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It is my
this without vital injury to itself; and no less logical, less symmetrical, a system far man has a right to submit to it. He vio less complete, if we had actually to gather lates his manhood, and sins against his it ourselves from the Bible and from our Saviour, if, for any cause whatever, he own heart's experience and our own consents to have his individual liberty mind's thinking. But though we gained taken from him. It is the gift of Christ; only a few fundamental truths thus into Christ he must answer for it.
dependently and originally, they would I have said that the Christian life of be infinitely more to us, of more importhe Church and of each individual depends tance and value, of more power, and more upon their maintaining the liberty where- vitally influential, than all the tomes of with Christ hath made us free. History theology ever written by others, all the amply proves the truth of this so far as creeds ever composed, and all the sermons the Church is concerned. A little con
ever preached. sideration will as clearly show it to be When I look at some old cathedral, I true in the case of the individual.
admire it for its grandeur, its symmetrical It is well known that personal experi- beauty, its rich symbolism, its magnificent ence of any fact makes that fact immensely proportions ; it is a wonderful structure. more interesting, more real and important But, with all its elaborateness and comto us than it could be if received merely pleteness, I would not take it in exchange at second hand. I read one of Stephen for a little log cabin I know, rude and unCrane's realistic descriptions of battle, and symmetrical and small, which is my home. it is horrible indeed. Yet how tame and This I love. I know every stone in its pale it appears after I have myself been foundation, every log in its walls, for I in the ranks that charged the enemy, have myself have built it; my own hands have with my own eyes seen the blood flow, and fashioned each log and stone. with my own ears heard the curses and
It is prayers and groans of the dying. This I to me what no cathedral built by others can never forget while life endures. Or, could ever be. Such is the difference I follow another as he works out some between the elaborate theological systems mathematical problem, and give my assent others constructed, and that which I myself to the result. But am I interested, am I have gathered from the Scriptures and convinced, in anything like the degree that really made my own conviction and expeI would be if I worked out the problem rience. The cathedral's gloom and chill myself, and reached the result independ- could never be my home. But in the ently? Now, the great trouble with a cabin's warmth and light I can live in vast majority of our latter-day Christians peace and do my life's work with joy. is just this, that they know the truths of the Why, then, should others insist on buildGospel only at second hand. The whole ing a cathedral for me? Or why should I system of Christian theology is worked pretend to inhabit one? Is not perchance out for them and the results are communi- this the very reason why there is so much cated to them. The precious truths of coldness and indifference in the Church our religion are all carefully wrapped up to-day, because so many of us pretend to by experts, labeled, and handed to us. believe a great deal more than we really We gratefully accept them, but scarcely do? We pretend to believe every article ever go to the trouble of opening the par of every Protestant creed, and every propcels and examining the contents.
osition of every orthodox work on theoleasy simply to take the preacher's word ogy. We are not willfully nor even confor it, or the creed's and catechism's! sciously hypocrites in doing this. We And then we are sure of having it much ourselves believe that we believe them all, more elaborately worked out, and proba- simply because we imagine that not to bly much more correctly, than if we had disbelieve is the same as to believe. to find it all out by searching the Scrip After all, is not this all that the comtures and by hard thinking! Yes, much placentorthodoxy of the multitude amounts easier, my friends; but how deep does it to ? They do not disbelieve! But neither all go? To what extent does it really do they believe with anything like a posiimpress us, enter our soul, and affect our tive faith, a real personal conviction, even life ? No doubt our theology would be some of the simplest and most vital truths
It is so
of the religion they profess. If they did, “the blood of Christ”? Ask some such they could not be the self-satisfied crea questions and see how few will be able to tures they are, the cold and disinterested answer them. Then think what an empty, men and women we find in our churches hollow mockery their faith and their reby thousands. No wonder their profes- ligion must be to such as these who have . sions have so little relation to their lives, allowed themselves to become “ entangled and their Christianity to their characters. again with the yoke of bondage." What we do not disbelieve does not affect
or woman who has us. But what we believe does. I had opened up, thought out for himself and rather have them disbelieve a great deal made his own the rich, throbbing, living they profess, if only they would also hon truth contained in any one such foundaestly believe a very little.
tion-word, though he doubt half the rest No wonder, too, that they get so little of the creed, is richer in spirii and fuller enjoyment out of their religion. Its most of the truth than he who merely quotes a precious gems of truth they never really dozen creeds and only knows the words perceive. This storehouse of truth and of the whole Bible by heart! And surely beauty, the Bible, is full of such gems; he is also the more genuine Christian and but these poor people see and know noth truer church member of the two. What ing but the words and phrases which stand pastor would not far rather have a congrefor them. These words are like the bags gation of real Christian searchers of the in which precious stones are sometimes Scriptures, thoughtsul, honest, and earnest, carried and stored in the vaults of our even though no two of them interpreted banks. On the bags are written “ Pearls," alike their teachings on Providence, Prayer, “ Opals,”
,” “ Diamonds.” For months and Inspiration, Sanctification, to say nothing years, perhaps, no one opens the bags ac of minor subjects, than one whose memtually to see and examine the stones. So bers were a unit in not disbelieving whatfar as that is concerned, they might as well ever be told them, and ready passively to be mere sand and pebbles. So they who accept any interpretation at second hand ? accept the authority of tradition, or the For preacher, or the commentary, in definition There lives more faith in honest doubt, of such blessed words as Grace, Repent Believe me, than in half the creeds. ance, Faith. Eternal Life, the Blood of ( for more thinking Christians, however Christ, and never think of using their lib- independent, in our churches! Why will erty to open up the words and see for men be satisfied with the dried fruit of the themselves the inexpressible beauty and tree of knowledge, or fruit selected, canned, fullness of truth contained in them. Words and preserved for them by others, when so soon become stereotyped, mere empty the tree itself stands free for all to come sounds! We use them instead of ideas. and pluck it fresh for themselves? They We sound them, but never think them. know not what they miss, what satisfaction, And, worst of all, we talk of believing what peace, what joy! them, when to us they convey nothing that Don't be content to have others tell you can be believed. Tradition has hidden about the things of the soul, about truth, the reality securely away, authority placed and about the beauty of holiness. Try its stamp on the outside, and the world them yourselves. He who is the Way, the contentedly passes the whole from hand Truth, and the Life, himself invites us to to hand, from mouth to mouth, without
- Come and see !" " And the Spirit and ever a glimpse at the inside! * We be the bride say, Come. And let him that lieve in the blood of Christ." Stop a heareth say, Come. And let him that is moment to think. What do you mean by athirst come. And whosoever will, let “ believe"? What do you understand by him take the water of life freely."
