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By Edwin D. Mead.

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A careful, thorough survey of Carlyle's career as a writer,
in order to estimate justly his rank, characteristics, and value
as a thinker. It will be read with interest and gratitude by all
who admire Carlyle's genius.

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Faith and Freedom.



Geo. H. Ellis, 141 Franklin Street.





p iei3 L

Press of Gen. II. F.UU, Ul Frunklin Street, Jiostmi.



II. Faith,

III. God is Spirit. I.,

IV. God IS Spirit. II.,

V. Thk Childhood of God,

VI. The Light of God ix JIan,

VII. The Grace of Jesus Christ,

viii. The Intellectcal Development of Christ, . .

IX. The Fitness of Christianity for Mankind. L, .

X. The Fitness of Christianity foe Mankind. II.,.

XI. The Changed Aspect of Christian Theology, .

xii. Biblical CriticiSiM

xiii. The Atonement,

XIV. Devotion to the Conventional,

XV. The Religion of Signs,

XVI. The Naturalness of God's Judgments, . . . .

XVII. Liberty,

xviii. The Individual Soul and God,

XIX. Imjiortality. L, >",i '.''.', .1 „' .\ J

XX. I.-MMORTALITY. II., '^ Ai.f>. V. V. . '-,.

XXI. Immortality. III., '>'"',] .l'^^',', .

XXII. Immortality. IV., > .'> i' k^^ Z > ^






















; ?90


XXIII. Letter to the Congregation of BesfcrL Ch'/pel,'j !j?27'

XXIV. Salt without Savor, 331


Stopford Brooke * is the greatest preacher that the Church
of England has had since Robertson of Brighton ; and his with-
drawal from the Church is, in many respects, the most signifi-
cant recent occurrence in the English religious world. The
deep interest which his new movement has awakened in Amer-
ica, where, both as a religious thinker and a man of letters, he
has almost as many admirers as in England itself, has induced
the publisher to present this collection of his sermons, selected
chiefly from his later volumes, with a view to exhibit his gen-
eral doctrinal position and the prominent characteristics of his
preaching. His recent withdrawal from the Church and
assumption of an independent position are not to be regai'ded
as involving any very recent radical change in these. His teach-

* stopford Augustus Brooke was born at Dublin in 1832, and was educated at
Trinity College, Dublin, where he gained the Downe prijT ancl ths Vice-Chan-
cellor's prize for English verse. He graduated B.A'. Iv ".856, and M.A 'h ISCS."^
He was curate of St. Matthew's Marylebone, 1857-59 ; cSratg oi'-K&lsingli)n,iLg8a:
-G3 ; chaplain to the British Embassy at Berlin, 18G3-65 ; n;iinister of St. James'
Chapel, 18GG-75 ; and became minister of Bedford Chai.ef in tt^pPi j.876. He
■was appointed a chaplain in ordinary to the Queen in 18 72. IV^'f' 15 fopke's pub-
lished works are as follows : Life and Letters of Frederick W. Robertson ; Ser-
mons, First and Second Series ; Freedom in the Church of \ J^n^jUini ; Christ, iii
Mudern Life; The Fight of Faith; Theology vi the Fni/lish'j'oeis; 'A '/"/ iH.e',' of^
English Literature; The Life and Worts of Milton; and the Life and ]Vork of
Maurice, a Memorial Sermon.

The dates of the several sermons in this volume have been given, as afford-
ing some sort of index to Mr. Brooke's doctrinal development, and as explaining,
in some instances, words which he would not use to-day. It is to be hoped that
the important series of doctrinal sermons which Mr. Brooke has been preaching
since his withdrawal from the Church may soon be given to the public.


ing to-day is essentially the same as that of five years ago.
Tlie primary significance of his new movement lies in the
recognition of the inconsistency of these religious views —
views long entertained with greater or less distinctness, and
shared essentially by all the great Broad Church leaders —
with his position as a clergyman of the Church of England.

