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No. 1587.- November 7, 1874.
CONTENTS. I. RITUALISM AND RITUAL. By Hon. W. E. Gladstone,
Contemporary Review, .
thor of “The Strange Adventures of a
" “ The Princess of Thule," etc.
Cornhill Magazine, III. LADY DUFF GORDON,
New Quarterly Review,
Fraser's Magazine, VII. SIX WEEKS IN ELBA,
Temple Bar, VIII. LITTLE JEANNE,
POETRY NIGHTFALL: A PICTURE,
322 SEPTEMBER, “AT EVENTIDE IT SHALL BE LIGHT," 322 | OCTOBER,
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NIGHTFALL: A PICTURE. The oxen, loosened from the plow,
Rest by the pear-tree's crooked trunk;
Tim, standing with yoke-burdened brow,
Trim, in a mound beside him sunk.
One of the kine upon the bank
The cedars long, black pictures show; One smooths with lapping tongue, her flank;
With ponderous droop one finds the floor.
Freed Dobbin through the soft, clear dark
Glimmers across the pillared scene,
With the grouped geese-a pallid mark-
And scattered bushes black between.
The fire-Alies freckle every spot
With fickle light that gleams and dies;
The bat, a wavering, soundless blot, Pitchfork, and plow cast looks askance.
The cat, a pair of prowling eyes. White Dobbin through the stable-doors Still the sweet, fragrant dark o'erflows
Shows his round shape; faint color coats The deepening air and darkening ground;
By its rich scent I trace the rose,
From The Contemporary Review. meanings as many as the ripples of the RITUALISM AND RITUAL. smiling sea; as the shades of antago
nism to, or divergence from, the most BY W. E. GLADSTONE.
overloaded Roman ceremonial. When For some months past, and particu- the term is thus employed, sympathy larly during the closing weeks of the flies, as if it were electricity, through the Session of Parliament, the word Ritual- crowd ; but it is sympathy based upon ism has had, in a remarkable degree, the sound and not upon the sense. Men possession of the public ear, and of the thus impelled mischievously but natupublic mind. So much is clear. The rally mistake the strength of their feeling road is not so easy, when we proceed to for the strength of their argument. The search for the exact meaning of the term. heated mind resents the chill touch and And yet the term itself is not in fault. relentless scrutiny of logic. There could It admits, at first sight, of an easy and be no advantage, especially at the present unexceptionable definition. Ritualism time, in approaching such a theme from surely means an undue disposition to this point of view. ritual. Ritual itself is founded on the But perhaps it may be allowable to Apostolic precept, “Let all things be make an endeavour to carry this subject done decently and in order ;” evoxnuóvos for a few moments out of the polemical kai katù túślv, in right, graceful, or be- field into the domain of thought. I have coming figure, and by fore-ordered ar- but little faith in coercion applied to matrangement, 1 Cor. xiv. 40. The exterior ter of opinion and feeling, let its titles be modes of divine service are thus laid ever so clear. But a word spoken in down as a distinct and proper subject for quietness, and by way of appeal to the the consideration of Christians. free judgment and reason of men, can
But the word Ritualism passes in the rarely fail to be in season. I propose, public mind for something more specific accordingly, to consider what is the true in terms, and also for something more measure and meaning of ritual, in order variable, if not more vague, in character. thus to arrive at a clear conception of In a more specific form it signifies such a that vice in its use which is designated kind and such a manner of undue dispo- by the name of Ritualism. sition to ritual as indicate a design to Ritual, then, is the clothing which, in alter at least the ceremonial of religion some form, and in some degree, men natestablished in and by this nation, for the urally and inevitably give to the performpurpose of assimilating it to the Roman ance of the public duties of religion. or popish ceremonial ; and, further, of Beyond the religious sphere the phrase introducing the Roman or papal religion is never carried ; but the thing appears, into this country, under the insidious and cannot but appear, under other form, and silent but steady suasion, of names. In all the more solemn and its ceremonial.
stated public acts of man, we find emAll this is intelligible enough ; and, if ployed that investiture of the acts themwe start with such a conception of Ritual- selves with an appropriate exterior, which ism, we, as a people, ought to know what is the essential idea of ritual. The subwe think, say, and do about it. But there ject matter is different, but the principle is another and a briefer account which is the same : it is the use and adaptation may be given of it. There is a definition of the outward for the expression of the purely subjective, but in practice more inward. widely prevalent than any other. AC- It may be asked, Why should there be cording to this definition, Ritualism is to any such adaptation ? Why not leave each man that which, in matter of ritual, things to take their course ? Is not the each man dislikes, and holds to be in inward enough, if it be genuine and pure ? excess. When the term is thus used, it And may not the outward overlay and becomes in the highest degree deceptive ; smother it? But human nature itself, for it covers under an apparent unity with a thousand tongues, utters the reply. The marriage of the outward and the to tell their own tale. When we come to inward pervades the universe.
pure art, we find ourselves beaten by They wedded form, with artful strife,
great countries, and even, in one case at
least, by small. But it is not of pure art The strength and harmony of life.
that I would now speak. It is of that And the life and teaching of Christ Him-vast and diversified region of human life self are marked by an employment of and action, where a distinct purpose of signs in which are laid the ground, and utility is pursued, and where the instruthe foreshowing, both of sacraments and ment employed aspires to an outward of ritual.
