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by its being satisfied therewith, from all practical activities which are directed to some particular purpose of external life." Kant's definition is similar; but he fixes more precisely the nature of the representation: "The artistic representation," he says, "is a representation properly so called, UTOTUwais, exhibitio, and not a characterism, like language, which is only a means for the reproduction of notions, and does not immediately represent them." In all Christian Churches there are two of the fine arts necessarily brought into requisition, viz., music and architecture. And there is also a third, if we, like the ancients, look upon oratory as one of the fine arts. We have already adverted to the wise limits indicated by the experience of the Church in the case of music. As to architecture, the experience of the Church also teaches us that there are dangers. But in the Church of Scotland we have resiled perhaps too far from the point of danger, and in many cases we have not paid even a decent regard to the proprieties of the house of God. The symbolism of architecture is not so readily available for the ingrafting of the arbitrary symbolism of superstition, as that of the plastic arts. The ideas symbolized by the three great styles-the Egyptian, Greek, and Gothic-are ideas of force in the various mechanical conditions. In the first it is gravitation unrestrained, in the second it is balanced, and in the third it is overcome. It is in this department of art, then, that there appears to be least danger in the appropriation of its aid, and certainly, in the Church of Scotland, there is a large margin for advance without coming to the dangerous point. We should, however, keep in mind that the purely artistic symbolism of architecture, when carried to excess, naturally invites the ingrafting upon it of religious symbolism. In a pure Gothic cathedral, the decorations are mere constructional necessities for the embodiment of the idea of aspiration. Yet we find that in mediaval times, and in the Tractarianism of our own country, every part of the building has attached to it a religious symbolism which is entirely arbitrary. The conclusion to which I would be disposed to come is this, that we have greater need to guard against ritualism than to invite its encroachments. While no logical definite line can be traced between the safe and the unsafe, yet there can be little doubt which is the safer side. The decay of vital religion will always create a demand for the fine arts, and it is the duty of the Church to resist rather than anticipate. I do not mean that she should resist by mere dogged obstinacy, but by spiritualism versus ritualism. My younger brethren will attribute the severity of my views to my being of an old school, which is now getting obsolete; but I am glad to be able to quote a high authority in the fine arts at the present day, who quite coincides in these views-I mean Mr. Ruskin." But of all the fatalities, the basest is the being lured into the Romanist Church by the glitter of it, like birds into a trap by broken glass; to be blown into a change of religion by the whine of an organpipe; stitched into a creed by the golden threads on a priest's petticoats; jingled into a change of conscience by the chime of a belfry: I know nothing in the shape of error so dark as this, no imbecillity so absolute, no treachery so contemptible. I do not know, as I have repeatedly said, how far the splendours of architecture or other art is compatible with the
honesty or usefulness of religious service. The longer I live, the more am I inclined to severe judgment in this matter, and the less I can trust the sentiments excited by painted glass and coloured tiles."I would not wish by my remarks to damp the ardour of those who would make all æsthetics subservient to the cause of religion. Protestant worship affords ample scope in one direction. It invites all possible excellence in that department of art in which the human voice is made the medium of expression-I mean music and oratory. Let our congregations sing better, and our preachers preach more eloquently, and art will be most effectually subsidized for the benefit of religion.
But I must proceed with my account of the Sabbath which I spent in London. I have been to the Chapel in the Tower in the forenoon, the Temple Church in the afternoon, and now I must proceed in the evening to Dr. Cumming's Church in Crown Court. I would fain have heard one of the noted dissenting ministers, such as Mr. Sherman or Mr. Binney, but I felt that I would be acting unnaturally to our national Zion, by deserting her services in a strange land; I had also a great desire to hear one preach of whom the Church of Scotland may justly be proud. There is no question that Dr. Cumming is by far the most popular preacher in London. It is difficult to guage a man's popularity, but perhaps the most unexceptionable way is to apply to the waiter at your hotel. He is generally free from all bias or sectarian prejudice. He classes popular preachers in the same category with Soyer's Symposium, Batty's Hippodrome, and Madame Tussaud's Waxworks. He views them simply as points of attraction to wondering crowds. When I asked Joseph, who attended to my wants, who was the most popular preacher, he at once answered, Dr. Cumming. I asked who was the next, and with as little hesitation he said, Cardinal Wiseman. He could not descend any lower, and though he lived in London all his days, he never heard of Henry Melvill. I had ample testimony, when I went in the evening to Crown Court, that Joseph did not exaggerate matters. The Church is aptly placed over against that synagogue of Satan, Covent Garden Theatre, as if to protest against its vices. And I was glad to find that, in the sermon I heard, it did not escape Dr. Cumming's lash. To secure a seat, I went early, but I found that this prudent step was of no avail, for the doors by which strangers are admitted were not opened for nearly half an hour after I arrived, the regular congregation being in the mean time admitted by another door. The crowd congregated in the court, waiting for admission, was immense. When the doors flew open, the crush up the narrow stairs was terrific. Being accustomed all my days to the elbow-room of a quiet country church, I was put sadly out of sorts. When I reached the top of the stairs, I found myself fairly wedged in by the crowd in the passage, without any possibility of gaining a seat. As I was greatly exhausted by my wanderings in the metropolis-being more accustomed to the soft turf and the springy heather than the hard stones of a causeway, I felt my dilemma to be somewhat uncomfortable. But a friend in need started up in the form of a worthy elder from Scotland, who recognised me, and fought his way to a seat through the
crowd, which he forced me to occupy, though he had no refuge for his own wearied body.
