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letter, but as a simple narrator of a scene After the history, which was garnished
behind the screen with a dozen choir chil- tell lies.
Without being uncharitable, I could not help thinking that the way in which he returned again and again to the subject was more than accidental. It may be that his mind was full of the necessity of confession, or it may be that he designedly dwelt on the duty to familiarize the minds of the children with it.
Then he said, assuming a tone which betokened great relief, for the teaching was really hard work, so energetic, so careful was he in his words and gestures, "Now, children, I will tell you a story."
He did tell them a story. He tells a story to children in simply the most impresAs a grown-up man, I beg to object to sive, the most vivid, the most eloquent manthe word "meek." To be told. it may ner I ever heard. And such a story he told be the effect of Watts's Scripture History them! It was the story of the conversion - that Moses was the meekest man on rec- of Bruno. Your readers know it, - how ord is to me peculiarly exasperating. I be- the great Raymond died; how he was adlieve that Mr. Chuckster expressed the pop-jured to speak in the funeral service; how ular feeling about meekness to Mr. Dick the corpse rose, and with ghastly pallor and Swiveller some thirty years ago, when he sepulchral notes said, "I am summoned besaid that, though he had faults, yet-mark fore the judgment-seat of God." How, on this-his worst enemies could not say that he was meck. Considering the unfortunate prejudice to meekness, or to the kind of ineekness, which did not belong to Moses, which pertains to the word in the popular mind, would it not be well to speak of Moses as a humble-minded man, or a man who distrusted his own strength, or to get over the difficulty by some such periphrasis ?
However, the children were taught, beside the fact that Moses was "meek," the way in which his meekness was manifested, which was all right.
the second day, the Archbishop and all
in it just as a nun, girls, is one who marries Christ, and will not marry the world or anything in it. And as a monk is the highest earthly type of manhood, so is a nun the highest earthly type of womanhood."
be dependent on a priest;" to insist on a separation of the laity and the clergy, even to minds so young as those that were in the church, - all this appears to me, Sir,
a very sad thing; and, if one believed it to At the end of the story, the little frames be anything but a passing phenomenon, a were quivering with excitement, a low thrill most gloomy subject of contemplation. ran down the benches, with a terrified catch-am, Sir, &c., ing of the breath, when the narrator's low distinct tones told how the dead man's jaws had opened to let out those direful words, "I am condemned before the judgment-seat of God."
Two things impressed me very forcibly: one, the great power over children that this young clergyman showed; and the other, the enormous difference as regards early, and therefore, to some extent, lifelong notions of religion, between the training of these children and that of myself and my contemporaries. The idea of sacerdotalism five-and-twenty years ago hardly existed. The teaching of hell was, of course, there, but kept in the background, not realized, not put before children in this plain, dreadful way; children's religious stories were of the Dairyman's Daughter type, with a certain prettiness and attraction of style about them. The general result of our teaching was to impress us with a sort of feeling that all our own people, except one's own self, who was occasionally very wicked in the way of stealing goodies, telling fibs, and calling names, were good, and perfectly sure to go to heaven; while in the world, somewhere or other, there were wicked people-nothing to do with us who were perfectly certain to go to hell; that, meantime, God was very good.
What sort of confused notions will these children get? Sooner or later, this sacerdotalism will have to come in contact with the world, when it will get a good deal knocked about; what will be left, after a few years, to the young man? At present the little boy believes the story of Bruno's conversion, believes in absolution and all the rest of it, including the definition of a monk. By and by, he will perceive that if the story is true the priests are all wrong, because evidently Raymond had received absolution, and it was no good to him. He will begin, too, to doubt about the merits of monkdom, and of many other things.
The Church of Christ, as the young priest told us, is built upon a Rock; but that Rock has nothing to do with priests or priesthood. The gospel of Christ is founded on the love of God, not on the fear of God. To teach little children to look on religion through the haze of these mediæval stories of terror and falsehood; to teach them to
From The Examiner.
THE SEX OF MIND.
