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LIBRARY 

of Tin; 

Theological Seminary 

PRINCETON, N. J. 
BV 1090 .E9 18A5/46 

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Lectures delivered before 
the Young Men's Christian h 



LECTURES 



DKLIVEKED BEFORE THE 



YOUNG MEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION. 



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LECTURES 



DELIVERED BEFORE THK 



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YOUNG MEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION 



1845-46. 



VOL. I. 



LONDON: 

JAMES NISBET & CO., 21, BERNERS STREET. 

1869. 



EDINBURGH : T. COITSTABLE, 
PRINTER TO THE QUEEN, AND TO THE UNIVERSITY. 



The Lectures comprised in this Volume are all that can now 
be recovered of the First Course of Lectures delivered before 
the Young Men's Christian Association in London in the winter 
of 1845-46. 

The other Lectures of the series were, three by the Rev. Dr. 
Archer, on " the Monumental Evidences of Christianity," one 
by the Rev. Dr. Cumming, on " Belgium : Its People, Archi- 
tecture, Painting, and Religion," and one by the Rev. George 
Fisk, on " Ancient and Modern Palestine." Each of these was 
extemporized, and no report or record of them remains. 

It has been deemed expedient to present in lieu thereof, a 
Sketch of the Association by which these Lectures were inaugu- 
rated, and in connexion with which they have attained a degree 
of popularity, interest, and religious usefulness unparalleled in 
the history of any similar movement. 

It may be convenient to add, that in this and every succeed- 
ing Volume the lecturers speak their own sentiments. The 
Association has held itself responsible only for the selection of 
suitable lecturers ; the lecturers are responsible for their utter- 
ances. Yet for such general unanimity, so much godly wisdom, 
such religious earnestness, who will not give God thanks ] 

London, October 1864. 



CONTENTS. 



PA.aE 
History of the Young Men's Christian Association or London, ix 

List of Exeter Hall Lectures, 1845-1864, . . . Ixvii 

Biblical Statements in Harmony with Scientific Discoveries, 
By Rev. John Stoughton, .... 

The Extent and the Moral Statistics of the British Empire 

By Rev. William Arthur, M.A., . . . .33 

Ancient Rome and Modern London : intended to illustrate 
the Past and Present State of Civilisation. By Rev. John 
Stoughton, ....... 83 

The Cedar and the Palm. By Rev. James Hamilton, D.D., . 121 

The Field and the Garden: the Bible illustrated by the 

Plants of Palestine. By Rev. James Hamilton, D.D., . 137 

The Lily of the Valley and the Glory of Lebanon. By Rev. 

James Hamilton, D.D., . . . . . .153 

Luther and the Reformation. By Rev, J, Cumming, D.D., . 171 



THE HISTOBY OF THE YOUNG MEN'S 
CHEISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF LONDON. 

TITAN'S extremity is God's opportunity. His most wondrous 
-'"*-'■ exhibitions of mercy have ever been brought into strong 
relief by the dark background of crime and shame, or by the 
miserable manifestations of human weakness and sorrow, upon 
which they have been illustrated ; while, in the darkest times 
of the Church's unfaithfulness and corruptions, He has not 
left Himself without witness, but has ever and anon called into 
existence, independently of the ordinary channels of Divine 
communication in the public ministry of His Word and ordi- 
nances, some agency which has been the means of uniting the 
faithful few " that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His 
name," and of making their testimony influential for the refor- 
mation of manners, the revival of pure religion, and the salva- 
tion of precious souls. 

Such a work of religious revival in a region of great dark- 
ness, though surrounded by much light, attended the organization 
of the Young Men's Christian Association in London in 1844. 

As this Association was not, however, the first of the kind in 
England, it may be dutiful as well as instructive to notice its 
predecessors, and to remark in them the exemplification of the 
same principle of a special Divine interposition, leading to co- 
operation of believing men in efforts for good without the 
Church, but in most loyal relation thereto. 

Mr. Pattison, in his deeply interesting work, The Rise and 
Progress of Religious Life in England} says, " The similarity 
^ London : Jackson, Walford, and Hodder. 1864. 



X THE HISTOEY OF THE YOUNG MEN'S 

of religious action in all times may be discerned in the first 
formation of Young Men's Christian Associations. In 1632, 
a number of London apprentices, having no other opportunity 
for religious conversation, save the Lord's day, united together 
to meet at five o'clock on Sunday mornings for an hour's 
prayer and religious conversation, and at six o'clock attended 
the morning lecture at Cornhill or Christ Church. In the life 
of Dr. William Harris, we find mention of a similar Associa- 
tion meeting once a week ' for prayer, reading, and religious 
conversation ; for the mutual communication of knowledge ; 
and with a view of strengthening each other against the soli- 
citations of evil company.'" He quotes, for these facts, 
Wilson's History of London Dissenting Churches. 

An Occasional Paper of the Church of England Young Men's 
Society for 1848-49, thus describes some of these movements 
a little later on : — 

Few, probably, are prepared to hear of the formation in Lon- 
don, during a period of such abounding iniquity as the latter 
portion of Charles ii.'s reign, of associations of young men, for 
the purpose of mutual edification in godliness. Such, however, 
is the interesting fact. The preaching of the Gospel is, in 
every age, " the power of God unto salvation ;" and amid the 
wide-spread licentiousness of England's corruptest day. He did 
not leave Himself without faithful witnesses. 

About the year 1678, several young men of the Church of 
England, living in London and its environs, were awakened to 
serious concern for the soul's eternal interests. Some of them 
were such as had fallen in with the immoralities of those grossly 
immoral times ; the greater number, however, had not only re- 
ceived a religious education, but were leading moral lives at the 
time of their awakening. The rousing sermons of Dr. Anthony 
Homeck, Prebendary of Westminster, and a Mr. Smithies, 
Sunday morning lecturer at Cornhill, were mainly instrumental 



CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF LONDON. XI 

in producing these altered views and feelings. Bishop Burnet 
associates ' the honoured Beveridge (at that time a city clergy- 
man) with Horneck, as chief promoters of this interesting 
movement. Beveridge was appointed to the rectory of St. 
Peter's, Cornhill, in 1672. The alarm, doubts, and perplexi- 
ties with which these young men were tried, leading them to 
seek the counsel of their spiritual pastors, it not unfrequently 
happened that the same individuals met time after time on the 
same errand at the clergyman's house ; this, together with the 
similarity of their state, drew them towards one another in 
little fraternal knots. 

Dr. Horneck, and other clergymen, were so often busied with 
these applications, that at length they advised, " That since their 
troubles arose from the same spiritual cause, and that their in- 
clinations and resolutions centred in the same purpose of a holy 
life, they should meet together once a week, and apply them- 
selves to good discourse, and things whereby they might edify 
one another. And for the better regulation of their meetings, 
several rules and orders were prescribed to them, being such as 
seemed most proper to effect the end proposed." Here we learn 
what led to thb first formation of these religious associations. 

The advice of their pastors was soon put into practice. The 
original design was simply to afford each other " mutual assis- 
tance and consolation in their Christian warfare," that they 
" might the better maintain their integrity in the midst of a 
crooked and perverse generation." Deeply impressed, however, 
with a sense of the value of the soul, they soon began to desire 
the welfare of others. The careless and unconcerned amongst 
their friends and acquaintances took their special attention ; 
their labours in this interesting field were greatly blessed ; and 
hereby new accessions were continually being made to their 
ranks. " Upon this (says the Rev. Josiah Woodward, Incum- 
bent of Poplar, who published an account of the rise and pro- 
gress of these Societies) they made a private order at one of 



xii THE HISTORY OF THE YOUNG MEN'S 

their assemblies, that every one should endeavour to bring in one 
other at least into their Society, which they did to good effect." 

Nor was theirs a cheap charity which expended itself solely 
in persuasive words, for from the first they made it their prac- 
tice to consider the temporal wants of the needy. Collections 
were made weekly which amounted in time to considerable 
sums. From this source many poor families were relieved, in- 
dividuals from amongst such were set up in ways of trade suited 
to their capacities, sundry prisoners were set at liberty, poor 
scholars helped at the Universities, orphans maintained, and the 
most liberal assistance given towards erecting libraries of useful 
books in our foreign plantations. 

For the proper management of their charities two stewards 
were chosen annually, who seem to have been the chief (if not 
the only) officers in these simply constituted Societies, and the 
usual presidents of their assemblies. Cases of distress might 
be brought before the notice of the Societies by any of their 
members, and on their deciding in favour of them, two or more 
of their serious members were selected to con\ey their alms ; 
and at the same time to make personal inquiries into the neces- 
sities of each particular case, as well as introduce " some season- 
able discourse suitable to the affliction of the person or family." 
Many unhappy individuals had their miseries lightened, if not 
removed, by the timely succour of these " good Samaritans." 

Woodward instances a case or two which serve to show the 
manner in which they succoured the destitute and afflicted. 
The first we cite is one in which the widow and fatherless were 
the objects of their care. 

The last days of a poor pious widow were embittered at the 
thought of leaving two orphans behind her, fearing lest they 
should fall into the hands of certain relatives who were Papists. 
It occurred in the reign of James ii., when the increase of 
Popery was a trouble to many : — 

" Now, to ease her distressed spirit, some of these young 



CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF LONDON. xiii 

men undertook to take care both to maintain and educate these 
forlorn orphans ; giving the poor expiring widow their promise 
so to do ; and this greatly conduced to her quiet and comfort- 
able death, for she had lived a very good life. And they fully 
discharged their trust : they took care that the two children 
(the one being five years of age, the other six) were maintained 
and instructed till they were fit to become apprentices, and 
they got them good places, by which they are put into a capa- 
city of living very comfortably." 

Another we quote in the words of Woodward : — 
" I was present at one of their conferences, when a very 
poor man came, with most earnest affection, to return them 
thanks for what they had done both for his body and soul. It 
seems he was a perfect stranger to them all, and to every other 
person in the place, where God cast him down by a sharp and 
long sickness, in which (as he said) his body and soul had like 
to have perished together. He had lived a very ill life, and 
been much disused to the ordinances of God, by reason of his 
sea-faring life : and being now come on shore sick, and being 
above a hundred miles from his abode and acquaintance, he 
fell into great want. Upon which, some of this Society per- 
ceiving his distress, recommended him to the rest ; and they 
readily allowed him a weekly pension for eight weeks together, 
till he was recovered. And one of the Society being a chirur- 
geon, carefully dressed a very grievous sore which he had, and 
by God's blessing restored it to perfect soundness. Others of 
them went to him and read good books by his bed, which 
tended to the improvement of God's visitation upon him : they 
also fetched the minister of the place to him, who visited him 
often, and prayed by him, and got a collection from some chari- 
table neighbours for him. And upon the whole he recovered, 
and seemed to be a reformed man, and came there to render 
his praises to God, and thanks to his Christian friends, for that 
which had been done for him." 



xiv THE HISTORY OF THE YOUNG MEN S 

One or two of these Societies had not long been established 
in London before kindred or branch Societies began to arise all 
around them, so that, when Woodward published his account 
of them in 1698, there were no fewer than thirty- two distinct 
bodies of them within the compass of the bills of mortality. 
Nor were the devoted young men of London without their imi- 
tators in the provinces, for similar Societies were soon estab- 
lished at Cambridge, Gloucester, and other towns in England. 
The devoted Samuel Walker, of Truro, formed Societies for re- 
ligious conference amongst his people, which were attended with 
the happiest results. He chiefly followed Dr. Woodward's 
rules ; and used the devotional forms drawn up by him, with 
some slight alterations. Amongst them he retained Wood- 
ward's Exhortation to Humility, which was read by the direc- 
tor whenever they met. Throughout his hints and regulations 
we see his mind intent on the development of a humble, meek, 
and quiet spirit, amongst his people. His Societies continued 
to exist, to the great benefit of his bereaved flock, long after 
he had gone to his rest. Walker died in 1761. Under 
the encouragement of the Archbishop of Dublin, similar 
Societies made their appearance in the kingdom of Ireland ; 
and with such encouragement, that in Dublin alone, from 
beginning with one Society numbering three or four individuals, 
they, in a few years, increased to nine or ten distinct kindred 
institutions. The benefit many had derived from such associa- 
tions made them ready to encourage the formation of them 
wherever they could. " I have known some of them," says 
Woodward, " who have been at their own liberty, come out of 
the midst of the city, after their shops had been shut up, three 
or four miles to the outmost parts of the suburbs, to give in- 
struction and encouragement to a new planted Society ; return- 
ing again a considerable time after night, in all the inconve- 
niences of the darkness and uncertain weather, with the cheering 
thought of having been well employed." 



CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF LONDON. xv 

Knowing that associations of men are never likely to last 
unless there be some decided unanimity — a similarity in their 
views and feelings — they made it indispensable, in admitting 
any new associates, that they should be members of the Church 
of England ; and in addition thereto, it was required, " that 
they should give the Society a solemn account of their sense of 
spiritual things, with the real motives which led them to this 
undertaking, and what they seriously purposed as to their 
future life." This was given in writing, or otherwise, as the 
candidate for admission thought fit. After admission, a marked 
profession of religion by a monthly reception of the holy com- 
munion was required, as well as a regular attendance at the 
other means of grace, and the weekly assemblies of the parti- 
cular Society to which the party was joined. 

It is not surprising that some should be found who feared 
these Societies might possibly degenerate into a sect, and form 
another unhappy division in our country. But these young 
men were far from contemplating any such result springing from 
their movements, and "most industriously fenced themselves 
against it by their monthly communion ; their use of many of 
the public prayers constantly in their assemblies ; their setting 
up public prayers in many churches in the city, and frequenting 
them in great bodies." At these week-day services they formed 
a numerous and devout part of the congregation. The deference 
they paid to their ministers was another check to anything like 
dissent, no rule, prayer, or practice being allowed without their 
approbation. They found " such improvement in all Christian 
duty, and such satisfaction in their consciences, in observing the 
constitution of the Church of England, that it is remarked by 
some that have made a full inquiry into the matter, that they 
could never yet find more than one instance of any person of 
these societies that have fallen from the public communion to 
any sect or separation." 

But all this consistency and care did not exempt these Socie- 



XVI THE HISTORY OF THE YOUNG MEN'S 

ties from being represented to the Bishop of London, Dr. Henry 
Compton, " as things leading to schism, spiritual pride, and 
many other ill consequences." This led to the young men of 
London addressing an apology for their Societies to the Bishop, 
" wherein they assured his lordship, that their only design was 
to quicken each other's affections towards spiritual things, and 
to quicken their preparations for another world, and to this end 
to assist each other to live in all respects as it hecometh the 
Gospel. And that they desired to prosecute this Christian 
design in none but Christian methods ; with due respect to 
their superiors in Church and State, and without any cause of 
offence to any one. And, in fine, their vindication appeared so 
reasonable and satisfactory, their assemblies so regular and sub- 
ordinate to the public worship, and their designs so truly Chris- 
tian and inoffensive (all which was attested by several eminent 
divines on their behalf) that his lordship declared himself satis- 
fied with it, saying, ' God forbid that I should be against such 
excellent designs !'" 

So admirably did they combine with their fervent piety an 
enlightened attachment to the ordinances of the Church, that 
special public services were instituted in London for their ex- 
press benefit. " They set up (at their own expense) public 
prayers every evening at eight of the o'clock, at St. Clement 
Danes, which never wanted a full and affectionate congregation. 
And not long after they set up an evening monthly lecture in 
the same church, to confirm communicants in the holy pur- 
poses and vows which they made at the Lord's table. And by 
this public lecture (which was greatly frequented) many were 
confirmed both in the profession and practice of the true prin- 
ciples of primitive religion ; for they were preached by the most 
eminent divines about the city." "And by this their care 
(says Woodward, elsewhere, speaking of the same lecture) to 
acquit their consciences, as to this last command of our dying 
Lord, many of them have, by the grace of God, attained to 



CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF LONDON. XvH 

that excellent primitive temper, of frequent communicating 
without growing formal ; not lessening due reverence by the 
frequency, nor extinguishing the proper exercises of love to God, 
thankfulness, and spiritual joy at this Divine sacrifice of praise, 
as some unhappily do, by excessive and unreasonable terror and 
dread." 

It will be interesting, especially to our London readers, to 
give here an advertisement, which is found at the end of Wood- 
ward's book (edit. 1698). 

" By the procurement of these Societies, the following lec- 
tures are constantly preached at f,ve in the evening on the 
Lord's days aftermentioned, viz. : — 

*' On every first Lord's day in the month, at St. Lawrence 
Jewry, St. Clement's Danes, St. Michael, Woodstreet, St. 
Olave's, Southwark. 

" On the second Lord's day in the month, at St. Bride's, 
Fleet Street, St. Alban's, Wood Street, St. Buttolph, Aldgate. 

" On the third Lord's day in the month, at St. Martin' s-in- 
the-Fields ; at six in the morning, St. Giles', Cripplegate ; upon 
every third Thursday in the month, at Poplar, at six in the 
evening. 

" On the last Lord's day in the month, at St. Giles', Cripple- 
gate, St. Mary, Whitechapel, St. John, Wapping. 

" Every Lord's day, at St. Ann's, near Aldersgate, at five in 
the evening, with public catechizing." 

" Many of them," he tells us again, " meet together at each 
other's houses also in the evening of many feasts of the Church 
and holy days ; where they discourse seriously on the subject 
matter of the day ; by which they find themselves much in- 
formed in many essential parts of the Christian religion." 

They found a defender in that devout Christian layman, 
Robert Nelson, who seems to have been in some measure insti- 
gated by them to write his work on the Festivals and Fasts, as 
may be gathered from his preface to that work. 

VOL. I. h 



XVlll THE HISTORY OF THE YOUNG MEN S 

Although the prelates and others high in ecclesiastical autho- 
rity were very cautious in their bearing towards them, yet, as 
suspicions were not realized, as prejudices were removed, and 
the general excellence of these Societies more fully developed, one 
by one they came forward and bore testimony in their favour, the 
Archbishop of Canterbury amongst the number. Their good 
report even reached the royal palace in the reign of William iii., 
and was received by his pious Queen with great interest. One 
of the bishops who was much in her confidence, says of her, 
" She did hearken carefully after everything that seemed to 
give some hope, that the next generation should be better than 
the present, with a particular attention ; she heard of a spirit 
of devotion and piety that was spreading itself among the youth 
of this great city, with a true satisfaction ; she inquired often 
and much about it, and was glad to hear it went on and prevailed." 

During the unhappy reign of the Popish James, they were 
compelled to be exceedingly cautious in all their movements ; 
for every movement likely to strengthen the Protestant cause 
was discouraged, and all private meetings suspected. Some at 
this time, through fear, deserted the good cause ; but such as 
remained firm resorted to the following simple changes in their 
plan to avoid suspicion : — " They changed the name of Society 
for that of Club ; and instead of meeting at a friend's house, 
who might be endangered by it, they adjourned to some public 
house, or other, where they could have a room to themselves ; and 
under the pretext of spending a shilling or two, they conferred 
seriously together in the same religious manner as formerly ; 
by which honest artifice they carried on their good design with- 
out interruption, even to the end of that unhappy reign." 

To speak of the good efi'ects resulting from these Societies, so 
as to do justice to them, would be a work of no small labour. 
Some of the more apparent we will endeavour to notice, with 
as much brevity as justice will admit. 

They had the good effect of binding pious members of the 



CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF LONDON. XIX 

Church of England together, and enabling them to realize 
that feeling of hrotherliood which the Christian heart longs to 
give play to. Many piously disposed people have, we know, 
left our communion for some Society of Protestant Dissenters, 
despairing of finding such cheering and quickening opportunities 
of brotherly communion amongst us. The Plymouth Brethren 
would not have had their ranks strengthened by many earnest 
and zealous young Christians from amongst us, had there been 
some serious attempts, but a few years since, to prove to the 
Christian world, what the young churchmen of the seventeenth 
century proved, that such brotherly intercourse can be realized 
in its happiest effects without leaving the fold of their fore- 
fathers. Woodward, who knew them well, and observed them 
narrowly, says : " There is such love amongst those of them 
that have fallen under my observation, that scarce any natural 
brothers are so vigorously affectionate. I have often beheld 
their meeting and parting embraces with admiration ; and those 
who are newly admitted are soon contracted into the same fel- 
lowship of Christian brotherhood." 

Another good effect was the excitement of increased religious 
interest in their neighbours ; thus aiding their ministers most 
usefully. Many pastors found by experience, that the planting 
of one of these Societies in their parishes was the means of 
enlarging their congregations and communions to a very great 
extent, and inducing a more devout attention to all religious 
ordinances. " Their zeal," says Woodward, " hath in many 
places given new life to the celebration of the Lord's Supper, 
public prayer, singing of psalms, and Christian conference, duties 
which were in many places almost disused, or performed in a 
cold and languishing manner." 

Nor did their influence for good stop here. When the for- 
mation of certain Societies for the reformation of manners was 
contemplated, the agents required for this arduous enterprise 
were furnished by these previously established religiom Societies. 



XX THE HISTORY OF THE YOUNG MEN S 

They had nurtured and strengthened men for such warfare, so 
when the call came, a host willing to endure hardness as good sol- 
diers of Jesus Christ appeared ; and bands of virtuous and brave 
spirits went forth, to the help of the Lord against the mighty. 

The originators of this reformation movement were certain 
members of the Church, their seniors in age, and men of 
matured judgment and piety. 

Four or five gentlemen, members of the Church of England, 
conversing on one occasion upon the iniquity of the times in 
which their lot was cast, came at last to the resolution of doing 
all they could to suppress it, by the authority of the laws. 
They had made the laws their study, which enabled them to 
draw up an abstract of our penal enactments against vice and 
profaneness, together with such prudential rules as were fit to 
be attended to, in the legal conviction and prosecution of such 
as offend against them. In 1691, by the motion of the Bishop 
of Worcester, they obtained from the Queen, a letter to the jus- 
tices of the peace, directing them to act as it became them in this 
important matter. Blank warrants were lodged in the hands 
of many persons in difi'erent parts of the city, for the ease of 
informers. The religious Societies then took up the subject 
with great zeal, forming themselves into two bodies, the one 
in London, the other in Westminster, for information against 
public enormities. 

These Reformation Societies met with great opposition, bitter 
reproaches and threats from the vicious ; yet still they perse- 
vered ; the bishops and clergy giving them the warmest encour- 
agement. Some idea may be formed of their activity from the 
fact, that about £1000 was expended by one of them within 
the space of four years, in the apprehension and prosecution of 
lewd people ; and within one year, in one single parish in the 
city, fines to the amount of £65 were levied upon swearers, 
drunkards, and Sabbath-breakers. 

When Woodward published his narrative of these interesting 



CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF LONDON. xxi 

religious Societies, there were nearly twenty other Societies, dis- 
tinct from them (though composed chiefly of their members), 
actively engaged in the moral reformation of London and its 
neighbourhood. Nor were these societies for reformation con- 
fined to this locality. In the provincial towns, and in Ireland, 
similar societies were soon organized, whose members were not 
a whit behind their London brethren, judging from a quotation 
he gives from a letter, written by a person of quality residing 
in Dublin, dated October 28th, 1697. The writer observes : — 

" The reformation goes on in this city very vigorously. When 
we were presented with a thousand warrants against profane 
swearing, by a gentleman from London, it was thought we 
should never have needed more ; but those have all been put in 
execution, and we are now upon printing a third thousand of 
them more. The last Lord's day, I believe there were eight or 
nine pounds levied in ale-houses ; and above a hundred bakers 
have paid within the last quarter for profaning the Lord's day, in 
the business of their trade, besides tailors, drovers and others." 

The religious Societies were strictly adherent to their funda- 
mental principle of admitting none save members of the Church 
of England into their body. But in their combinations for the 
suppression of vice, these pious Churchmen were glad to receive 
into their ranks any friends of Christian morality, by whatever 
name they were known. Pious Dissenters, especially from 
among the Presbyterians, joined with them in their excellent 
undertakings, not only in London, but in Nottingham, Shrews- 
bury, and other places. Stimulated by these good examples, 
other Dissenters set up similar societies composed chiefly of 
their own body. The leading spirits in the religious Societies 
were at once consistent and liberal-minded Churchmen. They 
made it evident that the most consistent adherence to their own 
religious principles, did not, and need not, have the effect of 
making men narrow-minded bigots. 

For more than forty years did the Societies for the Eeforma- 



Xxii THE HISTORY OF THE YOUNG MEN S 

tion of manners exist, doing incredible good. In the thirtieth 
account of their progress, appended to a sermon preached be- 
fore them at St. Mary-le-Bow, on Monday, January 4, 1724, by 
Bishop Chandler, it is observed : — " If impiety and crime had 
gone on spreading and increasing among us for the last thirty 
years at that prodigious rate as they did for many years before, 
we had assuredly been one of the most profligate nations in the 
Christian world ; . . . but by the blessing of God upon the 
various endeavours of the Societies of several sorts for promot- 
ing religion and reformation of manners, a wonderful check 
hath been given to the prevalency of the most scandalous vices, 
and, in many instances, a visible reformation has ensued." 

The Reformation Societies existed some few years after this 
testimony was borne to their usefulness. A grievous pity they 
should ever have ceased to exist whilst any cause for their 
labours continued ! But, as Wesley says, in a sermon preached 
before a kindred Society, which revived the good work in some 
measure : " Most of the original members being gone to their 
reward, those who succeeded them grew faint in their mind 
and departed from the work." The Society to which Wesley 
addressed this discourse in 1763, was composed of Churchmen 
and Dissenters, who began laying informations against such as 
set at nought their warnings, in the year 1758. It seems, 
however, this also was doomed to but a short existence, for at 
the conclusion of his sermon the following note occurs : — " N.B. 
After this Society had subsisted several years, and done unspeak- 
able good, it was wholly destroyed by a verdict given against 
it in the King's Bench; with .£300 damages. I doubt a severe 
account remains for the witnesses, the jury, and all who were 
concerned in this dreadful affair !" 

It may not be without its use to subjoin the " Orders," as 
they were termed, of one of these Societies, as a sample of the 
Christian temper and feeling of the times : — 



CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF LONDON. xxiii 

" Orders, etc. 
" I. That the sole design of this Society being to promote real 
holiness of heart and life, it is absolutely necessary that the 
persons who enter into it, do seriously resolve to apply them- 
selves in good earnest, to all means proper to make them wise 
unto salvation. 

" II. That, in order to their being of one heart and of one 
mind in this design, every member of this Society shall own 
and manifest himself to be of the Church of England, and fre- 
quent the Liturgy and other holy exercises of the same. And 
that they be careful withal to express due Christian charity, 
candour, and moderation towards all such Dissenters as are of 
good conversation. 

" III. That the members of this Society shall meet together one 
evening in the week, at a convenient place, in order to encour- 
age each other in practical holiness, by discoursing on spiritual 
subjects, and reading God's holy Word ; and to pray to Almighty 
God, and praise his name together. And to this assembly any 
serious person may be admitted upon request. 

" IV. That at such meetings, there be no hot disputes about 
controversial points. State affairs, or the concerns of trade 
and worldly things ; but that the whole bent of the discourse 
be to glorify God, and edify one another in love. 

" V. That it be left to every person's discretion to contri- 
bute at every weekly meeting, what he thinks fit towards a 
public stock for pious and charitable uses ; and the money thus 
collected shall be kept by the two stewards of the Society (who 
shall be chosen by majority of voices once a year or often er) to 
be disposed of by the consent of the major part of the Society, 
for the uses above mentioned. And the said stewards shall 
keep a faithful register of what is thus collected and distributed, 
to be perused by any member of the Society, at his request. 



XXIV THE IIISTOEY OF THE YOUNG MEN S 

" VI. That any respective member may recommend any 
object of charity to the stewards, who shall (with the consent 
of the rest) give out of the common stock, according as the 
occasion requires. And, in case of extraordinary necessity, 
every particular person shall be desired to contribute further, 
as they shall think fit. 

" VII. That every one that absents himself four meetings 
together (without giving a satisfactory account to the stewards) 
shall be looked upon as disaffected to the Society. 

" VIII. That none shall be admitted into this Society with- 
out giving due notice thereof to the stewards, who shall acquaint 
the whole Society therewith. And, after due inquiry into their 
religious purposes and manner of life, the stewards may admit 
them to subscribe their names, if the major part of the Society 
allows of it, and not otherwise. And, with the like joint con- 
sent, they may exclude any member proved guilty of any mis- 
behaviour, after due admonition, unless he gives sufficient 
testimony of his repentance and amendment before the whole 
Society. 

" IX. It is hereby recommended to every person concerned 
in this Society, to consider the many inconveniencies (and many 
times sins) which attend ale-house games, and wholly decline 
them. And to shun all unnecessary resort to such houses and 
taverns, and wholly to avoid lewd play-houses. 

" X. That the respective members of this Society shall 
heartily endeavour, through God's grace : — 

"1. To he Just in all their dealings, even to an exemplary 
strictness. 

"2. To pray many times every day ; remembering our con- 
tinual dependence upon God, both for spiritual and temporal 
things. 

" 3. To partake of the Lord's Supper at least once a month, 
if not prevented by any reasonable impediment. 



CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF LONDON. XXV 

"4. To practise the profoundest meekness mid humility. 

"5. To watcli against censuring others. 

"6. To accustom themselves to holy thoughts in all places. 

" 7. To be helpful one to another. 

" 8. To exercise tenderness, patience, and compassion towards 
all men. 

"9. To make reflections on themselves when they read the 
Holy Bible, or other good books, and when they hear sermons. 

" 10. To shun all foreseen occasions of evil; as evil com- 
pany, known temptations, etc. 

"11. To think often on the different estates of the glorified 
and the damned, in the unchangeable eternity, to which we are 
hastening. 

" 12. To examine themselves every night, what good or evil 
they have done in the day past. 

" 1 3. To keep a private fast once a month (especially near 
their approach to the Lord's table), if at their own disposal ; 
or to fast from some meals when they may conveniently. 

" 14. To mortify the flesh, with its afi'ections and lusts. 

"15. To advance in heavenly-mindedness, and in all grace. 

"16. To shun spiritual pride and the effects of it, as rail- 
ing, anger, peevishness, and impatience of contradiction, and 
the like. 

" 17. To pray for the whole Society in their private prayers. 

"18. To read pious books often for their edification, but 
especially the Holy Bible ; and herein particularly — 

" Matt. V. vi. vii. ; Luke xv. xvi. ; Rom. xii. xiii. ; Eph. v. 
vl ; 1 Thess. v. ; Rev. i. ii. iii. xxi. xxii. And in the Old 
Testament, Lev. xxvi. ; Deut. xxviii. ; Isa. liii. ; Ezek. xxxvi. 

"19. To be continually mindful of the great obligation of 
this special profession of religion ; and to walk so circumspectly 
that none may be offended or discouraged from it by what they 
see in them ; nor occasion given to any to speak reproachfully 
of it. 



XXvi THE HISTORY OF THE YOUNG MEN'S 

/ "20. To shun all manner of affectation and moroseness, and 
be of a civil and obliging deportment to all men. 

" XI. That they often consider (with an awful dread of 
God's wrath) the sad height to which the sins of many are ad- 
vanced in this our nation ; and the feeding divmons thereof 
in Church and State. And that every member be ready to do 
what, upon consulting with each other, shall be thought advis- 
able towards the punishment of public profaneness, according 
to the good laws of our land ; required to be put in execution 
by the King's and the late Queen's special order. 

*' XII. That each member shall encourage the catechizing of 
young and ignorant people in their respective families, accord- 
ing to their stations and abilities ; and shall observe all manner 
of religious family duties. 

" XIII. That the major part of the Society shall have power 
to make a new order to bind the whole when need requires ; if 
it be approved by a pious and learned minister of the Church 
of England, nominated by the whole Society. 

" XIV. That these orders shall be read over at least four 
times in the year by one of the stewards ; and that with such 
deliberation, that each member may have time to examine him- 
self by them, or to speak his mind in anything relating to 
them. 

" XV. Lastly, That every member of this Society shall (after 
mature deliberation and due trial) subscribe his name to these 
orders ; to express his approbation of them, and his resolution 
to endeavour to live up to them. In order to which, he shall 
constantly keep a copy of them by him." 

The reference to Mr. Wesley's name in the foregoing extract 
suggests a very interesting coincidence. About the year 1729, 
Mr. John Wesley, being then Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford, 



CHPJSTIAl^ ASSOCIATION OF LONDON. XXvii 

" a serious man, wliom lie had travelled many miles to see, said 
to him, ' Sir, you wish to serve God and go to heaven. Eemem- 
ber that you cannot serve Him alone. You must therefore find 
companions, or make them ; the Bible knows nothing of soli- 
tary religion.' He never forgot this," says his biographer; 
" therefore, on his return to the University, he first spoke to 
his brother, Mr. Charles Wesley, and afterwards to Mr. Mor- 
gan, Mr. Hervey, Mr. Whitfield, and others. When they first 
began to meet, they read divinity on the Sunday evenings. 
The summer following, they began to visit the prisoners in the 
castle, and the sick poor in the town. Their meetings now 
began to be more directly religious ; they read and considered 
the Greek Testament on the week evenings, and conversed 
closely and deeply on the things of God." 

This Association of young men, called the Godly Club by ■ 
the witlings of the University, was the nucleus of that band of 
holy men to whom, when in after years they became them- 
selves more enlightened by the teaching of God's Holy Word, 
was committed the great work of religious revival which, 
under the name of Methodism, revolutionized the National 
Church, and influenced for good every Christian community in 
our land. Several of the members of this Association (this 
word is used by Mr. Moore, Wesley's biographer) went as 
missionaries to Georgia ; and, during their visits to London, 
going and returning, became intimately associated with the 
Young Men's Societies mentioned by Woodward, especially 
those meeting in Westminster, Fetter Lane, and Aldersgate 
Street. It was at the Aldersgate Street meeting, in August 
1738, that Mr. John Wesley experienced the power of a divine 
change wrought in his soul by the Holy Ghost, of which he 
says, " I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in 
Christ, Christ alone for salvation ; and an assurance was given 
me that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me 
from the law of sin and death." The journals of this good 



XXVm THE HISTORY OF THE YOUNG MEN S 

man, and the writings of his contemporaries, will abundantly 
prove that he found his earliest and best coadjutors amongst 
the members of the London Young Men's Societies, and that, 
united in the metropolis, in the works to which they and he 
had before devoted themselves in their separate spheres, — the 
visitation of the gaols, hospitals, and workhouses, — they were 
permitted to gather in the first fruits of a great harvest, " a 
people prepared for the Lord." 

A long interval occurs during which we know little of eflforts 
made to unite young men in religious activities, or to guard 
them from the evils and temptations incident to their age and 
peculiar position in society. The labours of the successors of 
early Methodists, and of such of the clergy of the National Church 
as shared their convictions and were stimulated by their zeal, were 
so engrossed by the common wants of a population everywhere 
ignorant of spiritual things, often depraved and brutal, and 
largely pervaded by an infidel and lawless spirit, that little 
opportunity presented itself for caring for the special needs of 
particular classes. Such memoirs as those of Wesley, Whit- 
field, Sir Richard Hill, and others of their time, will better 
illustrate the state of society then, and the diflSculties which 
presented themselves to earnest servants of Christ. 

It would, however, be wrong to suppose that during this 
period nothing was done for young men. The biographies 
of Bishop Daniel Wilson, of Dr. Jabez Bunting, of the revered 
Edward Bickersteth, of Dr. Andrew Reed, and of Dr. John 
Leifchild, all open to us little glimpses of the life of young 
men in London in the succeeding generation, and of the means 
by which some at least were weaned froip dissipation and idleness, 
and were brought under influences of culture and piety which 
fitted them for careers of usefulness in the Church and in the 
world. Let it be gratefully remembered that in the men of 
whom we thus have mention, we only get the prominent mem- 
bers of the little society to which each belonged. How much 



CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF LONDON. xxix 

London owes to-day to the young men of that apparently dark 
and neglected period it is impossible to tell. " The Contending 
Brethren," " The Spitalfields Benevolent Society," « The 
Widows' Friend Society," which did more for their members 
than merely furnish opportunities for their charitable zeal and 
sympathy, were but a few of the humble organizations, and their 
members but a small proportion of the young men, who were 
occupied in aiding the cause of piety and philanthropy ; and the 
early days of this century witnessed self-denying labours of young 
men in the education of the young and poor, in cottage lec- 
turing, and in the visitation of the sick, which might well put 
to shame their successors in this more favoured generation. 
But these references are to what young men did for other 
classes of the community, not to the proper business of young 
men's societies, which is to work for young men, and of such 
work, in any specific form, we know little till a very recent period. 
The year 1835 has become memorable in the history of re- 
ligious work, by the formation of the London City Mission. 
Its founder, David Nasmith, had, during many years of evan- 
gelistic labours, made himself acquainted with the condition of 
the people in our great cities, with the failure of ordinary reli- 
gious agencies to meet their wants, and with the utter inade- 
quacy of such agencies, were they ever so well adapted to such 
an end, to supply the clamant needs of millions of men who 
were then living in this Christian land in a degree of ignorance 
and barbarism which only differed from that of heathenism, in 
that its moral evil and danger were intensified by the light and 
privilege amid which it had grown and extended. ]Mr. l!sasmith 
saw that if these masses of men were to be reached in their 
degradation and misery, it must be by men who had some 
common experience of privation and suffering ; men who had 
lived amongst them, or had lived under similar circumstances ; 
men who knew how easily the border line of industry and in- 
tegrity is passed under the influence of temptation, and how 



XXX THE HISTORY OF THE YOUNG MEN S 

hard it is for men once fallen to recover themselves in this land 
of respectability ; men who, by God's grace, had been lifted up 
out of the horrible pit and miry clay, and who could go with 
the strong sympathies of a common woe, and the practical ex- 
perience of the only remedy, to pluck poor sinners as brands 
from the burning, and to lead them to know and trust a loving 
Saviour ; or men who, if they did not share the experience 
of extreme degradation in the habits and consequences of sin, 
had learned such lessons of human weakness, been so deeply 
penetrated with the sorrows and sufferings of the poor, and ac- 
quired so much of the spirit of Him who " Himself took our 
infirmities, and bare our sicknesses," that they could, like Him, 
go about doing good, reaching the consciences and hearts of 
the sons and daughters of poverty and crime by the power 
of tenderness and love. It was the first attempt to bring to 
bear upon the practical heathenism of our great cities an agency 
called out from itself, taught and trained in its own schools, 
master of all its positions, and acquainted with all the difficul- 
ties of its subjects. How wise, and how beneficial the attempt 
has proved, the experience of that Society for thirty years, and 
the altered condition of the masses of our people everywhere, 
where similar agencies have been adopted, will attest. 

But the far-seeing intelligence which comprehended the dan- 
ger to society from the condition of the poor, and devised this 
plan to meet and remedy it, had also discerned the evils which 
were likely to result from the practical separation of the young 
men of the population from the influences of religion. Infidelity 
was noisy and active ; the friends of education were then, for 
the most part, ranked amongst the doubters, if not the oppo- 
nents, of Christianity ; political strifes led certain classes of 
young men to an exaggerated idea of their importance in the 
community, leading to lawlessness of disposition, while the ordi- 
nary temptations to selfishness, self-indulgence, and vice were 
unchecked by any adequate influences either social or religious. 



CHEISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF LONDON. xxxi 

The question presented itself to Mr. Nasmith, How are these 
young men to be met and dealt with 1 If they go wrong, all 
goes wrong ; for they are everywhere the doer's, whether the 
thing done be good or evil. The principle adopted in the case 
of the general population furnished a reply in regard to this 
particular class. Young men who have seen and escaped from 
these temptations ; young men who have learned to love and 
study their Bibles ; young men who, in the sense of personal 
guilt and weakness, have sought pardon and strength from the 
Lord Jesus Christ, and are seeking to live as his disciples in the 
world, — must be the instruments employed to reclaim, protect, 
and bless their fellow young men. 

On the evening of the day on which the London City Mission 
was instituted, there assembled with Mr. Nasmith, in the house 
of Mr. George Seeley, in Fleet Street, a party of young men, 
who united to form the Metropolitan Young Men's Society, 
of which the Hon. and Rev. B. W. Noel, M.A., then minister 
of St. John's, Bedford Row, became president ; and amongst 
the vice-presidents were to be found those who bore the loved 
and honoured names of William Hamilton, one of the Elders 
of Regent Square Church ; James Nisbet, of Berners Street ; 
and William Whitmore, of the Bank of England. Its weekly 
meetings were continued for some time, but it was social in its 
character, and did not lead to any aggressive action on behalf 
of young men, and, with the increasing years and domestic and 
commercial responsibilities of its members, it passed away. 
Not, however, before it had done its work by calling attention 
to the necessities of young men, and leading to the formation 
of other Societies for their benefit in other places. Of these, 
amongst the most influential were the London Young Men's 
Society, under the presidency of the late Rev. Dr. Alexander 
Fletcher, meeting in Finsbury, and one at Hackney, of which 
the late learned and excellent Rev. F. A. Cox, D.D., was the 
representative. By such instrumentalities young men were 



xxxil THE HISTOKY OF THE YOUNG MEN S 

brought under public notice, and their dangers and their wants 
kept before the eye of the Church of Christ, until, in 1844, an 
effort was made to grapple with the subject in the formation of 
our own Young Men's Christian Association. 

During the ten preceding years, England had passed through 
a series of changes, political and otherwise, which followed one 
another in rapid succession, and materially affected the moral 
and social condition of our commercial population. 

The system of representation of the people in Parliament had 
been re-constructed, the elective franchise enlarged, and muni- 
cipal rights extended to a large number of the smaller trades- 
men and householders, who had previously been excluded from 
the electoral privilege. 

A gradual but progressive change had been made in the laws 
regulating our foreign commerce, which had developed that 
commerce to an unprecedented extent. 

The various systems of popular education which had been at 
work from about the commencement of the century, had re- 
ceived a fresh stimulus from a plan adopted by the Legislature, 
by which it was designed to aid, by regular pecuniary support, 
the development of each, and the consequent increase of know- 
ledge among the people, without interference with the methods 
of instruction pursued. 

Another organization had been in operation throughout the 
country for then twenty years, with various measures of success, 
whose very incidents of failure served to point the necessity, 
and prepare the way for the introduction of some such agency 
as that of the Association — the Mechanics' and Literary and 
Scientific Institutions. These, in their earlier type, "were 
designed to impart instruction to workmen in those rules and 
principles which lie at the basis of the arts they practise ;" 
but as it was found that the class of mechanics failed to use 
the Institutes for this end, to the extent contemplated, their 
basis was enlarged, and efforts were made to adapt them to the 



CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF LONDON, XXxiii 

wants of general society by the introduction of periodical lite- 
rature, and the provision of news-rooms, libraries, and popular 
lectures on science and history, with classes for the study of 
languages and the practice of vocal music. Here, too, they 
failed in the accomplishment of their direct object. But they 
did much to awaken a desire for information on the part of 
the working and trading classes ; they furnished the platform 
of observation and experiment for others ; they brought too-e- 
ther men of different grades and sections of society, and of 
different views and feelings ; and they revealed those conditions 
of social life which, as the result of vicious commercial arrano-e- 
ments, stood in the way of any effort either for the moral or 
the intellectual advancement of the people. 

The protracted hours of labour in various departments of 
business called into existence the two great movements which 
have tended, by their mutual and relative influence, to achieve 
for young men the opportunities of Christian union and service 
which they now enjoy. In the manufacturing districts, the 
movement involved nice and difficult questions of political 
economy. The time devoted to labour was regulated by the 
demand in the market for the article fabricated, and it was held 
that if any check were imposed upon the production of goods, 
a blow would be struck at our commercial system which would 
be felt in every department of trade throughout the empire. 
On the other side it was urged, that the social evils entailed 
by the existing practice were so great that it was doubtful if 
any greater would possibly arise under any circumstances ; that 
the question, though assumed as one of production, was to a 
large extent one of distribution merely, and would right itself 
in time ; but inasmuch as " that which is morally wrong, can 
never be politically right," it was due to the poor and over- 
tasked artisans, especially the women and children, that they 
should be protected from the immediate evils under which they 
groaned ; and that it shoidd be left to ciicumetanccs to prove 

VOL. I. C 



XXXIV THE HISTOEY OF THE YOUNG MEN S 

whether any counter provision were needed for the protection 
of commercial interests. A struggle of twenty years against 
the most powerful political party in the State, ended in the 
adoption of the principle of the limitation of labour. No fac- 
tory operative need work more than IQi hours per diem ; his 
home may be, and has become, in many thousands of cases, one 
of health, comfort, and comparative refinement ; his children 
may be, and manv are, regularly instructed ; and the general 
and manifest benefit accruing to all classes of society afi'ected 
by the measure, has compelled its most strenuous opponents to 
acknowledge the fallacy of their arguments, and the wisdom of 
the provisions they had so much feared.^ 

In the metropolis, during the same period, frequent efforts 
had been made to limit the hours of business in the whole- 
sale and retail trades. Some of them proved abortive, but, 
in October 1843, a few young men, employed in the drapery 

^ It may be permitted to one who watched the progress of the movement 
with intense anxiety, to record here an incident of interest to those who 
study the characters of our public men. On the day on which Lord 
Ashley's (Earl of Shaftesbury) Ten Hours' Bill was last discussed in the 
House of Commons, the most effective speech in its favour was delivered 
by the late Mr. Joseph Brotherton, M.P, for Salford, who, in language of 
great force and feeling, described his own early career, and bore witness to 
the sufferings inflicted on the people by the then existing law. His speech 
was replied to by Sir James Graham, who, though bearing graceful testi- 
mony to the character and motives of Mr. Brotherton, proceeded on grounds 
of political economy to argue against the measure. The Bill passed not- 
withstanding, and was carried into the Upper House, where, introduced by 
the Earl of Ellesmere (better known as Lord Fi'ancis Egerton), and ably 
sustained by the Bishop of Oxford, and others of the Episcopal Bench, it 
was immediately passed into law. 

Years after, when time and domestic bereavement and personal suffer- 
ing, and, may we not be permitted to hope, the higher principles which 
Sir James Graham had learned at his mother's knee, and which, throughout 
his life, he always dealt with reverently if not believingly, had wrought 
their influence upon the astute statesman, but now broken and enfeebled 
man, he met Lord Shaftesbury in Westminster Hall, and said, " I feel as 
if, before I go, I should like the memory of all old strifes to pass away, 
and I want to tell you how entirely I feel I was wrong and you were right 
in the matter of the Ten Hours' Factory Bill." 



CHKISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF LONDON. XXXV 

trade in Chelsea, commenced an organization, since bearing the 
name of the Metropolitan Early Closing Association, which, in 
the best possible spirit, has sought to combine the interests of 
the employers of labour with those of their assistants in the 
arrangements made to reduce the pressure of toil on a very 
large and important section of the population. This movement 
has been well sustained until the present time, and is working 
now with increasing vigour and usefulness ; each year adding 
materially to the benefits conferred, not merely on young 
tradesmen, but on general society in London, by its existence 
and influence. Seeing that this movement immediately pre- 
ceded the formation of the Young Men's Christian Association, 
and has wrought side by side with it in all its eflPorts for the 
improvement of the mental and spiritual condition of young 
men, it is pleasant to record here the names of Mr. John Lil- 
wall, the originator, and long the able and devoted hon. secretary 
of the Society ; the Venerable Archdeacon Kitton, of the Cape 
of Good Hope ; and Mr. James Rennie, now one of the general 
superintendents of the London City Mission — the little band by 
which the work was commenced : of Sir James Emerson Ten- 
nent, then M.P. for Belfast, the first public man who lent his 
countenance and support to their eff'orts ; of Mr. AV. D. Owen, 
the first and very liberal treasurer ; and of the Hon. and Rev. 
B. W, Noel, M.A., its first public advocate, and constant friend. 
Work for the religious good of young men, more especially 
directed to the circulation of missionary intelligence, and the pro- 
motion of a missionary spirit amongst the junior members of the 
Church of England, was commenced, about the end of 1842, by 
two little bodies which met respectively in the east and west of 
London, and were subsequently united and greatly developed 
under the title of " The Church of England Young Men's 
Society for aiding Missions at Home and Abroad." With an 
abbreviated name, and more general objects, it exists to-day ; 
has several branches in the metropolis, and more in the pro- 



XXXVl THE HISTOKY OF THE YOUNG MEN S 

vinces ; has worked always for the best objects, in an earnest 
spirit, and with many very blessed results. Numbers of its 
members have filled, and are filling, important posts as minis- 
ters or missionaries connected with the National Church. 

Such are a few of the features of the period in which " The 
Young Men's Christian Association" had its birth. We pro- 
ceed to show what was then the condition of young men. 
There were probably about 150,000 in London in the early 
part of 1844. These were either clerks in banks, counting- 
houses, or in the offices of professional men ; or assistants in 
the various departments of wholesale and retail trade. The 
former class, residing for the most part with their families or 
in lodgings, had opportunities of society, of instruction, and of 
religious improvement not much behind those of any other 
section of the community ; but in the latter case, that of 
assistants in shops and warehouses, by far the larger number 
lived in the houses of business in which they were employed. 
They commenced their labour from seven to nine in the morn- 
ing, and closed it from nine to eleven in the evening in the 
more favourable seasons and neighbourhoods, while in some 
the toil of the day did not end till long after midnight, and 
the duties of the following day were resumed by six o'clock. 
The intervals allowed for meals seldom amounted to an hour 
during the whole day, and the food provided was often both 
coarse and scanty. The domestic arrangements were of the 
worst description. In very few houses was there any sitting- 
room for the young men but the place of refreshment, and that 
was not unfrequently the kitchen of the servants. The sleeping 
apartments were small, and badly ventilated. Several slept in 
the same room ; and, of the juniors, some occupied the same 
bed. Confined thus in arduous duties during the day, and 
having no suitable rooms for study, social intercourse, or re- 
creation in their places of abode, the majority sought their 
enjoyment in the tavern, and found in the society of boon 



CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF LONDON. XXXVll 

companions the only relief from the dull uniformity and 
routine of their daily existence. Debarred from all oppor- 
tunities of visiting the homes of their families or friends, and 
thus deprived of those refining and softening influences by 
which the character and habits of young men are so largely 
impressed and benefited, their conviviality often reached the 
point of excess, and the moral degradation thus commenced 
ended, in too many cases, in a point of debasement ruinous to 
the individual, and deeply pernicious to those around him. It 
can be conceived how terrible must have been the condition of 
young men who were compelled by their business engagements 
to live in the daily and hourly companionship of the guilty 
and depraved ; and it will be obvious that the communication 
of evil habits and principles was fostered, and their unhappy 
results developed with increasing rapidity, from the fact that 
very often the good and the bad — the novice in life, and the 
veteran in sin (alas ! too often young in years), the " old 
stager" in London, and the youth fresh from the country — 
occupied one and the same bedroom. 

The length of time taken up by daily business rendered it 
impossible to attend any place of religious or moral instruction 
during the week ; the absorbing character of business, as well 
as the necessary rule of commercial houses, forbade the visit 
and counsels of any minister or religious agent ; and their 
excessive and protracted labours, with the moral and social 
evils which they engendered, caused Sunday to be regarded by 
young men only as tlie week's holiday — the necessary relaxa- 
tion for a bow which had been bent to the point of breaking. 
The special duties of the Lord's-day were forgotten, its hours 
were passed in indolence or spent in dissipation and folly. Sad 
indeed is this picture, yet it is not overdrawn. It is a faithful 
representation of the general condition of young men, though 
not of all ; and it is furnished only to contrast the present 
with the past, and to extol the riches of the divine mercy in 



XXXVm THE HISTORY OF THE YOUNG MEN S 

the contemplation of the results of twenty years of labour 
amongst young men. 

Now, the hours of business are universally reduced ; the 
domestic arrangements of the great commercial establishments 
are generally improved ; and libraries, and opportunities for 
mental recreation and social intercourse, are provided in many 
of them. A corresponding improvement has taken place in 
the general habits of young men ; and though many are still 
irregular in their conduct, and devoid of religious principle, it 
is not because the scenes and circle of their daily business 
intercourse tend wholly and without restraint to such a result, 
nor because they are without opportunities of Christian influ- 
ence, and of elevated and refined enjoyment. Much evil, and 
many flagrant sources of mischief still exist, but the fault is 
no longer that of society, but of the individual ofi'enders by 
whose folly they are sustained. 

The causes of this change in the condition and circum- 
stances of young men in London are involved in the history of 
the Young Men's Christian Association. 

In 1842 there came to London a young man who had been 
for some years previously an apprentice in a large provincial 
town. There he had been brought under religious influences, 
had joined the Church of Christ, and had engaged actively in 
the evangelistic eff'orts sustained by godly persons in the neigh- 
bourhood. The circumstances of his own religious conversion, 
after the exhibition of much rebelliousness of spirit and oppo- 
sition to the Truth of God and the people of God, had produced 
on his mind a deep impression of the willingness of God to 
save men, and he came to a resolution that, by the grace of 
God, he would tell to every one who might come to reside in 
the same house of business how he had obtained mercy, and 
urge them to seek salvation through " like precious faith, and 
the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ." So 
simply and earnestly was this course pursued, that during the 



CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF LONDON. xxxix 

five remaining years of his stay in that town, twenty-seven 
persons were brought by his persuasions to religious decision, 
" of whom the greater part remain unto this present," active, 
useful members of the Church, while " some have fallen asleep," 
giving rejoicing testimony to the power of Divine grace. . On 
his arrival in London, he found himself in a very altered posi- 
tion. The house of business in which he was engaged em- 
ployed about eighty young men, amongst whom there were no 
signs of religious feeling, the majority being indifferent to all 
such considerations, and many very profligate. 

For some time his one work was prayer. He asked that 
God would open a way of usefulness for him amongst these 
ungodly companions, and specially that a companion like- 
minded might be sent into the e-stablishment. He had learned 
the truth of the lines — 

*' Two are better far than one 

For counsel or for fight ; ^ 

How can one be warm alone, \ 

Or serve his God aright ? ^ 

Happier we each other keep ; 

We each other's burdens bear ; 
Never need our footstex-)S slip 

Upheld by mutual prayer." 

In due time his prayer was answered, and the companion came. 
They prayed together, and sought to win confidence by assi- 
duous kindness in their intercourse with their fellow-assistants, 
and to disarm opposition to their principles by industrious 
attention to the duties of their calling. Soon they asked one 
and another to join them in their evening meeting for prayer. 
The Word of God was studied, and the wisdom, blessedness, 
and peace of the servants of God so set forth, that desires after 
God were kindled in some hearts, and soon the blessing of the 
Lord was vouchsafed in the conversion of several who had been 
induced to join this little company. Then their place of meet- 



xl THE HISTOKY OF THE YOUNG MEN'S 

ing was too strait for them. To obtain tlie pei'manent and 
undisturbed use of another, application to the principal became 
necessary, and this was a matter of some difl5culty. Able and 
energetic as a man of business, he had shown no signs of reli- 
gious feeling, he had done nothing to secure the comfort or 
welfare of his young men, nor did he check the evils which 
attended the conduct of business in his establishment, in com- 
mon with many others at the time. He was only known as the 
employer, and in that capacity, though no worse, was not better 
than the rest of his class. But the young men had waited on 
God for his direction and help, and in the strength of faith 
they went forward with their application. To their surprise, 
it was received with sympathy, with tenderness, with the heart- 
broken feelings of a sinner made conscious of his guilt and 
needs, and earnestly seeking to know and do the will of God. 
The room was granted, the young men were thanked for their 
past efforts and prayers on behalf of the establishment, and the 
master became from that hour the father of his household, join- 
ing with his godly servants in solicitude for its spiritual welfare, 
reforming every arrangement inconsistent with the conscien- 
tious discharge of the duties or the personal comforts of those 
he employed, and in all things seeking to make that house- 
hold an abode of peace, a pattern of godliness, a centre of 
Christian usefulness. 

The lamented fact of the death of Mr. George Hitchcock, of 
St. Paul's Churchyard, makes it proper to mention him as the 
person referred to. This is not the place for his eulogy ; but 
those who are interested in this narrative will not fail to dis- 
cover, in the facts it records, how much his own young men, 
and the young men of the metropolis, came to owe, under God, 
to his zeal and liberality. 

During the period of his religious anxiety, he had sought the 
advice of Mr. W. D. Owen, the principal of another large 
drapery house, whose religious character and benevolent efforts 



CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF LONDON. xli 

on behalf of their trade had made him generally respected, and 
to him he described the work of God which had begun amongst 
his assistants. Mr. Owen mentioned the fact to his principal 
assistant, who immediately commenced similar meetings for 
prayer and the study of Holy Scripture amongst their young 
men. On the 31st May 1844, this young man wrote to the 
originator of the first meeting a letter in the following 
terms : — 

" I have been truly rejoiced to hear that the Lord is doing 
a great work in your house, and I hope that the leaven thus 
set will go on increasing abundantly. I am engaged here in 
the same work, but stand almost alone ; and from what I have 
heard, am induced to say, ' Come over and help us.' We have 
a prayer-meeting this evening at half-past eight. Mr. Branch 
will be with us. Will you oblige us by your company 1 and 
if you can bring a praying brother with you, do. If you could 
by any possibility be here at eight, I should be glad ; as I want 
to advise with you on another subject in reference to our trade, 
viz., whether anything can be done in other houses." 

It is amongst the evidences of Divine working in this move- 
ment, that a few of the Christian young men living in the house 
first mentioned had already agreed " to meet that very evening 
for the purpose of doing something to originate prayer-meetings 
in other houses." 

This meeting took place, and was followed by another in the 
subsequent week, attended by Christian young men from both 
places ; and at this meeting, held at 72 St. Paul's Church- 
yard, on the 6th June 1844, it was decided to form a "Society 
for Improving the Spiritual Condition of Young Men engaged 
in the Drapery and other Trades." The name of Young Men's 
Christian Association was adopted, and a committee of manage- 
ment was appointed. 

The first efforts of the committee were addressed to the work 
of uniting with themselves the Christian men who might be 



xlii THE HISTORY OF THE YOUNG MEN'S 

found in other houses. They met from time to time, with 
frequent accessions to their number, in a small coffee-house in 
Ludgate Hill ; and here, as they recounted their difficulties, 
and told one another of the oppositions and enmities of those 
who were living without God, they realized the support and 
blessing of Christian fellowship, and were made glad by the 
presence, and by the gracious encouragements, of the Lord 
whom they served. 

A report of the committee, presented at a general meeting 
of the members and friends of the Society, held at Radley's 
Hotel, on November 8th, 1844, states : — 

" The meetings soon became numerously attended, and were 
rendered of a very interesting and profitable character by the 
reports of members from various houses. At our last meeting 
we had not less than seventy present. It became necessary, 
therefore, to look for and engage a larger room ; and the fort- 
nightly meetings are now held in this hotel. The services 
which the Young Men's Christian Association is established to 
promote are chiefly prayer-meetings, and, wherever it is prac- 
ticable, Bible-classes. The committee recommend that pious 
young men, residing in the different houses, should establish 
them in their bed or other rooms which can be obtained for 
that purpose, and that the unconverted among them should be 
invited to attend these services. Wherever it is practicable, 
they recommend regular family worship ; and they are anxious 
that employers should be made acquainted with this important 
movement, in order that they may give countenance and en- 
couragement to the efforts of their young men in this great and 
good cause." 

The progress of the work was steady and gradual, but most 
encouraging. The committee were beginning to learn that 
truth, which has been to them as a sheet-anchor in their sub- 
sequent career, " In quietness and in confidence shall be thy 
strength." No attempts were made to popularize the Associa- 



CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF LONDON. xliii 

tion. It was felt by the members that they were called to 
engage in a spiritual work — a warfare with powers of evil and 
darkness, against whom no carnal weapons could be used with 
success — an enterprise which was at once the expression of 
their loyalty to Christ, and their sympathy in His love forj 
souls, and in which they needed alike His sovereign direction 
and His sustaining power and grace, but needed these only. 
Propositions of aid made to them at this time, and by which 
their field of labour might have been largely increased, were 
postponed, in order that attention might be concentrated upon 
one object — the conversion of souls to God. Accordingly, it 
was made a fundamental rule that none but members in com- 
munion with the Christian Church should be admitted to fel- 
lowship in the Association, that the unity of its aim and 
operations might be conserved. 

In March 1845, in the ninth month of its existence, a second 
social meeting was held. The chair was occupied by one whose 
praise is in all the churches of the saints, and whose early ad- 
hesion to the Association was of great service and encourage- 
ment to the committee — the Hon. and Eev. Baptist Wriothesley 
Koel, M.A. He was supported by four other ministers — the 
Rev. Dr. John Gumming, Rev. William Arthur, Rev. Samuel 
Martin, and Rev. John Branch.^ 

The report presented at this meeting states : — 
" The number of members now amounts to 160. Gur usual 
fortnightly meetings are largely attended, and are rendered in- 
creasingly interesting and profitable. Many who have come 
among us cold and lifeless, have gone away warmed and ani- 
mated with love to Christ, and love to the souls of their 
perishing fellow-men. Many who were previously idlers in the 

1 The last-mentioned minister has " entered into rest." Among the 
many by wlioni his memory will long be cherished, there are not a few 
young men who learned from him the freeness and fulness of the salvation 
of Jesus, and were encouraged by his advice and example in their first at- 
tempts at doing good to otliers. 



xliv THE HISTOKY OF THE YOUNG MEN'S 

vineyard of the Lord, have, through these meetings, been roused 
to activity ; and your committee believe that eternity alone will 
unfold the amount of good effected simply by these meetings." 

