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Title: Recollections of a Long Life
Author: Stoughton, John
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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Transcribed from the 1894 Hodder and Stoughton edition by David Price,
email ccx074@pglaf.org.



                            RECOLLECTIONS OF A
                                LONG LIFE


                                * * * * *

                                    BY
                           JOHN STOUGHTON, D.D

   AUTHOR OF “ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY OF ENGLAND,” “STARS OF THE EAST,”
                                ETC., ETC.

                                * * * * *

                                  London
                           HODDER AND STOUGHTON
                           27, PATERNOSTER ROW

                                * * * * *

                                MDCCCXCIV

                                * * * * *

                                * * * * *

      Printed by Hazell, Watson, & Viney, Ld., London and Aylesbury.

                                * * * * *

                       THIS VOLUME OF RECOLLECTIONS
                               IS DEDICATED
                          TO MY LIFE-LONG FRIEND
                    THE REV. JOSHUA CLARKSON HARRISON,
                 WHOSE WISDOM HAS AIDED ME IN PERPLEXITY,
                  WHOSE SYMPATHY HAS CHEERED MY SORROWS
                          AND ENHANCED MY JOYS,
                  AND WHOSE CONSTANT FRIENDSHIP HAS BEEN
                        THE PRIVILEGE OF MY FAMILY
                            AS WELL AS MYSELF.

                                                                     J. S.



ADVERTISEMENT


MORE than forty years ago I edited the autobiography of the Rev. W.
Walford.  This book, which fully answers to its name, is a remarkable
production, entering into the secrets of the author’s soul, unveiling the
struggles and sorrows of a mysterious experience.

The work now published is of a very different kind.  It really relates to
others more than to myself, and brings within view some incidents of
religious history and aspects of personal character more interesting than
any confined to my own experience.  It presents associations during a
long period spent in various work, in distant journeys, and in friendly
intercourse with many distinguished persons.

I enter into no theological discussion, or any relation of spiritual
conflicts, the results of such introspection, as the autobiography of my
departed friend describes.  I only give recollections of what I have seen
and heard, especially in relation to those whom it has been my privilege
to regard as more or less intimate friends.

It was just after retirement from Kensington that I began to gather up
the following reminiscences, with a permission that my family might
publish them after my decease.  They were then put aside, and not looked
at for years.

Within the last few months it has struck me that so many likely to feel
an interest in my Recollections have passed away, and others are so far
advanced in life, that if the publication be longer delayed, few indeed
will be left likely to feel any interest in my narrative.

Conscious of failures in memory at my advanced age, I have availed myself
of memoranda made when travelling, long before any book of this kind was
contemplated.

I have been greatly helped in this volume by my dear daughter, with whom
I reside, who has frequently accompanied me in my travels, and been my
valued secretary at home.  Without her aid I could not have brought these
Recollections through the press.

TUNBRIDGE WELLS,
         _January_, 1894.



CONTENTS

                              CHAPTER I
                              1807–1828
                                                                  PAGE
Birth and boyhood in Norwich—Education—My mother—Early            1–18
tastes—First sight of the sea—Public events—Early
studies—Roman Catholicism—Friendships—Religious
change—The Christian ministry—College days
                              CHAPTER II
                              1828–1832
Fellow-students—Public excitements—Old House of                  19–38
Commons—William IV.—Popular preachers in London: Daniel
Wilson, Rowland Hill, James Parsons, Irving, Dr.
Chalmers—Monthly lectures—Work amongst the poor—Political
excitement
                             CHAPTER III
                              1832–1837
First sight of Windsor—Anecdotes of George III.—Rev. A.          39–58
Redford—New chapel and ordination—Bishop Selwyn—Funeral
of William IV.—Queen Victoria’s coronation and
wedding—Chaplainship to a Highland regiment—Eton
Montem—Windsor Auxiliary to Bible Society—Queen’s
patronage—Windsor a century ago—Eton Institute—Early
friendships
                              CHAPTER IV
                              1837–1843
Sir Culling Eardley and tent preaching—Case of                   59–75
conscience—Public questions—Missionary tours—Newstead
Abbey—Byron and Scott—Royal visit to Edinburgh—Up the
Rhine—The Rev. W. Walford—Bagster, the publisher—Radicals
a century, ago—John Bergne, of the Foreign
Office—Tractarian controversy, and No. 90
                              CHAPTER V
                              1843–1850
Removal to Kensington—Life of Dr. Arnold—Ladies’ schools        76–100
at Kensington—Kensington friends—Archdeacon
Sinclair—British Schools and Duchess of Inverness—British
and Foreign Bible Society; London Missionary
Society—Young Men’s Christian Association—Evangelical
Alliance—Sub Rosâ—Tractarianism and Dr. Pusey—Political
excitement—Visit to Geneva—Cæsar Malan—Notting Hill
Chapel—Father of Rev. F. D. Maurice—Visit to Newport
Pagnell and the haunts of the poet Cowper
                              CHAPTER VI
                              1850–1854
The papal aggression—Discourses on the Romanist                101–119
controversy—Palace of glass—Evangelical lectures in
Exeter Hall—Memorial of Dr. Doddridge—Visit to Germany
and Switzerland; thence to Milan, Verona, and
Venice—Intercourse at Kensington with remarkable people
                             CHAPTER VII
                              1854–1862
Visit to Rome: Holy Week, Pio Nono and the feet-washing,       120–137
Catacombs—Naples—Vesuvius—New chapel at
Kensington—Commencement of the Congregational
Union—Algernon Wells—The “Rivulet” controversy—Visit to
Berlin, Dresden, Schandau, and Prague—Affecting sudden
death at Kensington—Family bereavements—Tour in the
Pyrenees—St. Sauveur, the Emperor Napoleon, and Empress
Eugenie
                             CHAPTER VIII
                              1862–1865
Bicentenary of Bartholomew ejectment—Family                    138–161
bereavements—Commencement of friendship with Dean
Stanley—His sermon on “The Feast of the Dedication”—His
sermon when the American President was present—My Eastern
tour: Alexandria, Cairo, the Desert, Approach to the Holy
City, Communion in the Episcopal Church, Dr. Rosen, Story
about the Sinaitic MS., Hebron, Eshcol, Solomon’s Pools,
Monastery of St. Saba, the Dead Sea, Jordan, Across
Olivet to Jerusalem, Journey to Bethel and onwards to
Damascus, Reflections crossing the Mediterranean, Rhodes,
Storm, Smyrna, Ephesus, Constantinople—Home by the
Danube, Germany, and Belgium—Reflections
                              CHAPTER IX
                              1865–1872
Church history—Visit to Dr. Hook, Dean of                      162–200
Chichester—Anecdotes of Wilberforce, Bishop of Oxford—The
Dean’s life at Leeds—Extracts from his
letters—Acquaintance with Dr. Swainson—At Cambridge when
the announcement of wranglers occurred—Disraeli’s
school-boy days—Social gatherings to promote union—The
Archbishop of Syra at Westminster—Acquaintance with
Matthew Arnold—Publication of “Ecclesia”—Friendly
intercourse with Bible Revisionists—The Right Honourable
Cowper Temple’s bill for opening Church pulpits to
Nonconformists—Extension of Oxford University—Debate in
the House of Lords—Dinners at Mr. George Moore’s house
after the annual Bible meetings in Exeter Hall—Death of
Dean Alford and of Sir Donald Macleod—Party at Lambeth
Palace—Bishop Wilberforce’s extemporary power—Dr.
Guthrie’s social habits—The education question—Athenæum
Club—Academy Dinner—“Ecce Homo,” and Lord Shaftesbury
                              CHAPTER X
                                 1873
Voyage to America for the General Meeting of the               201–229
Evangelical Alliance—Hospitality of the President, the
Honourable Mr. Dodge—Visit to Sunnyside, where Washington
Irving lived, and to the Mountain House overlooking the
Hudson—The Niagara Falls—Four days spent on the
banks—Description of scenery—Montreal, Boston, Andover,
New Haven, and New Plymouth—New York—Proceedings at the
Conference—Reception of 600 guests by Mr. Dodge—Meetings
at Princeton, Philadelphia, and Washington—Note from the
poet Longfellow—Letter of Abraham Lincoln to Mr. Gurney
                              CHAPTER XI
                              1874–1875
Death of Dr. Binney—His opinion respecting the exclusion       230–250
of liturgical worship—Unveiling of Bunyan’s statue at
Bedford—Unveiling of Baxter’s statue at
Kidderminster—Anecdote of Fletcher’s preaching at
Madeley—Meeting at Kensington on my retirement—Dr.
Stanley’s speech—Kensington friendships—Results of visits
to the poor—Methods of preaching
                             CHAPTER XII
                              1875–1879
Luther celebrations—Death of Lady Augusta Stanley—Her “At      251–284
Homes”—Anecdotes of Lamartine, Guizot, and Lord
Russell—Touching words—Funeral in Westminster Abbey—The
three benedictions—The Dean’s account of the Royal
Marriage at St. Petersburg—Breakfast at Lambeth with
Archbishop Tait, and conversation relative to a
conference between Conformists and Nonconformists: The
plan, The meeting, Subject discussed—Character of the
Primate—Visit of the Queen to Mrs. Bagster, who was
nearly 100 years old—My pilgrimages to Ban de la Roche
and Broad Oak—Days at the Deanery with Dr. Stanley—My
lectures at Edinburgh—Scottish society—Singular discovery
of lost MSS.—Conference at Basle—Addresses of President
M. D. Sarasin—Death of Mrs. Stoughton
                             CHAPTER XIII
                              1879–1883
Conversation with a distinguished nobleman upon ideas of       285–313
religion amongst the upper classes—Days at Spezzia, Pisa,
and Florence—Introduction to Cardinal Howard, who sent an
invitation to visit him—Conversation with a friend of
his—The Cardinal’s reception very cordial—Offers of a
special introduction to the Vatican Library
authorities—Successful day in consequence—Protestant
brethren in Rome—Christian antiquities—Dr. Somerville’s
mission—Drive to Subiaco—Home through Venice—Revisit to
Italy in 1881—Special work in library at Florence amongst
memorials of Savonarola—Death of Dr. Stanley—Character
and habits—Cromwell’s skull—Tour in Germany—Sir William
McArthur’s mayoralty—Death of Archbishop Tait—Excursion
to the Grande Chartreuse
                             CHAPTER XIV
                              1883–1885
Journey to Spain in preparation of book on Spanish             314–337
Reformers: Through France to Figueras, Barcelona,
Tarragona, Poblet, Valencia, Cordova, Granada, Seville,
Madrid, Escorial, Toledo, Valladolid, Burgos
                              CHAPTER XV
                                 1885
Third and last visit to Rome—Changes in the city and its       338–360
surroundings—Where did Paul live during his
captivity?—Evangelical Alliance meetings at Edinburgh and
Glasgow—Death of Lord Chichester—Mr. Cheetham,
M.P.—Visits to Dr. Magee, Bishop of Peterborough—Lord
Ebury and Moor Park—Friends in Norfolk—Increase of Roman
Catholics in Kensington—Chapel openings at
Hastings—Autumnal meeting in 1886 at Norwich—Bishop’s
palace
                             CHAPTER XVI
I.  Church of England—II.  Presbyterians—III.                  361–391
Baptists—IV.  The Friends—V.  Methodists—VI.
Congregationalists



CHAPTER I
1807–1828


I WAS born in the parish of St. Michaels-at-Plea, Norwich, November 18th,
1807.  My father was in some respects a remarkable man.  For his great
integrity, he won the name of “the honest lawyer”; he would undertake no
cause, if unconvinced of its justice, and declined the office of coroner
because its duties would have shocked his feelings.  Of strong
understanding, and fond of reading, after living a thoughtless life, he
became an earnest Christian, and worshipped with Methodists, chiefly from
circumstances—still regarding himself as a member of the Established
Church.  Two elder sisters and an elder brother of mine were baptised by
the parish clergyman; so was I, the Archdeacon of London being my
godfather.  I have been told that I “was intended for the Church,” and
some Episcopalian friends have amused themselves with speculations as to
what might have been the result.

My mother before she married was a Quakeress, and used to tell of eminent
“Friends” she knew in her girlhood, especially Edmund Gurney, who
preached “with great power” in the Gildencroft Meeting House.  She was
brought up a Quakeress by her mother, but her father was, at least in
later life, a staunch Methodist.  She remembered John Wesley, and used to
tell how he took her up as a child and kissed her.

My father died in my fifth year.  Of him I have but a faint recollection.
My grandfather, at a distance now of seventy-five years, visibly stands
before me—a tall old gentleman with flaxen wig, large spectacles, a long,
blue, bright-buttoned coat, and big buckled shoes.  He was Master of
Bethel Hospital, an institution for the insane, in my native city; and,
as I spent much time with him for a year before his death, I saw and
heard a good deal of the patients under his care.  “Master,” said one of
them, “I want to propose a toast—may the devil never go abroad or receive
visitors at home.”  “What brought you here?” somebody asked an inmate.
“The loss of what you never had, or you would not ask such a question,”
was the prompt reply.  A man who fancied himself King of England drew on
his cell wall pictures of ships which he called his fleet, and would
never speak unless he was addressed as “Your Majesty.”  I once narrowly
escaped severe injury from a woman, who seized me as her child and
squeezed me so hard, that no violence could induce her to relax her
grasp; but gentle words, and a promise that I should be taken care of,
secured my release.  Alternate severity and indulgence, at that time, in
the treatment of patients led to a sad tragedy in the case of my
grandfather, who was killed by a man employed as gardener.  He was
thought to be harmless, and used to mow the lawn.  One morning he drew
the scythe across his master’s body and nearly cut him in two.

My mother had a dream the night before, and saw in it her father lying on
a bed, pale as ashes, which she interpreted as meaning something terrible
would happen to him.  When, at breakfast time, she was told by a
gentleman of what had occurred, she coupled it with what she had seen in
her sleep.

We were living at the time in a very old house with diamond-paned
windows, a brick-paved entrance hall, and some rambling passages.  I well
remember the little bedroom in which I slept.  There resided with us an
old lady, widow of a Norwich gentleman, who had been a friend of the
famous George Whitefield.  She used to tell anecdotes of the popular
preacher—how he called himself Dr. Squintum, and, when supping off
cowheel, a dish he liked, would say, he wondered what people would think
of his being so employed.

My mother had a strong verbal memory which her son has not inherited; and
it enabled her to instruct and entertain me by reciting long extracts in
prose and poetry.  She was a great reader and did much to instruct and
cultivate my mind by her frequent recitations.  My education owes more to
this, and other circumstances, than to schoolmasters under whom I was
placed.  However, of course, rudiments of knowledge fell to my lot in the
usual way; but my culture in chief resulted from devouring books, from
instructive conversation, and from the delight I felt in observing
nature, and looking on what was ancient.  When other boys were at play, I
liked to get by myself and read; biography and history having for me
pre-eminent charms.  Lord Nelson had been dead only a few years at the
time I speak of, and what I learnt about him as a Norfolk man immensely
gratified my curiosity.  His aunt was a friend of my grandmother, and
great was my delight to see and hear such a distinguished lady; the
gratification being enhanced by a bright shilling she slipped into my
hand.  The river Wensum, old trees by the water-side, the picturesque
village of Thorpe, Whitlingham White House and woods, the uplands of
Mousehold, walled-in gardens all over the city, wild hedgerows, sheltered
nooks and corners under weeping willows, cattle feeding in green meadows,
and swans swimming on the river—these objects afforded me an æsthetic
education.

From a child I took an interest in historical tales, and felt delight in
listening to my mother’s memories of early days.  She recollected the
American war, and spoke of a family dispute amongst her elders, which
lasted just as long—ten years.  Excitement in William Pitt’s day she
brought vividly before me; and she told how Thelwall, the orator,
delivered revolutionary harangues, and being attacked by a mob, he was
glad to escape by clambering over the roofs of houses.  The trials of
Horne Tooke, Hardy, and others, and Erskine’s famous speeches in their
defence, were in my boyhood modern incidents.  Objects in the city
excited archæological tastes.  The Norman keep, Herbert de Lozinga’s
Cathedral, Erpingham Gate, the Grammar School, the Bishop’s palace, with
ruins in the garden, dilapidated towers on the edge of the river, Guild
Hall, St. Andrew’s Hall, and the Old Men’s Hospital—these had for me a
mighty charm, creating fancies by day and dreams by night.  The East
Anglian city had not old houses such as Prout found on the Continent, but
it contained picturesque, tumble-down tenements, and other “bits,”
sketched in “Highways and Byeways of Old Norwich.”  The sight of these
created a habit of looking after ancient quaint remains, which has never
forsaken me.

Guild day, with its triumphal arches, carpets and flags hung out of
windows, Darby and Joan sitting in a green arbour, the Mayor’s coach
attended by “Snap,” and the “whifflers”; the rush-strewn cathedral
pavement, as the Corporation marched up the nave—all this gave birth to
boyish enthusiasm for the picturesque.  Every Guild day, on a green baize
platform near the west door of the cathedral, the head boy of the Grammar
School delivered a Latin oration before his Worship.  What envy that boy
aroused in my bosom!  Elections, too, were objects of intense interest to
me as a childish politician, when Whig candidates were carried in
blue-and-white satin chairs, on the shoulders of men who tossed them up,
as the Goths did their heroes upon battle shields.

As to another part of my education, I loved to read the lives of eminent
people, and devoured a good many memoirs of men and women in religious
magazines.  Norwich was at that time distinguished for literary,
artistic, and benevolent celebrities; and I felt proud as a boy to think
of them as pertaining to my own birthplace.  The appearance of several
amongst them I have still, after the lapse of seventy years, vividly
before me—Mrs. Opie, the Taylors, the Martineaus, Joseph John Gurney, and
Bishop Bathurst, with several beside.

May I add, the first sight of the sea at Yarmouth I can never forget.  It
was a November morning in my ninth year.  The sky looked angry; the
wind-swept waters and tall billows broke furiously on the beach; the hulk
of a stranded vessel lay on the sands—emblem of life’s shattered hopes.

Public excitements prevailed in my boyish days beyond what the present
generation has witnessed.  After the battle of Waterloo, and the
consequent peace, which was coupled with an idea of plenty, large loaves
were paraded on poles as symbols of abundant food, mistakenly supposed to
come as a natural consequence now that Buonaparte was conquered.  There
arose, instead of this, much distress amongst the lower class, greatly
owing to corn-laws enacted for the protection of agricultural interests.
Bread riots followed, and I now catch glimpses of a mob in 1816 marching
to the New Mills to sack a granary, and shoot into the flushes of the
river Wensum, loads of grain and flour.  Such tumults were surpassed in
breadth and depth of feeling, amongst the upper class, by the excitement
attending the return to England of Queen Caroline after the accession of
George IV. in 1820.  Never have I known such agitation in private
circles, as when society split from top to bottom on the question of her
Majesty’s character and wrongs.  For months there were almost incessant
processions from London to Hammersmith in honour of the lady, who was
sojourning at Brandenburgh House.  Unnumbered addresses were presented to
her, and whenever her carriage appeared, it evoked rapturous shouts.
During her trial things were done and said startling beyond parallel.
Documents full of abominable details were deposited in a “green bag,”
which called to mind the words in Job xiv. 17; and when filthy evidence
was furnished on the king’s side against his wife, counsel on her side
attacked him as a second Nero, and compared him to the infernal shadow in
Milton, which “the likeness of a kingly crown had on.”  Round the
hearthstone families and friends were divided on this absorbing subject;
and such word battles as Home Rule now occasions were then far surpassed.

My school days over, I entered a lawyer’s office.  He put into my hands
“Blackstone’s Commentaries,” which interested me less in what was said
about real and personal property, the rights of things and the rights of
persons, with the law of descent and entail, than in what appeared
touching legislation, and the principles of government.  De Lolme on “The
Constitution,” I read with avidity.  Having to attend the Law Courts at
times, I listened to forensic eloquence with great interest; a love for
oratory being further gratified by hearing speeches at public meetings
when Lord Suffield and Joseph John Gurney advocated negro emancipation
and other reforms.

Theological discussions interested me immensely.  The lawyer in whose
office I was became a Roman Catholic, and, finding me an inquisitive
youngster, talked on the subject, explaining the doctrines and ceremonies
of his Church.  Whilst the information he gave me was worth having, I
determined to read Milner’s “End of Religious Controversy,” and other
Catholic books; and beyond my interest respecting matters of an
antiquarian flavour, I felt the importance of ascertaining true grounds
for Protestant beliefs.  My master took me once a week to North Walsham,
and in cold winter nights, as the moon shone on the snow-sprinkled
hedges, plied me with arguments for transubstantiation, purgatory, and
the like.  I ventured humbly to dispute his positions, and to contend for
truths on the opposite side; though the match was unequal between a boy
of fifteen and a man of forty, primed by the priest to whom he owed his
conversion.  Those night drives were useful, and led me to see some of
the better aspects of Roman Catholic faith and character, whilst they
aroused inquiry, and led to clearer convictions than I might otherwise
have reached respecting principles in debate.  Here let me observe that
early intercourse with friends of different denominations has in the best
sense broadened my habit of looking at questions, and inspired a
tolerance, not of error itself, but of persons holding error, because
they are often better than their creeds, and have in them a great deal
that is good, as well as something of another quality.  Quiet intercourse
in early life with members of various denominations I find to have been a
school for the culture of Christian charity.

Removed when about sixteen to another office, with the idea of entering
the legal profession, I met with fellow-clerks of education and taste,
who proved very helpful; one in particular became an intimate friend.  He
had been a favourite pupil of an eminent classical schoolmaster, and was
well up in Horace.  We had much talk on subjects of common interest.  His
temperament had a melancholy tinge, owing to his state of health, for he
was in a slow consumption, but behind dark clouds there lay a sky full of
humour, and his conversation often sparkled with unaffected wit.  He
could be a little satirical at the expense of juvenile follies, in which
he did not share; whilst amiability kept him from giving pain to the most
sensitive.  Our friendship continued until his early death, when he
passed away “in the faith and hope of the Gospel.”

Amongst early educational influences which I enjoyed may be reckoned the
opportunities I had of listening to public speakers of different
kinds—lawyers at the bar, preachers in the pulpit, orators on the
platform, and candidates during elections; for Norwich was contested most
earnestly in my boyhood.  Moreover, the city was remarkable for musical
culture.  It had weekly concerts.  Festivals also occurred; these I
attended again and again with much enjoyment.  My friends who know my
ignorance of music will smile at this.

It might be when I was about seventeen that on a Sunday morning I took a
walk into the country with a volume of Chalmers’ sermons under my arm.  I
read one of them on Rom. v. 10.  The perusal deeply affected me, and on
the evening of the same day, I heard a Methodist minister preach upon
John iii. 16.  These two impressions commenced a lifelong change in my
experience and character—a change so great, that it led to the
abandonment of my former occupation, and issued in the consecration of my
after-days to the Gospel ministry.

About that time a journey to London on legal business gave me an
opportunity of hearing distinguished preachers, Dr. Adam Clarke and Dr.
Collyer amongst the rest—a privilege which deepened my religious
convictions.  I may observe in passing, as regards my visit to London,
that the first sight of it, on a dull morning after a night in the
Norwich mail, I have never forgotten—Bishopsgate-street, the Old Post
Office, and all round the Mansion House—how different the neighbourhood
appeared in 1826 from what it does now!  In Waterloo-place, Pall Mall, I
spent more than a month, and I can now see George IV. descending the
steps of Carlton House (where the Duke of York’s column stands), leaning
on a page’s shoulder on the way to his carriage.

On returning to Norwich, my thoughts fixed on the subject which had
previously engaged my attention.  A few years ago, when conversing with a
friend in the coffee-room of the House of Commons, a report was mentioned
of a certain Dissenting minister’s intention to enter Parliament, if a
seat could be obtained.  My friend remarked emphatically, “That would be
a come-down.”  He himself at that time held office, and was on the way to
become a Right Honourable; and when I expressed my surprise to hear him
talk so, he rejoined that he considered the Gospel ministry as the
highest employment on earth when a man really “_was called to it_.”  I
felt, sixty years ago, exactly in that way, and only wished to know that
such a call awaited me.  I spent some months in coming to a conclusion,
and at length felt convinced that it was my duty and privilege to spend
life in Christian preaching and pastoral work.

Then arose the question, In what ecclesiastical connexion?  My relation
to Methodism had arisen from circumstances, but now some study of
ecclesiastical principles was necessary.  I began to read what I could on
the subject, acquainting myself with different sides, and being open to
conviction one way or another.  I had no predilections, and was ready to
be either a clergyman or a Dissenting minister.  I arrived at the
conclusion that Congregationalism, _on the whole_, as far as I understood
it, came nearest to New Testament teaching; but that probably no existing
connexion corresponded exactly with Churches of the first century.  What
I thought then has been confirmed by studies in after-years, devoted
largely to the New Testament and the history of Christendom.  I have
learned to distinguish between principles lying at the basis of religious
beliefs and existing organisations through which they are worked out.
The former may be true and sound, whilst the latter are defective, and in
some points mistaken.

It is curious that at the time I first made up my mind I knew socially
next to nothing of Congregationalists as a body; my chief associations
having been with Methodists, Quakers, Church-people, and a few Roman
Catholics.  I joined the venerable society of Christians assembling in
the Old Meeting House, Norwich; its fathers and founders having been
gathered into Church fellowship, during the seventeenth century, under
the teaching and influence of William Bridge, who resided in Yarmouth;
some of the members being Norwich folk.  When I expressed my desire for
the ministry to two Dissenting ministers—the pastor of the Old Meeting
House and his friend who occupied Princes-street pulpit—I met with
different opinions, the former advising me to pursue the study of law,
the latter encouraging my desire for the ministry.  In the end these two
friends concurred in advice, the consequence being my introduction to
Highbury College, London.

I had from the beginning cautions against forsaking in after-life the
pulpit for any other post.  William Godwin, the famous author of
“Political Justice” and other works, also W. J. Fox, the Anti-Corn-law
lecturer, a distinguished public character at that time, had been
intended for the Dissenting ministry, and, indeed, entered it.  By a
remarkable coincidence, both these distinguished men were connected with
the Old Meeting House, where I then was accustomed to worship.  Their
abandonment of an early faith and a sacred calling for the sake of
literature and politics, was held up to me as a beacon, to warn me off
dangerous rocks.

Before noticing my entrance into college, I may be allowed to mention
that the congregation which I joined contained some noteworthy people.
Mr. William Youngman was a hard-headed, intelligent, and inquisitive man,
much given to theological argument and incisive criticism of current
opinions.  He tried the patience of orthodox religionists, and was the
terror of neophytes.  Once, when I dined with him, he commenced talking
about original sin as I was hanging up my hat, and went on in the same
strain to the end of my visit.  He found his match at book meetings in
Mr. Thomas Brightwell, F.R.S., an eminent naturalist, whose name is
perpetuated in a memoir of a plant called after him, to be found, if I
correctly remember, in the Transactions of the Royal Society.  He was a
diligent student of the Bible, and published notes on the Old Testament,
drawn chiefly from the Scholia of Rosenmuller and Michaelis.

In 1828 I entered Highbury College, afterwards merged in New College, St.
John’s Wood; the professors—or tutors as they were called in my
time—being Dr. Henderson, Dr. Burder, and Dr. Halley.  Dr. Henderson had
been engaged in foreign missionary and Bible work, spending much time in
St. Petersburg, Copenhagen, and Stockholm, where he became acquainted
with the languages of Northern Europe.  He drilled us in the languages of
the Old Testament, initiated some small study in Syriac, and delivered
elaborate lectures on the evidences and doctrines of Christianity.  He
suggested essays to be written during the vacation on subjects demanding
research, and he regularly required the careful preparation of comments
on the original Scriptures, to be delivered _viva voce_ in class.  Dr.
Burder was son of George Burder, once well known as the author of
“Village Sermons.”  He lectured on mental and moral philosophy, and
employed as text-books the works of Reid, Stewart, and Brown having
himself graduated in a Scotch university.  Exceedingly careful,
conscientious, and precise, he opposed all bold speculations, and was
incapable of sympathy with mystical thinkers.  He had a clear
apprehension of whatever he taught, and used to lay down as a canon of
composition.  “Express yourselves, not so that you _may_, but so that you
_must_ be understood.”  Dr. Halley was a good classical scholar,
impulsive, unsystematic, and by no means a severe disciplinarian.  He
enthusiastically admired Demosthenes and Cicero, and to hear him give
extempore versions of these orators was an immense treat.  We read with
him some Greek tragedians and Latin poets, and he delivered lectures on
history and antiquities.  Mathematics came within his department; but,
certainly in my time, he never turned out a wrangler.  His influence,
however, was very stimulative, and he inspired when he did not instruct.

Defects in the Nonconformist educational system were apparent to me at
that time, much more so have they become to me ever since; but, to a
considerable extent, they arose from uncontrollable circumstances, so
many students having had few advantages in their boyhood.  I have lived
to witness a great improvement in Nonconformist college methods.

It should not be omitted that during the latter part of our term a few of
us attended the mental and moral philosophy class of Professor Hoppus in
the London University College, Gower Street, that institution having been
established by friends of unsectarian education, and numbering on its
councils, and amongst its officers, several Nonconformists.



CHAPTER II
1828–1832


MY most distinguished fellow-student for intellectual power and literary
attainment was Henry Rogers, afterwards a large contributor to the
_Edinburgh Review_.  Some of the articles he wrote for that periodical
have been published as essays in three volumes.  His feeble voice stood
in the way of his being an effective preacher; but his learning and
ability eminently fitted him for the duties of a professor.  In that
capacity he rendered high service at Spring Hill, Birmingham, and next,
at Lancashire College, Manchester.  He was highly esteemed by Lord
Macaulay, and Archbishop Whately; excessive modesty alone prevented his
introduction to the highest literary circles.

He was a clear-headed, acute thinker and reasoner, delighting in Socratic
talk, trotting out an unsuspicious conversationalist, until he entangled
him in inconsistency and contradictions, the remembrance of which might
be afterwards useful.  Rogers, to the end of life, was a humble and
devout Christian.  Our intercourse in after-days was pleasant, and to me
most encouraging.

William Drew, who became a devoted Indian missionary, was another of my
contemporaries, and, from sympathy with him, I caught a portion of his
spirit; had I possessed the needful qualifications, I could have devoted
myself to a similar enterprise.

Samuel Bergne, for many years an able and much-appreciated secretary of
the British and Foreign Bible Society, was another of my fellow-students.
With him I became extremely intimate, owing, in part, to an extraordinary
family affair, which I have been requested to relate.  My father, before
he married, had living with him a sister, to whom he was strongly
attached.  After their separation, she went to reside in London, and
dropped all correspondence with him; to the day of his death he could
never ascertain what had become of her.  Methods were adopted to find out
her residence, but all in vain.  More than thirty years had elapsed since
she disappeared, when one day I met Bergne, who had been visiting his
mother at Brompton.  “Have not you a relative there?” he asked.  “Not
that I know of,” was my reply.  Then he told me that an evening or two
before, as he was sitting by the fire, it flashed upon him how he had
heard that an old friend of his mother’s, before her marriage, bore the
same name as mine; that she came from Norwich, and that her brother was a
lawyer.  I was taken aback by what my friend said, and then related what
I had heard in childhood respecting my father’s long-lost sister.
“Depend upon it,” he exclaimed, “I have found for you the lady your
family have been seeking in vain.”  I soon received a request to meet the
stranger at Mrs. Bergne’s house, when something like a scene occurred, as
the separated relatives stood face to face.  Yet neither then nor
afterwards did she shed any light upon the mystery.  She had a husband
who proved to be no less a mystery.  We never could learn anything about
his connections; but, at the time of my introduction to him he was
engaged on _The Morning Post_.  We afterwards learned from himself, as
well as others, that he had been employed in this country as an agent of
the Imperial French Court; certainly he had in his possession a key to
the cipher-writing, used by the first Napoleon.  He showed me relics of
that extraordinary man, and had much to say of several notabilities at
home and abroad.  What of fact mingled with fiction in his strange
disclosures I cannot say; but, after his death, I saw some of his papers,
including an unintelligible correspondence between Mr. Canning and
himself; also letters relating to private scandals of great people, only
fit to be thrown into the fire.  He lived in an imaginary world, and used
to say that Napoleon Buonaparte was still living.  To his influence, I
suppose, the mystery which shrouded my aunt’s life after her marriage,
might be ascribed.

The four years I spent at Highbury were marked by much political
excitement.  In 1828 the Corporation and Test Acts were repealed.  The
Catholic Relief Bill was carried in 1829.  In 1830 William IV. succeeded
his brother.  The “three days of July” the same year occurred in Paris:
the abdication of Charles X., and the accession of Louis Philippe,
swiftly followed each other; and a fresh impetus was thus given to the
cause of English liberalism.  The Duke of Wellington’s protest against
reform, the defeat of the Ministry on the Civil List, and the
introduction of the Reform Bill the next year, produced an excitement
which I do not think has been equalled since, though for passionate
discussion in the homes of England, it has been surpassed by what
occurred during the trial of Queen Caroline.  Earl Grey, Lord Brougham,
and Lord John Russell were popular idols, their names in everybody’s
mouth, their portraits looking down from innumerable shop windows, their
busts set up in house after house, their likenesses printed on
handkerchiefs and stamped on pipes and jugs, and all sorts of ware.  They
were mobbed and hurrahed wherever they went, and their carriages were
dragged by the populace through streams knee-deep.

At that period the old House of Commons was standing, and went by the
name of St. Stephen’s Chapel.  Within its walls the Reform battle was
fought; and there still lingered round it memories of Pitt and Fox, Burke
and Sheridan.  I had a great curiosity to see this English forum, and
when I obtained admission, with my tutor, Dr. Halley, who explained the
building and what was going on, I seemed to be in an old Presbyterian
meeting-house, with galleries on three sides, the Speaker’s chair, with
its wooden canopy, resembling a pulpit, at the farther end.  Members were
“cribbed, cabined, and confined.”  The forms of the House were
interesting to me, and afforded a framework in which to insert images of
men in the reign of George II.  I had but to put Court dresses and cocked
hats on the members, and forthwith the age of Walpole came back to view.
A messenger from the Lords, the bowing of an officer as he approached the
table, with its wigged clerks, and other matters of ceremony illustrated
my readings of Parliament business in olden times.

One figure especially I now recall—that of Sir Charles Wetherall, a
fierce opponent of reform.  Up he rose, violently gesticulating, his
shirt very visible between his black waistcoat and dark nether garment.

The coronation of William IV. and Queen Adelaide indicated a change in
that august ceremonial, which showed how reform touched royal pageantry.
Though an instance of a double coronation, it came short of the elaborate
display when the previous monarch sat alone in Edward’s chair.  I saw the
procession going down to Westminster, along a narrow street at Charing
Cross—old-fashioned shabby shops standing where now you catch sight of
palatial hotels—old Northumberland House, with its gardens, occupying the
space now become a broad avenue.  The beefeaters, the trumpeters, and the
footmen in attendance upon the gaudy state-coach, with its royal
occupants, were very picturesque.  And what a crush there was to avoid
the mob streaming down from the Haymarket!

All sorts of reports were afloat, tending to make the new king popular.
It was said, that immediately after his accession, he came to town in the
dickey of his carriage, and invited, after an unceremonious manner, his
old naval friends to come and dine with him.  A story went the round with
rare applause that, after the defeat of the Reform Bill, when he wanted
to dissolve Parliament, he said if the royal carriages could not be got
ready, he would go in a hackney coach.  How far such tales were true I do
not know; but a nobleman, present at one of His Majesty’s dinner-parties
at the Brighton Pavilion, told me that, on that occasion, the king
toasted some of his guests in sailor fashion, and remarked that his
seafaring pursuits had scarcely fitted him for a throne.  Then, pointing
to the queen, he added that for any improvement in his ways he was
indebted to that good lady.  The story raised him in my estimation and
that of many others.

I must now turn from politics and royalty to what was more in my own way.

The Rev. Daniel Wilson, afterwards Bishop of Calcutta, stood high amongst
London Evangelicals as Vicar of Islington, and I sometimes heard him in
his crowded church; but my great delight was to walk down to Camberwell
to listen to Henry Melvill, then in the zenith of his popularity.  His
manner was peculiar—he had a curious shake of the head, and a strange
inflection of voice at the end of a sentence, which kept up attention.
As to style, he was artificial in the extreme; every paragraph seeming to
be planned on the same model, ending with the words of his text as a
well-turned climax.  The preacher swept his auditors along with the force
of a torrent from point to point.  I heard him at Barnes, when he was
advanced in life, deliver one of his old discourses, I should judge
little, if at all, altered; but it lacked the fire of early days, and the
congregation evinced little of the sympathy which seemed to quiver in
London churches at the sound of his voice twenty or thirty years before.

Rowland Hill, though a very old man in 1830, continued to fill Surrey
Chapel with a crowded audience.  I listened to a sermon in which he
recommended young people when they set up house-keeping to secure one
piece of furniture especially—_i.e._, the looking-glass of a good
conscience, so that husband and wife, keeping it clean, might see
themselves in it, with joy and thankfulness; “for a good man is satisfied
from himself,” and, he added, “so is a good woman.”  John Angell James,
of Birmingham, was one of the most popular preachers at that time, and he
occasionally occupied Surrey Chapel pulpit; but William Jay, of Bath, was
a more regular “supply,” and echoes of his sonorous voice I still catch
as I read his pithy and impressive sermons.  When he came to preach
Rowland Hill’s funeral sermon I had left college, and he honoured me with
an invitation to preach for him at Bath the Sunday following.  In 1886,
when I occupied the same pulpit in my old age, a lady told me that she
remembered my being there more than fifty years before, when the people
wondered at their pastor’s sending “such a boy to take his place.”  A
similar occurrence had happened when Jay first preached for Rowland Hill.

James Parsons, of York, was a frequent visitor to London, and used to
occupy for several Sundays in the year the pulpit of Moorfields
Tabernacle, and that of Tottenham Court Chapel.  Congregations gathered
an hour before service to listen to this youthful preacher.  He had been
educated for the law, and, with a strong taste for rhetorical efforts,
had cultivated, by the study of English authors, his own extraordinary
gift for public speaking.  Almost inaudible at first, his voice would
gradually rise into tones shrill and penetrating; and after repeated
pauses, when people relieved themselves by bursts of coughing, he would,
during his peroration, wind them up to such a pitch of excitement as I
have never witnessed since.  He was thoroughly evangelical and devout,
and did an immense deal of spiritual good.  I became intimately
acquainted with him in after-years, and found in his friendship a source
of much enjoyment.  His conversations in the parlour were as full of
anecdote and humour as his sermons in the pulpit were of pathos and
power.  I have heard a member of Parliament, one of his deacons at York,
say that Mr. Parsons’ eloquence in early days was perfectly electrifying,
and that, as he listened to him at that time, he felt as if he must lay
hold on the top of his pew to prevent being swept away by the force of
the preacher’s appeals.

Edward Irving occupied the Caledonian Church in Hatton Garden, a retired
and ugly-looking Presbyterian meeting-house; but the nobility flocked
round him, and it was picturesque to see Scotch schoolboys in Highland
kilts placed in front of the pulpit.  As I was trying to get in at a side
door, up walked the gigantic orator, with his black locks and
broad-brimmed beaver, as if an old Covenanter had risen from the dead.
An infant lying in the arms of that strong man added to the effect of the
picture.  His manner at that period was grand.  His sermons were
carefully prepared and read, every word, but with a blended majesty and
pathos which no extempore utterance could exceed; and his reading of the
twenty-third Psalm, Scotch version, was inimitable.  His favourite word,
“_Fatherhood_,” quoted by Mr. Canning with admiration, and now so
hackneyed, impressed religious people wonderfully by its freshness.  A
fellow-student took me some time afterwards to call on him at his house
in the then New Road.  He was unwell and sat by the fireside wrapped in a
blue gown.  He talked to me for some time on the subject of baptism, the
right understanding of which, he said, was a key to many theological
questions.  I could not assent to all he said, nor indeed understand it,
but did not dare, at my age, to make any reply.  When he had ended he
slowly rose from his chair.  It seemed as if he would never finish
rising, he was so tall.  When erect, he waved his hand to a nursemaid,
who was walking across the room with a babe in her arms, and then,
placing his hand on my head, he offered a solemn intercession, suggesting
the idea of a Hebrew prophet blessing a young Israelite.

At a later period he took up peculiar views on prophecy, and on some
ecclesiastical points.  Then he became wild and incoherent.  I heard him
preach outside Coldbath Prison to a few bystanders, very differently from
what he had done in Hatton Garden.  He seemed to have lost unction as
well as thoughtfulness and eloquence.  On a cold winter morning, before
breakfast, several students and myself walked down to his new church in
Regent Square to witness “the gift of tongues,” which, amongst other
imaginations, he believed had been miraculously bestowed.  The building
was dark, for the sun had not risen, and the mysterious gloom heightened
the effect of the exhibition which followed.  First arose inarticulate
screams, then exclamations of “He is coming!” “He is co-m-i-ng!” drawn
out in marvellous quavers.  What appeared to me inarticulate and
incomprehensible sounds, were regarded by him and many people as Divine
utterances.  They deemed them the return of Pentecost—a gift of tongues.
At London Wall Church I saw him afterwards arraigned before the
presbytery for heretical opinions touching the Lord’s humanity.  He
fought his battle manfully; and whatever people might think of his
sentiments, they could scarcely fail to be impressed with the sincerity
and earnestness of the man.  The trial issued in his expulsion from
Regent Square—poor fellow!  It is touching to think of his history;
popularity was his snare.  It turned his head; yet, after all, he
sacrificed that very popularity to sincere convictions.  His latest life
was an instance of martyrdom for conscience’ sake.  Those who condemn his
opinions must honour the man.

Dr. Chalmers came to preach at Regent Square.  After the benefit derived
from his printed sermons, I might well desire to hear his voice.  The
pitch of excitement to which he wrought himself up surpassed everything
of the kind I ever witnessed.  His vehemence was terrific, yet all seemed
natural.  He was John Knox over again—John Knox in manner, more than John
Knox in thought and eloquence of expression.  He moved on “hinges,” as
Robert Hall said, or rather, “like a cloud, that moveth altogether, if it
move at all.”  The fact is, he felt what he was saying.  It went down to
the depths of his own soul, and hence it reached the souls of others.
The crowd in the church was immense, numbers standing all the time; yet
it was curious to learn that the sermon was already in print—in print, I
believe, years before.  He often redelivered his discourses, even after
publication; and Dr. Wardlaw of Glasgow told me his distinguished
neighbour informed him, that he tried to lessen the crowds at church by
announcing that next time he meant to deliver what they had heard
already.  “Yet,” with a childlike simplicity the old man added, “they
come in still larger numbers than before!”  Not many preachers are
troubled in that way.

At the time now referred to, religious services were not multiplied as at
present; hence great interest was taken amongst London Congregationalists
in what were called “Monthly Lectures,” given by ministers who carefully
prepared what they delivered.  Three come back to my recollection now.
The first, in Jewin Street, was delivered by Dr. Collyer, a popular
divine, who attracted the notice of royalty, and had the Dukes of Kent
and of Sussex to hear him.  I knew him well in after-days, when he spoke
of friendly intercourse with him, vouchsafed on the part of Queen
Victoria’s father.  The subject of the doctor’s lecture was “Our Colonial
Empire,” and a felicitous text was selected from Ezek. xxviii. 14–16.  He
urged on his audience the claims of distant colonies, then much
neglected; and he painted vivid pictures of England’s commercial wealth
and vast possessions, insisting strongly on our national
responsibilities.  The second I remember was in Claremont Chapel, from
the lips of my tutor, Dr. Halley, on the importance of intercessory
prayer, showing its place in Church history, as a pivot on which turned
events of unutterable importance.  A third, at Bermondsey, was delivered
by a minister of great pulpit gifts, named Dobson, who discoursed on the
topic of the final resurrection.  I am not in the habit of saying the
former days were better than these, yet I may be permitted to express my
opinion that those three lectures would bear favourable comparison with
the best productions in Nonconformist homiletics at the present day.
Among venerable forms present at these lectures, to officiate or listen,
were Dr. Winter, of New Court, now covered by buildings sacred to the
law, a man of high repute, stout in figure, and strong in opinion; and
Dr. Pye Smith, spare, attenuated, ethereal in presence, Melancthon-like
in spirit, and as full of learning as Melancthon, with scientific
knowledge which entitled him to the place he held by the side of
accomplished geologists.  I may also mention James Stratten, of
Paddington, who had an eagle’s eye, and a combination of face, voice,
thought, and style which rendered him unique amongst preachers,—like
Rembrandt amongst artists—rich in lights and shadows.  Nor should Dr.
Fletcher, of Stepney, be forgotten, whose purity of thought, felicity of
diction, and depth of evangelical sentiment attracted large audiences.
The Claytons were well-known members of this goodly fellowship.  How
these and other names are passing out of remembrance!

Looking back to “sixty years since,” I am struck with the difference
between certain aspects of Metropolitan Nonconformity presented then, and
others familiar now.  Indeed, a similar state of things is obvious when
we turn to the religious history of other great cities.  Citizens then
for the most part _lived_ in London.  Westminster and the opposite side
of the Thames saw, on Sundays and week days, in the same neighbourhood
both the poor and rich.  Thus pious families exerted an immediate and
constant influence where they lived, and my remembrance of Metropolitan
domestic life then is intensely gratifying.  There were happy homes in
London where now want and misery abound.  Organised district work goes
on, but it is a poor substitute for the presence of godly and
philanthropic people in their own homesteads, coming in constant contact
with those who needed sympathy and help.

Efforts were not wanting for the benefit of London on the part of
Christian people in general.  The City Mission had then been recently
founded, and students in Highbury College lent a hand in work amongst the
poor.  I remember a district in existence, called Saffron Hill, full of
old tenements now swept away.  Some fellow-students went with me to the
spot on a Sunday afternoon, and we preached from a doorstep, while women
looked down from their windows, and perhaps men below were smoking their
pipes.  Drury Lane was a dirty, neglected neighbourhood; and, in a room
hired there, we conducted a service on Sunday nights.  Sometimes
disturbances arose, but the work went on.  Nor were certain districts in
the country round London neglected.  There we preached and visited the
aged sick, praying by the bedside, and ministering such instruction and
comfort as we were able.

Public religious meetings in those days were comparatively rare, and the
style of speaking was different from what it is now—more ornate, with
apostrophes and appeals of a kind which has vanished away.  The annual
Bible gathering was held in Freemasons’ Hall, the floor covered with a
closely-packed audience.  A passage was partitioned off on the left hand
side for the access of speakers to the platform, who were eagerly
watched, and loudly applauded, as they approached, their heads amusingly
bobbing up and down as they quickened their pace.  The diminutive William
Wilberforce, eye-glass in hand, his head on one side, came skipping
along; Dr. Ryder, Bishop of Gloucester, with big wig, and smooth apron,
followed at a more dignified pace; Cunningham, Noel, and other
evangelical celebrities were sure to be present.  Rowland Hill, by his
quizzical look, and humorous tongue, could not fail to make a mark; and
Burnet of Cork, who afterwards became pastor of the Independent
Congregation, Camberwell, was a vast favourite, his rising to speak being
a signal for loud cheers.  There he would stand, calmly extemporising
sentences which exactly hit the occasion, and the audience—all eyes
turned towards him—upturned faces seeming, as he said, to resemble “a
tesselated pavement.”  He liked to compare North and South Ireland with
one another, as showing the contrast between a Bible-reading and a
Bible-ignoring population.

After Exeter Hall had been opened there arose a tremendous controversy
about Unitarians and the Bible Society.  Some well-known speakers could
not get a hearing, and the scene on the platform was terribly confused,
until Rowland Hill rose and put the assembly in good humour, by remarking
that he “would accept the Bible from the hands of the devil; only he
would keep him at a distance, and take his gift with a pair of tongs.”

In the same place anti-slavery meetings were held.  I remember one in
particular when, besides Buxton and Mackintosh, O’Connell and Sheil were
present.  Mackintosh spoke with philosophical calmness.  O’Connell was
full of invective, satire, and pathos; one moment terrific in
denunciation, then heart-melting in tones of sympathy; now stamping with
his foot, and laying hold of his scratch wig, as if he would tear it in
pieces; next, with gentle whispers, drawing tears, or creating laughter.
Sheil, in a torrent of declamation, was carried off his legs, borne along
by his own impetuosity, completely overmastered by himself; whilst his
Irish friend never lost self-control amidst most violent storms of
passion.

Some time afterwards, I listened to Lord Brougham in the same hall on the
same subject.  He was then past his best days, but flashes of oratory,
full of satire and invective against the party he had left, burst forth
in a long speech, which, as chairman, he delivered in the middle of the
proceedings, to the interruption of previous arrangements.  It was, I
suppose, by no means equal to his earlier efforts, but enough remained of
thunder and lightning to remind one of his eulogised resemblance to
Demosthenes.



CHAPTER III
1832–1837


WHEN I first saw Windsor in the winter of 1830–31 how different the town
appeared from what it did afterwards!  All about Thames Street and Castle
Hill was crowded with old houses and shops on both sides of the way, and
the walls bounding Lower Ward were hidden from view, except where the
Clock Tower, which stood in advance, looked down upon the passers-by.  A
large plain brick mansion, called the Queen’s Lodge, long since removed,
occupied the right hand of the road leading to York and Lancaster Gate,
while old-fashioned tenements lined the approach to the royal precincts.
On the night of my first arrival patches of snow covered the roofs, and
dotted the pediments of doors and windows; over Henry VIII.’s gateway
hung a gorgeous hatchment in memory of George IV., who had not long
before left this life.  It was slow travelling from London to Windsor in
those days, especially when the waters were out, and the roads were
heavy, and thick fogs rendered the leaders invisible to the coachman;
whilst deep ruts clogged the wheels and now and then an icy flood came up
to the axles.  In the town I heard a great deal about “Windsor of the
olden time,” when highway robbers were rife, and gentlemen who took to
the road would lie in wait under cover of a plantation, and, galloping
over a field, stop the traveller and lighten him of his purse.  According
to one informant, a tradesman in High Street, at the latter part of the
eighteenth century, kept a swift-trotting nag, which he mounted after
dark to do a little business on the road, and then returned richer than
he went.  People at that time, as I heard some of them say, did not think
of riding or driving over Hounslow Heath alone; but, when approaching
that ill-famed spot where gibbets lingered by the roadside, were careful
to wait till a number was formed able to defend themselves against the
attack of thieves.  The sobriety of many inhabitants in the royal borough
did not stand high, and at mayors’ feasts the guests did not think they
sufficiently honoured the hospitalities of the evening, unless they drank
so much as made it difficult for them to find their way home.

