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ART. II.-1. The Life and Letters of Walter Farquhar Hook, D.D., F.R.S. By his Son-in-Law, W. R. W. Stephens, Prebendary of Chichester and Rector of Woolbeding. 2 vols. London, 1878.
2. Memoir of the Life and Episcopate of George Augustus Selwyn, D.D., Bishop of New Zealand, 1841-1869; Bishop of Lichfield, 1867-1878. By the Rev. H. W. Tucker, M.Á. 2 vols. London, 1879.
F the whole domain of human energy thought and action may be called the two poles. Between thinkers and workers the empire of the world is divided, though in what exact proportion it might perhaps be useless to enquire. Each class plays its own separate part in human progress, yet neither without the other is effectual to achieve lasting conquests, and permanently push forwards the frontiers of civilization and culture. The worker builds for the present, elaborating organizations which may be watched in their growth, and producing results which at every stage may be measured and judged; the thinker sows in secrecy and silence for the distant future. Around the one all is stir and bustle; the air is alive with the strain of effort, the tumult of conflict, the sympathy or detraction of the crowd: the other sits apart with the viewless problems of knowledge and mysteries of life, peering into the darkness and grappling with the confusion, in a strife which makes no sign and is known to none but himself. Yet strangely different as these are in aspect, and often widely separated in time, in the end they are not divided. The thought becomes the life of the work, and the work the embodiment of the thought. Without the thinker practical effort would be blind and aimless; without the worker abstract ideas would remain barren and unprofitable. Ages may in some instances pass away before the union is consummated, but at length the hour and the man are born, and the speculative passes into the practical; the thought becomes endowed with hands and feet, and begins to move as a living agent in the struggles and achievements of mankind. So the world makes steps in advance, and from each vantage-ground thus gained spring new adventures of thought, to run a like course and stimulate the work of genera.
tions to come.
The distinction which we have endeavoured to express between thinkers and workers has been forcibly brought to our mind by the two biographies, of more than ordinary interest, which are now before us. The eminent Churchmen whom they portray were emphatically men of action; it was as workers that they Vol. 148.-No. 295.
made their mark on their age, and enriched the world with
It is pleasant to contrast them in their youth, and note how
and expressing himself, he was far enough from that ideal of a well-nurtured English boy, which in his younger contemporary, George Augustus Selwyn, was realized with scarcely the shadow of a defect. Here everything conspired to attract, and to make the high-spirited warm-hearted lad the centre
of an admiring, affectionate group. His dower of physical beauty and grace of movement and gesture, combined with the agile strength of the athlete which led to his proficiency and daring in youthful sports, ensured him an easy preeminence among his fellows, while his genial qualities bound them to him with an enthusiastic attachment that ripened into lifelong friendship. What he was at Eton and Cambridge may be imagined from the well-known portrait sketched by Richmond, just after his early consecration to the Episcopate, in which every line breathes of refinement and grace. 'Look here, upon this picture and on this,' it might be said, and what a strongly-marked contrast is presented! Yet in the inner man Hook and Selwyn were true brothers; the resemblance between them there grew to be even greater than the difference which lay on the surface. As from the narratives before us we shall learn how their characters were developed by time amidst the cares and toils of manhood, we shall see that deep down in each of their hearts sprang a fount of inexhaustible sympathy, which constrained them not only to rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep,' but very gladly' to 'spend and be spent in the active ministries which serve both the temporal and spiritual interests of mankind. Opinions might differ about the correctness of this or that particular of their theological views, or the expediency of one or other of their schemes or modes of action; and in fact neither escaped severe animadversion and conflict. But for purity of motive, and lofty indifference to their own aggrandizement, their characters stood above all suspicion. Few men probably ever lived less for self and more for others, or yielded themselves more unsparingly to the demands of the highest ideal of duty. The enormous capacity for work, which they possessed in common, and which they were accustomed to task to the furthest point of endurance, was a characteristic of no ordinary kind, yet scarcely rare enough, it may be, in the struggle and competition of modern society, to have marked them out for very special distinction; it was their unworldliness, their forgetfulness of self-interest, and generous subordination of every personal aim to the business of promoting the welfare of others, which threw a saintly charm over their lives, and gave them no mean claim to be enrolled on the catalogue of Christian heroes. Here is the character of the older man, sketched with a single stroke by his bosom friend Lord Hatherley, who in the course of an intimacy extending over more than sixty years had watched every stage of his labours, and thoroughly learnt the secret of his success, first in evangelizing those large masses of our population whose hearts
hearts so few have been able to reach, and then in building up their faith upon a firm foundation :'—
His special inspiration in this great work,' writes the ex-Chancellor, was, as we who knew him best believed, to be found in the unbounded sympathy of his Christian love, first towards his Saviour, and through Him to all for whom that Saviour died.'—(Life, i. 366.)
