[From Ramsey Church Magazine 1898]
[by T.E. Brown - reprinted from Ramsey Courier]
These appeared in successive issues terminating in Vol II #20 Aug 1897 - the titles were somewhat haphazard!
MANXIANA ! The word is barbarous, detestable but still it very fairly expresses any meaning, and I will use it. Manxiana, that is, Manx things, things about the Manx Manx words, Manx idioms, Manx proverbs, Manx sense, Manx nonsense, sayings, doings, games, tragedies, comedies, manners, customs, Manx .arts, Manx manufactures, Manx persons, Manx parsons, sailors, farmers, boats, carts, fishing, farming, Manx virtues, and, if there be any, Manx vices, Manx heroes; Manx rascals, old Manx men, old Manx women, boees, gels Manx company Manx solitude, Manx entomology, Manx botany, conchology, and the rest of the ologies -a large order, a very large order.
Some of these things we are attending to after an intermittent fashion; some are drifting beyond our recall. Our fore-fathers, well-meaning men did not care about such matters. Self-conciousness is a modern vice, or virtue, whichever you like to call it. They were not self-conscious, never seemed to have the slightest idea that they might be interesting to us, their descendants. They liked to arrange about property, they signed their wills, and died like Christians. As regards bodily presence and personal appearance, at most they saw to their portraits being painted by the " Buck Kewin " of the period. But of the living men, how they looked and acted and thought, how they loved and hated, how they amused themselves, what a Manx dinner-party was like, a Manx dance, well - anything, we are left very much to guesses and conjectures.
The Monks of Rushen kept a chronicle But how about the chronicle of daily life, the history of families, family alliances, the "childher "? Where are the Manx " Paston Letters ":' We leave a few collections in MS. Inestimable is the correspondence of Bishop Hildesley, Philip Moore, and their friends, a correspondence which Philip Moore's descendant, Mr A. W. Moore, has given me the opportunity of reading. It lights up a certain period and portion of our domestic history, and occasionally makes it glow and flash with vital interest. But the light goes out, and we are " left darkling." It is dismal groping through centuries of dulness when we are well assured that our ancestors were not dull, feeling for some hand to grasp and reassure our own, one hand, if it might be, of all the hands which we are convinced were once as strenuous and hearty as those with which we dispel the present. A few, a very few, such collections there are, but sufficient to show what the men were about, to indicate what they could have done for us if they had taken both themselves and the succceeding age seriously enough, if they had paid us the compliment (by some of us, I will confess, underserved) of believing that we would be capable of understanding them, and yearning to them.
In Mr A. W. Moore's Manx Note Book, No. 6, p. 81, we have a scene suggested, in the letter from Deemster Peter John Heywood to Professor Thorkelin, which may well set us thinking, thinking and longing. In the letter the good Deemster tells us hew Philip Moore and the Vicar-General meeting at Bishop's Court about the translation of the Bible into Manx, fell a discussing of Macpherson's "Fingal and Ossian," just published ; how the old gardener overheard them (of course, what more likely ? admirable old gardener t I think I see him), and told them of " a very antient woman, that could sing them a good son,; abort those [ yandhar] men. Surely we have all read that charming fragment of correspondence, and blest Philip Moore, and been grateful to Peter John Heywood : yes, and recognised the good offices of the Danish Professor too. A suggestion only-. for the men of those days did not indulge in word-painting. But, if we close our eyes for a moment, it comes bodied forth, the sweet old scene, the perfume of learning still lingering around the venerable pile, the two friends full of the latest news from tho literary world (was not the awful name of Johnson imported into the discussion :'). the old gardener, and that "very antient woman," his brother's wife. And the "Old Dame " readily sings them " eight or ten verses.'' and Philip Moore as readily produces the pen, and takes them all down. What a man he was ! And the "antient woman —" was the gardener's brother's wife, was she: Depend upon it. there was a long coosh about that, and the "antient woman " was duly entered in her proper place among the Teares, or the Corletts, or the Callows of that ilk. Imagine her :-"Yis, Mr Moore, aye, Mr Curghey ; ye see, my mother was a sackon' cousin to — that's the way, and so —" Peace, darling old chatterbox ! Let Mr Moore write down another verse. O si sic semper O si sic plura!. We would give any number of " Isle of Man Statutes," " Parr's Abstracts," reports of Town Commissioners' meetings, reports of proceedings in the Tynwald Court. of meetings about this, and meeting, about that, meetings of directors. meetings of shareholders, verbatim and verbose - the triumph of stenography - all, all might go for just old letter that, piercing through such ephemera. arrives at the very actual, visible presence of men like Deemster Heywood and Philip Moore.
LETTERS like those of Philip Moore are not mere papers to prove something ; but documents - documentas, in the French sense, fragments of contemporary life, beats caught on the actual, throbbing life - pulse; no phonograph more definite or authentic.
But we have so few. Why did not these dear old men think more about us : do more for us ?
I suppose because they had no idea that the whole ground was slipping away from under their feet. Those eighteenth century hearts had a firm grip upon their age; sound brains, equable temperaments were the rule. Before them was the French Revolution ; it is behind us. One great nation, at least, had to rise from its ruins, to re-construct, to make all thing., new. But, as it proceeded in this work, it was profoundly conscious of the desolation ; and the melancholy, the romance, the love and the regret, that have ever since haunted the imagination of our neighbours over the channel, have passed into all European countries, and hang everywhere in the atmosphere of our time.
And this will continue; this irrepressible longing. We Manx people long for our forefathers in a certain deep and dissatisfied way. That is, some of us do. But this longing will increase will become more universal: the demand will he more imperious. I venture to predict that before A.D. 2000, our posterity will call us emphatically to account in this matter. They will say. " What have you done with, the Island ?-its character, its manners, its language, its Church, its people? We see the hills, the glens, the shores, but where are the ancient ways and landmarks ?"
And they will ask this in their very unhappiness and weariness. For the dead level of monotonous and identical activity threatens by that time to have merged us in a common current of the British Mälstrom. Our life will be insipid and vulgar and truly a "life not worth living " and we will hark back to the past, we shall long, for its variety, its contrasts, its romance, the accentuation of its simple annals. the humour. the heart, Yes, that is it.
What are we doing to feed the heart of our people? It is a Manx heart : I know of no other. What are we doing to keep it alive and active and healthy - I will not mince matters-to keep it Manx ?
Now then for the Manxiana - things about the Isle of Man, things calculated to warm our Manx hearts, ere they cease to be Manx.
Shall we write and publish books We are not a reading people ; we are a talking people ; and this must be taken into consideration. Great literary wings have swooped down upon us lately, and the genius of Mr Hall Caine has swept the whole Island as with the breath of fire. Will that do much good ? Not, I think, as regards the purpose in hand. He transcends us, and he transforms us with a magnificent transformation. He takes us captive, and lays us on the altar of a supreme ideal. We are amazed and a good many of us rather alarmed. For myself, I have no difficulty about Mr Hall Caine, no hesitation in tracing his orbit, no doubts in determining his altitude. But; I repeat, he does not enter into the field which I am contemplating.
What are we doing ?
Mr Rydings has published some admirable tales. From them our countrymen may extract the very honey of the Manx hive ; it will refresh them. A wonderful device, moreover, is that of Miss Graves. I refer to the Manx cottage as shown in the exhibition of the Art Guild. There we have all object lesson of a kind which I could wish to see extended.
However, I am not pointing out what we might do, but what we are doing surely little enough. Think what the future will require at our hands. We have stepped into a very limited inheritance ; that is not our fault. But we ought to take great care of it, hand it down, certainly unimpaired. That is the least that we can do. No one, I should say, has done better work on these lines than Mr A. W. Moore in his Manx Note Book. I refer more particularly to this one of his works, because it has been the means of collecting and preserving the fragments that remain. Mr P. M. C. Kermode in his Lioar Manniagh, has done excellent service. At an earlier date the" Manx Society", grappled, not-unintelligently ,with the task of editing documents illustrative of our history, and threw much light on the whole field of Manx enquiry.
In my next chapter I shall endeavour to form some estimate of what has been accomplished by these praiseworthy efforts. At the same time I will not conceal the fact that I want something more and something different. If archaeology and the "ologies" in general will rekindle the life of our people, warm their hearts, and fascinate their imaginations, well and good, But I "has my doots."
THE "Manx Society " was established in the year 1858. The first Editors were hardly the. kind of men to carry out the work The names of the Rev J. G. Cumming, J. R. Oliver, M.D., Rev W. Mackenzie,, H. L. Oswald, F.S.A., W. Harrison, H K., can only be mentioned with respect. They were not Manxmen, and they did not possess those scientific qualifications which alone could have justified their undertaking the task.
This is the special difficulty besetting the subject. Just in proportion as the field of enquiry was narrow and apparently insignificant, it demanded for its successful treatment labourers of the very highest linguistic and historical ability and experience. Nor would the ripest literary culture have been out of place, while a touch of genius would have done no harm. Enthusiasm will not light up obscurity ; indefatigable curiosity is no substitute for real knowledge and the habit of research. Where could we get Editors? We had to take those who first presented themselves, Learning, Science ware engaged elsewhere, and we were fain to put up with busy bodies, faddists more or less exemplary, men of very imperfect equipments, in fact, be it said. I hope not irreverently, "a scratch lot." The faddist at his worst appears in Mr Mackenzie, who had views to propagate, original, and, some have whispered, cracky. Mr Cumming had a way entirely his own, a heavy gait,, a sloppy style, and sprawling method,, to which his sound work as a geologist can scarcely be said to reconcile us. But, as the plans of the Society developed, the lack of Editors however incompetent was felt more and more, until some of the names are well nigh appalling, and, if we shrink from branding the familiar "fool" as rushing in where; in short, he ought not to be, we may be excused from recognizing the homely noodle in the cathedra of erudition, where distinctly he ought not to be. In 1855 the Science of Comparative Philology was everywhere in its infancy, and the Manx Clergy, pardonably enough, did not possess it even in embryo. Imagine therefore poor Dr Kelly and his Manx Grammar and Manx Dictionary in about 1776! To tell the truth, Dr Johnson could have done no better: it was the very nadir of Philology, an era of groping and feeling about the walls of the cave. Philology, capable of dealing with the Keltic tongues has been the growth of the last 85 years. What then could Mr Gill and Mr Clarke do with the Manx Grammar and Dictionary? They were both men of great natural acumen, no noodles they, but intelligent and, on their day, even brilliant men. But, on this scale, and in this sense, they were not scholars, could not have been. It would have been better if they had done nothing except publish the works exactly as they had come from the hand of Dr Kelly. On the whole Mr Gill did this. But the lesser Cyclops, Mr Clarke, was impatient of the cave, and made strong efforts to extend the Manx vocabulary. It was not. I should think without a grim smile that Mr Gill covenanted for the English-Manx division of the Dictionary to be peppered all over with the distinctive C. Kelly's "Manx Grammar" was hopeless. Mr Gill evidently found it to be so, and, after some little hesitation, gave it " in its original integrity." That is, in its obvious imbecility. Except as a curiosity, it might as well have gone into the waste-paper basket. We have no Manx Grammar ; or else, heaven help the Manxman who shall attempt, in the presence of a competent Keltic scholar, to explain, or apologise for the semblance of a grammar which we have.
And, to abandon these purely linguistic matters, how about " Oswald's Vestigia," "Oliver's Monumenta," The Book of Manx Antiquities, vol. i. (there never was a vol ii.) ? What common understanding had these gentlemen, how did they arrange to avoid repetition and overlapping, to "lanket" the vagabond Editor, and restrain the garrulous ?
Of course the "Society" itself was not a "Learned Society." No society could be called that in the sense of every member being a learned man?. But the "Learned Societies," for the most part surely, employ as their Editors men of learning. In our case, we were all ignorant together: the blind led the blind, and we fell into a terrible ditch-that is the simple fact of it.
And, if everything had. gone well, if men of real learning had been engaged, how far should we have got what I believe we want? With any Editor, under any circumstances, will the Manx hearts be stirred by "Vestigia," by " Monumenta," by " Manx Antiquities ?" Undoubtedly they have their value, vestigial, monumental, what-not. But they don't quicken a pulse; the "res" are there, but not the "lacryimae rerum." Think of the imagination required to make these dead bones live We are not poets, we want to "use helps" and "undergird " our souls. These things leave us cold, frozen, " Dead bones "-well, there may be life ; but it is the life of the frog in the marsh, the toad in the hole. Where is the music, where is the laughter, where is the " light of other days ?" T. E. B.
Is the Manx language dead? No; but there are plenty of people who wish it was, and, with them, the wish is father to the thought.
They are ashamed of it, or, rather, perhaps, they are ashamed of themselves. They do feel a responsibility about it, and, until it has breathed its last, they can hardly get rid of the feeling.
Yet it persists in living. " Bother the thing !" I fancy I hear someone say, "Why can't it die and be done with it? But there it is
Whining and moaning, And pining and groaning in odd corners, and it won't die." No, it won't ; and all your neglect, and the elaborate snubbing the poor thing has received, will not produce the desired result in a hurry.
Yes, you have a responsibility, you Manx optimates. With you it began, this contempt for your old language. You wanted perhaps, to acquire a good English style, and you could not; trust your shallow culture to bear the two crops. You were afraid of the Manx tares growing up with the English wheat. I hope you gained the good English, but ought you to have sacrificed the good Manx? If the leading people in the Island fifty years ago had made up their minds to cultivate and honour their native tongue, to see that their children were taught it, and taught to respect it, we should still have it flourishing amongst us, instead of leading the life it leads now, the life of a pamper and a pariah, and that in the land of its birth.
Every now and then, it is true, we kick the poor old thing till it sits up, and stares, and jabbers, and we laugh and are merry. But this is not life. Beyond, and in spite of such exhibitions, has the Manx language a life ? I believe it has, nay, I am certain it has,
"Where will you hear it?" said an " anxious enquirer" the other day. " Aw, you'll aisy hear it, if you want to," was the reply of a Manx labouring maid. Exactly ; but, if you sedulously shut your ears to it, if you give everyone to understand that it is supposed to be dead, and that you yourself know and care nothing about it, you are not likely to hear it.
"You'll aisy hear it, if you want to," and that has been verified by me in many instances, and lately. Here are two In a carriage on the Manx Northern Railway, only last autumn, a man, I should say under 70, was asleep. Suddenly he woke up, and began to talk Manx. The other passengers seemed ignorant of Manx, though of that I am not so sure. At any rate, they professed not to understand him. I asked him whether he had been dreaming in Manx. Of course he had, and the transition from Manx dreaming to Manx talking was obvious and immediate; it was not even transition, it was an act of simple continuity. I did not observe that he was ashamed, or even embarrassed, but suspect my fellow travellers pitied him as the victim of an unconscious betrayal, will as a person who had revealed, inadvertently, a more or less disgraceful secret, venial, possibly, but to be regretted. I suppose I patted him on the back; I was, however, the only one who did so.
Again, only a few days ago, up Glen Auldyn, I met a man, who gave me his age as approaching sixty. He spoke Manx, and could read Manx ; yet he told me his parents had never spoken Manx to him. Why hadn't they? He couldn't say. But I think I could. They had belonged to the shy, and nervous, and shrinking Manx, the Manx who kept their Manx to themselves; perhaps as a precious solace (gerjagh), perhaps as a vehicle for the communication of ideas which they desired to reserve from their children. Well, here was one of these very children, in whom neither the exclusion of Manx from Andreas Parish School, nor its withdrawal from the family intercourse at home, availed to smother the instinct which led him to his mother tongue. His parents belonged to the period of my youth, his youth corresponded to mine. Would that my Youth had been thus guided by the law that underlies all others !
