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the praises of the Christians' God! But whether this be so or not, let us see that our part be duly performed; that we maintain intact our national religion and freedom, though the whole of the rest of Europe be immersed in the vortex of infidel democracy. It may be, that the evils which we now see on the Continent may prove only "the beginning of troubles." The fiat may have gone forth, that "for a time and times and half-a-time," in the mystic language of Scripture, the powers of evil should prevail. We feel that in treating of so solemn a theme, the true philosopher and statesman will applaud us, for recalling the cheering promise: "When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a banner against him." Soberly and practically we hold and affirm, that the salvation of Europe, morally speaking, the preservation of law, order, and authority throughout the world, will depend on the stand we are enabled to make within this British Empire. The issues of the hour are great greater perhaps than they have been for centuries. Mere state conservatism will not suffice us. If we would not be vanquished, the spirit of enthusiastic zeal for right must blend with that of wisdom in our councils. Let us then develop the Church's lawful powers, increase her bishops, and reawaken, if needful, her convocation; warring alike against the superstitions of Romanism and the threatening influences of infidelity. Let as maintain the great institutions of our country, the exclusively Christian character of our legislature, and, more especially, our peerage, as one of the main barriers against the ingress of democratic lawlessness. Let us endeavour by every means in our power to better the condition of the working-classes, and render them contented citizens of the state! Finally, let us not work only for ourselves. Let us not seek to isolate our country from the rest of Europe. Let us not leave foreign states without the aid of our sympathy, our earnest counsels, and our warnings; as though we were not well assured of the justice of our own cause, and shrunk from controversy with democratic and infidel licence. Let us tell Germany, that Britain's heart is still with her in the depth of her distress; that we shame not to pray for her, believing the power of God to transcend all human ability; that we regard her pseudophilosophy and her false humanitarianism with Christian pity and regret. Far be the spirit of boasting, of confidence, and self-assertion from our hearts and lips! What we are, we are through the grace of Heaven alone. With the favourite hero of our greatest bard, Shakspeare's "Henry the Fifth," we recognize "God's hand, not ours," in all our moral and material triumphs. Nevertheless false modesty must not stay us from reminding the fallen German race, that our national intellect is clearer and more practical than
theirs; and that that Christianity is to us a Divine reality, which appears to them a fiction; that freedom a noble and glorious possession, which they would sacrifice to democratic lawlessness! It may be that this moral attitude of strength, this preservation of order, amidst the crumbling ruins of disorganized society, will awaken the nations, and Germany the first, (which is intellectually and morally most near akin to us, despite its present fall,) to a sense of their errors and consequent degradation. If we must fight the battle singly, so be it! We are prepared, if needful, to maintain the rightful cause against the world. But the north, at least, may learn to rally round us, if we maintain our due position in the coming years; and through our instrumentality may the final renovation be effected, which sages of all kindred and all ages have prophecied and ardently desired; which Scripture has taught us to expect; and which may develop the noblest powers of humanity, in true and universal freedom, under the abiding influence of Heaven.
ART. VII.-Hints on the Art of Catechising; being a Posthumous
EVERYBODY has heard of a Charge which the late excellent
Perhaps we cannot do better, in order to draw attention to the book, than to copy out the table of contents. The work is divided into two parts; the second treats of "the Church Catechism," portion by portion. The first is entitled "Hints on Catechising, with some Examples and Illustrations,” and is thus distributed:
"SECTION I.-The first object to be aimed at by the Catechist. SECTION II.-Division and Subdivision.
SECTION III.-Showing how to put questions to help and lead. SECTION IV.-Showing how the Catechist may turn to account the blunders which the pupils make in their answers.
SECTION V.-On Examination by Questioning.
SECTION VI.-On Examination in the Church.
SECTION VII.-On Illustration by Fables or Anecdotes."
