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Augustine, the Suevians the visits of Columban and St. Gall, the Teutonic tribes of St. Boniface, the Bulgarians of Cyril and Methodius, the Northmen of St. Anschar? The resources of Christianity are not yet exhausted. A religion which does not attempt to propagate itself is only half-alive. It exists, it does not live; and who will say that Christianity is only half-alive, or that every honourable motive which leads a devout Mussulman to wish to propagate his Creed, ought not to operate with tenfold force in the breast of every devout Christian? The resemblances between the two Creeds are indeed many and striking, as I have implied throughout; but, if I may, once more, quote a few words which I have used elsewhere in dealing with this question, the contrasts are even more striking than the resemblances. The religion of Christ contains whole fields of morality and whole realms of thought which are all but outside the religion of Mohammed. It opens humility, purity of heart, forgiveness of injuries, sacrifice of self, to man's moral nature; it gives scope for toleration, development, boundless progress to his mind; its motive power is stronger even as a friend is better than a king, and love higher than obedience. Its realised ideals in the various paths of human greatness have been more commanding, more many-sided, more holy, as Averroes is below Newton, Harun below Alfred, and Ali below St. Paul. Finally, the ideal life of all is far more elevating, far more majestic, far more inspiring, even as the life of the founder of Mohammedanism is below the life of the Founder of Christianity.

If, then, we believe Christianity to be truer and purer in itself than Islam and than any other religion, we must needs wish others to be partakers of it; and the effort to propagate it is thrice blessedit blesses him that offers, no less than him who accepts it; nay, it often blesses him who accepts it not. The last words of a dying friend are apt to linger in the chambers of the heart till the heart itself has ceased to beat; and the last recorded words of the Founder of Christianity are not likely to pass from the memory of His Church till that Church has done its work. They are the marching orders of the Christian army; the consolation for every past and present failure; the earnest and the warrant, in some shape or other, of ultimate success. The value of a Christian mission is not, therefore, to be measured by the number of its converts. The presence in a heathen or a Muslim district of a single man who, filled with the missionary spirit, exhibits in his preaching and, so far as may be, in his life, the self-denying and the Christian virtues, who is charged with sympathy for those among whom his lot is cast, who is patient of disappointment, and of failure, and of the sneers of the ignorant or the irreligious, and who works steadily on with a single eye to the glory of God and the good of his fellow-men, is, of itself, an influence for good, and a centre from which it radiates, wholly independent of the number of converts he is able to enlist.

There is a vast number of such men engaged in mission work all over the world, and our best Indian statesmen, some of whom, for obvious reasons, have been hostile to direct proselytising efforts, are unanimous as to the quantity and quality of the services they render. Nothing, therefore, can be more shallow, or more disingenuous, or more misleading, than to attempt to disparage Christian missions by pitting the bare number of converts whom they claim. against the number of converts claimed by Islam. The numbers are, of course, enormously in favour of Islam. But does conversion mean the same, or anything like the same, thing in each? Is it in pari materia, and if not, is the comparison worth the paper on which it is written? The submission to the rite of circumcision and the repetition of a confession of faith, however noble and however elevating in its ultimate effect, do not necessitate, they do not even necessarily tend towards what a Christian means by a change of heart. It is the characteristic of Mohammedanism to deal with batches and with masses. It is the characteristic of Christianity to speak straight to the individual conscience. The conversion of a whole Pagan community to Islam need not imply more effort, more sincerity, or more vital change, than the conversion of a single individual to Christianity. The Christianity accepted wholesale by Clovis and his fierce warriors, in the flush of victory, on the field of battle, or by the Russian peasants, when they were driven by the Cossack whips into the Dnieper, and baptized there by force-these are truer parallels to the tribal conversions to Mohammedanism in Africa at the present day. And, whatever may have been their beneficial effects in the march of the centuries, they are not the Christianity of Christ, nor are they the methods or the objects at which a Christian missionary of the present day would dream of aiming. A Christian missionary could not thus bring over a Pagan or a Muslim tribe to Christianity, even if he would; he ought not to try thus to bring them over, even if he could. Missionary work,' as remarked by an able writer in the Spectator the other day, 'is sowing, not reaping, and the sowing of a plant which is slow to bear.' At times, the difficulties and discouragements may daunt the stoutest heart and the most living faith. But God is greater than our hearts and wider than our thoughts, and, if we are able to believe in Him at all, we must also believe that the ultimate triumph of Christianity-and by Christianity I mean not the comparatively narrow creed of this or that particular Church, but the Divine Spirit of its Founder, that Spirit which, exactly in proportion as they are true to their name, informs, and animates, and underlies, and overlies them all-is not problematical, but certain, and in His good time, across the lapse of ages, will prove to be, not local but universal, not partial but complete, not evanescent but eternal.




THE recent extension of our National Gallery presented not only a fitting occasion for a rearrangement of the pictures which it contains, but also an opportunity for classifying them on a principle more definite in aim and more systematic in detail than had previously been possible. While the original nucleus of the collection remained in Mr. Angerstein's house, or in the tenement to which it was afterwards transferred in a somewhat amplified form, the number and range of the works were too limited to render any assortment necessary. Even after their removal to the then newly erected building in Trafalgar Square, which was opened to the public in 1838, a general division of the pictures into British and Foreign Schools seems to have been all that was attempted for some years. As, however, the collection slowly and steadily increased, the desirability of grouping together the examples of specific schools became apparent.

