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his felicity consists in bringing the body into pursuits with which theology maintains an in that unresisting servitude to the mind, without dissoluble connexion. We are constrained to which freedom and serenity are but empty doubt whether his regrets are as wisely indulged words. Such as is his paradise in the highest as they are eloquently expressed. conceivable degree, such in the highest attain- Christianity is for the daily use of homely able degree must be his earthly Eden. Dis- people. Precepts affecting all the happiness miss it if you will as a midsummer night's of this life, and doctrines involving all the indream; yet must it be confessed that it is such terests of the next, are not to be delivered in a dream as could visit no slumbers but those that honeyed discourse which steeps the soul of one whose fancy was pure from sensual de- in sell-oblivion. When truth appears amongst filement, and whose intellect had been trained mankind in her severe and native majesty, she to active exercise and to close self-observation. rejects the services of her accustomed handOr, give the theorist credit for nothing more maids, erudition, poetry, rhetoric, philosophy than having skilfully selected the most allur- and criticism. Eloquence alone attends her, ing possibilities of future good from the many but it is an eloquence of which the mere words celestial schemes with which the poetry and are unheeded-a weapon of such edge and the poetical prose of all ages abounds, and still temper as to be irresistible in the grasp of the it will be true that the choice has been guided feeblest hand. by opinions such as every one would wish to And feeble indeed are many of those which adopt, and by tastes which in our better mo- attempt to draw this durindana from the scabments we should all desire to gratify. The bard. Malignity itself cannot accuse our pultime subtracted, for such visions, from the pits and theological presses of beguiling us by scarcely more substantial delights among which the witchcraft of genius. They stand clear of we are living, will send us back to the cares the guilt of ministering to the disordered heart of life, not less fitted resolutely to endure them, the anodynes of wit or fancy. Abstruse and and to the pleasures of life, not less prepared profound sophistries are not in the number of wisely to enjoy them.
their offences. It is a mere calumny, to accuse Style in literature is like manner in society them of lulling the conscience to repose by any -the superficial index, which all can read, of Syren songs of imagination. If the bolts of in. internal qualities which few can decipher. I spired truth are diverted from their aim, it is the author of these, books had cared, or had no longer by enticing words of man's wisdom. been able, to write with ease and simplicity, or Divinity fills up her weekly hour by the grave had he disguised his meaning under spasmodic and gentle excitement of an orthodox discourse, contortions, or had he talked over these grave or by toiling through her narrow round of sysmatters in the tone of a blant and sagacious tematic dogmas, or by creeping along some humourist, or had he dissolved them in religious low level of schoolboy morality, or by addresssentiment, or flattened them down to the level ing the initiated in mythic phraseology; but of a monotonous orthodoxy; in short, had he she has ceased to employ lips such as those either risen to the graces of nature, or conde- of Chrysostom or Bourdaloue. The sanctity scended to those of affectation, he would have of sacred things is lost in the familiar routine had more numerous and enthusiastic admirers. of sacred words. Religion has acquired a Langnage in his hands is an instrument of technology, and a set of conventional formulas, wonderful volume, flexibility, and compass; torpifying those who use and those who hear but produces harmonies of such recondite them. Her literature also bears the impress elaboration, that the sense aches for the even of an age in which the art of writing has well. flow of a few plain words quietly taking their nigh proved fatal to the power of thinking; proper places. Felicitious expression is an when the desire to appropriate gracefully has excellent thing in its season; but serve up a superseded the ambition to originate prowhole octavo full of exquisite sentences, and foundly; when the commercial spirit envelopes neither the guest nor the cook himself can and strangles genius in its folds; when demiclearly tell what the repast is made of. In the gods and heroes have abandoned the field; and works of the historian of Enthusiasm, as in the holiest