Page images
PDF
EPUB

wa

mind of Germany was in a transition state: the controversy as to the sale of indulgences opened the minds of Luther and his party;' the Reformation was the result

. Hampden's refusing to pay twenty shillings for ship-money the turning point in the history of England at that period; the close of peaceful endeavours for popular rights.' Cromwell is born, and becomes the representative of parliamentary power, and of middle-class influence. We may here just take one lesson of him—viz., that true religion is essential to success in war, as in all other great affairs in life. He impressed this great fact upon the minds of his soldiers; his troop of Ironsides' was never beaten—we learn they were men of religious principle as well as patriotic zeal, commanded by a great intellect.

There is within us a feeling of reverence for greatness—when a great man' comes, homage cannot be withheld ; the cries in the street herald his coming ; the people cannot see or know too much of him. His face-his form and figure the glance of his eyes—the tones of his voice-become familiar to them. Washington, Napoleon, Pitt, Peel, and Wellington were know to the people, they were street celebrities. The common people heard the words of the Saviour gladly--the glad tidings of the Kingdom of Heaven touched their hearts; they cried Hosannah to the Son of David.'

We are in the midst of war, beset with many and great dangers, and, in this time of trouble and perplexity, want a great man, not of sectarian, but of cosmopolitan mind, to command and to govern. A Christian man—not an Autocrat--one having the spirit of true religion, charity, and love to all men ---firmness tempered with prudence-regenerate in morals and manners—having faith in the greatness of his mission, and possessing the power of impressing it upon others.

Many will ask why such an one has not been vouchsafed to us? We answer in the words of a great author, • The government of England is decidedly more irreligious than any other European government.' Again, when speaking of the Chinese Revolution, he observes : Nationally men are judged by the doings of their

governments; and as our English government is professedly non-religious, non-apostolical, and it may even be said anti-Christian, in so far as treaties and international diplomacy are concerned, we have no right whatever to turn up the lip of scorn and say what sort of Christians will these new Chinese heretics be? Whilt sort are we ?' Another writer observes : •At least two thirds of the House of Com nons, like two thirds of the English nation, are heterodox.' How can we expect God's favour while we are practically as a nation denying him? What sort of Christians are we? Are we Christians at all? We ought nationally and individually to repent, for we have all come short of our glorious calling. The world is full of deceit and fraud. We want a 'great man' to regenerate us. If we really expect such an one to come to relieve us of our difficulties, let us cast away from us the works of darkness and ignorance, and pat upon us the armour of light and knowledge, that we may be meet inheritors of Christ's Kingdom.

Philos.

THE INTRODUCTION TO THE MILLENNIUM.

The language which has been applied so generally to the fair sex, is doubtless applicable to a large number of the lords of the creation '—0, man, thy name is frailty.' Think of Robert Owen promising the Millennium to the Londoners on the fourteenth of May, while the cannons were reverberating from before Sebastopol,' and nightly the deadly strife was going on for the possession of a few inches of ground. Imagine the old man declaring for the thousandth time while more than half the entire number have been taken to the police-station after ten o'clock on Monday night. On the first Monday only one drunken charge was received after ten, and on the following Monday not a single case was received, and the prison-van left Bow Street for the first time within the experience of the magistrate without a single prisoner of any kind.' William Corrie, Esq., magistrate of the Clerkenwell Court, states—'In the district containing between three and four hundred thousand persons, the charges against drunkards have, since the passing of the 17th and 18th Vict. c. 79, been fewer on Mondays, and they have not been more numerous on other days.' The

Southwark Police Court' has spoken out plainly through the pen of G. A. A‘Beckett, Esq., the presiding magistrate, in a letter to the Times. Previous,' he says, to the New Beer Bill the business of this Court was not only considerably greater on Monday than on any other day in the week, but it consisted chiefly of cases of drunkenness, and of assaults more or less violent, that had been committed under its influence. From the day when the act came into effect I have kept an account of the number of charges of Sunday drunkenness, which have been brought before me on every Monday on which I have sat here.' The results were 'thirty-seven cases in nineteen weeks.' The reporter of • Marlborough Street Court' says :- Before the new act came into operation the Saturday night and Sunday night offences varied from sixty to about a hundred. On the first Monday after the act was enforced, the whole number of cases, drunken cases included, was only twenty-five, and not a single case was brought to the station-house from twelve o'clock on Saturday night up to Monday morning, thirty being the average previously.' Respecting · Marylebone Police Court, R. G. Brighton, Esq., the magistrate, testifies— My opinion is that the act in question has not added to drunkenness in the middle of the week. And I may further observe, that the intelligent representative of the D division remarks that in the whole police district the streets have exhibited a marked improvement as to quietude and order since the act came into operation.' The Lambeth Court' is no exception. J. W. Elliot, Esq., who at first displayed a most unfriendly spirit towards the act, at length writes thus :—'My experience is decidedly in favour of the Sunday closing of public-houses. I have no doubt it diminishes drunken charges on that day, in itself a most desirable object; and I have not perceived any sensible increase on other days.' This surely is no unfavourable testimony from the metropolis ; that of the provinces we shall discuss in our next impression.

