« PreviousContinue »
cells radiating towards the altar like the spokes of a buried more than two days after death, so the young wheel. Each is railed off and has a tiny altar to itself, man was put into his coffin, the tapers lighted, and dedicated to some saint. Many figures within kneel the last mass said. The lid of the coffin was, indeed, on chairs with rosary in hand, gazing the while at the about to be nailed down, when a college friend who little altar in front of them, and even above and happened to be passing accidentally through the town beyond it, to where the stained windows blend their heard of his death, and hastened to offer sympathy colours in harmony, and the glowing sun in return with the bereaved family, and finally asked if he could sends a stream of rainbow tints back on the face of not take a last look at his old friend.
The request the “devotee" in soft halo.
was acceded to, and the college friend, bending over But what is happening here? Turning round, the body of his lost comrade, murmared a few words we see many women kneeling before a white marble of farewell. The sound of the familiar voice seemed figure of the Virgin and Child; not only do they to awaken the dead, for his friend insisted he saw the kneel before it, but as each one comes up, she adds a eyelids move, and that death had not yet taken place. lighted taper to the already burdened stand of candles, He was scoffed at, but he still entreated that a doctor and thrusting a bunch of flowers into some niche in might be sent for to try restorative means.
This was the figure, draws her bare hand along the marble robe at last consented to, and lo! his friend lived, having and then wipes her own forehead. Evidently the virtue been only in a state of coma, and being consciousis there and then communicated, for the face of the in a dim sort of way—all the time of what had been receiver lights up with happiness as she gradually going on, such as his being put in the coffin, and hearing makes way for the pressing crowd behind on their way the mass for the dead read over him, He tried to to do likewise.
move but could not, till the familiar voice once Ah! now the organ begins, and there is to be a more awoke him to the necessity of making a final service. We see the little red-robed boys winding effort to prevent his being buried and had proved along in slow procession up the nave, swinging their successful. "Gentlemen," said the Cardinal, looking incense-burners before them and chanting in monotone, round on the listening assembly, "I was the youth followed by the shaven priests, and finally the noble who went through such a strange experience and was figure of the old Cardinal Donné, whose footsteps are saved by my friend." wonderfully firm considering his great age and that he We can imagine the effect of this recital, and it is has gone through so many ups and downs. As he sufficient to add that the law of final inspection passed ascends the steps of the altar, a story of him recurs immediately to me which I may as well mention here.
While service is going on we pass down to the In France there is a law that before a body is nave, which seems to have been built at various times, finally nailed down in its coffin it shall be examined as there are some of the pillars Gothic, and some of by a Government medical officer to ascertain whether the round heavy Norman build, looking so stout and death has really seized his victim, or if it has only solid; and high up I see the little passage running made a pretence of doing so. There are more sudden round them in the walls, which always interested me deaths in France than in England, and some illnesses so much as a child, and still brings back to my mind which seem to end in death, but in which the un many stories of hunted priests who took refuge in fortunate patient is really asphyxiated, resulting from
many a secret passage and corner up there, sometimes the blood in the body no longer being brought into getting out on to the roof or inside a buttress, and so proper relation to the atmospheric air by respiration escaping in the night from their pursuers. literally a cessation of pulsation. Restoration of Now we catch hold of an ancient verger who is asphyxiated persons may be attempted with hopes of quietly sweeping the dust along the stone floor in the success long after apparent death. Cardinal Donné
north aisle and eagerly ask him for information. He was partly the means of bringing the law to pass that is delighted to find a stranger, and laying down his every one should be examined after death, for hearing, broom, conducts us into the Pyx Chapel, and pulling one day, that such a law was under discussion, he out stiff drawers from old carved cabinets, shows us hastened to the room where the committee were dis the magnificent robes of the Cardinal which he wears cussing the matter, and begging leave to say a few on high days and holidays, and which we silently words, told of a young gentleman he had known think must be a terrible burden to carry on a hot day. many years ago who had a dangerous illness, and
Then we see the jewelled gold chalice and finally the after being watched and nursed by faithful friends, treasures a bit of the true cross-a bone of St. Peter, apparently died. No body is allowed to remain un
and so on.
