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alluded to, and to the best of my friend's Kennedy for good ; the property was let belief is known as a whole to but few, and upon a long grazing lease ; the house shut tbose few chietly the descendants of the up, and by degrees fell into tbat condition actual partakers in it.
of neglect and decay in wbich we now see Lord Ballybrophy, the reader will be it. With regard to old Thady O'Roon, glad to hear, recovered in due time from about whom I specially inquired, my his attack, and lived to a good old age, friends could give me no further informarespected by all who knew him. The tion.-Murray's Magazine. Kennedy family soon afterward left Mount
THE SCIENCE OF PREACHING.
BY THE BISHOP OF RIPON, THE VEN, ARCADEACON FARRAR, AND THE REV. HUGH PRICE
of the sermon. I am tempted to quote
the following from Dr. Fitch's excellent The eternal rule of bard work applies work on teaching, for what he says of the to preaching. If there be one principle teacher applies with tenfold force to the which the preacher above other men needs preacher. “No one can teach the whole to remember it is that the sweat of the or even the half of what he knows. There brow is as needful for him who labors to is a large percentage of waste and loss in feed others as for him wlio labors to feed the
very act of transmission, and you can himself. From nothing comes nothing. never convey into another mind nearly all We cannot get from the earth unless we of what you know or feel on any subject. give to the earth. There is a shame, too, Before you can impart a given piece of which bangs round the idleness of the knowledge, you yourself must not only preacher ; for he is not only as one whose have appropriated it, you must have gone indolence indicates a slovenly contempt beyond it and all round it ; must have for his hearers, he is also as one who seen it in its true relations to other facts offers to God what costs him nothing. and truths ; must know out of what it Dr. Chalmers took as much pains with originated, and to what others it is inthe preparation of his simple sermons for tended to lead." village folk as with his sermons for uni. The truth of this is constantly forced versity and educated congregations. He upon us, alike by failure and success. My who lives as in his great Taskmaster's eye own experience-if I may venture in this will reverence his work and those for
one point to speak of it-my own experiwhom he works. He will not be content ence is that in the production of a sermon with what comes easily. He could not be the unseen work with material and study content with what is merely ingenious. must vastly exceed the seen work. The Forever he must be asking himself, “ Is block out of which the statue is carved is it true ?! “Is it true to
me ?!! He
vast compared with the statue, and the will work not only till his subject is clear actual lines of the statue do not represent to his mind, as crystal truth is clear, but one tithe of the labor the signs and tokens he will work till his soul is possessed of of which may be seen on the rejected the truth. He will muse till the fire material. Speaking of the preacher, Cecil kindles,
remarked : " He is a merchant embarking But this hard and earnest work must in extensive concerns.
A little ready not be supposed to be work within a lim- money in the pocket will not answer the ited time ; as, for instance, between one demands that will be made upon him, Sunday and another. The hard work which Some of us seem to think that it will, but is requisite goes far beyond the range of they are grossly deceived. There must the week or the framework of the single be a well-furnished account at the bank. sermon. The work is the work of con- ers. stant study and of the accumulation of It is only by diligent study and noble material far beyond the bare requirements husbandry of time that this balance at the
bankers can be made to accumulate. This relation to established Christian doctrines
The duty of making a thing plain is the This is right; for he should study the
within the either. The “ magazine"-fed preacher preacher's aim. He reverences truth too will not go deep enough to reach the heart highly to seek to produce unintelligent of humanity. The man who watches the emotions, He seeks to commend him- waves will not know the true set of the self, rather, to every man's conscience in tide. The currents lie below the surface. the sight of God.
We need to go deeper than the surface if This sbould be done in the most natural we are to be wise and understanding men, way possible. The sermon may be likened knowing how to act and to speak to the to a syllogism. The truth to be taught is times. The acquaintance which the the major premise. The correlative hu- preacher should have with human nature man experience is the minor premise. should be wide and deep. Let him speak From these two the conviction of per- of the things which are before yesterday sonal duty and responsibility should fol- and yet of to-day, and let him speak of low, The sermon should be the attempt them in words which the men of to-day to bring the divine truth or thought along will understand. To this end let him read side man's experience and life, so that what is written to-day and also what was some help and hope, some aspiration or written in the days of old. Robert Hall regret, may fall like the invigorating touch said that it was well for the man whose of divine strength upon the faltering minds work was preaching “to make bimself of human weakness. It is the blending intimately acquainted with an older writer, of these two things which every sermon Barrow, Tillotson, Hooker, Milton, Chilneeds.
