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ARTHUR PENHRYN STANLEY (1815-1881)
THE ELOQUENT DEAN OF WESTMINSTER
HE life of Dean Stanley we may briefly state. Son of the
Bishop of Norwich, he studied at Rugby under the famous
Dr. Arnold, whose “Life” he afterward wrote—a work which was very widely read. Graduating later at Oxford, he became chaplain to Prince Albert, and in 1856 Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Oxford. Two years later he was appointed a Canon of Christ Church, and in 1864 became Dean of Westminster, which position he filled till his death in 1881.
Stanley was a man of the highest spirit of tolerance and widest sympathy, his freedom from prejudice being shown in his charity for the heresies of Bishop Colenso and his willingness to preach in Scotch Presbyterian pulpits. While true religion and morality were to him sacred, for systematic theology he had no respect, and he regarded as utter inanity the controversies of the priesthood about postures, lights, vestments, etc. As a preacher, he exercised a wide influence, and as an author he produced various meritorious works on theological and other subjects.
THE LESSON OF PALMERSTON'S LIFE [On October 29, 1865, shortly after the death of England's popular Premier, Lord Palmerston, Stanley delivered in Westminster Abbey a notable discourse upon his life and work. There is no better example of his powers as an orator than this eulogistic essay, and we offer from it the following suggestive extract.]
Each human soul gifted above the souls of common men leaves, as it passes away from this lower world, a light peculiar to itself. As in a mountainous country each lofty peak is illumined with a different hue by the setting sun, so also each of the higher summits of human society is lighted up by the sunset of life with a different color. Whether the difference arises from the materials of which it is composed, or from the
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relative position it has occupied, a new and separate lesson is taught by it of truth or of duty, of wisdom or of hope. What, then, are the special lessons which we learn from the life and character of the remarkable man who has just been taken away from us, and to whose memory so great a national tribute has just been paid ? First, there is this singular peculiarity, that the gifts to which the eminence of the departed statesman was due were gifts far more within the attainment of us all than is commonly supposed. It has been said of Judas Maccabeus, that of all of the military chiefs of his time he was the one who accomplished the greatest results with the smallest amount of external resources. Of our late chief it might no less truly be said, that of all political leaders he achieved great success by the most homely and ordinary means. It was that which made his life in so many respects an example and an encouragement to all The persevering devotion of his days and nights to the public service, and the toil and endurance of more than half a century in the various high stations in which he was employed; these are qualities which might be imitated by every single person. They, whoever they may be, who are disposed, as so many young men are in the present day, to give themselves up to ease and self-indulgence-avoiding, if they can, everything which costs continued trouble, everything which demands honest, earnest, hard work—must remember that not by much faint-hearted, idle carelessness can either God or man be served to any purpose ; or the true end of any human soul be attained for either this life or the life to come.
Let men, whoever they may be, who are working zealously, honestly, and humbly in their several stations, work on the more zealously and faithfully from this day forward, reflecting that in the honors paid to one who was in this respect but a fellow-laborer with themselves, the nation has, in the sight of God, set its seal on the value of work, on the nobleness of toil, on the grandeur of long days of labor, on the dignity of plodding, persevering diligence. Again, the departed statesman won his way not so much by eloquence, or genius, or far-sighted greatness, as by lesser graces of good humor, gaiety and kindness of heart, tact, and readinesslesser graces, doubtless, of which some of the highest characters have been destitute, but graces which are not the less gifts of God, and which even in the house of God we do well to reverence and admire. They who may think it of little moment to take offense at the slightest affront; who by their presence throw a chill over whatever society they enter ; they who make the lives of others miserable by wounding their keenest sensibilities; they who poison discussion and embitter controversy by pushing particular views on to the extremest consequences, and by widening differences between man and man; they who think it their duty to make the
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worst of every one from whom they dissent, and enter a never-ending protest against those who may have done them wrong: such as these may have higher pretensions, and, it may be, higher claims to honor and respect, yet they will do well to understand the silent rebuke which arises from the new-made grave, and which God designs for their especial benefit . .
