The sixteenth preacher from Victoria—The Rev. Mr. Hardy, of Kilmore—appeared in the pulpit of the First Church, on the forenoon of Sabbath, 17th May, 1874. He is a young man of middle stature, spare build, dark-brown hair, with whiskers and moustachios, and of a florid complexion. He read a portion of psalm 118, verse 24, beginning : "This is the clay God made," etc., which the congregation sang. Prayer was then offered up by the minister. His voice is somewhat squeaking, and his attitude comparatively sedate; albeit there is a tremulous waving of the head. After devotion, he rend Isaiah, 52nd chapter (the former half) with a running commentary thereon, by way of a flourish of trumpets, with outstretched hands and a shrieking voice. Again, he read the latter half of chapter I. of the first epistle to the Corinthians. Then, he read a portion of Psalm 25, beginning, "To thee I lift my soul," &c. Then we had another prayer—but not the usual parrot prayer. He has the genuine Puritanic devotional tone of voice. The rev. gentlemen selected his text from Romans, chap. 16 : "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." There is no text in Scripture so hackneyed as this. It is the stock-in-trade of all would-be imitators of Paul. It is no disparagement to Mr. Hardie, to say that nothing original was said on that topic. Originality here is impossible. However, the usual platitudes on the Roman Empire in its social, political, intellectual, moral and religious condition at that time, were commendably and laconically set forth. Paul's conduct under those circumstances was, of course, eulogised, and quotations from his writings freely indulged in. His obligations to Greek and Jew and Roman, were specified, and a parade of his sufferings in his missionary labors was set before the congregation, almost in his own words, and by way of an exordium. Then the sermon—properly so-called—was judiciously, if not learnedly, distributed under two orthodox heads.page 2
I. Paul's glorying in the Gospel of Christ. This Gospel is the ground of sinful man's justification, by faith before God. It was miraculously revealed to the great Apostle by the Saviour himself. Its fundamental principles, the redemption of the soul, the Divine substitution, the duty of Faith, and the inspiration of Hope, were amply set forth and proved by texts, embodying the salient events of the Gospel, from the Incarnation to the final ascension of the Redeemer of mankind; and also the consequent personal salvation of both soul and body, re-united and crowned with glory, honor, and immortality in the spotless Paradise of God. Unconsciously, he pointed cut how Paul would have been heartily ashamed of the hateful tenets of Antinomianism. By the way, there are two congregations in Dunedin strongly tinged with these odious tenets of grace superseding personal holiness. It is, as a dogma, as disparaging to Christ, as Arminianism, taught in Methodist and certain Presbyterian Churches, is derogatory from the omniscience of the Deity. Paul, too, would have been cordially ashamed of the moderatism of our Episcopal Churches, and also of that Church which travesties the memory and doctrines of the Scottish Reformer. So much for this digression.
II. We come now to Paul's Reasons for not being ashamed of the Gospel. It is the Power of God, divinely revealed to man for his soul's salvation. It is God's peculiar instrument for human regeneration. It is the omnipotent panacea for all ills. Paul prepared and seasoned the soil for the reception of this Divine seed. He broke up the fallow ground of the human heart. The Gospel is pre-eminently fitted for all classes—Jews and Gentiles. It exercises, like the sun in the firmament, its beneficent influences upon all shades of sinners. It is calculated to make them new creatures, fellow-citizens of the City of God—as Augustine phrases it. The preacher closed his excellent sermon with a rousing practical application to the consciences of his hearers. He energetically asked, "What is your attitude to this glorious Gospel? What is your personal relation to it? How do you look upon Him, whom your sins have nailed to the cross? Have you washed away your sins in this divine fountain? Are you ashamed of the Gospel? Do you set your affections on the things that are above?" The baseness of being ashamed of the Cross was depicted in rhetorical figures of speech, accompanied with appropriate bodily gestures. The hands were elevated aloft while the preacher importuned the people not to be ashamed of the glorious Gospel of Christ. A portion of the 30th psalm, beginning "Lord, I will thee extol," &c., was then read by the minister, and by the congregation. Then the preacher prayed fervently. Again, a portion of Paraphrase 54 was sung : "I'm not ashamed to own my Lord," &c. Finally, in the Whitfieldian attitude of uplifted hands, the minister pronounced the benediction.
The day was intensely cold. Many seats were empty. The preacher's shrieking voice died often away in an unintelligible monotone amid the echoes of the building. He is, however, a page 3 promising young man. Originally a cooper to trade, socially, but not financially, he raised himself to the ministry, and was assistant pastor to the Cowgate congregation, Edinburgh. Paul himself was a tent-maker, and in these colonies would have realised handsome wages—and even affluence at such a lucrative and thriving trade. A deafness in one of his ears prevents him from modulating his voice according to the capacity of the church. At present, he is located in the picturesque town of Kilmore—37 miles north of Melbourne, on the Sydney road. His present church is not so large as the hall in the rear of the First Church; but he has another little charge at Broadford, a few miles further forward on the Sydney road. Twelve years ago, we sojourned for three months in Kilmore. The town has not increased since that time; indeed, it has decreased. But yet there are, for a population of about 1200 souls, six churches, of which two are Presbyterian. But Kilmore is the ceutre of a splendid agricultural district, so that the farmers and their families worship in the town. There are, also, ten public houses. We believe the Rev. Mr. Hardie has received a call to one of the Presbyterian churches of Emerald Hill—one of the fourteen populous suburbs of Melbourne.
