Puslapio vaizdai

the down-going sun not to occupy much of your time; thank God, the Sun of righteousness never sets!" and then reads for his text, "The Sun of righteousness shall arise, with healing in his wings." The allusion brings around us the glory of both worlds. The inspiration of nature and of religion is evidently upon the preacher; he has a genius in sympathetic contact with the scene around him; he seizes every passing incident, and makes it contribute to the great end which has brought him there. As he proceeds his voice awakens the distant echoes. He raises no vulgar shout; his voice is but the wing of the soaring soul. His ideas and his tones expand and swell with the growing elevation of his theme. Glowing with holier afflatus than the scenery of time, however grand, can inspire, the line which divides the perishing from the immortal is fast fading from his rapt pro

the "order of the day." Everybody rises early that morning. Cottages and farmhouses, newly whitewashed, glisten in the sun. The dust of a year is disturbed; a general purification has been going on for weeks. "Godliness and cleanliness" are seen strikingly associated. Even the very few who never go to any place of worship have put on their best apparel. The association is the theme of every tongue; it has inspired dreams of pleasure and of pride; it has brought up to the surface, along with the good, some evil. The whole country is moved; the people for miles around keep "holy-day." The roads are thronged with pedestrians, horses, and vehicles. The whole population seems on pilgrimage. A vast assemblage of people, in a not populous country, meet on a sloping field, one of nature's own galleries, before a tented platform, from which they are addressed. You are girt around, it may be, with lofty hills, some richly wood-phetic vision. Sources which bubble ever ed, some bare and bleak, with here and there an opening, through which you catch an entrancing glimpse of deep blue sky, or of boundless sea; openings which, in your present mood of mind, seem like avenues into eternity. Nature wears her richest garb, for it is in June. The public services begin in the evening. The bustle does not yet subside. You wonder when the people will cease to come; the mass before the platform is still increasing. The first sermon is already over; but the circumstances are yet unfavorable, for still they come. The multitude, worn out with fatigue and excitement, rest themselves on the grass, on vehicles, or on rude extemporized seats. Another preaches, grows warm, and brings us still more into sympathy with the occasion. When he finishes, we are prepared for more. The solemn stillness of evening has stolen on. There is a pause as solemn in the worship. O look at that gorgeous sunset! Was ever magnificence like that? Surely this is the richest grandeur of time, intended to tone us into sympathy with a grandeur imperishable. The hills, the trees, the fields of growing corn, the meadows, the thousands of upturned faces, seem bathed in an atmosphere of softest light. How the ray flutters and trembles on the distant wave! The preacher, too, feels the beauty of the hour. Pale, and with befitting emotion, he rises, and says, simply, (but with what effect!) "I am warned by

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fresh in the depths of eternity, supply the rapid current of his thought. Away on loftier heights than Alexander, Cæsar, or Napoleon ever reached, he surveys interests more varied, and destinies more stupendous, than ever floated in the vision of statesman, or inspired the ambition of king. He sees nothing before him but deathless spirits; he is now a prince in the world of thought; he bears sway in the kingdom of souls; his scepter waves over a territory in the unseen. Presumption quails beneath that imperial glance; rebuke, winged with sarcasm, tranfixes the cowering hypocrite; towering pride is scathed with the lightning of holy indignation; consolations fall like the dew of heaven upon the troubled conscience; hope for the guilty and oppressed is lifted high; wonder, amazement, gratitude, remorse, and thanksgiving, these are the various emotions kindled; emotions the consequences of which reach on forever. The vast throng disperses, to meet on the morrow, when something similar will again be witnessed.

In a country where this is a specimen of what not seldom occurs, the pulpit must be a power.

Here, then, we have a fact worth volumes of recent discussion on preaching. What are the elements of this power? Doubtless there are some peculiarities in the social condition of the people. Less political agitation prevails. A large com

mercial class, with its attendant good and evil, does not exist. The town system, with its peculiar vices and corruptions, is not so largely developed. A lower order, dependent upon a class above, yet fearfully distinct from it, cannot be found in any large numbers. When the revival of religion took place, it thoroughly penetrated the nation. These and other circumstances must be borne in mind, in the attempt to form a just estimate of the Welsh pulpit.