The fruit of these gatherings of believers in the city was seen, 
not only in the increase of their numbers, but in the augmented 
desire on the part of all to be made useful in bringing sinners 
to repentance. Another meeting was established in the west of 
London for Christian young men residing in that district, and 
opportunity was thus afforded for the co-operation of many 
whom distance had before prevented from joining the Associa- 
tion. A Branch Society was soon constituted, and was in its 
earliest efforts ffivoured with indications of that Divine blessing 
which has attended its subsequent proceedings. 

To this point of the Society's history, attention had been 
almost exclusively directed to the work of God in the houses 
of business, and to the examination of the principles upon 
which it was proposed to carry on the mission to and amongst 
young men, to which the Association had evidently been called 
of God. But, as the result of that examination, it became 
apparent that some further effort must be made to reach the 
masses of young men in our vast city. Our gracious Lord, 
who revealed the necessity, had been pleased to prepare the 
agency required. A constitution had been given to the Society ; 
ministers of every evangelical denomination had accepted the 
oflBce as vice-presidents, to express their approval of the Society's 
principles and arrangements ; one of the principal London 
bankers, Mr. R. C. L. Bevan, had become chairman of the 
committee, and the munificent support of the treasurer, Mr. 
Hitchcock, and other Christian men of business, had freed the 
Association from all pecuniary hindrances to its progress. 
The third half-yearly meeting was held at Radley's Hotel, on 
November 6th, 1845, and the committee stated in their re- 
port : — 

" Since the last meeting, your committee have added to their 



CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF LONDON. xlv 

plan the formation of Mutual Improvement Societies, as in 
many large houses containing upwards of eighty to one hundred 
young men, no Christian young man is found, or if there be 
one, his position is so isolated that he is prevented carrying 
out the other part of our plan. Now many unconverted young 
men would assist and feel interested in a Mutual Improvement 
Society, so would principals of houses ; and we shall deem it 
no unimportant result if in any instance we can lead to the 
library of useful knowledge, rather than to cards and billiards, 
to the cigar-divan^ concert-room, theatre, or the seductive and 
polluting retreat." 

The principle embodied in this statement was felt to be one 
of the utmost importance in its bearing upon the progressive 
influence and usefulness of the Association. While it vindi- 
cates the right of every Christian man to follow the example 
of the apostle who " made himself the servant of all that he 
might gain the more," it commends the necessity of using 
means adapted not only to the end designed, but to the char- 
acter and circumstances of the individual or class whose benefit 
is sought. He who works ever in sovereign wisdom and love 
has ordained His Word as the instrument by which sinners 
shall be convinced of sin, and made to apprehend the riches of 
Divine love as manifested in the person and work of the Lord 
Jesus Christ ; but He has left to the faith and zeal of His 
people the methods by which the knowledge of His Word shall 
be communicated, and by which the hindrances and oppositions 
to its reception shall be overcome. To " sow beside all waters" 
is the duty of the Church — the nature of the soil will regulate 
the manner and measure of the seed-sowing. In a time when 
every weapon of ofi'ence is used for the purpose of blasphemy 
and reproach and sin, no restrictions should be placed upon the 
agencies which may be used to extend the influences of know- 
ledge and virtue, especially when those agencies are directed by 
Christian men. If it be not possible always to lead men into 



xlvi THE HISTORY OF THE YOUNG MEN'S 

loving obedience to the faith of Christ, that man has fulfilled 
the highest duty of enlightened citizenship, who has won over 
to the cause of order and morality others who, through igno- 
rance or evil training, have been the votaries of sinful pleasure 
or of depraved inclinations. "While the demons of lust and 
cruelty, of oppression and fraud, of intemperance and infidelity, 
rage in the world, he who seeks to cast them out " is not against 
Christ, but on His part ;" and the Church, like the disciples of 
old (Mark ix. 38, 41), impugns the authority of Him who is 
" Lord of all," and " Head over all things," when it restricts 
the influences of His mercy to its own channels of action, or 
disparages the blessings which are wrought under His provi- 
dential administration, because they fall short of those which 
are vouchsafed by His Spirit in the kingdom of His grace. 
The committee resolved, therefore, to adopt an agency which 
should address itself publicly to young men, and should have 
for its primary object their advancement in knowledge, espe- 
cially in the knowledge of those subjects which illustrate the 
truth and authority of the Holy Scriptures, and enforce those 
principles of faith and duty lying at the foundation of personal 
character and commercial integrity. 

A course of lectures to young men was accordingly an- 
nounced, and its record is found in the succeeding pages of 
this volume. 

But to return to our narrative : — In the year 1846, addi- 
tions were made to the metropolitan branches, and meetings 
for prayer and mutual religious encouragement were formed in 
Islington, Pimlico, and Southwark. A deputation from the 
committee visited Manchester, Liverpool, Taunton, Exeter, and 
Leeds, and left in each town the nucleus of an association. In 
some of these places the movement has slumbered for a season, 
but in the majority of instances only to awake to more vigorous 
life and action. 

But the principal feature of the year was the formation of 



CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF LONDON. xlvii 

the Sunday afternoon Bible-class of the Association,^ — that 
which has been the most blessed engagement on which we have 
entered, and which year by year is developed in the Society and 
all its branches as the main element of strength, stability, and 
usefulness. The object of its formation was to counteract the 
tendency among young men to the desecration of the Lord's 
Day j to provide a resort for steady youths without homes ; 
and, by kindly social intercourse, to pave the way for the influ- 
ences of public worship. The first of these gatherings was 
small in number. Chairs around a table sufficed for the little 
company ; but God was there. His blessing filled the place, 
and the manifestations of His power and grace have never since 
been wanting. Of how many souls renewed, of how many 
backsliders reclaimed, of how much evil prevented, of how 
many on the verge of destruction saved and restored to virtue 
and to peace, of how many weak brethren strengthened, of how 
many who were poor and sorrowful relieved and gladdened by 
brotherly kindness and love, of how many happy friendships 
formed to last through eternal ages, of how many equipped for 
the battle of life — made strong in the Lord and in the power 
of His might, of how many mothers' hearts gladdened by 
answers to their long-urged prayers on behalf of absent sons, 
of how many fathers made to rejoice over the return of prodi- 
gals given up for lost, through this agency, the reports of the 
Society contain a very imperfect accwmt. The fruits have 
been realized in accessions to churches throughout the land, 

1 Some misapprehension having existed on this subject, it may he pro- 
per to repeat a statement made in the Society's Occasional Paper, No. 1 : — 
** These classes are for young men who are not members of churches, and 
form a directly evangelistic effort. There are no members of the Associa- 
tion present save those who are engaged in the conduct of the necessary 
arrangements ; it being the object of the Association, and the desire both 
of the committee and members, that all who ' through grace have believed ' 
should at once take part in Sunday-school or ragged-school teaching, or in 
some of those varied instrumentalities by which the Gospel is carried to 
the destitute and perishing on the Lord's day." 



xlvill THE HISTORY OF THE YOUNG MEN S 

and in the continued increase of agents in all departments of 
religious enterprise. 

The year 1847 witnessed the formation of branches in the 
east of London, and in Oxford, Derby, Hull, and Bath, and was 
the first of four years, on the opening of which the Society sent 
into the leading banks and commercial houses of London, New 
Year's Addresses, tracts designed to enforce the importance of 
personal religion, prepared for and especially addressed to young 
men. The novelty of these addresses, their free bestowment, 
and the circumstance of their being enclosed personally to indi- 
viduals, to the number of 10,000 each year, rendered them 
generally very acceptable, and in several cases the committee 
were made aware of their usefulness. 

Three letters received at this time will serve to confirm the 
statements made as to the condition of young men before the 
formation of the Association : — 

'' Sorrowful to say, a more reckless house of young men, 
with two or three exceptions, is not to be found in London. 
During dinner, tea, and supper-time, nothing but obscene lan- 
guage is going on, such as scenes in brothels, night brawls, etc., 
too disgusting to commit to paper ; and this in the presence of 
junior hands and apprentices. To what end must this young 
generation come ? I shudder at the idea ! I am writing these 
lines while the youths of the house are playing cards, not for 
pleasure, but for a halfpenny the game, swearing at the top of 
their voices, and calling each other cheats. . . . These lads 
are indulged with late nights for the purpose of going to the 
theatres, and, worse than the theatres, those casinos, where 
they dance and mix with the unfortunates, . . . Principals 
care nothing for the morals of their young men. We some- 
times see the worst characters placed in the most important 
situations in large houses, as buyers and head salesmen ; and, 
strange to say, they are the most pushing hands and hardest 
workmen. But, mind you, only for a time — a year or two : 



CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF LONDON. xlix 

when large salaries are lavished on them they cannot contain 
themselves : like the loadstone rock in the eastern fable, which 
drew the nails out of the luckless ships that came near it, it 
steals gradually away the strength by which character is held 
together, till at last it loosens at all points, and falls to pieces 
a wreck. Scarcely a week passes but some of the houses find 
their young men robbing them for the purpose of keeping up 
their extravagance." 

Another says : " Our number in this house is something 
under a hundred. Not more than three make a profession of 
religion, and two only of these are members of a Christian 
church. Our spiritual condition is most lamentable." 

Another : "I could not have believed, had I not witnessed 
it myself, that so much wickedness could abound in any estab- 
lishment. There is generally a little leaven scattered here and 
there to witness for the cause of God ; but, sad to say, out of 
the whole of our large establishment there is not one a decided 
follower of the Lord Jesus. We have the misfortune to have 
for our employer a gentleman who, from the example he sets 
the young men, can hardly anticipate a diflferent result from 
what I have described. We have every sanction given for 
swearing, betting, horse-racing, theatres ; and every facility 
afforded for gratifying the worldly thirst for pleasure. Our 
young men, instead of hallowing the Sabbath, spend it on the 
water, or in some of the numerous excursions which abound on 
that holy day." 

During the year 1848, no additional agency was adopted; 
the progress and results of the Association's efforts may best be 
gathered from the following extract from the report : — 

" One hundred additional members have been received into 
the Association during the year, thus making the number 
whose names are on the books 480 ; including the members 
of provincial branches, it is near 1000. The committee would 
not attach undue importance to numbers, as they know that, 

VOL. I. d 



1 THE HISTOKY OF THE YOUNG MEN'S 

in the attainment of all spiritual objects, holy strength of char- 
acter is of infinitely greater value than numerical legions. 
Fourteen additional devotional and Bible-class meetings have 
been commenced in houses of business ; making a total of 
thirty establishments into which religious services have been 
introduced, mainly through the Association. But the most 
afiecting part of all is, that God has condescended to bless the 
agency of the Society to the religious awakening and — your 
committee hope — conversion of upwards of fifty immortal souls 
during the year ; almost the whole of this number have been re- 
ceived into membership and communion with difi'erent branches 
of the Church. Although the committee desire to rejoice with 
humble joy before the Lord at the exceeding greatness of His 
power and love, as thus displayed, they would bear in mind 
that no true estimate of results can be now formed. In addi- 
tion to the direct fruit before named, there are most important 
secondary influences which flow out of the living exhibition of 
Christian truth, that, like the leaves of the tree of life, are ' for 
the healing of the nations.' The committee look back over the 
space of four years, and they feel that the hopes of the most 
sanguine have not been disappointed by the measure of good- 
ness and mercy which God has shown. The success which has 
been given greatly augments the responsibility of the Society, 
for not only must its efi"orts be sustained, but also enlarged. 
If God has so approved, who can disregard the work without 
guilt, or co-operate without blessing? The members of the 
Association have, in their daily calling, influence over six thou- 
sand young men. If the Holy Spirit continue to bless our 
eff'orts, who shall tell to what a height the tide of elevating 
power which emanates from the cross of Christ, shaU raise the 
commercial spirit of this great city." 

In the provinces, branches were formed during the year m 
Sheffield, Bristol, Plymouth, Southampton, Portsea, and Read- 
ing. A year of active and careful development of those plans 



CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF LONDON. ll 

to which the committee had been led hitherto, crowned by the 
abundant blessing of Almighty God, prepared them for a fur- 
ther aggressive movement, the necessity of which had been 
growingly indicated. The rooms which had been occupied 
hitherto for the meetings of the Society were far too small, 
while every week found additional numbers of young men seek- 
ing admission. Larger premises must therefore be secured. 
But in this case, as the expense would be greatly increased, it 
was felt to be necessary to provide for their use on some other 
than the two evenings in the week occupied by the existing 
meetings of the Society. There were in London a large num- 
ber of young men of moral habits and regular associations who 
might be greatly served, and aided in the attainment of higher 
knowledge, both in things spiritual and temporal, if they could 
have access to a well-selected library, to classes for mental cul- 
ture under Christian teachers, and to rooms adapted to their 
use, where, withdrawn from the temptations of ungodly society, 
they might spend their evenings in suitable companionship, or 
in the pursuit of useful information. The principle of such an 
arrangement had already been adopted by the Society. It was 
carefully reviewed, and, being sustained by the judgment of the 
vice-presidents and public officers of the Society, the committee 
declared their conviction, " That, without in the slightest degree 
impairing the distinctive character and design of membership in 
the Association, of the value of which every year brought addi- 
tional proof, many young men, of the character above mentioned, 
might be provided for by the Society, upon the simple terms of 
a money subscription ; and that by this means, in widening the 
sphere of their influence, they should be fulfilling their mission, 
and, by God's help, promoting more largely the spiritual im- 
provement of young men." 

On this it may be remarked that, in view of the peculiar 
features of the age we live in, it appears most necessary 
that the intelligence of the Church shall keep pace with 



lii THE HISTORY OF THE YOUNG MEN'S 

the progress which is made in knowledge and general in- 
formation by the masses of the community ; and, especially, 
that those who take part in the various agencies for the 
diffusion of the Gospel, shall be " scribes well instructed 
in the things of the kingdom." If it be necessary that the 
ministry shall be educated and intelligent, it is correspondingly 
important that every member of the Church in his vocation 
shall be enabled to hold his ground against the attack of the 
infidel or the heretic, and shall be prepared with the means to 
an efficient prosecution of his own labours for the conversion of 
souls. Nor is it less important that every Christian man 
should be furnished with such aids as knowledge can impart, 
to the intelligent and able discharge of his regular duties in 
the world, for this involves a part of his Christian testimony of 
daily increasing necessity. Non-efficient Christian men are a 
hindrance to the Church, a reproach to their brethren, and a 
stumbling-block to the world. It has been far too long the 
custom to divorce the business of life from things which are 
spiritual — to regard them as separate and distinct. But surely 
everything is spiritual which God has ordained, and every call- 
ing should be pursued, every duty discharged, in obedience to 
His will, and with distinct reference to the glory of the 
Eternal King. Every believer who would be faithful to 
his high calling, must see to it that he robs not Christ 
of His honour, by withholding from Him any one of the 
talents with which he is intrusted. If it be reserved for 
the day of the final triumph of the Gospel, that " Holiness to 
the Lord ! shall be upon the bells of the horses," and that 
" every pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be holiness to the 
Lord" — surely it is now our privilege to regard everything in 
its relation to that time and to that principle. The occupa- 
tions of daily life have been sanctified by the fellowship of the 
Holy Jesus, and we dare not call that common or unclean 
which has been thus ennobled and honoured. Hence the com- 



CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF LONDON. liii 

mittee desired to provide for the members of the Association, 
and for all whom their influence could reach, all that could 
tend to the enlargement of the mind, the cultivation of the 
judgment, and the consecration of the heart ; but earnest care 
is taken that these provisions shall be kept as auxiliaries to, 
not substitutes for, the main objects of the Association. 

The result abundantly justified their decision. The rooms 
in Gresham Street, upon which they were thus led to enter, 
were opened at a public meeting in October 1849, at which 
R. C. L. Bevan, Esq., presided, and resorted to regularly by 
nearly 500 young men in each of the succeeding five years ; 
and to so great an extent have the advantages provided by the 
Association for young men been prized, that at the end of that 
time it became necessary to secure larger premises, those now 
occupied by the Association at 165 Aldersgate Street, where the 
same results are correspondingly exhibited. And here it may be 
observed, that in accordance with the desire and expectation of 
the committee, many of those who have attended the library 
and reading-rooms have also frequented the Bible- classes and 
devotional meetings, and have entered upon the profession of 
the faith of the Gospel there illustrated and proclaimed. Very 
many thus brought within the spiritual influence of the Asso- 
ciation could not otherwise have been reached. 

In this year, branches were formed in Devonport, Hudders- 
field, Dublin, Birmingham, Ipswich, Glasgow, Barnstaple, and 
Stafford ; and towards its close a letter was received from a 
gentleman in America, who, having attended the meetings of 
the Association in Radley's Hotel, had been encouraged to 
unite the efforts of young men in his own city, Lowell, Massa- 
chusetts, for their mutual religious improvement, and the benefit 
of their fellows. 

The year 1850 was marked by the development of agencies 
of usefulness adopted by the several provincial branches of the 
Association, and by the continued and increasing success of the 



liv THE HISTOKY OF THE YOUNG MEN'S 

various means employed by the Society in London. In order 
to give the Association a place among the religious anniver- 
saries of the month of May, its own anniversary being held in 
the winter, it was determined to hold annually at this season 
a breakfast meeting, to which friends from the country might 
be invited, and by which their sympathies might be united on 
behalf of the Association. The first meeting was held at Free- 
masons' Hall, on 30th April 1850. 

In the year 1851, that of the " Great Exposition of Indus- 
try" in Hyde Park, the committee adopted various forms of 
special eflfort, with a view to improve the opportunities offered 
by that remarkable occasion. On the day of its opening, the 
1st of May, a volume on the "Useful Arts" was published, 
under the immediate sanction of the late Prince Consort, by 
the Society, with the hope of reflecting the light of Christian 
truth on the wonders of material art. It was edited by the 
Rev. Samuel Martin. Special lectures were delivered at 
Exeter Hall on Christian subjects illustrated by the Great 
Exhibition and its wondrous gatherings. The attention of the 
members was directed to a plan of tract-distribution, which 
enabled them to reach numbers of the young men coming from 
the provinces to London during that season. No less than 
352,000 direct and affectionate statements of the Gospel were 
presented to visitors of this class.^ They were by many carried 
to their country homes ; and from distant and secluded dis- 
tricts tidings came of God's gracious blessing vouchsafed to 

1 Althougli the instructions to the distributors were to offer the tracts 
only to young men, it sometimes happened that they went beyond the 
rule. One Sunday afternoon, an elderly gentleman passed a distributor, 
who handed him a tract. Its courteous acceptance, and the well-known 
salute of two fingers to the hat, caused the young man to look up and 
recogaise the Duke of Wellington. It may be that he was made bold by 
this courtesy, for a portly ecclesiastic, who passed by the same afternoon, 
was offered a tract also. Probably it was inconsistent with a Cardinal's 
dignity to accept the offering, for Dr. Nicholas Wiseman waved it from 
him, and went on his way. 



CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF LONDON. Iv 

these simple messages of love. The tracts were also the means 
of bringing to the Bible-classes many who had not previously 
joined in any religious services. In nothing, perhaps, is there 
more reason to rejoice, than that they were the means of bring- 
ing the Association in London into communication with those 
brethren from America and the continent of Europe who laid 
the foundation of the associations there. Towards the conclu- 
sion of this year intelligence was received of the formation of 
similar societies in Paris, Geneva, Adelaide in South Australia, 
Boston and New York in the United States. 

The following summary, extracted from the report of the 
committee for 1851, will illustrate the position which had 
been attained by the movement amongst young men : — " Dur- 
ing the past year the Association has held above 550 public 
meetings of young men, for prayer and the communication of 
religious truth, and above 1000 others have been conducted 
by its members in commercial establishments ; 362,000 tracts 
and addresses have been gratuitously distributed ; and probably 
more than 100,000 young men have been reached by these 
agencies, lectures, and addresses, and the personal entreaties of 
its members, with the not less important though silent testimony 
of the walk of such as have been consistent, which have all 
been in the hand of the Holy Spirit of God as so much lever- 
age and material for overturning that which is corrupt and 
injurious, and for building up that which is Christian, true, and 
lovely in the character of the young men of London." 

In the year 1852, in addition to the summer distribution of 
tracts, amounting to 70,000, there were distributed in the 
commercial houses of the metropolis 39,000 copies of "Papers 
for Young Men," pithy statements of religious truth combined 
with earnest and affectionate Christian counsels. By this in- 
strumentality the continued influence of the Association amongst 
young men was sustained, and numbers brought to its regular 
meetings. During a period of comparatively quiet, but graci- 



Ivi THE HISTORY OF THE YOUNG MEN'S 

ously-sustained effort, the hearts of the committee were cheered 
by reports of the formation of additional societies in North 
America, and by renewed intelligence from Paris and Geneva. 
They were also made acquainted with movements amongst 
young men in Holland and Germany. 

The following year, 1853, witnessed the publication of a 
work entitled. Business as it Is and as it Might Be, the result 
of prizes oflfered by the Society (through the munificent aid of a 
Christian lady) for essays on " The Evils of the Present System 
of Business, and the Difficulties they present to the Attainment 
and Development of Personal Piety." The magazine, Excelsior, 
was also started by some friends of the Association, under the 
editorship of the Rev. James Hamilton, D.D., F.L.S., a Vice- 
President of the Society, with a view to aid young men in the 
culture of theu* minds, and in the knowledge and practice of 
truth and godliness. 

A deeply-interesting communication from Christian young 
men at Turin recounted the gracious encouragements afi"orded 
them by the Spirit of God^ combined with the openings for 
usefulness consequent upon the civil privileges extended to 
Protestants in Sardinia. 

During this and the following year, 1854, a large measure 
of spiritual blessing was vouchsafed to the Association in con- 
nexion with the metropolitan branches, each of which had 
greatly extended its operations. Two new branch associations 
were formed for the districts popularly known as Belgravia and 
Tyburnia, and the committee were compelled to seek for larger 
premises in which to carry on the general operations of the 
Society, and the conduct of its central meetings. In all these 
arrangements, demanding care and anxious thought, and entail- 
ing the burden of pecuniary responsibility — always painful in 
its connexion with religious effort — the grace of God and the 
generous support of His servants lightened the labours and, 
cheered and encouraged the hearts of the committee and officers 



CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF LONDON. Ivii 

of the Association, and enabled them gratefully to acknowledge 
to His glory, that as their cords were lengthened their stakes 
were strengthened. Of the additional numbers of young men 
brought under their influence in this year, many were added to 
the Church. 

From this period no new form of efi'ort appears to have been 
adopted. Those which had been tried, and by long experience 
found to meet the circumstances of young men, and to have re- 
ceived the sanction of the Divine blessing, were embodied in the 
fundamental rules of the Association ; these rules, which have 
not since been altered, it may be well to insert in this place, 
as they afi'ord the best illustration of the principles and practice 
of the Association.! 

The year 1855 witnessed a very important feature in the 



* *' I. That this Society be called " The Young Men's Christian Asso- 
ciation." 

" II. That the object of the Association be the improvement of the 
spiritual and mental condition of Young Men. 

" III. That the agency employed for the attainment of this object be 
that of the Members of the Association in the sphere of their daily calling, 
Devotional Meetings, Classes for Biblical Instruction, and for Literary 
Improvement, the delivery of Lectures, the diffusion of Christian Literature, 
a Library for reference and circulation, and any other means in accordance 
with the Holy Scriptures. 

" IV. That the affairs of the Association be in the hands of its Office 
Bearers and a Committee of Management, who shall meet as often as neces- 
sary for the despatch of business. Five to form a quorum. The Committee 
shall be elected annually by a majority of Members at a meeting to be held 
for that purpose the last week in September. 

"V. That an Annual Meeting be held, at which a report of the Society's 
proceedings be read. 

"VI. That meetings be held in connexion with the Association for the 
purpose of prayer, reading the Scriptures, mutual edification and encour- 
agement, and for receiving information on all matters tending to promote 
the welfare of the Association ; at which meetings any Member shall have 
the privilege of introducing his friends. That the Chairman at each meet- 
ing shall be appointed by the Committee, and that all meetings shall begin 
and end with praj^er. 



Iviii THE HISTOEY OF THE YOUNG MEN'S 

development of the work of YouDg Men's Christian Associations. 
In Paris, there had existed for some years an Association formed 
on the model of that in London, originated, indeed, by the zeal, 
and to some extent sustained by the liberality, of the young 
men to whom reference has been made as the first movers in 
this work. The little society in Paris had fallen into the 
management of a young Protestant pastor, M. Jean Paul Cook, 
whose father, the well-known and revered Rev. Dr. William 
Cook, was an Englishman, his mother being a French lady of 
the family of Marzials. Speaking with equal facility the 
languages of both his parents, and though a theologian, being 
]\Ianager of the business affairs of his religious community, 
he was admirably qualified to influence alike the young men 
of England who for commercial purposes reside in the French 
capital, and the students who from various districts of France, 
Switzerland, and Germany are wont to assemble in the schools 
of Paris. Better qualification he had in a loving and catholic 
spirit, and in deep, personal realization and enjoyment of 

" VII. That any person sliall be eligible for Membership who gives de- 
cided evidence of his conversion to God. That he shall be proposed by a 
Member of the Association at any of its meetings, and elected by the Com- 
mittee, after a satisfactory inquiry as to his suitability. 

" VIII. That the Committee shall possess power to suspend or exclude 
any Member whose conduct is found, in their judgment, inconsistent with 
the Christian character. 

" RULES WITH REFERENCE TO PROVINCIAL BRANCH ASSOCIATIONS. 

" XI. That the Associations who are willing to unite with this Society, 
being similar in their constitution and objects, and adopting the spirit of 
the IL, III., IV., viT., and viiith Eules of the Association, shall be 
recognised as in connexion with and by mutual consent termed branches of 
' The Young Men's Christian Association.' 

''XII. That Associations desirous of availing themselves of the above 
Kule, shall transmit a copy of their Rules, with a list of their Office- 
bearers, to the Secretary annually. 

" XII. That Members of such Associations be received as Members of 
* The Young Men's Christian Association,' upon the recommendation of the 
Branch Secretary, subject to the approval of the London Committee." 



CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF LONDON. lix 

the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. He laboured, in 
conjunction with a few faithful friends in Paris, and was 
especially assisted by M. Laget of Nimes, in propagating 
the missionary principles of the Association amongst the 
young men of the Protestant churches of France, so that in 
many towns and villages there sprang up little meetings for 
prayer and fellowship among the young men, which were 
blessed as a means of preserving them against the assaults of 
infidelity, and the effects of the restless and unceasing activi- 
ties of the Romish priesthood. Correspondence was kept up 
between these meetings and the Union Chrdtienne de Jeunes 
Gens in Paris, and at length, as the result of a commonly ex- 
pressed need, they determined on a conference, to be held in the 
capital in August 1855, for mutual information and encourage- 
ment. The purpose once formed, was soon extended, and in- 
vitations were addressed to Associations in other countries to 
send delegates, so that at length there assembled in Paris re- 
presentatives from the Young Men's Christian Associations in 
America, England, Scotland, Holland, Belgium, Germany, and 
Switzerland, as well as from all districts in France. 

It was one of the happy results of this Conference that the 
leaders of the work in different countries were brought into per- 
sonal association ; so that, by social intercourse, and in much 
fervent prayer, the interest of each in the common enterprise 
was deepened, and their practical knowledge both of methods 
of labour and of the encouragements to labour were alike in- 
creased. The impressions gathered from attendance at this 
Conference have been admirably summarized by Monsieur 
Eugene Renevier of Lausanne, as follows : — 

" I. Origin of the Unions. — Under the influence of the 
Spirit of God, a general movement simultaneously operated 
among young men of various countries ; beginning with meet- 
ings for prayer and mutual edification, which resulted in the 
formation of organized Unions, commencing in London, and 



Ix THE HISTOEY OF THE YOUNG MEN'S 

thence extending to America on the one hand, and to Paris on 
the other ; from Paris to Geneva, then to Lausanne, and thence 
to the Canton de Vaud and all German Switzerland. 

II. Fundamental Ppjnciples. — These are the same in 
every Union, viz. : — 

" 1. Personal, evangelical, and vital Christianity. 

" 2. Protestant Catholicity, or Union of all denominations 
upon the common basis of Christian faith. 

" 3. Christian fraternity, or Union of young men of every 
class of society for one common object. There is no exception 
with respect to this principle, though there is some with re- 
spect to its application ; as for instance, when a Union pro- 
poses for itself a special object, such as labouring among 
commercial young men, as in London, or among students, as in 
Utrecht and one of the Unions of Bale. 

" III. Organization. — This varies much in different places. 
The small Unions recently formed, have none, or scarcely any ; 
but in proportion with their growth, the need of more complete 
organization is felt ; thus it has attained its fullest development 
in the large Unions of England and America. 

" Most of the Unions recognise none but Christian young 
men as active members, that is to say, members who aid the 
progress and management of the Union. The only exception 
to this rule exists in the Junglings Vereine, which, after hav- 
ing insured the progress of the L^nion by creating a central com- 
mittee, receive as members young men, upon the simple ground 
of accredited character. 

" In the greater part of the European Unions, the active 
members alone receive the title of members, the others are called 
in England subscribers, and on the Continent, visitors or friends 
of the Union. . . . 

" IV. Means used. — ^One great object of all the Unions is 
mutual edification. Several of them occupy themselves also with 



CHRISTLVN ASSOCIATION OF LONDON. Ixi 

the evangelization of the surrounding districts. The Union of 
Geneva and some Unions in France visit the sick and the poor. 
The special work of Antwerp is the benefit of mariners. But 

THE PEINCIPAL AIM OF MOST OF THE UnIONS IS THE CONVER-^ 

SIGN OF YOUNG MEN TO GoD, which they seek to accomplish 
by various means : — 

" 1. Indirect means, such as — 

" ((2.) Amelioration of circumstances ; as the committee on 
boarding-houses, and on visiting the sick, in New York, and the 
Young Men's Homes and Gratuities, etc., of Germany. 

" (6.) Instruction, by means £)f Reading-rooms and Libraries, 
as in all the considerable Unions, and by lectures and evening- 
classes, as in Germany, England, and America. 

" Direct means, such as meetings for mutual edification, Bible- 
classes and sermons to young men (as in London, Paris, etc.), 
the distribution of tracts, and Sunday-schools (as in Switzer- 
land, etc.), and the personal efi"orts of members. 

" In conclusion, we gather from the reports of the various 
Unions that we ought very specially to endeavour to extend and 
maintain in every Union the three fundamental principles : Per- 
sonal, Evangelical, and vital Christianity, Protestant Catholi- 
city, and Christian fraternity of the various classes of society. We 
ought to leave to each Union, perfect liberty of organization, 
while we recommend such means and methods of action as we 
believe will produce most fruit to the glory of God ; and in 
order to secure this end, we ought to concentrate our efi"orts on 
these two principal objects : Mutual Edification, and the Con- 
version of Young Men to God.^'' 

But the most important result of this Conference in Paris 
was the adoption of a basis of Union amongst the Associations 
of different countries, which, by recognising as fundamental the 
doctrines of the Deity and Atonement of the Lord Jesus 
Christ, and the authority of Holy Scripture, was designed to 



Ixii THE HISTORY OF THE YOUNG MEN'S 

protect the Associations in after time against any attempts to 
introduce unsound doctrines, or to secularize their objects. 

" The Young Men's Christian Associations seek to unite those Young 
Men who, regarding Jesus Christ as their God and Saviour according to 
the Holy Scriptures, desire to he His disciples in their doctrine and their 
life, and to associate their e^ortsfor the extension of His kingdom amongst 
Young Men." 

The effect of this Union has been to keep in connexion with, 
and, in a sense, dependent upon the more perfectly organized 
societies, those in which, from local difficulties, the highest 
forms of effort were not always attainable, to bring to bear the 
influence of the most spiritual on those in which earnest mis- 
sionary enterprise had not at first been contemplated, to com- 
bine the interest and sympathies of all, and to make each a 
witness, under God, for the distinctive truths of the Gospel, 
and the one sacred record by which these traths are diffused 
and perpetuated in the world. 

Similar Conferences to this have since been held — at Geneva 
in 1858, and in London in 1862 ; but these were of necessity 
occupied in considering means for the extension of the work on 
the principles already established, to which there was nothing 
to add, and from which there has been, in no case, any dispo- 
sition to depart. 

It is not contemplated by this sketch of the History of the 
Young Men's Christian Association, to detail each of the parti- 
cular steps in its advance, nor is it necessary to chronicle the 
ordinary incidents of subsequent years. They have all been 
years of blessing, characterized by continual accessions of young 
men to the faith of the Gospel, and of godly young men to the 
ranks of the missionary members of the Association. Those 
facts alone have been introduced which have served to illus- 
trate some principle in regard to its working or aims. More 
minute particulars can be obtained through the reports of the 



CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF LONDON. Ixiii 

Association, and from the published proceedings of the several 
Conferences referred to,i and to these documents reference must 
also be made for information in regard to the modes of opera- 
tion, conduct of Bible-classes, etc. It may suffice to say that 
there are now two thousand members on the roll of the Asso- 
ciation ; that there are nine districts in London, in which the 
work sustained by the Central Association is also vigorously 
carried out by regularly organized branches ; and that in the 
eleven Bible-classes which are at this time held in London in 
connexion with the Young Men's Christian Association, about 
one thousand young men are assembled every Sunday afternoon 
for the careful study of the sacred Scriptures. At the end of 
1863, the number of corresponding societies in Great Britain 
and Ireland was one hundred and forty-nine. 

A few words must however be added by way of memorial of 
those to whom it has been given to bear prominent part in this 
mission-work amongst young men. The name of Mr. Hitch- 
cock, its treasurer from the commencement till his death, has 
been mentioned already : but for his princely generosity, his 
wonderful judgment, and his loving zeal, the work could never 
have been originated or carried on with the degree of efficiency 
which has been attained. The founder of the Association, 
Mr. George Williams, now, since Mr. Hitchcock's death, its 
treasurer, still bears his full share in the primary work under- 
taken by all the members on their admission, viz., that of 
seeking, in the sphere of daily duty, to win souls to Christ. 
Its first secretary, Mr. T. Henry Tarlton, entered the Associa- 
tion in 1844, and laboured most assiduously and most success- 
fully till 1856, when he was ordained to the ministry, and soon 
after became incumbent of Stroud, in Gloucestershire. To him 
the Association is indebted for the origination of its Bible- 

1 On application to the Secretary, 165 Aldersgate Street, London, or the 
publishers, James Nisbet & Co., 21 Berners Street. 



Ixiv THE HISTORY OF THE YOUNG MEN'S 

classes, and for the establisliment of the Exeter Hall Lectures 
of which these volumes are the memorial. To his tact and 
enterprise, his judgment and zeal, his winning address, and 
fidelity to " the truth as it is in Jesus," much of the progress 
of the movement, and of its spiritual results, are, under the 
Divine blessing, to be gratefully attributed. Among those 
who entered on the work at a later period, the name of 
Mr. Henry F. Bowker,^ of Christ's Hospital, should be men- 
tioned in connexion with the self-denying zeal and laborious 
study which enabled him to acquire the character of the most 
successful conductor of Bible-classes, — numbers of young men, 
from amongst every class in society, attributing to his instruc- 
tions their religious conversion ; while the late Mr. Henry 
Hull 2 was probably honoured of God beyond his fellows in the 
precious gifts of conducting meetings for prayer, and of leading 
young men, awakened to a sense of their sins, to immediate 
religious decision and faith upon the Lord Jesus Christ. 
Among public supporters of the Association, grateful mention 
should be made of the Earl of Shaftesbury, the President ; of 
Mr. R. C. L, Bevan, the chairman of committee ; of Miss Portal ; 
of Messrs. Samuel and John Morley, and of Messrs. Samuel and 
Henry Edmund Gurney. The names of Charles H. Moore, Dr. 
John H. Gladstone, W. G. Habershon, C. W. Smith, Stephen 
Westbrook, Peter Conner, Stephen Pewtress, and F. J. Potter, 
may be mentioned as types of many hundreds of men, in every 
variety of profession and occupation, who have in this work 
supplemented other and diligent labours both in the Church 
and in the world, by earnest efi'orts to protect young men from 
the special dangers incident to London life, and to bring them, 
by knowledge of God's truth, to loving submission to His 
authority and the blessed enjoyments of His salvation. The 
duty of organizing the Association, methodizing its work, and 
^ West Branch. - Nortli-west Branch. 



CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF LONDON. LiV 

assisting the formation of similar societies at home and abroad, 
has been, for the most part, during now nearly twenty years, 
committed to the wiiter of these pages. The remembrance of 
the happy friendships, pleasant intercourse, and joyous services 
of this long period, creates a feeling of deep thankfulness, com- 
bined however with a deeper feeling of regret that this record 
of the lovingkindness of the Lord to his brethren and himself 
is so feeble and unworthy. 

Yet all the more because of the weakness and imperfectness 
of the narrative, the History of the Young Men's Christian 
Association stands out as a Stoey of Grace, a memorial of 
God's saving mercy to lost and helpless souls. As such its 
perusal will call forth the thanksgivings of many Christian 
hearts, but chiefly of those who, having known the struggles, 
temptations, and snares of " life in great cities," will understand 
the value of an Association which seeks to promote " the 
spiritual and mental welfare of young men." 

W. E. S. 



VOL. I. 



EXETEE HALL LECTUEES, 

DELIVERED BEFORE THE YOUNG MEN's CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION. 



The following are the Contents of the Series in Twenty Volumes: 



1845-46. 

History of the Young Men's Christian Asso- 
ciation of London. 

Biblical Statements in Harmony with 
Scientific Discoveries. By Rev. John 
Stoughton. 

The Extent and the Moral Statistics of 
the British Empire. By Rev. Wm. 
Arthur, M.A. 

Ancient Rome and Modern London : in- 
tended to illustrate the Past and Present 
State of Civilisation. By Rev. John 
Stoughton. 

The Cedar and the Palm. By Rev. Jas. 
Hamilton, D.D. 

The Field and the Garden : the Bible illus- 
trated by the Plants of Palestine. By 
Rev. James Hamilton, D.D. 

The LUy of the Valley and the Glory of 
Lebanon. By Rev. James Hamilton, 
D.D. 

Luther and the Reformation. By Rev. J. 
CUMMIKG, D.D. 



1846-47. 

British India. By Rev. W. Arthur. 
Physical, Moral, and Intellectual Effects of 

Protracted Labour. By the late Rev. 

Hekrt Hughes, M.A. 
Druidism, the Ancient Religion of Britain, 

contrasted with Christianity. By Rev. 

George Smith, D.D. 
Patriarchal Civilisation, By Rev. John 

Stoughton. 
The History and Influence of Literature. 

By Rev. John Cumming, D.D. 
Works of Fiction. By Rev. John Aldis. 
Points of Similarity between Judaism and 

Romanism. By the late Rev. Josias 

Wilson. 
Theatrical Amusements. By Rev. J. B. 

Bennett, M.D. 



On the Origin, Progress, and Moral Effects 

of the Crusades to the Holy Land. By 

Rev. Daniel Moorb, M.A. 
The Unity of the Species. By Rev. TnoMAg 

Archer, D.D. 
The Tabernacle of Israel. By Rev. Samuel 

Martin. 



1847^48. 

The Natural History of Creation. By Edwin 
Lankester, Esq., M.D. 

Social Organization. By the late Rev. John 
Harris, D.D. 

The Art of Printing, and the Effects of the 
Cheapness and Facilities of that Art on 
Society. By Rev. John Tod Brown, 
M.A. 

Mohammedanism : Its Rise, Tenets, and 
History. By Rev. William Arthur, 
M.A. 

The Acquisition of Knowledge. By the 
late Rev. Dr. Joseph Beaumont. 

The Geological Evidences of the Existence 
of the Deity. By Rev. Thomas Archer, 
D.D. 

The Mythology of the Greeks, By Rev. 
John Aldis. 

The History of the Formation of the Free 
Church of the Canton de Vaud, Switzer- 
land. By Hon. and Rev. Baptist W. 
Noel, M.A. 

The Truths Peculiar to Christianity, and 
the Principal Proof of which they are 
susceptible. By Rev. C. Stovel. 

The Moral Influence of the Commercial 
Spirit of the Day. By Rev, George 
FiSK, LL.B, 

The Mysteriousness of Christianity Com- 
patible with its Truth, and with Faith 
in its Verities. By Rev. Chables 
Priest. 

The Age we Live in. By Rev. John 
Cumming, D.D. 



Ixviii 



EXETER HALL LECTURES. 



1848-49. 

The Characteristics of Romanism and of 

Protestantism, as developed in their 

respective Teaching and Worship. By 

Rev. Hugh M'Neile, D.D. 

God in History. By Rev. J. Cum.ming, D.D. 

The Bearing of Commerce upon the Spread 
of Christianity. By Right Rev. Robbbt 
BiCKEKSTBTH, D.D., Lord Bishop of 
Ripon. 

The Common Origin of the Human Race. 
By Rev. William Bkock. 

Modern Infidel Philosophy. By Rev. Hugh 
Stowell, A.m. 

The Possession of Spiritual Religion the 
surest Preservative from the Snares of 
Infidelity and the Seductions of False 
Philosophy. By the late Rev, John 
Angell James. 

Characteristics of the Middle Ages. By 
Rev. Thomas Archer, D.D. 

The French Revolution of 1818. By Rev. 
William Arthur, M.A. 

The Church and the World. By Hon. and 
Rev. Baptist W. Noel, A.M. 

Internal Evidences of the Divine Inspira- 
tion of the Scriptures of the Old and New 
Testament. By the late Rev. Thomas 
Raffles, D.D., LL.D. 

Cardinal Wolsey. By Rev. Samuel Martiii. 

Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, Bart. : A 
Study for Young Men. By Rev. Thomas 

BiNNBT. 



1849-50. 

The Bible Self-Evidential. By Rev. Hugh 
Stowell, A.M. 

The Influence of Romanism on the Intel- 
lectual and Moral Condition of the People 
subject to its Sway. By Rev. W. L. 
Alexander, D.D. 

Literary Attractions of the Bible. By Rev. 
James Hamilton, D.D., F.L.S. 

The Relation of Christianity to the Free- 
dom of Thought and Action. By Rev. 
Asa Mahan, A.M. 

The Church in the Catacombs. By Rev. 
William Arthur, M.A. 

The Nature of Romanism as Exhibited in 
the Missions of the Jesuits and other 
Orders. By Rev. M. Hobaet Seymour, 
A.M 



The Bible : Its Provision and Adaptation 

for the Moral Necessities of fallen Man. 

By Rev. Hugh M'Neile, D.D. 
The Apostle Paul. By Rev. W. Brock. 
Money. By Rev. Samuel Martik. 
Music in its Relation to Religion. By Rev. 

John Cumming, D.D 
William Allea By the late Rev. James 

Sherman. 
The History and Condition of Protestantism 

in France. By Rev. Richard Burgess, 

B.D. 



1850-51. 
National Obligation to the Bible. By the 

Right Rev. R. Bickersteth, D.D., Lord 

Bishop of Ripon. 
The Age we Live in : Its Tendencies and 

its Exigencies. By Rev. Hugh Stowell, 

A.M. 
India and its Evangelisation. By Rev. 

Alexander Duff, D.D. 
A Revival of Religion. By Hon. and Rev. 

B. W. NoBL, A.M. 
God in Science. By Rev. Johx Cumming, 

D.D. 
Life in London : Its Advantages and its 

Dangers in Relation to Character. By 

the late Hon. and Right Rev. H. M. 

ViLLiEES, D.D., Lord Bishop of Dur- 
ham. 
Heroes. By Rev. William Arthur, M.A. 
Daniel a Model for Young Men. By Rev. 

William Brock. 
Solomon the Prince and Solomon the 

Preacher. By Rev. J. Hamilton, D.D. 
The Instincts of Industry. By Rev. Samu kl 

Martin. 
The Cherubic Symbol. Ezekiel 1. 28. By 

J. B. Melson. Esq., A.M., M.D. 
The Authority and Inspiration of the Holy 

Scriptures. By Rev. R. S. Candlish, 

D.D. 



1851-52. 

Progress of the Gospel in France. By Hon. 
and Rev. B. W. Noel. A.M. 

Italy. By Charles Buxton, Esq. 

Divine Revelation : Its Truth and Import- 
ance. By the late Rev. Dr. Beaumont. 



EXETER HALL LECTURES. 



Ixix 



The Philosophy of Prayer. By Rev. John 

Aldis. 
"Never Man spake like this Man." By 

Rev. Hugh Stowell, A.M. 
Tyndale and the English Bible. By Rev. 

W. L. Thornton, A.M. 
Ireland. By the Right Rev. Robebt 

BiCKERSTETH, D.D., Lord Bishop of 

Ripon. 
Christianity in its Relation to Sects and 

Denominations. By Rev. H. Alion. 
Alfred the Great. By Rev. W. W. Champ- 

NEYS, A.M. 
The Christian Character in its Connexion 

with Secular Pursuits. By Rev. G. 

FisK, LL.B. 
Lord Byron, By Rev. G. Gilfillan, A.M, 



1852-53. 

Wonders of the Bible. By Rev. Hugh 

Stowell, A.M. 
The Prophets of Scepticism. By Rev. Wil- 
liam Landels. 
Wellington. By Rev. J. Cdmming, D.D. 
Gold and Gold-seekers. By the late Hon, 

and Right Rev. H. M. Villiers, D.D., 

Lord Bishop of Durham. 
The Eloquence of Ireland. By the late 

Rev. George Croly, LL.D. 
The Precursors of the English Reformation. 

By Alfred Rooker, Esq. 
Sincerity in its Relation to Human Actions 

and to Matters of Religious Belief. By 

Rev. S. D. Waddy, D.D. 
Anglo-Saxon Colonies. By Rev. John 

Stoughton. 
Baxter and his Times, By Rev. J. C. Rtle, 

A.B. 
Coleridge and his Followers. By Rev. W. M. 

Hethkrington, LL.D. 
Toung Men for the Age. By Rev. W. 

Brock. 
What Fifty Years have Done for the Bible. 

By Rev, J. Hamilton, D.D. 



1853-54. 

On Desultory and Systematic Reading. By 
the late Right Hon. Sir J. Stephen, 
K.C.B. 

Habit. By John B. Gough, Esq. 



Romanism : , In its Relation to the Second 
Coming of Christ. By the Right Rev. R. 
BicKERSTETH, D.D., Lord Bishop of 
Ripon. 

The Haldanes. By Rev. Wm. Landels, 

The Signs of the Times. By Rev. John 
COMMING, D.D. 

Christian Education. By Very Rev. Fran- 
cis Close, D.D., Dean of Carlisle. 

The Jews and Judaism. By Rev. Hdgh 
M'Nbile, D.D, 

The Prophet of Horeb : His Life and its 
Lessons. By Rev. W. M. Pdnshon, M.A. 

Passages from the Life of Cicero. By Rev, 
C. J. Vaughan, D.D. 

Authorship. By Rev. Thomas Binnbt. 

The Study of Modern History. By Very 
Rev. A- P. Stanley, D.D., Dean of West- 
minster, 

Geology. By Hugh Miller, Esq. 

The Essays of Mr. Maurice. By Rev. 
Robert S. Candlish, D.D, 



1854-55. 

Introductory Lecture : On the Origin of 

Civilisation. By Richard Whately, 

D.D., late Archbishop of Dublin. 
Labour, Rest, and Recreation. By Rev. 

John Gumming, D.D. 
Popular Fallacies. By Rev. W. Landels. 
The Glory of the Old Testament. By Rer, 

Hugh Stowell, M.A. 
Philosophy of the Atonement. By Rev 

Thomas Archer, D.D. 
Man and His Masters. By J. B. Gough, 

Esq. 
The Intelligent Study of the Holy Scriptures. 

By the Very Rev. Hbhry Alford, D.D., 

Dean of Canterbury. 
Constantinople and Greek Christianity, By 

Rev. Richard Burgess, B.D. 
Agents in the Revival of the Last Century. 

By Rev. Luke H. Wiseman. 
God's Heroes and Man's Heroes. By the 

late Rev. J. Hampden Gubnet, M.A. 
■^he Dignity of Labour. By Rev. Newman 

Hall, B. A. 
Ragged Schools. By Rev. Thomas Gdth- 

bie, D.D, 
Opposition to Great Inventions and Disco- 
veries. By Rev. S. Martin. 



Ixx 



EXETER HALL LECTUIIES. 



1855-56. 

The Obstacles which have retarded Moral 
and Political Progress. By Right Hon. 
Eari, Russell, K.G. 

The Advent of Christ the Divine Key to 
History. By Rev. J. B. Brown, B.A. 

Saul of Tarsus. By Very Rev. H. Aiford, 
D.D., Dean of Canterbury. 

Labour Lightened, not Lost. By the late 
Professor James Milibr. 

Palissy the Potter. By Rev. H. Allon. 

The Talkers of Society. By Rev. J. B. 
Owen, M.A. 

Prospective Results of International Exhi- 
bitions. By Leone Levi, Efq. 

The Home Harvest. By Rev. John C. Mil- 
ler, D.D. 

The Credulities of Sce;)ticism. By Rev. 
Robert Vatjghan, D.D. 

Things Secular and Things Sacred. By Rev. 
Luke H. Wiseman. 

Some of the Lessons War Teaches. By the 
late Hon. and Right Rev. H. M. Villiers, 
D.D., Lord Bishop of Durham. 

Mercantile Morality. By Rev. W. Brock. 

Conscience and the Bible. By Rev. Robert 
S. Candlish, D.D. 



1856-57. 

Truth and its Counterfeits. By the Hon. 

the Vice-Chancellor Sir William Page 

Wood, Kt. 
Gambling. By Rev. Samuel Martin. 
The Sabbath : Patriarchal, Mosaic, and 

Christian. By J. J. Cummins, Esq. 
The Triple Plea : Body, Soul, Spirit. By 

Rev. William Beal, LL.D., F.S.A. 
The Battle of Life. By Rev. Hugh Stowell 

Brown. 
Revision and Translation of the Bible. By 

Rev. John Gumming, D.D. 
Abstinence : Its Place and Power. By Pro- 
fessor James Miller. 
Popular Amusements. By Edward Cor- 

DEROT, Esq. 
The Imagination : Its Use and Abuse. By 

Rev. James M'Cosh, LL D. 
The Two Lights — Reason and Revelation. 

By Rev. Enoch Mellor, M.A. 
John Bunyan. By Rev. W, M. Pukshon, 

M.A. 
Self-Culture. By Rev. Hugh Stowell,M.A. 



1857-58. 

The Social Influence of Christianity. B\ 
Wm. Edward Baxter, Esq., M.P. 

Manliness. By Rev. II. S. Brown. 

Social ResponsibiUties. By John B. Gough, 
Esq. 

Modern Geographical Researches in Africa. 
By Rev. George Smith. 

The Silence of Scripture. By Rev. J, C. 
Miller, D.D. 

The Lessons of the Street. By Rev. Wil- 
liam Landels. 

Hugh Miller's Testimony of the Rocks.- God 
in His Word and in His Works. By the 
Very Rev. Francis Clo.ss, D.D., Dean of 
Carlisle. 

The Church : Its Influence, Duties, and 
Hopes in the Present Age. By Rev. 
Samuel Colet. 

Pulpit Eloquence of the Seventeenth Cen- 
tury. By Very Rev. H. Alford, D.D.. 
Dean of Canterbury. 

Varieties of Spiritual Life. By Rev. John 
Stoughton. 

Progress : Life of George Stephenson. By 
Edward Corderot, Esq. 

A Life Story, with Characters and Com- 
ments. By Rev. Norman Macleod, D.D. 

1858-59. 

Social Effects of the Reformation. By the 
Right Rev. Robert Bickersteth, D.D., 
Lord Bishop of Ripon. 

The Occultation of Jupiter. By Rev. New- 
man Hall, LL.B. 

Socrates. By Rev. Edw. Metrick Godl- 
burn, D.D. 

The Spanish Armada. By Rev. G. Smith. 

The Life of Jesus its own Witness. By Rev 
J. M. M'Culloch, D.D. 

William Carey. By Rev. J. P. Chowh. 

De Propaganda Fide. By Rev. C. H. Spub- 

GEON. 

Characteristics and Tendencies of Modern 

Literature. By Rev. Henry Allon. 
The Law of Labour a Law of Love. By Rev. 

Hugh Stowell, M.A. 
The Bible and Modern Progress. By Rev. 

James H. Rigg. 
The Liberty of Opinion, and the Qualifications 

for Using it. By Rev. Geo. Fisk, LL.B. 
Sacred Music, By Rev. J. Cdmming, D.D. 



EXETER HALL LECTURES. 



Ixxi 



1859-60. 

The Influence of Knox and the Scottish Re 
formation on the Reformat! on in England. 
By Right Hon. James Moncreiff, M.P., 
Lord Advocate of Scotland. 

Bigotry. By Rev. J. C. Miller. D.D. 

Self-Conquest. By Rev. R. Roberts. 

Queen Elizabeth. By Rev. II. Stowell, 
M.A. 

The Influence of Society in the Formation 
of Character. By Rev. John Graham. 

Blaise Pascal. By Rev. E. M. Goulburn.D.D. 

The Earth Framed and Furnished as a Habi- 
tation for Man. By Rev. William Arnot. 

The Advantages to be derived from the 
Study of Church History. By Rev. 
Samuel Martin. 

Hogarth and his Pictures. By Rev. Hugh 
Stq-well Brown. 

The World's Oldest Poem. By Rev. Frede- 
ric Greeves. 

Old School Aff'ectations in Literature, Art, 
Science, Religion, Politics, and Social Cus- 
toms. By the Rev. J. B. Owen, M.A. 

The Power of Example. By John B. 
GoUGH, Esq. 



1860-61. 

Our Indian Empire. By Lieut.-Colonel Sir 

Herbert B. Edwardes, K.C.B. 
The Scottish Covenanters. By the Rev. 

William Landels. 
Individuality. By the late Rev. Theophi- 

Lus Pearson. 
England in the Olden Time ; or. Glimpses of 

the Fourteenth Century. By the late Rev. 

J. Hampden Gurnet, M.A. 
Lessons from the Lives of the Jesuits. By 

Rev. Charles Vince. 
Revivals, Ancient and Modern. By Rev. 

John Stoughton. 
Commerce Christianized. By Rev. Robt. 

Jeffrey, M.D. 
The Blessed Life. By Rev. Samuel 

COLBT. 

The Formation of English Character. By 

Rev. James Bardslet, M.A. 
Erasmus. By Rev. James Hamilton, D.D. 
The Relations of Religion and Art. By 

Rev. William Poilock, M.A. 



1861-62. 

France and England Eighty Tears Ago. 

By Isaac Taylor, Esq. 
Anglo-Saxon Christianity, and Augustine of 

Canterbury. By Rev Samuel Martin. 
Anszlo-Norman Christianity, and Anselm 

By the Rev. John Stoughton. 
Lollardie and Wicliffe. By Rev. William 

B. Mackenzie, M.A. 
The English Reformation, and Archbishop 

Cranmer. By Edward Corderoy, Esq. 
Church Song, with Illustrations of the 

People's Worship in Ancient and Modern 

Times. By Rev. Henry Allon. 
Counterfeits. By Rev. C. H. Spurgeon. 
The Criteria of Truth. By Rev. Archi- 
bald Boyd, M.A. 
The Uses of Prophecy. By the Very Rev. 

William C. Maqee, D.D., Dean of Cork. 
Miracles. By Rev. Walter Smith, M.A. 
The New Testament Narratives Real, not 

Ideal. By Rev. J. C. Miller. D.D. 
Macaulay. By Rev. W. Mohley Pcnshon 



1862-63. 

Scientific Experiments in Balloons. By 

James Glaisher, Esq., F.R.S. 
The Purpose of Being. By Rev. Richard 

Roberts. 
A Sound Mind. By Rev. J. Hamilton, D.D. 
Defaulters. By Rev. H. Stowell Brown. 
Italy andher Rulers. By Rev. Wm. M'Call, 

M.A. 
Addresses by Rev. William Brock, and 

Rev, Newman Hall, LL.B. 
The Earth as it has been Occupied, Culti- 
vated, and Improved by the Industry of 

Man. By Rev. William Arnot. 
John Howe and the Times of the Puritans. 

By Rev. Robert Machray, M.A. 
Bishop Burnet and the Times of the English 

Revolution and the Protestant Settlement. 

By Rev. G. W. Conder. 
Bishop Butler and the Religious Features 

of his Times, 1692-1752. By the Rev. 

Adam S. Farrar, M.A., Professor of 

Theology in the University of Durham. 
Addresses by Earl of Shaftesbury, K.G. ; 

Rev. Canon Stowell, M.A. ; Rev. C. 

Prest ; Rev. E. Batley ; and T. B. 

Smithies, Esq. 



Ixxii 



EXETER HALL LECTURES. 



1863-64* 

On some Instances of the Power of God, as 
manifested in His Animal Creation. By 
Professor Richakd Owen, D.C.L., F.R.S. 

Edward Irving. By Rev, Wm. I.andels. 

Poverty in its relation to Competence 
and Wealth. By Rev. Alex. Raleigh. 

An Evening with the Church Fathers and 
Early Christians. By Rev. F. J. Shake. 

Calvin. By the Rev, E, Gabbett, M.A. 

Psalmody of the Reformation — Lutheran, 
Calvinistic, English. With Illustrations. 
By Rev. Hbnrt Allon. 

Israel in Egypt — Monumental Testimonies 
to the Pentateuch. By the Rev. John 
Cd-mming, D.I>. 

Missions and Missionaries of the last Half- 
Century. By the Rev. Marmaddke C. 

OSBORN. 

The Bible in India. By Rev. Jonathan 

Makepiecb. 
The Practical Service of Imperfect Means. 

By Rev. A. K. H. Boyd, D.D. 
Some of the Battles of the Bible, viewed in 

connexion with the Physical Geography of 

Palestine. By Rev. E. Baylet, B.D. 



1864-65. 

The History of the Mediterranean. By tbe 

Rev. J. S. HowsoN, D.D. 
Chalmers. By the Rev. John Caibns 

D.D. 
The Character of Christ an argument for the 

literal truthfulness of the Four Gospels. 

By the Rev. Chables Vincb. 
From Doubt to Faith. By the Rev. R. W. 

Dale, M.A. 
John Angell James. By the Rev. J. C. 

Miller, D.D. 
Italy and France, with Reference to their 

Present Religious Condition. By the Rev. 

Richard Borgess, B.D. 
The Civil Polity of Moses. By the ReT. 

John Edmond, D.D. 
Rivers : Notes on the Laws which they 

obey, and the Lessons which they teach. 

By Rev. William Arnot, M.A. 
Wilberforce. By the Rev. W. Morlet 

PUNSHON, M.A, 
M. Renan on the Kingdom of God. By the 

Very Rev. William Alexander, M.A., 

Dean of Emly, Rector of Camus-Juxta- 

Mourne, and Chaplain to the Lord-Lieu- 
tenant of Ireland. 



* This volume, which was not issued in the usual course by the Committee of the 
Young Men's Christian Association, is inserted in the series by kind permission of the 
publishers, Messrs. Simpkin, Marshall, & Co, 



BIBLICAL STATEMENTS IN HAEMONY 
WITH SCIENTIFIC DISCOVEEIES. 

BY 

THE REV. JOHN STOUGHTOK 



TOL. T. 



Several important publications on scientific subjects have 
appeared since this Lecture was delivered. They require to be 
noticed in any such lecture as this, if it were delivered now. 
I once thought of adding a few notes, but they would require 
more room than could be spared. Besides, the Lectures in 
these successive volumes have something of a historical char- 
acter, in reference to the progressive teaching in the Young 
Men's Association, and it would injure the earlier lectures, in 
that respect, if they were deprived of the character they origin ■ 
ally bore. 



BIBLICAL STATEMENTS IN HARMONY WITH 
SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERIES. 

T GLADLY accept your invitation, and only regret that one 
-^ more able to instruct you does not occupy this place at the 
opening of the present course of Lectures. But if a deep in- 
terest on the part of the lecturer in the welfare of such insti- 
tutions can at all commend him to his audience, and bespeak 
their candour and kindness in listening to his attempt at their 
instruction, that circumstance in my favour certainly exists. I 
have long been connected with institutions somewhat of this 
order, and have laboured a little to serve them. Your Society, 
I feel, has special claims on all who can render you any service, 
because it is based on a union of knowledge and religion. 
Science and literature here join hands with revelation ; and 
while seeking the improvement of the intellect, you also seek 
the welfare of the soul : noble objects, in the pursuit of which 
you deserve the help of every right-minded and right-hearted 
man. 

