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ing link between the fairy tale and true history; but the educational value of Sagas is another theme, and merits a special consideration of its own.
The choice of the fairy tale is important. They should be true to the principles of good literature, simple, naïve, rich in incidents and relationships, and neither vulgar, foolish, nor sentimental. All stories which frighten children, as well as those which glorify cunning and trickery, should be avoided. The folk and fairy lore of the district should supply teachers with some material.
Professor Rein of Jena, who has worked out the material suitable for the eight classes of the primary schools, very happily chooses his fairy tales from Grimm; and for the children of Thuringia this is appropriate, for the brothers Grimm gathered many of their stories directly from the lips of the Thuringian peasants, who had received them as oral traditions from remote ancestors. For instance, Dornburg, a castle on a hill near Jena, full of memories of Goethe, is built on the very spot where the palace of the Sleeping Beauty stood; and as one climbs through the bushes to the summit, one is thrilled again and again by the thought that the prince cut his way through the briar roses on this very spot, in those dear, dim, old days which will never come again except in the dreams of children and the visions of poets.
The teacher must tell the story to the children, for the voice is more effective than the printed book. All superfluities of language must be avoided; these only bore a child. He wants the story simply and directly, without unnecessary moralizing. Skilful detail delights him. The language must be true, simple, and strong, without any striving after mere decorative effect. The true story-teller for little children needs to be something of an The National Review. ECLECTIC.
VOL. LXXII. 447
artist, as well as something of a poet and a dramatist-and true story-tellers are nearly always women. She should also possess a good deal of literary feeling, as well as a knowledge of fairy tales. If she happens to believe in fairies so much the better, but, at any rate. she must once have believed in them, and she must remember all about her beliefs. In telling her story to her class, she must be simple, concrete, and sufficiently passionate. Simplicity is perhaps the greatest difficulty. It means selecting the essentials and presenting them clearly as well as picturesquely. To be concrete she must be able to draw rapidly on the blackboard, and use colored chalks. "The king and queen lived in a beautiful palace." "See, here it is, here are the towers, the windows, the gardens; and here was a stream where waterlilies grew." "The queen often sat on a marble seat by the stream." "Look!! here is the seat." "One day a frog hopped out of the water." Then the frog is drawn, with his intelligent eye. fixed on the queen. All this fascinates. the children as the magic story grows under the teacher's hands. "It is like being in fairyland to hear that teacher tell us tales," said an eager child of six one day after a fairy tale lesson; and indeed it was, for we all listened spellbound, the critical spectators as well as the children.
The passionate teacher, who feels the beauty of her theme and believes in it, can easily impart her appreciation to all her pupils, and make them aware of the human spirit working within them.
Stolid, frigid, and superior people should never teach little children, and never be allowed to tell fairy tales.
But the teacher of literature, especially if she has to deal with little children, must, like the poet, be born, for she certainly can never be made.
Catherine I. Dodd.
A GENERATION IN A CITY PULPIT.
BY DR. JOSEPH PARKER.
