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years. A proceeding this which ought to have revolted from Robert Montgomery even the wife of his bosom! Yet it did not much revolt the public, and apparently Wordsworth's biographer not at all.

Even as late as 1833, of a new volume of Wordsworth's Poems there was probably not a single copy purchased in the whole county of Cumberland. Of what poems he had published when he was twenty-eight years of age, Longman, the publisher, once gave away the copyright, as a thing of no value. And at a time when Crabbe had made an easy fortune by his Tales of the Hall, Parish Register, and Borough, Wordsworth for his works had received almost nothing.

In the Edinburgh Review there were quoted for ridicule forty of the finest lines of the ode, the subject of which is Intimations of Immortality, from Recollections of Early Childhood. It is a poem in which Wordsworth writes in the spirit of the doctrine of the preëxistence of souls. For a time, and for poetical effect, he is a Platonist; and believes that

“ Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting :
The soul that rises with us, our life's star,

Hath had elsewhere its setting,

And cometh from afar.
Not in entire forgetfulness,

And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come

From God, who is our home.” The whole ode is perfect. From the first line to the last, it is excellent. And at times there breathes in it an inspiration almost higher than that of genius. But of this great, grand composition, the following lines were quoted as being bad:

"O joy! that in our embers

Is something that doth live,
That nature yet remembers

What was so fugitive!
The thought of our past years in me doth breed
Perpetual benediction : not indeed
For that which is most worthy to be blest ;
Delight and liberty, the simple creed
Of childhood, whether busy or at rest,
With new-fledged hope still fluttering in his breast;

Not for these I raise

of thanks and praise :
But for those obstinate questionings
Of sense and outward things,
Fallings from us, vanishings;

Blank misgivings of a creature
Moving about in worlds not realized :
High instincts, before which our mortal nature
Did tremble, like a guilty thing surprised :

But for those first affections,

Those shadowy recollections,

Which, be they what they may,
Are yet the fountain-light of all our day,
Are yet a master light of all our seeing :

Uphold us, cherish, and have power to make
Our noisy years seem moments in the being
Of the eternal silence : truths that wake,

To perish never :
Which neither listlessness nor mad endeavor,

Nor man nor boy,
Nor all that is at enmity with joy,
Can utterly abolish or destroy !

Hence in a season of calm weather,

Though inland far we be,
Our souls have sight of that immortal sea

Which brought us hither,

Can in a moment travel thither,
And see the children sport upon the shore,

And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore." For the ode itself, there was not in the Edinburgh Review one word of praise; and the preceding lines from it were quoted as simply being ridiculous. The popular Reviewer! There was revealed to him the very beauty of holiness; and he saw it only to laugh at it.

It was one class only, but all classes in England, that rejected Wordsworth as a poet. o the scorn Wordsworth was to Episcopalian rectors, rich with tithe and glebe-land and oppression! And the strange ignorance of his name there was among the orthodox! And, no doubt, it was not without some reference to Wordsworth, that Coleridge recorded his pain at the repugnance of English Unitarians to manifestations of the imagina.

Wordsworth was himself as noble as his poetry. Rightly understood, his Memoirs are a poem to read.

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Among the public men of this century, perhaps there has been none more heroic in life than our author, – than Wordsworth, courageously waiting his time, though far off, - quite content to forego wealth, so he might live faithfully by his genius, - careless of the praise of men, from feeling himself stand so full in the eye of God, conscious of his right to Hayley's laurels, and to payment better than what Crabbe received, or than Scott was enriched with, yet not embittered with ill-fortune, but calm and cheerful, ridiculed by Byron, one of his earliest and greatest debtors, abused by hostile politicians, hindered by unworthy critics, misunderstood, neglected, yet patient and magnanimous, - meanly esteemed, yet writing in the spirit of a future, wiser age, almost universally despised, yet over fields as wide as the English language sowing the world with seeds of good.

Remember what Wordsworth was in himself, and what the age was he lived in: and then he is sublime to think of. A man of such gentleness, and such endurance! A man reviled as darkling, while living in a light exceeding that of the sun. Wordsworth singing that Ode on Immortality to scornful men! - almost it is what ranks him among martyrs, even those of the early Church, that died for the Holy Spirit that was in them.

And now it is over, - his life and his work. And a soul like his, - let us hope it will never long be wanting in a season of necessity, a spirit, that holds itself independent of the world that it is appointed to lead. Now, in his own words, let us say of the poet himself, what is so true,

" Thou hast left behind
Powers that will work for thee : air, earth, and skies :
There 's not a breathing of the common wind
That will forget thee. Thou hast great allies.
Thy friends are exultations, agonies,

And love and man's unconquerable mind." So peculiarly and so exactly true! There are no other fitter words than these to end with, now!