I think my subject, then, is not inapplicable : Science in 
connexion with revealed religion, or biblical statements in har- 
mony with scientific discoveries. 

For the last two hundred years, scientific men have been 
conducting their researches on the inductive principle. Instead 
of forming supposititious theories, and arguing a priori as to 
what they conceived things ought to be, they have very sen- 
sibly devoted themselves to the careful investigation of what 



4 BIBLICAL STATEMENTS IN HARMONY 

things are, drawing from facts such general conclusions as they 
seem to warrant. The famous axiom of Lord Bacon, the father 
of modern science, has obtained the widest currency : " Man, 
as the minister and interpreter of nature, is limited in act and 
understanding by his observation of the order of nature ; neither 
his knowledge nor his power extend any further." Guided by 
this principle, philosophers have built up a beautiful and har- 
monious system of truths : truths which rest upon an immovable 
basis, and are not to be impugned by the voice of ignorance. 
We are speaking of the grand doctrines of science, of the master 
principles of its various branches : of the authority of these 
none can entertain a fair doubt ; but with regard to minor 
details, on which fresh discovery is ever throwing new light, 
such assertions cannot be ventured. Nor is it pretended by any 
that even an approach to the ultimatum of discovery has been 
made. "When we look back," says Sir John Herschel, " ou 
what has been accomplished in science, and compare it with 
what remains to be done, it is hardly possible to avoid being 
strongly impressed with the idea, that we have been and are 
still executing the labour by which succeeding generations are 
to profit. Science in relation to our faculties remains bound- 
less and unexplored." 

Between true science and natural theology there is a very 
intimate and beautiful relation. Wherever the former has 
directed her steps or winged her flight, whether examining the 
nature and productions of our globe, or marking the courses and 
counting the number of the stars, she has found infallible signs 
of intelligent contrivance, arraogement, and adaptation. The 
marks of an all-wise, all-powerful, and glorious Creator have 
been everywhere discovered. " Science," says Sir John Herschel, 
" places the existence and principial attributes of a Deity on such 
grounds, as to render doiibt absurd, and atheism ridiculous." 

Its relation to revealed religion, though not so intimate, is 
no less interesting and important. Some branches of philo- 



WITH SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERIES. 5 

sophical investigation have touched on certain lines of biblical 
history, and these points of contact have excited the deepest 
attention and the most anxious inquiry in those who hold dear 
the honour of both. Sometimes philosophy and the Bible have 
seemed to clash ; and the irreligious advocates of the former 
have triumphed, while the pious disciples of the latter have 
trembled. But the clash has been only apparent ; the triumph 
in the one case, and the trepidation in the other, have been 
only temporary ; discrepancies have vanished as light has in- 
creased ; statements, at first seemingly conflicting, have been 
brought into harmonious adjustment, or are approximating to 
that result. And if difficulties still linger in some directions, 
to the eye of the philosopher as well as the Christian, the hour 
of their removal is not far distant ; for, to quote Sir John 
Herschel once more, " the character of the philosopher is to 
hope all things not impossible, and to believe all things not 
unreasonable." 

There are three branches of scientific inquiry which bear an 
important relation to Biblical statements : Geology, Astronomy, 
and the Natural History of Man. The most laborious activity 
has prevailed in these three fields of philosophical investigation, 
but they present nothing to shake the Christian's faith in the 
Sacred Records. Apparent opposition, seeming difficulties, yield 
to fair and unexceptionable modes of harmonizing the facts of 
science and the statements of the Bible. Nay, more. What 
was at first supposed by some to be adverse to the Scriptures, 
has been discovered in the end to be confirmatory of their truth. 
Science, which certain persons would fain have put in the posi- 
tion of an antagonist of revelation, has refused to occupy that 
place, and has taken up her post in the divine temple, as the 
priestess of the Word of Life. 

The first branch of scientific knowledge which we are to look 
at, in its bearing on the Scriptures, is that very interesting and 
popular subject of study — Geology. From very early times the 



6 BIBLICAL STATEMENTS IN HARMONY 

attention of thoughtful men has been directed to the appear- 
ances on the surface of the globe, and to the indications of for- 
mer changes there presented. But it is only of late that the 
subject has been pursued upon strictly scientific principles. 
Imagination was a leading element in the theories of the early 
geologists ; time has been requisite to school men down to the 
sober task of carefully consulting the records of nature, and to 
a determined habit of keeping theory in check by facts. The 
lesson is certainly far from being universally learnt even now, 
and bold and brilliant theorists will sometimes start up ; but 
still, men are coming more and more to feel that a strict adher- 
ence to the inductive method, a resolute purpose to go no fur- 
ther than a wide collection of instances will warrant, is the 
only wise and proper course. Modern geology cannot be con- 
sidered as in a finished state ; it is only a beginning in a very 
extensive department of human knowledge. Much more, very 
much more, remains to be learned. Yet geology has certain 
established principles, and as far as these are concerned, has 
taken her place among the exact sciences. " Philosophers," 
says Dr. Smith, " whose previous opinions were very discord- 
ant, but whose qualifications for the task were of the highest 
order, of difi'erent nations, and who had been trained and raised 
to the first stations in all the other departments of physical 
knowledge, and the liberal arts, have concurred and have emu- 
lated each other in sifting and scrutinizing to the utmost every 
announced discovery and every theoretical deduction. Can it 
be then supposed that a scientific edifice thus framed, and in 
the fundamental doctrines of which all who have a claim upon 
our confidence are agreed, possesses not the elements of stability, 
and has no claims upon our confidence ?" 

Geology and revelation have often been put in opposition. 
The friends of revelation have sometimes looked with a jealous 
eye on the science ; as when, for instance, the amiable Cowper 
says — 



WITH SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERIES. 7 

*' Some drill and bore 
The solid earth, and from the strata there 
Extract a register by which we learn 
That He who made it, and reveal'd its date 
To Moses, was mistaken in its age." 

And on the other hand, some advocates of the science have set 
their geological deductions in array against revelation. System 
on system, as Dr. Wiseman says, rise like the moving pillars of 
the desert advancing in threatening array, but like those same 
pillars they are soon scattered and destroyed. 

The friends of revelation who have opposed modern geology, 
and the advocates of modem geology who have opposed reve- 
lation, have both pursued a very unreasonable course. 

Suppose that in some old cathedral of the middle ages there 
were preserved a ms. on religious subjects, in which occurred 
some allusion to the building of the edifice, with the special 
view of pointing out who was the builder. Some persons 
reading this ms. for religious edification, without duly consider- 
ing the passages which relate to the erection of the cathedral, 
come to a hasty conclusion that the document describes that 
event as having taken place in the fourteenth century. Some 
antiquaries examine the structure, and infer, from the style 
of the architecture, that it must have been erected at a much 
earlier date, say the tenth century. The student of the ms. 
and the investigator of the antiquities are then at issue. 
The student says the antiquary is wrong, because the ms. 
contradicts him. The antiquary rejoins that he is sure he 
is right, and that, therefore, the ms. contains a gross mistake. 
The student impeaches the knowledge of the antiquary ; the 
antiquary impeaches the character of the ms. The debate 
waxes hot ; the disputants recede further and further from 
each other; and it seems either that the architectural anti- 
quarianism of the one must be grievously at fault, or the ms. 
of the other must be decidedly in error. Suppose the state- 



8 BIBLICAL STATEMENTS IN HARMONY 

ments to be professedly given on the authority of the builder, 
then the credibility of the document becomes involved in the 
dispute, and this gives a keener edge to the controversy. What 
is to be done 1 Would it not be better just to look at the ms. 
carefully, and see whether it really does assign the fourteenth 
century as the date when the foundation of the cathedral was 
laid, and also to look at the building too, and see whether the 
whole of it be of a style of architecture anterior to the four- 
teenth century. This is done, and it turns out that the 
student of the ms. is mistaken in his interpretation of the 
document ; for it by no means fixes the foundation of the 
structure in the fourteenth century ; it only describes large 
works which might have been executed after the church was 
first built ; and it also appears that the antiquary had, to some 
extent, been mistaken in his deductions, for though it must be 
admitted that the building was commenced long before the 
fourteenth century, yet considerable parts of it were added at 
that period. There is, then, no discrepancy after all, so far, 
between the ms. rightly understood, and the conclusions of the 
antiquary correctly deduced. 

This is an illustration of one main controversy between modern 
geologists and certain believers in the Bible. Both have pro- 
ceeded on false grounds. The attack made by the one class 
on the book so justly prized by the other, and the course pur- 
sued in its defence by the latter, have been unreasonable. 

All that we have to do with Geology to-night is, to touch 
on those points in which its discoveries bear a relation to 
biblical statements. And let me observe that, in the state- 
ments respecting the doctrines of geological science which 
I am about to make, I adopt as authorities the acknow- 
ledged masters of the science in the present day ; men who 
have studied Geology on independent grounds ; men who have 
not written on the subject with a view to make out a case in 
favour of their own interpretation of the Mosaic narrative, — a 



WITH SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERIES. 9 

course, by the way, which seems to have been pursued by some ex- 
cellent persons with the best intentions, but with injury rather 
than advantage to the cause they have aimed to support. Our 
statements are given on the highest scientific authority ; on the 
authority of such men as Cuvier, Buckland, Phillips, and Lyell. 

The geological points which relate to biblical statements 
appear to be five in number, and are as follows : — 

1. The great antiquity of the globe, — Geologists tell us that 
the evidence of geological phenomena constrains us to the belief 
that our earth has existed, has been the seat of life, and has 
undergone many changes through periods of time, utterly be- 
yond our power to assign. That evidence is of distinct and of 
independent kinds, derived from the appearances of stratifica- 
tion, and the remains of animal and vegetable life. We are 
informed that the crust of the globe is composed of a number 
of strata or layers, each of which consists of materials which 
once formed the substance of rocks on elevated land. That 
these have been worn down, crumbled, transported to great 
distances by the force of water ; then deposited, consolidated, 
and elevated ; that all this has been done again and again ; 
that the formation of such strata must have required immense 
periods ; that in stratified rocks fragments or pebbles of older 
rocks are found embedded ; that strata have been rent, dis- 
located, upheaved, depressed, thrown into various contortions, 
all requiring vast portions of time to account for them ; and 
that the primary crystalline rocks were gradually formed, being 
a composition of visibly and palpably distinct materials, to sup- 
pose the creation of which, at once in its characteristic state, 
would be as unreasonable as to aflSrm that the stomachs of the 
first animals were created with bitten and masticated fragments 
of appropriate food.^ We are thus compelled to assign to the 
creation of our globe an era more distant than we have power 
to calculate. 

* Dr. Smith's Geology, p. 424. 



10 BIBLICAL STATEMENTS IN HARMONY 

2. The extinction of early organic systems. — The researclies 
of Cuvier, and others who have succeeded him in the study of 
Fossil Geology, have brought to light startling and interesting 
facts on this subject. " Among fossil remains, Cuvier dis- 
covered a number of animals wholly unknown, and of which 
no individuals have existed since the period when the authentic 
history of our globe and its inhabitants has been recorded."^ 
Recent researches in Scotland have brought to light numerous . 
bones and skeletons of fishes, none of which belong to the pre- 
sent order of creation. ^ A French professor (Agassi z) has dis- 
covered no less than 150 extinct species of the shark tribes.^ 
Among the extinct animals which have been discovered, those 
which belong to the family of " Saurus,'" are the most remark- 
able. A reptile has been found comprehending the nature of 
the lizard and the bird, with a long neck and beak, and wings 
spread by a single long finger. Another has been found with 
the muzzle of a dolphin, the teeth of a crocodile, the head and 
breast of a lizard, the fins or paddle of a whale, but four in- 
stead of two, and the back or vertebrse of a fish. The Megalo- 
saurus, as it has been called according to Cuvier, must have 
been of a length exceeding forty feet, and in bulk equal to 
that of an elephant seven feet high. From an examination of 
the thigh-bone of another of the same species, it has been 
thought that the creature to which it belonged would have 
equalled in height our largest elephants, and in length our 
longest whales. Other facts might be adduced to show that 
there were once existing on our globe animals far different 
from any *ve are now acquainted with, and requiring a dif- 
ferent habitat from that which they would find in the regions 
where they have been discovered. 

3. The subsequent creation of existing species. — " There were 

* Brougham's Dissertations, vol. ii. p. 119. 

* Smith, Lectures, p. 428. 

^ Brougham's Dissertations, vol. ii. p. 224. 



WITH SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERIES. 11 

in all 8000 species of fish enumerated by Cuvier, of whicli more 
than three-fourths or 6000 belonged to the perch, or the salmon 
and herring class, and no one of these classes has been found in 
any formation anterior to the chalk ; so that the whole of these 
6000 kinds of fish have, to all appearance, been called into ex- 
istence at a period long after the primitive, the transition, and 
all but the latest secondary formations."^ " The geologist," says 
Dr. Smith, " sees whole genera going out of existence and others 
occupying the vacancies, always adapted to altered conditions 
of the earth and waters." A distinguished geologist, Mr. Phil- 
lips, has arranged the order of fossil development in seven classes, 
and makes the existing creation the seventh in order. He 
observes : " The full and complete system of organic life, now on 
the globe, includes all the effects of land and sea, warmth and 
cold, divided regions, and all the other things which are the 
diversifying causes of nature ; and it is no wonder if, before this 
land was raised from the deep, and the present distinction of 
natural regions was produced, there was not the same variety 
of natural productions." It is plain, then, from geological re- 
searches that existing species have come into existence since 
earlier ones disappeared. 

4. The comparatively modern origin of Man. — " I need not 
dwell," says Mr. Lyell, " on the proofs of the low antiquity of our 
species, for it is not controverted by an experienced geologist." 
" The comparatively modern introduction of the human race is 
proved by the absence of the remains of man, and of his works, 
not only from all strata containing a certain proportion of 
fossils of extinct species ; but even from a large part of the 
newest strata, in which all the fossil individuals are referable 
to species still living. "^ 

5. The occurrence at different periods of vast deluges of 
water. — Many of the diluvial formations are probably to be 

1 Brougham's Dissertations, vol. ii, p. 223. 

2 Lyell, vol. ii. pp. 249-282. 



12 BIBLICAL STATEMENTS IN HARMONY 

ascribed to wide-spreading inundations rather than to the in- 
fluence of the ocean. Some of the outspread masses of drift, 
formed of sand, gravel, pebbles, are to be ascribed to this cause. 
The course of ancient floods has been traced, commencing in 
some part of the Alps, and flowing towards the plains of Italy 
and the bed of the Rhine. Indications of floods are found in 
Lapland, Norway, and Sweden, and also in North America. 
But though marks of local inundations are found on the sur- 
face of the earth, it seems that the most experienced geologists 
now consider that no sufficient indications have been discovered 
of a universal deluge. 

I have thus endeavoured, in the briefest manner possible, to 
state the general results of geological discovery as they bear on 
the statements of the Bible. They are — The antiquity of the 
globe ; the extinction of early organic systems ; the subsequent 
creation of existing species ; the comparatively modern origin 
of Man ; the occurrence of vast deluges. We must now com- 
pare the scientific facts with the biblical statements. And we 
ask. Does the great antiquity ascribed to the earth by geologists 
at all militate against the doctrine of the Scriptures 1 By no 
means. A very great age is assigned to our world in that sub- 
lime address to the Divine Being, " Of old hast thou laid the 
foundation of the earth ;" and when interpreted in the light of 
fair and legitimate criticism, the first verse of the first chapter 
of Genesis renders evidence of the antiquity of the earth in 
exact harmony with the deductions of science : " In the be- 
ginning God created the heavens and the earth." ' The heavens 
and the earth' seem here to be put for the whole universe. 
The Hebrew language could not supply more comprehensive 
phraseology. If so, then we are to include the intelligent, as 
well as the material creation, the things invisible as well as 
the things visible ; thrones, dominions, principalities, and 
powers. " In the beginning" must mean the point whence 
time began to flow, the first moment in that succession of 



WITH SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERIES. 13 

periods which ever since have been running on. It points to 
the highest antiquity ; to the era, if I may so speak, which 
bordered on eternity. According to this interpretation, the 
earth and the heavens are equally ancient ; the primordial germ 
of this mundane system was evoked into existence by the Creator, 
as early as the period when he formed those glorious angels who 
had an origin long prior to that of man. The formation of the 
first rudimental earth, is thus carried back at once far beyond 
the date of man's earliest existence. "We are conducted to 
the very point where geology takes us. The first verse in re- 
velation declares the world to have been created in the very 
beginning, in the far distant past, ages on ages since. The 
passage is to be regarded alone. It is a complete sentence ; an 
independent position ; a column of light shooting up among the 
shadows of a past eternity. 

Very remarkable is it that this view of the first verse of 
Genesis, as announcing the creation of the universe, independ- 
ently of the details which follow, is not an interpretation now 
first invented to meet a geological diflficulty, but is the very in- 
terpretation given by some of the Fathers of the Church. 
Augustine speaks of the first creation of the earth as the germ 
of what followed, — it was the seed, from which sprung the root, 
the trunk, the branches, the leaves, the fruit ; and Gregory 
Nazianzen, after Justin Martyr, s^ipposes an indefinite period 
between the creation and the first ordering of things. 

We arrive now at our second geological principle : The 
extinction of early organic systems, and again inquire, Is it in 
harmony with the Mosaic account of the Creation ? Adopting 
the interpretation which we have just given, this fact falls in 
with the narrative. The first sentence stands alone ; the second 
— relative to the condition of our globe immediately before the 
events recorded in the rest of the chapter — is the commence- 
ment of a new subject. The particle in the Hebrew rendered 
in English " a?ic?," by no means necessitates our forming the 



14 BIBLICAL STATEMENTS IN HAEMONY 

idea that the event described in the second verse was im- 
mediately subsequent to the event proclaimed in the first. It 
is a mere sign for annexing one subject with another. It 
forbids not the supposition of a long, long interval of time 
between the former fact and the latter. " In the oeginning," 
at the very earliest period of time, the elements of the universe 
were brought into existence. Then, after the lapse of ages, the 
globe was found in the condition described. During the 
interval, there was room for ail the changes which geology has 
brought to light. Strata might be formed ; the crust of the 
globe might undergo various changes ; races of animals might 
be formed, suited to the peculiar condition of the earth ; 
developments of life might appear, full of beauty, wisdom, 
power, as clearly indicating intelligence and design in their 
creation, as the forms of existence which now animate and 
adorn our world. Scenes of natural loveliness might be un- 
folded to the eyes of superior beings, delighting their hearts, 
and awakening the devout praise of the great Creator ; just as 
now, to a pure and Christian mind, the works of God are 
well-springs of pleasure and incentives to piety. That races, 
now extinct, once lived ; that our globe has passed through 
great and numerous revolutions, is a geological deduction in 
perfect harmony with the Mosaic statement. The whole 
history of former eras in the condition of the earth may be 
inserted between the first and second verses of Genesis, without 
doing violence to the narrative. The extinction also of former 
races seems implied in the account of the condition of the globe, 
immediately before the changes produced in connexion with 
the creation : " The earth was without form and void." It 
was brought into a state of ruin. It underwent some great 
convulsive change. The former state of things was broken up, 
involving, probably, the extinction of previously existing species. 
As to the subsequent creation of other orders, that is in har- 
mony with the account which runs through the first chapter. 



WITH SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERIES. 15 

It describes the intervention of Divine power in producing new 
races of vegetable and animal life for the convenience, support, 
and happiness of man, who was appointed the emperor and 
lord of this mundane system. Be it observed, that the 
account is evidently a popular description, not a philosophical 
treatise ; it was adapted to the time then present ; it repre- 
sents the phenomena of this last creation, as they would 
appear to an individual situated on the surface of the globe ; 
it introduces the Creator speaking — commending, rejoicing, 
resting — ideas, in relation to the infinite Jehovah, which must 
be deemed accommodations to our capacities and modes of 
knowledge and thought. All such passages, where God speaks 
to us after the manner of men, are of necessity to be qualified 
by the devout remembrance that He is a glorious and all- 
pervading spirit, whose nature is to us unsearchable. As to 
the appointment of the sun and moon on the fourth day, to 
illuminate the earth and to rule the day and night, this by no 
means implies, that light had not existed before, or that the 
celestial bodies were then created. The description seems 
to relate to the phenomenon, as it would be seen by one who 
was placed on the surface of the globe, as the post of ob- 
servation. The diffusion of light over that realm of ruin 
and of darkness described in the second verse of Genesis, the 
bursting forth of the sun, and moon, and stars, upon the spot 
appointed for the abode of man, and their designation to the 
office of light -bearers to our world, are facts amply sufiicient to 
meet the exigencies of the narrative. There is nothing in the 
Mosaic statements requiring more. The chief diflficulty in 
harmonizing the first chapter of Genesis with recent scientific 
discoveries, lies in the circumstance that from the latter it 
appears the going out of extinct species has been gradual, 
— that new species were introduced, while old ones were 
disappearing, — whereas the account by Moses conveys the 
impression of a great change wrought at once, or rather in the 



16 BIBLICAL STATEMENTS IN HARMONY 

limited space of six days. Now, we cannot bring ourselves to 
believe that the six days are anything but literal days ; nor 
would the theory of long spaces of time being indicated by 
the term remove the difficulty. Dr. Smith thought that the 
account in the first chapter of Genesis related only to a par- 
ticular region in the East ; that the phenomena recorded were 
of limited extent ; that while changes were rapid there, they 
were gradual elsewhere. We are not quite satisfied with that 
explanation ; and as we would ever be candid and honest in our 
treatment of these subjects, we frankly confess that here we 
feel a difficulty still remains ; but we are persuaded that as 
harmony reigns elsewhere, it will be found in this instance 
too, plainly enough, some day. 

The comparatively modern origin of the human race is a fact 
deduced from geological researches, and one, therefore, which 
confirms, in the most striking manner, the Mosaic narrative. 
According to the sacred writer, man, at the very longest, can- 
not have existed much above 6000 years. Here science and 
revelation beautifully tally. It was once thought by some that 
the origin of man was of an older date ; but the laborious 
investigations of geologists, who have found no remains of 
human bodies in any. strata formed before the period just 
named, have settled the question, and placed the scientific fact 
in precise accordance with the biblical representation. 

The last fact we mentioned, relative to geological science, was, 
that while indications of local deluges might be discovered, 
there were no satisfactory traces of a universal one. I am aware 
that a change has taken place of late years in the views of 
eminent scientific men on this point. Dr. Buckland and others 
did once think that proofs of a general deluge might be dis- 
cerned in the distribution of drift ; the forms of valleys 
evidently scooped out by the action of water ; the transportation 
of boulders, or large masses of rock, from one place to another, 
by the same agency ; and the appearance of certain caverns, 



WITH SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERIES. 17 

once the abode of animals, and containing still their remains, 
embedded in a loamy soil, formed by an irruption of water. 
But a more attentive consideration of the subject has indicated 
that these phenomena were produced at different periods, and 
therefore cannot be deemed proofs of a universal deluge. 
Does this, however, contradict the Mosaic narrative correctly 
interpreted 1 By no means. I think that Dr. Smith, in his 
masterly Lectures on Geology and Revelation, has satisfactorily 
sliown that the terms emi>loyed by Moses relative to the extent 
of the Deluge, only signify that it prevailed over the whole of 
the earth inhabited by man, and no further. He cites numer- 
ous examples from the Old Testament, which fully prove that 
the expressions " whole earth," and " the whole heavens," and 
expressions of a similar character, only denote a very large 
space, a widely-extended region. He remarks that " all the 
earth," in several passages, must be restricted to the land of 
Palestine. Now, in explaining certain passages in an ancient 
book, we certainly should be guided by the characteristic use 
of language in other passages. If it was customary among the 
Hebrews to use universal terms in a limited signification, and 
if the limit must be determined by the nature of the case to 
which it relates, then there is no difficulty whatever in inter- 
preting the narrative of the Flood, as describing the desolating 
flow of water only over that part which was inhabited by man. 
And here again I may observe, that this is not an interpretation 
just invented to relieve us from geological difficulties ; for before 
Geology, in its modern form, was thought of. Bishop Stilling- 
fleet rem.arked : " I cannot see any urgent necessity from the 
Scripture to assert that the Flood did spread itself over all the 
surface of the earth. That all mankind, those in the ark 
excepted, were destroyed by it, is most certain, according to 
the Scriptures. The Flood was universal as to mankind, but 
from thence follows no necessity at all of asserting the uni- 
versality of it as to the globe of the earth, unless it be suffi- 

VOL. I. B 



18 BIBLICAL STATEMENTS IN HARMONY 

ciently proved that the whole earth was peopled before the 
Flood, which I despair of ever seeing proved." Matthew Pool, 
the eminent commentator, took a similar view. The theory 
that the Flood only prevailed where man existed, while it is 
agreeable to the Hebrew account, and would allow of the awful 
fact answering fully the moral end which was designed, re- 
moves at once the objections which have sometimes been 
brought against the narrative, viewed in its more common 
interpretation, drawn from the circumstance of such an immense 
mass of water being requisite to drown the whole world, — from 
the dimensions of the ark being too limited to contain all 
existing species of animals, — and from other circumstances of a 
kindred character. 

That an awful deluge occurred in former times, destroying 
the human race, is a fact attested by universal tradition. You 
could not travel from China to Peru, from the South Sea Islands 
to North America, without finding in the traditionary history 
of all the various countries through which you would pass, the 
most obvious traces of this great catastrophe. Indeed, 
"several of them, very remote from each other — Assyrian, 
Grecian, Roman, Sanscrit, South American, and the Polynesian 
Islands — represent it as an event which the Divine power 
purposely occasioned, and the reason for the exertion of it 
when given was, on account of the offences of the existing 
population."^ "Among the Mexicans and Peruvians, histori- 
cal and emblematical pictures of the event may be found," 
reflecting, as it were, an image, distorted indeed, but well 
capable of being recognised, of the narrative which we possess, 
in its native simplicity, in the book of Genesis." ^ Medals, 
too, have been discovered, commemorative of the fearful visita- 
tion. The following is. a description of one of these, belonging 
to the city of Apamea, in Phrygia : — " A chest swimming 

1 Sharon Turner, Sacred History, vol. it. p. 340. 

2 Smith, p. 102. 



WITH SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERIES. 19 

upon the waters, in which a man and a woman appear, from 
the breast upwards. Without it advance, with their faces 
turned from it, a woman robed, and a man in a short garment, 
holding up their right hands. On the lid of the chest stands 
a bird, and another, balanced in air, holds in his claws an olive 
branch." " "We have here," says Dr. Wiseman, " two different 
scenes, but manifesting the same actors. We have them first 
floating over the waters in an ark, then standing on dry land, 
in an attitude of admiration, with the dove bearing the symbol 
of peace above them."^ On the front panel of the chest, or 
ark, is an inscription which some learned men consider to be 
the very name of the patriarch Noah, thus deciding at once the 
relation of the medal to the history of the Deluge. The con- 
current testimonies of ancient historians, the floating traditions 
of almost all people, barbarian and civilized, and the interesting 
relics of antiquity, drifted down to our own times, yield evi- 
dence of the fact of an ancient deluge, destructive of the human 
race, with the exception of a few individuals ; and the numer- 
ous allusions to the ark and the dove bear witness to the truth 
of the Mosaic narrative. These universal traditions, however, 
it may be remarked, are by no means proofs of the strict uni- 
versality of the Deluge ; but they are proofs, and most con- 
clusive proofs, that all existing nations have sprung from the 
relics of a former race — from a family jDreserved during a tremen- 
dous inundation, which swept away the whole human popula- 
tion save themselves. They corroborate most satisfactorily the 
account given by Moses, as we have just explained it. And, 
moreover, while we are told that Geology does not yield good 
evidence of a strictly universal deluge, it is confessed, by all its 
disciples, that it yields abundant evidence of local ones ; and 
though none of these should be proved identical with that of 
Noah, yet they would " take away all anterior incredibility" 
from the story he relates. 

1 Lecticres, p. 322. 



20 BIBLICAL STATEMENTS IN HARMONY 

We have thus placed the facts of Geology and the statements 
of Moses in juxtaposition, and found that they accord. We 
have found not only that the statements in Genesis are capable 
of a fair interpretation, harmonizing with geological principles, 
but we have observed that some at least of these very interpre- 
tations were in the minds of men long before the commencement 
of the present age of geological inquiry. We see the critic in 
his study, poring over the Hebrew text, and the geologist tra- 
versing hill and dale, examining rocks and fossil remains, 
coming respectively to results which are found most admirably 
to agree. Geology, then, is no foe to Eevelation, though often 
unfairly represented to be so ; but a keeper of records of the 
most ancient date, confirmatory of the scriptural annals, — yea, a 
ministering priestess, gathering together her beautiful specimens 
of rocks and fossils, and pouring them out as an ofi'ering at the 
shrine of inspiration. 

We are now briefly to direct your attention to the relation 
between Astronomy and the Bible. The results of astronomical 
observation are so well known in the present day that it would 
be superfluous now, even had we time, to enter upon them. 
The rotundity of the earth, the central and fixed position of the 
sun, in the midst of our planetary system, the vast antiquity of 
the heavenly bodies, and the immeasurable extent of the uni- 
verse, are in the present day generally acknowledged truths. 
Are these astronomical principles opposed to the Bible ? So 
they were once thought to be ; and who at the mention of this 
but must be reminded of Galileo, who propounded some of the 
truths of modern astronomy, and for it was brought before the 
Inquisition, and compelled to recant doctrines ignorantly alleged 
by his persecutors to be impious, and contrary to Scripture. 
Poor Galileo ! One sees him there, in the Convent of Minerva, 
trembling before the inquisitionary tribunal, bending on his 
knees, and solemnly abjuring the principle that the earth moves. 
All must pity, if they do not pardon his weakness, and must also 



WITH SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERIES. 21 

feel the truth and beauty of the memorable exclamation which 
he whispered to his friend, as he rose from his knees, after the 
solemn farce of abjuration, " It moves for all that ;" a sen- 
tence, by the way, expressive of a consideration which may well 
animate the bosom of every friend of truth, in a world where 
it is sure to be assailed by ignorance, corruption, and bigotry. 
Men may oppose, persecution may rage, friends may prove 
recusant, enemies for a while may triumph, all may seem dark 
and dreary ; but never mind. Truth is immortal, active, 
mighty ; "it moves for all that." 

In proceeding to notice some of the bearings of Astronomy 
on Kevelation, we may as well at once observe, that the 
alleged inconsistency of the current language of Scripture, 
when it speaks of the pillars of the earth, and the motion 
of the sun, and so forth, is an allegation of the most 
foolish kind. The sacred writers, in these passages, are evi- 
dently writing not scientifically, but popularly, in poetry or 
prose. Such forms of expression are no more contradictory of 
astronomical facts than are the figures of poetry, or the every 
day phraseology of scientific men in reference to such subjects. 
It would be idle in the extreme to cite passages from our modern 
poets, where they speak poetically of the earth and heavens, or 
to quote from Herschel and others, when they speak of the 
rising and setting of the sun, or the retrograde motion of the 
stars, in proof of inconsistency between their writings and the 
doctrines of philosophy ; and yet equally idle is it to refer to 
the poetry of Job, or the popular phraseology of the rest of the 
sacred writers, in support of the allegation that the Bible con- 
tradicts the acknowledged principles of science. 

As to the antiquity of the starry heavens we have seen that 
there is nothing in the Bible, when properly explained, opposed 
to that. Sir William Herschel tells us of nebulae distant from 
our system above eleven millions of millions of millions of miles, 
whose light cannot have been much less than two millions 



22 BIBLICAL STATEMENTS IN HAKMONY 

of years in traversing to our earth." These are startling posi- 
tions in themselves, but looking at the Mosaic narrative in the 
way we have done, there is nothing there which requires us to 
disbelieve them. 

In relation to the extent of the universe, we may remark, 
that it is plain the author of the Book of Genesis only intended 
to give an account of the origin of the state of things connected 
with man, not of the whole universe. We know that angels 
were formed prior to Adam, yet Moses says nothing about their 
creation. If his silence respecting them be no objection to the doc- 
trine of their existence, neither is the silence of Moses in refer- 
ence to other systems, and other worlds, an objection to the 
doctrine of their existence. He simply narrates what concerns 
ourselves. Besides, there are some passa';'es in Scripture rela- 
tive to the extent of the universe which seem strikingly to 
accord with the rep^^lt of astronomical investigation. " Behold," 
says Job, " the height of the stars, how high they are." " The 
heaven," exclaims Solomon ; " the heaven for height is un- 
searchable." And Jeremiah thus illustrates the faithfulness 
of God : " Thus saith the Lord, If the heaven above can be 
measured, then will I cast off the seed of Israel." Look at these 
passages, and say, whether they contradict the statements of 
such men as Herschel. And does not David, I had almost 
said in the very spirit of modern philosophy, exclaim : " When 
I consider the heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and 
the stars, which thou hast ordained ; what is man, that thou art 
mindful of him ; and the son of man, that thou visitest him ?" 

The bearing of astronomical principles on one famous event 
narrated in Scripture, ought not to be passed over. I refer to 
the miracle of the sun and moon standing still, as related in the 
book of J oshua. It has been alleged that such an event must 
have totally deranged the solar system, and that, in short, the 
thing was utterly impossible. The best explanation I have seen of 
this important and interesting fact, is that afforded by Mr. Charles 



WITH SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERIES. 23 

Taylor, in his fragments appended to Calmet's Dictionary. 
He replies to the objection, " that the Hebrew general expressed 
himself in popular language, as, indeed, he was compelled to do, 
unless he would have incurred the charge of insanity ; and 
secondly, that the miracle consisted in an extraordinary refraction 
of the solar and lunar rays, and did not imply any cessation of the 
motion of the heavenly bodies." He translates the language of 
Joshua thus : " Sun in Gibeon continue thou : and thou moon in 
the valley of Ajalon ;" and the narrative of the facts, in these 
words : " and the sun continued; and the moon stayed," "and the 
sun did not make haste to set; like unto a whole day ;" that is, as 
he interprets it, the sun continued to shine, or remained shooting 
his level heams ; the moon remained effulgent. " Now it must 
be granted," he observes, " that Joshua saw the objects respect- 
ing which he spake ; that looking towards the sun, he beheld 
the place of that luminary, and its rays shining abroad ; then 
turning towards the place of the moon in the heavens, he beheld 
that luminary also : so that both luminaries were above the 
horizon at the time. The supposition is undeniable, whence it 
appears, that the time of the year was about midsummer, when 
the sun is at his highest northern station ; that it was nearly 
full moon, because then the moon would be visible in the heavens 
at the close of the day, yet would shine all night till the next 
morning ; that it was toward the close of the day, because the 
sun's rays are level only morning and evening, and it could not 
be the morning, since there was no occasion then for prolonged 
light." He considers, then, not that the moon was delayed in 
her course, or that the earth stopped in her rotary motion ; but 
that the refracted rays of the sun kept moving along the hori- 
zon, without going down at all that night, presenting an appear- 
ance like that which is seen in Lapland, where the sun is visible 
at midnight, before and after the solstice. The miracle is thus 
resolved into an extraordinary refraction of light, and this ex- 
planation, while it obviates all objections on astronomical 



24 BIBLICAL STATEMENTS IN HARMONY 

grounds, leaves the event as far beyond the power of man to 
accomplish, leaves it to be considered as truly the result of 
divine interference, as if the whole planetary system had been 
deranged. The retrogression of the shadow on the dial of Ahaz 
is to be explained on a similar principle. " The change was in 
the shadow only, that is, the solar rays being deflected in an 
extraordinary manner by the interposition of a cloud, or some 
other means (through the manifest intervention of divine power) 
produced the change, or retrogradatory motion of the place of 
the shadow in the dial." 

Hence you see, that the statements of the Bible with refer- 
ence to the creation and the extent of the universe, and the 
miraculous facts related in the Old Testament history, are per- 
fectly accordant with astronomical principles. Indeed, as in 
the case of Geology, so with Astronomy, it illustrates and con- 
firms the announcements of Revelation. While the former, as 
we have seen, presents, at the shrine of Revelation, her votive 
offerings of the " precious things of the ancient mountains, and 
the precious things of the lasting hills," the latter is not back- 
ward in supplying her treasures of " the precious things brought 
forth by the sun, and the precious things put forth by the 
moon." These magnificent sciences, instead of being the anta- 
gonists of the Bible, are in alliance with it ; they verify and 
corroborate its indications of the vast antiquity and the im- 
mense extent of creation. " The everlasting hills" are among 
its walls and bulwarks, and " the stars in their courses" fight 
against its enemies. 

' We arrive, in the third place, at the consideration of the 
natural history of Man, in reference to biblical statements on 
that important and interesting subject. From the Mosaic ac- 
count we learn that man was at once created by the power 
of God, and that the human race descended from a single 
pair. The conclusions of all natural philosophers in the pre- 
sent day are in harmony with the former position. Time was, 



WITH SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERIES. 25 

and that not long past, when writers of no mean name held 
the most monstrous and ridiculous theories respecting the origin 
of man. They held that he was descended from previous races 
of animated beings, who had passed through successive stages 
of improvement from the simplest form. It seems scarcely 
credible that such men as BufFon and Monboddo did gravely 
maintain that men were descended from monkeys, or that such 
a man as Dr. Darwin did not less gravely assert it as his 
opinion that the human family was derived from a race of 
oysters ; yet such is the fact. The former attempt to show 
how the monkey might gradually improve, and at length grow 
into the man ; and cite, in support of their theory, tales respect- 
ing wild men of the woods, a sort of connecting link, they 
pretend, between monkey tribes and humanity, — tales so child- 
ish, or so easy of explanation, that one wonders how men, 
calling themselves philosophers, could think of attaching any 
importance to them ; and the latter strives to show how the 
oyster's gills might become lungs, and the aquatic mannikin 
might, after countless generations, become an amphibious, then 
a terrestrial animal, and then at last attain the structure and 
the habits of mankind. But these ridiculous dreams are now 
dissipated, and the remembrance of them alone remains to teach 
us how much folly may often be found associated with great 
talents and great learning.^ Our eminent philosophers now 
admit that man did not spring from former races, but was 

1 An exception, however, must be made to this remark. In the Vestiges, 
etc., the theory of development is once more propounded, though in an 
improved and more plausible form. We are told that nature from the 
beginning has gone on gradually rising, tyjte giving birth to type, the 
high to the next higher, and so on to the very highest, man being the pre- 
sent ultimate development. Nay, the theory of Monboddo is spoken of 
very tenderly, and we are assured that his notion is not altogether with- 
out foundation, for in the bones at the lower extremity of the human 
back may be found a slight projection which, we are assured, is nothing 
less than an undeveloped tail. The whole theory of that writer has been 
met and overthrown on scientific grounds,— the proper grounds on which it 
should be treated,— in an able article in the Ediithurgh Review. 



26 BIBLICAL STATEMENTS IN HARMONY 

created at once by the power of God. With regard not only 
to man, but to the new genera and species of living creatures 
which arose contemporaneously with the origin of man, Lord 
Brougham, after an elaborate exposition of Cuvier's researches 
into fossil geology, observes an act of creation, that which 
would now be admitted as a direct interposition of a superior 
intelligence and power, must have taken place. " This," he 
adds, " is the sublime conclusion to which these researches lead, 
conducted according to the most rigorous rules of inductive 
philosophy, precluding all possibility of cavil, accessible to 
every one who will give himself the trouble of examining the 
steps of the reasoning upon which they repose, and removing 
doubt from the mind in proportion as their apprehension re- 
moves ignorance." That the human family descended from a 
single pair is another position in the book of Genesis, to which 
also, in the present day, philosophy is yielding its decided sup- 
port. Doubts upon this subject are of a very different cha- 
racter from the absurd theories just noticed. There are facts 
connected with the human race which at first sight do seem 
to indicate distinct species, a,nd to point to diverse origins, in- 
stead of one. When we place together the tall Caffre, between 
six and seven feet high, and the diminutive Laplander scarcely 
reaching five feet ; the European, with his fine round head 
and fair complexion, and the Negro with his flat skull and 
coarse black skin ; they seem as if they never could have de- 
scended from the same parent stock. But deep, continued, 
laborious inquiry has thrown abundant light on the natural 
history of man, and supplied positive proofs of original identity, 
and illustrations of the manner in which the accidental varieties 
in form and colour, have been produced. Dr. Prichard's able 
work on the subject appears to decide the question. The 
grand divisions of the human race are now reduced to three 
primary, and two secondary families ; the three primary are 
the Caucasian or European, the Negro or African, the Mon- 



WITH SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERIES. 27 

golian or Asiatic ; the two secondary families are the Malayan 
or Australian, and the American. The positive evidences in 
favour of the oneness of the human species are such as these : 
— 1. Physical. — The human race all resemble each other in 
the term or duration of life, the circumstances connected with 
their birth, the number of progeny, the laws of natural func- 
tions, the diseases to which they are incident, and the peculiar 
instincts and habits which distinguish them from other ani- 
mals. 2. Mental. — Human minds are all possessed of the 
same faculties, though in different degrees of development and 
^ower, and do all seem to be capable of that unlimited im- 
provement, which is one of the most striking differences be- 
tween men and brutes. 3. Moral. — Men everywhere are found 
to possess a conscience ; though its dictates be perverted, they 
are universally capable of understanding moral and religious 
truth ; and among other topics of argument, to use the lan- 
guage of Dr. Smith, " there are the melancholy demonstrations, 
that moral depravity has acquired dominion over all the nations 
and families of mankind, that there is a mournful consciousness 
of this lying deep in every breast, that we all need a redemp- 
tion from sin and misery, and that all the varieties of our race, 
down to Esquimaux and Hottentots, are capable of receiving 
that holy happiness, and all its elevation of character, which 
spring from restoration to God through our Lord Jesus Christ." 
As to the varieties of the human race they have been ascribed 
to such causes as these. Climate. — This every one knows 
affects the complexion materially. The most striking fact in 
illustration of it which I ever met with, is one mentioned in 
Bishop Heber's Narrative, who tells us that " the Portuguese 
after a residence of 300 years in India have become as black 
as Cafifres."^ Food is another cause of variety. To this has 
been ascribed, partly at least, the peculiarities of the Laplanders 
and Esquimaux. Their rancid oils are supposed to have some 
1 Heber's Narrative, vol. i. p. 68. 



28 BIBLICAL STATEMENTS IN HARMONY 

effect in producing their dingy complexion, and the inuutritious 
character of their diet may well account, in some degree at least, 
for their diminutive stature. Artificial means adopted to alter 
the form of some part of the human frame may also be men- 
tioned. The skull, the configuration of which is a leading cha- 
racteristic in the varieties under our notice, is known to be 
flattened in infancy, among some of the American tribes, in a 
manner the most effectual. While climate, food, and artificial 
means may be adduced as the leading causes of these physical 
varieties, there are probably other influences tending to the same 
effect proceeding from disease, mode of life, and occupation. 
The fact that all the circumstances here enumerated operated to 
the production of great physical varieties among men^ is confirmed 
by extensive observations and experiments made by naturalists 
upon inferior animals, which evince the operation of such cir- 
cumstances in a similar manner upon them. Nor can it be dis- 
puted that peculiarities which made their appearance in an 
individual may be perpetuated by hereditary transmission. The 
white negroes on the coast of Africa, and the Albinos, people 
whom you occasionally meet with, having white hair and red 
eyes, are examples of this. Among the Romans there was a 
family named " sedigite^'' from their having six fingers on each 
hand, and Dr. Wiseman mentions a person who was covered 
with warts, who transmitted the peculiarity to his descendants. 
These points, then, being established, that peculiarities in the 
human frame and constitution may proceed from accidental cir- 
cumstances, and may be perpetuated from generation to genera- 
tion, there seems no difficulty in believing, that the whole 
human family, with all their varieties of complexion, figure, and 
stature, may have proceeded originally from the same stock. 
This is the opinion of the first men of the day, who have inves- 
tigated the subject. Doubts have been gradually disappearing, 
till philosophers now are found almost universally admitting 
the descent of the human family from the same stock. At first 



WITH SCIENTIFIC DISCOVEPJES. 29 

the science wore an unfriendly aspect towards revelation. It 
seemed about to clash with the scriptural doctrine ; but subse- 
quent research has placed it in a different position, and brought 
it into harmony with the inspired records. Nor has this been 
done by theologians anxious to save the credit of the Scriptures, 
but by philosophers, who have proceeded on independent grounds, 
and some of whom have been by no means jealous to maintain 
the authority of the Word of God. This is another beautiful 
instance in which the course of inquiry has extorted from the 
lips of the indifferent, and even the sceptical, confessions in sup- 
port of the truth of the sacred volume. 

Thus we have, much too rapidly, traced the relation of Geo- 
logy, Astronomy, and the Natural History of Man, to the state- 
ments of the Bible, and found them harmonize. The Scriptures 
are capable of a fair and sound interpretation in conformity with 
the wonderful discoveries of Geology relative to the antiquity 
of the globe, and the changes it has undergone. They are in 
perfect accordance with, and receive some beautiful illustrations 
from the principles of Astronomy respecting the antiquity and 
extent of the universe, and they are confirmed and established 
by the results presented in the natural history of man, with re- 
gard to the descent of the human race from a single pair. 

This agreement between science and the Bible is remarkable j 
and is an argument for the divine authority of the latter. Such 
an agreement is peculiar to the records of our religion. Other 
religions are mixed up with cosmogonies, with theories of the 
world's system and origin, utterly irreconcilable with scientific 
discoveries, and in themselves childish and absurd. The 
Hindoos, in their sacred books, represent the moon to be 
50,000 leagues higher than the sun ; the globe as flat and 
triangular, composed of seven stories — the first of honey, the 
second of sugar, another of butter, another of wine, and finally, 
the whole mass as sustained upon the heads of innumerable 
elephants. Other false religions involve representations of the 



30 BIBLICAL STATEMENTS IN HARMONY 

world and the universe similarly ridiculous. The theology of 
the Egyptians, which, on account of the early connexion of the 
Hebrews with that people, ought to be noticed in passing, also 
included doctrines utterly at variance with scientific truth. 
They represented the sun and stars as formed out of the fiery 
part of air, and mounting up, on account of their lightness, into 
the higher regions of the atmosphere, and becoming involved in 
the rotatory motion of the earth ; and animal life, they said, 
was generated by heat producing little bubbles in the muddy 
earth, those which were most heated ascending into the air 
and becoming birds, those which had most of clayey matter in 
their constitution becoming creeping animals, and those which 
had the greatest quantity of moisture becoming fish. 

The Bible stands alone among the religious works of an- 
tiquity in the simplicity of its statements in reference to 
natural phenomena, and their capability of receiving an explar 
nation consistent with modern science. The discoveries of the 
telescope and the microscope prove fatal to the religion of the 
Hindoos. They do not in the slightest degree invalidate the 
claims of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures. If the sages of 
Greece were living, they would be compelled to abandon their 
theology, on account of its grossly contradicting the true theory 
qf the universe ; the sages of Judea would be under no such 
necessity. Egypt, one of the parents of civilisation and science 
after the Flood, indulged in idle dreams of the origin of the 
world ; but Moses, brought up in the learning of the Egyptians, 
renounces them all, and lays down a few simple statements 
which harmonize with the scientific belief of the nineteenth 
century. How can this be accounted for 1 While the sacred 
writers do not attempt to teach philosophy, for it came not 
within their province (the most cogent reasons existing for the 
omission of scientific information in a book intended to teach 
men religious truth), they do indicate that they were guided in 
their composition of the Book by an intelligence which knew 



WITH SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERIES. 31 

more than it saw fit to disclose. The sacred writers give hints 
of a deeper knowledge than it was thought proper to unfold. 
The communications in the Bible, in this point of view, have 
been well compared to what might be expected from a philo- 
sopher — Newton, for instance — in speaking to children : " He 
would undoubtedly not pretend to instruct them in science ; but 
on the one hand, nothing in his communications would con- 
tradict its principles, and on the other, much of what he 
said would show tliat what he was silent about, he yet 
thoroughly understood. In proportion as their own mental 
powers unfolded, they would with admiration discover, under 
the reserve and simplicity of his language, much concealed 
wisdom, learned and acute observation, turns of phrase and 
expressions, which harmonized with facts, to them at the time 
unknown, but with which he had himself long been familiar."^ 
In this respect the Bible is a peculiar and original book. It 
is perfectly unique. Though produced in the infancy of the 
world, it has none of its childishness. It is full of manly 
genius. It was greatly in advance of the literature that fol- 
lowed it. It will bear to be read in connexion with the best 
scientific books ever written. This surely is suflQcient to prove 
that the inspiration of the sacred writers was not confined to 
matters purely religious, but covered the allusions they made 
to other subjects. Could Chaldean herdsmen and shepherds 
have treated as they did the origin of the world and the con- 
stitution of the universe, if in those respects they had been left 
to themselves 1 Was it possible that they could rise so far 
above the ignorance and prejudice of their age ? Can it be 
conceived that Moses naturally possessed such a far-seeing spirit 
as enabled him to avoid those gross collisions with modern 
philosophy, which is the case with other cosmogonists even of 
a comparatively recent date 1 Was it by mere happy conjec- 
ture that he struck out so remarkable a course, in an age when 
1 Gaussen, Theojpneustia, p. 181. 



32 BIBLICAL STATEMENTS AND SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERIES. 

it was quite out of the question that scientific research (then in 
its very infancy, if it could be said to be born at all) could aid 
him in that direction 1 Surely not. In what is left out, as 
well as in what is put in, regarding the physical constitution 
of nature, we see the restraint and the control of inspiration. 
Throughout, the writers were under the guidance of that wisdom 
which says, " The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his 
way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, 
from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were 
no depths, I was brought forth ; when there were no fountains 
abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled ; 
before the hills, was I brought forth : while as yet he had not 
made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust 
of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was there : 
when he set a compass upon the face of the depth : when he 
established the clouds above : when he strengthened the foun- 
tains of the deep ; when he gave to the sea his decree, that 
the waters should not pass his commandment : when he ap- 
pointed the foundations of the earth : then I was by him, as 
one brought up with him : and I was daily his delight, re- 
joicing always before him ; rejoicing in the habitable part of 
his earth ; and my delights were with the sons of men" (Prov. 
viii. 22-31). 



THE EXTENT AND THE MOEAL STATISTICS 
OF THE BRITISH EMPIEE. 



BY 



THE REV. WILLIAM ARTHUR. 



VOL. L 



THE EXTENT AND THE MOEAL STATISTICS 
OF THE BEITISH EMPIEE. 

QUPPOSE that an intelligent foreigner, not acquainted with 
^ our language, were, some day about twelve o'clock, placed 
on London Bridge, not knowing what part of the world he was 
in. On the one hand, he sees an extended throng of shipping 
that appears as if a whole people had taken, after the manner 
of Chinese boatmen, to live upon the water ; on the other hand, 
he finds passing and repassing a continuous stream of busy, 
well-clad people, intermingled with vehicles, such as proves that 
across that one bridge a far greater intercourse is maintained 
than across the Isthmus of Suez, which joins Africa to Asia, or 
across that of Panama, uniting the two Americas. He will at 
once receive the impression, " Wherever I may be, I am in the 
midst of some very great city." Passing on for a short way, he 
finds on his left, a tall and massive pile, with Grecian front, 
which he learns is the official residence of the Chief Magistrate 
of the city : just across the way is another dilated edifice, 
spreading over several acres ; this, he is told, is a place for 
monetary transactions : close by its side is a noble structure, 
with stately Corinthian portico, and sculptured tympanum ; this 
again, he finds, is a place for merchants to assemble. The im- 
pression grows upon him, " I must be in the midst of a very 
great city." He proceeds westward through a vast length of 
continuous city, until in his course houses rise to mansions, and 
mansions expand to palaces j and as he passes walled and 



36 EXTENT AND MORAL STATISTICS 

windowed miles of dwellings, moving miles of vehicles, and 
living miles of human beings, he begins to feel, " Not only am 
I in a great city, but this city must be the head of a mighty 
empire ; the amazing width of town, the multitudes of men, and 
the assemblage of shipping, all bespeak the centre of some grand 
dominion." My present duty is to endeavour to lay before you 
some idea of the territorial extent and moral state of that empire 
of which this matchless city is the appropriate capital, and of 
which we, by the good providence of God, are members.^ 

To begin at home, our domestic empire consists of the British 
Isles, In speaking of these, it is not unusual to adopt a dero- 
gatory style of remark, as if the British power were only great 
in its foreign acquisitions. But much of this is gratuitous. It 
is true, that in respect of mere acreage we have in Europe six 
superiors : France, Spain, Turkey, Austria, Russia, with the 
united kingdom of Sweden and Norway. It is plain, however, 
that a dominion is not to be measured by the number of moun- 
tains it encloses ; but by the number of men over whom it 
wields sovereign sway. He that reigns over waste lands, rules 
nothing ; he only reigns who governs men ; to control mind, 
is dominion ; population is empire. ^ Now, in this light, tak- 
ing our home empire alone, there are but three states in Europe 
excelling our own. The population of the British Isles is greater 
than that of Spain, Turkey, and the united kingdom of Sweden 
and Norway, all put together ; but less than that of France by 
seven millions, than that of Austria by ten, and numbers only 
half that of European Russia. Thus, you perceive, that were 
our empire confined to these islands, it would even then rank 
as one of the five great powers of Europe ; for Her Majesty 

1 The authority of Montgomery Martin's History of the Colonies of the 
British Empire (1843), has been relied upon in so many of the statements 
made, that a reference under each would be tedious. 

2 The comparative value of territory and population is illustrated by the 
fact that Sweden has nearly as many square miles as both France and 
Prussia. 



OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE. 37 

rules, in the United Kingdom, a population about twice as 
numerous as that governed by the King of Prussia.^ 

Besides her home empire, several patches of European ter- 
ritory are held by England. The beautiful little Channel 
Islands,2 though lying close upon the shores of Normandy, 
are English in political position, and thoroughly English in 
feeling. 

At the extreme south of the Spanish coast stands Gibraltar, 
which, notwithstanding its commanding position, and classic 
fame, as one of the Pillars of Hercules, does not seem to have 
been fortified earlier than the eighth century, when it was 
occupied by the armies of the Caliph Alwalid Ebn Abdalmalic. 
The Moors held it for above seven centuries, with but one short 
interval. The reign of Queen Anne was illustrious with con- 
tinental victories ; but from all the triumphs of Marlborough 
nothing remains to England, except their pride. In that same 
reign an admiral, lacking employment for his fleet, captured 
the fortress of Gibraltar with a handful of troops under a 
German Prince, and a few sailors. The Parliament of the day 
would not give its thanks for the conquest ; but its importance 
to our shipping, its command of the Mediterranean, its impreg- 
nable fortifications, and, perhaps more than all, the determined 
assaults against which it has been retained, now confirm it as a 
national possession of the highest value. It is a small territory 
to have cost years of battle, and almost seas of blood, measuring 
in length only two miles and three quarters, while three quar- 
ters of a mile is its greatest breadth. Its population is about 
15,000. 

Proceeding up the Mediterranean, we next find the English 
flag waving over the islands of Malta and Gozo, which from 
their close proximity are usually designated only by the name 

' See M'Culloch's Statistical Account of the British Empire. 
2 Jersey, Guernsey, Aldemey, etc. The population of the whole is 
about 70.000. 



38 EXTENT AND MORAL STATISTICS 

of the former. Malta is sacred as the scene of St. Paul's ship- 
wreck, and has an almost unequalled fame for historical vicissi- 
tudes. It was first held by the Phenicians, who yielded to the 
Greeks ; these were overcome by the Carthaginians, who were 
in turn subdued by the Eomans ; they were swept from the 
island by the Vandals, and they, again, by the Goths ; Justi- 
nian recovered it to the Empire ; but it was soon overrun by 
the Arabs, and these were conquered by the Normans. At 
length it fell to the kingdom of Sicily, with which it remained 
till the days of Charles v., who placed it under the Knights of 
St. John of Jerusalem. They held it till 1798, when it was 
seized by the French during Napoleon's expedition to Egypt ; 
but the people rising against the invaders, an English force pro- 
ceeded to their assistance; and in 1800 this place, so often 
lost and won, w^as numbered among our possessions. The two 
islands are about twenty-seven miles in length, with a popula- 
tion of 120,000 souls. The climate is warm, but salubrious ; 
and Valetta, the capital, is both a beautiful city, and one of the 
strongest military posts in the world. The language of the 
upper classes is Italian ; that of the lower, a peculiar dialect, 
respecting which it has been disputed whether it is a preserva- 
tion of the language of Carthage, or a corruption of Arabic ; 
but its identity with the latter appears clearly established.^ 

Pursuing our way in that classical sea, we find, strewed 
along the west and south-west coast of Greece, the seven Ionian 
Isles, known as the Septinsular Union ; namely, Corfu, Paxa, 
Santa Maura, Ithaca, Cephalonia, Zante, and Kerigo. They 
formerly belonged to Venice ; during the wars of the French 
Revolution their possession alternated between Russia and 
France ; but in the great territorial settlement of 1815 they 
were placed under the protection of Great Britain. They may 
be considered as a half-independent Republic ; they hold a 
Court of Representatives, and are under a Lord High Commis- 

> Gozo is celebrated for its lettuce, vulgarly termed '^ Gauze lettuce." 



OF THE BEITISH EMPIRE. 39 

sioner appointed by our Queen. Their climate and productions 
are semi-tropical. Their population is about 200,000. 

We might have thought that a tiny islet, measuring in full 
length a single British mile, would never have attracted the 
broad eye of England ; but during the last war, when the con- 
tinental powers combined to exclude our commerce from their 
shores, Heligoland, lying close to the south of Denmark, and 
commanding the mouths of the Eyder, the Weser, and the Elbe, 
was seen to offer such advantages to our shipping, that it was 
taken, and it has been thought worth while to retain it. The 
population is above 2000. 

Now, if you look at the British Empire as existing in 
Europe alone, you find that it comprises a population con- 
siderably exceeding twenty-seven millions. This gives us a 
proportion, in the population of all Europe, of about one in 
eight and a half j so that if our Queen had nought beside to 
exalt her, she would have this one pride, that in that division 
of the world which is the centre of knowledge, enterprise, and 
power, out of every seventeen men, two at least hail her as 
their sovereign. 

Turning to our foreign empire, the mind instantly reverts to 
that expedition in which England first started in the career 
of distant enterprise, — the expedition of Cabot, the Venetian, 
under commission of Henry viii. He reached the coast of 
Labrador in 1497, just one year before Columbus gained the 
mainland off the mouths of the Oronooko ; so that England 
justly claims the honour due to the first discovery of the Ameri- 
can Coast ; though to Spain belongs the undisputed praise of 
having first lifted the veil which shut out Europe from the 
western hemisphere. 

Then it is most natural that we should first of all direct 
our attention to the "West ; and here the possession we meet 
with as our nearest and our oldest is Newfoundland. This 
island is only sixteen hundred miles west of Ireland, so that 



40 EXTENT AND MOEAL STATISTICS 

with steamers travelling twelve miles per hour, the distance 
from Limerick to St. J ohn's might be accomplished in six days. 
The two kingdoms of Denmark and Hanover scarcely equal the 
extent of Newfoundland. Its winters are rigorous ; but the 
climate is neither so unbearable, nor the soil so utterly barren, 
as is generally supposed. The population, amounting to 75,000, 
is mainly engaged in the fishery ; but the few who cultivate 
the ground find remunerative crops. The possession of the 
island was long disputed between England and France, the 
fishery making it valuable to both. The latter held it for a 
considerable time ; but at length the fortunes of England 
prevailed. 

On the American Continent our oldest possession is Nova 
Scotia, a province remarkable for its superb bays and harbours, 
enjoying a salubrious climate, and rich in instances of hale 
longevity. Though occupying a comparatively small space in 
the public view, it is equal to a country in Europe, which, with 
its Alps, its glaciers, and its hardy conflicts, has ever held a 
high place in the attention of the world. Nova Scotia, with a 
population of only 150,000, is in extent equal to Switzerland. 
This statement includes the island of Cape Breton, which was 
formerly held as a separate colony. 

Adjoining to this. New Brunswick spreads over a territory 
equal to both Holland and Belgium ; but its population being 
only 120,000, is so inadequate to its extent, that vast tracts 
continue to be occupied by forest and prairie. 

In the Gulf of St. Lawrence lies a rich and beautiful island, 
of which we scarcely ever hear but as of some inconsiderable 
appendage to New Brunswick. Yet this Prince Edward's 
Island is as large as that famous Italian state, the Grand Duchy 
of Parma, which, since the downfall of her meteor lord, has 
formed the dominion of Maria Louisa. 

