The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 8
The proceedings at the Annual Meeting of the New South Wales Auxiliary, recently held in the Masonic Hall, were scarcely calculated to lessen our want of sympathy with that pretentious and misleading organisation—the Bible Society. The Report presented on the occasion bristles with the customary stupidities, and the speeches were, if anything, more than usually nauseating. That superbest of Sydney windbags, the Rev. John Graham, brayed forth his usual string of ear-tickling platitudes, and then collapsed—genuine vox et præterea nihil that he is—as only a windbag of his dimensions can. As for the Rev. Colin M'Culloch's fiery denunciation of the whole tribe of bible-hating rationalists, it appears to have so affected the Rev. Canon Stephen, that this pattern of Christianity, with an exquisite gentlemanliness which his admirers will appreciate, must needs avow his determination to treat the next sceptic that crossed his path as he would treat a cur that should bark at his heels. But the speech of the Rev. W. Kelynack was decidedly the speech of the evening. Aghast at the appalling fact that we are living in a time "when our most cherished convictions are regarded as a traditionary faith that has come down to us from a too credulous past, and when the Book that, beyond all other books, gathers round it our deepest reverence and our strongest affection is sneered at and reviled," he, it seems, can so far forget himself as to allude to the leading religious thinkers of the day in terms which, it must be confessed, would have come with better grace from one less notoriously distinguished than Mr. Kelynack is for shallowness of intellect. Massive-minded and far-searching Bishop Colenso, for seeking "to overturn the Old Testament," is denounced by this conceited pigmy as "a sciolist theologian." But, in spite of the bishop and his co-heretic, "the brilliant Frenchman," the Bible, as Mr. Kelynack has decreed, shall not be overthrown. "When it was his happiness to live in the Illawarra district he sometimes gazed upon a scene which would illustrate his meaning. He had seen the heavens curtained with a majesty of thunder clouds, and flashing with fire; he had heard the howling tempest as it swept over the sighing forest and across the seething sea; he had seen the raging billows lift their haughty crests and roll themselves along the shore. But by-and-bye the page 66 elementary war ceased, and when the storm and clouds had passed away, the bright sky above and the green earth beneath, the mountain range in the background, the sweeping valley in the foreground, brightened with new beauty by the cloudless sun, rejoicing in the benison of rest and peace. Thus would it be with the Bible. Blessed Book! they say thy morals are tainted, that thy spirit is cruel, that thy circulation is an injury; and if we ask thee what thou hast to say to this, thy testimony is"——Be off with you, Mr. Kelynack; you and the rest of the imbeciles who, under the pretence of protecting me, are stifling my life, and ruining my reputation. Turning from the speeches to the Report, we find the same stereotyped rigmarole of so much cash received for the printing and distribution of so many bibles, with, of course, the old fallacy cropping up in almost every sentence, that, by deluging the earth with bibles, humanity is to be redeemed from all its woes, and the Millenium is to be ushered in apace. Every form of faith but that of Evangelical Protestantism is bewailed as a soul-destroying imposture; infidels of every grade are either fiercely rebuked or solemnly admonished; while tint indefatigable and ubiquitous personage, the Colporteur, is lauded to the skies as a model of disinterested philanthrophy; just as if, for another six-peace per day, his services would not, in nine cases out of ten, be readily transferred from the Bible Society to any Association that might be started for disseminating broadcast the works, say, of Thomas Paine. The expenditure item, too, of £173,476 2s., as against receipts amounting to £182,265 68 3d., would look a good deal better, could we feel assured that the wetched price which the Society, desiring to render its gospel wares at the lovest possible rate, pays the large number of young women employed on bible-work, has never forced some of them to supplement their meagre resources by methods which we need not specify. But apart from these considerations, we must confess to our astonishment, that otherwise intelligent people can be so stupid as not to see that a community cannot be made wise and virtuous by merely flooding it with bibles, any more than a man can be made constitutionally sound and vigorous by merely stuffing him with food. Surely the ever-recurring fact that highly-civilised nations may be flagrantly immoral, and that their demoralisation may continue to increase, even when there are heaps of bibles in every house, affords no uncertain proof that the influence of the Bible is greatly overrated, or that the good which it might accomplish is left unaccomplished in consequence of our absurd notions of its origin and character. The want of our day is not bibles, but earnest, sensible am high-souled men and women, who, in devoting themselves to the social, moral and intellectual elevation of their fellow-creatures, will use the Bible, not as a power to enslave and bedarken the human understanding, but as a stinulus to the development of those faculties of our nature which minister to all true godliness and all true faith.
