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to have less interest to the ordinary reader. This view of the subject is, however, soon seen to be erroneous. All have their cares, and most think they have more than their share. Care is the lot of everyone who lives in the world, especially perhaps of those who strive truly to live. Consequently, a work teaching anything new as to the object of trials, the best use to make of them, forcing home more clearly what is already known, or instructing careworn man how best to bear the ills of the world, is of universal interest. Especially is it so, when it places before us the truth in such a clear, personal, assimilable form, that we see it clearly, and not “as through a glass darkly,” but life-like, and applicable to life. All Christians know where help from trouble is to be obtained, and yet how frequently they fail to bear in a proper spirit, as followers of Christ, the trials which constitute the cares of the world,” as they gradually obtrude themselves on their paths. How difficult for them at the time to believe each little individual vexation an act of Divine permission for their good !
How far Mr. Hancock's work supplies the wants above noticed, we will proceed to inquire. Dedications are somewhat out of date, and generally unpalatable to the public, but in this case the dedication is valuable, as from it we learn at the outset sufficient of the author's biography to know that he is not a mere theorist, but one who has experienced the “cares of the world” in “either fortune.” Some of the essays composing the work have already appeared in the Intellectual Repository. In sixteen chapters, under various headings, the anthor treats his subject, and each thesis shows evidence of being the work of a scholar,'not merely by the elegance of his style, though that is by no means wanting, frequently indeed amounting to eloquence, but as the writing of one accustomed to think deeply, and yet able to ultimate his thoughts and apply them to the concerns of actual life in sucli a striking way, that each may readily follow the train of ideas, and recognize the chords in harmony with his own experience. Looking at the titles of some of the chapters we may say at the first glance, “Oh! I have read about this before; it is merely ordinary dry scientific theology-no life in it." But we soon discover our mistake. The writer does not deal in dry bones, nor does he descend into platitudes. We find ourselves immediately at home with him, for he seems to be talking with us in a simple style, which is unattainable, except by those of large experience or special aptitude, with him thinking deeply, honestly, and perhaps occasionally with somewhat of apparent severity, so great is the light he throws upon the ends of our action. But still with this searching light there is warm sympathy; he constantly makes us feel that he is a brother, and is talking with not at or against us. Furthermore, the work is not written in a narrow sectarian spirit.
From the following extract, taken from the first paragraph, some idea of the scope and style of the work may be gathered :
“With the wise it is not so; they take counsel from their own frailty, and learn to seek the help of the One that is mighty. Happily, this is the state of multitudes, and they find help, not in mere complainings, or in bursts of petulant misery, but in that patient self-examination which reveals more and more, as life goes on and experience deepens, the vast work which has to be done before contention can come to an end, and trouble cease, because, like their master, they have overcome the world. All this embarks us fairly on the philosophy of life, and it almost seems that our very existence assumes a new dignityas we even attempt to grasp it. Perhaps there is no topic on which a Christian mind imbued with a genuine spirit of charity could exercise itself with more general utility than on these conditions of the common lot; for since we have various methods of drawing comfort, and support, and hope from the one great Fountain of them all, the communica:
tion to one another of the kind of spirit with which we each endeavour to bear our cross may be mutually consoling and sustaining. It is instructive as well as consoling to hear our neighbour and fellow-traveller to eternity recount those trials and afflictions which, unseen, and unsuspected by us, he has silently gone through, or which he is still called upon to bear. If he be a good man ; if we have reason to esteem him with an esteem higher than that which we feel we ought to for ourselves, the right—I think I may say the natural-train of reflection into which we shall fall will have somewhat of this tone— Now, indeed, I see that the Lord is “equal” in all His ways, and is no respecter of persons. Until
I have been inclined to believe that I was a special exception to the general equality of the Divine government, and that no man in our time ever was so beset with adversities around him, and cares within him.'"
The author most earnestly and tenderly exhorts his readers to recognize the reason why evil is permitted here.
“Surely if we believe there is a hell, and that we shall go there if we indulge the love of self, or the love of the world, pride, contempt of others, a reckless disregard of the Divine Will, or even a determined thoughtlessness concerning eternity ; surely such a fearful conviction ought to stir within us the warmth of sincere gratitude, that in order to prevent out suffering during never-ending ages the torments which are inseparably connected with unholy loves, He permits a portion of those torments, according to our strength, to assail us here!... How important the conviction that our own self hood is at all times as weak, as impotent, and as much the prey of infernal power, as at some particular times, though we may not be in so lively a manner conscious of it! If this be so, what words can express the overwhelming importance of our decision whether we will use rightly the glimpses into our weakness, evil and darkness, which are thus afforded, by our resigning ourselves passively and trustingly into the Lord's hands, that according to the workings of His love which yearns most tenderly over those who have a faith yet unconfirmed and feeble, He may invigorate us by the coinmunication of His own strength, purify us by the importation of His own goodness, and enlighten us by His own truth! Almighty Saviour, bear with us ; bear with us, O Lord, we implore Thee, when we murmur under the chastisements of Thy reclaiming hand !”
