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POINTED PENS

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268 REGENT CIRCUS, W.
35 STRAND (near Charing Cross), W.C.; and at
7 WESTBOURNE GROVE, W., LONDON.

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THE

GENTLEMAN'S MAGAZINE.

FEBRUARY 1883.

THE NEW ABELARD.

A ROMANCE.

By ROBERT BUCHANAN,
THE SHADOW OF THE SWORD,” “GOD AND THE MAN,” ETC

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CHAPTER IV.

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WORLDLY COUNSEL.
A pebble, not a pearl !-worn smooth and round
With lying in the currents of the world
Where they run swiftest-polished if you please,
As such things may and must be, yet indeed
No shining agate and no precious stone;
Nay, pebble, merely pebble, one of many
Thrown in the busy shallows of the stream
To break its flow and make it garrulous.

The City Dame; or, a Match for Mammon.
AM not at all surprised at what you have told me," said Chol-

mondeley, sipping his coffee and smoking his cigar.“I knew that it must come sooner or later. Your position in the Church has always been an anomalous one, and egad ! if you have been going on as you tell me, I don't wonder they want to get rid of you. Well, what do you intend to do ?”

“That is just the point I came to consult you upon," returned the clergyman.

“Well, I know what I should do in your place. I should stand to my colours, and give them a last broadside. The Chronicle is open to you, you know. The old ship of the Church is no longer seaworthy, and if you helped to sink it, you would be doing a service to humanity."

"God forbid !" cried Bradley fervently. “I would rather cut off my right hand than do anything to injure the Establishment. After all, it is the only refuge remaining in a time of doubt and fear."

No. 1826.

VOL, CCLIV.

K

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“ It strikes me you are rather inconsistent,” said Cholmondeley, with cool astonishment.

“Not at all. It is precisely because I love the Church, because I believe in its spiritual mission, that I would wish to see it reorganised on a scientific and rational basis. When all is said and done, I am a Christian–that is, a believer in the Divine Idea of self-sacrifice and the enthusiasm of humanity. All that is beautiful and holy, all that may redeem man and lead him to an everlasting righteousness, is, in my opinion, summed up in the one word, Christianity."

“But, my dear Bradley, you have rejected the thing! Why not dispense with the name as well?"

“I believe the name to be indispensable. I believe, moreover, that the world would waste away of its own carnality and atheism without a Christian priesthood. In the flesh or in the spirit Christ lives, to redeem the world.”

“Since you believe so much,” said Cholmondeley dryly, “it is a pity you don't believe a little more. For my own part, you know my opinion—which is, that Christ gets a great deal more credit for what is good in civilisation than he deserves. Science has done more in one hundred years to redeem the race than Christianity has done in eighteen hundred.

Verb. sap." “ Science is one of His handmaids," returned Bradley, “and Art is another ; that is why I would admit both of these into the service of the Temple. But bereft of His influence, separated from the Divine Idea, and oblivious of the Divine Character, both Science and Art go stumbling in the dark—and blaspheme. When Science gives the lie to any deathless human instinct—when, for example, she negatives the dream of personal immortality-she simply stultifies herself ; for she knows nothing and can tell us nothing on that subject, whereas Christ, answering the impulse of the human heart, tells us all. When Art says that she labours for her own sake, and that the mere reproduction of beautiful earthly forms is soul-satisfying, she also is stultified; for there is no true art apart from the religious spirit. In one word, Science and Art, rightly read, are an integral part of the world's religion, which is Christianity.”

“ I confess I don't follow you," said the journalist, laughing ; “ but there, you were always a dreamer. Frankly, I think this bolstering up of an old creed with the truths of the new is a little dishonest. Christianity is based upon certain miraculous events, which have been proved to be untrue; man's foolish belief in their truth has led to an unlimited amount of misery ; and having disposed

; of your creed's miraculous pretensions"

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66

Are you quite sure you have disposed of them ?" interrupted Bradley. “ In any case, is not the personal and posthumous influence of Our Saviour, as seen in the world's history, quite as miraculous as any of the events recorded of Him during His lifetime ?”

