As evidence of the influence of Shabbona it is said that,

acquaintance networkyear2023-12-05 16:06:55 86 87658

We have Puseyisms, black-and-white surplice controversies:--do not, officially and otherwise, the select of the longest heads in England sit with intense application and iron gravity, in open forum, judging of "prevenient grace"? Not a head of them suspects that it can be improper so to sit, or of the nature of treason against the Power who gave an Intellect to man;--that it can be other than the duty of a good citizen to use his god-given intellect in investigating prevenient grace, supervenient moonshine, or the color of the Bishop's nightmare, if that happened to turn up. I consider them far ahead of Cicero's Roman Augurs with their chicken-bowels: "Behold these divine chicken-bowels, O Senate and Roman People; the midriff has fallen eastward!" solemnly intimates one Augur. "By Proserpina and the triple Hecate!" exclaims the other, "I say the midriff has fallen to the west!" And they look at one another with the seriousness of men prepared to die in their opinion,--the authentic seriousness of men betting at Tattersall's, or about to receive judgment in Chancery. There is in the Englishman something great, beyond all Roman greatness, in whatever line you meet him; even as a Latter-Day Augur he seeks his fellow!--Poor devil, I believe it is his intense love of peace, and hatred of breeding discussions which lead no-whither, that has led him into this sad practice of amalgamating true and false.

As evidence of the influence of Shabbona it is said that,

He has been at it these two hundred years; and has now carried it to a terrible length. He couldn't follow Oliver Cromwell in the Puritan path heavenward, so steep was it, and beset with thorns,--and becoming uncertain withal. He much preferred, at that juncture, to go heavenward with his Charles Second and merry Nell Gwynns, and old decent formularies and good respectable aristocratic company, for escort; sore he tried, by glorious restorations, glorious revolutions and so forth, to perfect this desirable amalgam; hoped always it might be possible;--is only just now, if even now, beginning to give up the hope; and to see with wide-eyed horror that it is not at Heaven he is arriving, but at the Stygian marshes, with their thirty thousand Needlewomen, cannibal Connaughts, rivers of lamentation, continual wail of infants, and the yellow-burning gleam of a Hell-on-Earth!--Bull, my friend, you must strip that astonishing pontiff-stole, imperial mantle, or whatever you imagine it to be, which I discern to be a garment of curses, and poisoned Nessus'-shirt now at last about to take fire upon you; you must strip that off your poor body, my friend; and, were it only in a soul's suit of Utilitarian buff, and such belief as that a big loaf is better than a small one, come forth into contact with your world, under _true_ professions again, and not false. You wretched man, you ought to weep for half a century on discovering what lies you have believed, and what every lie leads to and proceeds from. O my friend, no honest fellow in this Planet was ever so served by his cooks before; or has eaten such quantities and qualities of dirt as you have been made to do, for these two centuries past. Arise, my horribly maltreated yet still beloved Bull; steep yourself in running water for a long while, my friend; and begin forthwith in every conceivable direction, physical and spiritual, the long-expected _Scavenger Age_.

As evidence of the influence of Shabbona it is said that,

Many doctors have you had, my poor friend; but I perceive it is the Water-Cure alone that will help you: a complete course of _scavengerism_ is the thing you need! A new and veritable heart-divorce of England from the Babylonish woman, who is Jesuitism and Unveracity, and dwells not at Rome now, but under your own nose and everywhere; whom, and her foul worship of Phantasms and Devils, poor England _had_ once divorced, with a divine heroism not forgotten yet, and well worth remembering now: a clearing-out of Church and State from the unblessed host of Phantasms which have too long nestled thick there, under those astonishing "Defenders of the Faith,"--Defenders of the Hypocrisies, the spiritual Vampires and obscene Nightmares, under which England lies in syncope;--this is what you need; and if you cannot get it, you must die, my poor friend!

As evidence of the influence of Shabbona it is said that,

Like people, like priest. Priest, King, Home Office, all manner of establishments and offices among a people bear a striking resemblance to the people itself. It is because Bull has been eating so much dirt that his Home Offices have got into such a shockingly dirty condition,--the old pavements of them quite gone out of sight and out of memory, and nothing but mountains of long-accumulated dung in which the poor cattle are sprawling and tumbling. Had his own life been pure, had his own daily conduct been grounding itself on the clear pavements or actual beliefs and veracities, would he have let his Home Offices come to such a pass? Not in Downing Street only, but in all other thoroughfares and arenas and spiritual or physical departments of his existence, running water and Herculean scavengerism have become indispensable, unless the poor man is to choke in his own exuviae, and die the sorrowfulest death.

If the State could once get back to the real sight of its essential function, and with religious resolution begin doing that, and putting away its multifarious imaginary functions, and indignantly casting out these as mere dung and insalubrious horror and abomination (which they are), what a promise of reform were there! The British Home Office, surely this and its kindred Offices exist, if they will think of it, that life and work may continue possible, and may not become impossible, for British men. If honorable existence, or existence on human terms at all, have become impossible for millions of British men, how can the Home Office or any other Office long exist? With thirty thousand Needlewomen, a Connaught fallen into potential cannibalism, and the Idle Workhouse everywhere bursting, and declaring itself an inhumanity and stupid ruinous brutality not much longer to be tolerated among rational human creatures, it is time the State were bethinking itself.

