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time of his burial. But, according to the first three Evangelists the passover was on the evening before, and Christ partook of the feast with his disciples. There can be no mistake about the identity of the meal, as the Last Supper—for the incidents of Christ's announcement of the treason of Judas, and of Peter's denial, occur in each description of the meal.
Commentaries without number have been written with the intent to clear up this difficulty-but no one can answer us whether John, or the first three evangelists, be the proper authority—whether Christ ate the Last Supper on the evening of the passover, or the evening before-whether he was crucified before the passover evening, or after. Can 'inspiration contain contradiction ?-or which is the 'inspired' authority—the authority that we are bound to believe on pain of eternal perdition !
But it is not only in relation to the time of the last meal of Jesus, but in the narrative of what passed on that occasion, that there is considerable divergency between the Evangelists. The chief difference here, lies again between John and the first three evangelists ; hut, on a closer scrutiny, it is found that only Matthew and Mark closely agree ;-and that Luke diverges from these two considerably, though he is more accordant with them than with John. John, only, has long--very long discourses-pronounced by Jesus, at the meal; and he, alone, has the incident of Christ washing the disciples' feet. Luke differs from Matthew and Mark in making Christ institute the supper, as a commemorative feast, before the betrayal by Judas, instead of after ; and in making Jesus announce Peter's denial in the supper room, instead of on the way to the Mount of Olives. In the last circumstance he agrees with John; but John has not any mention of the institution of the supper. And is not this strange that this Evangelist omits an incident so vitally important in the whole scheme of Christianity-according to orthodoxy? Are we to understand that he corrects the other three writers--and that Christ did not institute “the Sacrament' as we popularly, and by pre-eminence, term it, in Protestant England—but that the real incident was the washing of the disciples' feet? Who shall determine this difficulty for us ? Can this be 'inspiration' which speaks in puzzles ?
The Agony in the Garden is a picture which we approach with the greatest solemnity of feeling-both from its awful character and our early associations ; —but again we are startled with difficulty, for the Agony is not in John, nor does he leave any room for it,-since he makes the arrest of Jesus follow immediately on the arrival in the garden! Read the first dozen verses in the 18th chapter of our translation of John's Gospel-and you will see that he leaves no room for the Agony-nor ever gives the slightest intimation that it occurred.
But the narratives of the Agony, by the first three Evangelists are not in unison. According to Matthew and Mark, Jesus takes the three favourite disci ples with him,—and three several times retires from them to repeat the prayer that the cup of suffering may pass from him : according to Luke (who has not this double figure of three) Jesus retired from all the disciples, and but once. Luke, however, has one most marvellous feature, peculiar to himselfthat while Jesus prayed an angel appeared to strengthen him ; and that, during the Agony,“ his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” Even with the orthodox belief of the union of divinity and humanity in Christ, we feel shocked with the statement that it was necessary for Christ to have a strengthening angel sent to him. Without any belief in orthodoxy, we ask—What an angel is ? Where is the witness for
the angel's apearance ? How the disciples saw the angel if they were asleep? How it happens that neither Matthew. nor Mark say one word about the angel's appearance,-nor, especially, John who is described as one of the three (by Matthew and Mark) chosen by Jesus to accompany him in the garden ?
Concerning the bloody sweat' orthodoxy herself, according to Epiphanius, had very early doubts. And, even now, the “as it were” is laid hold of by many to shew that blood was not mingled with the sweat. If so, as Strauss observes, it would have been “drops," simply, in the text. The possibility, however, of a bloody sweat is confirmed by many authorities, from Aristotle to our own times--but it can only occur in extremely rare cases, and in disease. But whether drops of blood, or drops like blood—where, again, is the witness for such an occurrence? If the disciples were asleep they could not see it; and even if they awoke, how could they, at a distance and in the night, discern the falling of the drops ? Who can imagine that Jesus himself detailed all these circumstances of horror, with minuteness, to his disciples ? If Luke received the details by inspiration,' how is it that neither Matthew, Mark, nor John were favoured with the same supernatural communication ?
