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Felt as the prophot's when the welkin blazed
It chimed melodious.'—p. 106, 7. He possesses, also, the power of picturesque description, and can make a moving appeal to the tenderest sentiments of the soul, as when his fancy flies on the wings of the sea-fowl, and his benevolence spreads the shelter of its pinions around the exposed nest of her unfledged young :
• Around your cliffs,
That in your carnage finds a dire delight!—p. 35, 6. He sometimes, also, rises on the wings of sublimity to the lofty regions of imagination, and soars like a majestic spirit in the clouds, as in the following noble personification of a tempest:
Lo! one has grasped the thunder's volleying fires,
Up springs the red volcano. Thon would'st deem
Warm and accelerate.'--p. 116. We had marked a number of other passages for quotation, as the indignant reprobation of bigotry (p. 93—5), the beautiful eulogy of Howard (p. 77), the admirable picture of the uses of adversity (p. 119), the delightful illustration of the truth, that the good we enjoy on earth greatly exceeds the evil (p. 122, 3, 133), the fine metaphorical image of Death attended by a beautiful butterfly, unfolding its newly-formed wings to soar through the sky, emblematic of the soul's flight to heaven: our admiration of this truly poetical passage will not suffer us to omit it, and, therefore, passing over the rest, which our limits will not allow us to quote, we shall with this close our extracts :
• But what is Death? No grisly spectre armed
And elevate to worlds beyond the stars?" The extreme grace and originality of the conception in these lines, of the new-born butterfly attending the beautiful image of Death, almost makes us doubt whether, regarding the poem as a whole, or looking to its general execution, we have justly appreeiated its merits. If, however, we are right in not allowing Dr. Drummond the highest poetical powers, he has fully established an undoubted claim to what is nobler than genius itselfa benevolent heart: he has manifested all the virtuous sympathies his subject required with the suffering and the oppressed, and he has taught a great lesson of mercy even towards the inferior animals. He has lauded with fervent praise the mis
sionaries of love to lands of moral darkness and dungeons of dark despair—he has denounced, with generous indignation, the apostles of crime and the agents of cruelty, and by displaying, in the clearest light, the infinite goodness of the Deity in all the works of nature and the dispensations of Providence, he has set up for the imitation of mankind a grand example of the most exalted and unbounded benevolence. His work has enough of poetical excellence to adorn and recommend the subject of it; and if any harsh critic condemn him for not uniformly exhibiting the loftiest qualities of the poet, he will be richly compensated for such censure by the admiration of the pious, the applause of the Christian, the approbation and the blessing of God.
SECOND TRAVELS OF AN IRISH GENTLEMAN IN SEARCH OF A
RELIGION: WITH NOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS. Not BY THE EDITOR OF 'CAPTAIN Rock's MEMOIRS.' 2 vols.
Fellowes, London. The Reformation was a conflict between the two great principles of credulity and scepticism—of credulity on the side of the Catholics, and of scepticism on the side of the Protestants. Ages had accumulated corruption around the altar of God, and the iron hand of ecclesiastical tyranny had repressed the natural elasticity of the human mind, so that a tame acquiescence in established dogmas prevailed almost universally. As if to show the extent of debasement of which the faculties of man are capable, and to prove that for all that is noble in our nature as much depends on civilization as on religion—that the purest and best religion may be made a minister, not only of unrighteousness, but of oppression and degradation, practices prevailed and opinions were held of the most revolting character_s0 revolting, indeed, that were not the chronicle beyond a question, one would be tempted to doubt that men, after they had received the light of the Gospel, could have sunk so low as to offer worship to dead men and women, to surrender their liberty and their consciences into the keeping of a wily and corrupt priesthood, and prostrate their intellect so as to admit into their vocabulary the terms. Mother of God,' and Deicide,' and into their creed the absurdest of all absurdities, that Jesus Christ, who died some thousand years before, was present in a bodily form in all parts of the Christian world, and was eaten and drunk by the initiated, after the conversion of wine into his blood, and bread into his body. We should be careful how we reproach barbarous nations with the absurdities of their religion