Whatever the shortcomings of the present Government, it undoubtedly took a wse step, and a step that has been generally approved of, in ordering the release of Mr. W. L. Jones. Some Sydney clergymen, it is true, were displesed thereat, expressing their satisfaction, as did the Rev. Canon Stephen, tha "the majesty of the law, as recognising Christianity as part and parcel of the law of the land, had been vindicated," or clamouring outright, as did page 67 that Bull-of-Bashan, the Rev. Thomas Smith, for a confirmation of Judge Simpson's "righteous" sentence. We may venture to hope, however, that the action of the Government has convinced these would-be persecutors for opinion's sake, that the spirit of our time will not tolerate this disreputable mode of propping up their false and tottering dogmas, if indeed they do not stand self-convicted by it of having played the fool in the eyes of all sensible lookers on. The decision of the Government, then, was, we think, the best and the safest it could come to. There is, in truth, no knowing what might have happened had their decision been the other way. Certainly the age of miracles is past; but had Mr. Jones lived in the age of Peter the Apostle, we are entitled, it strikes us, to believe that the liberation of St. Lorando, like that of St. Peter under similar circumstances, would have been summarily effected without the intervention of a bulky petition and a formal response thereto by the powers that be. We can half imagine the consternation of the sturdy warders at Darlinghurst, at the vision of St. Lorando composedly stalking past them under the guidance of "a light," gate after gate swinging back on its hinges—awaking such a "morning echo" for our friend the Mercantile Advertiser!—at his approach! But ours, as we have intimated, is an unbelieving generation, no "sign," therefore, being possible for us but the release of Mr. Jones in accordance with a request from the Public, after entering into his own recognizances to keep the peace: a purely formal business, it seems, which, but for its being so, Mr. Jones, as a conscientious man, should and, we hope, would have declined to entertain. When Peter was released from prison, he was commanded "not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus." He was, in other words, requested to enter into his own recognizances to keep the peace! What answer did Peter make?" "Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you rather than unto God, judge ye." Mr. Jones, we take it, is, at this moment, in the fullest possession of that liberty of thought and speech, which is the inalienable right of every rational being, and on behalf of which, there are still some of us, we hope, prepared to sacrifice our civil freedom, and, if needs be, to shed our blood. Mr. Jones's imprisonment was no disgrace; and, whether Mr. Forster's Religious Opinions Bill becomes law or not, we mean to take care that it shall be no intimidation either to him or to any truth-seeking soul.
To the communication from Dr. Barry which appeared in our last issue, and which he thought proper to reproduce in the Australian Churchman, we had intended to reply at some length; but our able correspondent, Nicodemus, to whose letter we refer our readers, has generously saved us the trouble. Nicodemus, though a layman, is clearly no mean match for his clerical opponent; and it would, if we mistake not, take a doughtier controversialist than even Dr. Barry to keep the singularly weak position he has undertaken to defend. He attacks us for having said, in the course of our strictures on his lecture on the Reunion of Christendom, that dogmatic Christianity has been weighed and found wanting, and that, forgetting or sinking our doctrinal differences as being of no vital importance, we should, therefore, cherish in our hearts a Christianity recognising nothing as fundamental but our duty to love and assist each other without regard to race or creed, and our duty to adore the one dear and good God. Dr. Barry, in reply, contends that the page 68 Christianity of Christ and of his immediate followers, as set forth in the New Testament, embraced, and regarded as essential, something more than these two duties. So far as the Christianity of Christ is concerned, we think Dr. Barry unaccountably mistaken. It is no doubt true that the Apostles and the Fathers after them, sadly distorted and impoverished the simple and beautiful faith of the founder of Christianity, but to say that Jesus attached any importance to, or that he was even acquainted with, the dogmas which a man, in Dr. Barry's opinion, must accept in order to be a Christian, is to say what is manifestly untrue. Have we not his idea of the sum and substance of piety in his ever-precious and unmistakeable declaration of the two commandments—the one of Love to God and the other of Love to Man? The opacity of the theological eye-glass will, indeed, challenge belief. Whatever his weaknesses and misconceptions, the great and imperishable glory of Jesus is that he discerned, as by a sublime intuition, that true religion should be based, not on dogma, but on character; that it should be rooted, not in belief, but love. We advise Dr. Barry to rub his eye-glass and look at the new Testament again.
