vision, and through the purple air
the evening star streamed down in its sad, pas-
sionate, heart-breaking loveliness. The child had
for a long time lain still, as she had been told. At
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 191
last, tired of not being amused, she had crawled out
from under the clothes in which they had wrapped
her against the evening chill, and had begun to
find amusement for herself in looking over the
boat's side, watching the rippling bubbles as they
floated by ; and the images hanging in the depths,
as if the water was a window through which she
was looking down. It was so odd that the bubbles
moved by, and the stars did not at all, but went along
with them always so exactly in the same place.
They were not observing her as they talked. The
boat moved slower and slower as the surface of the
lake grew still. The deep hum of the night-beetle
sweeping by sounded strangely on her ear. The
moon rose up into the sky. The rays shone cold
into her face, and the little thing shrunk and shi-
vered, and yet she gazed, and gazed. There it was
so close to her; just under the boat's edge; rolling
and dancing on the wave that washed from off the
bow. She could almost touch it, so near it was, a
long rolling sheet of gold. She dipped her fingers
into the water. It felt warm, deliciously warm,
and, when she held up her hand, the wet skin
glittered in the light. It was the water then that
was so beautiful ; and if she could only reach the
ripple it was all gold there. She leant over below
the sail, and as she stretched out her hand her
weight brought the boat's side lower and lower
down; just then a faint, a very faint momentary
freshening of the air swept into the sail ; the gun-
wale sunk suddenly, and the water rushed up her
192 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
arm into her chest. She started back. They saw
her then, though they had not seen what had hap-
pened to her, and they told her to lie hack again
where she had been. She was quite wet ; but the
water seemed so warm and so pleasant, and they
might scold her if she told, and she lay back, and
did not tell them, and sunk asleep as she was.
Two hours had passed, and now they were at
home again, and in Mrs. Leonard's room. The
child's wet clothes had been taken off her ; she was
in her little bed, breathing thick and heavily.
Markham was standing by her from time to time,
laying his finger upon her wrist, and Helen on her
knees at the bedside, with her eyes fixed upon his
face, and fearing to ask anything lest her ear should
be obliged to hear what she already read there too
plainly. The fever was gathering every moment.
When they took the little thing out of the boat,
she could not tell him coherently what had happened
to her, she could only moan out that she was very
cold, and muttered something about the moon.
Since she had been taken home she had not
spoken, but every moment her forehead was growing
hotter, her poor damp skin parched and dry, and
her pulse quicker and more feeble.
Presently she opened her eyes, and stared wildly
" Mamma, mamma," she cried. Helen leant over
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 193
her, and kissed her burning cheek, but it did not
seem as if Annie was calling her, or knew her, or
" Mamma, mamma, pretty mamma, take me to
you ; mamma, why cannot I come to you ? "
" I am here, my own darling, my own child,"
:i You are not mamma. Go away, you are not
mamma, There is mamma standing there, there, by
the bed; beautiful ! who is that in white ? why do you
look at me so ? Yes, I wish to go, why can't I go ?
There, in the pretty moonlight on the water."
" She is wandering," Markham whispered ; " she
does not see hush !"
" Where am I, mamma ? I was never here before.
Where is it? Is this heaven? Where is God?
God is in heaven ; I don't see him, I only see light
and flowers. Ah, it is all gone, dark, dark, dark."
She shut her eyes and rolled her head upon the
pillow, moaning painfully.
They had scarcely spoken yet, the other two.
" Markham, tell me," said Helen, with a fearful
calmness, " is there any hope ? "
" God forbid that I should say there is none,
Helen," he answered slowly.
"Well," she said quickly, "tell me all, I can
" All that man can do is done," he answered ;
"the fever will be at its height to-morrow; till
then I can tell nothing, we must leave her to God."
It was all that passed between them. What more
194 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
at such a time could they say, with this Heaven's
lightning blazing before their eyes ?
The night wore on ; the shadow of the heavy cur-
tains crept slowly across the room ; the light was pain-
ful to them,, they had buried it in a shade ; they had
neither of them changed their dress, and, together,
at either side the little bed, they sat out those awful
hours. The room was deathly still ; no sound but
the heavy breathing of the child, and now and then
some strange broken words which her spirit was
speaking far away, and the sinking body was but
faintly echoing. There are some blows which are too
terrible to paralyse us, and, instead of driving con-
sciousness away, only waken every faculty into a
dreadful sensibility. Nature has found a remedy
for the heaviest of ordinary calamities in the torpor
of despair ; but some things are beyond her care,
perhaps beyond her foresight, Perhaps, in laying
down the conditions of humanity, she shrunk from
seeing the full extreme of misery which was pos-
sible to it. We will turn in silence from Mrs.
Leonard's heart: would to God she could have
turned from it herself !
Once she raised her eyes toMarkham; the moon-
light lay upon his features, and so ghastly pale they
were, that even the spectral light itself could lend
til em a warmer colour. While there was anything
left to do, so long his heart had left his mind undis-
turbed to act ; but now reflection woke again, and
the past, the present, and the future shot before him
in terrible review. Let Annie live, or let her die,
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. ] 05
he felt God had spoken to him, and he was slowly
moulding in himself his answer. Was it the voice
of warning, or the voice of judgment ? To-morrow
The morrow came ; the sun rose and went his way;
so slowly he had not gone the long summer through ;
he sank down, and the evening fell upon the earth,
and now the crisis was come. They had never left
the room, they had taken no food, they had scarcely
spoken to each other. From time to time Markham
had turned to the child, had felt her pulse, and
poured cooling medicine between her burning lips,
and still life and death hung uncertain in the trem-
bling balance. Mrs. Leonard had been lying for
an hour, in the greatest exhaustion, on the sofa;
about six o'clock Markham woke her, and said,
firmly, " The crisis is come now ; now sit here and
watch her ; if at the end of another half hour she
is alive, she will recover." He himself moved
over to the open window. There lay the deep, dark
mountains, and the silver lake, the blue cloudless
sky bending over them in unutterable beauty ; the
young swallows were sweeping to and fro far up in
their airy palace; the pale blue butterflies were
sauntering from flower to flower, and every tree was
thrilling in the evening air with the impassioned
melodies of the nightingales. Never, never since
the sad wanderers flung their last lingering look on
the valleys of that fair Eden from which they and
all their race were for ever exiled, had human eyes
yet gazed upon a lovelier earthly scene than that
196 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
which now lay out below the window where Markham
was standing. Alas, alas ! when the heart is indeed
breaking, with a grief beyond hope, beyond con-
soling, how agonizing is the loveliness of nature!
It speaks to us of things we cannot reach. It
mocks our fevered eyes with Tantalus visions of
paradise, which are not for us ; floating before us
like phantoms in a dream, and gliding from our grasp
as we stretch our arm to seize them. It is well,
yes, it is well, but it is hard for the bruised heart to
feel it so. All, all nature is harmonious, and must
and shall be harmony for ever ; even we, poor men,
with our wild ways and frantic wrongs, and crimes,
and follies, to the beings out beyond us and above
us, seem, doubtless, moving on our own way under
the broad dominion of universal law. The wretched
only feel their wretchedness : in the universe all
is beautiful. Ay, to those lofty beings, be they
who they will, who look down from their starry
thrones on the strange figures flitting to and fro
over this earth of ours, the wild recklessness of us
mortals with each other may well lose its painful
interest. Why should our misdoings cause more
grief to them than those of the lower animals to
ourselves ? Pain and pleasure are but forms of con-
sciousness ; we feel them for ourselves, and for those
who are like ourselves. To man alone the doings of
man are wrong ; the evil which is wdth us dies out
beyond us ; we are but a part of nature, and blend
with the rest in her persevering beauty.
Poor consolers are such thoughts, for they are but
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 197
thoughts, and, alas ! our pain we feel. Me they may
console, as I think over this farce tragedy of a world,
or even over the nearer sorrows of a friend like Mark-
ham Sutherland. For Markham himself, in this
half hour they were far enough from his heart
He was dreaming again of old times, of the old
Markham, once simple and pure as that poor dying
child, who could once look up with trusting heart to
his Father in heaven, and pray to Him to keep him
clean from sin ; and his sick heart shrunk appalled
from the wretched thing which he had hecome, and
the gulf which was yawning under his feet.
A cry from Helen roused him ; he collected him-
self rapidly, and moved across the room to her.
Annie's eyes were open, the flush of pain had
passed from off her face ; she knew them both, and
was feebly trying to stretch out her little hands to-
wards her mother. She was dying ; her eyes were
glittering with a deep unearthly lustre from the
visions on which she had been gazing. They had
but turned back for a moment, for a last good bye,
and earth and all that was dear to her on earth
would be lost then, to return no more. One look was
enough for Markham ; he saw all was over, and he
hid his face in his hands. " Good bye, mamma, I am
going away ; good bye, don't cry, dear mamma, I am
very happy." The heavy eyelids drooped, sunk, rose
again for one last glance her mother's image only
was all it caught, and the light went out for ever.
That last thought had traced the tiny features
into a smile. It was the smile, the same sweet
198 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
smile Mrs. Leonard knew so well, which night after
night she had so often gazed upon, and had stood
on tiptoe and held her hreath lest she should break
the sleeping charm. Ah ! she may speak now loud
as she will, and have no fear of breaking slumber
deep as this. Still lay the little frame, still as the
silent harp there before the window, but no cunning
hand shall ever sweep those he art- strings to life ; their
sweet notes shall never, never speak again.
"It is over," Markharn said, in a low voice.
" She is in peace now. All-righteous God ! "
Mrs. Leonard had flung herself upon the bed.
The tears burst out, and fell in streams over her
dead child's face. She drew it to her breast, where
once its baby lips had gathered life and strength.
Ah ! why may it not be again ? Her tears rained
down, but they were not tears with which the
bruised heart unloads the burden of its sorrow, but
the bitter, burning tears of bewildered agony.
Her Annie, her darling; all she had till she
knew Markham ; she who had first made life de-
lightful to her; who had taught her heart first to
love ; now dead, gone, torn from her ; and, oh !
worse, worse; their own doing. How it was she
did not know ; but their fault it was. Her nature
was too weak to bear so complicated a misery, and
her mind broke into disorder. Surely, yes, surely,
it must have broken, or thoughts like these could
never have to come to her now.
She rose steadily, and walked up to Markham,
and laid her hand upon his arm.
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 199
" Markham," she said, " it is for my sin. Would,
oh, would it had been myself, not she, who has been
taken ! It is for my sin in marrying her father.
It was an offence against earth and Heaven, and
the earthly trace of it is blotted out, and ijs memory
written in my heart in letters of fire. Now, Mark-
ham, if I am not to die too, take me away. I can
never see him again."
It would be difficult to conceive words which at
the moment could have shocked Markham more
fearfully. He, too, had seen Heaven's finger in
what had been ; but he thought it was a punishment
for the sin which he had wished to commit a stem
and fearful interposition to save him from com-
pleting it. Strange, too, that even with such
thoughts, serious as they really were, it was not
duty, it was not Helen, which was predominant with
him, it was himself. Not so much that God would
prevent a sin as that He would save him. Sceptic,
philosopher as he was, this was what he made of it.
On her it had come as a punishment for loving
him, and for having allowed him to love her.
"What, Helen; with your child dead before you?
at such a moment to speak of ... of ... what
I dare not think of. Oh, Helen, Helen! we must
think of duty now. Think of your husband."
"Markhain," she said, with dreadful calmness,
" these are strange words .... from you. Hus-
band I have none. You taught me that I had
none." And there, she added, pointing with her
finger, " Is not there a witness too?"
200 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
" Oh ! this is too much," Markham cried ; ' ' she
is mad ; I cannot bear it." He rushed out of the
room. His own teaching with him but words
words in which feelings he now recoiled from, had
fashioned 4 themselves into a creed which he had
but dreamt that he believed and now coming
back upon him so dreadfully. It is not so easy
a business this turning back out of the wrong way.
These words and deeds of ours we scatter about us
so recklessly find deeper holding ground than in
our own memory. It is not enough to say I will
turn and go back. What if I must carry back
with me all those whom I have taken down ; if I
have bound up their fate with mine ; if, after all,
life be something more than these thoughts and
feelings, and repentances not altogether that sha-
dow of a world with which we have been playing.
Others, besides unhappy Esau, find no place for
repentance, though they seek for it ever so care-
fully. He hurried to his own room, and, shutting
himself in and double-locking the door, he threw
himself exhausted upon his bed. He had taken no
food all day. Mind and body were worn to the
last. He heard her step follow him. He heard
her voice imploring him to speak with her ; but for
a moment if it must be, but still to speak to her.
But he would not, he durst not ; and, giddy between
weakness and excitement, he sunk into unconscious-
ness. He must have lain many hours as he was,
for the day was breaking when he came to himself
again. He had lain down in his clothes ; he rose
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 201
weak and worn, and disordered, but the heavy
sense of wretchedness which entered in with his
returning consciousness left him no strength to
collect or arrange himself. He opened the window,
and looked out. A thick grey fog lay over the
valley, hut the air was cool; he thought he would
go out. He stole down the stairs. He paused
opposite her door. Twice he turned to enter. As
often his heart failed him ; he feared to see the
state in which she might be. He listened; he
heard her breathing, and then glided noiselessly
to the outer door, which he opened, and went out.
The walk before him led down to the lake ; up
that walk he had come the last time with her,
and with one who would not pass that way again.
He followed it mechanically now, and wandered
slowly along the shore. The tops of the mountains
were showing out faintly above the mist, so quiet it
was, so still, so peaceful. Ah, it was little to him
how it was with the fever in his own breast ; yet
his mind was quick in catching every image which
would add to his agony. Turn where he would,
some dear spot fell upon his eyes round which a
thousand passionate memories were encircled. There
was the little bay where he had first met her. There
was his own old little cottage with the jessamine
twining about the windows, where till that hour,
that fatal hour, he had dreamed of a happy home.