I found that, in the form of worship, there were some departures from the Presbyterian model in Scotland. For example, instead of standing, the people kneeled at prayer. I doubt the policy of this innovation as far as the Scotch hearers are concerned. It is natural that, in a strange land, they should be particularly scrupulous in adhering to the forms in the Church of their fathers. An Englishwoman, however, who sat beside me, informed me that the greater proportion of the congregation were English people, so that there was some excuse for the innovation. The Doctor adheres to the excellent practice of reading a portion of Scripture, and giving a short exposition, before commencing the sermon. In the exposition he administered some hard blows to the Pope. I am sure Pio Nono would have winced under them had he but heard them. I could not but envy the privilege the Doctor took of quoting Greek. He quoted not only from the New Testament, but from Homer. In reading the sermons of the old English Divines, interspersed with Greek and Latin quotations, one feels that they were highly privileged to live in times when such quotations could be appreciated by a Christian audience. A minister now-a-days, though brimful of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew, can never venture upon a quotation. It would seem, however, that the Doctor has trained his audience to the appreciation of such quotations. He made an announcement which must be hailed with joy by the Protestant Churches, viz., that he had been long engaged in collecting passages from the Greek classics, to shew the essential difference between #εTρOS and πετρα. The result of his labours will be looked forward to with great anxiety. Some commentators, in insisting upon the distinction between the two words, would hold that an antithesis is meant in reference to the fitness for a foundation. Dr. Cumming's view is more plausible. His paraphrase of the passage would be, "Thou art eTpOS an indivi dual stone of the fabric, and upon this #cтpa = rock, shall I build my Church." This is much more plausible than the paraphrase, “Thou art Peter a small stone unfit for a foundation, but upon this rock Christ, shall I build my Church." I cannot but think it a pity that the claims of the Pope should be met on ground so narrow and unsatisfactory. I would be disposed to admit the premiss, viz. that Peter is referred to as the rock, but to deny the conclusion that this infers the supremacy of Peter and his pretended successors.
Much of the popularity of Dr. Cumming is due to his being the boldest exponent of the intensely Protestant feelings of the laity of the metropolis. Those who have been in the habit of attending religious meetings in London, know how the slightest allusion to Popery calls forth an electric response on the part of the audience. This feeling is far stronger than it is in Scotland. Our theoretical views may be as decided, but our felt hatred of Popery is by no means so intense and practical. We deal with the Pope very much as an abstraction, but they look upon him as a personal foe.
