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to be deficient in acquaintance with that variety and freshness of aspect with which, in numberless volumes, it is constantly soliciting the attention of inquiring readers. The breadth of our modern culture, therefore, and even the very shallowness of it, with its half-knowledge and semi-scientific ambitions, has a tendency to diminish the old authority of the pulpit, and leave it, in many cases, out of sympathy with the wants and requirements of the age. Nor would the remedy for this in any degree be found in the mere communication of further portions of scientific or other knowledge to the clergy. This would only add affectation to incompetency, and turn the Church probably into a second-rate lecture-room. It is not in any mere extension of the existing culture of the clergy that we are to look for a better adaptation on their part to the intellectual interests of the time. It is primarily and principally on the awakening, by whatever means, of a higher and, above all, a more fresh and expanding intellectual life among them.

From the character of their profession, the traditional and often purely scholastic bent of their education, and the ordinary influences which surround them, the clergy have been immemorially prone to stagnate—to stand still—while the under-current of mental inquiry is running swiftly by them. And the evil effects of this stagnative temper were never more conspicuous in the pulpit than at present. It is not merely that such a temper has a natural tendency to be dull, to do its weekly work with a listless formality, and consider it well done; but the stereotyped impressions which it is continually reproducing are apt to become positively strongly repulsive and wearying to many. Every sermon is found to be moulded after the same pattern, turns on the same doctrinal and practical commonplaces—is laid down often in the very same divisions and proportions of argument and exhortation. There is not only no eccentricity, but there is no life or movement to stir the hearer, or make him feel heartily that he is in the presence of a fellow creature speaking to him of what most seriously concerns both alike, of “the things which belong to our peace.” How often has one listened to such sermons, carefully elaborated both in thought and style, running out on the old dogmatic lines with the most approved smoothness-expounding with becoming fitness, and even wonted force of language, doctrines of unquestionable soundness and duties of unquestionable importance ; and felt all the time, while, it may be, admiring the skilful and elegant structure of the sermon, how hard it was to attend to it-how little it caught any living root of interest within, seeking towards the light or the warmth ! how little impression it made even while it pleased—and how utterly the impression was effaced when the sermon was ended! The fact is, that such sermons belie their name. They are essays, or short lectures, or homilies; but they are not sermons—the living, earnest speech of one man to his fellow men. Slowly arranged-composed, piece by piece, under the influences of a fastidious or merely formal taste—they are made to be read, and not to be spoken. Their. neat trains of argument—their well-balanced periods—their quiet flow of didactic sentiment and customary turns of serious expression—are well fitted to edify, and even please, in an hour of meditative leisure at home; but in the pulpit they want wholly the charm of a living personal communication. The speaker does not, or cannot, project himself into them. They are not his living speech, then and there, to the living audience around him; they are only, as it were, the echo of a speech that once lived. Powerful words they ought to be, and may be, in themselves; but they are repeated, not spoken. They recall old tones of truth that one has been hearing all his days, and greatly respects ; but they do not excite a present interest. They do not, and cannot do so, in the hearer, because they do not seem to do so in the preacher.

Any preaching, however much it may offend against taste or the ordinary properties of manner, is better than preaching of this sort; for it is plain beyond any doubt that sermons, however excellent in a merely formal respect—which are destitute of any real elements of interest—which do not reach, or impress, or, in a word, hit the audience at some point-can be of no practical use. It may suit the instincts of professional decorum to speak well of such sermons, and they may have some uses ; but they are not certainly of the kind desiderated. They may touch with a gentle movement the tepid spiritual life of the comfortable and well-todo, with whom such languid attention as they demand stands in place of religion ; but, powerless to awaken the conscience and stir the common heart, they are wholly without influence as a general means of moral education.

Let it not be supposed that we advocate conclusively a kind of preaching whose constant aim is to arouse and alarm. On the contrary, we have, perhaps, less faith in such preaching than facts would seem to warrant. It may be, and doubtless often is, an instrument of great religious awakening; and religious results of an incontrovertible character are found to follow it. But in the very nature of the case, this manner of preaching can never be a general means of moral elevation and acceptance. From its very character it is addressed mainly to one state of mind-to one phase of spiritual condition ; it is always touching the same chords -ringing on the same phrases—and, under this incessant iteration,

