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no means follow,-though we mournfully allow the poet's beretical nutions as to the nanire of the Son of God, and therefore his delective taith in the Alonement, that he denied the. Atonement ; & doktrine, which every line of his two great poems demonstrates, he held iu sq high a degree above the modern Socinian, or, Unitarian, that the modern heretic would deem bim an idglater
His poetical system, required that the obedience of the second Adan should be the ostensible, sign of the recovery of map from the state of condemnation, into which he was brought by the disobedience of the first Adam. . His poetical judginent has indeed been called into question; and this is a more fair subject of question thun to condemn his theology on account of the plan of his 1.90 poems. On this head it is held. ibal thu 'Templation forms so inconsiderable a part of the history of the Divine Founder of the Christia , Religion that it is no kind of parallel to the splendid story and noble invention of Paradise Lost,
Dr. Bentley, and others, are of opinion that the Resurrection would bave turòished a fitter sulijeci, as being being more copious and more sublime. l'his critic seems to think that the Poet himself once had this idea foaling in his mind, when, in Paradise Lost, he describes Jesus rising froin his grave, spoiling principalities and powers, and triumphing in open show by his ascension * I had rather. adduce this passage, in favor of ihe soạndness of Milion's own theology, as regarded the resurrection, which Christians confess. to be the consummation of the Saviour's Victory over Sin and Death, He died for our sins, and rose again for our justification.
Without questioning any of the known points of faith on the subject of Christ's Alovement, but incliuing to the doctrine no :v described under the deavinination of Arininian, Milton took the scene of the Temptation, as the basis of his second. Poem. If (we may suppose him to reason) it be allowed that implicit obedience to the will of the Most High in all things be the sure fruit, rather than the sign, of our Christian Faith,-it is enough, for the illustration of the principle, that one great instance he exemplified, The Fall of man sprang trom Disoberlicnce. The consequence of that Fall was a partial abduction of Divine Graçe, as it is termed by the early Fathers of the Church. Man apostalized, and disobeyed the Law of God. The fearful state of corruption, at which, the hur man mind had arrived at the appearance of the Niessiab, was owing to their general apostasy, and their continuance in this dis obedience. Such were the fruits of idolatry and unbelief.
Faith, on the contrary, is not merely shown by, but it is a con tinuance or perseverance in obedience through life, ever allowing for human frailty and infirinity. Faith is not merely belief. Be. lief is a barren plant, which without practical obedience
in hell itself; for the “ devils also believe, and tremble." Faith there
• B, L. B. X. 185-190,
fore has not this bare and single being. It is the whole tree, not merely the stein and branches and leaves, but likewise, the flowers and fruits,—and is therefore not cursed, but blessed. It is the principle, which impels the sincere Christian to, a series of consistent good works, or actions, that is, to a life of bóliness and obedience to the Divine Law. This principle was illusu ated by our Poel in
great instance of the Temptation of our Lord, recorded by St. Luke, by the same evil Spirit who, by the temptation and fall of our first parents,- as Milton had himself sung in ihe solemn invocation to his first immortal Poem,
I Brought death into the world, and all our wde;
P. L. B. 1. 3.
The last thing which remains for out consideration, is the reported preferenee by the Poet himself of Paradise Regamed before Paradise Lost. For my own pari; I am disposed to doubt the right apprehension of this impnted preference. He knew the sources in his own mind, and the strength of his own powers; and, conscious that he had as perfectly accomplished what' be designed in his second poem, as in his first, he was naturally impatient of the depreciation of Paradise Regained by incompeteni jidges.