Presbyterianism flourishes well everywhere but in Otago—where, however, it ought to fill the land. There is ample room in Dunedin for other two large churches, with earnest and intelligent ministers. The First Church should take action, and apply to the Established Church of Scotland for a good pastor, and guarantee him £1000 a-year by way of stipend.
The seventeenth preacher from Victoria—the Rev. F. W. M. Wilson from Camperdown—delivered his inaugural sermon in the First Church, Dunedin, on Sabbath, 14th June, 1874. He is a tall, dark-haired, whiskered and moustachioed, and dignified looking man. He gracefully ascended the glorious pulpit, sat down a few moments, and then rose reverentially, and read the First Psalm: "That man hath perfect blessedness who walketh not astray in counsel of ungodly men," &c. Thereafter he read the 3rd chapter of Malachi, and also the 16th chapter of Matthew's Gospel—thus bringing the close of the Old Dispensation into juxtaposition with the beginning of the New.
In prayer he has a dignified and even judicial deportment. His articulation is clear, without being loud, and very intelligible. In devotion, his posture is erect and solemn, and sedate. The hands are firmly clasped over the Sacred Oracles, and there is no motion of the head. His attitude resembles that of the presiding Judge at the Titchborne trial. Each petition is weighty in expression and fraught with wisdom. His phraseology is exceedingly appropriate. After prayer the congregation sang a portion of Paraphrase 26, beginning thus—
Ho! ye that thirst, approach the spring,
where living waters flow; &c.
Again, he recited, with a beautiful introduction, the Lord's prayer. page 4 The rev. gentleman selected his text from Matthew's Gospel, chap, xvi., v. 26 : "For what is a man profited, if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" With a sermon on this text, the Rev. Dr. Begg opened the First Church. Like Dr. Begg, Mr Wilson sets the highest value upon the soul. The question propounded in the text is most important and practical. In the eyes of the world, it would appear that men place small value upon their souls. They throw it away, like the prodigal, on the pleasures and vanities of life. They prefer the temporal to the spiritual—the present to the future; God and religion are disregarded in their pursuit of wealth, fame, esteem, honour and pleasure. They look on religion as casting a gloom over life. They hope, however, to attend to its concerns at a future and convenient season, before death. But how differently God regards the soul, may be learned from the fact of his Eternal Son having left the throne of his glory, descended to this sinful world, and made atonement for the guilt incurred by the sinful sons of men. Compared to the value of the soul, the world is only as a mite floating in the sun-beam. The redemption of men is eternal proof of God's appreciation of the immortal soul. It is, therefore, possible for a man to lose his soul. This the sinner feels, and therefore, for his own peace's sake he studies to forget God, Judgment, and Eternity, or ignores the Gospel, or takes refuge in scepticism for a while—being immersed in the perishing things and pursuits of life. But let him do his best, still his efforts are unavailing; for he cannot shake off the fears of a guilty and awakened conscience. It is possible for a man to gain his soul; for it is already lost, by reason of the Fall. Our case is very different from that of Adam. He was created in a state of innocence, holiness and happiness. But we are plunged into a condition of sin, misery and infelicity. By Divine grace, however, we may be redeemed; there is hope of recovery, and Eternal life is freely offered to us in the Gospel. If we will not accept of the overtures of grace, we shall be finally, eternally, and irretrievably ruined.
This solemn truth was grandly illustrated by means of parables, anecdotes, and stories collected from the gibbet, the sinking and burning ship, the besieged city, the Pilgrim's Progress, from the history of Dives and Lazarus, and from Esau's conduct in relation to his birthright. The minister contracted the unseen with the seen world, and showed the folly of sacrificing the former for the evanescent pleasures, riches, positions, and fleeting honors of the latter. The deplorable and defenceless state of the worldling before the Great White Throne at the final Judgment was eloquently painted in graphic language. The world and all its treasures, when weighed in the balance of Heaven, are light as air compared with the salvation of the soul. The recollection of the vanities of life, so far from giving the condemned soul any sense of pleasure, will be gall and wormwood to it. Worldly wisdom and nobility avail not then. The gifts of the world and of Fortune will then be seen in their true colors. The preacher urged his hearers not to page 5 allow the world to come into competition with the salvation of their souls from sin, misery, and eternal death. It is a great delusion to invert the Order of Grace—aye, and of Nature, too to seek first this world, which is as unstable as "rainbow's lovely form, evanishing amid the storm." It is dangerous to postpone, even for a day, the business connected with the soul's salvation. It is foolish to postpone spiritual for worldly good. What begins in worldliness cannot end in heavenliness. Why not reform now? Future reformation will be far more difficult, even should life be prolonged. Hut can reformation blot out the past? Sin must be punished, justice must be executed upon the sinner. Oh! but "God is merciful!" Such a plea in the mouth of the wicked is very fallacious. It is fraught with false notions of God. All sinners are condemned already. They are in prison waiting the day of execution. God is only merciful to such as fear, love, and obey him, and approach him through the great Mediator. Out of Christ, he is a consuming fire. You refuse to repent now, and God will most justly despise your prayer for mercy when it is too late to seek it. Suppose you gained the whole world, and neglected the great concerns of eternity; what then? If the soul is lost, all is gone; therefore, if your possessions distract your thoughts from religion, sell them at once, and accept the terms of grace freely offered to you in the ever glorious Gospel.
