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The Rev. J. COWDEN COLE, Vicar of Upton, Somerset, One point not previously referred to I wish to make an observation about, viz., the connection of art with common life. I have gone through, for instance, an Art Exhibition, and have stood before a picture, the work perhaps of a great artist, and have been unable to tell so much as its subject ; and I know very well that there are many people who pass through picture galleries and who may be in the same predicament as myself. There is, therefore, this defect, if I may call it so, in art—the highest art-when applied to ordinary life, that it needs an interpreter. I believe, however, this defect would be partly overcome if art and religion were more in unison. Religion, as a matter of fact, does take hold of the common people. You have only to go into any ordinary place of religious worship, even in a village district, to know that religion has got hold of the people, -of those whom we are accustomed to call the lower ranks of social life. I stood, the other day, in the waiting room of a railway station and happened to be looking up at one of those rolls of “inspired thoughts” which hang in nearly every waiting-room in the kingdom. The Scripture sheet for that particular day was the subject of the Everlasting Life. There was a man standing beside me, and, pointing to the text, “ Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father,” he said,
" Will not that be a glorious time, sir, when it can be realised ?". I felt, at any rate, that religion had full possession of that man's mind, and probably was to hi a source of the highest mental pleasure. One word I should also like to add with respect to another institution of modern common life, namely, the workhouse. Ages ago art and religion lived and flourished in concord and union in the monastery: A period Went by, and the monasteries were taken away, and we had in their stead those sorry poor laws which made the life in the workhouse a substitute in the case of the aged poor for their former life in the religious monastery. Most of us clergymen, and also ladies who visit workhouses, know what their interior is like. I believe an act of reparation is due to the aged people, who for the most part, after the toil of a long lise are called to live in these places. Art and religion should do their best, not worst, to soften the lot of their declining days.
The Rev. ERNEST EDWARD DUGMORE, Vicar of Parkstone.
I RISE for one single purpose, which is humbly to express my warmest thanks for a voice which we have heard to-day, a voice warning us of a most terrible danger and a most cruel wrong.
It is because I believe that all art, all science, all thought, to bow beneath the supremacy of the Crucified, and that thus the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdom of our God and of His Christ, and He shall reign for ever and ever, that I hold it to be a terrible degradation of art and a cruel wrong that any single soul for whom Christ died should in the sacred name of art be wronged and degraded, as the living nude model must inevitably be. I thank Mr. Horsley with all my heart for the words he has said to-day. For many years I have longed for some voice to be heard at the Church Congress, which should warn Christian people of the harm which is being thus done to souls, and should press home to individual consciences that simple question which is the test of right and wrong in this matter :—Would you allow daughter or sister to place herself in the position of such model ?
F. J. CANDY, Esq., Highfield Ditton, Cambridge. CANON Hoare has said what I would have said in reply to Mr. Sedding on this subject of art and religion. I was once in a splendid church. I looked round for the object of worship. I found it in a corner, surrounded by waxen arms and legs. I found a black doll—a doll fit for the sign of a rag shop. The other day there was a grand procession over the water-a procession with an image, with a grand new splendid crown of gold and jewels. This was only a substitute--the original image was one of wood--and there was carried behind this image a hand that was left of the old image
that came into the harbour mysteriously about a thousand years ago. Where did it come from? I believe it came from the southern shore of England ; not from Portsmouth, but more Brighton way. The south Saxons were the last Saxons converted to Christianity, and I believe one of their idols had been thrown into the water instead of the fire and carried across by the waves, to find a new name, a new set of worshippers and a new lease of existence at Boulogne, till the first great French Revolution. An idol thrown away by the people of Sussex was picked up and worshipped by the people of Boulogne.
