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whether they were Apostles, Evangelists, Bishops, or Priests: and men in religion who added the sacrifice of individual wealth and a strict profession of obedience to the life of continence. Who went forth from age to age to enlarge the bounds of the Christian society? Who ruled the Christian flock of believers at home? Who were eminent for the defence of the Faith against a series of emergent heresies? Whose writings, labours, and sufferings edified the faithful and converted the unbelieving? These, and these alone: an unmarried Clergy and Religious Orders of men and women. One was their sharp weapon for conflict with the world: one the power of their Lord in them: one the seed which should spring up, but scarcely ever before it had been watered by their blood, into endless harvests, ever new: that complete surrender of themselves of which the Virginal Life is the mark and seal. Thus alone souls have been governed and directed: thus alone the Christian Faith preserved intact: thus alone heathen men converted. And this is the triple work of propagation, the maintenance of the Christian people, their extension, and the safe guardianship of that by which they live, their Faith, the body of divine truth which they inherit and bear on.
In this work of propagation evils are to be overcome and obstacles removed which continually demand the sacrifice of wealth, whether in the form of not possessing it or not aiming at it, or of
surrendering it when possessed, in which is included the giving up of that ease and comfort which belong to the placid enjoyment of wealth; and not this only, but the sacrifice of bodily health and strength, and of the heart's affections; the sacrifice again of the will, by submitting it to labours of every kind, to which it is naturally repugnant; and lastly, the sacrifice of life itself by exposing it to manifold risks beyond the measure of a man's natural lot. But these are the very goods for which in the natural constitution of the world men labour. To obtain independence, wealth, rank, distinction, and honour; to preserve health and strength; to gratify the domestic affections; to found and maintain a family; to crown our human life with its natural circle of joys; these are the motives by which society is kept together and impelled. What power is there that can ask it to sacrifice these things, or what can be substituted for them? The Christian Faith alone in the history of the world has asked for this sacrifice, and alone has received it. And the preliminary condition of it is, that solemn profession of the life of continence which is exhibited in the Clergy and the Religious Orders.
If we examine, we shall find that the human society has one motive power for its actions, the love of money; and the divine society another, the love of God. For instance, how will the human society deal with the teachers of religion? It will consider them as engaged' in a profession; one demanding indeed certain intellectual and moral qualifications, but still a profession. It will calculate the value which such qualifications command, and endeavour to give this value in a combination of social position, and the advantages arising from it, with money. It will boast of putting a gentleman in each parish to diffuse the refinements of social life, and exhibit the results of temperance, kindness, and all the civic virtues in his own person. It will connect such teachers by means of marriage with the great mass of the middle and upper classes throughout the country, and so give these classes a sort of personal and domestic interest in the stability of religion; thus calling forth a homage to all that is respectable and dignified, all the more cordial on the part of the givers because no slight temporal advantage and convenience will be connected with it. This in countries where the Christian religion has been established and prevails. But should it attempt to propagate that religion into heathen countries, what measures will it take? Viewing religion as the chief means of civilising men, by introducing order, peace, industry, commerce, and prosperity, it will endeavour to attract agents by the offer of competent salaries and adequate social position, who may exert in these new countries a similar influence to that possessed by the ministers of religion at home. Thus the missionary will have a profession by which himself, his wife, and children may live abroad,* as the clergyman at home; and his business will be to teach religion, as that of the lawyer is to regulate men's civil contracts, and that of the physician to cure their bodily diseases.
Again, if there be any great work of which the preeminent importance will be acknowledged by the human society, it is the work of education. It will feel instinctively that the whole structure of civilised life is built thereon. Accordingly it will especially encourage those who communicate knowledge in all its branches. And how will it do this? By the great power which it sways, the power of remuneration. The work of education will be costly. Men will live in comfort and flourish by it as a profession. And thus, in the race for success, the competition for honour and wealth, great energies will be evoked, and distinguished results attained. Learning in the various arts and sciences, and the application of them to the purposes of life, will carry with it both rank and profit; and therefore learned men in all these will abound.
Nor will the human society neglect the works of mercy, which not only approve themselves to the natural feelings, but enter into the true doctrine of political economy. It will have hospitals admirably conducted as to the medical treatment of the patients and their material conveniences. Whatever means to such an effect wealth liberally poured forth can command, it will have; salubrious buildings, able physicians, well-instructed nurses, duly-provisioned chaplains. In such houses acts of kindness, zealous labours by day and night, abound. Only the basis of them all, that without which they would not exist, is, in some shape or other, adequate remuneration.
* There is a missionary society which has gone so far as to hestow an increased salary on the missionary for every child born to him.
Such is the triple work of religion, education, and charity in the hands of the human society. It proceeds on the principle of regulating the natural desires of man for pleasure, wealth, and honour, giving, as it were, a fitting standard to the three concupiscences, guiding them into a good channel, and so disarming them of that fatal power wherewith they can hurry men to violent contests and mutual destruction.
How, in the mean time, does the divine society set about the same triple work?
First, as to the maintenance and propagation of religion. Now, the divine Founder of our Faith uttered some words to its first ministers which do not seem exactly to convey the sort of position assigned above to the ministers of religion by the human society. He said, "I send you forth as lambs among wolves." "Take nothing for the way." "Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor sandals."* There is a notion of sacrifice and suffering conveyed here which was quite absent from the
* Luke x. 3; Mark vi. 8.