affections of the heart die away in those of Dr. Channing, penury and affluence silence; and the ripest fruits of the teeming of thought are made to look so like each other, mind drop ungathered into the reaper's bosom; that they must be undressed in order to be dis- -an age of literary democracy and intellectual tinguished; and while he is making out which socialism, in which no bequests are made to is which, the courteous reader is apt to lose his remote posterities, and no structures are riscourtesy. In proportion as he is the more pro- ing to command and break the universal found thinker of the two, the Englishman is mediocrity. the more to be upbraided for the perverse From the retirement which he knows so well ingenuity which thus mars his own success. how to describe and to enjoy, our author casts Objects so elevated as his, should not have a mournful gaze round this dreary horizon. been exposed to such hazard. What those ob- Acquainted, perhaps, but too distinctly with jects are has already been partly explained, the religious parties of his native land-their but they demand additional illustration. infirmities and their faults, he longed for the Secluded from the worlds of business and advent of a more catholic spirit
, of a more inof literature, but a keen observer of both, and tense and unostentatious piety, and of theologiviewing all sublunary things in their bearing cal studies animated by some nobler impulse on the eternal welfare of mankind, our author than the hire of booksellers or the praise of mourned over the low estate of theology ephemeral critics. By expostulation and by amongst us, and of those higher intellectual example he has endeavoured thus to regenerate
the national character. Nor are the qualifica- the national character, which might vie with tions which he has devoted to this enterprise those of Olney and of Weston in piety and earof an ordinary kind. Measured by Etonian nestness, in genuine freedom of thought, in and Christchurch standards, he may not be en- the relish for domestic pleasures, and for all titled to a place amongst accomplished scholars; the innocent delights of life, in the filial love but he possesses stores of knowledge which of God, and the brotherly love of man. Learnmight atone, could such guilt admit of expia- ing and logical acumen, and a certain catholi. tion, even for the crime of a false quantity. city of mind, which the poet neither possessed Familiar with the elements, at least, of all nor needed, impart to the works of the essayist physical science, and intimately conversant a charm, without which it is vain, in these with ecclesiastical history, he has explored the days, to interfere in the debates which agitate enigmas of the human heart, even too deeply society. There is a charm, too, even in his disfor his own repose. His bosom yearned, and taste for the pursuits most in request amongst his mind toiled for the happiness of mankind; us; for it springs from the grandeur of the but his labours would seem not to be well sus- ideal excellence by which his imagination is tained by the cheering influence of hope. He possessed. Omniscience, though veiling its loves children, for they are as yet exempt from intimations in the coarse mantle of human the prevailing degeneracy; and the face of na- language, will still emit some gleams of that ture, for it reflects the creative intelligence; radiance which illumines the regions of the and books, for they are the depositories of blessed; and these he would reverently gather human wisdom; and the universal church, for and concentrate. There is in Christianity an it is the ark freighted with the best treasures, expansive power, sometimes repressed' but and charged with the destinies of our race. never destroyed; and that latent energy he Man also he loves, but with feelings pensive if strives to draw forth into life and action. not melancholy, and fastidious even when Those mysteries which shroud the condition most benignant. In his many books, there is and the prospects of our race, however inscrunot a tinge of spleen; but they exhibit that dis- table to the slaves of appetite, are not absogust for the follies and the vices of the world, lutely impervious to a soul purified by devout which with some is the aliment of satire, with contemplation; and to these empyreal heights others a fascination alluring them to the very he aspires at once to point and to lead the evils they despise, with a few, amongst whom way. To him whose foot is firmly planted on our author must take his place, at once a sum- the eternal verities of heaven, there belong mons to exertion and a motive to sadness. motives of such force, and a courage, so un.
