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THE LAST CHAPTER IN MR. GLADSTONE'S HISTORY.
The defeat of Mr. Gladstone's Irish University Bill brings to a close one of the most memorable and brilliant chapters of British History. Although the measure was not all that could be desired, yet it was so sound in its principle that it might easily have been set free from its chief vices, and have been so framed as to accomplish for academic culture in the Isle of Erin, what the Irish Church Measure has achieved for religious peace and progress, and what the Irish Land Act is likely to effect for agriculture, and for tenants and landlords.
But let it never be forgotten that the fatal blow was struck by Roman Catholic priests. The purest and noblest statesman that ever led the affairs of this country, the most brilliant parliamentary orator of modern times, has been dethroned by the Irish vote given at the bidding of the Cardinal Legate of the Most Holy Roman See. Mr. Gladstone, the best friend Ireland has known for centuries, is driven from office by the voice of the “ forty-five” who did the bidding of the Roman Catholic priests. Such is the gratitude inspired by Catholicism. Such the reward priestism has for its real friends. The Liberal defeat is not a Tory victory. The Conservatives know that well enough. It is a pure and simple triumph of Roman Catholics, due to them, and to them wholly. We do not complain of this. We record it, and suggest the moral. The Roman Catholic bishops are implacable. They are determined to have denominational favouritism. State money must go into their coffers. Priests must control the education of Ireland, or there shall be none. Mr. Gladstone's measure was not sufficiently in their favour. It sought, unwisely, to propitiate them by the awful holocaust of modern history and philosophy. It offered them loopholes through which they might pass as many priests on to the Council as would swamp the parliamentary members; and yet they were not content. The entire and undivided use of public money for their own priestly ends alone could satisfy them. Cardinal Cullen spake, and it was done. He commanded, and the Liberal ministry fell.
But priestly cunning has again overshot its mark. The shrewd Cardinal is “hoist with his own petard.”. Never again will a measure, with so many points in favour of his party, be offered him. They have made it impossible. The policy of Bismarck in Germany will be the policy of Gladstone henceforth. Uncompromising secularism must rise into the ascendant. Disraeli is for concurrent endowment. But, as he himself said, “concurrent endowment is dead.” Yes, “dead," and dead utterly, beyond resurrection. Not even the potent wand of the magician of the Asian mystery will revive it. Great Britain will not be unjust even at the bidding of mitred ecclesiastics. “Time is on our side." The national conscience is on our side. The secular platform is the only one on which a national and just government can stand.
The closing of this chapter in Mr. Gladstone's history will mark an epoch in our annals. A more satisfactory record we have not in the long story of our one life. Principles of eternal value have been distinctly enunciated, and boldly adopted. Religious equality is part of the “ English constitution.” It can never be removed. The arbitrament of reason rather than the brutal judgment of the sword for the settlement of international disputes has come to the front. Merit, and not money, is made the ground of promotion in the army, The frank and outspoken adoption of these three great principles in our history forms the dawn of a new era: an era of unsullied justice, of advancing peace, of illimitable progress.
And the Acts are, in the main, worthy of the principles which have inspired them. The offending Irish Church has been quietly abolished. Tenant right in Ireland has taken the place of landlord wrong. Purchase in the army is gone We have the Ballot at last. National education has taken definite shape. In some of their details these Acts are below the sublime maxims which gave them being, but we have the pure gold; and after the coins have been melted down again, we shall get the impress of the Queen of Justice more clearly stamped thereon.
Sympathizers with such bitter irreconciliables as Fawcett and Bouverie will see nothing but defects. Some men carp incontinently. We wish always to be vigilant; but a review of the administration of Mr. Gladstone constrains us, as citizens, Christians, and Nonconformists, to give God hearty thanks for such a leader, and to rejoice unfeignedly in his re-acceptance of the seals of office. Our Heavenly Father has few gifts for a nation greater than that of a pure-minded, honest, and able legislator.
SCRAPS FROM THE EDITOR'S WASTE-BASKET.
