4 FEBRUARY 1865, Page 19


THE Magazines are interesting this month. Each of the four older magazines to which we usually confine our review, simply because they are representatives of the whole, and attract the best papers—novels excluded—as by natural gravitation, contains one article of immediate and pressing interest. Macmillan publialses Professor Goldwin Smith's estimate of Mr. Lincoln ; Fraser, Dean Stanley's idea of the theology of the day; Blackwood, A biography of Mr. Gladstone ; and the Cornhill, a curious com- parison 1 etween Augustus Ca3sar and Louis Napoleon, which has apparently suggested itself to the Emperor of the French. Each has a good story, Mr. Wilkie Collins's advancing in the Cornhill, Mrs. Oliphant commencing in Blackwood a new chapter in the " Carlingford Chronicles," quite original and very clever, the same authoress in Macmillan bringing "A Son of the Soil" in eight of his goal, and Fraser giving a novel -written before Abraham lived upon a papyrus, which is nearly as much trouble to unroll as to translate, and which is rendered- into English by Mr. C. W. Goodwin, M.A., whom we should like to see in print a good deal oftener. Each, too, has some padding of merit, not that all is meritorious, for the editor of Fraser will persist in putting in poetry which would disgrace a tenth-rate provincial newspaper,— can it be Mr. Froude who read the proofs of the insufferable trash called " Threads ?"--and .Blackwood has a really bad article on " Demonology," intended to prove first that spiritualism is con- juring, and secondly, that it is Satanic, as if Houdin and the Devil were indivisible; Macmillan will go on with those sketches of " Dead Men whom I Have Known," which interest somebody perchance, but are to us intolerable ; and the Cornhill has three papers of the class which should be left to penny journals pub- lished to inform the masses. We shall confine our notice to the papers which really •add something to current literature, and are of themselves worth the price of the magazine.

Dr. Stanley's paper on the theology of the nineteenth century is by no means one of his most successful efforts. Thoughtful of course, and well written of course, it lacks the originality and decision we expect from the Dean of Westminster. His main object apparently is to show first that there is a "theology of the nineteenth century,"—which, considering that less than a fifth of mankind is. Christian, is without explanatory adjectives almost a paradox ; secondly, that the newest system of Chris- tian doctine is also one of the oldest ; and thirdly, that it has a definite and intelligible position in relation to the Bible philosophy and generally accepted Christian dogma. These objects, always reserving the fact that theology so called is not world-wide, but only Europe-wide, are well carried out, and the third one is illustrated by remarks to which the intellectual position of Dean Stanley lends un- usual interest. He argues in a popular, but not for that a less con- vincing way, that the true theory of Scriptural exegesis is pene- trating all society, that Dr. Pusey's "Prefaces to the Minor Pro- phets " is full of the spirit of the nineteenth century, that " if Grote is better than Goldsmith, if Merivale is better than Crevier, if Rawlinson is better than B.ollin, then, in everything which concerns the facts of history, Ewald and Milman must be better even than Bossuet or Prideaux, and the forthcoming commentary of the Bible under Archbishop Thomson and Canon. Cook must be, and will be, better than the last authorized commentary under Bishop Mant and Dr. D'Oyley." That is precisely the truth as -to exegesis which this journal is trying to drive into the un- willing ears of the people who admire the Record, and think it possible that Dr. Baylee of St. Aidan's should be a learned man. He also holds that the new theology has immensely increased the importance attached to the moral and spiritual aspect of religion, that under its influence the value of internal evidence has come to be recognized in theory as well as practice, and " if it be said that it attaches less importance altogether to belief than to practice, to the outward expression of belief than to its inward spirit, this is true, and belongs to that most exalted aspect of it of which I have just spoken, and which stamps it.with a likeness, however humble and imperfect, to the Prophetic spirit of the Old Testament and the Evangelical teaching of the New. The op- posite view, namely, of the superior importance of intellectual belief to moral practice, may still linger here and there, but in a very hesitating form." We need not say how cordially we agree with that, or how earnestly we hold with the writer that the true motto of the Broad Church is "Nihil verum a me alienum puto," but still,Dean Stanley's function on earth is that of leader, and he may leave to inferior, hands the task of .popularizing the new theology.