And now Yet even the scenes of the love
which he shrunk from were beautiful as he looked
back. No unhallowed light seemed resting on
202 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
them now, and in the shrine of the past they lay
sad, and sweet, and innocent. Yes, all was beau-
tiful, except the wretched present and liis own most
wretched self. What should he do ? Go with her.
He thought of it ; yet he knew that he did not love
her that he had never truly loved her. He had
felt remorse and sorrow for it ; and it would be as
easy to regret a prayer or a saintly action as to be
sorry for having truly loved. Why, oh, why has
love so many counterfeits, such cunning imitations ?
No, he would not, even if his -eyes had not been
opened to the sin he would not fly with her.
What future would there be for them the world's
outcasts if love was not there to make the bitter
cup more tolerable ? He could not hope again to
weave around him the shadows of feeling to which
for the last three months he had surrendered him-
self. To forsaken truth, to neglected duty, we can
return; but tie up again the broken threads of
a dream out of which we have been awakened
He walked on along the lonely sands, his
uncovered hair moist in the morning air, and the
morning breeze playing coldly about his disordered
dress. But sense was lost in the dreary wilder-
ness of desolation which lay around his soul ; he
only felt his misery, and pain would have been a
relief to him. What should he do ? Go back to
Helen? How go back? How bear to look on her
again? Never, oh, never. It could not be. He
feared to look upon his work. He feared to hear
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 203
the voices moaning round the ruin which he had
made to hear to hear (was she mad, or was it
his own self that spoke) to hear his own teaching
echoed back to him ; the monster to which he had
given birth, and which now haunted him instinct
with a spectral vitality. To see again that unhappy
lady who, till she knew him, had been happy in a
child whom she loved, in a husband whom she was
ignorant that she did not love ; and who, now that
his accursed star had shed its baneful light upon
her, in three little months, ere the leaves which
were then bursting in their young life had turned
to decay, was husbandless, friendless! Oh! and
most of all dreadful, her child too. He could not
leave her that .... gone, all gone ; and he had
done it. To leave her there, he knew it too well,
was to leave her to die. And yet he must leave
her. Himself, which was all that remained to her,
that too he must tear away. And then, in these
wretched hours, his wasted life came back upon
lum ; his blighted hopes, his withered energies a
curse to himself, he had been the grief of his family
of his friends ; of all who should have been most
dear to him. There was a mark upon him ; a
miserable spell, a moral pestilence, winch made him
his own hell, and tainted whatever he approached.
And now at last, when one had been found who
loved him, loved him with a passion he dared not
think of, this one he had destroyed for ever. What
business had such a thing as he, " crawling between
201 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
earth and heaven," with such a trail behind him ?
If it was better that the murderer should die, than
remain in the society to which he was a curse ; if it
were better for any beings whose presence makes
the misery of their fellow- creatures, that they perish
from off the earth where they never should have
been ; then surely it were better far for him. What
future was there to winch he could look forward?
As was the past time so would the coming be.
The Ethiopian does not change his skin. The
slimy reptile which has left its track along the
floor will not, for all its own care or others' chiding,
lose its venom, and become pure. He was infected
with the plague. Earth was lost to him. Heaven
was a dreary blank. One by one, as he had wan-
dered in the wilderness of speculation, the beacon
lights of life had gone out, or sunk below the
horizon. He only knew God by this last light-
ning flash, which had but shown him the abysses
which environed him, and had left his senses more
bewildered than before. Death, as he dwelt upon
it, grew more and more alluring. Years before the
thought of destroying himself had floated before
him as a possibility ; and with a kind of strange,
unexplained impulse, by which our deeper nature,
like that of animals, unreflectingly foresees its future
necessities, he had provided himself with a deadly
poison, which he always carried about Ins person.
As he drew it out and gazed upon it, more and
more clear it seemed to him that here was the goal
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 205
to which all was pointing. Round tin's one light
every shadow seemed to vanish. So he would
expiate his sin So perhaps Helen's life might
be saved. It would be easier for her to bear to
know that he was dead, than to feel either that
he had deceived or forsaken her, or to hope on in a
restless anguish of disquietude. At any rate, as it
was his life which had worked her ill, his life should
be no longer; and so at least she would have a
chance. For her, for all his friends to whom he
had caused so much sorrow for all those whom
if he lived on he might hereafter meet and injure
oh ! for all, it was far, far the best. For himself,
one of two things he would find in the grave :
either as that bodily framework, out of which such
inharmonious life discords had arisen, became un-
strung and lifeless, the ill music that had poured
from it would die away, and its last echo be for-
gotten, the soul with the body dissolve for ever
into the elements of which it was composed
or else, if what he called his soul, his inward being,
himself was indeed indissoluble, immortal, and in
some sphere or other must live, and live, and live
again, then he would find another existence where
a fairer life might be found possible for him. At
any rate it could not be worse. No, not that dark
sulphurous home of torture, at the name of which
he had once trembled, not hell itself, could be less
endurable than the present .... There at least he
would not do evil any more, he would only suffer
it ; and the keenest external agony which could be
206 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
inflicted upon him he would gladly take in change
for the torment which was within him. His mind
grew calmer as it grew more determined. It is
irresolution only, the inability from want of power,
or will, or knowledge, to determine at all, which
leaves us open to suffering: resolution, however
dreadful, determined resolution to do something,
restores us at once to rest and to ourselves ....
At first he thought the moment of the determina-
tion might as well be the moment of the act.
Himself condemning himself to die, and his own
executioner, with the means ready in his hands, he
need not leave himself an interval of preparation.
Why bear his pain longer when he could at once
leave it? But the intensity of his determination
he felt presently had itself relieved him. As it was
to be done judicially, it should be done gravely and
calmly. He would set his house in order, and
write a last letter to Helen, undoing as far as he
could his own fatal work, and praying for her last
The sun had long risen ; he had walked many
miles, and, as the strain upon his mind grew lighter,
his body began to sink and droop. At no great dis-
tance from where he found himself, he remembered,
was the cottage of a peasant with whom he had
some acquaintance, and to whom, in the last win-
ter, he had been of considerable assistance in
curing him of a dangerous illness. There he
thought he would go and remain for a few hours,
till he had rested and refreshed himself. He
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 207
dragged liimself painfully to the door ; it was open,
and he went in without knocking. The roan was at
home, and started at the strange intruder so suddenly
presenting himself; scarcely less surprised he was
when he discovered who it was that lay under all
" Holy Virgin ! " he cried ; " Signer Sutherland,
what has happened to bring you here like this ? "
Markham was generally so scrupulous in his
dress ; and, now he had no hat, his long hair was
hanging matted over his face, his cheeks were sunk
and hollow, and his eyes bloodshot from long care
" It is nothing," he said ; " only I have been
walking long, and am tired. If you will let me
have something to eat, and a bed to lie down and
rest on for a few hours ; and if you, in the mean-
time, will go yourself into Como for me, I shall
" To the world's end I will go for you, Signer;
but what ? "
" Do not ask me any questions," Markham said;
" but go for me, and do what I shall tell you, and
you will be doing me a service."
The man stared, but said nothing more; and,
while his wife busied herself to get their strange
guest's breakfast, he made ready for his walk.
Markham sat down and wrote three notes ; one
to his banker with directions for the payment of
a few bills left unsettled in the town, and desiring
them to make over what remained of his money in
208 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
their hands to some public charity. The second
was to the people of his old lodging. His clothes,
and anything else they had of his, they were to
keep for themselves ; hut his books and manuscripts
were to be packed together and sent to England to
myself. He himself, he said, was going away, and
it was uncertain when he might return. The last
was to Helen : brief and scrawled with a shaking
hand, and blotted with his tears. It was only to
say that he was gone : he would write once more,
but that she would never see him again. This one
was to be left at the gate of the villa, and the man
was to hurry on at once, without asking or answer-
ing any questions. As soon as the notes were des-
patched, he took some food and then threw himself
on a bed in the inner room, and fell at once into a
deep unbroken sleep.
Como was not many miles distant ; the messenger
soon reached it, and finished his commissioDS ; these
were difficulties more easily overcome than his curi-
osity at the mysterious visit. He was leaving the
town again without any acquaintance having fallen
in his way to whom he might chatter out the won-
der that disturbed him, when he encountered the
priest at whose confessional he was occasionally
present. He saluted him respectfully, and the fa-
ther stopped him to ask some trifling question. It
encouraged him to relieve himself. His listener
knew Markham's name well ; he had often heard of
his little acts of kindness in the neighbourhood, and
had more than once seen him and been struck with
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 209
liis appearance. He knew that he had been living
for some months at the Leonards' ; and when he
heard of his strange appearance in the morning, of
the note which he had sent, and of the way in
which it was to be given, the father felt that there
was some connection between the two things, and
that a mystery of some painful kind was hidden
" Ah I father," the man said, " there is something
on his mind, I know there is, or his sweet face
would never have had that awful look upon it. Per-
haps he is mad, and the Devil has hold of him. If
you would but come."
" It is no place for me," was the answer. " He
is a heretic and an Englishman. I could do no-
" Oh, but, father," the peasant said, " it is not an
outcast that he can be, so good and so young ; and
last winter, when the hunger came and the fever,
and I was like to die with them, and I prayed to the
Virgin to help me, she sent this English signer to
me, and he gave me food and money, and he drove
the illness away ; and it cannot be that she would
employ in that way a lost heretic."
The priest thought a little while ; suddenly some
thing seemed to strike him. " To-day," he said,
" yes, it was to-day, he was to come." He took a
letter out of his pocket, and read it rapidly over.
"He will pass through Como on the 10th on his
way to Rome; we have directed him to St. - ,
where you will not fail to see him." It may be so ;
210 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
yes, he may be here now, and so something might
be done. He continued to mutter indistinctly to
himself, and, telling his companion to follow him,
walked rapidly to the monastery at the upper end
of the town.
Late in the afternoon Markham awoke ; he in-
quired whether the man was come back from Como,
and, on learning that he was not, he sat down again
at the table, and, with his purpose steady before
him, wrote his last good bye to such of us as cared
to receive it. There was one letter to myself, in-
closing another to his father, which I was to give
him. This last I might read if I pleased ; it was
very short, but a generous, open-minded, affectionate
entreaty to be forgiven all the pain which he had
caused him. I, he told me, would receive his manu-
scripts from Italy. If I thought, he said in his bitter
way, that he was one of Bishop Butler's favourites,
the end of whose existence was only to be an ex-
ample to their fellow -creatures, I might make what
use I pleased both of them and of what I knew of
his life. He had before written to me about Helen,
and, giving me a rapid summary of what had passed,
added that I should understand the conclusion. It
was all over, he thought, as he was writing - - As
I read over those last letters now, I could almost
wish that his purpose had been fulfilled as he de-
signed it ; but I will not anticipate.
The most painful thing was yet to be done : he must
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 211
write a few last words to Helen. They never reached
their destination ; either from inadvertence or from
nervousness, he forgot the direction, and this letter
was sent with the other to me. The hand was steady
at the beginning, as if he had nerved himself for a
violent effort ; hut his heart must have sunk as he
went on. Many words were written through the
blots of tears, and the end is scarcely legible.
" Helen," he wrote, " you have reason to hate
me ; yet you will not when you read this, for, by
that time, I shall have made my last expiation to
Heaven and to you. Yesterday I thought of my-
self, and I wished I had never seen you. Now I
see my own littleness too plainly to care what might
have been my fate. But, O Helen ! would to God
you had never seen me. We have been to blame.
If you do not feel it, yet believe it, for me for my
sake ; it is all you can do for me now. Believe it,
and forgive me. You forgive me ; I do not forgive
myself till my life has paid for my unworthiness.
Forgive me and forget me ; I never deserved your
love ; I do not deserve your remembering. I never
really loved you ; a heart like mine was too selfish
to love anything but itself. I did but fall into a
dream, and I tempted you into it waking ; the fault
was all mine, let my sacrifice suffice. I will not
tell you to be happy now that cannot be after
what you have lost. But it is not for nothing that
God is visiting you: and if he has taken Annie
from you, and taken me from you, it is for your
sake, that He may win you for Himself. Turn,
212 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
then, oh, turn ! there you will find peace, and pray
for yourself and pray for me. And it may be it
may be O Helen ! pray that it may be, that in
a little while but a little when your body will
lie down in the dust by the side of ours, that our
spirits may meet again, when I may be better worth
your loving, and where love shall be no sin ; and the
peace we have lost here shall be given us there for
" Farewell ! forgive me farewell ! "
Not far from the cottage, on the shores of the
lake, was a spot where human hands had piled
together a few old massive stones, and a stream of
water, perhaps with some assistance, had scooped a
basin in the granite. It was said that, many cen-
turies before, a man had made a home there who
was haunted by some strange sin; and the worn
circle which was traced into the hard surface of the
rock was still pointed out as the sign of the victory
of penitence. It had been worn by the painful
knees of a subdued and broken-hearted man,
whose long watches the stars for thirty years had
gazed upon, and whose prayers the angels had car-
ried up to heaven ; and fast and penance, and the
dew and the rain, and the damp winds, had cleansed
the spots from off the tainted soul, and God's mercy,
before he died, had hung round him the white gar-
ments of a saint. It was a holy place ; the pea-
sants crossed themselves as they passed by, and
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 213
stopped, and knelt, and prayed the pardoned sinner's
intercession for their sins ; and a small rude cru-
cifix, carved, it was said, out of the very wood of
Calvary, stood yet over the old stone which had been
the altar of the tiny chapel. What strange attrac-
tion drew Sutherland's steps there, it would be hard
to say ; whether it was that, in this forlorn and deso-
late ruin, this poor wretched remnant of a worn-out
creed seemed to find a sympathetic symbol of his
own faith- deserted soul or whether it was some
more awful impulse, like that which haunts blood-
guilty men, and, compelling them to their own self-
betrayal, forces them to hang spell-bound round the
scene of their crime, as if the forsaken faith could
only fitly there revenge itself on the same spot which
once had witnessed its victory I know not or per-
haps the threads which move our slightest actions are
woven of a thousand tissues ; and all these and innu-
merable others drew him there together. He sat down
upon the broken wall. The ripple of the lake was
curling and crisping on the pebbles at his feet. The
old familiar scenes in the distance around him, so
quiet and so beautiful far away a white sail was
glittering in the sunlight happy human hearts were
beating where that sail was, bounding along their
light life way, with wings of hope and pleasure.