From time to time within the last two years, the question of colonial labour between Fiji and Queensland has been more or less discussed. Opinions have run high, and the whole question seems hitherto to have been made rather one of party than one of seeking to find out a means that, while benefiting both employers and employed, shall contribute to the common good. There has been much recrimination, and little evidence; and the whole dispute has been so invested with absurdity and misrepresentation that we regret seeing the name of Bishop Patteson at all mixed up with it. The "Memorandum" of this gentleman, as recently reported in the New Zealand Herald, is not what we should have expected from one whose facilities for correct information should at least have suggested caution in his statements. This "Memorandum" seems a plaintive sort of charge from beginning to end—its matter puerile—its charges insignificant and unsustained—scarcely meriting notice but from the signature attached to it. But the whole subject of Queensland labour and its necessary supply by the natives of the Pacific, is of far too important a character to be treated in a half captious spirit. The circumstances of the whole case, it must be remembered, are such, that while labour is imperatively called for from the utter inability of the European constitution to encounter the attendant fatigue, means can and will be found to introduce it, though at the sacrifice of some of those visionary and sentimental ideas more adapted to the working of some Utopia than to a work-a-day world. It would be folly, as it certainly would be waste of time, to dwell very critically on Dr. Patteson's crude and mischievous innuendoes. He gives us the impression of one who is by no means secure of his own moral standing. Unable to take an enlarged and comprehensive view of things, he splits straws and quarrels about a goat's hair. With all his professed interest in the labour question, he has never yet taken the trouble to visit the Plantations, when by so doing he could assure himself of the truth or not of the charges he seems but too content to take at second hand. He is ever open to native reports, though we confidently put it to any experienced colonist whether exaggeration is not a noted feature of the savage mind. He awards, it is true, some credit to the whalers, as a body, for page 69 their generally considerate treatment of the Islanders; yet he represents the European trader as, in nine cases out of ten, either a kidnapper or a covert rogue, with no more religion than what he carries on his sleeve, while the missionary is lauded as a pattern of self-abnegation, and as the only disinter-ested friend the Islanders have. Now, that Dr. Patteson should lend himself to misrepresentation of any sort is to be regretted. But careless as he may be in ministering to this delusion, we hold him far more reprehensible, and designedly mischievous, when we hear him openly advocating, as he does in his Memorandum, the presence of two small men-of-war to cruise constantly among the Islands, and specially in the neighbourhood of Queensland and the Fiji group, to intercept vessels bringing native labour, and of course to offer such other impediments in the way of trade as may suggest themselves to a class of men with whom might is for the time right, and the tedium of a cruise would receive considerable relief from the pursuit and vexatious overhauling of an unresisting trader. One might have thought the Daphne affair would have suggested some caution about undue interference, and the shelling and destruction of an entire native village by the transcendent valour of a man-of-war's crew, a too one-sided exploit to bear frequent repetition. These are circumstances far less likely to be forgotten than the petty abstractions of a few lawless marauders. By the Bishop's advocacy of force, over the effect of time and the operation of remedial measures, he has committed himself to he knows not what. The increase of power to himself by any possible calamity to others—for men's passions are not always under control, and a vexatious persecution may induce resistance—can never be a happy memory; or can the chance sacrifice of one life in such a cause add to the honour of his episcopate. Hoping, however, for the best, we would merely observe, it is something more than religionism that must civilise the natives of Polynesia. They need an intercourse with foreigners that shall give birth to artificial wants, both humanising and raising them in the social scale. They may not be found worse traders from having set a catechist at nought, and from not hypocritically professing what they cannot understand. The Bishop may count his nominal disciples by thousands—they may be eulogised and petted at public meetings—and the yearly "Report" may absolutely burst with the number of its teeming disciples. But let any prospect of bettering their condition present itself—even with all the denials and hard-ships it entails—and your pattern converts will cast aside all their teaching by rote as easily and completely as they would throw aside their mat or blanket, showing how small a sense they entertain of mere religion unconnected with personal profit, and to what shallow depths it has penetrated their minds, either from total ignorance of the subject taught, or else from indifference and keen observation of the distinction between precept and practice among those who take it upon themselves to instruct.