A century has not passed since the martial spirit of Wolfe, 
in its last struggle, cried, " I thank God, and die content ;" 



OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE. 41 

for at that instant he heard the voice of victory bidding the 
flag of England welcome to the Canadian shores. Several 
enterprises begun by Francis i., and matured under the vigor- 
ous reign of Henry the Great, had given France the possession 
of that country, to which, by right of discovery, England had 
a prior claim : but in the one campaign of 1759, it all reverted 
to the British Crown. The two provinces into which Canada 
was formerly divided are now united ; but it is stiH customary, 
and certainly convenient, to speak of them under the old names. 
Lower and Upper. Lower Canada, or that portion which lies 
nearest the Atlantic, is as large as France ; with severe winters, 
but fertile soil, and not deficient in the physical capabilities of 
a great country. Its population are largely descended from 
the former French occupants ; but immigration has mingled 
with them a considerable proportion of our own countrymen. 
The exact limits of Upper Canada are not easily ascertained, 
its western boundary being sometimes stated as the Pacific 
Ocean, sometimes as the Rocky Mountains, and more frequently 
as resting on the ninetieth degree of west longitude, at Goose 
Lake. Taking this last boundary, it makes the extent about 
equal to that of Prussia ;^ but with either of the others it is 
prodigious. This province is, on the whole, a finer country 
than the other, having a richer soil and more genial climate. 
The population is mainly English. The progress of cultivation 
is rapid ; and cities are springing up as if by magic. Toronto, 
which some men living remember to have seen with only two 
log-houses and a tavern, ^ is now a splendid city, with a popu- 
lation of 20,000 ; and everything making it worthy to be, as 
before the union of the provinces it was, the capital of a new 
country. Montreal is the seat of government. The population 
of Canada is supposed to amount to a million and a half. 

1 Including not only Prussia Proper, but tlie whole of the Prussian 
territory. 

2 See Rolfe on Canada. 



42 EXTENT AND MORAL STATISTICS 

We now come to a territory which, both as to its width and 
its climate, may be called the Russia of America ; and yet, 
vast as it is, some books, laying claim to popularity, omit it 
altogether from the catalogue of our possessions.^ Charles ii. 
granted to a company a charter, vesting in them the exclusive 
privilege to trade in furs in the regions lying adjacent to 
Hudson's Bay. This company retains its charter, and now 
holds the unmeasured tracts designated as the Hudson's Bay 
territory. The precise extent of this region is not ascertained ; 
but it stretches from the northern frontier of Canada to the 
pole, and from the shores of the Atlantic to the boundary of 
Russian America. This latter is a breadtli twice as great as 
that of the Atlantic Ocean from Ireland to Labrador. Were a 
right line drawn from London to the western limit of our pos- 
sessions, it would cross no land but what is ours, and would 
travel in its course over 140 degrees of longitude, or within 
some eighteen hundred miles of half the earth's circumference. 
Our American territory, stretching from the Atlantic to the 
Pacific, and from the latitude of New York^ to the North Pole, 
covers an area larger than the United States. But though, 
even on their own continent, we have more acres than they, 
their superiority in soil and climate is conspicuous ; and in popu- 
lation, the essential strength of empire, they outnumber British 
America sevenfold. 

In turning from North America, the eye naturally falls on 
the West Indies. Here our first possessions were St. Christo- 
pher's and Barbadoes j after which Cromwell conquered Jamaica 
from the Spaniards.^ We now hold about fifteen islands, inde- 

^ As for instance, Chambers's History and Present State of the British 
Empire; and even Mr. M'Culloch {Statistical Account of the British 
Empire) dismisses it under.an "etc.," saying that om- colonies in North 
America consist of ''the Canadas, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, etc." 

2 Some parts of Upper Canada lie as far south as New York. 

3 The fleet was commanded by Sir William Penn, father to the cele- 
brated founder of Pennsylvania. 



OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE. 43 

pendently of the groups of the Bermudas, Bahamas, and Virgin 
Isles/ These islands combine rich scenery with the utmost 
fertility ; and the deadliness of climate which once made them 
terrible to whites is fast declining before the progress of culti- 
vation and of temperate habits. The population of all our 
West India colonies maybe stated at about 1,000,000. In 
the Island of St. Vincent's are to be found a few Carribs, the 
mournful residuum of a race which has been consumed in the 
ardent fires of European cupidity. They inhabit the moun- 
tains ; our countrymen or their labourers occupying aU the 
ground which will yield either comfort or gain. 

Turning, again, to the continent, we find in Central America 
the British province of Honduras, a possession little thought of 
by us ; and when thought of at aU, generally as some place in 
a bay where people go to get mahogany. Yet this unthought- 
of province is as large as Ireland and Scotland put together, 
and enjoys a good climate, with a productive soil. Its popula- 
tion is only about 9000. This country is also called Belize, 
the name of the capital, from a Spanish corruption of Wallace, 
the name of an English buccaneer. Considerably to the south 
of Honduras, lie some hundreds of miles of coast, called the 
Musquito Coast, which our map-makers, always ready to appro- 
priate territory, mark over to us ; but I believe we have no 
claim upon it, further than what is given by some alliance with 
the Indian tribes by whom it is inhabited. 

South of the Isthmus of Panama lies our only other conti- 
nental possession in the West. Guiana, a rich alluvial country, 
situated in the delta of the great rivers, the Amazon and 
Oronooko, is distributed between the French, Dutch, and Eng- 
lish. British Guiana is a country nearly equal in extent to the 

^ The names and extent of the various islands are as follows :— Jamaica, 
6400 square miles ; Trinidad, 2400 ; Tobago, 187 ; Grenada, 125 ; St. 
Vincent, 130 ; Barbadoes, 166 ; St. Lucia, 58 ; Dominica, 272 ; St. Kitts, 
68 ; Montserrat, 47 ; Antigua, 108 ; Barbuda, 10 ; Nevis, 20. Of these 
nearly all except Barbadoes were conquered from European nations. 



44 EXTENT AND MORAL STATISTICS 

United Kingdom ; and perhaps there is not a single province 
of our empire so highly fertile. To this fertility, the three 
great rivers, Demerara,^ Berbice, and Essequibo, greatly con- 
tribute. At present, this is one of the most sickly of our colo- 
nies ; for, being a flat country, like Holland, abounding in 
canals, and its rich soil being prolific in vegetation, there is, in 
the tropical heats, a rapid generation of malaria, whence arise 
deadly fevers. Were the population adequate to the country, 
these evils would be much alleviated ; but, instead of some 
thirty millions, which it is capable of maintaining, this rich 
territory has only 75,000 souls. 

Passing down to the extremity of South America, you find, 
just where the Straits of Magellan separate it from Tierra del 
Fuego, a group of ninety islands, enjoying a moderate climate. 
The Falkland Islands, of which two measure a hundred miles 
in length, abound in game, and yield profusely all the produc- 
tions of the temperate zone. On these secluded islands are found 
twenty-five Englishmen, standing, in their isolation from all 
human society, a monument to the spirit of British enterprise. 

This concludes the summary of our American possessions, 
which, taken altogether, are of an extent equal to the whole 
continent of Europe. 

Turning from the West, Africa next claims our attention. 
Taking our possessions here in geographical order, we find the 
first in a low, flat island at the mouth of the magnificent river 
Gambia. St. Mary's, of which the capital is Bathurst, and 
M'Carthy's Island, about three hundred miles up the river, are 
the principal settlements ; but there are several minor ones on 
different points of the river. The insalubrity of the climate 
utterly precludes extensive colonisation ; and these posts are 
chiefly important as opening up with the interior the trade in 
ivory and other valuable commodities. 

^ After which the colony is usually called Demerara, and taken by many 
for one of the West India islands. 



OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE. 45 

We next come to Sierra Leone. God in his goodness has 
suffered much beauty to linger on our world ; but among all 
its lovely spots there is scarcely one so happily combining the 
grand with the beautiful as Free Town. Mountains of majestic 
altitude tower up from the margin of a placid sea, and are 
clothed to their very summit with a luxuriant tropical verdure. 
Up the side of one of these the town climbs in picturesque pro- 
gress, and the spacious estuary of the Sierra Leone glistens at 
the base. I have seen the black eye of a native dance for joy 
as he dwelt on the charms of that rare scene. The community 
peopling it is singularly romantic ; perhaps there is not another 
on earth so rich in personal histories. Every man has his own 
tale. Here are liberated the cargoes of negroes which the 
English cruisers find in the slavers captured on their passage 
to the West. Thus each individual has his own exciting story 
of his quiet African home ; then the alarm, the kidnapping, 
the capture, the long march across the desert, his strange 
thoughts at first sight of the sea, his fears on embarking, the 
horrors of the slave-ship, the terror of the moment when the 
British cannon thundered the summons for the slaver to sur- 
render, and his wild, wild joy when he once more felt himsek 
safe and free. There is, in Free Town and the adjacent vil- 
lages, a community of 50,000 individuals who look thankfully 
to England as their great benefactress. 

Our next possession is at Cape-Coast Castle, celebrated from 
its melancholy connexion with the name of " L. E. L.," but 
destined to be far more celebrated by a happy connexion with 
yet more illustrious names. In the same neighbourhood we 
have settlements at Accrah, Dix-Cove, and Annamaboe. There 
is not any territory connected with these posts, which exist 
merely to facilitate the important trade in gold-dust, ivory, 
palm-oil, and other produce. The country thus occupied is 
inhabited by the Fantees, a negro race, who, by the combined 
effects of bloody superstitions, the slave-trade, and the unsparing 



46 EXTENT AND MORAL STATISTICS 

victories of their neighbours the Ashantees, have been reduced 
to the last state of timid misery. 

Leaving the continent, we find, in the Bight of Benin, the 
island of Fernando Po, which we have only occupied within the 
last ten years. ^ Then in the ocean we have the lonely volcanic 
rock of Ascension, distinguished for nothing but its plentiful 
supply of turtles ; and also St. Helena, chiefly known as the 
cage in which moulted at last the pinions of that proud eagle, 
who was nursed amid the storms of the French Revolution, 
and whose talons held Europe in throes for years, while his 
outspread wings cast awe upon the world. 

Passing to the extreme south of the African continent, you 
find an English colony, which, measuring from the Great 
Orange River on the west, to the Keskama on the east, is not 
less extensive than the kingdom of France. The same expedi- 
tion which carried to India Henry Martyn, — that singular com- 
bination of the saint and the genius, — left England with orders 
to recapture the Cape of Good Hope, which, though in our 
possession once before, had been restored by treaty to the 
Dutch. The attack was successful ; and we have retained the 
conquest. Cape Town, the capital, is remarkable for a diversity 
of tongues. Occupying a kind of central point between the 
ports of Europe, Africa, America, Asia, and Australia, it is a 
half-way-house for all nations. Thus you find the guttural 
Dutch and sibilant English struggling for the mastery with 
each other, and with some dozen African dialects ; while the 
Malay and the Frenchman, the Arab and the Bengalee, with 
various other nations of the East and of the West, are all con- 
tributing their share to the confusion of speech. The climate, 
agreeably balanced between the temperate and the torrid, is one 
of the finest in the world. The soil yields almost every pro- 
duction you have either learned to prize at home, or to covet 
from the tropics. There is not a finer country ; with the ex- 
1 It is now in possession of the Spanish Government. 



OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE. 4 7 

tent of France, it unites the climate of Spain ; and, when viewed 
with reference to its internal capabilities, the field it offers to 
emigration, the influence it must exert on the future history of 
Africa, and the position it occupies toward our most distant 
possessions, it cannot but appear that its importance to our 
colonial politics is incalculable. The eastern districts of the 
country are mainly settled by Englishmen, who^ at their new 
capital of Graham's Town and its adjacent places, are fast out- 
running their Dutch neighbours in the career of enterprise and 
improvement. The total population of this fine colony is 
about 150,000, of whom one-third are whites, and two-thirds 
coloured. 

Eastward of Africa, in the Indian Ocean, we have the island 
of Mauritius, which the Dutch, its first occupants, so named 
after their Prince Maurice. From the Dutch it fell into the 
possession of the French ; and, by harbouring their privateers 
during the last war, became such a pest to our eastern trade 
that its conquest was deemed necessary, and efi'ected. It is a 
volcanic island, remarkable for charms of scenery, and a most 
prolific soil. It is capable of producing anything; but the 
greater profit derived from the sugar-cane gives it an exclusive 
cultivation. Its finer sugars are sent to England, and the in- 
ferior ones to the Australian ports, with which, particularly Swan 
Eiver, an important commerce is growing up. The population, 
amounting to about 140,000, is collected from France, England, 
Africa, and Hindustan, ^ In the Indian Ocean, we claim also 
the unimportant groups of the Seychelles, Amirantes, Chagos, 
and the island of Rodriguez. 

Off the southern extremity of the great Asiatic peninsula, 
lies the island of Ceylon, the celebrated Taprobane of other 
ages. It is about equal to Scotland in superficies ; and, though 
so close upon the Equator, derives from its insular position and 

1 Interesting notices of this important and beaiitifiil island will be found 
in Backhouse's Visit to Australia, Mauritius, etc. 



48 EXTENT AND MOEAL STATISTICS 

the high elevation of large tracts of table-land, such a modifi- 
cation of the heat as renders its climate at once voluptuous and 
healthful. Its pearl fishery, its spices, and its precious stones, 
have in all ages associated its name with ideas of luxury and 
wealth. The population does not exceed one million. 

"We now come to the first marvel in the history of nations. 
In walking up Leadenhall Street, it would depend entirely on 
your taste whether your attention were more taken by Mechi's 
razor-strop, Allen's book-shop, or by a quiet Ionic portico, the 
front to a grave building on the same side of the street. Yet 
the merchant-owners of that building are there conducting the 
affairs of an empire which, only a hundred years ago, had not 
an existence ; but which at this day is more extensive than 
China Proper, and equally populous with the continent of 
Europe. Suppose that all the other realms of Her Majesty 
were suddenly to melt away ; that these islands became a 
province of France ; that her American territories were seized 
by the United States ; that Mexico laid hold of the West 
Indies, a combination of Kaffirs and Dutch swept her flag from 
Africa, Australia started up into the new empire of the south, 
and the struggle in New Zealand terminated in the extirpation 
of our countrymen. Suppose that Her Majesty were placed on 
a throne on the Himalaya mountains, and it were said to her, 
" There is not on earth a foot of ground or a human being over 
whom you may extend your sceptre, but what are enclosed by 
these mountains and those two seas." Yet even then she could 
turn to the sceptres of earth and say, *' You have not a mightier 
than my own ;" to the potentates of Europe, and say, *< I am 
equal to you all ; for, taking all the men on the surface of the 
globe, one, at least, out of every six, owns me as supreme." 

India is not to be conceived of as a nation or state, but as 
a numerous family of nations, of various languages, manners, 
and government, though now united under one great power. 
Many of its states have kings of their own ; but these kings 



OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE. 49 

cannot declare war, form an alliance, or take any other political 
measure of importance, except by the permission of our autho- 
rities ; and at the same time are under obligations, either of 
tribute or subsidies, which place them in complete subordination ; 
so that to describe them as independent sovereigns, is mere 
affectation, except, indeed, in the formality of official documents. 
Taking these subordinate kingdoms with the others, of which 
we hold the nominal as well as the real sovereignty, the popu- 
lation cannot be estimated under the enormous aggregate of 
two hundred millions ; that is, fully one-sixth, at least, of the 
existing human family.^ 

It is a vulgar error among writers on India, that in all ages 
it has been the ready prey of every conqueror, — the Persians, 
Alexander, and the Mohammedans being constantly cited in 
proof. It would be quite as correct to describe England as 
having been in all ages the ready prey of every conqueror. 
The Persian monarchy never held more than a province in that 
part of India most contiguous to its other territory, which pro- 
bably embraced the Punjab, with perhaps some portion of the 
adjacent countries of Delhi ; but this was far from a conquest 
of India. Alexander, again, as much conquered India as Xerxes 
conquered Europe. He crossed the Indus, and, entering the 
Punjab, instead of finding a ready prey, encountered on the 
banks of the Hydaspes (the modern Jelum) a powerful army, 
led by Porus ; and so formidable was the opposition, that he 
was forced to alter his line of march. By the time he had 
gained the Hyphasis (the modern Beas), another of the great 

1 For proofs tliat this, and not the common statement of ] 30,000,000, 
and such like, is correct, see the works of the Baron Bjornstjerna, and of 
Montgomery Martin. The latter shows that the population of 422,990 
square miles, the only portion of India for which there are correct returns, 
is 89,577,206 ; but the entire area of India is 1,228,800 square miles ; con- 
sequently, these 89,000,000 are the population of little more than a third 
of the country, which must therefore contain considerably above 200,000,000. 
Thus our Indian empire contains more souls than all the empires and 
states of the European continent ! 

VOL. I. D 



50 EXTENT AND MORAL STATISTICS 

rivers of the Punjab, his army was so worn and so discouraged 
that they compelled the ardent hero to begin a reluctant retreat 
from hopes of illustrious conquests far surpassing any of the 
glories which his unequalled success had brought him. Thus 
he never traversed even the whole of the Punjab, nor once set 
foot upon that Hindustan which we govern.^ Then, as to the 
Mohammedans, they had overrun the Eastern Empire, Africa, 
and Spain, before they so much as attempted Hindustan. It 
was not till the first year of the eleventh century that Mahmood 
the Great, after a series of conquests, " turned his face towards 
India ;" and it took eight different campaigns before he effected 
any permanent conquest ; while, even at his death, though he 
had conducted no less than twelve, he only held an unstable 
supremacy over the provinces of the north-west, leaving eastern, 
central, and peninsular India untouched. ^ The conquest thus 
lately begun proceeded so tardily that when the Europeans 
arrived on the south-western shores of India, the whole of the 
south was enjoying independence of the Mussulman yoke.^ 
Our own success has been so rapid that we are in danger of 
forgetting that it was unique, and of assigning to the incom- 
petency of the native armies, or the want of patriotism in the 
people generally, events which pass clean beyond the range of 
natural results, and force the judgment to find repose in ascrib- 

^ See any good History of Greece, and Robertson on The Knowledge 
which the Ancients had of India. It is a singular fact, that transactions 
which have taken place since this Lecture was delivered, have made the 
very river on which Alexander halted, to be the north-western frontier of 
British India. 
Mill's India. 

3 In fact, one Mohammedan dynasty, the Gaznavide, had passed away 
before even Bengal was conquered ; and another, the First Gaurian, before 
the Deccan was invaded ; while it was not till long after the embassy of 
Sir Thomas Roe to the Court of Jehangeer that the reduction of the latter 
country was completed. Aurengzebe was the only Mohammedan prince 
who deserved to be called Emperor of India ; and even at the height of 
his power, several kingdoms were independent, wliile of others the subjec- 
tion was very imperfect 



OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE. 61 

ing them to the hand of Providence. A series of unaccountable 
successes, a chain of political miracles, has raised us within the 
memory of man from the timid posture of stranger merchants 
to the high bearing of universal lords. The empire that dazzled 
us once, as surrounding the Great Mogul, more astounds us 
now, as meekly bowing under our own hand : an empire, of 
which the revenue exceeds by one-half that of " all the Russias," 
and of which the Governor-General has at his call an army 
(subsidiaries included) counting more than three hundred thou- 
sand men !^ Has there ever been in God's rule of nations one 
mystery so deep as that this vast assemblage of kingdoms, with 
a population so multitudinous, and military resources so inex- 
haustible, should be held in still submission by a country half 
the globe away, and of the natives of which there are not on 
all that vast region above thirty thousand bearing arras ? The 
garrison of Paris is often more numerous than the entire force 
of European soldiers in India ! 

Crossing the Bay of Bengal, we find, near the extremity of 
the Malay peninsula, a British colony, of which we seldom hear, 
— Malacca, and yet it is as large as the celebrated German 
state, Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. Its climate is good, and its popu- 
lation, numbering above 30,000, a mixture of Malays and 
Chinese. 

Close on the western shore of this peninsula, we have Penang, 
an island of considerable population, and highly important 
commerce. Singapore, another island, twenty-seven miles long, 
stands just at the southern point of the peninsula. The sum- 
maiy of our Asiatic possessions is completed by Hong-Kong, so 
lately obtained from his Celestial Majesty ; and which is an 
island of some seventeen miles long, by eight broad, with a 
barren soil, but having one of the finest harbours in the world, 
and admirably situated for comimercial purposes. 

Turning now to Australia, the whole of that insular conti- 
^ Bjornstjerna. 



52 EXTENT AND MORAL STATISTICS 

nent is ours. It is about three thousand miles long by two 
thousand wide, and has a superficies of three million square 
miles. It is not quite correct, as usually stated, that it is as 
large as all Europe ; it is about equal to it if the Spanish and 
Italian peninsulas were taken away. But it is perhaps more 
than equal in the capability of maintaining population, having 
no part, as is the case with Europe, lost in snow. The principal 
settlements are New South Wales, with its fast-growing and 
important capital, Sydney ; Western Australia, or Swan River, 
with Perth for its capital, and some of its settlers located at 
King George's Sound ; South Australia,^ of which the chief 
town, Adelaide, is large, populous, and beautiful ; and Port 
Philip,^ of which the principal place is Melbourne, perhaps on 
the whole the most promising of these colonies. The native 
population is so scattered, and so little known, that it is difficult 
to form an estimate of its amount. It has been stated by 
Montgomery Martin at 150,000 ; but most probably that is 
far below the reality. 

The adjacent island of Van Diemen's Land is salubrious and 
productive. Its principal places are Hobart Town on the 
Derwent, and Launceston on the Tamar, both rapidly growing. 
This colony is stained with one horrible wrong : the country 
was thickly peopled, and the natives loved their own soil ; they 
soon became embroiled with the settlers, who pressed them with 
relentless vengeance, till they were reduced to a scanty rem- 
nant, when, by a wholesale transportation, every individual of 
them was rem-^ved from their native place, and shut up in 
Flinders Island, a miserable little spot in Bass's Straits. This 
is one of the many ensanguined records in colonial history. 

We pass, lastly, to New Zealand, which consists of two 
islands, measuring a thousand miles in length, and in breadth 

^ It is said that very rich copper mines have been lately discovered in 
this colony. 
* Called also Australia Felix. 



OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE. 53 

from one to two hundred.^ The country is mountainous, fertile, 
and extremely beautiful, with a climate milder than our own ; 
it not being correct, as generally stated, that it is the exact 
antipodes of the British Isles, for the latitude corresponds with 
that of Spain, and the southern half of France. The inhabit- 
ants, who are supposed not to exceed 100,000, are a strong, 
well-formed, and intelligent race. 

Such is the list of British possessions. In running your eye 
over them, you instantly perceive that they embrace an enor- 
mous sweep of territory, and an almost incomprehensible multi- 
tude of men. Besides our own tongue, which is rapidly spread- 
ing in every quarter of the earth, our fellow-subjects are using 
the French in the Channel Islands, Canadas, and the Mauritius ; 
Dutch in British Guiana and the Cape of Good Hope ; Spanish 
at Gibraltar and Honduras ; Italian at Malta ; German at 
Heligoland ; Portuguese in Ceylon ; Danish at Serarapore ; 
Greek in the Ionian Isles ; Chinese in Malacca, Singapore, and 
Hong-Kong ; Arabic at Aden ; and Sanscrit, with twenty other 
Asiatic tongues, in India ; so that all the most celebrated lan- 
guages of earth are uttering fealty to our Queen. 

It is a wondrous empire, broad, populous, and mighty. It is 
twice as large as the continent of Europe, and includes one out 
of every six acres of dry land on the face of the globe, with one 
out of every five men that live. It spreads under every sky, 
and has in it the freest, wealthiest^ and most enterprising people 
of Europe ; the largest territory in America ; the happiest and 
most improving population in Africa ; the most civilized and 
renowned nations of Asia ; and nearly the entire of European 
dominion in the South Seas. It is a wide empire, embracing a 

1 There are, iu reality, three islands, called by the natives South, 
Middle, and North Islands, and by the English New Leinster, New 
Munster, New Ulster ; but the South Island is very inconsiderable. See 
the map appended to the Parliamentary Report on New Zealand for 1844. 
Mr. Brown's work, though not unexceptionable in its opinions, gives 
much useful information. 



54 EXTENT AND MORAL STATISTICS 

sixth of the world, with a fifth of its people ; and there is 
NOT A SLAVE IN IT ALL ! An American poet, indignant at the 
sin of his own country, has asked, 

" Shall every flap of England's flag 
Proclaim that all around are free, 
From farthest Ind to each blue crag 
That beetles o'er the western sea ?" 

So it is, and so be it.^ 

But you must now permit me to direct your attention to that 
which is the most important branch of our subject, — the 
religious state of this great dominion. 

As we must speak of diflferent religions, it is necessary for 
me to state what I conceive to constitute a difference of religion. 
Two men, who acknowledge the same objects of worship, and 
the same standards of faith, are of the same religion ; but two 
men who acknowledge different objects of worship, or different 
standards of faith, are of different religions. That, then, which 
constitutes a difference of religion, is the acknowledging different 
objects of worship, or different standards of faith. Anything 
to which a man falls down and kneels, and offers prayer for 
religious or supernatural aid, and deems it lawful for all men 
to do the same, is to him an object of worship ; any authority, 

^ The number of square miles is about eight millions ; the population is 
under 240,000,000 ; the standing army, including that of India and the 
other regialar colonial corps, is four hundred thousand ; so that in territory- 
it is the first empire in the world, that of Russia being less by at least a 
million square miles, and even more of it than of ours lost in snow. In 
population it is the second, China exceeding it by more than 100,000,000 ; 
and in military force it is perhaps the first, for though Russia has a 
standing army of 594,000 (sometimes estimated much higher), yet probably 
our naval armaments and colonial militia, numbering 240,000, raise our 
defences to a higher point. In revenue, commerce, and enterprise, it is 
without rival. It should always be remembered that no revenue is derived 
by the parent State from any of the colonies, the only advantages being 
those accruing from commerce, a field for emigration, and the opportunity 
afforded for natives of England to make fortunes, which generally fall in 
to increase the aggregate of national wealth. 



OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE. 55 

documentary or otherwise, which a man considers indispensable 
to be consulted in order to learn the will of God in matters of 
religion, is to him a standard of faith. 

Now, taking these views, you at once perceive that the re- 
ligion of our home empire divides itself into two, — the Protes- 
tant and Roman Catholic.^ Protestants have distinctions, 
but they have not different religions. They acknowledge, alone, 
the Holy Trinity in unity, as the object of worship, and the 
canonical Scriptures as the standard of faith. If I go to hear 
Mr. Noel, or Dr. Leifchild, or Dr. Archer, or Mr. Hinton, or 
Dr. Bunting, I do not hear a different religion. I find they 
have one faith, one hope, one baptism, one God and Father, 
one religion. But the Roman Catholic, having objects of 
worship to which the Protestant will not kneel, and standards 
of faith which he will not acknowledge ; they learn their doc- 
trines from different sources, and offer their prayers to different 
beings ; consequently their religion is different. 

In England, Protestant Episcopacy is established by the State 
with munificent endowments and important political privileges ; 
but all other forms of religion enjoy a most perfect toleration. 
In Ireland, Episcopacy is established ; Presbyterianism is en- 
dowed, all its ministers having a stipend from Government ; 
and Roman Catholicism is supported, by the education of its 
priests, at the public cost. In Scotland, Presbyterianism is 
established. 

The Channel Islands are wholly Protestant. 

At Gibraltar, the majority of the people are Roman Catho- 
lics, but the Jews are numerous, and have four synagogues. 
There are also an English chaplain and a Wesleyan missionary. 
There has been lately appointed a Bishop of Gibraltar and 
Malta, who resides principally at the latter place. About two 
thousand children receive education in the various schools. 

^ Unitarians, Jews, and Infidels do not form a sufficient proportion of 
tlic community to be regarded as constituting classes. 



56 EXTENT AND MORAL STATISTICS 

At Malta, the Roman Catholic religion prevails, and to such 
an extent, that some years ago there were on the island above 
two thousand ecclesiastical persons, being more than one in 
sixty of the entire population.^ That proportion is now con- 
siderably reduced. The Maltese, like their neighbours the 
Italians, are very devout, and very immoral ; a combination 
which is far from being unusual in Roman Catholic and heathen 
countries. The Government supports schools, which are giving 
a considerable amount of education. Queen Adelaide conferred 
on our countrymen resident at Valetta the benefit of an English 
church ; and the Free Church of Scotland has a mission. 

In the Ionian Isles, the Greek Church is prevalent. It differs 
from the Romish mainly in denying the supremacy of the Pope ; 
in requiring, not merely permittiug, the marriage of the clergy ; 
in prohibiting prayer to images, though it permits pictures to 
be used ; and in celebrating divine worship in the vernacular 
tongue. There is at present in this country a gentleman^ who 
undertakes to prove that, notwithstanding the corrupt doctrines 
and usages now prevalent in the Greek Church, there is not in 
her authoritative standards an important doctrine or practice 
enforced, but such as would be allowed by the Reformed 
Churches. I trust this may prove to be the case. There is 
in the islands a community of Roman Catholics, and a larger 
one of Jews. 

Heligoland is Lutheran. 

Turning to the west, we find in Newfoundland a large pro- 
portion of the people Roman Catholics, principally descended 
from the former French occupants. They have a bishop. The 
Church of England has an Archdeacon ; but the largest Protes- 

^ At the time of delivering the lectiire it was stated that thei-e was one 
priest in every thirty males, from having taken the term " ecclesiastical 
person" to mean " priest ;" but I find it includes some nuns. This, I 
believe, is the only part of the text in which any statement of fact will be 
found modified. 

^ Mr. Masson, author of an Apology for the Greek Church. 



or THE BEITISH EMPIRE. 57 

tant body is the Wesleyan, which has thirty-four places of 
worship, and more than a sixth of the whole population re- 
ported as regular attendants. A considerable number of schools 
are in operation partly at the expense of the missionary socie- 
ties, but chiefly at that of a society formed for the purpose of 
promoting education in Newfoundland and British North 
America. 

Nova Scotia has a Protestant Bishop ; but the largest body 
of the people is that attached to the Presbyterian Church. The 
Baptists, also, are in considerable strength, and the Wesleyans 
about equal. Perhaps there is no part of the Empire where 
the state of education is more nearly commensurate with the 
wants of the people. 

New Brunswick is under the same bishop, with a similar 
state of the religious bodies ; but education is not so far 
advanced. 

In Lower Canada, the majority are Eoman Catholics, the 
descendants of the French. They have a bishop and about two 
hundred priests, who, according to Montgomery Martin, " have 
no connexion with the Pope ;" a state of things which it is 
equally hard to conceive of or to credit. A law exists by which 
the priest is entitled to a twenty-sixth part of the grain grown 
by every Roman Catholic in his parish ; but should the parish- 
ioner cease to be a Roman Catholic, he is no longer under 
that obligation. The Church of England, the Wesleyans, 
Presbyterians, and Baptists, have all considerable influence in 
the province. Those under education bear a proportion of one 
in twelve to the entire population ; while in the neighbouring 
state of New York it is one in four.^ I cannot account for 
this marked deficiency, unless it arises from the prevalence of a 
religion which is never forward to educate, except when impelled 
by Protestant rivalry. 

In Upper Canada, Protestantism is decidedly the predomi- 
' Montgomery Martin, article Canada. 



58 EXTENT AND MORAL STATISTICS 

nant religion. A few years ago, there were about twenty 
Roman Catholic clergy, fifty-six belonging to the Church of 
England, fifty of the Presbyterians, and a hundred of the 
Wesleyans.^ The Baptists, also, exist in considerable force. 
In this province education is advancing ; but the settlements 
are so recent, so widely scattered, and so fast increasing, that 
most energetic endeavours will be required to keep pace with 
their extension, and prevent the more remote districts from 
sufi'ering under the curse of ignorance and irreligion. 

The population of the Hudson's Bay Territory is mainly 
Indian. Much has been said of their valour, sublime senti- 
ments, and worship of the Great Spirit. A gentleman who 
had resided many years in Canada once said, in my hearing, 
" A great deal of nonsense has been written on that subject ;" 
which is, unfortunately, true of most subjects. Their character 
is far from sustaining the dignity with which it has been in- 
vested. They are idle, voracious, cruel to their women, and 
savagely revengeful ; even their courage is not near so great in 
the sight of those who know them, as it is in books. They 
have, however, physical and mental elements of nobility which, 
when acted upon by a pure religion, will raise them into a fine 
people. They speak of the Great Spirit, but generally worship 
the devil with a view to avert his anger ; thunder, also, is held 
in reverence. Their greatest spiritual powers, however, are 
their medicine-men, who claim mysterious endowments, and 
reign firmly over their fears. They believe in a heaven, a 
beautiful sunny land in the west, where good Indians, after 
death, go to hunt ; and when an Indian dies, his rifle, powder, 
and ball are buried with him, that he may not enter on his 
new life unfurnished for the Elysian chase. The remnant of 
this once numerous race now existing in the whole of North 
America, is variously estimated at from one to two millions. 
They are scattered over the face of the country in small tribes, 
^ Montgomery Martin, article Canada. 



OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE. 59 

like the herds of red-deer which still linger in some of our wild- 
est glens. Missions for their conversion are prosecuted by the 
Church of England, the Roman Catholics, and the Wesleyans. 
The latter body especially are labouring in the Hudson's Bay 
Territory, where one of the missionaries, Mr. Evans, has, with 
most laudable zeal, reduced the language of the Indians to form, 
invented a new and compendious alphabet to express its sounds, 
cut blocks, and sustained the whole mechanical and literary 
labour of preparing and printing books. In several instances 
settlements have been founded by the missionaries, into which 
small communities of those hitherto tameless children of the 
wild are gathering, and, to use their own language, addressed 
to a late Governor of Canada, " learning to become good far- 
mers, and good Christians." 

We next proceed to the West Indies. A century from this 
day, perhaps our dark world had not one darker spot. There 
you had those who would call themselves Christians, those who 
would call themselves Pagans, those who would call themselves 
Mohammedans ; but religion there was none, morality none, 
humanity none. Society was a black amalgam of European 
and African vices, combining the grossness of the one with the 
fire of the other. White and black were degraded together, 
and almost equally degraded ; the one was in the very dust, 
and the other bent nearly as low, struggling to keep him down. 

Upon that scene of fetid crime, the Baptist and Wesleyan 
missionaries entered. They set themselves, by the help of God, 
to regenerate society. The world frowned upon them, but 
they toiled on ; persecution and imprisonment overtook them, 
death was at their door, — they toiled on. Even that champion 
of Popery, Count Montalembert, speaking in the French Senate, 
is constrained to do honour to these men (whom in the same 
breath he denounces as heretics), and to declare the spectacle of 
their toil and their triumph one of the grandest in the annals 
of goodness. They toiled on, till their voice was heard at last; 



60 EXTENT AND MORAL STATISTICS 

it reached the Senate, glanced upon the throne, thrilled through 
the land. All England was made to hear, to understand, to 
feel. At length the slumbering genius of British freedom 
awoke. To her unutterable horror, she found that the demon 
of slavery had her fast in his embrace ; then she started up, 
shuddering, and with loathing indignation flung the hideous 
incubus away from her presence for ever. 

Those whom, a century ago, we contemned as chattels, we 
own as brethren now ; those who, a century ago, cursed us as 
tormentors, bless us as benefactors now ; those who, a century 
ago, found no rest on earth, nor knew a hope of rest on high, 
now sleep on their own pillows, rejoice in their own Sabbath- 
days, and look with Christian faith to a home, where the weary 
toil no longer. The touch of Christian charity has transmuted 
the foulest excrescence that deformed our Empire into the very 
brightest of its ornaments. The moral transformation in the 
West Indies has been wonderful. Taking Jamaica, our most 
important island, as an example of the whole, we have there 
a population of about 400,000 : of these, the Baptists alone 
have 34,000 in church -membership, and the "Wesleyans 25,000. 
These, when taken with the hearers who attend the same 
ministry,^ and with the congregations of the parish churches, 
and of the Moravian, Independent, Presbyterian, and Church 
of England missionaries, all of whom have more recently, but 
vigorously, entered on the field, must present not less than 
120,000 individuals who are regularly under the instruction 
of the Christian ministry. The number receiving education 
in schools appears, by a comparison of different returns, to fee 
about 40,000. These numbers, when compared with the total 
amount of the population, are most hopeful ; and when we 
remember what Jamaica was, how debased its slaves, how 

* CLurch-membership in these 1)001163 is not secured merely by regular 
attendance at public Avorship, but by submission to discipline, and stated 
communion. 



OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE. 61 

ungodly its planters, we have, in the general prevalence of 
Christian sentiments, in the marked improvement of morality, 
in the formation of happy families under the Divine sanction, 
and in the exemplary observance of the Sabbath-day, a striking 
instance of the gracious efficacy there is in Christian truth, 
when faithfully enforced, to regenerate the individual and 
moralize the community. 

In Honduras, the Baptist and Wesleyan Missionary Societies 
have agents. The former Society is engaged in translating the 
Scriptures into the language of the Indians of the Musquito 
Coast, who are described as a most interesting race of men. 

The state of things at British Guiana is somewhat singular. 
The Dutch Presbyterian minister is paid by the State ; the 
English Episcopalian minister paid by the State ; and the 
Roman Catholic priest paid by the State. The parishes, also, 
are distributed on a plan which has been eloquently ridiculed by 
Dr. Chalmers ; this one is Episcopalian, the next Presbyterian, 
the next Episcopalian, and so on, — the number of parishes fall- 
ing to each of these bodies being nearly equal. The Loudon 
Missionary Society has in this colony an old and efficient mis- 
sion ; the Church and Wesleyan Societies are also in the field. 
Education has made considerable progress ; and the negro 
population is, to a large extent, under the influence of Chris- 
tian truth. ^ 

Turning now to Africa, we find in the settlements on the 

Gambia no provision made for the spiritual wants of the people 

except what is afforded by the Wesleyan missionaries, who are 

established both at St. Mary's and M'Carthy's Island. The 

deadliness of the climate has made the career of nearly every 

labourer lamentably short ; but their efforts have produced a 

considerable impression on the native tribes, who are either 

* Some of the Church missionaries have devoted their labours to the 
aboriginal Indians, who, like their brethren in North America, are wor- 
shippers of the devil, and led by their medicine-men into sanguinary- 
superstitions. They have amply repaid the efforts made for their welfare. 



62 EXTENT AND MORAL STATISTICS 

ignorant Mohammedans or heathens of the darkest grade. 
The Mandingo language has been reduced to grammatical form, 
and the Gospels translated. There is also an institution formed 
on McCarthy's Island, with a special view to educate the sons 
of the kings and chiefs of the adjacent tribes. I have stood 
by the death-bed of a converted Jaloof from this place, who 
had come to this country to learn the art of printing, that he 
might exercise it for the benefit of his countrymen, and seen 
him evince in his last pains the faith and hope of a sincere 
Christian. 

At Sierra Leone both the Church and Wesleyan missionaries 
have long laboured with distinguished success. One faithful 
man after another has fallen at his post. Many a time the 
whole charge of onerous duties has devolved on one survivor ; 
but they have bravely persevered, and now enjoy a rich re- 
ward. Out of a population of 50,000, the two Societies count 
6000 communicants, with 7000 children in their schools. 
There has been a remarkable improvement in both intelligence 
and morals ; and perhaps the Sabbath is not more honoured in 
any part of the world. I knew a native youth who said, on 
seeing a shop open in London on the Lord's day, " The people 
in Sierra Leone would as soon think of eating the fire, as of 
doing that."i 

Cape-Coast Castle promises, by the blessing of God, to be a 
centre of light to nations who sit in a darkness more dreadful, 
perhaps, than any other upon earth. They have been scarcely 
more afilicted by the slave-trade than by religious ceremonies. 
Their Fetish-worship is of a character which admits of no 

^ One most pleasing fact connected with Sierra Leone is, that many of 
the liberated Africans who have there been converted, have returned to 
their own countries, willing to risk being again made slaves, in order to 
convey to their kinsfolk a knowledge of the way of salvation. So favour- 
able was the impression made by these iipon Sodaka, King of Abeokuta, 
in the Housa country, that he, in the most urgent way, applied for mis- 
sionaries. 



OF THE BPJTISH EMPIRE. 63 

better description than " blood and murder." Men are sup- 
posed to hold the same station, and to feel the same wants, in 
the next world as in the present. Consequently, when a 
person of any importance is dying, a slave is kept at hand, 
whose head is struck off the moment the spirit is observed to 
have fled, that his master may not enter another world un- 
attended. Then, after a few days spent in preliminary cere- 
monies, others are sacrificed, to a number sufficient to furnish 
the departed individual with a retinue, such as would have 
done him honour in life. In the case of a great chief, this 
requires several hundreds ; and it is said that at the death of 
some kings, above a thousand have fallen. The king of the 
powerful country of Dahomey lives in a palace, the wall sur- 
rounding which is ornamented by a grim trellis-work of human 
skulls.^ Kumasi, the capital of the neighbouring kingdom of 
Ashanti, may be soberly called " the metropolis of murder." 
At the death of every great chief, and the recurrence of every 
national solemnity, the streets literally stream with blood, 
while hosts of carrion birds are constantly on the watch for 
the prey, which falls to them instead of the grave. ^ Some 
years ago, the Wesleyan Missionary Society commenced their 
labours at Cape-Coast Castle, where several of the natives 
soon embraced Christianity ; and the Mission was extended to 
the various other British settlements on the Gold Coast, whence 
it has finally penetrated even to Kumasi itself.^ In the midst 

^ When the erection of this horrid monument of barbarism (which is of 
modern date) had proceeded a considerable length, the architect reported 
to the King that he would be obliged to change the pattern, as he had not 
skulls enough to finish in the style in which he had begun. But the King 
simply ordered that a sufficient number of slaves should be killed to pro- 
vide the requisite material. 

^ See Beecham's Ashanti and the Gold Coast, and Freeman's Journals. 

' The Rev. George Chapman has told me, that at Kumasi he met with 
an old Moor from the interior, who declared that he had been at the scene 
of Mungo Park's death, and described it thus : Mr. Park, he said, was 
making his way down the Niger in his boat, and pai-ties of the natives 
running along the banks, watching his progress. They were approaching 



64 EXTENT AND MORAL STATISTICS 

of countless murders these men of God have been safe ; though 
blood has rushed down the streets, and stenched the whole 
town, not a hair of their head has fallen ; and many indica- 
tions warrant the belief that the days of Fetish-worship are 
numbered, and the midnight of Western Africa past. Should 
this prove to be so, should the settlement of our countrymen 
on that coast of wealth and wretchedness be the means of 
terminating the nameless evils with which those pitiable nations 
have been scourged, and of giving them, instead, " peace and 
happiness, truth and justice, religion and piety," then we should 
hail this extended rule of British piety and British benevolence, 
as a wreath on our country's brow, far nobler than any given 
for scattered armies or conquered lands. 

At the Cape of Good Hope the Dutch Presbyterian Church 
is supported by the Government, as are also the Churches of 
England and Scotland. The London and Wesleyan Missionary 
Societies have very extensive Missions, both in the colony and 
beyond its frontiers. The Moravians and French Protestants 
are also contributing to the general strength of Christian 
efforts. Besides the deeply-degraded state of superstition in 
which the native tribes are found, there is, in Cape Town and 
its neighbourhood, a large number of Mohammedans, consisting 
principally of Malays, but also reinforced from the African 
tribes, of whom, in the days of slavery, and immediately after 
its abolition, they proselyted many ; it being the policy of the 
owners to keep them in utter ignorance, by which they were 
the more exposed to tins delusion. The spread of Christianity 
in this important colony has been very rapid, and its effects, as 
witnessed on Hottentot and Bushman, on Kafir and Fingoo, 

very dangerous shallows, and the natives cried out several times to warn 
them ; but they were not understood, and at last, fearing the boat would 
perish, several rushed into the water to save them. This was mistaken 
for a hostile movement, they were fired on, and some killed or wounded ; 
in return for which they murdered the whole party, and rilled their boat 
and persons. 



OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE. 65 

have been in the highest degree cheering. The present Gover- 
nor, Sir Peregrine Maitland, a man worthy of the utmost 
honour, having resigned at Madras the command of an army 
of seventy thousand men, and a revenue of £15,000 per 
annum, rather than offend his conscience,^ on a late progress, 
stopped at Haslope Hills, a settlement formed by liberated 
slaves, who had there in considerable numbers gathered around 
a missionary. They presented to His Excellency a schedule of 
their property, consisting of cattle ; showing the number of 
oxen, sheep, horses, etc., which they had acquired since the 
period of their liberation ; and accompanied it with an address, 
in which they say, " Your Excellency, when we see our wives 
and little ones, our flocks and herds, and know that they are 
our own, a privilege which our fathers knew not, and re- 
member that all this is a favour conferred on us by the Sove- 
reign and people of England, we feel thankful to the Almighty, 
great love for the English nation, and wish to evince our grati- 
tude by continued improvement." After all our glories, the 
brightest are such as these : thus to bid the oppressed go free ; 
to light up all the joys of home in breasts long exiled from 
the commonwealth of affection ; and to turn to a Father-God, 
in all the repose of Christian faith, souls which have known no 
protector on earth, no Saviour on high, nor ever thought of a 
Creator, except to wonder why he had made them, — these are 
deeds that exhibit all the elements of essential glory, and that 
in a combination of which the lustre eclipses all besides. The 
jewelled hand of the Great Mogul, timidly held up to implore 
my countiy, is not so proud a sight to me as the chainless 
hand of a liberated slave, thankfully held up to bless her ! 

In the Mauritius we have a state of remarkable, if not sin- 
gular, religious destitution. There is a black population of at 

^ By giving his sanction, as Commander-in-Chief and Member of Coim- 
cil, to the disgraceful alliance with idolatry, for the pertinacious main- 
tenance of Avhich the Government of that Presidency has won such a 
lamentable notoriety. 

VOL. I. H 



66 EXTENT AND MORAL STATISTICS 

least 90,000, of whom one-third are Hindus, and the rest 
Africans. These have been cut off from the associations of 
heathenism ; and, like the negroes of the West Indies, have 
not maintained their heathen customs. But the only ciergy on 
the whole island are nine priests, two English chaplains, and 
one missionary from the London Missionary Society : all of 
whom are not equal to the instruction of the European and 
Creole population, which counts about 20,000. Thus all the 
blacks, though exceeding in number the people of some entire 
groups of the South Seas, are without any Christian instruc- 
tion, — sheep without a shepherd.^ 

In Ceylon, the prevalent religion is Buddhism ; and the 
natives are to a large extent atheists, but worship the devil. '-^ 
The Portuguese and Dutch, while in possession of the island, 
compelled many to adopt a profession of Christianity, in the 
form in which they respectively held it ; but these compul- 
sory adherents have done it no honour, retaining most of the 
rites, and all the morals, of heathenism, and by them defiling 
a holier name. Since its conquest by the English, the Church, 
Wesleyan, and American Missionary Societies have laboured 
among the people with considerable success. The Government 
annually appropriates a liberal sum to the purposes of educa- 
tion (the amount for 1844 being, in round numbers, £6000) ; 
the distribution of which is equitably made amongst the various 
educational establishments, according to their claims. By this 
means, and the agencies of the Missionary Societies, Christian 
education is rapidly spreading ; and will doubtless, by the 
blessing of God, exert an important influence. In the north 
of Ceylon, the Rev. Mr. Stott has lately been the instrument of 
reclaiming a number of Veddahs, or wild men, who dwelt in 

^ Since this was delivered several priests have landed on the island. 

- Buddhism regards the universe as a self-existent emanation from a 
vacuum, which moves without a ruler, and will be re-absorbed into its 
original void. It holds the doctrine of transmigration, and is willing to 
adopt any known idol as an object of worship. 



OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE. 67 

the woods, in a state of almost incredible ignorance ; frequently 
having no home but the boughs of trees, and depending on 
the chase for a precarious subsistence. Many of them have 
settled in villages, cleared the jungle, begun to cultivate the 
ground, abandoned their superstitions, placed themselves under 
the Christian ministry ; and some have given reason to believe 
that they have received the Gospel, not to a mere credence, 
but to the cordial faith of a renewed heart. 

On the continent of India there is a large number of 
Mohammedans ; but they are few when compared with the 
Hindus, and, since their loss of political supremacy, rapidly 
melting away. You have heard of Brahmanism, with its anti- 
quity, its learning, its splendour, its refinement, and perhaps 
its sublimity. This system is taught in a multitude of sacred 
books, commonly distributed into four Vedas, six Shastras, 
and eighteen Purdnas, each holding a divine though graduated 
authority. The number of gods recognised is three hundred 
and thirty millions, and the spirit of the system is to make a 
god of everything. India at large is one colossal illustration 
of the scriptural phrase, " wholly given to idolatry." You can 
hardly look on an object that is not, in one sense or another, 
a god. The wind is a god, the sea a god, the earth a goddess, 
most of the rivers goddesses ; while the planets, and " fowls 
of the air, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things," are all 
received into the swollen catalogue of divinities. Every caste 
has its peculiar god, every trade its patron celestial, every order 
of event, every phase of fortune, its divine president ; every 
village has its temple, every house its protector, every man his 
selected guardian. You cannot look upon a scene, you cannot 
hear a narration, you cannot walk a street, you cannot witness 
an important transaction, without some forcible memento that 
the land is " wholly given to idolatry." The herd lowing in 
the valley, the banyan spreading on the hill, the monkey 
gamboling in the wood, the vulture flying in the air, the 



68 EXTENT AND MOEAL STATISTICS 

serpent crawling in the dust, all receive part of the homage 
due to God alone ; but, by the fallen spirit of the Hindu, 
squandered on unworthy things. There is not a field in the 
wide champaign but is stained with the ashes of some victim 
offered to Bhoomi, the goddess of the earth ;^ there is not a 
planet in the deep blue sky, but shares the honours of god- 
head ; there is not a mountain soaring in the land, though its 
own magnificence proves that " an idol is nothing in the world," 
but is a pedestal of some miserable competitor for the honours 
of the Great King ; there is not a drop in the inexhaustible 
Ganges, but is turned into a rival to the " Fountain opened 
for sin and for uncleanness." All nature stands united in one 
dark conspiracy to usurp the rights of the Most High. On 
every hill the spirit of evil sits enthroned : he spreads abroad 
his dark wings, and two hundred millions of men sit under 
their shade and die. 

You cannot tell the degradation of that idolatry. Images 
not bigger than an infant's plaything, forms more obscene 
than bacchanals, and more monstrous than the fancies of night- 
mare, are worshipped with deep prostrations. I have heard a 
man, who could write poetry as fast as I am speaking, tell me, 
in a storm of indignation, that the serpent I had just killed 
was his god. I have seen a group of men, some of them poets, 
some astrologers, some tutors, some clerks, some schoolmasters, 
all Brahmans, with every head bowed, and every hand raised, 
in adoration of a kite.^ I have seen men with white hairs 
falling down to the ground before the image of a bull, children 
of tender years bowing to the representation of a god in the 
act of sinning, artisans doing reverence to their implements,^ 

^ Generally a goat, but in the Goomsoor country, a human victim. 

2 Garurda, really a large brown vulture, but called by the English the 
" Brahmany kite," because the Brahmans worship it, as being tlie steed of 
Vishtnu. Sunday is specially devoted to its honour. 

8 It is usual every morning, when taking up tools, to make a salaam, to 
propitiate their favour for the day ; but at the Gauri feast they are all 



OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE. 69 

and men coming to a grove where monkeys were playing their 
antics, to present them with an offering. The man that, with- 
out deep emotions of pity and shame, can consider the fact, 
that one-sixth of the souls on earth are in a state so dreary, 
so fallen, so essentially debased as this, scarcely deserves to 
have escaped the same delusions. The Englishman whose breast 
does not warm with generous wishes to spread among these 
hosts of his fellow-subjects the same blessed truths which have 
given freedom to our thoughts, joy to our homes, ana sublimity 
to our faith, scarcely deserves to be free or happy, and is utterly 
incapable of being sublime. 

In various parts of India, Christianity has obtained a footing. 
At an early period of our era, it is believed in the first century, 
churches were formed on the western coast, and the adjacent 
parts of Travancore. These continued to prosper till the arrival 
of the Portuguese ; at which time they possessed, among the 
neighbouring heathen states, a high character and extensive 
influence. Their submission to the Pope was demanded ; but 
they denied his claims, and repudiated many of the doctrines 
held by his emissaries, as not being found in the Scriptures, 
nor taught by their fathers. At length Archbishop Menezes 
commenced a series of persecutions which, for rancour, energy, 
perseverance, and terrible success, claim a high place in the 
annals of consistent "bigotry. The power of the Malabar Chris- 
tians was effectually broken, their liberties extinguished, and 
their sacred libraries burned. The Inquisition (as if earth had 
not been sufficiently disgraced and polluted by its existence in 
Europe) was established at Goa ; and Mussulmans and heathens 
saw those who called themselves Christians burning other Chris- 
tians, because they were not the same kind as themselves. 

heaped together, and a formal oflfering presented, with prostrations anl 
invocation. This is the case with all trades : the farmer's plough, the 
tailor's needles, the weaver's loom, the barber's razor, the potter's wheel, 
the clerk's pen, are all worshipped by their separate owners. See the 
A.bbe Dubois' work on the Hindus. 



70 EXTENT AND MORAL STATISTICS 

Protestant missionaries were first sent to India by the Danes ; 
and since, by the various English Societies, as also by those 
formed in America and Germany. The number of these, how- 
ever, is so small, when compared with the sweep of country 
and multitudes of people, that as yet they have not even made 
their existence known to all the Hindus. But in the localities 
in which they are placed, a perceptible change is passing on 
the opinions of the people ; their superstitions become con- 
temptible even to themselves ; and they practise former obser- 
vances, not so much from conviction or even preference, as 
from aversion to change and mutual dread. In many neigh- 
bourhoods actual conversions are becoming common, and within 
the last few years they have gained a rapidly accelerating pro- 
gress.i The various languages have been enriched with versions 
of the Bible, other Christian books are fast multiplying ; and 
the mind of great masses of the people is submitted more or 
less to the action of truths under which their own monstrous 
dogmas must vanish. A late ordinance of the Governor- 
General has made education a necessary preliminary to public 
employment ; a decree which will give an impulse to the pursuit 
of knowledge, that wiU carry the entire people so rapidly for- 
ward, that their cumbrous superstitions will be left far behind. 
Caste, and a system of inseparable family interests, gives a 
singular compactness to Hindu society. Every man is bound 
to every man by a universal cohesion. This makes a speedy 
impression diflBcult, but secures great extension to every impres- 
sion that is made. To sever one man from the mass is a work 
of difficulty ; but the severance of one shakes the entire fabric ; 
and each new individual wrenched forth, loosens every joint, 
and increases in the whole a tendency to dissolution. Hitherto 
our authorities have administered a law by which every Hindu 
or Mohammedan embracing Christianity was deprived of what- 

^ "Within the last four years, in Tinnevelly alone, above eighteen thousand 
converts have joined the Church Missionary Society. 



or THE BEITISH EMPIKE. 71 

eyer hereditary property he might happen to possess. An order 
was lately issued for the abrogation of this statute ; but, on 
the remonstrance of a few natives, has been suspended. But 
surely it can be suspended no longer ; that a law which makes 
it, to one-sixth of the human family, an offence to embrace the 
purest faith, should be upheld by British rulers, connived at 
by the British Legislature, administered by British judges, and 
tolerated by the British people, is a hideous anomaly, and a 
colossal crime. 

But I must pass on. In Malacca are to be found the 
Chinese worshipping Buddha, the Malays following Mohammed, 
and the Hindus practising their various idolatry. Here, for 
many years, was conducted the Anglo-Chinese College, which 
Drs. Morrison and Milne founded in connexion with the Lon- 
don Missionary Society, for the purpose of giving such an 
education to Chinese youths, as might lead, by the blessing of 
God, to their becoming teachers of Christianity to their country- 
men. The opening of China, and the acquisition of Hong- 
Kong, have led to the removal of this invaluable institution 
to the latter place, as being, from its closer proximity, more 
likely to act on the parent country. There, both it and other 
branches of missionary operation are now conducted with good 
prospects of success.^ The same valuable Society has also long 
laboured at Penang and Singapore. 

In Australia and Van Diemen's Land the Government has 
done something, by the appointment of chaplains, towards pro- 

1 In China, there are three systems of religion, that of Confucius, which 
is professed mainly by the higher classes ; Taouism, which is the religion 
of the mountebanks ; and Buddhism, which, though introduced since the 
beginning of the Christian era, is now held by three-fourths of the people. 
Confuciusism requires its followers to worship all the gods of the land, 
and treat them with distant politeness : it gives no information on a 
future state. Taouism has more traces of patriarchal doctrine ; but 
mingles with it many follies, and the practices of alchemy and animal 
magnetism. Buddhism, with an atheistic creed, adopts multiform idolatries. 
See Gutzlaff 's Three Voyages, and Medhurst^s China. 



72 EXTENT AND MORAL STATISTICS 

viding for the religious wants of the community ; and the 
Wesleyan missionaries have established themselves at the 
various colonies. Several Roman Catholic priests from the 
Irish colleges, have arrived in the country within the last few 
years. When it is remembered, that amongst the population 
of these settlements, there is so large a number of persons who 
have been transported for crime, the state of morals and reli- 
gion is, on the whole, not inferior to what might have been 
anticipated. The manner in which emigration to South 
Australia was promoted, has made Adelaide remarkable for 
vice ; but I believe that even there some improvement is 
apparent. 

The natives, who, from their savage habits of life, from filth, 
and red ochre, have contracted a most wretched personal 
appearance, are frequently spoken of in terms of contemptuous 
disgust, as if totally destitute of claim to a place in the family 
circle of man. They are ^degraded, they are wild, they are 
cruel, they are dishonest, they are filthy ; but they are not 
monkeys. On the contrary, they display considerable acuteness 
of intellect ; and when they become attached to European 
families, accommodate themselves to our habits with facility, 
and readily acquire our language. They live in small tribes, 
have rude laws, subsist by the chase, and, like the Indians of 
America, are under the rule of medicine-men. Scarcely any 
one dies but these authorities declare him to have been killed 
by an invisible spear, cast by some individual of another tribe ; 
and it is the irremissible duty of the next-of-kin to go and 
spear the man thus indicated. This, of course, involves the 
various tribes in perpetual broils. Some faint remains of 
patriarchal truth are traceable in their traditions, particularly 
in one bearing a strong resemblance to the history of the 
murder of Abel. At Port Philip and Swan River, the Wes- 
leyan missionaries have directed their labours to these wretched 
" children of nature," and have already attained results which 



OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE. 73 

amply demonstrate their right to a place in the human family, 
and amply repay their benefactors.^ 

In New Zealand, the most recent of our southern acqui- 
sitions, the zeal of British Christianity conferred benefits on 
the people never to be forgotten, even before our national flag 
waved to protect the messengers of goodness. The mission- 
aries of the Church and Wesleyan Societies found the people 
at the utmost limit of barbarism, fierce, sanguinary, and 
cannibal. They laboured amid dangers and wants : and their 
harvest was rich. They saw war declining, cannibalism pass- 
ing away, tatooing supplanted by baptism, and men, who once 
gloated in unnatural feasts, kneeling at holy sacraments. A 
number of communicants, equal to six thousand, have been 
gathered into the churches of the two Societies, and above 
twenty thousand pupils in their schools. Thus, there was a 
near prospect of having the entire race under Christian influ- 

^ At the former place, a tribe has been induced to settle, and are now 
cultivating the ground, tending cattle, and statedly attending the ordi- 



nances of religion. They have already a flock of nine hundred 
The local Government wisely assists the missionary in his efforts. At 
Swan River, iiot less than eighteen native youths have been admitted to 
the sacrament of baptism, after careful preparation and probation. I have 
also seen a letter from one of the oldest and most respectable settlers at 
that colony, from which I am permitted, by my venerable friend, Mr. 
Hardey, of Barrow, to give the following interesting extract : — " It was a 
law in the land of Canaan, at the time of vintage, for the poor to glean 
the grapes from the ' uppermost bough :' it struck me and my good wife, 
that, being grape season, it would be a good time to have the native 
school children, with Mr. and Mrs. Smithies, the missionary, the school- 
master and his wife, uncle, brother Joseph's children. Miss B., and 
others, and thereby revive an ancient law well worthy to be observed. 
We had a very pleasant and profitable day. The natives brought their 
mess-tins, and Mrs. H., who is an excellent provider, gave them plenty of 
plum-bread, tea, and coffee, in four large milk-bowls ; so there was sup 
and come again ; and I provided the fruit, about one hundredweight. I 
think there were thirty-two blacks, a pair of whom had been married by 
Mr. Smithies the Sabbath before ; they sent us some hride-cake. They 
sing admirably, that is, sweetly and correctly ; some of them read and 
write well, and they landers-tand figures ; and the best of all is, Mr. and 
Mrs. Smithies believe some of them are earnestly ceekiug the pardon of sin." 