Is it unmanly, as some pretend, to object that woman should be unwomanly? Miss Becker thinks, with Miss Mary Walker, and the members of the broken-hearted club, that all the miseries of the female lot are referable to Judaism, Feudalism, and other religious or social systems invented by the selfish tyranny of man. The morals of the Old Testament and the Koran are, in their eyes, not only barbarous but blasphemous in their antagonism to nature; and modern society, as founded upon the counterpart theory of life, is simply a logical and economical mistake. The anti-sex theory does not set up a mere claim for equal justice, equal consideration, equal dignity, and equal right; it insists on indistinguishability in all that concerns the human mind, is dogmatic in favour of identity of avocations, and ridicules the belief of all whom instinct and reason teach to regard the human mind as wisely and wonderfully adapted to the alternative form which it is daily and hourly destined to animate. There is no difference, Miss Becker tells us, as far as she can perceive, in the sex of mind. We are sorry for it, -that is for Miss Becker's inability to see. But, as Bacon passionately exclaimed, "I'd sooner believe all the fables of the Zend and Talmud than that this fair and mighty world was without a God," so we had rather conclude with certain anthropologists that man was but an educated ape, than that the tantalising struggle of human grief and glory were no more than a mercantile speculation measurable by averages of net gain and governable only on mechanical principles. If there be not always traceable or observable the difference of sex in mind, that is the shame and reproach of our bringing-up; but it no more touches the question whether the distinction ought to be discernible, than the usefulness of nether garments or geometry is arguable, upon the ground that the Zulus are uncommonly fine men though they know nothing of either. Poverty, neglect, ignorance, crime, obliterate all distinctions, as they efface the very image in which man was made;
and on the other hand we know that it is possible so to pervert the faculties of either body or mind, if persons can walk upon their hands instead of their feet, that a woman in flesh tights can make a handsome income by exhibiting on the trapeze or the back of a horse, and that girls can be philosophied out of the remnant of a blush into studying anatomy. So in like manner man may be effeminated by sloth or luxury or cowardice, into a condition where what remains of his intellect is practically indistinguishable from that of good-for-nothing women. What then? Does all this prove anything worth proving? Ought not the question and the sole question to be-How shall we best qualify, by the development of strength and culture of tone, the mind of a man to inform the body of a man? and the mind of a woman worthily and wisely, gracefully and genuinely to inspire her every look and motion, thought and word?
ness of clipping the golden edges of sleep, unconsciousness for a third or a fourth of our time is fortunately beyond their power to curtail. Activity and repose when fitly intermarried breed, and their progeny are all that is glorious in the workmanship of man. Why ever lie down to rest? Why not always toil and doze unseparatedly? Or why let appetite wait upon hunger and have hours for fasting and for food? And as for darkness, let there be a great joint-stock gas association to put down darkness and assimilate day and night. So far from seeing anything ennobling or elevating, merciful or economical in the so-called philosophy of un-sex, it seems to us an unnatural dream without any purpose but a mischievous one. That the education of women ought to be as much an object of profound thought, private care and public policy as the education of men, we cordially agree; but the best definition we can give of what that twofold education ought to aim at is this, to train boyhood in the possession of all that is uneffeminate, and girlhood in the moral beauty of all that is unmasculine. The greater difference, not the less, between the two, the better in our opinion.
All the jangling we have heard of late about all avocations being alike fitted for both sexes and all functions, whether do
The assimilation of mental sex, were it possible, would simply be detestable; and the attempt would be at once a crime and a blunder. All nature is bifold, not single; and there is no joy or good in life, that is not in harmony with nature's laws. What sort of place a "Bloomer" world would be, had Miss Becker the making of it we cannot tell; but the very thought of it by contrast makes us sick. Ours is a sad and suf-mestic or public, of right belonging to both, fering world enough, and all of us are bound seems to us but a bad waste of time. If to try whether we cannot in one way or women are to vote at elections and serve on other help to make it somewhat better; but juries, they must, of course, be allowed to to take away that which for countless my-practise at the Bar, and to enter Parliariads of our race has formed the chief sol- ment; then why not make them soldiers ace of existence, the manly delight of win- and sailors, or at least enlist them in regining the love of a being who has that to ments of Marines, which would exactly corgive which man possesses not, that which respond with their epicene gender of mind? the instinct of his nature in its perfection Miss Becker and her allies deny that supeforbids him to offer - the homage of affec- rior strength is a necessary attribute of tionate dependence, while in return it af- man. We know that in Central Africa there fords to the weaker sex the pride and joy are battalions of Amazons with sinewy limbs of winning a protector and defender through and brawny bosoms; and the existence of the storms of life, by the firm though silken" strong "-minded women is a fact which coil of feminine fascination — all this must most of us would give the world to be albe swept away to make room for the she-lowed even for a week to doubt. Then we man and he-woman of our materialist re- know that fillies sometimes beat the colts formers who tell us that softness and deli- in the Derby and St. Leger; and Rosa Boncacy, household and highway duties, the heur can paint a pony quite as well as Landsports of the field and the cares of the seer—all which in Miss Becker's logic goes nursery, all equally and indistinguishably be- to establish the non-existence of any natlong to women and men. The world is ural law, and all of which in our mind serves made on the principle of dualism, and so to prove merely that to any great and funlong as it lasts we are assured that day and damental law of existence there are excepnight, summer and winter shall not cease. tions, and in every class and species, graThough the globe perpetually whirls on its dations of development blending into those axis from West to East, we are happily that most nearly approach them. But does spared the perpetual infliction of the East this suggest a motive or a reason for desirWind; and though the conceit of wiseacres ing the obliteration of all the great distincbids them perpetually preach the profitable-tions of Nature, the effacement in woman of
that which kindles the desire of man, and in man of all that inspires the upward look of respect and reliance, all the unselfish pride in his success and uncompetitive sym-churches use their internal discipline to inpathy in his ambition?
