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went to swell what Carlyle calls the vast inarticulate, widespread, slumberous mumblement,' that grew and deepened day by day, till it burst forth in majestic tones of a nation's voice, as Charles Stuart 'kneeled upon a scaffold, and Oliver Cromwell mounted to a throne." "
The establishment of the Dutch Republic had an important bearing, too, on the English revolution of 1688. That was a critical period in British history, when the king was a Roman Catholic, and manifested a determination to eradicate Protestantism, and to reëstablish Romanism; when he went so far as to receive the Pope's nuncio, to appoint Catholics to important offices, in the place of those of opposite views; when the king was not only counseled and urged on by Louis XIV of France, but could have men and money from that monarch, to carry out his purpose. The friends of Protestant freedom, in England, in the midst of those dark and trying times, looked to Holland for help, and did not look in vain. It was the direct descendant of William of Orange, who then came to the rescue, with troops from his native land. He ascended the throne of England, as William III, and under his administration, British liberty was established on a firmer basis than ever before.
To the same struggle, recorded by our historian, the cause of freedom in this country is very much indebted. Says Mr. Brodhead, in his history of New York, "without undervaluing others, it may confidently be claimed that to no other nation in the world is the republic of the West more indebted, than to the United Provinces, for the idea of the confederation of sovereign states; for noble principles of constitutional freedom; for magnanimous sentiments of religious toleration; for characteristic sympathy with the subjects of oppression; for liberal doctrines in trade and commerce; for illustrious patterns of private integrity, and public virtue; and for generous and timely aid in the establishment of independence. Nowhere, among the people of the United States, can any be found who excel in honesty, industry, courtesy, or accomplishments, the posterity of the early Dutch settlers in New Netherlands. And when the providence of God decreed that
the rights of humanity were again to be maintained, through long years of human endurance and of war, the descendants of Hollanders nobly emulated the example of their forefathers; nor was their steadfast patriotism outdone by that of any of the heroes in the strife, which made the blood-stained soil of New York and New Jersey the NETHERLANDS OF AMERICA."
That such a history as this has appeared, should be a matter of joy and gratitude on the part of all true lovers of their country. The author should be looked upon in the light of a public benefactor. Such a work is calculated to quicken the conscience; it is adapted to kindle into a flame our love of liberty and hatred of despotism; to increase our appreciation of the worth of freedom, by showing its cost; and to teach us to guard it with constant vigilance. We heartily rejoice that Mr. Motley's volumes are now given to the world at a time when the conflict in the old world and the new, between freedom and despotism, is assuming such important aspects.
ARTICLE VI. -THE PULPIT.
WE mean the thing; not the preaching, nor the preacher; but the desk itself-known, since Butler, as
Beat with fist instead of a stick.
We mean that sacred and curious fabric of choice woods, reared on the rostra of our churches, which embodies almost every device and conceit and blunder of architectural ingenuity; and which, promising to aid the preacher, succeeds in hindering him.
The pulpit is, indeed, an important piece of furniture in a place for preaching; so important that our forefathers, as if sanctity were proportioned to size, magnified it into a monstrosity; and the ministers of those generations undoubtedly occupied the highest place in the gift of the people. No wonder they needed both courage and confidence to let their light shine from a candlestick so lofty-and that, too, with a sounding board extinguisher overhead, ready to quench them.
The precedent is still in force. Pulpits are not now so high. But the bulk is there-it has only melted downward and spread outward. There are instances in even the finest churches of New England, where the preacher painfully labors to reach his audience from behind a barricade of rosewood, mahogany, black-walnut, sufficient in other shapes to furnish whole parlors. A barricade may be of service to a soldier who is expecting an attack, but in the camp of soldiers of the cross it can only be reckoned among the impedimenta; and we trust the Christian army-not by stress of misfortune or defeat, but by an enlightened generalship-will soon be called upon to abandon its baggage.
The objection to the pulpit in our day is, that it is not architectural.
We do not speak of style. The style now is made to con
form, sometimes at least, to the general build of the house. And yet, even to-day, it might be amusing, if not so shocking, to explore our churches and observe how often and how oddly a Gothic desk is intruded into a Doric house-an Egyptian into a Romanesque-and vice versa; while there is no end to those indescribable deformities whose pedigree comes from neither Egyptian, Gothic, or Grecian sire, and whose position among the orders cannot be more scientifically classed than as the "Conglomerate." It may be safe to assign to the different génera and species of this order, at least three-fourths of all the pulpits of the land; many of the specimens utterly amorphous—and, to the preacher rising to speak, suggestive of the words that Milton puts in the mouth of one who would probably be quite willing himself to apply them to the pulpit and the preacher too—
Whence and what art thou, execrable shape,
Thy miscreated front athwart my way!
It was under one of these old-fashioned "Conglomerate" piles, in one of our New England churches, that the revolutionary fathers of the town stored their powder and ball; a safe place for immured in that desk no preacher, with utmost oratory could endanger it with a spark of the true fire. Yet had some mischievous urchin at dead of night introduced a brand into the ecclesiastical magazine, we can readily conceive the stern preacher, while frowning on the young iconoclast for breaking the law, might thank him at heart for breaking the pulpit.
The fault is not so much in the style, as in the size. Does any man pretend that the dimensions of the house shall dietate the dimensions of the desk? Because a chapel, thirty feet long, shall have a desk three feet high, does it follow that a church, ninety feet long, shall be lumbered with a desk nine feet high? The size of the house does not modify the desk. The platform and the recess may be expanded, to keep pace with the proportions of the larger house; but not the pulpit— the pulpit is a unit by itself. The preacher in the church may
not be of more gigantic stature than the preacher in the chapel, nor read from a larger Bible, nor hold forth from a bigger manuscript,-nor, therefore, shall he need a more ample desk. The adjustment must be, not to the building, but to the man. It is an affront upon all truthful architecture, to admit any other rule.
What does the preacher need?
If our churches were designed after the churches of the early Christians, it might be still excusable to borrow not only the form of the pulpit, but also its size. The ambon, or readingdesk, was large enough to hold several persons; but then they were chanters, not speakers; and, besides, the bishop's throne, the altar, and the seats of the officiating priests were within the chancel, while the ambon was out in the center of the nave. In the Romish ritual, which succeeded that of the early Christianity, the ambon was lost, while the altar grew in immensity and gorgeous adornment; and very naturally, for the appeal was to the senses. With us, there is nothing of the sort. There is no appeal to the senses,-no mass, no incense, no burning candle, no holy wafer; no need, therefore, of a magnificent shrine to support these insignia of a sensuous service. Our simple worship requires no such outlay. The invocation needs no desk; the hymn needs none; the reading from the scriptures needs none; at least would not need one, if the generous donors who "present" the pulpit Bible, did not persist in selecting the heaviest and most unmanageable of tomes. It is not till we come to the sermon, that we find the desk a sine qua non. And the preacher does not usually bring to it such a voluminous manuscript as to require great breadth of surface or solidity of underpinning.
What he needs, then, is only a rest for his manuscript, and perhaps for the Bible.
We call upon Architecture to supply the need; taking for granted that, as she has fashioned the other parts of the edifice in subservience not to old forms but to present uses, the aisles, seats, galleries, pillars, roof, each with studied suitableness to its share in the great purpose of the structure, so this part also shall answer the one only end which demands it,-nothing