Imágenes de páginas

and can

Good Providence, on no harsh purpose fellows. It tells us that we are to culbent,

tivate reason and test our faith by her Has brought thee there, to lead thee laws—not that we may in all sincerity back again.

build up a pure temple to truth in the No other bondage is upon thee cast

soul, but that we may learn to distinSave that wrought out by thine own

guish the shibboleth of one sect from erring hand;

the shibboleth of another sect. By thine own act, alone, thine image gion, as it is taught, is thus a matter of

Reliplaced Poorest or President choose thou to grammar, or history, or chronology, or stand."

the art of dress—anything but a matter

of philosophy. Man ceases to be a We have not yet reached that degree practical man when he enters his of social perfection. Many a weary church. In his counting-house he is day's work for the friends of philan- inquisitive of all that is new, thropy lies between.

Much work of detect a false bale of goods from a the poor man has that blessed steam- genuine one ; he does not keep up this engine to do yet before he can walk juggle of appearances with his lawyer erect in Heaven's open air.

or his physician. He falls into conThe Scholar gets little sympathy, ventionalisms enough, but in no other with his “ dull dead books.” If they instance within our knowledge does he are to him “dull dead books," he cer

so voluntarily run into them as in some tainly deserves none. In the Scholar, spiritual matters. His soul is not eduour author fails entirely. He evidently cated, his charity is not sincere, his takes the word in a sense altogether judgment is enfeebled, his tastes are narrow and mean.

low, the heart and head are divorced. We pass to the Preacher-a prolific Whence comes this evil, this difference? topic-on which we are tempted to External life, the relations of man with pause for a few words, though we can the laws of space and matter, the nebarely allow our pen to touch glancing- cessities of the new century, have outly on it as we pass.

run his spiritual condition. It is true, Religion, does she catch her spirit we believe, that the Church has adapta from the living man, or in inglorious ed herself in different periods to the content mumble idly the lesson she has actual condition of the people. In an learnt by rote of the past ? With what illiterate age, when the popular mind are our pulpits filled? What are the was uneducated and sluggish, she arwords that come to us from the sacred rested the attention of peasants and place? We worship in splendid houses laborers by simple and ingenious stories —but Holy Writ has taught us we may that are to us now mere romances and gild the tombs of the prophets whom jest books. Such, in the thirteenth our fathers slew, and yet be the sons, century, were the fables of the Gesta in the very likeness of those destroyers. Romanorum, the text book of monkish Is the Christianity of the present day serinon-writing. A period of increastrue to the Christianity of the Bible ? ing light came, and Erasmus laughed We read in the sacred volume that it is at these childish legends. They were a religion of sacrifice, that the fate of not ridiculous when they were first its followers is suffering and martyr- spoken. Christianity subsequently emdom, that its spirit is Reform, uncom- braced learning, till the fine-spun logic promising hatred to all wrong, love and of casuists and doctors of cases of conardent pursuit of all good ; and what is science dwindled into the division of its practice now? Why it misinter- texts to the very letters of the alphaprets its lesson ; it quibbles even in the bet. The humorous Echard, in his sacred desk; it tells us that its suffering treatise on the Contempt of the Clergy, is not for good in battle with evil, but brushed away these cobwebs with his it is the acquiescence of evil; that its cap of bells. Ease and elegant periquiet is not the quiet of man vexed by ods afterward occupied the pulpit, but social wrong and injustice, the quiet these grew too light for the awakening poured over the troubled soul crying seriousness of the public mind, and out for knowledge ;-no, the quiet is for Methodism brought forward the evanrich men, sitting on well-stuffed velvet gelical school, of whose sermons it has cushions, not to vex their righteous been remarked there is but one type. ouls over-much for the disquiet of their With trifling variations, this school now


fills the pulpit. But it preaches. no with this life ; for the clergy too, are longer with its old authority. Its ter men, as well as the laity, and will derors are neglected or enforced with mand sincerity. We cheerfully adopt lukewarmness. Happy indeed if it our author's appeal to them: thus abandon its reign of terror; hap

“ Withered be he, the false one of the pier yet if it would embrace in all its

brood, extent the law of love. Its old mis

Who, husbandman of evil, scatters sionary arguments are somewhat weak

strise, ened upon the ear. We even hear Brambling and harsh upon the field of 'from orthodox divines of the salvability life : of the heathen. Christianity is not the But deeper cursed whose secret hand living principle of the state. Where Plucks on to doom the saleguards of the is Puritanism? What is Puseyism but Jand, the admission of the need of a new ele

