PROBLEMS OF LIFE. BY THE REV. B. J. CAMPBELL, D.D. [Copyright,]! AT intervals letters are received for this column dealing with marital troubles and containing questions which raise in acute form important matters If principle with which the Church is confronted at the 'present time in rela- tion to this subject. Hitherto, I have avoided addressing myself to these ex- cept indirectly, but one or two communi- cations received this week almost compel an answer of some kind. They are full of sorrow and darkness of spirit. It is unnecessary to quote them; their nature will perhaps be sufficiently obvious from the observations made thereon. A considerable amount of the -dis- turbance evident just now in the rela- tions of the sexes must be attributed to the war. We are abnormally emo- tional, having passed through a period of unexampled strain and stress and now experiencing some of its worst" effects. This is apparent in every de- partment of life. It is at the root of a great part of our industrial difficulties -though by no means all. But the Same psychological abnormality has also invaded our most sacred and private relationships, and, significantly enough, it is women even more than men who seem to have fallen victims thereto. Most clergymen can bear wit- ness to this. There is a disposition abounding on every hand to flout and defy ancient and accepted standards of conduct, to demand what is called T liberty of action-which is only another name for licence—-and, amongst other things, to impugn marriage and all the obligations therof as antiquated and out of date. I mean marriage as taught and consecrated by the Church, the union of one man and one woman for life on the basis of mutual fidelity and common interest. Now, without entering into any dis- cussion of the ordinarily accepted reasons for monogamy, I wish to put be- fore certain of my correspondents a few considerations they may not have thought of in justification of- the Church's view of the sanctity of the marriage bond. Nearly very letter I have received in criticism of the Church's position concerning marriage assumes that happiness is the first ob- ject of the married state. Complaint after complaint is made to the effect that it is surely very wrong to tie two 'people together for life whoser tempera- ments are mutually so incompatible that unhappiness must result. It is contended that in the majority of in-' stances young persons marry without knowing each other well enough to be sure of being able to. live together hap- pily unto their lives' end, and that it is sheer erfielty to force them to go on do- ing so after they have discovered their mistake.. It is maintained further that one cannot command, love, that that mysterious attraction between man and woman should be the only recognised reason for their association in the most intimate of all fellowships. The pres- ence or absence of love in this sense is supposed to be the whole point at issue. If two persons of opposite sexes have fallen in love, as the saying is, 'then they are j ustitied in over-riding every consideration of honour and integrity, every right possessed by others, break- ing hearts, smashing up homes and making general havoc in order to gain their own gratification. Against all these assumptions I would enter a most emphatic demurrer. It is not true that happiness is the first ob- ject to be sought in marriage. Many excellent people need to fee- set right on this initial matter. Get happiness if you can, but do not make the attain- ment of happiness your primary reason for uniting your life to that of another human being till death shall part you. Still more, do not make the failure to secure happiness your reason for dis- solving or wishing to dissolve that union. Happiness should be a conse- quenee of something higher rather than itself a ruling motive. The first object in marriage, an object there should be no reason ever to change while life shall last, is the solemn undertaking of a ? spiritual trusteeship. Each partner to the marriage contract accepts the charge I' of another soul for better or worse. No other relatioi-tsliip in life provides so JTj &tt an opportunity from this point of View or implies so tremendous a respon- sibility. The relationship of parent and child, cilosei as it is, cannot and does not signify "as much, and is to a large extent dependent upon the right recog- nition of the of husband t i and wife. Fotr two people deliberately and of serious purpose, day by day and year by year, to pool interests, share outlook, be companions in all things small and great, a living unity in fact, is a greater and more difficult thing than almost any earthly endeavour that could be named. It demands so much and in go many ways that few succeed in rising to the full height of its pos- sibilities. A spiritual trusteeship— that is what marriage is from first to last. What are. you doing with this daily companion, this man, this woman with whom you have made compact be- fore God? "For better, for worse "is lie, is she, better or worse for being daily under your influence, dwelling within the radius of your personality ? No one comes so near to that life as you,' no one can modify it so much for good or ill. Insensibly you are shaping each other's souls as the days go on, lifting each other higher or driving each other lower by what you are, and say, and do. It is just because marriage is before all things a spiritual trusteeship that the Church has ever regarded it as of the nature of a sacrament, and why the marriage vow is made before the altar, made to God as well as to each other by the married pair. And in the day when the secrets of all hearts shall be revealed one of the questions we shall have to answer will be the question how far we have been faithful to our stewardship. It might be maintained that the Church has always emphasized the solemnity of the marriage vow be- cause of its social implications, because the welfare of the family depends upon. it, and ordered society rests upon the home. Yes, but the spiritual trustee- ship comes first and includes or sancti- fies all the rest. » And cannot one command love? That is another of the mischievous common- places of the hour. Our Lord thought differently. "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one an- other." It is a pity that in our lan- guage so many different ideals are covered by the one word love. For the love of which Jesus spoke requires the exercise of the will; it is a mOYiaJl senti- ment it is a deliberate and consistent attitude of benevolence to all with whom we' have to- do. This kind of love is what is spoken of in the New Testament as agape. But if a Greek v,anted to speak of sexual passion he used a very different word; he