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entirely pious, instead of being a compound of the pious and the poetical, as Taylor's would be. Lamartine and Chateaubriand go to the other extreme, and become nauseously senti. mental. Warburton (in the “Crescent and Cross”) and Disraeli (in “Tancred') come nearer to our ideal. But we wait for the avatar of the true traveler and reporter of his travels through that wondrous land, where God did desire to dwellwhere he took on him flesh, and looked at his own creation through human eyes—and where he shall, we believe, dwell again, at that prophetic period, when once more to Jerusalem shall the tribes go up, and when the “Holy City," inhabited by the “Holy One of Israel," shall become the praise and the joy, the centre and the glory, not of the earth only, but of the universe!
To the poetic enthusiasm and piety of the East, Taylor has annexed much of the acute intellect, balancing logic, and varied culture of the West. Yet, we confess, we like him always best when he is following the original bent of his mind. We care very little for his opinions on such men as Chalmers and Foster. His idiosyncrasy is so different, that he does not understand, although he loves them both; nor, perhaps, did either of them fully comprehend him. Hence, in his articles on them in the “North British Review,” he talks very laboriously, very eloquently, and, to appearance, very profoundly about them, as if he were a kindred spirit. Whereas, in fact, Chalmers was a resuscitated apostle of the first century. Foster was, in all but superstition, a monk of the tenth. Taylor is a Platonic Christian of the second, or Justin Martyr age. Chalmers was the genius of activity, seeking to make things better; Foster was stiffened into an attitude of solitary protest and stationary wonder at the evils which are in the world; while Taylor calmly and dispassionately, yet with enthusiastic hope, contemplates its good and its evil as a whole. Often, indeed, he leaves this quiet collateral attitude, and rushes down into the field of action or controversy; but it is awkwardly—and his efforts, like those of elephants in the battles of yore, are sometimes less destructive to foes than to friends. His logic is often clumsy; his satire, sarcasm, and invective, are heavy; his controversial weapon is as blunt as it is ponderous; his style is often cumbered and involved ; but in that mood of mind partly poetic, partly philosophic, partly devout, in which the Essenes and ancient mystics indulged, he stands among the authors of this age facile princeps. He can reason; but he is better and truer to himself when he broods, with half-shut dreamy eye, as did his spiritual fathers under the divine evenings of the East, when the moon was rising over the mountains of Moab, or as the stars were leaning upon Sinai, now silent in his age, and wrapt as in eternal wonder, at the memory of the more awful burden of wrath and glory which once rested for forty days and forty nights upon his quaking summit.
Taylor is often speculating about the characteristics and tendencies of the present age. These speculations are always ingenious, always eloquently expressed, sometimes just and profound. But, more frequently, a certain vague and dim unreality seems to swathe them, and you are tempted to apply to them the expression, less truly applied to the thought of Coleridge, “philosophic moonshine.” He cannot deal clearly or cogently with the present; his congenial fields are the past and the future. His soul loves to penetrate the silent seas of the past, and to seek to resuscitate the mighty primeval forms which once peopled them. He talks to Moses and Isaiah, to Peter, and John, and Paul, to Justin Martyr, to Origen, to Augustine, and to Chrysostom, as to brethren and neighbors. If you can hardly say of him, with Spenser
“The wars he well remember'd of King Nine,
Of old Assaracus, and Inachus divine,"
yet his memory, his fancy, and his heart have gone back a great way, and have collected very rich resurrection spoils. Nor is he less trustworthy, or delightful in his views of the future. He is a Millennarian. We do not mean that he is as certain as was Edward Irving, or as hopeful as we are, of the Pre-millennial Advent; although various passages in his writings would indicate that he inclines to that ancient hope of the Church. But he is a profound believer in the fact that a long bright evening is to succeed this dark and stormy day, and that Christianity is to gain its final triumph through supernatural aid and intervention. On this hope he speaks; and beautiful are many of his excursions into that Promised Land, which lies beyond the red Jordan of the “ Last Conflict of Great Principles.” Our wonder is, that, with these views, Taylor is so sanguine in his expectation of good from some of the methods of spreading or defending Christianity which at present prevail. He believes that we are to have help from on high; and yet he seems hardly to believe that we absolutely need it, and that all our present schemes and buttresses can only break the wave of assault, but cannot increase much farther the aggressive power of our faith.
