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Title: Loss and Gain - The Story of a Convert
Author: Newman, John Henry, 1801-1890
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Libraries)



LOSS AND GAIN:
THE STORY OF A CONVERT.


BY
JOHN HENRY NEWMAN,
OF THE ORATORY.


ADHUC MODICUM ALIQUANTULUM,
QUI VENTURUS EST, VENIET, ET NON TARDABIT.
JUSTUS AUTEM MEUS EX FIDE VIVIT.


Eighth Edition.


LONDON: BURNS AND OATES.
1881.



TO THE VERY REV.
CHARLES W. RUSSELL, D.D.,
PRESIDENT OF ST. PATRICK'S COLLEGE, MAYNOOTH,
&c. &c.


My dear Dr. Russell,--Now that at length I take the step of printing my
name in the Title-Page of this Volume, I trust I shall not be
encroaching on the kindness you have so long shown to me, if I venture
to follow it up by placing yours in the page which comes next, thus
associating myself with you, and recommending myself to my readers by
the association.

Not that I am dreaming of bringing down upon you, in whole or part, the
criticisms, just or unjust, which lie against a literary attempt which
has in some quarters been thought out of keeping with my antecedents and
my position; but the warm and sympathetic interest which you took in
Oxford matters thirty years ago, and the benefits which I derived
personally from that interest, are reasons why I am desirous of
prefixing your name to a Tale, which, whatever its faults, at least is a
more intelligible and exact representation of the thoughts, sentiments,
and aspirations, then and there prevailing, than was to be found in the
anti-Catholic pamphlets, charges, sermons, reviews, and story-books of
the day.

These reasons, too, must be my apology, should I seem to be asking your
acceptance of a Volume, which, over and above its intrinsic defects, is,
in its very subject and style, hardly commensurate with the theological
reputation and the ecclesiastical station of the person to whom it is
presented.

    I am, my dear Dr. Russell,

                          Your affectionate friend,

                                                  JOHN H. NEWMAN.

THE ORATORY, _Feb. 21, 1874_.



ADVERTISEMENT.


The following tale is not intended as a work of controversy in behalf of
the Catholic Religion; but as a description of what is understood by
few, viz. the course of thought and state of mind,--or rather one such
course and state,--which issues in conviction of its Divine origin.

Nor is it founded on fact, to use the common phrase. It is not the
history of any individual mind among the recent converts to the Catholic
Church. The principal characters are imaginary; and the writer wishes to
disclaim personal allusion in any. It is with this view that he has
feigned ecclesiastical bodies and places, to avoid the chance, which
might otherwise occur, of unintentionally suggesting to the reader real
individuals, who were far from his thoughts.

At the same time, free use has been made of sayings and doings which
were characteristic of the time and place in which the scene is laid.
And, moreover, when, as in a tale, a general truth or fact is exhibited
in individual specimens of it, it is impossible that the ideal
representation should not more or less coincide, in spite of the
author's endeavour, or even without his recognition, with its existing
instances or champions.

It must also be added, to prevent a farther misconception, that no
proper representative is intended in this tale, of the religious
opinions which had lately so much influence in the University of Oxford.

_Feb. 21, 1848._



ADVERTISEMENT TO THE SIXTH EDITION.


A tale, directed against the Oxford converts to the Catholic Faith, was
sent from England to the author of this Volume in the summer of 1847,
when he was resident at Santa Croce in Rome. Its contents were as
wantonly and preposterously fanciful, as they were injurious to those
whose motives and actions it professed to represent; but a formal
criticism or grave notice of it seemed to him out of place.

The suitable answer lay rather in the publication of a second tale;
drawn up with a stricter regard to truth and probability, and with at
least some personal knowledge of Oxford, and some perception of the
various aspects of the religious phenomenon, which the work in question
handled so rudely and so unskilfully.

Especially was he desirous of dissipating the fog of pomposity and
solemn pretence, which its writer had thrown around the personages
introduced into it, by showing, as in a specimen, that those who were
smitten with love of the Catholic Church, were nevertheless as able to
write common-sense prose as other men.

Under these circumstances "Loss and Gain" was given to the public.

_Feb. 21, 1874._



LOSS AND GAIN.



Part I.

CHAPTER I.


Charles Reding was the only son of a clergyman, who was in possession of
a valuable benefice in a midland county. His father intended him for
orders, and sent him at a proper age to a public school. He had long
revolved in his mind the respective advantages and disadvantages of
public and private education, and had decided in favour of the former.
"Seclusion," he said, "is no security for virtue. There is no telling
what is in a boy's heart: he may look as open and happy as usual, and be
as kind and attentive, when there is a great deal wrong going on within.
The heart is a secret with its Maker; no one on earth can hope to get at
it or to touch it. I have a cure of souls; what do I really know of my
parishioners? Nothing; their hearts are sealed books to me. And this
dear boy, he comes close to me; he throws his arms round me, but his
soul is as much out of my sight as if he were at the antipodes. I am
not accusing him of reserve, dear fellow: his very love and reverence
for me keep him in a sort of charmed solitude. I cannot expect to get at
the bottom of him.

    'Each in his hidden sphere of bliss or woe,
    Our hermit spirits dwell.'

It is our lot here below. No one on earth can know Charles's secret
thoughts. Did I guard him here at home ever so well, yet, in due time,
it would be found that a serpent had crept into the heart of his
innocence. Boys do not fully know what is good and what is evil; they do
wrong things at first almost innocently. Novelty hides vice from them;
there is no one to warn them or give them rules; and they become slaves
of sin, while they are learning what sin is. They go to the University,
and suddenly plunge into excesses, the greater in proportion to their
inexperience. And, besides all this, I am not equal to the task of
forming so active and inquisitive a mind as his. He already asks
questions which I know not how to answer. So he shall go to a public
school. There he will get discipline at least, even if he has more of
trial: at least he will gain habits of self-command, manliness, and
circumspection; he will learn to use his eyes, and will find materials
to use them upon; and thus will be gradually trained for the liberty
which, any how, he must have when he goes to college."

This was the more necessary, because, with many high excellences,
Charles was naturally timid and retiring, over-sensitive, and, though
lively and cheerful, yet not without a tinge of melancholy in his
character, which sometimes degenerated into mawkishness.

To Eton, then, he went; and there had the good fortune to fall into the
hands of an excellent tutor, who, while he instructed him in the old
Church-of-England principles of Mant and Doyley, gave his mind a
religious impression, which secured him against the allurements of bad
company, whether at the school itself, or afterwards at Oxford. To that
celebrated seat of learning he was in due time transferred, being
entered at St. Saviour's College; and he is in his sixth term from
matriculation, and his fourth of residence, at the time our story opens.

At Oxford, it is needless to say, he had found a great number of his
schoolfellows, but, it so happened, had found very few friends among
them. Some were too gay for him, and he had avoided them; others, with
whom he had been intimate at Eton, having high connections, had fairly
cut him on coming into residence, or, being entered at other colleges,
had lost sight of him. Almost everything depends at Oxford, in the
matter of acquaintance, on proximity of rooms. You choose your friend,
not so much by your tastes, as by your staircase. There is a story of a
London tradesman who lost custom after beautifying his premises, because
his entrance went up a step; and we all know how great is the difference
between open and shut doors when we walk along a street of shops. In a
university a youth's hours are portioned out to him. A regular man gets
up and goes to chapel, breakfasts, gets up his lectures, goes to
lecture, walks, dines; there is little to induce him to mount any
staircase but his own; and if he does so, ten to one he finds the friend
from home whom he is seeking; not to say that freshmen, who naturally
have common feelings and interests, as naturally are allotted a
staircase in common. And thus it was that Charles Reding was brought
across William Sheffield, who had come into residence the same term as
himself.

The minds of young people are pliable and elastic, and easily
accommodate themselves to any one they fall in with. They find grounds
of attraction both where they agree with one another and where they
differ; what is congenial to themselves creates sympathy; what is
correlative, or supplemental, creates admiration and esteem. And what is
thus begun is often continued in after-life by the force of habit and
the claims of memory. Thus, in the choice of friends, chance often does
for us as much as the most careful selection could have effected. What
was the character and degree of that friendship which sprang up between
the freshmen Reding and Sheffield, we need not here minutely explain: it
will be enough to say, that what they had in common was freshmanship,
good talents, and the back staircase; and that they differed in
this--that Sheffield had lived a good deal with people older than
himself, had read much in a desultory way, and easily picked up opinions
and facts, especially on controversies of the day, without laying
anything very much to heart; that he was ready, clear-sighted,
unembarrassed, and somewhat forward: Charles, on the other hand, had
little knowledge as yet of principles or their bearings, but understood
more deeply than Sheffield, and held more practically, what he had once
received; he was gentle and affectionate, and easily led by others,
except when duty clearly interfered. It should be added, that he had
fallen in with various religious denominations in his father's parish,
and had a general, though not a systematic, knowledge of their tenets.
What they were besides, will be seen as our narrative advances.



CHAPTER II.


It was a little past one P.M. when Sheffield, passing Charles's door,
saw it open. The college servant had just entered with the usual
half-commons for luncheon, and was employed in making up the fire.
Sheffield followed him in, and found Charles in his cap and gown,
lounging on the arm of his easy-chair, and eating his bread and cheese.
Sheffield asked him if he slept, as well as ate and drank, "accoutred as
he was."

"I am just going for a turn into the meadow," said Charles; "this is to
me the best time of the year: _nunc formosissimus annus_; everything is
beautiful; the laburnums are out, and the may. There is a greater
variety of trees there than in any other place I know hereabouts; and
the planes are so touching just now, with their small multitudinous
green hands half-opened; and there are two or three such fine dark
willows stretching over the Cherwell; I think some dryad inhabits them:
and, as you wind along, just over your right shoulder is the Long Walk,
with the Oxford buildings seen between the elms. They say there are dons
here who recollect when the foliage was unbroken, nay, when you might
walk under it in hard rain, and get no wet. I know I got drenched there
the other day."

Sheffield laughed, and said that Charles must put on his beaver, and
walk with him a different way. He wanted a good walk; his head was
stupid from his lectures; that old Jennings prosed so awfully upon
Paley, it made him quite ill. He had talked of the Apostles as neither
"deceivers nor deceived," of their "sensible miracles," and of their
"dying for their testimony," till he did not know whether he himself was
an _ens physiologicum_ or a _totum metaphysicum_, when Jennings had
cruelly asked him to repeat Paley's argument; and because he had not
given it in Jennings' words, friend Jennings had pursed up his lips, and
gone through the whole again; so intent, in his wooden enthusiasm, on
his own analysis of it, that he did not hear the clock strike the hour;
and, in spite of the men's shuffling their feet, blowing their noses,
and looking at their watches, on he had gone for a good twenty minutes
past the time; and would have been going on even then, he verily
believed, but for an interposition only equalled by that of the geese at
the Capitol. For that, when he had got about half through his
recapitulation, and was stopping at the end of a sentence to see the
impression he was making, that uncouth fellow, Lively, moved by what
happy inspiration he did not know, suddenly broke in, apropos of
nothing, nodding his head, and speaking in a clear cackle, with, "Pray,
sir, what is your opinion of the infallibility of the Pope?" Upon which
every one but Jennings did laugh out: but he, _au contraire_, began to
look very black; and no one can tell what would have happened, had he
not cast his eyes by accident on his watch, on which he coloured, closed
his book, and _instanter_ sent the whole lecture out of the room.

Charles laughed in his turn, but added, "Yet, I assure you, Sheffield,
that Jennings, stiff and cold as he seems, is, I do believe, a very good
fellow at bottom. He has before now spoken to me with a good deal of
feeling, and has gone out of his way to do me favours. I see poor bodies
coming to him for charity continually; and they say that his sermons at
Holy Cross are excellent."

Sheffield said he liked people to be natural, and hated that donnish
manner. What good could it do? and what did it mean?

"That is what I call bigotry," answered Charles; "I am for taking every
one for what he is, and not for what he is not: one has this excellence,
another that; no one is everything. Why should we not drop what we don't
like, and admire what we like? This is the only way of getting through
life, the only true wisdom, and surely our duty into the bargain."

Sheffield thought this regular prose, and unreal. "We must," he said,
"have a standard of things, else one good thing is as good as another.
But I can't stand here all day," he continued, "when we ought to be
walking." And he took off Charles's cap, and, placing his hat on him
instead, said, "Come, let us be going."

"Then must I give up my meadow?" said Charles.

"Of course you must," answered Sheffield; "you must take a beaver walk.
I want you to go as far as Oxley, a village some little way out, all
the vicars of which, sooner or later, are made bishops. Perhaps even
walking there may do us some good."

The friends set out, from hat to boot in the most approved Oxford
bandbox-cut of trimness and prettiness. Sheffield was turning into the
High Street, when Reding stopped him: "It always annoys me," he said,
"to go down High Street in a beaver; one is sure to meet a proctor."

"All those University dresses are great fudge," answered Sheffield; "how
are we the better for them? They are mere outside, and nothing else.
Besides, our gown is so hideously ugly."

"Well, I don't go along with your sweeping condemnation," answered
Charles; "this is a great place, and should have a dress. I declare,
when I first saw the procession of Heads at St. Mary's, it was quite
moving. First----"

"Of course the pokers," interrupted Sheffield.

"First the organ, and every one rising; then the Vice-Chancellor in red,
and his bow to the preacher, who turns to the pulpit; then all the Heads
in order; and lastly the Proctors. Meanwhile, you see the head of the
preacher slowly mounting up the steps; when he gets in, he shuts-to the
door, looks at the organ-loft to catch the psalm, and the voices strike
up."

Sheffield laughed, and then said, "Well, I confess I agree with you in
your instance. The preacher is, or is supposed to be, a person of
talent; he is about to hold forth; the divines, the students of a great
University, are all there to listen. The pageant does but fitly
represent the great moral fact which is before us; I understand _this_.
I don't call _this_ fudge; what I mean by fudge is, outside without
inside. Now I must say, the sermon itself, and not the least of all the
prayer before it--what do they call it?"

"The bidding prayer," said Reding.

"Well, both sermon and prayer are often arrant fudge. I don't often go
to University sermons, but I have gone often enough not to go again
without compulsion. The last preacher I heard was from the country. Oh,
it was wonderful! He began at the pitch of his voice, 'Ye shall pray.'
What stuff! 'Ye shall _pray_;' because old Latimer or Jewell said, 'Ye
shall praie,' therefore we must not say, 'Let us pray.' Presently he
brought out," continued Sheffield, assuming a pompous and up-and-down
tone, "'especially for that pure and apostolic branch of it
_established_,'--here the man rose on his toes, '_established_ in these
dominions.' Next came, 'for our Sovereign Lady Victoria, Queen, Defender
of the Faith, in all causes and over all persons, ecclesiastical as well
as civil, within these her dominions, _supreme_'--an awful pause, with
an audible fall of the sermon-case on the cushion; as though nature did
not contain, as if the human mind could not sustain, a bigger thought.
Then followed, 'the pious and munificent founder,' in the same twang,
'of All Saints' and Leicester Colleges,' But his _chef-d'oeuvre_ was
his emphatic recognition of '_all_ the doctors, _both_ the proctors', as
if the numerical antithesis had a graphic power, and threw those
excellent personages into a charming _tableau vivant_."

Charles was amused at all this; but he said in answer, that he never
heard a sermon but it was his own fault if he did not gain good from it;
and he quoted the words of his father, who, when he one day asked him if
so-and-so had not preached a very good sermon, "My dear Charles," his
father had said, "all sermons are good." The words, simple as they were,
had retained a hold on his memory.

Meanwhile, they had proceeded down the forbidden High Street, and were
crossing the bridge, when, on the opposite side, they saw before them a
tall, upright man, whom Sheffield had no difficulty in recognizing as a
bachelor of Nun's Hall, and a bore at least of the second magnitude. He
was in cap and gown, but went on his way, as if intending, in that
extraordinary guise, to take a country walk. He took the path which they
were going themselves, and they tried to keep behind him; but they
walked too briskly, and he too leisurely, to allow of that. It is very
difficult duly to delineate a bore in a narrative, for the very reason
that he _is_ a bore. A tale must aim at condensation, but a bore acts in
solution. It is only on the long-run that he is ascertained. Then,
indeed, he is _felt_; he is oppressive; like the sirocco, which the
native detects at once, while a foreigner is often at fault. _Tenet
occiditque._ Did you hear him make but one speech, perhaps you would say
he was a pleasant, well-informed man; but when he never comes to an end,
or has one and the same prose every time you meet him, or keeps you
standing till you are fit to sink, or holds you fast when you wish to
keep an engagement, or hinders you listening to important
conversation,--then there is no mistake, the truth bursts on you,
_apparent diræ facies_, you are in the clutches of a bore. You may
yield, or you may flee; you cannot conquer. Hence it is clear that a
bore cannot be represented in a story, or the story would be the bore as
much as he. The reader, then, must believe this upright Mr. Bateman to
be what otherwise he might not discover, and thank us for our
consideration in not proving as well as asserting it.

Sheffield bowed to him courteously, and would have proceeded on his way;
but Bateman, as became his nature, would not suffer it; he seized him.
"Are you disposed," he said, "to look into the pretty chapel we are
restoring on the common? It is quite a gem--in the purest style of the
fourteenth century. It was in a most filthy condition, a mere cow-house;
but we have made a subscription, and set it to rights."

"We are bound for Oxley," Sheffield answered; "you would be taking us
out of our way."

"Not a bit of it," said Bateman; "it's not a stone's throw from the
road; you must not refuse me. I'm sure you'll like it."

He proceeded to give the history of the chapel--all it had been, all it
might have been, all it was not, all it was to be.

"It is to be a real specimen of a Catholic chapel," he said; "we mean to
make the attempt of getting the Bishop to dedicate it to the Royal
Martyr--why should not we have our St. Charles as well as the
Romanists?--and it will be quite sweet to hear the vesper-bell tolling
over the sullen moor every evening, in all weathers, and amid all the
changes and chances of this mortal life."

Sheffield asked what congregation they expected to collect at that hour.

"That's a low view," answered Bateman; "it does not signify at all. In
real Catholic churches the number of the congregation is nothing to the
purpose; service is for those who come, not for those who stay away."

"Well," said Sheffield, "I understand what that means when a Roman
Catholic says it; for a priest is supposed to offer sacrifice, which he
can do without a congregation as well as with one. And, again, Catholic
chapels often stand over the bodies of martyrs, or on some place of
miracle, as a record; but our service is 'Common Prayer,' and how can
you have that without a congregation?"

Bateman replied that, even if members of the University did not drop in,
which he expected, at least the bell would be a memento far and near.

"Ah, I see," retorted Sheffield, "the use will be the reverse of what
you said just now; it is not for those that come, but for those who stay
away. The congregation is outside, not inside; it's an outside concern.
I once saw a tall church-tower--so it appeared from the road; but on the
sides you saw it was but a thin wall, made to look like a tower, in
order to give the church an imposing effect. Do run up such a bit of a
wall, and put the bell in it."

"There's another reason," answered Bateman, "for restoring the chapel,
quite independent of the service. It has been a chapel from time
immemorial, and was consecrated by our Catholic forefathers."

Sheffield argued that this would be as good a reason for keeping up the
Mass as for keeping up the chapel.

"We do keep up the Mass," said Bateman; "we offer our Mass every Sunday,
according to the rite of the English Cyprian, as honest Peter Heylin
calls him; what would you have more?"

Whether Sheffield understood this or no, at least it was beyond Charles.
Was the Common Prayer the English Mass, or the Communion-service, or the
Litany, or the sermon, or any part of these? or were Bateman's words
really a confession that there were clergymen who actually said the
Popish Mass once a week? Bateman's precise meaning, however, is lost to
posterity; for they had by this time arrived at the door of the chapel.
It had once been the chapel of an almshouse; a small farmhouse stood
near; but, for population, it was plain no "church accommodation" was
wanted. Before entering, Charles hung back, and whispered to his friend
that he did not know Bateman. An introduction, in consequence, took
place. "Reding of St. Saviour's--Bateman of Nun's Hall;" after which
ceremony, in place of holy water, they managed to enter the chapel in
company.

It was as pretty a building as Bateman had led them to expect, and very
prettily done up. There was a stone altar in the best style, a credence
table, a piscina, what looked like a tabernacle, and a couple of
handsome brass candlesticks. Charles asked the use of the piscina--he
did not know its name--and was told that there was always a piscina in
the old churches in England, and that there could be no proper
restoration without it. Next he asked the meaning of the beautifully
wrought closet or recess above the altar; and received for answer, that
"our sister churches of the Roman obedience always had a tabernacle for
reserving the consecrated bread." Here Charles was brought to a stand:
on which Sheffield asked the use of the niches; and was told by Bateman
that images of saints were forbidden by the canon, but that his friends,
in all these matters, did what they could. Lastly, he asked the meaning
of the candlesticks; and was told that, Catholicly-minded as their
Bishop was, they had some fear lest he would object to altar lights in
service--at least at first: but it was plain that the _use_ of the
candlesticks was to hold candles. Having had their fill of gazing and
admiring, they turned to proceed on their walk, but could not get off an
invitation to breakfast, in a few days, at Bateman's lodgings in the
Turl.



CHAPTER III.


Neither of the friends had what are called _views_ in religion; by which
expression we do not here signify that neither had taken up a certain
line of opinion, though this was the case also; but that neither of
them--how could they at their age?--had placed his religion on an
intellectual basis. It may be as well to state more distinctly what a
"view" is, what it is to be "viewy," and what is the state of those who
have no "views." When, then; men for the first time look upon the world
of politics or religion, all that they find there meets their mind's eye
as a landscape addresses itself for the first time to a person who has
just gained his bodily sight. One thing is as far off as another; there
is no perspective. The connection of fact with fact, truth with truth,
the bearing of fact upon truth, and truth upon fact, what leads to what,
what are points primary and what secondary,--all this they have yet to
learn. It is all a new science to them, and they do not even know their
ignorance of it. Moreover, the world of to-day has no connection in
their minds with the world of yesterday; time is not a stream, but
stands before them round and full, like the moon. They do not know what
happened ten years ago, much less the annals of a century; the past does
not live to them in the present; they do not understand the worth of
contested points; names have no associations for them, and persons
kindle no recollections. They hear of men, and things, and projects, and
struggles, and principles; but everything comes and goes like the wind,
nothing makes an impression, nothing penetrates, nothing has its place
in their minds. They locate nothing; they have no system. They hear and
they forget; or they just recollect what they have once heard, they
can't tell where. Thus they have no consistency in their arguments; that
is, they argue one way to-day, and not exactly the other way to-morrow,
but indirectly the other way, at random. Their lines of argument
diverge; nothing comes to a point; there is no one centre in which their
mind sits, on which their judgment of men and things proceeds. This is
the state of many men all through life; and miserable politicians or
Churchmen they make, unless by good luck they are in safe hands, and
ruled by others, or are pledged to a course. Else they are at the mercy
of the winds and waves; and, without being Radical, Whig, Tory, or
Conservative, High Church or Low Church, they do Whig acts, Tory acts,
Catholic acts, and heretical acts, as the fit takes them, or as events
or parties drive them. And sometimes, when their self-importance is
hurt, they take refuge in the idea that all this is a proof that they
are unfettered, moderate, dispassionate, that they observe the mean,
that they are "no party men;" when they are, in fact, the most helpless
of slaves; for our strength in this world is, to be the subjects of the
reason, and our liberty, to be captives of the truth.

Now Charles Reding, a youth of twenty, could not be supposed to have
much of a view in religion or politics; but no clever man allows himself
to judge of things simply at hap-hazard; he is obliged, from a sort of
self-respect, to have some rule or other, true or false; and Charles was
very fond of the maxim, which he has already enunciated, that we must
measure people by what they are, and not by what they are not. He had a
great notion of loving every one--of looking kindly on every one; he was
pierced with the sentiment which he had seen in a popular volume of
poetry, that--

              "Christian souls, ...
    Though worn and soil'd with sinful clay,
    Are yet, to eyes that see them true,
    All glistening with baptismal dew."

He liked, as he walked along the road, and met labourer or horseman,
gentleman or beggar, to say to himself, "He is a Christian." And when he
came to Oxford, he came there with an enthusiasm so simple and warm as
to be almost childish. He reverenced even the velvet of the Pro.; nay,
the cocked hat which preceded the Preacher had its claim on his
deferential regard. Without being himself a poet, he was in the season
of poetry, in the sweet spring-time, when the year is most beautiful,
because it is new. Novelty was beauty to a heart so open and cheerful as
his; not only because it was novelty, and had its proper charm as such,
but because when we first see things, we see them in a "gay confusion,"
which is a principal element of the poetical. As time goes on, and we
number and sort and measure things--as we gain views--we advance towards
philosophy and truth, but we recede from poetry.

When we ourselves were young, we once on a time walked on a hot
summer-day from Oxford to Newington--a dull road, as any one who has
gone it knows; yet it was new to us; and we protest to you, reader,
believe it or not, laugh or not, as you will, to us it seemed on that
occasion quite touchingly beautiful; and a soft melancholy came over us,
of which the shadows fall even now, when we look back on that dusty,
weary journey. And why? because every object which met us was unknown
and full of mystery. A tree or two in the distance seemed the beginning
of a great wood, or park, stretching endlessly; a hill implied a vale
beyond, with that vale's history; the bye-lanes, with their green
hedges, wound and vanished, yet were not lost to the imagination. Such
was our first journey; but when we had gone it several times, the mind
refused to act, the scene ceased to enchant, stern reality alone
remained; and we thought it one of the most tiresome, odious roads we
ever had occasion to traverse.

But to return to our story. Such was Reding. But Sheffield, on the other
hand, without possessing any real view of things more than Charles, was,
at this time, fonder of hunting for views, and more in danger of taking
up false ones. That is, he was "viewy," in a bad sense of the word. He
was not satisfied intellectually with things as they are; he was
critical, impatient to reduce things to system, pushed principles too
far, was fond of argument, partly from pleasure in the exercise, partly
because he was perplexed, though he did not lay anything very much to
heart.

They neither of them felt any special interest in the controversy going
on in the University and country about High and Low Church. Sheffield
had a sort of contempt for it; and Reding felt it to be bad taste to be
unusual or prominent in anything. An Eton acquaintance had asked him to
go and hear one of the principal preachers of the Catholic party, and
offered to introduce him; but he had declined it. He did not like, he
said, mixing himself up with party; he had come to Oxford to get his
degree, and not to take up opinions; he thought his father would not
relish it; and, moreover, he felt some little repugnance to such
opinions and such people, under the notion that the authorities of the
University were opposed to the whole movement. He could not help looking
at its leaders as demagogues; and towards demagogues he felt an
unmeasured aversion and contempt. He did not see why clergymen, however
respectable, should be collecting undergraduates about them; and he
heard stories of their way of going on which did not please him.
Moreover, he did not like the specimens of their followers whom he fell
in with; they were forward, or they "talked strong," as it was called;
did ridiculous, extravagant acts; and sometimes neglected their college
duties for things which did not concern them. He was unfortunate,
certainly: for this is a very unfair account of the most exemplary men
of that day, who doubtless are still, as clergymen or laymen, the
strength of the Anglican Church; but in all collections of men, the
straw and rubbish (as Lord Bacon says) float on the top, while gold and
jewels sink and are hidden. Or, what is more apposite still, many men,
or most men, are a compound of precious and worthless together, and
their worthless swims, and their precious lies at the bottom.



CHAPTER IV.


Bateman was one of these composite characters: he had much good and much
cleverness in him; but he was absurd, and he afforded a subject of
conversation to the two friends as they proceeded on their walk. "I wish
there was less of fudge and humbug everywhere," said Sheffield; "one
might shovel off cartloads from this place, and not miss it."

"If you had your way," answered Charles, "you would scrape off the roads
till there was nothing to walk on. We are forced to walk on what you
call humbug; we put it under our feet, but we use it."

"I cannot think that; it's like doing evil that good may come. I see
shams everywhere. I go into St. Mary's, and I hear men spouting out
commonplaces in a deep or a shrill voice, or with slow, clear, quiet
emphasis and significant eyes--as that Bampton preacher not long ago,
who assured us, apropos of the resurrection of the body, that 'all
attempts to resuscitate the inanimate corpse by natural methods had
hitherto been experimentally abortive.' I go into the place where
degrees are given--the Convocation, I think--and there one hears a deal
of unmeaning Latin for hours, graces, dispensations, and proctors
walking up and down for nothing; all in order to keep up a sort of ghost
of things passed away for centuries, while the real work might be done
in a quarter of an hour. I fall in with this Bateman, and he talks to me
of rood-lofts without roods, and piscinæ without water, and niches
without images, and candlesticks without lights, and masses without
Popery; till I feel, with Shakespeare, that 'all the world's a stage.'
Well, I go to Shaw, Turner, and Brown, very different men, pupils of Dr.
Gloucester--you know whom I mean--and they tell us that we ought to put
up crucifixes by the wayside, in order to excite religious feeling."

"Well, I really think you are hard on all these people," said Charles;
"it is all very much like declamation; you would destroy externals of
every kind. You are like the man in one of Miss Edgeworth's novels, who
shut his ears to the music that he might laugh at the dancers."

"What is the music to which I close my ears?" asked Sheffield.

"To the meaning of those various acts," answered Charles; "the pious
feeling which accompanies the sight of the image is the music."

"To those who have the pious feeling, certainly," said Sheffield; "but
to put up images in England in order to create the feeling is like
dancing to create music."

"I think you are hard upon England," replied Charles; "we are a
religious people."

"Well, I will put it differently: do _you_ like music?"

"You ought to know," said Charles, "whom I have frightened so often with
my fiddle."

"Do you like dancing?"

"To tell the truth," said Charles, "I don't."

"Nor do I," said Sheffield; "it makes me laugh to think what I have
done, when a boy, to escape dancing; there is something so absurd in it;
and one had to be civil and to duck to young girls who were either prim
or pert. I have behaved quite rudely to them sometimes, and then have
been annoyed at my ungentlemanlikeness, and not known how to get out of
the scrape."

"Well, I didn't know we were so like each other in anything," said
Charles; "oh, the misery I have endured, in having to stand up to dance,
and to walk about with a partner!--everybody looking at me, and I so
awkward. It has been a torture to me days before and after."

They had by this time come up to the foot of the rough rising ground
which leads to the sort of table-land on the edge of which Oxley is
placed; and they stood still awhile to see some equestrians take the
hurdles. They then mounted the hill, and looked back upon Oxford.

"Perhaps you call those beautiful spires and towers a sham," said
Charles, "because you see their tops and not their bottoms?"

"Whereabouts were we in our argument?" said the other, reminded that
they had been wandering from it for the last ten minutes. "Oh, I
recollect; I know what I was at. I was saying that you liked music, but
didn't like dancing; music leads another person to dance, but not you;
and dancing does not increase but diminishes the intensity of the
pleasure you find in music. In like manner, it is a mere piece of
pedantry to make a religious nation, like the English, more religious by
placing images in the streets; this is not the English way, and only
offends us. If it were our way, it would come naturally without any one
telling us. As music incites to dancing, so religion would lead to
images; but as dancing does not improve music to those who do not like
dancing, so ceremonies do not improve religion to those who do not like
ceremonies."

"Then do you mean," said Charles, "that the English Romanists are shams,
because they use crucifixes?"

"Stop there," said Sheffield; "now you are getting upon a different
subject. They believe that there is _virtue_ in images; that indeed is
absurd in them, but it makes them quite consistent in honouring them.
They do not put up images as outward shows, merely to create feelings in
the minds of beholders, as Gloucester would do, but they in good,
downright earnest worship images, as being more than they seem, as being
not a mere outside show. They pay them a religious worship, as having
been handled by great saints years ago, as having been used in
pestilences, as having wrought miracles, as having moved their eyes or
bowed their heads; or, at least, as having been blessed by the priest,
and been brought into connection with invisible grace. This is
superstitious, but it is real."

Charles was not satisfied. "An image is a mode of teaching," he said;
"do you mean to say that a person is a sham merely because he mistakes
the particular mode of teaching best suited to his own country?"

"I did not say that Dr. Gloucester was a sham," answered Sheffield; "but
that mode of teaching of his was among Protestants a sham and a humbug."

"But this principle will carry you too far, and destroy itself," said
Charles. "Don't you recollect what Thompson quoted the other day out of
Aristotle, which he had lately begun in lecture with Vincent, and which
we thought so acute--that habits are created by those very acts in which
they manifest themselves when created? We learn to swim well by trying
to swim. Now Bateman, doubtless, wishes to _introduce_ piscinæ and
tabernacles; and to wait, before beginning, _till_ they are received, is
like not going into the water till you can swim."

"Well, but what is Bateman the better when his piscinæ are universal?"
asked Sheffield; "what does it _mean_? In the Romish Church it has a
use, I know--I don't know what--but it comes into the Mass. But if
Bateman makes piscinæ universal among us, what has he achieved but the
reign of a universal humbug?"

"But, my dear Sheffield," answered Reding, "consider how many things
there are which, in the course of time, have altered their original
meaning, and yet have a meaning, though a changed one, still. The
judge's wig is no sham, yet it has a history. The Queen, at her
coronation, is said to wear a Roman Catholic vestment, is that a sham?
Does it not still typify and impress upon us the 'divinity that doth
hedge a king,' though it has lost the very meaning which the Church of
Rome gave it? Or are you of the number of those, who, according to the
witticism, think majesty, when deprived of its externals, a jest?"

"Then you defend the introduction of unmeaning piscinæ and
candlesticks?"

"I think," answered Charles, "that there's a great difference between
reviving and retaining; it may be natural to retain, even while the use
fails, unnatural to revive when it has failed; but this is a question of
discretion and judgment."

"Then you give it against Bateman?" said Sheffield.

A slight pause ensued; then Charles added, "But perhaps these men
actually do wish to introduce the realities as well as the externals:
perhaps they wish to use the piscina as well as to have it ...
Sheffield," he continued abruptly, "why are not canonicals a sham, if
piscinæ are shams?"

"Canonicals," said Sheffield, as if thinking about them; "no, canonicals
are no sham; for preaching, I suppose, is the highest ordinance in our
Church, and has the richest dress. The robes of a great preacher cost, I
know, many pounds; for there was one near us who, on leaving, had a
present from the ladies of an entire set, and a dozen pair of worked
slippers into the bargain. But it's all fitting, if preaching is the
great office of the clergy. Next comes the Sacrament, and has the
surplice and hood. And hood," he repeated, musing; "what's that for? no,
it's the scarf. The hood is worn in the University pulpit; what is the
scarf?--it belongs to chaplains, I believe, that is, to _persons_; I
can't make a view out of it."

"My dear Sheffield," said Charles, "you have cut your own throat. Here
you have been trying to give a sense to the clerical dress, and cannot;
are you then prepared to call it a sham? Answer me this single
question--Why does a clergyman wear a surplice when he reads prayers?
Nay, I will put it more simply--Why can only a clergyman read prayers in
church?--Why cannot I?"

Sheffield hesitated, and looked serious. "Do you know," he said, "you
have just pitched on Jeremy Bentham's objection. In his 'Church of
Englandism' he proposes, if I recollect rightly, that a parish-boy
should be taught to read the Liturgy; and he asks, Why send a person to
the University for three or four years at an enormous expense, why teach
him Latin and Greek, on purpose to read what any boy could be taught to
read at a dame's school? What is the _virtue_ of a clergyman's reading?
Something of this kind, Bentham says; and," he added, slowly, "to tell
the truth, _I_ don't know how to answer him."

Reding was surprised, and shocked, and puzzled too; he did not know what
to say; when the conversation was, perhaps fortunately, interrupted.



CHAPTER V.


Every year brings changes and reforms. We do not know what is the state
of Oxley Church now; it may have rood-loft, piscina, sedilia, all new;
or it may be reformed backwards, the seats on principle turning from the
Communion-table, and the pulpit planted in the middle of the aisle; but
at the time when these two young men walked through the churchyard,
there was nothing very good or very bad to attract them within the
building; and they were passing on, when they observed, coming out of
the church, what Sheffield called an elderly don, a fellow of a college,
whom Charles knew. He was a man of family, and had some little property
of his own, had been a contemporary of his father's at the University,
and had from time to time been a guest at the parsonage. Charles had, in
consequence, known him from a boy; and now, since he came into
residence, he had, as was natural, received many small attentions from
him. Once, when he was late for his own hall, he had given him his
dinner in his rooms; he had taken him out on a fishing expedition
towards Faringdon; and had promised him tickets for some ladies,
lionesses of his, who were coming up to the Commemoration. He was a
shrewd, easy-tempered, free-spoken man, of small desires and no
ambition; of no very keen sensibilities or romantic delicacies, and very
little religious pretension; that is, though unexceptionable in his
deportment, he hated the show of religion, and was impatient at those
who affected it. He had known the University for thirty years, and
formed a right estimate of most things in it. He had come out to Oxley
to take a funeral for a friend, and was now returning home. He hallooed
to Charles, who, though feeling at first awkward on finding himself with
two such different friends and in two such different relations, was,
after a time, partially restored to himself by the unconcern of Mr.
Malcolm; and the three walked home together. Yet, even to the last, he
did not quite know how and where to walk, and how to carry himself,
particularly when they got near Oxford, and he fell in with various
parties who greeted him in passing.

Charles, by way of remark, said they had been looking in at a pretty
little chapel on the common, which was now in the course of repair. Mr.
Malcolm laughed. "So, Charles," he said, "_you're_ bit with the new
fashion."

Charles coloured, and asked, "What fashion?" adding, that a friend, by
accident, had taken them in.

"You ask what fashion," said Mr. Malcolm; "why, the newest, latest
fashion. This is a place of fashions; there have been many fashions in
my time. The greater part of the residents, that is, the boys, change
once in three years; the fellows and tutors, perhaps, in half a dozen;
and every generation has its own fashion. There is no principle of
stability in Oxford, except the Heads, and they are always the same,
and always will be the same to the end of the chapter. What is in now,"
he asked, "among you youngsters--drinking or cigars?"

Charles laughed modestly, and said he hoped drinking had gone out
everywhere.

"Worse things may come in," said Mr. Malcolm; "but there are fashions
everywhere. There was once a spouting club, perhaps it is in favour
still; before it was the music-room. Once geology was all the rage; now
it is theology; soon it will be architecture, or medieval antiquities,
or editions and codices. Each wears out in its turn; all depends on one
or two active men; but the secretary takes a wife, or the professor gets
a stall; and then the meetings are called irregularly, and nothing is
done in them, and so gradually the affair dwindles and dies."

Sheffield asked whether the present movement had not spread too widely
through the country for such a termination; he did not know much about
it himself, but the papers were full of it, and it was the talk of every
neighbourhood; it was not confined to Oxford.

"I don't know about the country," said Mr. Malcolm, "that is a large
question; but it has not the elements of stability here. These gentlemen
will take livings and marry, and that will be the end of the business. I
am not speaking against them; they are, I believe, very respectable men;
but they are riding on the spring-tide of a fashion."

Charles said it was a nuisance to see the party-spirit it introduced.
Oxford ought to be a place of quiet and study; peace and the Muses
always went together; whereas there was talk, talk, in every quarter. A
man could not go about his duties in a natural way, and take every one
as he came, but was obliged to take part in questions, and to consider
points which he might wish to put from him, and must sport an opinion
when he really had none to give.

Mr. Malcolm assented in a half-absent way, looking at the view before
him, and seemingly enjoying it. "People call this county ugly," said he,
"and perhaps it is; but whether I am used to it or no, I always am
pleased with it. The lights are always new; and thus the landscape, if
it deserves the name, is always presented in a new dress. I have known
Shotover there take the most opposite hues, sometimes purple, sometimes
a bright saffron or tawny orange." Here he stopped: "Yes, you speak of
party-spirit; very true, there's a good deal of it.... No, I don't think
there's much," he continued, rousing; "certainly there is more division
just at this minute in Oxford, but there always is division, always
rivalry. The separate societies have their own interests and honour to
maintain, and quarrel, as the orders do in the Church of Rome. No,
that's too grand a comparison; rather, Oxford is like an almshouse for
clergymen's widows. Self-importance, jealousy, tittle-tattle are the
order of the day. It has always been so in my time. Two great ladies,
Mrs. Vice-Chancellor and Mrs. Divinity-Professor, can't agree, and have
followings respectively: or Vice-Chancellor himself, being a new broom,
sweeps all the young Masters clean out of Convocation House, to their
great indignation: or Mr. Slaney, Dean of St. Peter's, does not scruple
to say in a stage-coach that Mr. Wood is no scholar; on which the said
Wood calls him in return 'slanderous Slaney;' or the elderly Mr. Barge,
late Senior Fellow of St. Michael's, thinks that his pretty bride has
not been received with due honours; or Dr. Crotchet is for years kept
out of his destined bishopric by a sinister influence; or Mr. Professor
Carraway has been infamously shown up, in the _Edinburgh_, by an idle
fellow whom he plucked in the schools; or (_majora movemus_) three
colleges interchange a mortal vow of opposition to a fourth; or the
young working Masters conspire against the Heads. Now, however, we are
improving; if we must quarrel, let it be the rivalry of intellect and
conscience, rather than of interest or temper; let us contend for
things, not for shadows."

Sheffield was pleased at this, and ventured to say that the present
state of things was more real, and therefore more healthy. Mr. Malcolm
did not seem to hear him, for he did not reply; and, as they were now
approaching the bridge again, the conversation stopped. Sheffield looked
slily at Charles, as Mr. Malcolm proceeded with them up High Street; and
both of them had the triumph and the amusement of being convoyed safely
past a proctor, who was patrolling it, under the protection of a
Master.



CHAPTER VI.


The walk to Oxley had not been the first or the second occasion on which
Charles had, in one shape or other, encountered Sheffield's views about
realities and shams; and his preachments had begun to make an impression
on him; that is, he felt that there was truth in them at bottom, and a
truth new to him. He was not a person to let a truth sleep in his mind;
though it did not vegetate very quickly, it was sure ultimately to be
pursued into its consequences, and to affect his existing opinions. In
the instance before us, he saw Sheffield's principle was more or less
antagonistic to his own favourite maxim, that it was a duty to be
pleased with every one. Contradictions could not both be real: when an
affirmative was true, a negative was false. All doctrines could not be
equally sound: there was a right and a wrong. The theory of dogmatic
truth, as opposed to latitudinarianism (he did not know their names or
their history, or suspect what was going on within him), had in the
course of these his first terms, gradually begun to energise in his
mind. Let him but see the absurdities of the latitudinarian principle,
when carried out, and he is likely to be still more opposed to it.

Bateman, among his peculiarities, had a notion that bringing persons of
contrary sentiments together was the likeliest way of making a party
agreeable, or at least useful. He had done his best to give his
breakfast, to which our friends were invited, this element of
perfection; not, however, to his own satisfaction; for with all his
efforts, he had but picked up Mr. Freeborn, a young Evangelical Master,
with whom Sheffield was acquainted; a sharp, but not very wise freshman,
who, having been spoiled at home, and having plenty of money, professed
to be _æsthetic_, and kept his college authorities in a perpetual fidget
lest he should some morning wake up a Papist; and a friend of his, a
nice, modest-looking youth, who, like a mouse, had keen darting eyes,
and ate his bread and butter in absolute silence.

They had hardly seated themselves, and Sheffield was pouring out coffee,
and a plate of muffins was going round, and Bateman was engaged,
saucepan in hand, in the operation of landing his eggs, now boiled, upon
the table, when our flighty youth, whose name was White, observed how
beautiful the Catholic custom was of making eggs the emblem of the
Easter-festival. "It is truly Catholic," said he; "for it is retained in
parts of England, you have it in Russia, and in Rome itself, where an
egg is served up on every plate through the Easter-week, after being, I
believe, blessed; and it is as expressive and significant as it is
Catholic."

"Beautiful indeed!" said their host; "so pretty, so sweet; I wonder
whether our Reformers thought of it, or the profound Hooker,--he was
full of types--or Jewell. You recollect the staff Jewell gave Hooker:
that was a type. It was like the sending of Elisha's staff by his
servant to the dead child."

"Oh, my dear, dear Bateman," cried Sheffield, "you are making Hooker
Gehazi!"

"That's just the upshot of such trifling," said Mr. Freeborn; "you never
know where to find it; it proves anything, and disproves anything."

"That is only till it's sanctioned," said White; "When the Catholic
Church sanctions it, we're safe."

"Yes, we're safe," said Bateman; "it's safe when it's Catholic."

"Yes," continued White, "things change their nature altogether when they
are taken up by the Catholic Church: that's how we are allowed to do
evil that good may come."

"What's that?" said Bateman.

"Why," said White, "the Church makes evil good."

"My dear White," said Bateman gravely, "that's going too far; it is
indeed."

Mr. Freeborn suspended his breakfast operations, and sat back in his
chair.

"Why," continued White, "is not idolatry wrong--yet image-worship is
right?"

Mr. Freeborn was in a state of collapse.

"That's a bad instance, White," said Sheffield; "there _are_ people in
the world who are uncatholic enough to think image-worship is wrong, as
well as idolatry."

"A mere Jesuitical distinction," said Freeborn with emotion.

"Well," said White, who did not seem in great awe of the young M.A.,
though some years, of course, his senior, "I will take a better
instance: who does not know that baptism gives grace? yet there were
heathen baptismal rites, which, of course, were devilish."

"I should not be disposed, Mr. White, to grant you so much as you would
wish," said Freeborn, "about the virtue of baptism."

"Not about Christian baptism?" asked White.

"It is easy," answered Freeborn, "to mistake the sign for the thing
signified."

"Not about Catholic baptism?" repeated White.

"Catholic baptism is a mere deceit and delusion," retorted Mr. Freeborn.

"Oh, my dear Freeborn," interposed Bateman, "now _you_ are going too
far; you are indeed."

"Catholic, Catholic--I don't know what you mean," said Freeborn.

"I mean," said White, "the baptism of the one Catholic Church of which
the Creed speaks: it's quite intelligible."

"But what do you mean by the Catholic Church?" asked Freeborn.

"The Anglican," answered Bateman.

"The Roman," answered White; both in the same breath.

There was a general laugh.

"There is nothing to laugh at," said Bateman; "Anglican and Roman are
one."

"One! impossible," cried Sheffield.

"Much worse than impossible," observed Mr. Freeborn.

"I should make a distinction," said Bateman: "I should say, they are
one, except the corruptions of the Romish Church."

"That is, they are one, except where they differ," said Sheffield.

"Precisely so," said Bateman.

"Rather, _I_ should say," objected Mr. Freeborn, "two, except where they
agree."

"That's just the issue," said Sheffield; "Bateman says that the Churches
are one except when they are two; and Freeborn says that they are two
except when they are one."

It was a relief at this moment that the cook's boy came in with a dish
of hot sausages; but though a relief, it was not a diversion; the
conversation proceeded. Two persons did not like it; Freeborn, who was
simply disgusted at the doctrine, and Reding, who thought it a bore; yet
it was the bad luck of Freeborn forthwith to set Charles against him, as
well as the rest, and to remove the repugnance which he had to engage in
the dispute. Freeborn, in fact, thought theology itself a mistake, as
substituting, as he considered, worthless intellectual notions for the
vital truths of religion; so he now went on to observe, putting down his
knife and fork, that it really was to him inconceivable, that real
religion should depend on metaphysical distinctions, or outward
observances; that it was quite a different thing in Scripture; that
Scripture said much of faith and holiness, but hardly a word about
Churches and forms. He proceeded to say that it was the great and evil
tendency of the human mind to interpose between itself and its Creator
some self-invented mediator, and it did not matter at all whether that
human device was a rite, or a creed, or a form of prayer, or good works,
or communion with particular Churches--all were but "flattering unctions
to the soul," if they were considered necessary; the only safe way of
using them was to use them with the feeling that you might dispense with
them; that none of them went to the root of the matter, for that faith,
that is, firm belief that God had forgiven you, was the one thing
needful; that where that one thing was present, everything else was
superfluous; that where it was wanting, nothing else availed. So
strongly did he hold this, that (he confessed he put it pointedly, but
still not untruly), where true faith was present, a person might be
anything in profession; an Arminian, a Calvinist, an Episcopalian, a
Presbyterian, a Swedenborgian--nay, a Unitarian--he would go further,
looking at White, a Papist, yet be in a state of salvation.

Freeborn came out rather more strongly than in his sober moments he
would have approved; but he was a little irritated, and wished to have
his turn of speaking. It was altogether a great testification.

"Thank you for your liberality to the poor Papists," said White; "it
seems they are safe if they are hypocrites, professing to be Catholics,
while they are Protestants in heart."

"Unitarians, too," said Sheffield, "are debtors to your liberality; it
seems a man need not fear to believe too little, so that he feels a good
deal."

"Rather," said White, "if he believes himself forgiven, he need not
believe anything else."

Reding put in his word; he said that in the Prayer Book, belief in the
Holy Trinity was represented, not as an accident, but as "before all
things" necessary to salvation.

"That's not a fair answer, Reding," said Sheffield; "what Mr. Freeborn
observed was, that there's no creed in the Bible; and you answer that
there is a creed in the Prayer Book."

"Then the Bible says one thing, and the Prayer Book another," said
Bateman.

"No," answered Freeborn; "The Prayer Book only _deduces_ from Scripture;
the Athanasian Creed is a human invention; true, but human, and to be
received, as one of the Articles expressly says, because 'founded on
Scripture.' Creeds are useful in their place, so is the Church; but
neither Creed nor Church is religion."

"Then why do you make so much of your doctrine of 'faith only'?" said
Bateman; "for that is not in Scripture, and is but a human deduction."

"_My_ doctrine!" cried Freeborn; "why it's in the Articles; the Articles
expressly say that we are justified by faith only."

"The Articles are not Scripture any more than the Prayer Book," said
Sheffield.

"Nor do the Articles say that the doctrine they propound is necessary
for salvation," added Bateman.

All this was very unfair on Freeborn, though he had provoked it. Here
were four persons on him at once, and the silent fifth apparently a
sympathiser. Sheffield talked through malice; White from habit; Reding
came in because he could not help it; and Bateman spoke on principle; he
had a notion that he was improving Freeborn's views by this process of
badgering. At least he did not improve his temper, which was suffering.
Most of the party were undergraduates; he (Freeborn) was a Master; it
was too bad of Bateman. He finished in silence his sausage, which had
got quite cold. The conversation flagged; there was a rise in toast and
muffins; coffee-cups were put aside, and tea flowed freely.



CHAPTER VII.


Freeborn did not like to be beaten; he began again. Religion, he said,
was a matter of the heart; no one could interpret Scripture rightly
whose heart was not right. Till our eyes were enlightened, to dispute
about the sense of Scripture, to attempt to deduce from Scripture, was
beating about the bush: it was like the blind disputing about colours.

"If this is true," said Bateman, "no one ought to argue about religion
at all; but you were the first to do so, Freeborn."

"Of course," answered Freeborn, "those who have _found_ the truth are
the very persons to argue, for they have the gift."

"And the very last persons to persuade," said Sheffield; "for they have
the gift all to themselves."

"Therefore true Christians should argue with each other, and with no one
else," said Bateman.

"But those are the very persons who don't want it," said Sheffield;
"reasoning must be for the unconverted, not for the converted. It is the
means of seeking."

Freeborn persisted that the reason of the unconverted was carnal, and
that such could not understand Scripture.

"I have always thought," said Reding, "that reason was a general gift,
though faith is a special and personal one. If faith is really rational,
all ought to see that it is rational; else, from the nature of the case,
it is not rational."

"But St. Paul says," answered Freeborn, "that 'to the natural man the
things of the Spirit are foolishness.'"

"But how are we to arrive at truth at all," said Reding, "except by
reason? It is the appointed method for our guidance. Brutes go by
instinct, men by reason."

They had fallen on a difficult subject; all were somewhat puzzled except
White, who had not been attending, and was simply wearied; he now
interposed. "It would be a dull world," he said, "if men went by reason:
they may think they do, but they don't. Really, they are led by their
feelings, their affections, by the sense of the beautiful, and the good,
and the holy. Religion is the beautiful; the clouds, sun, and sky, the
fields and the woods, are religion."

"This would make all religions true," said Freeborn, "good and bad."

"No," answered White, "heathen rites are bloody and impure, not
beautiful; and Mahometanism is as cold and as dry as any Calvinistic
meeting. The Mahometans have no altars or priests, nothing but a pulpit
and a preacher."

"Like St. Mary's," said Sheffield.

"Very like," said White; "we have no life or poetry in the Church of
England; the Catholic Church alone is beautiful. You would see what I
mean if you went into a foreign cathedral, or even into one of the
Catholic churches in our large towns. The celebrant, deacon, and
subdeacon, acolytes with lights, the incense, and the chanting--all
combine to one end, one act of worship. You feel it _is_ really a
worshipping; every sense, eyes, ears, smell, are made to know that
worship is going on. The laity on the floor saying their beads, or
making their acts; the choir singing out the _Kyrie_; and the priest and
his assistants bowing low, and saying the _Confiteor_ to each other.
This is worship, and it is far above reason."

This was spoken with all his heart; but it was quite out of keeping with
the conversation which had preceded it, and White's poetry was almost as
disagreeable to the party as Freeborn's prose.

"White, you should turn Catholic out and out," said Sheffield.

"My dear good fellow," said Bateman, "think what you are saying. You
can't really have gone to a schismatical chapel. Oh, for shame!"

Freeborn observed, gravely, that if the two Churches _were_ one, as had
been maintained, he could not see, do what he would, why it was wrong to
go to and fro from one to the other.

"You forget," said Bateman to White, "you have, or might have, all this
in your own Church, without the Romish corruptions."

"As to the Romish corruptions," answered White, "I know very little
about them."

Freeborn groaned audibly.

"I know very little about them," repeated White eagerly, "very little;
but what is that to the purpose? We must take things as we find them. I
don't like what is bad in the Catholic Church, if there is bad, but what
is good. I do not go to it for what is bad, but for what is good. You
can't deny that what I admire is very good and beautiful. Only you try
to introduce it into your own Church. You would give your ears, you know
you would, to hear the _Dies iræ_."

Here a general burst of laughter took place. White was an Irishman. It
was a happy interruption; the party rose up from table, and a tap at
that minute, which sounded at the door, succeeded in severing the thread
of the conversation.

It was a printseller's man with a large book of plates.

"Well timed," said Bateman;--"put them down, Baker: or rather give them
to me;--I can take the opinion of you men on a point I have much at
heart. You know I wanted you, Freeborn, to go with me to see my chapel;
Sheffield and Reding have looked into it. Well now, just see here."

He opened the portfolio; it contained views of the Campo Santo at Pisa.
The leaves were slowly turned over in silence, the spectators partly
admiring, partly not knowing what to think, partly wondering at what was
coming.

"What do you think my plan is?" he continued. "You twitted me,
Sheffield, because my chapel would be useless. Now I mean to get a
cemetery attached to it; there is plenty of land; and then the chapel
will become a chantry. But now, what will you say if we have a copy of
these splendid medieval monuments round the burial-place, both sculpture
and painting? Now, Sheffield, Mr. Critic, what do you say to that?"

"A most admirable plan," said Sheffield, "and quite removes my
objections.... A chantry! what is that? Don't they say Mass in it for
the dead?"

"Oh, no, no, no," said Bateman, in fear of Freeborn; "we'll have none of
your Popery. It will be a simple, guileless chapel, in which the Church
Service will be read."

Meanwhile Sheffield was slowly turning over the plates. He stopped at
one. "What will you do with that figure?" he said, pointing to a
Madonna.

"Oh, it will be best, most prudent, to leave it out; certainly,
certainly."

Sheffield soon began again: "But look here, my good fellow, what do you
do with these saints and angels? do see, why here's a complete legend;
do you mean to have this? Here's a set of miracles, and a woman invoking
a saint in heaven."

Bateman looked cautiously at them, and did not answer. He would have
shut the book, but Sheffield wished to see some more. Meanwhile he said,
"Oh yes, true, there _are_ some things; but I have an expedient for all
this; I mean to make it all allegorical. The Blessed Virgin shall be the
Church, and the saints shall be cardinal and other virtues; and as to
that saint's life, St. Ranieri's, it shall be a Catholic 'Pilgrim's
Progress.'"

"Good! then you must drop all these popes and bishops, copes and
chalices," said Sheffield; "and have their names written under the rest,
that people mayn't take them for saints and angels. Perhaps you had
better have scrolls from their mouths, in old English. This St. Thomas
is stout; make him say, 'I am Mr. Dreadnought,' or 'I am Giant Despair;'
and, since this beautiful saint bears a sort of dish, make her 'Mrs.
Creature Comfort.' But look here," he continued, "a whole set of devils;
are _these_ to be painted up?"

Bateman attempted forcibly to shut the book; Sheffield went on: "St.
Anthony's temptations; what's this? Here's the fiend in the shape of a
cat on a wine-barrel."

"Really, really," said Bateman, disgusted, and getting possession of it,
"you are quite offensive, quite. We will look at them when you are more
serious."

Sheffield indeed was very provoking, and Bateman more good-humoured than
many persons would have been in his place. Meanwhile Freeborn, who had
had his gown in his hand the last two minutes, nodded to his host, and
took his departure by himself; and White and Willis soon followed in
company.

"Really," said Bateman to Sheffield, when they were gone, "you and
White, each in his own way, are so very rash in your mode of speaking,
and before other people, too. I wished to teach Freeborn a little good
Catholicism, and you have spoilt all. I hoped something would have come
out of this breakfast. But only think of White! it will all out.
Freeborn will tell it to his set. It is very bad, very bad indeed. And
you, my friend, are not much better; never serious. What _could_ you
mean by saying that our Church is not one with the Romish? It was giving
Freeborn such an advantage."

Sheffield looked provokingly easy; and, leaning with his back against
the mantelpiece, and his coat-tail almost playing with the spout of the
kettle, replied, "You had a most awkward team to drive." Then he added,
looking sideways at him, with his head back, "And why had you, O most
correct of men, the audacity to say that the English Church and the
Romish Church _were_ one?"

"It must be so," answered Bateman; "there is but one Church--the Creed
says so; would you make two?"

"I don't speak of doctrine," said Sheffield, "but of fact. I didn't mean
to say that there _were_ two _Churches_; nor to deny that there was one
_Church_. I but denied the fact, that what are evidently two bodies were
one body."

Bateman thought awhile; and Charles employed himself in scraping down
the soot from the back of the chimney with the poker. He did not wish to
speak, but he was not sorry to listen to such an argument.

"My good fellow," said Bateman, in a tone of instruction, "you are
making a distinction between a Church and a body which I don't quite
comprehend. You say that there are two bodies, and yet but one Church.
If so, the Church is not a body, but something abstract, a mere name, a
general idea; is _that_ your meaning? if so, you are an honest
Calvinist."

"You are another," answered Sheffield; "for if you make two visible
Churches, English and Romish, to be one Church, that one Church must be
invisible, not visible. Thus, if I hold an abstract Church, you hold an
invisible one."

"I do not see that," said Bateman.

"Prove the two Churches to be one," said Sheffield, "and then I'll prove
something else."

"Some paradox?" said Bateman.

"Of course," answered Sheffield, "a huge one; but yours, not mine. Prove
the English and Romish Churches to be in any sense one, and I will prove
by parallel arguments that in the same sense we and the Wesleyans are
one."

This was a fair challenge. Bateman, however, suddenly put on a demure
look, and was silent. "We are on sacred subjects," he said at length in
a subdued tone, "we are on very sacred subjects; we must be reverent,"
and he drew a very long face.

Sheffield laughed out, nor could Reding stand it. "What is it?" cried
Sheffield; "don't be hard on me? What have I done? Where did the
sacredness begin? I eat my words."

"Oh, he meant nothing," said Charles, "indeed he did not; he's more
serious than he seems; do answer him; I am interested."

"Really, I do wish to treat the subject gravely," said Sheffield; "I
will begin again. I am very sorry, indeed I am. Let me put the objection
more reverently."

Bateman relaxed: "My good Sheffield," he said, "the thing is irreverent,
not the manner. It is irreverent to liken your holy mother to the
Wesleyan schismatics."

"I repent, I do indeed," said Sheffield; "it was a wavering of faith; it
was very unseemly, I confess it. What can I say more? Look at me; won't
this do? But now tell me, do tell me, _how_ are we one body with the
Romanists, yet the Wesleyans not one body with us?"

Bateman looked at him, and was satisfied with the expression of his
face. "It's a strange question for you to ask," he said; "I fancied you
were a sharper fellow. Don't you see that we have the apostolical
succession as well as the Romanists?"

"But Romanists say," answered Sheffield, "that that is not enough for
unity; that we ought to be in communion with the Pope."

"That's their mistake," answered Bateman.

"That's just what the Wesleyans say of us," retorted Sheffield, "when we
won't acknowledge _their_ succession; they say it's our mistake."

"Their succession!" cried Bateman; "they have no succession."

"Yes, they have," said Sheffield; "they have a ministerial succession."

"It isn't apostolical," answered Bateman.

"Yes, but it is evangelical, a succession of doctrine," said Sheffield.

"Doctrine! Evangelical!" cried Bateman; "whoever heard! that's not
enough; doctrine is not enough without bishops."

"And succession is not enough without the Pope," answered Sheffield.

"They act against the bishops," said Bateman, not quite seeing whither
he was going.

"And we act against the Pope," said Sheffield.

"We say that the Pope isn't necessary," said Bateman.

"And they say that bishops are not necessary," returned Sheffield.

They were out of breath, and paused to see where they stood. Presently
Bateman said, "My good sir, this is a question of _fact_, not of
argumentative cleverness. The question is, whether it is not _true_ that
bishops are necessary to the notion of a Church, and whether it is not
_false_ that Popes are necessary."

"No, no," cried Sheffield, "the question is this, whether obedience to
our bishops is not necessary to make Wesleyans one body with us, and
obedience to their Pope necessary to make us one body with the
Romanists. You maintain the one, and deny the other; I maintain both.
Maintain both, or deny both: I am consistent; you are inconsistent."

Bateman was puzzled.

"In a word," Sheffield added, "succession is not unity, any more than
doctrine."

"Not unity? What then is unity?" asked Bateman.

"Oneness of polity," answered Sheffield.

Bateman thought awhile. "The idea is preposterous," he said: "here we
have _possession_; here we are established since King Lucius's time, or
since St. Paul preached here; filling the island; one continuous Church;
with the same territory, the same succession, the same hierarchy, the
same civil and political position, the same churches. Yes," he
proceeded, "we have the very same fabrics, the memorials of a thousand
years, doctrine stamped and perpetuated in stone; all the mystical
teaching of the old saints. What have the Methodists to do with Catholic
rites? with altars, with sacrifice, with rood-lofts, with fonts, with
niches?--they call it all superstition."

