« AnteriorContinuar »
its northern border rises the chief palace of our Queen, and debouching upon its ball-room glittering with a thousand lights, runs York-street with its workhouse, and its dens of lust and vice; here are the magnificent towers of the halls of our legislature, and there the bald and forbidding turrets of the gloomy Penitentiary; here we see the Abbey, rich in the storied associations of centuries, and there flares the musichall, resonant to the last flashy song; here is the palatial hotel of modern days, and there is the model lodging-house; here is the vast distillery, gay with its columns of polished granite, and provided with the most perfect apparatus for "poisoning Her Majesty's subjects by wholesale," and there, under its very shadow, are the squalor and the crime of Duck-lane and Leg-court; here the costermonger's cart must "move on " under the pressure of the New Streets Act; and there at the Victoria railway-station our modern Dives, far too refined to allow his dogs to lick the sores of his poor brother, fairly turns his back on Lazarus, and on the wings of steam rushes to his suburban villa at Croydon or Richmond.
In the very centre of this district was opened, seventeen years ago, our noble Normal School, which now reckons one hundred and thirty students within its walls, and receives through its gates every day more than a thousand children; and within a stone's throw of it stands the Romney-terrace chapel, upon the site of which it has long been desired that a sanctuary worthy of Methodism should be erected. By authority of the Conference recently held in Bristol, the Education Committee is now making an earnest appeal to the Connexion for aid in accomplishing this object, the precise nature of which cannot be better stated than by the following extracts from the Circular already alluded to:
"The Committee of Education now appeal to the Connexion. They propose to erect a chapel that will seat, including children, one thousand five hundred or one 'housand six hundred persons. The teachers, students, and other persons belonging to the Training College and Practising Schools, will require one hundred and fifty sittings; suitable accommodation ought to be provided for at least five hundred children; and as the parents of the children attending the schools belong mostly to the artisan and labouring classes, and to the poor, the Committee think that a considerable portion of the chapel should provide sittings which, if not free, can be let at a low rent, so as to bring them within the reach of all, except the very poor; and for them there should be a number of seats, quite free. The highest class of inhabitants in the neighbourhood consists of small shopkeepers and tradesmen; and of this class, the chapel should provide accommodation, at a moderate charge, for six hundred or eight hundred. The erection of such a chapel, with vestries for meeting classes, and a room underneath sufficiently large to accommodate a Sunday-school of four hundred or five hundred children, judging from the cost of chapels recently erected in London and elsewhere, cannot cost less than £8,000 or £9,000.”
After much careful inquiry, the site of the present chapel has been thought the best available; and on that supposition the Committce thus states the expenditure that will probably be needed :
"On the original freehold, £4,200 was cwing; and a further sum of £4,368 has been expended in the purchase of other contiguous property, so as to render the site
sufficiently large for a new chapel. The Committee, however, suppose, that from ground-rents which will remain, and from the rents of two houses, which, though deteriorated as residences from their close proximity to the chapel, probably, need not be taken down at present, the interest of £2,000 may be provided, if left as a debt on the new building. The entire property is freehold; and, owing to the high value of property in Westminster, no such site near the Training College could be purchased for so small an amount.
"Taking, then, the cost of the site at £6,568; and supposing that the chapel be built according to the lower estimate of £8,000, (which, however, seems questionable,) the sum of £14,568 will be required, if the above-mentioned £2,000 remain as a debt; or £16,568, if the property be absolutely free."
From the beginning of the work of the Normal School at Westminster it has been felt that such a chapel was necessary to the com pletion of that Institution; and was not less demanded by the spiritual destitution of the locality. It need hardly be stated that, in the event of the successful completion of the undertaking, due care will be bestowed not only to secure the chapel as Connexional property, but also to maintain its special relation to the Normal School.
