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firmness of hand and distinctness of outline
From The Spectator. that are not to be surpassed.
THE UNITED STATES' CHRISTIAN COMMISThere is something amusingly character
SION. istic of the century in Richardson's prefatory assurance that “it will be proper, to
ANOTHER of the great charitable organiobserve, for the sake of such as may appre-zations which the late American War brought hend hurt to the morals of youth from the forth — the United States' Christian Commore freely-written letters, that the gentle mission — has published to the world its men, though professed libertines as to the final record. Perhaps in these long lists of female sex, and making it one of their wick-delegates, balance sheets, summaries “ of ed maxims to keep no faith with any of the receipts and values," “ of labours and disindividuals of it who are thrown into their tributions," some may miss a little the spirit power, are not, however, either infidels or of the divine command to the almsgiver, scoffers." That there should be any conso- "Let not thy left hand know what thy right lation derivable from this queer combination hand doeth." And yet it would be impossiof unimpeached orthodoxy with unscrupu ble to wish that the volume, together with lous libertinage is natural in a century in the kindred one of the United States' Saniwhich, as bas been said, religion was only tary Commission, had not seen the light. something to be proved, not to be particu- Of that great conflict, the epic grandeur of larly acted on. Still, that such a creation which looms larger and larger upon us as we as Clarissa Harlowe was possible, and that recede from it, they illustrate aspects which her story should excite unbounded and sin- the ordinary political, military, or financial cere enthusiasm, prove in some sort that, in history cannot render, and which are neverspite of all its artificiality and hollowness, theless most essential to be taken in, if we there was in the over-reviled eighteenth cen- would comprehend the struggle as a whole. tury an honest love of moral beauty to which The present volume, for instance, in direct the formality of its expression did imper-contradiction to the reports industriously fect justice.' The fault was, and you may circulated in Europe at the time on the subsee it in Clarissa as elsewhere, that the best Iject, which represented the war as becompeople of that time stopped short at morali- (ing daily more and more the work of mere ty; they never got to the higher and more mercenaries on the Northern side, shows elevating ground of what, to avoid a long that there was throughout it a constant paraphrase, we may be allowed to call spir-growth of religious feeling and fervour, ituality. They loved virtue in some better both in the armies and at home, probably sense than the mere payment of tithes of beyond all parallel on so large a scale, and anise and cummin; but they lacked the con- only to be compared in modern times to the sciousness of that aspect of things which is best days of English Puritanism in our civil not the mere reflection of social right and wars of the seventeenth century. “It was wrong, but is subtler, less definable, less generally felt," writes Mr. Moss, “ especially measureable. Turn from Pope to Words-during the last two years of the war, that worth, and one perceives that in the nine- the Christian character of a young man was teenth century ideas, almost faculties, have as safe in the Army as in any place out of come into the human mind which slumbered it.” Again, we read :or were absent a hundred years before. It must be confessed, however, that the sweet
“Pastors and others, who visited the Army as virtue and tenderness of Clarissa Harlowe,
delegates during the winter of 1863-4, declared
e, that their experience was unlike anythang known absolutely free as it is from any namby- 1.
any namoy, or conceived before. There was a, religious repamby element, is so pure and lofty as all | vival among the soldiers which made labours nt but to transcend the mere moral standard
home seem formal and fruitless, and the opinion of the time. And it is just possible, too, was expressed by clergymen of most mature and that the modern sharpening of the spiritual sober judgment that the prospect was more ensense and craving may have given some oc- couraging for the conversion of men in the Army casion for falling away in plain morals. We than out of it. It was felt to be worth a jourare too near to be able to tell, but perhaps ney to the Army to find men who were positively fifty years hence people may reflect that eager to learn the way of salvation, and they the purity, endurance, courage, and tender were found there by thousands." single-mindedness of Clarissa Harlowe made up a type that was too high for a generation
# Annals of the United States' Christian Commis.
sion. By the Rev. Samuel Moss, Home Secretary to of virtuous simperers.
the Commission. Philadelphia: Lippincott. 1868.