riage and concubinage, which, in the large towns, is proved to be exceedingly common. Indeed, it is shown in the evidence that the
From The Spectator. LEGITIMACY AND ILLEGITIMACY.
sure public marriages in the face of the congregation, and, whatever the three Scotch Assemblies approve may, we may be sure, be made law without much fear of popular resistance. Very grave and able witnesses, however, including Mr. Moncrieff, whose remarkable ability is not sufficiently recognized South of the Tweed, are inclined to regret the destruction of the custom which has hitherto obtained in Scotland, as in every other country governed by the Roman law, of allowing subsequent marriage to legitimize children born before it. Lord Inglis, the Lord Chief Justice of Scotland, does not hesitate, in a formal protest, to characterize the English rule on this point as “unnatural and pernicious." Mr. Moncrieff is as strong in opinion, though not in words; and many witnesses are inclined to suggest that if the marriage laws are to be made uniform, the practice of England on this point should be given up, and not the practice of Scotland. It is in Europe now confined to England alone.
There is not, perhaps, in the whole range of social arrangements, one in which right and expediency conflict so visibly as in this. Every people, Eastern as well as Western,
Ir seems evident that there is only one serious difficulty in the way of establishing a single system of marriage throughout Great Britain, if not throughout the United Kingdom. All parties may, we think, judging from the evidence recently taken by the Royal Commissioners, be brought to agree either that registration before an authorized official is a sufficient marriage, or that such registration is an allowable adjunct to the marriage ceremony. If every Catholic priest is declared ex officio a registrar there will, we imagine, be no more difficulty in Ireland than in France in declaring that the Courts will recognize only such registration as the proof of marriage; while in Scotland the people seem not unwilling to surrender every peculiarity in their system except one. If we understand the grave lawyers who were the principal witnesses, they, although generally anxious for one or two qualifying clauses, are not indisposed to surrender marriage by consent, marriage by promise, has, we believe, been compelled to draw and marriage by repute, and all the rest of some distinction between legitimacy and their special and very informal forms. Some illegitimacy, even Mohammedans accepting of the clergy still adhere, we believe on some rules, which, however, they rarely religious grounds, to the principle that a obey, about the mother's faith; and yet promise followed by intercourse constitutes every such distinction is in itself, as far as inarriage, and one legal witness attempts to the child is concerned, a patent injustice. prove, and we think does prove, that this A direct penalty is inflicted by law upon an principle has great utility in checking se- innocent person, and by no conceivable sysduction, actions for seduction being almost tem of casuistry can such penalty be made unknown in Scotland. Still the infinite just. The common argument that the child majority of decent Scotch men and women suffers in order that women in general may are married by a minister, and there is ap- be deterred from unchastity by the influence parently no deeply rooted objection to ad- of maternal affection would justify us in mit that consent had better be formally torturing the child of a murderess, in order intimated before a registrar or clergyman. that the next mother who purchased arsenic The Scotch are too reasonable a people, to kill an enemy, might be deterred from and too much alive to the claims at once of using it lest her child should be hurt. In property and pedigree, to be heartily anx- all probability she would be deterred, but ious to leave the conditions of legal mar- nobody would torture the child, for all that. riage in their present state of uncertainty Even in the worst cases, where the child is born of a double adultery, it is entirely innocent, and ought not therefore to be punished, at all events by law. Were justice
an uncertainty so great that there are circumstances under which a man could not tell whether he was married or not. The uncertainty has been hitherto supposed to the sole rule, every child would, under all protect women, but the Commissioners find circumstances, be held in law to be the leno evidence in support of this theory, ex-gitimate child of both its parents, with as cept in the absence of actions for seduction, much claim to inheritance and as much right and it has the effect among the ignorant of to maintenance as any other, a rule which, destroying the distinction between mar- by the way, would put a severe check upon
