Obrázky stránek

his career without friends or fortune, and quitted it without a debt. Among his own family few were more beloved. Whatever might have been his fastidiousness as to practice among the rich, he never neglected the poor. It is impossible to read his letters without perceiving the lofty notions he entertained of his talents and destinies. If ever there was a being possessed with a principle of action which compelled him to restless advance in an appointed path, that individual was Bell. He had nurtured in his mind an ideal of what a man of science in the walk of medicine should be, and to that model he would fain have made all others bend, as he had himself done. This is the clue to anything that ever indisposed any one of his profession to him, even for a moment. He would accept no honours save those flowing from previous acknowledgment of his deserts, and did not hesitate to decline being associated in public capacities with men whose ambition he could not regard with respect, however much he might love themselves. He was simple, out-spoken, unworldly: it followed that many worldly spirits never comprehended or perhaps liked him, but it equally followed that he was regarded with affectionate reverence by all capable of sympathising with a pure and noble mind. His pursuits never debased his tastes, nor deadened the higher feelings of his moral nature; on the contrary, the constant contemplation of second causes led him with great fervour to the One that grasps them all. His industry was incessant, and few in any profession have proved it by a greater number of important publications. Bell began life with the highest aspirations, but long before its close he had been chastened into its real worth, and man and nature had each in their several ways taught him that lesson of humility which his own words must convey:

Whoever has sat on a sunny stone in the midst of a stream, and played with the osier-twigs and running waters, must, if he have a soul, remember that day, should he live a hundred years; and to return to such a spot, after twenty years of a struggling life in the great world of man's invention—to come back thus to Nature in her simple guiseagain to look up to the same dark hill—again to the same trees, still in their youth and freshness-the same clear running waters—if he can do this, and think himself better than a cork floating on the stream, he has more conceit than I.'

It was a saying of Sir Astley Cooper's that nobody should devote himself to science, unless he had a fortune ready made.' We see in his case and in Bell's the effects of acting on that maxim, and of disregarding it. Sir Charles ended as poor as he began—but as spotless: leaving to his widow only the memory of his gentle virtues and the immortality of his name.


Welcher force
Art. VIII.1. Charge delivered to the Clergy of the Diocese

of London, at the Visitation in October, 1842. By Charles

James, Lord Bishop of London. 2. Subscription to the Thirty-nine Articles-an Answer to the

Hon. and Rev. A. P. Perceval. By Charles R. Elrington, | D.D., Regius Professor of Divinity in the University of Dub

lin. 1842. 3. A Few Thoughts on Church Subjects. By the Rev. Edward

Scobell, A.M., Incumbent of St. Peter's, Vere Street; Vicar of Turville, Bucks; and Lecturer at the Parochial Church,

Marylebone. 1843. 4. A Letter to a Layman on recent Changes in the Manner of

performing Divine Service in the Metropolitan Churches. By

the Rev. T. Haverfield, B.D. London, 1843. 5. Illustrations of the Liturgy and Ritual of the United Church

of England and Ireland, being Sermons and Discourses 'selected from the Works of eminent Dicines who lived during the Seventeenth Century. By James Brogden, M.A., Trinity

College, Cambridge. 3 vols. post 8vo. London, 1843. AMIDST many awful and some alarming symptoms of the

social and moral condition of this country, there is one which affords a powerful and precious counterpoise of consolation and hope--we mean the visible, and, we trust, substantial increase of reli pus feeling which has recently developed itself so extensively and so vigorously amongst the members of the Established Church, and especially in the higher and middle classes. The coldest statistical eye cannot hesitate to admit the testimonial facts ;—the fuller attendance on every occasion of public worship, and the multiplication of those occasions—the more willing adhesion to reverential forms—the more exact observance, both public and domestic, of the Sabbath-the growing disfavour and discouragement of profane or even idle amusements—the spread, we had almost said the fashionable vogue, of religious literature,* and

the * That is a remarkable fact which we noticed with regard to the increased sale of theological works in our sixty-third volume, p.535, and which deserves a larger development than we can now give it; we can here only observe that the drawing-room and boudoir tables, on which ten years ago were to be found a dozen volumes of novels or poetry, and perchance two or three only of a graver sort, will now exhibit a majority of works on religious or educational topics, and the rest on art-popular science-history, or travels—with a rare romance of the old school quite effaced by the religious novels of Mr. Gresly or Mr. Paget (whose St. Antholin is a little gem in its way), and a still rarer volume of secular poetry, much less read than its devotional rivals, the Christian Year' and the • Lyra Apostolica'-in short, as we have said in the text, theology seems to have become somewhat unnaturally fashionable. We have taken the pains to count and class the various works advertised in the last Quarterly Advertiser' attached to this work, and we tind that of 586 works advertised, the following were the number in each class of literature:


the diffusion of—if we may venture to employ a metaphor on such an occasion-a kind of Christian tint over the general aspect of society. We are not speaking of manners only :-Coarseness and levity, which our grandfathers applauded and our fathers tolerated, had been gradually discountenanced by good breeding and good taste, but they are now more perfectly excluded from society under a conscientious sanction; and even in the rising generation, among the young and the gay, we see frequent indications of a desire to refer even the decencies of manners to higher motives, and to adapt themselves to that sacred standard, to which good taste and good breeding are at best but subordinate and accessory. We have no desire to exaggerate the extent or the efficacy of this religious movement. We do not pretend that it has as yet had any considerable influence on the great masses of the people--our present evidence restricts it to the Established Church, and even there, to the more intelligent classes, where it is rather to be described as an increase than an extension of the religious sentiment-though there has been extension as well as increase--but we need not say that any considerable change in the habits and feelings of the influential classes, either for better or worse, must have a corresponding and more or less diffusive effect all around them; but particularly when the change is for the better—for then the influence acts more directly, more zealously, and more boldly: even the most profligate shrinks from an imitator, while the good are proud of a proselyte.

