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— IX.—

ON THE DOCTRINE OF RETRIBUTION, HERE AND HEREAFTER.

[A Discourse delivered chiefly to the Working Classes in various parts of England.]


"Be not deceived: God is not mocked: for, whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For, he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting."

—GALATIANS vi. 7, 8.


RETRIBUTION is the doctrine maintained by St. Paul in this text: retribution—a doctrine you will find maintained by all religions that have ever existed, and contained in all religious literatures which have ever been written—notwithstanding the denial of this doctrine, by some bold people, in our day.

    "Retribution, sir," says some plain man: "it is a hard-sounding word: what does it mean?"

    Retribution means due punishment for wrongdoing—just punishment for wrong-doing—sure and certain punishment for wrong-doing—unescapable punishment for wrong-doing—punishment which God has irrevocably affixed to wrong-doing, and which is sure to overtake the wrong-doer, some way or other, sooner or later.

    "I don't believe in the truth of such a sweeping doctrine, sir," says some objector.  "Talk to me about retribution and the sure and certain punishment of wrong-doers!  Don't we see wrong-doers go unpunished every day?  Do not men lie and swindle and cheat, every day, and get money, and rise in the world?  Do not rich men grind the faces of the poor, and ride in chariots, and live in splendour; and when they die have pompous funerals, and fine paragraphs to their praise in the newspapers?  Pooh, pooh, sir!  Don't talk to us about what you call 'retribution.'  In this world vice triumphs and villainy bears the bell."

    Very true, my friend!  What you say is too true.  But you have not disproved the truth of the great doctrine of Retribution, for all that.  You are only leading us back to the old, old problem which has puzzled our race for five thousand years.  They discussed it in Hieroglyphic Egypt, in old Sanscrit India, in ancient, mysterious China; and that it was the subject of controversy among the ancient Hebrews, the Book of Job attests powerfully.  Lord Byron calls the Book of job the 'oldest drama and the grandest poetry in the world.'  And, in that 'oldest drama' the great subject of dispute is this same doctrine of Retribution.  Job, or Ayoub, is an Eastern Emir, or noble, who has lost all his riches, and has been smitten with a fell disease—tells the Poet—through the agency of a great malignant spirit—Satan, or Shatan—and he sits on the ground trying to relieve the irritation of his skin, with a piece of broken pottery.  And he bursts into that speech of sublime despair which reminds us so much of the distracted King Lear in Shakspere.

    "Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said.  There is a man child conceived.

    "Let that day be darkness.  Let not God regard it from above, neither let the light shine upon it.

    "Let darkness and the shadow of death stain it.  Let a cloud dwell upon it.  Let the blackness of the day terrify it.

    "As for that night, let darkness seize upon it.  Let it not be joined to the days of the year: let it not come into the number of the months.

    "Lo! let that night be solitary! let no joyful voice come therein! "

    And so he continues in what we must call a strain of sublime misery.  And his three especial friends come to mourn with him, and to comfort him: Eliphaz the Temanite, and Zophar the Naamathite, and Bildad the Shuhite.  You have all heard of 'Job's comforters'!

    "Ay, ay," say you; "we have met with too many of the race, in life's journey."

    And when these so-called comforters come to Job, and listen to his speeches, instead of comforting him, they profess to be shocked and indignant, because he declares that he knows not why God has inflicted so much punishment upon him.  He will not rebel against God—but he cannot understand why he is made to endure so much affliction.  They argue that instead of complaining, he ought to acknowledge that he deserves all his suffering; and that there must be some secret sin which he ought to confess, and which is the chief cause of his dread affliction.  "Doubtless, ye are the people, and wisdom shall die with you!" says Job, and declares that he has no secret sin to confess.  His friends renew their attack in a similar strain, and insist upon it that there is some great guilt which he has concealed.  He has either oppressed the poor, or done some great wrong; and he is, therefore, deservedly punished.  "Miserable comforters are ye all!" says Job; and he tells them he shall not play the hypocrite by pleading guilty of sins which he has not committed.  He has not oppressed the poor; but it has been his delight to relieve and befriend them.  And he bursts out into that beautiful language which Handel has set to such beautiful music,

    "When the ear heard me, then it blessed me; and when the eye saw me, it gave witness to me.

    "Because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him.

    "The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me, and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy."

    In the close of the book the grand dramatist represents the Almighty as speaking out of the whirlwind, and confounding job's comforters.  And God teaches Job that he should not question Divine Government, and He restores Job's riches—but He does not solve the problem of retribution for Job.

    In the 73rd Psalm we have Asaph taking up the problem.  He tells us that his feet had well-nigh slipped, when he saw the prosperity of the wicked.  They are not in trouble as other men, says Asaph: their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart can wish.  But, as to God's people, he declares that waters of a full cup are wrung out to them; and he thinks he has cleansed his heart in vain, and washed his hands in innocency.  The puzzle is too great for the mind of Asaph: the problem was so mysterious, he says, that it was too painful for him.  'Until,' says he, 'I went into the sanctuary of God,' 'then,' he says, 'he understood their end': that is to say, he entered into deep re-verential reflection.—And that is the only process by which we shall be able to cope with this problem of Retribution, so as to satisfy ourselves of its truth.  We can never come to right conclusions on profound questions, by rash and hasty judgments.  Let us imitate Asaph.

    I shall never forget the behaviour of a Jew Atheist in London, twenty-eight years ago, when I was in the habit of holding discussions with Sceptics in the Hall of Science, City Road.  I had just been quoting the words—"I am a jealous God, visiting the sins of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation"—and he burst out in anger, "I hate such a God.  I won't worship your Jehovah.  He is as bad as Moloch!"  "But," I said, "you know He is the God of your fathers."  "I know that," he said, "but I won't have a God Who, they say, commits such an injustice as to visit the sins of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation."

    "Now," said I, "will you just calmly reflect for a moment that if you could banish God out of existence, you have not banished that fact out of existence, that the sins of the fathers are visited upon the children unto the third and fourth generation?  Look at the undeniable facts, that the sins of the fathers are visited upon the children, often to the third and fourth generation, in the transmission of disease—in the form of bad habits and practices—in poverty and want.  And, again," I said to the Jew, "remember that all this demonstrates real benevolence in God.  He determines that men shall understand that sin is sinful; and therefore He surrounds man with judgments which are most likely to deter man from sinning.  God not only affixes physical pain to the performance of sin, and ruin of circumstances, and other penalties; but He lets the penalties fall on their children, that parental feeling may be called into action as a preventive to sin.  And we all know that a man can often be deterred from acting wrongly, when he remembers it would bring punishment on his children.  Nay, we know that such a consideration will deter him when nothing else will."

    Let every one who wishes to come to a fair and true reckoning on the doctrine of Retribution remember this: that God is the Moral Governor of the whole Human Race.  He knows that, as Moral Agents, we influence one another.  We may venture to say that in most of the sins men commit they injure others as well as themselves.  Whole families are often ruined by the evil example of parents.  Even in a shop of working-men, how often the bold wickedness of one or two men will ruin a whole company, though it consist of many scores.  And it is the same with higher society.  See when there is a wicked Court—like that of George the Fourth—how open wickedness spreads among the nobility.

    Now God, as the All-Wise One, knows all the complications of sin, and how it spreads among many and is not confined to one.  And so He sends the due retribution sometimes on a family—some times on a tribe—or even on a nation.  "The iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full"—you remember, is a Scriptural expression.  God lets sin accumulate, lets it ripen and come to a head, and then the punishment falls and overwhelms all who are in any way involved in the sin.  The Bible gives us signal instances of this kind, and we have it even in modern history: in the history of the Bourbons of France, and of our own Stuarts.

    Again, let all who wish to come to a fair and true reckoning on the doctrine of Retribution, take note how observable and clear it is that there is no corrupt favouritism with God.  If His own people do wrong He does not exempt them from retribution.  Mark how Jacob suffered for his meanness and deceit; he sowed deceit and he reaped deceit.  After his trickery to his brother Esau, mark how he was tricked again and again, by Laban; and remember how he had to crouch and bow and tremble before Esau, when he had to meet him, so many years after their separation.  And again think how he was punished for his sin, in the sorrow he had for his son Joseph.  Oh, no! God does not except His own children from the great law of Retribution.  Think of David, and the rebellion of his son Absalom, and the bad conduct of some of his other children.  His great black sin in the matter of Uriah was forgiven; but he had to 'sup sorrow for it' (to use an old English phrase); he had to undergo retribution to the end of his life.

    The instances of retribution in the Bible are numerous; but have we not witnessed them in our own day—Napoleon the Great and Napoleon the Little?

    "Well, sir," says another objector, "I have listened to you very attentively; but I must tell you I think you have only made out a sort of faulty case; you have not established the fact that there is a sure and certain law of Retribution, either for nations, families, or individuals.  You know well enough that there are cases in history which are against you, and so there are of families, and so there are of individuals.  We do not see Retribution always: quite the contrary, only sometimes, as everybody knows.

    "Now, if, in every case, Retribution were as clear and evident, as it is in the case of the First Napoleon, we could not doubt your doctrine.  After shedding—or causing to be shed—the blood of perhaps one million of human beings, he lives six years at St. Helena, tortured with that most shuddering of tortures—cancer of the stomach.  But, to this is added the million-fold cancer of the soul—Remorse!  How complete a realisation it seems of the fable of old Æschylus: Jupiter condemning Prometheus to be chained to a rock in Caucasus, and to have a vulture perpetually gnawing his liver—the vulture of Remorse!

    "But, you know, you cannot make the proof of your doctrine rest on the tortures of Napoleon.  We see some good people pass very comfortably through life, while others meet with very vile usage.  And we see some rascals justly punished; but we fear the greater number of them not only escape punishment, but they prosper and triumph.

    "Nay, there is one great historical fact you seem to have forgotten altogether.  Wrong increases in a family for generations, and they riot in it—when suddenly, the family come to nought, and one poor, comparatively unoffending member bears all the disgrace the family have merited, and he only suffers, while those who lived before him escaped punishment altogether, and rioted in wrong to the end of their existence—— "

    Stay, stay, my friend, you are forgetting that, hitherto, we have only been dealing with the question of Retribution here: we have now to deal with Retribution hereafter."

    "You may save yourself the trouble of entering on that subject," interjects some sceptical hearer: "I don't believe in, or expect, any hereafter."

    Then why do you take any interest in the question of Retribution?  Of what real consequence can it be to you?  Paul thought the doctrine of great consequence, or he would not have given us these warning words—"Be not deceived: God is not mocked.  Whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap."  And the words that come after show that Paul meant not only reaping here—but reaping hereafter.  Do not conclude, then, without a little more thinking that all the royal forerunners, for instance, of the poor unfortunate Louis XVI. of France, escaped the punishment due to their wrongdoing, although some of them lived in such royal riot here.  I must leave you who say you expect no hereafter to think more about it, and attend now, to St. Paul's words: "He that soweth to his own flesh"—what is that?  He that follows the bent of his own fallen nature.

    For our natures are fallen.  We feel they are.  Our natural inclination is not to self-denial, but to indulgence.  We show it from childhood.  Our natural inclination is not to humility, but to pride.  We show it from childhood, I repeat.  And we show it all along through life.  How soon an unregenerate man is offended!  "You insult me, sir!" says he; and his eyes flash and his cheeks redden, and he is very much inclined to strike.  Our natural inclination is not to the 'charity that thinketh no evil,' but to the disposition that easily believes evil of anybody.  For nothing delights the unregenerate mind so much as the hearing of a bit of good rotten scandal; and the more rotten it is, and the more it smells, the more acceptable it is.

    But, if you would see a more full and awful account of fallen human nature, listen to the black catalogue of sins which St. Paul presents to the Gentiles, in the close of the first chapter of the Epistle to the Romans—and remember the catalogue is true of all Gentiles, of ourselves among them. I shall not read it all to you: only the last five verses : " And, as they did not like," etc., etc.

    "But, sir, do you mean to say that we are all born with an equal propensity to evil, and to all these evils which Paul mentions?"

    No: I do not.  But we are each and all born with the propensity to evil, and some of us with a propensity to many evils: others, it may be, to fewer.

    If any man doubts the dire Scriptural truth that we are born in sin—that the carnal mind is enmity against God—let him begin to seek religion, and he'll soon find that he is naturally prone to evil.  So long as a man is living in sin—living a jolly life—taking his pipe and glass in the tap-room—or more respectably, his glass of brandy and water and his cigar, in the inn-parlour—he laughs at your Methodism and cant about being a sinner, and a fallen creature.  But let the Spirit of God lay hold of him and lead him to seek religion, and he will soon begin to cry out with Paul, before he got out of his struggle with sin, and began to be holy—before he got out of the seventh chapter of Romans into the eighth, as an old preacher used to say—"When I would do good, evil is present with me!  Oh, wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death!"

