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prize and the temptation of worldly and time-serv- men, learned men, better men every way than their ing clergymen, it is hard to say which would be censor-and yet we can not help distrusting the wisworse, the heathenism of the exclusion, or the blas- dom of the proceeding. The malign, cunning, sneerphemy of the observance. We would touch lightly ing infidel might well ask-What is this professed upon this point, but there are other cases where Christianity wbich is thus to be hunted out like a light charity must be strained to the utmost to invent under a bed or a bushel ? What kind of professors even the semblance of truthfulness. When we hear are those who, instead of being known by their acts, of the political caucus being opened by prayer—when must have the census of their unknown statistics we call to mind the long course of selfish, dark in- so laboriously taken? The discovery is all the trigue that has preceded some one of these patriotic more remarkable from the strange coincidences it gatherings--when we think of the train of manœuvres brings to light. How comes it that the votes of that have attended its organization, and then that these followers of Christ should ever be found in some clergyman has been invited to invoke Heav- such exact correspondence with certain party conen's guidance for men who have come there with nections? No exceptions here. There they stand minds made up to follow the guidance alone of their ever, rank and file, column against column, like own corrupt party interests—when we read the pieces upon a chess-board-men of the same reformal resolution by which he has been graciously ligious profession in this strange and unaccountable requested to implore divine illumination for a body relation to each other-the same steady disagreewhose whole machinery of action has been planned ment with their Christian brethren of the opposite by “the wisdom that is of the earth," if not from political party, the same unvarying agreement with below the earth, and which does not expect to be the men of the world who belong to their own. influenced in one single vote or measure by “the What explanation can be given of this remarkable wisdom which is from above"-no language can phenomenon? Should not religious sympathy somecharacterize too severely the profanity of the whole times snap the political cord ? Are both parties alproceeding. The political trifling with the highest ways in the right?, Or is there some evidence here earthly interests of mankind, bad as that may be, is of an allegiance which is stronger, if not higher, not so bad as this direct insult to Heaven. The than the spiritual ? . clergyman-honest and pious man-does doubtless Akin to this is the practice of obtaining testimofancy that he is doing great service to the cause of nials from the great men at Washington to the truth religion. He is filled with hope and triumph, per- and value of “our holy religion.” It is not long haps, at the thought of the worldly powers thus since a tract was published entirely made up of seeking aid of the spiritual kingdom. But alas, it such matters. We had the opinion of Cass, and all contributes to the movement of which we have Everett, and Douglass-although of this we are not been speaking. The spoil-hunting faction has felt quite certain-and Seward, and Sumner, and Claythe need of no divine guidance, has cared for no ton, and Benton, if we are not mistaken, that the divine guidance, has received no divine guidance ; | Bible was true, that Christianity was a most useful but another step has been taken in that movement institution, and the “foundation of our liberties." which would make the spiritual subservient to the Now we would not say a word against all or any secular, and the chief value of the Church to con- of the very respectable and distinguished gentlemen sist in its political utility. No clergyman should whose names have been mentioned. But then, ever officiate clerically in such a caucus, until he again, the questions will come up, What is the real has some reason to believe that its after-scenes will value of such testimony? Toward which side-the not be in most direct contrast with its religious in supremacy of the Church or the world—is the real itiation.
tendency of the proceeding by which it is obtained ? Our clerical friends will bear with us, if we point It is gathered for the sake of the young, to strengthen out some other cases which, in our editorial judgment, them in their faith. But does it not really argue furnish illustrations of the same tendency. Too distrust? Can there be true confidence in a note much importance is attached to mere religious pro- | which has to be strengthened by so many and such fession in our public men. From the way in which endorsements? With all respect for the persons it is sometimes treated in our religious newspapers, named, their testimony is not to be compared, for it would really seem as though they regarded it as real value, with other that can be obtained from a boon to Christianity that it should be professed some of the obscurest walks of life. What is this by a member of Congress, or the Governor of a to that witness of the power of Christianity which State. Above all, that a President should show a man may find, if he seeks for it, in the humblest respect to religion, is thought worthy of the most Christian who ever taught in a Sabbath-school, or grateful acknowledgment. The testimony of so told his experience in a Methodist class-meeting? great a man as he must surely be, is certainly in- | Do our young men want testimonies ? Let them valuable. That he should maintain 'a devout atti. read the history and martyrology of the Church. We tude during the service, should clearly pronounce say again, we would not disparage these namesthe responses, or should actually stand up during but “what is the chaff to the wheat ?" What are all the whole of the prayer, are facts worthy to be trum- these, and ten thousand more like them, to one life peted throughout the land, as full of hope for the like that of Paul, or Augustin, or Luther, or Feneprogress and triumph of the Gospel.
