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manly self, he at once becomes as in- bis vast audience laugh. To quote but sufferable as Cowper's Sir Smug or Thack- one instance, when he was preaching eray's Mr. Honeyman. But confining the against the extravagant Byzantine fashion word elocution” to the right manage- of bejewelled and gorgeously embroidered ment of the voice and the correction of boots, he described the dandies who wore awkward mannerisms, it has been a great them delicately picking their way to misfortune to the majority of living clergy- church. " If
don't want to soil your men that they have entered, as I did, upon boots,” he said, “I recommend you to the important task of addressing their fel- take them off your feet and wear them on low men without one hour of training. In your heads. You laugh,
You laugh," he cried, this respect the Americans are much more “but I rather weep for your follies.” wise than we are.
At all their schools 4. It seems to me to be altogether a and colleges they have rhetoric and elocu- mistake to be too stereotyped in our notion classes. The teachers study the tions of “the dignity of the pulpit." mechanism of the vocal organs, and teach The illustrations of the Hebrew prophets, their pupils how to articulate clearly, and of the great Apostles, of Christ Himself, how to bring out their voices so as to inake were incessantly drawn from the cointhemselves heard. Boys and youths, by monest objects and the most familiar ingoing through five or six years of this cidents of daily life. Room should be left training, are effectually cured of distress- for the greatest variety of topic and ing nervous peculiarities, and are taught abundance of illustration. An illustration to express themselves in public with force in a modern sermon may take the place of and ease.
Good speaking, so far as these those parables, the Divine secret of which qualities are concerned, is far more com- was absolutely unique. An illustration, mon in America than in England.
and the lesson which it carries with it, 2. As for“ action,” it comes naturally may often be remembered for years, when to the Greek, the Italian, and the Irish- the very same thing expressed convenman, but to very few men of our cold tionally and in the abstract might be forEnglish temperament. It is, indeed, said gotten almost as soon as uttered. The of Whitefield that when he slowly uplifted preacher might say, like the poet : his arms in pronouncing the words, “If
“ From Art, from Nature, from the schools, I take the wings of the morning, and fly to
Let random influences glance, the uttermost parts of the sea,
a lady who
Like light in many a shiver'd lance was present declared that nothing would That breaks about the dappled pools : have surprised her less than to see him The lightest wave of thought shall lisp soar bodily to Heaven. Demosthenes said
The fancy's tenderest eddy wreathe
The slightest air of song shall breathe that the three requisites of the orator were To make the sullen surface crisp." “ Action, Action, Action;" but there is scarcely one of our own great orators or 5. But what is needed in the pulpit preachers who has used much action. I do most of all is simplicity and sincerity: not think that action can be taught, though . What American writers call personal we might be taught to avoid actions which magnetism” is that impressiveness of the are ungraceful and distressing.
individuality of which Aristotle describes 3. What shall we say of humor? Is it the most commanding element under the admissible in the pulpit? I should say head of noos. It is this which makes very rarely, and only if it be a natural gift. some men take an audience by storm beSome eminent modern preachers, among fore they have spoken a single sentence. whom I may mention Mr. Spurgeon and If a speaker be manly, straightforward, Mr. Ward Beecher, and, in the English earnest, sincere—he cannot possibly fail. Cbörch, Archbishop Magee and the Bishop This simplicity and sincerity are compatof Derry, have made humor the instrument ible with styles and methods which, if of the most searching insight, and (in the they were not part of the writer's whole latter instances) of the most refined beauty. self, and the result of all the influences The mediæval preachers made free use of which have been brought to bear upon humor in their sermons, and sometimes him, might not be so described. Sincerity abused the privilege. But we know from and simplicity of heart may wear
the the sermons of the great and saintly gorgeous rhetoric of Milton's prose, and Chrysostoin that he, too, frequently made yet give us no sense of unreality ; and,
on the other hand, unreality may clothe tudes who thronged the great parish
“I am convinced that one of the things through the periods so stiff with golden which makes my ordinary sermons tell from embroidery. South alluded with scathing the pulpit is this very circumstance that I contempt to the imagery of Jeremy Tay write precisely as I would talk, and that my lor. Nevertheless, Jeremy Taylor's style raneous effusions."