The Rev. ARTHUR J. ROBINSON, Rector of St. Mary's,
Whitechapel, E. We have heard something about Whitechapel to-day, and as I happen to live there, it may be right for me to say a few words. It is a place pretty well known, and it seems to me that a good number of ladies and gentlemen in the West End think it has the finest people in the world to make experiments upon. Well, I gladly welcome any one who will come and help us to make life happier, and men and women better, and I am very grateful to those who have come. One or two gentlemen have already said that some of this art is not intelligible. Now I will tell you what I am in the habit of sometimes doing. I go among the working men, absolutely disguising myself, so that I can ask them questions as to what they think of this or that movement made for their good. I tell you now what some one observed about art exhibitions. “Well,” he said, " I do not know that I ever met any one who ceased to black his wife's eyes by looking upon pictures, pottery, or any thing of that kind." There are hundreds of people who absolutely place art before religion, and in place of religion, and think art is to lead to Christ." I humbly differ from them. Has anybody on earth been led to do the right thing, and leave off the wrong, by looking at these exhibitions ? Now, I speak earnestly as a clergyman who has worked for years amongst the poor. I have done my best to bring men to the Lord Jesus Christ as an attached, true, earnest member of the Church of England, and I have no hesitation in saying that I do not believe that anything short of the preaching of the Lord Jesus Christ in simplicity will touch men's hearts. If we must all be labelled as belonging to this or that school of thought, then I at once say I am an Evangelical, perhaps you may call me Puritan and Calvinist. I, however, like better music in our churches, and more musical services than some, and I can go a long way with many in these things. But there is a point beyond which I cannot go, and will not go, and it is about the place of art in our worship.. I say that art does not necessarily lead to the Lord Jesus Christ or change men's lives. We must, therefore, while using art, keep it in its proper place. As to the matter of the crucifix, it has, I think, been twice acknowledged on this platform this day, by able speakers, that there was a time when images in the churches led to image worship. Can those speakers, or any one in this hall, certify that this shall not occur again? Mr. Beresford-Hope said it required bravery in days gone by to advocate such things. The tables are turned ; it now requires bravery to condemn them. Nevertheless, I humbly take my stand by my old and respected Vicar, Canon Hoare, and I do say, most earnestly, that I think the members of the Church of England, whether clergy or laity, ought to think twice, ten times, twenty thousand times, before they introduce the crucifix into our churches. Is it wise in these days, as he has said, to drive a wedge through the heart of the Church of England ? I have some experience of working men, and I am very sure of this, that when the crucifix becomes general in our churches, the day of disestablishment will very soon arrive.
STEPHEN BOURNE, Esq. I wish, for a few minutes, just to narrate how the strongest condemnation of such objects as have been spoken of came from the lips of one who is warmest in their support. In a controversy at a previous Congress with one who approved the opening of museums and exhibitions on the Sunday, the advocate asserted that he had himself derived more good from the sight of a crucifix than from all the sermons he had ever heard. Now as this clergyman, then a Minor Canon of St. Paul's, was in the constant
habit of sitting to hear the preaching of Canon Liddon, it said little for the attention paid to such opportunities for profitable instruction. I am one of those who are of opinion that we had better avoid the introduction of objects into our places of worship which can divert the attention of the hearers, for I feel we are in the highest danger of substituting the imaginary for the real, by the introduction of so much of art into our services, thus giving occasion for wandering thoughts and forgetfulness of the teaching. I think we had better altogether avoid the danger to which we are exposed. The preaching of the Gospel is best heard in the simplest places possible, apart from all that can arrest the attention of the eye, and all that can please the ear-all except that which is in itself an elevating of the eyes to the Author of our great religion. I think we shall interfere altogether with the teaching, which is the glory of our Church, if we do surround our hearers with exhibitions which so greatly interfere with their real devotion to worship. So far as I have heard and seen, the most ready to appreciate the singing, the most ready to rejoice in the display of paintings, and other exhibitions in the Churches, are just those who do afterwards praise the beauty of the services, and forget the teaching they receive. I can hardly think that this is the best mode of imprinting on their hearts and understandings that which should regulate their lives and lead men from earth to heaven.
The Rev. JOHN GREATHEED, Littlehampton. We are all agreed that the great thing we desire is the following of the Crucified. That is the reality, and other things are externals, and we should only use those externals as they will help us to the great reality. There are one or two points I wish to say a word upon. Many clergymen would be glad of good pictures in their churches if only they could get them. Let me express a public regret, and a wish that this Congress could send a waft of inspiration to one of our great painters, who spends pains in accuracy of detail, but has missed the subject most disastrously in that famous painting “The Finding Our Lord in the Temple.” It is happy for us that we do not follow in the footsteps of our Great Example, as portrayed to us by our great artist, otherwise all our children would be pert young upstarts, instead of imitating His true boyish humility, who was found sitting in the midst of the doctors, hearing them, and asking them questions. I have one more point to bring forward, and that is that I hope that some speakers on purity would make some practical suggestions that the Congress could carry out. We should have been glad to have heard from Mr. Horsley some hint as to the action we could take outside those walls. Could we not approach the future Queen Consort and other Christian ladies, and beg them to take up the subject and discountenance all such pagan art.