Casting off these depressing influences, he daunted, as should burst through all resistance; has devoted all the resources of a comprehen- and he calls on those who enjoy this high prisive understanding, and all the affections of a vilege to assert their native supremacy above benevolent heart, to correct the general debase- the sordid ambition, the frivolities, and the ment, and to exhibit a model of those higher virulence of the lower world. The voice thus pursuits to which he would reclaim his gene- raised in expostulation will die away, not unration. Enthusiasts, fanatics, spiritual despots, heeded by the interior circle he addresses, nor sciolists in education-pastors who slumber unblessed by a meet recompense; but unre. within the fold, and the robbers who spoil it, warded, we fear, by the accomplishment of form a confederacy, the assailant of which these exalted purposes. Eloquent as is the should be encouraged by the gratitude of all indignation with which our anonymous monigood men. If the soul of William Cowper has tor regards the low level to which divine and transmigrated into any human frame, it is that human literature has fallen amongst ns, and of the historian of Enthusiasm. Not, indeed, mean as is his estimate of the pursuits with that the poet has found a successor in the which the men of his own days are engaged, a magic art of establishing a personal and affec- hope may perhaps, without presumption, be tionate intimacy between himself and his read-indulged, that less fastidious and not less capaers. There is no new fireside like that of ble judges will pronounce a more lenient senOlney round which we can gather; nor any tence on us and on our doings. walks like those of Western Underwood, of In the great cycle of human affairs there are which we are the companions; nor a heart at many stages, each essential to the consummaonce broken and playful, whose sorrows and tion of the designs of Providence, and each amusements are our own; nor are we sur- separated by broad distinctions from the rest. rounded by a family group, with tame hares, They whose province it is to censure, and they spaniels, bird-cages, and knitting-needles, as whose desire it is to improve their age, will familiar to us as those of our own boyhood, never find their sacred fires extinct from the and almost as dear,—each in turn reflecting mere want of fuel. History and theory are the gentle, thoughtful, elevated mind of him to always at hand with humiliating contrasts to whom they belonged, in all its vicissitudes of the times we live in. That men have been despondency and hope, of grave wisdom, and better or might be better than they are, has of mirth as light and pure as that of infancy. been true since the first fathers of our race This is the high prerogative of genius, address- returned to their native dust, and will still be ing mankind at large through the vernacular true as long as our planet shall be inhabited idiom of one land in the universal language by their descendants. But below the agitated of all.
surface of the ocean, under-currents are siBut Stamford Rivers, the dwelling-place of lently urging forward, on their destined path, the anonymous writer of these volumes, has the waters of the mighty deep, themselves im given birth to a succession of efforts to exalt pelled by that Power which nona may ques
tion or resist. Human society obeys a similar which, in a different age, would have been influence. Laws as anomalous in appear- consecrated to more splendid, though not perance, as uniform in reality, as those which haps to more worthy undertakings. direct the planetary movements, determine the In the state of letters, there is no maintain. present state, and regulate the progress of ing a polity in which the three elements of commonwealths, whether, political, literary, or power are blended together in harmonious religious. Christianity demands the belief, and counterpoise. There a monarch infallibly beexperience justifies the hope, that their ulti- comes a despot, and a democracy subjugates mate tendency is towards the universal domi- to itself whatever else is eminent, or illustrious. nion of piety and virtue. But it is neither Divines, poets, and philosophers, addressing pious nor rational to suppose, that this con millions of readers and myriads of critics, summation can be attained by any sequence are immediately rewarded by an applause, or of identical causes constantly working out si- punished by a neglect, to which it is not given milar effects. The best generations, like the to mortal man to be superior or indifferent. hest men, are those which possess an indi- Inform the national mind, and improve the vidual and distinctive character. A chain of general taste up to a certain point, and to that splendid biographies constitutes the history of point you inevitably depress the efforts of those past centuries. Whoever shall weave the chro- who are born to instruct the rest. Had Spenser nicles of our own, must take for his staple sta- flourished in the nineteenth century, would be tistics illuminated by a skilful generalization. have aspired to produce the Faery Queen? Once every eye was directed to the leaders of Had Walter Scott lived in the sixteenth, would the world; now all are turned to the masses he have condescended to write the Lady of the of which it is composed. Instead of Newtons Lake ? Our great men are less great because presiding over royal societies, we have Dr. our ordinary men are less abject.