We do not deny that this religious excitement may have been sometimes carried to enthusiasm and excess, which it is not, in this place, our object either to expose or excuse—all we wish at present is to record the fact of this great religious movement, and our conviction that it is the most remarkable and important event in the history of our Church and our country since the Restoration. We can scarcely except the institution of the Methodists—to which, indeed, the present movement bears, in many points, a strong analogy; and one of those points is, unfortunately, the danger of a serious and mischievous schism, which, as usual, the overflowings of zeal have tended to produce. It is one of Divinity 157 Medicine

81 Poetry

Topography, Travels, &c. 72 Gardening and Natural History 19
History and Biography
48 Statistics

47 Novels

32 Miscellaneous


27 This synopsis is, no doubt, neither complete nor conclusive, for some special classes law, for instance-are not here included, and others are probably not represented in this accidental collection of advertisements; but, after all possible deductions, we may fairly conclude that religious literature is at present the most active branch of the trade.


the penalties of human frailty that corruptio optimi pessima~that the best things are liable to the greatest abuse--that where there is zeal, there will too often be passion—where passion, blindness where blindness, mischief. St. Chrysostom says, somewhere, that people indifferent about religion give no trouble; it is only the zealous who become schismatics. This is very true, and a consideration of this natural characteristic of keen and enthusiastic spirits should render us at once more vigilant against schism and agitating schismatics, and more indulgent towards the victims of a pious but misdirected zeal.

It has become a kind of fashion to attribute this religious movement to what are called the Oxford Tracts; and the Tractarians seldom fail to claim, and their opponents have not in general given themselves the trouble of contesting that they have at least this merit. But our own experience, and, we should have thought, that of everybody above thirty years old, must negative this pretension, and a slight historical sketch of the growth of this devotional feeling amongst us will, we think, satisfy our readers that it comes from a higher and earlier source than the Oxford Tracts.

The experience of the last century in Roman Catholic Europe, and the present state of religion in Germany, sufficiently attest how wise, how salutary, and how effective, has been the via media of the Church of England between the absolute claim to infallibility on the one hand, and the total renunciation of maternal authority on the other. We have seen these two systems, apparently so irreconcileable, converge rapidly into infidelity in its widest scope and its most odious forms; while it is the just pride of the Church of England, that, amidst all the diversities of apostasy which have distracted continental countries, she has kept the great body of her people together, and has shown that a religion neither blinded by bigotry, nor bewildered by self-sufficiency, but walking with its eyes open, by the light of reason, in the paths of faith, is never safer nor stronger than at the day of trial, and rises invariably to the level of the emergency which requires its exertions. Even the growth of Disser , if it draws away something in numerical account, that might otherwise have belonged to the English Church, gives to the Church itself a great stimulus; and certainly never could the physical axiom, that`action and reaction are equal and contrary,' be more justly applied to morals, causes and effects, than to the activity which seems always to vivify the Church of England in proportion to any danger with which she is threatened. Prophetic indeed was the emblem which we find on the title-page of King Edward's Injunctions' in 1547—a fountain whose waters are thrown up and distributed by hydraulic pressure, with this motto, ' DUM PREMOR ATTOLLOR.


But without any immediate pressure or crisis, the Church of England had been for many years rapidly advancing, both in scriptural knowledge and practical piety, when she became suddenly and deeply, and, we must admit, not idly alarmed for her very existence as an establishment. The · Roman Catholic Relief Bill’in 1829, whatever may have been its political necessity, was to the great body of the Church a stunning blow, which she had not recovered, when she was further menaced by the accession of the Whigs to power in 1830—their immediate and unscrupulous patronage of all dissenting interests--the predominance endeavoured to be given to the dissenter in the national representation, and the long series of legislative invasions of the rights, property, and dignities of the Established Church which were announced and many of them perpetrated-under the fallacious pretence of Church Reform. The apparent danger of the Church induced her children to cling around her with a closer affection; and the religious movement, already in progress, now developed itself with great energy and success.

But while the Church was in these apprehensions from external enemies, she was menaced with a very serious danger from some who professed to be her friends; the Reform delusion extended itself to her Liturgy, and there were not wanting clergymen who, either stimulated by personal vanity, or thinking it their interest to fall in with the prevailing mania of the day, or foolishly hoping to conciliate the antagonists of the Church by concession, became warm, though fortunately very weak and inconsistent advocates of a Liturgical Reform, which, if it had been authoritatively attempted in the spirit in which it was proposed, might have dissolved the Church. Our readers, we hope, have not forgotten the part that we took in that controversy. There is no retrospect in our critical career that gives us more satisfaction-for we have had reason to believe that we were in some degree instrumental in arresting what appeared at the moment so formidable an epidemic. That is now ten years since: but such are the rapid vicissitudes of that spirit of change which arrogantly and falsely entitles itself public opinion, that whereas we were then called forth to defend the Liturgy from wild latitudinarian innovations, we are now, by the very same principle of stare super vias antiquas which then actuated us, urged to protest against the opposite error of giving the Liturgy and its Rubrics an interpretation so narrow, so punctilious, and, we must add, so unsound, as would in some instances defeat the very objects which the interpretation professes to promote, and would abrogate the wise and wholesome usages by which, in the majority of our congregations, ancient forms have been happily adapted to modern circumstances.


« PředchozíPokračovat »