74 EXTENT AND MORAL STATISTICS 

ence. Some few years ago, a Eoman Catholic Bishop arrived, 
at the head of several priests, and commenced a series of at- 
tempts to undo the influence already gained by the Protestant 
missionaries. In this they have not succeeded ; the vigilance 
of the missionaries, and a liberal supply of Bibles, having 
foiled them ; but they have in some places raised a few fol- 
lowers, who are unhappily taught, as in other parts of the 
South Seas, to persecute the Protestant natives.^ We almost 
fear to think what effect upon the religious state of the New 
Zealanders will be produced by these dissensions, and the pre- 
sent political strifes between white man and native.^ 

A review of the religious state of the Empire is as well cal- 
culated to humble us, as that of its political power is to elate. 
If the sceptre of our Queen stretches over every clime, *awes 
every peoiDle, and announces its mandates, or receives its 
homage, in almost every tongue ; it also shadows every folly 
that degrades man, or affronts the Eternal. There is no super- 
stition so dark, no cruelty so unnatural, no altar so gory, but 
it finds a votary among our fellow-subjects. Freedom of per- 
son, and the protection of law, are extended to every individual 

^ At Wallis's Island they burned the Protestant chapel, compelled the 
bulk of the people, at peril of death, "to turn," and when they "turned 
again," took up arms, and, among others, killed the teacher, a native of 
Tonga. 

2 Another and most lamentable cause of mischief is springing up, by the 
introduction, among these simple and ignorant people, of controversies on 
the comparative claims of Episcopal and Presbyterian orders, and the 
mysteries of apostolical succession. Can anj-thing be more humbling than 
that a number of educated men should be found tearing up those com- 
munities which are just emerging from barbarism, by introducing discus- 
sions on ecclesiastical subleties, respecting which even the bench of 
Bishops is not agreed ? For the peace of the colonies, and the credit of 
religion, it is most earnestly to be hoped, that the election to colonial 
mitres Avill in future fall on men who have some higher view of their duty, 
than to suppose it is a mission of exclusiveness. If little and restless 
minds will demand that men split hairs, let them, in the name of common 
sense, confine their requirements to such as are in broad day, and not lay 
th*^m upon those who are still in the twilight. 



OF THE BEITISH EMPIRE. 75 

in our matchless dominions ; but freedom of thought, the wis- 
dom of Scripture, and the hopes of the children of God, to 
comparatively few. Our Queen rules over more Eoman 
Catholics than the Pope ; over more Mohammedans than the 
Sublime Porte ; and over more Pagans than there are in the 
whole continent of Africa. If we ask, " What is the religion 
of the British Empire ?" judging by numbers, the unhesitating 
reply must be. Paganism. There are in it more Pagans than 
Mohammedans and Christians together ; and there are more 
Mohammedans than Christians of both names. The numerical 
order of the four great religious distinctions prevailing in the 
empire is, jirst^ Paganism j second, Mohammedanism ; third, 
Protestantism ; fourth, Romanism. 

It is impossible to revolve these facts, without receiving a 
deep impression, that the moral state of England is of im- 
measurable importance to the whole human race. God has 
placed her in a position to advance or retard the highest inter- 
ests of our species, such as nation never occupied before ; such 
as involves a high and unappreciable trust. It depends on 
England whether the unmeasured realms of America and 
Australia shall be filled up w4th a rapacious, unprincipled, 
and irreligious population j or by one that will carry with it 
the feelings, the habits, and the institutions which spring up 
with true religion. It depends on England, whether the " sub- 
lime mountains and luxuriant plains," as they have been 
styled, of New Zealand, will see their noble aborigines expire, 
as did the Carribs, the Mexicans, and the Peruvians, on the 
altar of European vengeance ; or whether Englishman and 
Native shall dwell together in peace, kneeling in the same 
temple, and tilling, with neighbourly emulation, the same soil. 
It depends on England whether Africa shall continue to wa'ithe 
under the multiplied afflictions that scourge her now, or whether 
her people shall be raised to a state of Christian civilisation, 
in which, amidst the nurture of domestic affections, agriculture 



76 EXTENT AND MOEAL STATISTICS 

shall yield her sustenance, commerce bring her refinements, 
genius emit her flashes, and piety suftuse over all her pure 
unfading light. It depends on England, whether the world 
of souls in India shall continue the grand Bastile of the De- 
stroyer, or whether, every bolt undone, and every fetter struck 
off, the whole people shall walk forth in "the glorious liberty 
of the children of God." 

England ! thou dost stand in the midst of the nations ; and 
voices from afar are urging thee to be holy ! Hope has her 
eye on thee ! The soul of the Ked Man, held in misty doubt 
between the voice of the Great Spirit and that of dark goblins, 
is looking for light to thee ! The soul of the Negro, gloomed 
with a thousand errors, terrified with gory rites, trembling at 
the suspicion of his immortality, bleeding before his Fetisli, is 
looking for balm to thee ! The soul of the Hindu, reduced to 
craven equality with irrational things, expecting endless wan- 
derings or sudden extinction, calling each reptile " brother," 
each monster " god," is looking for redemption to thee ! Mercy 
longing for the millennium. Heaven waiting for a fuller popu- 
lation. Immortality craving for countless heirs, all fix their 
gaze on thee ! Thy responsibility rises far above the high, to 
the very terrible ! 

The morality of Holland afi'ects Holland, the morality of 
Belgium affects Belgium, the morality of France may affect 
Europe ; but the morality of England affects the world. 

JN'ow, if such be the importance that the nation should fear 
God, you see the bearing of this on the metropolis. London 
is to the world as the tongue of England, the great expositor 
of its thoughts and principles. From London the world is con- 
stantly receiving illustrations of what we are. Ships are de- 
parting every day, with cargoes indescribably various ; but they 
all bear one commodity in common, they all carry to other 
lands a consignment of British morality. Whether their wares 
are received or returned, this commodity always gains an in- 



OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE. 77 

troduction, and is poured into the families of those countries 
by conversation, by dealings, by recreation and diversified in- 
tercourse. It depends entirely on the state of our home-popu- 
lation, whether these injections of our morality shall be so 
many vials of miasma to infect and accurse, or so much of the 
breath of Heaven's grace to give health and blessing. Every 
seaman, and every settler, who leaves our ports, carries with 
him, and holds up to the eye of foreign people, a pattern 
English heart. 

It is unutterably important that London should be holy. 
Some of you (and I thank God for it), some of you (and I 
pray that you may be increased a thousandfold !) some of you 
are banded (and you have knelt down and craved the blessing 
of God upon your union), are banded together, with the pur- 
pose of promoting, as much as in you lies, holiness among the 
youth of London. It is a great work. Hardly a nobler 
thought could have entered your heart. Never, never falter. 
With irrepressible resolution strive to impregnate the youth of 
this city with an enlightened, sound-hearted, liberal Christianity, 
with a conviction of the truth of the Gospel, and an experience 
of its mercy. Be earnest, be bold, be kind, be full of prayer ; 
and your success will make you glad. 

But, think, in this connexion, of the relation which any one 
English youth bears to the character of the world. He is a 
mysterious being. His lot is wrapped up with innumerable 
probabilities. Here he is now ; but who can tell where he 
shall be found in after-days ? Will he drink the waters of 
the Thames, or the St. Lawrence ; the Columbia, or the Kes- 
kama ; the Essequibo, or the Ganges ; the Derwent of Eng- 
land, or the Derwent of the southern world ? What sun will 
light his avocations, what language will express his wants, 
\diat soil will afford his grave 1 That youth may form the 
man in whose character some Indian chief will study the pro- 
blem whether Chil ^ity and civilisation are better than the 



78 EXTENT AND MORAL STATISTICS 

chase, the scalping-knife, and idolatry. Or he may be the ex- 
ample by whose principles and conduct some African king may 
decide the question, whether he and his people would gain or 
lose by introducing — instead of barbarism, the Fetish, and the 
slave-trade — English education, English freedom, and the Chris- 
tian faith. Or he may be the index from which some Brahman 
will endeavour to gather whether the religion of the Lord Jesus 
Christ, with its spiritual worship and universal brotherhood, is 
better than the service of idols, and the fetters of caste. These 
things are frequently occurring ; and there is not a youth in 
the land of whom we can pronounce it impossible that they 
should occur to him.^ But even should none of these take 
place, his probable importance is in no way lessened. Should 
he die in the village where he was born, should the stone that 
covered his fathers cover him ; yet, even then, ten thousand 
miles from that grave, his principles may be moulding a hun- 
dred characters, and his thoughts be reproduced under brows 
of various complexion. A son, whose habits he formed, may 
be giving the tone to a new colony, or leading some ancient 
tribe in the first stage of civilisation.^ There is not one of 
you but is of importance to your race. The greatness of your 
country allies you with the destinies of mankind, and weaves 
their most secret interests into a thousand connexions with your 
character. A good Englishman is a blessing, far and near ; an 
immoral Englishman is a curse on the creation of God. As you 
are human beings, as you love your kind, as you wish that 

1 How little did Sir William Penn, when turning his Quaker son out of 
doors ; or the Yorkshire farmer, whose servant's son, James Cook, would 
go to sea ; or the Shropshire gentleman, who sent his impracticable son, 
Robert Clive, to Madras, that he might be out of the way, and either 
" make a fortune, or die of a fever ;" or the Northamptonshire shoemaker, 
for whom William Carey worked ; or the reverend father of Warren 
Hastings ; or the mother of Dr. Morrison : — How little did all these think 
to what an extent the character of their sons would influence that of large 
portions of mankind ! 

2 This, of course, applies equally to the young of both sexes. 



OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE. 79 

there should he pure hearts and joyful homes under the sun ; 
go to your knees, go to your Saviour, seek, make your own, 
foster, and exemplify that regenerating grace which comes alone 
through the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Be patriots : your country is worth loving. Her soil, her 
constitution, her sons, her Queen, her sanctuaries, all gird her 
with charms which command your utmost affection. Such a 
country is a pride, such a citizenship a blessing. Be patriots ; 
hut let your patriotism be Christian. Have more ambition that 
England should be good, than that England should be strong ; 
that her virtue should be unimpeachable, than her sword re- 
sistless j that she should win conquests over men's judgments 
by her principles, than that she should win them over their will 
by force of arms ; that she should have victories by her Bible, 
than by her Articles of War. Let it be the cherished hope of 
your heart, that, in ages to come, the people of other lands will 
refer to the English, not as the invaders who crushed their 
ancient dynasty, to introduce a foreign yoke, but as the bene- 
factors who, bringing the light of truth, cast a radiance on the 
path of their benighted fathers, by which they discovered first 
of all the way to God, and then to the arts, laws, and institu- 
tions of civilisation ; to the interchanges of friendship, and 
the endearments of home. God grant, that never again may 
any land do homage to ours, kneeling in the blood of her chil- 
dren ; but may many celebrate her beneficent progress with the 
joyful voices of a humanized and regenerate population ! This 
object is one fit to cherish — one on which reason can look, con- 
science can smile, and which philanthropy will warm in her 
bosom. By it patriotism, transformed from a meagre spectre, 
with restless eye, jealous step, and bloody hand, becomes an 
angel of light, happy, and giving happiness. The highest pur- 
pose the patriot can entertain is, to make his country the light 
of the nations j and for this, for this we must all cultivate the 
worship and the love of oui' fathers' God, striving, as much as 



80 EXTENT AND MORAL STATISTICS 

His grace may enable us, to imbue the national character with 
faith in His Word, and veneration for His will. 

Permit me one word more. The greatness of England is 
essentially a Protestant greatness. The dawn of our national 
glory was the rising of the Bible upon the land. Our greatest 
acquisitions were made under our most decidedly Protestant 
sovereigns. England has grown mighty in proud defiance of 
the " Man of Sin." While other nations have bowed before 
him, — some prostrate in the dust, others gently kneeling, — she 
has sat on high, with her foot on his authority, and her smile 
at his rage. In that elevation the sunshine of heaven has been 
bright over her, when all the countries that obeyed him were 
scourged with dreadful storms. But the posture of England is 
hardly what it used to be. There is not now the same haughty 
distance, the same bold disdain. Her countenance is toward 
the throne of the spiritual despot, her attitude inclined, her form 
stooping. She has begun her descent from the high place 
v/here God was wont to bless her. The kings of the earth are 
moved to meet her, and cry from their place below, " Hah ! 
art thou become as one of us ?" Stay ! Britannia, stay ! Give 
not thy power and thy strength unto the Beast ! forsake not 
the seat on which God has smiled ! 

Let men sneer as they may, I solemnly believe, and I think 
the history of Europe requires me to believe it, that the de- 
parture of England from Protestantism must involve her in 
those national woes which every Popish country attests as the 
judgment of God on apostasy.^ 

> During the last session of Parliament, a noble Lord, celebrated for 
philosophical studies, characterized this sentiment, as embodied in certain 
petitions to the House of Lords, as " the most absurd he had ever heard 
in the course of his life." Now, if so, it must be the most contradictory 
to historical facts. But is that the case ? Is there in the world one Popish 
country which has been remarkable for those proofs of God's blessing, 
freedom, equal laws, domestic peace, exemption from the invader, good 
morals, and external prosperity? Are not the most faithful Popish 
countries, Italy, Spain, ?ind Portugal, with the greatest natural advan- 



or THE BRITISH EMPIEE. 81 

The whole review of this unequalled dominion — its terri- 
torial width, its moral anomalies, and its awful intimacy with 
the destinies of man — turns the mind, with subdued venera- 
tion and anxious wonder, towards that point on which all the 
rays of its glory and its responsibility converge. As we draw 
nearer, our wonder dilates to amazement, our veneration deepens 
to awe. The way to that seat of majesty lies far from vulgar 
paths. It is reared upon mounds of gold, and strewed with 
the jewels of every clime. Armies of many complexions guard 
the entrance, nations wait around, and Princes line the way. 
The vestibule is thronged with vassal kings ;^ the presence 
sparkling with the royalties of those who are reigning still, but 
proud to hold amicable intercourse with a power higher than 
their own. Antiquity and novelty, war and commerce, wealth 
and genius, are there in pompous regalia. High in the midst 
is reared the throne. Ambition kneels at its foot, Power stands 
by its side, and Pride rejoices on its canopy. Every step of 
the ascent is a throne, powerful once, but now only serving to 
exalt that before which it fell. Amidst the reverence of all 

tages, spectacles to the world of a bliglit from above ? Have not Austria 
and France suffered terribly at the hand of Providence ? Would not Lord 
Brougham take it as a sure mark of God's displeasure on Protestant Scot- 
land, w^ere it reduced to the same state, as to education, laws, the press, 
and morals, as Popish Naples? Would he not feel the same judgment on 
Protestant England, if her people were brought into precisely the same 
state as those of Popish Austria ? Would he not call it a judgment on 
the Protestant north of Ireland, were it brought to the condition of the 
Popish south and west ? Or, to go to the republics, would he not feel 
that nothing less than a curse from above coxild hurl the Protestant States 
to the condition of Mexico, with its shackled conscience, and endless 
bloodshed ? In the old world and in the new, in proportion as Popery is 
dominant in a nation, its laws are bad, its education bad, its morals bad, 
its press fettered, its people oppressed, and its foreign enterprises unsuc- 
cessful. If these are not national judgments, will the noble Lord, when 
next denouncing the belief that such are by a wise Providence inseparably 
connected with Popery, kindly inform us what national judgments are ? 

1 The Baron Bjorntsjerna justly says, that in India we have vassal 
princes of dynasties older than the Bourbons, and with more subjects 
than the King of Naples. 

VOL. I. r . 



82 MORAL STATISTICS OF BRITISH EMPIRE. 

that axe there, a form ascends this height, and, seated above all 
earthly powers, looks benignly down. Can anything human 
be so far beyond all that is human as this *? Can the sight be 
real 1 Is it flesh and blood, the heart, the thoughts, the afifec- 
tions, the infirmities, of our common nature, that dwell so 
strangely high 1 Can that exalted being be woman — capable 
of being moved by sympathies, pressed by sadness, torn by 
pain, or smitten by death 1 Is there a Power above her 1 
Is there an account before her? Ask her. She answers, 
'^ Yes ; there is a Power above me, and to that Power I 
kneel." Who will not kneel with her? Who will not im- 
plore Him, who is Lord of all worlds, to bless her whom he 
has made the foremost in ours 1 Who will not pray that wis- 
dom more than her own may shine on counsels which afiect alj 
mankind ; and that grace may abound to her on whose crowned 
head every human being is casting a ray of responsibility ] 
We pray, and we will pray, 

" Happy and glorious, 
Long to reign over us, 
God save our Queen !" 



ANCIENT EOME AND MODEEN LONDON 

INTENDED TO ILLUSTRATE THE PAST AND 
PRESENT STATE OF CIVILISATION. 



THE REV. JOHN STOUGHTOK 



I HAVE pursued tlie same course in the publication of this 
Lecture as I indicated in reference to the first. It appears 
exactly as it was delivered. Some passages would need consi- 
derable modification to adapt them to present times. 



ANCIENT EOME AND MODEEN LONDON. 

/CIVILISATION is a term of very extensive meaning. The 
^ primary idea which it expresses is that of a state of things 
in which the conveniences of domestic life^ the occupations of 
polished society, the cultivation of the fine arts, and the habits 
of polite intercourse between man and man, generally prevail. 
In a word, it denotes that state of society which is opposed 
to the savage and the barbarous. This, I apprehend, is the 
common, the popular idea, attached to the term. But it is 
employed in the present day, by many writers, to comprehend 
much more than that. The idea of political organization, in- 
tellectual activity, social virtue, general prosperity, and even 
individual excellence ; indeed, the idea of human improvement, 
in the widest sense, has been brought within its signification. 
It is employed as the symbol of progress towards perfection. 
We shaU use it, in our following observations, in its broad and 
comprehensive meaning ; we shall throughout keep our eye 
fixed upon the primary idea of civilisation, that of anti-bar- 
barism, — but we shall, at the same time, take within our view 
those more extensive aspects of civilisation which have been 
included within the meaning of the word. 

Cities are the grand theatres of civilisation. It is true that 
amidst the scenes of rural life, art and science, domestic con- 
venience and luxury, polite habits, and intellectual and social 
advancement, may be found ; but this wiU generally happen as 
the consequence of what is going on amidst the scenes of city 



86 ANCIENT ROME AND 

life. The former will be but the reflection of the latter. The 
scattered population, and the habits of comparative solitude in 
the country, must be less favourable to the progress of society 
than the large population, and the social habits which obtain 
in the city. In tracing the advancement of civilisation, then, 
our attention must be mainly fixed upon the history of cities, 
[f we would mark its footsteps in ancient times, we must look 
to Thebes, Babylon, Nineveh, Tyre, Athens, and Rome ; and, 
if we would see what strides it is making in modern times, we 
must look to such cities as Berlin, Paris, and London. Hence, 
with a view of comparing civilisation as it was with civilisation 
as it is, we take as specimens the last named of the two classes 
of cities, Rome and London. The former exhibits the highest 
point, the very zenith of ancient civilisation ; the latter exhibits 
the same pre-eminence as to modern civilisation. The one was 
the reservoir which received into its capacious bosom all the 
streams of social power and greatness which flowed through the 
channels of the old world ; and the other is the reservoir which 
has received the elements, energies, and impulses which have 
been running with so strong a tide, for some centuries past, 
through the channels of the new one. Upon the fall of the 
Roman Empire, there came a great change. Society as it had 
been was convulsed and thrown into contusion ; and then, after 
awhile, a fresh order of things arose, and society gradually 
assumed its modern form. Rome stands on the boundary of 
that past age of civilized life, the type of its highest grandeur ; 
and London stands amongst the most advanced in the path of the 
present age of social progress, the type of its greatest splendour. 
In placing them before you this evening, for the purpose of point- 
ing out the different aspects of civilisation which they present, 
and in suggesting some considerations to account for the differ- 
ence between them, we must satisfy ourselves with very brief 
and general outlines. A finished picture is altogether out of 
the question ; a mere sketch — a drawing in chalk — a few 



MODERN LONDON. 87 

strokes and dottings of the pencil, just indicating what we 
mean, is all we can attempt. 

On approaching the subject, one cannot help thinking how 
presumptuous and absurd it would have seemed to an old 
Roman to imagine that a town in Britain, that the London of 
his day, could ever come into comparison with his own eternal 
city. London is noticed by Tacitus as a place which, though 
of considerable mercantile importance, was not raised to the 
honour of being a Roman colony ; and in Caesar's time, about 
a hundred years earlier, it seems to have been of so little cele- 
brity that the conqueror makes no mention of it. Had some 
sage, gifted with inspiration, proclaimed to the Roman Senate, 
that the day would come when an obscure town situated on 
the Thames, a river then scarcely known to the Reman geo- 
grapher, would vie with the city in which they were assembled 
on the Tiber, nay, eclipse it, and wax in glory while the other 
waned, that prediction would have strangely crossed their pride, 
and would have been indignantly pronounced incredible. Yet 
that day has come. The British town, then a mere enclosure 
containing a few huts, has sweDed into a city teeming with a 
population of above two millions, crow^ded with public build- 
ings and costly habitations, filled with commerce, wealth, and 
luxury — the mirror of modern civilisation — the metropolis of a 
mighty empire and the wonder of the world ; while the Roman 
city, then the most populous and splendid on the face of the 
earth, and the mistress of the globe, has become but the shadow 
of what she was, — the head of a small territory, and chiefly 
interesting on account of the lingering brightness of her ancient 
name. 

In comparing ancient Rome with modern London, in refer- 
ence to the progress of civilisation, we would notice — 

I. The respective peculiarities of their metropolitan character. 

Rome was the metropolis of the largest empire on which the sun 
ever shone, and she became so after this manner. A Latin colony 



88 ANCIENT EOME AND 

was formed on the left bank of the river Tiber. The colony 
increased and prospered. For a time it stood alone, a town 
unconnected with other towns which spread about the conti- 
guous parts of Italy. It was an isolated municipality, self- 
dependent and self-controlled. By degrees, it extended its 
power, by conquest and colonization, over the surrounding dis- 
tricts, till, at the close of the kingly period, Rome was mistress 
of an extended territory. Under the Republic, she reduced all 
Italy to her sway ; and then, feeling the boundaries of that 
peninsula too narrow for the range of her ambition, she spread 
her victories far and wide, till, under the Emperors, her domi- 
nion stretched in breadth from the Wall of Antonine and the 
northern limits of Dacia, to Mount Atlas and the Tropic of 
Cancer, and in length from the Western Ocean to the Euphrates. 
Yet through all the period of its growing power and conquests, 
Rome retained its municipal character and government. It re- 
mained a city, restricting all authority to itself, at once managing 
its own affairs and ruling the world. Its history is that of a 
municipality, pushing out its vigorous arms in all directions, 
extending its influence on every side, without suffering its own 
central power to be aJTected ; without admitting any city or 
country in the empire to share in its dominion. In fact, Rome 
was the empire. The provinces were but the suburbs of the 
great city. Other cities were but her daughters, or her slaves. 
The chief magistracy in the city of Rome was the chief magis- 
tracy of the whole Roman world. This phenomenon of a single 
municipal government administering the affairs of a wide sur- 
rounding territory, perhaps of distant provinces which it had 
subdued, as well as distant colonies which it had planted, is 
the very type of ancient civilisation, politically considered. 
Monarchs and republics were the rulers of single cities, extend- 
ing their dominion as far as they could reach. There iai 
nothing exactly like this in modern times ; perhaps the extra- 
ordinary power exercised by the city of Paris during the Revo- 



MODERN LONDON. 89 

lution comes as near to it as anything ; and it is not a little 
remarkable that the history of that revolution, and its republi- 
can wars, seems something like an abridgment or epitome " of 
Roman history, with the change of names, compression of 
events, and suppression of time, as an element necessary to 
bring it within the requisite limits." In the Gallic city, we 
see the republican, the consular, and the imperial forms of 
administration succeeding each other ; the fate of the provinces 
being ruled by the power of the metropolis ; and we behold 
Napoleon, like another Caesar, reducing the whole into a state 
of military despotism. 

From what we have said, you will see in a moment that the 
history and position of London is far different from that of 
Rome ; that it occupies the centre of a totally different kind of 
political civilisation. London, it is true, is a great munici- 
pality, having a magistrate of its own, and possessing, in certain 
matters, a power of self-control ; but in 4his respect it re- 
sembles many other cities in the kingdom, and obtains a pre- 
eminence among them, only on account of its superior extent, 
importance, wealth, and influence. As a mere city, unlike 
Rome, it has no control over other cities. The power of its 
magistracy is entirely confined within its own walls. The first 
magistrate of London has no more power over the provinces 
than the meanest individual. The chief political importance of 
London arises from its being the locality where the national 
government has happened to fix its seat ; that government, 
however, being altogether distinct from the municipal authority 
of the metropolis. Such a government as that of England was 
unknown among the Romans, unknown in the ancient world. 
Various political experiments were tried, but such an experi- 
ment as that which has been made with us, and in other Euro- 
pean nations, was never thought of then. Asia had her kings, 
Greece her republics and confederations ; but they were never 
blended into a form of mixed monarchy like ours ; nor was the 



90 ANCIENT EOME AND 

representative system, such as it now obtains, ever introduced 
into any ancient state. Our Parliaments belong to the modem 
era of civilisation. They have come down to us as a precious 
inheritance from our Saxon fathers; derived, through them, 
from the German practice of holding great national councils. 
The Witenagemot, the meeting of wise men, before the Nor- 
man conquest, was no doubt the germ of our present Parlia- 
ment ; that institution assumed pretty nearly its existing form 
as early as the reign of our third Henry. It is the result of 
what was going on in the middle ages ; and the whole con- 
stitution of England has sprung out of the intermingling of the 
various elements of society which were developed during that 
period. The association of the monarchical, the aristocratic, and 
the popular principle, this mixture of antagonist powers, this 
blending of different materials, which, when rightly tempered, 
may be compared to the compensation-balance in a watch, in 
the composition of w^hich metals of different kinds, and possess- 
ing different powers of expansion and contraction, are united, 
so as to preserve an equilibrium under varying temperatures, — 
this peculiar form of political organization is a leading and a 
striking feature in our modern civilisation. We see diversity, 
we see antagonism, we see political forces acting in different 
directions, we see one thing curbing and neutralizing another ; 
whereas in the civilisation of the old world, as seen in Eome, 
which, in this respect, was but the reflection of what was going 
on before, we find a strong impress of unity ; one principle 
working at a time, whether it be the popular or the monarchi- 
cal. During the Eepublic the people were supreme. Under the 
Emperors the people were nothing ; all power was grasped by 
the former. The problem which has been under solution in our 
history, and which has been worked in other quarters, is, 
whether a better kind of liberty may not be attained by the 
combination of different forms of political government than by 
the exclusive adoption of any one ? 



MODEEN LONDON. 91 

London, then, as the theatre where this experiment has been 
proceeding for some centuries past ; as the place where the 
British Parliament is wont to be convened, and where the great 
conllicts between the three estates of the nation have been so 
often carried on, — is one of the grand centres of modern civilisa- 
tion. It is the central point of power in the kingdom. But 
its power, you perceive, is utterly different from that of Rome. 
It is the centre of a great representative system. It draws 
together the lines of influence which flow from the provinces ; 
it receives and concentrates them. But the city of Rome was 
the centre of a system of absolute power, spreading its ramifica- 
tions over the whole empire. The former unites and gives in- 
tensity to what it receives from without ; the latter propelled 
far and wide an influence which it originated from within. 
Rome was the fountain of political power. London is but the 
focus. The former then, in this respect, must be acknowledged 
to have been the mightier and the more splendid of the two ; but 
in its relation to tne happiness of the empire and the welfare 
of mankind, there can be no doubt that the latter has the pre- 
eminence. 

II. We now turn to look at the classes, and the condition 
of society, in these cities respectively. 

Rome had an hereditary order of nobility called Patricians. 
The Patricians were composed of the ancient families, who ori- 
ginally formed the Roman people. For a long time they 
engrossed the chief offices in the State, but ultimately, they 
were unable to resist the power of the plebeians, who claimed, 
and who secured for themselves the right of sharing in the 
highest civil honours. Struggles between the aristocratic and 
popular parties in Rome, form no small part of the materials of 
its history, and exhibit, only in a different shape, the same kind 
of conflict which has been maintained in modern times between 
the two corresponding classes of society. During a consider- 



92 ANCIENT ROME AND 

able period, the line of demarcation between the patrician and 
plebeian was very strongly marked, but even from the origin of 
Rome there appear to have existed between these parties the 
relation of patronage and clientship ; mutual rights and obliga- 
tions arose between them, the patron was bound to protect 
and to assist his client, and the client was bound to obey and 
honour his patron. You might have seen, in the streets of 
ancient Rome, a patrician in his toga walking with majestic 
step, followed by a train of plebeian dependants : at an early 
hour of the morning, sometimes you would have found them 
gathering round his doors, to pay him their respects, and 
to ask his counsel and assistance : and in the evening, 
perchance, you might have met with a large party of them 
supping in his noble hall. The state of things, in jrefer- 
ence to this practice of patronage and clientship, indicates a 
degree of proud superiority on the one side, and a spirit of ser- 
vility on the other, by no means consonant with our notions of 
a sound and healthful state of society. The English aristocracy 
bear some resemblance to the patrician order in Rome ; but 
they are a class who arose out of a different system of things 
from the Roman, and bear, still, much of the impress of their 
feudal origin during the middle ages. Like the feudal barons, 
but unlike the Roman patricians, the nobility of England 
maintain peculiar rights in connexion with primogeniture ; and 
in the persons of their elder branches, supply a class of heredi- 
tary legislators. All the sons of a patrician were equally of 
patrician rank, and inherited the same honour, but none of 
them, any more than the sons of plebeians, inherited the right 
to a seat in the Senate. Upon this feature of our political 
organization in England different opinions are entertained ; but 
I apprehend all will admit, that the position of the younger 
nobility, who are excluded from a participation in the rights of 
their elder brothers — who are nobles only by courtesy — who, in 
the eye of the Constitution are but commoners, are but part 



MODERN LONDON. 93 

of the people, is a circumstance which tends to unite together 
the patrician and plebeian orders in our State, and to suppress 
between the two classes those heartburnings which are so likely 
to arise, by supplying a connecting link ; by gently shading off 
the strong colours by which the two ranks in the community 
are respectively marked. With regard to Rome it should not 
be forgotten, that even before the expulsion of the kings, there 
arose an intermediate class between the patricians and plebeians, 
composed of individuals chosen promiscuously from both, called 
the equestrian order ; but this resembled our orders of knight- 
hood, rather than anything else, and was not likely to have any 
great effect in binding the upper and lower parts of the com- 
munity together. 

Slaves formed a very large part of the population of Rome. 
They were so numerous that on one occasion, when it was pro- 
posed to distinguish them from the citizens by a particular 
dress, the proposal was rejected, on the ground that it would 
be dangerous to the State if they discovered their numerical 
strength. Statements made with regard to the number of 
slaves possessed by single individuals, appear incredible. Some 
persons are said to have held as many as 20,000. These un- 
happy beings were the absolute property of their masters, and 
were bought and sold like cattle, nor were the proprietors 
amenable to the law for their treatment of them. Domestic 
occupations of all kinds were allotted to slaves ; they too com- 
posed for the most part the class of artisans in Rome. They 
were also engaged in professional employments, and great men 
had among their slaves physicians, librarians, secretaries, and 
even tutors ; a state of things most pernicious and dangerous, 
for what was likely to be the moral effect produced upon a 
family by these crowds of slaves, some of them even engaged 
in the formation of the youthful character ; and how great the 
peril which seemed likely to arise from the existence of so 
large a class in the community, whose feelings towards their 



94 ANCIENT ROME AND 

superiors must, in a multitude of instances, have been deeply 
embittered ! A striking instance, in which this danger became 
apparent, may be found in the memorable servile war,^ when, 
led on by Spartacus, the slaves of Rome presented so formid- 
able an array against their oppressive masters, and won so 
many victories, that the Republic was filled with consternation. 
Domestic slavery was not peculiar to Rome, and did not termi- 
nate with its power. During the middle ages it prevailed; 
and our oWn country was stained with the guilt of its continua- 
tion for many years. Before the Conquest, English people sold 
their children to be Irish slaves ; and the practice of buying 
and selling human beings continued afterwards. To the influ- 
ence of the Church, undoubtedly, the cessation of domestic 
slavery in England is to be ascribed ; and it is cheering to read 
in the canons of the Council of London, held in 1102, the 
noble passage, " Let no one from henceforth presume to carry 
on that wicked traffic by which men of England have hitherto 
been sold like brute animals." Instances, however, of the 
continuance of slavery, and the slave-trade, in our own island, 
occur at a later period, but they gradually disappear, until we 
find that not a solitary bondsman of this class existed on the 
soil. And this spirit of justice to all men has since increased 
in its strength, leading to an entire abolition of the accursed 
trade on the part of England, throughout her colonies, so that 
now the sun, in his daily circuit, as he girdles the British 
Empire, never sheds his rays upon a slave. In this triumph 
of righteousness, I will not call it benevolence, for it seems 
scarcely proper to talk of the benevolence of giving to a fellow- 
man his due, we may well find cause of congratulation, more 
worthy and more noble than ever was known by Roman minds, 
amidst their proudest victories. In the sacrifice of twenty 
millions for the accomplishment of the object, however be- 
grudged by gome and ridiculed by others, we see a noble and 
^U. C. 682. 



MODERN LONDON. 95 

heroic act, which in future days, when the world has learned 
to estimate aright the facts of history, will be deemed worthy 
of more praise and honour than can belong to the greatest 
achievements won by English or Roman arms ; and in that 
noble-minded man, the leader in this cause of humanity, William 
Wilberforce, who lived just long enough to hear of the final 
success of his labours ; and whose spirit, having learned that 
the manacle of every slave throughout the empire had been 
struck ofi", seemed as if it could tarry on earth no longer, but 
must soar exultingly to Heaven to bear the tidings thither ; in 
that man, our children's children will recognise a nobler name 
than that of the English Marlborough or the Roman Caesar. 
And it may be hoped that the example thus set by the first 
nation of the earth, will, in time, be followed by other countries ; 
and especially that America, the land of freedom so called, 
who still retains her slave-market near to her capitol, who still 
holds thousands of black men in bondage, v>^ill, by timely re- 
pentance and restitution, erase this great crimson blot upon 
the charter of her independence and her liberties, and say to 
the slave " Go free ;" thus saving herself from the peril to 
which she is exposed, still more than Rome ever was, that of 
being torn in pieces by a servile war, and thus binding herself, 
more closely than ever, to her mother England, by the cultiva- 
tion of generous sympathies with her in the cause of humanity ; 
and thus mingling the untainted breath of a whole community 
of freemen with the winds, which from her shores come sweep- 
ing over the Atlantic to the coasts of Britain. 

Besides the existence of slavery there were other things in 
the Roman social system of a kind most reprehensible. If 
women held a higher rank in society at Rome than in some 
other cities of antiquity, she was animated by a spirit anything 
but lovely ; the milder virtues of her sex, which give the charm 
to the mother, and which shed over home so mild and tranquil- 
lizing and spiritual an influence, were, in the most celebrated of 



96 ANCIENT ROME AND 

the Roman matrons, subdued by those stern, and even cruel 
principles, whose sublime severity in certain cases, much ac- 
customed to be praised, did hardly compensate for the loss of 
what they destroyed. At the same time, the father possessed 
the power of life and death over his children ; " and a new-born 
infant was not held to be legitimate, unless the father, or, in 
his absence, some person for him, lifted it from the ground and 
placed it in his bosom." ^ All this was in harmony with the 
hard, cold, and repulsive spirit of the Roman character ; in 
which sympathy, tenderness, and benevolence seemed scarcely 
to have a place. And one turns with refreshing feelings to the 
better spirit which prevails with us, to the sweeter tone of 
civilisation which pervades our British hearths. The father, 
while he possesses all proper parental rights, is amenable to the 
laws for cruelty to his children, a check happily not needed in 
many cases ; and the mother, if she lacks somewhat of the 
heroism of Rome's far-famed matrons, more than makes up for 
it by the domestic virtues ; and in many delightful instances 
by the religious excellence which commands the love and the 
imitation of her children. No doubt, the long and peculiar 
training which English society received during the feudal age, 
tended somewhat to alter the position of females ; and the 
spirit of chivalry, which sprung out of it, creating laws of 
politeness towards the gentler sex, raised them greatly in the 
social scale ; but the spirit of religion, which, even then, 
blended itself with our institutions, and sweetly breath&d dur- 
ing intervals when the storms which swept over our land were 
hushed for awhile, much of peace, affection, and good-will : 
that spirit of religion which, in later times, has exerted a far 
more commanding influence, must be regarded as the leading 
element producing this improved form of modern social civilisa- 
tion. It tempers the paternal authority, it teaches man to look 
on woman, not as his slave, not as his mistress, but as his in- 
1 Adam's Ptoman Antiquities, p. 41. 



MODEEN LONDON. 97 

telligent and high-souled companion ; while in the children 
that gather round their fireside, it leads them to recognise, not 
merely the future citizens of this world, but the heirs of im- 
mortality. And looking at the operation of Christianity upon 
society in London, in reference to the workings of human kind- 
ness in a larger sphere, one cannot hut mark with delight the 
existence of so many philanthropic institutions, unknown in 
ancient Kome. In almost every street we see the footprints of 
our Christianity, and many are experiencing its temporal benefits, 
who are heedless of its divine origin and its spiritual blessings. 

III. We must now examine into the genius of the Eepublic 
of Kome as displayed in that city, and compare it with the 
genius of the British nation as it is displayed in London. No 
one could have tarried a day in Rome without perceiving that 
the love of war and martial glory was the soul of the common- 
wealth. Her citizens were soldiers, trained from their youth 
to military exercises, and enrolled among her legions at the 
age of seventeen. During peace, the daily training of the 
army on the Campus Martins reminded the passer-by that 
fighting was the grand business of the Roman ; and during 
war, when her legions were away on the field, and the city was 
almost emptied of its valorous inhabitants, no one could enter 
its houses, or mingle with the groups that gossiped in the 
Forum, without finding that the movements and conflicts of the 
army were the all-absorbing theme ; and that the martial spirit 
was rife in the bosoms of those who tarried at home as well as 
of those who had marched abroad. As a people, they were 
averse to the pursuits of trade and the mechanical arts, and left 
such occupations to be filled up by their slaves. The employ- 
ments of the shopkeeper and the artisan were held to be de- 
grading, and unfit for the sons of the greatest city upon earth. 
The sword and the buckler were for them, not the counter or 
the implements of manual labour ; nay, even the fine arts 

VOL. T. Q 



98 ANCIENT ROME AND 

found no favour in their sight, as afibrding an appropriate oc- 
cupation ; their architects, sculptors, and painters were from 
other lands ; and the lines of Virgil, which he puts into the 
lips of Anchises, breathe the very soul of the Roman citizen : — 

"Let others better mould the running mass 
Of metals, and inform the breathing brass, 
And soften into flesh a marble face ; 
Plead better at the bar ; describe the skies, 
And when the stars descend, and when they rise. 
But Rome, 'tis thine alone, with awful sway. 
To rule mankind, and make the world obey ; 
Disposing peace and war thy own majestic way ; 
To tame the proud, the fetter'd slave to free ; 
These are imperial arts, and worthy thee."^ 

If the martial spirit of the people was always manifest in 
Rome, it appeared most prominently, and shone forth in dazz- 
ling coruscations, on those days when her conquering general 
returned to the city, amidst the honours of a triumph. See 
yonder, on the Campus Martins, the gathering mass of military 
pomp and splendour ! There the procession is marshalled, and 
there multitudes are assembled to see it move. The streets 
through which it is to pass, all the way to the Capitol, are 
strewed with flowers, while altars stand on either side the path, 
filling the air with incense. Citizens and slaves, matrons and 
maidens, are waiting, and eager to witness the gorgeous spec- 
tacle. At length you see the procession move. First come a 
band of musicians, chanting victorious songs, accompanied by 
various instruments. Next some oxen, prepared for sacrifice, 
with gilded horns and decked with flowery garlands. Now 
there approach a train of carriages bearing bullion, statues, 
pictures, and arms, the property of the vanquished nations, 
models of whose cities precede all these spoils. Vases filled 
with money are also borne upon men's shoulders, followed by 
1 Dryden's Virgil, book vi. 1167. 



MODERN LONDON. 99 

other tropliies, including the elephants of the conquered army. 
Then come a group on which the eye of the Roman citizen is 
fixed with proud exultation, composed of captives bound in 
chains, among whom you may see princes and their wives, lead- 
ing their little ones by the hand, who, delighted with all this 
array, look up with smiling countenances, and wonder at their 
parents' tears. Close behind them are the lictors, with their 
fasces bound with laurel ; and pressing close on these are per- 
sons in fancy garbs, gay and grotesque, whose province is to 
insult and mock the noble captives whom they follow. And 
now the chief object of attraction passes. Preceded by the 
consuls and senators is the victorious general, whose skill and 
prowess the Senate has seen fit thus to reward. There he 
stands in his triumphal chariot, which is gilded and adorned 
with ivory, and drawn by four white horses. A purple robe 
embroidered with gold covers his shoulders, a crown of laurel 
adorns his head. He bears in his right hand a branch of the 
same plant, and in his left an ivory sceptre surmounted with 
an eagle. His face shines with vermilion ; and a golden ball, 
containing an amulet intended to preserve him from the malig- 
nant power of envy, is suspended from his neck. His children 
follow the chariot, and then the victorious army, both horse 
and foot, decorated with gifts and crowned with laurel, rending 
the air with their acclamations, bring up the rear of this gor- 
geous pageant. The long procession, having now passed the 
streets, reaches the ascent to the Capitol, and marching through 
the triumphal arch, the hero of the day ascends the steps of 
the Temple of Jupiter, commands the victims to be sacrificed, 
places his golden crown in the lap of the deity, and dedicates to 
him a part of the spoils, which are then suspended there, amidst 
the other trophies of national valour which adorn the unrivalled 
fane. Such were the scenes which, in past ages, kindled and 
rewarded military ambition in Rome, and gathered admiring 
and rejoicing crowds ; such the spectacles which filled with life 



100 ANCIENT HOME AND 

and splendour the streets of that great city, and swept in a tide 
of majestic grandeui: through the Forum. 

The love of war, then, was the genius of Rome. In the 
early days of the kingdom and the republic, people fought from 
motives of self-defence ; in later times, from a pure thirst for 
glory and dominion. In the best periods of its history, the 
virtues of the citizens were of the martial cast, and found a 
fostering influence in all the institutions of the State. 

To Eome, which thus cradled a warlike people, and wit- 
nessed the universal conquests of their arms, London presents a 
contrast on which we can look with satisfaction. If any are 
disposed to rejoice in martial glories, they may find memorials 
of them in the English capital, and prouder memorials in the 
annals of British history ; and those who sympathize with the 
ancient Roman, in the love of wide-spread dominion, may find 
enough to gratify them to the full in the colonial dependencies 
of England reaching to the far distant East and West. But no 
one, acquainted with the habits and feelings of the English 
people, at the present day, can pronounce the love of war and 
conquest their ruling passion. It has given place to an absorb- 
ing engagement in pursuits of a different order ; London is the 
type of commercial civilisation. The merchant, not the soldier, 
is most prominent and influential. The military men that may 
be seen about the Horse Guards, and the troops which are re- 
viewed in Hyde Park on a field-day, may probably bear com- 
parison, in point of courage and discipline, with the Roman 
soldiery ; but they are looked upon by the country chiefly as 
a sort of police to prevent war, and to allow commerce to 
have its free intercourse with other nations. London citizens 
and English subjects in general are looking in the present 
day, not to armies as, the source of their greatness, and the 
objects of their pride ; but to the busy thousands who are 
deepening and spreading the resources of national wealth, by 
their commercial and manufacturing industry. The spirit of 



MODEEN LONDO.^. 101 

mercantile enterprise is as strongly stamped upon the English 
character, in our metropolis of the nineteenth century, as the 
spirit of war was stamped upon the character of the Eomans 
in their metropolis, some few centuries before the Christian era. 
Rome had her trade as well as her army ; her port whither her 
vessels brought for her use the luxuries of the East ; but it was 
not there but to the Campus Martins, where her legions per- 
formed their evolutions, that the stranger would have been 
taken to see the greatness of the Republic. So the metropolis 
of the British Empire is the rendezvous of a great military 
establishment, as well as an emporium of merchandise ; but it 
is to the scenes on the borders of the Thames, to her spllcious 
docks, her crowded shipping, her stores and warehouses, with 
all the accompaniments of busy commerce, presenting a spec- 
tacle which perfectly ovei*powers the mind with wonder ; it is 
to those scenes that we should take the stranger to impress him 
with an idea of the greatness of our nation. The Hyde Park 
review on a bright day in June with cuirasses and swords glis- 
tening in the sun, and martial music floating through the air, 
and crowds of English beauties collected on the spot, affords a 
brilliant holiday entertainment, like one of the tournaments of 
the sixteenth century ; but all must feel that the English spirit 
of the nineteenth century is not there expressed. It is very 
true that the love of war has not lost its hold entirely on the 
public mind ; that there are many who still pant for the con- 
flict, and for the honours and the prizes which successful 
warfare brings : but I repeat it, the spirit of the nineteenth cen- 
tury is not expressed in this way ; but tliat it finds its more 
correct exponent in the earnest activity which is ever witnessed 
all round the neighbourhood of London Bridge and the Ex- 
change. Fifty years ago a poet of our own observed — ■ 

"War is a game, which, were their subjects wise. 
Kings would not play at. Nations would do well 
To extort their truncheons from the puny tands 



102 ANCIENT ROME AND 

Of heroes ; whose infirm and baby minds 
Are gratified with mischief ; and who spoil, • 
Because men sufifer it, their toy, the world." 

One would hope that kind of wisdom and of national " well- 
doing" which the amiable bard commends is in our day on the 
increase, and certainly the spirit of commercial activity so pre- 
valent among us, is decidedly favourable to its further exten- 
sion. I trust there is a growing distaste for appeals to arms ; 
and we hail, with peculiar satisfaction, an indication of it, found 
in the strong reprobation of the accursed system of duelling, 
which is a sign of advancing civilisation of the best kind. 

If Rome rose mainly by the aid of her armies, London and 
the nation of which it is the centre has risen mainly by the 
aid of trade. Whatever of the phantom called glory our most 
boasted wars may have brought us, it is quite certain that they 
have brought us little else : while our trade, from the days of 
that same prince, who to the title of Hero of Cressy, appended 
the better title of the Father of English Commerce, has brought 
us the most solid advantages, and contributed to the establish- 
ment of our civil liberties. It may have been the fashion to 
speak of the profession of arms as a high and noble vocation ; 
and of the pursuits of trade as mean and ignoble ; but I have yet 
to learn that in the eye of reason and of heaven there is more of 
true moral greatness in the man who spends his days in train- 
ing himself for the field of strife and violence than in him whose 
time is spent in peaceful occupations, which increase the mate- 
rials of human convenience and enjoyment. And methinks 
the time will come, when, as posterity turns over the pages of 
the world's history she will award the palm of the noblest civili- 
sation to London, a city full of merchants and artisans, rather 
than to Rome, a city full of soldiers flushed with the pride of 
victory, and drunk with the blood of the slain. 

IV. As to the state of the arts in Rome, we should say that 
Rome attained the highest point of artistic civilisation under 



MODERN LONDON. 103 

the reign of Hadrian, when the improvements begun by Augus- 
tus were brought to their completion. 

The temple of Jupiter crowning the Capitol, then shone in 
all the freshness of its magnificence, with its gilded roof, sur- 
mounted by figures of heroes, chariots, and deities, the Roman 
Eagle, and its attendant Victory. From the foot of the hill 
there swept, with its ample space, the well-known Forum, sur- 
rounded with courts of judicature, halls of audience, the Senate- 
house, and the temples of tutelary deities j while in the midst, 
and highest elevated, stood the famous rostrum round which, of 
old, the people gathered to hear their noble orators. Other 
forums, forming magnificent squares, adorned the city, with 
their temples and porticos, — the latter being the favourite 
places of rendezvous for the people, offering a pleasant shade 
on a sunny day, a grateful shelter on a rainy one, and a con- 
venient spot for gossiping at all times. Time would fail to 
tell of the Pantheon, with its dome, about two-thirds as high as 
St. Paul's, but more than half as broad again in diameter ; its 
arched recesses filled with colossal statues, on which the light 
from the top fell with a magical eff'ect ; the whole exhibiting 
a triumph of art which rivalled the finest displays of Grecian 
architecture ; and of the Imperial Palace, and the Temple of 
Apollo, and those wonderful baths of such gigantic extent, and 
containing such a mass of buildings of all kinds, for purposes of 
literature, art, and pleasure ; and the Circus Maximus, capable 
of accommodating 385,000 spectators ; and the Coliseum, of 
which, however, we shall have something to say hereafter. 
Rome was literally crowded with temples, palaces, theatres, 
columns, arches, circuses, and baths. The houses of private 
individuals, unlike what they had been in the best days of the 
Republic, had also attained a pitch of splendour which one 
hardly knows how to credit. Nothing less than marble was 
deemed fit material for the houses of the wealthy, and the sums 
expended upon their erection were enormous. The house of 



104 ANCIENT EOME AND 

Publius Clodius (at an earlier period than that which we have 
just had in view) cost £130,000, and the villa of Scaurus, 
which was burnt down by his slaves, was valued at £885,000. 
The houses of Rome were lofty in the extreme, which led 
Augustus to restrict the height of new houses to 70 feet. But 
of all the instances of luxurious magnificence in ancient Rome, 
the Golden House of Nero, as it was called, is the most striking. 
In the vestibule stood a colossal statue of Nero, 128 feet in 
height ; there were three rows of porticos, each a mile in 
length, and supported by three rows of pillars. In the palace 
itself, the rooms were lined with gold, gems, and mother of 
pearl. The ceilings of the dining-rooms w^ere adorned with 
ivory panels, so contrived as to scatter flowers and shower 
perfumes on the guests. The principal banqueting-room re- 
volved upon itself, representing the motions of the heavens. 
The baths were supplied with salt water. But a notice of these 
gorgeous edifices does not sufiice to give a due impression of 
the appearance of Rome. There were other astonishing works 
of art. Such were the aqueducts, nine in number, which ran 
a distance of from 12 to 62 miles, conveying rivers of water to 
the city, through mountains and over valleys. The Claudiaa 
aqueducts, for instance, were carried over arches for more than 
20 miles. In the time of Nerva and Trajan, 700 architects 
and others were employed in attending to the aqueducts. 
Besides these, there were 1300 public reservoirs of water for 
the use of the inhabitants. On a similar scale of magnificence 
were the public sewers. They were arched galleries carried 
under the city in all directions. The great sewers were about 
16 feet in breadth, and 30 in height, formed of stone blocks, 
and so well cemented that notwithstanding the buildings over 
them, and the daily traffic for 2000 years, not one of them has 
given way. The Roman ways, too, though not belonging to 
the magnificence of the city, were monuments of grandeur, in 
keeping with the rest. In the Roman Forum there stood a 



MODERN LONDON. 105 

pillar of gold, on which were inscribed the distances of the 
great cities in the empire, and thence there branched off straight 
lines of road, not paved, but flagged, extending to the most 
distant provinces. These stupendous ways were bordered near 
the city with streets of tombs, " thus converted into so many 
avenues of death, and scenes of mortality ;" and hence it is ob- 
served by Eustace, in his Classical Tour: "The last object that 
a Roman beheld at the time of his departure, and the first that 
struck him on his return, was the tombs of his ancestors." 

As illustrative of the state of the arts at Rome, in connexion 
with domestic architecture, furniture, and luxury, allow me to 
introduce you to the dining-room in the house of Scaurus, whose 
princely residence has been already mentioned. "It is twice as 
long as it is broad, and divided, as it were, into two parts, the 
upper occupied by the tables and couches, the lower left empty 
for the convenience of the attendants and spectators. Around 
the former the walls, up to a certain height, are ornamented 
with valuable hangings. The decorations of the rest of the 
room are noble, and yet appropriate to its destination ; gar- 
lands, entwined with ivy and ivy branches, divide the walls 
into compartments, bordered with fanciful ornaments. Above 
the columns is a large frieze divided into twelve compartments, 
each of which is surmounted with one of the signs of the 
Zodiac, with the meat, fish, or game at that time in season. 
Bronze lamps, suspended from the ceiling or raised on candel- 
abra, shed a brilliant light, and are trimmed by slaves. The 
table is of citron wood, more precious than gold, and rests on 
ivory feet. The couches are of bronze, overlaid with silver, 
gold, and tortoise-shell ; the mattresses of Gallic wool, dyed 
purple ; the cushions of silk, embroidered with gold. They 
were made at Babylon, and cost £32,200. The pavement is 
mosaic, and represents fragments of a feast scattered all over it. 
At the bottom of the hall are vases of Corinthian brass." ^ 
1 Pompeii, vol. ii. p. 14.— (Lib. Entert. Knowledge.) 



106 ANCIENT HOME AND 

The houses of the wealthy Romans, in common with public 
edifices, were richly adorned with statues and paintings. Under 
the patronage of Adrian, statuary flourished in Rome. The 
colossal bust of Antinous, preserved in the Louvre, and belong- 
ing to that period, is pronounced by critics to be worthy of com- 
parison with the best works which Greece produced. Painting, 
too, was encouraged ; but it does not appear that at this, or at 
any other period, Rome possessed distinguished artists. Pictures 
of the Grecian masters, however, seem to have been prized. As 
to the arts which relate to the domestic life of the Italians, the 
numerous remains discovered at Pompeii and Herculaneum have 
afforded abundant and interesting illustration. These remains 
include a large collection of ornaments and utensils of the most 
beautiful workmanship, indicating a state of society in which 
the conveniences and luxuries of life were largely enjoyed. A 
review of the relics of Roman art, and the accounts we have of 
Rome in its greatest magnificence, show that its civilisation, 
artistically considered, was for the most part but the reflection 
of what had obtained in Greece, to which country it was in- 
debted for almost all it possessed of what was beautiful and 
elegant. Rome was never much more than a copyist. The 
arts never flourished there, as in an indigenous soil. They 
were forced, unlike their production in Greece, where they 
sprung up with a natural luxuriance. The Romans had never 
much sympathy with the fine works of art which adorned their 
city, but regarded them rather with the feelings of men who 
thus sought to display their wealth and power. 

As to a comparison of modern London with ancient Rome 
in respect to the arts, we can only make a very few observa- 
tions. In point of architectural display, especially in public 
edifices, London must be acknowledged inferior to Rome. The 
short sketch we have given of the latter is enough to show 
that it exhibited an array of grandeur such as throws our own 
metropolis into the shade. As it regards the extent and cost- 



MODERN LONDON. 107 

liness of the structures of the Romans, that is a circumstance 
which chiefly shows that they had plundered the world to enrich 
themselves, and one, therefore, which leaves us but little to 
envy ; but still, it must be acknowledged, that, even as speci- 
mens of art, their buildings were superior to those in our own 
metropolis. The London of the nineteenth century has vastly 
improved upon the London of the eighteenth in regard to archi- 
tecture. The new streets and squares at the west end exhibit 
considerable taste and beauty ; some structures in London of 
an earlier age, St. Paul's Cathedral for instance, will bear com- 
parison with the structures of ancient Rome, and some buildings 
which are now rising, as the Exchange and the Houses of Par- 
liament for instance, may be placed in the same elevated class, 
but the modern architecture of London, for the most part, must 
yield the palm to the Imperial City. Many of the modem 
churches in London (the most prominent and architectural of 
its buildings) have justly called forth the severe animadversions 
of critics, presenting specimens of taste of which we may be 
anything but proud. Rome and London are alike in this, that 
they have both much of their architecture borrowed from 
Greece, but the copies made by the latter are in many instances 
mean ; and little better than parodies of style compared with 
the copies made by the former. In the magnificence of private 
dwellings we are also behind the Romans ; but this does not 
indicate so much any artistic inferiority, as a state of less extra- 
vagant luxury. In the cultivation of the fine arts generally 
London is on the advance, and if our sculptors do not quite 
equal those of the times of Adrian, our painters far excel the 
most eminent in ancient Italy ; and we may add that a taste 
for the arts is more prevalent with us than it ever was with the 
ancient Romans. London is improving, greatly improving, in 
architectural grandeur. The revival of Gothic art, a form of 
beauty which old Rome has never witnessed, is greatly contri- 
buting to this. In the general diflfusion of domestic conveni- 



108 ANCIENT HOME AND 

ence and comfort, London is doubtless greatly in advance of 
Rome, while, in matters which relate to public utility, if we 
cannot show anything just like the aqueducts and sewers, 
we can point to our railways and steam-trains as worthy of 
comparison with Rome's greatest wonders, and as displaying a 
scientific genius and inventive skill such as incomparably sur- 
passes theirs. As to the arts which relate to domestic life, the 
numerous remains discovered at Pompeii and Herculaneum 
have afforded abundant materials for illustration, with speci- 
mens of which had we time we would gladly enrich our lecture. 
But this point, to which we originally had devoted some space, 
we must pass over, just observing that the remains referred to 
include a large collection of utensils and ornaments of beautiful 
workmanship, indicating a state of society in which the con- 
veniences and luxuries of life were largely enjoyed. It must be 
remembered, however, that there are certain things known 
respecting the Romans which form a drawback on their artistic- 
domestic civilisation — such as their using woollen garments 
next the skin, which was very unfavourable to cleanliness ; their 
having no chimneys to their houses, which left them greatly 
incommoded by smoke (doors, windows, and openings in the 
roof when there was only one story, being the only outlets), 
though it must be observed that wood and charcoal were much 
burnt, and portable stoves or braziers were employed. 

In the general diffusion of domestic convenience and com- 
fort, our city is greatly to be preferred to the Imperial one, 
while in matters which relate to public utility our machinery 
and railroads may vie with her greatest wonders, while in 
scientific genius and inventive skill they far surpass them. 

V. We must say a few words respecting Rome and London 
in reference to intellectual cultivation. Amidst the splendid 
edifices reared by Augustus was the Temple of Apollo, furnished 
with a public library, the resort of authors, particularly poets. 



MODERN LONDON. 109 

who were wont to sit there, in full dress, reciting their com- 
positions before select judges. Those compositions had been 
prepared with care ; but if we are to trust an allusion by 
Horace to the poems of authors of this class, we should judge 
that it was not uncommon for them to avail themselves liber- 
ally of what had been produced by those whose works were 
around them, and he wittily advises one whom he names to 
acquire a stock of his own, and not meddle so much with the 
books in the palatine Apollo, lest by chance the flock of birds, 
whom he had pilfered of their feathers, should come and re- 
cover from him the plumage in which he had decked himself, 
and leave him, like the jackdaw, stripped of his stolen honours, 
an object of ridicule. Indeed, the character of Roman litera- 
ture in general, is pronounced by the learned as greatly wanting 
in originality. The Latins in this respect, as in others, borrowed 
from the Greeks. Their poetry and philosophy was almost all 
composed of materials gathered from the works of Grecian 
authors, moulded by a Roman hand, and stamped with a Roman 
impress. They seem to have had few fountains of original 
thought ; they mainly drew from the wells of the Greek 
Parnassus, only forming their own vessels in which to carry 
and preserve the waters. In artistical skill, however, in ela- 
borate composition, in the graces of style and action, in har- 
monious and stately expression, the Romans excelled. In 
these respects, their writings will remain models to be studied 
while a taste for literature remains. The literature of the 
Augustan age reflected the character of its civilisation. It 
evinced the highest degree of artistical elegance and beauty, 
but it wanted depth, moral energy, and power. And the 
literature of the present age reflects the character of our civili- 
sation, and shows it to be of a diff'erent, and of a higher kind, 
though less ornate than that of Rome. What Guizot says of 
European literature in general, will apply to a large portion of 
the literature circulated and read in London at the present mo- 



110 ANCIENT ROME AND 

ment. " We cannot but confess," he observes, " that in artistic 
form and beauty, the literatures of Europe are far inferior to 
the ancient literature ; but iu the depth of the sentiments and 
ideas they are more vigorous and rich. It is evident that the 
later human mind has been moved on far more points, and 
to a much greater depth. The imperfection of form proceeds 
from this very cause. The more rich and numerous the 
materials, the more difficult it is to reduce them into a simple 
and pure form. What makes the beauty of a composition — 
that which we call form in works of art, is clearness, simpli- 
city, a symbolic unity of workmanship. From the prodigious 
diversity of ideas and sentiments in the European civilisation, 
it has been much more difficult to attain this simplicity and 
perspicuity." Many of our popular books, no doubt, would 
have seemed to a Roman rough and uncouth productions, and 
so many of the books they read with pleasure would seem to 
us tame and insipid. In two respects especially, London pre- 
sents a striking contrast to Rome intellectually considered. I 
mean in the number of books which are circulated, and in the 
number of persons who read them. A book, in the age of 
Augustus, was a luxury possessed by but few ; books are now 
the possession of the many. You can go nowhere now, either 
in the city or the country, without finding books in some shape 
or another. They are issuing hourly from the press, and streams 
of goodly volumes, mingled with a tide of reviews, magazines, 
and newspapers, are slaking the intellectual thirst of the in- 
creasing community of readers. The invention of printing in 
the fifteenth century, and the application of steam to the working 
of the art in the present day, in connexion with the impetus given 
to the cause of education within the last fifty years, has produced 
a general surface of intelligence, if I may so speak, over all 
classes of society, and excited a deep spirit of thinking in 
many instances, of all which a Roman could not have had the 
remotest conception. Great care, no doubt, was paid by the 



MODERN LONDON. Ill 

Romans to the education of the youth of the higher classes, 
but as to the people generally, their education must have been 
very much neglected. Then, intelligence was confined to the 
upper classes, while the lower were as widely separated from 
them by their illiteracy, as by their general social position ; 
whereas, now, the lower classes are wonderfully advancing in 
intelligence, and are sending upwards an influence which their 
superiors feel, giving indication of a coming age, in which, 
though the ranks of society will still form an ascending scale, 
something like equality will obtain between mind and mind. 
And it may be observed, that as the million have now learned 
to read, and are reading the authors in their own language, 
the authors, in their turn, are writing for the million, and are 
popularizing their forms of thought and expression. The tech- 
nicalities of knowledge, the pedantry of learning, the free- 
masonry of authorship is fast passing away, and giving place 
to a simple, free, and common sense mode of appealing to men's 
minds and hearts. London, in all that relates to popular in- 
telligence and popular literature, is the antipodes of Rome. 
In relation to science, which is the handmaid of civilisation, it 
is obvious to remark, that the state of it in England at the 
present day, is as far removed from what it was in Rome, in 
the most enlightened age, as can be conceived. Sciences, 
studied in the Greek and Latin schools, have been revolutionized 
completely, and sciences, of which they never dreamed, have 
been formed by the modern European mind. Philosophical 
instruments, of comparatively recent invention, have opened 
new worlds to the human eye, and suggested new thoughts to 
the human mind. The little boy, who looks through a tele- 
scope, sees perhaps the belts of Jupiter, or the ring of Saturn, 
or the mountains in the moon, and thereby receives notions of 
the universe, of which the wisest Roman was ignorant. And 
the crowds, that witness scientific experiments, are, in the 
knowledge of such matters, far in advance of the masters of 



1 1 2 AXCIENT EOME AND 

antiquity. And it is pleasing to remember, that the conquests 
which our philosophers have made in the regions of science, 
are of an enduring character, unlike those which were obtained 
by Rome, and which have long since passed away. The em- 
pire which some of them have won and bequeathed to us, and 
which others are daily confirming and extending, is to endure 
for ever. " To whatever part of the vision of modern times," 
says Sir H. Davy, " you cast your eyes, you will find marks 
of superiority and improvement, and I wish to impress upon 
you the conviction, that the results of intellectual labour or 
scientific genius are permanent and incapable of being lost. 
Monarchs change their plans, governments their objects, a 
fleet or an army efi'ect their object and then pass away, but 
a piece of steel touched by the magnet, preserves its character 
for ever, and secures to man the dominion of the trackless 
ocean." 