These Birkbecks lecturing at mechanics' institutes. lamentations over the results of this comproIf no Wolseys arise to found colleges like that mise are rather pathetic than just. It forms of Christ Church, Joseph Lancaster and Wil- one indispensable chapter in the natural history liam Bell have emulated each other in works of a people's intellectual progress. It is one not less momentous at the Borough Road and of the stages through which the national mind Baldwin's Gardens. We people continents, must pass towards the general elevation of though we have ceased to discover them. We literature, sacred and profane. We know not abridge folios for the many, though we no how to regret, that genius has from the moment longer write them for the few. Our fathers abdicated her austere supremacy, and stooped compiled systems of divinity—we compose to be popular and plain. Mackintosh surrenpocket theological libraries. They invented dered his philosophy to the compilation of a sciences, we apply them. Literature was once familiar history of England. Faithless to his an oligarchy, it is now a republic. Our very Peris and Glendoveers, Mr. Moore is teaching monitors are affected with the degeneracy they the commonalty of the realm the sad tale of deplore. For the majestic cadence of Milton, the woes inflicted on the land of his birth. No and the voluptuous flow of Jeremy Taylor's longer emulous of Porson, the Bishop of Looperiods, they substitute the rhetorical philoso- don devotes his learned desire to preparing phy, invented some fifty years since, to coun- cheap and easy lessons for the householders tervail the philosophical rhetoric of the French of his diocess. Lord Brougham arrests the Revolution, and put forth, in a collection of current of his eloquence, to instruct mechanics essays for the drawing-room, reproofs which in the principles of the sciences which they the hands of Prynne would have moulded into are reducing to daily practice. Tracts for the learned, fierce, and ponderous folios.
times are extorted from the depositories of ecIt is impossible to prevent is it wise to be clesiastical tradition, obedient to the general wail, this change in our social and intellectual impulse which they condemn, and constrained habits? During the inundations of the Nile, to render the Church argumentative, that they the worship of the mysterious river ceased, may render her oracular. Nay, the author of and no hymns were heard to celebrate its glo- the “Natural History of Enthusiasm" himself, ries. Jdolatry lost its stay, and imagination despite his own protests, yields at length to her excitement; but the land was fertilized. the current, and has become the periodical Learning, once banked up in universities and writer of monthly tracts, where, in good round cathedrals, is now diffused through shops and controversial terms, the superficial multitude factories. The stream, then so profound and are called to sit in judgment on the claims of limpid, may now, perhaps, be both shallow the early fathers to sound doctrine, good and muddy. But is it better that the thirst of a morals, and common sense. Let who will rewhole nation should be thus slaked, or that the pine at what has passed, and at what is passimmortals should be quaffing their nectaring, if they will allow us to rejoice in what is apart in sublime abstraction from the multi- to come. If we witness the growth of no imtude? There is no immediate and practicable mortal reputations, we see the expansion of reconcilement of these advantages. Gepius, universal intelligence. The disparities of huand wit, and science, and whatever else raises man understanding are much the same in all man above his fellows, must bend to the uni- times; but it is when the general level is the versal motives of human conduct. When ho- highest that the mighty of the earth rise to the nour, wealth, public gratitude, and the sense most commanding eloquence. of good desert, reward those who teach ele- But whatever may be the justice of the hopes mentary truth to the people at large, the wisest we thus indulge for future generations, our and the best will devote to that office powers, business is with ourselves. If, as we think,
they are well judging who devote the best gifts original thinker. He is rather exempt from of nature and of learning to the instruction of fear than animated by ardent courage in anthe illiterate, the praise of wisdom is not to be nouncing the fruits of bis inquiries. A great denied to such as write with the more ambi- master of language, he is himself but too often tious aim of stimulating the nobler intellects mastered by it. He is too much the creature, amongst us to enterprises commensurate with to become the reformer, of his age. His astheir elevated powers.
siduity to please is fatal to his desire to comNo strenuous effort for the good of mankind mand. His efforts to move the will are dewas ever yet made altogether in vain ; nor will feated by his success in dazzling the fancy. those of our author be fruitless, though the re- Yet his books exhibit a character, both moral sults may fall far short of his aspirations. The and intellectual, from the study of which the general curreuts of thought and action can reader can hardly fail to rise a wiser and a never be diverted from their channels, except better man. Standing aloof from all vulgar by minds as rarely produced as they are won-excitements, heedless of the transient politics derfully endowed. Energy, decision, and a self- and the fugitive literature of his times, and inreliance, independent of human praise or cen- tent only on the permanent interests of mansore, are amongst their invariable character kind, he has laboured to promote them with an istics. To this sublime order of men the honest love of truth, aided by brilliant talents, Recluse of Stamford Rivers does not belong. comprehensive knowledge, and undaanted inNor can a place be assigned to him among trepidity. And thus he has come under the those calmer spirits, whose inventive genius, guidance of principles, which no man can cultior popular eloquence, has enabled them from vate in his own bosom, or earnestly impart to their solitudes to cast on the agitated masses other minds, without earning a reward which of society seeds of thought destined at some will render human applause insignificant, or future period to change the aspect of human reduce the neglect of the world to a matter of affairs. He is an independent more than an comparative indifference.
