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early. The mice ate Miss Jackson all up. She can't stand up or sit down. Aunt Sophy says p'raps she can fill her up again.
Good-by. Your little daughter, Rubie.” “P.S.-I will be good.”
RAVE AND GAY.
No. I. THE Church Herald, which plumes itself on its unusual sagacity,
recently remarked that the Independents were holding a Congress” down at Nottingham, “in servile imitation of the Church Congress." Our contemporary seems to be unaware of the fact that the Congregational Union had grown up to manhood years before the Church Congress was thought of. The writer might as well have said that when his grandmother was born it was in “servile imitation” of the birth of her grandson.
The best thing said against Nonconformists in reply to their complaints and protests at the conduct of the Government on the Education question was by Mr. Scourfield. “ The case," he remarked, “reminded him of a story which he had met with. It was related by the late Tom Hood that. a lady and her maid, having gone to Holland in a violent storm, experienced those effects which storms do produce on passengers generally, and on ladies' maids in particular. The lady's maid .in subsequently describing her feelings said, • Next to my religion, the greatest comfort I had was in giving Missis warning, which I did every time between the attacks.' He therefore hoped that hon. gentlemen opposite, having relieved their feelings by giving Government warning, would settle down, and keep quiet.” But though we may enjoy the excellent joke of the hon. member as much as anyone, he will yet find our convictions are none the less deep, and our action, when the time comes, will be none the less decisive. We intend then to bite as surely and as sharply as we now bark, and if the Liberal party is in consequence broken up, the Government will have no reason to complain that it had not fair and frequent“ warning."
Two eminent clergymen of Brooklyn--the one an Episcopalian and the other a Unitarian--met. After some conversation, the Churchman said good-naturedly, “Brother So-and-so, if I were not an Episcopalian I would be a Unitarian." • Why so ?” was the question. “Because I always had my mind made up to be either something or nothing !” was the answer.
It is said that it makes no difference what a man believes, if he is only sincere. But it does make a great difference. If a man mounts a wild steed, and makes full speed for a precipice, and means to slip off before he gets to it, his very insincerity will save him. But if he says, “I don't believe there is any chasm there,” his sincerity will take him to the bottom.
The celebrated Nonconformist divine who flourished under the Commonwealth and Restoration, and wrote the “ Saints' Everlasting Rest," the “ Call to the Unconverted,” and another awakening appeal addressed to Christian blacksliders, is said to have been accustomed, whenever he saw a criminal on his way to the gallows, to exclaim,
There, but for Divine grace, goes Richard Baxter.” A distinguished naturalist, author of the recently-published work on the “Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals," a sequel to his famous treatise
Descent of Man," may be imagined occasionally giving utterance to a corresponding though different reflection. At the sight of a monkey scratching himself in the Zoological Gardens, that philosopher might with much propriety observe, “ There, but for natural selection and the struggle for existence, sits Charles Darwin."-Punch.
CHURCH NEWS OF THE MONTH. THE coming year will, probably, bring to our ears “Church News"
of varied and increasing interest. The great word “Disestablishment” is now on every lip, and its great issues will press momentarily on public regard with growing importance. Every new election brings this question into fresh prominence; and a general election--which some assure us will come when autumn comeswill make that subject a touchstone that will test many a political destiny.
Meanwhile, among the minor forces which will hasten on the great event, we may reckon the indiscretion, to say the least, of certain State Church defenders. Years ago Mr. Parkinson, of Rochdale, declared that the itinerant advocates of Establishments seemed to be gentlemen who “could say nothing, or could say anything." Nor are illustrations of this remark now wanting. One of the most active “defenders" of the Established Church is the Rev. Dr. Potter, of Sheffield. Among a multitude of equally authentic assertions, he has publicly declared that Mr. Gladstone is a Roman Catholic, or that he is fast tending towards that faith. A prominent Liberal sent a report of the circumstance to Mr. Gladstone, with a request for “such a word from yourself as will set this district at rest as to this report." Mr. Gladstone, through his secretary, replied “that the statement in Dr. Potter's lecture as to his religion has been publicly contradicted long ago, and that he regrets it is not in his power to save the credulous from the annoyance caused by the impudent repetition of the falsehood.”
Another great champion of the Established Church is the Rev. Dr. Massingham. As illustrative of the courtesy and dignity of his usual style, we may quote one of his most recent personal allusions : “There are,” he said at Salford, "good and bad Dissenters. To the latter class belongs Mr. Miall, whom we should consider as nothing better than a walking vinegar cruet.”
