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questions, have had a grand influence in bringing the minds of men to their actual state of discontent and expectation. The practical republicanism of commerce, the collision, the increased activity of men's mode of life, has broken down the barriers between all classes, bringing every manner of men into contact with each other, so that they have gradually learned to regard all things in a more general light. Dogmas, which have long been preserved, cut and dried in the hortus-siccus of sermons and moral essays, have no longer any effect, however ingeniously applied ; right and wrong have not changed their nature, but they are found to be more relative than positive, and are not to be dealt with by the sharp sweeping denunciations and vague assertions hitherto lavished upon them. Men have begun to perceive that there is a truth, a side on which it asserts its claim to humanity, in what is wrong as well as in that which calls itself right. Points that were once of vital interest and objects of the most bigoted partizanship, äre become matters of indifference, and though the attainment of “ UNITY” and “the universal brotherhood of humanity?' is still the philosopher's stone of morality ; yet the centre of indifference, the common ground on which all men meet, is widening every day. Men are daily more ready to sacrifice their little pet par. terres of private speculation, and allow them to merge into the general life of the whole ; men do not as yet, perhaps, quite love their neighbours as themselves, but neither do they quite hate them so much for not being after their own likeness. Controversy on isolated points of doctrine does not fourish. Men have too much at stake in these days to have the heart to play at logic, or quibble in syllogisms. They have no guide, overseer, nor ruler; the old faith in which their fathers dwelt has vanished from them, they may no longer lead their lives by it ; they are encamped in the wilderness,—" gone forth, not knowing whither they went," and their numbers are daily increasing. All recognised sects are gradually losing their hold; “Grown old and ready to vanish away,” is the device inscribed on each ; unto none of them is it given to have “the large utterance of the early gods." There is no room in them for the mighty heart of humanity to take refuge. “ This place is too strait for us,” said the sons of the prophets in the days of Elisha ; we are the children of the prophets, and it is the cry of men now.
Only a very little while since Mr. Newman and his company entered the Catholic church; he has examined long and well,
he has looked to the right hand and to the left, and finally has made his “venture of faith.” It is the grown man trying to return to the past and take shelter there, instead of pressing onwards; he has endeavoured to “ become as a little child,” if so be he may thereby attain the kingdom of Heaven ; but childhood is a blessing only once in a lifetime. “How can a man enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born ?” The unknowing, loving, all-believing heart of a little child can never return again.
A hundred and thirty Jews were baptized into Christianism the other day; they came out of their old faith, hoping to find a larger room amongst us.
All men are waiting and expecting they know not what ; they are waiting as “those that watch for the day.”
Eighteen hundred years ago the world was waiting as we are waiting now; the old forms, the old beliefs had lost their power ; men were without God in the world, and the sense of their desolateness pressed heavily upon them. One came and said, “FOLLOW ME.” It is written of Him that he knew their hearts, and for more than a thousand years men have felt Him to be their guide.
If in these days one would arise who could gather together in one the hearts and aspirations of all men, who should be able to speak peace to him that is far off and to him that is near, who could know our hearts, and make articulate all that is now struggling in human souls, who is there who would not " arise and follow Him?”
G. E. J.
HOW THE MERCHANT'S CLERK TURNÉD CAB-DŘÍVER,
AND FOUND HIMSELF ON THE ROAD TO FORTUNE.
It is only necessary to step from the squares in the vicinity of the Edgeware-road, to the streets adjacent to them, to be convinced that no painting of imagination is necessary to depict such a home as that to which I am about to introduce the reader. Half. way down Barlow-street is - Court : an archway not much higher, and not at all wider than an ordinary hall-door, leads through a passage, apparently over cellars (it is boarded and hollow,
NO, IV, VOL. III.
