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would have kept them from him, and declaring | that their angels behold always his Father's countenance in heaven.
Now, traits of kindness of this description not only are calculated to win the affections of the young, but also exhibit the character of our God in the most endearing light, so as to encourage those who might otherwise imagine themselves beneath his notice. He regards, we may fairly reason, the very lambs of his flock out of the mouth of babes and sucklings he ordains his praise: he will not therefore turn harshly away from any who with penitent hearts and earnest desires approach him. His disposition is sufficiently evinced by his care for the tenderest and most helpless of the sons of
There is yet another lesson which the promise of the verse before us suggests. To find the Lord we must seek him early, in the morning of life, as the first business at all times, with our whole hearts, just as they who have any important work to do rise early to it. The procrastinator, the man who thinks that God's service may very well come after he has concluded his worldly business, is thus rebuked. Is not the care of the soul the one thing needful? Would any cne be profited who should gain the world, and be cast away? Let us then give all diligence to "seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness," that we may make our "calling and election sure.'
BY THE REV. DENNIS KELLY, M.A.,
Minister of Trinity Church, Gough-square, Fleet
"For close designs and crooked counsels fit."
THE character of the jesuit, viewed as a modification or phase of human nature-as a specimen of what is termed "idiosyncrasy," is one of the most extraordinary which a survey of mankind brings to view. There is no other character which presents such strange and peculiar phenomena. Indeed, we are at first disposed to regard the character (according to the commonly received descriptions of it) as an exaggeration-as hardly true to nature. There are certain features about it which we can scarcely believe to have any parallel in real life: there are certain acts attributed to him, there is a course of action ascribed to him, of which we find it almost impossible to discover the moving spring.
Now, in regard of this character there are two popular errors existing. One is that the character of the jesuit is as it were the sole offspring of that ecclesiastical system which has made use of its agency for its own purposes. Alas! the character had its existence in human nature long before it was brought into the service of Rome. The reproach and indelible disgrace of the church of Rome is her having made use of the agency of such a character. But, as far back as we can go in the history of man, we discern traces of this
peculiar phase of character. We perceive traces of it amongst the Pharisees of our Lord's day; and even in pagan lands we see the same character at work in all those important po. litical movements which changed the face of king. doms and states.
The other popular error is the "ideal" which is most commonly formed of the character of the jesuit. Many in their simplicity and inexperience fancy to themselves the jesuit as a man of a dark forbidding exterior, of a sinister aspect, carrying in his very look plots and stratagems. But a little reflection would have convinced them how false a picture of the jesuit this must necessarily be. The jesuit is the most perfect actor, the profoundest simulator and dissimulator in the world. But he surely must be a bad and bungling actor, to say the least of it, who betrays by his very visage and forefront the part he is acting. He must be a poor dissembler indeed, the thin veil of whose dissimulation every one can see through: he must be little indeed of a deceiver or seducer, whose look repels every one that sees him: on the contrary it must be plain to the most ordinary apprehension that the very dark repellent expression which such a man wears is a proof what a wretched actor he is, and of the little mischief he has it in his power to do. No; the true ideal of the jesuit is the direct opposite of this, viz., one who by look and manner wins and attracts; one who can cover all plots by a bland exterior; one who can clothe secret wiles and villany with a look of the greatest blandness, gentleness, mild ness, and suavity; one whose aspect instead of repelling wins all. The jesuit is not one who spreads his nets so plainly that even silly bird" (Prov. i. 17)" would be scared off," but who lays them with such extreme subtlety, that all are enticed, taken, and caught. The jesuit a dark repellent man! the notion carries an absurdity on the very face of it. Such a one can do little mischief: all are scared by him. No: it must be a look full of sweetness and blandness which we would, from the necessity of the case, assign to the jesuit; for this is assuredly the kind of mask which one would put on who would best deceive (and to deceive is his vocation).