N an article that I wrote for The lent work, not only by supplying funds,
Outlook in September, 1897, I alluded but also by taking part themselves as
to country holidays for girls' clubs hostesses in looking after their guests and of the great advantage they were to during the holidays. the members. I am glad of the oppor The first girl I ever sent out from Lontunity given to me of writing more about don was a poor lace-cleaner, who was these pleasures, now become so general overdone, not only with one year of toil, in England. I know that in the States but with many years, as until on the occaattractive homes are provided for girls sion of this visit she had never been into during their one, two, or three weeks' holi- the country or slept a night out of Soho. day, where they spend a very happy time This was in 1870, the first time, I imagine, together, and come back refreshed and that such an idea had been carried out. rested by the lovely country and quiet, It was to Lady Amberley's home, a beauand by the enjoyments which are provided tiful spot overlooking the Wye and the for them ; but I still think that the plan ruins of Tintern Abbey, that this girl went. adopted by us in England is better, and She was free to roam about wherever she not only furnishes the girls with more liked, over commons and in woods, or she varied pleasures, but also brings them in could sit in the garden with her book, or contact with a greater number of people, play with the children. She came back who seem most anxious to help them in to London a different being; not only had every way to have a delightful holiday. she experienced for the first time the Thus many share personally in this excel delights of country life, but she had been
cheered by the warm and cordial hospi- strength which enable them to return to tality of her hostess, who had for all who their various employments, whether at the came near her the brightest and happiest mill or the factory. The park, which is full welcome.
of deer, was open to them, and they could Other ladies, hearing of this visit, occa- go where they liked.
go where they liked. The garden and the sionally gave me the same privilege of wood they could walk about in, and they sending down to them a visitor. In 1882 were taken through the beautiful rooms a party of girls went down to stay in of the Castle, where hang pictures of Cumberland, at Naworth Castle, that world-wide renown. romantic home of Lord and Lady Carlisle. In 1885 Mr. Sartoris arranged three Here they saw for the first time a real rooms in his house for poor people, and old border castle, a large baronial hall many have been the parties of girls whom with its wide fireplace round which many I have been allowed to send. They have could sit, tapestry on the wall, men in two bedrooms and a sitting-room provided armor round the hall, and pictures of for them. The first evening they arrive, Belted Will and his wife Bess of the after being fetched from the station, broad apron, the Lord and Lady William they find a delicious tea prepared for Howard spoken of in Scott's “ Marmion." them. After that an allowance of money They could visit Lord William's library is given to each to buy their food, whilst and oratory, seeing the secret passage by they receive from the house milk, butter, which in troubled times the priest was and vegetables. Between them they do able to escape, and the mysterious dun- their own cooking and housework, but geons, and they could walk on the roof, this leaves them time to make long and seeing far away across the border to the distant excursions, and sometimes they Scottish hills. To Castle Howard, by the have visited Blenheim Palace, about eight kindness of Lady Carlisle, our girls have miles distant. also been, lodged in the Guest House that Another constant friend, Lady de Clif. is so beautifully arranged for the sick and ford, used yearly to invite two or three ailing of the manufacturing towns in York- girls to spend three weeks with her. They shire, who find there renewed health and slept in the gardener's house, having all
MISS STANLEY IN HER STUDY their meals with the servants in her house. eleven at night I was obliged to enforce Mrs. Maxwell (Miss Braddon) has also silence, so excited were the party that the been a very good friend to us, and has talk and the laughter never seemed to had many girls down to the New Forest, ceasa. But sleep was not for long, for as where she lives in the summer; and she the first rays of the summer sun burst in now helps many poorer members who upon them they woke to joyous laughter cannot afford all the expenses of the and incessant talk. We had to make our holidays.
holiday, as usual, at the time of the Bank Once we took a cottage near Virginia Holiday, when the working-girls can have Water; six girls went down together and three and four days away from business. boarded with the mistress of the cottage. Some food we had brought with us; the This was a most beautiful neighborhood rest had to be cooked as best it could. to stay in, and so well could they walk The sea air and happiness gave us good that they thought nothing of visiting St. appetites, which made us not over-critical. Anne's Hill, and Windsor Castle, which We had two more visits on this coast. Our was ten miles off. Sometimes we found most kind friend, Mrs. Williams, at the lodgings for our girls in farm-houses and Westcliffe Hotel, Westgate-on-Sea, lent cottages in the country.
us, in 1884, several rooms in a hotel, The first visit we paid together in a large which she put at the disposal of myself party was to an iron house that Mr. Weigall and eighteen girls. Here we had a splenhad put up at Ramsgate for the holiday did time, bathing most days, walking to use of working people. Eighteen girls Margate and Birchington, and making slept together in one large dormitory. I expeditions to Canterbury and other had a sort of closet adjoining with the places. We were prepared for our visit window opening on to their room, and by to Canterbury by having read in the