Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

66

here " the conclusion of the whole matter" is , perfectly just and holy, bestow those things shewn; the secret is revealed,--that “ to be which are necessary and “convenient,” and carnally minded is death ;" while, on the “give his Holy Spirit to them that ask him!” contrary, to those " that know" and rejoice What “strong consolation" and encouragein "the joyful sound” of the Gospel, who ment, then, have we to ask," to seek,” to walk not after the flesh, but are " spiritually knock ;" for every one that asketh reminded, is life and peace."

ceiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and Search as we may after peace, we shall to him that knocketh it shall be opened" never be able to find it here. " Tribulation" (Luke, xi. 9, 10). is the lot of earth's inhabitants; the unex- It is " faith" which obtains for us the vicpected and unhappy termination of events tory over the world ; it is also the same prinwhich seemed to promise fair, the short ciple of “ believing" that produces "peace, lived pleasures, the frequent disappoint that leads us to put our whole trust in God, ments, plainly tell us that the world cannot and to confide in him to give us those things bestow what it does not possess. “ To whom, which for our blindness we cannot, and for then, shall we go," but to Him who is "the our ignorance we dare not, ask. It induces Prince of peace ?" “ Peace” is the bequest us to be content with such things as we have; which Christ has left to all his followers ; an it suggests to our minds the promises of inexhaustible and an all-sufficient peace, to God ; “ for he hath said, I will never leave support and comfort in the darkest hour; thee, nor forsake thee” (Heb. xiii. 5, 6). It and this is the cause why those trials, from makes us“ bold" in the season of danger which the Christian is not exempt, are borne and alarm ; for “ the Lord is the helper” of by him with such patience and resignation. his people; and this trust in him takes away “He knows in whom he believes ;” and there- the fear of those evils to which we are liable, fore when those great storms arise on this either by the craft and subtlety of the devil, uncertain ocean of life, though “ the floods or which man may work against us. And lift

up their waves," faith directs him to look this blessed truth we find exemplified in the to Him who condescends to accompany every actual experience of St. Paul; for he tells us, believer to the end of his voyage, and who that he was deserted, and that all men for“ sitteth above the waterfloods;" and so, sook him : "notwithstanding," says he, “ the amid all the noise and confusion of the scene Lord stood with me, and strengthened me;" around, the Christian hears the voice of and this knowledge of what the Lord had “ peace" from the lips of Him who can done, and was doing for him, inspired him alone “ still the raging of the sea.”

with the belief, and afforded him the unspeakThe truth, then, of salvation by Jesus able peace of the assurance, that in every Christ is the fountain whence springs the future trial, and from every evil work, the peace of the believer, and from whence flow Lord would deliver him, and bring him finally all those comforts which in this changing to his heavenly kingdom (2 Tim. iv. 16, and troublesome world he exclusively en- | 17). Faith supports us under the difficulties joys. God being reconciled, he no longer that lie in our path to the heavenly Canaan; looks unto him with dread, but with the feel it affords comfort under temptation, knowing ings of filial love, because he first loved that God will not suffer us to be tempted him. He not only knows God's power, but above that we are able, but will, with the he is convinced that he is also equally willing temptation, also make a way to escape, that to help him; and this confidence produces we may be able to bear it (1 Cor. x. 13); a resignation to all his dispensations. The and he places before us, as a pattern, He who love of a father to his child is but a faint was in all things tempted like as we emblem of the love of God in Christ to his (Heb. iv. 15). creatures ; so that we may rest assured, that The consciousness of God's presence affords the Lord will give us such things as are great peace to the Christian : he has promised, good ; that he will not give for bread a that when we pass through the waters, he will stone ; for a fish, a serpent ; for an egg, a be with us; that he will be our guide; and scorpion. Such injurious substitutes for ab- that he will comfort us with his "rod and solute necessaries are contrary even to the staff,” the emblems of his kingly power and very actions of nature. If, then, a parent of his shepherd's care, even though we who is "evil,” who carries about a body of walk through the valley of the shadow of infirmity and sin," knows how to give good death” (Ps. xxv.). gifts unto his children,">how much more

S. S. shall He, who is our heavenly Father, who loves us more, and has done for us greater things than the fondest parent ever has done, or could do, for his offspring, and who is

are

me.