form of beauty. Here lies the great mass True indeed it is that the fire, meant and substance of the Kunst-leben — the to warm, may burn us ; the light, meant art-life, of a people. Its sphere is so to guide, may blind us ; the food, meant large, that nothing except pure thought to sustain, may poison us; but fire and is of right excluded from it. As in the light, and food are not only useful, they Italian language scarcely a word can be are indispensable. And so it is with that found which is not musical, so a music universal and perpetual instinct of human of the eye (I borrow the figure from nature which exacts of us, that the form Wordsworth) should pervade all visible given externally to our thoughts in word production and construction whatever, and act shall be one appropriate to their whether of objects in themselves permasubstance. Applied to the circle of civ- nent, or of those where a temporary colilized life, this principle, which gives us location only of the parts is in view. This ritual in religion, gives us the ceremonial state of things was realized, to a great of Courts, the costume of judges, the extent, in the Italian life of the middle uniform of regiments, all the language of ages. But its grand and normal example heraldry and symbol, all the hierarchy of is to be sought in ancient Greece, where rank and title ; and which, descending the spirit of beauty was so profusely through all classes, presents itself in the poured forth, that it seemed to fill the life badges and the bands of Foresters and and action of man as it fills the kingdoms Benefit Societies.
of nature : the one, like the other, was But if there be a marriage - ordained in its way a Kosmos. The elements of by Providence and pervading nature production, everything embodied under of the outward and the inward, it is re- the hand or thought of man, fell sponquired in this, as in other marriages, that taneously into beautiful form, like the there be some harmony of disposition glasses in a kaleidoscope. It was the between the partners. In the perception gallant endeavour to give beauty as of this harmony, a life-long observation matter of course, and in full harmony has impressed me with the belief that we with purpose, to all that he manufactured as a people are, as a rule, and apart from and sold, which has made the name of special training, singularly deficient. In Wedgwood now, and I trust forever, the inward realms of thought and of im- famous. The Greeks, at least the Attic agination, the title of England to stand Greeks, were, so to speak, a nation of in the first ranks of civilized nations need Wedgwoods. Most objects, among those not be argued, for it is admitted. It which we produce, we calmly and withwould be equally idle to offer any spe- out a sigh surrender to ugliness, as if cial plea on its behalf in reference to we were coolly passing our children developments purely external. The rail-through the fire to Moloch. But in way and the telegraph, the factory, the Athens, as we know from the numberless forge, and the mine ; the highways beaten relics of Greek art and industry in every upon every ocean ; the first place in the form, the production of anything ugly trade of the world, where population would have startled men by its strangewould give us but the fifth ; a commer- ness as much as it would have vexed cial marine equalling that of the whole of them by its deformity; and a deviation Continental Europe: these may be left from the law of taste, the faculty by
which beauty is discerned, would have | But the English garden is proverbial for been treated simply as a deviation from beauty; and the English cottage garden the law of nature. One and the same stands almost alone in the world. Exprinciple, it need hardly be observed, cept where smoke, stench, and the havoc applies to material objects which are pro- of manufacturing and mining operations duced once for all, and to matters in have utterly deformed the blessed face of which, though the parts may subsist nature, the English cottager commonly before and after, the combination of and spontaneously provides some little them is for the moment only. The law pasture for his eye by clothing his home that governed the design of an amphora in the beauty of shrubs and flowers. or a lamp, governed also the order of a And even where he has been thus viospectacle, a procession, or a ceremonial. lently deprived of his life-long communion It was not the sacrifice of the inward with nature, or where his lot is cast in meaning to the outward show: that huge cities from which he scarcely ever method of proceeding was a glorious dis- escapes, he still resorts to potted Aowers covery reserved for the later, and espe- and to the song of caged birds for solace. cially for our own time. Neither was it This love of natural objects, which are the sacrifice even of the outward to the scarcely ever without beauty or grace, inward. The Greek did not find it ought to supply a basis on which to build requisite ; nature had not imposed upon all that is still wanting. But I turn to him such a necessity. It was the deter- another chapter. The ancient ecclesiasmination of their meeting-point; the ex-tical architecture of this country indipression of the harmony between the cates a more copiously diffused love and two. It is in regard to the perception pursuit of beauty, and a richer faculty for and observance of this law that the Eng- its production, in connection with purlish, nay, the British people, ought prob- pose, than is to be found in the churches of ably to be placed last among the civilized any other part of Christendom. Not that nations of Europe. And if it be so, the we possess in our cathedrals and greater first thing is to bring into existence and edifices the most splendid of all examinto activity a real consciousness of the ples. But the parish churches of Eng. defect. We need not, if it exist, set it land are as a whole unrivalled ; and it down to natural and therefore incurable has been the opinion of persons of the inaptitude. It is more probably due to widest knowledge, that they might even the disproportionate application of our challenge without fear the united parish given store of faculties in other direc-churches of Europe, from their wealth of tions. To a great extent it may be true beauty in all the particulars of their own that for the worship of beauty we have styles of architecture. substituted a successful pursuit of com- Still, it does not appear that these exfort. But are the two in conflict? And ceptions impair the force of the general first of all, is the charge a true one ? proposition, which is that as a people we
To make good imputations of any kind are, in the business of combining beauty against ourselves is but an invidious with utility, singularly uninstructed, unacoffice. It would be more agreeable to complished, maladroit, unhandy. If inleave the trial to the impartial reflection stances must be cited, they are not far to and judgment of each man. But one of seek. Consider the unrivalled ugliness the features of the case is this, that so j of our towns in general, or put Englishfew among us have taken the pains to men to march in a procession, and see form, in such matters, even a habit of how, instead of feeling instinctively the observation. And, again, there are cer- music and sympathy of motion, they will tain cases of exception to the general loll, and stroll, and straggle ; it never rule. For example, take the instance of occurs to them that there is beauty or our rural habitations. I do not speak of solemnity in ordered movement, and that their architecture, nor especially do I the instruction required is only that simspeak of our more pretentious dwellings.ple instruction which, without speech,