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of our day, whose sermons present a con Frenchman of the same kidney, stealing trast so striking to the amenities and manly some articles from the table-What, he genialities of our current literature, and cannot see from the distance. To satisfy who may be said, indeed, unintentionally his curiosity, and expecting it to be someon their part, to be most masterly pioneers thing of value, he follows him out and in the road of infidelity. Even the re- relieves him of it—it consists of two small prints of many of our old divines exert lumps of white sugar! Let our spiritual very little influence upon the rising mind, pilferers either give up their trade or aim and how much less can we expect that at higher game. their pulpit caricatures can? Under this We could add fifty similar stories; but we may notice the base practice of plagia- it is needless. The fact is disgracefully rism which abounds among the clergy of notorious. Nor is it a matter for mere this country. Anecdotes and instances laughter; it is a subject for sorrow and for corroborative of this statement crowd upon grave reprehension : sorrow that many our recollection. It is not with occasional ministers are so weak as to need such aid, pilferings, with petty larceny, that we and reprehension of their conduct in seeking charge many of them; but with systematic it in such a mean and immoral manner. and wholesale theft. This practice is very We may add, however, that we entertain widely spread. We have known of minis à sanguine hope that this practice is ters, whose libraries almost entirely con- doomed. The age is now too enlightened sisted of sermons, and who were more than for it, and even the lower classes are fast suspected of never preaching any of their coming on its scent. But, meantime, we own. How delightful this must have been say, Let the habitual plagiarist be exposed to their audiences! To be regaled in the without mercy. He turns the pulpit into morning with Saurin and in the afternoon a receptacle for stolen goods.
He gives with Hall, and to have Chalmers thundering occasion to the adversary to speak reover their heads in the evening; why they proachfully. He disgraces himself, demust have felt like bees passing, in varied grades his office, and insults his people. luxury of enjoyment, from the tulip to the He does worse than this—he gives them lily, and from the lily to the rose! We food which is often unsuitable to their have known of others who were in the palates. They, in country congregations habit of inlaying their commonplaces with at least, are hungering for plain bread, and all the brilliances they could pick up from he has stolen nectar and ambrosia—the the popular religious publications of the refined essence of the mightiest mindsday, so that some attended them for the for their use. For we verily believe that sake of hearing the best things of Isaac a sermon of moderate literary merits, Taylor, Dr. Harris's “last,” or the better coming fresh from the preacher's heart, sentences of Henry Rogers's newest paper and dictated by knowledge of the circumin the "
Edinburgh. Others watch the stances of his people, will tell more powerbook-stalls and lay hold on the neglected fully, and be far more useful than the fugitive sermons which are sometimes to sublimest pulpit meditations of a Bossuet, be found there. We know of a little for a Howe, or a Hall. gotten collection of “Five Discourses," When preaching is not slavishly modelby a Dissenter, which was stolen bodily ed on that of the past, or else stolen from by a worthy minister of the Scottish es- it, it is often apt to slide into a species of tablishment. We have heard of a minister commonplace twaddle, or into a vague inpreaching in one chapel, while in another tellectualism. Unspeakable the platitudes over the way, a young candidate was which abound in many pulpits. The plea screaming out one of that minister's pub- indeed is often used, that the simple truths lished sermons. We heard once from a of the gospel are best adapted for popular very popular preacher a sermon which audiences. This is in part true, but it is struck us and many others as remarkably not true that these should always be poor. We found out afterward that poor presented in the same sickening iteration as it was, “alas! master, it was borrowed.” of commonplace illustration and language. This amused us exceedingly. It reminded Paul, Peter, and John, all preached the us of the scene in “ Pelham,” where an simple truths of the gospel, but all in a English pickpocket in a co use very different style, and accompanied with Paris sees on the other side of the room a very different arguments and imagery.
