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HAVING already written a wholesome little volume of advice to young clergymen, as to the way in which they should spend their week-days, Mr. Gee here supplements the teaching by an exposition of his views on the most important part of the clergyman's Sunday work. Even without agreeing with him on many of the points on which he lays most stress, every one must admire the good faith and excellent spirit in which he writes, and recognize the good sense and healthy temper of his remarks.
There is a restlessness about the present gener ation which makes long detention on any matter to be penitential. Men would open their eyes with wonder if told that when Bishop Burnet preached and had exhausted the hour during which the sands had been running, he, by universal consent, reversed the hour-glass, and enterm! Short of this, men do not now publish tered with a well-pleased auditory on a fresh with their double columns, will find few readers; folio sermons, well aware that such huge tomes therefore they must not preach folio sermons. They must be careful not to put a stumblingblock in the way of the weak. They must find out what the average interest of the congregation will bear. They will not give in to the flippant demands of some whose real wish to get rid of for shortening it to a mere handful of minutes; the sermon altogether is hidden under the plea but, on the other hand, they will not be guided solely by what the ripened faith of some advanced Christian will bear in his love for meditating on these things. Much less will they be guided by the flattery of partial friends who may tell them that they never found their sermons too long or two dull! They will remem ber that preaching even beyond other parts of public worship is to those who are without.' Calls to repentance, appeals to the careless and length by the attention of these very careless the prayerless, must be measured as to their and godless men. How often when listening
Mr. Gee deprecates the statement of "a leading periodical" that "there is a gulf between the clerical mind and the ordinary male mind which is deep and daily deepening," and to do his best towards lessening the risk of such a separation, he shows how he thinks the preaching of the present day may be made as influential as the preaching in former. times of the Apostles, the Friars, to a speech has one longed to stop the speaker the Puritans, and the Wesleyans. To do and get him to sit down directly he has made a this, or anything like this, says Mr. Gee, good point - has impressed or roused his authe modern preacher must in no way follow dience. Instead of that he goes on for twenty the example of the Scotch minister, whose minutes longer, diluting all that he has said, and pride was that he propounded "every Sab- leaving his hearers forgetful of what at first had bath a haill system of divinity." He must touched them. bring fresh thought into each fresh sermon, now and then discussing some special point of theological doctrine, but, as a rule, keeping clear of divinity, and aiming to improve the daily "walk and conversation" of his hearers. Mr. Gee offers numerous suggestions as to the choice and treatment of subjects, the style and temper of sermons, and the like. This is from a section about the length of sermons:
From the Examiner.
Our Sermons. An Attempt to Consider Familiarly but Reverently the Preacher's Work in the Present Day. By Rev. R. Gee, M.A., Oxon, Vicar of Abbots Langley, Herts, and Rural Dean; Author of From Sunday to Sunday.' Longmans.
Therefore, says Mr. Gee, let us have short pithy sermons. In this all laymen will agree with him; but it needs much more than brevity and terseness-much more, we think, than all that Mr. Gee advises — to make preaching once again" a power among
From the Examiner. I tion of the processes of arithmetic was always remarkable; but he was never distinguished Life and Correspondence of Richard Whate- as a mathematician at college." Another ly, D.D., late Archbishop of Dublin. By main occupation of Whately's mind as a E. Jane Whately, Author of English child was what he called "castle-building.'' Synonyms.' In Two Volumes. Long- He was busy in speculation over questions that one might think set apart to mature philosophic theorists, problems of instinct and reason, government, civilization, &c. At nine years old he was sent to the school of a Mr. Philips, near Bristol, and formed a friendship with a schoolfellow that only death interrupted, but he was too meditative for a schoolboy. One of his delights was to stray over a common near the playground, watching the habits of the sheep, and trying to tame them.
After he had been a twelvemonth at this school Whately's father died, and his mother removed to Bath. He was an active, concentrated thinker, and his few favourite authors were those which most powerfully suggested a particular kind of thought. He cared very much for Aristotle, little for Plato. He would to the last revolve his own thoughts in his mind much as he had done in his days of castle-building, and intellectual strength came of this concentrated attention to particular ideas. Mr. Herman Merivale, whom Miss Whately thanks for having revised and prepared her work for the press, frequently, and always happily, interpolates a paragraph or two, such interpolation being indicated by an asterisk. On this point he says:
MISS WHATELY'S Memoir of her father, the late Archbishop of Dublin, modestly introduced, is really all that one could wish. Dr. Whately speaks for himself through a well-arranged sequence of letters, with connecting facts simply narrated, and the vigorous honesty with which his healthy and kindly mind worked becomes unmistakable even by the worst bigot whom his liberality of thought offended.
