Perhaps he recognized the truth of what, according to one account, William Marshal told him to his face, that he had made too many enemies by his personal conduct, and so he did not dare to trust any one; but we are tempted after all explanation to believe there was in the case something of that moral breakdown in dangerous crises which at times comes to men of John's character.
Ain't it, Toozle, my boy?" Toozle whined, wagged his tail, and said, as plainly as if he had spoken: "Yes, of course it is, an uncommonly bad joke, no doubt; but a joke, undoubtedly; so keep up your heart, my man." "Ah! you're a funny dog," continued Bumpus; "but you don't know what it is to be hanged, my boy. Hanged! why it's agin all laws o' justice, moral an' otherwise, it is.
Slope: he was going to be made dean; he was going to take a wife; he was about to achieve respectability and wealth, an excellent family mansion, and a family carriage; he would soon be among the comfortable elite of the ecclesiastical world of Barchester; whereas his own protege, the true scion of the true church, by whom he had sworn, would be still but a poor vicar, and that with a very indifferent character for moral conduct!
A man is burnt: if by his own imprudence, that is a 'physical' sanction; if by the magistrate, it is a 'political' sanction; if by some neglect of his neighbours, due to their dislike of his 'moral character, a 'moral' sanction; if by the immediate act of God or by distraction caused by dread of God's displeasure, it is a 'religious' sanction.
But in having taken possession of Darwinism as their monopoly, they have made it the basis of new attacks upon the present moral principle of Christendom; and therefore we have here to mention them with their moral system.
Now, in regard to Mr. Gray, there is nothing in his character, so far as I can, read it, upon which to predicate safe calculations of this kind. He is intelligent, and highly interesting as a companion. His personal appearance and his address are attractive. But all below the exterior is hidden. The moral qualities of the man never show themselves.
But owing either to his own vices or to the difficulties of the situation, he displayed in his conduct and his work in Gaul so much violence and oppression, so much iniquity and cruel indifference, that, even at that time, in the midst of Roman harshness, pagan corruption, and Gallic or German barbarism, so great an infliction of moral and material harm could not but be followed by a formidable reaction.
So that, after all, the appeal is to be made against themselves to that moral and religious instruction which is withheld from them, and which, if they obtain it at all, is the result of their own unaided and unencouraged exertion.
This moral influence must proceed from the officers of the institution; but it should be increased and strengthened by the sympathy and support of the inmates. This can hardly be expected of the prison.
It is farther to be remarked, as a fact worthy of the deepest attention, that the only distinct information conveyed to us in Scripture, respecting the happiness of the righteous in a future state, is, that it will consist chiefly in a perfect knowledge of the divine character, and a conformity of the soul to the moral perfections of the Deity.