Mr. Goldwin Smith has taken great pains to produce

a clear, life-like impression of President Lincoln, and on the whole, we think he has been successful, though he does not allow quite sufficiently for the peasant element, the shrewd- ness unwidened by culture, so apparent in his character. He says Mr. Lincoln was the companion of Western farmers, and that " Western farmers, though inferior in polish, are probably not inferior in knowledge to English squires." That is true, indeed, in some counties less than the truth, but the remark leaves out of sight the inconceivable influence of tradition. Educate a labourer in a national school, and you may very easily bring him up to the squire's level of knowledge, but he is not the squire's equal for all that, simply because the squire's brain has been widened by something beyond knowledge, the habit con- tinued through generations of testing affairs by a higher stan- dard. Kings often show the effect of that advantage in a curious way. They are very often indeed stupid people—particularly since they began marrying in and in—and still oftener uneducated people, for birching a Prince Royal is inconvenient, but they are seldom narrow people, have usually ideas, " unthought-like thoughts which are the souls of thought," wider than their brains can quite carry. We will venture to say, for example, that Frederick William of Prussia has flashes of thought, momentary shadows of ideas about the true objects of government, the true meaning of words like democracy, kingship, &c., a good deal -wider than those of his indefinitely abler servant Bismaik. We do not mean to say that President Lincoln is narrow. On the contrary, his life education, though odd and even bizarre, has been singularly varied, and he has a native shrewdness which almost rises to genius, but there is a peasant trace about him still. (By the way, we happen to know that educated Ameri- cans do not understand the word peasant, and think it means labourer. It means nothing of the kind, but a small freeholder or cultivator .who ploughs on his own account, and not as a serving man.) 'Mr. Goldwin Smith affirms that the President of the United States is a man who " distinctly apprehends the fundamental principles of the community at the head of which he is placed," who can express them with lucidity and act on them with energy, who usurps no authority except as a tem- porary measure needful to a certain emergency ; who is no Puritan, but has a real sense of the presence and providence of God ; who has never byword or deed increased the bitterness of civil war ; and -who "is one of the few public men in America -who-have never joined, or affected to join, in the profligate de- nunciations of England which were a part of the regular stock in trade of the Democratic party, and of the slaveowners who were its chiefs." After which statement, made by a man who has watched Mr. Lincoln's career with a microscope, be will be slandered in England just as much as before.

The paper in .Blackwood is the commencement of a hostile bio- graphy of Mr. Gladstone, yrittea by a strong Churchman with the intention apparently of proving that the Chancellor of the Ex- chequer is a man upon .whom no reliance can be placed. Trained in the school of Peel, taught to watch public opinion and make ex- pediency his touchstone, prone to refine and reconsider, Mr. Glad- stone, he says, never speaks except with an eye to an immediate purpose. The writer carefully records every vote given by the member for Oxford against Church-rates or in favour of Unitarians, alleges that he changed his course on the Maynooth grant with- out reason, and affirms that he had repeatedly condemned the foreign policy of -the Premier under whom he now serves. The article is evidently written with an eye to the coming election for the University of Oxford, and its fairness may be judged of by the following paragraph :- " Our readers may remember that Lady Hawley, a follower and ardent admirer of Whitfield, built and endowed, towards the close of the last century, certain chapels, in order that orthodox Christianity, according to her interpretation of the term, might be taught therein for ever. In process of time Unitarian ministers got possession of these chapels, and in default of support from the courts of law, Parliament was appealed to _to maintain by statute the well-known objects of the testator. In the-division which took place in the House of Commons Mr. Gladstone voted against legislation, and the Unitarians were left in possession of the chapels, which they still retain. Now we are not prepared to say that Mr. Gladstone as a statesman did wrong on that occasion. It may be, and probably is, very inconvenient to disturb existing rights of pos- session by Act of Parliament ; but looking at the question from the Churchman's point of view, Mr. Gladstone surely laid himself open to this censure, that he considered it very little important whether the doctrine of the Trinity should be inculcated or impugned in these chapels."

Mr. Gladstone refused to rob a man because he was Unitarian, consequently he disbelieves the. Trinity. After that, what is the use of argument ?

The article in the .CornAill on the " Rise of Roman Im-

perialism " is the endeavour of an acute writer to draw a paral- lel between the careers of Caesar Augustus and Louis Napo- leon, and to sketch that singular gravitation of the public mind towards Government by an individual which enabled them both to build up thrones. The parallel is well conceived, and in parts the comparison is indicated rather than traced with unusual skill. There is not, for instance, in this paragraph one word about Napoleon, but who does not recognize the policy which makes the Emperor of the French walk about the Bois de Boulogne un- attended, drive himself down the Champs Elysees like a citizen, dance at the watering-place with a sergeant for vie a vie, ride among the passengers in a railway train, and call a new boulevard by the name of a master workman?—

"Ding homage to all the instincts, good and bad, of the people— making their pleasure almost his chief rule of conduct—he was generous, flexible, familiar, the personal friend of almost every Roman : merciful by habit, severe by policy, contemning injuries to himself when not perilous to his power, as punishing injuries on the public when committed by his own household, and omitting no means of flatter- ing the susceptibilities, personal or political, of men who were all the more ready to become his slaves the more he treated them as his fellow- citizens. He ostentatiously refused civic rights to foreigners, whose claims had been pressed on him by his wife and step-son, revived the use of the old distinguishing garment of Rome, wearing himself, after the fashion of a Cincinnatus, a homely toga spun by his wife and daughters ; walked about the streets as a private citizen, plainly attired, without lictors or the ordinary insignia of magisterial power, and re- turned to a simple, orderly home, in whose occupation he had been pre- ceded by a second-rate rhetorician. In the law courts he more than once appeared to be cross-examined as an ordinary witness. He voted, as the other citizens, with his tribe, in the annnal elections ; went round after the manner of the ancients, with his own candidates, offering them to popular adoption, with the modest proviso, ' if they deserve the honour.' " But the essayist who could write that paragraph ought to know that a sentence like this is not merely foolish, but contemptible:— "The parricide that inaugurates the use of thy family shall follow them into their palaces, till it sing the requiem of their fall !"