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Yet this one tear which now doth fall
Are justly drown'd; but that these tears
O God ! in this thy grace appears ;
I think !
Thus toss'd in seas of woe,
Thus laden with my sin,
Waves of despair dash in,
And threat mine overthrow.
So, in this fearful storm,
This danger to prevent,
Before all hope be spent,
I'll choose the lesser harm.
Take three exquisite verses of " His Ballet," —
“Since every man I come among
Sings praises of his choice,
She'll fit it for her voice.
You see before you seek,
United in her cheek.
I have a riband too :
Such orders as these two."
An“ Impromptu on the Countess of Pembroke's Picture" is full of neat conceit:
" Here (though the lustre of her youth be spent)
Are curious steps to see where beauty went ;
And for the wonders in her mind that dwell,
She might enrich her sex by legacies!"
“Lo! on my neck whilst this I bind,
Both by the gem and by the place." We must finish with a poem which affords us a proof of the editor's horror of the tastes of a bygone age :
“ AN OPPORTUNITY NEGLECTED. “Yet was her beauty as the blushing rose,
“ The language of this poem is not suited to the taste of this age.--Ed."
There is a timorous, a squeamish taste in this mode of exhibiting an author's works, or an author in his works, that is not exactly in accordance with the vocation of an editor. Industry and earnestness characterize Mr. Manning's research ; but skill is wanting in the disposal of the documents and the materials which he has gathered together. For even in the course of the Memoirs, which are but slender, his digressions are numerous, and either not essential to the course of the narrative; or, if suitable in respect of intention and subject, the execution is destitute of the necessary vigour, clearness, and instructive vitality which sketches and illus
rations of the political history of the period ought to have possessed.
We have not said anything of the “ Letters of his (the Knight's) great-great-grandson, Benjamin Rudyerd, Esq., Captain in the Coldstream Guards at the battle of Fontenoy," which the titlepage announces, and which help to swell the volume. As specimens of epistolary correspondence they are spirited, and convey a good idea of military life, and of a man who has cultivated literature ; the vicissitudes of the one sphere blending strikingly with the amenities of the other. But these letters would not of themselves command the attention of many readers; and they have not any very clear right to be where they are in the publication before us.
Art. XII.-An Essay on Sex in the World to come. By the Rev. G. D.
Haughton, B. A. London: Boone. It appears to be Mr. Haughton's conviction, that the happiness and joys of heaven to the beatified of our race will partake much more of the nature of the purest earthly sensibilities, than it has been the custom of theologians and others to picture, of a future state of existence. He says
" that our theories of the life to come are sadly defective, and needlessly unattractive, will be assented to by every man of more than ordinary sensibility and imagination, and thereby religion itself is the loser. The common place and the dull may not note a deficiency, but spirits more 'finely touched' will find it an atmosphere too thin to bear their pinions, or to exalt their hopes. The profanity of Lord Byron in sneering at the common account of the next world, and of the employments of the blest, has been often and justly condemned. Yet the tone of it is reprehensible, much more than the substance.” Our author endeavours, therefore, to correct and exalt the notions of mankind, relative to the next life, his doctrine being that the distinction of sex will obtain in heaven, and be a source of beautiful variety, as well as of refined and exquisite pleasure for evermore.
He theorises in this way :—that the mental constitution and the feelings of both sexes are of a character that, without reciprocities between them being continued and fully developed, human nature cannot be perfected. “In Eden, man could not be happy alone. Nor could he be pleased or satisfied with a fac-simile of himself. He requires not his own resemblance, but his contrast. The Almighty has formed the human race in two contrasts; and all happiness, as well as perfection, is a middle term resulting from the combined action of both." The theory even goes to maintain that a difference of sex exists among the angels; and his inference is that a similar distribution will take place with the blest that have been carried from earth to the heavenly mansions. He finds nothing in Revelation that militates against his doctrine ; but, on the contrary, analogical confirmations and numerous suggestions encouraging to our present conceptions. He says "that the maxim of the generality is, that to form a heaven, you must reverse every idea of earth. Hence sex disappears, hence the denizens of it are clothed in moral and intellectual perfection. A most baseless imagination, unfounded in reason, unproved by experience, and totally opposed by Scripture. For that plainly testifies in words, without a limitation, that there is none good save one, that is God,' (or the Good One); and of the angels it says 'He chargeth His angels with folly, and the stars are not pure in His sight. Our author goes on to say, that we shall in heaven, as here, “be in a growing state, mo
rally and intellectually. Our understandings will still be finite, and finiteness implies imperfection and liability to error. Our hearts, though expanded, will still not be unbounded, but subject to the influence of local ties.” There will, therefore, be distinct and manifold sources of interest and enjoyment, as many and as great as those between the poet and the mathematician; but yet the diversity will not imply obliquity of the heart, or intentional error.
