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case, lead to the adoption of a sinister policy. Though cautious and prudent, he was frank and honest, and enjoyed the confidence of all his brethren who knew him, and indeed of all the church, except those (if any such there be) in whose estimation a revival is a proof of heresy, as to divine sovereignty, and who are fearful of too rapid a work on the part of the Holy Spirit, lest, we suppose, it should not be thoroughly done.
Dr. L. was accustomed to dwell much, and with great discrimination, on the evidences of genuine piety; indeed this was one of bis peculiarities as a preacher, and a department in which he particularly excelled. He was also exceedingly careful in the admission of members to his church. In all the benevolent enterprises of the day he was interested, but more especially so in the tract and foreign missionary cause; and his exertions in regard to the former were most efficient in the section of country in which he resided.
He was unambitious, aimed not at literary distinction, and was not a “ lover of pre-eminence.” To one who once alluded to the respectability of his family, he observed, “that he desired no bigher honor than to be a brother of Jesus Christ.” Affectionate in his domestic relations, he was social in bis disposition, liberal in bis feelings towards his brethren who differed from him in opinion, and towards other denominations of christians; warmly, indeed, but not exclusively, attached to his own communion. In the earher part of his ministry he wrote his sermons with care, but in the latter part he committed the outlines only to paper. He published but one single sermon and tract. The use of the press was not, as he felt, bis province; but he ever rejoiced to see it occupied by those whose gilis fitted them for that work. It was his duty and delight continually to preach the word. His Master has called him away; he has gone home;" and “ his ministry, with all its important consequences, is sealed up. unto the glorious appearing of the great God our Savior.'' Among the ministers of the church remaining, there are those who surpassed him in genius, intellectual acumen, and literary acquirement; but in the varied knowledge necessary to the discharge of the duties of a pastor, in sound practical judyment and wisdom, in power of commanding the respect of all with whom he met, in ardent desires and constant labors for the conversion of souls, he has left but few, very few, equals behind him.
Let the prayers of the church constantly ascend, that laborers more faithful even than any she has yet seen, may be yet multiplied, and that the light of Zion may shine with increasing brightDess, and her glory appear more abundantly in our midst. Thus while one falls on the field of our warfare, many shall rise up to take bis place; and hosts more and more numerous be marshaled, who shall go on conquering and to conquer, till the final triumph and consummation.
ART. III.—THE INFLUENCE OF THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION ON
An Essay on English Poetry. By Thomas CAMPBELL: Boston.
Ir it is interesting to trace the rill as it breaks from the mountain's brow; to mark the accumulation of its waters, until it swells into some noble and majestic stream; in a much higher degree is it interesting in literature and the arts, to trace out the developments of the mind, in regard to some particular department of knowledge, from its rude commencement down through successive ages, until it has reached its maturity.
Such is the object of the first of the two works which we have placed at the head of this article. The writer gives us a succinct history of English poetry, from its first appearance in the rude and tediously historic style of Norman verse, down to that splendid period when the English muse, laying aside all that was quaint in her costume, or foreign in her air, came forth in her perennial youth and beauty.
It would seem, however, that the progress of this divine art was not, in the mean time, uniform. The flow of song was not poured forth in an increasing and continued stream. Like the gushing fountains of the Alps, which subside during the heat of summer, poetry had its seasons of overflowing fullness, and its periods of decrease. The intellectual character of Chaucer's poetry, for instance, was succeeded by a long period which was burdened by the most insipid metrical productions. The appearance of that poet in our language, Warton beautifully compares to a premature day in the English spring, after which the gloom of winter returns, and the buds and blossoms which have been called forth by a transient sunshine, are nipped by frosts and scattered by storms.
Under Henry VIII, there was again a fine but feeble conmencement of poetry. The poetic genius of the English nation seemed at this time but half awake,--but half assured that the day of her emancipation had come. Men there certainly were, who wrote what perhaps may be called poetry, but it exhibits no sympathy with the circumstances of the age. The English muse seems afraid to speak; her aspect is diffident, her tones faltering. No wonder! The hand of tyranny had not as yet been palsied. The war of proscription against the freedom of opinion, still continued to “spread a contagious alarm, from the understanding to the imagination of the poet,”-presenting to the spirit of poetry "an impassable Avernus," where she well-nigh dropped her wings and expired.
Šat amid all these alternations of sunshine and storm, of the waring and decrease of song, we can distinctly mark her ond movement, by a greater novelty and a richer exuberance of it, until the English muse, in the time of Milton, acquires a ngth of wing which never before was spread, and rose to a lof
Hight than had ever before been reached; when in his own phatic language, we see her, “as an eagle, nursing her mighty ah, and kindling her dazzled eyes at the full mid-day beam, ging and unscaling her long abused sight at the fountain of ivenly radiance.” Such is the general course of thought pursued in this interesting le volume, which, together with the Lectures of Mr. Montgom:, we have introduced on the present occasion, not for the purse of criticising the style, composition, etc., but for the sake of ir testimony, in establishing what seems to us the general charter of poetry in the rude state of society, and its gradual adnace to refinement and true excellence, in christian and civilized nons. We are aware that such is not the refined notion of modern lys. The popular opinion would now seem to be, that the ontd has become unpoetical ; that the warm glow of youthful exing, and the creative powers of the young imagination, have all radually given place to the sober, unpoetical, and somber views, ad feelings of decrepitude and age. All the sources of song are one-the fountains of Pindus and Helicon, " where the old inpring genü dwelt,” are dry. Every bud and blossom on the acred mount is withered, and the lofty-dwelling Nine have forsasen our earth, and no longer inspire those who woo them for songs and elegies and ditties. In one word, the world has lost its pretical character.