I was very much charmed with the Doctor's eloquence, and it was matter of great satisfaction to find that his popularity was founded on so sure
a basis. I had heard him speak in the General Assembly, when he won all hearts by his quiet, simple, unpretending exposition of the state of Presbyterianism in England. I expected to hear something more impassioned in the pulpit. I could hardly believe that, in this age of exaggeration and excitement, he should have gained his popularity by an eloquence so chaste and simple. I found, however, that he had the same quiet, natural manner as before. He had no artificial high-pressure excitement; but he kept up the attention unflaggingly to the very close. His style of preaching is just that of animated conversation, in which all the delicacies of intonation and emphasis are preserved. The ordinary preaching tone makes sad havoc with all the nicer inflections and cadences of the human voice. Dr. Cumming, by his conversational style, fully impresses you with the idea that he is talking to yourself; and you can no more let your thoughts go a wool-gathering than you could think of yawning in the face of a person addressing you across a table. attention of the congregation was completely rivetted, and you saw by the expression of their countenances that every sentence told. There was nothing impassioned in the sermon-nothing calculated to thrill, but there was strong good sense throughout, which indeed seems to be the great staple of the Doctor's eloquence. He enlivened the conversation— I mean the sermon-by allusions to the current topics of comment among the Londoners. He spoke of the Exhibition, the electric telegraph, the theatre; of cards, dice, casinos, and divans; and these subjects were treated in so homely and familiar a way, that you felt as if you were enjoying a familiar chat with a neighbour. The use to be made in the pulpit of the passing events of the day, may be made a matter of doubt. It is plain, however, that the pulpit was never intended merely for a dry demonstration of the five points of Calvinism. Christianity does not consist merely of dogma. It implies life as well as doctrine; and Christian life assumes various forms, according to the varying aspects of society. The pulpit then, to meet the demands of an advancing Christianity, must in some degree reflect these varying aspects of human society. The pulpit would become completely effete as an instrument of Christian development, if it ignored the tide of life rushing by. On the other hand, there is the danger of making the pulpit a mere vehicle for newspaper gossip, and thus unwisely obscuring the eternal and unvarying truths of Christianity. In this, as in all other practical difficulties of life, Christian wisdom must be exercised to avoid extremes.
The style of Dr. Cumming's oratory appeared to me eminently natural. Indeed, its great merit lies in its being true to nature; and this applies to the style of all the great orators I have ever heard. Indeed, I think it may be fairly maintained, that the essence of oratory lies in this truthfulness to a man's own individuality. It often struck me, on hearing the greatest of our orators, that it was a wonder all men were not alike eloquent; their easy, natural manner, impressed you with the idea, that other men had only to banish the artificial, in order to meet with the
It is, I think, matter of regret that so little attention should be paid to oratory in the training of our young men for the pulpit. Oratory is
undoubtedly the differentia of the pulpit as a medium of communicating truth, and yet this essential element is almost entirely overlooked. There is an idea in many minds that oratory is a thing of art, and that it is best to trust to our own natural manner. Now, it is just because I would have preachers trust to their own natural manner, that I would recommend greater attention to the subject of oratory. Genuine oratorical training, in my estimation, would consist in keeping men true to nature. It is supposed, in the current objection to oratory, that if a man be left to himself, he will be sure to hit upon a natural manner; but the fact is, that in such a case there is the greatest danger of adopting an artificial manner. He unconsciously slides into conventionalisms or imitations, and while he deprecates art, he exhibits the artificial in its grossest forms. Nature never intended a preacher to address a sinner on the momentous concerns of eternity, in a whine, a drawl, or a singsong intonation. These artificialisms spring from a want of attention to the indications of nature, or it may be from a want of thought or sincerity. A preacher, while enjoying himself in a social party, may display the most brilliant eloquence in his conversation; or, if he be a curler, his intonations, looks, gestures on the rink, amidst the excitement of the game, may be such that a Demosthenes might envy them, each being a perfect natural expression of his meaning. Now, that same man, whom nature has gifted with the highest oratorical powers, when he goes to the pulpit, may adopt a heavy, droning, artificial manner, which soon sets the audience asleep; whereas if he took with him to the pulpit the natural eloquence of the dinner-table and the rink, and made it bear on the interests of eternity, he would set the hearts of his hearers in a flame. Now, it is possible that this same man would, in defence of his style of preaching, maintain that he despised the arts of oratory, and preferred his own natural manner.
The prejudice against oratory, no doubt, arises from the idea that it consists of a set of artificial rules by which a man's own natural genius is to be fettered; but this is wholly an erroneous idea, and ought not to form a bar to the study of oratory in its true sense. The cultivation of oratory is analogous to the cultivation of a taste for the fine arts. We are gifted by God with a sense of the beautiful. It is an instinct implanted in the depths of our nature. But it is apt to be overlaid by the conventional and the artificial; and the cultivation does not implant a new sense, but only allows the intuitions of our nature to act freely without being fettered by the false.
We of the old school have served our day and generation by the style of delivery in vogue in our younger days, but more will be expected from the rising generation of preachers. It is plain that the pulpit will require to put forth every energy to maintain its position as a living power in the world. It was once omnipotent, but it has now a powerful rival in the press. Its aim must be to turn this rival into an auxiliary. I believe the pulpit is designed by God to supply a want which can never e supplied by the press. The essence of a sermon consists, not in its merely containing divine truth, but divine truth as reflected from a hristian heart, and expressed by the lips of a living man. It is the