Nearer still the island, the fatal island, and the trea-
cherous water, and, last and worst, he could see the
trees which hid the house where Helen was now
lying the lost, desolate Helen alive or dead he
214 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
knew not, he hardly cared, when life could he to
her hut living death. The scene hung on upon
his senses ; hut soon it was hut floating on their
surface, and his mind turned in upon his memory,
and year hy year, scene hy scene, his entire life rose
up hefore him, and rolled mournfully hy. His love
had heen hut a passing delirium ; she had never
had all his soul ; and now what had the truest hold
on his affections, -old home, and the old church
bells, and his mother's dying blessing, came echoing
sadly back again. And yet the storm was past.
He was calm now, for he was determined. Tears
were flowing fast down his face : but they were not
tears of suffering, but soft tears, in which all his
soul was melting at this last adieu to life, which,
poisoned as it had been for him, he could not choose
but love. He did not regret his purpose ; he did
not fear to die. Death must be some time, whatever
death was. But it was the very death which was so
near, which seemed to have taken off the curse from
what he was leaving, as if the dawning light of his
expiation was already breaking over the darkness.
He took the phial from his pocket, with a steady
hand he untied the covering, and poured its con-
tents into a little cup; he put it down upon the
stone. So clear, so innocent, it sparkled there.
" Now for the last, then," he said. Once more he
turned his eyes to the blue heaven, and round over
the landscape, so beautiful, so treacherously beauti-
ful. A thin white cloud was sailing slowly up to-
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 215
wards the sun. We often fix our resolution by the
aid of other actions besides our own. The cloud
should give the signal for his going. It would but
veil the sunlight for a moment ; but in that moment
a shadow would fall down on his spirit, which would
pass away no more.
" All is over now then," he said, " and to this fair
earth, and sky, and lake, and woods, and smiling
fields, and all the million things which gambol out
their life in them, now good bye, and for ever. You
will live on ; and the wind will blow, and men will
laugh and sigh, and the years roll along, with their
great freights of joy and sorrow; but I shall hear
their voices no more. One pang, and I shall be
lying there, among those old stones, as one of them.
Little happiness, at best, there is, with all this fair
seeming. A little but a little but I shall not be
here to make that little less. A few friends may be
sorry for me when they hear of this last end ; but
their pain will be brief as mine, and the wound will
heal, and time will bear away its memory ; and forme
no mortal heart will suffer more. Farewell, Helen !
last witness that earth had no deeper curse than love
of me. Your spirit is broken ; but peace may
breathe over its ruins when I am gone. Fare-
well, farewell ! The shadow steals over the earth.
I see it ; the dark cloud spot rolling down the hill
so fast, so fast. Oh! may it be a true emblem
the one dull spot in the great infinity of light!
These stones, this altar, they have echoed to sor-
row deep, perhaps, as mine ; and faith in this poor
216 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
atom, poor carved chip of rotting wood, cheated
the sufferer into a lengthened agony of years. Mi-
serahle spell that clings around us! we can hut
pass from dream to dream ; hut change one idol for
another ; and place the very Prophet who came to
free us, on the pedestal from which he had thrown
down the image.
Another moment he raised the poison. " And
Jesus Christ died on this ? " he said, as his eyes lin-
gered on the crucifix, " died for our sins .... so
I die to lighten others' sorrows, and to end my
own ! "
" Die without hope the worst sinner's worst
death to hear your sin, and your sin's punishment,
through eternity ! "
Was it the rocks that spoke ? It was a strange
echo. Markham started. The cup sunk upon the
altar stone. His pulse, which had not shaken he-
fore, hounded violently in his heart, as he turned
and looked round him. And the figure he saw, and
the glance he met, was hardly calculated to give
him back his courage. How well he knew it ! How
often in old college years he had hung upon those
lips ; that voice so keen, so preternaturally sweet,
whose very whisper used to thrill through crowded
churches, when every breath was held to hear ; that
calm grey eye ; those features, so stern, and yet so
gentle ! was it the spirit of Frederick Mornington
which had been sent there, out of the other world,
to warn him ? Was it a dream, a spectre ? What
was it ? Oh ! false, how false, that a man who is
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 217
bold to die, is bold for every fear! Markham's
knees shook ; his hair rose upon his head, and his
tongue hung palsied in his throat, as he struggled
" God sent me here to seek one who might be
saved. He did not tell me I should find Markham
" What are you ? " stammered Markham. " How
came you here ? "
" I have come in time," he answered, cutting
every syllable in the air with his clear impassive
voice, as if he was chiselling it in marble.
Markham's confused sense began to remember.
Mr. Mornington had been for two years in Italy,
washing off, in a purer air, the taint of the inherit-
ance of heresy.
" Come with me," he said, with the manner
which knows it is obeyed ; " you must not stay
here;" he crossed himself; "the place is holy!"
He took the poison-cup from the stone, and threw
it far away, and, with water from the fountain, he
sprinkled the place where it had lain, and where
Markham had been sitting.
The young man watched him mechanically. This
last action did not escape him ; he was infected,
and what he touched he tainted. He made no
effort to resist. He who had but a few moments
before philosophised over superstition, was feeble as
a child. Again he saw in this the finger of Heaven,
which he could not choose but obey.
Mr. Mornington moved out of the consecrated
218 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
ground, signing to him to follow ; and he went with-
out hesitating. Partly it was the reviving of the
power with which, in earlier years, this singular per-
son had fascinated Mm ; partly it was his guilt-
subdued conscience, which felt that it had forfeited
the right to its own self-control. When they were
outside the circle that marked the holy ground, his
companion turned to him with features which had
lost half their sternness, and had softened into an
expression of tenderness and feeling.
" And is it indeed you, Markham, you, I find
here in this dreadful way ? . . . . I spoke sternly to
you, I could not speak otherwise there. But, Mark-
ham, I do not forget : I can be your friend as a man,
if I cannot be more to you. Dear Markham, it was
not a chance which sent me here ; I was told I
should find an Englishman, and an unhappy one.
As an English priest my duty brought me here, and
I come to find you, Markham, you on the very edge of
a precipice so fearful, that it is only now that I have
led you from it, that you or I can feel its awfulness ;
and I feel yes, and you feel it was not an accident
winch ruled it so.
Markham's heart was bursting. "Dear kind Mr.
Mornington/' he said, " you do not know what you
have done. It would have been better if you had
left me ; you may think so when you hear all that I
wdll tell you."
Mornington's softening face grew softer; he knew
the virtue of confession ; he knew that only a broken
heart would turn to it unconstrained, and how soon the
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 219
broken heart may become a contrite one. That day
Markham told him all, first this long dark story, the
last load which lay the heaviest upon him ; then, as he
began to rise from under the weight, he saw more
clearly, or thought he saw, how fault had followed fault,
and one link hung upon another ; and step by step he
went back over his earlier struggles, his scepticisms,
Ms feeble purpose and vacillating creed, all of them
outpouring now as sins confessed. His listener's
sympathies were so entire, so heartfelt, he seemed
himself to have passed through each one of Mark-
ham's difficulties so surely he understood them.
Nay, often the latter was startled to find himself an
ticipated in his conclusions, and to hear them
rounded off for him in language after which he him-
self had been only feeling. At last it was all over.
The inexpressible relief he felt seemed to cry to him
of reconciliation and forgiveness. Mr. Mornington
pressed but little upon him ; his heart was flowing,
the wound had burst for itself, and had no need of
urging. When it was finished, he said, " Markham,
I have heard you as a friend, I have only to ask you
whether your conscience does not tell you that you
have found a way at last where you thought that
there was none, and whether you are prepared to
" Oh, yes, yes," he said.
" But to follow it now ? now while your heart is
warm and the quick sense is on you of what you
are and of what you were." Again Markham pas-
sionately professed his readiness.
220 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
Then you will repeat to another what you have
confided to me ; not as I have heard it, but under the
sacred seal of confession ; you will undertake the
penance which shall be laid upon you ; and you will
look forward with steady hope to a time when you
may be received into the holy church, and may hear
yonr absolution from her lips ?
If Markham hesitated it was but for a moment.
Mr. Mornington went on . ..." Your philosophy,
as you called it, taught you to doubt whether sin was
not a dream ; you feel it now ; it is no dream, it is
a real, a horrible power ; and you see whither you
have been led in following blindly a guide which is
but a child of the spirit of evil.
How true it is that arguments have only power
over us while the temper is disposed to listen to
them ! Not one counterfact had been brought before
him, not one intellectual difficulty solved, yet under
the warm rain of penitence the old doubts melted
like snow from off his soul. He felt his guilt, \\zfelt
that here that dreadful consciousness might be rolled
away, and as idle he thought it would be to stand
hesitating with frozen limbs with a fire witln'n sight
and within reach, till some cunning chymist had
taught him why the fire was warm, as to wait now
and hang aloof till the power which he felt was ex-
plained to him.
Whether all along below his weakness some latent
superstition had not lain buried, which now for the
first time broke out into activity, or whether he
mistook the natural effect of having unloaded his
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 221
aching conscience in a kind listener's ear, for a super-
natural spiritual strength which was flowing down
upon him from heaven, or whether it was indeed true
that his reason had gone astray ; that reason is hy
some strange cause perverted, and of itself and un-
assisted it can but present a refracted image of the
things of the spirit with every line inclining at a
false angle ; and that the strange inexplicable sense
which contradicts reason (for we cannot flinch from
the alternative) is the one faithful glimpse and the
only one of the truth of God, enough for our
guidance and enough to warn us against philosophy
were questions which long after, in his solitary cell,
the unhappy Markham was again and again con-
demned to ask himself, and to hear no answer, ex-
cept in the wild rolling storm of eager angry voices
calling tin's way and that way and each crying down
the other. . . . But there was no such hesitating now.
The overpowering acuteness of his feeling unnerved
what little intellect was left unshaken, and the gentle-
ness and fascination of Mr. Mornington held him like
a magnetic stream. He did all they bid him do ; for a
time he felt all they promised that he should feel.
He felt that it was his doubt which had unhinged
him ; he had fallen because his moral eye had become
dim. Deep as his sin had been, Mr. Mornington
told him it was not mortal, because it had been un-
completed ; saints had fallen, the man after God's
own heart had fulfilled as deep or a deeper crime. If
he could submit himself utterly and unreservedly to
222 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
the holy church, the church in God's stead would
accept him and would pronounce his full forgiveness.
He confessed, and after undergoing the prescribed
penance, he received the conditional baptism, was
absolved, and retired into a monastery. Once and
once only his human feeling was strong enough to
make him speak again to Mr. Mornington of Helen,
and to ask what had become of her. But a cold
severe answer that she was cared for, and a peremp-
tory command never to let his thoughts turn upon
her again (with a penance for every transgression)
until those under whose care he had been placed
could give him hopes that his prayers might be
offered for her unsullied by any impurity together
with the severe rule of discipline under which he had
by his own desire been laid for a time at least
drove her out of his mind. His crushed sense be-
came paralysed in the artificial element into which
he had thrown himself. His remorse overwhelmed
his sympathy with her She belonged to the
old life which he had flung off, and he endeavoured
only to remember her in an agony of shame.
Poor Helen ! she was cared for. How that night
and those days passed with her was never known.
Markham's note was brought her the morning of
his disappearance, and she knew that he too was
gone when all else was gone gone ! lost to her
for ever ! It swept over her lacerated heart like the
white squalls over the hot seas of India, with a fury
too intense to raise the waves, but laying them all
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 223
flat in boiling calm. It appears she collected energy
enough to write to Mr. Leonard, desiring him to
come to her at once. She gave no reason she did
not even tell him that his child was dead ; only he
must come to her, come on the instant. When he
came he found her in a state of almost unconscious-
ness. Her nerves were for the time killed by what
she had gone through ; but when she saw him she
was able to gather herself up. She knew him she
knew what she had to say to him ; and coldly,
calmly, and gravely she told him all. There were
no tears, no passionate penitence, no entreaties for
forgiveness. Her words fell from her almost like a
voice from the shadowy dead sent up out of their
graves on some unearthly mission ; and they awed
him as such a voice would awe him. His rude and
simple nature might have broken into passion had
he seen one tinge of shame, or fear, or any feeling
which he would have expected to find. He had
never loved her, though he thought he had. Per-
haps he was too shallow to love. But he might
have felt real rage at his own injury, and he might
have persuaded himself, in proper sort, that he felt
all which an affectionate husband ought to feel; but
this unnatural calmness overmastered him entirely.