    "Well, now," another is saying, "what do you really hold to be the truth about a Future State?  What do you hold to be the real truth as it regards Future Punishment?  "They that sow to their own flesh, shall of the flesh reap corruption."  St. Paul uses the old Greek word φθορα.  The lexicons render it 'corruption,' 'decay,' 'destruction,' 'ruin.'  Our old translators have chosen the first rendering.  The Rev. Edward White, and some other scholars consider these expressions as literal, and judge that although all sinners will be punished for a season—for a term merited by their degree of sin—they will eventually be annihilated.  I have said, over and over again, that I cannot receive such a doctrine.

    Some of you, no doubt, have heard me say that the doctrine of Mr. Maurice and dear Charles Kingsley seems inviting.  I acknowledge that there is something very winning and very attractive in the belief that God will eventually banish all pain and suffering, and all sin and evil out of His universe, and that happiness and holiness shall reign in it for ever—but the proof of this is not so clear to me.  (1) I do not know, since God can permit, or endure, the existence of sin and suffering in His universe now, why He cannot endure it for ever.  (2) And, if any one tells me that they cannot think there can be punishment for ever in the Future State, for sins we have committed in our short existence here: the punishment seems so disproportionate, that it seems unjust—I ask, how do you know what kind of punishment and what amount of it sin deserves?  I cannot reckon up what my sins deserve.  I dare not take God's place and pronounce judgment—and remember, you must not.

    "But we understand, sir, that the Greek words, αιων and αιωνιος do not mean ever and everlasting."  Just so: their literal meaning is age and age-lasting, and 'for ever and ever' is literally 'the ages of the ages.'  But such an expression as that is just as mysterious as everlasting.  I don't think you can really gather anything to guide you from the literal meaning of the Greek words, because you see the same Greek word is used to express the misery of the bad, and the happiness of the good.  And we have no authority for applying one interpretation to the one state, and another interpretation to the other.

    I must confess to you, I cannot agree with any of the schemes that have been put forth so earnestly of late.  I cannot help remembering that Eternity is a long chalk.  Eternity?  For ever?  How do we know, and how can we conceive what God will do with His moral agents throughout eternity?  What will He do with the Angels—with Men—with Fallen Spirits?  We do not know.

    Let us have one word on the brighter side—for, thank God! there is a brighter side.  "They that sow to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting."  God has no pleasure in the death and destruction of sinful men.  He wills that all should come to Him.  Have you not often felt His good Spirit striving with you?  Oh, listen to His voice, yield to His holy striving: begin to sow to the Spirit—begin to lift up your heart in prayer—begin to strive against sin—cry out to God to help you.  He is sure to help you, if you ask Him.  If you had been as willing to be saved, as God is to save you, you would have been saved long ago.

    Remember, you must sow, if you mean to reap.  If you covet everlasting life, with all the blessedness of heaven, you must live for it.  You must not expect heaven, if you do not pray, if you do not strive to get thither.  You have been sowing the tares and noxious weeds of sin, it may be for many years—Oh, give up that evil practice, fall at God's feet in repentance and confess your sin, and begin to sow the seed of prayer and holy desire and holy strife for a new heart, a regenerate nature and a prospect of heaven.  God help you so to do; and bring us all to heaven, at last, for Christ's sake!  Yes: we may all reach the mansions there, if we will.  Don't imagine you are to live no more, after this little life here.  There is a nobler life for you—the 'life everlasting.'  The life where you shall see 'the King in His beauty,' and enjoy His purity and love and sweetness, for ever.


 
— X.—

ON GOING BACK.

[A Discourse addressed chiefly to Secularist Working Men.]


"From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him.  Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?  Then Simon Peter answered Him, Lord, to whom shall we go?  Thou hast the words of eternal life."—J
OHN vi. 66, 67, 68.


"MANY of His disciples went back."  I fear many of His disciples are going back now.  Many who were His disciples from preserving the creed of their childhood; and many who have been His disciples by Christian profession in riper years.  We live at a time when many are going back—some to worldliness of life and indifference to spiritual religion; and many more to open scepticism and denial of all religion.  Among the working classes, scepticism has hardly existed for a full century, in this country.  For, the working classes were not the readers of Hobbes, and Shaftesbury, and Morgan, and Anthony Collins, and Woolston and Toland, in the last century, since but very few of them could read.  It was among the middle classes and the aristocracy that the disciples of the old English Freethinkers were found.  Unbelief, open and declared, began among the working classes in London and the manufacturing districts, with the publication of Thomas Paine's 'Age of Reason.'  That was their class-book, once.  But the 'Age of Reason' contains no Atheism or Materialism; and so it has ceased to be their class-book, now.  For Unbelief now takes bolder and more defiant forms, among the working classes; and Unbelief, among them, is rapidly and fearfully increasing.

    And who can wonder at that?  Of late years, a Broad Church has sprung up in the State Church, on one side, and a Ritualistic Church, on the other.  And, thus, the working classes, disgusted with the superstitious practices of the one, have been encouraged to doubt, with the other.  And, now, the Men of Science—the men whom public opinion had come to enthrone as the highest men of their age, because of the benefits which Science has conferred on mankind, and the increased convenience and comfort it has given to their daily life—the Men of Science have become the avowed disciples and teachers of Unbelief.

    The older race of scientific men, the grand Discoverers—the really great Men of Science—Newton and Boyle and the Herschells, and the rest—were ever and anon telling mankind that the more completely they opened the secrets of Nature, the more they were humbled and over-awed by the proofs of God's glorious existence, and wisdom, and power.  But, the smaller and modern men of Science—who are not Discoverers, but presumptuous theorists and prophets that something marvellous will be discovered, some time, are all declaring that nothing which they can see in Nature proves design, or contrivance.  So declares Herbert Spencer and Professor Tyndall and Professor Huxley, and the rest: Nature proves no design, no contrivance.  All we see is the result of Evolution.  All is the result of the working of the unintelligent, unconscious, blind Forces of Matter, which are Eternal.  Nature proves no personal God, says Professor Tyndall: the very existence of one is unthinkable, says Herbert Spencer.

    And, thus, the 'Masses,' as they are called—the Working Men who have to toil with hand and brain to win their bread, and who have received no College education—no skilled instruction—but have been left to instruct themselves, or go without instruction, altogether—have been encouraged and emboldened, not only to go back, but to go farther back.  The writings of Bishop Colenso were eagerly snatched up by sceptical working men, with a shout of triumph, when they first appeared.  But sceptical working men welcome with still greater triumph, and lean still more confidently upon, the theories of the Men of Science—that is to say, emphatically, of the Men of Knowledge—for that is the literal meaning of the word 'Science.'" If the Men of Knowledge do not know what is right, and what is true—who can know?" say the working men who are Unbelievers—"if they cannot guide mankind as to what is to be believed and received for truth—who can guide us?"

    Nor, is doubt and disbelief confined to Working Men, to the Men of Science, and a section of the Clergy of the State Church.  The Aristocracy have caught the infection.  Our Russells and Seymours are writing Atheistic books; and the Middle Classes are crowding to the sable flag which bears a Death's-head and cross-bones, and proclaims that there is no Personal God—no All-seeing and Eternal judge—and no accountability to Him—for there is no conscious hereafter for man.  Thus Doubt and Disbelief are filling the minds of thousands.  The late Archbishop of Canterbury, while addressing his clergy, a while ago, expressed his alarm at the condition of thought and opinion, in this country; and more lately, Dr. Ellicott, the Bishop of Gloucester, expresses still greater alarm.  As yet, the intellectual earthquake has not shaken the more rural districts; but in our manufacturing towns and villages, and in London, men's minds are unsettled; and this unsettlement, as I have said, extends to thousands.

    Many who are thus unsettled have not reached the dread stage of complete Disbelief.  They are feeling an unwillingness to give up their belief of a Future Life, and embrace entirely the new doctrine of Evolution, which gives the unrelenting deathblow to their old belief, and proclaims, unmistakably, that when our life ceases here we lie down with the dogs, and are done with—for we are conscious no more, for ever.  All men are not so utterly sunk in the corruption and degradation of Vice, that they care nothing about dying like dogs and perishing for ever.  Men, in general, have a shuddering feeling at Nothingness.


                                    "Why shrinks the soul
Back on herself, and startles at destruction?"


exclaims Cato, in the once popular play of Addison.  And if the answer he gives is not the true one—


"'Tis heaven itself that points out an hereafter,
 And intimates eternity to Man"—


I say, if that be not the true answer, there is, at least, something within us which shrinks back at the thought of Nothingness-of our becoming utterly extinct and unconscious, for ever.

    Thus, while the sceptical theories of the day are unsettling the belief of thousands, the thousands get no happiness from the sceptical theories; and therefore, in their hearts—if not with their tongues—the thousands still ask the question which Peter asks in the text—"To whom shall we go?"

    Was there any likeness between the real character of the 'Many' who were going back in Christ's time and the thousands who are going back into Doubt and Disbelief now?  "From that time many of His disciples went back," says St. John, "and walked no more with Him"—followed Him no longer.  "Many of His disciples":—What kind of disciples were they, and who were they?  Not the 'twelve,' for Christ addresses them when the others are leaving Him.  Who, and what kind of disciples were they who 'went back and walked no more with Him'?  Walked no more with Him.  They must have met with some signal disappointment to their expectations.  They must have discovered that Jesus was not the person to give them what they wanted.  His declarations must have very plainly revealed to them the fact that they would never obtain their heart's wish and desire from Him—or they would not have gone back never more to walk with Him, or follow Him.  Who, and what hind of disciples were they?  They could not have been in quest of that 'eternal life' that Peter talks about.

    The Gospel writers generally use the word 'disciples' to describe the twelve apostles, or chosen companions of Christ; but they sometimes apply the name more diffusively—so as to include those of Christ's hearers who believed that He was the promised Messiah, and wrought His miracles by Divine power.  Among the members of the crowds that followed the Saviour, there would be various degrees of belief.  Some would feel a real confidence that He was the promised Messiah—'the Son of David'—the true Redeemer foretold by the prophets.  Others, would be unsteady, half-believers—men who, one day, manifested zeal for the new Prophet, and, on another, were drawn into disbelief by agents of the priests and other sordid, hypocritical Pharisees, and of the proud, unbelieving Sadducees.  While others would have a feeble faith in Christ—just sufficiently strong to lead them to go after Him, in the hope that they would get clearer evidence of His Messiahship, by-and-by.  But Christ Himself shows us that our poor fallen human nature was as mean then as it is now—for He declares that the Many sought Him, not because they saw His miracles, but because they ate of the loaves and were filled.

    This, then, was the mean, selfish, paltry motive for which the Many—the majority of the crowd—followed Christ!  He who 'knew what was in Man, and needed not that any should tell Him,' declares it to be the fact.  When Christ showed them that He would not let them take Him, by force, to make Him a temporal king—that He did not come to set up a temporal kingdom—to reign at Jerusalem, and drive away the Romans, and make the Jewish nation into a great pre-eminent people who should win homage and tribute from all the nations of the earth—and when He showed them that they must not expect Him to work miracles and feed them with bread, without their working for it—but that they must receive Him as the spiritual bread from heaven—must believe that His Divine Father gave them this spiritual bread—must feed upon Him with their spirits—must spiritually eat His flesh and drink His blood—they went back, in supercilious scepticism and scorn, and 'walked no more with Him.'

    They had followed Him for material bread; but He offered them spiritual bread.  They and their desires were of the earth, earthy: He was the Lord from heaven.  They wanted a Saviour who would satisfy their physical wants, without their exertion of any more labour: He told them that He came to raise their fallen spiritual natures from the degradation of sin and to make them new creatures.  They wanted Him to make a coarse heaven, full of physical enjoyment, for them, on earth: He told them that they must be born again, and thus be enabled to live purer and holier lives here, that they might be fitted for the purity and eternal happiness of heaven.  But they 'went back, and walked no more with Him'!

    My dear friends, have you not begun to recognise a close likeness between the Many who went back and walked no more with Christ, when He was on earth, and the Many who are going back and walking no more with Him, now?

    What the great mass of mankind still seek is, a heaven on earth—a heaven of their own framing—a heaven where all their physical wants and earthly desires shall be satisfied, without anxiety and without labour: a heaven on earth where there shall be no more twinges of conscience, and where they shall hear no more of a reckoning for sins hereafter.  He who will promise men this earthly heaven is still the Messiah that the majority of men seek.  It was the Messiah they sought in Christ's time; and it is the Messiah they seek still.