called it eros. Now eros is no more a moral force than Niagara Falls is a moral force. It may be the most selfish devastating thing on earth. Whether it shall be a blessing or a curse depends upon what we choose to do with it. It can lift a soul to highest heights or plunge it into deepest depths. But to talk of this elemental appetite as in itself sufficient to give any man or woinan the right to break the marriage vow and ignore all countervailing considerations of duty and honour is the most tragic of delu- sions. No method of regulating the relations of the sexes has yet been invented which would do away with all hardship. No- thing that has been proposed is any im- provement on Christian marriage in tlfte way of ensuring happiness. Human nature being what it is hearts are liable to be broken, be. the marriage laws what they may. It- would be the same or worse if there were no marriage at all. It has been sensibly said, though I forget by whom, that any man can live with any woman if only there be the Good Will without which no human fel- lowship of any kind can be a success. And if happiness is not to be found in the line of one's duty the man or woman is to be commiserated who seeks it else- where. Christ Church Vicarage, Westminster.
BISHOP OF COVltNTRYS PORTRAIT. DR. YEATMAN BIGGS,' the Bishop of Coventry, is to have his thirteen years in the Worcester Diocese as Bishop com- memorated. Worcester Diocese is going to present him with a portrait of himself, in oils, to add to the unique collection of pictures of bishops hanging in the vestibule of Hartlebury Castle. The collection was begun one hundred and fifty years ago hy Bishop Hurd, who left ten pictures of his predecessors and one of himself by Gainsborough. The col- lection has since been made' completely representative of the thirty diocesans since the Reformation. The last por- trait added was that of Dr. Gore, A
IRISH COMMITTEE AT WORK. (By Our Parliamentary Correspondent.) PARLIAMENT will re-assemble on Wed- nesday next after the longest recess since the war. The session promises to he the most strenuous and productive in our political history, but the Government hope that the work may be completed be- fore Christmas. Although the pro- gramme for next week has been settled it may be altered if there is any general desire for a debate on the industrial position with special reference to the Government's attitude in the recent rail- way strike. The Government would not resist any such desire; indeed, would wel- come the opportunity of making a full pronouncement on the policy which is to be followed by the State when any section of the community, ignoring the machinery for a judicial examination of their case, resolve to plunge the country into chaos. From the Labour point of view there would be an advantage in having the debate next week, namely, that Mr. Arthur Henderson, Mr. Sexton and other members will be obliged to leave in a few days in order to attend the first international Labour Conference convened by the President of the United States in accordance with the Peace Treaty, and Mr. Henderson intends to be present on the first day of the session so as to take the oath and his seat on his return for Widnes. First Work. The Whips have been at work again this week and,No. 12 Downing-street has been the scene of great activity. On Wednesday a whip was received by all members relating to the business of the House of Commons for next-week. On Wednesday, when the House will meet at a quarter to three, the report stage of the Alien's Restriction Bill will be taken. Upon this there will no doubt be a large number of amendments in view of the dissatisfaction already expressed at the form in which the Bill emerged from standing committee towards the close of last session. Thursday, subject to the proviso already mentioned respecting an industrial debate, will be devoted to the second reading of the Prison Officers' Superannuation Bill, the County Court Judges (Retirement Pensions) Bill and the Rats and Mice (Destruction) Bill. The plans for the .remainder of the session have been under discussion in the Cabinet this week but have not been fin ally agreed upon. There are several Bills, including the Electricity Bill, to be completed—as this Autumn session is technically a continuance of the Summer session, all the Bills are kept alive—but the real features of the new session will be industrial legislation and a Home Rule Bill. Home Rule Effort. The Government, wisely or unwisely and with what prospect of success it is not easy to determine, have decided that they must press for a permanent settle- ment of the Home Rule difficulty. America's concern in the present un- happy condition of Ireland is said to be one of the reasons for this new effort, but a much more real reason is the load of debt which is being piled up by the safe- guards at present necessary to maintain law and order in that coui-itry. At any rate, the Government mean to attempt to pass a Bill in the coming session and have appointed a,.committee of ten to prepare the measure after a full explora- tion of the whole question. Mr. Walter Long is the chairman, and the first meet- ing was held on Tuesday in his room at the Admiralty for the settlement of points' of procedure. The First Lord of the Admiralty was, it will be remembered the chairman of the last Cabinet com- mittee which was set up to try and thrash out the details of an acceptable self- government Bill for Ireland. But he is practically the only member of the new committee who was concerned in any previous settlement effort. The others will be able to bring fresh minds to bear on the problem, with what advantage re- mains to be seen in the results of their work. The Personnel. It is altogether a remarkable com- mittee. Most interesting of all is the in- clusion in it of Lord Birkenhead, the Lord Chancellor. Sir Auckland Geddes has joined the committee and will be able to bring his knowledge of Dominion Government to bear. Then there is Mr. Ldward Shortt, K.C. Both Lord French and Mr. Macpherson are on the com- mittee, two very proper appoint- ments. At first Sir Robert Home was appointed to the committee, but he had to ask to be excused owing to the pressure at the Labour Ministry. His place has been taken by Mr. George Roberts. Sir. Worthington Evans and Mr. Kellaway complete .the committee, who have begun their task under extremely good auspices. Mr. Thomas Jones (formerly secretary of the Welsh Insur- ance Commission), and Mr. J. M. Evans are secretaries. The committee have the fullest power to call evidence if they so desire, but it ilS not believed that they will adopt this course. They will probably prefer to have private consultations with representative men.
