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No. 1275. - November 7, 1868.
1. HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF THE REIGN OF GEORGE II.
No. VII. The Reformer (John Wesley), Blackwood's Magazine,
322 , OLD LETTERS, .
322 AT PEACE, AN ENIGMA,
322 WYVIL'S HOUR, A CHRISTIAN'S CREED,
359 My FELLOW-CREATURES, AT THE WINDOW,
359 | COUNTING BABY's Toes,
344 TISCHENDORFF's ORIGIN OF THE FOUR
GOSPELS, ans Crowe,
358 CARLYLE ON GEORGE III., THE SHILLING SHAKESPEARE,
358 | CARBOLIC ACID, WORKS OF DANIEL DE FoE,
360 EDITORS AND CONTRIBUTORS, MR. LONGFELLOW AT Como,
360 DEATA OF THOMAS H. STOCKTON, A POSE FOR A PICTURE,
322 359 381 382 383
358 360 360 360 384
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From The Saturday Review, 26 Sept. at once easing our consciences, and estabENGLAND ON DUTIES OF NEUTRALS.
lisbing a precedent most advantageous to
England. On what principle the amount It is most satisfactory to find that Mr. to be paid should be fixed is a very curious Johnson has arrived in England not only question, and would lead the anxious inwith full power, but with every disposition, quirer into many most complicated legal to settle all outstanding disputes. As he subtleties. But, in the first place, the amount says, it cannot be difficult to do this if both will probably be fixed, as in the verdicts of nations honestly wish it. We shall soon, it juries, by a sort of hazard, and in defermay be hoped, come to the end of the long-ence to what is called substantial justice, standing Alabama dispute. England is rather than by any measure of logical fitness; ready to own herself to have been in the and, in the next place, the exact amount is wrong, but she thinks that she may claim to not a matter which gives Englishmen much have been pardonably in the wrong. We thought. We will cheerfully pay whatever did not know what could be asked from us, the representatives of both nations agree we what we ought to do, and when and how we should pay. What we really care about is ought to do it. International law was silent that the law as to cruisers from neutral terrion a point that had never before arisen. tory should be laid down so as to protect The duties of neutrals towards belligerents the just interests of a great maritime Power constituted an omitted chapter in that most like England, and also that the Americans imperfect of codes. We did not at first un- should be really and finally satisfied with derstand how much it was to our interest to what we do, and should think that, in the create and enforce these duties; but we long run and on the whole, we have behaved were brought to see how much we might suf- honourably to them. Mr. Johnson has fer if neutrals could favour belligerents with wisely paved the way for the attainment of impunity, and we rapidly gave in our adhe- a good understanding by publicly stating sion to the new doctrines as to the duties of beforehand that neither pation ought to win neutrals which the Federal Government in- a triumph over the other, and that he is as sisted should be received. Under the pres- sure England will not submit, as that his sure of circumstances, indeed, we acted on country will not submit, to be humiliated. these doctrines before we had made up our With so friendly, so temperate, and so minds to adhere to them; and a Commission courteous an antagonist, we can rely on has only this year advised that Parliament settling all our differences easily and speedshould legalize what the Government of the ily. Mr. Johnson is very fortunate in havday did several years ago without regard to ing the opportunity of beginning his diploits legality. If it was right to stop the rams, matic career so pleasantly; but he not only it would also, without question, have been has the opportunity, he uses it eagerly and right to stop the Alabama. We did wrong well, and he has already made his task much in not stopping the Alabama, and we are more easy and his success more certain, by ready to own it, and to pay for it; and if we inspiring Englishmen with a confidence in pay for it, we shall have the satisfaction of his personal friendliness and goodwill.
A FRIEND of mine writing from Interlachen, and driven for amusement one wet day to the Livre des Etrangers, has sent me the following:
Jungfrau looks to me like a lady
To think she is made with Glaciers.
Pour jouir de la belle vue
Tomber en un jour autant d'eau,
Il m'eut plus plu, qu'il plut plutot.
In questa casa troverete
HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF THE REIGN OF GEORGE II. 323
are all as HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF THE REIGN OF independent of any religious motive or GEORGE II.