It was as the biographer of Robertson that Stopford Brooke
first became known to the general public. His Life of Robert-
son, one of the most admirable works of its kind in the lan-
guage, exhibited him as a firm and independent thinker,
already well emancipated from conventionalism, and impatient
of much in the Church's system, an enthusiastic admirer of the
great Brighton preacher as a man, and in hearty sympathy with
his teachings. " As a clergyman," he said in one place, " Rob-
ertson brought distinctly forward the duty of fearlessness in
speaking. He was not one who held what are called liberal
opinions in the study, but would not bring them into the pulpit,
lie did not waver between truth to himself and success in the
world. He was offered advancement in the Church, if he would
abate the strength of his expressions with regard to the Sab-
bath. He refused the proffer with sternness. Far beyond all
the other perils which beset the Church was, he thought, this
peril : that men who were set apart to speak the truth, and to
live above the world, should prefer ease and worldly honor to
conscience, and substitute conventional opinions for eternal
'.tj'^lls.r' '. ":TMt! '. A^fii," he said again, "should, within the
:rie/>3s^ary Ij'niits, ibJioW out their own character, and refuse to
Pubinit;thv3;.T^sel.yc;s to the common mould, is the foremost need
of.'tJhe ag;e';>n,wh'^ch we live; and, if the lesson which Robert-
sgn.'s kfcteaolies is this respect can be received by his brethren,
.'hQ"tvi'L''.n0iUier iiaye acted nor taught in vain. Robertson was
himself, and not a fortuitous concurrence of other men. He
possessed a true individuality, and retained the freedom of
action and the diversity of feeling which men, not only in the
Church, but in every profession and business, so miserabl}^ lose,
when they dress their minds iu the fashion of current opinion,


and look at the world, at Nature, and at God, through the glass
which custom so assiduously smokes." Brooke was already at
this time thoroughly alive to the difficulty of maintaining true
individuality under a system like that of the Church of Eng-
land. "The great disadvantage," he said, "of a Church like
om's, — with fixed traditions, with a fixed system of operation,
with a theological education which is exceedingly conservative,
with a manner of looking at general subjects from a fixed cler-
ical point of view, with a bias to shelter and encourage certain
definite modes of thinking, — is that under its government cler-
gymen tend to become all of one pattern."

Mr. Brooke's first volume of sermons, published in 1868,
showed still more plainly than the Life of Robertson that he
did not belong to the ordinary London pattern, and that he was
able, in spite of the Church's system, to maintain his individu-
ality and to speak fearlessly. Four sermons from this earliest
volume of Mr. Brooke are included in the present collection, —
the sermons upon " The Naturalness of God's Judgments,"
" The Intellectual Development of Christ," " Devotion to the
Conventional," and " The Religion of Signs " ; and ' these
sermons, while by no means showing the maturity and depth
of thought which we find in the more important parts of
Christ in Modern Life, * and in the sermons of to-day, show
the same freshness of feeling, the same unhackneyed method,
and the same general intellectual tendencies. The volume at
once established j\Ir. Brooke's reputation as an original and
independent thinker, and he became from tliat time a real
power in London.

Mr. Brooke's second volume. Freedom in the Church of Eng-
land, appeared in 1871, and consisted of a series of sermons
suggested by the famous Yoysey Judgment. The trial of
Mr. Yoysey involved a discussion of the whole Broad Church
position, and the object of Mr. Brooke's work was to determine
the nature and extent of the Church's comprehension. The

* The sermons in the present collection upon "The Fitness of Christianity for
Mankind" and "Immortality" are taken from Christ in Modern Life.


volume contained sermons upon such questions of controversy
as Original Sin, the Atonement, and Biblical Criticism, — the
sermons in the present collection upon the two latter subjects
come from this volume, — and it is especially interesting as
showing how radical a man may be and yet find means to
reconcile his views with doctrinal standards like those of the
Church of England, or at any rate to justify to himself his
continuance within the Church. There is, perhaps, no better
popular defence of the Broad Churcli position, and how inad-
equate a defence this is Mr. Brooke would now be quick enough
to admit. It is to be remembered, however, that, while this
volume showed Mr. Brooke to be more or less at variance with
the Church's doctrines upon almost every point which he dis-
cussed, he had not at this time given up the belief in miracles,
which he afterward did, and which was the decisive cause of
his final withdrawal from the Church. This volume of ten
years ago is not therefore to be regarded altogether as the
defence of one holding the views for which Mr. Brooke now
stands, although it does oppose and deny beliefs which are as
unreservedly demanded by the Church, if they are not as fun-
damental to its constitution, as the belief in miracle itself.

