The Religious Side of Queen Victoria

An account of the religious side of Queen Victoria's character has just been written by the Rev. Dr. Alexander MacKennal, a distinguished Congregational minister of Bowden, England, and president of the National Council of the Evangelical Free Churches of Great Britain. Dr. MacKennal's account appeared in The Congregationalist, January 26, and was as follows: —

"A prosperous reign is a sore trial to the integrity of a people; we have not come out of it unscathed. We might have been destroyed by it, but we have had a monarch whose personal character has been a standing witness for virtue and godliness, and whose influence has always been exerted in favor of whatsoever things are true and honorable and pure and holy and of good report.

"The Queen had to choose her husband, and the soundness of her heart and judgment is seen in her choice of Prince Albert. He brought the simplicity of Lutheran piety and the largeness of German culture to refine the hard English habit and set its judgment free. To him we owe the inscription on the Royal Exchange in London, 'The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof,' and the prominence of a like inscription in the Exhibition of 1851. He loved to have about him men with whom he could talk of religion, the Bible, Christian life and doctrine. A certain intellectual freedom, robustness of faith, and largeness of fellowship mark the piety of the royal household. Dean Stanley and Dr. Caird, Baron Bunsen and Archbishop Tait and less known Benjamin Woodward represent different churches and various religious habits, and all spoke freely with the Queen and the Prince Consort. These were, however, cultivated men; one might value their friendship for other reasons than their piety. The Queen was interested in the religion of all with whom she had to do and showed concern for humble as well as for scholarly godliness. When one of her servants died at Windsor, she sent for the minister of the Congregational Church, of which the woman had been a member, and asked him to conduct a funeral service in the porch before the body was sent away for burial, and she herself was present. Her religious tastes have also been simple. She has herself told us how her heart rose into her throat when Norman McLeod prayed without a book for her and her children.

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A Thought for the New Year
February 14, 1901

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