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But if Shelley's political view of men is confusing, because it ignores the governing power and the need of government in man, his religious view of the world is still more so, from a corresponding hiatus in his spiritual creed. It is curious that both in politics and in religion he has a tendency to give us feminine softness as the sovereign power, where he will allow us any. In the Revolt of Islam, Laone, if any one, fills the vacuum left by the throne,-certainly Laone more than Laon, who is himself feminine enough. In the Prometheus Unbound, while Prometheus brings about the catastrophe by patient endurance, Asia, as we have said, is the only positive representation of the “ ruling” spirit of love; and Asia is a rich overpowering perfume rather than a power. Demogorgon, the genius of Eternity, who, in form at least, dethrones the tyrant Jupiter when the fated hour comes, is a form of Zero. He sits waiting for his task in the gloom, and never appears to do any thing again after it is performed. The whole catastrophe is significantly enough brought about by passive virtues; and Demogorgon is there-fore fitly enough the pure Nothing, the “reine Nichts,” or at best, let us say, Kant's pure idea of à priori Time seated in a priori Space, who overthrows the tyrant at last simply because the tyrant's day is done. Panthea describes him thus, and he is even more negative than he is described to be:

"I see a mighty Darkness
Filling the seat of power, and rays of gloom
Dart round, as light from the meridian sun,
Ungazed upon and shapeless; neither limb,
Nor form, nor outline; yet we feel it is

A living Spirit.” The reader does not feel it at all, and certainly Shelley as a poet did not feel it,—nothing can be more imbecile than Deinogorgon's function in the poem. Prometheus only represents created beings; and his virtues are summed up in lines which tell how anxiously Shelley wished to inculcate that the highest virtues of the creature are purely passive:

To suffer woes which Hope thinks infinite,

To forgive wrongs darker than death or night,
To defy power which seems omnipotent,
To love and bear, to hope till Hope creates
From its own wreck the thing it contemplates ;
Neither to change, nor flatter, nor repent,
This, like thy glory, Titan, is to be
Good, great, and joyous, beautiful and free ;

This is alone Life, Joy, Empire, and Victory.” In this fine poem Shelley in reality puts no personal Power over Jupiter. Tyranny he represents as personal will; but the power that dethrones tyranny is a breath, a shadow, nothing. In short, Will falls from the throne of the Universe by its own weight, and there is nothing to take its place. To Shelley all will is obstructive; the only being he can really worship is the rich radiant spirit of feminine loveliness, through whom alone even Prometheus can find his rest; and even for her he feels not worship, but “ the desire of the moth for the star.”

The characteristics, then, of Shelley's poetical mysticism seem to us to be the spirit of unsatisfied desire which kindles it, the intellectualised character of that desire, impregnated as it is every where with the fixed air of subtle thought, and yet never dominated or controlled by that thought,-a consequent awelessness of instinct, which rushes on its way with a craving only whetted by the desultory stirrings of a minutely luminous intellect into the curiosity of passion,-an eclectic idealism, which recoils from every thing unattractive,--a love of beauty, which excludes the attribute of strength, and includes only passive virtues, -all culminating in the substitution of either Time or Zero in the place of the power of God. We do not think that his genius, trained as it was, could have taken any other path of development. He received in his earliest days the severest shock of repulsion from the world as it was. His whole genius led him to the elaboration of ideal beauties. There was something of his own “sensitive plant" in his mind, which made him start away from repulsive qualities, and rendered him incapable of reconciling contradictions, or holding together with a strong hand the various elements of a complex problem. Into one side of human perfection he had a far higher insight than most men of his day,—the passive nobility of beautiful instinct and endurance. But the very idealising tendency which repelled him from human politics repelled him also from all human creeds, and the very first objection he took to them was to their demand of deference for a spiritual King. From all arbitrary authority he recoiled, and never apparently conceived the reality of authority properly so called, not arbitrary. Hence, to save his faith in human nature, he was almost compelled to seat a shadow on the throne of the Universe. The only marvel is, that his imagination still kept a throne of the Universe at all, even for a shadow. His ideal world was one where music and moonlight and feeling are one,” and in such a world probably no throne or sceptre would be needed. The result of his idealism, as of all idealism, was, that he nowhere found any true rest for his spirit, since he never came upon any free and immutable will on which to lean. The sense of weakness, of a

, longing to lean somewhere and no strength on which to lean, runs through his whole poems:


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Yet now despair itself is mild

Even as the winds and waters are;
I could lie down like a tired child,
And weep away the life of care

Which I have borne, and yet must bear," is a burden that reappears habitually in his poetry. There is but one passage in all Shelley's exquisite poetry which rises into pure sublimity,-- because power is of the essence of sublimity, and Shelley had no true sense of power. But one does, and that is, characteristically enough, the passage in which he puts into Beatrice Cenci's heart the sudden doubt lest the spiritual world be without God after all :

“Sweet Heaven, forgive weak thoughts! If there should be

No God, no Heaven, no Earth, in the void world,

The wide, gray, lampless, deep, unpeopled world !”