ENGLAND WAITING.

England is waiting for a 'great man.' During the long peace, since the Battle of Waterloo, she has cultivated literature, science, and the fine arts, and extended her commerce to the remotest corners of the globe. Philanthropic institutions, to alleviate the sufferings of the sick, to relieve the distress of the poor, to promote education among the people, have increased on every hand. Šteam and electricity, the wonder-workers of the age, have triumphed over time and space. Yet, notwithstanding all these improvements in her social relations, and all her increased scientific attainments, she has lost her prestige among the nations of Europe-her brave soldiers and gallant seamen almost quail before the hordes of Russia-brute force is ready to triumph over superior military skill, for want of a great man' to command and govern, one who is able to magnetize the world.

Wherever a great man' appears, he, like the magnetizer, makes himself felt; the world at once becomes susceptible of his influence. Whenever a great man’ is born he becomes the representative of the epoch in which he lives. The

6

wa

mind of Germany was in a transition state: the controversy as to the sale of indulgences opened the minds of Luther and his party;' the Reformation was the result

. Hampden's refusing to pay twenty shillings for ship-money the turning point in the history of England at that period; the close of peace: ful endeavours for popular rights.' Cromwell is born, and becomes the representative of parliamentary power, and of middle-class influence. We may here just take one lesson of him—viz., that true religion is essential to success in war, as in all other great affairs in life. He impressed this great fact upon the minds of his soldiers; his troop of “Ironsides' was never beaten—we learn they were men of religious principle as well as patriotic zeal, commanded by a great intellect.

There is within us a feeling of reverence for greatness—when a great man' comes, homage cannot be withheld; the cries in the street herald his coming ; the people cannot see or know too much of him. His face-his form and figure -the glance of his eyes—the tones of his voice-become familiar to them. Washington, Napoleon, Pitt, Peel, and Wellington were know to the people, they were street celebrities. The common people heard the words of the Saviour gladly-the glad tidings of the Kingdom of Heaven touched their hearts; they cried Hosannah to the Son of David.'

We are in the midst of war, beset with many and great dangers, and, in this time of trouble and perplexity, want a great man, not of sectarian, but of cosmopolitan mind, to command and to govern. A Christian man—not an Autocrat--one having the spirit of true religion, charity, and love to all men -firmness tempered with prudence-regenerate in morals and manners—having faith in the greatness of his mission, and possessing the power of impressing it upon others.

Many will ask why such an one has not been vouchsafed to us? We answer in the words of a great author, • The government of England is decidedly more irreligious than any other European government.' Again, when speaking of the Chinese Revolution, he observes : 'Nationally men are judged by the doings of their governments; and as our English government is professedly non-religious, non-apostolical, and it may even be said anti-Christian, in so far as treaties and international diplomacy are concerned, we have no right whatever to turn up the lip of scorn and say what sort of Christians will these new Chinese heretics be? Whit sort are we?' Another writer observes: At least two thirds of the House of Com nons, like two thirds of the English nation, are heterodox.' How can we expect God's favour while we are practically as a nation denying him? What sort of Christians are we? Are we Christians at all? We ought nationally and individually to repent, for we have all come short of our glorious calling. The world is full of deceit and fraud. We want a great man' to regenerate us. If we really expect such an one to come to relieve us of our difficulties, let us cast away from us the works of darkness and ignorance, and pat upon us the armour of light and knowledge, that we may be meet inheritors of Christ's Kingdom.

PHILOS.

THE INTRODUCTION TO THE MILLENNIUM.

The language which has been applied so generally to the fair sex, is doubtless applicable to a large number of the lords of the creation’—0, man, thy name is frailty.' Think of Robert Owen promising the Millennium to the Londoners on the fourteenth of May, while the cannons were reverberating from before Sebastopol,' and nightly the deadly strife was going on for the possession of a few inches of ground. Imagine the old man declaring for the thousandth time that the legislators of the day will come to him for the solution of the great social problem, and yet no one comes ! He has been introducing his Millennium from time to time during half a century or more, yet all his communities have proved abortions, and every attempt to carry out his schemes has failed. Loud lesson to those who would secure the social elevation and political regeneration of the people without any recognition of the existence or the government of God! As well attempt to build a pyramid from its apex, as seek to reform society while ignoring the great fact lying at its very basis, that its cement and its security is its union with God.

Ať the World's Convention,' on Monday last, Mr. Owen told his old tale. He declared that the principle, which he propounded would secure, under the regime of the new world, without money and without price, to every man everything the heart could desire in superfluity. The scene strikes us as altogether too melancholy for ridicule. A man sinking into the grave, his labour lost, and every hope of his heart unfulfilled! The same fruitless petitions to both houses of Parliament praying that steps might be taken to carry out the Communistic scheme! Îhe same dreams of all nations, peoples, and languages coming to him for enlightenment and guidance.

