Imágenes de páginas

Law in its utmost height, breadth and purity; a State of Retribution after Death ; the Resurrection of the Dead ; and a Day of Judgment—all these were known and received by the Jewish People, as established Articles of the National Faith, at or before the Proclaiming of Christ by the Baptist. They are the ground-work of Christianity, and essentials in the Christian Faith, but not its ebaracteristic and peculiar Doctrines : except indeed as they are confirmed, enlivened, realized and hrougbt home to the whole Being of Man, Head, Heart, and Spirit, by the truths and influences of the Gospel.

“ Peculiar to Christianity are :

“I. The belief that a Mean's of Salvation has been effected and provided for the Human Race by the incarnation of the Son of God in the person of Jesus Christ ; and that his Life on earth, his Sufferings, Death, and Resurrection are not only proofs and manisestations, but likewise essential and effective parts of the great redemptive act, whereby also the Obstacle from the corruption of our Nature is rendered no longer insurmountable.

“ II. The belief in the possible appropriation of this benefit by Repentance and Faith, including the Aids that render an effective Faith and Repentance themselves possible.

“III. The belief in the reception (by as many as “shall be Heirs of Salvation”) of a living and spiritual Principle, a Seed of Lise capable of surviving this natural life, and of existing in a divine and immortal state.

IV. The belief in the awakening of the Spirit in them that truly believe, and in the communion of the Spirit, thus awakened, with the Holy Spirit.

V, The belief in the accompanying and consequent gifts, graces, comforts, and privileges of the Spirit, which acting primarily on the heart and will cannot but manifest themselves in suitable works of Love and Obedience, i.e. in right acts with right affections, from right principles.

Further, as Christians, we are taught, that these WORKS are the appointed signs and evidences of our Faith ; and that, under limitation of the power, the means and the opportunities afforded us individually, they are the rule and measure by which we are bound and enabled to judge, of what spirit we are: and all these with the doctrine the Fathers re-proclaimed in the everlasting Gospel, we receive in the full assurance, that God bebolds and will finally judge us with a merciful consideration of our infirmities, a gracious acceptance of our sincere though imperfect strivings, a forgiveness of our defects through the mediation, and a completion of our deficiencies by the perfect righteousness of the Man Christ Jesus, even the Word that was in the beginning with God, and who, being God, became Man for the redemption of Mankind.” 189—19).

“ I will now suppose the Reader to have thoughtfully re-perused the Paragraph containing the Tenets peculiar to Christianity, and if he bave his religious principles yet to form, I should expect to overhear a troubled Murmur: How can I comprehend this ? How is this to be proved ? To the first question I should answer : Christianity is not a Theory, or a Speculation ; but a Life. Not a Philosophy of Life, but a Life and a living Process. To the second : Try it. It has been eighteen bundrel years in existence : and has one Individual left a record, like the following ? [I tried it ; and it did not answer. I made the experiment faithfully according to the directions; and the result has been, a conviction of my own credulity.]• Have you, in your own experience, met with any one in whose words you

• Who either has ever heard of a death-bed conversion- to Infidelity ?-CARISTIAN EXAMINER,



could place full confidence, and who has seriously affirmed, [I bave given Christianity a fair trial. I was aware, that its promises were made only conditionally. But my heart bears me witness, that I have to the utmost of my power complied with these conditions. Both outwardly and in the discipline of my inward acts and affections, I bave performed the duties which it enjoins, and I have used the means which it prescribes. Yet my Assurance of its truth has received no increase. Its promises have not been fulfilled : and I repent me of my delusion.) If neither your own experience nor the History of almost two thousand years has presented a single testimony to this purport; and if you have read and heard of many who have lived and died bearing witness to the contrary: and if you have yourself met with some one, in whom on any other point you would place unqualified trust, who has on his own experience made report to you, that “he is faithful wbo promised, and what be promised he has proved bimself able to perform :" is it bigotry, if I fear tbat the Unbelief, which prejudges and prevents the experiment, has its source elsewhere than in the uncorrupted judgment; that not the strong free Mind, but the enslaved Will, is the true original Infidel in this instance? It would not be the first time, that a treacherous Bosom-Sin bad suborned the Understandings of men to bear false witness against its avowed Enemy, the right though unreceived Owner of the House, who had long warned it out, and waited only for its ejection to enter and take possession of the same.

“ But no Gift of God does or can contradict any other Gift, except by misuse or misdirection. Most readily therefore do I admit, that there can be no contrariety between Revelation and the Understanding; unless you call the fact, that the skin, though sensible of the warmth of the Sun, can convey no notion of its figure, or its joyous light, or of the colours it impresses on the clouds, a contrariety between the Skin and the Eye; or infer that the cutaneous and the optic nerves contradict each other."--195–197.

