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sider the BOAT-RACE AT MORTLAKE, which has been almost only event of public interest at home during the past month. it must be on the whole a happy state of England which permits intest between four pairs of light and four pairs of dark blue i to become one of the prominent incidents in the monthly ory. There are some, indeed, who will consider that it was an it of the least possible interest, or one in which the only ern of religious people should be to lament over it, as we ent over the dog-fights, man-fights, rat and ferret fights, of 's Life in London. Indeed, such was the notion expressed by rrespondent of the Patriot in commenting upon an article in h that honest and thoughtful journal had considered the quesof public amusements, and proposed the test that the lawful rtainments were such as could be " adorned with the presence" he ministry of the Church. The correspondent referred to guantly repudiated the notion that a minister could properly be ent at a boat-race; and after affirming that such an act would thrown a shadow upon the character of the Apostles and of the conformists, he exclaims, “ Depend upon it, we require a higher dard of holiness, rather than any encouragement to young sters to attend boat-races or such like amusements !” As to postles, they spent a large part of their life in "rowing,” and by no means certain that on a fine summer's evening they r tried who could row quickest to the shore. If they ever did
can readily imagine that one eye, generally sorrowful, did show its “holiness" by a Pharasaic scowl upon the innocent sheerful rivalry, but then as ever looked upon human life on des and as a whole, which includes the prayers of saints and layfulness of children, and sometimes a little necessary amuse
for the saints themselves. So far as regards the Nonconists and Puritans, they were not men to think that their iness” was endangered by a boat-race, for Perkins deliberately cates hunting, fowling, and fishing, and quotes scripture to ? the lawfulness of each.* This whole business of amusements ires fresh and thorough ventilation, in order that it may be ced to its principles, and that those principles may be ed to the circumstances of modern life. These principles, we ehend, are the following :-1. That the amusement shall be ation, a process which results in creating anew the forces of body and of the mind, and not in their injury or destruction.
violation of this rule constitutes “revelling." Whatever rens within us the love of God or man, or destroys our view of serious purpose of life, or unfits us for next day's duties, or ipts our moral principles, or consumes a disproportionate part
* See Mr. Stanford's Life of Joseph Alleine.
of our time, is sinful amusement. Whatever enjoyment braces the body, and with it the mind, whatever rectifies those disorde secretions which some people mistake for holy feelings, when u are simply signs of a disordered liver, whatever fills us with fr air and fresh sense of the joy of living in God's delightful world good. There are some people to whom “religion” is very li better than one prolonged bilious attack. They are gangrened an indoor life, and would see all things differently after a game cricket. 2. The amusement of Christians must be such as c not involve the physical or moral danger or degradation of persons who contribute to it. If men dress themselves like babc and imitate their detestable gestures, if men set a bad exampl walking on tight ropes in mid air, if men spend a whole sum in representing the language and thought of the greatest foo Christendom, it appears to us that Christian people should not quent such degrading spectacles, but earnestly protest against discountenance them. It is not enough not to go to “wor amusements.” The amusements which are really “worldly” wicked and degrading, and ought to be as loudly denounced as serious sinful actions of bad men. And 3. The amusement Christian people ought to be such as are not only lawful in th selves, and of a recreative character, but such as do not inv in their necessary accompaniments more evil than the good wl properly belongs to them. If you cannot attend a spectacle take part in a game itself lawful, without sanctioning the accide evils, suppose of betting or licentiousness, which may accomp the entertainment on the part of some frequenters, then, doubt a Christian will withhold his company. These are the princi which ought to govern our conduct in relation to amusements, conduct of both the ministers and the members of the Chu They are under one law. Whatever is right for one is right for Whatever is inexpedient for one is inexpedient for all. Notl can be more pernicious than to set up a “standard of holiness.” ministers different from that which is proper to "private Christia Such a course always ends in asceticism, clerical hypocrisy, unreality. The ministers are part of the congregation. They to be "ensamples to the flock," not only in work but in play. I are not to be monks, but generally married men; and t families are to be brought up in the principles which are proper all the families of the flock. We totally reject the idea of a cler sanctity which is different from that of all the Lord's people.” bishop must be one that "ruleth well his own house," and if attempt to checkmate all the innocent gaiety of young people, because they are minister's children, you will not only not rule tł -well, but you will soon not rule them at all. A good mini ought to enter into all the innocent sports of his own family, : ugh them to sympathize with the whole world of young people nd him; and the true "standard of holiness” is that which jes him not only to weep with them that weep, but to "rejoice them that do rejoice.” every enjoyment is to be shunned because it may lead bad le into danger, Christians might as well cease to eat and s; or, in fact, "go out of the world.” What is wanted is a
example in play as well as in work, and we entirely agree the Patriot that the presence of ministers and their children boat-race is altogether consistent with the principles and proies of the Christian life. pen-air amusements, and amusements which involve rigorous ise, are among the most desirable forms of recreation for young
Hard labour and “training ”would elevate the sickly piety any of them, and infuse a more manly tone into their thinking. iis view we heartily applaud boating where it is an attainable yment. Surely it was a noble sight to see those Oxonians send cutter along the Thames in the morning sun-light. Such an ntion of quiet power is not to be seen every day. It was the ction of physical cultivation. Cambridge laboured, and was y distressed in the pulling, but that Oxford boat grandly ad:d like a living creature instinct with one spirit of powerful peaceful movement, with an absolute self-possession and unity of stroke which was never to be forgotten. The banks of Thames were crowded with spectators, chiefly of the better class, ertainly no one's "holiness” could have been injured by the of those two boats, one in front, the other fiercely struggling e rear, coming forward through the arch of the railway-bridge st the cheers of the picturesque throngs who stood for miles all
the shore. It is by no means certain that the future ministry I be injured if the students of New College and Regent's Park to take a pull over the same water some sunny morning in the ion, to see which of them was likely to pull best in the vessel e Church in the days to come. We would venture something irmation of this fact, that the best “stroke" in each boat would ibly be one of the best and healthiest evangelists hereafter. hould then find out whether those whose denomination implied ference for abundant water were really superior on that elei to those whose peculiarity was an abhorrence of it. Such a race would tend more to the “union of the two denomina" than a whole world of magazine writing on the subject. The air is very friendly to common sense and good fellowship, and fatal to all kinds of trumpery sectarianism.