I. OUR VILLAGE CHURCHES.—Could similar course will be adopted, so as to not our Conferences render acceptable put a stop to such unscriptural teaching and valuable services to the churches in as far as practicable.” the villages by deputing two or three
III. EDUCATION BY INJUSTICE.—The brethren to visit them twice or thrice a
pass to which Mr. Forster has brought year, bold a week-evening m ing, en
us is most painful. In Plymouth more quire after their welfare, and render them all the assistance in their power.
than fifty summonses have been issued The
to compel men to pay for the teaching of advantages of such a plan would be mani
dogmas which they “steadfastly disfold. It would give encouragement to believe.” In Sheffield the same iniquity them in their quiet plodding labours of
is being committed. Only the brave love, sustain them in the unequal conflict
determination of the Town Council of they wage with the officers of a richly Birmingham stops the way of similar endowed Establishment, attract the notice of outsiders to the grounds and
practises on a more extensive scale there.
At Liverpool, Church of England and principles of our faith and practice, and
Roman Catholic schools take of public above all, lead souls to the Lord Jesus Christ. We are sure the local preachers £5,284 15s. 8d. And this is a sample of
money £5,145 8s. 4d. out of a total of who self-denyingly visit these churches
the way the Act works elsewhere. It is from month to month, would hail such a
the Poor Man's Church" on the one visit, and the members of the churches
hand, and “Roman Catholics” on the would give us the heartiest welcome. It
other, who everywhere benefit by Mr. is our hope to adopt a plan of the kind
Forster's unjust clause. And they are for the London Conference, and we
not ashamed to take the money. They earnestly entreat the attention of our
will denounce us, point the finger at our brethren in the other Conferences to this
poverty, and then thrust their hands into suggestion.
our pockets to get money to inculcate II. “ BAPTISMAL NONSENSE"
that the same process shall go on for THE CHILDREN'S PRIZE.—We heartily Brave brother Hester is right to endorse the following protest, sent us by resist. We must do it. The nation Mr. Chas. Appleby, secretary of the teaches by its laws, and by the spirit they Osmaston Road Sunday school. Our
display. And so long as the 25th clause teachers should look very carefully to the stands, the British Parliament is giving literature they allow to be circulated in a lesson to the people in injustice. the schools :-“Many of your readers
IV. BE SHORT.-Here is a scrap of fine will no doubt have perused the corres
advice. We like it exceedingly. Put pondence which appeared under this
Magazine for Union and read on. It is heading in the Christian World of Jan.
all true. “ Readers like short articles. 10, and subsequent issues. In these communications it was shewn that
An intelligent layman says that some of the 'false and pernicious doctrines’ of
our contributors are too lengthy. We Baptismal Regeneration was, in a most
agree with him. The articles in the Union unmistakeable manner, set forth in the
average less in length however, than in above-named magazine. The subject
most other papers; but they should be
shorter still, and more condensed. More was introduced at our monthly teachers' meeting, held Feb. 14; and I append
thought and fewer words, must be our
motto. Two columns can usually be copy of a resolution then passed, which I have been directed to forward to you :
crowded into one, and suffer loss of words That in view of what has come to the
only. Such writing is hard for the author, knowledge of the teachers of this Sunday
but easy for the reader. Useless words school as to the contents of the Children's
are a burden. About twice as many are
used as are needful. Direct, sharp, warm, Prize, they hereby express their dis
terse sentences are what readers like. approval of that magazine, and hence
Cream is better than diluted drinks. forth prohibit its circulation in the school, together with all periodicals under the
Long, wordy articles empty the mind of same editorship.'* I think you will
thought; short, meaty ones, make it agree with us, sir, that no uncertain
swarm with ideas; the former impover
ish, the latter enrich.”—Bap. Union. sound ought to be given by Nonconformists in deciding upon this question, and
V. BISHOPS TO THE FORE. From the I trust that, in many other schools, a
address of Dr. Thomson, Archbishop of
York, at the recent meeting of the Malton *“Sunday" and "Chatterbox”are amongst these. Church Defence Association, it appears
The Desert of the Exodus.
