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while length of face, and gravity of demeanour, and the habit frowning upon all joyous effusion of spirits, are right. This, repeat, is simply to reverse the law of nature and of Scripti affi med with joyous acclaim by the flowers of the field and birds of the woodland, and by the reason, the heart, the c science of man. It has gone so far, that most people of earn personal religion find the spirituality of their affections distur by that very“music and dancing,” to which Christ referred as appropriate methods of evincing joy. Herein lies the difficulty amendment; for the spirituality of the soul's life, the preservat of communion with God in the heart, must not, on any account, put in jeopardy. At lowest, however, the seriousness of the er ought to be perceived, and our children ought to be taught t in beauty of form, of colour, of motion, with all its concomitant gaiety, brilliancy and gladness, there is no harm but much good. The Puritan Churches have of late years been throwing the contracted ideas of their ancestry; and it is not now gepera thought sinful to have respect to the principles of good taste erecting places of worship and in conducting service. A great : vance in ideas on this subject has taken place, and we m confidently expect it to continue.
A Protestant school of art, in the strictest sense of the woi that is a school of art devoted to the erection of Protestant church or to the adornment of Protestant worship, we do not expect or wi to see. The art of Protestantism need have hardly any sacerdo or ecclesiastical character; it requires only to be a great and pr art, depicting the beauties of God's world, the heroisms of hum character and history, and finding certain of its grandest then in the province of religion, in order to confer inexpressible benet on the Protestant Churches. The one thing needful is, that 1 lamentable notion that there is something Unchristian in bear and brightness should be done away with.
The analogy which we have traced froin the world of nati into the world of man, in the three provinces of individual, domest and ecclesiastical life, does not fail when we enter the region pational existence. But in this province it is not possible to ta a step in considering the relation of beauty to life, without findi ourselves confronted by certain questions of extremest difficul questions which open into the whole subject of modes of labo and the ends and characteristics of national prosperity-questic on which poets, philosophers, and political economists have knock their heads together any time this century, and that without y striking out from the concussion a very clear light of guidance plain people. The poets and the poetical philosophers have startled t cconomists by vague notions relating to the organization of labor and by a manifest distrust in, and dislike to, those mechanical powe of steam and machinery, which have given so marked a character to the present age. The economists, on the other hand, have had tacitly or expressly against them a large proportion of the richer and nobler mind among us, on account of the flippant dogmatism vith which they assert that modern progress in wealth and population must imply an advancement in all true national prosperity, and of an evident deadness, on their part, to those beautifying influences for which every tender, high, and fine-strung nature longs, as for the dropping of a heavenly dew in the world-wilderness. Both the poets and the economists are partly in the right; neither appear to have sterged into the open azure of a complete truth. The poets, Sonthey, Wordsworth, Ruskin, and their peers—are essentially and irrefragably correct in their main position, that human life, deprived of all presence and influence of the Beautiful, is in an abnormal, incompiete, and, on the whole, disastrous condition. Were it otherwise, the thing would be a contradiction to the whole analogy of nature, and the poets, who are such in virtue of having a finer ear than onlinary men for truths embodied in nature's harmonies and cadences, are vested with authority to proclaim that satisfaction of the ruder animal wants of man is not necessarily a guarantee of his well-being as a compound existence, not only physical, but mental, moral, and spiritual. All idea, however,—nay, all possible suggestion of idea—that the mechanical powers wbich have armed hankind with new weapons in this century, are in themselves evil, ind ought to be dispensed with, is to be condemned.
When we drive out from the cloud of steam, majestical white horses,
Not necessarily, most noble poetess, though we ought to be, since every Dew power gained by man is fitted and intended by God to be a tepping-stone towards elevation and improvement of his whole being. Not necessarily, we say; the utilitarian powers may steal a march upon us, and spread an ugliness over the field of life which cannot fail to be pernicious to the human being. The desolation which triumphant iron and fire, when the whole domain of life is maven up to them, may produce, is pourtrayed, in its physical aspect, by Mr. Ruskin, in this account of a walk in the neighbourhood of a manufacturing town in Yorkshire :-" Just outside the town I came upon an old English cottage, or mansion, I hardly know which to call it,-set close under the hill, and beside the river, perhaps built komewhere in the Charles' times, with mullioned windows and a low arched porch, round which, in the little triangular garden, one can imagine the family as they used to sit in old summer times, the tipple of the river heard faintly through the sweetbriar hedge, and
the sheep on the far-off wolds shining in the erening suplig There, uninhabited for many and many a year, it had been left an unregarded havoc of ruin; the garden-gate still hung loose its latcb; the garden blighted utterly into a field of ashes, not e a weed taking root there ; the roof torn into shapeless rents; shutters hanging about the windows in rags of rotten wood; bet its gate, the stream which had gladdened it now soaking slowly black as ebony, and thick with curdling scum; the bank abovi trodden into unctuous, sooty slime; far in front of it, between it a the old hills, the furnaces of the city foaming forth perpetual pla of sulphurous darkness; the volumes of their storm-clouds coiling over a waste of grassless fields, fenced from each other, not hedges, but by slabs of square stone, like gravestones, riveted gether with iron.” This picture, drawn as it is with inimitable pov is not exaggerated, and no amount of sophistical reasoning could lence the authoritative and irreversible decision by the healthful m that such a state of things is inconsistent with the real well-being men. If we look attentively, we shall find that amid all the populo ness and productivity of the most active manufacturing distri nature has not forgotten her law that an abnegation of beauty is abnegation of the finest