    When I was younger, men believed that they had found such a Messiah.  He proclaimed himself to be the Regenerator of Human Society.  The 'old moral world' was to be swept away, and he would institute the 'New Moral World.'  He had the most consummate confidence in himself: a quality without which you cannot win the confidence of others.  He believed himself to be infallible; and, therefore, thousands were attracted to believe in him.  He affirmed that he had discovered the true secret of happiness, and it resulted from his discovery of one great fundamental truth: that Man's character is formed for him, not by him.  He proclaimed that Men ought to be grateful for the discovery of this great truth, because it shows them how all things may be rendered pleasant for them here, and how they may be delivered from the bugbear of a reckoning hereafter.  "Man is the creature of circumstance," proclaimed the new Messiah, Robert Owen.  "Place him in good circumstances, and Man will be good: place him in bad circumstances, and he will be bad.  What Man does he cannot avoid doing.  There is no guilt in human actions, and there ought to be no praise and no blame:'

    You cannot wonder that men reasoned—then, there is no vice and there is no virtue.  Nor, can you wonder that they went on to put the reasoning into practice.  Harmony Hall was opened—after the failure of some other experiments—Harmony Hall, at Tytherly, in Hampshire, was opened—where this new heaven on earth was to be realised—where the New Moral World was to be instituted.  Disciples flocked to it—some to lodge there for a few days or weeks, and see how they liked it: many of these departed soon, and never returned.  Others went to settle there, and said they meant to remain.  I had a long account given to me some years ago by Isaac Ironside of Sheffield, whom, notwithstanding all his eccentricities, no one who knew him would suspect of falsehood.  It was a sorry account, indeed, which he gave me; and I shall trouble you with very little of it.

    He turned his little property into money and put it into the estate and establishment at Harmony Hall, and took his young wife with him to live there, with the resolution that that, in future, should be their home.  "We'll have done," said he, "with the old, bad, immoral world, and we'll live in the New Moral World, now, to the end of our lives."  I must not tell you the long story he told me about quarrels, and fighting with chairs, and other queer transactions.  I will just give you one feature of my friend's story, and then end it.  Not long after the opening, a bit of cardboard was placed, conspicuously, in the great dining-room, which was also the great dancing-room, every night—to say that one of the inmates had lost a jewelled brooch, arid begged that any one who had found it would restore it.  But it was not restored; and a few mornings after, another bit of cardboard appeared, intimating that a gold necklace was missing.  When the bits of cardboard numbered half-a-dozen, their contents were copied on one larger cardboard.  But this had soon to be copied again, and again recopied, until the cardboard was an awful-looking thing, both for its size and contents—to be found as a Register of Facts in the New Moral World.  For it showed that scores of ornaments—brooches and pins and necklaces and bracelets—had been stolen, and that the thieves were determined thieves, and would not give up their plunder.

    And, at length, their Messiah, Robert Owen, the governor of the establishment, solemnly summoned the company together, and pointed to the long list of thievery, and asked them if they called that living in the New Moral World; and he told them that he was ashamed of them.  And they laughed him to scorn, and desired that a new governor might be appointed in his stead.  And he left them, accordingly, and then they soon fell to pieces.  The strangest thing of all was, that Robert Owen steadfastly believed in his own infallibility and Messiahship to the end—though all his schemes for a New Moral World failed, and—except a few—men ceased to believe in him.

    The Men of our day—of the present generation—have got a new Messiah—a Messiah with many heads—Science.  Science is their new Messiah.  Science, the great wonder-worker.  Science, which has given us Steam-power, and Gas-light, and Galvanic-batteries, and Telescopes and Microscopes and Electrical Machines, and Spectrum Analysis and Hundred-ton Cannon and Iron-plated Ships of War, and—Evolution!  Science, which the Men of Science affirm declares that there is no Eternal Intelligence—no Almighty and All-wise Creator; but, that the Forces of Matter—Gravity and Heat and Light and Electricity and Magnetism—are eternal: for Matter itself is eternal.  And either Carbon and Oxygen and Hydrogen and Nitrogen, and the Alkalies and the Acids and the Metals are eternal—or, otherwise the one primal Matter from which they are all derived, and which constituted the original Atoms and Molecules of the Universe, is eternal.  And that what we call 'Life,' in Plants and Animals, is the result of the working of the Forces of Matter; and Man's intelligence is—simply—'cerebration': a result of the working of the brain, which is so much water and fat, and albumen and phosphorus and osmozome, and a few acids and salts;—and that these think, are conscious, will, determine, design, and contrive.  Man's life is like that of the beasts: there is both a beginning and an end to it, here.  And so men need not trouble themselves about sin, for there is none; and there will be no reckoning hereafter.

    "Come forth, ye honoured heralds of Science!"—thousands are saying in their hearts—"come forth, and proclaim the reign of Reason and the coming of the real—the rational Millennium!  Let the high-priests of Science step forth—so high and unerring in their intelligence—and let us crown them with wreaths of laurels and roses—for they have broken the bondage of the human mind, and dissipated the slavery of superstition and priestcraft.

    "We need not be troubled, any more, now, with puzzles either of the Old or New Testament.  Let all the old romances about Miracles be accounted simply, as Tales for the Nursery.  Let the bugbear of a future state of rewards and punishments be driven out of human memory.  Let it be heard of no more; and let us now live rational lives, enjoying all the pleasures that are within our reach; and let us trouble ourselves, no more, about prayer and religion!"

    Stop!  Do you remember what John Stuart Mill, your dead prophet, said?  Do you remember what Strauss and Renan say? and what the author of the new book, 'Spiritual Religion,' says?—Christ's system of morality is the most perfect ever given to the world, and He was the most perfect exemplar, Himself, of the goodness that He taught.  And hearken to what Christ proclaims"  What shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?'  'He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life. . . . Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live. . . . Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth, they that have done good unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil to the resurrection of condemnation."  And listen to the man who, from being the dire persecutor of the new religion, became its fervent apostle and martyr—"Be not deceived: God is not mocked; for, whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap.  For he that soweth to his flesh, shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit, shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting."

    "We have done with Christ and Paul, too," cry the disciples of Evolution: "we're going back, and we'll walk no more with either Christ or Paul.  We're going back from our old superstitious fears and scare-crows about a future state, and about sin and guilt and punishment.  Science is our guide: Science and the Men of Science.  We are only a part of the Material Universe; and there is no spiritual nature.  And as for what you call Conscience and the Moral Nature, as Mr. Darwin shows, they are evolved from the nature of animals.  "Lower animals, especially the dog," says Mr. Darwin, "manifest love, reverence, fidelity, and obedience; and it is from these elements that the religious sentiment in man has been slowly evolved."  We'll be troubled no more about the Moral Nature and Conscience."

    Will you not?  You cannot help being so troubled.  The voice within you will speak, though you turn a deaf ear to every preacher.  You cannot silence the voice of Conscience.  If you try to persuade yourself that you are only the Creature of Circumstance, and that you are not accountable to a Higher Power for your thoughts and words and actions, Conscience will disturb you, in spite of yourself.  When you do wrong, you know you do wrong; and remorse will torture you, even in the street.  It will torture you when you are in the dark, and no human eye sees you: it will torture you in the midst of your pleasure and your stolen and guilty joys.  You might as well try to tear the skin off, in one sheet from your back, as to get quit of Conscience.  If you can lay it asleep for a few days, it will awake and visit you with greater terrors.  If you try to drown it in drink, it will make you tremble when you are sober.  And, if you exercise all the strength of your depraved will, and be determined to sear Conscience as with a red-hot iron, you will feel that you become a base, degraded creature, sunk in sin and vileness and corruption.  You will feel you are base, and you will hate yourself.  You know that this is true.  Whenever you have striven to stifle Conscience, and get yourself to believe that you were not guilty, you could not succeed.  You cannot kill Conscience, You have not the power to do it; nor will all the pernicious reasonings of modern philosophers enable you to do it.

    Hark!  Do you not hear that voice, and that solemn question?  "Will ye also go away?"  Has not the Holy Spirit often taken those words of Christ and uttered them
within your soul?  "Will ye also go away?"  Stop and consider!  The voice of the Holy Spirit has often brought you to a serious pause when you have been weighing over again the words of the philosophers, and the reasonings of the doubters, and when you have been thinking of the value of what you are giving up, in giving up Christianity.  "Will ye also go away?"  Do you still answer, We are going back, we'll walk no more with Christ, we'll give up all faith in Christianity?  But God does not give you up.  You are often compelled by His inward strivings to look at the points of the Christian Evidence that seem undeniable and irrefragable.  You know you are.  They often come upon you with an overwhelming force. But you get back again to your old sceptical reasonings—I know all about it, for I have gone through it all myself—and, in the misery and agony of your sense of difficulty, you inwardly cry—"To whom shall I go?"  But you do not say, "Lord, to whom shall I go?"  You do not ask the question, as Peter asked it.  You do not ask God for light.  You do not go to Him for guidance.  You do not pray—for the philosophers tell you it is useless and foolish—they treat prayer with scorn and ridicule.  "I am not a praying man!" says, so scornfully, Professor Tyndall.  "Let a number of your praying people attend a sick man in one room, and a number of medical men attend a sick man in another room, and let us see which will be healed first: put the value of prayer to the proof!" cry the men who claim to be the leaders of modern thought.

    But, in spite of all their proud scorn and in spite of all their ridicule, the value of prayer is real, my doubting and disbelieving friend.  If you wish to get light you must pray to the God of light.  Remember that "God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all."  You will get the unerring light from Him, and from none else.  He made your mind, and He has access to your mind, every moment; and, if you do pray to Him, and continue to pray to Him, you are sure to get light from Him Who is the true light, and Who lighteth every man that cometh into the world.  Prayer is the only resource you have for getting the true light, my friend, let the philosophers say what they will.  Their opinions are very changeable.  They have changed again and again, on many important subjects, in the course of my short life.

    It will be an awful case for you, my friend, if you refuse to pray, and die in darkness, and find yourself mistaken: find that the Future State is a reality—find yourself before the Eternal judge, and feel that you deserve His sentence of condemnation.  You should not venture such a step in the dark, my friend.  You ought to be very sure that there is no sufficient evidence for the Truth of Christianity, and no likelihood of a Future State, before you settle down into dogged disbelief, and say you will neither inquire any more, nor pray any more.  Perhaps, you are the father of a family, or the head of an important section of Society, and your example is looked up to, and you are drawing many into disbelief by your example.  Ought you not to consider, very seriously, what you are doing?  Should you not be very anxious to be perfectly right?  Will you not be very guilty, if you not only fall into the pit of ruin yourself, but drag others into it?—your children—your companions—those who look up to your example?

    Had you not better listen to Peter's reply to Christ—'Lord, to whom shall we go?  Thou hast the words of eternal life'?  Would not real Christianity make you happy?  I mean Christ's own Christianity: not the so-called Christianity of any mere man, or sect of men.  I mean the Christianity of which He Himself was—as even the sceptical philosophers now say—the highest and most perfect personal example.  Can you deny that if all the human world were like Christ, it would be a happy world?  If we all had His purity and holiness of character, His meekness and patience, His pity for the wretched and suffering, His zeal to help and relieve them—if we all, like the Saviour, loved all mankind, and strove to do everybody good—would not this human world, amid the natural world with all its beauty, be something like a heaven on earth?

    Do not tell me that there are many religious professors who are not what they ought to be—that there are many hypocrites.  Christ denounced the hypocrites.  Hypocrisy is not religion.  I do not ask you to be hypocrites: I ask you to become true and devoted Christians.

    Did you ever think of the value of Peter's words—of the preciousness of their full meaning 'Thou hast the words of Eternal Life'?  Peter does not mean that Christ teaches Science.  Christ did not come to do that.  He knew that Men would pursue Science for themselves, and that God had given them powers of mind wherewith they may pursue Science; and that though they might yield, for a time, to self-conceit, and make many errors and mistakes, yet they would, doubtless, reach the truth at last, and find the Truths of Science and the Truths of Revelation in perfect agreement.  Christ did not come to teach Science; but to deliver the words of eternal life.  He did not come to interfere with Governments, or to remodel all human institutions and set them on the right basis.  He came to give men the living words that should centre in Men's souls, and lead them, themselves, to set all institutions right, in the course of time.  He came to make Men new creatures.  He came to atone for Man's sin, that Man might know his sins forgiven, and so lead a grateful and holy life here, and then share in the blessed life hereafter.  The men of Science are teaching Materialism, and that there is no hereafter.  But, remember, Christ teaches the contrary, and He teaches it positively.  Remember that all Christ teaches of His power to forgive sin and to make men holy,—remember that all He teaches about the reality of the future life,—He teaches positively.  He has perfect confidence in the perfect truth, in the infallible correctness, of His own teachings.  Whatever insidious doubts philosophers may cast upon Christianity and His teachings—Christ has none.  Listen to Him!

    "I am the way, the truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father but by Me."  "I am the vine, and My Father is the husbandman. . . . I am the vine, ye are the branches, . . . without Me ye can do nothing."  "I am the good shepherd, and I lay down My life for the sheep. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again."  "I am not alone, but the Father is with Me."  "Come unto Me, all ye that labour, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."  "I go to prepare a place for you, that where I am there ye shall be also."  "I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in Me, shall never die."

