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felt by his first followers, is a rare thing among modern Christians. His character has been so much obscured by scholasticism, as to have lost in a great measure its attractive power. The prevalent feeling towards him now among religious men is an awful fear of his supernatural greatness, and a disposition to obey his commands arising partly from dread of future punishment and hope of reward, and partly from a nobler feeling of loyalty, which, however, is inspired rather by his office than his person. Beyond this we may discern in them an uneasy conviction that he requires a more personal devotion, which leads to spasmodic efforts to kindle the feeling by means of violent raptures of panegyric and by repeating over and getting by rote the ardent expressions of those who really had it. This is wanting for the most part which Christ held to be all in all, spontaneous warmth, free and generous devotion. That the fruits of a Christianity so hollow should be so poor and sickly, is not surprising.'
But that is scarcely the whole truth. The working classes of this country, notwithstanding all their great qualities, especially notwithstanding those almost 'ascetic virtues' which an eminent politician, whose knowledge of Lancashire and Yorkshire operatives is considerable, Lord Houghton, has recently attributed to them, combine with these great qualities and ascetic virtues a certain hardness of grain, over which the proposal to yield enthusiastic love to a human being who lived eighteen centuries ago, and to ascribe to all other human beings the capacity for His virtues, would pass without making any impression. We do not believe that this proposal represents our author's true theology ; but this is the only point of view from which his somewhat defective method enables him to describe the great motive power of the Christian faith in this preliminary work. The English artisan realizes well--no one better-that forces of human origin, whether moral or physical, are nothing in comparison to those great reservoirs of natural and spiritual energy which man is permitted partly to use and direct, but which he cannot originate. The practical believers in water-power, steam-power, gravity, and electricity, naturally do not feel inclined in spiritual matters to attribute too much importance to moral exercises of their own volition. Hence the fascination for them of the great fatalistic Necessarian, Calvinistic, Pantheistic faiths,-a fascination which all who know the artisan class will admit. The artisan proper has as little respect for enthusiasms of human origin, as he has for a productive process which does not seem to avail itself of any power greater than manual labour. And it is the great defect of this beautiful essay as it at present stands, that while it is one long demonstration of the claim of the Christian revelation to awaken a new enthusiasm of humanity,' its method does not permit the author really to trace the moral power, on the magnitude of which he is commenting, to its true spring. Our author professes to make his book an examination into Christ's aims, as preliminary to a discussion of His true supernatural claims. Now the difficulty of such an attempt is, that it seems to separate the aims from the only rational justification of these aims, -as if a man should inquire into the musical aims of a great vocalist without any discussion of the musical capacities of his voice, or the aims of a great engineer, without mention of the mechanical means at his disposal. It presents our Lord rather as spanning the centuries with a brilliant rainbow of visionary hope, than as laying His foundations deep in the heart and conscience of man. To aspire to fill the heart of men in all ages with love for one who has long passed from the world, reverence for his laws, and faith in his promises,-to hope to make not merely a memory, but far less than a memory, a tradition, rule over the passions and the moral and intellectual truths and imaginations of men; above all, to hope that men should be so credulous as to find in such a tradition of one man's isolated goodness a guarantee that any other man, however deeply degraded, may be transfigured into his image, would be fairly regarded as a wild dreamer's dream, apart from the theology at the basis of such a hope. We do not believe for a moment that this is the picture which our author intends ultimately to draw, but it is the only picture which the method of his present essay enables him to draw. By inquiring into Christ's aims before he has conceded anything as to His nature, by representing those aims simply as springing from His noble sentiments, he makes those aims resemble cut flowers, drawing their beauty from the water which only delays their decay, instead of from the roots which really enfolded their principle of life. The working classes will be the first to realize this; they will say at once that all the talk about the enthusiasm of humanity is beautiful enough, but that it compels the question, Where is the enthusiasm to come from? Man is a poor creature at best, and cannot manufacture powerful motives for himself by dint of gazing at a beautiful picture dimmed by time, and taking for granted that all its finest features are not unique but universal. "If you can show us,' they might say, 'great spiritual forces not depending on ourselves, but still close to us, and of which we might avail ourselves, as we do in physical life, of the great ocean-currents, and steam-power, and the magnetic streams of earth, of which for centuries our race was ignorant, though they were then as efficient as now, then, no doubt, you may produce as great spiritual results upon us, as the discovery of the great natural forces has produced physical results. But
if it is all to depend on our strength of love for a being whom we never saw-on emotions which we are to squeeze out of ourselves—then your great enthusiasm will be as long in coming as the wind when it is whistled for.' Nor would the working class be wrong in such a criticism. The aims of Christ cannot be sundered from His theology. Unless we believe Him to be still at the fountains of every human heart, doing for man what man cannot do for himself, giving strength to effect that which, unassisted, we have not even strength to attempt, commanding peace to human passions, and restraining the selfishness of intellectual tastes, and, above all, convincing us that He who commands us to rescue the degraded from their degradation, enables us to do it by Himself knocking at the door of the most degraded heart--the 'enthusiasm of humanity' would be a mere romanticist dream. Unless the working class can be brought to believe that Christ has opened the way between God and man, not only for the generation amongst which He lived on earth, but for all of us; that the eternal will which moved Him to take upon himself the form of a servant' is still and for ever willing the great ends which He came down upon earth to declare; that the power and wisdom and love of God are always close to us in all the fulness of that life which shone out for the only time in human history, centuries ago,-unless they can be brought to believe this, the 'enthusiasm of humanity' must be for them a factitious affair. Indeed, we think that, with all his truthfulness and power, the author of Ecce Homo has made somewhat too much of active 'enthusiasm' and too little of that quiet and receptive attitude of mind which is probably the nearest to our Lord's. It is true that there is an enthusiasm-of the kind which our author certainly means to indicate—which depends entirely on the great sustaining power of thoughts that are in us, but not of us, to which we trust, as a swimmer trusts himself to the sustaining sea; but then it is of the essence of this enthusiasm to know that the source from which it enters the mind is a perennial source, not capable of running dry. And the attitude of mind in which the greatest and most victorious of working philanthropists stand towards such sustaining convictions is often far from one of elation, which is generally supposed to be part of enthusiasm, but one of mere humble, tranquil trust. The having a great faith to lean upon may often, perhaps most often, be the one influence which extinguishes the outward appearance of enthusiasm. When first the spirit catches sight of the new wave of power, no doubt a thrill, properly described as one of enthusiasm, runs through it. But after once resting upon it and testing its full strength, the flush fades away, and what we feel is no longer enthusiasm, but quiet trust in a great agency distinct from ourselves, and which uses us for its greater ends. And this is the true aspect in which to present the purposes of Christ to working men,-as a revelation of eternal strength ever at work behind the veil of visible phenomena,—of which we may avail ourselves, if we will,—which will avail itself of us whether we will or not, but which is ever carrying out the great aims and laws of Christ,—though sometimes men in their blindness may fall on it and are broken, and sometimes, when they set themselves consciously against it, it may fall on them and 'grind them to powder.