To some minds, possibly, there may appear but little need to say so much on such a simple subject-just as by others the whole matter may be deemed mere trifling. But we would tell such persons, that after some years of examination, we know no part of a clergyman's duty-visiting the sick, perhaps, excepted-more necessary, more beneficial, or more difficult; a boy may preach, but it needs a man to catechise, is a most true, but forgotten, sentence. It is a common mistake, that of imagining, that because a thing is initiatory, it is therefore unimportant; because it is
simple, it may therefore be accomplished without trouble. truer sentiment declares, that its very simplicity is at once the cause of difficulty and the proof of skill; the very fact of its initiatory character is that which stamps it with importance. The piles and the concrete for the foundation are of even more importance, and frequently of greater difficulty, than the superstructure raised thereon. What is the education of youth, but the foundation for the studies and pursuits of after-life? Is it of slight importance, or of small difficulty? But surely this very art of Catechising is none other than the foundation of the education itself of youth; the foundation of the foundation; the preparation of minds to receive the after-layers, by which the preacher seeks to build up his hearers in their most holy faith. Ask any who have really thought on these matters, whether the result of much labour and thought and prayer be not oftentimes thrown away? Nay, it is notorious that such is the case: the clergy all complain of it. Which of them is there but has observed, while preaching, the wandering eye, the vacant countenance of many, well disposed in themselves to receive the word of life? Which of them is there, but as he walked home after his day's duties, tired with his labours, mortified at their evident results-which of them but has communed with himself, "Ah, why is this? I have laboured, I have read, I have thought, I have written plainly, I have spoken forcibly; why all in vain? Has not my lot fallen upon ground more than commonly sterile?" Not so, would be our reply. It results simply from this, that "we have of late years too much neglected to begin at the beginning. The primitive order of catechising has fallen into too general disuse; and 'sermons,' to use with but little qualification the plain words of an old writer, can never do good upon an uncatechised congregation.' In order therefore to our efficiency as religious instructors, this very necessary and ancient practice must be revived."
Nor let it be supposed that catechising was meant merely for the poor. We would press upon the attention of all who are in the ministry, that it is fully as needful for the rich. Expensive as is their education, primed as they are with the knowledge of other things, in that of divinity they are miserably deficient. We have often been astonished to find how completely a preacher's eloquence has been thrown away upon them; how utterly unable the bulk of even what are called "fashionable" congregations are to follow an argument, or apprehend the real drift of a sermon. It would be inexplicable, were it not for the fact that they have never been catechised. You are speaking in a foreign language to them, of which they understand but a few words here and there imperfectly. You are taking for granted (as in preaching you
must take for granted) an amount of preparatory knowledge— knowledge of first principles," such as they do not possess. You are feeding them with "strong meat," without having prepared their stomachs by that which is easier of digestion. "Yet," says Hooker," with religion it fareth as with other sciences, the first delivery of the elements thereof must be framed according to the weak and slender capacity of young beginners."
Here then is the first advantage of catechising, that we hereby teach those fundamental principles which our hearers will never have subsequent opportunity of learning, and the knowledge of which is indispensable to enable them to profit by even the plainest sermons men can preach. For there is this essential difference between preaching and catechising-that in the one you are obliged to enter into minutiæ, which in the other you are equally obliged to pretermit.
And this leads us to note the second advantage of the practice we are advocating, that in catechising we can do that which by preaching we cannot do. A good sermon may be compared to an extended epigram: it has unity and it has point. It is a discourse written to set forth one particular subject of Christian imitation; this is the point aimed at, and to this the whole discourse with a oneness of purpose must tend. To introduce other subjects is to break the thread, to distract the attention. To stop to explain first principles, or to satisfy difficulties which occur by the way, were to interrupt the unity and to fritter away the force. We think it is Mr. Gresley, in his treatise on preaching, who aptly compares a sermon to Raphael's cartoon of St. Paul preaching at Athens: however various the groups, still all parts are kept in such perfect and subdued harmony, that they are but so many rays tending, with wondrous unity, to illustrate the one prominent figure of the Apostle; and look at it where you will, still you see only St. Paul preaching at Athens. But in catechising, the very reverse of this obtains. There it is a canon, never stay long on any one point. Explain, as much as you will. Hover from flower to flower. Rather take an opportunity of returning to some point, than run the risk of wearying by working at it too long at a time. A few judicious words at the end will, if necessary, serve to unite the whole; and for this reason, that a catechetical lecture, to be useful, must be exceedingly elementary and very short.
Another argument in proof of the advantage of the catechetical over the oratorical mode of instruction, is its power to fix the attention. You may speak to people for ever, but nothing will either compel or arrest their attention; you may quote Scripture, but they will be none the wiser there is no time, while the