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declines to give an opinion. In the same manner he leaves us in doubt as to whether the lean worshipers in other places are made so by what they hear, or whether an original failure of bile and good living decided their choice. This is a momentous question, and, until it is decided by our author, it will be safe for all who would maintain a conscience free from offense, to avoid salt fish and over large cucumbers.

Our author, in his way, is charitable. Some congenital defect, or physical malformation, or peculiarity of race, or climate, or culture, controls the conduct of men, and shapes their religious beliefs. We can see that in others which accounts for and excuses their conduct. If it is objected that this view destroys a sense of individual responsibility, and leaves men free to follow their impulses, he replies that such will not be the effect. For while we may believe that the opinions and consciences of others are controlled by their circumstances, our consciousness tells us that it is false, as applied to ourselves, and that we are free. This is certainly simple and ingenious, and reminds us of the contrivance of Ichabod Crane, when by tying a rope from the outside handle of the door to a stake he so secured his schoolhouse that while all the world could go in, not a soul could get out. We think that while penning this part of the book the author forgot the promise he made several years since, "never to write again as funny as he could."

Our author rejects, as a common error, the opinion of theologians that one religion is adapted to all men, whereas their diversity of tastes and capacity calls for a corresponding variety of beliefs. Every physician knows that the same medicine cannot be taken by all persons. Equally impossible is it to force one religion upon all. Thus, if we understand the reasoning, the religion of the Gospel which enjoins love to God and our neighbor does not agree with all people. The business of the comprehensive theologian, then, is to find out what suits men and let them have it, be it Christianity, or Mohammedanism, or Fetichism.

There are several other matters in this book which we should like to notice, but we have already exceeded our space, and must forbear. We have looked in vain through its pages for any recognition of the binding authority of the Scriptures or the expres sion of any preference for the Christian religion above the systems devised by men. The book might have been written as

well without the knowledge of the Scriptures as with it. The Christian religion is in it only as our Saviour was in the Judgment Hall of Pilate, to be fantastically arrayed and then mocked and spit upon. Its theology has as little power to go beyond this world as the wagon of the provision man or the grocer; and the Millenium to which it would lead us is the era of well-fitting clothes and good living, and of a happy oblivion of the questions which now excite the fears and hopes of men.

In going over the book before us, we have often wondered that it has never, by some happy accident, occurred to its author and to that class among us whom he represents, that it is possible that on the themes of highest import to man all knowledge has not been revealed to them exclusively; that there may be those who think as clearly, and reason as profoundly, and whose lives are as pure and as useful as their own; that as strange things have happened as that they should be mistaken in their estimate of men and opinions and institutions; that those persons may after all be only indulging an allowable freedom who shrink from the naturalism and materalism of their pages; that infidelity has its cant; and that bigotry and intolerance are by no means the exclusive possession of those who believe in revealed religion, and that it is not necessarily the noblest employment of culture and genius to carricature the honest beliefs of men, and misrepresent the formulas in which the sentiments of large numbers of the Christian world find expression. Previous to her birth, the mother of Elsie Venner, as we learn from the story, was bitten by a rattlesnake. The poison "tainted all her blood," and through it the nature of the reptile was transmitted to her child. We pity the unfortunate being and readily excuse her acts. But, we ask, what ante-natal violence has our author suffered, that he should, towards certain opinions and those who hold them, betray the same sensitiveness? Were his [first] parents poisoned by a serpent? Is Elsie Venner an autobiography in disguise?


It cannot be denied, that in the metropolis of New England there are those who aspire to sit in the seat of the scorner. believe, however, that the number of such bears no fair proportion to the noise they make. They go forth as the company of Gideon went, in the dark, each with a lamp, a pitcher, and a very large trumpet; but, unlike him, they break their lamps and keep their pitchers. The world abed hears their wild uproar and

imagines an army where only a corporal's guard is mustered. The Sabbath crowd in Music Hall is made up largely of strangers, drawn by curiosity to the place, or of those who like to vary their usual method of breaking the Sabbath. That audience may be fitly compared to a comet with the smallest amount of head and an indefinite expansion of tail. But there are thousands in that same city who know the truth and love it, know it and love it all the more intelligently and heartily for the treason that in the midst of them rears its head against it.

Several years ago the author of this book was greatly excited by the quacks and pretenders that intruded themselves into his profession. With merciless satire he repelled the border-ruffians who broke into the homes of suffering, with nostrums more deadly in their no-aim than the rifles of the Camanches. We think that he did well to be angry at the assurance and presumption of men who aspired to places of responsibility with no preparation except such as ignorance confers. But the cause of offense in this instance was trifling to that which he has furnished to a kindred profession. They killed only the body and never employed their reckless empiricism upon the soul. Assaults upon revealed religion are, in certain quarters, quite fashionable. What the issue will be to those who make them, the author of this book has, quite undesignedly, told us in lines which we quote as a fitting conclusion of this notice.

"The feeble sea-birds, blinded in the storms,

On some tall light-house dash their little forms;
And the rude granite scatters for their pains,
Those small deposits that were meant for brains.
Yet, the proud fabric, in the morning's sun
Stands all unconscious of the mischief done;
Still, the red beacon pours its evening rays
For the lost pilot with as full a blaze;
Nay, shines all radiance, at the scattered fleet
Of gulls and boobies brainless at its feet.

