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Mr. Sherring's views of the condition of Hinduism itself and its future. Judged externally, it was never so flourishing; making extraordinary effort to maintain itself against the inroads of European civilization under its priests, pundits, and princes; maintaining this immense city almost upon piety alone, gathering pilgrims by the acre, numbering its still occupied temples in its sacred city by the thousand. But beneath all this parade of piety is the increase of the thirst for knowledge as never before, the multiplication of debating societies, the predilection of young men for study, and the absolute freedom of thought; above all, the spreading sect of the Brahmos, who co-operate with the telegraph and railroad, the canal and the metalled road, in throwing India open to the quickening civilization of Europe. Few, indeed, study the Vedas now; Sanscrit is getting out of date; all classes are becoming scandalized by idolatry; Hinduism is held by a relaxing grasp; whenever the tide changes openly, when the warm imagination of the Hindu is turned to Christianity, and his heart vitalized by its influence, India will lead the rest of Asia in casting her idols away, will be the servant of a new civilization and the herald of a higher humanity.
F. W. H.
THE most curious as well as useful of the books by the author of "Self-Help," is the last, the history of the creation of English manufactures through the persecution of French Protestants. It is strange to see England, as a merely pastoral country, importing all its clothing &c., until the Flemish artisans, exiled by civil war, and the French weavers, driven out by Romish persecution, built up the industry, wealth, and independence of Great Britain. Sismondi states that France lost nearly a million of population soon after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes; and, though some of it perished miserably enough, a large share went to create the manufacturing skill of England. Wherever the Fench Huguenot settled, the neighborhood flourished: new industries were introduced, wealth flowed in; France experienced a permanent loss, while England obtained an independence of which it had not dreamed. It is singular that so many names of familiar articles have been derived from the seats of their production abroad, mechlin lace, of Mechlin; diaper, of Ypres; cambric, of Cambray; tulle, of Tulle; damask, of Damascus; dimity, of Damietta; delph ware, from Delft; venetian glass, from Venice; cordovan
* The Huguenots: Their Settlements, Churches, and Industries in England and Ireland. By SAMUEL SMILES. London: John Murray, 1867.
leather, from Cordova; and millinery, from Milan. But it is amusing to find so many distinguished persons in the highest walks of life, whom the Huguenot persecution gave to England. As a necessary result the French revolution found "emptiness of pocket, of stomach, of head, and of heart;" found the Bayles, Claudes, saviors of a century before, replaced by Voltaire, Rousseau, and Diderot; found the God of the Huguenot's Bible exchanged for the Goddess of Reason, and the very clergy (who had exulted over the extinction of a worship different from their own) driven forth over the same roads to the same galley-slavery, or fleeing over the sea for refuge in the same English asylum. The Huguenots' descendants remain in the same localities where they originally settled. The industries they introduced still flourish, their horror at religious oppression continues unchanged; but their distinct worship has generally ceased, as was desirable. Providence,. certainly, has never preached a more emphatic discourse on the crime of religious persecution than in the wretchedness which France experienced through the banishment of its most intelligent, productive, virtuous, heroic citizens, because of their heresy.
F. W. H.
THE manful, simple, consecrated life of the true missionary, Conant, has not waited five years in vain for a biographer.* His openness of soul, his downrightness of action, his sustained fervor, his perfect practicality, make this history one of the most valuable ever written for hard workers in new places. While we beguiled a late hour with this almost autobiographic memoir, Macleod's "Earnest Student " lay open on the table, suggesting a contrast which may bring two books into notice at once. With ten times the profession, there is not a tenth part as much practice of self-dedication in John Mackintosh as in Augustus Conant; and not a hundreth part of the genuine service to humanity. With abundant means, Mackintosh travelled much, studied hard, attended theological lectures till nearly thirty years of age, when he died of consumption; having distributed, meanwhile, religious tracts; talked earnestly, especially with Jews, on spiritual themes, written on behalf of personal religion to all within his circle, and made constant preparation for the ministry of the Free Church in Scotland; this told the story of his earnestness.
* A Man in Earnest: Life of A. H. Conant. By ROBERT COLLYER. Boston. Horace B. Fuller, 1868.
With far less ability and no money, with no social or college culture, this Western farmer threw himself into the least compensated, most incessant, and exacting work done under the sun; started one society with which his name is identified, and revived another, which will never forget his unpretending goodness, while one who knew him in the flesh remains; and all his labor was elevated and blest by being done to deliver others, as he had himself been delivered, from darkness of soul unto spiritual light, peace, joy. At last, feeling that his country's struggle demanded every kind of help, and knowing how much practical ability of various sorts his struggle with life had developed, Conant went down into the battle, not as a formal prayermaker, but as a good Samaritan, preaching such practical sermons as upon the value of straw to the soldier, working with might and main for temperance, watching over the sick, bringing the wounded into hospital, cheering the dying under the leaden hail itself, there to fall at last in the Brigade Hospital of Murfreesborough, a willing sacrifice, an unglorified martyr. And this was Augustus Conant's earnestness. The biography is very much like the boy's tune, which was so good that it whistled itself;" but the sermon at the close deserved to be preserved in this enduring form, as like Starr King's address at Colonel Baker's grave, a monument more enduring than marble, the outflow of an affection more eloquent than any words.
F. W. H.
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