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an unspoken sense of the supernatural, and peoples his days with startling processions and shining faces. Again. The Christian lives, or should live, in a perpetual present. He has no bitter broodings on the past, no fatiguing anticipations of the future. In a land where it is “always afternoon,” he lies back, letting the rosy hours rain through his parted fingers. A great artist is one, who, like Wordsworth, lengthens out this season of delight; and keeps to himself, by individual right, a young lamb's heart amid the full-grown flock.” Now, I counsel that the teaching of the Church in our over-wrought society should be a sincere effort to show that the full and ever festal life is to be found ; but only when simplicity is sovereign, and when men have that control and calm of the Founder of Christianity which is the core of everything permanent and precious in art. We are living in an age that in its breathless movement and its boisterous assertiveness, in its false note of liberty, and its refusal to receive discipline, is anti-artistic and anti-Christian in act as in aspiration. We have 100 seldom those wise and passive periods when we can sit silent all day long, drowned by Divine thoughts-as the pebbles lie bathed by the brook. We have too few of those tranquil times, when great poetic waves can reach us from the soundless shores of the Infinite ! Sirs, I am certain that if Christianity could be lived out as its Divine Initiator desired that it should be penetrated and practised, we should have not only a society nurtured by simplicity, but a renaissance of the royal age of Poetry, when life would find expression in finished epics, woven of delicate dreams and threads of thought. , For good and living poetry is not a private thing, not the production of an individual mind, but a sort of blossom put forth by the complex organism of the Nation ; it is the growth of a happy period, and derives all its richness and sweetness from the vigorous and healthy condition of the State. How, sir, can a State long be either vigorous or healthy that is not Christian ? For Christ is the highest expression of the race ; and whatever is contrary to Christ must be hurtful to humanity. It is from the bleeding heart of Calvary that all wholesome love beats : it is from the Messiah, who lingered among the lilies, that the artist must learn the immortal accent. And to dwell in the atmosphere which Jesus breathed during the hidden years, is to smell the musk and myrrh of the garden of God. Is there anyone here who longs to write a lovely song in praise of Nature ? He will best delight the Universe, not by bland lyrics of bounteous landscapes and moon-clothed mountains ; not by languid lotus eating, and leaving æsthetic sensuousness to absolute lordship for then delight would change to ultimate bitterness--but by keeping his vision clear and his feelings delicate ; then each impression as it awakes will clothe itself in sovereign words-words which in their simplicity, their sheer unconsciousness, their popular quality, their meetness for music, will have a noble lyric note, and the spirit of supreme song. I have spoken mostly of Poetry. Of Music and Painting, permit me one word. A great picture is one in which common human life is exhibited ; which common life, by some attitude, or glance, or far perspective has a celestial significance. And majestic music is expressed only when the tragical superlative is shaken off, and all the falsettos and fugues of the later sumptuous schools are replaced by bursts of melody sent from the heart of the musician, and craving utterance in the linked sweetness of solemn harmonies. But the highest art, like the highest life, is most healthy when least self-conscious; and the egotistic character, in either, is big with catastrophe. You remember Goethe's belief that art is of the nature of religion. Is it not the wisdom of the Church to enlarge her tent, and take under her shadow those who, through some visual defect, cannot see, but who have yearnings for the face of God? No true artist is far from the kingdom of Heaven. Thoroughness is the ideal of the Creator as of the Christian. Both are driven by a queenly compulsion towards supreme excellence. Excelsior is always their motto, if not always their experience. I despair of no man who does homage to the sensibilities of life. Any moment the secret fires in his soul may blaze into an epiphany of Godhead. "Long sleeps the summer in the seed.” Let us have patience and belief that our children of genius may yet stumble into the light. We are highest when we are most transfigured by Hope. Yet one thought more. Don't let the claims of philanthropy kill the livingness in the mind, and drown the speech of the waters. Any gentleman of the Press can, by a skilful article, stir the national conscience—at least, for a season ! It is only the chosen in a century who can trace the lovely line of a mountain curve, and fuse into deathless language the gestures and deeds of a generation, and interpret the intense colour of vanishing suns. Let us treasure those who can leave imperishable trophies. Art-great art—is always precious. But art, when it lays hold of the hem of the Incarnate Life, is the first faint Aush, even here, of the exquisite existence in the Golden World.
The Right Hon. A. J. B. BERESFORD-HOPE, M.P.
