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Monday the raging winds and the mad sea-surges began their work, and awe settled on the minds of all. The gale-disabled ship, her rigging torn, her sails rent, her masts splintered, surrendered to the blast and to the heavy sea. The sturdy engines, paralyzed by the mighty waters, ceased from their labours. “The worst” stood before every eye. Only "the hope that keeps alive despair" was felt. But duty was before all. Quailless heroic spirits,-Kerr, Draper, and Woolley, after taking their due turn at the pumps, and otherwise giving their physical aid, " during the lingering suspense of those awful days, comforted the people with exhortation prayer." Struggle was duty, and so also was submission when the hour came.
" The angel of death flapped his wing on the blast,” and in the angry waves of the Bay of Biscay, the London disappeared. Oh, what a pang of agony is in the fact--with upwards of two hundred living, dying buman beings within her, a mighty gráve. So did Dr. Woolley die, 11th January, 1866, leaving behind him a widow and six orphan children.
When the news of that, terrible disaster reached Australia all hearts were bowed with grief and stirred to commiseration, Among other noteworthy signs of this it becomes us to mention that a great public meeting was held on 26th of March, in the Prince of Wales Theatre, Sydney, under the presidency of Sir Alfred Stephen, C.B., Chief Justice, for the purpose of testifying the public sympathy felt for Dr. Woolley's family, the sense of his character and services, and the loss sustained by the colony through his death. It consisted of gentlemen representing every variety of opinion in politics and religion, and every walk in life. The presence in the chair,” said W. C. Windeyer, Esq., of the first magistrate in the land; of men wbo enjoyed the intimate acquaintance of our dear dead friend in private life; of pupils who have, hung upon his lips of wisdom ; of citizens who have met him in common working for the institutions of our city; and of so many of those sons of toil, the working classes of this city, whose earnest friend he was--all these proclaim our sense of a common loss ine Dr.Woolley.” At that meeting it was resolved substantially to help those whom he has left a legacy to the land of his adoption." /
At a meeting of the Senate of the University of Sydney, held 4th April, 1866, the following resolution was agreed to, and was ordered to be engrossed in the minutes ; and a copy thereof was ordered to be sent officially to Mrs. Woolley :
"The Senate, on the first occasion of its meeting alter the confirmation of the most distressing intelligence of the luss at sea of the Rov. John Woolley, D.C.L., tbe Principal, and Professor of Classics and Logic in this Duiversity, desires to record its bigh sense and appreciation of the einiieut services which he rendered to the Institution, by the great ability, profound learuing, and indefatigable zual, which marked his distinguished career in these important cap.cities, during the long period of thirteen years. The task which be undertook, in conjunction with his able and learned colleagues, of initiating a system of academical instraction in, a community where none had previously existed, was one of no ordinary difficulty. 1860.
The success with which he accomplished that object will ever remain as the best memorial of his peculiar fitness for so important a duty. Highly gifted in mental ability, and a most accomplished scholar, he spared no pains in communicating to the students placed under his control the rich treasures of his extensive knowledge. The peculiar gift with which he was endowed, of winniog to bimself the confidence and affection of his pupils, added largely to his success as a public instructor. The Senate cannot allow this opportunity to pass without also expressing its heartfelt sympathy with his widow and family in the irreparable loss they have sustained."
It was reported to us from Australia that Dr. Woolley had prepared a new work on logic for the use of the students in Sydney university, and another source of information gave us to understand that the revisal of this work had occupied the home-coming voyage of the toil-exhausted thinker. With the intent, if this were correct, of being able to afford our readers some notion of the contents of such a work, we made inquiries in the most likely reliable quarters, and we have received from one quite certain of being correctly informed a reply from which the following is an extract :-“I saw a good deal of him just before he left, and had' talked with him about various publishing schemes, none of which, I fear, are at all likely to be realized ; but none had any reference to logic, or any scientific subject. Literary and artistic matters seemed to interest him most.” Our hope, therefore, of a riper and teaching-tested logic from his “vanished band” is vain. It may not be in vain, however, that we hope for a translation from his pen of the episode of “Cupid and Psyche,” in the “Golden Ass” of that execrable stylist among Latin writers, Apuleius. A verse rendering of that episode appeared, 1799, from the pen of Hudson Gurney, Esq., but a nineteenth century translation in verse, composed to the music of the Parramatta river, by one of the first classical scholars of the day, ought surely to have interest sufficient to secure its publication and rapid sale.
After the narrative of such life-a life of effort, influence, progress, scholarship, and an apostolate of learning, we need not surely apologize for placing the name of Dr. John Woolley among “modern logicians," as one worthy of admiring remembrance. He has not, it is true, won from the general voice of criticism this prominent position. But we must think how truly he sacrifices an attainable fame who passes from the great centres of intelligence to kindle the torch of investigative learning in another hemisphere. For ourselves, we take it as a reproach that his logic should have lain upon our shelves in unappreciating 'neglect, though cursorily scanned, until the “morning of the eternal day” of God had dawned upon the author's spirit. The “selfless man and stainless gentleman,” the thinker, the scholar, and the man of Christian charity and chivalry, is gone. Surely it must have been with him, when the last engulphing swirling swoop of the sea had gurgled in his ears, that he could say,–
" With the sound, I woke, and heard indeed
OUGHT STANDARDS OF FAITH TO BE IRREVISABLE?
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.'
