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attained, not by repudiation and hostility, but by fresh acquisition; and the true type and standard is reached of that really Catholic spirit which is the glory and the palladium of the Church. But this can rarely be attained in youth. It requires much reading, much experience, many trials, many failures, many sorrows. Think how hard it is for an ardent, devoted, but as yet unchastened and comparatively unlearned, mind to be deeply impressed with the following great requirements of such a final clerical education as we are suggesting, without a tendency to extravagance and excess.
The first is the unshrinking inculcation of a definite, positive faith, and body of doctrine as the first command of God, the primary condition of Christianity, the only base of its moral virtues, the only key to all spiritual mysteries. We know how the whole world seems banded together to repudiate and to banish this axiom. And until it can be restored to its due position in the system of the Church, as the keystone of the whole fabric, all other labours are idle. Yet how easily, how inevitably will this necessity raise up in a young mind a craving for dogmatic teaching, for rearing and stereotyping a vast additional body of religious doctrine, and stamping it bodily upon the whole clergy! Instead of this, our Church has adopted the course of drawing a rigid line between the Creeds and the Articles, and between the Articles and other portions of theological instruction; making the Creeds in their substance imperative upon all Christians by direct Apostolical authority; the Articles imperative upon the English clergy, as a necessary precaution against diversity of teaching in the midst of dangerous errors—a precaution erected by our own branch of the Catholic Church, and confined to its official ministers; but leaving the religious opinion beyond this free and open, with as few prescriptions and as few definitions as possible, that all Christian men may enjoy the liberty of thought and reason, which is essential to the elevation of their intellect, and to the development of truth.
The older mind will draw these distinctions, but a young mind will scarcely endure them.
A young mind will be deeply impressed with the need of spiritualizing and subliming, as it were, the whole tone and temper of the clergy. But it will be hard for him, in his enthusiasm and ardour, to keep his eye fixed on the earth as well as on the heavens, and to maintain, as well, that practical, subdued, and soberminded simplicity, without which religion will become fanaticism. The clergy are not to be taken out of the world, but to be kept while labouring in it; kept in all sobriety of mind, and innocency of life. And their minds must not be over
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heated and overstrained in the most important stage of their education.
Again, it is essential that the minds of the clergy should be carried back to primitive antiquity. Their studies must be studies of the early Church, of the great Fathers and teachers of the first ages of Christianity. But we have seen already the consequence of a rash and undisciplined reverence even for these deep wells of truth and knowledge, in young and unlearned minds. It requires long study, a wide extent of reading, carefully formed habits of discrimination, and especially a familiar acquaintance with the great authorities of our own English theology, to work safely even in these precious mines. A young man cannot act in them as a safe guide.
A young man cannot offer a safe anchorage-ground for the faith of men only a few years younger than himself. Gray hairs have always been a condition required for counsellors and advisers.
If to those gray hairs are added a warm and a loving hearta deep and fatherly interest in the welfare of young men—a power of sympathising with their feelings, of encouraging their communications, of answering their difficulties, of soothing their griefs, of giving life and spirit to their studies, of gathering them round their teacher, not as the oracle of a party, but as a minister of the Church; a theological college placed under such an influence will become one of the most blessed works and powerful instruments of God, which England could pray for her clergy. Wells is already showing to us that such a dream is not an illusion. God grant that many more may be rising soon, imbued with the same spirit! Let us notice as a happy omen the noble donation by the Bishop of Exeter, of the sum of 10,0001. to the new college instituted by him there under the presidency of the learned Dean Ellicott.
But, above all, there is now a work to be done by those who would imbue the English clergy with a right and a sound spirit -a work which it is all but impossible for a young man even to enter upon with safety. The theological teacher of this day must be conversant with the theology of Germany. The real history of the scepticism which is now spreading finds its key chiefly in one fact-that young, ardent, and intelligent minds, when they looked to the existing tone and character of English theology, did not find in it that depth of thought, that solid learning, that range of inquiry, and that enthusiasm of feeling, which could satisfy their aspirations, or acquire their confidence. With
one or two most rare exceptions, and those exceptions occurring where genius, and learning, and enthusiasm, by some
strange perversion of the human mind, have ended in an abandonment of the truths they once enforced, and thus in annihilating the confidence they had created, the religious literature of England has been for years shallow and superficial. Beside us, in a foreign land, in a strange language, there has grown up an enormous mass of bold, unshrinking speculation, exhibiting vast industry, extensive reading, much solid learning lying amidst heaps of rubbish; and, above all
, assuming proudly that position of reckless criticism, and suspicion, and doubt, which, easy as it is to maintain, yet seems so impregnable to the young, and presents such a fascinating aspect of authority and courage. Strange as it is, yet he who speaks of himself, bears witness to himself, comes forward without a mission, and without a guarantee, to announce his own dogmatic assertions, will prevail with human nature, where the most irreproachable testimony is repudiated with scorn.