MEMOIR OF THE RIGHT REV. PHILANDER beauty, and inhaled their sweets: but all had no CHASE,

charms for me while your father was gone. I tried to

banish my fears for his safety when I thought of his First Bishop of Ohio in 1819; and elected Bishop of

defenceless state, and the proximity of the ruthless Illinois, 1835.

savage ; for there was then war between France and [Received from a Correspondent.]

England, and no fort between us and Canada. I also However unusual it may be to publish a memoir

endeavoured to seek refuge from my painful feelings during the lifetime of an individual, the distance in employment for myself and children; but our conwhich separates the subject of the present biogra

dition in the fort precluded the observance of reguphical sketch from those into whose hands it is likely larity, and without that, little can be done. So much to fall, may allow of its making an exception to the

mingling of contending interests, especially among a general rule,-particularly as his cause is, in the pre- crowd of little children, bade defiance to all efforts sent day, most remarkably connected with that of the for order or peace. Days seemed weeks, and weeks Protestant faith, and with the prosperity and exten

seemed months; and scarcely did a sun rise without sion of the episcopal Church.

witnessing my wanderings on the banks of the flowing The object of this publication is, to strengthen the

stream where I had parted from your father and his hands of this indefatigable servant of God, by drawing blithe company of Cornish woodmen." the attention of the public mind 10 the peculiarity of

" It was in one of these walks, that, with my childhis situation, and obtaining for him such aid* as may ren by my side, I saw, as the day drew to its close, a support him in the arduous charge of the extensive canoe coming round a point of the river-bank above diocese of Illinois, to which he was appointed, by the

I thought first of the approach of savages ; but primary convention of that state, on the 10th of March, before I had time to flee, I recognised the well-known 1835, without any offer of remuneration. While the canoe of your father, and in it our trusty neighbour Romanists are making unusual and almost unheard of Diah Spalding. My heart leaped with joy ; and no exertions in Illinois, and our own emigrants are flock

sooner did the canoe reach the shore than the children ing into that country by thousands,-we are forcibly were in it and on his knees; nor did they suffer him to called upon to give him substantial demonstrations of stir till they had told him I was resolved that we should our love and sympathy, both as Britons and Protestants. all return with him to their father in the woods. Do

The following account of himself and his ancestors you know, are you apprised, dear madam,' said he, reis chiefly selected from his own writings, casually spectfully approaching me— are you aware, that such scattered amongst his friends in England :

has been our anxiety to put in a crop and plant the My ancestors were Englislı, and originally from ground for the coming summer, that we have found no Cornwall; they settled first at Newbury Port, and then time to erect the semblance of a house? I am come to at Sutton, in the state of Massachusets; and after- tell you your husband is well and all his men are well, wards procured from the colonial government of New

and to obtain information of your health and safety, and Hampshire the grant of a township of land, and called to carry back with me a recruit of provisions for their it Cornish on that account. This happened previously comfort ; but we have all slept upon the uncovered to any settlements being made northward of Charles- ground, and as yet have no place to shelter ourselves, ton, on Connecticut river, which divides two of the much less you and your little ones—from the pelting of New England states, New Hampshire and Vermont, the storm ; and will you venture with them into the upon the banks of which our land was situated, and to woods before you are sure of a refuge ?' • I will go, and which my grandfather and his sons migrated from a with all my children endure any storm, if you will give town near Boston, the chief of the New England states, me but a safe and speedy conveyance to my husband. about the year of our Lord 1763.

If there be no shelter, or fence, or fort, his faithful arm My father and his family, consisting of my mother will guard me, and his trusty men will aid him; and and seven children, were the first to take possession their God, who is above all, ruleth all, and directeth of the soil, which was then covered by an entire forest all, will provide.' of the largest and tallest trees.