At the close of his sermon, the preacher offered up a grand prayer, and then read another portion of the 26th Paraphrase, which was sung by the great congregation,—
Seek ye the Lord, while yet His ear
Is open to your call;
While offered mercy still is near,
Before His footstool fall.
Let sinners quit their evil ways.
Their evil thoughts forego;
And God, when they to Him return,
Returning grace will show," &c.
After this sacred service of praise, the preacher made sundry congregational announcements, and finally pronounced the benediction.
As Admiral Duncan, on June 11, 1797, when he first came in sight of the Dutch fleet off Camperdown, gallantly and bravely bore down upon them, and totally defeated, the enemies of his country, and was accordingly elevated to the peerage with the title of Viscount Duncan of Camperdown, and rewarded with an annual pension of £3000 by the Parliament of England : even so, on the 11th of June, 1874, when the minister of Camperdown first surveyed the Dunedin congregation from his lofty pedestal, he eloquently directed a steady shower of Gospel fire at the heads of the subjects of Mammon, and the apostate rebels of the King of Heaven. Accordingly, let the congregation elevate the minister of Camperdown to the pulpit of the First Church, and bestow upon him an annual stipend of £1000. Verily, they cannot do better for their own spiritual interests, and for the salvation of their souls from the all-devouring jaws of materialism and death.
I. The public meetings, held in Dunedin, for the ventilation of opinions respecting the water question, have not been altogether barren of results. Both the quasi-Rector of the High School, and the quasi-Professor of the so-called University, by their idiotic utterances and undignified gestures, gave emphatic demonstration of the truth of every word which I had written concerning them.
II. On the evening of the 4th of May, 1874, the Otago Night School opened its winter session. The Hall was not half filled. Dr. Donald McNaughton Stuart introduced, in a few rambling words, Captain Hutton, the newly-appointed professor of Geology and Zoology, who gave a rambling and idiotic address, like a schoolboy. Behind the lecturer, there were about nine local mountebanks, representing every phase of faith,—spiritualism, materialism, and nihilism. On the left-hand of the platform, there was a fair proportion of the members of the Provincial Council. On the right-hand were seated a group of clerical invalids of the Otago Hospital. Immediately in front of the stage, sat a coterie of women, anxiously trying to look scientific. In the body of the Hall was scattered a motley collection of the general public. Cart loads of chairs had been procured for the occasion, but not many were occupied, while the forms presented a dreary picture of desolation. The night was cold and damp, and the atmosphere of the Hall was still more so. Captain Hutton is a spectacled and motionless man and a drawling reader. His address was a piece of patchwork from books on science. There is not an original notion in his head. His MSS.—consisting of printed slips of the next morning's 'Times'—he held in his hands and before his weasel eyes, like a child holding an alphabetical chart. He is a barbarous pronunciator—nearly as bad as the quasi-vice-chancellor. He labored hard to impress on his audience that he was sound in the faith. Another Quasi-Professor served as a beacon of warning to keep him off the materialistic rock. During the reading of his reviews, I was nearly frost-bitten. Altogether, the proceedings presented a most ludicrous burlesque on education, and a most contemptible caricature of a university.
III. Otago's revenue for the year ending March 31, 1874, was £451,425, and the expenditure was £376,007. Besides, Otago contributed towards the General Government the sum of £436,147—of which £55,580 have been refunded to the Province. We have a fine revenue, but it is frittered away on worthless officialism which, owing to our complicated system of Government, covers the land, like Egpytian locusts, lice, frogs and caterpillars.
In Otago, besides private schools, there are about 140 State institutions, in which about 220 teachers of both sexes instruct 11,000 children. While we sell land to the extent of about 260,000 acres annually, and lease about 30,000 acres, and receive large revenues from the pastoral tenants of the Crown, we can afford to lavish annually large sums—between L30,000 and L40,000— page 7 upon education of a very spurious character; but the day of taxation is looming in the horizon, and then economy of expenditure and efficiency in tuition will be demanded by the taxpaying public. As a community, we have done next to nothing towards the promotion of education—all our blatant boasting notwithstanding. To examine annually these alphabetical schools, we keep up two peripatetic inspectors.
V. Professor Pillans opened the Humanity Class in the Edinburgh University with a prayer for the whole session. A member of the Otago Council "wanted prayers to be read only at the beginning of the session." The Otago member probably never heard of the "paltry Pillans of Lord Byron "—the "Pillans who traduced his friend." Pillans, also, in his inaugural address, always impressed upon his class the Apostolic precepts: "Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath," &c. It would be well if flippant and ignorant quacks would "lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save their souls." We want "doers, and not hearers of the word;" and praters all wise men will studiously eschew.
