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of an enfeebled religionism; they are full of the energy and vivacity of life.

Although Mr. Brooke may restrain the play of deep emotions with the habit of a cultured and high-mannered gentleman, there are times when it will have way. That most unique spirit which for a brief day thought and lived amongst us, whose history so far as seen and known Mr. Brooke has so interestingly revealed in the “Life and Letters," showed more passion than it is given to very few to possess, and still fewer to exhibit. The body, which so thickly veils most men's spirits, hardly seemed more than a gossamer web in the case of Mr. Robertson, which floated easily in the softest zephyr, and almost parted asunder when the breezes began to blow. It was a spirit-life, delicate and beautiful to an unusual extent. That heart was seen in its pulsations through the transparent vase in which it was carried about from day to day. Mr. Brooke is a stronger man physically than the subject of his excellent memoirs. But passion now and then burns forth in utterances which have all the grandeur of Divine emotion in them. No heart could have felt as that heart feels, which had not entered deeply into the meaning of human life. Some time the preacher must have wandered along the shores of being, and watched with intent and sorrowful sympathy the swaying to and fro of that great ocean, life. Else, how could he have uttered the following ?

" There are times when a man feels that all real life is over for ever; when he has seen every costly argosy of hope sink like lead in the dark waters of the past; when the future stretches before him a barren plain of dreary sea, on which a fiery sun is burning.

“There are times when another has at last felt that all the past has been unutterable folly and darker sin. He looks back upon

his youth, and knows that never, never more the freshness of his early inspiration' can return. The pure breeze of an innocent morning was once about his way; he hides bis head now from the fiery simoom of remorse in the desert of his guilty life. It is the conscience's valley of the shadow of death.

“There are times, too, even in youth, when, by a single blow, all the odour and colour have been taken out of living ; when the treachery of lover or friend has made everything in existence taste badly afterwards ; and we, tortured and wrung with the bitterest of bitternesses, say in our blindness that all is evil and not good. It is the heart's valley of the shadow of death.”

Oftentimes Mr. Brooke's mind is warmed with a glowing vision which the heart has received of some precious truth of life and being. He is strong in the gift of impressiveness, and knows how to touch the human heart in its tenderest spots; but he can rouse and animate the spirit with bright and cheering truth. It would


this or any

ve a frequent accusation against him on the part of certain theologians that he exalts human nature too much. Without pronouncing dictatorially upon the merits or demerits of his doctrinal views upon

other point, we may arow the belief that much of the success with which he gains acceptance with men's hearts is to be traced to his direct and earnest appeal to that which is noblest and best in them. He does not demolish them as with a sledgehammer, casting them to the dust at his feet. He takes them by the hand, charges them to look at their own high-born destiny, to dare to look even upon the face of God, to speak to Him as a Father, and to claim the privileges of sonship. To him the whole world of nature is replete with beauty and glory. The wonder and the splendour of the world have been seen and felt by him, and it is the Father's world, not the production of a mere Opifex Maximus. As he says

“ Celestial messages and grace should flow to us through every sight and sound which touches and exalts the heart. Alone with nature in her sublimity and tenderness, standing on the highland moor, the wind your sole companion as it races over the heather, reaching at last the Alpine ridge with the silent world of peaks below, looking up into the purple depths of night upon the solitary sea, let the stillness creep into your heart and make you conscious of your God; let prayer rush to the lips, not the prayer which is

; petition, but that which is communion.”

Mr. Brooke sees in the human heart the possibilities of goodness, and more, the certainty of it. He is, therefore, the preacher of hope, not despair. He more than “ faintly trusts the larger hope.” That which the Laureate, with a keen perception of the workings of thought and sentiment in our time, expressed with so much fine feeling and beautiful fancy, has become the unreserved trust of Mr. Brooke's heart. He boldly says—“The doctrine of total depravity' was unknown to Christ. Everywhere He believed not in the vileness, but in the greatness, of the human soul; and He called forth in men by this trust in them a conviction of their immortality, a longing for a nobler life, a sense of their degradation and death as long as they sinned, a conviction of the glory and beauty of holiness. He saw in the publican, whom all men shunned, the germ of an honest life. He believed in it, and it grew and bloomed into spiritual beauty. He saw in the fallen woman, whom the proud Pharisee thought had defiled his house, a spark of the Divine love. He believed in it, and it was quickened into a holy flame." A belief like this is so fully a characteristic of Mr. Brooke's preaching that we cannot consider it apart from a reference to its important bearing upon the influence of his sermons. Many listen gladly because of it. And none can surely deny that



God makes His appeal to that within us which retains traces of His own goodness and love. It may sound strange, as coming from the pulpit of a church which has still a creed of the Calvinistic shape, to hear the following sentiments :

“That would be miserable, insufferable doctrine, if the education of these outcasts (those who are so wicked and wretched here that all men shrink from them in dismay and hopelessness; who do not seem to be born for anything but to be examples of evil; who have not a chance given them from birth to death), if their education began and ended' here; but if it goes on from state to state, the doctrine has a wild gleam of comfort in it. For I can fancy the marvellous change, the rush of softening tears, the penitence-bringing tenderness which might come to some poor, wicked, ruined criminal when it was given to him to know, in the world to come, that his evil life had stirred a philanthropist to better his whole class, or that his punishment had been over-ruled to bless and save even one of his brother-men."