VI. One more illustration of our subject. 

There stands in Rome even now an edifice, the wonder of 
the world. It is the Coliseum built by Vespasian. Let us 
look at it for a moment as it was. It is nearly circular, and 
covers five acres of ground, measuring in the longer diameter 
615 feet, and in the shorter 510. The exterior wall exhibit- 
ing four rows of columns, one above another, Doric, Ionic, and 
Corinthian, rises to the height of 160 feet. Within, you have 
an immense amphitheatre, composed of tiers of seats running 
down from a lofty elevation in the wall to the arena in 
the middle. There, a large open space is left, encircled by a 
wall and parapet faced with marble, and about eighteen feet 
high. The gigantic building is open at the top, but a con- 
trivance is furnished for extending a vast awning over the 
whole space. There is accommodation in those seats for no 
less than 87,000 spectators. Let us look for a moment at the 
sights which these myriads are assembled to witness. One 



MODERN LONDON. 113 

spectacle is a conflict among wild beasts ; and as many as 
9000 are. said to have been destroyed at the opening of this 
place of amusement. But a still more frightful scene is en- 
acted there. Gladiators, some voluntary and some compelled, 
make it their profession to fight with swords for the amuse- 
ment of the immense assembly. When one is wounded, he 
lowers his arms in token of submission, and it depends on the 
spectators whether his life be spared. If they press down 
their thumbs the man is saved, if they turn them up, it indi- 
cates that they wish him to be killed ; and he is immediately 
despatched in their presence. 

" I see before me the Gladiator lie ; 

He leans upon his hand ; his manly brow 
Consents to death, but conquers agony ; 
And his drooped head sinks gradually low, 
And through his side, the last drops, ebbing slow 
From the deep gash, fall heavy one by one, 

Like the first of a thunder-shower ; and now 
The arena swims around him — he is gone. 
Ere ceased the inhuman shout which hailed the wretch who won. 

He heard it, but he heeded not ; his eyes 

Were with his heart, and that was far away. 
He recked not of the life he lost, nor prize, 

But where his rude hut by the Danube lay ; 

There, were his young barbarians all at play, 
There was their Dacian mother — he their sire, 

Butchered to make a Roman hoHday. 
All this rushed with his blood. Shall he expire, 
And unavenged ? Arise, ye Goths, and glut your ire ! " 

Nor are these the most tragic sights to be seen there. 
Christians are sometimes thrown to wild beasts that they may 
be torn to pieces for the gratification of these holiday-making 
Romans ! 

That scene looks not much like civilisation at all, but is 
rather what we should expect to see (the magnificence of the 

VOL. I. H 



114 ANCIENT ROME AND 

Coliseum apart), among a horde of savages. It sheds an 
awful light upon the Roman character, and discloses the most 
ferocious and revolting traits. What were such people like 
to be, but what, for the most part, they were, — stern, cruel, 
and unjust, the milk of human kindness in their breasts all 
curdled. 

The amusements of the population of London, though we 
could wish them improved, exhibit no such revolting exhibitions. 
If these sanguinary spectacles were to be renewed, the popular 
voice would put them down. And if any taste in some quar- 
ters for the cruel recreations of a former age still linger, they 
are happily becoming more and more unpopular ; they excite 
no sympathy in the minds of the masses of the people ; and 
are melting away before the influence of intelligence, humanity, 
and religion. 

As to the morals of the Romans, it will be sufiicient merely 
to refer to the first chapter of Paul's Epistle to the Christians 
among them, and to the painful comments on that description, 
and the proofs of its truth to be found first in the disgusting 
pictures preserved at Naples, which portray the abominations 
of Rome, and which belong to the period of its deep corruption ; 
and secondly, in the classic Latin literature which reveals the 
licentiousness of the age which produced it, which " show how 
much of moral insecurity may co-exist with the highest capa- 
cities of intellect, and how little the sense of beauty by itself 
avails to preserve purity of heart." I need only observe that 
the feelings with which these artistic and literary proofs of 
moral corruption are now regarded, evince the superiority of our 
moral taste. 

From the whole of this review, then, we may consider our- 
selves entitled to conclude that the civilisation of London is far 
in advance of the civilisation of Rome. Save only in archi- 
tectural magnificence, the modern metropolis eclipses the ancient 
one ; in all that relates to the state of society, to the genius of 



MODERN LONDON. 115 

the people, to public opinion, to general intelligence, to taste, 
feeling, character, the comparison is decidedly in favour of the 
English capital. There is in our nation more of the spirit of 
justice, humanity, and liberty, a better order of political and 
intellectual development, a better state of society, than was ever 
seen among the Eomans. No one can point to Eoman history 
and say the former times were better than these. And this 
state of things is the effect of combined causes which have been 
working for centuries. Here you have the result of the inter- 
mingling of different races in the early periods of our history, 
British, Saxon, Danish, Norman, which intermingling could not 
fail to produce an influence on physical, intellectual, and moral 
character; — the result of our insular position which, leading us to 
seek the empire of the seas, and preserving us from being wasted 
by the ravages of war, has been in a high degree favourable to 
our commerce, with its peaceful humanizing tendencies ; — the re- 
sult of those political revolutions recorded on the page of our 
history, and of all the experience and knowledge which our 
fathers acquired from what they saw going on throughout 
Europe in former days ; — the result of all the providential dis- 
coveries of science at a later period, of all the collision of senti- 
ments, opinions, and principles which have from time to time 
been freely expressed, — and above all of that Christianity, espe- 
cially in its reformed state, which has long had a strong hold 
upon the hearts of multitudes, and which has indirectly ex- 
ercised a most beneficial influence upon the characters of others 
who have had little regard for its doctrinal principles. The last 
of these causes has doubtless had a very large share in produc- 
ing our national superiority. But for that, it is not possible to 
conceive of our being otherwise than just like Rome in the 
worst features of its character. The sternness of those Ger- 
man tribes, from whom, as a nation, we have mainly sprung, 
was not to be subdued, and those better qualities which now 
mark us as a people were not to be produced, by any power 



116 ANCIENT ROME AND 

less than the divine power of Christianity. Our civilisation is 
founded on our religion. It has grown with its growth, and 
strengthened with its strength. The elevation of woman to her 
proper rank, the improved character of our judicial code, the 
extinction of domestic slavery, the value set on life, the phil- 
anthropic institutions which cover the land, are all the results of 
the civilizing influence of the gospel. AValk through the streets 
of any large city or town, and compare the aspect of things with 
what was exhibited to the man who walked through the streets 
of ancient Rome, and with all the vice and misery which exist 
in the former^ you find elements of social welfare at work un- 
known in the latter^ the acknowledged creation of Christian 
morals ; you meet with indications of intelligence and freedom, 
and peace and charity, here which were wanting there. In- 
stead of the amphitheatre we have, besides places of amusement 
(which, however exceptionable, are doubtless somewhat modi- 
fied by the prevalence of Christianity), popular institutions ex- 
pressly for the improvement of the mind. Instead of meeting 
every moment with a slave, we meet with none but freemen ; 
instead of seeing everywhere the predominance of warlike tastes, 
we see the ascendency of trade and commerce ; and what we 
could have found nowhere in Rome, we meet with in all direc- 
tions in London, — the hospital, the asylum, the penitentiary. 

And now we come to the question, Will our civilisation con- 
tinue, or will the British Empire decline and fall like the Roman 
one, and our metropolis wane and sink like hers ? Certainly, 
the very fact of ancient Rome having fallen, the fact of the em- 
pires and cities of old having passed away, is enough to con- 
vince us, however some may idly talk, that civilisation is far 
from being necessarily progressive. The laws of providence, as 
unfolded in history, do by no means teach us that because Lon- 
don is now a great city, and Britain a great empire, they must 
continue so. The question then just proposed is fairly open to 
consideration. Any attempt to give a positive answer to the 



MODERN LONDON. 117 

inquiry would seem to us presumptuous ; and we are far from 
entertaining the idea of thus assuming the prophetic office ; but we 
may be permitted to express a thought or two naturally arising 
when we look at the subject. Certainly our insular position 
preserves us from danger to which Rome was exposed. There 
is a passage in Xenophon which bears so aptly on this point, 
that I cannot but refer to it. " If the Athenians," he says, " in- 
habited an island, and besides that enjoyed the empire of the 
sea, they would, as long as they were possessed of these advan- 
tages, be able to annoy others, and at the same time be out of 
all danger of being annoyed." It has been well observed, one 
would imagine Xenophon was speaking of England, and cer- 
tainly the remark of the Greek philosopher is most just in its 
application to ourselves. We must see in a moment that the 
circumstances of our dwelling in an island, and having command 
of the ocean, protect us from the kind of peril in which Rome 
was ever placed from her position on a peninsula. So far as 
war is concerned, our danger must be on the sea rather than 
the land. We have more to fear from naval than military 
foes ; but then it is apparent that this only alters the form of 
peril, without excluding it altogether ; for why may not a 
naval power arise and sweep the seas of the English flag ? 
Yet such war, and such conquest obtai'^ed over us must be 
on the part of a civilized nation ; and therefore, though it 
would reduce us in the scale of greatness and strip us of our 
glory, it would not necessarily stop our career of internal and 
social improvement. The invasion which finally broke down 
the early Roman civilisation, was the invasion of barbarian 
hordes, who came sweeping down from the north on the gar- 
dens of Italy ; a kind of invasion to which we are by no means 
exposed. It seems, then, there is no great danger to be anti- 
cipated by us from without ; our civilisation is not likely to be 
checked by external foes : our chief danger is from within. 
Yes ; and, after all, Rome's main mischief sprung from the 



118 ANCIENT EOME AND 

same quarter. Had she been faithful and virtuous, she had 
never fallen before the sword of barbarians. Her vices had 
corrupted her, and made her an easy prey. A demoralized and 
unchristian population is the only thing we have to fear. On 
the one hand, the amount of immorality and irreligion in the 
great metropolis and throughout our country makes us tremble ; 
but then, on the other hand, the large amount of virtue, piety, 
and benevolence, such as Rome never witnessed in her best 
estate, and the Christian efforts now being made in so many 
ways to improve the morals of the people, make us rejoice. 
We look with intense interest and anxiety to our young men. 
With pain such as we cannot describe we regard the gay, the 
dissolute, the intemperate ; those who drown the higher facul- 
ties of the soul in sensual indulgence, and who, degrading their 
mental and moral nature, and forgetting their relationship to 
angels, sink to the level of the brutes that perish. But with 
pleasure equally indescribable we look to the steady, the sober, 
the virtuous, the enlightened ; those who pant after mental 
improvement, and especially those who pant after spiritual ex- 
cellence, — who ask and practically answer the question, "While 
I am attending to the intellectual culture of the mind, ought I 
not to prepare for that eternity to which my mind is hastening 
forward with inconceivable rapidity, and where moral and spiri- 
tual character will be all in all ? " — who, repairing to the 
source of all wisdom, have become the subjects of a discipline 
which enriches the intellect with the beauties of sanctity, and 
prepares the soul for the vision and worship of heaven. Of 
such young men England may say, what the mother of the 
Gracchi said when she looked on her sons, " These are my 
jewels.'''' We are convinced that only vice and impiety can 
ruin us, that only virtue and religion can give permanence and 
improvement to our civilisation. Should such a state of general 
demoralization come as that described by a Hebrew prophet, 
when " judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth 



MODERN LONDON. 119 

afar off ; and truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot 
enter ;" though no army should land on oui* shores, and no 
navy should touch our fleets, and wealth and luxury should 
flow on, the curse of Heaven would be on us, and civilisa- 
tion be corrupted at the core. But let the " righteousness 
which exalteth a nation" be ours, and then, though the most 
painful forms of opposition should assail us, the arm of God 
would be our shield ; and, unchecked by these disturbers of 
our peace, the destiny of our empire and its mother city 
would be onwards along the paths of intellectual and moral 
civilisation. 



THE CEDAR AND THE PALM. 



THE EEV. JAMES HAMILTON, D.D. 



PEEFACE. 



Within the last twenty years considerable additional light 
has been thrown on the Natural History of the Holy Land, and 
it would scarcely have been fair to the subject or to the pur- 
chasers of the present series had we failed to take advantage of 
it ; hence the references to tourists who have travelled, and to 
facts which have been ascertained, since 1845. For the sake 
of the additional information, our readers will forgive the seem- 
ing anachronism. This and the two following lectures are to 
ail intents new. Should any desire to follow out the subject 
more fully, they will find ample materials in the new Diction- 
aries of the Bible, as well as in Lady Callcott's ScrijAiire Herbal ., 
and Professor Balfour's Plants of the Bible. The botanical 
articles in Principal Fairbairn's Imperial Bible Dictionary were 
contributed by the author of the following lectures, and a few 
meditations on kindred themes will be found in a little volume 
entitled Emhlems from Eden. 

April 1861 



THE CEDAE AND THE PALM. 



fTlHE tallest trees in the world, and perhaps the oldest, are 
-^ the pines which were lately found on the Sierra Nevada, 
or Snowy Ridge, of California. Of the style in which these 
giants start up from the soil, and brave the elements, you may 
form some notion from the specimen in the Crystal Palace. It 
is only the lower portion of a trunk, or rather the bark which 
covered it to a height of ninety feet ; but so thick is this bark 
(from a foot to eighteen inches), that the tube at Sydenham 
weighs sixty tons. Lengthen this fragment fourfold, and you 
have the height of a full-grown Wellingtonia gigantea. The 
Monument is 202 feet in height, and from the base of St. 
Paul's to the top of the cross is exactly twice this elevation, 
or 404 feet. The Wellingtonia, which has been named " The 
Green Mountain State," is 350 feet in height, and another, 
called " The Father," which was blown over many years ago, 
and which is now a fragment of only 300 feet in length, is 
calculated to have reached 450 feet in the days of its integrity. 
In other words, from such a tree, without any trouble, you 
might have made two Monuments, the one on the top of the 
other ; or, setting it up as a flag-staff in Paternoster Row, the 
ensign would flutter far above the top of St. Paul's. The 
hollow trunk would make a capital case for holding an entire 
assortment of such trifles as Pompey's Pillar and Cleopatra's 
Needles. 

The cone-bearers (coniferce)^ to which the mammoth-tree of 



124 THE CEDAR AND PALM. 

California belongs, not only include the stateliest specimens of 
vegetation, but, with their usually dark and persistent foliage, 
they are a peculiarly grave and solemn order. A fine sight is 
a tall pine clinging to the side of an Alpine clifij and carrying 
the eye straight up into the blue and boundless heaven ; and 
the Scotch fir, with its stem of burnished copper, and its 
boughs tossed and twisted all about in wild and careless 
strength, whether it be in Greenwich Park or on Hayward's 
Heath that we meet a specimen, we never encounter him in 
his battle for life, bearing up against the elements, and ex- 
tracting a subsistence from the scanty soil, without hailing our 
compatriot as a credit to his country. But, on the principle 
" too much of a good thing," a pine plantation becomes very 
oppressive. After a month's sojourn in the depths of the 
Black Forest, we remember how glad we were to escape again 
into the cultivated country ; and even the spruces of Norway, 
with all their grace and nobleness, need the occasional flight of 
a deer, or the flushing of a capercailzie, to relieve their sombre 
monotony. The dreariest wilderness in aU the world is a forest 
of arborvitse {Thuja occidentalis), such as occurs on the banks 
of the Mississippi, and where, for hundreds of square miles, 
scarcely a sound can be heard, and through all the " dismal 
swamp" there is nothing to be seen except a succession of the 
self-same dull evergreens shutting out the light from brown or 
brandy-coloured pools infused with the fallen leaves. 

Several coniferous trees are found in Palestine, and as we 
ascend the slopes of Lebanon they become more numerous. 
Pre-eminent among them is the Cedar. In our remarks on the 
trees of the Bible, we begin with the example which may claim 
to be king of the forest. Like the lectures of the royal botanist, 
ours shall set forth " from the cedar-tree that is in Lebanon," 
even although we should not reach " the hyssop that springeth 
out of the wall." 

We do not know who was the pilgrim from Palestine who 



THE CEDAR AND PALM. 125 

first brought to this country the seeds of the cedar ; but in 
our island it is by no means uncommon. I remember some 
fine specimens at the seat of Sir William Foulis, at Colinton, 
near Edinburgh ; and in the grounds of Caen Wood, at Hamp- 
stead, there is a group of four which were planted in 1756 by 
the famous Chief-Justice Mansfield. With trunks about fifteen 
feet in circumference, they rise to an elevation of thirty feet, 
branchless and undivided, and as they are now about a hun- 
dred feet in height, they must have grown at the rate of 
nearly a foot in every year. It is said that the first cedars in 
Scotland were planted at Hopetoun House in 1740 by Archi- 
bald, the great Duke of Argyle ; but in England there are 
examples of much earlier date. A veteran, blown over on 
New Year's Day, 1779, at Hendon in Middlesex, claimed to 
have been planted by Queen Elizabeth's own hand ; and there 
is a pair in the old Botanic Garden at Chelsea, which were 
afiectionately watched by Sir Hans Sloane himself, and which 
have survived nine British sovereigns, going back as they do to 
the inglorious days of Charles the Second. 

The spot on Mount Lebanon where the cedar now occurs is 
thus described by Dr. Joseph Hooker : — " The grove is at the 
upper part of the Kedisha valley, about fifteen miles from the 
sea, 6000 feet above that level. The valley here is very broad, 
open, and shallow, and the grove forms a mere speck on its flat 
floor. ... At the time of my visit (October 1860) the flanks 
of the valley about the cedars were perfectly arid, and of a pale 
yellow-red ; and the view of this great red area, perhaps two 
or three miles across, with the minute patch of cedar grove, 
seen from above, and at a distance of ten miles or so, was most 
singular. I can give you no idea of what a speck the grove is 
in the yawning hollow. I have said the floor of the valley is 
flat and broad ; but, on nearer inspection, the cedars are found 
to be confined to a small portion of a range of low stony hills 
of rounded outlines, and perhaps sixty to a hundred feet above 



126 IHE CEDAR AND PALM. 

the plain, which sweep across the valley. These hills are, I 
believe, old moraines, deposited by glaciers that once debouched 
on to the plain from the surrounding tops of Lebanon. I have 
many reasons for believing this, as also for supposing that their 
formation dates from the glacial epoch. The restriction of the 
cedars to these moraines is absolute, and not without analogy in 
regard to other coniferous trees in Swiss and Himalayan valleys. "^ 
And in similar localities were, no doubt, found the countless 
cedars which Hiram's axes cut down for Solomon's temple. Up 
in these mountain solitudes, more than a perpendicular mile 
above the level of the sea, and springing from the debdcle 
brought down by lately-melted glaciers, few lowlanders could 
ever have seen them ; and even Solomon, unless in some 
northern progress he paid the visit on purpose, can only have 
known by distant report " the glory of Lebanon." ^ This cir- 
cumstance, however, would only invest the magnificent tree 
with more impressive associations. As Dr. Stanley remarks, 
" Its remoteness, combined with its majestic height and sweep- 
ing branches, made it, one may almost say, an object of reli- 
gious reverence. It is hardly ever named without the addition, 
either of the lofty mountain where it grew, or of some epithet 
implying its grandeur and glory : *the trees of the Lord ;' the 
* cedars which he hath planted ;' ' the tall cedars ;' ' the cedars 
high and lifted up ;' « with fair branches ;' * exalted above aU 
the trees of the field.' These expressions clearly indicate that 
to the Jewish people the cedar was a portent, a grand and 
awful work of God. ... It is said that the clergy of the 
Greek Church still offer up mass under their branches, as though 
they formed a natural temple, and that the Arabs call them 
' the trees of God.' " ^ 

^ Smith's Dictionary of the Bible, Appendix, ''Cedar." 

- The "house of the forest of Lebanon/' mentioned 1 Kings vii. 2, was 

not built on Lebanon, but with materials supplied from its groves. In all 

likelihood it stood on Mount Zion. 
* Stanley's Sinai and Palestine, chap. ii. 8. 



THE CEDAR AND PALM. 127 

How sublimely Ezekiel describes it ! " The Assyrian was a 
cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a shadowing 
shroud, and of an high stature ; and his top was among the 
thick boughs. The waters made him great, the deep set him 
up on high with her rivers running round about his plants. 
Therefore his height was exalted above all the trees of the field, 
and his boughs were multiplied, and his branches became long, 
because of the multitude of waters. All the fowls of heaven 
made their nests in his boughs, and under his branches did all 
the beasts of the field bring forth their young, and under his 
shadow dwelt all great nations. . . . The cedars in the garden 
of God could not hide him : the fir-trees were not like his 
boughs, and the chestnut-trees were not like his branches ; . . . 
all the trees that were in Eden, in the garden of God, envied 
him." ^ How sublime and how accurate ! Rising massive 
from the ground, and with a gentle slope inward, like the 
Eddystone or some other Pharos defiant of the elements, its 
trunk is the very type of strength and fixity. Nor can any- 
thing be firmer and fairer than its branches. Emerging deep 
from the solid wood of the parent stem, and spreading straight 
out in horizontal floors or platforms, the traveller who can 
climb the tree looks down on successive storeys softly carpeted, 
and holding aloft the handsome cones ; the tired pilgrim, who 
throws himself beneath the shadow, looks up to an impenetrable 
roof, and inhales the incense of its fragrant resin. Even the 
" top among thick boughs" is eminently descriptive. " Every 
young tree has a leading branch or two, which continue spiring 
above the rest till the tree has attained its full size. Then it 
becomes, in the language of the nurseryman, clump-headed, but 
in the language of Eastern sublimity, * its top is among the 
thick boughs ;' that is, no distinction of any epiry head or 
leading branch appears ; the head and the branches are all 
mixed together." ^ 

* Ezekiel xxxi. 3-9. ^ Gilpin's Forest Scenery. 



128 THE CEDAR AND PALM. 

The Deodara, or " tree of God," is the cedar of the Hima- 
layas, and by some botanists is believed to be only a variety of 
the cedar of Lebanon. And just as the timber used in con- 
structing the tem^Dle at Jerusalem was, in great part at least, 
obtained from Lebanon, so the wood of the kindred tree has 
been largely employed on the temples of India. For building 
purposes there could not be a better timber. " It is almost 
indestructible from time, and no insects will ever attack it." ^ 

'' The righteous," says the Psalmist, " shall grow like a cedar 
in Lebanon." With roots far spread and tenacious, with mas- 
sive bole, and with brawny wide-spreading boughs which pre- 
sent a large surface to the sun, a thin edge to the tempest, the 
cedar is the very emblem of vigorous strength and enduring 
majesty. The Christian is a man of faith, and so a man of 
fortitude ; and those are the noblest characters which do not 
need the continual shelter of the nursery, but which with pro- 
found convictions and minds made up, " strong in the Lord and 
in the power of his might," are never moved from their stead- 
fastness. A goodly cedar was that father of the Church who, 
when nearly the whole of Christendom had succumbed to erro- 
neous teaching, stood out and lifted up a voice which at last 
prevailed, vindicating the divine glories of the Saviour, " Atha- 
nasius contra mundum.'' Goodly cedars were those Walden- 
sian worthies who, amid the rocks and snows of Piedmont, 
through five and -thirty persecutions held fast the faith of Jesus, 
and carried down from the earliest time to our living day 
Christ's pure Gospel. A goodly cedar was that John Knox, 
who, fearless of the face of man, and alike unmoved by the 
threats of angry nobles and the tears of a lovely queen, main- 
tained his testimony till the idols fell, and the evangel flour- 
ished, and priestcraft fled away. So was that Saxon Luther, 
whom the Emperor and his legions tried to terrify, but in the 

^ Mr. E,. Murray, article " Timber/' Encydopcedia Britannica, eighth 
edition. 



THE CEBAR AND PALM. 129 

name and strength of God he stood so mighty that men and 
devils quailed ; that Luther whom the Pope tried to bribe, but 
his baffled emissary was forced to write back to his master, — 
"This German beast has no regard for gold." And so were 
those goodly cedars, Huss, and Jerome, and Ridley, and many 
more, who counted their lives not dear, that they might keep 
the testimony of Jesus, and who from the flaming pile ascended 
more than conquerors, leaving their testimony still alive, — trees 
of God, which burning were not consumed. 

Such ordeals seldom try the faith of Christians in these later 
times, but there is still need for the self-same principle. Many 
of you, my friends, will find the need of it. To withstand the 
taunts of scofiers, to refuse the wages of iniquity, to be true to 
a trust amidst every temptation, you require such help as God 
alone can give. But whatever may be the temptation, cast 
yourself on that compassionate Saviour who can so strengthen 
your faith that it shall not fail ; and if once enabled to over- 
come, you shall be the better able to resist a second time. A 
noble thing is a manly piety ; a faith so firm that it can stand 
on the mountain side and face all weathers, a character so as- 
certained and steadfast that all rely on it, and it can give some 
shelter to others. Young man, seek to acquire it. The right- 
eous Lord loveth righteousness. Hold fast your integrity, and 
by truth and openness and high-minded loyalty show your ex- 
alted lineage : show that you are one of the children of light 
and of the day, and that you are bound for the Land of Up- 
rightness. 

Although the tree most signalized in the Bible, the cedar 
scarcely grew within the limits we are accustomed to assign to 
the Holy Land, and can have been seen in all its majesty by 
only a few adventurous travellers. It was very different with 
the tree which we are now about to name. The pine is not 
more identified with Norway nor the chestnut with Spain, the 

VOL. I. I 



130 THE CEDAR AND PALM. 

oak with England, the poplar with Lombardy, than was the 
Palm with Palestine. Jericho was the city of palm-trees, and 
Bethany was the " house of dates ;" in the Old Testament we 
find Tamar, or " palm-tree," as a proper name, first of Judah's 
daughter-in-law, then of Absalom's sister, and lastly of Absa- 
lom's daughter, with allusion, no doubt, to the slim and up- 
right growth of this beautiful tree ; and even in the minds of 
strangers it was so associated with Israel and the land of his 
inheritance, that the Roman conqueror could find no better 
symbol. In Vespasian's well-known coin, " Judaea capta,^^ the 
daughter of Zion is represented as sitting dejected and desolate 
under a palm-tree, and guarded by a Roman soldier. 

The general appearance of a palm-tree is familiar to every one 
who has visited the lofty conservatories at Kew, Chatsworth, 
or Edinburgh ; and any tarry-at-home traveller who may be so 
fortunate as to get a glimpse of the magnificent monograph of 
Professor Martins will see worthy portraits of these princes of 
the forest. Nearly all the species are confined to the tropics, 
and with the tall cylindrical stem sustaining a canopy of enor- 
mous leaves, fan-shaped or plume-like, and suspending from its 
summit great clusters of fruit, no tree can look more lordly or 
more beneficent. 

The Areca of the West Indies shoots up a hundred and fifty 
feet or more, tall as a church steeple, and a single leaf will be 
six or seven yards long, with a foot-stalk so strong that the 
broad base with which it clasps the trunk is big enough to be 
a cradle for a baby. The Talipot palm is not quite so tall, but 
its fan-shaped leaf is an umbrella large enough to shelter from 
ten to twenty people, and Knox mentions in his History of 
Ceylon, that soldiers on march used each to carry one neatly 
folded up, which was not only available as a protection from 
the sun by day, but which when unfurled made a capital tent 
by night. The economical uses of the different species are in- 
numerable. The palm-oil of Africa promises to outlast the 



THE CEDAR AND PALM. 131 

coal of England, and it is the cocoa-nut which has fed for cen- 
turies the islanders of the Pacific Ocean. Sago is the farina- 
ceous pith of several varieties of Raphia and Sagus, and is a 
chief element in the subsistence of the Sumatrans and other 
inhabitants of the Indian Archipelago, just as the date, the 
fruit of a Phoenix, is largely consumed in Northern Africa, and 
in countries to the east and south of the Levant. 

This last, Phoenix dactylifera, is the palm-tree of Scripture, 
and it must once have been plentiful in Palestine. A grove 
seven miles in length surrounded Jericho ; in the time of Ezra 
and Nehemiah it grew on Olivet ; and in that memorable 
triumphal procep.sion, the crowd which escorted the Son of 
David from Bethany (the "city of dates") to Jerusalem "took 
branches of palm-trees."^ But it is remarkable how rare it has 
become throughout the country, and how entirely it has disap- 
peared from many of its former haunts. There is no specimen 
on Olivet nor at Bethany now, and within the last few years the 
solitary survivor has disappeared from Jericho, although trunks 
washed up on the shores of the Dead Sea testify to the time 
when it must have been frequent there or elsewhere on the 
banks of the Jordan. " Two or three in the garden at Jeru- 
salem, some few perhaps at Nablous, one or two in the plain 
of Esdraelon, comprise nearly all the instances of the palm in 
central Palestine." ^ 

Of the date-palm I can give no idea more vivid than is con- 
veyed in the admirable description of Dr. W. M. Thomson. 
He is on the road to Damascus. " Look now at those stately 
palm-trees, which stand here and there on the plain, like mili- 
tary sentinels, with feathery plumes nodding gracefully on their 
proud heads. The stem, tall, slender, and upright as Rectitude 
herself, suggests to the Arab poets many a symbol for their 
lady-love ; and Solomon, long before them, has sung, ' How 
fair, and how pleasant art thou, love, for delights ! This 
1 Neh. viii. 15 ; John xii. 13. » Stanley, ch. ii. 8. p. 143. 



132 THE CEDAR AND PALM. 

thy stature is like the palm-tree.' Yes ; and Solomon's father 
sings, < The righteous shall flourish like the palm-tree. Those 
that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the 
courts of our God. They shall bring forth fruit in old age.' 
The palm grows slowly, but steadily, from century to century, 
uninfluenced by those alterations of the seasons which affect 
other trees. It does not rejoice overmuch in winter's copious 
rain, nor does it droop under the drought and the burning sun 
of summer. Neither heavy w^eights which men place upon its 
head, nor the importunate urgency of the wind, can sway it 
aside from perfect uprightness. There it stands, looking 
calmly down upon the world below, and patiently yielding its 
large clusters of golden fruit from generation to generation. 
' They bring forth fruit in old age.' The allusion to being 
planted in the house of the Lord is probably drawn from the 
custom of planting beautiful and long-lived trees in the courts 
of temples and palaces, and in all ' high places ' used for wor- 
ship. This is still common ; nearly every palace, and mosque, 
and convent in the country has such trees in the courts, and, 
being well protected there, they flourish exceedingly. Solomon 
covered all the walls of the Holy of Holies round about with 
palm-trees. They were thus planted, as it were, within the 
very house of the Lord ; and their presence there was not only 
ornamental, but appropriate and highly suggestive ; — the very 
best emblem not only of patience in well-doing, but of the 
rewards of the righteous, — a fat and flourishing old age, a 
peaceful end, a glorious immortality."^ 

It is said that Arabian poetry has enumerated three hundred 
and sixty purposes to which different portions of the palm-tree 
are applied, and certainly it w^ould be difficult in any part of 
the world to find a more serviceable tree. The Egyptians and 
Arabs use the fruit not only as a daily article of diet, but, in 
certain preparations, as a medicine and tonic. " On the abor- 
^ The Land and the Book, Part i. chap. v. 



THE CEDAR AND PALM. 133 

tive fruit, and the date-stones ground down, the camels are fed. 
From the leaves, they make couches, baskets, bags, mats, 
brushes, and fly-flaps ; from the trunks, cages for their poultry, 
and fences for their gardens ; and other parts of the tree fur- 
nish fuel. From the fibrous webs at the bases of the leaves, 
thread is procured, which is twisted into ropes and rigging ; 
and from the sap, which is collected by cutting off the head of 
the palm and scooping out a hollow in its stem, a spirituous 
liquor is prepared."^ 

A plantation of palms is a valuable possession. One landed 
proprietor told Sir John Bo wring that he had planted 5000 
trees, which in eight years began to yield fruit of the average 
value of from forty to eighty piastres per tree, or, from eight 
to sixteen shillings. It is estimated that a hundred full-grown 
trees will yield about forty hundredweight of dates. ^ 

It is no wonder that both in the poetry and the proverbs of 
the East the palm is constantly re-appearing. Says Moham- 
med himself, " Honour your paternal aunt, the date-palm, for 
she was created in Paradise, of the same earth from which 
Adam was made." And, in the same spirit, we are told by a 
later Mohammedan tradition, " Adam was permitted to bring 
with him out of Paradise three things : the myrtle, which is 
the chief of sweet-scented flowers in the world ; an ear of 
wheat, the chief of all kinds of food ; and dates, the chief of 
all the fruits of this world." These dates were conveyed to 
the Hejaz, where they grew up, and became the progenitors of 
all the other date-palms now found in the rest of the world ; 
and the countries where they grow Allah has decreed shall 
belong to the faithful.^ 

Beyond its substantial uses, the palm is endeared by many 

1 Burnett's Outlines of Botany, p. 400. 

2 Hogg's Vegetable Kingdom, p. 757. 

^ See an article on " Sacred Trees and Flowers."— Quarterly Review, 
vol. cxiv. p. 214. 



134 THE CEDAR AND PALM. 

bright and sacred associations. Its branch or pinnated leaf, a 
long and glossy plume of polished verdure, is in itself an ex- 
tremely graceful object, and grew doubly welcome as its faith- 
ful signal, seen afar, proclaimed to the desert pilgrim, " Lo, 
here is water !" No wonder that its frequent tidings of rest 
and refreshment promoted it into the symbol of rejoicing and 
triumph. Branches of palm-trees were a prominent feature in 
the celebration of the feast of tabernacles ;^ and in the later 
times of the Maccabees, we find them repeatedly introduced as 
the decorations of the conqueror.^ The great multitude which, 
in the visions of Patmos, John saw standing " before the Throne, 
and before the Lamb," were *' clothed with white robes, and 
had palms in their hands ;" and with afi"ectionate allusion to 
these happy overcomers, this symbol of victory was often carved 
on the tombstone of early Christians. In the middle ages, 
pilgrims to Palestine were called " palmers," from the custom 
of bringing home this sacred branch ; and, in countries where 
it can be procured, on the Sunday before Easter it is carried 
along, by Greeks and Roman Catholics, in commemoration of 
Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem, giving to the day its 
distinctive name in the calendar, Palm Sunday. To some of 
these circumstances graceful allusion is made in a little poetical 
effusion of a college contemporary, whom it is always a mourn- 
ful pleasure to recall, and who has long since exchanged aca- 
demic laurel for a crown less corruptible. A friend had lent 
him a volume of hymns, with the title The Evergreen^ and he 
returned it with the following verses : — 

* ' Of plants tbat verdant still throughout the changing year are seen. 

Come tell me which I most may prize as 's evergreen. 

The laurel ? No ; it twines around the blood-stain'd victor's brow, 
And binds the poet's fever'd head in fancy's wildest glow : 
But milder triumplis, o'er myself, are aU that I desire ; 
And calmer joj'^s, whose kindly spark is drawn from holier fire. 

1 Jer, xxiii. 40. ^ 1 Mace. xiii. 51 ; 2 Mace. x. 7. 



THE CEDAR AND PALM. 135 

The pine ? It seeks the mountain top, and glories in the gale ; 

Be 't mine, with meek humility, to haunt the peaceful vale. 

The myrtle ? No ; 'twas Venus' flower — the type of earthly love ; 

But perish all that does not own the smile of One above. 

The ivy leaf ? Ah no ! it speaks of ruin and decline : 

Deceitful in its best embrace, it clasps to undermine. 

The cypress ? 'Twould but teach the heart to dwell in needless 

gloom ; 
Dark guardian of death's victories, stern watcher o'er the tomb ! 
The palm ? Oh yes ! 'tis this I love, type of the single eye 
Which, bend it as you may, still shoots right upward to the sky. 
'Twas borne, to swell the harvest joy, at that glad festival. 
By which the prophet has foretold the distant Gentiles' call ; 
And when the Son of David once in lowly triu.mph rode. 
Its graceful wavings welcomed him to Salem's loved abode. 
It marks, in sacred song, the growth of holy souls while here, 
And shadows forth their ecstasies beyond this mortal sphere. 
When myrtles cease to speak of love, and ivy of decay ; 
When pines no longer clothe the hiUs, nor warriors snatch the 

bay; 
When cypress needs no more around the narrow house to wave, 
Because the voice of Christ hath caU'd the slumberers from the 

grave ; 
Still, still remains the rest above, the deep celestial calm. 
The joy of harvest in the heavens, the bright, unfading palm.''^ 

1 Arnot's Life of James Halley, p. 332. 



THE FIELD AND THE GAEDEN: 

THE BIBLE ILLUSTRATED BY THE 
PLANTS OF PALESTINE. 



BY 



THE REV. JAMES HAMILTON, D.D. 



THE FIELD AND THE GAEDEK 



TT is not so mucli a large extent of territory that a naturalist 
-*- covets as a diversified surface. A plain or table -land may 
be wide and fruitful, and yet may offer very little variety in 
its productions or living inhabitants. But if you can raise up 
a mountain in the midst of it, you at once introduce a new 
element : you introduce a new climate. The latitude remains 
the same as before ; but when you go up to the summit the 
effect is the same as if you had travelled so far towards the 
pole. As you rise the temperature falls, and the air becomes 
rarefied, and to thrive at the top requires a constitution entirely 
different from that which prospers underneath. Thus, on our 
Highland mountains you will find plants which properly belong 
to Lapland and Norway, and along with them the ptarmigan 
and the Alpine hare. If Scotland were a plain, we should 
neither have these animals, nor the lovely gentians and saxi- 
frages which reward the botanist who climbs Ben Nevis or Ben 
Lawers. 

A deep depression has an effect the very opposite. If by 
any means you could sink one of our inland counties a thousand 
feet below the level ; if, without permitting the ocean to flow 
in through some crevice, you could let down Berkshire or Wilts 
a few hundred yards below the general surface, you would do 
for it much the same as if you lifted it and carried it so far 
towards the south of Europe. This cosy hollow, sheltered from 



UO THE FIELD AND THE GARDEN. 

the winds, and especially those parts of it which basked and 
sloped sunward, would be famous for growing grapes and figs, 
and the happy inhabitants would not need to envy Montpellier 
or Cintra. 

It is such a long depression which forms the eastern limit of 
the Holy Land. All the way from the sources of the Jordan 
on to the Dead Sea is not only a valley, but a singular subsi- 
dence of the solid land ; so that the Lake of Galilee is 653 
feet below the ocean level, and the Dead Sea twice as much, 
or 1316 feet. In other words, if you were digging a trench 
from the Bay of Acre across to Tiberias, and letting the Medi- 
terranean pour into the sea of Galilee, you would have a great 
salt-water lake stretching from Cesarea Philippi in the north, 
on to the Wady Ghor and El Araba in the south, swallowing 
up the whole course of the Jordan, killing all its fishes, and 
leaving a depth of a hundred fathoms above the present site of 
Tiberias, burying beneath two hundred fathoms of brine such 
places as Jericho and Bethabara. 

But instead of being a plantation of corals and a playground 
for the sun-fishes and dolphins of the adjoining Levant, this 
enormous depression has for a great part of its extent been 
kept perfectly dry. The consequence is, that its lower and 
warmer extremity, towards the Dead Sea, is a vast natural hot- 
bed, enjoying a tropical climate, and even its northern or Gali- 
lean elevation is much milder than the surrounding region. 
Hence within a short distance, we have remarkable contrasts. 
On Lebanon we have the pines and the cedars which might be 
expected in the neighbourhood of melting snow. As you come 
down to the Lake of Merom, you find afloat on its surface the 
yellow water-lily which so often brightens the still waters of 
England, whilst the hills sloping towards it are browsed by 
gazelles and bulls of Bashan. Farther south, " corn-fields run 
round Genesareth, and the palm and vine, the fig and pome- 
granate, are to be seen here and there, with melons of great size, 



THE FIELD AND THE GAEDEN. 141 

and pink oleanders and a rose-coloured hollyhock." Embark 
with Lieutenant Lynch on the Sea of Galilee and float down 
the Jordan, and when you reach its lower windings, besides the 
laurustinus, arbutus, and feathery tamarisk, the impenetrable 
cane-brakes along' the banks will remind you of Bengal jungles ; 
and the tracks of " tigers" (panthers ?), as well as the burning 
sun, will strengthen the illusion. It was in gardens near these 
lower reaches that the famous balsam grew, and in the region 
where the great palm-forest once stood, the bulbul, or Syrian 
nightingale, may still be heard. ^ 

Latitude, or its equivalent, elevation, is not the only element 
which determines the limits of vegetable, and consequently of 
animal vitality ; that is to say, which secures a greater or less 
variety to any given region. The soil is all-important. Where 
the rocks are calcareous, you find plants which never occur on 
a sandstone formation, and peat sustains the cotton-grass and 
bog-myrtle, the beautiful parnassia and no less beautiful meny- 
anthes, which nothing could induce to grow with orchises in a 
chalk-pit, or with nettles on a rubbish-heap. Crabbe, who was 
a capital botanist, is attentive to all these details in his emin- 
ently truthful descriptions : — 

" Can scenes like these withdraw thee from thy wood, 
Thy upland forest or thy valley's flood ? 
Seek then thy garden's shrubby bound, and look, 
As it steals by, upon the bordering brook ; 
That winding streamlet, limpid, hngering, slow, 
Where the reeds whisper when the Zephyrs blow : 
Where in the midst, upon her throne of green, 
Sits the large lily, as the water's queen ; 
And makes the current, forced awhile to stay, 
Murmur and bubble as it shoots away. 
Draw then the strongest contrast to that stream, 
And our broad river will before thee seem. 

1 See liyncVs Narrative, and Ffoulkes in the article "Jordan," in Smith's 
Dictionary of the Bible. 



142 THE FIELD AND THE GAKDEN. 

With ceaseless motion comes and goes the tide ; 

Flowing, it fills the channel vast and wide ; 

Then back to sea, with strong majestic sweep 

It rolls, in ebb yet terrible and deep ; 

Here samphire-banks and salt-wort bound the flood, 

There stakes and sea-weed withering on the mud."^ 

Nor less admirable is the following description. Even with- 
out his telling, you would know, from the plants enumerated, 
that he had in his eye a thin and sandy soil : — 

" Rank weeds, that every art and care defy. 
Reign o'er the land, and rob the blighted rye : 
There thistles stretch their prickly arms afar, 
And to the ragged infant threaten war ; 
There poppies nodding mock the hope of toil ; 
There the blue bugloss paints the sterile soil ; 
Hardy and high, above the slender sheaf, 
The sUmy mallow waves her silky leaf ; 
O'er the young shoot the charlock throws a shade, 
And clasping .tares cling round the sickly blade ; 
With mingled tints the rocky coasts abound, 
And a sad splendour vainly shines around. "^ 

Including Wales, England has an area of fifty-eight thou- 
sand square miles (57,812), and over this surface about 1600 
flowering plants have been gathered. But the county of 
Norfolk alone, with a surface of only two thousand square 
miles (2024), includes in its flora a thousand phanerogamous 
species, or nearly three-fifths of all the flowering plants 
of South Britain. For this diversified vegetation it is en- 
tirely indebted to its great variety of soil. It has nothing in 
the nature of a mountain, but it has rivers and an extensive 
sea-board, cultivated fields and ancient pastures, stifi" clays and 
sandy loams, fresh-water marshes and brackish fens, all yield- 
ing plants peculiar to themselves, and enabling a county 
exactly one twenty-fifth part of England proper to concen- 
1 The Borough, Letter I. « jr^g Village, Book I. 



THE FIELD AND THE GARDEN. 143 

trate within itself three-fifths of the flora of England and 
Wales.i 

For such reasons we would expect the vegetation of Pales- 
tine, notwithstanding the smallness of its territory, to be very- 
rich and various. From the plain of Jezreel, with its deep 
alluvium, where thistles grow tall enough to overtop the horse 
and his rider, to the thin soil where a few stunted blades still 
hold out on the edge of the desert ; from the steaming hot-bed 
of Jericho to the snowy summits of Hermon ; from the gush- 
ing fountains of sparkling water in which the Jordan leaps to 
life, down to that gloomy lake of brine and bitumen in which 
it finds a sepulchre, the conditions of land and water are as 
multiform as you can well condense into a strip of land some 
200 miles in length by fifty broad. And although the terraced 
vineyards, the balsam gardens, the palm forests have disap- 
peared, and although the climate may be considerably altered, 
nature is constant, and the fundamental features remain. 

" Still o'er thy watered meads, Esdraelon, 

Crowned with its forest-garland Tabor towers ; 
And Kishon mirrors as its stream flows on 

Its reddening fringe of oleander flowers. 

Still on that soil abundant Nature showers 
Her gifts, and o'er it wafts her breath of balm ; 

And fair the land as in its earlier hours, 
When Deborah judged the tribes beneath her palm, 
OrEphraim's echoing mount gave back her victor psalm. "^ 

Of the present aspect of the country the best description is 
Dr. Stanley's : — " The rounded hills, occasionally stretching 
into long undulating ranges, are for the most part bare of wood. 

1 Still more remarkable is the case of Surrey. According to the last 
edition of the London Catalogue of British Plants, the flowering plants and 
ferns of the United Kingdom number only 1566 distinct species, exclusive 
of varieties. Of these 984 are found in Surrey ; so that a little county, 
with an area of only 759 square miles, offers to the local collector three- 
fifths of the British flora. See the Athenceum, Jan. 30, 1864, p. 151. 

^ The Pilgrimage. By the Earl of Ellesmere. 1856. LViii. 



144 THE FIELD AND THE GARDEN. 

Forest and large timber, with few exceptions, are not known. 
Corn-fields, and in the neighbourhood of Christian populations, 
as at Bethlehem, vineyards, creep along the ancient terraces. 
In the spring, the hills and valleys are covered with thin grass, 
and the aromatic shrubs which clothe more or less almost the 
whole of Syria and Arabia. But they also glow with what is 
peculiar to Palestine, a profusion of wild-flowers, daisies, the 
white flower called the Star of Bethlehem, but especially with 
a blaze of scarlet flowers of all kinds, chiefly anemones, wild 
tulips, and poppies. Of all the ordinary aspects of the coun- 
try, this blaze of scarlet colour is perhaps the most peculiar ; 
and to those who first enter the Holy Land, it is no wonder 
that it has suggested the touching and significant name of 
' The Saviour's Blood-drops.' . . . The same general bareness 
and poverty set ofi" in the same way the rare exceptions in the 
larger forms of vegetable life. The olive, the fig, and the 
pomegranate, which form the usual vegetation of the country, 
are so humble in stature that they hardly attract the eye till 
the spectator is amongst them. Then indeed the twisted stems 
and silver foliage of the first, the dark broad leaf of the second, 
the tender green and the scarlet blossoms of the third, are 
amongst the most beautiful of sights, even when stripped of 
the associations which would make the tamest of their kind 
venerable."^ 

Without attempting to picture the " goodly land" as it stood 
in the days of its glory, our humbler effort this evening shall 
be to explain a few of those scriptural allusions which contain 
in themselves some diflSculty, or which are rendered more vivid 
by a little acquaintance with the horticulture or the natural 
vegetation of Palestine. 

In the passage just read, Dr. Stanley makes special mention 
of the Star of Bethlehem.^ It is a small liliaceous plant, with 

^ Sinai and Palestine, chap. ii. 8, p. 137- 
* Ornithogalum umbellatum. 



THE FIELD AND THE GARDEN. 145 

a blossom of six segments, green without and white within, 
not unlike a snowdrop flattened and facing upwards, and grow- 
ing in groups of six or eight on a single stem. It has a bulb- 
ous root, which, in Italy and Syria and other countries, is 
used as an esculent, sometimes raw, sometimes roasted, and 
sometimes dried and pulverized and made into bread with 
flour, and from the white mixed with green in the colours of 
the flowers, Sprengel says that the Hebrews gave the name of 
" doves' dung" to the beautiful Star of Bethlehem.^ This at 
once throws light on the passage ^ where we are told that dur- 
ing Benhadad's siege of Samaria, provisions grew so scarce that 
" an ass's head was sold for fourscore pieces of silver, and the 
fourth part of a cab of doves' dung for five pieces of silver." 
The plant is exceedingly plentiful in the Holy Land. Many 
years ago a friend brought me a few seeds and roots gathered 
at random in the neighbourhood of Samaria, and amongst them 
were the bulbs of the Ornithogalum. Lady Callcott says, " I 
never saw so much of it in any one spot, as in the Campo Santo 
at Pisa. While I was wondering at the circumstance, I was 
reminded that the whole of the earth within the enclosure was 
holy. During the building of that magnificent burial-place, 
every Pisan ship returning from the Levant brought as ballast 
a portion of the soil of the Holy Land, until there was suflBcient 
to fill the area of the sacred field to a great depth ; so that the 
pious citizens, whose interests or duties prevented their per- 
forming a pilgrimage to the holy places during their lives, 
might still lay their bones in the venerated soil of Palestine."^ 
In the light of these circumstances, the fact mentioned by the 
sacred historian is both plain and significant. So intense was 
the straitness that the most worthless provisions were prized, 
and even a root so common, and the food of the poorest of the 
people, was sold at the rate of four shekels a quart. 

^ P. H. Gosse, in Fairbairn's Imperial Bible Dictionary. Art. "Dove." 
2 2 Kings vi. 2. ^ Callcott's Scripture Herbal, p. 132. 

TOL. I. K 



146 THE FIELD AND THE GARDEN. 

There is a large family of plants which, through the bounty 
of Providence, abound in the warmer regions of the globe, and 
of which there was no lack in the Holy Land ; we mean the 
Cucurbitacese, or Gourds. A freaky, fantastic family they are, 
delighting in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and, we may add, 
in all sorts of flavours. Sometimes a long, green snake, like 
the cucumber ; sometimes a comical head-dress, like the " Elec- 
tor's hat" or the "Turk's turban;" round, elliptical, pear- 
shaped, bottle-shaped, club-shaped, trumpet-shaped, and varying 
in size from a pea, as in the bryony of our English hedges, up 
to the great gourd outweighing a grenadier,^ they have every 
taste, from the neutral point of water almost pure and deli- 
ciously cool, as in the water-melon, up to the rich and delicious 
musk-melon, on the one hand, and the frightfully bitter Ela- 
terium or Ecbalium on the other. Hasselquist, a Swede and 
a pupil of the great Linnaeus, who travelled at the middle of 
last century, was greatly impressed by the water-melons of 
Egypt, and speaks of them in a way which accounts for the 
Israelites missing them so sorely in that great wilderness, where 
neither melons grew, nor the equally exquisite onion of Egypt. 
" This melon serves the Egyptians for meat, drink, and physic. 
It is eaten in abundance during the season, even by the richer 
sort of people ; but the common peoj^le, on whom Providence 
hath bestowed nothing but poverty and patience, scarcely eat 
anything but these." ^ No doubt the Hebrew slaves had 
learned to prize one of the best things in the house of bondage, 
and we can sympathize with them as, in the burning desert, 
they " remembered the cucumbers, and the melons, and the 
leeks, and the onions, and the garlic." ^ Whether they after- 
wards imported these cucumbers and melons from Egypt, or 



1 Even in England, the Cucurhita maxima has been grown 212 pounds in 
weight, and eight feet in circumference. 

2 Hasselquist's Travels, p. 256. London, 1766. 
2 Numl). xi. 5. 



THE FIELD AND THE GARDEN. U7 

found them already introduced by the Canaanites, no country 
could be more favourable for their culture, and at the present 
day great quantities of melons are exported from the sunny 
fields which surround the ancient Joppa (Jaffa). But the wheat 
has its tares,- and the harmless melon and pumpkin have their 
counterfeits. One of these is the colocynth.^ It grows freely 
in Palestine, and with its smooth round fruit, as large as an 
orange, it looks plausible and prepossessing. On one occasion, 
when Elisha came to Gilgal, " one went out into the field to 
gather herbs, and found a wild vine, and gathered thereof wild 
gourds his lap-full, and came and shred them into the mess of 
pottage : for they knew them not. So they poured out for the 
men to eat : and it came to pass, as they were eating of the 
pottage, that they cried out, and said, thou man of God, 
there is death in the pot : and they could not eat thereof." ^ 
Any one who has tasted the colocynth will not wonder that the 
sons of the prophets " could not eat." Even theologians do not 
always distinguish the things that differ, and so the right of 
private judgment is valuable. The purveyor is apt to make 
mistakes, and shred wild gourds into the pottage ; and so it is 
well to have " senses exercised by reason of use," so as to detect 
poison in the pot, which is none the less fatal though the 
caterer plead the poor apology of ignorance. 

Of all the parables of our Lord, the most affecting and me- 
morable is the Prodigal Son. There we are told that when a 
famine visited the " far country," he began to be in want, and 
would fain have appeased his hunger with the food dealt out 
to the swine which he was herding. What was it ? Our trans- 
lation calls it " husks," 3 but the original is leratia. This 
denotes the bean-like fruit of a tree well known in Syria and 
Egypt, the Ceratonia siliqua, or carob. Within the last few 
years we have frequently found it in the shops of the corn- 
chandlers in London, by whom, we believe, it is sold as food. 

1 Ciirullus colocynthis. ' 2 Kings iv. 38-40. 3 i^-^j^y^Q xv. 16. 



1-18 THE FIELD AND THE GAKDEN. 

for horses. It is a long flat pod, usually bent or sickle-shaped, 
containing small legumes imbedded in a sweet and somewhat 
farinaceous pulp ; and although not very nutritious, it is by 
no means unpalatable. In the East, the poor are often glad to 
eat it. The prodigal " would fain have filled his belly with 
these husks," but, sorry fare as they were, they had their 
value ; and although a supply was measured out to the swine, 
a share was grudged to the swineherd : " no man gave unto 
him." 

In another parable the kingdom of heaven is compared to 
" a grain of mustard-seed, which a man took, and sowed in his 
field : which indeed is the least of all seeds : but when it is 
grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so 
that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches 
thereof."! There can be no doubt that the plant here intended 
is the common mustard {Sinapis nigra) ; but from not suffi- 
ciently considering oriental idiom on the one hand, and from 
the exaggerating tendencies of the imagination on the other, 
few commentators have been content with such a homely illus- 
tration. They have pictured some timber tree, like the Salva- 
dora Persica, with great birds like the eagle, or domestic fowls 
at the least, roosting among the branches, and building their 
nests ; whilst in fact there is not a syllable about roosting or 
nidification, nor anything to show that the birds were larger 
than finches or sparrows. The mustard is a tiny seed, in 
Hebrew phrase, "the least of all seeds;" although it is a 
wonder that no one has caught hold of that phrase, and, with 
the micrometry of a mathematical bishop, tried to show that the 
seeds of the poppy and the spores of a mushroom are smaller. 
This little seed a man sows in his field or his garden, where 
people seldom sow the seed of salvadoras or any forest tree. It 
grows up a fine vigorous plant, — greater than all the pot-herbs 
around it, but still only the greatest of herbs (^Xaxcva), — with 
1 Matt. xiii. 31, 32 ; Mark iv. 31 ; Luke xiii. 19. 



THE FIELD AND THE GARDEN. 149 

branches, and with such a style of growth that it may be called 
a tree, and, unlike the dill and the anise, and other herbs 
around, it offers a good support and a covert to the little birds 
which subsist on its seeds, and which perch (^Karaa-KTjvovv) 
on its boughs. All the conditions are abundantly met by the 
ordinary mustard plant, which even in this country sometimes 
attains a height of ten feet. " In the rich plain of Akkar," 
says Dr. Thomson, " T have seen it as tall as the horse and 
his rider." ^ 

Many of you, I trust, may yet have the opportunity of visit- 
ing the Holy Land for yourselves, and then I doubt not that, 
like the late Mr. M'Cheyne, you will " find the Bible written 
on the face of the country." Meanwhile, those of us who 
cannot go there must be content with the books of such faithful 
observers and vivid describers as Stanley, and Thomson, and 
Horatius Bonar. But it is hardly possible to glance over a 
book of Eastern travel without alighting on something which 
bears on our subject. For instance, you are reading by your- 
self, or going over with your Sunday class, that 18th Psalm, 
which describes the vine brought out of Egypt : " Why hast 
thou, then, broken down her hedges, so that all they which 
pass by the way do pluck her 1 The boar out of the wood doth 
waste it, and the wild beast of the field doth devour it." What 
a capital commentary you have in the following passage of 
Hartley's Christian Researches, although the scene is not Pales- 
tine, but Turkey in Europe : — " My friend, Mr. Leeves, was 
going, in the dusk of the evening, from Constantinople to a 
neighbouring village. Passing a vineyard, he observed an ani- 
mal of a large size rushing out from among the vines, crossing 
the road, and running away as fast as he could. The Greek 
servant, who was riding first, exclaimed ' A wild boar ! a wild 
boar !' and it proved to be a wild boar, that was making the 
greatest haste to get back from the vineyard to the woods. 
1 The Land and the Book, part ii. chap, xxvii. 



150 THE FIELD AND THE GARDEN. 

' \\Tiat has the wild boar to do in the vineyards V inquired Mr. 
Leeves. ^ Oh,' said the Greek servant, 'it is the custom of 
the wild boars to go into the vineyards and devour the grapes ; 
and it is astonishing what havoc a wild boar is able to make 
in a single night. What with eating, and what with trampling 
under foot, he will destroy an immense quantity of grapes.' 
Few persons, probably, have had an equally good opportunity 
of observing how exactly this passage of Scripture agrees with 
the habits of the wild boar ; but eveiy one who has visited the 
countries where grapes are grown in the fields in large quanti- 
ties for the purpose of making wine, will be well acquainted 
with the custom referred to when it is said, ' All they which 
pass by do pluck her.' It is considered allowable, in passing 
through a vineyard, to gather a few of the grapes." i In the 
same way, in the Song of Solomon, the Church or Royal Bride 
is described as " a garden enclosed, a fountain sealed." " Thy 
plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits ; 
camphire with spikenard ; spikenard and saffron ; calamus and 
cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense ; myrrh and aloes, 
with all the chief spices : a fountain of gardens, a well of living 
waters, and streams from Lebanon." A new significance is 
given to this passage when you read the following account of 
the garden-houses at Jafifa : — " In each of them there is a 
summer residence, which, besides serving for this purpose, is 
used as a magazine to store and preserve the gathered fruit. 
Cooler and more delightful apartments cannot be found when 
the khamsin or sirocco blows off the Egyptian and Arabian 
deserts. In these country-houses a channel is made to traverse 
the centre of the lower rooms, through which the water is made 
to flow, after being raised by the wheel, on its way to the 
jalia or reservoir, affording thereby the convenient use of this 
element to the inmates ; and, besides being gratifying to the 
eye in the heat of summer, it contributes to cool the atmosphere 
1 Quoted in E. Maltbj^s Bible Manners and Customs (1840), p. 215. 



