Professor Rankine's Songs and Fables.
And on the mountain's heathy side
The fresh'ning breeze inhale—
The wail of Cassandra is well sung
"With furnace fierce in forge and mill,
And steamships on the foam,
And trains that sweep through vale and hill,
And roaring fires at home;
In warmth and wealth while we rejoice,
Nor heed the risk we run,
Geology, with warning voice,
Says, 'Coal will soon be done,'" &c.
The moral is good and true,
"Cheer up each valiant soul!
While Britain can breed British man
We never need care for coal!"
A nation does not really prosper on coal, but on "worth and valour."
"So beautiful and elegant, so full of grace and suavity,"
Cannot be said of colonial women generally.
Augusta Webster'S Yu-Pe-Ya'S Lute.
"Feeding full on books,
As a hungry pool sucks in its nursing brooks
And sends no freshening streamlets forth again."
"I am sad myself, and 'tis the way with men
To reckon of without by what's within."
"Like a strong swan taking the current's drift."
Ross Neil's Cid.
I love Ximena; where her footstep falls
There is my light, my breath, the treasury
Of all my joys.
Oh, this is news as welcome to mine ear
As is the first sweet breath of wak'ning spring
To frost-starved saplings.
Whose service would outweigh as many faults
As there are motes at play in the sun's broad beam.
A lion, to be done to death by curs,
So stabbing envy of doth help to make
The greatness that it wounds.
Yet was joy once mine; it lighted on me as the bird
Rests on the tree in passing, and takes wing.
Noel's "Livingstone in Africa."
Armed righteousness awaits her hour,
Albeit her lightning slumber in the cloud.
"Man has made earth a hissing and a scorn."
We do not find much edification in these seven poetical cantos.
Neil's "King and the Angel."
Leave me pinned beneath the load
Of foul dishonour, heavier far to bear
page 2 Than all the uprooted mountains of fabled Jove
Cast at the giants. I am a fool,
And play a fool's part well; the most of men
Are fools, and play the parts of wise men ill.
Lesson them and you in courtesy.
Eve newly wakened was not more fair
When first her sweet lips kissed the morning air.
Oh, surely all their woes are lifted off
The denizens of hell and rolled on me—
As a winter cloak in the summer air.
Put off the cumbrous burden of your fears.
The portals of belief.
Men only pray for who hath done them good.
I love thee
Better than light, or life, or hope of heaven.
Three things there are that all men must obey—
Death once, a king, and a woman ev'ry day.
Neil's Duke for a Day.
(These are the salient thoughts of this vol.)
I should fire their damp and sputt'ring souls
With a spark of mine own rage.
A juggler! look !
And with as many following at his heels
As though he were a new Demos-thenes.
In your mouth!
You bear a sword, might strike forth fire from stones—
The moral of this piece is—A beggar on horseback who can bear, even for a day?
"What is all the writing, reading, discoursing, consulting, disputing, meditating, confounding, and dividing from the first 'quickening breath of the Almighty into reasonable nature, to this very moment? What is all this, I say, but the lighting of one candle at another? One thought kindles another from generation to another."
Sir Roger L'estrange's edition of Seneca is an excellent book. The Roman sage is the Pagan Paul. A perusal of this work might, perhaps, benefit our needy, seedy, greedy politicians.
Worship is now, as in Seneca's time, rather a matter of custom than of conscience. Philosophers now, as then, do what Augustine taxed Seneca with—worship what they reprove, act what they dislike, and adore what they condemn.
Here are the sparkling diamonds of this book.
Behold the Greeks with Cisce's nectar drunk,
Who wildly revell'd at her wanton feasts;
In sensual pleasures plung'd and sunk,
Were all transform'd to beasts.
With Syren smiles she gave the nectar'd bowl,
Sweet to the taste, but bitter to the soul;
Swift thro' each vein the poison ran,
page 3 And soon the beast absorb'd the man.
When mortals from the paths of honour stray,
And the strong passions over reason sway,
What are they then but brutes?
Tis vice alone that constitutes
Th' enchanting wand and magic bowl,
Th' exterior form of man they wear,
But are in fact both wolf and bear,
The transformation's in the soul.
Freedom is the soul of joy!
Chesterfield's applause is fame!
Let truth o'er all you write preside;
Of wit and sense add what you may;
But chief let virtue be your guide.