It would be impossible for us, even we felt at liberty to devote many more pages to this article, to enumerate all the topics treated of by Mr. Coleridge; such an object we did not at the outset propose to ourselves, and that which we contemplated is almost completed. In every part of the work, the reader who seeks instruction will meet with much to engage and to delight him ; to many the book will remain a sealed volume, like other means of improvement neglected or unexplored ; to many it will also be, in the dispensation of a gracious Providence, the instrument of awakening their attention to the world within them, and the means of exhibiting, from new points of view, objects which perhaps have occasionally glimmered before the mind, but were never carefully investigated.

“ This makes, that whatsoever here befalls,
You in the region of yourself remain,

Neighbouring on Heaven : and that no foreign land.” In no book whatever are there such guards against vague sensibility and enthusiasm ; this it is scarcely possible to shew by the production of particular passages, or to exhibit Mr. Coleridge's account of the error which many persons fall into in their estimate of the different intellectual faculties, and the appropriate objects of each. But with anxious wishes for Mr. Coleridge's promised work," on Prayer and the aids of the Spirit,” we will close our extracts from “the Aids to Reflection,” with the following passage of singular beauty and gracefulness :

“The enthusiastic Mystics may be subdivided into two ranks. And it will not be other than germane to the subject, if I endeavour to describe them in a sort of allegory or parable. Let us imagine a poor Pilgrim benighted in a wilderness or desart, and pursuing his way in the starless dark with a lantborn in his hand. Chance or bis bappy genius leads him to un Oasis or natural Garden, such as in the creations of my youthful fancy I supposed Enos* the Child of Cain to have found. And here, hungry and thirsty, the way-wearied man rests at a fountain ; and the Taper of his Lanthorn tbrows its light on an overshadowing Tree, a Boss of snowwhite Blossoms, through which the green and growing fruits peeped, and the ripe golden Fruitage glowed. Deep, vivid, and faithful are the impressions, which the lovely Imagery comprised within the scanty Circle of Light, makes and leaves on bis Memory ! But scarcely bas he eaten of the fruits and drank of the fountain, ere scared by the roar and bowl from the desart he hurries forward : and as be passes with hasty steps through grove and glade, shadows and imperfect beholdings and vivid fragments of things distinctly seen blend with the past and present shapings of bis Brain. Fancy modifies Sight. His Dreams transfer their forms to real Objects; and these lend a substance and an outness to his Dreams. Apparitions greet him ; and when at a distance from this enchanted land, and on a different track, the Dawn of Day discloses to him a Caravan, a troop of his fellow-men, bis memory, which is itself half fancy, is interpolated afresh by every attempt to recall, connect, and piece out bis recollections. His narrative is received as a Madman's Tale. He shrinks from the rude Laugh and contemptuous Sneer, and retires into bimself. Yet the craving for Sympatby, strong in proportion to the intensity of bis Convictions, impels him to unbosom bimself to abstract Auditors ; and the poor Qnietist becomes a Penman, and, all too poorly stocked for the Writer's trade, he borrows his phrases and figures from the only Writings to which he has had access, the sacred Books of his Religion. And thus I shadow out the enthusiastic Mystic of the first sort; at the head of which stands the illuminated Teutonic Theosopher and Shoemaker, honest JACOB BEHMEN, born near Gorlitx, in Upper Lusatia, in the 17th of our Elizabeth's Reign, and who died in the 22d of her Successor's.

“To delineate a Mystic of the second and higher order, we need only endow our Pilgrim with equal gifts of Nature, but these developed and displayed by all the aids and arts of Education and favourable Fortune. He is on the way to the Mecca of his ancestral and national Faith, with a well-guarded and numerous Procession

* “ Will the reader forgive me if I attempt at once to illustrate and relieve the subject, by annexing the first stanza of the poem, composed in the same year in wbich I wrote the Ancient Mariner and the first book of Christabel ?

~ Encinctur'd with a twine of leaves,
That leafy twine bis only dress!
A lovely Boy was plucking fruits
In a moonlight wilderness.
The moou was bright, the air was free,
And fruits and flowers together grew
On many a shrub and many a tree :
And all put on a gentle bue,
Hanging in the shadowy air
Like a picture rich and rare.
It was a climate where, they say,
The night is more beloved than day.
But who that beauteous Boy beguiled,
That beauteous Boy! to linger here ?
Alone, by night, a little child,
In place so silent and so wild -
Has he no friend, no loving mother near?”