The radical views which Mr. Brooke felt called upon to
assert with the greater emphasis, as the Yoysey Judgment
seemed in some respects to curtail that degree of liberty which
had already been allowed in the Church, were expressed at the
same time with studied temperance, and respect for opposing
opinions. "I trust," he said, "that all will recognize in these
sermons the deep desire I possess that in the midst of these
manifold differences of opinion, the existence of which I cher-
ish as a means of arriving at truth, we may not lose our
liberty through fear, nor our reverence for truth through reck-
lessness of opinion on the one side, or through a blind devotion
to transient forms of thought upon the other." He proceeded
to define his conception of a National Church, maintaining
that a National Church was impossible and not national at all
unless it permitted within its actual boundaries every phase of


religious thought possible to Euglishmeu, within certain limits
■which demand belief in a few cardinal doctrines, — doctrines as
general as in the State the articles, for instance, of the Bill of
Rights. In a word, the National Church must tolerate and
comprehend, on an equal footing, religious views as various and
conflicting as the political views represented in Parliament,
being, in its sphere, as true a miniature as Parliament of the
national life. The creeds and articles of the Church must
be viewed, like the Acts of Parliament, as entirely provisional
and fluctuating in their nature, merely regulative and always
subject to revision ; and opposition to them must no more be
construed as disloyalty than attempts to reform legislation.
"Would the Church allow this freedom? If not, it was not a
National Church, and its disestablishment was doomed. Mr.
Brooke then proceeded to show what some of the changes were
which criticism and science had made necessary in theology,
and to defend the views upon the principal questions of contro-
versy for which his party demanded tolerance and recognition.
If such views could not be recognized by the Church, then
there was but one course for the liberal clergy. " They can-
not," said Mr. Brooke, " in the interests of truth, abide with her
whose features are no longer those of a mother." " And if they
leave," he said to his people, " and you agTee with their love of
liberty, your place is also no longer in the Church. Truth
should be as dear to you as it is to your ministers. The lib-
eral clergy ought to feel that they have the support of liberally-
minded men in their effort to keep the Church open and on a
level with the knowledge of the day." For ten years longer,
Mr. Brooke kept up the losing fight. Now, he has come to see
clearly that his theory of a National Church, fine as it may be
in itself, is not the theory upon which the Church of England
really works, and that he only stultified himself by continuing
to act as though it were.

But the pulpit of St. James' Chapel was no more conspicuous
for its liberal theology than for its innovations upon the ordi-
nary range of pulpit themes and pulpit methods. Perhaps the


primary endeavor of Stopford Brooke's preaching, iliroughont
his wliole ministerial career, has been to clear religious life and
thought of a false traditionalism, to oppose the tendency to
localize and pigeon-hole religion, looking upon it as a special
department of life, and concerned with a particular history and
particular institutions, instead of embracing all history and
being the informing spirit of all life and all the true elements
of society. Christ in Modern Life is the fitting title of his
principal volume of sernaons. Pie would make

" Our common daily life divine,
And everj- laud a Palestine."

lie would bring religion to bear upon every department of life
and thought, and bring every department of thought into the
service of religion ; would " claim, as belonging to the ]^iovi))ce
of the Christian ministry, political, historical, scientific, and
artistic work in their connection with theology," and " iiib out
the sharp lines drawn by that false distinction of sacred and
profane." * Every sj^here of man's thought and action, he said,
is in idea, and ought to be in fact, a channel through which
God thinks and acts ; and so there is no subject which does not
in the end run uj) into theologj", and may not in the end be
made religious. A proper recognition of this, he believed, would
bring about important changes in the methods and the func-
tion of the Church, and greatly increase its usefulness ; and it
was in accordance with this that he instituted, at St. James'
Chapel, courses of Sunday afternoon lectures, which should