Independent, however, of the intrinsic and comparative excellence of bis iwo great works, there are reasons which possibly might induce this preference in the mind of our truly sublime Poet. Paradise Lost was (it may be said) the work of his whole life. He gave the promise of it in one of the earliest of his prose works ; and it is one of the most vigorous and eloquent passages in the English larguage, He tells ins that the work he contemplates, is, not to be raised from the heat of yonth, or the vapours of wine like that, which Aows at waste from the pen of some vulgaf amorist or the trene!er fury of a rhyming parasite; not to be obtained by the invocation of dame memory and lier siren daughters, but hy devont prayer to that eternal Spirit
, who can enrich with all utterance and knowledge, and sends ont his Seraphim, with the ballowed fire of his allar, to lonch and purify the lips of whom he pleases : to this must be added industrious and select reading, steady observation, and insight into all seemly and generous arts and affairs. This great object bounded the spiritual horizon of his mind. It never was entirely absent from his thoughts. It bad some share in all his studies. All the secret contemplations of his soul were employed upon it. He never lost sight of it. And although it had no actual existence until he was an old man, and blind like another Homei, it may be said to have been conceived, and almost born, and, in the processes of his won: derful mind, to have allained to a considerable degree of maturity, ere the time came that it was poured forth like streams of living water ; so full, even 10 overflowing, were the seci et reservoirs of his inner soul.
Paradise Regained was the work of his elder years. Longinus says the same of Homer's two great poems; that he composed the Iliud in his youth, the Odyssey in his old age. There is a sin. gular analogy in the subjects of the poems of these great minde, as weil as in the circumstances of their composition. The mind of Miston, in his old age, was more disposed to entertain subjects of pure con templation than those of action, which, we have seen, is the moreprevailing principle of Paradise Lost. The light of faith shines brightly and serenely on this stage of life from the pages of the New Testament, -whence the subject of Paradise Regained is drawn. The joys of religion in the old age of a well-spent life, when the passions are under the control of a sanctified reason, must be infinitely more pure than at the season, when, as it were, the moon is at ibe full, and the vidcs are in feverish and restless agitation. The storm of lite is past. Man finds “his port, his harbour, and his ultimate repose.” He feels himself approaching step by step, to his " final good." Old Age sees more than “ through a glass darkly," I anledates its final consummation.
It anticipates the end of its journey. Iç almost enters that Presence,
" Before whose sight the troubles of this world
The King of Terrors" stalked abroad,
The Peon came with mournful hron
The corpse to lie in christian ground.
Poor Jack! the picture of despair
"On chat or any other book."
How fares the lonely pilgrim, or the wild
The stake and block where christian martyrs bled,
EL C. M.
THE ORGANS OF THE BRAIN,
A COMEDY IN THREE ACTS, TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN OF
AUGUST VON KOTZERUE.
ACT 2ND SCENE 18T.
Mr. Von RickenMARK (ALONE, WITH À LETTER IN HIS HAND.
A CASKET LIES ON THE TABLB.) Anonymous, letters should be treated at the Post office just as letters from Italy are:-pricked, smoked, and plunged into vinegar-for they come from hearts intected with the very worst kind of plague. Snch letters are always indited under the pretence of benefiting the party to whom they are addressed, but their real purport is the in. jury of the person about whom they are written. Their authors are bighway robbers who hide behind a hedge and shoot at the passersby from their Jurking places. --Or rather they are blackguards who go about in the dark ringing the house door-bells.--- A creature of this description writes to me—“Be on your guard.— Your son is bringe ing a lady disguised in man's clothes with him whom he has married here;---a coquelle who having made fools of a number of respectable gentlemen, myself among the number." —Ah! a disappointed rival I see " has at last. ran away from here with your son whom she has managed to take in. Save this excellent yourg man, and do not despise the warning given you
* By your unknown friend"
“ N. N." Mr. N. N. is an unknown scoundrel and nothiing better even if his intelligence be correct. It is true I remarked when we were singing that the young gentleman had a voice like a boy twelve years old-hut then he told me that be sung falselio.—And my son with his fat poll!-No, no, I can't believe it.- But I'll soon be at the bottom of this business.- If it's correct, Peter Goodsheep must necessarily know of it.—He has been silting for the last two hours before a leg of motinu in my antichamber— These geniusses have astonishing appetites.—He must, however, have eaten his fill by this time (he goes to the door and calls) Peter Goodsheep! be so good as to come here a moment.