He was passive in her hands, to do or not to do
whatever she might choose. What could she
choose? Home and kind home-faces there were
none for her. Friends, except Markham, not one ;
and him whatever was become of him she was
never to see again. He had not even written again
224 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
to her as he had promised. Death had not come,
though she had prayed for it. Madness had not
come ; she was too single-minded to think of
To be alone with the past was all for which she
wished. There was but one gate besides the grave
which she knew was never closed against the broken-
hearted it was that of the convent. She knew little
and cared little for difference of creeds. It was not
the creed of the Catholic which was the seed out of
which those calm homes of sorrow have risen over the
earth; but deepest human feeling, deepest know-
ledge of the cravings of the suffering heart. There
at least was kindness, and tenderness, and compas-
sion there no world voice could break in to trouble
her there let her go. Her husband made no diffi-
culty. In his heart he was not sorry, as it settled
for him a question which might be embarrassing ;
and the few arrangements which money could com-
mand were soon made with a relation of one of his
Italian friends, the Abbess of . The story
was told her. Such stories were not new in Italy ;
though it was new that of her own free will, a lady
who had done what she had done, and had been
bred in the free atmosphere of the world, should
seek out so austere a home. And there went Helen
and there for two years she drooped, and then
she died. All that woman's care or woman's affec-
tion could do to soften off her end was done. The
exhaustion of her suffering left her soul in calm,
and gave her back enough possession of herself to
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 225
enable her to entangle into affection for her the
gentle hearts which were round her and watched
over her. It was a deep, intense affection ; deeper,
perhaps, because of the doubt and sorrow which
were blended with it. For Helen lived and died
unreconciled with the Church. She loved it she
loved its austerity, its charity, the wide soul- ab-
sorbing spirit of devotion which penetrated and
purified it, and the silvery loveliness of character
which it had to bestow; and Helen might have
joined it, might have received from its lips on this
side the grave the pardon which may God grant
she has yet found beyond it: only if she could
have made one first indispensable confession that
she had sinned in her love for Markliam Suther-
land yet, with singular persistency, she declared
to the last that her sin had been in her marriage,
not in her love. Unlike his, her early training
had been too vague to weigh at all against the
feeling which her love had given her ; she had little
knowledge and an unpractised intellect she had
only her heart, which had refused to condemn her
she had never examined herself. The windings,
wheel within wheel, of the untrue spirit's self-de-
ceptions, were all strange to her, for she had always
been too natural to think about herself at all. Per-
haps the heart does not deceive ; never does give a
false answer except to those double-minded un-
happy ones who do care about themselves, and so
play tricks with it and tamper with it. At any
rate, whether from deadness of conscience, or from
220 THE NEMESIS OF FAITH.
apathy, or indifference, or because of the unre-
penting tenderness of her love, which never left her
(although they took care to tell her of Markham's
repentance), she still clung to her feeling for him as
the best and most sacred of her life. She acknow-
ledged a sin which they told her was none, for she
felt that she ought never to have promised Leonard
what she had; but Markham she loved, she must
still love. Her love for him could not injure him.
If he was happy in forgetting in abjuring her,
she was best pleased with what would best heal his
Strange contrast the ends of these two ! She
died happy, forgiven by her husband and going back
to join her lost child, where by and by they might
all meet again, and where Markham need no longer
fly from her ; for there, there is " no marrying nor
giving in marriage." It was a hard trial to the
weeping sisters who hung around her departure to
see with what serene tranquillity the unpardoned
sinner, as they deemed her, could pass away to
But Markham's new faith fabric had been reared
upon the clouds of sudden violent feeling, and no
air castle was ever of more unabiding growth ;
doubt soon sapped it, and remorse, not for what he
had done, but for what he had not done; and
amidst the wasted ruins of his life, where the bare
bleak soil was strewed with wrecked purposes and
shattered creeds; with no hope to stay him, with
no fear to raise the most dreary phantom beyond
THE NEMESIS OF FAITH. 227
the grave, he sunk down into the barren waste, and
the dry sands rolled over him where he lay ; and no
living being was left behind him upon earth, who
would not mourn over the day which brought life
to Markham Sutherland.
G. Woodfall and Son, Printers, Angel Court, Skinner Stieet, London.
London, January, 1849.
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than we luive seen in any recent pro-
duction." Fort' iff ii (liiurti'.rh
possesses the power of displaying them
to the reader with great clearness and
etFect. \Ye remember no other work in
which the civil conditions and literary
achievements of a people have been
blended in such a series of living pic-
tures, representing successive periods of
history." Afgetneme Zeitung.
"An earnest and eloquent work."
"A work ranking distinctly in the
class of belles lettres, and well deserv-
ing of a library place in England."
" A work warmly admired by excel-
lent judges." Tails Magazine.
"An admirable work written with
great power and beauty." Prof. Loiig-
" In reference to style, the work I fellow. (Poets and Poetry of Europe.)
Peter Jones, or Onward Bound.
An Autobiography. Post 8vo, cloth, 3s.
" The idea of the biography is to
depict a mind rising from a condition
of ignornncc, and, by means of me-
chanics' institutions, and the reading of
books in the English tongue, realising
for itself the relations between philoso-
phy, science, and religion, and the
bearing of all on theological dogmata
juid the literature of the Hebrews.
The writer is manifestly competent to
his task, and lias accomplished it with
uncommon ability and considerable
taste." Dougla* Jerrol
Works published by
Sunrise in Italy, &c. Reveries.
By HENRY MORLEY. In 1 volume, small 4to, elegantly printed and bound,
The Principles of Nature, her Divine Revelations, and a Voice
TO MANKIND. By and through ANDREW JACKSON DAVIS, the
" Poughkeepsie Seer," and "Clairvoyant." 2 vols. large 8vo. cloth,
.% The "Work consists of 800 pages, including a history of its- produc-
tion, with a Biographical Sketch, and Portrait (engraved on Steel) of the
" Taken as a whole, the work is a
profound and elaborate discussion of the
Phitenmty of the Universe, and for gran-
deur of conception, soundness of prin-
ciple, clearness of illustration, order of
arrangement and encyclopediacal range
of subjects, I know of no work of any
" Viewed as one will, the book is one
of the most remarkable literary curi-
osities ever heard of." Matmekiuettt
" The main idea is skilfully sustained
and developed, and there is a great deal
in the book that we admire, and have
single mind that will bear away from it ! long admired in other connexions."
the palm. To every theme the inditing ; American Christian Examiner.
mind approaches with a certain latent | " A very wonderful book, exhibiting
consciousness of mastery of all its every where a gigantic grasp of thought."
principles, details, and technicalities; .
and yet without the least ostentatious j
displavof superior mental powers." Dr.
BH.I/I, "Professor of Hebrew in Nen- York, regard this book as common place, or
"In whatever view the work is easily explained. Be it fraud, delusion, '
regarded, it is a very remarkable pro- j or mixture, be it mesmerism, or newly
" Let our readers distinctly under-
stand that we do not on any supposition
duetion, and will assuredly attract
extensive attention here, as it already
has in America." Morning Advertiser.
" The book has excited so much
interest in America, that though large,
consisting of 800 pages, 900 copies were
sold in one week." Family Herald.
invented communication from the
spiritual world, or downright revelation,
be it any one of these, or anything else,
it is very curious. As soon as the right
name is" found for it, we will be the first
to call, of that name, extraordinary,
very extraordinary." Athemcum .
Endeavours after the Christian Life. (First Series.)
By JAMES MARTINEAU. Second Edition. 12mo, 7*. 6d. cloth.
Endeavours after the Christian Life. (Second Series.)
By JAMES MARTINEAU. 12mo, 7*. 6d. cloth.
" Heartily do we welcome a second
volume of ' Endeavours after the
Christian Life,' because when all that
suits not our taste is omitted, we have
still left more to instruct, interest, im-
prove, and elevate, than in almost any
other volume with which we are ac-
quainted Whatever may be its
defects, we regard it as one of the most received from
precious gifts to the religious world in many a year,
modern times." Inquirer.
"Mr. Martineau is known, much
beyond the limits of his own denomin-
ation, as a man of great gifts and ac-
complishments, and his publications
have been all marked by subtle and
vigorous thought, much beauty oi
imagination, and certain charms of
composition, which are sure to find
admirers There is a delicacy and
ethereality of ethical sentiment in
these discourses which must commend
them, and we may safely say that many
of the orthodox in all departments
might receive from them intellectual
stimulus, moral polish, and in some
moods religious edification," Noncon-
" One of the most interesting, attrac-
tive, and most valuable series of essays
which the literature of Christianity has
priest or layman for
Volumes that have in them both
intellect and true eloquence, and which
satisfy the understanding while they
please the taste and improve tlie heart.
" "When we say that these Discourses
are eminently practica?,vre mean ti at
they are adapted, not only tor man in
the abstract to teach the duties of
Christianity everywhere but also with
reference to the circumstances of
society of the age and country in
which our lot is cast." Critic.
John Chapman, 142, Strand.
Poems, By Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Post 8vo. 6s. cloth gilt.
" There are in these stanzas many
a fine image and sometimes a cluster
of such scattered symbols of deep sig-
nificance and the presence of sincere
and earnest thinking everywhere
A wild low music accompanies these
artless strains ; an indistinct, uncertain
melody such a tune as an untaught
musical nature might choose to itself in
solitary places There are some-
times stanzas which are suggestive, not
only in a political relation, but in one
far higher as touching those social re-
forms which now everywhere command
the attention of society. Some portions
of a series of poems entitled ' Wood
Notes,' are in their peculiar way yet
liner ; and the entire succession has
been enthusiastically received on the
other side of the Atlantic." Athmaeum.
" There are in this volume unmistake-
able evidences of genius ; the soul of
the poet flashes out continually ; and the
hand of the poet is seen often." Critic.
" He occasionally reminds us of the
reflective deptli of Wordsworth; and
sometimes evinces a delicate fancy and
richness of epithetworthyof Tennyson."
" His lines are full of meaning."
" To read his finer pieces is to our
poetic feeling like receiving a succes-
sion of electric shocks ; . . . . even his un-
shaped fragments are not bits of glass
but of diamond, and have always the
true poetic lustre. We knovy of no
compositions that surpass his in their
characteristic excellence." Christian
Political Economy, and the Philosophy of Government.
A Series of Essays selected from the works of M. DE SISMONDI. With
an Historical Notice of his Life and Writings by M. MIGNET. Trans-
lated from the French, and illustrated by Extracts from an unpublished
Memoir, and from M. dc Sismondi's private Journals and Letters, to
which is added a List of his Works, and a preliminary Essay, by the
Translator. 8vo. cloth, 12s.
" In this country the views of Sismon-
di, long derided, and long kept down,
have lately achieved a signal triumph,
and are still advancing for the amelio-
ration of social ills. The essays '\
embody Sismondi's settled views on
Political Economy, and on the true
policy which should animate a Govern- j
ment After having studied more '
deeply than most men, the science of j
Government and the speculations of |
Political Philosophy, he settled down I
into th? conviction that the principles
of Christianity were as applicable to
the life of nations as to that of indivi-
duals, and that the happiness of the
people would be best promoted by ob-
serving them Besides the essays
the volume contains many curious illus-
trations of the I^ife of Sismondi
Jn an ingenious preliminary essay by
the translator, the views of Sismondi
are applied to our social condition at
the present time. The volume is alto-
gether admirably produced, and, we
think, is entitled to the earnest consi-
deration of all persons who take an
interest in social politics." Britannia.
" Few recent writers on Political
Economy have claims on our attention
equal to tliOM' (if Sisinondi. In England
he is lii-st known as an historian, but he
is no less entitled to high reputation as
a sound and thoughtful expounder of
the soc.jiii sciences.. ....We cordially re-
commend this volume, as forming a
most pleasant introduction to the study
of the sciences of which it treats. It is
both valuable in itself and peculiarly
well timed." Atlas.
" The work is admirably translated.
It has all the vigour of original com-
position. The preliminary notice by
the translator is replete with enlight-
ened ideas. We heartily commend the
volume to all who feel an interest in the
great social and political problems
which must soon be solved and adjust-
ed, lest England is reduced to the state
of Ireland '."Douglas JerroM's Ncuv.
" A writer oi first-rate merit in
history and politics, and one whose
sympathy with the poor and discern-
ment of the true good of men and of
nations must give weight to all his
moral convictions, concerning the right
and wrong of our results." Prospective
" We should like that these essays
should have a wide circulation, and
that the tone of pure benevolence
\vliich pervades them should thrill the
hearts of cold-blooded economists with
tenderer feelings of commiseration
than usually mingle wit li their frigid
calculations. There can be no question
as to tiie evils he so powerfully exposes
being directly caused by the reckless
application of the principles he would
| entirely discard.
" They will amply repay a careful
reading, as each is a masterly discussion
of the most prominent questions rela-
ting to our social condition." A minm.
Works published by
History of the Hebrew Monarchy, from the Administration of
Samuel to the Babylonish Captivity. 8vo, cloth, 10s. 6d.
only materials for his work." Prospec-
"This book must be regarded, we
think, as the most valuable contribution
" It is truly refreshing to find Jewish
history treated, as in the volume before
us, according to the rules of sound
criticism, and good sense The
publication of such a work will form
an epoch in biblical literature in this
"The Author has brought a very
acute mind, familar witli knowledge
that is beyond the range of ordinary
scholarship, to the task of combining
and interpreting the antique and frag-
mentary records which contain the
I Honour $ or, the Story of the hrare aspar and the fair Annerl.
By CLEMENS BRENTANO. With an Introduction and a Biographical
Notice of the Author, by T. W. APPELL, Translated from the German.
Fcp. 8vo. gilt edges, 2s. 6d.
ever made in the English Language to
our means of understanding that por-
tion of Hebrew History to which it
relates The Author has not the
common superstitious reverence for the
Bible, but he shows everywhere a large,
humane, and Christian spirit." Mas-
sachussetts Quarterly Review.
" Brentano's story of ' The brave
Caspar and the lair Annerl,' is one
which has notably taken its stand
among the romances that give a por-
traiture of lower life in Germany, and
like most of the works of its accom-
plished author, ranks high in public
estimation there. We do not think it
likely to lose any of its popularity by
its English dress. It is a melancholy
and very touching story. Those who
are unacquainted with the writings of
Brentano will find a good account of
them, together with a short biography
of the author, in the introduction."
" A little story worthy to take rank
with Auerbach's Village Tales and
other delineations of the peasant life
of Germany, which have lately been
received with so much favour in Eng-
land. The little tale before us is one of
Brentano's latest works, and was pub-
lished at Berlin in 1835. It is evidently
his most finished production, and con-
tains passages which will find an echo in
all hearts. In the words of his biographer,
in this story Brentano's muse is dis-
played in her fairest aspect, and entire-
ly divested of his usual extravagant
fancies. We must not make extracts
from this little volume, but can honestly
say that it is admirably adapted for a
Christmas Present or New Year's gift."