- for well may it be doubted if heathenism, in its worst form, ever exhibited a grosser and more degrading sensualism, than was seen in the Christianity of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. All humane feelings were crushed under the oppressive weight of an omnipresent priestcraft, and from the fourth century downwards Christendom was watered with the blood of the best men of each successive period. The secret of this terrific power was credulity. The intellect was prostrate; the mind was in the hands of those who made a gain of godliness. Merit was attached to mere belief, and increased in proportion to the violence done to the natural workings of the understanding: There was a penalty—the penalty of ruin—on thinking. All the interests of time were jeopardised by the expression of a doubt; nay, the thoughts themselves were subject to inquisition, and the false horrors with which ecclesiastical tyranny had invested the future state, were brought with crushing violence to bear on the suppression of intellectual liberty. But the depression reached its lowest point. Outraged humanity struggled beneath the load. The very efforts employed to drown its cries weakened the oppressor's arm, and the sufferings of the persecuted kindled a sympathy which spread far and wide, and prepared myriads for an uprising the moment the signal was given by a voice which should address men in the accents of humanity. And in the language of poetic inspiration that voice first spoke, illustrating by its efficacy the meaning of those mythic representations of the classic writers, which tell us how beasts were tamed and cities built by divine poesy. Energy was kindled in the dry bones of society, and the dead recovered life, as the poet's indignation circled through the inert members of the social frame. The scepticism which had emboldened the poet to denounce the priest, soon took possession of the theologian's breast, and churchman was matched with churchman in the collision between the old forms and the new principles of society, till at last the spiritual Babylon was shaken to its very base. And if the previous debasement exhibits the littleness of man, we may equally see the greatness of which our nature is capable, in the relief which it procured for itself from the burden which had settled down for ages upon it. There was no preternatural aid; society was its own deliverer. Its native power swelled in the human breast, and threw off the load.
We speak of the Reformation as a past event. But it has been proceeding now for some three hundred years, and is still not terminated. The principle of scepticism has not yet
done its work. In some cases, indeed, it has gone beyond its legitimate lengths, and produced effects almost as disastrous as did its antagonist, credulity. For more than a century Christianity has had to suffer at the very hand which wrought its deliverance
from priestly bondage. But there yet remain victories for scepticism to achieve. Myriads in Christendom have not received the first lesson in a sound faith, for they have not been taught to doubt. There are whole nations in which the priest is still a god upon earth. But the change will be more rapid than aforetime. The breezes of heaven have fallen on the waters of society—its depths are broken up-there is agitation on its surface--billow blends with billow-currents unite, and ere long a universal freshness will ensue. Thanks to the activity of commerce, the families of the race are meeting and mingling, and the blessings of liberty and peace are hastening on to cover the globe.
The warfare, however, is not ended. It is true that the rays of truth are beginning to pierce the darkness of Catholicism, but the children of the light must not be content till they have carried its blessings into the remotest districts of the earth. And gladly do we welcome every one who raises a torch on high for the illumination of his fellow-men. There are reasons, indeed, to think that the conflict will be more severe than it has now for a long time been. The controversy between Catholicism and Protestantism is reviving with invigorated spirit. This is the result of the act of social justice which was done by Catholic emancipation. It seemed like taking an unfair advantage to assail the Catholic while he lay bound hand and foot. Nay, for ourselves, we will confess that we used to feel disposed rather to take sides with than against him. There was a want of argumentative generosity in opposing one whose name was cast out as vile, and who had work enough on his hands in keeping his oppressors at bay. But now the Catholic is a freeman in the social commonwealth, and it is but the prompting of Christian benevolence to aim at his liberation from intellectual and spiritual thraldom. And were every work designed for his emancipation written in the spirit of that whose title is prefixed to these remarks, he would not long hesitate to disencumber himself from his shackles.
The first · Travels of an Irish Gentleman,' ascribed to a poet whose name is associated rather with the Anacreontic strains of love and wine, than the Tyrtæan measures of theological war, were written in a tone which left good judges in doubt whether the author designed to defend Catholicism or burlesque religion, and consequently are creditable rather to the head than the heart of the writer. The ‘Second Travels,' however, treat the subject with becoming gravity, yet without the tedium which often attaches to theological discussions. It is true that one misses the richness of an imagination which can glow with the ardours of passion, and luxuriate in the sportiveness of wit, but there is more than a compensation in the pure breathings of a