- Thirty-three years ago, September, 1869, an experiment was undertaken in a City pulpit which not a few even friendly observers regarded as almost hopeless and desperate. In the evolution of that experiment some things have happened which may be of at least momentary interest to public men and others who watch the ways and the habits of City life. A generation in London is different from a generation not only anywhere else, but different from a generation even in its own growing suburbs. Old Bailey and Clapham-common, for example, are not the same London, neither is Shoreditch to be thought of in relation to Piccadilly, though they are both included in the same metropolis. In a certain well-understood sense "there is nobody in the city on Sundays"; the busy millions who are there on secular days may be supposed to have no time in those feverish hours for other-world. affairs. We shall, in fact, never know what hold religion, ecclesiastically so-called, has on the public mind until that remarkable compound of ghostliness and commerce has to compete, in what may be called the open market, with other claimants and rival interests. Then, and not till then, shall we know which of two opposing worlds has the upper hand in the thoughts and desires of men. When theatres, concert-halls, picture galleries, and popular amusements of all sorts are in full and approved operation on Sundays, we shall know exactly how far religion holds its own. At present, and for many centuries, religion has enjoyed a kind of monopoly of one day in the week. Sunday has been emphatically church day. Hardly any other place is avail
Theatres, music-halls, concertrooms, picture galleries are, as a rule, on Sunday all in darkness and silence. It almost comes to Hobson's choice, or has done until within thirty years—go to church or go nowhere. Not to go to church on Sunday was once a kind of disgrace; certainly it gave rise to a good deal of comment and disquieting suspicion. Why does not your neighbor go to church? Is he a rampant infidel or, at least, a contemptuous Gallio? He was, at all events, a marked man, to be accounted for. All this, within the last thirty years, has been largely changed-changed not by an organized and aggressive revolution in manners, but quietly, imperceptibly, and little by little, a kind of night and day action, men hardly knowing whether it was done by day or by night; but that it has been done is a fact at once glaring and indisputable. Speaking in full view of many distinct and impressive exceptions, it may be said that England has now no medieval Sunday. Marked inroads have been made on that ecclesiastical monopoly. England has liberalized and modernized its characteristic Sunday into a very pale and harmless figure. The Church herself, in all her communions, has assisted the metamorphosis. The battle has not always been between Sabbatarianism and anti-Sabbatarianism; it has often been, not a battle, indeed, but a surrender, simply a quiet giving up of traditional claims and a concession hardly disquieted by a murmur. Men who awoke on Sunday morning with firm sabbatic convictions have spent the evening of the same day in social functions supposed to be more lively than hymn-singing or sermon-hearing.
For a time there was a great outcry against every attempt to continentalize the English Sunday, forgetting that before Sunday can be really continentalized we must first continentalize the English climate. The fickle weather always stands between England and the catastrophe of a French Sunday. The weather is still orthodox enough to vote with the church, or, if it does not actually fill the church, it maliciously soaks the band and makes the park a pool, thus indirectly suggesting the neighboring church as at least a temporary shelter.
In the lapse of a generation we have seen enough to give us heart about Sunday and all the questions related to it, or bound up with its fortunes. It is a remarkable fact, so far as my experience goes, that nothing that has been deliberately organized in opposition to Sunday has ever succeeded. For a time it has made a splash, but the day of grief has sooner or later darkened upon it. This fact cannot be put amongst the superstitions; it is too bulky a fact to permit of such easy disposal. For a time, as I have admitted, there may be much hilarious shouting and mighty bragging by unspiritual men, but the laugh of the derisive heavens has always announced the rout of the assailant and the filing of his petition in bankruptcy. I put my hand to this as to an affidavit. I will go further and testify that within my personal observation no heterodoxy permanently thrives. Even magic-lanterns "have their day and cease to be." They are toys for a season only. Odd practices, eccentric doctrines, fads, megrims, and all sorts of intellectual curiosities may flourish for a time, but "having no deepness of earth they soon wither away." False doctrine however eloquently expounded, hardly ever pays its own rent. Many a startling heterodoxy intended to bring in an intellectual renaissance
has had its light cut off by some sordid gas company, callously indifferent to modern speculation and the artistic temperament. Account for it as we may, it is the Gospel old and undefiled that alone can stand the wear and tear of time, and grow younger with the wasting years. The only thing that is really new is the Christian Evangel, and that is because its newness is really old. When Time draws a draught of water from a surface pool she mocks the world's thirst; only when she draws from eternal springs is she the servant and messenger of God. In the last thirty-three years I have seen enough dead theories, exploded nightmares, and discarded hypotheses to make a full-sized cemetery. They have gone the way of all the earth. They flamboyantly entered the world as an amateur military band, and coughed their way out of it as a squad of consumptive tramps. Whenever a preacher has a new and sparkling theory in religion, I know that the first nail in his coffin has been driven and clinched.
