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at Rome. On it rolled, carrying on its unrippled surface to the gulf of oblivion, Memnonids, Perseids, Heracleids, Theseids, Thebaids, Achilleids, Amazonids, Phaeacids, beyond all count. The river of Time has happened to throw up to us a few spars from the heap of wreckage, a few poets not perhaps much better than those whom it has borne away,+Walerius Flaccus, Silius Italicus, Claudian, all of whom, together with Statius and even Lucan, J. J. Scaliger declared that he would gladly give for a complete Ennius. Henceforth, though every year yields its output (proventum in Pliny’s phrase) of poets, Latin poetry is really successful only in Satire and Epigram. Every one interested in Latin literature is familiar with the excellent chapter (the 64th) in Merivale's ‘History of the Romans under the Empire, in which he contrasts the Flavian with the foregoing literary epochs, and points out the influence of the professorial system established throughout the Empire by Wespasian. Dean Merivale remarks that the Flavian era was an age of positive thought, that the nymphs and heroes of Statius were copied from the courtiers of the Palatine, and the Medea of Valerius Flaccus was a virago of the imperial type, a Lollia or Agrippina. If Valerius Flaccus and Silius Italicus had allowed their work to express more freely the spirit of their age, they would have been far more interesting and valuable to us now. But they seem to have resisted it strenuously, and to have tried to use again the old poetic framework which was worn out and should have been abandoned. It was a great mistake when Silius Italicus, applying the supernatural machinery of the AEneid to a historical narrative, made Volturnus, sent by AEolus at the prayer of Juno, blind the eyes of the Romans at Cannae, and when he depicted Venus as plunging the Romans into sloth at Capua. It would be useless even to attempt to characterize the later verse-writers like Prudentius, whom Bentley strangely called the Virgil and Horace of the Christians, but of whom no more can justly be said than that he is the least bad among the Christian versifiers, though inferior to some of them, for instance to Juvencus, in the use of the language. But there is one very late poet of whom a word may be said. Claudian's position in literature is unique. It is remarkable enough, as has been observed, that after three centuries of torpor the Latin muse should have revived in the reign of Honorius; surprising that this revival should have been brought about by a foreigner, an Egyptian; but, most amazing of all, that a justly won and enduring reputation should be founded on court poems, installation odes, and panegyrics on inconsiderable people in an uninteresting uninteresting age. Gibbon says, “He was endowed with the rare and precious talent of raising the meanest, of adorning the most barren, and of diversifying the most similar, topics.' We may, perhaps, fitly conclude this article with a translation from Claudian in prose from the graceful pen of Professor Jebb. It is an extract from the poem on the consulship of Stilicho, A.D. 400, a eulogy on the Empire of Rome. It is a splendid expression of what ought to be the ambition and aspiration of the English Empire:–
“She, she alone has taken the conquered to her bosom, and has made men to be one household with one name, herself their mother not their Empress, and has called her vassals citizens, and has linked far places in a bond of love. Hers is that large loyalty to which we owe it that the stranger walks in a strange land as if it were his own, that men can change their homes, that it is a pastime to visit Thule, and to expose mysteries at which we once shuddered; that we drink at will the waters of the Rhone and the Orontes; that the whole earth is one people.’”
+ “Haec est in gremium victos quae sola recepit,
ART. WI.-1. A Handbook on Welsh Church Defence. By the Bishop of St. Asaph. Denbigh, 1894.
2. A Charge delivered to the Clergy of the Diocese of St. Asaph, October, 1890. By Alfred George Edwards, D.D., Bishop of St. Asaph. Denbigh, 1890.
3. Is the Church in Wales an advancing Church 2 By the Rev. Canon Bevan. London, 1893.
4. The Church Revival in Wales. A Paper read by the Dean of St. Asaph at the Church Congress, Rhyl, October 6, 1891. London, 1891.
