One can see the happy family in one's mind's eye as distinctly as if it were already constituted. And we are all afraid of giving to the State too much power, because we only conceive of the State as something equivalent to the class in occupation of the executive government, and are afraid of that class abusing power to its own purposes. The structure of the whole text must be called linear, in the terminology of Drescher. Can you comment on the rhythm of his sentences? In Christian worship, in cult, are indeed the roots of all culture. Our coal, thousands of people were saying, is the real basis of our national greatness; if our coal runs short, there is an end of the greatness of England. This would be more of a reproach to us if in poetry, which requires, no less than religion, a true delicacy of spiritual perception, our race had not done great things; and if the Imitation, exquisite as it is, did not, as I have elsewhere remarked, belong to a class of works in which the perfect balance of human nature is lost, and which have therefore, as spiritual productions, in their contents something excessive and morbid, in their form something not thoroughly sound.
The system that Arnold criticized taught, he believed, that a man values himself on how much of a commercial success he could be, rather than on who he 'is. Oscar Browning managed to fire Dr. An unclouded clearness of mind, an unimpeded play of thought, is what this bent drives at. In fact, in fact gross deprivations of liberty were a mundane fact of British law--Annie Besant was deprived of her daughter on the grounds of atheism, for example; William Thompson was unable to leave his vast fortune to the co-operative movement because of his religious unorthodoxy. Comparisons and contrasts are used to make things clearer, show the positive side of something or to find a general principle. In the second edition of 1875 he deleted the passage. The debate over the suffrage had been vitriolic throughout the 1860s, and Arnold's essays were not surprisingly attacked 206 --Huxley accused him of inventing Bishop Wilson! I love it because his approach is so balanced and rational, acknowledging the truth of the propositions of other side and always adding nuance to the discussion.
But, above all, he is doing as he likes; or in worthier language, asserting his personal liberty. To rely on the individual being, with us, the natural leaning, we will hear of nothing but the good of relying on the individual; to act through the collective nation on the individual being not our natural leaning, we will hear nothing in recommendation of it. The focus of the periodical essay lied less on what was said, than on how it was said. Tolerance would dictate that medically safe genital mutilation should be allowed in another culture used in the non-Arnoldian sense. But for us,--who believe in right reason, in the duty and possibility of extricating and elevating our best self, in the progress of humanity towards perfection,--for us the framework of society, that theatre on which this august drama has to unroll itself, is sacred; and whoever administers it, and however we may seek to remove them from the tenure of administration, yet, while they administer, we steadily and with undivided heart support them in repressing anarchy and disorder; because without order there can be no society, and without society there can be no human perfection. Carlyle, a man of genius to whom we have all at one time or other been indebted for refreshment and stimulus, says we should give rule to the aristocracy, mainly because of its dignity and politeness, surely culture is useful in reminding us, that in our idea of perfection the characters of beauty and intelligence are both of them present, and sweetness and light, the two noblest of things, are united. From Maine to Florida, and back again, all America Hebraises.
On a lower range than the Imitation, and awakening in our nature chords less poetical and delicate, the Maxims of Bishop Wilson are, as a religious work, far more solid. These two are the Roman Catholic and the Jewish. All these powers and personages, all these conflicting influences and varieties of character, exist, and have long existed among us; they are fighting it out, and will long continue to fight it out, without coming to that happy consummation when some one element of the British character is to destroy or to absorb all the rest. But even in Murder in the Cathedral, Eliot had succeeded more at gesturing toward the demands of Christian life than in describing the contents of that life. More than a few words we must give to showing how erroneous are these charges; because if they were true, we should be actually subverting our own design, and playing false to that culture which it is our very purpose to recommend.
When we criticise the present operation of disestablishing the Irish Church, not by the power of reason and justice, but by the power of the antipathy of the Protestant Nonconformists, English and Scotch, to establishments, we are called enemies of the Nonconformists, blind partisans of the Anglican Establishment, possessed with the one desire to help the clergy and to harm the Dissenters. They still love the sport of their youth, and mount the wind with joy. The very same faults,--the want of sensitiveness of intellectual conscience, the disbelief in right reason, the dislike of authority,--which have hindered our having an Academy and have worked injuriously in our literature, would also hinder us from making our Academy, if we established it, one which would really correct them. Many years of intervention have been specifically non-tolerant of the societies that practice it. And these, both of them, rest on Establishments, which, though not indeed national, are cosmopolitan; and perhaps here, what the individual man does not lose by these conditions of his rearing, the citizen, and the State of which he is a citizen loses. This entire book is Arnold's bid for culture to mean the collection of all that is best and perfect in the world and the agreed-upon commitment to develop that perfection even further, an idea that today we can only weakly express with the word civil Arnold's idea of culture could not be less in vogue these days. But culture, which is the study of perfection, leads us, as we in the following pages have shown, to conceive of true human perfection as a harmonious perfection, developing all sides of our humanity; and as a general perfection, developing all parts of our society.