[EDINBURGH Review, 1841.) All religions, and all ages, have their saints ; of a steep cleft or hollow, intersecting the motheir men of unearthly mould; self-conquerors; notonous plain across which he has been sublime even in their errors; not altogether passing. The brook which winds through the hateful in their very crimes. If a man would verdant meadows beneath him, stagnates into understand the dormant powers of his own na- a large pool, reflecting the solitary Gothic arch, ture, let him read the Acta Sanctorum. Or, if“ too the water-mill, and the dove-cot, which rise high this price of knowledge,” let him at least from its banks; with the farmhouse, the deacquaint himself with the legends of the later cayed towers, the forest-trees, and the innumeheroes of the Gallican church. Of all ascetics rable shrubs and creepers which clothe the they were the least repulsive. They waged slopes of the valley. France has many a lovewar on dullness with the ardour of Dangeau lier prospect, though this is not without its and St. Simon, and with still better success. beauty; and many a field of more heart-stirring While macerating their bodies in the cloisters interest, though this, too has been ennobled by of Port-Royal, they did not cease to be French heroic daring; but through the length and men and French women of the Augustan age. breadth of that land of chivalry and of song, While practising the monastic virtue of silence the traveller will in vain seek a spot so sacred their social spirit escaped this unwelcome re- to genius, to piety, and to virtue. That arch straint, in a body of memoirs as copious as is all which remains of the once crowded mothose which record the splendour and the mise- nastery of Port-Royal. In those woods Racine ries of Versailles. In a series of volumes, of first learned the language--the universal lanwhich the above is the first, the author is about guage--of poetry. Under the roof of that to tell their story in the language (vernacular humble farmhouse, Pascal, Arnauld, Nicole, and erudite) of his country and his times. A De Saci, and Tillemont, meditated those works, rapid sketch of it may be of use in directing which, as long as civilization and Christianity the attention of our readers to one of the most survive, will retain their hold on the gratitude remarkable episodes in ecclesiastical history. and reverence of mankind. There were given
He whose journey lies from Versailles to innumerable proofs of the graceful good hu-
Reuchlin, Geschichte von Port-Royal. Der Kampf retired the heroine of the Fronde, Ann Genedes Reformirten und des Jesuistischen Katholicismus. vieve, Duchess of Longueville, to seek the 1 ter Band: bis zum Tode Angelica Arnauld. (Reuchlin, peace which the world could not give. Madame and the Jesuitical Catholicism. Ist vol.: to the death de Sevigne discovered here a place “tout of Angelique Arnauld.) 8vo. Leipsic, 1839. propre a inspirer le desir de faire son salar"
From the Petit Trianon and Marly, there came Mere Angelique, by which she has since been hither to worship God, many a courtier and celebrated in the annals of the church. many a beauty, heart-broken or jaded with the To the church, however, must not be imvery vanity of vanities-the idolatry of their puted this breach of ecclesiastical discipline. fellow mortals. Survey French society in the In the ardour of his parental affections, the seventeenth century from what aspect you learned advocate-general was hurried into acts will, it matters not, at Port-Royal will be found for which he would have consigned a criminal the most illustrious examples of what imparted of lower degree to the galleys. He obtained to that motley assemblage any real dignity or the requisite bulls from Rome by forged certipermanent regard. Even to the mere anti- ficates of his granddaughter's age; and to this quarian, it was not without a lively interest. treason against the holy see, Henry himself