To understand the character of the jesuit (and it is a character which it at first baffles us to fathom) requires more experience of human nature than falls to the lot of all; but they, who have made human character their study, will have observed a certain phase of character which may be distinguished from all others by its vulpine subtlety. Subtlety is the very basis and substratum of it: dissimulation is from the first the very element in which it seems to live and breathe. Persons of this character you will find take by preference the tortuous path to every other. To deceive, to disguise every motive and feeling is their one study: the height of their ambition is to wear a mask cleverly. There is, we know, such a thing as a bad, a depraved ambition in human nature, which constitutes one of the most revolting features about fallen man. They who have seen human nature in its worst aspects know there is such a thing as an emulation, a rivalry, an insane thirsting to outdo others in iniquity (which of itself proves the truth of the statement that the difference between this world and the world of
the lost is not that there is deeper iniquity in hell than might be found here-for I conceive that there is nothing in the place of the condemned worse than this-but that this world is salvable, the other not). There is a bad, a horrid ambition felt by some here to outstrip others in depravity, a sort of secret pride and exultation felt in successful villany, a sort of shocking antithesis to the exultation felt by the good man in the success of his good and noble projects. They who are familiar with the statistics of crime can tell that this is the horrid aspect which human nature sometimes presents.
tial feature in that class of character which was now for the first time formed into an organized body. Conceive then to what a height their passion for dissimulation must have mounted, when spurred on by such incentives as were then applied. Conceive to what an excess this passion for disguise must have been carried, when, instead of putting any check upon or obstacle in the way of it, the highest honours and rewards were held out to it; when to act the subtlest part, to play the deepest game, to give the fullest vent to the dissimulation of the heart, was best to serve a great cause the cause of the church, and to obtain the Now, there is a class of characters who, on a highest honour and applause. O to what an exsimilar principle, feel a sort of an ambition in ex- cess would not the deceitfulness of the human celling in the arts of disguise and subterfuge. heart grow under such a forcing engine as this! They experience an excitement and emulation in to what perfection would not all the arts of disacting a deep and subtle game, in deceiving and guise be carried! In what deep and thick folds deluding, similar to what the cheat and game- would not the human heart wrap up its purposes, ster feels in the success of his diabolical schemes. when this deep, cold-blooded, unprincipled byThey are never so happy as when carrying their pocrisy was to be regarded as the greatest merit; point by subtlety and dissimulation-never so and when to be the greatest dissembler, the most happy as when imposing on credulity by the pro-arrant hypocrite, was to be the greatest and most found part they are enacting. They despise what- successful man. And accordingly the history of ever is acquired by fair, open, honest means; for that body presents instances of dissimulation at this supplies no food for their bad ambition to feed which we are appalled. They appear to exceed on. There is no excitement attendant upon this. what is common to man: they evince a coldThey would arrive at every end by a sinister, tor-blooded subtlety, a searedness of conscience, a tuous path. They would gain every thing by subtlety deadness to the best instincts of humanity, which and deception. Acting, acting, is their kindred ele- surpass what we thought man capable of. Alas! ment. In every thing they undertake they have a if ever an evil influence could be traced in any motive of self-interest. In such you shall perceive a society, it is in the body organized under that cold, calculating, sneering nature, an utter absence system: if ever the agency of " the old serpent" of every thing like enthusiasm. The heart is in the could be traced, it is in the operations of that syshead: the agitations of feeling never disturb the tem. No man of any reflection could doubt for equipoise of their judgment: they are never found a moment that this system never came from God. off their guard: they are always watching, al- It has every mark and indication of being the ways on the alert for openings. They have a offspring of "the father of lies." O, it is not deep scorn of human nature. Incapable of a spark Christianity! it is not its legitimate offspring! of generous admiration of any, however excel- Christianity disowns it, repudiates it: Christianity lent, they rather view all either as their opponents abhors duplicity and cunning and hypocrisy. whom they have to rival in a deep game, or as Yes, the light in which our Lord regarded the dupes to be outwitted by them. Dissimulation is Pharisee best displays how abhorrent the genius the very type of such. Their great object is to of Christianity is from the refinement of subtlety blind, to deceive, to appear as different from