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• Fortunate at least,' he says, “is that nation which has not left behind a name in history, and whose possessions have devolved to no othier heirs than the deer of the forest, and the birds of the air ! None will repair to these wilds to deny the Creator, and with a halance in his hand to weigh tlie dust of the dead in order to prove the eternal duration of mankind.'

The finest part of thie chapter on the objections against the Bible derived from astronomy, consists of a very poetical and beautiful description and celebration of the pastoral lives of men in the patriarchal ages, when observations began to be made on the economy of the heavenly bodies. This is followed by reflections on the progress of science, and by brief and not very conclusive answers to one or two presumptions against the biblical records drawn from the stars. Soon afterwards, our anithor's poetical imagination rises and floats sublimely on the deluge; and then expatiates with luxurious felicity on the idea that the scenery of the world was created to appear, even at the first moinent, a mixture of older and younger productions in both the vegetable and animal kingdoms.

'The next portion of the work is the Demonstration of the existence of God by the wonders of nature, which was separately translated and published some years since, and which we briefly thoticed at the time. For the purpose of strict proof, the value of this essay is certainly small. This will appear in a peculiarly istriking manner on a comparison with any part of Paley's Natural Theology, to which, happily, the student may be referred for the exercise and conviction of his understauding, at the end, or in the intervals, of the indulgence of his fancy and sensibility among the sentimental and poetic luxuries of the romantic Frenchman. It must be confessed that in this part of his work, pre-eminently, he abounds with enchantments; and as the elements of which they are formed are the beauty and sublimity of -nature, they charm into a perfect willingness to be carried away, in the triumph of his art, the same mind that resists, with in.vincible disgust, when he attempts. the captivation by means of the Popish superstitions, presented in images and tones of pensiveness or solemnity. There are, nevertheless, a number of passages so extravagant in fancy and language as to cool the mind from poetry into the recollections of plain judgement. This is sometimes done, very effectually, by liis creating more woné ders than really exist in nature, however profusely all her regions abound in them. This musing prolific imagination falls on some ingenious faney, this fancy shall quickly become a fact or a principle in nature, and is to be developed and illustrated in the mingled terms of philosophy and sentiment." If an instance were deinanded, we should be tempted to select the passage (V. I, p. 135.) in which he represents it, and assumes the merit of originality for representing it, as a marvellous thing that the sun should be at one and the same time rising, setting, and in his zenith, that is to say, as seen by the inhabitants of the : different parts of the globe.

• Those who have admitted the beauty of Nature as a proof of a supreme Intelligence, ought to have pointed out one thing which greatly enlarges the sphere of wonders: it is this; motion and rest, darkness and light, the seasons, the revolutions of the heavenly bo. dies, which give variety to the decorations of the world, are successive only in appearance, and permanent in reality. The scene that fades upon our view is painted in brilliant colours for another people; it is not the spectacle that is changed but the spectator. Thus God has combined in his work absolute duration and pro. gressive duration : the first is placed in time, the second in space.

• Here time appears to us in a new point of view; the smallest of its fractions becomes a complete whole, which comprehends all things, and in which all things are modified, from the death of an insect to the birth of a world; each minute is in itself a little eternity: Combine then, at the same moment, in imagination, the most beautiful incidents of nature ; represent to yourself at once all the hours of the day, and all the seasons of the year, a spring morning and an autumnal evening, a night studded with stars and a night overcast with clouds, meadows enamelled with flowers, forests stripped by the frosts, and fields glowing with golden harvests ; you will then have a just idea of the prospect of the universe. Is it not wonderful that, while you are admiring the sun sinking beneath the western waves, another person should perceive him rising from the regions of Aurora" By what inconceivable magic is this ancient luminary, which retires to rest weary and glowing in the evening, the same youthful-vib that awakes, bathed in dew, and rises from behind the grey curtains of the dawn? Every moment of the day the 'sun is rising, glowing at his zenith, and setting on the world; or rather, our senses deceive us, and there is no real sun-rise, noon, or sun-set. The whole is reduced to a fixed point, from which the orb. of day emits, at one and the same time, three lights from one single substance. This triple splendour is perhaps the most beautiful incident. in nature; for while it affords an idea of the perpetual magnificence and omnipresence of God, it exhibits a most striking image of his glorious Trinity.'

The immortality of the soul is argued from its insatiable desire. of happiness, from conscience and remorse, and from the absolute nccessity of the belief in order to have any sure basis for morality; and the answer to objections is rather loosely composed of a mixture of metaphysic, natural philosophy, and sentinent. No small extravagance of this last is combined with the brilliance of our author's rich imagination, to illustrate the danger and inutility of atheism, It is somewhat mortifying to see, when he aspires into the poetry of a serious subject, how little he holds himself accountable with regard to the sober rea


son of it. The most inappropriate facts and fancies shall come in gravely to hold a place among legitimate proofs and illustrations, if they have any trivial point of analogy with the principle: asserted, however unavailing or impertinent to it they may substantially be. For instance, in the enforcement of the topic in question, it may be a very good sort of argument to say that the heroism thať braves death would be an absurd thing if disconnected from the belief in a God and a future state : and when he comes to historical examples illustrative of the congruity and dignity of the combination of heroic and religious sentiment, it might be proper enough to name Epaminondas and Xenophon, Fabius and Brutus : but as if anxious to preclude, by the proof cumulative, all possibility of a future question übout his accuracy and discrimination, he adds, Alexander, the everlasting model of conquerors, gave himself out to be the son of Jupiter, Cæsar pretended to be of celestial descent, and Augustus reigned only in the name of the gods! What a glorious thing is religion, since it is dignified enough to harmonize with the passions of these matchless saints! How can we ever be grateful enough to religion, for having aided to present such models of excellence !. Let us cling fast to religion, lest this miserable world should be doomed to receive no more such benefactors!