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sometimes breaking and enervating, as much as quickening and strengthening, the religious life in its true springs. Not only so, but for the most part this preaching manifests a tendency to pass into one, and that a very narrow, type of dogmatic expression; which, however truly it may mirror the spiritual facts in many cases, does not certainly mirror them in all; while in common handling it is apt to become mere coarseness and exaggeration of language, strongly repulsive to many minds. It is needless to say that we are not to take into account this repulsive antagonism of certain minds to such a style of preaching ; that this opposition is the very essence of the Gospel,—it is the offence it bears to those who are too proud to receive it. There is truth in this, and yet it is not true in the present case. The offence of the Cross has not indeed ceased, and we must never try to mitigate this offence by hiding the Cross. We must not "prophesy smooth things ” when we ought to speak sternly and strongly. But we are also to be “all things to all men, so that we may win some;" and especially we are not, by our weak exaggerations and vain repetitions, to create offence against the truth, when there may be a dawning love for it. And it is undeniable that there are those with genuine religious sympathies, who never realize the extremes of experience so familiarly spoken of by some preachers; nay, there are those who less and less appreciate these extremes as they grow in spiritual insight. They can understand and realize the depths of abhorred contrition and the heights of redemptive blessedness, spoken of by St. Paul ; but they do not feel, and no teaching can bring them to feel, that these are truly represented in the dogmatic crudities of certain popular theologians. Whatever may be the occasional effects, therefore, of this kind of preaching, and particularly over those whose religious susceptibilities, naturally coarse, have been long hardened and dead, it is far from being the highest kind of preaching, or that which is likely to prove most generally useful. It may prove awakening, but it is not educative; while in its very character it is limited in its range and influence. To suppose that, because some men, by strength of language, confidence of tone, and especially by unrelieved representations of human depravity, draw thousands to listen to them, that others have only to follow their example, and speak with the same loudness and authority, in order to insure the same success, and do something of the same probable good, is quite unwarranted both by principle and fact. The minds which such men, after all, alone move, aro minds cast in the same rough mould as their own minds ; perhaps not deficient in power, but with feeble instincts both of tasto and philosophy, and destitute for the most part of those higher spiritual sensibilities which, while they expose their possessor to the subtle entanglements of doubt, yet also carry him into the highest region of Christian earnestness, and are capable of the noblest development of self-sacrifice. To such minds, preaching of this order is apt to seem, at the best, only so much loud and disgusting earnestness; never coming near to their own life, nor deepening the real love of the truth in them.

It is not, therefore, any special style of forcible preaching, and least of all the style which with many alone represents force and effect, that we are advocating. It is not mere " loudness," either of voice or manner, that is needed; but the old spirit of life, the hearty human feeling, the broad and manly earnestness, the fire of Divine conviction, which, from the time of Latimer downwards, has distinguished the best specimens of English teaching.

The higher Source of this spirit of life we need not speak of. It can only come from Him who is the Father of light and life, from whom cometh every good and perfect gift ; unless this is recognized, it is the most obvious commonplace to remark, that no inferior means of diligence or culture can ever confer it. It is nevertheless only through such means, through certain processes of education and discipline, that in ordinary cases it is ever obtained. And the very first of these would seem to be an awakened cultivation of all the common sympathies and affections and interests of our nature, in contrast to the mere technical and professional education which our young Clergy, among both Episcopalians and Nonconformists, mainly receive. A more onesided training than that with which many of them enter their work, it would be difficult to imagine. It is not so much that their studies are partial, although this is also the fact; but it is the narrow and conventional spirit in which they are too commonly pursued, serving to narrow while it sharpens the mind, and to enfeeble while it refines it. Even in many of those who are scholars in the best sense, and who may be destined to attain literary or theological distinction, there is apt to be a certain uniform tone of mind, and (who has not heard it?) even of speech, which sets the stamp of its monotony on all they say or do.

This dead professionalism of manner and of voice, stifling all true eloquence, comes undoubtedly of exclusiveness of education and of affection. The student passes from his books to the pulpit without ever having been thrown into the hearty interests of life, or having mingled at large with his fellow men. There cannot well be a more imperfect preparation for the great duties to which the pastor is called ; and finding himself in consequence plunged into these duties without an intelligent acquaintance or sympathy with them, he necessarily becomes a prey to prevailing mannerism

sometimes breaking and enervating, as much as quickening and strengthening, the religious life in its true springs. Not only so, but for the most part this preaching manifests a tendency to pass

into one, and that a very narrow, type of dogmatic expression ; which, however truly it may mirror the spiritual facts in many cases, does not certainly mirror them in all; while in common handling it is apt to become mere coarseness and exaggeration of language, strongly repulsive to many minds. It is needless to say that we are not to take into account this repulsive antagonism of certain minds to such a style of preaching; that this opposition is the very essence of the Gospel,- it is the offence it bears to those who are too proud to receive it. There is truth in this, and yet it is not true in the present case. The offence of the Cross has not indeed ceased, and we must never try to mitigate this offence by hiding the Cross. We must not "prophesy smooth things" when we ought to speak sternly and strongly. But we are also to be “all things to all men, so that we may win some;" and especially we are not, by our weak exaggerations and vain repetitions, to create offence against the truth, when there may be a dawning love for it. And it is undeniable that there are those with genuine religious sympathies, who never realize the extremes of experience so familiarly spoken of by some preachers; nay, there are those who less and less appreciate these extremes as they grow în spiritual insight. They can understand and realize the depths of abhorred contrition and the heights of redemptive blessedness, spoken of by St. Paul ; but they do not feel, and no teaching can bring them to feel that these are truly represented in the dogmatic crudities of certain popular theologians. Whatever may be the occasional effects, therefore, of this kind of preaching, and particularly over those whose religious susceptibilities, naturally coarse, have been long hardened and dead, it is far from being the highest kind of preaching, or that which is likely to prove most generally useful. It may prove awakening, but it is not educative; while in its very character it is limited in its range and influence. To suppose that, because some men, by strength of language, confidence of tone, and especially by unrelieved representations of human depravity, draw thousands to listen to them, that others have only to follow their example, and speak with the same loudness and authority, in order to insure the same success, and do something of the same probable good, is quite unwarranted both by principle and fact. The minds which such men, after all, alone move, are minds cast in the same rough mould as their own minds; perhaps not deficient in power, but with feeble instincts both of taste and philosophy, and destitute for the most part of those higher spiritual sensibilities which, while they expose their

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