concubinage. On the other hand it would, | tween marriage and concubinage, and to no doubt, introduce almost unendurable diminish the popular value of chastity. The anomalies into the family relations, and women consider that as subsequent marriage complications without end in the descent of is as good as previous marriage, previous property and dignities, evils which, with marriage is surplusage, may be postponed, British lawyers, have entirely overwhelmed for example, while the lover seeks his forthe natural sense of right. No jurists have tune, and public opinion ceases to punish, gone quite so far as they have in resisting content to hear, Oh, they will be married the claims of "natural" children, have leg- by and by!" Those who best know the islated with so complete an indifference to country districts of England and Wales will the instinctive conscience of mankind. They know best how fatally such a provision will not even allow adoption in any legal would operate there. It is hard enough as form, or lighten the 10 per cent. fine to be it is, as the clergy in many districts know paid when a total stranger inherits a legacy well, to induce labourers to marry until by will. We cannot but think they have their brides' shame is only too apparent, gone too far, and that the claim of illegiti-and till celibacy would be as expensive as mate children ought to be at all events par- marriage; and under this law they would tially recognized, even at the risk of removing one guarantee of morals, but the feudal spirit is not yet sufficiently near its end in England to render discussion useful. We must be content for some time longer to affirm that right and expediency are in this matter at hopeless variance.
not marry at all, but leave their wives in service and their children to grow up how they would. Within ten years public opinion would veer round to the point at which it stands in Scotland; a "misfortune" would entail no shame at all, and one of the most necessary guarantees for chastity So they are in the matter of subsequent would gradually disappear. We have not legitimatization. The English law on the in England the checks which operate in subject, if judged by any known code of Scotland, either of tradition, or education, morals, must be pronounced, as Lord Inglis or far-reaching clerical discipline, and a describes it," unnatural and 1 ernicious." habit of concubinage would grow up with Estimate the fault of the parents as we like, fatal rapidity among us. It is hard enough it is still a right thing that they should be as it is to keep it down in the factory towns, encouraged to repair it, and, indeed, all where children earn full wages at fourteen, Christian churches and Christian ministers and at sixteen set up for themselves without make such reparation matter of peremptory parental control. Any such habit is socially duty, while society, if it never quite pardons inconvenient, even if the couples intend to the woman, does allow that the man has remain faithful to each other to their lives' made atonement. The benefit of that atone- end; and morally dangerous as establishing ment is refused only to the child, who was a system not only of possible divorce, and guiltless of the sin and innocent of the not only of divorce at will, but divorce at breach of social order. Consider the fault the will of a single party to the contract, as we will, from the religious, the secular, a system condemned even by lax moralists, or the moral point of view, and still the-and of divorce at the will of a single Scotch, or rather the Roman system is the party to the contract without provision for better of the two. Religion would in- the children, a system condemned by all culcate the repentance the subsequent statesmen without exception. Even if dimarriage expresses; it is a matter of secular vorce is in se right, it must at least be regexpediency that there should be few bas-ulated by law, and the Scotch system tends tards in the community; and strict morality to establish the power in its fullest degree would probably declare that the offenders without any regulation at all. The couples were married already, and that the State in who "intend to marry" have only to quar ignoring their union pronounces an unjusti-rel, and their marriage is at an end. The fiable divorce. Yet it is not to be denied that the humane and just law of Scotland tends even there to immorality, while in England it would probably produce a serious decrease in marriage. The Commissioners say that in Scotland its effect is to abolish among the lowest class the distinction be
change from the English system of legitimacy to the Scotch would, we fear, produce unmitigated mischief; and yet no religious man, or moral man, or just man, can deny that the Scotch system is right, and the English system wrong.