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new comer, and encourage every effort, and have a quick eye for excellence; and teach, not that there is one way of art, but that there are many.
We know, very well, why the Academy does none of these things. It is because the men at the head of it, though wellmeaning and respectable gentlemen, are not men of culture, or of that breadth of education which would set them above the chance of so mistaking their place. This, however, far from being an excuse, is our strong reason for thinking that the Academy is an injury to art. But then we think all Academies are. Even the French Academy, admirably as it is managed, is only an exception, so far as it is one, to the rule, because it is managed by a highly cultivated directory, - a directory of highly cultivated men in the most highly cultivated city in the world. But there would be as good art in France as there is, if there were no Academy. In England, it is nearly as bad as it is here; but London is a mighty city, and contains a large number of very cultivated people, and there is a certain restraint upon the Academy which cannot be expected with us.
We hold that it is the duty of the Academy to do much more than it does for the education of the people. We do not exaggerate when we say, that, at present, Goupil's shopwindow, or Schaus's, educates the art-sense of the people more in a year, than the Academy does in ten years. This is literally true, but it has no business to be. The Academy could do as much, if it would set its hand to the work. Here is our programme, which we offer with a serene confidence inspired by the consciousness that the Academy will whistle it down the wind with the most provoking nonchalance. Ten to one, they will never read it! But we give the advice, nevertheless, for the benefit of the Academy of the Future.
First, The Academy ought to unite with the architects, and support a first-class illustrated, but not expensive, artjournal. That is to say, if any competent editor and any responsible publisher will undertake to carry on such a journal, the Academy ought to assist it liberally with money, which it would only have to do for a year or two; for such a journal is greatly needed, and, if it were enabled to weather the financial capes and headlands of the first year, would sail on serenely, as long as need be. With graphotypy and photo-lithography and wood-cuts, such a journal could be abundantly and cheaply illustrated; but people are quite right in not caring for an art-journal unless it be illustrated. The Academy ought to take a haughty pride in maintaining the absolute impartiality of such a journal., It ought to bring tears of honest exultation into any member's eyes to read his picture remorselessly shown up, if it deserves it, in a journal which he had helped to pay for. But it may be long to hope for such a noble impersonality.
Second, The public has a right to demand of the Academy a continued course of lectures, by competent people, on subjects connected with art. Of course, if the lecturers needed illustrations or implements, they should be abundantly supplied. With a little experience, even with one course of lectures a year, the members of the Academy would, probably, become familiar with the fact that a lecturer on anatomy would require a black-board and a piece of chalk; and that the public might like to know his name, and go through the ordinary civilities of introduction, before he begin to speak. But lectures are a necessity; and, when one thinks how entertaining and instructive they might be made, we venture to hope that the Academy will listen to our demand.
Then, the Council ought to be laying the foundation for a free, public gallery of pictures, old and modern, native and from abroad. It has let slip the splendid opportunity of the Jarves Gallery,- it and the Historical Society, between them, -and that is a loss not lightly made up; as we, who know and love that gallery from end to end, are sadly conscious. The snail-slow Historical Society has got the far inferior Bryan Gallery, or what is left of it, since thieves and the Cooper-Institute furnaces have played such havoc with it. But, if the Academy would once announce its determination to make a collection, there are still as good fish in the sea as ever were caught. It is not a thing to be done in a hurry. All that it wants is a nucleus, such as the small but precious Jarves Collection would have furnished; and then add a picture every year with the money saved from these “receptions,” which are as foreign to the purposes of the Academy as any thing could well be. This, however, we do not insist upon. If there were more of them, and the invitations divided, and a few really good pictures collected, new or old, home-made or foreign, we think there could be no reasonable objection to these gatherings.
These are not all the suggestions we should like to make; but, we dare say, they are all the Academy will care to hear. After all, what is the use of trying to reform a corporate and wealthy body of men, who are entirely satisfied with themselves, and whom every body flatters? We have our eye upon higher game. We hope to influence the small body of earnest, hard-working students of nature, who have this year withdrawn, nearly in a body, from the Academy, to form themselves into an association which shall try to encourage art in a different way; and who, when they shall be the strong party among the artists, as they must inevitably be one day, may perhaps do something to fulfil our dream of what an Academy ought to be.
