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understand the relief which those whose nervous systems were more highly strung absolutely needed. To him these sportive ebullitions, which unfortunately sometimes interrupted his own meditations, appeared little short of folly, and his idea was that none but the idlers of the college ever took part in them. What was his horror, therefore, when he found his favourite student, the one of all others whose earnestness and diligence it was impossible to doubt, in the midst of the scene of confusion which met his eye, the very chief and ringleader of the whole? I cannot even to this day forget the look of sadness and the tone of astonishment with which he exclaimed, “Oh, Mr. Selwyn! Mr. Selwyn! I did not think you would have played such antic tricks."
In trutb Selwyn was every inch a man, and he had no faith in the notion that his religion was to dwarf or maim his manhood. He had been well trained by his father, a Congregational minister, whom I met occasionally, and found to be one of the olden type, a decided if not extreme and severe Calvinist in doctrine, a Puritan in practice, of vigorous though not highly cultivated intellect, with more shrewdness than scholarship, and more knowledge of men than of books, but with a clear head and a manly, straightforward style of character which was reproduced in his son. He owed more, however, to his mother, who had just those qualities in which her husband was lacking, the refinement and taste which it is all but impossible to get except from early culture and mingling in superior society. She did not bring her husband a fortune, and at the time of their marriage there were not a few who doubted the wisdom of a poor Dissenting minister marrying one who had all the associations, habits, and the tastes of a lady without pecuniary means to gratify her inclinations. But the event proved their mistake. She was a helpmeet to him in every respect. She brought light and gentleness into his home; she made herself useful and beloved in his congregation, where even the poorest felt the blessedness of her kind and sympathising spirit; she exerted a happy and refining influence on her husband, while her son-her only onealways felt and confessed, for the best elements both of his intellectual and moral powers, for any measure of poetic temperament which he enjoyed, for his power to take broad views of life and character, for his nervous force and energy, he was indebted principally to the mother whom he deeply revered.
As the son of a Dissenting minister, of course he was familiar with the manners and customs of Dissenters, and it may be questioned whether that intimate familiarity was calculated to inspire profound veneration and respect. The old proverb that no man is a hero to his valet de chambre is capable of a wider range of application, and it is at least doubtful whether any sect can appear in exactly the same colours to one who looks at its practices from behind the scenes as to those who contemplate them from the outside and at a considerable distance. That Selwyn found nothing in Dissent to alienate his affection and loyalty from it is a proof that, whatever defects there might be in some of its modes of operation, he still believed its principles to be right and its institutions sound at the core. He had seen a good deal that annoyed and perplexed him, he had known little men who fancied themselves great, and were determined to secure pre-eminence in the Church, and he had often wondered how his father endured the insufferable airs of those who fancied themselves entitled to dictate to him almost on every subject, from the tone of his sermons to the shape of his cravat; but he was capable of separating between the principles of the system and the faults of the men by whom it was worked. He had faith in perfect principles, but he did not look for a perfect development of them at the hands of feeble men, and he did not, therefore, like a great many men of less wisdom, hastily abandon that which he believed to be right because of the weaknesses and errors of those connected with it. He remembered that in the first Churches with which Apostles had to deal were men who thought more highly of themselves than they ought to think, some who measured themselves by themselves and compared themselves among themselves, many who fancied themselves to be somebody, whereas they were nobody, some who were so far from having respect to authority, even of the highest kind, that they preached the Gospel only in the hope that they might increase the trouble of the imprisoned Apostle. But, if he did not expect Congregational churches to be perfect, and did not sever himself from their communion because they were not so, he saw many crooked things which he desired to make straight, felt that there were many things lacking which he resolved if possible to help to supply. A peculiar concurrence of circumstances had thrown him a good deal into the society of liberal men of other Churches, and he had shaken himself free to a large extent from sectarian prejudices. If the truth must be told, his sympathies and his opinions were often in collision. He had a good deal of poetic and chivalrous sentiment in his nature, he had a reverence for the great men of the past, and he loved to wander in the cloisters of an old cathedral and join in its worship, he felt often that he could envy the members of the Anglican Church their relations to the Catholic Church of the past, and he mourned that the sentiment of Catholicity was so imperfectly developed among the members of his own community. Such feelings might seem to be at variance with the strong Radicalism, both in ecclesiastical and political matters, which he never hesitated to avow; but such a phenomenon is not very uncommmon. Sentiment and conviction are thus often opposed to each other, and where it is so it requires some strength of character to secure the complete victory for reason and principle. This was peculiarly Selwyn's case. He loved Congregationalism.intensely, though perhaps he loved it better by its old name of Independency than by that which has become more common of late years. He loved its freedom, he was proud of the services which it had rendered to the liberty and constitution of his country, he felt that it had its heroes, and his heart was drawn towards them, but he mourned, too, that its power should be reduced and its progress hindered by accidental usages and ideas which had gathered round it in the course of centuries and which adhered to it so closely that they seemed in truth to be part of itself.