lon, or Ken, or Wesley, or Edwards ? Ay, but A few years ago we well recollect reading, in one these were professed theologians; we want someof our religious papers, a letter from a correspondent thing which shall operate more powerfully on the in Washington, containing a statement of the mem- young heart, because coming from men in the secubers of Congress who were also members of the lar ways of life, and who are therefore the more imChurch. The writer had obtained his information partial witnesses. It comes then to this and this from the most reliable sources; and it was doubtless is the sophism which such teaching would put at thought that the publication would do great good to the the commencement of a religious course the cascause of Christianity. We doubt not the perfect ual endorsement of a worldly politician, even grantpurity of motive which influenced the editor and his ing it all supposable purity of motive, is worth more, correspondent. They were good men, intelligent because more disinterested, than that of one who has given his whole life, and perhaps a martyr death, enthusiasm. It is the same feeling which has led to the truth which he professes.
to that most false position that the moral power of Christianity, we may well believe, had suffered the clergy would be increased, the more they minsome deterioration in the days of Constantine. gled in the world, and took part in all secular moveThere was more of the worldly in the Church than ments. in some of the preceding centuries. But what Many who are tending to these views, would still would we think, should we read in authentic Church retain, in some sense, the idea of a special mission. history that the pious people and clergy of those days Others have arrived at so transcendent a rationalism were in the habit of seeking testimonials to the truth that they can afford utterly to discard the thought. and utility of their religion from Roman Senators, or All men are inspired, all days are alıke religious, Roman Prætors, or Roman Generals? In view of all life is faith, all acts are worship, all emotion is such modern practices, we find an argument for the prayer, all truth is holy-science is Christianity, all truth of revelation a thousand times stronger than conceivable measures of social reform are Chriswas ever gathered in the purlieus of the Capitol. tianity, political economy is Christianity-the man Christianity must be indeed divine when it still who lectures on trade, or astronomy, or the “moral maintains its hold upon the human soul under cir. significance of the Crystal Palace,” is preaching the cumstances so calculated to shake all faith. It has Gospel as tru
t has / Gospel as truly as ever Paul preached it at Corinth, or fought many a hard battle with its malignant foes, Xavier in the Indies, or Whitfield among the colliers but one of the highest proofs of its heavenly origin of England. And yet some of these men have no hesis found in the fact that it can stand such treatment itation in suffering themselves to be styled Reverend, from the hands of its professed friends. The dead after having, as far as they could, destroyed all reyliest attack of the infidel is not so faith-destroying erence; just as they have no moral scruple in callas these attempts to prop up our belief by the en- ing themselves, and suffering others to call them, dorsement of the politician, or the patronizing cer- “ministers of Christ," while sitting in judgment on ticate of the minimifidian man of science, neither their master, and talking of “the mistakes of Jesus.” of whom, it may very possibly be, knows as much Such is the natural result of this view of the of the Scriptures and Christianity as the once dark clerical office. If the clergyman is a moral lecturer, savage who sits clothed and in his right mind at the his truths, his doctrines, are his own as much as those feet of the missionary of the cross.
