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A third has neither the gift of recol This was a species of marginal relection nor the faculty of composition. ference such as no divine could desire; Instead of copying piecemeal, he copies but some of those old sermons were wholesale. Is he, therefore, more of graced with marginal notes of their a plagiarist than the other two? Who own much on the principle of the shall venture to affirm it? Let him verbal directions in a music-score. who would do so first publish to the Looking over such an one, which in world one so-called original thought its day had been preached before of his own. The chances are it will royalty itself, I came across such be found already in print.
pencilled memoranda in the margin as But we are told : “At least a man these : “ Drop voice !” “Drop it !” can make the ideas of another his “ Whisper," 6. Pathetic shake ! own, assimilate them, give them the “ Louder !” “ Ore rotundo," and so stamp of his own personality, and forth. For the rest, a very tame longissue them, as it were, fresh from his winded discourse, with sentences lanown mint."
So he can, and probably guidly meandering over whole pages, spoil them in the process. Why and needing doubtless special manageshould he feel constrained to do so? ment of the voice to convey any Why should he not select the best meaning at all to the royal listener. and leave them as he found them? Let us hope that these well-modulated Is the butter any the better because prescriptions lent it a little of the life you change the stamp of the dairy to it so sorely needed. that of the retail-dealer? Surely the Nowadays, however, written sermons only important thing is to see that, seem gradually to be falling into somehowever stamped, it be genuine butter thing like disrepute, and extemporary and not oleomargarine.
discourses are all the rage. Many, What is really wanted is a little alas ! only too obviously extemporary more courage on the part of the clergy -creatures of the moment both in -courage to give their people always their genesis and their effect. It is a first-rate article, whether of home or perhaps hardly an unmixed advantage foreign manufacture. By all means that of late years it has dawned upon let them say whence they derive their the consciousness of English ecclesiasinspiration. Prudence would dictate tics that, after all, there is nothing so this candour, if it were recommended very difficult in stringing words toby no higher motive. To every church gether when you are in an erect comes sooner or later the perambula posture. What some one called “the tory pedant, ever on the scent of faculty of thinking on your hind-legs ” plagiarism. One such, coming to a is widely different matter. Loquachurch in days gone by, visibly discon- city is the birthright of the many, certed the preacher by muttering thought the prerogative of the few. audibly at the end of each glowing And as long as this is so, have we not paragraph the name of its original a right to shudder at strictly extemcomposer. “ South," “ Tillotson,"
poraneous discourse, whether in the " Barrow," "Hooker,” dropping from pulpit or on the platform? Bishop his lips, revealed to the astonished Wilberforce lived to regard it as a congregation the sources of their pas mistake that he had recommended his tor's eloquence. At last the rector's clergy as a body to acquire the habit patience was exhausted, and he ap of extemporary preaching. He found pealed to the secular arm in the person that such discourses too often come of the verger. “ Jones, turn that man from the heart only, in the sense of out!" * Your own!" murmured the
not proceeding from the brain. The stranger, still faithful to his principle method of fabricating them is in many of giving the authority for every as strictly mechanical as the sentence the rector uttered.
knack of making Latin verses.
memory is stored with
piece, and what is said mere which are loosely fitted together into sound and fury, signifying nothing sentences by an ingenious process save the robust self-possession of the which devolves all mental labour upon speaker and the fine working condition the listener. Talk of the fatal facility
of his lungs. On the other hand, of octosyllabic verse--what is that there have been those who have to the fatal facility of the preaching regarded the use of a written sermon which, unrestrained by manuscript, in the pulpit as a matter of positive floods the pews with mere sonorous obligation Of such sort was the platitudes ?
eccentric country gentleman who .exIt is conceivable that a sermon, even pressed his astonishment that “any a good one, is not an essential part of clergyman should venture into the Christian worship, and that men may, presence of his Maker without without being ethnics, prefer Robert manuscript”-a gentleman who must, son in the study to Robinson in the one fancies, have been a not very pulpit. Can there be no true de remote kinsman of the northern archvoutness unless the devotee be at all deacon who wrote to a rural vicar to times willing either to act the lotus reprove him for “approaching his eater, “falling asleep in a half-dream” archdeacon on a postcard !” under the narcotic influence of the No doubt we must all allow that, written sermon, or to grow distracted other things being equal, the spoken as he tries to follow the kaleidoscope sermon sounds fresher than the writthat the extemporaneous orator twirls ten. “ Which do you prefer?” asked mechanically before his mental vision a clergyman once of a famous states-must he be at all times willing, I “I prefer,” said the statesman, say, to bear one or other of these, or a written sermon delivered as if it else be reckoned an outcast from the were unwritten.” This is an ideal fold ? May he not plead in excuse for seldom attained : it was attained, in his conduct, in the one case,
a way perhaps, by Bellew; in another
way by Chalmers; and, according to “ By our parson perplext, say, how shall we determine ?
some authorities, by Melvill.
