17 FEBRUARY 1866, Page 21


Dedication of Westminster Abbey. Sermon preached by A. P. Stanley, D.D. The Creation of Man. Sermon, &c. (Parker, Oxford and Lon- don.)—We should think that there are few people who would not find either of these sermons of the Dean of Westminster more attractive reading than most secular literature. That on the " Dedication of West- minster Abbey " is as remarkable for the felicity with which the preacher has caught the moral truths that underlie the great ecclesiastical splen- dours, as for the beautiful setting of historical illustration in which they are conveyed. The sermon on the "Creation of Man" is not so well known, nor does it contain so much that enthrals the imagination ; but it is perhaps even more interesting, as dealing with those two opening chapters of Genesis that have given rise to so much special pleading, misplaced ingenuity, and unconscious faithlessness. It was preached on behalf of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and gives a short survey of the nature of man in relation to the lower creatures, to his fellow-man, and to God, as the best means of setting forth the duty to dumb animals. It is full of interesting thought ; it gets out of the Scripture narrative that moral and spiritual meaning which, and not a scientific one, it is intended to supply. Man is the image or shadow of God, but he is made out of the dust of the ground, "whereof were formed every beast of the field and every fowl of the air." " Through the contemplation of man we gain our fullest and highest ideas of God ; in the life of the Man Christ Jesus we see neither more nor less than the brightness of the glory of God." On the other hand, there is " the look which, once seen, can never be forgotten, of the hardened malefactor caught at last in his own trap, with the ferocious glare, the restless movement, the desperate cunning of the savage animal turning to bay

against his pursuers." This turn of thought is preserved throughout the sermon. For the sake of the excellent society in whose interest it was delivered, we give the concluding sentence. "Be ye merciful to dumb animals, for ye have a common nature with them; be ye merciful, for the worst part of the nature of brutes is to be unmerciful ; be ye merciful, for ye aro raised far above them, to be their lord and guardian ; be ye merciful, for yo are made in the image of. Him who is All- merciful and All-compassionate."