« VorigeDoorgaan »
ing link between the fairy tale and artist, as well as something of a poet true history; but the educational value and a dramatist-and true story-tellers of Sagas is another theme, and merits are nearly always women. She should a special consideration of its own.
also possess a
good deal of literary The choice of the fairy tale is im- feeling, as well as a knowledge of portant. They should be true to the fairy tales. If she happens to believe principles of good literature, simple, in fairies so much the better, but, at naive, rich in incidents and relation- any rate. she must once have believed ships, and neither vulgar, foolish, nor in them, and she must remember all sentimental. All stories which frighten about her beliefs. In telling her story children, as well as those which glo- to her class, she must be simple, conrify cunning and trickery, should be crete, and sufficiently passionate. Simavoided. The folk and fairy lore of plicity is perhaps the greatest diffithe district should supply teachers culty. It means selecting the essenwith some material.
tials and presenting them clearly as Professor Rein of Jena, who has well as picturesquely. To be concrete worked out the material suitable for she must be able to draw rapidly on the eight classes of the primary the blackboard, and use colored chalks. schools, very happily chooses his fairy “The king and queen lived in a beautitales from Grimm; and for the chil. ful palace.” “See, here it is, here are dren of Thuringia this is appropriate, the towers, the windows, the gardens;. for the brothers Grimm gathered and here was a stream where watermany of their stories , directly from lilies grew.” “The queen often sat on: the lips of the Thuringian peasants, a marble seat by the stream.” “Look!! who had received them as oral tradi. here is the seat." “One day a frog: tions from remote ancestors. For in- hopped out of the water." Then the stance, Dornburg, a castle on a hill frog is drawn, with his intelligent eye: near Jena, full of memories of Goethe, fixed on the queen. All this fascinates: is built on the very spot where the the children as the magic story grows: palace of the Sleeping Beauty stood; under the teacher's hands. “It is like: and as one climbs through the bushes being in fairyland to hear that teacher to the summit, one is thrilled again tell us tales," said an eager child of and again by the thought that the six one day after a fairy tale lesson; prince cut his way through the briar and indeed it was, for we all listened roses on this very spot, in those dear, spellbound, the critical spectators as dim, old days which will never come well as the children. again except in the dreams of children The passionate teacher, who feels and the visions of poets.
the beauty of her theme and believes The teacher must tell the story to in it, can easily impart her appreciathe children, for the voice is more tion to all her pupils, and make them effective than the printed book. All aware of the human spirit working superfluities of language must be within them. avoided; these only bore a child. He Stolid, frigid, and superior people wants the story simply and directly, should never teach little children, and without unnecessary moralizing. Skil- never be allowed to tell fairy tales. ful detail delights him. The language But the teacher of literature, espemust be true, simple, and strong, with- cially if she has to deal with little out any striving after mere decorative children, must, like the poet, be born, effect. The true story-teller for little for she certainly can never be made. children needs to be something of an
Catherine I. Dodd.
A GENERATION IN A CITY PULPIT.
BY DR. JOSEPH PARKER.