145 that the attitude to be taken by the well reported. No good general underepiscopal bench to the Disestablishment rates the force of his enemy. The Libehas received serious consideration; and ration movement has its stronghold in that they have decided, whilst not the profound convictions of thousands actually working the movement, yet to upon thousands of Christian men; of give it their valuable aid. This is as it men who supremely desire the spiritual should be. Of course they will not be welfare of their country, and see “political” in doing so. What is “politi- greater foe to it than the Romanizing cal” in a dissenter is refined spirituality Church of England, supported and enin highly salaried bishops. But we dowed by the state; of men who can fight, hope the bishops will not all adopt Dr. and suffer, and in their unalterable convicThomson's mistake. It is bad policy. tion that truth and righteousness are He says that the Disestablishment move- with them, can afford to wait. Let the ment is but the noise of a few agitators bishops come. They will get light. talking in an empty room and getting Truth will have the victory.
THE DESERT OF THE EXODUS. *
THE “ Desert of the Exodus” gives a de- scenery, the features, the boundaries, the tailed account of the labours of two expe- situation of Sinai and of Palestine on the ditions, the first having for its field of one hand, and the history of the Israelites investigation the Sinaitic Peninsular, and on the other?' embodies the whole idea of the second being devoted to the Bádiet et those who conceived and matured the scheme Tíh, or, as the name signifies, “ The Desert for making an accurate survey of the Peninof the Wanderings." The former of these sular of Sinai.” Acting on this idea, our districts includes only the mountainous travellers start from Suez along the supregion at the southern extremity of the posed track of the Israelites; and gleaning peninsular; while the desert of Tíh extends all the information that may be derived from the Sinaitic mountains on the south, from the sacred history, or from tradition, to the Mediterranean on the north ; and archæology, or the natural features of the from the Isthmus of Suez on the west, to country, they endeavour to identify the the hills of Judah and the valley of the Scenes of the Wanderings, and to fix the Arabah on the north-east and east. The scripture topography. We have not space first expedition was undertaken in connex- to sketch the route of the first expedition, ion with the Ordnance Survey of Sinai, in or even to recount the names of places 1868-9. The party consisted of Sir Henry visited, but must confine ourselves to a reJames, as director of the Survey, and Cap- mark or two on the object of paramount tains Wilson and Palmer, together with interest, namely, Mount Sinai. The various several non-commissioned officers of the members of the expedition seem to have Royal Engineers, the Rev. F. W. Holland been unanimous in their opinion as to the (who had already paid three visits to Sinai), claims of Jebel Músa to be considered as the Mr. Wyatt, to whom was assigned the true Sinai—the scene of the giving of the natural history department, and Mr. Pal- Law. The magnitude and imposing apmer, the writer of these volumes, who had
pearance of “this mountain,”+ its accessi“the task of investigating the names and bility from all sides ;f its command of the traditions of the country, and of copying extensive valleys, Er Rahar and Esh Sheikh, and deciphering the inscriptions with which affording ample room for the encampment the rocks in many parts of Sinai are of the Israelites, § and the general correcovered.” These names are a guarantee of spondence of the locality with the scripture complete efficiency and thoroughness in narrative, serve to identify this spot as the the work of each department which they “ Mountain of the Law," and the scene of represent, and will secure the strongest the most solemn and momentous event, save confidence and deepest respect for the con- one, in the World's History. The work of the clusions arrived at and the opinions ex- expedition in determining this point alone pressed in this work. The origin and
pur- is certainly worth all the cost and trouble pose of the expedition will be best explained expended. The only difference of opinion in the writer's own words: “ The question that seems to have existed on any matter proposed by Dean Stanley in his masterly of importance had reference to the latter exposition of the connexion between sacred history and sacred geography, namely, "Can
+ Exodus iii. 12. such a connexion be traced between the
I Exodus xix. 11–13, 21–23. § Ibid. 2. Journeyings on Foot in the Wilderness of the Forty Years' Wanderings. By E. H. Palmer, M.A.,
Fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge. London: Bell and Daldy.
part of the route taken by the Israelites on approaching the open space called the “ Wilderness of Sinai,”* Mr. Palmer and the rest of the party holding to the southern valley, Wady Soláf, as the more likely route, and Mr. Holland, whose view Mr. Palmer greatly respects, regarding the more northerly course, by Wady Sheikh, as the more probable. In the former case, Feirán is identified with Rephidim as the scene of the encounter with the Amalekites,f and in the latter, the pass at el Watiyeh is fixed upon.