Westminster and Foreign Quarterly Re-
Shakspeare's Dramatic Art, and his relation to Calderon and
Translated from the German of Dr. HERMANN UiiRici. 8vo. 12s.
Outline of Contents.
I. Sketch of the History of the Eng-
lish Drama before Shakspeare.
R. Greene and Marlowe,
n. Shakspeare's Life and Times,
in. Shakspeare's Dramatic Style, and
Poetic View of the World and
"We strongly recommend the book
to the notice of every lover of Shaks-
peare, for we may truly say that it is
well calculated to fill up a void in our
own as well as in German literature."
" The author has the Philosophic
depth,' which we vainly look for in
Schlegel's criticism of the great poet."
" We welcome it as an addition to our
books on the national dramatist ex-
haustive, comprehensive, and philo-
sophical after a scholastic fashion, and
iv. Criticism of Shakspeare's Plays,
v. Dramas ascribed to Shakspeare of
vi. Calderon and Goethe in their rela-
tion to Shakspeare.
throwing new lights upon many things
in Shakspeare." Spectator.
" The work of Ulrici in the original,
has held, ever since its publication, an
honoured place upon our shelves. We
consider it as being, when taken all in
all, one of the most valuable contribu-
tions ever made to the criticism of
.Shakspeare. The theoretical system
upon which it rests, if not altogether
accurate or completely exhaustive, is,
at all events, wide and searching ; its
manner of expression is almost every-
where clear and practical, and its
John Chapman, 142, Strand.
critical expositions are given with
equal delicacy of feeling and liveliness
! of fancy Here there are treated,
1 successively, Shakspeare's language,
liis mode of representing characters,
and his dramatic invention
Our author has not only spoken
with excellent good sense, but has
placed one or two important points of
Shakspeare's poetical character in a
clearer light than that in which we are
accustomed to regard them. Shakspeare
is shown to be the historically-dramatic
poet of enlightened Christianity; and
the highest value of his works consists
in their adequately representing, in the
light of imagination, the Christian
prospect of ma'n's mysterious destiny."
" A good translation of Dr. Ulrici's
work on Shakspeare cannot fail of being
welcome to the English thinker. It is,
in fact, a vindication of our great poet
from a charge which has lately been
broiiirht against him by critics on both
sides of the Atlantic. Dr. Ulrici boldly
claims fur him the rank of an emi-
nently Christian author The pre-
sent work is the least German of all
German books, and contains remark-
able novelty in its views of the subject
and the arrangement of its topics. The
plan adopted by Dr. Ulrici of contem-
plating each play in the light of a
central idea is especially deserving of
all praise .... We recommend the entire
criticism to the perusal of the judicious.
" Excellencies of a high order per-
vade this performance, which, in our
judgment, entitle it to the gr.iteful re-
ception of all who are desirous of be-
coming better acquainted with the
mind of Shakspeare The sketch
of the modern dramatic art with which
the book opens, as well as of the life of
Shakspeare. is well drawn ; indeed, the
historical sketches throughout are ad-
mirably executed 'The author's
views are ingenious, and the criticisms
on the several dramas are admirable,
and will fully repay the reader's study."
" AVe welcome this work as a valu-
able accession to Slmksperian litera-
ture. It is the principal object of Dr.
Ulrici's criticisms of the several plays,
to trace and bring to light the funda-
mental and vivifying idea of each. In
this difficult task we think he lias
been eminently successful AVe can-
not dismiss this very valuable work,
which breathes a tone of pure and ex-
alted morality, derived from a mind
truly religious, and whose holy and
chastening influence expresses itself
throughout, without remarking how
much we admire the excellent manner
in which it is translated." Ingi/in>r.
"Ulrici's admirable ' Shakspeare's
Dramatic Art" has been lately
lated with considerable skill. \Ve re-
commend the work as an addition *o
our higher critical literature, and wo
should like to recur to it more fully."
Cfi rifitiun Reinaithrancer,
The Life of Jesus, Critically Examined.
By Dr. DAVID FRIEDRICH STRAUSS. 3 vols. 8vo. 1 16s. cloth.
"The extraordinary merit of this
book .... Strauss's dialectic dexterity,
his forensic coolness, the even polish of
his style, present him to us as the ac-
complished pleader, too completely
master of his work to feel the tempta-
tion to unfair advantage or unseemly
temper AVe can testify that the
translator has achieved a very tough
work with remarkable spirit and fideli-
ty. The author, though indeed a good
writer, could hardly have spoken better
had his country and language been
English. The work has evidently fal-
len into the hands of one who lias not
only effective command of both lan-
guages, but a familiarity with the sub-
ject-matter of theological criticism and
an initiation into its technical phraseo-
logy." H r >'sttn'iii.nt('r ami Foreign, Quar-
ter/ 1/ lifrii'ii; 1*47.
* Whoever reads these volumes with-
out any reference to the German, must
IK- pleaded with the easy, perspicuous,
idiomatic, and harmonious force of the
English style. Hut he will be still
more satisl'ied when, on turning to the
original, he linds that the rendering
is word for word, thought for thought,
and sentence for sentence. In pre-
paring so beautiful a rendering as the
present, the difficulties can have been
neither few nor small in the way
of preserving, in various parts of the
work, the exactness of the translation,
combined with that uniform harmony
and clearness of style, which impart
to the volumes before us the air
and spirit of an original. A modest
and kindly care lor 'his reader's con-
venience has induced the translator
often to supply the rendering into Eng-
lish of a Greek quotation, where there
was no corresponding rendering into
German in the original. Indeed,
Strauss may well say, as he does in the
notice, which he \\ rites for this English
edition, that as far as he has examined
it, the translation is, " et accnrata et
| erspicua.' "--J'rtix/>i'r(h-e Ilericir.
" In regard to learning, acuteness, and
sagacious conjectures, the work resem-
bles Xiebnlir's ' History of Rome.' The
general manner of treating the subject
and arranging the chapters, sections,
and parts 'of 'the argument, indicates
JForks published by
consummate dialectical skill ; while the
style is clear, the expression direct, and
the author's openness in referring to his
sources of information, and stating his
conclusions in all their simplicity, is
candid and exemplary It not only
surpasses all its predecessors of its kind
in learning, acuteness, and thorough in-
vestigation, but it is marked by a serious
and earnest spirit." ChristianEa-aminer.
" I found in M. Strauss a young man
full of candour, gentleness, and modesty
one possessed of a soul that was al-
most mysterious, and, as it Avere, sad-
dened by the reputation he had gained.
He scarcely seems to be the author of
the work under consideration .'' Quinet,
Revue des Moiules.
Translations from the German of Jean Paul. >walis, Goethe.
UHLAND, R.UCKERT, and from the French of MJCKIEWICZ, an eminent
Polish poet. By HENRY REEVE, Esq., and JOHN EDWAHD TAYLOR. 12mo.
Elegantly bound in cloth, 2s. Gd.
The Dramas of Iphigenia in Tauris, and Torqiiato Tasso, of
GOETHE; and the MAID OF ORLEANS, of SCHILLER. Translated,
(omitting some passages,) with Introductory Kemarks, by ANNA SWANWICK.
8vo, cloth; 6s.
are very beautiful ; and while they will
serve to make the mere English reader
acquainted with two of the most perfect
works ever written, the Iphigenia and
the Tasso, they will form useful assist-
ants to those who are commencing the
study of the German language."- Fo-
reign Quarterly Rerieir.
" This English version presents these
poems to us in a garb not unworthy of
the conceptions of their authors."
" The verse is smooth and harmo-
nious, and no one acquainted with the
original can fail to be struck with its
great fidelity and accuracy." Christian
" It is seldom that we meet with a
translator so competent as the lady
who has here rendered these selections
from the two great poets of Germany
into elegant and vigorous English verse.
The 'Iphigenia' of Goethe has been
already well done by Mr. William Tay-
lor, of Norwich ; but his version is not,
by many degrees, so readable as the
one before us." Atlx-H'cnm.
" \Ve have to congratulate the trans-
lator on perfect success hi a very diffi-
cult task." 'Dublin University Magazine.
" The translator has gone to her
beautiful task in the right spirit, ad-
hering with fidelity to the. words of the
original, and evidently penetrating the
mind of the poet. The translations
Channing's Works, Complete.
Edited by JOSEPH BARKER. In G vols, 12mo. Gs. sewed, 8s. cloth.
A Retrospect of the Religions Life of England $
Or, the Church, Puritanism, and Free Inquiry. By JOHN JAMES TAYLER,
B.A. PostSvo. 10s Gd. cloth.
" The work is written in a chastely
beautiful style, manifests extensive
reading and careful research; is full
of thought, and decidedly original in
its character. It is marked also by
the modesty which usually characterises
true merit." Inquirer.
"Mr. Tayler is actuated by no sec-
tarian bias, and we hea tily thank him
for this addition to our religious litera-
ture." Westminster lierieic.
"It is not often our good fortune to
meet with a book so well conceived,
so well written, and so instructive as
this. The various phases of the national
mind, described with the clearness and
force of Mr.Tayler.furnish an inexhaust-
ible material for reflection. Mr. Tayler
regards all partiesin turn from an equita-
ble point of view, is tolemnt towards in-
tolerance, and admires zeal and excuses
fanaticism, wherever he sees honesty.
Nay, he openly asserts that the religion
of mere reason is not the religion to
produce a practical effect on a people ;
and therefore regards his own class
only as one element in a better possible
church. The clear and comprehen-
sive grasp with which lie marshals his
facts, is even less admirable than the
impartiality, nay, more than that, the
general kindliness with which he re-
flects upon them." E.raminer.
" The writer of this volume has
all the calmness belonging to one who
feels himself not mixed up with the
struggle he describes. There is about
it a tone of great moderation and can-
dour : and we cannot but feel confident
that we have here, at least, the product
of a thoroughly honest mind." Lou-e's
John Chapman, 142, Strand.
The Elements of Individualism.
By WILLIAM MACCALL. Post 8vo, 7*. Qd. cloth.
"It is a book worthy of perusal.
Even those who can find no sympathy
with its philosophy, will derive plea-
sure and improvement from the many
exquisite touches of feeling, and the
many pictures of beauty which mark
"The expansive philosophy, the pene-
trative intellect, and the general
humanity of the author, have rendered
The Elements of hidiriduMlism a book of
strong and general interest." Critic.
" We have been singularly interested
by this book Here is a speaker and
thinker whom we may securely feel to
be a lover of truth, exhibiting in his
work a form and temper of mind very
rare and peculiar in our time." Man-
A Discourse of Hatters pertaining to Religion.
By THEODORE PARKER. Post 8vo. 7s. cloth.
Book 1. Of Religion in General ; or,
a Discourse of the Sentiment and its
Book 2. The Relation of the Religious
Sentiment to God; or, a Discourse
Book 3. The Relation of the Religious
Sentiment to Jesus of Nazareth ; or,
a Discourse of Christianity.
" Mr. Parker is a very original writer.
We recommend the work to our readers
as one of a very remarkable kind, which
cannot fairly be judged of by detached
extracts." Edinburgh Review, October,
" Parker writes like a Hebrew
prophet, enriched by the ripest culture
of the modern world His loftiest
theories come thundering down into
life with a rapidity and directness of
aim which, while they alarm the timid
and amaze the insincere, afford proof
that he is less eager to be a reformer
of men's thinking, than a thinker for
their reformation. Whatever judgment
the reader may pronounce on the philo-
sophy of the volume, he will close it, we
venture to affirm, with the consciousness
that he leaves the presence of a truly
great mind ; of one who is not only un-
oppressed by his large store of learning,
but seems absolutely to require a mas-
sive weight of knowledge to resist and
regulate the native force of his thought,
and occupy the grasp of his imagina-
tion." Westminster and Foreign (Quar-
terly Review, 1847.
"'There is a mastery shown over
every element of the Great Subject,
and the slight treatment of it in parts
no reader can help attributing to the
plan of the work, rather than to the
incapacity of the author. From the
resources of a mind singularly exube-
rant by nature and laboriously enriched
by culture, a system of results is here
thrown up, and spread out in luminous
exposition." P rospectii-c 7iYv/. //.
" Mr. Parker is no ephemeral teacher.
His aspirations for the future
Book 4. The Relation of the Religious
Sentiment to the Greatest of Books ;
or, a Discourse of the Bible.
Book 5. The Relation of the Religious
Sentiment to the Greatest of Human ;
Institutions; or, a Discourse of the
are not less glowing than his estimate
for the past. He revels in warm anti-
cipations of the orient splendours, of
which all past systems are but the pre-
cursors His language is neither
narrow nor unattractive ; there is a
consistency and boldness about it which
will strike upon chords which, when
they do vibrate, will make the ears
more than tingle. We are living in
an age which deals in broad and ex-
haustive theories ; which requires a
system that will account for everything,
and assigns to every fact a place,
and that no forced one, in the vast
economy of things. Whatever defects
Mr. Parker's view may have, it meets
these requisites. It is large enough,
and promising enough ; it is not afraid
of history. It puts forth claims ; it is
an articulately speaking voice. It deals
neither in compromise nor abatement,
it demands a hearing; it speaks with
authority. It has a complete and de-
termined aspect. It is deficient neither
in candour nor promises; and what-
ever comes forward in this way will
certainly find hearers." Christian Re-
" It is impossible for any one to read
the writings of Theodore Parker with-
out being strongly impressed by them.
They abound in passages of fervid elo-
quence eloquence as remarkable for
the truth of feeling which directs it, as
for the genius by which it is inspired.
They are distinguished by philosophical
thought and learned investigation, no
less than by the sensibility to beauty
and goodness which they manifest."
