« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
of my own assertion? Do I believe them to be, as callings from God, spiritual, sacramental, divine, eternal ? Or am I at heart regarding and using them, like the Papist, merely as heaven's indulgences to the infirmities of fallen man?” — Then will my book have done its work.
If, again, it shall deter one young man from the example of those miserable dilettanti, who in books and sermons are whimpering meagre second-hand praises of celibacy, — depreciating as carnal and degrading those family ties, to which they owe their own existence, in the enjoyment of which they themselves all the while unblushingly indulge — insulting thus their own wives and mothers, — nibbling ignorantly at the very root of that household purity, which constitutes the distinctive superiority of Protestant over Popish nations ; — again my book will have done its work.
If, lastly, it shall awake one pious Protestant to recognize, in some, at least, of the Saints of the Middle Age, beings not only of the same passions, but of the same Lord, the same faith, the same baptism, as themselves ; Protestants, not the less deep and true, because utterly unconscious and practical — mighty witnesses against the two antichrists of their age — the tyranny of feudal caste, and the phantoms which Popery substitutes for the living Christ — then also will my little book indeed have done its work.
ELIZABETH, daughter of the King of Hungary.
the suppression of heresy.
&c. &c. &c.
The Scene lies principally in Eisenach, and the Wartburg; changing afterwards to Bamberg, and finally to Marpurg.
1. WAKE again, Teutonic Father-ages,
Speak again, beloved primæval creeds ; Flash ancestral spirit from your pages,
Wake the greedy age to noble deeds.
Schooled themselves by vigil, fast, and prayer ; Learnt to love as Jesus loved before them,
While they bore the cross which poor men bear.
Tell us how our stout crusading fathers
Fought and died for God, and not for gold ; Let their love, their faith, their boyish daring,
Distance-mellowed, gild the days of old.
Tell us how the sexless workers, thronging,
Angel-tended, round the convent doors, Wrought to Christian faith and holy order
Savage hearts alike and barren moors.
Ye who built the churches where we worship,
Ye who framed the laws by which we move, Fathers, long belied, and long forsaken,
Oh! forgive the children of your love!
Speak ! but ask us not to be as ye were !
All but God is changing day by day. He who breathes on man the plastic spirit,
Bids us mould ourselves its robe of clay.
Drowning ill and good alike in night, Sink, and bear the wrecks of ancient labour,
Fossil-teeming, to the searching light!
III. There will we find laws, which shall interpret,
Through the simpler past, existing life ; Delving up from mines and fairy caverns
Charmed blades, to cut the age's strife.