sion, though not the same as that of receipts,
yet quite as satisfactory. The Christian - That there was abundant badness in the Commission, moreover, claims not to have, Army is indubitable, for where men abound sin ( like the Sanitary Commission, encouraged will abound too. But it is not too much to say " the use of fairs and other similar expedithat the world never saw so moral an army as I ents for raising money," although a few the mighty host enlisted in the cause of the
“reasonably successful” fairs were held by Union; never such an assemblage of men arrayed for war with so little of those vices that are the
a friends of the Commission upon their own cankerworm of armies-- drunkenness, profanity,
responsibility; and it is thus alleged on its and uncleanness. And there were, besides, å behalf that whilst its total receipts were less sufficient number of men of such deep religious than half the nearly five millions of dollars character that they ... were felt as a positive received by the Sanitary Commission, yet power.”
that deducting Pacific coast contributions,
the proceeds of Sanitary fairs, and a few And Mr. Stuart, the President of the Com- other sources of income of. which the latter mission, was able, after the close of the war, body availed itself, the “spontaneous conto say at the meeting of our own Bible So-tributions” to the Christian Commission ciety in 1866, “I have seen the returns that more than quadrupled those paid to the were made in answer to official inquiries elder body Such comparisons would be throughout one State, Massachusetts, and, invidious if used to disparage one of these with a few exceptions, the soldiers have re- admirable institutions at the expense of the turned better men than they left.” This is, other; they are only useful as showing the however, but one aspect of the facts. The strength of the distinctively religious elegradual strengthening of the nation's faith ment in the war charities of the time. The in the war, as one of religious obligation, two Commissions, indeed, appear to have seems to have been no less remarkable. worked harmoniously together, though their The mere statistics of the Christian Com- fields of operation to some extent overmission would suffice to show this. During lapped each other. Thus Mr. Moss says of its first year (November, 1861-2) it had Sherman's Georgian campaign : “In all this hard work to keep alive. In July, 1862, it campaign the co-operation of the United had not “funds sufficient to rent perma- States' Sanitary Commission was most hearty nently even the merest corner of an office," and helpful. During the first two weeks, and there was a talk of selling up its assets, while their supplies were largely in excess a miscellaneous assemblage, comprising one of those of the Christian Commission, the table and two chairs; whilst its total receipts delegates were allowed to distribute freely for 1862 were 40,160 dols. 29 cents. In from their stores." 1863 they rose to 358,239 dols. 29 cents; The name of Sherman recalls that of the in 1864 to 1,297,755 dols. 28 cents; and General whose recognition of the services during only four months of 1865 they were rendered by the Commission seems to have 828,357 dols. 70 cents. That this increase been the most grudging and tardy. The in money receipts represented no buying-off | most humorous portions of Mr. Moss's big in money of the duties of personal self-de-volume are those in which he appears on the votion is clearly shown by the parallel in- scene, as in his endorsement on a request crease in the number of delegates." These to pass two of the Commission's delegates were volunteers — “members in good stand- to the front. ing of evangelical churches " -- who gave
“ Certainly not. There is more need of guntheir services for at least six weeks, their
1 powder and oats than any moral or religious inexpenses only being paid, in the field, in
struction. Every regiment at the front has a the hospital, or on the battle-ground, for chaplain." the “instruction, supply, encouragement, and relief” of the soldier; distributing (the latter assertion of which is shown in a stores, circulating good publications, aiding note to have been completely incorrect, as chaplains, encouraging prayer-meetings, en there were no more than 80 chaplains to couraging and aiding the men to communi- | 150 regiments and 40 batteries, of whom cate with their friends, aiding the surgeons not one-half were at the front); or in the on the battle-field, praying with the dying, exquisite story of the agent of the Commis“ in short, striving to do all that man can sion who, having to preach in a church which do to meet the wants of brethren far from had been used as a hospital, for want of home and kindred." Now the number of help set to work himself in his shirt-sleeves, these delegates rose from 374 in 1862 to with thermometer at 90°, to clean it out,1,189 in 1863, 2,217 in 1864, and during the when he had finished his labours by clamfour months of 1865 was 1,079; a progres- / bering up into the belfry and striking the bell (the rope having been cut away), in the battle-field, the hospital, no sham faith dropping down again lost, through a treach- could pass muster, the truths of Christ's Goserous nail, “ an important part of one leg” pel shone out with new power. “Never of his pantaloons, and then found himself | shall I forget," writes a delegate of his suddenly summoned by a corporal and two Army audience, “the look of those earnest bayonets: —
eyes, and the devouring intensity of those " Did you ring the bell ? '-'I did.'— 'I am
eager countenances. It was a new thing, ordered to arrest you.' - For what?' - 'To
| an experience never to be forgotten; an exbring you to General Sherman's head-quarters.'