It would be expected that a Broad Churchman would have earnest words to utter in regard to the social iniquities which he found hindering and spoiling the national life. It has been a feature of the movement from its beginning that the leaders of this section of the Church have been known as thoughtful and persistent social reformers. Arnold of Rugby, who, more than any man perhaps, shaped for an earlier generation the thoughts and principles which are generally identified with the faith of a Broad Churchman, was a passionate leader in all earnest movements towards the elevation and purification of social and national life. His keen sense of the need of ecclesiastical reform was not more remarkable than his anxiety that our people should be delivered from the trammels of a bad social system. The late Rev. F. D. Maurice was almost an enthusiast whenever he touched such matters; but his province and mission were different from Arnold's—he was essentially, and well-nigh alone, the divine of the new party. He had to expound, and often to defend, its doctrinal position. Though he was a preacher for many years in two London churches, and mingled in the busy whirl of our modern life, he was able to accomplish as much work in the way of actual theological writing as we were accustomed to believe could only be got through by a com. petent scholar of the old time.

But Mr. Brooke looks fearlessly at our social foibles and habits; and when he speaks of them it is with all the energy of his soul. The question has lately been raised in an important quarter as to whether the preaching of the present day is not far less practical than it should be. It is held that sin is exposed and condemned with unabated earnestness ; but it is sin in the abstract. What is


wanted is, that the particular frauds and impositions should be pointed out, and denounced with the zealous energy of a champion of the morality of the Bible. We should hear more, these critics claim, of pottles of strawberries with the finest fruit at the top to take the eye and delude the customer; of reels of cotton marked "& hundred yards," but holding only fifty; of cloth looking smooth and feeling strong, which is nothing but shoddy; of sanded sugar, watered milk, dirty tea compounds, and, in short, the almost numberless imitations which are palmed upon an unsuspecting public. What with men of business, who defy the parson when he trenches upon matters about which he is altogether ignorant, and critics, who think they know how sermons could be made to yield greater profit to the hearers, the preacher of to-day is not always in an enviable position. There is, no doubt, a medium place which wisdom will assign when she is fairly trusted. We believe Mr. Brooke has, upon the whole, found that place. In November, 1866 —that is, before the passing of the Act which may be held to have made some difference—he thus denounced the notorious election practices :

“Our elections are so conducted that the future members of Parliament are in many cases wittingly actors of a lie, shutting their eyes, on the pretence that the money is given for expenses which they know is for bribery. The money goes to debase and enslave the voter, and it is plain that those who bribe are, morally, more guilty than those who are bribed—as much more as the tempter is worse than the tempted. The worst feature in the caso is the amusement which this corruption seems to afford to English society.”

Mr. Brooke claims that the last sentence is now untrue, but wishes he could say the same for those which follow :

Step lower in the social scale; come from Parliament to monetary life. English honesty was once a proverb; English dishonesty, unless we repent, will soon become the second reading of the proverb. There is no need to dwell upon the dishonesty of speculations, the made-up balance-sheet, the ruin of thousands by selfish greed, which have disgraced our banks, railways, and commercial houses; the false balance and the cruel adulteration, the lying advertisements which dishonour our trade. It is enough to say that no man who loves his country can see this widespread system of theft and falsehood without dismay."

It would be unfair not to point out that Mr. Brooke is a faithful reasoner with his brother clergymen upon the difficulties by which they, as a class, are now beset. He does not speak with that unctuous, and yet woe-begone manner, which, when it is assumed, at once gives the cue to what we may expect. He

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addresses them as a man would his fellow-men who had deep and earnest convictions of what their danger and duty was, and meant to help them to rise into a higher condition of Christian life. In the same year (1866) he said:

“The clergy run into all sorts of theories, without clearly knowing whither they are going. They say they are pursuing truth; but there is no method in the pursuit. They are like men lost in an Australian wood, who run to and fro, and, after many hours, find themselves at the place they started from. Many, in despair of rest, rush to find it, and only find stagnation, in the Church of Rome.

All kinds of experiments are tried. A bishop sets his face like a flint, and calls in question the authenticity of nearly all the early history of the Old Testament. He destroys, he does not dream of constructing. Some of the younger clergy employ their time in only opposing the old forms of religion, forgetting that they ought to build, and not to overthrow ; forgetting that every work of opposition is a negative work, and that a negation has no force. Another body of clergy have fallen in love with the past, and seek by a retrograde movement to find God again in life, forgetting that God is always in front of men. They attempt to revive that power of the priesthood which England spent so much blood and so many years in destroying, and they are so blind as to imagine that England will suffer its revival.

In a hundred ways the spirit of men is stirred, but how or for what end no one can get tell."

Mr. Brooke has the faculty for expressing in a very pointed, and sometimes almost epigrammatic way, a fine conception of a truth, or the principle which underlies a fact. These sentences have the charm of apophthegms and maxims; they are fitted at once to fix their place in heart, conscience, memory. We wonder if Mr. Brooke has written poetry ? he has the feeling and passion of the poet, and he gives proof of possessing that charm and spell in the selection and management of words which imparts to them their living hold upon our hearts.

We quote the following sentences from a few of his sermons which will confirm our opinion :

“We cannot understand any portion of our life when we are involved in it. We see it too closely and too passionately.”

“There is nothing without its compensation in this world. Some are happy all their lives. Set over against that, that they never know what exquisite, passionate joy may be."

Remorse is slain by belief in love.One of the sad comforts of trial is this, that it is the touchstone of friendship."


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