what which characterises this system. The spirit of they are as night from day-when e. g. they Christianity is ever open and sincere and candid. are acting the part of the wiliest villany, to ap- It hates a lie: it tears off a mask: it hates conpear most simple, to cover dislike with smiles. In- cealment. All with it is open as day: it hides genuousness, candour, simplicity, is their scorn; nothing; for it has nothing that it would desire to but the deepest machinator they admire-him hide. Look at its influence upon the character who best clokes his designs, who best conceals his wherever it has prevailed. We saw this exemevil purposes, and who, when his heart is nearly plified in its early history. What was its first bursting with rage and agitation appears most effect? To make men open and candid, to strip calm. off all disguises, to lay open their hearts. How soon did the subtle Greek, when he came under its influence, become "the Israelite indeed, in whom there was no guile"! How soon did the wily and tortuous throw away the arts with which they once deceived, and henceforth aim at and glory in sitting at the foot of the cross in childlike simplicity, resembling children most of all in simplicity, candour, ingenuousness of character. Wherever its true spirit exists, I hesitate not to assert that dissimulation of every kind will be abhorred, hypocrisy of all kinds will be its detestation, the subtle arts which the depraved votaries of the world style cleverness will be eschewed, nothing will be accepted but what is to be obtained by open and fair means. What is to be got by the sacrifice of truth is scorned: it
They, who have studied human nature most closely, well know that such a character as that pourtrayed will find many originals in real life. Now the heavy charge which lies against the church of Rome is her employing such a phase of character as this odious one; taking it into her service, and employing the agency of it, in carrying out her designs. It is well known that the order of men called "jesuits" first appeared soon after the reformation; and the ostensible object of their organization was to repair the injury done to the church of Rome by the efforts of those who had seceded from her communion, and had made such a breach in her. Accordingly the strongest stimulants were applied to the bad ambition (such as I have described it) which formed an essen
would not lie or prevaricate or defraud to obtain any advantage whatever. How else could it be? They who possess its spirit are 'children of light." "They walk in this light." Therefore all with them will be as clear as the day: "Among whom ye shine as lights in the world." Look at the character and conduct of them who have most adorned the religion of Christ: look at the apostles, martyrs, and confessors: look, too, at the long and glorious list of the men of our own church, whose names are enshrined in our hearts-our Cranmers, Ridleys, our Hookers, and Leightons, and Jewels. If there be any one feature more characteristic than another about these illustrious men, it was their openness, honesty, sincerity, love of truth, and freedom from all disguise. Consider the men of a later age, who have just gone from amongst ourselves-our Scotts, Newtons, Venns, Cecils, Wilberforces, Bickersteths! If any quality was more prominent than another in these men, it was their singular honesty and freedom from disguise. Look at the men who take a leading part in our church at the present hour. I am not at liberty to mention names, but all will understand whom I mean; and all will agree with me when I affirm that the downright honesty of those distinguished men is that which strikes us most forcibly, and which makes all which they have written contrast so favourably with the special pleading of those with whom they have engaged in controversy. In reading the letters and productions of the one, we feel we are reading the words of those who would not prevaricate for any earthly consideration: in reading the productions of the other, we feel we are reading the replies or the attacks of those who are ready to resort to any shift, to any subterfuge to gain the victory in dispute. This makes the former shine to such advantage beside the others," who seem," to use the words of a high authority, "to have been caught in the meshes of their own subtlety." For, alas! it often happens (and this perhaps will be a key to certain secessions from our church which have astonished many, and which present a problem in morals which it baffles us to explain) that they who have come within the contact of that subtle, tortuous spirit which I have denounced, are infected by it, as by some deadly opiate. When men yield not to their first honest convictions, but begiu to refine and to subtilize, the judgment itself becomes impaired. There is an analogy between the body and soul, between the organs of sense and the faculties of the mind; and, as we have seen in stances where an over refinement-an excessive acuteness in the organ of hearing for examplehas produced deafness, so an excessive subtlety, a tampering with, a refining upon first impressions and first honest convictions, may issue in such a bluntness and a deadness of moral perception as has led some naturally most acute and subtle minds to receive as truth the veriest jargon, the most palpable and absurd and monstrous errors.
