Imatges de pÓgina

my labours in the state of Ohio; concluding, if they were successful, there to continue; if not, to go further among our new settlements-perhaps to Indiana or Illinois.

climate for the benefit of my wife's health, I went, with the advice of the Right Rev. Benjamin Moore, my bishop, to New Orleans, in the state of Louisiana. While there, I organised a Protestant communion, and obtained of the legislature a charter of incorporation of the parish of Christ Church, in which the rector was made subject to the Bishop of New York, until such time as there should be a diocese organised according to the canons and constitution of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States.

In New Orleans, I continued about six years doing the duty of a Protestant clergyman, having been the first of that character of any denomination that had officiated in that city. At the end of this period, the object of my going having been, by the goodness of God, obtained, and feeling anxious to attend to the education of my two sons, left with their uncle in Vermont, I returned to the northern states; and in 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 continued till 1817. During this period the number of the faithful greatly increased; the attendants at the Lord's table, from a very few, became a great number. I sincerely rejoiced to see the blessed effects of the Gospel of peace, and the many examples of the fruits of a holy life. In the bosom of an enlightened society, softened by the hand of urbanity and gentleness, my enjoyments, crowned with abundance of temporal blessings, were as numerous and refined as fall to the lot of man. Of the time I spent in this lovely city, I can never speak in ordinary terms. It is to my remembrance as a dream of more than terrestrial delight. Of its sweets I tasted for a while, and thought myself happy; but God, who would train his servants more by the reality of suffering than by ideal and transitory bliss, saw fit to direct my thoughts to other and more perilous duties.

When young in the Christian ministry, I had, as before observed, been a humble missionary; and although I remembered the hardships and deprivations inseparable from the work of visiting my fellow-beings when struggling for the necessaries of life amidst the wild woods and the beasts of the forests; yet I also remembered the exquisite pleasure of being the herald of good tidings of great joy in bringing the Gospelfeast to those who were famishing for the bread of life. The recollection of this pleasure was still dearer to me than all the enjoyments of ease and plenty, even though heightened by the refinements of Christian courteousness and pious and polished society.

In this state of mind it was that the intelligence of the wants of our brethren in the Lord daily reaching us from the new settlements in the western states sunk deep into my heart. A lively impression, that wherever the lambs of Christ's fold went, thither it was necessary that some shepherd should go with them, was never absent from my conscious mind.

This, this was the motive which influenced me to make arrangements to go to the western country; but had I been duly sensible of the pain, I might say, the anguish, of separation from my beloved people in Hartford, perhaps my resolution would have failed. The plan, however, had been formed, the arrangements had been made, and the determination was fixed; and though the act of separation was like the tearing up of a tree in full bearing from its roots, and the time of parting consecrated by the tears of a numerous and affectionate people, I nevertheless had strength given me to fulfil my purpose; and on the 2d day of March, 1817, I set off for the western country, there to seek, according to my ordinationvows, for Christ's sheep that are dispersed abroad, and for his children who are in the midst of this naughty world, that they might be saved by him for ever. I went out, scarce knowing whither I went; but the Lord, I trust, being my guide, I commenced

Time, however, soon convinced me that the field of usefulness was that into which I at first entered. Assisted by the exertions of a fellow-labourer, the state of Ohio was, during the spring and summer, for the most part traversed. Parishes were formed, and little societies of Christian worshippers were gathered in many places. Delegates from these attended a convention, previously appointed, in Columbus in the following winter, where the constitution of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States was adopted, a diocesan constitution was formed, and all things regulated according to the usages of our primitive Church.*

(To be continued.)



No. II.

Introductory Observations - Spenser, Southwell, Barnes, Constable, Davison, Sir Walter Raleigh.

IT will be necessary, before commencing the historical part of this series, to make a few general introductory remarks on the subject itself, and the plan which I have adopted.