We shall never forget our first perusal of the “Natural History of Enthusiasm.” It was in golden summer-tide, in the fair city of Perth, with the Tay adding its fine murmured symphony, and with the blood of eighteen beating almost audibly in our veins, as we read aloud some of its more glowing passages. We remember no prose work, with the exception of Chalmers's “ Astronomical Discourses," and Hazlitt's " Lectures on English Poetry," by which we were ever so much electrified. We did not then perceive, or at least feel, its faults—the splendida vitia of its style, or the hasty generalizations of much of its thinking; but the compound it presented of philosophic tone, poetic genius, and pious spirit, was to us then as new as it was welcome. We had waded through much metaphysics of the Locke and Hunie school as through dusty sand—we had revelled in the poetry of Milton, Byron, Cowper, and Thomson—we had read all the common theological writers—but here we found a species of writing which seemed to include all the elements which were presented separately in the other three classes, and we were tempted to cry Eureka! Years and after-reading have somewhat modified our estimate; we would not now compare the “ Natural History of Enthusiasm,” for suggestiveness, originality, and richness of thought, to such books as Foster's “Essays," which gained more slowly our admiration. The style now seems to us forced and unnatural; but still the treatise must ever have its place and praise as a masterly and powerful analysis of one of the most singular phases of the human mind; perhaps the first upon the same scale ever conducted at once on philosophical and Christian principles.
It added considerably at the time to the interest of this treatise—first, that the author's name was unknown; and, secondly, that it appeared at-nay, properly speaking, sprang out of—a period when men's minds were much agitated, and when many "expected that the kingdom of God should imme. diately appear." Wrapt in soft shadows, another great unknown had come upon the stage. How interesting the two alternatives presented! If it was an old friend, what a universal genius to be able to present a face so new! If a new author, and especially a young one, what a Christian Colossus he must be! And then the tone he assumed was very peculiar and exciting—from its decision, its moderation, its avoidance of extremes, and its oracular depth and dignity. He seemed the very man for the hour! He commenced with recogising distinctly the existence and the uses of genuine enthusiasm ; nor did he deny the fact that there were prospects in the future of Christianity which might justify unbounded ardor of expectation; but, having premised this, he proceeded to grasp the reins of the rushing chariot, to curb the fiery stecds, to guard them by the bounds of Scripture, and to guide them on to the goal of common sense. You saw evidences in the book that the author was one in whose veins the tide of enthusiasm had originally boiled very strongly; but who had, by culture, by stern investigation, and by habitual submission to the Word of God, modified and tamed it; so that, while no critic could call him cold, none could accuse him of undue warmth. The book consequently became very popular—was strongly commended by Dr. Chalmers from his chair-was widely circulated and closely imitated by a large class of aspiring youths. Hall alone, with his usual fastidiousness, objected to the style, which, he said, “ wearied and fretted his mind," and with his usual acuteness, saw and pointed out proofs that the author was seeking to disguise himself by a terminology in part affected.
Taylor's second work was his “ Saturday Evening.” We shall speak, however, first of his “ Fanaticism." The subject of Fanaticism was less pleasing than that of Enthusiasm, and the execution not so happy. In his first work, his field lay mainly in the first three centuries, when the Christian Faith sat like morning upon the mountains—a dawn already indeed partially overcast, but still a dawn, fresh, strong and beauti
ful. In his third, he was compelled to pierce the shadow of that deep eclipse which shrouded religion and the middle ages in night, and during which the baleful' fires of superstition and fanaticism produced a horrid counterfeit of day. In big 3 first work you saw Stylites on his pillar the religious hermita in his eave; the enthusiast meditating below the large stars of that sky which had kindled the poetic splendors of a Job! In Fanaticism" you saw the lonely monk brooding, or ago nising, or studying, or sinning in his gloomy cell, the Arabian soldier twanging his bowstring, flourishing his scimitar,'and shouting, “No God but Allah,' and no prophet but Mau homet, the stern Crusader, with all the passions of hellino his heart as he stepped from his galley on the shore of Holy Land, and expanded in the sultry atmosphere the standard of the Cross: the sullen 'itiquisitor dreaming of ghastlier dressegu for the victims of future auto-da-fés, or of drier dry-pans and slower fires, and deeper dungeons for the enemies of Holy Mother Church, and the savage persecutor lifting up his torch, and with an eye fiercer than it, stepping forward to the pile, and completing the poet's image of the 1 9 99 wait LEDU09 "Pale martyr in his shirt of fire." ne guzy J.SO
Most powerful were some of Taylor's pictures, and profound not a few of his disquisitions; but, as a whole, the work rather pained and horrified, than satisfied or delighted. It was a faithful daguerreotype of a disgusting subject; and a portion of the disgust' was reflected upon the execution, and laid in charge to the artist.
Without dwelling on Taylor's Physical Theory of Another Life," his «Spiritual "Despotizm," or his contributions to the Tractarian controversy, we come to his best work, the "Sat-o urday Evening. This is a series of most interesting, and often profound, meditations on such subjects as the stars, the fature world, the relation in which our earth stands to the universe ; and the future struggles and triumphs of the church." Compared to all the other meditations in the language, those of Taylor are Colossal in their merit. His chapters on the vastness of the material universe are particularly striking. No one has better expressed the unostentatious and silent force with which the "Heavens declare the glory of God, and