♦WHu'n the Shakspere Memorial was dedicated at Stratford-on-Avon, two
years a^o, it was Mr, Brooke who was invited to fro down and preach the sermon
appropriate to the occasion from the pulpit of the old Stratford clmrch. "I sup-
port with pleasure," he said, "any movement which brings Shakspere moro on
tho stage in this country. And, when I say that, I mean to support all dramatic
performances which represent human actioii and emotion with truth, whith tell
or strive to tell the real tale of human life. The stage ought to bo one of the
best means of education in a State; and it might be much more so than it is in
England, if the foolish and sometimes odious stigma laid upon it by relisMous per-
sons wore frankly removed, and a cultivated demand made for the production
of admirable plays."


avoid as much as possible tlie form of sermons, but have some
direct beai-ing on religious thought and the conduct of life.
He invited well-known and competent men to speak upon such
subjects as " The Inner Life of the Romish Church " and " The
Relation of Music to Religion " ; and he himself gave the admi-
rable lectures upon Cowper, Coleridge, Wordsworth, and Burns,
which have since been published under the title of Theohxjij
in ihe English Poetx. * The experiment was very successful.
It was much criticised, as was to be exjiected ; " but the blame
of many accustomed to hear nothing but sermons from the
pulpit," said Mr. Brooke, " has been wholly outweighed in my
mind by the fact of the attendance of many persons who were
before uninterested in religious subjects at all." He believed
that much good might be done, if similar efforts became gen-
eral. " It would give variety to clerical work ; and much knowl-
edge that now remains only as latent force among the clergy
might be made dynamic, if I may borrow a term from science.
If rectors of large churches would ask clergymen who know any
subject of the day well to lecture on its religious aspect in the
afternoon, they would please themselves, enlighten their congre-
gations, and fill their churches. And they would assist the
cause of religion among that large number of persons who do
not go to Church, and who think tiiat Christianity has nothing
to do with politics, art, literature, or science."

It would have been impossible for jMr. Brooke to have
chosen a theme better combining those things which he is best
qualified to treat than that of Theology in the English Poets.
First a religious thinker, he is next a literary critic ; and his
various essays upon English Literature and its great masters
have not been surpassed in their good proportions, their just
estimates, and fine appreciation of inner purpose, by anything
written in our time. His little Primer of English Literature
is a very miracle of a book, reconciling compression with

* A second course, on Blake, Shelley, Keats, and Byron, was subsequently de-
livered: hut this scries has not yet been published. It is to be hoped that the
larger public may not much longer be kept from the enjoyment of it.


living and breathing in a way almost never done before, and
managing in its hundred and fifty pages to set Cfedmon and
Chaucer and Elizabeth's time and Anne's before us -with a
freshness and vividness that the big compendiums have scarcely
ever dreamed of. Quite equal, in its way, is Mr. Brooke's
laro-er work — still a very small work — upon Milton. It
reveals the profoundest and most sympathetic study of Milton,
and the completest understanding of the Puritan movement
and the Puritan mind, with whicli Mr. Brooke himself really
has so much in common. He is equally at home in eveiy prov-
ince and period of English literature and English history ; and
Mr. Green, the author of the History of the English People, has
publicly acknowledged the obligations which he is under to
him for assistance in the preparation of that great work.

" The poets of England ever since Cowper," saj's Mr. Brooke,
" have been more and more theological, till we reach such men
as Tennyson or Browning, whose poetry is overcrowded with
theology." The study of the theology of the poets is especially
delightful and helpful, because their theology is the natural
growth of their own hearts, free from the claims of dogma and
independent of conventional religious thought. In their ordi-
nary life, indeed, the poets were subject to the same influences
as other men. They may have held a distinct creed or con-
formed to a special sect, or they may have expressed the
strongest denial of theological opinions ; but in their poetry
their imagination was freed, and they spoke truths which were
true because they were felt. " And the fact is that in this
realm of emotion, where prejudice dies, the thoughts and feel-
ings of their poetry on the subject of God and Man are often
wholly different from those expressed in their every-day life.
Cowper's theology in his poetry soars beyond the narrow sect to
which he belonged into an infinitely wider universe. Shelley's
atheism, when the fire of emotion or imagination is burning
in him, and when he is floating on his wings he knows not
whither, becomes pantheism, and his hatred of Christianity is
lost in enthusiastic but unconscious statement of Christian