sermons are as nearly as possible extempo. came to him as naturally as Milton's, or Carlyle's, or Wordsworth's, or Ruskin's,
The reason why the plain extemporaneous effusions' told was because
out or that of any other great writer who has been received at first by all the professional of the fulness of the heart the mouth
F. W. FARRAR. critics with shouts of ignorant disdain. I speaketh.” should recommend every preacher to
III. amend such faults in his style as he sees, and as he can ame
mend, but otherwise never THERE could be no greater delusion to think of his style at all, and simply to than to imagine that the influence and at. say what he has to say as naturally as he tractiveness of the Christian pulpit have can ; to say nothing that he does not gone. There never was in all Christian mean, and to mean nothing which he does history a preacher who enjoyed a greater
If he does this he will be thor. or more lasting popularity than Mr. Spuroughly well understood by all, for heart geon enjoys to-day. The crowds that used will speak to heart, and whether his style to throng St. Paul's Cathedral when Canon be as plainly Saxon as John Bunyan's, or Liddon preached there have never been as full of long Latin words as some surpassed. The Pulpit, instead of being passages of Shakespeare, will make no weaker, is really growing stronger and difference. “Preach so that the very stronger. The impression to the contrary servant-maids will understand you,” was is probably due to the fact that, for the advice given by a prelate to a young
reasons into which I need not enter now, deacon ; and the maid-servants, yes, and the average newspaper reporter has not even street Arabs, will understand any hitherto been friendly to the pulpit, and man who speaks to them with real feeling has not been in the habit of regarding seron human subjects and in a human way.
good copy.” No class of pubLet a man but speak that of which he is lic speakers in this country have been so heart and soul convinced, and the poorest persistently boycotted or disparaged by sermon will do some good.
the Press as preachers. But there are Posturing assumption, artificial saint- signs that this state of affairs is passing hood will avail no one long, and even elo- away, and that the Press and the Pulpit quence and learning without sincerity will are beginning to realize the advantage of produce no real effect.
Why to thee ? an honorable alliance in tbe interests of why to thee?” said the burly and hand- justice and humanity. some Fra Masseo to poor ragged, ema- The Press, consciously or unconsciously, ciated Francis of Assisi. “I say why has exerted a very beneficent influence over should all the word come after thee, and the Pulpit. It has influenced preachers, every one desire to see and hear and obey for one thing, to talk English and to make thee? Thou art not handsome, thou art themselves intelligible. It has been even not learned, thou art not noble ; there- more beneficial in draggiug them down fore why to thee? why does all the world from the clouds where they had been too run after thee ??' But even as he spoke apt to sail in metaphysical balloons. It the words the good-humored brother knew has mightily influenced them to deal with that the answer was not far to seek. It the plain practical interests of actual men lay in the personality, the intensity of de- and women. Many readers will recall the votion, the depth of self-sacrifice which language in which Sir James Stephen rewere the secrets of the age-long influence ferred to preachers whose abstractions of the sweet saint who took forsaken Pov- had no reference whatever to the living erty to be his bride.
men and women upon whom they were Dean Hook was always regarded as an poured. That kind of preaching has to a effective preacher at Leeds by the multi- great extent passed away. All sorts of
subjects, at which our grandfathers would ordinary life of society, that in some renot have dared to hint in the pulpit, are spects it was very much worse. But the dow discussed there. Preachers do not idea that Christianity was too good for this hesitate now to use illustrations drawn from world still clung even to the Reformiers, real life. I need scarcely add that this is so they transplanted the fulfilment of the exactly what their Master did two thousand Christian idea to another world altogether. years ago. His illustrations were taken I need scarcely say that this notion is flatly from the men and women of His own contradicted in every part of the New Testime, and from the phenomena of nature tament. The angels who saluted the Nawith which His hearers were familiar. tivity of our Lord sang of peace on earth But a sort of pulpit style had grown up and goodwill among men.
In the same which was
exceedingly artificial, stilted, way our Lord Himself taught us to pray and upreal. One small but significant that the will of God might be done by men symptom of the change in the direction of on earth as angels do it in Heaven. In simplicity and genuineness which has come fact the whole of the Lord's Prayer refers over the pulpit is the fact that the preacher to this world and to this life. When St. of our own day does not speak of himself John closed the volume of Revelation with we" and 66
us, ” but simply as “I” a glowing picture of the ideal city of God and 6 me.” I can well remember the he was not referring, as is so strangely horror of some niembers of my own con- imagined, to Heaven but to earth. He gregations when I first substituted the sin- tells us expressly he saw " the holy city, gular pronoun for the royal
" we" in
new Jerusalem, coming down out of which I had been trained. Another re- Heaven from God.” markable symptom of the age is the fact All this is becoming more evident to the that the old, artificial, elaborate, and ex- preacher of to-day, and is giving his teachceedingly florid rhetorical style is at a ing an ethical flavor which has never been great discount. At one time ministers of so conspicuous before. We hear a great religion used to prepare elaborate and deal in the pulpit now about the evils of brilliant sentences worked up into climaxes drunkenness, sexual vice, gambling, and which produced a great impression upon The sweating system is denounced, half-educated audiences. But the age has and the overcrowding of the poor is debecome so much more earnest that it will plored. We have entered, in fact, upon not stand that sort of thing except occa- the Johannine period, and all the most sionally.