VI. On the 30th April, 1874, quasi-Professor McGregor delivered an ebullition in his usual style before the Knox Church Young Men's Christian Association. The attendance was very meagre. The pastor eulogised the lecturer, who, to our thinking, showed a strongly Materialistic bias. To his inaugural lecture in 1871 we took violent exception, and gave much offence to the Pharisees, who "were offended." But let the lecturer speak for himself : "At the age of 40, a man's brain is a stereotype of his past life, and it is then a difficult matter to leave on it the impression of a new idea. Men's brains seldom grow after they reach, the age of 40. The cells in the brain grow and increase in number until they reach 40, when the growth stops." Combined with the inherent laziness of our nature, we allow our minds—if minds we have—"to grow as a vegetable does." Hence, "at 40, a man's brain is stereotyped," and he can have no new ideas! The lecture would appear to be a formal apology for "the young men of the present day, who find so little sympathy in their yearning after truth," in grave-yards, seance-chambers, and the coarse sties of Materialism. McGregor's lecture is not worthy of much serious notice; for the whole successive history of the Human Mind, from Heraclitus to Professor Blackie, Carlyle, and Emerson, gives the lie to his stupid reveries. Life is short, art long, opportunity fleeting, experiment slippery, judgment difficult, according to Hippocrates. According to Aristotle, the Mind does not reach its prime vigor till 49. Herodotus did not begin to write his great history until he was seventy years of age. Isocrates wrote his grand remonstrance at the age of 100, and after the fall of Greece on the fatal field of Chæsronea, he in grief committed suicide. How vigorous at 90 was Brougham! and Brewster the day before his death was in his study. But why multiply cases: for some men's brains are stereotyped from the womb. The page 8 cells of their brains expand only like mushrooms; they have no sculs capable of development; their intellect is simply a keen sense of appetite; their mind is lodged in the pit of their stomach. To such men, Metaphysics and Morals are meaningless sounds. The soul of man, we hold, is perpetually growing, expanding and renewing its youth, like a strong eagle that loves to soar higher and nearer to Empyrean spheres, where for ever dwell the Platonic ideas of the Good, the True, and the Beautiful.
VII. In the course of my speech, at the public meeting of the citizens of Dunedin, on the question of deepening the Harbour, I accidentally taunted some of the promoters of that work with the glaring inconsistency of calling on the Provincial Council to borrow large sums of money, while they themselves had neglected to pay their creditors. The remark operated like a shell cast into the assembly. Disorder and confusion compelled me to sit down. "Do you not see," said the chairman, "you have offended these men?" Precisely so. As Professor Blackie well writes on Moral Culture,—"There is no more offensive thing than truth, when it runs counter to certain great social interests, associations and passions. Moral courage is unquestionably, if the most manly, certainly the rarest of the social virtues." As of old, so to-day, men will come up to a fearless reformer and censor, and say, like the timid Disciples, "Master! knowest thou not that the Pharisees were offended?"
VIII. During my speech at the official declaration of the state of the Poll, I gave much offence to certain Jews because I spoke sarcastically of Vogel's loans from the Cockney usurers. Three Israelites next day assured me that they would do all in their power against me whenever I presented myself before the public. I replied that they were descendants of men who opposed, even to death, a better man than myself. "O yes! such another fellow as yourself," was the prompt rejoinder. Among Jews, Christians, Turks, and Gentiles generally, it is needless to say, there are good as well as bad specimens of humanity. No man of reflection and education can despise the Jewish, any more than the Scottish Nation. Were I to make a voyage to the extreme ends of the Globe, I should find both a Jew and a Scot bestriding the Poles.
IX. Can anything be more despicable than what is ludicrously called a Provincial Political Crisis I Our Council met on the 29th April, when the Executive resigned, and on the 7th May, a new team of bullocks had been fitted for the yoke. What an illiterate parcel of creatures they are! Yet there is something commendable in their composition. A pioneer bullock-driver takes the lead. A spiritualist is always ready to give supernatural information as to the character of results. A storekeeper regulates the books. A shepherd will give advice as to the price-currents of mutton and wool. And a watchmaker is ever ready to regulate the political chronometer. But, the whole affair is beneath a wise man's serious notice or animadversion.
X. When Andrew Mercer retires from the Mayoral chair of page 9 Dunedin, he should inscribe, in golden letters, over his door, this inscription,—"Nihil quod tetigit non ornavit." As a public speaker or a chairman of a meeting, be had few equals, and certainly no superiors. He is racy of the soil.
XI. Ex-Mayor Fish has been angling for two offices, and in the desire to secure one, he has lost both. He should recede to the shade, and engrave over his shop a gilded inscription to this effect:—"Trust not in princes nor man's son, in whom there is no stay."
XII. The old First Church is now turned into a clothes and boot factory. To what base uses may not the noblest things be transformed in these mercantile communities?
