ePub 版

Dance to its constitution, but to its preachers, distinguished of these, we propose to direct maintained, in the first eagerness of their faith, the attention of our readers. the barbarous notion that human knowledge Mr. Hall, though perhaps the most distinwas useless, and even dangerous, to the Chris- guished ornament of the Calvinistic* Dissenttian minister. The absurdity of this position, ers, does not afford the best opportunity for however strikingly exemplified in the advan- criticism. His excellence does not consist in tages gained by the enemies of those who the predominance of one of his powers, but in acted on it, served only to increase the desire the exquisite proportion and harmony of all. of the more enlightened and liberal among the The richness, variety, and extent of his knownon-conformists, to emulate the church in the ledge, are not so remarkable as his absolute intellectual qualification of their preachers. mastery over it. He moves about in the lofThey speedily enlarged the means of educa- tiest sphere of contemplation, as though he tion among them for the sacred office, and en were “native and endued to its element." He couraged those habits of study, which promote uses the finest classical allusions, the noblest a refinement and delicacy of feeling in the images, and the most exquisite words, as though minds which they enlighten. Meanwhile, their they were those which came first to his mind, active participation in the noblest schemes of and which formed his natural dialect. There benevolence, tended yet farther to expand their is not the least appearance of straining after moral horizon. Youths were found among greatness in his most magnificent excursions, them prepared to sacrifice all the enjoyments but he rises to the loftiest heights with a child. of civilized life, and at the peril of their lives like ease. His style is one of the clearest and to traverse the remotest and the wildest re- simplest—the least encumbered with its own gions, that they might diffuse that religion beauty-of any which ever has been written. which is everywhere the parent of arts, chari- It is bright and lucid as a mirror, and its most ties, and peace. It is not the least benefit of highly-wrought and sparkling embellishments their Missionary exertions, that they have are like ornaments of crystal, which, even in given a romantic tinge to the feelings of men their brilliant inequalities of surface, give a in populous city pent,” and engrossed with back to the eye litile pieces of true imagery the petiy and distracting cares of commerce. set before them. These form the true Evangelical chivalry, The works of this great preacher are, in the supplying to their promoters no small measure highest sense of the term, imaginative, as disof that mental refinement and elevation, which tinguished not only from the didactic, but from the far less noble endeavours to recover the the fanciful. He possesses “the vision and Holy Sepulchre shed on Europe in the middle the faculty divine,” in as high a degree as any ages. It is not easy to estimate the advantages of our writers in prose. His noblest passages which spring from the extension of the imagi- do but make truth visible in the form of beauty, nation into the grandest regions of the earth, and “clothe upon" abstract ideas, till they be. and from the excitement of sympathies for the come palpable in exquisite shapes. The dullest condition of the most distant and degraded of writer would not convey the same meaning in the species. The merchant, whose thoughts so few words, as he has done in the most subwould else rarely travel beyond his desk and lime of his illustrations. Imagination, when his fire-side, is thus busied with high musings like his of the purest water, is so far from beon the progress of the Gospel in the deserts ing improperly employed on divine subjects, of Africa-skims with the lonely bark over that it only finds its real objects in the true tropical seas—and sends his wishes and his and the eternal. This power it is which disprayers over deserts which human footstep dains the scattered elements of beauty, as they has rarely trodden. Missionary zeal, thus dif- appear distinctly in an imperfect world, and fused among the people, has necessarily ope- strives by accumulation, and by rejecting the rated yet more strongly on the minds of the alloy cast on all things, to imbody to the mind ministers, who have leisure to indulge in these that ideal beauty which shall be realized heredelicious dreamings which such a cause may after. This, by shedding a consecrating light sanction. These excellent men are pow, for on all it touches, and “bringing them into the most part, not only the instructors, but the one,” anticipates the future harmony of creaornaments of the circles in which they move. tion. This already sees the “ soul of goodness The time which they are able to give to litera- in things evil,” which shall one day change ture is well employed for the benefit of their the evil into its likeness. This already begins flocks. In the country, more especially, their the triumph over the separating powers of death genue manners, their extended information, and time, and renders their victory doubtful, and their pure and blameless lives, do incalcu- by making us feel the immortality of the affeclable good to the hearts of their ruder hearers, tions. Such is the faculty which is employed independent of their public services. Not by Mr. Hall to its noblest uses. There is no only in the more solemn of their duties,-in rhetorical flourish—no mere pomp of wordsadmonishing the guilty, comforting the afflicted, in his most eloquent discourses. With vast and cheering the dying-do they bless those excursive power, indeed, he can range through around them; but by their demeanour, usually all the glories of the Pagan world, and seizing dignified, yet cheerful, and their conversation those traits of beauty which they derived from decorous, yet lively; they raise incalculably the tone of social intercourse, and heighten

