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such a question,” she replied, laughing: “I cannot think of them in that way at all. Why, some of them are my friends : I love them.” This is certainly a tone in which conversion is a good deal more likely to progress than the usual one among teachers of Caucasian race.
After he had been some years in Natal, Bishop Colenso addressed a letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, which first brought his name into popular notice in England otherwise than as a distinguished arithmetician. He maintained, in this letter, the very sensible proposition, that when savages having two or more wives should be converted to Christianity by our clergy, they should not be required to put away the supernumerary wives; though, of course, they should be forbidden to add to their number, or marry a second if they should only have one at the time of conversion. Dr. Colenso urged the obvious arguments, that the necessity of turning away an affectionate companion to the wretched lot of a divorced savage woman, was an obstacle to conversion likely to weigh the most with the most generous of the men otherwise convertible. He might, no doubt, have added the grim, familiar tale of the chief who was desired by the missionary to make sure to part with his second wife before the missionary should return to baptize him next year. The chief presented himself accordingly, smilingly, for the holy rite; and, on being interrogated as to what he had done about his wife, silenced all further inquiry by the assurance, “ Me eat her.”
Among Bishop Colenso's most advanced native converts is one named William, an intelligent-looking Zulu, whose letters and photograph speak of fair ability, and great simplicity and affectionateness of disposition. The questions of this Zulu, as all the world knows, first suggested to his teacher to make a few calculations respecting some of the figures used in the Books of Genesis and Exodus. The beginning of such an inquiry, with a man so absolutely candid and truth-loving as Dr. Colenso, could but lead to one conclusion, that there was unmistakable error somewhere. Further researches and fresh and ingenious calculations, to which came in aid both his arithmetical genius and his experience of the practical matters of the camping and moving of numbers in an uncivilized country, tended all the same way ; till at last he had to face the terrible result, – that the Pentateuch could not have been written either by Moses or by any veracious witness of the events he described. What his duty was as regarded such a discovery, he was for some time in doubt. His wife, who learned at first with dismay of the results of his inquiries, followed them up ere long, and sympathized deeply in his feelings. But what were they to do? A bishop to publish a heresy, striking at the very stem of that Bible-tree which overshadows all English thought, or an honest man to go on teaching what he knew to be untrue ?
It was while he yet waited to. see clearly his duty in this awful crisis of his life, that an incident occurred which we have heard him relate, and which has often seemed to us inexpressibly touching. Every one who has read that heartharrowing book," The Life of Blanco White,” will remember where he speaks of himself as one leading a forlorn hope, who had fallen in the trenches, leaving it for others to pass on to victory over his body. The prophecy was not false. It chanced that Dr. Colenso, spoke to a friend, who had lately come from England, of some matters, which made the friend suggest to him to read a book he happened to have brought out to Natal, — this same “Life of Blanco White.” The bishop read it; and the result was the resolution - on which so much, so very much, for himself and for the world, bas depended — to return to England, and there frankly publish all that he had discovered. Blanco White had not, then, lived in vain.
Five years after his first departure, Dr. Colenso, with his wife and family, came home to England; and, as soon as possible, put through the press the first volume of his “Pentateuch and Book of Joshua critically examined.” The stir which the publication caused was quite unparalleled, even by the previous case of “Essays and Reviews." The newspapers rang with the controversy ; the libraries were beset with buyers and borrowers; and even little shops in country towns, where hitherto only penny newspapers were sold, put up the placard in their windows, “ Colenso lent to read.” Every bishop in England wrote letters in the papers, forbidding him to preach in their dioceses, and calling him often by the most insulting names. One of them spoke of him and his book in one letter as "false, childish, heretical, blasphemous, abominable, unhappy, blind, daring, ignorant, self-sufficient instrument of Satan.”
It was at this time the writer first saw him, at the table of a distinguished man of science. The first impression he gave was that of a most courteous and high-bred gentleman; the second, that of a man powerful physically and by strength of will; the third, that of extreme sincerity, simplicity, and sweetness of character. A tall, strong man, some six feet one or two inches in height, with gray eyes, iron-gray hair, regular features, and a jaw, not coarse, but so strong and firm as to suggest to every beholder the idea of indomitable resolution; a man who could wrestle with a marauding Caffre, or contend with an Archbishop of Canterbury, equally readily at any time. In this respect, the contrast the bishop presents to his fellow heresiarch, Professor Jowett, is very curious. No one can see the small retreating chin and delicate figure of the Oxford divine, without feeling the truth of the observation we have heard him make,- that he writes with a sense of duty rather than pleasure, and that the calm contemplation for which his immense forehead seems formed, suits his taste infinitely better than the dusty arena of controversy. Bishop Colenso, on the contrary, seems one of those soldiers of truth and right, to whom the call to put on the harness and strike a blow in the open field could not be by any means unwelcome; not a man who could harbor a spark of personal animosity, or who had, in all his armory, one crooked or poisoned weapon, but still one who would go to the battle right bravely; not the Erasmus of the new Reformation, but the Luther who" would go to the Council if there were as many devils in Worms as there were tiles on the houses.”
