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first, acknowledgment of the mystery of divine life, kindly and dreadful, throughout creation ;' then the taking up your own part as the Lord of this life; to protect, assist, or extinguish, as it is commanded you. Understand that a mad dog is to be slain; though with pity-infinitude of pity,—(and much more, a mad man, of an injurious kind ; for a mad dog only bites flesh; but a mad man, spirit: get your rogue, the supremely maddest of men, with supreme pity always, but inexorably, hanged?). But to all good and sane men and beasts, be true brother; and as it is best, perhaps, to begin with all things in the lowest place, begin with true brotherhood to the beast: in pure simplicity of practical help, I should like a squad of you to stand always harnessed, at the bottom of any hills you know of in Sheffield,—where the horses strain ;-ready there at given hours ; carts ordered not to pass at any others : at the low level, hook yourselves on before the horses ; pull them up too, if need be; and dismiss them at the top with a pat and a mouthful of hay. Here's a beginning of chivalry, and gentlemanly life for you, my masters.
17. Then next, take canal life as a form of “university” education.
Your present system of education is to get a rascal of an architect to order a rascal of a clerk-of-the-works to order a parcel of rascally bricklayers to build you a bestially stupid building in the middle of the town, poisoned with gas, and with an iron floor which will drop you all through it some frosty evening; wherein you will bring a puppet of a Cockney lecturer in a dress coat and a white tie, to tell you smugly there's no God, and how many messes he can make of a lump of sugar. Much the better you are for all that, when you get home again, aren't you?
I was going here to follow up what our Companion had told us (Fors, December, 1876, Art. v. of Corr.”)
1 (On this subject, compare Ruskin's interpretation of an inscription on the mosaics of St. Mark's' (Vol. XXIV. pp. 302-303).]
: (For Ruskin's view of capital punishment, see Vol. XXVII. p. 667 n.) • Letter 72: Vol. XXVIII. p. 770.]
about the Hull “ keels”; and to show you how an entirely refined life was conceivable in these water cottages, with gardens all along the shore of them, and every possible form of wholesome exercise and teaching for the children, in management of boat and horse,' and other helpfulness by land and water ; but as I was beginning again to walk in happy thought beside the courses of quiet water that wind round the low hill-sides above our English fields,-behold, the Lincoln Gazette, triumphant in report of Art-exhibitions and competitions, is put into my hand,—with this notable paragraph in it, which Fors points me to, scornful
of all else:
"A steam-engine was used for the first time on Wednesday” (January 24th), “ in drawing tram-cars through the crowded streets of Sheffield. The tramways there are about to dispense with the whole of their horses, and to adopt steam as the motive power."
And doubtless the Queen will soon have a tramway to Parliament, and a kettle to carry her there, and steamhorse guards to escort her. Meantime, my pet cousin's three little children have just had a Christmas present made to them of a real live Donkey; and are happier, I fancy, than either the Queen or you.
I must write to congratulate them; so good-bye for this time, and pleasant
drives to you.
NOTES AND CORRESPONDENCE
18. (I.) Affairs of the Company.
I hope the accounts last month, with their present supplement, will be satisfactory. The sense of steady gain, little by little indeed, but infallible, will become pleasant, and even triumphant, as time goes on.
The present accounts supply some omissions in the general ones, but henceforward I think we need not give Mr. Walker or Mr. Rydings the trouble of sending in other than half-yearly accounts.
The best news for this month is the accession of three nice Companions; one sending us two hundred pounds for a first tithe ; and the others, earnest and experienced mistresses of schools, having long worked under St. George's orders in their hearts, are now happy in acknowledging him and being acknowledged. Many a young creature will have her life made happy and noble by their ministry.
THE UNION BANK OF LONDON (CHANCERY LANE BRANCH), in Account
WITH ST. GEORGE'S COMPANY.
£ 1877. Jan. 1. To Balance
£50 0 0
26 11 3
20 0 0
96 11 3 25. Per ditto, draft at Brighton (Moss)
200 0 0 26. Per Mrs. Bradley
7 0 0 29. , Per Mr. John Ruskin (Mr. Rydings' cheque)
33 13 4 Feb. 15. Per ditto, draft at Bridgwater (Browne)
100 0 0
£628 13 8
Cr. 1877. Feb. 15. By Balance
£628 13 8
19. (II.) Affairs of the Master.
I believe I have enough exhibited my simplicities to the public,—the more that, for my own part, I rather enjoy talking about myself, even in my follies. But my expenses here in Venice require more illustration than
I have time for, or think Fors should give space to; the Companions will be content in knowing that my banker's balance, February 5, was £1030, 14s. 7d. ; but that includes £118, 10s., dividend on St. George's Consols, now paid by the trustees to my account for current expenses. The complete exposition of my present standing in the world I reserve for the Month of Opening."
“EDINBURGH, November 2, 1876. "I have been for some time a pupil of yours, at first in art, where I am only a beginner, but later in those things which belong to my profession (of minister). Will you allow this to be my excuse for addressing you ?--the subject of my letter will excuse the rest.
"I write to direct your attention to an evil which is as yet unattacked, in hopes that you may be moved to lift your hand against it; one that is gaining virulence among us in Scotland. I know no way so good by which its destruction may be compassed as to ask your help, and I know no other way.
