« VorigeDoorgaan »
EPISTLE FROM A SECTARIAN SAINT.
[The following letter from ANNONIMUS' was occasioned by our having extracted a former epistle, by the same writer, from the Autobiography of a Dissenting Minister. Our readers must judge for themselves of its authenticity. We give it precisely as it came to hand.]
TO THE HEADITOR OF THE MONTHLY REPOSITORY.
Scale Street, Feb. 10nd. SIR-I trust to your grate imparshiality and love of all meetineers, for the insursion of the present letter in your valuable composition.
In the last but one Monthly Repository, a book I return thanks to God whom I never saw before, and will never again set eyes on, for its introduckshion of the heathen writings of Plato and such foreign herriticks, I there saw an account of a book called Autobography of a Dissenting Minister, in whom was printed an anonnimus letter written by me some yeers a go. Being myself of a mild and unobtusive disposition and wellregulated mind and sole, which was the cause of my writing it to that erring, sinful, not enough God-fearing divine, I was in course greatly overcome with rage and unpleasantness at finding it had been printed without my permission, and in sich a radical composition as your Monthly.
It seams, sir, from the tenner of the remarks put upon my letter, both from the pen of the reverend gentleman and author of a book, and also from your pen, that my endeavours which, under the Lord, proved very serviceable, were not gratefully received, nor treeted with the respect that I considder waz my dew. But the divine perspiration and instinct that were upon my whole frame when I rote it, tels me now, as it told me then, that I was the ritest of the rite among the flocks of the ryechouse. That letter was not the only one I wished to send, howsomedever it were the only one I did send. For I had ment to lecture him with a noley pen upon the subject of his too good living in the flesh, and his too great corpolency; since he was the fattestest minister of the gospul I ivver saw. I sat under him five yeers; so I ought
The child of sin, his son, that wicked herrytic, whose playings at marvels I put an hefishent stop to in a manner quite miraculouse, as also his playings at hop-scotch and dumps, besides eating shugar-stick and bull's-eye-balls on the sabbath day with a face and pinnerfore which were dirty and gormed all over with alligumpane; that child of Satun, I say, repented himself and was saved intirely throo my interfearance. Sing his praises O! my sole! I should not forget to inform you that many yeers aterwards, he came to thank me for it with teers in his ii's, and down plump upon his knees. So I picked him up forgivesomely, and after we had read a few chapters out of the bibel
and sung a sarm, and a nym or two, I made him partake of the Lamb, which I was having for my dinner, with a bit of sallit and kukehumber. All this is as true as can be, and if he waz not dead he would come imself and vouchsafe every word of it.
Sir-Mister Eaditor, think of your own sitivation! think of it yourself: the devil I know very well, comes to your bedside every night, and so he does to that wretched ingividual who wrote Plato in your Monthly; and says he Don't believe a word Annonimus tells you:' but I will make myself heard from the house top-yea, from the clay pots upon the tip top, and I will never ceese to cry slaughter and hell-fire upon those who leave the Lord, and will not leave the pious world alone! But the pious parts of the world should be let alone; as that venerable and god-fearing noble statesmen Eldon hath so often said, and as I have so often said too, only I am a woman instead of a Hurl. Forasmuch as it hath pleased heaven to give us the present condition of sosiety, so sertin is it that we should continner in the same, save and except the he stableish church, all of whose property should be sold and divided among those who could prove, as I can, how they have attended their meetin for 8 years reglar; and more in proporshion to those who have attended for a great while longer, as I can prove I have done, for one. This is the only reform what's in the least necessary. But you, Mr. Headitor, and the rest of your monthly incarnates, are continnerly battling for all sorts of things beside-sich as eddication, poor laws, corn rhymes, ballot and other songs, parliament and sich like gingerbread stuffs; for which, mark my words, if you don't all have to howl you know where! One thing only you ort by rites to do, and that is wot hive just told you. All the rest is mere sinful and mischievous backsliding, even as the wicked young varmints in winter, who throw honest people down in spite of ashes and list tied over the shooze.
And now, sur, to conclude. Although I am but a poor single individooal; a numble, penitent, god-fearing beleaver; a meek, lowly, and obedient creatur of hopeful trusting grace; a sorrowful, weak, sad-in-spirit, and never-enough fast-and-praying penitent; an afflicted one, and moreover a shedder of teers; a petickler constant attender of the worship, although a trembling contrite and gentle cristian of charrity; yet will I, feeble and meek as I be, rise up to do battle for the trueth. And the sword of the ryechouse shall strike all sich as turn aside from the rite path, which is the one I have pointed oute. For I will gird up my loins and arm myself with faith hope and charity; thereby striking all erring patriots and radicals to the bottom of the bottomless pit; yea, and lower than that where fire is, and all mouth! And I will knock down, over throw, cast off, upset and absolutely capsize all sich monsters of inkwiddity, as rites about Plato and the poor, and corn and chimneys, and setterer; so
help me lord, to the best of my poor abillity, so long as one bone of my blessed body stands upon another!