    All these are the words of eternal life.  Christ came to give eternal life: the life of pardon and holiness and happiness, is to be begun here, and to continue for ever, hereafter.  It is eternal life.  Will you part with your vain reasonings to have this life: this eternal life?  Christ waits to give it you.  "Ye will not come unto Me that ye may have life," He says.  He invites you to come.  He turns none away" Whosoever cometh unto Me, I will in no wise cast out," He declares.

    Remember who it is that says, "Will ye also go away?"  My dear friend, whether you believe it or not, Christ died for you, Christ died to save you, Christ endured the agony in the garden of Gethsemane for you—when, 'being in an agony He prayed the more earnestly.'

    I cannot explain to you all the mystery of the Saviour's suffering; nor, of the Father's love in giving His Son for us all: but I tell you He came to redeem us all. Christ's agony and suffering receive no explanation, for me, on the Unitarian scheme.  If He merely came to show us a perfect example, and such suffering closed His life—the suffering becomes more mysterious still.  That He suffered thus for the sins of all men—and that 'God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them'—and that thus, all the prophecies in the Old Testament were fulfilled—and that God's Moral Government is cleared—removes so much of the veil of mystery, as ought to raise in us gratitude and love in return for God's everlasting love that led Him to give His Son for us.

    I cannot explain other Mysteries to you.  I cannot tell you why God suffered Evil and Pain to come into His Universe.  Perhaps it could not be otherwise; I cannot say; and I advise you all never to trouble yourselves with such a question as the Origin of Evil, for you will never be able to solve it.  We are all conscious that we share the Evil there is in the world, and our best and wisest way is to cry to God to help us to overcome it.

    You who are going back cannot overcome it.  No man yet won the victory over his depraved nature, who did not ask God to help him.  If you resolve to walk no more with Christ, you will sink into more depravity.  You must sink: it will be impossible for you to rise.

    Young Christian man! you who have been brought up with the practice of family prayer, and Sunday school instruction and attendance on worship—have you been listening to this vain philosophy, and have you got entangled and puzzled and mystified with it?  And are you thinking of withdrawing from the Church?  At your peril you take such a step!  If you cease to profess religion, you will soon become a prey to temptation.  You will think, 'Well, I may join in this worldly practice, or the other: it has no harm in itself; and as I am no longer a professor, it does not much matter that I yield a little.'  Oh, beware how Vice creeps round the heart, till, with serpent coils and poisonous fang, it completes a man's ruin!

    What! are you still resolved to go back?  Listen to the Saviour who came to save you, how He still cries—'Will ye also go away?'  God help you to listen to Him, and to return to Him and cleave to Him, for ever!  Amen.


— XI.—
 
CHARLES DARWIN; AND THE FALLACIES OF EVOLUTION.

[Discourse delivered chiefly to Working Men, in various parts of the Country.]


WHAT is called the 'Civilised World' seems to be fast losing its celebrities.  Germany still retains her Bismarck, as her pre-eminent man; but France—strange to say—has no pre-eminent man.  Italy has lost her last pre-eminent man—the old knight-errant of Freedom, Garibaldi; and America has lost both her Emerson and Longfellow.  Out of the four pre-eminent men of which our own country boasted, three have gone—Carlyle, Darwin, and Disraeli; and 'the old man eloquent,' Gladstone, alone remains.

    The high celebrity of Thomas Carlyle and Benjamin Disraeli extended over many years; and the pre-eminence of William Ewart Gladstone has been far from evanescent.  Mr. Darwin's great celebrity can only be said to date from 1859, when his book, 'The Origin of Species, by Natural Selection,' set the world on fire—to use a customary phrase.  He had been long known, and held in high regard, among Men of Science; but it was not till the publication of his famous book that he became a celebrity, in the popular sense.

    And who was Charles Darwin?  The grandson of a man who was also a celebrity, in his way—Dr. Erasmus Darwin, known for his curious book, 'Zoonamia; or, the Loves of the Plants'—a book, containing a theory which has some resemblance to the theories afterwards broached by his grandson.  But the name of Dr. Erasmus Darwin was as much known for his conversational contests with Dr. Johnson, as from his authorship of 'Zoonamia.'  The good old doctor, you know, was in the habit of visiting Lichfield, his birthplace—where he was always gladly received by his friends; and Dr. Erasmus Darwin being one of the intellectuals of Lichfield, was naturally brought into contact with Johnson, at these visits.  We all remember Boswell's descriptions of the sonorous voice and magisterial style of Johnson, when he took a part in conversation.  How he would be victor in an argument, whether he were wrong or right; and how he would knock a man down with a long word, if he could not win the victory any other way.  Now, Dr. Erasmus Darwin was not to be knocked down with a long word—and so the conversation of the two doctors sometimes approached a quarrel.

    The son of Dr. Erasmus Darwin hardly appears to have reached the mental robustness of his father; but he seems to have held a respectable rank in his profession as a physician—he was also a Fellow of the Royal Society, and so must have had some knowledge of Science—and we may be sure that he was a man of good common-sense, for he married a good wife.  She was the daughter of Josiah Wedgwood, the founder of the prosperity of the Staffordshire Potteries.

    I will read you a somewhat delectable paragraph from a Shropshire paper, kindly sent me by a friend.  It sheds a kindly light on the memory of our Charles Darwin's father:


SHROPSHIRE WORTHIES.

DR. DARWIN (November 15th, 1876).


Robert Waring Darwin settled down to a life-long practice as a physician at Shrewsbury in 1786.  His father brought him to Shrewsbury before he was twenty-one years of age, and gave him £20.  His uncle sent him a like sum, and this was all the pecuniary aid he ever received.  After he had been in practice for six months, he had between forty and fifty patients, which was more surprising because there were in the town, three physicians, six surgeons, and divers apothecaries.  He visited the poor without reward, and helped them in other ways, sending fruit and wine to their homes.  For full fifty years his practice was wonderful.  His little yellow carriage, made to fit him, his two sleek horses, and steady coachman, were continually on the road.  He sat as if carved in stone, his unimpassioned, mild, and thoughtful face inspiring confidence and respect.  His height was more than six feet, his bulk was proportionate, and became enormous as age increased.  He was a great feeder, and, it was said, could eat a goose as easily as other men do a partridge.  He married Susan Wedgwood, who entered zealously into all her husband's pursuits.  He took great interest in botany and geology, and the gardens at The Mount were noted for their choice flowers and shrubs.  The beauty, variety, and tameness of his pigeons were well known in the neighbourhood.  He died 15th November, 1848, aged eighty-two.  On the morning of his death, the lowest cottager in the streets leading to The Mount had darkened the windows, and his children stood at the door weeping.  Dr. Darwin's love of youngsters was a striking feature of his character.  He and his daughters established the first infant school in Shrewsbury at a cost of £300.


    The father of Charles Darwin decided on making his son into a physician—from sheer fondness, I suppose, for his own profession.  So Charles, while very young, was sent to the University of Edinburgh, where the 'Faculty' was considered to be at its height of scientific excellence.  The trial was short.  Dr. Jameson, the chief medical professor, sent word to the father that his son Charles had better be sent to some other university—for the youth had no inclination for medicine, and would not attend to the college lessons.  So the father next removed Charles to Cambridge, with the intent of making him into a clergyman—but neither did the young man feel inclined to enter the Church.  Nor does he seem to have had any inclination for study of any kind.  No love of Nature was awoke in him, as yet.  He said that his only love of Nature, at that time, was to hunt foxes and shoot partridges.

    Charles Darwin, however, did not waste life for any long period, in mere love of sport.  He attended some lectures of Professor Henslow, who had recently held the chair of mineralogy, and now held that of botany.  Professor Henslow, like his great contemporary, Dr. Whewell, the famous Master of Trinity, was commonly held to 'know everything.'  But, unlike the great Dr. Whewell, he was bland and affectionate in his bearing towards young men; and he soon won the regard and respect of Charles Darwin.  Strangely enough, Darwin, at first, fastened on Entomology as his favourite study; and became so earnest a student that he discovered a new insect.  It was soon duly placed in British Entomology; and thus Charles Darwin started, even at the outset of his study of Science, as a discoverer.

    When he was two-and-twenty, through the interest of Professor Henslow, and with his own eager desire, he was appointed Naturalist, on board the Beagle, which ship was about to be sent out on a voyage of discovery, in the Pacific.  They visited Brazil—they sailed through the Straits of Magellan—they visited the island of Terra del Fuego, Fiji, and New Zealand.  The experience gained in this voyage was considered to be of great value by Darwin himself.

    At the age of thirty-one, he married, and settled for life, on a small property at Down, near Beckenham, in Kent.  Of course, he visited London occasionally, to attend the meetings of the Royal Society and other meetings of Men of Science.  Yet, he may be said to have led a retired and plodding life, in the rural home he had chosen.  He became a general and constantly observant student of all Nature around him—he was in constant correspondence with zoologists, botanists, geologists, and all kinds of scientific men.

    It was at a meeting of the Linnæan Society, in 1858, that his views as to the 'Origin of Species,' and those of Mr. Alfred Wallace, were broached.  Mr. Wallace, you will remember, gave up the lead to Mr. Darwin, and did not put his own views into print, till after the publication of Mr. Darwin's book, in November, 1 1859.

    Mr. Darwin gave great alarm to many thinking people, by the issue of his book.  They saw that he had only hinted at what really must form a part of his theory; and they felt sure that when his meaning was fully told, not only the doctrines of Revealed, but of Natural Religion, would be shaken.

    "But, do you consider," some may ask, "that Mr. Darwin proclaimed Atheism, by the publication of his book?"  No: for, although in the early editions of the 'Origin of Species,' Mr. Darwin never expressed himself piously, nor even reverently (that I
remember) of God, he uses the term 'Creator' several times.  That term is the only one by which Mr. Darwin indicates that he had some kind of a belief in the Eternal Author of all things.  And, be it observed that Mr. Darwin never puts a single adjective of any kind before the word.  It is simply 'The Creator.'  He never says 'good' Creator, or 'wise' Creator, or 'Almighty Creator.'  So that one cannot help doubting whether the writer of the book had any decided belief in the existence of God, at that time.

    And another important fact must be remembered: that almost all who were foremost to express agreement with Mr. Darwin, were also foremost to express their unbelief in religion—their Agnosticism, their Materialism, and, in some cases, their Atheism.  Some of the Germans, who seemed to be enraptured with the doctrine of 'Natural Selection,' were terribly out-spoken even with Mr. Darwin's use of the word 'Creator.'  "Creator!" said Carl Vogt, "why do you talk about a Creator?  You have turned Him out of doors.  You have left Him nothing to do, by your theory.  Pray talk no more about a Creator, but keep to your Philosophy, which shows us that we can do without Him."

    Now, notwithstanding all these bold sceptical declarations of persons who shared Charles Darwin's views, it is by no means clear as to what were his real religious views, or what changes they underwent.  I hold in my hand a small note which will set some of you a-thinking.  I was lecturing at Beverley, in Yorkshire, two years and a half ago, when this note was sent to me.


"T
HE VICARAGE, BEVERLEY:

"Tuesday, Sept. 19th, 1882.

    "MY DEAR SIR,—I heard your lecture last night with pleasure; and I beg to inform you that, five weeks ago, I sent a letter to Mr. Darwin's son, addressed to my uncle, the late Professor Eadie, from his father,—in which he says that he can with confidence look to Calvary.

                              "Wishing you great success in your lectures here,
                                                                        "I remain yours respectfully,
                                                                                         "R
OBERT EADIE, F.R.G.S.
" T
HOS. COOPER, ESQ."


    I do not know when Charles Darwin told Professor Eadie that he 'could with confidence look to Calvary'—or what he really meant by it.  We were told some time ago that young Mr. Darwin is now trying to collect his father's letters, that he may publish them.  Of course, he will insert the letter to the late Professor Eadie.  Let us hope we shall have some explanation of it.

    I wish Mr. Darwin had told us his mind fully about God's existence.  But he did not.  And as he has now gone to his account, we must leave him in the hands of his Maker—knowing that the judge of all the earth will do right with him, as He will with every one of us.

    Whatever might be his errors, he was, undoubtedly, a benefactor to his race.  He set one great example to mankind in the exercise of that excellent quality of mind—patience.  His last book is a wonderful instance of it.  More than forty years ago he thought that worms—Earthworms—chiefly formed the moist mould which so generally covers the earth, to a great depth, in some places.  He kept worms in pots for several years, and marked how they lived and worked.  And, then, he spread a quantity of broken chalk over a field near his house, and then waited thirty years before he had a trench dug across this field, and found the chalk, in every part, seven inches below the surface—showing what the Earthworms had done in thirty years: they had covered the field with mould seven inches in thickness—so that they made nearly a quarter of an inch of mould each year.  The man who could wait thirty years for the proof that he wanted was no ordinary man.  Such patience is but seldom heard of.  Men ruin their prospects and their fortunes very commonly by precipitancy and haste.