XIII. If, said a West Tareri gentleman, who drives his carriage and pair, side by side with his pastor, "if we could only worry away our minister, we would all gladly and unanimously call Mr Johnstone of Caversham. He preached in our church, and our minister hung down his head for very shame during the service. Contrary to use and wont, he could not pluck up the courage to say something at the close." Johnstone—like Forsaith—is not eligible for a call in a Presbyterian church.
XIV. Who edits the 'Otago Daily Times?' Nobody. The New Zealand editors—as frequently we have written in the pages of the Saturday Review—are men clothed in ignorance as with a garment. To have a few shares in a newspaper company; to have a cigar in one's mouth and a staff in the hand; to be a member of a free and easy club of creatures who glory in denying their religion, desecrating the Sabbath, and holding up to scorn all that is true, honest, just, virtuous, lovely and reputable, these are pre-eminently the qualifications of a so-called leading journal in this degraded colony. As for so-called leaders, they emanate from the teeming maggots that float in the brains of out-side penny-a-liners who wish to earn a guinea, and gratify a personal spleen.
XV. The Timaru Herald is naturally indignant at the idea of "emptying the Reformatories and Workhouses of the United Kingdom into our emigrant ships." We have, however, one consolation in the reflection that, however bad may be the quality of our immigrants, they cannot possibly be more worthless than the men who are instrumental in importing them to our virgin shores.
XVI. Taieri boor and the Shetland pony have, at last, succeeded in making both a political, if not a grammatical conjunction—a conjunction of a very queer description indeed.
XVII. The 'Otago Daily Times' has erased Vogel's motto. It should now get an engraving of the following emblematical device, to wit—a weathercock. This is the emblem of its politics and general creed.
XVIII. Auckland is obtaining an unenviable notoriety for its periodical conflagrations. Indeed, almost all the fires that burst out in these provinces are the works of incendiarism. What diabolical dispositions must those men have who destroy the earth's page 10 precious fruits when safely gathered into the farm-yard and granaries!
XIX. Divine Providence always employs the vilest instruments to scourge the wicked. The New Zealand reptiles are being fattened for the worms on borrowed capital, negotiated by a lineal descendant of the impenitent thief on the Cross.
XX. In 1865-6, I tried, in my place, in the Otago Council, to bring thieves and rogues to justice. Hence Dunedin refused to re-elect me.
XXI. Sydney Smith said that Great Britain is "the only country in which poverty is a crime." Had he lived in these degraded Colonies what would he have said? Colonial communities seem to be totally ignorant of what Professor Blackie calls "the fundamental principle of all moral philosophy, that the real dignity of a man lies not in what he has but in what he is. The Kingdom of Heaven is within you—not without." Dunedin, for example, is so far given over to the worship of Mammon, that it hath ostracised altogether Moral Philosophy; and the Church of' Otago endows the public teaching of the coarsest forms of Materialism. As Professor Blackie says—"Laws of Nature, invariable sequence, natural selection, favourable conditions, happy combination of external circumstances," why, such expressions are simply reasonless phrases, which can never suffice "to explain the frame of the universe apart from mind." Morals divorced from Religion are simply abnormal and monstrous materialism. As Blackie nobly says, "The fountain of all the nobler morality is moral inspiration from within; and the feeder of this fountain is God. Atheists are crotchet-mongers, and puzzle-brains; fellows who spin silken ropes in which to strangle themselves; and who can fasten their coarse feelers upon nothing but what they can finger and classify, and tabulate, and dissect." What a portrait of the Materialism of the Otago Night School! But, continues Blackie, "there is something that stands above all fingering, all microscopes, and all curious diagnosis, and that is simply Life; and life is simply energising Reason, and energising Reason is only another name for God." Professor Blackie reasons as a disciple of Plato and Aristotle. Our Otago professional pensioners shriek out the coarse utterances of Bentham, Bain, and such like materialists. In Dunedin particularly, how needful is Blackie's caution to young men to "beware of being infected by the moral contagion which more or less taints the atmosphere of every rich trading and manufacturing community,—the contagion which breeds a habit of estimating the value of men by the external apparatus of life rather than by its internal nobility."
XXII. I have spent many thousands of pounds in the dissemination of knowledge in New Zealand. Mammon-worshippers doubtless esteem me as a fool. But Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Paul and a host of others testify, or as Professor Blackie says, "all agree in stating with serious emphasis, that money-making is not an ennobling occupation, and that he who values money most values himself least. There are few things in social life more contemptible than a page 11 rich man who stands upon his riches." And what else can the so-called men of social position stand upon? They are simply dwarfs "perched upon a lofty platform, looking over the heads of the multitudes, but, take the creatures down from their artificial elevation, and look them fairly in the face, and soon you will find that they are figures too insignificant to measure swords with." Away, therefore, with those who eternally bore me with their sage advices to this effect, "If you had feeling, and did not hit so hard, or write so forcibly, &c., you might be the highest man in New Zealand" and such like ghostly admonitions. Such men want me to be a hypocrite. Nay, verily I will, with the grace and help of God, "stand strictly on my moral and intellectual excellence, and I will stand in the long run, where the true value of things comes out. There is not a millionaire in the land who can boast himself my superior."