meaning as if those princely personages had been as heathen in name as they were in
reality. The wonderful wifely support and It is difficult, either from the bare facts countenance which Caroline steadfastly of history or from disjointed scenes in it, to gave, in spite of all the repugnance of naarrive at any clear idea of the general state turę, to her faithless and often contemptible of feeling and thought at any special period. husband, gave at the same time an It is only, indeed, within recent days, that seemly countenance to vice. Walpole modern history has troubled itself with any served his country and the devil together, endeavour to realise the spiritual fashion and laughed at the very idea of goodness. and wont of the age it painted. So many Chesterfield, in devotion to one of the most things happened — so many battles were blessed of natural pieties, did not blush to fought — so many kings reigned, its au- encourage his son in shameless wickedness. dience asked no more. The reigns of the Pope babbled loudly of the vice for which first Georges were occupied with a struggle his weak frame incapacitated him, and held to establish their dynasty; to set the con- his hereditary faith for honour's sake, withstitutional government of the country on out the slightest appearance or pretence of sure foundations; to settle a great many any spiritual attachment to it. They had questions on the Continent, with which some pagan virtues amid their perpetual England had not very much to do. Such is flutter of talk and dissipation : one was a the record; and a very bare record it is, not- good son, another a good father, a third a withstanding the depths of individual inter- most loyal and tender wife; and yet, take est that are contained underneath. But, them either together or apart, it is clear as fortunately, the public mind has now taken daylight that thought of God, or even of to a certain curiosity about how things came religion, was not in them. They were not about; and there are few subjects which impious except by moments; but they were could more call for such a preliminary in- godless, earthly, worldly, without conquiry than the one on which we are about sciousness of anything more in heaven or to enter. Such a figure as John Wesley earth than was dreamed of in their philosodoes not arise in a country without urgent phy. It was one of the moments in which need, or without circumstances that account the world had fallen out of thought of God. for most of the angles in it. To consider Other ages may have been as wicked, but the apparition by itself, without considering we doubt whether any age had learned so these, is to lose half its significance, as well entirely to forget its connection with higher as to judge unjustly, in all probability, of things, or the fact that a soul which did not the chief personage of the narrative - a man die — an immortal being akin to other not rising vaguely out of society, without spheres — was within its clay. The good any call or necessity, but tragically de- men were inoperative, the bad men were manded by a world ready to perish, and dauntless; the vast crowd between the two, born out of the very hopelessness of its which forms the bulk of humanity, felt no need.
stimulus towards religion, and drowsed in The sketches which have preceded this, comfortable content. It was the age when though attempting no analysis or even de- the chaplain married my lady's maid, and scription of the period, must have failed al- ate at the second table, and would even together of their end if they have not indi- lend a hand to carry my lord to bed at cated an age singularly devoid not only of night, after he had dropped under the table, religion, but of all spirituality of mind, or and turn a deaf ear to the blasphemy with reference to things unseen. The noble nat- which his speech was adorned. It was the ural qualities of Queen Caroline, and her high age when delicate young women, of the devotion to the view of duty, of which her best blood and best manners in the land, mind was most capable – the patriotism talked with a coarseness which editors of (such as it was) of Walpole the amazing the nineteenth century can represent only
by asterisks; and in which the most pol- | bury in 1711. Twenty years later, the faished and dainty verse, Pope's most melo- mous Nonconformist Calamy laments the dious, correctest couplets, were interspersed" real decay of serious religion both in the with lines which would damn forever and Church and out of it.” To this country ever any poetaster. Personal satire, poor and time, lying in ignorance, in that sneerinstrument of vengeance which stings with ing and insolent profanity which is, of all out wounding, had such sway as it has others, the most hateful condition into which never had before in England; but that humanity can fall, John Wesley was born sense of public honour which prevents open and not a day too soon. outrage upon decency was not in existence. The Reformer, whose influence upon his The public liked the wicked story, and generation was so extraordinary, is not one liked the scourge that came after; and of those who concentrate the spectator's atlaughed, not in its sleeve, but loudly, attention upon themselves, or move him to blasphemy and indecency and profanity. passionate sympathy, admiration, and love, Even the sentiment of cleanness, purity, blotting out, to some extent, the meaner and honour, was lost to the generation. Its earth. His progress through life is rather soul was good for nothing but to point an that of a moving light which throws gleams oath. The name of God was still used in upon the darkling mass around it. His public documents as giving victories and very cradle illuminates a quaint family picconfounding enemies and suchlike; and in ture, opening up to us one of the still, pious private very freely, as the most round syl- bouseholds which broke with their quaint lable to clinch the perpetual curse; but was religiousness and formal order the level of no more spiritual significance than the of reckless living. His father was vicar name of George or James, and not half so of Epworth in Lincolnshire, a good man much external weight. Such was the age: of Nonconformist lineage, but a zealous a period of confused fighting, here for Ma- Churchman; his mother, the daughter of ria Theresa, there for Charles XII., again one of the ejected ministers. Mr. Samuel for the fallen, ever-falling Stuarts; with no Wesley had been driven out of the Dissentprinciple in the strife, and little good com- ing body by the fierce sectarianism of the ing out of it to any man or kingdom, ex- community; his wife, with more remarkacept perhaps in the end the Prussian; and, ble individuality,“ had examined the conso far as England was concerned, a gradual troversy between the Dissenters and the weaning of the popular mind from any be- Church of England with conscientious dililief or hope in excellence, or power of con- gence, and satisfied herself that the schistrasting the good with the evil. So long as matics were in the wrong." Such a pair at the Excise-bills were held aloof, and tran- the head of a large family in the little parquillity preserved, what did it matter sonage among the fens developed various whether light or darkness was uppermost? quaint features of religious opinionativeness or, indeed, was not darkness the rule, and which have worn out of fashion in our day. light, if not painful, at least indifferent, to The husband had gained his benefice by a