Anecdotes of George III. were rife.  I heard that he used to rise early,
take a walk before breakfast, and sit down in a certain bookseller’s
shop, looking at publications on the counter.  But one morning he saw a
book by Tom Paine lying there; after that he paid no more visits.
Sometimes he said very shrewd things.  A Bow-street runner, named
Townsend, liked to attend early prayers when His Majesty was present, and
to make himself heard in loud responses.  One day he was running about
after service looking for something he could not find.  “Townsend,
Townsend, what are you after?”  “I have lost my hat, please your
Majesty.”  “You prayed well,” was the monarch’s rejoinder; “but you did
not watch.”  The king had a wonderful memory; and once, as a troop of
yeomanry rode past in review, he pointed out a man amongst them of whom
he had bought a horse twenty years before, and whom he had not seen
afterwards.

An old inhabitant, who became my father-in-law, vouched for the truth of
some of these stories; and bore testimony, not only to the condescension
and familiarity of George III., but to the kindness and consideration of
George IV.  One remark which my friend and relative used to make as he
was walking through the apartments of the castle, produced a startling
effect.  Stopping before the picture of Charles I., he would say: “He
looks just as he did when I last saw him.”  The fact was that my relative
was present when Sir Henry Halford superintended the exhumation of the
beheaded king; and he first caught a glimpse of the royal face, because
he assisted in cutting open the coffin lid.  The face was perfect, and
exactly resembled Vandyke’s famous portrait of Charles I.  When exposed
to the air the dust crumbled away.

After preaching at Windsor, as a student, several times, I received an
invitation to become co-pastor of the Congregational church.  The Rev. A.
Redford, a man of singular consistency of character, who by his conduct
as a Christian minister won the respect and confidence of the town
generally, as well as of his own little flock, had been in office for
many years, and needed assistance in his sacred calling.  He won my
heart; and as a son with a father I laboured with him in the gospel.
George III., who had a domestic or two in his household attending on this
good man’s preaching, was heard to say: “The clergy are paid by the
country to pray for me, but Mr. Redford’s praying is without pay.”

In the prospect of my becoming co-pastor, the congregation in 1832
determined to build a new chapel, the one in existence being not
sufficiently large; and as a sign of the honour in which the senior
minister was held, I may mention, that Church-people, as well as
Dissenters, contributed to the fund.  The late Earl of Derby, then Mr.
Stanley, who represented the borough, subscribed £50.  The other member
gave a like sum.  The vicar and almost all the leading inhabitants were
found on the list.  The fact is now mentioned to indicate the good
understanding between different classes of religionists which then
existed in Windsor.

I was ordained the day after the new chapel was opened, at the beginning
of May 1833.  It was a service long to be remembered.  Such services were
thought more of in those days than they are now.  Ministers and friends
came from a great distance, and a large congregation was sure to
assemble.  Generally the spirit was devout.  An introductory discourse
illustrated the grounds of Nonconformity.  After this several questions
were answered by the candidate, as to his Christian experience, doctrinal
sentiments, and reasons for believing he had a call to the ministry.  A
deacon of the Church related the steps which had led to the present
choice, and, afterwards, the ordination prayer was offered with a solemn
laying on of hands.  In my case, my venerated co-pastor fulfilled this
duty; and it was interesting to me that, in like manner, he had been
ordained by Rowland Hill.  A charge to the inducted minister followed;
then came a sermon to the people, pointing out their duties.  The holy
influence of that day rests on me to this hour, after the lapse of more
than fifty years.

The fresh impetus now given to our religious work served to stimulate
friends in the Establishment, who had so helped us in our department of
the one great cause.  A Sunday evening service was commenced in the
parish church, and a new Episcopal place of worship was erected in Eton,
where it was much needed.  In addition to the vicar of Windsor and his
curates, some of the masters at Eton College came forward in parish work,
rendering help by sermons at a third Sunday service then recently
commenced.  The Rev. T. Chapman, afterwards a Colonial bishop, took the
lead, and did much to revive religion in the town.  But the most
distinguished labourer at the time was the Rev. G. A. Selwyn, then
connected with Eton, who was afterwards one of the most heroic missionary
bishops of modern times; with him it was my privilege to co-operate in
the establishment of the Windsor Infants’ School.

lie would fain have induced me to enter the Establishment, but though he
did not succeed in that respect, he ever treated me with a brotherly
regard, which I sincerely reciprocated.  Before he embarked for his
distant field of labour he wrote a farewell note in which he said: “On
the few points in which we differ, I thank God we have been enabled to
dwell, often at some length, without one particle of that acrimony which
often discredits controversy, and proves it to proceed rather from human
passions than from zeal for the truth of God.  I cannot recollect,
throughout all our intercourse, one single word which can be considered
as a breach of charity between us.  For this I am especially thankful,
that when I go to offer up my gift upon far distant altars, I shall have
left no brother at home, with whom I ought first to have been
reconciled.”

I had a ticket for St. George’s Chapel when William IV. was interred.
The interior of the building was dark, except as illumined by torches in
the hands of soldiers who lined the nave, and by numerous lights within
the choir.  When the procession drew up about nine o’clock, at the south
entrance, the blaze of outside torches was seen through the stained
windows; then the appearance of heralds in their tabards followed: next
the slow march of mourners close to the coffin, the Duke of Sussex being
most conspicuous; afterwards a funeral dirge echoed from the fretted
roof.  The silence was further broken by the Burial Service and the
repetition of royal titles.  “Sic transit gloria mundi” came last, and
left an ineffaceable impression.

I was further favoured with a ticket to see the coronation in Westminster
Abbey.  When the procession entered the nave, officers of state and
foreign ambassadors appeared in rich costume.  Diamond-decked coats and
rich mantles made a grand show, yet they chiefly served to set off the
simple dignity of the queen in her early girlhood, whilst a spell of
loyalty touched spectators looking down from lofty galleries.  The
coronation shout of “God save the Queen” needed to be heard that it might
be fully understood.  Afterwards, a stream of dignified personages, with
mantles and coronets, issued from the choir and covered the nave with a
tesselated pattern of rich colours.

To the coronation succeeded the royal marriage, honoured at Windsor by
extraordinary festivities; and at night the cortége of the bride and
bridegroom, on their way to the castle through decorated and illuminated
streets, evoked a rapturous welcome from assembled thousands.  But what
above all other incidents of that occasion lives in my memory at the
present moment is the sudden view which I caught a day or two afterwards
of the wedded pair in a pony carriage, driven by the bridegroom as his
bride nestled beside him, under his wing, with simplicity which gave
exquisite finish to the chief pictures which passed before me that
summer.

Another incident may be mentioned.  At a town meeting it was proposed
that an address of congratulation should be presented to Her Majesty by
the mayor and others.  The presentation followed at a levée.  It was
interesting to see notabilities assembled in St. James’s Palace at the
first public reception by Her Majesty after the royal marriage.  Amongst
a crowd of noblemen in the ante-room were pointed out, in particular, Dr.
Phillpotts, Bishop of Exeter, with an eagle eye indicative of his
intellect, and Joseph Hume, the sturdy economist; both of them much
talked of at that period.  Others I have forgotten.  After waiting we
were ushered into the presence, the Queen, with Prince Albert at her
side, occupying a place near a window not far from the entrance door.
Since that I have knelt before Her Majesty more than once, but how great
the difference between the first and last occasions—the girl become a
matron, the sparkling bride a sorrowful widow, and the newly-married wife
a mother with sons and daughters standing round in reverence and
affection.

If I may here anticipate a Windsor ceremonial of later date, let me
mention the royal presentation of colours to a regiment of Highlanders to
which I acted as chaplain.  The colours were bestowed in the quadrangle
of the castle on the day when the christening of the Prince of Wales took
place.  The Prince Consort, the King of Prussia, and the Duke of
Wellington, with several other grandees, formed a group under the shadow
of the castle porch.  As chaplain to the regiment I was allowed to stand
near, and was struck with the Prince’s German accent, which he seemed to
conquer in later life, when he spoke almost like a born Englishman.  The
Duke addressed the soldiers in his accustomed plain style, giving them
very good advice.  Preparations for the banquet in St. George’s Hall,
which a number of people were allowed to see, were very magnificent,
tables being covered with gold and silver plate.  Some antique pieces
brought from the Tower were of special interest.  In the evening I joined
the non-commissioned officers, to whom a dinner was given, and I was glad
of an opportunity to recall to their minds the Duke’s address.  This
Highland regiment while in Windsor attended worship in our chapel, when
the band accompanied the singing, and Highland bonnets hung round,
outside the galleries.  I visited the barracks, conversed and prayed with
the sick, and baptised the children.  My relations with the colonel and
the officers were pleasant during the whole time that the Scotch remained
in Windsor.

Going back a few years, let me notice “Eton Montem,” then witnessed in
all its splendour.  Approaches to the college were guarded by boys in
fancy costumes: coloured velvet coats, yellow boots, caps decorated with
graceful plumes, appeared on the scene.  The youngsters levied a tax on
all comers, calling it “_salt_,” which they deposited in bags suspended
from their necks.  As royal carriages swept across Windsor bridge,
picturesque sentinels received handsome donations from royal hands.  The
gifts, together with a large number of others, formed a fund for the
captain of the school to defray his expenses at Cambridge, whither he was
sent in prospect of a fellowship.  The procession of boys to Salt Hill,
where the captain waved a flag after a prescribed fashion, excited
immense interest, and was witnessed by multitudes.  The sight in the
college gardens as the day closed, afforded perhaps the best of the
pageant, for these lads, attired in Turkish, Greek, Italian, and other
showy garbs, mixed with their friends so as to form a picture of animated
life, with old trees and old buildings for a background.

I had not been long in the town before I became intimately connected with
the British and Foreign Bible Society, which laid a strong hold on my
affections as a boy, and to which I firmly adhered, after I became a man.
Our auxiliary was a flourishing one.  Some relatives of Lord Bexley,
president of the parent society, lived in our neighbourhood, and used to
come over to our annual gatherings in the Town Hall.  One of them, the
Rev. Mr. Neal, of Taplow, was a constant visitor.  He typified a class of
men now almost extinct.  They loved the Establishment, and, judging of it
by its formularies, identified it with the cause of evangelical religion.
They knew much less of Anglo-Catholic theology than of Puritanical works.
Owen and Baxter occupied a conspicuous place on their literary shelves,
by the side of Latimer and Calvin.  The Evangelicals were nevertheless
faithful to their own ecclesiastical order, preferring episcopacy to any
other form of government.  Not on social or literary grounds had they
sympathy with Dissenters, or from what is now recognised as “breadth of
opinion,” but they cultivated union, on purely evangelical grounds.

At our Bible Meeting, with good old Mr. Neale, other evangelical
clergymen were present, also one of our borough members, Mr. Ramsbottom,
M.P. (who always took the chair), and Sir John Chapman, a strong
conservative Churchman, was sure to be on the platform.  I cannot say
that the speeches were brilliant, though the deputation from London
interested us much.  First came Mr. Dudley, who had been a Quaker, but
was then an Episcopalian; and, to the facts he detailed, there were added
peculiarities of utterance, which gave a flavour to what he said.  He
slightly stuttered; and once, as he described how the blind were taught
to read with their fingers the pages of embossed Bibles, he said it
reminded him of the words, “That they should seek the Lord, if haply,
they might _feel after __Him and find Him_.”  Hesitation of speech made
the quotation increasingly effective.  After him came Mr. Bourne, who
had, I believe, been formerly a stipendiary magistrate in the West
Indies; and he had a singular _click_ in his voice.  He told a story of
some ladies who had coloured their maps so as to distinguish, by a pink
colour, the countries where the Bible was circulated—thus “_pinking_ the
world for Christ.”  The good man’s click told curiously on his
pronunciation of words; and I used, sometimes, to make my Bible Society
friends smile, by inquiring whether they offered a premium for agents
with a “_diversity of tongues_.”  The Rev. Sydney Godolphin Osborne—the
famous “S. G. O.” of _The Times_ newspaper—had at that period a living
near Windsor, and took great interest in our auxiliary.  He was a fine,
tall, aristocratic young man, of straightforward character, strong common
sense, and a racy style of utterance.  He made capital speeches, and in
many ways helped on our work; in one way especially, which deserves
distinct mention.  He thought it would be a good thing to obtain royal
patronage for our auxiliary, though Her Majesty’s name was not identified
with the parent society.  He wrote to Lord John Russell, then a Cabinet
Minister (whose brother, Lord Wriothesley Russell, after he became Canon
of Windsor, lovingly supported our cause).  When Lord John laid the
request before Her Majesty, she graciously gave her name as local
patroness, and sent a donation of twenty guineas.  It is worth mentioning
that this occurred at a time when party politics were running high.  Two
letters communicating the Queen’s kindness may be here inserted.

The first was addressed to the Honourable Godolphin Osborne.

    “SIR,

    “I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter
    respecting ‘The Windsor Auxiliary Bible Society,’ on which the Queen
    was last year pleased to bestow her patronage, which I have submitted
    to the Queen, and though Her Majesty does not usually grant a
    donation to those institutions to which Her Majesty’s patronage only
    has been given, yet, the Queen, taking into her consideration that
    the establishment in question is in the immediate neighbourhood of
    Windsor Castle, has been pleased to direct me to forward twenty
    guineas as a donation.  I beg to enclose a draft for that sum, and
    request you will have the goodness to acknowledge its receipt.

                                                 “I have the honour to be,
                                              “Your most obedient servant,
                                                            “H. WHEATLEY.”

This letter was conveyed to me by the person addressed, who added the
following note:—

    “I wrote to Sir H. Wheatley about a donation from the Queen to the
    Bible Society.  I have received a satisfactory answer, and a draft
    for twenty guineas.  If it meets your approbation, I would wish that
    the fact should not be known to any but ourselves just now.  At the
    present moment the country is so _party-mad_, and there is such a
    determination to catch at anything for party purposes, that I am
    anxious to avoid giving a handle of any sort to either side in a
    matter which has no real reference to politics.  I only wrote last
    week from Wales, and got an immediate answer, which I have
    acknowledged, saying, at the same time, that at the anniversary
    meeting a more official acknowledgment will be sent.

                                                                “I remain,
                                                             “Yours truly,
                                                      “GODOLPHIN OSBORNE.”

This letter sheds light on the state of public feeling existing at that
day.

In connection with the town of Windsor, let me mention two or three
traditions I received from the lips of my beloved wife, who became the
light of my dwelling on May 12th, 1835.  Her good old father, Mr. George
Cooper, had long been a sort of Christian Gaius, receiving as guests
under his hospitable roof several men and women of renown.  Often would
she speak of Rowland Hill, who repeatedly visited her home on his way to
Wotton-under-Edge, where he spent the summer months.  He delighted to
preach in our little chapel in High Street, where the Eton boys would
attend to see and hear the eccentric old clergyman, who in his youth had
been one of their predecessors as a schoolboy.  He would tell Mr. Cooper
how he used sometimes to steal at eventide beyond Eton bounds, to attend
a prayer-meeting in a cottage, which he could reach only by leaping over
a ditch with the help of a long pole.  He allowed the good woman who
lived there an annuity, which Mr. Cooper used to convey as long as she
lived.  Rowland Hill liked to hear at High Street Chapel the Hundredth
Psalm in Watts’s Hymn-book, and the youngsters who came used to alter the
last verse, shouting: “When _Rowland Hill_ shall cease to move.”

I remember hearing how Charles Wesley, the son of the great hymn-writer,
visited the town, accompanied by his sister, and spent an evening in Mr.
Cooper’s house, greatly to the joy of my wife as a girl.  They arrived in
a sedan chair, dressed in Court costume.  His execution on the piano was
surprising; and those who watched his thick, short fingers, as they swept
over the keys, said it was miraculous how he played.

Before I conclude what I have to say of my life in Windsor, let me advert
to attempts I made to promote intellectual and literary improvement,
according to methods then beginning to be popular.  There was an
Institute formed in the adjoining town of Eton for the encouragement of
reading amongst such as had not enjoyed the advantages of early
education.  A room was opened, furnished with a few books, where
inducements to what is termed mutual improvement were provided, and there
the famous astronomer Sir J. F. W. Herschell delivered an inaugural
lecture, which gave it at once a character of distinguished
respectability.  I was invited to join in the infant enterprise, which I
did with pleasure and satisfaction, and felt it an honour to become one
of its lecturers.  The effort made at Eton was followed at Windsor.  I
threw myself into the enterprise, and worked on its behalf as long as I
remained in the town.  The committee honoured me with an invitation to
lecture in the Town Hall, where my effort was kindly accepted by a large
audience; a short course on the History of the Castle and Town followed.
This, by request, was published in a volume dedicated, by permission, to
the Prince Consort.  In its preparation assistance had been furnished
through books, documents, and advice, by residents in the town, and by
officials in the castle.

In concluding this chapter, I am constrained to notice some friendships
which were enjoyed by me during my Windsor residence.  Poyle is a small
hamlet on the Great Western road not far from Windsor, near Colnbrook.
Sixty years ago a long line of mail coaches passed every night the
turnpike-gate, as cottagers heard the blast of the guard’s horn, and
stepped out to see the coachmen, in like livery, handling the reins which
guided their teams.  Hard by the spot there was a paper mill, spanning a
pretty little river, the Coln, which kept the machinery in motion.  The
whole formed a picture common in the early part of this century, not so
common now.  Close to the mill were two goodly residences, occupied by
two brothers named Ibotson, of an old Nonconformist stock, who could
trace back religious ancestors to Puritan days.  What pleasant gatherings
of congenial friends I met with at Poyle!—neighbouring pastors, and the
Rev. Joshua Clarkson Harrison, born not far off, and at the time building
up a goodly reputation in London and its environs, were of the number.

In contrast with these bright circumstances, I must notice incidents of a
far different kind.  My dear wife lost about that time two brothers in
early life by what we call accidents; but, worse still, while I was from
home one summer, my beloved mother, who lived with me, set fire to her
muslin dress, while the servant was absent, and immediately became
enveloped in flames.  Some one passing by endeavoured to render
assistance, but it was too late, and the next morning she expired.
Bright summer weather was for a long time after that, to my eyes, covered
with a pall of darkness; and to look on the blue sky and the gay summer
flowers only made me more sad.



CHAPTER IV
1837–1843


BEING disposed beyond immediate pastoral duties to help in religious work
outside, I found ample opportunities for doing it.  Sir Culling Eardley
was at that time zealous in the furtherance of village preaching.  Coming
to Windsor, he offered to help us in purchasing a tent for services in
the neighbourhood.  It was procured and employed, but with less success
than had attended his enterprise of the same kind in Hertfordshire.  I
undertook, at his request, a fortnight’s tour in that county, and one
evening preached near a wood, where John Bunyan, in days of persecution,
addressed the neglected peasantry.

Revivalism at the period now referred to, attracted attention in England,
in part owing to the circulation of American books, and the preaching of
American divines.  A great awakening occurred at Reading, Henley,
Maidenhead, and Windsor.  Streams of people might be seen on dark winter
mornings, lantern in hand, on their way to the place of prayer.  Chapels
were thronged, ministers were in full sympathy with each other; all
worked with a will.  Looking back on the whole, I believe genuine good
was done; yet in some instances the effect was transient.  Conversion was
insisted upon, and peace with God through Jesus Christ was offered; but
whether moral improvement in the details of human life was proportionally
emphasised, and practically carried out, I am not prepared to say.
Certainly, appeals respecting holiness in general were not wanting.
Rightly to adjust the balance, so as to guard against self-righteousness
on one hand, and the neglect of personal responsibility on the other,
requires vast wisdom.  To induce people to look at themselves and to
Christ also, cannot be accomplished without thought and discrimination in
promiscuous gatherings.  Whatever might be defects in the movement,
assuredly they did not come from artificial arrangements.  No one can be
said to have “got up the thing.”

At all times in the course of our ministry “cases of conscience” occur.
One in particular I may mention.  I was once sent for to visit a dying
person.  The home, the people, the surroundings, excited revulsion, as
well as a determination to improve a strange opportunity.  I found a
young woman on her deathbed, and another sitting by, who used phraseology
indicative of evangelical sentiment.  She offered to leave the room that
the patient might unburthen her mind to me.  It was obvious some secret
of guilt lay on the sufferer’s conscience.  I had no wish to be a father
confessor, and pointed her to the _only One_ who can pardon sin.  At last
the dying creature uttered a piercing exclamation, which seemed to me an
acknowledgment of sin.  What the secret was she did not disclose.
Presently she entered “the silent land.”  When I called again, I
intimated to her attendant my surprise at what she had said, for I could
not doubt that she was leading an immoral life.  She frankly confessed
she had fallen into vice, after expressing a belief that she had been
converted, and _had_ been a “child of God.”  The incident was affecting,
instructive, and admonitory.

Public questions interested me much, and I took part in those which
belonged to philanthropy and religion.  Amongst them at the time I speak
of, negro emancipation stood foremost.  From boyhood it laid hold on me.
Speeches at Norwich, by Joseph John Gurney and others, had left an
abiding impression; and when the great controversy became ripe for
settlement, I threw myself into the struggle.  The excitement throughout
the nation was intense, and it laid hold chiefly of the religious section
of the British public.  Missionaries had been at work amongst negroes,
and had seen the horrors of the system.  The persecution of Smith, a
missionary in Demerara, who died in prison, evoked passionate sympathy;
and the appeal of Knibb, another missionary, who came over as an advocate
of emancipation, struck the nail on the head, and drove it into the
centre of this colossal wrong.  Nothing is more manifest, to those who
witnessed what went on in England half a century ago for slave
emancipation, than that, however manifold the arguments employed, however
numerous the methods and agencies in motion, it was Christianity which
lay at the heart of the movement.  Quakers were amongst the most zealous
co-operators in this advocacy for freedom, and I much enjoyed the
fellowship into which I was brought with followers of George Fox, early
family associations strengthening bonds of friendship between us.
Deputations went up to London to wait upon Mr. Stanley, Colonial
Secretary, afterwards Earl of Derby, and I well remember the crowd
gathered in a large room in Downing Street, to strengthen the hands of
that gentleman in his chivalrous enterprise.  The history of steps which
led to the final victory it is not for me to tell in these pages, but I
may mention the third reading by the Lords of the Emancipation Bill in
August 1833.  It filled multitudes with joy; and on August 1st, 1834, the
Act took effect, when a solemn celebration of the event occurred in
England, as well as the West India Islands.  That day I preached at
Windsor from Jer. xl. 4:—“And now, behold, I loose thee this day from the
chains which were upon thine hand.”

In 1839 the Anti-Corn Law League took shape.  I distinctly recollect the
scene presented at a great bazaar in Covent Garden Theatre, in aid of
Free Trade, when there was a wonderful gathering of notabilities and
other folks.  Stalls, articles, and ornaments, were varied and imposing;
and as that exhibition appeared before the present age of bazaars was
fully inaugurated, it had a more dazzling and bewildering effect than
efforts of the kind can have now that they have become so common.

Dissenters’ grievances, too, were exciting subjects in those days.
Certain disabilities had an irritating effect on those who felt them, and
legislation was sought for their removal.  No doubt, in the heat of the
conflict things were said on both sides which, on calm review, cannot be
justified; and I am in my old age more than ever convinced that union of
the _suaviter in modo_ with the _fortiter in re_, is the best method of
conducting controversy.

My holidays, whilst I was a Windsor pastor, were spent in preaching; but
there were two exceptions, when I broke ground as a tourist.  Travelling
in Nottinghamshire and the neighbouring counties, I visited Newstead
Abbey with a fresh remembrance of Washington Irving’s description of the
place.  I had a gossip with an old domestic, who told me stories of Lord
Byron, whom she knew as a boy, and used to carry on her back on account
of his lameness.  He pricked and otherwise tormented the patient
creature, so as, on one occasion, to provoke her so much, that she boldly
ventured on a rather amusing act of retaliation.  Leaning over her
shoulders to look into an old chest full of feathers, she, to use her own
words, “copped him over, and he came out for all the world just like a
young owlet.”  What I then heard of his early days gave me an
unfavourable idea of that child of genius, so caressed and tormented, so
flattered and persecuted, so early thrown into unfortunate circumstances,
and altogether so badly brought up.  What a contrast between two poets,
whose memories came vividly before me during this tour!—Byron and Scott,
both of them lame for life; one a stranger to the other’s purity.  Years
afterwards I heard Dean Stanley preach a sermon to children, in which,
with his characteristic felicity of thought, he spoke of the contrasted
influences of physical deformity in these two instances—how the club foot
of the first was an occasion of mortified pride and ill-nature, and the
club foot of the second was borne with patience and contentment.  The
story of Byron’s club foot is now treated by some I hear as a popular
delusion; but, at all events, he had something the matter with his foot
which irritated his temper and made him disagreeable.  Therefore the
Dean’s moral lesson remains untouched.  In connection with good humour
and kindness, a physical defect may be only a foil to set off moral
excellence.

After passing through Yorkshire, Durham, and Northumberland in company
with my dear friend Harrison, we reached Edinburgh by coach at midnight
to find ourselves in the morning amidst grand preparations for the
Queen’s first arrival in the Scottish capital.  The view at noon from
Calton Hill, as the arrangements for receiving royalty had reached their
acme, was most magnificent.  Princes Street, from end to end, presented
multitudes of people in holiday attire, military uniforms, tartan, kilts
and feathered bonnets, gave rich plays of colour.  The crowd waited and
waited, but no Queen appeared.  Night fell, and the expectants went to
bed disappointed.  Next morning every one was taken by surprise, for Her
Majesty, having been detained at sea, landed at Leith, whilst the Lord
Provost was still asleep.  My friend and I afterwards went to Stirling,
and identified historic points which dot the field of Bannockburn—then to
Perth, Dunkeld, Killiecrankie, and Blair Atholl.

In the course of numerous journeys I had opportunities of seeing the real
state of Nonconformity in rural districts.  It was then much better than
some people suppose.  There were then families of influence identified
with country places of worship, who have not left behind them sympathetic
representatives.  The revival of religion in the National Church has
produced a considerable change in the relative position of ecclesiastical
parties.  Sunday evening services in cathedral and parish church, and the
pastoral activity of incumbents and curates, with numerous missionary and
other organisations, have produced effects very visible in the eyes of
old people, who can look back on the religious condition of England
during the first quarter of the present century.

My first Continental tour occurred before I left Windsor.  I visited a
family at Rotterdam into which a fellow-student had married, and had
pleasant insights into Dutch life.  After peeps at the Hague, Leyden, and
Amsterdam, abounding in a gratification of antiquarian and historical
taste, slowly proceeding up the Rhine, I felt all the enthusiasm incident
to a young traveller as he first gazes on castle-crowned hills which line
the river.  Many and many a ramble since on those romantic banks have
increased rather than diminished my admiration of the Rhine.

Friendships have through life been essential to my enjoyment, I might
almost say to my existence.  Intimate acquaintance with people of
remarkable character in my Windsor days was a source of intense
gratification.

The Rev. W. Walford, for some years minister of a Congregational Church
at Yarmouth, then classical tutor at Homerton College, and finally pastor
of the old Meeting House, Uxbridge, was one of the most remarkable men I
ever knew.  I see him now, with his handsome face, bald head, well-knit
form, keen eyes, compressed lips, rather tottering in gait, and brusque
in manner.  What walks and talks we had!  In conversation he expressed
himself with singular accuracy on theological and metaphysical subjects.
He had Butler and Jonathan Edwards at his fingers’ ends, and could pack
into a few words some of their most abstruse definitions and arguments.
He had a habit of turning round when you walked with him, and standing
face to face, when he would, in a most luminous style, state his
propositions and adduce his proofs.  He read Sir William Hamilton with
immense admiration, though he did not in all respects adopt his views;
and, at a period when looseness of religious thought was becoming
prevalent, it was a treat to see him make a stand, figuratively as well
as literally, for a distinct utterance of what people believe.  From no
man’s conversation have I derived more instruction and advantage.  I can
never forget his reading to me, with tears in his eyes, a translation he
had made of Plato’s “Phaedo.”

One day an old gentleman called to say he was about to reside at Old
Windsor, and intended joining our worship at William Street Chapel.  He
had a cheerful, lively expression of countenance, with a few short grey
locks on each side of his bald head, and showed in his gait signs of
paralytic seizure.  Full of humour and kindness, he made a pleasant
impression.  Thus began my friendship with Mr. Samuel Bagster of famous
Polyglot memory.  Notwithstanding his lameness, he could at that time
walk from Old Windsor to our house with the aid of a stick, only asking a
helping hand at the commencement of his pedestrian attempts.  Thus
started off he would steadily pursue his journey dressed in a short cloak
and wearing a very broad-brimmed hat.  He was one of the chattiest, most
amusing friends I ever had.  He possessed a large fund of anecdotes,
which he knew I liked; and from time to time, as I visited his house, he
doled them out with no niggard hand.  He had lived on books, and books
were his delight.  Many choice editions in handsome bindings lined the
walls in his rambling, quaint sort of residence, where also flowers,
gathered in his little garden, formed conspicuous ornaments.  There he
would sit nursing his foot, complaining of pain in his great toe, and
would launch out for a pleasant sail over the lake of memory, and take me
from one point to another.  The old books he had bought and sold, the
circumstances connected with the origin of his Polyglot and Hexapla, the
fire which occurred on his premises in Paternoster Row—these he would
narrate in a characteristic way.

He often talked about the French Revolution and events connected with it
in our own country.  Clubs of a more than questionable description were
established, and he told me that, invited by a person of his own age to
attend a meeting held in an obscure street, he was surprised, on his
entrance, to find a number of men ranged on either side of a room,
sitting by long tables, with a cross one at the upper end.  There sat the
president for the evening.  Several foaming tankards were brought in,
when the president calling on the company to rise, took up one of the
pots, and striking off the foam which crested the porter, gave as a
toast: “So let all . . . perish.”  The blank was left to be filled up as
each drinker pleased.  The avowed dislike to kings entertained by these
boon companions suggested to Mr. Bagster the word “kings” or “tyrants”;
and at once he gladly left the place, not a little alarmed, lest he
should be suspected of treasonable designs.  With characteristic caution,
he took care not to observe the thoroughfare through which he passed on
his way back, that he might be able conscientiously to declare he did not
know the situation of the place.  He also related that his father had a
workman in his employ, whom he knew to be a disaffected subject.  He
expostulated with him on the horrors of a revolution as illustrated in
France, and dwelt upon the confusion which would ensue upon outbreaks on
established order.  The man lifted up the skirt of his threadbare coat
against the window, and significantly asked: “Pray, sir, what have I to
lose?”  My friend was no Radical, no Whig, but a Tory of the
old-fashioned type, who approved of things as they were, without,
however, any consciousness of wishing to tyrannise over other people.  He
was a great admirer of Izaak Walton, and had made a collection of
drawings illustrative of his “Compleat Angler,” of which he intended to
publish a new edition, with a life of the author.  When he had completed
his “Comprehensive Bible,” which, by permission, he dedicated to George
IV., he was allowed personally to present it to His Majesty; and I have
heard him say that on that occasion he was introduced to the royal
presence by the Archbishop of Canterbury.  The publisher was already
paralysed, and could walk only with a tottering step; but the Primate
gave him his arm, and led him up to the so-called first gentleman of
Europe, who received him very graciously, and accepted at his hands the
handsomely-bound volume.

There were other people I met with at Windsor whom I may mention.  At the
house of Dr. Ferguson, a Scotch physician of good birth and high culture,
I met with his son-in-law, the Rev. Mr. Moultrie, Incumbent at Rugby, and
friend of Dr. Arnold.  He was a man of genius and piety, and gave a
conviction of personal goodness, which made me value his volume of poems
even more than I had done before.  I like to look at authors through
their books, and then again at books through their authors.  In some
cases the personal damages the literary judgment; but in many cases I
have enjoyed works much more after knowing the worker.

Mr. Jesse, the naturalist, was another of my acquaintances.  He held an
office in connection with royal parks and palaces, and I spent pleasant
hours as he drove me in his little pony gig from Windsor to Hampton
Court, in the restoration of which he felt great delight.  An amiable
disposition, gentlemanly manners, and large information, made him an
excellent companion.  From the account he gave of his early life I found
his father was a clergyman, a friend of Lady Huntingdon’s, and an
occasional preacher at Spafields Chapel.  Mr. Stark, the eminent
landscape artist, was one of my hearers, a man of decided religious
convictions, and conscientious in art as in other things.  He and Mr.
Bristow, the animal painter, were amongst my friends; and in Windsor
Forest they found subjects for their united skill, Stark putting in the
trees, Bristow dogs and horses.

Amongst London friends at that time, and long afterwards was John Bergne,
brother to my fellow-student Samuel Bergne, already mentioned.  Clerk in
the Foreign Office, he rose to the superintendence of the Treaty
Department.  Full of knowledge respecting European affairs, he often
amused me by his taciturnity whenever they came on the carpet,—abstinence
from communication of office secrets having become to him second nature.
His mind was rich with information on various subjects; and in the
science of numismatics he was well skilled.  His collection of coins was
of great value, including examples of English money from the earliest
time, and valuable portions of “great finds” in Greek states.  His
affluent conversation, overflowing with humour, his rapid utterance and
command of language surpassed what I have heard from many good talkers,
whom it has been my fortune to meet with during a long life.

With other remarkable persons, I became intimately acquainted after my
removal to Kensington.  These I shall notice in their proper place.

In 1833 arose the Puseyite or Tractarian controversy as it was called.
Of this a full account is given by Dr. Newman, in his “Apologia”—an
account, of course, proceeding from his own point of view.  The strife
both inside and outside the University of Oxford, where the masters of
the Tractarian movement lived and worked, was of the hottest kind; and
those engaged in it on both sides, under the influence of party feeling,
failed to appreciate each other’s position, and to estimate correctly the
tendencies involved.  The Anglo-Catholics did not believe they were so
near Rome; the staunch Protestants did not calculate on the wonderful
effect which the controversy would have in stirring up the latent
energies of the Church, and in modifying forms of worship, even amongst
Evangelical parties.  An amusing story I remember hearing when the famous
Tract, “No. 90,” was published.  The then Bishop of Winchester (I think)
wished to see it, and wrote to his bookseller to forward a copy, but from
illegibility of penmanship “_No_ 90” was mistaken for “_No go_”; and the
poor bookseller, after inquiring in the Row for a pamphlet with that
title, wrote to inform his Lordship, that there was no such tract in the
market.  The story ran its round, and the Evangelicals pronounced “_No._
90” “_No go_.”

Dr. Newman condensed within the space of a few years the Romeward
tendencies of Christendom during successive ages: starting with
Tractarian doctrines, it was consistent for him to become a Roman
Catholic in the sequel; and Dr. Pusey, in pausing where he did, never
explained the grounds of his practical inconsistency.  I felt it my duty
to point out the unscriptural character of the Tractarian movement in a
course of lectures, afterwards published under the title of “Tractarian
Theology.”



CHAPTER V
1843–1850


I WAS quite satisfied with my position at Windsor and had no thoughts of
leaving it, when Dr. Vaughan of Kensington accepted the principalship of
Lancashire College, and at the same time overtures were made by his
Church to me that I should succeed him in the vacant pastorate.  I can
truly say that my desires were on the side of remaining where I was.  I
only wished to know the Divine Master’s will.  I felt unwilling to accept
what looked like preferment; but after visiting Kensington and preaching
there, the path before me appeared pretty plain.  I accepted the call I
received.  “It seems like a dream,” I wrote to my predecessor.  “Yes,” he
replied; “but it is like Joseph’s—a dream from the Lord.”

It was a curious coincidence that the Church at Windsor and the Church at
Kensington were both in their origin connected with a coachman in the
service of George III.  His name was Saunders, and he enjoyed his royal
master’s confidence.  They used to talk together about religion, and,
encouraged by the King’s good opinion, the servant put tracts in the
carriage pocket; and when His Majesty had read them he asked for more.
As the royal residence was sometimes in town, and sometimes at Windsor,
the home of Saunders varied accordingly, and he felt an interest in both
neighbourhoods, especially as it regarded the humbler class.  He probably
caught the revivalist spirit prevalent a hundred years ago, and did what
he could to gather people together for religious impression.  In this way
a room called “The Hole in the Wall” came to be the cradle of Windsor
Congregationalism; and a “humble dwelling,” mentioned by the Kensington
historian, was birthplace to the congregation which afterwards assembled
in Hornton Street.  “When the faithful servant begged permission, on
account of age, to retire from His Majesty’s service, that he might
reside at Kensington, it was not without an expression of regret on the
part of the monarch; but the request was granted, and as often as the
King afterwards passed through the place he took the most kind and
condescending notice of his coachman.” {77}

In “Poems by John Moultrie,” there occur these lines—

    “I have a son, a third sweet son, his age I cannot tell,
    For they reckon not by years and months where he is gone to dwell.”

During the first three years of my Kensington residence, there were three
little children taken from us, and translated to that mysterious world,
where our time reckonings are lost in an incomprehensible eternity.
Altogether six children were brought with us from Windsor; and to these
were added five more in the first few years after our removal—making the
domestic flock at the time I speak of eleven.  Of that number only four
remain on earth at this time, {78}—a fact which tells of joy, and of much
sorrow, at the hands of our Heavenly Father.  Three were taken from us
between 1843 and 1849.

During my Windsor life I began to take a deep interest in the writings of
Dr. Arnold, and afterwards, when his Life appeared, written by his
admiring pupil, Dr. Stanley, that interest increased.  As I read these
memoirs I little thought that I should share in the Biographer’s
friendship; and my admiration of the two men was so deep that I attribute
any improvement in my mind and character since, greatly to their combined
influence.  Through life I have been more than ordinarily benefited by
their works, and as to the Master of Rugby School, I have always been
eager to learn what I could from any Rugby pupils I happened to know.  At
this moment there comes to my recollection an anecdote related by a
friend who had been a Rugby boy.  He told me that some accident happened
at chapel in the upsetting of Bibles or prayer-books, and their fall from
the gallery created much disturbance.  Boys who were suspected of having
a share in causing what happened were called up by the Master, and my
informant was of the number.  He told me that Dr. Arnold _trusted_ a boy
who denied any offence of which he was accused until clear proof appeared
to the contrary.  This was designed to keep up mutual confidence.  In the
instance under notice the boy accused felt sure that Dr. Arnold was not
satisfied with the denial; yet he allowed the matter to pass, because he
would promote confidence between master and pupil.  The anecdote confirms
what I have since read.  He was never on the watch for boys, and he so
encouraged straightforward and manly action, in trivial as in great
things, that there grew up a general feeling, that “It was a shame to
tell Arnold a lie, for he always believed one.” {80}

Kensington, at the time of which I speak, was famous for its number of
ladies’ schools, and in them several daughters of Nonconformist parents
were receiving their education.  They formed an interesting part of my
congregation, and my pastoral relation to them prepared for lifelong
friendships.  Of this group of families were the Dawsons of Lancaster,
the Rawsons of Leeds, the Cheethams of Staleybridge, and the Sharmans of
Wellingborough.  With all of them I became intimate, and their
friendships have proved no small comfort to me in later life.  Parents of
these families were distinguished by usefulness in many ways.  Mr. Rawson
was the well-known gifted hymn-writer; and Mr. Cheetham was M.P., and
took an active part in the repeal of the Corn Laws.  Daughters of these
gentlemen were under my ministerial care while pupils at Kensington, and
afterwards became earnest Christian workers in different ways, and their
continued affection is a comfort to me in my old age.  A son of Mr.
Dawson married a daughter of Mr. Rawson, and immediately they went to
China for mission work; but the broken-down health of the husband
compelled his speedy return to England.  He is now doing good work as one
of the London City Mission secretaries.

In connection with Kensington, I would further mention other helpers: Mr.
and Mrs. Coombs of Clapham were so.  Mr. Coombs helped me especially by a
large donation to the fund for building my new chapel.  In other ways I
was brought into relation with him.  He was Treasurer of New College, and
an active member of the British and Foreign Bible Society, the Religious
Tract Society, and the London Missionary Society.  His intelligence,
aptitude for conversation, and kind-hearted intercourse made his
friendship a privilege of more than ordinary value.  It was intensified
by his family relationship to some of my Kensington flock, the Salters
and the Talfourds, whom I shall mention elsewhere in these reminiscences.
Amidst preaching and pastoral work, it was a relief to spend a short
holiday under Mr. Coombs’ hospitable roof at Clapham, where I found a
large collection of books.  He died before I left Kensington, but my
friendship with his wife and daughter continued till they died.

Archdeacon Sinclair, who had accepted the vicarage just before I removed
to Kensington, paid me a visit of welcome, and thus laid a foundation for
subsequent intercourse.  He was son of the well-known Sir John Sinclair,
and brother of the authoress, Catherine Sinclair.  All the family were
remarkably tall.  The Archdeacon was a man of eminent culture, and of
extensive aristocratic connections.  His great-grandmother, though a
loyalist, was the noted lady who aided in the escape of Prince Charlie,
after the battle of Culloden.  This same ancestress lay buried in
Kensington Church, in front of the pulpit.  Archdeacon Sinclair was well
read in theology, widely acquainted with the controversies of the day,
and a thoroughly orthodox Churchman; also rich in family and Scotch
traditions.  He told me the MSS. of David Hume came into his hands, and
from perusal of them he was confirmed in his suspicion, that the
celebrated historian and philosopher had no deep convictions of any kind,
but only played with subjects he handled, doubtful about his own doubts.

Returning to the notice of my ministerial life, it comes in chronological
order to mention that we had at Kensington, in 1843, British schools,
which, being undenominational, received help from Church-people and
Dissenters.  They had long been patronised by distinguished personages,
and not long after I had become resident in the neighbourhood application
was made by the committee to the Duchess of Inverness, widow of the Duke
of Sussex, to become patroness of the schools.  This circumstance led her
Grace to invite me to call on her, which I did.  I was shown into an
old-fashioned drawing-room, furnished in the style of the last century,
the walls being decorated with portraits of George III. and members of
his family.  Entering the apartment was stepping back, as it were, to
“sixty years since.”  An old lady of diminutive stature, in black silk
and a small cap, presently appeared, who entered into pleasant
conversation about her late husband, and Mr. Ramsbottom, M.P. for
Windsor, whom I knew very well.  Both of them were zealous Freemasons.
Her Grace had caught their spirit, as far as a lady could do it, and
inquired of me whether I was a Mason.  No doubt, could I have answered in
the affirmative, I should have risen in her estimation.  My visit was
fruitful in reference to our schools, for she sent a donation of £20,
apologising for not doing more at that time.  Kensington Palace was then
inhabited by other distinguished persons; and one of the secretaries of
the Propagation Society, I think, at that time performed the duties of a
chaplain to those resident within the walls.

It is appropriate in connection with the early part of my Kensington life
to mention religious societies with which I closely associated myself.
There is no doubt some truth in the lines that,

    “Distance lends enchantment to the view,
    And clothes the mountain with an azure hue.”

In looking at benevolent work, remote in time or place, we are apt to
paint it in fairest colours; but of the great importance of the religious
work going on fifty years ago in London and the neighbourhood, there can
be no question whatever.

The _British and Foreign Bible Society_ I always regarded as lying at the
very foundation of our religious activity.  It had a comprehensive
Auxiliary in the West End from the commencement of the society’s
operations, and annual meetings were held in the Haymarket, under the
presidency of royal dukes.  This Auxiliary was broken into parts, and
Kensington had a leading place amongst them.  Traditions of earlier days
were cherished when I began to live in the royal suburb, and they
invested our local gatherings with some dignity, as families when divided
derive honours from their common ancestry.

The Missionary Society, as it was originally called—the _London
Missionary Society_, as it was afterwards named—had from the beginning
been supported by our Church; indeed, fathers and founders of the one
appear amongst early workers in the other, and through the ministry of
Mr. Clayton, Dr. Leifchild, and Dr. Vaughan, foreign missions found
zealous supporters at Kensington.  The London City Mission, then in its
early age, had engaged my sympathies at Windsor.  There we had a town
missionary, who brought us into connection with work going on in the
Metropolis.  Consequently, when I came to Kensington, I took much
interest in the annual meetings of the society, and was brought into
intimate relations with its officers and supporters.  Annual gatherings
were held in Freemasons’ Hall, Queen Street, where signs of the Zodiac,
and portraits of Grand Masters, adorned the ceiling and walls, suggesting
to speakers allusions, obvious or far-fetched, till they became rather
threadbare and wearisome; but, from the beginning, narratives by the
missionaries formed a chief source of interest.

The Young Men’s Christian Association was formed soon after I came to my
new charge, and with it I had connection from the beginning, being first
on the list of lecturers in the City, before the annual courses at Exeter
Hall commenced.

The Evangelical Alliance was founded in 1843, and as a desire for union
has ever been with me a “passion,” I joined the Alliance from the
beginning.  There was great simplicity in the earliest gatherings, and an
air of novelty gave additional charms.  However, some members professing
catholic sympathies on the platform pursued an exclusive line of conduct
on other occasions, and this circumstance provoked unfavourable comments.
Plausible objections, moreover, were made to the society’s
constitution—the platform, too wide for some, being too narrow for
others.  I could have desired a wider basis and the furtherance of
Christian unity apart from all controversy with those who differed from
us.  On the whole, however, it was a move in the right direction, and the
gatherings of its early friends in town and in other parts of the country
were of an eminently joyous description.  Sir Culling Eardley and others,
in private as well as public, promoted the interests of the Alliance.  At
that time several influential clergymen and leading Dissenters used to
meet, not only on the platform, but in the homes of distinguished lay
members, who threw themselves very heartily into the movement.

Brought into the neighbourhood of London, and already known by some
brethren there, I soon found myself surrounded by many friends.  For more
than a century there had been in existence an association of Dissenting
ministers, who took the title of _Sub Rosa_, from the confidential
character of their intercourse.  There were some of the most
distinguished London Congregational ministers in the brotherhood at the
time now referred to; and they discussed points of importance, and for
the most part, as to denominational matters, acted in harmony.  Some of
the departed were men of great ability, conspicuous in the pulpit and on
the platform; but the remembrance of them by the public is being
gradually crowded out by new names and new questions of religious
interest.

To turn to a very different subject, which synchronises with the period
under review; let me notice that the month of October 1845 witnessed the
stirring event of Newman’s secession to the Church of Rome.  It was an
event of singular importance.  I have noticed on a previous page that the
Tractarian Movement was regarded by many as distinctly tending in the
direction of Romanism.  For a considerable time such a tendency was
denied on the part of its abettors generally; yet, even as early as
November, 1835, Dr. Pusey, who had such confidence in Newman, wrote to
his wife: “I almost see elements of disunion, in that John Newman will
scare people”; {88a} and, in 1836, Newman himself incidentally wrote: “As
to the sacrificial view of the Eucharist, I do not see that you can find
fault with the formal wording of the Tridentine decree.  Does not the
Article on the sacrifice of the Mass supply the doctrine, or notion, to
be opposed?  What that is, is to be learnt historically, I suppose.”
Besides the question of Eucharistic doctrine, Pusey’s correspondence at
this time gives clear evidence of other questions, more or less
difficult, in respect to doctrine, practice, or terminology, arising out
of a more general appreciation of Church principles and order. {88b}
That which was called Puseyism prepared for Popery; and this was obvious
to most people, though Pusey himself could not see it.  Inconsistently,
as I think, he remained where he was; and, now that he declined to follow
his friend, it is surprising he took no steps to satisfy the public as to
grounds on which he himself remained in the Church of England.  His
attachment to what he deemed the Church of his fathers, however, was very
strong, and he thought well of those who remained in that Church, though
holding opinions different from his own.  For instance, he wrote: “Ever
since I knew them, which was not in my earliest years,” “I have loved
those who are called _Evangelicals_.  I loved them because they loved our
Lord.  I loved them for their zeal for souls.  I often thought them
narrow, yet I was often drawn to individuals among them, more than to
others who held truths in common with myself, which the Evangelicals did
not hold, at least not explicitly.” {89}  There is a ring in these words
which shows the sympathy which Pusey retained for those who loved the
Saviour, though, in ecclesiastical matters, widely differing from High
Churchmen.  It appears to me that, if Pusey had been as _consistent_ with
his Tractarian principles as Newman was, Pusey would have followed Newman
to Rome, but, happily, his loving spirit for Christian _goodness_ kept
him in communion with a Church where he saw piety beautifully manifested
by some who differed from him in ecclesiastical opinion.  I cannot make
this reference to Dr. Pusey without saying that, with all my repugnance
to his ecclesiastical opinions, and the conviction I have, that while he
never became a Romanist, he greatly helped on the movement which carried
many in the popish direction, the perusal of his memoirs has given me a
high estimate of his personal piety.  His devoutness, his love to Christ,
his unworldly habits, his affectionate disposition, and his self-denial
in the ordering of his domestic affairs, so as to enlarge his pecuniary
contributions to religious purposes, are worthy of their imitation who
regard with sorrow his High-Church peculiarities.  Might not domestic and
social ties, as well as strong attachment to the Church of England from
his childhood, have had something to do with his final course?

The Revolutions of 1848 brought with them an immense amount of excitement
in this country, as in others.  The month of April in that year can never
be forgotten.  An outbreak was feared in London.  Special constables were
sworn in.  On the Sunday before the 10th of the month my friend, Mr.
Walford, preached a remarkable sermon in Kensington Chapel.  His text was
Isa. xii. 2—“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be
afraid.”  Having unfolded the sentiment of the passage, he applied the
principle to passing events, and spoke of the political excitement in
this country at the time of the French Revolution, which he well
remembered.  He assured us that the excitement then surpassed anything
which existed at the time when he spoke, and expressed his confidence in
the rectitude and love of the Almighty, who maketh the wrath of man to
praise Him.  The preacher’s age, and his vivid recollection of what he
had witnessed, gave force to his exhortations, as tears were falling from
his eyes.

Trust in Providence, touchingly enforced by personal recollections, was
honoured by what occurred on the following day.  The meeting on
Kensington Common, so much dreaded, broke up in confusion.  Ringleaders
were alarmed, the mob was scattered without the interference of soldiers
who had been provided against an outbreak, but were concealed in public
buildings, through the Duke of Wellington’s wisdom.  A day which opened
in fear was spent in peace and confidence.

