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frettings and foamings in the calm of its perfect light; and the religion whose aim and end is the attainment of this higher rest by men, does most fitly and with a sublime prominence wear this distinction on its front. “Love thy neighbor as thyself,” says Christianity: there is no exception. But does Christianity not bid us war against sin? We suppose it is unnecessary to quote the whole Bible.
Retaining, with Sandy Mackay, the ancient belief in a posit ive living spirit of evil, we believe also in sinless intelligences, superior, for the present at least, to men, and employed on hests of mercy by God. Wandering unseen among us in the performance of their ministries of love, they are untainted by the sin, and untouched by the sorrow of earth. Now, we can conceive no way in which they could bave been secured from mere earthly sorrow, from the poignancy of sheer ignoble grief—that grief which is dependent for its origin on the state, and not the circumstances of the soul-save by their distinguishing between the sin and the sinner, and being thus wrapped up in an impenetrable garment of celestial love. Safe in this, they can gaze upon the wandering mortal, however black his iniquity, with eyes wherein every gleam of indignation, every dark speck of hatred, every scowl of revenge, is drowned in the softest dew. God has sent them as messengers to a world of sin, but they bear with them the atmosphere of heaven, for within them is the glow, around them is the music, of love. And we affirm that man by Christianity is exalted to a privilege like theirs. Like them, he shares in the universal battle ; like them, he wars to the death with sin: but, if he is a Christian, he is like them dowered with an exemption from every emotion that would taint the atmosphere of his own mind. We think we have shown that all we now say is consistent with human instinct; but if nature only points to the distinction, if,
like a dumb animal, it merely by its pain indicates a want, Christianity brings out the truth in its clearness, and vindicates a superiority to nature. It is on the mount with Jesus, that we enter the company of heavenly creatures.
And with full decision, while with earnest reverence, would we point to Christ Jesus himself as the perfect philanthropist. Let who will deny the compatibility of a Christian hatred of sin with a Christian love of the sinner; let it appear to philosophers and to natural religionists chimerical or weak as it may; the Christian can always respond by merely pointing to Him as He appeared on that day when He looked over Jerusalem. Was there infinite hatred for sin in those words of doom? Was there infinite love in those tears? And, to make an allusion to what we have not space to prove, let who will jeer at the man or the woman who goes into the penitentiary, the prison, the condemned cell, with the Bible, to try to rescue for heaven those whom society must banish from earth: if nature calls that a vain or absurd task, Christianity speaks differently. To every objection-of hopelessness, of sentimentalism, of enthusiasm—the Christian can simply answer, There was once a thief to whom the gospel was preached in the mortal agony, and that night he walked with the Preacher in Paradise.
We proceed to mark, in the method we have proposed to Ourselves in these pages, the emergence of Christian Philanthropy in our era: our task takes the form of biograpy.
HOWARD; AND THE RISE OF PHILANTHROPY. .
We feel ourselves enabled, and, for that reason, bound, to express a conviction, that there is no fair and adequate, in one word, satisfactory, biography of Howard in the hands of his countrymen, no estimate of his character and work which can or ought to be final. Aiken's work is mainly a lengthened mental analysis, by no means void of value, and written with clearness and spirit; but it admits of doubt whether Howard was of that order of men, in whose case such analysis can be considered useful or admissible. Brown's life contains a true image of Howard, but it rests there in rude outline, too much as the statue lies in the half-cut block; the work wants unity, is fatally dull, and is not free from the generic taints of biography, exaggeration and daubing. Mr. Dickson's book is, in some respects, the best; and yet, in some others, the worst we have seen on Howard. The account it gives of his journeys is spirited and clear, and no charge of dulness can be brought against its general style. Yet it may be pronounced, as a whole, and in one word, wrong. It is set on a false key. It is brisk, sparkling, continually pointed; if it does not directly share the characteristics, of either, it seems to belong to a debatable region between flippancy and bombast; in fatal measure, it wants chasteness and repose. Now, we know of no man in whose delineation these general characteristics are so totally out of place, and these wants so plainly irreparable, as in that of Howard. The great attribute of his nature, the universal aspect of his life, was calmness: he ever reminds one of a solemn hymn, sung, with no instrumental accompaniment, with little musical power, but with the earnest melody of the heart, in an old Hebrew household. Mr. Dickson gives his readers a wrong idea of the man: more profoundly wrong than could have arisen from any single mistake (and such, of a serious nature, there are), for it results from the whole tone and manner of the work. A Madonna, in the pure color and somewhat rigid grace of Francia, stuck round with gum-flowers by a Belgian populace; a Greek statue described by a young American fine writer ;—such are the anomalies suggested by this life of Howard. There were one or two memoirs published in magazines at the time of his death, but these are now quite unknown. On the whole we must declare, that the right estimate and proper representation of the founder of Modern Philanthropy have still to be looked for. And at the present moment such are specially required. Since the publication of Mr. Carlyle's pamphlets, opinion regarding him has been, we think, of one of two sorts: either it is thought that his true place has at length been fixed, that Mr. Carlyle's sneers are reasonable; or unmeasured and undistinguishing indignation has been felt against that writer, and the old rapturous applause of Howard has been prolonged. In neither view of the case can we rest. To submit that applause to a calm examination, and discover wherein, and how far, it is and has been just; to estimate the power of Mr. Carlyle's attack, and determine in how far it settles the deserts of its subject; and to offer a brief, yet essentially adequate representation of the life of Howard in its wholeness, has been our attempt in the following paragraphs. We are perfectly sensible that our effort has but partially succeeded; we know too well how near to each other are the indispensable requisite, true repose, and the total failure, dulness : our hope is, that we have spoken truth, and truth which requires to be spoken.
John Howard was born in London, or its vicinity, about the year 1727; the precise locality and the precise date have been matter of dispute. His mother, of whom we have no information, died in his infancy. His father was a dealer in upholstery wares in London, and realized a considerable fortune. We are somewhat astonished to hear that he had a character for parsimony. We are not, indeed, furnished with any instances of remarkable closeness or illiberality, and his conduct to his son affords no marks of such. That the allegation, however, had certain grounds in truth, we can not doubt; and the circumstance is not a little singular in the father of one, who must be allowed, whether with censure or applause, to have found, from the days of his boyhood, a keen delight in giving. But, whatever the nature or force of this foible, the character of the elder Howard was, on the whole, worthy and substantial. He was a man of quiet methodic habits, deeply imbued with religious sentiment; his views were Calvinistic, and he was a member of a denomination unconnected with the English es. tablishment-probably the Independent. He was specially characterized by a rigid observance of the Sabbath. We find in him, indeed, unmistakable traces of the devout earnestness of an earlier age; we think that it admits of little doubt that his religion was a lingering ray of the light which burned so conspicuously in England in the preceding century. While the bacchanal rout of the Restoration made hideous the night of England's departed glory, there were a few, perhaps many, who retired unnoticed into hidden places, to nurse, on house