* We use this epithet merely as that which will most the innocent enjoyment of their friends. Some distinctively characterize the extensive class to which of them are, at the present day, exhibiting no

it is applied-well aware that there are shades of differ

ence among them--and that many of them would decline ordinary gifts and energies ;-and to the most to call themselves after any name but that of Christ.


primeval revelation, restore them to the sys-, decide whether that freedom, at whose voice tem of truth. But he is ever best when he is the kingdoms of Europe awoke from the sleep intensest-when he unveils the mighty foun- of ages, to run a career of virtuous emulation dations of the rock of ages-or makes the in every thing great and good; the freedom hearts of his hearers vibrate with a strange which dispelled the mists of superstition, and joy which they will recognise in more exalted invited the nations to behold their God; whose stages of their being.

magic touch kindled the rays of genius, the Mr. Hall has, unfortunately, committed but enthusiasm of poetry, and the flame of elofew of his discourses to the press. His Ser- quence; the freedom which poured into our mon on the tendencies of Modern Infidelity lap opulence and arts, and embellished life is one of the noblest specimens of his genius. with innumerable institutions and improveNothing can be more fearfully sublime, than ments, till it became a theatre of wonders; it is the picture which he gives of the desolate for you to decide whether this freedom shall state to which Atheism would reduce the yet survive, or be covered with a funeral pall, world; or more beautiful and triumphant, and wrapped in eternal gloom. It is not than his vindication of the social affections. necessary to await your determination. In the His Sermon on the Death of Princess Char- solicitude you feel to approve yourselves lotte contains a philosophical and eloquent worthy of such a trust, every thought of what development of the causes which make the is afflicting in warfare, every apprehension of sorrows of those who are encircled by the danger must vanish, and you are impatient to brightest appearances of happiness, peculiarly mingle in the battle of the civilized world. Go affecting; and gives an exquisite picture of the then, ye defenders of your country, accompagentle victim adorned with sacrificial glories. nied with every auspicious omen; advance His discourses on War on the Discourage- with alacrity into the field, where God himself ments and supports of the Christian Ministry- musters the hosts to war. Religion is too and on the work of the Holy Spirit-are of much interested in your success, not to lend great and various excellence. But, as our you her aid; she will shed over this enterlimits will allow only a single extract, we pre-prise her selectest influence. While you are fer giving the close of a Sermon preached in engaged in the field many will repair to the the prospect of the invasion of England by closet, many to the sanctuary; the faithful of Napoleon, in which he blends the finest re-every name will employ that prayer which has membrance of the antique world—the dearest power with God; the feeble hands which are associations of British patriotism—and the unequal to any other weapon, will grasp the pure spirit of the gospel-in a strain as noble sword of the Spirit; and from myriads of as could have been poured out by Tyrtæus. humble, contrite hearts, the voice of interces