10 Works publisfod by
The Life of Michael Serretus.
By W. H. DRUMMOND, D.D. 12mo. cloth 3s. Gd
Characteristics of Painters.
By HENRY REEVE, Esq. Second Edition. 8vo. Elegantly bound in cloth, as.
Historical Sketches of the Old Painters.
By the Author of the " Log Cabin." 2s. 6d. paper cover ; 3s. cloth.
Manning's Works, Complete. (Hedderwick's Edition.)
6 vols. post 8vo. reduced to \. Is. cloth. (Uniform with the Memoirs.)
Ireland, and her Famine.
A Discourse. By JAMES MARTINEAU. 12mo. 6d.
The Bible and the Child.
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Hymns for the Christian Church and Home.
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John Chapman, 142, Strand.
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from the face of the records which he-
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our view most of the great moral and
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The Prospective Review.
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" The PROSPECTIVE REVIEW is devoted to a free THEOLOGY, and the moral
aspects of LITERATURE. Under the conviction that lingering influences from the
doctrine of verbal inspiration are not only depriving the primitive records of the
Gospel of their tine interpretation, but even destroying faith in Christianity it-
John Chapman , 142, Strand.
self, the Work is conducted in the confidence that only a living mind and heart,
not in bondage to any letter, can receive the living spirit of Revelation ; and in the
fervent belief that for all such there is a true Gospel of God, which no critical or
historical speculation can discredit or destroy. It aims to interpret and represent
Spiritual Christianity, in its character of the Universal Religion. Fully adopting
the sentiment of Coleridge, that 'the exercise of the reasoning and reflective
powers, increasing insight, and enlarging views, are requisite to keep alive the
substantial faith of the heart.' with a grateful appreciation of the labours of
faithful predecessors of all Churches, it esteems it the part of a true reverence
not to rest in their conclusions, but to think and live in their spirit. By the name
, and openly
idolatrous Conservatism, of whatever sect, which makes Christianity but a lifeless
formula." Extract from the Prospectus.
No. XVI. was published on the 1st of November, 1848. Price 2s. Gd.
Works for Review to be sent to the Publisher or Editors; Advertisements in
all cases to the Publisher.
The Evidences of the Genuineness of the Gospels.
By ANDREWS NORTON, Professor of Sacred Literature, Harvard University,
Massachusetts. 2 vols. 8vo. \ cloth.
*** There are about lifty pages of new matter in the first volume, and this
edition of the work embodies throughout various alterations and corrections
made by the author at the present time.
THE Work consists of three Parts, as follows :
PROOF THAT THE GOSPELS REMAIN ESSENTIALLY THE SAME AS THEY WERE
HISTORICAL EVIDENCE THAT THE GOSPELS HAVE BEEN ASCRIBED TO THEIR
ON THE EVIDENCES TOR THE GENUINENESS OF THE GOSPELS AFFORDED BY
THE EARLY HERETICS:
The very copious Notes appended to each volume constitute about half the
amount of the entire work, the principal subjects of which are a>s follows :
CONTENTS OF THE NOTES.
NOTE I. Further remarks on the
present state of the Text of the Gos-
NOTE II. Various readings of the
copies of the gospels extant in the time
of Origen, which are particularly
noticed by him.
NOTE I II Undisputed Interpolations
in Manuscripts of the Gospels.
NOTE IV. On the Origin of the Cor-
respondences among the first throe
NOTE V. Justin Martyr's Quota-
/NOTE VI. On the Writings ascribed
to Apostolical Fathers.
NOTE VII. On the .Statue which is
said by Ju<tin Martyr, and others, to
have been erected at Rome to Simon
NOTE VIII. On the Clementine
NOTE IX. On the false Charges
brought against the Heretics, parti-
cularly by the later Fathers.
NOTE X. On the Jewish Dispensa-
tion, Pentateuch, and the other books
of the old Testament.
NOTE XI.- On the Distinction made
by the Ancients between Things Intel-
ligible and Things Sensible; on the use
of the Terms Spiritual and Material, as
applied to their Speculations; and on
the nature of Matter.
NOTE XII. On Basilides and the
NOTE XIII. On the Gospel of Mar-
NOTE XIV. On the use of word?
0EOZ and UKIJS.
Works published by
NOTICES OF THE WORK.
" Professor Norton has devoted a 1
whole volume full of ingenious reason-
ing and solid learning, to show that the
Gnostic sects of the second century ad-
mitted in general the same sacred books
with the orthodox Christians. How-
ever doubtful may be his complete suc-
cess, he has made out a strong case,
which, as far as it goes, is one of the
most valuable confutations of the ex-
treme German ^wf/^ovrey, an excellent
subsidiary contribution to the proof of
the ' genuineness of the Scriptures.' * * *
His work on the Genuineness of the
Scriptures is of a high intellectual
order." Quarterly Review, March, 1846.
" This (the 2nd and 3rd volumes) is a
great work upon the philosophy of the
early history of our faith, and upon the
relations of that faith with the religious
systems and the speculative opinions
which then formed the belief 0" engaged
the attention of the whole civilized
world. The subject is one of vast com-
pass and great importance; and for-
tunately it has been examined with
much thoroughness, caution, and inde-
pendence. The conclusions arrived at
are those of one who thinks for himself,
not created by early prepossessions,
nor restricted within the narrow limits
of opinions peculiar to any school or
sect. The originality and good sense of
Mr. Norton's general remarks impress
the reader quite as strongly as the accu-
racy of his scholarship, and the wide
range of learning with which the subject
is illustrated. His mind is neither
cumbered no'r confused by the rich store
of its acquisitions, but works with the
greatest clearness and effect when en-
gaged in the most discursive and far-
" A great portion of the work, indeed,
belongs to ecclesiastical history ; but it
does not deal with the men and the (
events of that history, it relates almost
exclusively to thoughts and theories.
It analyzes systems of philosophy; it
examines creeds ; it traces the changes
and the influences of opinions. Nearly
the whole of the work, as the German
would say, belongs to the history of
'pure reason.' The originality of Mr.
Norton's views is one of their most
striking characteristics. He does not
deem it necessary, as too many theo-
logians have done, to defend the records
of his faith by stratagem. The conse-
quence is, that his work is one of the
most unanswerable books that ever was
written. It comes as near to demon-
stration as the nature of moral reason-
ing will admit.
" As an almost unrivalled monument
of patience and industry, of ripe scho-
larship, thorough research, eminent
ability, and conscientious devotion to
the cause of truth, the work may well
claim respectful consideration. The
reasoning is eminently clear, simple,
and direct; and abounds with the re-
sults of the most profound learning."
North American Review.
" The first volume of this work was
published so long ago as the year 1837.
At the close of it the author announces
his intention to pursue the argument,
by inquiring into the evidence to be
derived from the testimony of the
different heretical Sects. It is to this
part of the subject that the second and
third volumes, now before us, are
directed, which are evidently the
fruit of much labour, research, and
extensive reading ; and contain a
variety of very curious incidental mat-
ter, highly interesting to the student of
ecclesiastical history, and of the human
" There are many interesting and cu-
rious discussions of an incidental nature.
Among these we may particularly spe-
cify the remarks on the character of the
ancient philosophy in the third volume,
and a very curious note in the appendix
to the same volume, on the distinctions
made by the ancients between things
Intelligible and things Sensible, and on
the nature of Matter. Prospective lie-
Jolui Chapman, 142, Strand. 15
~ r ^ ,v y , ~ . IAHO
THE Publisher of " The Catholic Series" intends it to
consist of Works of a liberal and comprehensive character,
judiciously selected, embracing various departments of literature.
An attempt has been made by the Church of Rome to realize
the idea of Catholicism at least in form -and with but a
I partial success ; an attempt will now be made to restore
I the word Catholic to its primitive significance, in its appli-
cation to this Series, and to realize the idea of Catholicism
It cannot be hoped that each volume of the Series will be
essentially Catholic, and not partial, in its nature, for
nearly all men are partial ; the many-sided and ^partial,
or truly Catholic man, has ever been the rare exception
to his race. Catholicity may be expected in the Series,
not in every volume composing it.
An endeavour will be made to present to the Public
a class of books of an interesting and thoughtful nature,
and the authors of those of the Series which may be of a
philosophical character will probably possess little in com-
mon, except a love of intellectual freedom and a faith in
human progress; they will be united rather by sympathy of
SPIRIT than by agreement in speculation.
* For List of Works already published in the series, see pages 1? to ~2 I .
16 Works published by
CHARACTERIZATION OP THE CATHOLIC SERIES
BY THE TRESS.
"The various works composing the "Catholic Series," should be known to
all lovers of literature, and may be recommended as calculated to instruct and
elevate by the proposition of noble aims and the inculcation of noble truths,
furnishing reflective and cultivated minds with more wholesome food than the
nauseous trash which the popular tale-writers of the day set before their
readers." Morning Chronicle.
"Too much encouragement cannot be given to enterprising publications
like the present. They are directly in the teeth of popular prejudice and
popular trash. They are addressed to the higher class of readers those who
tliiuk as well as read. They are works at which ordinary publishers shudder
as ' unsaleable,' but which ar2 really capable of finding a very large public."
" The works already published embrace a great variety of subjects, and
display a great variety of talent. They are not exclusively nor even chiefly
religious ; and they are from the pens of German, French, American, as well
as English authors. Without reference to the opinion Avhich they contain, we
may safely say that they are generally such as all men of free and philoso-
phical minds would do well to know and ponder." Nonconformist.
" This series deserves attention, both for what it has already given, and for
what it promises." Tait's Magazine.
" A series not intended to represent or maintain a form of opinion, but to
bring together some of the works which do honour to our common nature, J
by the genius they display, or by their ennobling tendency and lofty aspira-
" It is highly creditable to Mr. Chapman to find his name in connexion
with so much well-directed enterprise in the cause of German literature and
philosophy. He is the first publisher who seems to have proposed to himself
the worthy object of introducing the English reader to the philosophic mind
of Germany, uninfluenced by the tradesman's distrust of the marketable nature
of the article. It is a very praiseworthy ambition ; and we trust the public
will justify his confidence. Nothing could be more unworthy than the at-
tempt to discourage, and indeed punish, such unselfish enterprise, by attaching
a bad reputation for orthodoxy to every thing connected with German philo- j
sophy and theology. This is especially unworthy in the 'student,' or the !
' scholar,' to borrow Fichte's names, who should disdain to set themselves the
task of exciting, by their friction, a popular prejudice and clamour on matters
on which the populace are no competent judges, and have, indeed, no judgment
of their own, and who should feel, as men themselves devoted to thought,
that Avhat makes a good book is not that it should gain its reader's acquiescence,
but that it should multiply his mental experience ; that it should acquaint him
\vdth the ideas which philosophers and scholars, reared by a training different
from their own, have laboriously reached and devoutly entertain ; that, in a
word, it should enlarge his materials and his sympathies as a man and a
thinker." Prospective Review.
" A series of serious and manly publications." Economist.
John Chapman, 142, Strand.
Memoir of Joliaini Gottlieb Fichte.
By WILLIAM SMITH. Second edition, enlarged. Post 8vo, clotli, 4s. Gd
" A Life of Fichte, full of
nobleness and instruction, of grand
purpose, tender feeling, and brave effort ;
tlie compilation of which is exe-
cuted with great judgment and fideli-
ty. "Prospect-ire lieriew.
" The material trials that Fichte en-
countered in the body are lost sight of
in the spiritual contest which lie main-
tained with his own mind. The page
that keeps the record of incidents is
dignified throughout by the strong
moral light that falls everywhere upon
it, like a glory, and sweetened by a
living episode that flows through its
dark and bright places like a stream of
The Vocation of the Scholar.
By JOHANN GOTTLIEB FICHTE. Translated from the German, by William
Smith. Tost 8vo. cloth, 2s. ; paper cover, Is. 6d.
" The Vocation of the Scholar'.. ..is
distinguished by the same high moral
tone, and manly, vigorous expression
which characterize all Fichte's works
in the German, and is nothing lost in
Mr. Smith's clear, unembarrassed, and
thoroughly English translation. "
Douglas Jerrohfs Neu-xpuper.
" \\'e are glad to see this excellent
" We state Fichte's character as it is
known and admitted by men of all
parties among the Germans, when we
say that so robust an intellect, a soul so
calm, so lofty, massive, and imiuove-
able, lias not mingled in philosohpical
discussion since the time of Luther. ..
Fichte's opinions may be true
or false; but his character as a thinker
can be slightly valued only by such as
know it ill ; and as a man, approved by
action and sufiering, in his life and in
his deatli, he ranks with a class of men
who were common only in better ages
than ours." State of German Litera-
ture, by Thomas Carlyle.
Fichte's works presented to the public
in a very neat form No class r"eds
an earnest and sincere spirit more than
the literary class ; and, therefore the
'Vocation of the Scholar,' the 'Guide
of the Human Kace,' written in Fichte's
most earnest, most commanding tem-
per, will be welcomed in its English
dress by public writers, and be benefi-
translation of one of the best of ' cial to the cause of truth." Economist.
On the Nature of the Scholar, and its Manifestations.
By JOHANN GOTTLIEB FICHTE. Translated from the German by WIL-
LIAM SMITH. Second Edition. Post 8\o. cloth, 3s. Gd.
" With great satisfaction we welcome
this first English translation of an
author who occupies the most exalted
position as a profound and original
thinker; as an irresistible orator in the
cause of what he believed to be truth ;
as a thoroughly honest and heroic man.
The appearance of any of hi
out the Whole." Irish Monthly Mag-
"This work must inevitably arrest tlie
attention of the scientific physician, by
the grand spirituality of its doctrines,
and the pure morality it teaches
Shall we be presumptuous if we recom-
mend these views to our professional
works in our language is, we believe, a brethren? or if we say to the enligh-
peifect novelty These orations i tened, tlie thoughtful, the serious, This
are admirably fitted for their purpose;
so grand is the position taken by the
lecturer, and so irresistible their elo-
A pure and exalted morality and
if you be true Scholars is your
Vocation? We know not a higher mo-
rality than this, or more noble principles
than these: they are full of truth."