Freedom, and civil forms and sacred ment? But the world does not go back

Rights or seek in the wardrobe of the past save

That conscience owns : he, consciencefor an occasional masquerade. Nulla His voice 'gainst these, should sheer-down

stung, who plights vestigia retrorsum, is its motto. So

fall ciety asks and obtains in its minor lite- From off the glory of the temple-wall, rature, in the tale and the song, a Smitten by God as false to truth and love recognition of its new ideas. The And all the sacred links that bind the lightest miscellanies are full of thoughts heavens above of man and his social relations, of the And man beneath : a withered Paul, economy of the state, of the welfare of Apostleless, beyond recall ! sick and poor brethren, of man's infinite hopes and energies, of his earnest “ Rather with blessings and the bonds of world-work-what does he hear of life, these things in our orthodox pulpits ? Let Heaven's good workmen bind toThink you, Christianity, such as

gether have as yet had it, has received into its The house that roofs us on this dear, dear preaching all that Christ taught ? Why,

plot of earth,

An arbor in the genial sun, it will tell you of the divine right of almost every wrong the devil has ever Kindly and loving brethren every one,

A stronghold in the tyrannous weather : sent upon the earth, and offer up thanks

All equal-all alike who thither tend, giving for the bloody triumphs of war.

Where all may dwell together without Its motto on its banner is the field is

end the world," and it will give thanks for And as our course must be, so let it be a victory and the destruction of the begun. sheep of its fold. With short-sighted weakness it will decide irrevocably “But shrink not, therefore, from the cow. upon the error of man, and taking to itself the power of God alone over That shows, in mockery shows, its hidhuman life, will stand by the execu

eous face at times, tioner and bid him tighten the rope

And crosses with its cursed din the about the neck of a living human be

very sabbath-chimes; ing.

O, smite and buffet with a holy rage There is nothing destructive in these

Its brassy cheeks and brow of icy coldviews, nought by which Christianity

Dash and confound it with the storm. may be impaired. Heaven forbid. It

cloud's boldness remains the same to-day, and forever

That frowns and speaks till every house-the one final deliverance of the hu roof trembles, man race; but in arguing for the ad And face to face no more dissembles mission of a new preaching that shall The God-fear coiled within the crusted welcome the sound humanitarian phi

heart ! losophy of the day, (Christianity, we Brandish the truth and let its fourmay be sure, can never be at variance edged dart with such,) we ask only that this

Cut to the quick, and, cut through preaching may have more life, be more every armor freely received and glorified in the

Unbosom to the light the Satan-charmer! hearts and lives of men. And the “Ye holy Voices sphered in middle air ! world will have Christianity preached Lower than angels, nor as they so fair,

ard age,


Yet quiring God's behest with truth and on the whole one that deserves to be power

welcomed with favor and friendly enPitch your blest speech, or high or low, couragement, by the public to which That angels may its language own and the nationality of its appeal peculiarly know,

addresses itself. It has in every resThrough the round Heaven to which it

pect raised our appreciation of its ayrises, And ever on the earth may fall in glad is by far

the most complete and satis

thor's literary powers and promise. It surprizes, The spring-sweet music of a su

factory book he has yet produced. It shower.

dden is the most under the control of his Heaven shall bless thee and the earth judgment. The fetters of rhyme have shall bless,

proved a wholesome restraint upon an And up through the close, dark death- exuberance that has often with him hour thou shalt spring

outrun, in grotesque and incomplete With fragrant parting, and heaven-cleav- irregularity of movement, the minds ing wing

of his readers; and there is much less To ask, nor ask in vain, thy Christ's that jars upon the tasteful sense of the caress!”

intelligent reader. It must be con

fessed, indeed, that Mr. Mathews wears The Poet is the subject of the con- these same fetters of rhyme and rhythm cluding poem in the volume before us very loosely and impatiently, shaking -(but why has he omitted all allusion them about him sometimes with rather to Womankind ?)—as concentrating in harsh discord of sound, in a very re-himself the representation and embodi- bellious fashion to those laws of verse ment of all the manifold phases of hu- which have not been disdained by some manity of which it treats-as

tolerable poets who have not disgraced

the language. We should have been “ The mighty heart that holds the world well pleased if he had worn them with at full,

a little more respect and docility ; nor Lodging in one embrace the father and would the poetry of the volume have the child,

suffered by the lengthened labor and The toiler, reaper, sufferer, rough or mild, more studied care, which might have All kin of earth.”

been thus required of him. Had we

indeed seen them before their appearAnd he is thus apostrophized :

ance in print, we should have advised

the author to devote many a midnight, “Gather all kindreds of this boundless many a morning hour, to the duty of realm

improvement and polish. They have To speak a common tongue in thee!

a great deal of excellent, sweet, and Be thouHeart, pulse and voice, whether pent hate nutritive saccharine matter, but the o'erwhelm

process of clarification is yet incomThe stormy speech or young love whis- ties with his reader and with his lan

plete. Mr. Mathews takes more liberCheer them, immitigable battle-drum!' guage than so young a writer-than Forth, truth-mailed to the old uncon- any writer-is entitled to take. It is quered field

evident that most of the poems have And lure them gently to a laurelled home, been struck off in very rapid and off

In notes softer than lutes or viols yield. hand haste; so that we see great beauFill all the stops of life with tuneful ties left disfigured with great defects. breath,