- Thirty-three years ago, September, able. Theatres, music-halls, concert1869, an experiment was undertaken in rooms, picture galleries are, as a rule, a City pulpit which not a few even on Sunday all in darkness and silence. friendly observers regarded as almost It almost comes to Hobson's choice, or hopeless and desperate. In the evolu- has done until within thirty years-go tion of that experiment some things to church or go nowhere. Not to go to have happened which may be of at church on Sunday was once a kind of least momentary interest to public disgrace; certainly it gave rise to a men and others who watch the ways good deal of comment and disquieting and the habits of City life. A genera- suspicion. Why does not your neightion in London is different from a bor go to church? Is he a rampant ingeneration not only anywhere else, but fidel or, at least, a contemptuous Galdifferent from a generation even in lio? He was, at all events, a marked its own growing suburbs. Old Bailey man, to be accounted for. All this, and Clapham-common, for example, within the last thirty years, has been are not the same London, neither is largely changed-changed not by an Shoreditch to be thought of in rela- organized and aggressive revolution in tion to Piccadilly, though they are manners, but quietly, imperceptibly, both included in the same metropolis. and little by little, a kind of night and In certain well-understood sense day action, men hardly knowing “there is nobody in the city on Sun. whether it was done by day or by days”; the busy millions who night; but that it has been done is a there on secular days may be supposed fact at once glaring and indisputable. to have no time in those feverish hours Speaking in full view of many disfor other-world. affairs. We shall, in tinct and impressive exceptions, it fact, never know what hold religion, may be said that England has now no ecclesiastically so-called, has on the medieval Sunday. Marked inroads public mind until that remarkable have been made on that ecclesiastical compound of ghostliness and com- monopoly. England has liberalized merce has to compete, in what may be and modernized its characteristic called the open market, with other Sunday into a very pale and harmless claimants and rival interests. Then, figure. The Church herself, in all her and not till then, shall we know which communions, has assisted the metaof two opposing worlds has the upper morphosis. The battle has not always hand in the thoughts and desires of been between Sabbatarianism and anmen. When theatres, concert-balls, ti-Sabbatarianism; it has often been, picture galleries, and popular amuse- not a battle, indeed, but a surrender, ments of all sorts are in full and ap- simply a quiet giving up of traditionproved operation on Sundays, we shall al claims and a concession hardly disknow exactly how far religion holds quieted by a murmur. Men
who its CWD. At present, and for many awoke on Sunday morning with firm centuries, religion has enjoyed a kind sabbatic convictions have spent the of monopoly of one day in the week. evening of the same day in social Sunday has been emphatically church functions supposed to be more lively day. Hardly any other place is avail- than hymn-singing or sermon-hearing.
For a time there was a great outcry has had its light cut off by some soragainst every attempt to continental.
did gas company, callously indifferent ize the English Sunday, forgetting to modern speculation and the artistic that before Sunday can be really con- temperament. Account for it as we tinentalized we must first continental. may, it is the Gospel old and undefiled ize the English climate. The fickle that alone can stand the wear and tear weather always stands between Eng- of time, and grow younger with the land and the catastrophe of a French wasting years. The only thing that is Sunday. The weather is still ortho- really new is the Christian Evangel, dox enough to vote with the church, and that is because its newness is or, if it does not actually fill the really old. When Time
draws church, it maliciously soaks the band draught of water from a surface pool and makes the park a pool, thus indi- she mocks the world's thirst; only rectly suggesting the neighboring when she draws from eternal springs church as at least a temporary shelter.
is she the servant and messenger of In the lapse of a generation we have God. In the last thirty-three years I seen enough to give us heart about have seen enough dead theories, ex Sunday and all the questions related ploded nightmares, and discarded to it, or bound up with its fortunes. It hypotheses to make a full-sized cemeis a remarkable fact, so far as my ex- tery. They have gone the way of all perience goes, that nothing that has the earth. They flamboyantly entered been deliberately organized in opposi
the world as amateur military tion to Sunday has ever succeeded. band, and coughed their way out of it For a time it has made a splash, but as a squad of consumptive tramps. the day of grief has sooner
or later Whenever a preacher has a new and darkened upon it. This fact cannot be sparkling theory in religion, I know put amongst the superstitions; it is too that the first nail in his coffin has been bulky a fact to permit of such easy