“To form an adequate idea of the duties of sion, supplication, and weeping, will mingle this crisis, it will be necessary to raise your in its ascent to heaven with the shout of battle minds to a level with your station, to extend and the shock of arms. your views to a distant futurity, and to conse “While you have every thing to fear from quences the most certain, though most remote. the success of the enemy, you have every By a series of criminal enterprises, by the means of preventing that success, so that it is successes of guilty ambition, the liberties of next to impossible for victory not to crown Europe have been gradually extinguished: your exertions. The extent of your resources, the subjugation of Holland, Switzerland, and under God, is equal to the justice of our cause. the free towns of Germany, has completed that But should Providence determine otherwise, catastrophe; and we are the only people in should you fall in this struggle, should the the eastern hemisphere who are in possession nation fall, you will have the satisfaction (the of equal laws, and a free constitution. Free- purest allotted to man) of having performed dom, driven from every spot on the continent, your part; your names will be enrolled with has sought an asylum in a country which she the most illustrious dead, while posterity to always chose for her favourite abode: but she the end of time, as often as they revolve the is pursued even here, and threatened with de- events of this period, (and they will incessantly struction. The inundation of lawless power, revolve them,) will turn to you a reverential after covering the whole earth, threatens to eye, while they mourn over the freedom which follow us here; and we are most exactly, most is entombed in your sepulchre. I cannot but critically placed in the only aperture where it imagine the viriuous heroes, legislators, and can be successfully repelled, in the Thermopylæ patriots, of every age and country, are bending of the universe. As far as the interests of free from their elevated seats to witness this condom are concerned, the most important by far test, as if they were incapable, till it be brought of subluvary interests, you, my countrymen, to a favourable issue, of enjoying their eternal stand in the capacity of the federal representa- repose. Enjoy that repose, illustrious immor. tives of the human race ; for with you it is to tals! Your mantle fell when you ascended; determine (under God) in what condition the and thousands, inflamed with your spirit, and latest posterity shall be born; their fortunes impatient to tread in your steps, are ready to are intrusted to your care, and on your con- suear by Him that sitteth upon the throne, and duct at this moment depends the colour and liveth for ever and ever, they will protect freedom complexion of their destiny. If liberty, after in her last asylum, and never desert that cause being extinguished on the continent, is suf- which you sustained by your labours, and cefered to expire here, whence is it ever to mented with your blood. And thou, sole Ruler emerge in the midst of that thick night that among the children of men, to whom the shields will invest it? It remains with you then tol of the earth belong, gird on thy sword, thou Most

Mighty : go forth with our hosts in the day of channel than can be supplied by the bodily battle! Impart, in addition to their hereditary organs. The plainest, and least inspired of valour, that confidence of success which springs his discourses, are not without delicate gleams from thy presence! Pour into their hearts the of imagery and felicitous turns of expression. spirit of departed heroes! Inspire them with He expatiates on the prophecies with a kindred thine own; and, while led by thine hand, and spirit, and affords awful glimpses into the valley fighting under thy banners, open thou their of vision. He often seems to conduct his heareyes to behold in every valley and in every ers to the top of the “ Delectable Mountains," plain, what the prophet beheld by the same whence they can see from afar the glorious illumination—chariots of fire, and horses of gates of the eternal city. He seems at home fire : Then shall the strong man be as tow, and the among the marvellous Revelations of St. John; maker of it as a spark; and they shall burn toge- and, while he expatiates on them, leads his ther, and none shall quench them.

hearers breathless through ever-varying scenes There is nothing very remarkable in Mr. of mystery, far more glorious and surprising Hall's manner of delivering his sermons. His than the wildest of oriental fables. He stops simplicity, yet solemnity of deportment, en when they most desire that he should proceed gage the attention, but do not promise any of when he has just disclosed the dawnings of his most rapturous effusions. His voice is the inmost glory to their enraptured mindsfeeble, but distinct, and, as he proceeds, trem- and leaves them full of imaginations of “things bles beneath his images, and conveys the not made with hands,"--of joys too ravishidea, that the spring of sublimity and beauty ing for smiles—and of impulses which wing in his mind is exhaustless, and would pour their hearts, “ along the line of limitless de forth a more copious stream, if it had a wider | sires."



