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he must not do-he must not bore; and one thing he may not be he may not be insipid or uninspiring, under a heavy penalty.

This system, of course, when it is most successful, is capable of producing speakers of a high order. They are able to gather and keep round their pulpit a large following who look up to them for inspiration in matters not chiefly religious, but also political and social, but when the preacher dies or goes elsewhere the ties between the church and congregation are loosened-the constituency, as it were, is dissolved and new relationships must be formed again. Spurgeon was an instance of this law. The Rev. R. J. Campbell and the fortunes of the City Temple will occur to everyone as a more recent instance still. A writer in the Manchester Guardian maintains that such preachers are rarer now than formerly. The new men who hold the Nonconformist pulpits are better scholars, he says, than their predecessors; they are better equipped with a knowledge of letters and theology; they have a better acquaintance with the world and its problems; their speaking is more critical and restrained. So much he counts as gain ; but he goes on to mention just two dangers: the first is too great an extension of interests, and the second is too great a pre-occupation with the material relief of the world's ills. The penalty of these is the loss of the prophetic and idealist note, which is, after all, the essence of any true ministry.' Such criticism is valuable. The change to which it refers is not one-sided. If the pulpit is different so is the audience.

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A generation has sprung up under the impulse of a new education, which has made minds eager for knowledge and receptive of all theories which are thrown broadcast upon the world. Knowledge is wide but not deep: everything is in process of intimate examination and searching discussion. Science, with its problems, has seized hold of the imagination of the masses, opening up vast spaces of inquiry in the field of theology and philosophy. Interest in sociological studies likewise extends; every man has his own theory and his own solution. He wants to hear his theories discussed on satisfactory grounds. Life, too, has become not only complex, but extraordinarily intense. Men live at the highest pitch of fervent enterprise. Their enterprises are not necessarily noble, but they are pursued with all the white heat which a man can command. Audiences of such

men and women are intolerant of prolixity. They require the point to be reached at once and to be dealt with in the fewest possible words. Even parliamentary oratory has been affected by this change. The old grandiloquence has passed under a cloud. It is no longer recognized or practised as an art, although eloquence-that is, the power of moving men by speech-is as potent now as in the days of Grattan or O'Connell: but leisure has gone; gone, too, is the race of statesmen drawn exclusively from the aristocracy and the public schools and Universities. Their place is being taken rapidly by men capable and gifted undoubtedly, but keen to make a career, since a career has not been made for them by accident of birth. They prefer terse and compressed expression to the full, round periods of which Gladstone was so much a master.

Our own Catholic people are like the rest of their generation in the tendencies and build of their mind. The spiritual and material side of life has its problems for them as for others. They are more introspective than their fathers were; they have keener powers of self-analysis; they have enough knowledge to help them to see the force of the difficulties with which the intellectual atmosphere of the present day is laden; they have the same longing for that union with Christ which it is the peculiar gift of the Catholic Church to bestow, but they have to contend against the flesh, like all the children of Adam, and against a more insidious foe, in the shape of temptations against the faith, which no preceding generation has ever felt as men do now. Temptations of this kind do not hang idly in the mind. They have preternatural powers of seeming to blot out all possibility of the supernatural and they leave the fibres of the spiritual life shrivelled as by some scorching fluid. There are in every Catholic congregation a limited number of men and women who are so tempted. Hence why men were never more swayed by the power of the word than they are to-day.

A Catholic will at once ask, have our preachers got this power to sway, and if not, can the power be attained? Let it be said at once that there is no short road to the attainment of it, and false ambitions and false ideals at the beginning may ruin all prospect of its attainment. No one should ever aim at becoming an orator, or what is sometimes too ecstatically called a 'beautiful preacher.' Nature makes her own orators. She sends them into the

world with honey on the lips and the marrow of persuasion in every fold of their being. Such men will declare themselves under the testing process of their life's work. Art and study will develop their gifts-but the orator, like the poet, is born and not made. For a man of ordinary powers the canons of effective speaking are briefly defined: to think clearly, to write clearly, and to speak clearly. Much may be added by way of adornment, but nothing can be taken from them without seriously endangering the whole effort. An ancient critic has declared: 'Dicere enim bene nemo potest nisi prudenter intelligit.' Clearness of thought is essential, because what is said, if it is to be clearly understood by those to whom it is said, must first be grasped by the speaker. No thought can be clearly conveyed which is not clearly conceived. Given clear and adequate conception, then, the expression, whether written or spoken, will be satisfactory. It is essential, therefore, to know what the point is which it is desired to discuss. It should be examined in all its aspects. The arguments for or against it should be clearly marshalled. The statement of them should be so simple as to be within reach of the intelligence of the average man or woman. Difficulties and objections should not be brought forward so prominently or so profusely as to obscure the main idea. Much confusion can be caused by too meticulous or too judicial a handling of the objections to a given theological position. After this process of mapping out the main lines of the argument, if the sermon be written in whole or in part, either roughly or elaborately, the greatest care should be taken to avoid a want of clearness in the statement of the argument.