What we have already written may suffice to show the desirableness of erecting such a chapel, in this important district, on general grounds; but there are special considerations, having respect to the Normal School, which warrant this extraordinary appeal to the liberality of the Connexion. The educational work, by common consent of all parties, is rapidly increasing in importance and necessity; and schools and teachers are now being spread through the Connexion, as quickly as the one can be built and the other trained. And not only is this the case with the home-work, but to some extent the Mission-field shares the benefit of the work of our Normal Institution. On every continent of our globe are labourers, who were once students of our Training College; and, in fact, it was greatly owing to his knowledge of the results of their work expended on South Africa, that the Ex-President, the Rev. William Shaw, felt it his duty to urge this matter so earnestly on his return from that interesting sphere of Missionary exertion. India has its share, and can reckon up a little, but devoted, band; some of whom are occupying useful and influential positions in the midst of her great population; while towards the noble undertaking of Mr. Piercy in China the Training College has contributed four labourers, of whom one has found an early grave. Whatever contributes to enlarge the ideas of these young persons, gathered to Westminster from all parts of our land; to enlist their sympathies more thoroughly in the promotion of the great work of Methodism; to qualify them afterwards to conduct schools to the best religious effect; cannot be unimportant to the true interests of the Connexion at large; and this, the Committee observes, "is the direct end sought by the erection of such a chapel in Westminster as is here proposed." Already nearly one-third of the sum required has been promised; and " the Committee," we hope not without reason, "anticipate a kind and liberal response to their application." We most heartily recommend the perusal of the entire Circular by those to whom it has been or will be sent; and we
trust that the Committee of Education may speedily be put in such a position in respect to funds, as will warrant them in at once taking active steps to erect this long desired chapel at Westminster.
JOHANNES HUS REDIVIVUS.*
EXACTLY four hundred and fifty years after John Huss was bound to the stake, and committed to the flames, and his ashes cast into the Rhine at Constance, the first instalment of his works in the Bohemian language appeared at Prague, the capital of his native country. Many of these have never before been printed; and we shall now be able to know him, not merely as a controversialist, writing and speaking in the Latin language, but as a man living, acting, and speaking among those of his own nation and his own language. We propose to give below the preface of Mr. Karel Jaromir Erben, the learned and careful editor of the Bohemian remains of Huss, Huss's own preface to his Postilla, or popular sermons, and a specimen of the sermons themselves, lite. rally translated from the original.
K. J. ERBEN'S PREFACE TO VOL. I. OF THE BOHEMIAN WOrks OF JOHN Huss.
Very different judgments are passed upon both John Huss himself and his religious influence by persons of different parties, and a certain class of people in our day endeavours to conceal the truth; and obtain currency for perverse explanations, relying on the circumstance that there is no one who can ascertain the truth at the very fountain-head, and thus detect their falsehoods. Hence a critical edition of the writings of this man, who was so conspicuous above others in European history, appears to be the more necessary, in order that his real aim, his real line of thought, and his real spirit may thence be ascertained. The collected Latin writings of Huss were published partly at Nuremberg, in 1715, and partly at Vienna, in 1856; but some of them still remain in manuscript, while others, especially those in the Viennese collection, require to be re-edited with greater correctness. But we, at the present time, are especially interested in the writings, letters, and other productions of the mind of Huss, which were written in the Bohemian or Czeskish language, that they may now come to light for the first time in a more complete collection. Some of them, it is true, have been printed, viz., the Postilla, at Nuremberg, in 1563 and 1592, and elsewhere, singly; but these old editions are now excessively scarce, and, besides, to a great extent incorrect, containing many variations from the original text, caused by conforming the language to that current in their day: nay, there are among them things which are incorrectly ascribed to Huss.
"Besides the historical interest above mentioned, the Bohemian writings of Huss have no little philological importance. Huss was not only the reformer of Bohemian orthography, but also a reformer of the
From the "Journal of Sacred Literature."
Bohemian language; nay, a new period begins with him in our older literature.
"In this edition we have paid diligent attention to both these sides of the question, the historical and the philological. Only such things have been admitted into this collection as can be satisfactorily ascertained to have proceeded from the pen of Huss. As regards the sources of the edition, precedence has been given to the oldest manuscripts, as compared with the later ones; and use has only been made of the oldest printed copies in cases in which there are no older manuscripts in existence."
[Here follow observations on the orthography, etc., which will not interest an English reader.]
'In this collection, we take first the longest and, at the same time, most important writings of the master who perished at the stake, i. e., the 'Exposition of the Faith,' etc., then the treatise on Simony, and, in the second volume, the Postilla: the remaining shorter writings, letters, and poems will follow.
A fuller account of the writings of Huss, of the chronological order in which they were written, and of the sources of this edition, will be appended to the third volume.