"Don't be angry with me, Bateman," said Sheffield, "and, before going, I
will put forth a parable. Here's the Church of England, as like a
Protestant Establishment as it can stare; bishops and people, all but a
few like yourselves, call it Protestant; the living body calls itself
Protestant; the living body abjures Catholicism, flings off the name and
the thing, hates the Church of Rome, laughs at sacramental power,
despises the Fathers, is jealous of priestcraft, is a Protestant
reality, is a Catholic sham. This existing reality, which is alive and
no mistake, you wish to top with a filagree-work of screens, dorsals,
pastoral staffs, croziers, mitres, and the like. Now most excellent
Bateman, will you hear my parable? will you be offended at it?"

Silence gave consent, and Sheffield proceeded.

"Why, once on a time a negro boy, when his master was away, stole into
his wardrobe, and determined to make himself fine at his master's
expense. So he was presently seen in the streets, naked as usual, but
strutting up and down with a cocked hat on his head, and a pair of white
kid gloves on his hands."

"Away with you! get out, you graceless, hopeless fellow!" said Bateman,
discharging the sofa-bolster at his head. Meanwhile Sheffield ran to the
door, and quickly found himself with Charles in the street below.



CHAPTER VIII.


Sheffield and Charles may go their way; but we must follow White and
Willis out of Bateman's lodgings. It was a Saint's day, and they had no
lectures; they walked arm-in-arm along Broad Street, evidently very
intimate, and Willis found his voice: "I can't bear that Freeborn," said
he, "he's such a prig; and I like him the less because I am obliged to
know him."

"You knew him in the country, I think?" said White.

"In consequence, he has several times had me to his spiritual
tea-parties, and has introduced me to old Mr. Grimes, a good,
kind-hearted old _fogie_, but an awful evangelical, and his wife worse.
Grimes is the old original religious tea-man, and Freeborn imitates him.
They get together as many men as they can, perhaps twenty freshmen,
bachelors, and masters, who sit in a circle, with cups and saucers in
their hands and hassocks at their knees. Some insufferable person of
Capel Hall or St. Mark's, who hardly speaks English, under pretence of
asking Mr. Grimes some divinity question, holds forth on original sin,
or justification, or assurance, monopolizing the conversation. Then
tea-things go, and a portion of Scripture comes instead; and old Grimes
expounds; very good it is, doubtless, though he is a layman. He's a good
old soul; but no one in the room can stand it; even Mrs. Grimes nods
over her knitting, and some of the dear brothers breathe very audibly.
Mr. Grimes, however, hears nothing but himself. At length he stops; his
hearers wake up, and the hassocks begin. Then we go; and Mr. Grimes and
the St. Mark's man call it a profitable evening. I can't make out why
any one goes twice; yet some men never miss."

"They all go on faith," said White: "faith in Mr. Grimes."

"Faith in old Grimes," said Willis; "an old half-pay lieutenant!"

"Here's a church open," said White; "that's odd; let's go in."

They entered; an old woman was dusting the pews as if for service. "That
will be all set right," said Willis; "we must have no women, but
sacristans and servers."

"Then, you know, all these pews will go to the right about. Did you ever
see a finer church for a function?"

"Where would you put the sacristy?" said Willis; "that closet is meant
for the vestry, but would never be large enough."

"That depends on the number of altars the church admits," answered
White; "each altar must have its own dresser and wardrobe in the
sacristy."

"One," said Willis, counting, "where the pulpit stands, that'll be the
high altar; one quite behind, that may be Our Lady's; two, one on each
side of the chancel--four already; to whom do you dedicate them?"

"The church is not wide enough for those side ones," objected White.

"Oh, but it is," said Willis; "I have seen, abroad, altars with only one
step to them, and they need not be very broad. I think, too, this wall
admits of an arch--look at the depth of the window; _that_ would be a
gain of room."

"No," persisted White; "the chancel is too narrow;" and he began to
measure the floor with his pocket-handkerchief. "What would you say is
the depth of an altar from the wall?" he asked.

On looking up he saw some ladies in the church whom he and Willis
knew--the pretty Miss Boltons--very Catholic girls, and really kind,
charitable persons into the bargain. We cannot add, that they were much
wiser at that time than the two young gentlemen whom they now
encountered; and if any fair reader thinks our account of them a
reflection on Catholic-minded ladies generally, we beg distinctly to
say, that we by no means put them forth as a type of a class; that among
such persons were to be found, as we know well, the gentlest spirits and
the tenderest hearts; and that nothing short of severe fidelity to
historical truth keeps us from adorning these two young persons in
particular with that prudence and good sense with which so many such
ladies were endowed. These two sisters had open hands, if they had not
wise heads; and their object in entering the church (which was not the
church of their own parish) was to see the old woman, who was at once a
subject and instrument of their bounty, and to say a word about her
little grandchildren, in whom they were interested. As may be supposed,
they did not know much of matters ecclesiastical, and they knew less of
themselves; and the latter defect White could not supply, though he was
doing, and had done, his best to remedy the former deficiency; and every
meeting did a little.

The two parties left the church together, and the gentlemen saw the
ladies home. "We were imagining, Miss Bolton," White said, walking at a
respectful distance from her, "we were imagining St. James's a Catholic
church, and trying to arrange things as they ought to be."

"What was your first reform?" asked Miss Bolton.

"I fear," answered White, "it would fare hard with your _protégée_, the
old lady who dusts out the pews."

"Why, certainly," said Miss Bolton, "because there would be no pews to
dust."

"But not only in office, but in person, or rather in character, she must
make her exit from the church," said White.

"Impossible," said Miss Bolton; "are women, then, to remain
Protestants?"

"Oh, no," answered White, "the good lady will reappear, only in another
character; she will be a widow."

"And who will take her present place?"

"A sacristan," answered White; "a sacristan in a cotta. Do you like the
short cotta or the long?" he continued, turning to the younger lady.

"I?" answered Miss Charlotte; "I always forget, but I think you told us
the Roman was the short one; I'm for the short cotta."

"You know, Charlotte," said Miss Bolton, "that there's a great reform
going on in England in ecclesiastical vestments."

"I hate all reforms," answered Charlotte, "from the Reformation
downwards. Besides, we have got some way in our cope; you have seen it,
Mr. White? it's such a sweet pattern."

"Have you determined what to do with it?" asked Willis.

"Time enough to think of that," said Charlotte; "it'll take four years
to finish."

"Four years!" cried White; "we shall be all real Catholics by then;
England will be converted."

"It will be done just in time for the Bishop," said Charlotte.

"Oh, it's not good enough for him!" said Miss Bolton; "but it may do in
church for the _Asperges_. How different all things will be!" continued
she; "I don't quite like, though, the idea of a cardinal in Oxford. Must
we be so very Roman? I don't see why we might not be quite Catholic
without the Pope."

"Oh, you need not be afraid," said White sagely; "things don't go so
apace. Cardinals are not so cheap."

"Cardinals have so much state and stiffness," said Miss Bolton: "I hear
they never walk without two servants behind them; and they always leave
the room directly dancing begins."

"Well, I think Oxford must be just cut out for cardinals," said Miss
Charlotte; "can anything be duller than the President's parties? I can
fancy Dr. Bone a cardinal, as he walks round the parks."

"Oh, it's the genius of the Catholic Church," said White; "you will
understand it better in time. No one is his own master; even the Pope
cannot do as he will; he dines by himself, and speaks by precedent."

"Of course he does," said Charlotte, "for he is infallible."

"Nay, if he makes mistakes in the functions," continued White, "he is
obliged to write them down and confess them, lest they should be drawn
into precedents."

"And he is obliged, during a function, to obey the master of ceremonies,
against his own judgment," said Willis.

"Didn't you say the Pope confessed, Mr. White?" asked Miss Bolton; "it
has always puzzled me whether the Pope was obliged to confess like
another man."

"Oh, certainly," answered White, "every one confesses."

"Well," said Charlotte, "I can't fancy Mr. Hurst of St. Peter's, who
comes here to sing glees, confessing, or some of the grave heads of
houses, who bow so stiffly."

"They will all have to confess," said White.

"All?" asked Miss Bolton; "you don't mean converts confess? I thought it
was only old Catholics."

There was a little pause.

"And what will the heads of houses be?" asked Miss Charlotte.

"Abbots or superiors," answered White; "they will bear crosses; and when
they say Mass, there will be a lighted candle in addition."

"What a good portly abbot the Vice-Chancellor will make!" said Miss
Bolton.

"Oh, no; he's too short for an abbot," said her sister; "but you have
left out the Chancellor himself: you seem to have provided for every one
else; what will become of him?"

"The Chancellor is my difficulty," said White gravely.

"Make him a Knight-Templar," said Willis.

"The Duke's a queer hand," said White, still thoughtfully: "there's no
knowing what he'll come to. A Knight-Templar--yes; Malta is now English
property; he might revive the order."

The ladies both laughed.

"But you have not completed your plan, Mr. White," said Miss Bolton:
"the heads of houses have got wives; how can they become monks?"

"Oh, the wives will go into convents," said White: "Willis and I have
been making inquiries in the High Street, and they are most
satisfactory. Some of the houses there were once university-halls and
inns, and will easily turn back into convents: all that will be wanted
is grating to the windows."

"Have you any notion what order they ought to join?" said Miss
Charlotte.

"That depends on themselves," said White: "no compulsion whatever must
be put on them. _They_ are the judges. But it would be useful to have
two convents--one of an active order, and one contemplative: Ursuline
for instance, and Carmelite of St. Theresa's reform."

Hitherto their conversation had been on the verge of jest and earnest;
now it took a more pensive tone.

"The nuns of St. Theresa are very strict, I believe, Mr. White," said
Miss Bolton.

"Yes," he made reply; "I have fears for the Mrs. Wardens and Mrs.
Principals who at their age undertake it."

They had got home, and White politely rang the bell.

"Younger persons," said he tenderly, "are too delicate for such a
sacrifice."

Louisa was silent; presently she said, "And what will you be, Mr.
White?"

"I know not," he answered; "I have thought of the Cistercians; they
never speak."

"Oh, the dear Cistercians!" she said; "St. Bernard wasn't it?--sweet,
heavenly man, and so young! I have seen his picture: such eyes!"

White was a good-looking man. The nun and the monk looked at each other
very respectfully, and bowed; the other pair went through a similar
ceremony; then it was performed diagonally. The two ladies entered their
home; the two gentlemen retired.

We must follow the former upstairs. When they entered the drawing-room
they found their mother sitting at the window in her bonnet and shawl,
dipping into a chance volume in that unsettled state which implies that
a person is occupied, if it may be so called, in waiting, more than in
anything else.

"My dear children," she said as they entered, "where _have_ you been?
the bells have stopped a good quarter of an hour: I fear we must give up
going to church this morning."

"Impossible, dear mamma," answered Miss Bolton; "we went out punctually
at half-past nine; we did not stop two minutes at your worsted-shop; and
here we are back again."

"The only thing we did besides," said Charlotte, "was to look in at St.
James's, as the door was open, to say a word or two to poor old Wiggins.
Mr. White was there, and his friend Mr. Willis; and they saw us home."

"Oh, I understand," answered Mrs. Bolton; "that is the way when young
gentlemen and ladies get together: but at any rate we are late for
church."

"Oh, no," said Charlotte, "let us set out directly, we shall get in by
the first lesson."

"My dear child, how can you propose such a thing?" said her mother: "I
would not do so for any consideration; it is so very disgraceful. Better
not go at all."

"Oh, dearest mamma," said the elder sister, "this certainly _is_ a
prejudice. Why always come in at one time? there is something so formal
in people coming in all at once, and waiting for each other. It is
surely more reasonable to come in when you can: so many things may
hinder persons."

"Well, my dear Louisa," said her mother, "I like the old way.
It used always to be said to us, Be in your seats before 'When the
wicked man,' and at latest before the 'Dearly Beloved.' That's the good
old-fashioned way. And Mr. Jones and Mr. Pearson used always to sit at
least five minutes in the desk to give us some law, and used to look
round before beginning; and Mr. Jones used frequently to preach against
late comers. I can't argue, but it seems to me reasonable that good
Christians should hear the whole service. They might as well go out
before it's over."

"Well, but, mamma," said Charlotte, "so it _is_ abroad: they come in and
go out when they please. It's so devotional."

"My dear girl," said Mrs. Bolton, "I am too old to understand all this;
it's beyond me. I suppose Mr. White has been saying all this to you.
He's a good young man, very amiable and attentive. I have nothing to say
against him, except that he _is_ young, and he'll change his view of
things when he gets older."

"While we talk, time's going," said Louisa; "is it quite impossible we
should still go to church?"

"My dear Louisa, I would not walk up the aisle for the world; positively
I should sink into the earth: such a bad example! How can you dream of
such a thing?"

"Then I suppose nothing's to be done," said Louisa, taking off her
bonnet; "but really it is very sad to make worship so cold and formal a
thing. Twice as many people would go to church if they might be late."

"Well, my dear, all things are changed now: in my younger days Catholics
were the formal people, and we were the devotional; now it's just the
reverse."

"But isn't it so, dear mamma?" said Charlotte, "isn't it something much
more beautiful, this continued concourse, flowing and ebbing, changing
yet full, than a way of praying which is as wooden as the
reading-desk?--it's so free and natural."

"Free and easy, _I_ think," said her mother; "for shame, Charlotte! how
can you speak against the beautiful Church Service; you pain me."

"I don't," answered Charlotte; "it's a mere puritanical custom, which is
no more part of our Church than the pews are."

"Common Prayer is offered to all who can come," said Louisa; "Church
should be a privilege, not a mere duty."

"Well, my dear love, this is more than I can follow. There was young
George Ashton--he always left before the sermon; and when taxed with it,
he said he could not bear an heretical preacher; a boy of eighteen!"

"But, dearest mamma," said Charlotte, "what _is_ to be done when a
preacher is heretical? what else can be done?--it's so distressing to a
Catholic mind."

"Catholic, Catholic!" cried Mrs. Bolton, rather vexed; "give me good old
George the Third and the Protestant religion. Those were the times!
Everything went on quietly then. We had no disputes or divisions; no
differences in families. But now it is all otherwise. My head is turned,
I declare; I hear so many strange, out-of-the-way things."

The young ladies did not answer; one looked out of the window, the other
prepared to leave the room.

"Well it's a disappointment to us all," said their mother; "you first
hindered me going, then I have hindered you. But I suspect, dear Louisa,
mine is the greater disappointment of the two."

Louisa turned round from the window.

"I value the Prayer Book as you cannot do, my love," she continued; "for
I have known what it is to one in deep affliction. May it be long,
dearest girls, before you know it in a similar way; but if affliction
comes on you, depend on it, all these new fancies and fashions will
vanish from you like the wind, and the good old Prayer Book alone will
stand you in any stead."

They were both touched.

"Come, my dears; I have spoken too seriously," she added. "Go and take
your things off, and come and let us have some quiet work before
luncheon-time."



CHAPTER IX.


Some persons fidget at intellectual difficulties, and, successfully or
not, are ever trying to solve them. Charles was of a different cast of
temper; a new idea was not lost on him, but it did not distress him, if
it was obscure, or conflicted with his habitual view of things. He let
it work its way and find its place, and shape itself within him, by the
slow spontaneous action of the mind. Yet perplexity is not in itself a
pleasant state; and he would have hastened its removal, had he been
able.

By means of conversations such as those which we have related (to which
many others might be added, which we spare the reader's patience), and
from the diversities of view which he met with in the University, he had
now come, in the course of a year, to one or two conclusions, not very
novel, but very important:--first, that there are a great many opinions
in the world on the most momentous subjects; secondly, that all are not
equally true; thirdly, that it is a duty to hold true opinions; and,
fourthly, that it is uncommonly difficult to get hold of them. He had
been accustomed, as we have seen, to fix his mind on persons, not on
opinions, and to determine to like what was good in every one; but he
had now come to perceive that, to say the least, it was not respectable
in any great question to hold false opinions. It did not matter that
such false opinions were sincerely held,--he could not feel that respect
for a person who held what Sheffield called a sham, with which he
regarded him who held a reality. White and Bateman were cases in point;
they were very good fellows, but he could not endure their unreal way of
talking, though they did not feel it to be unreal themselves. In like
manner, if the Roman Catholic system was untrue, so far was plain
(putting aside higher considerations), that a person who believed in the
power of saints, and prayed to them, was an actor in a great sham, let
him be as sincere as he would. He mistook words for things, and so far
forth, he could not respect him more than he respected White or Bateman.
And so of a Unitarian; if he believed the power of unaided human nature
to be what it was not; if by birth man is fallen, and he thought him
upright, he was holding an absurdity. He might redeem and cover this
blot by a thousand excellences, but a blot it would remain; just as we
should feel a handsome man disfigured by the loss of an eye or a hand.
And so, again, if a professing Christian made the Almighty a being of
simple benevolence, and He was, on the contrary, what the Church of
England teaches, a God who punishes for the sake of justice, such a
person was making an idol or unreality the object of his religion, and
(apart from more serious thoughts about him) so far he could not respect
him. Thus the principle of dogmatism gradually became an essential
element in Charles's religious views.

Gradually, and imperceptibly to himself; for the thoughts which we have
been tracing only came on him at spare times, and were taken up at
intervals from the point at which they were laid down. His lectures and
other duties of the place, his friends and recreations, were the staple
of the day; but there was this undercurrent ever in motion, and sounding
in his mental ear as soon as other sounds were hushed. As he dressed in
the morning, as he sat under the beeches of his college-garden, when he
strolled into the meadow, when he went into the town to pay a bill or
make a call, when he threw himself on his sofa after shutting his oak at
night, thoughts cognate with those which have been described were busy
within him.

Discussions, however, and inquiries, as far as Oxford could afford
matter for them, were for a while drawing to an end; for Trinity Sunday
was now past, and the Commemoration was close at hand. On the Sunday
before it, the University sermon happened to be preached by a
distinguished person, whom that solemnity brought up to Oxford; no less
a man than the Very Rev. Dr. Brownside, the new Dean of Nottingham, some
time Huntingdonian Professor of Divinity, and one of the acutest, if not
soundest academical thinkers of the day. He was a little, prim,
smirking, be-spectacled man, bald in front, with curly black hair
behind, somewhat pompous in his manner, with a clear musical utterance,
which enabled one to listen to him without effort. As a divine, he
seemed never to have had any difficulty on any subject; he was so clear
or so shallow, that he saw to the bottom of all his thoughts: or, since
Dr. Johnson tells us that "all shallows are clear," we may perhaps
distinguish him by both epithets. Revelation to him, instead of being
the abyss of God's counsels, with its dim outlines and broad shadows,
was a flat, sunny plain, laid out with straight macadamised roads. Not,
of course, that he denied the Divine incomprehensibility itself, with
certain heretics of old; but he maintained that in Revelation all that
was mysterious had been left out, and nothing given us but what was
practical, and directly concerned us. It was, moreover, to him a marvel,
that every one did not agree with him in taking this simple, natural
view, which he thought almost self-evident; and he attributed the
phenomenon, which was by no means uncommon, to some want of clearness of
head, or twist of mind, as the case might be. He was a popular preacher;
that is, though he had few followers, he had numerous hearers; and on
this occasion the church was overflowing with the young men of the
place.

He began his sermon by observing, that it was not a little remarkable
that there were so few good reasoners in the world, considering that the
discursive faculty was one of the characteristics of man's nature, as
contrasted with brute animals. It had indeed been said that brutes
reasoned; but this was an analogical sense of the word "reason," and an
instance of that very ambiguity of language, or confusion of thought, on
which he was animadverting. In like manner, we say that the _reason_ why
the wind blows is, that there is a change of temperature in the
atmosphere; and the _reason_ why the bells ring is, because the ringers
pull them; but who would say that the wind _reasons_ or that bells
_reason_? There was, he believed, no well-ascertained fact (an emphasis
on the word _fact_) of brutes reasoning. It had been said, indeed, that
that sagacious animal, the dog, if, in tracking his master, he met three
ways, after smelling the two, boldly pursued the third without any such
previous investigation; which, if true, would be an instance of a
disjunctive hypothetical syllogism. Also Dugald Stewart spoke of the
case of a monkey cracking nuts behind a door, which, not being a strict
imitation of anything which he could have actually seen, implied an
operation of abstraction, by which the clever brute had first ascended
to the general notion of nut-crackers, which perhaps he had seen in a
particular instance, in silver or in steel, at his master's table, and
then descending, had embodied it, thus obtained, in the shape of an
expedient of his own devising. This was what had been said: however, he
might assume on the present occasion, that the faculty of reasoning was
characteristic of the human species; and, this being the case, it
certainly was remarkable that so few persons reasoned well.

After this introduction, he proceeded to attribute to this defect the
number of religious differences in the world. He said that the most
celebrated questions in religion were but verbal ones; that the
disputants did not know their own meaning, or that of their opponents;
and that a spice of good logic would have put an end to dissensions,
which had troubled the world for centuries,--would have prevented many a
bloody war, many a fierce anathema, many a savage execution, and many a
ponderous folio. He went on to imply that in fact there was no truth or
falsehood in the received dogmas in theology; that they were modes,
neither good nor bad in themselves, but personal, national, or periodic,
in which the intellect reasoned upon the great truths of religion; that
the fault lay, not in holding them, but in insisting on them, which was
like insisting on a Hindoo dressing like a Fin, or a regiment of
dragoons using the boomarang.

He proceeded to observe, that from what he had said, it was plain in
what point of view the Anglican formularies were to be regarded; viz.
they were _our_ mode of expressing everlasting truths, which might be as
well expressed in other ways, as any correct thinker would be able to
see. Nothing, then, was to be altered in them; they were to be retained
in their integrity; but it was ever to be borne in mind that they were
Anglican theology, not theology in the abstract; and that, though the
Athanasian Creed was good for us, it did not follow that it was good for
our neighbours; rather, that what seemed the very reverse might suit
others better, might be _their_ mode of expressing the same truths.

He concluded with one word in favour of Nestorius, two for Abelard,
three for Luther, "that great mind," as he worded it, "who saw that
churches, creeds, rites, persons, were nought in religion, and that the
inward spirit, _faith_," as he himself expressed it, "was all in all;"
and with a hint that nothing would go well in the University till this
great principle was so far admitted, as to lead its members--not,
indeed, to give up their own distinctive formularies, no--but to
consider the direct contradictories of them equally pleasing to the
divine Author of Christianity.

Charles did not understand the full drift of the sermon; but he
understood enough to make him feel that it was different from any sermon
he had heard in his life. He more than doubted, whether, if his good
father had heard it, he would not have made it an exception to his
favourite dictum. He came away marvelling with himself what the preacher
could mean, and whether he had misunderstood him. Did he mean that
Unitarians were only bad reasoners, and might be as good Christians as
orthodox believers? He could mean nothing else. But what if, after all,
he was right? He indulged the thought awhile. "Then every one is what
Sheffield calls a sham, more or less; and there was no reason for being
annoyed at any one. Then I was right originally in wishing to take every
one for what he was. Let me think; every one a sham ... shams are
respectable, or rather no one is respectable. We can't do without some
outward form of belief; one is not truer than another; that is, all are
equally true.... _All_ are true.... That is the better way of taking it;
none are shams, all are true.... All are _true_! impossible! one as true
as another! why then it is as true that our Lord is a mere man, as that
He is God. He could not possibly mean this; what _did_ he mean?"

So Charles went on, painfully perplexed, yet out of this perplexity two
convictions came upon him, the first of them painful too; that he could
not take for gospel everything that was said, even by authorities of the
place and divines of name; and next, that his former amiable feeling of
taking every one for what he was, was a dangerous one, leading with
little difficulty to a sufferance of every sort of belief, and
legitimately terminating in the sentiment expressed in Pope's Universal
Prayer, which his father had always held up to him as a pattern specimen
of shallow philosophism:--

    "Father of all, in every age,
      In every clime adored,
    By saint, by savage, and by sage,
      Jehovah, Jove, or Lord."



CHAPTER X.


Charles went up this term for his first examination, and this caused him
to remain in Oxford some days after the undergraduate part of his
college had left for the Long Vacation. Thus he came across Mr. Vincent,
one of the junior tutors, who was kind enough to ask him to dine in
Common-room on Sunday, and on several mornings made him take some turns
with him up and down the Fellows' walk in the college garden.

A few years make a great difference in the standing of men at Oxford,
and this made Mr. Vincent what is called a don in the eyes of persons
who were very little younger than himself. Besides, Vincent looked much
older than he really was; he was of a full habit, with a florid
complexion and large blue eyes, and showed a deal of linen at his bosom,
and full wristbands at his cuffs. Though a clever man, and a hard reader
and worker, and a capital tutor, he was a good feeder as well; he ate
and drank, he walked and rode, with as much heart as he lectured in
Aristotle, or crammed in Greek plays. What is stranger still, with all
this he was something of a valetudinarian. He had come off from school
on a foundation fellowship, and had the reputation both at school and
in the University of being a first-rate scholar. He was a strict
disciplinarian in his way, had the undergraduates under his thumb, and
having some _bonhomie_ in his composition, was regarded by them with
mingled feelings of fear and good will. They laughed at him, but
carefully obeyed him. Besides this he preached a good sermon, read
prayers with unction, and in his conversation sometimes had even a touch
of evangelical spirituality. The young men even declared they could tell
how much port he had taken in Common-room by the devoutness of his
responses in evening-chapel; and it was on record that once, during the
Confession, he had, in the heat of his contrition, shoved over the huge
velvet cushion in which his elbows were imbedded upon the heads of the
gentlemen commoners who sat under him.

He had just so much originality of mind as gave him an excuse for being
"his own party" in religion, or what he himself called being "no party
man;" and just so little that he was ever mistaking shams for truths,
and converting pompous nothings into oracles. He was oracular in his
manner, denounced parties and party-spirit, and thought to avoid the one
and the other by eschewing all persons, and holding all opinions. He had
a great idea of the _via media_ being the truth; and to obtain it,
thought it enough to flee from extremes, without having any very
definite mean to flee to. He had not clearness of intellect enough to
pursue a truth to its limits, nor boldness enough to hold it in its
simplicity; but he was always saying things and unsaying them, balancing
his thoughts in impossible attitudes, and guarding his words by
unintelligible limitations. As to the men and opinions of the day and
place, he would in the main have agreed with them, had he let himself
alone; but he was determined to have an intellect of his own, and this
put him to great shifts when he would distinguish himself from them. Had
he been older than they, he would have talked of "young heads," "hot
heads," and the like; but since they were grave and cool men, and outran
him by fourteen or fifteen years, he found nothing better than to shake
his head, mutter against party-spirit, refuse to read their books, lest
he should be obliged to agree with them, and make a boast of avoiding
their society. At the present moment he was on the point of starting for
a continental tour to recruit himself after the labours of an Oxford
year; meanwhile he was keeping hall and chapel open for such men as were
waiting either for Responsions, or for their battel money; and he took
notice of Reding as a clever, modest youth of whom something might be
made. Under this view of him, he had, among other civilities, asked him
to breakfast a day or two before he went down.

A tutor's breakfast is always a difficult affair both for host and
guests; and Vincent piqued himself on the tact with which he managed it.
The material part was easy enough; there were rolls, toast, muffins,
eggs, cold lamb, strawberries, on the table; and in due season the
college-servant brought in mutton-cutlets and broiled ham; and every one
ate to his heart's, or rather his appetite's, content. It was a more
arduous undertaking to provide the running accompaniment of thought, or
at least of words, without which the breakfast would have been little
better than a pig-trough. The conversation or rather mono-polylogue, as
some great performer calls it, ran in somewhat of the following strain:

"Mr. Bruton," said Vincent, "what news from Staffordshire? Are the
potteries pretty quiet now? Our potteries grow in importance. You need
not look at the cup and saucer before you, Mr. Catley; those came from
Derbyshire. But you find English crockery everywhere on the Continent. I
myself found half a willow-pattern saucer in the crater of Vesuvius. Mr.
Sikes, I think _you_ have _been_ in Italy?"

"No, sir," said Sikes; "I was near going; my family set off a fortnight
ago, but I was kept here by these confounded smalls."

"Your _Responsiones_," answered the tutor in a tone of rebuke; "an
unfortunate delay for you, for it is to be an unusually fine season, if
the meteorologists of the sister University are right in their
predictions. Who is in the Responsion schools, Mr. Sikes?"

"Butson of Leicester is the strict one, sir; he plucks one man in three.
He plucked last week Patch of St. George's, and Patch has taken his oath
he'll shoot him; and Butson has walked about ever since with a bulldog."

"These are reports, Mr. Sikes, which often flit about, but must not be
trusted. Mr. Patch could not have given a better proof that his
rejection was deserved."

A pause--during which poor Vincent hastily gobbled up two or three
mouthfuls of bread and butter, the knives and forks meanwhile clinking
upon his guests' plates.

"Sir, is it true," began one of his guests at length, "that the old
Principal is going to be married?"

"These are matters, Mr. Atkins," answered Vincent, "which we should
always inquire about at the fountain-head; _antiquam exquirite matrem_,
or rather _patrem_; ha, ha! Take some more tea, Mr. Reding; it won't
hurt your nerves. I am rather choice in my tea; this comes overland
through Russia; the sea-air destroys the flavour of our common tea.
Talking of air, Mr. Tenby, I think you are a chemist. Have you paid
attention to the recent experiments on the composition and resolution of
air? Not? I am surprised at it; they are well worth your most serious
consideration. It is now pretty well ascertained that inhaling gases is
the cure for all kinds of diseases. People are beginning to talk of the
gas-cure, as they did of the water-cure. The great foreign chemist,
Professor Scaramouch, has the credit of the discovery. The effects are
astounding, quite astounding; and there are several remarkable
coincidences. You know medicines are always unpleasant, and so these
gases are always fetid. The Professor cures by stenches, and has brought
his science to such perfection that he actually can classify them. There
are six elementary stenches, and these spread into a variety of
subdivisions? What do you say, Mr. Reding? Distinctive? Yes, there is
something very distinctive in smells. But what is most gratifying of
all, and is the great coincidence I spoke of, his ultimate resolution of
fetid gases assigns to them the very same precise number as is given to
existing complaints in the latest treatises on pathology. Each complaint
has its gas. And, what is still more singular, an exhausted receiver is
a specific for certain desperate disorders. For instance, it has
effected several cures of hydrophobia. Mr. Seaton," he continued to a
freshman, who, his breakfast finished, was sitting uncomfortably on his
chair, looking down and playing with his knife--"Mr. Seaton, you are
looking at that picture"--it was almost behind Seaton's back--"I don't
wonder at it; it was given me by my good old mother, who died many years
ago. It represents some beautiful Italian scenery."

Vincent stood up, and his party after him, and all crowded round the
picture.

"I prefer the green of England," said Reding.

"England has not that brilliant variety of colour," said Tenby.

"But there is something so soothing in green."

"You know, of course, Mr. Reding," said the tutor, "that there is plenty
of green in Italy, and in winter even more than in England; only there
are other colours too."

"But I can't help fancying," said Charles, "that that mixture of colours
takes off from it the repose of English scenery."

"The repose, for instance," said Tenby, "of Binsey Common, or Port
Meadow in winter."

"Say in summer," said Reding; "if you choose place, I will choose time.
I think the University goes down just when Oxford begins to be most
beautiful. The walks and meadows are so fragrant and bright now, the hay
half carried, and the short new grass appearing."

"Reding ought to live here all through the Long," said Tenby: "does any
one live through the Vacation, sir, in Oxford?"

"Do you mean they die before the end of it, Mr. Tenby?" asked Vincent.
"It can't be denied," he continued, "that many, like Mr. Reding, think
it a most pleasant time. _I_ am fond of Oxford; but it is not my
_habitat_ out of term-time."

"Well, I think I should like to make it so," said Charles, "but, I
suppose, undergraduates are not allowed."

Mr. Vincent answered with more than necessary gravity, "No;" it rested
with the Principal; but he conceived that he would not consent to it.
Vincent added that certainly there _were_ parties who remained in Oxford
through the Long Vacation. It was said mysteriously.

Charles answered that, if it was against college rules, there was no
help for it; else, were he reading for his degree, he should like
nothing better than to pass the Long Vacation in Oxford, if he might
judge by the pleasantness of the last ten days.

"That is a compliment, Mr. Reding, to your company," said Vincent.

At this moment the door opened, and in came the manciple with the dinner
paper, which Mr. Vincent had formally to run his eye over. "Watkins," he
said, giving it back to him, "I almost think to-day is one of the Fasts
of the Church. Go and look, Watkins, and bring me word."

The astonished manciple, who had never been sent on such a commission in
his whole career before, hastened out of the room, to task his wits how
best to fulfil it. The question seemed to strike the company as
forcibly, for there was a sudden silence, which was succeeded by a
shuffling of feet and a leave-taking; as if, though they had secured
their ham and mutton at breakfast, they did not like to risk their
dinner. Watkins returned sooner than could have been expected. He said
that Mr. Vincent was right; to-day he had found was "the feast of the
Apostles."

"The Vigil of St. Peter, you mean, Watkins," said Mr. Vincent; "I
thought so. Then let us have a plain beefsteak and a saddle of mutton;
no Portugal onions, Watkins, or currant-jelly; and some simple pudding,
Charlotte pudding, Watkins--that will do."

Watkins vanished. By this time, Charles found himself alone with the
college authority; who began to speak to him in a more confidential
tone.

"Mr. Reding," said he, "I did not like to question you before the
others, but I conceive you had no particular _meaning_ in your praise of
Oxford in the Long Vacation? In the mouths of some it would have been
suspicious."

Charles was all surprise.

"To tell the truth, Mr. Reding, as things stand," he proceeded, "it is
often a mark of _party_, this residence in the Vacation; though, of
course, there is nothing in the _thing_ itself but what is perfectly
natural and right."

Charles was all attention.

"My good sir," the tutor proceeded, "avoid parties; be sure to avoid
party. You are young in your career among us. I always feel anxious
about young men of talent; there is the greatest danger of the talent
of the University being absorbed in party."

Reding expressed a hope that nothing he had done had given cause to his
tutor's remark.

"No," replied Mr. Vincent, "no;" yet with some slight hesitation; "no, I
don't know that it has. But I have thought some of your remarks and
questions at lecture were like a person pushing things _too far_, and
wishing to form a _system_."

Charles was so much taken aback by the charge, that the unexplained
mystery of the Long Vacation went out of his head. He said he was "very
sorry," and "obliged;" and tried to recollect what he could have said to
give ground to Mr. Vincent's remark. Not being able at the moment to
recollect, he went on. "I assure you, sir, I know so little of parties
in the place, that I hardly know their leaders. I have heard persons
mentioned, but, if I tried, I think I should, in some cases, mismatch
names and opinions."

"I believe it," said Vincent; "but you are young; I am cautioning you
against _tendencies_. You may suddenly find yourself absorbed before you
know where you are."

Charles thought this a good opportunity of asking some questions in
detail, about points which puzzled him. He asked whether Dr. Brownside
was considered a safe divine to follow.

"I hold, d'ye see," answered Vincent, "that all errors are counterfeits
of truth. Clever men say true things, Mr. Reding, true in their
substance, but," sinking his voice to a whisper, "they go _too far_. It
might even be shown that all sects are in one sense but parts of the
Catholic Church. I don't say true parts, that is a further question; but
they _embody_ great _principles_. The Quakers represent the principle of
simplicity and evangelical poverty; they even have a dress of their own,
like monks. The Independents represent the rights of the laity; the
Wesleyans cherish the devotional principle; the Irvingites, the
symbolical and mystical; the High Church party, the principle of
obedience; the Liberals are the guardians of reason. No party, then, I
conceive, is entirely right or entirely wrong. As to Dr. Brownside,
there certainly have been various opinions entertained about his
divinity; still, he is an able man, and I think you will gain _good_,
gain _good_ from his teaching. But mind, I don't _recommend_ him; yet I
respect him, and I consider that he says many things very well worth
your attention. I would advise you, then, to accept the _good_ which his
sermons offer, without committing yourself to the _bad_. That, depend
upon it, Mr. Reding, is the golden though the obvious rule in these
matters."

Charles said, in answer, that Mr. Vincent was overrating his powers;
that he had to learn before he could judge; and that he wished very much
to know whether Vincent could recommend him any book, in which he might
see at once _what_ the true Church-of-England doctrine was on a number
of points which perplexed him.

Mr. Vincent replied, he must be on his guard against dissipating his
mind with such reading, at a time when his University duties had a
definite claim upon him. He ought to avoid all controversies of the
day, all authors of the day. He would advise him to read _no_ living
authors. "Read dead authors alone," he continued; "dead authors are
safe. Our great divines," and he stood upright, "were models; 'there
were giants on the earth in those days,' as King George the Third had
once said of them to Dr. Johnson. They had that depth, and power, and
gravity, and fulness, and erudition; and they were so racy, always racy,
and what might be called English. They had that richness, too, such a
mine of thought, such a world of opinion, such activity of mind, such
inexhaustible resource, such diversity, too. Then they were so eloquent;
the majestic Hooker, the imaginative Taylor, the brilliant Hall, the
learning of Barrow, the strong sense of South, the keen logic of
Chillingworth, good, honest old Burnet," etc., etc.

There did not seem much reason why he should stop at one moment more
than another; at length, however, he did stop. It was prose, but it was
pleasant prose to Charles; he knew just enough about these writers to
feel interested in hearing them talked about, and to him Vincent seemed
to be saying a good deal, when in fact he was saying very little. When
he stopped, Charles said he believed that there were persons in the
University who were promoting the study of these authors.

Mr. Vincent looked grave. "It is true," he said; "but, my young friend,
I have already hinted to you that indifferent things are perverted to
the purposes of _party_. At this moment the names of some of our
greatest divines are little better than a watchword by which the
opinions of living individuals are signified."

"Which opinions, I suppose," Charles answered, "are not to be found in
those authors."

"I'll not say that," said Mr. Vincent. "I have the greatest respect for
the individuals in question, and I am not denying that they have done
good to our Church by drawing attention in this lax day to the old
Church-of-England divinity. But it is one thing to agree with these
gentlemen; another," laying his hand on Charles's shoulder, "another to
belong to their party. Do not make man your master; get good from all;
think well of all persons, and you will be a wise man."

Reding inquired, with some timidity, if this was not something like what
Dr. Brownside had said in the University pulpit; but perhaps the latter
advocated a toleration of opinions in a different sense? Mr. Vincent
answered rather shortly, that he had not heard Dr. Brownside's sermon;
but, for himself, he had been speaking only of persons in our own
communion.

"Our Church," he said, "admitted of great liberty of thought within her
pale. Even our greatest divines differed from each other in many
respects; nay, Bishop Taylor differed from himself. It was a great
principle in the English Church. Her true children agree to differ. In
truth," he continued, "there is that robust, masculine, noble
independence in the English mind, which refuses to be tied down to
artificial shapes, but is like, I will say, some great and beautiful
production of nature,--a tree, which is rich in foliage and fantastic
in limb, no sickly denizen of the hothouse, or helpless dependent of
the garden wall, but in careless magnificence sheds its fruits upon the
free earth, for the bird of the air and the beast of the field, and all
sorts of cattle, to eat thereof and rejoice."

When Charles came away, he tried to think what he had gained by his
conversation with Mr. Vincent; not exactly what he had wanted, some
practical rules to guide his mind and keep him steady; but still some
useful hints. He had already been averse to parties, and offended at
what he saw of individuals attached to them. Vincent had confirmed him
in his resolution to keep aloof from them, and to attend to his duties
in the place. He felt pleased to have had this talk with him; but what
could he mean by suspecting a tendency in himself to push things too
far, and thereby to implicate himself in party? He was obliged to resign
himself to ignorance on the subject, and to be content with keeping a
watch over himself in future.



CHAPTER XI.


No opportunity has occurred of informing the reader that, during the
last week or two, Charles had accidentally been a good deal thrown
across Willis, the _umbra_ of White at Bateman's breakfast-party. He had
liked his looks on that occasion, when he was dumb; he did not like him
so much when he heard him talk; still he could not help being interested
in him, and not the least for this reason, that Willis seemed to have
taken a great fancy to himself. He certainly did court Charles, and
seemed anxious to stand well with him. Charles, however, did not like
his mode of talking better than he did White's; and when he first saw
his rooms, there was much in them which shocked both his good sense and
his religious principles. A large ivory crucifix, in a glass case, was a
conspicuous ornament between the windows; an engraving, representing the
Blessed Trinity, as is usual in Catholic countries, hung over the
fireplace, and a picture of the Madonna and St. Dominic was opposite to
it. On the mantelpiece were a rosary, a thuribulum, and other tokens of
Catholicism, of which Charles did not know the uses; a missal, ritual,
and some Catholic tracts, lay on the table; and, as he happened to come
on Willis unexpectedly, he found him sitting in a vestment more like a
cassock than a reading-gown, and engaged upon some portion of the
Breviary. Virgil and Sophocles, Herodotus and Cicero seemed, as impure
pagans, to have hid themselves in corners, or flitted away, before the
awful presence of the Ancient Church. Charles had taken upon himself to
protest against some of these singularities, but without success.

On the evening before his departure for the country he had occasion to
go towards Folly Bridge to pay a bill, when he was startled, as he
passed what he had ever taken for a dissenting chapel, to see Willis
come out of it. He hardly could believe he saw correctly; he knew,
indeed, that Willis had been detained in Oxford, as he had been himself;
but what had compelled him to a visit so extraordinary as that which he
had just made, Charles had no means of determining.

"Willis!" he cried, as he stopped.

Willis coloured, and tried to look easy.

"Do come a few paces with me," said Charles. "What in the world has
taken you there? Is it not a dissenting meeting?"

"Dissenting meeting!" cried Willis, surprised and offended in his turn:
"what on earth could make you think I would go to a dissenting meeting?"

"Well, I beg your pardon," said Charles; "I recollect now: it's the
exhibition room. However, _once_ it _was_ a chapel: that's my mistake.
Isn't it what is called 'the Old Methodist Chapel?' I never was there;
they showed there the _Dio-astro-doxon_, so I think they called it."
Charles talked on, to cover his own mistake, for he was ashamed of the
charge he had made.

Willis did not know whether he was in jest or earnest. "Reding," he
said, "don't go on; you offend me."

"Well, what is it?" said Charles.

"You know well enough," answered Willis, "though you wish to annoy me."

"I don't indeed."

"It's the Catholic church," said Willis.

Reding was silent a moment; then he said, "Well, I don't think you have
mended the matter; it _is_ a dissenting meeting, call it what you will,
though not the kind of one I meant."

"What can you mean?" asked Willis.

"Rather, what mean _you_ by going to such places?" retorted Charles;
"why, it is against your oath."

"My oath! what oath?"

"There's not an oath now; but there was an oath till lately," said
Reding; "and we still make a very solemn engagement. Don't you recollect
your matriculation at the Vice-Chancellor's, and what oaths and
declarations you made?"

"I don't know what I made: my tutor told me nothing about it. I signed a
book or two."

"You did more," said Reding. "I was told most carefully. You solemnly
engaged to keep the statutes; and one statute is, not to go into any
dissenting chapel or meeting whatever."

"Catholics are not Dissenters," said Willis.

"Oh, don't speak so," said Charles; "you know it's meant to include
them. The statute wishes us to keep from all places of worship whatever
but our own."

"But it is an illegal declaration or vow," said Willis, "and so not
binding."

"Where did you find that get-off?" said Charles; "the priest put that
into your head."

"I don't know the priest; I never spoke a word to him," answered Willis.

"Well, any how, it's not your own answer," said Reding; "and does not
help you. I am no casuist; but if it is an illegal engagement you should
not continue to enjoy the benefit of it."

"What benefit?"

"Your cap and gown; a university education; the chance of a scholarship
or fellowship. Give up these, and then plead, if you will, and lawfully,
that you are quit of your engagement; but don't sail under false
colours: don't take the benefit and break the stipulation."

"You take it too seriously; there are half a hundred statutes _you_
don't keep, any more than I. You are most inconsistent."

"Well, if we don't keep them," said Charles, "I suppose it is in points
where the authorities don't enforce them; for instance, they don't mean
us to dress in brown, though the statutes order it."

"But they _do_ mean to keep you from walking down High Street in
beaver," answered Willis; "for the Proctors march up and down, and send
you back, if they catch you."

"But _this_ is a different matter," said Reding, changing his ground;
"this is a matter of religion. It can't be right to go to strange places
of worship or meetings."

"Why," said Willis, "if we are one Church with the Roman Catholics, I
can't make out for the life of me how it's wrong for us to go to them or
them to us."

"I'm no divine, I don't understand what is meant by one Church," said
Charles; "but I know well that there's not a bishop, not a clergyman,
not a sober churchman in the land but would give it against you. It's a
sheer absurdity."

"Don't talk in that way," answered Willis, "please don't. I feel all my
heart drawn to the Catholic worship; our own service is so cold."

"That's just what every stiff Dissenter says," answered Charles; "every
poor cottager, too, who knows no better, and goes after the
Methodists--after her dear Mr. Spoutaway or the preaching cobbler. _She_
says (I have heard them), 'Oh, sir, I suppose we ought to go where we
get most good. Mr. So-and-so goes to my heart--he goes through me.'"

Willis laughed; "Well, not a bad reason, as times go, _I_ think," said
he: "poor souls, what better means of judging have they? how can you
hope they will like 'the Scripture moveth us'? Really you are making too
much of it. This is only the second time I have been there, and, I tell
you in earnest, I find my mind filled with awe and devotion there; as I
think you would too. I really am better for it; I cannot pray in church;
there's a bad smell there, and the pews hide everything; I can't see
through a deal board. But here, when I went in, I found all still, and
calm, the space open, and, in the twilight, the Tabernacle just visible,
pointed out by the lamp."

Charles looked very uncomfortable. "Really, Willis," he said, "I don't
know what to say to you. Heaven forbid that I should speak against the
Roman Catholics; I know nothing about them. But _this_ I know, that you
are not a Roman Catholic, and have no business there. If they have such
sacred things among them as those you allude to, still these are not
yours; you are an intruder. I know nothing about it; I don't like to
give a judgment, I am sure. But it's a tampering with sacred things;
running here and there, touching and tasting, taking up, putting down. I
don't like it," he added, with vehemence; "it's taking liberties with
God."

"Oh, my dear Reding, please don't speak so very severely," said poor
Willis; "now what have I done more than you would do yourself, were you
in France or Italy? Do you mean to say you wouldn't enter the churches
abroad?"

"I will only decide about what is before me," answered Reding; "when I
go abroad, then will be the time to think about your question. It is
quite enough to know what we ought to do at the moment, and I am clear
you have been doing wrong. How did you find your way there?"

"White took me."

"Then there is one man in the world more thoughtless than you: do many
of the gownsmen go there?"

"Not that I know of; one or two have gone from curiosity; there is no
practice of going, at least this is what I am told."

"Well," said Charles, "you must promise me you will not go again. Come,
we won't part till you do."

"That is too much," said Willis, gently; then, disengaging his arm from
Reding's, he suddenly darted away from him, saying, "Good-bye, good-bye;
to our next merry meeting--_au revoir_."

There was no help for it. Charles walked slowly home, saying to himself:
"What if, after all, the Roman Catholic Church is the true Church? I
wish I knew what to believe; no one will tell me what to believe; I am
so left to myself." Then he thought: "I suppose I know quite enough for
practice--more than I _do_ practise; and I ought surely to be contented
and thankful."



CHAPTER XII.


Charles was an affectionate son, and the Long Vacation passed very
happily at home. He was up early, and read steadily till luncheon, and
then he was at the service of his father, mother, and sisters for the
rest of the day. He loved the calm, quiet country; he loved the
monotonous flow of time, when each day is like the other; and, after the
excitement of Oxford, the secluded parsonage was like a haven beyond the
tossing of the waves. The whirl of opinions and perplexities which had
encircled him at Oxford now were like the distant sound of the
ocean--they reminded him of his present security. The undulating
meadows, the green lanes, the open heath, the common with its
wide-spreading dusky elms, the high timber which fringed the level path
from village to village, ever and anon broken and thrown into groups, or
losing itself in copses--even the gate, and the stile, and the
turnpike-road had the charm, not of novelty, but of long familiar use;
they had the poetry of many recollections. Nor was the dilapidated,
deformed church, with its outside staircases, its unsightly galleries,
its wide intruded windows, its uncouth pews, its low nunting table, its
forlorn vestry, and its damp earthy smell, without its pleasant
associations to the inner man; for there it was that for many a year,
Sunday after Sunday, he had heard his dear father read and preach; there
were the old monuments, with Latin inscriptions and strange devices, the
black boards with white letters, the Resurgams and grinning skulls, the
fire-buckets, the faded militia-colours, and, almost as much a fixture,
the old clerk, with a Welsh wig over his ears, shouting the responses
out of place--which had arrested his imagination, and awed him when a
child. And then there was his home itself; its well-known rooms, its
pleasant routine, its order, and its comfort--an old and true friend,
the dearer to him because he had made new ones. "Where I shall be in
time to come I know not," he said to himself; "I am but a boy; many
things which I have not a dream of, which my imagination cannot compass,
may come on me before I die--if I live; but here at least, and now, I am
happy, and I will enjoy my happiness. Some say that school is the
pleasantest time of one's life; this does not exclude college. I suppose
care is what makes life so wearing. At present I have no care, no
responsibility; I suppose I shall feel a little when I go up for my
degree. Care is a terrible thing; I have had a little of it at times at
school. What a strange thing to fancy, I shall be one day twenty-five or
thirty! How the weeks are flying by! the Vacation will soon be over. Oh,
I am so happy, it quite makes me afraid. Yet I shall have strength for
my day."

Sometimes, however, his thoughts took a sadder turn, and he anticipated
the future more vividly than he enjoyed the present. Mr. Malcolm had
come to see them, after an absence from the parsonage for several years:
his visit was a great pleasure to Mr. Reding, and not much less to
himself, to whom a green home and a family circle were agreeable sights,
after his bachelor-life at college. He had been a great favourite with
Charles and his sisters as children, though now his popularity with them
for the most part rested on the memory of the past. When he told them
amusing stories, or allowed them to climb his knee and take off his
spectacles, he did all that was necessary to gain their childish hearts;
more is necessary to conciliate the affection of young men and women;
and thus it is not surprising that he lived in their minds principally
by prescription. He neither knew this, nor would have thought much about
it if he had; for, like many persons of advancing years, he made himself
very much his own centre, did not care to enter into the minds of
others, did not consult for them, or find his happiness in them. He was
kind and friendly to the young people, as he would be kind to a
canary-bird or a lap-dog; it was a sort of external love; and, though
they got on capitally with him, they did not miss him when gone, nor
would have been much troubled to know that he was never to come again.
Charles drove him about the country, stamped his letters, secured him
his newspapers from the neighbouring town, and listened to his stories
about Oxford and Oxford men. He really liked him, and wished to please
him; but, as to consulting him in any serious matter, or going to him
for comfort in affliction, he would as soon have thought of betaking him
to Dan the pedlar, or old Isaac who played the Sunday bassoon.

"How have your peaches been this year, Malcolm?" said Mr. Reding one day
after dinner to his guest.

"You ought to know that we have no peaches in Oxford," answered Mr.
Malcolm.

"My memory plays me false, then: I had a vision of, at least, October
peaches on one occasion, and fine ones too."

"Ah, you mean at old Tom Spindle's, the jockey's," answered Mr. Malcolm;
"it's true, he had a bit of a brick wall, and was proud of it. But
peaches come when there is no one in Oxford to eat them; so either the
tree, or at least the fruit, is a great rarity there. Oxford wasn't so
empty once; you have old mulberry-trees there in record of better days."

"At that time, too," said Charles, "I suppose, the more expensive fruits
were not cultivated. Mulberries are the witness, not only of a full
college, but of simple tastes."

"Charles is secretly cutting at our hothouse here," said Mr. Reding; "as
if our first father did not prefer fruits and flowers to beef and
mutton."

"No, indeed," said Charles, "I think peaches capital things; and as to
flowers, I am even too fond of scents."

"Charles has some theory, then, about scents, I'll be bound," said his
father; "I never knew a boy who so placed his likings and dislikings on
fancies. He began to eat olives directly he read the OEdipus of
Sophocles; and, I verily believe, will soon give up oranges from his
dislike to King William."

"Every one does so," said Charles: "who would not be in the fashion?
There's Aunt Kitty, she calls a bonnet, 'a sweet' one year, which makes
her 'a perfect fright' the next."

"You're right, papa, in this instance," said his mother; "I know he has
some good reason, though I never can recollect it, why he smells a rose,
or distils lavender. What is it, my dear Mary?"

"'Relics ye are of Eden's bowers,'" said she.

"Why, sir, that was precisely your own reason just now," said Charles to
his father.

"There's more than that," said Mrs. Reding, "if I knew what it was."

"He thinks the scent more intellectual than the other senses," said
Mary, smiling.

"Such a boy for paradoxes!" said his mother.

"Well, so it is in a certain way," said Charles, "but I can't explain.
Sounds and scents are more ethereal, less material; they have no
shape--like the angels."

Mr. Malcolm laughed. "Well, I grant it, Charles," he said; "they are
length without breadth!"

"Did you ever hear the like?" said Mrs. Reding, laughing too; "don't
encourage him, Mr. Malcolm; you are worse than he. Angels length without
breadth!"

"They pass from place to place, they come, they go," continued Mr.
Malcolm.

"They conjure up the past so vividly," said Charles.

"But sounds surely more than scents," said Mr. Malcolm.

"Pardon me; the reverse as _I_ think," answered Charles.

"That _is_ a paradox, Charles," said Mr. Malcolm; "the smell of
roast-beef never went further than to remind a man of dinner; but sounds
are pathetic and inspiring."

"Well, sir, but think of this," said Charles, "scents are complete in
themselves, yet do not consist of parts. Think how very distinct the
smell of a rose is from a pink, a pink from a sweet-pea, a sweet-pea
from a stock, a stock from lilac, lilac from lavender, lavender from
jasmine, jasmine from honeysuckle, honeysuckle from hawthorn, hawthorn
from hyacinth, hyacinth"----

"Spare us," interrupted Mr. Malcolm; "you are going through the index of
Loudon!"

"And these are only the scents of flowers; how different flowers smell
from fruits, fruits from spices, spices from roast-beef or pork-cutlets,
and so on. Now, what I was coming to is this--these scents are perfectly
distinct from each other, and _sui generis_; they never can be confused;
yet each is communicated to the apprehension in an instant. Sights take
up a great space, a tune is a succession of sounds; but scents are at
once specific and complete, yet indivisible. Who can halve a scent? they
need neither time nor space; thus they are immaterial or spiritual."

"Charles hasn't been to Oxford for nothing," said his mother, laughing
and looking at Mary; "this is what I call chopping logic!"

"Well done, Charles," cried Mr. Malcolm; "and now, since you have such
clear notions of the power of smells, you ought, like the man in the
story, to be satisfied with smelling at your dinner, and grow fat upon
it. It's a shame you sit down to table."

"Well, sir," answered Charles, "some people _do_ seem to thrive on snuff
at least."

"For shame, Charles!" said Mr. Malcolm; "you have seen me use the
common-room snuff-box to keep myself awake after dinner; but nothing
more. I keep a box in my pocket merely as a bauble--it was a present.
You should have lived when I was young. There was old Dr. Troughton of
Nun's Hall, he carried his snuff loose in his pocket; and old Mrs.
Vice-Principal Daffy used to lay a train along her arm, and fire it with
her nose. Doctors of medicine took it as a preservative against
infection, and doctors of divinity against drowsiness in church."

"They take wine against infection now," said Mr. Reding; "it's a much
surer protective."

"Wine?" cried Mr. Malcolm; "oh, they didn't take less wine then, as you
and I know. On certain solemn occasions they made a point of getting
drunk, the whole college, from the Vice-Principal or Sub-Warden down to
the scouts. Heads of houses were kept in order by their wives; but I
assure you the jolly god came _very_ near Mr. Vice-Chancellor himself.
There was old Dr. Sturdy of St. Michael's, a great martinet in his time.
One day the King passed through Oxford; Sturdy, a tall, upright,
iron-faced man, had to meet him in procession at Magdalen Bridge, and
walked down with his pokers before him, gold and silver, vergers, cocked
hats, and the rest. There wasn't one of them that wasn't in liquor.
Think of the good old man's horror, Majesty in the distance, and his own
people swaying to and fro under his very nose, and promising to leave
him for the gutter before the march was ended."

"No one can get tipsy with snuff, I grant," said Mr. Reding; "but if
wine has done some men harm it has done others a deal of good."

"Hair-powder is as bad as snuff," said Mary, preferring the former
subject; "there's old Mr. Butler of Cooling, his wig is so large and
full of powder that when he nods his head I am sure to sneeze."

"Ah, but all these are accidents, young lady," said Mr. Malcolm, put out
by this block to the conversation, and running off somewhat testily in
another direction; "accidents after all. Old people are always the same;
so are young. Each age has its own fashion: if Mr. Butler wore no wig,
still there would be something about him odd and strange to young eyes.
Charles, don't you be an old bachelor. No one cares for old people.
Marry, my dear boy; look out betimes for a virtuous young woman, who
will make you an attentive wife."

Charles slightly coloured, and his sister laughed as if there was some
understanding between them.

Mr. Malcolm continued: "Don't wait till you want some one to buy flannel
for your rheumatism or gout; marry betimes."

"You will let me take my degree first, sir?" said Charles.

"Certainly, take your M.A.'s if you will; but don't become an old
Fellow. Don't wait till forty; people make the strangest mistakes."

"Dear Charles will make a kind and affectionate husband, I am sure,"
said his mother, "when the time comes; and come it will, though not just
yet. Yes, my dear boy," she added, nodding at him, "you will not be able
to escape your destiny, when it comes."

"Charles, you must know," said Mr. Reding to his guest, "is romantic in
his notions just now. I believe it is that he thinks no one good enough
for him. Oh, my dear Charlie, don't let me pain you, I meant nothing
serious; but somehow he has not hit it off very well with some young
ladies here, who expected more attention than he cared to give."

"I am sure," said Mary, "Charles is most attentive whenever there is
occasion, and always has his eyes about him to do a service; only he's a
bad hand at small-talk."

"All will come in time, my dear," said his mother; "a good son makes a
good husband."

"And a very loving papa," said Mr. Malcolm.

"Oh, spare me, sir," said poor Charles; "how have I deserved this?"

"Well," proceeded Mr. Malcolm, "and young ladies ought to marry betimes
too."

"Come, Mary, _your_ turn is coming," cried Charles; and taking his
sister's hand, he threw up the sash, and escaped with her into the
garden.

They crossed the lawn, and took refuge in a shrubbery. "How strange it
is!" said Mary, as they strolled along the winding walk; "we used to
like Mr. Malcolm so, as children; but now--I like him _still_, but he is
not the same."

"We are older," said her brother; "different things take us now."

"He used to be so kind," continued she; "when he was coming, the day was
looked out for; and mamma said, 'Take care you be good when Mr. Malcolm
comes.' And he was sure to bring a twelfth-cake, or a Noah's ark, or
something of the sort. And then he romped with us, and let us make fun
of him."

"Indeed it isn't he that is changed," said Charles, "but we; we are in
the time of life to change; we have changed already, and shall change
still."

"What a mercy it is," said his sister, "that we are so happy among
ourselves as a family! If we change, we shall change together, as apples
of one stock; if one fails, the other does. Thus we are always the same
to each other."

"It is a mercy, indeed," said Charles; "we are so blest that I am
sometimes quite frightened."

His sister looked earnestly at him. He laughed a little to turn off the
edge of his seriousness. "You would know what I mean, dear Mary, if you
had read Herodotus. A Greek tyrant feared his own excessive prosperity,
and therefore made a sacrifice to fortune. I mean, he gave up something
which he held most precious; he took a ring from his finger and cast it
into the sea, lest the Deity should afflict him, if he did not afflict
himself."

"My dear Charles," she answered, "if we do but enjoy God's gifts
thankfully, and take care not to set our hearts on them or to abuse
them, we need not fear for their continuance."

"Well," said Charles, "there's one text which has ever dwelt on my mind,
'Rejoice with trembling.' I can't take full, unrestrained pleasure in
anything."

"Why not, if you look at it as God's gift?" asked Mary.

"I don't defend it," he replied; "it's my way; it may be a selfish
prudence, for what I know; but I am sure that, did I give my heart to
any creature, I should be withdrawing it from God. How easily could I
idolize these sweet walks, which we have known for so many years!"

They walked on in silence. "Well," said Mary, "whatever we lose, no
change can affect us as a family. While we are we, we are to each other
what nothing external can be to us, whether as given or as taken away."

Charles made no answer.

"What has come to you, dear Charles?" she said, stopping and looking at
him; then, gently removing his hair and smoothing his forehead, she
said, "you are so sad to-day."

"Dearest Mary," he made answer, "nothing's the matter, indeed. I think
it is Mr. Malcolm who has put me out. It's so stupid to talk of the
prospects of a boy like me. Don't look so, I mean nothing; only it
annoys me."

Mary smiled.

"What I mean is," continued Charles, "that we can rely on nothing here,
and are fools if we build on the future."

"We can rely on each other," she repeated.

"Ah, dear Mary, don't say so; it frightens me."

She looked round at him surprised, and almost frightened herself.

"Dearest," he continued, "I mean nothing; only everything is so
uncertain here below."

"We are sure of each other, Charles."

"Yes, Mary," and he kissed her affectionately, "it is true, most true;"
then he added, "all I meant was that it seems presumptuous to say so.
David and Jonathan were parted; St. Paul and St. Barnabas."

Tears stood in Mary's eyes.

"Oh, what an ass I am," he said, "for thus teasing you about nothing;
no, I only mean that there is One _only_ who cannot die, who never
changes, only One. It can't be wrong to remember this. Do you recollect
Cowper's beautiful lines? I know them without having learned them--they
struck me so much the first time I read them;" and he repeated them:--

    Thou art the source and centre of all minds,
    Their only point of rest, Eternal Word.
    From Thee departing, they are lost, and rove
    At random, without honour, hope, or peace.
    From Thee is all that soothes the life of man,
    His high endeavour and his glad success,
    His strength to suffer and his will to serve.
    But oh, Thou Sovereign Giver of all good,
    Thou art of all Thy gifts Thyself the crown;
    Give what Thou canst, without Thee we are poor,
    And with Thee rich, take what Thou wilt away.



CHAPTER XIII.


October came at length, and with it Charles's thoughts were turned again
to Oxford. One or two weeks passed by; then a few days; and it was time
to be packing. His father parted with him with even greater emotion than
when he first went to school. He would himself drive him in the phaeton
to the neighbouring town, from which the omnibus ran to the railroad,
though he had the gout flying about him; and when the moment for parting
came he could not get himself to give up his hand, as if he had
something to say which he could not recollect or master.

