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prudence, we should have the usual number of examinations (in writing) and the same collegiate honours as for other classes. Such is the rough draft of our scheme, to be developed, corrected, improved by the most enlightened guide of theory, experience. In a college, where the rule obliged all the senior theologians to preach as a religious exercise, and where the junior students would have the benefit of the course already described, this second course need not occupy much time, nor interfere seriously with theological or other studies. Twenty or thirty lectures altogether, one a week, suppose during a college year, would exhaust M. Hamon's treatise. But if it were determined to continue, on M. Van Hemel's plan, some instruction on sacred eloquence all through the college course, we would restore the patristic homily to its proper place, the Scripture chair; and select from the exercises recommended by M. Hamon, some flowery episode for the ecclesiastical history class, provided that competent judges on the matter, experienced, learned professors, approved the union. More masters than one would be in this as in other branches of education, a great acquisition,
What fruits then might be expected from this system? In our candid opinion if the fruits were to be extraordinary the Church would have long since enforced this second course of eloquence in theological seminaries. We expect no wonders. We do not believe in the discovery now, in the nineteenth century, of any new or great principle in a sacred function, coeval with the Church, so general and so practical as preaching. But certainly whatever benefits (and they are not few) the new system has produced in France, Belgium, and other countries, it would produce in Ireland. The Irish clergy are harder worked. Once on the mission they have less leisure, less opportunities to enlarge their acquirements. A college training would be relatively a greater benefit to them; and who that knows them doubts how they would use it? Their oratorical power never has been questioned even by their enemies; its untrained energy may have been open to ridicule, but seldom to contempt. Common as the national emblem, it springs
I. B. Malou Episcopi Brugensis, Lovanii. Novemdecim Bibliothecæ illius opuscula facile voluminibus quinque compinguntur.
up even where least expected. We are not speaking now of that clerical eloquence which, on the same themes, could often claim kindred with the eloquence of Burke, Sheridan, Grattan, Plunket, Canning, Curran, Sheil, that is of nearly all who have won the highest wreath of eloquence in a land where eloquence wins the richest prizes of ambition; an eloquence from which Montalembert, and through him the continent, caught some of his wisest inspirations; whose clearest and boldest notes, even in times of despondency and danger during the last forty years, nerved the tones of O'Connell, demanding the liberties of the Church, and denouncing that ignominious ecclesiastical code lately abolished in Austria ; an eloquence which must have awakened by its success Catholic nations to the importance of cultivating it, and of establishing those new collegiate courses of sacred rhetoric which now send back to Ireland the echo of her own artless but powerful strains. No, we are considering the eloquence of the Christian pastor to his flock, on their Christian duties; and we affirm that there is at present, (and that there will be, so long as the warm heart is the best spring of all great thought,) as much genuine eloquence in the humble chapels in Ireland as, in the same number, in any part of the Church. What we hope from this new course of eloquence would be to develope this great power; to establish by degrees a school of sacred eloquence which should rival in brilliancy the Italian, in perspicuity and pathos the French, and in popular argument far surpass the English. The foundations of such a school would be laid, we believe, by the plan we have sketched. Then from our first entrance into college, the thought would be kept steadily before us, that eloquence was to be a chief means of utilizing all our studies; and exercise and instruction on the subject would accompany us from our college catechism on to canon law; through rhetoric, and English and French, and church history, and, theology, and Scripture; should we re
at an early period some instruction like M. Hamon's on remote preparation for the pulpit; how to discover our own talent; how to select our line; how to make and to use a “receuil ;" to nurse with reflection the thoughts born from present studies "warm with life;"—those inspirations that rise when most unsought, and which alone have the freshness of originality. Even under such a system we could not expect but that some would neglect these, like many more opportunities; and that others, after some impulsive efforts, would leave their "receuil” a blank: but many on whose beardless cheeks a superjuvenile strain of muscle hardly compresses the smile, when asked how they would apply some rule to a sermon in that distant future when they may be parish priests, would then certainly devote themselves at once and vigorously to a study which would accompany them through their whole course; to punish their indolence by its undininished difficulty; and to reward their industry by college honour, increased facility, and ever accumulating wealth of materials. They would be convinced when they reviewed their juvenile efforts, that nothing but labour, constant labour, * could enable them to avoid the insipiens eloquentia,” denounced by St. Augustine, and inspire them, by combining fervour, pure taste and knowledge, to make Irish eloquence as distinguished in the annals of the Church as it is in the annals of the empire. “Tantum lucere vanum, tantum ardere parum ; lucere et ardere perfectum.”-S. Bernard.f
* Caput autem est, quod ut verè dicam minimè facimus (est enim magni laboris quem plerique fugimus) quam plurimum scribere. Cic. de Orat. 1. 32.