There is a great deal more to say about this fine old church, but limited space prevents me going further just now. In some future article I will tell yon the date of its foundation and the name of the founder.
TWO SERMONS A-WEEK TOO MUCH FOR PAROCHIAL CLERGY.
Under this heading we may give the very sensible remarks in the paper on the fact that two sermons a-week are a severe tax upon a large proportion of the parochial clergy. “Many of them are men closely engaged in the work of their parishes, with little help, and, as is necessarily the case in any large body of men, with only an average power of literary composition. And, be it remembered, that it needs more than an average power, mental and literary, to kindle enthusiasm or even interest in a story which, however marvellous in its purposes and details, is yet an old one in the ears of the hearers, and to create out of materials, which, by constant repetition, almost seem exhausted, inducements powerful enough to alter or affect the moral course of a man's life. Yet every parish clergy man is expected by the majority of us to do this twice at least in every week, and whilst setting before us the highest truths of religion, to do it with the eloquence of a Jeremy Taylor or a Barrow.
SERMONS MUST BE UP TO DATE.
An Earl upon Preaching. There is in many respects a most admirable paper in the September number of The National Review (London: W. H. Allen & Co., 13 Waterloo Place, S.W.), by Lord Carnarvon, on a subject which should be of great interest to every reader of Sunday Talk. Lord Carnarvon speaks of the Art of Preaching, from a layman's point of view, and gives a great deal of sensible advice, which it would well become the clergy to consider. What a sermon should be like in its matter and manner has been in all ages an interesting subject to the laity as well as to the clergy. Lord Carnarvon reminds us that “one of the greatest masters of the English pulpit has said, with a certain touch of irony, that a sermon 'inevitably puts us upon an act of Religion ; if good, it invites us to a profitable hearing ; if otherwise, it inflicts a short penance and gives an opportunity to the virtue of patience.")
Although he does not enter into the history of preaching, the Earlmakes good two points, which afterwards lead him to certain conclusions of interest. The first of these points, which the history, and especially the earlier history of the Church, will justify, is—that preaching was not the necessary function of the parochial clergy. The ordinary parish priest was restrained from preaching without the Bishop's license. His ignorance and disaffection were the causes of this during the reign of Elizabeth and her successor, and in course of time there was a return to the older and better practice, “but even now," says Lord Carnarvon, “the law itself, if viewed in its mere letter, and unqualified by every-day practice, contemplates, I apprehend, the existence of an incumbent with a cure of souls, but without the power of preaching." The second point is that preaching was not in the earlier ages confined to the clergy, and up to the 10th century the monks who did some of Rome's most eloquent and effective preaching were not in Orders. From these facts it may not be unnaturally concluded that in those days there might be a class of the clergy whose duties were solely confined to parochial work, and that others than those in Orders might sometimes, if they had the gift, exercise the art of preaching.
“A sermon to be really attractive must, to a certain extent at least, take the colour of contemporary thoughts and events ; it may even reflect the literature the social and the fashionable instincts of the day. “There is a taste," says Bishop Horne, “in religious as well as other compositions, which varies in different ages, and may lawfully and innocently be indulged. Thousands received instruction and consolation from sermons formerly, which would not now be endured. The preachers of them served their generation, and are blessed for evermore. But because provision was made for the events of the last century in one way, there is no reason why it should not be made for the events of this in another. If the preacheris to affect and guide, the whole moral conduct of his hearers in their relation to each other, or the State, no topic, however high or low, need be excluded; and provided only that religion does not perish in the free handling of such subjects, none can condemn the liberty claimed.”