The truths of the gospel are simple, and not a free, easy-flowing, and flexible toga ? should never be omitted or drowned in the Is it not of age and able to speak for discourse. But surely they are entitled itself? Why a uniform and starched-up to all the advantage which the power of costume like that of the childish Chinese, variety and the force of contrast, if not painted sometimes, too, not as the second the energies of eloquence and of genius, veil of the temple was, with the figures of can bestow. If some throw such a glare the cherubim, but with flames and fiends, about Christ, the Cross, and Christianity, like the dress of the victims of an autothat it is difficult to see them, the majority da-fé. Why so little of the direct, the exhibit them a naked, dreary aspect, conversational, and the dramatic? Why and make the dry skeleton dogmas of their does the preacher so seldom lean over the creed rattle against each other, like wintry pulpit, and dropping state and ceremony, branches in the storm. Others, in anxiety talk on the level, and to the consciences to avoid this, go to another extreme. and hearts of his people? Why so few They affect a certain vague intellectualism, allusions to the literature, the art, the a sort of misty verbiage, which after all politics, the science, and the philosophical serves only carefully to cloak up common- aspects of the day? Even good poetry place. We have frequently heard dis- is seldom quoted, or, if it is, with little courses which were evidently elaborate, effect, and with many silent protests on which had all the sound of intellectual the part of the audience, or inquiries prelections, but which did not present one “Whose is that ?" for we, in these days, distinct idea or one memorable image. are afraid of sharpening our weapons at It was the landscape under a haze, and the the forges of the Philistines ; and it were dim glimpses of it you got did not convince considerably safer for a minister to quote you that it would seem very beautiful, Satan than to quote Shelley. Thus it even had the haze been away. If the comes that, partly through the blame of preacher happened to be a German scholar, the preacher and partly through that of it was much worse. “Stand-points," the people, preaching stands up in the “ objective,” “ subjective," "dynamical,” midst of us a cold bust-beautiful some“ mechanical,” and a hundred other im- times, but certainly blind—“among us but ported or technical terms, in this case not of us"—tantalizing many by its symreeled up and down the inist and served to metrical proportions and snowy whiteness, render the darkness more invisible. The but neither, in general, instructing, nor effect on the people was curious and com- making, nor moving the world. plex. Some of them admired, because Of course the pulpit is ready, when octhey seemed to understand it; others dis- casion suits, to bow before Literature, liked, and a third class liked it, because Science, and Philosophy, and sometimes they did not understand it! On leaving with ostentatious homage. But the homthe church some are overheard saying, age is often as hollow as it is humble. “ What an intellectual discourse!” others Besides, the very fact of bowing is a procla“We did not see his drift;" and a third mation of weakness and inferiority. What class rejoining, “ It was your own fault;" the preacher should do, is to seize upon and perhaps adding, “ That discourse these lower territories in the name of his might have appeared as an article in one God, and to appropriate to the cause of of our leading Reviews”—a compliment, Heaven all their riches. He must not by the way, neither to the Review nor to come there as a bewildered beggar, asking the sermon.
for alms, but as a conquering monarch, We may next cluster together a few of claiming spoils. Possessed of the grand our charges against modern preaching. central truths of Christianity-namely, the It is too stiff set and dogmatic in its cast. creation of man by God and in God's It does not take a range sufficiently wide. image; the redemption of man through It is rot sufficiently dramatic and imagin-Christ's atonement; the glorification of ative; and it either ignores or makes awk- man and of his world through Christ's ward obeisance to Genius, Art, Science, reign-he will gather around them all the and Philosophy.
tributes of “gold, frankincense, and Why should God's word, we ask, wear myrrh," which the whole world of art and either a strait-jacket or a strict and stern knowledge can supply, and feel that, after coat of mail ? Why even a tunic? Why all, it is too poor a present for Immanuel ;
and that before Him, and the sublimities ers give in general to sin and sinners, and of his religion, Art must lower her pencil, to the manner in which they handle the Science lay aside her plummet, and Poetry doctrine of punishment. This is a delicate at once exalt and mitigate her song. and difficult topic, and we wish to touch it
The true preacher should now often tenderly. Let us, then, remember that a proclaim the unity of truth, that while minister, however pious and sincere, stands other ages have been distinguished for up a sinful man, talking to a sinful audience. their propensity to, and proficiency in, Perhaps he is the greatest sinner in the some one branch of study, in our age all assembly. At all events, as Dr. Johnson knowledge is being “increased”—the entire says, he may know worse of himself, than periphery of truth is being illuminated! he is sure of in reference to any of his Men are beginning to feel, (and preachers hearers. In these circumstances, how should feel too,) without being as yet able gentle should be his tone, and how wide to prove that there is but one tree of knowl- his charity! There should be no haste of edge, and that literature, science, art, judgment, or harshness of language, or philosophy, and