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DEAN STANLEY on CHARLES DICKENS.

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DEAN STANLEY on CHARLES DICKENS. The announcement that Dean Stanley intended to make Charles Dickens and his works the subject of his sermon in Westminster Abbey 08: Sunday last brought together, as might be expected, a very large congrega- tion to the afternoon service, and some time before three o'clock the choir and transepts were filled to overflowing, as well as the seats in the Sacrarium. The Dean took his text from the Gospel of the day the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, which, he observed was most appropriate to the occasion, and chimed in admir- ably with the service performed within those walls on Tues- dayâthe funeral of "that gifted being who for years had delighted and instructed the generation to which he be- longed." He showed that the story of Dives and Lazu-u; formed something more than an ordinary parable," and that, in spite of b th tM One and the other being "as purely imaginary beinaa as H "mlet or Shylock," it was a tale of real life, so real that we can hardly believe it to bo fiction, and not an actual history." the Bible, 'h'm, urged the preacher, sanctions this mode of teaching, which has been In a special sense Oou's giie. to our own age. "In various ages," he continued, "this gift has assumed various forma, the divine flame of poetry, the far-reaching page of science, the searching analysis of philosophy, the glorious page of history, the stirring eloquence of preacher or orator, the Save address of moralist or divine,âall these we have had ages past, and to some extent w« have them (till; bat n 1 age has developed like mis use giis ul â â p-f.King in parables, of teaching by fiction." "Poetry," he continued, "may kindle a loftier fire, the drsma may rivet the attention more firmly, science may open a wider horizon, and philosophy may touch a deeper spring, but no works are so penetrating or so persuasive, enter so many houses, or attract so many readers, as the romance or novel of modern times." And in proportion as the good novel is the best so is the bad novel the worst of instructors but the work of the successful novelist, if pure in style, elevating in thought, and true iu its sentiment, is the best of blessings to the Christian home, which the bad writer would debase and defile. In the writings of Charles Dickens, it is clearly shown that "it is possible to move both old and young to laughter without the use of a sir g!e expression which could defile the purest or shock the most sensitive he taught a lesson to the world that it is pos- sible to jest without the Introduction of depraving scenes or the use of unseemly and fllthy j ;kes. So thought and so wrote, not only the genial and loving humourist whom we mourn, but Walter Scott, and Jane Austen, and Elizabeth Gaskell, and William Thackeray." But, he urged, there was something even higher than this to be learnt in the writings of Charles Dickens, and which it was well to speak of in the House of God and beside that new laid grave. In that long series of stirring tales, now closed, there was a palpably serious tIUth-might he not say a Christian and Evangelical truth?âof which we all needed much to he reminded, and of which in his own way he was the special teacher. In spite of the Oriental imagery with which it is surrounded, the Gospel tells us, and the departed wri tar did but re echo the truth, that the Rich Man and Lazsrus lived very near and close to each other he showed us, in his own dramatic and sympathetic manner, how close that lesson lay at the gates of ihe upper and wealthier classes of modtrn English society in thi3 age of wide-spread civilization and luxury." The Poor Man had but one name given in him in the Parable, but in the writings of Charles Dickens ho bore many names and wore many forms now coming to us in the type of the forlorn outcast, now in that of the workhouse child struggling towards the good amid an atmosphere of cruelty, ii justice, and vice. We have need then," he continued, of such a teacher to remind us of one great lesson of life, the duty of sympathy with the poor and the weak, with the absent, and with those who cannot speak for themselves. And it is because this susceptibility, this gift of sympathy is so rare, that we ought to value it highly where we meet it, and to reckon it as a gift from God. As the Rich Man was made to see and to feel Lazarus at his gate, so our departed instructor taught us to realise as brought into very near contact with ourselves the suffering inmates of the workhouse, the neglected children in the dens and dark corners of the streets of our great cities, the starved and ill-mert boy in remote s hools far from the observation cf the world at large. All these must have felt that a new ray of sunshine was poured by his writings on their dark exist- ence, and a new interest awakened outside in their forlorn and desolate lot. In him an unknown friend pleaded their cailse with a voice which rang through the palaces of the rich and great, as well as through the cottages of the poor and by him these gaunt figures and strange faces, though in a sli.ihtly exaggerated form, were made to stand and speak face to face with these who up to that time had douoted their existence." And, further, the same faithful hand which thus depicted the sufferings of the Poor Man, drew also pictures of that unselfish kindness, that kindly patience, that tender thoughtfulnefs, that sympathy for the weak and helpitss which nf'en underlies a rough exterior. "Wheel the little workhouse boy wins his way, pure and un defiled, through the mtz^. s of wickedness into a happy home, when the life orphan girl brings thoughts of Heaven into the hearts of all around her, and is as if the veryg'itof God to those whose desolate li'e she cheers, there is a lessen tBight which none can read and learn without^ being the better for it. In fact, he laboured to tell us the old, old story, that even in the very worst and most hardened of mankind there is come soft and tender point, and, what is more, a soul worth being touched and reached and rescued and regenerated. He helped to blot out the hard line which too often severs class from clas-, and made English- men fed more as one family than they had felt before. Therefore, it was felt that he had not lived in vain, or been laid in vain here in this sacred house, which i3 the home and the heart of the English nation." There was, of course to be learnt from the text one further great and fearful lessonâthe solemn weight and burden of individual responsibility of each man to his Maker for the life that he has led, and the use which he has made of the talents vouchsafed to him. This lesson, was brought very closely home to those fourteen mourners and the handful of other persons who were gathered a few days before in the silence and stillness of that vast empty church around the grave of the g^e't novelist. But he would not dwell long on this lesson, nor would he add there any eulogy on the dead, further than to remark that hia grave, already strewed with flowers, would henceforth be a sacred spot both with the New World as well as with the Old. as that of the rep- resentive of the literature, not of this island only, but of all who speak our English tongue. The Dean then read the following extract from Mr. Dickens's will, dated May 12, 11869, which will be new to the public, and will be read with a thrill of interest and satisfaction "I direct that my name be inscribed in plain English letters on my tomb. I enjoin my friends on no ac- count to make me the subject of any monument, memorial, or testimonial whatever. I restmy claims to the remembrance of my country upon my published works, and the remembrance of my friends upon their experience of me in addition thereto. 1 commit my soul to the mercy of God, through ovr Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and I exhort my dear children to try to guide themselves by the teachirg of the New Testament in its broad spirit, and to put no faith in any man's narrow construction of its letter." In that simple but sufficient faith," concluded the D?aB, Charles Dickens lived and died. In that fai:h he would have you all live and die also; and if any of you have learnt from his works the eternal value of geuerosity, purify, kindness, and unselfishness, and to carry them out in action, those are the best, 'monuments, memo- rials, and testimonials' which you, his fellow-countrymen, can raise to his memory." The sermon was listened to with breathless attention by that portion of the congregation who fortunately had seats in the Sacrarium and under the Lmtern, but very little of it could have reached the masa of the congregation in the choir aad transept?. The Dean was labouring under a severe cold, and it was evidently only wiih the greatest difficulty that he was able to deliver his sermon at all. The sermon was followed by Handel's well-known and magnificent anthem from the Book of Job. chapter 29, When the ear heard mi, then it blessed MM and when the eye saw me, it gave witness unto me." Among the congregation preient were several members of both Houses of Parliament, some dignitaries of the Church, and a host of literary celebrities, among whom lIlr, Tennyson attracted "considerable attention as he sat in the centre of the Saemrium

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