    His good temper was another fine quality.  When men attacked him, he took a kindly notice of them.  He knew that some of his adherents would take up the cudgels for him—but he did not hastily join in the fight.  He stuck to his study of Nature, searching into things which some people would think trifling—but which were all important to him, as he knew they were to mankind.

    His modesty was another fine quality.  He never seemed to be puffed up with the extraordinary praise that some people bestowed upon him; and he was always ready to acknowledge the merits of others.

    But his sincerity is the virtue in him which deserves the highest admiration, because it was this quality of mind which rendered his labours of the highest value.  He believed he was on the right track in developing his theory; and, be it remembered, he stuck to it, whatever men might say against it—but was never dogmatical about it.  He always called it his 'theory': sixty times, or thereabouts, the expression 'my theory' occurs in the early editions of 'the Origin of Species.'  He did not vapour and say, 'I have discovered a great truth and you are all bound to believe it.'  No, no; he called it his 'theory,' like a sincere, upright, and truthful man—because he knew it was only a theory, and therefore might, one day, be disproved.  He shows himself to be fond of his 'theory': he wishes every body to believe in it—but that one might expect from such an earnest man, who so thoroughly believed in his own theory—himself.

    I have said that I wished Mr. Darwin had told us his mind fully about the Almighty Maker.  He simply says, first, that the Creator may have given existence to three or four primordial forms of being—but, afterwards he tells us, he thinks it was but one.  He thinks the Creator made one primordial form—perhaps microscopical—and all the plants and all the animals and Man, too, have come from that primordial form, in the lapse of millions of millions of years.  'It is all a question of time,' says Mr. Darwin, which is just what Hæckel says, the German Evolutionist.   But Sir William Thompson and Professor Croll and Professor Tait, all famous mathematicians, say that the earth has not existed so long as Mr. Darwin and Sir Charles Lyell thought.  So you see these celebrated men of Science do not agree exactly in all their opinions.

    Mr. Darwin stuck to his own theory, which he always called 'Natural Selection'—never espoused the doctrine of 'Spontaneous Generation'—and used the term 'the Creator' to the end.

    Hæckel, the great German, and Mr. Herbert Spencer prefer the word 'Evolution,' and Herbert Spencer declares a Personal God to be unthinkable, while Hæckel proclaims the broadest Atheism.

    The objection I wish to impress on the minds of all who hear me—the objection to all theories of Evolution—and, therefore, to Charles Darwin's theory, is that there is no Fact-proof—I am coining a word on purpose—to establish any of these theories.  We never see the routine of Nature altered, as it regards living creatures: they all take their life from living creatures.  Some of the very lowest kinds of them separate into pieces, and the pieces become whole living creatures of the same species.  The way in which the more predominant animals, beasts, birds, reptiles, fishes, insects,—like our own species,—begin their existence is in the form of an egg.  And the most skilful microscopists, it is declared, can see no difference in the eggs.

    If he had before him an egg from the womb of a lioness, another from that of a rabbit, an eagle or a pigeon, a whale or a mackerel, the most skilful microscopist could not tell to which creature any one egg belonged, unless he knew beforehand.  With the most patient and diligent observation he watches, and sees the egg change into what is called the mulberry-mass, and then take other forms, until, at length, it takes the form of a fish, and so remains—while another passes on and takes the form of a reptile—another still further, and takes the form of a bird—another that of a quadruped, and another that of a human being.

    This study is called 'Embryology'; and it is fixed upon as giving what Huxley and others contend is irrefragable proof that we human creatures are, simply, developments of animal nature, which thus proceeds, step by step, in the Embryon state.  Let it be noted, however, that the fact needs qualifying (or the statement of it).  The resemblance is not complete, in every instance: in some instances it is remarkable, and in others the resemblance is but slight.  Had you and I, each, at a very early period of our existence, the form of a fish?  Not exactly; but a form something like some part of a fish.  Did we afterwards resemble a reptile?  The heart and some other part of us were like parts of a reptile; and so on for our resemblance to a bird, or a beast.

    I repeat, we never see the routine of Nature altered, as it regards the successions of animal life.  The insect lays a number of eggs, and the eggs become caterpillars—some of them minute and some of them large, devouring creatures, which have holes at their sides for breathing, and walk fast on short stumpy legs or feet.  The caterpillar hangs itself up in a pendent coffin, and becomes an aurelia or chrysalis; and, at length, there bursts from the chrysalis the imago, or winged insect—sometimes covered with a very beautiful adornment of colours, and gifted with eyes which have thousands of lenses.  The beginnings of Life are very humble, compared with this, in frogs and fishes.  The mature animal casts out spawn, and the new animals are developed from egg-spawn.  Quadrupeds, together with the whale and a few other marine creatures, bring forth their young alive—while the birds lay their eggs, having formed a nest by instinct, and sit upon the eggs till the young birds chip the shell and begin to breathe the air.

    This is all routine in Nature.  We never see it altered.  Mr. Darwin or Professor Huxley never saw it altered: they never heard of its having been altered.  The insect always comes to the imago state by the same steps: egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, and insect.  And every kind of insect always comes to maturity as that kind of insect, and no other: the caterpillar of the cabbage-butterfly never develops into the Admiral, or the Camberwell Beauty: the egg of the Gamma Moth never develops into the Sphinx Atropos, or Death's-head Moth.  So it is with the fishes, the reptiles, the birds, the mammalia: the spawn of the Stickleback or Gudgeon never develop into Barbel or Pike: the eggs of the Lizard never develop into Crocodiles: the eggs of the Hedge Sparrow or Linnet never produce Falcons or Vultures: the foetus of a Rabbit or a Guinea-pig never develops into a Mastiff or a Lion.

    Now, how,—seeing this daily and hourly routine of Nature, as it regards the production of living creatures,—how can Huxley assert that Evolution is proved?  We do not see it.  Evolution lacks the real proof: Fact-proof, as I have called it.  Give us Fact-proof and we will receive the doctrine, whether it be called Evolution, or Development, or Natural Selection, or Transmutation of Species.

    Huxley holds that Geology gives him positive proof of Evolution.  He has traced the gradual formation of the Horse, through a succession of forms, beginning with one no bigger than a cat, up to the Horse of our period.  Agassiz, whose death was such a loss to Science, would have told him that he had no proof that the very small animal was the progenitor of the larger one.  This was what Agassiz maintained to the end.  "We find a succession of similar forms, but we have not the slightest proof that one is derived from the other," are his words, in his work on "Classification."

    There is one thought to which I venture to call your special attention.  It may be that what is called 'Evolution' has become popular because it really gratifies our fallen human nature.  We do not like the mystery with which we are surrounded in Nature.  We fancy there is a something we can understand better, in the notion that one animal is but an advancement from another.  Time, circumstances, or surroundings have each contributed to the change.  'Descent with modification'—'Natural Selection'—'Survival of the Fittest'—"Oh, why should it not be so?  The theory is far more comprehensible than your Creation scheme: your notion that God made a few forms of a simple kind at first—the petrifactions of which we find in the earliest Palaeozoic rocks: that after certain changes had been brought about by water or other agencies, He substituted more advanced animal and vegetable forms for the simpler ones which had been destroyed: and that the Maker acted on the same process, as the successive Geologic changes came about—Devonian rocks and then Carboniferous, Magnesian Limestone and New Red Sandstone, Lias, and Oolite and Chalk—substituting new vegetables and animals as the older were swept away by mighty deluges, or other catastrophes—Oh, sir! whatever people may say about the genius of Cuvier and the rest, their notions seem very clumsy, very clumsy indeed!"

    And there is no wonder that men talk that way, when professors like Huxley endeavour to render our ideas of creation as clumsy as possible.  "How can we conceive of the likelihood of God taking a mass of clay and moulding it into a certain form, when he made Man?  But such is the common idea."  So he says.

    'Common idea, Professor Huxley!'  It may be the common idea with half-idiots; but no man of intelligence has such a conception of God's way of creating.  "Let there be Light; and there was Light!" we read in Genesis; and our reason-nay, our common-sense—should lead us, if we really believe in God's existence, to conclude that a simple act of His will is His mode of creation.  He willed that the Universe should exist, and it did exist.  He willed that Matter should exist, and it did exist.  He willed that Suns and Systems should exist, and they do exist.  He willed that Vegetable and Animal forms should exist—perhaps—on some millions of planets rolling around their different Suns.  He willed the flowers should exist—some in seed, some in bud, some in flower, and they did exist.  He willed that varied animal forms should exist—some to tenant the water, some to take their flight in the air, and some to inhabit the earth; and He said—that is, He willed—"Let us make Man in our image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion," etc.  "So God created man in His own image: in the image of God created He him."

    The Geological Record shows that the earth was prepared for Man before God created him; and Palæontology shows that Man was prefigured long before he came.

    You have all heard of Hæckel's pedigree of Man, comprising twenty-two generations—from the Moneron to Man; and how he insists that the Anthropoid Apes are our grandsires, and our real fathers are the Pithecanthropoi, or Dumb-Ape-Men, who first learnt to talk.  We never find any relic of our fathers, for, says Hæckel, they, doubtless, lived chiefly in the island of Lemuria—which is now sunk in the Indian Ocean!

    But how came the theory of Evolution as it was first presented to us by Mr. Darwin to be altered?  What originated this conception of Hæckel? you will ask.  What led him to imagine that there must be an intermediate race of creatures, coming between us and the higher Apes?

    1. Yes: that is an important question—for the answer to it forms one of the reasons—nay, the very first and commanding reason, why we should not believe that we came out of any kind of Apes whatever.  I mean that Man is a being with an intellect having no limit of power that we can fix or determine, while the highest Apes are merely wild animals found in the tropical forests, and living in the practice of mere animal instincts.  This was the fact which led Alfred Wallace to differ from Mr. Darwin, in the outset of this 'new-Philosophy.'

    Think of what Man has done, and then think of the poor Apes living in their savage state in the woods and never coming out of that state, all these thousands of years.  What has Man done?  He has dug into the earth and brought up the ores of gold and silver and platinum and copper and tin and lead and iron and subjected them to fiery treatment, and then moulded them into such shapes as suited his purposes.  With the tools and instruments formed from metals, he can hew the rock, and mould that into forms that suit his purposes, and he can fell the trees of the forest and make them serve his purposes as well.  Can an Ape do the same?  Did you ever hear of an Ape that made a knife, an axe, a saw, a pair of scissors, a chisel, a gimlet—that made nails and drove them into planks with a hammer—and constructed a raft of wood to pass over a stream—or made use of a staff as a lever to raise a piece of timber—or constructed a wheel and pulley—or made a rule and measured feet and inches—or constructed a pair of scales with a set of weights—or a
set of measures for solids or liquids?  Did any of you ever hear of an Ape that invented a rat-trap or made a wheelbarrow?

    We are merely speaking of the beginnings of human civilisation, you know, at present.  But the very fact of these beginnings must have driven our modern philosophers to think.  And so, at length, one said he suspected, and another said he doubted, and they saw that their whole theory of Evolution must slip away if some more likely link than the Anthropoid Apes could not be found to connect Man with the Beasts.  But they could not find such a link; and so Hæckel invented the Pithecanthropoi or Dumb-Ape-Men.  But then, you know, they are sunk in the Indian Ocean!

    2. Again: when they began to consider the theory more fully, they found it to be undeniable, after all their flourishes of the resemblance of Man to the Ape, that the average brain of the Apes is not more than half the size of the average brain of Man.  The measurement of brain in the highest Ape—the largest measurement yet found—is stated to be thirty-four cubic inches; and the brain of the lowest human savages is stated to be sixty-eight cubic inches.  It is common to find a human brain measuring ninety-four cubic inches; and the brains of the highest intellectual men reach a hundred.  On the other hand, the brain of a male orang-outang, which had a body as bulky as a small-sized man, was found to measure only twenty-eight inches; and the brain of a gorilla, which had a body as heavy as that of any ordinary man, only measured thirty-four cubic inches.

    It was this remarkable difference in the size of the brains of Apes compared with the brains of men—even of the lowest savages—which led Mr. Wallace—(whose name, you will remember, was associated with that of Mr. Darwin, in the origination of the theory of 'Natural Selection')—to protest against the application of the theory to Man.  A human savage, Mr. Wallace contends, possesses a brain which he only uses in part.  He has more brain than he needs.  He is evidently provided with a brain ready for instruction: a brain fitted for civilisation.  But you could not civilise an Ape: he has not a brain fitted to receive instruction and civilisation.

