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Nature should herself supply to her, for his unacquaintance with the genius pupils.
of the method in which he was to work. Quid fecerent, ipsi nullo didicere magistro.
Who can wonder, in circumstances like
these, that the spirit and soul of style Take again - sad as it is to strike for are so often forgotten in its letter ; that once at the softer portion of the species beauty itself unlearns itself, and degener
- the dress of English women, which, ates into mere display ; that for the atapart from rank and special gift or train- tainment of a given end, not economy ing or opportunity, is reputed to be the of means, but profusion of means, beworst in the European world, and the becomes our law and our boast; that, most wanting alike in character and in in the Houses of Parliament, disperadaptation. Take the degraded state, in sion of the essential parts over the point of beauty, at which all the arts of widest possible space marks a building design, and all industrial production, had where the closest concentration should arrived among us some fifty years ago, in have been the rule; and that the Foreign the iron age of George IV., and before Office, which is a workshop, exhibits a the reaction which has redeemed many staircase which no palace of the soverof them from disgrace, and raised some eign can match in its dimensions ? to real excellence.
If from the work of creation we turn to But, indeed, in too many cases, our the world of action, the same incapacity repentance is almost worse than our of detecting discord, and the same tentransgressions. When we begin to im- dency to solecism will appear. In what bibe the conception that, after all, there country except ours could (as I know to is no reason why attempts should not be have happened) a parish ball have been made to associate beauty with usefulness, got up in order to supply funds for prothe manner of our attempts is too fre-curing a parish hearse ? quently open to the severest criticism. I shall not admit that, in these reThe so-called beauty is administered in marks, I have gone astray from the title portentous doses of ornamentation some- and subject of the paper. What is Rittimes running to actual deformity. ualism? It is unwise, undisciplined reacQuantity is the measure, not quality, nor tion from poverty, from coldness, from proportion. Who shall now compete barrenness, from nakedness; it is overwith the awakened English woman for laying purpose with adventitious and the house of hair built upon her head, obstructive incumbrance; it is departure or for the measureless extension of her from measure and from harmony in the draggling train? Who shall be the rival annexation of appearance to substance, of some English architects plastering of the outward to the inward; it is the their work with an infinity of pretentious caricature of the beautiful; it is the condetail in order to screen from attention version of helps into hindrances; it is the inharmonious dimension and poverty of attempted substitution of the secondary lines ? Or that I may without disguise for the primary aim, and the real failure direct the charge against the mind and and paralysis of both. A great deal of spirit of the nation, embodied in its Par- our architecture, a great share of our inliament and its Government - what age dustrial production has been or is, it or country can match the practical sole- may be feared, very Ritualistic indeed. cisms exhibited in the following facts Let us now trace the operation of the and others like them. Forty years ago same principle in the subject-matter of we determined to erect the most exten- religion. We encounter the same desive building of pointed architecture in fects, the same difficulties, the same exthe world ; namely, our Houses of Par- cesses; the same want of trained habits liament, or, as they are called, the Palace of observation ; the same forgetfulness of Westminster. We entrusted the work of proportion; the same danger of buryto our most eminent Italian architect. ing it under a mass of ornament. Once was pretty well; but once was not It must be admitted that the state of enough. So, twenty years ago, we deter- things from which the thing popularly mined to erect another vast building in known as Ritualism took historically its the Italian style, namely a pile of public point of departure, was dishonouring to offices, or as some would call it, a Palace Christianity, disgraceful to the nation ; of Administration ; and we committed disgraceful most of all to that muchthe erection of it to our most experienced vaunted religious sentiment of the Engand famous architect in the pointed lish public which in impenetrable somnospecies. Thus each man was selected lence endured it, and resented all interference with it. Nakedness enough other services they were pointed at' with there was, fifty and forty years ago, of the finger of scorn by the very same divine service and of religious edifices, stamp of people as those who are now among the Presbyterians of Scotland, most fervid in denouncing the opposite and among the Nonconformists of Eng- section. And it was for reasons not land. But, among these, the outward very different: both were open to the fault was to a great extent redeemed by charge that they did not thoroughly the cardinal virtues of earnestness and conform to the prescriptions of the fervour. The prayer of the minister was prayer-book: both were apt to slide at least listened to with a pious attention, into the attitude and feeling of a clique ; and the noblest of all the sounds that both rather abounded in self-confican reach the human ear was usually dence, and were viewed askance by heard in the massive swell, and solemn authority; above all, both were zealous, fall, of the united voices of the congre- and therefore troublesome. But of the gations. But within the ordinary Eng. general tone of the services in the