I AM sure we all must have listened with very great interest to the various papers which have been read, and remarked with great pleasure the wonderful consent of opinion and onwardness of perception which as a whole they display. It is on that point of onwardness that I desire to speak to you, and I desire especially to call attention to Mr. Sedding's paper, which was so great a treat to us. It was exceedingly clever, it was exceedingly lively, it brisiled with epigram ; but, though it is all that, I wish to point out to you-Mr. Sedding will forgive me for saying so--that if I were to attempt a classification of it I should say it was an art production in the way of poetry, rather than a matter of fact contribution to history. I do not think that Mr. Sedding has given enough attention, or done enough justice, to the way in which the world has gone on progressing by his side. I say nothing at all against the sentiments which he so eloquently put forth. With them I entirely agree ; but I do not think he does such justice to the actual conditions of serious opinion as he might have done. One passage of his which particularly struck me was that in which he eloquently and truthfully laid down that the centre of all religious art must be the representation of the Crucified One. This, I say, is a statement which would have been a very courageous thing to have said a few years ago. I do not think it is so particularly courageous now, though equally truthful. But because it is not so courageous now, the reflections with which he followed up the statement, he said must be listened to with very great allowance. He said, and it raised a laugh and a cheer, that we cannot now have our Lord on the cross represented unless the thieves were represented with him. I grant that may have been true some years ago, but it is not
Unless, as I might be inclined to admit, the only possible symbolism which can be assigned to the cruciform bouquets (not bouquets in general, but cruciform bouquets) which Aank the altar crosses in so many churches, is that they represent the thieves' crosses. There is a church in Kent which has been the delight and work of my life for many years, and over the altar is a representation of the Crucifixion in high relief, and on each side, not thieves, but saints. Well, that Crucifixion I had the satisfaction of pointing out to Archbishop Tait, and of informing him that it was the one thing in the church for which we were indebted to his kindness, as it had been put up by his Faculty. The Archbishop smiled pleasantly, and accepted the fact. Perhaps, too, it is not in your knowledge, or, in that of Mr. Sedding, that at this minute an artist of acknowledged fame is gradually producing, for the altar of St. Paul's Cathedral, London, a Crucifixion on a very considerable scale, and in prominent relief. So then, as the highest object above earth, in London, is the golden cross at the summit of St. Paul's, so inside St. Paul's this representation of the Crucified One will be the appropriate, the magnificiently touching centre of worship. I dwell upon these points, for I think it is a very great pity, in any cause, to under-rate your own advance-to put your case worse than it is—to encourage the ill-instructed and the evil-minded, by attempting, with the work of a clever impression, not to put your case with all the full advantage of which it is capable. So, I say, much as I admire Mr. Sedding's paper, that I think it would have been a misfortune if it had gone out to the world without that statement being rectified by a more minute examination of what the facts are. The advance we have made of late years is wonderful, but many things there are to distress us still. We have not won the victory; we have, however, gone a great way. We have made things possible to be done, which, in the last generation, no one would have dreamt possible. So what I say is, let us go on with a cheerful heart. It would be ungrateful and illogical not to see in the victories we have gained the promise of greater successes. At the same time it would be rash; it would be flippant to think we could sit down and fan ourselves with the belief that we have won a campaign in which we had only made a very good beginning.
The Rev. EDWARD HOARE, Vicar of Tunbridge Wells and Hon.
Canon of Canterbury.
I could have wished that instead of myself some other speaker had followed the speech to which we have just listened. I do not like to differ from my friend Mr. Beresford-Hope, but I do differ from him very materially. I do not think, in the
first place, he has won the victory of which he speaks, nor do I think, in the second place, that if he had won the victory he would have had any cause for congratulation. He may have put the crucifix into his own church, to which he has so liberally devoted his best energies; and he may have heard that the Dean of St. Paul's is going to put one in St. Paul's, but that is not a victory. What is the effect of it? A few people may admire, but the great body of the English Protestant nation deplores. These are not days in which it is a safe thing to split up the Church of England, or a safe thing to drive a wedge right into the heart of our very best and staunchest churchmen. (Interruption.)
There must not be any interruption to any speaker.
The Rev. CANON HOARE.
These are not days in which you can venture to drive a wedge through the Church of England, and I do not hesitate for one moment to say—others have spoken out and I am speaking out-I do not hesitate to say that you cannot weaken the Church of England more in the heart of the great substantial body of thinking men up and down the country than by introducing crucifixes and images into your churches. I did not come to-day expecting to hear the image question discussed.