Clearness does not lie naturally in the genius of English. English is picturesque, vivid, forcible, but its disregard for logical order and its fondness for metaphors entails the loss of that clearness which is the great excellence of French prose, and in a greater degree still, of classical Latin prose. Clearness and logicalness of statement must be achieved by direct effort and with much labour. A priest here has many advantages. He has had a fairly long classical course, during which he has had opened up the storehouses of the masters of all time: for some eight years he has practised assiduously the art of expressing the thoughts of other literatures in the idiom of his own mother-tongue. Time after time, patiently, and not too often successfully, he has

struggled to get the best word in English to convey baffling phrase of Horace or Virgil. He has been practised in English composition and has read the inimitable masters of English literature, Burke, Newman, Ruskin, Addison, Milton, Shakespeare, and many another. He has thus acquired a high degree of literary culture before passing into the schools of philosophy, and there submitting to the rigorous discipline of scholasticism. As the result of this discipline, he has learned to classify, to divide, to define, to eschew all stuffiness of thought and to pursue to the death all fallacies and error. He has gained an insight into some of the most elemental problems of the human mind. He has theories, and correct theories, on logic, metaphysics, ethics, cosmology, psychology, and natural theology. He can walk with certainty where Plato wandered in error, and he can progress further than Aristotle, though Plato and Aristotle helped to build the roads by which he makes his journey. One need say little of the work done by theology. During the theological course the mind of the student is still being trained in the laws of clear and accurate thought: vaster fields are being opened up to view. All the riches of revelation are being put into his grasp. There is no height he cannot reach, no depth he cannot fathom, with the aid of the science which the Christian Fathers have built up on the foundations of the Apostles and Prophets.

These are the human advantages with which a priest begins the ministry of the Word. Contrast him with the clergy outside the Church. The Anglican clergy are, as a body, gifted with a culture and a refinement of scholarship which we may well envy-but as for a clear grasp of theological truth or a bold statement of it, one seeks for it too often in vain. Hence their sermons are often eloquent and models of fine writing, but as statements of theological truth they leave much to be desired, partly from the initial vagueness of their principles, partly from bewilderment in the controversies of the hour, and partly from timidity, lest too blunt a statement should alienate any of their hearers. Of philosophical training, if we except some logic and ethics, they have had none, nor have they a philosophical system. Their theological training is not long, and certainly not systematic. Of the Nonconformists we have already spoken. Their general level is far below that of the clergy of the Establishment.

The priest, therefore, stands on a higher plane of natural

advantages than either of his rivals. Moreover, his training in college has made of him a man whose sole aspirations are of another world than this. He has the mysterious power born of sacrifice. He knows the meaning of the renunciation of all things for Christ. It cannot be said of him, as Anthony Trollope said of the clergy of his Church, that at the age of twenty-three, after years of boating, cricketing, and wine parties, he was sent out to stand high above the heads of a submissive crowd of men and women who have approached near to the grave and have felt, by intimate trial, the need of sure guidance in the things of God. Not so the Catholic priest. There is no need for him to seek out phrases that will not jar upon the susceptibilities of possible agnostics. He speaks like his Master, with power. His training in moral theology has given him a rare knowledge of human nature and his daily reading brings him into intimate intercourse with the masters of the spiritual life, St. Francis of Sales, St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa, and à Kempis. A knowledge of Catholic Ascetics made Newman's Oxford sermons such marvels to his generation, and his acting upon them made him a Catholic. If the studies preliminary to the priesthood are endured perfunctorily it is no just subject of complaint that they have not done all that they might have done under the circumstances.

Before any system is condemned, the question should be asked and answered honestly: 'Did I make the best of it?' There seems less point, on reflection like this, in the charge sometimes urged by some that they were not taught how to preach. In point of fact, the whole of one's course is or should be a teaching how to preach. The rules for good preaching were said to be clear thinking, clear writing, and clear speaking. Gifts of temperament are gifts, not acquisitions. No amount of teaching could ever make a Father Tom Burke. If we accept the teaching of Bishop Hedley, all the classic treatises on rhetoric are for born orators, not for those who aim at lower flights. Still, though one may not take in the full sweep of an orator's powers, everyone can profit in his degree by paying attention to the elementary laws of good writing and good speaking. This attention should be life-long. Any system which attempts to train a young preacher should give him a knowledge, more or less rudimentary, of the divisions of a speech or of a sermon, and of the proper arrangement and marshalling of the line of argument: it should teach him the elementary

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