Now, this tendency, of which I could give countless instances, is what, for want of a fitter term, we may call the " harking back-" tendency. Whenever you see this, it should be encouraged. It is a strong and genial force binding the generations together. Nor does it matter much what the motive may be. I have already suggested the possible use in domestic life connected with bilingual facility-the parents can say in Manx things which they do not desire their children to understand, And the advantage is just as much appreciated by the couples now advancing beyond middle ago as it was by; their predecessors-" Don't let the childhar hear ye!' " Well then, spake Manx for all :"
But this motive does not go to the root of the matter. We "hark back" when we long for our forefathers ; and, because we long for them, because, too, there is a sweetness that haunts their memory, a fragrance that embalms their dust, an unutterable craving and that in minds the, least sophisticated, for all that belonged to them, and was theirs.
If you don't feel this yourself, I am sorry for you. But don't judge others by yourself. Thousands of Manxmen, thank God ! here and elsewhere. have this sentiment (yes, call it a sentiment, make the most of the jibe) deep down within them, and through and through them.
You don't see,? No, you don't go about the right way to see it You make all possible preparation, you adjust yourself to the pose of attention. you smooth over the natural rictus of your facial muscles, you are extremely civil, you condescend to the native intonations, you open your note-book. Good gracious ! open your heart, fling that open. Give the poor Manxman some pledge that you are at any rate a man, that it is not entirely hopeless that you may understand him, and sympathise with him. Then " the two of ye, it's laiik " will begin to "hark back," and " that'll be nice."
April 6, 1896. T. E. BROWN.
THE gradual vanishing of the Manx language from the service of the Church is a subject of some interest, archaic, perhaps, rather than practical. I hardly know whether, when the Reformation discontinued the Latin services, we had the English prayers instead. There seems some reason to believe that the clergy tried, as best they could, to patch up a kind of accommodation between the languages, reading, I imagine, the English Prayer Book, and rendering it into Manx extempore. One thing is certain, and that is that Bishop Phillips's Manx Prayer Book was not used. The reason is not quite plain. Possibly it was regarded as a failure, possibly the people, accustomed to an unintelligible Latin service, were not particularly impressed with the fact that the English service was also unintelligible. Of the two unintelligibles the Latin would appear to be the, more familiar and the more venerable. English was quite out of court; but that it was uninteligible was rather in its favour than otherwise.
At any rate, Bishop Phillip's Prayer Book was not printed, and could not have been of much use. " It is of no use to the present generation.'' said Bishop Wilson, and Sacheverell informs us that the clergy translated [presumeably the English Prayer Book] "off-hand more to the understanding of the people." This method of off-hand translation seems to have continued down to 1765, though in 1762 the Archbishop of York condemned it, and urged upon Bishop Hildesley the advisability of procuring "a plain translation of the Liturgy." Bishop Hildesley needed no urging; he thoroughly appreciated the importance of a Manx Translation, and in every way recognised the Manx as the language of the people, a language to be studied, fostered, and encouraged.
In 1765 we. had a Manx Prayer Book, and I suppose it was universally used in the Island. How far the service was read in English after the publication of the Manx Service-book I do not know. I have heard that the English was read once a month. I myself have been the witness of a change to the direct converse of this proportion, one Manx service a month to three English, and that in the morning only, Evensong being always read in English. This was the last stand of the vernacular. At dates varying in the different parishes the Manx language disappeared altogether. At Braddan, where my father became Vicar in 1832, it had at that time descended to an equality of the two languages-alternate Manx and English. Before his death (1846) the Manx was struggling for a. bare once-a-month (observe, only in the mornings). For some years that admirable old Manxman, Mr Drury, continued the same quota. Then (I cannot state the year) even he had to abandon it, and for the Manx Church the Manx language became silent for ever. I have no certain knowledge, but I think it is improbable that this selvage of Manx was maintained by anyone longer than by Mr Drury.
By what authority the changes were made I have no idea; but I should say by the parson, possibly with the advice of the churchwardens, though this modified reference to the parishioners would seem to me to be doubtful.
My own recollection goes to suggest that the Manx services were thus gradually given up because the clergy thought they were not sufficiently attended. I cant say how they satisfied themselves that their "English congregations," as they called them, were more numerous than the Manx. For my part, I am disposed to believe that the change from Manx to English made very little difference as regarded the attendance of churchgoers, or the amount of offertories, that is, at any rate, in the long run.
One curious point is the matter of occasional services, such as the Burial of the Dead, and the Solemnization of Matrimony. I don't remember having ever heard the Burial Service read in Manx. Speaking under correction, I should say that the clergy, as a rule, read it in English; and that this was so from a very early period I am disposed to gather from the touching and pathetic fact that Bishop Hildesley left special directions that the service at his funeral should be conducted in Manx.
I was never present at a Manx marriage service, and should very much like to know from my contemporaries, the children of Manx country clergymen, whether they remember such a scene. On the other hand, I have heard of a wedding at Rushen, where the service was read in English, and, upon coming out of church, the woman said to the man (of course in Manx) :-" Are we married, Billy ?" "Faith, I don't know, gel," was the reply of the unedified Benedick. This is significant.
No doubt Confirmations were held in English. though catechizing and preparation for the rite were largely carried on in Manx.[fpc: in many registers dating mid 18th C two lists are present with about equal numbers] In Baldwin the Vicar of Braddan was once examining his catechumens. He asked one of the girls the following question:-" How did the Children of Israel escape out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage ?" The question was asked in Manx ; the answer was also in Manx :-" I don't know; I never was in the land of Egypt nor in the house of bondage, never hadn't no clothes to go there. And that's the way the lies is getting about." Imagine dear old Mr Howard.
The service of Holy Communion ought not to be included in the occasional services. But, as celebrated in the Manx church when I was a youth, it really was very occasional. What was done about the "Manx Communion " I am utterly unable to say. Perhaps some of my readers can enlighten me, I mean from their own knowledge, not from hearsay. I take it for granted, however, that on high festivals of the church, to which, in those days, the administration of this sacrament was limited, all the services were in English. Was there any special Sunday, not a High Festival, set apart for the Eucharist in Manx? I doubt it.
As to baptisms, the custom prevailed of having them after the Second Lesson in the evening (afternoon) service. The services were always in English, consequently I have never witnessed the administration of Holy Baptism in the Manx language.
The reluctance to go in for a thorough use of the Manx Liturgy is very remarkable. It may have arisen from there being no felt necessity for an intelligent participation in rites of a mystic tendency as compared with those portions of Divine service which, like our ordinary Morning and Evening Prayer, imply edification and the exercise of the mental faculties. The acquiescence in a tongue not " understanded of the people " may have come down from the period of hocus-pocus and the mumbling of masses.
Marriage is regarded as a sacrament by the Roman Catholic Church. And our people were evidently quite content to look upon it as a rite of that nature. To get married was the main point ; no matter how. Intelligent participation might almost be viewed as the profanation of a mystery. In any case, Opus oparatum est would still, and not untheologically, express their feeling. " The deed is done, done by a priest, it is all right, we didn't understand a word, why should we? is dinner ready?" And so home with mighty rejoicings, blowing; of horns, firing of guns, and general sympathy and approbation. Two young people are one, two good farms are one: it has been an excellent day's work.
The service for the Burial of the Dead has never been considered a Sacrament. For consolation, and indeed for edification what more fruitful source? No wonder that it has always tended to a sacramental overflow, and the accompanying celebration of the Holy Communion: why should Manx people have cared so little to welcome: among; them this angel of hope and love? Is it that through the mere English, so magnificent, so full of noble pathos, there steals a spirit that charins and soothes, awes and overpowers-".The Clergy feel that, and import into their utterances the deepest tones, and the finest tremors of sensibility. Few clergymen read this service badly, many of them read it admirably. The Manx people heard the alien speech without understanding, but not without emotion. It may be too that under all this there lay a consciousness of dignity and importance, a satisfaction that our " departed brother" was attended to the grave with all the pomp and circumstance with which it was in their power to surround him. It was in the Parson's hands, they had done what they could,and now but why carry the analysis further A Funeral is an important occasion; it gives us importance ; we like it to be well done; it is better in the hands of the professional experts, the undertaker, the clerk, the parson - the "oul' parson." Do I exaggerate? I believe this is human nature, and I have not one word to say against it.
To us children, knowing little or no Manx, the Manx services were, perhaps, rather wearisome. Still some of us learnt a good deal of the language by following with our English prayerbooks. At one time I think I must have known the whole of the Liturgy in Manx, and even now I believe I could undertake to go through much of the Morning Prayer without a book. It might be a trifle rash, but I am pretty confident that Archdeacon Gill, as parson, with myself as clerk, will engage to supply a, very respectable Manx service.
The old Manx clerk too is a delightful memory. The psalms, those translated in our Manx book of common prayer, were sung by him mainly as a soloist, and to tunes the most weird and unearthly, How he struggled, how he varied, embellished, lost himself, found himself, made glorious havoc of metre, rhythm, every-thing-a wailing and a desolation most un-musical most melancholy! No one could correct him, no one could step him. " Like a peelican in the wilderness and an ole in the desert," he wandered on alone and irresponsible.
I suppose that the last men who real the Manx service were Mr Drury, of Braddan, Mr Caine,of Lonan, Mr John Qualtrough. of Bride. It is all over ; but with me their memory is sacred. Let us not forget the "oul standards," in their day and generation they were good and true. We surely cannot but remember such men were, And that they were most precious."
CLERICAL meetings are, I suppose, very serious things. I was never present at one. The modern clerical meeting differs from the clerical meeting of 40 years ago. The men smoke; that is an innovation. They probably talk gossip: they certainly discuss a passage of the New Testament, I am credibly informed, with more, or less reference to the original text.
I hardly think clerical meetings existed in my father's time. He smoked; but, as a rule, his brethren did not. No one qualification for modern membership was possessed by him, but of course, ineffectually. He possessed other qualifications, but that is just now neither here nor there.
A clerical meeting of the modern sort was held not very long ago in a district, rural deanery, I know not what-somewhere in the Island at any rate. There was a good deal of smoking; but the meeting did not altogether end in smoke. It ended in a fine threshing administered by a leading member of the clerical body to an erring brother. Be it understood, the threshing was verbal. Puffing away at his pipe, quoth the erring brother - puffing, smirking, self-satisfied, ambrosial, good-looking, well groomed, well-found generally - "Whatever may be said of the Manx Church in the present day, one thing is certain-we can decidedly congratulate ourselves on the superiority of the Manx clergy to their predecessors of the past generation."
" Congratulate ourselves!" The man, of course, was a goose: he was not a Manxman ; he knew neither generation of the Manx clergy. He was an Englishman, a Literate, and of the species denominated whippersnapper. On to him leaped-that is the only word-a tremendous Manxman-leaped, took a seat, what you like, mauled, pommelled, annihilated the singularly rash Literate. The Manxman was well within his right; and he was a heavy-handed Manxman, with " a tongue arrim that-" a Manx clergyman, son and grandson of Manx clergymen-well, he laid it on with a will, "wiss taste, I tell ye."
But whipper-snappers are innumerable, and whippersnappers are irrepressible. Therefore it may not be, amiss to inquire into this matter-What sort of men were the Manx clergy of the old school ?
For the most part, they also, like our friend, the Whippersnapper, were Literates. That is to say, they had not been to a University. The fact is, young Manxmen in those days did not go to the Universities. Neither did they go to a Theological Seminary, or Training College.
Then their native ignorance was left to its own devices ? No, not exactly that, in the first place, as a rule, they were gentlemen : in the second, they were, or certainly included the elite of the Manx community intellectually, socially, and morally. They were the men who ought to have been sent to a University, who, in these days, would be sent, who fostered, stimulated, prepared, and exhibited to, as our Manx youths might be, but, perhaps, are not, at King William's College, would take high honours at the University.
Are we beginning to get a little more, light ? We said gentlemen: is, not that significant ? Gentlemen intellectually and morally distinguished, but lacking the University stamp. That is, speaking broadly, the kind of man
How were they educated ?
Largely at home. No education at all, do you say? Don't be so sure. They finished with Castlley.
Now Dr Castley was a Cambridge man of much and varied learning, including the Oriental languages. In fact, he was a great swell, and a great teacher. He was the master appointed by the Trustees of the Academic Fund, his one great function was to prepare young Manxmen for Holy Orders. Out of the " Academic Fund," the interests of which he so faithfully served, grew King William's College, which prepares the sons of anybody, anywhere, for anything, but does not pay special attention to the needs of the Manx Church. Our present theological seminary (or whatever it is called) would have to work hard, and materially reinforce its teaching, staff if it dreamt, of doing the work " Old Castley " did.He was an excellent scholar: think of what that means independently of the teaching, think of the reverence for learning, the modest appreciation of one's own powers suggested, if not inculcated by the presence of such a man in such a capacity amongst us.
"Trustees of the Academic Fund?"" Bishop Barrow's Charity?"" Bishop Barrow's Foundation?" Call it what you will. Who are they? What are they' The whole business is summed up in a boarding school with a precarious Manx root, a miscellaneous floraison of Tom, Dick, and Hal from the surrounding countries, wherein one discovers an occasional Kneale, or Kewley, or Kewish, the forlorn representative of local colour. Such a "foundation," such a; superstructure ! One sighs for a Castley, a scholar, a man of learning ; one regrets the times when men like him might be had, I dare say "cheap;" one is compelled to admit that there were Manxmen in those days who knew what they were about, and knew how to put the right man in the right place.
Now, take our present breed. They are chiefly Literates, with no University degree. So were the old men. But what a difference ! Men, "elect, separate," the pick of our race, destined for their office, and, with a view to that office, educated by an eminent scholar and Divine. On the other hand, the modern Literate, with the doubtful antecedents, the scratch education, the commercial varnish, the questionable aitches, the impossible manners. Am I right, or am I wrong, when I prefer the old Manxmen ? I know a few brilliant exceptions, among the modern Literates, but they are very few. Such men the Manx Church is fortunate in posssasing. But the ruck is the ruck, and I appeal to all good Churchmen, and gentlemen, and sensible and observant men,whether my preference is not justified by the facts.
We have been standing long enough in an apologetic attitude, " 'at in 'and," to these self-complacent personages, who " congratulate " themselves " on the superiority of the Manx clergy [Manx !] to their predecessors in the past generation." Impudence and ignorance! Let us call this sort of thing by its right name. And. let us do so all the more freely, and the more trenchantly, when we know that the words of Whipper-snapper are not the mere surface bubbles of fatuous folly, that the sentiment which they convey underlies the whole situation. and is the unconsciously postulated " rule of the road " for clerical circles in the Isle of Man.
In order to bring home to our readers the grounds and conditions of any attempt to estimate the clergy of the old school in the Manx Church, I think I cannot do better than try to sketch a few of our old Manx parsons. About the modern importations enough, perhaps, has been said. The real old Manx parsons, though not of a very remote period, are the men we want to know.
In our next number, therefore, and in succeeding numbers, some specimens shall be duly set forth in the columns appropriated to " Manxiana."
Ramsey, July 8, 1896. T. E. Brown.
REV HUGH STOWELL.
The Rev Hugh Stowell was born in about 1790, but I cannot exactly fix the date. His father was Thomas Stowell, his mother Ann Brown. She was my great-aunt, and lies in Ballure Churchyard, over her grave the celebrated inscription : -
" She was the mother of fifteen sons and one daughter." -
"May they like her their time employ,
And meet her in the realms of joy.''
Mr Thomas Stowell was in the habit of saying :-" I have fifteen sons, and a sister to each of them." This was strictly true.
We know of three sons who attained to some age, and to such distinction its is possible in our little Island. Hugh was Rector of Ballaugh, Thomas was Clerk of the Rolls, and Joseph was Master of Peel Grammar School.
