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treme. The power of words in directing the attention of mankind to, and in diverting it from things, is infinitely greater than we generally imagine. When the use of them becomes familiar to the ear in a specific sense, the mind involuntarily obeys the habit, and imperceptibly loses the idea of any but their customary application. If this be the natural effect in ordinary cases, how much more likely is it to take place where men's interests and passions incline them to yield to and favour the delusion? The consequence is, that the delusion spreads and establishes itself among all orders of the community, and exercises a corresponding sway over practice. The moral sense itself ceases to interpose beyond the bounds prescribed for it in the nomenclature of society; and things are daily done by the religious' and the 'moral,' utterly at variance with the precepts and spirit of the 'gospel.' Hence we see the pretensions to spirituality asserted and maintained often altogether on the credit of a fervent zeal, and an abstinence from the proscribed indulgences! Hence we see the charge of worldly-mindedness preferred and persisted in against all who refuse to abjure worldly amusements! Hence we see a storm of pious intolerance and vituperation venting all its violence on professions which minister to amusement! Hence we see men manifestly actuated by proud or malignant passion, duping multitudes into a persuasion of their exalted piety! Hence we see others pushing themselves into elevated stations, through corrupt and unprincipled means, without meeting the obstacles, or incurring the obloquy, they would justly and infallibly encounter, if their habits were loose.

These facts are too clear and palpable to be disputed. The injury arising to true religion, the impositions practised by men upon themselves,-the false colouring given to actions and characters by society,-the pernicious notions imbibed on subjects of the last importance to individuals and the public,-the encouragement afforded to the indulgence of the basest passions of our nature, in consequence of the habits we have noticed, must be extensive. To attempt to trace these effects, forms no part of our plan. But we hope we shall not be thought unprofitably employed in directing the attention of our readers to the subject. We ascribe to the above-named habits, the power obtained by certain persons in exciting religious prejudices against popular amusements; and thus withdrawing observation altogether from evils of a far deeper kind. The vices supposed to be encouraged by such amusements, are chiefly of the description known by the term loose. They are those for which the pious reserve the strongest epithets of indignation.

Let us not be misunderstood. We by no means deny the vitia

ting tendency of amusements, nor their sinfulness when indulged in to excess. We see the most substantial reasons to warn the youthful mind against their seductive influences, and to fortify it by such sound and rational views as may teach it to withstand them. But power, rank, riches, and the desire and struggle for them, number daily victims in their toils. We do not perceive, notwithstanding, that the most sensitive of the serious class betake themselves to sackcloth and ashes' for safety. Sin lays its snares for us, we may be assured, with full as much art and certainty, in the business as in the recreations of the world; in the schemes we may form in the closet, as in the enticements of the drama and the dance. We may shun the amusements of the world, even to an ascetic degree, without adding one atom to our strength amidst its serious occupations. We might, perhaps, be still nearer the truth, if we said that the extent of credit assumed for resisting temptation under the form of pleasure, has a natural tendency to screen its sinful aspects from us in other cases.

We have no great hopes of impressing the evangelical class with the truth of what we have written on this subject. Religious prejudices are rarely overcome by reason or common sense. Errors are often maintained, not so much from an indifference to truth, as from an habitual blindness to it. The most mistaken notions, when embraced with reverence, cling to the mind with a tenacity proportioned to its sincerity. Numbers have been persuaded to shun all popular amusements as a sacred duty. So long as they do so from such a motive, they manifestly act in conformity with Christian principle, and we should be among the last to recommend a departure from it. But we are anxious to guard them from the delusion of imagining themselves to be thus secured against the temptations of the world. The very persons who shun the ball-room lest their vanity should be excited, often testify to the observers how feebly it has resisted temptation amidst other scenes. The enemy pursues them even to their religious haunts, and gains a readier conquest, where his power is not dreaded, nor his approach descried. While such delusions last, we can scarcely expect to awaken our evangelical' readers to juster reflections. But we do hope to inspire some of them with more candid feelings in their estimation of themselves, and more charitable sentiments in their judgments of their neighbours. The assertion of their claims to superior piety and heavenly-mindedness is exceedingly offensive even to those who are most disposed to acknowledge the sincerity of their motives. That there may be much piety where there is much pretension, we should be extremely unwilling to deny,

But undoubtedly piety derives no additional strength nor lustre from its constant obtrusion on the notice of the world. Its per sphere of influence is the heart. If it be deeply rooted there, so as thoroughly to impregnate the spiritual soil, it will assuredly act on the temper and affections, and diffuse its fruits over the whole conduct and conversation of man. What reliance can be placed on the validity or stability of motives that manifestly fail to produce corresponding effects? What value can be rationally ascribed to the most rapturous ecstasies of religious feeling, if they have not a proportionate power over the will and conduct? We may, for aught we know, be touching on some disputed points of doctrine, which we have neither time nor learning to discuss. But, according to our plain conceptions, the highest notions of faith and piety must resolve themselves into motives, actuating man to certain habits of disposition and life. If, then, the motives be professedly such as seem to soar above all the interests of this transitory existence, while its concerns actually engross the attention in no very measured degree -what is the inevitable conclusion? Either that the motives are too high and sublime for our imperfect nature, or that they are mere assumptions on the part of those who lay claim to them. We have no disposition whatever to be unjust or uncharitable to the evangelical class, and we willingly adopt, in their behalf, the former alternative. But we appeal to them, whether it is not irrational (if indeed it be nothing worse) to claim credit for motives, with which they do not, and cannot, act in conformity? -Whether their pretensions to a surpassing sanctity and spirituality of mind are at all reconcilable with the customary habits. of attention to the cares and interests of existence?-Whether, in common consistency with such pretensions, they are not bound to relinquish the other engagements of the world as well as its amusements?