of any other lecturer. He may make progress in One great cause which has contributed to give them; he may adapt them to the age ; he may claim the clergy the false rearward position of which we the merit of new discoveries ; he may get up a new have been speaking, is the wrong opinion enter. gospel, such as the founders of Christianity would tained of the nature, and hence of the true rank, of doubtless have preached, had they possessed his their office-an opinion to which they themselves, light. His hearers, too, may hear by the same rule. or many of them, at least, have greatly contributed. The preacher is to them no divine embassador; his We refer to that very common view which regards message is no divine message, to be received with them as merely moral lecturers instead of men solemn deference for Him who sent it. The lecclothed with a divine commission, and charged turer himself has taught them to discard every such with the delivery of a divine message. The differ- thought, and hence its moral power, if it have any ence between the two ideas is immense; and im- moral power at all, must suffer a corresponding demense, too, must be the difference in the practical basement. We may be very much interested in the consequences. Especially is it worthy of note, that rhetoric of Mr. Gilfillan, his stilted exaggerations, the lower opinion should prevail in an age distin. his wondrous talent of turning all science into gosguished above all others by its cant about “mis- pel, or all gospel into science; but then it is only sions." The editor has his mission, the school. the rhetoric of Mr. Gilfillan after all. It has no master has his mission, the author, the poet, the other moral power than his genius, whatever we novelist, even the actor and the actress, each have may think of it, or his personal merit, whatever their mission; but the clergyman, forsooth, is get- that may be, may impart to it. We may be quite ting to be more and more thought of, and spoken of, certain that he, and Mr. Cummings, and Mr. Mauas a voluntary, self-sent lecturer on morals. Now rice will never do the work of John Knox, or Anwe know well enough that the language, as com- drew Melville, or Richard Baxter. Mr. Parkermonly used, is nothing but cant and bubble. Still we mean no disrespect in naming him after such there is something significant in the fact that its evangelical clergymen-may delight us with his general prevalence should be accompanied with extremely liberal sentimentalisms, or make us ansuch a denial of the truest and highest mission- gry with his fierce and intolerant invectives, but it indeed we may say the only real mission on our is Mr. Parker's inspiration after all-nothing more earth-or that apparent recognition of it which nul- nor less. It is the moral power of a man, not sent, lifies by putting it simply on a par with every other but coming in his own name, and whose doctrine is calling, trade, or profession in human life.
his own-a man of some striking traits of characThe clergy, we say, have contributed to this. ter, but many imperfections-a man very much like They have thought to conciliate the world, and thus ourselves—a man who possibly may deceive himgain power with the world, by lowering their claims, self, as other men have often done, with a show of or rather the claims of their office. They would zeal for philanthropy, which is, after all, but an acfain be more rational men, more practical, more rimonious spirit of party, or a malignant spirit of sensible, and hence more useful men, than their opinion often more bigoted than party feeling, and pious but mistaken predecessors. Hence the “call more intolerant than any fanaticism that ever misto the ministry," about which there used to be so takingly assumed the name of a message from much superstitious sacredness, has come to be ex- Heaven. What is worse, we can not know at all how plained as a rational conviction of fitness for doing long the new gospel will last, or when the new light good to the world by teaching the truths of Chris- shall come which will make it all comparative darktianity. All else is undervalued, if not wholly re- ness. Indeed, we may be certain it will soon pass jected; the outward call is but priestly formality, away. The speculations that many regard as standthe inward little better than a false and irrational ing highest in philosophy, and newest in theology,
will, in another generation, be among the things offering from earth to Heaven, the other of a meg. that are remembered, and remembered, too, by few.sage from Heaven to earth. This, we maintain, These bubbles must burst. Such a result is dis must belong to all, or must be assumed by all, who tinctly known by the conservative mind-the only undertake to proclaim to their fellow men the truths mind that truly sees beyond its age, because ground that relate to an eternal kingdom. Is the assumped on those truths that overlook all ages, that sur. tion a proud one? How much more arrogant the vive all ages, and that are the same for all ages. | delivery of such a message without it. The affected