Through every part of the book, the remaining and larger portion of which we must be content to notice in the most brief and cursory manner, a similar debility or dereliction of judgment continually recurs, interfering, grievously, with the complacency with which we regard the author's unquestionable good intention, and diminishing, almost destroying, the value of his most enchanting pictures, and giving too often a cast of alternate childishness and wild extravagance to a sensibility which, if united to a sound strong reason, would have displayed all that is either attractive or noble in tenderness and enthusiasm. It is this grand defect that makes him less persuasive than he is pathetic, that deprives his magnificence of basis and proportion, that makes the originality which he possesses in a very considerable degree, appear fantastic, and which often awakes in the seader a certain perception of inanity in an eloquence which really partakes a good deal of the sublime.

The next general division is intitled the Poetic of Christianity,' and begins with a general survey of Christian epic poets, who are of course to be compared with the pagan literary

immortals' of the first class. The author is not long on this ground before he comes, very properly, to the Parauise Lost, of which he makes a rapid analysis, Here the English reader will be gratified to see him beguiled for a while out of his strong patriotic partialities, and liberally and emphatically, extolling, almost without reserve, a work which he evidently regards as

of the graces

the grandest emanation of poetical genius in modern ages. He passes in haste over the works of Camoens, Klopstock and Gessner, to the Henriade of Voltaire, with which, however, he is very little pleased, excepting those passages here and there which shew what Voltaire might have done lad he been a Christian, and which are fatally contrasted with the much larger portions which have the coldness and artificial character appropriate to his wretched system. A conversion in our autlior's school of Christianity, however, would still have left that great and depraved genius in a very doubtful way for the dignity of Christian poetry, if a riddance of credulity and superstition be of any importance in the case,

• He might have found,' says he, among our saints powers as great as those of the goddesses of old, and names as sweet as those

What a pity that he did not choose to make mention of those shepherdesses transformed, for their virtues, into beneficent divinities ; of those Genevieves who in the mansions of bliss protect the empire of Clovis and Charlemagne! It must be, in our opinion, a sight not wholly destitute of charms, for the muses to behold the most intelligent and the most valiant of nations, consecrated by religion to the daughter of simplicity and peace.'

He then goes on to compare, at great length, the natural and social characters, the husband and wife, the father, the mother, the son, the daughter, the priest, and the soldier, as displayed in some of the finest scenes of the great pagan poets, with some of the most interesting exhibitions of them in the poets who have had the advantage of the Christian religion. This is done with a great deal of taste and poetical feeling, and a number of just and refined critical observations. Indeed a material portion of the section is written purely in the exercise of criticisni, and the indulgence of poetical sentiment, with a partial forgetfulness therefore of the specific purpose of illustrating the super-excellence of Christianity. And we might long since have made the general remark, applicable to the whole book, that though it is, on the whole, made substantially to subserve this purpose, so far as the author's confused, and Popish notions of thit religion would permit, yet he eagerly seizes, at every step of his progress, every occasion for splendid or pathetic amplification; and in this amplification he will luxuriate for the mere delight of it, and with such forins of thought as may have little relation, and may contribute but little assistance, to the main object, though appropriate, perhaps, and even beautiful as forms or colours of the detached independent pictures which lie thus suspends his leading operation in order to create. - He could not touch such a topic as the charaoter of a Christian soldier without being instantly carried back to the age of chivalry, becoming minstrel to the knights, travelling with the crusaders to 'Solyma, and kindling into extasy in the camp of Godfrey. He had evidently the greatest difficulty to force himself away from those heroes and their romantic achievements, to prosecute, with such different weapons and so much less magnificence, the warfare against the infidels of Paris.

We might as well have observed any where else as here, that: it is a besetting sin of our author to convert truth into falshood by excess. He has no notion of discrimination, restriction, and degrees, in the affirmative illustration of a principle, or a proposition of fact. What is true at all, in any sense and degree, is forth with true absolutely without limitation or condition. For instance, it is an unquestionable fact that Christianity has: had the effect, in modern Europe, of mitigating the ferocious character of war; but, to hear our author, it might be supposed that this terrible demon had been very nearly converted at once into a gentleman and a saint; that the fighting of Christian sol diers, that is to say, their earnest endeavour to inflict wounds and death, was become a generous indulgence of all the mostmagnanimous sentiments. In the knights of chivalry, concerning whom he might have recollected the combined testimony of history and romance, that no small share of both the licentious and the harbarous qualities miagled with their virtues, while those virtues themselves were partly of a fantastic and very

dubious character,--he finds and celebrates a splendid model of Christian excellence.

He has a wonderful versatility of taste. His imagination equally takes fire at characters and scenes of soft domestic tenderness, at the austerity of the anchorites of the desert, and at the splendid turbulence of chivalry. If he has any preference among them, it is for the solitary ascetics. He repeats, without end, his-references to this form of life and character, and always in the tone of animated complacency. He is so enchanted, and we think we may fairly say befooled, by any thing that combines an appearance of religion with a bold singularity, that he is desirous of making a fine picture of even the wretched superstitions of the monastery of La Trappe. Indeed the picturesque of almost every kind is irresistible with him; insomuch that when he has to display the pageantries of even a heathen ritual, Jie seems to go into the business with a kind of interest which we do not exactly understand how he finds compatible with the ab. horrence which a Christian should feel. Their erroneous and pernicious character seems often to strike with less force on his imagination than their beauty, or magnificence, or solemnity, or wildness. In short he is a poet---always a poet---with an in-. distinct and superstitious kind of Christianity, which he loves indeed sincerely, but loves quite as much for what is superstitiqus in it as for what is true. Thus imperfectly disciplined and

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