The second volume takes us through the desert proper, the scene of the forty years' wanderings. This district, known by the name of Arabia Petræa, or the Stony, includes the desert of Et Tíh, and parts of Idumæa and Moab. The investigation of this region was undertaken by Mr. Palmer and Mr. C. F. Tyrwhit-Drake, under the auspices of the Palestine Exploration Fund. Mr. Drake's work was chiefly confined to the taking of photographic and pencil sketches of ruins, scenery, &c., met with along the route. His beautiful illustrations from photographs add very much to the value of the second volume. With a very small escort, and as slight an equipment as possible, the two travellers set off on their bold and arduous enterprize on the 16th of December, 1869. Much of the district to be traversed was utterly unknown, and the tribes to be encountered on the way were many of them of the most dangerous character. It therefore required no small amount of nerve and determination, and, still further, of love for the work before them, to induce these two gentlemen to devise and carry out their bold project. Bible-readers and Bible-lovers can scarcely be too grateful to men like Mr. Palmer, Mr. Holland, Lieutenant Warren, and others, who, in order to elucidate and confirm the Sacred Scriptures, have undergone the severest hardships and encountered the greatest perils, “men that have hazarded their lives" for the word of God.
Perhaps the most interesting and valuable portion of the second volume is that which treats of the Negeb, or “ South Country” of scripture. In this region, which is now almost treeless, “a desert” and wellnigh“ without inhabitant,” and which is spoken of in the Mosaic narrative as a land of plenty, Mr. Palmer met with abundant traces of former cultivation. One object of interest is specially deserving of notice as an illustration of the exact truthfulness of
scripture even in the minutest matters : long walls of stones were met with, arranged in parallel lines and evidently not intended as boundary marks. On inquiry of the Arabs, the common reply was that they
grape mounds,” built by the ancients to train vines upon, in the place of the trellis-work used for the purpose in countries where wood is more abundant. These relics, the ruins of garden-towers, abundant springs of water, and extensive remains of well-built and fortified cities, met with so frequently throughout the Negeb district, attest the fidelity of the description given of this southern border of Palestine when the Israelites, encamped in the neighbouring wilderness of Kadesh, sent spies to explore the country.* The descriptions of prehistoric monuments and tombs, and of the more modern specimens of Greek and Roman churches and temples of the period from the 5th to the 7th centuries ; the account of Edom, with its famous city of Petra, built in the sides of the red sandstone rocks; the narrative of a visit to the “Land of Moab," and the site of the worldrenowned "Moabite-stone” are full of interest and value to the Christian student. Mr. Palmer gives the history of the discovery of this famous stone, and of the unfortunate diplomatic blunders which led to its destruction by the Arabs. His account was received from eye-witnesses and parties in the transaction. Of course the Arabs are now alive to the value of such relics, and are all on the alert for further discoveries. It is amusing to read of the eager attempts which they make to palm off upon the traveller some comparatively modern specimen of Greek inscription or fragment of Roman sculpture as a priceless archæological gem. We feel confident that all the reliance that skill, impartiality, and strictest truthfulness deserve, may be placed on the statements and opinions found in this invaluable work. A more prudent investigator and impartial and competent critic could scarcely have been found for the survey of the “Desert of the Exodus" than Mr. Palmer. We can imagine no better proof of the genuineness and authenticity of the Pentateuch, and no better method of reply to the arguments of the school of Colenso, than the bare statement of facts like those which are found in these volumes. Books like these are amongst the best tools the Christian ( workman can possess.
