Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

6

[ocr errors]

doubting has no reference to the unbelief of the parties. * Christ appeared first at a distance : the greater part of the company, the moment they saw him, worshipped, but some, as yet, i. e. upon the first distant view of his

person,

doubted; whereupon Christ came up (Tapoosh Dwv) to them and spake to 'them, &c. 'that the doubt, therefore, was a doubt only at first, for a moment, and upon his being seen at a distance, and was afterwards dispelled by his nearer approach.'*

There is a fine solemnity in the following passage, with which the second of these Discourses concludes.

• Meanwhile, if it should occur to you to wonder that Jesus, after his resurrection, should not be shewn openly, but to chosen witnesses, remember, that by the fundamental maxims of the doctrine which Jesus preached, it is the privilege of the "pure in heart," and of them only, to see God. In some sense, indeed, God is seen by all mankind, and by the whole rational creation. God is seen by all men in his works, in the fabric and the motions of the material world. “ The heavens declare the glory of God, and the “ firmament sheweth his handy-work.” The very Devils see him in his judgments: Wise men see him in his providential government of human actions, in the rise and fall of states and empires : The pious believer sees him with the eye of faith, in the miraculous support and preservation of his church from the attacks of open enemies, the treachery of false friends, and the intemperate or the lukewarm zeal of its weaker members. He sees him with the intellectual eye, discerning, in part at least, his glorious perfections ; and they, and only they, who thus see him now, shall at last literally see the majesty of the Godhead in the person of their glorified Lord. By the lost world Jesus shall be seen no more, except as he hath been seen by the unbelieving Jews, in judgment, when he comes to execute vengeance on them who know not God and obey not the gospel ; but if any man keep his saying, he shall be admitted to his presence,

" that where his Saviour is, there he may be also.” pp. 167–168.

To the objection so frequently urged by unbelievers against the truth of Christ's resurrection, that had it been real, public opinion would have confirmed and heightened the proof of it, while concealment, if it was a fiction, was a means of preventing a ready detection, the Author particularly and solidly replies. We quote a part of his argument, which has an important hearing on other points of the evidences of revelation.

“The reality of a fact is always to be measured by the positive proof on one side or the other, which is really extant in the world. If no proof is found but what is in itself imperfect, as when the wit. nesses seem too few, or their reports contradictory, the fact is questionable. But if any proof exists in itself unexceptionable, the

* Paley's Evidences, part 2nd. Chapter 3, Townson's Discourse,

p. 177.

thing is not to be questioned for the mere want of other proofs, which men living at a distance from the time and the scene of the business, may imagine it might have had. Men are very apt to lose sight of this principle. They are apt to amuse themselves with a display of their sagacity, (for such they think it), in alleging the proof that might have been, when their penetration would be better shewn in a fair examination of what is actually extant. They are not aware, that in thus opposing proof which is not, to that which is, they are really weighing a shadow against a substance ; and that the highest argument of a weak mind, (an imputation which they most dread), is not to feel the force of present evidence. Thus it is, that “professing themselves wise they become fools." This is an answer which will apply on every occasion, when men resist the conviction of a proof in which they can discover no fallacy or imperfection, upon a pretence that some collateral proof of the same fact, which would have been more satisfactory, is wanting. An objection of this sort is always frivolous, even when it is true that the required proof, had it been extant, would have been more satisfactory than any that is found, provided what is found be in itself a just proof, true in its principles, coherent in its parts, and fair in its conclusions.' pp. 177, 178.

The Bishop is of opinion that Christ after his resurrection had no longer any local residence on earth, his body requiring neither food for its subsistence, nor a lodging for its shelter

and repose.

• He was become the inhabitant of another region, from which he came occasionally to converse with his disciples. His visible as. cension, at the expiration of the forty days, being not the necessary means of his removal, but a token to the disciples that this was his last visit ; an evidence to them that the heavens had now re. ceived him, and that he was to be seen no more on earth with the corporeal eye till the restitution of all things.' p. 208.

In support of the opinion that Jesus after his resurrection was no longer in a state to be naturally visible to any man, and that all his appearances after that event were of a miraculous nature, the literal meaning of a part of the text (Acts x. 40, 41) is adduced. “Him God raised up the third day, and gave 6 him to be visible."

We transcribe with much pleasure the remarks on the perspicuity and sufficiency of Scripture, which occur in the exposition of the Ninety-seventh Psalm. Bishop Horsley's zeal for the hierarchy, is not liable to suspicion; and in his judgement neither an interpreting Church, nor an interpreting Liturgy, is necessary to the understanding of the Scriptures. We recommend the passage to the notice of the opponents of the Bible Society Our readers may compare it with our quotations from a High-Church pamphlet in our December Number.

I will not scruple to assert, that the most illiterate Christian, if he can but read his English Bible, and will take the pains to read it in this manner, (comparing parallel passages), will not only attain all that practical knowledge which is necessary to his salvation, but, by God's blessing, he will become learned in every thing relating to his religion in such degree, that he will not be liable to be misled, either by the refined arguments or by the false assertions of those who endeavour to ingraft their own opinion upon the oracles of God. He may safely be ignorant of all philosophy except what is to be learned from the sacred books; which indeed contain the highest philosophy adapted to the lowest apprehensions. He may safely remain ignorant of all history, except so much of the history of the first ages of the Jewish and of the Christian church as is to be gathered 1 om the canonical books of the Old and New l'estament. Let him study these in the manner I recommend, and let him never cease to pray for the illumination of that Sririt by which these books were dictated; and the whole compass of abstruse philosophy and recondite history shall furnish no argument with which the perverse will of man shall be able to shake this learned Christian's faith. The Bible thus studied will indeed prove to be what we Protestants esteem it, a certain and sufficient rule of faith and practice, a helmet of salvation, which alone may quench the fiery darts of the wicked. pp. 227–229. Art. IV. Opoleyta ; or a Tale of Ind: A Poem in Four Cantos.