In after-days we were privileged, by near neighborhood and his extreme kindness, to see much of the bishop and his family; and the impression of the first interview never wore VOL. LXXXIII. — NEW SERIES, vol. IV. NO. I.
off, but increased to the deepest sense of his goodness, courrage, and ability. Perhaps some of the writer's American friends will understand all that it means to her, to say that he seemed almost like the dead master he himself so much loved and honored: Theodore Parker. His home-life, in his small house in Kensington, was a beautiful one, in spite of the shoals of letters of abuse, the pamphlets, books, intrusive and impertinent visitors (some of whom came from Ireland on purpose to attack him) wherewith he was daily assailed. Most of the leading men of science of the day, Huxley, Carpenter, Tyndal, and notably the “Dean of the Faculty," Sir Charles Lyell, and his family, rallied to him; and if he was made to feel much hate, he was not without much honor and regard. For three years he continued to live in London, working with incredible diligence at his five large volumes. How he managed to write them in his little study underneath the room where his daughters practised the piano, and his sons made their chemical and often detonating experiments, and where visitors streamed in and out all day, often bringing him up to give them his never-failing cordial welcome, - how he did his most difficult and anxious work, like another Hooker writing his “Ecclesiastical Polity," while stirring his child's cradle with his foot, — was often a cause of marvel to us. As we pass the now-deserted house, and look in at the windows of the empty study, we think how good and brave was the labor there accomplished.
The trial of Bishop Colenso by the Bishop of Capetown, and three other bishops of South Africa, was a stupid farce. The sentence of the highest court in England, setting aside all the pretended powers of the judges, quashed it as a bubble. A practical way of troubling the Bishop of Natal, by stopping the payment of the salary guaranteed to him, has also eventually been frustrated. His friends raised for him a sum of upwards of £3,000, which, with his modest habits, amply sufficed for his purposes; and the recent sentence of Lord Romilly has forced the Trustees of the Colonial Bishoprics’ Fund to pay him back the entire arrears of his salary, - thus leaving him just £3,000 the richer for their petty attempt at persecution. At last, feeling his work in England to be accomplished, and his native and English people constantly entreating him to return, Bishop Colenso sailed with his family for Natal, in August, 1865. He has, since his arrival, met with much opposition from the clergy, but nearly entire sympathy from the laity of his diocese. It is almost needless to say he has acted, as ever, with consummate mildness and forbearance in all controversies. The scenes in his cathedral when the doors of the chancel were closed, an excommunication against him read, and the very harmonium locked up to mar his service, and when he quietly took his place, led the singing, and preached one of his calmest sermons, was a sort of epitome of the whole war. He has recently published a volume of the sermons he has preached since his return to his bishopric, sermons in which many of the theological questions of the day are dealt with in an able and thoroughly original manner. But the peculiar merit of these discourses is one above their learning and originality. It consists in that warm and simple piety, that strong, clear faith in the LIVING God, which has been from first to last the characteristic of the man whom his enemies proclaim as the most dangerous infidel of the day. Well will it be for England, if, fifty years or a century hence, her clergy, with all their cowardly tampering with truth, have left in the hearts of the masses of her people such real and manly faith, faith in God and duty and immortality, as breathes through every word and deed of the heretic Bishop of Natal.
ART. II. — NOYES'S HEBREW PROPHETS.
A New Translation of the Hebrew Prophets, with an Introduction and
Notes. By GEORGE R. Noyes, D.D., Hancock Professor of Hebrew, &c., and Dexter Lecturer in Harvard University. Third edition, with a new Introduction and additional Notes. 2 vols. Boston: American Unitarian Association ; Walker, Fuller, & Co.
New York: James Miller. 1866. A THIRD part of a century has elapsed since the first appearance of this work. It had been preceded by the Translations