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TO THE EDITOR OF THE “SPECTATOR." SIR-There is a great want among mankind of wholesome amu ment. The mind needs some active rest; we must have play of the pleasantest essayists of our day has told us how impossible found a perpetual grind : the healthier a man in mind and bo the more he will love play. We too much look on play as a ned sary evil, or, at best, as something just allowable, but much bet laid aside with other childish things, when childhood is over; while we play, our faces have an apolegetic air, a don't-laugh-atexpression, as though we were ashamed of being amused at trifi we ought to be thankful that we can be so amused.
Play is one of the conditions of mental and bodily health. child's amusements are quite as important a part of his educati as his lessons (I do not mean those ingenious ways of insinuati useful knowledge into the infant mind, which are very good their way, but are not amusements proper). They serve bet ends than merely to keep his idle hands harmless. Most little by and girls have some time learnt a verse about spending one's chi hood in “Books, and work, and healthful play,” but, as they gr up, the healthful play drops out of sight; it is beneath the dign of grown-up people (for whom this paper is meant). But no can work well, and very few can work long at all, without freque play-times; and, as we have grown too proud for true play, have invented to ourselves a very hard kind of work, which is call by several different names, but which Dr. Arnold called “revellin
Play ought to be a recreation of body and mind for fresh worl we ought to go from our play, rejoicing, like the sun, to ruua i race; but, as it is, the ill effects of “an evening's amusement" proverbial, and, unless there be a reform in play, some future writ on "words” will note how the word “dissipation,” which on meant habitual revelling, becomes, by the degeneration of play, be a synonyme of it. Most of our play is more or less revellin that is, it is useless hard work, which unfits us for useful work ne day; and it is often very dull play indeed. Nobody is “ bored"| hard work-even lazy people feel the word inappropriate, and 1 serve it for their amusements.
Some things, which, as means are noble, become base as soon we make them the end. Hunting, which, while it was work ( means), was an opportunity for manly daring, now that it is pla for the end), is often a sport, enjoyed at the expense of oth men's rights, and protected by a remnant of the worst side of tl dal system—the side which so outrageously respected persons as et the death of a deer above the death of a man. The nineteenth tury is too old for Norman game-laws. lany of our amusements were never good for much. Children I children, not men and women of five years old) amuse themes very much better than we, with very much less trouble. We ! a great deal of pains, and only succeed in being far more tired i by work, and horribly bored besides; they take very little Is, and are happy and refreshed. They play with all their soul, all their body too; and if grown-up people would play so too, ere a great improvement. But the chief reason why their play al, and ours generally a farce, is, that children have play in r hearts, and we have not. We are not full of joy as we ought e because either we have never “there fixed our hearts where joys are to be found," or because, professing to love God above we hardly believe at all in the God of Love, but in a god made a creeds, and catechisms, and confessions of faith ; and because religion is taught to consist rather in not doing wrong than in g right. Christianity is a wholesome religion—a religion for sun to shine on. No false religion was ever wholly free from m and terror; even the mostly-beautiful, open-air religion of ce had the fates in the background, and soft, smiling Bacchus I wreak a fiendish vengeance on those who despised his rites. Greeks and Romans lived in daily fear of ill omens and unng offences against the gods, therein resembling some modern iormentors, always contemplating their own sins. But the g God fills His servants with joy; He is to be feared, but not ded, by doers of righteousness; His saints are bidden to rejoice im for evermore, and only they whom “the happy God ” has e glad, know what true joy is. hristians ought to play more heartily, and to be more genial universal in their affections than others; they are too often ? Darrow-minded and narrow-hearted, sourar, and more formal. laps it is because they call themselves “religious people” ind of “righteous people.” orrow is in nowise more religious than joy. God made us to e and laugh—not only to weep. It is true that in this world e is cause enough for grief, public and private, that a good man t feel very sad when he sees a crowd, and thinks that “the d” means those who are not God's friends. But let him learn David, who also saw and knew many wicked men, who lived n"darkness covered the earth, and gross darkness the people," “who died not having received the promise ;" and who yet 3 songs of gladness to his God, such as put inost Christian ans of joy to shame. There is a great difference in the matter cheerfulness between the Psalms of David and Dr. Watts's