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these religions must exist for a time, but significantly cnough prophesies the ultimate triumph of the Sunday religion. The modern pulpit is increasingly alive to the calamitous contradictions and inconsistencies of nineteenth-century Christianity; and it is strenuously endeavouring so to enlighten and strengthen the Christian conscience that twentieth-century Christianity may be of a piece and that men may apply the same moral principles to all the events of life, to business and civic duty and social intercourse as well as to so-called religious functions.

This has led to the development in the modern pulpit of what has come to be known as Christian Socialism, or as I prefer to designate it, Social Christianity. In a word, the modern teacher of Christianity believes that Christ came not merely to save individual souls—he believes that intensely—but also to reconstruct human society upon a Christian basis. The Kingdom of God occupies a place in Christian thought that it has scarcely received before except in the teaching of some great Catholic preachers. We realise more and more how dependent the individual is upon his environment. We are not less conscious of the importance of individual regeneration, holding, indeed, with Horace Bushnell that “the soul of all improvement is the improvement of the soul.” But on the other hand the very highest improvement of the soul is scarcely possible except in a favourable social environment. Hitherto the laws. and customs even of so-called Christian countries have to a very great extent sacrificed the many to the few and made it quite unnecessarily difficult for men to live virtuous lives. But, as Mr. Gladstone once said, the ideal of the Christian statesman is to make it easy for people to do right and difficult for them to do wrong.

There is one other feature of present-day preaching which ought to be named : it has become less and less abstract and more and more concrete. In other words, instead of setting before men certain qualities and virtues as commendable, it has presented the human life of Jesus Christ as the example we should follow. No doubt we are greatly indebted to the noblest Unitarian teachers for reminding us of this partially forgotten duty; just as, I might add, Mr. George Holyoake taught us many years ago those VOL IV.NO. 25.

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truths of Secularism which are, happily, no longer neglected by Christian teachers. In the present day the tendency of the pulpit is more and more to teach that the true Christian is the Christlike Christian, and to repeat everywhere, with John Stuart Mill, that there is no better rule of conduct than this: What would Jesus of Nazareth have done if He had been in my place? Men are becoming more and more impatient of mere troversy, and perhaps even perilously disposed to accept any kind of doctrine if it is associated with a good and unmistakably beneficent life. We are somewhat apt to overlook the fact that false teaching, even if associated with a beautiful career, may still ultimately do irreparable mischief.

But in the present reaction from the ecclesiastical and theological bitterness of the past, and in an intense realisation of the magnitude of the problem of sin and misery with which we have to struggle, men are very indifferent to doctrinal truth, and greatly appreciative of ethical service.

I have not ventured in this hasty paper, written under circumstances of great difficulty, to express opinions with respect to the merits or demerits of the most characteristic features of present-day preaching. I have simply appeared as an observant witness, to tell what I know. It will, of course, be understood that I am speaking of those preachers in all churches who are most typical of the time in which we live, and who have the car of the public. Moreover, the various characteristics that have been enumerated are distributed among many men in the various branches of the Church of God. I have not been thinking of any particular preachers or school of preachers. At the same time I am persuaded that the general conception of modern-day preaching which I have given—which I apprehend is what I have been asked to give—is descriptive of the type of preaching which differentiates us from the past, and is becoming more and more predominant in all the churches.





T was at the Queen's Theatre, on one very foggy night in

I forget the month and even the year, that Mr. Irving and I acted together for the first time. The play was Katherine and Petruchio-a hashed-up version of The Taming of the Shrew. I I fancy we neither of us played very well. From the very first I noted that Mr. Irving worked more concentratedly than all the other actors put together, and the most important lesson of my working life I learnt from him, that to do one's work well one must work cortinually, live a life of constant self-denial for that purpose, and in short keep one's nose upon the grindstone. It is a lesson one had better learn early in stage life, I think, for the bright, glorious, healthy career of a successful actor is but brief at the best. There is an old story told of Mr. Irving being “struck with my

“ talent at this time, and promising that if he ever had a theatre of his own he'd give me an engagement !” But that is all moonshine. As a matter of fact I'm sure he never thought of me at all at that time. I was just then acting very badly, and feeling ill, caring scarcely at all for my work or a theatre or anything belonging to a theatre. Mr. Boucicault had lately offered me an engagement in America on what secmed to me extraordinary terms, but I declined his offer, and after acting in two or three more plays under the Wigan management, I left the stage for many years.