And here is a somewhat fuller sketch of the younger man, drawn from the life, as he was stirring the islands of the South Pacific with his ubiquitous and untiring energy :
'The singleness of purpose, the entire devotion of himself and all he is, and all he has, the entire renunciation of self and all belonging to him in comparison with the duty and the object of the present moment,-is so shown forth in his daily life, so transparently open to all who have eyes to see and hearts to receive the witness of such an example, that one must be dead and dull indeed not to feel continually the all-pervading power of such a life.'—(Memoir, i. 333.)
So wrote those who knew them the most intimately, and enjoyed the amplest opportunities of penetrating into the spirit of their lives; and that in neither case did the testimony borrow anything from the too partial estimate of private friendship, the plain, unvarnished tale of their labours places beyond all doubt. Again, therefore, we say, 'Look here, upon this picture and on this,' and in spite of every superficial difference the likeness will be found undeniable. If we might borrow an astronomical figure to express this essential resemblance in the midst of external dissimilarity, we should say that, manifold as were the discrepancies between the elements of the orbits in which their lives moved, they revolved round the same centre and were governed by the same law. That centre was the divine Sun who is the Light and Life of the world; that law was the law of self-sacrifice for His sake.
In calling attention at this early stage of our remarks to the unity in diversity of the two lives now to be traced by us in outline, we are anticipating the great lesson which is gradually spelt out by their varied details; but we have thought it desirable to carry with us from the first the idea which links them together, as well as constitutes the harmony of each by itself. With regard to the execution of their respective tasks by the two biographers, while we are glad to be able in both cases to express a general approbation, we feel bound in justice to make a little distinction between them. Each has laboured at his task with reverent and loving hands, and prescribed for himself the self-denying ordinance essential to the production of all first-rate delineations of life and character; namely, that the
writer should efface himself as much as possible, and let the narrative run on continuously, uninterrupted by any needless intrusion of his own opinions and reflections between the subject and the reader. Thus Mr. Stephens says, in his modest preface to his father-in-law's Life:
As far as possible, I have made him speak for himself, by his letters and diary, by extracts from his speeches and published writings, and by such fragments of his conversation as I or others could recollect.'
And in a similar strain Mr. Tucker writes:
'I wish it to be understood that these pages pretend to be nothing more than a compilation. My duty has been to study and carefully to analyse many hundreds of letters and documents which have been placed in my hands. I considered that I should discharge my task the better, just in proportion as I brought into greater prominence the very words and letters of my subject, and, as illustrating these, the testimony of his friends and colleagues, and kept myself and my own opinions in the background. My aim therefore has been rather to arrange the materials at my disposal in due relation and proportion, than to write an original monologue.'
To enable them to carry out these aims, they had the advantage of such copious materials, supplied from many quarters, as to render it possible for them to allow their subjects in a great degree unconsciously to draw their own portraits, and tell their own story. In the case of Dean Hook this has been accomplished by Mr. Stephens with admirable skill, and the result has been a narrative which is life-like and vivid throughout, and so full of well-sustained interest, that we should be unreasonable in wishing it shortened by a single page. To Mr. Tucker's work also we can honestly award praise, but not quite such high praise as this. It shows less art in compilation and arrangement, and here and there, as we shall see before we conclude, he has been unable to resist the temptation to air his own opinions somewhat too freely, and even to slide into a narrow controversial tone, which contrasts unfavourably with Bishop Selwyn's own large-heartedness and generous appreciation of others. With this qualification, however, we can heartily recommend his volumes as possessing in their subject-matter a substantial value which cannot easily be overrated.
The future Vicar of Leeds, to name him by the office with which his memory is most intimately connected, was born two years before the end of the last century, and inherited through his father a vein of comic humour and frolic, which in his youth often