XXIII. Ten years ago, in an obituary notice of Thackeray, in the Saturday Review, I held up to scorn his miserable caricatures of humanity, and was roundly brought to task on that account by several journals, notably the Melbourne Argus. Feeling confident in my position I did not reply. In his book on Self Culture, just published, the Professor of Greek in the Edinburgh University writes of Thackeray thus, "for myself, I honestly confess, that I never could learn anything from Thackeray; there is a certain feeble amiability even about his best characters, which, if it is free from the depressing influence of his bad ones, is certainly anything but bracing." Both Thackeray and Dickens are now no more; their works, like their bones, will rot away in inglorious oblivion. The river of Lethe will roll its oblivious waves over their worthless memories.
XXIV. At a trial for libel, an Otago lawyer is reported to have said that, whatever the Bench might do, he, "at all events, would assert the independence, decorum, and dignity of the Bar." This is a labor, we fear, more hopeless than that of the daughters of Danaaus. To maintain the dignity of a Colonial Bar, is as vain an undertaking as to milk a he-goat in a sieve. As the English sage well writes : "Nothing can make that great which the decree of Nature hath ordained to be little." Why did not the judge commit to custody such a flippant contemner of the Bench?
XXV. What a great number of lame people strut about the streets of Dunedin on crutches. Plenty of scope here for a Syrian Thaumaturgus!
XXVI. Colonists ought to feel ashamed to look a sheep or an ox in the face. They eat so much animal food that their features assume a brutish hue. In Otago, with its 80,000 souls, we have 3,300,000 sheep.
XXVII. According to official statistics, the passengers, for the past financial year, ending March 31, 1874, by the Dunedin and Port Chalmers Railway numbered 84,746, and the receipts amounted to L7,992. 8,988 persons paid L1,123 for Sunday excursions. The total amount realised for goods, passengers, and rent of refreshment rooms was L21,553. The profit realised amounted to L7,929. The Press—even the 'Tablet included—sneers at Sunday trains. page 12 According to the 'Tablet,' Presbyterians converse and associate with Catholics, and 'evil communications corrupt good manners.' A low state of morals among Presbyterians but too surely implies a low state of morals among Catholics, too." Will Sunday excursions improve the tone of public morals? Are not the Sabbath and the pulpit the bulwarks of morality? It is all very well to speak about the baneful effects of the Reformation as a "foul revolt." But Luther—who translated the Bible in his lonely citadel—laid the foundation, not only of German, but of even European greatness. It may be that Archbishop Manning's "Lutheran heresy has developed into simple rationalism in the educated, and into materialism among the millions of the people." Nevertheless, the Reformation gave an immense impulse to human reason in the divine progress of mental illumination. It enabled the soul to rise from the thraldom of spiritual slavery, and to emerge from the Cimmerian darkness of ignorance, bigotry and misery.
XXVIII. Dr. Beke has discovered the real Mount Sinai, and also, on its summit, the remains of sacrificed animals, and on its slopes some Sinaitic inscriptions. Language cannot express our contempt for such buffooneries and superstitious impositions. Away with your lies!
XXIX. The United Kingdom, with its 31,000,000 souls, boasts of 1585 newspapers. Of these, London owns 314; Provinces, 915; Wales, 58; Scotland, 149; Ireland, 131; British Isles, 18. In England there are 95 dailies, in Wales, 2, in Scotland, 14, in Ireland, 17, in the British Isles, 2. The number of Magazines and Reviews is 639, of which 242 are decidedly religious. New Zealand, with its 300,000 souls, has about 100 newspapers—or rather private .journals of illiterate and worthless proprietors. They talk about freedom of the Press—whenever their pockets are concerned—but there really is no paper in this colony that dares to utter a word of truth, if it runs counter to the political crotchets and the interests, of the coterie it servilely adulates for bread and butter. Freedom of the Press! a fool's word in the degraded colony of New Zealand. Here the soul of man is fast ensconced in the capacious pit of his stomach.
XXX. David Chadwick, the M.P. for Macclesfield, is building a free library, at a cost of £5000 for the town he represents. He, also, puts 10,000 volumes on its shelves. Mr Greenall, member for Warrington has given £1000 towards building a new hospital and dispensary. In four years, the golden city of Dunedin cannot raise £600 for a Scott Scholarship to perpetuate the memory of Scott" in the Otago Night School. Besides, the blatant followers of the New Zealand Gorilla have not yet raised their boasted £500 for a memorial to the meanest—but most representative man of the colony.
XXXI. The Daily Times—like the vane of a steeple veering with the varying wind—treats its readers with a contemptible portrait of the Colonial Gorilla. Like draws to like. Both the editor and his idol were once representatives of Waikouaiti, and hobbled about page 13 Dunedin like a Damon and Pythias, a Pylades and Orestes, or a David and Jonathan of an unspeakably lower type of humanity.