    Note the stuffed Gorilla in the British Museum.  How the lumpy brow protrudes, and the head slopes backward, leaving no room for a forehead!  A phrenologist would tell you that there is no room there for 'causality and comparison,' for 'ideality and constructiveness,' nor any for 'benevolence': in brief, he would assure you that the animal before you is only an animal: you could not deal with it as having what we call a mind.  And what little we know about the gorilla proves it.  He goes to the wood fires which the black natives of Africa make, in the wet seasons—for they run away when they see him coming; and he remains till the fire is burnt out, warming himself—but he never has the sense to put a stick on to keep the fire in, although there is a pile of wood close at hand.  But the lowest human savage would have put the stick on, and as many sticks as were needed.

    Neither can the gorilla, or any other Ape, point with his finger—for that is a sign of civilisation.  An Ape 'must be cunning to do it,' as we say—seeing he has not the sinews and muscles, in the hand and forearm, which would enable him to do it.  God does not throw the furniture of the bodies of the animals He makes away.  He gives each animal a body, and the kind of intelligence suited to it.

    Since I have mentioned Mr. Wallace, we will just glance at his other reasons for differing from Mr. Darwin.  We will return to the primary topic—Man's immense mental or intellectual superiority to the Apes; but we will, if you please, spend a few moments in looking at Mr. Wallace's reasonings concerning other differences between Man and the Apes.

    3. The Apes are covered with hair and Man is naked.  But Mr. Darwin's theory of Natural Selection could not—or ought not—to have stripped the hair from Man's body, if he came out of the Apes, for Mr. Darwin most explicitly declares that Natural Selection always makes useful changes in the frames of the creatures, and never any that are for their injury.  But if Man were, at first, half an Ape and could not speak, he needed a good thick coat of fur to keep him warm.  Nothing could have benefited him more than a good thick coat of hair.  So Mr. Wallace concludes, and very sensibly, that since all human beings—even the rudest and savagest—are naked by nature, they could not have come out of the Apes by Natural Selection.

    4. Mr. Wallace also points to other differences in the body of Man, as compared with the Apes, and argues they are proofs that although all other animals may have come into existence by Evolution, Man has not.  The Apes can walk upright; but it is not natural to them: they are evermore getting on all-fours.  But the walking on all-fours is a painful method to us: some of us could not support it for a minute without pain.

    Cuvier—the greatest of all zoologists, whose system the Evolutionists do not like—places Man in an order by himself, 'Bimana,' or Two-handed animals; and terms the Apes and Monkeys, 'Quadrumana,' or Four-handed animals: for he contends they have no feet: their hinder limbs, as well as the fore-limbs, are furnished with hands.  They are neither fitted to walk upright nor on the ground—but to live in trees: they are expressly climbing animals.  But how different is the hand of either the gorilla, the chimpanzee, or the orangoutang, from the hand of a man!  The thumb is so imperfectly and so differently placed that it gives the hand no variety of power—while the human hand, as Mr. Wallace observes, "has all the appearance of an organ prepared for the use of civilised Man, and one which was required to render civilisation possible."  He means that Man's hand, directed by his mind, renders him the master of the world in which he lives—which, you know, cannot be said either of Apes or Monkeys.
 
    5. Professor Henslow has a remark worth notice.  The higher Apes are found only in tropical climates; and they seldom live long when brought to Europe.  The cold kills them.  It would not appear, then, that they are the ancestors of Man, for he can live in every climate.  Darwin found the black natives of Terra del Fuego—the extreme south of America—perfectly naked, and sleeping on the bare ground without any covering.  Naked, remember, notwithstanding the cold climate; and yet the Apes; although covered with hair, die when they are brought to Europe.

    6. Man's gift of Language, alone, one thinks, ought to convince the Evolutionists that he does not come out of the Beasts.  'Oh,' say they, 'animals all utter sounds which are understood among themselves.'  What a childish observation.  Sounds!  Man does not merely utter distinct sounds; but he writes his speech.  He invents marks, quite arbitrary marks, to represent his thoughts, and can send them to his fellow-men on the other side of the globe, thousands of miles off: he can hand down the marks to his posterity, and mankind can read his thoughts even thousands of years after his death.  The Apes!  Where are their writings?  Why, nobody can teach them to talk.  You can teach a parrot, a jay, a magpie, a jackdaw, or a starling, to talk: that is to say, to utter imitative words—but they do not know what the words mean.  If you could teach an Ape or a Monkey even to do that, it would be something—but you cannot teach them one word of human speech.  The languages of Man are countless—but in not one of them can you teach an Ape or a Monkey one word.

    7. We have Man's history for several thousands of years—but it contains no account of a civilised Ape or Monkey.  Egypt reveals her mighty pyramids, her lofty obelisks, her gigantic statues, her tombs hewn in the rock, the walls covered with paintings having colours as vivid as if they were finished but yesterday.  Among the painted figures are the Green Monkey and the Gibbon Ape, each with a chain round its neck, a captive taken in the forest, and led for show, as a curiosity.  What such animals are now, they were then; and some of these painted figures are 4,000 years old.  No reader of the hieroglyphics ever discovers any account of how the Apes and Monkeys came to help the Egyptians when they embalmed the bodies of Men and stored them away, by thousands, in the mummy caves—or to help them to build the grand temples and cities of Thebes, with its hundred gates, and Memphis, and Luxor, and Carnac—or, above all, the wondrous pyramids.

    Babylon had also her hundred gates, her tunnel under the Euphrates, her hanging gardens, her walls on which three chariots could drive abreast, and other wonders—but Herodotus does not tell us that Apes or Monkeys assisted the architects.  Nineveh—did they render any assistance there?  Did they help to carve you monstrous winged bulls, and winged lions, in marble, which almost appal a visitor to the British Museum, as he sees them for the first time?  Did Mr. George Smith find any record of the intellectual achievements of the Apes, when he read in the cuneiform letters on cylinders of hardened clay those records confirming our Bible account of the Deluge—did he find such accounts, I say?

    India is always reckoned to be one of the native countries of the Apes; but neither in the Vedic hymns, nor any other fragments that remain of its ancient literature, is there any catalogue of the deeds of civilised Apes.  We are never told that they mastered the mysteries of the Sanscrit: that most ancient and most difficult of all languages, the attempt to master which, has driven many an European scholar to despair.

    Let us leave the childhood of antiquity, and come to its manhood.  The broken marbles of Ionic Greece have lately reached the British Museum—and the splendid ruins from the Parthenon of Athens have been there many years.  But no inscription tells us that Apes ever handled the mallet and chisel to create those sculptures which no modern artist can equal.

    Imperial Rome has left its triumphal arches and columns—the noble ruins of grand aqueducts and amphitheatres and temples—and, above all, the records of its gigantic power; but we are never told by Livy or Tacitus that they were Apes, and not men, who formed the Roman legions, and were the chief gladiators in the public games.

    The Middle Ages—as they are called-take one glance at them: the great age of cathedral building in Europe.  Think not only of the gorgeous St. Peter's at Rome—the graceful interior of Milan—and the vast pile of Cologne—but lift your gaze to one of our own cathedrals—and then inquire if the Apes helped to build them; try to imagine a number of Apes building a cathedral—if you can.

    And, now, think of our modern civilisation—the civilisation of our own life-time: think of the thousands of miles of railroads in Europe and America and elsewhere: think of the magnificent bridges in various lands: think of the lines of telegraphic wires and of our discoveries in electricity: think of the steam-ships of the world: think of the war-ships with their plates of armour—and think of a company of apes working in an iron foundry and helping to pour out the melted metal into moulds!

    Think? but we are only glancing at our modern material civilisation.  We are not thinking of what is best worth thinking about.  Think of the written records of Men's thoughts for perhaps eight or ten thousand years: from the first roll of Genesis to the last page of Darwin.  Think of the Poets and Philosophers and Orators of old Greece and think of the great intellectual Men of modern times What d'ye think of a Gorilla writing another Iliad or Odyssey?  What d'ye think of a Chimpanzee writing a new 'Paradise Lost'?  What d'ye think of an Orang-Outang composing another 'Lear,' another 'Macbeth,' another 'Hamlet,' or 'Othello'?  Oh! how could any man ever dream that Man is only an improved Ape—that the Apes are our grandfathers?—that we really come out of the Anthropoid Apes, who were the fathers of our fathers, the Pithecanthropoi, who lived on the island Lemuria, which is sunk in the Indian Ocean?

    If there were time we might pursue our questioning in the other important directions, comparing Man with the Apes.  We might consider, for instance, that Man is a mathematical creature.  He counts, he reckons, he measures, he deals with shapes, figures, and proportions.  Can one of the Apes perform a sum in addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division?  Are any of them skilled in algebra?  Can any of them show us the difference between length, breadth, and thickness?—or the difference between a plane and a solid?—or the difference between a triangle and a square, between a circle and an oval, between a cube and a globe?  Has an Ape ever tried to measure time? has one ever invented either an hour-glass or a dial, a clock or a watch ?

    8. Let us come to what is still more important than all we have hitherto considered: Man is a Moral Agent.  The Apes have Perception, Memory, Affections, and Will—but we have no evidence that they possess the Moral faculty we call Conscience.  The Apes associate with each other, it is said, but seldom: the monkeys go in troops.  From all we are able to judge of the monkeys when they are captured, they are the most mischievous, thievish rascals in existence.  We never heard any even of our modern philosophers assert that Monkeys have a conscience.  And the Apes have given no evidence of having one—though Mr. Darwin thought if we began with the dog, which has fidelity and other fine qualities, we might reason it out that Man's conscience originated with the animals.  But nobody says we descended from the dogs; and nobody proves to us that any Ape possesses a conscience.  How strange that we should be so different from our grandfathers!

    And why is it our grandfathers don't grow wiser and nobler, if Evolution be true?  Where is the Evolution?  We want to see it.  Mr. Darwin very piously says we ought to reverence our ancestors. But what can we reverence in an Ape or a Monkey?  Do they improve—do they advance intellectually?  Read Charles Waterton's 'Wanderings in South America,' and learn how the Monkeys live in the primeval forests of the Equinoctial regions, near the great rivers of Amazon and Oronooka.

    When you have read Waterton's account of the primeval forests and the animal tribes that inhabit them, reconsider Civilised Man, his crowded cities, his busy and orderly manufactories, his habitations, his garments, his prepared food, his inventions, his carriages, his ships, his telescopes, his microscopes, his powerful machinery, his libraries with their millions of books-and believe, if you can, that the Apes are our grandfathers.

    No, no: we cannot believe that we come out of the Anthropoid Apes.  We cannot acknowledge either the Gorilla, the Chimpanzee, or the Orang-Outang as our blood-relations.  We acknowledge that God has made of one blood all the nations of Men on the earth—but not the Apes and Monkeys; and we fall back on the earliest declaration of Man's origin there is in the world: "So God created Man in His own image: in the image of God created He him."  Why is the declaration repeated in the same sentence?  Doubtless, to impress the great truth which the declaration sets forth more fully and completely upon the mind.  The repetition seems to anticipate that the truth of the declaration might be denied

    When the sacred record declares that God created Man in His Own image, it means His Moral and Spiritual Image.  Man is a being with a conscience, as we said before.  The more fully his intellectual and moral nature is cultivated, the more authoritatively Conscience asserts its power over him.  It condemns him when he does wrong.  And, if he endeavours to excuse himself, Conscience says, 'No no; you know you are a scoundrel, and it is of no use your attempting to deny it.'  And if, in spite of the power of Conscience, Man will persevere in sin, he becomes a morally degraded being.

    And Man is also created in the Spiritual nature or image of God: a nature which enables him to commune with God, as a Spirit.  No ape or monkey can commune with its Maker.  Neither of them can lift up the heart to God in prayer.

    Man, at first, was holy, and his communion with God was high and exalted.  He fell, and forfeited his purity; and we are thus fallen creatures, as descendants from fallen creatures.  But God sent His Son into the world to save Man: not to save the Apes—not to render them holy and fit for heaven: Christ died for all Men—but not for one Gorilla, Chimpanzee, or Orang-Outang that ever was born into the world.  No, no: Jesus Christ is the Saviour of Men, not of monkeys.

    Man is a spiritual being; and "God is a Spirit," says His Son; and "they that worship Him, must worship Him in spirit and in truth."  "For, the Father seeketh such to worship Him," Christ also says.  So, then, although we are indeed fallen spirits, we can be restored, and thus be able to have fellowship with the 'Father and the Son'—the highest privilege, the most ineffable bliss that any creature can enjoy.  God help us all to seek that restoration with all our hearts, for Christ's sake!


 
— XII.—

LETTERS TO YOUNG WORKING MEN.


IN the 'Plain Speaker' of 1849, I published 'Eight Letters to the Young Men of the Working Classes.'  They were afterwards republished, in a pamphlet; but that has been long out of print.  When I say hundreds of young working-men expressed their hearts' thankfulness for the Letters, I am strictly within the bounds of truth.  And more: many of them came to the resolve to be men of reading and reflection, and formed plans of study which led not only to their intellectual, but also to their social advancement.