"Well, Christmas will soon come," he said; "we must part, it's no use
delaying it. Write to us soon, dear boy; and tell us all about yourself
and your matters. Tell us about your friends; they are nice young men
apparently: but I have great confidence in your prudence; you have more
prudence than some of them. Your tutor seems a valuable man, from what
you tell me," he went on repeating what had passed between him and
Charles many times before; "a sound, well-judging man, that Mr. Vincent.
Sheffield is too clever; he is young; you have an older head. It's no
good my going on; I have said all this before; and you may be late for
the train. Well, God bless you, my dearest Charlie, and make you a
blessing. May you be happier and better than your father! I have ever
been blest all my life long--wonderfully blest. Blessings have been
poured on me from my youth, far above my deserts; may they be doubled
upon you! Good-bye, my beloved Charles, good-bye!"

Charles had to pass a day or two at the house of a relative who lived a
little way out of London. While he was there a letter arrived for him,
forwarded from home; it was from Willis, dated from London, and
announced that he had come to a very important decision, and should not
return to Oxford. Charles was fairly in the world again, plunged into
the whirl of opinions: how sad a contrast to his tranquil home! There
was no mistaking what the letter meant; and he set out at once with the
chance of finding the writer at the house from which he dated it. It was
a lodging at the west-end of town; and he reached it about noon.

He found Willis in company with a person apparently two or three years
older. Willis started on seeing him.

"Who would have thought! what brings you here?" he said; "I thought you
were in the country." Then to his companion, "This is the friend I was
speaking to you about, Morley. A happy meeting; sit down, dear Reding; I
have much to tell you."

Charles sat down all suspense, looking at Willis with such keen anxiety
that the latter was forced to cut the matter short. "Reding, I am a
Catholic."

Charles threw himself back in his chair, and turned pale.

"My dear Reding, what is the matter with you? why don't you speak to
me?"

Charles was still silent; at last, stooping forward, with his elbows on
his knees, and his head on his hands, he said, in a low voice, "O
Willis, what have you done!"

"Done?" said Willis; "what _you_ should do, and half Oxford besides. O
Reding, I'm so happy!"

"Alas, alas!" said Charles; "but what is the good of my staying?--all
good attend you, Willis; good-bye!"

"No, my good Reding, you don't leave me so soon, having found me so
unexpectedly; and you have had a long walk, I dare say; sit down,
there's a good fellow; we shall have luncheon soon, and you must not go
without taking your part in it." He took Charles's hat from him, as he
spoke; and Charles, in a mixture of feelings, let him have his way.

"O Willis, so you have separated yourself from us for ever!" he said;
"you have taken your course, we keep ours: our paths are different."

"Not so," said Willis; "you must follow me, and we shall be one still."

Charles was half offended; "Really I must go," he said, and he rose;
"you must not talk in that manner."

"Pray, forgive me," answered Willis; "I won't do so again; but I could
not help it; I am not in a common state, I'm so happy!"

A thought struck Reding. "Tell me, Willis," he said, "your exact
position; in what sense are you a Catholic? What is to prevent your
returning with me to Oxford?"

His companion interposed: "I am taking a liberty perhaps," he said; "but
Mr. Willis has been regularly received into the Catholic Church."

"I have not introduced you," said Willis. "Reding, let me introduce Mr.
Morley; Morley, Mr. Reding. Yes, Reding, I owe it to him that I am a
Catholic. I have been on a tour with him abroad. We met with a good
priest in France, who consented to receive my abjuration."

"Well, I think he might profitably have examined into your state of mind
a little before he did so," said Reding; "_you_ are not the person to
become a Catholic, Willis."

"What do you mean?"

"Because," answered Reding, "you are more of a Dissenter than a
Catholic. I beg your pardon," he added, seeing Willis look up sharply,
"let me be frank with you, pray do. You were attached to the Church of
Rome, not as a child to a mother, but in a wayward roving way, as a
matter of fancy or liking, or (excuse me) as a greedy boy to something
nice; and you pursued your object by disobeying the authorities set over
you."

It was as much as Willis could bear; he said, he thought he recollected
a text about "obeying God _rather_ than men."

"I _see_ you have disobeyed men," retorted Charles; "I _trust_ you have
been obeying God."

Willis thought him rude, and would not speak.

Mr. Morley began: "If you knew the circumstances better," he said, "you
would doubtless judge differently. I consider Mr. Willis to be just the
very person on whom it was incumbent to join the Church, and who will
make an excellent Catholic. You must blame, not the venerable priest who
received him, but me. The good man saw his devotion, his tears, his
humility, his earnest desire; but the state of his mind he learned
through me, who speak French better than Mr. Willis. However, he had
quite enough conversation with him in French and Latin. He could not
reject a postulant for salvation; it was impossible. Had you been he,
you would have done the same."

"Well, sir, perhaps I have been unjust to him and you," said Charles;
"however, I cannot augur well of this."

"You are judging, sir," answered Mr. Morley, "let me say it, of things
you do not know. You do not know what the Catholic religion is, you do
not know what its grace is, or the gift of faith."

The speaker was a layman; he spoke with earnestness the more intense,
because quiet. Charles felt himself reproved by his manner; his good
taste suggested to him that he had been too vehement in the presence of
a stranger; yet he did not feel the less confidence in his cause. He
paused before he answered; then he said briefly, that he was aware that
he did not know the Roman Catholic religion, but he knew Mr. Willis. He
could not help giving his opinion that good would not come of it.

"_I_ have ever been a Catholic," said Mr. Morley; "so far I cannot judge
of members of the Church of England; but this I know, that the Catholic
Church is the only true Church. I may be wrong in many things; I cannot
be wrong in this. This too I know, that the Catholic faith is one, and
that no other Church has faith. The Church of England has no faith. You,
my dear sir, have not faith."

This was a home-thrust; the controversies of Oxford passed before
Reding's mind; but he instantly recovered himself. "You cannot expect,"
said he, smiling, "that I, almost a boy, should be able to argue with
yourself, or to defend my Church or to explain her faith. I am content
to hold that faith, to hold what she holds, without professing to be a
divine. This is the doctrine which I have been taught at Oxford. I am
under teaching there, I am not yet taught. Excuse me, then, if I decline
an argument with you. With Mr. Willis, it is natural that I should
argue; we are equals, and understand each other; but I am no
theologian."

Here Willis cried out, "O my dear Reding, what I say is, 'Come and see.'
Don't stand at the door arguing; but enter the great home of the soul,
enter and adore."

"But," said Reding, "surely God wills us to be guided by reason; I don't
mean that reason is everything, but it is at least something. Surely we
ought not to act without it, against it."

"But is not doubt a dreadful state?" said Willis; "a most perilous
state? No state is safe but that of faith. Can it be safe to be without
faith? Now _have_ you faith in your Church? I know you well enough to
know you have not; where, then, are you?"

"Willis, you have misunderstood me most extraordinarily," said Charles:
"ten thousand thoughts pass through the mind, and if it is safe to note
down and bring against a man his stray words, I suppose there's nothing
he mayn't be accused of holding. You must be alluding to some
half-sentence or other of mine, which I have forgotten, and which was no
real sample of my sentiments. Do you mean I have no worship? and does
not worship presuppose faith? I have much to learn, I am conscious; but
I wish to learn it from the Church under whose shadow my lot is cast,
and with whom I am content."

"He confesses," said Willis, "that he has no faith; he confesses that he
is in doubt. My dear Reding, can you sincerely plead that you are in
invincible ignorance after what has passed between us? now, suppose for
an instant that Catholicism is true, is it not certain that you now have
an opportunity of embracing it? and if you do not, are you in a state to
die in?"

Reding was perplexed how to answer; that is, he could not with the
necessary quickness analyze and put into words the answer which his
reason suggested to Willis's rapid interrogatories. Mr. Morley had kept
silence, lest Charles should have two upon him at once; but when Willis
paused, and Charles did not reply, he interposed. He said that all the
calls in Scripture were obeyed with promptitude by those who were
called; and that our Lord would not suffer one man even to go and bury
his father. Reding answered, that in those cases the voice of Christ was
actually heard; He was on earth, in bodily presence; now, however, the
very question was, _which_ was the voice of Christ; and whether the
Church of Rome did or did not speak with the voice of Christ;--that
surely we ought to act prudently; that Christ could not wish us to act
otherwise; that, for himself, he had no doubt that he was in the place
where Providence wished him to be; but, even if he had any doubts
whether Christ was calling him elsewhere (which he had not), but if he
had, he should certainly think that Christ called him in the way and
method of careful examination,--that prudence was the divinely appointed
means of coming at the truth.

"Prudence!" cried Willis, "such prudence as St. Thomas's, I suppose,
when he determined to see before believing."

Charles hesitated to answer.

"I see it," continued Willis; and, starting up, he seized his arm;
"come, my dear fellow, come with me directly; let us go to the good
priest who lives two streets off. You shall be received this very day.
On with your hat." And, before Charles could show any resistance, he was
half out of the room.

He could not help laughing, in spite of his vexation; he disengaged his
arm, and deliberately sat down. "Not so fast," he said; "we are not
quite this sort of person."

Willis looked awkward for a moment; then he said, "Well, at least you
must go into a retreat; you must go forthwith. Morley, do you know when
Mr. de Mowbray or Father Agostino gives his next retreat? Reding, it is
just what you want, just what all Oxford men want; I think you will not
refuse me."

Charles looked up in his face, and smiled. "It is not my line," he said
at length. "I am on my way to Oxford. I must go. I came here to be of
use to you; I can be of none, so I must go. Would I _could_ be of
service; but it is hopeless. Oh, it makes my heart ache!" And he went on
brushing his hat with his glove, as if on the point of rising, yet loth
to rise.

Morley now struck in: he spoke all along like a gentleman, and a man of
real piety, but with a great ignorance of Protestants, or how they were
to be treated.

"Excuse me, Mr. Reding," he said, "if before you go, I say one word. I
feel very much for the struggle which is going on in your mind; and I am
sure it is not for such as me to speak harshly or unkindly to you. The
struggle between conviction and motives of this world is often long; may
it have a happy termination in your case! Do not be offended if I
suggest to you that the dearest and closest ties, such as your connexion
with the Protestant Church involves, may be on the side of the world in
certain cases. It is a sort of martyrdom to have to break such; but they
who do so have a martyr's reward. And, then, at a University you have so
many inducements to fall in with the prevailing tone of thought;
prospects, success in life, good opinion of friends--all these things
are against you. They are likely to choke the good seed. Well, I could
have wished that you had been able to follow the dictates of conscience
at once; but the conflict must continue its appointed time; we will
hope that all will end well."

"I can't persuade these good people," thought Charles, as he closed the
street-door after him, "that I am not in a state of conviction, and
struggling against it; how absurd! Here I come to reclaim a deserter,
and I am seized even bodily, and against my will all but hurried into a
profession of faith. Do these things happen to people every day? or is
there some particular fate with me thus to be brought across religious
controversies which I am not up to? I a Roman Catholic! what a contrast
all this with quiet Hartley!" naming his home. As he continued to think
on what had passed he was still less satisfied with it or with himself.
He had gone to lecture, and he had been lectured; and he had let out his
secret state of mind: no, not let out, he had nothing to let out. He had
indeed implied that he was inquiring after religious truth, but every
Protestant inquires; he would not be a Protestant if he did not. Of
course he was seeking the truth; it was his duty to do so; he
recollected distinctly his tutor laying down, on one occasion, the duty
of private judgment. This was the very difference between Protestants
and Catholics; Catholics begin with faith, Protestants with inquiry; and
he ought to have said this to Willis. He was provoked he had not said
it; it would have simplified the question, and shown how far he was from
being unsettled. Unsettled! it was most extravagant. He wished this had
but struck him during the conversation, but it was a relief that it
struck him now; it reconciled him to his position.



CHAPTER XIV.


The first day of Michaelmas term is, to an undergraduate's furniture,
the brightest day of the year. Much as Charles regretted home, he
rejoiced to see old Oxford again. The porter had acknowledged him at the
gate, and the scout had smiled and bowed, as he ran up the worn
staircase and found a blazing fire to welcome him. The coals crackled
and split, and threw up a white flame in strong contrast with the
newly-blackened bars and hobs of the grate. A shining copper kettle
hissed and groaned under the internal torment of water at boiling point.
The chimney-glass had been cleaned, the carpet beaten, the curtains
fresh glazed. A tea-tray and tea commons were placed on the table;
besides a battel paper, two or three cards from tradesmen who desired
his patronage, and a note from a friend whose term had already
commenced. The porter came in with his luggage, and had just received
his too ample remuneration, when, through the closing door, in rushed
Sheffield in his travelling dress.

"Well, old fellow, how are you?" he said, shaking both of Charles's
hands, or rather arms, with all his might; "here we are all again; I am
just come like you. Where have you been all this time? Come, tell us
all about yourself. Give me some tea, and let's have a good jolly chat."
Charles liked Sheffield, he liked Oxford, he was pleased to get back;
yet he had some remains of home-sickness on him, and was not quite in
cue for Sheffield's good-natured boisterousness. Willis's matter, too,
was still on his mind. "Have you heard the news?" said Sheffield; "I
have been long enough in college to pick it up. The kitchen-man was full
of it as I passed along. Jack's a particular friend of mine, a good
honest fellow, and has all the gossip of the place. I don't know what it
means, but Oxford has just now a very bad inside. The report is, that
some of the men have turned Romans; and they say that there are
strangers going about Oxford whom no one knows anything of. Jack, who is
a bit of a divine himself, says he heard the Principal say that, for
certain, there were Jesuits at the bottom of it; and I don't know what
he means, but he declares he saw with his own eyes the Pope walking down
High Street with the priest. I asked him how he knew it; he said he knew
the Pope by his slouching hat and his long beard; and the porter told
him it was the Pope. The Dons have met several times; and several tutors
are to be discommoned, and their names stuck up against the
buttery-door. Meanwhile the Marshal, with two bulldogs, is keeping guard
before the Catholic chapel; and, to complete it, that old drunken fellow
Topham is reported, out of malice, when called in to cut the Warden of
St. Mary's hair, to have made a clean white tonsure atop of him."

"My dear Sheffield, how you run on!" said Reding. "Well, do you know, I
can tell you a piece of real news bearing on these reports, and not of
the pleasantest. Did you know Willis of St. George's?"

"I think I once saw him at wine in your rooms; a modest, nice-looking
fellow, who never spoke a word."

"Ah, I assure you, he has a tongue in his head when it suits him,"
answered Charles: "yet I do think," he added, musingly, "he's very much
changed, and not for the better."

"Well, what's the upshot?" asked Sheffield.

"He has turned Catholic," said Charles.

"What a fool!" cried Sheffield.

There was a pause. Charles felt awkward: then he said, "I can't say I
was surprised; yet I should have been less surprised at White."

"Oh, White won't turn Catholic," said Sheffield; "he hasn't it in him.
He's a coward."

"Fools and cowards!" answered Charles: "thus you divide the world,
Sheffield? Poor Willis!" he added; "one must respect a man who acts
according to his conscience."

"What can he know of conscience?" said Sheffield; "the idea of his
swallowing, of his own free-will, the heap of rubbish which every
Catholic has to believe! in cold blood tying a collar round his neck,
and politely putting the chain into the hands of a priest!... And then
the Confessional! 'Tis marvellous!" and he began to break the coals with
the poker. "It's very well," he continued, "if a man is born a Catholic;
I don't suppose they really believe what they are obliged to profess;
but how an Englishman, a gentleman, a man here at Oxford, with all his
advantages, can so eat dirt, scraping and picking up all the dead lies
of the dark ages--it's a miracle!"

"Well, if there is anything that recommends Romanism to me," said
Charles, "it is what you so much dislike: I'd give twopence, if some
one, whom I could trust, would say to me, 'This is true; this is not
true.' We should be saved this eternal wrangling. Wouldn't you be glad
if St. Paul could come to life? I've often said to myself, 'Oh, that I
could ask St. Paul this or that!'"

"But the Catholic Church isn't St. Paul quite, I guess," said Sheffield.

"Certainly not; but supposing you _did_ think it had the inspiration of
an Apostle, as the Roman Catholics do, what a comfort it would be to
know, beyond all doubt, what to believe about God, and how to worship
and please Him! I mean, _you_ said, 'I can't believe this or that;' now
you ought to have said, 'I can't believe the Pope has _power_ to
_decide_ this or that.' If he had, you ought to believe it, whatever it
is, and not to say, 'I can't believe.'"

Sheffield looked hard at him: "We shall have you a papist some of these
fine days," said he.

"Nonsense," answered Charles; "you shouldn't say such things, even in
jest."

"I don't jest; I am in earnest: you are plainly on the road."

"Well, if I am, you have put me on it," said Reding, wishing to get away
from the subject as quick as he could; "for you are ever talking
against shams, and laughing at King Charles and Laud, Bateman, White,
rood-lofts, and piscinas."

"Now you are a Puseyite," said Sheffield in surprise.

"You give me the name of a very good man, whom I hardly know by sight,"
said Reding; "but I mean, that nobody knows what to believe, no one has
a definite faith, but the Catholics and the Puseyites; no one says,
'This is true, that is false; this comes from the Apostles, that does
not.'"

"Then would you believe a Turk," asked Sheffield, "who came to you with
his 'One Allah, and Mahomet his Prophet'?"

"I did not say a creed was everything," answered Reding, "or that a
religion could not be false which had a creed; but a religion can't be
true which has none."

"Well, somehow that doesn't strike me," said Sheffield.

"Now there was Vincent at the end of term, after you had gone down,"
continued Charles; "you know I stayed up for Littlego; and he was very
civil, very civil indeed. I had a talk with him about Oxford parties,
and he pleased me very much at the time; but afterwards, the more I
thought of what he said, the less was I satisfied; that is, I had got
nothing definite from him. He did not say, 'This is true, that is
false;' but 'Be true, be true, be good, be good, don't go too far, keep
in the mean, have your eyes about you, eschew parties, follow our
divines, all of them;'--all which was but putting salt on the bird's
tail. I want some practical direction, not abstract truths."

"Vincent is a humbug," said Sheffield.

"Dr. Pusey, on the other hand," continued Charles, "is said always to be
decisive. He says, 'This is Apostolic, that's in the Fathers; St.
Cyprian says this, St. Augustine denies that; this is safe, that's
wrong; I bid you, I forbid you.' I understand all this; but I don't
understand having duties put on me which are too much for me. I don't
understand, I dislike, having a will of my own, when I have not the
means to use it justly. In such a case, to tell me to act of myself, is
like Pharaoh setting the Israelites to make bricks without straw.
Setting me to inquire, to judge, to decide, forsooth! it's absurd; who
has taught me?"

"But the Puseyites are not always so distinct," said Sheffield; "there's
Smith, he never speaks decidedly in difficult questions. I know a man
who was going to remain in Italy for some years, at a distance from any
English chapel,--he could not help it,--and who came to ask him if he
might communicate in the Catholic churches; he could not get an answer
from him; he would not say yes or no."

"Then he won't have many followers, that's all," said Charles.

"But he has more than Dr. Pusey," answered Sheffield.

"Well, I can't understand it," said Charles; "he ought not; perhaps they
won't stay."

"The truth is," said Sheffield, "I suspect he is more of a sceptic at
bottom."

"Well, I honour the man who builds up," said Reding, "and I despise the
man who breaks down."

"I am inclined to think you have a wrong notion of building up and
pulling down," answered Sheffield; "Coventry, in his 'Dissertations,'
makes it quite clear that Christianity is not a religion of doctrines."

"Who is Coventry?"

"Not know Coventry? he is one of the most original writers of the day;
he's an American, and, I believe, a congregationalist. Oh, I assure you,
you should read Coventry, although he is wrong on the question of
Church-government: you are not well _au courant_ with the literature of
the day unless you do. He is no party man; he is a correspondent of the
first men of the day; he stopped with the Dean of Oxford when he was in
England, who has published an English edition of his 'Dissertations,'
with a Preface; and he and Lord Newlights were said to be the two most
witty men at the meeting of the British Association, two years ago."

"I don't like Lord Newlights," said Charles, "he seems to me to have no
principle; that is, no fixed, definite religious principle. You don't
know where to find him. This is what my father thinks; I have often
heard him speak of him."

"It's curious you should use the word _principle_," said Sheffield; "for
it is that which Coventry lays such stress on. He says that Christianity
has no creed; that this is the very point in which it is distinguished
from other religions; that you will search the New Testament in vain for
a creed; but that Scripture is full of _principles_. The view is very
ingenious, and seemed to me true, when I read the book. According to
him, then, Christianity is not a religion of doctrines or mysteries; and
if you are looking for dogmatism in Scripture, it's a mistake."

Charles was puzzled. "Certainly," he said, "at first sight there _is_ no
creed in Scripture.--No creed in Scripture," he said slowly, as if
thinking aloud; "no creed in Scripture, _therefore_ there is no creed.
But the Athanasian Creed," he added quickly, "is _that_ in Scripture? It
either _is_ in Scripture, or it is _not_. Let me see, it either is
there, or it is not.... What was it that Freeborn said last term?...
Tell me, Sheffield, would the Dean of Oxford say that the Creed was in
Scripture or not? perhaps you do not fairly explain Coventry's view;
what is your impression?"

"Why, I will tell you frankly, my impression is, judging from his
Preface, that he would not scruple to say that it is not in Scripture,
but a scholastic addition."

"My dear fellow," said Charles, "do you mean that he, a dignitary of the
Church, would say that the Athanasian Creed was a mistake, because it
represented Christianity as a revelation of doctrines or mysteries to be
received on faith?"

"Well, I may be wrong," said Sheffield, "but so I understood him."

"After all," said Charles sadly, "it's not so much more than that other
Dean, I forget his name, said at St. Mary's before the Vacation; it's
part of the same system. Oh, it was after you went down, or just at the
end of term: you don't go to sermons; I'm inclined not to go either. I
can't enter upon the Dean's argument; it's not worth while. Well," he
added, standing up and stretching himself, "I am tired with the day, yet
it has not been a fatiguing one either; but London is so bustling a
place."

"You wish me to say good-night," said Sheffield. Charles did not deny
the charge; and the friends parted.



CHAPTER XV.


There could not have been a lecture more unfavourable for Charles's
peace of mind than that in which he found himself this term placed; yet,
so blind are we to the future, he hailed it with great satisfaction, as
if it was to bring him an answer to the perplexities into which
Sheffield, Bateman, Freeborn, White, Willis, Mr. Morley, Dr. Brownside,
Mr. Vincent, and the general state of Oxford, had all, in one way or
other, conspired to throw him. He had shown such abilities in the former
part of the year, and was reading so diligently, that his tutors put him
prematurely into the lecture upon the Articles. It was a capital lecture
so far as this, that the tutor who gave it had got up his subject
completely. He knew the whole history of the Articles, how they grew
into their present shape, with what fortunes, what had been added, and
when, and what omitted. With this, of course, was joined an explanation
of the text, as deduced, as far as could be, from the historical account
thus given. Not only the British, but the foreign Reformers were
introduced; and nothing was wanting, at least in the intention of the
lecturer, for fortifying the young inquirer in the doctrine and
discipline of the Church of England.

It did not produce this effect on Reding. Whether he had expected too
much, or whatever was the cause, so it was that he did but feel more
vividly the sentiment of the old father in the comedy, after consulting
the lawyers, "_Incertior sum multo quam ante_." He saw that the
profession of faith contained in the Articles was but a patchwork of
bits of orthodoxy, Lutheranism, Calvinism, and Zuinglism; and this too
on no principle; that it was but the work of accident, if there be such
a thing as accident; that it had come down in the particular shape in
which the English Church now receives it, when it might have come down
in any other shape; that it was but a toss-up that Anglicans at this day
were not Calvinists, or Presbyterians, or Lutherans, equally well as
Episcopalians. This historical fact did but clench the difficulty, or
rather impossibility, of saying what the faith of the English Church
was. On almost every point of dispute the authoritative standard of
doctrine was vague or inconsistent, and there was an imposing weight of
external testimony in favour of opposite interpretations. He stopped
after lecture once or twice, and asked information of Mr. Upton, the
tutor, who was quite ready to give it; but nothing came of these
applications as regards the object which led him to make them.

One difficulty which Charles experienced was to know whether, according
to the Articles, Divine truth was directly _given_ us, or whether we had
to _seek_ it for ourselves from Scripture. Several Articles led to this
question; and Mr. Upton, who was a High Churchman, answered him that the
saving doctrine neither was _given_ nor was to be _sought_, but that it
was _proposed_ by the Church, and _proved_ by the individual. Charles
did not see this distinction between _seeking_ and _proving_; for how
can we _prove_ except by _seeking_ (in Scripture) for _reasons_? He put
the question in another form, and asked if the Christian Religion
allowed of private judgment? This was no abstruse question, and a very
practical one. Had he asked a Wesleyan or Independent, he would have had
an unconditional answer in the affirmative; had he asked a Catholic, he
would have been told that we used our private judgment to find the
Church, and then in all matters of faith the Church superseded it; but
from this Oxford divine he could not get a distinct answer. First he was
told that doubtless we _must_ use our judgment in the determination of
religious doctrine; but next he was told that it was sin (as it
undoubtedly is) to doubt the dogma of the Blessed Trinity. Yet, while he
was told that to doubt of that doctrine was a sin, he was told in
another conversation that our highest state here is one of doubt. What
did this mean? Surely certainty was simply necessary on _some_ points,
as on the Object of worship; how could we worship what we doubted of?
The two acts were contrasted by the Evangelist; when the disciples saw
our Lord after the resurrection, "they worshipped Him, _but_ some
doubted;" yet, in spite of this, he was told that there was "impatience"
in the very idea of desiring certainty.

At another time he asked whether the anathemas of the Athanasian Creed
applied to all its clauses; for instance, whether it is necessary to
salvation to hold that there is "_unus æternus_" as the Latin has it; or
"such as the Father, ... such the Holy Ghost;" or that the Holy Ghost
is "by Himself God and Lord;" or that Christ is one "by the taking of
the manhood into God?" He could get no answer. Mr. Upton said that he
did not like extreme questions; that he could not and did not wish to
answer them; that the Creed was written against heresies, which no
longer existed, as a sort of _protest_. Reding asked whether this meant
that the Creed did not contain a distinctive view of its own, which
alone was safe, but was merely a negation of error. The clauses, he
observed, were positive, not negative. He could get no answer farther
than that the Creed taught that the doctrines of "the Trinity" and "the
Incarnation" were "necessary to salvation," it being apparently left
uncertain _what_ those doctrines consisted in. One day he asked how
grievous sins were to be forgiven which were committed after baptism,
whether by faith, or not at all in this life. He was answered that the
Articles said nothing on the subject; that the Romish doctrine of pardon
and purgatory was false; and that it was well to avoid both curious
questions and subtle answers.

Another question turned up at another lecture, viz. whether the Real
Presence meant a Presence of Christ in the elements, or in the soul,
i.e. in the faith of the recipient; in other words, whether the Presence
was really such, or a mere name. Mr. Upton pronounced it an open
question. Another day Charles asked whether Christ was present in fact,
or only in effect. Mr. Upton answered decidedly "in effect," which
seemed to Reding to mean no real presence at all.

He had had some difficulty in receiving the doctrine of eternal
punishment; it had seemed to him the hardest doctrine of Revelation.
Then he said to himself, "But what is faith in its very notion but an
acceptance of the word of God when reason seems to oppose it? How is it
faith at all if there is nothing to try it?" This thought fully
satisfied him. The only question was, _Is_ it part of the revealed word?
"I can believe it," he said, "if I know for certain that I _ought_ to
believe it; but if I am not bound to believe it, I can't believe it."
Accordingly he put the question to Mr. Upton whether it was a doctrine
of the Church of England; that is, whether it came under the
subscription to the Articles. He could obtain no answer. Yet if he did
_not_ believe this doctrine, he felt the whole fabric of his faith shake
under him. Close upon it came the doctrine of the Atonement.

It is difficult to give instances of this kind, without producing the
impression on the reader's mind that Charles was forward and captious in
his inquiries. Certainly Mr. Upton had his own thoughts about him, but
he never thought his manner inconsistent with modesty and respect
towards himself.

Charles naturally was full of the subject, and would have disclosed his
perplexities to Sheffield, had he not had a strong anticipation that
this would have been making matters worse. He thought Bateman, however,
might be of some service, and he disburdened himself to him in the
course of a country walk. What was he to do? for on his entrance he had
been told that when he took his degree he should have to sign the
Articles, not on faith as then, but on reason; yet they were
unintelligible; and how could he prove what he could not construe?

Bateman seemed unwilling to talk on the subject; at last he said, "Oh,
my dear Reding, you really are in an excited state of mind; I don't like
to talk to you just now, for you will not see things in a
straightforward way and take them naturally. What a bug-bear you are
conjuring up! You are in an Article lecture in your second year; and
hardly have you commenced, but you begin to fancy what you will, or will
not think at the end of your time. Don't ask about the Articles now;
wait at least till you have seen the lecture through."

"It really is not my way to be fussed or to fidget," said Charles,
"though I own I am not so quiet as I ought to be. I hear so many
different opinions in conversation; then I go to church, and one
preacher deals his blows at another; lastly, I betake myself to the
Articles, and really I cannot make out what they would teach me. For
instance, I cannot make out their doctrine about faith, about the
sacraments, about predestination, about the Church, about the
inspiration of Scripture. And their tone is so unlike the Prayer Book.
Upton has brought this out in his lectures most clearly."

"Now, my most respectable friend," said Bateman, "do think for a moment
what men have signed the Articles. Perhaps King Charles himself;
certainly Laud, and all the great Bishops of his day, and of the next
generation. Think of the most orthodox Bull, the singularly learned
Pearson, the eloquent Taylor, Montague, Barrow, Thorndike, good dear
Bishop Horne, and Jones of Nayland. Can't you do what they did?"

"The argument is a very strong one," said Charles; "I have felt it: you
mean, then, I must sign on faith."

"Yes, certainly, if necessary," said Bateman.

"And how am I to sign as a Master, and when I am ordained?" asked
Charles.

"That's what I mean by fidgeting," answered Bateman. "You are not
content with your day; you are reaching forward to live years hence."

Charles laughed. "It isn't quite that," he said, "I was but testing your
advice; however, there's some truth in it." And he changed the subject.

They talked awhile on indifferent matters; but on a pause Charles's
thoughts fell back again to the Articles. "Tell me, Bateman," he said,
"as a mere matter of curiosity, how _you_ subscribed when you took your
degree."

"Oh, I had no difficulty at all," said Bateman; "the examples of Bull
and Pearson were enough for me."

"Then you signed on faith."

"Not exactly, but it was that thought which smoothed all difficulties."

"Could you have signed without it?"

"How can you ask me the question? of course."

"Well, do tell me, then, what was your _ground_?"

"Oh, I had many grounds. I can't recollect in a moment what happened
some time ago."

"Oh, then it was a matter of difficulty; indeed, you said so just now."

"Not at all: my only difficulty was, not about myself, but how to state
the matter to other people."

"What! some one suspected you?"

"No, no; you are quite mistaken. I mean, for instance, the Article says
that we are justified by faith only; now the Protestant sense of this
statement is point blank opposite to our standard divines: the question
was, what I was to say when asked _my_ sense of it."

"I understand," said Charles; "now tell me how you solved the problem."

"Well, I don't deny that the Protestant sense is heretical," answered
Bateman; "and so is the Protestant sense of many other things in the
Articles; but then we need not take them in the Protestant sense."

"Then in what sense?"

"Why, first," said Bateman, "we need not take them in any sense at all.
Don't smile; listen. Great authorities, such as Laud or Bramhall, seem
to have considered that we only sign the Articles as articles of peace;
not as really holding them, but as not opposing them. Therefore, when we
sign the Articles, we only engage not to preach against them."

Reding thought; then he said: "Tell me, Bateman, would not this view of
subscription to the Articles let the Unitarians into the Church?"

Bateman allowed it would, but the Liturgy would still keep them out.
Charles then went on to suggest that _they_ would take the Liturgy as a
Liturgy of peace too. Bateman began again.

"If you want some tangible principle," he said, "for interpreting
Articles and Liturgy, I can give you one. You know," he continued, after
a short pause, "what it is _we_ hold? Why, we give the Articles a
Catholic interpretation."

Charles looked inquisitive.

"It is plain," continued Bateman, "that no document can be a dead
letter; it must be the expression of some mind; and the question here
is, _whose_ is what may be called the voice which speaks the Articles.
Now, if the Bishops, Heads of houses, and other dignitaries and
authorities were unanimous in their religious views, and one and all
said that the Articles meant this and not that, they, as the imponents,
would have a right to interpret them; and the Articles would mean what
those great men said they meant. But they do not agree together; some of
them are diametrically opposed to others. One clergyman denies
Apostolical Succession, another affirms it; one denies the Lutheran
justification, another maintains it; one denies the inspiration of
Scripture, a second holds Calvin to be a saint, a third considers the
doctrine of sacramental grace a superstition, a fourth takes part with
Nestorius against the Church, a fifth is a Sabellian. It is plain, then,
that the Articles have no sense at all, if the collective voice of
Bishops, Deans, Professors, and the like is to be taken. They cannot
supply what schoolmen call the _form_ of the Articles. But perhaps the
writers themselves of the Articles will supply it? No; for, first, we
don't know for certain who the writers were; and next, the Articles have
gone through so many hands, and so many mendings, that some at least of
the original authors would not like to be responsible for them. Well,
let us go to the Convocations which ratified them: but they, too, were
of different sentiments; the seventeenth century did not hold the
doctrine of the sixteenth. Such is the state of the case. On the other
hand, _we_ say that if the Anglican Church be a part of the one Church
Catholic, it must, from the necessity of the case, hold Catholic
doctrine. Therefore, the whole Catholic Creed, the acknowledged doctrine
of the Fathers, of St. Ignatius, St. Cyprian, St. Augustin, St. Ambrose,
is the _form_, is the one true sense and interpretation of the Articles.
They may be ambiguous in themselves; they may have been worded with
various intentions by the individuals concerned in their composition;
but these are accidents; the Church knows nothing of individuals; she
interprets herself."

Reding took some time to think over this. "All this," he said, "proceeds
on the fundamental principle that the Church of England is an integral
part of that visible body of which St. Ignatius, St. Cyprian, and the
rest were Bishops; according to the words of Scripture, 'one body, one
faith.'"

Bateman assented; Charles proceeded: "Then the Articles must not be
considered primarily as teaching; they have no one sense in themselves;
they are confessedly ambiguous: they are compiled from heterogeneous
sources; but all this does not matter, for all must be interpreted by
the teaching of the Catholic Church."

Bateman agreed in the main, except that Reding had stated the case
rather too strongly.

"But what if their letter _contradicts_ a doctrine of the Fathers? am I
to force the letter?"

"If such a case actually happened, the theory would not hold," answered
Bateman; "it would only be a gross quibble. You can in no case sign an
Article in a sense which its words will not bear. But, fortunately, or
rather providentially, this is not the case; we have merely to explain
ambiguities, and harmonize discrepancies. The Catholic interpretation
does no greater violence to the text than _any other_ rule of
interpretation will be found to do."

"Well, but I know nothing of the Fathers," said Charles; "others too are
in the same condition; how am I to learn practically to interpret the
Articles?"

"By the Prayer Book; the Prayer Book is the voice of the Fathers."

"How so?"

"Because the Prayer Book is confessedly ancient, while the Articles are
modern."

Charles kept silence again. "It is very plausible," he said; he thought
on. Presently he asked: "Is this a _received_ view?"

"_No_ view is received," said Bateman; "the Articles themselves are
received, but there is no authoritative interpretation of them at all.
That's what I was saying just now; Bishops and Professors don't agree
together."

"Well," said Charles, "is it a _tolerated_ view?"

"It has certainly been strongly opposed," answered Bateman; "but it has
never been condemned."

"That is no answer," said Charles, who saw by Bateman's manner how the
truth lay. "Does any one Bishop hold it? did any one Bishop ever hold
it? has it ever been formally admitted as tenable by any one Bishop? is
it a view got up to meet existing difficulties, or has it an historical
existence?"

Bateman could give but one answer to these questions, as they were
successively put to him.

"I thought so," said Charles, when he had made his answer: "I know, of
course, whose view you are putting before me, though I never heard it
drawn out before. It is specious, certainly: I don't see but it might
have done, had it been tolerably sanctioned; but you have no sanction to
show me. It is, as it stands, a mere theory struck out by individuals.
Our Church _might_ have adopted this mode of interpreting the Articles;
but from what you tell me, it certainly _has not_ done so. I am where I
was."



CHAPTER XVI.


The thought came across Reding whether perhaps, after all, what is
called Evangelical Religion was not the true Christianity: its
professors, he knew, were active and influential, and in past times had
been much persecuted. Freeborn had surprised and offended him at
Bateman's breakfast-party before the Vacation; yet Freeborn had a
serious manner about him, and perhaps he had misunderstood him. The
thought, however, passed away as suddenly as it came, and perhaps would
not have occurred to him again, when an accident gave him some data for
determining the question.

One afternoon he was lounging in the Parks, gazing with surprise on one
of those extraordinary lights for which the neighbourhood of Oxford is
at that season celebrated, and which, as the sun went down, was
colouring Marston, Elsfield, and their half-denuded groves with a pale
gold-and-brown hue, when he found himself overtaken and addressed by the
said Freeborn _in propriâ personâ_. Freeborn liked a _tête-à-tête_ talk
much better than a dispute in a party; he felt himself at more advantage
in long leisurely speeches, and he was soon put out of breath when he
had to bolt-out or edge-in his words amid the ever-varying voices of a
breakfast-table. He thought the present might be a good opportunity of
doing good to a poor youth who did not know chalk from cheese, and who,
by his means, might be, as he would word it, "savingly converted." So
they got into conversation, talked of Willis's step, which Freeborn
called awful; and, before Charles knew where he was, he found himself
asking Freeborn what he meant by "faith."

"Faith," said Freeborn, "is a Divine gift, and is the instrument of our
justification in God's sight. We are all by nature displeasing to Him,
till He justifies us freely for Christ's sake. Faith is like a hand,
appropriating personally the merits of Christ, who is our justification.
Now, what can we want more, or have more, than those merits? Faith,
then, is everything, and does everything for us. You see, then, how
important it is to have a right view about justification by faith only.
If we are sound on this capital point, everything else may take its
chance; we shall at once see the folly of contending about ceremonies,
about forms of Church-government, about, I will even say, sacraments or
creeds. External things will, in that case, either be neglected, or will
find a subordinate place."

Reding observed that of course Freeborn did not mean to say that good
works were not necessary for obtaining God's favour; "but if they were,
how was justification by faith only?"

Freeborn smiled, and said that he hoped Reding would have clearer views
in a little time. It was a very simple matter. Faith not only justified,
it regenerated also. It was the root of sanctification, as well as of
Divine acceptance. The same act, which was the means of bringing us into
God's favour, secured our being meet for it. Thus good works were
secured, because faith would not be true faith unless it were such as to
be certain of bringing forth good works in due time.

Reding thought this view simple and clear, though it unpleasantly
reminded him of Dr. Brownside. Freeborn added that it was a doctrine
suited to the poor, that it put all the gospel into a nutshell, that it
dispensed with criticism, primitive ages, teachers--in short, with
authority in whatever form. It swept theology clean away. There was no
need to mention this last consequence to Charles; but he passed it by,
wishing to try the system on its own merits.

"You speak of _true_ faith," he said, "as producing good works: you say
that no faith justifies _but_ true faith, and true faith produces good
works. In other words, I suppose, faith, which is _certain to be
fruitful_, or _fruitful_ faith, justifies. This is very like saying that
faith and works are the joint means of justification."

"Oh, no, no," cried Freeborn, "that is deplorable doctrine: it is quite
opposed to the gospel, it is anti-Christian. We are justified by faith
only, apart from good works."

"I am in an Article lecture just now," said Charles, "and Upton told us
that we must make a distinction of _this_ kind; for instance, the Duke
of Wellington is Chancellor of the University, but, though he is as much
Chancellor as Duke, still he sits in the House of Lords as Duke, not as
Chancellor. Thus, although faith is as truly fruitful as it is faith,
yet it does not justify as being fruitful, but as being faith. Is this
what you mean?"

"Not at all," said Freeborn; "that was Melancthon's doctrine; he
explained away a cardinal truth into a mere matter of words; he made
faith a mere symbol, but this is a departure from the pure gospel: faith
is the _instrument_, not a _symbol_ of justification. It is, in truth, a
mere _apprehension_, and nothing else: the seizing and clinging which a
beggar might venture on when a king passed by. Faith is as poor as Job
in the ashes: it is like Job stripped of all pride and pomp and good
works: it is covered with filthy rags: it is without anything good: it
is, I repeat, a mere apprehension. Now you see what I mean."

"I can't believe I understand you," said Charles: "you say that to have
faith is to seize Christ's merits; and that we have them, if we will but
seize them. But surely not every one who seizes them, gains them;
because dissolute men, who never have a dream of thorough repentance or
real hatred of sin, would gladly seize and appropriate them, if they
might do so. They would like to get to heaven for nothing. Faith, then,
must be some particular _kind_ of apprehension; _what_ kind? good works
cannot be mistaken, but an 'apprehension' may. What, then, is a true
apprehension? what _is_ faith?"

"What need, my dear friend," answered Freeborn, "of knowing
metaphysically what true faith is, if we have it and enjoy it? I do not
know what bread is, but I eat it; do I wait till a chemist analyzes it?
No, I eat it, and I feel the good effects afterwards. And so let us be
content to know, not what faith _is_, but what it _does_, and enjoy our
blessedness in possessing it."

"I really don't want to introduce metaphysics," said Charles, "but I
will adopt your own image. Suppose I suspected the bread before me to
have arsenic in it, or merely to be unwholesome, would it be wonderful
if I tried to ascertain how the fact stood?"

"Did you do so this morning at breakfast?" asked Freeborn.

"I did not suspect my bread," answered Charles.

"Then why suspect faith?" asked Freeborn.

"Because it is, so to say, a new substance,"--Freeborn sighed,--"because
I am not used to it, nay, because I suspect it. I must say _suspect_ it;
because, though I don't know much about the matter, I know perfectly
well, from what has taken place in my father's parish, what excesses
this doctrine may lead to, unless it is guarded. You say that it is a
doctrine for the poor; now they are very likely to mistake one thing for
another; so indeed is every one. If, then, we are told, that we have but
to apprehend Christ's merits, and need not trouble ourselves about
anything else; that justification has taken place, and works will
follow; that all is done, and that salvation is complete, while we do
but continue to have faith; I think we ought to be pretty sure that we
_have_ faith, real faith, a real apprehension, before we shut up our
books and make holiday."

Freeborn was secretly annoyed that he had got into an argument, or
pained, as he would express it, at the pride of Charles's natural man,
or the blindness of his carnal reason; but there was no help for it, he
must give him an answer.

"There are, I know, many kinds of faith," he said; "and of course you
must be on your guard against mistaking false faith for true faith. Many
persons, as you most truly say, make this mistake; and most important is
it, all important I should say, to go right. First, it is evident that
it is not mere belief in facts, in the being of a God, or in the
historical event that Christ has come and gone. Nor is it the submission
of the reason to mysteries; nor, again, is it that sort of trust which
is required for exercising the gift of miracles. Nor is it knowledge and
acceptance of the contents of the Bible. I say, it is not knowledge, it
is not assent of the intellect, it is not historical faith, it is not
dead faith: true justifying faith is none of these--it is seated in the
heart and affections." He paused, then added: "Now, I suppose, for
practical purposes, I have described pretty well what justifying faith
is."

Charles hesitated: "By describing what it is _not_, you mean," said he;
"justifying faith, then, is, I suppose, living faith."

"Not so fast," answered Freeborn.

"Why," said Charles, "if it's not dead faith, it's living faith."

"It's neither dead faith nor living," said Freeborn, "but faith, simple
faith, which justifies. Luther was displeased with Melancthon for saying
that living and operative faith justified. I have studied the question
very carefully."

"Then do _you_ tell me," said Charles, "what faith is, since I do not
explain it correctly. For instance, if you said (what you don't say),
that faith was submission of the reason to mysteries, or acceptance of
Scripture as an historical document, I should know perfectly well what
you meant; _that_ is information: but when you say, that faith which
justifies is an _apprehension_ of Christ, that it is _not_ living faith,
or fruitful faith, or operative, but a something which in fact and
actually is distinct from these, I confess I feel perplexed."

Freeborn wished to be out of the argument. "Oh," he said, "if you really
once experienced the power of faith--how it changes the heart,
enlightens the eyes, gives a new spiritual taste, a new sense to the
soul; if you once knew what it was to be blind, and then to see, you
would not ask for definitions. Strangers need verbal descriptions; the
heirs of the kingdom enjoy. Oh, if you could but be persuaded to put off
high imaginations; to strip yourself of your proud self, and to
_experience_ in yourself the wonderful change, you would live in praise
and thanksgiving, instead of argument and criticism."

Charles was touched by his warmth; "But," he said, "we ought to act by
reason; and I don't see that I have more, or so much, reason to listen
to you, as to listen to the Roman Catholic, who tells me I cannot
possibly have that certainty of faith before believing, which on
believing will be divinely given me."

"Surely," said Freeborn, with a grave face, "you would not compare the
spiritual Christian, such as Luther, holding his cardinal doctrine about
justification, to any such formal, legal, superstitious devotee as
Popery can make, with its carnal rites and quack remedies, which never
really cleanse the soul or reconcile it to God?"

"I don't like you to talk so," said Reding; "I know very little about
the real nature of Popery; but when I was a boy I was once, by chance,
in a Roman Catholic chapel; and I really never saw such devotion in my
life--the people all on their knees, and most earnestly attentive to
what was going on. I did not understand what that was; but I am sure,
had you been there, you never would have called their religion, be it
right or wrong, an outward form or carnal ordinance."

Freeborn said it deeply pained him to hear such sentiments, and to find
that Charles was so tainted with the errors of the day; and he began,
not with much tact, to talk of the Papal Antichrist, and would have got
off to prophecy, had Charles said a word to afford fuel for discussion.
As he kept silence, Freeborn's zeal burnt out, and there was a break in
the conversation.

After a time, Reding ventured to begin again.

"If I understand you," he said, "faith carries its own evidence with it.
Just as I eat my bread at breakfast without hesitation about its
wholesomeness, so, when I have really faith, I know it beyond mistake,
and need not look out for tests of it?"

"Precisely so," said Freeborn; "you begin to see what I mean; you grow.
The soul is enlightened to see that it has real faith."

"But how," asked Charles, "are we to rescue those from their dangerous
mistake, who think they have faith, while they have not? Is there no way
in which they can find out that they are under a delusion?"

"It is not wonderful," said Freeborn, "though there be no way. There are
many self-deceivers in the world. Some men are self-righteous, trust in
their works, and think they are safe when they are in a state of
perdition; no formal rules _can_ be given by which their reason might
for certain detect their mistake. And so of false faith."

"Well, it does seem to me wonderful," said Charles, "that there is no
natural and obvious warning provided against this delusion; wonderful
that false faith should be so exactly like true faith that there is
nothing to determine their differences from each other. Effects imply
causes: if one apprehension of Christ leads to good works, and another
does not, there must be something _in_ the one which is not _in_ the
other. _What_ is a false apprehension of Christ wanting in, which a true
apprehension has? The word _apprehension_ is so vague; it conveys no
definite idea to me, yet justification depends on it. Is a false
apprehension, for instance, wanting in repentance and amendment?"

"No, no," said Freeborn; "true faith is complete without conversion;
conversion follows; but faith is the root."

"Is it the love of God which distinguishes true faith from false?"

"Love?" answered Freeborn; "you should read what Luther says in his
celebrated comment on the Galatians. He calls such a doctrine
'_pestilens figmentum_,' '_diaboli portentum_;' and cries out against
the Papists, '_Pereant sophistæ cum suâ maledictâ glossâ!_'"

"Then it differs from false faith in nothing."

"Not so," said Freeborn; "it differs from it in its fruits: 'By their
fruits ye shall know them.'"

"This is coming round to the same point again," said Charles; "fruits
come after; but a man, it seems, is to take comfort in his justification
_before_ fruits come, before he knows that his faith will produce them."

"Good works are the _necessary_ fruits of faith," said Freeborn; "so
says the Article."

Charles made no answer, but said to himself, "My good friend here
certainly has not the clearest of heads;" then aloud, "Well, I despair
of getting at the bottom of the subject."

"Of course," answered Freeborn, with an air of superiority, though in a
mild tone, "it is a very simple principle, '_Fides justificat ante et
sine charitate_;' but it requires a Divine light to embrace it."

They walked awhile in silence; then, as the day was now closing in, they
turned homewards, and parted company when they came to the Clarendon.



CHAPTER XVII.


Freeborn was not the person to let go a young man like Charles without
another effort to gain him; and in a few days he invited him to take tea
at his lodgings. Charles went at the appointed time, through the wet and
cold of a dreary November evening, and found five or six men already
assembled. He had got into another world; faces, manners, speeches, all
were strange, and savoured neither of Eton, which was his own school,
nor of Oxford itself. He was introduced, and found the awkwardness of a
new acquaintance little relieved by the conversation which went on. It
was a dropping fire of serious remarks; with pauses, relieved only by
occasional "ahems," the sipping of tea, the sound of spoons falling
against the saucers, and the blind shifting of chairs as the flurried
servant-maid of the lodgings suddenly came upon them from behind, with
the kettle for the teapot, or toast for the table. There was no nature
or elasticity in the party, but a great intention to be profitable.

"Have you seen the last _Spiritual Journal_?" asked No. 1 of No. 2 in a
low voice.

No. 2 had just read it.

"A very remarkable article that," said No. 1, "upon the deathbed of the
Pope."

"No one is beyond hope," answered No. 2.

"I have heard of it, but not seen it," said No. 3.

A pause.

"What is it about?" asked Reding.

"The late Pope Sixtus the Sixteenth," said No. 3; "he seems to have died
a believer."

A sensation. Charles looked as if he wished to know more.

"The _Journal_ gives it on excellent authority," said No. 2; "Mr.
O'Niggins, the agent for the Roman Priest Conversion Branch Tract
Society, was in Rome during his last illness. He solicited an audience
with the Pope, which was granted to him. He at once began to address him
on the necessity of a change of heart, belief in the one Hope of
sinners, and abandonment of all creature mediators. He announced to him
the glad tidings, and assured him there was pardon for all. He warned
him against the figment of baptismal regeneration; and then, proceeding
to apply the word, he urged him, though in the eleventh hour, to receive
the Bible, the whole Bible, and nothing but the Bible. The Pope listened
with marked attention, and displayed considerable emotion. When it was
ended, he answered Mr. O'Niggins that it was his fervent hope that they
two would not die without finding themselves in one communion, or
something of the sort. He declared moreover, what was astonishing, that
he put his sole trust in Christ, 'the source of all merit,' as he
expressed it--a remarkable phrase."

"In what language was the conversation carried on?" asked Reding.

"It is not stated," answered No. 2; "but I am pretty sure Mr. O'Niggins
is a good French scholar."

"It does not seem to me," said Charles, "that the Pope's admissions are
greater than those made continually by certain members of our own
Church, who are nevertheless accused of Popery."

"But they are extorted from such persons," said Freeborn, "while the
Pope's were voluntary."

"The one party go back into darkness," said No. 3; "the Pope was coming
forward into light."

"One ought to interpret everything for the best in a real Papist," said
Freeborn, "and everything for the worst in a Puseyite. That is both
charity and common sense."

"This was not all," continued No. 2; "he called together the Cardinals,
protested that he earnestly desired God's glory, said that inward
religion was all in all, and forms were nothing without a contrite
heart, and that he trusted soon to be in Paradise--which, you know, was
a denial of the doctrine of Purgatory."

"A brand from the burning, I do hope," said No. 3.

"It has frequently been observed," said No. 4, "nay it has struck me
myself, that the way to convert Romanists is first to convert the Pope."

"It is a sure way, at least," said Charles timidly, afraid he was saying
too much; but his irony was not discovered.

"Man cannot do it," said Freeborn; "it's the power of faith. Faith can
be vouchsafed even to the greatest sinners. You see now, perhaps," he
said, turning to Charles, "better than you did, what I meant by faith
the other day. This poor old man could have no merit; he had passed a
long life in opposing the Cross. Do your difficulties continue?"

Charles had thought over their former conversation very carefully
several times, and he answered, "Why, I don't think they do to the same
extent."

Freeborn looked pleased.

"I mean," he said, "that the idea hangs together better than I thought
it did at first."

Freeborn looked puzzled.

Charles, slightly colouring, was obliged to proceed, amid the profound
silence of the whole party. "You said, you know, that justifying faith
was without love or any other grace besides itself, and that no one
could at all tell what it was, except afterwards, from its fruits; that
there was no test by which a person could examine himself, whether or
not he was deceiving himself when he thought he had faith, so that good
and bad might equally be taking to themselves the promises and the
privileges peculiar to the gospel. I thought this a hard doctrine
certainly at first; but, then, afterwards it struck me that faith is
perhaps a result of a previous state of mind, a blessed result of a
blessed state, and therefore may be considered the reward of previous
obedience; whereas sham faith, or what merely looks like faith, is a
judicial punishment."

In proportion as the drift of the former part of this speech was
uncertain, so was the conclusion very distinct. There was no mistake,
and an audible emotion.

"There is no such thing as previous merit," said No. 1; "all is of
grace."

"Not merit, I know," said Charles, "but"----

"We must not bring in the doctrine of _de condigno_ or _de congruo_,"
said No. 2.

"But surely," said Charles, "it is a cruel thing to say to the unlearned
and the multitude, 'Believe, and you are at once saved; do not wait for
fruits, rejoice at once,' and neither to accompany this announcement by
any clear description of what faith is, nor to secure them by previous
religious training against self-deception!"

"That is the very gloriousness of the doctrine," said Freeborn, "that it
is preached to the worst of mankind. It says, 'Come as you are; don't
attempt to make yourselves better. Believe that salvation is yours, and
it is yours: good works follow after.'"

"On the contrary," said Charles, continuing his argument, "when it is
said that justification follows upon baptism, we have an intelligible
something pointed out, which every one can ascertain. Baptism is an
external unequivocal token; whereas that a man has this secret feeling
called faith, no one but himself can be a witness, and he is not an
unbiassed one."

Reding had at length succeeded in throwing that dull tea-table into a
state of great excitement. "My dear friend," said Freeborn, "I had hoped
better things; in a little while, I hope, you will see things
differently. Baptism is an outward rite; what is there, can there be,
spiritual, holy, or heavenly in baptism?"

"But you tell me faith too is not spiritual," said Charles.

"_I_ tell you!" cried Freeborn, "when?"

"Well," said Charles, somewhat puzzled, "at least you do not think it
holy."

Freeborn was puzzled in his turn.

"If it is holy," continued Charles, "it has something good in it; it has
some worth; it is not filthy rags. All the good comes afterwards, you
said. You said that its fruits were holy, but that it was nothing at all
itself."

There was a momentary silence, and some agitation of thought.

"Oh, faith is certainly a holy feeling," said No. 1.

"No, it is spiritual, but not holy," said No. 2; "it is a mere act, the
apprehension of Christ's merits."

"It is seated in the affections," said No. 3; "faith is a feeling of the
heart; it is trust, it is a belief that Christ is _my_ Saviour; all this
is distinct from holiness. Holiness introduces self-righteousness. Faith
is peace and joy, but it is not holiness. Holiness comes after."

"Nothing can cause holiness but what is holy; this is a sort of axiom,"
said Charles; "if the fruits are holy, faith, which is the root, is
holy."

"You might as well say that the root of a rose is red, and of a lily
white," said No. 3.

"Pardon me, Reding," said Freeborn, "it is, as my friend says, an
_apprehension_. An apprehension is a seizing; there is no more holiness
in justifying faith, than in the hand's seizing a substance which comes
in its way. This is Luther's great doctrine in his 'Commentary' on the
Galatians. It is nothing in itself--it is a mere instrument; this is
what he teaches, when he so vehemently resists the notion of justifying
faith being accompanied by love."

"I cannot assent to that doctrine," said No. 1; "it may be true in a
certain sense, but it throws stumbling-blocks in the way of seekers.
Luther could not have meant what you say, I am convinced. Justifying
faith is always accompanied by love."

"That is what I thought," said Charles.

"That is the Romish doctrine all over," said No. 2; "it is the doctrine
of Bull and Taylor."

"Luther calls it, '_venenum infernale_,'" said Freeborn.

"It is just what the Puseyites preach at present," said No. 3.

"On the contrary," said No. 1, "it is the doctrine of Melancthon. Look
here," he continued, taking his pocketbook out of his pocket, "I have
got his words down as Shuffleton quoted them in the Divinity-school the
other day: '_Fides significat fiduciam; in fiducidâ_ inest _dilectio;
ergo etiam dilectione sumus justi_.'"

Three of the party cried "Impossible!" The paper was handed round in
solemn silence.

"Calvin said the same," said No. 1 triumphantly.

"I think," said No. 4, in a slow, smooth, sustained voice, which
contrasted with the animation which had suddenly inspired the
conversation, "that the con-tro-ver-sy, ahem, may be easily arranged. It
is a question of words between Luther and Melancthon. Luther says, ahem,
'faith is _without_ love,' meaning, 'faith without love justifies.'
Melancthon, on the other hand, says, ahem, 'faith is _with_ love,'
meaning, 'faith justifies with love.' Now both are true: for, ahem,
faith-without-love _justifies_, yet faith justifies _not-without-love_."

There was a pause, while both parties digested this explanation.

"On the contrary," he added, "it is the Romish doctrine that
faith-with-love justifies."

Freeborn expressed his dissent; he thought this the doctrine of
Melancthon which Luther condemned.

"You mean," said Charles, "that justification is given to faith _with_
love, not to faith _and_ love."

"You have expressed my meaning," said No. 4.

"And what is considered the difference between _with_ and _and_?" asked
Charles.

No. 4 replied without hesitation, "Faith is the _instrument_, love the
_sine quâ non_."

Nos. 2 and 3 interposed with a protest; they thought it "legal" to
introduce the phrase _sine quâ non_; it was introducing _conditions_.
Justification was unconditional.

"But is not faith a condition?" asked Charles.

"Certainly not," said Freeborn; "'condition' is a legal word. How can
salvation be free and full, if it is conditional?"

"There are no conditions," said No. 3; "all must come from the heart. We
believe with the heart, we love from the heart, we obey with the heart;
not because we are obliged, but because we have a new nature."

"Is there no obligation to obey?" said Charles, surprised.

"No obligation to the regenerate," answered No. 3; "they are above
obligation; they are in a new state."

"But surely Christians are under a law," said Charles.

"Certainly not," said No. 2; "the law is done away in Christ."

"Take care," said No. 1; "that borders on Antinomianism."

"Not at all," said Freeborn; "an Antinomian actually holds that he may
break the law: a spiritual believer only holds that he is not bound to
keep it."

Now they got into a fresh discussion among themselves; and, as it seemed
as interminable as it was uninteresting, Reding took an opportunity to
wish his host a good night, and to slip away. He never had much leaning
towards the evangelical doctrine; and Freeborn and his friends, who knew
what they were holding a great deal better than the run of their party,
satisfied him that he had not much to gain by inquiring into that
doctrine farther. So they will vanish in consequence from our pages.



CHAPTER XVIII.


When Charles got to his room he saw a letter from home lying on his
table; and, to his alarm, it had a deep black edge. He tore it open.
Alas, it announced the sudden death of his dear father! He had been
ailing some weeks with the gout, which at length had attacked his
stomach, and carried him off in a few hours.

O my poor dear Charles, I sympathize with you keenly all that long
night, and in that indescribable waking in the morning, and that dreary
day of travel which followed it! By the afternoon you were at home. O
piercing change! it was but six or seven weeks before that you had
passed the same objects the reverse way, with what different feelings,
and oh, in what company, as you made for the railway omnibus! It was a
grief not to be put into words; and to meet mother, sisters--and the
Dead!...

The funeral is over by some days; Charles is to remain at home the
remainder of the term, and does not return to Oxford till towards the
end of January. The signs of grief have been put away; the house looks
cheerful as before; the fire as bright, the mirrors as clear, the
furniture as orderly; the pictures are the same, and the ornaments on
the mantelpiece stand as they have stood, and the French clock tells the
hour, as it has told it, for years past. The inmates of the parsonage
wear, it is most true, the signs of a heavy bereavement; but they
converse as usual, and on ordinary subjects; they pursue the same
employments, they work, they read, they walk in the garden, they dine.
There is no change except in the inward consciousness of an overwhelming
loss. _He_ is not there, not merely on this day or that, for so it well
might be; he is not merely away, but, as they know well, he is gone and
will not return. That he is absent now is but a token and a memorial to
their minds that he will be absent always. But especially at dinner;
Charles had to take a place which he had sometimes filled, but then as
the deputy, and in the presence of him whom now he succeeded. His
father, being not much more than a middle-aged man, had been accustomed
to carve himself. And when at the meal of the day Charles looked up, he
had to encounter the troubled look of one, who, from her place at table,
had before her eyes a still more vivid memento of their common
loss;--_aliquid desideraverunt oculi_.

Mr. Reding had left his family well provided for; and this, though a
real alleviation of their loss in the event, perhaps augmented the pain
of it at the moment. He had ever been a kind indulgent father. He was a
most respectable clergyman of the old school; pious in his sentiments, a
gentleman in his feelings, exemplary in his social relations. He was no
reader, and never had been in the way to gain theological knowledge; he
sincerely believed all that was in the Prayer Book, but his sermons were
very rarely doctrinal. They were sensible, manly discourses on the moral
duties. He administered Holy Communion at the three great festivals, saw
his Bishop once or twice a year, was on good terms with the country
gentlemen in his neighbourhood, was charitable to the poor, hospitable
in his housekeeping, and was a staunch though not a violent supporter of
the Tory interest in his county. He was incapable of anything harsh, or
petty, or low, or uncourteous; and died esteemed by the great houses
about him, and lamented by his parishioners.

It was the first great grief poor Charles had ever had, and he felt it
to be real. How did the small anxieties which had of late teased him,
vanish before this tangible calamity! He then understood the difference
between what was real and what was not. All the doubts, inquiries,
surmises, views, which had of late haunted him on theological subjects,
seemed like so many shams, which flitted before him in sun-bright hours,
but had no root in his inward nature, and fell from him, like the
helpless December leaves, in the hour of his affliction. He felt now
_where_ his heart and his life lay. His birth, his parentage, his
education, his home, were great realities; to these his being was
united; out of these he grew. He felt he must be what Providence had
made him. What is called the pursuit of truth, seemed an idle dream. He
had great tangible duties to his father's memory, to his mother and
sisters, to his position; he felt sick of all theories, as if they had
taken him in; and he secretly resolved never more to have anything to do
with them. Let the world go on as it might, happen what would to others,
his own place and his own path were clear. He would go back to Oxford,
attend steadily to his books, put aside all distractions, avoid
bye-paths, and do his best to acquit himself well in the schools. The
Church of England as it was, its Articles, bishops, preachers,
professors, had sufficed for much better persons than he was; they were
good enough for him. He could not do better than imitate the life and
death of his beloved father; quiet years in the country at a distance
from all excitements, a round of pious, useful works among the poor, the
care of a village school, and at length the death of the righteous.