“A much smaller degree of sagacity than our When the family, in their painful journey through neighbour Spalding possessed, would have been suffithe woods, arrived at No. 4 Port, as Charleston was cient to make him sensible that it was in vain to then called, it was thought advisable that my mother thwart a resolution so firmly taken; and the speedy and children should remain there for shelter, and removal once determined on, all the force of his infor their greater security from the Indians. To this genious and friendly mind was called into action to arrangement my mother consented, although, as she make things ready. Such goods as we needed lcast told me, it was with great reluctance. “I shuddered," were secured in the fort ; and such as the boats would she said, " at the thought of being penned up with my carry, and we needed most, with ample provisions, precious bairns within the precincts of a narrow fort, were put on board ; and the morning sun had scarcely rudely built for defence against savages, for a period of risen, ere the indefatigable exertions of Spalding, and time I knew not how long; for it was sixteen miles the anxious assiduity of my children, had made all up the river whither your father and his company of things ready for the voyage. Spalding was a good workmen were going, where the land was to be cleared, canoe-man; and under the protection of the Almighty, and the crop for the approaching season to be planted in whom our trust was placed, the exertions of his But necessity is an imperious dictate, and submission strong arm, and the industrious aid of my elder sons, was my duty: it was nevertheless a hard parting when made our speed, though slow, yet unceasing ; and, in your father pressed his babes to his bosom, and mine time of war ascending a rapid stream in a frail Indian to his manly cheek, as he stepped into his canoe, and canoe, we reached before night the little opening took command of his little fleet of stout and cheerful among the towering trees, from whence the spot of men, both able and willing to subdue the forest and your father's choice appeared to our longing eyes. plant the virgin soil.

There they are,' said the mingled voices of my child" It was some time in the early spring that this ren; "there is our dear father, and yonder are his parting scene took place on the fertile banks of the men; I hear his voice, and the sound of their axes.' Connecticut river. The bud was then bursting from For a moment all was hidden from our view, by the its wintry fetters ; the birds were commencing their density of the forest-trees intervening. This gave me wooing songs, and the wild herbage sprang up, all time to utter what was labouring in my bosom-a around me. Among these I wandered, admired their prayer of faith and benediction. *God of our ances• A subscription for Bishop Chase's object is opened at

tors, bless your father, and me your helpless mother, Messrs. Farquhar and Herries, St. James's Street.

and you my loved children, now, even now, as we

one.

shall, in a few minutes, take possession of this our may be learned from the following statement:- My dwelling-place in the wild woods; and though, like ancestors were what is termed in England Dissenters. Jacob, we have nought but a stone for our pillow, and They continued of the Independent persuasion till the the canopy of heaven for a covering, may we all find year 1795, when nearly all that branch of the family God indeed to be in this place; and may this place be settled in Cornish New Hampshire conformed to the to us a house of God and a gate of heaven!' What a liturgy, and became members of the Protestant Epismoment was this to one who had left all for her hus- copal Church, as the same had been recently organised band and the future fortunes of her children! The by the bishops, clergy, and laity of that communion in wealth of India would have been meanly estimated in the United States of America. comparison of the endeared spot before me.