Jiritix/t a>id Foreign Medico-Chimrgical
deep religious feeling breathes throug- I Review.
The Vocation of Man.
By JOHANN GOTTLIEB FICHTE. Translated from the German, by WIL-
LIAM SMITH. I'ost 8vo, cloth, 4s. Gd.
" In the progress of my present work,
I have taken a deeper glance into re-
ligion than ever I did before. In me
the emotions of the heart proceed only
from perfect intellectual clearness ; it
cannot be but that the clearness 1 have
Works published by
THE CATHOLIC SERIES (continued.}
now attained on this subject shall also
take possession of iny heart." Fichte's
" ' THE VOCATION OF MAN' is, as
Fichte truly says, intelligible to all
readers who are really able to un-
derstand a book at all ; and as the his-
tory of the mind in its various phases of !
doubt, knowledge, and faith, it is of !
interest to all. Agree with Fichte, or
disagree with him, you cannot help i
being carried along by his earnestness; j
you cannot help being struck with his ;
subletj r and depth. Argument, in such i
a matter, we take to be wholly in-
different. A book of this stamp is sure j
to teach you much, because it excites
thought. If it rouses you to combat
his conclusions, it has done a good
work ; for in that very effort you are
The Characteristics of the Present Age,
Translated from the German, by William
stirred to a consideration of points
which have hitherto escaped your in-
dolent acquiescence." Foreign Quar-
"'This is Fichte's most popular work,
and is every way remarkable. Aware
that tiie great public ' was fully
competent to grapple with the
most arduous problems of philoso-
phy, when lucidly stated, however
it might shrink from the jargon of
the schools, Fichte undertook to
present his opinions in a popular
" It appears to us the boldest and
most emphatic attempt that has yet
been made to explain to man his rest-
less and unconquerable desire to win
the True and the Eternal." Sentinel.
"He makes us think, and perhaps
more sublimely than we have ever for-
merly thought, but it is only in order
that we may the more nobly act.
" As a majestic and most stirring
utterance from the lips of the greatest
German prophet, we trust that the
book will find a response in many an
By JOIIANN GOTTLIEB FICHTE.
Smith. Post 8vo. cloth, 7s.
"A noble and most notable acquisi-
tion to the literature of England."
Douglas Jerrold's Weekly Paper.
" We accept these lectures as a true
and most admirable delineation of the
present age ; and on this ground alone
we should bestow on them our heartiest
recommendation ; but it is because they
teach us how we may rise above the age | English soul, and potently help to re-
that we bestow on them our most j generate English Society." The Critic.
The Popular Works of Johami Gottlieb Fichte.
With a MEMOIR of the AUTHOR by WILLIAM SMITH. Volume First, con-
taining I. MEMOIR OF FICHTE 2. THE VOCATION OF THE SCHOLAR
3. THE NATURE OF THE SCHOLAR 4. THE VOCATION OF MAN. Tost
Octavo, cloth boards, price 12s.
Volume Second will contain 1. The Characteristics of the Present Age. 2. The
Doctrine of Religion.
The Way towards the Blessed Life j or, The Doctrine of Religion.
Translated by WILLIAM SMITH. (Preparing for Publication.)
Characteristics of Men of Genius;
A Series of Biographical, Historical, and Critical Essays, selected by per-
mission, chiefly from the North American Review, with Preface, by JOHN
CHAPMAN. 2 vols. post 8vo. cloth, 12s. ; extra cloth, gilt edges, 14s.
GREGORY VII., LOYOLA, PASCAL.
DANTE, PETRARCH, SHELLEY, BYRON, GOETHE, WORDSWORTH,
MILTON, SCOTT, THE GERMAN POETS.
MICHAEL ANGELO, CANOVA.
MACHIAVELLI, Louis IX., PETER THE GREAT.
" Essays of very high order, which
from their novelty, and their intrinsic
value, we are sure will receive from the
British public a reception commen-
literature of any country." Westmin-
" Ebstiys of great power and interest.
In freedom of opinion, and occa-
surate with their merits They are sionally in catholicity of judgment, the
Essays which would do honour to the , writers are superior to our own period!-
John Chapman, 142, Strand.
THE CATHOLIC SERIES continued.
cal essayists ; but we think there is less
brilliancy and point in them ; though
on that very account there is, perhaps,
greater impartiality and justice."
Douglas Jen-old's Magazine.
" Rich as we are in this delightful
department of Literature, we gladly
accept another contribution to critical
biography The American writers
keep more closely to their text than our
own reviewers, and are less solicitous to
construct a theory of their own, and
thereby run the risk of discolouring the
facts of history, than to take a calm
and dispassionate survey of events and
opinions." Morning Chronicle.
" Essays well worthy of an European
Life." Christian Reformer.
" The collection before us is able and
readable, with a good deal of interest
in its subjects. They exhibit force, just-
ness of remark, an acquaintance with
their subject, beyond the mere book
reviewed ; much clear-headed pains-
taking in the paper itself, where the
treatment requires pains, a larger and
more liberal spirit than is often found
in Transatlantic literature, and some-
times a marked and forcible style."
" A work that will be right welcome
to all lovers of literature, and which
ought to be ordered by every book-
" There is hardly one of these papers
that has not great merit." Inquirer.
" This is truly a delightful book. We
heartily welcome it as worthy to take
its stand by the side of the Contri-
butions' of our own great reviewers.
Each essay, having for its object the
development of the characteristics of
one mind, is complete in itself, and
almost perfect in the elegance and
beauty of its execution." Nonconform.
" The value, both intrinsic and ex-
trinsic, of these essays justly claims for
them a favourable reception and atten-
tive perusal in England." Manchester
The Worship of Genius 5
Being an Examination of the Doctrine announced by D. F. Strauss, viz.
" That to our Age of Religious Disorganization nothing is left but a Worship
of Genius ; that is, a Reverence lor those great Spirits who create Epochs in
the Progress of the Human Race, and in whom, taken collectively, the God-
like manifests itself to us most fully," and thus having reference to the views
unfolded in the work entitled, " Heroes and Hero-worship," by Thomas Carlyle.
The Distinctive Character or Essence of Christianity :
An Essay relative to Modern Speculations and the present State of Opinion.
Translated, from the German of Prof. C. Ullrnann, by LUCY SANFORD. 1 vol.
post 8vo. 3s. 6d.
1. General view of the object of the
2. The different stages of development
through which Christianity itself
has passed. The same phases
perceptible in the views which
have been successively taken of it.
3. Christianity as Doctrine. Under
this head are comprised both
Supern&turaliam and Natu-
4. Christianity as a Moral Law. The
philosophy of Kant. Ration-
5. Christianity as the Religion of Re-
demption. Schleiermacher's de-
6. The peculiar significance and in-
fluence of Christ's individual
7. The views of Hegel and his school.
8. Christ as the exemplification of the
union of the Divine and Human
in one character.
9. Importance of this truth for the de-
finition of the distinctive Charac-
ter of Christianity.
10. Christianity as the Perfect Religion.
1 1 . I ii Terences from the pro eding.
1'2. Retrospect and epitome of the
13. Application of the preceding to the
ide.a of Faith.
11. Application to the Church.
** The above two works are comprised in one volume, post 8vo. 3s. 6d. cloth.
" There are many just and beautiful
conceptions expressed and developed,
and the mode of utterance and illustra-
tion is more clear and simple than that
adopted often by our German brethren
in treating such topics." Nunconformi.it.
"There is in it much important and
original thought. Intelligent British
I'hristians, who are inclined to take
philosophical views of the Christian
i'aith, will find much to delight and in-
struct them." JJttjitixt Magazine.
Works published by
THE CATHOLIC SERIES (continued.)
The Life of Jean Paul Fr, lUehter.
Compiled from various sources. Together with his Autobiography. Transla-
ted from the German. 2 vols. paper cover, 7s. ; cloth, 8s.
" The autobiography of Richter, which
extends only to his twelfth year, is one
of the most interesting studies of a true
poet's childhood ever given to the
world." Lowe's Edinburgh Magazine.
" Richter has an intellect vehement,
rugged, irresistible, crushing in pieces
the hardest problems ; piercing into the
most hidden combinations of things,
' and grasping the most distant; an
imagination vague, sombre, splendid,
or appalling, brooding over the abysses
of being, wandering through infinitude,
and summoning before us, in its dim
religious light, shapes of brilliancy,
solemnity, or terror; a fancy of exu-
berance literally unexampled, for it
pours its treasures with a lavishness
which knows no limit, hanging, like
the sun, a jewel on every grass-blade,
and sowing the earth at large witli
orient pearls. But deeper than all
these lies humour, the ruling quality
of RICHTEK as it were the central lire
That pervades and vivifies Ins whole
being, lie is a humorist from his in-
niostsoul; he thinks as a humorist ; he
iuwgiues, acts, feels as a humorist:
I sport is the element in which his
nature lives and works." THOMAS
" With such a writer it is no common
treat to be intimately acquainted. In
the proximity of great and virtuous
minds we imbibe a portion of their na-
turefeel, as mesmerists say, a health-
ful contagion, are braced with the same
spirit of faith, hope, and patient en-
durance -are furnished with data for
clearing up and working out the intri-
cate problem of life, and are inspired,
like them, with the prospect of immor-
tality. No reader of sensibility can rise
from the perusal of these volumes with-
out becoming both wiser and better."
"We find in the present biography
much that does not so much amuse
and instruct, as, to adopt a phrase from
the religious world, positively edifies the
reader. The life of Richter is indeed
a moral and a religious, as much as a
literary treat, to all who have a sense
exercised to discern religion and moral-
ity as a thing essentially different from
mere orthodoxy and asceticism. The
two volumes before us cannot be se-
riously read without stimulating the
reader, like a good sermon, to self-ame-
lioration, and in this respect they are
" Richter is a thorough Christian, and
a Christian with a large glowing human
heart. The appearance of his biography
in an English form cannot, therefore,
but be regarded as a great boon to the
best interests of the country." TaiVs
" Apart from the interest of the work,
as the life of Jean Paul, the reader
learns something of German life and
German thought, and is introduced to
Weimar during its most distinguished
period when Goethe, Schiller, Herder,
and Wieland, the great fixed stars of
Germany, in conjunction with Jean
Paul, were there, surrounded by beau-
tiful and admiring women, of the most
refined and exalted natures, and of
princely rank. It is full of passages so
attractive and valuable that it is diffi-
cult to make a selection as examples of
its character." Inquirer .
" This book will be found very valu-
able as an introduction to the study of
one of the most eccentric and difficult
writers of Germany. .Jean Paul's writ-
ings are so much the reflex of Jean Paul
himself, that every light that shines
upon the one inevitably illumines the
other. The work is a useful exhibition
of a great and amiable man, who, posr
sessed of the kindliest feelings, and the
most brilliant fantasy, turned to a high
purpose that humour of which Rabelais
is the great grandfather, and Sterne one
of the line of ancestors, and contrasted
it with an exaltation of feeling and a
! rhapsodical poetry which are entirely
his own- Let us hope that it will com^
plete the work begun by Mr. Carlyle's
Essays, and cause Jean Paul to be really
read in this country." Examiner.
" Richter is exhibited in a most ami-
i able light in this biography industri-
1 ous, frugal, benevolent, with a child-like
simplicity of character, and a heart
overflowing with the purest love. His
letters to his wife are beautiful memo-
rials oi true affection, and the way in
which he perpetually speaks of his chil-
dren shows that he was the most at-
tached and indulgent of fathers. Who-
ever came within the sphere of his com-
panionship appears to have contracted
an affection for him that death only
dissolved: and while his name was re-
sounding through Germany, he re-
mained as meek and humble as if lie
had still been an unknown adventurer
on Parnassus." The Apprentice.
" The life of Jean Paul is a charming
piece of biography which draws and
rivets the attention. The affections of
the reader are fixed on the hero with an
intensity rarely bestowed on an his-
John Chapman^ 142, Strand.
THE CATHOLIC SERIES (continued.)
torical character. It is impossible to
read this biography without a convic-
tion of its integrity and truth ; and
though Ritcher's style is more difficult
of translation than that of any other
German, yet we feel that his golden
thoughts have reached us pure from the
mine, to which lie has given that impress
of genius which makes them current in
all countries." Christian Reformer.
The Mental History of an Inquiring Spirit.
A Biography of Charles Elwood. By O. A. BROWNSON. Fost 8vo. 4s. cloth ;
3s. 6d. paper cover.
" This work is an attempt to pre-
sent Christianity so that it shall satisfy
the philosophic element of our nature.
In this consists its peculiar merit and
its distinctive characteristic. Such a
book was certainly very much needed.
"We have no doubt that it will add many
a doubter to a cheerful faith, and con-
firm many a feeble mind in the faith it
has already professed. Mr. Brownson
addresses the philosophic element, and
the men in whom this element is pre-
dominant ; and, of course, he presents
the arguments that would be the most
striking and satisfactory to this class of
men. In so far as he ha succeeded, he
must be considered to have done a meri-
torious work. We think Mr. Brownson
eminently qualified for this task, and
that his success is complete. The work
j will, doubtless, be the means of giving
composure and serenity to the faith of
many who are as yet weak in the faith,
or halting between two opinions."
Ch rixtia u E.rani iiier.
" In a series of chapters, Mr. Morton
explains the nature of the Christian
faith, and replies to the Objections
raised by Klwood as the discussion pro-
ceeds, and the argument we take to be
j conclusive, though of course every one
1 may differ as to details. The mighty
theme is handled in a most masterly
style, and the reasoning may fairly be
called 'mathematical.' There is nei-
ther rant nor cant, hypothesis or dog-
matism. Christianity is proved to be
a 'rational religious system,' and the
priest is exhibited in his true character.