lingworth, Pearson, etc., of whom, in The sermon which is merely a setting comparison with later writers” (I still forth of some theological proposition in quote Robert Hall), “I should be disposed
to say, with few exceptions, “No one, tion of the scope and object of preach. having tasted old wine, straightway de- ing was impossible. The latest develsireth new ; for he saith the old is bet- opment of political agitation, the newest
I do not commit myself to Robert social development, the most recent disHall's list, still less would I confine myself covery, the most sensational public scanto it; but the spirit of the counsel is good dal, the most striking scientific theory, and worthy of attention—for he cannot the last novel, the last crime, the last fad, well and fitly understand his own times, the last failure, are among pulpit topics. nor even the writers of his own times, How can any definition of the aim of the who knows nothing of those ages which preaching be reached when the range of went before his own, and also cannot num- subjects is so great and so diversified? I ber among his acquaintances those great desire to exclude no subject which can be men of the past without whom the present profitably treated in the pulpit. No never had been wbat it is.
doubt the most unpromising theme may The preacher, however, has a further be made fruitful of good, as surely as the aim. It is his duty to keep divine dullest preacher may teach us patience. thoughts before men.
But if a preacher has no aim beyond passHuman he must be, and the more truly ing an hour in amusing and interesting human the better. If he is the best divine his people, he becomes the lecturer or who well divines he will be the best the promoter of entertainments, and bepreacher who shows that the intricacies coming these he ceases to be the preacher. and curiosities of human character, the ebb It is, perhaps, not needless to recall to our and flow of human hope, the strange an- minds that the end of preaching and the titheses between men's lofty aspirations end of worship is edification of some sort. and their grovelling desires, the pathetic There is too much of the “ variety of atfalls and the more pathetic heroisms, the traction” spirit in the notices of Sunday plaintive music of human hearts when deep services and sermons.
We cannot pass calleth unto deep, the sins, sorrows, and along the street without seeing placards the sadness of humanity are known to him. announcing the sensational topic of next Whatever he speaks of divine things he Sunday's sermon or the distinguished must speak in the language of humanity. artists who are to form the principal atNay, more, he must speak the language traction in buildings which were of the humanity of his own day. But he thought to be houses of prayer. I recogmust not be the mere echo of the thoughts nize the kindness and generosity of those of men—a voice answering back to the who thus lend their talents and gifts to voice of their weakness or their despair. the promotion of some good object. Far He inust be more than the mirror to be it from me to suggest that any gift may human nature. Of him we may say as
not be consecrated to the service of God Schiller said of the poet : “ He is the son and to the highest good of mankind. of his time, but pity for him if he is its But for all that, the modern development pupil or its favorite. Let some beneficent of sensationalism in church appears to me deity snatch him when a suckling from the to have a large admixture of the flavor of breast of bis mother and nurse him with advertisement and suggests the desperathe milk of a better time. The preacher tion which clutches at a cheap and shallow must be nursed upon the breast of Heaven. success of (in a bad sense) a popular serHe must draw his inspiration from the vice instead of the calm earnestness which world which is the world not of shadows seeks to benefit the people and the Church but of realities. He must be the voice, of God. It is needful to keep in mind the even if it be in an irresponsive wilderness, divine calling of the preacher. Make the preparing the way of the Lord. He must range of his preaching as wide as you will, be the herald of that which never dies in yet let the light of what is divine shine a world wherein all things seem to die. over it. Let him travel to the remotest He must restore the poetry of hope to end of the earth in his subject, but let him humankind.
not forget that as on every land the same The subject-range of the sermon is very sun shines, so over every subject a divine great. Judged by the vast variety of light should be shed. topics wbich
have been treated of in the Here we may, perhaps, reach what may pulpit we might conclude that any defini- pass for a definition. The
preacher's work is to bring the Heavenly
It is with considerable hesitation tbat I what is better than romance to human life.
sit down to write on the subject of preachThe world may be too much with us, but ing. I am very far indeed from regardon the Sunday at least the preacher will ing myself as an authority on the subject. remind us of the light which never was
To preach aright has always seemed to yet always is on sea and land. The path
me a serious problem, and to preach at all
If we tread may be dark and our prospects
involves an immense responsibility. gloomy and cloudy, but the preacher will there are any, who can contemplate the point out the bow in the cloud-the token duty with a light heart, I am not one of of changeless and faithful love-eternal in them. To see before you the faces of the heavens. The complications of mod- hundreds, sometimes even of thousands, ern questions may be perplexing and be- of men and women ; to know that some wildering, the changes around too rapid of them at least are hungering and thirstand alarming, but the quiet hours of the ing after righteousness ; to know that the Sunday will bring to us the remembrance multitude is composed of men, women, of how God fulfils Himself in many ways,
and the youth of both sexes, and that the and how all things may be working around word spoken may prove to be for some of for good toward that one divine far-off them a message from God and the turningevent to which the whole creation moves.