The family has generally been considered Manx, though ein attempt has been made to prove it of English descent, as if from "Stow well." Mr Moore, in his book of Names, has traced it back in the Island to 1511 ; and the farm of Ballastole in Braddan, the family of Stole-y-Volley near Ramsey. and the traditional pronunciation of Stole (not Stowell) everywhere, may be regarded as almost conclusive in favour of the native origin. The Rector of Ballaugh had a son also called Hugh, the well known Canon of Manchester, a grandson, Hugh Stowell Gill, now Archdeacon of Man, and many god-children called after his venerable and beloved name, as, for instance, my brother, Hugh Stowell Brown, of Liverpool.
Mr Stowell was Chaplain of St. Matthew's, Douglas, then Vicar of Lonan, then Rector of Ballaugh. He died in 1836, and was succeeded by his friend, the Rev Thos. Howard. The Rectory of Ballaugh has since been held by the Rev W. Kermode: the present Rector is the Rev E. W. Kissack. In 1814 Mrs Stowell died, and is buried in Kirk Lonan. Thither her husband also was borne from Ballaugh twenty-two years afterwards to rest by her side.
Mr Stowell was a man of short stature, and homely, though benevolent countenance. In the silhonette which I possess one could hardly discover the magnificent lines of the great Canon with. his leonine pose, or it fore shadowing of our tall and handsome Archdeacon. But in this little man was the whole root, of the matter, a spirit of divine energy, loving-kindness, faith, and zeal.
I can just remember him, but the testimony is universal: here was ia man of God, a veritable saint. That is no extravagant term to use. Canonized by common acclaim, a saint, a holy man, a wise and able man, what needs he of Ecclesiastical recognition or Papal authorization ? I wish we had more saints like him ; and I rather think we have had, not nem. con.., but nemine suspicante (no one suspecting), "unknownced," as the people say- the lek is in."
I said I can just remember him. My father was his first cousin, though much younger, and we used to have him coming over occasionally to Braddan. occasionally, and great occasions they were; it was an honour and a privilege to entertain our dear old kinsman. The best chamber, the best of everything was devoted to his service. J remember the room, the little brass-nailed trunk that contained his "things," the exquisite neatness, not to say nattiness of the man. I remember the room, for, from the moment he entered the house-the good man, the saint-the room was hallowed. Into it, as into a sanctuary, he would take us children Singly, teachinig us hymns and prayers, giving us "little book",praying over us and with us. From his face, from his clothes, there seemed to proceed an effluence of sanctity. At any rate I suppose that is the reason why I never thought of him as anything but a spirit, a most lovable apparition, that did not frighten me in the least, with whom I liked to be, and felt, though in an awed and chastened way, at home. He was inexpressibly sweet-so I thought---good, holy, close to God, already in Heaven, or on the threshold, safe to be admitted very soon.
These were childish impressions. But, investigate as I may, I find that older people thought much the same. The fact is there can be no doubt that in Mr Stowell we had an all but angelic presence, a heavenly-minded man, and something more, a splendour and a power.
He was a great preacher; wherever he filled the pulpit, he invariably filled the church
He was a. diligent pastor, indeed somewhat of an expert, one who loved to observe and cultivate in others the Christian graces which so eminently adorned himself. Hence his biographies, He had a biographical instinct. His life of Bishop Wilson has hardly been superseded by Keble's elaborate performance, though we may allow that the study of so great a man as Thomas Wilson required to be conducted from two stand points, and by men of divergent Church views. Wilson is a phenomenon which, like a solar eclipse, cannot be observed from too many stations. It is easy to see what attracted Mr Stowell, what fascinated Mr Keble, nay, perhaps, caught the far off gaze of Victor Hugo, in the illustrious Prelate who even at this distance makes us all love him and tremble: Mr Stowell was an Evangelical of the Evangelicals. He belonged to the school before it became soured by the contest with what is known as the " Oxford Movement," when it was striving not so much against what then called "Puseyisim" as against a dead clergy, and an irreligious laity. He belonged to the school of Wilberforce, of Venn, of Scott, of Cowper, of Newton. These men wanted to stir up a sluggard church; so did Pusey and Keble, but by different instruments, and in in a different way. It is sometimes hard to realise the essential oneness of such opposites, but nevertheless it exists, and they have found it existing in the Heaven that now holds them. On earth we still jangle and wrangle; up there it is all right, and they see the King in His beauty.
Mr Stowell wrote a good many short biographies beside the volume devoted to the life of Bishop Wilson. We have a memoir of William Leece, of Sophia Leece, of William Kelly, of Francis de la Pryme Geneste, of Williain Curphey, of the Rev Joseph Stowell. In all these we find the same glow of piety, the same love of goodness, the same yearning for the salvation of sinners, the same delight in simple folk and quiet, undemonstrative Christianity. In all of them too we recognise the saune style, a style by no means inelegant, the same method, modest and gentle, but convinced and convincing. A few touches of humour might have improved and brightened these tracts, but, in spite of the example set them by their favourite Cowper, onr fathers world have considered humour, upon such an occasion, to be in bad taste; and they were, before all things men of taste, refined and cultivated, "mortified," I daresay they would have called it.
Local colour is sadly wanting in these biographies the fact is our fathers had never heard of such a thing, and if they had, would have regarded it as an impertinence if not a condescending to the flesh, and a dallying with that awful thing, the world. Several of Mr Stowell's compositions were adopted by the Religious Tract Society.
A Manx parson has got little time to spare from the performance of his "plain and practical" dut:ies. How thoroughly Mr Stowell attended to these is well-known. He, was "a grand pazon ;" in season, out of season. he laboured as few men have laboured to cultivate the plot assigned to him in the vineyard. There are cottages in Ballaugh about whose rafters, and "llatts" and "scraas " his breath must still seem lingering, glens in Lonan that must retain the murmured cadence of his voice.
On one occasion he carried this apostolic, energy into a wider field. He went to England to beg for the Manx Church. It was a mistake. The money raised by the mission was applied to the building of churches, and such churches ! Our old churches were supposed to be too small, too simple, possibly insuficient in number. New churches were demanded. The result was lamentnble. Some terrible person called an architect was got over. the period (the 30's) was the very nadir of church building, and such horrors as Balladugh New Kirk Michael, Kirk Lonan (new church), Lezayre, Onchan, Baldwin (Killyabban), and Dalby erected their crests to the insulted skies. Was St. Mary's in Castletown built under the same crude impulse? This nightmare must surely have been the outcome of even a more profound sleep, the loudest and most florid snore of an Ecclesiological epoch which had supped grossly, if sparingly, and suffered from indigestion. And how about S. Paul's, Ramsey ? One shudders. It was an opportunity lost. Big churches, that was the idea. Big wildernesses. Mr Quine is undonubtedly right: with his plan of small churches scattered over a parish, and costing a comparative trifle, Poor Ballaugh and its sisterhood of pretentious abominations ! Well, they are monuments of a good intention dismally frustrated : but they are not the less evidences of the noble and self sacrificing spirit which actuated the whole career of the sainted Rector.
There can, be no doubt that Mr Stowell gained much by his tour through England beside the fund thus raised for the " beautifying" of our "church edifices." He came into contact with a school of men who could not fail to modify him. He touched the larger interests, and felt the larger life. Naturally a man of equisite refinement but limited social experience, he would be powerfully and even mimetically affected by the urbanity and culture of a party in the Church of England which had not yet been embitted by failure. It was something to have met with English clergymen in high and influential positions, scholars, gentlemen, to have marked the arrangements of their households, the scale of their domestic surroundings. He could not but observe the difference between this type and the sporadic specimens whom chance or patronage had wafted to our shores. I may exaggerate the contrast and its effect upon the mind of one new to English life while supremely capable of appreciating its greatness. If this be so, and we are driven to look upon what we may almost call the "Stowellian movement" in Man as a plant of purely native growth, all the more must we admire its strength and vitality, its beauty and its grace. Deeply interesting is it, to discover the singnlar elevation of tone and sentiment, which, emanating, as I believe, from Mr Stowell, and more remotely and indirectly from Bishop Wilson, bound a number of our clergy to one another in a special sort of brotherhood. These men were altogether exceptional in the island. Through Mr Stowell, they derived, from the Evangelical party of the time, the spirit. and the form of that spirit-a certairn modest fervour and amenity, what is more, a certain loftiness of purpose and depth of seriousness and sincerity. They gathered round Mr Stowell; He was their centre; many greatly admired him, trusted, loved him. The old Rectory at Ballaugh was their rallying point, the prytaneium of their state. The old Rectory garden, now a paddock, but then full of " sod-seats " and all delights, grave fruits and sober flowers-what a place ! How they sat, and walked, and talked, the dear old men, the. majores, the fathers ! "High converse, counsel sweet," true friendship-have they departed from the world? and I hear the voice of the whippersnapper but begone, O whipper-snapper.
Among these chosen companions, who resorted to the Rectory, and took their cue and motive-why not say their inspiration?-from the Rector, were the Rev T. Howard (my godfather) the Rev E. Craine (my other godfather), the Rev R. Brown (my father), the Rev J. Nelson, the Rev Jos. Qualtrough, the Rev W. Gill, the Rev W. Corrin, the Rev J. L. Stowell.
Bishops came, and Bishops went, it mattered little, these were the men who stayed, and strength and glory of the Manx Church. I will speak of these.
Ramsey August 1896 TEB
THE REV THOMAS HOWARD.
THE Parish of Ballaugh may well be ragarded as sacred ground. Two Rectors, for a period of more than fifty years, continuously laboured among its people, and, when the Rev Hugh Stowell died in 1835 (by an error, in the Magazine of August, 1836) it would have reassured him to know that he would be succeeded by his dearest friend. This was the Rev Thomas Howard.
Mr Howard had been Vicar of Braddan till 1832, when he became Incumbent of St. George's, Douglas. My father, the Rev Robert Brown, was presented to Braddan, and Mr Howard continued at St. George's, whence, upon the death of Mr Stowell, he was removed to the Rectory of Ballaugh. What a man to succeed ! Mr Howard must have felt that. Indeed, Mr Stowell had had no equal. For zeal and ability, there could be no question of a successor; there was no successor, there could be none. Then upon the waters, troubled by this great loss, went forth the sweetest, gentlest spirit that ever breathed. In his own way, Mr Howard was the very man to take up the work of his predecessor. He had lived much with Mr Stowell, loved, and revered him. The same mind was in them both: in Mr Stowell it took the form of an intellectual force qualified by the finest delicacy and most fervent piety; in Mr Howard it was " the ornament of a meek and quiet ,spirit," eminently a spirit of humility and love. Not that I would underrate the purely' mental gifts which inhered in the substance of Mr Howard's personality. Not insisted on, never thrust to the front, they were present and effectual ; but, if I may say so, they were all but lost and absorbed in the serene illumination of a nature which radiated more heat than light, a heart which glowed with steady, tranquil love. Old parishioners will remember that Parson Howard was a good man, and a loving man. I can remember more than that. I can remember his wise words of counsel so charily offered, so tenderly expressed, the rebuke (ah ! not a rebuke) so gentle, the appreciation so frank and liberal, sometimes the total abstention from remark, so patient, so significant, yet always so loving. Yes, that is the word after all. Steeped in love would have been the verdict of the old parishioner that knew him. And who knew him not? Wise, prudent, circumspect, courteous-all these epithets are at the point of my pen, but they denote qualities which a vulgar estimate may misunderstand, and for which it might not improbably, and not without plausibility, substitute a more comprehensive and less flattering term. "Be ye wise as serpents, and harmless as doves." Mr Howard represented the combination. But the serpent was so deliciously dovehke, the dove so exquisitely and equitably wise. It was as if the serpentine gleam shot silken rays around the dove's neck. In our dear old friend the union of the two ordinarily contrasted natures was a rest-point, an equilibrium of perfect harmony and repose. To many of us his repose was beyond measure soothing, and beneficially soothing. Who can forget it that has ever tasted of it ? But to some, and those among his chiefest friends, it was irritating. What one saw was the surface of absolute calm, and undisturbed smoothness, an unfailing courtesy. Mr Howard was pre-eminently courteous, never could be otherwise. Prince or pauper, it mattered not. You got from him at least courtesy. Now, in most men, this courtesy covers beneath the surface a variety of submerged antipathies and objections, must in its consummate finish, be the result of severe self-discipline, must, one would think, be purchased by the sacrifice of genuine feeling, by a large suppressio veri. " All things to all men " will you say ? Not exactly that, but rather one thing, that is, courtesy to all men. I know that my father, for instance, was impatient of this unruffled surface. A man of strong likes and dislikes, intensely, passionately honest and independent, he found it hard to bear with the pin-jane placidity of Mr Howard. Mr Howard, he would sometimes say, was a courtier. He did not for a moment suggest that a single speck of the untruthful disfigured a character so loyal and so lovely. But Mr Howard kept in with great people, was a favourite with Bishop this and Bishop that. And so he was, he was a courtier. In his very constitution, in his very physical structure and native movement, there was a flexibility which might have been called suppleness, but was the inevitable outcome of simple natural adjustment and the fitness of things. He could not help being a favourite. The Bishop who could resist a charm so winning must have been terribly deficient in perception, or steeled against the most innocent blandishments that ever propitiated authority .A very churl would have yielded to such a sweet-smelling savour. And our Jupiters of the espiscopal bench are not without nostrils Now, by God's grace, there was in Mr Howard a spiritual beauty, associated with a remarkable measure of physical beauty. He was a singularly handsome man, though, perhaps, beautiful, more aptly fits the type. Tall and shapely, he had a most lovable countenance. A mouth so chaste that, as the poets have it,
" One lip seemed loth to kiss the other."
Chiselled to the utmost point of a lineature which, though not tremulous (capable,in fact,of great firmness), was ever haunted by a bloom of sanctity, they rested in ' a pose of mutual respect and awe. The whole face, the gesture, were full of purity and perfect sweetness. You could not look on him without loving him.
As a young man, he must have been marvellously attractive.
And Mr Howard had been young. Mr Howard had been a soldier, a gallant cornet of horse, I believe, an officer in the Manx Fencibles. He had served in Ireland during, the disturbed period following Emmett's insurrection in 1803 ; and it used to be our delight to speculate upon the possibilities of that face when inspired by martial ardour bent on sanguinary conflict. Mr Howard angry ! Mr Howard fighting! Did Mr Howard ever kill a man, ever lift a hand to strike the fatal blow ? Such were our childish surmises, which, I rather think, occasionally passed into the question personal and categorical, "Mr Howard, did you ever &c., &c. ?" Mr Howard smiled,and his smile was a revelation. We ware silent and ashamed Once I asked his fellow-officer, the Rev Mr Harrison of Jurby, whether the Rector of Ballaugh had always encountered the rebels with the same heavenly equanimity which was so familiar to us. I got no answer except an amused reticence, which was not quite satisfactory, and I seemed to myself a trifler and a profane person.
My dear old Godfather, so good and so beautiful, married a wife as beautiful and as good as himself. She was Nessy Stowell,a daughter of Thomas Stowell, Clerk of the Rolls, a niece of his beloved friend, the venerable Rector of Ballaugh. It must have been a day of tranquil happiness, mingled, no doubt, with poignant grief for the loss of her father, when Mrs Howard became mistress of the Rectory.
But first of the Braddan life, and the life in Douglas. One story I have heard of the Braddan life, and that from the lips of a lady who had every opportunity of knowing the facts.