THE FIELD AND THE GARDEN. 151 

of the apartments. For my part, I will freely admit that, in 
a climate such as Palestine, the luxury is not trivial, on enter- 
ing these gardens, to repose by the side of gurgling streams; 
and I can appreciate the full enjoyment experienced by the 
natives as they regale themselves, amidst the perfume of the 
orange blossom, with coffee and pipe. These gardens, then, 
are the usual resort of parties ; and here, with music in addi- 
tion, families consisting of both sexes assemble to inhale the 
balmy odours from the shrubs, which assuredly have a tendency 
to lull the senses in delicious reverie, and produce that kef 
or dreamy state of the faculties which the natives so much 
oovet"! 

^ Dapuis. 



THE LILY OF THE VALLEY, AND THE GLOEY 
OF LEBANON. 



THE REV. JAMES HAMILTON, D.D. 



THE LILY OF THE VALLEY, AND THE GLOEY 
OF LEBANON. 

/^UR great dramatist gives "tongues" to "trees," and one 
^^ of the poet laureate's happiest effusions is " The Talking 
Oak." Curiously enough in the oldest fable in the world they 
are not beasts who speak, but an olive, a fig-tree, a vine, and 
a bramble ; ^ and throughout the Bible not only do the " stones 
cry aloud," not only do the ants and the coney, the ox and 
the ass read lessons to man, but the other great kingdom of 
nature, the world of plants, is made an eloquent instructor. 
"Fruitful trees and all cedars" are invited to join the same 
anthem with "kings of the earth and all people," and in order 
to learn a life without ambition and without anxiety we are 
told to " consider the lilies." Indeed, so constantly are moral 
and spiritual truths illustrated from such sources, that we may 
regard the three kingdoms of nature as the three great volumes 
of God's own pictorial Bible ; and if we sometimes feel with 
Goethe's correspondent that " Nature is a spirit imprisoned, 
wanting to say something," in order to have her dumb panto- 
mime explained we cannot do better than go to that book where 
the Author of nature has given the key to many of her signs, and 
told us what both the heavens and the earth are telling. 

Wonderful is God's chemistry, who out of black mould and 
invisible vapour builds up that column of chrysolite and crowns 
it with its snow-white capital. Wonderful is God's chemistry, 
' Judges ix. 7-15. 



156 THE LILY OF THE VALLEY, 

who, making flasklets so tiny that a thousand can be packed 
into a velvet petal, fills them with essence, and then fills your 
bower or your chamber with the beatific emanation. It is a 
wonderful chemistry which gives to Sharon its rose, and to 
the valley its lily. 

And how great is God's beauty ! A juicy leaf is the worm's 
paradise ; a juicy leaf and good for eating is the caterpillar's 
notion of that rose which he at once cankers and consumes. 
And fat plains and gushing vineyards, — as the earthling, the 
epicure views them, his thought is much the same. It is a 
world good for eating. Such is the utilitarian philosophy. It 
is a world made to be eaten, and we are the creatures who were 
made to eat it : such is the first principle of all materialism, 
from the grub on the cabbage-leaf to the gourmand whose daily 
terminus is the table, whose chief end is self-indulgence, and 
who in making the circuit of the globe would still be asking. 
What shall I eat 1 what shall I drink 1 wherewithal shall I 
be clothed 1 

It is evident that for this coarser form of utilitarianism the 
world was not made. If the rose and the lily are good for 
food, it is some finer sense they feed ; it is for some creature 
higher in the scale than is the earthling, the materialist, that 
they shed their radiance or their perfume. It is for some being 
raised above the animal and somewhat nearer God. It is for 
the pure in heart. It is for that great perceiver of the beauti- 
ful whom we call the poet. It is for the lady and the little 
child, and the leisurely hermit, and all whose minds are not 
absorbed in life's fierce urgencies, or whose natures are not 
coarsened by the brutal passions. Great is His beauty, and 
happily there are a few appreciating, sympathizing spectators. 

But there we cannot stop. Every one feels that material 
beauty is but a sign — the symbol of a beauty which God loves 
better. And this is one use of the poetic Scriptures — of the 
Psalms and the Song — that they give us the key. As there 



AND THE GLORY OF LEBANON". 157 

interpreted, the palm is uprightness ; the vine is ungrudging 
profusion ; the cedar is strong and beneficent protection ; myrrh 
is the odour of sanctity. This evening let us take one of these 
texts, and preach as best we can its sermon. 

" I will be as the dew unto Israel : 
He shall grow as the lily, 
And cast forth his roots as Lebanon. 
His branches shall spread, 
And his beauty shall be as the olive-tree. 
And his smell as Lebanon. 

They that dwell under his shadow shall return ; 
They shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine : 
The scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon."^ 

This passage describes a Church, a community — Israel re- 
stored and revived. But churches and communities are made 
up of members. " He alone can make a new nation who forms 
a 'new man,'" and it is by the multiplication of earnest and 
eminent Christians that we can hope for a church of surpassing 
attractiveness and ascendency. 

It is a wonderful combination of excellencies which is here 
described : — 

Loveliness — the lily ; 

Strength and majesty — like Lebanon ; 

Expansiveness — "branches that spread ;" 

A shining countenance — " his beauty shall be as the olive- 
tree ;" 

A diffusive charm — " the smell of Lebanon 3 " 

Solid substance — " the corn ;" 

A gladsome inspiration — " the vine ; " " the wine of Leba- 
non ; " 

And all fed and fostered by the gracious Spirit of God — " I 
will be as the dew unto Israel." 

' Hosea xiv. 5-7. 



158 THE LILY OF THE VALLEi', 

THE LILY. 

In the fields of Upper Galilee there still grows profusely one 
of the most gorgeous members of this family — the scarlet mar- 
tagon ; and not improbably its blaze of blossom was present to 
the great * Teacher's eye, when he said, " Solomon in all his 
glory was not clothed like one of these." But the lily of the 
text, the lily of the Song, we are inclined to think was that 
same white lily which blossoms freely in the gardens all round 
London, which from time immemorial has been cultivated in so 
many lands as a favourite flower, which figures in some of the 
oldest works of sacred art, and which is suggested to every 
mind by the Hebrew word of which the root, the primary idea, 
is whiteness. 

Purity. — Who are these in white robes ? Many shall be 
made white and purified. When we read the Scriptures, it is 
striking to observe " what an apparatus of cleansing God ap- 
pears to have set in array for the purification of souls — sprink- 
lings, washings, baptisms of water, and what are more searching 
and more terribly energetic purifiers, baptisms of fire ; fierce 
meltings, as of silver in the refiner's crucible ; purifyings of the 
flesh and purgings of the conscience ; lustrations of blood, even 
of Christ's own blood ; washings of the Word, and washings of 
regeneration by the Holy Ghost." ^ Intense is God's love to 
holiness, intense his hatred of iniquity. 

To our self-knowledge what an agitating thought is this I 
Instead of beauty we know too well that ours is deformity, and 
that there is not a feeling or afi'ection of our nature but is 
blasted and darkened by sin. How then is it possible for God 
to have complacency in us 1 or to a Church composed of such 
members, how can the holy Saviour say, " Thou art all fair — 
fair as is the lily 1 " 

For one thing, whatever the Church may be in itself, it is 
1 Bushnell's New Life, p. 251. 



AND THE GLORY OF LEBANON. 159 

his. He gave himself for it, and it has given itself to him. 
It is an attachment deep and divine — remote as the pre-mundane 
purpose of redemption, and enduring as eternity ; it is a wonder- 
ful love which binds the Saviour to his ransomed, and which, 
as it overleaped mountains of difficulty in coming to the rescue, 
is constrained to overlook, as it holds on its way, myriads of 
imperfections and sins. A wonderful attachment which trans- 
mutes its own generosity, till the graciousness of the everlasting 
Lover reappears as grace in the object beloved, and to its own 
protestation, " I am black," makes answer, " Nay, but comely." 

And in God's sight the Church is beautiful, as invested with 
its Saviour's loveliness. Taken out and separated from the 
rest of the world, and merged in its glorious Representative, 
that Church has merit in his worthiness, strength in his omni- 
potence, and loveliness in Him wlio is the perfection of beauty. 

Nay, more, there is actual incipient purity. Not only does 
Christ's blood wash away the guilt; Christ's Spirit inspires the 
hunger after righteousness, the longing after absolute holiness. 
" Come now, let us reason together ; though your sins be as 
scarlet, they shall be as snow ;" any one of you who has heard 
to right purpose that gracious offer cannot fail to enter so far 
into the mind of God. The love he has to holiness, you cannot 
fail to share it ; and the guilt which he so graciously pardons, 
you prize as enabling you to start on a career of new obedience. 

If, therefore, you are disgusted with your own depravity, 
the way to get rid of past delinquency and present defilement 
is to bring it to the Fountain Opened. Such is God's hatred 
of evil that he will rejoice to cancel, to annihilate yours ; such 
is his love of purity that, if you really desire it, the new heart 
he will gladly give to you, and put the right spirit within you. 
By the washing of regeneration he will so far change the cur- 
rent of your thoughts that sin shall be your great sorrow, de- 
liverance from evil your great desire. You will begin to taste 
the blessedness of the pure in heart ; you will begin to see 



160 

God. You will get affecting views of his glory, and assuring 
views of his love and kindness ; and if you cannot do what you 
ought, nor be what you would, you will at least cease to be 
what you were — the coarse, low-minded self-seeker, the callous, 
contented self-pleaser. And remembering how Christ hath loved 
the Church and given himself for it, that he might sanctify and 
cleanse it, and present it to himself a glorious Church, not hav- 
ing spot or wrinkle, but holy and unblemished, your mind will 
coincide with his — your effort and his will be in the same 
direction. As he seeks to sanctify his people, so a life holy 
and unblemished will be your own ideal, and even after a 
thousand failures will be still your aspiration. You w^ill purify 
yourself as Christ is pure, and for the heaven-born hunger after 
righteousness will find a festival at last in heaven. 

But where does this lily grow 1 We said that God's che- 
mistry is wonderful ; so also is his husbandry. And here you 
have a proof of both. He does not take the lily into a con- 
servatory, but leaves it out among the thorns •} strange hus- 
bandry ! But the same soil from which one nature can only 
extract the harsh astringent sloe, with its cruel spines and 
spears, yields to another flexile leaves and balmy blossom : 
wondrous chemistry ! God does not take the lily in-doors, and 
where it has been tried, the experiment has not succeeded. 
Finding the w^orld uncongenial or offensive, some have tried to 
get out of it. They have gone into seclusion, and in the con- 
vent or desert have tried to find a perpetual sanctuary. And 
at first, and with a few, it seemed to answer. As they served 
God in prayer and fastings night and day, the body grew less 
and less importunate ; the world unseen began to come in and 
mingle with the present ; and as life could offer few allure- 
ments, the grave could muster up few terrors. But it was an 
experiment which, after a few repetitions, entirely failed. It 
1 Song ii. 2. 



AND THE GLORY OF LEBANON. 16] 

was not God's plan, and it would not answer. In escaping 
from society, the recluse often encountered worse foes than 
those which he fled from ; and in closing the door of his cell, 
if he shut out the world, he soon found to his cost that he 
had shut in himself and the devil. 

No : you have got to grow out of doors — by the world's 
highway ; but the dust, which to clammy, viscid stems clings 
in thickening coats, finds small lodgment on the polished stalk 
and chased silver of the lily. The cares and avocations which 
make others of the earth, so earthy, need not secularize the 
Christian ; and from the same soil and same atmosphere from 
which they derive disagreeable or repulsive attributes, he can 
absorb grace for grace, and give forth excellence for excel- 
lence. The same bounties of Providence — the same wealth or 
prosperity which makes Nabal more churlish and thorny, makes 
Joseph more generous, more tender and forgiving ; the same 
sunshine which elicits the balm of the lily, matures in the 
blackthorn its verjuice ; the same shower which puts a new 
point on the spines of the one, washes off what little dust there 
may be, and brings out the fresh glories of the other. 

You see your calling, brethren — you see your character : the 
sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and 
perverse generation ; pure, saintly, gentle, innocent, — a sweet 
surprise in a rude and thorny world. 

Follow after holiness, without which no man shall see the 
Lord. Cultivate that purity which endears the disciple to the 
Saviour. The less secular you are, the less proud, the less self- 
indulgent, the more communion with Christ are you sure to 
enjoy, and the more progress may you hope to make in each 
department of a genuine piety. The like-minded exert a great 
influence on one another ; and if you be meek and lowly, you 
will learn of Jesus : if your own eye be single, if your heart be 
pure and true, Immanuel's light will come in and fill it all. 

You need no weapons. To the ambitious, to the self-con- 

VOL. T. L 



162 THE LILY OF THE VALLEY, 

ceited, to the malevolent, leave tlieir thorns, and such triumphs 
as thorns can win them : the triumphs of repulsion, the triumphs 
of a prickly reputation, the triumphs which are gained oy lacer- 
ating and wounding, and which make the victims very glad 
at last when they see the thorns crackling under the pot. But 
you may seek triumphs of your own ; the triumphs won by 
faith and forbearance, by kindness and charity. Let your meek 
answer turn away wrath ; let your serene and friendly aspect 
startle into joy the pilgrim as he pushes through the thorny 
jungle ; and, in the beauty of a quiet blamelessness, let it be seen 
that virtue is no fable, that there still are saints in Sardis, and 
that along life's miry ways there still are followers of the Lamb. 

LEBANON. 

Such is the lily, the symbol of purity and Christian loveli- 
ness. But it is not enough that the character be mild and 
unsullied ; it should also be strong : "He shall cast forth his 
roots as Lebanon." 

The mountain, or rather the mighty range which goes by 
this name, is itself magnificent. Looking down on that ocean 
from under whose waters itself has ascended ; in its bosky dells 
giving at once a retreat and a rich support to a vast population ; 
lifting to a more salubrious level the regions which repose on 
its skirts, and catching and condensing and sending on in its 
rivers, to places still more distant, the watery treasures over- 
head, — Lebanon is no bad emblem of the Christian Church, 
which, besides the multitude whom it shelters in its bosom, 
raises to a higher tone of morality and sentiment the surround- 
ing society, and in its Abanas and Pharpars sends on to the 
regions beneath a blessing which, but for this exalted neigh- 
bourhood, they never had known. 

And the cedar is the appropriate growth of that great moun- 
tain — the grandest and most massive of trees ; and as there it 
stands, each broad horizontal branch a soft green terrace, with 



AND THE GLORY OF LEBANON. 163 

emerging cones, and the whole towering into the sky a moun- 
tain of verdure — the trunk seamed and scarred with the 
thunderbolts of centuries, and the roots going down where 
only the earthquake can reach them — you can understand the 
reverence with which the Maronites view it as something 
supernatural, and you feel the force of the Psalmist's expres- 
sion, " The trees of Jehovah, even the cedars of Lebanon which 
himself hath planted." 

Steadfastness, grandeur, dignity, — such are the ideas sug- 
gested at first sight by the cedar of Lebanon, very much as the 
same ideas are suggested by the oak of England. And there 
are majestic characters upon which it is with a sort of vene- 
ration that you look, — fathers of the faithful, champions of 
truth, reformers of religion, who have felt from time to time 
the fiery ordeal, and been tossed and torn in many a tempest, 
but whose massive bole would never bend, and who, like a 
streamer in the storm, still hang forth from their topmost 
bough an unchanging testimony. 

And all for this reason : their roots are as Lebanon. There 
is as much out of sight and beneath the surface in the shape of 
roots as meets the eye in the shape of branches : the confession 
is clear, unfaltering, emphatic, because the conviction is pro- 
found. A firm faith makes a stately Christian. 

It is of unspeakable moment to be rooted and grounded in 
the truth. Some have no roots at all, and others shoot up fast 
enough, but it is in a loose and precarious soil. Their faith is 
a philosophy, or it is a mere fancy ; it stands in the wisdom of 
man ; they adopt it because it is poetical and picturesque, or 
because it is at first sight specious and plausible — kinder than 
the gospel, more spiritual than Christianity ; they adopt it 
because it is antique and archaic, and brings them into com- 
munion with miraculous saints of distant ages, or they adopt it 
because it is new, bold, and original, and a startling innovation 
on trite conventionalities and tiresome routine. 



164 THE LILY OF THE VALLEY, 

But for the repose of your spirit, for a holdfast to your re- 
ligion, you need the faithful sayings of God. The tree which 
grows from a well-watered sand-bank, or from the loose mould 
of a flower-bed, may do very well for a season ; but the first 
whirlwind which grasps its flowing locks will tear it from its 
place and toss it over the wall ; the first thunder-plump or 
water-spout may sweep both itself and its crumbling habitat in 
miry and inglorious ruin down the torrent and out into the 
midst of the sea. Rationalism, ritualism, secularism, universal 
salvation may do for days of health and hilarity ; but they are 
a poor holdfast in the hour of temptation ; they are weak 
against the seductions of sense, and are poor comforters in 
prospect of God's holy and righteous tribunal. 

The Word of God is like Lebanon — the mountain that can 
never be moved. Take hold of its faithful sayings, and drink 
deep into its pervasive spirit. Be rooted and grounded in its 
great revelation of Divine forgiveness, and as you rest on the 
merits of God's beloved Son, fear not to rejoice in God your 
Saviour. Neither surrender on the one side God's holiness, 
nor on the other your hope in his mercy ; and like those roots 
which the cedar sends down through the clefts of the rock, and 
which it twists and twines round each projecting eminence, let 
your spirit grasp each great and precious promise ; and 
thus moored to the Rock of ages — strong in his might, and 
tenacious in his eternity — your faith wiU strengthen with trial, 
and wiU still survive when tempests cease to blow. 

Deep roots and wide branches : "his branches shall 



There is a piety which may be compared to the cypress — a 
verdant spire — tall, evergreen, every spray and every leaflet 
stretching straight upward, and the whole ever pointing to 
heaven. 

The following is the account which his biographer gives of 
Archbishop Leighton : " His walk was direct to heaven, the 



AND THE GLORY OF LEBANON. 165 

drift of his conversation habitually unearthly. . . . The illu- 
sions spread over earthly things had long since faded from his 
eyes, which were fixed in sublime anticipations on those bliss- 
ful realities that shall open upon the redeemed of the Lord 
when they have shaken off mortality. This heavy clod of clay 
with which the soul is encumbered he would compare to the 
miry boots of which the traveller gladly divests himself on 
finishing his journey ; and he could not disguise his own wish 
to be speedily unclothed. . . . This world he considered a state 
of nonage, and the land of mature men a land very far off. 
His alacrity to depart resulted from his earnest desire ' to see 
and enjoy perfection in the perfect sense of it,' . . . when his 
soul, completely fledged, should spring into its proper element ; 
should remove far away, not only from the wickednesses of a 
profane world, but also from the childishness of religious Chris- 
tians, and should be at rest amidst the truly reformed Church 
of just men made perfect. As he wrote : ' I am grown ex- 
ceeding uneasy in writing and speaking, yea almost in thinking, 
when I reflect how cloudy our clearest thoughts are ; but I 
think again, what other can we do, till the day break and the 
shadows flee away — as one that lieth awake in the dark must 
be thinking ; and one thought that will likely oftenest return, 
when by all other thoughts he finds little relief, is. When will 
itbeday?'"! 

That such desires should exist awakens our gratitude, and 
for a moment our envy : we are thankful that to frail humanity 
such grace has been given, and that men of like passions with 

^ Pearson's Life of Leighton, Works (1835), vol. i. pp. 73, 74. This last 
was a favourite image. " He would say pleasantly that he had his night- 
cap on, and rejoiced that it was so near bed-time, or rather that it was so 
near the hour of rising to one who had long lain awake in the dark." 
" So runs my dream : but what am I ? 
An infant crying in the night : 
An infant crying for the light : 
And with no language but a cry." — 

In Memoriam, Liii. 



166 THE LILY OF THE VALLEY, 

ourselves have been so sublimed by the sanctifying spirit. Like 
the tall cypress, such trees in God's garden render good service. 
With not so much as a twig bending earthward, in their calm 
and constant aspiration they say, " I seek the things above, I 
have a desire to depart and be with Christ ;" and as we look 
at them, so sequestered, so saintly, so soaring, we almost wish 
that we stood equally aloof from the things of time, and held 
like converse with eternity. 

After all, however, and with grateful recognition of the 
grace which was given, and, we may add, with little fear that 
it is a type which in our own time will be too often repeated, 
we are not sure but that a truer and completer style, because 
more serviceable and more human, is the piety which not only 
soars but spreads outwards, — the piety, not of an angel im- 
prisoned, but of a saint making progress, — the piety which, 
without being drawn away from the Master in heaven, feels 
drawn to the brethren on earth, and which, like the cedar, 
may prove still to be lofty notwithstanding the spread of its 
branches. 

Such was the piety of Martin Luther, wholesome and hearty 
amidst its absolute consecration, — loving his wife and children, 
loving his neighbour dearly, whilst loving the " dear God" with 
all his heart and soul and strength and mind. Let the like 
piety be yours, — healthy and human whilst devout and spiri- 
tual ; taking an interest in the community whilst maintaining 
your citizenship in heaven ; fond of " religious Christians " 
notwithstanding their frailties ; forthgoing to our fallen brother- 
hood notwithstanding its follies and its crimes ; feeling that in 
this world you have something more to do besides maintaining 
separation from it, and in the spread of your branches copying 
God's own charity, under whose broad wing worlds perfect and 
imperfect nestle, and to whose bounty the worst of sinners is 
beholden as truly if not so largely as the highest of the 
seraphim. 



AND THE GLOKY OF LEBANON. 167 

THE OLIVE. 

For these branches are laden, — their beauty is bountiful, — 
it is that of the olive tree. During most of the year the olive 
is not remarkably beautiful. With an obscure inflorescence, 
and with thin dusky foliage, it has nothing peculiarly prepos- 
sessing. The willow by the water-courses is like it, but with 
the graceful droop of its long flexile branchlets, as they trail 
their leafy fingers in the stream, the willow is much more 
elegant ; and so is the oleander, with its large leaves and rich 
rosy blossoms. But in late autumn, when its sentimental 
neighbours have nothing but their leaves to show, the olive is 
most beautiful. With berries crowded on every spray, — 
bursting ripe beneath their violet bloom, — it stands forth the 
very symbol of gracious opulence, and as the sleek clusters 
drop into the hand of the husbandman, with prospective glad- 
ness they cause his face to shine. 

It is wonderful what service some have rendered in their 
day. We have just been reading the life of a London minister, 
who founded three Orphan Asylums, an Asylum for Idiots, and 
an Hospital for Incurables, capable of accommodating together 
more than two thousand inmates, and who, in the interest of 
such charities, collected more than a million of money. Still 
more wonderful is the career of that old soldier, through whose 
Sunday School in the Borough passed two thousand scholars, 
and who was the means of depositing, so far safely and happily, 
in the Christian Church some hundreds of members. And time 
would fail if we tried to enumerate all those in whose much 
fruitfulness God has been glorified, and the domain of goodness 
extended. But in saying to ourselves and to one another, 
" Let us go and do likewise," we cannot err, any more than we 
are likely to err in the direction in which we put forth our 
endeavours. Of all the influences at present bearing on the 
population outside the Christian Church, there is none so simple 



168 THE LILY OF THE VALLEY, 

nor so productive as the Sabbath School, But although, through 
its agency, God has wrought great things, for want of more 
workers its sphere is sadly limited. In the existing Sabbath 
Schools of London, there is room for twenty-two thousand more 
scholars than they at present contain ; and in order that such 
vacant room should be occupied, all that is wanted is the two 
thousand teachers. If the teachers are forthcoming, no fear 
for the scholars, and with earnest teachers, no fear for success. 
It is a delightful employment, which you will carry on in 
fellowship with most desirable associates ; delightful in antici- 
pation, and in the preparatory exercises of searching the Scrip- 
tures and seeking out apt illustrations ; delightful at the time, 
if you succeed in engaging the attention or touching the feelings 
of your youthful charge ; and delightful in the retrospect, 
should you be able to recal those whom you have guided into 
the way of well-doing for this world, or whom you may have 
helped into the path which leads to glory, honour, and immor- 
tality. In this way, or as visitors to the poor, you may per- 
form a service of the truest patriotism, whilst at the same time 
dispensing Christ's mercies ; and, like all the moments re- 
deemed from more selfish enjoyment, the pursuit wiU grow 
more pleasant the longer you persevere ; and when the evil 
days come — the days of shattered health and exhausted spirits 
— it will be some comfort to look at the mementos of the old 
campaign, and think, " I too have seen service ; I too have 
been a teacher." 

Fruit, not phrases ; fruit like the olive, not leaves like the 
willow, not flowers like the oleander : substantial service, solid 
benefactions — not mere sentiment, such as glimmers through 
the fine sayings of the theorist, or the shadowy verses of the 
sonneteer ; but good fruit, such as may be seen in the hungry 
fed and the naked clothed, in the ignorant taught and the care- 
less converted : and fruit fully ripe ; that fatness of the olive 
which makes the face to shine, and which flows an excellent 



AND THE GLOKY OF LEBANON. 169 

oil on tlie priestly or regal head — benignity, graciousness, good- 
"will. " From possessing an earnest mind," writes one, " and 
from having continually to deal with great objects, I think I 
am tempted to too much settled gravity of mind and manner. 
Let me guard against this. A smile costs nothing, and it may 
gain a great deal." ^ Sweetness of spirit, the sunshine of a 
loving heart, a mind softened and kept genial by the grace of 
God, a manner truly cordial, is one of the comforts which the 
world owes to the Gospel, and the Christian who can make this 
contribution to the collective happiness is by no means the 
least in the kingdom of Heaven. 

*' And the smell as Lebanon." — The myrtle and the cedar, 
with innumerable aromatic herbs and shrubs, go to make up 
the smell of this goodly mountain — a fragrance of which the 
essence is indicated in the following verse as coming out in the 
wine of Lebanon. 

So there is a goodness, a heavenly -mindedness, which in life 
is marked by a delicate diflfusion, and which in death leaves an 
exquisite memorial. It is not of earth ; 'tis exotic. They 
only bring it back who by the path of meditation and prayer 
know how to ascend the mount of God, and visit the holy place 
of the Most High. It is the perfume of the ivory palace, per- 
ceptible in each compartment of the Bible, and coming out in 
the good matter of many a holy meditation and many a spiritual 
song. And just as one perfume will send the traveller to Italy, 
and another to India, and a third to Lebanon, so in the case of 
those whose senses are exercised by reason of use, there is a 
name which when poured out sends the thoughts of the believer 
to Christ and to heaven. 

Of aU this beauty and strength, of all this goodness with its 
wide-spreading shadow, its bountiful fruit and exquisite fra- 
grance, the source is God : " I will be as the dew unto Israel." 
" 'Tis water makes the lily thrive," and although a plenteous 
» Life of Br. A. Reed, p. 152. 



170 THE GLORY OF LEBANON. 

rain is very welcome, although to fill those tanks and canals 
which we call ordinances and institutions, societies and churches, 
it needs an abundant outpouring of God's Spirit ; yet for the 
maintenance of life and freshness in each separate soul the 
great security is that gentle silent influence which day by day 
He sheds forth, like the nightly precipitation of the pure and 
pearly dew. It comes, so to speak, when our mind comes in 
contact with God ; when we draw near him in prayer, whe?a 
we peruse the sacred page, when the warm life-laden breath of 
his Spirit passes over our cold and shrivelled hearts, and leaves 
grace suflQcient to preserve them alive another day. " I am a 
green fir-tree," says Israel. " From me is thy fruit found," is 
God's reply. That fruit, that freshness, is from above. Like 
dew from the clear sky, the life of the believer comes from a 
source which the world does not see nor surmise ; and as the 
unseen vapour in dewy deposit builds up the cup of the lily and 
the branch of the cedar, so to the invisible Spirit of God we 
owe the faith and the heavenly-mindedness which make the 
visible Christian. 



LUTHEE AND THE EEFOEMATIOK 



BY 



THE KEV. DR. GUMMING. 



LUTHEE AND THE EEFOEMATION. 



TT needs but a very partial perusal of any authentic history 
-*- to enable one to see that a Reformation aU but a revolution 
was absolutely required in the sixteenth century. Corruption 
had accumulated on corruption, or, as Mr. Newman would say, 
development on development, from the days of Gregory the 
Great to those of Hildebrand, and even to those of Leo x., and 
had concealed or caricatured every feature of real Christianity. 
Almost all the priests had ceased to execute the true functions 
of a Christian ministry, and had become mountebanks in some 
places — dealers in relics in others — and were gross impostors 
in all. The amusement of the people, who were the victims, 
and the enriching of the priesthood, who were the victimizers, 
were the great ends clearly comprehended and steadily pursued. 
" The gold had become dross, and the most fine gold altogether 
changed." The Church of the Apostles had become a conclave 
of apostates, and the reign of Christ had been superseded by 
the tyranny of Antichrist. Christianity, in short, was known 
only as a sort of sacred drama, and worship as a christened 
Polytheism. They had lost all idea of the nature, ends, and 
objects of the Incarnation, that stupendous and awful truth — 
that great and vital element in the Christian faith, and had 
given themselves wholly to the worship of saints, and images, 
and subordinate intercessors. Naturally the worshipper sank 



174 LUTHER AND THE REFORMATION". 

to the level of the object he was accustomed to worship. 
These ictercessors were many of them specially connected with 
the religious orders ; so that, to obtain the patronage of a saint, 
it was necessary to be on good terms with the order of which 
he was the patron, and the surest way of reaching the favour 
of the abbot or monk was that of liberal contributions to the 
convent. Hence, chantings, pilgrimages, and various mortifi- 
cations, were canonically enjoined to propitiate the saint : but 
these, even the severest, could always be compounded with 
the convents for money, and for those things which money 
represents : — 

"The people, therefore," says Myconius, once a monk, and experi- 
mentally acquainted witk all the records upon the subject, " brought 
money to the convents and to the priests, and indeed everjrthing 
they possessed that was of any value, — fowls, geese, ducks, eggs, 
wax, straw, butter, and cheese. Then the chantings resounded, the 
bells rang, the odour of incense filled the sanctuary, the sacrifices 
were offered, the tables groaned, the glasses circulated, and these 
pious orgies were terminated by masses. The bishops no longer 
appeared in the pulpits ; but they consecrated priests, monks, 
churches, chapels, images, books, and burial-places, — and aU these 
brought a large revenue. Bones, arms, feet, were preserved in boxes 
of silver or gold. Are you curious in relics ? Come to the cliurch 
of All-Saints at Wittenberg. You will there find a fragment of 
Ifoah's ark, some soot from the furnace of the three children, a piece 
of wood from the crib of the infant Jesus, and some hair of the beard 
of the great St. Christopher. At Schaffhausen, you are shown the 
breath of St. Joseph that Nicodemus received in his glove. At 
Wirtemberg, you will find a seller of indulgences disposing of his 
merchandise with his head adorned with a feather plucked from the 
wing of the Archangel Michael." 

Such was the wretched substitute tradition had given man- 
kind for the simple and sublime revelation of the Gospel. So 
great, however, was the popularity of these monstrous legends, 
that the demand was even greater than the market could supply ; 
and the profits and power which the clergy derived from deal- 
ing in these commodities were so vast and so tempting, that 



LUTHER AND THE EEFORMATION. 175 

avarice overshot itself, and heads, and hands, and beards, and 
other saintly relics, were so multiplied, in order to enrich the 
priesthood, and gratify the cravings of a diseased moral feeling, 
that Italy alone contained as many fragments of the wood of 
the true cross as would build a first-rate ship-of-war, and as 
many heads of the Apostle Peter as would furnish a battalion 
of soldiers with brains. But this was not the acme of ecclesi- 
astical folly and fraud. Easter, instead of being a season of 
solemn feeling and holy privilege, was the scene of all sorts of 
buffoonery. One preacher might be heard in the pulpit, ac- 
cording to the testimony of Miiller, imitating the cuckoo ; a 
second hissing like a goose ; a third relating all manner of in- 
decencies ; a fourth telling the tricks of Peter, such as his 
cheating the landlord of an inn, by running away without pay- 
ing. The chief part of what was called Christendom had be- 
come a temple of tomfooleries ; the priests, mountebanks ; and 
the few and far between that rose above the age, and thirsted 
for living water, sighed in secret, or braved the fires of martyr- 
dom, in order to reach the fountain the priests had shut and 
sealed. 

But the morality of the clergy was even worse than their 
ceremonial. This was to be expected. The extinction of the 
life of religion is necessarily followed by the withering of all 
its fruits. Pardon was as easy to be had as a certificate or a 
receipt. Indulgences were regular market articles, — the long- 
est, greatest, and most convenient being purchasable by the 
richest. Each indulgence naturally acted as a bonus upon sin ; 
and each sin made the priest more valued ; and the whole 
atmosphere of the moral being of man, denuded of its vital 
element, became but a terrible miasma, and impregnated every 
soul that breathed it with death. The channel along which 
man's soul could ascend to God, and God's light and life pour 
down on man, was lost sight of — no prayer rose from earth to 
heaven by the only medium of its entrance — and no blessing 



176 LUTHER AND THE REFORMATION. 

descended from heaven to earth save that of long-suffering, 
patience, and forbearance. Earth had become a sepulchre of 
the dead. But we have only to refer to contemporary testi- 
monies — to Romish historians themselves — to get even a darker 
picture of the times than we have tried to portray. Let us 
take a few historical testimonies of the fifteenth century, as 
given by Manse, in his Collection of Councils, printed at Venice, 
1754 :— 

An Extract from the Letter of the Cardinals of Gregory X. 
to Charles, King of France. 

That, as it is notorious and manifest, from the continually in- 
creasing evils, the Church of God has been greatly impaired from 
the beginning of this most wicked schism until the present day, and 
that too, alas ! with a great destruction of souls, the immeasurable 
greatness of the ruin shows, the loss teaches us, and the deformity 
of that which remains, together with the greatness of defective, I 
might almost say of perishing, faith proves ; so that one cannot 
present a particle of this holy and mystical body from the lowest 
extremity to tbe top, which this devouring mahce, this horrid pesti- 
lence, has not seized. 

An Extract from a Speech delivered hy the Bishop of Novara before the 
General Council of Pisa, respecting Benedict and Gregory. 

But our former popes, disregarding the honour of God, and the 
good of Christianity, preferred breaking their oaths to abandoning 
the smoke of the sparks of a worldly and splendid crown, the glory 
of a silk and purple robe, pomp, and the preservation of perishable 
honour. 

Session 15. a.d. 1409. 

An Extract from the Sentence of Deposition of the contending Popes, 
OS brought forward with the consent of the Council by the Patri- 
arch of Alexandria. 

The substance of the Sentence. 

.... and that the aforesaid Angelo Corrario and Peter de Luna, 
the competitors for the popedom, and each of them, have been and 
are notorious schismatics, and the supporters, defenders, favourers, 



LUTHER AND THE REFORMATION'. 177 

and approvers of the old schism, obstinate and notorious heretics, 
moreover, and wanderers from the faith, entangled in the enormous 
and infamous crimes of perjury and violation of promise, openly- 
scandalizing the holy Church universal of God, with notorious, evi- 
dent, and manifest incorrigibility, contumacy, and pertinacity, and 
from these and other causes have rendered themselves utterly un- 
worthy of the honour and dignity of the popedom ; and that they 
and neither of them shall on account of the aforesaid ofifences, crimes, 
and excesses, rule, or reign, or preside over the Church, but shall 
even be cut ofif from her communion, etc. 

The General Council of Constance, a.d. 1414. 

Therefore, whereas this schism had only two heads in the beginning, 
and the council was desirous of cutting them both off, three suddenly 
were in existence at the same time. For besides Alexander, who had 
been appointed pope in the council, Gregory still retained the name 
of pope, and some of the states of Italy revered him as the true 
pontiff. Benedict also was called pope, and the greatest part of 
Spain and some of the French princes followed him. There were, 
therefore, nominally three popes ; and the Church, which was 
before di\'ided into two parties, was then in some degree distracted 
by three parties. 

After which exhortation, the lord cardinal of Florence, according 
to the decision of the aforesaid council and synod, pronounced the 
following decrees. 

To the honour, praise, and glory of the most holy Trinity 

Also, that the same holy council ought not and may not be dissolved 
until the thorough rooting out of the present schism, and until the 
Church be reformed in faith and morals, in the head and members. 

From Manse we pass to Labbd and Cossart, and the picture 
is only deepened. The following is a sketch of what councils 
and popes thought of each other. They sit as subject and 
limner by turns : — 

Labbceus, vol, xiii. p. 619. Council of Basil, a.d. 1439. 
The S4:th Session for the Deposition of Pope Eugenius IV. 

The holy general council of Basil . . . pronounces, decrees, and 
declares the above-mentioned Pope Eugenius iv. to have been, and 
VOL. I. M 



1 78 LUTHER AND THE EEFOEMATION. 

to be, notoriously and manifestly contumacious, disobedient to the man- 
dates and precepts of the universal church, and persevering in open re- 
bellion, a constant violator and despiser of the sacred canons of councils, 
a notorious disturber of the peace and unity of the church, a notorious 
scandalizer of the universal church, a simoniac, a perjured man, incor- 
rigible, schismatical, wandering from the faith, an obstinate heretic, 
guilty of dilapidating the rights and possessions of the church, unser- 
viceable and injurious to the administration of the Eoman popedom, 
and to have rendered himself unworthy of all title, rank, honour, 
and dignity. Him, therefore, for these reasons, the same holy coun- 
cil declares and pronounces to be justly deprived of the papacy and 
Roman high-priesthood. 

77ie third p)ari of the Council of Florence, a.d. 1439. 
LabbcRus, vol. xii. p. 1186. — Printed at Paris, 1672. 

We subjoin, therefore, entire, and at full from the Vatican copy, 
the same constitution and all things above said, containing the sound 
and cathohc doctrine, and published with the approval of the holy 
Council of Florence. 

Eugenius, Bishop, servant of the servants of God, etc. 

. . . After the fashion of Dioscorus and the condemned Council 
of Ephesus, they have proceeded with inexpiable depra\'ity to a cer- 
tain venomous and execrable sentence of deprivation of the dignity 
and office of the chief apostleship, . . . And now they prosecute the 
same enterprise so vehemently, as far as lies in their power, that the 
evil spirits of the whole world seem to have collected in that den of 
robbers at Basil. . . . 

We decree and declare that all and each of the above were and 
are schismatics and heretics, and in addition to the punishments de- 
clared in the above-said Council of Ferrara, with all their aiders and 
defenders of every condition, that they may receive a deserved por- 
tion with the aforesaid Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, they shall be 
punished with suitable punishments. 

Abbe FleurVs Ecclesiastical History, p. 116. — Printed at Nismes, 
1779. A.D. 1441. 

The reason which constrained the fathers to take all these pre- 
cautions was the certain intelligence which they received that Pope 
Eugenius had issued a decree for the dissolution of the council. . . . 



LUTHER AND THE REFOEMATION. 179 

As the true object of the pope was only to prevent the reformation 
of the church, the fathers, desirous of providing for the safety of 
the council, renewed the two decrees of the Council of Constance, 
already recited. 

Nor do things brighten in the sixteenth century, out of 
which the great Reformer arose as a sun burst from thick 
night, betokening the dawn and splendours of coming day. 

The Fifth Council of Lateran, Julius II., a.d. 1512. Labbceus 
and Cossart, vol. xiv. p. 19. 

The first Speech in the Lateran Council, delivered by jEgidius of 
Viterbo, General of the Order of the Augustines. 
We have beheld Christ asleep in the vessel, we have seen the fury 
of the winds, the anger of the heretics rushing against the white 
sails of truth. We have beheld the depraved boldness of the wicked 
raging against the rights, the authority, and the majesty of the 
church. We have seen evil desires, and the dire thirst of gold and 
gain. We have seen, I say, violence, rapine, adulteries, incest, finally, 
every pestilence of wickedness, so confound all things, sacred and pro- 
fane, so strike against the sacred vessel, that she was almost laid 
upon her beam-ends amidst the waves of iniquity, she was almost 
sunk and foundered. 

From Labbceus, as above. Julius II., a.d. 1512. 

Extract from a Speech delivered by Christian Marcellus in the fourth 
Session of the Council of Lateran. 

We are placed in such a license of sinning, that, with a few ex- 
ceptions, there is no one who does not oppose all virtue, and who 
observes even the most trivial laws. Wickedness and intemperance 
fill and occupy all things ; all things wander and deviate from the 
straight path of equity and righteousness : there is no one who looks 
to himself, to his heart, or to his understanding. Every one prefers 
his own convenience and his private advantage. The state itself 
and the church herself are deserted, and being deserted, mourn, 
languish, and lament. 



180 LUTHER AND THE REFOHMATIOX. 

LaUbcEus and Cossart, vol. xiv. p. 414. Pope Clement VII., 
A.D. 1524. 

A Constitution for removing Abuses, and an Ordinance for reforming 
the Life of the Clergy, by the Most Reverend Father and Lord in 
Christ, Lawrence, Cardinal Priest of the Holy Roman Church, etc. 

Lawrence, by the Divine mercy, cardinal priest of the Church of 
Rome, by the title of St. Anastasia, legate of our lord the Pope and 
of the apostolic see throughout all Germany and the kingdom of 
Hungary, etc. 

Many things having been discussed, and chiefly by what counsels 
and in what manner they should decide respecting the above-men- 
tioned German nation, which was thus in peril, it was universally 
agreed that this most depraved heresy, so acceptable to the people on 
account of the liberty falsely inculcated under the pretence of evangelical 
charity, had derived no little advantage, partly from the abandoned 
morals and lives of the clergy, partly from the no-longer-to-be-con- 
cealed abuse of the sacred ordinances and the ecclesiastical consti- 
tutions ; that the clergy shoidd be brought back by due censures to an 
honourable way of living, and to those morals which the divine Paul 
demands and requires, and that the abuses which offend the laity 
should be removed. 

Ldbbceus, vol. xiv. An Extract from the Speech of Peter Danesius, 
Orator of the Most Christian King of France, to the Council, 
A.D. 1545. 
. . . Hence, since it appears to many that almost all the evils and 
troubles of the church have flowed from this fountain, namely, that 
the ministers of the church of almost eifery order have very far de- 
clined from the sanctity and innocence of ancient times, so that hardly 
a vestige of them is to be seen, it is expedient that you should 
regulate the lives and morals of the clergy by the strictest rules of 
the sacred canons. 

With one additional extract from St. Bernard the Monk, 
descriptive of the church in the twelfth century, and not very 
complimentary to monastic abstemiousness, we proceed to the 
brighter part of our interesting inquiry : — 

" Who in the beginning, when the monastic order commenced, 
would have believed that the monks would have arrived at such a 



LUTHER AND THE REFORMATION. 181 

state of indolence ? How greatly do we diflfer from the monks who 
lived in the time of Anthony ! They of a truth, when at certain 
seasons they visited each other in the spirit of charity, received from 
each other the bread of the sonl with such eagerness, that, almost 
forgetful of the nourishment of the body, they passed for the most 
part the whole day with their bodies fasting, but not with fasting 
minds. . . . But when we come together, to use the words of the 
apostle, ' this is not to eat the Lord's supper.' For there is no one 
who seeks or who administers the heavenly bread. Nothing is done 
respecting the Scriptures, or the salvation of souls ; but trifles and 
laughter prevail, and words are cast to the wind. At dinner the ears 
are as much fed with common talk as the jaws with f eastings ; by 
which every one is so taken up, that there is no moderation in eating. 
Meantime, dishes follow dishes, and for one dish of butcher's meat 
from which you abstain, two lai-ge fishes are introduced ; and though 
you had enough of the first when you begin with the second, it seems 
as if you had not tasted the first. For all things are prepared by the 
cooks with so much diligence and art, that when four or five dishes 
have been devoured, the first don't stand in the way of the last, nor 
does satiety diminish the appetite. For the palate, seduced by new 
sauces, by degrees losing its power of distinguishing, is greedily re- 
newed in its desires for other juices, as if it was yet fasting. . . . Who 
can describe how in many ways (to say nothing of other things) eggs 
only are turned over and tormented — with what ingenuity they are 
turned inside out, turned over, liquefied, hardened, contracted — and 
now they are served up fried, now roasted, now stufi'ed, now mixed 
together, now separately ? And why are all these things done except 
only to prevent nausea ? The quahty of the things, besides, is made 
to have such an outward appearance, as to be not less pleasing to the 
eye than to the palate. The eyes are allured by colours, and the 
palates by tastes ; and the unhappy stomach, upon which the colours 
do not shine, and which the relishes do not soothe, being thus com- 
pelled to receive all things, is oppressed and overwhelmed, rather 
than refreshed. 

"And what can I say respecting drinking of water? For all of 
us, the very instant we become monks, have weak stomachs, and 
neglect the necessary counsel of the apostle respecting the use of 
wine ; the word ' little' which he introduced being, I know not why, 
left out. And I wish they were content with pure wine only. I 
am ashamed to mention it, but it is still more shameful to practise 



182 LUTHER AND THE REFORMATION. 

it ; and if we are ashamed to hear it, let us not be ashamed to 
correct it. You may see in one dinner three or four times the half- 
filled goblet brought in, until these different wines being rather 
smelt than drank, not so much swallowed as touched, one at length, 
after a sagacious and quick perception, is selected out of the many 
as being the strongest. But what is the custom which some monas- 
teries are said to observe, viz., to drink at their assemblies on great 
festivals wines mixed up with honey, sprinkled over with grains of 
perfume ? Can we say that this is done on account of the weakness 
of their stomachs ? I can see no other purpose in it, than that they 
may drink more, and with greater enjoyment. 

" The eyes were glutted with relics covered with gold. When the 
little partitions are opened, a most beautiful form of a male or female 
saint is exhibited : and the more brilliant the colouring, the holier 
is the saint esteemed to be. Men run to kiss it, and then they are 
invited to give ; and beautiful things are more admired than sacred 
things are venerated. The church shines in her buildings ; she is 
wanting to the poor. She covers her stones with gold ; she leaves 
her sons naked. The eyes of the rich are served with the money of 
the poor. The curious are delighted ; but the wretched have no 
means of support. 

" We do not accuse all men ; neither can we excuse all men. 
The Lord has reserved for himself many thousands ; otherwise un- 
less their righteousness had been our excuse, and the Lord of Sabaoth 
had left us that holy seed, we should have been already overthrown 
like Sodom, and should have perished like Gomorrah. Everybody 
runs after holy orders; and men assume without reverence or 
reflection that ministry which is revered even by the angelic spirits. 
These fear not to take the sign of the holy kingdom, or to wear the 
crown of the heavenly empire, in whom avarice reigns, ambition 
rules, pride is enthroned, iniquity resides, luxury has the govern- 
ment : with whom, also, so happy is their condition, the abomina- 
tion would appear between the walls, if, according to the prophecy 
of Ezekiel, we were to dig down the walls, and behold what inspires 
horror in the house of God. For, in addition to fornications, adul- 
teries, incests, from some of them even the ignominious passions, 
and the basest actions are not absent." 

It would occupy too much space were we to furnish addi- 
tional extracts from authentic sources, illustrative of the profli- 



LUTHER AND THE EEFORMATION. 183 

gacy and corruption of the priesthood in those times. The most 
virtuous of the people were glad to hear that the priests lived 
in sinful connexions that their own families might be safe. So 
unblushingly was open debauchery tolerated, that in many places 
the priest paid the bishop a regular tax for the sin in which he 
lived. A German bishop, according to Erasmus, declared at a 
public entertainment that he received this unholy tax from eleven 
thousand j^riests in one year. From the cell of the meanest 
monk, up to the pontifical throne, the worst abominations of 
heathen times were practised, Christianity had been made the 
patroness of sin — its professed ministers had become living 
exemplars of licentiousness — contaminating by their conduct, 
and corrupting by their teaching. Apostolic in name, the visible 
church had become apostate in fact — and that sacred institute, 
which was designed to bless mankind, left on every land it 
visited a heavier curse. 

The ignorance of the clergy was equal to their immorality : — 
" The New Testament," says one monk, " is a book full of 
serpents and thorns. Greek is a modern language but recently 
invented, and against which we must be on our guard. As to 
Hebrew, my dear brethren, it is certain that whoever studies 
that becomes a Jew." The school of theology at Paris in- 
formed the Parliament, " There is an end of religion if the study 
of Hebrew and Greek is permitted." Even the few literati, 
who appeared here and there, tried to introduce heathenism 
into Christianity, and the gods of the pantheon into the temple 
of Christ. Cardinal Bembo, in his Scripture translations, sub- 
stituted for " the Holy Spirit," the " breath of the celestial 
zephyr ;" for " remission of sins," " the pity of the manes and 
of the gods ;" and for " Christ the Son of God," " Minerva, 
sprung from the brows of Jupiter." 

Divine truth was accounted vulgar by the very men who 
thought no turpitude unbecoming to their character. It is 
always true that aversion to the doctrines of evangelical Chris- 



184 LUTHER AND THE REFORMATION. 

tianity is more or less associated with indifference to its lofty 
morality. 

Darkness brooded over the whole spiritual world, and De- 
pravity stalked from sea to sea, as beneath a congenial and 
overshadowing mantle. Conscience seems to have been drugged 
and laid prostrate in a universal stupor. The church lay upon 
the earth, a corrupting carcass — an awful incubus — its curse 
rather than its blessing. Creation groaned not only under 
sin, but under that erst divine minister of the remedy, the 
church itself. Priests illiterate, superstitious, and immoral, 
were as the locusts of Egypt ; and before their swarming crowds 
every fair and holy blossom perished. The very bonds and 
hinges of society were loosened. The priesthood had become 
the lords-paramount of Vice and Virtue — the gods of the people 
— the vaunting depositaries of the blessings of this world and 
the pretended administrators of those of the next. The strong 
struggled in vain to repress their tyranny ; the helpless wept in 
secret. The most influential had to bribe the sacerdotal con- 
spiracy to be allowed to exist ; and the few and far between, 
the holy and the pure, raised their piercing supplications to the 
sky, — " Lord, how long !" Awful eclipse ! The visible church 
had become a very pandemonium, and its priests scarcely 
superior to demons. 

Who were to burst the bonds of the accursed tyranny 1 
Kings and potentates 1 They tried it and failed. The terrible 
system had wrought itself into the texture of universal society ; 
had struck its roots into the core of many hearts ; and was 
wielded by a grim despotism that arrayed itself in the terrors 
of the world to come, as it had already appropriated the 
powers of the world that now is. The emperor Henry rv. 
made the most desperate effort to crush the hierarchy and 
vindicate the freedom of fatherland ; but his failure and suffer- 
ings testify that the imperial crown of those days was no match 
for the papal tiara. He was doomed, by way of expiating his 



LUTHER AND THE EEFORJVIATION. 185 

daring attempt to be a freeman, to lay aside his royal robes, 
and remain with bare feet in the trenches about Kome for three 
winter days and nights, till the lordly Hildebrand condescended 
to remit the punishment, and restore him, in his former cha- 
racter of slave, to the favour of the Church. The Leos and 
the Hildebrands were then mightier by far than the Hohen- 
staufens. 

Learning took up the position that loyalty had hopelessly 
abandoned. The most powerful invective, the most galling 
satire, the most contemptuous allusions, in various forms, and 
full of varied genius, aimed their combined shafts at the 
popedom. Dante placed the Pope in his terrible hell, and 
represented St. Peter denouncing from heaven his pretended 
successors. Petrarch described the papacy in no less free and 
faithfid terms : — 

" Fontana di dolore, albergo d'ira, 
Scola d'errori, e tempio d'eresia ; 
Gia Roma, or Babilouia, falsa e ria, 
Per cui tanto piange e si sospira ; 
O fucina d'inganni, o prigion d'ira, 
Ove i buon muore et i mal si nutre e cria, 
De' vi\'i inferno, un gran miraeol sia 
Se Cristo teco al fine non s'adira." 

" Fountain of grief, abode of anger, school of errors, and temple 
of heresy ; formerly Rome, now Babylon, both false and guilty, 
through whom there are so many tears and sighs ; mistress of 
deceit, prison of anger, where the good perish and the bad are 
cherished and produced ! hell of the living, it will be a great won- 
der if Christ be not angry with thee at the last !" — Petrarch, 
Part I. son. cviii. p. 149, vol. iv. Basil, 1581. 

Others followed in the same style ; but the papacy, ever 
watchful and ever prepared to bend to its own aggrandizement 
and glory all elements, even the most hostile, saw the might 
and influence of genius, and cast immediately its spells and 



186 LUTHEE AND THE REFORMATION. 

enchantments over it. Leo became the patron of letters, the 
Mecsenas of the learned, the protector and nurse of talent ; and 
the flame lit by the master-spirits of the world, in order to con- 
sume the papacy, served only to add fresh glory to its throne, 
subsiding into an appendage-lamp at the footstool of the pope. 

Both before and subsequent to this period, the gospel, not 
yet utterly extinct, made successive efforts to burst forth. The 
holy fire smouldered beneath the ashes by which it was over- 
powered, and emitted bright sparks at intervals, significant of 
its origin, its immortality, and its coming glory. Many in 
whose hearts was a kindred flame, perceived by its light, at 
the foundations of the huge superstructure of fanaticism and 
superstition, fragments of the living Rock on which the Church 
of the Romans in the days of St. Paul was founded. Disco- 
veries were made in succession, and increasing doubts found 
audible expression in public opinion. Thirstings after God 
became too mighty to be quenched by the waters of the 
Vatican. Man's heart felt its deep wants, and groaned after 
something which, contrary to the opinion of some living divines, 
the Church of Rome in that day was unable to furnish. About 
this time also various lights streamed from the East into the 
West, and attracted extensive notice ; the setting glories of 
Constantinople cast their departing rays on Imperial Rome, and 
revealed by contrast the desert soul and departed glory of the 
mistress of the world ; and the study of Greek and Hebrew, 
notwithstanding the proscriptions of monks and priests, began 
to be popular. Among those who made distinguished progress 
in these studies were Reuchlin, and Melanchthon his pupil. Of 
the former Luther subsequently said, — 

'* The Lord has wrought in you, that the fight of His holy word 
may again shine forth in Germany, where for so many ages it has 
been, alas ! not only stifled, but extinct." 

Soon after Reuchlin, Gerhard (or, as better known by his 
Latin and Greek designations, Desiderius and Erasmus) made 



LUTHEE AND THE EEFORMATION. 187 

his appearance, and did more tlian any scholar that preceded 
him to precipitate the sacred revolution which swept away the 
interdicts of man, and unsealed the clear waters of eternal 
truth. He issued a critical edition of the New Testament at 
Basel, in 1516, which shed around the most clear and precious 
revelations of the njind of the Spirit of God. He declared that 
the highest object of the revival of true learning would be to 
discover in the Bible the simple and pure Christianity. His 
able paraphrase and translations, his devoted attachment to the 
study of Sacred Writ, his unsparing exposures of the profligacy 
of the monks, did more than any other efforts of genius or 
erudition to stir society to its depths, and startle from their 
sleeping-places the echoes of long-stifled truth ; and yet so timid 
was Erasmus, so unfit to be a reformer, that although he saw 
the resurrection of a thousand conflicting spirits which his exer- 
tions had evoked, and society rending into cracks and chasms 
in every direction — the results of his own labours — his heart 
fainted within him, and he shrank alarmed from the approach- 
ing outburst. He declared in his alarm, " It is dangerous to 
speak, and dangerous to be silent." Erasmus, however, occu- 
pied the place and did the work designed for him. Luther 
could not be Erasmus, any more than Erasmus could be Luther. 
Erasmus, under the power of an influence he could neither resist 
nor remove, worked till corruption came to be recognised as 
such ; and slavery, despotism, sacerdotal uncleanness, and monk- 
ish frauds, to be appreciated in their just character, as well as 
designated by their proper names. He showed the disease, 
though he could not prescribe or preach the remedy. He 
awoke a dissatisfaction with existing things, and a thirst for 
other and better he could not meet. In short, he prepared 
men's minds to listen to Luther. There was needed in the 
wake of Erasmus, what came, a trumpet-tongued hero-priest to 
speak ; and truth, like an electric current, would find conduc- 
tors everywhere. 



188 LUTHER AND THE EEFORMATION. 

We must refer to another illustrious literary pioneer of the 
Reformation before we watch it in its cradle, and follow its 
footsteps to manhood. This was Ulric von Hiitten. His 
satirical reflections on the popes were cutting. In one of his 
works he represents St. Peter keeping his successors out of 
heaven in consequence of their corruj)tion and degeneracy ; 
and one of the rejected popes, Julius ii., he describes, with 
exquisite naivete, as thus addressing the apostle : — " If within 
a few months you do not admit me into heaven, I will attack 
you with sixty thousand men, and drive you and all the other 
inhabitants out." In another work he gives us his reason for 
quitting Rome : — " Everything there is for sale, — God, the 
sacraments, the kingdom of heaven ; and everything is there 
allowed except poverty and truth, which are regarded as the 
only two mortal sins." 

Soon after this he composed what he rather loosely called 
The Roman Trinity. In this document one of the speakers 
is made to say : — 

* ' There are three things which we commonly bring away with 
us from Rome, — a bad conscience, a vitiated stomach, and an 
empty purse. There are three things which Rome does not beheve 
in, — the immortality of the soul, the resurrection of the dead, and 
hell. There are three things which Rome trades in, — the grace of 
Christ, the dignities of the church, and women." 

But perhaps the most effective exposure with which the 
corruptions of the papacy were visited prior to the Reforma- 
tion was the pungent satire known by the title of " Letters of 
Obscure Men;" " No work," says D'Aubign^, " ever struck 
a more terrible blow at the pillars of popery." Luther, how- 
ever, did not approve this sort of attack. The great reformer's 
severest invective was always on the side of truth and of holi- 
ness. He said biting things, not to make his readers laugh at 
the expense of the Franciscans and Dominicans, but to vindi- 
cate the injured cause of heaven, and to stir men's sanctified 



LUTHER AND THE EEFOEMATION. 189 

energies against that system of superstition which reflected the 
greatest dishonour on God, and betrayed in the temple of 
truth at once her founders and her followers. Hiitten, never- 
theless, like Erasmus, did his work : — . 



" If Truth cannot acknowledge him as one of her children, for 
she ever walks in company with holiness of life and charity of 
heart, she will at least accord to him an honourable mention as one 
of the most formidable enemies of error." 

One striking lesson is to be gathered from all that preceded 
the Reformation. It is the utter impotence of intellectual, 
imperial, or military effort to achieve the triumphs destined to 
follow in the footsteps of the monk of Erfurth. The sword of 
the Csesars was shivered into splinters as soon as it struck the 
tiara. Genius, when it arrayed itself against the popedom and 
shot forth its burning shafts, no sooner touched the hierarch 
than it was transformed, contrary to its designs, from an 
aggressor into an ally. It was neither in the camp, nor in the 
cabinet, nor in the academy that the Reformation was to be 
accomplished. It was in the closet and in the pulpit — it was 
by weapons " not carnal, but mighty " — this holy revolution 
was to be wrought out ; and the instruments set apart in the 
purposes of God, for the high function of wielding these with 
success, were not princes, nor captains, nor prelates, nor always 
learned men. 

Matters in succession converged to a point. A crisis was 
universally felt to be at hand. New quarters of the world 
were then for the first time unfolded ; the art of printing, 
transmitting opinions mightier than armies, was discovered ; 
the papacy was unveiled ; and men's minds became alive to a 
sense of the wrongs heaven and earth had suffered from a 
colossal conspiracy against the glories of the one and the 
rights of the other. Popes preaching the worst chicanery of 
courts, and churches notorious as the chanceries in which sin 
obtained license and the sinner a shelter, all needed a thorough 



190 LUTHER AND THE REFORMATION. 

purification, and all announced by their heinousness a tremen- 
dous upshot — a terrible retribution. The good wept, the timid 
shrank, the cautious kept neutral. " Whence," says D'Aubignd, 
" was the stroke to come that should throw down the hoary 
but rotten edifice, and call up a new structure from the ruins 1 
No one could answer this question, Who had more learning 
than Keuchlin 1 Who had more talent than Erasmus 1 Who 
had more wit and energy than Hiitten 1 Who had more 
courage than Sickingen ? Who had more virtue than Cron- 
berg? And yet it was neither Reuchlin, nor Erasmus, nor 
Hiitten, nor Sickingen, nor Cronberg. Learned men, princes, 
warriors, all had undermined some of the old foundations, but 
there they had stopped, and nowhere was seen the hand of 
power that was to be God's instrument. However, all felt 
that it would soon be seen. Some pretended to have discovered 
in the stars sure indications of its appearing. Some predicted 
the end of the world itself. Others the appearance of Anti- 
christ." In the midst of these perplexities a German monk 
stepped upon the stage, and the wide world felt his tread. 