Commencing the second essay on “ Abstract and Applied Truths,” the first paper is briefly summarized as follows :-“The main conclusion to be drawn from our first paper is that the principles of general truth should be so sifted and digested as to assume special forms which clearly apply tu particular cases, and especially to our own case, for then first they pass from the region of speculation into that of reality. They are no longer matters of argument and mere opinion, but are facts of observation and experience, and it is our duty to walk by the new light and govern ourselves accordingly.”
Proceeding, he clearly explains what he means by the natural mind, -a thing to be remarked; for there are far too many writers who take refuge behind scientific terms, possibly to hide ignorance, or use them simply as counters, of whose absolute value they themselves perchance are not aware, and by the introduction of which, in any case, without definition, the full significance of what is stated is lost to all but well-trained, and thoughtful readers.
This is not a weakness in Mr. Hancock’s writing. He always states his meaning clearly, and in simple terms, and often with tenderness and persuasive earnestness, a trait not frequently combined with depth of thought and incisiveness of utterance. Nevertheless, we find that where it is necessary to expose folly and hold it up to ridicule, he is master of the
in the passage :
art, and occasionally makes a Carlyle-like use of language. There is merit
“Men who are polite indeed and well-pursed, but who seem more intent on bowing themselves out of the grave duties of their manifest stewardship, than conscious that they will some day be held accountable for betraying its trust," et seq. p. 179, see also P.
The writer condemns the brooding over the ills of life in a self-righteous or sentimental spirit. We cannot refrain from quoting the following wise, but simply stated paragraph
“Every true Christian will therefore be careful in what spirit he examines and tells of his afflictions, and he ought to be certain that any creeping in of feelings which spring from a sense of injury done to him by unkind fate is an evidence that sin lieth at the door.' He has only to break through the bad but common habit of looking only at the troubles themselves, and open his eyes to their real causes, and all such meritorious feelings will at once be stilled, and this is the way of improving the cares of the world,' which it is the peculiar privilege of the spiritual man to tread. He may be, and most likely will be, reckoned tame and spiritless by the natural man ; but he will remember the Divine promise, ' In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength,' and since the strength which the Lord gives is part of His own omnipotence, he may be sure of gradual victory over the very causes of calamity, and of final exemption from their troubling."
Then follow cautions respecting the seeking of a remedy for our anxieties and troubles in any but the only true way, and very intelligibly does the writer bring out the significance of Egypt, and the error of going down into Egypt for help. We are tempted to quote very largely from the work, which deserves most careful reading and re-reading, but space precludes it; and were it otherwise, to abstract choice paragraphs or sentences, and the work is full of them, is unfair : it is like taking a gem from its setting, or a statue from the column on which it rests,-so much is subtracted from their grandeur or beauty by inappropriate surroundings. From the third chapter, however, on “Particular Providence," we adduce the following well-written sentences :
“Blind assent éven to this wonderful declaration of Divine Love, "The very hairs of your head are all numbered,' is but as a pleased and listening ear when gentle music soothes its trembling shell, only to die away and be forgotten in the buzz and din of contention, when strong cupidity is excited, and worldly sagacity assumes the command which belongs to Divine Providence; but a faith founded on a good understanding,' though it cannot master the modes of Divine operation, sees enough of its general character and object to infer that in the particular activities of the same Divine power it must be in harmony with itself, and contemplate similar beneficent objects. Such a faith is the very breath of the soul, and once fully possessed by it, to be is to be good, and to exist is to be happy, because existence is consciously filled with somewhat of the Divine presence.”
“We are offended or alarmed at the expression of truth which we see to be true ; but we continue to cherish the very principles which, by some working of interior consciousness give point and monient to reproof. We creep with fear or shudder with disgust at the hideous shadow, and hug with delight the more hideous substance.”
The universality of Divine Providence is enforced in the subjoined ex. tract:
“The laws of Divine Providence must operate invariably to bring about for us and in us the greatest good.
Man cannot afflict us
except by Divine permission,
but the laws of permission are also laws of Providence, and the laws of Divine Providence are the laws of love. It is useless to quibble about daylight. Our very shadows prove that the sun shines. We either believe the doctrine of a Providence or we do not. To deny it in any instance is to deny it in all, for then it ceases to be universal; which is the same thing as to say that it ceases to be a Divine attribute.”
The remainder of this chapter is occupied by a graphic description of the ways in which man may oppress man, and delineating the spirit which such oppression should enkindle within us, as well as the effect of our conduct upon the oppressor.