The circumstances which led to this then unusual “* With your leave, madam,' said pilot Spalding, ‘I change in the sentiments and habits of a numerous think it prudent that your husband come to us, and family, are interesting, but cannot now be related any give orders where he will have his family landed.' further than in general to say, that a candid examinaAccordingly he made fast the canoe to the willows, and tion of her primitive liturgy and of her well-authendesired us to await his return. Your father could get ticated claims to an apostolic constitution in her minisno direct answer from Spalding as to the nature of the try, were among the principal reasons which induced cargo he had brought. Come and see,' was all he so many to conform to the Protestant Episcopal Church ; could get from him. Is all well ?' said your father; and instead of repairing the meeting-house, where both . have you brought us a good supply of food ?' • Come my grandfather and father had officiated as congregaand see,' replied Spalding, with animation, and in an tional deacons, inclined them to pull it down, and erect instant they burst upon our view; and as your dear in its place an episcopal church. This was effected in father stood on the margin of the high bank, he saw great harmony; not a voice, to my recollection, was beneath his feet the frail bark in which were his wife raised against the measure throughout the neighbourand children. The emotion was almost too much for hood. him; I saw this, and sprang forward, the children It becomes not me, young as I was (about nineteen quickly following. He received us with an exclama- years of age,) when this change of sentiment began to tion of joy mingled with agony; 'Are you come to take place, to say I had any agency in it; but even at die here,' he exclaimed, before your time? We that early period of my life, being greatly desirous of have no house to shelter you, and you will perish be- becoming, when qualified, a minister of the Gospel, the fore we get one erected.” • Cheer up, cheer up, my subjects daily discussed in my vacations from collegiate faithful!' said I to your father ; let the smiles and duties were to me of great importance : well do I rethe ruddy faces of your children, and the health and member the pleasure it afforded me to contemplate in cheerfulness of your wife, make you joyful. If you our examinations of the Prayer-Book the strict adhave no house, you have strength and hands to make herence to scriptural doctrine and scriptural expres

The God we wo will bless us, and help us sions, and, above all, the rvency of piety that glowed to obtain a shelter. Cheer up, cheer up, my faithful! throughout the whole. And when we considered the

“ The sunshine of joy and hope began to beam from subject of the ministry, many expressious in the epishis countenance; the news was communicated through- tles of St. Paul to Timothy and Titus, and in the Acts out the company of workmen, and the woods rang with of the Apostles, were made plain, which before were to shouts at the arrival of the first white woman and the us unintelligible. first family on the banks of the Connecticut river above In the fall of the year 1796 I became a candidate Fort Number Four. All assembled to see the strangers, for holy orders, and went to Albany, in the state of and strove to do them acts of kindness. The trees New York, in order to pursue my studies with the were quickly felled and peeled, and the clean bark in episcopal clergyman of that city. This learned genlarge sheets was spread for a floor; other sheets, being tleman had been educated at Oxford in England, and fastened by thongs of twisted twigs to stakes driven in was of great service to me. In June 1798 I received the ground, were raised for walls, or laid on cross- holy orders in the city of New York, and was soon pieces for a roof; and the cheerful fire soon made glad after appointed a missionary to extend the ministraour little dwelling. The space of three hours was not tion of the word and sacraments to the then new set. consumed in effecting all this; and never were men tlements at the westward in that dioceae. more happy than those who contributed thus speedily In the arduous task of extending the Gospel and its and thus effectually to supply our wants.

Beds were

ordinances to the new settlements in the western and brought from the canoe to this rustic pavilion, and on northern parts of the state of New York, I continued them we rested sweetly, fearless of danger, though the for nearly two years. Congregations were gathered thick foliage was wet with dew, and the wild beasts and organised in Canandagua, Utica, Auburn, in the howled all around us, trusting in the protecting band main road to the lakes; in Hampton and other places of Providence, and the watchful fidelity of our faithful on the borders of Vermont; at Ocwaga, Stainford, and neighbours.

other places on the banks of the Susquehannah, Una“ The next day all hands were called to build a dika, and Delaware rivers; and in inany other intercabin, which served us for the coming winter, and in mediate stations. which, cheered by the rising prospects of the family, The churches in most of these places, though first and the mutual affection of all around us, my enjoy- planted in the woods and among log.cabins, are now ments were more exquisite than at any subsequent flourishing in villages; some, nay most of whichi, conperiod of my life.”

tain many thousand inhabitants, affording a conspicuThus far the story from the lips of my venerable ous and lasting monument of the great utility and nemother: it will serve to shew with what unsubdued, cessity of not despising the day of small things, but, in pure, and patriotic spirits New England was first over- disregard of all hardships, of planting the Church of spread with inhabitants.

