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and afterwards study Hebrew and Biblical Criticism under the same theological professors at Homerton or Highbury*.
But let us not be supposed to concede, that no eloquent men are to be found in the ranks of Dissent. It cannot be necessary that we should guard against being so grossly misunderstood. But we think it will be conceded, that eloquence of a very high order is, perhaps, equally rare within the Establishment and out of it; that our most eminent men are not peculiarly distinguished by this endowment; and we may add, that some of the most popular, and deservedly popular ministers of the present day, affect a style of oratory too remote from that simplicity and purity of taste which is the genuine character of pulpit eloquence. In some preachers, a considerable share of natural eloquence is greatly marred by false taste and acquired habits which betray a defective education. There is also, just now, a strong disposition to adopt the Scotch style of declamation, which an English audience may not only endure, but be so far beguiled as to admire, when it is associated with commanding genius and fervent piely in those individuals to whom it is native, but which, assuredly, would be neither graceful nor effective in an English orator.
Among the causes which may be assigned for the rarity of eloquence, we know not whether we ought not to assign the exhausting frequency of the demands made upon modern preachers. If this tends, on the one hand, to give them confidence and facility, it must, on the other, prevent their accumulating that electric energy with which the mind must be charged in order to give out true eloquence. It would surely be unreasonable in the highest degree, to expect any individual to be eloquent three times on one Sunday. It is, bowever, quite possible, to be always simple and unaffected, always familiar and instructive, clear and earnest; and were this style of preaching adhered to, and all oratory foresworn, our opinion is, that we should have much more of that true eloquence which is caught from the subject, and of which, while it warms and affects the hearer, the speaker is unconscious. This, indeed, cannot take place when the sermon is previously
* We mention these as being two of the oldest institutions of the kind. In the preceding remarks, we have sedulously guarded against any specific reference; and although this may seem unjust towards those seminaries in which the system animadverted upon may not prevail to the same extent, we hope that we shall be forgiven for speaking generally. We impute no blame to the heads of those insti. tutions, who are not responsible for a systein which many of them lament.
written and read from the pulpit; a method by which eloquence is attainable, and so a man may learn to dance a hornpipe in boots; but, that it is not the way to become eloquent, notwithstanding any splendid instances of rare success, is sufficiently indicated by the result of a slavish adherence to the practice in the English Church and the French Senate.
But is eloquence a requisite, it may be asked, for the competent and effective discharge of the preacher's office? Assuredly not. His business is to teach and to instruct, as much as to move and to persuade; and the more entirely this object of imparting solid instruction is kept in view, the better for both parties. We rejoice to know how great a number of plain and faithful preachers, who make little noise, but give a steady light by holding forth the word of truth, are unostentiously discharging their sacred duties, to the edification of the body of Christ, and the conversion of not a few to the obedience of faith. Have all learning? Have all eloquence ? Do all speak with tongues? No, nor is it necessary. Still, we maintain that all gifts and endowments have their province and use in the Church, and that, in times like these, the most excellent gift of eloquence might be most worthily and advantageously employed in the Christian ministry, which affords the widest scope for it, as well as the noblest occasion. Without eloquence of the highest order, it cannot be said that the advantages of the pulpit are turned to all the account of which they are susceptible. St. Paul disclaimed, indeed, the wisdom of the schools, and, in reference to his grand topic and his simple manner of declaring it, he terms his the foolishness of preaching,—for so the philosophers regarded it. But we know that St. Paul was a master of eloquence; witness his oration before Festus, and the consummate address and elegance of his speech at Areopagus. He who worketh by human means, although the excellency of the power is with Himself, has never disdained to put honour upon his own gifts, of which learning and eloquence are two of the most excellent, when simply consecrated to his service. By learning and by eloquence, all great revivals of religion and reformations of morals have been achieved. Howe and Bates, Baxter and Owen were eloquent men : why have we not their peers in the present generation? These are times in which to stand still is to retrograde, to fall behind in the rapid march of intellect. It is well to build colleges, and found universities, and form mechanics' institutions ; but, if the pulpit does not keep pace with all this stir of mind and spread of knowledge, the consequence will be disastrous. As regards the estimation in which Protestant Dissenters shall be held twenty years hence, how much will depend upon the character and qualifications of the young men now entering our colleges !' Upon the managers of these institutions, then, a responsibility devolves, which we wish to see more publicly and distinctly recognised. If the ranks of the Dissenting ministry shall continue to be exclusively filled up by young men from the lower grade of the middle class, who have never enjoyed a liberal education, and who have no sufficient time allowed them for turning to account the advantages held out by an academy,-if these young men, through no fault of theirs, are to be thrust unripe into the sacred office, or, as the alternative, to pine in neglect and disappointment, and drop off, one by one, some into the Church, some into the world, some into the grave;if things like these are suffered to take place ---Congregationalism in this country will, in a generation or two, be reduced to a caput mortuum.