W. M.

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Christian Aspects of Faith and Duty. Discourses by JOHN

JAMES TAYLER, B. A. London: John Chapman. 1851. 8vo. pp. 346.

Our readers will need no introduction to the author of " A Retrospect of the Religious Life of England.” In the volume before us, Mr. Tayler well sustains a most worthy reputation, and gives fresh assurance of being an enlightened and genial thinker, an accomplished scholar and writer, and an earnest Christian. The discourses, twenty in number, are exceedingly fresh and attractive, as well as able, discussions of the great problems of human life as seen under the light of Christianity, not according to by-gone aspects, but as they are presented to serious-minded per. sons in our times. Following the leading of the great Sermon on the Mount, the volume opens with an admirable discourse upon the “Spiritual Hunger and Thirst," that sense of spiritual and moral want, which the Gospel almost presupposes, and 10 which it ministers. Two following discourses illustrate, on the one hand, the approach of the soul to the Heavenly Father, the Source of help, and on the other hand, the drawing near of the Heavenly Father to his needy children on the earth. Then, in succeeding sermons, we read of the Mediator between God and men, of the “ Harmony of the Divine and Human in Christ,” of “ The Distinctive and Permanent in Christianity,” and of “The Footsteps of Christ." Through the remainder of the volume, the author pursues his great subject into various applications, relating, with three exceptions, viz. the discourses on “ The True Expression of Human Brotherhood,” “ More Justice and Less Charity," and "Retrospect and Anticipation," rather to the inward than to the outward life. “ Faith the Assurance of the Soul," “ The Blessing of Sorrow," and " The Simplicity of the Heart," especially commended themselves to us as timely and wise and beautifully practical sermons, adapted in the main to the unlearned, as well as to the Christian scholar. The references scattered through the volume to various difficult social questions of the day are distinguished by a wise and most Chris. tian humanity, as far removed from a cast-iron conservatism as from a crude and rabid radicalism. We wish to do the fullest justice to the merits of these sermons, for the truth's sake, and also because, contrary to our wishes, we must take some exceptions to their matter and manner. We would repeat that the


volume is characterized throughout by the tokens of a large and rich mind, profoundly penetrated by the spirit of Christianity. The preacher is no mere intellectualist or sentimentalist or rhapsodist, but one in whose culture the powers joined by God have not been separated ; he is the slave of no party, not even of the liberal party. To use his own phraseology, he has shared the gifts at once of the prophet and of the philosopher; he is a believe ing and a discerning man, and, if he has erred in his search after the truth, is at least in the way to find it, because he is honest and earnest. No one can read these discourses without experiencing a pure and profitable pleasure. Nevertheless, with all deference to the reverend author, we must add to our admiring language a few words of criticism.

To the reverential, trusting Christian spirit of the sermons we would bear most willing and unqualified testimony, and yet from the doctrine of Jesus, as Mr. Tayler unfolds it, we must emphatically dissent. The author distinctly recognizes the supernatural element in our Saviour's being and life, and refuses to call him a mere man, but, on the other hand, he limits the indwelling of the Divine in the human far more than the facts or the phi. losophy of the case demand. In his view, the Lord is eminently the prophet of the race, endowed with the wisdom of the con. science and the affections to a transcendent degree, and yet not illumined beyond the measure of his times upon matters of science, &c., but sharing the local and national opinions. We suppose that in these opinions would be included the persuasions with reference to Satan, demoniacal possession, and the like. Now we can sympathize with the positive portion of this doctrine, but not with its stated or implied negations. Our view of the mysterious being of Jesus will not allow us to set bounds to his knowledge save where he has set them himself, and if it can be shown of any opinion that our Saviour entertained it, then, with our present light, we must say, it is more likely that we are in error if we hold it to be incredible, than that he was mistaken. Our present limits will not permit us to pursue a question which claims a volume for its discussion, but we have felt bound at least to record this objection.

Again, we gather from Mr. Tayler's pages, that, although he accepts the miracles of the Gospel, he makes little use of them as an aid to faith. This is far better than the hasty rationalism which, by rejecting them, entirely destroys, beyond all remedy, the integrity of the record, and breaks up the continuous thread of Gospel history into useless and disjointed bits, which we shall vainly try to weave again into a whole. But this view of the miracles is an unwise and unnecessary concession to the narrow, sceptical mind of our time, to a dogmatical incredulity which is

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