« AnteriorContinuar »
The new hymnal should carefully preserve the cream of the present book and include, also, some of the best hymns and tunes that can now be obtained, making in all a collection of five or six hundred selections. More than that number will make it costly, cumbersome, and discouraging. It should be a book that will be popular with the people, containing such selections as they can understand and enjoy. At the same time we must try to win the favor of choristers and choirs. The present book has never gained the enthusiastic regard of this class. If our singers had always been supplied with the choir edition, the result might have been different, but too frequently the books purchased for the choir have been the duodecimo edition, with the music at the top of the page and the words at the bottom. No Methodist can be proud of that book and no musician can tolerate it. Not long since the writer saw some singers collecting the vestry books and taking them into the choir. The hymns were “Onward, Christian soldiers,” and “Coronation," both in the hymnal. Later we saw the small edition of the hymnal with tunes in the singers' seats, and we understood their action. They would not use the hymnal unless they were obliged to do so. The new book should be printed in good, clear type, the words and music togetherthat is, the soprano and alto upon the upper staff, the tenor and bass upon the lower, and the words, from two to five stanzas, between them. All other arrangements are inconvenient and obsolete. Only one set of plates should be made, so that, whatever the binding, the open book will have a familiar appearance, being just like every other copy in the whole connection. The book should contain, besides the necessary indexes, a few pages of the Ritual, as at present, and a psalter for responsive readings arranged, not according to the mechanical versification of the received text, but in harmony with the original Hebrew parallelism.
The coming General Conference should appoint an able committee, some of them practical musicians, give them necessary instructions and ample time, two or three years at least, and request them to prepare a new and up-to-date hymnal for use in the Methodist Episcopal Church in the first part of the twentieth century. CHARLES S. NUTTER.
St. Albans, Vt.
THREE MUSES IN A SECOND-HAND SERMON SHOP.
A LATE intruder is this concern among Americans. May its tribe not increase! But, abroad, it is still in good and regular Church standing, as is evidenced by the accompanying unblushing andouncement in two late lists of second-hand books and wares for sale by a reputable theological bookseller in Great Britain:
MSS. AND LITHOGRAPHED SERMONS.
470 MANUSCRIPT SERMONS.—A long Series by S. P. O., litho
graphed in a large clear hand; 88 per dozen, or 21s for fifty. 471 Another Excellent Series of Lithographed Sermons; 78 6d per
472 Eighty-one Lithographed Sermons for the Christian Year, also
Harvest and Funeral Sermons; £2 2s the lot. 473 Seventeen Lithographed Sermons for SAINTS' Days; 12s the
Series of Eight Lithographed Sermons on the Seven Churches
of Asia; 6s the lot. 475 Several Hundred Miscellaneous Lithographed Sermons; 20s for 50,
or 12s 6d for 25. 476 Several Hundred Manuscript Sermons in various hands; 21s per
100. 769 LITHOGRAPHED SERMONS.-SEVERAL HUNDRED SERMONS by "S. P. O. ;" lithographed in a large clear hand, 8s per
dozen. 21s for fifty. 770 ANOTHER SERIES OF FINE LITHOGRAPHED SERMONS by a
BROAD OHUROHMAN; beautifully written in a nice clear
hand, 218 for fifty. 771 Two Hundred Exceptionally Fine Sermons (Broad); litho
graphed in a large clear hand £4 4s the lot. 772 Another Series, lithographed on thin paper, nicely written,
15s for fifty. 821 MSS. Sermons.-Several Hundred Manuscript Sermons, Various
Hands; 68 for fifty, for cash with order.
Gazing thereon, I muse. By count, the offered packages number just twelve. Curiously suggestive is it of the twelve apostles! Can it be that to the writer's passion for archeology it has been given to stumble upon the sermon barrels of the whole apostolic college? But why not? Recalled is it that the “Wild” theory of Anglo-Israelism proves that they all turned up at last in the British “Isles of the West.” What a coincidence, conjecture, and, therefore, proof!