When I returned it was to the same theatre. “The Queen's” was now under a different management, and my old friend Mr. Charles Reade was at the head of affairs. Dear, lovable, aggravating, childlike, crafty, gentle, obstinate, and entirely delightful

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and interesting Charles Rcade! His play, The Wandering Heir, was in the middle of a successful run, and Mrs. John Wood, who was playing the principal part, was leaving the theatre for some other engagement. I took her place as Philippa Chester, and from that time until the present have never lost zest for my work. That was a delightful engagement. Mr. Reade used to sit in a private box every night and watch the play and send me round notes between each act, telling me what I had done ill and what well in the preceding act. I have the letters still, and, were I to give them here, the readers of “Stray Memories ” would find very different and very interesting reading ; but since I am of the opinion that to publish private letters intended for one person only is like asking an audience to put their ears to a keyhole and listen to a private conversation, I must ask to be endured for my own sake. I never have met with anybody who possessed so many opposite characteristics as Charles Reade. He was so big-hearted and guileless, and yet for moments as suspicious as Old Nick. One moment, with a friend, it would be “My dearest child,”

, a and the next (under some fancied wrong)-“Madam, you are a rat—you desert a sinking ship.” I have seen him stand up and sing “The girl I left behind me” in the most pathetic manner, with the tears streaming over his kind old checks. I've seen him white with rage, and his dark eyes blazing, when some one belonging to me has said lightly and playfully to him, “Why did poor Nell come home from rehearsal looking so tired yesterday ? you work her too hard.” He thought it was unjust, and simply flamed in his wrath—but oh, it was so sweet, the reconciliations after such little misunderstandings; and the rehearsals were always shorter afterwards. He used to say there should be no such word as quarrel, and one morning he produced mysteriously from his pocket-book a slip of paper with these words written in big letters : "THERE DO EXIST SUCH THINGS AS HONEST

MISUNDERSTANDINGS.” There, my Eleanora Delicia ”—he always called me that (my name is Ellen Alicia)—“ stick that up in some place where you will often see it. Better put it on your looking-glass,” he rudely added, “and it will save you a world of unhappiness if you get those words well

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into your noddle.” I think he was right. Not always so right were his theories about stage management. One idea of his was that everything should be real in the way of properties upon the stage ; and he produced a little play of his own, called Rachel the Reaper, and tried to put into practice some of his pet theories. He had a short real wall built across the stage, but as there was no real sun there were no real shadows, and the absence of the painted shadows made the real wall appear like anything but a wall. There was a real pony, who did his part beautifully; but the real sheep, the real dog, and the real goat really deserved to be fined a week's salary ! As for the real pigs,well, they never appeared at all! Mr. Reade arrived in a four-wheeler one morning at rehearsal with a goat and three wee pigs! The goat was secured, but the instant the cab door was opened away went the pigs helter-skelter, one towards the Strand, another towards the Endell Street Baths. another here and there, and dear old Charles Reade flying after them, and in such deadly earnest, too! for did not the success of his play depend upon those real pigs? But no-not“ one little piggie stayed at home," and Charles Reade, in his rage, declared the pigs should be “cut out”-and cut out they were.

The goat-it was a he, and we called it Rachel !—after the play was taken by Charles Reade to his beautiful garden at Knightsbridge. A little thatched house was built for him, and books “On Goats” were bought to show how to treat that animal properly. But the ungrateful wretch had no appreciation of the fine food bought him, nor of the velvety lawn ; and even the thatched house failed to touch his heart. He pined away, getting thinner and thinner the better he was fed. Now, the dining-room was on a level with the lawn. One evening the windows were opened, and when the gas was lighted, in frisked Mr. Goat in the highest spirits. All was clear. He had been born and bred in the sawdust (Charles Reade had bought him from a circus), and he pined—not for fresh air, nor for lawns, nor thatched houses, but for the smell of the lamps and the applause of the multitude. He may be alive at this day, for he was sent back as an ungrateful goat who had no more appreciation than a pig of an æsthetic existence.

How many animals (on two and four legs!!) have cause to

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