12 AUGUST 1882, Page 13



rro THE EDITOR OF THE "SPEOTATOR."] Sin,—I read this morning in your issue of the 5th inst. that Mr. Shorthouse describes "true refinement of worship" to be the peculiar mission of the Church of England. A somewhat similar thought crossed my mind when I entered last evening a hall of the Salvation Army. There I saw, in the body of the hall, a number of persons standing quietly enough, but on the tiers of seats at one end were twenty or thirty men and women, some with brazen instruments and drums, singing and voci- ferating doggrel, and swaying their bodies to and fro. In their centre was a man brandishing his arms to mark the time. This " conductor " would every now and then make a few re- marks on the glory of salvation. Once he said, turning to what I will call the orchestra, " Hold up your hands, all that feel yourselves saved I" This they did with a shout, and, frantically waving their hands, they continued the song which they were singing at first ; then one after another began to pray aloud, amid a running chorus of " amens " and " hallelejahs."

Now, Sir, I do not cast any reflection on the sincerity of this proceeding ; but if I were asked what it was like, I should say it resembled the drunken shouting and revelry of boon com- panions. I thought at once of Maenad choruses on the moun- tains of Thrace, and the orgies that one knows to be incidents of some Pagan religions, and I asked myself whether it was pos- sible that our Church of England could associate itself with so monstrous an exhibition. For ray part, I gravely doubt whether anything which appears so unseemly can have any permanent good effect on any class whatever. Such wild excitement must throw the mind from its balance, and I certainly think that the calm beauty of the Church has nothing to gain or lose by the Salvation Army.—I am, Sir, Sm., Oriental Club, Hanover Square. A. H. HAGGARD,