The Mission of the German Catholics.
By Prof. G. G. GERVINUS, Author of the " Gcschichte der Poetischen
National-Literatur der Deutschen." Tost 8vo. Is. 4d.
"We can cordially recommend the vo-
lume, after a very careful perusal, to the
layman who desires to think for him-
self, and to the clergy, as eminently
calculated to enlarge their views and
increase their usefulness, by showing
them the difference between sectarian-
ism and Christianity." Sentinel.
" The purposes, in this stage of his
progress, which Mr. Brownson has in
view are, the vindication of the reality of
the religious principle in the nature of
man ; the existence of an order of senti-
ments higher than the calculations of
the understanding and the deductions
of logic ; the foundation of morals on
the absolute idea of right in opposition
to the popular doctrine of expediency ;
the exposition of a spiritual philosophy ;
and the connexion of Christianity with
the progress of society.
" The work presents the most profound
ideas in a simple and attractive form.
The discussion of these principles,
which in their primitive abstraction are
so repulsive to most minds, is carried
on, through the medium of a slight fic-
tion, with considerable dramatic effect.
We become interested in the final
opinions of the subjects of the tale, as
we do in the catastrophe of a romance.
A slender thread of narrative is made
to sustain the most weighty arguments
on the philosophy of religion; but the
conduct both of the story and of the
discussion is managed with so much
skill, that they serve to relieve and for-
ward each other." Dial.
"This work well deserves an intro-
duction to an English public. It ctm-
tains the reflections of a German philo-
sopher on the extraordinary religious
movement which is now agitating his
countrymen; his anticipations, and his
wishes respecting its results." Iin/iiin-i:
In an article upon the Author's
" History of the Poetical Literature of
the Germans," the North American
Jicrien' says : " He exhibits the ex-
tensive and profound erudition, the
historical faculty of bringing past and
remote states of society near, and pro-
jecting the present into the distance;
and the philosophical insight into the
distinguishing features of individuals.,
communities, and epochs, which s- >
favourably characteri/e the recent his-
toriography of the Germans."
Works published by
THE CATHOLIC SERIES (continued.}
The Philosophical and Esthetic Letters and Essays of Schiller,
Translated, with an Introduction,
" These Letters stand unequalled in
the department of Esthetics, and are so
esteemed even in Germany, which is so
fruitful upon that topic. Schiller is
Germany's best JEstheticiai), and these
letters contain the highest nioments of
Schiller. Whether we desire rigorous
logiciil investigation or noble poetic ex-
pression, whether we wish to stimulate
the intellect or inflame the heart, we
need seek no further than these. They
are trophies won from an unpopular,
metaphysical form, by a lofty, inspiring,
and absorbing subject." Introduction.
" It is not possible, in a brief notice
like the present, to do more than inti-
mate the kind of excellence of a book
of this nature. It is a profound and
beautiful dissertation, and must be dili-
gently studied to be comprehended.
After all the innumerable efforts that the
present age has been some time making
to cut a Royal road to everything, it is
beginning to find that what sometimes
seems the longest way round is the
shortest way home; and if there be a
desire to have truth, the only way is to
work at the windlass one's self, and
bring up the buckets by the labour of
one's own good arm. Whoever works
at the present well, will find ample
reward for the labour they may bestow
on it; the truths he will draw up are
universal and from that pure elemen-
tary fountain 'that maketh wise he that
drinketh thereat.'" Douglas Jerrold's
" It is difficult, if not impossible, to
give a brief, and at the same time faith-
ful, summary of the ideas affirmed by
Schiller in this volume. Its aim is to
develop the ideal of humanity, and to
define the successive steps which must
be trodden to attain it. Its spirit
aspires after human improvment, and
seeks to indicate the means of re-.iliza-
tion. Schiller insists upon the necessi-
ty of aesthetic culture as preliminary to
moral culture, and in order to make
the latter possible. According to the
doctrine here set forth, until man is
aesthetically developed, he cannot be
The Philosophy of Art.
by J. WEISS. Post 8vo. 7s. 6d. cloth.
morally free, hence not responsible, as
there is no sphere for the operation of
" Thestylein which the whole volume
1 is written'is particularly beautiful, there
I is a consciousness of music in every page
we read ; it it remarkable for the con-
densation of thought and firm consist-
ency which prevails throughout; and.
so far as we are able to judge, the
translation is admirably and faithfully
rendered. The twenty-seven letters
upon the '^Esthetic Culture of Man,'
form the most prominent, and by far
the most valuable, portion of the work ;
they will be found full of interest and
the choicest riches, which will abund-
antly repay any amount of labour
bestowed upon them." Inquirer.
" This is a book which demands and
deserves study. Either to translate or
to appreciate it requires a somewhat
peculiar turn of mind. Not that any
body could read it without profit, but to
gain from it all that it is capable ol
yielding, there must be some aptitude
for such studies, and some training in
them too ...... To be appreciated
it must be studied, and the study
will be well repaid." Christian Ex-
Here we must close, unwillingly,
this volume, so abounding in food for
thought, so fruitful of fine passages,
heartily commending it to all of our
readers who desire to make acquaint-
ance with the philosophy of art. The
extracts we have taken will prove what
a treasure is here, for they are but a
fraction of the gems that are to be
gathered in every page. We make no
apolosry for having so long lingered over
this book; for, albeit, philosophy is
somewhat out of fashion in our age of
materialism, it yet will find its votaries,
fit though few; and even they who care
not for the higher regions of reflection,
cannot fail to reap infinite pleasure
from the eloquent and truthful passages
we have sought to cull for their mingled
delight and edification." Critic.
An Oration on the Relation of the Plastic Arts to Mature. Translated from
the German of F. W. J. VON SCHELLING, by A. JOHNSON. Post 8vo. Is.
paper cover ; Is. 6d. cloth.
" This excellent oration is an appli-
cation to art of Schelling's general
nhilosophic principles. Scirellingtakes
ifie bold course, and declares that what
ordinarily called nature is not the
a Ciinit of perfection, but is only the
inadequate manifestation of a high
idea, which it is the office of man to
penetrate. The true astronomer is not
he who notes down laws and causes
which were never revealed to sensuous
organs, and which are often opposed to
John Chapman, 142, Strand.
THE CATHOLIC SERIES (continued.}
the prima fade influences of sensuous
observers. 'The true artist is not lie who
merely imitates an isolated object in
nature, but he who can penetrate into
the unseen essence that lurks behind
the visible crust, and afterwards re-
produce it in a visible form. In the
surrounding world means and ends are
clashed and jarred together; in the
work of art the heterogenius is ex-
cluded, and an unity is attained not to
be found elsewhere. Schelling, in his
oration, chiefly, not exclusively, regards
the arts of painting and sculpture ; but
Essays. Bv R. W, Emerson.
his remarks will equally apply to
others, such as poetry and music. This
oration of Schilling's deserves an exten-
sive perusal. The translation, with the
exception of a few trifling inaccurrcies,
is admirably done by Mr. Johnson :
and we know of no work in our language
better suited to give a notion of the turn
which German philosophy took after it
abandoned the subjectivity of Kant and
Fichte. The notion will, of course, be
a faint one; but it is something to know
the latitude and longitude of a mental
(Second Series.) With a Notice by THOMAS CARLYLE. 3s. paper cover
3s. 6d. cloth.
" Among the distinguishing features
of Christianity we are ready to say THE
distinguishing feature is its humanity,
its deep sympathy with human kind,
and its strong advocacy of human wants
and rights. In this particular, few
have a better title to be ranked among
the followers of Jesus than the author
of this book." American Christian Ex-
" The difficulty we find in giving a
proper notice of this volume, arises
from the pervadingness of its excellence,
and the compression of its matter.
With more learning than Hazlitt, more
perspicuity than Carlyle, more vigour
and depth of thought than Addison, and
with as much originality and fascination
as any of them, this volume is a bril-
liant addition to the Table Talk of in-
tellectual men, be they who or where
they may." Prospectirc Rt'i-icir.
" Mr. Emerson is not a common man,
and everything lie writes contains sug-
gestive matter of much thought and
' That Emerson is, in a high degree,
possessed of the faculty and vision of
the .wr, none can doubt who will ear- ,
nestly and with ;i kind and reverential
spirit peruse these nine Essays. He ;
deals only with the true and the eternal.
His piercing ga/e at once shoots swiftly,
surely through the outward and the su-
perficial, to the inmost causes and work-
ings. Any one can tell the time who
looks on the face of the clock, but he
loves to lav bare the machinery and
show its moving principle. His words
and his thoughts are a fresh spring,
that invigorates the soul that is steeped
therein. His mind is ever dealing with
the eternal ; and those who only live to
exercise their lower intellectual facul-
ties, and desire only new facts and new
images, and those who have not a feel-
ing or an interest in the great question
of mind and matter, eternity and nature,
will disregard him as unintelligible and
uninteresting, as they do Bacon and
Plato, and, indeed, philosophy itself."
Doitfflttb Jer raid's magazine.
" Second social science, because be-
yond and outside social existence, there
lies the science of self, the development
of man in his individual existence,
within himself and for himself. Of this
latter science, which may perhaps be
called the philosophy of individuality,
Mr. Emerson is an able apostle and
" As regards the particular volume of
EMERSON before us, we think it an im-
provement upon the first series of essays.
The subjects are better chosen. They
come more home to the experience of
the mass of makind, and are conse-
quently more interesting. Their treat-
ment also indicates an artistic improve-
ment in the composition." Spc<-t/tft>r.
"All lovers of literature will read
Mr. Emerson's new volume, as the
most of them have read his former one ;
and if correct taste, and sober views of
life, and such ideas on the higher sub-
jects of thought as we have been ac-
customed to account as truths, are
sometimes outraged, we at least meet
at e\ery step with originality, imagi-
nation, and eloquence." Inquirer.
The Rationale of Religious Inquiry ;
Or, the Question stated, of Keason, the Bible, and the Church. By JAME:,
MAKTIM-.A!-. Third Edition, With a Critical Letter on Rationalism, Mir.
cles, mid the Authority of Scripture, by the late IJev. JOSEPH BI,A>
WHITE. 4s. paper cover ; 4s. 6d. cloth.
Works published by John Chapman.
THE CATHOLIC SERIES (continued.}
The Roman Church and Modern Society.
By E. QUINET, of the College of France. Translated from the French Third
Edition (with the Author's approbation), by C. COCKS, B.L. 8vo. 5s. cloth.
We take up this enlightened volume, claimed our attention, and, as a strong
confirmation of its stirring efficiency,
we may mention that the excitement it
principle, with peculiar pleasure. A has created in Paris has subjected the
which aims, in the spirit of history and
philosophy, to analyze the Romanist
j glance at the headings of the chapters
| much interested ourselves, and we doubt
not will our readers : The Superlatively
I Catholic Kingdom of Spain ; Political
Results of Catholicism in Spain ; The
I Roman Church and the State ; The
: Roman Church and Science; The Ro-
man Church and History; The Roman
Church and Law ; The Roman Church
and Philosophy ; The Roman Church
and Nations ; The Roman Church and
the Universal Church." Christian Re-
former, pervades it, and there are many pasa-
" Considered as a whole, the book be- j ges of great depth, originality and elo-
fore us is the most powerful and philo- quence." Ath
author to a reprimand from both Cham-
bers of the Legislature, and excommu-
nication by the Pope." Inquirer.
" M. Quinet belongs to the movement
party, and has lately been conspicuous
in resisting the pretensions of the Jesuit
and French clergy to the exclusive edu-
cation of the youth of France. He has
grappled with his theme both practi-
cally, and in the philosophical spirit of
history Rare merits are comprised
in this volume a genuine spirit
sophically consistent protest against
the Roman Church which has ever
" . . . . These eloquent and valuable
lectures." New Church Advocate.
Sermons of Consolation.
By F. W. P. GREENWOOD, D.D. 5s. cloth.
' This is a really delightful volume,
which we would gladly see producing
its purifying and elevating influences in
all our families." Inquirer.
" This beautiful volume we are sure
will meet with a grateful reception from
all who seek instruction on the topics
most interesting to a thoughtful mind.
There are twenty-seven sermons in the
volume." Christian Examiner.
By WILLIAM ELLEKY CHAINING. 6d. paper cover ; Is. cloth.
Christianity, or Europe.
the German of NOVAXIS (Friedrich von Hardenberg), by
the Rev. J. DALTON.
6d. paper cover.
The Critical and Miscellaneous Writings of Theodore Parker.
Post 8vo, cloth, 6s.
" It will be seen from these extracts i English writers. His language is
that Theodore Parker is a writer of almost entirely figurative; ; the glories of
considerable power and freshness, if not | nature are pressed into his service, and
convey his most careless thought. This
is the principal charm of his writings ;
his eloquence is altogether unlike that
of the English orator or essayist ; it
partakes of the grandeur of the forests
in his native land; and we seem, when
listening to his speech, to hear the
music of the woods, the rustling of the
pine -trees, and the ringing of the wood-
man's axe. In this respect he resem-
bles Emerson ; but, unlike that cele-
brated man, he never discourses audi-
bly with himself, in a language unknown
to the world he is never obscure ; the
originally. Of the school of Carlyle, or
rathertaking the same German originals
for his models, Parker has a more sober
style and a less theatric taste. His
composition wants the grotesque anima-
I mation and richness of Carlyle, but it is
vivid, strong, and frequently pictur-
esque, with a tenderness that the
great Scotchman does not possess."
" Viewing him as a most useful, as
well as highly gifted man, we cordially
welcome the appearance of tin English
reprint of some of his In-st productions.
The ' Miscellaneous 1 Pieces are charac-
terised by his peculiar eloquence, which
is without a parallel in the works of
stream, though deep, reveals the glit-
tering gems which cluster so thickly
its bed." Inquirer.
142, STRAND, LONDON.
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