Christ wherever the human family is first planted; in Seven children were added to my father's family in other words, of rendering the means of religion as this new settlement. Five out of eight of his sons commensurate as possible with the settlement of every received a collegiate education ; one of whom was a new country. senator in the congress of the United States, and after- In the winter of 1800, I took charge of the parishes wards chief-justice of the state of Vermont; died of Christ Church, Poughkeepsie, and Trinity Church, after pursuing their professions with reputation; one at Fishkill, on the Hudson River, about eighty miles is now a counsellor in New Hampshire; and the fifth above the city of New York. As principal of the acaand youngest of the whole family is the writer of this. demy in Poughkeepsie, and rector of these churches,

My history, as connected with the Church of Christ, I remained till 1805; when, seeking for a warmer climate for the benefit of my wife's health, I went, my labours in the state of Ohio ; concluding, if they with the advice of the Righi Rev. Benjamin Moore, were successful, there to continue; if not, to go further my bishop, to New Orleans, in the state of Louisiana.

among our new settlements-perhaps to Indiana or While there, I organised a Protestant communion, | Illinois. and obtained of the legislature a charter of incorpora- Time, however, soon convinced me that the field tion of the parish of Christ Church, in which the of usefulness was that into which I at first entered. rector was made subject to the Bishop of New York, Assisted by the exertions of a fellow- labourer, the until such time as there should be a diocese organised state of Ohio was, during the spring and summer, for according to the canons and constitution of the Pro- the most part traversed. Parishes were formed, and testant Episcopal Church in the United States. little societies of Christian worshippers were gathered

In New Orleans, I continued about six years doing in many places. Delegates from these attended a the duty of a Protestant clergyman, having been the convention, previously appointed, in Columbus in the first of that character of any denomination that had following winter, where the constitution of the Proofficiated in that city. At the end of this period, the testant Episcopal Church of the United States was object of my going having been, by the goodness of adopted, a diocesan constitution was formed, and all God, obtained, and feeling anxious to attend to the things regulated according to the usages of our prieducation of my two sons, left with their uncle in mitive Church. Vermont, I returned to the northern states; and in

(To be continued.) the fall of 1811 was, with uncommon felicity to myself, fixed as rector of Christ Church, Hartford, in the state of Connecticut. My residence in this city

SACRED POETRY. continued till 1817. During this period the number of the faithful greatly increased; the attendants at

BY JAMES CHAMBERS, ESQ. the Lord's table, from a very few, became a great number. I sincerely rejoiced to see the blessed

No. 11. effects of the Gospel of peace, and the many examples Introductory Observations - Spenser, Southwell, Barnes, of the fruits of a holy life. In the bosom of an

Constable, Davison, Sir Walter Raleigh. enlightened society, softened by the hand of urbanity It will be necessary, before commencing the historical and gentleness, my enjoyments, crowned with abundance of temporal blessings, were as numerous and

part of this series, to make a few general introductory refined as fall to the lot of man. Of the time I spent remarks on the subject itself, and the plan which I in this lovely city, I can never speak in ordinary have adopted. terms. It is to my remembrance as a dream of more

The generic term sacred poetry includes two classes than terrestrial delight. Of its sweets 1 tasted for a while, and thought myself happy; but God, who would

of religious verse : the one purely devotional, comtrain his servants more by the reality of suffering prising such poems as the Psalms of David, the hymns than by ideal and transitory bliss, saw fit to direct of Watts, Cowper, Montgomery, &c. &c.; the other, my thoughts to other and more perilous duties. including Milton's “Paradise Lost” and “Regained,”. When young in the Christian ministry, I had, as

Spenser's " Faery Queene,” Fletcher's " Christ's Vicbefore observed, been a bumble missionary; and although I remembered the hardships and deprivations

torie,” Heber's “ Palestine," &c. It is necessary that inseparable from the work of visiting my fellow-beings poems of the first class should embody the peculiar when struggling for the necessaries of life amidst the hopes, fears, trials, prayers, and praises of the bewild woods and the beasts of the forests; yet I also liever, in short, that they be imbued with that Holy remembered the exquisite pleasure of being the herald Spirit which cometh down from the Father of light. of good tidings of great joy in bringing the Gospelfeast to those who were famisling for the bread of