Of course sermons • Watch and pray,' says the text : 'Go to
are not nowasleep,' says the serinon.
days so long as they used to be. If And in the other,
you want one an hour long, your only
hope is to attend a Bampton Lecture, “ The clue to their meaning I never have or to chance on Canon Liddon at his found;
longest. In the latter case you will But of this I am certain the sermons are sound."
not, however, be fatigued, but will
merely fancy that your watch has Perhaps, on an impartial review of played you a trick when you consult the whole case, the balance of edu it at the end of the discourse. cated opinion will not always be found In fact, in some quarters we have in favour of the modern extemporan in these latter days gone to the oppo
True, it fascinates the site extreme. The age prides itself vulgar. To them it savours a little on its conciseness. Our correspondof the supernatural. Their own pro ence is largely conducted in telegrams cesses of thought are so laboured, and of twelve words : our news is absorbed their delivery of opinions is so slow through summaries, or even bills of and slipshod, that the continuous flow contents. The man of business has of words from a man without a book no leisure to sit down to lunch ; how seems to them little short of miracu should he swallow theology by the lous. In their eyes to read is human, hour? “Do you think," asked one to extemporise divine. It matters not of the newest patterns in curates of that what is read may be a master his somewhat older vicar, “ do you
think, if I preached for ten minutes sity - pulpit, a bishop talk of the in the morning, I should be too Almighty's raison d'être and his free
Decidedly," answered the dom from arrière pensée. And I have vicar, who possessed the priceless myself lived to hear St. Peter dequality called presence of mind, "de nounced in the pulpit by a doctor of cidedly. In a church like ours it is divinity as being fond of low society, quite sufficient for the preacher ito because, on a memorable occasion, he mount the pulpit, and having uttered voluntarily sat with the servants. a fervent · Dearly beloved,' to descend In conclusion, there are some who again. Brevity is the soul of wit and maintain that the day of sermons is the essence of preaching." It was fair already over-that they are even now satire as times go. I have in my pos to be regarded as
a mere survival session, as one of the latest products (not the fittest) of a time when they of this lightning age, a volume of formed the natural and almost exclusermons actually preached in a church sive means of conveying religious inat a fashionable watering-place. Few struction. Now, however (so it is of these could have taken more than said) the universal spread of education five minutes to deliver. I will not and the multiplication of popular name the church. Why should I religious books enable every one who aggravate the congestion from which desires it to get a better sermon at it already suffers? It is not, how home than in his parish church. ever, every congregation wbich, even Thus their function is superseded and in these enlightened days, possesses their necessity is at an end. It may such a treasure. In an average church
The world does move, and the the sermon still touches, or almost once crawling decades now career like touches, the twentieth minute. What raco-horses. But at the moment I do would good Bishop Latimer have said not see that we have reached a stage to this dwindling of the candle he when the human voice and the human lighted 1-he, “who, preaching by the personality have ceased to count as measured hour, was oft-times entreated factors in influencing society. The to reverse the hour.glass
best book is, after all, but the dead his enraptured auditors another sixty deposit of the brain-a wondrous minutes.
tissue, woven on the loom of moleAnd, as the length of the discourse cules, but no longer in vital union has been changed, so has been the with its creator. It can never comstyle. It is true, there is not now pete in force and influence with the quite so much learning or even exact living impact of an earnest soul. And ness as formerly. I should never have
sermons, changing doubtless in heard from my old rector what I their character to suit the mood of heard a preacher say not long ago : changing times, may well have a long "God is self-sufficient," meaning, I and useful future before them. In presume, “self-sufficing.” Nor should this paper I have regarded them only I have heard, as I did from another in some of their lighter aspects. In preacher, the conduct of God towards their graver they are like the waves Abraham described fulsome,” that break on the shore and scatter meaning possibly full of love and
their spray in evidence of the oceangraciousness—who shall say? But at depths behind them. For all earnest least we have animation and spright words that drop from human lips liness. It is surely worth while to bear witness to the eternal longings have lived in the latter half of the that possess the heart of man. nineteenth century, if only to have heard, as has been heard in a univer
A. EUDULE Evang,
" and to give
SOME UNPUBLJSHED LETTERS OF CLAVERHOUSE.