Nothing could move the giddy crowd;
That creature with a thousand heads,
Which veer with every breeze that blows,
That nothing heeds, that nothing dreads,
Nor any danger knows,
But what it feels.
Where Resolution leads and Prudence guides.
Misfortunes level all the human race.
Statesmen and such as Courts frequent,
Who never taste a quiet hour;
Nor know the joys of sweet content.
Some to their vast ambition left a prey,
Others by softer passions lec astray,
And some unhappy thro' excess of bliss.
How oft does reputation rise
From chance and mere conceit?
Be but in vogue, the world will nurse the cheat;
In being new the merit lies,
And not because you're learn'd or wise.
'Tis prejudice that governs all mankind.
Some little cunning, impudence in store,
Dark terms of art, hard words what would you more?
The noble structure which thy hand shall raise
Must stand the test of time to latest days.
Unlike the transient writers of a day,
Whose mushroom works sprout up, and rot away.
Kind as compassion, and as honor true.
Art is acquir'd, but genius must be born.
Whate'er is forced can never truly please.
Protect the orphan from the Harpy's claws.
Law, like Janus, has a double face.
Who'd quiet live, must live alone.
Within himself sweet peace of mind.
Never to judge of people by their look?
Marlbro' will live in Addison,
When Blenheim and the Pillar's gone.
Already in his arms another is complying.
All think themselves of more importance far,
Than really what they are.
A beau is nothing but a suit of clothes.
With taste and true discernment blest,
Whose very praise rewards the artist's toil.
page 4 Providence is an unerring guide;
'Tis Nature's and 'tis Reason's law.
By custom everything familiar grows.
It was a charnel-house, a mere hog sty,
Where filth and nastiness ran o'er.
I scorn such nauseous, wheedling prate,
The bolts of envy and the darts of spite.
Ambition and love
Banish reason from her throne.
Excesses are of human growth,
But what delighted every mind and heart,
Was how each actor suited with his part.
The voice, the look, each gesture, every feature,
Were proper to the character they bore.
Who everything attempts, does nothing well,
We must by vermin be eat up at last.
Governors, leeches, parasites, and flies,
Young, handsome, rich, just one of those
That's form'd to cure a widow's fits.
A pretty widow in her weeds,
The lovely lucid leer,
Which sparkles in a widow's eyes.
'Twas for our happiness design'd,
Men should not know each other's thought.
More harm one enemy portends,
Than all the good from twenty friends.
Love often slumbers, friendship nods,
But hatred's eye-lids never close.
Justice and virtue flourish'd in his reign.
You judge of things, like men, by the event.
'Twas chance, not merit, gave the prize.
The symbol of ingratitude is man.
Of base ingratitude the type,
That basest of all crimes beneath the sun.
From hell's deep gulph a thousand fiends arise
To talk of wind when belly croaks;
Each brute beast was deified
By much more brute mankind.
To-day the God, victim to-morrow.
How weak and wav'ring is mankind!
One hour elated and the next deprest;
Their drift is happiness to find,
And yet they know not when they're really blest.
Sweet peace of mind, contentment, love and joy.
For ever wishing, ne'er content,
On wild chimeras bent,
Neglect the sure to follow airy game.
Those who but know the world in books,
Know just as much as in the map it looks,
Who all things and yet nothing knows.
He is one neither cold nor hot,
Who all things weighs with where, and whence,
Nor leaves a circumstance forgot.
A friend to truth, disdaining every vice,
Mildly severe, not scrupulously nice,
To merit gives, with joy, the praises due,
Nor fears to censure when he censures true;
Averse to flattery, from envy free,
He soon became a man of sense.
Full of himself, he scorn'd the world beside.
page 5 He wanted neither wit's nor judgment's aid.
And now the blooming virgin stands confest,
In native innocence and beauty drest.
Inordinate desire, strange lust of more,
Still to accumulate and ne'er enjoy.
Monster, whose greedy all devouring eye
Covets the whole for his own private store.
Interest is a casuist guide,
That makes us lawyers all.
Those very gods he made, now make him quake.
False zeal and superstition, next, prepare
To form for ignorance a shrine.
All men their visions realise.
The rigid Stoic thus, with zeal austere,
Each innocent desire controls:
Good, bad, indifferent, to all severe,
He tears up every passion from our souls.
Absence is the only cure for hate,
As 'tis a remedy for love.
The soul, alas! we seldom mind,
The body's all our care.