By Bertie Ambrosse. 8vo. pp. 128. Price 9s. Longman and Co. 1815.

HEN nothing can be said in praise of a work, it may

be matter of surprise to some, that we choose to mention it all; but when bad poetry is made the vehicle of improper sentiments, we are called upon, in the double capacity of critics and moralists, to denounce a performance which militates equally against good taste and good conduct.

This · Tale of Ind' is dedicated by Mr. Ambrosse to Sir James Mackintosh, and appears to have been written during his voyage from India to his native country. We have already had occasion to lament that flimsiness of education, which leaves the raw youths who are sent to seek their fortunes in India, exposed to every danger to which a luxurious climate, licentious manners, and bad examples, give birth. We are sorry to say, that Mr. Ambrosse's poem is calculated to strengthen all our arguments.

We shall not endeavour to explain the story. It is made up of the usual materials; a murderer, and a hero, and a young lady who prefers masculine attire to her own. The style, too, we should forbear to criticise, (for our business is chiefly with the sertiments,) were it not in the hope, that when the Author finds how much he has to learn and to correct before he can write poetry, he will lay aside his pen, till his judgement shall have so far ma

tured his opinion, as to render them more fit for the public eye. The following lines froin the beginning of this performance, may serve as a specimen of its general style.

• Now to their subterranean vaults were gone
Th' athlete, the pugilist, and stout pheilwān.
With blushing paint besmeared the talcem owns
The vigorous health of Abstinence's sons.
There the quick wrestler strives his man to throw,
While toilsome showers run lavish from his brow ;
There wields the vast mugdoors, in scanty space,
The staunch pheilwān, and gives their motion grace:
Here one the dun; and lo! with rattling jar,

The lazem keeps its own laborious calendar. p. 2.
We have occasionally a change of measure :-

• Candor and fire so strongly move,
Where'er their potencies combine,
Concerted schemes of faction fail;
And like the vessel in the gale,
Whither the mighty torrents rove

Succumbing to the godlike voice

Great souls obey, and though subdued, rejoice.' p. 9. The name of the hero is Appajee : when the verse requires a shorter quantity is is curtailed to Appa, probably on the authority of Butler

• A squire he had whose name was Ralph,
« That in th' adventure went his half,
• Though writers, for more stately tone,
• Do call him Ralpho 'tis all one;
. And when we can with metre safe,

• We'll call him so; if not, plain Ralph.--
The object of his love is held in durance vide, by a fierce
Moslem of the name of Abdullah.

He rose with folded arms-on earth his lookAdvanced-and paused- and yet a pace he tookBeat on the ground his foot-looked to and from

Drew his deep breath-and cried “ It shall be so!" ' p. 35. This picture of mental agitation, will, we think, make the noble Author of the Corsair, and some other poets, exclaim against the numerous tribe of their imitators.

Abdullah endeavours to compose his mind by reposing on the margin of a stream, and begins a long soliloquy :

• Ullah Kureem ! the golden dreams of youth,

Ambition's mockery and bright untruth, &c.' He is interrupted by a stranger, who, we are given to understand, wears a red palampore, a green turban, and a niveous angreka, and whom he accosts with the salutation of "ber to

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

sulamut.' They do not however continue very good friends for we are soon told that

. The stranger's blade sprung forth ; and from his soul,
With all the bitterness of taunted pride,

He told Abdullah to his teeth—he lied!' p. 45. Nevertheless, he is allowed to enlist under the banners of the man whom he liolds in such scorn, and is afterwards, hy one of the inconsistencies perpetually occurring in modern poetry, commissioned to assassinate Sagoona, the heroine of the piece, though he is obliged to be shewn into the cell where she is confined by another creature of Abdullah's, who might, for any cause we can discover, have done the deed himself, without making a third person unnecessarily acquainted with it. The lady however proves to be this gentleman's long-lost love : instead therefore of fulfilling his mission, he

• Burst the vile fetter from her hand.” But this, with innumerable other absurdities we shall pass over, as well as the carelessness and incorrectness of the rhymes and metre, which it would be folly to dwell upon in a work that seems to set all rule at defiance. The style, alternately familiar and bombastic, is made up of proportionate materials in a mixture of obsolete and new coined words, with occasional additions from the Hindostanee language. The Author talks of querimonious waves and Cimmerian despair, and brings in Spenser and Chatterton for authority on various occasions ; but how he can quote the latter in defence of applying the word mees' to the ocean, except that it rhymes to breeze, we cannot imagine. A specimen of the Author's attempt at sublimity, shall close our remarks on the poetical character of his work.

• What thunder-sound hath solemn stillness racked?
Yon foaming tide, yon mountain cataraci,
That, from its jangling bed impetuous hurled,
Like a wild soul, impatient of its world,
Flies fierce beneath, nor meets an equal shock,
Till the worn head of yon resplendent rock,
Whence, dashed in million stars, the deep below,
As the bright sun-beams on the sparkles glow,
Owns the lucific power, as sombre grief

Smiling when fortune sends a fair relief.' With regard to the use of the Hindoo mythology in poetry, we need only remark, that if we are anxious to see our verse no longer clogged with perpetual invooations of Apollo and the Muses, surely we shall not so far affront our old acquaintance, as to look with more complacency on Krishen and the nine

« EdellinenJatka »