It would be difficult, we think, even for the most charitable mind to convince itself, that some of the ruling spirits among this party are actuated by any very evangelical views of truth or duty. Many are enabled to gain, within its sphere, both distinction and influence, to which their stations, talents, and manners, would elsewhere by no means entitle them. To such, it is evidently of importance to foster every delusion calculated to give strength and stability to a class from whom they obtain so much consequence for themselves. In the meantime, thonsands are tempted, by the easy terms of forsaking popular amusements, to flock to a standard with the holy characters of SPIRITUALITY inscribed on it. But is all indeed so pure and heavenlyminded beneath it? Is there no swelling sense of pride and



vainglory engendered in the breast by these self-constituted claims to vital religion and righteousness? Is there no sin of arrogance or presumption involved in this indignant and conspicuous separation from the rest of mankind? Is there no selfishness nor uncharitableness indulged among this little band, dwelling together in the lofty tents of godliness, while they survey the countless multitudes below as objects of divine condemnation ?-For the present we shall take leave of this subject, We shall resume it when we think we can do so with any advantage to the cause of truth and religion.

ART. VI.-The Life and Death of Lord Edward Fitzgerald. By THOMAS MOORE. 2 vols. 8vo. London: 1831.

THE THE unfortunate nobleman, whose life and death are recorded in these volumes, made an early and ineffaceable impression upon the mind of Mr Moore. With Lord Edward, he


'I could have no opportunity of forming any acquaintance, but remember (as if it had been but yesterday) having once seen him, in the year 1797, in Grafton Street,-when, on being told who he was, as he passed, I ran anxiously after him, desirous of another look at one whose name had, from my school-days, been associated in my mind with all that was noble, patriotic, and chivalrous. Though I saw him but this once, his peculiar dress, the elastic lightness of his step, his fresh, healthful complexion, and the soft expression given to his eyes, by their long dark eyelashes, are as present and familiar to my memory as if I had intimately known him. Little did I then think that, at an interval of four-and-thirty years from thence-an interval equal to the whole span of his life at that period-I should not only find

myself the historian of his mournful fate, but (what to many will appear matter rather of shame than of boast) with feelings so little altered, either as to himself or his cause.'-Vol. i. page 306.

This intimation does not surprise us. Far from being calculated to alter his feelings, either as to Lord Edward Fitzgerald, or the enterprise in which he perished, the literary life of his eminent biographer must have given permanence to the sentiments with which his boyhood was imbued. The fame of Thomas Moore is interwoven with the misfortunes of his country. However multiform his accomplishments, and various the paths by which he has risen to his elevated reputation, that portion of his celebrity is not the least precious and enduring, which is derived from The Melodies,' where music, adapted beyond all other to the expression of national woe, was wedded to verse of an incomparable sweetness. The beautiful airs, which are sup


posed to have been produced by grief, and possess so admirable an aptitude for the language of lamentation, were turned by Mr Moore to a noble account. He made them the vehicles of those delightful effusions, in which the most graceful diction, versification the most harmonious, and the most brilliant fancy, were employed to charm the ear, and to touch the heart with the calamities of Ireland. A new sort of advocacy was instituted in her cause, and in the midst of gilded drawingrooms, and the throng of illuminated saloons, there arose a song of sorrow, which breathed an influence as pure and as enchanting as the voice that ravished the senses of Comus with its simple and pathetic melody. It is not wonderful, that after having accomplished so much by these means, for his own fame, (and it is no exaggeration to add, for the benefit of his country), Mr Moore should revert to incidents which contributed to give a bias so poetically fortunate to his genius; and that he should, in the selection of his subjects, and in their treatment, be swayed by an enthusiasm, which, however questionable in the ethics of a severer loyalty, ought to be referred to the predilections of the poet, rather than to the passions of the partisan. It is to this cause, and not to any improper design, that we attribute the choice which Mr Moore has made in this instance of his subject. At the same time, it must be confessed, that he has exposed himself to the imputation of having, at a period of more than ordinary excitement, directed the eyes of his countrymen to a dismal and pernicious retrospect. Why, it may be observed, recall what it will not only be useless but dangerous to remember? Wherefore raise the drop-scene of that stage, on which memory is so likely to play the part assigned to her by one well acquainted with her powers, and to prove herself the actor of our passions o'er again?' The martyr to a cause, which was not consecrated by success, is as yet uncanonized by time. The dungeon must have mouldered, before it can be deemed holy. Although it might have been legitimate to have looked for imagery through its loopholes, it was scarcely warrantable to have thrown it open, and to exhibit the drops of that noble blood which is scarcely dry upon its floor. To these objections we cannot give any kind of assent. Thirty-three years make rebellion a part of history. We think, besides, that no mischievous consequences are to be apprehended in Ireland from the form in which this narrative appears. It is only in the refuse of literature that infection can be communicated. The work of Mr Moore is not likely to propagate the political epidemic among those humbler classes of society, to whose hands it is most improbable that his book should ever reach. But there is an

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