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For greedy time doth still on greatness prey,
If we have any readers who can be insensible to the picturesque and moral beauty of these stanzas, to them any poetry must speak in vain; but we cannot refrain from giving insertion to the noble Hallelujah with which the fourth canto concludes.
Ye Orbs ! enlightening Systems with your rays;-
Though man forget, bowed down to trivial schemes,
That hold the lightnings-loose them through the sky;
For He prescribed the limits of thy reign !
Who called you forth from nothingness! to bring
A song of praise to Him ! from whom arose
Then, when no more oppressed by earthly shame,
pp. 77–80. Say the Diffusers of Useful Knowledge what they choose, • the literature most serviceable, and most acceptable too, to hard
working men, will ever be that which tends to elevate and huomanize the heart, through its appeals to the imagination. This is snarlingly said by the Quarterly Review ; but we incline to think it is not far from the truth. We have not just now the leisure, however, to discuss the point, or to balance the account between poetry and science, Poetry like this, unquestionably, has a tendency to elevate and better the heart. We rejoice to be assured that the moral character of the Author offers no contradiction to this sentiment. His conduct', writes a friend and townsman, ‘has always been of that orderly and moral character ' which we have too fondly hoped to see more generally produced " by reading, among the working class; and his sentiments of
temperate liberty, social order, and virtue are such as it is peóculiarly desirable to see diffused among his fellows. Such a man deserves-not degrading patronage-but encouragement, assistance, and esteem. To our readers, we have only to say, Do not grudge 4s. for his book. To the Author, we wish health 'to resume the subject,' and His blessing from whom
- is all that sooths the life of man,
Art. VI. Natural History of Religion, or Youth armed against In
fidelity and Religious Errors. By the Rev. R. Taylor, Curate of Hart, in the County of Durham, and Author of the Key to the
Knowledge of Nature. 12mo. pp. 218. Price 4s. London. 1832. VERY original are the general views contained in this not very
natural history of religion', as the following luminous specimens will sufficiently shew.
-“What have you to say of the freedom of the will and predestination ? "
• When a man is deeply involved in a sinful course, to talk of turning to God by prayer and repentance of his own strength, would be like attempting to stop himself in the midst of his descent in leaping from a precipice. And as to predestination, in the Calvinistic sense, it altogether contradicts the whole of the divine economy of this world, the divine justice, mercy, and righteousness, and is entirely without other foundation than the instinct of self-supremacy.
cor When and how did the Calvinistic doctrine of predestination originate ? "
It first appeared in the family of Ham, immediately after the Deluge, chiefly in the line of Cush. Then it was they began to call themselves the heaven-born, the sons of God, the chosen seed, and so forth, in opposition to the rest of Noah's posterity, whom they represented as earth-born, plebeian, and reprobate. And it has prevailed among mankind ever since, under various forms. But it is best known to us in the doctrines of Calvin ; for when, at the Reformation, men began to shake off the trammels of the Popish priesthood, they arrogated to themselves this distinction, on which the priestly power was originally founded.
6«What effect has this unbridled spirit of self-supremacy had on the destinies of mankind ? ”
• It has been a powerful instrument in the divine hand for modelling the human race. Among the heathens, according to Mr. Faber, the party have been the corrupters, civilizers, and enslavers of mankind. And among Christians, they have performed such exploits as the pure spirit of Christianity would have shrunk from. To our Saxon ancestors, the supposed Cushite race, we owe this spirit, which animated the Puritanical reformers of our free and happy constitution. So that the Calvinistic spirit is perhaps only the manifestation of the true Saxon blood, of which Britons have good cause to be proud. A Calvinist persuading himself that he is a chosen vessel of God, is the one, as going forth in the strength of the Lord God, who will resist the most violent temptations, bear up against the laugh and sneers of dissolute companions, and will make the greatest sacrifice of worldly interest to the glory of God, counting all things but loss so that he gain Christ. pp. 201, 2.
To Pilate's question, "What is truth?' Mr. Taylor returns for answer :
• The agreement between words and things, or the sign and thing professed to be signified.