driven and clinched. disposal. For a time, as I have ad- Another point of special significance mitted, there may be much hilarious and momentousness is the easy way shouting and mighty bragging by un- in which some men, of unquestionable spiritual men, but the laugh of the de- sincerity, come, in course of time, to risive heavens has always announced disregard their own signature. This the rout of the assailant and the filing is the case in a remarkable degree in of his petition in bankruptcy. I put reference to matters of creed and felmy hand to this as to an affidavit. I lowship. When a man deliberately will go further and testify that within elects to join a body of Christians by my personal observation no hetero- solemnly accepting all its fundamental doxy permanently thrives. Even beliefs, is he at liberty to change or magic-lanterns "have their day and modify his faith without giving notice cease to be.” They are toys for a sea- to his co-believers? Would the signing son only. Odd practices, eccentric doc- of a commercial partnership deed not trines, fads, megrims, and all sorts of require certain obligations to be honintellectual curiosities may flourish for orably complied with? I do not oba time, but "having no deepness of ject to a man expanding, or even disearth they soon wither away.” False avowing, any mechanical creed, but I doctrine however eloquently expound- do object to a signature being ed, hardly ever pays its own rent. duced to a dead letter. The signature Many a startling heterodoxy intended should be the man. Let the man, it to bring in an intellectual renaissance so minded, change his creed, but at
the same time let him not think that
sympathetic-in a word, he must be a he can with honor take orthodox
man, a teacher, a friend. Preaching money for teaching heterodox doc- is the most impertinent of all impertitrine. Let all things be done in open nences, if there be not behind it and day. No teacher is, for example, at round about it a sense of authority lib to teach Unitarian doctrine in other and better than human. The a Trinitarian pulpit, or vice versa. For preacher must deliver a positive and my own part, I would not sign a bind- authorized message
rather than suging and final creed drawn up by my gest tentative and variable theories; own hand, because words change their he must have an articulate and urapplications, standpoints vary day by gent Gospel, he is not called upon to day, even atmosphere follows the laws exploit his latest invention in pulpit of evolution, and the infinite can never dreams. What preacher does not rebe finally expressed in terms of time and member the time when he could never space. God must, in mere decency, be left satisfactorily conclude a sermon some room even in his own Church. cept "amid the wreck of matter and A creed that does not admit of expan- the crash of worlds,” yet who would sion may be a useful guide-post, but now, in the twentieth century, wila living fruit-tree it can never be. Why lingly break up the world and sit down do intelligent men sign creeds? By a
upon the hot ashes of his native sphere large exercise of faith a man might even in a hysterical peroration? Here possibly sign, at least temporarily, the and there windy rhetoricians are still multiplication table, because its daring to be found, but the condemnation of assumptions (by no means so innocent death is written upon
their gusty as they look) have approved them- work, and they are doomed to early selves to the general mind, but arith- oblivion. metic must by its very nature differ They begin in words, and in words from theology. What I insist upon is they will end. Intelligent, sympaithat, having signed a creed, everythetic, and experimental preaching man is bound to honor his own signa- will never lack audience and appreciature until he has publicly and perhaps tion. Such preaching happily prevails penitently withdrawn it. Illumination in all churches to-day. He who resulting in expansion does not imply preaches to broken hearts preaches to either falsehood or inconsistency on all generations and to all degrees of the part of the individual. Tribute intelligence. must always be paid to increasing A few thumb-nail sketches must suflight.
fice for the rest. During the last generation very no- To-day, for instance, there is no such ticeable changes have taken place in firm as Dombey and Son. That old the art and practice of preaching. Ar- firm is now Son and Dombey. The eltificialism has been largely replaced by der Dombey who founded the firm and reality. Common sense has supersed- lived above the business pensively reed yeasty rhetoric. Melvillism is dead; calls the past, whilst "son,” cigaretted Croly no longer heads a school; Robert and beflowered, drives a smart span Hall is all but forgotten; the Clayton- constantly in danger of making a prolan cult is quietly laughed at as a longed call in Basinghall-street. grotesque shadow of a past never to To-day there is no such sequence as be reinstated. To-day the man who master and man. That has gone with would preach with true and lasting ef- the categories of Aristotle. Demos fect must be sincere, intelligent, and is on the box-seat, and the master
has to be taken where the driver journalism has made privacy impossipleases.
ble. What with telegrams, telephones, To-day there is no such picturesque interviews, cables, and fertile imagigradation as mistress and maid. The nation, private life has disappeared. well-known passage “As the eyes of The hearthstone has been exchanged a maiden are unto the hands of her for the housetop. Life is now in very mistress" will soon be "revised" into deed a variety of “the open-air treat“As the eyes of a mistress are unto ment." the hands of her maid"-meals, holi- And yet the quenchless world lives days, and hospitalities must be ar- on, and in a rough way thrives and ranged to please the cook and house- fattens. The world, happily, is not its maid.
own engineer. “There is a divinity To-day it is not true that "he who that shapes our ends." Have faith in pays the piper calls the tune”; on the God. Generations come and go on contrary, he who pays the piper must leaden feet, but the God of generations take whatever tune the piper likes dwells in the abiding tabernacle best to play and be thankful that the whence all the hidden wonders of trombone is not tbrown at his head. ages pass slowly but vividly across
To-day there is no privacy. Gutter the plane of time.
A street half flecked with shade and sun,
A last year's leaf along it blown,
Like water falling on dry stone,
Sad sun and shade and sadness over all
The distance blended into solemn hues,
The sweetness dying violets diffuse,
At the street's sudden end a shining square,
The sunny threshold of an open door,
That leads beyond me to the upper floor,