So soon as the State attacks that tremendous cloaca of Pauperism, which will choke the world if it be not attacked, the State will find its real functions very different indeed from what it had long supposed them! The State is a reality, and not a dramaturgy; it exists here to render existence possible, existence desirable and noble, for the State's subjects. The State, as it gets into the track of its real work, will find that same expand into whole continents of new unexpected, most blessed activity; as its dramatic functions, declared superfluous, more and more fall inert, and go rushing like huge torrents of extinct exuviae, dung and rubbish, down to the Abyss forever. O Heaven, to see a State that knew a little why it was there, and on what ground, in this Year 1850, it could pretend to exist, in so extremely earnest a world as ours is growing! The British State, if it will be the crown and keystone of our British Social Existence, must get to recognize, with a veracity very long unknown to it, what the real objects and indispensable necessities of our Social Existence are. Good Heavens, it is not prevenient grace, or the color of the Bishop's nightmare, that is pinching us; it is the impossibility to get along any farther for mountains of accumulated dung and falsity and horror; the total closing-up of noble aims from every man,--of any aim at all, from many men, except that of rotting out in Idle Workhouses an existence below that of beasts!

Suppose the State to have fairly started its "Industrial Regiments of the New Era," which alas, are yet only beginning to be talked of,--what continents of new real work opened out, for the Home and all other Public Offices among us! Suppose the Home Office looking out, as for life and salvation, for proper men to command these "Regiments." Suppose the announcement were practically made to all British souls that the want of wants, more indispensable than any jewel in the crown, was that of men _able to command men_ in ways of industrial and moral well-doing; that the State would give its very life for such men; that such men _were_ the State; that the quantity of them to be found in England lamentably small at present, was the exact measure of England's worth,--what a new dawn of everlasting day for all British souls! Noble British soul, to whom the gods have given faculty and heroism, what men call genius, here at last is a career for thee. It will not be needful now to swear fealty to the Incredible, and traitorously cramp thyself into a cowardly canting play-actor in God's Universe; or, solemnly forswearing that, into a mutinous rebel and waste bandit in thy generation: here is an aim that is clear and credible, a course fit for a man. No need to become a tormenting and self-tormenting mutineer, banded with rebellious souls, if thou wouldst live; no need to rot in suicidal idleness; or take to platform preaching, and writing in Radical Newspapers, to pull asunder the great Falsity in which thou and all of us are choking. The great Falsity, behold it has become, in the very heart of it, a great Truth of Truths; and invites thee and all brave men to cooperate with it in transforming all the body and the joints into the noble likeness of that heart! Thrice-blessed change. The State aims, once more, with a true aim; and has loadstars in the eternal Heaven. Struggle faithfully for it; noble is _this_ struggle; thou too, according to thy faculty, shalt reap in due time, if thou faint not. Thou shalt have a wise command of men, thou shalt be wisely commanded by men,--the summary of all blessedness for a social creature here below. The sore struggle, never to be relaxed, and not forgiven to any son of man, is once more a noble one; glory to the Highest, it is now once more a true and noble one, wherein a man can afford to die! Our path is now again Heavenward. Forward, with steady pace, with drawn weapons, and unconquerable hearts, in the name of God that made us all!--

Wise obedience and wise command, I foresee that the regimenting of Pauper Banditti into Soldiers of Industry is but the beginning of this blessed process, which will extend to the topmost heights of our Society; and, in the course of generations, make us all once more a Governed Commonwealth, and _Civitas Dei_, if it please God! Waste-land Industrials succeedingt, other kinds of Industry, as cloth-making, shoe-making, plough-making, spade-making, house-building,--in the end, all kinds of Industry whatsoever, will be found capable of regimenting. Mill-operatives, all manner of free operatives, as yet unregimented, nomadic under private masters, they, seeing such example and its blessedness, will say: "Masters, you must regiment us a little; make our interests with you permanent a little, instead of temporary and nomadic; we will enlist with the State otherwise!" This will go on, on the one hand, while the State-operation goes on, on the other: thus will all Masters of Workmen, private Captains of Industry, be forced to incessantly co-operate with the State and its public Captains; they regimenting in their way, the State in its way, with ever-widening field; till their fields _meet_ (so to speak) and coalesce, and there be no unregimented worker, or such only as are fit to remain unregimented, any more.--O my friends, I clearly perceive this horrible cloaca of Pauperism, wearing nearly bottomless now, is the point where we must begin. Here, in this plainly unendurable portion of the general quagmire, the lowest point of all, and hateful even to M'Croudy, must our main drain begin: steadily prosecuting that, tearing that along with Herculean labor and divine fidelity, we shall gradually drain the entire Stygian swamp, and make it all once more a fruitful field!



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