In these views he was encouraged by Dr. Sanderson, then President of the Colleges, one of the leaders of Congregationalism, and one whose reputation had extended far beyond the circle of his own denomination. In years he belonged to the older men, but in heart, in freshness of spirit, in largeness of view, he was one of the new generation. He was a remarkable example of a man who had become more liberal and advanced as he had become older, Congregationalism had not a more devoted and loyal son, but it had not one who had dared to speak out more plainly as to its mistakes and shortcomings. His devotion was not a blind, unreasoning superstition, it was an intelligent adherence to principles his very zeal for which made him desire that they should have fair play, and that their triumph should not be impeded by the narrowness or prejudice of those to whom their advocacy was entrusted. He impressed upon all his students the duty which belonged to them of leading the churches on to the fuller exercise of the freedom which they enjoy, but which they are often more ready to vaunt than to put to practical use. He had conceived, as may well be understood, a strong affection for Selwyn, who was, in truth, a man after his own heart, entering thoroughly into his aims and opinions, and whose great desire in commencing his work as a Congregational minister was (next to that which must be first in the heart, of every true preacher of the Gospel, a passionate longing to win souls for Christ) to develope fully the power of Congregationalism, and so to show its fitness for meeting the great wants of the times. It was in the
184- that he commenced his pastoral life in Millport, a large manufacturing town in the north of England. The Congregational church of this place had grown in numbers and importance of recent years, but it had a history extending over nearly two hundred years with venerable traditions, which had been handed down from generation to generation, and which still
exercised a powerful influence on the descendants of the noblehearted men by whom it had been founded. It was planted in the days of weakness and persecution immediately succeeding the Act of Uniformity, and its members would have been untrue to themselves, and the legacy of high principles, and stirring memories of sacrifices cheerfully made, and hard work faithfully done for the cause of Christ, if they had not held their great Nonconformist ancestry in deep reverence. Unfortunately, but naturally enough, they had fallen into the error of supposing that they honoured them most, not by cherishing their spirit and adapting their habits and practices to the changed circumstances of the times, doing the work of their generation wisely and fearlessly as their fathers did that of theirs, but by seeking to stereotype all their ideas and customs. They forgot that the nineteenth is not the seventeenth century, and that the men whose authority they quoted in defence of their rigid Conservatism would have been the first to recognise the difference and adapt themselves to it. Thus, while the Church had grown in numbers, owing to the great change in the district and the great accession to its population in consequence of the rapid development of its manufacturing industry, it was essentially a Church formed on the strictest model of the old Nonconformists. Its last minister had presided over it for nearly fifty years, and his influence had done much to prevent the adoption even of such changes as had found their way into neighbouring churches. Selwyn had won the sympathy of the people by his simple earnestness, his unaffected piety, his faithful preaching, but he was the choice of the younger rather than the older members, some of whom regarded his settlement with no little anxiety. He was not himself insensible to the difficulties with which one of his views and tastes would have to grapple in undertaking the pastorate of such a church. But the place had many attractions for him. He loved the thought of working among the masses of the people. He had plans and projects which he believed might be worked out to great advantage among them, and he longed to put them to the test. He had great hope of being able to effect a revolution in some of the points of arrangement which were not in accordance with his notions, and he entered on his work not without anxiety, but still with trustfulness and confidence in Him to whose service he had dedicated his life. How he fared the following selections from his diary and letters will tell.
CHAPTER X.-THE MARCHIONESS AND I. UPON reaching the Castle we went straight to the housekeeper's room, where we found Mr. Duckett, in company with Mrs. Miller aná Mam'selle Sophie, taking what he called a "snack," and what appeared to me to be a very substantial cold dinner, though he spoke of it as an inferior sort of luncheon, which was not intended to supersede any of the ordinary meals, not even the regularly served luncheon.
“Sit down and take a snack yourself, Mr. Wray,” said Mrs. Miller, who was a middle-aged, comely dame, dressed in rustling black silk, and displaying a large gold watch attached to her capacious waist-band. “I am very happy to make your acquaintance,
I am sorry that I missed seeing you last night. I was going to ask you to sit down to supper in my room, but Mam'selle Sophie told me you had already left the Castle. And so these are your grand-children! What a very pretty young lady! but not at all like her brother-no, cousin, I think Mr. Duckett said."
“ Phæbe takes after t Wrays, and Hugh is like his father," replied Martin. “ If Mam’selle will take ť bairns to t' Marchioness, I will wish ye gude morning, Mistress Miller, for I promised my old woman that I wad come back quickly. T bairns will be sent hame at her leddyship's pleasure, I believe ?"
“ Yes,” said Sophie, rising, and jauntily settling her pink ribbons and her little trimmed apron.
“ Miladi will send them back to the Gate-house at such time as shall she please. Moi, I myself will, I dare to say, accompany them! Tell to Madame Wray that she need not cause herself the littlest anxiety; they, these enfants, what you call children, shall be restored to their parents in all safety. But now it is time that I lead them to Miladi, who awaits their coming in her own salon."
Whereupon she took Phoebe by the hand, and I followed; and we went through several passages, and upstairs, and then through more passages, till we came to a long, broad gallery or corridor, as I afterwards learned to call it, upon which
doors opened. Sophie discoursed volubly to the blushing Phæbe as we went along, and now and then she turned to me, explaining for my benefit something which I generally failed to comprehend, as she continually lapsed into her native language, of which I understood scarcely half a dozen words.