We have recently had our attention directed to some strictures of Mr. Alexander Gordon on the common School System of America. We should not, perhaps, have taken the trouble to notice their unfairness and narrow tendency but from some remembrance of this gentleman's recent contest with Mr. Parkes about the latter's Education Bill. Apparently, the Public School System has survived the onslaught of Mr. Gordon's heaviest columns : so, page 70 raising the siege, he has gone across the Pacific, and fallen foul of the "Common School System of America" as a system promotive of crime, and of the violation of law. Hit high, hit low, there is no pleasing the learned barrister, when riding his own special educational hobby. There seems to be such a twist in some minds that they must measure every mortal thing by their own standard. The recent Elementary Education Act, drawn, as it undoubtedly is, from Prussian sources, is gravely censured, because, discarding everything in the shape of a Denominational Creed, such religious instruction only is given, as shall, from its general and therefore "colourless" nature, readily secure the sympathy of all, by running counter to the religious prejudices of none. And consistently with that scarcely deserved moderation that has constantly marked the Imperial Education Board, Denominationalism is allowed to work itself out, on the same principle that we would consign an old horse to a paddock, or refrain from shooting a toothless hound. As to the victory of the Denominationalist over the Secularist candidates in the election of the Boards, it need scarcely excite surprise, when we reflect what a staff there was no one side of trained teachers ready to act at a moment's notice, and adapt themselves to circumstances, while on the other side was an almost total inexperience of school routine, and of the ordinary exigencies of such a position. Of course, under such teachers as the former, "mere Bible reading" may be thought an impossibility, and religious confusion may be held in more esteem than the catholic and simple faith that is taught in few words and fewer doctrines. But when we begin to connect Denominational teaching with biblical explanation—to dwell on the varied interpretation of each sect, and the doctrinal peculiarities of each persuasion—when we reflect that all are vehemently insisted upon—while all cannot be true—we are lost in amazement at any one conceiving a bond of unity being wrought out of so dissimilar material. It appears to us as if our friend had an educational hobby, and would persist in riding it to death. Why should Mr. Gordon go out of his way to tell us that the schools of America exercise a corrupting influence, and that there has been an immense increase of crime over the whole surface of the United States since the introduction of the Common School System? The fair way, and one that would evince a far deeper acquaintance with the subject, would be to take the average of increased crime during a certain number of years, and then to compare it with the tables of a preceding period. We should then, perhaps, sec how small cause one religious system has, in this respect, to laud it over another—and how much that is laid to the charge of any one system, may with far greater justice be laid at the door of man's natural proneness to error, whether he be as civilised as a denominationalist, or with no more sense than a beast. Mr. Gordon's views, both on religion and education, are harsh and unconciliating. He is far too apt to carry the severity of the advocate into whatever he examines, forgetting to temper his remarks with that spirit which has the charm of engaging, and yet of not compromising. He must by this time have learned what small consideration is neted to those who will obstinately withstand the progress of the age they live in, and who fondly suppose that its impulses are to be checked by forms and fashions of thinking as obsolete as any old and musty statute. While maling all allowance for that natural repugnance to enter on a new groove of thought, and to forego even the teachings of so enlarged an experience as may page 71 be gathered within a four-walled chamber, and among associates with views and cast of thought similar to his own—still, he will either have to do this, to remove the mental furniture of a bygone period, and substitute other, more adapted to the age, or he must be henceforth content to incur the polite indifference of all who cannot, and will not, dwell on the maunderings of a dreamer, or on the pertinacity of one who will struggle on and do battle with the tide that is hurrying him and hundreds of others such as he, like motes, away with it.
