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criminal the newly-acquired banker's book of the young heir just come to age. The prisoner feels he has now really acquired some property. He has something to lose as well as something to gain. He has a position to support and a character to keep up; and he acts accordingly. His book is open to inspection ; and his accounts are open to inquiry. Much good has arisen from the observation of the way in which the convict spends his little savings ; and though compulsion is not used, sound advice is often taken. For instance, if it is found that the earnings are wasted in prison luxuries such as tobacco, or herrings, or eggs, or bacon for breakfast, the spendthrift is reminded that if in these small matters he allows self-indulgence to move him, he will never, when freed from restraint, be enabled to exercise self-denial. The good which a little wholesome warning of this sort effects is remarkable: and a curious case of this has lately been brought under the notice of the writer. A convict who had fallen into bad ways by means of drink, and whose time of detention was drawing to a close, begged in an interview with the chairman to be shortly released. “You got into trouble through drink, my good man ?' He had, his honour.'
* And you are likely again to fall into the same bad courses ? «Oh no! his honour.' "How am I to know that ? answered the chairman. · His honour might rely on him.' It was then explained to the good man that he was under no temptation to drink in prison, and that drink could not be obtained. • However, it was added, “how much money have you? Let me look at your book and see how you spend your gratuity.' The book was handed in, and it appeared that sixpence a week had been drawn, and had been spent-in tobacco. After some earnest advice on the advantage of voluntary self-denial in small matters, to make easy self-denial in large things, the prisoner was left with the assurance that some months would elapse before he could be fitted to stand the temptations of the world : meanwhile, let him look to his tobacco account. The bread cast upon the waters was found after many days. The convict's book was by-and-by once more examined, and a desperate strife for the mastery was shown to have taken place, leaving, by God's grace, the prisoner's better nature in possession of the field. The tobacco entries presented week by week the decreasing ratio by unity of fivepence, fourpence, threepence, twopence, one penny; until, at length, no entry was required, for no purchase was made.”—Pp. 67, 68.
Now this is going upon a sound Christian principle, and applying that principle in a judicious manner; and there can be no doubt that such training as this would be a means of reformation to a great majority of that large class of criminals whom we have ventured to speak of before as being guilty of comparatively venial transgressions against the laws.
That the Intermediate System must in some form or other gain ground, and become a regular part of our prison discipline, there can be little doubt. But we do most sincerely trust that it will not become secularized in its translation to England, either through jealousy of the Church on the part of the secular arm, or through indifference or want of energy on the part of those among the
Clergy to whom are entrusted the spiritual oversight of our prisons. There is reason to fear that the result of a Gaol Chaplain's work is not, in general, so promising as, for some reasons, one might expect it to be. Considering that the persons under discipline are wholly shut out from temptation to those sinful indulgences which, more than actual vice, are the fruitful cause of crime, it would seem as if they were placed in the most favourable condition possible for being brought under the influence of religion. That they are not so influenced we believe to be owing chiefly to the want of a full application of the Church's principles and ministrations. And yet, singular to say, the provisions of the general Acts of Parliament, by which prisons are regulated, are calculated to lead directly to the full developement of the Church's system, and to such an application of it to the particular situation of prisoners as would carry out in a very high degree the intention of the Church. It is provided that every Prison, or House of Correction, shall a Clergyman appointed to it as Chaplain ; that he shall maintain a Daily Service in the Prison, by reading a “selection of prayers from the Liturgy" at least every morning (the "at least” showing clearly that one service a day was looked upon as a minimum provided for the relief of the Chaplain, rather than from any other reason) : that he shall make a minute investigation into the previous character of every individual prisoner on his first admission, and see each one privately from time to time. In addition to all this, the Chaplain has the entire control of such education as can be given in the prison of which he has the spiritual charge ; and also of the prisoner's reading, nothing being allowed to circulate among them without his supervision and permission. In all this we may plainly see something
more than the germ of the Church's system. With daily prayers as part of the regular habits of the prison ; with the school wholly under his control; and with the obligation laid upon him, of holding regular private intercourse with every prisoner, the chaplain has almost all that can be wished for in his dealings with bis flock; and at the same time too, that a system of control and discipline is being carried on in secular things, which, at the worst, is calculated to establish habits of obedience and diligence in those under his charge.
It need hardly be said, that as there are manifestly two ways of interpreting every Act of Parliament that ever was made law, so the practical interpretation given to the provisions referred to has often been anything but that we have indicated. For instance, we remember being shown over a large prison some years ago, in which the chaplain exhibited, with no small self-complacency, the ingenious device (whether bis own invention or not we are unable to say) by which a Daily Service was provided without bringing the prisoners out of their cells. At a certain hour of the morning, the chaplain took his stand at the intersecting point of several tiers of
galleries in which the prisoners' separate cells were situated. Each cell-door was then thrown open, and in a loud voice the chaplain
performed the service, consisting of-we know not what; his congregation being invisible to him, and he to bis congregation. Such an extreme development of the pew system seemed not very unnatural, perhaps, in the day when public worship was looked upon at the best as only a congeries of families at their separate devotions; it was improved afterwards into a chapel service, in which each prisoner had a pew to himself, and was visible only to the chaplain and officers—but certainly we prefer the spirit of the Act of Parliament to the spirit of its interpreters, and with all the faults of legislators in mind have no doubt as to which was more in accordance with the spirit of the Church. Improvements are visible in respect to gaol chapels within the last few years, and it may fairly be expected that the feeling for ecclesiastical propriety and fitness will soon extend itself to the interior even of such institutions.