theology, are just branches bellowing fury in utterance. He should in that tree, the root of which is in the remember the conduct of his Master to deep heart of man, and the top of which the poor woman taken in adultery, and reacheth unto the heavens of God. It is should reason--" If He, a being spotlessly now lightening around us at every pore of pure, was so lenient, who am I that I should the horizon, and we can less compare the wield the balance, and flourish the rod ?" rise of truth to the upspringing of the sun while hating and denouncing sin, he should from one point in the east, than to another be careful to prove that he loves the sinphenomenon we witnessed four years ago. ner; that while seeking to strip away and On a clear, starry October night, in 1848, consume the "garment spotted by the there began suddenly to stream up certain flesh,” he yet pities and loves the wearer, films, or rather rills, of electric light, not and would save him from perdition. Affecfrom the north, merely, as is generally the tionate and solemn earnestness, melting case, but simultaneously from north, south, ever and anon into tears, should distineast, and west, till, meeting in the zenith, guish all his language, and the cry should they seemed to pause, to mingle, and to be often on his lips—“God be merciful to form together a great, white, quivering me a sinner!" tent, or tabernacle of light, which covered Especially when he nears the edge of the whole face of the heavens, and which that tremendous pit into which human guilt it was an awful joy for men to stand under, is at last to go down, should his words be and wondering to behold. Thus is truth few and well ordered. It will not now do breaking irresistibly forth from every point to ape the awful language of a Jonathan of heaven, and is hurrying on to some Edwards, or an Edward Irving. The one great centrical meeting place, to the for- of these spoke as if with the authority of mation of some wider, more complete, and a cherub; the other with the burning zeal more magnificent system than man's ear of a seraph. Yet even their tone, as well has ever yet heard, or than it has ever as that of Pollok in his poem, was far too entered into the heart of man to conceive. harsh and contemptuous. Irving seems Prudence is beginning to dwell with wis- sometimes to dance with savage exultation dom; righteousness and peace are em over the tombstone of the sepulchre of the bracing each other. Truth is already second death. Pollok and Edwards remind springing from earth, and righteousness you often of the divine described by Fosmay soon be expected to look down from ter, who represents the Almighty as a heaven ; literature and science must soon “ dreadful King of Furies, whose music is become Christian; Christianity, in her the cries of victims, and whose glory return, must become literary and scientific, quires to be illustrated by the ruin of his ere they can together form the living bread creation.” This style of describing future and the guiding light of the world. And punishment has in some measure been woe to that preacher who refuses to be a modified, but continues to linger on in witness at those glorious nuptials ! many Churches. The late Mr. Mac
We have another charge, which we Cheyne, of Dundee, certainly one of the would urge more in sorrow than in anger. most devoted and heroic Christian minisIt is in reference to the treatment preach- ters the Church ever produced, neverthe
less erred grievously in this respect. His loudly as anybody. But those were fights views of God's sovereignty were awfully in which Spaniards were engaged, who transcendental, and led him, especially laugh to scorn the cowardly, barbarous toward the close of his career, into bull-fighters of Portugal. Jonathan Edwardsisms of thought and At the southern extremity of the Campo language, which many of his audience de Santa Anna, Lisbon, stands the Praça were not able to bear. One remarkable dos Touros, bull-circus. This is a wooden sermon was on the text, “Snares, fire, and edifice, and was built in the time of Don brimstone, he shall rain upon sinners." Miguel. It is said to be nearly as large as It is said to have been a fearful sermon, the circus at Cadiz, and is fitted up with and frightened many almost out of their some five hundred boxes, capable of con
In one village the effect was so taining eight or ten thousand spectators. tremendous, that he was requested to re- It is destitute of neatness and elegance, turn and add a codicil of consolation, and was, when I saw it, in a bad state of which he did a few weeks before his preservation. Along the highest rows of lamented death. Perhaps the fever which benches it is inappropriately ornamented slew him was already seething in his brain. by a series of trophies, vases, and obelisks, He told the people “ there's a real hell, all made of wood. Every Sunday and and not only so, but real fire, and literal fête-day, the proprietors give the public a brimstone"-we wonder he did not add performance, which is duly announced in literal “snares,” too. Poor fellow ! he sone such fustian as follows:thought this the best way of converting sinners. Peace to his memory! He was
“ This day will be given, in the elegantly
built and delightful Pruça de Campo Santa Anna, a man of God, and his struggles with his
a wonderful and highly-amusing combat of thirown peculiar temperament and sore temp- teen ferocious and monstrous bulls, to which tations rose to the sublime, and rank him the respectable public of this renowned capital with the Augustines, the Bernards, and the
are invited. The proprietors, ever anxious to Martins of the past.
gratify the expectations of the magnanimous and distinguished nation of Portugal, so generous in its patronage of these spectacles, feel the
greatest satisfaction in being able to announce A BULL-FIGHT IN LISBON.