Church lish parish church of town or country, of England at that time I do not hesithere were no such redeeming features tate to say, it was such as when carefully in the action of the living, though the in- considered would have shocked not only animate treasure of the prayer-book yet any earnest Christian of whatever comremained. Its warmth was stored, like munion, but any sincere believer in God, the material of fire in our coal seams, for any one who held that there was a Crebetter days. It was still the bed orator and Governor of the world, and that mould, in which higher forms of religious his creatures ought to worship Him. thought and feelings were some day to And that which I wish to press upon the be cast. But the actual state of things mind of the reader is, that this state of was bad beyond all parallel known to me things was one with which the members in experience or reading. Taking, to- of the Church generally were quite congether the expulsion of the poor and la- tent. It was not by lay associations with bouring classes (especially from the town long purses that the people were with churches), the mutilations and blockages difficulty and with much resistance awakof the fabrics, the baldness of the ser- ened out of this state of things. It was. vice, the elaborate horrors of the so- by the reforming bishops and clergy of called music, with the jargon of parts the Church of England. And such an: contrived to exhibit the powers of every amount of effort could hardly have been village roarer, and to prevent all congre- needed, had the faculties and life of art gational singing; and above all, the been more widely diffused. coldness and indifference of the lounging Had we, as a people, been possessed, or sleeping congregations, our services in reasonable measure of that sense of were probably without a parallel in the harmony between the inward and the outworld for their debasement; and as they ward of which I have been lamenting the would have shocked a Brahmin or a Bud- weakness, it could not indeed have supdhist, so they hardly could have been en-plied the place of a fervent religious life; dured in this country had not the faculty but Divine worship, the great public of taste and the perception of the seemly symbol and pledge of that life, never or unseemly, been as dead as the spirit could have fallen so low among us. of devotion. There were exceptions, And I think it has been in some measand the exceptions were beginning now ure from the same defect that, during the to grow in number : but I speak of the exterior revivals of the last forty years, general state of things, such as I can my- there has been so much misapprehension self recollect it. In some places the older and miscarriage, so much dissatisfaction traditions and spirit of the Church had and disturbance. More than thirty years survived all the paralyzing influences of have passed since agitation in London the first Hanoverian generations; in and riot in Exeter were resorted to for others they were commended to the peo- the purpose, as was conscientiously beple by the lofty spirit and English pluck lieved, of preserving the purity of the of men like Dr. Hook; in many cathe- Reformed Religion against the use of the drals, with stateliness, a remnant of true surplice in the pulpit, and of the Prayer dignity was preserved; and in a third for the Church Militant. In vain the class of cases the clergy known as Evan- bishops and the clergy concerned made gelical had infused into their congrega- their protests, and averred that they were tions a reverent sense of the purpose for advising, or acting, in simple "obediwhich they met together. For this and 'ence to the law." The appeal to that watchword, now so sacred, was utterly The present movement in favour of ritual unavailing: popery, and nothing less is not confined to Ritualists, neither is it than popery, it was insisted, must be the ! confined even to Churchmen. It has meaning of the changes. To me it ap- | been, when all things are considered, peared at the time that their introduc- quite as remarkable among Nonconformtion, however legal, was, if not effected ists and Presbyterians; not because they with the full and intelligent concurrence have as much of it, but because they forof the flocks, decidedly unwise. But as merly had none, and because their systo these particular usages themselves, I tem appeared to have been devised and held then and hold now, that their ten- adjusted in order to prevent its introducdency, when calmly viewed, must have tion, and to fix upon it even in limine the been seen to be rather Protestant than aspect of a flagrant departure from first popish ; that popery would have led to principles. Crosses on the outside of the use of a different and lower garb in chapels, organs within them, rich painted preaching, not to the use of the same architecture, that flagrant piece of symvestment which was also to be used for bolism, the steeple, windows filled with the celebration of the Eucharist; and subjects in stained glass, elaborate chantthat no prayer in the prayer-book bears ing, the use of the Lord's Prayer, which so visibly the mark of the Reformation, is no more than the thin end of a wedge as the Prayer for the Church Militant. that is to introduce fixed forms, and the Be that as it may, I recollect with pain a partial movements in favour of such forms particular case which may serve as a already developed, are among the signs sample of the feeling, and the occur- which, taken altogether, form a group of rences, of that day. "An able and de- phenomena evidently referable to some voted young clergyman had accepted the cause far more deep and wide-working charge of a new district parish in one of than mere servile imitation, or the fashour largest towns, with trifling emolu- ion of the day. In the case of the organ, ments, and with large masses of neglect- be it recollected that many who form ed poor, whom