We hope that the public in general, and our readers in particular, will not be “bamboozled” by the flutter and fuster with which certain Church critics endeavour to disparage the remarkable results of the statistics which have been published in the Nonconformist. Not content with inaccurate criticism of the supposed inaccuracies of the enumerators, and with attributing all manner of evil motives to all concerned in the préparation of these data, some of the Church and Tory journals have had the courage to declare that Nonconformists first objected to a Government census of church and chapel accommodation, and then undertook to prepare one themselves. The Standard, for instance, says that it is “a significant fact that the Dissenters vehemently opposed the renewal of the religious census, while Churchmen insisted upon it strenuously as a matter of justice." The “significant fact” was, however, precisely the opposite. It was the Tory members, including the present Lord Salisbury, Mr. Henley, Sir John Pakington, and Mr. Whiteside, who resolutely opposed “the plan of ten years before.” In the report of the debate in the House of Commons on July 11th, 1860, it is recorded that it was Mr. Edward Baines, as the mouthpiece of Nonconformists, who moved the following clause in committee : “ The Secretary of State shall, as far as is practicable, cause inquiry to be made and returns to be obtained of all places of Worship, schools, and educational establishments, similar to those obtained in the census of 1851.” The only census to the proposal of which Nonconformists took exception was one by which it was intended that all the godless and criminal in the land should be included among members of the Church of England-people who, like Lord Eldon, are not pillars of the Church but buttresses-never found within the Church, but holding it up from without.
The Chairman of the Birmingham School Board courteously describes men like Mr. Dale and Mr. Vince his own colleagues—as “a masterful and bitter faction with a nominal chief” of “moderate mind," with “self-willed allies,” “friends to education, but more friends to popular agitation,” “Liberals in politics, bigots in religion.” With equal justice and truth he refers to the labours of our Sunday-school teachers, who, he declares, render “gratuitous services—that is, services rendered for nothing, and very dear at the price." Mr. Sargent, therefore, prefers religious teaching given in Board schools, “which must,” he says, " from the restraint put upon the teachers, be moderate and reasonable and unsectarian.” Such is the spirit which the Education Act of Mr. W. E. Forster has evoked elsewhere besides in Birmingham.
On a recent occasion the Rev. T. H. Pattison referred to the difficulties of certain Protestant Churchmen who declare that they rather like than otherwise the recent Bennett judgment. They did not, he said, resemble “the man who, when threatened with death, replied that he did not care, for his digestion had been so bad for some time. They had an admirable digestion. They had always required a little jam with their jalap, but now they took not only their jalap without the jam, but they were actually singing a doxology over the Bennett judgment, and declaring that they felt thankful for so very small a mercy. They reminded him of the sea anemones, who, if anyone was cruel enough to turn them inside out, went on digesting as heartily when their stomachs were outside as when they were in."
The Wesleyan Methodists are protesting against any extension of the denominational system of education, and are rapidly inclining in favour of a national system, with School Boards and board schools everywhere.
BY MARY SHERWOOD.
OLD ANTHONY has not always been the poor man he is now
alone in the world and dependent on charity for his daily bread. He had a wife once, and children of his own—a blooming girl and two handsome lads. His wife has been sleeping for these thirty years now under the shadow of the grey tower in King's Norton churchyard. His children, too, are sleeping the same quiet sleep; the girl by the mother's side, and his eldest lad in a soldier's grave, killed, with other gallant fellows, fighting under Indian skies. The other son had saved a little money and gone out to Australia, taking with him his wife and child, the only grandchild Anthony ever had. But the vessel in which they sailed was wrecked on its outward passage, and all on board had perished.
That was twenty years ago now. It was a heavy blow to Anthony when the news came that the vessel was lost, a heavy blow and hard to bear. It had been easy to say, “Blessed be the name of the Lord !” when the little golden-haired grandchild had been given him to twine its way into the old man's heart. It had gone hard with him to part with it, and with the son whom he had hoped would have staid by him to be a staff for his old age to lean upon ; but it was harder still, when the terrible news came, to say, The Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord!” Anthony bowed his head and laid hold in the dark of the Father's hand.
“It is but a little while,” he said, “and I shall go to them, though they will not return to me. The Lord lent them to me, and shall not I lend them again to Him? It is but lending, not losing them, for He will give them back to me one day, wife and children too. Blessed be the name of the Lord !"
But Anthony's faith was to be tried yet further still. For ten years after the news reached him of the wreck of the Hesperus, and with it the loss of life's last hopes, he had lived on by himself in the cottage that had been once such a happy home, that was filled still for him with sweet and sacred memories of the past. As he sat, wearied and alone, by his fireside, after the day's hard toil, he could