As if to symbolize the character of his system as it began to be carried out at Queenwood, a picture of a machine called 'The Devastator,' making terrible havoc among the Russians at Sebastopol, was exhibited after his speech! Sad satire upon the announcement that the Millennium had begun !

Mr. Owen made another prophecy more likely to prove true than any other he has uttered. Having on that day completed his 84th year, he told his audience that he should die before another birth-day, his mission having nearly been fulfilled. A mistaken mission, we fear, from which neither he nor his followers can reap anything but disappointment! 'Othat thou hadst hearkened to the voice of my commandments, then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness like the waves of the sea!'

JOSEPH BARKER'S OPINION OF ROBERT OWEN AND

HIS MILLENNIUM SYSTEM.

The following extract, from Joseph Barker's 'Overthrow of Infidel Socialism," is very appropriate to the present time-as Robert Owen is again prophecying another millennium. Speaking of the defects of Owen's system, Barker says :

• There is another defect in socialism : there is nothing in it to support its followers under the disappointments and troubles which they must meet with, in their attempts to establish it. Just look for a moment at the case of Robert Owen and his colleagues ; how pitiable is their condition! Robert Owen has been labouring to establish his system for nearly forty years; and after all, if we are to believe his followers, the world is as bad as ever. According to his writings he has frequently been in full expectation of a glorious revolution ; and in every instance he has been disappointed. Time after time he has prophecied that the socialist millennium was at hand, and every prophecy has covered him with shame. He has crossed seas, he has traversed continents, he has had conferences with governments, he has written books, he has delivered lectures, he has had public and private discussions, he has neglected his business, he has expended his money, he has formed societies, he has established communities, he has blasphemed God, and betrayed men, and after all, though his hairs are growing grey and his eyes dim, there is not one single spot of earth that is lovelier or happier for his labours !

• While he has been labouring in the cause of infidelity he has lost his friends, he has sacrificed his ease, he has grieved thousands of his fellow-creatures, and

suffered many and grievous hardships; he has been represented as proud, selfwilled, and overbearing; as a mad or ill-designing man ; he has been charged with base and interested motives ; with fraud, dishonesty, and treachery; with cheating the poor and decieving the rich; and his name is now a proverb for wild and impious, and impracticable schemes. And these are but a part of his sorrows,—and after all, the cause on which his heart is so much set, is languish, ing and dying away,---he and his colleagues are vanquished and put to the flight,-his followers are quarrelling among themselves,-the Christians are triumphing, --and the world is wondering at his phrenzy, and denouncing his schemes as the monstrous offspring of infidel insanity.

And yet under the weight of all those disappointments and troubles, he has no consolation. He has had no heaven on earth, and he can hope for no heaven above. He has lost the favour of men, and he has found no friend in Heaven. There is not a whisper of consolation to cheer him, not a hand to uphold him: but as he has lived without advantage, so must he grieve without comfort and die without hope. All that his system can do for him is to tell him that he is a brute, a lump of earth, and that if his burden be too heavy for him there is a short way to death, and that he must look to his own right-hand for deliverance. He is an outcast, a self-banished outcast from earth and from heaven, with no way of refuge but through the blood of self-murder to an infamous grave. Can A MORE PITIABLE OBJECT BE CONCEIVED ?'

Such are the words of one who knew infidelity well--one who has now be come even more degraded, more pitiable, and more obnoxious to the God of Heaven than the individual he has so eloquently criticised! How truly does he represent Owen and his system! How prophetically does he criticise his own present state! 'How pitiable' is Barker's position now! He has lost friends,' sacrificed his character as an honest and straightforward man! The world is wondering at his phrenzy,' and all right-minded people are denouncing him as one of the most hypocritical of public speakers. He has been represented as mad, he has been charged with base and interested motives, he has been represented as proud, self-willed, and overbearing. He has been charged with dishonesty, fraud, and treachery, with cheating the poor and deceiving the rich. And yet these are but a part of his troubles.

Uuder the weight of all the disappointments he has experienced-he CAN HAVE NO CONSOLATION. He has lost the favour of men--and oh! how awful, how infinitely worse)—he has fouud no friend in HEAVEN!! He is an outcast, a self; banished outcast from earth and from heaven. COULD a more pitiable object (than Joseph Barker) be conceived ?'

Really this extract and the exact fulfilment it has met in Barker himself is full of important lessons. Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed—lest he fall.' Oh! who could imagine that Joseph Barker, who has exposed infidelity so ably, would be an infidel now. • Of how much greater punishment, think ye, shall he be thought worthy ?' It does not become us to judge, but let us take home to ourselves the solemn lessons it teaches us.

His remarks on Robert Owen are to the point-founded on facts--and pungent. At the present time, when Owen is again raving about another millennium of his wild, mad, and immoral socialism, they are very appropriate, and well worth a place in the ' Defender.'

May the readers of this article profit by the important lessons it teaches when applied to Barker himself, and may they all 'take heed how they stand.'

OBSERVER. Liverpool.

*The italics and capitals in the extract are mine.

« PreviousContinue »