Vain man, importunate and weak,
With empty vows and idle prayers,
Not for the whole but for his own clear sake,
Dims all Olympus with his selfish cares;
And thinks each trifling scene in life,
Must needs as much concern the Gods,
As when the Greeks and Trojans were at odds.
He would have stirr'd all earth and sea
Th' Herculean Club and thunderbolt employed,
To crush a flea.
Too high a station is a dangerous thing.
How vain, absurd, and fickle are mankind!
Still prone to veer with every blast of wind.
And as the bee for ever ranging,
That's never happy but when changing,
Just sip the sweets and fly along.
The case is seldom rightly stated,
That's judged from outward show.
Man's life or happy or unhappy proves,
By secret springs unseen, on which it moves.
Nothing so common as a friend by name;
Nor anything so scarce as one in deed.
Thus thro' a telescope mankind we spy;
A brother's frailties, monstrous grown,
We at the magnifying end descry,
Then turn the glass to view our own.
Where great rogues stand the little fall.
To prove a fool is in the wrong,
Is talk and time both thrown away.
Whatever interest prompts, or fools devise,
Possess yourselves of knowledge, and be wise.
What spur like reputation?
A Raffael's lost, if out of place.
Who undertakes to alter human kind,
A task shall surely find,
That will be left undone.
With int'rest there's no competition,
Love, honour, duty, all
Before that Idol fall. Be gone; and in the other world, behold
page 6 Thy spendthrift heirs dispense thy gold.
What will not mortals do for gain?
O'er what Ambition not prevail?
For all the wealth that India brings,
The pomp of courts, the power of kings,
My peace of mind I would not barter.
In all our deeds, let truth and justice shine;
And keep the golden rule in eye,
To do as we would be done by.
Who most pretend performs the least.
What in ourselves we think no crime,
Is shocking in another.
For which is best do you decide—
Reason, that goes with man astray?
Or Instinct, brutes' unerring guide?
Let honesty and truth, your actions guide.
Man may cheat man: but can't deceive the gods.
In little senates greatest noise is.
The gods would choose for a retreat;
'Twas verdant lawns, sequester'd glades,
With purling streams, and cooling shades.
False to your vows! and false to love!
As conscious how a lover's quarrel ends,
A curtain lecture, kiss and friends.
In yon parterre I saw you full employ'd,
By turns caressing different flowers.
When upstarts overbearing, saucy, proud,
Forget the source from whence they spring.
Would you the sweets of virtuous love enjoy?
Be not too yielding, nor to coy;
For she who is too hard to please,
Will run the risk (pray note it well)
To live a maiden all her days.
Around the stage they stand, as it behoves,
And as the wire is pull'd, the puppet moves,
Do but the hook with flatt'ry bait,
When the hot Thracian forced you to his arms;
Rvaished your sweets, and rifled all your charms.
Was goodness but innate with beauty
I'd seek a wife to-morrow.
But oh! instead of pleasure, love, and duty,
'Tis often contradiction, pain and sorrow.
How like the brutes man acts, without a plan.
A little jarring,
Far from marring,
Enhances love—like man and wife.
Freethinkers thus, in self-opinion strong,
Deny whatever is above their reach.
His eyes seem'd almost sunk within his head.
Our rights and liberties, all trampled on,
Extinct our commerce, and our riches gone,
In vain we stretch our suppliant hands,
Where av'rice calls, and power commands.
Rome is a nest of luxury and vice;
Corruption, brib'ry, adulation,
Of all your venal posts the sordid price,
And only steps to each high station.
Long Fellow's Masque of Pandora and Other Poems.
The following lines are the chief beauties; they embody the only thoughts worthy of preservation and retention in the storehouse of memory:—
1. O fortunate, O happy day,
When a new household finds its place
Among the myriad homes of earth.
2. A conversation in his eyes;
The golden silence of the Greek,
The gravest wisdom of the wise,
Not spoken in language, but in looks,
More legible than printed books,
As if he could but would not speak.
3. Maidens within whose tender breasts
A thousand restless hopes and fears,
Forth reaching to the coming years,
Flutter awhile, then quiet lie,
Like timid birds that fain would fly,
But do not dare to leave their nests.
4. Study yourselves; and most of all note well
Wherein kind Nature meant you to excel.
5. Better like Hector in the field to die,
Than like a perfumed Paris turn and fly.
6. The scholar and the world! The endless strife,
The discord in the harmonies of life!