ELOCUTION AND GOOD READING NECESSARY. “The absence of this gift robs a good sermon of more than half its value, and the presence of it doubles the merit of an ordinary composition. The occasional change of key, the skilful inflexion of the voice, the varied intonations are quite as necessary to the preacher as they are grateful to the audience; and if this simple practice were more studied, it is possible that there could be fewer cases of the disorder which is known by the vulgar name of a clergyman's sore throat.' He who is master of this art need not fear a comparison with the best of extemporary preachers. Archbishop Sharpe is said to have owed much of his reputation to his eloquence; Bishop Burnet was constant in impressing this instruction on the younger clergy who came to him for ordination. Dr. South read these sermons, whose art and masculine English delight us now as they delighted the courtiers of Charles II. two hundred years ago. Who does not remember the anecdote of the great preacher's failure, when called upon to preach extemporarily before the king, and the sudden rush from the pulpit with the exclamation of “God have mercy upon our infirmities."
Epitapb of Thomas Tallis Tallis heads the list of English church composers of eminence, as well by reason of priority of age as for the services he rendered to his art. The date of his birth is not exactly known. He is said to have been born early in the reign of Henry VIII. He died in November, 1585, and was buried in the old parish church at Greenwich.
Enterred here doth ly a worthy wyght,
Who for long tyme in musick bore the bell; His name to shew was Thomas Tallis hyght,
In honest vertuous lyff he dyd excell. He served long tyme in chappell with great prayse,
Fower sovereygnes reignes (a thing not often seene), I mean King Henry and Prince Edward's dayes,
Quene Marie, and Elizabeth our Quene.
GOOD ADVICE ABOUT SERMONS,
He maryed was, though children he had none,
And lyv'd in love full three and thirty yeres With loyal spowse, whos name yclept was Ione
Who here entomb'd, him company now bears. As he dyd lyve, so also dyd he dy,
In myld and quyet sort, O happy man, To God ful oft for mercy dyd he cry,
Wherefore he lyves, let Deth do what he can.
Sermons, of course, may appeal to the reason or the heart, and both kinds are, in certain circumstances, necessary. But for one of the former there ought to be a hundred of the latter class; and if in an appeal to the human heart the preacher fails to convince his hearers that he is in earnest, his words not only are in vain, but they are when affecting a sacred subject probably hurtful. I go,' said Sheridan, 'a mere man of the world,' 'to hear Rowland Hill preach, because his ideas come redhot from the heart.' Nor can a better illustration of this necessity be found than in the sermons of the three greatest divines connected with the Oxford Revival of the last generation–Newman, Pusey, Keble. Whilst each of these remarkable men could on occasions preach with logical severity or metaphysical subtilty, the form which their sermons most often took was one of the simplest piety and most intense earnestness. Bishop Wilberforce has left on record the same advice in his own forcible language, “Speak straight to your congregation, as you would beg your life, or counsel your son, or call your friend from a burning house."
We have said enough of the Earl of Carnarvon's article on the Art of Preaching to show not only its great interest, but also its sagacity, its breadth of view, and its high tone. For some of its conclusions, and more of its ripe wisdom, we must commend our readers to the article itself.
WILLIAM BRIDE, one of the pupils of Tallis, thus briefly
and quaintly sets down Some Reasons to persuade every one to Learn to Sing.
1.- It is a knowledge easily taught, and quickly learned, where there is a good master and an apt scoller.
2.—The exercise of singing is delightful to nature and good to preserve the health of man.
3.-It doth strengthen all parts of the breast, and doth open the pipes.
4.- It is a singular good remedie for a stutting and stammering in the speech.
5.-It is the best means to procure a perfect pronuuciation, and to make a good orator.
6.- It is the only way to know where nature has bestowed a good voyce ; which gift is so rare as there is not one among a thousand that hath it; and in many that excellent gift is lost, because they want art to express nature.
7.—There is not any musicke of instruments whatsoever comparable to that which is made of the voyces of men ; where the voyces are good, aad the same well sorted and ordered.