point of a life ; to know something of To fail to put this divine touch upon the temptations, the deadly perils, by
the struggles, the doubts, the difficulties, the wearied and wandering lives of men is to fail in preaching. To send people which they are variously beset"; to fear
we due home amused and interested is not a worthy aim. Instruct and teach, if
those whose will. Interest them if you can. Beguile
“Lean and flashy songs
The hungry sheep look up and are not fed,
Sermons are, and for the last two cen. such a vivid sense of the near presence of turies have been, a common butt for the the Lord that he is prepared to find Him scorn of wits and men of the world. I everywhere :
attribute this in part to the depth of inan“ I have heard many speak, but this one man- ity, dulness, and artificiality to which,
So anxions not to go to Heaven alone- with a few brilliant exceptions, they fell
eighteenth century. I do not think it We passed and stumbled over mounds of would be fair to say that the general run
of average preaching in these days is at And heard, bat did not see the passing beck. all contemptible. I hear many sermons, Ah, graceless heart, would that it could regain
preached by curates and by clergymen en From the dim storehouse of sensations past tirely unknown, and am constantly struck The impress full of tender awe, that night, with the fact that if there be in one's self Which fell on me! It was as if the Christ
the least trace of “meek heart and due Had been drawn down from Heaven to track us home,
reverence,” the sermons are few indeed And any of the footsteps following us
which may not produce at least their passMight have been His."
ing and infinitesimal effect for good. It W. B. RIPON. is true that many sermons-one's own
and others'-are trite, feeble, common- ing in " loud-lunged anti-Babylonianisms” place ; it cannot possibly be otherwise. instead of " preaching simple Christ to There are twenty thousand clergy in the simple men ;' when he is abusing the English Church, and many of us are very coward's castle of his pulpit to slander his ordinary and every day persons, who have betters, and to teach the sham science of not the faintest pretence to profoundness castes and the sham theology of cliques, or eloquence. But then we share these or to air the cut and dried snippings of liniitations of faculty with our lay critics. the formulæ with which he has been We find the tedious and the platitudinous assiduously crammed at his party training quite as much in books, newspapers, law place ; when he is doing anything but courts, Parliamentary debates, and maga
“ Preach as never sure to preach again, zines as in sermons. Sermons would be
And as a dying man to dying men”just as bad if you turned out all the clergy to-morrow and put twenty thousand all hearers are free to turn their thoughts of their most disdainful and self-satisfied to something else with such charity for critics in their place. The clergy possess the preacher as they may. But so long no monopoly of dulness or pateni of. un
he is evidently and transparently sinprofitableness. If very few of us cere ; so long as he confines himself to great, or wise, or clever, we at least stand preaching the plain eternal truths of the intellectually on a level with the mass of Gospel of Christ ; so long as he insists on our learers. To most men God does not the fundamental and primary truth that give ten talents, but only one ; and that " what that supreme and sacred Majesty only in an earthen vessel.' It is impossible requires of us is Innocence alone," I think to expect an
endless succession of that the most critical of hearers ought to thoughts that breathe and words that bear with his limitations of power, or his burn” from a preacher whose powers at ineradicable defects of manner and style. the best are but ordinary ; who may be After all, the lowest claim which any sersuffering at any moment from sickness of mon could put forward would be a claim body or depression of spirits ; who is, in to rhetorical skill, or literary finish. If very many instances, involved in endless a sermon attempts to charm the ear or the work and unceasing worry ; whose heart mind, it should only be as a means of may be aching with anxiety, and whose moving the heart. Moral and spiritual life
may be burdened by poverty and all edification is the humble yet lofty aim of the sordid
which it inevitably every true Christian pulpit. It is as St. brings. And when we remember that most Augustine said, docere, flectere, movere, clergymen in the midst of heavy parochial to arrest the careless, to strengthen the burdens, have to produce—not rare and weak, to lift up the fallen, to bring the splendid conférences at Advent or Easter wanderer home. like some of the great French preachers
This is the deeper aspect of preaching, but two sermons, or more, regularly every and a clergyman must indeed have been week, besides various addresses, we shall, indifferent or unfortunate if, during his I think, bc struck with the general excel- ministry, abundant proofs have not come lence of sermons ; at any rate we shall be to him that even the ministrations which less impatient of their many defects. he himself, as well as many of his hearers,
regarded as so feeble and imperfect have “The worst speak something good ; if all want
yet fallen as with dews of blessing on sense, God takes a text, and preacheth patience.” inany
But I must turn to questions of voice There are, I frankly admit, some ser
and gesture. mons which are simply detestable. When 1. Most Englishmen have a just horror the preacher is conceited, affected, and of the word " elocution,” because they manifestly unreal ; when he betrays his think that it means something histrionic ignorance while he is pretending to a and artificial, which in the pulpit is more knowledge and authority which he does offensive than any other fault. For if a not possess ; when he is'insinuating some preacher gives hintself any airs and graces, disputed and paltry party dogma, instead or indulges in theatrical tones or studied of pressing home the great, broad, simple gesticulations, if he thinks of himself at truths of the Gospel ; when he is indulg- all, and so ceases to be his own natural and