and shakes threateningly as you pass along it), to a small court, not much squarer than a London back yard, surrounded by tall, time-blackened houses, windowless and mutilated, with sundry projections and irregularities in their structure, like the exterior chimneys of old-fashioned farm-houses. The doors of these houses stand open through the dreariest night there is nothing in them to steal--the stairs without balusters, and broken away in places, have been taken piece-meal by the wretched inhabitants for firewood, and the remainder is so rotted with age and filth, as only to afford a precarious footing. In many instances you may see through chinks and loose boards, from the garrets to the cellars, while every attic is an observatory, admitting not only a view of the heavens, but the free access of its elemental rigours ; rain, and wind, and snow, beat through these apertures, and render it but a mockery for the wretch within its walls to congratulate himself on having a roof over his head. These houses are let in tenements; - no lodger has more than one room, and in this one room it frequently happens that a family of five or six, sometimes more, of indiscriminate ages and sex, father, mother, and children, are living. Here crime herds with honesty penury, and profligacy with virtue yet untainted; want bids the one seek such a shelter, debauchery the other, till, by-and-bye, the virus of moral contagion spreads through the community, and the opposed elements that have jostled against each other on the door-steps, or stairs-head, shake hands at last in fellowship. In a large dilapidated room in one of these houses there was sitting, one dismal night in the December of 1840, a sad-looking woman, surrounded by four pale, half-famished children, the eldest of whom could not be more than seven years of age ; a gaunt, hunger-wasted man, paced to and fro the floor, which creaked and sunk beneath his rapid footsteps ; only a few minutes before he had brought in the bundle of straw on which his wife and children were sitting, and to procure which he had parted at the pawnbroker's with his last waistcoat. It was freezing fast, the snow lay in indurated, dirty heaps in the close court, into which light scarcely penetrated during the winter months, and the wind searched through every aperture of the crazy tenement, till the starved and ill-clothed inmates shivered again. Except the heap of straw, a deal box, low stool, and crippled table, there was no furniture in the place ; the burnt-out ashes of a fire remained in the grate, but neither wood or coal appeared to renew it, and the inch of yellow fetid candle that was flaring in the many draughts, which neither the application of brown paper, nor the protrusion of old rags through the broken windows could prevent, was a luxury that seemed a waste when no employment was going on. After a while the children, though supperless, fell off to sleep, and the mother, laying them side by side, covered them with her threadbare cloak, and the remnant of an old blanket, carefully, and with as tender & grace as if it had been a silken coverlet; then she kissed them, her wan lips trembling with more than a blessing, and tears, which she drank in silence (lest her husband should perceive them), rolled down her cheeks as she did so. Presently she rose, and stepping forward, put her arms about the man, and whispered to him words of encouragement and hope ; but the sight of her worn and altered countenance, the cravings of fierce hunger within himself, and the sight of his unfed children, made him deaf to all other considerations, and putting her gently from him, gently, even in that moment of keen misery, he bade her sit down, while he endeavoured to project some scheme by which they might escape starvation.
“The situation I told you of yesterday," he rejoined, as his swife placed herself once more beside her little ones, “ the prospectus of which seemed absolutely written to suit me, and placed in the agent's window for the very purpose of my seeing it, is not yet filled up; but the man is a hard bargainer, and will not afford me a word of information respecting it, unless I first put down his fee of five shillings."
“Alas !” said the woman, casting her hopeless glance round the room, the cold emptiness of which made her shudder, “ we have nothing left that would bring that sum."
" And for want of it,” resumed the man, “ you, and I, and our children may perish."
“Let us have patience a little longer," said the woman softly; “ they say at the worst things mend, and surely they cannot be much worse with us than now.”
“ Patience !” interrupted her husband, “ what has it done for us—what will it do for us? I was a fool not to take that villain M'Gill's advice, for then at least onr home would not have been broken up, and you and the children would have had a bed to lie down on."
“ Oh! thank God rather,” exclaimed the woman, « that you are still rich in integrity. What are such comforts in comparison with the loss of an honest heart?” And she once more approached
and put her arm tenderly about him. “Ah! you are cold,” sho said, as in spite of his continued exercise she found he trembled. .“ No wonder,” he replied, almost harshly ; “we have had no fire to-day, and my feet got wet through when I went out forfor our bed just now and then you forget I have less on me by a waistcoat than I wore yesterday.”
“True, dearest !” said the woman, without seeing or appearing to see, the selfishness that coloured his complaints, or wounding the egoism of his grievances by setting her own in opposition to them.
“ Here have I been," continued the man,“ eighteen months out of employment, and ever more to find it in my own class or calling is impossible. What respectable person would treat with a man in garments thread-bare as these, and who wears his coat buttoned up to hide his worn shirt (clean to the last, though, my poor Kate) and want of waistcoat?”.
Oh! do not give way to this despondency," murmured the woman ; “ some casual employment may help us to as much as will replace these ; do not by useless murniurings make our misery worse ; recollect that, this bitter night, there are creatures worse off than we are beings wanting even a bed of straw, and the shelter of such a roof as this. Oh! my husband, let us endure a little longer-God will doubtless have mercy on us, and with the evil make a way to escape. Be brave, be patient."
The man gazed at her, with all the better feelings of his nature in his eyes, and clasped her to his heart affectionately. Once more she had recalled him from the brink of evil; for the temptings of hunger and want were rapidly undermining his faith in good, and but a moment before, he had meditated, almost calmly, the commission of a crime that, if even undiscovered, would have lost him his own esteem, and rendered him the slave of conscience ever after.
While they stood thus, a noise of heavy footsteps shook the stairs; and, snatching up the candle, the woman hastened to the landing, closing the door of her apartment behind her, as if to prevent her husband following.
Archer stood still, wondering what occasion took her from the room, when the sounds of mingled beseechings and high words reached him, and a moment after Kate threw open the door, and a man in the dress of a coal porter appeared at it; he gazed round with a sort of vacant astonishment, looking from the tall