IN the reign of king Sebert, there was in the neighbourhood of London an island: it lay in the midst of a fenny district; a small river or brook flowed round it; whence it was called "Thorney, or the Isle of Thorns." Here, it is said, when the Romans possessed Britain, a heathen temple had stood; and upon the same spot king Sebert resolved to build a Christian church, and dedicate it to St. Peter. Then there arose from the ground the walls of that edifice destined to become Westminster Abbey. Edmund Ironside was the first monarch crowned in London; and king Edward the Confessor, forsaking the dwelling-place of his royal Saxon ancestors on the banks of the Thames, erected his palace at Westminster. The Magna Charta caused the sittings of the courts of law to be fixed in the same neighbourhood; and thus the little island and the fenny district became the spots most renowned in England's history, the seat of her royal, civil, and military power.
Century after century has added to the glory of Westminster. King Sebert's church guards the ashes of some of the mightiest dead that the world has ever known: the laws of England have reached to the furthest quarters of the globe; and the fate of countless millions hangs often, so far as human power is concerned, on the deliberations carried on in the assemblies at Westminster.
But, if the glory of this little spot of earth has thus from century to century grown brighter and brighter, it serves but to show more clearly the deep shadows of crime and shame by which it is surrounded. Of all the localities of London, perhaps none surpass Westminster in scenes of guilt and misery. It is the abode of professed thieves; a reproach it does not seem to have been free from in former days; for an old poem, written in the fifteenth century, represents a countryman coming up to London to seek for justice, and upon going to Westminster he is attacked in the street by thieves, who snatched his hood off his head in open day. As Westminster has spread out its lordly streets and noble buildings, from age to age increasing in greatness, so have its dark alleys, courts, and lanes increased likewise, until Old Piestreet, Tothill-street, Duck-lane, Palmer's-village, and other such places, form a complete network around them, something like the spider's threads, described by a missionary in a miserable room which he was visiting, which, he tells us, as "monster cobwebs hung all about the walls, covered with soot, and thicker than any calico."
Among these "nets" of desolate dwellings there lived, in the year 1838, a family, consisting of a man, his wife, and their children. Let us describe the furniture of their room: the bed-a few shavings heaped together; the table—a basket turned upside down; two seats-two old saucepans. Then their wardrobes: the father had an old waistcoat, a pair of trowsers all in tatters, and worn-out shoes without stockings, no shirt, neckerchief, &c. the mother's dress was nothing but
From a very interesting little book, called "The Hearths of the Poor; or, true English Stories from real English Life." By M. A. 8. Barber. London: Nisbet. 1852, We heartily commend it to our readers.-ED.
rags; ; and one of the children, the boy, who is the hero of ou true tale, wore an old coat big enough for his fat er, the skirts of which swept the ground behind as he walked along, while his little bare legs in front had no clothing: as for the other children, they were covered with rags and filth. These people, however debased as they had become, were not thieves: they were hucksters, that is to say, people who sold things about the streets. There are few, probably, of our hearers who are not used to hear such cries as, "Fine cher-r-ries, twopence a-pound!" "Ho-t pies a-ll ho-t!" "Knives to grind, scissors to gri-nd!" "Oy-ste-rs, fine native oyste-rs!" "Cre-e-ses, fr-esh water cre-eses!" but little do most of us know of the wants and sorrows of this large class of our fellowcreatures. Their life is passed in the streets; and what becomes of the children? They are left to shift for themselves, and to play in the muddy alley, or beside the black gutter, where their dwelling is. Sometimes, when their parents get a little money, they give them food: sometimes they are left to earn it for themselves how they can; the parents, when they come home at night, spending their day's gains in drink.