| perience that will inspire many a heart, and -But, corporal, I can't see the General in this
strengthen the courage of many a Christian plight. I am an agent of the Christian Commis- man, to do that sort of preaching at home sion, and am to preach here this morning, and which clinches the nail, and makes it stand was ringing the bell for service. If you will tell fast in a sure place.” Thus, as one of them the General how it is it will be all right.' - wrote, their own congregations were “great• That's not the order, Sir.' — Well, corporal, ly benefited” by their absence; and as on send a guard with me to my quarters, till I can their return they continued to work for the wash up, and pin together this rent.'-'That's Army, delivering, it is said, “ as many sernot the order, Sir; fall in.""
mons and addresses about the soldiers as And so, “ without hat or coat, and with they had previously delivered to them," they gaping wardrobe, preceded by the corporal,
ed hv the corporal contributed to keep up a common religious and followed by the baronets” the luckless purpose and fervour throughout the country. agent had to state his case, and was met by
It is hardly worth while to dwell on the the question, “ Is this Sunday?"
.224 The Foi distinctive religious views which influenced
The following words complete the picture : —
the Commission. Mr. Moss says of it that
" it stands before Christendom as a monu" As I entered, General Sherman was drum- ment of the faith of the American Church ming with thumb and finger on the window-sill, | in the great doctrine of man's ruin, and the and when the corporal announced his prisoner, great fact of God's complete salvation." the General commanding fixed his cold grey eye Apostles and prophets would probably have, on me for a moment, motioned to his chief to attend to the case, and without moving a muscle
at least, interverted the two elements of the of his face resumed his drumming and his Sab
sentence, if indeed the idea of “ faith in the bath problem - how to flank Johnston out of the
doctrine of man's ruin" could ever have enAllatoona Mountains."
tered into the creed of either, in whatever
sense they might have admitted the fact. Yet, after the close of the war, and on Fortunately, however, the works of the the winding-up of the Commission, General Commission were larger than its professed Sherman bore his testimony to its labours, faith. It was not faith in the doctrine of admitted having " displayed an impatience" man's ruin, but brotherly love for man, that when its agents “ manifested an excess of invented the coffee waggon," of which a zeal,” and expressed his belief that their woodcut is given, capable of giving ninety charity “ was noble in its conception, and gallons of tea, coffee, or chocolate on the applied with as much zeal, kindness, and march every hour, -"What you might call discretion as the times permitted.” From the Christian light artillery," as a soldier General Grant, on the other hand, as well said of it. It is admitted repeatedly that as from President Lincoln and Mr. Stanton, the practical charity of the Commission was the Commission received unvarying kind- the true passport for its creed. “The delness and support, as well, indeed, as from egate could not speak well of the soul until the great bulk of the superior officers of the he had cared for the suffering body.” And Army. Grant tersely expressed the position the very sight of that suffering often brought and work both of the Sanitary and Christian with it a very different faith from that in the Commissions in saying that to them the doctrine of man's ruin. "I had an exalted Army felt “the same gratitude that the loyal view of human nature," writes one of the public feel for the services rendered by the delegates, from a Fredericksburg hospital Army."
after the battles of the Wilderness, “as I But the work of the Christian Commission contemplated these noble men, wounded and has yet to be considered in another aspect. bruised for our sakes and the country's, and Its " reflex action,” we are told, upon the enduring their sufferings without a murmur, delegates “ was very great. .... They indeed, in some cases, with cheerfulness, received for themselves an intellectual and singing to soothe their pains, and smiling in spiritual quickening that remained as a per- order to hide them from others." Yes, manent element of their future efficiency." thanks be to God! This human nature of Amidst the terrible realities of the camp, I ours, which the Son of God did not disdain
to take upon Him, is a nobler, higher thing earth and time; an object not of faith, but than it takes itself for. It bears stamped of sorrowful experience. If the religious upon it the image and superscription of its formulæ of the Christian Commission were Creator; in its Saviour and Head its life is narrower than its self-sacrificing love, the gathered up; it is the temple of the Eternal Lord of Love knows His own; and that Spirit. Whatever it bears about it of they are not His the less, though their eyes "ruin" is not its very self, but a thing of I may not be fully opened to His light.