Mr Howard had a servant, whose name was Paul. Paul was a good servant, but Paul went sometimes on the spree, and for days at a time. Some of my more aged readers may remember a public-house near Braddan bridge, near the Church, therefore, kept by a man called Joughin. This was Paul's pub ; fortunately, you could always find Paul when you wanted him. One day Mr Howard went there in search of Paul. He persuaded Paul to come away. Imagine the boon-companions; imagine Joughin ; imagine Mr Howard ! Paul was very drunk : but all the way up to the Vicarage-and it was a good half-mile-the kindly shepherd convoyed this erring member of his flock, propped him up, took his arrn, soothed and humoured him, stuck to him, as we say, was kind, and gentle, and loving with the man. Arm-in-arm with the parson, his poor staggering steps were stayed, his drink-besodden head rested on a faithful shoulder, his half-awakened heart and conscience yearned for forgiveness ; and so home, Here was a good shepherd indeed. " To seek and to save that which was lost," his one thought : a sheep, a silly sheep. and a tipsy sheep at that. Poor Paul I But blessings evermore upon the thoughful pastor, the unwearied goodness of dear Parson Howard! Think how such a man, such and angel, must have engaged the affections of his people, a people "liable," no doubt, in those times to get drunk; but God knows the " liability ' and, thank God ! God knows the pity too.
Just one other little sketch: it is of a very different kind, and illustrates, not so much the personal character of Mr Howard, as the life of his family at Braddan. I owe it to the same informant.
" Once on a time," the children were in a field of Kirby, or Ballafletcher. Those who knew them will know what a beautiful brood they were. To them, as to a convoy of young partridge in the corn, enter the proprietor of Kirby, Col. Wilkes. " What; are you doing here?" said the Colonel with simulated anger. " Do you know you are trespassing ? Do you know, if I liked, I could" The threats fell unspoken from his lips, the restless rattan dropped, as he marked the loveliness of the little group. He soon changed his tone. " Mr Howard's children ! Well, I'm an old Indian, and I was once a Manx parson's son-" And he told them "all about it," and his bronzed face glowed with kindness, and his bronzed heart. if there be such a thing, melted with love. Then he turned away. But one child, a boy (and those who knew the late Vicar of Onchan will be at no loss to identify the individual), stood up boldly, and exclaimed " I wasn't a bit afraid of him."
Is not the story characteristic, and the scene a gem of still life, worthy indeed of a great painter? Over that Ballafletcher field cannot you see shed for ever
" The light that never was on sea or land,
The consecration, dad the poet's dream"?
Well, if you can't, I give it up.
When my father was Vicar of Braddan and Mr Howard Incumbent of St. George's, there was constant intercourse between them. They found it hard to separate. Mr Howard would take tea at the Vicarage; Mr Brown must see his friend home. Arrived at Athol Terrace, Mr Howard could not think of letting Mr Brown walk all the way up to Braddan without a companion. Mr Brown was duly landed at the Vicarage door, but could not for a moment suffer " Mr Howard, sir," to descend through the dark by himself. And so on and so on. Half the night would be spent in these mingled formalities, and courtesies and takings of counsel, before they determined finally to part, how, when, or where, who shall say ? At the " Saddle," at the " Clyp ?" Two o'clock in the morning, three o'clock? By tossing up for it? But it was too dark, and, beside, conceive two clergymen having recourse to so unhallowed a proceeding!
When Mr Howard went to Ballaugh he continued to be an ever welcome visitor at Braddan. Many ties bound him to us, but two may be specially mentioned, a cow called " Copper," and the well in the Well-field.
" Copper " was called from her colour. We bought her from Mr Howard, " by private contract," I suppose. " Copper " was short. and round, and plump (a " mailey," if I mistake not), and she was a good milker. This finality, however, of hers was magnified into a perfect portent. "There navar was the lek. Melk! why, bless your cowl ! Is it melk?" Thus old Paul, who, together with this lactiferous miracle, was passed on to us, and whom I remember as a very fierce old man, almost as fierce as his wife, whose name I bethink me was Etty- yes, "Etty Steen " (Stevenson), that is what we called her.
Mr Howard always asked to see " Copper" (" Dear old Copper.") "And how is Copper, ma'am?" How indeed !
And the Well. The Well-field lay on the south east side of the farmyard. I don't know why, but there is no well there now, merely a heap of not over-fragrant mud. In those days our well had a great reputation, and Mr Howard invariably asked for water from it. This water he pronounced to be incomparably pure and cool. Allusions were, of course, made on such occasions, to 2 Sam, xxiii, 15, but with due reverence for the text of Holy Scripture.
So much for the famous "Well at Braddan Vicarage" : and please note these beloved old Parsons called Braddan Breddhan.
THE REV THOMAS HOWARD.
BETWEEN Braddan Vicarage and Ballaugh Rectory there may be some 19 miles of road; but, if you take the way over the mountains, not more, perhaps, than 12. The road is the well-known Peel Road as far as Ballacraine. There it avails itself of the Glen Moor to get round the Greeba range, and, following the Renass stream by Laurel Bank, " Mat Honthon's," and the entrance to what people now call Glen Helen, it turns northward up Craig Willy Sil. This is a great climb, and, when we are at the top, we have reached Cronk-y-Voddy, and Kirk Michael lies stretched to the north and east, with, in the far distance, the pale red cliffs of Jurby and Ballaugh.
This is the road by which I have so often driven lily father to visit his old friend. Every milestone is hung with memories, all lights and shadows that haunt those lovely slopes come still at my bidding, and lend them selves to my disposition. "Spoots" innumerable bring down the water of the hills to cans and crocks in over- flowing abundance. By the same road Mr Howard was accustomed to seek his friends in Braddan (Kirk Bredhyn). I suppose the excellent macadamized way which we speak of as the " Long Road" from Douglas to Ramsey hardly existed in the time of Bishop Hildesley. In the correspondence between him and Philip Moore we find frequent allusions made to the mountains, as the ordinary track of travellers. Great storms and other difficulties are mentioned as impeding the inter- course between north and south; nor do the old classics forget their sonorous Livy or Virgil apropos of such troubles. In Mir Howard's time, however, the "Long Road" to Ramsey had been used for many years, and, even the most dignified clerics had, to some extent, disused the habit of classical quotation. Here one met Sari Veale, perchance, in his cart of "black game from Scotland," voluble, gesticulating to his Reverence; or Mr LaMothe, burly, fitting closely and well into his tub-gig, scenting, in far-off Castletown, the battle of the Courts, silent, grave, thoughtful, not without the suggestion of a smile, for he loved the country through which he was passing, and always had it close to his very heart.
These are some of the figures that come up from the misty past. But, when we reached Ballaugh Village, we turned down to the Old Church and Rectory. The level land withdrew its accidents into a pretty fore- shortening We hardly saw the Old Church till we were upon it. And this was Ballaugh Old Church, and hard by was the Rectory.
An air of ineffable peace breathed from its sacred walls. The atmosphere seemed laden with the sweet gentle lives of "just men made perfect,"of good and gracious women, the lavender in which God lays up the linen of His choice. I have said peace.
But peace did not forbid the possibility of noise, of tumult of the wildest fill. Mr Howard's family contained elements which could always be relied on to produce these results. As you entered the "Parlour," you might have been Surprised to behold the Rector involuntarily betrayed into the position of " Lord of misrule," a genial centre of granbols, of gnil)s and quirks, of mock- assaults and feigned outrages. Was there ever such happiness as his'' He could dominate the mirth, however " awful." Some quaint book, as often as not, was the cause. "Fuller's Worthies," it might be, or the beloved " Jeremy," or the incomparable South ; possibly, the work of a more modern pen. Could it have been " Pickwick'?' Mr Howard would certainly have tolerated Pickwick, but not exactly enjoyed it. I see his face move with the fine perplexity that is so heavenly, and would fain be appreciative, "if the style, sir, %vere only a little more intelligible." My father declined "the jargon, sir," and retired into the kitchen to smoke, all the more forward to do so, because he did not quite agree with "Mr Howard, sir, in giving the rein so liberally, sir, to young gentlemen of some twenty summers." But were not the summer; worth it, and what children ever reverenced their father more essentially than Mr Howard's ?
These are just random jottings; but I had heard of scenes that had impressed the earlier generation of rustics with an extraordinary respect for these " Clerical Meetings" at Ballaugh. The rustic mind has its own notions of fitness, and is unwilling to attribute to the Clerical a knowledge of vulgar arts, nether prizes the absence of them from the scheme of clerical accomplishments, expects that absence, and slightly resents any claim to their possession. Hence the satisfaction with which, in after years, the, "neighbours" would dwell upon the sufficiently improbable story of Mr Stowell, Mr Howard. and Mr Brown going forth to get the horse of the last-mentioned gentleman. "They walked up and down and they tallied, and they argued till at last the Vicar of Breddhan flung the winkers on the head of a base. But it wass juss an oul cow. Here, he is, sir, saes Pazon Brown. Funny, though eh? What? Sir, they said, wiss everything. Aw, my my gough, the particlclar, sir, fuss so. And the differ tha's at the quality now-a-days."
Of the happy circle that by some miracle of spatial development contrived to inhabit the Old Rectory, there remain as I write, just three-Mrs Gelling (Nessy), wife of Richard Gelling, Esq., of Douglas; Mrs White (Katherine), widow of the Rev H. G. White, late vicar of Maughold ; and the Rev W. M W. Howard, H.M. Inspector of schools (retired). The two ladies still live in Douglas, Isle of Man. In them as in some sacred pyxis, the choicest conserve of a sweetness, essentially Manx, and Howard of the Howards, is still treasured " to the purposes of a life that is beyond life."
I have spoken of the " Long Road" but, as I grew older, and especially during my Oxford Vacations, I preferred the way over the mountains. This was ever a fresh surprise. Perhaps,-you know it, perhaps you know several. Well, my favourite route was by the dip between Greeba and Colden. Then away for the Sulby valley; but not down that valley. Keep up, and about due north. Leave Mont Pollier (what a name!) to the right, and you will soon have a choice of descents, either by Glen Dhoo, or by Glen Shoggle (glen of the rye, but never mind the rye! the blackberries were just scand'lous here last year.) Both are delicious outlooks on to what you feel yourself compelled at long last to call " the Northern Plain." But, before you descend, stand, and gaze, and muse, and then kneel and pray. Take my advice; and just do that, and not another word. You've got the other side. It was there all along, there beyond the gills and the complexities, the gentle, silent creature, and its rim, the sea. And it is not a waste as you willfully supposed it to be, but a land full of life, of homes of children. And the spiritual centre of it all, and of so much more is that little Rectory, for there he abides to whom Earth is Heaven and Heaven Earth one who knows " the words of everlasting life," and sacrifices at the inner altar." Anal, if you are going to see him, and to be brought into the sphere of such hallowed influences -haste! haste! thou westering sun. O for the wines of it dove,! It is in no spirit of exaggeration that, after all these changing years, I speak thus: they are " the very words of truth and soberness."
Yet, queer creatures have been here before me, minions of the dark, rambling, soureying, dreaming, half-witted watchers of the heights, incredible how innocent, indescribable how abandoned I know them, forlorn,devil- haunted ! Well, thank God that to you has been given the pure joy of the mountains, that in the old Rectory awaits you a welcome and a benediction. The men, the clergymen of that time-can I speak otherwise of them? One man like my beloved god-father would be enough to sanctify awhole Congress, a whole nation, his ways were ways of pleasantness, and all his paths were peace.
I was Mr Howard's god-child. It would be rash to assume that he took an overwhelmingly earnest view of that delicate relation. A few words of prayer discharged his conscience, and they were uttered long after the administration of the rite. It was when confronted with the trials and temptations of a young man's life that I heard these words. They implied confidence, sympathy, love, what more would you have? Henceforth I was to be my own master, to stand or fall on the keen edge of my own limitations. That was decidedly a joy, and a refreshing, and a tonic. And how absolutely we understood each other!
In the year 1850, or thereabouts, I had the honour and pleasure of meeting at Mr Drury's new vicarage, Braddan, Prince Lucien Bonaparte, The same summer, I think, saw me at Ballaugh, where I again met the Prince. That was a singularly interesting meeting. It revealed Mr Howard in the sincerity and depth of his Protestant principles, and also the full beauty of his noble and equitable character.
The Prince was, playfully, a bit of a Jesuit. He began by defining the Churches of Christendom generally as Episcopal, and Non-Episcopal. In a jiffy off went the Churches of Rome and England bracketed as Episcopal. For " Non-Episcopal," a shrug of the shoulders! Mr Howard fell into the trap ; he did his best to extricate himself, borrowed, in fact, some weapons from the ever courteously accomodating equipments of his antagonist, stumbled, and fell deeper. The kindly Prince was not the man to press a fallen foe. Mr Howard was dexterously set upon his legs again; and the tables were loosed with agreeable laughter. .
Next day we were all at Mr Harrison's (Jurby vicarage.) I believe Mr Bonaparte, as his friend Mr Drury called him, had some idea of repeating the stroke on the person of the burly vicar. But Mr Harrison presented so doughty a front, and looked so magnificently clever and handsome, that the Prince changed his attitude, and we considered the admirable vicar as scoring a silent success.
The deference shown by a man like the Prince of Canino to the best of our native clergy was a testimony which I observed with delight. The countryman of Machiavelli knew and respected intellect where he found it, he also respected simplicity of manner, refinement, and the absence of pretentiousness.
Different men, different paths, and the one great meet for us all. They have met.
I owe some apology to my readers for detaining them so long on the life and character of the Rev Thomas Howard. Compared with Bishop Wilson, they may ask, who and what was this humble, unknown Rector of Ballaugh that he should occupy as much space in the Magazine as the subject of Mr Quine's admirable sketch?
The reason lies in the fact that the life of the one man is well-known from various sources, while that of the other, at no time conspicuous, is now gliding away into the neglected past. Nor is it, perhaps, on the, heights of historic action that we should seek our truest representatives. The life which keeps the vale, and, like a peaceful stream, is scarcely heard in its quiet course, may be well deserving of our notice. Such was; the life of Mr Howard. But I will say no more on this head.
Mr Howard died November 11, 1876, aged 91. He had published two volumes of sermons, but otherwise did not appear as an author. Professor Edward Forbes was an intimate friend. The Edinburgh Professor, it will be remembered, was a Manxman ; he owned a small property near Ballaugh Old Church, which he frequently visited. Mr Howard was not a student of science, but he loved and cherished Edward Forbes. And the love was amply returned. Forbes himself, with all his magnificent powers, and then at the height of his fame, revelled in simplicity combined with refinement and goodness. Who that ever met him in that congenial society will forget the gleams of quaint humour that lighted up his conversation, the month of gold, the magic of his pencil illustrating, as no words could do, the deepest problems of philosophy ?
And Mr Howard sympathized and wondered. He might possibly have preferred "a little hymn;" but the words of Forbes could without difficulty be translated into anthems. "Scientists," as men call them now in their barbarous idiom, had not yet become agnostics.
I remember a much humbler person in whose work as a journalist Mr Howard took an unaffected interest. He had been a member of the Ballaugh Sunday School, and had settled in Liverpool, if, indeed, he could be said to have settled anywhere. He drifted -away from the old Manx moorings, and became a Bohemian not without a certain celebrity in the lower walks of literature. Through all the chances and changes of a chequered life, he clung with affection devotion and reverence to his old teacher. As the clouds darkened to- wards the close, the teacher and the taught separated intellectually, if not morally, but never ceased holding on to each others hearts. " Poor dear Haghie !" Mr Howard would say with a sigh. And the other -I have heard him-but who does not know what tears are shed by such a man into the graves of old memories?
Any sketch, however imperfect, of my dear old friend would be imperfect indeed if it failed to mention the name of Henry Gratan White. Mr White was the Rector's son-in-law: he was an Irishman, and a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin. He was, for a time, curate to Archdeacon Moore at Kirk Andreas, and afterwards curate of Ballaugh. As the infirmities of age began to tell on Mr Howard, Mr White was a most faithful and affectionate helper in the ministry, a valued friend, a much loved member of his family. He grew into the spirit with which he daily conversed. Probably every one observed the extraordinary likeness between these two delightful men; but that it was a matter of growth, gradual and inevitable, the result of contemplation, assimilation, and loyalty, may not have been so apparent to all as it was to those who knew then long and well.