Richard Whately was born in 1787, the youngest of nine children of Dr. Joseph Whately, of Nonsuch park, Surrey, Prebendary of Bristol, Vicar of Widford, and Lecturer at Gresham College. He was born in Cavendish square, at the house of his mother's brother, Mr. Plumer, then M.P. for Herefordshire. The last of the other eight children was then six years old, and this late comer was not considered to be particularly wanted. He was a bad specimen of a baby too, slight and puny, with no healthy appetite. Tall and vigorous as he grew to be, he said that the sensation of hunger was something new and strange to him when he felt it for the first time as a boy of eleven or twelve. He was a very nervous and shy child, naturally more cared for by his sisters than by his brothers. He learned very early to read and write, read eagerly, which we are now writing, so down to his latest As in the early school and Oxford days, of watched spiders, tamed ducklings, could dis- times, the daily occupation of his brain was to tinguish notes of birds, and had so strong a seize on some notion of what he considered a pracnatural turn for arithmetic that at six years tical order, belonging to any one of the various old he astonished a man past sixty by tell- subjects with which his mind occupied itself; to ing him, and rightly too, how many minutes follow it out to its minutest ramifications, and he was old. The calculation was made men- to bring it home with him, turned from the mere tally. For about the three years between germ into the complete production. And this the years of five or six and eight or nine perpetual "chopping logic with himself" he this passion lasted. The child was calculat- carried on not less copiously when his usually ing morning, noon, and night. Absorbed solitary walks were enlivened by companionin multiplication, division, and the Rule of ship: His talk was rather didactic than controversial; which naturally rendered his company Three, he ran against people in the streets. unpopular with some, while it gave him the But none of the calculation was worked mastery over other spirits of a different mould. upon paper. The passion died out, and at "His real object, or his original objects," writes school vanished so utterly that Whately one of his earliest and blest friends. "was to was, he says of himself, a "perfect dunce at get up clearly and beat this ideas for his own ciphering, and so continued ever since." use. Thus he wrote his oks. Mr. R., lately "But," says his daughter now, "he always dead, who was junior to Vately looked himself as a dunce in that line; he was so overcome by Whately's recurrence, in Oriel, told me that, in one of his walks with him, though the readiness with which he solved conversation, to topics which he had already on curious problems and arithmetical puzzles former occasions insisted on, that he stopped would often surprise and baffle first-class ma- short, and said, 'Why, Whately, you said all thematicians. The clearness of his explana- this to me the other day:' to which Whately
replied to the effect that he would not be the worse for hearing it many times over."
An old and valued friend of his, the late Mr. Hardcastle, requested him to undertake the tuition of a young man of great promise, who had come up to the University with every exquestion in his divinity examination in the pectation of honours, but had failed to answer a
very words of the Catechism. The examiner
The shyness of his childhood, long continued, was overcome at last only by a strong effort, and out of this came an abruptness of manner which, as everybody knows, is of tener based on a shy or sensitive nature than upon an overbearing one. "He could be most touchingly gentle in his manner (says an old friend) to those whom he liked; but I recollect a lady saying she would not for the world be his wife, from the way she had seen him put Mrs. Whately (the object all his life of his strongest affections) into a carriage."
In 1805 Richard Whately entered Oriel College, Oxford, where Dr. Copleston who died a bishop-was a College tutor and afterwards Provost. Under the influence of Dr. Copleston's lectures and conversations Whately's powers expanded. We quote Mr. Merivale again:
The influence which these two men reciprocally exercised on each other was very great, and to a certain extent coloured the subsequent lives of both. Bishop Copleston was more the man of the world of the two. But in him, under a polished and somewhat artificial scholarlike exterior, and an appearance of even overstrained caution, there lurked not only much energy of mind and precision of judgment, but a strong tendency to liberalism in Church and State, and superiority to ordinary fears and prejudices. It was in this direction that he especially trained Whately's character; while he learnt to admire, if too staid to imitate, the uncompromising boldness and thorough freedom from partisanship of the younger man.
Whately who was a good shot and expert angler, would go in the long vacation to some picturesque part of England with select reading parties of his pupils, who talked Latin together to get familiarity with the language.