he had begun steadily part of the crême de la crême of Protestand successfully to gather in. Within a antism have now begun to use that which year or two an agitation was raised, not the pope does not hear in his own Chapel in his parish, but in the town at large ; or his sublime Basilica, and which ihe it had grown too hot to hold him; and he entire Eastern Church has ever shrunk was morally compelled to retire from his from employing in its services. benefice and from the place, for the of- With this I will mention a familiar fences of having preached the morning matter, though it may provoke a smile. sermon in the surplice, read the Prayer It is the matter of clerical costume; on for the Church Militant, and opened his which I will not scruple to say that, in church for Divine service, not daily, but my judgment, the party, of costume is on all festivals. The inference to be right. A costume for the clergy is as drawn from this is not an inference of much connected with discipline and selfself-laudation : not the heig tol TaTépwv péy respect as an uniform for the army, and úzeivovec Evxóuell' elval but an inference in is no small guarantee for conduct. The behalf of a little self-mistrust, and a disuse of clerical costume was a recent great deal of deliberation and circum- innovation ; but thirty-five or forty years spection in these important matters. For, ago the abuse had become almost univerfrom a view of the modes which have be- sal. It was consummated by the change come usual for the celebration of Divine 'in lay fashions - a very singular one service, in average churches not saddled to a nearly exclusive use of black. The with a party name, there appears this reaction began in the cut of the waistrather startling fact, that the congrega- coat; which was carried by the innovations of the Church of England in gen- 'tors, without dividing, up to the cravat. eral now practise without suspicion, and This was deemed so distinctly popish, the Parliament, representing the general that it acquired the nickname of “The feeling out of doors, is disposed to en- Mark of the Beast ;” and it is a fact that, force, by the establishment of more among the tailors of the West-end of Lonstringent procedure, what thirty years don, this shape of waistcoat was familiarly ago was denounced, and rather more known as “the M. B. waistcoat.” Any than denounced, as Ritualism.
one who will now take the pains to notice The truth is, that, in the word Ritual- 'the dress of the regular Presbyterian or ism, there is involved much more than Dissenting minister will, I think, find the popular mind seems to suppose. that, in a great majority of instances, he
too, when in his best, wears, like the and with the many problems, which we clergyman, the M. B. waistcoat.
shall leave to our children for solution, True the distance between these Pres- we may hand down to them the cordial byterian and Nonconforming services, wish that they may make more of them and those of the Church of England, in than we have done. point of ritual, remains as great, or per- If we survey the Christian world, we haps greater than, before ; but that is shall have occasion to observe that ritual because one and the same forward move- does not bear an unvarying relation to ment has taken possession of both, only doctrine. The most notable proof of this the speeds may have been different. I assertion is to be found in the Lutheran will give a case in point. Five and thirty communion. It is strongly and, except years ago hardly any one had dreamt of where opinion has deviated in the direcà surpliced choir in a parish church. tion of Rationalism, uniformly Protestant. When such an use came in, it was thought But in portions of the considerable area to be like a sign of the double superlative over which it stretches, for example, in in High Churchmanship, and was deemed Denmark, in Sweden and Norway, even the most violent experiment yet made on the inhospitable shores of Iceland, upon the patience of the laity. How altars, vestments, lights, (if not even instands the matter now? As the purity cense) are retained : the clergyman is of Welsh Protestantism is well known, called the priest, and the communion I will take an instance from Wales. In office is termed the mass. But there is a Welsh town, of no great size, the cler- no distinction of doctrine whatever begyman of the parish was moved, not long tween Swedish or Danish, and German ago, to introduce the surplice for his Lutherans: nor, according to the best choir. He determined upon a plébiscite; authorities, has the chain of the Episco. and placed printed slips of paper about pal succession been maintained in those the seats, requesting a written aye or no. countries. Even in this country, there Near two hundred and fifty answers were are some of those clergy who are called given : and of the answers more than Broad-churchmen, some who have four-fifths were ayes. In truth, there is a marked indifference to doctrine, and kind of ritual race; all have set their something like a hatred of dogma, yet faces the same way, and none like to have who also are inclined to musical ornatheir relative backwardness enhanced, ment, and other paraphernalia of divine while the absolute standing-point is con- service. From these facts, as well as tinually moved forward.
from the growing ritual of the non-EpisThis is matter of fact, and of the very copal Christians of this country, we may widest reach, compassing a field of which perceive that in the slashing manner in but a little corner was covered by the which the argument has been drawn recent Act of Parliament; and now the from ritual to doctrine in our discussions, question rises to the lip, Ought this mat- there has been something of that precipiter of fact, which will scarcely be dis- tancy to which, from the narrow and insuputed, to be viewed with satisfaction or lar character of his knowledge, as well as with displeasure ?