characteristic religious teachers of our Perhaps the most striking feature of the day are disciples of St. John, They new method of preaching is its intensely realize with him that the very essence of ethical character. George Eliot would no real Christianity is brotherliness, and that longer be able to accuse Christian preach- we are to prove our love to God by our ers of“ other-worldliness. They trouble love to one another. The result is that themselves less and less about the other the modern pulpit deals very much less world, and they take more and more to with metaphysical questions and protests heart the sufferings and the needs of this. loudly against the purely artificial distincIt is one of the most curious phenomena tions that have too long been made between of history that what I may call the in- what is called " religious” and what is tensely secular character of Christ's teach- called “ secular." This new development ing should have been so long overlooked. of teaching is what has given rise to the The idea arose very early in our era that present strange dislocation of political Christianity was too good for this world ; partics, and to the much discussed Nonand men consequently thought they could conformist conscience.'' Mr. Herbert attain its ideals only by living artificial Spencer has said, with only too inuch lives apart from their fellows in monas- truth, that at present we have two reteries or even by going to the further ex- ligions in this country : one which we treme of taking up their abode in some derive from the Greek and Latin authors solitary cave in an African desert or else- and the other from the Old and New Teswhere. At the era of the Reformation taments ; one which we profess on Sunday the whole civilized world was well aware and the other which we practise during that neither the monastic nor the solitary the remaining days of the week. Mr. life was morally one bit better than the Spencer imagines that both of these re
ligions must exist for a time, but signifi- us of this partially forgotten duty; just cantly enough prophesies the ultimate tri- as, I might add, Mr. George Holyoake umph of the Sunday religion. The mod- taught us many years ago those truths of ern pulpit is increasingly alive to the Secularism which are, happily, no longer calamitous contradictions and inconsisten- neglected by Christian teachers. In the cics of nineteenth-century Christianity; present day the tendency of the pulpit is and it is strenuously endeavoring so to en- more and more to teach that the true lighten and strengthen the Christian con- Christian is the Christ-like Christian, and science that twentieth-century Christianity to repeat everywhere, with John Stuart may be of a piece and that men may apply Mill, that there is no better rule of conthe same moral principles to all the events duct than this: What would Jesus of of life, to business and civic duty and Nazareth have done if He had been in my social intercourse as well as to so-called place ? Men are becoming more and more religious functions.
impatient of inere controversy, and perThis has led to the development in the haps even perilously disposed to accept modern pulpit of what has come to be any kind of doctrine if it is associated known as Christian Socialism, or as I pre. with a good and unmistakably beneficent fer to designate it, Social Christianity. life. We are somewhat apt to overlook In a word, the modern teacher of Chris- the fact that false teaching, even if assotianity believes that Christ came not ciated with a beautiful career, may still merely to save individual souls—he be- ultimately do irreparable mischief. But lieves that intensely—but also to recon- in the present reaction from the ecclesistruct human society upon a Christian astical and theological bitterness of the basis. The Kingdom of God occupies a past, and in an intense realization of the place in Christian thought that it has magnitude of the problem of sin and misscarcely received before except in the ery with which we have to struggle, men teaching of some great Catholic preachers. are very indifferent to doctrinal truth, and We realize more and more how dependent greatly appreciative of ethical service. the individual is upon his environment. I have not ventured in this hasty paper, We are not less conscious of the impor written under circumstances of great diffitance of individual regeneration, holding, culty, to express opinions with respect to indeed, with Horace Bushnell that “the the merits or demerits of the most charsoul of all improvement is the improve- acteristic features of present-day preachment of the soul." But on the other ing. I have simply appeared as an observhand the very highest improvement of the ant witness, to tell what I know. It will, soul is scarcely possible except in a favor- of course, be understood that I am speakable social environment. Hitherto the ing of those preachers in all churches who laws and customs even of so-called Chris
are most typical of the time in which we tian countries have to a very great extent live, and who have the ear of the public. sacrificed the many to the few and made Moreover, the various characteristics that it quite unnecessarily difficult for men to have been enumerated are distributed live virtuous lives. But, as Mr. Gladstone among many men in the various branches once said, the ideal of the Christian states- of the Church of God. I have not been man is to make it easy for people to do thinking of any particular preachers or right and difficult for them to do
wrong. school of preachers. At the same time I There is one other feature of present- am persuaded that the general conception day preaching which ought to be named : of modern day preaching which I have it has become less and less abstract and given---which I apprehend is what I have more and more concrete. In other words, been asked to give-is descriptive of the instead of setting before men certain qual- type of preaching which differentiates us ities and virtues as commendable, it has from the past, and is becoming more and presented the human life of Jesus Christ more predominant in all the churches. as the example we should follow. No
Hugu PRICE HUGHES. doubt we are greatly indebted to the -New Review, noblest Unitarian teachers for reminding
LESSONS, MY DEARS!