But are not the clergy, in any view that can be humility here is more irrational than any false taken of them, men of like passions with others? priestly claim that ever came from ignorant or faTrue indeed-most deplorably true, and, therefore, natical excess. the more important the fact, or the belief at least in The tendency of which we speak shows itself in the fact that the moral power of their mission comes what is getting to be the prevalent style of preachfrom something higher, purer, more stable, than ing. This is becoming too sentimental and declamatheir own personality. We can only listen to them tory on the one hand, or too argumentative on the intently, earnestly, and we may also add, rationally, other, as though men could be converted by sheer when we regard them as messengers from Heaven. force of eloquence, or logic, or fairly reasoned out Their words have weight with us for the very cause of the unreasonableness of sin. The Bible supplies that their doctrine is not their own. Aside from the preacher with the text, but his own brain furexpress revelation on the subject, our position is nishes the sermon. A divine declaration is taken made out by the shortest and simplest reasoning. I as an exordial motto, and then we have a discusThe argument is both a posteriori from experience, sion of “abilities and disabilities," and " subjective and a priori from the very nature of truth itself. and objective,” and moral this and moral that, and We appeal to every man's personal knowledge. an everlasting proving of moral obligation, until Where are the conversions, sudden or gradual, from there may arise in the hearers' minds the most sethe preaching that claiins no such mission ? When rious doubts whether men are moral beings at all, has it made the proud humble, or the worldly man or moral convictions any the less speculations of spiritually-minded? When has it ever reclaimed the intellect than the axioms of geometry or the the profligate, or rendered charitable the malevolent, statements of algebraic equations. Oh, it is indeed or broken down the hardened wretch to penitence a pitcous spectacle, to see one who stands in the and faith? It has indeed sometimes produced very place of the divine embassador thus spinning out his marked effects, but not like those which character- own poor web from his own psychological materials, ized the day of Pentecost, when men were“pricked while the rich Bible lies all neglected before himin their hearts" and “smote upon their breasts." that It may boast of its reforms, but we fear that it has
“ Broad land of wealth unknown, set men to reforming every thing but themselves,
Where hidden glory lies"and to cleansing every thing but the defiled sanctu. that mine of ideas unsathomable, which it is his great ary of their own spirits. There comes the same business to study, to interpret, to illustrate by all conclusion when we reason from the very nature of the aids that can be drawn from the knowledge of things or ideas. The soul of the serious hearer in- language, of antiquities, of the history of the Church, stinctively demands the higher sanction for the and then to apply it to the consciences of his hearhigher truth. A man may lecture to us on science, ers with the clearness and conviction of one who on political economy, on utilitarian ethics, and we knows that whatever may be his own personal merit listen to him with complacency, although he comes or demerit, he is delivering a message that came in his own name. We take his instructions for from Heaven. what they are worth, or for what we may regard Is there a real objective body of revealed truth in him as being worth. But what right has a fellow the world ? It matters not, for the sake of our main mortal to preach to us of perdition, and salvation, argument, which we adopt of the three great opinand the life to come, unless he has a message from ions that have prevailed respecting it in the Chris. the universal Judge, or believes, at least, that he tian Church-whether it is the Scriptures and ponhas such message, or is delivering the doctrine, nottifical decision, or the Scriptures and general church as his own, but as having come from those who tradition grounded thereon, or the Scriptures alone were the inspired media through whom it was at of the Old and New Testament, as they were handed first specially given to our blind and wandering down by the Church, and received at the Protestant race? If he discard this idea of embassadorship Reformation-in either case the fundamental posi. from the clerical office, we will not listen to him. tion is unaffected. It is the preacher's business to Let the order be abolished as a deception, and study this objective truth, this outward “rule of therefore a moral nuisance, if it take not that high faith," to interpret it, to ascertain it, to deliver it to ground which reason and conscience as well as the world, “ whether men will hear or whether they Scripture would assign to it as its only legitimate, will forbear.” He loses all moral power, and forseits its only tenable position.