On the first of May, 1818, I sailed in one outer courts of splendour, while it feels that of the government packets, from the beautiful they are but for a moment, gay mockeries of harbour of Falmouth, for Lisbon. The voy- the state of man on earth. Often, during my age, though it only lasted eight days, was suf- little voyage, did I, while looking over the side ficiently long to excite an earnest desire for of the vessel on the dark water, think of the our arrival at the port of our destiny. The beautiful delineation by the most profound of water which so majestically stretches before living poets, of the tender imaginations of a us, when seen from a promontory or headland, mariner who had been reared among the loses much of its interest and its grandeur mountains, and in his heart was “half a shepwhen it actually circles round us and shuts herd on the stormy seas,” who was wont to us in from the world. The part which we are hear in the piping shrouds “the tones of water. able to discern from the deck of a vessel, ap- falls and inland sounds of caves and trees," pears of very small diameter, and its aspect and in fine weather is so uniform as to weary the

“ When the regular wind eye, which seems to sicken with following the Between the tropics fill’d the steady sail, dance of the sunbeams, which alone diversify And blew with the same breath through days and weeks, its surface. There is something painfully Lengthening invisibly its weary line restless and shadowy in all around us, which Along the cloudless main, who in those hours forces on our hearts that feeling of the insta- of tiresome indolence, would often hang bility and transitoriness of our nature, which over the vessel's side, and gaze and gaze :

And while the broad green wave and sparkling foam we lose among the moveless grandeurs of the Flashed round him images and hues that wrought universe. On the sea, all without, instead of In union with the employment of his heart, affording a resting-place for the soul, is em- He, thus by feverish passion overcome, blematic of the fluctuation of our mortal being. Even with the organs of his bodily eye, Those who have long been accustomed to it Below him, in the bosom of the deep, seem accommodated to their lot in feeling and Saw mountains-saw the forms of sheep that grazed in character; snatch a hasty joy with eagerness And shepherds clad in the same country gray

On verdant bille-with dwellings among trees, wherever it can be found, careless of the future, which he himself had worn."* and borne lightly on the wave of life without forethought or struggle. To a landsman there I remember, however, with gratitude two is something inexpressibly sad in the want of evenings, just after the renewal of the moon, material objects which endure. The eye lurns which were rendered singularly lovely by a disappointed from the glorious panoply of soft, tender, and penetrating light which seemed clouds which attend the setting sun, where it has fancied thrones, and golden cities, and tem

* See Wordsworth's most affecting pastoral of “The ples with their holy shrines far sunken within Brothers."


scarcely of this world. The moon on its first us softly onwards. On both sides, the shore appearance, before the western lustre had en-rose into a series of hills on the right side; tirely faded away, cast no reflection, however wild, abrupt, mazy, and tangled, and on the pale, on the waves; but seemed like some left, covered with the freshest verdure and inprincely maiden exposed for the first time to terspersed with luxuriant trees. Noble seats vulgar gaze, gently to shrink back as though appeared crowning the hills and sloping on she feared some contamination to her pure and their sides; and in the spaces between the celestial beauty from shining forth on so busy elevated spots, glimpses were caught of sweet and turbulent a sphere. As night advanced, it valleys winding among scattered woods, or was a solemn pleasure to stand on the deck of princely domes and spires in the richness of the vessel, borne swiftly along the noiseless of the distance. All wore, not the pale livery sea, and gaze on the far-retiring stars in the of an opening spring, but the full bloom of azure distance. The mind seems, in such a maturesi summer. The transition to such a scene, almost to “ o'er-inform its tenement of scene, sparkling in the richest tints of sunshine clay," and to leap beyond it. It dwells not on the and overhung by a cloudless sky of the deepest changes of the world; for in its high abstrac- blue, from the scanty and just-budding foliage tion, all material things seem but passing of Cornwall, as I left it, was like the change shadows. Life, with its realities, appears like a of a Midsummer Night's Dream; a sudden advanishing dream, and the past a tale scarcely mission into fairy worlds. As we glided up credited. The pulses of mortal existence are the enchanted channel, the elevations on the almost suspended—“thought is not—in enjoy- left became overspread with magnificent buildment it expires.” Nothing seems to be in the ings, like mingled temples and palaces, rising universe but one's self and God. No feeling one above another into segments of vast amof loneliness has entrance, for the great spirit phitheatres, and interspersed with groves of the of Eternal Good seems shedding mildest and fullest yet most delicate green. Close to the selectest influences on all things.