When Mr Howard died, his curate became successively Vicar of Santon and of Maughold, To these he took with him the beautiful Howard type of character, thus formed and matured. " A good man, a perfect gentleman"-so said his parishioners both in the north and in the south. The tranquil radiance of Mr Howard's spirit was reflected, or, rather, reproduced in the younger man. Even a likeness of physical feature and gesture supervened, such as is, not seldom, noticeable in the case of faithfully attached partners in wedlock after many years of life and love spent together.
Mr White died Vicar of Maughold in 1894 Shortly afterwards I met three farmers of the parish.
" They're saying you're coming for our pazon."
" Well, I was tellin these men that, if eo be you were, you'd be fuss as covetchus as the others."
" Was Mr White covetous ?"
" Aw well, no-no."
Grudging Manxman, Mr White was the soul of loving-kindness, charity, truth, mid honour. He is gathered to his father. Side by side they lie in Ballaugh Churchyard.
" They sleep in Jesus, and are blest;
His love dispels their gloom.
How calm and peaceful is their rest
Within the hallowed tomb!"
T. E. Brown.
THE REV ROBERT BROWN.
THE, subject of this sketch was born in the year 1792 at Douglas. He was the only son of Captain Robert Brown, also of Douglas. The name is not Manx, but the family belonged to an old Manx stock, the Cosnahans. A cousin of Mr Brown's, Lieut. Cosnahan, took part in the engagement between the Shannon and the Chesapeake (180); another cousin, Major Bacon, of Seafield, was at the Battle of Waterloo. Mr Brown's aunt was, the mother of the Rev Hugh Stowell, Rector of Ballaugh. Capt. Brown died at sea while his son was of tender years, and the boy was brought up by his mother. He was educated chiefly in Castletown under the auspices of the Academic Fund. He never went to a. University, and, with the literary culture to which he attained, he was a conspicuous example of what could be done here in the ante-King-William's-College period.
Mr Brown was ordained and became Incumbent of St. Matthew's, Douglas. In 1832 he was made Vicar of Braddan, succeeding Mr Howard. He died very suddenly in 1846, shortly before the completion of his 54th year.
His life was not a long one, but it was remarkable as combining two elements. Mr Brown was a man of learning, and, at the same time, a faithful pastor. Learning he loved with surpassing ardour. Though not a scholar in the sense in which we speak of an Oxford or Cambridge scholar, he was a student to the end. Perhaps, more than many Oxford and Cambridge men he cultivated the charm of a refined and graceful style. Ornate, poetical, his style latterly became chastened to a pitch which almost defeated itself. It became fastidious; he pruned and cut down, he selected and avoided, with an all but morbid shrinking from what he would have considered bombast. An exquisite sense of Form was at the bottom of this ; and it was blended with a loathing of pretence, and a sincere desire to instruct. I would have called him an admirable Parish. Priest, but he would not have tolerated the appellation. Of course, with his pronounced evangelical views, he would have signed himself " Presbyter," :as indeed he did in one memorable controversy. Mr Brown, however, possessed the essential qualities which we associate with the idea of a good priest. He was deeply in earnest : no fripperies of convention, no fopperies of fashion were suffered to stand in the way of the Gospel simply and faithfully preached. A young clergyman, famed for his "pulpit eloquence," he once defined as "A preaching cockatoo, sir."
My father took extraordinary pains with his sermons. From imperfect vision he was unable to read or to write written compositions. His sermons were composed and committed to memory — a purely mental effort, He generally began on Wednesday or Thursday evening, and two sermons every week had to, be "got up" in this fashion. Reading was the basis; and, for this purpose, he used the services of his children. I was for years his Reader, my brother Hugh having preceded me. The Vicar smoked, smoked strong Cavendish, having been recommended by his Doctor to do so. He also drank strong tea ; cup after cup was sent into the study.
As regards the reading, we began with a solid commentary, such as Scott's, or Matthew Henry's. This was followed up by a lighter kind of book, but still prose ; say, Addison in the Spectator, Johnson (Rasselas), Hume (a special favourite), Robertson, Harvey's Meditations(!) Then came a third pipe(all churchwardens of formidable calibre), the poets' pipe -Shakespere and Milton chiefest of the chief, but Cowper by no means forgotten, nor Scott, nor Tom Moore, nor sooth to say, Byron.
The method was evidently a method, and not a bad one. First: A solid bar of Biblical iron put in the vice and screwed tight, then the chipping of chisels; then the file, down to the edge of keen perfection. Only, at this point my metaphor fails; for if poetry brought the edge, poetry brought the glow and diffused it equally through the mass.
I dare say I am trying my readers' patience. But I am fain to believe that some of them may still take an interest in these processes, and like to linger awhile in the literary workshop of a Country Parson.
I was dismissed, nothing loth, and composition began. How many pipes ensued it is not for me to say. My father had a subsidiary piano in his study, and not unfrequently as late as 3 o'clock I have heard the nervous fingers thrilling the silence of the night.
For he was a self-taught musician, with that touch which cannot be taught. the very mystery of touch. Then there were the Manx sermons. It would be wrong to say that Manx was to him a foreign language. He had, no doubt, a floating acquaintance with our native idioms, but for so conscientious a man, so thorough a man, that was not enough. He composed his sermons in Manx most carefully, and at an immense cost of time and labour. But Manx, as we say, is -" apt to be slippy," and a Manx congregation is peculiarly susceptible of humorous suggestion. So it was necessary to get the Schoolmaster (a genuine old Manxman) to come on Saturday on his way as he was going to Douglas market, and to repeat the whole sermon to him. In this way the preacher avoided those doubles-entendres and grotesque mispronunciations which he had previously observed set his people a-giggling, or at any rate, made it hard for them to keep their countenances. Of these pitfalls there are not a few, such as the famous drowned for fatted calf (Luke xv., 23), where the substitution of one letter, " baiht" (drowned), for " beiht" (fatted) makes all the difference. ,
Composition was a serious matter to a person of my father's temperament. Even on the most ordinary occasion he would call for a page of Hume before he started. As, for instance, when answering a note from lady inviting him to dinner. This, however, was, perhaps not an ordinary occasion. By what subtle gradation the style of the Historian was to be transmuted into the complimentary phrase of current etiquette, I will not presume to enquire.
But it may be said-what was the use of all this? Why such attention to Form ? Were not other things more important? Balancing elegance of diction against salvation of souls? Is that the duty of a faithful minister? Well, wait a little. The same spirit accompanied the Vicar of Braddan into his pastoral life. With him sincerity was an instinct, and perfect Form the necessary Form. It was no question of balancing ; all went together. It was like personal cleanliness, this necessity of a clear conscience and a clear style. He had set to himself the highest standard as a Christian minister, he had set to himself the highest literary standard as a speaker and a writer. In fact, both were inseparable elements of his conscience. He may not always have attained the standard-who does? But his aim was steadily directed thitherwards. He had no other aims: he loved God's people, he feared no man. Mere earthly greatness was to him a shadow and a thing of nought. Having disfurnished his soul of the paltry motives that actuate the ordinary cleric, he had room there for all that God has created us to feel and know.
I speak of him as a public man. In private life, he was very reserved. His professional life absorbed him, perhaps, too much. He gave himself wholly to the work of the ministry, to the visiting of the sick, to the services of the Church as commonly maintained, understood, and limited by the evangelical school of his day. For, of course, he was evangelical: he had been the devoted friend of his cousin, Hugh Stowell, and a distinguished member of the little circle who gathered round the Apostle of the Isle, Yes Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, but Hugh Stowell was our Apostle. And why not? Is the order extinct? Nay, we shall have Apostles yet, depend upon it I God has the " gifts" in His keeping, and He will in due time bestow them.
I have said that my father was a musician : there are two tunes by him, one of which, Hatford, was published in a collection of sacred music called the " Mona Melodist." It was composed to words also written by my father, words and tune intended as a wedding present to his friend, the Rev Maximilian Geneste, at that time curate of Hatford in Berkshire. The other tune was called Braddan. Both were well known beyond the Diocese.
Upon occasion my father played the organ in the church, contriving the transition from reading-desk to organ-gallery through the churchyard and back with a celerity remarkable in one who was, as a rule, the reverse of agile in his movements.
The Organist was our dear and tried old friend, Dr Donaldson. The Clerk was Mr James Corran, a most enthusiastic and attached friend of my father, indeed a friend of us all.
The Vicar was also a poet. In 1835 [?sic 1826] he published a volume of poems - (" Poems principally on Sacred Subjects (Nisbet)." It is " dedicated to the Rev Hugh Stowell, Rector, &c., to whose Christian counsel, edifying example, and inestimable Memoirs of Bishop Wilson, the author of this volume is, in common with many others, deeply indebted . , . by his affectionate friend and kinsman, R. Brown."
These poems were written when he was about the age of 34 : they therefore, represent him in the plenitude of his power. As such, they are certainly disappointing. With the exception of the " Verses to my Native Land," the dead level of Evangelical mediocrity prevails from cover to cover. In this poem, his fine classical taste, and his genuine patriotism are at least indicated. At the same time, on every page, the vein of unaffected piety cannot fail to strike the reader.
Other poems of infinitely greater merit remain buried in the columns of the old " Manx Liberal." They are Satires : In poetry this was his line, the Satire. Satire may not have been his favourite faculty, but unquestionably it was his master faculty. As my father's Satires are completely unknown, never having been published, except in the newspapers that brought them into the world, I suppose I must ask my readers to take my opinion as to their worth. They really are very good, good in the style of Dryden or Pope, with a marked leaning towards Byron.
I hope Mr Wallace's subscribers enjoyed them. They remind one a good deal of the Satires (" The Salad, &c.") written by John Stowell, another cousin, and one of the famous "Fifteen sons who each had a sister." Equally clever, these Satires, unlike Mr Brown's, occasionally lapse into coarseness. My father's Satires were polished, witty, humorous, metrically excellent, and marked by that classical turn of phrase and idea which is always unmistakeable. T.E.B.
THE REV ROBERT BROWN.
Before 1847, and possibly for many years afterwards, the morning service at Braddan began at 10-30 a.m., the afternoon at 3, and there was no other. Methodists who wished to hear the Vicar had no difficulty. Our old Scotch manservant was a " Primitive," and my father never interfered with his way of spending the Sabbath. At an early hour in the morning, I should say about 6, he attended "Class" in the Chapel at the Strang. At 10-30 he came to Church. At 3, fortified by his dinner and a copious supply of " sneeshin " stowed away in his waistcoat pocket, the indefatigable Caledonian never missed the afternoon service. At 6 he was off to Douglas, two miles away, seeking the alternative of the pasture offered for his soul's behoof in the Primitive Methodist Chapel, Preaching-house, Factory Lane. This was a sanguine programme. It was popularly believed that " Old John'' heard the same sermon twice every Sunday, first from the Vicara the Parish Church, then from the " Preacher" at the Chapel. I think this must be a mistake, arising from the fact that the Methodist preachers of the day, both itinerant and local, were often to be seen in Braddan Church on Sunday afternoons. That they heard a good sermon from Mr Brown there is not the smallest doubt, that they availed themselves of the opportunity to mark, learn, and inwardly digest it is only a reasonable supposition; that they faithfully and verbally reproduced it in the evening is in the last degree improbable. In fact, they could not have done so. The polished sty to would have defeated the plagiarists.
I did once pursue a sermon of my father's into what appeared to me a terrible " Court of the Gentiles " I entered with fear and trembling: I really believe I expected something very serious to happen to me. I was Clodius profaning the mysteries of the Bona Dea. I was a desperate person intruding upon the ritual of the Vehmgericht. I was a wretch conscious of Free-Masonic emblems desecrated by my presence. The good people groaned ; I thought they were groaning at me ; but I sat out the service, heard the sermon, and it was not the Vicar's. Decidedly not. Poor man (I mean the " Preacher'') : a cotton-ball accent, an ungrammatical style, a simple but unaffected vulgarity could never have so completely "translated" the Parson's discourse as to produce the result I witnessed.
Why did the Methodist preachers come to Braddan Church in the afternoon'? First, they knew a good sermon from a bad one, and in their honest way they admired it, probably also determined to make some. use of it.
Secondly, they were "humble men of heart" in those days, No conceit interfered to prevent them profiting by the superior learning of their Vicar. Elegance and refinement had upon them that almost pathetic influence which it so often has upon unsophisticated and imperfectly educated minds, when it may be described as " seen through a glass darkly." Imagine the Primitive Methodist preacher of 1896 hanging on to the lips however honeyed, however golden, of a quiet country Parson. Forbid it St. Chrysostom Chadband -Stiggins !
In substance the " Preachers" must have found a complete identity between the doctrines of the Christian Faith as preached by my father and as preached by themselves, and that alone must have reassured them. He was an Arminian, not a Calvinist, and Methodism, as transmitted by John Wesley, laid stress upon the doctrine of Free Will. In other words, it insisted upon what used to be known as the " Scheme of Salvation." This indeed they called The Gospel. Many. many years ago after these Braddan times, I happened to come upon the track of Mr Aitken, once a very memorable preacher in the Isle of Man. He had found his way into Cornwall : and the very footprints of the man flamed with the roses of a Free Redemption scattered broadcast. Mr Aitken had been a Methodist and afterwards a High Churchman, but it made no difference. Our good old Primitives would have rejoiced in such preaching; my father wrought it into a thousand beautiful shapes, and in the centre of each was the " Rose." He might have called it the -'Rose of Sharon ' ; I dare say he did.
I can remember the Primitive preachers so well : they generally looked a little "out of it' during the Evensong. The Prayer Book was manifestly an obstacle ; the chanting they would leave severely alone, but took it out in the hymns with something of a sacred ferocity. Then on wings of love they mounted to the sermon. Their faces beamed, they glowed, at last they were where they would be. Dear old souls! how happy they looked ! No frowning whipper-snapper of the Methodist type was there to restrain their bliss, They never made any secret of thoroughly enjoying themselves, those good old docile -"Donkeys," says whippersnapper Methodistieus? All, no! don't say that; say "Disciples," and you'll not be far wrong.
The Vicar had a library, rather a scratch one, but continually added to by purchase. He liked to have his own books. Unlike so many people, even parsons, of the present day, he did not depend upon borrowing books. I wonder whether our Insular booksellers would mind stating how many books they sell in a year ! My impression is that the borrowing custom is rampant. A new popular work has come out, probably come out at least a year ago: we ought to see it; what is to be done ? So I overhear the following conversation:
" Well. I heard of a copy though that was where's this it was? Aye, of course, Smith's."
" Smith! and what on earth did old Smith want with it?"
" Well, a visitor, I fancy, left it behind last summer." A visitor leaves a book, and it circulates. It seems as if the whole population of the Island were under a solemn vow not to buy one.
But my father bought books, whatever else he did not buy. The late Mr Mylrea was the chief Bibliophile, and occasionally I had to penetrate into obscurer shops. I specially remember one Cannell, People want to "cheek " it out" that there never was a bookseller in Douglas called Cannell. I simply assure them there was; catch us not knowing ! Very likely he did not remain long, possibly removed to Ramsey in disgust. He was the hero of an incident perhaps unrivalled in the history of the trade. I had gone to order a copy of Childe Harold, and Mr Cannell substituted a copy of Don Juan, declaring it to be much the finer work of the two. I arrived at the Vicarage &mdas; Tableau ! It will be perceived that the slackness of the book-market in Douglas was not owing to any want of push on the part of Mr Cannell.