We may illustrate what we mean in this respect by the fine passage in which our author speaks of Christ's anxiety to guard His disciples against the devouring 'cares of this world' (uepquvai BlwTikai), a danger felt by none, except the mercantile class, more keenly than by the class which is always living on the very edge of want, and sometimes has the greatest possible difficulty in realizing that “the life is more than meat,' or the body than raiment'
• The most formidable temptation of manhood is that which Christ described in a phrase hardly translatable as μεριμναι βιωτικαί. Το boys and youths work is assigned by their parents or tutors. The judicious parent takes care not to assign so much work as to make his son a slave. We cherish as much as possible the freedom, the discursiveness of thought and feeling natural to youth. We cherish it as that which life is likely sooner or later to diminish, and if we curb it, we do so that it may not exhaust itself by its own vivacity. But in manhood work is not assigned to us by others who are interested in our welfare, but by a ruthless and tyrannous necessity which takes small account of our powers or our happiness. And the source of the happiness of manhood, a family, doubles its anxieties. Hence middle life tends continually to routine, to the mechanic tracing of a contracted circle. A man finds or fancies that the care of his own family is as much as he can undertake, and excuses himself from most of his duties to humanity. In many cases, owing to the natural difficulty of obtaining a livelihood in a particular country, or to remediable social abuses, such a man's conduct is justified by necessity, but in many more it arises from the blindness of natural affection, making it difficult for him to think that he has done enough for his family while it is possible for him to do more. Christ bids us look to it that we be not weighed down by these worldly cares, which indeed, if not resisted, must evidently undo all that Christianity has done and throw men back into the clannish condition out of which it redeemed them. How many a man who at twenty was full of zeal, high-minded designs and plans of a life devoted to humanity, after the cares of middle life have come upon him and one or two schemes contrived with the inexperience of youth have failed, retains nothing of the Enthusiasm with which he set out but a willingness to relieve distress whenever it crosses his path,
and perhaps a habit of devoting an annual sum of money to charitable purposes ! To protect the lives of men from sinking into a routine of narrow-minded drudgery, the Christian Church has introduced the invaluable institution of the Sunday.'
Christ's cure for these gnawing claims on our thought and attention was to open a field of trust and contemplation behind the veil, which should enable even the most restless spirit, once realizing it, to lean for all that it cannot control on One who can. In other words, his cure is strictly theological, the revelation of a rest for the intellect and a rest for the will, in a power within man, but above man. Our author—who insists, not too much, indeed, on the practical side of Christ's teaching, but too much on the zeal which he wished to inspire as distinct from the faith which nourished that zeal—is perhaps too much disposed to turn the Sunday into a day for maturing plans of action, instead of a day for falling back on the rest of trust :
· The enthusiasm should not be suffered to die out in any one for want of the occupation best calculated to keep it alive. Those who meet within the church walls on Sunday should not meet as strangers who find themselves together in the same lecture-hall, but as co-operators in a public work the object of which all understand, and to his own department of which each man habitually applies his mind and contriving power. Thus meeting, with the esprit de corps strong among them, and with a clear perception of the purpose of their union and their meeting, they would not desire that the exhortation of the preacher should be, what in the nature of things it seldom can be, eloquent. It might cease then to be either a despairing and overwrought appeal to feelings which grow more callous the oftener they are thus excited to no definite purpose, or a childish discussion of some deep point in morality or divinity better left to philosophers. It might then become weighty with business, and impressive as an officer's address to his troops before a battle. For it would be addressed by a soldier to soldiers in the presence of an enemy whose character they understood and in the war with whom they had given and received telling blows.'
But the attraction which takes the working class away from Christian sermons to hear Professor Huxley telling them of the grandeur of 'natural knowledge' in his lay-sermon, and Dr. Carpenter discussing the bearing of physiological discovery on the antiquity of man, should teach us that the day of rest from 'the cares of the world' is really wanted for a return of the mind to the contemplation of wider and sublimer fields of thought than even the marching orders for a philanthropic campaign. What disgusts working men with ordinary sermons is the appearance of mere didacticism about them, of hackneyed
VOL. XLIV.—NO. LXXXVII.