Such was the case with the family of whom we are now speaking, when a ragged-school was opened in their neighbourhood, one day in the week. Our young friend in the long coat could not have gone to any other school, none would have received him: besides, he did not wish to go to school; neither did his parents wish to send him: people who are quite ignorant of what is good never desire to obtain it. They are like a very poor man, in whose little garden a rich treasure may lay buried: he never thinks of digging for it, he never dreams of its being there. But the friends who open the ragged-schools are like a friend who should go to the poor man, and say, "If you dig under this old cherry-tree, four feet deep, you will find a box of gold, and silver, and jewels, which will make you a rich man all your life long;" so the teachers of the ragged-school say, "Send your children to us. Children, come to us: we will teach you the fear of the Lord-how to obtain the blessing of the Lord, which maketh rich;"" that wisdom which is more precious than rubies, and the gain whereof is better than fine gold" (Prov. iii. 14, 15).
The long coat appeared at the ragged-school. The boy continued to come day after day, week after week, month after month. We must never expect to learn ourselves, or to teach others what is good, as children say, "all on a sudden." No; it must be done by steady, persevering efforts, little by little, and always going on; as the scripture says, the "path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day." In these, our northern countries, it never becomes dark or light suddenly, but by degrees; only it is always going on.
At the end of these few months the boy could read: a New Testament was given him as a reward. His kind teacher knew that one of the best ways to reach the parents' heart was through the children. So he made his young pupil take home the book; and, when he could find an opportunity, when his parents were in a fit state to listen to them, he was to read to them the third
chapter of the gospel of St. John. There are many stories about parents taught by their chil dren: there is one of a very little girl, who was missed from school for about a week, and whose teacher found her sitting by the bed of her sick fatber, nursing him like a little woman, having taught him during the week the whole alphabet, and to put two letters together, which was all that she herself had learned. Our ragged boy took home his new gift. Proud were the parents when they saw it; and prouder still when they knew he could read it. Though they were sinful, negligent people, who had never given themselves any trouble to have their child taught, they were yet greatly pleased when they found he had learned; as the man would have been with his treasure, when he had dug the hole, as his friend advised, under the old cherry-tree.
So the boy read to his parents; choosing, as he had been desired, the third chapter of St. John. The father listened attentively: the boy got to the third verse; the father stopped him: You are surely reading wrong," he said; "Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God."" The boy declared, of course, that he was right the father would not believe it. What was to be done? Neither father nor mother could read: the letters which bring to so many millions such riches of knowledge, profit, and pleasure, were to them as that lost language we see engraved on the ancient stones, whose strange dots and lines convey no meaning to our minds. Those poor people, however, did the wisest thing they could-they sent for the missionary to settle the matter. When the missionary came, of course he said the boy was right, that he had read the verse correctly. Then the father was more and more puzzled: "How," said he, "can a man be born again?" The missionary explained to him the signification of the "new birth": how that it meant having altogether new and different feelings in our hearts; thinking of the Lord Jesus Christ-loving him; wishing to please God, not ourselves; hating that which is evil, loving that which is good. "When our feelings become so changed," the missionary continued, "our life and conduct will be changed also. We shall cease to do those evil things which we have learned to hate, and we shall begin to do those good things which we have learned to love; and nothing," said the missionary, "can produce this change in us except the Spirit of God."
The missionary went his way; but his words remained in the heart of the individual to whom they were addressed. To be born again, to have a new life-it is indeed a wonderful and a glorious change, one over which the angels rejoice. What pleasure there is when a new little baby is born in a family! How anxious every one is to have a peep at it! how each steals gently on tip-toe to the place where it sleeps, and lifts up the soft coverlet to have a peep at its tiny features, or to kiss its tiny miniature hand! A new brother, or a new sister, what delight there is in the household! The Lord calls all his people his household, his family; and we are told there is great joy among them in heaven when one is added to their number on earth: "There is joy," saith the Lord himself, "in the presence of the angels of God, over one sinner who repenteth." We know too