And then we had the Pedlar, a sweet, beloved old creature who seemed to have just walked out of "The Pilgrim's Progress." He wore knee-breeches, and brought his basket of books very modestly into the kitchen. On such occasions and such only, did the Vicar honour that apartment with his presence. I often doubted whether the pedlar's basket was uniformly orthodox throughout. As fruit-sellers are wont to lay the more plausible pears and plums an the top, and deposit lower down the refuse and the rotten, who should say what our old pedlar might reserve perhaps more acceptable to our unformed palates ? All I can assert is that we had no chance ; nor do I think that in that case the innocent-looking old vagrant would have dared to submit his basket to the search instituted by my father The contents were exhaustively turned over and duly noted. I have some of these books still. Here are a few specimens, sound Evangelical Standards
Baxter's Saint's Rest —
Booth on Redemption—
Flavel on Providence—
Doddridge's Rise and Progress —
Wilberforce's Practical View—
The good old pedlar left the kitchen without a stain on his character ; he stood the test.
I mention this matter of the Books, for I have already claimed that the Vicar of Braddan was, in his humble way, a man of letters, This, however, would hardly be proved by the discovery on his shelves of such volumes as those I have named. It will be understood therefore that the great bulk of the literature, the literature, indeed, which was contained in this " closet of books," as Dr Johnson would have called it, came from other sources, being principally purchased at the shop of Mr Mylrea. I have often delighted to fancy the author of the " Rambler" adding to his Hebridean experiences a notice of a "Clergyman's Library in the Isle of Man." You will remember the firm complacency with which he records his finding a "closet" or " press" of books at such places as Col and Dunvegan-books in the Hebrides that were kept, like Parson Harrison's of Jurby, on the floor.
Under the head of Reading, it may be a small matter, but it is, perhaps, worth mentioning that my father would not suffer us to use the unstopped lines in reading poetry. We always had to make a stop whether the author indicated one or not. Either unstopped endings, however legitimate, interrupted the even flow of metrical melody which soothed him, or they seemed to him pragmatical and impertinent. Even now a delicately hinted stop (though logic would not require it) seems far from unadvisable.
Enough, perhaps too much of these grammatical niceties. How about the most characteristic feature of our age, as appreciated by the Vicar of Braddan? I mean the progress of science, and its bearing upon the Christian religion. That pioneer book, the "Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation," was not published till 1845, the year before my father's death. I question whether he had advanced much beyond Goldsmith's " Animated Nature" and Chalmers' " Astronomical Discourses." Among his personal friends were the Forbeses, and the early labours of the distinguished naturalist had corns under his review, Indeed the very first work of Edward Forbes, an account of a "Tour in Norway," had been submitted to my father for purposes of literary criticism, but, as far as I know, had not otherwise commended itself to him. The most brilliant man, therefore, that we have ever produced in science passed almost unobserved by so acute a judge of merit As regards the Sciences, I suppose admiration would express the normal state of the Parson's mind, a general, broad, unfeigned delight in the discoveries made up to that date, a sympathy with science, not regarded as an antagonist to revelation, but rather as a friend, in any case, as a correlative department of truth. I do not think that any of the Manx clergy, perhaps few of the English, had become at that early period alarmed by the apparent contradictions between the Scriptures and the results of scientific investigation. It was hardly to be looked for on their part. They did not suspect anything insidious underlying the conspicuous advance of studies which they heartily applauded. All that was to come after the Darwins, the Huxleys-had barely dawned upon the scene. As rational men, not rationalists, the one or two Manx clergymen who were interested in such questions, acquiesced, well pleased in what they recognised as truths of secondary importance, but of enormous range, certainly, and of great practical utility. I shall not easily ferget the Vicar in the "parlour" at Braddan telling some friends about a recent invention which was beginning to interest the scientific and commercial world. This was the electric telegraph. The warmth of his enthusiasm was only equalled by the lucidity of his explanation. Great, too, was the pleasure with which he welcomed any scientific; instrument or experiment which my elder brothers succeeded in exhibiting to him as the outcome of their work and skill. The little schoolroom near the Vicarage was often the scene of such triumphs A Sunday School on the Sabbath, it was for the remaining days of the week a perfect temple of scientific research. My brother Hugh was pre-eminent in this way; and my father's satisfaction was deep, though grave, and reservedly expressed. The scientific mind was in him: I dare say very far back-a behind.
My reason for mentioning these all but childish matters, and yet without apology, is that my readers may feel how wide were the views which even then could be taken by the older generation of Manx parsons, how perfectly possible it was for them to cultivate their Divinity, their style, and all the amenities that belong to a learned profession, and yet be quite alive to what was going on in the world of art and science, exulting, perhaps, not very intelligently, but very sincerely, in the common progress of Mankind. Of course, we took in the Penny Magazine and the Penny Cyclopaedia from the beginning. Lord Brougham and his colleagues had no more zealous and grateful supporters than the little circle at Braddan.
O yes, we were what you call scientists, that is, in germ. The Higher Criticism, as it is called, that of the Old and New Testament, was still beneath the horizon of the Isle Man. The clergy were as innocent of it as babes, possibly are so still. Bauer, Eichorn, Ewald were names unknown to our worthy Theologians. Dr Pussy (or Mr E, B. Pusey, as he was then called) had already raised a standard against the Teutonic invaders, but Mr Brown and his friends would not look at him, scarcely breathed his name without a maranatha,
T. E, BROWN.
POLITICS.-Manx politics had no interest for my father. As an English politician, he was a curious compound of Whig and Tory, in theory the latter, practically, perhaps, inclined to the former. He detested Oliver Cromwell and Napoleon Buonaparte, but had no special regard for Laud and Chatham. A Radical he abhorred, but a plateman, or a courtier of any description he abhorred still more. In the matter of contemporary politics, he was, like a true Manxman, seriously behind-hand. It was not he, though, but another Manx Vicar, who deemed it polite to discuss the politics of English Governments with a young friend just arrived from Oxford. "I wonder," he said, " What Lord John will do with this Bill ?" Lord John had been some years dead.
In Manx affairs Mr Brown ignored politics, and confined himself to the simple principle of disliking and suspecting all Strangers. It would be impossible to give any idea of the extent to which he carried this Manxland for the Manx: no one ever occupied that position more tenaciously, and so far, and in that respect, he was a most ardent patriot. The distribution of patronage, whether in Church or State, he scrutinized severely. He had amazingly little confidence in Governors, still less in Bishops. Probably, except in a few cases, he failed to see the marked superiority of those whom the Prime Minister for the time being elevated to the latter office. But it would have puzzled any one, especially an intimate friend of the Rev Hugh Stowell, to discover the respects in which the Rector of Ballaugh fell short of the standard set up in Downing Street for an appointment to Sodor and Man.
Loving the Island so fervently, you might imagine that everything Manx would have been dear to him. I can't say that. He cared very little for Manx History. I never saw him even smile at a Manx joke, or anecdote, or specimen of what we agree to call the Anglo-Manx dialect. I am sorry to say that, as far as he did not consider such things frivolous, he would have set them down as vulgar. He himself spoke with a decidedly Manx accent-he called a boy, a by, a Christian a Chrishtin, Kirk Braddan Kirk Breddhin, and so forth. But his idioms were the purest. and, when not racy, the stateliest English. I do not think he had any great liking for Manx music, or Manx antiquities, or Manx literature. In fact, I fear he despised these things, and hardly believed in their existence. In these departments of knowledge a fine vein of scepticism ran through his mind; he would have met Macpherson with a pooh-pooh! as vigorous as the great Lexicographer's, and half at least of our native traditions would have gone down before him as before the scythe of a Talbot.
Possibly with this may have been connected his some- what peculiar ideas about literature generally. I fancy though that they were sufficiently accounted for by his Evangelical opinions and Puritanical upbringing. clearly there must have been a twist, what Geologists would call a fault, in the stratification of his views about Prose fiction. He placed Sir Walter Scott's poems far above his novels, a judgement which we may pronounce to be unique. The fact is he suspected novels, and more than suspected them; would not have one in his house. It was part of the Evangelical platform. That we read novels may be taken for granted, but not with his approval or knowledge.
Games he looked upon with indifference, very likely regarding them all, except the Olympian, as modifications of marbles or But-thorrarn the amusements of savages, or tribes imperfectly civilised. Into such follies he never enquired.
With regard to the Theatre, that was a different question. The possibility of any one belonging to the Vicarage ever going to a theatre was a horror too frightful to contemplate. As a matter of fact, we hardly had a chance. A theatre existed intermittently ; but in our wildest dreams we never looked upon a visit to it as otherwise than " a most dark and dangerous downfall." In short, we dismissed it from our minds This again, it will be seen, was a time-honoured plank in the Puritanico-Evangelical platform.
For all these abominations (with cards and dice) were shut up and contained in one word, which was seldom absent from the mouth of the preacher in those days. That word was the World; and it included the Flesh and the Devil.
The Vicar was not a very full-blown Evangelical, though on certain points extremely keen. A sound Protestant, he did not flourish the No-Popery rag, nor give any undue amount of attention to what T.C.D. men called The Controversy. His favourite study was Ecclesiastical history, in which subject he had amassed quite a library. This will show the tendency of his mind, and will be further illustrated by the fact that the histories he favoured were chiefly of the partisan type, such as Burnet Milner, Waddington, and Mosheim. He very cordially hated what he held to be the Romanizing in the Church of England. The Anglicans, via media or via anything else, he was not particularly fond of, though he reckoned among his intimate friends the Rev W. Gill, Vicar of Malew, who ably and conscientiously, but with a very scanty following, represented that school of thought in the, as usually, belated Diocese of Man.
It was a grand treat to hear Mr Gill and Mr Brown "hard at it." What earnestness, what skill of fence, what dignified courtesy, how thorough the discussion, what a model for young intellectual athletes ! We listened ; we did not dare to applaud ; but we felt that here were foemen worthy of any steel.
A Mr Palmer, a furious Irish Protestant, an uncle of W. Palmer, who wrote the "Origines Liturgiae," stirred up the fire of debate. He would have sent his nephew " packing to Rome, sir, yes, sir, to Rome. sir, where he belongs, sir"--an awful uncle! He supplied us with the"Record" and the " Christian Observer." It was a terrible discipline to have to read these things, which was my business. But one learned a good deal beside patience. At least one thought one did at the age of fourteen.
I don't know whether Mr Gill read the same periodicals, but I rather incline to the opinion that he was not as well posted up in Ecclesiastical history as my father. However, this may be, it was with weapons forged on a tremendous anvil, and proved upon the polished armour of Mr Gill, that the Vicar of Braddan rose " to the highth of that great argument" which filled the columns of the Manx Sun some time between 1840 and 1846.
His antagonist was the Rev J. G. Cumming, a young Master who had recently joined the College as Vice-Principal. Mr Cumming was young and rash, had the usual confidence of an Englishman in dealing with the supposed inferior race, was a Cambridge M.A., a good geologist, and what-not. But the ground was not geology, nor any ground with which Mr Cramming had a chance in encountering "A Manx Presbyter," the name with which the Vicar of Braddan significantly subscribed his letters.
Mr Cumming had allowed himself to be pinned into a corner, He had accepted the canons of 1603 as binding on the Church of England. I perfectly remember, child as I was, the exultation of the Vicar, and my fully participating in it.
" Get out the canons !" I got them. " Turn to so and-so and so-and-so." I did. And, instanter, the poor Vice-Principal was discovered as binding himself down to all kinds of obsolete garments (not vestments), night-caps of a certain form and material, cassocks, sleeves not " cut, pinked, or slashed," things " fearfully and wonderfully made." He had given himself away, that luckless Cantab ; and the last letter was my father's, a masterpiece of humorous scarcasm. Poor Mr Cumming's wardrobe was analyzed ; he was asked what manner of night-cap he wore, whether his sleeves conformed to the Canonical pattern, and so forth. The fun was irresistible, and amid the laughter of gods and men, under the cover of that universal hilarity, the defeated disputant took the opportunity of withdrawing from the lists.
I do not know that much was at stake, certainly not the soundness of Anglican foundations. Mr Gill, I doubt not, laughed with the rest, though I dare say he would have a private gird at the Vicar of " Breddhin." just to abate his truculence.
The good, the astute, the faithful, the brilliant. And now, " Each in his narrow cell for ever laid," the good old Vicars sleep. They have had their last spar, and they sleep. but not " for ever ;" sleep in Malew, sleep in Braddan, waiting for the resurrection to eternal life ; and round them sleep the flocks they guarded so well.
T. E. BROWN.
It might be supposed f that I make an unfair selection of my Manx Parsons, that I pick men of different dates, each, perhaps, the very choice and flower of his own generation, and that I group them together, thus producing a false impression.
As I am now approaching the Manx parson whom I would deliberately place at the head of the series, my challenge Manx parson, the man whom I believe the whole Island would have chosen to represent them, I am the more forward to insist that I have not picked there wen ; they picked themselves. They were contemporaries of ore another, Hugh Stowell being the senior, and preeminently the chief. Round him they grouped themselves naturally, inevitably, with strong compelling love and admiration ; a group, sympathetic and united, a group of what, if you like, you may call Low Churchmen, They would have called themselves Evangelicals, if they had cared for any distinctive badge. They loved Wilberforce, Venn Cecil, Scott, the Oltq)hana set; they hated, with various degrees of intensity and consciousness, the leaders of the " Oxford movement."
The first three "Tracts for the times " were published in 1833. Towards the end of 1834 the first forty-six were collected in a volume. In 1835 Hugh Stowell died. Consequently, Tractarianism, as it was called, had not yet shown its hand. Our little group, as rallied round the Rector of Ballaugh, could have had little perception of the tendencies which underlay the " Movement," still less any knowledge of its future developments. I should be surprised if Hugh Stowell ever saw a single " Tract for the Times." A man so simple and practical, so bent upon his work as a Christian pastor, living, too, in a diocese so far remote from polemical centres, was not at all likely to mark the beacon fires that proclaimed the advent of a new era. I am quite unable to say what action Mr Stowell was led to take, or whether indeed be took any action in the presence of a phenomenon imperfectly understood, and of recent origin. From what I remember, I should gather that his friends, his set, his disciples, Mr Howard, my father, Mr Gill, were left with- out his guidance to deal as they best might with a difficulty that never became pressing in this diocese. with what might be called an academic difficulty.
I confess I should very much like to have heard from Mr Stowell his estimate of the mode and degree in which the Evangelical School of Churchmen was threatened by the new movement. But, I question whether the matter ever came to formulation in his mind. A happy, earnest, yet tranquil spirit, we can see in the Funeral Sermon, preached by Mr Howard at Ballaugh, October 25th, 1835, what were the topics that engrossed the attention of the dying saint-"Tell,' dear Hugh to be humble- humble-humble, to be faithful unto death." "Without Christ all would be gloom and blackness of darkness to me now, but with Him all is light and peace and joy." Such were the desires, such the consolations that occupied his soul-personal, not universal, practical, not theoretical, no scheme of resuscitated medieovalism, or even revived antiquity, no anxiety about the church he unfeignedly loved, was the viaticum with which Hugh Stowell entered into the joy of his Lord.
As we go on, it will be interesting to observe that of all those who stood round the " Master," in relations so dear and. tender, Mr Gill was the only exception to the rule, that they to the last continued to be Evangelicals, in what sense will appear in the sequel. At present it will. be sufficient to. say that Mr Gill was known throughout the greater part of his eminently useful and beautiful life as a High-Churchman, perhaps, one might say, the High-Churchman of the Diocese,
Remembering the modesty, the great silence of my old friend, the entire reverence, the utter absence of show and pretentiousness that so characterised him, I recognise now the pathos of the situation. Singled out as he was from the rest, gradually growing to the stature of a Churchman in the truest and most philosophical sense, a Churchman to whom the distinctions of High and Low were as the impertinence of a dream, moving in an atmosphere of contemplation, of self-denial, of absolute humility, he is before me at all times and under all circumstances, the foremost of the men whom I love and honour.