What is emphatically designated the "hwyl" is a peculiarity so striking in Welsh preaching, it so immediately arrests the unaccustomed ear, that we are justified in giving it especial and early attention. The word" hwyl," (pronounced hooil,) like many other Welsh words, is a highly figurative one. A ship is said to be in full "hwyl," when it leaves port with full and spread sails, under a favoraable breeze. And a preacher is said to be in full "hwyl," when, in happiest mood, thoughts and words coming quick and apt, and rising like a man inspired to the loftiest heights of his theme, he inevitably, and as a matter of course, intones or chants his fervid thoughts. No! let us at once confess neither of the above words adequately expresses this peculiarity. It is something between a chant and a song, but greatly unlike either. We are not unaware that what is thus described will, in some cases, when listened to, excite a smile.

Nor are we ignorant that some of the more "knowing" among the Welsh themselves think the practice rather absurd and vulgar. And not long since we read the remarks of a learned American doctor, on a similar peculiarity in American preaching, and his dictum on the matter is, that to adopt any tone peculiar to the pulpit is highly absurd. Is it really so? At first the preacher talks very simply; by and by he changes his tone; you would then, perhaps, say that he discourses to you; he still rises: you now see and hear something of the orator; he declaims and reasons; at length, passed through all these stages, you see clearly that passion and feeling, the grandest forces of the soul, are at work. Winged thoughts and words come forth, all-glorious with the hues of heaven. They are poetry. How can they be otherwise? Reason, imagination, feeling, and passion are the factors. Figures and metaphors

become the native speech. With such thoughts is the "hwyl" so unnatural or absurd? Occasionally you may fancy you hear in its tone the wail of unearthly sorrow, or the jubilant song of the redeemed. Are not poetry and music twins? And is it possible to be impassioned upon the most elevated themes, without adopting a tone more or less peculiar to them? We think not. The style and tone must accord insensibly. The principle is illustrated in all oratory. The peculiarity of the Welsh "hwyl" is that the principle is carried to a further extent, and acted upon in a mode that accords most remarkably with the genius of the language and the people. When it is a mere habit, without inspiration, it is an intolerable oratorical vice; as such let it be condemned; but whatever material for criticism it may furnish, it has a power, when natural and genuine, over the masses of the Welsh people, which none but those who have witnessed its effect can easily believe. Until the preacher has arrived at this stage of his discourse, whatever he may have said, he has got no farther than the Welshman's understanding; the "hwyl" at once finds its way to the heart. Under these overpowering intonations, even Englishmen have been subdued by the mystic power of an unknown tongue. Like music and song, they evoke a sympathy scarcely dependent upon words. Christmas Evans was scarcely less indebted to those magic peals which made his hearers tremble or rejoice at his imperial will, than to his marvelous allegorical and dramatic power.

The efficient Welsh preacher is generally a man of rude and vigorous health. The athlete who stands before you on the Association - day (and he represents a class) is daily braced by the up-hill walk or mountain ride. His is rarely a student's life. His soul and body are not shriveled by prolonged subsistence upon Greek and Hebrew roots. He is no effeminate recluse. He may be a pluralist in the best sense of the word, having the care of more Churches than one, and the duties thus devolving upon him contribute not a little to his vigor. His firm step, and face bronzed by blast and sun, betoken all this. He converses more with nature than with books. He has, in consequence, that kind of mental and moral vigor which a good athletic frame so highly favors.

If his thoughts are not often profound, never subtle, they are generally manly. His ministry glows with life. Whatever defects it may have, it has the redeeming elements of energy and force. There are striking exceptions to this rule even in Wales. At the present day one of the most gifted men in the Welsh ministry has always suffered from feeble health. Still the rule is as we have stated, and as might have been expected. The amount of work now done by the most notorious preacher of the day, and which is regarded by many as Herculean, has been the ordinary life-service of many a Welsh preacher "unknown to fame," except among his own native hills. Wales has been evangelized by such men, and the pulpit of the present day owes no small share of its popular power to its possession of such men still.

Nor let this fact of adequate physical power be underrated. In no profession, if its duties are properly discharged, is every energy more continuously taxed. Mens sana in corpore sano ought to be a condition of entrance into all our colleges. Physical, mental, and moral health are closely connected. Men who, as preachers, move the world, must be in all respects men of power.

Fancy then, reader, a mind and body thus well strung, brought to bear with wondrous entireness upon the work of preaching. This concentration of the Welsh preacher is quite remarkable. The social condition of the people favors it. We have known many men of power in Wales, whose thoughts by day and dreams by night seemed utterly engrossed with their favorite work. They seem to know little else, to care for nothing else. This was the focal point in which all their powers and passions met. How to make every sermon tell; of this they thought, of this on every fit occasion, and with every congenial mind, they talked. Yes! preaching was with them a passion, allengrossing, all-absorbing; upon it they mused till the fire burned. With them the apostle was never allowed to degenerate into the pedagogue, nor the pastor into the clerk. They were no committee men; they would never have excelled as secretaries; they did not attempt a little of everything, far less to teach it. The thousand heterogeneous claims upon his English brother do not

press upon the Welsh preacher. We will not pause to enlarge upon the difference; let the fact be noticed, and let it have its proper place among the reasons which must be assigned for the power of the Welsh pulpit.

