« VorigeDoorgaan »
about their claims to territories which they suppose themselves to have purchased fairly from the aboriginal owners; and, on the other hand, the natives are just as apt to be suspicious of having been overreached in their rude bargains, and to resist by sullen rebellion or outrage demands which, with or without reason, they deem unjust. Under such conditions, when once hostile passions have been inflamed, it is scarcely in the nature of things that there should not ensue enough wrong-doing on both sides to make impartial observers hesitate to espouse entirely the cause of either. Between the contending parties in New Zealand the Bishop believed himself bound in conscience to occupy a position with which neither was satisfied. His chivalrous feeling had always made him jealous for the rights of the weaker; and being of opinion that they had been from time to time somewhat hardly dealt with in the matter of land, when the crisis came he felt himself obliged to side with those who thought the Governor wrong in making war upon a land question without submitting it first to some judicial enquiry.' The effect of this was to incense the colonists against him, and to earn for him the title of a turbulent priest' from their advocates in the Imperial Parliament. But when the Maori refused submission to lawful authority, continued in arms to assert their independence, and in several instances sullied their cause by murderous outrages, the Bishop made no secret of his sense of their folly and wickedness, and fearlessly threw himself into their midst to rebuke and shame them, and win them back, if possible, to submission and peace. By this courageous
conduct he alienated from himself the leaders of the native war party, who accused him of espousing the cause of their enemies, and with the greater plausibility, because in the absence of military chaplains he had felt it his duty to accompany the troops, and minister to their spiritual wants.
Thus on either side he became an object of invective and distrust, until the inflamed passions cooled down and both were desirous of peace. But amidst all the complications of those years of trouble and sorrow one thing stands out clear, and that is the splendid selfdevotion of the Bishop to alleviate the evils of war, and promote a peaceful solution of the quarrel. While we read the narrative, he seems to have been almost ubiquitous, and to have borne a charmed life: now tramping alone through the disaffected settlements to persuade them to peace, or to warn and protect the solitary mission-stations; now, at great risk to himself, searching swamp and jungle for the wounded, carrying them from the field, visiting them in hospital, and ministering both to their physical and spiritual wants; now running the gauntlet
of the Maori rifles, as on Sundays he gallopped from post to post over a rough forty miles of hostile country, that he might give to each of some seven or eight scattered British camps the benefit of a religious service. If there must be war,' he said, 'our great effort must be at least to de-brutalize it;' and on both sides his influence was of incalculable good. Whatever was thought of his views on the native question, everyone found it impossible to be brought into contact with him without learning to admire and love him. The soldiers, we are told, were enthusiastic about him; the officers said it was a shame that he was not a General; the naval men agreed that he would have made a first-rate Admiral! Never, it was confessed, had a war-medal been better deserved than that which was awarded at the close of hostilities to this noble soldier of the Prince of Peace; and it was by means of the grateful gifts of the officers and men for whom he had laboured when they were on active service or lying in hospital, and of the friends of the fallen whose last hours had been soothed by his ministrations, that his chapel at Lichfield was afterwards adorned with the series of painted windows, which symbolize the honour and chivalry of a soldier's life.
When the war was expiring, the Bishop set himself with a sorrowful heart to repair as far as possible the ruins of the native Church. At the close of 1865, in answer to friends who were urging on him a visit to England for rest and change, he wrote with a quiet pathos,- The pleasant dream so full of bright hope has melted away, and the prospect of a few more years, if it be God's will, of plodding labour is all that remains to me, to build up again the tabernacle which is fallen down. I do not see my way to another visit to England. It is more congenial to my present feelings to sit among my own ruins, not moping, but tracing out the outlines of a new foundation, than to go through another course of public life in England.' But little as he then anticipated it, that work of re-edification was to be done by other hands.
In 1854, after twelve years of colonial labour, he had paid a short visit home, with a view to obtain legal powers for the division of his diocese and the organization of a Church constitution for New Zealand; and, bringing back with him the welcome assurance that no legislation was necessary, and the colonial Churches were free to organize themselves, he set to work with such zeal and success that by 1867 New Zealand was divided into six sees, and Melanesia besides had its own missionary Bishop. Then came the summons to attend the Lambeth Conference, in obedience to which he again turned his
face towards England, having no thought but of a speedy return to his island home. Indeed, to some who feared that they might lose him, he replied, that nothing but illness or death should prevent his coming back. But Diis aliter visum. Providence had other work for the evening of his life. Immediately after the Conference, in which he bore a prominent part, the See of Lichfield became vacant by the death of good Bishop Lonsdale, and was proposed to Selwyn by Lord Derby, but only to be at once refused. 'Without taking advice,' he wrote out to his valued friend, Sir W. Martin, the Chief Justice, but after prayer for guidance, I declined the offer by return of post.' Among the reasons given by him to the Premier for his refusal, one was eminently characteristic: because my bishopric is. not endowed with more than 807. per annum, and I have no reason to expect that the Church Missionary Society will continue their annual grant of 400l. to my successor.' But after the See had been offered to two other persons in succession, and been declined by both,-a very rare combination of circumstances, it came round to him again; and this time, in compliance with the very urgent entreaty of Archbishop Longley, followed by the personal request of the Queen, he succumbed,' to use his own word, and signified his acceptance. No advantage,' wrote the Primate, that can accrue to the Church of New Zealand by your remaining there will be comparable to the benefit you will thus confer on the Church at home.' So the great apostle of the Pacific became the occupant of the ancient chair of St. Chad; and after a hasty run out to New Zealand, to wind up church business and take his farewell, he settled down at Lichfield for the remaining ten years which were granted him, ruling perhaps somewhat imperiously, but labouring as few besides himself could labour, till God took him, almost with the soft Maori words on his lips which mean, 'It is all light.'