HE Disestablishment and Disendowment of the Church in Wales figure in the prospectus which the Government is preparing for use at a future election. As a bribe, a Bill, with its somewhat indefinite promises, is more attractive than an Act which has nothing more to offer. The existing proposal rather forms part of the ministerial plant for subsequent operations than a plank in the legislative platform of the moment. But although we do not regard the measure now before the House of Commons as one with which the Government seriously intends to proceed, the very fact of its introduction by the Ministry entitles it to careful attention. Any proposal to disestablish and disendow a National Church necessarily touches interests which are regarded as sacred by many persons in this country; it cannot but be highly controversial, bristling with disputable points, involving principles of deep significance, and embracing details of extreme complexity. The inherent difficulty of such proposals, and the need of approaching them in a moderate and conciliatory spirit, were recognized by Mr. Gladstone in moving his Irish Church resolutions, and in speaking on his subsequent Bill. In dealing with the Church in Wales these difficulties are increased by the complicated relations which belong to the institution as an integral portion of a larger whole, and by the variety of interests which seventeen centuries of continuous existence have created. But no trace of moderation, no symptom of any desire to conciliate opposition, no recognition of the importance of the problem, marked Mr. Asquith's lucid exposition of his drastic scheme for the destruction of the Church in Wales. We are not here conterned with any discussion of the principles at stake in the great political and religious issue of a quarter of a century ago, nor with the character of the legislation by which a momentous change was then effected. We only desire to point out that, in every principle and detail, the question was then treated in a manner that was more worthy of its magnitude than the ostenWol. 179–No. 357. L tatious
tatious disregard for arguments of justice and national expediency which Mr. Asquith evinced towards the more complicated and difficult case of the Church in Wales. In 1868 no effort was made to confuse the issues, or to commend the scheme to the electors by associating it with material advantages affecting their pockets. Now, in 1894, the question is designedly confounded with a variety of other issues, and the Bill is presented as an undisguised bribe which directly appeals, not merely to the sectarian prejudices or racial antipathies of the constituencies, but to their cupidity and pecuniary interests. In March 1868 the Parliamentary representative of the Liberation Society demanded a division on Mr. Gladstone's Resolutions in the existing Parliament on the express ground, that otherwise a difficult problem would be presented to a ‘prentice Parliament,’ elected by inexperienced constituencies exercising the franchise for the first time. Now, in 1894, the occasion, repudiated twenty-five years ago, is the precise opportunity which the present Government seek to create, and they propose to submit a still more complicated and contentious problem to the solution of a raw electorate, ‘gerrymandered' to suit the exigencies of Liberal wire-pullers. As the attitude of the attacking party has deteriorated, so also has their case altered for the worse. In 1868 the tendencies, which for more than two centuries governed the progress of civilization, were still setting strongly in the direction of individualism, and against any established forms of corporate religious life. Now, in 1894, we are surrounded by signs that the force of these tendencies has abated, and that the nation is beginning to realize new ideals of citizenship and to feel the pressure of collective responsibility. No nation can live its fullest national existence without the organs through which its common feelings, needs, and interests may find adequate expression. Not the least important of these organs is that National Church, through which alone, with any claim to adequate comprehensiveness, the spiritual side of the national existence is expressed. Without such an organ the nation can only live a stunted, maimed existence. In 1868 legislation dealt with a separate organization, which, though linked to the Church of England by statutory bonds, was yet recognized as distinct and complete in itself, and could therefore be divided from the English body without the mutilation of either. In 1894 legislation deals with a group of Welsh dioceses, which, geographically, historically, and spiritually, cannot cannot be distinguished from other component parts of the Province of Canterbury. It vivisects an institution by cutting out of it a portion, which has no independent existence, no organic unity, no temporal relations, no legal constitution, no spiritual organization, apart from the larger whole of which it forms an integral part. It affects, not merely the temporalities and temporal relations of the dioceses and parishes with which it deals, but their ecclesiastical constitution and spiritual relations to the Church of England. It introduces into a body which has hitherto been united new divisions, and possible discord in doctrine, jurisdiction and discipline. It brings on provincial grounds a local action of ejectment against a portion of the National Church which logically decides the fate of the whole; it creates the first precedent for piecemeal dismemberment; it weighs imperial institutions in local scales without reference to the comprehensive interests of the nation as a whole. It initiates a new departure in separatist legislation. It brings us to a turning-point in history, for which the case of the Irish Church, and even that of Irish Home Rule, or Scotch Home Rule, afford no guidance. It attempts an impossibility by endeavouring to confine imperial questions to purely local aspects. Just as the national genius is enriched from various sources, each of which contributes indispensable elements to a composite whole, so the religious life of the Empire derives its richness from the union of different temperaments. To rob the Church of that ‘ vehemence of enthusiasm,’ which is the religious birthright of Welshmen, is to impoverish its whole spiritual life by the elimination of a quality in which the phlegmatic Saxon is apt to be deficient. In its legal, temporal, and ecclesiastical relations to the Church in England, the Welsh Church in 1894 differs materially from the Irish Church in 1868. Not less conspicuous are the differences between the positions respectively occupied by the two bodies in Wales and Ireland. In 1868 Mr. Gladstone declared, in his Chapter of Autobiography, that he had altogether changed the convictions which he had expressed in his famous work on ‘The State in its Relations to the Church,” and that the principle of an establishment must stand or fall by a practical test. By this practical test he tried the Irish Church. He found, as he believed, that it was only doing, and only had the hope of doing, work for the few, and those few the classes who have the least claim upon public aid; that it was severed from the affections of the people by an impassable gulf and adamantine walls; that its good offices were intercepted by a long unbroken L 2 chain