I will only say this, I take that to be a very low type of art-yes, a very low type of art. I have travelled many times on the Continent. I have looked into hundreds of Roman Catholic churches and cathedrals; and I ask any intelligent man, any artistic man, any man of taste, does he wish to see in our churches such horrid representations of the crucifixion, such vulgar images, justly described by the line of Pope's
“Tawdry yellow hung with dirty red.” From the bottom of my heart I thank God our reformers swept those clean out of our churches, and heart and soul I hope they will never be seen there again. But I call that mere low work. I thought we were come here to discuss something higher. Art! Well, I suppose there is art in architecture, art in music, art in poetry. I have heard a good deal to-day in disparagement of Calvinists and Puritans. Well, I dare say they are all very bad people. But there is one thing I want to know, I always thought one of the grandest English poets was Milton, and what was Milton a high Calvinist. I suppose some of you will call me a Puritan, and I dare say a Calvinist, I don't know, nor do I care, but I know this, that those who think with me love art as much as any man. Two gentlemen to-day have been speaking of Calvinists and Puritans as opposed to art. Those gentlemen know nothing whatever about it. We like to have art and the proper use of art.
We think there is a most important use for art ; we think there is a use in it and a danger in it, and we think it of the utmost importance to keep it in its right place. We believe, for example, that in worship art has a most important part in helping worship. It is the art of poetry that writes a beautiful hymn; it is art that composes a beautiful tune ; it is art that brings out that music beautifully upon a well-constructed organ; it is art that sings that composition as a well-trained choir, that can praise the Lord and lead the congregation, and it is art that leads to the result of a couple of thousand people swelling up in a magnificent hymn right up to the throne
of God. We do not object to art-not a bit in the world. We delight in it and thank God for it. But still, art may hinder worship. I am sure that art would binder if it were to introduce images into churches. It would then tend to lower down the whole conception of the infinite and invisible God and bring men from thoughts of heaven down to some poor miserable trumpery image that a man has stuck up in church. I do not like to look at a crucifix. I do not like the effect on my own mind-it is lowering, degrading; it is bearing down instead of elevating. Then, again, there is another case in which art may hinder. I have spoken of the beautiful tune and beautiful hymn. Now, some times art will come in and spoil all. I was not long ago in a church filled with devout and attentive worshippers. 'Well, there was an artistic organist, and he put on a very artistic Te Deum. It was, no doubt, a very clever composition, no doubt beautiful music and artistic to the highest degree, and the choir was well trained. All the parts went beautifully together, the Te Deum being sung extremely well. As an artistic performance it was capital. But what was the effect? Fifteen hundred people stood there in silence, and not one of them could sing. Well, I say the very
perfection of the art destroyed the worship. Once more, art may hinder worship in producing an impression upon the mind which is substituted for the reality of com• munion with God. Now, putting all religion out of the question, you find that a good piece of spirited music will have a vast power over the whole animal man. I am not one of those who profess to be musical, but I cannot hear a good tune without feeling that there is a power above it. Now let the thrill produced by that power become to a man a substitute for the real intercourse of his soul with the living God, and his religion is damaged the success of the art employed. You have given him that which is spurious in the place of that which is true. You have led his mind to be satisfied with something that is human, natural, material, instead of that which is divine, spiritual, and the elevating power of the gift of God. Now what we want is to be raised to communion with God himself, and to speak to Him, and nothing spurious, nothing earthly, nothing material, nothing merely natural can ever take the place of that.
The Rev. R. W. RANDALL, Vicar of All Saints', Clifton. Five minutes is rather a short time in which to deliver a speech on this subject, but I must make the most of it. First of all, I think we have all gone thoroughly and entirely with the last speaker. We feel that there is nothing, nothing at all equal to
- what he has been throwing out with such earnestness—the high duty which lies before every one of us to raise the mind of man to Him for whom, and by whom, man was made.' It is not every one that has the high gift of an intense spiritual communion with God such as is manisested in every word that falls from Canon Hoare; but I think we may do much to lead people up to that high communion with God through the representations of art. May I say that there is in the history of the Church one remarkable instance of this effect being produced for love. A young child of six years old, shown by her sister a representation of our blessed Master in the moments of His dying agonies, said immediately, “Did he do that for us? Then, indeed, what can we do for Him?” There then seemed to come to her so strong a devotion for her Master, that in all future life she welcomed suffering for love of Him, and, in the last moments of a dangerous sickness, when her dear husband, whom she had won and converted to God by her meekness and patience, had been taken from her, she raised her eyes to God with thanks, and said, “I thank Thee, O Master, that I have one more thing to suffer for Thee. I think it is said of Charles Simeon, to whom England owes such a debt, that, on his death-bed, there was hung up at the foot of his bed a picture of the Crucifixion, in order that he might have before his eyes a memorial of that Lord whom he so