Such being the fact, two of the lots-470 and 769—are noted as having by capitalization a sort of primacy. And well they may, for are they not the abundant and treasured product of “S. P. Op” And who else could that possibly denote but the humbly initialed Saint Peter, Orator (or possibly Oracle)? Nor did the Primate of the apostles leave his work without numerous other marks of identification. That his authorship might be concealed * from the censors of his day and the scoffers of ours, but unerringly revealed to the present antiquarian, he shrewdly cryptographed his name on each lot. On lot 470—with the transposition of but two letters in order to mislead the prying-in “MANuSCriPT SERmOn8” he spelled out his abreviated title and name as “SANC. PETROS!” The same did he in the other lot—though, for reasons, burying it a bit more deeply—so that in lithogrAPLED SeRmONS” we find “SAN PEDROS.” Exactly does this difference suggest and corroborate history, for the earlier parcel bears the apostle's name as he was known among the Greek-speaking churches of the East, while the later-numbered parcel was produced in Spain, when as “ San Pedro” he was on his way to England. How perfect the harmony !
# As certain well-known scholars insist that Paul twice concealed his name in the Greek of the first verse of the Epistle to the Hebrews.
Again, yet more delicately. It is one of the canons of the higher criticism that every shred of an author's work, if examined microscopically, will be found shot through with the known mental traits of that author. Now all will recall that trait of Peter, partly mental and partly moral, whereby he viewed and styled the same thing differently at different moments. “Pseudology” is its modern ethicopsychological term. That trait is present here. Lot 470 is boldly capitalized as manuscript" sermons, while in smaller type they are more truthfully characterized. Having doubtless been withstood to the face for the prevarication, and having wept bitterly thereover, with penitent pen Peter's later package—769—is properly capitalized as “lithographed.” The marking is characteristic, the identification perfect! But "lithographed,” did one say?” What paragraph could be more latent and yet, to eyes anointed, more patent? “ Lithos” is but another Greek word for “Petros," “the Rock." Graphein” means “to write." There it is! “Lithographed” means “writ by the Rock.” Great, great is philology! "Lithographed” thus meaning "writ by the Rock," and being Peter's sign-manual, soon came to mean written by Peter's authority, then by his indorsement, then with his permission, then in harmony with his doctrine, and then that of his successor. Hence, most of the Primate's apostolic colleagues, as later all would-be orthodox teachers, fell into the habit of superscribing their sermons and productions as "lithographed.” Its modern successor, as found in works issuing from papal Rome, is “Superiorum Permissu.” This is why the majority of these minor apostolic lots commend themselves as “lithographed."
Whiling but a moment longer over the listed treasures, it is noted that lot 474 is clearly the authorized autographs themselves of John's sermons to the seven Churches. A great find! Lots 770 and 771, suggestively together, are manifestly by Paul and some colleague of the twelve whose sympathy with him were otherwise utterly unknown to us. It needs no proof that the apostle to the Gentiles was the “ broad churchman" of the college. What unprejudiced scholar but will instantly attribute lot 771, because of its “large clear hand,” to him who penned Gal. vi. 11, “See with how large letters I have written unto you with mine own hand!” Moreover, the use by all three of the common stamp, "lithographed," as previously elucidated, proves that, much earlier than conjectured, the Pauline and the Johannine and the Petrine parties had become reconciled, and had compromised in the Petrine. The lambs lying down with the lion-inside. "In truth,” says one,
“ this musing doth wax amusing. * Speaks the writer in earnest, or in jest ?” 'Tis enough.
“This fable teacheth,” as by a palpable absurdity the writer wills to show, that myriads, if not
A lady recently wrote that in passing the custom-house at Constantinople a copy of the Methodist Review was confiscated, but was returned in half an hour, as something published for amusement.
