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MACMILLAN'S MAGAZINE,

VOLUMES I. TO LIV., COMPRISING NUMBERS 1–324.

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MACMILLAN'S MAGAZINE.

MAY, 1886.

ARCHBISHOP TRENCH.

BY AN OLD PUPIL,

The crowd which gathered round the Instead of reviewing the history of open grave in the Abbey on April the his long life, I purpose, in the present second was not nearly so large as that short tribute to his memory, to set which attended the funeral of Dr. down a few reminiscences of a comTrench's successor, Arthur Stanley, on paratively small portion of it. I came the twenty-fifth of July, 1881. Yet the to know him personally about twopathos was felt probably by all who and-thirty years ago, and the love and were present on both occasions to be honour with which he at once inspired at least as deep and strong. Stanley me have caused me to read his writings had been dean for seventeen years, and to watch his doings with interest and died in the midst of his work, ever since. And first I will

say that walking feebly from the Abbey pulpit he was the best teacher I ever knew. into his house, and lying down straight- He was Professor of New Testament way upon the bed from which he did Exegesis in King's College, London, not rise again. Trench was dean not and no one who heard a single lecture half so long, and then left England of his will ever forget it—the sight of for twenty years. Except by his his large, heavy form and massive readers, and by those who took in- head, or the tones of his earnest, terest in watching the affairs of the solemn voice. Those who only heard Irish Church, he was almost forgotten. him as a preacher will hardly form a He was a far deeper theologian than satisfactory judgment. A sentence or Stanley, and a more exact scholar; but two quietly uttered, then-as the he was shy and retiring, instead of speaker grew eager and impressed eager for the fray of religious contro- with the mighty importance of his versy, and he was forced against his theme-words hurried into one great will to be one of the leaders of a indistinct utterance, the sound of forlorn hope. And yet, when the which could be heard in the largest history of the Church of the nineteenth buildings, but the words themselves century comes to be written, his monu- not twenty yards from him ; such was ment will find a high place as that of Archbishop Trench as a preacher. But a brave, noble, deeply-revered man. at the lecturer's desk it was as difWe felt that no happier choice of a ferent as could be. First, he was felt hymn could have been made than that to be in the closest sympathy with his which was sung at the end of the pupils, as eager to teach them as they funeral service

were to be taught. He used carefully “Now the labourer's task is o'er ;

to make up each sentence and say it Now the battle day is past.”

to himself silently with his lips-I No. 319.- VOL. LIV.

B

ing it.

have watched him often-before utter- who became his colleague at King's

Consequently you were never College, and accepted his invitation to at a loss as to what he meant, nor join him when he founded Queen's obliged to put it into shape; he had College in Harley Street. Presently done that for you. Nothing remained came the divergence between the two for you but to take his idea exactly chiefs. Maurice, repelled in the first as he presented it and put it down in instance by Dr. Pusey's tract on bapthe note-book. When the lecture was tism, fell back from the High Church over you

felt that you had got a large movement, while Wilberforce, led on addition to your store of Biblical know- by his two brothers and by others, adledge. A remarkable proof of this is vanced to the post of chief of the furnished to me in the fact that I find party. At one time he was almost in my note-books, almost word for omnipotent in the House of Bishops ; word, whole passages which appear in even those who differed from him, like his Studies of the New Testament,' the two Sumners and Thirlwall, yielded published after he had retired from themselves to his marvellous influence. the college.

It was Tait who, entering the Upper And the material itself? In the House of Convocation in an apparently first place, Trench was deeply read in hopeless minority, gradually broke the the Fathers; probably he knew Augus- spell and became far more powerful. tine better than any man of his time. Trench had become Wilberforce's exWe therefore got much of him, and amining chaplain when the latter was also of Chrysostom. But he was also made Bishop of Oxford, and as he thoroughly imbued with German theo- naturally remained in intimate and logy, a taste he probably got from affectionate friendship with him, the Julius Hare. Clark's Foreign Theo- tie with Maurice was of necessity somelogical Library has now made such what loosened. Yet it is remarkable how writers as Olshausen familiar to Eng- strongly the old influence revived. To lish readers. Not until the English take only one instance-in Trench's translations of that writer and of • Westminster Abbey Sermons, Bengel were published was it seen preached at a time when controversy how Trench had drawn from those was running high concerning the authors, reconstructing the ideas and doctrine of the Atonement, the serthrowing all sorts of side lights upon on the Lamb of God follows them from patristic sources.