Mr Gell was born in 1797, at Peel.
He came of a fine old Manx stock, the Gells, of Kennaa, in Kirk German. They spelt their name Gell. The Vicar of Malew was the first of the name who wrote the name Gill, I understand, by a natural desire to obviate a comparison between himself and a senior clergyman who had not been exactly a model of clerical deportment. However this may have been, in Mr Gill's Letters of Orders, the name was spelt Gell, the e being struck out and i written instead, but only on the first occurrence of the word in the document. This I verified the other day in the presence; of his son, the Archdeacon. The Gells, of Kennaa, never changed the spelling, nor did their kinsmen, the Gells of the Whitehorse, Michael. The name is now represented by J. Gell, Esq., of Kennaa, and Manchester. Some of Mr Gill's brothers followed him in adopting the change, but not all. The father of the present Attorney-General, Sir James Gell, did not do so. The fact is that in porportimn as they quitted the nidus of the family, and ceased to be connected immediately with the Kennaa stem, the tendency, though not without exceptions, was to rise the spelling Gill, not Gell, whereas the holders of the Kennaa estate, have always adhered to the spelling Gell.
William Gill was the son of Henry Gell, himself a younger son of the Kennaa family, and Chief Custom house Officer at Peel. Mr H. Gell was married to Marcia Corlett, daughter of the Vicar of Peel,
A singularly noble person was this Marcia Corlett, the mother of Mr Gill. Peel was full of her good . deeds. She was "an angel of mercy and loving-kindness," said. the Peel people; and "the sweet remembrance " of this truly heroic woman still flourishes in the dust of fragrant old. Peel memories. The story is told how she once found a poor mother recently confined, lying sick of confluent smallpox, with her baby in her arms. Mrs Gill herself had only just risen from a bed of confine- ment. She snatched the babe from tire poisoned breast, cuddled it up, ran in upon the astonished Collector with this remarkable import, new, we may suppose, to any "receipt of custom," and nursed it with her own infant That was Marcia Corlett : what a superb creature ! Who would not be proud to count such a woman among his forbears? We claim for Marcia Corlett, by retrospect, the Victoria Cross. The babe that was thus nursed with the poor little object of Mrs Gell's compassion was, I believe, the father of W. H. Gill, who, the other day, delighted its all with his revival of Manx music, the father also of Deemster Gill,
Ah, whipper-snapper ! There were women-what? Brit--never mind! It seems it was not reserved for the nineteenth century to produce these magnificent types. Marcia had a sister called Barbara. I wonder what Barbara was like-surely something very good. These Corletts had a patent of nobility from Heaven itself. We may all rejoice in belonging to a race that has given to the world such specimens-a fine, vigorous, ardent, self-sacrificing race, full of pluck, full of initiative. Are they dying out-these grand old Manx men and Manx women? Heaven help its, let its hope not! The British Isles contain no more glorious breed. Still there are symptoms-but we will not be croakers. I believe in real old Manx blood, and shall never cease to do so, Failures may come, miserable failures, spots, blemishes ; but there is a power of recovery in the race, and no Manxman need despair. "Hold on " to what is honest, and brave, and kindly, and pure: let us be true to ourselves, and let the world wag as it will. We are small, let us be good.
Commercially a speck, geographically it dot, let us set our faces steadfastly to what is right, and morally, we can be it diamond of the purest water to adorn the crown of our beloved Empress Queen.
T. E. B,
Mr Gill was educated at the Peel Grammar School, and, later, in Castletown under Mr Brown, afterwards Vicar of Michael (not of Braddan), and Mr Thimbleby, successively "Masters of the Academic Fund." I have heard of him as a fine vigorous Peel lad, a strong swimmer, athletic and fond of games. My very dear old friend, the Rev J. L. Stowell, Vicar of German (Peel), himself a splendid swimmer, told me once how Mr Gill taught him to swim by a trick well meant and effectual but embarrassing. The trick was an obvious one enough: you induced the small-boy to swim out into deep water, his hands on your hips ; then you dived-tableau, sink- or-swim of small-boy, I still can hear Mr Stowell describe his feelings on the occasion, and surely some echoes mast to this day linger about the Castle crags of the laughter which was excited by a practical joke, to its victim. at least so memorable.
Mr Gill, you will note, was an enterprising young person, masterful too, perhaps, and a leader among his fellows.
Of course, as he grew up to man's estate, he became what was called pious, had what were termed "experiences," and kept a diary. This was characteristic of the period. A diary, between the age of 18 and 19 was kept by Mr Gill. The late Archdeacon Moore kept a diary about the same period of life. Mr Drury's diary was continued, intermittently, far a much longer time, and was not so exclusively devoted to spiritual states and conditions. Mr Stowell, the archetype and pattern in those days of all promising spiritually-minded young men, kept a diary. None of these diaries have seen the light, except, in certain select portions, that of Mr Gill, It is a curious phenomon, perhaps hardly edifying, this self-examination, self-probing, staring into the mirror of an imaginary consciousness, dressing the soul in various costumes, all more or less fantastic. Characters entirely divergent might coma of such posing : you don't see the reality; what you do see might be the prelude to any kind of life, good, bad, or indifferent. We may not have improve] matters, but at least we are getting rid of artificial spiritualizing. Cricket and football give quite as good an account of our lads as the carefully elaborated details of spiritual meteorology, the dew-point, rain guage, and thermomotrical register of the soul, however accurately and conscientious- ly kept. A spiritual physician who knows his business would set aside such a diagnosis with firm promptitude, if he did not indeed reject it with horror. "The symptoms," he would say, "are spurious; these are not the elements of diagnosis, but of elaborate self-deception." Taking one's own spiritual temperature at 18, feeling the pulse that beats, that riots as it beats the wild alarum of incipient manhood-what is this likely to and in?
At 19 we may suppose Mr Gill escaped from this hot- house condition, escape , I dare say, with little or no damage. He lead a fine secular constitution. His spiritual nature was destined to be developed later on by the wholesome discipline of life. This is what made it so sound and true. Perhaps few men of our time were more profoundly spiritual, spiritual with a spirituality so chaste and delicate, avoiding observation. I had almost said a cloystered spirituality. That is the spirituality that wears : the troubles and difficulties of the world do not grind it down to a shadow, they polish it, and give it the keener edge. I remember nothing more beautiful than Mr Gill's suppression of spirital power: it suffused his life with a glow of exquisite splendour and modest dignity. Yogi said to yourself-" This man walks with God."
It was certain that Mr Gill, contemplating orders, would pass under the influence of Ballaugh Rectory. He did more, but we must not anticipate.
Some extracts from the Diary were printed in" A Sketch" published in 1871 by "One of his Sons." Mr Gill was still a youth, and had not thrown aside his Diary. One extract may be permitted . it is not with- out interest to me at least, and is a fair specimen of the pages thus dedicated to self-communing by their author.
" Had the happiness of hearing Mr Robert Brown preach. He came from Douglas to Kirkpatrick to preach Mrs P. Moore's funeral sermon. It was a wet morning. However, I would willingly go a greater distance in worse weather to hear such a discourse. It was evidently not learned by heart. The plan only had been digested, and the wording left to the inspiration of the moment and yet in my judgment it was eloquent. The language was natural and easy, the method ingenious and instructive, an-I the doctrine the most evangelical and useful I have ever heard. The unaffected piety and earnest address of the preacher gave a forcible effect to his subject ; and many, of whom I trust I was one, came away better for his labour. After Service, I had the pleasure of shaking hands with this faithful servant of Jesus Christ."
Remarkable Fact.-The writer was nineteen, and my father, the " faithful," &.., 25. One cannot help thinking that these contemporaries of Waterloo were a trifle precocious.
Just a little glimpse into the life at Ballaugh Rectory, and we shall have done with the diary.
" Saturday, January 3rd, 1818 (three years afterwards), On Christmas Eve, Kate 1 came to town, chiefly to invite Samuel and me to visit the North. Accordingly we went on St. Stephen's Day, and met with our usual warm reception. Hugh 2 had gone to Douglas in the morning to get "Mr Brown over to preach on Sunday. They came on Saturday, and then, indeed, we had the choicest society. I .eve: remember being more charmed with company or conversation. Surely the most delightful part of social life is that which is spent with friends of genuine piety and cultivated understanding. In the evening Mr Brown retired to prepare his sermon, and Mr S. and Samuel and I took a turn in the garden. On Sunday we rose at the first dawn, and as I walked in the garden, Mr S. joined me, and soon after Mr B. After family prayers we spent the time in reading and conversation till the bell rang. Mr S. read the service, and Mr B. preached. * * * After the evening service the time was chiefly spent in discourse and singing, which Mr B. and Samuel assisted with the flute."
There is no lack of graphic power in this reproduction of an old-world scene. Possibly there is even a hint of humorous colour, especially in the mention of the flautists. But very likely not, for young Mr Gill was evidently on his best behaviour, and I must not allow my own reminisences of the musicians to disturb the Sabbatic serenity of the occasion.
Mr Gill speaks with almost exaggerated gratitude of the debt he owes to Mr Stowell and his family. We have every reason to believe that the Gells and the Corletts at home were admirable people ; but perhaps neither at Kennaa nor at Peel was there so sweet a smelling savour as that which haunted the roof-tree of Ballaugh Rectory. A charmed atmosphere, a special garden of the soul, screened from all that could damage the tenderest growths, it was, however, hardly the plot for the cultivation of the hardier plants. Mr Gill was essentially a hardy plant ; he was going on to be a great tree, his roots grappled with the rock, his summit bared to the lightning. We think of him not as an Adonis of theology, but rather as a Prometheus, a Lear, if you like, out on the blasted heath, not weak though, and distraught, like the injured King, but ever strong, patient and enduring. In later years I have seen him so like that-Grenaby way, or the Moana Moor, hat off to the storm, the outward storm soothing the inward, or, rather, tempering it to the equipoise of " a great calm." There was more than calm in the face, there was joy, and not a stern joy either.
A more affectionate, a holier Father in God never trod this earth than the Rev Hush Stowell. But Mr Gill was clearly a man for struggle and triumph. A whole segment of his nature, and that a most important one, would not be appealed to at the Rectory. It had to be strengthened, almost initiated, on other planes of action, remote from that clove-cote of heavenly cooings where Mr Howard succeeded Mr Stowell in the art of winning men to Christ.. The Kennaa blood was a more fiery blend, the Peel boy could fight, and why not the world, the flesh, and the devil? `'What we saw externally was the bark of the tree, within was the scented sandal wood. The man was sweet, but he could fight. He was said to be like the Duke of Wellington. Of such men were made the Wellingtons, of such men the Augustines and the Pauls.
Mr Gill became more closely connected with the family circle at Ballaugh by marrying Miss Anne Stowell, daughter of the man whom he so entirely loved. Both were very young, and no account of the one can be separates from an estimate of the other. Here, therefore, I must be pardoned if I gently raise the veil which conceals from. us the dear old lady who, as the help-mate of her husband for so many years, was a " Mother in Israel," and, do what I will, emerges from the privacy of domestic life into the publicity, far from sought, which made us all so pron I ana fond of her. What they were aud what they did was so remarkable that it is impossible to sacrifice to delicacy an example so fruitful of edification. Let me speak then of Anne Stowell, the model wife of the model Vicar.
1An old servant of Mr Stowell's. 2: The late Canon Stowell
"THE age of miracles is not past." That has often been said by visitors to Malew Vicarage. Here was a family brought up with no appearance of stint, sending four sons to the University ; its hospitality was lavish and in- exhaustible, its circumstances, one would have said, pre eminently easy and dealing with wide margins. There was no anxiety, no constraint, or difficulty of adjustment. The Vicar might sometimes have a cloud upon his brow ; but it never seemed to arise from the ordinary cares of life; one thought of it as coming from greater depth, and contemplations more inward and divorced from things secular. A superficial observer might have thought the expression of his face at such tithes a melancholy one, and I will not deny that it might have been qualified with a tinge of that divine sadness which, rests at the bottom of all thoughtful contemplation. But, if you supposed that, sitting in the midst of his children, sitting so quietly, while all around was animation, not to say uproar, the Vicar's mind was absorbed in forebodings, grave calculation of alternatives, misgivings as to the future, doubts as to the present, you would have been seriously mistaken. He was the centre of his own house, the rock, the foundation strongly laid. It was Faith that sat there in the person of the Vicar, and Faith is silent. I believe that all his children, all those who stood in the relation of quasi-children (and there were many such), felt that here in the last resort was a serenity and a power that only faith can give, the real source of strength, and the ultimate root of Success ever. in earthly things.
But throughout the house there was another presence, ever wakeful, ever watchful. The three Christian graces Faith, Hope, and Love; and " the greatest of the three Love.'" Mrs Gill was the very personification of this virtue. How Love rests on Faith, cherishes, and is cherished by it, the Vicar's partner shoved in every action of her life. Hers was the happiness of a perfect union, a union with a strong man, in whom nothing was shallow or superficial She grew unto him in all things, and shed around him the light and beauty of her love. She was naturally of a cheerful and sanguine disposition ; naturally fitted therefore to relieve what might be regarded by some (chiefly strangers) the gloom and sternness of her husband. Gloom and sternness ! Those who knew better saw in that gloom the noble melancholy of a great soul, no gloom at all, in that sternness, the sternness of a fixed repose.
" The clouds that gather round the setting sun,
Do take a sober colouring from an eye
That hath kept watch o'er man's mortality."
To her loving nature Mrs Gill added a large endowment of wit and humour, those invaluable graces, if we may call them so, which supply to harder intellects the refreshing they so much need. Harder, I have said, non more practical : for no one could have been more practical than Mrs Gill. In this respect she and her husband were quite at one. The practical spirit led him to deal wisely with his fellow men, made compromise in non-essentials a principle of daily application, made foresight an instinct, and forbearance a habit. In Mrs Gill it developed the consummate housewife, the attention to homely cares and offices without which all labour is in vain, a strenuous activity unnoted, because withdrawn from observation. Early rising was the key to everything-this was one of her maxims, and she practised the art long after it had ceased to be necessary or required of her. The abundance of Mrs Gill's hospitality will be a record in this diocese, the complete absence of any misgiving, of the faintest suggestion that by any possibility there could be any difficulty in piling up the supplies that seemed to grow beneath her liberal hand, the spontaneity, the infallibility of the process- well let us say, the miracle, and so get back to where we began-" The age of miracles was not past." Excellently appropriate was the saying of Mr Drury, as he sat and enjoyed the copious profusion of the Malew tea table- " Aw, Mrs Gill! Mrs Gill! You're the boee."
Mr Gill was married on November 7th, 1820, at the age of 23, having been ordained Deacon at Kirk Michael, on September 29th of the same year. He was licensed to St. John's. And here the young couple commenced housekeeping at Rockmount. A good house was selected, as Mr Gill proposed taking pupils. It may be observed that in this arrangement he was striking the note of his whole life. Throughout, Mr Gill was emphatically a teacher; teaching was his instinctive faculty. In all manner of ways and upon occasions the most. various, he would gratify the propensity which lay deep within him. The cause of education in this Island must always be associated with his name. But more of this hereafter.