    Some of these young men, now grown up, and taking an active and influential part in public life, have desired me, over and over again, to republish the Letters.  But I demurred to the propriety of their request, because I saw that I could not comply with it without making considerable alterations, in order to adapt the counsels to our altered circum stances.  For instance, many of the books I recommended may now be considered almost obsolete—except for the mere lovers of old books; and there are many passing sentences and remarks in the original Letters which it would be useless to repeat.  So I have curtailed some of the Letters, considerably.

    One thing I have not done which some may think I ought to have done.  I address Working-men as they were; an unenfranchised mass of men.  Why do I not remind them that their circumstances are now altered?  Because they do not yet possess the privileges promised.  I want to see them start in the new political race, and know how they thrive in it, before I change my tone in talking to them.


 
LETTER I.
 


"This above all—To thine own self be true;
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man."

     HAMLET.


MEN OF THE FUTURE,—The style of the apostrophe may seem somewhat French; but I do not use it for the sake of effect—a custom too common with our neighbours.  I aim to impress upon your minds at the outset, a weighty consciousness that to you belongs an important part in the great theatre of life.  Some of you may be destined to be actors on its public stage—for the great changes of Europe foreshow that our order cannot long remain unenfranchised in England; and with the possession of the Franchise a broad path will be opened for the public exercise of native talent.  While by those who, from indisposition to mingle in the strife of the great world, may remain spectators, responsible duties will have to be performed.

    Loving my country, passionately, for its transcendent literature, its heroic line of patriots, its "noble army of martyrs," its inexhaustible and invincible energy in enterprise and discovery, in industry and invention,—I long to be helpful in leading you to the resolve which shall calmly and yet earnestly proclaim, in your daily life, rather than in your words—'whatever deprivations we may suffer, whatever wrongs we may for a while have to endure, whatever difficulties we may have to encounter,—we will do our part to make this England, and ourselves, worthy of our fathers' memories!"

    Let no hard-minded scoffer persuade you that this would be the language of romance.  True and worthy emotions, justified by reason, never deserve that censure.  The realm of peerless Alfred,—the cradle land of Shakspere,—that earth made sacred by the ashes of Wickliffe and Latimer, by the blood of Hampden and Sydney,—the soil on which were reared Chaucer and Milton, Byron and Shelley,—where Bacon arose to remodel all human knowledge, Newton to span and gauge the circles and depths of the material universe, and Locke to form anew the science of the mind,—the land where the godlike philanthropist Howard, the "circumnavigator of charity," first drew breath,—shall anyone be able to persuade you that it is romantic to feel unsubduable and glowing emotion while remembering that "this is your own—your native land?"—romantic to say, you will do your part to render the future England, and yourselves, worthy of such glorious memories?

    What shall we do,—do you say, to prove that we are animated by these high, but rational emotions?  I answer—strive, in spite of all difficulties and deprivations, and with the cheering faith that they for you are but temporary, to raise yourselves morally and intellectually,—and so, shame those who say you are not fit for the franchise into the perception that you deserve it better, perhaps, than themselves, and that you must and will have it.

    Let me have your attention, however, while I endeavour to propound this answer, more at large; and regard this answer as that of one who has partaken of your oppressions and sufferings, and who, therefore, speaks in sympathy and affection while he speaks faithfully.

    To rise morally, it is necessary that our order should display true brotherhood for its own members; courtesy, kindness and conciliation towards the upright and sincere of other classes; and a determination to shun all the vices of every class, but especially the vices of our oppressors.

    Some years ago, when the "aristocracy of trades" was rampant, the workman, whose wages were low, was often scorned as loftily by his better paid fellow labourer, as the latter was scorned in turn by his purse-proud employer.  At that time, a public-house in Birmingham would have two parlours—one with the door labelled, simply, "Button-makers" and the other with the hinged entrance distinguished as that of "Gentlemen Button-makers."  If the humble workman who was earning but a pound per week stumbled, by mistake, into the room where the "Gentlemen Button-makers," who could earn their five pounds weekly, were sitting over their spirit and water, he would at once be ordered to "leave the room,"—and that in no gentle fashion.  Those days are gone by, and much of that repulsive spirit of aristocracy is ended among working men.  But there is too great a leaven of it remaining.  Be assured, however, it must go altogether, if working men would aid each others' happiness.  Estrangement from each other, by any cause, must delay the winning of your rights; and I crave leave to say, with all deference, in many other respects, to Jeremy Bentham and his disciples,—that you have rights, and natural rights too,—and that one of those natural rights is the Franchise; but estrangement arising from the culture of the basest and most sordid species of pride, must keep you morally low and degraded, by engendering the bitterest feelings on either side.  To make common cause successfully, for Democracy, you must begin with democratic practice among yourselves.

    Commutual help, too, as far as you can give it, is your duty.  I mean, to your brothers who will work, and do work—when they can get it.  The begging "profession" is just now receiving some formidable blows from the public press; and you have as much cause—ay, and more,—to wish imposture of this kind put an end to, as the rich have; for you suffer more heavily by it than they.  But the prevalence of imposture must not harden your hearts against the relief of real want, when you have it in your power; and your power, though small, may often avail to save a brother from starvation.  Do not direct your poorer brother to the rich man for help, if you have the slightest power to help him yourselves.  If the rich man be unwilling to help you, will your poorer brother stand a better chance with him?

    And how often will some little service aid another, which will cost you nothing?  No one knows, but he who makes the experiment, what an amount of happiness can be diffused in a neighbourhood, or in a company of workmen, by setting the example of kindliness and mutual help.  The exchange of services might have made the world happy before now.  Try to begin it—to infuse that spirit into the minds of all with whom you have to do; try it perseveringly, and you will commence the world's truest and greatest reform.  All social and political oppressions will fall before it.  Try it, and feel the sweetness of creating kindliness and goodwill in your own circles; remembering that the element of goodness has an inherent expansive power; that it will spread itself, and that you cannot limit the extent of your example by what you witness of its effects.

    You will hear it objected, that to show this disposition will speedily subject you to all kinds of disadvantage; that the elder working men in an establishment, who partake of the taint of a bad system, will soon lay upon you all kinds of burdens,—some of them by way of mockery,—if they find you willing to bear them from a spirit of philanthropic chivalry.  But I am not urging you to a voluntary slavery: your own good sense will preserve you from that.  You cannot fail to withstand tyranny with calmness and dignity,—if, from a conviction of its injustice and evil influence you have devoted yourself to the struggle for putting it down, and have chosen kindliness as your polished weapon, because assured of its super-excellence.  Do you know any intelligent man who recommends goodwill by precept and example?  Mark him, and you will find him speak out plainly against an oppressor.  Do not believe the unthinking neglecters of self-discipline who tell you that the truly "gentle"-man must needs be a sneak; they do not know what they are talking about.

    I say this to you because you are young, and therefore you can form the habits which will issue in your own happiness, as well as aid the world's, and your country's moral advancement.  It is not the upgrown oak which can be bent, but the sapling.  And if you imbibe the manners of some men of mature years, who were formed under a bad system, and caught their habits of harshness and selfishness from it, what can you become but tyrants to those who grow up under you? while, if you remodel the customs and reform the bearing of working men towards each other, how easy will it be for the young to learn of you when you become mature; and how consoling, then, will be the reflection that you are likely to leave the world better than you found it?

    Let me say a word on your relations to your employers.  You may be conscious, in some instances, that the terms under which you serve them are hard, nay unjust.  You may be looking to a time when the "Organization of Labour" shall banish the servile notions at present entertained of the relationship between the capitalist and workman.  These "new ideas" as they are called, I know, are more widely extended, even in England, than some people believe them to be, and are far more widely extended than others wish it to be believed they are.  Whether these ideas are capable of realization, France, in spite of all apparently increasing obstacles,—will, ere long, put to the proof.  You have a right to ponder upon them.  Your duty to yourselves, and to the world, if you believe it can be made happier by the removal of Inequality, demand that you should ponder upon them.  But while your present relations subsist, discharge your bond honourably and faithfully.  You engage to perform certain labour under given terms.  Consider the engagement as sacred.  Rather go beyond it than fall short of it.  Your honour, your truth, must be maintained, even under a system you may think unjust.  Above all things cultivate the esteem of a kindly employer.  Refuse no little occasional over-service for him.  Your common-sense will direct you to stop when encroachments might be made upon your time or strength, from the growth of his selfishness by your over-yielding.  But resolve to prove to the capitalist that you are a man of honour, though but a working man.  This will do more to remove his prejudices against the extension of the franchise to our order than twenty homilies, though ever so eloquently spoken or written.

    I must presume to advise you on some nearer relations in life.  Your parents,—whatever may be the maxims some may laughingly utter in your ear,—must never be left without help, if you can help them.  There will be plenty of advisers to tell you that you have a right to consult your own interest and pleasure, and to leave an aged father or mother to the parish, or to penury.  If you heed them, reflection in after life will lead you to regard their words as syllables of deadly poison.  Neglect of filial duty brings the keenest torment; for the ever-recurring remembrance is that the opportunity is gone,—that the error cannot be remedied.  Or, if this torment be unfelt, it is because the heart is seared, and the man is thoroughly degraded.  Nothing brings such welcome satisfaction to the mind, in after-life, as the consciousness that though a parent passed to the grave amidst pain and suffering prolonged, we did all that we were able to do to relieve the sufferer, and to gladden, in some degree, the downward path of sorrow.  I never yet knew a good man who was a bad son.  I have not seen any man aid in making the world happier or better who was careless of relieving the sorrow or want of an aged parent.  If England were filled with unfilial children, the sun might be ashamed to shine upon it, and it were better sunk in the sea; for with the extinction of the first natural affection its inhabitants would cease to be men, and sink below some of the brutes.

    If you wish to bear that highest of all names then, worthily, be jealous over your own hearts, if you feel you are losing filial affection, or growing disposed to prefer some vain pleasure to the discharge of its dictates.  Above all, do not marry, to leave a parent in helpless want.

    Why so much marrying in early life, under any circumstances?  I must urge the question, even if you be offended with it.  I am no disciple of Malthus, as the working men of London can testify for the present, and the men of the Midlands for the past.  This country, if properly cultivated, and freed from restrictions on industry, could feed three times its number of inhabitants now; and there can be no limit placed upon what science and commerce could enable it to do for the generations to come.  But, amidst its disabilities of imperfect cultivation, the fetters of its industrial system, and the unjust and unequal distribution of what it does produce, why bring increasing numbers into the world to toil and suffer, and thereby increase your own suffering?  True, there are others who consider themselves at liberty to "increase and multiply," and to live upon your earnings, in riotous plenty; but you cannot revenge yourselves upon them by marrying improvidently.  This evil system under which we live must be changed by other means.

    Self-denial must aid your deliverance.  The more the toilers under the present system are increased, the lower the price of toil must be depressed.  I need not repeat that doctrine in your ears.  It has been often and painfully repeated, as if it were an eternal truth.  I do not believe it to be so; and devoutly trust the time will come when all will esteem it a sacred duty to toil, when the universal toil will be comparatively light and yet suffice to give plenty to all.  But ages must elapse before that true millennium arrives.

    What does duty prescribe for the present world of Inequality?  What is your part in it?  You know what it is already to dread the want of labour; and some of you, no doubt, experience its actual want.  Two years may produce a great change in this country.  Ten years an effectual one.  Recent events in neighbouring nations foreshow a more rapid advance in freedom than our fathers ever knew.  And with the demand for political freedom there is now combined a new,—and to you,—a more important demand.  If there were no better reason to give, why not reject your purposes of marrying till you see what answer is secured for that demand?

    But, suppose the evils of bad legislation, and of faulty industrial systems, are likely to last to the end of this century, all experience will show you that you are likely to gain by avoiding early marriages.  By such labour as you can obtain, you may, perhaps, be able, to save a little for housekeeping by the time you are thirty.  And why marry earlier?  You will be, or ought to be, wiser by that time; you will be better able to govern a family, from knowledge of yourselves and the practice of self-discipline; you will have acquired some years' knowledge of your wife's disposition—for the 'wisest men are guilty of folly (witness even Milton!) when they marry on slight acquaintance; and your increased knowledge of the world will enable you to encounter augmented cares with strength for bearing them, in defiance of the difficulties it may raise in your way; while the direction you will be able to impart to your children will be better worth their receiving.

    Above all, you need years for the cultivation of your minds, to render yourselves free and happy citizens of an enlightened country,—such as I fervently hope every young English working man may become in a few years.  This is the cogent reason why you should remain single.  To share, as a true and affectionate husband ought to share, the cares of his wife, and of a young family, most fearfully cuts off prospects of great mental improvement for a working man.  Your law-and-tax-makers have not facilitated your education.  If you were at school when children, you learnt little there that you feel you ought to know now; and the great work of self-culture is necessary.  I purpose, most respectfully to say a little in a future letter on the plans and subjects of study, which I think deserving attention; but I have, first, a little more to say on morals and habits.