Whately, was ordained deacon, and preached his first sermon in 1814. In 1815 he went to Oporto with a sister whose health was in peril, thereby willingly risking the loss of a year's college work. After his return to England in the autumn, the next five or six years of his life were spent on the business of College teaching. As a preacher in the University, although his manner was not attractive, he always drew a full attendance.
At the age of twenty-two Whately began that habit of keeping a commonplace book in which he persevered until within a few months of his death. It was begun and persevered in as an aid to the improvement of his mind. Its purpose was set forth by him at the outset in a religious spirit, and on the fly-leaf of the first notebook he wrote, "Let the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer!"
In 1808 Whately took his degree, achiev-nation,' and in 1822 published his Bampton
ing only a double second class in honours. But he was encouraged by winning the prize for the English Essay, which was on the comparative excellence of the Ancients and Moderns. In 1811 he was elected Fellow of Oriel; in 1812 he took his M.A., and remained in residence at Oxford as a private tutor. In this character he estabfished what became a lifelong friendship:
Meanwhile Whately began to use his pen as a contributor to the Encyclopædia Metropolitana.' In 1819 he published the first and most popular of his writings, the little pamphlet entitled Historic Doubts relative to Napoleon Bonaparte.' In 1821 he edited Archbishop Wake's Treatises on Predesti
Lectures On the Use and Abuse of Party Feeling in Matters of Religion,' committing himself strongly to his life-long battle against the evil of religious party spirit. In the same year he removed to Halesworth, in Suffolk, his uncle, Mr. Plumer, having had the presentation of the living. He had been married in the preceding year to a young lady whose acquaintance he had made at
Cheltenham. The damp climate of Hales- of our clergymen take trouble to acquire,
Alban Hall had become "a kind of Botany Bay to the University - a place to which students were sent who were too idle and dissipated to be received elsewhere." This he reformed. In 1826, the year after his appointment to Alban Hall, Whately's Logic' appeared as a distinct volume, formed of articles which had been written for the Encyclopædia Metropolitana.' Two years afterwards followed the Rhetoric,' also originally written for the Encyclopæ
Among the friendships formed by Whately in the Oriel Common Room was one with Dr. Arnold, which continued to be close and familiar till Arnold's death. Mr. Keble visited Whately at Halesworth, and there read to him the MS. of the Christian Year.' Dr. Newman writes in his Apologia' of Whately:
Being absolutely compelled, by the unwise solicitations of a clerical friend, to give his opinion as to that friend's performance of the service, he told him-"Well, then, if you really wish to know what I think of your reading, I should say there are only two parts of the service you read well, and those you read un"And exceptionably." what are those? said the clergyman. They are, Here endeth the first lesson,' and 'Here endeth the second lesson.'"
Whately's influence was always on the side of that honest naturalness which is at the bottom of all good work as of all good Take an example in a small way, though, considering how many thousands of people suffer every Sunday from the ridicufously artificial pulpit voice which so many
While I was still awkward and timid, in
"What do you mean, Whately?"
I mean," he replied, "that these parts you read in your own natural voice and manner, which are very good: the rest is all artificial took the hint, altered his style, and became a and assumed.' It may be added that his friend very good reader.
He often related another incident, illustrating his strongly expressed opinion (see his 'Rhetoric') that the natural voice and manner are the best adapted to public speaking and reading, and also less trying to the voice than the artificial tone so generally preferred. A clerical friend of his, who had been accustomed to make use of this artificial tone, complained to him the throat, he feared he must resign his post. that he was suffering so much from weakness of Dr. Whately told him that he believed, if he would change his style of reading, and deliver the service in his natural voice, he would find it much less fatiguing. Oh," said his friend, "that is all very well for you, who have a powerful voice; but mine is so feeble that it would be impossible to make myself heard in a church if I did not speak in an artificial tone.”
"I believe you are mistaken," replied the former; "you would find that even a weak voice would be better heard, and at the expense of less fatigue, if the tone were a natural one."
The other appeared unconvinced; but meeting his adviser some time after, he told him he had at last come round to his view. The weakness in his throat had so increased that he was on the point of retiring from active duty, but resolved, as a desperate final effort, to try the experiment of altering his manner of reading and speaking. He did so, and not only succeeded beyond his hopes in making himself heard, but found his voice so much less fatigued by the effort, that he was able to continue his employment.