all respect, even the respect that inight be paid to We have presented our idea in its most catholic the scientific lecturer, if he present religious docaspect. We meddle not with the vexed questions trines as his own thoughts, or the result of his own respecting the mode and validities of ministerial reasoning, except in that field where his reasoning succession. It is not essential to our general argui. may be legitimately employed-ihe field of sober, ment. We do not say whether an unwarranted devout, faithful interpretation. priestly assumption on the one hand, may not have The very title he bears shows the falsity of this led to this lax latitudinarianism on the other. We common tendency. His name in the Scriptures is contend not for or against the priestly idea, strictly Kýpus, Herald, Crier, Proclaimer. He is an Aposso called, which consists in the offering of sacrifice I tle, a man sent to make a proclamation. He is a and prayer. We are content with taking the more Præco, Prædicans, Preacher-all conveying the clearly revealed, and, as we think, the higher ground, same idea, and having no meaning on the arguof the embassadorial character-higher, we say, be- mentative or lecturing hypothesis. cause the one suggests the idea of a request or an From this tendency to take a low and secular
Editor's Easy Chair.
view of the clerical calling, has mainly come that, Vienna, or St. Petersburg, how much clearer a rearward tendency and position of the clergy which view of us and our society the lucky purchaser is so lamentable for the world as well as the Church. would enjoy, than they who shall only read of us in There must be assumed and maintained by them some future dignified historical octavo. The reason more of the true ministerial or embassadorial char- of the interest, undoubtedly, is that the genuine and acter. They must do this fearless of consequences, peculiar character of a people best exhibits itself in and with a full trust that the simple truth thus an- | the unconscious play of its individuality, which nounced will be attended by its own intrinsic moral appears, of course, most fully in its social life. In power. Learning, of course, is demanded as a re- great historical events it stands upon its interest quisite-a learning which shall meet and conquer and dignity, and national interest and dignity are all that science or philosophy can bring against it, the same at all times and in all places. a learning which knows well how much this world. This supposititious observer being, we will say, needs revelation, and how very, very dark it ever in New York, during this winter, would have a has been, and ever will be, without it. But the singular report to make. He would state that, after other is the essential element of force. In the ex. being well battered by all kinds of sarcasm and ercise of this, not merely assumed on certain ecclesi- ridicule, for its manifest attempt to affect a social astical occasions, but firmly and consistently main- state which does not and can not really exist here, tained, the clerical character will take its true rank; society rushed into other extremes with the same and in the nineteenth century, as well as in the days ardor and the same characteristics, but, happily, of our fathers, the corrupt politician, instead of with much more tangible and agreeable results. We, drawing the clergy into his ignominious wake, will who pass life sitting in our Easy Chair, whence we stand abashed and confounded by their rebuke. note and criticise the world, know of these things
only by report. We depend mainly upon our young friend, and ornament of polished circles, Agneau,
who strolls in to see us during these warm Spring DICTURES of manners and satires upon society mornings, and enlivens our solitude with his chat
I are always interesting. The pleasantest part of society and the gossip of the upper world. of old books of travel is generally that which treats The amiable Agneau came in, not many days of the familiar habits which History does not deign since, and, pulling a paper from his pocket, into recognize. So much the worse for History! The quired if we would subscribe something to the consequence is, that where one man reads his. Young Ladies' Charitable Trowser-patching Sotory conscientiously, fifty men devour with eager- ciety. He knew our weakness. He knew that we ness private diaries and the letters of unambitious always subscribe to all societies of young ladies : observers. It is from these last that the best im he also knew, and ventured smilingly to suggest it pression of places is generally derived. A man as a reason for our alacrity in pulling out our purse, puts all his individuality into a letter which is that we should probably apply for the aid of the destined for friendly eyes only, and in which he Society in behalf of breeches exhausted by too conallows full play to his conceits, and feelings, and stant and severe sitting in this very Easy Chair. fancy. But a book is a serious affair. Just as a The subscription was much too insignificant to man is the soul of humor in the unrestrained con- mention here, especially to you, who have conversation of a circle, and, when he rises to address tributed so generously to the Ragged Schools and an assembly, becomes stiff, conscious, and ineffect- the News-boys' Aid Society, but it was a large sum ire, so a man who sketches life around him with a for us, and the whole heart of this old Easy Chair sparkling pen when he writes a letter to a friend, went with it. The evidence of approval and symbecomes solemn and heavy and pointless when he pathy touched the tender Agneau. writes a letter to the world.