In 1829[?c1824] Mr Gill became curate of Ballaugh, and took up his residence at Ravensdale, a house disproportionate, like Rockmount, to the curate's means, and evidently meant to be occupied by boarders, perhaps more particularly by pupils preparing for the University. Not that Mr Gill had in view the training of young men for the Manx Church: the boarders, as a rule, were from England. In Ballaugh, of course, he had the advantage of working under his father in-law, the Rev Hugh Stowell. He left Ballaugh, however, in 1828, to become " curate-in-charge" of Malew ; and in 1830 he was appointed to the Vicarage, which he retained till the time of his death. He is known to us all, and will ever continue to be known as the Vicar of Malew. There can be no other.
I must now give some account of the special phenomenon, Mr Gill's High-Churchism. It was a Malew growth, even locally. a product of circumstances which could only have arisen in Malew.
It is not unreasonable to suppose that the separation from his much loved and ever venerated father-in-law may have had something to do with the change which took place in Mr Gill's "Church Views." Everyone who has submitted, inevitably, perhaps, to the dominion of another mind, accepting his ideas, sheltering under his wing, breathing his atmosphere, as time proceeds is almost sure to waken up, to discover new horizons, to long for new action, change even of discipline. The shadow of the wing that used to cherish us becomes irksome, the atmosphere oppressive, the views thorgh right as far as they go, yet inadequate, paling before the new views that fill the dawn with fresh tremors and proclaim a brighter day. Especially wilt this be the case, if the new views prove to be the old views reascertained and reasserted. The old Evangelicalism was so sweet, so warm, at least one side of it so amicable. But "Tenthis mighty and will prevail." The old Evangelicalism was really almost a family cult, our own old cradle. But we hear voices that will he heard, and we must go forth : this is not our rest.
In 1839 a very remarkable man appeared as one of the Assistant Masters at King Williams College, and remained there till 1841. His name was James Skinner. He afterwards became famous as a leader in the Tractarian movement in England, and though somewhat younger than Mr Gill, he had great influence over him.
From that eminently Protestant institution, King Williams College, therefore proceeded the infection of what the great majority of the Manx Clergy considered as the plague-spot of a flagrant heresy. It was never destined, it is true, to go much further, but Mr Gill shared largely in High Church views, and it devolves upon us to explain what in those days was reckoned High Church., what people here in the Isle of Man meant by Puseyism and Puseylte.
Some years ago I was driving with the mail-cart front Penzance to Land's End. The driver was a theological controversialist, and knew his Cornwall. He knew the late Mr Aitken, of whom I also knew something ; he knew Dr Carpenter, one of my oldest friends. In short, we got on together. " There are three things," said the Theological Controversialist, "which it's no use preaching here. The doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration, which no Cornishman will away with ; the doctrine of Apostolical Succession, which no Cornishman understands, the custom of Auricular Confession, which to every Cornishman is all abomination and a snare." This would be but a meagre outline of the High Church creed and practice as at present accepted. It represents only a part of the Sacramental Teaching with which our pulpits now resound, and omits the Ritualisin which, partly Low the following of primitive antiquity, and still more from the development of mediaeval use, has struck so deep a root in our Church.
Mr Gill was a doctrinal High Churchman. The two doctrines which my Cornish Postman condemned so emphatically he believed in with all his heart, and preached conscientiously. The practice of Auricular Confession he neither suggested nor encouraged. Any breach of continuity he shrank from ; anything like bravado, or insisting upon differences, he had no taste for. He never gave up teaching in his black gown. To the last he persevered in that fragment of academic priggishness, which, by some unhappy accident, had clung to the skirts of "Evangelical Truth." Ritual it was not, a Shibboleth it was, and yet the Vicar regarded it as a sufficiently established custom, a matter of decency and homely convention. I have seen him struggling practically with the complications of this terrible ephod. He never failed to triumph over it at last, though he had no proper vestry wherein to hide his efforts. Do what he would, a small minority in the gallery could always command a view of the operation. And Mr Gill was a tall man, and muscular. His son, the present Arch- deacon, will remember how he tried to carry out the Vicar of Malew's method in dealing with this difficulty, till one day, in his own church at Rushen, he chanced to spy some young University rnen evidently amused with the "performance." In fact, they were choking with laughter; so was the preacher with-well, let us say, if it be permissible, with rage. He felt he looked like an understudy for Laocoon, and from that day he resolved to stick to his surplice. Meanwhile the Vicar of Malew adhered to his gown.
Nothing, perhaps, could give a better idea of Mr Gill as a High Churchman than his attitude in this matter; he would not offend the weaker brethren. Essentials were his strong point. Once indeed he yielded to an aesthetic impulse. It was the infancy of Ecclesiological decoration. Mr Gill longed for a stained glass window, and he got one ; what is more, he paid for it himself. There was great excitement when the box containing the glass arrived. Mr Gill hed received a " box of images. Here was the full blown Tractarian! Images! Oh, dear! Oh, dear.! A zealous lady from a neighbouring parish requested Mr Gill's dearest friend, Mr Corrin, the Vicar of that parish to go over at once, and see what was happening. Mr Corrin came; the box was opened ; and lo, the images ! Solventur tabulae risu ? Well, no ; they are there still. But I expect, there'd " be laughin' in." A pretty picture that of the two Vicars opening the fatal box! Mr Corrin was "aisy converted," but not so everyone.
"Mr Gill, I thought I saw the Devil," exclaimed Mr _ " Did you really ?" replied the Vicar. " You must be better acquainted with him than I ; I should not know him," But Mr Gill got the name of " Tractarian," and a " Tractarian " he was if taking in the " Tracts for the times" constitutes a "Tractarian." And it admits of no question that he took them from the first. Was it not awful? Anxious ladies of the parish begged him to discontinue taking the Tracts. " What is a Tractarian ?" said an alarmed enquirer. " A man who takes an interest in schools," was the not wholly unapt reply.
" A man who takes an interest in schools:" that was Mr Gill. If the phrase does not adequately describe a Tractarian, it gives a very good idea of Mr Gill, his tastes, his tendencies, the irresistible bent and impulse of the man. I have said that this preference for education over all other interests, individual or national, lay at the root of Mr Gill's character. We observe it from the beginning of his ministerial life, Other, and possibly more sacred duties might from time to time engross him ; but he always turned with fresh delight to his first love, to the practical questions connected with education. I suppose we are born educators, or had better leave the art alone. Mr Gill filled much of ' his life with these matters. He was always practical, always a learner. The "latest thing out" in school apparatus was sure to be known to him. If he visited a " Great Exhibition," there was no mistake where you'd find him-poring over copy-books, manuals, maps, examining the new kind of desk, the most recent pattern of an ink-well. And when he returned, his luggage would be heavily stored with a heap of things which might or might not prove useful, the purchase of which however he would defend with enthusiasm, and justify ingeniously to the imperfectly sympathising home-department.
Bishop Short had a great deal to do with this. He was Bishop from 1841 to 1847. Himself an educator, dad devoted to the came of education, he soon found '- what an indefatigable assistant he had in the Vicar of Malew-more than on assistant, in fact, a kindred spirit, only more prudent, and more practical, less intolerant of difficult exceptions, more statesman-like and circumspect in his proceedings, let us say at once and unhesitatingly, at all points, save the purely pedagogic, the greater man.
Bishop Short was naturally enough discontented with the system of education existing in the Island. Was it a system at all, or a more chapter of accidents? The maimed, the halt, and-well possibly not the blind were impressed into the service. They were, as a rule, lamentably ignorant, or, at least, unmethodical and ;without training. Mr Gill undertook the business of preparing these men for the only kind of examination which they had a chance of passing. Poor old fellows ! They needed some encouragement, and from him they had it unsparingly. No one else; it may safely be said, cared for their souls or their bodies. The work that Mr Gill cut out for himself in this way was enormous, and it was unpaid. I remember several of the impossible old gentlemen whom Mr Gill saved from condign rejection, and helped to bolster up as ineffectives that might be endured. It was a work of kindness and mercy, of forbearance and long-suffering. It was a work that no man could have attempted who was not a Manxman, and a Manxman who thoroughly knew the wants and short. comings of his countrymen -a Manxman, moreover, who was well acquainted with the progress of education elsewhere.
One admirable schoolmaster Mr Gill had in his own school at Ballasalla. This was Mr Cowley, who was transferred to Peel, and there gave proof of ability which is still a record in the town. It is with pleasure and with pride that I can count myself as one of Mr Gill's teachers He allowed me to teach for some time in the Ballasalla Sunday-school; and I can bear witness to the untiring zeal with which he presided over our labours, and the unfailing courtesy which he imported into all his dealings with the youthful and inexperienced.
The cause of education was, perhaps the most important of those in which the Island had the advantage of enjoying Mr Gill's services. Next we may class his work as organizer and Secretary of "the Diocesan Society."
I suppose that Church-folk, at least, will admit the utility of Curates, and the necessity of making provision for, them. They have practically become a necessity, Not, I say, that the Clergy,, with their aid, do more or better work than was done in " the old time before them." The most frivolous simpleton in Orders can produce an impression on the minds of male parishioners that he is very busy, on those of females that he is, if not beautiful, yet interesting, and, if unmarried, marriageable. At any rate, they seem to spring up like mushrooms, and special means are adopted, and special institutions established for promoting this peculiar kind of Fungiculture. The Agaricus Campestris is described in botanical dictionaries as growing on rich ground, and as being a cryptogamous plant. This is significant.
However, the curate has become the fashion, and a parson without one would be rather in the position of a collier without his dawg. To secure a supply of the article, but, more than that, to make sub-divisions of parishes, to promote in other ways the more efficient working of the diocese, to help with money grants, to canalise, as far as possible, the value of livings, to obviate anomalies, to grease the machine in its grooves, to ease it, to silence the "swealin"of friction in bearings grown stiff with age - that is what the Diocesan Society undertook to do. Can any man imagine a more difficult task, and, as human societies go, a more thankless one? Mr Gill worked long, and spared no pains. The Society flourished under his management. We suppose it has ceased to exist: some other method of dealing with our penniless condition has been adopted. The post of Secretary to the old Diocesan Society was of the kind which the Vicar of Malew was so eminently capable of filling. It required tact, judgment, good taste, business habits, sound heart, sound head; accurate and exhaustive knowledge of particulars. It was not from any lack of these conditions in the Secretary, it was from their total failure in The Ordinary, the Bishop who now sat in the seat once occupied by Bishop Short, that this complicated scheme, besat with so many problems, and demanding for its guidance a temper such as few men have ever possessed as; it was possessed by William Gill, came to an unfortunate end. The blow came desuper ; there is a limit to strains of this nature, and the Secretary had to resign. T, E. B.
Somewhere in the early sixties might have been seen a curious gathering at Malew vicarage, almost a typical one. Three men sat in kindliest converse. They were the Rev W. Gill, the Rev H. Stowell (Manchester), and the Rev J. Keble. It will be remembered by those who were privileged to be present, that anong the hymns with which the evening was varied Keble's beautiful "Sun of my soul" was sung with deep feeling.
" Sun of my soul then Saviour Dear,
It is not night if Thou be near."
The great Canon had either forgotten the words were from "Hymns Ancient and Modern," or a sweeter spirit had descended upon that old Vicarage Training-room, and melted all hearts in the worship of Him who to them all was that "Saviour Dear." With Mr Gill there could have been no obstacle to such unions. His Church Paper had always been, and continued to be the Record. Smarter periodicals had won the popular ear on both sides. Mr Gill did not like change, did not appreciate smartness. The old Record did well enough for him. When Bishop Short lay a-dying at St. Asaph, Mr Gill was admitted to his bed-side, was much with him. Thus was the good Bishop's saying verified-" If you wish to buy a horse, consult Mr - ; if you want to know about the management of a glebe, ask Mr Gill; in all things appertaining to your spiritual state and condition enquire of him." The wise and kindly spiritual adviser had another side, which was, perhaps, more frequently observed; in any case, the combination of the deeply religious nature with great sagacity in things temporal was the crowning mark of his whole life. If a farmer had been asked what he thought of the Parson, unquestionably he would not have forgotten those magnificent crops in the fields adjacent to the Vicarage. "The tall wheat, and the tall man to match " -such was the expression, not altogether fanciful, of the relation perceptible between the corn and the man who raised it. The corn was worth raising; 13 bolls to an acre, and sold, in Crimean times, at 38 shilling a boll.
" A terble hand at the whete !" said the farmers. I dare say some of them could discern the identity of the practical spirit exhibited in the high farming with the painstaking cultivation which he bestowed upon the field of the word in his, Catechising. I believe he was the only clergyman in the Diocese who catechised the children during the service; in the presence of their parents. This exercise can never be forgotten in Malew by those who loved him. At any rate, it is not forgotten by one hearer, who never listened to the Gospel verity so plainly and so charmingly unfolded as it was by Mr Gill. The scene was most interesting. The children so modest,
shy, if you will, full of awe and reverence, so loving withal, so fresh and strong. "The pick o' childher" an old woman once pronounced them to be. The parents very proud, and n little anxious. The Vicar at his best and happiest, a noble figure, the face lighted up by the splendour of that affection for children, which always distinguished him, combined with the grace of a glad recognition in the little ones answered well, and wrought into energetic and vivid play of feature by the instinct and emotion of teaching which I have already said lay at the very root of his being. The plainness of that teaching was quite marvellous It was so plain, and yet so subtle, one of the finest intellectual enjoyments. Humdrum fled, and prosy dulness forgot her favourite seat, the pulpit. "The hungry sheep looked up," and were fed.
Thus he sowed; how he reaped will yet be known, but we must wait.
In the case of a clergyman it is but natural to dwell rather upon his spiritual than upon his secular life. Accordingly I have, not laid so much stress as I might have done upon the great ability which Mr Gilt held in reserve as a Legist. "He would have made the finest Lawyer the island ever knew "-such was the verdict of one whose opinion will command universal respect. Mr Gilt's mind was eminently that of the Casuist in the best sense, and the same faculty of detecting differences and forming judgments which avails in the case of the alarmed conscience is the power that in Legislation anticipates, and in administration vindicates the laws of a state. Poor "Tom the Dipper," at the bar of justice, would have felt quite sure of a righteous doom uttered by the lips of him who, in his capacity of Vicar conducting the Oie'1-Vayree he had restored, and was determined to keep free from all abuse, sternly bade him "Sit down, Sir !" when the hapless Dipper had announced his intention of singing a carval " to the tune of the Bloody Gardener."
Mr Gill was an admirable man of business. He would have made a consummate Chancellor of the Diocese. His views were wide and far-reaching, his interest in affairs was unbounded. The Chronicon Lupi (Malew Chronicle), which has never been published, bears ample testimony to his, minute knowledge of contemporary Manx History.
Common-place books and books of scraps from news papers, are still extant, which show how all but universal was the survey taken by him of the events occurring in his time throughout the whole world.
He had a considerable liking for mechanics. Of course, one is familiar with the ordinary phenomenon of conflicting claims which wait upon the patents for new inventions. A man invents a rifle, for instance, and a thousand men put in for the credit and profit connected therewith. Mr Gill, like so many others, might have appeared in this field, but his modesty prevented any public statement of the fact that he had anticipated the inventor of " Feathering .Paddles," as used on modern steamships. We believe we are correct in saying that he had constructed a model, and placed it at the disposal of Mr W. Kennish, the well-known Manx sailor-poet, who, however, carried it no further,
Now this man, endowed with talents so various, was a quiet, unpretentious Manx clergyman of the old school. It I were asked to name the master passion of his strong character, I should hesitate between two. One was Self Denial, the other was Love, and especially love for children. Reason made bin a Disciplinarian ; but his heart was with the young; it was effusive, overflowing. And they knew it. As he drove through the parish, the little ones would cling to him, would crowd in, upon, and over him, filling the "gig" with joyous laughter. That is what he delighted in. He yearned to the children; he never forgot that "in Heaven their angels do always behold the face of " our Father which is in Heaven.
Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received
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