At the moment, and for some time to come, he had special duties towards
his mother; he wished, as far as might be, to supply to her the place of
him she had lost. She had great trials before her still; if it was a
grief to himself to leave Hartley, what would it be to her? Not many
months would pass before she would have to quit a place ever dear, and
now sacred in her thoughts; there was in store for her the anguish of
dismantling the home of many years, and the toil and whirl of packing; a
wearied head and an aching heart at a time when she would have most need
of self-possession and energy.

Such were the thoughts which came upon him again and again in those
sorrowful weeks. A leaf had been turned over in his life; he could not
be what he had been. People come to man's estate at very different
ages. Youngest sons in a family, like monks in a convent, may remain
children till they have reached middle age; but the elder, should their
father die prematurely, are suddenly ripened into manhood, when they are
almost boys. Charles had left Oxford a clever unformed youth; he
returned a man.



Part II.

CHAPTER I.


About three miles from Oxford a thickly-wooded village lies on the side
of a steep, long hill or chine, looking over the Berkshire woods, and
commanding a view of the many-turreted city itself. Over its broad
summit once stretched a chestnut forest; and now it is covered with the
roots of trees, or furze, or soft turf. The red sand which lies
underneath contrasts with the green, and adds to its brilliancy; it
drinks in, too, the rain greedily, so that the wide common is nearly
always fit for walking; and the air, unlike the heavy atmosphere of the
University beneath it, is fresh and bracing. The gorse was still in
bloom, in the latter end of the month of June, when Reding and Sheffield
took up their abode in a small cottage at the upper end of this
village--so hid with trees and girt in with meadows that for the
stranger it was hard to find--there to pass their third and last Long
Vacation before going into the schools.

A year and a half had passed since Charles's great affliction, and the
time had not been unprofitably spent either by himself or his friend.
Both had read very regularly, and Sheffield had gained the Latin verse
into the bargain. Charles had put all religious perplexities aside; that
is, he knew of course many more persons of all parties than he did
before, and became better acquainted with their tenets and their
characters, but he did not dwell upon anything which he met with, nor
attempt to determine the merits or solve the difficulties of this or
that question. He took things as they came; and, while he gave his mind
to his books, he thankfully availed himself of the religious privileges
which the College system afforded him. Nearly a year still remained
before his examination; and, as Mrs. Reding had not as yet fully
arranged her plans, but was still, with her daughters, passing from
friend to friend, he had listened to Sheffield's proposal to take a
tutor for the Vacation, and to find a site for their studies in the
neighbourhood of Oxford. There was every prospect of their both
obtaining the highest honours which the schools award: they both were
good scholars, and clever men; they had read regularly, and had had the
advantage of able lectures.

The side of the hill forms a large, sweeping hollow or theatre just on
one side of the village of Horsley. The two extreme points may be half a
mile across; but the distance is increased to one who follows the path
which winds through the furze and fern along the ridge. Their tutor had
been unable to find lodgings in the village; and, while the two young
men lived on one extremity of the sweep we have been describing, Mr.
Carlton, who was not above three years older than they, had planted
himself at a farmhouse upon the other. Besides, the farmhouse suited
him better, as being nearer to a hamlet which he was serving during the
Vacation.

"I don't think you like Carlton as well as I do," said Reding to
Sheffield, as they lay on the green sward with some lighter classic in
their hands, waiting for dinner, and watching their friend as he
approached them from his lodgings. "He is to me so taking a man; so
equable, so gentle, so considerate--he brings people together, and fills
them with confidence in himself and friendly feeling towards each other,
more than any person I know."

"You are wrong," said Sheffield, "if you think I don't value him
extremely, and love him too; it's impossible not to love him. But he's
not the person quite to get influence over me."

"He's too much of an Anglican for you," said Reding.

"Not at all," said Sheffield, "except indirectly. My quarrel with him
is, that he has many original thoughts, and holds many profound truths
in detail, but is quite unable to see how they lie to each other, and
equally unable to draw consequences. He never sees a truth until he
touches it; he is ever groping and feeling, and, as in hide-and-seek,
continually burns without discovering. I know there are ten thousand
persons who cannot see an inch before their nose, and who can
comfortably digest contradictions; but Carlton is really a clever man;
he is no common thinker; this makes it so provoking. When I write an
essay for him--I know I write obscurely, and often do not bring out the
sequence of my ideas in due order, but, so it is--he is sure to cut out
the very thought or statement on which I especially pride myself, on
which the whole argument rests, which binds every part together; and he
coolly tells me that it is extravagant or far-fetched--not seeing that
by leaving it out he has made nonsense of the rest. He is a man to rob
an arch of its keystone, and then quietly to build his house upon it."

"Ah, your old failing again," said Reding; "a craving after views. Now,
what I like in Carlton, is that repose of his;--always saying enough,
never too much; never boring you, never taxing you; always practical,
never in the clouds. Save me from a viewy man; I could not live with him
for a week, present company always excepted."

"Now, considering how hard I have read, and how little I have talked
this year past, that is hard on me," said Sheffield. "Did not I go to be
one of old Thruston's sixteen pupils, last Long? He gave us capital
feeds, smoked with us, and coached us in Ethics and Agamemnon. He knows
his books by heart, can repeat his plays backwards, and weighs out his
Aristotle by grains and pennyweights; but, for generalizations, ideas,
poetry, oh, it was desolation--it was a darkness which could be felt!"

"And you stayed there just six weeks out of four months, Sheffield,"
answered Reding.

Carlton had now joined them, and, after introductory greetings on both
sides, he too threw himself upon the turf. Sheffield said: "Reding and I
were disputing just now whether Nicias was a party man."

"Of course you first defined your terms," said Carlton.

"Well," said Sheffield, "I mean by a party man, one who not only belongs
to a party, but who has the _animus_ of party. Nicias did not make a
party, he found one made. He found himself at the head of it; he was no
more a party man than a prince who was born the head of his state."

"I should agree with you," said Carlton; "but still I should like to
know what a party is, and what a party man."

"A party," said Sheffield, "is merely an extra-constitutional or
extra-legal body."

"Party action," said Charles, "is the exertion of influence instead of
law."

"But supposing, Reding, there is no law existing in the quarter where
influence exerts itself?" asked Carlton.

Charles had to explain: "Certainly," he said, "the State did not
legislate for all possible contingencies."

"For instance," continued Carlton, "a prime minister, I have understood,
is not acknowledged in the Constitution; he exerts influence beyond the
law, but not, in consequence, against any existing law; and it would be
absurd to talk of him as a party man."

"Parliamentary parties, too, are recognised among us," said Sheffield,
"though extra-constitutional. We call them parties; but who would call
the Duke of Devonshire or Lord John Russell, in a bad sense, a party
man?"

"It seems to me," said Carlton, "that the formation of a party is
merely a recurrence to the original mode of forming into society. You
recollect Deioces; he formed a party. He gained influence; he laid the
foundation of social order."

"Law certainly begins in influence," said Reding, "for it presupposes a
lawgiver; afterwards it supersedes influence; from that time the
exertion of influence is a sign of party."

"Too broadly said, as you yourself just now allowed," said Carlton: "you
should say that law _begins_ to supersede influence, and that _in
proportion_ as it supersedes it, does the exertion of influence involve
party action. For instance, has not the Crown an immense personal
influence? we talk of the Court _party_; yet it does not interfere with
law, it is intended to conciliate the people to the law."

"But it is recognized by law and constitution," said Charles, "as was
the Dictatorship."

"Well, then, take the influence of the clergy," answered Carlton; "we
make much of that influence as a principle supplemental to the law, and
as a support to the law, yet not created or defined by the law. The law
does not recognize what some one calls truly a 'resident gentleman' in
every parish. Influence, then, instead of law is not necessarily the
action of party."

"So again, national character is an influence distinct from the law,"
said Sheffield, "according to the line, '_Quid leges sine moribus_?'"

"Law," said Carlton, "is but gradually formed and extended. Well, then,
so far as there is no law, there is the reign of influence; there is
party without of necessity _party_ action. This is the justification of
Whigs and Tories at the present day; to supply, as Aristotle says on
another subject, the defects of the law. Charles I. exerted a regal,
Walpole a ministerial influence; but influence, not law, was the
operating principle in both cases. The object or the means might be
wrong, but the process could not be called party action."

"You would justify, then," said Charles, "the associations or
confraternities which existed, for instance, in Athens; not, that is, if
they 'took the law into their own hands,' as the phrase goes, but if
there was no law to take, or if there was no constituted authority to
take it of right. It was a recurrence to the precedent of Deioces."

"Manzoni gives a striking instance of this in the beginning of his
_Promessi Sposi_," said Sheffield, "when he describes that protection,
which law ought to give to the weak, as being in the sixteenth century
sought and found almost exclusively in factions or companies. I don't
recollect particulars, but he describes the clergy as busy in extending
their immunities, the nobility their privileges, the army their
exemptions, the trades and artisans their guilds. Even the lawyers
formed a union, and medical men a corporation."

"Thus constitutions are gradually moulded and perfected," said Carlton,
"by extra-constitutional bodies, either coming under the protection of
law, or else being superseded by the law's providing for their objects.
In the middle ages the Church was a vast extra-constitutional body. The
German and Anglo-Norman sovereigns sought to bring its operation
_under_ the law; modern parliaments have superseded its operation _by
law_. Then the State wished to gain the right of investitures; now the
State marries, registers, manages the poor, exercises ecclesiastical
jurisdiction instead of the Church."

"This will make ostracism parallel to the Reformation or the
Revolution," said Sheffield; "there is a battle of influence against
influence, and one gets rid of the other; law or constitution does not
come into question, but the will of the people or of the court ejects,
whether the too-gifted individual, or the monarch, or the religion. What
was not under the law could not be dealt with, had no claim to be dealt
with, by the law."

"A thought has sometimes struck me," said Reding, "which falls in with
what you have been saying. In the last half-century there has been a
gradual formation of the popular party in the State, which now tends to
be acknowledged as constitutional, or is already so acknowledged. My
father never could endure newspapers--I mean the system of newspapers;
he said it was a new power in the State. I am sure I am not defending
what he was thinking of, the many bad proceedings, the wretched
principles, the arrogance and tyranny of newspaper writers, but I am
trying the subject by the test of your theory. The great body of the
people are very imperfectly represented in parliament; the Commons are
not their voice, but the voice of certain great interests. Consequently
the press comes in--to do that which the constitution does not do--to
form the people into a vast mutual-protection association. And this is
done by the same right that Deioces had to collect people about him; it
does not interfere with the existing territory of the law, but builds
where the constitution has not made provision. It _tends_, then,
ultimately to be recognised by the constitution."

"There is another remarkable phenomenon of a similar kind now in process
of development," said Carlton, "and that is, the influence of agitation.
I really am not politician enough to talk of it as good or bad; one's
natural instinct is against it; but it may be necessary. However,
agitation is getting to be recognised as the legitimate instrument by
which the masses make their desires known, and secure the accomplishment
of them. Just as a bill passes in parliament, after certain readings,
discussions, speeches, votings, and the like, so the process by which an
act of the popular will becomes law is a long agitation, issuing in
petitions, previous to and concurrent with the parliamentary process.
The first instance of this was about fifty or sixty years ago, when ...
Hallo!" he cried, "who is this cantering up to us?"

"I declare it is old Vincent," said Sheffield.

"He is to come to dine," said Charles, "just in time."

"How are you, Carlton?" cried Vincent. "How d'ye do, Mr. Sheffield? Mr.
Reding, how d'ye do? acting up to your name, I suppose, for you were
ever a reading man. For myself," he continued, "I am just now an eating
man, and am come to dine with you, if you will let me. Have you a place
for my horse?"

There was a farmer near who could lend a stable; so the horse was led
off by Charles; and the rider, without any delay--for the hour did not
admit it--entered the cottage to make his brief preparation for dinner.



CHAPTER II.


In a few minutes all met together at table in the small parlour, which
was room of all work in the cottage. They had not the whole house,
limited as were its resources; for it was also the habitation of a
gardener, who took his vegetables to the Oxford market, and whose wife
(what is called) _did_ for his lodgers.

Dinner was suited to the apartment, apartment to the dinner. The
book-table had been hastily cleared for a cloth, not over white, and, in
consequence, the sole remaining table, which acted as sideboard,
displayed a relay of plates and knives and forks, in the midst of
octavos and duodecimos, bound and unbound, piled up and thrown about in
great variety of shapes. The other ornaments of this side-table were an
ink-glass, some quires of large paper, a straw hat, a gold watch, a
clothes-brush, some bottles of ginger-beer, a pair of gloves, a case of
cigars, a neck-handkerchief, a shoe-horn, a small slate, a large
clasp-knife, a hammer, and a handsome inlaid writing-desk.

"I like these rides into the country," said Vincent, as they began
eating, "the country loses its effect on me when I live in it, as you
do; but it is exquisite as a zest. Visit it, do not live in it, if you
would enjoy it. Country air is a stimulus; stimulants, Mr. Reding,
should not be taken too often. You are of the country party. I am of no
party. I go here and there--like the bee--I taste of everything, I
depend on nothing."

Sheffield said that this was rather belonging to all parties than to
none.

"That is impossible," answered Vincent; "I hold it to be altogether
impossible. You can't belong to two parties; there's no fear of it; you
might as well attempt to be in two places at once. To be connected with
both is to be united with neither. Depend on it, my young friend,
antagonist principles correct each other. It's a piece of philosophy
which one day you will thank me for, when you are older."

"I have heard of an American illustration of this," said Sheffield,
"which certainly confirms what you say, sir. Professors in the United
States are sometimes of two or three religions at once, according as we
regard them historically, personally, or officially. In this way,
perhaps, they hit the mean."

Vincent, though he so often excited a smile in others, had no humour
himself, and never could make out the difference between irony and
earnest. Accordingly he was brought to a stand.

Charles came to his relief. "Before dinner," he said, "we were sporting
what you will consider a great paradox, I am afraid; that parties were
good things, or rather necessary things."

"You don't do me justice," answered Vincent, "if this is what you think
I deny. I halve your words; parties are not good, but necessary; like
snails, I neither envy them their small houses, nor try to lodge in them
myself."

"You mean," said Carlton, "that parties do our dirty work; they are our
beasts of burden; we could not get on without them, but we need not
identify ourselves with them; we may keep aloof."

"That," said Sheffield, "is something like those religious professors
who say that it is sinful to engage in worldly though necessary
occupations; but that the reprobate undertake them, and work for the
elect."

"There will always be persons enough in the world who like to be party
men, without being told to be so," said Vincent; "it's our business to
turn them to account, to use them, but to keep aloof. I take it, all
parties are partly right, only they go too far. I borrow from each, I
co-operate with each, as far as each is right, and no further. Thus I
get good from all, and I do good to all; for I countenance each, so far
as it is true."

"Mr. Carlton meant more than that, sir," said Sheffield; "he meant that
the existence of parties was not only necessary and useful, but even
right."

"Mr. Carlton is not the man to make paradoxes," said Vincent; "I suspect
he would not defend the extreme opinions, which, alas, exist among us at
present, and are progressing every day."

"I was speaking of political parties," said Carlton, "but I am disposed
to extend what I said to religious also."

"But, my good Carlton," said Vincent, "Scripture speaks against
religious parties."

"Certainly I don't wish to oppose Scripture," said Carlton, "and I speak
under correction of Scripture; but I say this, that whenever and
wherever a church does not decide religious points, so far does it leave
the decision to individuals; and, since you can't expect all people to
agree together, you must have different opinions; and the expression of
those different opinions, by the various persons who hold them, is what
is called a party."

"Mr. Carlton has been great, sir, on the general subject before dinner,"
said Sheffield, "and now he draws the corollary, that whenever there are
parties in a church, a church may thank itself for them. They are the
certain effect of private judgment; and the more private judgment you
have, the more parties you will have. You are reduced, then, to this
alternative, no toleration or else party; and you must recognise party,
unless you refuse toleration."

"Sheffield words it more strongly than I should do," said Carlton; "but
really I mean pretty much what he says. Take the case of the Roman
Catholics; they have decided many points of theology, many they have not
decided; and wherever there is no ecclesiastical decision, there they
have at once a party, or what they call a 'school;' and when the
ecclesiastical decision at length appears, then the party ceases. Thus
you have the Dominicans and Franciscans contending about the Immaculate
Conception; they went on contending because authority did not at once
decide the question. On the other hand, when Jesuits and Jansenists
disputed on the question of grace, the Pope gave it in favour of the
Jesuits, and the controversy at once came to an end."

"Surely," said Vincent, "my good and worthy friend, the Rev. Charles
Carlton, Fellow of Leicester, and sometime Ireland Essayist, is not
preferring the Church of Rome to the Church of England?"

Carlton laughed; "You won't suspect me of that, I think," he answered;
"no; all I say is, that our Church, from its constitution, admits,
approves of private judgment; and that private judgment, so far forth as
it is admitted, necessarily involves parties; the slender private
judgment allowed in the Church of Rome admitting occasional or local
parties, and the ample private judgment allowed in our Church
recognizing parties as an element of the Church."

"Well, well, my good Carlton," said Vincent, frowning and looking wise,
yet without finding anything particular to say.

"You mean," said Sheffield, "if I understand you, that it is a piece of
mawkish hypocrisy to shake the head and throw up the eyes at Mr. this or
that for being the head of a religious party, while we return thanks for
our pure and reformed Church; because purity, reformation, apostolicity,
toleration, all these boasts and glories of the Church of England,
establish party action and party spirit as a cognate blessing, for which
we should be thankful also. Party is one of our greatest ornaments, Mr.
Vincent."

"A sentiment or argument does not lose in your hands," said Carlton;
"but what I meant was simply that party leaders are not dishonourable in
the Church, unless Lord John Russell or Sir Robert Peel hold a
dishonourable post in the State."

"My young friend," said Vincent, finishing his mutton, and pushing his
plate from him, "my two young friends--for Carlton is not much older
than Mr. Sheffield--may you learn a little more judgment. When you have
lived to my age" (viz. two or three years beyond Carlton's) "you will
learn sobriety in all things. Mr. Reding, another glass of wine. See
that poor child, how she totters under the gooseberry-pudding; up, Mr.
Sheffield, and help her. The old woman cooks better than I had expected.
How do you get your butcher's meat here, Carlton? I should have made the
attempt to bring you a fine jack I saw in our kitchen, but I thought you
would have no means of cooking it."

Dinner over, the party rose, and strolled out on the green. Another
subject commenced.

"Was not Mr. Willis of St. George's a friend of yours, Mr. Reding?"
asked Vincent.

Charles started; "I knew him a little ... I have seen him several
times."

"You know he left us," continued Vincent, "and joined the Church of
Rome. Well, it is credibly reported that he is returning."

"A melancholy history, anyhow," answered Charles; "most melancholy, if
this is true."

"Rather," said Vincent, setting him right, as if he had simply made a
verbal mistake, "a most happy termination, you mean; the only thing that
was left for him to do. You know he went abroad. Any one who is
inclined to Romanize should go abroad; Carlton, we shall be sending you
soon. Here things are softened down; there you see the Church of Rome as
it really is. I have been abroad, and should know it. Such heaps of
beggars in the streets of Rome and Naples; so much squalidness and
misery; no cleanliness; an utter want of comfort; and such superstition;
and such an absence of all true and evangelical seriousness. They push
and fight while Mass is going on; they jabber their prayers at railroad
speed; they worship the Virgin as a goddess; and they see miracles at
the corner of every street. Their images are awful, and their ignorance
prodigious. Well, Willis saw all this; and I have it on good authority,"
he said mysteriously, "that he is thoroughly disgusted with the whole
affair, and is coming back to us."

"Is he in England now?" asked Reding.

"He is said to be with his mother in Devonshire, who, perhaps you know,
is a widow; and he has been too much for her. Poor silly fellow, who
would not take the advice of older heads! A friend once sent him to me;
I could make nothing of him. I couldn't understand his arguments, nor he
mine. It was no good; he would make trial himself, and he has caught
it."

There was a short pause in the conversation; then Vincent added, "But
such perversions, Carlton, I suppose, thinks to be as necessary as
parties in a pure Protestant Church."

"I can't say you satisfy me, Carlton," said Charles; "and I am happy to
have the sanction of Mr. Vincent. Did political party make men rebels,
then would political party be indefensible; so is religious, if it
leads to apostasy."

"You know the Whigs _were_ accused in the last war," said Sheffield, "of
siding with Bonaparte; accidents of this kind don't affect general rules
or standing customs."

"Well, independent of this," answered Charles, "I cannot think religious
parties defensible on the considerations which justify political. There
is, to my feelings, something despicable in heading a religious party."

"Was Loyola despicable," asked Sheffield, "or St. Dominic?"

"They had the sanction of their superiors," said Charles.

"You are hard on parties surely, Reding," said Carlton; "a man may
individually write, preach, and publish what he believes to be the
truth, without offence; why, then, does it begin to be wrong when he
does so together with others?"

"Party tactics are a degradation of the truth," said Charles.

"We have heard, I believe, before now," said Carlton, "of Athanasius
against the whole world, and the whole world against Athanasius."

"Well," answered Charles, "I will but say this, that a party man must be
very much above par or below it."

"There, again, I don't agree," said Carlton; "you are supposing the
leader of a party to be conscious of what he is doing; and, being
conscious, he may be, as you say, either much above or below the
average; but a man need not realise to himself that he is forming a
party."

"That's more difficult to conceive," said Vincent, "than any statement
which has been hazarded this afternoon."

"Not at all difficult," answered Carlton: "do you mean that there is
only one way of gaining influence? surely there is such a thing as
unconscious influence?"

"I'd as easily believe," said Vincent, "that a beauty does not know her
charms."

"That's narrow-minded," retorted Carlton: "a man sits in his room and
writes, and does not know what people think of him."

"I'd believe it less," persisted Vincent: "beauty is a fact; influence
is an effect. Effects imply agents, agency, will and consciousness."

"There are different modes of influence," interposed Sheffield;
"influence is often spontaneous and almost necessary."

"Like the light on Moses' face," said Carlton.

"Bonaparte is said to have had an irresistible smile," said Sheffield.

"What is beauty itself, but a spontaneous influence?" added Carlton;
"don't you recollect 'the lovely young Lavinia' in Thomson?"

"Well, gentlemen," said Vincent, "when I am Chancellor I will give a
prize essay on 'Moral Influence, its Kinds and Causes,' and Mr.
Sheffield shall get it; and as to Carlton, he shall be my Poetry
Professor when I am Convocation."

You will say, good reader, that the party took a very short stroll on
the hill, when we tell you that they were now stooping their heads at
the lowly door of the cottage; but the terse _littera scripta_ abridges
wondrously the rambling _vox emissa_; and there might be other things
said in the course of the conversation which history has not
condescended to record. Anyhow, we are obliged now to usher them again
into the room where they had dined, and where they found tea ready laid,
and the kettle speedily forthcoming. The bread and butter were
excellent; and the party did justice to them, as if they had not lately
dined. "I see you keep your tea in tin cases," said Vincent; "I am for
glass. Don't spare the tea, Mr. Reding; Oxford men do not commonly fail
on that head. Lord Bacon says the first and best juice of the grape,
like the primary, purest, and best comment on Scripture, is not pressed
and forced out, but consists of a natural exudation. This is the case in
Italy at this day; and they call the juice '_lagrima_.' So it is with
tea, and with coffee too. Put in a large quantity, pour on the water,
turn off the liquor; turn it off at once--don't let it stand; it becomes
poisonous. I am a great patron of tea; the poet truly says, 'It cheers,
but not inebriates.' It has sometimes a singular effect upon my nerves;
it makes me whistle--so people tell me; I am not conscious of it.
Sometimes, too, it has a dyspeptic effect. I find it does not do to take
it too hot; we English drink our liquors too hot. It is not a French
failing; no, indeed. In France, that is, in the country, you get nothing
for breakfast but acid wine and grapes; this is the other extreme, and
has before now affected me awfully. Yet acids, too, have a soothing
sedative effect upon one; lemonade especially. But nothing suits me so
well as tea. Carlton," he continued mysteriously, "do you know the late
Dr. Baillie's preventive of the flatulency which tea produces? Mr.
Sheffield, do you?" Both gave up. "Camomile flowers; a little camomile,
not a great deal; some people chew rhubarb, but a little camomile in the
tea is not perceptible. Don't make faces, Mr. Sheffield; a little, I
say; a little of everything is best--_ne quid nimis_. Avoid all
extremes. So it is with sugar. Mr. Reding, you are putting too much into
your tea. I lay down this rule: sugar should not be a substantive
ingredient in tea, but an adjective; that is, tea has a natural
roughness; sugar is only intended to remove that roughness; it has a
negative office; when it is more than this, it is too much. Well,
Carlton, it is time for me to be seeing after my horse. I fear he has
not had so pleasant an afternoon as I. I have enjoyed myself much in
your suburban villa. What a beautiful moon! but I have some very rough
ground to pass over. I daren't canter over the ruts with the gravel-pits
close before me. Mr. Sheffield, do me the favour to show me the way to
the stable. Good-bye to you, Carlton; good night, Mr. Reding."

When they were left to themselves Charles asked Carlton if he really
meant to acquit of party spirit the present party leaders in Oxford.
"You must not misunderstand me," answered he; "I do not know much of
them, but I know they are persons of great merit and high character, and
I wish to think the best of them. They are most unfairly attacked, that
is certain; however, they are accused of wishing to make a display, of
aiming at influence and power, of loving agitation, and so on. I cannot
deny that some things they have done have an unpleasant appearance, and
give plausibility to the charge. I wish they had, at certain times,
acted otherwise. Meanwhile, I do think it but fair to keep in view that
the existence of parties is no fault of theirs. They are but claiming
their birthright as Protestants. When the Church does not speak, others
will speak instead; and learned men have the best right to speak. Again,
when learned men speak, others will attend to them; and thus the
formation of a party is rather the act of those who follow than of those
who lead."



CHAPTER III.


Sheffield had some friends residing at Chalton, a neighbouring village,
with a scholar of St. Michael's, who had a small cure with a house on
it. One of them, indeed, was known to Reding also, being no other than
our friend White, who was going into the schools, and during the last
six months had been trying to make up for the time he had wasted in the
first years of his residence. Charles had lost sight of him, or nearly
so, since he first knew him; and at their time of life so considerable
an interval could not elapse without changes in the character for good
or evil, or for both. Carlton and Charles, who were a good deal thrown
together by Sheffield's frequent engagements with the Chalton party,
were just turning homewards in their walk one evening when they fell in
with White, who had been calling at Mr. Bolton's in Oxford, and was
returning. They had not proceeded very far before they were joined by
Sheffield and Mr. Barry, the curate of Chalton; and thus the party was
swelled to five.

"So you are going to lose Upton?" said Barry to Reding; "a capital
tutor; you can ill spare him. Who comes into his place?"

"We don't know," answered Charles; "the Principal will call up one of
the Junior Fellows from the country, I believe."

"Oh, but you won't get a man like Upton," said Carlton; "he knew his
subject so thoroughly. His lecture in the Agricola, I've heard your men
say, might have been published. It was a masterly, minute running
comment on the text, quite exhausting it."

"Yes, it was his forte," said Charles; "yet he never loaded his
lectures; everything he said had a meaning, and was wanted."

"He has got a capital living," said Barry; "a substantial modern house,
and by the rail only an hour from London."

"And _500l._ a year," said White; "Mr. Bolton went over the living, and
told me so. It's in my future neighbourhood; a very beautiful country,
and a number of good families round about."

"They say he's going to marry the Dean of Selsey's daughter," said
Barry; "do you know the family? Miss Juliet, the thirteenth, a very
pretty girl."

"Yes," said White, "I know them all; a most delightful family; Mrs.
Bland is a charming woman, so very ladylike. It's my good luck to be
under the Dean's jurisdiction; I think I shall pull with him capitally."

"He's a clever man," said Barry; "his charges are always well written;
he had a high name in his day at Cambridge."

"Hasn't he been lately writing against your friends here, White?" said
Sheffield.

"_My_ friends!" said White; "whom can you mean? He has written against
parties and party leaders; and with reason, I think. Oh, yes; he alluded
to poor Willis and some others."

"It was more that that," insisted Sheffield; "he charged against certain
sayings and doings at St. Mary's."

"Well, I for one cannot approve of all that is uttered from the pulpit
there," said White; "I know for a fact that Willis refers with great
satisfaction to what he heard there as inclining him to Romanism."

"I wish preachers and hearers would all go over together at once, and
then we should have some quiet time for proper University studies," said
Barry.

"Take care what you are saying, Barry," said Sheffield; "you mean
present company excepted. You, White, I think, come under the
denomination of hearers?"

"I!" said White; "no such thing. I have been to hear him before now, as
most men have; but I think him often very injudicious, or worse. The
tendency of his preaching is to make one dissatisfied with one's own
Church."

"Well," said Sheffield, "one's memory plays one tricks, or I should say
that a friend of mine had said ten times as strong things against our
Church as any preacher in Oxford ever did."

"You mean me," said White, with earnestness; "you have misunderstood me
grievously. I have ever been most faithful to the Church of England. You
never heard me say anything inconsistent with the warmest attachment to
it. I have never, indeed, denied the claims of the Romish Church to be a
branch of the Catholic Church, nor will I,--that's another thing quite;
there are many things which we might borrow with great advantage from
the Romanists. But I have ever loved, and hope I shall ever venerate, my
own Mother, the Church of my baptism."

Sheffield made an odd face, and no one spoke. White continued,
attempting to preserve an unconcerned manner: "It is remarkable," he
said, "that Mr. Bolton--who, though a layman, and no divine, is a
sensible, practical, shrewd man--never liked that pulpit; he always
prophesied no good would come of it."

The silence continuing, White presently fell upon Sheffield. "I defy
you," he said, with an attempt to be jocular, "to prove what you have
been hinting; it is a great shame. It's so easy to speak against men, to
call them injudicious, extravagant, and so on. You are the only
person--"

"Well, well, I know it, I know it," said Sheffield; "we're only
canonizing you, and I am the devil's advocate."

Charles wanted to hear something about Willis; so he turned the current
of White's thoughts by coming up and asking him whether there was any
truth in the report he had heard from Vincent several weeks before; had
White heard from him lately? White knew very little about him
definitely, and was not able to say whether the report was true or not.
So far was certain, that he had returned from abroad and was living at
home. Thus he had not committed himself to the Church of Rome, whether
as a theological student or as a novice; but he could not say more. Yes,
he had heard one thing more; and the subject of a letter which he had
received from him corroborated it--that he was very strong on the point
that Romanism and Anglicanism were two religions; that you could not
amalgamate them; that you must be Roman or Anglican, but could not be
Anglo-Roman or Anglo-Catholic. "This is what a friend told me. In his
letter to myself," White continued, "I don't know quite what he meant,
but he spoke a good deal of the necessity of faith in order to be a
Catholic. He said no one should go over merely because he thought he
should like it better; that he had found out by experience that no one
could live on sentiment; that the whole system of worship in the Romish
Church was different from what it is in our own; nay, the very idea of
worship, the idea of prayers; that the doctrine of intention itself,
viewed in all its parts, constituted a new religion. He did not speak of
himself definitely, but he said generally that all this might be a great
discouragement to a convert, and throw him back. On the whole, the tone
of his letter was like a person disappointed, and who might be
reclaimed; at least, so I thought."

"He is a wiser, even if he is a sadder man," said Charles: "I did not
know he had so much in him. There is more reflection in all this than so
excitable a person, as he seemed to me, is capable of exercising. At the
same time there is nothing in all this to prove that he is sorry for
what he has done."

"I have granted this," said White; "still the effect of the letter was
to keep people back from following him, by putting obstacles in their
way; and then we must couple this with the fact of his going home."

Charles thought awhile. "Vincent's testimony," he said, "is either a
confirmation or a mere exaggeration of what you have told me, according
as it is independent or not." Then he said to himself, "White, too, has
more in him than I thought; he really has spoken about Willis very
sensibly: what has come to him?"

The paths soon divided; and while the Chalton pair took the right hand,
Carlton and his pupils turned to the left. Soon Carlton parted from the
two friends, and they reached their cottage just in time to see the
setting sun.



CHAPTER IV.


A few days later, Carlton, Sheffield, and Reding were talking together
after dinner out of doors about White.

"How he is altered," said Charles, "since I first knew him!"

"Altered!" cried Sheffield; "he was a playful kitten once, and now he is
one of the dullest old tabbies I ever came across."

"Altered for the better," said Charles; "he has now a steady sensible
way of talking; but he was not a very wise person two years ago; he is
reading, too, really hard."

"He has some reason," said Sheffield, "for he is sadly behindhand; but
there is another cause of his steadiness which perhaps you know."

"I! no indeed," answered Charles.

"I thought of course you knew it," said Sheffield; "you don't mean to
say you have not heard that he is engaged to some Oxford girl?"

"Engaged!" cried Charles, "how absurd!"

"I don't see that at all, my dear Reding," said Carlton. "It's not as if
he could not afford it; he has a good living waiting for him; and,
moreover, he is thus losing no time, which is a great thing in life.
Much time is often lost. White will soon find himself settled in every
sense of the word, in mind, in life, in occupation."

Charles said that there was one thing which could not help surprising
him, namely, that when White first came up he was so strong in his
advocacy of clerical celibacy. Carlton and Sheffield laughed. "And do
you think," said the former, "that a youth of eighteen can have an
opinion on such a subject, or knows himself well enough to make a
resolution in his own case? Do you really think it fair to hold a man
committed to all the random opinions and extravagant sayings into which
he was betrayed when he first left school?"

"He had read some ultra-book or other," said Sheffield; "or had seen
some beautiful nun sculptured on a chancel-screen, and was carried away
by romance--as others have been and are."

"Don't you suppose," said Carlton, "that those good fellows who now are
so full of 'sacerdotal purity,' 'angelical blessedness,' and so on, will
one and all be married by this time ten years?"

"I'll take a bet of it," said Sheffield: "one will give in early, one
late, but there is a time destined for all. Pass some ten or twelve
years, as Carlton says, and we shall find A.B. on a curacy, the happy
father of ten children; C.D. wearing on a long courtship till a living
falls; E.F. in his honeymoon; G.H. lately presented by Mrs. H. with
twins; I.K. full of joy, just accepted; L.M. may remain what Gibbon
calls 'a column in the midst of ruins,' and a very tottering column
too."

"Do you really think," said Charles, "that people mean so little what
they say?"

"You take matters too seriously, Reding," answered Carlton; "who does
not change his opinions between twenty and thirty? A young man enters
life with his father's or tutor's views; he changes them for his own.
The more modest and diffident he is, the more faith he has, so much the
longer does he speak the words of others; but the force of
circumstances, or the vigour of his mind, infallibly obliges him at last
to have a mind of his own; that is, if he is good for anything."

"But I suspect," said Reding, "that the last generation, whether of
fathers or tutors, had no very exalted ideas of clerical celibacy."

"Accidents often clothe us with opinions which we wear for a time," said
Carlton.

"Well, I honour people who wear their family suit; I don't honour those
at all who begin with foreign fashions and then abandon them."

"A few years more of life," said Carlton, smiling, "will make your
judgment kinder."

"I don't like talkers," continued Charles; "I don't think I ever shall;
I hope not."

"I know better what's at the bottom of it," said Sheffield; "but I can't
stay; I must go in and read; Reding is too fond of a gossip."

"Who talks so much as you, Sheffield?" said Charles.

"But I talk fast when I talk," answered he, "and get through a great
deal of work; then I give over: but you prose, and muse, and sigh, and
prose again." And so he left them.

"What does he mean?" asked Carlton.

Charles slightly coloured and laughed: "You are a man I say things to, I
don't to others," he made answer; "as to Sheffield, he fancies he has
found it out of himself."

Carlton looked round at him sharply and curiously.

"I am ashamed of myself," said Charles, laughing and looking confused;
"I have made you think that I have something important to tell, but
really I have nothing at all."

"Well, out with it," said Carlton.

"Why, to tell the truth,--no, really, it is too absurd. I have made a
fool of myself."

He turned away, then turned back, and resumed:

"Why, it was only this, that Sheffield fancies I have some sneaking
kindness for ... celibacy myself."

"Kindness for whom?" said Carlton.

"Kindness for celibacy."

There was a pause, and Carlton's face somewhat changed.

"Oh, my dear good fellow," he said kindly, "so you are one of them; but
it will go off."

"Perhaps it will," said Charles: "oh, I am laying no stress upon it. It
was Sheffield who made me mention it."

A real difference of mind and view had evidently been struck upon by two
friends, very congenial and very fond of each other. There was a pause
for a few seconds.

"You are so sensible a fellow, Reding," said Carlton, "it surprises me
that you should take up this notion."

"It's no new notion taken up," answered Charles; "you will smile, but I
had it when a boy at school, and I have ever since fancied that I should
never marry. Not that the feeling has never intermitted, but it is the
habit of my mind. My general thoughts run in that one way, that I shall
never marry. If I did, I should dread Thalaba's punishment."

Carlton put his hand on Reding's shoulder, and gently shook him to and
fro; "Well, it surprises me," he said; then, after a pause, "I have been
accustomed to think both celibacy and marriage good in their way. In the
Church of Rome great good, I see, comes of celibacy; but depend on it,
my dear Reding, you are making a great blunder if you are for
introducing celibacy into the Anglican Church."

"There's nothing against it in Prayer Book or Articles," said Charles.

"Perhaps not; but the whole genius, structure, working of our Church
goes the other way. For instance, we have no monasteries to relieve the
poor; and if we had, I suspect, as things are, a parson's wife would, in
practical substantial usefulness, be infinitely superior to all the
monks that were ever shaven. I declare, I think the Bishop of Ipswich is
almost justified in giving out that none but married men have a chance
of preferment from him; nay, the Bishop of Abingdon, who makes a rule of
bestowing his best livings as marriage portions to the most virtuous
young ladies in his diocese." Carlton spoke with more energy than was
usual with him.

Charles answered, that he was not looking to the expediency or
feasibility of the thing, but at what seemed to him best in itself, and
what he could not help admiring. "I said nothing about the celibacy of
clergy," he observed, "but of celibacy generally."

"Celibacy has no place in our idea or our system of religion, depend on
it," said Carlton. "It is nothing to the purpose, whether there is
anything in the Articles against it; it is not a question about formal
enactments, but whether the genius of Anglicanism is not utterly at
variance with it. The experience of three hundred years is surely
abundant for our purpose; if we don't know what our religion is in that
time, what time will be long enough? there are forms of religion which
have not lasted so long from first to last. Now enumerate the cases of
celibacy for celibacy's sake in that period, and what will be the sum
total of them? Some instances there are; but even Hammond, who died
unmarried, was going to marry, when his mother wished it. On the other
hand, if you look out for types of our Church can you find truer than
the married excellence of Hooker the profound, Taylor the devotional,
and Bull the polemical? The very first reformed primate is married; in
Pole and Parker, the two systems, Roman and Anglican, come into strong
contrast."

"Well, it seems to me as much a yoke of bondage," said Charles, "to
compel marriage as to compel celibacy, and that is what you are really
driving at. You are telling me that any one is a black sheep who does
not marry."

"Not a very practical difficulty to you at this moment," said Carlton;
"no one is asking you to go about on Coelebs' mission just now, with
Aristotle in hand and the class-list in view."

"Well, excuse me," said Charles, "if I have said anything very foolish;
you don't suppose I argue on such subjects with others."



CHAPTER V.


They had by this time strolled as far as Carlton's lodgings, where the
books happened to be on which Charles was at that time more immediately
employed; and they took two or three turns under some fine beeches which
stood in front of the house before entering it.

"Tell me, Reding," said Carlton, "for really I don't understand, what
are your reasons for admiring what, in truth, is simply an unnatural
state."

"Don't let us talk more, my dear Carlton," answered Reding; "I shall go
on making a fool of myself. Let well alone, or bad alone, pray do."

It was evident that there was some strong feeling irritating him
inwardly; the manner and words were too serious for the occasion.
Carlton, too, felt strongly upon what seemed at first sight a very
secondary question, or he would have let it alone, as Charles asked him.

"No; as we are on the subject, let me get at your view," said he. "It
was said in the beginning, 'Increase and multiply;' therefore celibacy
is unnatural."

"Supernatural," said Charles, smiling.

"Is not that a word without an idea?" asked Carlton. "We are taught by
Butler that there is an analogy between nature and grace; else you might
parallel paganism to nature, and where paganism is contrary to nature,
say that it is supernatural. The Wesleyan convulsions are preternatural;
why not supernatural?"

"I really think that our divines, or at least some of them, are on my
side here," said Charles--"Jeremy Taylor, I believe."

"You have not told me what you mean by supernatural," said Carlton; "I
want to get at what _you_ think, you know."

"It seems to me," said Charles, "that Christianity, being the perfection
of nature, is both like it and unlike it;--like it, where it is the same
or as much as nature; unlike it, where it is as much and more. I mean by
supernatural the perfection of nature."

"Give me an instance," said Carlton.

"Why, consider, Carlton; our Lord says, 'Ye have heard that it has been
said of old time,--but _I_ say unto you;' that contrast denotes the more
perfect way, or the gospel ... He came not to destroy, but to fulfil the
law ... I can't recollect of a sudden; ... oh, for instance, _this_ is a
case in point; He abolished a permission which had been given to the
Jews because of the hardness of their hearts."

"Not quite in point," said Carlton, "for the Jews, in their divorces,
had fallen _below_ nature. 'Let no man put asunder,' was the rule in
Paradise."

"Still, surely the idea of an Apostle, unmarried, pure, in fast and
nakedness, and at length a martyr, is a higher idea than that of one of
the old Israelites sitting under his vine and fig-tree, full of temporal
goods, and surrounded by sons and grandsons. I am not derogating from
Gideon or Caleb; I am adding to St. Paul."

"St. Paul's is a very particular case," said Carlton.

"But he himself lays down the general maxim, that it is 'good' for a man
to continue as he was."

"There we come to a question of criticism, what 'good' means: I may
think it means 'expedient,' and what he says about the 'present
distress' confirms it."

"Well, I won't go to criticism," said Charles; "take the text, 'in sin
hath my mother conceived me.' Do not these words show that, over and
above the doctrine of original sin, there is (to say the least) great
risk of marriage leading to sin in married people?"

"My dear Reding," said Carlton, astonished, "you are running into
Gnosticism."

"Not knowingly or willingly," answered Charles; "but understand what I
mean. It's not a subject I can talk about; but it seems to me, without
of course saying that married persons must sin (which would be
Gnosticism), that there is a danger of sin. But don't let me say more on
this point."

"Well," said Carlton, after thinking awhile, "_I_ have been accustomed
to consider Christianity as the perfection of man as a whole, body,
soul, and spirit. Don't misunderstand me. Pantheists say body and
intellect, leaving out the moral principle; but I say spirit as well as
mind. Spirit, or the principle of religious faith and obedience, should
be the master principle, the _hegemonicon_. To this both intellect and
body are subservient; but as this supremacy does not imply the
ill-usage, the bondage of the intellect, neither does it of the body;
both should be well treated."

"Well, I think, on the contrary, it does imply in one sense the bondage
of intellect and body too. What is faith but the submission of the
intellect? and as 'every high thought is brought into captivity,' so are
we expressly told to bring the body into subjection too. They are both
well treated, when they are treated so as to be made fit instruments of
the sovereign principle."

"That is what I call unnatural," said Carlton.

"And it is what I mean by supernatural," answered Reding, getting a
little too earnest.

"How is it supernatural, or adding to nature, to destroy a part of it?"
asked Carlton.

Charles was puzzled. It was a way, he said, _towards_ perfection; but he
thought that perfection came after death, not here. Our nature could not
be perfect with a corruptible body; the body was treated now as a body
of death.

"Well, Reding," answered Carlton, "you make Christianity a very
different religion from what our Church considers it, I really think;"
and he paused awhile.

"Look here," he proceeded, "how can we rejoice in Christ, as having been
redeemed by Him, if we are in this sort of gloomy penitential state? How
much is said in St. Paul about peace, thanksgiving, assurance, comfort,
and the like! Old things are passed away; the Jewish law is destroyed;
pardon and peace are come; _that_ is the Gospel."

"Don't you think, then," said Charles, "that we should grieve for the
sins into which we are daily betrayed, and for the more serious offences
which from time to time we may have committed?"

"Certainly; we do so in Morning and Evening Prayer, and in the Communion
Service."

"Well, but supposing a youth, as is so often the case, has neglected
religion altogether, and has a whole load of sins, and very heinous
ones, all upon him,--do you think that, when he turns over a new leaf,
and comes to Communion, he is, on saying the Confession (saying it with
that contrition with which such persons ought to say it), pardoned at
once, and has nothing more to fear about his past sins?"

"I should say, 'Yes,'" answered Carlton.

"Really," said Charles thoughtfully.

"Of course," said Carlton, "I suppose him truly sorry or penitent:
whether he is so or not his future life will show."

"Well, somehow, I cannot master this idea," said Charles; "I think most
serious persons, even for a little sin, would go on fidgeting
themselves, and would not suppose they gained pardon directly they asked
for it."

"Certainly," answered Carlton; "but God pardons those who do not pardon
themselves."

"That is," said Charles, "who _don't_ at once feel peace, assurance, and
comfort; who _don't_ feel the perfect joy of the Gospel."

"Such persons grieve, but rejoice too," said Carlton.

"But tell me, Carlton," said Reding; "is, or is not, their not forgiving
themselves, their sorrow and trouble, pleasing to God?"

"Surely."

"Thus a certain self-infliction for sin committed is pleasing to Him;
and, if so, how does it matter whether it is inflicted on mind or body?"

"It is not properly a self-infliction," answered Carlton;
"self-infliction implies intention; grief at sin is something
spontaneous. When you afflict yourself on purpose, then at once you pass
from pure Christianity."

"Well," said Charles, "I certainly fancied that fasting, abstinence,
labours, celibacy, might be taken as a make-up for sin. It is not a very
far-fetched idea. You recollect Dr. Johnson's standing in the rain in
the market-place at Lichfield when a man, as a penance for some
disobedience to his father when a boy?"

"But, my dear Reding," said Carlton, "let me bring you back to what you
said originally, and to my answer to you, which what you now say only
makes more apposite. You began by saying that celibacy was a perfection
of nature, now you make it a penance; first it is good and glorious,
next it is a medicine and punishment."

"Perhaps our highest perfection here is penance," said Charles; "but I
don't know; I don't profess to have clear ideas upon the subject. I have
talked more than I like. Let us at length give over."

They did, in consequence, pass to other subjects connected with
Charles's reading; then they entered the house, and set to upon
Polybius; but it could not be denied that for the rest of the day
Carlton's manner was not quite his own, as if something had annoyed him.
Next morning he was as usual.



CHAPTER VI.


It is impossible to stop the growth of the mind. Here was Charles with
his thoughts turned away from religious controversy for two years, yet
with his religious views progressing, unknown to himself, the whole
time. It could not have been otherwise, if he was to live a religious
life at all. If he was to worship and obey his Creator, intellectual
acts, conclusions, and judgments, must accompany that worship and
obedience. He might not realize his own belief till questions had been
put to him; but then a single discussion with a friend, such as the
above with Carlton, would bring out what he really did hold to his own
apprehension--would ascertain for him the limits of each opinion as he
held it, and the inter-relations of opinion with opinion. He had not yet
given names to these opinions, much less had they taken a theological
form; nor could they, under his circumstances, be expressed in
theological language; but here he was, a young man of twenty-two,
professing in an hour's conversation with a friend, what really were the
Catholic doctrines and usages of penance, purgatory, councils of
perfection, mortification of self, and clerical celibacy. No wonder that
all this annoyed Carlton, though he no more than Charles perceived that
all this Catholicism did in fact lie hid under his professions; but he
felt, in what Reding put out, the presence of something, as he expressed
it, "very unlike the Church of England;" something new and unpleasant to
him, and withal something which had a body in it, which had a momentum,
which could not be passed over as a vague, sudden sound or transitory
cloud, but which had much behind it, which made itself felt, which
struck heavily.

And here we see what is meant when a person says that the Catholic
system comes home to his mind, fulfils his ideas of religion, satisfies
his sympathies, and the like; and thereupon becomes a Catholic. Such a
person is often said to go by private judgment, to be choosing his
religion by his own standard of what a religion ought to be. Now it need
not be denied that those who are external to the Church must begin with
private judgment; they use it in order ultimately to supersede it; as a
man out of doors uses a lamp in a dark night, and puts it out when he
gets home. What would be thought of his bringing it into his
drawing-room? what would the goodly company there assembled before a
genial hearth and under glittering chandeliers, the bright ladies and
the well-dressed gentlemen, say to him if he came in with a great-coat
on his back, a hat on his head, an umbrella under his arm, and a large
stable-lantern in his hand? Yet what would be thought, on the other
hand, if he precipitated himself into the inhospitable night and the war
of the elements in his ball-dress? "When the king came in to see the
guests, he saw a man who had not on a wedding-garment;" he saw a man who
determined to live in the Church as he had lived out of it, who would
not use his privileges, who would not exchange reason for faith, who
would not accommodate his thoughts and doings to the glorious scene
which surrounded him, who was groping for the hidden treasure and
digging for the pearl of price in the high, lustrous, all-jewelled
Temple of the Lord of Hosts; who shut his eyes and speculated, when he
might open them and see. There is no absurdity, then, or inconsistency
in a person first using his private judgment and then denouncing its
use. Circumstances change duties.

But still, after all, the person in question does not, strictly
speaking, judge of the external system presented to him by his private
ideas, but he brings in the dicta of that system to confirm and to
justify certain private judgments and personal feelings and habits
already existing. Reding, for instance, felt a difficulty in determining
how and when the sins of a Christian are forgiven; he had a great notion
that celibacy was better than married life. He was not the first person
in the Church of England who had had such thoughts; to numbers,
doubtless, before him they had occurred; but these numbers had looked
abroad, and seen nothing around them to justify what they felt, and
their feelings had, in consequence, either festered within them, or
withered away. But when a man, thus constituted within, falls under the
shadow of Catholicism without, then the mighty Creed at once produces an
influence upon him. He see that it justifies his thoughts, explains his
feelings; he understands that it numbers, corrects, harmonizes,
completes them; and he is led to ask what is the authority of this
foreign teaching; and then, when he finds it is what was once received
in England from north to south, in England from the very time that
Christianity was introduced here; that, as far as historical records go,
Christianity and Catholicism are synonymous; that it is still the faith
of the largest section of the Christian world; and that the faith of his
own country is held nowhere but within her own limits and those of her
own colonies; nay, further, that it is very difficult to say what faith
she has, or that she has any,--then he submits himself to the Catholic
Church, not by a process of criticism, but as a pupil to a teacher.

In saying this, of course it is not denied, on the one hand, that there
may be persons who come to the Catholic Church on imperfect motives, or
in a wrong way; who choose it by criticism, and who, unsubdued by its
majesty and its grace, go on criticizing when they are in it; and who,
if they persist and do not learn humility, may criticize themselves out
of it again. Nor is it denied, on the other hand, that some who are not
Catholics may possibly choose (for instance) Methodism, in the above
moral way, viz. because it confirms and justifies the inward feeling of
their hearts. This is certainly possible in idea, though what there is
venerable, awful, superhuman, in the Wesleyan Conference to persuade one
to take it as a prophet, is a perplexing problem; yet, after all, the
matter of fact we conceive to lie the other way, viz. that Wesleyans
and other sectaries put themselves above their system, not below it; and
though they may in bodily position "sit under" their preacher, yet in
the position of their souls and spirits, minds and judgments, they are
exalted high above him.

But to return to the subject of our narrative. What a mystery is the
soul of man! Here was Charles, busy with Aristotle and Euripides,
Thucydides and Lucretius, yet all the while growing towards the Church,
"to the measure of the age of the fulness of Christ." His mother had
said to him that he could not escape his destiny; it was true, though it
was to be fulfilled in a way which she, affectionate heart, could not
compass, did not dream of. He could not escape the destiny of being one
of the elect of God; he could not escape that destiny which the grace of
his Redeemer had stamped on his soul in baptism, which his good angel
had seen written there, and had done his zealous part to keep inviolate
and bright, which his own co-operation with the influences of Heaven had
confirmed and secured. He could not escape the destiny, in due time, in
God's time--though it might be long, though angels might be anxious,
though the Church might plead as if defrauded of her promised increase
of a stranger, yet a son; yet come it must, it was written in Heaven,
and the slow wheels of time each hour brought it nearer--he could not
ultimately escape his destiny of becoming a Catholic. And even before
that blessed hour, as an opening flower scatters sweets, so the strange
unknown odour, pleasing to some, odious to others, went abroad from him
upon the winds, and made them marvel what could be near them, and make
them look curiously and anxiously at him, while he was unconscious of
his own condition. Let us be patient with him, as his Maker is patient,
and bear that he should do a work slowly which he will do well.

Alas! while Charles had been growing in one direction, Sheffield had
been growing in another; and what that growth had been will appear from
a conversation which took place between the two friends, and which shall
be related in the following chapter.



CHAPTER VII.


Carlton had opened the small church he was serving for Saints'-day
services during the Long Vacation; and not being in the way to have any
congregation, and the church at Horsley being closed except on Sundays,
he had asked his two pupils to help him in this matter, by walking over
with him on St. Matthew's day, which, as the season was fine, and the
walk far from a dull one, they were very glad to do. When church was
over Carlton had to attend a sick call which lay still farther from
Horsley, and the two young men walked back together.

"I did not know that Carlton was so much of a party man," said
Sheffield; "did not his reading the Athanasian Creed strike you?"

"That's no mark of party, surely," answered Charles.

"To read it on days like these, I think, _is_ a mark of party; it's
going out of the way."

Charles did not see how obeying in so plain a matter the clear direction
of the Prayer Book could be a party act.

"Direction!" said Sheffield, "as if the question were not, is that
direction now binding? the sense, the understanding of the Church of
this day determines its obligation."

"The _prima facie_ view of the matter," said Charles, "is, that they who
do but follow what the Prayer Book enjoins are of all people farthest
from being a party."

"Not at all," said Sheffield; "rigid adherence to old customs surely may
be the badge of a party. Now consider; ten years ago, before the study
of Church-history was revived, neither Arianism nor Athanasianism were
thought of at all, or, if thought of, they were considered as questions
of words, at least as held by most minds--one as good as the other."

"I should say so, too, in one sense," said Charles, "that is, I should
hope that numbers of persons, for instance, the unlearned, who were in
Arian communities spoke Arian language, and yet did not mean it. I think
I have heard that some ancient missionary of the Goths or Huns was an
Arian."

"Well, I will speak more precisely," said Sheffield: "an Oxford man,
some ten years since, was going to publish a history of the Nicene
Council, and the bookseller proposed to him to prefix an engraving of
St. Athanasius, which he had found in some old volume. He was strongly
dissuaded from doing so by a brother clergyman, not from any feeling of
his own, but because 'Athanasius was a very unpopular name among us.'"

"One swallow does not make a spring," said Charles.

"This clergyman," continued Sheffield, "was a friend of the most
High-Church writers of the day."

"Of course," said Reding, "there has always been a heterodox school in
our Church--I know that well enough--but it never has been powerful.
Your lax friend was one of them."

"I believe not, indeed," answered Sheffield; "he lived out of
controversy, was a literary, accomplished person, and a man of piety to
boot. He did not express any feeling of his own; he did but witness to a
fact, that the name of Athanasius was unpopular."

"So little was known about history," said Charles, "this is not
surprising. St. Athanasius, you know, did not write the Creed called
after him. It is possible to think him intemperate, without thinking the
Creed wrong."

"Well, then, again; there's Beatson, Divinity Professor; no one will
call him in any sense a party man; he was put in by the Tories, and
never has committed himself to any liberal theories in theology. Now, a
man who attended his private lectures assures me that he told the men,
'D'ye see,' said he, 'I take it, that the old Church-of-England mode of
handling the Creed went out with Bull. After Locke wrote, the old
orthodox phraseology came into disrepute.'"

"Well, perhaps he meant," said Charles, "that learning died away, which
was the case. The old theological language is plainly a learned
language; when fathers and schoolmen were not read, of course it would
be in abeyance; when they were read again, it has revived."

"No, no," answered Sheffield, "he said much more on another occasion.
Speaking of Creeds, and the like, 'I hold,' he said, 'that the majority
of the educated laity of our Church are Sabellians.'"

Charles was silent, and hardly knew what reply to make. Sheffield went
on: "I was present some years ago, when I was quite a boy, when a sort
of tutor of mine was talking to one of the most learned and orthodox
divines of the day, a man whose name has never been associated with
party, and the near relation and connexion of high dignitaries, about a
plan of his own for writing a history of the Councils. This good and
able man listened with politeness, applauded the project; then added, in
a laughing way, 'You know you have chosen just the dullest subject in
Church-history. Now the Councils begin with the Nicene Creed, and
embrace nearly all doctrinal subjects whatever.'"

"My dear Sheffield," said Charles, "you have fallen in with a particular
set or party of men yourself; very respectable, good men, I don't doubt,
but no fair specimens of the whole Church."

"I don't bring them as authorities," answered Sheffield, "but as
witnesses."

"Still," said Charles, "I know perfectly well, that there was a
controversy at the end of the last century between Bishop Horsley and
others, in which he brought out distinctly one part at least of the
Athanasian doctrine."

"His controversy was not a defence of the Athanasian Creed, I know
well," said Sheffield; "for the subject came into Upton's
Article-lecture; it was with Priestley; but, whatever it was, divines
would only think it all very fine, just as his 'Sermons on Prophecy.' It
is another question whether they would recognize the worth either of the
one or of the other. They receive the scholastic terms about the
Trinity just as they receive the doctrine that the Pope is Antichrist.
When Horsley says the latter, or something of the kind, good old
clergymen say, 'Certainly, certainly, oh yes, it's the old
Church-of-England doctrine,' thinking it right, indeed, to be
maintained, but not caring themselves to maintain it, or at most
professing it just when mentioned, but not really thinking about it from
one year's end to the other. And so with regard to the doctrine of the
Trinity, they say, 'the great Horsley,' 'the powerful Horsley;' they
don't indeed dispute his doctrine, but they don't care about it; they
look on him as a doughty champion, armed _cap-à-pie_, who has put down
dissent, who has cut off the head of some impudent non-protectionist, or
insane chartist, or spouter in a vestry, who, under cover of theology,
had run a tilt against tithes and church-rates."

"I can't think so badly of our present divines," said Charles; "I know
that in this very place there are various orthodox writers, whom no one
would call party men."

"Stop," said Sheffield, "understand me, I was not speaking _against_
them. I was but saying that these anti-Athanasian views were not
unfrequent. I have been in the way of hearing a good deal on the subject
at my private tutor's, and have kept my eyes about me since I have been
here. The Bishop of Derby was a friend of Sheen's, my private tutor, and
got his promotion when I was with the latter; and Sheen told me that he
wrote to him on that occasion, 'What shall I read? I don't know anything
of theology.' I rather think he was recommended, or proposed to read
Scott's Bible."

"It's easy to bring instances," said Charles, "when you have all your
own way; what you say is evidently all an _ex-parte_ statement."

"Take again Shipton, who died lately," continued Sheffield; "what a high
position he held in the Church; yet it is perfectly well known that he
thought it a mistake to use the word 'Person' in the doctrine of the
Trinity. What makes this stranger is, that he was so very severe on
clergymen (Tractarians, for instance) who evade the sense of the
Articles. Now he was a singularly honest, straightforward man; he
despised money; he cared nothing for public opinion; yet he was a
Sabellian. Would he have eaten the bread of the Church, as it is called,
for a day, unless he had felt that his opinions were not inconsistent
with his profession as Dean of Bath, and Prebendary of Dorchester? Is it
not plain that he considered the practice of the Church to have
modified, to have re-interpreted its documents?"

"Why," said Charles, "the practice of the Church cannot make black
white; or, if a sentence means yes, make it mean no. I won't deny that
words are often vague and uncertain in their sense, and frequently need
a comment, so that the teaching of the day has great influence in
determining their sense; but the question is, whether the
counter-teaching of every dean, every prebendary, every clergyman, every
bishop in the whole Church, could make the Athanasian Creed Sabellian; I
think not."

"Certainly not," answered Sheffield; "but the clergymen I speak of
simply say that they are not bound to the details of the Creed, only to
the great outline that there is _a_ Trinity."

"Great outline!" said Charles, "great stuff! an Unitarian would not deny
that. He, of course, believes in Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; though he
thinks the Son a creature, and the Spirit an influence."

"Well, I don't deny," said Sheffield, "that if Dean Shipton was a sound
member of the Church, Dr. Priestley might have been also. But my doubt
is, whether, if the Tractarian school had not risen, Priestley might not
have been, had he lived to this time, I will not say a positively sound
member, but sound enough for preferment."

"_If_ the Tractarian school had not risen! that is but saying if our
Church was other than it is. What is that school but a birth, an
offspring of the Church? and if the Church had not given birth to one
party of men for its defence, it would have given birth to another."

"No, no," said Sheffield, "I assure you the old school of doctrine was
all but run out when they began; and I declare I wish they had let
things alone. There was the doctrine of the Apostolical Succession; a
few good old men were its sole remaining professors in the Church; and a
great ecclesiastical personage, on one occasion, quite scoffed at their
persisting to hold it. He maintained the doctrine went out with the
non-jurors. 'You are so few,' he said, 'that we can count you.'"

Charles was not pleased with the subject, on various accounts. He did
not like what seemed to him an attack of Sheffield's upon the Church of
England; and, besides, he began to feel uncomfortable misgivings and
doubts whether that attack was not well founded, to which he did not
like to be exposed. Accordingly he kept silence, and, after a short
interval, attempted to change the subject; but Sheffield's hand was in,
and he would not be balked; so he presently began again. "I have been
speaking," he said, "of the liberal section of our Church. There are
four parties in the Church. Of these the old Tory, or country party,
which is out-and-out the largest, has no opinion at all, but merely
takes up the theology or no-theology of the day, and cannot properly be
said to 'hold' what the Creed calls 'the Catholic faith.' It does not
deny it; it may not knowingly disbelieve it; but it gives no signs of
actually holding it, beyond the fact that it treats it with respect. I
will venture to say, that not a country parson of them all, from year's
end to year's end, makes once a year what Catholics call 'an act of
faith' in that special and very distinctive mystery contained in the
clauses of the Athanasian Creed."