The list of authorities prefixed to in the meshes of his own vast learning, the memoir of Claverhouse lately pub appears to have confounded Camelished in Mr. Longman's series of ronians of Richard Cameron with the English Worthies does not include Cameronians of William Cleland, and The Red Book Of Menteith. This the John Brown, who was shot at book, which was privately printed at Priesthill by order of Captain Graham, Edinburgh in 1880, contains ten letters with the John Brown who was buried from Dundee discovered by its editor, at Crathie by order of Queen VicSir William (then Mr.) Fraser, Deputy toria, -even this high historical auKeeper of the Records of Scotland, thority will have to add to his slender among the papers in the Montrose stock of ignorance The Red Book Of Charter-room at Buchanan. Those Menteith. papers had been previously examined These ten letters cover a period of by Mark Napier, the biographer of three years, from 1679 to 1682, a both of the two great heroes of period in the writer's life which, save the
House of Graham, James, , for the battles of Drumclog and Marquis of Montrose, and John, Vis Bothwell Bridge in the summer of count of Dundee; but they bad not the former year,
has hitherto been set in the fair order of the Queens mained almost blank. Five berry archives, which yielded him such written from London, the others rich spoil for the latter's life, and from Edinburgh and elsewhere in ScotNapier somehow managed to miss these land. All are addressed to the same letters, though he was a patient person, to William, eighth and last searcher and rarely failed to find what Earl of Menteith, and all are more or he looked for. The Red Book and its less directly concerned with the same precious contents, having been only subject, the marriage of the writer put in private circulation, remained with Helen Graham, cousin and heiress unknown to the writer of the aforesaid of the Earl. memoir till too late for him to make The varied beauties of the ancient use of them. This was one of those province of Menteith, which lay in the misfortunes which every biographer counties of Perth and Stirling, have must be content to accept as a fault. been celebrated in the poetry of The The letters are of no great historical Lady Of The Lake and in the prose
of importance: they do not in any way Rob Roy. The first Earl of the name affect the course of Claverhouse's life, comes into Scottish history in nor throw any fresh light, as the phrase charter of Malcolm the Fourth's: the goes, on his public actions; but they last passes out of it in 1694, since undoubtedly help to give some more when the title bas lain dormant, assurance of a man whom all who have while the lands, sadly shorn of their handled his story have evidently found once fair proportions by attainder great difficulty in making anything in the fifteenth century, now form part more than a mere lay-figure of history. of the heritage of the dukedom of However, his latest biographer must Montrose. But in those five centuries try to console himself with the reflec the line had suffered many a shock tion that his ignorance of these letters and wrench. The direct male branch has been shared by many others. ended with Maurice, third Earl, who Even that accomplished writer in the died about 1230, leaving two daughters, Atheneum who, entangled, no doubt, Isabella and Mary, who had married
respectively into the great Houses of frogs. From neither marriage came Comyn and Stewart. In the latter the any issue, though other ladies to whom earldom remained till 1425, when Mur Lord Menteith paid his respects were doch, second Duke of Albany, Earl of more appreciative. His nearest relaFife,and eleventh Earl of Menteith (son tive was his uncle, Sir James Graham, of that Albany who figures in The Fair residing at the time of these letters Maid Of Perth) after having gov
in Ireland with his wife and an unerned the country for five years, was married daughter, Helen, his other beheaded at Stirling, together with daughter, by his first wife, being his two sons, by his cousin, James the married to Walter Graham of Gart. First, apparently to mark that sovereign's accession to
Lord Menteith's health had never eighteen years' confinement in an been good, and his prospects of an English prison. Both the earldoms of heir were now so slender, that about Fife and Menteith then passed to the 1679 he began to think seriously of Crown; but two years later, in 1427, settling the estate. If he could find James revived the latter, considerably among the Grahams a good husshorn of its ancestral appanages, in band for his cousin Helen, he would the person of Malise Graham, a branch convey his lands, and if possible his of the same stock, as some recompense title also, to the young people, and for the earldom of Strathern, of which so vicariously provide that heir to he had previously despoiled him. the old House of Menteith which fate With the Grahams it remained till seemed determined to deny himself. the death of William, eighth Earl of It happened that there was at that very the new line, to whom the letters in time a Graham quite willing, and indeed question were written by his kinsman, eager to take a wife on these terms. Captain John Graham of Claverhouse. He was head of his own branch of the
This William was the son of a dis family, in the prime of life, remarktinguished man, at one time in great ably handsome, not indeed very rich, favour with Charles the First, and fast but still with some small patrimony of rising to be one of the richest and his own, and likely to rise, for he was most powerful lords in Scotland. But in favour at Court and in the good jealous men gathered a hout the King's graces of his powerful kinsman Monear, and the Earl fell faster than he trose. This was Captain John Gra
He died in 1661, leaving his ham of Claverhouse, who had lately affairs in sad confusion; and, as his returned from the Low Countries son Lord Kilpont had been killed in a where, as was the fashion in those quarrel, by his friend James Stewart days, he had been learning the art of of Ardvoirlich, iu Montrose's camp at
He had brought a good name Collace after the victory of Tipper back with him for courage and skill, muir, he was succeeded by his grandson and had been warmly recommended William. The last Earl of Menteith by the Duke of York to the notice of was twice married : first to Anna Montrose, who had responded by Hewes, an English woman, from whom giving his kinsman a commission in he was divorced in 1684, and next to his regiment of Life Guards. A few Katherine, daughter of Bruce of Blair months later he was promoted, at the hall, with whom also he appears to express desire of the King, to the have had occasional misunderstand command of a troop in the new regiings, at one time even resulting in a ment of cavalry raised in the autumn temporary separation, the lady vowing of 1678 to keep order among the Wild she would live no longer in the ances
Western Whigs. tral, and probably somewhat damp, It is not clear when Claverhouse home in the Isle of Talla, with no and his cousin of Menteith first met, company but that of the unceasing nor whether it was the former who
No. 337.-VOL. LVII.