So no more at present from your sincerly well-wisher
P. S. I am hinformed that ingividuals are sometimes payd for contribushions to Monthlys. Perhaps you will enlighten me on this pint in your notise to correspondintz
THERE is a gleam upon the horizon. There is a breaking among the clouds and a hush of the warring winds! The last number of the Journal of Education' contains an excellent paper, entitled Public Instruction,' and it actually makes the education of woman its primary and principal theme! You will not credit this. Turn to the number of the work in questionit is a rich number altogether. It has, among many fine thoughts and passages, one which ought to be written up in great gold letters in every market-place, meeting-house, or wherever else people assemble-it is as follows:
A child should never be degraded; a chtld should never have to wipe away a stigma from his character which he never can have deserved.'
Let money-loving England, the country in which wealth is more worshipped and poverty more despised than in any other, think of this.
But to return to my theme. It appears that M. Delessert, in the last session of the French Chamber of Deputies, said:
• The education of women is as worthy of your attention as that of men, and it is necessary that the laws on the education of girls should be revised. I request, therefore, that the minister of Public Instruction will prepare, for the next sessions, a law on this subject.'
Thanks to M. Delessert. It is almost the eleventh hour; but
manumission is welcome come when it may. It is dispiriting, not surprising, that M. Guizot should reply as he did :
The system of girls' schools, at the present day, is so unconnected and badly understood, that I am compelled to declare myself unprepared with a set of reasonable propositions on the government of female schools; nor can I yet fix the period when I shall be able to present a memorial on this subject.'
France, who takes the lead in all improvements, however she may follow them up, has made this first move on the political chess-board, and other moves must follow: let only the importance of that greatest of all human interests-female education— be recognised and acted upon, and I cheerfully leave the rest to time and woman. But I say to her, on the knees of my heart, if such an expression may be allowed me, be not yourself supine.
The moral sun, now rising with stronger and stronger light, day by day, upon the world, is penetrating the dark places, and making the very spiders of prejudice ashamed of their sullen work. The intelligence which exposes the abuse of power in one department will search it out in others;-the moral courage which rises in behalf of an oppressed people, will take cognizance of the cause of degraded and insulted woman, of the suffering stultified schoolboy, of the back-branded, spirit-broken soldier
and sailor. Reviewing all this, it will say- Here is evidence of what power, whether physical or political, when uncombined with benevolence, intelligence, and knowledge, ever effects; against such power all who think rationally, or feel kindly, must prosecute a crusade, and England, to say nothing of other countries, shall once again drive the wolves from her woods.'
How is the spirit-spoiled weaver, the soul-subdued tailor— victims of ill-paid toil, confined rooms, and ignorance-looked upon by power? How is the little fag, feeble and defenceless, oppressed and spurned! How should woman expect to fare better than these, since the principle of wrong and injury is the same in all cases?
Resistance alone makes man respect the rights of his fellowcreatures. He who will consent to dig the pit of his own degradation may rest secure of being thrust into it. I will ask the men of every people what has been their political experience? What have they ever got by entreaty from the tender mercy of tyrants? Let me not be supposed to advocate violence-that is only weakness in another form. Antagonists may contend personally till they realize the fate of Curran's two Kilkenny cats, (who fought so desperately that nothing was left of either of them but the tips of their tails,) and after all what shall be effected? Immolation, mutilation, prostration, not reformation. It is a good rule in morals, as in mechanics, to apply no more force than is necessary.
True power lies in the brain, not in the body; that power is coming more and more into action-and its manifestations are conduct and discourse. Logical eloquence and practical purpose are the battering engines of the present period, and nothing, however high, which is hollow, can stand against them.
What was the theory which man has hitherto adopted as regarded woman? That her passions were stronger, and her reason weaker than his own. Having assumed these facts, how did he proceed upon them? Why, to create by education and social arrangements that which he presumed or pretended existed by nature. Having thus doubly doomed his victim, he perfected the arts of seduction and enacted penalties against the seducedhis (as he imagined) strong, and certainly cultivated, reason, he brought to bear upon her (as he said) weak, and assuredly, uncultivated reason, and highly-nurtured passions, (for ignorance and idleness are first-rate stimulants,) and when his triumph was thus accomplished, he doomed her to condign punishment-left her no refuge but revolting infamy, or unceasing tears and repentance in obscurity.
• When lovely woman stoops to folly,
And finds too late that men betray,