A genius of discord, in the shape of the Rev. Fergus Ferguson, of Dalkeith, has recently thrown the apple among the fair United Presbytery of Edinburgh. The apple seems, in transitu, to have changed into a crab, since none of the learned Presbyters would have ought to do with it. The reverend culprit appears to have launched out to that degree in the "Church Court," that the very fathers of the Assembly were for a moment paralysed and knew not what to do. And indeed we are scarcely surprised at their hesitation. Milton's fallen angels discoursed of "predestination and free will," and "found no end in wondering mazes lost"—in fact, had their labour for their pains. But this young smatterer would be hand-and-glove with St. Peter, and is as glib about Christ preaching to the spirits in prison as though he had made friends with Cerberus and had the key of the Elysian fields. What his "presentation of the truth of Christ in the world to come to those who have not received the Gospel in this" can be, we are unable to make out. Such a tissue of nonsense throughout we have seldom encountered; seasoned, as it is, with the wondering and mysticism of the German school, with all the wit and cleverness left out. We hate coming across such balderdash. As to the young man's introducing among the Presbyterian ministry "speculations or opinions going beyond the line of Divine Revelation"—about this we can say little, being but slightly acquainted with the length of the Presbyterian tether. We are only surprised that such case-hardened doctors can be at all put out by such a Jack-a-Lantern, when he takes up his parable like a modern Ezekiel. We can fancy venerable Doctors getting on their legs, and urging the dangerous tendency of Mr. Ferguson's remarks about a future dispensation, from their weakening the motive to missionary exertion! All in confusion, and at their wits' end, they finally move the previous question in debate—in other words, they make it their business to let him alone, and let those tackle him who may have the hardihood to try it on. But, good Lord! if Mr. Ferguson must speak, let him speak sense, and not weary and mystify us with his rhodomontade. He may, for all we care, be as free as that chartered libertine the wind; but we cannot stand arrant nonsense. What between the unintelligible questions of the Presbytery, and their reported "ambiguity" by the delinquent, we can only arrive at the conclusion that all parties retired about as wise as they came. The sensitiveness of Mr. Dodds, the promoter of the charge, is not the least ridiculous feature in the affair. Himself and his shop door are somewhat in character. The laughter that seems to have attended the examination is fit accompaniment for so absurd an exhibition; and a solemn assemblage of aged and; learned men owes small thanks, we think, to this young and egotistical acolyte for placing them so unexpectedly in so undignified a position, propounding dark subjects that he page 72 cannot throw light on, and is yet too restless to leave alone. If he desire to flesh his young doctrinal sword, and come down like a shell upon the disunited Presbytery, let him deal with the dogmas ready to his hand, and open enough, goodness knows, to his critical thrusts. There is ample room and verge enough for any reforms he may suggest, or have pluck enough to carry, without further adding, by his silly conceits, to that already perplexed who of Presbyterianism that would demand, by this time, more than mortal wt to unravel.
The first number of a Periodical styled the Watchtower has just been forwarded to us from New Zealand, edited by the Rev. Mr. Elmslie, a Poesbyterian minister of Wanganui. We regret to say that we cannot sympathise with him in the general tone of his religious Magazine. Inferring his holding it no compliment to speak otherwise than we think, we confess our disappointment in this age of reason and of public institutes, at seeing what might become an organ of social advance and of religious enlightenment, sliding into the old worn-out groove of obsolete creeds and exploded matters of thought. Agreeing with him at once in the all-powerful agency of the Press, we differ from him toto coelo about the influence of the Pulpit. The benefits of the Press are sensible and obvious, while those of the Pulpit are at the best both recondite and inappreciable. And how again can the former be too highly estimated, or how can the latter escape indifference, when the wisdom of the one is a matter of daily gathering, and the sole profit of the other doubt and mental weariness. If, as the reverend gentleman observes, "the state of the Colony calls for the Bible's defence from the attacks of a swaggering liberalism," its champions had need have their weapons in order, and buckle on a well tried armour of proof; not venturing on its rescue with their pigmy arguments of straw, where there is a call for a very Goliath's sword. We wish the Editor of the Watchtower, once for all, to understand that we feel no interest whatever in that style of argument that grounds itself on a basis to be first proved sound. In a question of religious evidence a petitio principii has no weight with us. We can well content to incur all the onus of not seeing divine things through an evangelical lens. If "colonial indifference" to so-called "divine realities," and its imputed "flippancy and trifling" were the result of studied impiety, we should regret such a state of things as much as Mr. Elmslie. But convinced, as we are, that the fast increasing scepticism, and open unbelief in Scripture, may be laid at the door rather of those who rush with professional but indiscreet zeal headlong to defend it, than in the assaults of others who would be equally good with far less enforced belief—we can see no good in fettering the mind, and keeping it in the leading strings of a bygone epoch. Religious opinions are as opposite to one another as light is to darkness; and this being so, we can readily make allowance for the thousands who do not believe what Archbishop and Curate, what Moderator and the meanest Elder, squabble about equally. Respecting the "Phases of Infidelity," about which the Watchtower discourses so dolorously, we have seen and heard so much of this sort of thing before, that at this time of day we hardly feel interested in a study which is little more than secondhand. About the structure and literary arrangement of the new Journal we deliver no opinion. It will stand or fall by its own merits. The few remarks page 73 we have made are naturally drawn forth by the wide difference in our religious views, and are meant neither to trench on social politeness, nor to embrace more meaning than seems warranted by the occasion.