Let us see how he defends his doctrine in answer to those who may think that it is dishonouring in regard to angelic intelligences, to whom he extends it:
“We are quite aware that some will consider this a dishonouring thought. It is not so. Let the dishonour and the shame rest with those whose ideas on this subject are so inextricably involved in animal considerations that they deem it (as some purists have done marriage) unbefitting the holiest place. But even our present experience would be enough to confute them; for is it hard to imagine that those beings, so high exalted, may appear to each other in the same sacred light in which already appear to us the persons of mother, sister, daughter, and unapproachable like them save with absolute purity? And when we consider that among the angels is neither marriage nor its consequences, and of course not the appetites which lead to it, then may we conceive of sex as existing among them in its purest ideal—the parent of every delicious and tender emotion, unstained even by the shadow of mortal passion. We may conceive that there, as here, the lovelier spirit may wear a form of frailer texture, and plumage of more brilliant and varied colouring, and that the stronger spirit may have a stouter frame and a more majestic tread ; and that the one may exhibit a sprightlier and the other a more serious turn of general thought, without in the slightest degree trenching upon that entire sacredness which ought to hallow our every idea of them.”
Mr. H. discovers an argument for his theory in the fact that various offices and functions are assigned to angels in Scripture.
“In the nineteenth chapter of the second book of Kings we read —' And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the Lord went out and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred four score and five thousand; and when they arose early in the morning, behold they were all dead corpses.'
Now, what a stern deed is here related ! And how incompatible, at least with a predominance of the gentler affections in the terrific agent. It is indeed probable that the angel was not here displayed doing visibly the work of destruction ; but that by a mysterious command over the powers of nature he impregnated with death the air breathed by that mighty host. He might have caused them to inhale poisonous or sulphurous exhalations, or added strength to the fiery blast of the simoom. But in either case the interference was equally real, and though it may have
been screened from sight, was not less tremendous. Now the author of this frightful havoc may have been possessed of inflexible justice and uprightness; but can we persuade ourselves that it would be possible to love him ? For if it drew tears from the youthful Xerxes, as he surveyed his fine army on the shores of the Hellespont before crossing over into Greece, to reflect that, gay and glittering as they were then, not one of them would be alive that day one hundred years ; and if we feel that such sentiments became him, then in what light can we regard the conscious wilful agent of a desolation vaster in amount, and instantaneous in effect ? What mould must he have been made of, who could see that gallant host, every heart throbbing with high emotion and joyful anticipation, and could yet wave that magic wand, or give those secret orders which, ere the next sun dawned, would strew them around, all cold and stiff and still ?
“ Nor let it be urged in answer to this, that this was still a good angel. He might have been so. But this instance may serve to teach us that we ought to enlarge our ideas of the angelic community, and cease to consider it as all animated by one impulse ; but rather as composed of individuals of the most various and almost opposite powers and dispositions, beings glorious but imperfect; and in that very imperfection, and consequent need of mutual assistance and sympathy, finding the surest bond of cordiality and love."
Our author impugns, if he does not ridicule the belief that angelic natures are unceasingly occupied in adoration ; that themes so agitating as our earthly transactions, ill accord with their smooth beatitude and beautiful unruffled passions. Such notions, he says, are purely gratuitous and shallow ; because “if their faculties resemble ours, such a condition of immortality may be pronounced impossible. Besides, to entertain it, we must unlearn all our ideas of nobleness and heroism; we must, in fact, say that the excellence of the other world, and of this, presents reversed ideas; we must maintain that the love and charity of the celestial are quite different qualities from those of the sublunary sphere.”
We do not think that it would tend to any good, certainly not to the attainment of any sort of satisfaction, were we to enter into the casuistry of the subject, and usurp the theologian or the metaphysician's place on a topic of the mysterious and ineffable nature of that which Mr. Haughton has introduced. To us he appears to deal in assertion and assumption by turns; to suggest ideas which, if pushed logically to their results, and taken according to certain obvious bearings, would overwhelm his theory, thoughts which if duly weighed would involve contradictions. He seems not to apprehend the differences which may exist on account of degrees, and also of qualities, in entirely new conditions, taking earth for his standard. However, we proceed to copy out some other specimens of vague and intangible argument, and where from the mysterious and the veiled nature of the theme, man, in his clayey and mortal tabernacle, can but grope and flounder. Says Mr. Haughton :-