Notes on the Psalms. Vol. I. By Albert, unless its professors believe it truer than other Barnes. (Hamilton, Adams, and Co.)— Many creeds, and if they so believe, they must either of our readers are probably acquainted with the try to make it universal or abstain from a recogcharacter of the commentaries on various booksnised duty, i. e., suppress their own consciences of Scripture which Mr. Barnes has published Do Wesleyans believe that the Church of Christ under the title of “Notes.” This volume, which would be corrupt if all men belonged to it? If is the first of three, will complete his labours. so, why spend millions to bring all men in? That they are works of considerable merit and usefulness we have no wish to deny, but we cannot affect to have any great admiration for them. The attempt to cultivate cinchonas in the islPerhaps we like Mr. Barnes less than usual when and of Jamaica has been attended with success. he is dealing with the Psalms. His verbose prac- The Standard gives a report of this interesting tical comments especially obscure a beauty which
scheme upon reliable authority, from which we surely does not need all this talk to make itself
make the following extract :felt. .Can any human being be better for this, on “Blessed are all they that put their trust in
“Under the direction of Mr. Robert Thomson, Him,'' “ Kings, princes, people all, of ev-operations were at first confined to propagation, ery age and every land; the poor, the rich, the which was undertaken in a systematic way in bond, the free; white, black, copper-coloured, or the early part of 1866. In March of the followmixed; all in sickness or health, in prosperity or ing year progress had so far been made that adversity, in life or in death,' &c., &c. ? Mr. there were some 800 plants fairly growing. It Barnes is, as we might expect, a very conserva- was then decided to cultivate the trees on a more tive critic. All the headings of the Psalms, for extended scale. With this view plantations of instance, he considers to be part of the inspired from 100 to 200 acres were marked out in the record.” This is one of the untenable positions Blue Mountain range, and propagation was which it is so irritating to see taken up by a wri- again carried on in contiguous sites, ranging, as ter with whose general aim one sympathizes. regards elevation above sea level, from 3,500 to How untenable it is we can see from the fact that 6,500 feet. The fact that certain plants, few in so cautious a commentator as Mr. Thrupp, follow-number it is true, had been growing here and ing herein the example of the orthodox German there since 1861, and that one or two of these critics, abandoned it.
had actually attained the height of 20 feet, proved that the island in some parts was well
suited to the growth of certain cinchonas. At The gentleman who is reporting for the Times the present time, as the result of the growth of the proceedings of the Wesleyan Conference, and cuttings and of seed furnished by Dr. Hooker who is clearly a Wesleyan, gives a remarkable ac- from Ceylon, there are about 25,000 plants in count of the decline among them of propagand- vigorous growth. In May, 1867, a score of ist feeling. “The Wesleyans cannot advocate one cincbona simarubra were transferred to a site of universal Church, for two reasons — first, it is an altitude of 3,700 feet, when they were about clear to them that the New Testament prescribes six inches in height; at the beginning of the no one form of Church government; and, second, present year they had actually grown to that of they do not believe it would be practically good for three feet. The larger number, however, of the mankind. Wherever one Church has had all its 25,000 were in pots, 500 only had been planted own way and reigned without a rival, that Church out at a height of 5,200 feet. Mr. Thomson, we has become corrupt, fallen, and apostate. This understand, is fully impressed with the opinion is the Wesleyan view, and they mean nothing that the cultivation of the cinchona will be unkind by it to others, for they apply it to them-1.highly remunerative.' He is not prepared to selves, and believe that their own Church would say which species is likely to be most luxuriant, become as corrupt as any other if they had it all but he has every reason to believe that the ultitheir own way in any country for three hundred mate success in Jamaica will not yield to that years. Many will hardly believe it, still it is of India.' These facts are of great interest, not true that the Wesleyans have no desire for uni- only in regard to the increasing demand for versality for themselves.” If that is a true ac- quinine, but the commercial and consequent socount of Wesleyan feeling, the Connexion is on cial improvement of the island. Should the Govthe decline. One or two creeds, like the Jewish ernment experiment be successful, no doubt the and the Hindoo, have lived though they discour- land-owners of the island will follow the example age converts, but then they have been sustained set them, and undertake the culture for themby the pride of birth. No creed ever keeps sweet selves."