LITERARY LIGHTS OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. TIL—CHARLES KINGSLEY. BY MORICE GERARD. Rightly to be great Is not to stir without great argument, But greatly to find quarrel in a straw, When honour's at the stake. THE words that the greatest of all poets put into the mouth of one of the greatest of liis conceptions may be taken as the motto of Kingsley's life. The motive which moves men and women to write is generally to be found at the basis of the creative work given to the world. It rewards search and in- tensifies interest to the seeker after psychic phenomena. There must always be the gift, but what stimulates the exercise of the gift varies with the individual ivrite r. To Charles Kingsley it meant at the outset the expression of a wide appeal. He had a message. The pen and the printing press appealed to him because they helped to give that message to the world. Shorthouse wrote a.s a hobby; Dickens, Thackeray, and Trollop-a as a, profession; Kingsley to reach the world of thinking men, to stir men's hearts, to raise the lot of those to whom the world was a place of misery and hardship. Dickens shared the same instinct, and here the two writers join hands. Hood had it in an almost greater degree than either of them. But with Kingsley it came first and foremost, with Dickens only second, longo intervallo. "Alton Locke" and "Yeast." The pulpit, even of Westminster Abbey —and by that time his strength was well- nigh spent—did not supply a powerful enough fulcrum to move the world. F. D. Maurice shared Kingsley's enthusiasm, aimed at the same social amelioration for the masses; but because he restricted his appeal to the pulpit he lived and died ineffective. The greatest of preachers must necessarily have a limited audience. Charles Kingsley, at the time a mere vil- lage priest, realised this. The outcome was the great human appeal of Alton Locke, of Yeast, and of countless essays given to the world under the pen name of Parson Lot." It is difficult, almost impossible, for us, after the lapse of seventy throbbing years, to appreciate the way in which the best men and women of the fifties, in the middle of the nine- teenth century, were kindled into enthu- siasm by Kingsley's pen. Nearly thirty years after these great: books were pub- lished the present writer went up to Cam bridge. He can remember the intense interest with which those early books, which emanated from Eversley, were read one after another. They were the stimulating food of men who have since made their mark in the arena of life, when the eager brain and the sensitive hands were alike at rest. It may be doubted whether, with the possible exception of Alton Locke, they are read now. The reason is obvious Object Attained. The obj ect for which they were written is attained. Kingsley saw the first in- gathering of his harvest. The full har- vest home came later. It sounds like a paradox—that Westward 11 o llypaiia, Hereward the Wake, and The Water Babies aTe the immediate outcome, the offspring of those first strenuous books. It is nevertheless true. Alton Locke, and the rest showed Kingsley the talent he possessed--alld. he was the last man in the world to bury a talent in the ground or hide it in a napkin. The' novelist was the same man, but with a less obvious and strenuous purpose. Enthu- siasm, passionate admiration of, and devotion tcmlie right stirred in him- as of yore. The fiery eloquence of Ily- patia secured it- a place in the affec- tions of the reading public, which its un- familiar setting and somewhat recondite phraseology might have denied it. As is the case with the great majority, of authors, the scenes in which Kingsley's youth was passed were chosen as the setting of his stories. His father was beneficed at Holne, near Ashburton, on the borders of Dartmoor, and subse- quently in the fen country near Stamford and Peterborough. The salt tang of the Devon air is in the breath of Westward Ilo! while the fenland finds its epic in Hereward the Wake. Kingsley's bio- grapher in the "Dictionary" sums up this aspect of his life:—" He had a pas- sion for the beautiful in art and nature. No one surpassed him in first-hand descriptions of the scenery that he loved. He was enthusiastic in natural history, recognised every country sipfct and sound, and studied birds, beasts, fishes and geo- logy with keenest interest." Amyas Leigh. Here is a description of Amyas Leigh in his native setting, which makes the hearts of those who love Devon leap with the joy of the West'.Country — So he goes up between the rich