We pass over an excellent chapter on “Affliction the great Purifier,” and come to one on the “Combat of Good and Evil,” which the author commences with a most eloquent disquisition concerning poverty and its causation, feelingly commenting on the relationship of the rich to the poor. With most graphic distinctness is then pourtrayed the “ Law of the Strongest," and its results to the individual man, and the writer concludes the chapter with strictures on business relationships. Similar subjects are amplified in the next chapter on “ Poverty and Oppression,” in which the author states that he has felt both, holds a conversation with an imaginary individual respecting the right of each to do the best he can for himself
, and then takes a broader view of the subject of liberty in its social and political aspects. The gloomy future given in chap. v. of the eternal condition of the "myriads of worshippers of unhallowed gain" is truly appalling, and there appears to be no other logical deduction than that in the text, unless we may be allowed to draw some hope from reasoning analogous to that expressed in a former chapter (p. 40).
The eighth chapter commences with a disquisition on “Rationalism and Religion" as motives of action, and the teaching in early life of the limits of human capacity, and the rational ground of Divine prerogative are discussed. This part of the subject is thus epigrammatically concluded: “The strength of morals is religion, and the power of religion is holy virtue. Religion is the soul, morality the body; separate them, and religion is a vapour, morality a corpse.”
In chaps. ix. and x. the experience as regards “ Care” of some of those who are popularly imagined to enjoy easy lives is discussed, the former treating of the business world, the latter, a very suggestive one, on the anxieties of the preacher. Excellent essays follow on “Success in Life,” “Unfruitful Aspirations,” “ Widowhood and its Hopes,” etc.
A good general question for self-examination is proposed on page 176, and no one should omit reading the concluding pages of the essay on “Success in Life.”. They are unfortunately too long for quotation.
In conclusion, although a point of minor importance, still one worthy of notice, is the fact that the book is well printed on good paper. If we were disposed to be hypercritical, we should take exception to the artistic production on page 106, which is slightly undignified, and very foreign in character to the text.
RELIGION AND MORALITY.
– The “Notes and Events," in the Academy, Bishop of Manchester has recently Dr. Wilkinson's book was announced. preached two sermons in London which Also, in similar terms, in “Our Literary have excited attention by their out. Gossip,” in the Athenæum. These anspokenness on the relation of morality nouncements place the work on the and religion. In the second of these same footing as the great books of our sermons, which was preached in West- time, a new poem by Tennyson, a minster Abbey, “his Lordship warned novel by George Eliot, a history by his hearers, with much earnestness, to Froude. The following is the notice beware of separating religion from of the Academy:-"Dr. Garth Wilkinmorality. He had, he said, a firm con- son, the author of that highly reviction that it was not so much specula. markable book The Human Body in tive difficulties which were now shaking Connection with Man, also of a volume men's faith in the Gospel, as moral in. of Poems and other Works,' is about congruities; as where, for instance, men to publish, through Mr. Speirs, of who had professed to be religious, and Bloomsbury Street, an elaborate work had perhaps been leaders of religious upon the ‘Methods of Science.' He parties, were found at their death to deals especially with Vivisection as an have been swindlers or libertines. The example of the methods generally em. natural judgment of the world in such ployed. The book will also embrace a cases was that religion was altogether a number of statistics relating to religion sham, and he could scarcely understand in connection with the spirit of modern how the men themselves could think it science. The full title is to be on worth while to keep up the sham, unless Human Science, Good and Evil, and its they thought it possible that God might Works; and on Divine Revelation, and judge on the principle of taking a set-off, its Works and Sciences.” The Hour like a tradesman balancing his has a notice of Professor Parson's “Out. : His chief fear for the future of religion lines of the Religion and Philosophy of in this country was lest it should be Swedenborg:” Swedenborg is classed severed from morality, and be made by the reviewer among the heretics. a matter of dogma and ritual. He “ His heresies consisted of a vivid in. dreaded the present attention to ex- tuition into some theological truths, travagant and sensuous ritualism, which marred, however, by exaggeration, and led men and women to make religion a by a deficiency in what may be called matter of observance rather than of self. the dogmatic perspective.' He enuncontrol, and to keep foul chambers in ciated great truths, but he .erred, which the unclean spirit found a home, "according to the Church,” concerning or which was haunted by the spectre of the Trinity and other orthodox teacha sin hardly forsaken, and the memory ings. The notice of the book reviewed of which gave a feeble sense of pleasure. is brief, and we give it entire :-“We Such persons had a sanctuary in which cannot go into the details of Dr. Parthey worshipped, not God, but a fetish; son's remarkable little book. Suffice it not Christ as the Saviour of all. to say that it is well worth reading, and Cardinal Manning had recently begged that a man must be very learned or very his friends to draw close together for egotistical if he feels that he can gain the defence of the faith, and in his case nothing from its perusal. It would be there might be some need for such a improper and irrelevant in a secular request; but English Churchmen, the journal to attempt to analyse the Bishop considered, had more need to dogmas of the so-called New Jerusalem close their ranks in defence of virtue.” Church. But three things we may say
with truth. The Swedenborgians are New CHURCH LITERATURE.—There good citizens, and are in no respect is a growing disposition to notice the dangerous, as are some of their more publications of the New Church in the powerful neighbours, to civil society. siterary periodicals of the day. In the Something resembling their idea of the