“I shall state the mere facts as barely as I can, being sure that whatever my feelings about them may be, they will affect you more powerfully.”. (Alas, good friend-you have no notion yet what a stony heart I've got !] . " I know you say that letters need not ask you to do anything; but that you should be asked for help in this case, and not give it, I believe to be impossible. Please read this letter, and see if that is not true; the next four pages may be missed, if the recent regulations made to carry out the Anti-Patronage Act have engaged your attention. The evil I speak of has to do with them.3
"This Act made the congregation the electors of their pastor, the Government leaving the General Assembly to regulate the process of election. It has enacted that the congregation meet and choose a committee to make inquiries, to select and submit to a second meeting of voters the names of one or more clergymen, whom they (the committee) are agreed to recommend. It is then in the power of the congregation to approve or disapprove the report; if the latter, a new committee is appointed; if the former, they proceed to elect; then if one name only is submitted, they accept it, and call the clergyman named to be their pastor; if more than one, to choose between them by voting.
“But the Assembly did not venture to take precautions against an abuse of which every one knew there was danger, or rather certainty. Every one knew that
congregations would not consent to choose without greater knowledge of the men to be chosen from, than could be obtained by means of the committee; and every one knew also of what sort was the morality popular on the subject. And what has happened is this: between the first meeting (to elect a committee), and the second meeting (to elect a minister), the church is turned into a theatre for the display and enjoyment of the powers-physical, mental, and devotional--of the several candidates.
"On a vacancy being declared, and the committee appointed, these latter find
?. [See Letter 76, SS 17 seq. (below, pp. 99 seq.); and for April as the month of opening, Letter 4, $ 1 (Vol. XXVII. p. 60).]
[In this edition Ruskin's remarks are enclosed in square brackets, in order to distinguish them from his correspondent's bracketed words.]
[The subject here discussed had been brought before the House of Lords on April 7, 1876, when a motion was carried ordering "Copy of Regulations framed and enacted by the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland to be observed in the election and appointment of Ministers under the powers conferred by the Patronage Abolition Act.”]
that they do not need to exert themselves to seek fit men!” [Italics and note of admiration mine ;-this appearing to me a most wonderful discovery on the part of the committee, and indeed the taproot of the mischief in the whole business.] “ They are inundated with letters of application and testimonials from men who are seeking, not the appointment, but permission to preach before the congregation,
“The duties of the committee are practically confined to sifting [with what aperture of sieve ?] “these applications, and selecting a certain number, from twelve to three, who are on successive Sundays to conduct public worship before the electors, who may thus compare and choose.
“When all the leet' (as it is called) have exhibited themselves, a second meeting is called, and the committee recommend two or three of those who are understood to be most popular,' and the vote is duly taken. At first it was only unordained licentiates who were asked to preach on the leet' (as they call it), and they only for parishes; but nowadays-i.e., this year—they ask and get men long ordained to do it; men long ordained lay themselves out for it; and for most assistantships (curacies) the same is required and given ; that is to say, that before a man can obtain leave to work he must shame himself, and everything which it is to be the labour of his life to sanctify. He is to be the minister of Christ, and begin that by being the devil's. I suppose his desire is to win the world for Christ : as he takes his first step forward to do so, there meets him the old Satan with the old offer there is small question here of whether he appears visible or not), 'Some of this will I give thee, if thou wilt bow down and worship me.' You see how it is. He is to conduct a service which is a sham; he is to pray, but not to Him he addresses ; to preach, but as a candidate, not as an ambassador for Christ. The prayer is a performance, his preaching a performance. It is just the devil laughing at Christ, and trying to make us join him in the mockery.” [No, dear friend, not quite that. It is the Devil acting Christ; a very different matter. The religious state which the Devil must attack by pretending religious zeal, is a very different one from that which he can attack—as our modern political economists, — by open scorn
“They are not consistent. There should be a mock baptism, a mock communion, a mock sick woman, to allow of more mock prayer and more mock comfort. Then they would see what the man could do-for a pastor's work is not confined to the usual Sunday service,-and could mark all the gestures and voice-modulations, and movements of legs and arms properly. I once was present as elector at one of these election-services, and can give my judgment of this people's privilege.' It simply made me writhe to see the man trying his best with face, figure, and voice to make an impression ; to listen to the competition sermou and the competition prayer; to look at him and think of George Eliot's 'Sold, but not paid for.' The poor people,—will twenty years of faithful ministry afterwards so much as undo the evil done them in the one day? They are forced to assemble in God's house for the purpose of making that house a theatre, and divine service a play, with themselves as actors. They are to listen to the sermon, but as critics : for them to join in the prayers they stand up or kneel to offer, would be unfaithfulness to the purpose of their gathering. They are then to listen and criticiseto enjoy, if they can. On future Sundays will not they find themselves doing the same?
“I have not spoken to many about it, but what they say is this: 1. How else can the people know whom to choose? [But that is not the question.) 2. The clergyman is doing so great a thing that he should forget himself in what he does -id est, he is to throw himself down (having gone to the temple to do it), and trust to the angels. Supposing that were right, it could make little difference: the actor may forget himself in Macbeth, but he is not the less an actor; and it is not a case of forgetting or remembering, but of doing. Yet this has been urged to me by a leading ecclesiastic and by other good men ; who, besides, ignored the two
[See Vol. XXVI. p. 345, and the references there given.]