that they have spared neither trouble nor ex. EW
animals, which belonged to the richest propriethe Spanish
tor of Riba Tejo, who possesses among his herds fight. To witness a bull-fight, all classes the most robust and the bravest of bulls. This of people, from queen to beggar-girl, and gentleman has consented to send them to the from prince to peasant, will neglect their circus, to assist in the representation that will
be given this afternoon." proper business, and crowd delighted into the amphitheater. But, alas for the chivalry Here follows an eulogium on the coolof Portugal! the bull-fight no longer exists ness and unrivaled agility of the bullas it does in Spain-pity the sport exists fighters; and after eight lyric stanzas exat all! To be sure, cruelty to the beasts tolling the ferocity of the animals—the has by no means ceased, but nearly all bulls, not the fighters—the terrible force danger to the fighters has ! Sorely disap- of their horns, and a thousand other danpointed was I on one occasion, when, seated gers of the combat, the whole announceas a spectator at the feats of the arena in ment winds up with a description of some Lisbon, to discover that there was not the marvelous fire-works that will conclude the slightest possibility of witnessing a death, entertainment. even of a bull! I had nerved myself for In spite, however, of grandiloquent ansome awful catastrophe, as I thought, by nouncements, strangers having the spirit endeavoring to subdue all the finer feelings of genuine campinos are always greatly of humanity ; but I doubt my success, for disappointed. The combat unto death, I was exceedingly disgusted with what I both of man and beasts, was abolished in did see. Perhaps, however, if there had the time of Mary I., 1777 or 1778; and been more courage and less cruelty dis- this diversion has lost its most horrid ioplayed, I might have felt differently. Iterest and its shuddering attractions. The know that on similar occasions I had pre- functions of the matador de espada have viously become very much excited, and ceased, and good bull-fighters are no longer cried “ Viva!" for a victorious bull as trained in Portugal, while the most
celebrated of Spain refuse to visit the sis or four times, is compelled to stop. This ter country.
is termed, not "taking the bull by the These fights open, as in Spain, by a horns,” but seizing the bull by the hoof, grand display on horseback. When the and appears to afford the greatest delight, court is present, an equerry of the royal especially to the lower classes of the spechousehold acts as cavalheiro, and then the tators ; hence, at this moment, the plaudits best horses from the royal stables are in are most enthusiastic. A number of bul. attendance. Mounted upon one of them, locks and cows with bells round their necks the equerry performs the steps and evolu now enter, which the subdued bull follows tions of the old Spanish horsemanship, at out of the circle at a trot. His wounds the same time saluting the court and the are then dressed, and he is either sent public; all of which is termed cortexias do home or reserved for another occasion. cavalheiro. The bull then bounds forth, The negroes, it seems, appear but seland is received by the knight, when the dom, and it would be well for humanity if more daring among the flag-bearers imme- they were entirely excluded; for they are diately begin to annoy him with their goads called upon to perform feats which none and gaudy capes. Some of the mantle of the gentlemen fighters dare attempt. bearers display great dexterity ; but they These poor wretches hire themselves out, are in general awkward and timid, though for the value of a few shillings, to provoke the danger is not great, seeing that the the bull when he is too tame and cowardly. animals have their horns sheathed in leath. For this purpose, they ornament their heads er and tipped with balls. When the bull with feathers, in imitation of the savage lacks bravery, or is greatly fatigued, afford- chiefs of Africa, and conceal themselves ing little interest in the combat, Gallegos either in figures of horses made of paste(peasants from the province of Gallicia, board, called cavallinhos de pasta, or in Spain) or negroes are sent against it, who large hampers. The bull is sure to throw render a service very similar to that of the them down, and often maims and bruises dogs which the Spanish people clamor for, them in the most shocking manner. I saw with the well-known cry of “ Perros !" one poor old fellow gored through a hamwhenever the bull scems to be too tame. per, to the infinite delight and amusement These Gallegos take part in all the Portu- of the audience ; nobody appearing to relish guese bull-fights. They make their ap- the joke more than the ladies, by whom the pearance in round hats and quilted hides, front seats of nearly all the boxes were and carry long, two-pronged forks, whence filled. Sometimes these miserable blacks they are called homens de forcado, men of are forced, by the cries of the populace the fork. Their place is beneath the royal and the orders of the directors, to reappear tribune, where they are formed in line; and in the arena, even while suffering from when the bull approaches that vicinity, they severe contusions; and loss of limbs is receive him on the points of their weapons. the probable result of this base and dasNear them may be seen a species of aide- tardly inhumanity. de-camp, mounted, and clad in the old Before the close of this most refined Spanish garb, short cape and hat of plumes. and delectable exhibition with fire-works, His office is to transmit orders to all parts we have another display of horsemanship of the circus from the authorities.
and horse-dancing, when vivas resound When a bull evinces cowardice or ex from all sides, and flowers, money, and haustion, the Gallegos, at a given signal, sometimes jewels, are showered down upon cast their forks aside, and rush upon him. the heroes of the ring who have that day The most courageous, placing himself in most distinguished themselves in encounfront of the animal, seizes the moment ters with blunt-horned bulls. when, with lowered head and closed eyes, he is running at him, to leap between his A BridLE FOR THE TONGUE.—It is cerhorns, to which he clings firmly, allowing tain great knowledge, if it be without himself to be violently tossed and flung vanity, is the most severe bridle of the about. The rest then throw themselves tongue. For so have I heard, that all the upon the brute, securing him by the legs, noises of the pool, the croaking of the horns, and tail, and even jumping upon frogs and toads, are hushed and appeased him, until the poor beast, who sometimes upon the instant of bringing upon them the draws a dozen of them round the ring three light of a candle or torch.