During a visit abroad in that year, 1848, I reached Geneva, with letters
of introduction to Cæsar Malan, Gaussen, and M. St. George.  Merle
D’Aubigne was from home.  In company with friends, on the Sunday
afternoon, I attended at Cæsar Malan’s little chapel.  We had mistaken
the hour, and, on our entering, he recapitulated the early portions of
his sermon.  Then, in his own pleasant parlour, he engaged in fervent
discourse on his favourite tenet of Christian assurance.  On parting he
singled me out for the privilege of a double French kiss, and on my
expressing a hope that we should meet in the Father’s House, he rebuked
me for using the word _hope_.  With him it was a matter of assurance.
Then I reminded him of the difference between present and future, and
quoted St. Paul: “For we are saved _by hope_: but hope that is seen is
not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?  But if we hope
for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.”

I parted from relatives, who had been my fellow-travellers, and made my
way next morning alone by boat to Vevay, thence travelling to Basle and
Strasburg.  Traffic was interrupted, and relics of revolution were seen
in marching troops and handcuffed prisoners.

In 1849 a movement occurred for meeting religious needs in Kensington.  A
chapel was much needed on Notting Hill, and one of my deacons, who lived
there, promised a large donation for the purpose.  A few friends met in
Hornton Street vestry, and opened a subscription list, which at once
secured £1500.  With that we went to work.

At first, there was some notion of incorporating members of the two
congregations in one Church, with a copastorate; and Dr. Vaughan, I
think, indicated willingness to become my colleague.  I should not have
objected to such union, but feared lest the moral effect of our movement
should be thereby impaired.  The scheme might have been looked upon as
one of self-aggrandisement, while it was meant as an act of
self-sacrifice.  The latter it proved to be, for we drafted off about
fifty members, as the nucleus of a new Church.  Also we missed about two
hundred seat-holders, who took pews in the new edifice, and, of course,
there arose a certain _éclat_ around Notting Hill which left Hornton
Street a little in the shade.  But soon things revived; our chapel became
as full as ever.  Funds recovered, liberal things were devised, and one
morning I found a handsome cheque on my library table.  Everybody seemed
to be growing in kindness, and Hornton Street rose to more than its
previous prosperity.  It was an illustration of the principle—true of
communities as well as of individuals—“There is that scattereth and yet
increaseth.”

In connection with my early residence at Kensington I may mention a
circumstance which interested me.  I observed several times, sitting near
my pulpit, an old gentleman.  Upon inquiry, I found it was the Rev.
Michael Maurice, father to the Rev. F. D. Maurice, then at the height of
his influence as author and preacher.  I never had the pleasure of
conversing with my venerable hearer, but I learned from different sources
much relative to his character and career.  Though descended from a
thoroughly orthodox family, he was educated for the ministry under Dr.
Abraham Rees, Dr. Kippis and Dr. Savage—the first two being Arian
divines, and the last a moderate Calvinist.  He became afternoon preacher
at Dr. Priestley’s Meeting House; and after officiating in other
Unitarian places of worship, retired from pulpit work altogether.  But he
habitually associated with orthodox Nonconformists during the time he
lived at Southampton.  He also joined the British and Foreign Bible
Society, and spoke for it on the platform.  I wondered he should worship
in Hornton Street, but information subsequently obtained served to
explain the circumstance.  He appears to have been a devout man with a
large measure of Evangelical feeling.  I mention him as a type of no
inconsiderable class of sincerely religious people.

I knew but little of his distinguished son, only having met him a few
times at Dean Stanley’s, and at Baldwin Brown’s.  I used sometimes, on a
Sunday afternoon, to hear Mr. Maurice preach at Lincoln’s Inn, and was
much struck with the earnestness with which he repeated the Lord’s
Prayer.  The difficulty he felt in making himself understood is amusing.
Some of the principles, he said, which his friends attacked, were those
he strongly objected to himself, and those which they held as against
him, were just those on which he rested his own faith and hope.  “I could
not make them the least understand what I meant,” he went on to say; “and
if I did they would only dislike me for it.”  It was not obscurity of
style, as many thought, which made him unintelligible; but obscurity or
confusion of thought arising from complexity of perception.  He saw so
much that it puzzled him how to express it.  I respected him greatly as
an honest thinker, more anxious to commend himself to the Searcher of
hearts than to his fellow-men.

It must have been, I think, in 1846 or 1847 that I received an invitation
to preach the annual sermon on behalf of Newport Pagnell College, and
thither I went in the month of June.  The Rev. Thos. Palmer Bull,
president, and his son, the Rev. Josiah Bull, were living under the same
roof, their house and garden full of comfort and convenience, beauty and
fragrance.  The old gentleman had a good library, and in nooks and
corners were MSS. and relics of Cowper and Newton, friends of his father,
the Rev. William Bull.  The father was the “Taurus,” and his son the
“Tommy,” immortalised in Newton and Cowper’s letters.  When I had
fulfilled my public duty I intensely enjoyed conversation with my elder
host, as he showed me letters written, and relics possessed by the two
celebrities so closely connected with his father’s name.  He told me how
he used, when a boy, to accompany his father to Olney, where he dined
with the poet; that when grace was said, Cowper would play with his knife
and fork, to indicate he had no share in acts of worship; that he would
cheerfully converse on a variety of topics, but shunned all reference to
religion.  Notwithstanding, he would sometimes join in an Olney hymn; and
then check himself as one who had neither part nor lot in the matter.  He
would kindly talk with little Tom, who accompanied his father on those
visits, and they, on their way to and from the now world-known town,
would join in singing a psalm or hymn, to a familiar tune.  The old
gentleman, I was informed, sometimes indulged in the use of a pipe, as he
drove along the accustomed road.  Full of such memories, I made an
excursion to Olney, stopped at the house near the park of the
Throgmortons, saw the room in which the poet slept, traced his writing on
a pane of glass, and thought of the despair to which, in that chamber, he
was so pitiable a victim.  Then I was taken to the unpretentious abode in
the main street of Olney, where he cultivated a close intimacy with John
Newton, and kept rabbits in his little garden,—which garden, at the time
I think of, remained much in its former state.  The summer-house,
described by the bard, was still in existence.  Here, pausing for a
moment to gather up another memento of Cowper, I may mention, that a
relative of mine pointed out a house in East Dereham, which was Cowper’s
residence; and told me that he remembered when a boy peeping through the
keyhole of a door, and seeing him sitting in his chair.  Cowper died at
the residence of his kinsman, the Rev. Mr. Johnson.  A friend of his gave
me a leaf, in the poet’s handwriting, from the translation of Homer.

Soon after my return from this excursion I was chosen to fill up a
vacancy in the important Nonconformist Trust of William Coward, a London
merchant, who appointed Dr. Watts, Dr. Guyse, and Mr. Neal, author of the
“History of the Puritans,”—with another person who was a
layman,—administrators of property which he bequeathed for charitable
purposes.  Much of it consisted of Bank stock; that having risen, the
revenue had become very considerable.

Dr. Doddridge was a special friend of Mr. Coward’s, and had under his
care several ministerial candidates, supported by that gentleman.
According to tradition, the merchant was very punctual, the minister less
so; and when the former invited the latter to dinner, if he did not come
exactly at the hour, the footman was ordered not to admit him.  A
gentleman who lived opposite was aware of this peculiarity, and his
footman arranged with Mr. Coward’s footman, that when Dr. Doddridge had
been invited to dinner, mention should be made of it to the servant on
the other side the road, that a dinner might be prepared for his
reverence there.  Other curious stories were told of our founder, which I
have forgotten.  The perpetuation of Dr. Doddridge’s academy in different
places, and under different forms, led to a transfer of the institution
from Wymondley in Hertfordshire to Torrington Square, London, where, in
association with London University College, it existed at the time of my
accession to the trusteeship.  For about two years I assisted in
conducting the business of Coward College, as a separate institution.
Then came a change.  There were at the time three independent academies,
as they were then called, in London and the neighbourhood—Homerton,
Highbury and Coward.  There were three sets of tutors, three boards of
administration, three distinct buildings, and three distinct sources of
expense.  Previous attempts to accomplish the union of these institutions
had failed; but at the time to which I now refer, an opportunity arrived
for accomplishing the union.  After conferences between “Heads of Houses”
for some months, it was determined to sell the three buildings, then
occupied by the students, and to erect one large new edifice, where they
might be instructed together.  The erection of New College St. John’s
Wood, was the result.  In the negotiations connected with this change,
Dr., afterwards Sir William, Smith zealously co-operated with the Coward
trustees.  My dear old friend, the Rev. William Walford, took a great
interest in the accomplishment of this business, but he died before it
was completely effected.

He spent his last days in writing an autobiography, and after his death I
found it was written in letters addressed to myself, with a request that
I would edit the publication.  This I did with a melancholy satisfaction.
He had suffered acutely from mental depression, and the malady returned
with violence shortly before his death.  My last visits were most
painful.  He refused all consolation, and passed away under a cloud, like
that which attended the sunset of Cowper.  There were gleams of light,
followed by dense darkness.  Then he sank into silence, if not torpor.
Days and nights rolled on, so different from their “tranquil gliding”
which he described in his letters; but it was the happy confidence of his
friends, notwithstanding his own fears, that the angry billow, no less
than the gentle wave, was bearing the weather-beaten barque to the
celestial shore.  He died on June 22nd, 1850.  The poor body looked like
a wreck, but faith could see at rest the soul which had such hard work to
pilot the vessel beyond reach of storms.  A post-mortem examination
proved that his depression arose from the condition of the brain.  He was
a good Greek scholar, and delighted in reading Plato.



CHAPTER VI
1850–1854


THE year 1850 opened with a storm of religious excitement, owing to a
division of England by Papal authority into Roman dioceses, at the
suggestion of Dr. Wiseman.  It came to be called “The Papal Aggression.”
Some thought more was made of it, at the time, than circumstances
warranted; but, looked at through the medium of history, it seemed to aim
at a territorial authority over England, inconsistent with our
repudiation of Papal supremacy.  The way in which it was taken up by some
good people was not wise, and there was an anti-popish commotion amongst
some of my friends—a few only.  The commotion was unreasonable, but was
overruled for good, as the incident led some Protestants to look into
their professed principles, which doubtless, in our country, lie at the
basis of civil and religious liberty.

From one end of the island to the other, Nonconformists as well as
Churchmen took an opportunity for expressing attachment to the
Reformation.  In two ways I became connected with what went on.  The
Presbyterian, Congregational, and Baptist ministers of London,
representing the three denominations, resolved, in common with other
ecclesiastical bodies, to approach Her Majesty with a protest against
“Papal Aggression.”  The three denominations—like Convocation and certain
English corporations—have a right of presenting addresses to the
Sovereign; and on this occasion, the audience for accepting the
addresses, was appointed to be at Windsor Castle.  When the ceremony in
the Royal Closet for receiving representatives of the three denominations
was over, we were invited to lunch in the equerry’s apartment.  Covers
were laid for two or three gentlemen, in addition to our party.  “Pray,
can you tell me their names?” I whispered to one of the servants, who,
from my previous residence in the town, happened to know me.  He could
not say, and at the same moment the strangers, who proved to be Roman
Catholic noblemen, felt a like curiosity to know who we were.  I
proceeded to explain the origin of the three denominations, which was
quite a revelation to the gentlemen; who informed us that they had just
presented a loyal address from 250,000 Catholics.  They proceeded to say,
that English Protestants had quite misapprehended the meaning of recent
arrangements; and, after receiving a courteous explanation, we sat down
with them, and had a pleasant chat.

At that time I delivered at Kensington a short series of discourses on
the Roman Catholic controversy.  I went over some of the main points in
that controversy, avoiding misrepresentation and uncharitableness.  I was
not violent enough to please some ultra-Protestants, but I had the
gratification of hearing, that two young Catholics ultimately became
Protestants, and were helped by the lectures.  I have met in the course
of my life with several members of the Romish Church, who have appeared
to me estimable characters.  I had in my congregation a young lady, one
of a family which ranked a Cardinal amongst its members, and whose mother
remained a Catholic; in her dying illness she clung to Christ as her
Saviour, saying, in the words of Solomon’s Song: “I held Him, and would
not let Him go.”

In the same year, as I have said, the Palace of Glass was opened; and,
being a Kensington resident, I had opportunities of watching the edifice
rising out of the earth as a beautiful exhalation.  On moonlight nights,
in the previous winter, how often, on my way home, it revealed itself,
amidst floating mists, as a kind of ethereal structure!

There was a moral atmosphere created by the enterprise, which those who
do not recollect it are unable to appreciate.  It inspired thousands of
people with expressions of charity and goodwill.  The opening day can
never be forgotten by those who witnessed it.  The _Times_ newspaper had
a leader, which made one feel that a new era in history had arrived; that
war and strife were approaching an end, and a millennial age of goodwill
had dawned upon mankind.  When, that day, we saw crowds, not jostling and
pushing against each other; for almost every unit of the mass seemed
willing to make way for a neighbour; when we witnessed the opening
service, and beheld the royal procession moving through the stupendous
aisles,—representatives of “all people that on earth do dwell,”—those
present seemed to feel as they never did before.  As the poet Montgomery
conversed with me on the subject, he remarked that, looking down from the
galleries upon the throng which passed before his eyes, it “reminded him
of flowing waters gently gurgling through some broad channel.”  The
people, thronging here and there round corners, seemed like eddies in a
river with lofty banks.

In the Exhibition year efforts were made for the religious improvement of
the people.  The Press was in different ways employed for this purpose;
and amongst other methods there appeared, as distinctively
characteristic, a series of evangelical discourses in Exeter Hall.  They
attracted crowded audiences.  The sermons were carefully reported and
widely circulated.  About the same time several similar methods were
employed for the promotion of religion; services were held in theatres
and other places of amusement.  Having been engaged in these efforts, I
can testify to the crowds gathered together, and the general decorum of
their behaviour.  Some to whom these buildings belonged took an interest
in the proceedings, as I knew from conversation with dramatic managers,
who expressed interest in the addresses delivered.  Afterwards, services
were planned to be conducted by Episcopal clergymen in Exeter Hall, but
the plan was frustrated by opposition of parochial authority.  After
this, Dissenters undertook to supply the lack of service, and the first
Sunday night, an Independent minister officiated, reading parts of the
Liturgy in the Book of Common Prayer, and an English nobleman acted as
clerk, leading the responses.

The same year (1851) it fell to my lot at the autumnal meeting of the
Congregational Union to read a memorial paper on Dr. Doddridge, who had
died just a hundred years before, and had been pastor and Divinity
Professor in Northampton, where the assembly met.  We occupied the old
meeting-house in which he preached; there in the vestry stood the chair
in which he sat.  From the pulpit which had been his, the centenary
tribute to his memory was delivered.  Mr. Bull, of Newport Pagnell,
presented the original MS. of a funeral sermon which the doctor preached
for his little daughter, partly written upon her coffin.  A common
sympathy, amidst deathlike silence, pervaded the audience, as if the
divine who was commemorated had only just left the world, and we had
assembled to honour his remains.  The _genius loci_ of the place, and
traditions of the good man, passed away so long before, contributed to
the occasion more impressiveness than it derived from other
circumstances.

In 1852 my beloved wife travelled with me to Elberfeld to see our eldest
daughter.  We had, from an early period, formed the plan of sending our
children abroad for part of their education, in order that they might
learn a foreign language and see other forms of society besides our own.
Therefore we placed our firstborn under the care of Pastor and Madame
Schröder,—two very excellent persons, whose character and influence
answered the high expectations we had been led to form.  Pastor Schröder
succeeded Dr. Krummacher as one of the pastors of the Evangelical
communion.  We enjoyed his society and that of his excellent wife, and
saw something of German habits, which interested me much; they presented
aspects unfamiliar to us.  For instance, one Sunday afternoon we took a
walk in the woods with our friend the pastor, and, on the way, he
gathered into a large company one after another of his people, until it
formed quite a procession; and, finally, we rested in a pleasant nook
encompassed by trees, where the people drank coffee, and sang hymns.

After we had spent some days at Elberfeld we started for Switzerland,
where I planned my wife and daughter should spend two or three weeks,
whilst accompanied by a Kensington friend, I proceeded on a journey to
Italy.  We started from Zurich, crossed the lake, reached Coire and the
Via Mala, and over the Alps, came down to the Lake of Como; thence we
reached Milan, where we stayed three days.  I then became acquainted for
the first time with the Duomo and other churches.  We spent a Sunday in
the city, and felt deeply interested in schools founded by Cardinal
Borromeo, carried on at the time with exemplary care; and we found at
eventide, in a church, groups of worshippers, led by a layman, who knelt
in front as they chanted responses.  I was struck then, and have been
oftentimes since, with the adaptation of Scripture passages on church
walls, pointing to salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.  One thought,
too, of Ambrose, who forbade the approach of Theodosius, wet with the
blood he had shed at Thessalonica.  Speaking of the adaptation of
Scripture in foreign churches, I may mention other passages inscribed on
their walls in other places, for example, at Treves, where under a
picture of “The Nativity” we read “Verily Thou art a God that hidest
Thyself,” as applied to the Incarnation.  Again, at Nismes, if I
recollect aright, under the fresco of a captive rejoicing in his freedom,
the words “Thou hast loosed my bonds”; and under another, representing
martyrs and virgins at the portals of heaven, “With joy and rejoicing
shall they be brought: they shall enter into the King’s palace.”  After
all, the kernel of the Gospel continues in Roman Catholic Christendom,
though too often concealed under manifold innovations.  Still there it
is, if you look for it.

My reference to Milan brings before me other recollections of that
wonderful city, as revisited again and again since 1852.  Amidst manifold
associations of art, archæology, history, and religion, one image,
indelibly impressed on my mind, is that of Augustine under the fig tree
in a garden, listening to a voice which cried, “Tolle lege”; at the
hearing of which he sat down, took the Testament in his hand, and read
Rom. xiii., and thus became a new creature in Christ Jesus.  Wandering in
quiet old streets, I have paused near some fig tree in a little enclosure
of grass and flowers, to think of him who became the grandest father of
the Latin Church.

From Milan we proceeded to Verona, and thence to Venice, where I felt
“one of the greatest emotions of life.”  I have seen it again and again,
but the first charm was greatest of all.  Then Titian’s “Peter Martyr”
adorned the walls of SS. Giovanni e Paulo.  Wonderful picture that! but
it does not, to my mind, eclipse his S. Jerome in the Brera at Milan.

Let me return to Kensington.  Perhaps this is as good a place as any, for
saying a few words about people there, and others with whom I was brought
into contact, during my pastorate.

Under the ministry of my predecessor, Dr. Leifchild, there lived in one
of the stately houses in the neighbourhood, a gentleman—commanding in
person and polished in manners—who was drawn towards the Dissenting
pastor, though he had no affection for Dissent; if he smiled at the
system, he liked some of the people.  He lost largely on the Stock
Exchange, but he bore it with much magnanimity.  I was acquainted with
some of the family, who were in prosperous circumstances, and who became
my kind friends.  I once met at their house with an old general—uncle to
the Duchess of Gordon—who related a singular anecdote.  He had been at
the Eglinton Tournament, and, as the castle was crowded with guests, he
and another person shared the same bedroom.  That person was no other
than the future Napoleon II.  He kept his companion awake with talk about
the French Empire and his uncle, declaring, that he was sure one day of
sitting on his uncle’s throne.  The ambitious dream filled his mind, and
overflowed in his abundant chat; though then it seemed a most improbable
imagination.  The incident was related some time after the tournament,
and before the Republic was established; and when I afterwards heard of
Napoleon’s election to the presidentship, I saw it was by no means
unlikely that the daring prophecy he had ventured, would come to pass.  I
have heard from other people that he often, when residing in London,
talked in society of his coming elevation, as imperial ruler of the
French.  The uncle had seen beforehand the dazzling star of his destiny.
His nephew did the same.  There were people who fancied something
supernatural in this, but it may be accounted for on natural principles.

Another story, of an amusing kind, I heard at a Chiswick garden party, to
which I was taken by the kind friends at whose house I met the old Scotch
soldier.  Amongst personages of rank present at Chiswick were certain
bishops, who had not dropped the old episcopal costume of a big wig, a
most decidedly broad-brimmed clerical hat, and a conspicuous apron.
Right Reverend brethren are still somewhat distinguished from other
people, though some of them reduce the distinction within very restricted
limits; forty or fifty years ago it was quite otherwise.  They appeared
then commonly—to use an undignified expression—in _full jig_, and as some
occupants of the Bench passed by, in unmistakable array of the kind just
noticed, a clergyman at the garden party now mentioned, told me of a
prime minister, who used to remark, he thought, “Bishops well deserved
all they got” (and it was much more then than it is now), “for allowing
themselves to be dressed up, as such regular guys.”

Literature and art were pretty well represented in Kensington, at the
period I speak of.  Contributors to _Punch_—Mark Lemon, Gilbert a Becket,
and others—were my neighbours, and with one of them I spent a pleasant
evening.  Gilbert a Becket during a few weeks, when the parish church
underwent repairs, used pretty regularly to attend our chapel, and I was
struck by his attentiveness and devotion.  He expressed his readiness to
spend a few hours with me, at a friend’s residence, only he stipulated
that it should not be on an opera night; and when it was proposed to me I
stipulated that it should not be on one of my service nights.
Preliminaries being settled we accordingly met, and got on exceedingly
well.  What amuses me, as I think of it, is that, though I am not at all
given to pun-making, the presence of a brilliant punster so inspired me,
that I perpetrated one or two hits, which Becket pronounced very fair.
Perhaps I may be forgiven by those who achieve pleasant things in that
way, if I remark that there is something contagious in the practice; and
it is difficult not to catch it, when in company with those who are
imbued with the habit.

With another celebrity I came in contact through intimacy with his
family, and his early connection with our place of worship.  I allude to
Justice Talfourd.  When a young man he used to attend on Dr. Leifchild’s
ministry, his father and mother being members of the Congregational
Church at Kensington.  His mother, whom I knew well, related anecdotes of
his early days at home, and at Mill Hill School, where he had
schoolfellows who afterwards distinguished themselves in the walks of
Dissent.  He wrote home about his companions and told his mother of
prayer-meetings amongst the boys; and of one boy in particular, very
imaginative, and florid on such occasions.  This schoolfellow became
afterwards an eloquent minister, well known as Dr. Hamilton of Leeds.
The Judge told me of his early attachment to that gentleman, and how,
during the doctor’s last visit to London, he went to hear him preach, and
stepped into the vestry afterwards, to talk of old times; but the
preacher had left, which was a great disappointment.

There was a strong religious side to Judge Talfourd’s character, and he
used to speak with much enthusiasm of my predecessor, Dr. Leifchild,
whose preaching he said came up to his idea of the Apostle Paul’s
ministry.

Amongst artists living in Kensington were two Academicians, Uwins and
Philip, who both belonged to our congregation—the first a regular, the
second an occasional, attendant.  Philip’s wife—a beautiful woman, whom
he introduced into some of his pictures—was a communicant with us at the
Lord’s table.  I often visited the artist’s studio, and listened to his
picturesque description of Spain, and also to his accounts of family
afflictions which elicited my sympathy.

From my boyhood I had taken an interest in art, and the friendship of
several men distinguished in its cultivation was exceedingly instructive
and pleasant.  My travels on the Continent, which enabled me to visit
most of the principal picture galleries,—rich in specimens by great
masters,—educated and purified what little taste I had; and prompted me
to somewhat extensive studies in artistic literature.  These, blended
with other habits of reading, I find an immense enjoyment in the leisure
of my old age.

Mr. Theed, the sculptor, and his family, who attended Kensington Chapel,
were our intimate friends; and he told me much about Gibson, his
companion in art, and intimate acquaintance for many years, when they
resided at Rome.  With the latter gentleman I became acquainted slightly
when I was in Italy, and had a long talk with him once about tinting
sculpture,—which he advocated with zeal, and practised with skill.  I
felt there was force in what he said.  Another Kensington name,—that of
Edward Corbould, the water-colourist,—may be coupled with my friend
Theed’s.  Each was connected with the other in artistic service to Her
Majesty and family.  I remember on the Sunday morning after the Prince
Consort’s lamented death, missing both these gentlemen at Divine worship,
in consequence of their being summoned to Windsor—one to take a cast, and
the other to make a drawing of the good Prince’s face.

There was another group of hearers during the latter part of my
Kensington ministry, to whom I was much attached.  One of them, Cozens
Hardy, M.P., who has won eminence in the legal profession, is son to the
oldest friend I have.  All now referred to are distinguished, not only by
professional position, but by continued study in classical learning.

I must not pass by “annals of the poor.”  When I first went to
Kensington, I was requested to visit an old shoemaker, crippled, and in
humble circumstances, but with a good deal of natural politeness, the
more striking from its surroundings.  He had been a wild young fellow,
daring to the last degree, and this was the cause of his incurable
lameness.  He was converted under the ministry of Dr. Leifchild.  The
preacher, in the course of a sermon, related an anecdote of Mr. Cecil,
who previous to his becoming decidedly religious narrowly escaped with
life, when thrown by his horse across the track of a waggon, which in
passing only crushed his hat.  The incident struck the listener.  It
resembled his own experience, and riveted his attention, preparing him to
listen to the preacher’s appeals.  He became an exemplary Christian; and
I often sat by his bedside to hear him describe the wondrous change
wrought in his character, by Divine grace.  “I am a wonder unto many,” he
used to say; and then, with faltering voice, would sing the old hymn—

    “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound,
       That saved a wretch like me!
    I once was lost, but now am found;
       Was blind, but now I see.”

This was not the only case in which the humbler members of the Church
were a comfort to me.  Often my heart was cheered by communications made
by them, touching spiritual life.  Such communications were perfectly
artless, and arose from the absence of that reserve which, in the upper
class, is the result of educational refinement.  This circumstance often
prevents a free revelation of what cultured people think and feel on the
subject of religion.  I have frequently noticed it, and never inferred,
from delicacy touching soul secrets, any want of that which rises to the
surface, and overflows in ready words, when uneducated people speak of
their Christian experience.

I cannot omit a reference to the Gurney family, with some of whom I came
into pleasant connection during my Kensington residence.  As a boy, I had
some knowledge of their ancestral relatives; and now I came into close
friendship with Mr. Bell, brother to Mrs. John Gurney, who was mother to
Samuel Gurney, the renowned London Quaker, and also to Joseph John
Gurney, of Earlham, near Norwich—an equally renowned banker, and also a
_Public Friend_, as preachers of that denomination then were wont to be
called.  Mr. Bell had become one of my hearers and a communicant, much to
his spiritual benefit, as he and his family informed me.  He was a chatty
old gentleman, and used to talk of his sister, Priscilla Wakefield, of
Miss Schemmelpenninck, and of Samuel Taylor Coleridge—whom he met at the
house of his friend Gilman, resident in Highgate.  Through frequent vivid
references to these celebrities, whom I knew by their writings and by
report, I came to have a sort of personal acquaintance with them.  Thus
they became, more than ever, living realities.  Besides this, I came to
have a slight personal knowledge of Mr. Samuel Gurney, just mentioned,
the well-known bill-broker, and also of Mrs. Fry, his sister, who did so
much good as a prison visitor.  Mr. Gurney was a stately person, with a
benign countenance, and a musical voice rich in persuasive tones.  The
mental anxiety he felt during money panics, not only on his own account,
but also from sympathy with others, was such, that he was known to spend
sleepless nights pacing his chamber.  Mrs. Fry was as dignified as her
brother, and I now in imagination see her in her becoming Quaker garb, as
she talked to me about her nephew Bell, and spoke gratefully of the
benefit he had derived from my ministry.  The younger Mr. Samuel Gurney
came to live at Prince’s Gate, Kensington, and used to worship with us
occasionally.  At his table I met with the Bunsens, and other remarkable
friends and relatives of his.  He told me that at any time when I needed,
in Christian work, pecuniary help, I might apply to him without
hesitation.  The crash on “Black Friday” was a terrible trial, as it made
him, after being one of the richest of London citizens, dependent on his
relatives.  I wrote to him words of condolence, to which he beautifully
replied, saying that he trusted the tribulation which had befallen him
would be for his spiritual welfare.  His excellent wife bore up nobly,
and the two afforded admirable instances of Christian patience and
resignation.



CHAPTER VII
1854–1862


ON April 4th, 1854, I started the first time for Rome, provided with
letters of introduction to Gibson, the sculptor, Penry Williams, the
landscape painter, and two Roman Catholic dignitaries, one a Monseignor,
the other president of the English College.  All these gentlemen were
polite and helpful to me.

My companions were Dr. Raffles, Dr. Halley, the Rev. Spencer Edwards, and
another friend.  The first of them was wonderful for relating stories,
which he always told _secundum artem_.  He kept us awake one whole night
with his amusing anecdotes; but, as we were travelling through France at
a time when espionage was prevalent, he would not allow us to make any
political allusions.  I was surprised at the retentiveness of his verbal
memory; whilst he repeated long pieces, in which the amusement consisted
of odd words, connected with no rational meaning, when put together.

It was Holy Week when we reached Rome.  On Thursday there was the
feet-washing at St. Peter’s, and the supper afterwards: the Pope, as
“servant of servants,” ministering to the poor, but with great pomp on
both occasions.  We arranged to see the former, and found a transept on
the right hand, fitted up for the occasion.  Rank, fashion, beauty,
arrayed in mourning, found accommodation in galleries commanding a good
view.  Ladies were veiled, gentlemen wore evening dress.  Admission to
that part of the edifice could be obtained on no other conditions.  Pio
Nono, a pleasant, genial-looking old man, who won a good opinion as soon
as you looked at him, did his part well.  He read the Gospel (John xiii.)
in tones wonderfully musical and distinct, and then washed the pilgrims’
feet with grace and reverence.  The whole was artistically and solemnly
done.  “One can laugh at these things, as described in books,” said Dr.
Raffles—a staunch Nonconformist—“but _not_ when witnessed, as now, in
this magnificent place.”  Still, on a calm review, nothing like _worship_
appears in any part of the ceremony.  Then the _Miserere_ in the
afternoon!  Those who did not witness it years ago can have no idea of it
now; or of the gorgeous procession, amidst a blaze of light, to the altar
of S. Paulo, and the prostration of the Pontiff and his Cardinals on the
floor, in the midst of darkness, candles having been extinguished, one by
one.  The scene on the grand staircase was striking as the dignitaries
returned, varying in appearance and character—an ascetic monk, a man of
the world, another looking studious and reflective, a fourth keen and
statesmanlike.  Nobody could deny the Italian scenic skill in such
matters.  I have been at Rome in Easter, since then, much struck with
subsequent changes.  When all was over on my first Easter in Rome, I went
to the English Episcopal Church, where the Lord’s Supper was administered
according to Protestant rites, and I could not but be impressed by the
contrast between the two services.  It illustrated the change effected by
the Reformation.  I mentioned this once to the Rev. Frederic Denison
Maurice, who, of course, agreed with me; and, talking of Rome, he
happened to relate an anecdote which I do not remember having seen in
print.  Pio Nono, after the suppression of Latin nunneries in Poland,
received a visit from the Emperor of Russia.  “You are a great king,”
said the former to the latter, “one of the mightiest in the world.  I am
a poor feeble man, servant of servants; but I cite you to meet me before
the Judge of all, and to answer for your treatment of helpless women.”
There was the old assumption of authority; but there was a touch of
grandeur in the words.

I saw the catacombs, following my guide, taper in hand; and in one of the
strange passages was accosted by name.  “Who could have expected to be
recognised in this dark underworld?” I exclaimed.  It turned out to be a
person who had lived at Eton, and been a hearer of mine at Windsor.
Other recognitions have occurred to me of an odd kind, when visiting
several places.

I became so attracted by what I saw in Rome, and drank so deeply into the
spirit of Arnold’s letters, written there, that my last day was spent in
pensive leave-takings of ruin after ruin, church after church.  I have
been there twice since, each for a longer time than the first; but not
with quite the impression which I felt in the first instance.

We proceeded to Naples, stopped at Cisterna, at Terracinia, at Gaeta, and
at S. Agata.  Whoever has travelled the same road must long remember the
fragrance of the orange-groves and the coloured dresses of the peasantry.

We had no trouble at custom-houses on the way, for my two companions and
myself travelled in humble fashion.  Otherwise did the two doctors,
already mentioned, fare.  Large sums were demanded of them on the
Neapolitan frontier; and when they refused to pay, their luggage was
searched, and a coloured pen-wiper being found, the officials declared it
was a _revolutionary cockade_, and that books in their portmanteaus were
no doubt full of treason and heresy.  There was no alternative but to
stay where they were, or to allow a soldier to accompany them in charge
of the suspected articles.  All this trouble was followed by apologies on
reaching Naples, after an appeal had been made to the English Consul.

We saw the picture galleries and museums in Naples, and explored the city
as well as we could during our short stay.  Religious services of a
special kind were being held in one of the churches; and I remember
entering it on an evening when it was crowded with people, listening to a
friar, who was earnestly preaching.  Next morning, on revisiting the
place, it was crowded as the night before, and the same priest occupied
the pulpit.  We drove along the old coast road, by the so-called Tomb of
Virgil to Castellamare, Sorrento, Posilipo and Pozzuoli (the Puteoli of
the Acts), and had dreams of the luxurious life once spent on these
shores, and of Paul’s disembarkation on his way to Rome.  We also spent a
day at Vesuvius, where clouds of vapour were rolling upward; and I, with
one of our party, crawled down to the crater, as near as we could, much
to the dismay of our senior companions.  On our way back to Naples we
tarried as long as possible at Pompeii, looking at the wonders of that
memorable spot.

An important step was taken at Kensington on my return from Italy.  The
“swarm” sent to Notting Hill did not permanently reduce the numbers of
our congregation.  On the contrary, they considerably advanced.  The old
chapel became more than ever inconvenient, and we resolved to build a new
and much larger one.

I must now pass from local and personal affairs to notice a movement in
Congregationalism at large.  Independency leads to isolated action on the
part of local Churches.  It is unfriendly to cohesion and co-operation.
It provides for freedom, and nothing else.  Old Independents saw this,
and checked the evil by maintaining local fellowships between Church and
Church, by the employment of “messengers” one to another. {126}

About 1830 the wiser heads amongst us had clearly seen the evil, and
endeavoured to overcome it.  They concluded that centrifugal tendencies
should be met by a centripetal force.  Mr. Binney used to say, we were a
collection of limbs—legs, arms, feet, and hands—all in motion, but not an
organised body.  To frame a body out of so many members, was the design
of the Congregational Union.  Algernon Wells may be regarded as its
founder.  He was one of the most beautiful characters I have ever
known—intelligent, well read, sagacious, with extensive knowledge of men
and things, and a profound attachment to evangelical truth.  He had a
rare order of eloquence, and wove pleasant tissues of thought in his
sermons and speeches.  If his speeches were not always sermons, his
sermons were almost always speeches.  There was a great charm in his
conversation, and it often overflowed with wit.  Though a decided
Congregationalist, he was full of charity, and cultivated harmonious
intercourse with other denominations.  His policy as to the newly-formed
organisation, was to make the meetings fraternal rather than
controversial—a brotherly society to promote edification rather than an
ecclesiastical army to fight with soldiers outside, or a council to
settle disputes inside.  The early meetings were held in the
Congregational Library, and did not muster more than a hundred members.
“Business” received at times a look askance: spiritual edification
excited desire, and stimulated expression.  Now and then came touches of
humour, as when after talking about the state of the denomination till we
were hungry, one brother rose and gravely asked “whether any intelligence
had arrived from the Sandwich Islands.”

Good Algernon Wells died in 1851, and soon afterwards I was requested by
a sub-committee to meet them in conference on an important matter.  It
was to propose my election as Mr. Wells’ successor.  Now, secretaryships
have always been my aversion—from an instinct, I suppose, such as guides
inferior animals to shun what they were never made for.  The
secretaryship of the City Mission had been pressed upon me soon after my
arrival in London, but I steadily refused it, from a conviction of utter
incompetence; and, for the same reason, I declined to entertain the
proposal just mentioned.  He who proposed the office for me accepted it
for himself, and we worked together pleasantly through several years.  I
was elected chairman of the Union in May 1856, amidst much excitement.
There have been strains on its strength more than once, but this first
was the greatest.

Dr. Campbell had been for some time a prominent member.  Hard-headed and
hard-handed, of a bold, open countenance, and with a habit of planting
his foot pretty firmly on the ground,—the outer man well indicated the
inner; kind-hearted and affectionate at home, but not the same on a
platform, or with an editorial pen in hand.  He then gave no quarter to
anybody who opposed him.  “You are a good fellow,” it was once said to
him by a loving spirit; “but I don’t like that great club you carry.”
That great club he swung about, much to the terror of many, and
consequently he exercised a despotic sway, to which they were indisposed
to submit.  He held the doctrines of Calvinistic theology with a firm
grasp, and looked with alarm upon certain opinions springing up amongst
his brethren.  He considered that there was looseness of sentiment, and a
range of thought too free, existing amongst younger men, which imperilled
the evangelical soundness of the Churches.  He gave it the name of
_Negative Theology_.  The name took, and was bandied about to the
annoyance of persons to whom it was applied, many of them holding
positive truths as firmly as Dr. Campbell himself.  It happened that in
1856 Mr. Lynch, a man of genius and sensibility, with a mind cast in a
mould the opposite of Dr. Campbell’s, published a small volume of poetry
entitled “The Rivulet.”  Some of the hymns it contained excited
admiration, and are now extensively used; but the book, as a whole,
aroused Dr. Campbell’s wrath beyond measure.  He wrote a criticism upon
it, which awakened indignation in those who had read “The Rivulet” with
approval.  Fifteen brethren drew up and signed a protest against this
style of review.

There existed, no doubt, a tendency on the part of a few brethren to give
up certain theological expressions long held sacred, and also to throw
into the background, if not to question, points of doctrine deemed
perfectly Congregational.  In the opposite quarter there appeared a
tenacity of diction and an emphasis of opinion on old lines, accompanied
by ungenerous reflections respecting those whom they deemed innovators.
Very naturally, personal feeling was thus stirred up, and the Union
seemed threatened with disaster.

“We men are a mysterious sort of creatures,” said John Howe to Richard
Baxter.  No doubt we are, and that in more ways than one: in this
especially, that whilst discussing theories of God, Christ, and the Holy
Spirit—all fountains of love—we are apt to be found drawing water from
the wells of Marah.

The controversy, now spoken of, related to old and new aspects of
theological thought.  Looking back, I can but say, the balance sheet of
past and present, in respect to what is now noticed, shows both gain and
loss.  All the gain, it strikes me, might have been secured without
incurring loss at all; and, in making up the whole account, there should
have been more charity in judging individuals, and more justice in
discussing principles.

I wished, in my address, to combine the two, and so render the whole a
sort of Irenicon.

A personal correspondence followed between two good men, which is now, I
hope, buried in oblivion; but no secession of members from the Union took
place, that I know of.  The two tendencies still exist, but they call for
no criticism in these pages.  My views on the subject I have often
expressed.

Before the close of my Windsor ministry I had begun to indulge in foreign
travel, and in 1854, when I had spent some time in my Kensington
pastorate, I ventured on a trip to Rome, which I have described already.
After that, visits abroad were numerous, and from amongst them I select
one paid in 1856, when I spent a few weeks with my two sons, who were
then being educated in Berlin.  My dear wife accompanied me through the
greater part of the tour, as she was anxious to see how the lads were
getting on.  We made our way to the Prussian capital through Hanover,
and, on reaching our destination, found all well.  After spending a
little while in Berlin, seeing the sights and becoming acquainted with
some excellent people, we made an excursion to the South, and spent a few
days at Dresden, where antiquities, pictures, and drives in the
neighbourhood greatly delighted us.  We proceeded to Schandau, a pretty
little village, and there took lodgings, initiating ourselves into
amusing details of German life.  We attended the parish church on Sunday,
taking interest in the clergyman, who was expounding to his people the
history of David.  We witnessed some of life’s joys and sorrows,
especially a funeral, which was very picturesque—bright flowers, red
roses and green leaves, relieving the darkness of death, the hope of
Heaven shedding light on the sorrow of bereavement.  Excursions in the
neighbourhood added to our family enjoyments of this sojourn, and one day
we came in contact with royalty.  The King of Saxony, the Queen, and a
few of the Court, climbed up a hill which we had selected as a
resting-place, commanding views of the Elbe.  Their Majesties’ servants
in livery (who, by the way, were very civil to us) paid the royal
reckoning to a humble châlet-keeper, as any of his subjects might do.  We
watched the King and attendants as they embarked in a boat for their
Dresden home.  My boys and I pushed on to Prague, where the bridge and
St. John Nepomuk, the Hradschin, and the thirty years’ war, John Huss and
his house in the Bethlehem platz, the Jews’ town on the banks of the
Moldau, the Jewish burial ground, and the old synagogue, inspired
historical memories of deep interest.  We joined mamma and returned to
Dresden the way we came; and there, after long gazings on the picture
gallery, especially at Raphael’s “Madonna and Child”—opposite to which
people sat reverently, as if engaged in devotion—father and mother parted
from the dear boys, and we wended our way homewards; not without
lingering in Lutherland to look at homes and haunts of the great
Reformer.

To return to my Kensington flock.  In the year 1857, one Sunday night,
after I had retired to rest, I heard a loud ringing at the door-bell, and
immediately rose.  On opening the window, there stood a carriage; and the
coachman, as soon as by gaslight he saw my face, cried out, “Oh, sir, my
mistress is dead!”  His mistress was Mrs. Jacomb, residing with her
husband and family at Notting Hill.  They had all been at Divine worship
that morning in their usual health.  The carriage had been sent to take
me back to the mourners.  I immediately rose and went.  On reaching the
house I witnessed a scene of domestic distress such as I never witnessed
before.  My deceased friend had in the morning worshipped with us, in her
usual delicate health, and, as I learned, in more than her usual
cheerfulness.  She was preparing for evening service, when she was
suddenly seized with illness, and in a short time expired.  The husband
and family were in deep distress, but they had a blessed knowledge of Him
who brought life and immortality to light.  She was a woman rich in
spiritual sympathy, and had been no ordinary friend to me and mine, in
our early married life.  We had a large family, and, though favoured
above many, had our domestic trials.  How often I thought of what Paul
said of “Phœbe, our sister”: “She has been a succourer of many, and of
myself also.”  I never knew any one who had more tender sympathy in
trouble than Mrs. Jacomb, or was more swift in expressing it.  Her
husband was worthy of her, and her children “rise up to call her
blessed.”  Those who survive are cherished friends.  He was of an old
Puritan stock, descendant of Dr. Jacomb, a renowned ejected clergyman
after the Commonwealth; and the family genealogy is rich in noted names
and memories.

In this chapter I cannot refrain from recording my own domestic sorrows.
In 1853 a sweet child had died—little Catherine, born shortly after we
left Windsor; and in 1858 another, more advanced in life, a boy named
Arnold, full of energy and promise, was taken from us by our Heavenly
Father.  His illness was brief; but beforehand my dear wife had been
anxious for his spiritual welfare, and her conversations were followed by
the Divine blessing.  His joyous, winning ways had won the hearts of
visitors, and his death widely affected my congregation, awakening
sympathy to a degree which inspired my liveliest gratitude.  Our friend
Joshua Harrison preached a funeral sermon for the dear boy, full of
pathos and power.

In 1859 a friend accompanied me to the Pyrenees.  Travelling by French
railways, we reached Bayonne at the end of August, and then crossed the
Spanish frontier in a Spanish diligence, which had all the lumber and
shabby trappings of French ones.  We reached San Sebastian at night, and
next morning took a walk on the promenade, where the ladies in mantillas
and veils flourished their fans with grace and dignity; and if there be
something gay in French solemnity, there is something grave in the gaiety
of Spaniards.  We again climbed up a diligence, and travelled through the
Lower Pyrenees to Pau, where, from the Grand Terrace, we saw peering out
from the haze of a hot summer sky the mountain range—not near, as many
imagine, but many miles off.  Of course we saw the old palace where Henri
IV. was born and wrapped up in his shell cradle.  Along roads bordered by
woods and hills, reminding one of Wharfedale, we reached an elevation at
Sevignac, overlooking the valley of the Gave, with magnificent mountains
in front, Pic du Midi coming into full view.  Eaux Bonnes, with all the
luxuries of a French watering-place, was then reached, whence we
proceeded to Eaux Chaudes, where the mountains become awfully
precipitous.  We looked down from zigzag roads, cut out of declivities
buttressed by rocks and embankments, with boiling torrents at the foot,
roaring like thunder.  The Pic du Midi, streaked with snow, rises up so
as to remind one of an Egyptian pyramid.

We determined to visit Pantacosa, and passed through a romantic defile,
crossed the Spanish frontier again, and halted at a village, where the
houses seemed walls without windows, the outlook being altogether from
the back.  Glimpses of Aragon’s broad plain were caught, as we looked
south, and crowds of Spanish muleteers passed us, laden with merchandise.
The baths of Pantacosa occupy a gloomy region, shut in by rocks, and
there I spent the Sunday as an invalid, my strength being overtaxed; but
next day I rose in the enjoyment of health and vigour.  Then we made our
way to Luz.  The church of the Templars built there is half fortress and
half sanctuary.  You enter through a machicolated gateway, into a church,
the gloomiest I ever saw.  Through a little door, the _Cagots_, a
proverbial race weak both in body and mind, used to enter for worship.

Near to Luz is St. Sauveur, a narrow valley, richly wooded, with a tiny
village jammed in among the rocks.  At the time of our visit, the Emperor
Napoleon and the Empress Eugenie were staying there.  The house they
occupied was small and plain; nothing distinguished it but the two
sentinels at the door.  All was silent and solitary, and nobody seemed to
notice the royal residence, besides ourselves.  In the afternoon, we saw
their Majesties returning from a drive in open carriages with outriders.
Napoleon sat on the box, Eugenie was chatting with her lady attendants.
On alighting she remained at the door of the house, playing with her
walking stick, and receiving a letter-bag.  The Emperor came out, lighted
a cigar, smoked and then walked on to inspect some men at work on a new
road.

We made an excursion to Gavarnie—a shady defile with precipitous rocks,
overhanging woods, and a river foaming and roaring four hundred feet
below.  Beyond is the Cirque, a basin-shaped valley of semicircular
rocks, with steps and stages, whilst a drapery of water fringes them all
round.  We ascended the Pic de Bergons, tarried a day at Bagnères de
Bigorre, a central spot for tourists, with the usual appurtenances of
such places.  We proceeded to Bagnères de Luchon, by a romantic drive,
commanding a view of the Maladetta with its snows and glaciers.

In the course of our rambles in the Pyrenees we were struck with Eastern
customs.  An unmuzzled ox went round a heap of corn.  Sheep were not
driven but led, and wine was kept in leathern bottles.



CHAPTER VIII
1862–1865


THE year 1862, being the Bicentenary of the Bartholomew ejectment, was
largely given by English Nonconformists to a remembrance of the
confessorship and heroism which marked the ejectment of ministers in
1662.  A meeting was held in the spring at St. James’s Hall, Piccadilly,
when papers were read, bearing on the commemoration.  The preparation of
one of them fell to my lot; but I was taken ill at the time for its
delivery, and it had to be read by my friend, the Rev. Joshua Clarkson
Harrison.  A story is told of Garrick’s reading a poem of Hannah More’s,
before a party of friends, when the effect produced was by Garrick
attributed to the lady’s composition, and by the lady to the reader’s
elocution.  Whatever might be the impression made at St. James’s Hall on
the reading of the paper, it was divided between my friend and me, after
the same fashion.  In this address I advocated a Bartholomew celebration,
on the ground, that it was good to remember sacrifices made for
conscience’ sake, and therefore professed my readiness to honour Jeremy
Taylor as well as Richard Baxter.  This brought a letter from the Bishop
of Down and Connor testing my sincerity by an appeal on behalf of an
Irish cathedral restoration in memory of Jeremy Taylor.  I sent a small
contribution, which brought back a pleasant response, such as I highly
valued.  Afterwards I met him at the Athenæum, when he invited me to
visit him, with a view to Christian union in Ireland.  I should add that
the Bishop’s scheme for the cathedral restoration failed, and he politely
returned my small contribution.

In the autumn of 1862, I read a paper to the Congregational Assembly, in
which I advocated certain methods of improvement.  This subject I took up
afterwards, with no result, however, that I could discover.  The faults
of other systems are always more welcome than the reformation of our own.

In 1863 we were visited by a family bereavement which was one of the
heaviest sorrows of my life.  John Howard Stoughton, born at Windsor in
1842, was a lad of extraordinary character, witty and artistic beyond his
brothers and sisters, who loved him with no ordinary love.  His love of
art led us to place the youth under Mr. Thomas, a distinguished sculptor
and decorator, largely employed in works at Windsor Castle.  Our boy
devoted himself to his pursuits with an assiduity which created much
anxiety in his mother and in me, for it evidently injured his health.  In
the spring of 1861 we took him to Hastings, and Dr. Moore, an eminent
physician there, carefully studied his case, and, as the result, advised
that his artistic pursuits should be for awhile suspended, and that he
should travel abroad, where he would see and learn much, without tasking
his physical power.  Accordingly, in the summer of 1861, he visited the
Continent with his elder brother and me, went up and down the Rhine, and
saw pictures, statues, and decorations, which interested his mind without
overtasking his bodily strength.  In the following autumn he was better,
and under medical advice we arranged that, in company with one of his
sisters, he should spend the winter in Rome.  They did so accordingly,
and our hopes were raised; but in the spring he had an attack, which
rendered it advisable that he should remove from Rome to some other part
of Italy.  He did so, and paid a visit to friends in Leghorn.  I left
home with another of my daughters and two nieces, joining my children
where they were staying; thence I accompanied them, on a pleasant tour
through Florence, over the Apennines, and, by way of Bologna, Milan, and
the Alps, to Geneva.  Thence we came home through France.  We returned in
good spirits; but, as winter approached, fears reawakened.  Gradually the
invalid became weaker; but faith in the Invisible and Divine Father grew
stronger and stronger.  The youth spent with us a cheerful Christmas; but
in spring it was obvious he was not long for this world.  As the end
approached he talked calmly on the subject with his beloved brother, the
two being united in bonds of Christian faith, as well as natural
affection.  I can never forget the Holy Communion we—mother, father,
brother, and sisters—enjoyed in a room overlooking our garden, when
bursting buds told of nature’s returning life, and the dear sufferer bore
unmistakable signs of approaching death.  But he was calm and cheerful,
and took deep interest in the gracious ordinance.  It was administered
with solemnity by our dear friend Harrison, who loved Howard as though he
had been his own son.  He expired on March 31st, 1863, and on the
following Sunday evening my brother just named preached a memorable
funeral sermon in Kensington Chapel.