lane- banks, heavy with drooping ferns and honeysuckle; out upon the windy down towards the old Court, nestled amid its ring of wind-clift oaks; through the gray gates .up into the home-close. And then he pauses a moment to look around, first t the wide bay to the westward.. with its southern wall of purple cliffs; then at the dim isle of Lundy far away at sea; then at the cliffs aj|d downs of Morte and Braunton, right in front of him; then at the vast yellow sheet of rolling sand-hill and green alluvial plain dotted with red cattle at his feet, through which the sil- very estuary winds onwards toward the sea." Kingsley could describe a tragedy, as .witness the fate of poor Rose Salterne and the final catastrophe of Hypatia; but one feels that to describe'these horrors must have rent the deep-feeling, sym- pathetic soul of the author. They were, perhaps, necessary to the story, but utterly abhorrent to the spirit of the writer. What he loves is the epic of heroic souls, the story of brave deeds done by fine men—Hereward' the Wake, Sir Amyas Leigh, Salvation Yeo, Sir Richard Grenville, Philammon! "Wcstwartl Ho Kingsley's men linger in the memory when his books are read and put away. The women are less distinct, less insis- tent. Torfrida is perhaps an exception, but this is probably because she had some of the qualities the author loved to depict in his men—courage, self-sacrifice, noble ambition. She was a worthy mate for Hereward. In Two Years Ago, which. was pub- lished in 1857, the author gives us hi! n-i-t elaborate study of feminine charac- ter. The book is, perhaps, judged merely from the literary point of view, the best of his novels; but Westward Ho! will live long after all the rest are forgotten. It appeals to the young, the virile, the lovers of England, and as such has no equal, certainly no superior—unless it be found in another epic of the ^^st—> Lorna Doane.
DIOCESAN RINGERS. NORWICH ANNUAL. MEETING, J AT the annual meeting of the Norwich Diocesan Association of Ringers at Nor- wich there was a considerable attend- ance of representatives from Ipswich, Beccles, Diss, Eye, Pulham, and other parts. It was resolved: "That our Suffolk members, having repeatedly ex- pressed their disapproval of anysuggested severance from the Norwich Diosecan Association on account of the'division of the Diocese, there be one association, as hitherto, for the Norfolk and Suffolk members, and the association be re- organised on the lines as set forth in the recommendation of June 11, 1914." It was further agreed that the'title of the association in future be The Norwich* and Ipswich Diocesan Association of Ringers." The annual report showed that 305 members served with the Forces during the war, and 44 of them made the supreme sacrifice. The total membership was now 1,069. The Dean of Norwich was elected president, in suc- cession to Mr. J. San croft Holmes, and Mr. Arthur L. CoTeman was re-elected secretary and treasurer.
PERSONAL SERVICE. A MISSIONARY FESTIVAL. THE festival in connection with the Diocesan Board of Missions Overseas held during last week, concluded on Friday at Ipswich. In the morning art intercession service was held at St. Mar- garet's Church, followed by a Con- ference at St. Laurence's Hall, the sub- ject for discussion being Personal Ser- vice." The Bishop of the Diocese, who presided, said that, however much they, might urge people to subscribe to mis- sionary work, however' carefully they might organise those things, they, after all, only led up to the essential consecra- tion of the lives of Christian men and women to the personal service in carry- ing out the great demands of their Lord. Canon H. *W. Hinde introduced the subject, and after discussion Bishop King, secretary of the S.P.G., and formerly Bishop of Madagascar, said that every single organisation in a parish should be linked up in some way with the missionary spirit, not leaving the missionary work quite separate, with' its own special organisation. The great work of the Church was to mobilise the forces of Christ for His work, and to do that they must have close personal com- munion through prayer with Christ. Finally, he said there was an absolute necessity for looking after and caring for missionaries home on furlough. In the afternoon a thanksgiving service was held at St. Mary-le-Tower Church, at which the preacher was Bishop King.
THE VICAR OF THAXTED, THE Rev. Conrad Noel, Vicar of Thaxted, has suffered a breakdown in health and has been staying for some time at Hunstanton. His condition has improved and he hopes shortly to return.