Into his English episcopate we do not purpose to follow him. The romance of his life was over; our space is exhausted; and if we have not already succeeded in impressing our readers with the noble simplicity and utter devotedness of his character, nothing that we might add could mend the faults of our sketch. We are, moreover, the less inclined to dwell on the closing part of the biography, because it is there that Mr. Tucker seems to have most marred his work, by forgetting the intention which he announced in his preface, to keep himself and his own. opinions in the background. Far be it from us to grudge him the right of freely expressing in any proper place whatever views he may hold on controverted questions, or to challenge
their intrinsic correctness; all we say is that the proper place is certainly not in the Memoir of the great missionary prelate, and when they are thrust upon us there, we are conscious of a departure from what is seemly and pertinent. That we do not make this remark without sufficient cause will, we think, appear from the following specimens, culled from the latter chapters, of statements that are quite uncalled for, and of which Bishop Selwyn himself would certainly not have wished his Memoir to have been made the vehicle. Thus of the Public Worship Regulation Act, Mr. Tucker pronounces that it was passed in panic and avowedly for party purposes,' and that it would be very difficult to point to any so flagrant a breach of the Constitution during the two preceding centuries;' and of the Purchas Judgment' that it 'has since been grudgingly neutralized by the same tribunal which pronounced it.' Referring to our present Constitution in Church and State, he informs us that 'the man who is content with the present condition of our Church in regard to legislation and internal government must be strangely constituted, and 'the layman who is content with the House of Commons as the legislature of the Church must be densely ignorant and unobservant.' And of Bishop Selwyn, he tells us that he was made the victim of the "No Popery" cry which is the ever ready resource of the weak and malignant,' and that 'probably no greater trial vexed the Bishop in his English episcopate than the dull and obstinate obstruction which legislation put in the way of his plans for the good of the Church.' We do not care to multiply such extracts, or to dwell further on the topic, but we earnestly hope that future editions will manifest less of a controversial and combative tone, and will be purged of such gratuitous and irrelevant statements as those which we have indicated.
The two noble lives which have now passed before us speak for themselves, and need little comment from us. Both the world and the Church were the better for them while they lasted, and the lessons which they have left behind will add something to the rich inheritance of the generations to come. It will be enough to point out here, in a few concluding words, the witness which is borne by them to the divine power of Christianity, and to the vitality of the Anglican branch of the Church of Christ. In an age when all the external grounds of religious belief are assailed with a remorseless logic, and we who cling to the faith as our best treasure are fain to fall back, for its ultimate justification to the intellect, on the response which it evokes from the depths of the human soul, and the fruits which it bears in the elevation of individuals and societies,
-lives like these, Christian to the very core, and inconceivable apart from Christianity, are worth whole volumes of apologetic arguments. Shining with a radiance more than earthly, and taking captive with their beauty the moral sense, they are like epistles known and read of all men, in which he who runs may read the assurance of a divine force in the religion that inspired and sustained them. And as they testify for Christianity at large, so also they speak with no faint voice on behalf of that prolific Mother of Churches, the National Church of England. Rome in the pride of its long supremacy may deny validity to our Orders and grace to our Sacraments, and may stigmatize our Reformed Church as a mere creature of the secular Power; but as long as she can nurture and send forth, equipped for the warfare of salvation, such sons as Hook and Selwyn, can sustain them in all their toils, satisfy all their aspirations, and retain to the last their unswerving loyalty and devoted attachment, so long will she possess a proof of her divine mission and spiritual vitality, than which even the primitive Church of the Apostles could show no surer evidence of a supernatural Presence in its midst.
ART. III.-A Dictionary of Music and Musicians (A.D. 14501880), by eminent writers, English and Foreign. With Illustrations and Woodcuts. Edited by George Grove, D.C.L. In 2 Vols.
Vol. I. London, 1879.
R. GROVE'S musical encyclopædia, the first work in the English language which can lay claim to that title, appears somewhat late in the day. It is more than four hundred years since Jean Tinctor, the Flemish musician, published his Terminorum Musicae Diffinitorium,' and since then many musical dictionaries and compendiums of all kinds have been produced on the Continent. England alone remained behind in the race. There have been, it is true, one or two attempts in this direction, which we shall presently have to record, and a useful Dictionary of Musical Terms,' edited by Dr. Stainer and Mr. W. A. Barrett, has recently been published; but, as a complete account of the biographical as well as the technical materials relating to the Art of Music and its History, Mr. Grove's Dictionary is without precedent in England. The long delay of such a publication and its opportuneness at the present moment are well explained in the editor's preface.
Music,' he remarks, is now performed, studied, and listened to by a much larger number of persons, and in a more serious spirit,