« VorigeDoorgaan »
read in a Methodist paper the devout prayer that the people might receive their preachers as sent to them by the head of the church.' 1660 yes, I dare say.
But the head of the church has no more to do with it than with the election of a fence-viewer or councilman. In both and all cases it is providential, or systematically the work of shrewd tactics, just as you regard the science of cause and effect.'
66.Here comes one of the stars of the Conference,' he went on. I looked and saw a man, rotund, sleek, noisy, but not swift. “My companion continued, “This is a mesmeric
All the conditions laid down in the psychological canon are fulfilled in his getting up.
He is one who gets on. Unlike the orthodox apostles of the most Christian Church, he speaks to everybody whom he meets - child, maiden, boy, and hoary-haired. Even the lamp-posts of the street receive a blessing from his ample shadow. He is not unctuous, but simply gracious.
In result, he wins place and honor from secondrate appointments, for his limited intellectual acquirements forbid his engineering the largest steamers of the line. When I say place and honor, I refer to side issues, as election to political office.
"He prophesies to the people smooth things with a loud, sonorous voice. It pays, as this thing always will pay. [If ever you take to prophesying, either by word of mouth or pen, remember this and copy Tray: Have no shadows in your pictures of men and their manners, only just enough to bring out the high lights
that you lay on with palette-knife. Scumble all your work with a semi-opaque toadyism].'
“This man, not unlike his predecessor, finds money in the fish's mouth, even when he casts his eloquent eyes officially upon the old specimen suspended in the Hall of Representatives. Brother Bunsen is a comfortable individual. I wish him well. He wishes well to himself. All the people respond, “Amen.”'
“I was on the point of remonstrating with my old classmate for his characteristic irreverence, when he gave me an unwarrantable jog, and whispered, • Behold that youth, just booked for an advanced stride in the orders. Not yet in full blast, he does preaching occasionally by the job. Meantime, he works at teaching, and goes by the title bestowed by his people on all their male teachers and soap-venders - Professor !
I should say, all who are not D. D. Mark his carriage. Like a suddenly loosed colt, he bounds up the aisle, tossing his “ambrosial locks” to the right and left, and snuffing the air with a supreme consciousness that his days, being all halcyon, are swifter than a weaver's shuttle. A clerical gymnast is this hero. That is to say, he takes preaching as one takes the bag of beans and dumb-bells, in order to develop the muscles and chest.
6i6 Mistake him not for a fool. He graduated with honors, and devours books voraciously. Moreover, he has ideas. One of them is, that this world was not made in six days, because, forsooth, it would have taken longer to have conceived the plan and power of Methodism. 6. The plan and power
of Methodism have repre
sentative-men, as the ostrich has eggs. Himself is one of these eggs. It pips at the Annual Conference. Anon, it will hatch, and lo! a full-fledged, strange ostrich, which shall out-run the north wind. Vulcan, you know, was educated in heaven, and, doubtless, would have always remained there, had he not been kicked out. That kick, however, made him, in the stomach by a co-laborer, --made Sir Isaac Newton. This young man believes in making people. There is power in the toe of his right boot.'
" I should so infer," I replied, laughing, “ by the noise of his unusual tramp; but this making people is as dangerous business as working in a powder mill. There is a verse in the Bible that reads something like this: "He that rolleth a stone, it shall return upon him.' Milton alludes to it, in these words : like a devilish engine, back recoils upon himself.'"
“Hum!'” responded my friend reflectively; "there is no system without its difficulties. Non-resistance is a system. So is resistance.”
At this juncture an intermission was announced. Several preachers, who appeared to be strangers, crowded about the Bishop, whose manner towards them was unexceptionable.
“No sooner was the recess over, than these ministers were announced to the body by the Bishop. Thereat the whole posse comitatus (this phrase being inelegant, I will substitute that of olla podrida) arose, thus displaying their Wesleyan good manners. It appeared that the presented persons were representative of other friendly denominations, who had come in to spy out the land, and bring away clusters of — sour grapes, perhaps.
“To-day is Sunday - the great feast-day of the Conference. In the morning, before service, I attend a Love-Feast. The church is crowded. One of the elders presides. About the altar and in the pulpit are other elders, like the six Turkish viziers of Constantinople, who are called viziers of the bench because they have seats in the Divan. Lord Kames, in his Elements of Criticism,' teaches that it is fitting for persons in power to have higher seats than the populace. I am glad that any lord has authorized it.
After prayer and praise, the bread and water are distributed, when begin the speeches. Of these, I remember not many. They are too same to remember. But some stand out like a windmill against the sky of a picture. One woman rises, and with a high, shrill voice, frees her mind, meanwhile emphasizing her rhetoric with an expressive flourish of her muff. She talks like one in a kind of joyful trouble, if such an anomalous, idea is admissible. Women, when excited before the audience largely composed of ministers, appear somewhat troubled, but yet sweetly hopeful.
“ There are some speeches from the preachers which are strongly touching and even beautiful. Some are fresh from the graves of beloved ones. God help them! One relates a dream. There was poetry in that dream, and truth as well. I would record it here in my note-book, only it strikes me that I should be violating confidence. Declare ye it not at Gath.”. (Micah 1:9.) Young men, scarcely yet out of their foolery, (by this I only allude to the old Italian proverb, “Men learn to shave on the chin of a fool,') rise
and testify. I notice that these are very loud and strong in their voices, purposes, and responses. There are some young ministers, however, who are truly modest and devout in their appearance. Each is, as Saul was, a choice
young man, and goodly.' 6. Matters hasten ; the bell strikes for church service. The great bishop will preach to-day. Everybody is expectant.
" I have heard the bishop preach.
He is a man of power. He made me think, at first, of stupendous summits, of beetling crags, and a Western forest in December. But as he went on, I discovered beneath all 'a fire infolding itself' as in the vision of Ezekiel, not lurid nor yet rose-colored, but amber-gold, as if struck off the sun in the heavens. It warmed and spread until there was a glow in the farthest corner of the house, and in the coldest heart of them all.
“ The man lives, and moves, and has his being in this viewless fire. It is lighted by God. Hence his power. I shall remember no more his voice, his look, nor other of the elements. He is a result- a tetrachord or four-sounded soul whose extremes are immutable. By the touch of other minds, the two middle chords sometimes vary; but the beginning and ending of his life-purposes are complete in himself. The man cannot be overruled by state, place, nor human mind; he therefore rules all these.
“ Not all preachers are ministers of God's word.' But this man is a V. D. M. The Bible is his library ; the sacred ecurie, his alma mater; his degree that described in 1 Tim. 3:13.