(To be continued in nert number.)
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"And though all the winds of doctrine were let loose to play upon the earth, so Truth be in the field, we do injuriously to misdoubt her strength. Let her and Falsehood grapple! Who ever knew Truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter?"-Milton's Areopagitica.
THE DUTY OF THE HOUR.
Of these everlasting prigs;
Of the miserable Whigs;
Blackwood's Magazine. THE time is come when those who are real democrats, both in and out of the House, should stand resolutely by their principles, and unflinchingly follow out their convictions. Reformers have dallied quite long enough with the Dalilah of expediency. They have sacrificed to satiety at the altar of compromise. They have worshipped, too long for their moral and political health, before the idols of Parliamentary parties. It is time now to break the images before whom they have bowed, and to stand erect in their simple faith in the truth of democracy, and the conviction that it must prevail.
The question for discussion, and for action after discussion, is,--How long shall we endure the Whigs? To my thinking, the Whigs, and Whiggism, are the great obstacles to progress. The Whigs are the moderate men. They do not believe that honesty in politics is even the best policy. They conciliate ; that is, they believe that the best mode of advancing true principles, is to cleverly adulterate them with false princi. ples. They have the knack of stump-oratory; and, what is worse, their oratory of the stump inspires their legislation with its own windiness and falsity. Yet we tolerate the Whigs! Radical members vote with them, or do not vote against them; and we are told to respect them as Whigs and as 'gentlemen.'
Far be it from me, to breathe one word against the private character of any member of the Whig party. I have only to speak of them, only to deal with them, only to denounce them as Whigs. They may be gentlemen :' I know them notas such. I only know them as a party existing on false pretences, and who throw dust in the eyes of John Bull before they ease him of his purse. I only know them as the advocates of political purity, and the maintainers of electoral corruption. I only know them as the reformers who emasculated the Reform Act; as the cunning intriguers who taxed the Newspaper Press so as to strangle the people's journals in their birth. I only know them as the economists who would, if they could, have imposed a fixed duty on corn, as they imposed a fixed duty on newspapers. I only know them as the employers of spies with a free'commission to traffic in the blood of the people; I only know them as the secret
backers of the Pope and the Austrian; the tolerators of the Irish iniquity - landlordism; and the sworn foes of democracy. Are these titles to confidence, or recommendations to reprieve? Let the Whigs stand condemned, not for what they do not believe, but for pretending to believe what they do not; not for what they have done, but for what they have wilfully failed to do.
Under these circumstances what is the duty of the hour with respect to the Whigs ? Clearly, come what will, to oust them. Let the popular agitation, such as it is, manifest itself in this form :-hostility to the Whigs. Let the Parliamentary opposition manifest itself in this formdivision against the Whigs ;-or, by reversing the present rule, never divide for them, though you may not divide against them. For what does a Radical member go to the House of Commons if not to oppose Government? What is his duty there as a Radical, if it be not to vote against ministers who calumniate the people, and refuse parliamentary reform ? The House of Commons is a usurpation. A Whig is any liberal who tolerates, without a protest, the present system. A Radical is any Liberal who pretends to be not a Whig. What particular mission has he to save Lord John Russell from Mr. Drummond or Mr. Henley, from Mr. Disraeli or Colonel Sibthorp ? Clearly none. The time is fast approaching when a Radical member who does not go to reform parliament, and stick to it will not be a member long.
The motives are urgent for action. We are now in the middle of a period of commercial prosperity. A great portion of the people get some food not wholly unfit for men. But how long will it continue, and the next crisis of commerce, the next season of starvation for the masses, what may it not bring forth ? If it is answered “Revolution,' that would be a calamity. But even this the Whigs may render necessary. We have now time to plan, organise, and agitate. The influential classes have thus much grace allowed them before the fatal period of distress arrives. The duty of the hour is then to drive the Radical members into direct and unfailing hostility to the Whigs. Let the Tories come in if need be. The Tories cannot do worse; and really one set is as good as the other.