8.-The better the voyce is, the meeter it is to honour and serve God therewith ; and the voyce of man is chiefly to be employed to that ende.
Omnis spiritus laudet Dominum. “Since singing is so good a thing,
I wish alĩ men would learn to sing." From English Composers, in “Great Musician" Series.-Sampson Low, Marston, Searle, & Rivington, Crown Buildings, 188 Fleet Street, London.
Books are the food of youth, the delight of old age, the ornament of prosperity, the refuge and comfort of adversity, a delight at home and no hindrance abroad, companions by night when travelling in the country.-Cicero.
Rooks are a guide in youth and an entertainment for age. They support us under solitude and keep us from becoming a burden to ourselves. They help us to forget the crossness of men and things, compose our cares and our passions, and lay our disappointments asleep. When we are weary of the living we may repair to the dead, who have nothing of peevishness or design in their conversation. It is chiefly through books that we enjoy intercourse with superior minds, " and these in. valuable communications are within the reach of all."
Madame de Genlis.
Sundays with the Poets.
By THOMAS BAYNE,
No. 1.-HENRY VAUGHAN. M R. LEWIS MORRIS opens the second series of his
thoughtful and exquisite Songs of Two Worlds with a quaintly turned, melodious, and very touching lyric addressed “To an Unknown Poet.” This poet is Henry Vaughan, who began his poetical career in the time of the Commonwealth, and continued it, while practising as a country doctor in his native district by the river Usk, till his death in 1695. Vaughan is known as the Silurist, in reference to the place of his nativity and residence in South Wales, and Mr. Morris in the poem already mentioned, thus alludes to the poet's career and the unworthy neglect of his thoughtful and suggestive poems
A humble healer thro' a life obscure,
Thou didst expend thy lonely days;
Are thy unheeded lays. The address of the modern poet to his remote predecessor is, in form and sentiment, similar to a pathetic and beautiful monody of Vaughan's on "Departed Friends," in which some of the lines have a terseness and epigrammatic ease that make them possessions of unfading interest. Vaughan's religious poetry is all marked by singular insight, energetic grasp of intellect, a quaint freshness of illustration, and an utterance betokening confident but chastened wisdom. It is evident that he never expresses himself without a reason, while he is condensed and precise in all that he says. Indeed, it is likely that he would have been better known had his apt illustrations been more fully elaborated than they are, and had he allowed his fancy more play about the rich material of his thought. There is enough of weighty bullion in one of his lyrics to furnish a poet, capable of picturesque effects, with a groundwork for at least six poems of equal length. One thinks, in reading him, of the miniature massiveness and compact strength of Bacon in the Essays and of John Selden. An illustration of this might be given from “The Retreat," which occurs in the collection entitled Silex Scintillans, and which contains a passage likely enough to have suggested one of the most striking bits of imagery in Wordsworth's "Ode on the Intimations of Immortality," At present, however, the following entitled "Son-dayes,”
Heaven once a week;
A day to seek
We climb above all ages; lamps that light
And full redemption of the whole week's flight :
The narrow way ;.
The cool o' the day;
Heaven here ; man on those hills of myrrh, of flowers ;
A gleam of glory after six days' showers;
And home of rest;
That guides through erring hours, and in full story;
Of a full feast, and the out-courts of glory. This may be known to some readers in Barton's modernised form of it, with the title “Sabbath Days," and if so, a comparison of the two will fully show the force of what has been said as to Vaughan's suggestiveness, while distinguishing, at the same time, and strongly emphasizing the strenuous energy and the true poetic quality of the older poet. Finally, the Songs of Two Worlds exhibit the independent singer, with full and genuine note distinctly heard among his fellows, able to recognise a model and to adapt it to the needs of his own time.
Ecclesiastical Calendar for October.
SUNDAY, Yth—20th Sunday after Trinity.