In 1864 Dr. Stanley became Dean of Westminster, and on his expressing a
wish to be introduced to some Nonconformist brethren, Dr. William
Smith—editor of so many valuable dictionaries, and with whom I was then
associated in the business of New College—kindly gave a dinner party to
which he invited me.  The Dean afterwards finding there was between us
some similarity of taste in literature, and sympathy in desires for
union, invited me to the Deanery; and so began a friendship with him and
Lady Augusta, which lasted as long as they lived, and proved one of the
most precious privileges vouchsafed to me, by the providence of our
Heavenly Father.  On December 28th, 1865, “the Feast of the Holy
Innocents”—the Dean preached a sermon in Westminster Abbey.  The sermon
was in commemoration of the Abbey’s foundation by Edward the Confessor
eight hundred years before.  The text was felicitously chosen from John
x. 22, 23,—“It was the feast of the _Dedication_, and it was _winter_,
and Jesus walked in the temple in _Solomon’s porch_.”  “Feast of the
Dedication” corresponded with the character of the service; “winter” was
the season of both celebrations; the northern porch—a main entrance to
the Abbey—is called “Solomon’s porch.”  The sermon was not less
appropriate than the text.  It sketched the history of the venerable
edifice, and contained marked allusions to Nonconformist ministrations
within its walls during the Commonwealth.  Being present on the occasion,
I wrote to the Dean afterwards in reference to his allusions, when, in
reply, he said, “It gave me additional pleasure to deliver them, from the
reflection that there was at least one person present capable of entering
into them.”  In the sermon, as delivered, he spoke of the Westminster
Confession as the only one ever _imposed_ in the _whole Island_, and on
my calling his attention to this statement, and pointing out the
distinction between the _doctrinal_ and ecclesiastical part of the
Confession, he answered, “I was not ignorant of the distinction, nor did
I mean to say it was _imposed_ in any offensive sense.  For I was anxious
not to say a word that could be offensive to any of my brethren, and
merely wished to call attention to the fact, that a document, which had
received in part a wider legal recognition than any other since the
Reformation, came from Westminster Abbey.”  In the sermon, as _printed_,
are the words “_sanctioned by law_ for the whole Island,” and in a note,
“The doctrinal Articles of the Westminster Confession of Faith (were)
sanctioned by the English Parliament in 1647, and the whole Confession by
the Scottish Parliament in 1648.”

In further illustration of the Dean’s ingenuity when turning Scripture to
account in the improvement of events, I may here repeat what he once
related to me.  He happened on a Saturday to be preparing a sermon for
the Abbey, on some occasion when he was to plead for _two_ objects, and
had chosen for his text Gen. xxvii. 38—“And Esau said unto his father,
hast thou but one blessing my father?  Bless me, even me also, O my
father.”  As the Dean was writing his discourse, some one stepped in and
told him, the American President, General Grant, intended to be at the
Abbey the next day, and suggested that it would be gratifying to
Americans if some allusion was made to the incident.  Immediately it was
turned to account by the Dean in this way—that God had many blessings
which He distributed amongst his children; that bounty to one did not
mean denial to another; that Great Britain, for instance, had been
blessed, but God had rich benefactions for America as well.

For years I felt an earnest desire to visit the East, and thus to become
personally acquainted with Bible lands.  A meeting was held in 1865 to
present me with a purse of £400, and a pledge that expenses incurred
through my absence from Kensington should be met, without any pecuniary
responsibilities on my part.  The friends who accompanied me were Dr.
Allon, of Union Chapel, Islington, Dr. Spence, of the Poultry Chapel,
London, Dr. Bright, minister of the Independent Chapel, Dorking, and two
young lay friends—Stanley Kemp-Welch and Thomas Wilson.  The Dean of
Westminster gave me introductions to people he knew in Palestine, and
afforded valuable assistance in other ways.

We started in February 1865.  I kept a journal and sent home long
letters.  We visited Alexandria and Cairo, and then proceeded through the
desert of Sinai to the monastery at the foot of Jebel Mousa.  Turning
north, we made our way to Gaza, thence to Ramleh, and so onwards to
Jerusalem.  The members of our little party, as we approached the city on
horseback, rode at a considerable distance from each other.  I knew that
we should cross some ridges, before we caught sight of the city, and I
happened to be in the rear of my fellow-travellers.  I watched the
foremost of them till I saw him pull up his horse, pause awhile, then
take off his hat.  I knew what that meant, and the feelings awakened I
can never forget while I live.  I eagerly, and I may say reverently,
followed the foremost horseman, and as soon as I caught sight of the
walls and the gate, I am not ashamed to say, my eyes were full of tears.

As we entered the Holy City the bustle was very great.  Bedouins with
yellow scarves round their heads, and striped robes on their shoulders;
Syrians with snowy turbans, short jackets, and flowing trousers; Turks
wearing the crimson fez; a rich man “clothed in purple and fine linen,”
mounted on a smartly caparisoned white ass, and a poor man on foot,
ragged and tattered; camels and donkeys carrying loads of timber and
brushwood, to the peril of wayfarers; Egyptian, Copt, Armenian, Greek,
the black Nubian, the white Circassian, with groups of veiled women,
shuffling over the stones in gay slippers—all these made a motley
picture, which dazzled the attention of pilgrims from England.  At length
we reached our hotel, and had to make ladder-like ascents, and mount on
roofs, story after story, before we could get to our apartments, whence
we caught our first view of Mount Olivet.

We met with Christian friends in the Holy City, and were kindly invited
by Dr. Gobat, Bishop of Jerusalem, to spend an evening at his house, when
he gathered together a party consisting of the principal foreign visitors
at the time, most of whom were English.  For two Sunday mornings we
worshipped at the church on Mount Zion, near the Episcopal residence, and
were glad of an opportunity to partake of the Communion.  I have always
delighted in fellowship at the Lord’s table with Christian brethren of
different churches, who, under different forms of administration, worship
and adore the same Lord.  Not only when travelling on the Continent have
I received the Lord’s Supper at the hands of Episcopalian brethren, but
in England, on a few occasions I have availed myself of a similar
catholic privilege.

Before proceeding further, let me relate a story I heard from Dr. Rosen,
the German consul, respecting the famous Sinaitic MS.  Tischendorf had
reason to believe a precious treasure was hid in the monastery at Sinai.
He obtained letters which he thought would assist him, but, on further
consideration, declined to employ them.  He found in the library part of
his coveted prize; and, it happened at that moment, the office of
Okonomos was vacant, and a keen contest for it was going on between two
monks.  He joined one party, and promised to use influence with the
Russian Emperor in favour of their candidate, hinting that the present of
a valuable MS. would promote their object.  After a good deal of
diplomacy this plan prospered.  The MS. coveted by the scholar was
secured, and the once hopeless candidate was installed in office.  This
was not all.  The MS. was incomplete, and the missing part was found by
Tischendorf in the possession of a Greek merchant.  The promise of a
Russian title proved more effectual than gold, and Tischendorf carried
off his prize to St. Petersburg in triumph.  I jotted down the story the
evening Dr. Rosen related it, and here in a few words have I given the
substance.

Of course we explored Jerusalem as far as our limited time allowed; and,
under the guidance of Dr. Rosen, I had the privilege of visiting certain
spots where recent discoveries had been made.  I remember seeing what
looked like indications of a well, from which, it was easy to imagine,
people, in our Lord’s time, used to draw water.  Nor can I forget rambles
on the line of walls commanding views of the city and neighbourhood.  I
can now distinctly recall my visit to a sepulchre outside the city, where
a stone, like a large millstone, was lying at the door, as if recently
“rolled away.”  I studied (as well as time, and what I had read on the
subject, would allow), the question as to the place of crucifixion, and
where our blessed Lord rose from the dead.  Points still remain to be
settled, as to the direction in which the city wall ran in the time of
Christ.  I cannot adopt any modern theories on the whole subject, which
have made way in America and in England.  It appears to me after long
study, that grounds can still be maintained in support of the old
tradition in favour of the spot where the Church of the Holy Sepulchre
stands.  We made a memorable excursion to Bethlehem, by way of Rachel’s
sepulchre, and descended the cave where, it is said, our Lord was born.
We next proceeded to Hebron, where I stood by a flight of steps leading
to the tombs within, longing to ascend and explore those hallowed resting
places.  Returning northwards, we stopped at the traditional oak, by
which Abraham sat in the heat of the day—and at the vineyards of Eschol
where old stocks are thriving still—and at Solomon’s pool and gardens,
not far from David’s hiding-places.  Then, after a long and exciting day,
we found rest in the old monastery of S. Saba, from the terrace of which,
we caught a view of the Dead Sea.  We rambled on its melancholy shores,
dipped in the Jordan, and then spent a night by the ruins of Jericho.

The order of our journey followed Dr. Stanley’s directions, that we might
have the advantage of crossing Olivet, so as to come suddenly on the
point where our Lord “beheld the city and wept over it.”  From Jerusalem
we proceeded northwards by Bethel, Sychar, Samaria, Esdraelon, and
Nazareth, to Tiberias and the Lake.  Thence by Safed we travelled over
the hills of Galilee to Banias (“the Syrian Tivoli”), Damascus, and
Beyrout.  Banias is a charming spot.  With the scenery from a hill
overlooking Damascus I was charmed beyond measure, and was intensely
interested in the antiquities of that grand old city.  Dr. Allon, Dr.
Bright and Mr. Wilson visited the ruins at Baalbec, but Mr. Kemp-Welch
remained with me in Damascus to take care of Dr. Spence, who was very
ill.  He had to be leisurely taken over the mountains to Beyrout,
approaching which we had never-to-be-forgotten views of the beautiful
Mediterranean.

After leaving Palestine I wrote in my notes the following impression as
to the Bible, which had been a constant companion and guide in our
travels:—It is the Book of the Holy Land—the gospel of Palestine.  It is
Oriental; it is Syrian; it is Samaritan; it is Galilean; it is Jewish.
It paints the scenery of the Land of Promise from end to end, and the
wilderness too.  It echoes the voices of the people.  We hear in it the
murmur of towns and villages, we pass through; it breathes the pure,
fresh, bracing air of the desert; everywhere as I opened the Divine pages
I found them reflecting surrounding scenes.  Even the brilliant
Frenchman, who has tasked his genius to demolish the authentic life of
Jesus and to build out of the ruins an imagination of his own, virtually
admits the truth of what I have now advanced, for he points out the
minute accuracy of the Volume; which shows how true in detail are the
Gospels, how faithful to rock and stream, river and lake, tree and wild
flower, is the entire narrative.  Thus, after all he says to the
contrary, he really raises in the reader’s mind a fair presumption of its
fidelity in higher matters.

One circumstance struck me as very noticeable—that is, the compression,
within a small compass, of a number of stirring incidents related in Holy
Writ.  Dothan, where Joseph sought his brethren and their flocks; the
plain of Megiddo, the battle-field of Israel; the river Kishon, “that
ancient river,” so fatal to Sisera’s army; the valley of Jezreel, with
its wide panorama, where Ahab had a palace; the heights of Gilboa, where
fell Saul and his sons, with the well of Harod at the foot, where
Gideon’s three hundred men stooped and lapped the water; the garden of
the Shunamite, opposite to Mount Carmel; the city of Nain and the cave of
Endor; Tabor and Nazareth—all these spots come within a few hours’ ride.
Well might Issachar think “that rest was good, and the land that it was
pleasant.”

Our party began to separate at Beyrout.  Dr. Spence, accompanied by Mr.
Wilson, returned direct to England; the rest of us came home through
Europe.

In crossing the Mediterranean with Dr. Allon and Kemp-Welch we touched at
Cyprus.  The coast looked flat and uninteresting, but the bright morning,
the sparkling sea, and the manifold associations attaching to the islands
inspired great curiosity and deep interest, though I felt by no means
well.  I began to be conscious that my appetite for travelling had
somewhat palled, if not become almost dead.  We landed at Larnaca, and
found it a very poor place.  The Greek churches were somewhat curious,
from the circumstance of old columns with characteristic capitals being
built into the walls.  I noticed Greek priests sitting in wine shops, and
some of them occupying places of traffic, selling different articles in
huckster-like hovels.  These men indicated the social degradation of
inferior orders in the Eastern Church.  However it may be with the
dignified clergy in Russia, certainly priests in Palestine, Syria and the
Mediterranean Isles afford low types of civilisation.  After dwelling on
what is related about Cyprus in the Acts of the Apostles, the conversion
of Sergius Paulus, and the conduct of Elymas the sorcerer, became very
real narratives; and with these memories in our minds we re-embarked and
had a pleasant evening as we sat on deck.  I fell asleep with the
prospect of reaching Rhodes the next day.

The harbour, with its well-known mole and adjuncts, is very picturesque.
We climbed up narrow streets, full of houses once occupied by the
knights, and from the fortification, had an extensive view of the island
and the Mediterranean.  The Church of St. John, blown up by gunpowder,
and shattered to fragments, seized on my imagination for a good while, as
I wandered, and sat down on a spot, so rich in romantic story.  We then
returned to the interior of the town, and at the harbour watched the
boatmen, busy at the seaside.  As we were doing so, one of my companions
exclaimed, “Stoughton, you’ve got the jaundice!” and, sure enough, when
we reached our steamer, the looking-glass proved this was true.  When I
rose next morning my limbs were of a saffron colour.

The weather changed.  The sky was dark, and the views we caught of Asia
were by no means inviting.  At night there came a storm; and a storm in
the Mediterranean is no trifling matter.  Wind roared through the
rigging; the vessel lurched and laboured, groaning as if the timbers
would burst.  Lying in my berth I could feel the dashing billows.  Tables
and stools were sliding about.  The suspended lamps swayed to and fro,
like the pendulum of a clock.  Overhead confusion was terrible.  Horses
were kicking, and the sailors were swearing.  We had a pasha with his
harem on board, and, as might be expected, they were exceedingly
terrified.  Crowds of pilgrims returning from the Eastern celebration at
Jerusalem, were lying on deck resembling herrings in a barrel, and the
noise they made was terrific.  Waves beat over our boat, till the poor
creatures were almost drowned.  Beside we had horses, bears and monkeys
on board, and, of course, they added to the inharmonious concert.  I rose
from my hammock early, and with my companion, Mr. Welch, sought comfort
from a cup of tea.  Reaching the deck, I talked with one of the
engineers, an Englishman, and asked what he thought of the storm.  “Is
there any danger?” I asked.  He replied, “This has been a very queer
night, and we have made no way.  If it had lasted, that would have been
serious.”  We safely reached Smyrna harbour in the afternoon.

Of course, I thought as we approached land:—There, on one of the hills
yonder, the martyr, Polycarp, by death sealed the truths which he had
proclaimed in life.  As we landed, I thought myself in an Italian port,
so European at a glance everything looked—houses, shops, and people—but,
entering the town, the scene changed, for there the streets, bazaars, and
costumes told of Oriental manners and customs.  The next day a party was
organised to visit the ruins of Ephesus.  It can be reached by railway,
and when we entered the station, we might have fancied ourselves at home;
for there we met with English guards, and railway porters, like our own.
We had a special train to convey us to the far-famed ruins.  We visited
what is left of the forum, the theatre, and the stadium, but it is
difficult to identify anything; and it seemed to me, a definite idea of
what Ephesus was in its glory is impossible.  The view from the loftiest
eminence is magnificent, including the vast plain, the winding river
Cayster, and what, in Paul’s day was the harbour of Miletus.  At the time
of our visit, Greek Christians were celebrating the Festival of St. John,
on a lofty hill, the church there being a rude-looking structure.  The
cave of the seven sleepers was pointed out, on our way back to the
railway station, and by the cave is a beautiful mosque of the fifteenth
century.

On Saturday morning we embarked at Smyrna for Constantinople.  We faintly
discerned in the far distance, as we crossed those classic waters, point
after point closely connected with ancient story.  Of course, all the
way, amidst Homeric scenes and associations, we called them to mind by
Homer’s help; but the thought of St. John’s labours, his epistles, to the
seven churches in the Apocalypse, more prominently occupied one’s mind on
the Lord’s day, when we had worship in the saloon, and I preached, as
well as I could, to a few sympathetic fellow-passengers.

On Monday morning early, we reached the Golden Horn, filled with
shipping.  Caiques were quietly gliding over still waters; but we were
troubled at the Custom House by an ignorant soldier, who laid hold upon
my “Homer” and detained it for two or three days.

Kemp-Welch was the only member of our party left, the rest proceeding
homeward by another route.  I made the most of what was possible during
the four days spent at Constantinople.  My friend and I followed the
circuit of the city on horseback; through Stamboul, which appeared very
Oriental, ruinous and dirty—through lines of cypresses, near cemeteries
with turbaned headstones; and so, all round, till we reached the sweet
waters.  There we tarried a while, looking at the gardens, and their
summer houses, called kiosks.  The place is a resort like Hampton Court.
Thence we returned to the city.  Next day we crossed the Golden Horn, and
saw the Sultan’s seraglio, attached to which are more gardens and more
kiosks.  The place contains a library full of Arabic MSS., and a throne
room, with the Sultan’s divan, surmounted with a baldacchino.  There His
Majesty used to hold his court, attended by janissaries, and was screened
from the view of subjects, except that his hands were visible.  The
Sublime Porte is the grand entrance to the room of audience for
ambassadors from other courts.

We visited the arsenal with its ammunition, muskets, and swords.  The
building, it is said, was in the fourth century a church—the Church of S.
Irene, where Chrysostom preached some of his wonderful sermons—and it has
still in the apse an antique cross.  But the grand ecclesiastical edifice
of Constantinople is S. Sophia, with columns brought from Ephesus, and
representations of four cherubim with their faces obliterated.  A legend
is preserved to this effect, that when Constantinople was taken by the
Turks, a priest was saying mass—immediately a chasm opened in the wall
and received him.  There he still remains, chalice in hand, waiting to
finish the service, when Christians recover the ancient edifice.

But I must not enter into further details of what I saw and heard during
my short stay at Constantinople.  I was now left alone, as my only
remaining companion was obliged to return home by a different route.

Let me add in closing this part of my story, that the banks of the
Bosphorus on which I gazed, as I left Constantinople, surpassed previous
imagination.  The gardens and kiosks by the waterside, looked
paradisaical; and as we steamed along I was enchanted, one instant after
another, by objects on the shore.  All the way to the Black Sea was
delightful.  Then surroundings changed.  Travellers, landed to find
themselves amidst indescribable confusion.  Thence we proceeded by rail
across a dreary district, without trees, and abounding in shallow sheets
of stagnant water, with plenty of storks, Egyptian geese, and other wild
birds.  Still, within the region crossed, there were fields of grain.  We
reached our steamer on the Danube, between six and seven o’clock on
Friday evening.

We found the great river improve as we ascended it.  At first we had low
banks dotted with mosques and minarets, showing we were still in Turkey.
On board the boat I was treated as an invalid, and the attention shown by
captain, crew, and servants, was such as to inspire the warmest gratitude
on my part.

The scenery on the banks of the Danube, in the earlier part of our voyage
up the river, was very magnificent—rocks rising loftily from the water’s
edge on one bank, but low on the other.  We passed richly wooded scenery,
and caught glimpses of pleasant glens, with running streams and
picturesque bridges.  Further on were comfortable farm-houses and smiling
villages.  We reached Pesth on Tuesday, travelling by rail, and then
proceeded, in the same way, to Vienna, where I tarried for a couple of
days—seeing the magnificent cathedral, the vaults of the Capuchin Church,
the Prater, the Royal Palace, and the Picture Galleries.  Travelling
across Germany by rail I reached the Rhine, thence to Brussels, where I
was entertained by my nieces then on a visit there.  At last I found two
dear daughters waiting at the Victoria Station, and at Fairlawn House,
Hammersmith, there was a loving welcome.

At the conclusion of my narrative of Eastern travel, let me remark.  What
one sees in travelling through Palestine gives vividness to the
narrative—makes what before were pale outlines, pictures of glowing
colour and dazzling light.  I do not forget the danger there is of being
too much engaged with what is outward in Biblical studies—tarrying in the
porch instead of worshipping in the temple—lingering by the hedge to
gather flowers instead of pressing into the field to cut down
corn—playing the geologist, instead of working as spiritual
miners—finding out what is curious as to literature, instead of
appropriating “the unsearchable riches of Christ.”  But still, what I
gathered in the East is precious, and may minister to spiritual
edification, as well as to mental enjoyment.  How marvellous it is that
whilst the Bible is so Eastern—while Oriental manners, customs, and
scenery are photographed there, it is nevertheless an universal book!
The Koran is not so Eastern as the Bible; at least, so it struck me, as I
read it in the East; yet the Bible is the Englishman’s book as the Koran
could not be, even if we were all Mussulmans.

Specially forcible and beautiful were the impressions we derived touching
the life of Christ; we felt how toilsome were his journeys as He _walked_
along the rough and rugged pathways from Jericho to Jerusalem, over which
we _rode_.  How humiliating must have been his intercourse with the poor,
who, no doubt, then lived in wretched mud hovels, such as we saw, not
only in Palestine, but in Egypt; types of domestic habitation for the
lower classes in ages past!  We thought: Through such collections of
“houses of clay” did He pass!  Here did He tarry, and within such abodes!
Not one of them was His own; He had not where to lay His head.



CHAPTER IX
1865–1872


IN the year 1867 I published the first volumes of my “Ecclesiastical
History of England”; this calls for explanation of what preceded and
prepared for it.

Immediately after I left college, and settled at Windsor, I commenced the
study of Church history with much earnestness; and the first fruit was a
course of lectures on the subject to my congregation, delivered on week
evenings.  When I had completed them they were sent by me to my revered
tutor, Dr. Henderson, for criticism and advice.  He encouraged me to
pursue my studies in that direction, with the hope and intention of
making use of them in after life.  I followed his advice, and during the
remainder of my Windsor ministry devoted all the time I could spare from
pulpit and pastoral duties to researches into early annals of
Christendom.  In my investigations I was kindly allowed to use the Dean
and Chapter’s library.  After I left Windsor, I turned attention to
ecclesiastical affairs during the Puritan period.  This happened just as
I was about to pay a visit to my native county—Norfolk—where I commenced
studying original records in Norwich.  Proceedings _against
Nonconformity_ and other records there came within my reach, that part of
England being somewhat rich in this department of history.  “Spiritual
Heroes” was the title of my first volume, which not long after was
revised and enlarged in a second edition.  The Congregational lecture on
“The Ages of Christendom,” was delivered and published in 1856.  This
led, in 1867, to the “Ecclesiastical History of England, from the Opening
of the Long Parliament to the Death of Oliver Cromwell.”  “The Church of
the Restoration,” forming two volumes, appeared in 1870, and “The Church
of the Revolution” in 1874.  To complete the list of works on English
Ecclesiasticism, there followed other volumes on the reigns of Queen Anne
and the Three Georges.  Afterwards came “Religion in England from 1800 to
1851.”  I state all this, because some confusion has arisen from a
fragmentary publication of the original works and of successive editions.

In 1867 correspondence and personal intercourse commenced between a
distinguished Episcopalian and myself, of an interesting character.  In
that year I received an invitation to Chichester from Dean Hook.  He was
much talked of, on account of his High Churchmanship, and his pre-eminent
activity as Vicar of Leeds.  Dissenters counted him amongst their bitter
foes; and I should have been much surprised, years earlier, had I been
told I was to be a guest at his house.  Yet so it was.  Historical
sympathies brought us together, and each found that the other wished to
be fair in dealing with men who held opposite opinions.  Both believed in
a spiritual brotherhood reaching beyond denominational bounds.  Soon
after my arrival at Chichester he asked: “What shall we talk about?  If I
thought I could make you a Churchman, I would try to do so; and if you
thought you could make a Dissenter of me, you would make the attempt.”  I
replied: “Nothing of the kind; let us leave out ecclesiastical
controversy, and talk of literary and religious matters, on which we are
pretty well agreed; and when we have exhausted them we will take up
points of difference.”  He went on to say, that his great friend Lord
Hatherley, then High Chancellor, differed from him politically, and yet
they had walked up together to the polling booth to record opposite
votes, without any breach of friendship.  “And so,” he said, “you and I
can unite to a certain extent; and when we come to the parting of the
way, we can each take our own course, with mutual good will.”  I entered
into the compact.  On historical and social subjects, and as to religion
in its spiritual and experimental aspects, we were of one accord, and
felt no inclination to unsheath swords.

We had pleasant drives in the country and cheerful chat at the
dinner-table, when he included within his party members of the cathedral
body.  Plenty of anecdotes were related, some about Dr. Wilberforce, when
Bishop of Oxford.  The Bishop, I heard, used to tell a story, which
showed how a man might, unconsciously, make a good pun.  He had engaged
to dine with somebody whose name was _Hunter_, a cattle grazier, and on
his way, as was his wont, the Bishop bethought himself: “What topic of
talk can we have together?”  At the railway-station his eye caught an
advertisement of “Thorley’s Food for Cattle.”  That would suit very well.
So the bishop asked the grazier his opinion of such provision for beasts
of the field.  The host replied: “It might do very well for _Oxen_, but
not for a _Hunter_.”  He did not know he was quoting the diocesan name of
his right-reverend guest (Oxon.), and forgot at the moment he was also
repeating his own.  The Dean gave a conundrum, invented by the Bishop,
for the amusement of a young lady:—

“What part of your dress resembles two popular preachers in the Church of
England?”

“Give it up?”

“Hook and I.”

The Chancellor of the Cathedral, I think it was, spoke of Wilberforce’s
power of adapting himself to people whom he met.  He liked to know
beforehand who he was to see.  Introduced to a Yorkshire-man, he began to
talk in the county dialect.  Visiting a screw manufactory, he won the
confidence of workmen by showing some knowledge of their business.  Once
at the Earl of Derby’s (grandfather of the present Lord) he met gentlemen
of the turf, and surprised them by giving the pedigree of a celebrated
racehorse.  On being asked how he came to be “well up” on such a subject,
he said he had gleaned knowledge of that kind as a boy, in the stables of
a trainer, near his father’s house.  He scarcely ever forgot anything he
had heard.

The Dean was an early riser; and retired early to bed.  We had family
prayer in the library about nine o’clock, the family and the guests
standing and kneeling together.  He read the Psalms for the day, and used
parts of the Morning and Evening Service.  Once, about half-past ten in
the evening, I said to Mrs. Hook—a charming woman, “light of the
dwelling”—“I must bid the Dean good-night.  Where is he?”

“In bed and asleep the last hour,” she gently answered.

He told me that early rising had been his habit during his residence at
Leeds, and was so still; that demands on his time, from forenoon to
night, were such at Leeds as would have prevented all literary work, had
he not secured hours for study before breakfast.  Then it was he wrote
his books.  He worked hard all day when vicar, and adopted unusual
methods of usefulness, holding something like Methodist class-meetings,
which took strong hold on his Yorkshire parishioners.  Familiar
devotional gatherings he kept up at Chichester; and a poor old woman was
so delighted with them, that, by an odd association of ideas, she
compared them to feasting on “lamb and salad.”  These meetings he would
humorously call by that name.  I had a good deal of talk with my kind
hostess about clerical incomes, and the demands made on them; and so I
became disabused of false notions common amongst outsiders.  From what I
heard of large outgoings, payments on promotion, and so on, I am able to
form a more correct estimate of pecuniary affairs in the Establishment,
than I could before.

Considerable correspondence passed between us.  A friendly intercourse
was also maintained by subsequent visits.  In a letter dated June 4th,
1867, he says:—

    “I like a companion who will look out for points of agreement, and
    then coze upon them.  I never court the society of those who love an
    argument, and look out for topics on which we disagree.  You will,
    perhaps, infer from this, that I want vigour of mind; but I really
    believe that many minds are drawn out and strengthened by cozing
    instead of arguing, and I am sure that this conduces to brotherly
    affection.  My wife and I after many years of hard work—and what is
    worse than work, worry—came here to retire from the world.  We see
    little of general society, and confine ourselves to pleasant cozy
    intercourse, with our large and united family, and old friends.  We
    cannot, therefore, offer you any gaiety when you come amongst us, but
    if you take us as we are, we shall hope to have some pleasant cozes.”

In a letter, dated March 1868, he remarks:

    “In the Peninsular War the pickets of the two armies were accustomed
    often to meet on the most friendly terms, and enjoy each other’s
    conversation.  But when the trumpet sounded each man was at his post,
    ready to do his duty.  So it is with us.  I have always acted on this
    principle of refusing to admit the assertion, that our differences
    are on nonessentials—and of offering, nevertheless, the right hand of
    friendship in private to those whom in public I might oppose, or
    rather by whom I was myself opposed.  I was freely censured at one
    time for this; but when I left Leeds my Nonconformist friends rallied
    round me to bid me farewell, and several of them saw I had pursued
    the right course.”

    “The great thing which you and I have to do is to guard against the
    deadly sin of too many of our contemporaries—imputing motives.  If we
    can discover a good motive, we may rejoice, even though we condemn
    the action to which it may have led.  But no words can express, or
    thought conceive, the indignation I experience, when men seek to
    attribute good actions to bad motives.”

The Dean was not one of your modern correspondents.  The last of these
extracts is from a letter on quarto sheets, which covers _sixteen_
closely written pages.

Dr. Hook was a delightful talker, English to the backbone—“a thorough
John Bull,” as an Oxford don once said to me.  There was a strong dash of
humour in his constitution, and he was ready to tell amusing anecdotes of
himself.  He was no ritualist, no Puritan, certainly no Erastian; but a
godly, warm-hearted, Christian man, whom it was a privilege to know.

During visits to Chichester I became acquainted with one of the canons,
Dr. Swainson, then Norrisian Professor at Cambridge, afterwards Master of
Christ’s College in that University.  He rendered me essential service
whilst I was writing my volumes on “The Church of the Restoration.”  Some
of the books and MSS. in the library of the cathedral were of great use;
and when I visited him afterwards at Cambridge he rendered me further
valuable aid.  I had the pleasure of meeting some Cambridge dons at his
dinner table, and I remember being interested and instructed by a long
conversation on the rendering of names given in our version of the Bible
to ancient instruments of music.  In 1869 I was present at the
announcement of wranglers for that year.  I stood side by side with my
friend in the gallery, close to the gentleman who held in his hand a
paper big with the fates of university competitors.  It was a dark
morning, and at eight o’clock, amidst breathless silence, the personal
secrets so many waited to learn, were publicly proclaimed.  It was a
grand piece of living mosaic which lay before me, as upturned eager
countenances were fixed on the spot where I was standing; and the
announcement of the new senior wrangler raised applause which seemed
enough to lift the roof.

My friendly relations with Dr. Swainson continued through after-years;
and his laborious investigations into Church creeds were frequent topics
in our conversation.  His inquiries into the date of the Utrecht MS.
containing the “Quicunque vult,” etc., were extraordinarily extensive,
minute, and careful, as I can bear testimony from repeated accounts he
gave of Continental journeys and inquiries.  I apprehend that nobody ever
spent so much time and labour on the inquiry, as he did; therefore his
conclusions ought to carry much weight in the settlement of a controversy
touching historical theology, as well as an archæological question.

On the occasion of my visit to Cambridge I went to see my friend, Mr.
Fordham of Melbourne, who possessed a valuable collection of paintings;
and I mention him here, for the sake of what he related respecting Lord
Beaconsfield, who had been a schoolfellow with Mr. Fordham’s
brother-in-law, the Right Honourable Russell Gurney, Recorder of London.

They were educated at an academy in Walthamstow, kept by Mr. Cogan, a
Presbyterian minister, whose son I knew well.  Young Dizzy, as people
called the politician, was famous at school for two things.  He delighted
in forming parties and getting up cabals—there was an embryo politician;
next he excelled in telling stories, and would keep the boys awake at
night by his romantic inventions—there was an embryo novelist.  He had
early dreams of future greatness, I think; and my friend informed me that
he had talked to his schoolmates of being one day Prime Minister of
England.

In the winter of 1867–68, Dr. Alford, Dean of Canterbury, delivered and
printed a lecture on “The Christian Conscience,” which was followed up,
in _The Contemporary_ by an article expressive of kindly feelings towards
Nonconformists, and a desire for more friendly intercourse with them.  I
felt it a duty to respond to this overture, and did so, both privately
and publicly.  This prepared for a friendship which I highly valued.
About the same time, Archdeacon Sandford, father of the Bishop of
Gibraltar, made a move in the same direction.  I spoke to brethren in
sympathy with myself, as regards union, and we thought of inviting a few
clergymen to meet us—when, on my acquainting Dean Stanley with what we
had in our minds, he expressed a wish to take the lead by getting several
friends on both sides to dine with him at Westminster.  Accordingly Dean
Alford, Archdeacon Sandford, Prebendary Humphreys, and other clergymen,
met my friends Binney, Allon, and others, at our good friend’s hospitable
board; and the party proved most agreeable.  Other gatherings of the same
kind followed, and at Fairlawn, where I lived, a long conversation took
place, when, in addition to those just mentioned, Lord Ebury, Henry
Winterbotham, M.P., Dr. Angus, Dr. Rigg, Dr. Roberts, and my intimate
friend, Joshua Harrison, interchanged views in reference to Catholic
intercourse.  Dr. Alford, the Dean of Canterbury, afterwards invited Mr.
Binney and myself to one of his garden parties, and soon afterwards he
presided at the Cheshunt College Anniversary, when he uttered sentiments
which were followed by a pleasant response from ministers of different
denominations.  On another occasion he met the Professors of New College,
by invitation from the Coward Trustees; thus, and in other and similar
ways, brotherly intercourse was considerably advanced.

If I may be permitted to trespass a little on what was at the time in
futurity, I will, for the sake of preserving connection between incidents
at that period, mention other circumstances which brought together, in a
friendly way, members of different religious bodies.  The first was of no
great importance.  I think it was in 1870, the Archbishop of Syra visited
England, and made some little stir.  Dr. Stanley entertained him in the
Jerusalem Chamber, and invited a larger party to meet him afterwards.
The host was not likely to lose such an opportunity for bringing together
people of different opinions.  Several were introduced to this stranger,
who occupied during his visit, perhaps, a position above his usual one.
The simple fact of this introduction was magnified, by newspapers, even
the _Times_, into a sort of submission to Greek Archiepiscopal
superiority; for the few whose names were mentioned were represented as
receiving his formal benediction, and I wrote to explain the nature of
the interview, which really amounted to nothing more than a respectful
bow on the part of an Englishman to a foreigner, and the return on the
foreigner’s part of an accustomed Greek salutation.  The intended effect
of private civil reciprocities is often spoiled, by attributing to them
meanings never intended and utterly absurd.  Reports of them in quite a
ridiculous way get into newspapers.

It was owing to the circumstance of my being “capped” in Edinburgh at the
same time with Matthew Arnold, that I became acquainted with that
remarkable man.  He was by no means popular with Dissenters, owing to
what, in some of his books, he said with reference to them.  They
appreciated his ability, but censured the spirit which appeared in some
of his criticisms.  My acquaintance with him convinced me that in some
respects he was misjudged.  When I came to know him pretty well, I
playfully referred to some things he had written, which stung people whom
I knew.  “But I am not such a bad fellow,” he rejoined, “as Dissenters
think.”  “No,” I replied, “but Dissenters look at you through your books;
I look at your books through you—and that makes a great difference.”  I
always found him kind, gentle, tender-hearted.  He sympathised with me in
domestic sorrows, and was pleased with some things I had written.

The publication of “Ecclesia,” a volume by Dissenters, about the same
time that another volume appeared written by Churchmen, was the means of
bringing the editors and writers of the two works together at the house
of a common friend, the Rev. H. S. Toms of Enfield.  The Rev. W. D.
Maclagan, editor of “The Church and the Age”—incumbent of a neighbouring
parish (afterwards Vicar of Kensington, then Bishop of Lichfield
{176a})—and Dr. Reynolds, of Cheshunt College, were present.  Each editor
proposed success to his brother editor on the other side.

This was an instance of mutual recognition and charity, worthy of being
known; standing out, as it does, in pleasant contrast with bitter ways in
which ecclesiastical controversies have been too often waged.  Nor did
that single interview end the intercourse thus begun, as I have had a few
opportunities since of kindly intercourse with Dr. Maclagan, both as
Kensington Vicar, and as a distinguished Bishop, earnestly doing his
Episcopal work.

Another event occurred about the same time, in favour of union.  The
question of Bible Revision ripened to a practical issue in 1870. {176b}
A committee was formed by Convocation to carry out the project, and I had
the privilege of being present during a part of the discussion.  I heard
the Dean of Canterbury, Dr. Alford, make an eloquent speech in favour of
the design he had done so much to initiate, and for the accomplishment of
which he laboured to the last.  That speech was pronounced by some
members as the most effective he ever delivered.  In the evening of the
same day, I came across Archdeacon Denison, at a clerical meeting, to
which I was invited by an old Kensington neighbour, the Rev. J. E. Kempe,
Rector of St. James’, Piccadilly.  There is nothing like private chat
with men of pronounced opinions, who in public are accustomed to speak
with vehemence.  Judging from newspapers, one regards them as repulsive,
whereas a little _tête-à-tête_ in a quiet corner, makes a marvellously
different impression.  It was so in this instance, and the fiery
Archdeacon, as I had thought him, proved a genial, humorous old
clergyman, joking me on misconceptions of character formed by reading
outside critics.

I must say, after all his antecedents, I found him a thoroughly hearty
and kindly disposed Englishman and Christian.  “The Revision,” had a
powerful and permanent effect in the relations of several distinguished
Churchmen and Nonconformists.  Some of my scholarly brethren, I need
scarcely say, were chosen on the committee, and nothing could be more
harmonious than their co-operation on both sides.  Having enjoyed the
friendship of some, and the acquaintance of more, I can testify to their
mutual regard and affection.  Some High Churchmen—as I know from having
seen notes in their handwriting—expressed thankfulness to Almighty God
for having brought them into this new relationship.  It evidently removed
prejudices, and inspired a feeling of religious oneness, where there had
been before estrangement, if not alienation.  At the same time Dissenting
scholarship rose in estimation; and I found from conversation, that
Churchmen held their fellow-revisers in high respect as critical students
of the sacred volume.  Some betrayed their possession of an idea, that
Nonconformist learning in our day had risen far above what it was of old;
an idea I endeavoured to correct, by maintaining that, whilst there has
been a wider _diffusion_ of knowledge amongst our ministers, it may be
questioned whether the attainments of living men amongst us have not been
exceeded by those of a past generation.  Distinguished Hebrew scholars,
such as Drs. Boothroyd, Pye-Smith, and Henderson, famous in the early
years of the century, are dropping out of notice in the present day.

Social intercourse went on between the revisers and their friends.
Reunions were held at New College, and Regent’s Park College, and also in
private residences.

An attempt on a bolder line to promote Christian union, came into
prominence about the time now under review.  I allude to a proposal for
what has been called an “interchange of pulpits,”—more properly an
interchange of preaching officers.  A hundred years ago it was not
altogether uncommon for Incumbents of the Establishment to preach in
Dissenting chapels, especially those of the Countess of Huntingdon’s
Connexion; in a few instances a Nonconformist occupied a parish church
pulpit.  Such irregularities died out early in this century.  But twenty
years since there appeared a willingness on the part of several clergymen
to revive the practice.  Conferences were held with reference to the
subject, and discussions occurred as to what measures should be taken to
secure legally, what seemed desirable to many.  The Right Honourable
Cowper Temple, afterwards Lord Mount Temple (now deceased), took an
interest in the matter, and prepared a Bill to remove legal impediments
out of the way.  He sent me the following note:—

    “My desire is to give power to the Bishop and Incumbent to allow any
    minister of any denomination, or any layman, to preach occasional
    sermons without requiring the person who preaches to do any of the
    things required of a Priest or Deacon.

    “I shall not touch the Act of Uniformity, but provide for a case
    which is not included in its provisions—that of preaching sermons
    which are not part of the daily Church Service, though they may be
    delivered at the same time.  All that is wanted is the admission that
    preaching in a church belonging to the Establishment is not
    exclusively a function of the Established Church.”

I insert a copy of the Bill which he sent me.

                                   “A BILL

    “To enable Incumbents of Parishes, with the approval and consent of
    the Archbishop or Bishop of the Diocese, to admit to the Pulpits of
    their Parish Churches persons not in Holy Orders of the Church of
    England, for the purpose of delivering occasional Sermons or
    Lectures.

    “Whereas it is expedient that facilities should be given for the
    occasional delivery of Sermons in Churches of the Church of England
    by persons not in Holy Orders of the Church of England.

    “May it therefore please Your Majesty,

    “That it may be enacted, by the Queen’s Most Excellent Majesty, by
    and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal,
    and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the
    authority of the same, as follows (that is to say):—

    “1.  It shall be lawful for the Bishop of any Diocese in England, on
    the application of the Incumbent or Officiating Minister of any
    Church or Chapel belonging to the Church of England within his
    Diocese, or for the Ordinary of any Collegiate Church or Chapel, to
    grant, if he shall think fit, permission under his hand to any
    person, although he is not in Holy Orders and has not made or
    subscribed a Declaration of Assent in the terms set forth in ‘The
    Clerical Subscription Act, 1865,’ to preach occasional Sermons or
    Lectures in such Church or Chapel; and thereupon it shall be lawful
    for the person mentioned in such permission, on the invitation of the
    Incumbent or Officiating Minister, to preach an occasional Sermon or
    Lecture in such Church or Chapel without making any subscription or
    declaration before preaching.

    “2.  The preaching of an occasional Sermon or Lecture, in pursuance
    of this Act, may take place in any Church or Chapel either, after any
    of the Services in the Book of Common Prayer, or at a time when no
    Service is used, as may seem best to the Incumbent or Officiating
    Minister of such Church or Chapel.”

This Bill did not propose liberty for an Episcopalian incumbent to preach
in a Nonconformist edifice—that object could be sought afterwards—and the
limited freedom contemplated by the proposed measure failed to receive
parliamentary support.  The fact was, Members of Parliament, who were
Dissenters, did not take up the question with any zeal, and some were
decidedly against the proposal.  They felt no more desire to see
Nonconformists in Church pulpits than the Established clergy and laity
did; though, of course, they took a different ground of objection.  Lines
of division remained strongly marked, and those who aimed at
Disestablishment were bent on a more sweeping change.  The time had not
become ripe even for so small an alteration, and as there seemed no great
willingness in any party to promote the proposal, it came to an
unfortunate end.  All kinds of means for promoting union have been
suggested, and I have supported some very earnestly; but, in my old age,
I am persuaded there is truth in the remark: “The more we grow in
knowledge and advance in love, the more we should strive to preserve that
simplicity, which is so peculiarly the characteristic of the Gospel, and
the more we should guard against _the uncharitableness of supposing that
every other view_, _except our own_, _must be useless or erroneous_.”
{183}

The year 1871 was marked by an educational measure, opening Oxford to all
denominations more fully than it had been.  The Bill met with opposition
from the Marquis of Salisbury and his friends.  Some time before I had
been requested by Lord Ebury to draw up for the Ritual Commission an
account of Nonconformist modes of communion.  The account is printed in
the Report for 1870 (p. 139).  Now I received a note from the Marquis,
who had obtained a committee for collecting information, asking me to
give evidence with regard to matters referred to them.  Accordingly I
attended.  After listening to what Dr. Jowett, Master of Balliol, had to
say, I took my seat, to answer their Lordships’ queries. {184}  I had
looked forward to examination as somewhat formidable, but found it far
otherwise.  It turned out to be a pleasant conversation.

When the Bill came under discussion in the House of Lords, I felt an
interest in the debate, and consequently attended as a listener.  After
Lord Carnarvon had spoken, he stepped over to the spot where I stood,
saying that his desire had been not to say anything discourteous to
Dissenters.  I received from him afterwards a note, written in the same
spirit, and expressing a desire for the maintenance of friendly
relations.  About the same time it happened that a course of lectures was
given on “Christian Evidences,” in which bishops and other clergymen took
part with Dissenting ministers.

The British and Foreign Bible Society is a bond of social, as well as
religious, union.  A dinner at Mr. George Moore’s house, Palace Gardens,
was, at that time, an annual institution, and after the Exeter Hall
meeting in May, the committee, speakers, and other friends, met under his
hospitable roof.  The host appeared at his very best, frank, generous,
and kind—no affectation, no assumption; only a rich vein of English
geniality.  On his right hand at such occasions, usually sat Lord
Shaftesbury, on the left perhaps the Archbishop of Canterbury.  Without
flattery, but in homely ways of recognising service, the master of the
table would call up one after another of his guests, and after we left
the dining-room, we had family prayer together, a bishop and a Dissenter
taking part in conducting the worship.

In 1871 the Dean of Canterbury was suddenly taken to his rest.  The
tidings gave great sorrow; and I felt it was due to his memory that some
Dissenting brethren should attend the funeral.  Harrison, Baldwin Brown,
Newman Hall, and others did so; I was invited by the family to be one of
the pall bearers.  Dr. Stanley, Dr. Merivale, Dean of Ely, and others,
met in the good man’s library, where his picture of St. Michael’s
Mount,—on which he had spent some of his last hours—stood upon the easel,
and Walton’s Polyglot lay open at the Book of Exodus, where Dr. Alford
had been reading just before his death.  Slowly and sadly we walked into
the cloisters, where places were assigned us, and the procession moved
into the cathedral.  There Mrs. Alford, with wonderful composure, joined
in the solemn service.  Shops were shut, and the streets lined with
people, as we were conveyed to St. Martin’s Churchyard, where we joined
in singing one of his hymns, “Ten thousand times ten thousand,” etc.  He
had expressed a wish to be interred there, and wrote the following
memorandum: “When I am gone, and a tomb is to be put up, let there be,
besides any indication of who is sleeping below, these words only:
_Deversorium viatoris Hierosolymam proficiscentis_—_i.e._, the inn of a
traveller who is on his way to Jerusalem.”

In a letter which I received from Canon Robertson, he said, in reference
to this inscription: “Perhaps Mr. Bullock may be able to tell you, that
some one has discovered the source of the words engraved at the bottom of
the tombstone.  My own inquiries have been fruitless.”  I have not been
able to ascertain their origin.

A committee was formed to raise some testimonial to the Dean’s worth, and
they invited me to join them.  They acted in correspondence with the
Chapter, and it was determined that a painted window should be placed in
the cathedral, and that it should contain symbols of the evangelists, and
the scenes of our Lord’s Temptation, in the larger circles; whilst the
four smaller ones around, were to contain subjects showing that He
exercised miraculous power of the same kinds, in which He refused to
exert it, at the Tempter’s suggestion.

In the following year I lost a valued friend, member of our Kensington
church, Sir Donald F. Macleod, C.B., K.C.S.I.  He had occupied the
position of Lieutenant-Governor of the Punjaub, and met his death from a
railway accident in December, 1872.  He possessed a rare gift for putting
himself into kindly fellowship with those he ruled, whether rich or poor,
entering into their feelings and cultivating their regard so that he
acquired a widespread influence in the Indian province, which might be
called the country of his adoption.  All the people loved him as a friend
and father; hence it was said, that if the natives had to choose a
prince, he would be their choice.  In a leading journal, the remark of an
Indian gentleman was preserved to the effect, that, “If all Christians
were like Sir Donald, there would be no Mahomedans or Hindoos.”  His
private life was of a piece with his public career.  He had the power of
making numerous friendships through the happy blending of religion with
an affectionate disposition.  “Wherever he went,” said a relative, “his
presence was like sunshine, and the sunshine was the reflection of
another presence, even of Him of whom it is said, ‘In Thy presence is
fulness of joy.’”  As he communed with us at Kensington, and was a
personal friend, I can bear testimony to his cheerful manners in company.
His tall, commanding figure attracted attention, and his calm, pleasant
utterances won all hearts, especially those of the young, who would
gather round him, attracted by the magic of his sympathy.  This Indian
gentleman visited the Cripples’ Home; this Oriental scholar addressed a
class in the East of London; this ruler, who might have died a rich
nabob, gave away the surplus of his income in acts of charity.

In 1872 an incident occurred of an amusing description, which, as it has
some significancy, is worthy of notice.  A paragraph appeared in a
religious newspaper to the following effect: “The Revs. Dr. Binney, Dr.
Allon, and Dr. Stoughton have been, it seems, presented to His Grace the
Archbishop of Canterbury at Lambeth Palace, by that consistent advocate
of comprehension, Dr. Stanley, Dean of Westminster.  It remains to be
seen whether the Archbishop will invite either of the Doctors to preach
in any of the Metropolitan churches, if not in the Abbey, or in the
Cathedral.  The Act of Uniformity will have to be repealed.”  If anybody
who read this announcement had been acquainted with the circumstances, he
would have seen its absurdity.  The visit arose from an informal
invitation to a party at Lambeth—from Dr. Tait, who was well acquainted
with all the three persons.  They needed no “presentation,” such as the
newspaper imagined.  It is a curious fact, that, while some people
complain of Dissenters being ignored or repulsed by the upper classes,
when, instead of it, there is friendly recognition, the complainants
imagine that, if the two classes do meet, there must be obsequiousness on
the one side, and patronage on the other.  It is supposed an impossible
thing, for a Dignitary and a Dissenter to meet as gentlemen, without any
professional design; on the occasion referred to, ecclesiastical objects
no more entered the head of the host, as he welcomed us with cordiality,
than it entered the heads of his guests.  It was an affair of social
courtesy, in which politeness on the one side, I hope, was returned on
the other.  By the way, at a Lambeth reception, after mingling with
friends whom I had known for some years, I heard Mr. Binney say to Bishop
Wilberforce: “Are you not surprised to see us here?”

“Surprised!  Why, if you were not here, who should be here?”

This rejoinder puzzled my friend, when I ventured to add, “I understand
your compliment, my lord, but at least you will acknowledge, it is
something new.”

“No, not new,” he rejoined, and laying his hand on my shoulder, proceeded
to say, “What is right is not new: is not righteousness as old as the
creation?”

“Then you consider it is right for us to be here,” I ventured to remark.

“Certainly; delighted to see you.”