BOOK THE SECOND.. practical trouble, but no theoretical in
quietude. Mrs. Wood was grateful in her CHAPTER 1.
cold way to Mr. Eliot Foster, who had INSIGNIFICANT PEOPLE.
done her many and consistent kindnesses
of a nature such as she would accept. FROM the time at which Mr. Eliot Foster They had never included the gift, and but accepted the charge imposed upon him by rarely the loan, of money. She had had Julia Peyton, his visits to Lane Cottage much experience of poverty, but it had nevbecame more frequent. The strictness and er beaten down her pride or conquered her conscientiousness of his character had pre self-respect, and she would not have been vented his ever neglecting the widow and his debtor for any earthly consideration exchild whom Fate had sent in his way, forcept her child's needs. . All that her dead whom he felt himself in some degree re- husband's cousin knew of Mrs. Wood made sponsible; but Mrs. Wood, though she in- him respect her to a degree in which he had spired him with respect, and though he rarely extended that feeling towards wothoroughly believed her to be a very good mankind; but the feeling stopped there. woman, was dull and commonplace - aShe was an unbending, uninteresting woperson whom Mr. Eliot Foster would have man, purpose-like, business-like, who would been perfectly satisfied to benefit by deputy never have admitted brightness into her if the vicarious benefactor could have been own, or added it to any other, life, but who found. But he took an interest in the possessed valuable qualities, and not a little disowned child for whom he had provided delicacy of mind. She displayed the latter this safe, if humble, shelter; and a vague not common endowment with respect to notion - originating he hardly knew how, the boy who had been placed under her but no doubt in his splenetic feeling towards care. She was not, with all her businessJulia -- arose in his mind with reference to like coldness of demeanour, devoid of what the boy's future. What if he observed him is libellously described as “feminine' curiclosely, found him promising in disposition osity, but she kept it in check as regarded and in ability, and adopted him? It would Henry Hurst. It is Mr. Foster's business,' be a strange combination of destiny, that she said to herself, and not mine; and if which should charge him with the care of, he does not choose to tell me anything beand provision for, Julia's child — all un-yond what he has told me, I shall certainly known to her, undiscovered by her. He not distress him by questions.' So the sithad many relations, but their kinship was uation was quietly accepted by all parties distant, and he cared for none of them; and concerned, and the arrangement worked though he would be just to them in the dis-well, though Mr. Eliot Foster never acted position of his property, there really was no upon, and in no very long time discarded, reason, either in justice or otherwise, why his vaguely-formed scheme of adopting the he should not act upon such a wish, should disowned child. He was no believer in init grow real and strong within him. This herited moral qualities. Holding educawas another of the romantic ideas which oc- tion in all its meanings in much respect, he curred to Mr. Eliot Foster, and would have held that it could construct and modify, astonished that gentleman's friends consid- and even contradict and counteract; and erably. Assuredly there was a very soft he did not watch the development of the spot in the middle-aged solicitor's heart, child with any preconceived notions derived but as there was no corresponding morsel from his knowledge of the parents, who had in his head, he did not give the smallest in- both erred so fatally, though so differently. dication of his entertaining any sentiment Two facts concerning him impressed themin particular towards the child, but paid selves upon Mr. Eliot Foster very soonthe small stipend for his support with ex- Henry Hurst had a bad temper and a clear emplary regularity. The little household head; a combination which might, in the at Lane Cottage kept in quiet the even fortuitous course of circumstances, prove tenor of its way; and the hard-working, useful to himself, but which could hardly painstaking, careful, proud-spirited, grim- fail to be detrimental to the peace of those natured widow did her duty by both the brought into contact with him. The bad children well, if not eagerly - thoroughly, temper was earlier and more readily apif not affectionately. She was hardly more parent than the clear head, but the latter demonstrative to her own child - though was not to be mistaken after a while. she loved her with a painfully solicitous af- •He is a very clever child,' said Mr. Elifection, and suffered many silent agonies of ot Foster to Mrs. Wood one day when he apprehension for her future - than to the had made his accustomed visit to Lane Cotlittle stranger, who gave her a good deal of tage, and the two little companions had