The Rev. CHARLES P. BERRYMAN, Rector of Laverstoke,
Hants. A GREAT many of you will remember the story of the old lady who was visited by an enthusiastic curate, and who, after he had given her a very concise and exact life of Christ, telling her especially all the various circumstances connected with His death and passion, made this answer—"I am very sorry indeed for Him, but surely it is such a long time ago, mayn't we believe it is not all true.” My brethren who work in country parishes will bear me out in saying, that in the minds of country people there is a great vagueness of belief as regards the life of Christ. They look upon it as some high-flown idea, and not as a real fact. In our churches we want something to show them that our Lord Jesus Christ's life was a real working every day life. I have tried to do this in my late parish by what I call picture services. I put up in my church, on the evenings in Holy Week, certain selected pictures, and endeavoured to instruct my people as best I could as to what these pictures represented, and I found my work was not in vain. One poor woman came up to me and made this remark_" Dear me! I had no idea it was like that.” But most of us will agree that there is a great want of suitable pictures; and I would make this practical suggestion to our artists, that they would confer on the Church of England an inestimable boon if they would provide us with simple plain outline drawings of the various events in the life of our Lord, to be used either in schools or churches ; none of those at present published being altogether satisfactory.
PERSONALLY I am unwilling to close the discussion without calling attention, under the same limits I have enforced upon others, to one or two facts. In both Pagan and Christian history, the triumphs of art have never coincided with the intensity of faith. Thus the supreme excellence of the sculpture of Phidias and his contemporaries belongs to the sceptical age of Pericles; and Raffaelle lived in the Renaissance, which was the revival, not of Christianity, but of Paganism. And I would also call attention to this fact, the risk which attends the introduction of art, especially of sculptured art, as a permanent element in the decoration of our churches. By it you arouse the spirit of criticism ; the man begins to think, not of the object represented, but of the strength or the weakness of the artist, and as soon as that critical spirit is aroused in a man, I am disposed to think that it is dangerous to the spirit of devotion. We must remember that there is an abiding truth in this matter-that passing impressions by being repeated are apt, as Bishop Butler has said, to grow weaker; and if you make the crucifix a permanent element in the art-objects of our churches, I think experience shows that it will produce little effect upon the crowds who will throng into the churches and look at it. If it could speak, its words would surely be—“Is it nothing to you all ye that pass by ?” In the town of Baden-Baden, a crucifix used to stand within a few yards of the great gambling saloon, and if it could have spoken, it would have said, in yet sterner words—“All the day long have I stretched forth Mine hands to a disobedient and gainsaying people.” My opinion is that pictorial representations of incidents in the more private and domestic life of the Christ are better fitted for pictorial representation in churches than those illustrative of its more solemn moments. The crucifix, and pictorial representations of the Crucified, though legitimate in themselves, and having a right sphere of application are, in my opinion, better confined to special moments, special hours, and special seasons.
The Right Rev. the LORD BISHOP OF NEWCASTLE in the Chair.
EVANGELISING AGENCIES SUPPLEMENTARY TO
THE PAROCHIAL SYSTEM.
The Very Rev. JOHN OAKLEY, D.D., Dean of Manchester.
The subject of this paper was not framed by me, nor have I had any other indication of the meaning of it than the fact that I am followed by the clergyman who is responsible for the latest—and in many ways a successful-evangelistic agency, “supplementary to the parochial system,” or at least designed so to be.
It has occurred to me that I might usefully try, in an unpretending way, to lay the ground of the coming discussion by attempting some account of the parochial system in wholly modern terms; for that will help us to see what is and what is not really supplementary to it.
The etymology is obvious and instructive. It is the neighbourhood of a particular house or dwelling. And that dwelling was, in the first place, that of the bishop. It signified, says Dr. Hook, the same that a diocese does now, and it is this truer and larger maporía—the bishop's parish, and not the modern district of the parish priest—which is the true unit of the Church's organisation.
Two reflections arise from this simple fact. The infant organisation, and the infant jurisdiction of the Church, were alike distinctly territorial. So they have continued to be through all vicissitudes, and will probably continue to be through 'possible impending changes. To assume that the removal of certain legal sanctions to the existing religious divisions of the country would obliterate them, is to assume much. They arose before those sanctions, and they would probably survive them. In the next place, that organisation and that jurisdiction was from the first what it is now, episcopal. It was the bishop's church and the bishop's house, however humble, which was the centre of the new civilising force. And so it will probably remain, possibly with a fresh vitalising force, under whatever changes are before us. To assume that the dissolution of legal vestries, and the final alienation of tithes, would transform existing parishes and dioceses into an accumulation of independent congregations-each a Church unto itself-perhaps with a more or less superfluous common superintendent, but perhaps not, is also to assume what there is nothing in history or present facts to suggest.
But this, though a fair and even necessary definition of our terms, is