XXXII. According to the Inverness 'Courier,' Glenurquhart, starting off from Loch Ness, in its profusion of wood, and rock, and water, and its mild western climate, is the Tempe of Scotland. This lovely parish is the patrimony of the heir apparent to the earldom of Seafield. By the way, Lord Macduff has been elected, in preference to the Hon. James Grant, of Grant, as member for Nairn and Moray. Macduff Was hooted and hissed at Gran town, for his audacity to seek the suffrages of the Strathspey tenantry of the family of Grant. Time was, when none but a Grant could show face on such a mission in the picturesque regions of Castle Grant. Albeit the tenants feared to support Macduff, yet as his lordship "drove in his carriage and four horses, ridden by postillions in scarlet jackets," through Grantown, he was loudly cheered. Strathspey is a stronghold of Toryism, an I, on the whole, it is better than mock liberalism. If Gladstone has gained the support of the member for Nairn and Moray, he has lost the patronage of Perthshire; for Sir William Stirling Maxwell—a host in himself, a scholar and an aristocrat—has been re-elected. Poor old Roebuck has been re-elected for Sheffield. He has been banquetted in the Cutler's Hall. He, too, will be a bitter thorn in Gladstone's side. But—as Carlyle says—Gladstone is a hagsman, and Disraeli a contemptible pedlar. And, between the two, Old England is losing her time-honored prestige among the European nations. England wants another Milton and another Cromwell to put her right.
XXXIII. According to the Inverness 'Courier,' in the year ended the 31st of March, 1874, there were 14 detections of illicit distillation in England, 10 in Scotland, and 1,033 in Ireland. Why may rut a farmer extract spirit from his grain? We should make free trade in spirits, and then there would be an end to intoxication. Revenue derived from licenses is spent in the prosecution and punishment of crime that follows in the train of drunkenness. Abolish licensed pot-houses and distilleries, and let every man manufacture or sell the water of life as pleases. Pure mountain dew is a real boon to humanity. Like Homer's Nepenthe, it soothes all our cares and banishes all our woes. Templars and teetotallers we heartily abominate. A drunken man, lying in the gutter, is a more powerful temperance lecturer than a Gough or a Jago. When will the children of men return to common sense?
XXXIV. Carlyle often says that England is going to wind and tongue. Well, the sage is right: for there are 2148 male, and 255 female authors, editors, journalists or writers. In this idiotic century, literature is diffused : in the seventeenth century it was terribly concentrated, and therefore it was original, powerful, and learned.
XXXV. So, Shirley Brooks, the editor of 'Punch' is dead; Its last editor, Mark Lemon, died in 1870. The editors of this Idiotic Journal of buffoonery had, according to the 'Inverness Courier,' page 14 "but a brief meteor-like public existence. Only one of the number—the late Mark Lemon—has yet attained the age of sixty. Albert Smith, Gilbert à Becket, Douglas Jerrold, Thackeray, Leech and Brooks, have all sunk down without reaching three score years." We read that the wicked shall not live half their days. Such coarse caricaturists of Humanity would have been treated with contempt in Ancient Athens, while in old Rome, they could not have been tolerated by the grave and austere senate. Thanks be unto God, there is no such thing as a 'Punch' in good old Caledonia. Human nature is too sacred to be burlesqued by buffoons.
XXXVI. Greg's Creed of Christendom is a formidable but pedantic book. His pre-conceived thesis—according to Professor Newman—is "the miraculous perfection of One most imperfectly known to us, of whom we have only miserably garbled accounts, reaching over a very short period of time. Unitarians desire a purified Gospel. Why, then, is not such a thing published? Nearly every sentence has to be either cut out or re-written." Precisely so. There is the Gospel, either accept or reject it: for to modify it to square with your notions is to surrender the citadel of Faith to the enemy, as Greg did to Newman, and as Pillans of Sydney did to Grant of Dunedin.
XXXVII. Professor Blackie has been lecturing on Classics before the Edinburgh School of Arts. He spoke contemptuously of "the narrowness and exclusiveness of the champions of Physical Science. He knew no more narrow minded people than the fellows who were working with knives and scalpels. They had all a tendency to believe only what they could finger and see with the eye, which was called Materialism—a tendency to despise life, colour, imagination, philosophy and religion."
XXXVIII. In my book on Classical Education, I stated that no branch of knowledge could be intelligently studied without an acquaintance with the classics. Blackie has arrived at precisely the same conclusion, after a long life of professional devotion to the Greek and Latin tongues. "Nine-tenths of French, Spanish, and Italian, and one-half of the English were only Latin under a slight disguise; and a thorough drill in Latin, besides its mere value as a drill, stood in the same relation to English and those other languages which I have mentioned, as a thorough course of Anatomy did to Physiology and Medicine—it gave a solid, bony framework to all linguistic study. Nineteen twentieths of the technical terminology of the Physical Sciences were mere Greek and Latin, and nothing more powerfully assisted the memory and gave a more marked distinctness to great ideas than an accurately understood phraseology." Such ideas cannot be appreciated in these Colonies for a century at least. Colonists have no great ideas. Their thoughts are always fastened on what they shall eat, drink, and wherewithal they shall be clothed. They are Epicureans, minus its ancient delicacy of taste, and refinement and culture. Classics are pre-eminently calculated to inspire a taste for literature: but then, as Blackie well said, they must be "taught by really accomplished page 15 men and not by merely hired grammarians," and idiotic materialists, such as pollute the mind, in embryo, in these outlandish Provinces of New Zealand, and Colonies of Australia. An ignorant teacher is a moral nuisance.