Some one overhearing this colloquy, observed in a whisper, “He will talk
in a different way in different company.”  Possibly; but I believe there
is force in what I have heard his friends say—he was a man of many-sided
sympathy, thoroughly good-natured, fond of approbation, wishing to stand
well with everybody, and for the moment _sincerely_ meaning what he said.
But he was changeful and inconsistent, saying one day, under an amiable
impulse, what it was difficult to reconcile with his conversation another
day in different company.  I knew little of him personally as a man; but
as a preacher, and author, I must say I have derived no small advantage
from his sermons and addresses.

Further, in reference to Bishop Wilberforce, remarkable stories were
current showing what a marvellous gift of extemporary eloquence he
possessed.  Archdeacon Sinclair told me that once the Bishop came to a
meeting of the National School Society, totally unprepared, and whispered
to him: “What points had I better take up?”  The Archdeacon mentioned two
or three.  Wilberforce a few minutes afterwards rose, and delivered a
speech on those very points, as if he had spent the morning in
preparation.  Dean Stanley told me that when the Bishop held a
confirmation in the Abbey, he asked, as they walked together up the nave,
whether there was any particular subject he would like to have
introduced.  One was mentioned.  Forthwith the Bishop took it up in his
address to the confirmed, in a way which led his hearers to suppose he
had carefully prepared what he said.

Dr. Guthrie was one of the most genial men I ever knew; full of anecdote
up to the brim.  Indeed his conversation almost entirely took that form,
and his racy way of telling a story gave what he said an irresistible
charm.  He was far more catholic than many of his brethren, and though he
had respect for his ecclesiastical party, his sympathies went far beyond
his own circle; and with reference to the Established Church of Scotland,
though himself a _Free_ Churchman, he cherished no animosity, and was not
_indisposed_ to preach occasionally in the old parish pulpits.  His
attachment to Evangelical truth was very strong, and for any deviations
from it he would listen to no excuse.  He visited some of my people at
Kensington, and that brought me frequently into his society.  How he used
to talk of his visits to Mr. Disraeli and the Countess of Beaconsfield,
of the wedding of the Marquis of Lorne, when he escorted the children of
the family to Windsor Castle, and was especially noticed by Her Majesty,
and was addressed as “My Lord” by somebody who thought him a bishop; and
of a dinner-party at Argyle Lodge, when he met Mr. Bright, and could
hardly get in a word himself, because the great orator would talk so
much!  The last time I saw him was at breakfast with me at my house, when
I think he was more brilliant and merry than usual.  He knew I was
entertaining thoughts of retirement, and he strongly urged me to
relinquish pastoral duties and become an occasional preacher.  Moreover
he said, “It is better to be too early than too late in this respect.
‘Why do you give up so soon?’ one of Her Majesty’s Ministers once asked
me; ‘you have all your wits about you.’  ‘Yes,’ I replied, ‘and if I were
to wait, as some do, till my wits are gone, I should never give up at
all.’”

An important crisis in the summer of 1872, had occurred in the history of
New College.  Dr. Halley from age and infirmities, retired from the
principalship.  Dr. Newth was chosen successor, and to fill up the chair,
left vacant by my old friend and tutor, the services of three London
ministers were called into requisition.  Mr. Binney undertook the
Homiletic Class, Dr. Kennedy became Theological Professor in the
department of Apologetics, and I was invited to conduct instruction in
Historical Theology.  My hands were pretty full, but this was an
engagement congenial to my taste, and for which I felt I was better
qualified than I had been at the time when an invitation was given me to
accept the office of principal. {193}

The question of my retirement from the pastorate occupied my thoughts at
a later period, and I indicated this in a communication to the Church
through my deacons.  That communication was met by a warm and earnest
request that I would continue at Kensington Chapel a little while longer.
I consented to tarry till the end of two years.

About the time just noticed, education in reference to public schools
assisted by Government grants was keenly discussed.  Those amongst
Nonconformists who were disposed to accept State aid in support of
schools in which religion was taught were regarded as acting
inconsistently with their principles in opposition to State endowment of
Christianity.  Into that question it is unnecessary to enter here, but I
repeat what I urged at the time referred to, that Government aid and
Government inspection were co-extensive; that if Government assisted a
school, and inquired _exclusively_ into the _secular_ instruction of
pupils, the aid bestowed was to be regarded as in aid of that alone.  The
separation in a school of religious from secular instruction, appeared to
me inconsistent with our duty _as Christians_.  In guiding the intellect
of the young, an infusion of Gospel truth is, I believe, of essential
importance.  A declaration to the effect that the Bible should be used in
public schools was signed by several hundred Christian ministers, and in
that declaration I most cordially joined.  The severance of revelation
from other fundamental grounds of youthful knowledge was, in my
estimation, very mischievous.

Mr. Forster was condemned severely by a large number of Dissenters as
being opposed to the interests of Nonconformity.  I have good reason for
believing that he wished to deal fairly between Church and Dissent.  The
opinions of all parties had to be consulted, and it was no easy thing for
any man in his place to give universal satisfaction.  I conversed with
him at the time on the subject of his measure, and am persuaded he was
honest throughout the whole business.  When the strongest feeling against
him existed, I know, from what he said to me, that he gave full credit to
his opponents for good intentions.  Of some friends we both knew, who
differed from him widely, he spoke in the kindest terms.  When he was
regarded as an enemy by some Nonconformists, I was informed he attended a
Nonconformist chapel in the country during a summer holiday; and I know
he helped the pastor by pecuniary assistance,—that very pastor being my
informant.  Mr. Forster never lost sympathy with Quakerism.  Our common
friend, Mr. Braithwaite, a well-known member of that denomination, spoke
at his funeral; and an eminent Baptist minister told me of his pleasant
visits to Mr. Forster’s residence.

Matthew Arnold proposed my name for election to the Athenæum Club.  The
usual mode is vote by ballot, which, on account of the number of
candidates, occasions delay for many years.  But the committee have power
to choose annually nine members by special vote.  I did not know fully
until the secretary wrote to me, that I had been so elected—an honour to
which I felt myself by no means entitled.  The influence of Dr. Stanley,
Mr. Matthew Arnold, and other kind friends, secured for me this great
privilege, which has been a source of literary advantage and pleasure to
me ever since.  And I may here mention, from what occurred in the
proceedings of the committee, as I was told, Nonconformity was, in my
case, rather a help than hindrance; as the club, in a catholic spirit,
desires to have representatives of different classes and opinions
included on its rolls.  On the same principle not long afterwards Dr.
Martineau was introduced to the Athenæum.

I was surprised a few weeks after my election to receive an invitation to
the Academy dinner, and was pleased to learn from one of the Academicians
that this compliment, as well as the preceding, arose from the same
spirit of catholic sociality.  Nothing but presence at one of these
banquets can give an adequate idea of their remarkable magnificence.  A
sudden burst of light, just before speeches commence, has a magical
effect.  Mr. Disraeli, then Prime Minister, delivered a highly finished
oration, after sitting silent and sphinx-like for an hour before.

At an early part of the period to which this chapter belongs, the famous
volume entitled “Ecce Homo” was published.  It excited much controversy.
I read it with interest and attention.  It has long been my habit, in
perusing works unfavourable to orthodoxy, to search in them for admitted
principles which, by a fair application, may be employed in support of
truths to which the author is regarded as being opposed.  In the work
just mentioned there is a chapter on what is called “Christ’s Royalty!”
{197}  Christ is represented as having established in the world a new
theocracy in describing Himself as King of the kingdom of God; in other
words, as a King representing the Majesty of the Invisible Ruler of a
theocracy.  He claimed the character of Founder, of Legislator, and, in a
certain high and peculiar sense, “of Judge of a new and Divine society.”
Whatever might be the views of the writer with regard to the nature of
Jesus Christ, such a position as he reached, seems to me to involve
Christ’s true and proper Divinity.  In other words, it is tantamount to
saying that “Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

I remember that at the time, whatever might be the tendency of the work
on the whole, I thought there were in it admissions of such a nature as
to afford a basis for convincing arguments in favour of Evangelical
Christianity.

One evening, at that time, I met Lord Shaftesbury at a friend’s house,
and had a conversation with him on the subject of the book.  It is well
known that, with the impetuosity which was so natural to that great and
good man, he was swept along by a hurricane of indignation, which led him
to pronounce “Ecce Homo” a work of most pernicious tendency.  Of Lord
Shaftesbury it might be said that he was like a cloud which moveth
altogether, if it move at all.  He could do or say nothing by halves; and
however minds of a different order might judge of his acts and
utterances, there can be no doubt that by the enthusiasm of his advocacy
he carried beneficial measures which otherwise might not have succeeded.
When I was talking with him after the manner just indicated and pointing
out arguments which I conceived might be constructed out of some of the
writer’s admissions, he was evidently very restless, and expressed his
strong conviction, that the book deserved to be strongly reprehended, in
order to warn people against being led away by its contents.  In the
course of conversation he manifested, that he had not read what he so
severely condemned.  This habit of condemning books without reading them,
it is to be feared, is too common in the present day.

Here let me add Lord Shaftesbury’s manner was not always the same.  At
times he was gentle and exceedingly affable, of which I remember an
amusing instance.  We were travelling together from Peterborough, after a
jubilee meeting of the British and Foreign Bible Society in that city.
He was speaking of the profound ignorance of the upper classes respecting
the character and habits of Nonconformists; and I ventured to relate to
him, in illustration of what he had said himself, a story which I had
heard respecting his father, who was Chairman of the Committee of the
House of Lords.  A solicitor waited upon him to confer respecting a Bill,
which was coming before the Upper House, in reference to matters which
affected the rights of Dissenters.  The old Earl said to this gentleman,
“I hear a good deal about these Dissenters, and some things very strange.
I have been told they are people _who go about without clothes_.”  The
Earl laughed, and said, such a thing as I related was just like him.



CHAPTER X
1873


THE sixth General Meeting of the Evangelical Alliance had been fixed for
the year 1870, in New York; but, owing to the war between France and
Germany, it was postponed to the autumn of 1873.  Canon Leathes, Mr.
Harrison, and myself, received invitations from the American committee,
to attend the assembly; and, accordingly, we started for our destination
in one of the Cunard steamers at the close of the month of August.  With
the exception of rough weather in the earlier part, we had a fine
passage.  Going out we touched on the Irish coast, and, it being Sunday,
we landed and spent the day on shore.  We were on the coast of Waterford,
and found the country very pleasant.  We attended church in the forenoon,
and afterwards took walks in the neighbourhood.  I had spent a week or
more in Ireland some few years previously, and had then seen spots in the
Green Isle, which created a desire to see more.  The city of Limerick on
the Shannon had given me delight.  Dublin is a magnificent city, and the
object of my visit there had been to preach on a special occasion in Dr.
Urwick’s church.  I saw at that time something of Irish society, and
found controversy rife between Protestants and Papists.  I took an
opportunity of visiting the Killarney lakes, and found them all, and more
than, I had imagined.  Nor could I fail to be amused with the humour of
carriage-drivers and other Irish people.  Returning to our steamer on
Sunday afternoon, we started for New York, and had, in the course of our
voyage, rough weather and smooth.  For some-time it was
unfavourable—“four-fifths of a gale” somebody said; but in the latter
part of our trip we had charming weather.  Where the whistle at night had
sounded like a wail of distress, it was now felt to be means of safety.
Flag signals and rockets now and then relieved the tedium; so did the
gambols of porpoises.  Moonbeams in a mottled sky, were pleasant
variations, as we steamed along at a rapid rate.  The night before we
landed in New York harbour, the sun went down like a ball of fire, the
sea was intensely blue, whilst alive with little billows, like children
at their sports; the bow of the steamer was crowded by passengers looking
out for the pilot–a capital subject, I thought, for some clever pencil.
The next morning when we reached Sandy Hook, I could not help comparing
the coast scenery near us with some views I had seen on the Bosphorus.

“For the _first_ time I am in America,” I said to a Yankee
fellow-passenger.

“Yes,” he replied; “you are now, sir, in the land of the brave, the home
of the free.”

Mr. Harrison and myself were guests of the Hon. Mr. Dodge, President of
the American Evangelical Alliance.  On our arrival he conducted us to his
country seat on the banks of the Hudson, near Tarryton.

We were in the midst of charming scenery, immortalised by Washington
Irving; near the glen of “Sleepy Hollow,” and the haunts of Ichabod
Crane.  By the little Dutch church in the neighbourhood lies a cemetery,
where “the American Goldsmith” is buried.

We were driven to Sunnyside, where he lived and died, in an old-fashioned
Dutch-looking house, with picturesque gables, bearing a
seventeenth-century date.  It is embosomed amidst trees which so
overshadow the lawn and walks, that “Sunnyside,” even when unclouded, can
suffer nothing from the blaze of day.  Miss Irving, niece of the author,
and a friend of our host, welcomed us to this sylvan abode, and showed us
her uncle’s library, writing table, and shelves of books, just as he left
them.

We should have been glad to remain longer at Mr. Dodge’s villa, but were
anxious to reach Niagara, as soon as possible; therefore, on the second
morning after our arrival, Mr. Harrison, with Newman Hall, who had
accompanied us to America, embarked on a steamer for the Catskills, on
our way to the Falls.  We arrived at the Mountain House in the evening,
having, in our river voyage, been struck with the Hudson, as resembling
in some parts, a succession of lakes full of Italian-like beauty.  We
spent a Sunday at our capacious resting-place, which could accommodate
four or five hundred visitors, and engaged in united worship with Bishop
Bedell, successor to Bishop McIlvaine, of Ohio.  He preached in the
morning, and at his request, I occupied the desk at night.

We did not reach Niagara till late on Monday, and heard the roar of the
cataract some time before our arrival.

Niagara is a grand study, and we spent the greater part of four days over
it—the first in taking general views, the other three in gathering up
details.  I sat down on the rocks, and wrote my impressions from point to
point.  From the suspension bridge, below the Falls, you have an inclined
plane of troubled waters.  From the south side of Goat Island, you have a
still more striking view of the rapids, like an arm of the sea, two miles
in width, and in front it dashes down the Horse Shoe Fall.  Just at the
edge it is a ridge of emerald, tinged, or rather lined, with white.  Then
it goes on in rows of streaks, white, white, white; at the bottom, the
flood vanishes in vapour.  In the forenoon under sunshine the picture is
crossed by a rainbow.  Beyond the mist the river is a shifting floor of
variegated marble.  At a right angle with the Horse Shoe, the American
Fall is seen in profile, from what is called, I think, “Prospect Park.”
The rapids below are finer than those above the Falls.  Those below are
hemmed in by rocks; those above are bordered by open country on both
sides.  Further on, below the Falls, there is an enormous whirlpool.

Instead of a unity, I found Niagara manifold, varying as one wanders
about the banks.  The channel here is worthy of the stream.  It is cut
into precipitous cliffs, picturesque rocks, forests of trees, bridges,
hotels and other houses.  In photographs and engravings, there is often
but a tame outline, with which the reality does not correspond.  Of the
upper and lower Rapids, I prefer the former in one respect; it gives good
views of the foliage which fringes the water.  Emphatically, one may use
the word _beauty_ in reference to the landscape as distinguished from the
Rapids.  Colours are charming—greens of all tints; at sunset streaks of
pink, violet, lavender, lilac, along the edge of the Falls; azure tints
in the river; sky with crimson and purple flushes at eventide.

At the expense of repetition, I will quote the words I find in my
notebook written on a rocky bank:—“Opposite, looking west, is the Canada
side, skirted by thick trees, forming a continuous border—the Horse Shoe
form of a rocky ledge, crossed by the sweep of water, would measure the
third of a mile.  It still resembles a ridge of emerald, tinged, or
rather lined, with white.  Then the flood plunges down, to rise again
from the bottom in columns of vapour.  In sunshine the whole is crossed
by a wonderful rainbow.  Then, afterwards, it appeared to me like an
altar of frosted silver, spanning the end of a temple choir, sending up
incense for ever and ever!  Looking down into the precipitous gulf,
formed by the Canadian and American shores, one sees the river flowing on
steadily like a shifting floor of variegated marble,—green, streaked with
white.  I shift my position, walking under the trees of Goat Island,
about a quarter of a mile from the Horse Shoe, and sit upon a bit of
tableland, forming what is called Lunar Island,—dividing into two unequal
limbs the watery flood.  At the bottom appears another rainbow.  I shift
again, walking up the Goat Island, and cross a bridge over Rapids, and
then enter the grounds called (as just said) Prospect Park; and there one
faces both cataracts—the American in profile, the Horse Shoe full face.”

A suspension bridge crosses the whirling waters on which it makes one
giddy to look down.  Then occurs a turn, where a whirlpool is formed, and
pieces of timber are swept round and round by enormous eddies.  Four days
I spent at these never-to-be-forgotten spots filled with marvels of
Divine creation.

My visit to Montreal was very short, but we saw enough to indicate the
city’s prosperity; it underwent great reverses afterwards.  We were
invited to the handsome dwellings of several wealthy citizens, and
witnessed much zeal in the cause of religion.

On our journey from Montreal to Boston we passed through glorious
scenery, some of it Swiss-like.  There were many tempting nooks furnished
with hotels, winding roads leading up to forests on the hills, groups of
white houses with green shutters, and a pretty church amidst them with a
lofty spire.  There is a wonderful charm about New England villages.

At Boston a cordial welcome was afforded by Dr. Dexter, who hospitably
entertained us.  My first impression, derived from what I saw of the
city’s less modern part, was that it had an English look; but on further
acquaintance, after seeing its modern edifices, one receives the idea of
a Continental capital.  I was delighted with what delights everybody—the
broad green common, adorned by goodly trees and goodly mansions.  Some of
the public buildings in Boston are very imposing: a Gothic church, built
by Congregationalists, cost, I was told, £50,000; but since I was there I
understand a much nobler Episcopalian edifice has been erected.  On the
Sunday morning I preached in a large Congregational church, where the
music and singing were of a very superior kind, and the choir, I was
told, cost a large annual sum.  On the Sunday evening I went to a Baptist
chapel, and, after sermon and prayers, a large number of the congregation
adjourned to a schoolroom, where something like a Methodist love-feast
was held.  I met in the town with a nephew of Thomas Carlyle, who related
to me that, while on a visit to England, he called on his uncle, and was
told it was impossible to see him; Mrs. C. resisted as long as she could,
but submitted at last.  The nephew was admitted to his uncle’s study, and
the two relatives had a long talk to their mutual satisfaction.

Dr. Dexter planned an excursion to Andover, where we were received by the
Principal of the College, the Venerable Dr. Park, a celebrated scholar
and divine, who took me a drive round the neighbourhood, and pointed out
the house of Harriet Beecher Stowe, and the homes of people described in
her books.  We had a delightful visit to a ladies’ school, where Mr.
Harrison and I received a cordial welcome.  Our kind host took us to his
residence several miles off, at New Bedford, and the next day conducted
us to Harvard University, on the other side the Boston river.  There we
were entertained by Professor Abbot, who took care to show us a hall,
built by a namesake of mine.  Best of all my associations with Dr. Dexter
and the neighbourhood was a most memorable day spent at New Plymouth
where he pointed out the localities of the Pilgrim Fathers.

We proceeded to New Haven, where we found at the station, Dr. Porter,
Principal of Yale University, waiting for us; we were conducted through
leafy avenues to the college buildings, and there introduced to the
famous American theologian, Dr. Bushnell, with other celebrities.  The
students then assembled, and listened to an elaborate speech by Dr.
Dorner, the German scholar and divine, who happened to be there on a
visit, having come as a delegate to the Alliance meetings.  Yale College
is a venerable institution, standing among the foremost Universities of
the New World.  The neighbourhood is interesting, and we should have been
delighted, had time allowed, to explore the region where two of the
regicides, Walley and Gough, concealed themselves for two or three years
in a cave, to which they gave the name of Providence.  One of them,
Gough, suddenly appeared, when a Puritan congregation was attacked by
Philip of Pokanoket, and delivered them out of his hands.  He then
disappeared like the twin brothers at the battle of Regillus.

Having had our glimpse of New England, we hastened to Philadelphia, to
spend a quiet Sunday with a kind English friend, Mr. Yarnell.
Philadelphia is magnificent, redolent of William Penn’s memory, who
amongst colonial founders, stands unique as a man of peace.  He did not
sweep away aboriginal savages with sword and shot, but entered into
treaty with them, under the shadow of a spreading elm, which came to be
held in great veneration.  Views in the neighbourhood of Philadelphia,
vie with noble monuments, visible on every side, of commercial
civilisation and prosperity.  The grand Masonic Temple had, when we were
there, been recently opened; and it is amongst the finest structures in
the city.  But the Hall of Independence, architecturally unpretentious,
has greater attractions for historic travellers.  We were entertained in
German Town, a charming suburb, by the Wissahickon—“fit haunt” for
Shakespeare’s fairies, Peas-blossom and the rest, flowing through tangled
brakes, wealthy in wild flowers.  Drives by the “wedded rivers” as
Whittier calls them, the Schuylkill, and the Delaware—are enjoyments for
high days and holidays.  One view of the city I caught from a hill
embosomed in trees.  A long line of foliage from the tops of which rise
cupolas and steeples, reminded me of Damascus, with its groves and
gardens, mosques and minarets.

We saw something of private social life in German Town.  Several families
in the neighbourhood were invited to spend an evening with us.  It
resembled a party on the Continent, where eating and drinking are not of
much interest.  The marked feature of the whole gathering was extreme yet
tasteful simplicity.  Some ladies were sumptuously dressed, and there, as
in other places, appeared an eye for harmony of colours—a special
American endowment, which struck me pleasantly.  Manners were agreeable,
and there was ease in conversation—a rare enjoyment.  The ladies were
self-possessed, and could hold their own, yet not rudely; and their
kindliness indicated personal interest, which made their visitors feel at
home.

We arrived at New York at the beginning of October, and were entertained
by Mr. Dodge at his princely residence in Madison Avenue.  Sir Charles
Reed was guest there at the same time, and the arrangements for our
reception betokened a cordial welcome.

In a “History of New York,” it is stated that “when Henry Hudson
discovered the river, now bearing his name, and Hendrick Christiansen,
and Adam Block, followed up the discovery, the island of Manhattan was
made the chief depôt of the trade, and Christiansen received the
appointment of agent for the traffic in furs during the passage of the
vessels to and from Holland.  He immediately set about the construction
of a small fort, with a few rude buildings, on the southern extremity of
the island, thus laying the foundation of the future city.”

“In May 1626, Peter Minuet arrived at New Netherlands, as
Director-General, and immediately effected the purchase of the island of
Manhattan, from the Indians for goods and trinkets to the value of sixty
guilders or about twenty-four dollars.”  “In 1628 a church was organised
with fifty communicants under the auspices of James Michaelius, a
clergyman from Holland.”  From these feeble beginnings sprang the wharfs,
the quays, the avenues, the squares, the warehouses, the stores, the
halls, the libraries, the museums, the hospitals of New York.  When shall
we stop in the enumeration of riches belonging to this Queen of the West?
Hence, too, we may say came the churches, the congregations, the
colleges, the schools, the reformatories and the religious institutions,
without number, which form the glory of that Western Metropolis.  The
first meeting of the Alliance Congress—for the expenses of which twenty
thousand dollars had been subscribed—was held in the hall of the Young
Men’s Christian Association.  The hall contains fifteen hundred sittings,
and was decorated with flags, flowers, and mottoes.  It was crowded in
every corner, and the spectacle from the platform was imposing, the
audience being composed, to a large extent, of representatives from the
States, and the principal nations of our Eastern Hemisphere.

Dr. Adams of New York, an eminent Presbyterian pastor, delivered an
address of welcome.  Elaborate yet unaffected, scholarly yet not
scholastic, fervent yet not rhapsodical, fluent yet perfectly finished,
pious without a particle of fanaticism,—it laid hold on people present,
and made an impression talked of to this day.  I have heard many a
courteous speech at the opening of large assemblies, but never any thing
like that, before or since.

The address of welcome was acknowledged in a hearty, but inferior style,
by English, French, Dutch, and German delegates.  “I am glad,” said
Professor Christlieb, the German, grasping the hand of Pastor Fisch, the
Frenchman, “I am glad to see as the firstfruits of this gathering, that
we Germans can clasp the hands of our French brethren.”

The next morning we assembled in Steinway Hall.  After prayer by Dr.
Hodge of Princeton, Dr. Woolsey, Ex-President of Yale College, a
distinguished student of International Law, took the chair.  The Dean of
Canterbury, Dr. Payne Smith, read a sympathetic letter from the English
Primate, and immediately after prayer, he solemnly repeated the Apostles’
Creed, in which the whole assembly followed in audible tones.

The Conference then began with the reading of papers, which, with
addresses, were continued morning and evening at sectional meetings.  The
interest was kept up, attention never seeming to flag.  When Sunday came,
large churches were crowded to excess.  The Holy Communion was
administered in the afternoon, when Episcopal, Presbyterian, Baptist,
Moravian, and Indian brethren took part in the service.

Besides the sectional conventions, an enormous general meeting was held
in Brooklyn, when extempore addresses were delivered in free and easy
style.  But perhaps the most deeply affected audience was a crowded one
in the Academy of Music the last Sunday night, for prayers and short
addresses.  A prima donna, I heard, was present: certainly there was one
voice of pre-eminent sweetness and power in that vast congregation.

All the newspapers gave reports of the proceedings as fully as _The
Times_ does of our parliamentary debates.  One afternoon two gentlemen,
who had been clergymen, spent some time beforehand in preparing a report
of what I meant to say in the evening.  There was no other way, _they
said_, of getting the report ready for the next morning.  The interest
taken in our proceedings by all classes greatly surprised me.
Newspapers, representative of churches out of sympathy with our
proceedings, noticed and criticised what went on: the secular press also
took up the matter, and conveyed abundant information.  What appeared in
New York papers was transferred to others all over the States, and thus
religious news of that week spread far and wide.

The whole report, published afterwards, was a curiosity for size and
cheapness; but such voluminous accounts of a conference must not be taken
to mean more than this—that Americans like to know whatever is going on,
in every circle.  It appeared to me that our transatlantic brethren are
so fond of hearing public speakers, and of reading what they say, that
they do not confine their thoughts to such discussions as are germane to
their own convictions and tastes.  They are curious to hear what anybody
has to utter, if he speaks to the purpose, no matter what the topic may
be.  We should be mistaken, if we measured religious belief in New York
by popular attention given to the Alliance.

The President, Dr. Woolsey, was a distinguished constitutional lawyer,
consulted at times about international claims by European authorities;
numerous professors of erudition and power, authors, orators,
politicians, merchants, gathered round him in 1873; the European
continent contributed such men as Dorner, Christlieb, and Krafft from
Germany, Prochet from Genoa, Carrasco from Madrid, Bovet from Neuchatel,
Stuart from Holland.  Some of our own distinguished countrymen have been
already mentioned.  Ward Beecher delivered a wonderful oration in Dr.
Adams’ church on the subject of preaching.  He was like a man stopping
you in the street, and getting “hold of your button” so as to compel
attention.  I met him several times in America, and received acts of
kindness, when his face was lighted up with an expression of rare beauty.

Nor were churches and halls the only “pleasant places.”  One evening Mr.
Dodge had a reception to which eight hundred persons were invited, and at
one moment, he told me six hundred were actually present.  Introductions,
handshakings, recognitions, questions, answers, observations and stories
were incessant; whilst a band of musicians played at one end of a suite
of apartments, it could not be heard at the other.

On Monday, all the delegates were conveyed by special train to
Philadelphia.  On the way we stopped at Princeton.  Students of colleges
assembled at the station, and uttered their characteristic cheers—in
imitation of ascending and descending rockets—followed by such huzzahs as
we do not hear in England.  We marched in procession through the streets
to the church, where a crowded congregation awaited our arrival.

We reached Philadelphia about three o’clock.  There a long train of
carriages awaited our arrival to convey delegates to the Hall of
Independence.  The city authorities represented by one of the judges,
expressed a welcome, after which we were escorted to the Continental
Hotel capable of containing the whole party.  We all started next morning
for Washington.

On the way we were delighted with surrounding scenery, especially when we
came to Chesapeake Bay, into which the Susquehanna pours its waters.
Woods were clothed with autumnal tints, crimson maples flashed their
fires amidst manifold hues of decaying foliage; and the sunny prospect,
as we skirted the bay, was beautiful beyond description.  At the
Baltimore station brethren from Washington invested us each with a white
ribbon badge; then on we swept past homesteads, recently the abodes of
slaves, many a hut serving as an original illustration for “Uncle Tom’s
Cabin.”

We talked in the train with a black bishop, who entertained us with
descriptions of negro excitability.  He said coloured congregations would
exclaim in church, as the preacher proceeded with his discourse, “That’s
true, Massa”; and a man once shouted, under the influence of what he
heard, “Massa, that’s like going up Jacob’s ladder.”

A distant view of the Capitol is not unlike that of St. Peter’s at Rome,
as seen from the Campagna.  We saw a few city lions—the Capitol and
Smithsonian Institute being chief; and we found this metropolis, not
without form, for it is artistically laid out in thoroughfares radiating
from the Capitol; but it is certainly “void,” for nominal streets were
there, but at that time without houses.  We drove a long distance, across
an open country, suggesting the idea of a city which _is not_, but only
_about to be_.  How it looks now, I do not know.  Yellow dust was blowing
in clouds, and lying in thick drifts on the steps of the Hall of
Assembly.

General Grant carried in his face the signs of an indomitable will, and
without any personal assumption behaved as one conscious of
representative power.  After my return home, Dr. Adams, who was then in
England, told me that he acted as chaplain to the forces at the time of
the great war, and rode by the General’s side, when he reviewed the
troops.  As illustrative of his memory for little things, I may refer to
the General’s conversation with his old chaplain, when they met in
England, and he alluded to the colour of the horse, the latter used to
ride, informing him of the animal’s death, which had just occurred.  The
General seems to have possessed the royal gift of not forgetting those to
whom he had been once introduced.  Let me add, he was proud of having
commanded such an immense army as he did, and said to the Duke of
Wellington—who repeated this to Dr. Stanley, my informant—“Your father
was general in chief of only forty thousand men; I led as many as _half a
million_.”

We visited a great number of institutions in New York—colleges, schools,
hospitals, and reformatories.  Colleges, architecturally, were not
imposing; but the libraries and scientific apparatus possessed by some of
them, were of a choice and costly kind.  I was told of one gentleman who
had contributed £100,000 to educational objects.  Schools are immense
buildings; and at New York and Philadelphia it was a sight indeed, to
behold pupils, gliding to their appointed places, and then upturning some
eight hundred happy countenances towards the visitors come to see them.
The examination of classes was most satisfactory, and the resources and
adroitness of the teachers most admirable.  Hospitals in the city are
abundant, beyond what the necessities of the population seemed to
require, and the reformatories afforded encouraging examples of
discipline and improvement.

Parks and cemeteries are on a scale of such magnitude, and are so
picturesquely laid out, that English visitors surveyed them with
surprise.  As to American scenery in general, justice had never been done
to it.

We felt gulpy in taking leave of friends, and ending a visit so
memorable.

The sea was calm, and the weather bright, as we steamed out on our voyage
home, but a gale followed, and we had violent storms during several days.
Serious accidents occurred in consequence, which gave a maimed appearance
to some of the passengers.  My dear friend Harrison had a serious fall.
Waves rose many feet high, and they supplied a key to some of Turner’s
sea pictures, and also to Ruskin’s eloquent language in describing the
“truth of water”—the power, majesty, and deathfulness of the open, deep,
illimitable sea.

A friendship I formed in America deserves a notice here, on account of
the person’s eminence and the obligations under which he laid me by his
subsequent handsome gifts.  Dr. Sprague had the largest collection of
autographs in the world.  The number was immense, amounting, I am told,
to about 100,000.  He was living at Flushing at the time I was in New
York, and I had charge from a friend in England to call upon him.  Though
having never met him before, yet from previous knowledge of each other,
we were at home, immediately after I had crossed his threshold.  It is an
American characteristic to treat as friend any one who has been known by
kindly report beforehand, or who can present credentials of character.
Dr. Sprague’s wife and daughter received us at once as if we had belonged
to the family.  We crowded an immense deal of talk into a short space,
and before we parted he made reference to his huge collection of
autographs.  As we had little time to spare, I had covenanted with my
companion, Mr. Harrison, that I would avoid that tempting topic, as it
would detain us too long; but the ice being suddenly broken, there was no
help, and I found myself plunged—I must say not unwillingly—into a
subject which prudence had decidedly proscribed.  Dr. Sprague found that
I was one of the craft, but a minor member; and forthwith he profusely
offered assistance, asking whether there were any letters of his
countrymen I particularly desired to possess.  What an overture!  I
modestly replied, I should be glad of a few lines written by Washington
Irving.  Before I left America there came a most interesting letter from
Irving to his publisher, respecting a new edition of his works; and after
my return to England, post after post brought most valuable contributions
to my store of autographs.  The very first included a letter signed by
General Washington of historical value.  It relates to the close of the
War of Independence, and gives direction for cessation of hostilities
immediately after the surrender of Lord Cornwallis, in 1781.  Letters in
the handwriting of Franklin, Jonathan Edwards, and a number of other
celebrities, came to England from time to time, enriching my stores,
almost to the period of Dr. Sprague’s death.  He was a popular preacher,
a distinguished divine, a prolific author, and a man of widespread
influence in the States.

In closing this account of American friends, I must say a few words about
members of Harvard University.  I had met with the Greek Professor at the
Mountain House, on the Catskills, who spoke much of the principal, Dr.
Peabody, for whom I felt a high respect.  My friend, Mr. Harrison, and I
were most courteously received by the Doctor at his residence, and were
shown over the University buildings, especially that bearing the name of
Stoughton, a Governor of Massachusetts.  I was anxious to see the poet
Longfellow, who resided in an old-fashioned house not far from the
college.  Unfortunately he was not at home, and I could not refrain from
dropping him a line.  I received the following reply:—

                                         CAMBRIDGE, _October_ 7_th_, 1873.

    “MY DEAR SIR,

    “I have this morning had the pleasure of receiving your friendly
    note, and hasten to say how much I regret that absence prevented me
    from seeing you when you were in Cambridge.

    “We should have lived over again that bright summer afternoon at Mrs.
    Fuller Maitland’s, which I so well remember, and you would have told
    me of many friends whom I should like to hear of again.

    “Perhaps I may still have the pleasure of seeing you before you
    return to England.  If not, I beg you to present to Mr. and Mrs.
    Maitland my best regards and most cordial remembrance of their
    kindness and hospitality.

                                                    “With greatest esteem,
                                                       “I am, my dear sir,
                                                             “Yours truly,
                                                    “HENRY W. LONGFELLOW.”

Mr. and Mrs. Fuller Maitland, members of a well-known old Nonconformist
family, were members of my church at Kensington; and at their house I
used to meet distinguished and interesting people.  The occasion referred
to in the foregoing letter made upon me a most pleasant impression.  A
large company had assembled to greet the American poet, and there was
plenty of handshaking, which I feared would rather weary him, especially
as so many of us were total strangers; but he assured me that I was quite
mistaken, and that it gratified him much to be surrounded by so large a
party, composed of those whom he regarded as English friends.  Americans
are in some respects more cosmopolitan and genial in new society, than
Englishmen, and I was struck with this repeatedly in my transatlantic
trip.  I was quite affected with the kindness met with everywhere.  Among
those who showed special courtesy were some of the well-known Abbot
family, and other professors at Yale, Andover, and Princeton, as well as
at Harvard, and Mr. Winthrop, of Boston fame.  Before I conclude this
account of my American tour, one more incident remains to be mentioned.
At some of the meetings in New York, I met with an intelligent and
interesting Quaker.  I found he was acquainted with Friends in England,
and in the course of conversation mention was made of the Gurneys, when
he informed me that Mrs. Gurney, widow of Joseph John Gurney, of Earlham,
was residing in the vicinity of Burlington, in New Jersey.  She was an
American lady who became the wife of the Norwich philanthropist, and
retired to her own country after her husband’s death.  Finding that I
knew Mr. Gurney, his widow was informed of the circumstance, and
presently I received a kind invitation to visit her at her own residence.
My friend and I, after a pleasant journey, reached the outskirts of
Burlington, and were welcomed by our hostess at a handsome house with
picturesque surroundings.  We had much conversation about Earlham, and I
was shown into a comfortable library stocked with books, brought from the
Hall which I had seen in my boyhood.  She told me about a visit which Mr.
Forster, father of the distinguished politician, had paid her, not very
long before,—a visit speedily followed by his death, and interment in the
neighbourhood.  On the walls of the drawing-room I noticed a facsimile of
the famous letter written to Mrs. Gurney, by President Lincoln,
respecting the great war going on, in which the question of negro slavery
was so inextricably involved.  She and some other ladies had been
favoured with a special interview on the subject of emancipation, and it
was to this interview, and its associations that the facsimile referred.
She asked, if I should like to have a copy of it, and then not being able
at the moment to find what she sought, she took down the framed copy and
presented it to me as a memorial of my visit.  I carefully brought it to
England, and as it is not known here, as it is in America, I subjoin the
contents, showing the importance which Abraham Lincoln attached to the
conversation of the zealous Quaker on the occasion mentioned.

                                         “WASHINGTON, _Sept._ 4_th_, 1864.

             “ELIZA P. GURNEY.

    “MY ESTEEMED FRIEND,—I have not forgotten, probably never shall
    forget, the very impressive occasion when yourself and friends
    visited me on a Sabbath forenoon two years ago.  Nor has your kind
    letter, written nearly a year later, ever been forgotten.  In all, it
    has been your purpose to strengthen my reliance on God.  I am much
    indebted to the good Christian people of the country for their
    constant prayers and consolations; and to no one of them more than to
    yourself.  The purposes of the Almighty are perfect and must prevail,
    though we erring mortals may fail to accurately perceive them in
    advance.  We hoped for a happy termination of this terrible war long
    before this, but God knows best and has ruled otherwise.  We shall
    yet acknowledge His wisdom and our own error therein.  Meanwhile we
    must work earnestly in the best light He gives us, trusting that so
    working, still conduces to the great end He ordains.  Surely He
    intends some great good to follow this mighty convulsion, which no
    mortal could make, and no mortal could stay.

    “Your people—the Friends—have had, and are having, a very great
    trial.  On principle and faith, opposed to both war and oppression,
    they can only practically oppose oppression by war.  In this hard
    dilemma some have chosen one horn, and some the other.  For those
    appealing to me on conscientious grounds, I have done, and shall do,
    the best I could, and can, in my own conscience under my oath to the
    laws.  That you believe this I doubt not, and believing it, I shall
    still receive, for our country and myself, your earnest prayers to
    our Father in Heaven.

                                                     “Your sincere Friend,
                                                             “A. LINCOLN.”



CHAPTER XI
1874–1875


IN the year 1874 I lost my old friend, Thomas Binney.  His pre-eminent
position amongst Dissenters was attested by copious notices in
newspapers, and, by the scene at his funeral.  That position arose from
several causes—his character, abilities, pulpit popularity, and personal
appearance, manifold and far-reaching sympathies, and a genial nature,
characteristic of the best Englishmen.  His influence in the
Congregational denomination throughout the country was aided by the
central position of the Weigh-House when London was different from what
it is now; {230} by strangers from the provinces who flocked there as to
a centre; by visits to various parts of the country at Nonconformist
festivals; and by the transfer of so many members of his Church to other
congregations throughout the land.  Nor do I forget how his name came to
be known, beyond that of any other of our ministers, throughout the
British colonies, owing to his being the father and founder of the
Colonial Missionary Society, and the guide and counsellor of many youths
going to seek their fortune in America or the South Seas.  Still further
was his popularity owing to a visit he paid some years ago to Australia.
Also, when I was in Canada, I often heard of a less public visit paid to
that country at an earlier period.

Amongst the many subjects in which my friend felt interested, was that of
improvement in conducting Nonconformist worship; he gave his views
respecting it in an appendix to a work on Liturgies, by the Rev. E. H.
Baird of New York.  I refer to this subject particularly, because to a
considerable extent I sympathised with him; not, however, in consequence
of his arguments, but from previous convictions, which, during late
years, have become stronger than ever.  The authority for excluding all
liturgical worship from our places of assembly, neither he nor I could
ever understand.  I see nothing in Scripture which ties a Christian down
to this perverse one-sidedness.  On the contrary, both methods are
sanctioned in the Old and New Testaments.  My experience since retiring
from the pastorate has strongly confirmed my previous impressions.  When
leading public worship, as I did for so many years, my utterances of
devotion were spontaneous, and I am sure imperfect; but what was obvious
enough before, though sometimes overlooked, came home to my feelings when
listening to words in public devotion, often unadapted to inspire or
guide supplication and praise.  Further, extempore words, though _free_
to the speaker, are, to all intents and purposes, _a form_ to the
hearers; and if a form in extempore speech, when thoroughly suitable, be
proper, why is not a form in written language?  Since I have become deaf,
and often cannot catch a brother’s supplications, a form which I can
_read_ must obviously be preferable to one which I am unable to
understand.  Extempore public devotion, under many circumstances is of
priceless value; but under some circumstances so is liturgical service.
Attempts amongst Dissenters in the latter direction, I am aware, have in
some instances failed, owing largely to prejudices handed down through
past generations; until those prejudices melt away—some day perhaps they
will—an alteration, such as to others like myself, seems quite hopeless.
{233}

In the years 1874 and 1875, I took part in commemoration of two
world-known Nonconformist celebrations.

The first was the unveiling of Bunyan’s statue at Bedford.  I went down
with the Dean of Westminster, Lady Augusta Stanley, and Dr. Allon, who
all did wisely and well the parts allotted them.  Her Ladyship gracefully
unveiled the bronze figure of the wonderful dreamer; and her husband
uttered immediately afterwards the following effective words:—“The Mayor
has called upon me to say a few words, and I shall obey him.  The Mayor
has done _his_ work, the Duke of Bedford has done his,” (he gave the
statue,) “and now I ask you to do yours, in commemorating John Bunyan.
Every one who has not read the ‘Pilgrim’s Progress,’ if there be any such
person, read it without delay; those who have read it a hundred times,
read it for the hundred and first time.  Follow out in your lives the
lessons which the ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’ teaches; and then you will all of
you be even better monuments of John Bunyan, than the magnificent statue
which the Duke of Bedford has given you.”

The Dean and Dr. Allon delivered elaborate addresses at the Corn
Exchange, and it was allotted to me, to propose, after a public dinner,
“The Memory of John Bunyan.”  The thought struck me, that his genius was
equally imaginative and realistic.  People rise from reading his dream,
with impressions of character, as lively as those derived from perusing
Shakespeare or Scott.  They see in his delineations just such folks as
walked the streets of Bedford, and plodded through Midland country lanes,
two hundred years ago.  I heard gentlemen at table say they thought
Bunyan took his conceptions of scenery from neighbouring places.  But I
said I did not think so.  He had never beheld hills like “the Delectable
Mountain,” nor a vale or plain like that of “Beulah.”  In fact, he took
his scenery from Scripture, and gave it reality by allusions such as we
employ, when touching on objects of every-day life.  He was “Christian,”
“Evangelist,” “Greatheart,” all in one—a pilgrim to the Heavenly City and
a preacher of the Gospel.

I may here add that two years afterwards brazen doors were given to
Bunyan meeting by the Duke, and were opened with due solemnities, the
Mayor and Corporation attending on the occasion.

The unveiling of Baxter’s statue at Kidderminster occurred in July 1875,
when Dr. Stanley represented the Church of England at the request of the
town authorities; and, at the same time, they requested me to speak on
behalf of Nonconformity.  It was a gala day; shops were shut, flags were
hung out, people wore holiday clothes, and a procession of the
Corporation, the Bishop, and the speakers marched to the spot where the
statue was placed.

Soon after the Kidderminster celebration I visited a worthy friend of
mine at Bridgenorth, the Rev. Daniel Evans.  Whilst there I received a
letter from Dr. Stanley saying that he had heard me mention a design I
had of visiting Madeley.  He said he found in his interleaved Bible,
opposite Dan. iii. 19–27, the words “Fletcher of Madeley,” and asked if I
could discover at Madeley a key to this enigma, as it seemed to him.  Mr.
Evans and I had visited Madeley together, and in conversation recalled to
mind an anecdote in Benson’s “Life of Fletcher.”  A man threatened to
burn his wife if she went to hear the vicar again.  She went
notwithstanding, and the preacher chose for his sermon one of the lessons
for the day, instead of the text he had thought of previously.  The
lesson was in Daniel on the deliverance of Shadrach, Meshach, and
Abednego from the fiery furnace.  The man followed his wife at a distance
to find out what it was in Fletcher’s preaching that so attracted her.
When the poor woman returned she found her husband on his knees praying
by the side of the fire he had prepared for her martyrdom.  I wrote to
the Dean and told him the story, as recalled to my mind by my friend
Daniel Evans.  The Dean sent back his kind regards and thanks to
_Daniel_, “who had discovered his dream and the interpretation thereof.”

I have brought the Bunyan and Baxter celebrations together because of
their similarity; and the Madeley incident because it became connected
with the last of them.

In 1874, the year between the two celebrations, I resigned my charge at
Kensington, when a meeting was held to present a testimonial, to which
Archdeacon Sinclair contributed, and the Dean of Westminster, with other
Churchmen, besides Nonconformist friends in large numbers, uttered loving
words I can never forget.

The following report appeared in _The Times_:—

                    “DEAN STANLEY AND THE NONCONFORMISTS.

    “On Thursday evening, April 15th, 1874, the Rev. J. Stoughton, D.D.,
    an eminent Dissenting minister at Kensington, retired from the
    pastorate of his congregation there, after a connection with them
    extending over the long period of thirty-three years, during which he
    has had the reputation, while upholding the principles of
    Nonconformity, of maintaining the most kindly relations with the
    neighbouring clergy, and is understood to have enjoyed the respect of
    the whole community of Churchmen as well as Dissenters.  The ceremony
    of last evening was held in Kensington Chapel, a handsome building in
    Allen Street, Kensington, where Dr. Stoughton has long ministered,
    and his congregation attended in great numbers on the occasion.  Mr.
    Samuel Morley, M.P., acted as chairman, and there were present, among
    others, the Dean of Westminster, Sir Charles Reed, Sir Thomas
    Chambers, M.P., Mr. James Spicer, the Revs. W. H. Fremantle, M.A., J.
    Angus, D.D., W. M. Punshon, D.D., Donald Fraser, D.D.; F. J. Jobson,
    D.D., Henry Allon, D.D., Samuel Martin, and J. C. Harrison, the
    last-named of whom, on being called to address the meeting, took
    occasion to say that their reverend friend, Dr. Stoughton, though
    acquainted with every form of religious thought, had ever held fast
    to the Gospel; that, as a minister of religion, it had been quite a
    passion with him to be thoroughly fair and impartial; and that he had
    all along panted for union among all religious denominations.  Later
    in the ceremony, the Dean of Westminster, having been called upon to
    speak, presented himself to the meeting, and was much cheered.  He
    said there might perhaps be several reasons why he had been asked to
    address them.  He could not plead the same long acquaintance as the
    previous speakers had claimed with their venerable pastor; but still,
    during the last few years of his acquaintance with him, he could
    truly say that there had been no occasion of joy or sorrow in his
    life on which he had not received some kind sympathy from him.  There
    was another reason for his addressing the meeting.  As a Churchman,
    and as a minister of the Church of England, he felt called on to
    express his gratitude towards one, not exactly of his communion, who
    had never once let fall from his lips a word of bitterness against
    the community to which the Dean belonged, and through whose heart he
    verily believed the destruction of Westminster Abbey would send a
    pang.  He only trusted that when the twenty-first century arrived,
    and some future pastor of the chapel should write the history of
    Queen Victoria’s reign, he would treat his communion with the same
    courtesy and appreciation as their present pastor had treated, alike,
    divergent ministers and pastors of the Church of the Commonwealth.
    He felt he had come there that evening not so much as a personal
    friend or as a minister of the Established Church, but rather as her
    representative of common friends through the writings of Dr.
    Stoughton and himself.  He came there to express obligations which
    dear old friends of them both, who lived two hundred years ago, would
    have wished to express on an occasion such as that—Chillingworth,
    Jeremy Taylor, Sir Matthew Hale, and many more whom his friend had
    brought to one common platform.  They had had before his time
    histories of the Puritans, where they heard of nothing but Puritans;
    they had also histories of the Church of England; but the work of Dr.
    Stoughton was the first that had brought those famous men together.
    There was, he knew, a charge brought against his friend and himself
    that they were not sufficiently good haters.  However that might be,
    he was sure that Dr. Stoughton hated, as he did, party spirit, the
    want of candour, all untruthfulness, and insolent vulgarity, whether
    in Church or Nonconformity.  All these the Dean hated with a
    detestation so complete that, if it were possible, he would be
    willing to curse them thirteen times a year.  He could not part from
    that assembly or from that occasion without saying one word on the
    peculiar aspect of the farewell on which the previous speakers had so
    touchingly dwelt.  Surely it was a transition of life which all of
    them might envy as they approached the term of their allotted
    existence, to be able to secure for themselves a margin of life and
    of comparative quiet before the great end came at last.  There was a
    custom in old monasteries—he trusted it would not be altogether
    inappropriate to mention it at a meeting of Congregationalists—that
    when any of the ancient monks had served a term of thirty or forty
    years—he forgot which—they were then to be relieved altogether from
    their arduous labours; they were to be called by a gentle name which
    meant ‘playfellow’; and one condition of their existence was that
    nothing that was disagreeable should ever be named in their company.
    Such to their friend Dr. Stoughton was the tranquil period through
    which he was now passing; and although they might still anticipate
    for him long years of active usefulness, whether by pen or by voice,
    there must be a delightful sense on his part in looking forward,
    having accomplished one period of his existence, to a more
    undisturbed time in which he might look back on what had been, and
    forward to what was to be to him and all alike.  The Dean’s speech,
    of which this is necessarily a summary, was repeatedly cheered during
    its delivery.  A valedictory address, expressed in flattering terms,
    and reviewing the long connection between their pastor and the
    congregation, was afterwards presented to Dr. Stoughton by Mr. R.
    Freeman, on behalf of the Church and congregation, accompanied by the
    spontaneous gift of a purse containing £3000.”

Besides others who were present on the occasion, as noticed in _The
Times_, let me mention my excellent friend and neighbour the Rev. J.
Philip Gell, formerly Vicar of St. John’s, Notting Hill.  He referred to
the well-knit efforts of pastor and people, which had constituted the
strength of the Church at Kensington, and remarked that it was little
known how the force of public opinion acts and reacts on the life of a
large permanent congregation.  “The love which was thrilling that night
was the Church’s strength, and so long as that lived and flowed on the
part of the people, and was sustained by the pastor’s wisdom, so long
would the Church live and prosper.”