St. Paul. ARTICLES of faith are the sacred deposits of history. The very life of the church beats in them. They are not mere dead dogmas, they are living thought. They are more, however, than the living thought of the past. They are the life of the soul of men in the present day. They have been incorporated with the thoughts, feelings, and affections of their believers, and on them, or according to them, they form the plan of their lives; or “ form to them the relish of their souls.” Into the articles of faith of the several churches, the thoughts of men have gathered up their energies ; and in them epochs are summed up. It is impossible to revise articles of faith unless you can also revise all the influences of history. Can you revise the flower of which the seed has been planted which has taken root and grown? Can you revise a river. course when its waters have carried the vast freights of inland places into the broad ocean? No. Neither can creeds be revised - they are portions of the souls of men.
“Too many noble souls have thought and died,
Too many mighty poets lived and sung,
With martyr-fire, throughout the world hath rung
Too long, to have God's holy cause denied.” Our creeds are the banners of our battles; our creeds are part and parcel of our being; Nolumus fides Angliæ mutari !
What new colours can bring the old rapture to the heart of the soldier who has borne the heat and burden of the day of battle under the war-worn flag of olden times ? What new creed can come hallowed to the soul with such associations as that which history consecrates and deathbeds have made dearer than anything that earth holds ? Change in this is mental death. It unsolders and disunites all that has been regarded as "the anchor of the soul, sure and steadfast within the vail.” If it was a sin in the times of the ages of the ancients to remove the ancient landmarks, must it not be a sin of deeper dye to remove the old landmarks of the soul on
the heavenward and homeward journey it is taking? It is a serious responsibility indeed which men undertake, when they offer to supplant the creeds of our age. The fable of “ new lamps for old ones has a meaning suitable to our church days as well as to the "Arabian Night's Entertainments." The old oil has not yet, we believe, burned out of the old lamps, which our forefathers lighted to welcome the coming of the Lord with, and we do not think that we ought yet to go and buy for ourselves. If a title to the skies has been securely gained in times gone by with the articles of faith we have, let us have faith still that they will serve our turn and procure us the approving smile of Heaven.
Confessions of faith are landmarks and lighthouses. If these shift and yary, how shall we plough the rough seas of public opinion, or escape by their aid from the storms that may overtake us in life; or even direct our course to life's true haven? The things that are “most surely believed among us must be contained in articles of faith. An indefinite belief is altogether nugatory. It is trust in cloudland, belief in the transitory as the enduring, and taking dew for sunshine. Faith is not of this sort.
" Oh no, it is an ever-fixed mark,
And is the 'star to every wandering bark.” Steering by which, it attains to the quiet rest of safe barbourage"beatitude past utterance." - Such should faith be-something on which we can really rely. How can consistency of life be secured, how can constancy of hope and endeavour be procured, unless what a man believes in be distinctly irrevisably made up in his mind? It is true that'"articles of faith” are easily found fault with, and are not easily made perfect: that there are many men who can bring forward grave objections to many articles of religious credence, but can they 'substitute anything better, more trustworthy, or more scriptural, in the room of that which they propose to take away? Is such a one not well sketched in the following lines of Hudibras ?
“He a rope of sand could twist
Pluto's The itch on purpose to be scratched." If we are to listen to the suggestions of men of this sort, and afflict our souls on account of their objections to the creeds, confessions, and articles of the churches, how shall we ever be able to " be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you
å reason for the hope that is in you with meekness and fear?” (1 Pet. iii. 15.) And still 'more pertinently we may ask, how shall we, if creeds are to be regarded as revisable, be able to keep “the unity of the faith?” Our faith in God should be like God himself, changeless. Truth cannot change, error alone is changeable. If we believe our church articles to be erroneous, then of course we can believe them to be capable of revision. In that case, however, they should endure the decree of "my Lord Hamlet," or be subjected to the advice given by Doudney about the tailor's bill_“ Reform it altogether."
If any man has given the assent and consent of his mind and heart to certain formularies, in which the common faith of the church to which he adheres is written and contained, he cannot desire that the church should revise them; for they may then be altered to signify something different from that which he believes ; or else by the very fact of their being altered it is admitted that they were formerly wrong, and that all their former holders were in error - those who altered them included. If they have been wrong previously, how shall we be certain that they shall be right in their revision ? May they not as probably go further wrong?
If, again, a church has appointed certain articles of faith to be most surely believed by its members, and this is laid before the various communities of professing Christians for their judgment, and for reference or information, how unstable would all things become if these were to be made subject to revision? There would be no systematic theology at all. If he is to be accursed who removes his neighbour's landmarks regarding the things of earth, how much more vitally wicked is he who would remove the landmarks on the way to the celestial city? There could be no approach made to having one faith, one hope, one baptism,” if there were not publicly acknowledged digests of doctrine, to which appeal might be made.
Aware as I am of the popular prejudices against the doctrines of Christianity held by many, I cannot but think that any attempt to meddle with the current articles of the Christian faith would be likely only to muddle the subject and gratify the scepticallyminded. Allow a similar latitude in the interpretation of confessions and creeds as is permitted in the interpretation of the Scriptures, and every useful and necessary concession is made. “ Articles of Faith” ought to be irrevisable in their terms, though they should be always liberally interpreted not otherwise is it possible that they can be usefully employed; and without them how incompetent is man to live aright!
"'Tis a thing impossible to frame