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that they should lay them beside those of his friend Nelson :-thus attesting, not only his assured hope of a joyful resurrection, but of a glad recognition also of him whom he had known and loved on earth.”
To a person who visited him he said, “ Mind your business, and take care of your family; but above all, see that you keep the love of God in your soul. Be firm; and let nothing for a moment lead you to think of giving up your class, or declining any exertion in behalf of the cause of God." To a young man, whom he believed to be called to the ministry, he said, “Do, my brother, be diligent; play the man; play the man.” Of his own experience and feelings, he remarked, " I rest in the atonement; I am hanging on the cross of Christ; this is my only hope.” To one of his colleagues he said, “ All is clear. I have had some success in my labors, but my happiness does not result from that, but from this : I have now hold of God. I am a very great sinner, and am saved by the wonderful love of God in Christ Jesus. I throw my person and my labors at his feet.”
When, on one occasion, Mrs. S. was speaking of his being about to be removed from her, he replied with solemn and tender emphasis, “ The widows and the fatherless in Israel are God's peculiar charge." At another time, observing her extreme emotion, he would not rest satisfied without a promise from her, that she would claim the special consolations promised to those in her circumstances.
One evening, when it was thought that he was about to enter into rest, she came to his bedside, and inquired, “ My dear, do you think the Lord is about to take you home?” “Not just yet, perhaps,” he replied. Then clasping his hands, and lifting up his eyes toward heaven, he exclaimed in the most impressive tone, “I commend to the care and protection of the Triune God, my dear wife. May she be supported and consoled. I commend to the same God my Ellen Hamer Smith,” and then proceeded to name all his dear little ones separately, and to place them thus solemnly under the charge of a faithful and merciful God. He continued, “ This body I give to be committed to the dust, in sure and certain hope of a joyful resurrection to eternal life, through our Lord Jesus Christ. This immortal spirit I commend into the hands of him who gave it.” He then appeared exhausted, but in a short time revived again.
The salvation of souls was almost constantly the subject of his meditation and intercession. One day, when he supposed himself alone, he was obviously engaged in fervent mental prayer; and at length he broke out, “Glory be unto our God! Glory be unto our God! What god can deliver like unto our God?" Then extending his arms, while his countenance was lighted up with joyful confidence, he exclaimed, “ Glory be to God! Sheffield circuit shall rise! Sheffield circuit shall rise! Sheffield circuit shall rise !"-a prediction which, during the last year, has been most happily fulfilled.
On Thursday, November 3, the Rev. Messrs. M'Lean and Holgate visited him, and while they engaged in prayer, a heavenly influence filled the room. The former, upon rising from his knees, exclaimed, “Glory be to God!" To this aspiration of praise Mr. S. whispered an
Amen,” which was the last articulate sound that he was heard to utter, It was the sealing of the volume : the closing testimony of an
unwavering spirit, the echo of which he was to catch, from myriads of imınortal and redeemed intelligencies, in a world where the song shall never languish, nor the festival ever terminate. In the course of the morning, the medical gentlemen called. Mrs. D., an affectionate friend, who was present, followed them out of the room. Dr. Y. then told her that it was probable Mr. S. would not live an hour longer. Upon her return, he beckoned to her to tell him what they had said. ment she was silent. She then replied, " In less than an hour, sir, it is likely that you will be in eternity.” A heavenly and triumphant smile played on his emaciated face: he turned his head on his pillow; and about a quarter before twelve o'clock, while several of his friends, in the attitude and spirit of prayer, commended his soul to God, he entered the realms of eternal praise.
For a mo
MESSIAH'S KINGDOM ; A Poem ; in Twelve Books. By Agnes Bulmer. New-York : published by
B. Waugh & T. Mason. Music and poetry sprung up together. In the ruder ages of society important events and transactions were recorded in verse, without, indeed, those artificial measures and symphonies by which modern poetry is distinguished, and sung to melodies which corresponded to the coarser harmony which characterized their bal. lads. Poetry seems to have had its origin in the nature of man, and hence it has existed in every age and every country, whether barbarous or civilized. Its beginnings were in the deserts and wilds, among hunters and shepherds, and waited not for the arts of refinement to fledge its wings before it ventured its flight, and ere it was restricted by those rules which science would impose upon its pinions, it burst forth with an impassioned boldness, with energy and enthusiasm high into the region of fiction and romance.
But what is poetry? Without entering into a disquisition on the various definitions which have been given to this word, we will adopt that which Mr. Blair gives in the following words :—'It is,” says he, the language of passion, or of enlivened imagination, formed, most commonly, into regular numbers. The historian, the orator, the philosopher," he adds, 'address themselves, for the inost part, primarily to our understanding : their direct aim is to inform, to persuade, or to instruct. But the primary aim of a poet is to please and to move; and, therefore, it is to the imagination, and the passions, that he speakş. He may, and he ought to have, in his view, to instruct, and to reform ; but it is indirectly, and by pleasing and moving, that he accomplishes his end. His mind is supposed to be animated by some interesting object which fires his imagination, or engages his passions; and which, of course, communicates to his style a peculiar elevation suited to his ideas, very different from that mode of expression which is natural to the mind in its calm, ordinary state.'