millions, of frost-bitten Christians are giving themselves to sundry semireligious fads resting upon nonsense less sensible by half. Exit the muse archæological
Enter the muse commercial. Wb a varied sermonic stock from which to select! Hand-made goods, factory-made wares! Doubtless both are duly labeled, “Made in Great Britain." The prices, also, are reasonable. That last lot may be had for three ha’pence apiece. But, strange to say, the factory-made article comes bigher, probably owing to unexpired patents. These are priced all the way from threepence ha penny to pinepence baʼpenny. What a luxury a dozen of the latter must be! Probably they are the “g(u)ilt-edged " kind. And he who can afford to “stock up” at wholesale may reduce the cost of an eightpenny sermon by the dozen to fivepence by the hundred, net. It is possible that there is also a five per cent discount for cash. Not in supplying oneself with these second-hand goods is there the least danger of heretical infection of theological misfits. Two of these lots are invoiced as “Broad." By fair inference the others must be “all wool and a yard wide," or, more technically speaking, "warranted orthodox in exactly thirty minutes.” As several of the earlier lots are priced high, they are probably of the “High" sort. The last two are presumably “Low." Those “ Broads"
seem to be staple goods at fixed market price, since both lots have the same wholesale quotation, two guineas per hundred. We wonder if “exclusive territory” or “county rights" are guaranteed to each purchaser! The Italic condition in the last bargain indicates the C. O. D. security, in marked distrust of the adage about honor among thieves. It is painful that the credit of second-hand sermon consumers should be so questioned.
On the other hand, from the workingman's point of view. Imagine, if possible, the frightful "sweating" process by which these goods must have been produced. To cut, make, and market a dozen fine sermons for adults, of assorted styles and sizes, finding all the material, including ink and unction, all for a pitiful eighteenpence, is one of those foreign inhumanities suffered by unprotected toil. The labor union should interfere in behalf of these underpaid victims of competition. Let them learn from the plumbers. “A naturalist has discovered that the snipe has a nerve which extends clear to the end of his bill. So has the plumber. Great are the provisions of nature!” Exit the muse commercial.
Enter the muse ethical. With a clear conscience may a minister of Christ buy, for delivery as his own production, the sermon of another, lithographed or otherwise? The expression for the morally right is a binomial. It consists of Intention plus Information. The latter is subject to marked variation, as, for instance, through change of time and longitude. At some things in one age God “winked,” concerning which he later commands "all men everywhere to repent.” During gross clerical ignorance the preachers might with propriety use the Homilariums or Promptuaries, prepared for them by Augustine and the fathers. In the first quarter of this century the English market warranted, not to say demanded, the issue of Simeon's twenty-one large volumes of sermons for the use of the clergy. But past history shows that when and where the preacher has shrunk to a priest, and the sermon must play second fiddle to the mass, mental sterility and sermon stealing invariably appear. To the writer lamented a young clergyman, fondly greeted by his flock as “ Father,” that he could feel no enthusiasm with another man's sermon, and instanced his dryness in using one of Pusey's on a previous Sabbath.
Theft of bread through hunger may be criminal, but the theft of sermons through laziness is abominable, a stench in the nostrils of God and man.
If the preacher, called of God, out of his trained and assimilative mind and divinely warmod heart has nothing to say, American churchgoers will excuse him from hashing or mouthing the speech of another. A chair with the hearers is his.
Nor is this condition of matters sporadic and waning. In a standing column of “Works Wanted” this English catalogue calls for “Manuscript and Lithographed Sermons, any quantity." And while we have been pointing to the mote in our brother's eye, lo, a beam is in our own. An American house boasts a twenty years' business of this kind already, and patrons throughout the English-speaking world. With the statement, “We do not ask you to speculate upon the question of our honesty; we require no money in advance,” it announces orations, essays, debates, and lectures at various prices. Sermons are offered “from fifty cents to $25." The notice ends: “All work we guarantee original, with the exception of low-priced sermons. Yours confidentially.” Boycott and banish, not to say burn, the second-hand sermon shop! University Park, Col.
W. F. STEELE.
ADEQUATE EPISCOPAL SUPERVISION IN SOUTHERN ASIA.
The object of this article is to merely outline the arguments which compel those most familiar with the work to believe that two additional bishops should be set apart for India by the General Conference next May. Some of the reasons are:
-1. The vastness of the field. The peninsula of Hindustan itself is as large as all the United States east of Utah, and contains nearly five times our population. But our field in southern Asia includes far more than the empire of India. It takes in all of Burma, all the Malay Peninsula, Borneo, Sumatra, Java, and now the Philippine Islands. From Quetta, in Beloochistan—our northernmost outpost—to Manila is about eight thousand miles, and this mostly through densely populated territory, in nearly all of which the Church has mission work in full blast. The Bombay Conference alone occupies as much territory as was held by American Methodism when we had Bishops McKendree, George,