not a matter to make any fuss little book about the Revolution, which he about? One of the most hopeless unexalted dedicated to Queen Mary. Years after, it ages that ever benumbed the faculties of struck the good man that at prayers his
wife did not say amen to his petition for “I have observed the clergy in all the Dutch William; and he found, on inquiry, places through which I have travelled," that to her the King of the Revolution was says Bishop Burnet in 1713, not a hard or still Prince of Orange, an unnatural usurdifficult judge, Papists, Lutherans, Cal- per. She had said nothing about her disvinists, and Dissenters; but of them all, sent from his opinions on this subject, being our clergy is much the most remiss in their impressed, as Southey says, by a deep labours in private, and the least severe in sense of “the duty and wisdom of obeditheir lives." “A due regard to religious ence.” But in this case, as in most others, persons, places, and things has scarce in it is evident that the husband did not see any age been more wanting,” says Atter- the beauty of that much commended but
highly unpleasant duty. He went off in a tained in it lies upon you, yet in your absence I pet, as husbands when“ obeyed” are too cannot but look upon every soul you leave under apt to do, and vowed never to see or com- my care as a talent committed to me under a municate with the ,schismatic again till she trust by the great Lord of all the families both had changed her mind. This humorous of heaven and earth. . As these and incident is not, however, turned into a
other suchlike thoughts made me at first take a moral lesson by any change of mind on the more than ordinary care of the souls of my
children and servants, so, knowing our religion part of Mrs. Susannah. The King died, which answered the purpose just as well, and not thinking that we fully answered the
required a strict observation of the Lord's day, and the husband came back, somewhat end of the institution by going to church unless sheepishly one cannot but think, leaving we filled up the intermediate spaces of time by the victory in her hands. Another contro- other acts of piety and devotion, I thought it versy of a less amusing character which my duty to spend some part of the day in readarose between them shows that the duty of ing to and instructing my family. And such obedience, after all, was not the first in time I esteemed spent in a way more acceptable Mrs. Wesley's mind. Her husband, evi- to God than if I had retired to my own private dently a self-willed and hot-headed man, devotions. This was the beginning of my presthough a good and true one, was in the ent practice : other people's coming in and joinhabit of attending the sittings of Convoca- ing with us was merely accidental. Our lad tion, “at an expense of money which he told his parents : they first desired to be adcould ill spare from the necessities of so
mitted ; – then others that heard of it begged large a family, and at a cost of time which leave also. So our company increased to about was injurious to his parish.” There was no
thirty ; and it seldom exceeded forty last winter. afternoon service at the church at Epworth light on the account of the Danish missionaries
“ But soon after you went to London last, I during his absences; and, with a curious
was, I think, never more affected with any. foreshadowing of what was to come, the
thing. I could not forbear spending good part clergyman's wife took in hand a little do- of that evening in praising and adoring the mestic service on the Sunday evenings, divine goodness for inspiring them with such praying and reading with her children and ardent zeal for His glory. At last it came into servants as a mother and mistress may. my mind, though I am not a man nor a minisBut by degrees a few neighbours dropped ter, yet I might do something more than I do. in, and Mrs. Wesley did not think it proper I thought I might pray more for them, and “ that their presence should interrupt the might speak to those with whom I converse with duty of the bour.” The thing grew, so
more warmth of affection. I resolved to begin that at length thirty or forty people would with my own children, in which I observe the be present at their domestic worship. Mr. following method : I take such a proportion of Wesley, busy with bis Convocation squab- time as I can spare each night to discourse with bles, heard and took fright at this unusual each child apart. On Monday I talk with Molly, proceeding. It does not
seem to have
on Tuesday with Hetty, Wednesday with Henry, moved him to the length of coming back Thursday with Jacky, Friday with Patty, Satand looking after his own business; but he urday with Charles, and with Emily and Sukey
together on Sunday. made haste to write to her that her conduct
“ With those few neighbours that then came “looked particular”— that, as the wife of
to me I discoursed more freely and affectiona public person, it behooved her to exer- ately. I chose the best and most awakening cise discretion — and that she ought to em- sermons we have. And I spent somewhat more ploy some one else to read for her. To time with them in such exercises without being this she answered at length, in a letter careful about the success of my undertaking. which most singularly anticipates many Since this our company increased every night ; of the views afterwards proclaimed by her for I dare deny none that ask admittance.
Last Sunday I believe we had above two hun
dred ; and yet many went away for want of “ As I am a woman,” writes Mrs. Wesley, room to stand. “ so I am also mistress of a large family ; and “ I cannot conceive why any should reflect though the superior charge of the souls con- on you because your wife endeavours to draw