The love of learning, the sequestered nooks,
And all the sweet serenity of books;
The market-place, the eager love of gain,
Whose aim is vanity, and whose end is pain!
7. Cato learned Greek at eighty; Sophocles
Wrote his grand Œdipus, and Simonides
Bore off the prize of verse from his compeers,
When each had numbered more than four score years,
And Theophrastus, at four score and ten,
Had but begun his characters of men.
Chaucer, at Woodstock with the nightingales,
At sixty wrote the Canterbury tales;
Goethe at Weimar, toiling to the last,
Completed Faust when eighty years were past.
8. His was the troubled life,
The conflict and the pain,
The grief, the bitterness of strife,
The honour without stain.
So when a great man dies,
For years beyond our ken,
The light he leaves behind him lies
Upon the paths of men.
9. The hills sweep upward from the shore,
With villas scattered one by one
Upon their wooded spurs.
10. The pen became like a Clarion, and his school
Flamed like a beacon in the midnight air.
11. The plaudits of the crowd
Are but the clatter of feet
At midnight in the street,
Hollow and restless and loud.
12. Be not like a stream that brawls
Loud with shallow waterfalls,
But in quiet, self-control
Link together soul and soul.
page 8 13. Thus her hair
Was cinctured; thus her floating drapery
Was like a cloud about her, and her face
Was radiant with the sunshine and the sea.
The gods shall shower on her their benefactions,
She shall possess all gifts: the gift of song,
The gift of eloquence, the gift of beauty,
The fascination and the nameless charm
That shall lead all men captive.
Beautiful in form and feature,
O sweet, pale face! O lovely eyes of azure,
Clear as the waters of a brook that run
Limped and laughing in the summer sun!
O golden hair that like a miser's treasure
In its abundance overflows the measure!
Dowered with all celestial gifts,
Skilled in every art
That ennobles and uplifts
And delights the heart.
14. Who thinks of marrying hath already taken
One step upon the road to penitence.
15. This divine being, to be thy companion,
And bring into thy melancholy house
The sunshine and the fragrance of her youth.
16. I need them not. I have within myself
All that my heart desires; the ideal beauty
Which the creative faculty of mind
Fashions and follows in a thousand shapes
More lovely than the real. My own thoughts
Are my companions; my designs and labours
And aspirations are my only friends.
17. The silence and the solitude of thought,
The endless bitterness of unbelief,
The loneliness of existence without love.
18. How the Titan, the defiant,
The self-centred, self-reliant,
Wrapped in visions and illusions,
Robs himself of life's best gifts!
19. They face is fair;
There is a wonder in thine azure eyes
That fascinates me. Thy whole presence seems
A soft desire, a breathing thought of love.
Swifter than Eros' arrows were thine eyes
In wounding me. There was no moment's space
Between my seeing thee and loving thee.
20. I feel thy power
Envelope me, and wrap my soul and sense,
In an Elysian dream.
21. How beautiful are all things round about me,
Multiplied by the mirrors on the walls!
22. The garden walks are pleasant at this hour.
23. With useless endeavour,
Is Sisyphus rolling
His stone up the mountain!
Immersed in the fountain,
Tantalus tastes not
The waters that waste not!
Through ages increasing,
The pangs that afflict him,
With motion unceasing
The wheel of Ixion
page 9 Shall torture its victim!
24. Make not thyself the slave of any woman.
25. Assert thyself; rise up to thy full height.
Shake from thy soul these dreams effeminate,
These passions, born of indolence and ease.
Resolve and thou art free. But breathe the air
Of mountains, and their unapproachable summits,
Will lift thee to the level of themselves.
26. My feet are weary, wandering to and fro,
My eyes with seeing and my heart with waiting.
27. To build a new life on a mined life,
To make the future fairer than the past,
And make the past appear a troubled dream.
28. Only through punishment of our evil deeds,
Only through suffering, are we re-conciled
To the immortal gods and to ourselves.
29. Never shall souls like these
Escape the Eumenides,
The daughters dark of Acheron and Night!
Unquenched our torches glare,
Our scourges in the air
Send forth prophetic sounds before They smite.
Never by lapse of time
The soul defaced by crime
Into its fonner self returns again;
For every guilty deed
Holds in itself the seed
Of retribution and undying pain.
Never shall be the loss
Restored, till Helios
Hath purified them with his heavenly fires;
Then what was lost is won,
And the new life begun,
Kindled with nobler passions and desires.
Stanhope's Thomas A'Kempis.