closely the line taken in Maurice's There were, however, two men who, * Theological Essays,' in setting aside beyond all others, influenced Trench's the notion of the penal character of mind. One saw signs of it in his Christ's sufferings, and placing all the manner and voice, as well as in his satisfaction in the loving obedience writings. They were Maurice and and self-sacrifice. Samuel Wilberforce. With the former We may say here that Trench's he was intimate in his undergraduate influence reacted on Bishop Wilberdays; he was ordained as curate to the force. The Bishop, in his most High latter. The two mentors were indeed Church days, never cast away his in those days thoroughly in accord, Lutheran views of Justification ; the though they differed widely enough on Protestantism of Trench was powersome points afterwards. Wilberforce's ful, because founded on the deepest early sermons were greatly inspired conviction, and he always made it felt. by Maurice's Kingdom of Christ,' and As a preacher, we have said, he was he was frequently a listener at Lin- not great. He was defective for the coln's Inn Chapel on Sunday afternoons reason stated. But as a writer of in Maurice's last days. No wonder, sermons he stands probably in the therefore, that the influence of the front rank. It is not easy to judge of latter remained strong upon Trench, a man's published works when one

mon

а

knows the man himself, and possibly omnivorous and unceasing studies furthe sense of Dr. Trench's personal nished much of his subject matter; goodness, which is never absent when and though his appreciation of natural reading him, may prejudice me. But scenery was strong, his attachment I regard his two volumes, Westmin- to human life and activity was ster Abbey Sermons' and 'Sermons stronger. The earnest Biblical student preached in Dublin,' as the very model was keenly alive to current events, of what such compositions ought to be, as his poems on the Indian struggles -refined and pure in diction, but not and the Russian war bear witness. so polished as to take all the force out It is well known that early in life he of them, full of thought and sugges- formed a scheme with Sterling, Kemtion, arranged in such a way that the ble and others, to go to Spain, and hearer follows without difficulty, and fight for its emancipation from the takes in the points as they are unrolled tyranny of Ferdinand the Seventh. It one after the other, and the whole was as wild as Wordsworth's passion pervaded by an earnestness and reality for the French Revolution, and as sure to impress. Patristic, no doubt, generous in intention. One is not surwith here and there a bit of mediæval prised to find him eager on behalf of fancy such as sober taste might lead the Poles, and fierce against the us to avoid, but by no means marked Emperor Nicholas. In fact it is a by allegorical and far-fetched interpre- characteristic of the man that should tations. Trench had too much com- be emphatically dwelt upon, this symmon sense, and also too much religious pathy with the active, busy world, earnestness, to be drawn aside after while all through life he loved his ornaments of tinsel.

library so intensely. He began his career as a poet, if I Three elements there were wbich am not mistaken, under the editorship made him true poet, fulness of of Maurice. The latter in 1840 under- thought, earnestness of sympathy, took the editorship of the Educa- beauty of expression. His sonnets, tional Magazine,' and some of the which are many in number, will rank "Poems from Eastern Sources' ap- high, but there is an exquisite charm pear in the first number. His poetry about his narrative pieces, such as is extremely pleasing, and will pro- 'Honor Neale,' which almost debably hold its place in our anthology. serves a place beside “Enoch Arden' To begin with, is it not a merit which itself, so fine is it in diction, so full of in these days should place a poet on

tenderness. In truth the two authors a high pinnacle that he is actually are not unlike each other in that they intelligible? One would almost imagine possess, with all their gentleness, such from a study of the superior criticism strength. One of the biographies of of the nineteenth century that it was the late Archbishop has mentioned his a drawback to the greatness of Milton "grimness" of manner. and Pope and Cowper, that after you sion was not untrue, though even those have read thein you actually under- who only saw him at a distance were stand what they mean Of course such able discern a loving heart a quality may be the result of poverty beneath. But it was a terrible thing of ideas; they are naked, therefore to see him angry. I can remember you see them. But assuredly unintel- two unfortunate at different ligibility does not prove the converse, times breaking down in Greek Testathough we are often requested to ment, and being pulverised by him. think so. Trench was always a pas- I believe they would rather have been sionate admirer of Wordsworth, but in a railway accident than run the risk bis verse is not largely inspired by even of another flash of his eyes. that admiration. For he was more of Probably he was always of a sad a reader than the Lake poet; his temperament constitutionally. At least

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