BY MRS. WALFORD.
A FAMILIAR figure of the present day is The girl is being “ taught” everything, the pale-faced, lanky, all-shoulder and- and nothing is left for her to learn of her elbow school-girl just entering her teens. self. Is it likely that she can manifest the Her frocks are in a chronic state of requir- slightest desire to put forth hand or foot ing new false hems”—the modern sub- in devising paths on her own account, stitute for the tucks to be let down, which when she is being made to march in the were the bane of the last generation and regulation step from morn to night along between her faintly-discernible waist and the hard highway ? ubtrusive waistband there exists a vast and
She is it
being educated”-that is to hopeless gulf. She is tolerably sure to say, she has been put into a mortar and is have cold feet and hands. She almost in- being pestled into shape. From that variably runs to a pink nose, if not to pink shape every original bias has to be elimeyelids. Usually, she is rather silent. If inated. It is like the gristle which the not haunted by the ghosts of Lessons past, careful cook picks out and throws away she is brooding over the looming shadows when mincing her beef ; your true-born of Lessons to come ; if not chewing the chef wants none of it, neither does the cud of good or bad marks already re- parent nor guardian want any girl-gristle ; ceived, she ponders deeply over what of they want a nicely minced-up young lady, these the future may have in store. Away moulded to pattern. All extraneous interfrom the desk or the piano she has no real ests, all curiosity regarding the great world existence.
or its ways, all unorthodox sympathies, all Moreover, as her mind seldom wanders special yearnings and aspirations, come outside the narrow precincts which bound under the head of “gristle" in the process her own little world, she is—unless pos- now being gone through-in the drone, sessed of an exceptionally forcible character drone, drone of “ Lessons” from one hour - still less of a listener than a talker, to another. See her at the luncheon table, for in- Lessons, my dears,
is read in the stance. At luncheon she appears; it is eye of the governess, as morning by her dinner, and too often her one solid morning she sails out of the dining-room meal in the day-but it is not honest hun- at the conclusion of family prayers; and ger-would it were !- which prevents her “Lessons, iny dears," the sanie eye anfinding anything worthy of her attention nounces again in the first pause at the close in the conversation held by her elders. of the luncheon-dinner. Meekly the poor We will suppose—it is rather a wild sup- preceptress departs, and meekly follow the position, but still it does sometimes hap- little flock. They have no digestions to pen
that the luncheon table is the centre be considered ; no pause for health's or of really interesting talk on notable topics pleasure's sake need be thought of for
we will suppose that it has chanced to them. become so on an occasion ; does our sol- Oh yes ; they have their daily walk-an emn-visaged little wiseacre pay any heed hour in the morning, an hour in the afterto what is being said ? Not a bit of her. noon ; perhaps in the summer-time they It is not her business. She has not been may even stroll outside again in the cool given that conversation to learn ; and she of the evening. But Lessons must be first, is stolidly averse toward acquiring knowl- of course, So says mamma, with calm edge in any other form than through the unconscious air. Your British matron is legitimate channel of her daily tasks. so very unconscious, so absolutely innoThose she has yot to worry through, and cent of committing the very slightest that is enough for her.
offence against her own flesh and blood, Enough? It is a vast deal too much, day, she is so entirely convinced that she and that is the simple truth about the mat- is doing the very best she can for them in ter. The poor little head and brain are every possible way, hy thus ordaining and already fully charged to the brim—the in- inculcating the doctrine that Lessons telligence as it were met and provided for. must be first, of course,
" that it is alınost