But probably the main difference between English and Welsh preaching, and the source of the peculiar power of the latter, must be sought in the language and the mode of thought employed. It has frequently occurred to us that if ministers, who happened to have sprung from the lower orders, and who have therefore been familiar with their language and entire mode of thought, would in the course of their ministry, if suitably located, lay aside their acquired speech and style of thought, and speak, on occasions especially devoted to this purpose, to the degraded thousands around them the words of God in their own peculiar tongue, the effect would be great. To some men in the ministry whose education is imperfect, and to whom a more polished mode of speech is by no means natural and easy, this temporary self-degradation, if such it may be called, for a lofty purpose, would, we conceive, be no very difficult thing. There need be no coarseness; there might be less in reality than sometimes marks pulpit exhibitions of higher pretense. All that is meant is, that their usual medium of communication be adopted. No language has such power over a man as that in which he thinks.

All classes of the Welsh people—all who speak the Welsh language, rich and poor, educated or otherwise, use precisely, with the slightest possible variation of dialect, the same medium of communication. In ordinary conversation, the language of the most highly-educated minister is that of the meanest of his people. The distinction between the conversational language of an educated Englishman, and that, say, of an illiterate peasant, has no counterpart in Welsh social life. This fact must be duly noted; then let it be observed that this popular medium of communication is, with scarcely an exception, used in the pulpit. Nor is there anything in this language that is offensive or disagreeable to the most educated or critical. Probably the Welsh language has been more cultivated of late years than at any previous period in its history; still the most learned men in Wales find it quite natural

pit. More "intellectual preaching," however a few may urge it, is certainly not the demand of even well-instructed audiences. Upon this point, facts are decisive. The most instructive preachers are certainly not the most attractive. Nor are the causes far to seek. Those who seek intellectual excitement, and a high order of instruction-who are interested in the discussion of lofty and difficult themes-know well that the popular orator is not the man, nor the pulpit the place for them. More "intellectual preaching" is the cant cry of the intellectually small. There exist more efficient means of high instruction. In this respect the pulpit can never vie with the press; the attempt is generally as weak as it is foolish. In our day the press must be supreme in the domain of abstruse thought, and those who are capable of it will find in books the best answers to their highest questions. Disguise it as we may, the pulpit of the present day is only to a limited extent the instructor of the people. The preacher is no longer an oracle. There are other teachers whose mode of teaching will admit of more profound, more pertinent, more consecutive instruction, than any oral teacher can pretend to furnish. Thought, in our day, germinates and matures under other influences than those of the pulpit. Views are formed, questions are settled or unsettled, elsewhere.

and agreeable to use in all ordinary conversation the language of the least cultivated; and the most accomplished Welsh preacher feels it no condescension to clothe his thoughts in the language of the poorest in the throng. This may in great measure be accounted for from the derivative nature of the language, every word being constructed of monosyllables, each one of which has a connectional meaning in forming the word. In the naturalness of the construction of the words the utmost perfection is said to exist; and enthusiastic Welshmen can be found who claim for it the honor of having been spoken in Paradise. The same homely idiom, the same occasional, but by no means glaring incorrectness, the same natural but negligent grammar, may be observed in the sermon as in the fireside talk. There is no polishing of sentence, no elegantly-turned period, but there is the natural euphony of impassioned word and thought. There is the heightened language with the rising thought. But the thought is still expressed in the people's tongue. In his wonder at the little power which English preaching has over English poor, the Welshman is apt to forget this fact. The almost exclusive care which the Welsh preacher bestows upon the thought is quite marvelous; all the study has been to simplify it, never to elaborate, to turn it round and round, to put it in many lights, and under many hues to humanize, and, if I may so speak, to Welshify it. The farmer carries home with him the abstrusest principle, it may be, packed in the homeliest words of a homely illustration. This was the pre-eminent glory of Williams of Wern; he put the thoughts of a philosopher in the language of a child. The highest philosophy fell unexpectedly from his lips, and the people rose to the height of great arguments unawares. What would be like grave chap-mystic power; as long as its tones become ters in moral science, as treated by some "Rev. Dryasdusts," we have heard inwrought in sermons that told on every peasant. We have even witnessed the singular process, by an accomplished artist, of doing Hamilton of Leeds into Welsh; some of the glory was lost, but none of the power. It is in this peculiarity of the Welsh pulpit that we find the main source of its great popularity.