Our attention has been taken by a series of advertisements, or rather oracular intimations, emanating from the Rev. Dr. Wazir Beg, and announcing the delivery by this singular specimen of the Lord's Anointed of a set of lectures on Infidels and their various shortcomings. Dr. Beg, it seems, would have us conceive of an infidel as one who is wholly incapable of behaving himself as a politician, as a citizen, as a husband, as a father, in any decent capacity whatever in fact, and who, after living the wretchedest of lives, dies of necessity an agonising death of remorse, and is then sent to Old Bogie to be for ever pitchforked to and fro by his ministering demons. And in order that there might be no mistake as to who the infidel is, our unctuous Presbyterian priest is reported by one who heard the utterance to have prayed thus: "God, I thank thee, that my congregation does not contain a sceptic, or an unbeliever, or a scorner of thy revealed will, or a secularist, or one of that worst form of infidelity—a Unitarian." Dr. Beg probably remembers what happened when two men, on one occasion, "went into the temple to pray;" and, which of the two it was that, at the conclusion of their devotions was "justified rather than the other." No doubt Dr. Beg has often read this suggestive story for the edification of his congregation, but, besottedly indifferent to the lesson it inculcates, he has evidently yet to learn that he, and many such as he, will, at the final casting up of human accounts, be deemed unworthy to stand in the presence of myriads of brave and noble souls who, though deemed infidels (as Christ himself was) while in the flesh, will, as disembodied spirits, be found nestling in the bosom of the Father. Mince this grave matter with Dr. Wazir Beg and the like of him we certainly shall not. Utterly disgusted with the mawwormish, unchristian spirit he has on several occasions exhibited, and the sickening cant which invariably characterises his utterances, we should like him to understand that a strutting mass of clerical pomposity wrapped in an atmosphere of pharisaical super-sanctity is insufficient to make even a man, still less a Christian of the pattern of the Nazarene. Dr. Beg, lament as he may the progress of infidelity, is, we venture to say, personally responsible for no small portion of it. The authoress of Felix Holt was not far out when she hinted the existence of thousands who, as often as they wish to think of Jesus Christ, instinctively shut their eyes for fear they should see a parson!
Bell's Life in Sydney has had an unexpected, nay, a quite unprecedented, windfall in the recent religious prize-fight; and in the columns of that journal, discreditably enough to its editor, the loathesome particulars of this devilish transaction are to be found. For ourselves we touch it, and touch it only, with extreme reluctance. It would not over distress us to know that two bull-dogs in human shape, sashed, the one with orange and the other with green, had met by appointment, after the manner of professional pugilists, and, in the presence of a herd of fellow ruffians, battered, and maimed each other—but for our conviction that the disgusting occurrence forms a portion of the first-fruits of the forth-coming crop of sectarian hatred page 74 and intolerance, the seeds of which the members of the Protestant Political Association and of the various Orange Lodges have for some time past been pertinaciously occupied in sowing. The P. P. A. fraternity and the "Black Preceptory" gentry, will doubtless disavow their responsibility in the matter; but that they are responsible for the of late years rapid growth of a spirit which, infusing its venom into the minds of even young children, is visibly widening that gap between the two main sections of Christendom, and destroying that neighbourly respect and brotherly love which, whatsoever our religious beliefs, should underlie all our social relationships—no discerning person will doubt. May God forgive those who, daring to call themselves ministers of Christ, are demoniacally urging on this Protestant Crusade. Utterly unable to appreciate the trusts and inspirations which lie at the root of every religious creed, and as utterly incompetent to deal with the pressing and momentous problems of religious thought, these men, headed by the viperous crew of the Protestant Standard, have to earn what pay and what reputation they can by trading on the lowest passions of human nature. We are unwilling to include so respectable a man as Dr. Barry among such : and it is therefore to be regretted that his letter to the Mercantile Advertiser in defence of Orangeism, should, to some extent, identify him with an abominable sectarian rabies, having about as much religion in it as there is friendship in the grip of a python.