We will confess that we have transcribed Mr. Lloyd's titlepage as a motto to this article, rather than with any intention to say much of its contents. His work displays much more spleen than wisdom, much more prejudice than information, and is neither very consistent nor very instructive. And yet, we have no doubt that it has been composed with the best intentions, and with a sincere wish to promote the interests of
our apostolical church.' It is indeed an extensive inquiry;' and the reader may be somewhat startled to meet with repeated citations from Lord Bacon, Blackstone, and Lord Chesterfield, in a professed discussion of the question 'what it is to preach
Christ. But the fact is, that all sorts of subjects, ecclesiastical, political, sacred and polite, are dragged in by the worthy Inquirer. Thus, we find him quoting with high satisfaction, • in opposition to the jargon of demagogues and some modern
patriots,' the declaration of Professor Christian, that the king is not only incapable of doing wrong, but even of
thinking wrong; he can never mean to do an improper thing; • in him is no folly or weakness;' and again,- the king is
sovereign prince and lord,—and the people are his subjects. • He is the caput, principium, et finis. This was written and published, however, be it remembered, before his Majesty's appointment of Mr. Canning to be prime minister, which has changed the sentiments of many persons of Mr. Lloyd's way of thinking on the subject of the royal prerogative. Then we have a dissertation upon the duties of a member of parliament, and a eulogy upon the wisdom and perfection of the present representative system,--all as illustrating what it is to preach Christ! Our Inquirer next proceeds to rebuke Government for giving licences to preach, to every •fool or knave';' and he
hints pretty broadly, that it would be as well if Dissenters were clipped a little of their elective franchise, since, under • the present latitudinarian system, it is not to be expected that they will vote for true sons of the church. The precept which requires us to submit to the powers that be, Mr. Lloyd informs us, includes in those powers, ecclesiastical as well as • civil governors. From which we learn, that it was St. Paul's object, in addressing that exhortation to the Roman Christians, to teach them to recognize the pontifer maximus as “the “ minister of God to them for good,” and to conform to the decrees of Cæsar in matters ecclesiastical, by worshipping Jupiter Capitolinus and the whole rabble of the Pantheon. Mr. Lloyd thinks, that this new and impressive view of the subject may lead ‘some candid dissenters to reconsider the • grounds of their dissent from our excellent establishment.'
In the second part of the Inquiry, it is Mr. Lloyd's object to shew, that the best mode of
preaching Christ is, by reading precomposed discourses; on which we are at issue with him. His preference of this mode is built wholly upon two false assumptions, mingled with much misrepresentation. He assumes, that those who adopt the extemporaneous mode of address, preach for the most part with no previous preparation
beyond a few general heads of division and some few re
marks, perhaps, under each head, that cost them no labour • of thought or serious investigation of their subject;' and he assumes further, that written discourses must needs be the result of both. Whereas the fact is, the mode of preparation which he advocates, is not less favourable to mental indolence, requires even less intellectual preparation, and, judging from its general result, involves less expense of thought, than the mode he deprecates. There is, it is true, added to the manual labour of writing out the sermon, the mechanical labour of rounding so many periods : but Mr. Lloyd well knows that the labour of. thought and investigation chiefly consists in the examination of the passage to be illustrated, and the framing of the train of argument. A well digested skeleton, such as most extempore preachers are accustomed to prepare in writing, may be compared to a counsel's brief: if the speaker keep to this, he can never talk at random. We say that Mr. Lloyd knows this, for he was, in his better days, an extempore preacher himself.
• I admit,' he says, that I was accustomed to preach from a few notes, which I put into my sermon case, and to which I had recourse as to so many pregnant bints that were designed to remind me of that train of argument which I had fully considered and digested in my study; and, for the purpose of arranging my ideas with more perspicuity and effect, I frequently committed to paper some of the
more important parts of my discourse, lest my statements upon such points should not be sufficiently accurate, and consequently subject to misconstruction.'
Now this mode of address, Mr. Lloyd adds, differs widely from extempore preaching.' What is this but a quibble? He must know that this mode is called extemporary preacbing, and that it precisely describes the mode most generally adopted by Dissenters. As to his reason for deliberately abandoning it for sermons written out at full length, namely, that this latter method is more conducive to a development
of the truth in its various bearings,' we confess that it is to us quite unintelligible. Yet, Mr. Lloyd is willing to con• cede, that a preacher even of written discourses, should
possess that maegnorav, that proper confidence in himself, which • will enable him to express any sentiment or emotion that
may occasionally arise in his mind in the warm prosecution ' of his subject, or be suggested at the time by his audience.' How is he to acquire this confidence, if he adhere to Mr. Lloyd's plan? But it is useless to reason with a Writer who admits every thing that his opponents would contend for, and, while he is professedly declaiming against extempore preaching, confesses that it is the only mode which admits of genuine eloquence. We give without comment the following passages, as falling in with the general tenor of some of our remarks in a preceding part of this article.
• It may still be urged by the zealous advocates for extempore preaching, that a minister, though he should endeavour to improve his abilities, and enlarge his knowledge by close application, and by a free and liberal exercise of his talents, would not be able to rise into the sublimer parts of eloquence under the imposition of those restraints which attach to written discourses ;—that the salient parts of oratory are not prepared passages, but sudden transports of passion; and passion is the life and soul of eloquence; it quickens and invigorates all the mental faculties, inspires great and lofty sentiments, and pours them forth in all that felicity of expression, which nature in her warmth and animation spontaneously suggests. There is no solicitude about appropriate words or pertinent figures : 'out of the abundance of the heart the mouth at once speaketh,' and to such nervous and glowing elocution, the heart of the hearer will always respond; for it awakens and calls up the elementary feelings, those original and retired motives of action, which invariably excite kin. dred vibrations. There are many interesting and indescribable circumstances brought to light by such internal and vivid emotions, which no art can imitate, and no refinement can supply. To be thus artless, is indeed the ultimate end of art. It is a transcendent attainment illustrative of a well-disciplined and accomplished intellect,when the previous labour of preparation lies concealed, and nothing