The superficial, unchristian doctrine, taught in much of the literature of our day is, that poetry flourishes most in an uncultivated soil; that the imagination shapes her choicest images from the mists of a superstitious age; and that the accumulation of knowledge, or the light of christianity, depresses and smothers the genius of poetry, or at once deprives it of all its fine imagery and beauty. Writers tell us, that it appears in its wildest and most attractive lm only in the infancy of society; that its most congenial region is that of the twilight; and that it loses its character of boldness, originality, and enthusiasm, and becomes timid, unnatural, and artificial
, in proportion as the people by whom it is cultivated are removed from the state of rude and savage existence.
We are aware, indeed, that Homer wrote his immortal work before Greece had arrived at the zenith of her glory ; and that in later times the ancient bards of Wales and Germany flourished amid comparative darkness. But is there no testimony in the examples on the other side of the question ? When, we ask, did write the Æneid? Was it in the darkness of Roman ignoran amid the splendors of the Augustan age? But this is a work ; has outlived all the productions of a dark and misty period. V in an uncivilized and barbarous state, or when the age, dives its former ferociousness, and chastened by courteous manner: itself rising in knowledge, virtue, and intellectual superiority Dante, Petrarch, and Ariosto, Camoens, Shakspeare, and Milto their respective countries produced their great poems, which unequaled by any succeeding writer? Did these men fea advancement of knowledge, or their muse shrink from the lig revelation ?
We might adduce yet other examples, but we deem them u cessary. If the theory to which we have alluded is correct, we have no regrets to indulge. If it be as asserted, that gen poe cannot exist in its youthful beauty and enthusiasm, or sess its boldness and originality, except among a people in the and barbarous state; if it cannot bear the light of the sun, or bre the genial atmosphere of knowledge and christianity, it is not in hearts to mourn over her departure, or to gather among the we ers around her bier, and help to chant "the funeral dirge of poes
With such poetry we have no sympathy. It is not born of Spirit ; it is of the earth, earthy. Nor do we believe that the of such a muse as can exist only in the mists and darkness of perstition, or appear only in the drapery of heathen mythology any great detriment to the world. It manifests no sympathy w man's higher interests; it possesses no life-giving influence. may be wild and extravagant, but it has too much of the “ al vion” of human nature about it, either permanently to please instruct mankind. It may exert a mighty influence upon the tu and barbarous; it has often done so; yet all such poetry is de tined to sink, to rise no more.
But genuine poetry has not forsaken our world. It is i deed true, that the muse is not now invoked as she was by Hom three thousand years ago.
Venus and Cupid have ceased to 1 the theme and poetry of love. The Ionian mount and thi Delphic woods are indeed silent; but other mountains and valley have become vocal with sweeter notes and far nobler songs.
The materials of poetry, as long as its object is to interest ma in man, must ever remain the same, and inexhaustible. It has it origin in the nature of man--in the deep and mystic recesses o the human soul. It is not, therefore, merely or principally the external, but the inner life, the mysterious workmanship of man's heart, and the slumbering elements of passion, which furnish the materials of poetry.
The material then, as it has been justly remarked, is not wanting,
the hand of the master to fashion it. It is not the excess of
which prevents its progress, but the dimness of the eye. Let tue poet appear, the man, like Burns, of whose being poetry the celestial element,” and human nature will teem with the tic, and its mysterious chords, when struck by such a hand, will fate to every heart. A great change, as we have before intimated, has taken place in poetry:
She has laid aside her ancient costume; but it remains to be proved that she has lost any thing essential to her ure, or seriously affecting her character. li becomes, therefore, a most interesting inquiry, what those ases are, which have produced the change in question ; which we tumed the eye of the poet from external objects to the world passions within ; which have excited deeper and more intense actions in the soul of the poet, to embody which in words, all the wers of language and imagery are laid under contribution, but ito exhibit the full conception. The principal cause, one which lies at the foundation of all oths, is christianity. The influence of the bible bas led the poet an inanimate objects to animate,-- from the threshold into the Enetralia of nature; from the court of the Gentiles it has conmied him into the inner temple, -to the sacred recesses of the uman soul, “ where true poetry alone is born, nourished and inconated for her heaven-ward flight."
We are aware that this is not the refined doctrine of modern lays. Many scein to think that the bible, especially the new tesargent, exerts an unhappy influence on poetry ;-that by throwing things so much into the light, it leaves no room for the imagination of the poet. This is the great point which we wish to consider,— the influence of christianity on poetry. Is that influence injurious, a favorable ?
We fully admit, that the influence of the bible has laid aside much of the machinery of ancient poetry. From many subjects, formerly attached to poetry, it has been divorced by the progress of pure christianity. A multitude of low and vulgar allusions, a host of false and superstitious associations, have been thus swept away. In a word, it has removed from the christian world all the gross absurdities of the ancient heathen mythology. As says Mr. Montgomery, " From the highest heaven of invention, Jove and his senate are forever fallen ; and it would be as rational and about as easy to rebuild their temples and restore their worship, as to reinstate them in the honors and immortality which they once enjoyed on Parnassus.”
But in all this influence and these consequences, has the bible destroyed any thing which is essential to the character of genuine poetry? Is a heathen dress the only one to which her nature is