Then, seeing Charles looked rather hurt, he added, "I am not speaking of
any particular clergyman here or there, but of the great majority of
them. After the Tory party comes the Liberal; which also dislikes the
Athanasian Creed, as I have said. Thirdly, as to the Evangelical; I know
you have one of the Nos. of the 'Tracts for the Times' about objective
faith. Now that tract seems to prove that the Evangelical party is
implicitly Sabellian, and is tending to avow that belief. This too has
been already the actual course of Evangelical doctrine both on the
Continent and in America. The Protestants of Geneva, Holland, Ulster,
and Boston have all, I believe, become Unitarians, or the like. Dr. Adam
Clarke too, the celebrated Wesleyan, held the distinguishing Sabellian
tenet, as Doddridge is said to have done before him. All this
considered, I do think I have made out a good case for my original
assertion, that at this time of day it is a party thing to go out of the
way to read the Athanasian Creed."

"I don't agree with you at all," said Charles; "you say a great deal
more than you have a warrant to do, and draw sweeping conclusions from
slender premisses. This, at least, is what it seems to me. I wish too
you would not so speak of 'making out a case.' It is as if these things
were mere topics for disputation. And I don't like your taking the wrong
side; you are rather fond of doing so."

"Reding," answered Sheffield, "I speak what I think, and ever will do
so; I will be no party man. I don't attempt, like Vincent, to unite
opposites. He is of all parties, I am of none. I think I see pretty well
the hollowness of all."

"O my dear Sheffield," cried Charles, in distress, "think what you are
saying; you don't mean what you say. You are speaking as if you thought
that belief in the Athanasian Creed was a mere party opinion."

Sheffield first was silent; then he said, "Well, I beg your pardon, if
I have said anything to annoy you, or have expressed myself
intemperately. But surely one has no need to believe what so many people
either disbelieve or disregard."

The subject then dropped; and presently Carlton overtook them on the
farmer's pony, which he had borrowed.



CHAPTER VIII.


Reding had for near two years put aside his doubts about the Articles;
but it was like putting off the payment of a bill--a respite, not a
deliverance. The two conversations which we have been recording,
bringing him to issue on most important subjects first with one, then
with another, of two intimate friends, who were bound by the Articles as
well as he, uncomfortably reminded him of his debt to the University and
Church; and the nearer approach of his examination and degree inflicted
on him the thought that the time was coming when he must be prepared to
discharge it.

One day, when he was strolling out with Carlton, toward the end of the
Vacation, he had been led to speak of the number of religious opinions
and parties in Oxford, which had so many bad effects, making so many
talk, so many criticise, and not a few perhaps doubt about truth
altogether. Then he said that, evil as it was in a place of education,
yet he feared it was unavoidable, if Carlton's doctrine about parties
were correct; for if there was a place where differences of religious
opinions would show themselves, it would be in a university.

"I am far from denying it," said Carlton; "but all systems have their
defects; no polity, no theology, no ritual is perfect. One only came
directly and simply from Heaven, the Jewish; and even that was removed
because of its unprofitableness. This is no derogation from the
perfection of Divine Revelation, for it arises from the subject-matter
on and through which it operates." There was a pause; then Carlton went
on: "It is the fault of most young thinkers to be impatient, if they do
not find perfection in everything; they are 'new brooms.'" Another
pause; he went on again: "What form of religion is _less_ objectionable
than ours? You _see_ the inconveniences of your own system, for you
experience them; you have not felt, and cannot know, those of others."

Charles was still silent, and went on plucking and chewing leaves from
the shrubs and bushes through which their path winded. At length he
said, "_I_ should not like to say it to any one but you, Carlton, but,
do you know, I was very uncomfortable about the Articles, going on for
two years since; I really could not understand them, and their history
makes matters worse. I put the subject from me altogether; but now that
my examination and degree are coming on, I must take it up again."

"You must have been put into the Article-lecture early," said Carlton.

"Well, perhaps I was not up to the subject," answered Charles.

"I didn't mean that," said Carlton; "but as to the thing itself, my dear
fellow, it happens every day, and especially to thoughtful people like
yourself. It should not annoy you."

"But my fidget is," said Charles, "lest my difficulties should return,
and I should not be able to remove them."

"You should take all these things calmly," said Carlton; "all things, as
I have said, have their difficulties. If you wait till everything is as
it should be or might be conceivably, you will do nothing, and will lose
life. The moral and social world is not an open country; it is already
marked and mapped out; it has its roads. You can't go across country; if
you attempt a steeple-chase, you will break your neck for your pains.
Forms of religion are facts; they have each their history. They existed
before you were born, and will survive you. You must choose, you cannot
make."

"I know," said Reding, "I can't make a religion, nor can I perhaps find
one better than my own. I don't want to do so; but this is not my
difficulty. Take your own image. I am jogging along my own old road, and
lo, a high turnpike, fast locked; and my poor pony can't clear it. I
don't complain; but there's the fact, or at least may be."

"The pony must," answered Carlton; "or if not, there must be some way
about; else what is the good of a road? In religion all roads have their
obstacles; one has a strong gate across it, another goes through a bog.
Is no one to go on? Is religion to be at a deadlock? Is Christianity to
die out? Where else will you go? Not surely to Methodism, or
Plymouth-brotherism. As to the Romish Church, I suspect it has more
difficulties than we have. You _must_ sacrifice your private judgment."

"All this is very good," answered Charles; "but what is very expedient
still may be very impossible. The finest words about the necessity of
getting home before nightfall will not enable my poor little pony to
take the gate."

"Certainly not," said Carlton; "but if you had a command from a
benevolent Prince, your own Sovereign and Benefactor, to go along the
road steadily till evening, and he would meet you at the end of your
journey, you would be quite sure that he who had appointed the end had
also assigned the means. And, in the difficulty in question, you ought
to look out for some mode of opening the gate, or some gap in the hedge,
or some parallel cut, some way or other, which would enable you to turn
the difficulty."

Charles said that somehow he did not like this mode of arguing; it
seemed dangerous; he did not see whither it went, where it ended.
Presently he said, abruptly, "Why do you think there are more
difficulties in the Church of Rome?"

"Clearly there are," answered Carlton; "if the Articles are a crust, is
not Pope Pius's Creed a bone?"

"I don't know Pope Pius's Creed," said Charles; "I know very little
about the state of the case, certainly. What does it say?"

"Oh, it includes transubstantiation, purgatory, saint-worship, and the
rest," said Carlton; "I suppose you could not quite subscribe these?"

"It depends," answered Charles slowly, "on this--on what authority they
came to me." He stopped, and then went on: "Of course I could, if they
came to me on the same authority as the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity
comes. Now, the Articles come on no authority; they are the views of
persons in the 16th century; and, again, it is not clear how far they
are, or are not, modified by the unauthoritative views of the 19th. I am
obliged, then, to exercise my own judgment; and I candidly declare to
you, that my judgment is unequal to so great a task. At least, this is
what troubles me, whenever the subject rises in my mind; for I have put
it from me."

"Well, then," said Carlton, "take them on _faith_."

"You mean, I suppose," said Charles, "that I must consider our Church
_infallible_."

Carlton felt the difficulty; he answered, "No, but you must act _as if_
it were infallible, from a sense of duty."

Charles smiled; then he looked grave; he stood still, and his eyes fell.
"If I _am_ to make a Church infallible," he said, "if I _must_ give up
private judgment, if I _must_ act on faith, there _is_ a Church which
has a greater claim on us all than the Church of England."

"My dear Reding," said Carlton, with some emotion, "where did you get
these notions?"

"I don't know," answered Charles; "somebody has said that they were in
the air. I have talked to no one, except one or two arguments I had with
different persons in my first year. I have driven the subject from me;
but when I once begin, you see it will out."

They walked on awhile in silence. "Do you really mean to say," asked
Carlton at length, "that it is so difficult to understand and receive
the Articles? To me they are quite clear enough, and speak the language
of common sense."

"Well, they seem to me," said Reding, "sometimes inconsistent with
themselves, sometimes with the Prayer Book; so that I am suspicious of
them; I don't know _what_ I am signing when I sign, yet I ought to sign
_ex-animo_. A blind submission I could make; I cannot make a blind
declaration."

"Give me some instances," said Carlton.

"For example," said Charles, "they distinctly receive the Lutheran
doctrine of justification by faith only, which the Prayer Book virtually
opposes in every one of its Offices. They refer to the Homilies as
authority, yet the Homilies speak of the books of the Apocrypha as
inspired, which the Articles implicitly deny. The Articles about
Ordination are in their spirit contrary to the Ordination Service. One
Article on the Sacraments speaks the doctrine of Melancthon, another
that of Calvin. One Article speaks of the Church's authority in
controversies of faith, yet another makes Scripture the ultimate appeal.
These are what occur to me at the moment."

"Surely, many of these are but verbal difficulties, at the very first
glance," said Carlton, "and all may be surmounted with a little care."

"On the other hand, it has struck me," continued Charles, "that the
Church of Rome is undeniably consistent in her formularies; this is the
very charge some of our writers make upon her, that she is so
systematic. It may be a hard, iron system, but it is consistent."

Carlton did not wish to interrupt him, thinking it best to hear his
whole difficulty; so Charles proceeded: "When a system is consistent, at
least it does not condemn itself. Consistency is not truth, but truth is
consistency. Now, I am not a fit judge whether or not a certain system
is true, but I may be quite a judge whether it is consistent with
itself. When an oracle equivocates it carries with it its own
condemnation. I almost think there is something in Scripture on this
subject, comparing in this respect the pagan and the inspired
prophecies. And this has struck me, too, that St. Paul gives this very
account of a heretic, that he is 'condemned of himself,' bearing his own
condemnation on his face. Moreover, I was once in the company of
Freeborn (I don't know if you are acquainted with him) and others of the
Evangelical party, and they showed plainly, if they were to be trusted,
that Luther and Melancthon did not agree together on the prime point of
justification by faith; a circumstance which had not come into the
Article-lecture. Also I have read somewhere, or heard in some sermon,
that the ancient heretics always were inconsistent, never could state
plainly their meaning, much less agree together; and thus, whether they
would or no, could not help giving to the simple a warning of their true
character, as if by their rattle."

Charles stopped; presently he continued: "This too has struck me; that
either there is no prophet of the truth on earth, or the Church of Rome
is that prophet. That there is a prophet still, or apostle, or
messenger, or teacher, or whatever he is to be called, seems evident by
our believing in a visible Church. Now common sense tells us what a
messenger from God must be; first, he must not contradict himself, as I
have just been saying. Again, a prophet of God can allow of no rival,
but denounces all who make a separate claim, as the prophets do in
Scripture. Now, it is impossible to say whether our Church acknowledges
or not Lutheranism in Germany, Calvinism in Switzerland, the Nestorian
and Monophysite bodies in the East. Nor does it clearly tell us what
view it takes of the Church of Rome. The only place where it recognizes
its existence is in the Homilies, and there it speaks of it as
Antichrist. Nor has the Greek Church any intelligible position in
Anglican doctrine. On the other hand, the Church of Rome has this _prima
facie_ mark of a prophet, that, like a prophet in Scripture, it admits
no rival, and anathematizes all doctrine counter to its own. There's
another thing: a prophet of God is of course at home with his message;
he is not helpless and do-nothing in the midst of errors and in the war
of opinions. He knows what has been given him to declare, how far it
extends; he can act as an umpire; he is equal to emergencies. This again
tells in favour of the Church of Rome. As age after age comes she is
ever on the alert, questions every new comer, sounds the note of alarm,
hews down strange doctrine, claims and locates and perfects what is new
and true. The Church of Rome inspires me with confidence; I feel I can
trust her. It is another thing whether she is true; I am not pretending
now to decide that. But I do not feel the like trust in our own Church.
I love her more than I trust her. She leaves me without faith. Now you
see the state of my mind." He fetched a deep, sharp sigh, as if he had
got a load off him.

"Well," said Carlton, when he had stopped, "this is all very pretty
theory; whether it holds in matter of fact, is another question. We have
been accustomed hitherto to think Chillingworth right, when he talks of
popes against popes, councils against councils, and so on. Certainly you
will not be allowed by Protestant controversialists to assume this
perfect consistency in Romish doctrine. The truth is, you have read very
little; and you judge of truth, not by facts, but by notions; I mean,
you think it enough if a notion hangs together; though you disavow it,
still, in matter of fact, consistency _is_ truth to you. Whether facts
answer to theories you cannot tell, and you don't inquire. Now I am not
well read in the subject, but I know enough to be sure that Romanists
will have more work to prove their consistency than you anticipate. For
instance, they appeal to the Fathers, yet put the Pope above them; they
maintain the infallibility of the Church, and prove it by Scripture, and
then they prove Scripture by the Church. They think a General Council
infallible, _when_, but not _before_, the Pope has ratified it;
Bellarmine, I think, gives a list of General Councils which have erred.
And I never have been able to make out the Romish doctrine of
Indulgences."

Charles thought over this; then he said, "Perhaps the case is as you
say, that I ought to know the matter of fact more exactly before
attempting to form a judgment on the subject; but, my dear Carlton, I
protest to you, and you may think with what distress I say it, that if
the Church of Rome is as ambiguous as our own Church, I shall be in the
way to become a sceptic, on the very ground that I shall have no
competent authority to tell me what to believe. The Ethiopian said, 'How
can I know, unless some man do teach me?' and St. Paul says, 'Faith
cometh by hearing.' If no one claims my faith, how can I exercise it? At
least I shall run the risk of becoming a Latitudinarian; for if I go by
Scripture only, certainly there is no creed given us in Scripture."

"Our business," said Carlton, "is to make the best of things, not the
worst. Do keep this in mind; be on your guard against a strained and
morbid view of things. Be cheerful, be natural, and all will be easy."

"You are always kind and considerate," said Charles; "but, after all--I
wish I could make you see it--you have not a word to say by way of
meeting my original difficulty of subscription. How am I to leap over
the wall? It's nothing to the purpose that other communions have their
walls also."

They now neared home, and concluded their walk in silence, each being
fully occupied with the thoughts which the conversation had suggested.



CHAPTER IX.


The Vacation passed away silently and happily. Day succeeded day in
quiet routine employments, bringing insensible but sure accessions to
the stock of knowledge and to the intellectual proficiency of both our
students. Historians and orators were read for a last time, and laid
aside; sciences were digested; commentaries were run through; and
analyses and abstracts completed. It was emphatically a silent toil.
While others might be steaming from London to Bombay or the Havannah,
and months in the retrospect might look like years, with Reding and
Sheffield the week had scarcely begun when it was found to be ending;
and when October came, and they saw their Oxford friends again, at first
they thought they had a good deal to say to them, but when they tried,
they found it did but concern minute points of their own reading and
personal matters; and they were reduced to silence with the wish to
speak.

The season had changed, and reminded them that Horsley was a place for
summer sojourn, not a dwelling. There were heavy raw fogs hanging about
the hills, and storms of wind and rain. The grass no longer afforded
them a seat; and when they betook themselves indoors it was discovered
that the doors and windows did not shut close, and that the chimney
smoked. Then came those fruits, the funeral feast of the year,
mulberries and walnuts; the tasteless, juiceless walnut; the dark
mulberry, juicy but severe, and mouldy withal, as gathered not from the
tree, but from the damp earth. And thus that green spot itself weaned
them from the love of it. Charles looked around him, and rose to depart
as a _conviva satur_. "_Edisti satis, tempus abire_" seemed written upon
all. The swallows had taken leave; the leaves were paling; the light
broke late, and failed soon. The hopes of spring, the peace and calm of
summer, had given place to the sad realities of autumn. He was hurrying
to the world, who had been up on the mount; he had lived without jars,
without distractions, without disappointments; and he was now to take
them as his portion. For he was but a child of Adam; Horsley had been
but a respite; and he had vividly presented to his memory the sad
reverse which came upon him two years before--what a happy summer--what
a forlorn autumn! With these thoughts, he put up his books and papers,
and turned his face towards St. Saviour's.

Oxford, too, was not quite what it had been to him; the freshness of his
admiration for it was over; he now saw defects where at first all was
excellent and good; the romance of places and persons had passed away.
And there were changes too: of his contemporaries some had already taken
their degrees and left; others were reading in the country; others had
gone off to other Colleges on Fellowships. A host of younger faces had
sprung up in hall and chapel, and he hardly knew their names. Rooms
which formerly had been his familiar lounge were now tenanted by
strangers, who claimed to have that right in them which, to his
imagination, could only attach to those who had possessed them when he
himself came into residence. The College seemed to have deteriorated;
there was a rowing set, which had not been there before, a number of
boys, and a large proportion of snobs.

But, what was a real trouble to Charles, it got clearer and clearer to
his apprehension that his intimacy with Sheffield was not quite what it
had been. They had, indeed, passed the Vacation together, and saw of
each other more than ever: but their sympathies in each other were not
as strong, they had not the same likings and dislikings; in short, they
had not such congenial minds as they fancied when they were freshmen.
There was not so much heart in their conversations, and they more easily
endured to miss each other's company. They were both reading for
honours--reading hard; but Sheffield's whole heart was in his work, and
religion was but a secondary matter to him. He had no doubts,
difficulties, anxieties, sorrows, which much affected him. It was not
the certainty of faith which made a sunshine to his soul, and dried up
the mists of human weakness; rather, he had no perceptible need within
him of that vision of the Unseen which is the Christian's life. He was
unblemished in his character, exemplary in his conduct; but he was
content with what the perishable world gave him. Charles's
characteristic, perhaps above anything else, was an habitual sense of
the Divine Presence; a sense which, of course, did not insure
uninterrupted conformity of thought and deed to itself, but still there
it was--the pillar of the cloud before him and guiding him. He felt
himself to be God's creature, and responsible to Him--God's possession,
not his own. He had a great wish to succeed in the schools; a thrill
came over him when he thought of it; but ambition was not his life; he
could have reconciled himself in a few minutes to failure. Thus
disposed, the only subjects on which the two friends freely talked
together were connected with their common studies. They read together,
examined each other, used and corrected each other's papers, and solved
each other's difficulties. Perhaps it scarcely came home to Sheffield,
sharp as he was, that there was any flagging of their intimacy.
Religious controversy had been the food of his active intellect when it
was novel; now it had lost its interest, and his books took its place.
But it was far different with Charles; he had felt interest in religious
questions for their own sake; and when he had deprived himself of the
pursuit of them it had been a self-denial. Now, then, when they seemed
forced on him again, Sheffield could not help him, where he most wanted
the assistance of a friend.

A still more tangible trial was coming on him. The reader has to be told
that there was at that time a system of espionage prosecuted by various
well-meaning men, who thought it would be doing the University a service
to point out such of its junior members as were what is called
"papistically inclined." They did not perceive the danger such a course
involved of disposing young men towards Catholicism, by attaching to
them the bad report of it, and of forcing them farther by inflicting on
them the inconsistencies of their position. Ideas which would have lain
dormant or dwindled away in their minds were thus fixed, defined,
located within them; and the fear of the world's censure no longer
served to deter, when it had been actually incurred. When Charles
attended the tea-party at Freeborn's he was on his trial; he was
introduced not only into a school, but into an inquisition; and since he
did not promise to be a subject for spiritual impression, he was
forthwith a subject for spiritual censure. He became a marked man in the
circles of Capel Hall and St. Mark's. His acquaintance with Willis; the
questions he had asked at the Article-lecture; stray remarks at
wine-parties--were treasured up, and strengthened the case against him.
One time, on coming into his rooms, he found Freeborn, who had entered
to pay him a call, prying into his books. A volume of sermons, of the
school of the day, borrowed of a friend for the sake of illustrating
Aristotle, lay on his table; and in his bookshelves one of the more
philosophical of the "Tracts for the Times" was stuck in between a
Hermann _De Metris_ and a Thucydides. Another day his bedroom door was
open, and No. 2 of the tea-party saw one of Overbeck's sacred prints
pinned up against the wall.

Facts like these were, in most cases, delated to the Head of the House
to which a young man belonged; who, as a vigilant guardian of the purity
of his undergraduates' Protestantism, received the information with
thankfulness, and perhaps asked the informer to dinner. It cannot be
denied that in some cases this course of action succeeded in frightening
and sobering the parties towards whom it was directed. White was thus
reclaimed to be a devoted son and useful minister of the Church of
England; but it was a kill-or-cure remedy, and not likely to answer with
the more noble or the more able minds. What effect it had upon Charles,
or whether any, must be determined by the sequel; here it will suffice
to relate interviews which took place between him and the Principal and
Vice-Principal of his College in consequence of it.



CHAPTER X.


When Reding presented himself to the Vice-Principal, the Rev. Joshua
Jennings, to ask for leave to reside in lodgings for the two terms
previous to his examination, he was met with a courteous but decided
refusal. It took him altogether by surprise; he had considered the
request as a mere matter of form. He sat half a minute silent, and then
rose to take his departure. The colour came to his cheek; it was a
repulse inflicted only on idle men who could not be trusted beyond the
eye of the Dean of the College.

The Vice-Principal seemed to expect him to ask the reason of his
proceeding; as Charles, in his confusion, did not seem likely to do so,
he condescended to open the conversation. It was not meant as any
reflection, he said, on Mr. Reding's moral conduct; he had ever been a
well-conducted young man, and had quite carried out the character with
which he had come from school; but there were duties to be observed
towards the community, and its undergraduate portion must be protected
from the contagion of principles which were too rife at the moment.
Charles was, if possible, still more surprised, and suggested that there
must be some misunderstanding if he had been represented to the
Vice-Principal as connected with any so-called party in the place. "You
don't mean to deny that there _is_ a party, Mr. Reding," answered the
College authority, "by that form of expression?" He was a lean, pale
person, with a large hook-nose and spectacles; and seemed, though a
liberal in creed, to be really a nursling of that early age when
Anabaptists fed the fires of Smithfield. From his years, practised
talent, and position, he was well able to browbeat an unhappy juvenile
who incurred his displeasure; and, though he really was a kind-hearted
man at bottom, he not unfrequently misused his power. Charles did not
know how to answer his question; and on his silence it was repeated. At
length he said that really he was not in a condition to speak against
any one; and if he spoke of a so-called party, it was that he might not
seem disrespectful to some who might be better men than himself. Mr.
Vice was silent, but not from being satisfied.

"What would _you_ call a party, Mr. Reding?" he said at length; "what
would be your definition of it?"

Charles paused to think; at last he said: "Persons who band together on
their own authority for the maintenance of views of their own."

"And will you say that these gentlemen have not views of their own?"
asked Mr. Jennings.

Charles assented.

"What is your view of the Thirty-nine Articles?" said the Vice-Principal
abruptly.

"_My_ view!" thought Charles; "what can he mean? my _view_ of the
Articles! like my opinion of things in general. Does he mean my 'view'
whether they are English or Latin, long or short, good or bad, expedient
or not, Catholic or not, Calvinistic or Erastian?"

Meanwhile Jennings kept steadily regarding him, and Charles got more and
more confused. "I think," he said, making a desperate snatch at
authoritative words, "I think that the Articles 'contain a godly and
wholesome doctrine, and necessary for these times.'"

"_That_ is the Second Book of Homilies, Mr. Reding, not the Articles.
Besides, I want your own opinion on the subject." He proceeded, after a
pause: "What is justification?"

"Justification," ... said Charles, repeating the word, and thinking;
then, in the words of the Article, he went on: "We are accounted
righteous before God, but only for the merit of our Lord Jesus Christ,
by faith, and not by our own works and deservings."

"Right," said Jennings; "but you have not answered my question. What
_is_ justification?"

This was very hard, for it was one of Charles's puzzles what
justification was in itself, for the Articles do not define it any more
than faith. He answered to this effect, that the Articles did not define
it. The Vice-Principal looked dissatisfied.

"Can General Councils err?"

"Yes," answered Charles. This was right.

"What do Romanists say about them?"

"They think they err, too." This was all wrong.

"No," said Jennings, "they think them infallible."

Charles was silent; Jennings tried to force his decision upon him.

At length Charles said that "Only some General Councils were admitted as
infallible by the Romanists, and he believed that Bellarmine gave a list
of General Councils which had erred."

Another pause, and a gathering cloud on Jennings' brow.

He returned to his former subject. "In what sense do you understand the
Articles, Mr. Reding?" he asked. That was more than Charles could tell;
he wished very much to know the right sense of them; so he beat about
for the _received_ answer.

"In the sense of Scripture," he said. This was true, but nugatory.

"Rather," said Jennings, "you understand Scripture in the sense of the
Articles."

Charles assented for peace-sake. But his concession availed not; the
Vice-Principal pursued his advantage.

"They must not interpret each other, Mr. Reding, else you revolve in a
circle. Let me repeat my question. In what sense do you interpret the
Articles?"

"I wish to take them," Reding answered, "in the general and received
sense of our Church, as all our divines and present Bishops take them."

The Vice-Principal looked pleased. Charles could not help being candid,
and said in a lower tone, as if words of course, "That is, on faith."

This put all wrong again. Jennings would not allow this; it was a blind,
Popish reliance; it was very well, when he first came to the University,
before he had read the Articles, to take them on trust; but a young man
who had had the advantages of Mr. Reding, who had been three years at
St. Saviour's College, and had attended the Article-lectures, ought to
hold the received view, not only as being received, but as his own, with
a free intellectual assent. He went on to ask him by what texts he
proved the Protestant doctrine of justification. Charles gave two or
three of the usual passages with such success, that the Vice-Principal
was secretly beginning to relent, when, unhappily, on asking a last
question as a matter of course, he received an answer which confirmed
all his former surmises.

"What is our Church's doctrine concerning the intercession of Saints?"

Charles said that he did not recollect that it had expressed any opinion
on the subject. Jennings bade him think again; Charles thought in vain.

"Well, what is your opinion of it, Mr. Reding?"

Charles, believing it to be an open point, thought he should be safe in
imitating "our Church's" moderation. "There are different opinions on
the subject," he said: "some persons think they intercede for us,
others, that they do not. It is easy to go into extremes; perhaps better
to avoid such questions altogether; better to go by Scripture; the book
of Revelation speaks of the intercession of Saints, but does not
expressly say that they intercede for us," &c., &c.

Jennings sat upright in his easy-chair, with indignation mounting into
his forehead. At length his face became like night. "_That_ is your
opinion, Mr. Reding."

Charles began to be frightened.

"Please to take up that Prayer Book and turn to the 22nd Article. Now
begin reading it."

"The Romish doctrine," said Charles,--"the Romish doctrine concerning
purgatory, pardon, worshipping and adoration as well of images as of
relics, and also invocation of Saints"----

"Stop there," said the Vice-Principal; "read those words again."

"And also invocation of Saints."

"Now, Mr. Reding."

Charles was puzzled, thought he had made some blunder, could not find
it, and was silent.

"Well, Mr. Reding?"

Charles at length said that he thought Mr. Jennings had spoken about
_intercession_.

"So I did," he made answer.

"And this," said Charles timidly, "speaks of _invocation_."

Jennings gave a little start in his arm-chair, and slightly coloured.
"Eh?" he said; "give me the book." He slowly read the Article, and then
cast a cautious eye over the page before and after. There was no help
for it. He began again.

"And so, Mr. Reding, you actually mean to shelter yourself by that
subtle distinction between invocation and intercession; as if Papists
did not invoke in order to gain the Saints' intercession, and as if the
Saints were not supposed by them to intercede in answer to invocation?
The terms are correlative. Intercession of Saints, instead of being an
extreme only, as you consider, is a Romish abomination. I am ashamed of
you, Mr. Reding; I am pained and hurt that a young man of your promise,
of good ability, and excellent morals, should be guilty of so gross an
evasion of the authoritative documents of our Church, such an outrage
upon common sense, so indecent a violation of the terms on which alone
he was allowed to place his name on the books of this society. I could
not have a clearer proof that your mind has been perverted--I fear I
must use a stronger term, debauched--by the sophistries and jesuistries
which unhappily have found entrance among us. Good morning, Mr. Reding."

So it was a thing settled: Charles was to be sent home,--an endurable
banishment.

Before he went down he paid a visit of form to the old Principal--a
worthy man in his generation, who before now had been a good parish
priest, had instructed the ignorant and fed the poor; but now in the end
of his days, falling on evil times, was permitted, for inscrutable
purposes, to give evidence of that evil puritanical leaven which was a
secret element of his religion. He had been kind to Charles hitherto,
which made his altered manner more distressing to him.

"We had hoped," he said, "Mr. Reding, that so good a young man as you
once were would have gained a place on some foundation, and been settled
here, and been a useful man in his generation, sir; and a column, a
buttress of the Church of England, sir. Well, sir, here are my best
wishes for you, sir. When you come up for your Master's degree, sir--no,
I think it is your Bachelor's--which is it, Mr. Reding, are you yet a
Bachelor? oh, I see your gown."

Charles said he had not yet been into the schools.

"Well, sir, when you come up to be examined, I should say--to be
examined--we will hope that in the interval, reflection, and study, and
absence perhaps from dangerous companions, will have brought you to a
soberer state of mind, Mr. Reding."

Charles was shocked at the language used about him. "Really, sir," he
said, "if you knew me better, you would feel that I am likely neither to
receive nor do harm by remaining here between this and Easter."

"What! remain here, sir, with all the young men about?" asked Dr.
Bluett, with astonishment, "with all the young men about you, sir?"

Charles really had not a word to say; he did not know himself in so
novel a position. "I cannot conceive, sir," he said, at last, "why I
should be unfit company for the gentlemen of the College."

Dr. Bluett's jaw dropped, and his eyes assumed a hollow aspect. "You
will corrupt their minds, sir," he said,--"you will corrupt their
minds." Then he added, in a sepulchral tone, which came from the very
depths of his inside: "You will introduce them, sir, to some subtle
Jesuit--to some subtle Jesuit, Mr. Reding."



CHAPTER XI.


Mrs. Reding was by this time settled in the neighbourhood of old friends
in Devonshire; and there Charles spent the winter and early spring with
her and his three sisters, the eldest of whom was two years older than
himself.

"Come, shut your dull books, Charles," said Caroline, the youngest, a
girl of fourteen; "make way for the tea; I am sure you have read enough.
You sometimes don't speak a word for an hour together; at least, you
might tell us what you are reading about."

"My dear Carry, you would not be much the wiser if I did," answered
Charles; "it is Greek history."

"Oh," said Caroline, "I know more than you think; I have read Goldsmith,
and good part of Rollin, besides Pope's Homer."

"Capital!" said Charles; "well, I am reading about Pelopidas--who was
he?"

"Pelopidas!" answered Caroline, "I ought to know. Oh, I recollect, he
had an ivory shoulder."

"Well said, Carry; but I have not yet a distinct idea of him either. Was
he a statue, or flesh and blood, with this shoulder of his?"

"Oh, he was alive; somebody ate him, I think."

"Well, was he a god or a man?" said Charles.

"Oh, it's a mistake of mine," said Caroline; "he was a goddess, the
ivory-footed--no, that was Thetis."

"My dear Caroline," said her mother, "do not talk so at random; think
before you speak; you know better than this."

"She has, ma'am," said Charles, "what Mr. Jennings would call 'a very
inaccurate mind.'"

"I recollect perfectly now," said Caroline, "he was a friend of
Epaminondas."

"When did he live?" asked Charles. Caroline was silent.

"Oh, Carry," said Eliza, "don't you recollect the _memoria technica_?"

"I never could learn it," said Caroline; "I hate it."

"Nor can I," said Mary; "give me good native numbers; they are sweet and
kindly, like flowers in a bed; but I don't like your artificial
flower-pots."

"But surely," said Charles, "a _memoria technica_ makes you recollect a
great many dates which you otherwise could not?"

"The crabbed names are more difficult even to pronounce than the numbers
to learn," said Caroline.

"That's because you have very few dates to get up," said Charles; "but
common writing is a _memoria technica_."

"That's beyond Caroline," said Mary.

"What are words but artificial signs for ideas?" said Charles; "they are
more musical, but as arbitrary. There is no more reason why the sound
'hat' should mean the particular thing so called, which we put on our
heads, than why 'abul-distof' should stand for 1520."

"Oh, my dear child," said Mrs. Reding, "how you run on! Don't be
paradoxical."

"My dear mother," said Charles, coming round to the fire, "I don't want
to be paradoxical; it's only a generalization."

"Keep it, then, for the schools, my dear; I dare say it will do you good
there," continued Mrs. Reding, while she continued her hemming; "poor
Caroline will be as much put to it in logic as in history."

"I am in a dilemma," said Charles, as he seated himself on a little
stool at his mother's feet; "for Carry calls me stupid if I am silent,
and you call me paradoxical if I speak."

"Good sense," said his mother, "is the golden mean."

"And what is common sense?" said Charles.

"The silver mean," said Eliza.

"Well done," said Charles; "it is small change for every hour."

"Rather," said Caroline, "it is the copper mean, for we want it, like
alms for the poor, to give away. People are always asking _me_ for it.
If I can't tell who Isaac's father was, Mary says, 'O Carry, where's
your common sense?' If I am going out of doors, Eliza runs up, 'Carry,'
she cries, 'you haven't common sense; your shawl's all pinned awry.' And
when I ask mamma the shortest way across the fields to Dalton, she says,
'Use your common sense, my dear.'"

"No wonder you have so little of it, poor dear child," said Charles; "no
bank could stand such a run."

"No such thing," said Mary; "it flows into her bank ten times as fast as
it comes out. She has plenty of it from us; and what she does with it no
one can make out; she either hoards or she speculates."

"'Like the great ocean,'" said Charles, "'which receives the rivers, yet
is not full.'"

"That's somewhere in Scripture," said Eliza.

"In the 'Preacher,'" said Charles, and he continued the quotation; "'All
things are full of labour, man cannot utter it; the eye is not satisfied
with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.'"

His mother sighed; "Take my cup, my love," she said; "no more."

"I know why Charles is so fond of the 'Preacher,'" said Mary; "it's
because he's tired of reading; 'much study is a weariness to the flesh.'
I wish we could help you, dear Charles."

"My dear boy, I really think you read too much," said his mother; "only
think how many hours you have been at it to-day. You are always up one
or two hours before the sun; and I don't think you have had your walk
to-day."

"It's so dismal walking alone, my dear mother; and as to walking with
you and my sisters, it's pleasant enough, but no exercise."

"But, Charlie," said Mary, "that's absurd of you; these nice sunny days,
which you could not expect at this season, are just the time for long
walks. Why don't you resolve to make straight for the plantations, or
to mount Hart Hill, or go right through Dun Wood and back?"

"Because all woods are dun and dingy just now, Mary, and not green. It's
quite melancholy to see them."

"Just the finest time of the year," said his mother; "it's universally
allowed; all painters say that the autumn is the season to see a
landscape in."

"All gold and russet," said Mary.

"It makes me melancholy," said Charles.

"What! the beautiful autumn make you melancholy?" asked his mother.

"Oh, my dear mother, you mean to say that I am paradoxical again; I
cannot help it. I like spring; but autumn saddens me."

"Charles always says so," said Mary; "he thinks nothing of the rich hues
into which the sober green changes; he likes the dull uniform of
summer."

"No, it is not that," said Charles; "I never saw anything so gorgeous as
Magdalen Water-walk, for instance, in October; it is quite wonderful,
the variety of colours. I admire, and am astonished; but I cannot love
or like it. It is because I can't separate the look of things from what
it portends; that rich variety is but the token of disease and death."

"Surely," said Mary, "colours have their own intrinsic beauty; we may
like them for their own sake."

"No, no," said Charles, "we always go by association; else why not
admire raw beef, or a toad, or some other reptiles, which are as
beautiful and bright as tulips or cherries, yet revolting, because we
consider what they are, not how they look?"

"What next?" said his mother, looking up from her work; "my dear
Charles, you are not serious in comparing cherries to raw beef or to
toads?"

"No, my dear mother," answered Charles, laughing, "no, I only say that
they look like them, not are like them."

"A toad look like a cherry, Charles!" persisted Mrs. Reding.

"Oh, my dear mother," he answered, "I can't explain; I really have said
nothing out of the way. Mary does not think I have."

"But," said Mary, "why not associate pleasant thoughts with autumn?"

"It is impossible," said Charles; "it is the sick season and the
deathbed of Nature. I cannot look with pleasure on the decay of the
mother of all living. The many hues upon the landscape are but the spots
of dissolution."

"This is a strained, unnatural view, Charles," said Mary; "shake
yourself, and you will come to a better mind. Don't you like to see a
rich sunset? yet the sun is leaving you."

Charles was for a moment posed; then he said, "Yes, but there was no
autumn in Eden; suns rose and set in Paradise, but the leaves were
always green, and did not wither. There was a river to feed them. Autumn
is the 'fall.'"

"So, my dearest Charles," said Mrs. Reding, "you don't go out walking
these fine days because there was no autumn in the garden of Eden?"

"Oh," said Charles, laughing, "it is cruel to bring me so to book. What
I meant was, that my reading was a direct obstacle to walking, and that
the fine weather did not tempt me to remove it."

"I am glad we have you here, my dear," said his mother, "for we can
force you out now and then; at College I suspect you never walk at all."

"It's only for a time, ma'am," said Charles; "when my examination is
over, I will take as long walks as I did with Edward Gandy that winter
after I left school."

"Ah, how merry you were then, Charles!" said Mary; "so happy with the
thoughts of Oxford before you!"

"Ah, my dear," said Mrs. Reding, "you'll then walk too much, as you now
walk too little. My good boy, you are so earnest about everything."

"It's a shame to find fault with him for being diligent," said Mary:
"you like him to read for honours, I know, mamma; but if he is to get
them he must read a great deal."

"True, my love," answered Mrs. Reding; "Charles is a dear good fellow, I
know. How glad we all shall be to have him ordained, and settled in a
curacy!"

Charles sighed. "Come, Mary," he said, "give us some music, now the urn
has gone away. Play me that beautiful air of Beethoven, the one I call
'The Voice of the Dead.'"

"Oh, Charles, you do give such melancholy names to things!" cried Mary.

"The other day," said Eliza, "we had a most beautiful scent wafted
across the road as we were walking, and he called it 'the Ghost of the
Past;' and he says that the sound of the Eolian harp is 'remorseful.'"

"Now, you'd think all that very pretty," said Charles, "if you saw it in
a book of poems; but you call it melancholy when I say it."

"Oh, yes," said Caroline, "because poets never mean what they say, and
would not be poetical unless they were melancholy."

"Well," said Mary, "I play to you, Charles, on this one condition, that
you let me give you some morning a serious lecture on that melancholy of
yours, which, I assure you is growing on you."



CHAPTER XII.


Charles's perplexities rapidly took a definite form on his coming into
Devonshire. The very fact of his being at home, and not at Oxford where
he ought to have been, brought them before his mind; and the near
prospect of his examination and degree justified the consideration of
them. No addition indeed was made to their substance, as already
described; but they were no longer vague and indistinct, but thoroughly
apprehended by him; nor did he make up his mind that they were
insurmountable, but he saw clearly what it was that had to be
surmounted. The particular form of argument into which they happened to
fall was determined by the circumstances in which he found himself at
the time, and was this, viz. how he could subscribe the Articles _ex
animo_, without faith, more or less, in his Church as the imponent; and
next, how he could have faith in her, her history and present condition
being what they were. The fact of these difficulties was a great source
of distress to him. It was aggravated by the circumstance that he had no
one to talk to, or to sympathize with him under them. And it was
completed by the necessity of carrying about with him a secret which he
dared not tell to others, yet which he foreboded must be told one day.
All this was the secret of that depression of spirits which his sisters
had observed in him.

He was one day sitting thoughtfully over the fire with a book in his
hand, when Mary entered. "I wish you would teach _me_ the art of reading
Greek in live coals," she said.

"Sermons in stones, and good in everything," answered Charles.

"You do well to liken yourself to the melancholy Jaques," she replied.

"Not so," said he, "but to the good Duke Charles, who was banished to
the green forest."

"A great grievance," answered Mary, "we being the wild things with whom
you are forced to live. My dear Charles," she continued, "I hope the
tittle-tattle that drove you here does not still dwell on your mind."

"Why, it is not very pleasant, Mary, after having been on the best terms
with the whole College, and in particular with the Principal and
Jennings, at last to be sent down, as a rowing-man might be rusticated
for tandem-driving. You have no notion how strong the old Principal was,
and Jennings too."

"Well, my dearest Charles, you must not brood over it," said Mary, "as I
fear you are doing."

"I don't see where it is to end," said Charles; "the Principal expressly
said that my prospects at the University were knocked up. I suppose they
would not give me a testimonial, if I wished to stand for a fellowship
anywhere."

"Oh, it is a temporary mistake," said Mary; "I dare say by this time
they know better. And it's one great gain to have you with us; we, at
least, ought to be obliged to them."

"I have been so very careful, Mary," said Charles; "I have never been to
the evening-parties, or to the sermons which are talked about in the
University. It's quite amazing to me what can have put it into their
heads. At the Article-lecture I now and then asked a question, but it
was really because I wished to understand and get up the different
subjects. Jennings fell on me the moment I entered his room. I can call
it nothing else; very civil at first in his manner, but there was
something in his eye before he spoke which told me at once what was
coming. It's odd a man of such self-command as he should not better hide
his feelings; but I have always been able to see what Jennings was
thinking about."

"Depend on it," said his sister, "you will think nothing of it whatever
this time next year. It will be like a summer-cloud, come and gone."

"And then it damps me, and interrupts me in my reading. I fall back
thinking of it, and cannot give my mind to my books, or exert myself. It
is very hard."

Mary sighed; "I wish I could help you," she said; "but women can do so
little. Come, let me take the fretting, and you the reading; that'll be
a fair division."

"And then my dear mother too," he continued; "what will she think of it
when it comes to her ears? and come it must."

"Nonsense," said Mary, "don't make a mountain of a mole-hill. You will
go back, take your degree, and nobody will be the wiser."

"No, it can't be so," said Charles seriously.

"What do you mean?" asked Mary.

"These things don't clear off in that way," said he; "it is no
summer-cloud; it may turn to rain, for what they know."

Mary looked at him with some surprise.

"I mean," he said, "that I have no confidence that they will let me take
my degree, any more than let me reside there."

"That is very absurd," said she; "it's what I meant by brooding over
things, and making mountains of mole-hills."

"My sweet Mary," he said, affectionately taking her hand, "my only real
confidant and comfort, I would tell you something more, if you could
bear it."

Mary was frightened, and her heart beat. "Charles," she said,
withdrawing her hand, "any pain is less than to see you thus. I see too
clearly that something is on your mind."

Charles put his feet on the fender, and looked down.

"I _can't_ tell you," he said, at length, with vehemence; then, seeing
by her face how much he was distressing her, he said, half-laughing, as
if to turn the edge of his words, "My dear Mary, when people bear
witness against one, one can't help fearing that there is, perhaps,
something to bear witness against."

"Impossible, Charles! _you_ corrupt other people! _you_ falsify the
Prayer Book and Articles! impossible!"

"Mary, which do you think would be the best judge whether my face was
dirty and my coat shabby, you or I? Well, then, perhaps Jennings, or at
least common report, knows more about me than I do myself."

"You must not speak in this way," said Mary, much hurt; "you really do
pain me now. What can you mean?"

Charles covered his face with his hands, and at length said: "It's no
good; you can't assist me here; I only pain you. I ought not to have
begun the subject."

There was a silence.

"My dearest Charles," said Mary tenderly, "come, I will bear anything,
and not be annoyed. Anything better than to see you go on in this way.
But really you frighten me."

"Why," he answered, "when a number of people tell me that Oxford is not
my place, not my position, perhaps they are right; perhaps it isn't."

"But is that really all?" she said; "who wants you to lead an Oxford
life? not we."

"No, but Oxford implies taking a degree--taking orders."

"Now, my dear Charles, speak out; don't drop hints; let me know;" and
she sat down with a look of great anxiety.

"Well," he said, making an effort; "yet I don't know where to begin; but
many things have happened to me, in various ways, to show me that I have
not a place, a position, a home, that I am not made for, that I am a
stranger in, the Church of England."

There was a dreadful pause; Mary turned very pale; then, darting at a
conclusion with precipitancy, she said quickly, "You mean to say, you
are going to join the Church of Rome, Charles."

"No," he said, "it is not so. I mean no such thing; I mean just what I
say; I have told you the whole; I have kept nothing back. It is this,
and no more--that I feel out of place."

"Well, then," she said, "you must tell me more; for, to my apprehension,
you mean just what I have said, nothing short of it."

"I can't go through things in order," he said; "but wherever I go,
whomever I talk with, I feel him to be another sort of person from what
I am. I can't convey it to you; you won't understand me; but the words
of the Psalm, 'I am a stranger upon earth,' describe what I always feel.
No one thinks or feels like me. I hear sermons, I talk on religious
subjects with friends, and every one seems to bear witness against me.
And now the College bears its witness, and sends me down."

"Oh, Charles," said Mary, "how changed you are!" and tears came into her
eyes; "you used to be so cheerful, so happy. You took such pleasure in
every one, in everything. We used to laugh and say, 'All Charlie's geese
are swans.' What has come over you?" She paused, and then continued:
"Don't you recollect those lines in the 'Christian Year'? I can't repeat
them; we used to apply them to you; something about hope or love 'making
all things bright with her own magic smile.'"

Charles was touched when he was reminded of what he had been three years
before; he said: "I suppose it is coming out of shadows into
realities."

"There has been much to sadden you," she added, sighing; "and now these
nasty books are too much for you. Why should you go up for honours?
what's the good of it?"

There was a pause again.

"I wish I could bring home to you," said Charles, "the number of
intimations, as it were, which have been given me of my uncongeniality,
as it may be called, with things as they are. What perhaps most affected
me, was a talk I had with Carlton, whom I have lately been reading with;
for, if I could not agree with _him_, or rather, if _he_ bore witness
against me, who could be expected to say a word for me? I cannot bear
the pomp and pretence which I see everywhere. I am not speaking against
individuals; they are very good persons, I know; but, really, if you saw
Oxford as it is! The Heads with such large incomes; they are indeed very
liberal of their money, and their wives are often simple, self-denying
persons, as every one says, and do a great deal of good in the place;
but I speak of the system. Here are ministers of Christ with large
incomes, living in finely furnished houses, with wives and families, and
stately butlers and servants in livery, giving dinners all in the best
style, condescending and gracious, waving their hands and mincing their
words, as if they were the cream of the earth, but without anything to
make them clergymen but a black coat and a white tie. And then Bishops
or Deans come, with women tucked under their arm; and they can't enter
church but a fine powdered man runs first with a cushion for them to sit
on, and a warm sheepskin to keep their feet from the stones."

Mary laughed: "Well, my dear Charles," she said, "I did not think you
had seen so much of Bishops, Deans, Professors, and Heads of houses at
St. Saviour's; you have kept good company."

"I have my eyes about me," said Charles, "and have had quite
opportunities enough; I can't go into particulars."

"Well, you have been hard on them, I think," said Mary; "when a poor old
man has the rheumatism," and she sighed a little, "it is hard he mayn't
have his feet kept from the cold."

"Ah, Mary, I can't bring it home to you! but you must, please, throw
yourself into what I say, and not criticize my instances or my terms.
What I mean is, that there is a worldly air about everything, as unlike
as possible the spirit of the Gospel. I don't impute to the dons
ambition or avarice; but still, what Heads of houses, Fellows, and all
of them evidently put before them as an end is, to enjoy the world in
the first place, and to serve God in the second. Not that they don't
make it their final object to get to heaven; but their immediate object
is to be comfortable, to marry, to have a fair income, station, and
respectability, a convenient house, a pleasant country, a sociable
neighbourhood. There is nothing high about them. I declare I think the
Puseyites are the only persons who have high views in the whole place; I
should say, the only persons who profess them, for I don't know them to
speak about them." He thought of White.

"Well, you are talking of things I don't know about," said Mary; "but I
can't think all the young clever men of the place are looking out for
ease and comfort; nor can I believe that in the Church of Rome money has
always been put to the best of purposes."

"I said nothing about the Church of Rome," said Charles; "why do you
bring in the Church of Rome? that's another thing altogether. What I
mean is, that there is a worldly smell about Oxford which I can't abide.
I am not using 'worldly' in its worse sense. People are religious and
charitable; but--I don't like to mention names--but I know various dons,
and the notion of evangelical poverty, the danger of riches, the giving
up all for Christ, all those ideas which are first principles in
Scripture, as I read it, don't seem to enter into their idea of
religion. I declare, I think that is the reason why the Puseyites are so
unpopular."

"Well, I can't see," said Mary, "why you must be disgusted with the
world, and with your place and duties in it, because there are worldly
people in it."

"But I was speaking of Carlton," said Charles; "do you know, good fellow
as he is--and I love, admire, and respect him exceedingly--he actually
laid it down almost as an axiom, that a clergyman of the English Church
ought to marry? He said that celibacy might be very well in other
communions, but that a man made himself a fool, and was out of joint
with the age, who remained single in the Church of England."

Poor Charles was so serious, and the proposition which he related was so
monstrous, that Mary, in spite of her real distress, could not help
laughing out. "I really cannot help it," she said; "well, it really was
a most extraordinary statement, I confess. But, my dear Charlie, you
are not afraid that he will carry you off against your will, and marry
you to some fair lady before you know where you are?"

"Don't talk in that way, Mary," said Charles; "I can't bear a joke just
now. I mean, Carlton is so sensible a man, and takes so just a view of
things, that the conviction flashed on my mind, that the Church of
England really was what he implied it to be--a form of religion very
unlike that of the Apostles."

This sobered Mary indeed. "Alas," she said, "we have got upon very
different ground now; not what our Church thinks of you, but what you
think of our Church." There was a pause. "I thought this was at the
bottom," she said; "I never could believe that a parcel of people, some
of whom you cared nothing for, telling you that you were not in your
place, would make you think so, unless you first felt it yourself.
That's the real truth; and then you interpret what others say in your
own way." Another uncomfortable pause. Then she continued: "I see how it
will be. When you take up a thing, Charles, I know well you don't lay it
down. No, you have made up your mind already. We shall see you a Roman
Catholic."

"Do _you_ then bear witness against me, Mary, as well as the rest?" said
he sorrowfully.

She saw her mistake. "No," she answered; "all I say is, that it rests
with yourself, not with others. _If_ you have made up your mind, there's
no help for it. It is not others who drive you, who bear witness against
you. Dear Charles, don't mistake me, and don't deceive yourself. You
have a strong _will_."

At this moment Caroline entered the room. "I could not think where you
were, Mary," she said; "here Perkins has been crying after you ever so
long. It's something about dinner; I don't know what. We have hunted
high and low, and never guessed you were helping Charles at his books."
Mary gave a deep sigh, and left the room.



CHAPTER XIII.


Neither to brother nor to sister had the conversation been a
satisfaction or relief. "I can go nowhere for sympathy," thought
Charles; "dear Mary does not understand me more than others. I can't
bring out what I mean and feel; and when I attempt to do so, my
statements and arguments seem absurd to myself. It has been a great
effort to tell her; and in one sense it is a gain, for it is a trial
over. Else I have taken nothing by my move, and might as well have held
my tongue. I have simply pained her without relieving myself.
By-the-bye, she has gone off believing about twice as much as the fact.
I was going to set her right when Carry came in. My only difficulty is
about taking orders; and she thinks I am going to be a Roman Catholic.
How absurd! but women will run on so; give an inch, and they take an
ell. I know nothing of the Roman Catholics. The simple question is,
whether I should go to the Bar or the Church. I declare, I think I have
made vastly too much of it myself. I ought to have begun this way with
her,--I ought to have said, 'D'you know, I have serious thoughts of
reading law?' I've made a hash of it."

Poor Mary, on the other hand, was in a confusion of thought and feeling
as painful as it was new to her; though for a time household matters and
necessary duties towards her younger sisters occupied her mind in a
different direction. She had been indeed taken at her word; little had
she expected what would come on her when she engaged to "take the
fretting, while he took the reading." She had known what grief was, not
so long ago; but not till now had she known anxiety. Charles's state of
mind was a matter of simple astonishment to her. At first it quite
frightened and shocked her; it was as if Charles had lost his identity,
and had turned out some one else. It was like a great breach of trust.
She had seen there was a good deal in the newspapers about the "Oxford
party" and their doings; and at different places, where she had been on
visits, she had heard of churches being done up in the new fashion, and
clergymen being accused, in consequence, of Popery--a charge which she
had laughed at. But now it was actually brought home to her door that
there was something in it. Yet it was to her incomprehensible, and she
hardly knew where she was. And that, of all persons in the world, her
brother, her own Charles, with whom she had been one heart and soul all
their lives--one so cheerful, so religious, so good, so sensible, so
cautious,--that he should be the first specimen that crossed her path of
the new opinions,--it bewildered her.

And where _had_ he got his notions?--Notions! she could not call them
notions; he had nothing to say for himself. It was an infatuation; he,
so clever, so sharp-sighted, could say nothing better in defence of
himself than that Mrs. Bishop of Monmouth was too pretty, and that old
Dr. Stock sat upon a cushion. Oh, sad, sad indeed! How was it he could
be so insensible to the blessings he gained from his Church, and had
enjoyed all his life? What could he need? _She_ had no need at all:
going to church was a pleasure to her. She liked to hear the Lessons and
the Collects, coming round year after year, and marking the seasons. The
historical books and prophets in summer; then the "stir-up" Collect just
before Advent; the beautiful Collects in Advent itself, with the Lessons
from Isaiah reaching on through Epiphany; they were quite music to the
ear. Then the Psalms, varying with every Sunday; they were a perpetual
solace to her, ever old yet ever new. The occasional additions, too--the
Athanasian Creed, the Benedictus, Deus misereatur, and Omnia opera,
which her father had been used to read at certain great feasts; and the
beautiful Litany. What could he want more? where could he find so much?
Well, it was a mystery to her; and she could only feel thankful that
_she_ was not exposed to the temptations, whatever they were, which had
acted on the powerful mind of her brother.

Then, she had anticipated how pleasant it would be when Charles was a
clergyman, and she should hear him preach; when there would be one whom
she would have a right to ask questions and to consult whenever she
wished. This prospect was at an end; she could no longer trust him: he
had given a shake to her confidence which it never could recover; it was
gone for ever. They were all of them women but he; he was their only
stay, now that her father had been taken away. What was now to become of
them? To be abandoned by her own brother! oh, how terrible!

And how was she to break it to her mother? for broken it must be sooner
or later. She could not deceive herself; she knew her brother well
enough to feel sure that, when he had really got hold of a thing, he
would not let it go again without convincing reasons; and what reasons
there could be for letting it go she could not conceive, if there could
be reasons for taking it up. The taking it up baffled all reason, all
calculation. Well, but how was her mother to be told of it? Was it
better to let her suspect it first, and so break it to her, or to wait
till the event happened? The problem was too difficult for the present,
and she must leave it.

This was her state for several days, till her fever of mind gradually
subsided into a state of which a dull anxiety was a latent but habitual
element, leaving her as usual at ordinary times, but every now and then
betraying itself by sudden sharp sighs or wanderings of thought. Neither
brother nor sister, loving each other really as much as ever, had quite
the same sweetness and evenness of temper as was natural to them;
self-control became a duty, and the evening circle was duller than
before, without any one being able to say why. Charles was more
attentive to his mother; he no more brought his books into the
drawing-room, but gave himself to her company. He read to them, but he
had little to talk about; and Eliza and Caroline both wished his stupid
examination, past and over, that he might be restored to his natural
liveliness.

As to Mrs. Reding, she did not observe more than that her son was a very
hard student, and grudged himself a walk or ride, let the day be ever so
fine. She was a mild, quiet person, of keen feelings and precise habits;
not very quick at observation; and, having lived all her life in the
country, and till her late loss having scarcely known what trouble was,
she was singularly unable to comprehend how things could go on in any
way but one. Charles had not told her the real cause of his spending the
winter at home, thinking it would be a needless vexation to her; much
less did he contemplate harassing her with the recital of his own
religious difficulties, which were not appreciable by her, and issued in
no definite result. To his sister he did attempt an explanation of his
former conversation, with a view of softening the extreme misgivings
which it had created in her mind. She received it thankfully, and
professed to be relieved by it; but the blow was struck, the suspicion
was lodged deep in her mind--he was still Charles, dear to her as ever,
but she never could rid herself of the anticipation which on that
occasion she had expressed.



CHAPTER XIV.


One morning he was told that a gentleman had asked for him, and been
shown into the dining-room. Descending, he saw the tall slender figure
of Bateman, now a clergyman, and lately appointed curate of a
neighbouring parish. Charles had not seen him for a year and a half, and
shook hands with him very warmly, complimenting him on his white
neckcloth, which somehow, he said, altered him more than he could have
expected. Bateman's manner certainly was altered; it might be the
accident of the day, but he did not seem quite at his ease; it might be
that he was in a strange house, and was likely soon to be precipitated
into the company of ladies, to which he had never been used. If so, the
trial was on the point of beginning, for Charles said instantly that he
must come and see his mother, and of course meant to dine with them; the
sky was clear, and there was an excellent footpath between Boughton and
Melford. Bateman could not do this, but he would have the greatest
pleasure in being introduced to Mrs. Reding; so he stumbled after
Charles into the drawing-room, and was soon conversing with her and the
young ladies.

"A charming prospect you have here, ma'am," said Bateman, "when you are
once inside the house. It does not promise outside so extensive a view."

"No, it is shut in with trees," said Mrs. Reding; "and the brow of the
hill changes its direction so much that at first I used to think the
prospect ought to be from the opposite windows."

"What is that high hill?" said Bateman.

"It is Hart Hill," said Charles; "there's a Roman camp atop of it."

"We can see eight steeples from our windows," said Mrs. Reding;--"ring
the bell for luncheon, my dear."

"Ah, our ancestors, Mrs. Reding," said Bateman, "thought more of
building churches than we do; or rather than we have done, I should say,
for now it is astonishing what efforts are made to add to our
ecclesiastical structures."

"Our ancestors did a good deal too," said Mrs. Reding; "how many
churches, my dear, were built in London in Queen Anne's time? St.
Martin's was one of them."

"Fifty," said Eliza.

"Fifty were intended," said Charles.

"Yes, Mrs. Reding," said Bateman; "but by ancestors I meant the holy
Bishops and other members of our Catholic Church previously to the
Reformation. For, though the Reformation was a great blessing" (a glance
at Charles), "yet we must not, in justice, forget what was done by
English Churchmen before it."

"Ah, poor creatures," said Mrs. Reding, "they did one good thing in
building churches; it has saved us much trouble."

"Is there much church-restoration going on in these parts?" said
Bateman, taken rather aback.

"My mother has but lately come here, like yourself," said Charles; "yes,
there is some; Barton Church, you know," appealing to Mary.

"Have your walks extended so far as Barton?" said Mary to Bateman.

"Not yet, Miss Reding, not yet," answered he; "of course they are
destroying the pews."

"They are to put in seats," said Charles, "and of a very good pattern."

"Pews are intolerable," said Bateman; "yet the last generation of
incumbents contentedly bore them; it is wonderful!"

A not unnatural silence followed this speech. Charles broke it by asking
if Bateman intended to do anything in the improvement line at Melford.

Bateman looked modest.

"Nothing of any consequence," he said; "some few things were done; but
he had a rector of the old school, poor man, who was an enemy to that
sort of thing."

It was with some malicious feeling, in consequence of his attack on
clergymen of the past age, that Charles pressed his visitor to give an
account of his own reforms.

"Why," said Bateman, "much discretion is necessary in these matters, or
you do as much harm as good; you get into hot water with churchwardens
and vestries, as well as with old rectors, and again with the gentry of
the place, and please no one. For this reason I have made no attempt to
introduce the surplice into the pulpit except on the great festivals,
intending to familiarize my parishioners to it by little and little.
However, I wear a scarf or stole, and have taken care that it should be
two inches broader than usual; and I always wear the cassock in my
parish. I hope you approve of the cassock, Mrs. Reding?"

"It is a very cold dress, sir--that's my opinion--when made of silk or
bombazeen; and very unbecoming too, when worn by itself."

"Particularly behind," said Charles; "it is quite unshapely."

"Oh, I have remedied that," said Bateman; "you have noticed, Miss
Reding, I dare say, the Bishop's short cassock. It comes to the knees,
and looks much like a continuation of a waistcoat, the straight-cut coat
being worn as usual. Well, Miss Reding, I have adopted the same plan
with the long cassock; I put my coat over it."

Mary had difficulty to keep from smiling; Charles laughed out.
"Impossible, Bateman," he said; "you don't mean you wear your tailed
French coat over your long straight cassock reaching to your ankles?"

"Certainly," said Bateman gravely; "I thus consult for warmth and
appearance too; and all my parishioners are sure to know me. I think
this a great point, Miss Reding: I hear the little boys as I pass say,
'That's the parson.'"

"I'll be bound they do," said Charles.

"Well," said Mrs. Reding, surprised out of her propriety, "did one ever
hear the like!"

Bateman looked round at her, startled and frightened.

"You were going to speak of your improvements in your church," said
Mary, wishing to divert his attention from her mother.

"Ah, true, Miss Reding, true," said Bateman, "thank you for reminding
me; I have digressed to improvements in my own dress. I should have
liked to have pulled down the galleries and lowered the high pews; that,
however, I could not do. So I have lowered the pulpit some six feet. Now
by doing so, first I give a pattern in my own person of the kind of
condescension or lowliness to which I would persuade my people. But this
is not all; for the consequence of lowering the pulpit is, that no one
in the galleries can see or hear me preach; and this is a bonus on those
who are below."

"It's a broad hint, certainly," said Charles.

"But it's a hint for those below also," continued Bateman; "for no one
can see or hear me in the pews either, till the sides are lowered."

"One thing only is wanting besides," said Charles, smiling and looking
amiable, lest he should be saying too much; "since you are full tall,
you must kneel when you preach, Bateman, else you will undo your own
alterations."

Bateman looked pleased. "I have anticipated you," he said; "I preach
sitting. It is more comformable to antiquity and to reason to sit than
to stand."

"With these precautions," said Charles, "I really think you might have
ventured on your surplice in the pulpit every Sunday. Are your
parishioners contented?"

"Oh, not at all, far from it," cried Bateman; "but they can do nothing.
The alteration is so simple."

"Nothing besides?" asked Charles.

"Nothing in the architectural way," answered he; "but one thing more in
the way of observances. I have fortunately picked up a very fair copy of
Jewell, black-letter; and I have placed it in church, securing it with a
chain to the wall, for any poor person who wishes to read it. Our church
is emphatically the 'poor man's church,' Mrs. Reding."

"Well," said Charles to himself, "I'll back the old parsons against the
young ones any day, if this is to be their cut." Then aloud: "Come, you
must see our garden; take up your hat, and let's have a turn in it.
There's a very nice terrace-walk at the upper end."

Bateman accordingly, having been thus trotted out for the amusement of
the ladies, was now led off again, and was soon in the aforesaid
terrace-walk, pacing up and down in earnest conversation with Charles.

"Reding, my good fellow," said he, "what is the meaning of this report
concerning you, which is everywhere about?"

"I have not heard it," said Charles abruptly.