Happy is the” minister “that hath his library “full of them.”
W. E. WINKS.
* Exodus xix. 1. + Exodus xvii. 8–14.
* Numbers xiii, 17—27.
moved to her uncle's home, she becomes its angel of light, and guidance, and help. First the boys, and next aunt and uncle, are brought under the spell of her simple and natural goodness, and led to the Lord Jesus Christ. The tale is pleasingly written, and there is no lack of exciting incident. Young people will enjoy it greatly.
THE SECRET OF A HAPPY LIFE. By G. W.
Conder. Religious Tract Society. pp. 160. ANOTHER book on the Beatitudes; but again we have to say not one too many Though differing in many respects from the able work of Mr. Dykes, noticed a short time ago, it has merits all its own. There is a freshness as of spring breezes, and a fragrance as of banks of violets about the book. The studious commentator is forgotton in the free, hearty, and brotherly grip of the hand the writer gives you, in the directness and pungency of his speech, in the quiet beauty of his figures, in the homely conversational mode of address, and above all in the intensely earnest desire to do good. We get out of the covers of the Bible into the wide suffering world, see its gnawing hunger and feverish restlessness; but everywhere we carry with us the soothing words of Him who alone can give us rest and joy. The key note is the world's quest for happiness. The answer is found in Christ Jesus Himself, and in His words of blessing. A more winning or more useful book on the Beatitudes we cannot conceive.
A QUARTER OF A CENTURY IN THE NON
CONFORMIST MINISTRY. H. Stowell
Brown. Yates and Alexander. This is a faithful and manly witness ; never more needed than just now, and never better delivered. If those who revile the Nonconformist Ministry and prate about our bondage would read this lecture, they would get their rebuke and enlightenment at once. For Mr. Brown's position is not by any means exceptional. Hundreds can endorse his words. Circulate it, circulate it. It will do good wherever it goes.
QUESTIONS OF THE DAY, AND THE QUES
TION OF THE DAY. My Run to Naples and Pompeii. By C. H. Spurgeon. Pass
more and Alabaster. THESE two documents should go together. The first contains Mr. Spurgeon's outspoken declaration concerning the English church. For this, his lecture was greatly abused, and therefore, thanks to the abusers, it is also published. Let our readers get them at once. They will have much enjoyment and profit in reading them.
JOHN, WHOM JESUS LOVED. By Jas. Cul
ross, D.D. Stock. pp. 216. This monogram on the beloved apostle leaves nothing to be desired. The man is pictured for us in all the phases of his long experience and the modes of his activity. His character at the start, the “make ” of the man is carefully analyzed, so that it may be the more clear what Divine grace uses and what it adds. His devoted and affectionate discipleship, his labours by lip and pen, his theology and his influence on the Christian church, are set forth with keen appreciation of detail, great breadth of treatment and manly spirituality. As a defence, it is masterly, as an exposition clear and effective, as a portrait vivid, striking, and realistic, and as a help to devotion and service it eats with stimulus and throbs with living power.
FERN GLEN; OR, LILIAN'S PRAYER. By
M. M. Holt. Marlborough & Co. Pp.
238. This story exhibits the abiding influence of a mother's wise and good teaching. Early called away from her daughter Lilian, yet her loving spirit and gentle discipline have formed such a sweet and pure character in Lilian, that when the orphan is re
SERMONS, PAMPHLETS, &c. The Sinking Disciple Saved. W. Baker, B.D.-Stock—is a fruitful application of the lessons suggested by the loss of the Northfleet.
Christian Baptism. J. M. Dennison, M.A. Stock. Another interesting pamphlet on the persons, mode, and meaning of baptism. It is written in the form of a conversation between minister and inquirer.
The Pentateuch, by Robert Young, LL.D., (Young, Edinburgh) is a lecture on the formation of the first five books of the Bible, and a statement of the principles for its interpretation. The account is ably rendered, and the rules of interpretation are sound. The lecture will do much good.