essence of prosperity, of the best eleme of spiritual civilization. The want of the beautifying influences those districts is attested by the hardening of the mind, by a tor) and rigidity of feeling, by an insensibility to all that is tender a refined, by an incapacity for high spiritual aspiration. The mer logical faculties of the mind are vigorous, perhaps morbidly vi rous; but no sward clothes the rocks, no pool of soft water rema on it to reflect the stars of heaven. The state of mind hence resu ing is strongly depicted by Mrs. Gaskell in the opening chapters her biography of Charlotte Bronte; its characteristic is bare a rugged strength, without delicacy or tenderness. It is also an ! doubted fact that in the manufacturing districts, where the men action seems, in its cold, emotionless, metallic logic, to correspo to the action of the machinery by which and amid which the peop live, the prevalence of Atheism is exceptionally great. We have på fect confidence in imputing the fact to such a condition of things Mr. Ruskin describes. Atheism is the logic of despair. Put a mi into a condition in which he can be an atheist, and all your re soning will have slight power to prevent his becoming such. G is light; darken the house of life with a profound and inhum darkness, and you cannot see God. “Take one look round this Giles's," said the London atheist, “and it will show you that the is no God.” And this darkening of the sphere of existence is mo expressly and literally effected by excluding from life the elemen and influences of beauty. By the mere fact that beauty can be di criminated from use, that the blue and crimson of the clouds are not required in watering the earth, that the curve and spring of the bonghs and the witching green of the foliage are not used in building ship u dwelling, that the flowers have no mission but to be admired, the idea is suggested to the mind that a Being exists and has made the world, who has respect to higher aspirations than those of man's animal frame, that man is intended to contemplate as well as to use, and that what has no direct connection with his bodily life is coopected with a spiritual life above it and beyond. There is a still deeper truth than this, a truth which we have not space at present to investigate, but which is the final and demonstrative proof that atheism in man is the strictly correspondent phenomenon, the scientific reflex, of a state of life from which beauty is absent. Beauty, throughout nature, is the lore-producing element. Strictly speaking, beauty, physical or moral, is the one thing which we love. It is the God's touch which calls out the highest note in the music of our nature, and we believe in God, not through reason, but through love. Hence, if beauty is removed absolutely from our sght, if the eye never beholds the light of spring on cherry-blossom or lilac-bloom, if the human lip and cheek are never seen without the stain of smoke, if so much as a pure sunbeam never penetrates for w to wet roof or ivied gable, the sense of a Divine Love in the world, manifesting itself in beauty, and evoking, in glad response, the akuowledgment of his presence in love and in faith, cannot be
Beauty, then, we conclude, is necessary to the right prosperity of the national existence, as it is to the well-being of individuals, families, and Churches. The qustion how beauty can be reconciled tith the conditions of existence in the mechanical age, however dificult it may be, must not be evaded. It is essentially to this problem that Mr. Ruskiu has been attempting to furnish a solution, in bus papers on what certainly, as constituted by him, would be a new science of political economy. His aim is to point out how the nobleness of man's higher life, the attributes of his moral and spiritual nature, may be allied with the trading and manufacturing conditions of modern life. As the greatest literary interpreter of the Beautiful that has ever appeared, his opinion on the subject is deserving of careful attention ; but unhappily he has seen fit to begin by a contemptuous rejection of doctrines in political economy which have long and justly been matter of universal assent; and the extent to which he would invoke governmental action in the case is, we think, at variance with those irresistible tendencies of the time, which the practical statesman may direct, but must Hot contradict. It is encouraging that the evil is being materially alleviated by the intelligent philanthropy of public men; and the practical view of the case is that, through the following on the part of rich men of such examples as Sir Frank Crossley's in
without the report of God into
bestowing a people's park on the town of Halifax, through suppression, by rigorous sanitary enactments, of all suppress foulness of smoke or refuse, and through the perception by Legislature of their duty to prevent, so far as is possible, s lamentable, pernicious, and irremediable destruction of beauty our towns as has been effected in London by the metropol system of railways, such influences of beauty may be combi with our modern manufacturing and commercial existence, as remove the reproach of ugliness from our mechanical power, call back the light of God into our national house of life.
We have now ascertained, or at least put the reader in a posi to ascertain, the place and importance of the Beautiful in world of nature and in the world of man. A scientific basis is 1 procured for enquiries of a more particular kind respecting value, in human culture, of an acquaintance with the Beautifu nature and in art. These involve not only the question of how study of the Beautiful acts in quickening and refining the me faculties, but that of the whole moral influence of art, vie practically and with regard to objections which are urged by m upon the subject. The theme will more than suffice for anot article.
TOPICS OF THE MONTH.
THE MARRIAGE OF THE PRINCE OF WALES has clearly been event of the month, Nerer had any young lady under heaven magnificent a reception as that which was given to the Print Alexandra on the seventh of March. From the Nore to Wind Castle there was one uninterrupted series of triumphs in honour. No small effort of mind is requisite to comprehend whole vista of glorification along which she passed on that mem able day, and no small measure of firmness must have been reg site in order to endure it. Landing on the flower-strewn pier Gravesend ; amidst the salutes of the iron war-ships of England, passed under arch after arch of festoons to the North-Kent Ri way. Every station was dressed in laurels, and crowded w eager spectators, ready to burst into shouts of welcome as the tri slowly advanced on its journey. The great terminus of the Bric layers' Arms was converted into one vast overarching bower of en greens and exotic flowers. Through Southwark her course " a prolonged ovation from the commonalty. On London Brid the splendour of her reception reached its climax. On each sidet