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The following remarks on “manner," as the common phrase is, we believe to be essentially correct, as they are certainly felicitous in the expression. Archbishop Whately, at least, will corroborate them.
“ All rules are dead; 't is from the heart you
“ Some gentle souls to gay indifference true,
Nor hope, nor sear, nor think the more for you,” remind us of the uncivil observation of John Wesley, —“Oh, how hard it is to be shallow enough for a polite audience !”
The following passage from the piece entitled, “On listening to the Vibrations of a Clock,” is much in the manner of Young.
“How the past moment dies, and throbs no more !
What worlds of parts compose the rolling hour!
Cease, man, to lavish sums thou ne'er hast told !
Angels, though deathless, dare not be so bold.” The poetical paraphrase of the words, “ She that liveth in pleasure, is dead while she liveth,” is very powerfully conceived and uttered. As has been said on another occasion, it is “indeed poetry by the mere force of truth.” Some persons, whose eyes will rest on the lines we shall quote, may possibly peruse therein the phenomena of their own consciousness. And if they do this in the spirit in which it ought to be done, they may experience wholesome pangs of soul, analogous to those which are said to attend the return of palsied bodies to life. May they, in like manner, prove to them the sign and promise of awaking spiritual sensibility !
The movement of the opening lines will remind the reader of a well-known passage in the letter of “ Eloisa to Abelard.”
“How hapless is th' applauded virgin's lot,
Her God forgetting, by her God forgot!
“A goddess here, she sees her votaries meet,
“For her, creation all its stores displays,
“Deep sunk in sense th' imprisoned soul remains,
A tone of sweet and confiding piety pervades the first Hymn. It was probably written after his spirit had found repose in the bosom of the “ Brethren.” We should like to see those parts of it which are not marred by any peculiarities of doctrine, in the hymn-books of our churches. We must confine our extracts to the following verses.
“ No, my dear Lord, in following thee,
This foot obedient moves;
'Tis with a Brother and a King,
Who ever lives and ever loves.
Drop off like autumn leaves;
My soul, which to thy sceptre cleaves.
And human thoughts forget;
Yet never leave my sweet retreat." There is a quick, stirring movement, in many of the hymns of the Methodists and Moravians, which we should be glad to see introduced into our more staid and precise religious assemblies. Some of these hymns, we are happy to notice, have actually found their way into the collections which have been lately made for public worship. It is not, we believe, a wholly strange phenomenon, that the slow and heavy progress of a long, long-metre tune is so sedative in its effects, that it proves to be little better, as an aid to devotional trains of thought, than a solemn lullaby. Might it not be well to intersperse among these “cantus somniseri,” as Virgil would call them, something a little less persuasive to repose ? The following short extract from the next Hymn of Gambold, may illustrate our meaning
“ O tell me no more
Of this world's vain store;
“My soul, don't delay,
He calls thee away!
“ No mortal doth know
What he can bestow,
Epitaph on Himself” contains some striking thoughts in condensed language.
“ Ask not who ended here his span?
His name, reproach, and praise was man.
He knew not here, but died to know.” And now we close and crown our poetical extracts with the whole of that short piece, which first directed our attention to Gambold. He who can read it without intense interest, without recognising in every line of its sad strain, the betokenings of his own spirit in its self-questioning moods, may be sure that he has, as yet, lived only in the lower part of his nature ; that there is still a world of slumbering thought and sentiment in his bosom, of which he has not the slightest conception ; and one which, if awaked, would give an unearthly, and hitherto unimagined interest to this present life, and lift his Godinspired soul to that brighter and better state, wbich "eye bath not seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man” fully “conceived.” It is one of those suggestive and prophetical strains of true poetry, like the “Lines written in a Church-yard,” attributed to a school-boy, and a few others, that the mind selects by a sort of elective affinity, which, when once read, are never afterwards forgotten, but are found hymning on as a vocal accompaniment to the soul in its thoughtful and antedating hours.
" THE MYSTERY OF LIFE.
And called these eyes and hands my own ;
And childhood have, and manhood known:
“ So many airy draughts and lines,
And warm excursions of the mind,
While practice grovelled far behind:
“ So many tender joys and woes
Have on my quivering soul had power ;
The boast or burden of their hour :
So many human souls divine,
So at one interview displayed,
In lasting bonds my heart have laid :
“So many wondrous gleams of light,
And gentle ardors from above,
Some moments on a throne of love :
"Ere long, when sovereign Wisdom wills,
My soul an unknown path shall tread,
This frame, and waft me to the dead :
The principal prose writings in the volume under review are
One is entitled “ Christianity Tidings of Joy,” and Mr. Erskine says of it, “ that it was preached at a time when the free grace of the gospel was not much known in England,” (that is, about the middle, probably, of the last century!) “and never did any uninspired sermon give a plainer or sweeter exhibition of it.” The other, on “ Religious Reverence,” he observes,"contains some striking thoughts, couched in most powerful phraseology.” As he gives no analysis or references in support of these assertions, our readers will estimate their value according to the confidence they place in Mr. Erskine's authority.
We quote one or two short passages, as being, in our opin