With this mass of speculation comparatively few minds in England have become acquainted. A few ħave borrowed from it, and paraded some specimens of acknowledged worthhave been captivated with much more that was worthless—have imbibed its spirit, and its language, without fathoming its real depth or shallowness, and without having learned (as the minds of England most conversant with the subject have repeatedly warned them) that theory after theory has again and again been repudiated in Germany itself, and that even the German intellect is sick of the extravagances which it has indulged, and is endeavouring to lay the evil spirits which those extravagances have evoked. They have taught young men to think that none can be adequate expositors of English theological truth but those who are perfectly conversant with German theological falsehood. Now none but an old and practised mind of solid profound learning, of balanced temper, and of tried discrimination, can safely enter into an atmosphere so charged with poisonous elements. A young mind cannot be trusted in it. He has no safety-lamp, nó antidote. And he will undoubtedly be infected with scepticism, probably most seriously, even against his will, and in defiance of his preconceived resolution. There is nothing so penetrating as suspicion. Once admit it, and confidence can scarcely ever be restored. And let any one watch the working of his own mind, whenever some new doubt is in these days proposed, or some new discovery threatened, or some strange speculation popularized, which touches in the slightest degree the foundation of his belief, and he will understand why a very strong, and perfect, and invulnerable armour of faith is required by him who would sit as critic, and sifter, and
interpreter of the German theology—such an armour as cannot be possessed by any one who is young either in years or mind.
It is then to the Cathedral bodies, and to a right distribution of their patronage, that we may look most hopefully for the last stage of training required for the clergy of England previous to ordination. But no clergyman will be able to look back upon his own career without perceiving how little has even then been done, how much remains to be learned in the first years of his own parochial experience. Then it is that the guidance and example of a sound-minded, warm-hearted, and judicious pastor will complete the real course of education. And in many cases our populous towns committed to the charge of such men, who are enabled to gather round them a body of young curates, supply schools, the value of which cannot be over-estimated. Leeds, Kidderminster, Yarmouth, have already set acknowledged examples of this kind; and anything which enables them to be multiplied will powerfully contribute to the efficiency of the English clergy.
Such seems to be a sketch of the external machinery which is chiefly required. The details are questions dependent chiefly on the judgment of the Bishops. But on one or two points there seems now to be a general approach to concurrence.
First, the English theological education must comprise an accurate scholarship, especially in Greek; and this involves the maintenance of the dead languages' as the basis of general education, even if no other reason rendered it imperative.
Secondly, it is at present sadly deficient in the study of Hebrew; and, to facilitate this study, some instruction at least in the grammatical elements of that tongue should be provided in our schools for boys. The main difficulty of a new language consists, to an adult, in mastering the rudiments. It would almost seem that none but a young mind can be forced to this task. If the first labour is borne in boyhood, it is comparatively easy to pursue it afterwards. If neglected then, few will have the courage to grapple with it. And the same may be said of another most important element in clerical education—a knowledge of church music, in which our higher schools do not enjoy even the advantage which the National schools possess.
Thirdly, the English clergy must be prepared to take their stand and perform their part in a world where a vast variety of general information is required. They cannot be merely theologians. Now, if ever, that definition of a well-instructed man is needed that he should know something of everything, and everything of something. Theology must be his one science,
the Bible his one book; but he cannot meet upon equal terms the socialists and the sceptics even in the lower classes, with whom he will have daily to battle ; and he cannot assist and guide the general instruction of his flock, in which the voice of the pastor is so important, unless he is tolerably familiar with the general knowledge of the day—its sciences, its language, its books, and its men. This need in the parochial clergy, as it doubles their labours, as it tends to withdraw some portion of their time from their exclusively appropriate studies, renders it still more necessary to provide within the Church places and retirements where minds may be devoted profoundly and almost exclusively to theology, and thus be able to fight the battles of truth with more solid and deep learning than can be expected from the mass of the parochial clergy.
Fourthly, an essential part of their early education should be oral delivery, and facility of expression. The phrases are purposely limited. It may be well doubted if it be desirable to lay too great a stress or any stress on the study of so-called oratory or of eloquence. Whenever those studies have been most cultivated, and have absorbed the principal part of education, good oratory and real eloquence have perished. The eloquence of the English clergy, that it may come home to the English mind, and touch the English heart so as to bring forth good fruit, must be, like their lives and their Church, above all things, simple, quiet, earnest, unaffected, honest, and true. Anything like art or effort, any studied intonations, anything like acting in the recitation of that wonderful production the English Liturgy, would destroy all its influence far more, even than a mistake of pronunciation, or a failure of delivery. To speak articulately, audibly, with proper pronunciation, proper emphasis, proper stops—to do this from long habit and practice, unconsciously—is that which may be taught and required in the case of every clergyman, as it should be included in the general system of all schools. And it must be taught early ; especially the right modulation of the voice and the play of its organs, so as to avoid indistinctness, and strain upon the lungs. The size of our new churches, their often bad acoustic properties, and the multiplication of services, render this one of the first lessons required for the clergy. But is there a single public school in which this is taught? Or are there indeed more than one or two empirical professors of the art
, whose merits have not yet been sufficiently tested to justify the adoption of their system?
But this is very different from teaching an artificial and dramatical delivery of our Church Services. Nothing could be