The dominant aim of the Welsh preacher is impression. He seems thoroughly to understand the peculiar mission of the pul

The conclusion is, that impression must be the predominant aim of the preacher; it is not the understanding that is to be mainly addressed. He must sway the conscience; that is the end, all else is but means. For this, the pulpit has a power which the press can never wield. In his sphere the preacher has no rival. This distinction borne in mind, the idea of his ever being superseded is highly absurd. As long as the living voice retains its

tremulous with the burden of the thought conveyed; as long as the countenance can be made luminous with mind; as long as words and manner can be inspired by "thoughts which breathe" within; as long as truth incarnate is truth the most impressive-so long will the preacher occupy a position unrivaled and alone. For bringing home to human souls those questions which, in the highest sense, affect human destiny, the pulpit is a means unique and all-powerful. The effective Welsh preacher pre-eminently understands all this.



SUPPOSE it is natural (that is, humanly natural) that opinions should be at once so diversified and so generally inconsistent on the subject of happiness; for happiness is a thing that every one appears to judge of vicariously. How few, except children, experience it consciously, or recognize and acknowledge its presence with them. It seems to be an inevitable law with the majority of us, that you can no more see the peculiar good of your own estate, than you can see your own profile shadowed on the wall. You twist and turn to look at it, and in the very effort to behold, it is lost. But other people's profiles you can see, judge, and criticise. Other people's happiness you know all about; you look at it, wonder at it, envy it, perhaps. How is it that men and women are so rarely able to see the sunshine that falls on themselves? It is a curious problem in psychology.

Perhaps we are all too selfish to be accredited appraisers of our personalities; and although, as regards this particular one, our partiality takes the unusual direction of undervaluing what belongs to ourselves, the injustice is none the less. And the fatuitousness of the judgment is as striking even as when you, my dear hardfeatured friend, flatter yourself that the outline of your face is classical, and the turn of your head as noble as it is refined. After all, it may be wiser to leave ourselves and our happiness alone.. Egotism is the last thing that the human race needs teaching in these days. Therefore, without making "so much ado" about the bliss which falls to our own proper share, we might pursue our inquiries among our friends, our lovers, and acquaintance. Let us try to discover who are the happy, and wherein doth consist that intangible, impalpable mystery which constitutes their happiness

Happiness! how often has our ideal changed within a little time! It varies, we find, with every turn of our own fate, circumstance, or feeling. Is it not so with you also? But probably you never stop to consider within yourself what it is you are living for. You very often yawn during the morning hours, and, listlessly tapping your immaculate poot with a wonderful cane, "wonder how you shall get through the day." You find it tiresome that you

have been to every place and seen everything that you care to visit or to see. You lament that there are "no more worlds to"-travel about. Sometimes, even, you get as far as an aspiration, "that there was something new to be done, that everything wasn't so worn out, so stale, flat, and unprofitable." And if any one asked you if you are happy, you would reply, with emphatic candor, "Confound it, no!"?

How odd! for you possess a considerable proportion of that " raw material" which even the most romantic of us admit to be more or less adequate, if not necessary, to constitute happiness. Consider. You are young-in the very bloom of a man's youth, which need not and should not be rubbed off much before thirty. You are strong and vigorous, when you choose to lead a healthful life. You have an average share of abilities, and believe that you have more. You are tolerably well-looking, and more than tolerably well satisfied with your looks. You have a loving mother and affectionate sisters. You possess, O! what troops of admiring friends; and you have an income sufficient for all your wants. How dare you not be happy?

Alas! you dare do all that should become a man, and discontent is as masculine an attribute as your hat, and, I must say, becomes you as well. Not that I intend to quarrel with it in this instance. I think you are like an oyster, and what is in itself a disease, is the one hopeful and valuable part of your being. If you were satisfied with your life, you would be in a still worse condition than you are. If you were "happy," you would be wretched indeed. But you have envied Jack Baggs, and there is a chance for you.

Now there is your friend Wentworth ; it is a good trait in your character that your friendship with him has hitherto been so steady and unbroken, seeing that he is as poor in worldly gifts as you are rich, and that you move in widely different circles of society. Moreover, that he never neglects his own pursuits to chime in with your lazy employments, and so far from flattering your vanity or courting your distinction, there is no one of your acquaintance who speaks to you with such candor, or behaves with such straightforward independence. Only the other day, you remember, he informed you,

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