He had the same wise faith in free growth as a principle of education. Thus he writes of a daughter at the close of a letter to his old tutor and friend, Dr. Copleston, newly appointed Bishop of Llandaff, and we add to the extract from the letter Miss Whately's own further illustration of it:
Your goddaughter threatens to outgrow her strength; she requires constant care to support
forward in understanding, but not alarmingly 80. My plans of education fully answer my expectations: she has never yet learned anything as a task, and that, considering she has learned more than most, will make tasks far lighter when they do come; and she has never yet learned anything by rote, and I trust never will, till she turns Papist.
They say a letter should be a picture of the writer; if so, this ought to have been on yellow paper.
her under such a prodigious shoot. She is very Lord Grey's letter, Dr. Hinds writes: "A vis tor arrived who was a stranger to him, and was asked out to see the feats of his climbing dog. The animal performed as usual, and when he had reached his highest point of ascent, and was beginning his yell of wailing, Whately turned to the stranger and said, 'What do you think of that?' Visitor: I think that some besides the dog, when they find themselves at the top of the tree, would give the world they could get down again.' Whately: Arnold has told you.' Visitor: Has told me what?' Whately: That I have been offered the Archbishopric of Dublin.' Visitor: I am very happy to hear it, but this, I assure you, is the first intimation I have had of it, and when my remark was made I had not the remotest idea that the thing was likely to take place.'
The allusion to his children's education is very characteristic. He greatly objected to teaching children to learn by rote what they did not understand. He used to say, that to teach thus mechanically, in the hope that the children would afterwards find out the meaning of what they had learned, was to make them "swallow their food first, and chew it afterwards."
The words of his old friend the Bishop of Llandaff will further illustrate the spirit in which he entered on his new office. "Dr. Whately," writes the Bishop, "accepted the arduous sta tion proposed to him, purely, I believe, from public spirit and a sense of duty. Wealth, honour, and power, and title have no charms for him. He has great energy and intrepidity - a hardihood which sustains him against obloquy, when he knows he is discharging a duty, and he is generous and disinterested almost to a fault. His enlarged views, his sincerity, and his freedom from prejudice, are more than a compensation for his want of conciliating manners. When his character is understood, he will, I think, acquire more influence with the Irish than he would with the English."
A similar tribute was given to his character by his friend Dr. Arnold, some time later:
'Now, I am sure that, in point of real essential holiness, as far as man can judge, there does not live a truer Christian than Whately; and it does grieve me most deeply to hear peo rian character, because in him the intellectual ple speak of him as a dangerous and latitudinapart of his nature keeps pace with the spiritual."
"When Mrs. Whately and I first married," he observed, many years later, "one of the first things we agreed upon was, that should Provi dence send us children, we would never teach them anything that they did not understand." "Not even their prayers, my Lord?" asked the person addressed. "No, not even their prayers," he replied. To the custom of teaching children of tender age to repeat prayers by rote, without attending to their sense, he objected even more strongly than to any other kind of me chanical teaching; as he considered it inculcated the idea, that a person is praying when merely repeating a form of words in which the mind and feelings have no part, which is destructive of the very essence of devotion.
In 1829 Dr. Whately was elected Professor of Political Economy at Oxford in succession to his own old pupil and friend Nassau Senior, and published in 1831 an introductory course of lectures. It was in 1829 that the Roman Catholic Emancipation Bill passed, and Sir Robert Peel was rejected as the representative of Oxford, Whately being one of the very few heads of houses who gave him his vote. It was in 1831 that, partly in the belief that his tolerant spirit would introduce a conciliating element into the Irish Church, Dr. Whately was appointed by Lord Grey to the then vacant Archbishopric of Dublin. No family or personal interest led to this appointment. Lord Grey had never seen or spoken to Whately, nor was there any party that looked upon Whately's promotion as its own advantage. His independence of character made him, indeed, in the eyes of party men unsafe:
On the morning in which he had received
And again: "In Church matters they (the Government) have got Whately, and a signal blessing it is that they have him and listen to him; a man so good and so great that no folly or wickedness of 'the most vile of factions will move him from his own purposes, or provoke him in disgust to forsake the defence of the Temple."
The career of Whately as Archbishop is fresh in men's minds, and we will not fol low beyond this point his daughter's Memoir, though it will be found peculiarly rich in material for the right study and ap preciation of his character and of the movement of his thoughts.