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In direct opposition to the spirit which would make not moral excellence but technical forms of belief the test of safety he writes such verses as these

In one blaze of charity
Care and remorse are lost, like motes in light divine;
Whole years of folly we outlive
In His unerring sight, who measures Life by Love.'

• Lord, and what shall this man do?”

Ask'st thou, Christian, for thy friend?
If his love for Christ be true,

Christ hath told thee of his end :
This is he whom God approves,
This is he whom Jesus loves.'
•Wouldst thou the life of souls discern?

Nor human wisdom nor divine
Helps thee by aught beside to learn;

Love is lise's only sign.' Again, the doubts and difficulties, which in the rude conflict of theological controversy are usually ascribed to corrupt, motives and the like, are treated in his Ode on St. Thomas's Day with a tenderness worthy of the most advanced of modern thinkers :

• Is there on earth a spirit frail,

Who fears to take their word ;
Scarce daring through the twilight pale

To think he sees the Lord ?
With eyes too tremblingly awake
To bear with dimness for His sake ?

Read and confess the Hand Divine

That drew thy likeness here so true in every line.' And the beautiful analysis of the character and position of Barnabas, which is one of the masterpieces of Renan's work on the Apostles, is all but anticipated in the lines on that saint in the Christian Year :

• Never so blest as when in Jesus' roll,

They write some hero-soul,

More pleased upon his brightening road

To wait, than if their own with all his radiance glow'd.' Such a keen discrimination of the gifts and relations of the Apostles belongs to the true modern element of theology, not to the conventional theories of former days.

And with regard to the more special peculiarities of the High Church school, it is remarkable how at every turn he broke away from them in his poetry. It is enough to refer to the justification of marriage as against celibacy in the Ode on the Wednesday in Passion Week; the glorification of the religion of common against conventual life in his Morning Hymn, and in his Ode on St. Matthew's Day. The contending polemic schools have themselves called attention to the well-known lines on the Eucharist in the poem on Gunpowder Treason. It is clear that, whatever may have been the subtle theological dogma which he may have held on the subject, the whole drift of that passage, which no verbal alteration can obliterate, is to exalt the moral and spiritual elements of that ordinance above those physical and local attributes on which later developments of his school have so exclusively dwelt.

These instances might be multiplied to any extent. It would, of course, be preposterous to press each line of poetry into an argument. But the whole result is to show how far nobler, purer, and loftier was what may be called the natural element of the poet's mind, than the artificial distinctions in which he became involved as a partisan and as a controversialist. This is no rare phenomenon. Who has not felt it hard to recognise the author of the Paradise Lost and of the Penseroso in the polemical treatises on Divorce and on the Execution of Charles I? Who does not know the immeasurable contrast between Wordsworth the poet of nature and of the human heart, and Wordsworth the narrow Tory and High Churchman of his later years? In all these cases it is the poet who is the real man—the theologian and politician only the temporary mask and phase.


[From The Christian Year.]


(The Christian Inheritance.)

See Lucifer like lightning fall,

Dashed from his throne of pride ;
While, answering Thy victorious call,

The Saints his spoils divide ;
This world of Thine, by him usurped too long,
Now opening all her stores to heal Thy servarts' wrong

So when the first-born of Thy foes

Dead in the darkness lay,
When Thy redeemed at midnight rose

And cast their bonds away,
The orphaned realm threw wide her gates, and told
Into freed Israel's lap her jewels and her gold.

And when their wondrous march was o'er,

And they had won their homes,
Where Abraham fed his flock of yore,

Among their fathers' tombs ;-
A land that drinks the rain of Heaven at will,
Whose waters kiss the feet of many a vine-clad till ;--

Oft as they watched, at thoughtful eve,

A gale from bowers of balm
Sweep o'er the billowy corn, and heave

The tresses of the palm,
Just as the lingering Sun had touched with gold,
Far o'er the cedar shade, some tower of giants old ;

It was a fearful joy, I ween,

To trace the Heathen's toil,
The limpid wells, the orchards green,

Left ready for the spoil,
The household stores untouched, the roses bright
Wreathed o'er the cottage walls in garlands of delight

And now another Canaan yields

To Thine all-conquering ark ;-
Fly from the 'old poetic' fields',

Ye Paynim shadows dark !
Immortal Greece, dear land of glorious lays,
Lo! here the unknown God' of thy unconscious praise ·

The olive-wreath, the ivied wand,

“The sword in myrtles drest,' Each legend of the shadowy strand

Now wakes a vision blest ;
As little children lisp, and tell of Heaven,
So thoughts beyond their thought to those high Bards

were given.
And these are ours : Thy partial grace

The tempting treasure lends :
These relics of a guilty race

Are forfeit to Thy friends ;
What seemed an idol hymn, now breathes of Thee,
Tuned by Faith's ear to some celestial melody.

There's not a strain to Memory dear?,

Nor flower in classic grove,
There's not a sweet note warbled here,

But minds us of Thy Love,
O Lord, our Lord, and spoiler of our foes,
There is no light but Thine : with Thee all beauty glows


(Balaam's Prophecy.)
O for a sculptor's hand,

That thou might'st take thy stand,
Thy wild hair floating on the eastern breeze,

Thy tranced yet open gaze

Fixed on the desert haze,
As one who deep in heaven some airy pageant secs

Where each old poetic mountain

Inspiration breathed around. Gray.
" See Burns's Works, i. 293. Dr. Currie's edition.


In outline dim and vast

Their fearful shadows cast
The giant forms of empires on their way

To ruin: one by one

They tower and they are gone,
Yet in the Prophet's soul the dreams of avarice stay.

No sun or star so bright

In all the world of light
That they should draw to Heaven his downward eye:

He hears th' Almighty's word,

He sees the angel's sword,
Yet low upon the earth his heart and treasure lie.

Lo! from yon argent field,

To him and us revealed,
One gentle Star glides down, on earth to dwell.

Chained as they are below

Our eyes may see it glow,
And as it mounts again, may track its brightncss well

To him it glared afar,

A token of wild war,
The banner of his Lord's victorious wrath :

But close to us it gleams,

Its soothing lustre streams Around our home's green walls, and on our church-way path

We in the tents abide

Which he at distance eyed
Like goodly cedars by the waters spread,

While seven red altar-fires

Rose up in wavy spires, Where on the mount he watched his sorceries dark and dread

He watched till morning's ray

On lake and meadow lay,
And willow-shaded streams, that silent sweep

Around the bannered lines,

Where by their several signs
The desert-wearied tribes in sight of Canaan sleep

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