A sublimer line was scarcely cver written. It casts just a gleam on the infinite horror of an empty eternity, and then drops the veil again, leaving the infinitude of weakness and emptiness intensified into a sublimity. Yet here is the true root of Shelley's restlessness — the suspicion that when desire fails, the object of the heart's desire may fail with it,- that “the One” who "remains” is a thinner, fainter, less living thing than the "many" which change and pass," -- that there is nothing substantial at the

"' heart of the universe,-no Will behind the fleeting beauty, no strength of self-sacrifice behind the melting love. Shelley was no Atheist. His Pantheism was sincere, and at times no doubt a kind of faith to him ; but belief in a universal essence gave no solidity to the order of the world, no firm law to the flux and reflux of human desire, had no power to say, "Be still, and know that I am God.” Behind this form and flush of the universal beauty” there always lay a dreadful phantom of possible emptiness. He felt of Pantheism as he felt of the pictured falsehoods on the surface of the individual mind, that they might be all an illusive scenic effect. “Lift not the painted veil which those who live call life.” What if we were to find even behind the fresco of universal loveliness nothing but a “wide, gray, lampless, deep, unpeopled world” ?

ART. V.-ETERNAL PUNISHMENT. The Rerclution of God the Probation of Man. Two Sermons preached

before the University of Oxford. By Samuel Lord Bishop of

Oxford. London: J. H. and Jas. Parker, and J. Murray. 1861. Notes on the Parables. By Richard Chenevix Trench, D.D., Dean

of Westminster. Parochial Sermons. By John Henry Newman, B.D., Fellow of Oriel

College, Oxford. 1814. An Exposition of the Creed. By John Pearson, D.D., Lord Bishop

of Chester. Sermons. By George Buil, D.D., Lord Bishop of St. David's.

Oxford, 1840. The Epistles of St. Paul to the Thessalonians, Galatians, Romans.

By Benjamin Jowett, M.A., Fellow and Tutor of Balliol College,

Oxford. London: J. Murray. 1855. Scripture Revelations of a Future State. By Richard Whately, D.D.,

Archbishop of Dublin. London: Parker, Son, and Bourn. Theological Essays. By Frederick Denison Maurice, M.A. Cam

bridge: Macmillan. '1853. Essays and Rcriews. London: Longmans. 1861. St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans, newly translated and explained

from a Missionary point of view. By the Right Rev. J. W. Colenso, D.D., Bishop of Natal. Cambridge: Macmillan and Co.

1861. Furgiveness after Death : Does the Bible or the Church of England

affirm it to be impossible? A Review of the alleged Proofs of the Hopelessness of the Future State. By a Clergyman. London:

Longmans. 1863 The preceding list of works will at once show the nature and extent of the task which we have imposed on ourselves in the present article. We are not going to enter on any discussion of abstract theories, or on any analysis of the philosophical arguments which are brought forward in support of them. Our work is at once more simple and more urgent. The controversies which find their battle-ground in the Church of England seem to multiply almost as rapidly as the heads of the Lernaan hydra; but, like these heads, they spring from one root, and on this final question we purpose now to insist with that plainness of speech which has never been more imperatively needed than at the present time. Behind all discussions on the authority of the Bible lies the one absorbing subject of human destiny. It

is better and more honest to declare at once, that on this question only one answer will be accepted by the English people; but it is no light thing, if, as we believe, it can be said with truth that the Church of England has returned this answer. In her interest, next only to that of truth and justice, we desire to speak. She is facing a great danger ; but that danger arises from the progress, not of historical criticism, but of a feeling of doubt whether her voice is raised to proclaim unreservedly the absolute righteousness of God. Her authority is claimed for a vast scheme of popular theology. Among her ministers, some few openly denounce parts of this scheme, many practically ignore it; while others uphold it by arguments which would make it indifferent whether we worship

God, or whether we worship Moloch. It bodes no good to a church when its lay members begin to suspect that the clergy are upholding a system of dogmas in some part of which at least they do not believe. It is a still darker sign if they come to think that these dogmas impute what, amongst men, would be called the worst injustice to a Being who is represented as infinitely merciful and loving. It becomes therefore a subject of paramount importance to ascertain what is in fact the practical teaching of the clergy on the subject of Eternal Punishment, and whether that teaching is consistent with itself and with the religion on which it professes to rest.

The subject cannot possibly be put aside. The course of thought and criticism at home, the more urgent needs of missionaries abroad, will again and again demand answers to questions which all feel to be of greater moment than any other. The age, which has fearlessly scrutinised the histories of Greece and Rome, which has laid down the laws by which these are to be judged, and has applied these laws with rigid impartiality to all researches or speculations, whether they tell for or against the orthodox belief,* will not be hindered from examining the grounds of the doctrines which fix the destinies of all mankind. It is impossible to doubt that the clergy generally are well aware of this. The old language on the subject of hell-torments is by comparison seldom heard at the present day; and the passing reference to them is commonly followed by the tranquil announcement of a just retribution for all sin. While in this

* The criticisms of Sir Cornewall Lewis are directed with equal severity against the reconstructed Assyrian history of Mr. Rawlinson and the Egyptology of Baron Bunsen. The former is supposed to corroborate the history of ihe Old Testament, the latter to upset it. To the historical critic either issue is wholly beside the question; but of course his weapons may strike that which he had no conscious intention of assailing. Minucius Felix never thought of the labours of Samson when he thrust aside those of Heracles by the famous criterion, “Hæc, si facta essent, fierent: quia fieri non possunt, ideò nec facta sunt."

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