Ecce Homo ; a Survey of the Life and Work of Jesus Christ. Boston:
Roberts Brothers. 1866.
This book, whose authorship is concealed or unknown, is supposed to have been written by a member of the Church of England, – a layman and a lawyer. This is, however, by no means sure. It is only certain that it is written by a thinker, a scholar, and a man of moral genius. The great peculiarity of the work lies in treating the most familiar and worn of all themes as if it had never been treated before, with all the freshness and zest of an original study; with an absolute independence of all hackneyed ideas and conventional phrases ;
VOL. LXXX. — NEW SERIES, VOL. II. NO. 1.
in the interest of no school of thought, and no sect or party of religionists. There is not, so far as we can recollect, a single reference to any ecclesiastical body; there is no technical terminology of creeds, no confessions of faith. The book might have been written by a clergyman or a layman, a Churchman or a dissenter; by an orthodox or a heterodox be. liever; by an Englishman, German, or American. The only thing clear about it is its earnestness, power, suggestiveness, and pertinency to the times.
Evidently, this reticence as to opinions is full of purpose. The writer, fixing attention wholly upon the personality of Christ, deliberately, and with the most guarded self-restraint, suppresses his own personality. He avows no faith, and no want of faith. He assumes almost nothing which is disputed, or even questioned, by a considerable minority. It is not necessary to be a supernaturalist or a rationalist, a Trinitarian or a Unitarian, a believer in the verbal inspiration of the Scriptures or a denier of that theory, to be interested in what he says, or even to go along with his conclusions.
The ground taken by the writer is this: Here is a great fact in the world, a vast society or fellowship composed of the most intelligent and virtuous of the great human family, occupying, most largely and characteristically, the most enlightened, free, and powerful nations, — a society which has for its fundamental idea the duty of brotherly love,'mutual service, and the common practice of justice and mercy. This society, called by its members the Church, is divided into various sects and orders, having many peculiar and distinct opinions; but underneath all are a few great, essential, and characterizing ideas, which have been the same in all ages since its origin, and are the same in all sects and all orders of Christians. This Christian Society, this moral and spiritual State within the State, imperium in imperio, acquires every day more sway. It holds humanity ever more and more strictly to its standard. It conquers barbarism, cruelty, and ignorance. It tempers war, diminishes political inequalities, lifts up the masses, builds hospitals and asylums for the poor and infirm, and even throws its protection over the
brute creation. It stoutly and victoriously maintains the common brotherhood of humanity against the old notions of mere family, tribal, class, or national obligations; and steadily achieves a triumph over all narrow, exclusive, or artificial ideas of man's duty to man. The fact remains, let the theories about it be what they will. Nor is it necessary to the establishment of it to prove that Christianity is doing all we could desire, or that there is not a vast part of the world yet to be brought beneath its sway, or, indeed, that any portion of society is fully under its influence. Allow that, as yet, its spirit and temper nowhere absolutely triumph; that selfishness, sensuality, and cruelty are yet dominant in the world; and that, in the most favored seats of its power, the religion of Christ is withstood, perverted, mingled with all the weaknesses and passions of our nature, — this does not change the fact, that the Church stands a fixed and living protest against all selfishness, injustice, and inhumanity; nay, that it has steadily gained upon the heathen enmities and cruelties which characterized ante-Christian history. Moreover, the actual cruelty and worldliness of mankind, though everywhere more or less practised, are as universally recognized, not only as evil, but as unchristian. The bad and dangerous passions of society, the pleasure-seeking and selfish propensities, are under the constant criticism, reform, or protest of a spirit which is everywhere acknowledged as the spirit of Christianity.
It requires a knowledge of the shameless vice, the public, unreproved selfishness, sensuality, and cruelty of the most civilized portions of the earth at the period of Christ's coming - such a familiar knowledge as the author of “Ecce Homo” possesses
possesses - to understand and appreciate the immense gain and progress the world has made, and began at once to make, under Christ's influence. It is among the most blessed proofs of this influence, that we are now so slow to believe in the possibility of the selfishness, the lust, and the cruelty of the best classes of society in the most brilliant Greek and Roman days. The horrid excesses of drunkenness and licentiousness; the ingenious and degrading ministry to the palate ; the foul, unnatural vices; the riotous and brutal tastes for