The evidences of the influence of this Holy Spirit on life. The recollection of this pleasure was still dearer

the mind of the writer constitute the chief charac. to me than all the enjoyments of ease and plenty, teristic in this species of composition. The poems even though heightened by the refinements of Chris- comprised in the latter class speak not of the intertian courteousness and pious and polished society. course of the soul with a covenant God. Though

In this state of mind it was that the intelligence of the wants of our brethren in the Lord daily reaching

their subject be sacred, and though they aim to inculus from the new settlements in the western states

cate the highest moral feelings and awaken the purest sunk deep into my heart. A lively impression, that emotions, yet they point not to that cross which stood wherever the lambs of Christ's fold went, thither it was on Mount Calvary; their object is rather to cultivate necessary that some shepherd should go with them, and exalt the moral sentiments than convert the was never absent from my conscious mind. This, this was the motive which influenced me to

heart. May I not say, that a poem of the former make arrangements to go to the western country; but

class could only be written by a practical Christian ; had I been duly sensible of the pain, I might say, while one of the latter might be penned by him who the anguish, of separation from my beloved people in had no knowledge of vital religion, no clear views Hartford, perhaps my resolution would have failed.

of the atonement and mediation of our Lord Jesus The plan, however, had been formed, the arrange- Christ? With due deference, I would give it as my ments had been made, and the determination was fixed; and though the act of separation was like the

opinion, that the immortal poem of “ Paradise Lost," tearing up of a tree in full bearing from its roots, though it is so eminently calculated “ to justify the and the time of parting consecrated by the tears of a ways of God to man," does not furnish us with absonumerous and affectionate people, I nevertheless had strength given me to fulfil my purpose; and on the • The Episcopal Church of the United States of America 2d day of March, 1817, I set off for the western derives its origin from England. Ten dioceses had been formed

at the time this was written, nine of which are in the Atlantic country, there to seek, according to my ordination

states east of the Alleghany Mountains. Portions of two of vows, for Christ's sheep that are dispersed abroad,

those dioceses, those of Philadelphia and Virginia, reach across and for his children who are in the midst of this those mountains, as they are co-extensive with the states bear naughty world, that they might be saved by him for ing these names; but the diocese of Ohio was at this time the ever. I went out, scarce knowing whither I went ;

only diocese formed beyond those mountains in the western

territory of the states. Illinois then formed part of the misbut the Lord, I trust, being my guide, I commenced

sionary territory of Ohio.

[ocr errors]

lute and irrefragable evidence that its author had our youth might speedily enter into the right course drank of that stream, which whosoever drinketh shall of a virtuous life;" and the poet is represented as never thirst again.* Some of the most beautiful He. saying, in reply, that "he hath already undertaken a brew Melodies which our literature can boast bave work tending to the same effect, which was in heroic been written by Lord Byron and Mr. Thomas Moore. verse, under the title of a Faerie Queene,' to repreIt has been denied by Cecil and others, that the sent all the moral virtues, assigning to every virtue a author of " Night Thoughts” was a man of evangeli- knight, to be the patron and defender of the same; in cal piety. I shall speak more fully of his character whose actions, the feats of arms and chivalry, the in the proper place. Though purely devotional poetry operations of that virtue whereof he is the protector is the most valuable, still such poems as the “ Para- are to be expressed; and the vices and unruly appedise Lost," " Christ's Victorie,” &c., are real trea- tites that oppose themselves against the same are to sures to the pious and devout. He who can rise be beaten down and overcome." We must remember from perusing the “ Paradise Lost" without being how congenial such a plan was with the spirit of the in some measure a wiser and a better man" must age, and how likely to render his work generally possess a hard heart, and feelings which need not

popular. In the present era of invention and excitebe envied. The Christian father, though he is com- ment, we can neither sympathise with his imaginary pelled to make the licentious poems of a Byron, or personages, nor fairly decide as to the propriety of the enervating strains of a Moore, sealed books to selecting such a fabulous foundation on which to erect his children, can yet put into their hands volumes the fabric of truth. where poetry is employed in her noblest office - Spenser's other works, of which we unfortunately. volumes every page of which says, with irresistible

possess but the names, are a “ Translation of Eccleforce, talent and genius shine with a double lustre siastes" and the “Canticum Canticorum," the " Hours when employed in furthering the interests of virtue, of our Lord,” the "Sacrifice of a Sinner," and the morality, and religion.