This definition is clearly expressed and admirably illustrated; and hence those who have supposed that poets have a license to revel at large in the fields of fiction and romance, without any regard to truth and facts, have excited unwarrantable prejudices against this sort of composition. Though poets claim the right to move
he passions and to fire the imagination merely by the power of language, we cannot subscribe to the opinion that they are at liberty to propagate falsehood, and thus
to corrupt the morals of mankind by blinding their understandings. Nor do we adopt the sentiment of Johnson, that the attributes of the Deity, the day of judgment, &c, are themes altogether unsuited to the pen of a poet. Are not these attributes displayed in all His works and ways? In making, therefore, these works, and the events of His providence, subjects of song, do we not descant upon the attributes of Jehovah ? And why may not all the attributes of the Deity, as they are exhibited in the book of revelation, or exemplified in the scheme of redemption and salvation, be presented to us in the charms of poetry? If Homer among the Greeks, and Virgil among the Latins, might be permitted to sing the glory of their false deities, why may not David and Isaiah be allowed, without degrading the dig. nity of their subjects, to celebrate the praises of the true God in the sublime strains of sacred poetry ? Will it be said that the awful majesty of the latter so overpowers the mind that silence alone can express His praise ? Let but the powers of him who is born a poet be consecrated to the service of his God, and he shall catch the inspiration which is needful to enable him to portray His perfections in the sublime strains of poetry, without deteriorating from the glory of. His character, or of degrading the purity of that religion which He has revealed to man.
The word poetry, from the Greek word holew, I make, we grant, seems to indicate that the poet was supposed to create a world for himself, as though he must move exclusively in a region of fancy and fiction. It is on this account that Plato is represented as having banished the poets from his Utopian republic, as pests to society; and from the same erroneous perceptions of the province of poetry some still entertain prejudices against it. But we can see no good reason why the poet should be excluded from the fields of truth and reality any more than the prose writer. The latter may write fiction and follow the dictates of an unbridled ima. gination, if he choose to abandon himself to the aberrations of his fancy, and thus delude the understandings of his readers with the same facility as the former. Have we not abundant evidence of this in the multitude of novel writers with which the world has abounded? Why, then, should poets only be held responsible for filling the world with shadows? Is it because they strive to elevate the thoughts of their readers to grand and sublime subjects by the lofty, strains in which they sing, and to move the passions by a bold and figurative style? But may not these ornaments be enlisted, by the conscientious poet, in the cause of truth and virtue ? Have not a Milton, a Young, a Cowper, and a Pollok, redeemed poetry from the curse of licentiousness, by laying it under contribution to the advancement of truth and righteousness? In the hands of such men this heavenly art need not be doomed to become the prompter to vice, nor the luxuriant field for feeding the corrupted imagination of the sensualist; but it may be made the handmaid of religion, and a medium for the propagation of pure and sublime sentiment.
But where shall we draw the line between poetical and prose compositions ? Is verse essential to poetry? We think not.. Many passages of sacred Scripture, which are truly poetical in their character, as well as such compositions as the Telemachus of Fenelon, and the Poems of Ossian, are proofs that neither the exact measure of lines, nor the symphonies of sound, produced by rhyme, is essential to poetry. Both of these species of composition depend chiefly upon the same principles, namely, a deep sensibility of feeling, å boldness and originality of invention, and an impassioned and highly figurative style. Specimens of this character of composition, unshackled by the modern rules of versification, containing all the ingredients of genuine poetry, might easily be produced to veri the truth of our remarks.
This is more especially the character of poetry as it existed in the ruder ages of society. Poetry, indeed, seems to lose its original character of boldness, originality, and enthusiasm, and to become timid, unnatural, and artificial, in proportion as the people by whom it is cultivated are removed from the state of rude and savage existence. Hence it is that we find among the aborigines of our own country, in their treaties and public transactions, bolder metaphors, more splendid gorgeousness of style, than the civilized nations of Europe in their most elevated poetical productions. Having concluded a treaty of peace with the British, the Five Nations expressed themselves, by their chiefs, in the following language:
“We are happy in having buried under ground the red axe, that has often been died with the blood of our brethren. Now, in this sort, we inter the axe, and plant the tree of peace. We plant a tree whose top shall reach the sun, and its branches spread abroad, so that it shall be seen atar off. May its growth never be stifled and choked ; but may, it shade both your country and ours with its leaves. Let us make fast its roots, and extend them to the utmost bounds of your colonies. If the French should come to shake the tree, we should know by the motions of its roots reaching into our country. May the great Spirit allow us to rest in tranquillity upon our mats, and never dig up the axe to cut down the tree of peace! Let the earth be trod hard over it where it lies buried. Let a strong sts am run under the pit to wash the evil away out of our sight and remembrance. The fire that had long burned in Albany is extinguished. The bloody bed is washed clean, and the tears are wiped from our eyes. We now renew the covenant chain of friendship. Let it be kept bright and clear as silver, and not suffered to contract any rust.Let not any one pull away his arm from it.'