If it be true that to follow, not to lead, public opinion must henceforth be the course of our statesmen, then our responsibilities and the responsibility of the nation are deepened further still. Just as in a beleaguered city, where every sentinel knows that on his single fidelity might depend the fate of all, a single resolute mind, loving the truth only, has before now brought the whole mind of a nation around itself; a single pure spirit has, by its own holy aspirations, breathed itself into the corrupt mass of a national literature; and a single voice raised honestly in behalf of truth, justice, and mercy, has blasted forever practices which were once universal. So I would call upon men, in the prospect of the changes and trials, whatsoever they are, which are now before them ; in the midst of the memories by which they are surrounded ; in the face of that mighty future to which we are all advancing, to forget "those things that are behind;" to forget in him who is gone all that was of the earth earthy, and reach forward to his character in all that is immortal in his freedom from party spirit, and in his self-devotion to the public weal. Let men forget, too, in the past and present generations, all that is behind the best spirit of our age; all that is before in the true spirit of the Gospel ; all that is behind in the requirements of the most enlightened and the most Christian conscience; and reach forward, one and all, towards those great things which they trust are still before them—the great problems which our age, if any, might solve; the great tasks which our nation alone can accomplish ; the great doctrines of our common faith which they may have opportunities of grasping with a firmer hand than ever they had before ; the great reconciliation of things old with things new, of things human with things sacred, of class with class, of man with man, of nation with nation, of Church with Church, of all with God. This, and nothing less than this, is the high calling of the nineteenth century ; this is the high calling of England; this is the high calling of every English citizen; and he who answers not to this high call is utterly unworthy of his birthright as a member of this, our kingly commonwealth
CHARLES H. SPURGEON (1834-1892)
LONDON'S FAMOUS PULPIT ORATOR
MONG the Dissenters * of England, made notable in the past by
such famous orators as Wesley and Whitefield, there have
been many preachers of great power in recent times, prominent among whom may be named Charles H. Spurgeon, a man of the oratorical type of Talmage in America, and resembling him in the great success of his ministrations. His career as a preacher of the Gospel began in 1854, when he was made pastor of the New Park Street Chapel, London; but his power of attracting an audience was so great that, a few years later, was erected for him the vast Metropolitan Tabernacle, capable of seating 6000 persons. Connected with this were afterward built almshouses, a pastor's college and an orphanage. Spurgeon's sermons were printed weekly from 1855 onward, and had an average issue of 30,000. A member of the Baptist Union, he withdrew from that body in 1887, through dissatisfaction with certain of its actions. As an orator Spurgeon was highly gifted, combining fervor of manner with a quaint humor; while his voice was marvelous in clearness and outreach. He published in all over a hundred volumes of religious literature.
THE AUTHORSHIP OF THE BIBLE [From a sermon of Spurgeon's on the subject of the Bible, we select the following characteristic example of his cloquent style and emotional power of expression.)
First, then, concerning this book, who is the author ? The text says that it is God. “I have written to him the great things of My law.”' Here lies my Bible; who wrote it? I open it, and I find it consists of a series of tracts. The first five tracts were written by a man called Moses.
The name given in England to those Protestants who dissented from the discipline or mode of worship of the Established Church, and formed new sects, with doctrinal or other differences.
CHARLES H. SPURGEON
I turn on and I find others. Sometimes I see David is the penman, at other times, Solomon. Here I read Micah, then Amos, then Hosea. As I turn further on, to the more luminous pages of the New Testament, I see Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, Paul, Peter, James, and others; but when I shut up the book, I ask myself who is the author of it? Do these men jointly claim the authorship? Are they the compositors of this massive volume? Do they between themselves divide the honor ? Our holy religion answers, “No!” This volume is the writing of the living God; each letter was penned with an Almighty finger ; each word in it dropped from the Everlasting lips, each sentence was dictated by the Holy Spirit. Albeit, that Moses was employed to write his histories with his fiery pen, God guided that pen. It may be that David touched his harp and let sweet psalms of melody drop from his fingers, but God moved his hand over the living strings of his golden harp. It may be that Solomon sang canticles of love, or gave forth words of consummate wisdom, but God directed his lips and made the preacher eloquent. If I follow the thundering Nahum when his horses plough the waters, or Habakkuk when he sees the tents of Cushan in affliction ; if I read Malachi, when the earth is burning like an oven ; if I turn to the smooth page of John, who tells of love, or the rugged, fiery chapters of Peter, who speaks of the fire devouring God's enemies ; if I turn to Jude, who launches forth anathemas upon the foes of God, everywhere I find God speaking: it is God's voice, not man's; the words are God's, the words of the Eternal, the Invisible, the Almighty, the Jehovah of this earth. The Bible is God's Bible; and when I see it I seem to hear a voice springing up from it, saying, “ I am the book of God; man, read nie. I am God's writing; open my leaf, for I was penned by God; read it, for He is my author, and you will see Him visible and manifest everywhere.” “I have written to him the great things of my law.”
How do you know that God wrote the book ? That is just what I shall not try to prove to you. I could, if I pleased, do so to a demonstration, for there are arguments enough, there are reasons enough, did I care to occupy your time to-night in bringing them before you ; but I shall do no such thing. I might tell you, if I pleased, that the grandeur of the style is above that of any mortal writing, and that all the poets who ever existed could not, with all their works united, give us such sublime poetry and such mighty language as is to be found in the Scriptures. I might insist upon it that the subjects of which it treats are beyond the human intellect; that man could never have invented the grand doctrine of a Trinity in the Godhead ; man could not have told us anything of the creation of the universe ; he could never have been the author of the