At the eve of his departure to the conquest was at least an accessary after the fact. Huntof the holy sepulchre, the good knight, Mat-ing in the valley of Port-Royal, the gay mothieu de Marli, cast a wistful gaze over the march trespassed on the precincts of the sacred broad lands of his ancestors, and intrusted to enclosure. To repel the royal intruder, a child, his spouse, Mathilde de Garlande, the care bearing in her hand the crosier, which bespoke of executing some work of piety by which to her high conventional rank, issued from the propitiate the Divine favour, and to insure gates of the abbey at the head of a solemn prohis safe return. A Benedictine monastery, for cession of nuns, and rebuked her sovereign the reception of twelve ladies of the Cistertian with all the majesty of an infant Ambrose. order, was accordingly erected, in imitation of Henry laughed and obeyed. Marion's detected the cathedral at Amiens, and by the same fraud would seem to have passed for a good architect. Four centuries witnessed the gra- practical joke, and for nothing more. In the dual increase of the wealth and dignity of the result, however, no occurrence ever contrifoundation. Prelates of the houses of Sully buted less to the comedy of life, or formed the and Nemours enlarged its privileges. Pope commencement of a series of events more Honorius III. authorized the celebration of the grave or touching. It would be difficult or imsacred office within its walls, even though the possible to discover, in the history of the whole country should be lying under a papal church, the name of any woman who has left interdict; and of the host consecrated on the so deep an impress of her character on the profession of a nun, seven fragments might be thoughts and the conduct of the Christian comsolemnly confided to her own keeping, that, monwealth. for as many successive days, she might admi- The family of Arnauld held a conspicuous nister to herself the holy sacrament. Yet how station among the noblesse of Provence, in the arrest by spiritual immunities the earthward twelfth and thirteenth centuries. In a later tendency of all sublunary things ? At the close age, a member of that house enjoyed the sinof the reign of Henry IV., the religious ladies gular honour of at once serving Catharine de of Port-Royal had learned to adjust their “robes Medicis as her procureur-general, and of dea grandes manches” to the best advantage. feating, sword in hand, at the head of his serPromenades by the margin of the lake re- vants, the force sent to assassinate him on the lieved the tedium of monastic life. Gayer day of St. Bartholomew. Returning to the strains of music than those of the choir, might bosom of the church, which had thus roughly be heard from the adjacent woods; and if a wooed him, he transmitted his fortune and his cavalier from Paris or Chevreuse had chanced office to his son, Antoine Arnauld, the husband to pursue his game that way, the fair musi- of Catharine Marion. They were the happy cians were not absolutely concealed nor inexo- parents of no less than twenty children. Of rably silent. So lightly sat the burden of their these the youngest was the great writer who vows on those amiable recluses, that the gay- has imparted to the name of Arnauld an imest courtier might well covet for his portionless perishable lustre. Five of the daughters of the daughter the rank of their lady abbess. same house assumed the veil, in the abbey of
Such at least was the judgment of M. Marion. Port-Royal. Their mother, Catharine Marion, He was advocate-general to Henry IV., and was admitted in her widowed into that society. maternal grandfather of Jaqueline Marie An- Pomponne, the minister of Lonis XIV.; Le gelique and of Agnes Arnauld. Of the arts to Maitre, unrivalled among the masters of foren. the invention of which the moderns may lay sic eloqnence in France; and De Saci, the auclaim, that of jobbing is not one. M. Marion thor of the best version of the Holy Scriptures obtained from “the father of his people” the into the French language, were three of her coadjuterie of the abbey of Port-Royal for the grandsons. Before her death, the venerable high-spirited Jaqueline, then in her eighth matron had seen herself surrounded, in the year; and that of St. Cyr for the more gentle monastery and the adjoining hermitages, by Agnes, over whom not more than five sum- eighteen of her descendants in the first and mers had passed. The young ladies renounced second generations; por until the final disperat once the nursery and the world. A single sion of the sisterhood, in the beginning of the step conducted them from the leading strings seventeenth century, had the posterity of An. to the veil. Before the completion of her first toine and Catharine Arnauld ceased to rale in decade, Angelique, on the death of her imme- the house of which Mere Angelique had, sevendiate predecessor, found herself, in plenary ty years before, been the renowned reformer
. right, the abbess and the ruler of her monas- To those who believe that the psychological tery; and, in attestation of her spiritual espou- distinction of the sexes may be traced to physals, assumed the title and the name of the sical causes, and that, where they neither marry