Dr. Morley Punshon, President of the Wesleyan Connexion, travelled from
Leeds, where he had preached that morning.  He trusted that the Church
would be Divinely guided in choosing a successor.  It was encouraging to
witness such a presentation as that just made, the like of which many
present had never seen before.

The years I spent at Kensington were very happy.  I can say from
experience that the life of a Congregational minister, in connection with
a large and liberal Church—when full play is given to the social
affections, elevated and purified by culture as well as religion—is an
enviable lot, and calls for the devout gratitude of any one who has
enjoyed it.

The friendships formed with many of my flock, a very few of whom are
still living, have been amongst the choicest privileges afforded me by
Divine Providence.  Loving memories of them linger in my heart, amidst
sweeping obliterations of names and faces incident to an age of fourscore
and more, and those who survive me will, I trust, accept an
acknowledgment of obligations deeply felt as these lines are written.  I
took special interest in some, now goodly matrons, who were school girls
at Kensington in my time, and whose happy fortunes I have sympathetically
followed through life.  If they read these lines, they will understand
the fatherly feeling with which they are written.  Their parents, now at
rest in the eternal home, were no small joy to me, and as they passed
away, one after another, they left blanks not to be filled up in this
world.

Two deceased friends I may here notice.  At an early period in my
Kensington pastorate, a gentleman called upon me in the vestry with a
transfer to our Church from a communion he had joined in Manchester.  At
the time he was a rising engineer, and afterwards took part in the
construction of railways over the Alps and in South America.  He was a
botanist, and came to possess a large garden and conservatory where he
lived.  He received the honour of knighthood, and as Sir James Brunlees
became well known.  He took a deep interest in our Congregational
affairs, and after his change of residence from Addison Road, Kensington,
still continued, with his family, to worship with us on Sundays.  He was
an intimate friend of John Bright, both of them being anglers; and I was
entertained by stories of their success, as brethren of the rod.  I often
spent a few restful days at Argyle Lodge, where he and his kind-hearted
lady made me as much at home as I felt at my own fireside.  She died
suddenly, after my retirement, when she was visiting a friend.  I was
immediately summoned to meet and comfort the mourning family.  Another
friend—George Rawson, of Bristol, the gifted hymn-writer—also died after
my retirement, leaving memories of intelligence, humour, and affection,
which I shall fondly cherish as long as I live.  His beloved wife,
daughter of the Rev. John Clayton, one of my predecessors in the
Kensington pastorate, died some years before at Bristol.  The touching
memory of her funeral, and of the company then present, passes before me
as I write these lines.

When I wrote this chapter, I asked my dear daughter Georgie to give me
some results of her own experience whilst visiting the poor.  She
returned the following notes:—

    “Instances of unselfishness are sometimes very touching.  I knew a
    Christian woman who suffered for years with weak sight, and had
    several operations on both eyes, so that she could only distinguish
    outlines of different objects.  She heard of two little children,
    distant relations of her husband, being left orphans, and as she had
    no children of her own, she suggested that they should adopt these
    little girls, and lead them in early years to a knowledge of Christ.
    The husband was so touched at his wife’s readiness, with failing
    sight, to take this burden upon herself that, though a common
    labourer, he was willing to incur the extra expense, and ever since
    that home has been one of the brightest I know.

    “A poor woman expressed a strong desire that some one would speak to
    her sailor boy, who was wild and unmanageable.  An opportunity
    occurred not long after, but the lad manifested great disgust at
    being talked to, and afterwards whenever I called he left the room.
    When about to start upon a voyage, I went to bid him ‘Good-bye.’  On
    leaving I said, ‘The time may come when you will feel the need of a
    true friend; remember that Christ is ready to receive you, for He has
    said, “Him that cometh unto Me I will in no wise cast out.”  These
    words may fill your heart with gladness some day.’  I did not hear
    anything of him for a long time, but one evening I received a note
    saying he was lying ill in a hospital, and would I go and see him.  I
    complied, and found he had never forgotten the Saviour’s words which
    I had quoted.  He resisted, he said, the voice calling him to forsake
    his sins and cleave to Christ till he could bear it no longer.  At
    last he yielded, and the change produced in him was remarkable.
    During a long illness he manifested patience, unlike his old self,
    and the lad’s cheerfulness and readiness to help his mother were very
    beautiful.  He died in her arms, singing ‘Safe in the arms of Jesus.’

    “Many of the poor have seen days of prosperity, and have forgotten
    God; but, when adversity comes, like frightened children, they rush
    to the Father’s arms.  One man, possessing at one time over £20,000,
    with a hundred men under him, lost all.  Then, when reduced to the
    greatest distress, he listened to the Divine voice.

    “I remember that on Lord Chichester’s library table there always
    stood a large card, with the words:

    ‘Lord Jesus, make Thyself to me
    A living, bright reality.’

    “And such words unite the rich and the poor.  One of the poorest
    women I ever met, had a strong realisation of Christ’s constant
    presence; and it so beautified her life, that all who entered her
    humble home felt such a prayer had been answered in her experience.
    I never talk to her but my mind is carried back to the Stanmer
    library.”

At the end of this chapter, which closes my Kensington ministry, I
venture to speak of my methods of preaching.

The main object of my ministrations was the illustration of God’s Holy
Word.  Archbishop Whately preferred “to set his watch by the sun”; and,
therefore, tested the results of his own thinking, and other teachers, by
a comparison of them with the decisions of Scripture.  When Scripture was
plain, the subject on which it pronounced a distinct judgment was
regarded as fixed for ever.  That method it was my desire habitually to
pursue.  I made it my aim, not only to interpret the meaning of a
particular verse taken by itself, but to catch, and fix in my mind, the
_drift_ of Apostolic thought in particular instances.  It has been said,
irreverently, that some expositors, when persecuted in one verse, flee to
another, and the connection between the several parts of a paragraph is
overlooked and lost.

It was my desire to look at long _trains of thought_ in the writings of
St. Paul as a sacred landscape, in which here and there a verse occurs as
a lofty hill, which serves as a commanding point for surveying a
landscape of thought round about.  A single verse is often a key to an
entire paragraph.

It was my habit to go over now and then a large extent of
Scripture—doctrinal, biographical, historical.  “Stars of the East, or
Prophets and Apostles,” formed a series of personal sketches in the Old
and New Testaments, afterwards published by the Religious Tract Society.
Another course, called “Lights of the World,” were illustrations of
character, drawn from records of Christian experience and action, such as
“William Tyndale, or Labour and Patience”; “Richard Hooker, or a Soul in
Love with God’s Law and Holy Order”; and “Robert Leighton, or the
Peacefulness of Faith.”

Besides such methods I did not scruple to lay under contribution to the
pulpit, condensed summaries of Puritan works, such as Baxter’s “Now or
Never”; also I may mention that a course of Sermons on “Pilgrim’s
Progress” excited much interest, and three or four of these I repeated at
the close of my pastorate.

As to the real value of a sermon, form must never be confounded with
substance.  It is vain to vote the mantle into majesty.  A royal robe
depends for effect on the richness of the material, not on the adjustment
of its folds.  Toller’s “Sermons” {248} so eulogised by Robert Hall,
depend for their impressiveness, not on a careful selection of words—in
this respect they are open to criticism—but upon the intrinsic majesty of
such thoughts as they express.

There is an obvious contrast between French and English preachers in this
respect.  They are more attentive to form than we are.  I have witnessed
effects in Parisian, and in Italian churches as well, produced by modes
of delivery, such as I never saw in our own country.  Young preachers in
England might make their sermons more effective than they are, by greater
attention paid to a mode of delivery.

Let me add a word or two as to preparation from week to week.  At the
beginning of a week I chose subjects for the following Sunday; and then
gathered up from day to day, in reading and talking, arguments and
illustrations suggested by books, scenery and conversation.  One’s mind
may be brought to such a state as to gather together what is valuable and
useful from time to time, as the magnet attracts to itself grains of
precious metal over which it sweeps.  And, let it not be forgotten, we
may sometimes _build_ up a sermon by adding one thought to another; and
at other times _plant_ a sermon through an idea which takes root and
grows into a goodly tree.  My method then was, on a Saturday evening, to
_review_ and revise what I had prepared, to criticise its substance and
arrangement, and alter it in matter and form, so that on Sunday morning
it could be poured out to the people in freshness and force.

On week-night services, I sometimes took up Church history, or
archæological illustrations of the Bible.  Bible-classes, of course, were
held; but in the latter part of my Kensington pastorate, I was greatly
helped in this, as in other respects by my worthy friend, the Rev. J.
Alden Davies, who was for a few years my assistant minister. {250}



CHAPTER XII
1875–1879


IN my last chapter I brought together two celebrations—one in honour of
John Bunyan, the other in honour of Richard Baxter.  Another celebration
now claims attention, not of an English Nonconformist, but of a
Protestant Reformer, whose fame covers the world—Martin Luther.  English
commemorations of his character and work were held late in 1875 and early
in 1876.

Before I mention any particulars respecting the Luther celebration, I
repeat what I have said elsewhere:

    “There is no other man of a similar order whose fame touches so many
    topographical points, and sweeps over so wide a surface.  The local
    reminiscences of Shakespeare and Milton, even taken together, are
    few, and cluster round a metropolis, a provincial town, and two or
    three villages.  But how many cities, castles, and houses there are
    in Germany scattered far and wide which may be said to have Martin
    Luther for their presiding genius!  Guide-books call attention to
    some spot where he went, some fortress or tenement which gave him
    shelter, some church in which he preached, some locality which his
    name has made famous; and there are scenes and houses unmentioned in
    guide-books, over which lingers the spell of his memory.  One comes
    across mementoes of Charles V. in divers directions; but even they
    are fewer, less interesting, and less honoured than those of the monk
    who gave the emperor so much anxiety, and who by his devotion, and
    energy accomplished the reformation of the Teutonic Church.
    Certainly no king, no kaiser, can vie with him as to the place he
    occupies in the thoughts of his own people, and indeed of the whole
    Christian world.” {252}

Washington Irving concludes his essay on “Shakespeare and
Stratford-on-Avon,” by remarking it would have cheered “the spirit of the
youthful bard that his name should become the glory of his birthplace,
that his ashes should be guarded as a most precious treasure, and that
its lessening spire, on which his eyes were fixed in tearful
contemplation, should one day become the beacon towering amidst the
gentle landscape to guide the literary pilgrim of every nation to his
tomb.”

It is no depreciation of Shakespeare’s genius to say that above his
aspirations after fame, whatever they might be, rose the aims and desires
of Luther—a man absorbed in zeal for the salvation of souls, and for the
glory of his Saviour; but it would have filled him with wonder, could he
have foreseen the place he was to occupy in the history of the world, and
how the double tower of the Stadt Kirche, in which he preached, would
become a beacon to guide tens of thousands from both hemispheres to the
Augustinian monastery, where he lived, and to the Schloss Kirche, where
he lies buried.

The Luther Commemoration in England was enthusiastic.

Soon after I left Kensington an immense assembly gathered in Exeter Hall,
to take up points in Luther’s character and work.  If I remember rightly,
I dwelt on that occasion at some length on his domestic life, often
assailed by his opponents, but held in admiration by Protestants all over
the world.  In lectures and addresses, delivered at Norwich,
Peterborough, Bedford, and elsewhere, I dwelt on his manifold excellences
and achievements, at Leipzig, at Worms, in the Wartburg, and his
Wittenberg home.  My remarks accorded with those I have now introduced.

After the close of my pastorate in Kensington, Ealing became my home.
The professorships at New College were continued.  Sundays were spent in
preaching the Gospel.  Literary studies were pursued to a larger extent
than they had been when pastoral duty claimed chief attention.

In 1876 I was grieved by the death of Lady Augusta Stanley, for she
manifested towards me kindness which could not fail to inspire my warmest
gratitude.  I never knew any other person who had so much dignity and
sweetness of demeanour, one who, with many-sided sympathy, could make her
numerous guests feel how sincere were her friendly demonstrations.  It
often surprised me, as it did others, how she paid marked attention to
all her guests, however numerous they might be.  Her tact was admirable.
Nobody could leave the Deanery with the idea of having been neglected.

Her “At Homes” were extraordinarily popular, for every one was sure of
meeting with notabilities of Church and State, literature and science.
Her husband was in full sympathy with her in all these respects.

She was intimately acquainted with foreign celebrities, and her
conversation about them was of much interest.  She and her mother, Lady
Elgin, spent some days in Lamartine’s house at Paris, when violent mobs,
during the Revolution, assembled in front of the residence.  The
President behaved bravely, but expressed fear lest any insult should be
offered to English ladies under his roof.  Mother and daughter, if I
remember right, had been offered refuge by the President when the utmost
peril filled the French capital.  Lady Augusta related interesting
anecdotes of Lamartine; and I gathered that he habitually indicated no
small confidence in himself, feeling that he was the greatest man in
France, as no doubt, at the time, he really was.

Her Ladyship and the Dean were well acquainted with M. Guizot, and gave
interesting accounts of that distinguished statesman, and of his habits
and studies after retirement from public life.  I happened once, when
talking of Earl Russell, to make the remark, that I had heard of his cold
manner to political acquaintances.  Her countenance lighted up, and she
spoke with enthusiasm of what he was in the bosom of his family, and the
circle of intimate friends.  Bishop Thirlwall was a great favourite with
her, and she related interesting anecdotes of that distinguished man,
indicating a warm heart, in union with a keen intellect.

Lady Augusta’s visit to St. Petersburg with the Dean, at the marriage of
the Duke of Edinburgh, proved too much for her strength, and at Paris in
the following autumn serious illness set in.  From time to time amendment
and relapse excited hope and fear, until all prospect of recovery
vanished.  She spoke of friends, sent kind messages, and talked calmly
and with humble confidence of the other world, saying, “Think of me as
near, only in another room.  ‘In my Father’s house are many mansions.’”
I had a touching note from the Dean asking me to be a pall-bearer at the
funeral.  All chosen for that office indicated causes, classes, and
places in which she felt an interest.  Religion, literature, and
philanthropy, the neighbourhood in which she lived, and Scotland—each had
a representative.

The assembly of mourners in the Jerusalem Chamber; the spectacle in the
Abbey; the procession up the nave whilst the Queen occupied a little
gallery not far from the western door; the calm submission of the
bereaved husband, as he sat by the coffin; the solemn entrance into Henry
VII.’s Chapel; the ray of sunlight falling on the coffin as it sank into
the vault; and especially the words, “I heard a voice from Heaven,” sung
by choristers invisible at the moment, as if music came from the Upper
Temple—these incidents can never be forgotten.

It was by royal command that this lady, descended from the royal Bruce,
was buried in a chapel reserved for royal persons; and immediately after
the interment wreaths from the Queen and her children were strewn over
the grave.  The three benedictions—the Mosaic, the Pauline, and the
Ecclesiastical—which the deceased loved to hear were pronounced, at the
close of the service, by the Dean from a desk in the nave.  She had said
to him, “Think of me as you repeat the holy words.”  He did, when she was
gone as when she was living.

The Dean sometimes referred to his visit to St. Petersburg in company
with her ladyship, and spoke of his having before him, as he tied the
nuptial knot on that memorable occasion, no less than four princes, each
of whom was expectant of a crown—the Prince of Wales, the Crown Prince of
Prussia, the Crown Prince of the Netherlands, and the Czarevitch; and he
also mentioned this circumstance—that after the wedding party had passed
in state through a magnificent hall, where no provision for a banquet
could be seen, within an hour and a half they sat down to a feast of
sumptuous splendour, reminding him of Belshazzar’s, not in point of
excess, but in point of regal display.  The fact was, the side-tables had
been concealed behind screens and drapery.  The middle one had in that
space of time been fixed and adorned.

I may here mention that one day, during a visit to the Deanery, I had
much conversation with Miss Stanley, the Dean’s sister, an agreeable
companion, who freely indulged in some common recollections of dear old
Norwich, and some friends whom we had both known.  She told me a great
deal about her good father, the Bishop, dwelling with admiration upon his
exceedingly simple habits, and his determination never to give at the
Palace _grand dinners_, but only such as combined hospitality with
Christian unostentation.

Two or three days previous to Lady Augusta’s funeral, I breakfasted at
Lambeth, when Archbishop Tait, amongst other things, spoke of his desire
for some union with Protestant Dissenters as far as it was possible; and
this led to proceedings which, as they have not been reported in any
fulness, may be recorded here.

It was a delicate question who should first move in the matter.  The
Archbishop wished to invite brethren to Lambeth, but what reason was to
be assigned for taking such a step?  At length it was arranged that some
communication should be made to him, indicative of a disposition on the
part of Nonconformists to confer with Episcopalian brethren.  On such a
ground the Archbishop considered he might bring together bishops, ready
to join in a conference.  I undertook to prepare a letter and get it
signed, so that Dr. Tait might feel he had sure footing for what might
follow.  It was based on a recognition of pleasure felt by
Nonconformists, in consequence of passages in his recent charges touching
religious union.  The letter went on to express willingness to meet
brethren for consultation respecting co-operation in religious service so
far as it might be possible and wise.  It was signed by well-known
ministers, and was acknowledged by the Archbishop under the term of
“memorial,” an expression which, if I remember rightly, had not been
employed by us.

Four Nonconformist ministers accordingly went down to Lambeth to converse
on the subject.  Previous to this interview, it was my conviction that to
discuss the subject of _union_ by itself was by no means desirable, as it
might raise questions which would defeat the end in view.  In harmony
with this, the following opinion was expressed by a friendly
prelate:—“Such a neutral subject as the progress of irreligious thought,
would do well as a basis for a friendly meeting.”

In a note received from the Archbishop before we met, he said, “I beg
leave to assure you that all the bishops whom I have consulted agree in
the extreme importance of this movement, and in an earnest desire that by
proper preliminary arrangements your proposal for a conference may be
brought to a satisfactory result.”  The proposal for a conference, I
think, did not _originate_ with me, though I quite approved of it, and
was glad the Archbishop had kindly arranged for its being held.

I subjoin the following record, received from Lambeth, respecting a
conference which the ministers named held with the Archbishop
beforehand:—

    “May 24th, 1876: The Archbishop of Canterbury saw the Rev. Dr.
    Stoughton, the Rev. Dr. Angus, the Rev. Newman Hall, and the Rev. Dr.
    Aveling.

    “The gentlemen present having heard from the Archbishop what had
    passed with the bishops who met at the Ecclesiastical Commission, it
    was the opinion of those present that there was ample room for united
    efforts to stem growing infidelity and ungodliness.

    “1.  Therefore that a united conference as to the best means of
    attempting to spread the knowledge of the answers to materialistic
    and atheistic sophistries might be attended with very beneficial
    results.

    “2.  That such a conference might with great advantage consider the
    lamentable ignorance and indifference as to religion which prevails
    amongst masses of the community, and the best modes of meeting these
    evils.

    “3.  That such a conference might also with advantage consider what
    efforts are needed to rouse the classes above the artisan class to a
    greater appreciation of the realities of religion.

    “4.  That it would be desirable that at such a conference those
    present should come prepared to state their experience as to the
    difficulties to be met, and the proposed remedies.  It was agreed
    that a day after the first week in July would be suitable for such a
    conference.

    “The result of this was reported by the Archbishop to an informal
    meeting of certain bishops at the Room of the House of Lords:
    present, the Archbishop of York, the Bishops of London, Winchester,
    St. Asaph, Llandaff, Gloucester and Bristol, and Carlisle; and
    Monday, July 4th, at twelve noon, was fixed for our gathering.”

We assembled accordingly on July 4th, and there were present besides the
Primate, the Bishops of London, Winchester, Peterborough, Gloucester,
Bath and Wells, Drs. Allon, Raleigh, Punshon, Rigg, Aveling, Angus,
Cumming, Robertson of Edinburgh (an old schoolmate of Dr. Tait); the
Revs. J. C. Harrison, Newman Hall, Josiah Viney, and several others whom
I cannot call to mind as, unfortunately, I have not kept a list.

The Archbishop presided, read the Scriptures, and offered prayer.  He
opened the proceedings by an appropriate address, and then requested me
to give some account of the steps which had led to our meeting together.
I could not help referring to some remarkable gatherings in the Jerusalem
Chamber, March 1640–1, convened by Dr. Williams, at that time Bishop of
Lincoln, and also Dean of Westminster, when several other dignitaries met
certain Presbyterian divines.  “This,” I remarked, “was done by order of
the House of Lords, with a view to settling points of difference between
ecclesiastical parties of that day.  A scheme of comprehension was
contemplated.  It came to nothing, though the intercourse seems to have
been pleasant, and they were hospitably entertained by the convener.”
“This was the last course of all public Episcopal treatments,” said the
witty Thomas Fuller, who added: “The guests may now soon put up their
knives, seeing, soon after, the voider was called for, which took away
all bishops’ lands.”  I emphasised the fact that we had assembled for a
very different purpose, not to discuss any plan of comprehension, but to
see how parties, remaining ecclesiastically as we were, could,
notwithstanding, _unite_ in defence of our common faith against those who
opposed it.

“We have a common cause,” it was added; “and let us aim at extending the
influence of our common Christianity—this would bring us into spiritual
and practical fellowship, the most enduring of all bonds.”  The Bishop of
Bath and Wells followed and spoke on the specific point—how we should
meet doubts and difficulties in reference to religion.  The Bishop of
Peterborough discussed the subject generally, with great eloquence and
force.  The Bishops of London and Winchester made practical suggestions
as to guarding Christians against scepticism, and rousing people at large
from indifference and neglect.  Drs. Rigg, Angus, and others, combatted
infidel objections and enforced attention to the subject before us.  A
spirit of harmony pervaded the meeting.

We broke up the morning conference at two o’clock, and then lunched
together; reassembling at three o’clock, when the Bishop of Gloucester,
Dr. Punshon, and several besides, resumed the conversation.  No
representatives of the press were present, and no report, that I am aware
of, was taken and preserved.  We wished to prevent the controversial
treatment of what took place.  Two of those who were there, together with
myself, received and complied with a request to prepare some brief
statement for _The Times_, on the character and purpose of our meeting.
Of course, the whole matter was criticised afterwards, chiefly however in
private.  I do not remember that it was taken up controversially in
religious periodicals.  To correct some misapprehensions—expressed in a
Dissenting newspaper—I, at the request of an esteemed brother, wrote a
short letter of explanation.

When we separated, gratification was expressed by those who were present.
Some Nonconformists did not enter into the movement; others did, and that
most heartily.  From several Episcopalian friends we received assurances
of approval and sympathy.  It issued in no united action; no fresh
organisation had, as far as I know, ever been intended.  The purpose
designed was accomplished by interchanging thought, collecting
information, and encouraging one another in ministerial work.

For Archbishop Tait I had great respect and affection.  He was singularly
kind and conversable, without affecting any official superiority.  Under
his grave countenance, and habitually serious demeanour, as one who lived
ever “in his Great Taskmaster’s eye,” there were veins of cheerfulness
and humour in his familiar intercourse—I felt deeply, his gentle
sympathy, expressed in a letter of condolence, on my dear wife’s death;
and the last time we talked together, being interrupted by another
person, he broke off in the opening of what seemed an amusing tale.  He
appreciated the relative position of Church and Dissent, better than any
other dignitary I have met with.  He would say that Nonconformists had
their traditions, organisations, endowments, and influence, which gave
them a status they were not likely to surrender by bringing over what
belonged to them, into an Episcopalian organisation.  A fraternal _modus
vivendi_, he regarded as the object to be aimed at, not an absorption of
Dissenting bodies into the Establishment.  He, no doubt, would have
preferred to see _One Great Church_ in England, under a moderate
Episcopacy; but he seemed to cherish little hope of any such object being
accomplished.

On a former page allusion was made to Mr. Bagster, of Polyglot fame.  In
the year (1877) his venerable wife, at the age of 100 _within a few
hours_, died at Old Windsor; and her accumulated years attracted the
notice of Her Majesty, who honoured her with a visit just before her
decease.  I called at the cottage in which she expired, after the royal
visitor had been there, and there heard the particulars of the interview.
Her Majesty I was informed, brought with her the Princess Beatrice; and,
on their entrance into the bedroom, where the old lady was lying, she at
once expressed her gratitude for the signal favour bestowed by her
Sovereign, saying that “she was looking forward to her own speedy
dismissal to the immediate presence of the Saviour, where she hoped
hereafter to meet Her Majesty.”  Pleasant conversation followed, in which
Mrs. B., at the Queen’s request, related her memories of George III.,
Queen Charlotte, and the Royal Family, as they used to walk on the Castle
terrace, in the presence of a large number of loyal spectators.  The
Queen manifested interest in particulars respecting the good old lady,
related by her daughter; and in consequence of the report she gave on her
return home, Prince Leopold, as I was told soon afterwards, paid a visit
to Old Windsor, and wished for a rehearsal of what had been communicated
by his Royal Mother.  Repeated gracious inquiries from the Castle
followed.  At the funeral service a note was put into my hands, written
by the Duchess of Roxburgh to Miss Bagster, tenderly touching on that
lady’s sorrow, for her late bereavement; and concluding with the words:
“The Queen begs you to convey to all the members of your venerable
mother’s family, the assurance of Her Majesty’s condolence.”  This note
was read to the mourners.

In 1877 I made two pilgrimages which left memorable impressions.  All my
life I have been an enthusiastic shrine-seeker, loving to trace out spots
sanctified by footsteps of heroic and holy men.  I heartily adopt the
words of Dr. Martineau, “No material interests, no common welfare, can so
bind a community together, and make it strong of heart, as a history of
rights maintained and virtues uncorrupted and freedom won; and one legend
of conscience is worth more to a country than hidden gold and fertile
plains.”

At different periods I have visited the birthplaces of Shakespeare and of
Raleigh, of Cromwell and of Wesley; the homes of Knox, Hampden, Milton,
Baxter, and Howard; the haunts of Johnson, Goldsmith, Watts, and Cowper;
the graves of Bunyan, Burns, Scott, and Chalmers have all had attractions
for me.

The pilgrimages I made in 1877 were the following:—

The first to the Vosges district in France, searching for Ban de la
Roche, the scene of Oberlin’s labours, and the resting place of his
remains. {268}  From Strassburg my daughter and I went to Mutzig,
situated amidst a theatre of red sandstone hills mantled with woods and
vineyards.  Then from Mutzig we proceeded to Fouday, through valley after
valley, if not exactly picturesque, yet really pictorial, and finally
approached the parish of the model pastor.  In the heart of the village
of Ban de la Roche, are the church hallowed by his preaching, and the
grave where he sleeps.  Three broad slabs lie on the green turf, side by
side, the middle one inscribed with the words, “Il fut 60 ans père de ce
canton.—‘La Mémoire du juste sera en benediction.’”  An iron cross bears
the name “Papa Oberlin.”  We were surprised to find the spot, though
highly situated, so rich in beauty as summer waned; an afternoon sun
warming the crisp air, and lighting up objects with varied tints.  At
Walderbach, a Swiss-like village, full of cottages and fruit trees, we
found the parsonage house in which the good man lived and died.  We were
welcomed by the present clergyman’s wife, whom we had met before, without
knowing her.  The good lady took us over the rooms associated with her
husband’s predecessor.  There was the study where he worked, and the
bedroom in which he slept.  Some of his furniture is preserved, with a
collection of toys he made for children, and a large jar full of still
fragrant rose leaves, a few of which were gratefully accepted as a
memento of the visit.

The other pilgrimage was in England to Broad Oak, Shropshire, where
Philip Henry resided and where his son Matthew was born.  It stands where
the Wrexham Road is intersected by a lane leading to Whitwell Church.  It
is a small farmhouse, part of a larger one, with heavy beams, and a broad
chimney corner, like what one sees in Anne Hathaway’s cottage near
Stratford-on-Avon.  When in its primitive state, it must have been
spacious, for, says the famous Puritan, “I have room for twelve friends
in my beds, a hundred in my barn, and a thousand in my heart.”  Here he
resembled “Abraham sitting at his tent door, in quest of opportunities to
do good.  If he met with any poor near his house, and gave them alms in
money, he would, besides, bid them go to his door for relief.  He was
very tender and compassionate towards poor strangers, and travellers,
though his candour and charity were often imposed upon by cheats and
pretenders.”

The mention of Broad Oak occurs repeatedly in the Life of the father,
written by his affectionate son.  The latter tells of his father’s
removal to Broad Oak, and the providences concerning him there, of “the
rebukes he lay under at Broad Oak,” and of the last nine years of his
life, in “liberty and enlargement at Broad Oak.”  At a time when
ministerial engagements were by no means so numerous and diversified as
they are at present; when habits of home study, quiet visitation of the
flock, and catechising the children, rather than preaching on public
occasions, attending large meetings, and travelling to and fro along the
length and breadth of the land, distinguished both town and country
clergymen; when those who were connected with the Established Church, and
had no restraints put upon their activity, spent what would be now
considered very retired and monotonous lives; what must have been the
secluded and stationary position of an ejected minister between the
Restoration and the Revolution!  No wonder, then, that almost every
incident and effort belonging to Philip Henry’s career belonged to the
farm at Broad Oak, where he lived and died, and wrote and suffered, and
walked and taught, bringing up his children, and receiving his friends,
and paying visits to his neighbours, under the shadow of the umbrageous
trees which gave a name to his pleasant homestead.

I drove over to the house, or rather that part of it which still remains,
a part of the kitchen, as I suppose, in which the good man used to
preach.  The people of the house showed me some relics—the pulpit
cushion, and, I think, the pulpit itself, or some portion of it; also
some buttons which belonged to Philip Henry’s coat.

At Whitwell is a chapel containing Philip Henry’s monument, which once
stood in the parish edifice of Whitchurch.

At the end of the Whitwell epitaph are the words, “In dormitorium hic
juxta positum demisit June 24, Anno Dom. MDCXCVI, Ætatis LXV.”  Was it in
imitation of this, that the words were introduced in Matthew Henry’s
monument in Holy Trinity Church, Chester, “Confectum corpus huic
dormitorio commisit 22 die Junii, 1714, Anno ætat 52”?

Dr. Howson, Dean of Chester, who was staying with me at Crewe Hall when
this visit was arranged, intended to be my companion, for he was a great
admirer of the Henrys; but illness prevented him.

In 1877 I was invited by Dr. Stanley to deliver a missionary lecture in
Westminster Abbey, one of a series he had arranged, in which some friends
of his, not clergymen in the Establishment, took part.

In 1877 I gave a lecture in the room of the Society of Arts on the
prospects and perils of modern civilisation.  One of the audience was a
native gentleman attached to the Chinese Embassy—a very intelligent
person, speaking English well, and showing by his conversation how
clearly he grasped points of the address he had just heard.  It was a
singular circumstance that a representative of the largest empire of the
world—which not long ago counted all other nations as barbarous—should
listen to a barbarian as he represented the good and _evil_ of European
civilisation.

Just before Christmas (1877) two or three days were spent at the Deanery
of Westminster, and on the Sunday afternoon Dr. Stanley walked with me on
the terrace of the Parliamentary Houses, where we had some interesting
talk.  He pointed to the palatial edifice at our back as we looked across
the river, and said, “This is the palace of the nation”; turning
attention to St. Thomas’ Hospital, he remarked, “That is the palace of
the poor”; and next, looking towards Lambeth, he added, “There is the
palace of the Church.”  We discussed the state and prospects of the
Establishment, and he, as a staunch advocate for its continuance,
propounded schemes of reform, which, looking at the state of parties,
seemed to me quite impracticable.  He was filled with an idea of
comprehension, if not within wide Episcopalian limits, then by a State
union of different denominations—for example, thus: He would have been
glad to see a Presbyterian Moderator, a Congregational Chairman, and a
Wesleyan President sitting in the House of Lords on a bench with the
bishops.  He further thought that, as Charles II. was willing to have
Nonconformist chaplains, after the Restoration, so an English sovereign
might now, without any impropriety, do the same; and if the Uniformity
Act were modified so as to allow a Dissenting minister to enter a pulpit
of the Establishment, there would be no legal bar in the way.  My friend
had the widest sympathies possible, and union, with him, was a passion.

In some respects I have a feeling like the Dean’s, but I hold theological
and ecclesiastical principles such as he did not adopt.  One fundamental
difference between us was that he overlooked the exercise of Church
_discipline_, to which I attach great importance.  The study of State
organisations has convinced me that the “union of Church and State”
creates insuperable barriers in the way of ecclesiastical discipline.  If
the Church be linked to the State, so that a subject of the State becomes
thereby legally entitled to membership and communion,—that forms a strong
bar to a faithful correction of moral misconduct and fundamental
disbeliefs.  It was a great difficulty under the Commonwealth.  The
devoted and holy Thomas Wilson, Bishop of Sodor and Man, found it so in
carrying on his diocese.  He said in his famous “Ecclesiastical
Constitutions” that his desire was “We may not stand charged with the
scandals which wicked men bring upon religion, when they are admitted to,
and reputed members of, Christ’s Church; and that we may, by all laudable
means, promote the conversion of sinners, and oblige men to submit to the
discipline of the Gospel.”  But for myself, let me say I have not found
any difficulty in the maintenance of discipline in Congregational
Churches.  Whatever might be the basis of Dr. Stanley’s far-reaching
comprehension, it appears to me there might be a much broader range of
religious sympathy and co-operation between distinct religious bodies
connected with the maintenance of well-accentuated beliefs, and the
exercise of ecclesiastical discipline.

In the early part of the following year I visited Edinburgh to lecture
for the Philosophical Society of that city.  My subject was “The Great
Rebellion”; and I made a double attempt, first, to vindicate the
Parliament policy as against the despotic unconstitutionalism of the
infatuated monarch; and secondly, to criticise the proceedings of some
eminent men on the Puritan and popular side.  The society invited me to
lecture again, when different historical ground was taken, and a sketch
was presented of English and Scotch life in the days of Queen Anne.

My old friend, and large-hearted host, the Rev. George D. Cullen,
favoured me with the company at dinner, of Dr. Goold, Moderator of the
Free Church; Dr. Hanna, son-in-law to Dr. Chalmers; Dr. Alexander, and
others—and we had earnest talk about topics of the day.  Scotch and
English elements of thought, blended so as to bring diversities into
view, without any portion of the acrimony common to polemical debate.
True blue Presbyterianism rose in contrast with milder colours of
Ecclesiasticism.  There was no want of thrust or repartee, but we kept
the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.  Edinburgh society is of
the choicest kind.  Some of the best talkers may be found on the other
side the border; and memories of celebrities in Auld Reekie, are amongst
the most pleasant of my life.  On the occasion just noticed, my friend
Mr. Cullen took me over to St. Andrews; and there Principal Tulloch did
the honours of ciceroneship to perfection.  In the evening we dined at
the house of Professor Swann, where further social enjoyments of a high
university order were found to be in store.

During this visit to Scotland a curious fact was related to me by the
librarian of the University.  Drummond of Hawthornden bequeathed books to
the library of that institution, and in the catalogue appeared an item of
“MSS. respecting Mary Queen of Scots.”

These MSS. were long missing, and inquiries about them were made in vain.
Not very long before my visit, the librarian received a communication
from some one who said he had, in his possession, papers belonging to the
University; and on receiving a reply to his letter, he forwarded them.
They turned out to be the missing treasure.  How came this about?  As
well as I can remember it appeared that a librarian of the last century
put one day into his coat pocket these very MSS., and took them home for
examination.  He suddenly died.  His clothes were sent to a relative, and
amongst them, the coat containing the documents now mentioned.  For a
century afterwards they remained forgotten, and then came to light.  The
possessor, finding they belonged to Edinburgh University, wrote to the
librarian as stated above, and restored them to their proper place.  The
recovered property was shown to me.  It included original papers
published some time ago, and others not previously known; but, if I may
venture to say so, after a brief inspection, they did not promise to be
of so much service as was hoped, in throwing fresh light on the mysteries
of poor Mary’s career.

The seventh General Conference of the Evangelical Alliance was held in
Basle, September 1st 1879.

There was a large gathering of delegates from Germany, France, Austria,
Italy, Spain, Holland, America and England.  The president was M. C.
Sarasin, Councillor of State, who is said to have descended from a
Moorish ancestor settled in the canton.  He showed himself to be
acquainted with English literature.

“Let me remind our English friends,” he said, “of the words their great
poet puts in the mouth of Richard II.:

             ‘Look not to the ground
    Ye favourites of a king!  Are we not high?
    High be our thoughts.’

“Let us cherish high thoughts, my friends!  Are we not the servants of a
King, of the King of kings, and Lord of lords?  And is it not His work we
are carrying on?

    ‘Die sach’ ist dein, Herr Jesu Christ,
    Die sach’ an der wir stehen.’
    (The cause is Thine, Lord Jesus Christ,
    The cause for which we stand.)

“Thus let our work be done, our testimony be given, our efforts be
united, in the same joyful steadfast spirit, with the same buoyancy, with
which the Apostle, with chained hands, appealed to his flock at Philippi,
‘Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, rejoice.’”

These were animating words, and awakened an enthusiastic response, when
uttered in the old church of St. Martin, where Æcolampadius first
preached the doctrines of the Reformation.

I give the following _resumé_ of some remarks I made at the Basle
Alliance meeting.

_The Times_ reported:

“Dr. Stoughton contrasted the gathering of peoples in that assembly,
representative of all nations, with a meeting held in Basle four hundred
and fifty years ago.  Christendom was then in a very divided state, for
the spirit of religious inquiry was breaking out, and the great
moot-point was, in all theological controversy, ‘Where lies the ultimate
authority for religious beliefs—in Popes, in Councils, or in the Word of
God?’  They met that day in times of a somewhat differentcharacter, but
of still deeper and wider agitation, for the question now was, not only
whether the Church or the Bible was the final test of truth, but also
whether reason or revelation should be our guide as to the highest of all
subjects which could affect the present and future interests of the human
family.  But how vast the difference between that famous Council at Basle
and the Evangelical Alliance Conference of this day!  Under what
different aspects was union regarded by the two assemblies!  The one
aimed at uniformity, at a precise and definitely-expressed agreement of
opinion, in relation to theological and ecclesiastical points, which
might be enforced on all Christendom by pains and penalties,—even death,
to a recreant brother.  The other seeks to promote unity, holding, after
the experience of ages, that uniformity was impossible, and that true
unity could not only be attained, but was compatible with a hearty,
loving, sympathetic Christian fellowship throughout the family of the
redeemed.  He then contrasted the appearance of the two meetings, traced
out the history of the followers of John Huss, and, in a long and
exceedingly able and interesting historical review of the history of the
Reformation, showed that Protestant England was not only indebted to
Basle for men but for principles; and, identifying the two with the work
of Calvin at Geneva and John Knox in Scotland, he contended that the
outcome of those early struggles was not only religious freedom in
Europe, but, mainly through the Puritans of England, the religious life
and progress of America.  Their simple reliance now, as then, was the
Gospel of Christ, and freedom to preach and practise its heaven-born
truths.”

I have a great delight in all genuine Christian union, but my conception
of it is by no means confined to the cultivation of love and sympathy
with those, who in all, or in most, respects concur with me.  There is an
admirable passage in Julius Hare’s preface to the third volume of
Arnold’s “Rome.”  “We are so bound and shackled, by all manner of
prejudices, national, party, ecclesiastical, individual, that we can
hardly move a limb freely; and we are so fenced and penned in, that few
can look over their neighbour’s land, or up to any piece of sky, except
to _that which is just over their heads_.”  I took an active part in the
early history of the Evangelical Alliance, and I rejoice in those points
of agreement which are expressed in its Evangelical faith; but I have
never liked its exclusion of some good people from its fellowship, on the
ground of differences in relation to ecclesiastical ordinances.  I would
look kindly over “my neighbour’s land,” and towards “pieces of sky” which
are not “just over my head.”

I can scarcely bring myself to speak of the sorrow which befell me in
November 1879.  My beloved wife then died, and was interred in Hanwell
Cemetery, which pertains to the parish of Kensington.  The beautiful
words in Proverbs are inscribed on her gravestone: “Her children arise
up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.”  Some
time ago I read in the Life of my American friend, Dr. Hodge, the
following passage respecting the deceased companion of _his_ life.  I can
truly appropriate it to my departed loved one.  “A humble worshipper of
Christ, she lived in love and died in faith.  Trustful woman, delightful
companion, ardent friend, devoted wife, self-sacrificing mother, we lay
you gently here, our best beloved, to gather strength and beauty for the
coming of the Lord.”

My dearest friend Joshua Harrison, who was to her as a brother, preached
a funeral sermon, in which he said, “The strength of her life was her
faith in the Son of God.  Her path, though the sun shone brightly upon
it, was often a thorny one.  Her own health was liable to frequent
interruptions, and her heart was pierced again and again by the loss of
children, whom she loved better than herself.  Oh, the unmurmuring
resignation with which seven several times, she saw her dear ones carried
to the grave!  Oh, the courage with which she bore the shock!  She never
wavered in the conviction, ‘He loved me and gave Himself for me,’ but
felt that these sad sorrows must be only the obscurer manifestations of
His love.  And hence she could write, ‘Here we shall never be exempt from
trial and sorrow, but when we reach that changeless home above, there
will be no need of sanctifying us there.  All that is needful to make us
meet for that holy place must be done here; and oh, how much pruning and
purging, how much of grace and strength we need to help us to walk more
closely with Him.’

“She has reached that changeless abode now, and has left all sorrow
behind.  Long, long had she been waiting, but the message came so
suddenly at last, that, without knowing she was dying, she found herself
at home.  The words discovered in her desk, which by copying she had made
her own, received sweet and exact fulfilment:

    ‘The way is long, my Father, and my soul
    Longs for the rest and quiet of the goal;
    While yet I journey through this weary land,
    Keep me from wandering; Father, take my hand,
          Quickly and straight,
          Lead to Heaven’s gate
                Thy child.

    ‘The way is long, my child, but it shall be
    Not one step longer than is best for thee,
    And thou shalt know, at last, when thou shalt stand
    Close by the gate, how I did take thy hand,
          And quick and straight,
          Lead to Heaven’s gate
                My child.’”



CHAPTER XIII
1879–1883


NEED was felt for some change after my sad bereavement; so in March,
1880, my daughter and I started for Italy.  We tarried on our way a week
at Cannes with my friend, Mr. Prust, of Northampton, an old
fellow-student, who had a villa in the Riviera.  I greatly enjoyed the
climate and scenery, and felt soothed by walks and drives on the shores,
through the cork groves, and round about to more distant places of
interest.  Old affections sprang up anew between my friend and myself as
we talked of auld lang syne.  Nothing could exceed the kindness shown by
him and his two interesting nieces.

I met with some old acquaintances at Mentone; amongst the rest, with a
gentleman well known in the political and religious world and closely
connected with Lord Palmerston.  He gave me much information as to what
he apprehended was the state of thought and feeling amongst the upper
class in reference to Christianity.  There seemed to be a large amount of
light-hearted, thoughtless scepticism on the part of young people; girls
catching from their brothers doubts as to God and Christ and
eternity—doubts circulated in conversation and in periodicals.  The facts
indicated did not strike me as deep and earnest, but as froth on the
surface of common talk; not, however, to be passed over as a trifling
phenomenon, for if those who occupy superior stations in the world have
their faith shaken as to natural and revealed religion, it forebodes
mischief to wider circles round them.  My informant was inclined to
believe that outspoken doubt and disbelief was less to be dreaded than
concealed enmity.  Moreover, that whilst there was much to excite concern
in literature and social intercourse of the present day, there was also
an increase in the higher as well as lower walks of thorough-going
Christian experience and practice.  In my own limited acquaintance I have
been cheered to find instances of what appeared genuine piety where I
little expected them; works of benevolence going on nowadays amongst all
classes are surely tokens for good, which ought to fill us with
thankfulness.  We are all tempted to confine ourselves to one side of the
world and Church picture before us; but we shall not get at the whole
truth by shutting one eye and keeping the other wide open.

Leaving Cannes, we travelled by the Cornice Railway to Genoa, and there
renewed acquaintance with churches, palaces, and picture galleries, seen
years before.  Then tarrying at Spezzia, we saw some new specimens of
Italian scenery and life.  Pisa and Florence were again visited, cities
in which I loved to linger; and at the end of about ten days we reached
Rome.

I had an introduction to Cardinal Howard, who sent me an invitation to
visit him.  I was met by a Monseignor friend of his, with whom I had a
good deal of conversation.  We discussed several topics, and then touched
upon the relations in which Catholics and Protestants stood to one
another.  He considered there was improvement in this respect, more
social intercourse existing between them than was once the case.

Pio Nono had a Jewish friend, who became a convert.  Seeing him one day
depressed, “the holy father,” as this Monseignor called him, asked what
was the cause.

“I have just lost my father, who died a Jew, and I am greatly concerned
about the state of his soul.”

“But was he a good Jew, devout and acting up to the light he had?”

“Yes,” was the reply.

Then came the Pope’s rejoinder, “I will pray for him; and do you pray for
him, and I doubt not that God will have mercy on him.”

These were his words as well as I can remember.  The drift of the story
and its application were intended to show that the deceased pontiff did
not despair of a Jew’s salvation.  He did not look upon those outside the
Roman pale as beyond the reach of God’s mercy, though needing
purification in a future state.

Whilst we were talking the Cardinal came in.  The reception he gave me
was singularly cordial, and we had a good deal of friendly chat relative
to the Stanley family.  The favours I asked he granted at once; one was a
special introduction to the chief librarian at the Vatican, and the
seeing more of its treasures than I had done when I visited the library
many years before.  He took me into his library, well furnished with
books, in handsome bindings, and we had some talk about Thomas Aquinas,
in whose writings I took an interest.  He recommended to me some little
books of analysis and comment.  He also procured a papal permission for
my daughter to see St. Peter’s Crypt, which is closed to ladies
generally, on all days of the year except one.  The Cardinal arranged
with one of the Vatican librarians that I should have special facilities
for seeing historical documents; and afterwards, on my reaching the
Vatican by appointment, I was received by an officer, who accompanied me
into one of the magnificent galleries, which I had seen years before, to
find then all book-cases closed.  Now some of them were opened, and I was
permitted to take down any volumes I liked; and I at once luxuriated in
the inspection of charming Aldine editions of patristic and other
authors—the paper as white, and the printing as fresh, as when they were
produced four centuries ago.

I was surprised to find that provision was made for the use of printed
books, and certain MSS., by readers, admitted after the fashion in our
British Museum.  There are catalogues, giving titles and press-marks;
and, by writing for what you want upon slips of paper, and handing them
to an attendant, as in the British Museum, you attain the volumes
desired, which you can use at desks provided for the purpose.  A
catalogue of much greater compass than exists at present, I was informed,
is in progress; but the Cardinal told me, it might be a long time before
it was finished, adding, that Rome is the Eternal City in more senses
than one.  He encouraged me to believe that even the archives of the Holy
See might be accessible; but, far short of that, MSS. which I wrote for,
and examined, were sufficient to convince me that there is abundant
materials for extensive research, beyond what was formerly possible.
Besides, in the vast Library of the Dominicans—who once had their
monastery at Sopra Minerva—a library which is now open to the public,
under certain regulations, there are the archives of the Roman
Inquisition; the historical use which now can be made of them, appears in
many numbers of _La Rivista Christiana_, in which I found many valuable
extracts.  Much interesting information respecting early Italian
confessors may be found in those Inquisitionary records.

I saw several Protestant brethren in Rome; and, besides preaching in the
Presbyterian Church twice, was invited to address a large meeting of
Italians, through the medium of the Rev. Mr. Piggott, who was my kind
interpreter.  I took occasion to lament that Italian Protestants, whilst
not by any means numerous, were broken up into so many parties; said that
it would be far better if they would work together; and if that were
impossible, it was at least desirable and easy, not to interfere with
each other’s proceedings, by opposition or uncivil criticism.  Judging
from a response on the part of an Italian, I was glad to find my remarks
were not deemed offensive; but I am afraid they did no real good.

Whilst in Rome at this time I tried to turn my visit to some account by
restudying its Christian antiquities.  Christian art in its early state
is a subject illustrated by the Catacombs.  The rude paintings and
sculptures familiar to every Roman visitor, familiar by means of books to
thousands who have never seen the originals, are historical and symbolic.
Noah and the Ark, Abraham offering up Isaac, Moses receiving the law,
Jonah and the whale, Daniel and the lions, the three Hebrews in the
furnace—these have a Christian meaning, and point typically to truths
respecting Christ’s redemption.  Subterranean Rome, it has been well said
by a French author, is “_a living book_, palpable, everlasting,” and
there are written on its pages, in hieroglyphic ways, truths which are
held by all true Christians, whether Protestant or Catholic.  The Agape
or love-feast, a ship emblematic of the Church, the cross, the fish, the
dove, and other well-known signs of Christ and His salvation, occur over
and over again.  Also there are historical pictures of the Nativity, and
of Peter denying his Master.  Portraits also are found of Christ, of
Peter, of Paul.  The Virgin Mary is seen by the side of her husband,
whilst the Holy Child, like an Italian bambino, lies in His cradle, an ox
licking His feet; close by, the Magi are watching stars in the east.  No
picture or image of the Virgin, in solitary magnificence, at all
resembling the Madonnas of a later period, so far as I can make out, has
been discovered in the Catacombs.  The contrast between the early
attempts and the later achievements of Roman Christian art in doctrinal
significance, as well as in imaginative conception and technical skill,
is obvious and striking.  To pass from the former to the latter requires
an immense stride; to go from examining early representations of gospel
facts and principles, to look round churches and galleries rich in the
works of modern Catholic artists, is to exchange worlds.  The difference
in religious meaning is as great as the difference in artistic merit.

During this visit to Rome some remarkable religious meetings were
conducted by Dr. A. N. Somerville, of Glasgow, who in other parts of
Italy the same spring, held revivalistic Protestant services.  Those at
Rome occurred on a spot, to reach which many citizens had to cross a
bridge with a toll bar on it.  Notwithstanding, on the evening when we
attended, I should think about eight hundred people were present.  The
preacher could not speak Italian, and what he said was translated into
that language, by a native Protestant.  Everything was skilfully managed,
and the effect appeared on the whole, solemn and impressive.
Congregations after the same methods had been previously gathered in
Florence, where the addresses, according to report, had produced
considerable impression.  Sankey’s hymns, translated into Italian, were
sung at Rome, with Sankey’s tunes; how far solid evangelical results
followed I could not ascertain.