XXXIX. The Wapping Pork Butcher, the would-be English baronet, the companion for six years of "members of Parliament, the chosen of fashionable clubs, the idol of the populace," the blackest impostor of modern times, has now at last found suitable quarters—"He is now iu his right place, the occupant of a cell in Newgate—a convict branded with every mark of infamy, and consigned to a felon's cell." This extraordinary trial, the gain and disgrace of the English bar, has cost altogether about £200,000. The execration of mankind follows him to his lonely and accursed cell. He has been convicted of "crimes as black and foul as Justice ever raised her hand to strike," to use the words of his own Counsel. Only fanatics and fools can feel for such an abandoned brute.
XL. The right thing at last! Death on Normal Schools : for they are scholastic nuisances. A chair of education is to be founded in the University of Edinburgh. The other Universities will follow suit, and we shall have properly trained students, such as always were selected in the counties of Aberdeen, Banff, and Moray—the best educated shires of Great Britain. "This chair," says the 'Inverness Courier,' "is the first recognition by a University in the British dominions, and in English speaking lands, of the wisdom and necessity of educating our teachers professionally within college walls, amidst the influences of culture, learning, and University prestige, already enjoyed by other professions." Away, therefore, for ever with the coarse grained dominies of Normal Schools. They are beneath contempt.
XLI. Threw millions of souls in India are starving. At Durbungob, 15,000 persons are employee' on the relief works at the semi-starvation wages of three half-pence daily." Glasgow has subscribed L5,000, and London L50,000 for the sufferers. "Three half-pence daily," for a working man! Think of that, ye men of Otago, who get from 8s. to 20s. per day. But your turn is drawing nigh. The day is coming when you will call, and call in vain, on the man, whom you have ungratefully insulted, for aid in the time of trial and privation. Ingratitude is a sin of the blackest dye. Neither God nor man can forgive it. Men who enjoy the privileges of the eight hours' system of labor, and for whom I spent years of labor in advocating their rights and in procuring them labor, vote against me at elections, and pass and repass me and never invest a shilling in any of my Books! However, let that pass.
XLII. Dr. Niel Arnott has died in London at the age of 86. He was an eminent man of science, and inventor of the Arnott Stove, &c. To each of the Scottish Universities he bequeathed L1,000 to encourage the study of science; and L2,000 to the London University. He was a native of Arbroath, and author of the Elements of Physics, &c. His brain did not become stereotyped at 40. Neither page 16 was the brain of Mrs. Somerville stereotyped at 40, nor even at 92 : for in 1872 she was "able to read books in the higher algebra for four or five hours in the morning, and even to solve problems." She also, according to her autobiographical confessions, "enjoyed reading about all the new discoveries and theories in the scientific world, and in all branches of science" But there are creatures pensioned in Otago whose brains never expanded to the conception of one living idea, and whose souls never get out of the sleep of Materialism. They have copious stomachs, but minds Nature stingily denied them. Their brains are a stagnant pool, covered over with loathsome maggots.
XLIII. According to the 'Inverness Courier' of March 5, during February, "no less than 95 Englishmen arrived at Caprera to pay their respects to Garibaldi, who is in poor health. Garibaldi is honorary citizen of 90 towns, villages and districts, and honorary president of 120 societies; he has twenty-one swords of honour, eleven of which have been sent him from abroad, and since 1871 he has received upwards of 5000 addresses of sympathy from various quarters. The Island of Caprera brings in to the General a net income of about 3000 lire. There are 25 lire to the pound sterling. Universal Fame with otium cum dignitate, on an income of £120. This is less than the wages of a Colonial mechanic. But great men despise money, and the worshippers of mammon. Like the brave Apostle, having food and raiment and lodging they are satisfied. In all circumstances in which they are placed by Providence, they are contented. But there is a very dark side to this picture. The illustrious Kossuth, according to a German Newspaper, is living in Turin, "where he supports himself by giving lessons in German, English, and Hungarian, earning less than Fifty Pounds a-year." As the 'Inverness Courier' says : "he is very old, his hair entirely white, his cheeks wan and hollow, and his eyes utterly dimmed. His wife and children are dead, and he is left alone in his old age." According to the German newspaper above specified, "Against the rear wall stood a narrow, plain bed. On the walls hung portraits of Mazzini and Louis Napoleon. On the book-shelf I noticed Hugo's Armée Terrible, Kinglake's Crimea, and ten or twelve well-worn grammars. On a table, close to the bed, lay a loaf of bread and a plate of dried meat." Flippant sciolists deny the depravity—the total depravity of man; but reflective minds are constrained to accept the Calvinistic theory as alone sufficient to account for the social anomalies of this world. The history of great men is a lamentable demonstration of the utter worthlessness of the great mass of mankind. Socrates was poisoned and Jesus crucified, and every great man has had to drink to the dregs the cup of affliction, and to eat the bread of sorrow and of suffering. As Emerson says—"When the gods come among men they are not known."
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