REMINISCENCES OF EBENEZER ELLIOTT,
THE CORN-LAW RHYMER.
(Concluded from last number.) When the poet first appeared like a twinkling star above the clouded horizon, some sneered, some laughed, some deemed him mad. And indeed what atmosphere could possibly be thought to be more uncongenial, in which to successfully woo the muses, than the din and smoke of his daily pursuits? In the latter part of his trading career,-he might have been found surrounded by the hard material in which he was a dealer-a material almost as impenetrable as the skulls of those with whom he daily conversed. At one time to have even named Ebenezer Elliott with approbation, å man would have been treated as if he had partaken of his hypothetical malady. This no doubt had a great influence upon the sensitive mind of the poet; and effected in him a natural revulsion of thought and feeling. Hence he
affected a great contempt for posthumous fame or present praise, always speaking of them with an evident affectation of perfect indifference. On this subject, he said to me, when walking with him one day, out of the Music Hall, “I will have no monument crected over my remains, when I am dead. I have planted, or selected, (I forget which), a tree in a secluded nook, near to where I now live, under which I intend to be buried; and the tree shall be the only monument that shall wave over my grave.”
The above very brief reminiscnces present some singularly marked traits in the person, character, and genius of the poet and the man. What is however worthy of remark, is, that of all the portraits and busts I have seen, there is not one that approximates to an accurate likeness of the Corn-Law Rhymer. One has represented him with an urchin-like nose; -another with the facial elongation and lachrymose visage of a mawworm. A monument is however to be erected to his memory; and a few of his friends have already subscribed £100 for the purpose. This, for Sheffield is a mighty achievement! Mr. Burnard, of London, is now engaged upon, and has almost completed, a bust of the poet, which his friends and relatives pronounce to be a likeness; and certainly as a work of art, it does credit to the artist. This monument is to be erected in or near Sheffield. Who would have thought it? But the times and men change.
RICHARD OTLEY. Sheffield, May 14th, 1850.
[To the foregoing sketch--for which I must acknowledge very great obligation to my intelligent and much esteemed friend, Mr. Otley—I beg to add one little characteristic trait of the departed poet. It was never my good fortune to meet the truly illustrious Corn-Law Rhymer, much as I longed to see him and talk with him. It happened, however, that I had just one note from him—which was written but a short time before his death under the following circumstances. My friend, G. S. Phillips, secretary of the Huddersfield Mechanics' Institute-a man of genius who ought to be more widely known,—was visiting the poet; and in the interchange of our letters respecting a projected visit to talk (or lecture) at Huddersfield, I intimated to my friend a wish that the talking visit could also be extended to Barnsley, that I might grasp Elliott by the hand---if he chanced to have heard of me, and would so far honour me. The next return post brought back a letter from my friend, enclosing the following characteristic note to the 'Purgatory' man :--
Hargate Hill, near Barnsley, 9th September, 1849. "DEAR MR. COOPER,-Stone-deaf, as I am at present,--and agonised with unintermitting pain,- I could not welcome a visit from Dante himself, even if he brought with him a sample of the best brimstone-pudding which may be prepared for me in the low country. But if I should recover, and you then happen to be in my neighbourhood, you will need no introduction but your name; and I will promise you a hearty welcome, bacon and eggs, and à bed.
I am, dear sir,
EBENEZER ELLIOTT. The note is written in a strong and legible hand, denoting the bold and honest character of the writer---for I hold it to be true, that there is commonly some indication of the nature and habits of a mand's mind, in his hand-writing---though, perhaps, the maxim does not hold true in the instance of lawyers, who professionally stiffen their penmanship, or book-keepers who are expected to pen their records in a set style,