"Why, it is this," said Bateman; "I wish to approach the subject with as
great delicacy as possible: don't tell me if you don't like it, or tell
me just as much as you like; yet you will excuse an old friend. They
say you are going to leave the Church of your baptism for the Church of
Rome."

"Is it widely spread?" asked Charles coolly.

"Oh, yes; I heard it in London; have had a letter mentioning it from
Oxford; and a friend of mine heard it given out as positive at a
visitation dinner in Wales."

"So," thought Charles, "you are bringing _your_ witness against me as
well as the rest."

"Well but, my good Reding," said Bateman, "why are you silent? is it
true--is it true?"

"What true? that I am a Roman Catholic? Oh, certainly; don't you
understand, that's why I am reading so hard for the schools?" said
Charles.

"Come, be serious for a moment, Reding," said Bateman, "do be serious.
Will you empower me to contradict the report, or to negative it to a
certain point, or in any respect?"

"Oh, to be sure," said Charles, "contradict it, by all means, contradict
it entirely."

"May I give it a plain, unqualified, unconditional, categorical, flat
denial?" asked Bateman.

"Of course, of course."

Bateman could not make him out, and had not a dream how he was teasing
him. "I don't know where to find you," he said. They paced down the walk
in silence.

Bateman began again. "You see," he said, "it would be such a wonderful
blindness, it would be so utterly inexcusable in a person like yourself,
who had known _what_ the Church of England was; not a Dissenter, not an
unlettered layman; but one who had been at Oxford, who had come across
so many excellent men, who had seen what the Church of England could be,
her grave beauty, her orderly and decent activity; who had seen churches
decorated as they should be, with candlesticks, ciboriums, faldstools,
lecterns, antependiums, piscinas, rood-lofts, and sedilia; who, in fact,
had seen the Church Service _carried out_, and could desiderate
nothing;--tell me, my dear good Reding," taking hold of his button-hole,
"what is it you want--what is it? name it."

"That you would take yourself off," Charles would have said, had he
spoken his mind; he merely said, however, that really he desiderated
nothing but to be believed when he said that he had no intention of
leaving his own Church. Bateman was incredulous, and thought him close.
"Perhaps you are not aware," he said, "how much is known of the
circumstances of your being sent down. The old Principal was full of the
subject."

"What! I suppose he told people right and left," said Reding.

"Oh, yes," answered Bateman; "a friend of mine knows him, and happening
to call on him soon after you went down, had the whole story from him.
He spoke most kindly of you, and in the highest terms; said that it was
deplorable how much your mind was warped by the prevalent opinions, and
that he should not be surprised if it turned out you were a Romanist
even while you were at St. Saviour's; anyhow, that you would be one day
a Romanist for certain, for that you held that the saints reigning with
Christ interceded for us in heaven. But what was stronger, when the
report got about, Sheffield said that he was not surprised at it, that
he always prophesied it."

"I am much obliged to him," said Charles.

"However, you warrant me," said Bateman, "to contradict it--so I
understand you--to contradict it peremptorily; that's enough for me.
It's a great relief; it's very satisfactory. Well, I must be going."

"I don't like to seem to drive you away," said Charles, "but really you
must be going if you want to get home before nightfall. I hope you don't
feel lonely or overworked where you are. If you are so at any time,
don't scruple to drop in to dinner here; nay, we can take you in for a
night, if you wish it."

Bateman thanked him, and they proceeded to the hall-door together; when
they were nearly parting, Bateman stopped and said, "Do you know, I
should like to lend you some books to read. Let me send up to you
Bramhall's Works, Thorndike, Barrow on the Unity of the Church, and
Leslie's Dialogues on Romanism. I could name others, but content myself
with these at present. They perfectly settle the matter; you can't help
being convinced. I'll not say a word more; good-bye to you, good-bye."



CHAPTER XV.


Much as Charles loved and prized the company of his mother and sisters
he was not sorry to have gentlemen's society, so he accepted with
pleasure an invitation which Bateman sent him to dine with him at
Melford. Also he wished to show Bateman, what no protestation could
effect, how absurdly exaggerated were the reports which were circulated
about him. And as the said Bateman, with all his want of common sense,
was really a well-informed man, and well read in English divines, he
thought he might incidentally hear something from him which he could
turn to account. When he got to Melford he found a Mr. Campbell had been
asked to meet him; a young Cambridge rector of a neighbouring parish, of
the same religious sentiments on the whole as Bateman, and, though a
little positive, a man of clear head and vigorous mind.

They had been going over the church; and the conversation at dinner
turned on the revival of Gothic architecture--an event which gave
unmixed satisfaction to all parties. The subject would have died out,
almost as soon as it was started, for want of a difference upon it, had
not Bateman happily gone on boldly to declare that, if he had his will,
there should be no architecture in the English churches but Gothic, and
no music but Gregorian. This was a good thesis, distinctly put, and gave
scope for a very pretty quarrel. Reding said that all these adjuncts of
worship, whether music or architecture, were national; they were the
mode in which religious feeling showed itself in particular times and
places. He did not mean to say that the outward expression of religion
in a country might not be guided, but it could not be forced; that it
was as preposterous to make people worship in one's own way, as be merry
in one's own way. "The Greeks," he said, "cut the hair in grief, the
Romans let it grow; the Orientals veiled their heads in worship, the
Greeks uncovered them; Christians take off their hats in a church,
Mahometans their shoes; a long veil is a sign of modesty in Europe, of
immodesty in Asia. You may as well try to change the size of people, as
their forms of worship. Bateman, we must cut you down a foot, and then
you shall begin your ecclesiastical reforms."

"But surely, my worthy friend," answered Bateman, "you don't mean to say
that there is no natural connexion between internal feeling and outward
expression, so that one form is no better than another?"

"Far from it," answered Charles; "but let those who confine their music
to Gregorians put up crucifixes in the highways. Each is the
representative of a particular place or time."

"That's what I say of our good friend's short coat and long cassock,"
said Campbell; "it is a confusion of different times, ancient and
modern."

"Or of different ideas," said Charles, "the cassock Catholic, the coat
Protestant."

"The reverse," said Bateman; "the cassock is old Hooker's Anglican
habit: the coat comes from Catholic France."

"Anyhow, it is what Mr. Reding calls a mixture of ideas," said Campbell;
"and that's the difficulty I find in uniting Gothic and Gregorians."

"Oh, pardon me," said Bateman, "they are one idea; they are both
eminently Catholic."

"You can't be more Catholic than Rome, I suppose," said Campbell; "yet
there's no Gothic there."

"Rome is a peculiar place," said Bateman; "besides, my dear friend, if
we do but consider that Rome has corrupted the pure apostolic doctrine,
can we wonder that it should have a corrupt architecture?"

"Why, then, go to Rome for Gregorians?" said Campbell; "I suspect they
are called after Gregory I. Bishop of Rome, whom Protestants consider
the first specimen of Antichrist."

"It's nothing to us what Protestants think," answered Bateman.

"Don't let us quarrel about terms," said Campbell; "both you and I think
that Rome has corrupted the faith, whether she is Antichrist or not. You
said so yourself just now."

"It is true, I did," said Bateman; "but I make a little distinction. The
Church of Rome has not _corrupted_ the faith, but has _admitted_
corruptions among her people."

"It won't do," answered Campbell; "depend on it, we can't stand our
ground in controversy unless we in our hearts think very severely of the
Church of Rome."

"Why, what's Rome to us?" asked Bateman; "we come from the old British
Church; we don't meddle with Rome, and we wish Rome not to meddle with
us, but she will."

"Well," said Campbell, "you but read a bit of the history of the
Reformation, and you will find that the doctrine that the Pope is
Antichrist was the life of the movement."

"With Ultra-Protestants, not with us," answered Bateman.

"Such Ultra-Protestants as the writers of the Homilies," said Campbell;
"but, I say again, I am not contending for names; I only mean, that as
that doctrine was the life of the Reformation, so a belief, which I have
and you too, that there is something bad, corrupt, perilous in the
Church of Rome--that there is a spirit of Antichrist living in her,
energizing in her, and ruling her--is necessary to a man's being a good
Anglican. You must believe this, or you ought to go to Rome."

"Impossible! my dear friend," said Bateman; "all our doctrine has been
that Rome and we are sister Churches."

"I say," said Campbell, "that without this strong repulsion you will not
withstand the great claims, the overcoming attractions, of the Church of
Rome. She is our mother--oh, that word 'mother!'--a mighty mother! She
opens her arms--oh, the fragrance of that bosom! She is full of
gifts--I feel it, I have long felt it. Why don't I rush into her arms?
Because I feel that she is ruled by a spirit which is not she. But did
that distrust of her go from me, was that certainty which I have of her
corruption disproved, I should join her communion to-morrow."

"This is not very edifying doctrine for Reding," thought Bateman. "Oh,
my good Campbell," he said, "you are paradoxical to-day."

"Not a bit of it," answered Campbell; "our Reformers felt that the only
way in which they could break the tie of allegiance which bound us to
Rome was the doctrine of her serious corruption. And so it is with our
divines. If there is one doctrine in which they agree, it is that Rome
is Antichrist, or an Antichrist. Depend upon it, that doctrine is
necessary for our position."

"I don't quite understand that language," said Reding; "I see it is used
in various publications. It implies that controversy is a game, and that
disputants are not looking out for truth, but for arguments."

"You must not mistake me, Mr. Reding," answered Campbell; "all I mean
is, that you have no leave to trifle with your conviction that Rome is
antichristian, if you think so. For if it _is_ so, it is necessary to
_say_ so. A poet says, 'Speak _gently_ of our sister's _fall_:' no, if
it is a fall, we must not speak gently of it. At first one says, 'So
great a Church! who am I, to speak against her?' Yes, you must, if your
view of her is true: 'Tell truth and shame the Devil.' Recollect you
don't use your own words; you are sanctioned, protected by all our
divines. You must, else you can give no sufficient reason for not
joining the Church of Rome. You must speak out, not what you _don't_
think, but what you _do_ think, _if_ you do think it."

"Here's a doctrine!" thought Charles; "why it's putting the controversy
into a nutshell."

Bateman interposed. "My dear Campbell," he said, "you are behind the
day. We have given up all that abuse against Rome."

"Then the party is not so clever as I give them credit for being,"
answered Campbell; "be sure of this,--those who have given up their
protests against Rome, either are looking towards her, or have no eyes
to see."

"All we say," answered Bateman, "is, as I said before, that _we_ don't
wish to interfere with Rome; _we_ don't anathematize Rome--Rome
anathematizes _us_."

"It won't do," said Campbell; "those who resolve to remain in our
Church, and are using sweet words of Romanism, will be forced back upon
their proper ground in spite of themselves, and will get no thanks for
their pains. No man can serve two masters; either go to Rome, or condemn
Rome. For me, the Romish Church has a great deal in it which I can't get
over; and thinking so, much as I admire it in parts, I can't help
speaking, I can't help it. It would not be honest, and it would not be
consistent."

"Well, he has ended better than he began," thought Bateman; and he
chimed in, "Oh yes, true, too true; it's painful to see it, but there's
a great deal in the Church of Rome which no man of plain sense, no
reader of the Fathers, no Scripture student, no true member of the
Anglo-Catholic Church can possibly stomach." This put a corona on the
discussion; and the rest of the dinner passed off pleasantly indeed, but
not very intellectually.



CHAPTER XVI.


After dinner it occurred to them that the subject of Gregorians and
Gothic had been left in the lurch. "How in the world did we get off it?"
asked Charles.

"Well, at least, we have found it," said Bateman; "and I really should
like to hear what you have to say upon it, Campbell."

"Oh, really, Bateman," answered he, "I am quite sick of the subject;
every one seems to me to be going into extremes: what's the good of
arguing about it? you won't agree with me."

"I don't see that at all," answered Bateman; "people often think they
differ, merely because they have not courage to talk to each other."

"A good remark," thought Charles; "what a pity that Bateman, with so
much sense, should have so little common sense!"

"Well, then," said Campbell, "my quarrel with Gothic and Gregorians,
when coupled together, is, that they are two ideas, not one. Have
figured music in Gothic churches, keep your Gregorian for basilicas."

"My good Campbell," said Bateman, "you seem oblivious that Gregorian
chants and hymns have always accompanied Gothic aisles, Gothic copes,
Gothic mitres, and Gothic chalices."

"Our ancestors did what they could," answered Campbell; "they were great
in architecture, small in music. They could not use what was not yet
invented. They sang Gregorians because they had not Palestrina."

"A paradox, a paradox!" cried Bateman.

"Surely there is a close connexion," answered Campbell, "between the
rise and nature of the basilica and of Gregorian unison. Both existed
before Christianity; both are of Pagan origin; both were afterwards
consecrated to the service of the Church."

"Pardon me," interrupted Bateman, "Gregorians were Jewish, not Pagan."

"Be it so, for argument sake," said Campbell; "still, at least, they
were not of Christian origin. Next, both the old music and the old
architecture were inartificial and limited, as methods of exhibiting
their respective arts. You can't have a large Grecian temple, you can't
have a long Gregorian _Gloria_."

"Not a long one!" said Bateman; "why there's poor Willis used to
complain how tedious the old Gregorian compositions were abroad."

"I don't explain myself," answered Campbell; "of course you may produce
them to any length, but merely by addition, not by carrying on the
melody. You can put two together, and then have one twice as long as
either. But I speak of a musical piece, which must of course be the
natural development of certain ideas, with one part depending on
another. In like manner, you might make an Ionic temple twice as long or
twice as wide as the Parthenon; but you would lose the beauty of
proportion by doing so. This, then, is what I meant to say of the
primitive architecture and the primitive music, that they soon come to
their limit; they soon are exhausted, and can do nothing more. If you
attempt more, it's like taxing a musical instrument beyond its powers."

"You but try, Bateman," said Reding, "to make a bass play quadrilles,
and you will see what is meant by taxing an instrument."

"Well, I have heard Lindley play all sorts of quick tunes on his bass,"
said Bateman, "and most wonderful it is."

"Wonderful is the right word," answered Reding; "it is very wonderful.
You say, 'How _can_ he manage it?' and 'It's very wonderful for a bass;'
but it is not pleasant in itself. In like manner, I have always felt a
disgust when Mr. So-and-so comes forward to make his sweet flute bleat
and bray like a hautbois; it's forcing the poor thing to do what it was
never made for."

"This is literally true as regards Gregorian music," said Campbell;
"instruments did not exist in primitive times which could execute any
other. But I am speaking under correction; Mr. Reding seems to know more
about the subject than I do."

"I have always understood, as you say," answered Charles, "modern music
did not come into existence till after the powers of the violin became
known. Corelli himself, who wrote not two hundred years ago, hardly
ventures on the shift. The piano, again, I have heard, has almost given
birth to Beethoven."

"Modern music, then, could not be in ancient times, for want of modern
instruments," said Campbell; "and, in like manner, Gothic architecture
could not exist until vaulting was brought to perfection. Great
mechanical inventions have taken place, both in architecture and in
music, since the age of basilicas and Gregorians; and each science has
gained by it."

"It is curious enough," said Reding, "one thing I have been accustomed
to say, quite falls in with this view of yours. When people who are not
musicians have accused Handel and Beethoven of not being _simple_, I
have always said, 'Is Gothic architecture _simple_?' A cathedral
expresses one idea, but it is indefinitely varied and elaborated in its
parts; so is a symphony or quartett of Beethoven."

"Certainly, Bateman, you must tolerate Pagan architecture, or you must
in consistency exclude Pagan or Jewish Gregorians," said Campbell; "you
must tolerate figured music, or reprobate tracery windows."

"And which are you for," asked Bateman, "Gothic with Handel, or Roman
with Gregorians?"

"For both in their place," answered Campbell. "I exceedingly prefer
Gothic architecture to classical. I think it the one true child and
development of Christianity; but I won't, for that reason, discard the
Pagan style which has been sanctified by eighteen centuries, by the
exclusive love of many Christian countries, and by the sanction of a
host of saints. I am for toleration. Give Gothic an ascendancy; be
respectful towards classical."

The conversation slackened. "Much as I like modern music," said
Charles, "I can't quite go the length to which your doctrine would lead
me. I cannot, indeed, help liking Mozart; but surely his music is not
religious."

"I have not been speaking in defence of particular composers," said
Campbell; "figured music may be right, yet Mozart or Beethoven
inadmissible. In like manner, you don't suppose, because I tolerate
Roman architecture, that therefore I like naked cupids to stand for
cherubs, and sprawling women for the cardinal virtues." He paused.
"Besides," he added, "as you were saying yourself just now, we must
consult the genius of our country and the religious associations of our
people."

"Well," said Bateman, "I think the perfection of sacred music is
Gregorian set to harmonies; there you have the glorious old chants, and
just a little modern richness."

"And I think it just the worst of all," answered Campbell; "it is a
mixture of two things, each good in itself, and incongruous together.
It's a mixture of the first and second courses at table. It's like the
architecture of the façade at Milan, half Gothic, half Grecian."

"It's what is always used, I believe," said Charles.

"Oh yes, we must not go against the age," said Campbell; "it would be
absurd to do so. I only spoke of what was right and wrong on abstract
principles; and, to tell the truth, I can't help liking the mixture
myself, though I can't defend it."

Bateman rang for tea; his friends wished to return home soon; it was
the month of January, and no season for after-dinner strolls. "Well," he
said, "Campbell, you are more lenient to the age than to me; you yield
to the age when it sets a figured bass to a Gregorian tone; but you
laugh at me for setting a coat upon a cassock."

"It's no honour to be the author of a mongrel type," said Campbell.

"A mongrel type?" said Bateman; "rather it is a transition state."

"What are you passing to?" asked Charles.

"Talking of transitions," said Campbell abruptly, "do you know that your
man Willis--I don't know his college, he turned Romanist--is living in
my parish, and I have hopes he is making a transition back again."

"Have you seen him?" said Charles.

"No; I have called, but was unfortunate; he was out. He still goes to
mass, I find."

"Why, where does he find a chapel?" asked Bateman.

"At Seaton. A good seven miles from you," said Charles.

"Yes," answered Campbell; "and he walks to and fro every Sunday."

"That is not like a transition, except a physical one," observed Reding.

"A person must go somewhere," answered Campbell; "I suppose he went to
church up to the week he joined the Romanists."

"Very awful, these defections," said Bateman; "but very satisfactory, a
melancholy satisfaction," with a look at Charles, "that the victims of
delusions should be at length recovered."

"Yes," said Campbell; "very sad indeed. I am afraid we must expect a
number more."

"Well, I don't know how to think it," said Charles; "the hold our Church
has on the mind is so powerful; it is such a wrench to leave it, I
cannot fancy any party-tie standing against it. Humanly speaking, there
is far, far more to keep them fast than to carry them away."

"Yes, if they moved as a party," said Campbell; "but that is not the
case. They don't move simply because others move, but, poor fellows,
because they can't help it.--Bateman, will you let my chaise be brought
round?--How _can_ they help it?" continued he, standing up over the
fire; "their Catholic principles lead them on, and there's nothing to
drive them back."

"Why should not their love for their own Church?" asked Bateman; "it is
deplorable, unpardonable."

"They will keep going one after another, as they ripen," said Campbell.

"Did you hear the report--I did not think much of it myself," said
Reding,--"that Smith was moving?"

"Not impossible," answered Campbell thoughtfully.

"Impossible, quite impossible," cried Bateman; "such a triumph to the
enemy; I'll not believe it till I see it."

"_Not_ impossible," repeated Campbell, as he buttoned and fitted his
great-coat about him; "he has shifted his ground." His carriage was
announced. "Mr. Reding, I believe I can take you part of your way, if
you will accept of a seat in my pony-chaise." Charles accepted the
offer; and Bateman was soon deserted by his two guests.



CHAPTER XVII.


Campbell put Charles down about half-way between Melford and his home.
It was bright moonlight; and, after thanking his new friend for the
lift, he bounded over the stile at the side of the road, and was at once
buried in the shade of the copse along which his path lay. Soon he came
in sight of a tall wooden Cross, which, in better days, had been a
religious emblem, but had served in latter times to mark the boundary
between two contiguous parishes. The moon was behind him, and the sacred
symbol rose awfully in the pale sky, overhanging a pool, which was still
venerated in the neighbourhood for its reported miraculous virtue.
Charles, to his surprise, saw distinctly a man kneeling on the little
mound out of which the Cross grew; nay, heard him, for his shoulders
were bare, and he was using the discipline upon them, while he repeated
what appeared to be some form of devotion. Charles stopped, unwilling to
interrupt, yet not knowing how to pass; but the stranger had caught the
sound of feet, and in a few seconds vanished from his view. He was
overcome with a sudden emotion, which he could not control. "O happy
times," he cried, "when faith was one! O blessed penitent, whoever you
are, who know what to believe, and how to gain pardon, and can begin
where others end! Here am I, in my twenty-third year, uncertain about
everything, because I have nothing to trust." He drew near to the Cross,
took off his hat, knelt down and kissed the wood, and prayed awhile that
whatever might be the consequences, whatever the trial, whatever the
loss, he might have grace to follow whithersoever God should call him.
He then rose and turned to the cold well; he took some water in his palm
and drank it. He felt as if he could have prayed to the Saint who owned
that pool--St. Thomas the Martyr, he believed--to plead for him, and to
aid him in his search after the true faith; but something whispered, "It
is wrong;" and he checked the wish. So, regaining his hat, he passed
away, and pursued his homeward path at a brisk pace.

The family had retired for the night, and he went up without delay to
his bedroom. Passing through his study, he found a letter lying on his
table, without post-mark, which had come for him in his absence. He
broke the seal; it was an anonymous paper, and began as follows:--

     "_Questions for one whom it concerns._

     1. What is meant by the One Church of which the Creed speaks?"

"This is too much for to-night," thought Charles, "it is late already;"
and he folded it up again and threw it on his dressing-table. "Some
well-meaning person, I dare say, who thinks he knows me." He wound up
his watch, gave a yawn, and put on his slippers. "Who can there be in
this neighbourhood to write it?" He opened it again. "It's certainly a
Catholic's writing," he said. His mind glanced to the person whom he had
seen under the Cross; perhaps it glanced further. He sat down and began
reading _in extenso:_--

     "_Questions for one whom it concerns._

     1. What is meant by the One Church of which the Creed speaks?

     2. Is it a generalization or a thing?

     3. Does it belong to past history or to the present time?

     4. Does not Scripture speak of it as a kingdom?

     5. And a kingdom which was to last to the end?

     6. What is a kingdom? and what is meant when Scripture calls the
     Church a kingdom?

     7. Is it a visible kingdom, or an invisible?

     8. Can a kingdom have two governments, and these acting in contrary
     directions?

     9. Is identity of institutions, opinions, or race, sufficient to
     make two nations one kingdom?

     10. Is the Episcopal form, the hierarchy, or the Apostles' Creed,
     sufficient to make the Churches of Rome and of England one?

     11. Where there are parts, does not unity require union, and a
     visible unity require a visible union?

     12. How can two religions be the same which have utterly distinct
     worships and ideas of worship?

     13. Can two religions be one, if the most sacred and peculiar act
     of worship in the one is called 'a blasphemous fable and dangerous
     deceit' in the other?

     14. Has not the One Church of Christ one faith?

     15. Can a Church be Christ's which has not one faith?

     16. Which is contradictory to itself in its documents?

     17. And in different centuries?

     18. And in its documents contrasted with its divines?

     19. And in its divines and members one with another?

     20. What is _the_ faith of the English Church?

     21. How many Councils does the English Church admit?

     22. Does the English Church consider the present Nestorian and
     Jacobite Churches under an anathema, or part of the visible Church?

     23. Is it necessary, or possible, to believe any one but a
     professed messenger from God?

     24. Is the English Church, does she claim to be, a messenger from
     God?

     25. Does she impart the truth, or bid us seek it?

     26. If she leaves us to seek it, do members of the English Church
     seek it with that earnestness which Scripture enjoins?

     27. Is a person safe who lives without faith, even though he seems
     to have hope and charity?"

Charles got very sleepy before he reached the "twenty-seventhly." "It
won't do," he said; "I am only losing my time. They seem well put; but
they must stand over." He put the paper from him, said his prayers, and
was soon fast asleep.

Next morning, on waking, the subject of the letter came into his mind,
and he lay for some time thinking over it. "Certainly," he said, "I do
wish very much to be settled either in the English Church or somewhere
else. I wish I knew _what_ Christianity was; I am ready to be at pains
to seek it, and would accept it eagerly and thankfully, if found. But
it's a work of time; all the paper-arguments in the world are unequal to
giving one a view in a moment. There must be a process; they may shorten
it, as medicine shortens physical processes, but they can't supersede
its necessity. I recollect how all my religious doubts and theories went
to flight on my dear father's death. They weren't part of me, and could
not sustain rough weather. Conviction is the eyesight of the mind, not a
conclusion from premises; God works it, and His works are slow. At least
so it is with me. I can't believe on a sudden; if I attempt it, I shall
be using words for things, and be sure to repent it. Or if not, I shall
go right merely by hazard. I must move in what seems God's way; I can
but put myself on the road; a higher power must overtake me, and carry
me forward. At present I have a direct duty upon me, which my dear
father left me, to take a good class. This is the path of duty. I won't
put off the inquiry, but I'll let it proceed in that path. God can bless
my reading to my spiritual illumination, as well as anything else. Saul
sought his father's asses, and found a kingdom. All in good time. When I
have taken my degree the subject will properly come on me." He sighed.
"My degree! those odious Articles! rather, when I have passed my
examination. Well, it's no good lying here;" and he jumped up, and
signed himself with the Cross. His eye caught the letter. "It's well
written--better than Willis could write; it's not Willis's. There's
something about that Willis I don't understand. I wonder how he and his
mother get on together. I don't think he _has_ any sisters."



CHAPTER XVIII.


Campbell had been much pleased with Reding, and his interest in him was
not lessened by a hint from Bateman that his allegiance to the English
Church was in danger. He called on him in no long time, asked him to
dinner, and, when Charles had returned his invitation, and Campbell had
accepted it, the beginning of an acquaintance was formed between the
rectory at Sutton and the family at Boughton which grew into an intimacy
as time went on. Campbell was a gentleman, a travelled man, of clear
head and ardent mind, candid, well-read in English divinity, a devoted
Anglican, and the incumbent of a living so well endowed as almost to be
a dignity. Mary was pleased at the introduction, as bringing her brother
under the influence of an intellect which he could not make light of;
and, as Campbell had a carriage, it was natural that he should wish to
save Charles the loss of a day's reading and the trouble of a muddy walk
to the rectory and back by coming over himself to Boughton. Accordingly
it so happened that he saw Charles twice at his mother's for once that
he saw him at Sutton. But whatever came of these visits, nothing
occurred which particularly bears upon the line of our narrative; so
let them pass.

One day Charles called upon Bateman, and, on entering the room, was
surprised to see him and Campbell at luncheon, and in conversation with
a third person. There was a moment's surprise and hesitation on seeing
him before they rose and welcomed him as usual. When he looked at the
stranger he felt a slight awkwardness himself, which he could not
control. It was Willis; and apparently submitted to the process of
reconversion. Charles was evidently _de trop_, but there was no help for
it; so he shook hands with Willis, and accepted the pressing call of
Bateman to seat himself at table, and to share their bread and cheese.

Charles sat down opposite Willis, and for a while could not keep his
eyes from him. At first he had some difficulty in believing he had
before him the impetuous youth he had known two years and a half before.
He had always been silent in general company; but in that he was
changed, as in everything else. Not that he talked more than was
natural, but he talked freely and easily. The great change, however, was
in his appearance and manner. He had lost his bloom and youthfulness;
his expression was sweeter indeed than before, and very placid, but
there was a thin line down his face on each side of his mouth; his
cheeks were wanting in fulness, and he had the air of a man of thirty.
When he entered into conversation, and became animated, his former self
returned.

"I suppose we may all admire this cream at this season," said Charles,
as he helped himself, "for we are none of us Devonshire men."

"It's not peculiar to Devonshire," answered Campbell; "that is, they
have it abroad. At Rome there is a sort of cream or cheese very like it,
and very common."

"Will butter and cream keep in so warm a climate?" asked Charles; "I
fancied oil was the substitute."

"Rome is not so warm as you fancy," said Willis, "except during the
summer."

"Oil? so it is," said Campbell; "thus we read in Scripture of the
multiplication of the oil and meal, which seems to answer to bread and
butter. The oil in Rome is excellent, so clear and pale; you can eat it
as milk."

"The taste, I suppose, is peculiar," observed Charles.

"Just at first," answered Campbell; "but one soon gets used to it. All
such substances, milk, butter, cheese, oil, have a particular taste at
first, which use alone gets over. The rich Guernsey butter is too much
for strangers, while Russians relish whale-oil. Most of our tastes are
in a measure artificial."

"It is certainly so with vegetables," said Willis; "when I was a boy I
could not eat beans, spinach, asparagus, parsnips, and I think some
others."

"Therefore your hermit's fare is not only the most natural, but the only
naturally palatable, I suppose,--a crust of bread and a draught from the
stream," replied Campbell.

"Or the Clerk of Copmanhurst's dry peas," said Charles.

"The macaroni and grapes of the Neapolitans are as natural and more
palatable," said Willis.

"Rather they are a luxury," said Bateman.

"No," answered Campbell, "not a luxury; a luxury is in its very idea a
something _recherché_. Thus Horace speaks of the '_peregrina lagois_.'
What nature yields _sponte suâ_ around you, however delicious, is no
luxury. Wild ducks are no luxury in your old neighbourhood, amid your
Oxford fens, Bateman; nor grapes at Naples."

"Then the old women here are luxurious over their sixpenn'rth of tea,"
said Bateman; "for it comes from China."

Campbell was posed for an instant. Somehow neither he nor Bateman were
quite at their ease, whether with themselves or with each other; it
might be Charles's sudden intrusion, or something which had happened
before it. Campbell answered at length that steamers and railroads were
making strange changes; that time and place were vanishing, and price
would soon be the only measure of luxury.

"This seems the measure also of _grasso_ and _magro_ food in Italy,"
said Willis; "for I think there are dispensations for butcher's meat in
Lent, in consequence of the dearness of bread and oil."

"This seems to show that the age for abstinences and fastings is past,"
observed Campbell; "for it's absurd to keep Lent on beef and mutton."

"Oh, Campbell, what are you saying?" cried Bateman; "past! are we bound
by their lax ways in Italy?"

"I do certainly think," answered Campbell, "that fasting is unsuitable
to this age, in England as well as in Rome."

"Take care, my fine fellows," thought Charles; "keep your ranks, or you
won't secure your prisoner."

"What, not fast on Friday!" cried Bateman; "we always did so most
rigidly at Oxford."

"It does you credit," answered Campbell; "but I am of Cambridge."

"But what do you say to Rubrics and the Calendar?" insisted Bateman.

"They are not binding," answered Campbell.

"They _are_, binding," said Bateman.

A pause, as between the rounds of a boxing-match. Reding interposed:
"Bateman, cut me, please, a bit of your capital bread--home-made, I
suppose?"

"A thousand pardons!" said Bateman:--"not binding?--Pass it to him,
Willis, if you please. Yes, it comes from a farmer, next door. I'm glad
you like it.--I repeat, they _are_ binding, Campbell."

"An odd sort of binding, when they have never bound," answered Campbell;
"they have existed two or three hundred years; when were they ever put
in force?"

"But there they are," said Bateman, "in the Prayer Book."

"Yes, and there let them lie and never get out of it," retorted
Campbell; "there they will stay till the end of the story."

"Oh, for shame!" cried Bateman; "you should aid your mother in a
difficulty, and not be like the priest and the Levite."

"My mother does not wish to be aided," continued Campbell.

"Oh, how you talk! What shall I do? What can be done?" cried poor
Bateman.

"Done! nothing," said Campbell; "is there no such thing as the desuetude
of a law? Does not a law cease to be binding when it is not enforced? I
appeal to Mr. Willis."

Willis, thus addressed, answered that he was no moral theologian, but he
had attended some schools, and he believed it was the Catholic rule that
when a law had been promulgated, and was not observed by the majority,
if the legislator knew the state of the case, and yet kept silence, he
was considered _ipso facto_ to revoke it.

"What!" said Bateman to Campbell, "do you appeal to the Romish Church?"

"No," answered Campbell; "I appeal to the whole Catholic Church, of
which the Church of Rome happens in this particular case to be the
exponent. It is plain common sense, that, if a law is not enforced, at
length it ceases to be binding. Else it would be quite a tyranny; we
should not know where we were. The Church of Rome does but give
expression to this common-sense view."

"Well, then," said Bateman, "I will appeal to the Church of Rome too.
Rome is part of the Catholic Church as well as we: since, then, the
Romish Church has ever kept up fastings the ordinance is not abolished;
the 'greater part' of the Catholic Church has always observed it."

"But it has not," said Campbell; "it now dispenses with fasts, as you
have heard."

Willis interposed to ask a question. "Do you mean then," he said to
Bateman, "that the Church of England and the Church of Rome make one
Church?"

"Most certainly," answered Bateman.

"Is it possible?" said Willis; "in what sense of the word _one_?"

"In every sense," answered Bateman, "but that of intercommunion."

"That is, I suppose," said Willis, "they are one, except that they have
no intercourse with each other."

Bateman assented. Willis continued: "No intercourse; that is, no social
dealings, no consulting or arranging, no ordering and obeying, no mutual
support; in short, no visible union."

Bateman still assented. "Well, that is my difficulty," said Willis; "I
can't understand how two parts can make up one visible body if they are
not visibly united; unity implies _union_."

"I don't see that at all," said Bateman; "I don't see that at all. No,
Willis, you must not expect I shall give that up to you; it is one of
our points. There is only one visible Church, and therefore the English
and Romish Churches are both parts of it."

Campbell saw clearly that Bateman had got into a difficulty, and he came
to the rescue in his own way.

"We must distinguish," he said, "the state of the case more exactly. A
kingdom may be divided, it may be distracted by parties, by dissensions,
yet be still a kingdom. That, I conceive, is the real condition of the
Church; in this way the Churches of England, Rome, and Greece are one."

"I suppose you will grant," said Willis, "that in proportion as a
rebellion is strong, so is the unity of the kingdom threatened; and if a
rebellion is successful, or if the parties in a civil war manage to
divide the power and territory between them, then forthwith, instead of
one kingdom, we have two. Ten or fifteen years since, Belgium was part
of the kingdom of the Netherlands: I suppose you would not call it part
of that kingdom now? This seems the case of the Churches of Rome and
England."

"Still, a kingdom may be in a state of decay," replied Campbell;
"consider the case of the Turkish Empire at this moment. The Union
between its separate portions is so languid, that each separate Pasha
may almost be termed a separate sovereign; still it is one kingdom."

"The Church, then, at present," said Willis, "is a kingdom tending to
dissolution?"

"Certainly it is," answered Campbell.

"And will ultimately fail?" asked Willis.

"Certainly," said Campbell; "when the end comes, according to our Lord's
saying, 'When the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?'
just as in the case of the chosen people, the sceptre failed from Judah
when the Shiloh came."

"Surely the Church has failed already _before_ the end," said Willis,
"according to the view you take of failing. How _can_ any separation be
more complete than exists at present between Rome, Greece, and
England?"

"They might excommunicate each other," said Campbell.

"Then you are willing," said Willis, "to assign beforehand something
definite, the occurrence of which will constitute a real separation."

"Don't do so," said Reding to Campbell; "it is dangerous; don't commit
yourself in a moral question; for then, if the thing specified did
occur, it would be difficult to see our way."

"No," said Willis; "you certainly _would_ be in a difficulty; but you
would find your way out, I know. In that case you would choose some
other _ultimatum_ as your test of schism. There would be," he added,
speaking with some emotion, "'in the lowest depth a lower still.'"

The concluding words were out of keeping with the tone of the
conversation hitherto, and fairly excited Bateman, who, for some time,
had been an impatient listener.

"That's a dangerous line, Campbell," he said, "it is indeed; I can't go
along with you. It will never do to say that the Church is failing; no,
it never fails. It is always strong, and pure, and perfect, as the
Prophets describe it. Look at its cathedrals, abbey-churches, and other
sanctuaries, these fitly typify it."

"My dear Bateman," answered Campbell, "I am as willing as you to
maintain the fulfilment of the prophecies made to the Church, but we
must allow the _fact_ that the branches of the Church are _divided_,
while we maintain the _doctrine_, that the Church should be one."

"I don't see that at all," answered Bateman; "no, we need not allow it.
There's no such thing as Churches, there's but one Church everywhere,
and it is _not_ divided. It is merely the outward forms, appearances,
manifestations of the Church that are divided. The Church is one as much
as ever it was."

"That will never do," said Campbell; and he stood up before the fire in
a state of discomfort. "Nature never intended you for a
controversialist, my good Bateman," he added to himself.

"It is as I thought," said Willis; "Bateman, you are describing an
invisible Church. You hold the indefectibility of the invisible Church,
not of the visible."

"They are in a fix," thought Charles, "but I will do my best to tow old
Bateman out;" so he began: "No," he said, "Bateman only means that one
Church presents, in some particular point, a different appearance from
another; but it does not follow that, in fact, they have not a visible
agreement too. All difference implies agreement; the English and Roman
Churches agree visibly and differ visibly. Think of the different styles
of architecture, and you will see, Willis, what he means. A church is a
church all the world over, it is visibly one and the same, and yet how
different is church from church! Our churches are Gothic, the southern
churches are Palladian. How different is a basilica from York Cathedral!
yet they visibly agree together. No one would mistake either for a
mosque or a Jewish temple. We may quarrel which is the better style;
one likes the basilica, another calls it pagan."

"That _I_ do," said Bateman.

"A little extreme," said Campbell, "a little extreme, as usual. The
basilica is beautiful in its place. There are two things which Gothic
cannot show--the line or forest of round polished columns, and the
graceful dome, circling above one's head like the blue heaven itself."

All parties were glad of this diversion from the religious dispute; so
they continued the lighter conversation which had succeeded it with
considerable earnestness.

"I fear I must confess," said Willis, "that the churches at Rome do not
affect me like the Gothic; I reverence them, I feel awe in them, but I
love, I feel a sensible pleasure at the sight of the Gothic arch."

"There are other reasons for that in Rome," said Campbell; "the churches
are so unfinished, so untidy. Rome is a city of ruins! the Christian
temples are built on ruins, and they themselves are generally
dilapidated or decayed; thus they are ruins of ruins." Campbell was on
an easier subject than that of Anglo-Catholicism, and, no one
interrupting him, he proceeded flowingly: "In Rome you have huge high
buttresses in the place of columns, and these not cased with marble, but
of cold white plaster or paint. They impart an indescribable forlorn
look to the churches."

Willis said he often wondered what took so many foreigners, that is,
Protestants, to Rome; it was so dreary, so melancholy a place; a number
of old, crumbling, shapeless brick masses, the ground unlevelled, the
straight causeways fenced by high monotonous walls, the points of
attraction straggling over broad solitudes, faded palaces, trees
universally pollarded, streets ankle deep in filth or eyes-and-mouth
deep in a cloud of whirling dust and straws, the climate most
capricious, the evening air most perilous. Naples was an earthly
paradise; but Rome was a city of faith. To seek the shrines that it
contained was a veritable penance, as was fitting. He understood
Catholics going there; he was perplexed at Protestants.

"There is a spell about the _limina Apostolorum_," said Charles; "St.
Peter and St. Paul are not there for nothing."

"There is a more tangible reason," said Campbell; "it is a place where
persons of all nations are to be found; no society is so varied as the
Roman. You go to a ballroom; your host, whom you bow to in the first
apartment, is a Frenchman; as you advance your eye catches Massena's
granddaughter in conversation with Mustapha Pasha; you soon find
yourself seated between a Yankee _chargé d'affaires_ and a Russian
colonel; and an Englishman is playing the fool in front of you."

Here Campbell looked at his watch, and then at Willis, whom he had
driven over to Melford to return Bateman's call. It was time for them to
be going, or they would be overtaken by the evening. Bateman, who had
remained in a state of great dissatisfaction since he last spoke, which
had not been for a quarter of an hour past, did not find himself in
spirits to try much to detain either them or Reding; so he was speedily
left to himself. He drew his chair to the fire, and for a while felt
nothing more than a heavy load of disgust. After a time, however, his
thoughts began to draw themselves out into series, and took the
following form: "It's too bad, too bad," he said; "Campbell is a very
clever man--far cleverer than I am; a well-read man, too; but he has no
tact, no tact. It is deplorable; Reding's coming was one misfortune;
however, we might have got over that, we might have even turned it to an
advantage; but to use such arguments as he did! how could he hope to
convince him? he made us both a mere laughing-stock.... How did he throw
off? Oh, he said that the Rubrics were not binding. Who ever heard such
a thing--at least from an Anglo-Catholic? Why pretend to be a good
Catholic with such views? better call himself a Protestant or Erastian
at once, and one would know where to find him. Such a bad impression it
must make on Willis; I saw it did; he could hardly keep from smiling:
but Campbell has no tact at all. He goes on, on, his own way, bringing
out his own thoughts, which are very clever, original certainly, but
never considering his company. And he's so positive, so knock-me-down;
it is quite unpleasant, I don't know how to sit it sometimes. Oh, it is
a cruel thing this--the effect must be wretched. Poor Willis! I declare
I don't think we have moved him one inch, I really don't. I fancied at
one time he was even laughing at _me_.... What was it he said
afterwards? there was something else, I know. I recollect; that the
Catholic Church was in ruins, had broken to pieces. What a paradox!
who'll believe that but he? I declare I am so vexed I don't know what to
be at." He jumped up and began walking to and fro. "But all this is
because the Bishops won't interfere; one can't say it, that's the worst,
but they are at the bottom of the evil. They have but to put out their
little finger and enforce the Rubrics, and then the whole controversy
would be at an end.... I knew there was something else, yes! He said we
need not fast! But Cambridge men are always peculiar, they always have
some whim or other; he ought to have been at Oxford, and we should have
made a man of him. He has many good points, but he runs theories, and
rides hobbies, and drives consequences, to death."

Here he was interrupted by his clerk, who told him that John Tims had
taken his oath that his wife should not be churched before the
congregation, and was half-minded to take his infant to the Methodists
for baptism; and his thoughts took a different direction.



CHAPTER XIX.


The winter had been on the whole dry and pleasant, but in February and
March the rains were so profuse, and the winds so high, that Bateman saw
very little of either Charles or Willis. He did not abandon his designs
on the latter, but it was an anxious question how best to conduct them.
As to Campbell, he was resolved to exclude him from any participation in
them; but he hesitated about Reding. He had found him far less
definitely Roman than he expected, and he conjectured that, by making
him his confidant and employing him against Willis, he really might
succeed in giving him an Anglican direction. Accordingly, he told him of
his anxiety to restore Willis to "the Church of his baptism;" and not
discouraged by Charles's advice to let well alone, for he might succeed
in drawing him from Rome without reclaiming him to Anglicanism, the
weather having improved, he asked the two to dinner on one of the later
Sundays in Lent. He determined to make a field-day of it; and, with that
view, he carefully got up some of the most popular works against the
Church of Rome. After much thought he determined to direct his attack on
some of the "practical evils," as he considered them, of "Romanism;" as
being more easy of proof than points of doctrine and history, in which,
too, for what he knew, Willis might by this time be better read than
himself. He considered, too, that, if Willis had been at all shaken in
his new faith when he was abroad, it was by the practical
exemplification which he had before his eyes of the issue of its
peculiar doctrines when freely carried out. Moreover, to tell the truth,
our good friend had not a very clear apprehension how much doctrine he
held in common with the Church of Rome, or where he was to stop in the
several details of Pope Pius's Creed; in consequence, it was evidently
safer to confine his attack to matters of practice.

"You see, Willis," he said, as they sat down to table, "I have given you
abstinence food, not knowing whether you avail yourself of the
dispensation. We shall eat meat ourselves; but don't think we don't fast
at proper times; I don't agree with Campbell at all; we don't fast,
however, on Sunday. That is our rule, and, I take it, a primitive one."

Willis answered that he did not know how the primitive usage lay, but he
supposed that both of them allowed that matters of discipline might be
altered by the proper authority.

"Certainly," answered Bateman, "so that everything is done consistently
with the inspired text of Scripture;"--he stopped, itching, if he could,
to bring in some great subject, but not seeing how. He saw he must rush
_in medias res_; so he added,--"with which inspired text, I presume,
what one sees in foreign churches is not very consistent."

"What? I suppose you mean antependia, rere-dosses, stone altars, copes,
and mitres," said Willis innocently; "which certainly are not in
Scripture."

"True," said Bateman; "but these, though not in Scripture, are not
inconsistent with Scripture. They are all very right; but the worship of
Saints, especially the Blessed Virgin, and of relics, the gabbling over
prayers in an unknown tongue, Indulgences, and infrequent communions, I
suspect are directly unscriptural."

"My dear Bateman," said Willis, "you seem to live in an atmosphere of
controversy; so it was at Oxford; there was always argument going on in
your rooms. Religion is a thing to enjoy, not to quarrel about; give me
a slice more of that leg of mutton."

"Yes, Bateman," said Reding, "you must let us enjoy our meat. Willis
deserves it, for I believe he has had a fair walk to-day. Have you not
walked a good part of the way to Seaton and back? a matter of fourteen
miles, and hilly ground; it can't be dry, too, in parts yet."

"True," said Bateman; "take a glass of wine, Willis; it's good Madeira;
an aunt of mine sent it me."

"He puts us to shame," said Charles, "who have stepped into church from
our bedroom; he has trudged a pilgrimage to his."

"I'm not saying a word against our dear friend Willis," said Bateman;
"it was merely a point on which I thought he would agree with me, that
there were many corruptions of worship in foreign churches."

At last, when his silence was observable, Willis said that he supposed
that persons who were not Catholics could not tell what were corruptions
and what not. Here the subject dropped again; for Willis did not seem in
humour--perhaps he was too tired--to continue it. So they ate and drank,
with nothing but very commonplace remarks to season their meal withal,
till the cloth was removed. The table was then shoved back a bit, and
the three young men got over the fire, which Bateman made burn brightly.
Two of them at least had deserved some relaxation, and they were the two
who were to be opponent and respondent in the approaching argument--one
had had a long walk, the other had had two full services, a baptism, and
a funeral. The armistice continued a good quarter of an hour, which
Charles and Willis spent in easy conversation; till Bateman, who had
been priming himself the while with his controversial points, found
himself ready for the assault, and opened it in form.

"Come, my dear Willis," he said, "I can't let you off so; I am sure what
you saw abroad scandalized you."

This was almost rudely put. Willis said that, had he been a Protestant,
he might have been easily shocked; but he had been a Catholic; and he
drew an almost imperceptible sigh. Besides, had he had a temptation to
be shocked, he should have recollected that he was in a Church which in
all greater matters could not err. He had not come to the Church to
criticize, he said, but to learn. "I don't know," he said, "what is
meant by saying that we ought to have faith, that faith is a grace,
that faith is the means of our salvation, if there is nothing to
exercise it. Faith goes against sight; well, then, unless there are
sights which offend you, there is nothing for it to go against."

Bateman called this a paradox; "If so," he said, "why don't we become
Mahometans? we should have enough to believe then."

"Why, just consider," said Willis; "supposing your friend, an honourable
man, is accused of theft, and appearances are against him, would you at
once admit the charge? It would be a fair trial of your faith in him;
and if he were able in the event satisfactorily to rebut it, I don't
think he would thank you, should you have waited for his explanation
before you took his part, instead of knowing him too well to suspect it.
If, then, I come to the Church with faith in her, whatever I see there,
even if it surprises me, is but a trial of my faith."

"That is true," said Charles; "but there must be some ground for faith;
we do not believe without reason; and the question is, whether what the
Church does, as in worship, is not a fair matter to form a judgment
upon, for or against."

"A Catholic," said Willis, "as I was when I was abroad, has already
found his grounds, for he believes; but for one who has not--I mean a
Protestant--I certainly consider it is very uncertain whether he will
take _the_ view of Catholic worship which he ought to take. It may
easily happen that he will not understand it."

"Yet persons have before now been converted by the sight of Catholic
worship," said Reding.

"Certainly," answered Willis: "God works in a thousand ways; there is
much in Catholic worship to strike a Protestant, but there is much which
will perplex him; for instance, what Bateman has alluded to, our
devotion to the Blessed Virgin."

"Surely," said Bateman, "this is a plain matter; it is quite impossible
that the worship paid by Roman Catholics to the Blessed Mary should not
interfere with the supreme adoration due to the Creator alone."

"This is just an instance in point," said Willis; "you see you are
judging _à priori_; you know nothing of the state of the case from
experience, but you say, 'It must be; it can't be otherwise.' This is
the way a Protestant judges, and comes to one conclusion; a Catholic,
who acts, and does not speculate, feels the truth of the contrary."

"Some things," said Bateman, "are so like axioms, as to supersede trial.
On the other hand, familiarity is very likely to hide from people the
real evil of certain practices."

"How strange it is," answered Willis, "that you don't perceive that this
is the very argument which various sects urge against you Anglicans! For
instance, the Unitarian says that the doctrine of the Atonement _must_
lead to our looking at the Father, not as a God of love, but of
vengeance only; and he calls the doctrine of eternal punishment immoral.
And so, the Wesleyan or Baptist declares that it is an absurdity to
suppose any one can hold the doctrine of baptismal regeneration, and
really be spiritual; that the doctrine _must_ have a numbing effect on
the mind, and destroy its simple reliance on the atonement of Christ. I
will take another instance: many a good Catholic, who never came across
Anglicans, is as utterly unable to realize your position as you are to
realize his. He cannot make out how you can be so illogical as not to go
forward or backward; nay, he pronounces your professed state of mind
impossible; he does not believe in its existence. I may deplore your
state; I may think you illogical and worse; but I know it is a state
which does exist. As, then, I admit that a person can hold one Catholic
Church, yet without believing that the Roman Communion is it, so I put
it to you, even as an _argumentum ad hominem_, whether you ought not to
believe that we can honour our Blessed Lady as the first of creatures,
without interfering with the honour due to God? At most, you ought to
call us only illogical, you ought not to deny that we do what we say we
do."

"I make a distinction," said Bateman; "it is quite possible, I fully
grant, for an educated Romanist to distinguish between the devotion paid
by him to the Blessed Virgin, and the worship of God; I only say that
the multitude will not distinguish."

"I know you say so," answered Willis; "and still, I repeat, not from
experience, but on an _à priori_ ground. You say, not 'it is so,' but
'it _must_ be so.'"

There was a pause in the conversation, and then Bateman recommenced it.

"You may give us some trouble," said he, laughing, "but we are resolved
to have you back, my good Willis. Now consider, you are a lover of
truth: is that Church from heaven which tells untruths?"

Willis laughed too; "We must define the words _truth_ and _untruth_," he
said; "but, subject to that definition, I have no hesitation in
enunciating the truism, that a Church is not from heaven which tells
untruths."

"Of course, you can't deny the proposition," said Bateman; "well, then,
is it not quite certain that in Rome itself there are relics which all
learned men now give up, and which yet are venerated as relics? For
instance, Campbell tells me that the reputed heads of St. Peter and St.
Paul, in some great Roman basilica, are certainly not the heads of the
Apostles, because the head of St. Paul was found with his body, after
the fire at his church some years since."

"I don't know about the particular instance," answered Willis; "but you
are opening a large question which cannot be settled in a few words. If
I must speak, I should say this: I should begin with the assumption that
the existence of relics is not improbable; do you grant _that_?"

"I grant nothing," said Bateman; "but go on."

"Why you have plenty of heathen relics, which you admit. What is
Pompeii, and all that is found there, but one vast heathen relic? why
should there not be Christian relics in Rome and elsewhere as well as
pagan?"

"Of course, of course," said Bateman.

"Well, and relics may be identified. You have the tomb of the Scipios,
with their names on them. Did you find ashes in one of them, I suppose
you would be pretty certain that they were the ashes of a Scipio."

"To the point," cried Bateman, "quicker."

"St. Peter," continued Willis, "speaks of David, 'whose sepulchre is
with you unto this day.' Therefore it's nothing wonderful that a
religious relic should be preserved eleven hundred years, and identified
to be such, when a nation makes a point of preserving it."

"This is beating about the bush," cried Bateman impatiently; "get on
quicker."

"Let me go on my own way," said Willis--"then there is nothing
improbable, considering Christians have always been very careful about
the memorials of sacred things--"

"You've not proved that," said Bateman, fearing that some manoeuvre,
he could not tell what, was in progress.

"Well," said Willis, "you don't doubt it, I suppose, at least from the
fourth century, when St. Helena brought from the Holy Land the memorials
of our Lord's passion, and lodged them at Rome in the Basilica, which
was thereupon called Santa Croce. As to the previous times of
persecution, Christians, of course, had fewer opportunities of showing a
similar devotion, and historical records are less copious; yet, in spite
of this, its existence is as certain as any fact of history. They
collected the bones of St. Polycarp, the immediate disciple of St. John,
after he was burnt; as of St. Ignatius before him, after his exposure to
the beasts; and so in like manner the bones or blood of all the martyrs.
No one doubts it; I never heard of any one who did. So the disciples
took up the Baptist's body--it would have been strange if they had
not--and buried it 'in _the_ sepulchre,' as the Evangelist says,
speaking of it as known. Now, why should they not in like manner, and
even with greater reason, have rescued the bodies of St. Peter and St.
Paul, if it were only for decent burial? Is it then wonderful, if the
bodies were rescued, that they should be afterwards preserved?"

"But they can't be in two places at once," said Bateman.

"But hear me," answered Willis; "I say then if there is a tradition
that in a certain place there is a relic of an apostle, there is at
first sight a probability that it _is_ there; the presumption is in its
favour. Can you deny it? Well, if the same relic is reported to be in
two places, then one or the other tradition is erroneous, and the _primâ
facie_ force of both traditions is weakened; but I should not actually
discard either at once; each has its force still, though neither so
great a force. Now, suppose there are circumstances which confirm the
one, the other is weakened still further, and at length the probability
of its truth may become evanescent; and when a fair interval has passed,
and there is no change of evidence in its favour, then it is at length
given up. But all this is a work of time; meanwhile, it is not a bit
more of an objection to the doctrine and practice of relic-veneration
that a body is said to lie in two places, than to profane history that
Charles I. was reported by some authorities to be buried at Windsor, by
others at Westminster; which question was decided just before our
times. It is a question of evidence, and must be treated as such."

"But if St. Paul's head was found under his own church," said Bateman,
"it's pretty clear it is not preserved at the other basilica."

"True," answered Willis; "but grave questions of this kind cannot be
decided in a moment. I don't know myself the circumstances of the case,
and do but take your account of it. It has to be proved, then, I
suppose, that it _was_ St. Paul's head which was found with his body;
for, since he was beheaded, it would not be attached to it. This is one
question, and others would arise. It is not easy to settle a question of
history. Questions which seem settled revive. It is very well for
secular historians to give up a tradition or testimony at once, and for
a generation to oh-oh it; but the Church cannot do so; she has a
religious responsibility, and must move slowly. Take the _chance_ of its
turning out that the heads at St. John Lateran were, after all, those of
the two Apostles, and that she had cast them aside. Questions, I say,
revive. Did not Walpole make it highly probable that the two little
princes had a place in the procession at King Richard's coronation,
though a century before him two skeletons of boys were found in the
Tower at the very place where the children of Edward were said to have
been murdered and buried by the Duke of Gloucester? I speak from memory,
but the general fact which I am illustrating is undeniable. Ussher,
Pearson, and Voss proved that St. Ignatius's shorter Epistles were
genuine; and now, after the lapse of two centuries, the question is at
least plausibly mooted again."

There was another pause, while Bateman thought over his facts and
arguments, but nothing was forthcoming at the moment. Willis continued:
"You must consider also that reputed relics, such as you have mentioned,
are generally in the custody of religious bodies, who are naturally very
jealous of attempts to prove them spurious, and, with a pardonable
_esprit de corps_, defend them with all their might, and oppose
obstacles in the way of an adverse decision; just as your own society
defends, most worthily, the fair fame of your foundress, Queen Boadicea.
Were the case given against her by every tribunal in the land, your
valiant and loyal Head would not abandon her; it would break his
magnanimous heart; he would die in her service as a good knight. Both
from religious duty, then, and from human feeling, it is a very arduous
thing to get a received relic disowned."

"Well," said Bateman, "to my poor judgment it does seem a dishonesty to
keep up inscriptions, for instance, which every one knows not to be
true."

"My dear Bateman, that is begging the question," said Willis; "_every_
body does _not_ know it; it is a point in course of settlement, but not
settled; you may say that _individuals_ have settled it, or it _may_ be
settled, but it is not settled yet. Parallel cases happen frequently in
civil matters, and no one speaks harshly of existing individuals or
bodies in consequence. Till lately the Monument in London bore an
inscription to the effect that London had been burned by us poor
Papists. A hundred years ago, Pope, the poet, had called the 'column' 'a
tall bully' which 'lifts its head and lies,' Yet the inscription was not
removed till a few years since--I believe when the Monument was
repaired. That was an opportunity for erasing a calumny which, till
then, had not been definitely pronounced to be such, and not pronounced
in deference to the _primâ facie_ authority of a statement
contemporaneous with the calamity which it recorded. There is never a
_point_ of time at which you can say, 'The tradition is now disproved.'
When a received belief has been apparently exposed, the question lies
dormant for the opportunity of fresh arguments; when none appear, then
at length an accident, such as the repair of a building, despatches it."

"We have somehow got off the subject," thought Bateman; and he sat
fidgeting about to find the thread of his argument. Reding put in an
objection; he said that no one knew or cared about the inscription on
the Monument, but religious veneration was paid to the two heads at St.
John Lateran.

"Right," said Bateman, "that's just what I meant to say."

"Well," answered Willis, "as to the particular case--mind, I am taking
your account of it, for I don't profess to know how the matter lies. But
let us consider the extent of the mistake. There is no doubt in the
world that at least they are the heads of martyrs; the only question is
this, and no more, whether they are the very heads of the two Apostles.
From time immemorial they have been preserved upon or under the altar as
the heads of saints or martyrs; and it requires to know very little of
Christian antiquities to be perfectly certain that they really are
saintly relics, even though unknown. Hence the sole mistake is, that
Catholics have venerated, what ought to be venerated anyhow, under a
wrong name; perhaps have expected miracles (which they had a right to
expect), and have experienced them (as they might well experience them),
because they _were_ the relics of saints, though they were in error as
to what saints. This surely is no great matter."

"You have made three assumptions," said Bateman; "first, that none but
the relics of saints have been placed under altars; secondly, that these
relics were always there; thirdly--thirdly--I know there was a
third--let me see--"

"Most true," said Willis, interrupting him, "and I will help you to some
others. I have assumed that there are Christians in the world called
Catholics; again, that they think it right to venerate relics; but, my
dear Bateman, these were the grounds, and not the point of our argument;
and if they are to be questioned, it must be in a distinct dispute: but
I really think we have had enough of disputation."

"Yes, Bateman," said Charles; "it is getting late. I must think of
returning. Give us some tea, and let us begone."

"Go home?" cried Bateman; "why, we have just done dinner, and done
nothing else as yet; I had a great deal to say."

However, he rang the bell for tea, and had the table cleared.



CHAPTER XX.


The conversation flagged; Bateman was again busy with his memory; and he
was getting impatient too; time was slipping away, and no blow struck;
moreover, Willis was beginning to gape, and Charles seemed impatient to
be released. "These Romanists put things so plausibly," he said to
himself, "but very unfairly, most unfairly; one ought to be up to their
dodges. I dare say, if the truth were known, Willis has had lessons; he
looks so demure; I dare say he is keeping back a great deal, and playing
upon my ignorance. Who knows? perhaps he's a concealed Jesuit." It was
an awful thought, and suspended the course of his reflections some
seconds. "I wonder what he does really think; it's so difficult to get
at the bottom of them; they won't tell tales, and they are under
obedience; one never knows when to believe them. I suspect he has been
wofully disappointed with Romanism; he looks so thin; but of course he
won't say so; it hurts a man's pride, and he likes to be consistent; he
doesn't like to be laughed at, and so he makes the best of things. I
wish I knew how to treat him; I was wrong in having Reding here; of
course Willis would not be confidential before a third person. He's
like the fox that lost his tail. It was bad tact in me; I see it now;
what a thing it is to have tact! it requires very delicate tact. There
are so many things I wished to say, about Indulgences, about their so
seldom communicating; I think I must ask him about the Mass." So, after
fidgeting a good deal within, while he was ostensibly employed in making
tea, he commenced his last assault.

"Well, we shall have you back again among us by next Christmas, Willis,"
he said; "I can't give you greater law; I am certain of it; it takes
time, but slow and sure. What a joyful time it will be! I can't tell
what keeps you; you are doing nothing; you are flung into a corner; you
are wasting life. _What_ keeps you?"

Willis looked odd; then he simply answered, "Grace."

Bateman was startled, but recovered himself; "Heaven forbid," he said,
"that I should treat these things lightly, or interfere with you unduly.
I know, my dear friend, what a serious fellow you are; but do tell me,
just tell me, how can you justify the Mass, as it is performed abroad;
how can it be called a 'reasonable service,' when all parties conspire
to gabble it over as if it mattered not a jot who attended to it, or
even understood it? Speak, man, speak," he added, gently shaking him by
the shoulder.