deeply loved, and whom he had so earnestly served and worked for. And I remember when I was taken into my own church by the present Primate of All England, when we had looked on all that portrayed the glory of Heaven in our chancel, for our church is full of pictures in glory, that he said, “Why, surely you ought to have a great Crucifix here." He meant, no doubt, that there should have been a memorial of the Death of the Divine Master. “Yes,” I said, “my Lord, but what might some people say if I put it there?” You see that he was bolder than I, and understood better than I what the feeling of English people now is about such representations, as Mr. Beresford-Hope has so well said. But I do think that some hearts may be led by those representations to love Him who stands above all others as having a claim to our love. I remember well when in the Tyrol, on a day when the sun was blazing in all its brightness and splendour, coming through a wood and seeing one of those representations of the Crucifixion. It was not like one of those painful representations of which Canon Hoare spoke. We should all feel that they are no help to religious feeling. No! it was one of those marvellous representations carved with all the power and devotion of the true artists of that country. There it rose sheer out of the green turf, right above my head, and as I passed beneath it I said to myself
, “ There on such a day as this, in the full glory of an Eastern Sun, there He hung, dying for me. And I think that it did me good. Let us be tender to others. Some may not need those helps from God, but some do find them an help. There are children who need to be taught, and men who require instruction, so let us help others as we would be helped ourselves. One word more as a clergyman. Mr. Sedding hit us pretty hard to-day, but he uttered at the beginning of his paper words for which I thank him most cordially. I want to quote his words so that Mr. Beresford Hope may hear them as he missed them. “What is religion to man? Religion is the sum of human aspiration, the motive of benevolent energy, the source of enthusiasm and the spring of comfort. Without religion life would be intolerable, and the world a school of despair. Religion is the motive and force of righteousness in the world; it supplies the creed by which a man shapes his conduct; it opens out the spiritual world; it sweetens even the saddest life, and forms the saints. I ask, have not we clergymen again and again found words fail us, and ourselves almost inclined to leave the pulpit ere ever our sermon was finished as the love of our Lord was realised by us, and as we felt it impossible to bring home to our people the sharpness of His sufferings and the greatness of His love? At such moments it surely cannot be wrong to feel that the picture or the Sculpture of the artist might bring home to some heart the story of the loving death on which all our hopes hang.
J, JOHNSTON BOURNE, Esq., Tunbridge Wells.
I did not enter this room with the smallest intention of standing here, but my spirit was stirred within me as I painfully listened to the opening paper from a lay pen, and I am anxious that it should not be imagined that that paper gives a fair representation of laymen's feelings or laymen's hopes. As I followed Mr. Sedding's essay, with all its brilliancy and beauty, the enquiry that arose in my mind was,- Is it possible to condense into twenty minutes any utterance more studded with fallacies and bristling with dangers. That doubt was removed as I heard Mr. BeresfordHope and his exposition of the Church to which I belong; and I feel bound to say that if the aims and objects of that Church are such as Mr. Hope expresses, I, and many thousands of lay members will be driven, though sadly and tearfully, to seek some other home. I want to add a few words to express my belief that God is wiser than man, not as a theory only, but as a fact. Looking to the methods by which he proclaimed this truth, and observing the processes by which Christianity, in its earlier days, was spread abroad, it will be manifest that it was not by anything that appeals to the æsthetic feelings-not by pictures—or any other artistic development, but by a direct communication to the Spirit ; it was by re-establishing the union between God and man, which sin had broken, and the method by which that re-union was to be effected was through the plain proclamation of a living and loving Saviour. If we depart from that ideal and that method, we shall find ourselves woefully mistaken as to the means, and sadly disappointed as to the end. What is the lesson which history teaches as to the results of excessive devotion to art, and where is Church art leading us now ? Certainly not to that which the soul longs for and requires. If I could get under the surface of feeling and desire of each of those in this room, and divine the inner cravings of each heart, I believe I should find an earnest longing for the pardon which Jesus Christ alone can gtve, and for that instant peace, which is His direct gift, and which He condescends to bestow on all who claim His promises and believe in His Son.
MELVILL GREEN, Esq., Worthing. Three remarks on behalf of myself and other commonplace people: the first, if art is to be the handmaid of religion, it must be intelligible. Our painted windows are, perhaps, the greatest transgressors in this respect. If art is io teach we must know what it means to teach. I have often seen works of art of which I could not tell what they were until I had consulted the guide-book. Secondly, we do need to be forcibly warned, as we have been to-day, that we do not create an imaginary holiness of beauty and substitute it for the real beauty of holiness. Thirdly, and this is what I chiefly got up to say: It cannot be intended that art, if it is to be introduced and multiplied in our Churches, should be studied at the risk of withdrawing attention from Common Prayer and effective preaching. This adds another to the thousand arguments, which are already overwhelming, why our churches should be open every day, and all day, as befits Houses of Prayer for all people.