""How does Truth apply to the Deity; or how do you shew it to be a divine attribute ? ”
In various ways. First, the question has been agitated, whether the visible world is a true index of the divine mind, or whether the Deity has not exhibited in it delusive appearances ;-and, secondly, whether he was honest enough to make man's senses so as to give him right notions of sensible or material things,--to see them, for instance, as they are.
oor And how do you prove that he has ? ”
* By that perfect agreement which there is among all mankind as to the appearance of things; and the harmony among these things themselves, so that we see no strife in nature causing at any time even the least momentary suspension of its process. If there was such a lie in men's faculties, they could not exist, at least as social creatures. God, therefore, is not only true in all his ways, but is Truth itself-inasmuch as he is all in all. pp. 17, 18.
As a further illustration of Mr. Taylor's metaphysics, we select the following. It will be observed, that, according to the Author's definition of self-existence, any thing that can will and act, is a little deity.' Now a dog can will and act ; ergo.
6" What do you mean by the word power which mental philosophers dwell so much upon ? "
• It is that portion of self-existence which the Deity has imparted to man, so that he is a little deity :-to a certain degree a self-sufficient being, insomuch that he can will and act. It is his personality. It is that which must for ever extinguish all pretensions about life being the result of organization.
65 What do you mean by mind ? ”..
• The whole business of the soul in this world is by instrumentality; and it may therefore not unaptly be compared to a mechanic employed in his shop, with all his tools and materials about him. The materials are to the workman what knowledge is to the intellect. Mind, then, is the intellect busy with the materialsits knowledge.
pp. 59, 60. ««What is your inference from memory, or the power of recalling past thoughts?"
· That all our thoughts are somehow registered in the soul, or may be, as it were, the elementary particles of its composition; and that when we are in the light of the divine glory in the future state, the soul may appear such a compound medley as our thoughts have been through life. Virtue and vice, then, will need no other judge or condemnation than self. And here may be the foundation for the healing powers of the Great Physician of souls.' p. 64.
But it is in the account given of the natural history of the heathen world, that the Author's originality is most strikingly conspicuous. We shall give an instance or two. No comment can be necessary.
««Where were the sacred mysteries celebrated ?"
· The temple was a copy of the ark internally, and, externally, of the mountain Ararat. But the ark was also one form of the internal, or womb of the Great Father, and therefore was mythologically identical with the world or visible creation. Mount Ararat was the external person of the Great Father; as was also the external part of the temple, as well as every hill, when consecrated. Its top (the Olympus) being the abode of the gods, the High Place of the Bible, while the deep recesses of the sacred groves, the adytum of the temples, and even the tops of Olympus, were the places of the sacred mysteries. But, generally, the centre of the hill was supposed to be the real and true paunch of the Deity, and therefore a cave at its foot was usually made use of. The first artificial Ararat was the Tower of Babel. It was never finished, but enough remained to declare its plan. The pyramids of Egypt, and the pagodas of the East, are copies, as well as many antient temples of the West. -" Had they any other mythological dwellings of the chief deities ? "
Yes; in the triplicate form of the Great Father, they had Jupiter's residence on Olympus, hence the celestial deities; Neptune's at the centre of the ocean, with all the sea deities down to water kelpies and mermaids; and Pluto's, the gloomy Dis of the Celts, and Odin of the Scandinavian nations; with all the varieties of sprites down to the fairies, which had their residence at the earth's centre.
666 What have you to say of the four Paradisiacal rivers mentioned by Moses ?”
They were each separately, and all united, considered as forms of the Deluge, contemplated as the Great Father; and these were the origin of all sacred rivers' pp. 119-121.
«“What have you to say of the idolatry peculiar to each nation?”
. That it was according, not only to the tenets held by the sect before the dispersion, but also to the climate, productions, and other adventitious circumstances. ..“ Did not all embrace the above principles ? ”
• No: it cannot be supposed that all these absurdities were concocted at once. Some tribes, especially of the unblended Cushites, are supposed to have been offended at others going beyond them in their philosophizing, when the female deity or the worship of the Great Mother was introduced; and withdrew themselves from Nimrod