"These are such difficult questions," answered Willis; "must I speak?
Such difficult questions," he continued, rising into a more animated
manner, and kindling as he went on; "I mean, people view them so
differently: it is so difficult to convey to one person the idea of
another. The idea of worship is different in the Catholic Church from
the idea of it in your Church; for, in truth, the _religions_ are
different. Don't deceive yourself, my dear Bateman," he said tenderly,
"it is not that ours is your religion carried a little farther,--a
little too far, as you would say. No, they differ in kind, not in
degree; ours is one religion, yours another. And when the time comes,
and come it will, for you, alien as you are now, to submit yourself to
the gracious yoke of Christ, then, my dearest Bateman, it will be
_faith_ which will enable you to bear the ways and usages of Catholics,
which else might perhaps startle you. Else, the habits of years, the
associations in your mind of a certain outward behaviour with real
inward acts of devotion, might embarrass you, when you had to conform
yourself to other habits, and to create for yourself other associations.
But this faith, of which I speak, the great gift of God, will enable you
in that day to overcome yourself, and to submit, as your judgment, your
will, your reason, your affections, so your tastes and likings, to the
rule and usage of the Church. Ah, that faith should be necessary in such
a matter, and that what is so natural and becoming under the
circumstances, should have need of an explanation! I declare, to me," he
said, and he clasped his hands on his knees, and looked forward as if
soliloquizing, "to me nothing is so consoling, so piercing, so
thrilling, so overcoming, as the Mass, said as it is among us. I could
attend Masses for ever, and not be tired. It is not a mere form of
words,--it is a great action, the greatest action that can be on earth.
It is, not the invocation merely, but, if I dare use the word, the
evocation of the Eternal. He becomes present on the altar in flesh and
blood, before whom angels bow and devils tremble. This is that awful
event which is the scope, and is the interpretation, of every part of
the solemnity. Words are necessary, but as means, not as ends; they are
not mere addresses to the throne of grace, they are instruments of what
is far higher, of consecration, of sacrifice. They hurry on as if
impatient to fulfil their mission. Quickly they go, the whole is quick;
for they are all parts of one integral action. Quickly they go; for they
are awful words of sacrifice, they are a work too great to delay upon;
as when it was said in the beginning, 'What thou doest, do quickly.'
Quickly they pass; for the Lord Jesus goes with them, as He passed along
the lake in the days of His flesh, quickly calling first one and then
another. Quickly they pass; because as the lightning which shineth from
one part of the heaven unto the other, so is the coming of the Son of
Man. Quickly they pass; for they are as the words of Moses, when the
Lord came down in the cloud, calling on the Name of the Lord as He
passed by, 'The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious,
long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.' And as Moses on the
mountain, so we too 'make haste and bow our heads to the earth, and
adore.' So we, all around, each in his place, look out for the great
Advent, 'waiting for the moving of the water.' Each in his place, with
his own heart, with his own wants, with his own thoughts, with his own
intention, with his own prayers, separate but concordant, watching what
is going on, watching its progress, uniting in its consummation;--not
painfully and hopelessly following a hard form of prayer from beginning
to end, but, like a concert of musical instruments, each different, but
concurring in a sweet harmony, we take our part with God's priest,
supporting him, yet guided by him. There are little children there, and
old men, and simple labourers, and students in seminaries, priests
preparing for Mass, priests making their thanksgiving; there are
innocent maidens, and there are penitent sinners; but out of these many
minds rises one eucharistic hymn, and the great Action is the measure
and the scope of it. And oh, my dear Bateman," he added, turning to him,
"you ask me whether this is not a formal, unreasonable service--it is
wonderful!" he cried, rising up, "quite wonderful. When will these dear,
good people be enlightened? _O Sapientia, fortiter suaviterque disponens
omnia, O Adonai, O Clavis David et Exspectatio gentium, veni ad
salvandum nos, Domine Deus noster._"

Now, at least, there was no mistaking Willis. Bateman stared, and was
almost frightened at a burst of enthusiasm which he had been far from
expecting. "Why, Willis," he said, "it is not true, then, after all,
what we heard, that you were somewhat dubious, shaky, in your adherence
to Romanism? I'm sure I beg your pardon; I would not for the world have
annoyed you, had I known the truth."

Willis's face still glowed, and he looked as youthful and radiant as he
had been two years before. There was nothing ungentle in his
impetuosity; a smile, almost a laugh, was on his face, as if he was
half ashamed of his own warmth; but this took nothing from its evident
sincerity. He seized Bateman's two hands, before the latter knew where
he was, lifted him up out of his seat, and, raising his own mouth close
to his ear, said, in a low voice, "I would to God, that not only thou,
but also all who hear me this day, were both in little and in much such
as I am, except these chains." Then, reminding him it had grown late,
and bidding him good-night, he left the room with Charles.

Bateman remained a while with his back to the fire after the door had
closed; presently he began to give expression to his thoughts. "Well,"
he said, "he's a brick, a regular brick; he has almost affected me
myself. What a way those fellows have with them! I declare his touch has
made my heart beat; how catching enthusiasm is! Any one but I might
really have been unsettled. He _is_ a real good fellow; what a pity we
have not got him! he's just the sort of man we want. He'd make a
splendid Anglican; he'd convert half the Dissenters in the country.
Well, we shall have them in time; we must not be impatient. But the idea
of his talking of converting _me_! 'in little and in much,' as he worded
it! By-the-bye, what did he mean by 'except these chains'?" He sat
ruminating on the difficulty; at first he was inclined to think that,
after all, he might have some misgiving about his position; then he
thought that perhaps he had a hair-shirt or a _catenella_ on him; and
lastly, he came to the conclusion that he had just meant nothing at all,
and did but finish the quotation he had begun.

After passing some little time in this state, he looked towards the
tea-tray; poured himself out another cup of tea; ate a bit of toast;
took the coals off the fire; blew out one of the candles, and, taking up
the other, left the parlour and wound like an omnibus up the steep
twisting staircase to his bedroom.

Meanwhile Willis and Charles were proceeding to their respective homes.
For a while they had to pursue the same path, which they did in silence.
Charles had been moved far more than Bateman, or rather touched, by the
enthusiasm of his Catholic friend, though, from a difficulty in finding
language to express himself, and a fear of being carried off his legs,
he had kept his feelings to himself. When they were about to part,
Willis said to him, in a subdued tone, "You are soon going to Oxford,
dearest Reding; oh, that you were one with us! You have it in you. I
have thought of you at Mass many times. Our priest has said Mass for
you. Oh, my dear friend, quench not God's grace; listen to His call; you
have had what others have not. What you want is faith. I suspect you
have quite proof enough; enough to be converted on. But faith is a gift;
pray for that great gift, without which you cannot come to the Church;
without which," and he paused, "you cannot walk aright when you are in
the Church. And now farewell! alas, our path divides; all is easy to him
that believeth. May God give you that gift of faith, as He has given me!
Farewell again; who knows when I may see you next, and where? may it be
in the courts of the true Jerusalem, the Queen of Saints, the Holy
Roman Church, the Mother of us all!" He drew Charles to him and kissed
his cheek, and was gone before Charles had time to say a word.

Yet Charles could not have spoken had he had ever so much opportunity.
He set off at a brisk pace, cutting down with his stick the twigs and
brambles which the pale twilight discovered in his path. It seemed as if
the kiss of his friend had conveyed into his own soul the enthusiasm
which his words had betokened. He felt himself possessed, he knew not
how, by a high superhuman power, which seemed able to push through
mountains, and to walk the sea. With winter around him, he felt within
like the spring-tide, when all is new and bright. He perceived that he
had found, what indeed he had never sought, because he had never known
what it was, but what he had ever wanted,--a soul sympathetic with his
own. He felt he was no longer alone in the world, though he was losing
that true congenial mind the very moment he had found him. Was this, he
asked himself, the communion of Saints? Alas! how could it be, when he
was in one communion and Willis in another? "O mighty Mother!" burst
from his lips; he quickened his pace almost to a trot, scaling the steep
ascents and diving into the hollows which lay between him and Boughton.
"O mighty Mother!" he still said, half unconsciously; "O mighty Mother!
I come, O mighty Mother! I come; but I am far from home. Spare me a
little; I come with what speed I may, but I am slow of foot, and not as
others, O mighty Mother!"

By the time he had walked two miles in this excitement, bodily and
mental, he felt himself, as was not wonderful, considerably exhausted.
He slackened his pace, and gradually came to himself, but still he went
on, as if mechanically, "O mighty Mother!" Suddenly he cried, "Hallo!
where did I get these words? Willis did not use them. Well, I must be on
my guard against these wild ways. Any one can be an enthusiast;
enthusiasm is not truth ... O mighty Mother!... Alas, I know where my
heart is! but I must go by reason ... O mighty Mother!"



CHAPTER XXI.


The time came at length for Charles to return to Oxford; but during the
last month scruples had arisen in his mind, whether, with his present
feelings, he could consistently even present himself for his
examination. No subscription was necessary for his entrance into the
schools, but he felt that the honours of the class-list were only
intended for those who were _bonâ fide_ adherents of the Church of
England. He laid his difficulty before Carlton, who in consequence did
his best to ascertain thoroughly his present state of mind. It seemed
that Charles had no _intention_, either now or at any future day, of
joining the Church of Rome; that he felt he could not take such a step
at present without distinct sin; that it would simply be against his
conscience to do so; that he had no feeling whatever that God called him
to do so; that he felt that nothing could justify so serious an act but
the conviction that he could not be saved in the Church to which he
belonged; that he had no such feeling; that he had no definite case
against his own Church sufficient for leaving it, nor any definite view
that the Church of Rome was the One Church of Christ:--that still he
could not help suspecting that one day he should think otherwise; he
conceived the day might come, nay would come, when he should have that
conviction which at present he had not, and which of course would be a
call on him to act upon it, by leaving the Church of England for that of
Rome; he could not tell distinctly why he so anticipated, except that
there were so many things which he thought right in the Church of Rome,
and so many which he thought wrong in the Church of England; and,
because, too, the more he had an opportunity of hearing and seeing, the
greater cause he had to admire and revere the Roman Catholic system, and
to be dissatisfied with his own. Carlton, after carefully considering
the case, advised him to go in for his examination. He acted thus, on
the one hand, as vividly feeling the changes which take place in the
minds of young men, and the difficulty of Reding foretelling his own
state of opinions two years to come; and, on the other, from the
reasonable anticipation that a contrary advice would have been the very
way to ripen his present doubts on the untenableness of Anglicanism into
conviction.

Accordingly, his examination came off in due time; the schools were
full, he did well, and his class was considered to be secure. Sheffield
followed soon after, and did brilliantly. The list came out; Sheffield
was in the first class, Charles in the second. There is always of
necessity a good deal of accident in these matters; but in the present
case reasons enough could be given to account for the unequal success of
the two friends. Charles had lost some time by his father's death, and
family matters consequent upon it; and his virtual rustication for the
last six months had been a considerable disadvantage to him. Moreover,
though he had been a careful, persevering reader, he certainly had not
run the race for honours with the same devotion as Sheffield; nor had
his religious difficulties, particularly his late indecision about
presenting himself at all, been without their serious influence upon his
attention and his energy. As success had not been the first desire of
his soul, so failure was not his greatest misery. He would have much
preferred success; but in a day or two he found he could well endure the
want of it.

Now came the question about his degree, which could not be taken without
subscription to the Articles. Another consultation followed with
Carlton. There was no need of his becoming a B.A. at the moment; nothing
would be gained by it; better that he should postpone the step. He had
but to go down and say nothing about it; no one would be the wiser; and
if, at the end of six months, as Carlton sanguinely anticipated, he
found himself in a more comfortable frame of mind, then let him come up,
and set all right.

What was he to do with himself at the moment? There was little
difficulty here either, what to propose. He had better be reading with
some clergyman in the country; thus he would at once be preparing for
orders, and clearing his mind on the points which at present troubled
him; besides, he might thus have some opportunity for parochial duty,
which would have a tranquillizing and sobering effect on his mind. As to
the books to which he should give his attention, of course the choice
would rest with the clergyman who was to guide him; but for himself
Carlton would not recommend the usual works in controversy with Rome,
for which the Anglican Church was famous; rather those which are of a
positive character, which treated subjects philosophically,
historically, or doctrinally, and displayed the peculiar principles of
that Church; Hooker's great work, for instance; or Bull's _Defensio_ and
_Harmonia_, or Pearson's _Vindiciæ_, or Jackson on the Creed, a noble
work; to which Laud on Tradition might be added, though its form was
controversial. Such, too, were Bingham's Antiquities, Waterland on the
Use of Antiquity, Wall on Infant Baptism, and Palmer on the Liturgy. Nor
ought he to neglect practical and devotional authors, as Bishops Taylor,
Wilson, and Horne. The most important point remained; whither was he to
betake himself? did he know of any clergyman in the country who would be
willing to receive him as a friend and a pupil? Charles thought of
Campbell, with whom he was on the best of terms; and Carlton knew enough
of him by reputation, to be perfectly sure that he could not be in safer
hands.

Charles, in consequence, made the proposal to him, and it was accepted.
Nothing then remained for him but to pay a few bills, to pack up some
books which he had left in a friend's room, and then to bid adieu, at
least for a time, to the cloisters and groves of the University. He
quitted in June, when everything was in that youthful and fragrant
beauty which he had admired so much in the beginning of his residence
three years before.



Part III.

CHAPTER I.


But now we must look forward, not back. Once before we took leave to
pass over nearly two years in the life of the subject of this narrative,
and now a second and a dreary and longer interval shall be consigned to
oblivion, and the reader shall be set down in the autumn of the year
next but one after that in which Charles took his class and did not take
his degree.

At this time our interest is confined to Boughton and the Rectory at
Sutton. As to Melford, friend Bateman had accepted the incumbency of a
church in a manufacturing town with a district of 10,000 souls, where he
was full of plans for the introduction of the surplice and gilt
candlesticks among his people, and where, it is to be hoped, he will
learn wisdom. Willis also was gone, on a different errand: he had bid
adieu to his mother and brother soon after Charles had gone into the
schools, and now was Father Aloysius de Sanctâ Cruce in the Passionist
Convent of Pennington.

One evening, at the end of September, in the year aforesaid, Campbell
had called at Boughton, and was walking in the garden with Miss Reding.
"Really, Mary," he said to her, "I don't think it does any good to keep
him. The best years of his life are going, and, humanly speaking, there
is not any chance of his changing his mind, at least till he has made a
trial of the Church of Rome. It is quite possible that experience may
drive him back."

"It is a dreadful dilemma," she answered; "how can we even indirectly
give him permission to take so fatal a step?"

"He is a dear, good fellow," he made reply; "he is a sterling fellow;
all this long time that he has been with me he has made no difficulties;
he has read thoroughly the books that I recommended and more, and done
whatever I told him. You know I have employed him in the parish; he has
taught the Catechism to the children, and been almoner. Poor fellow, his
health is suffering now: he sees there's no end of it, and hope deferred
makes the heart sick."

"It is so dreadful to give any countenance to what is so very wrong,"
said Mary.

"Why, what is to be done?" answered Campbell; "and we need not
countenance it; he can't be kept in leading-strings for ever, and there
has been a kind of bargain. He wanted to make a move at the end of the
first year--I didn't think it worth while to fidget you about it--but I
quieted him. We compounded in this way: he removed his name from the
college-boards,--there was not the slightest chance of his ever signing
the Articles,--and he consented to wait another year. Now the time's
up, and more, and he is getting impatient. So it's not we who shall be
giving him countenance, it will only be his leaving us."

"But it is so fearful," insisted Mary; "and my poor mother--I declare I
think it will be her death."

"It will be a crushing blow, there's no doubt of that," said Campbell;
"what does she know of it at present?"

"I hardly can tell you," answered she; "she has been informed of it
indeed distinctly a year ago; but seeing Charles so often, and he in
appearance just the same, I fear she does not realize it. She has never
spoken to me on the subject. I fancy she thinks it a scruple;
troublesome, certainly, but of course temporary."

"I must break it to her, Mary," said Campbell.

"Well, I think it _must_ be done," she replied, heaving a sudden sigh;
"and if so, it will be a real kindness in you to save me a task to which
I am quite unequal. But have a talk with Charles first. When it comes to
the point he may have a greater difficulty than he thinks beforehand."

And so it was settled; and, full of care at the double commission with
which he was charged, Campbell rode back to Sutton.

Poor Charles was sitting at an open window, looking out upon the
prospect, when Campbell entered the room. It was a beautiful landscape,
with bold hills in the distance, and a rushing river beneath him.
Campbell came up to him without his perceiving it; and, putting his hand
on his shoulder, asked his thoughts.

Charles turned round, and smiled sadly. "I am like Moses seeing the
land," he said; "my dear Campbell, when shall the end be?"

"That, my good Charles, of course does not rest with me," answered
Campbell.

"Well," said he, "the year is long run out; may I go my way?"

"You can't expect that I, or any of us, should even indirectly
countenance you in what, with all our love of you, we think a sin," said
Campbell.

"That is as much as to say, 'Act for yourself,'" answered Charles;
"well, I am willing."

Campbell did not at once reply; then he said, "I shall have to break it
to your poor mother; Mary thinks it will be her death."

Charles dropped his head on the window-sill, upon his hands. "No," he
said; "I trust that she, and all of us, will be supported."

"So do I, fervently," answered Campbell; "it will be a most terrible
blow to your sisters. My dear fellow, should you not take all this into
account? Do seriously consider the actual misery you are causing for
possible good."

"Do you think I have not considered it, Campbell? Is it nothing for one
like me to be breaking all these dear ties, and to be losing the esteem
and sympathy of so many persons I love? Oh, it has been a most piercing
thought; but I have exhausted it, I have drunk it out. I have got
familiar with the prospect now, and am fully reconciled. Yes, I give up
home, I give up all who have ever known me, loved me, valued me, wished
me well; I know well I am making myself a by-word and an outcast."

"Oh, my dear Charles," answered Campbell, "beware of a very subtle
temptation which may come on you here. I have meant to warn you of it
before. The greatness of the sacrifice stimulates you; you do it because
it is so much to do."

Charles smiled. "How little you know me!" he said; "if that were the
case, should I have waited patiently two years and more? Why did I not
rush forward as others have done? _You_ will not deny that I have acted
rationally, obediently. I have put the subject from me again and again,
and it has returned."

"I'll say nothing harsh or unkind of you, Charles," said Campbell; "but
it's a most unfortunate delusion. I wish I could make you take in the
idea that there is the chance of its _being_ a delusion."

"Ah, Campbell, how can you forget so?" answered Charles; "don't you know
this is the very thing which has influenced me so much all along? I
said, 'Perhaps I am in a dream. Oh, that I could pinch myself and
awake!' You know what stress I laid on my change of feeling upon my dear
father's death; what I thought to be convictions before, vanished then
like a cloud. I have said to myself, 'Perhaps these will vanish too.'
But no; 'the clouds return after the rain;' they come again and again,
heavier than ever. It is a conviction rooted in me; it endures against
the prospect of loss of mother and sisters. Here I sit wasting my days,
when I might be useful in life. Why? Because this hinders me. Lately it
has increased on me tenfold. You will be shocked, but let me tell you
in confidence,--lately I have been quite afraid to ride, or to bathe, or
to do anything out of the way, lest something should happen, and I might
be taken away with a great duty unaccomplished. No, by this time I have
proved that it is a real conviction. My belief in the Church of Rome is
part of myself; I cannot act against it without acting against God."

"It is a most deplorable state of things certainly," said Campbell, who
had begun to walk up and down the room; "that it is a delusion, I am
confident; perhaps you are to find it so, just when you have taken the
step. You will solemnly bind yourself to a foreign creed, and, as the
words part from your mouth, the mist will roll up from before your eyes,
and the truth will show itself. How dreadful!"

"I have thought of that too," said Charles, "and it has influenced me a
great deal. It has made me shrink back. But I now believe it to be like
those hideous forms which in fairy tales beset good knights, when they
would force their way into some enchanted palace. Recollect the words in
Thalaba, 'The talisman is _faith_.' If I have good grounds for
believing, to believe is a duty; God will take care of His own work. I
shall not be deserted in my utmost need. Faith ever begins with a
venture, and is rewarded with sight."

"Yes, my good Charles," answered Campbell; "but the question is, whether
your grounds _are_ good. What I mean is, that, _since_ they are _not_
good, they will not avail you in the trial. You will then, too late,
find they are not good, but delusive."

"Campbell," answered Charles, "I consider that all reason comes from
God; our grounds must at best be imperfect; but if they appear to be
sufficient after prayer, diligent search, obedience, waiting, and, in
short, doing our part, they are His voice calling us on. He it is, in
that case, who makes them seem convincing to us. I am in His hands. The
only question is, what would He have me to do? I cannot resist the
conviction which is upon me. This last week it has possessed me in a
different way than ever before. It is now so strong, that to wait longer
is to resist God. Whether I join the Catholic Church is now simply a
question of days. I wish, dear Campbell, to leave you in peace and love.
Therefore, consent; let me go."

"Let you go!" answered Campbell; "certainly, were it the Catholic Church
to which you are going, there would be no need to ask; but 'let you go,'
how can you expect it from us when we do not think so? Think of our
case, Charles, as well as your own; throw yourself into our state of
feeling. For myself, I cannot deny, I never have concealed from you my
convictions, that the Romish Church is antichristian. She has ten
thousand gifts, she is in many respects superior to our own; but she has
a something in her which spoils all. I have no _confidence_ in her; and,
that being the case, how can I 'let you go' to her? No: it's like a
person saying, 'Let me go and hang myself;' 'let me go sleep in a
fever-ward;' 'let me jump into that well;'--how can I 'let you go'?"

"Ah," said Charles, "that's our dreadful difference; we can't get
farther than that. _I_ think the Church of Rome the Prophet of God;
_you_, the tool of the devil."

"I own," said Campbell, "I do think that, if you take this step, you
will find yourself in the hands of a Circe, who will change you, make a
brute of you."

Charles slightly coloured.

"I won't go on," added Campbell; "I pain you; it's no good; perhaps I am
making matters worse."

Neither spoke for some time. At length Charles got up, came up to
Campbell, took his hand, and kissed it. "You have been a kind,
disinterested friend to me for two years," he said; "you have given me a
lodging under your roof; and now we are soon to be united by closer
ties. God reward you; but 'let me go, for the day breaketh.'"

"It is hopeless!" cried Campbell; "let us part friends: I must break it
to your mother."

In ten days after this conversation Charles was ready for his journey;
his room put to rights; his portmanteau strapped; and a gig at the door,
which was to take him the first stage. He was to go round by Boughton;
it had been arranged by Campbell and Mary that it would be best for him
not to see his mother (to whom Campbell had broken the matter at once)
till he took leave of her. It would be needless pain to both of them to
attempt an interview sooner.

Charles leapt from the gig with a beating heart, and ran up to his
mother's room. She was sitting by the fire at her work when he entered;
she held out her hand coldly to him, and he sat down. Nothing was said
for a little while; then, without leaving off her occupation, she said,
"Well, Charles, and so you are leaving us. Where and how do you propose
to employ yourself when you have entered upon your new life?"

Charles answered that he had not yet turned his mind to the
consideration of anything but the great step on which everything else
depended.

There was another silence; then she said, "You won't find anywhere such
friends as you have had at home, Charles." Presently she continued, "You
have had everything in your favour, Charles; you have been blessed with
talents, advantages of education, easy circumstances; many a deserving
young man has to scramble on as he can."

Charles answered that he was deeply sensible how much he owed in
temporal matters to Providence, and that it was only at His bidding that
he was giving them up.

"We all looked up to you, Charles; perhaps we made too much of you;
well, God be with you; you have taken your line."

Poor Charles said that no one could conceive what it cost him to give up
what was so very dear to him, what was part of himself; there was
nothing on earth which he prized like his home.

"Then why do you leave us?" she said quickly; "you must have your way;
you do it, I suppose, because you like it."

"Oh really, my dear mother," cried he, "if you saw my heart! You know in
Scripture how people were obliged in the Apostles' times to give up all
for Christ."

"We are heathens, then," she replied; "thank you, Charles, I am obliged
to you for this;" and she dashed away a tear from her eye.

Charles was almost beside himself; he did not know what to say; he stood
up, and leaned his elbow on the mantelpiece, supporting his head on his
hand.

"Well, Charles," she continued, still going on with her work, "perhaps
the day will come" ... her voice faltered; "your dear father" ... she
put down her work.

"It is useless misery," said Charles; "why should I stay? good-bye for
the present, my dearest mother. I leave you in good hands, not kinder,
but better than mine; you lose me, you gain another. Farewell for the
present; we will meet when you will, when you call; it will be a happy
meeting."

He threw himself on his knees, and laid his cheek on her lap; she could
no longer resist him; she hung over him, and began to smooth down his
hair as she had done when he was a child. At length scalding tears began
to fall heavily upon his face and neck; he bore them for a while, then
started up, kissed her cheek impetuously, and rushed out of the room. In
a few seconds he had seen and had torn himself from his sisters, and was
in his gig again by the side of his phlegmatic driver, dancing slowly up
and down on his way to Collumpton.



CHAPTER II.


The reader may ask whither Charles is going, and, though it would not be
quite true to answer that he did not know better than the said reader
himself, yet he had most certainly very indistinct notions what was
becoming of him even locally, and, like the Patriarch, "went out, not
knowing whither he went." He had never seen a Catholic priest, to know
him, in his life; never, except once as a boy, been inside a Catholic
church; he only knew one Catholic in the world, and where he was he did
not know. But he knew that the Passionists had a Convent in London; and
it was not unnatural that, without knowing whether young Father Aloysius
was there or not, he should direct his course to San Michaele.

Yet, in kindness to Mary and all of them, he did not profess to be
leaving direct for London; but he proposed to betake himself to Carlton,
who still resided in Oxford, and to ask his advice what was to be done
under his circumstances. It seemed, too, to be interposing what they
would consider a last chance of averting what to them was so dismal a
calamity.

To Oxford, then, he directed his course; and, having some accidental
business at Bath, he stopped there for the night, intending to continue
his journey next morning. Among other jobs, he had to get a "Garden of
the Soul," and two or three similar books which might help him in the
great preparation which awaited his arrival in London. He went into a
religious publisher's in Danvers Street with that object, and while
engaged in a back part of the shop in looking over a pile of Catholic
works, which, to the religious public, had inferior attractions to the
glittering volumes, Evangelical and Anglo-Catholic, which had possession
of the windows and principal table, he heard the shop-door open, and, on
looking round, saw a familiar face. It was that of a young clergyman,
with a very pretty girl on his arm, whom her dress pronounced to be a
bride. Love was in their eyes, joy in their voice, and affluence in
their gait and bearing. Charles had a faintish feeling come over him;
somewhat such as might beset a man on hearing a call for pork-chops when
he was sea-sick. He retreated behind a pile of ledgers and other
stationery, but they could not save him from the low, dulcet tones which
from time to time passed from one to the other.

"Have you got some of the last Oxford reprints of standard works?" said
the bridegroom to the shopman.

"Yes, sir; but which set did you mean? 'Selections from Old Divines,'
or, 'New Catholic Adaptations'?"

"Oh, not the Adaptations," answered he, "they are extremely dangerous; I
mean real Church-of-England divinity--Bull, Patrick, Hooker, and the
rest of them."

The shopman went to look them out.

"I think it was those Adaptations, dearest," said the lady, "that the
Bishop warned us against."

"Not the Bishop, Louisa; it was his daughter."

"Oh, Miss Primrose, so it was," said she; "and there was one book she
recommended, what was it?"

"Not a book, it was a speech," said White; "Mr. O'Ballaway's at Exeter
Hall; but I think we should not quite like it."

"No, no, Henry, it _was_ a book, dear; I can't recall the name."

"You mean Dr. Crow's 'New Refutation of Popery,' perhaps; but the
_Bishop_ recommended _that_."

The shopman returned. "Oh, what a sweet face!" she said, looking at the
frontispiece of a little book she got hold of; "do look, Henry; whom
does it put you in mind of?"

"Why, it's meant for St. John the Baptist," said Henry.

"It's so like little Angelina Primrose," said she, "the hair is just
hers. I wonder it doesn't strike you."

"It does--it does," said he, smiling at her; "but it's getting late; you
must not be out much longer in the sharp air, and you have nothing for
your throat. I have chosen my books while you have been gazing on that
little St. John."

"I can't think who it is so like," continued she; "oh, I know; it's
Angelina's aunt, Lady Constance."

"Come, Louisa, the horses too will suffer; we must return to our
friends."

"Oh, there's one book, I can't recollect it; tell me what it is, Henry.
I shall be so sorry not to have got it."

"Was it the new work on Gregorian Chants?" asked he.

"Ah, it's true, I want it for the school-children, but it's not that."

"Is it 'The Catholic Parsonage'?" he asked again; "or, 'Lays of the
Apostles'? or, 'The English Church older than the Roman'? or,
'Anglicanism of the Early Martyrs'? or, 'Confessions of a Pervert'? or,
'Eustace Beville'? or, 'Modified Celibacy'?"

"No, no, no," said Louisa; "dear me, it is so stupid."

"Well, now really, Louisa," he insisted, "you must come another time; it
won't do, dearest; it won't do."

"Oh, I recollect," she said, "I recollect--'Abbeys and Abbots;' I want
to get some hints for improving the rectory-windows when we get home;
and our church wants, you know, a porch for the poor people. The book is
full of designs."

The book was found and added to the rest, which had been already taken
to the carriage. "Now, Louisa," said White. "Well, dearest, there's one
more place we must call at," she made answer; "tell John to drive to
Sharp's; we can go round by the nursery--it's only a few steps out of
the way--I want to say a word to the man there about our greenhouse;
there is no good gardener in our own neighbourhood."

"What is the good, Louisa, now?" said her husband; "we shan't be at home
this month to come;" and then, with due resignation, he directed the
coachman to the nurseryman's whom Louisa named, as he put her into the
carriage, and then followed her.

Charles breathed freely as they went out; a severe text of Scripture
rose on his mind, but he repressed the uncharitable feeling, and turned
himself to the anxious duties which lay before him.



CHAPTER III.


Nothing happened to Charles worth relating before his arrival at
Steventon next day; when, the afternoon being fine, he left his
portmanteau to follow him by the omnibus, and put himself upon the road.
If it required some courage to undertake by himself a long journey on an
all-momentous errand, it did not lessen the difficulty that that journey
took in its way a place and a person so dear to him as Oxford and
Carlton.

He had passed through Bagley Wood, and the spires and towers of the
University came on his view, hallowed by how many tender associations,
lost to him for two whole years, suddenly recovered--recovered to be
lost for ever! There lay old Oxford before him, with its hills as gentle
and its meadows as green as ever. At the first view of that beloved
place he stood still with folded arms, unable to proceed. Each college,
each church--he counted them by their pinnacles and turrets. The silver
Isis, the grey willows, the far-stretching plains, the dark groves, the
distant range of Shotover, the pleasant village where he had lived with
Carlton and Sheffield--wood, water, stone, all so calm, so bright, they
might have been his, but his they were not. Whatever he was to gain by
becoming a Catholic, this he had lost; whatever he was to gain higher
and better, at least this and such as this he never could have again. He
could not have another Oxford, he could not have the friends of his
boyhood and youth in the choice of his manhood. He mounted the
well-known gate on the left, and proceeded down into the plain. There
was no one to greet him, to sympathize with him; there was no one to
believe he needed sympathy; no one to believe he had given up anything;
no one to take interest in him, to feel tender towards him, to defend
him. He had suffered much, but there was no one to believe that he had
suffered. He would be thought to be inflicting merely, not undergoing,
suffering. He might indeed say that he had suffered; but he would be
rudely told that every one follows his own will, and that if he had
given up Oxford, it was for a whim which he liked better than it. But
rather, there was no one to know him; he had been virtually three years
away; three years is a generation; Oxford had been his place once, but
his place knew him no more. He recollected with what awe and transport
he had at first come to the University, as to some sacred shrine; and
how from time to time hopes had come over him that some day or other he
should have gained a title to residence on one of its ancient
foundations. One night in particular came across his memory, how a
friend and he had ascended to the top of one of its many towers with the
purpose of making observations on the stars; and how, while his friend
was busily engaged with the pointers, he, earthly-minded youth, had
been looking down into the deep, gas-lit, dark-shadowed quadrangles,
and wondering if he should ever be Fellow of this or that College, which
he singled out from the mass of academical buildings. All had passed as
a dream, and he was a stranger where he had hoped to have had a home.

He was drawing near Oxford; he saw along the road before him brisk
youths pass, two and two, with elastic tread, finishing their modest
daily walk, and nearing the city. What had been a tandem a mile back,
next crossed his field of view, shorn of its leader. Presently a stately
cap and gown loomed in the distance; he had gained the road before their
owner crossed him; it was a college-tutor whom he had known a little.
Charles expected to be recognized; but the resident passed by with that
half-conscious, uncertain gaze which seemed to have some memory of a
face which yet was strange. He had passed Folly Bridge; troops of
horsemen overtook him, talking loud, while with easy jaunty pace they
turned into their respective stables. He crossed to Christ Church, and
penetrated to Peckwater. The evening was still bright, and the gas was
lighting. Groups of young men were stationed here and there, the greater
number in hats, a few in caps, one or two with gowns in addition; some
were hallooing up to their companions at the windows of the second
story; scouts were carrying about _æger_ dinners; pastry-cook boys were
bringing in desserts; shabby fellows with Blenheim puppies were
loitering under Canterbury Gate. Many stared, but no one knew him. He
hurried up Oriel Lane; suddenly a start and a low bow from a passer-by;
who could it be? it was a superannuated shoeblack of his college, to
whom he had sometimes given a stray shilling. He gained the High Street,
and turned down towards the Angel. What was approaching? the vision of a
proctor. Charles felt some instinctive quiverings; but it passed by him,
and did no harm. Like Kehama, he had a charmed life. And now he had
reached his inn, where he found his portmanteau all ready for him. He
chose a bedroom, and, after fully inducting himself into it, turned his
thoughts towards dinner.

He wished to lose no time, but, if possible, to proceed to London the
following morning. It would be a great point if he could get to his
journey's end so early in the week, that by Sunday, if he was thought
worthy, he might offer up his praises for the mercies vouchsafed to him
in the great and holy communion of the Universal Church. Accordingly he
determined to make an attempt on Carlton that evening; and hoped, if he
went to his room between seven and eight, to find him returned from
Common-Room. With this intention he sallied out at about the half-hour,
gained Carlton's College, knocked at the gate, entered, passed on, up
the worn wooden steep staircase. The oak was closed; he descended, found
a servant; "Mr. Carlton was giving a dinner in Common-Room; it would
soon be over." Charles determined to wait for him.

The servant lighted candles in the inner room, and Charles sat down at
the fire. For awhile he sat in reflection; then he looked about for
something to occupy him. His eye caught an Oxford paper; it was but a
few days old. "Let us see how the old place goes on," he said to
himself, as he took it up. He glanced from one article to another,
looking who were the University-preachers of the week, who had taken
degrees, who were public examiners, etc., etc., when his eye was
arrested by the following paragraph:--

"DEFECTION FROM THE CHURCH.--We understand that another victim has
lately been added to the list of those whom the venom of Tractarian
principles has precipitated into the bosom of the Sorceress of Rome. Mr.
Reding, of St. Saviour's, the son of a respectable clergyman of the
Establishment, deceased, after eating the bread of the Church all his
life, has at length avowed himself the subject and slave of an Italian
Bishop. Disappointment in the schools is said to have been the
determining cause of this infatuated act. It is reported that legal
measures are in progress for directing the penalties of the Statute of
Præmunire against all the seceders; and a proposition is on foot for
petitioning her Majesty to assign the sum thereby realized by the
Government to the erection of a 'Martyrs' Memorial' in the sister
University."

"So," thought Charles, "the world, as usual, is beforehand with me;" and
he sat speculating about the origin of the report till he almost forgot
that he was waiting for Carlton.



CHAPTER IV.


While Charles was learning in Carlton's rooms the interest which the
world took in his position and acts, he was actually furnishing a topic
of conversation to that portion of it who were Carlton's guests in the
neighbouring Common-Room. Tea and coffee had made their appearance, the
men had risen from table, and were crowding round the fire.

"Who is that Mr. Reding spoken of in the _Gazette_ of last week?" said a
prim little man, sipping his tea with his spoon, and rising on his toes
as he spoke.

"You need not go far for an answer," said his neighbour, and, turning to
their host, added, "Carlton, who is Mr. Reding?"

"A very dear honest fellow," answered Carlton: "I wish we were all of us
as good. He read with me one Long Vacation, is a good scholar, and ought
to have gained his class. I have not heard of him for some time."

"He has other friends in the room," said another: "I think," turning to
a young Fellow of Leicester, "_you_, Sheffield, were at one time
intimate with Reding?"

"Yes," answered Sheffield; "and Vincent, of course, knows him too; he's
a capital fellow; I know him exceedingly well; what the _Gazette_ says
about him is shameful. I never met a man who cared less about success in
the schools; it was quite his _fault_."

"That's about the truth," said another; "I met Mr. Malcolm yesterday at
dinner, and it seems he knows the family. He said that his religious
notions carried Reding away, and spoiled his reading."

The conversation was not general; it went on in detached groups, as the
guests stood together. Nor was the subject a popular one; rather it was
either a painful or a disgusting subject to the whole party, two or
three curious and hard minds excepted, to whom opposition to Catholicism
was meat and drink. Besides, in such chance collections of men, no one
knew exactly his neighbour's opinion about it; and, as in this instance,
there were often friends of the accused or calumniated present. And,
moreover, there was a generous feeling, and a consciousness how much
seceders from the Anglican Church were giving up, which kept down any
disrespectful mention of them.

"Are you to do much in the schools this term?" said one to another.

"I don't know: we have two men going up, good scholars."

"Who has come into Stretton's place?"

"Jackson, of King's."

"Jackson? indeed; he's strong in science, I think."

"Very."

"Our men know their books well, but I should not say that science is
their line."

"Leicester sends four."

"It will be a large class-list, from what I hear."

"Ah! indeed! the Michaelmas paper is always a good one."

Meanwhile the conversation was in another quarter dwelling upon poor
Charles.

"No, depend upon it, there's more in what the _Gazette_ says than you
think. Disappointment is generally at the bottom of these changes."

"Poor devils! they can't help it," said another, in a low voice, to his
neighbour.

"A good riddance, anyhow," said the party addressed; "we shall have a
little peace at last."

"Well," said the first of the two, drawing himself up and speaking in
the air, "how any educated man should--" his voice was overpowered by
the grave enunciation of a small man behind them, who had hitherto kept
silence, and now spoke with positiveness.

He addressed himself, between the two heads which had just been talking
in private, to the group beyond them. "It's all the effect of
rationalism," he said; "the whole movement is rationalistic. At the end
of three years all those persons who have now apostatized will be
infidels."

No one responded; at length another of the party came up to Mr.
Malcolm's acquaintance, and said, slowly, "I suppose you never heard it
hinted that there is something wrong _here_ in Mr. Reding," touching his
forehead significantly; "I have been told it's in the family."

He was answered by a deep, powerful voice, belonging to a person who
sat in the corner; it sounded like "the great bell of Bow," as if it
ought to have closed the conversation. It said abruptly, "I respect him
uncommonly; I have an extreme respect for him. He's an honest man; I
wish others were as honest. If they were, then, as the Puseyites are
becoming Catholics, so we should see old Brownside and his clique
becoming Unitarians. But they mean to stick in."

Most persons present felt the truth of his remark, and a silence
followed it for a while. It was broken by a clear cackling voice: "Did
you ever hear," said he, nodding his head, or rather his whole person,
as he spoke, "did you ever, Sheffield, happen to hear that this
gentleman, your friend Mr. Reding, when he was quite a freshman, had a
conversation with some _attaché_ of the Popish Chapel in this place, at
the very door of it, after the men were gone down?"

"Impossible, Fusby," said Carlton, and laughed.

"It's quite true," returned Fusby; "I had it from the Under-Marshal, who
was passing at the moment. My eye has been on Mr. Reding for some
years."

"So it seems," said Sheffield, "for that must have been at least, let me
see, four or five years ago."

"Oh," continued Fusby, "there are two or three more yet to come; you
will see."

"Why, Fusby," said Vincent, overhearing and coming up, "you are like the
three old crones in the Bride of Lammermoor, who wished to have the
straiking of the Master of Ravenswood."

Fusby nodded his person, but made no answer.

"Not all three at once, I hope," said Sheffield.

"Oh, it's quite a concentration, a quintessence of Protestant feeling,"
answered Vincent; "I consider _myself_ a good Protestant; but the
pleasure you have in hunting these men is quite sensual, Fusby."

The Common-Room man here entered, and whispered to Carlton that a
stranger was waiting for him in his rooms.

"When do your men come up?" said Sheffield to Vincent.

"Next Saturday," answered Vincent.

"They always come up late," said Sheffield.

"Yes, the House met last week."

"St. Michael's has met too," said Sheffield: "so have we."

"We have a reason for meeting late: many of our men come from the North
and from Ireland."

"That's no reason, with railroads."

"I see they have begun our rail," said Vincent; "I thought the
University had opposed it."

"The Pope in his own states has given in," said Sheffield, "so we may
well do the same."

"Don't talk of the Pope," said Vincent, "I'm sick of the Pope."

"The Pope?" said Fusby, overhearing; "have you heard that his Holiness
is coming to England?"

"Oh, oh," cried Vincent, "come, I can't stand this. I must go; good
night t'you, Carlton. Where's my gown?"

"I believe the Common-Room man has hung it up in the passage;--but you
should stop and protect me from Fusby."

Neither did Vincent turn to the rescue, nor did Fusby profit by the
hint; so poor Carlton, with the knowledge that he was wanted in his
rooms, had to stay a good half-hour _tête-à-tête_ with the latter, while
he prosed to him _in extenso_ about Pope Sixtus XIV., the Jesuits,
suspected men in the University, Mede on the Apostasy, the Catholic
Relief Bill, Dr. Pusey's Tract on Baptism, Justification, and the
appointment of the Taylor Professors.

At length, however, Carlton was released. He ran across the quadrangle
and up his staircase; flung open his door, and made his way to his inner
room. A person was just rising to meet him; impossible! but it was
though. "What? Reding!" he cried; "who would have thought! what a
pleasure! we were just-- ... What brings you here?" he added, in an
altered tone. Then gravely, "Reding, where are you?"

"Not yet a Catholic," said Reding.

There was a silence; the answer conveyed a good deal: it was a relief,
but it was an intimation. "Sit down, my dear Reding; will you have
anything? have you dined? What a pleasure to see you, old fellow! Are we
really to lose you?" They were soon in conversation on the great
subject.



CHAPTER V.


"If you have made up your mind, Reding," said Carlton, "it's no good
talking. May you be happy wherever you are! You must always be yourself;
as a Romanist, you will still be Charles Reding."

"I know I have a kind, sympathizing friend in you, Carlton. You have
always listened to me, never snubbed me except when I deserved it. You
know more about me than any one else. Campbell is a dear, good fellow,
and will soon be dearer to me still. It isn't generally known yet, but
he is to marry my sister. He has borne with me now for two years; never
been hard upon me; always been at my service when I wanted to talk with
him. But no one makes me open my heart as you do, Carlton; you sometimes
have differed from me, but you have always understood me."

"Thank you for your kind words," answered Carlton; "but to me it is a
perfect mystery why you should leave us. I enter into your reasons: I
cannot, for the life of me, see how you come to your conclusion."

"To me, on the other hand, Carlton, it is like two and two make four;
and you make two and two five, and are astonished that I won't agree
with you."

"We must leave these things to a higher power," said Carlton. "I hope we
sha'n't be less friends, Reding, when you are in another communion. We
know each other; these outward things cannot change us."

Reding sighed; he saw clearly that his change of religion, when
completed, would not fail to have an effect on Carlton's thoughts about
him, as on those of others. It could not possibly be otherwise; he was
sure himself to feel different about Carlton.

After a while, Carlton said gently, "Is it quite impossible, Reding,
that now at the eleventh hour we may retain you? what _are_ your
grounds?"

"Don't let us argue, dear Carlton," answered Reding; "I have done with
argument. Or, if I must say something for manners' sake, I will but tell
you that I have fulfilled your request. You bade me read the Anglican
divines; I have given a great deal of time to them, and I am embracing
that creed which alone is the scope to which they converge in their
separate teachings; the creed which upholds the divinity of tradition
with Laud, consent of Fathers with Beveridge, a visible Church with
Bramhall, dogma with Bull, the authority of the Pope with Thorndike,
penance with Taylor, prayers for the dead with Ussher, celibacy,
asceticism, ecclesiastical discipline with Bingham. I am going to a
Church, which in these, and a multitude of other points, is nearer the
Apostolic Church than any existing one; which is the continuation of the
Apostolic Church, if it has been continued at all. And _seeing_ it to be
_like_ the Apostolic Church, I _believe_ it to be the _same_. Reason has
gone first, faith is to follow."

He stopped, and Carlton did not reply; a silence ensued, and Charles at
length broke it. "I repeat, it's no use arguing; I have made up my mind,
and been very slow about it. I have broken it to my mother, and bade her
farewell. All is determined; I cannot go back."

"Is that a nice feeling?" said Carlton, half reproachfully.

"Understand me," answered Reding; "I have come to my resolution with
great deliberation. It has remained on my mind as a mere intellectual
conclusion for a year or two; surely now at length without blame I may
change it into a practical resolve. But none of us can answer that those
habitual and ruling convictions, on which it is our duty to act, will
remain before our consciousness every moment, when we come into the
hurry of the world, and are assailed by inducements and motives of
various kinds. Therefore I say that the time of argument is past; I act
on a conclusion already drawn."

"But how do you know," asked Carlton, "but what you have been
unconsciously biassed in arriving at it? one notion has possessed you,
and you have not been able to shake it off. The ability to retain your
convictions in the bustle of life is to my mind the very test, the
necessary test of their reality."

"I do, I do retain them," answered Reding; "they are always upon me."

"Only at times, as you have yourself confessed," objected Carlton:
"surely you ought to have a very strong conviction indeed, to set
against the mischief you are doing by a step of this kind. Consider how
many persons you are unsettling; what a triumph you are giving to the
enemies of all religion; what encouragement to the notion that there is
no such thing as truth; how you are weakening our Church. Well, all I
say is, that you should have very strong convictions to set against all
this."

"Well," said Charles, "I grant, I maintain, that the only motive which
is sufficient to justify such an act, is the conviction that one's
salvation depends on it. Now, I speak sincerely, my dear Carlton, in
saying that I don't think I shall be saved if I remain in the English
Church."

"Do you mean that there is no salvation in our Church?" said Carlton,
rather coldly.

"I am talking of myself; it's not my place to judge others. I only say,
God calls _me_, and I must follow at the risk of my soul."

"God '_calls_' you!" said Carlton; "what does that mean? I don't like
it; it's dissenting language."

"You know it is Scripture language," answered Reding.

"Yes, but people don't in Scripture _say_ 'I'm called;' the calling was
an act from without, the act of others, not an inward feeling."

"But, my dear Carlton, how _is_ a person to get at truth, now, when
there can be no simple outward call?"

"That seems to me a pretty good intimation," answered Carlton, "that we
are to remain where Providence has placed us."

"Now this is just one of the points on which I can't get at the bottom
of the Church of England's doctrine," Reding replied. "But it's so on so
many other subjects! it's always so. Are members of the Church of
England to seek the truth, or have they it given them from the first? do
they seek it for themselves, or is it ready provided for them?"

Carlton thought a moment, and seemed doubtful what to answer; then he
said that we must, of course, seek it. It was a part of our moral
probation to seek the truth.

"Then don't talk to me about our position," said Charles; "I hardly
expected _you_ to make this answer; but it is what the majority of
Church-of-England people say. They tell us to seek, they give us rules
for seeking, they make us exert our private judgment; but directly we
come to any conclusion but theirs, they turn round and talk to us of our
'providential position.' But there's another thing. Tell me, supposing
we ought all to seek the truth, do you think that members of the English
Church do seek it in that way which Scripture enjoins upon all seekers?
Think how very seriously Scripture speaks of the arduousness of finding,
the labour of seeking, the duty of thirsting after the truth? I don't
believe the bulk of the English clergy, the bulk of Oxford residents,
Heads of houses, Fellows of Colleges (with all their good points, which
I am not the man to deny), have ever sought the truth. They have taken
what they found, and have used no private judgment at all. Or if they
have judged, it has been in the vaguest, most cursory way possible; or
they have looked into Scripture only to find proofs for what they were
bound to subscribe, as undergraduates getting up the Articles. Then they
sit over their wine, and talk about this or that friend who has
'seceded,' and condemn him, and" (glancing at the newspaper on the
table) "assign motives for his conduct. Yet, after all, which is the
more likely to be right,--he who has given years, perhaps, to the search
of truth, who has habitually prayed for guidance, and has taken all the
means in his power to secure it, or they, 'the gentlemen of England who
sit at home at ease'? No, no, they may talk of seeking the truth, of
private judgment, as a duty, but they have never sought, they have never
judged; they are where they are, not because it is true, but because
they find themselves there, because it is their 'providential position,'
and a pleasant one into the bargain."

Reding had got somewhat excited; the paragraph in the newspaper had
annoyed him. But, without taking that into account, there was enough in
the circumstances in which he found himself to throw him out of his
ordinary state of mind. He was in a crisis of peculiar trial, which a
person must have felt to understand. Few men go to battle in cold blood,
or prepare without agitation for a surgical operation. Carlton, on the
other hand, was a quiet, gentle person, who was not heard to use an
excited word once a year.

The conversation came to a stand. At length Carlton said, "I hope, dear
Reding, you are not joining the Church of Rome merely because there are
unreasonable, unfeeling persons in the Church of England."

Charles felt that he was not showing to advantage, and that he was
giving rise to the very surmises about the motives of his conversion
which he was deprecating.

"It is a sad thing," he said, with something of self-reproach, "to spend
our last minutes in wrangling. Forgive me, Carlton, if I have said
anything too strongly or earnestly." Carlton thought he had; he thought
him in an excited state; but it was no use telling him so; so he merely
pressed his offered hand affectionately, and said nothing.

Presently he said, dryly and abruptly, "Reding, do you know any Roman
Catholics?"

"No," answered Reding; "Willis indeed, but I hav'n't seen even him these
two years. It has been entirely the working of my own mind."

Carlton did not answer at once; then he said, as dryly and abruptly as
before, "I suspect, then, you will have much to bear with when you know
them."

"What do you mean?" asked Reding.

"You will find them under-educated men, I suspect."

"What do _you_ know of them?" said Reding.

"I suspect it," answered Carlton.

"But what's that to the purpose?" asked Charles.

"It's a thing you should think of. An English clergyman is a gentleman;
you may have more to bear than you reckon for, when you find yourself
with men of rude minds and vulgar manners."

"My dear Carlton, a'n't you talking of what you know nothing at all
about?"

"Well, but you should think of it, you should contemplate it," said
Carlton; "I judge from their letters and speeches which one reads in the
papers."

Charles thought awhile; then he said, "Certainly, I don't like many
things which are done and said by Roman Catholics just now; but I don't
see how all this can be more than a trial and a cross; I don't see how
it affects the great question."

"No, except that you may find yourself a fish out of water," answered
Carlton; "you may find yourself in a position where you can act with no
one, where you will be quite thrown away."

"Well," said Charles, "as to the fact, I know nothing about it; it may
be as you say, but I don't think much of your proof. In all communities
the worst is on the outside. What offends me in Catholic public
proceedings need be no measure, nay, I believe cannot be a measure, of
the inward Catholic mind. I would not judge the Anglican Church by
Exeter Hall, nay, not by Episcopal Charges. We see the interior of our
own Church, the exterior of the Church of Rome. This is not a fair
comparison."

"But look at their books of devotion," insisted Carlton; "they can't
write English."

Reding smiled at Carlton, and slowly shook his head to and fro, while he
said, "They write English, I suppose, as classically as St. John writes
Greek."

Here again the conversation halted, and nothing was heard for a while
but the simmering of the kettle.

There was no good in disputing, as might be seen from the first; each
had his own view, and that was the beginning and the end of the matter.
Charles stood up. "Well, dearest Carlton," he said, "we must part; it
must be going on for eleven." He pulled out of his pocket a small
"Christian Year." "You have often seen me with this," he continued,
"accept it in memory of me. You will not see me, but here is a pledge
that I will not forget you, that I will ever remember you." He stopped,
much affected. "Oh, it is very hard to leave you all, to go to
strangers," he went on; "I do not wish it, but I cannot help it; I am
called, I am compelled." He stopped again; the tears flowed down his
cheeks. "All is well," he said, recovering himself, "all is well; but
it's hard at the time, and scarcely any one to feel for me; black looks,
bitter words.... I am pleasing myself, following my own will ...
well...." and he began looking at his fingers and slowly rubbing his
palms one on another. "It must be," he whispered to himself, "through
tribulation to the kingdom, sowing in tears, reaping in joy...." Another
pause, and a new train of thought came over him; "Oh," he said, "I fear
so very much, so very much, that all you who do not come forward will go
back. You cannot stand where you are; for a time you will think you do,
then you will oppose us, and still think you keep your ground while you
use the same words as before; but your belief, your opinions will
decline. You will hold less. And then, in time, it will strike you that,
in differing with Protestants, you are contending only about words. They
call us Rationalists; take care you don't fall into Liberalism. And now,
my dearest Carlton, my one friend in Oxford who was patient and loving
towards me, good-bye. May we meet not long hence in peace and joy. I
cannot go to you; you must come to me."

They embraced each other affectionately; and the next minute Charles was
running down the staircase.



CHAPTER VI.


Charles went to bed with a bad headache, and woke with a worse. Nothing
remained but to order his bill and be off for London. Yet he could not
go without taking a last farewell of the place itself. He was up soon
after seven; and while the gownsmen were rising and in their respective
chapels, he had been round Magdalen Walk and Christ Church Meadow. There
were few or none to see him wherever he went. The trees of the Water
Walk were variegated, as beseemed the time of year, with a thousand
hues, arching over his head, and screening his side. He reached
Addison's Walk; there he had been for the first time with his father,
when he was coming into residence, just six years before to a day. He
pursued it, and onwards still, till he came round in sight of the
beautiful tower, which at length rose close over his head. The morning
was frosty, and there was a mist; the leaves flitted about; all was in
unison with the state of his feelings. He re-entered the monastic
buildings, meeting with nothing but scouts with boxes of cinders, and
old women carrying off the remains of the kitchen. He crossed to the
Meadow, and walked steadily down to the junction of the Cherwell with
the Isis; he then turned back. What thoughts came upon him! for the last
time! There was no one to see him; he threw his arms round the willows
so dear to him, and kissed them; he tore off some of their black leaves
and put them in his bosom. "I am like Undine," he said, "killing with a
kiss. No one cares for me; scarce a person knows me." He neared the Long
Walk again. Suddenly, looking obliquely into it, he saw a cap and gown;
he looked anxiously; it was Jennings: there was no mistake; and his
direction was towards him. Charles always had felt kindly towards him,
in spite of his sternness, but he would not meet him for the world; what
was he to do? he stood behind a large elm, and let him pass; then he set
off again at a quick pace. When he had got some way, he ventured to turn
his head round; and he saw Jennings at the moment, by that sort of
fatality or sympathy which is so common, turning round towards him. He
hurried on, and soon found himself again at his inn.

Strange as it may seem, though he had on the whole had as good success
as Carlton in the "keen encounter of their wits" the night before, it
had left an unsatisfactory effect on his mind. The time for action was
come; argument was past, as he had himself said; and to recur to
argument was only to confuse the clearness of his apprehension of the
truth. He began to question whether he really had evidence enough for
the step he was taking, and the temptation assailed him that he was
giving up this world without gaining the next. Carlton evidently thought
him excited; what if it were true? Perhaps his convictions were, after
all, a dream; what did they rest upon? He tried to recall his best
arguments, and could not. Was there, after all, any such thing as truth?
Was not one thing as good as another? At all events, could he not have
served God well in his generation, where he had been placed? He
recollected some lines in the Ethics of Aristotle, quoted by the
philosopher from an old poet, in which the poor outcast Philoctetes
laments over his own stupid officiousness, as he calls it, which had
been the cause of his misfortunes. Was he not a busybody too? Why could
he not let well alone? Better men than he had lived and died in the
English Church. And then what if, as Campbell had said, all his
so-called convictions were to vanish just as he entered the Roman pale,
as they had done on his father's death? He began to envy Sheffield; all
had turned out well with him--a good class, a fellowship, merely or
principally because he had taken things as they came, and not gone
roaming after visions. He felt himself violently assaulted; but he was
not deserted, not overpowered. His good sense, rather his good Angel,
came to his aid; evidently he was in no way able to argue or judge at
that moment; the deliberate conclusions of years ought not to be set
aside by the troubled thoughts of an hour. With an effort he put the
whole subject from him, and addressed himself to his journey.

How he got to Steventon he hardly recollected; but gradually he came to
himself, and found himself in a first-class of the Great Western,
proceeding rapidly towards London. He then looked about him to
ascertain who his fellow-travellers were. The farther compartment was
full of passengers, who seemed to form one party, talking together with
great volubility and glee. Of the three seats in his own part of the
carriage, one only, that opposite to him, was filled. On taking a survey
of the stranger, he saw a grave person passing or past the middle age;
his face had that worn, or rather that unplacid appearance, which even
slight physical suffering, if habitual, gives to the features, and his
eyes were pale from study or other cause. Charles thought he had seen
his face before, but he could not recollect where or when. But what most
interested him was his dress and appearance, which was such as is rarely
found in a travelling-companion. It was of an unusual character, and,
taken together with the small office-book he held in his hand, plainly
showed Charles that he was opposite a Roman ecclesiastic. His heart
beat, and he felt tempted to start from his seat; then a sick feeling
and a sinking came over him. He gradually grew calmer, and journeyed on
some time in silence, longing yet afraid to speak. At length, on the
train stopping at the station, he addressed a few words to him in
French. His companion looked surprised, smiled, and in a hesitating,
saddish voice said that he was an Englishman. Charles made an awkward
apology, and there was silence again. Their eyes sometimes met, and then
moved slowly off each other, as if a mutual reconnoitring was in
progress. At length it seemed to strike the stranger that he had
abruptly stopped the conversation; and, after apparently beating about
for an introductory topic, he said, "Perhaps I can read you, sir, better
than you can me. You are an Oxford man by your appearance."

Charles assented.

"A bachelor?" He was of near Master's standing. His companion, who did
not seem in a humour for talking, proceeded to various questions about
the University, as if out of civility. What colleges sent Proctors that
year? Were the Taylor Professors appointed? Were they members of the
Church of England? Did the new Bishop of Bury keep his Headship? &c.,
&c. Some matter-of-fact conversation followed, which came to nothing.
Charles had so much to ask; his thoughts were busy, and his mind full.
Here was a Catholic priest ready for his necessities; yet the
opportunity was likely to pass away, and nothing to come of it. After
one or two fruitless efforts, he gave it up, and leant back in his seat.
His fellow-traveller began, as quietly as he could, to say office. Time
went forward, the steam was let off and put on; the train stopped and
proceeded, and the office was apparently finished; the book vanished in
a side-pocket.

After a time Charles suddenly said, "How came you to suppose I was of
Oxford?"

"Not _entirely_ by your look and manner, for I saw you jump from the
omnibus at Steventon; but with that assistance it was impossible to
mistake."

"I have heard others say the same," said Charles; "yet I can't myself
make out how an Oxford man should be known from another."

"Not only Oxford men, but Cambridge men, are known by their appearance;
soldiers, lawyers, beneficed clergymen; indeed every class has its
external indications to those who can read them."

"I know persons," said Charles, "who believe that handwriting is an
indication of calling and character."

"I do not doubt it," replied the priest; "the gait is another; but it is
not all of us who can read so recondite a language. Yet a language it
is, as really as hieroglyphics on an obelisk."

"It is a fearful thought," said Charles with a sigh, "that we, as it
were, exhale ourselves every breath we draw."

The stranger assented; "A man's moral self," he said, "is concentrated
in each moment of his life; it lives in the tips of his fingers, and the
spring of his insteps. A very little thing tries what a man is made of."

"I think I must be speaking to a Catholic priest?" said Charles: when
his question was answered in the affirmative, he went on hesitatingly to
ask if what they had been speaking of did not illustrate the importance
of faith? "One did not see at first sight," he said, "how it was
rational to maintain that so much depended on holding this or that
doctrine, or a little more or a little less, but it might be a test of
the heart."

His companion looked pleased; however, he observed, that "there was no
'more or less' in faith; that either we believed the whole revealed
message, or really we believed no part of it; that we ought to believe
what the Church proposed to us on the _word_ of the Church."

"Yet surely the so-called Evangelical believes more than the Unitarian,
and the High-Churchman than the Evangelical," objected Charles.

"The question," said his fellow-traveller, "is, whether they submit
their reason implicitly to that which they have received as God's word."

Charles assented.

"Would you say, then," he continued, "that the Unitarian really believes
as God's word that which he professes to receive, when he passes over
and gets rid of so much that is in that word?"

"Certainly not," said Charles.

"And why?"

"Because it is plain," said Charles, "that his ultimate standard of
truth is not the Scripture, but, unconsciously to himself, some view of
things in his mind which is to him the measure of Scripture."

"Then he believes himself, if we may so speak," said the priest, "and
not the external word of God."

"Certainly."

"Well, in like manner," he continued, "do you think a person can have
real faith in that which he admits to be the word of God, who passes by,
without attempting to understand, such passages as 'the Church the
pillar and ground of the truth;' or, 'whosesoever sins ye forgive, they
are forgiven;' or, 'if any man is sick, let him call for the priests of
the Church, and let them anoint him with oil'?"

"No," said Charles; "but, in fact, _we_ do not profess to have faith in
the mere text of Scripture. You know, sir," he added hesitatingly, "that
the Anglican doctrine is to interpret Scripture by the Church; therefore
we have faith, like Catholics, not in Scripture simply, but in the whole
word committed to the Church, of which Scripture is a part."

His companion smiled: "How many," he asked, "so profess? But, waiving
this question, I understand what a Catholic means by saying that he goes
by the voice of the Church; it means, practically, by the voice of the
first priest he meets. Every priest is the voice of the Church. This is
quite intelligible. In matters of doctrine, he has faith in the word of
any priest. But what, where, is that 'word' of the Church which the
persons you speak of believe in? and when do they exercise their belief?
Is it not an undeniable fact, that, so far from all Anglican clergymen
agreeing together in faith, what the first says, the second will unsay?
so that an Anglican cannot, if he would, have faith in them, and
necessarily, though he would not, chooses between them. How, then, has
faith a place in the religion of an Anglican?"

"Well," said Charles, "I am sure I know a good many persons--and if you
knew the Church of England as I do, you would not need me to tell
you--who, from knowledge of the Gospels, have an absolute conviction and
an intimate sense of the reality of the sacred facts contained in them,
which, whether you call it faith or not, is powerful enough to colour
their whole being with its influence, and rules their heart and conduct
as well as their imagination. I can't believe that these persons are
out of God's favour; yet, according to your account of the matter, they
have not faith."

"Do you think these persons believe and practise all that is brought
home to them as being in Scripture?" asked his companion.

"Certainly they do," answered Charles, "as far as man can judge."

"Then perhaps they may be practising the virtue of faith; if there are
passages in it to which they are insensible, as about the sacraments,
penance, and extreme unction, or about the See of Peter, I should in
charity think that these passages had never been brought home or applied
to their minds and consciences--just as a Pope's Bull may be for a time
unknown in a distant part of the Church. They may be[1] in involuntary
ignorance. Yet I fear that, taking the whole nation, there are few who
on this score can lay claim to faith."

    [1] "Errantes invincibiliter circa aliquos articulos, et
    credentes alios, non sunt formaliter hæretici, sed habent fidem
    supernaturalem, quâ credunt veros articulos, atque adeo ex eâ
    possunt procedere actus perfectæ contritionis, quibus justificentur
    et salventur."--_De Lugo de Fid._, p. 169.

Charles said this did not fully meet the difficulty; faith, in the case
of these persons, at least was not faith in the word of the Church. His
companion would not allow this; he said they received the Scripture on
the testimony of the Church, that at least they were believing the word
of God, and the like.