The Epistle to the Ephesians, v. 15-21.
The Gospel of St. Matthew, xxii. 1-14.
The Epistle to the Ephesians, vi. 10-20.
The Gospel of St. John, iv. 46 to the end. THURSDAY, 18th-St. Luke the Evangelist's Day.
The 2nd Epistle of Timothy, iv. 5-15.
The Gospel of St. Luke, x. 1.7.
The Epistle to the Philippians, i. 3-11.
The Gospel of St. Matthew, xviii. 21 to the end.
The Epistle to the Philippians, iii. 17 to the end.
The Children's Column.
SUNDAY. WELL, little friends, what do you think of
Sunday? What sort of a day is it for you? “Oh! it's a dull day and a long day," I hear some of you say; "and we are not allowed to do anything;” “and our toys are taken from us—and we don't like it,” others of you say. “And we have to sit such a long time in church, and we don't understand why we go to church.”
Well, I will tell you some things about Sunday. In the first place you must understand that it is a day of rest. Don't you like to sit down when you are tired, or to go to bed after you have been a long walk and feel very sleepy? There are many men and women who work hard all the week through with very little rest, and they are thankful to have one day of the week when they can lie in bed a little later in the morning, and sit down a great deal during the day, and have time to read a nice book and go out for a walk in the gardens or fields. There is no necessity to work on that one day called Sunday, for all the shops are closed and the factories (places where people make cloth and paper and china) and offices are shut. So it is called a day of rest, and, I dare say, you see yourself how glad your papa is to be at home all that day and not have to rush out early in the morning, only coming in late in the afternoon
church and listening to the minister who tells them about it, and about Christ and all he did for us. People also like to think that such a good man as their minister is sure to be, is praying for them and entreating God to send a blessing down on them and help them in their every-day work, and to guard them from all evil. Isn't it nice to think that all that is being asked for you. Your clergyman will also tell you how to be good, that, so you may be happy on this earth, and go to a beautiful heaven when you die.
You know that Jesus was once a little boy like yourselves, and that He rested on the Sabbath day. He perhaps assisted His father, who was a carpenter, during the week, to cut logs of wood and make tables and chairs, but the seventh day He would put away His tools, and He and His father and mother would have a walk and talk about God, and all the good works Jesus hoped to do when He grew up.
And so you must not make a noise on Sunday, because you would disturb those people who are tired and want to rest. And you will go to church with: your father and mother because it is a sacred house dedicated to God, and where God is talked of and prayed to.
And there you will hear about Jesus also, what a good life He led, how kind He was to poor people and sick people, and how He interceded with God for us, and finally died for us. Though Sunday is a quiet day, it is not a sad day. You can be happy though you are not romping about, and screaming out and making a great noise.
And you can pass the time pleasantly also. You will ask your mamma to read you a good story, to show you some pictures of Jesus and explain them to you, sing a pretty hymn with you, and to take you a walk and talk about the things God has made, such as the dear little birds and the beautiful flowers.
FROM THE "PRINCESS."
And the poor beasts of burden—such as the horses in the tramways and heavy carts—how glad they must be to have a quiet day to rest their weary legs, and how fresh they feel on Monday morning to begin their work again.
Every one puts away his work on Sunday. God told us to do so in one of His Commandments; He told us we were to allow our servants to rest from their work on that day. What a kind thought that was, was it not ? for if men and women worked continually without one quiet moment, they would soon get ill and then they would not be able to do anything.
And then we like one quiet day in which to sit down and read our Bibles, and think of Heaven. There are so many wonderful stories in the Bible, and so much to think about, that you need a quiet hour in which to study it a little.
People who like their Bible also like going to
As thro' the land at eve we went,
And pluck'd the ripen'd ears, We fell out, my wife and I, We fell out, I know not why,
And kiss'd again with tears.
And blessings on the falling out
That all the more endears,
And kiss again with tears.
We lov'd in other years,