But the most necessary and valuable portion of the prison, if the Church's intention is faithfully carried out, will be the private intercourse between the priest and his flock. This, as we have shown, is specially provided for by the ordinary laws of the land relating to prisons; and we cannot conceive any situation in lifeexcept a religious house,-in which individual exhortation, search. ing inquiry into motives, loving persuasions or severe warnings, and in some cases actual confessions with their adjunct, can be so thoroughly and systematically resorted to as in a gaol. It is this careful individual treatment of criminals which will, more than anything, lead to their reformation. They are in general a very impressible class of people, especially when in the presence of the chaplain, against whom there need not be, and mostly is not, that grudging feeling of resistance and disgust which is often entertained towards the governor and other officers. There is a sort of instinct among them, that while the secular officers are the representatives of justice, the chaplain is the representative of mercy; and we believe that a priest possessed of a fair knowledge of human nature, would seldom find it difficult to probe the hearts of those who come into his presence, if he were really to try.
But we are saying more than we intended, and on a subject which will be interesting perhaps only to a small portion of our readers. Let us conclude with hoping that all who have anything to do with prisons, whether as justices of the peace, or as chaplains, will provide themselves with Mr. Shipley's pamphlet; and after reading it over, reflect on the great responsibility which rests upon Churchmen in this matter. If we neglect to lay hold of the intermediate system in its rise, it is most likely that it will soon elude our grasp, and instead of a system of religious reformation, become one of mere worldly prudence.
FORD'S TRANSLATION OF SEGNERI'S SERMONS.
Twelve Sermons from the Quaresimale of P. Paolo Segneri. Trans
lated from the original Italian. By JAMES FORD, A.M. Masters : London.
In the earlier part of the seventeenth century it would seem that the Church-going world of Italy underwent a process of awakening on the subject of preachers and preaching, very similar to that which has in these latter times been taking place amongst ourselves. We all know with what exemplary patience the respectable portion of the English public were formerly wont to repair to the family pew Sunday after Sunday, there to listen to the pointless effusions, vague in doctrine and temporizing in practical teaching, which were delivered to them by divines who considered it so entirely their duty to protest against the belief of others, that they forgot to establish any faith of their own. It never seemed to enter into the mind of these excellent listeners, when the sermon having entered into the one ear had gone comfortably out at the other, that they had any right to complain of the spiritual banquet which time after time was cooked up for them with the same tasteless materials, or that a "pulpit reform,” as the translator of Padre Segneri calls it, was greatly to be desired in the English Church.
Now the like amiable acquiescence seems to have possessed the Italians of some two hundred years ago, who were no less passive under an infliction which, apart from the differences incidental to climate and national character, appears to have been of similar description.
The sermons to which they were subjected are described by a writer of that day as being a mingled compound, " del capriccio o della barbarie, del falso o del gigantesco, del bizarro o del ridicolo," and although ours, delivered with British phlegm under a leaden sky, had less of the flowery and fantastic and more of the pompous and monotonous, the provokingly dull or the gently soporific, it may be inferred that both were about equally profitless and unlikely to conduce to salvation.
In the midst, however, of this era of Italian sterility a "pulpit reformer” arose, and with the energy and vigour, the stern truth and uncompromising severity of one who had a divine vocation for the task, he for ever rooted out the hollow system that had so long been established there, and taught his fellow preachers to give and the people to receive such teaching as would re-echo in their ears and consciences at the very Judgment day itself.
And to England too in the last twenty years a reformer has
come, not in the somewhat startling shape of a father of the Society of Jesus, but in the revival of that spirit of Catholicity which has taught all who are earnest and true hearted among our priests to be utterly dissatisfied with the style of preaching in which they were educated, and the people themselves to crave for some food at once purer and stronger than the vapid platitudes which have so long palled on their taste. On all sides, suggestions are being offered for the improvement of the millions of sermons that are preached in England in the course of the year; and numbers among the clergy are looking anxiously for any hints they can gain on so difficult and so important a part of their ministry.
Very gladly therefore do we welcome the translation now before us, of the Quaresimale of that Jesuit father who worked so great a reformation in the pulpits of Italy. His success was undoubted, and therefore we may reasonably suppose that the means he adopted would be equally efficacious amongst ourselves ; and truly much is to be learned from an examination of these sermons, and still more from a study of the private history of the preacher. It is indeed sufficient to read the account of his life, to see in what his first great element of success consisted—even in that personal holiness which made him to be himself the best and truest example of the high and pure and self-denying principles which he sought to inculcate on others. This, if our clergy would but lay it to heart, is the one great essential for efficacious preaching: as in S. Paul's day, so in ours, if a man speak with angelic tongue, and have not the love of God, the charity that never faileth in his heart, he is as the sounding brass and the tinkling cymbal.
Paolo Segneri was born in 1624, and evinced even in childhood so strong a vocation to the sacred office that he was placed while still young in the Jesuit College at Rome, where he completed his noviciate with such marked success, that he was ordained priest at the early age of nineteen. Two years later he commenced his career as a missionary, which lasted twenty-seven years. During this time, one half of each year was devoted to the laborious task of traversing on foot the principal parts of Italy, preaching in its cities, towns, and villages; and the remaining half he secluded himself in his college, and gave himself up to a life of prayer and meditation, in which he prepared his sermons, and amongst others, those now before us.
His sanctity and wisdom became at last the theme of general admiration, and in the year1692, the Pope called him from this retired life to the distinguished office of Preacher to the Apostolic College, where the dignitaries of the Church were wont to attend.
So great was his humility and devotedness to God, that he accepted this exaltation with the utmost reluctance; and when compelled to submit, he showed in the very first sermon he preached, that no motives of human respect would keep him from that plainspoken truthfulness which was the main characteristic of his teach