Luther was born of parents whose poverty was as conspicuous 
as their virtue. He was early initiated in the hardships, and 
trained in every department of those wants and struggles which 
such a condition is heir to. This, however, served to stimulate 
his latent energies. He learned to despise the privations, 
surmount the difficulties, and gather force of character from 
the treatment which would have crushed less vigorous and 
elastic spirits. His mother and his schoolmaster in succession 
used the rod as their weightiest argument. It supplied the 
place of reason, training, and example ; and the religious 
sentiments first instilled into his infant mind were in their 
tone in full accordance with the treatment which he experi- 
enced. He had revealed to him no bright visions of loveliness, 
and glory, and joy. He was taught no lesson of love. Terror 
was the sum-total of his religion. " Thou shalt not " was the 



LUTHER AND THE REFORMATION. 191 

grand formula of his faith and duty. Every time he heard the 
name of Jesus — that name around which all that is holy and 
beautiful really crystallizes — which is the richest tone in all 
the melodies of heaven and earth together — the young monk 
trembled with fear. He heard in its utterance the accents 
only of a judge. He knew nothing of the Son of God except 
as a consuming fire, and was taught nothing of his gospel 
except its strange things, its judgments, and its wrath. One 
can see in this early process of instruction the real sources of 
the worst defects subsequently developed in the character of 
Luther, and the true explanation of those frequent failings 
which his adversaries have so pertinaciously urged against the 
memory of the man, and turned into grounds of opposition to 
the sacred cause in which he expended his energies, his tears, 
and prayers. Luther was meant to survive all, as well as to 
taste all. There was something in the soul of that peasant's 
son which force could not subdue — which privation could not 
wear down — which presented a bulwark and a front to adverse 
circumstances, indicative of a high destiny and a holy heroism. 
He was first sent to a school at Magdeburg, and next to 
another at Eisenach ; and at each there seems to have been 
"a Squeers" for a master, and "a Dotheboys Hall" for an 
establishment ; thereby proving that such institutions are not 
peculiar to Protestant times and countries. Luther was so 
poor, that at the age of fourteen he had to go upon the public 
streets and sing till some one, either to retain or get rid of 
him, gave him a dinner, the sauce of which was too often hard 
blows and harsh words. This was severe, but yet wholesome 
tuition. It was necessary for the ripening of Luther's character, 
as well as for Luther's destiny. 

*' One day, in particular, after having been repulsed from three 
houses, he was about to return fasting to his lorlgings, when, having 
reached the Place St. George, he stood before the house of an honest 
burgher motionless and lost in painful reflections. Must he for 



192 LUTHER AND THE REFOllMATION. 

want of bread give up his studies and go and work with his father 
in the mines of Mansfeld ? Suddenly a door opens, a woman 
appears on the threshold. It is the wife of Conrad Cotta, a 
daughter of the burgomaster of Eilfeld. Her name was Ursula. 
The chronicles of Eisenach call her • the pious Shunammite,' in re- 
membrance of her who so earnestly entreated the prophet Elisha to 
eat bread with her. This Christian Shunammite had more than 
once remarked young Martin in the assembhes of the faithful ; she 
had been affected by the sweetness of his voice and his apparent 
devotion. She had heard the harsh words with which the poor 
scholar had been repulsed ; she saw him overwhelmed with sorrow 
before her door ; she came to his assistance, beckoned him to enter, 
and supplied his urgent wants. Conrad approved of his wife's 
benevolence ; he even found so much pleasure in the society of 
yoimg Luther, that a few days afterwards he took him to live in his 
bouse." 

This incident not only stood between Luther and the mines 
of Mansfeld, encouraging him in his devotedness to study, and 
furnishing the means of pursuing it, but it implanted a new 
feeling in his heart. Hitherto he had seen nothing fitted to 
win. Here he found an unexpected element of sweetness and 
of love, in a world where he had seen nothing but terror. He 
saw, by the living illustration presented in the character of the 
wife of Cotta, that if men were not angels, they were not all 
demons. It awoke long-dormant feelings ; and in after-life he 
was often heard to say, " There is nothing sweeter than the 
heart of a pious woman." In the hospitable house of Cotta he 
found a home, and studied with intense zeal, and profited be- 
yond his contemporaries ; filling up his spare hours with music, 
of which he was very fond, and even at that early age com- 
posing some of those exquisite melodies which are still associ- 
ated with his name. Luther's theology has brought him under 
the anathemas of popes and councils ; but his love and practice 
of music have left him beneath the blessing of no mean spirit. 
Shakspere says, — 



LUTHER AND THE EEFOEMATION. 193 

•' The man that hath no music in his soul, 
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, 
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils : 
The motions of his spirit are dull as night, 
And his affections dark as Erebus. 
Let no such man be trusted." 



At leDgtli we find Luther at the University of Erfurth, 
pre-eminent even among the scholarship by which he was 
there surrounded. Added to his diligent and successful pro- 
secution of study, there was ever a devotional feeling in the 
heart of Luther, which sought channels for its outgushings 
morning, noon, and night. A great portion of every day was 
spent by the Keformer in the library of the university. Its 
books and mss. he perused with intense and untiring interest. 
One day he stumbled on a book then scarce, and known only 
by name to Luther. It was a Latin Bible. He read it with 
growing interest ; he perceived that the church-service con- 
tained the merest fragments of its precious lessons ; his eye 
kindled at the beams of this " light in a dark place," and his 
heart drank in its teeming and refreshing truths, till his soul 
was rapt in ecstasy. " The Eeformation lay hid in that 
Bible." This circumstance would be classified by thousands of 
mankind in the convenient receptacle into which atheism 
crowds those manifestations which its freezing spirit will not 
recognise as divine — the chapter of accidents. But it was no 
accident. It was the germ of unfblding glories, the first and 
essential link of a mighty chain that lifted earth from Erebus 
to noon-day. A Christian disowns the world's phraseology. 
What it calls accidents he is taught to christen as anointed 
messengers from God. 

Let me present another of the world's accidents. Luther 
was returning to the university from his father's house, and 
when near the end of his journey he was overtaken by a 
tremendous thunder-storm. A flash of lightning struck the 

VOL. I. N 



194 LUTHER AND THE REFORMATION. 

ground within a few inches of the young student, and pros- 
trated him upon the earth. He felt the nearness of death in 
all its force and awfulness ; and, ere he was able to raise 
himself from the ground, he began to question his soul about 
its eternal prospects, and to conclude that something must be 
done to make his salvation sure. He knew not the right way. 
No apostle or evangelist was near him, as they were to the 
jailer of Philippi, or the Ethiopian eunuch. He ignorantly, 
but earnestly, resolved and vowed to enter a monastery, that 
there he might secure, as he imagined, the safety of his soul 
by the service of his God. Soon after, he made known his 
determination to his fellow-students and friends at Erfurth, and, 
with a fixedness of purpose characteristic of the man, he set out 
during one of the darkest nights, with only two books in his 
possession, and these not sacred ones — the Comedies of Plautus, 
and the iEneid of Virgil — to find the Convent of the Augus- 
tinians. They opened their door, and unwittingly admitted 
into their bosom the man of destiny — the greatest foe their 
order ever met. The sequel will show there was no accident 
on that 17th of August 1505, in the history of Luther. 

For a long while after he had become a monk, he was 
ordered to execute only the most menial offices. Porter, 
sexton, and servant, were the unwelcome vocations of the chafed 
and vexed anchorite ; and, as if these were not oppressive 
enough, he was ordered to take the bag — that essentially papal 
appendage — and cum sacco per urhem, to wander begging 
bread and broken victuals, in case nothing better was given, 
from every burgher. When the poor mendicant remonstrated 
with his superior, and implored permission to read, the reply 
given him was certainly characteristic : " Come, it is not by 
study, but by begging bread, corn, eggs, fish, meat, and money, 
that you can benefit the cloister." This schooling was also no 
accident. It was to teach him the slavery of superstition, the 
cui'se that clave and cleaves to the terrible apostasy — and to 



LUTHER AND THE EEFOEMATION. 195 

prepare liim who could labour and drudge so much in the 
service of a convent, to care for no. toil, and to fear no travail 
in the service of the sanctuary of God. 

Ultimately he was partly excused from the more servile 
functions of monkery, and allowed to study. This was a mighty 
boon to Luther, too precious not to be used with all the energy 
of a mind too big for the circumstances amid which it was 
placed. He read the Fathers with enthusiasm and persever- 
ance, especially Augustine ; but the object of his warmest 
feelings, and the subject of his most frequent study, was a Bible 
chained to the convent-wall. From it he drank draughts of 
refreshing waters ; but even at this time he neither attained, 
nor knew how to attain, that victory over the flesh, and that 
assimilation to God, after which he panted. He took wrong 
ways of pursuing the object of his sacred ambition. He fasted 
days and nights in succession, and, as a monk, excelled all his 
fellows in conformity to monkish austerities. Melanchthon says 
of him, " Erat enim natura valde modici cibi et potus ; vidi 
continuis quatuor diebus cum quidem recte valeret, prorsus 
nihil edentem aut bibentem ;" and in subsequently referring to 
this part of his life, in a letter to the reigning Duke of Saxony, 
Luther himself says, — 

" Verily I was a devout monk, and followed the rules of my order 
so strictly, that I cannot tell you all. If ever a monk entered 
heaven by his monkish merits, certainly I should have obtained an 
entrance there. All the monks who knew me will confirm this ; 
and if it had lasted much longer, I should have become literally a 
martyr through watchings, prayer, reading, and other labours." 

But Luther had within him a thirst, begotten from on high, 
which all the broken cisterns of the age could not satiate. He 
felt his nature unholy ; his conduct, though vastly superior to 
that of all the confraternities of Germany, utterly defective in 
the sight of a God perfectly holy, just, and true. His great 
heart beat against the walls that confined it, like a captive bird 



196 LUTHER AND THE EEFOKMATION. 

against the wires of its cage. He multiplied his austerities, 
and yet he got no peace. One day the agony of his feelings 
was so overpowering, that he sank prostrate and unnerved on 
the floor of his cell. His friend, Edemberger, saw his state, 
and, with the aid of a few choristers, sung a sacred melody, 
which, like David's harp on the spirit of Saul, roused the poor 
monk to consciousness. But the aching chasm in the heart of 
Luther was not to be healed by such restoratives. The tones 
of the minstrel could not reach it. The vicar-general, Stau- 
pitz, was destined to be a better comforter. Staupitz one day 
said to him, " Instead of torturing yourself for your faults, cast 
yourself into the arms of your Redeemer ; trust in him — in the 
righteousness of his life, in the expiating sacrifice of his death. 
Do not shrink from him. God is not against you ; it is you 
who are against God." Luther replied, " How can I dare to 
trust in God, so long as there is in me no real conversion T' 
" There is," said the vicar-general, in words w^hich penetrated 
to Luther's very heart, "no true repentance but that which 
begins in the love of God and of righteousness. That which 
some fancy to be the end of repentance is but its beginning. 
In order to be filled with the love of that which is good, you 
must first be filled with the love of God." The words, " in 
order to repentance, we must love God," shed beams of light 
into Luther's mind. But the light which reflected so much 
peace also revealed so much more the sins of the heart. " Oh, 
my sin ! my sin ! my sin ! " cried Luther, one day, in the hear- 
ing of Staupitz. " Well, would you be only the semblance of 
a sinner," replied Staupitz, " and have only the semblance of 
a Saviour ? Know that Jesus Christ is the Saviour of those 
who are real and great sinners." 

This conversation, with others of a kindred nature, made 
a deep impression on the mind of the Reformer. It gave a 
heavenly direction to his views. At length we find him or- 
dained priest according to the rites of the Roman Church, and 



LUTHER AND THE EEFORMATION. 197 

allowed to leave the convent also in which he had remained 
two years. This was to be. That monk was not meant to be 
cribbed and caged in a monastery. At the close of 1508, he 
was invited and translated to a Wittenberg professorship. 
Here Professor Luther had to give a lecture daily on biblical 
divinity, for the preparation of which private study of the 
Scripture was, of course, necessary. This preliminary prepara- 
tion was of essential service to him. The Epistle to the Romans 
was the first part of the Scripture that strack his mind with 
extraordinary force ; and one of its quotations, the words of 
Habakkuk, " The just shall live by faith," was the germ of those 
bright and emancipating views of the way of man's acceptance 
before God, which supplied him with a fulcrum from which he 
ultimately shook the papacy to its centre. His lectures had not 
the scholastic subtleties of some of his contemporaries, nor the 
rich and glowing eloquence of others, but they had a feature 
new and intensely impressive on the age ; they were earnest, 
fresh from the Scriptures, and full of heart. Crowds gathered 
round him. Some applauded an orator, some predicted a 
revolutionist in the Church, others derived nutriment and living 
water, and all admitted that earnest Augustinian to be no 
common man. By and by we find him in an old wooden 
chapel, in the square of Wittenberg, preaching as a monk 
never preached before. " An old pulpit, made of planks and 
three feet high, received the preacher. Addressing his hearers 
from this place as if he had been agitated by some powerful 
passion, and adapting his action to his words, he affected their 
minds in a surprising manner, and carried them forth like a 
torrent whither he would." In that same chapel was laid the 
first stone of the Reformation. Thousands listened to the out- 
pourings of a full heart, and a fervid oratory altogether new. 
It looked like Nature breaking forth amid the hard lines and 
tame shapes of Art. There was a freshness and a reality that 
taught the auditors there was truth in that man's mind, and 



l98 LUTHER AND THE REFORMATION. 

reality in that monk's reasoning, speech, and discourse ; and 
wherever, even in this world, the man shines through the 
symbols and circumstances of man, there virtue goes out of him 
and others feel it. 

How wonderful it is that the very smallest beginnings in the 
things of God have ended in the most gigantic results ! That 
wooden chapel in the square of Wittenberg is the embryo of 
our Protestant churches, and our wide-spread Protestantism, 
and our eloquent pulpits. There were many cathedrals in 
Luther's time, but these were not selected in the Providence of 
God ; there were many eloquent and erudite preachers, but a 
poor monk was preferred. Man makes a great beginning, when 
he contemplates a great end. God often selects a very little 
cause out of which to evolve the most glorious issues ; thfe 
power and majesty displayed in the evolution eclipsing and over- 
powering the insignificance of the source. The creation of a 
thousand forests is of the one acorn. 

Luther's hearers became Protestants while yet unconscious of 
the name, and tne spirit, the life, the clear truths of simple 
Christianity found shrines and tabernacles in their hearts. 
Luther was a minister of the Catholic church, and he knew it 
not ; a Protestant in spirit, though a stranger to the outward 
baptism, which was to be in due time. 

About this period it appears that the order of which Luther 
was a member sent him to Rome to arrange and adjust some 
conventual dispute. This was their object, beyond which they 
neither saw nor anticipated ulterior results. But it was the 
same heavenly power that consecrated every incident in Luther's 
life to be a teacher or a preacher, that had determined that the 
Reformer of the Church should personally see its wickedness and 
its corruption where its holiness was supposed to be greatest ; 
and from the ground that apostles and martyrs, apostates and 
persecutors, had trod, he should derive a yet mightier impulse 
to go forth in the strength of God, and tear up by the very 



LUTHER AND THE EEFORMAxxvx.. 199 

roots the dark upas-tree which had overshadowed the nations of 
the earth, and distilled upon all beneath it, mildew, and poison, 
and death. Luther stood at last in Rome, that encyclopaedia of 
wonders, works, and wickedness. The dust of emperors, consuls, 
generals, the Caesars, the Scipios, was beneath his feet ; the 
walls, and towers, and temples of a city the name of which was 
struck into the history of the earth, and in which it was sup- 
posed were the fountainheads of purity, of holiness, and truth, 
were now spread out before that man of destiny. 

At Rome Luther said mass with all the fervour of one who 
was sincere in the faith which he held, and was therefore no 
favourite with the licentious and infidel priests there, who 
laughed outright at the honest and enthusiastic faith of the 
German monk. One of these priests, wearied with the solemn 
and earnest enunciations of Luther, one day at mass called out, 
in terms such as disbelief in transubstantiation and a disbelief of 
everything true and holy would alone prescribe, " Quick, quick, 
send our Lady her Son back speedily !" Luther was invited to 
dine with many of the most distinguished ecclesiastics, and 
during these festive occasions he had abundant and truly painful 
opportunities of seeing the abandoned conduct and atheistic 
profligacy of those toward whom he had been accustomed to. 
cherish awful and reverential feelings. One day, while in com- 
pany with distinguished Roman prelates, he heard one of them 
boast how often he had cheated a lady at mass, by omitting the 
words of consecration, and saying, instead, " Bread thou art, and 
bread thou shalt remain ;" and thus made her fall down and 
worship with Aarpeia, a piece of bread ! " The greatest 
symptom," said Machiavelli, then living at Florence, " of the 
approaching ruin of Christianity (meaning Popery) is, that the 
nearer we approach the capital of Christendom the less do we 
find of Christian spirit in the people. The scandalous example, 
and the crimes of the court of Rome, have caused Italy to lose 
every principle of piety, and every religious sentiment. We 



200 LUTHER AND THE EEFOEMATION. 

are principally indebted to the churcli and to the pri st for 
having become impious and profligate." 

About this time, a text which had before exerted almost a 
creative power on the mind of Luther was again forcibly 
brought home to his heart in the midst of his performance of 
a laborious penance up Pilate's staircase — " The just shall live 
by faith." This truth fell on his soul with the force and 
brilliancy of an electric spark, illuminating the chambers of 
imagery in the midst of the stronghold of superstition, self- 
righteousness, expiatory labours, and other elements of an 
earth-born faith. It became the nucleus of much that followed ; 
it opened the eye of the monk's soul, and he saw all other 
truths and errors through its pure and holy medium. 

A very interesting event also in the history of Luther was 
his being created doctor in theology, on which he was made to 
promise to study and defend the Holy Scriptures. This obli- 
gation providentially perpetuated — in the channel of an outward 
rite, the condition of a degree — knowledge that had otherwise 
perished. Luther, thenceforth, in full consistency with his 
new status, raised a voice that found an echo in the bosoms 
of a thousand contemporaries : " Christians receive no other 
doctrines than those which rest on the express words of Christ, 
the apostles, and prophets." Chillingworth subsequently em- 
bodied the same great truth in more concise words, " The 
Bible alone is the religion of Protestants." The supremacy 
of this great aphorism is essential, in order to preserve 
the integrity and symmetry of Protestant Christianity. The 
prostration of it is the proportionate exaltation of the papacy, 
and its multitudinous offspring. We must grasp it in the 
nineteenth century with no trembling hand. 

Every day now contributed fresh light and new impulse to 
our Reformer. Doctors heard for the first time new and yet 
majestic truths from his chair ; and the multitude were 
startled, and yet charmed, by the manly and clear deductions 



LUTHER AND THE EEFC>RMATION. 201 

he brought forth from the sacred volume. The secret of all 
his power was in the Bible ; he urged its claims to inspiration 
as acquiesced in — as a postulate already allowed, and then 
- riveted every truth he taught by appeals to the law and to the 
testimony ; and from that moment an element of power shot 
through the halls and hamlets of Germany, and accumulated 
on the confines of Italy, waiting for the appointed hour when 
truth uttered by a monk should be felt to be mightier than 
error upheld by the politics, the riches, and the aristocracy of 
the earth. One remark of D'Aubignd is truly good : — 

*' The Reformation turned against rationalism before it attacked 
superstition. It proclaimed the rights of God before it lopped off 
the excrescences of man. It was positive before it was negative. 
This has not been sufficiently adverted to ; and yet, if we do not 
keep it in mind, it is impossible to appreciate this religious revolu- 
tion and its true nature." 

The omission or undervaluing of this — the tendency of all 
controversial discussions — is calculated to create incalculable 
evil. A Romanist's mind will not consent to be desolated of 
all its early and only impressions of a religious kind, and to 
see a blank the only substitute. Ever as we prostrate error 
we must present truth. Dagon is best overturned by the pre- 
sence of the ark of the Lord. The vacuum created by the 
expulsion of an evil and superstitious faith must not be left so : 
it must be filled with the fulness of truth. This great principle 
was ever present in the mind of Luther in all those scenes of 
battle that henceforth open upon the readers of the Reforma- 
tion records. 

It was at this era that the iniquitous practice of indulgences, 
ultimately overruled for the furtherance of the Reformation, 
existed in every portion of the church, and under the auspices 
of its chief bishop. Let us look at it. The announcement is 
sent to the chief authorities of the city, " The grace of God 
and of the Holy Father is at your gates." Instantly the bells 



202 LUTHER AND THE REFOEMATION. 

rang ; the clergy, regulars and seculars, form themselves into 
a procession ; the velvet cushion on which the pope's bull is 
laid is borne in front ; a grave Dominican, named Tetzel, 
carrying a red cross in his hand, walks slowly and solemnly 
behind. Let us look at Tetzel. Two children, who by the 
rights of nature call him father, walk with him. He had 
been convicted of adultery, sentenced to be drowned, and 
rescued from the penalty by the intervention of the Elector 
Frederic. His boldness, his zeal, his recklessness of all 
morality, his talents in inventing truths, had fitted him for 
the profligate enterprise in which he was engaged. 

Let us also look at his sermons ; they are worthy of the 
man, the message, and his master at Rome : — 

"Indulgences are the most precious and sublime gifts of God." 
*' This red cross has as much efficacy as the cross of Jesus Christ." 
" There is no sin so great that the indulgence cannot remit it ; and 
even if any one should, which is impossible, ravish the Holy Virgin 
Mother, let him pay — let him only pay largely — and it shall be 
forgiven him. Even repentance is not requisite more than this : 
indulgences save not only the living but the dead. Ye priests, ye 
nobles, ye tradesmen, ye wives, ye maidens, and ye young men, 
hearken to your departed parents, crying to you from the bottom- 
less abyss, ' We are enduring horrible torment ; a small alms would 
deliver us ; you can give it, and you will not.' The very moment 
that the money chinks against the bottom of the chest, the soul 
escapes from purgatory, and flies freely to heaven. senseless 
people, and almost like to beasts, who do not comprehend the 
grace so richly offered. This day heaven is on all sides open. Do 
you now refuse to enter ? With ten groschen you can deliver your 
father from purgatory. I protest, that though you should have 
only one coat, you ought to strip it off and sell it to purchase this 
grace. God has given all power to the pope." "Do you know 
why our most holy Lord distributes so rich a grace ? The dilapi- 
dated church of St. Peter and St. Paul is to be restored, so as to be 
unparalleled in the whole earth. That church contains the bodies 
of the holy apostles Peter and Paul, and a vast company '^f 
martjTs. These sacred bodies, owing to the present condition of the 



LUTHER AND THE EEFOEMATION. 203 

edifice, are now, alas ! continually trodden, polluted, dishonoured, 
and rotting in tlie rains. Ah ! shall those holy ashes be suffered to 
be degraded in the mire ? " 

The impious vagabond then quoted Scripture : — " Blessed 
are the eyes that see what you see. Bring money, bring 
money, bring money !" Luther says that Tetzel uttered this 
cry with such a dreadful bellowing, that one might have 
thought that some wild bull was rushing among the people, 
and goring them with his horns. Each person paid for his 
indulgence according to his rank and crime. Polygamy was 
six ducats, perjury and sacrilege nine, murder eight, and 
witchcraft two. Perhaps the most satisfactory explanation 
of the nefarious traffic will be the perusal of one of the 
diplomas : — 

" Our Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on thee, N. N., and absolve 
thee by the merits of his most holy sufferings. And I, in virtue of 
the apostolic power committed to me, absolve thee from all ecclesi- 
astical censures, judgments, and penalties that thou may est have 
merited ; and, further, from all excesses, sins, and crimes that thou 
mayest have committed, however great and enormous they may be, 
of whatever kind, even though they should be reserved to our holy 
father the pope, and the apostohc see. I efface all the stains of 
weakness, and all traces of the shame that thou mayest have drawn 
upon thyself by such actions ; I remit the pains that thoii wouldest 
have had to endure in purgatory ; I receive thee again to the 
sacraments of the church : I hereby reincorporate thee in the com- 
munion of saints, and restore thee to the innocence and purity of 
thy baptism ; so that, at the moment of death, the gate of the place 
of torments shall be shut against thee, and the gate of the paradise 
of joy shall be opened to thee. And if thou shouldest live long, 
this grace continueth unchangeable till the time of thy end. In 
the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. 
Amen." 

It must be obvious that this process was calculated to ac- 
quire an extensive popularity among that numerous class of 
persons whom licentious passions urge forward to every vicious 



204 5LUTHEII AND THE REFOKMATION. 

indulgence, but in whose bosoms the moral faculty still retains 
a degree of sensibility sufficient to render them uneasy even in 
the moments of the most vicious intoxication. They might 
sin and purchase absolution in quick succession, — their riches 
being the sure measure of their indulgence. The temple in 
the days of our Lord's humiliation had never become such a 
scene of traffic as this. And as if to proclaim to the world 
that thieves had the management of the unhallowed gains, the 
chest into which the price of sin was cast had three keys ; one 
key was intrusted to Tetzel, the other to the treasurer of the 
house of Fugger, by whom the toll was farmed, and the third 
was in the hands of the civic authorities. They dare not trust 
each other. Each viewed his fellow as a thief, and God beheld 
from heaven his house of prayer literally turned into a den of 
sacrilegious thieves. There is still another illustration of the 
spirit of these unprincipled dealers. As soon as the labours of 
the day were over, they gave themselves up to every species of 
debauchery. The sums which had been scraped together, and 
emptied into the chest by the worn hand of labour, were spent 
in gaming-houses, in taverns, and houses of infamy. They 
were the impostors, — the poor people were the wronged and 
bleeding victims. Tetzel and his fellow-harpies dre?ded nothing 
so much as the simple announcement of the gospel " without 
money and without price." 

The people ultimately began to see through the gross decep- 
tions practised upon them. Inquiries began to be made far and 
wide, in palaces, in halls, and in huts. If souls suffer so much 
in purgatory, and the pope has power to emancipate them, why 
does he wait till he gets so much money ? What is the use of 
rich foundations for masses for the dead, seeing their souls can 
now be rescued only by the money paid into Tetzel's box 1 
Human nature could not stand the gross imposition. A sinner 
one day asked a sin-broker and indulgence-vendor, " Can 
we redeem a soul from purgatory by casting a penny into the 



LUTHEE AND THE EEFOEMATION. 205 

chest ?" " Yes," said the vendor. " Ah !" replied the sinner, 
" what a cruel man the pope must be, to leave a poor soul to 
suffer so long for a penny !" The miscreant vendors paid inn- 
keepers, by promises of salvation, like bank-notes. Tetzel's 
impiety and daring impostures, however, reached the ears of 
Luther. His remark was characteristic of the man, <' God 
willing, I will make a hole in Tetzel's drum." 

Opportunities soon occurred for enabling Luther to put in 
practice the principles he cherished even in the depth of papal 
darkness. As a confessor, he heard the acknowledgments of 
numerous citizens of Wittenberg, that they had been guilty of 
adultery, licentiousness, and dishonesty. On his rebuking them, 
he was told, that though they required absolution, they did not 
mean to abandon the sins which they had confessed. He 
refused them absolution. They showed in turn the indulgences 
which they had purchased. Luther told them their bits of 
paper were of no value ; they must cease to sin, or perish. 
Tetzel heard of the daring comments of this Augustinian monk, 
and, mistaking the metal of the man, he began to fulminate 
anathemas against him. He even lighted fires in succession 
in the great square of the city, and announced that he had 
orders from the pope to burn every heretic who should say a word 
against indulgences. Forthwith the notes of the approaching 
conflict became louder, and the dawn of the Reformation clearer. 
This alone was the true origin of Luther's resistance to indul- 
gences, and not jealousy. Pallavacini even admits this to be the 
fact. The very nature of the subject led Luther to the core of 
Christianity — the way of our acceptance before God. Unac- 
quainted with this truth, he might have carried on the conflict 
for half a century without effect on Romish principles. But 
when he grasped the lever of justification by faith, the whole 
superstructure of merits, indulgences, and purgatory, was over- 
turned. Luther's fine, clear, and manly voice uttered from his 
PredigUtuhl such truths as these : — " It is a great error to seek 



206 LUTHER AND THE REFORMATION. 

ourselves to satisfy God's justice for our sins, for God pardons 
them freely by an inestimable grace. It would be much better 
to contribute to the building of St. Peter from love to God." 
Luther was by no means convinced at this period of his his- 
tory that the Church of Rome was the great apostasy; he 
believed that in the main it was the church, and that the 
subordinate clergy alone were chiefly in error. Step by step 
only was he led to his ultimate and everlasting principles, — each 
abuse of the papacy evolving a new truth, — and each resistance 
of the popedom fixing that truth more deeply in his heart. 

About this time, the feast of All-Saints was to be celebrated 
in the church of Wittenberg, which was decorated with relics 
of costly splendour. Every one who visited the shrine on the 
feast of All-Saints, and confessed himself in the church of 
Wittenberg, obtained a plenary indulgence. This was just 
such an opportunity as Luther desired. On the evening of 
October 31, 1517, he went to the church, and afl&xed to the 
doors ninety-five propositions, all of which he professed himself 
ready to defend, in the university or elsewhere. Each of these 
contained a germ of Protestant truth, — each struck at a popish 
heresy. To use a phrase of Luther's own, he now " took the 
goose by the throat." These ninety-five theses are worthy of 
record. Let us read a few of them as samples : — 

" 1. When our Master and Lord, Jesus Christ, says ' Repent,' he 
means that the whole hfe of his faithful servants upon earth should 
be a constant and continual repentance. 

" 2. This cannot be understood of the sacrament of penance, — 
that is to say, satisfaction and confession as administered by the 
priest. 

*' 3. However, our Lord does not here speak onlj'' of inward re- 
pentance ; inward repentance is invalid if it does not produce out- 
wardly every kind of mortification of the flesh. 

"4. Repentance and grief — that is to say, true penitence — last 
as long as a man is displeased with himself, — that is to say, till he 
passes from this life to eternal life. 



LUTHER AND THE REFOEMATION. 207 

" 5. The pope cannot, and does not mean to remit any other 
penalty than that which he has imposed, according to his good 
pleasure, or conformably to the canons, — that is to say, to the papal 
ordinances. 

" 6. The pope cannot remit any condemnation, but can only con- 
firm and declare the remission that God himself has given, except 
only in cases that belong to him. If he does otherwise, the con- 
demnation continues the same. 

" 8. The laws of ecclesiastical penance can be imposed on the 
living only, and in no wise respect the dead. 

" 27. Those persons preach human inventions who pretend that, 
at the very moment when the money sounds in the strong-box, the 
soul escapes from purgatory. 

" 32. Those who fancy themselves sure of their salvation by 
indulgences will go to the devil, with those who teach them this 
doctrine. 

" 36. Every Christian who feels true repentance for his sins has 
perfect remission from the punishment and from the sin, without the 
need of indulgences. 

*' 37. Every true Christian, dead or living, is a partaker of all 
the riches of Christ, or of the Church, by the gift of God, and with- 
out any letter of indulgence. 

*' 50. We must teach Christians, that if the pope knew the exac- 
tions of the preachers of indulgences, he would rather that the me- 
tropolitan church of St. Peter were burnt to ashes than see it built 
up with the skin, the flesh, and bones of his flock. 

*' 52. To hope to be saved by indulgences is to hope in lies and 
vanity, even although the commissioner of indulgences — nay, though 
even the pope himself — should pledge his own soul in attestation of 
their efficacy. 

*' 55. The pope can think no otherwise than this : — If the indul- 
gence, which is the lesser, is celebrated with the sound of a bell, and 
pomp, and ceremony, much more is it right to celebrate the preach- 
ing of the Gospel, which is the greater, with a hundred bells, and a 
hundred times more pomp and ceremony. 

" 62. The true and precious treasure of the Church is the holy 
Gospel of the glory and grace of God." 

These and other similar tmths shot like beams of celestial 
light through every part of Germany, and even smote as with 



208 LUTHER AND THE REFORMATION. 

an electric shock the pope upon his throne. Eeuchlin rejoiced 
as he read them, and felt that Luther's Scripture truths would 
do what his elaborate literature had failed to do. Erasmus was 
in ecstasy. The purest of the clergy, of which order there were 
still many, were delighted with Luther's faithfulness. The 
Emperor Maximilian wrote to the Elector of Saxony, " Take 
care of the monk Luther, for a time may come when we may 
have need of him." 

The ninety-five theses were carried to Eome. Leo, careless 
of every theological question, and prepared to admire the heresy 
that was couched in elegant diction rather than what he thought 
truth embosomed in a rugged style, merged the pope in the patron 
of the belles-lettres, and pronounced an eulogium on Luther's 
talent, where the safety of the papacy demanded an anathema 
on Luther's doctrine. The report of the monk's sentiments 
and doctrines spread in every direction. Some rejoiced, some 
triumphed, some gnashed their teeth, some besought the pope 
to burn him, some trembled for his safety, some bade him pru- 
dently desist. Luther trusted in God, and persevered. 

There were tremendous struggles in his bosom, nevertheless. 
He felt he stood alone in Christendom. The majesty of power, 
the pomp of circumstance, the prescriptions of age, the inve- 
teracy of prejudice, his own awful reverence of the Church, 
amid whose terrible corruptions and overshadowing darkness he 
fancied he saw still bright emanations of the surviving glory ; 
his consciousness of weakness of temper, impetuosity of charac- 
ter, and comparative deficiency in learning, all weighed upon 
his great mind, and urged him to relax or cease his efforts. 
His perplexities within and persecutions without, would have 
crushed the energies of any contemporary. But he was not 
alone. He had bread to eat the world knew not of. Evi- 
dently a divine power sustained the hero-priest, leaving us the 
lesson we are slow to learn, that the weakness of God is mightier 
than the strength of man. It was neither earthly policy, nor 



LUTHER AND THE REFORM ATION. 209 

human passion, on the wings of which Luther swept broad 
Europe, scattering the incorruptible seeds of truth. His soul 
burned with love to God and sympathy with men. Truth was 
to be uncaged, the Church to be enfranchised, souls to be de- 
livered, and Luther's great heart was fitted for Luther's great 
work. His was a holy baptism from on high. He purged his 
eyesight at the fountain of light ; he refreshed his giant might 
by feeding on heavenly manna and drinking large and frequent 
draughts from the fountain of living waters ; he had an apostle's 
soul within him, and an apostle's enterprise before him, and he 
had also an apostle's God above him. This is one of the proofs 
that the Lord has not forsaken any of the worlds of nature, of 
providence, and of grace. Ever as a difficulty comes in the 
perpetual evolutions of things, a spirit is introduced willing and 
enabled to meet it, and when all around is so dark and mys- 
terious that all expectation of an upshot is gone, some silent 
ray is piercing the mass of cloud, and gradually, but surely, 
giving foretoken of approaching day. 

" God moves in a mysterious way 
His wonders to perform ; 
He plants his footsteps in the sea, 
And rides upon the storm. 

" Deep in unfathomable mines 
Of never-faihng skill, 
He treasures up his great designs, 
And works his sovereign will. 

"Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take ; 
The clouds ye so much dread 
Are big with mercy, and shall break 
In blessings on your head." 

Thus it has been, and thus it will be, till the mystery ib 
finished, and the great Interpreter pours a flood of light over the 
vast and sacred hieroglyphics that are spread over the outward 
face of things. The theses of Luther, fixed on the church- 

VOL. T. O 



210 LUTHER AND THE REFORMATION. 

doors, remained unimpugned. Thousands wlio came to pur- 
chase indulgences copied the theses, and took them back instead 
of Tetzel's parchment to their native hamlets. They were 
translated into Dutch and Spanish, and spread through Europe 
with kindling rapidity. Rome felt them as the heavings that 
prognosticate an earthquake. The halls of colleges, the cells of 
monks, the palaces of princes, all gave reluctant testimony to 
the might of moral elements. " Thanks be to God !" exclaimed 
the erudite Eeuchlin, *' the monks have now found a man who 
will give them so much to do that they will be very glad to leave 
my old age to pass away in peace." " God," said Erasmus, 
" has sent a physician who cuts into the flesh, because without 
such a one the disorder would become incurable." " I am not 
surprised," said the Elector of Saxony, in the words of Erasmus, 
" that Luther has occasioned so much disturbance, for he has 
committed two unpardonable ofifences : he has attacked the 
tiara of the pope and the bellies of the monks." 

Tetzel, and his fellow-conspirators against the claims of con- 
science. Scripture, and morality, at length fancied they could 
prove, from Luther's attack on indulgences, that the monk was 
hostile to the claims and pretensions of the Pope ; and on 
January 20, 1518, he entered the lists with Luther, declaring 
his intention and ability to make good the following propo- 
sitions : — • 

*' Whosoever shall say that the soul does not take its flight from 
purgatory immediately that the money is dropped into the chest, is 
in error. 

** Christians should be taught that the pope in the plenitude of his 
power is superior to the universal church and superior to councils, 
and that entire submission is due to his decrees. 

*' Christians should be taught that the pope alone has the right to 
decide in questions of Christian doctrine ; that he alone, and no other, 
has power to explain, according to his judgment, the sense of Holy 
Scripture, and to approve or condemn the words and works of others. 

" Christians should be taught to regard as obstinate heretics all 



LUTHER AND THE REFORMATION. 211 

who by speech, action, or writing, declare that they would not re- 
tract their heretical propositions, though excommunication after 
excommunication should be showered upon them like hail. 

" Christians should be taught that they who scribble so many 
books and tracts, who preach publicly, and with evil intention dis- 
pute about the confession of the lips, the satisfaction of works, the 
rich and large indulgences of the Bishop of Rome and his power ; 
chey who side with those who preach or write such things and take 
])leasure in these writings, and inculcate them among the people 
and in society ; and, finally, all they who in secret speak of these 
things with contempt or irreverence, must expect to fall under the 
penalties before recited, and to plunge themselves, and others along 
with them, into eternal condemnation at the great day, and the 
deepest disgrace in the present world. For every beast that toucheth 
the mountain shall be stoned." 

We give these samples of the Dominican's theology, in order 
to show the dense night in which truth had set. We know not 
whether most to wonder at the profound ignorance or ferocious 
impudence of the man. Nevertheless, these theses had one 
good effect, they turned the battle from the fringes and skirts of 
the papacy, and converged it on to the very heart of the whole 
system. The pope himself, with his power and pretensions, 
was now placed in the field by the temerity of Tetzel, and hence- 
forth the papacy embodied — the apostasy in its personation — 
was to be the object of the assaults or analysis of Luther. 
Leo, however, looked with contemptuous indifference on the 
whole subject. " It is," said the luxurious pontiff, " a squabble 
among the monks. It is a drunken German that has written 
these theses ; when he is sober he will talk very differently." A 
Dominican at Kome, however, of greater penetration, attacked 
Luther with great bitterness and virulence, satirically observing, 
" An ferreum nasum, aut caput seneum, gerat iste Lutherus ut 
effringi non possit." Luther lifted gradually men's minds from 
the shattered foundations of Rome, and taught them to repose 
on the Rock of Ages. The rising glories of an unchained Bible 
overspread and overwhelmed the traditions of man, and every 



212 LUTHER AND THE REFORMATION. 

step the adversaries of truth took to crush it became only the 
means of upholding and establishing its outpeering majesty. 
The nations saw that the pillar of fire turned its directing beams 
to the Reformers, and left thick darkness on their opponents. 
The awful crimes of the priesthood, — the venal traffic of the 
popes, — the universal debauchery and corruption of the whole 
of that fearful apostasy, which assumed the name of the church 
and pretended to wield on earth the prerogatives of God, ap- 
peared more distinctly as the rays of truth and holiness broke in, 
and men at length earnestly longed to get rid of the infernal 
incubus which intercepted the light of heaven and oppressed 
the holiest energies of earth. Hoogstraten, the inquisitor of 
Cologne, called out, " It is high treason against the Church, to 
suflfer so horrible a heretic to live an hour longer. Away with 
him at once to the scaffold !" Such arguments as these are in 
their way effective enough. The Church of Rome has always 
felt much more at home in wielding them than in quoting 
Scripture. Luther's reply was just as it should be : — " Out 
upon thee, thou senseless murderer, thirsting for the blood of 
thy brethren ! I sincerely desire that thou should st not call me 
Christian and faithful : but that thou shouldst continue on the 
contrary to decry me as a heretic." The principles Luther had 
sown, the sparks elicited in various discussions, the fresh and 
full truths which he rejoiced to draw from Scripture and dis- 
tribute everywhere, were not dead and unproductive. The 
seeds shot up into glorious and verdant plants, the sacred flame 
wrapped empires, and shone with no welcome splendour in the 
halls of the Vatican. In the year 1518, Luther addressed a letter 
to the pope, whose fears at length had begun to rise from slum- 
ber and to plead for interference. This document will show that 
Luther was no democrat — no revolutionary spirit fond of mere 
change or of self- aggrandisement. In fact, it seems to have been 
a great grief to Luther to be constrained to make any rent or 
division in the church. He desired to reform it, not to destroy 



LUTHER AND THE REFORMATION. 213 

it. Truth alone was his aim and thirst, and if church or angel 
lay upon its fountain, restraining or tainting, or diverting its 
purifying and quickening waters, the holy monk was ready, at 
all hazards, to resist or die. 

" To the most blessed Father, Pope Leo X., Supreme Bishop, 
brother Martin Luther, the Augustine, wishes eternal salvation. I 
hear, most holy father, that evil reports circulate concerning me, 
and that my name is in bad odour with your highness. I am 
called a heretic, an apostate, a traitor, and a thousand other reproach- 
ful names. "What I see surprises me, and what I hear alarms me. 
But the sole foundation of my tranquillity remains unmoved, being 
a pure and quiet conscience. Nothing was heard in all the taverns 
but complaints of the avarice of the priests, attacks on the power of 
the keys and of the supreme bishop. When I heard these things, 
my zeal was aroused for the glory of Christ. I represented the mat- 
ter to certain princes of the church, but some laughed at me and 
others turned a deaf ear. Now, what am I to do ? I cannot retract 
what I have said." 

Luther's spirit shines through these extracts. The mind of 
Luther launched out from the petty creek in which the laws of 
the papacy had moored it, and swept the whole ocean of re- 
vealed truth, rejoicing in the freedom wherewith the God of 
all grace had invested him, and regarding popes, and canons, 
and councils, from the moment of his emancipation, as feathers 
floating on the troubled wave, denoting the tide's course, but in 
no respect impeding his progress. He seems to have sunk self 
in his sublime design. There was no morbid thirst after mere 
notoriety — no selfish striving to excel and eclipse contemporary 
men. He surrendered himself to be merely the mighty organ 
through whom revelation gave utterance to the full diapason of 
her truths. He would, like some of the illustrious architects 
and painters of former days, have cheerfully consigned to obli- 
vion the name of Luther. He wished that Name which is 
above every name to be emblazoned on the pedestals and pillars 
and capitals of the sacred fane in illuminated letters, and his 



'214 LUTHER AND THE REFORMATION. 

own so recorded that the microscope of the curious only could 
detect it. What a majestic contrast to some was that lion- 
hearted Luther ! 

Luther's life was a cycle — an era — in the history of the 
church. Bulls were fulminated against him, and anathemas 
fell upon him in showers, but the light Luther had let forth 
from Scripture showed the staff of the Fisherman no more the 
magician's rod, and the shrine of infallibility no longer sacred. 
When he was summoned to attend the diet to be held at 
Worms, and kings and emperors guaranteed him at least a 
safe journey ; when some tried to dissuade him from going, 
reminding him of the fate of Huss, his noble reply was, 
" To Worms I will go, if there were as many devils there 
as there are tiles on the houses." When summoned by 
Eckius, the official, to recant, his reply was, " I will not 
recant unless I am convinced by Scripture, and by Scripture 
alone. Here I stand, it is impossible for me to act otherwise. 
So help me God." 

He was at last placed under the ban of the empire, and onlj 
saved from destruction by his friends seizing him, and confin- 
ing him in a castle among the mountains near Eisenach. But 
from his mountain retreat his active mind sent forth the most 
powerful assaults upon the popedom ; and thus bond or free he 
served his sacred mission. In this Patmos he translated the 
Bible into German, and on his return to Wittenberg, after the 
death of Leo, he gave it to the church. 

But the effects of these and other herculean toils, to which 
my time forbids me to refer at greater length, had worn down 
his iron frame, and the symptoms of decay first appeared about 
the age of sixty-one in 1545, and on 18th February 1546, he 
died. During his illness the most extravagant falsehoods were 
printed by the monks, in order to blacken his name. It was 
said, that he spent his time in drunkenness ; that he received 
before his death the consecrated wafer, and that it leapt out of 



LUTHER AlsD THE REFOKMATION. 215 

his stomach ; that he was buried amid storms and lightning ; 
that his grave was filled with fumes of sulphur, etc. etc. 
When Luther received the pamphlet containing these accounts, 
he wrote on its last page as follows : — 

"I, Dr. M. L., acknowledge that I have reviewed and read 
this pamphlet with great mirth and jollity. It tickles me down 
to the right kneepan and left heel that the Devil, the Pope, and 
the Papists hate me so heartily." 

The will of Luther is a very remarkable document. It 
began thus : — 

" I, Martin Luther, acknowledge by this my own hand- 
writing, that I have given to my dear housewife Catherine, for 
her own, or whatever the legal phrase may be, during her life, 
that she may use it for her own welfare and pleasure, by the 
authority of this present writing this day, I grant unto her 
what followeth : viz. — the little property at Zulsdorf, as I have 
fitted it up, and owned it hitherto. 2ndly, The house by the 
well for her residence, which I purchased in the name of my 
servant Wolf 3rd, The gifts, such as cups, jewellery, rings, 
chains, medals, gold and silver, which perhaps in aU may be 
worth something like a thousand gulden." 

After mentioning various reasons for his bequest, he adds : — 
" I beg this may be considered, because the Devil, when he can 
no longer plague me, would be glad to plague my Kitty in 
every possible way, for no other reason than because she has 
been the married housewife of that man, Dr. Martin, and is yet, 
blessed be God." 

His death at length drew near. About one o'clock of the 
morning of February 18, 1546, his pain at his chest became 
intolerable. He frequently prayed, " Into thy hands I commit 
my spirit. My heavenly Father, eternal and most merciful 
God, thou hast revealed to me thy dear Son, our Lord Jesus 
Christ. Him have I professed. Him have I preached. I 
adore Him as my only Saviour and Redeemer. I know I 



216 LUTHER AXD THE EEFORMATION. 

shall be for ever with Him, for no one can pluck me out of 
thy hand." 

Dr. Jonas said to him, " Beloved father, do you still hold on 
to Christ, the Son of God, our Saviour and Redeemer ? " "0 
yes ! " was his last utterance. He then folded his hands on his 
breast, turned his face to one side, and fell asleep softly as an 
infant on its mother's breast. The Countess of Mansfeld, who 
was present, would scarcely believe he was gone, till the icy. 
coldness of death under her touch chilled all hopes. She wept 
as one that refused to be comforted. On February 19, his 
body was borne in a leaden coffin to St. Andrew's Church, 
Eisleben, where Dr. Jonas preached from 1 Thess, iv. 13-18, 
and next day the body was borne to Wittenberg. As the pro- 
cession proceeded, one of the crowd unexpectedly gave out, and 
began to sing, the first hymn composed by Luther : 

'' Aus tiefer Noth schrei ich zu dir, 
Mein Gott, erhor mein E-ufen." 

" From deep distress I call to thee, 
My God, regard my crying : " 

and the whole multitude joined in the hymn, till their voices 
were choked with weeping. 

The body was finally taken to the Castle Church, which was 
crowded with weepers. Bugenhagen and Melanchthon succes- 
sively entered the pulpit. The former gave out his text, but 
the moment he attempted to address the audience he was over- 
come by weeping. The congregation joined in this burst of 
feeling, and froui them the crowds in the streets caught the 
solemn sympathy, and the whole city became literally a Bochim. 
Martin Luther fell asleep in Jesus. His mighty spirit now 
soars amid the seraphim — worshipping Him whose glory he 
vindicated, and whose Church he emancipated from thraldom. 
His ashes repose peacefully, in the hope of a resurrection, in 
Wittenberg. His liviug voice consecrated its churches, and 



LUTHER AND THE REFORMATION. 2 1 7 

his dead dust endears its soil. Kings and emperors have made 
pilgrimages to the tomb of that monk, and nations cherish in 
their hearts his imperishable name, Charjes v., Frederick the 
Great, Peter of Kussia and Wallenstein, and lastly Napoleon, 
visited the spot where the remains of the Reformer lie ; and 
even these names, the sounds of which still shake the casements 
of the world, seem but ciphers beside the dust of Martin 
Luther. The moral grandeur of an Augustinian monk dims 
the lustre, and diminishes the greatness of heroes, consuls, and 
kings. Nobler far is moral than mere physical dominion. He 
is the true ruler who sways minds with truth, not he who 
restrains with a rod of iron. We may applaud the energy 
which subdues rebellious provinces, and clothes with golden 
harvest otherwise arid fields ; but we must admire and infi- 
nitely prefer that more glorious might which throws into other 
minds kindling thoughts — awakens in human hearts the sense 
of their lost prerogatives, and moulds society into all the forms 
of truth and beauty and order. The Pauls, the Luthers, the 
Calvins, the Cranmers, and the Knoxes, are the true sovereigns 
of the earth : the Napoleons, and Caesars, and Alexanders, are 
not to be compared with them. The former "will only begin to 
approach their meridian glory when the latter sink into mid- 
night oblivion. 

Be ye followers of them who through faith have inherited the 
promises. Be poor in purse, or feeble in health, patiently if 
these must be ; but be great of soul, and holy of purpose, and 
high in aim. 

" Not enjo3nnent5 and not sorrow, 
Is our destined end or way ; 
But to act that each to-morrow 
Find us farther than to-day." 



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12 WORKS PUBLISHED BY 

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1. WALKS FROM EDEN: The Scripture Stoiy from the 

Creation to the Death of Abraham. 

2. THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL: The Scripture Story 

from the Birth of Isaac to the Death of Jacob. 

3. THE STAR OUT OF JACOB: The Scripture 

Story Illustrating the Earlier Portion of the Gospel Narrative. 

THE GOLDEN LADDER SERIES. 

Uniform in size and binding, with eight coloured Illustrations. Crown 8vo, cloth. 



1. THE GOLDEN LADDER: Stories Illustrative of the 

Eight Beatitudes. By Elizabeth and Anna Warner. 3s. 6d. 

2. THE WIDE WIDE WORLD. By Elizabeth 

Warner. 3s. 6d. 

3. QUEECHY. By the same. 3s. 6d. 

4. MELBOURNE HOUSE. By the same. 3s. 6d. 

5. DAISY. By the same. 3s. 6d. 

6. THE OLD HELMET. By the same. 3s. 6d. 

7. THE THREE LITTLE SPADES. By the same. 

2S. 6d. 

8. NETTIE'S MISSION: Stories Illustrative of the Lord's 

Prayer. By Alice Gray. 3s. 6d. 

9. DAISY IN THE FIELD. By Elizabeth Warner. 

3s 6d. 

10. STEPPING HEAVENWARD. By Mrs. Prentiss. 

Author of " Little Susy." 2s. 6d. 

11. WHAT SHE COULD, AND OPPORTUNITIES. 

Tales by Elizabeth Warner. 3s. 6d. 

12. GLEN LUNA; or. Dollars and Cents. By Anna 

Warner. 3s. 6d. 

13. DRAYTON HALL. Stories Illustrative of the Beatitudes. 

Alice Gray. 3s. 6d. 

14. WITHOUT AND WITHIN. A New England Story. 

3s. 6d. 

15. VINEGAR HILL STORIES. Illustrative of the 

Parable of the Sower. By Anna Warner. 3s. 6d. 

16. THE HOUSE IN TOWN. A Sequel to « Oppor- 

tunities." By Elizabeth Warner. 2s. 6d. 

17. LITTLE SUNBEAMS. Stories by Joanna H. 

Matthews. 3s. 6d. 



JAMES NISBET AND CO. 



THE ONE SHILLING JUVENILE SERIES. 

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1. CHANGES UPON CHURCH BELLS. ByC.S.H. 

2. GONZALEZ AND HIS WAKING DREAMS. By 

C. S. H. 

3. DAISY BRIGHT. By Emma Marshall. 

4. HELEN ; or, Temper and its Consequences. By Mrs. G. 

Gladstone. 

5. THE CAPTAIN'S STORY; or, The Disobedient Son. 

By W. S. Martin. 

6. THE LITTLE PEATCUTTERS ; or. The Song of 

Love. By Emma Marshall. 

7. LITTLE CROWNS, AND HOW TO WIN THEM. 

By the Rev. J. A. Collier. 

8. CHINA AND ITS PEOPLE. By a Missionary's Wife. 

9. TEDDY'S DREAM ; or, A Little Sweep's Mission. 

10. ELDER PARK; or, Scenes in our Garden. By Mrs. 

Alfred Payne, Author of " Nature's Wonders." 

11. HOME LIFE AT GREYSTONE LODGE. By 

the Author of " Agnes Falconer." 

12. THE PEMBERTON FAMILY, and other Stories. 

13. CHRISTMAS AT SUNBURY DALE. By W. 

B. B., Author of "Clara Downing's Dream." 

14. PRIMROSE; or. The Bells of Old Effingham. By 

Mrs. Marshall. 

15. THE BOY GUARDIAN. By the Author of "Dick 

and his Donkey." 

16. VIOLET'S IDOL. By Joanna H. Matthews. 

17. FRANK GORDON. By the Author of « The Young 

Marooners." And LITTLE JACK'S FOUR LESSONS. By the Author 
of " The Golden Ladder." 

18. THE COTTAGE BY THE CREEK. By the Hon. 

Mrs. Clifford-Butler. 

19. THE WILD BELLS AND WHAT THEY RANG. 

By W. S. Martin. 

20. TO-DAY AND YESTERDAY. A Story of Winter 

and Summer Holidays. By Mrs. Marshall. 

21. GLASTONBURY; or the early British Christians. By 

Mrs. Alfred Payne. 

22. MAX ; a Story of the Oberstein Forest. 



14 WORKS PUBLISHED BY 

THE EIGHTEENPENNY JUVENILE SERIES. 

Uniform in size and binding, i6mo, v/ith Illustrations, each is. 6d. cloth. 



1. AUNT EDITH ; or, Love to God the Best Motive. 

2. SUSY'S SACRIFICE. By Alice Gray. 

3. KENNETH FORBES ; or, Fourteen Ways of Studying 

the Bible. 

4. LILIES OF THE VALLEY, and other Tales. 

5. CLARA STANLEY; or, a Summer among the Hills. 

6. THECHILDREN OF BLACKBERRY HOLLOW. 

7. HERBERT PERCY ; or, From Christmas to Easter. 

8. PASSING CLOUDS; or, Love conquering Evil. 

9. DAYBREAK ; or, Right Struggling and Triumphant. 

10. WARFARE AND WORK; or, Life's Progress. 

11. EVELYN GREY. By the Author of « Clara Stanley." 

12. THE HISTORY OF THE GRAVELYN FAMILY. 

13. DONALD ERASER. By the Author of « Bertie Lee." 

14. THE SAFE COMPASS, AND HOW IT POINTS. 

By Rev. R. Newton. D.D. 

15. THE KING'S HIGHWAY; or. Illustrations of the 

Commandments. By the same. 

16. BESSIE AT THE SEASIDE. By Joanna H. 

Matthews. 

17. CASPER. By the Authors of "The Wide Wide 

World," etc. 

18. KARL KRINKEN; or, The Christmas Stocking. By 

the same. 

19. MR. RUTHERFORD'S CHILDREN. By the same. 

20. SYBIL AND CHRYSSA. By the same. 



JAMES NISBET AND CO. 1 5 

THE EIGHTEENPENNY JUVENILE S-ERIES-Coniinue^. 

21. HARD MAPLE. By the same. 

22. OUR SCHOOL DAYS. Edited by C. S. H. 

23. AUNT MILDRED'S LEGACY. By the Author of 

" The Best Cheer," etc. 

24. MAGGIE AND BESSIE, AND THEIR WAY 

TO DO GOOD. By Joanna H. Matthews. 

25. GRACE BUXTON; or, The Light of Home. By 

EmMa Marshall. 

26. LITTLE KATY AND JOLLY JIM. By Alice 

Gray. 

27. BESSIE AT SCHOOL. By Joanna H. Matthews. 

28. BESSIE AND HER FRIENDS. By the same. 

29. BESSIE IN THE MOUNTAINS. By the same. 

30. HILDA AND HILDEBRAND ; or, The Twins of 

Fel-ndale Abbey. 

31. GLEN ISLA. By Mrs. Drummond. 

32. LUCY SEYMOUR ; or, '' It is more Blessed to give than 

to receive." By the same. 

33. LOUISA MORETON; or, '^Children, obey your Parents 

in all things." By the same. 

34. THE WILMOT FAMILY ; or, « They that deal 

truly are His delight." By the same. 

35. SOWING IN TEARS, AND REAPING IN JOY. 

By Franz Hoffmann. Translated from the German by Mrs. Faber. 

36. BESSIE ON HER TRAVELS. By Joanna H. 

Matthews. 

37. LITTLE NELLIE ; or, The Clockmaker's Daughter. 

38. THREE LITTLE SISTERS. By Mrs. Marshall, 

Author of " Daisy Bright." 

39. MABEL GRANT. A Highland Story. 

40. THE RETURN FROM INDIA. By the Author of 

" Hilda and Hildebrand," &c. 

41. THE COURT AND THE KILN. A Story founded 

on the Church Catechism. 

42. SILVER SANDS; or, Pennie's Romance. By G. E. E. 

Crampton. 

43. LIONEL ST CLAIR. By the Author of "Herbert 

Percy." 



I 6 WORKS PUBLISHED BY JAMES NISBET AND CO. 

THE SELECT SERIES. 

Crown 8vo, each 3s. 6d. cloth. Bound by Burn. Most of them with Illustrations. 



1. DERRY. A Tale of the Revolution. By Charlotte 

Elizabeth. 

2. THE LAND OF THE FORUM AND THE 

VATICAN. Bv the Rev. Newman Hall, LL.B. 

3. THE LISTENER. By Caroline Fry. 

4. DAYS AND NIGHTS IN THE EAST ; or, Illus- 

trations of Bible Scenes. By the Rev. Horatius Bonar, D.D. 

5. BEECHENHURST. A Tale. By A. G., Author of 

"Among the Mountains," etc. 

6. THE HOLY WAR. By John Bunyan. 

7. THE PILGRIM'S PROGRESS. By John Bunyan. 

8. THE MOUNTAINS OF THE BIBLE; Their 

Scenes and their Lessons. By the Rev. John Macfarla.ne, LL.D. 

9. THROUGH DEEP WATERS; or, Seeking and 

Finding. An Autobiography. 

10. HOME AND FOREIGN SERVICE ; or, Pictures 

in Active Christian Life. 

11. LIFE. A Series of Illustrations of the Divine Wisdom 

in the Forms, Structures, and Instincts of Animals. By Phillip H. 
GossE, F.R.S. 

12. LAND AND SEA. By P. H. Gosse, F.R.S. 

13. JOHN KNOX AND HIS TIMES. By the Author 

of " The Story of Martin Luther," etc, 

14. HOME IN THE HOLY LAND. By Mrs. Finn. 

15. A THIRD YEAR IN JERUSALEM. A Tale 

Illustrating Incidents and Customs in Modern Jerusalem. By INIrs. Finn. 

16& 17. THE ROMANCE OF NATURAL HISTORY. 

By P. H. Gosse, F.R.S. First and Second Series. 

18. BYEWAYS IN PALESTINE. By James Finn, Esq. 

F.R.A.S., late H M. Consul of Jerusalem and Palestine. 

19. HEADS AND TALES ; or, Anecdotes and Stories of 

Quadrupeds and other Beasts, as connected with the Histories of more or 
less distinguished men. Selected and written by Adam White, Duddingston. 

20. BLOOMFIELD. A Tale by Elizabeth Warren, 

Author of " John Knox and his Times," &c. 

21. TALES FROM ALSACE; or. Scenes and Portraits 

from Life in the Days of the Reformation, as drawn from old Chronicles. 
Translated from the German. 

22. HYMNS OF THE CHURCH MILITANT. Edited 

by the Author of "The Wide Wide World." 

23. THE PHYSICIAN'S DAUGHTERS; or. The 

Spring Time of Woman. By the Author of '' Wandering Homes and their 
Influences," &c. 

Henderson, Rait, ^ Fentoji, Printers, 23, Beriiers Street, Oxford Street. 



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