This is truly a great and good book, redolent of piety and learning:—
The proud in spirit is like a troubled sea, perpetually tossed and driven by the fierce commotions of anger, emulation, envy and disdain, which never suffers him to be easy and composed.
Adversity does not make virtue or vice, but exert and draw them into practice; it does not change the man from what he is, but only discover what he really is.
Our sensual affections invite and entice us, but when the moment of gratifying that inclination is once over, what have you got by the bargain, but serious remorse, and an unsettled temper of mind? He that goes out full of satisfaction, often returns as full of melancholy and disgust; and many a merry evening occasions a sad morning. Thus all the pleasures of sense caress and court us at the first meeting, but at their parting leave a sting behind, and gall our hearts with sharp and killing pains.
When a man's mind is inflamed with a truly religious zeal, this world appears not only flat and insipid, but very bitter and loathsome to him.
The more a man desires and labours to be like God, the less agreeable relish he hath of life; because he is so much more sensible, more thoroughly convinced of the frailty and corruption of human nature.
He who is proof against the fear page 10 of God cannot persevere in anything that is good; as having no manner of principle that can save him, no curb upon his mind that can awe, or hold him in, from running headlong into the snares of the devil. Was the Son of God a scorn of men, and an outcast of the people? Was the King of Heaven reduced to wants and necessities upon earth, and had not so much as where to lay his head?
Hell dwells in that man's breast, who hath a guilty and polluted conscience.
Censoriousness and Christian piety can never dwell together.
The mind, which does not converse with itself, is an idle wanderer, and all the learning in the world is fruitless and misemployed, whilst in the midst of his boasted knowledge, a man continues in profound ignorance of that, which in point both of duty and advantage, he is most concerned to know.
The greatness of men's deserts is most eminently discovered, by a modest and mean opinion of themselves, courtesy and condescension to others, gratitude and devotion towards God.
After all the complaints of outward accidents, the true original ground of all disquiet is within; for inordinate affections, and vain fears, are the polluted fountain whence those bitter streams of discontent, and perplexed thoughts, and every confusion and disorder of a troubled mind, flow.
Despise the insinuations of flatterers, and meekly receive the contradiction and reproaches of gainsayers and slanderers.
Too many instances there are of daring men, who, by presuming to sound the deep things of religion, have cavilled and argued themselves out of all religion.
Faith and charity are the two pillars upon which Christianity stands; the two governing principles of a good man's opinions and actions. If the works of God were such, as human reason could penetrate with ease, they would lose great part of their glory. We should abate of our awe and veneration for their author, if his dealings were not above the power of our tongues to express, and the utmost extent of our imaginations to conceive.
Thomas A'Kempis' Imitation of Christ will shine forth, while sun and moon endure! It is too grand for the colonial mind to relish.
The heathens expressed and worshipped everything under the name of a God, as the God of Sleep, of Music, of Eloquence, &c. They had about 30,000 gods.
The Alcoran is a Rhapsody of stuff without head or tail; one would think written by a madman, &c. A system of the old Arianism ill-digested and worse put together, with amixture of some Heathenism and Judaism. Mahometanism—one of the heresies of Christianity. The Deists are against all Revelation. They go only upon bare nature, and what our reason dictates to us.
The world is a strong man, and till a stronger than he come (that is, the full persuasion of the future State) he will keep possession.
Plato's divine man must be poor and void of all recommendation but that of virtue alone. That a page 11 wicked world would not bear his instructions and reproof, and therefore within three or four years after he began to preach, he should be persecuted, imprisioned, scourged and at last put to death.
Leslie's short method contains some good points of argument amid much superstition. Much unconscious sophistry, and little of rational argumentation.
Father Gavazzl's Orations.
Virulent denunciations of Popery—"that imposture that paralyzes while it degrades—that night hag—incubus—vampire combined in one abominable compound of monstrous deformity—the soul-destroying and mind-debasing and infidel-creating system—a loathsome aggregate of abominable imposture."
This is a great and glorious book—a living commentary on the grand old Hebrew Lyrics of the soul. The following utterances are samples of Luther's style:—
I feel my deficiency in moderation. I have not command over my own mind: I am carried away from myself, as it were, by a certain vehement zeal of spirit. Human reason cannot imagine that sin is accompanied with such great and infinite guilt before God, and with a guilt that no human powers nor works can wash away. What are all the sermons and exhortations of the apostles, but the most terrible battles and conflicts against sin, death, the devil, hell, and all the unrighteousness and wisdom of the world? By the gospel is given to us the knowledge of the counsel and will of God; in what manner God is pacified; how we are delivered from sin, from the power of the devil, and from eternal death; which things neither the law, nor any human philosophy, could teach. Our bishops and priests are move profane than all heathen nations put together.