WANDERINGS Or Cain, a MS. Poem.

of Merchants and Fellow-pilgrims, on the established Track. At the close of Day the Caravan has balted: the full moon rises on the Desart: and he strays forth alone, ont of sight, but to no unsafe distance; and chance leads him too to the same Oasis or Islet of Verdure on the Sea of Sand. He wanders at leisure in its maze of Beauty and Sweetness, and tbrids bis way through the odorous and flowering Thickets into open

'Spots of Greenery," and discovers statues and memorial characters, grottos, and refreshing caves. But the Moonshine, the imaginative Poesy of Nature, spreads its soft shadowy charm over all, conceals distances, and magnifies beights, and modifies relations ; and fills up vacuities with its own wbiteness, counterfeiting substance ; and where the dense shadows lie, makes solidity imitate hollow ness; and gives to all objects a tender visionary hue and softening. Interpret the Moonlight and the Shadows us the peculiar genius and sensibility of the Individual's own Spirit: and bere you have the other sort : a Mystic, an Enthusiast of a nobler Breed—a Fenelon. But the residentiary, or the frequent visitor of the favored spot, who has seanned its beauties by steady Day-light, and mastered its true proportions and lineaments, he will discover that both Pilgrims bave indeed been there! He will know, that the delightful Dream, which the latter tells is a Dream of Truth ; and that even in the bewildered Tale of the former there is Truth mingled with the Dream." pp. 382–336.

We cannot but believe that many, whom we have engaged to read the foregoing passages, will re-peruse them with deep attention, and will feel interested in becoming better acquainted with works, which furnish materials for continued and frequent reflection. Beautiful as these passages are, and cannot but be felt to be, they lose much of their beauty and propriety in being disconnected from the arguments which they illustrate or confirm. The readers who have followed us thus far in these rambling observations, which we have not time either to abridge or condense, will peruse with pleasure the very affecting lines in which Mr. Coleridge has described his own character, his pursuits, and his fortunes; and even those whom we may not have succeeded in interesting, will readily forgive our tediousness, when they find it terminate with an introduction to such verses as follow.


'Tis true, Idoloclastes Satyrane !
(So call him, for so mingling blame with praise
And smiles with anxious looks, bis earliest friends
Masking bis birth-name, wont to character
His wild-wood fanoy, and impetuous zeal,)
'Tis true tbat, passionate for ancient truths,
And honoring with religious love the Great
of elder times, he bated to excess,
With an unquiet and intolerant scorn,
The hollow puppets of an hollow Age,
Ever idolatrous, and changing ever
Its worthless Idols! Learning, Power, and Time,
(Too much of all,) thus wasting in vain war
Of fervid colloquy. Sickness, 'tis true
Whole years of weary days, besieged him close,
Even to the gates and inlets of his life!

But it is true, no less, that strenuous, firm,
And with a natural gladness, he maintained
The citadel unconquered, and in joy
Was strong to follow the delightful Muse.
For not a bidden path, that to the shades
Of the belov’d Parnassian forest leads,
Lurk'd undiscover'd by him ; not a rill
There issues from the fount of Hippocrene,
But be had trac'd it upward to its source,
Thro' open glade, dark glen, and secret dell,
Knew the gay wild flowers on its banks, and cullid
Its med'cinable berbs. Yea, oft alone
Piercing the long-neglected holy cave,
The haunt obscure of old Philosophy,
He bade with lifted torch its starry walls
Sparkle, as erst they sparkled to the flame
Of od’rous lamps tended by saint and sage.
0, fram’d for calmer times and nobler hearts !
0, studious Poet, eloquent for truth !
Philosopher! contemning wealth and death,
Yet docile, child-like, full of Life and Love:
Here, rather than on monumental stone,
This record of thy worth thy Friend inscribes,
Thoughtful, with quiet tears upon his cheek.

A Charge delivered at the Visitation of Thomas Elrington, D.D. M.R.I.A., Lord

Bishop of Leighlin and Ferns, in June 1827, and published at the request of the

Clergy of the united dioceses—Dublin, Milliken, p. 48. Appendix to the Bishop of Fern's Charge, in answer to the Strictures of the Right Rev. Dr. Doyle-Dublin, Milliken, p. 26.

The situation of Ireland is, we believe, unexampled in history: An increasing, active, and intelligent people, anxious for information, yet kept in ignorance by a domineering clergy ; their worst passions inflamed by political excitement, and their physical force and their degrading superstitions severed from every restraining moral tie, brought out in array against all that is respectable and conciliatory in the country, all who are the benefactors and would ve the friends of the peasantry. This blind and inert mass, we have seen partially animated, and light poured in upon its mental darkness; we have seen the alarm that pervaded the masters of the people, when the fetters weakened by the rust of ages began to drop from their reinvigorated limbs, and we have gazed with wonder at the means to which these skilful artisans have had recourse, to prevent the spiritual emancipation of their subjects. The juggleries of Hohenlohe, the expected terrors of Pastorini, the fear of political excitement, and the tempting indulgences of a Papal Jubilee, all have been tried, and in despair of success from these miserable inventions of a dark and ignorant age, the Infallible Church has had recourse to the more effectual expedients of priestly denunciation, and absolute removal from i

« AnteriorContinuar »