+ We repeat that in discussing the Mechlin plan we did not presume to question its perfect adaptation to the institution in which it is established. It has been warmly approved by the Cardinal Archbishop of Mechlin. “Ce Précis de Rhétorique sacrée à l'usage des séminaires, rédigé avec soin et aprés une longue expérience de l'enseignement, par Monsieur J. B. Van HEMEL, notre VicaireGénéral, est depuis longtemps classique dans notre Petit Séminaire qu'il a dirigé avec le plus grand succés pendant vingt ans. Ce livre renferme en abrégé et d'une manière méthodique les préceptes que les saints Pères, ainsi que saint Charles Borromée, saint Francois de Sales et saint Alphonse de Liguori ont donnés pour bien annoncer la parole de Dieu. C'est pourquoi Nous permettons volontiers que cet excellent traité soit publié ; et Nous recomman. dons à tous les predicateurs et surtout à ceux qui sont chargès d'expliquer le catechisme, de se bien pénetrer des sages règles qui y sont traceés. Nous ne douterons point que, s'ils suivent les bonnes methodes qui y sont indiqueés, ils n'obtiennent les plus heureus resultats. “ Donné à Malines, le 30 Mai 1855.
ART. VIII.-1. The Obstacles which have retarded Moral and Political
Progress. A Lecture by the Right, Hon. LORD JOHN RUSSELL,
M. P. London ; Nisbet and Co. 2. On the Nature of an Inaugural Discourse. An Introductory Lecture
addressed to the St. James's Young Men's Society. By His EMINENCE CARDINAL WISEMAN. London : Richardson and Son,
UR readers are doubtless aware of the extent to which
some of the best interests of mankind have of late years been promoted by the delivery of lectures by several of the ablest men of the age, to numerous audiences, on questions of great importance, and in a form calculated to convey information to every variety of enquirer. This method of instruction has numerous advantages,-and among its not least important are the opportunities which they afford of taking up and refuting, with as little delay as possible, erroneous and injurious statements, which ifunanswered and unrefuted might create lasting impressions, by reason of the weight of the authority by which they may have been enunciated. Such a necessity has recently been occasioned by the lecture which is placed at the head of this article, in which Lord John Russell has done his best (as our readers will perceive) to fortify and support the attack which he some years since commenced upon our Holy Religion and Institutions. It will be seen that by the lecture of the Cardinal Archbishop, which is mentioned secondly, His Eminence has come (as usual) to the rescue ; and has done most excellent service, in bringing into full view and exposing those portions of the address of Lord John Russell, wherein his Lordship has most signally failed in doing justice to the Catholic Religion. We have been so fortunate as to obtain an early copy of the lecture of Cardinal Wiseman, and we think we cannot better serve our holy cause than by giving to it as speedy and as extensive a circulation as our means will command. The lecture was delivered at the opening of a series of lectures to be addressed to the young men of “ The St. James's Society ;” of which His Eminence was kind enough to take upon himself the inaugural address; and the following is the commencement of his discourse :
“One of the most difficult tasks that can be imposed on a speaker, is that of making an inaugural address. He is supposed to be raised on an eminence, and to have mapped out the whole course of the lectures about to be delivered ; to be possessed of their subjects and understand their connection ; and more or less to have in view distinctly before him, the object or end to which they are to be directed. His discourse has to be a preface to all that shall be afterwards said. If this course of lectures had to be upon some united subject, were I aware that you were going to have five or ten discourses upon one particular branch of science, or literaturo, or art, their principles would be well understood ; and it would be: easy to anticipate what must be addressed to you, and in laying. out before you from the commencement the whole plan that was to be followed, and preparing your minds for the particular influences which were intended to be exercised.
“But I just observed that an inaugural address should be like a preface, and those who have had any experience in book making are aware that a preface is the last thing which is written; that the author has composed his work and prepared it for the press, and has even put it into the hands of his printer, and sheet after sheet is rolling out from the steam press before he has quite decided what his preface shall be ; and it is only perhaps on reading his own work over again, that ideas are suggested from it that he thinks it right to communicate to his readers before they enter into the body of his work. And then he gives them such premonitory principles as will enable them to judge more favourably of what he is about to put before them, and assist them in following the train of his thoughts. And so perhaps he apologises for the defects, and prepares them for the excellencies of the work which had been written before the preface was composed.
“Now, I unfortunately am not in a position to do this. When I look over the syllabus of the lectures about to be delivered, which was only put into my hands a few days ago, it is impossible for me to say how I can predispose you, further than by fully guaranteeing the character of their authors, and the principles which are to be inculcated here. With these exceptions, I have no means of preparing you for what you will hear, further than by saying that I am sure you will be instructed and interested.
“ Again, the preliminary discourse may be somewhat likened to the prologue of a drama, which passes through several acts, and the beginning of which consequently is often obscure, so that at first the hearers or readers are in the dark, wondering, what will be the issue ? what is the character of each actor ? and for a short time there is an amount of perplexity in arriving at a sufficient knowledge of these matters to be able to take an interest in a complicated plot. And, hence, some character connected in some way, perhaps, with the action of the piece, comes forward, and endeavours to prepare the minds of tho hearers as to what