water lay a barbaric edifice, of rich though On the eighth morning after our departure fantastic architecture, a relic of Moorish granfrom Falmouth, on coming as usual on the deur, now converted into the last earthly abode deck, I found that we were sailing almost close of the monarchs of Portugal. Hence the under “the Rock of Lisbon,” which breasts buildings continued to thicken over the hills the vale of Cintra. It is a stupendous moun- and to

a more confused, though tain of rock, extending very far into the sea, scarcely less romantic aspect, till we anchored and rising to a dizzy height above it. The sides in front of the most populous part of Lisbon. are broken into huge precipices and caverns The city was stretched beyond the reach of of various and grotesque forms, are covered the eye, on every side, upon the ascents and with dark moss, or exhibit naked stones black- summits of very lofty and steep elevations. ened with a thousand storms. The top con- The white houses, thickly intersected with sists of an unequal ridge of apparently shivered windows, mostly framed with green and white rock, sometimes descending in jagged lines, lattice-work, seemed to have their foundations and at others rising into sharp, angular and on the tops of others : terraces appeared lifted pointed pyramids, which seem to strike into far above the lofty buildings, and other edifices the clouds. What a feeling does such a mo rose above them; gardens looked as suspended nument excite, shapeless, rugged, and setting by magic in the clouds, and the whole scene all form at defiance—when the heart feels that wore an aspect of the most gorgeous confusion it has outlived a thousand generations of pe- —“all bright and glittering in the smokeless rishable man, and belongs to an antiquity com- air." We landed, and the enchantment vanpared with which the wonders of Egypt are ished, at least for a season. Very narrow modern! It seems like the unhewn citadel of streets, winding in ceaseless turnings over a giant race; the mighty wreck of an older steep ascents and declivities, paved only with and more substantial world.

sharp flints, and filthy beyond compare, now Leaving the steeps and everlasting recesses seemed to form the interior of the promised of this huge mass, we passed the coasts of elysium. Nature and the founders of the city Portugal. The fields lying near the shore ap- appeared to have done their best to render the peared for the most part barren, though broken spot a paradise, and modern generations their into gentle undulations, and adorned with large worst to reduce it to a sink of misery. spreading mansions and neat villages. A Lisbon, like ancient Rome, is built on at pleasant breeze brought us soon to the mouth least seven hills. It is fitted by situation to be of the Tagus, where a scene of enchantment, one of the most beautiful cities in the world. “ too bright and fair almost for remembrance," Seated, or rather enthroned on such a spot, burst upon my view. We sailed between the commanding a magnificent harbour, and overtwo fortresses which guard the entrance of the looking one of the noblest rivers of Europe, it river, here several miles in width, close to the might be more distinguished for external walls of that on the left, denominated “Fort beauty than Athens in the days of her freeSt. Julian.” The river, seen up to the beautiful dom. Now it seems rather to be the theatre in castle of Belem, lay before us, not serpentine which the two great powers of deformity and nor perceptibly contracting, but between al- loveliness are perpetually struggling for the most parallel shores, like a noble avenue of mastery. The highest admiration and the crystal. It was studded with vessels of every most sickening disgust alternately prevail in region, as the sky is sprinkled with stars, which the mind of the beholder. Never was there so rested on a bosom of waters so calm as strange an intermixture of the mighty and the scarcely to be curled by the air which wasted mean of the pride of wealth and the abject