" On the contrary! But upon my life, Bradley, I don't know where to have you. You seem to have taken a brief on both sides. Beware of the via media-it won't do in religion. You are stumbling between two stools."

“ Then I say with Mercutio, ' a plague on both your houses,' cried Bradley, laughing. “ But, don't you see, I want to reconcile them."

“ You won't do it. It's too old a feud-a Vendetta, in fact. Remember what Mercutio himself got by trying to be peacemaker. The world can understand your Tybalts and your Parises--that is to say, your fire-eating Voltaires and your determined Tom Paines --but it distrusts the men who, like Matt Arnold et hoc genus omne, believe simply nothing, and yet try to whitewash the old idols."

There was a silence. The two men looked at each other in friendly antagonism, Cholmondeley puffing his cigar leisurely with the air of a man who had solved the great problem, and Bradley smoking with a certain suppressed excitement.

Presently the clergyman spoke again.

“ I don't think we shall agree-so let us cease to argue. What I want you to understand is, that I do love the Church, and cannot part from her without deep pain--without, in fact, rupturing all my most cherished associations. But there is another complication which makes this affair unusually distressing to me. You know I am engaged to be married ?”

"Ah, yes! I heard something about it. I begin to see your difficulty. You are afraid ---"

He hesitated, as if not liking to complete the sentence. “ Afraid of what, pray?"

“ Well, that, when you are pronounced heretical, she will throw you over!”

The clergymian smiled curiously and shook his head.

“ If that were all," he replied, “ I should be able very easily to resign myself to the consequences of my heresy; but, fortunately or unfortunately, the lady to whom I am engaged (our engagement, by the way, is only private) is not likely to throw me over, however much I may seem to deserve it.”

Then why distress yourself?”

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Simply because I doubt my right to entail upon her the consequences of my heterodoxy. She herself is liberal-minded, but she does not perceive that any connection with a heretic must mean, for a sensitive woman, misery and martyrdom. When I leave the Church I shall be practically ruined-not exactly in pocket, for, as you know, I have some money of my own-but intellectually and socially. The Church never pardons, and seldom spares."

“ But there are other careers open to you—literature, for example ! We all know your talents-you would soon win an eminence from which you might laugh at your persecutors."

“ Literature, my dear Cholmondeley, is simply empiricism, I see nothing in it to attract an earnest man.”

“ You are complimentary !” cried Cholmondeley, with a laugh.

“Oh!--you are different! You carry into journalism an amount of secular conviction which I could never emulate : and, more. over, you are one of those who, like Harry the Smith, always fight ' for your own hand. Now, I do not fight for my own hand; I repeat, emphatically, all my care is for the Church. She may persecute me, she may despise me, but still I love her and believe in her, and shall pray till my last breath for the time when she will become reorganised."

“ I see how all this will end," said the journalist, half seriously. “ Some of these days you will go over to Rome!”

“ Do you think so? Well, I might do worse even than that, for in Rome, now as ever, I should find excellent company. But no, I don't fancy that I shall go even halfway thither, unless—which is scarcely possible-I discover signs that the doting Mother of Christianity accepts the new scientific miracle and puts Darwin out of the Index. Frankly, my difficulty is a social, or rather a personal one. Ought I, a social outcast, to accept the devotion of one who would follow me, not merely out of the Church, but down into the very hell of atheism, if I gave her the requisite encouragement?”

Cholmondeley did not reply, but after reflecting quietly for some moments he said :

“ You have not told me the name of the lady ? "
“ Miss Alma Craik."
" Not the heiress ?”
Yes, the heiress."

“ I know her cousin, George Craik-we were at school together. I thought they were engaged.”

They were once, but she broke it off long ago." “ And she has accepted you?"

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