Of the sixteen lectures which make up this volume upon
Theology in the English Pods, uine are devoted to Words-
worth, who holds as high a place with Mr. Brooke as he held
with Robertson before liini. " In coming to Wordsworth," he
says, " we come to the greatest of the English poets of this
century, greatest not only as a poet, but as a jihilosopher. It
is the mingling of profound thought and of ordered thought
with poetic sensibility and power (the power always the master
of the sensibility) which places him in this high position. He
does possess a philosophy, and its range is wide as the universe.
He sings of God, of Man, of Nature, and, as the result of these
three, of Human Life ; and they are all linked by thought and
through feeling one to another, so that the result is a complete
whole." From what Mr. Brooke has to say of Wordsworth's
poetry of Nature, I quote a single passage, because it is so good
an expression of the philosophy which underlies so much in his
own preaching. Wordsworth he says " speaks of

' The Being that is in the clouds and air,
That is in the green leaves among the groves,
"Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean, and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things.'

This Being, observe, is more than a mere influence. It is a
conscious life, which realizes itself as a personality in realizing
itself within the sum of all things. In fact, this Being, who is
the life of the universe, is the all-moving Spirit of God, the
soul which is the eternity of Thought in Nature.* It may be

•"A few lines in the 'Prelude' express this clearly : —
In progress through this A'erse, my mind hath looked
Upon tlie speaking face of earth and heaven,
As her prime teacher, intercourse with man
Established by the Sovereign Intellect,
Who through that bodily image hath diffused,
As miglit appear to the eye of Meeting time,
A deathless spirit.' "


the fashion to call this pantheistic ; but it is the true and nec-
essary pantheism which affirms God in all, and all by him, but
which does not affirm that this All includes the whole of God.
Wordsworth's feeling of personality was so strong that he
would probably have said that the personality of God in refer-
ence to Nature consisted in God's consciousness of himself at
every moment of time, in every part as well as in the whole of
the universe. But, as this is a metaphysical and not a poetic
thought, and as "Wordsworth wanted a thought which he could
use poetically, he transferred this idea of God realizing his per-
sonality in the whole of the universe to an actual person, whom
he creates, to a Being whom he terms Nature. And hence
there grew up in his mind the thought of one personal, spiritual
Life, which had infinitely subdivided itself through all the forms
of the outward world, which could realize an undivided life at
any moment, but which also lived a distinct life in every part.
It became possible then for him to have communication with
any one manifestation of that Life, in a tree or a rock or a
cloud, to separate in thought the characteristics of any one
form of it from another, or, omitting the consideration of the
parts, to think of or communicate with the whole, to realize the
one spiritual life that conditioned itself in all as a Person with
whom he could speak, and from whom he could receive impulse
or warning or affection. And, when this was done, when
Nature seemed one Life, then the necessary spirituality of the
thought made him lose consciousness of the material forms
under which this Life appeared, and that condition of mind
arose in which Nature was unsubstantialized in thought."

It is chiefly English thought, Englisli poetry and history, of
wliich ]Mr. Brooke has written; and it is from English masters
that his culture has apjiarently been most immediately derived.
And yet his philosophy is essentially the German philosophy ;
and those very elements in Wordsworth with which his mind
has so strong an affinity are the elements which Wordsworth
owed chiefly to German influences, or which, at least, are of the
distinctively German character. Stopford Brooke is a Trau-


scendentalist, whose English feet are set very firmly on the
ground, combining a lofty Idealism \vitli shrewd good sense, in
something the same manner whicli we see in Emerson. All of
the great Broad Churchmen ha\e oeeu deeply influenced by the
German thinkers. Robertson, it will be remembered, was the
English translator of Lessing's Education of the Ilu/win Race.
Just what the direction of Mr. Brooke's studies -was during
his Berlin days we do not know, but the influence of the great
Germans is conspicuous through all liis later work. Of the
philosophers proper, Fichte affected him most ; and he has

Online LibraryStopford Augustus BrookeFaith and freedom → online text (page 1 of 26)