Another point of special significance and momentousness is the easy way in which some men, of unquestionable sincerity, come, in course of time, to disregard their own signature. This is the case in a remarkable degree in reference to matters of creed and fellowship. When a man deliberately elects to join a body of Christians by solemnly accepting all its fundamental beliefs, is he at liberty to change or modify his faith without giving notice to his co-believers? Would the signing of a commercial partnership deed not require certain obligations to be honorably complied with? I do not object to a man expanding, or even disavowing, any mechanical creed, but I do object to a signature being reduced to a dead letter. The signature should be the man. Let the man, if so minded, change his creed, but at
the same time let him not think that he can with honor take orthodox money for teaching heterodox doctrine. Let all things be done in open day. No teacher is, for example, at liberty to teach Unitarian doctrine in a Trinitarian pulpit, or vice versa. For my own part, I would not sign a binding and final creed drawn up by my own hand, because words change their applications, standpoints vary day by day, even atmosphere follows the laws of evolution, and the infinite can never be finally expressed in terms of time and space. God must, in mere decency, be left some room even in his own Church. A creed that does not admit of expansion may be a useful guide-post, but a living fruit-tree it can never be. Why do intelligent men sign creeds? By a large exercise of faith a man might possibly sign, at least temporarily, the multiplication table, because its daring assumptions (by no means so innocent as they look) have approved themselves to the general mind, but arithmetic must by its very nature differ from theology. What I insist upon is that, having signed a creed, every man is bound to honor his own signature until he has publicly and perhaps penitently withdrawn it. Illumination resulting in expansion does not imply either falsehood or inconsistency on the part of the individual. Tribute must always be paid to increasing light.
During the last generation very noticeable changes have taken place in the art and practice of preaching. Artificialism has been largely replaced by reality.
Common sense has superseded yeasty rhetoric. Melvillism is dead; Croly no longer heads a school; Robert Hall is all but forgotten; the Claytonian cult is quietly laughed at as a grotesque shadow of a past never to be reinstated. To-day the man who would preach with true and lasting effect must be sincere, intelligent, and
sympathetic-in a word, he must be a man, a teacher, a friend. Preaching is the most impertinent of all impertinences, if there be not behind it and round about it a sense of authority other and better than human. The preacher must deliver a positive and authorized message rather than suggest tentative and variable theories; he must have an articulate and urgent Gospel, he is not called upon to exploit his latest invention in pulpit dreams. What preacher does not remember the time when he could never satisfactorily conclude a sermon except "amid the wreck of matter and the crash of worlds," yet who would now, in the twentieth century, willingly break up the world and sit down upon the hot ashes of his native sphere even in a hysterical peroration? Here and there windy rhetoricians are still to be found, but the condemnation of death is written upon their gusty work, and they are doomed to early oblivion.
They begin in words, and in words they will end. Intelligent, sympathetic, and experimental preaching will never lack audience and appreciation. Such preaching happily prevails in all churches to-day. He who preaches to broken hearts preaches to all generations and to all degrees of intelligence.
A few thumb-nail sketches must suffice for the rest.
To-day, for instance, there is no such firm as Dombey and Son. That old firm is now Son and Dombey. The elder Dombey who founded the firm and lived above the business pensively recalls the past, whilst "son," cigaretted and beflowered, drives a smart span constantly in danger of making a prolonged call in Basinghall-street.
To-day there is no such sequence as master and man. That has gone with the categories of Aristotle. Demos is on the box-seat, and the master
has to be taken where the driver journalism has made privacy impossipleases.
To-day there is no such picturesque gradation as mistress and maid. The well-known passage "As the eyes of a maiden are unto the hands of her mistress" will soon be "revised" into "As the eyes of a mistress are unto the hands of her maid"-meals, holidays, and hospitalities must be arranged to please the cook and housemaid.
To-day it is not true that "he who pays the piper calls the tune"; on the contrary, he who pays the piper must take whatever tune the piper likes best to play and be thankful that the trombone is not thrown at his head. To-day there is no privacy.
The London Times.
ble. What with telegrams, telephones, interviews, cables, and fertile imagination, private life has disappeared. The hearthstone has been exchanged for the housetop. Life is now in very deed a variety of "the open-air treatment."
And yet the quenchless world lives on, and in a rough way thrives and fattens. The world, happily, is not its own engineer. "There is a divinity that shapes our ends." Have faith in God. Generations come and go on leaden feet, but the God of generations dwells in the abiding tabernacle whence all the hidden wonders of ages pass slowly but vividly across the plane of time.
A street half flecked with shade and sun,
A last year's leaf along it blown,
A robin's ripe notes dropping one by one.
Sad sun and shade and sadness over all
The distance blended into solemn hues,
On the warm air suspended as a pall
The sweetness dying violets diffuse,
While from a single tree the ashen elm-flowers fall.
At the street's sudden end a shining square,