Thomas Gordon Hake's "New Symbols."
Who now stands by with bosom-veiling hair
Whose sentient tresses ripple as as they hide
The noble blush that says her face is fair?
Is this philosophy
That doubts the more the nearer to the end?
Is this how the philosopher should die,
Still dubious if the soul may live again
Or with the dead incurious remain?
In youth when a beloved maiden's glance
Could overbrim the present with content.
A poem based on a superstitious idea. It is perfectly worthless.
Thou hast hallowed thy child for a blameless blood
Offering, and ransomed thy race by thy deed.
Ill thoughts breed fear, and fear ill words; but these
The gods turn from us that have kept their law.
And a cry goes up from the ghost of an ill deed done,
And a curse for a virgin slain.
That Athens—or any city could be ransomed from guilt and des- page 12 truction by blood is a superstitious notion. Swinburne is a madman.
Hurd's Dialogues, Moral and Political.
The ruling principle of philosophy is to make the best of every situation. Not a sullen and inflexible sincerity; but a fair and reasonable accommodation of one-self to the various exigencies of the times, is the golden virtue that ought to predominate in a man of life and business.
Your eyes sparkled defiance and contradiction to my argument.
Even in my earliest years at school, you will hardly imagine how uneasy constraint of every kind was to me, and with what delight I broke away from the customary sports and pastimes of that age, to saunter the time away by myself, or with a companion, if I could meet with any such, of my own humour.
I found this gilded life, at court, empty, fallacious, and even disgusting—where the only object, that all men are in quest of, is gain, and the only deity they acknowledge, fortune.
Cultivate every flower of humanity, every elegance of art and genius. The rays of sacred opinion are the real strength as well as gilding of a crown.
These dialogues are truly excellent food and wine for strong men.
Browning's Inn Album.
This last work of Browning's is, like all his other books, a tissue of obscure, quasi-metaphysical rhapsody. Browning is verily, no poet.
I've heard, great characters require a fall
Of fortune to show greatness by uprise:
They touch the ground to jollily rebound.
So as world-repute
Preceded the illustrious stranger.
What I am, what I am not, in the the eye
Of the world, is what I never cared for much.
Lamartine's Celebrated Characters.
|1.||History is the religion of memory—as poetry is the religion of imagination. It exhibits Providence in retribution, and in the unfailing reward of good and evil. It developes conscience.|
|2.||The inspiration of the genius of dramatic expression.|
|3.||Lady Hamilton was an ideal and real statue of living nature. Their passion was instantaneously reciprocal. When the heart is affected the hand trembles. Absence added melancholy to his intoxication, by concentrating the image of this all-conquering beauty in his heart. A syren restrained him within the chain of her seductions.|
|4.||Piety—the grandeur of humanity and the true basis of genuine heroism.|
|5.||He was ever present to the eyes, ears, hearts of the women who had seen him, or had even heard his name pronounced.|
|6.||Divided between love and fame. Love combated against his genius.|
|7.||In momentous enterprises, no time must be given to men for reflection, and no opportunity for repentance.|
|8.||Isolation or distant bearing is observable in superior men who page 13 overawe the minds of men. The man, who possesses what he loves, easily forgets glory.|
|9.||A paradise, full of beauty and redolent of perfumes. The rose ceases not to bloom in its gardens. The air is sweet, the earth is painted with flowers.|
|10.||The heart, eager for combat, flamed like a consuming fire.|
|11.||All must pass through the gate which never re-opens to suffer their return.|
|12.||A colossus of strength and a lion of courage and a generous and tender disposition.|
|13.||Eyes overflowing with indignation and mouths quivering with curses.|
|14.||Whatever is greater than degenerate man, is elevated into God.|
|15.||Cicero's 12 orations called Philippics form the longest and most sublime declamation of anger that has ever resounded amongst men.|
|16.||Coriolanus—who had formerly brought the Volscians to Rome, had done nothing more monstrous, and he had at least the excuse of vengeance upon those who had banished him from his own land. Cesar's only cause of vengeance was the honour and power he had received from Rome; yet history has stigmatised Coriolanus, and deified Cesar. Such is the justice of men without reflection, who judge of the morality of events by their success.|
Shakespeare translates nature instead of following sacred legends. Christianity is the philosophy of grief. A true epic is not to be constructed from poetical machinery, but from natural sentiments. Providence provided, in the case of Milton, in the tenderness of woman a sweet and holy compensation for the neglect and ingratitude of the world. Imagination and piety, the two eternal springs of youth in man. As ages roll on, Milton will decline, and Shakespeare advance, because the former imitated, while the latter created. A single scene of Romeo and Juliet reveals more soul, and draws more tears, than the whole of Paradise Lost. If any future poet is seized with the ambition of writing an Epic poem, he must look for his subject in the recesses of the human heart. True poetry runs through the streets, but poets seek it in the clouds. Severe economy is the virtue and vice of those who enrich themselves by labour. Love and fame—the dream of youth.