Side by side with rich and noble *Closing their lids, bestow a dirge-like thoughts, set, like apples of gold in death!”

vessels of silver, in fine passages of

poetical language, obscurities, turgidiWe have now run over each of the ties, forced and far-fetched exprestopics of Mr. Mathews's volume, and sions, taxing the mind of the reader set fairly forth a general view of its who endeavors to comprehend their contents. As it is very uniform in its meaning and bearing, to efforts not alstyle and strain, the liberal extracts ways adequately rewarded—are far we have made will suffice to enable more frequent than they ought to be ; every reader to form his own judgment to say nothing of metrical sins, sins of alike of its merits and its faults. It is extreme carelessness,-though they

per low.

sometimes have a less pardonable air monthly temptation of the Magazines, of design, which would then make even though it. be the Democratic. them affectations, deserving less gentle Nor is the publication of a collected rebuke. A young poet should not for volume necessarily ipso facto a sure get that iron requires to be hammered passport to the summit of hard and long, as well as simply heated

“ The height where Fame's proud temple in the glowing furnace of excited

shines afar.” thought, or else it is apt to be full of cracks and flaws, and particles of worth Bryant, we may hint in passing, less dust. This lesson is the more neces writes slowly and little. Like the prosary to a temperament of sanguine, im- cess of distillation, it comes by drops, petuous exuberance, such as we con- but they are drops of diamond light, ceive to be that of the author of the pre- any one of which will far outvalue an sent volume. It is not everything we ocean of that muddy fluency which is write that we ought to print ; or even to

so easy

And there have been penkeep, for any other purpose than the peri- men who could transcribe within the odical bonfires which most young men

surface of a thumb-nail all that Halwho know how to write have to kindle leck has ever published. now-a-days. To borrow a very unpoeti It is our very appreciation of Mr. cal illustration from a process we have Mathews's capabilities that prompts us had frequent occasion to watch during to urge upon him with a friendly frankthe rustication of the past summer, (on ness and earnestness, a special attenwhose grave we beg to be allowed to tion to the general hint thus addressed drop a passing tear)—when the oyster- to several of our young friends, whom rake is struck down and then brought it is unnecessary to go out of our way up to the surface, however rich the bed to specify. He can, and yet will, do may be, it is not all the contents of its fine things-but he must use the inverted capacious prongs that are worth keep- end of his stylus far more freely than ing—nay, sometimes there will be little he has hitherto done. He must not else than the mud, stones and sea- shrink from the maternal bear's labor weed. The boat will soon be loaded of licking her own young into improved indeed, if these are all taken in,—but shape-nor even from Saturn's still the most experienced fishermen prefer more severe treatment of his progeny. to drop them quietly back again. We We have no doubt that this was the are speaking now for the benefit of process performed by the Sibyl upon several of our younger poets, and not the nine books which she brought back, of Mr. Mathews in particular-Hear first in six, and then in three volumes ye! hear ye! hear ye! Do not so she was re-writing them in the interpartake of the universal national hurry. val; and this we take to be the true Do not be so impatient, young gentle- moral of the legend, or at least its best. men, to wake up the next morning and Her only mistake was in not charging find yourselves famous. Testinate lente. a triple price with the triple condensaMore haste, less speed. Beware of the tion.


"Sleep on, my love, in thy cold bed,
Never to be disquieted.

Henry King,* on the death of his wife.

She sleeps beneath the sod,
Watched by the eyes of God,

Till the last trump shall sound.
On earth though lonely now
My weary aching brow,

My heart is under ground.
• Henry King, Bishop of Chichester, 1591-1669.

Desire and passion cling,
As to a sacred thing,

Around her buried head;
Our life's intensity
Is well nigh lost to me,

Thus living with the dead.

Only the mourning air
Kisseth her temple fair,

And stirreth from its rest
The ringlet falling low,
That drifted with the snow

Of her upheaving breast.

The cold night clasps her oft,
There falls the moonlight soft,

There sorrowing I weep, —
Alas! for the closed eyes,
That look no sweet replies,

To the fond love we keep!

My thoughts ungathered lie,
That would not droop and die,

If she were bending near.
Strange the heart's dreams should be
So slight and shadowy,

In their fulfilment here !

The pleasant toils of girls,
That wreath their clustering curls,

For me to murmur praise,
Are welcome to my sight,
Recalling the glad light

That shone on other days.

They wile the lifeless hours,
They bring the early flowers

I strew upon her grave,
The flowers to chide its gloom,
Ere death should claim their bloom,

With the lost love I crave.

It will be hard to turn
Back to the world, and learn

Only her form to see
Within my faithful heart,
Until I too shall part

With this mortality.

It will be hard to miss
My life's accustomed bliss,

That lightened every breath ;
But grief will bear me soon
Where all my joy is gone,

With her to sleep in death.

A. S. M.

New York.

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