We made, at this time, two excursions which I must notice.  One was very
short: only as far as Ostia, where there are still some Roman remains.
The present town is not worth notice, but the ancient city, Hare says in
his “Days near Rome,” is like Pompeii.  I cannot quite agree with him.
The deep ruts of Roman chariot wheels; fragments here and there of Roman
pottery, human bones, coloured marbles, and a few architectural relics,
are of interest; but what attracted me to the spot was the memory of
Augustine, who, in his “Confessions,” paints such a touching picture of
his mother Monica’s illness and death.  Thoughts of that interview, as
related by the converted son, were the only charm of our visit, and the
hour or two we were compelled to spend in the place, for the refreshment
of our coachman and his horse, were most dreary.  The long, long gossip
going on between a priest and the mistress of the little farm, betokened
the intense idleness and vulgarity of both,—typical, I fear, of the whole
neighbourhood.

Another expedition we made was of a very different kind.  We engaged a
carriage to the charming haunts of Tivoli, where picturesque objects in
the town and its vicinity, and the stupendous waterfall with manifold
associations, clustering round the immediate neighbourhood, created
memorable delight.  Next day we drove to Subiaco, along an interesting
road rich in memories of old Roman rural life.  My daughter wrote in her
journal:—

    “It was a glorious morning, the sun was shining brightly, and in the
    cool spring air, our three pretty little black horses dashed along
    the road at a good pace, so that we soon found ourselves winding in
    and out amongst the Sabine Hills.  We climbed up a steep ascent, only
    to go dashing down on the other side.  The retreating hills, rising
    here and there to a great height, were clothed with trees, some of a
    sombre colour, some fresh with the bright hue of early spring, with
    here and there a cluster of silver olives, making a delightful
    variety of colour; whilst, at our feet, the roadside was beautiful
    with anemones, cyclamen, honeysuckle, and saxifrage; and, lower
    still, ran the refreshing river Arno.”

Not far from Subiaco there is a deep gorge with sloping sides of rock and
foliage, reaching down to the river Arno, bordered by chestnut trees,
amidst which, here and there, rises a tall cypress.  The brow of the hill
on the side nearest Subiaco, is crowned by a far-famed monastery in
which, very different from what it is now, the great St. Benedict,
founder of a monastery which bears his name, spent his early days and
prepared for his great life work, which began at Monte Cassino, on the
road from Rome to Naples.

We left Subiaco for Olevano, and were benighted on our way, as the horses
toiled up hill after hill.  We reached Olevano late at night, and caused
quite a commotion in the narrow street, by our inquiries after the hotel,
where we were to pass the night, and which, ignorantly, we had passed by,
at the hill-top which overlooks the town.  There, to our delight, we met
with a most enjoyable reception, as the house is a favourite resort for
artists; and though we blundered into a room, already occupied by guests,
we were permitted to remain, and listen to charming stories of the place
and its surroundings.  After tarrying a few hours next morning, we had to
hasten our departure, that we might catch a train on the railway from
Naples to Rome.

After leaving Rome on our way to England, we halted some days at Venice,
and revived old recollections.  I went over points of interest in a visit
years before, and new pictorial and architectural pleasures were enjoyed.
We proceeded to Bologna, and crossed the beautiful Lago di Garda, spent a
day or two at Trent, where special services were being held for young
people, and hosts of “shining ones” in white, crowded the churches.

In 1881 I visited Italy again, especially for the purpose of carrying on
researches commenced just before.  The journey was rapid.  Reaching
Turin, accompanied by my dear daughter, I began my work by searching out
localities which I could easily identify.  In other places I picked up
illustrations I desired; for, when the mind is bent on a particular
inquiry, it is wonderful how it draws cognate matters to itself.  We made
an excursion to Pavia, and, on the way, stopped at the beautiful
monastery of Certosa.  Pavia, situated on the river Ticino, with a
covered bridge, is interesting, from its antiquities and history.  The
churches are specimens of Lombardic architecture, and in the Duomo one
was startled to find the tomb of Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, whose
remains were transferred from Africa to this city.  They were there at
the time of our visit, his monument being full of magnificence and
beauty, in general form and particular details.  Since I was at Pavia,
the body has been restored to its original resting-place.  Pavia connects
itself with the philosopher, Boetius, by a popular tradition that he was
imprisoned in a tower belonging to the city.  Piacenza and Bologna during
this journey afforded gleanings which helped me to realise important
events occurring there at the time of the Reformation; but it was in
Florence that I did most work, and spent more than a week from day to day
tracking Savonarola’s footsteps through the streets, from San Marco to
the Palazzo Vecchio, and back again, not forgetting his visit to Lorenzo
di Medici at his villa in Careggi, with views of rich woodlands and
grassy fields.  But my chief employment was in the public library,
searching out and deciphering original documents, connected with his
trial.  According to one account Savonarola underwent an examination,
first by words, then by threats, then by torture; and on the second day
of his imprisonment was put on the rack.  The account of the trial which
I gathered from original sources, was in harmony with that of Villari in
his life of the martyr.  There are two letters appended, one addressed to
the Pope respecting _la vita buono_ of the sufferer, and another by a
large number of Florentine citizens.  I was especially interested in
Savonarola’s Bible, which he used to carry under his arm.  It is entitled
“Biblia integra,” the type beautifully clear, the date 1491.  It contains
some of his prophecies in MS.  Signor Guicciardini has contributed a
large collection of Savonarola’s works to this Magliabecchian Library, as
it is called, and the catalogue of them runs over sixty pages.

After leaving Florence, we visited the Waldensian valleys, of which I
have given some account in my “Footprints of Italian Reformers,” and I
may here add, that I agree fully with Professor Comba in his opinion,
that the Waldenses, properly speaking, do not appear in history earlier
than the twelfth century, and then they are seen scattered over the South
of France at Metz, and in the Netherlands—their origin being ascribed by
their enemies to Peter Waldo of Lyons, who does not appear to have
visited the valleys.  I found the good people in the valleys opposed to
the results of Professor Comba’s researches.  An intelligent daughter of
a Waldensian minister said, “We do not believe in them at all here.”
After studying the subject, let me add, I do.

In 1881 my dear friend Dr. Stanley died, after so short an illness that I
had no opportunity of seeing him in his last hours.  His funeral was an
event of national interest.

He had much of the mind which distinguished “that disciple whom Jesus
loved.”  His singular sweetness of disposition was partly natural, for he
was a gentle, quiet boy, winning many hearts; but it was gracious and
spiritual also, a result of sincere discipleship to the Divine Master.  I
often felt surprised at his extraordinary amount of forbearance under
most unjust and cruel attacks.  I once alluded to the need of patience
amidst such trials, instancing Archbishop Tillotson, who left behind him
a bundle of scurrilous letters, labelled with the words, “May God forgive
the writers as I do.”  I learned from my friend that once he was accused
of infidelity by an anonymous correspondent; and on another occasion,
after the figures of Moses, David, Paul, and Peter had been placed in the
choir of the Abbey, he received a note beginning with a charge of
idolatry.  Our Broad Church Dean, and the prelate of the Revolution were
ecclesiastically and socially much alike.  As to theology the former told
me there is much in the teaching of Scripture which transcends human
conception, much which, running along lines of mystery, he felt himself
unable to follow; but, at the same time, he would remark, there is much
more that is plain, which “a wayfaring man, though a fool,” may receive
and “not err therein.”  To these plain things, he said, he desired to
cleave; these plain things he endeavoured to preach.  The main difference
between others and himself was that certain Evangelical principles were
plainer to them than to him.

His interest in Bible study was intense, especially with regard to
historical and biographical subjects; and it was well said, that whilst
some critics seemed to delight in destroying certain parts, his delight
was to build them up into a grand whole.  His habit was to maintain
truth, so far as he saw it, rather than to attack and overthrow error;
and his gift of felicitously adapting events and passages of Holy Writ to
passing incidents and characters, was truly wonderful; especially when an
opportunity occurred for weaving sacred associations round the walls of
his beloved Abbey.  Nor did he fail to turn his skill in this respect to
admirable account, when preaching in America.

Dr. Stanley’s amiableness never betrayed a suspicion of weakness in his
character.  Indeed he had a side almost stern in some of its appearances;
and he fought against what he deemed evil, with great vehemence; and
stood up very boldly, I know, against unprincipled people, declaring that
he would not meet them, except in the presence of witnesses.

To see him at his best was to be with him alone, when he gave full sway
to his thoughts and feelings, expressing them with greater freedom than I
ever heard him do in company.  The most enjoyable time was late in the
evening, after guests had retired; especially when he conducted me to my
bedroom, candlestick in hand, and tarried for a good while chatting about
subjects and persons of interest to us both.

Not long before his death, I spent a night at Westminster, when we talked
about Oliver Cromwell.  With much pathos he read aloud Carlyle’s
description of the Lord Protector’s last hours; and, some time before
this, he told me that he had been engaged in endeavouring to ascertain
what became of the hero’s remains after indignities done to them at the
Restoration.

Soon after the Dean’s death, I received from Mrs. Drummond, his
executrix, a note accompanied by the picture it referred to.  “In a
memorandum left by our dear Dean, he desired a photograph of him, which
used to stand in the drawing-room, should be sent to you, in remembrance
of a sincere friendship.”

With regard to the composition of historical works he was in the habit of
employing such information as he could gather from friends.

Oxford men have told me, that he used to lay under contribution whatever
he could learn from other people’s researches.  For these, however, he
was always ready to make ample returns.

Dr. Stanley told me that he was in the habit of looking at some
historical characters through the medium of living people, who appeared
to him, in one way or other, to resemble them.  Excellencies and
frailties on the part of deceased individuals, thus came out more vividly
before him.  It struck me as a considerable help to a realisation of what
departed persons _might_ be; but it requires to be carefully employed,
lest from resemblances which are real, we infer other things which are
imaginary.

His taste was comprehensive.  He loved everything which related to
English history, especially where it touched his own dear Abbey.
Conformity and Nonconformity he sometimes sought to harmonise in
surprising ways.

I may add here that there was in the Abbey a monument to Dr. Watts in a
dilapidated condition, when I suggested a plan for its restoration.  The
plan was adopted, and in consequence the monument was for a time removed.
During its absence I received a note containing a playful allusion to the
circumstance:—

    “If some strong Nonconformist should wander through the Abbey this
    week, he may go away with the impression that in a fit of sudden
    intolerance the Dean had torn down the monument of Isaac Watts.  I
    assure you that the gaping and vacant chasm in the wall might well
    suggest such an interpretation.  I hope, however, in a few days the
    restored angel and the mended harp of your sweet psalmist will dispel
    any hopes that may be awakened in High Churchmen or suspicions in
    Nonconformists.”

I was informed not long after the Dean’s death, that a gentleman in Kent
had in his possession what was said to be Oliver Cromwell’s skull.  A
friend of mine procured from that gentleman an invitation to see the
relic.  A large, handsome box was placed on a table, and out of it was
taken, wrapped up in silk, a man’s skull.  The lower part of the face was
gone, leaving the upper jawbone entire, or nearly so; and within the
mouth we saw the shrivelled remains of a tongue, while some of the skin
on the upper part of the face was still preserved.  What astonished me
was the quantity of hair adhering to the scalp; and also the following
circumstances pertaining to the relic.  The inside, carefully examined by
a medical companion, plainly appeared to have been embalmed; signs of
this were attached to the surface.  Moreover, part of a spike penetrated
the upper bone, showing that once the skull must have been exposed in a
way common enough, when men, put to death for political crimes, had their
heads set up in conspicuous places.  Finally the head had been severed
from the body, not by a sharp axe, but by a knife which had hacked and
torn the skin.  These peculiarities pointed to one who, having received
honourable burial, was afterwards beheaded with a blunt instrument, and
then treated as a traitor, by having his head exhibited like those fixed
on the top of Temple Bar.  These peculiarities pertained to Oliver
Cromwell; and to no one else.  Documents are preserved together with the
relic.  They state that the relic remained publicly exposed for a long
time, till one night a gale of wind blew it down; that a soldier on
sentry picked it up and took it home, and then became alarmed at finding
there was search made after it by public authorities.  He concealed it
down to the time of his death; and when danger was over, the secret was
divulged.  The skull was afterwards exhibited as a source of profit, and
an account of the exhibition appears among papers preserved in the box.
After being withdrawn from public view, it was privately sold to an
ancestor of the gentleman possessing it at the time of my visit.  There
is a story afloat, that Cromwell was not buried in Westminster, another
corpse being substituted for public interment, and, therefore, that the
body hanged at Tyburn was not his!  This story is not to be trusted.

In the August following Dean Stanley’s death, I made, with my friend
Harrison and some of my family, a tour in Germany.  We were delighted
with the Bavarian Highlands and the Bader See.

We visited Oberammergau, and heard much about the Passion Play, and were
conducted to the place of performance, by persons who had taken part in
it.  They gave us interesting information.  The priest of the place is no
bigot.  He insisted that a Protestant, who had died in the village,
should be interred in consecrated ground, for which, we are told, he
received a rebuke from Rome.  The drive we had from Partenkirchen to
Mittenwald called forth exclamations of great delight.

In the following winter I mixed with members of various denominations,
some widely separated from others.  This led me to think a good deal
about consistency.  I noted down at the time considerations of this kind.
Everybody admits the palpable truism, “Truth is true, and falsehood is
false,” and some deduce from that the corollary: “Then stick to the true,
and eschew the false altogether.  Countenance what you believe, by
consorting exclusively with such as believe as you do.”

But, it must be remembered, systems are complex, and cannot be fairly
dealt with in the fashion recommended by some.  In many cases, what is
condemned as a whole, contains seeds of another sort.  There are
estimable people who are not accustomed to analyse what they condemn, and
cannot see what of truth may be found in the midst of error.  To look
alone at one side of a system, which, after all, has much of truth, may
involve us in error.  Thinking of Divine sovereignty, if not connected
with human responsibility, may land us in Antinomianism; to dwell upon
responsibility by itself, may make us Pelagians.

In the summer of 1882, I went down to Rodborough, in Gloucestershire, to
visit my friend, Sir S. Marling, just made baronet, and to preach, I
think, for the seventh time, on behalf of the Sunday Schools.  The
Countess of Huntingdon, George Whitefield, and Rowland Hill had all been
in some way connected with the chapel.

On the occasion now mentioned, there was a large gathering of day and
Sunday scholars, a picture worthy of Wilkie’s pencil.  Sir Samuel and his
lady were encircled by guests old and young, receiving from them
demonstrations of affection in loud huzzas.

Soon after my return from Italy I attended meetings connected with
Wesleyan Methodism, when my friend Mr. McArthur, (afterwards knighted),
was Lord Mayor of London.  He invited me at different times to meet a
large number of ministers of his own and other communions, and at such
times he manifested the catholic spirit by which he was eminently
distinguished.  I think it was once in his mayoralty that the archbishops
and bishops dined at the Mansion House table, when toasts were proposed,
to which the Archbishop of Canterbury had to respond.  Afterwards
Nonconformists were honoured in the common way, and it fell to my lot to
reply in a few words.  The Archbishop had, in a good-natured style,
referred to the cares and troubles of his right reverend brethren, and
himself.  Alluding to what he had said, I ventured to remark I was quite
content with my humbler position, and had no aspirations after a seat on
the Episcopal Bench.  Further, I pleaded, as I always do, for catholic
union, and remarked that I strove to be a Christian first; next, a
patriotic religious Englishman; and thirdly, a devout Dissenter, adding
that I should be ashamed of my Nonconformity, if that were so
obstreperous, as to quarrel with the subordinate place I assigned to it.

At the close of the year 1882 Dr. Tait, Archbishop of Canterbury, died.
With him I had the pleasure of being acquainted soon after his
appointment to the See of London.  Our relations afterwards were very
friendly.  I was kindly invited to share in the pleasure of his Lambeth
hospitality; and at a time of deep domestic sorrow he was one of the very
first to express affectionate sympathy in a letter of condolence.  I
found him always very kind, and he impressed me with the conviction that
in his judgment of Conformity and Nonconformity, and of the relative
duties of Churchmen and Dissenters, he took much more sensible views than
most of his brethren.  He did not seem to anticipate, as at all probable,
the comprehension of all, or most, English Christians within the pale of
one community; since each denomination has its principles, its
traditions, and its trust property, and is not likely to merge its
peculiarities in the adoption of others.  A wise, liberal, Christian
_modus vivendi_ was the object of his desire.  I attended his funeral,
and met in his residence at Addiscombe, a large number of clergymen, and
men of different opinions, drawn together by a common regard for his
eminent moral and religious worth.  The trees were bare, the ground was
covered with snow, and the long procession walked through the park, the
winter sun brightening the scene.  The whole struck me as very solemn,
and in harmony with the occasion that had brought us together.

My journeys abroad were approaching an end when in 1882 my daughter and I
spent a few weeks in Switzerland, on the shores of the Genevan lake, and
in its neighbourhood.  One memorable expedition we made was to Grenoble
and the Grande Chartreuse.  The monastery was difficult of access early
in this century, but now there are well-appointed vehicles for conveying
tourists from the railway to the gates of this romantic retreat.  The
ascent as far as Laurent du Pont is up a road lined with acacias,
bordering barley fields, commanding glimpses of a magnificent valley,
with bosky dells, cut in twain by the river Isere.  The gorge to the
right increases in grandeur as one ascends.  Purple rocks rise from
depths of massy verdure, sublimity succeeds beauty, and, after reaching a
broad mountain-girdled plain, one arrives at a halting place called
Laurent du Pont.  Thence the road becomes more steep, winding along
ledges of rock, whence, through openings, one looks down on pine woods,
and sees the stream fighting its way, like our contested passage through
this troublesome world.  We reached a thick forest at the top of the
pass, and came to the monastery—a pile, of buildings sheltered on green
uplands.  There were before us long walls, square towers, and steep
roofs, dappled with dormer windows; here and there was a slender spire.
The buildings stand 4268 feet above the level of the sea, and one of the
corridors is 660 feet long.  The original foundation dates far back; but
little of what one now sees is older than the seventeenth century.  The
founder was the famous Bruno, who, with six companions, retreated to this
spot so secluded and desolate.  _Chartre_ signifies a prison, but it also
expresses what we mean by the word _charter_.  The buildings have been
seven times destroyed, but in the seventeenth century the convent reached
its meridian glory.

No sooner had we entered the penetralia of the building, than we saw
notices requesting visitors not to smoke, nor loiter, nor speak loudly;
and in the distance were monks with white cloaks and cowls, gliding about
like ghosts from the other world.  Pictures of Carthusian convents were
hanging on the corridor walls; and the Chapter House exhibited badly
painted portraits of past generals.  Following our guide, we entered a
vaulted cloister, with windows on one side and doors on the other,
bearing texts of Scripture, such as “Narrow is the way which leadeth unto
life,” and “Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath
cannot be My disciple.”  Stations of the Cross are hung upon the walls;
through a window are caught glimpses of a green garden, bright and cheery
amidst sombre appearances all round.  The dormitories have each a
cupboard-like bed, a little reading desk, a stove, directions for
novices, a statuette of the Virgin, and a crucifix.  There are workshops
fitted up with lathes, and a small chapel with an altar cloth, covered
with skulls and cross-bones.  Inscriptions such as “Vanity of vanities,
all is vanity,” expressed the characteristic feeling of the inmates.  The
library is handsome, well fitted up, with beautifully bound books.

Visitors are not admitted to the monastic chapel; but from a tribune they
are permitted to look down on the ante-chapel, and witness matins at the
appointed hour.  The brotherhood are remarkable for industry, being
graziers of cattle, and manufacturers of liqueurs.

The clock struck six just after we left the monastery, and a calm summer
evening shone on the old walls, the green pastures, and the climbing
woods.  The pass, as we descended, struck us as almost equal to the Via
Mala in grandeur, united with beauties which the other scene can scarcely
boast.  Road-making, tree-felling, saw-mills, iron works, distilleries,
cement manufactories, told of widespread industry.  The old monastery lay
behind; modern enterprise stood out before.

We were rapidly driven through Laurent du Pont, as the star-studded sky,
streaked by the Milky Way, overarched the region.  We noticed glow-worms
in the hedges, brought out by advancing night, and presently the wide
vale at the foot of the descending road seemed dusted with bright-looking
objects like glow-worms; but they turned out to be the lamps of Voirons,
where we took the train for Grenoble, and finished a day of remarkable
interest.



CHAPTER XIV
1883–1885


AT this period I was engaged in the preparation of “The Spanish
Reformers,” and to give vividness to the work, with regard to local
scenery and circumstances, I resolved in March 1883 to visit the
Peninsula, where I might gather what was possible for the accomplishment
of my purpose.

My daughter was my companion, and had been studying Spanish to render me
assistance.  We travelled through France on our way to the north-east of
Spain.

We halted at Lyons: in the neighbourhood of it persecution occurred in
the second century; but unlike what obtained in Spain three hundred years
ago, it was not the persecution of one class of Christians by another,
but the persecution of the Church by a heathen world.  We find embedded
in the Ecclesiastical History by Eusebius a document giving an account of
sufferings by believers at that time who were in the neighbourhood of
Lyons.  Vienne, with its glass houses and metal foundries, coalpits and
smoke, is now passed by travellers, without any interest; but in the
second century it took precedence of Lyons, and had a flourishing Church,
a member of which—Blandina, a maiden slave—suffered death as the penalty
of her faith. {315}

We tarried a night at Lyons, drove round the city, saw the cathedral and
other buildings, and ascended a hill on which stands the church of Notre
Dame de Fourvières, covered and crowded with ex-votive offerings, in
return for miraculous cures by the Virgin.  From the elevation views are
caught of extensive scenery.  Thence we proceeded to Arles, rich in Roman
remains, including a magnificent amphitheatre.  The cathedral of St.
Trophimus said to have been one of St. Paul’s disciples, is an
interesting specimen of twelfth or thirteenth century architecture.
Thence we proceeded to Narbonne, a quaint old town, of importance in
Roman times, with ramparts still of some interest, and quaint streets,
through which we had an evening’s ramble.  The cathedral of St. Just is
an unfinished edifice of the thirteenth century, with some good tracery
in the windows.  The city is distant from the sea only about eight miles.
Thence we proceeded to Perpignan, and, entering Spain, reached our
destination at Figueras, where we were kindly welcomed by our friends,
{316} who are engaged in evangelistic work amongst Roman Catholic
Spaniards.

Figueras is a considerable town, which greatly interested us.  It was the
day before Good Friday that we arrived, and we were much amused by a
number of boys with wooden mallets vehemently beating the pavement, which
was explained to us as a custom indicative of hatred to the Jews for
having crucified our Lord; what the Jews had to do with Figueras I could
not make out.  In the evening there was a procession through the streets
of a truly magnificent description.  It consisted of the gentry in the
town, attired in antique Spanish costumes, and presented an imposing
spectacle.  Ladies personated the Virgin Mary and other Scripture
characters, and numerous candles carried by attendants made a splendid
illumination.  On the following day, Good Friday, we had a drive into the
country, where we saw and heard of what went on in the way of missionary
work conducted by our zealous friends.  In the evening we visited a
neighbouring church which was illuminated, and crowded with people
engaged in religious service.  After this, we saw in the streets a long
procession, including penitents, who were fettered with chains.

From Figueras we travelled to Barcelona, a city rich in commercial
enterprise and wealth, the streets crowded with people and enlivened by
carriages of grandees and wealthy merchants, as well as by vehicles
employed in humble traffic.  The cathedral is a noble edifice, in which
we attended Divine worship on Easter Sunday.  A priest with difficulty
made his way through a densely-crowded congregation to the altar steps,
where he knelt and prayed, and then mounted a temporary pulpit.  As soon
as he opened his lips, all eyes were turned towards him.  His voice was
marvellous and his attitudes were graceful; sometimes he was persuasive,
then indignant, always earnest; women wept, tears ran down men’s cheeks.
The sermon was on our Lord’s resurrection.  He insisted on our duty to
remember Christ—“the Way, the Truth, and the Life”; and he showed the
effect of this on the hearts and lives of believers.  He dwelt on the
duty of repentance, and urged people to come to Christ.  In a touching
manner he referred to his own experience, and exhorted the congregation
to believe, pray, and obey the Gospel; saying over and over again,
“_Haber fè_, _fè_, _fè_”—“Have faith, faith, faith.”

I met with signs of Protestant work going on in Barcelona, and a
gentleman residing there at the time, told me of what the British and
Foreign Bible Society was doing in Spain.  He gave it, as his opinion,
that it exceeded other instrumentalities in the efficiency of its
service.  I find it stated by a Spanish author, that Barcelona abounds in
mendicancy, and I have, as I write, a woodcut before me representing a
pitiable crowd of beggars at one of the cathedral doors. {318}

Next to Barcelona, we visited Tarragona, travelling there by rail.
Tarragona is situated on an eminence commanding a fine view of the
Mediterranean, and I was much interested in the architecture of the
cathedral, a building of the eleventh century, fully described by Street
in his work on “The Gothic Architecture of Spain.”

Whilst tarrying at Tarragona, I made an excursion to Poblet, rarely
visited by English, though frequented by French and German travellers.
This place is distinguished by monastic remains of extraordinary
magnificence.  You wander amongst courts, cloisters, and dormitories,
through stately halls, which once boasted of a magnificent library rich
in MSS.; through a palace appropriated for the use of royal and noble
visitants; and through a stately church with a nave of seven bays.  The
architectural grandeur of the whole is amazing; I was surprised to learn
that it is so rarely seen by our countrymen.  Kings and nobles were
brought there for interment, and in that respect it vies with our
Westminster Abbey.  At Poblet shattered tombs may still be seen; and few,
if any, but Spaniards of purest blood, were permitted to sleep within the
monastic walls.  A marble slab may be seen covering the remains of an
Englishman, described in the Spanish guide book as “Felipe de, Marquése
de Malbursi y de Cacharloch,” etc.  Wharton was the English name of this
well-known personage, who was made Knight of the Garter by James II.  He
had become a Roman Catholic, but his father was a distinguished English
Nonconformist.

Our next destination was Valencia, to which city we travelled by rail,
enchanted as we approached it, by beautiful scenery which one does not
find abundant in Spain.  Augustus Hare breaks out rather rapturously
respecting his approach: “Day broke in time to show us the first vision
of tall palms, with their feathery foliage, rising black against one of
Tennyson’s ‘daffodil skies,’ which above, still deep blue, was filled
with stars.”  The groves and gardens appeared to me very beautiful; and
the soil is so fertile, that lucerne is sown fifteen times in the course
of a year.  Valencia has battlemented walls; and its arched gate, the
Puerta de Sarranos, reminds one of old English barbicans.  It is an
Oriental kind of place, and has charmingly arched entrances for
light—_agimes_,—_i.e._, openings by which the sun enters.  The city is
full of memories, connected with the Cid, which I have not space to
introduce; but I may mention that precursors of the Reformation entered
the city in 1350,—under the name of Beghards, who figure rather
prominently in the religious history of that period.

The Cathedral of Valencia is a noble edifice, and has one magnificent
entrance of richly decorated Gothic.  There is, in the Colegio del
Patriarca, a ceremony every week on Friday, which attracts a number of
people.  It consists in letting down an altar piece by concealed
machinery; and then, by withdrawing a curtain, there is disclosed a large
picture of our Saviour on the Cross.  Those who assemble to witness this
ceremony, are required to appear in mourning.  I explored the city from
end to end, and found it by no means so uninteresting as some represent
it.

We started in the evening for Cordova, a long distance; but as it was
accomplished in darkness, I noticed nothing by the way, except stoppages
at stations and a change of trains.  We crossed the Sierra Morena, which,
in some places, at least, must be very magnificent, if one may judge from
an engraving of tall rocks facing each other, leaving scarcely room for
muleteers to pass between.  The approach to Cordova is inviting, and the
Moorish city is beheld amidst a fertile region, across which runs the
Guadalquivir.

We had been invited to take up our abode with an exemplary Scotch
missionary in the city.  The sojourn was in a quiet street at a
comfortable dwelling, with an open space in the middle of the residence,
planted with shrubs.  Upon this we looked down from windows in our
apartments.  One room on the ground floor is sufficiently large to
receive a congregation of about fifty people.  We were there on a Sunday
and attended worship in the evening.

The Mosque of Cordova, now a cathedral, is one of the most wonderful
buildings in the world.  The surrounding walls are from thirty to
sixty-feet high.  The courtyard measures 430 feet by 210.  Once there
were nineteen entrance gates, now there is but one.  Formerly there were
inside the mosque 1200 monolithic columns, now there are only 850.  What
is the _coro_, or choir, of the cathedral, was erected in the sixteenth
century, after the Mohammedan mosque had become a Catholic church.  We
had pleasant walks and drives in the neighbourhood.

The next celebrated place in our route was the far-famed Granada, of
which expectations were highly raised, without any disappointment.  We
wandered about the Alhambra for several days.  The Hall of the Lions, the
Hall of the Ambassadors, and the Hall of the Abencerrages,—with their
arches and columns, courts and colonnades, fountains and flowers,—kept us
spel-bound day by day.  We read Washington Irving on the fascinating
spots which he describes so vividly.  We could but bow to his relentless
fidelity, where he assures us that, after examining Arabic authorities
and letters, written by Boabdil’s contemporaries, he was convinced, that
the whole collection is fictitious with a few grains of truth at the
bottom.

The fame of the Alhambra swallows up all which is wonderful in Granada,
but, the city retains much besides worthy of a traveller’s attention.
The prospect you have of the place, the plain, and the surrounding hills,
is magnificent; and the cathedral, commenced in 1529, after the defeat
and banishment of the Moors, is a building of architectural interest.  It
contains the Capella Real, with the tomb of Ferdinand and Isabella; also
of Philip the Handsome, and his wife Juana, “Crazy Jane,” as she was
called, mother of the famous Charles V.  The granddaughter tells us: “She
committed her soul to God and gave thanks to Him, that, at length, He
delivered her from all her sorrows.”  In connection with the cathedral,
we meet with Fernando de Talavera, better known by Spaniards than by
Englishmen.  Though he remained a Roman Catholic, he deviated from the
common opinions and usages of his age.  The Carthusians have a monastery
outside the city, and on visiting it, I found pictures of English
priests, reported to have been martyrs at the period of the Reformation.
No doubt their sufferings are exaggerated on the monastic walls, but it
is a fact, beyond reasonable doubt, that there were Roman Catholics put
to death by English Protestants.

We started one morning from Granada for Seville, and, on crossing the
Vega by the railway, we saw a good barley crop in the month of April.  At
Bobadillo, we got on the Seville line, and found the country improve as
we came near to the city on the banks of the Guadalquivir.  There,
instead of antique and uncomfortable _fondas_, travellers meet with
spacious and well-furnished hotels.  We tarried several days in the city.

The cathedral, of course, was the first object of interest; and, as soon
as possible, we repaired to it, and received an overpowering impression,
as we looked above, beneath, around.  Above there is the magnificent
roof, spanning the breadth of the temple; beneath there lies a large slab
covering the remains, not, as sometimes supposed, of Columbus, who
discovered America, but of Fernando, his son.  In Holy Week an immense
Greek cross, carved in wood, is raised over the spot, and lighted up so
as to produce an indescribable effect.  The _coro_, or choir, is as
grand, though in another way, as the nave which leads up to it.  In an
upper part of the edifice there are preserved MSS. and other memorials of
unrivalled Spanish discoveries, and they were freely shown to us.  We
went to the Museum, and feasted on Murillo’s pictures.  We were also
taken by a friend to see another work of the same artist, since
presented, I am told, to the Pope.

Seville was headquarters of the Protestant cause.  The Reformation did
not penetrate much below the hidalgo class.  It left the masses almost
untouched.  In Seville stood the Inquisition prison, till it was removed
to a palace in the Calle san Mario.  “Here,” says Mr. Wiffen in 1842,
“while gazing on the edifice with feelings of awe, I recalled to
remembrance those martyrs for the truth, and, at the same time, I
listened with painful interest to the narration made to me by a Spanish
gentleman, of an attack on those very premises at a recent period by an
infuriated populace, who suffered but few of the friars confined there
for political offences, to escape with life.  The building having taken
fire some perished in the flames, while others fell by the hands of the
assassins.”  The tables were turned just then, priests were in prison for
political crimes, as heretics had been incarcerated in the sixteenth
century.

Old Venetian political policy was carried out against Protestantism, and
the Inquisition office, with opened ears, listened for whisperings of
heresy.  Horrors went on in secret places.  I cannot relate them, but
they may be found in what is written by Limborch and Llorente.  A few
miles from Seville is the monastery of San Isidore—the cradle of the
Spanish Reformation—and I visited the building with deep interest.  The
chapel remains in tolerable repair, and is used as a parish church.  The
chapter-house, sacristy and cloisters are preserved.  Ancient pictures
hang on the walls, and old embroidered vestments are shown to visitors.
Bibles and Protestant books were of old secretly brought within the
walls, and monks began to read them.

I have described Seville Cathedral and its treasures at some length in my
volume on “Spanish Reformers, their Memories and Dwelling Places.”  I
cannot repeat here what has been said there.  But let me say, the city is
full of interest to travellers, hotels are comfortable, shops are well
stocked with curiosities, manufactories are hives of industry, and
pictures by great masters are found in churches and private houses.  I
was enchanted with some of the Murillos, and would advise every traveller
to visit the Sala de Murillo in Seville.

I should have been glad to have prolonged my stay, and to have revisited
spots full of historic interest.  But I had much before me to see and
study in the interior and north of Spain; therefore, though unwillingly,
we took the train one night for Madrid, making that a starting point for
other explorations.

I may mention that during our stay at Madrid we were entertained in a
curious straggling house, occupied by Dr. Fliedner, a minister, who acted
as chaplain to the German Embassy.  The house, it is said, was occupied
by the famous Escovedo, secretary to the still more famous Don Juan of
Austria; and one night as he was returning home six ruffians waylaid him,
between eight and nine o’clock, and inflicted on him wounds, of which he
died in half an hour.  Peres, a great villain who hated Don Juan, is said
to have obtained the sanction of Philip II. for this abominable deed,
prompted by the discovery of an amour between Escovedo and the Princess
of Eboli.  It is a horrible story of crime and vice, common in the secret
annals of Spain.

In Madrid I had the privilege of using the public library, and found
there a large collection of English and French, as well as Spanish,
literature.  I am sorry to say, that on the shelves, many volumes in our
language appeared, written by “advanced thinkers,” tending to the
diffusion of anti-Christian principles.  And, in the windows of
booksellers I noticed works for sale of the same description.  The Bible
Society I found at work within limits marked by law, and I attended one
evening a Spanish congregation gathered by Protestant agency, and had the
privilege of addressing those present, through the medium of an
interpreter.  I met with specimens of Spanish superstition which were
very degrading.  In one case I saw papers, with a figure of the Virgin’s
shoe printed upon them, sold to ignorant people as a sacred charm.

The Plaza at Madrid is a magnificent square, encompassed by a line of
handsome buildings with a garden, fountains, and an equestrian statue of
Philip III. in the middle.  Here some of the _autos_ were held in the
seventeenth century, and in 1869 excavations were made, where
incontestable proofs of burnings appeared in bones, charred wood, chain
links, nails and rivets discovered in the soil.  Dr. Manning, in his
“Spanish Pictures,” wrote soon after the discovery: “I visited the spot,
and much as I had heard of the horrors of the Quemadore, I was not
prepared for the sight I beheld; layer above layer, like the strata of a
geological model, were these silent, but most eloquent witnesses of the
murderous cruelty of Rome.”

I may here add that I saw other mementoes of the Spanish Inquisition in
underground vaults connected with a house occupied by the Rev. Mr.
Jameson, a Presbyterian clergyman at work in Madrid.  I found recesses
walled up, which it was said had been cells in the days of persecution.

Of course, I visited the immense picture-gallery in Madrid; but the size
and number of rooms with multitudes of paintings on the walls, were so
bewildering, as to make only a confused impression on my mind.  Spanish
art has not the charm for me which it has for many.  Velasquez and
Murillo, of course, are pre-eminent.  The latter stands first of all in
my estimation.  No one, who has seen only the dirty beggar boys at
Dulwich, can have any conception of Murillo’s merits.  It is in Seville,
however, that he must be studied, if any one would see him at his best.
I found no Murillo in Madrid which charmed me like those it was my
privilege to enjoy in the Capital of the South.  There is a good chapter
on Velasquez and Murillo in Sir E. Head’s “Handbook of Painting—Spanish
School.”

“Velasquez and Murillo are preferred, and preferred with reason, to all
the others, as the most original and characteristic of their school.
These two great painters are remarkable for having lived in the same
time, in the same school, painted for the same people and of the same
age, and yet to have formed two styles so different and opposite that the
most unlearned can scarcely mistake them, Murillo being all softness,
while Velasquez is all sparkle and vivacity.” {329}

A curious story is told of a picture by Velasquez—the portrait of Adrian
Pulido Pareja.  Philip IV. coming, as usual, to see the artist at work,
started when he saw this portrait, and addressing himself to it,
exclaimed: “What, art thou still here?  Did I not send thee off?  How is
it thou art not gone?”  But seeing the figure did not salute him, the
King discovered his mistake, and, turning to Velasquez, said: “I assure
you I was deceived.”

We visited the Escorial some distance from Madrid.  Philip II. is buried
there.  Its situation is wild and desolate—a vast expanse of undulations,
scarcely to be called mountainous, except in the distance, where
snow-streaked sierras send cutting blasts over the slate roofs and
against the grey stone walls.  The building itself looks like a
manufactory, at best like spacious barracks; one may think it something
between a prison and a convent, or rather a combination of the two; at
any rate its cold, stern, repulsive exterior is a fair type of the
builder’s character and influence.  The only objects of much interest,
and they are in truth most melancholy, one finds in the monkish
apartments, the monastic chapel, and the costly sepulchre of the founder
and his family.  A long and narrow room is shown with brick floor and
leathern chairs, where he dined.  Next to it is another, only separated
by folding doors, from which, when open, the despot borrowed the light by
which he wrote his despatches.  In this room is a plain oak table, with
three brass ink bottles on one side, and a velvet writing-case in the
middle; these, with the leather-bottomed chair on which he sat, are
carefully preserved.  From this room you pass into a third, low and dark,
a mere cell, whence through an opening in the wall, the altar of the
monastery chapel may be seen; there he spent his last hours, after being,
like his prototype Herod, smitten by an angel of the Lord, and eaten up
of worms; no death could be more horrible.  That chapel is an enormous
marble building, most costly, most dreary, and into one corner of the
_coro_ he would sometimes steal, to perform his devotions with the
Jeronymite brotherhood.  The sepulchre under the high altar is reached by
a slippery marble staircase; and round the sides of the vault are placed
sarcophagi, one above another; Charles V. occupies the topmost position,
Philip being placed under his father.  The dismalness of the spot is
unrelieved by any emblem or suggestion of Christian hope: not even such a
ray falls over it as that which lighted up the mind of the heathen
Cicero, when he spoke of meeting in the future life an assembly of noble
souls.

Toledo is about forty miles from Madrid, and is easily reached by rail.
Scenery on the way is uninteresting till you get near the city, when,
crossing the bridge over the Tagus, you are reminded of the rocky seat on
which sits Durham Cathedral.  Winding through narrow streets of the city
and past Moorish-looking entrances into courts, called _patios_, I
thought Toledo was a sort of album, with ornamented leaves on one side,
and romantic legends on the other.  At the foot of St. Martin’s bridge
lies a cave, where Roderic, the last of the Goths, saw the lady whose
seduction caused the Moorish invasion; which invasion robbed the monarch
of his crown.  The cathedral is grand indeed.  The cloisters are full of
rich tracery, elegant pilasters crowned with statuettes, and open windows
adorned by elaborate tracery.  The interior is worthy of its surroundings
and its approach; and I was deeply interested in the Mozarabic chapel.
There is preserved a thin folio, bearing the name of the chapel, and
containing a Latin service, used there every day.  With it is connected
an absurd tradition, the story and meaning of which are disputed by
archæologists.  With the cathedral you have connected the name of
Bartolomo Carranza, called the Black Friar, whose long story is entwined
round the Council of Trent, and with Philip of Spain, who married the
English Queen Mary.  He attended Charles V. on his deathbed, and was
accused of heresy; and yet the Pope raised for him a monument in
commemoration of his virtues.  It is said Carranza believed in the
doctrine of Justification by Faith; and his history from beginning to end
appears to me a hopeless puzzle. {333}

In Toledo is the “Square Market,” as it is called; and here occurred
bullfights and burnings,—one of the latter in 1560, when Philip II. was
present.

We returned from Toledo to Madrid and leaving the capital, a week or so
afterwards, travelled to Valladolid.  The chief, indeed the only,
architectural monument in Valladolid is found in the combined edifices of
San Pablo’s Church, and San Gregorio’s College.  The facade of the former
is an elaborate example of Gothic flamboyant; but the gateway of the
latter with its heraldic ornaments, coats of arms, statues in niches, and
numerous figures, has a bewildering effect.  Columbus and Cervantes both
resided in this city; the former died in the Calle de Colon, the latter
wrote the first part of “Don Quixote” in the Calle de Rastro.

Ford, in his voluminous “Guide to Spain,” at the beginning of a notice
respecting Valladolid, says: “In the first street, above the bridge, is
the site of the old Inquisition, the Court of Chancery, and the prison”;
adding the remark: “The great Chancery or Court of Appeal for the north
of Spain was moved to the present building by Ferdinand and Isabella.
The inscribed motto, ‘_Jura fidem ac pænam reddit sua munera
cunctus_’—seems rather strong, to all who know what Spanish _justitia_
is, let alone Chancery in general.”

Incipient stages of reformation come before us in this city.  One sees in
imagination “The Calle del Doctor Cazalla,” of Jewish extraction, a man
of renown for his Protestant work, born in 1510; he had been Court
preacher and champion of orthodoxy, until he came under the influence of
German reformers.  But he seems by no means to have been a Martin Luther,
for, when he was accused of dogmatising in a Valladolid conventicle, he
solemnly denied the fact, and said he had not _indoctrinated_ other
people with his own views.  His end was not heroic.  After being
dislocated on the rack, he recanted with a hope of life, but he found no
escape.  The night before his execution, when acquainted with the final
sentence, the poor man said, “I must prepare to die in the grace of God,
for it is impossible for me to add to what I have said, without
falsehood.”  We learn that, after all, he did not break with Rome, but
received absolution; and then, instead of being burnt, he was strangled.
His house was pulled down, the spot strewn with salt, and a column placed
where the building had stood.  An inscription upon it stated: “Lutheran
heretics assembled here in conventicle against the Catholic faith and the
Roman Church.”  A namesake, Francesco de Vibero Cazalla, more valiant for
the truth, remained constant to the last.  Another martyr behaved
heroically, only lamenting that his wife abjured, and he saw her dressed
as a penitent.  But we are told the husband’s look never departed from
her eyes.  In my “Spanish Reformers” I have given a detailed account of
several sufferers for the truth at Valladolid.

Of the cathedral, Street, in his work on “Spanish Architecture,” says:
“Nothing could ever cure the hideous unsightliness of the exterior”; and
he adds: “The side elevation remains as Herrera, the architect, designed
it, and is really valuable as _a warning_.”  The author describes Sta.
Maria l’Antigua, close to the cathedral, as the most attractive church in
Valladolid.  He says of the city: “It was too rich and prosperous, during
an age of much work, and little taste, to have left mediæval architecture
of any real value; yet as a modern city it is, in parts, gay and
attractive; being, after Madrid, the most important city of the north of
Spain.”  From what I saw of the place, I can endorse this opinion.

We reached Burgos, after a short journey, and found the town much less
interesting and agreeable than Valladolid, but the cathedral is
incomparably superior.  The picture of its facade, doors, windows, and
towers, is vividly imprinted on my memory.

We were now approaching the border of France, and I had memories revived
of a first dip into Spain, years before.  Though the land be still the
same and the skies the same, different feelings arise from departure out
of a country, compared with one’s entrance into it.  We reached a new and
very comfortable hotel at San Sebastian, and there I revived
recollections of curiosity and interest, felt years before, when I first
crossed the border and became acquainted with the costumes, the manners
and customs of Spanish life.



CHAPTER XV
1885


THIS year I paid my third and last visit to Rome.  A comparison of the
city and neighbourhood as they were during my first visit with what now
appeared, was very striking.  Formerly it retained much of the appearance
it had in the previous century.  There were narrow streets, bad
pavements, old-fashioned houses; monks and friars of different orders,
white, black, grey, thronging thoroughfares; cardinals’ coaches with
liveried servants, in gay coats and cocked hats; the Pope, driving down
the Corso, whilst the whole population watched him with reverence on
bended knees: now these old sights had vanished; comparatively few
ecclesiastics could be recognised by their costumes; only companies of
boys, in red or blue collegiate garb, attracted attention by contrast
with other people.  At Easter in the olden time the ceremonies at St.
Peter’s were gorgeous, the illumination of the dome brilliant, the
fireworks in the Piazza del Popolo unrivalled: now Mass on Easter Sunday
was far from imposing, there was no feet washing, no dinner to poor
pilgrims, no _Miserere_ in the Sistine chapel, no blaze of candles in the
Pauline.  The Forum had formerly lines of trees, groups of cattle,
peasants in rural costume; now marble sculptures had been brought to
light.  The neighbourhood of St. John Lateran had been waste and void;
now it was covered with modern houses.  What a change in the Fontana,
outside Rome, the traditional site of St. Paul’s martyrdom.  The
monastery, when I had seen it before was desolate, now it was surrounded
by abundant vegetation; the culture of the eucalyptus plant being the
secret of this transformation.

Hare laments, in the following strain, changes which had occurred in the
city and were to be regretted:—

    “The baths of Caracalla, stripped of all their verdure and shrubs,
    and deprived alike of the tufted foliage amid which Shelley wrote,
    and of the flowery carpet which so greatly enhanced their lonely
    solemnity, are now a series of bare featureless walls standing in a
    gravelly waste, and possess no more attraction than the ruins of a
    London warehouse.  The Coliseum, no longer ‘a garlanded ring,’ is
    bereaved of everything which made it so lovely and so picturesque;
    while botanists must for ever deplore the incomparable and strangely
    unique ‘Flora of the Coliseum,’ which Signor Rosa has caused to be
    carefully annihilated; even the roots of the shrubs having been
    extracted by the firemen, though, in pulling them out, more of the
    building has come down than five hundred years of time would have
    injured.  In the Basilica of Constantine, the whole of the beautiful
    covering of shrubs with which nature had protected the vast arches,
    has been removed, and the rain soaking into the unprotected upper
    surface, will soon bring them down.  Nor has the work of the
    destroyer been confined to the Pagan antiquities, the early Christian
    porches of S. Prassede and S. Pudenziana, with their valuable
    terra-cotta ornaments, have been so smeared with paint and
    yellow-wash as to be irrecognisable; many smaller but precious
    Christian antiquities, such as the lion of the Santi Apostoli, have
    disappeared altogether.  And in return for these destructions and
    abductions Rome has been given—what?  Quantities of hideous false
    rock-work painted brown in all the public gardens; a Swiss cottage
    and a clock which goes by water forced in amidst the statues and
    sarcophagi of the Pincio; and the having the passages of the Capitol
    painted all over with the most flaring scarlet and blue, so as
    utterly to destroy the repose and splendour of its ancient statues.”

We visited a very old house in the Ghetto, where at the time services
were held by a company of Jewish converts.  Rude, uncomfortable and mean,
the place looked to any one accustomed to modern churches; yet that
dreary apartment, up a flight of stairs, was typical of places for
Christian worship in the imperial city of the second century.  Few
fashionable people know the existence of the room I mention, and
attendants shyly ascend the dirty steps, wishing to be unobserved; just
so, no doubt, it was with some of the companies in the second century who
in Rome “sang praises to Jesus as to God.”  In the reigns of Trajan,
Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, and Marcus Aurelius, little was known about the
Gospel by the higher ranks.  Emperors, consuls, magistrates, marched
along the streets in haughty indifference, or with contemptuous hate
towards the new superstition.

Much inquiry has arisen as to where Paul lived during his captivity in
Rome.  A local tradition affirms that in a subterranean church dedicated
to the Virgin Mary, which you pass going down the Corso, you have the
very “hired house,” where for two years the Apostle lived.  In the
crypt-like place, there is nothing which looks like a human dwelling; and
the tradition itself, in a city where such traditions abound, is of
little if any value.  A house in the Ghetto, extremely ancient, was
pointed out to me by Dr. Philip, a Jewish missionary, as the probable
spot; but his idea seems to have had nothing to rest upon, except that
this old building is in the Jews’ quarter.  What is fatal to the
identification of the “hired house” in either of these spots is that the
New Testament indicates it as connected with lodgings occupied by the
Pretorian guard.  The “soldier that kept him” would not be far away from
comrades; and soldiers in general would be accommodated in the Pretorian
camp, of which traces exist near the Porta Pia—a long distance from the
Corso and the Ghetto.

My third visit to Rome was the close of my foreign travels.  A word more
in reference to them.  Most frequently on my way to other countries, I
passed through France to Paris, either by Calais and Amiens, or by Havre
and Rouen.  Let me refer for a moment to the cathedral at Amiens, one of
the wonders of the world—the largest place of worship I know, except
Cologne Cathedral, St. Peter’s at Rome, and St. Sophia at Constantinople.
It takes away one’s breath to look up at its rich clerestory, and its
roof, 140 feet high, half as high again as that of Westminster Abbey.
Rouen has architectural beauty, and an historical interest beyond other
French cities.  The Church of St. Ouen surpasses the cathedral, and the
Palais de Justice is a beautiful specimen of Civic Gothic.  But
associations of what happened in that city, during the fifteenth century,
surpass its material monuments.  Poor Joan of Arc—most touching example
of self-delusion and self-sacrifice the world ever saw—how she absorbs
interest as one stands in the Place de Pucelle, where she was burnt, the
victim of French ingratitude and English revenge!  Paris is so well known
by everybody that no notice need be taken of it here.

We now return to Great Britain.