The future only progresses by trampling underfoot the past. It is by treason that heroism, virtue, and genius are overcome. Cromwell was a fanatic—not a hypocrite. In the same voice we recognise Tiberius, Mahomet, a soldier, a tyrant, a patriot, a priest and a madman. A word uttered or repeated in any spot on the globe may enlighten or blast the universe.
It is the privilege of great minds to elevate others to their own standards, and to inspire as well as perform noble actions.
These two celebrated volumes are the sublime emanations of a truly celebrated man in heroical laudation of really celebrated personages. They warm the heart, energise the limbs, elevate the imagination, and breathe the flames of patriotism, ambition, devotion, truth and love.
Thoughts for the Times.
This is another excellent and suggestive book from the pen of page 14 Haweis, the Rationalistic Pastor of the Anglican Church, London.
God is the stream of tendency by which all things fulfil the law of their being.
God is the enduring Power which makes for righteousness. God is a sympathetic power. These three elements constitute the scientific—moral and religious aspects of Deity. If there is a physical law in the world from which I argue that God must have points of contact with matter in His character of a stream of tendency—if there is a moral law pointing to a divine order or arrangement of moral qualities according to a Power which makes for righteousness, may I not go a step further, and point to the affectional regions of life as indicating an affectional and sympathetic element in God 1 Christianity is a type of life—an influence, an enthusiasm of love, of humanity.
Definitions of right and wrong differ in different countries and different ages; but it is not true that there is any substantial difference about the broad principles of right and wrong. The Stoics taught men to be indifferent to pleasure and pain—a grand theory, but it left out the heart. Epicurus taught men to live only for pleasure and flee pain (which was wise in practice) but he left out God. The Academics were neither wise nor grand, their best philosophy was to prove that previous philosophers meant nothing—if not scepticism. Christianity has a settled ideal of excellence. It has also heat as well as light—which Judaism had not.
Christ taught not only the precept, but he showed the practice of an universal love. Inward as well as outward purity lie taught, unlike Socrates, Aristotle, or Plato. The Trinity in unity—we think of the Father as a creative manifestation—of the Son as an incarnate manifestation—of the Holy Ghost as an inspirational manifestation.
Original Sin—As tendencies are inherited from the past—so tendencies are transmitted to the future. Turn the light of truth—the lamp of truth upon the bible. God, divine communion, ideal life of a divine Saviour—there is a basis of doctrine and of action for us all. Meet on these certain broad grounds.
Christianity has survived many shocks. It has survived the meta-physical speculations of the Alexandrian school and the subtleties of a mongrel Greek and Asian philosophy, &c.
These fourteen volumes present us with a magnificent theological armoury in defence of the Christian religion. The ten sermons on the Evidences—if read intelligently to an audience—might do more service to Faith than all the incoherent ravings of professional mountebanks in these singularly illiterate colonies. The scholars of the 17th century, and even those of the 18th, were philosophical divines. Their utterances were oracular. The following are some of the eloquent Archbishop's thoughts on religion:—
The scholars of the 17th century were philosophical divines. Their utterances are oracular—e.g., in former ages of the world, God revealed his will to particular persons in an extraordinary manner, page 15 and more particularly to the Nation of the Jews, the rest of the world being in a great measure left to the conduct of Natural Light. But in these later ages He hath made a public revelation of His will by His Son.