"K. J. E."
JOHN HUSS'S PREFACE TO HIS "POSTILLA;" OR, EXPOSITION OF THE HOLY SUNDAY GOSPELS."*
"Our merciful Saviour the Lord Almighty, the Son of God, Jesus Christ, very God and very Man, came into the world to bear witness to the truth, to preach concerning the kingdom of heaven, to collect strayed sheep, and to show them by word and deed the path to everlasting happiness, therein fulfilling the will of His Father, the Lord God. In humility, in stillness, and in poverty, rejected by the proud and by the prudent of this world, especially by the bishops, the masters, the priests, and the lawyers, who always opposed Him, did our merciful Saviour work with the people by preaching until His death; and this He did out of great compassion. Therefore writes St. Matthew in the ninth chapter, saying, 'Jesus, seeing the multitudes, had compassion on them, because they were troubled, and lay like sheep having no shepherd.' Therefore He said to His disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth labourers into His harvest.' That is to say there are many people who would gladly hear the word of God, and thus come, like wheat, into the garner of the kingdom of Christ; but the labourers are few, that is to say, there are few faithful preachers, who work from love with the people of God for the glory of God, for the salvation of the people and for their own. Therefore saith the Saviour, Pray ye the Lord of the harvest,' that is, God, who is Lord of the whole world, that He will send faithful labourers into His harvest.' This expression, 'The harvest is plenteous, and the labourers
* These correspond to great extent, but not entirely, to our "Gospels."
are few,' is considered by St. Gregory, who says: "This we cannot utter without grievous sorrow; for, although there are those who would gladly hear good things, yet there are none to tell them. Yes, the world is full of priests, and yet very few labourers are found in God's harvest; for we receive the office of the priesthood, but do not in deed fulfil our office. But consider, my brethren, consider what the Lord says: Pray ye the Lord of the harvest, that He will send labourers into His harvest! Pray ye for us, that we may be able to prepare things beneficial for you, that our tongue may not cease from exhortation; and that, as we have undertaken the office of preaching, our silence may not condemn us before our righteous Judge.' Thus far St. Gregory. Considering his words, or rather those of my Saviour, in order not to neglect my priestly office and waste my time, I have determined, with God's help, briefly to explain all the Sunday Gospels, for the praise of God and the salvation of faithful Bohemians, who wish to know and fulfil the will of God, desiring that those who read or hear may be saved, may preserve themselves from sins, may love God above all things, may hold fast love towards one another, may make progress in virtues, and may entreat the Lord God for me, a sinner.
"And as people do not usually possess the Gospels written in the Bohemian language, and as an exposition is not so easily received without a previous foundation, I therefore intend to place the Gospel first, and the exposition afterwards, that the word of our Saviour may sound forth most loudly, and thus be made known to the faithful for their salvation: for whosoever hear it in love until death, the same shall be saved, and are blessed in this world, as the Saviour Himself saith: Blessed are they who hear the word of God, and keep it.' (Luke xi. 28.) Considering this, we ought diligently, lovingly, steadfastly, and cheerfully to listen to the words of our merciful Saviour, to tell and preach them to others, to guide them to the understanding thereof, and explain one passage of Scripture in accordance with another, as the saints by the gift of God explain them. My intention is, so far as I am able, to explain the Gospels in the manner easiest to be understood, and not in my usual manner of preaching."
"GOSPEL FOR THE FIRST SUNDAY IN ADVENT.-Matt. xxi. 1-9. "The subject matter of this Gospel actually occurred on Palm Sunday, and therefore it is more suitably commemorated on that day than on the present day. Still we read it to-day, commemorating His coming, which the Christian Church commemorates to-day; the Bohemians using the term 'advent' according to the Latin language; for the Latin adventus corresponds to the Bohemian words for 'coming' or 'visit.' This the Holy Church commemorates from to-day until the day of Christ's nativity; and thus this whole space is called 'advent,' that is, the time during which Christ's visit is commemorated.
"Know then that Christ's visit is threefold, as the Scripture proves. Firstly, in the body. In that He visited us, when, being God, He became incarnate in the Virgin Mary's womb. Of this He speaks Himself in the sixteenth chapter of St. John: 'I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world.'