“We all go in for charity now," said he. “CharWe thought of all this lately, as we were looking ity is quite the thing." over a volume of Italian travels, written nearly a ' “ Was it not always the thing ?" we asked, with century since, by a smug Londoner, who went down deference to Agneau's superior experience of "the into Italy-stopping to visit Voltaire upon the way thing," -and who never suffers himself to be seduced into “Oh, yes! Sundays, and all that, you know," enthusiasm by any blandishment of romance, but, he replied blandly. “But all the first people are like a sagacious smug Londoner, “couldn't keep charitable this winter. Why, Miss Bottomrybond his one eye idle," and recorded all that he saw with herself goes to teach in the Ragged School twice a the precision of an accountant. The result was that week, and all the girls meet about at each other's his letters, written to a circle of friends, are now houses, and cut garments, and go and visit the poor one of the most interesting memoirs of Italian life people in such places as you can hardly conceive. in the latter part of the last century, and are par- Dancing has quite gone out, I assure you, and all ticularly rich in their account of the decline of the the good young men are coming in. There has even Venetian republic. The book shows how utterly been a charity concert, at which you might have effete was the society which Napoleon had no sooner heard singing better than any since Sontag and touched than it crumbled, and abounds in interestAlboni went, and which netted the very handsome ing statistics and details, which would be invaluable sum of fifteen hundred dollars for the Society. I to any future historian of the gloomy and gorgeous tell you what, old Easy Chair, charity's all the state of the Lagunes.
We thought of it all lately, but not only in refer- | Now there have been sharp criticisms upon Mr. ence to Venice. An Easy Chair like this has al. Dickens's Mrs. Jellyby, with her profound interest ways its own diocese at heart. If some smug Lon- in Borrioboola-Gha, and her profound contempt for doner, or pert Parisian, or lazy Italian, or heavy any misery of any people of her own color and German, who may be now among us, and weekly country. It has been said that it was an unsair and writing home to his friends, should be persuaded to unnecessary satire upon the generous efforts of hupublish his letters, and they should be found a cen- mane people to reduce the amount of human suffertury hence upon an out-door book-stall in Paris, oring, and that no man who sincerely wished well to
charitable efforts of any kind would have been ers were splitting upon all sides in a most fearful guilty of dealing such a stab to the cause.
manner, and although she was really very anxious As usual, whenever Dickens is censured, we do to do something to arrest the evil, until Mrs. B. and not agree. We believe that the satire was the re-C.joined. It simply shows that her feeling, though sult of very shrewd observation and a wise con- real, is not strong enough to stand and act by itself; sideration. Mr. Dickens sees, with great clearness, but when, under favorable circumstances, it has that the field for English charity is England; that once commenced that action, it will not be very the lachrymose Londoner may find around the cor. likely to stop or shift with the fashion. Moral ner more misery than he bewails in Timbuctoo, and shame will prevent her discontinuing a work which that, in every possible light in which the subject can moral conviction was not strong enough to make be regarded, it is better, and absolutely essential, her practically begin." to begin at home. The Borrioboola-Gha style of Besides, all motives are so mixed. Little Agphilanthropy is the most fatal blow to real charity. neau always insists that his cousin Polyhymnia marFactitious feeling exhales in a fancied sympathy, ried old Baggs merely because he was rich. Agwhich not only tends to bring the actual sympathy neau will not allow that Polly could have had the into disrepute, but dissipates the action and the slightest sympathy with any taste or predilection charity of those who are truly, but not wisely, gen- of her spouse. He is a good, generous, hearty felerous.
low, not much cultivated, and of rather coarse than It is easy enough to fancy how pleased we were fine sympathies ; but because he is a good deal older to learn that, since charity was “all the go," it was than Polyhymnia, Agneau is resolved that it was a wise and not a foolish charity ; that it was not a only the money. Yet, to tell the truth, his cousin, charity which merely bemoaned the unhappiness of who, in the early days, confided much to this Easy Sodom and Gomorrah, but alleviated the misery of Chair, has confessed that she would have married New York.