The gospel hath set men free from the obligation of the Moral Law—this is the fundamental and avowed principle of the Antinomian doctrine—that Christ hath purchased for them a liberty to do what they will, and that upon these terms, and no others, they are secure of the favour of God in this world and eternal salvation in the other. This is the sum and the plain result of the Antinomian doctrine, the most pernicious heresy, and most directly destructive of the great end and design of Christianity, that ever yet was preached in the world. Clear revelation of a future judgment was that which made the gospel .so proper and powerful an instrument for the salvation of men. The great blessing of the forgiveness of sins was never sufficiently declared and assured to mankind, but through Jesus Christ in the Gospel.
Pelagianism says that of ourselves we can repent and turn to God, without the necessity of God's grace and the necessity of our co-operating with the grace of God. According to the terms of the Gospel and the Christian religion, the real renovation of our hearts and lives is the great condition of our justification and acceptance with God.
The philosophers were fooled with their own reasonings, in those great arguments of the Being and Providence of God, the immortality of the soul and the rewards of another world, had lost the truth by too much subtlety about it and had disputed themselves into doubt and uncertainty about those things which were naturally known. The philosophy of the heathen gave men no steady assurance of a future state. They had only some fair probabilities of reason and the authority of the poets, who talked they knew not what about the Elysian fields, and the Infernal regions, and the three judges of hell. They, in short, did not dogmatise on what at best they only surmised as fond dreams of heated imagination. Ixion's wheel, Sysiphus' stone, Tantalus' thirst, Posmetheus' chain and vulture, liver and rock, they looked upon these as fantastical representations of something that was real, viz., the grievous and endless punishment of sinners, the not to be endured, and yet perpetually renewed torments of another world.
Honour and greatness, power and authority over others, especially when men are suddenly lifted up, and from a low condition, are apt to transport men to pride and insolency towards others. Power is a strong liquor which does easily intoxicate weak minds, and make them apt to say and do indecent things. It is certain, if there were no devil, many would be wicked, and perhaps not much less wicked than they are.
Did actually fire come out or the foundations and destroy the workmen, when it was attempted, three several times, to rebuild the temple? Christian writers say so: as well as Ammianus Marcellinus, the heathen historian.page 16
That God was not to be appeased towards sinners, merely upon their repentance, without the death and suffering of some other one in their stead, and that God would accept of this vicarious punishment and suffering, instead of the death of the sinner himself: that God was not to be immediately approached by sinful man—these ancient notions are the basis of Judaism and Christianism. Hence sacrifices and mediators, under the Old, and a sacrifice and mediator under the New Testament. This is the method of our redemption, as it was by the wisdom of God admirably suited to the common apprehensions of mankind, concerning the necessity of a sacrifice to make expiation of sin, and of a mediator to intercede with God for sinners. It cannot be made to appear, that there were any prayers to Saints, in the public offices of the Church, till towards the end of the eighth century.
The better the man is, so much the more conspicuous are his faults. Every man that hath any spark of generosity in him, is desirous of fame. Death removes and takes away the chief obstacle of a good man's reputation. Death hath put him out of the reach of malice and envy, his worth and example do now no longer stand in other men's light. He that hath no regard to his fame, is lost to all purposes of virtue and goodness. When a man is once come to this, not to care what others say of him, the next step is, to have no care what himself does. Quod conscientia est apud deum, id fama est apud homines, what conscience is in respect of God, that is fame in respect of men.
The very best of the saints, so disguised by their legends, that instead of the substantial virtues of a good life, their story is made up of false and fantastical miracles, and ridiculous freaks of superstition. Caraculla hated all good men, whilst they were alive, yet he would pretend to honour them when they were dead. How great a sin they are guilty of, who persecute the righteous, and how terrible a vengeance from God waits on them.
The Epicureans attribute nothing but eternity and happiness to God. Happiness without goodness is impossible. Their notion of a Deity was that of an idle Being, that neither does good nor evil. He had no regard to anything without himself; neither gave being to other things, nor concerned himself in the happiness or misery of any of them.
The Stoic philosophers do blasphemously advance their wise and virtuous man above God himself, for a wise man is good out of choice, but God out of necessity.
Epictetus says that the brute beasts being made for the service of man, they ought to be furnished with those things, that they may be always in readiness to serve their Lord and master; a plain evidence that they were made to serve man, and not man to serve them. Epictetus doth very ingeniously argue that the creatures below man, have all things in a readiness, nature having provided for them meals, drink, and lodging, so that they have no absolute need that any should build houses, or make clothes, or store up provisions, or prepare or dress meat for them.