But when he talks of the religious communities 'which have for three hundred years contended for the power of the congregation in the management of their own affairs,' then he talks history; and his language has behind it, in my opinion, facts which make the latitudinarianism of our Broad Churchmen quite illusory. The six short essays in Culture and Anarchy would have long passed out of print if they were not such fun. Surely the reason is, that the Nonconformist is not in contact with the main current of national life, like the member of an Establishment. Everyone with anything like an adequate idea of human perfection has distinctly marked this subordination to higher and spiritual ends of the cultivation of bodily vigour and activity. But if we tend to Hebraise even in an Establishment, with the main current of national life flowing round us, and reminding us in all ways of the variety and fulness of human existence,--by a Church which is historical as the State itself is historical, and whose order, ceremonies, and monuments reach, like those of the State, far beyond any fancies and devisings of ours; and by institutions such as the Universities, formed to defend and advance that very culture and many-sided development which it is the danger of Hebraising to make us neglect,--how much more must we tend to Hebraise when we lack these preventives. With the same doctrine and discipline, men of national mark are produced in Scotland; but in an Establishment.
Evidently, if we deal tenderly with a sentimentalist like this, it is out of pure philanthropy. But a lover of perfection, who looks to inward ripeness for the true springs of conduct, will surely think that as Shakspeare has done more for the inward ripeness of our statesmen than Dr. What, now, can be the reason of this undeniable provincialism of the English Puritans and Protestant Nonconformists, a provincialism which has two main types,—a bitter type and a smug type,—but which in both its types is vulgarising, and thwarts the full perfection of our humanity? But, while Hebraism seizes upon certain plain, capital intimations of the universal order, and rivets itself, one may say, with unequalled grandeur of earnestness and intensity on the study and observance of them, the bent of Hellenism is to follow, with flexible activity, the whole play of the universal order, to be apprehensive of missing any part of it, of sacrificing one part to another, to slip away from resting in this or that intimation of it, however capital. And what makes Arnold seem all the more remarkable is, that if he were our exact contemporary, he would find all his labour to perform again. Babbitt rearticulated humanistic education as self-cultivation and self-discipline, as the gaining of control of oneself as well as the entering into a historical tradition of great minds. This includes a brief summary of the most important texts that were published by Matthew Arnold before Culture and Anarchy.
We see how our habits and practice oppose themselves to such a recognition, and the many inconveniences which we therefore suffer. This results from a combination of its winning tone and abstract sentiments, which, though not conclusive in the sense required by formal debate are both clearly formulated and thought-provoking. There, we enter into the dark night of self-reflection and self-negation, where we learn to distinguish between the goods of this world and the Good Itself, between the earthly places where our life subsists and the boundless heaven that conditions it; and these reflections call us back to our beginning in innocence and humility, but also to our earthly beginning, the places where faith, love, custom, and ritual were first encountered. . Bradlaugh, the iconoclast, who seems to be almost for baptizing us all in blood and fire into his new social dispensation, and to whose reflexions, now that I have once been set going on Bishop Wilson's track, I cannot forbear commending this maxim of the good old man: 'Intemperance in talk makes a dreadful havoc in the heart.
James Matthew Wilson is Associate Professor of Religion and Literature in the Department of Humanities and Augustinian Traditions at Villanova University, and the Poetry Editor of Modern Age magazine. But where are his examples? But the aristocratic class has actually, as we have seen, in its well-known politeness, a kind of image or shadow of sweetness; and as for light, if it does not pursue light, it is not that it perversely cherishes some dismal and illiberal existence in preference to light, but it is lured off from following light by those mighty and eternal seducers of our race which weave for this class their most irresistible charms,--by worldly splendour, security, power and pleasure. They have often failed in morality, and morality is indispensable. People of the aristocratic class want to affirm their ordinary selves, their likings and dislikings; people of the middle class the same, people of the working class the same. A generation or two outside the Establishment, and Puritanism produces men of national mark no more.