Presently Charles said, "It is to me a great mystery how the English
people, as a whole, is ever to have faith again; is there evidence
enough for faith?"

His new friend looked surprised and not over-pleased; "Surely," he said,
"in matter of fact, a man may have more _evidence_ for believing the
Church to be the messenger of God, than he has for believing the four
Gospels to be from God. If, then, he already believes the latter, why
should he not believe the former?"

"But the belief in the Gospels is a traditional belief," said Charles;
"that makes all the difference. I cannot see how a nation like England,
which has lost the faith, ever can recover it. Hence, in the matter of
conversion, Providence has generally visited simple and barbarous
nations."

"The converts of the Roman Empire were, I suppose, a considerable
exception," said the priest.

"Still, it seems to me a great difficulty," answered Charles; "I do not
see, when the dogmatic structure is once broken down, how it is ever to
be built up again. I fancy there is a passage somewhere in Carlyle's
'French Revolution' on the subject, in which the author laments over the
madness of men's destroying what they could not replace, what it would
take centuries and a strange combination of fortunate circumstances to
reproduce, an external received creed. I am not denying, God forbid! the
objectivity of revelation, or saying that faith is a sort of happy and
expedient delusion; but, really, the evidence for revealed doctrine is
so built up on probabilities that I do not see what is to introduce it
into a civilized community, where reason has been cultivated to the
utmost, and argument is the test of truth. Many a man will say, 'Oh,
that I had been educated a Catholic!' but he has not so been; and he
finds himself unable, though wishing, to believe, for he has not
evidence enough to subdue his reason. What is to make him believe?"

His fellow-traveller had for some time shown signs of uneasiness; when
Charles stopped, he said, shortly, but quietly, "What is to make him
believe! the _will_, his _will_."

Charles hesitated; he proceeded; "If there is evidence enough to believe
Scripture, and we see that there is, I repeat, there is more than enough
to believe the Church. The evidence is not in fault; all it requires is
to be brought home or applied to the mind; if belief does not then
follow, the fault lies with the will."

"Well," said Charles, "I think there is a general feeling among educated
Anglicans, that the claims of the Roman Church do not rest on a
sufficiently intellectual basis; that the evidences, or notes, were well
enough for a rude age, not for this. This is what makes me despair of
the growth of Catholicism."

His companion looked round curiously at him, and then said, quietly,
"Depend upon it, there is quite evidence enough for a _moral conviction_
that the Catholic or Roman Church, and none other, is the voice of God."

"Do you mean," said Charles, with a beating heart, "that before
conversion one can attain to a present abiding actual conviction of this
truth?"

"I do not know," answered the other; "but, at least, he may have
habitual _moral certainty_; I mean, a conviction, and one only, steady,
without rival conviction, or even reasonable doubt, present to him when
he is most composed and in his hours of solitude, and flashing on him
from time to time, as through clouds, when he is in the world;--a
conviction to this effect, 'The Roman Catholic Church is the one only
voice of God, the one only way of salvation.'"

"Then you mean to say," said Charles, while his heart beat faster, "that
such a person is under no duty to wait for clearer light."

"He will not have, he cannot expect, clearer light before conversion.
Certainty, in its highest sense, is the reward of those who, by an act
of the will, and at the dictate of reason and prudence, embrace the
truth, when nature, like a coward, shrinks. You must make a venture;
faith is a venture before a man is a Catholic; it is a gift after it.
You approach the Church in the way of reason, you enter into it in the
light of the Spirit."

Charles said that he feared there was a great temptation operating on
many well-informed and excellent men, to find fault with the evidence
for Catholicity, and to give over the search, on the excuse that there
were arguments on both sides.

"It is not one set of men," answered his companion; "it is the grievous
deficiency in Englishmen altogether. Englishmen have many gifts, faith
they have not. Other nations, inferior to them in many things, still
have faith. Nothing will stand in place of it; not a sense of the beauty
of Catholicism, or of its awfulness, or of its antiquity; not an
appreciation of the sympathy which it shows towards sinners: not an
admiration of the Martyrs and early Fathers, and a delight in their
writings. Individuals may display a touching gentleness, or a
conscientiousness which demands our reverence; still, till they have
faith, they have not the foundation, and their superstructure will fall.
They will not be blessed, they will effect nothing in religious matters,
till they begin by an act of unreserved faith in the word of God,
whatever it be; till they go out of themselves; till they cease to make
something within them their standard, till they oblige their will to
perfect what reason leaves sufficient, indeed, but incomplete. And when
they shall recognize this defect in themselves, and try to remedy it,
then they will recognize much more;--they will be on the road very
shortly to be Catholics."

There was nothing in all this exactly new to Reding; but it was pleasant
to hear it from the voice of another, and him a priest. Thus he had
sympathy and authority, and felt he was restored to himself. The
conversation stopped. After a while he disclosed to his new friend the
place for which he was bound, which, after what Charles had already been
saying, could be no great surprise to him. The latter knew the Superior
of San Michaele, and, taking out a card, wrote upon it a few words of
introduction for him. By this time they had reached Paddington; and
scarcely had the train stopped, when the priest took his small
carpet-bag from under his seat, wrapped his cloak around him, stepped
out of the carriage, and was walking out of sight at a brisk pace.



CHAPTER VII.


Reding naturally wished to take the important step he was meditating as
quietly as he could; and had adopted what he considered satisfactory
measures for this purpose. But such arrangements often turn out very
differently from their promise; and so it was in his case.

The Passionist House was in the eastern part of London; so far
well;--and as he knew in the neighbourhood a respectable publisher in
the religious line, with whom his father had dealt, he had written to
him to bespeak a room in his house for the few days which he trusted
would suffice for the process of his reception. What was to happen to
him after it, he left for the advice he might get from those in whose
hands he found himself. It was now Wednesday; he hoped to have two days
to prepare himself for his confession, and then he proposed to present
himself before those who were to receive it. His better plan would have
been to have gone to the Religious House at once, where doubtless the
good fathers would have lodged him, secured him from intrusion, and
given him the best advice how to proceed. But we must indulge him, if,
doing so great a work, he likes to do it in his own way; nor must we be
hard on him, though it be not the best way.

On arriving at his destination, he saw in the deportment of his host
grounds for concluding that his coming was not only expected, but
understood. Doubtless, then, the paragraph of the _Oxford Gazette_ had
been copied into the London papers; nor did it relieve his unpleasant
surprise to find, as he passed to his room, that the worthy bibliopolist
had a reading-room attached to his shop, which was far more perilous to
his privacy than a coffee-room would have been. He was not obliged,
however, to mix with the various parties who seemed to frequent it; and
he determined as far as possible to confine himself to his apartment.
The rest of the day he employed in writing letters to friends: his
conversation of the morning had tranquillized him; he went to bed
peaceful and happy, slept soundly, rose late, and, refreshed in mind and
body, turned his thoughts to the serious duties of the day.

Breakfast over, he gave a considerable time to devotional exercises, and
then, opening his writing-desk, addressed himself to his work. Hardly
had he got into it when his landlord made his appearance; and, with many
apologies for his intrusion, and a hope that he was not going to be
impertinent, proceeded to inquire if Mr. Reding was a Catholic. "The
question had been put to him, and he thought he might venture to solicit
an answer from the person who could give the most authentic
information." Here was an interruption, vexatious in itself, and
perplexing in the form in which it came upon him; it would be absurd to
reply that he was on the point of _becoming_ a Catholic, so he shortly
answered in the negative. Mr. Mumford then informed him that there were
two friends of Mr. Reding's below, who wished very much to have a few
minutes' conversation with him. Charles could make no intelligible
objection to the request; and in the course of a few minutes their knock
was heard at the room-door.

On his answering it, two persons presented themselves, apparently both
strangers to him. This, however, at the moment was a relief; for vague
fears and surmises had begun to flit across his mind as to the faces
which were to make their appearance. The younger of the two, who had
round full cheeks, with a boyish air, and a shrill voice, advanced
confidently, and seemed to expect a recognition. It broke upon Charles
that he had seen him before, but he could not tell where. "I ought to
know your face," he said.

"Yes, Mr. Reding," answered the person addressed, "you may recollect me
at College."

"Ah, I remember perfectly," said Reding; "Jack the kitchen-boy at St.
Saviour's."

"Yes," said Jack; "I came when young Tom was promoted into Dennis's
place."

Then he added, with a solemn shake of the head, "_I_ have got promotion
now."

"So it seems, Jack," answered Reding; "but what are you? Speak."

"Ah, sir," said Jack, "we must converse in a tone of befitting
seriousness;" and he added, in a deep inarticulate voice, his lips not
being suffered to meet together, "Sir, I stand next to an Angel now."

"A what? Angel? Oh, I know," cried Charles, "it's some sect; the
Sandemanians."

"Sandemanians!" interrupted Jack; "we hold them in abhorrence; they are
levellers; they bring in disorder and every evil work."

"I beg pardon, but I know it is some sect, though I don't recollect
what. I've heard about it. Well, tell me, Jack, what are you?"

"I am," answered Jack, as if he were confessing at the tribunal of a
Proprætor, "I am a member of the Holy Catholic Church."

"That's right, Jack," said Reding; "but it's not distinctive enough; so
are we all; every one will say as much."

"Hear me out, Mr. Reding, sir," answered Jack, waving his hand; "hear
me, but strike; I repeat, I am a member of the Holy Catholic Church,
assembling in Huggermugger Lane."

"Ah," said Charles, "I see; that's what the 'gods' call you; now, what
do men?"

"Men," said Jack, not understanding, however, the allusion--"men call us
Christians, professing the opinions of the late Rev. Edward Irving,
B.D."

"I understand perfectly now," said Reding; "Irvingites--I recollect."

"No, sir," he said, "not Irvingites; we do not follow man; we follow
wherever the Spirit leads us; we have given up Tongue. But I ought to
introduce you to my friend, who is more than an Angel," he proceeded
modestly, "who has more than the tongue of men and angels, being nothing
short of an Apostle, sir. Mr. Reding, here's the Rev. Alexander
Highfly. Mr. Highfly, this is Mr. Reding."

Mr. Highfly was a man of gentlemanlike appearance and manner; his
language was refined, and his conduct was delicate; so much so that
Charles at once changed his tone in speaking to him. He came to Mr.
Reding, he said, from a sense of duty; and there was nothing in his
conversation to clash with that profession. He explained that he had
heard of Mr. Reding's being unsettled in his religious views, and he
would not lose the opportunity of attempting so valuable an accession to
the cause to which he had dedicated himself.

"I see," said Charles, smiling, "I am in the market."

"It is the bargain of Glaucus with Diomede," answered Mr. Highfly, "for
which I am asking your co-operation. I am giving you the fellowship of
Apostles."

"It is, I recollect, one of the characteristics of your body," said
Charles, "to have an order of Apostles, in addition to Bishops, Priests,
and Deacons."

"Rather," said his visitor, "it is the special characteristic; for we
acknowledge the orders of the Church of England. We are but completing
the Church system by restoring the Apostolic College."

"What I should complain of," said Charles, "were I at all inclined to
listen to your claims, would be the very different views which different
members of your body put forward."

"You must recollect, sir," answered Mr. Highfly, "that we are under
Divine teaching, and that truth is but gradually communicated to the
Church. We do not pledge ourselves what we shall believe to-morrow by
anything we say to-day."

"Certainly," answered Reding, "things have been said to me by your
teachers which I must suppose were only private opinions, though they
seemed to be more."

"But I was saying," said Mr. Highfly, "that at present we are restoring
the Gentile Apostolate. The Church of England has Bishops, Priests, and
Deacons, but a Scriptural Church has more; it is plain it ought to have
Apostles. In Scripture Apostles had the supreme authority, and the three
Anglican orders were but subordinate to them."

"I am disposed to agree with you there," said Charles. Mr. Highfly
looked surprised and pleased. "We are restoring," he said, "the Church
to a more Scriptural state; perhaps, then, we may reckon on your
co-operation in doing so? We do not ask you to secede from the
Establishment, but to acknowledge the Apostolic authority to which all
ought to submit."

"But does it not strike you, Mr. Highfly," answered Reding, "that there
_is_ a body of Christians, and not an inconsiderable one, which
maintains with you, and, what is more, has always preserved, that true
and higher Apostolic succession in the Church; a body, I mean, which, in
addition to Episcopacy, believes that there is a standing ordinance
above Episcopacy, and gives it the name of the Apostolate?"

"On the contrary," answered Mr. Highfly, "I consider that we are
restoring what has lain dormant ever since the time of St. Paul; nay, I
will say it is an ordinance which never has been carried into effect at
all, though it was in the Divine design from the first. You will observe
that the Apostles were Jews; but there never has been a Gentile
Apostolate. St. Paul indeed was Apostle of the Gentiles, but the design
begun in him has hitherto been frustrated. He went up to Jerusalem
against the solemn warning of the Spirit; now we are raised up to
complete that work of the Spirit, which was stopped by the inadvertence
of the first Apostle."

Jack interposed: he should be very glad, he said, to know what religious
persuasion it was, besides his own, which Mr. Reding considered to have
preserved the succession of Apostles as something distinct from Bishops.

"It is quite plain whom I mean--The Catholics," answered Charles. "The
Popedom is the true Apostolate, the Pope is the successor of the
Apostles, particularly of St. Peter."

"We are very well inclined to the Roman Catholics," answered Mr.
Highfly, with some hesitation; "we have adopted a great part of their
ritual; but we are not accustomed to consider that we resemble them in
what is our characteristic and cardinal tenet."

"Allow me to say it, Mr. Highfly," said Reding, "it is a reason why
every Irvingite--I mean every member of your denomination--should become
a Catholic. Your own religious sense has taught you that there ought to
be an Apostolate in the Church. You consider that the authority of the
Apostles was not temporary, but essential and fundamental. What that
authority was, we see in St. Paul's conduct towards St. Timothy. He
placed him in the see of Ephesus, he sent him a charge, and, in fact, he
was his overseer or Bishop. He had the care of all the Churches. Now,
this is precisely the power which the Pope claims, and has ever claimed;
and, moreover, he has claimed it, as being the _successor_, and the sole
proper successor of the Apostles, though Bishops may be improperly such
also.[2] And hence Catholics call him Vicar of Christ, Bishop of
Bishops, and the like; and, I believe, consider that he, in a
pre-eminent sense, is the one pastor or ruler of the Church, the source
of jurisdiction, the judge of controversies, and the centre of unity, as
having the powers of the Apostles, and specially of St. Peter."

    [2] "Successores sunt, sed ita ut potius Vicarii dicendi sint
    Apostolorum, quam successores; contra, Romanus Pontifex, quia verus
    Petri successor est, nonnisi per quendam abusum ejus vicarius
    diceretur."--Zaccar. _Antifebr._, p. 130.

Mr. Highfly kept silence.

"Don't you think, then, it would be well," continued Charles, "that,
before coming to convert me, you should first join the Catholic Church?
at least, you would urge your doctrine upon me with more authority if
you came as a member of it. And I will tell you frankly, that you would
find it easier to convert me to Catholicism than to your present
persuasion."

Jack looked at Mr. Highfly, as if hoping for some decisive reply to what
was a new view to him; but Mr. Highfly took a different line. "Well,
sir," he said, "I do not see that any good will come by our continuing
the interview; but your last remark leads me to observe that
_proselytism_ was not our object in coming here. We did not propose more
than to _inform_ you that a great work was going on, to direct your
attention to it, and to invite your co-operation. We do not controvert;
we only wish to deliver our testimony, and there to leave the matter. I
believe, then, we need not take up your valuable time longer." With that
he got up, and Jack with him, and, with many courteous bows and smiles,
which were duly responded to by Reding, the two visitors took their
departure.

"Well, I might have been worse off," thought Reding; "really they are
gentle, well-mannered creatures, after all. I might have been attacked
by some of your furious Exeter-Hall beasts; but now to business....
What's that?" he added. Alas, it was a soft, distinct tap at the door;
there was no mistake. "Who's there? come in!" he cried; upon which the
door gently opened, and a young lady, not without attractions of person
and dress, presented herself. Charles started up with vexation; but
there was no help for it, and he was obliged to hand her a chair, and
then to wait, all expectation, or rather all impatience, to be informed
of her mission. For a while she did not speak, but sat, with her head on
one side, looking at her parasol, the point of which she fixed on the
carpet, while she slowly described a circumference with the handle. At
length she asked, without raising her eyes, whether it was true--and she
spoke slowly and in what is called a spiritual tone--whether it was
true, the information had been given her, that Mr. Reding, the
gentleman she had the honour of addressing--whether it was true, that he
was in search of a religion more congenial to his feelings than that of
the Church of England? "Mr. Reding could not give her any satisfaction
on the subject of her inquiry;"--he answered shortly, and had some
difficulty in keeping from rudeness in his tone. The interrogation, she
went on to say, perhaps might seem impertinent; but she had a motive.
Some dear sisters of hers were engaged in organizing a new religious
body, and Mr. Reding's accession, counsel, assistance, would be
particularly valuable; the more so, because as yet they had not any
gentleman of University education among them.

"May I ask," said Charles, "the name of the intended persuasion?"

"The name," she answered, "is not fixed; indeed, this is one of the
points on which we should covet the privilege of the advice of a
gentleman so well qualified as Mr. Reding to assist us in our
deliberations."

"And your tenets, ma'am?"

"Here, too," she replied, "there is much still to be done; the tenets
are not fixed either, that is, they are but sketched; and we shall prize
your suggestions much. Nay, you will of course have the opportunity, as
you would have the right, to nominate any doctrine to which you may be
especially inclined."

Charles did not know how to answer to so liberal an offer.

She continued: "Perhaps it is right, Mr. Reding, that I should tell you
something more about myself personally. I was born in the communion of
the Church of England; for a while I was a member of the New Connexion;
and after that," she added, still with drooping head and languid
sing-song voice, "after that, I was a Plymouth brother." It got too
absurd; and Charles, who had for an instant been amused, now became full
of the one thought, how to get her out of the room.

It was obviously left to her to keep up the conversation: so she said
presently, "We are all for a pure religion."

"From what you tell me," said Charles, "I gather that every member of
your new community is allowed to name one or two doctrines of his own."

"We are all scriptural," she made answer, "and therefore are all one; we
may differ, but we agree. Still it is so, as you say, Mr. Reding. I'm
for election and assurance; our dearest friend is for perfection; and
another sweet sister is for the second advent. But we desire to include
among us all souls who are thirsting after the river of life, whatever
their personal views. I believe you are partial to sacraments and
ceremonies?"

Charles tried to cut short the interview by denying that he had any
religion to seek after, or any decision to make; but it was easier to
end the conversation than the visit. He threw himself back in his chair
in despair, and half closed his eyes. "Oh, those good Irvingites," he
thought, "blameless men, who came only to protest, and vanished at the
first word of opposition; but now thrice has the church-clock struck the
quarters since her entrance, and I don't see why she's not to stop here
as long as it goes on striking, since she has stopped so long. She has
not in her the elements of progress and decay. She'll never die; what is
to become of me?"

Nor was she doomed to find a natural death; for, when the case seemed
hopeless, a noise was heard on the staircase, and, with scarcely the
apology for a knock, a wild gawky man made his appearance, and at once
cried out, "I hope, sir, it's not a bargain yet; I hope it's not too
late; discharge this young woman, Mr. Reding, and let me teach you the
old truth, which never has been repealed."

There was no need of discharging her; for as kindly as she had unfolded
her leaves and flourished in the sun of Reding's forbearance, so did she
at once shrink and vanish--one could hardly tell how--before the rough
accents of the intruder; and Charles suddenly found himself in the hands
of a new tormentor. "This is intolerable," he said to himself; and,
jumping up, he cried, "Sir, excuse me, I am particularly engaged this
morning, and I must beg to decline the favour of your visit."

"What did you say, sir?" said the stranger; and, taking a note-book and
a pencil from his pocket, he began to look up in Charles's face and
write down his words, saying half aloud, as he wrote, "Declines the
favour of my visit." Then he looked up again, keeping his pencil upon
his paper, and said, "Now, sir."

Reding moved towards him, and, spreading his arms as one drives sheep
and poultry in one direction, he repeated, looking towards the door,
"Really, sir, I feel the honour of your call; but another day, sir,
another day. It is too much, too much."

"Too much?" said the intruder; "and I waiting below so long! That dainty
lady has been good part of an hour here, and now you can't give me five
minutes, sir."

"Why, sir," answered Charles, "I am sure you are come on an errand as
fruitless as hers; and I am sick of these religious discussions, and
want to be to myself, and to save you trouble."

"Sick of religions discussions," said the stranger to himself, as he
wrote down the words in his note-book. Charles did not deign to notice
his act or to explain his own expression; he stood prepared to renew his
action of motioning him to the door. His tormentor then said, "You may
like to know my name; it is Zerubbabel."

Vexed as Reding was, he felt that he had no right to visit the
tediousness of his former visitor upon his present; so he forced himself
to reply, "Zerubbabel; indeed; and is Zerubbabel your Christian name,
sir, or your surname?"

"It is both at once, Mr. Reding," answered Zerubbabel, "or rather, I
have no Christian name, and Zerubbabel is my one Jewish designation."

"You are come, then, to inquire whether I am likely to become a Jew."

"Stranger things have happened," answered his visitor; "for instance, I
myself was once a deacon in the Church of England."

"Then you are not a Jew?" said Charles.

"I am a Jew by choice," he said; "after much prayer and study of
Scripture, I have come to the conclusion that, as Judaism was the first
religion, so it's to be the last. Christianity I consider an episode in
the history of revelation."

"You are not likely to have many followers in such a belief," said
Charles; "we are all for progress now, not for retrograding."

"I differ from you, Mr. Reding," said Zerubbabel; "see what the
Establishment is doing; it has sent a Bishop to Jerusalem."

"That is rather with the view of making the Jews Christians than the
Christians Jews," said Reding.

Zerubbabel wrote down: "Thinks Bishop of Jerusalem is to convert the
Jews;" then, "I differ from you, sir; on the contrary, I fancy the
excellent Bishop has in view to revive the distinction between Jew and
Gentile, which is one step towards the supremacy of the former; for if
the Jews have a place at all in Christianity, as Jews, it must be the
first place."

Charles thought he had better let him have his talk out; so Zerubbabel
proceeded: "The good Bishop in question knows well that the Jew is the
elder brother of the Gentile, and it is his special mission to restore a
Jewish episcopate to the See of Jerusalem. The Jewish succession has
been suspended since the time of the Apostles. And now you see the
reason of my calling on you, Mr. Reding. It is reported that you lean
towards the Catholic Church; but I wish to suggest to you that you have
mistaken the centre of unity. The See of James at Jerusalem is the true
centre, not the See of Peter at Rome. Peter's power is a usurpation on
James's. I consider the present Bishop of Jerusalem the true Pope. The
Gentiles have been in power too long; it is now the Jews' turn."

"You seem to allow," said Charles, "that there ought to be a centre of
unity and a Pope."

"Certainly," said Zerubbabel, "and a ritual too, but it should be the
Jewish. I am collecting subscriptions for the rebuilding of the Temple
on Mount Moriah; I hope too to negotiate a loan, and we shall have
Temple stock, yielding, I calculate, at least four per cent."

"It has hitherto been thought a sin," said Reding, "to attempt
rebuilding the Temple. According to you, Julian the Apostate went the
better way to work."

"His motive was wrong, sir," answered the other; "but his act was good.
The way to convert the Jews is, first to accept their rites. This is one
of the greatest discoveries of this age. _We_ must make the first step
towards _them_. For myself, I have adopted all which the present state
of their religion renders possible. And I don't despair to see the day
when bloody sacrifices will be offered on the Temple Mount as of old."

Here he came to a pause; and Charles making no reply, he said, in a
brisk, off-hand manner, "May I not hope you will give your name to this
religious object, and adopt the old ritual? The Catholic is quite of
yesterday compared with it." Charles answering in the negative,
Zerubbabel wrote down in his book: "Refuses to take part in our scheme;"
and disappeared from the room as suddenly as he entered it.



CHAPTER VIII.


Charles's trials were not at an end; and we suspect the reader will give
a shudder at the news, as having a very material share in the
infliction. Yet the reader's case has this great alleviation, that he
takes up this narrative in an idle hour, and Charles encountered the
reality in a very busy and anxious one. So, however, it was: not any
great time elapsed after the retreat of Zerubbabel, when his landlord
again appeared at the door. He assured Mr. Reding that it was no fault
of his that the last two persons had called on him; that the lady had
slipped by him, and the gentleman had forced his way; but that he now
really did wish to solicit an interview for a personage of great
literary pretensions, who sometimes dealt with him, and who had come
from the West End for the honour of an interview with Mr. Reding.
Charles groaned, but only one reply was possible; the day was already
wasted, and with a sort of dull resignation he gave permission for the
introduction of the stranger.

It was a pale-faced man of about thirty-five, who, when he spoke, arched
his eyebrows, and had a peculiar smile. He began by expressing his
apprehension that Mr. Reding must have been wearied by impertinent and
unnecessary visitors--visitors without intellect, who knew no better
than to obtrude their fanaticism on persons who did but despise it. "I
know more about the Universities," he continued, "than to suppose that
any congeniality can exist between their members and the mass of
religious sectarians. You have had very distinguished men among you,
sir, at Oxford, of very various schools, yet all able men, and
distinguished in the pursuit of Truth, though they have arrived at
contradictory opinions."

Not knowing what he was driving at, Reding remained in an attitude of
expectation.

"I belong," he continued, "to a Society which is devoted to the
extension among all classes of the pursuit of Truth. Any philosophical
mind, Mr. Reding, must have felt deep interest in your own party in the
University. Our Society, in fact, considers you to be distinguished
Confessors in that all-momentous occupation; and I have thought I could
not pay yourself individually, whose name has lately honourably appeared
in the papers, a better compliment than to get you elected a member of
our Truth Society. And here is your diploma," he added, handing a sheet
of paper to him. Charles glanced his eye over it; it was a paper, part
engraving, part print, part manuscript. An emblem of truth was in the
centre, represented, not by a radiating sun or star, as might be
expected, but as the moon under total eclipse, surrounded, as by cherub
faces, by the heads of Socrates, Cicero, Julian, Abelard, Luther,
Benjamin Franklin, and Lord Brougham. Then followed some sentences to
the effect that the London Branch Association of the British and Foreign
Truth Society, having evidence of the zeal in the pursuit of Truth of
Charles Reding, Esq., member of Oxford University, had unanimously
elected him into their number, and had assigned him the dignified and
responsible office of associate and corresponding member.

"I thank the Truth Society very much," said Charles, when he got to the
end of the paper, "for this mark of their good will; yet I regret to
have scruples about accepting it till some of the patrons are changed,
whose heads are prefixed to the diploma. For instance, I do not like to
be under the shadow of the Emperor Julian."

"You would respect his love of Truth, I presume," said Mr. Batts.

"Not much, I fear," said Charles, "seeing it did not hinder him from
deliberately embracing error."

"No, not so," answered Mr. Batts; "_he_ thought it Truth; and Julian, I
conceive, cannot be said to have deserted the Truth, because, in fact,
he always was in pursuit of it."

"I fear," said Reding, "there is a very serious difference between your
principles and my own on this point."

"Ah, my dear sir, a little attention to our principles will remove it,"
said Mr. Batts: "let me beg your acceptance of this little pamphlet, in
which you will find some fundamental truths stated, almost in the way of
aphorisms. I wish to direct your attention to page 8, where they are
drawn out."

Charles turned to the page, and read as follows:--

     "_On the pursuit of Truth._

     1. It is uncertain whether Truth exists.

     2. It is certain that it cannot be found.

     3. It is a folly to boast of possessing it.

     4. Man's work and duty, as man, consist, not in possessing, but in
     seeking it.

     5. His happiness and true dignity consist in the pursuit.

     6. The pursuit of Truth is an end to be engaged in for its own
     sake.

     7. As philosophy is the love, not the possession of wisdom, so
     religion is the love, not the possession of Truth.

     8. As Catholicism begins with faith, so Protestantism ends with
     inquiry.

     9. As there is disinterestedness in seeking, so is there
     selfishness in claiming to possess.

     10. The martyr of Truth is he who dies professing that it is a
     shadow.

     11. A life-long martyrdom is this, to be ever changing.

     12. The fear of error is the bane of inquiry."

Charles did not get further than these, but others followed of a similar
character. He returned the pamphlet to Mr. Batts. "I see enough," he
said, "of the opinions of the Truth Society to admire their ingenuity
and originality, but, excuse me, not their good sense. It is impossible
I should subscribe to what is so plainly opposed to Christianity."

Mr. Batts looked annoyed. "We have no wish to oppose Christianity," he
said; "we only wish Christianity not to oppose us. It is very hard that
we may not go our own way, when we are quite willing that others should
go theirs. It seems imprudent, I conceive, in this age, to represent
Christianity as hostile to the progress of the mind, and to turn into
enemies of revelation those who do sincerely wish to 'live and let
live.'"

"But contradictions cannot be true," said Charles: "if Christianity says
that Truth can be found, it must be an error to state that it cannot be
found."

"I conceive it to be intolerant," persisted Mr. Batts: "you will grant,
I suppose, that Christianity has nothing to do with astronomy or
geology: why, then, should it be allowed to interfere with philosophy?"

It was useless proceeding in the discussion; Charles repressed the
answer which rose on his tongue of the essential connexion of philosophy
with religion; a silence ensued of several minutes, and Mr. Batts at
length took the hint, for he rose with a disappointed air, and wished
him good morning.

It mattered little now whether he was left to himself or not, except
that conversation harassed and fretted him; for, as to turning his mind
to the subjects which were to have been his occupation that morning, it
was by this time far too much wearied and dissipated to undertake them.
On Mr. Batts' departure, then, he did not make the attempt, but sat
before the fire, dull and depressed, and in danger of relapsing into the
troubled thoughts from which his railroad companion had extricated him.
When, then, at the end of half an hour, a new knock was heard at the
door, he admitted the postulant with a calm indifference, as if fortune
had now done her worst, and he had nothing to fear. A middle-aged man
made his appearance, sleek and plump, who seemed to be in good
circumstances, and to have profited by them. His glossy black dress, in
contrast with the crimson colour of his face and throat, for he wore no
collars, and his staid and pompous bearing, added to his rapid delivery
when he spoke, gave him much the look of a farm-yard turkey-cock in the
eyes of any one who was less disgusted with seeing new faces than Reding
was at that moment. The new comer looked sharply at him as he entered.
"Your most obedient," he said abruptly; "you seem in low spirits, my
dear sir; but sit down, Mr. Reding, and give me the opportunity of
offering to you a little good advice. You may guess what I am by my
appearance: I speak for myself; I will say no more; I can be of use to
you. Mr. Reding," he continued, pulling his chair towards him, and
putting out his hand as if he was going to paw him, "have not you made a
mistake in thinking it necessary to go to the Romish Church for a relief
of your religious difficulties?"

"You have not yet heard from me, sir," answered Charles gravely, "that I
have any difficulties at all. Excuse me if I am abrupt; I have had many
persons calling on me with your errand. It is very kind of you, but I
don't want advice; I was a fool to come here."

"Well, my dear Mr. Reding, but listen to me," answered his persecutor,
spreading out the fingers of his right hand, and opening his eyes wide:
"I am right, I believe, in apprehending that your reason for leaving the
Establishment is, that you cannot carry out the surplice in the pulpit
and the candlesticks on the table. Now, don't you do more than you need.
Pardon me, but you are like a person who should turn the Thames in upon
his house, when he merely wanted his door-steps scrubbed. Why become a
convert to Popery, when you can obtain your object in a cheaper and
better way? Set up for yourself, my dear sir--set up for yourself; form
a new denomination, sixpence will do it; and then you may have your
surplice and candlesticks to your heart's content, without denying the
gospel, or running into the horrible abominations of the Scarlet Woman."
And he sat upright in his chair, with his hands flat on his extended
knees, watching with a self-satisfied air the effect of his words upon
Reding.

"I have had enough of this," said poor Charles; "you, indeed, are but
one of a number, sir, and would say you had nothing to do with the rest;
but I cannot help regarding you as the fifth, or sixth, or seventh
person--I can't count them--who has been with me this morning, giving
me, though with the best intentions, advice which has not been asked
for. I don't know you, sir; you have no introduction to me; you have not
even told me your name. It is not usual to discourse on such personal
matters with strangers. Let me, then, thank you first for your kindness
in coming, and next for the additional kindness of going." And Charles
rose up.

His visitor did not seem inclined to move, or to notice what he had
said. He stopped awhile, opened his handkerchief with much deliberation,
and blew his nose; then he continued: "Kitchens is my name, sir; Dr.
Kitchens; your state of mind, Mr. Reding, is not unknown to me; you are
at present under the influence of the old Adam, and indeed in a
melancholy way. I was not unprepared for it; and I have put into my
pocket a little tract which I shall press upon you with all the
Christian solicitude which brother can show towards brother. Here it is;
I have the greatest confidence in it; perhaps you have heard the name;
it is known as Kitchens's Spiritual Elixir. The Elixir has enlightened
millions; and, I will take on me to say, will convert you in twenty-four
hours. Its operation is mild and pleasurable, and its effects are
marvellous, prodigious, though it does not consist of more than eight
duodecimo pages. Here's a list of testimonies to some of the most
remarkable cases. I have known one hundred and two cases myself in which
it effected a saving change in six hours; seventy-nine in which its
operations took place in as few as three; and twenty-seven where
conversion followed instantaneously after the perusal. At once, poor
sinners, who five minutes before had been like the demoniac in the
gospel, were seen sitting 'clothed, and in their right mind.' Thus I
speak within the mark, Mr. Reding, when I say I will warrant a change in
you in twenty-four hours. I have never known but one instance in which
it seemed to fail, and that was the case of a wretched old man who held
it in his hand a whole day in dead silence, without any apparent
effect; but here _exceptio probat regulam_, for on further inquiry we
found he could not read. So the tract was slowly administered to him by
another person; and before it was finished, I protest to you, Mr.
Reding, he fell into a deep and healthy slumber, perspired profusely,
and woke up at the end of twelve hours a new creature, perfectly new,
bran new, and fit for heaven--whither he went in the course of the week.
We are now making farther experiments on its operation, and we find that
even separate leaves of the tract have a proportionate effect. And, what
is more to your own purpose, it is quite a specific in the case of
Popery. It directly attacks the peccant matter, and all the trash about
sacraments, saints, penance, purgatory, and good works is dislodged from
the soul at once."

Charles remained silent and grave, as one who was likely suddenly to
break out into some strong act, rather than condescend to any farther
parleying.

Dr. Kitchens proceeded: "Have you attended any of the lectures delivered
against the Mystic Babylon, or any of the public disputes which have
been carried on in so many places? My dear friend, Mr. Macanoise,
contested ten points with thirty Jesuits--a good half of the Jesuits in
London--and beat them upon all. Or have you heard any of the luminaries
of Exeter Hall? There is Mr. Gabb; he is a Boanerges, a perfect Niagara,
for his torrent of words; such momentum in his delivery; it is as rapid
as it's strong; it's enough to knock a man down. He can speak seven
hours running without fatigue; and last year he went through England,
delivering through the length and breadth of the land, one, and one
only, awful protest against the apocalyptic witch of Endor. He began at
Devonport and ended at Berwick, and surpassed himself on every delivery.
At Berwick, his last exhibition, the effect was perfectly tremendous; a
friend of mine heard it; he assures me, incredible as it may appear,
that it shattered some glass in a neighbouring house; and two priests of
Baal, who were with their day-school within a quarter of a mile of Mr.
Gabb, were so damaged by the mere echo, that one forthwith took to his
bed and the other has walked on crutches ever since." He stopped awhile;
then he continued: "And what was it, do you think, Mr. Reding, which had
this effect on them? Why, it was Mr. Gabb's notion about the sign of the
beast in the Revelation: he proved, Mr. Reding--it was the most original
hit in his speech--he proved that it was the sign of the cross, the
material cross."

The time at length was come; Reding could not bear more; and, as it
happened, his visitor's offence gave him the means, as well as a cause,
for punishing him. "Oh," he said suddenly, "then I suppose, Dr.
Kitchens, you can't tolerate the cross?"

"Oh no; tolerate it!" answered Dr. Kitchens; "it is Antichrist."

"You can't bear the sight of it, I suspect, Dr. Kitchens?"

"I can't endure it, sir; what true Protestant can?"

"Then look here," said Charles, taking a small crucifix out of his
writing-desk; and he held it before Dr. Kitchens' face.

Dr. Kitchens at once started on his feet, and retreated. "What's that?"
he said, and his face flushed up and then turned pale; "what's that?
it's the thing itself!" and he made a snatch at it. "Take it away, Mr.
Reding; it's an idol; I cannot endure it; take away the thing!"

"I declare," said Reding to himself, "it really has power over him;" and
he still confronted Dr. Kitchens with it, while he kept it out of Dr.
Kitchens' reach.

"Take it away, Mr. Reding, I beseech you," cried Kitchens, still
retreating, while Charles still pressed on him; "take it away, it's too
much. Oh, oh! Spare me, spare me, Mr. Reding!--nehushtan--an idol!--oh,
you young antichrist, you devil!--'tis He, 'tis He--torment!--spare me,
Mr. Reding." And the miserable man began to dance about, still eyeing
the sacred sign, and motioning it from him.

Charles now had victory in his hands: there was, indeed, some difficulty
in steering Kitchens to the door from the place where he had been
sitting, but, that once effected, he opened it with violence, and,
throwing himself on the staircase, he began to jump down two or three
steps at a time, with such forgetfulness of everything but his own
terror, that he came plump upon two persons who, in rivalry of each
other, were in the act of rushing up: and, while he drove one against
the rail, he fairly rolled the other to the bottom.



CHAPTER IX.


Charles threw himself on his chair, burying the Crucifix in his bosom,
quite worn out with his long trial and the sudden exertion in which it
had just now been issuing. When a noise was heard at his door, and
knocks succeeded, he took no farther notice than to plant his feet on
the fender and bury his face in his hands. The summons at first was
apparently from one person only, but his delay in answering it gave time
for the arrival of another; and there was a brisk succession of
alternate knocks from the two, which Charles let take its course. At
length one of the rival candidates for admission, bolder than the other,
slowly opened the door; when the other, who had impetuously scrambled
upstairs after his fall, rushed in before him, crying out, "One word for
the New Jerusalem!" "In charity," said Reding, without changing his
attitude, "in charity, leave me alone. You mean it well, but I don't
want you, sir; I don't indeed. I've had Old Jerusalem here already, and
Jewish Apostles, and Gentile Apostles, and free inquiry, and fancy
religion, and Exeter Hall. What _have_ I done? why can't I die out in
peace? My dear sir, do go! I can't see you; I'm worn out." And he rose
up and advanced towards him. "Call again, dear sir, if you are bent on
talking with me; but, excuse me, I really have had enough of it for one
day. No fault of yours, my dear sir, that you have come the sixth or
seventh." And he opened the door for him.

"A madman nearly threw me down as I was coming up," said the person
addressed, in some agitation.

"Ten thousand pardons for his rudeness, my dear sir--ten thousand
pardons, but allow me;" and he bowed him out of the room. He then turned
round to the other stranger, who had stood by in silence: "And you too,
sir ... is it possible!" His countenance changed to extreme surprise; it
was Mr. Malcolm. Charles's thoughts flowed in a new current, and his
tormentors were suddenly forgotten.

The history of Mr. Malcolm's calling was simple. He had always been a
collector of old books, and had often taken advantage of the stores of
Charles's landlord in adding to his library. Passing through London to
the Eastern Counties Rail, he happened to call in; and, as his friend
the bookseller was not behind his own reading-room in the diffusion of
gossip, he learned that Mr. Reding, who was on the point of seceding
from the Establishment, was at that moment above stairs. He waited with
impatience through Dr. Kitchens' visit, and even then found himself, to
his no small annoyance, in danger of being outstripped by the good
Swedenborgian.

"How d'ye do, Charles?" he said, at length, with not a little stiffness
in his manner, while Charles had no less awkwardness in receiving him;
"you have been holding a levee this morning; I thought I should never
get to see you. Sit you down; let us both sit down, and let me at last
have a word or two with you."

In spite of the diversified trial Charles had sustained from strangers
that morning, there was no one perhaps whom he would have less desired
to see than Mr. Malcolm. He could not help associating him with his
father, yet he felt no opening of heart towards him, nor respect for his
judgment. His feeling was a mixture of prescriptive fear and
friendliness, attachment from old associations, and desire of standing
well with him, but neither confidence nor real love. He coloured up and
felt guilty, yet without a clear understanding why.

"Well, Charles Reding," he said, "I think we know each other well enough
for you to have given me a hint of what was going on as regards you."

Charles said he had written to him only the evening before.

"Ah, when there was not time to answer your letter," said Mr. Malcolm.

Charles said he wished to spare so kind a friend ... he bungled, and
could not finish his sentence.

"A friend, who, of course, could give no advice," said Mr. Malcolm
drily. Presently he said, "Were those people some of your new friends
who were calling on you? they have kept me in the shop this
three-quarters of an hour; and the fellow who has just come down nearly
threw me over the baluster."

"Oh no, sir, I know nothing of them; they were the most unwelcome of
intruders."

"As some one else seems to be," said Mr. Malcolm.

Charles was very much hurt; the more so, because he had nothing to say;
he kept silence.

"Well, Charles," said Mr. Malcolm, not looking at him, "I have known you
from this high; more, from a child in arms. A frank, open boy you were;
I don't know what has spoiled you. These Jesuits, perhaps.... It was not
so in your father's lifetime."

"My dear sir," said Charles, "it pierces me to the heart to hear you
talk so. You have indeed always been most kind to me. If I have erred,
it has been an error of judgment; and I am very sorry for it, and hope
you will forgive it. I acted for the best; but I have been, as you must
feel, in a most trying situation. My mother has known what I was
contemplating this year past."

"Trying situation! fudge! What have you to do with situations? I could
have told you a great deal about these Catholics; I know all about them.
Error of judgment! don't tell me. I know how these things happen quite
well. I have seen such things before; only I thought you a more sensible
fellow. There was young Dalton of St. Cross; he goes abroad, and falls
in with a smooth priest, who persuades the silly fellow that the
Catholic Church is the ancient and true Church of England, the only
religion for a gentleman; he is introduced to a Count this, and a
Marchioness that, and returns a Catholic. There was another; what was
his name? I forget it, of a Berkshire family. He is smitten with a
pretty face; nothing will serve but he must marry her; but she's a
Catholic, and can't marry a heretic; so he, forsooth, gives up the
favour of his uncle and his prospects in the county, for his fair
Juliet. There was another,--but it's useless going on. And, now I wonder
what has taken you."

All this was the best justification for Charles's not having spoken to
Mr. Malcolm on the subject. That gentleman had had his own experience of
thirty or forty years, and, like some great philosophers, he made that
personal experience of his the decisive test of the possible and the
true. "I know them," he continued--"I know them; a set of hypocrites and
sharpers. I could tell you such stories of what I fell in with abroad.
Those priests are not to be trusted. Did you ever know a priest?"

"No," answered Charles.

"Did you ever see a Popish chapel?"

"No."

"Do you know anything of Catholic books, Catholic doctrine, Catholic
morality? I warrant it, not much."

Charles looked very uncomfortable.

"Then what makes you go to them?"

Charles did not know what to say.

"Silly boy," he went on, "you have not a word to say for yourself; it's
all idle fancy. You are going as a bird to the fowler."

Reding began to rouse himself; he felt he ought to say something; he
felt that silence would tell against him. "Dear sir," he answered,
"there's nothing but may be turned against one if a person is so minded.
Now, do think; had I known this or that priest, you would have said at
once, 'Ah, he came over you.' If I had been familiar with Catholic
chapels, 'I was allured by the singing or the incense.' What can I have
done better than keep myself to myself, go by my best reason, consult
the friends whom I happened to find around me, as I have done, and wait
in patience till I was sure of my convictions?"

"Ah, that's the way with you youngsters," said Mr. Malcolm; "you all
think you are so right; you do think so admirably that older heads are
worth nothing to the like of you. Well," he went on, putting on his
gloves, "I see I am not in the way to persuade you. Poor dear Charlie, I
grieve for you; what would your poor father have said, had he lived to
see it? Poor Reding, he has been spared this. But perhaps it would not
have happened. I know what the upshot will be; you will come back--come
back you will, to a dead certainty. We shall see you back, foolish boy,
after you have had your gallop over your ploughed field. Well, well;
better than running wild. You must have your hobby; it might have been a
worse; you might have run through your money. But perhaps you'll be
giving it away, as it is, to some artful priest. It's grievous,
grievous; your education thrown away, your prospects ruined, your poor
mother and sisters left to take care of themselves. And you don't say a
word to me." And he began musing. "A troublesome world: good-bye,
Charles; you are high and mighty now, and are in full sail: you may come
to your father's friend some day in a different temper. Good-bye."

There was no help for it; Charles's heart was full, but his head was
wearied and confused, and his spirit sank; for all these reasons he had
not a word to say, and seemed to Mr. Malcolm either stupid or close. He
could but wring warmly Mr. Malcolm's reluctant hand, and accompany him
down to the street-door.



CHAPTER X.


"This will never do," said Charles, as he closed the door, and ran
upstairs; "here is a day wasted, worse than wasted, wasted partly on
strangers, partly on friends; and it's hard to say in which case a more
thorough waste. I ought to have gone to the Convent at once." The
thought flashed into his mind, and he stood over the fire dwelling on
it. "Yes," he said, "I will delay no longer. How does time go? I declare
it's past four o'clock." He then thought again: "I'll get over my
dinner, and then at once betake myself to my good Passionists."

To the coffee-house then he went, and, as it was some way off, it is not
wonderful that it was near six before he arrived at the Convent. It was
a plain brick building; money had not been so abundant as to overflow
upon the exterior, after the expense of the interior had been provided
for. And it was incomplete; a large church had been enclosed, but it was
scarcely more than a shell,--altars, indeed, had been set up, but, for
the rest, it had little more than good proportions, a broad sanctuary, a
serviceable organ, and an effective choir. There was a range of
buildings adjacent, capable of holding about half-a-dozen fathers; but
the size of the church required a larger establishment. By this time,
doubtless, things are different, but we are looking back at the first
efforts of the English Congregation, when it had scarcely ceased to
struggle for life, and when friends and members were but beginning to
flow in.

It was indeed but ten years, at that time, since the severest of modern
rules had been introduced into England. Two centuries after the
memorable era when St. Philip and St. Ignatius, making light of those
bodily austerities of which they were personally so great masters,
preached mortification of will and reason as more necessary for a
civilized age,--in the lukewarm and self-indulgent eighteenth century,
Father Paul of the Cross was divinely moved to found a Congregation in
some respects more ascetic than the primitive hermits and the orders of
the middle age. It was not fast, or silence, or poverty which
distinguished it, though here too it is not wanting in strictness; but
in the cell of its venerable founder, on the Celian Hill, hangs an iron
discipline or scourge, studded with nails, which is a memorial, not only
of his own self-inflicted sufferings, but of those of his Italian
family. The object of those sufferings was as remarkable as their
intensity; penance, indeed, is in one respect the end of all
self-chastisement, but in the instance of the Passionists the use of the
scourge was specially directed to the benefit of their neighbour. They
applied the pain to the benefit of the holy souls in Purgatory, or they
underwent it to rouse a careless audience. On their missions, when their
words seemed uttered in vain, they have been known suddenly to undo
their habit, and to scourge themselves with sharp knives or razors,
crying out to the horrified people, that they would not show mercy to
their flesh till they whom they were addressing took pity on their own
perishing souls. Nor was it to their own countrymen alone that this
self-consuming charity extended; how it so happened does not appear;
perhaps a certain memento close to their house was the earthly cause;
but so it was, that for many years the heart of Father Paul was expanded
towards a northern nation, with which, humanly speaking, he had nothing
to do. Over against St. John and St. Paul, the home of the Passionists
on the Celian, rises the old church and monastery of San Gregorio, the
womb, as it may be called, of English Christianity. There had lived that
great Saint, who is named our Apostle, who was afterwards called to the
chair of St. Peter; and thence went forth, in and after his pontificate,
Augustine, Paulinus, Justus, and the other Saints by whom our barbarous
ancestors were converted. Their names, which are now written up upon the
pillars of the portico, would almost seem to have issued forth, and
crossed over, and confronted the venerable Paul; for, strange to say,
the thought of England came into his ordinary prayers; and in his last
years, after a vision during Mass, as if he had been Augustine or
Mellitus, he talked of his "sons" in England.

It was strange enough that even one Italian in the heart of Rome should
at that time have ambitious thoughts of making novices or converts in
this country; but, after the venerable Founder's death, his special
interest in our distant isle showed itself in another member of his
institute. On the Apennines, near Viterbo, there dwelt a shepherd-boy,
in the first years of this century, whose mind had early been drawn
heavenward; and, one day, as he prayed before an image of the Madonna,
he felt a vivid intimation that he was destined to preach the Gospel
under the northern sky. There appeared no means by which a Roman peasant
should be turned into a missionary; nor did the prospect open, when this
youth found himself, first a lay-brother, then a Father, in the
Congregation of the Passion. Yet, though no external means appeared, the
inward impression did not fade; on the contrary, it became more
definite, and, in process of time, instead of the dim north, England was
engraven on his heart. And, strange to say, as years went on, without
his seeking, for he was simply under obedience, our peasant found
himself at length upon the very shore of the stormy northern sea, whence
Cæsar of old looked out for a new world to conquer; yet that he should
cross the strait was still as little likely as before. However, it was
as likely as that he should ever have got so near it; and he used to eye
the restless, godless waves, and wonder with himself whether the day
would ever come when he should be carried over them. And come it did,
not however by any determination of his own, but by the same Providence
which thirty years before had given him the anticipation of it.

At the time of our narrative, Father Domenico de Matre Dei had become
familiar with England; he had had many anxieties here, first from want
of funds, then still more from want of men. Year passed after year, and,
whether fear of the severity of the rule--though that was groundless,
for it had been mitigated for England--or the claim of other religious
bodies was the cause, his community did not increase, and he was tempted
to despond. But every work has its season; and now for some time past
that difficulty had been gradually lessening; various zealous men, some
of noble birth, others of extensive acquirements, had entered the
Congregation; and our friend Willis, who at this time had received the
priesthood, was not the last of these accessions, though domiciled at a
distance from London. And now the reader knows much more about the
Passionists than did Reding at the time that he made his way to their
monastery.

The church door came first, and, as it was open, he entered it. It
apparently was filling for service. When he got inside, the person who
immediately preceded him dipped his finger into a vessel of water which
stood at the entrance, and offered it to Charles. Charles, ignorant what
it meant, and awkward from his consciousness of it, did nothing but
slink aside, and look for some place of refuge; but the whole space was
open, and there seemed no corner to retreat into. Every one, however,
seemed about his own business; no one minded him, and so far he felt at
his ease. He stood near the door, and began to look about him. A
profusion of candles was lighting at the High Altar, which stood in the
centre of a semicircular apse. There were side-altars--perhaps
half-a-dozen; most of them without lights, but, even here, solitary
worshippers might be seen. Over one was a large old Crucifix with a
lamp, and this had a succession of visitors. They came each for five
minutes, said some prayers which were attached in a glazed frame to the
rail, and passed away. At another, which was in a chapel at the farther
end of one of the aisles, six long candles were burning, and over it was
an image. On looking attentively, Charles made out at last that it was
an image of Our Lady, and the Child held out a rosary. Here a
congregation had already assembled, or rather was in the middle of some
service, to him unknown. It was rapid, alternate, and monotonous; and,
as it seemed interminable, Reding turned his eyes elsewhere. They fell
first on one, then on another confessional, round each of which was a
little crowd, kneeling, waiting every one his own turn for presenting
himself for the sacrament--the men on the one side, the women on the
other. At the lower end of the church were about three ranges of
moveable benches with backs and kneelers; the rest of the large space
was open, and filled with chairs. The growing object of attention at
present was the High Altar; and each person, as he entered, took a
chair, and, kneeling down behind it, began his prayers. At length the
church got very full; rich and poor were mixed together--artisans,
well-dressed youths, Irish labourers, mothers with two or three
children--the only division being that of men from women. A set of boys
and children, mixed with some old crones, had got possession of the
altar-rail, and were hugging it with restless motions, as if in
expectation.

Though Reding had continued standing, no one would have noticed him; but
he saw the time was come for him to kneel, and accordingly he moved into
a corner seat on the bench nearest him. He had hardly done so, when a
procession with lights passed from the sacristy to the altar; something
went on which he did not understand, and then suddenly began what, by
the _Miserere_ and _Ora pro nobis_, he perceived to be a litany; a hymn
followed. Reding thought he never had been present at worship before, so
absorbed was the attention, so intense was the devotion of the
congregation. What particularly struck him was, that whereas in the
Church of England the clergyman or the organ was everything and the
people nothing, except so far as the clerk is their representative, here
it was just reversed. The priest hardly spoke, or at least audibly; but
the whole congregation was as though one vast instrument or
Panharmonicon, moving all together, and, what was most remarkable, as if
self-moved. They did not seem to require any one to prompt or direct
them, though in the Litany the choir took the alternate parts. The words
were Latin, but every one seemed to understand them thoroughly, and to
be offering up his prayers to the Blessed Trinity, and the Incarnate
Saviour, and the great Mother of God, and the glorified Saints, with
hearts full in proportion to the energy of the sounds they uttered.
There was a little boy near him, and a poor woman, singing at the pitch
of their voices. There was no mistaking it; Reding said to himself,
"This _is_ a popular religion." He looked round at the building; it was,
as we have said, very plain, and bore the marks of being unfinished;
but the Living Temple which was manifested in it needed no curious
carving or rich marble to complete it, "for the glory of God had
enlightened it, and the Lamb was the lamp thereof." "How wonderful,"
said Charles to himself, "that people call this worship formal and
external; it seems to possess all classes, young and old, polished and
vulgar, men and women indiscriminately; it is the working of one Spirit
in all, making many one."

While he was thus thinking, a change came over the worship. A priest, or
at least an assistant, had mounted for a moment above the altar, and
removed a chalice or vessel which stood there; he could not see
distinctly. A cloud of incense was rising on high; the people suddenly
all bowed low; what could it mean? the truth flashed on him, fearfully
yet sweetly; it was the Blessed Sacrament--it was the Lord Incarnate who
was on the altar, who had come to visit and to bless His people. It was
the Great Presence, which makes a Catholic Church different from every
other place in the world; which makes it, as no other place can be,
holy. The Breviary offices were by this time not unknown to Reding; and
as he threw himself on the pavement, in sudden self-abasement and joy,
some words of those great Antiphons came into his mouth, from which
Willis had formerly quoted: "O Adonai, et Dux domûs Israel, qui Moysi in
rubo apparuisti; O Emmanuel, Exspectatio Gentium et Salvator earum, veni
ad salvandum nos, Domine Deus noster."

The function did not last very long after this; Reding, on looking up,
found the congregation rapidly diminishing, and the lights in course of
extinction. He saw he must be quick in his motions. He made his way to a
lay-brother who was waiting till the doors could be closed, and begged
to be conducted to the Superior. The lay-brother feared he might be busy
at the moment, but conducted him through the sacristy to a small neat
room, where, being left to himself, he had time to collect his thoughts.
At length the Superior appeared; he was a man past the middle age, and
had a grave yet familiar manner. Charles's feelings were indescribable,
but all pleasurable. His heart beat, not with fear or anxiety, but with
the thrill of delight with which he realized that he was beneath the
shadow of a Catholic community, and face to face with one of its
priests. His trouble went in a moment, and he could have laughed for
joy. He could hardly keep his countenance, and almost feared to be taken
for a fool. He presented the card of his railroad companion. The good
Father smiled when he saw the name, nor did the few words which were
written with pencil on the card diminish his satisfaction. Charles and
he soon came to an understanding; he found himself already known in the
community by means of Willis; and it was arranged that he should take up
his lodging with his new friends forthwith, and remain there as long as
it suited him. He was to prepare for confession at once; and it was
hoped that on the following Sunday he might be received into Catholic
communion. After that, he was, at a convenient interval, to present
himself to the Bishop, from whom he would seek the sacrament of
confirmation. Not much time was necessary for removing his luggage from
his lodgings; and in the course of an hour from the time of his
interview with the Father Superior, he was sitting by himself, with pen
and paper and his books, and with a cheerful fire, in a small cell of
his new home.



CHAPTER XI.


A very few words will conduct us to the end of our history. It was
Sunday morning about seven o'clock, and Charles had been admitted into
the communion of the Catholic Church about an hour since. He was still
kneeling in the church of the Passionists before the Tabernacle, in the
possession of a deep peace and serenity of mind, which he had not
thought possible on earth. It was more like the stillness which almost
sensibly affects the ears when a bell that has long been tolling stops,
or when a vessel, after much tossing at sea, finds itself in harbour. It
was such as to throw him back in memory on his earliest years, as if he
were really beginning life again. But there was more than the happiness
of childhood in his heart; he seemed to feel a rock under his feet; it
was the _soliditas Cathedræ Petri_. He went on kneeling, as if he were
already in heaven, with the throne of God before him, and angels around;
and as if to move were to lose his privilege.

At length he felt a light hand on his shoulder, and a voice said,
"Reding, I am going; let me just say farewell to you before I go." He
looked around; it was Willis, or rather Father Aloysius, in his dark
Passionist habit, with the white heart sewed in at his left breast.
Willis carried him from the church into the sacristy. "What a joy,
Reding!" he whispered, when the door closed upon them; "what a day of
joy! St. Edward's day, a doubly blessed day henceforth. My Superior let
me be present; but now I must go. You did not see me, but I was present
through the whole."

"Oh," said Charles, "what shall I say?--the face of God! As I knelt I
seemed to wish to say this, and this only, with the Patriarch, 'Now let
me die, since I have seen Thy Face.'"

"You, dear Reding," said Father Aloysius, "have keen fresh feelings;
mine are blunted by familiarity."

"No, Willis," he made answer, "you have taken the better part betimes,
while I have loitered. Too late have I known Thee, O Thou ancient Truth;
too late have I found Thee, First and only Fair."

"All is well, except as sin makes it ill," said Father Aloysius; "if you
have to lament loss of time before conversion, I have to lament it
after. If you speak of delay, must not I of rashness? A good God
overrules all things. But I must away. Do you recollect my last words
when we parted in Devonshire? I have thought of them often since; they
were too true then. I said, 'Our ways divide.' They are different still,
yet they are the same. Whether we shall meet again here below, who
knows? but there will be a meeting ere long before the Throne of God,
and under the shadow of His Blessed Mother and all Saints. 'Deus
manifeste veniet, Deus noster, et non silebit.'"

Reding took Father Aloysius's hand and kissed it; as he sank on his
knees the young priest made the sign of blessing over him. Then he
vanished through the door of the sacristy; and the new convert sought
his temporary cell, so happy in the Present, that he had no thoughts
either for the Past or the Future.


THE END.



PRINTED BY BALLANTYNE, HANSON AND CO.
EDINBURGH AND LONDON



_CARDINAL NEWMAN'S WORKS._


1. SERMONS.

1-8. PAROCHIAL AND PLAIN SERMONS. (_Rivingtons._)

9. SERMONS ON SUBJECTS OF THE DAY. (_Rivingtons._)

10. UNIVERSITY SERMONS. (_Rivingtons._)

11. SERMONS TO MIXED CONGREGATIONS. (_Burns & Oates._)

12. OCCASIONAL SERMONS. (_Burns & Oates._)


2. TREATISES.

13. ON THE DOCTRINE OF JUSTIFICATION. (_Rivingtons._)

14. ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE. (_Pickering._)

15. ON THE IDEA OF A UNIVERSITY. (_Pickering._)

16. ON THE DOCTRINE OF ASSENT. (_Burns & Oates._)


3. ESSAYS.

17. TWO ESSAYS ON MIRACLES. 1. Of Scripture. 2. Of Ecclesiastical
History. (_Pickering._)

18. DISCUSSIONS AND ARGUMENTS. 1. How to accomplish it. 2. The
Antichrist of the Fathers. 3. Scripture and the Creed. 4. Tamworth
Reading-Room. 5. Who's to blame? 6. An Argument for Christianity.
(_Pickering._)

19, 20. ESSAYS, CRITICAL AND HISTORICAL. TWO VOLUMES, WITH NOTES. 1.
Poetry. 2. Rationalism. 3. Apostolical Tradition. 4. De la Mennais. 5.
Palmer on Faith and Unity. 6. St. Ignatius. 7. Prospects of the Anglican
Church. 8. The Anglo-American Church. 9. Countess of Huntingdon. 10.
Catholicity of the Anglican Church. 11. The Antichrist of Protestants.
12. Milman's Christianity. 13. Reformation of the Eleventh Century. 14.
Private Judgment. 15. Davison. 16. Keble. (_Pickering._)


4. HISTORICAL.

21-23. THREE VOLUMES. 1. The Turks. 2. Cicero. 3. Apollonius. 4.
Primitive Christianity. 5. Church of the Fathers. 6. St. Chrysostom. 7.
Theodoret. 8. St. Benedict. 9. Benedictine Schools. 10. Universities.
11. Northmen and Normans. 12. Medieval Oxford. 13. Convocation of
Canterbury. (_Pickering._)


5. THEOLOGICAL.

24. THE ARIANS OF THE FOURTH CENTURY. (_Pickering._)

25, 26. ANNOTATED TRANSLATION OF ATHANASIUS. TWO VOLUMES. (_Pickering._)

27. TRACTS. 1. Dissertatiunculæ. 2. On the Text of the Seven Epistles of
St. Ignatius. 3. Doctrinal Causes of Arianism. 4. Apollinarianism. 5.
St. Cyril's Formula. 6. Ordo de Tempore. 7. Douay Version of Scripture.
(_Pickering._)


6. POLEMICAL.

28, 29. VIA MEDIA. TWO VOLUMES, WITH NOTES. 1st Vol. Prophetical Office
of the Church. 2d Vol. Occasional Letters and Tracts. (_Pickering._)

30, 31. DIFFICULTIES OF ANGLICANS. TWO VOLUMES. 1st Vol. Twelve
Lectures. 2d Vol. Letters to Dr. Pusey concerning the Bl. Virgin, and to
the Duke of Norfolk in Defence of the Pope and Council. (_Burns & Oates,
and Pickering._)

32. PRESENT POSITION OF CATHOLICS IN ENGLAND. (_Burns & Oates._)

33. APOLOGIA PRO VITÂ SUÂ. (_Longmans._)


7. LITERARY.

34. VERSES ON VARIOUS OCCASIONS. (_Burns & Oates._)

35. LOSS AND GAIN. (_Burns & Oates, and Pickering._)

36. CALLISTA. (_Burns & Oates._)


It is scarcely necessary to say that the Author submits all that he has
written to the judgment of the Church, whose gift and prerogative it is
to determine what is true and what is false in religious teaching.





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