ness of poverty—of the memorials of greatness to the Tagus, which here spreads out into a and the symbols of low misery-of the filthy breadth of many miles, so as to wear almost and the romantic. I will dwell, however, on the appearance of an inland lake, forms the the fair side of the picture; as I envy not those southern part of this modern city. At the who delight in exhibiting the frightful or the south-eastern angle, close to the river, stands gloomy, in the moral or the natural world. the Exchange, which is a square white buildOften after traversing dark and wretched ing, of no particular beauty or size. The sides streets, at a sudden turn, a prospect of inimi- of the square are occupied with dull-looking table beauty bursts on the eye of the spectator. white buildings, which are chiefly offices of He finds himself, perhaps, on the brink of a state, excepting, indeed, that the plan is inmighty hollow scooped out by nature amidst completely executed, as the unfinished state hills, all covered to the tops with edifices, save of the western range of edifices sadly evinces. where groves of the freshest verdure are in- In the centre is an equestrian statue of King terspersed; or on one side, a mountain rises Joseph, on a scale so colossal that the image into a cone far above the city, tufted with of Charles on horseback at Charing Cross woods and crowned with some castellated pile, would appear a miniature by its side. From the work of other days. The views fronting the northern side of this quadrangle run three the Tagus are still more extensive and grand. streets, narrow but built in perfect uniformity, On one of these I stumbled a few evenings and of more than a quarter of a mile in length, after my arrival, which almost suspended the which connect it with another square called breath with wonder. I had laboured through the Rocio, of nearly similar magnitude and a steep and narrow street almost choked with proportions. The houses in these streets are dirt, when a small avenue on one side, ap- white, of five stories in height, with shops, parently more open, tempted me to step aside more resembling cells than the brilliant reto breathe the fresher air. I found myself on positories of Cheapside, in the lower departa little plot of ground, hanging apparently in ments, and latticed windows in the upper the air, in the front of one of the churches. Istories. They have on both sides elevated stood against the column of the portico ab- pathways for foot passengers, neatly paved sorbed in delight and wonder. Before me lay with blocks of stone, and leaving space for a large portion of the city-houses descended two carriages to pass in the centre. The beneath houses, sinking almost precipitously Rocio is surrounded on three sides with houses to a fearful depth beneath me, whose frame- resembling those in the streets, and on the works, covered over with vines of delicate north by a range of building belonging to the green, broke the ascent like prodigious steps, Inquisition, the subterranean prisons of which by which a giant might scale the eminence-extend far beneath the square. A little onthe same “wilderness of building” filled up the ward to the north of this area, amidst filthy vast hollow, and rose by a more easy slope to suburbs, stands the public garden of the city. the top of the opposite hills, which were It is an oblong piece of ground, of consideracrowned with turrets, domes, mansions, and ble extent, surrounded by high walls, but alregal pavilions of a dazzling whiteness-be- ways open at proper hours to the public. It yond the Tagus, on the southern shore, the is planted with high trees of the most delicate coast rose into wild and barren hills, wearing green, which, however, do not form a mass of an aspect of the roughest sublimity and gran- impervious shade, but afford many spots of the deur-and, in the midst, occupying the bosom thickest shelter, and give room for the play of the great vale, close between the glorious of the warm sunbeams, and for the contemcity and the unknown wilds, lay the calm and plation of the stainless sky. The garden is majestic river, from two to three miles in width, laid out with more regularity than taste: one seen with the utmost distinctness to its mouth, broad walk runs completely through it from on each side of which the two castles which north to south, on each side of which, beneath guard it were visible, and spread over with a the loftier shade, are tall hedge-rows, solid thousand ships-onward yet farther, far as the masses of green, cut into the exactest paralleleye could reach, the living ocean was glisten- ograms. The equal spaces on each side of the ing, and ships, like specks of the purest white, middle walk are intersected by similar hedgewere seen crossing it to and fro, giving to the rows--sometimes curving into an open circle, scene an imaginary extension, by carrying the surrounded with circular trenches ; at others, mind with them to far-distant shores. It was enclosing an angular space, railed in and cultithe time of sunset, and clouds of the richest vated with flowers, and occasionally expanding saffron rested on the bosom of the air, and into shapes yet more fantastic.—There is no inwere reflected in softer tints in the waters. Not tricacy, no beautiful wildness in the scenea whisper reached the ear. “The holy time “half the platform just reflects the other” in was quiet as a nun breathless with adoration.” the minutest features—but the green is so fresh The scene looked like some vision of blissful and so abundant, and the air so delicately fraenchantment, and I scarcely dared to stir or grant, that this garden forms a retreat in the breathe lest it should vanish away.

warmth of summer which seems almost elyThe eastern quarter of Lishon, which is sian. chiefly built since the great earthquake, stands There are two small places of public amusealmost on level ground; and, though sur- ment in Lisbon, where dramatic pieces are rounded by steep hills, with trees among their performed, chiefly taken from the Spanish. precipices, and aerial terraces on their sum. The “legitimate drama,” however, is of little mits, is not in itself very singular or romantic. attraction, compared with the wonderful conA square of noble extent, open on the south 1 tortions and rope-dancings which these houses

« 上一頁繼續 »