    I observed before, that to rise morally, it was necessary that our order should display a determination to shun all the vices of every class, but especially the vices of oppressors.

    Disdain, then, to murder time and to murder moral principle, by card-playing, or gaming of any description.  A man ought to be ashamed to claim the attribute of real intelligence who plays at cards.  Shuffling bits of dirty pasteboard with black and red spots on them—for precious hours!—hours that can never be recalled!  What, is there no golden volume to read—no science to learn—no language to acquire—no kindred mind within reach, with whom to converse—no chapter of the human heart to study—no health to be gained even by a solitary walk—no book of Nature, to read—nothing sensible, or worthy of a human being to be done?  Are you driven to this most drivelling of all idiotisms, in order to render life less burthensome?  And then, the ill-temper, the sordid feeling, and other evils it often fosters.  Let the titled, who fatten on your toil, and yawn for very weariness of idle ease and pleasure, and who would often give pounds for the invention of a new pleasure while hundreds are famishing, play at filthy cards;—but do not you so degrade yourselves.

    The increasing passion for dancing, among you, is, to me, very grievous.  How will you fill your brains by dangling your heels?  I shall be told it is necessary for health, in closely pent-up cities.  I am sorry, if it be; but, for the life of me, I cannot understand how it can contribute to health to work yourselves into a heat for prolonged hours, and go home in the cold air after midnight, and that so much wearied that your limbs are stiff the next morning.  It is a lame excuse for an idle and frivolous and time-consuming and brain-robbing custom.  The moral standard of England will not be raised by each of your order excelling Taglioni in graceful agility, if you could attain such perfection.  Away from it, working men, if you mean to rise to the moral dignity which will render it impossible to keep you virtual bondsmen.

    Scorn, also, to imitate the titled oppressors in the fondness they display for tinsel and false ornament.  Be ashamed to wear a showy watchguard, or a gaudy shirt-pin, much more a ring,—on Sundays or holidays.  Every such silly toy derogates from man's claim to sense.  Be men—not things.  Decent clothing, cleanliness, neatness, all become the working man.  He has a right to be well clothed; but he ought to leave it to suckling lords to play the fopling.

    Intemperance,—though it is not, as some people say, the curse of your order, peculiarly,—shun, at its first approaches, as you would a serpent.  Degrading as it is, its power is nevertheless insidious, and can scarcely be resisted when once yielded to; nor without immense difficulty, broken, when it has once conquered the man.

    I must not moralise further.  I will only say, in conclusion—be true men, in every sense.  Disdain to tell a lie, or to act one—for friend or foe—in seriousness or in jest.  Be thus the vanguard of your order in its moral march; and the triumph of your freedom cannot long be delayed.


 
LETTER II.
 


                                                     "For me the day
Hath duties which require the vigorous hand
Of stedfast application . . . let it pass!
The night's my own: they cannot take my night!"

KIRKE WHITE.


MEN OF THE FUTURE,—To emulate the Men of the Past, in the acquirement of deep learning, is not a passion even with our university "scholars" of the present day, who permit themselves to be far outshone by the laborious students of Germany.  It can scarcely, therefore, be expected that you,—who have no erudite teachers to instruct you, no large libraries at command, and no leisure, save the hours which you can spare from necessary labour or snatch from sleep—should generally distinguish yourselves by profound scholarship.

    Not but that there have been artisans, even in the humblest ranks of Labour, who have won imperishable names for devoted perseverance in study, and for their noble triumphs over the most discouraging difficulties.  And they of our order who are born with the precious gift of genius will continue to add to its triumphs, in spite of hardships, in defiance of all obstacles.

    But, though we may fairly contend that the greater number of the greatest names of genius have belonged to the children of Labour, yet, this precious gift is the inheritance of only the minority of any class; and my present purpose (in fulfilling the promise I presumed to give,) is to assist, if possible, the majority of young working men, in the direction of their studies.  They who are endowed with high genius will mark out their own path.  I speak but to those who possess an average portion of intelligence: and shall, therefore, prescribe nothing that might deter or repulse them by its seeming abstruseness.

    Let me commence by telling you, that experience has taught me how greatly some people err, by prescribing the same modes and the same kinds of study to every enquirer.  Some minds which do not reach, in the compass of their powers, what would strictly be termed genius, are often found to excel in some particular line of mental pursuit, by fixed application, and by slow but sure progression.  Others feel an unconquerable aversion to the rigid study of any single branch of science or literature; and yet contrive to amass together an immense fund of rich and varied information.  Industry distinguishes both classes of minds; or, the man with the particular tendency would be but a groper after one idea which he never grasped, and the versatile man would remain through life a mere smatterer.

    Resolve—application—energy—perseverance: these are the secrets of advancement in knowledge; not the particular modes of study, or the particular books that maybe read.  Be resolved to learn some thing.  That is the first requisite.  Apply yourself to it with the spirit of an earnest man, and as if it were worth learning,—not playing at fast and loose with it,—sometimes advancing a little, then forgetting what you have learned, and then having to begin over again; but persevering till you feel at home in your pursuit, and till you reach a point in your study, where every new light shed upon it by the progress of the age finds you prepared for its reception.

    "I have no time for study," is the silliest and most culpable excuse that any man can make for indolence and negligence.  Every working man ought to be ashamed of it.  If you have not time-­make it from sleep, as I did.  This is the language of a "plain speaker"; but I hope you do not expect me to trifle with you.

    There was a warrior in the classic times who could not sleep for thinking of the laurels of his rival.  Think of the glorious names some men have won,—by the literary triumphs they have gained, by the grand discoveries they have made, by the pregnant truths they have heralded and diffused, by the world-wide good they have done; and then, remembering that many of these were born among the lowly, had no other help than from themselves, and had to trample down difficulties innumerable in their path to success,—sleep in indolence and negligence if you can.

    But, remember, you will grow no wiser by sleeping—for knowledge does not often come in dreams; while your health might suffer no material injury by occasionally cutting off an hour or two of slumber.  Your time to make the experiment is now.  In a few years it may be too late; and, besides, the years you defer the work of self-culture must be years of comparative ignorance with you—and you ought to feel self-degraded by reflecting that self-neglect reduces you to that condition.

    If I could use words of fire,—syllables of lightning,—they should be employed, if by such means I could arouse you to the noblest of all aspirations—that of becoming truly intelligent men.

    Have you an inclination—I will not suppose you to have reached that state of the will which may be called a resolve—to know something of the mathematics?  What can prevent you, if your mind be constituted for such studies?  Have you greater hardships to endure than poor Gifford, whose cruel master took away from him pens and ink, pencils and slate, and reduced him to the necessity of secretly beating out pieces of leather, and working his questions in algebra upon them with the point of an awl?

    Do you think you could like—I will not suppose you have reached a strong desire—to learn something of languages?  What hinders you if there be a grain of ability in your mental organization?  Are you subjected to greater deprivations, surrounded with deeper discouragements, than were Alexander Murray, Heyne, Carey,—or even Dr. Samuel Lee, once a lowly carpenter, and now (or until the last few weeks) a Regius Professor in the University of Cambridge, and acquainted with twenty languages?

    Read the 'Pursuit of Knowledge under Difficulties,' published in three little shilling parts, by Charles Knight, and written by my intelligent acquaintance, Mr. Craik.  If it does not rouse you to shake off the thraldom of indolence and irresolution, I know not what will.  Compare your difficulties with those of the great host of noble spirits chronicled in these little volumes, and say if you ought to proclaim that intellectual advancement is for you "impossible"—a word which Napoleon said ought not to be in any vocabulary!

    Neither be discouraged with a fear that you have not the constitution of mind fitted for the particular study to which you may feel even a slight inclination.  Try: that is the magic word.  The very inclination for any particular study is a good omen that you may excel in it.

    For the mathematics, any shilling system of arithmetic will form an opening.  Colenso's Algebra, which is not a dear book, makes the analytical arithmetic easy to the most average capacity; and Simson's Euclid, which is to be had everywhere cheap, is so plain that it only requires thought-­which if you are not willing to bestow, you can learn nothing.  You need no teacher but your book; and the triumphs of unassisted conquest are ever the most honourable, as well as gratifying.

    For the languages, if you wish for soundness, not to say a plurality of knowledge in tongues, the Latin deserves your primary struggle.  I know that it has become a fashion with innovators to decry this stately porch to the magnificent Greek—and even the all-perfect Greek itself—as not worth the labour of an attempt at entrance.  But I have never known a skilful grammarian, in my life, who was ignorant of Latin; and if there were no other reason for advising you to attempt learning it, I would say—try to learn Latin for the sake of the clear insight into the nature of grammar which it will give you.

    A dictionary will help you to unlock the meaning of Eutropius with ease; and his abbreviation of Roman history once mastered—Cæsar, Nepos, Virgil, and, successively, all the treasures of the majestic Roman tongue will lie open to—your perseverance.  The Greek—the most beautiful and most valuable of all languages—will be an easy conquest, after you can begin to read a Latin classic.

    If you must ask the tradesman's question—"What use is it?" which really means "What can I gain by it?" and that too often in a sordid sense,—I answer, It will give you the key to unlock a grand treasury of thought—the most valuable riches to every man who does not pride himself on being merely an animal.  Good translations may give you some of these riches; but there is a treasury of thought,—a new and elevated source of ideas, opened by the knowledge of a language, in itself.  It resembles rather the acquirement of an additional mind, if I may so speak, than the mere reading of a new book, or of many books.

    But, if the arduousness of this task affright you, and yet, you are disposed to attempt a language, the French is mere child's play.  I mean the learning to read it—for which the commonest understanding and memory, possessed by any man who can read an English newspaper, will suffice.  Grammars are abundant; but stout old Cobbett's is undoubtedly the plainest.  The pronunciation cannot be learned, except from a native Frenchman, or one who has companied with the French people.  "What use is it?" will not be asked about a living language, I hope.

    And yet, if it should still be asked about this, or any other elementary knowledge; or, if you fear that people who think the only real business of life is to learn how to "get on," that is, how to get money—should scoff to find you employed in endeavouring to advance your mind; remember that their ridicule breaks no bones.  Turn from their mistaken censure, and think how much real elevation you will lose by yielding to it; how deeply you may regret neglecting your youthful opportunity, if you let it go by, and reach mature manhood without the knowledge you may then find possessed by others, in whose presence you may feel humbled and mortified.  Remember that knowledge is no burthen, while ignorance is often an intolerable and oppressive life; that knowledge once obtained, costs you nothing to keep, while ignorance may subject you to expense as long as you live.  Imagine yourself the new and superior being you will be in ten years' time, with those ten years devoted to all the useful study your necessary labour and your health will permit; and then imagine what will be your reflections in ten years' time, if you continue mentally indolent, and then remember what you might lave been.

    Do you feel resolved to be an intelligent man?  Lose not a moment in putting your resolve into practice.  Prepare a blank book, write down your resolution; and in that book, from time to time, register a brief record of your doings.  Let there be something done every day.  Whatever be the particular study you enter upon, be a daily student.  Five minutes (ay, five minutes! I know it well from the hard—but what I regard now as the glorious—Past) may often be the full extent of time that you can look into a book during one day; for an unusual pressure of labour must be met, when it comes, by the poor working man.  But, let not the precious five minutes be lost.  I have often learned more in some such golden five minutes than in an hour at another season; and you will often have the same experience, if you become a serious and devoted student.

    And the brief time allotted for meals—make that also a time for study.  From fourteen I began to employ every meal-time in reading or study: book in one hand, and cup or saucer in the other at breakfast; and even at my humble dinner, if the book were one that must be held up, I could dispense with knife and fork, and use a spoon.  Let none despise the lowly chronicle!  None but a working man knows what the toiler has to struggle with.  How often have I swooned, and fallen off my seat upon the floor, at the close of a long day's labour over the last,—having repeated my tasks in language over and over again during the day—been at work from six to ten—and having had three hours' reading and a walk on the hills and through the woods above Gainsborough, before I sat down to work at six in the morning.

    Young working men, forgive my telling you this.  I want to see you in earnest about your own mental advancement.  I want you to elevate our order—the order to which belonged the world's wonder, SHAKSPERE, the woolstapler's and butcher's son:-­Ben Jonson, the bricklayer; the "learned" Ben Jonson, as well as great dramatic poet:—and Burns, who "followed his plough, in glory and in joy, along the mountain side."  I will not recall to your memory more of the thousand-fold list of glorious working men's names, now.  It may form a theme of itself, some other time.  Only begin to emulate them; and that without delay.

    I will say no more at present.  In a future Letter you must permit me, if you please, to take up the topic of your general reading.



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