"I tell their fate, though courtesy disclaims
To call our kind by such ungentle names;
Yet if your rashness bid you vainly dare,
Think of their doom, ye simple, and beware."

FATHER TOM AND THE POPE.*-Twenty years ago we remember laughing heartily over this little book, which then appeared as a contribution to Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine. It was written at a time when a vigorous controversy was in progress in England between Protestants and Roman Catholics, and this was one of the Protestant controversial squibs of the day. The fun, as is often the case with such things, has, in a measure, evaporated with the lapse of time; yet, as we find that Father Tom's experience in the Vatican has still its effects upon our risibles, we will give here a taste of its quality, notwithstanding the satire is rather deficient in refinement. We must premise that Father Tom, being "in Room" the Pope had invited him "to take pot look wid him;" and while "his Riv'rence" was recounting "the ins and the outs of the conthrovarsy" in which he had "welted them English heretics out ov the face," they both began to feel the pains of thirst. Whereupon Father Tom "hauled an imperi'l quart bottle of the real stuff out ov his coat pocket," and "setting it down on the table fornenth the Pope," tells him if "You'll just thry the full ov a thimble ov it, and if it does n't rise the cockles ov your Holiness's breast, why then my name is n't Tom Maguire !" "Put in the sperits first," says his Riv'rence, "and then put in the sugar, and remember every dhrop ov wather you put in after that spoils the punch." The conversation goes on, and they soon "arrive at a pariod ov the evening" when Father Tom offers to make a "sartan preparation of chymicals" that "he is bound will hunt the thirst out ov every nook and corner in his Holiness's blessed carcidge." The Pope, at his request, "ordhered up the ingradients," and Father Tom calls also for the assistance of the house-keeper, as, he says, "a faymale hand is necessary in order to produce the proper adaptation of the particles and concurrence of the corpuscles." The house-keeper comes in "with eyes as black as a sloe, and cheeks like the rose in June;" and then occurs a scene, and a dispute, which was much more amusing at the time it was written, to those whose minds were full of the controversy, but which we still recognize as a keen satire upon one of the dogmas of the Papal church:

* Father Tom and the Pope; or, a night at the Vatican. Philadelphia: Peter E. Abel. 24mo. pp. 105. [For 25 cents sent to the publishers, Box 1367 Philadelphia, Pa., the book will be sent, postage prepaid, to any address.]

“And now I have to tell you ov a really onpleasant occurrence. If I was a Prodesan that was in it, I'd say that while the Pope's back was turned, Father Tom made free wid the two lips ov Miss Eliza; but, upon my conscience, I believe it was a mere mistake that his Holiness fell into on account of his being an ould man and not having aither his eyesight or his hearing very parfect. At any rate it can't be denied but that he had a sthrong imprission that sich was the case; for he wheeled about as quick as thought, jist as his Riv'rence was sitting down, and charged him wid the offince plain and plump. 'Is it kissing my housekeeper before my face you are, you villain!' says he, 'Go down out o this,' says he, to Miss Eliza, 'and do you be packing off wid you,' he says to Father Tom, for it's not safe, so it is n't, to have the likes ov you in a house where there's temptation in your way.'

"Is it me?' says his Riv'rence; 'why what would your Holiness be at at all? Sure I wasn't doing no such thing.'

"Would you have me doubt the evidence ov my sinses?' says the Pope; 'would you have me doubt the testimony ov my eyes and ears? says he.

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"Indeed I would so,' says his Riv'rence, if they pretend to have informed your Holiness ov any sich foolishness.'

"Why,' says the Pope, 'I've seen you afther kissing Eliza as plain as I see the nose on your face; I heard the smack you gave her as plain as ever I heard thundher.'

"And how do you know whether you see the nose on my face, or not? says his Riv'rence, and how do you know whether what you thought was thundher, was thundher at all? Them operations on the sinses,' says he, comprises only particular corporal emotions, connected wid sartain confused perciptions called sinsations, and is n't to be depended upon at all. If we were to follow them blind guides we might jist as well turn heretics at onc't. 'Pon my secret word, your Holiness, it's neither charitable nor orthodox ov you to set up the testi mony ov your eyes and ears agin the characther ov a clergyman. And now, see how aisy it is to explain all them phwenomena that perplexed you. I ris and went over beside the young woman because the skillet was boiling over, to help her to save the dhrop ov liquor that was in it; and as for the noise you heard my dear man, it was neither more nor less nor myself dhrawing the cork out ov this blissid bottle.'

"'Don't offer to thrape that upon me!' says the Pope; here's the cork in the bottle still, as tight as a wedge.'

“I beg your pardon,' says his Riv'rence, that's not the cork at all,' says he, 'I dhrew the cork a good two minits ago, and it's very purtily spitted on the end ov this blessed cork-schrew at this prisint moment; howandiver you can't see it, because it's only its real prisince that's in it. But that appearance that you call a cork,' says he, 'is nothing but the outward spacies and external qualities of the cortical nathur. Them's nothing but the accidents of the cork that you're looking at and handling; but as I tould you afore, the real cork's dhrew, and is here prisint on the end ov this nate little insthrument, and it was the noise I made in dhrawing it, and nothing else, that you mistook for the sound ov the pogue.'

"You know there was no conthravening what he said; and the Pope could'nt

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