Here, however, the authorities of the Gallery had to contend with this difficulty-that the wall-space at their disposal rendered it impossible to maintain consistently, and for any length of time, a proper subdivision of the pictures. The Vernon collection, acquired in 1847, had to remain for some time at the donor's own residence, and was subsequently transferred to Marlborough House. In 1853 all the pictures contained in the National Gallery appear to have been taken down and rearranged. The Venetian works were hung together on one side of a room, while examples of other Italian Schools occupied the rest. Dutch and Flemish pictures had a room to themselves, but this distinction could not yet be accorded to the Spanish School, and then, as now, the stern conditions of Turner's will required the juxtaposition of his two well-known works, 'The Sun rising in a Mist' and 'Dido building Carthage,' with Claude's landscapes, while the contents of other rooms remained unclassified.

In 1856 a further rearrangement took place, but a large proportion of Turner's pictures, then recently acquired by bequest, had to be consigned to Marlborough House. During the following year the National Gallery became possessed of a fine work by Paolo Veronese, viz. the Family of Darius before Alexander,' but for want of space

this was hung in the same room with Flemish pictures. And though an attempt was made to group together some of the earlier examples of Italian art in a quattrocento room, the ultimate result of this was to relegate several pictures of the German School, with some others, to a passage and vestibule.

In 1859 that portion of the national collection which had been temporarily placed in Marlborough House was removed to the South Kensington Museum, the building in Trafalgar Square being still too small for its reception, and being occupied almost exclusively by works of the Old Masters. These last, however, were subjected to a stricter classification than had hitherto been observed, though the assortment seems to have been more chronological than scholastic, and involved the temporary banishment of certain works to Brompton. In 1860 a large screen fixed in the north room of the National Gallery was devised as a temporary relief to the overcrowded walls; but the want of adequate accommodation was still severely felt, and constantly occupied the attention of the authorities.

At length the alterations in the building made from the designs of Mr. Pennethorne secured more space, and in 1861 the Turners were removed to Trafalgar Square. The next year found the Gallery relieved of certain pictures, which, with the sanction of Her Majesty's Treasury, were selected for loan to other institutions, and which, though scarcely reaching the standard of excellence required for our metropolitan collection, proved acceptable additions to the National Galleries of Ireland and Scotland and to the contents of the South Kensington Museum, where they were deposited on loan. But notwithstanding this elimination, the wall-space gained in Trafalgar Square was found wholly insufficient for its purpose, and consequently more screens were provided.

Even that expedient did not prevent many valuable works from being 'skyed' for want of room, while the plan of classification now aimed at was in more than one instance interrupted or abandoned for the same reason. This evil naturally increased as fresh acquisitions were made, and in 1866 Rembrandts were reluctantly placed in juxtaposition with Italian pictures, French and Flemish works commingled, and some examples of the early Florentine School were removed, under real necessity, to the Entrance Hall.

At length an important episode occurred in the history of the National Gallery, which for a while promised, and went some way to secure, the additional space so long and earnestly desired. Up to this period the Royal Academy had occupied half the building in Trafalgar Square. But that progressive and prosperous institution had long found its old quarters too restricted in size for its well-filled Schools and annually increasing display of pictures. Burlington House was placed by Government at the disposal of the corporate body, and was soon remodelled to an extent which at that time

sufficed for their object. On the 8th of February, 1869, the President and Council formally gave up the tenure which they had so long held, and, for the first time since its erection, the whole of the building from Pall Mall East to St. Martin's Church was devoted to the reception of pictures belonging to the National Gallery.

But notwithstanding the cession of the Royal Academy rooms, the Gallery in Trafalgar Square was soon found quite inadequate in capacity for the collection within its walls, and the Government, to whose attention this fact had been frequently called, at length came to the rescue. A plot of ground lying on the north-east of the building was acquired for the purpose of its extension. The new structure was commenced in 1872 from the designs of the late Mr. Edward Barry, R.A. It occupied four years in erection, and on the 9th of August, 1876, seven additional rooms were opened to the public. Once more a rearrangement took place, and the extra space thus acquired afforded facilities for a far more methodical and satisfactory assortment of the pictures than had been hitherto attempted. Those works which had still remained at South Kensington were transferred to Trafalgar Square, and at last the whole collection was housed in one building.

In the same year the National Gallery acquired, through the bequest of Mr. Wynn-Ellis, a miscellaneous collection, which, though belonging to various schools, including the works of Dutch, Flemish, German, Italian, and French masters, were obliged, under the terms of the testator's will, to be kept together in one room for ten years. This condition, which was strictly observed for the period above mentioned, necessarily prevented during that interval any systematic classification of the works in question, but they are now distributed in appropriate order.

The Peel collection, purchased in 1871, was, and still remains (though for reasons of a different nature) for the most part grouped in one room; but in this case the pictures, with the exception of a few works, belong to one School, viz. the Dutch, and therefore their isolation presents no obstacle to the present plan of arrangement.

The exceptional outlay required for the purchase of this collection-cheaply though it had been acquired considering its brilliant excellence-induced the Government to suspend for a while the annual Parliamentary grant made to the National Gallery for the purchase of pictures. But as soon as the grant was renewed, fresh acquisitions were made, and it was soon found impossible to maintain even the partial classification which had been previously attempted. Once more a triage de médiocrités was proposed as a remedy. In 1883 an Act of Parliament was passed which enabled the Trustees and Director to lend to various provincial institutions certain examples of the British School which were hardly important enough to remain in Trafalgar Square; while a series of portraits, chiefly

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