Baggs had he been only half as wealthy. She wantThere had been so much said of Five-Point Mised to be married ; she wanted a certain kind of sions, and so many moral dramas had been played freedom; she loved the country (Baggs has a place for the benefit of immoral personages, and there was up the river); she found Baggs a generous, kind such a general posting, in large letters and bewilder-companion; she had given up Byron and the hero. ing hand-bills, of the public virtue and sympathy, ics, and she was discreetly married to John Baggs. that we began to have the usual fear of such a uni. To say that his money did it all, is a libel upon versal whitening and beautifying. And yet it makes Mrs. Polyhymnia Baggs. It helped-of course it not so much difference by what means the bread helped. We say simply that motives are mixed. gets into the mouth of the famishing, if it only does (Agneau insists, until he is black in the face, that it get there, and life is saved. A charity concert, at was all mercenary. It was no more purely mer. which Mrs. C. and D. sing because Mrs. A. and B. cenary than the prevalent charity is purely fashionare going to sing, and which keeps itself fashionably able. Agneau and his friends can not criticise and fine and unspotted from the vulgar, is absurd enough condemn in this wholesale manner. if you choose to contemplate it from some points of The fact is that we heard another account of the view. It is as hollow, so far as genuine charity or concert, and from a woman. real human tenderness and sympathy are concerned, “It was a glorious sight," she said; "a church as the family prayers of Sir Brian Newcome, which crowded as soon as the doors were opened, and by Thackeray berates so roundly. Yet, as those family a throng such as few occasions assemble. It was prayers, cold, hard, and unreal as he describes them, Easter-time, and the spring bonnets were frcsh and and as they so often really are, may be the means gay, and the galleries brilliant with smiles and of consolation and strength to some obscure serv- bright with silks and ribbons. The church itself ant, so a fashionable charity concert may, by its re- was gloomy, being one of the pseudo-Gothic cathe. sults, really wipe away tears and pour balm into drals in which we so much delight; but it was ilbroken and breaking hearts.
luminated by the loveliness that shone in every So we ventured to say to Agneau, who was evi- pew. The seats all faced the choir, so that it was dently at bottom rather skeptical of the whole thing. not necessary to rise when the music commenced. *He clearly regarded the present charitable move. The choir is very lofty, and a high screen of colored ments among the fashionable circles as itself a silk protects the singers from the eager gaze of the mere fashion, a new form of excitement.
spectators below. They seemed, on this evening, “Do you suppose," said he, “that my sister lifted up and separated from the audience, as in the Lucia attends to the ragged children at the school Monte Trinitá at Rome the nuns are inclosed in a with any different feeling from that with which she gallery high up under the ceiling, and there sing, would tend sick kittens at home? All women's invisibly. Presently from the depth of the lofty hearts are tender, and they please themselves, in choir rolled out a full stream of chords from the this case, by gratifying their instincts and sopping organ, and the concert began. Sweet, tender, tremtheir consciences. However, I look upon the whole ulous voices, fresh with youth and half-hushed by thing as a very fortunate fashion; but I as cer- the novelty of the place and occasion, overflowed tainly believe that it will be as evanescent as other the screen and poured into the solemn church. The fashions,"
concert was a long strain of music, sometimes sink“But remember," we replied, "if fashion forces ing quite away into modulations pianissimo; then people into charity, so it often shames them away gathering again, and ringing jubilant through the from it. For our part, it seems clear enough that many church and through the heart ofevery listener. It was of those who are now ardent in the cause are really a singular success. The thought of such a concert ardent, and have hitherto only waited for social per- was generous and humane, its fulfillment was entiremission to begin. That argues some weakness, of ly adequate. It was very foolish for Mr. Agneau to course; but in such matters we Americans at the pull his gloves and smile, half-scornfully, and say North are especially weak. Mrs. D. would never that the charity of the singers was only surpassed join the Society for Trowsers-patching, although by that of the audience. In fact," said our gentle she might be conscientiously convinced that trows- informant, “ since his cousin Polyhymnia becamo