“ Seven Psalms.” Would that we were enabled by It would be impossible, if desirable, to embrace the recovery of these lost treasures to substantiate within my assigned limits those numerous and tedious his claim to that lofty rank amid the sacred poets of details of changes of residence, private quarrels, and England, which they would undoubtedly be the means literary controversies, which occupy the pages of more of assigning him! The following fine stanzas are prolix biographies. I make this remark to exculpate above all praise : myself from the censures of those who expect a brief

"Vouchsafe, then, O thou most Almightie Spright! notice to be occupied with accounts of the " uprisings

From whom all gifts of wit and knowledge flow, and downfallings" of every sacred poet. My busi- To shed into my breast some sparkling light ness is not so much with authors as their works.

Of thine eternall truth, that I may show

Some little beames to mortall eyes below After these necessary, but I fear tedious, observa

Of that immortall beautie there with thee, tions, I commence my biographical sketches with the

Which in my weake, distraughted mind I see; illustrious name of

That with the glorie of so goodly sight Edmund Spenser: born 1553, died 1599. Many of

The hearts of men, which fondly here admire my readers will be surprised to see Spenser ranked

Faire seeming shewes, and feed on vain delight, among sacred poets. Viewing his " Faerie Queene" in Transported with celestiall desire the same light as the “ Seven Champions of Christen

Of those faire formes, may lift themselves up hyer, dom," they never dream of the object with which

And learn to love, with zealous humble dewty,

The eternall Fountaine of that heavenly beauty." Spenser penned it, or the end which it was designed to accomplish. What Spenser used as a mean, they Robert Southwell : born 1560, died 1595. The consider as the end. How well did Bishop Hall un- poetical compositions of this author, though not rederstand Spenser's beautiful poem, when he spoke of markable for lofty flights of imagination, are rendered “ his misty moral types!" and how clearly did Milton peculiarly delightful by the simplicity and quaintness penetrate through the clouds of giants and enchant- which pervade them. There is a richness of pathos ment, which hide the real purpose of his poem from in many of his minor pieces which cuts to the heart. the eyes of the multitude, when he designated the So inexpressibly sweet, yet mournful, are some of his poet as

our sage, serious Spenser!" The master- poems, that we willingly pardon, and allow the justice key to the immortal poem of the " Faerie Queene" of Southwell's own conceit, when he said, that “ his is furnished by a passage in Lodowick Bryskett's tunes were tears.” Southwell was a Jesuit, and pos“ Discourse of Civil Life." As this book is unknown sessed in no small degree the deep-rooted bigotry to general readers, I extract the sentence.t A desire and indefatigable perseverance which characterise the is expressed, that Spenser would "set down in English body of which he was a member. He was executed the precepts of those parts of moral philosophy whereby on a charge of treason; and though there are many

reasons for supposing him innocent of this crime, we . It is almost unnecessary to say, my

observation applies to the general principle, without any reference to the individual

must excuse some precipitation at a time when concharacter of John Milton.

spiracies against the life of Elizabeth, originating + My attention was first directed to this passage by a reference among, and directed by, the Jesuits, were daily dismade to it in “Lives of Sacred Poets," by R. A. Willmott, Esq., covered; conspiracies peculiarly dangerous on account Trinity College, Cambridge, 2 vols. J. W. Parker. My obliga

of the mystery which enveloped them, and the extrations to this admirable and interesting work are too numerous to be specified individually. I would fain hope that many readers

ordinary talents of their leaders.* will pass froin my brief sketch to the full information and Interesting records contained in these volumes,

• Vide "Church of England Magazine," vol. vi. p. 101.

that

« AnteriorContinua »