from the vigour of his will, the EnglishIn my opinion this is a question ex- man is particularly liable. Here also, tremely difficult to answer ; and I will from that deficiency which I have noted not affect to be able to give it a complete in the faculty of adapting the outward to reply. It seems to me that ritual is, in the inward, he is apt to blunder into conwhat amount I do not attempt now to founding what is appropriate and seemly inquire, a legitimate accompaniment, nay, with what partakes of excess or invidious effect, of the religious life; but I view meaning. At the same time, an imporwith mistrust and jealousy all tendency, tant connection between high doctrine wherever shown, either to employ ritual and high ritual is to be traced to a conas its substitute, or to treat ritual as its siderable extent in the Church of Engproducing cause. All, however, that I land, and in commenting on over-statehave thus far endeavoured to insinuate is, ment I do not seek to understate. This that the subject is a very large one connection is, however, for the present that it cannot be dealt with off-hand - hopelessly mixed with polemical considthat it is exceedingly significant and erations, and therefore excluded from the pregnant in the manifestations it supplies. field of these remarks. If we do not live in one of the great But there is a question which it is the thinking ages, we live in an age which special purpose of this paper to suggest supplies abundant materials of thought;/ for consideration by my fellow-Christians generally, which is more practical and ofl. But it is even conceivable, nay far from greater importance, as it seems to me, improbable, that augmentation of ritual and has far stronger claims on the atten- may import not increase but even diminution of the nation and of the rulers of the tion of fervour. Such must be the result Church, than the question whether a in every case where the imagery of the handful of the clergy are or not engaged in eye and ear, actively multiplied, is allowed an utterly hopeless and visionary effort to to draw off the energy, which ought to Romanize the Church and people of Eng- have its centre in the heart. There canland. At no time since the bloody reign not be a doubt that the beauty of the ediof Mary has such a scheme been possi- fice, the furniture, and the service, though ble. But if it had been possible in the their purpose be to carry the mind forseventeenth or eighteenth centuries, it ward, may induce it to rest upon themwould still have become impossible in selves. Wherever the growth and progthe nineteenth ; when Rome has sub-ress of ritual, though that ritual be in stituted for the proud boast of semper itself suitable and proper, is accepted, eadem a policy of violence and change in whether consciously or unconsciously, faith ; when she has refurbished and and whether in whole or in part, by the paraded anew every rusty tool she was individual, as standing in the stead of his fondly thought to have disused; when own concentration and travail of spirit in no one can become her convert without devotion, there the ritual, though good in renouncing his moral and mental freedom, itself, becomes for him so much formality, and placing his civil loyalty and duty at the that is so much deadness. Now there mercy of another; and when she has equal- are multitudes of people who will accede ly repudiated modern thought and ancient at once to this proposition, who will even history. I cannot persuade myself to hold it to be no more than a truism, but feel alarm as to the final issue of her cru- with a complacent conviction, in the sades in England, and this although I do background of their minds, that it does not undervalue her great powers of mis- not touch their case at all. They may chief. But there are questions of our own be Presbyterians or Nonconformists; or religious well-being that lie nearer home. they may be Churchmen whose clergyAnd one of them is whether, as indi- man preaches against popery open or viduals, we can justly and truly say that concealed, or who have themselves subthe present movement in favour of ritual scribed liberally to prosecute the Rev. is a healthy movement for each of us ; this, or the Rev, that, for Ritualism. No that is whether it gives or does not give matter. They, and their clergyman too, us assistance in offering a more collected may nevertheless be flagrant Ritualists. act of worship, when we enter the temple For the barest minimum of ritual may be of the Most High, and think we go there a screen hiding from the worshipper to offer before Him the sacrifice of praise the Object of his worship: nay, will be and prayer, and thanksgiving? Of one such a screen, unless the worshipper thing we may be quite certain, and it bestirs himself to use it as a help, and to is this. To accumulate observances of see that it is not a snare. ritual is to accumulate responsibility. It In the class of cases supposed, the is the adoption of a higher standard of ready acquiescence of a few moments religious profession ; and it requires a back has by this time probably been conhigher stand of religious practice. If verted into a wondering scepticism. And we study, by appropriate or by rich em- there is at first sight something of parabellishment, to make the Church more dox in the assertion that all ritual, not like the House of God, and the services only elaborate but modest, not only copiin it more impressive by outward signs ous but scanty, has its dangers. It seems of His greatness and goodness, and of hard to preach suspicion and misgiving our littleness and meanness, all these against what is generally approved or are so many voices, audible and intelli- accepted by the most undeniable Protgible, though inarticulate, and to let estants. But the very same person who them sound in our ears unheeded, is an errs by making his own conscience in offence against His majesty. If we are ritual a measure for the consciences of not the better for more ritual, we are the other men, lest they should run to excess, worse for it. A general augmentation of may be himself in surfeit while he dooms ritual such as we see on every side around them to starve, for what is famine to them us, if it be without any corresponding en- may be to him excess : what they can hancement of devotion, means more light digest may be to him indigestible. It is but no more love.