Nor is this a solitary instance. Among all savage tribes poetical effusions, though rude in their structure, have obtained an ascendency. Their religious rites are celebrated in song. By song they lament their public or private calamities, the death of their friends, or the loss of their warriors. Their victories over their enemies, the virtues of their heroes, and all important events and transactions are celebrated by music and poetry. How many instances of this character are recorded in sa cred Scripture. Moses and Miriam sung the triumphs of Jehovah over the impious Egyptians who were drowned in the Red Sea. "Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the Lord: I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously : the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. Thy right hand, O Lord, become glorious in power: thy right hand, O Lord, hath dashed in pieces the enemy!
Without, however, pursuing this subject any farther, we may remark that the Church of Christ has ever availed itself of poetry and music as the most natural handmaid of piety. And the almost universal practice of the various denominations of Christians in incorporating music among their devotional exereises has the sanction of the highest, antiquity. The members of the primitive Church were exhorted to speak to themselves in hymns and spiritual songs, making melody in their hearts unto the Lord. And who that has ever felt the inspiring notes of sacred music, accompanied by words that burn, can be indifferent to this branch of Divine worship! Hence from the time of Moses, and more especially from the days of David, to this hour, has the Church of God cultivated the art of poetry and the science of music; and we have no account of any extraordinary revival of true godliness but what has been accompanied, less or more, with the spirit of poetry and the cultivation of sacred music.
Methodism had its poet. While John Wesley was more especially devoted to laying the foundation of that mighty superstructure which he was principally instrumental in rearing, his brother Charles furnished the interior of the temple with those sacred songs, in which are combined all those evangelical truths, doctrinal, experimental, and practical, by which his hymns are so eminently characterizedia And so long as those hymns shall continue to be sung with understanding and believing hearts, so long the Church will be preserved from the deteriorating influ. ence of heretical doctrine. That there are hymns in this collection of unrivalled excellence, both as regards sentiment and poetry, will not be disputed by any who combine a knowledge of evangelical purity with a taste for poetical excellence.And this is another proof that religious subjects, taking them in their widest range, are not only suited to the genius of a poet, but that they form themes on which he may expatiate to the greatest advantage.
But it is time that we more particularly notice the poem before us. Its title, The Messiah's Kingdom, sufficiently indicates the prominent character of the work. And though the authoress cannot adopt the language of Milton, her illustrious predecessor in this field of religious poesy, that she is treading in a path' untrod before,' she may lay claim to much originality of thought, and to a competent share of that poetic fire which is essential to give a high character to her composition, and to interest as well as to instruct the reader.
The poem is divided into twelve books, beginning with the original perfection and beauty of the universe, and of man in particular—his defection from his God, with its consequences, and the original promise of his restoration through a Redeemer. It then proceeds to trace the propagation of the human species, under the influence of sinful propensities, noticing in the mean time those exceptions to the general prevalence of vice which the sacred Scriptures record. Having thus laid the foundation of the grand drama which mankind had destined themselves to act, the poem proceeds with a historical account of the gradual developements of Divine Providence until He came who was ordained to expiate sin by His own death upon the cross, and reconcile the world unto God. After dwelling with fulness of gratis tude upon the various transactions of Jesus Christ and his apostles, together with the blessed effects of the Gospel upon the world, the grand apostasy is portrayed in glowing colors, and then the different phases of the Church from time to time, until the glorious era of the Reformation, when came •Luther the name rever'd,
Chosen by Heaven to stand
Restrain'd the heavens, or drew forth shafts of fire. After briefly noticing the different changes of the spiritual kingdom of Christ from the establishment of the Protestant reformation down to the present time, the authoress then takes a rapid glance at the present state of the world, and concludes by a triumphant anticipation of the universal diffusion of Christianity over the face of the globe.
If there be any defect in the poem, we think it consists in not making those evan. gelical men, Wesley, Whitefield, and others, who arose early in the eighteenth century, sufficiently prominent as instruments in bringing forward the latter day glory. Surely if such men as Wilberforce may be immortalized in verse, on account of their achievements in the cause of philanthropy—and we think they very properly maysuch men as Wesley, and his compeers in the glorious work of evangelizing the world, are worthy of a distinguished place in the pages of a poem which aims to celebrate the praises of the Redeemer for the honor which he puts on His most favored servants.
On the whole, however, we most cordially recommend the poem to our readers, under a conviction that they will find themselves amply compensated in its diligent perusal. We had intended to have given some extracts, which we had prepared, as specimens of the general character of the work, but are reluctantly compelled to emit them for want of room. We, therefore, conclude what we have to say or