In the autumn of 1885 the Evangelical Alliance met at Edinburgh and
Glasgow, and in the latter city I was entertained by the Lord Provost,
Sir William and Lady Collins, and met there, Admiral Sir W. King Hall and
his lady, with whom a pleasant friendship sprang up, and I accepted an
invitation to visit them at their home, but his death soon afterwards
deprived me of the anticipated pleasure.  They appeared to me spiritually
minded people; their society with that of our excellent host and hostess
filled me with great pleasure.  At the meeting I lamented, as I am
accustomed to do, our numerous ecclesiastical divisions.  “Here we are as
Christians connected with denominational churches, and we may be compared
to persons living in an island city, where we have our own municipal
regulations, where some are in what may be called Episcopalian Square,
some occupying Methodist Terrace, some residing in Congregational Road,
and some liking to live by the waterside.  Whilst these differences exist
amongst us in this world, surely it sometimes crosses our minds that they
are distinctions of a very temporary nature.  The things which are seen
are temporal, but the things not seen are eternal.  We are looking away
from what is familiar to what is now rare indeed—perfect unity.”

I have long found it to be one of the sorrows incident to old age to
lament the loss of attached friends.  In this respect I was much tried in
the year 1886, for I had then to deplore the death of Lord Chichester,
who became acquainted with me through the medium of the Evangelical
Alliance about twenty years before.  Of late he was unable to attend
meetings, but our intercourse in private continued and increased as years
rolled on.  Descendant of Sir John Pelham, who figured in the French
wars, described by Froissart, and an immediate relative of a well-known
political family of the same name in the last century,—the Earl became an
earnest Christian and an active philanthropist for more than half a
century.  Possessed of wide and varied information respecting men and
things, and being eminently genial and altogether free from ostentation,
his society could not but be agreeable and instructive.  It was a treat
to hear him recount incidents and conversations of former days.  At
different times he brought within view George IV., William IV., the Duke
of Wellington, leaders of the Whig party, and other magnates.  He told me
that when approaching his majority his father proposed that he should
enter the House of Commons, and the Duke of Newcastle promised him a seat
for Newark.  Before an election arrived the father of young Lord Pelham
died, and the son became a peer.  It is remarkable that the seat intended
for him in the Lower House was next occupied by the now famous William
Ewart Gladstone.  “The Grand Old Man,” in conversation with my friend not
long before his death, speculated, in his characteristic way, upon
possible consequences to each, had the seat been accepted by young Lord
Pelham.  With the Hare family, the Osbornes of the ducal house of Leeds,
the Rev. F. D. Maurice, and other distinguished persons, the Earl had
been intimate, and could tell many a story about them.  Though a thorough
Evangelical, and zealous for all the great truths of Christianity, he was
singularly free from prejudice against people of different views.  He
could appreciate goodness wherever it was to be found.

The Prince Regent, with old Queen Charlotte, paid a visit to Stanmer, the
family seat, near Brighton, when the Earl was a boy, and an amusing
picture in one of the rooms exhibits his Royal Highness in dandy
fashion—his diminutive mother wearing a wonderful bonnet, the former earl
acting as cicerone, and his eldest boy riding on a smart pony.  The
Stanmer Pelhams are descended, on the female side, from Oliver Cromwell,
and have in their possession the Lord Protector’s Bible in four volumes,
a miniature of him, which, I think, belonged to Lady Falconbridge, and a
portrait of His Highness’s mother.  It is curious to find these
Commonwealth relics associated with mementoes in the family arms,—I refer
to the buckle and strap of Sir John Pelham, who assisted in taking King
John of France prisoner at the battle of Poitiers.  In addition to these
memorials, mention may be made of a fine copy in the library of Walton’s
“Polyglot,” with the rare preface containing a reference to Oliver
Cromwell.

Soon after the death of Lord Chichester I lost another friend, Mr.
Cheetham, M.P.  His daughters were educated at Kensington, and hence an
intimacy sprang up between us, cultivated by visits to Eastwood, near
Staleybridge, where he resided.  He was a shrewd, energetic man, and
figured conspicuously in the Anti-Corn Law League.  His command of the
Lancashire dialect, and his knowledge of Lancashire life, made him an
amusing companion, and Lord John Russell would sometimes engage him in
characteristic recitals, greatly to his lordship’s diversion.  Mr.
Cheetham had in early life known much of the Moravians, and ever retained
a deep interest in that remarkable community, though to the end of life
he remained a constant member of the Congregational communion.  I have
long been of Dr. Johnson’s mind: “If a man does not make new
acquaintances as he advances through life, he will soon find himself left
alone.  A man, sir, should keep _his friendships in constant repair_.”
On that principle I have habitually sought to make up for losses from
bereavement.

Here let me add a few lines respecting the Archbishop of York, Dr. Magee,
previously Bishop of Peterborough.

I first met him at Norwich where we took part in a Bible Meeting, and in
the course of my remarks I spoke of “sinking ecclesiastical differences”
on such an occasion.  Dr. Magee, then Dean of Cork, made an amusing
reference to this, and repeated it with kindness and humour the next day,
as we travelled together by rail to London.  We talked incessantly and at
the end he pressed me to visit him at Cork.  Several years passed without
our meeting, and then at a funeral service in Westminster Abbey, he
kindly accosted me, saying, that as I had not been to see him at Cork, I
must go and see him at Peterborough, where, not long before, he had been
appointed bishop.  Several visits followed, which I greatly enjoyed.  My
impression of him as a brilliant talker, which I received on our journey
from Norwich to London, was now increased, and nothing could exceed his
hospitality and that of his amiable wife and daughters.  We had several
drives; and one day we sat down together in a picturesque churchyard to
discuss ecclesiastical questions, where, as he said, the associations and
“_genius loci_” were on his side.  I forget altogether what passed
between us, beyond a series of _pros_ and _cons_, and can only say that
we finished as we began—he a Churchman, I a Nonconformist, but both good
friends.  Once when I was at Peterborough I heard him preach in the
Cathedral for the Bible Society, on the jubilee of the auxiliary, when he
took for his text two passages: “Is not this the carpenter’s son?”  “The
Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the
glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
He admirably brought out the Divine and human sides of our blessed Lord’s
personality and then presented this as being in harmony with the Divine
and human elements in Holy Writ.  As is well known, he did not use a MS.
in the pulpit; nor, as he told me, was he in the habit of _writing_ his
sermons beforehand.  He seems to have had the gift of mental composition,
and also of expressing himself extemporaneously in felicitous diction and
with quiet ease.  Nor was he at all verbose, as many fluent speakers are.

He could tell a story as few people can, sparkling with humour, and
distinct in point.  I remember two he told of Dean Mansel.  Taking a lady
round St. Paul’s, she paused to look at a figure of Neptune with his
_trident_, remarking that she was shocked at seeing in a church such
heathen mythology.  “Why,” rejoined the Dean, “that looks more like
_Tridentine_ theology.”  At a public dinner, after a toast to Reform—the
word on the paper had an _e_ at the end—“Reform,” the Dean remarked,
“often ended in an _émeute_.”

As I was preparing for my journey in Spain I met the Bishop at the
Athenæum, when he told me he was doing the same, and proposed we should
go together, adding that he could help me with his knowledge of Spanish.
I had heard him speak of his residence in Spain when he was a boy, and I
should have been delighted to fall in with his plan, but found it quite
impossible beforehand with regard to time.  However, we agreed to inquire
after each other at consular offices, as we passed from place to place;
but I found I was always too late, or too soon.  When I called at an
hotel in Madrid, where he had been staying, I learned he had just left
for the railway; and after our return, he told me his daughter saw me in
the street as they were hurrying to catch a train.

How many remarkable facts have been related within the last few years
respecting old English houses and estates!

During a visit to Lord Ebury, at Moor Park, he told me the mansion he
occupied had been in the hands of many distinguished families; and that
reminds one of what is said in the Eastern tale: “Call it not a palace
but a caravanserai.”  It belonged to the Abbot of St. Albans; to Neville,
Archbishop of York; to Henry VII.; to De Vere, Earl of Oxford; to
Cardinal Wolsey; to Lucy, Countess of Bedford; to Sir John Franklin; to
the Earl of Ossory, who sold it to the Duke of Monmouth, whose Duchess
sold it to Mr. Styles, of South Sea Bubble notoriety, to be afterwards
purchased by Lord Anson.  After changing owners again and again, it was
secured by the Marquis of Westminster for his son.  Lord Ebury informed
me it had never remained in the same family more than two generations.
There runs a curious story of the Lady of the Earl of Monmouth, who
possessed the estate in the seventeenth century,—that her ladyship
protested against the intention of James I., to put his son Prince
Charles “into iron boots, to strengthen his joints and sinews”; for he
seemed to have been physically as a boy what he was, in some respects,
morally as a man—very _weak-kneed_.

In the course of my recollections, I have had much to say of foreign
tours, and also of journeys in different parts of England for various
religious purposes; but, in drawing my personal narrative to a close, I
am constrained to add a few lines, respecting visits to friends in my own
county, where I have enjoyed welcome rests amidst ministerial toils.

One spot, long years ago, where I was wont to seek recreation was
Letheringsett Hall, near Holt, in my native county, Norfolk.  There still
lives Mr. Cozens-Hardy, whom I knew as a boy, about five years old, in
days when we worshipped in Calvert Street Chapel, Norwich.  He married a
lady whom I recollect as a girl, and who was long the light of his
dwelling, well known to numerous guests.  They hospitably entertained me
in many of my summer holidays, and drove me round the neighbourhood
called “The Garden of Norfolk.”  Respecting his beloved wife, let me
quote words which I wrote for a short family memorial of her: “My last
two or three visits found her weak and frail, but yet a good deal of her
old buoyancy would come back as we sat chatting round the fire.  She
seemed to have a quiet faith in the blessed Gospel, but with some shadows
of doubt and fear respecting herself.  No bold, self-asserting
professions, as is the case with some, but a genuine sympathy in
reference to the fundamental truths of the Gospel, which form the
resting-place of all true believers.  She seemed to know more of the
Valley of Humiliation than of the Land of Beulah; not often climbing the
Delectable Mountains, but by no means a prisoner in Doubting Castle.”
Her good husband has for many years been the main supporter of the
Methodist Society in Holt, and his son, the eminent Q.C., has been for
many years a member of the Congregational Church at Kensington.  The
large-hearted Mr. Colman, M.P. for Norwich, married Mr. Cozens-Hardy’s
eldest daughter, and in their hospitable homes at Carrow and Corton I
have spent many a happy day.

I may add here that amongst delightful sojourns in English homes, I
gratefully reckon Stanley Park, the residence of Sir Samuel Marling; a
marine villa at Dawlish, belonging to Sir Thomas Lea, Bart., also his
home at Kidderminster; the beautiful Quinta on the Welsh border,
belonging to Colonel Barnes; and the marine residence of Miss Cheetham,
one of my interesting school-girls at Kensington.

During the later portion of my residence in Kensington, there was a
considerable increase of Roman Catholics residing in the neighbourhood.
When I first went to it, a small place of worship sufficed to meet their
wants, but before I left, a large church was built near the Vicarage, and
another in the high road, partly hidden by buildings in front.  After the
formation of a Westminster Archiepiscopal see, the last-named edifice
became a pro-cathedral, where Cardinal Manning sometimes officiated.  As
I did not hear of numerous conversions, in the neighbourhood, to the
Romish faith, I was curious to know whence the increase arose, and one
day I had a long conversation on the subject with Monsignor Capel.  He
informed me that it was owing largely to an increase in the number of
priests who had come to reside in the place, and who attracted many
retired people who were desirous of opportunities for confession and
spiritual advice.

Hence, I gathered that the increase of Catholics in the neighbourhood did
not arise from local conversions; this explained what had been a matter
of wonder.  The Monsignor was very sociable and communicative, and gave
much information about Romanism, its usages and dignitaries.  He had a
great deal to say about the political relations of distinguished
Catholics at that time.  How far all his reports were to be trusted I
cannot say.

Certainly there was much activity amongst Hammersmith Catholics.  Within
a few doors of my house there was a sisterhood active in collecting
whatever they could of money, garments, and other benefits for the poor,
and on the edge of Brook Green rose a handsome church, in which special
revival services were held.  I attended one of these, and heard a priest
make earnest religious appeals to careless sinners.

There was a nunnery not far off, and from the abbess, through the medium
of a relative, I received an invitation to witness the ceremony of taking
the veil.  As a spectacle, there was something about it pathetic and
touching, but as an act of worship the whole struck me as altogether out
of harmony with primitive Christianity.  The relative who conveyed to me
the invitation was the daughter of a Dissenting minister, a girl highly
imaginative and poetical, who made some little stir in earlier life by a
book entitled “From Oxford to Rome,” by “One that made the Journey.”  She
told me of a complimentary note on the subject from a High Church
politician; and I found that she had been thrown a good deal in the way
of Oxford “perverts,” as they were called.  She became a decided convert,
and related to me much of what she saw amongst her new friends.  By her
severe penances she broke down her health until she died, but not in the
religion she had recently embraced.  The faith of her childhood, in its
simplicity, returned in her last days.  I do not know that she made a
formal renunciation of what she had lately embraced, but she desired no
priestly ministrations, and fell back upon her Bible, and the truths she
had accepted in former days.  She joined in her father’s prayers by her
bedside, and so went home to rest for ever with her Saviour, whom she
loved amidst all her aberrations of controversial thought.

Soon after my resignation I paid a summer visit to my friend Mr. George
Moore, of Whitehall, Cumberland, the well-known merchant prince.  There I
met Lord Justice Lush, his lady and daughter, Dr. Moffat, Canon
Battersby, and Mr. Smithies, the “Workman’s Friend.”  One day we had
Bible readings in a baronial-looking hall; another day we had outdoor
recreations for the villagers, when a select party dined at the mansion.
In the evenings we were taken to places in the neighbourhood to attend
Bible meetings.  On Sunday we went to church in the morning and to chapel
in the evening.  Our host was in all his glory.

With the good judge I had much conversation, and heard something of his
early life story.  He had been on the point of settling in America when
he was young, and went there more than once before he finally made a home
in his own country.  He was a beautiful character, an example of
Christian politeness, general intelligence, and professional learning.

In closing notices of towns to which I have paid ministerial visits, let
me mention Hastings, in which, from circumstances to be mentioned, I feel
more than ordinary interest.  I do not speak of the decisive battle on
the field of Senlac, which ended the line of Saxon sovereigns and gave to
England a Norman king, but of personal memories, somewhat unique in their
connection.  There was, many years ago, a venerable Dissenting minister
in the town whose congregation was small, and it was thought by London
friends and others, that a new and larger chapel should be built, and
efforts made to revive the cause.  I was invited to preach at the
dedication of that building, and at the close of the sermon found my old
fellow-student, the Rev. James Griffin, was present.  He had just before,
owing to impaired health, resigned an important pastorate at Manchester,
and, as he seemed to be recovering strength, I suggested that this new
chapel at Hastings might be a suitable sphere for resuming his ministry.
The congregation invited him to become pastor, and he faithfully and
successfully for many years discharged the duties of that office.  It
became after a time necessary to erect a still larger edifice, and, in
connection with the opening services, I was for a second time invited to
preach to the people.  Mr. Griffin soon afterwards engaged in the
erection of another chapel outside the town, and when the time for
opening it approached he invited me to undertake that service.  Thus a
threefold cord of interest attached me to Nonconformist friends at
Hastings.  Moreover, repeated visits on the part of my dear wife and
children increased my interest in the town, and the hospitality of my
friends I remember with gratitude.  My dear friend James Griffin still
lives, adorning the doctrine he has successfully preached for more than
half a century.

The autumnal meeting of the Congregational Union was in 1886 held at
Norwich.  My friend, the Rev. Edward White, was chairman, and I was
invited to read in the old Meeting House, where I worshipped in my youth,
a paper on the early history of Norfolk Congregationalism.  There was a
large gathering of ministers and other friends in the city, and, as in
other cities and towns, Episcopalians received Nonconformists as their
guests.  It was my privilege to be entertained by the Bishop, with whom I
had become acquainted while sojourning under the roof of his brother,
Lord Chichester, at Stanmer Park.  I was received and treated with the
greatest kindness and comfort, and found this Episcopal home a beautiful
example of Christian simplicity and devotion.

The Mayor of the city received members of the Union and other friends in
St. Andrew’s Hall on the Monday evening; and one afternoon Mr. Colman,
M.P. for Norwich, had a large garden-party in his pleasure grounds.

I availed myself of opportunities during the week for rambling about
scenes of my boyhood, amidst many changes in architecture, manners and
customs, including habits of religious life.  The trade of the city had
flowed into new channels; old families such as I knew in my boyhood were
no more.  New faces I saw everywhere, and pensive thoughts were naturally
suggested when one traversed memories of seventy years.  How different
had been my lot from what it might have been!  Church and Dissent did not
stand in the same relations to each other as they had done once.  There
was more mutual charity, more, I believe and trust, of real religion.
Certainly, Evangelicalism had made way in the Establishment, and was not
regarded as it had been in days gone by.

I took a ramble outside the old city, and called on young friends; and so
caught glimpses touching borders of auld lang syne.

It fell to my lot to occupy a bedroom in the palace exactly to my taste.
It is described by Blomefield in his “History of Norwich.”  Lined with
carved wainscot brought from the demolished abbey of St. Bennet in the
Holm, retaining still the arms of that abbey—of the Veres, and others,
particularly those of Sir John Fastolff, their great benefactor.  There
were also busts of heroes and remarkable men and women, “brought hither
by Bishop Rugg.”  The place recalled images of old, and stories which had
interested me in youth; if they did not people my dreams, they coloured
my meditations.

My “Recollections of a Long Life” began with a notice of being born in
Norwich; and as the last visit to my birthplace was at the time now
indicated, I think it is a fitting point for terminating my narrative.



CHAPTER XVI


IN completing this volume I propose to take a survey of what I have seen
and noticed, amongst distinct religious denominations, during seventy
years.

I.  To begin with the Church of England.  I remember hearing a sermon by
the late Bishop of Manchester, at the reopening of Chester Cathedral,
when, in no measured terms, he dwelt upon ecclesiastical abuses, as they
existed during the last century, and the earliest part of the present.
He exposed the nepotism of bishops, the worldliness of clergymen, and the
indifference of Church-people to religion in general.  About the same
time another prelate privately told me that things in his diocese, when
he was first consecrated, had reached such a point as made it wonderful
how the Establishment had survived.  He complained of the limited power
diocesans had at command, to repress existing evils, and gave an
instance, how in his own case he had spent a large sum without any effect
for the removal of a clergyman who had dishonoured his profession.  About
the facts charged against the delinquent there could be no doubt, but
proceedings failed through technical objections.  I remember when I was a
youth there were scandals in the diocese of Norwich, publicly known, yet
legally unassailable.  Plurality and non-residence were notorious.
Preaching was neglected to a shameful degree; in one case fifteen
churches were served by three incumbents.  Livings had to be sequestered
through clerical insolvency or scandalous misconduct.  Bishop Stanley
wrought a great reformation in these respects, much to the dismay of
delinquents, much to the satisfaction of parishioners.  I remember him
perfectly well.  Of slight figure, with white hair, he tripped along the
streets of Norwich on a Sunday, to one church after another without
giving beforehand notice of his movements, but surprising rector or
curate at the close of the service by rising to pronounce the
benediction.  He was as unremitting and efficient in his clerical
position, as he had before been in his naval duties.  The magistrates’
seat prepared Ambrose for his episcopate at Milan: the deck of a ship
prepared Edward Stanley to rule the diocese of Norwich.

The typical High Church clergyman of my early days was a person
perfunctorily discharging his duties, living on civil terms with his
parishioners, known in the parish by clerical costume, reading prayers in
a surplice, and preaching in a black gown, visiting the best society in
the neighbourhood, kind to the poor, and looking upon Dissenters as a
rather suspicious class.

But a great change took place in 1832.  Earnest men, as we have seen,
arose at Oxford, who devoted themselves to the study of certain
Anglo-Catholic divines and Greek and Latin fathers.  Some of them
introduced ritualistic practices, older than the Reformation.  The change
under Henry VIII. and Elizabeth was approved by them no further than as
it wiped away stains from the face of popery.  I recollect a High Church
layman telling me he liked an ornate service, but that he was left far
behind by the newly advanced party.  I have myself witnessed ceremonies
in Anglican churches so nearly approaching the Romanistic that only a
practised eye could discern the difference.  There were, however, men of
another order, who had a liking for Anglo-Catholic theology, but eschewed
revived ceremonialism; and I have heard a High Churchman in Westminster
Abbey preach such a sermon on the necessity of the Holy Spirit for the
salvation of souls as, with a few expressions, a Methodist might have
delivered.  He pronounced a glowing eulogium on John Wesley.  On one side
this clergyman appeared a warm-hearted Evangelical, on the other, he was
a staunch High Churchman.

When I think of Evangelicals early in this century, they present a
different class from men of the type just described.  As a boy in Norwich
I heard Simeon of Cambridge, and Legh Richmond of Turvey; and I remember
them at this moment as they appeared in the autumn of that year to
advocate the British and Foreign Bible Society.  The former of the two
does not come to my recollection so vividly as the latter; him I can now
see, with his pleasant face, and large spectacles, mounting, with a lame
foot, the pulpit stairs of St. Lawrence’s Church—attired, not in a white
surplice, but in a black gown: nothing priestly in his appearance and
manner.  His sermon was on behalf of the Society for Promoting
Christianity among Jews.  He took for his text, “For thy servants take
pleasure in her stones and favour the dust thereof.”  With a soft,
winning voice, and “a sweet reasonableness” he discoursed on the
interest, which all Christians should feel in building up the Church of
God, especially with stones gathered from ruins of the House of Israel.
In St Andrew’s Hall he spoke on behalf of the Bible Society, and related
a conversation he had on the subject with the Emperor Alexander of
Russia, when he visited England after the Napoleonic wars.  He also told
touching stories of what the Word of God could do for people amidst sins
and sorrows.  As to Charles Simeon, whom I heard, he did not penetrate
like dew, but came down with hailstones and coals of fire.

At a later period Episcopalians bestirred themselves in many parts of the
country, and from end to end, in building and other efforts for church
extension, and I recollect Dean Alford told me how surprised the Church
Commissioners were at the liberal response given to challenges for aiding
ecclesiastical objects.

In 1865 the old Act of Uniformity was modified so as to relieve the
consciences of such as scrupled to declare unfeigned consent to
everything contained in the Prayer-Book.  _Now_ the requirement was an
assent to the Articles, the Common Prayer, and the Ordering of Bishops,
Priests, and Deacons, and a declaration that the doctrine of the
Establishment was agreeable to the Word of God.  In 1867 a commission was
appointed to regulate public worship, the result of which was
unsatisfactory.

In former pages of this volume I have noticed devoted and exemplary
Churchmen through whom my own soul has been nourished and stimulated.  It
would be ungrateful not to recognise, on these pages, spiritual benefit I
have derived from sermons preached and books written by living Churchmen.

Before I close this section of reminiscences touching the Church of
England it will be interesting to notice an accession to it of a
remarkable person who had previously been a Dissenter.  Her name, now so
extensively known, was Sarah Martin.  My old friend Mr. Walford often
alluded to her in his conversations, and in his Autobiography, written in
a series of letters published by his direction, he gives the following
narrative:—

    “This young woman, during my residence in Yarmouth, supported by her
    needle both herself and, I think, also an aged grandmother, with whom
    she lived at Caister, near Yarmouth.  When I first knew her she was,
    I imagine, about twenty years of age.  She introduced herself to me
    as one who had been as inconsiderate and negligent of religion, as
    she was ignorant of the nature of genuine Christianity.  By some
    means, which I do not now remember, she was induced to come to the
    New Meeting, where she heard one or more discourses from me, which,
    she assured me, had produced very deep impressions upon her, and
    entirely changed the character of her mind and conduct.  She
    subsequently became a member of the Church of which I was the pastor,
    and was most diligent and attentive to the public and private
    meetings of the Church.  I found her to possess great energy of mind,
    by the exercise of which she very soon became well informed in the
    truths and duties of Christianity, and ardently disposed to do any
    good that was compatible with her station in life.  Her affection for
    me was such that it is not too much to say of her, as St. Paul did of
    his converts among the Galatians, that, if it had been possible, they
    would have plucked out their own eyes and have given them to him
    (Gal. iv. 15).  Her regard for me, and the ministry I exercised,
    continued unalterable through the several years in which I resided in
    Yarmouth, after my acquaintance with her commenced.  I afterwards saw
    her several times during occasional visits which I made to that
    place, when I found that she still retained an affectionate
    remembrance of me.”

She was in humble circumstances, and earned a scanty income by the use of
her needle; but she coupled with it extraordinary efforts for the good of
others, and this disposed some ladies, members of the Established Church,
to contribute to her support.  This enabled her to devote more time to
her charitable work, and at length she was so absorbed in it that she
became a kind of missionary to the inmates of the workhouse and the
prisoners in Yarmouth gaol.  She read and explained the Scriptures to
them, and in devotional service, she carried on for their spiritual
welfare, she employed parts of the Church Prayer-Book.  Gradually, I
infer, she became attached to those who helped her, and this association
led to her becoming a member of the Establishment.  After her death a
commemorative window was placed in Yarmouth parish church, and at its
reopening, after a costly restoration, Bishop Wilberforce pronounced an
eloquent eulogium on Sarah Martin’s character.  Some intimate
Nonconformist friends of mine remained attached to her, and showed me
numerous MSS. in her handwriting.

I now return to the ranks of Dissent and proceed to notice—

II.  English Presbyterianism.  A word on its earlier history will here be
appropriate.  The Presbyterians of the sixteenth and seventeenth
centuries were orthodox.  After the Restoration many of them adhered to
the Westminster Confession, but a departure from it, in some instances,
appeared in the century after.  Arian and Socinian opinions began to
obtain, but those who held them claimed connection with the Presbyterians
of the Commonwealth, on the ground that they followed such worthies in
the exercise of religious freedom and the rights of conscience.  Their
forefathers had repudiated the Prayer-Book, and now they, their sons in
the cause of religious freedom, renounced the Westminster Confession.
For the most part they remained steadfast in believing New Testament
miracles.  The Rev. Mr. Madge, a noted English Presbyterian, sixty or
seventy years ago, said to me once, he could not understand how a man
could be called a Christian who did not believe in our Lord’s
resurrection.

During the reign of William IV. the two most prominent English
Presbyterians of the old school were the Rev. Mr. Aspland and Mr. Madge.
The latter I knew well.  Mr. Aspland was an eloquent speaker, and exerted
himself conspicuously in the cause of Unitarianism, with which he
identified the interests of religious freedom.  His son, in writing his
father’s life, pourtrays that gentleman’s religious connections, social
virtues, and decision of character; but does not conceal his warmth of
temper, and dislike to certain eminent Trinitarians.  Mr. Madge, before
he became minister of Essex Street, London, was for some years settled in
my native city, and presided over a wealthy congregation, in which were
several distinguished literary and artistic people.  The Martineaus, the
Aldersons, the Starks, and other distinguished families, were of the
number.  They worshipped in the Octagon Chapel, as it was called from its
architecture, and for a number of years the building was the most
distinguished Nonconformist place of worship in the eastern capital.  It
was rather sumptuously fitted up in my boyish days, and the attendants
were not wont to mix much with other Dissenters.  If there were any fault
in this, I dare say it was shared on both sides.

Returning to the English Presbyterians at large, but especially as they
existed in London, I must speak of a trust established by Dr. Williams,
of the last century.  He was orthodox, but the administration of funds
bequeathed by him came into the hands of those Presbyterians who deviated
from his doctrinal views, but still retained the Presbyterian name by
which he was known.  Though Unitarians in opinion, they by no means
confined their charity to Unitarian ministers and chapels; and still the
“Williams’ Scholarships” are enjoyed by students preparing for orthodox
ministrations amongst Independents.  Dr. Martineau was for some time an
administrator of the trust, but strongly objected to the exclusion of
orthodox ministers from its administration.

During the last century there were Presbyterians in England holding
decidedly Evangelical views, and of late there have been numerous
congregations gathered, which, in their unity, form what is called “The
Presbyterian Church in England.”  Scotch brethren of great renown—Dr.
James Hamilton, Dr. Young, and Dr. Archer—I had the privilege of
numbering amongst personal friends, and they were held in honour by all
Evangelical Churchmen and Nonconformists.

III.  Another large section of brethren were Baptists, distinguished by
certain _doctrinal_ and _disciplinary_ views;—the former as Particular or
Calvinistic, on the one hand, and General or Arminian on the other;—the
latter as Open communionists and Strict communionists.  Open
communionists admit to the Lord’s table those who have not been baptised
by immersion; Strict communionists confine the Lord’s Supper to those who
have been immersed.  Such distinctions are now fading away.  Calvinists
and Arminians are comprehended in the same union, and Strict
communionists are comparatively few.

Robert Hall, the advocate of Open communion, I never saw: he died when I
was young.  Joseph Kinghorn, his opponent, a distinguished Hebrew
scholar, I knew well, as he lived in Norwich during my boyhood.  William
Brock, who succeeded him, and afterwards became minister of Bloomsbury
Chapel, London, entered the ministry about the same time as I did, and we
regarded each other with warm affection.  Dr. Cox and Dr. Steane were
widely known in the religious world, and with both of them I entered into
a fellowship of work and worship at the opening of chapels and on other
public occasions.  John Howard Hinton was another Baptist brother, of
whom I saw much when he was at Reading and I was at Windsor.  He was more
original, more metaphysical, more scientific, and more excitable than
others whom I have mentioned, perhaps of a higher intellectual order, and
still greater depth of religious emotion.  Mr. Spurgeon, who has so
recently left the world, and whose influence and fame extended further
than any other Nonconformist in modern times, I greatly respected and
admired; and though I did not share his intimacy, I saw something of him
in my own home, and a little more in his, where he had a magnificent
library, and received his numerous friends with cordiality.  His
popularity amongst aristocratic people was, for a little time, much
greater than is generally supposed, for I was informed by a lady of
distinction that for some weeks in his early career he was a leading
topic of conversation in upper circles.

IV.  I now turn to the Quaker community.  Well do I remember meetings at
the Goldencroft, Norwich, where, at the upper end, sat men and women
called Public Friends.  My mother, born in 1770, told me of yearly
meetings held in our old city, when sometimes Friends from America
attended: and so great was the number of visitors that it raised the
market price of provisions.  Some ladies who came from the other side of
the Atlantic wore dresses with open skirts and green aprons.  No bows of
ribbon were seen, while bonnets of black and of lead-coloured silk
crowned the heads of young and old.  What Charles Lamb says in his “Elia”
corresponds with what I recollect, and what my mother used to tell me,
how “troops of the shining ones” were seen walking the streets, on their
way to the house of worship, where their silence was more eloquent than
speech.  I have read with sympathy “The Life of John Woolman,” written by
himself, and so warmly recommended by the essayist.  “Get,” says Charles
Lamb, “the writings of John Woolman by heart, and love the early
Quakers.”

A very serious diversion in theological opinion existed among American
Friends early in this century, and it is because an effect of it appeared
in England that it is noticed here.  A French Friend—the well-known
Stephen Grellet—travelling in the States, makes this entry in his
journal, under date 1822:—“We proceeded to Long Island, where I attended
all the meetings, but here my soul’s distress exceeded all I had known
during the preceding months, though my baptism had been deep.  I found
that the greatest part of the members of our Society and many of the
ministers and elders, are carried away by the principle which Elias Hicks
has so assiduously propagated among them.  He now speaks out boldly,
disguising his sentiments no longer; he seeks to invalidate the Holy
Scriptures, and sets up man’s reason as his only guide, openly denying
the divinity of Christ.  I have had many expostulations with him in which
I have most tenderly pleaded with him, but all has been in vain.” {374}
From what I have read in American literature touching what is known as
the Hicksite controversy, it appears to me plainly indicative of a denial
among many American Friends, that Jesus Christ, in the orthodox sense of
the term, was Divine, and that He did not make any atonement for sin.
Hicks appears to have been a thorough mystic, unintelligible to
common-sense people.  At all events he converted many to his views; and
these views were caught up by some Friends in this country.  To what
extent exactly they were adopted in England I cannot say: but they
created alarm amongst many Friends on this side the Atlantic.  Great
sorrow at the abandonment of Evangelical doctrines led to secessions from
Quakerism on the part of excellent people who had been born and bred in
the community.  Some of them resided, at the time I speak of, on the
borders of Wales, others in the county of York.  They became
Congregationalists, and in tours on behalf of the London Missionary
Society, I was received hospitably in their homes, and had gratifying
opportunities of witnessing their beautiful Christian life.

Joseph John Gurney, of Earlham, felt seriously concerned respecting the
American defection, in a community to which he had been attached from
childhood.  He had studied in the University of Oxford, had cultivated
friendships in other denominations, was a good classic and Biblical
scholar, and also an author of theological works.  Mr. Gurney was
“concerned” about the effect of Hicksite opinion on American and English
Friends, and therefore took up his pen and wrote in reply to the leader
who had done so much mischief.

Mr. Gurney, like his sister Mrs. Fry, undertook journeys for preaching
the Gospel, and once he visited Windsor for that purpose.  I was unwell
at the time, but he called and talked by my bedside, and commended me to
God in prayer.  Several Quaker families at that period were living at
Staines and Uxbridge; with them I had much intercourse, especially when
we were joined in the advocacy of Slave Emancipation.  The community, in
both towns now named, was considerable for numbers and for wealth.

Friends now dress, speak and act much like other people.  Conforming to
common custom, they still eschew all extravagances of fashion.  They no
longer forfeit membership by “marrying out of Society.”  “The Right
Honourable John Bright” (how shocked George Fox would have been at the
title!) told me once, that relaxation in strictness as to unimportant
points, had checked a decline in numbers going on before.

V.  Methodism, of course, brings to my mind a long train of early
associations.  Not merely names, but living forms, of noted preachers
belonging to the second decade of this century come back to my
recollection.

Calvert Street Chapel was opened about 1812, and Dr. Coke preached.

I cannot say that I remember his sermon; but, as noticed already, I
distinctly recollect seeing the odd-looking, diminutive man, standing on
a table talking in the committee room of Bethel Hospital {377} adorned by
paintings of foundress and governors.  Dr. Coke energetically addressed
on the occasion a number of people, who had been invited by my
grandfather, to hear the noted advocate of Methodist missions.  Many
years afterwards I mentioned the circumstance to a gentleman, who at the
time took care of the patients, when he fetched an old committee book, in
which this gathering was noticed, with a minute expressing the
displeasure of the Governors at such a liberty being taken, and
forbidding anything of the kind in future.  The Wesleyan congregations in
Norwich were then very large, and _local_ preachers—uncultivated men in
humble life—frequently occupied the pulpit in the afternoon service at
Calvert Street, and, remember, delivered animated discourses likely to do
their hearers good.

Dr. Jabez Bunting was a very influential man among the Methodists when I
was young.  For many years he was regarded as ruler of the
Connexion,—exerting a despotic sway over the whole body.  Such general
conclusions oftentimes are not fairly drawn from existing facts, and how
far widely extended opinion in the case now noticed, is justifiable I
cannot undertake to say.  To me he was very agreeable, and for him I had
great respect.  William Bunting, his son, was of a different stamp from
his father, and though a skilful critic, he had not his father’s gift of
authority and rule.

Before the middle of the century came Dr. Newton, to open a second
chapel, in the upper part of Norwich; his magnificent voice and careful
diction produced a powerful effect.  I met him in after-life at Windsor,
when he told me that he was accustomed to leave his home on Monday
morning in the Manchester circuit, and travel by coach to the other end
of England,—perhaps cross over to Ireland,—and then get back, at the end
of the week, ready for preaching the next day.  He said he weekly
delivered five or six sermons, making them “on the wheels” as he went
along.  He seemed a stranger to physical fatigue.

During my Windsor ministry I became acquainted with a noted Wesleyan, who
was not an itinerant, but a local, preacher.  He went by the name of
“Billy Dawson,” and was eminently gifted with humour and pathos.  I heard
him preach, and listened to his platform speeches.  He was not only
naturally eloquent, but histrionic too; in speeches and sermons he acted
while he spoke.  He made you realise what he described.  It is said that
George Whitefield, when preaching to sailors, described a storm at sea so
vividly that some of them shouted, “Take to the long boat.”  Dawson had a
like power of realising what he described.  He would, at a missionary
meeting, make a telescope of his resolution, and putting it to one of his
eyes, describe what he saw in imagination,—perhaps a picture of the
millennium drawn from Isaiah’s prophecies.  I was young, just come from
college, at the time I speak of, and made a speech in which I used some
words which were not so plain as they might have been.  After the meeting
he spoke to me kindly, suggesting equivalent terms in plain Saxon.  It
was a good lesson for an unfledged bird.

When I was a member of the Wesleyan Society, I attended class according
to rule, and I found the practice beneficial, inasmuch as it was a
constant spur to self-examination.  The primitive agape, revived amongst
the Methodists, exists under the name of love-feast, at which, together
with eating bread and drinking water as an expression of fellowship, men
and women are accustomed voluntarily to rise, and give some account of
their religious experience for edification to others.  These addresses I
found often interesting and useful.  By such means, a habit of spiritual
intercommunication amongst Methodists is kept alive; beneficial in some
cases no doubt, but liable to abuse in others, as most good things are.
I am constrained to relate how this habit on the bright side manifested
itself on a private occasion during a meeting of Conference in London.
Dr. Jobson, an eminent Wesleyan, invited a party of friends to his house.
He kindly included me in the number, and I found at his hospitable board
the President for the year, and some ex-presidents.  Together with them,
Drs. Binney, Raleigh, Allon, and Donald Fraser were present.  Our host
was a thorough Methodist, and very comprehensive in his sympathies, for
he had mixed with different denominations.  He had many friends in the
Establishment, and in early life had studied under an eminent Roman
Catholic architect, at whose house he met bishops and priests of that
communion.  On the occasion I refer to, he in an easy way initiated a
conversation which I can never forget.  He appealed to his guests, one by
one, for some account of their religious life.  All readily responded;
and this is most remarkable,—all who spoke attributed to Methodism
spiritual influence of a decisive kind.  To use Wesleyan phraseology,
most of them had been “brought to God” through Methodist instrumentality.
Dr. Osborne was present, and made some remarks, at the close of which,
with choked utterance, he repeated the verse—

    “And if our fellowship below,
       In Jesus be so sweet,
    What heights of rapture shall we know,
       When round the throne we meet?”

The Norwich Methodists were chiefly humble folks with a sprinkling of
some in better circumstances; their habits were very simple and they
looked upon some who made money as becoming “worldly,” or at least, as
exposed to temptation.  At that time, however, such as possessed social
comforts could not be justly charged with conformity to the course of
this world; and over their little gatherings in one another’s houses
there was shed a religious atmosphere such as was breathed in class and
love-feast.  Early in the century on a Sunday, between afternoon and
evening service, there might be a large tea-party, where the preacher, a
class-leader, and other members of Society would talk and pray and sing,
till it was time to go to evening service at chapel.  This communion
seems to me now as I think of it such as is described in Malachi: “Then
they that feared the Lord spake often one to another, and the Lord
hearkened and heard it; and a book of remembrance was written before Him
for them that feared the Lord and that thought upon His name; and they
shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up My
jewels, and I will spare them as a man spareth his own son that serveth
him.”

Worldly prosperity has since fallen to the lot of not a few Methodists,
and the usual temptations surrounding wealth have tested their character;
but I am thankful to say, amongst those whom I have visited, I have found
beautiful instances of adherence to religious principles.  I may mention
a friend already noticed, Sir William McArthur, K.C.M.G.  When Lord Mayor
of London he continued his previous Wesleyan duties; and whilst bountiful
in his hospitality eschewed usages of a fashionable kind.  In his year of
office the Œcumenical Conference was held, and during its meetings
repeated Mansion House invitations were given to friends in sympathy with
Evangelical religion.  I attended his funeral, and in his residence on
Notting Hill a large number of mourners assembled, and we had a short
devotional service together, very touching, tender, and beautiful.

My personal recollections of Methodism, which roll back more than seventy
years ago, linger round Yarmouth and Norwich.  At Yarmouth I used to
worship on a Sunday in a curious old-fashioned square chapel, with
galleries on the four sides.  There was a deep one opposite the two
entrance doors, and attached to the front of that gallery was a pulpit—by
what means, as a boy, I never could make out.  The preacher ascended from
behind by a staircase, invisible to the congregation, and then from the
top of the staircase descended by two or three steps into a curiously
shaped pulpit.  I distinctly recollect the venerable Joseph Benson, then
a patriarch, who had been associated with Methodists in John Wesley’s
time.  I think I see him now, of slender frame, venerable aspect, and
wearing a coat of dark purple.  Of course I have no recollection of what
he said, but he was regarded as a saintly man in those days.  In the
autumn Yarmouth was frequented by a number of mariners from the
north—coblemen they were called—who had come to fish for herrings off the
Yarmouth coast.  They were staunch Methodists, and used to hold a
prayer-meeting after the general service.  How those men used to pray
with stentorian voice, which called forth loud “Amens” from voices all
over the chapel!

In Calvert Street, Norwich, there used to be special services on
Christmas-day.  After a prayer-meeting at six o’clock in the morning
there was preaching at seven o’clock, when hymns appropriate to the
season were sung, accompanied by violins and wind instruments of
different kinds.  I did not fail, between five and six o’clock, to rise
and cross the city in order to be in good time for these services.  They
usually commenced with the hymn—

    “Christians, awake, salute the happy morn
    Whereon the Saviour of mankind was born;
    Rise to adore the mystery of love,
    Which hosts of angels chanted from above;
    With them the joyful tidings first begun
    Of God incarnate and the Virgin’s son.

    “Then to the watchful shepherds it was told,
    Who heard the angelic herald’s voice: ‘Behold,
    I bring good tidings of a Saviour’s birth,
    To you and all the nations upon earth:
    This day hath God fulfilled His promised word,
    This day is born a Saviour, Christ the Lord.’”

With the Methodist chapel in Calvert Street my earliest religious
thoughts are connected.  Watch-nights and love-feasts, are sacred in my
recollection.

VI.  Respecting the Congregationalist denomination, of which I have
spoken already, let me add that in 1877 I was requested by Dr. Schaff, of
New York, to give my impression of prevalent beliefs amongst us.  I
replied as follows: “Looking at the principles of Congregationalism,
which involve the repudiation of all human authority in matters of
religion, it is impossible to believe that persons holding those
principles can consistently regard any ecclesiastical creed or symbol in
the same way as Catholics, whether Roman or Anglican, regard the creeds
of the ancient Church.  There is a strong feeling against the use of such
documents for the purpose of defining limits of religious communion, or
for the purpose of checking the exercise of free inquiry; and there is
also a widespread conviction that it is impossible to reduce the
expression of Christian belief to a series of logical propositions, so as
to preserve and represent the full spirit of Gospel truth.”  (See
Schaff’s “Creeds of Christendom,” p. 833.)

No doubt there may be heard in some circles loose conversation, seeming
to indicate such a repugnance to creeds as would imply a dislike to all
formal definitions of Christian doctrine; but I apprehend the prevailing
sentiment relative to this subject among our ministers and churches does
not go beyond the point just indicated.  Many of them consider that while
creeds are objectionable as tests, and imperfect as confessions, they may
have a certain value as manifestoes of conviction, on the part of
different communities.

Some people write and talk on the subject of present opinion, with a
positiveness which only omniscience could warrant.  No mortal can know
what is going on in the minds of thousands, touching momentous subjects;
yet such knowledge is requisite for the confident conclusions of certain
critics.  We may speak decidedly of what is commonly taught in a
community, yet this should be done with qualifications and no farther.

Silence on momentous points may prove a loss as to the full wealth of
theology; but I am thankful for gain at the present day in richer views
than formerly of our Lord’s character, and the bearing of it upon life
and conduct.  Let me add, however, if _Redemption_ in all its fulness be
not prominent in pulpit ministrations, power will be gone.  Some suppose
we are making theological advance, and that discoveries are opening akin
to those in physical science; but people who have more carefully surveyed
the wide field, and more observantly studied the history of religious
thought, discover that much as seen at first sight, is chiefly a falling
back upon what was old and forgotten.

In closing what I have to say of modern Congregationalists, I venture to
notice deceased ministers whom it has been a privilege to number amongst
my friends.

I knew but slightly the Rev. William Jay of Bath.  He has been
incidentally noticed in these pages already, for he was old when I was
young.  He rose from a lowly rank in life to be regarded as teacher and
companion by the intellectual and noble.  Mrs. Hannah More valued his
ministrations and cultivated his society.  Wilberforce used to attend his
chapel when staying at Bath; and an Indian ruler, when in England, went
to hear him at Surrey Chapel, and expressed great admiration of the
sermon.

The next to be mentioned is John Angell James of Birmingham.  I remember
perfectly well the first sermon I heard him preach when I was a student.
The text was: “Our conversation (or citizenship) is in heaven.”  His
voice was richly toned—a genuine birth gift improved by culture.  He
introduced the following illustration: A pilgrim in the Middle Ages, on
his way to Jerusalem, passed through Constantinople.  A friend took him
from street to street, pausing to point out attractions, in magnificent
buildings, and the rich scenery of the Golden Horn.  He wondered the
traveller was not enchanted.  The latter replied: “Yes, all very fine,
_but it is not the Holy City_.”  The application was obvious and well
enforced.

Dr. Raffles of Liverpool—noticed already as one of my companions to
Rome—and Dr. Hamilton of Leeds, well known throughout England, won the
affections of their people by sympathetic intercourse, and interested
them by eloquent instructions and appeals.  The former enunciated his
carefully prepared periods with a voice naturally musical, the latter
delivered his thoughts in condensed sentences, which reminded one of a
person taking very short steps.  There was an intellectual power in the
sermons of the last-named, not indicated in those of the former.

John Alexander of Norwich I cannot pass by without notice.  Like David,
he was a youth with ruddy countenance.  His speech throughout a sermon
fell gentle as a snowflake, without any coldness of touch.  He read much,
and made good use of what he read.  The charm of his private life and
conversation exceeded the effect of his public ministry, though that was
great.

I must mention another name.  John Harris was for some years a secluded
pastor at Epsom, little known.  He wrote “The Great Teacher,” but though
far above the common level of such literature, it made little impression,
compared with its merits.  A prize was offered for an essay on
Covetousness and Christian Liberality.  Harris won the prize, and printed
the essay.  The effect was instantaneous.

The book sold edition after edition, and the author’s name became
generally familiar.  Requests for his services were universal.  He was
everywhere talked about, and when he preached places were crowded.  His
popularity lasted as long as he lived, but he died when he was
fifty-four.  He was unassuming, kind-hearted, generous to poor ministers,
genial in conversation, and beloved by all who knew him.

Another brother must be mentioned—Baldwin Brown—of superior intellectual
type, well educated, an extensive reader, and one who delighted in a
large circle of sympathetic friends.  He gathered round him a good
congregation, composed chiefly of thoughtful people, who became
assimilated to his characteristic teachings.  He wore himself out by
incessant study and pulpit service.

I must not pass by David Thomas of Bristol, my fellow-student and friend
through life, whose elevated and genial character won from a wide circle
warm attachment, and whose unique pulpit power captivated all capable of
sympathising with one so thoughtful and so good.

Nor can I omit Alexander Raleigh, my successor for a short period at
Kensington, who fulfilled a ministry dear to many who listened with
delight to his characteristic teaching.

The last name I mention is that of Samuel Martin, minister at Westminster
Chapel.  He had gifts of a peculiar description, which marked him off,
and made him stand by himself, both as minister and man.  His appearance,
voice, manner, habits, were all his own.  He _lived_ for his Church, in
whose interests he was thoroughly absorbed.  No one not intimately
acquainted with him could have an adequate idea how he loved his flock,
and lived for their welfare week by week.  I had reverent affection for
him as a saintly man, and I witnessed evidence amongst his large circle,
in town and country, how he watched for souls as one that must give an
account.  His congregation during Parliament months included several
M.P.’s, whom he gathered together for patriotic prayer.

His neighbour, Dr. Stanley, had a reverent regard for Mr. Martin, and I
know that the Dean and Lady Augusta went to Westminster Chapel to hear
his voice and worship with his people.  He spoke to me of him in terms of
strong affection, also telling me of a brother clergyman who, after a
visit to his sick chamber, pronounced him one of the most saintly men he
had ever seen.

                                * * * * *

      Printed by Hazell, Watson, & Viney, Ld., London and Aylesbury.



FOOTNOTES


{77}  Faulkener’s “History and Antiquities of Kensington,” p. 317.

{78}  1893.

{80}  “Christian Workers of the Nineteenth Century,” S.P.C.K., p. 216.

{88a}  “Life of E. B. Pusey,” i. 336.

{88b}  _Ibid._, ii. 33.

{89}  “Life of Pusey,” ii. 8.

{126}  Early Independent Churches had been particular in their relations
to one another; and they would not recognise new communities without
satisfactory evidence of character, principles, and conduct.  They became
more isolated afterwards.

{176a}  Now Archbishop of York.

{176b}  A very good account of this under the title of “Lectures on Bible
Revision,” has been published by my excellent friend and late colleague
at New College, Principal Newth, D.D.

{183}  “Memorials of a Quiet Life,” i. 237.

{184}  Dr. Raleigh, Sir Charles Reed, and others, were examined.

{193}  That was whilst I was in full work at Kensington, and not very
long after our new chapel was built, while a debt of £1000 rested on it.
I said I could not leave my charge whilst that debt remained.  As soon as
I had declined the New College principalship, my congregation swept off
the debt as expressive of gratitude for my remaining amongst them.

{197}  “Ecce Homo,” chap. iv.

{230}  Written about 1883.

{233}  I am glad that at Kensington, a liturgical element has been
introduced, such as I should have approved, but could not accomplish,
because I knew it would then be disapproved by many.

{248}  With a short Memoir by Robert Hall.

{250}  In what I have ventured to say about pulpit preparation I have
hoped to help my younger ministerial brethren.

{252}  “Homes and Haunts of Martin Luther,” p. 4.

{268}  Since my visit to Ban de la Roche I discovered that, in a part of
the country not far off, an Irish missionary, Columbanus, in the sixth
century laboured for the temporal, as well as the spiritual, welfare of
the people.  See Wolf’s “Country of the Vosges,” p. 214.

{315}  Eusebius, “Eccl. Hist.,” V. I, 2.

{316}  Pastor and Madame Rodriguez.

{318}  De Aniccio, “L’Espagne traduit de Italien.”

{329}  “Life of Wilkie,” p. 472.

{333}  I have gone into this story in my “Spanish Reformers,” p. 185.

{374}  “Memoirs of Stephen Grellet,” vol. ii., 130.

{377}  See page 2.





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