The generic term sacred poetry includes two classes of religious verse: the one purely devotional, comprising such poems as the Psalms of David, the hymns of Watts, Cowper, Montgomery, &c. &c.; the other, including Milton's "Paradise Lost" and "Regained," Spenser's "Faery Queene," Fletcher's "Christ's Victorie," Heber's "Palestine," &c. It is necessary that poems of the first class should embody the peculiar hopes, fears, trials, prayers, and praises of the believer, in short, that they be imbued with that Holy Spirit which cometh down from the Father of light. The evidences of the influence of this Holy Spirit on the mind of the writer constitute the chief characteristic in this species of composition. The poems comprised in the latter class speak not of the intercourse of the soul with a covenant God. Though their subject be sacred, and though they aim to inculcate the highest moral feelings and awaken the purest emotions, yet they point not to that cross which stood on Mount Calvary; their object is rather to cultivate and exalt the moral sentiments than convert the heart. May I not say, that a poem of the former class could only be written by a practical Christian; while one of the latter might be penned by him who had no knowledge of vital religion, no clear views of the atonement and mediation of our Lord Jesus Christ? With due deference, I would give it as my opinion, that the immortal poem of" Paradise Lost," though it is so eminently calculated" to justify the ways of God to man," does not furnish us with abso

The Episcopal Church of the United States of America derives its origin from England. Ten dioceses had been formed at the time this was written, nine of which are in the Atlantic states east of the Alleghany Mountains. Portions of two of those dioceses, those of Philadelphia and Virginia, reach across those mountains, as they are co-extensive with the states bearing these names; but the diocese of Ohio was at this time the only diocese formed beyond those mountains in the western territory of the states. Illinois then formed part of the missionary territory of Ohio.

lute and irrefragable evidence that its author had drank of that stream, which whosoever drinketh shall never thirst again. Some of the most beautiful Hebrew Melodies which our literature can boast have been written by Lord Byron and Mr. Thomas Moore. It has been denied by Cecil and others, that the author of " Night Thoughts" was a man of evangelical piety. I shall speak more fully of his character in the proper place. Though purely devotional poetry is the most valuable, still such poems as the "Paradise Lost," "Christ's Victorie," &c., are real treasures to the pious and devout. He who can rise from perusing the "Paradise Lost" without being in some measure ་་ a wiser and a better man" must possess a hard heart, and feelings which need not be envied. The Christian father, though he is compelled to make the licentious poems of a Byron, or the enervating strains of a Moore, sealed books to his children, can yet put into their hands volumes where poetry is employed in her noblest officevolumes every page of which says, with irresistible force, talent and genius shine with a double lustre when employed in furthering the interests of virtue, morality, and religion.

It would be impossible, if desirable, to embrace within my assigned limits those numerous and tedious details of changes of residence, private quarrels, and literary controversies, which occupy the pages of more prolix biographies. I make this remark to exculpate myself from the censures of those who expect a brief notice to be occupied with accounts of the "uprisings and downfallings" of every sacred poet. My business is not so much with authors as their works. After these necessary, but I fear tedious, observations, I commence my biographical sketches with the illustrious name of

Edmund Spenser: born 1553, died 1599. Many of my readers will be surprised to see Spenser ranked among sacred poets. Viewing his "Faerie Queene" in the same light as the "Seven Champions of Christendom," they never dream of the object with which Spenser penned it, or the end which it was designed to accomplish. What Spenser used as a mean, they consider as the end. How well did Bishop Hall understand Spenser's beautiful poem, when he spoke of "his misty moral types!" and how clearly did Milton penetrate through the clouds of giants and enchantment, which hide the real purpose of his poem from the eyes of the multitude, when he designated the poet as our sage, serious Spenser!" The masterkey to the immortal poem of the "Faerie Queene" is furnished by a passage in Lodowick Bryskett's "Discourse of Civil Life." As this book is unknown to general readers, I extract the sentence. A desire is expressed, that Spenser would "set down in English the precepts of those parts of moral philosophy whereby


It is almost unnecessary to say, that my observation applies to the general principle, without any reference to the individual character of John Milton.

+ My attention was first directed to this passage by a reference made to it in "Lives of Sacred Poets," by R. A. Willmott, Esq., Trinity College, Cambridge. 2 vols. J. W. Parker. My obligations to this admirable and interesting work are too numerous to be specified individually. I would fain hope that readers many will pass from my brief sketch to the full information and Interesting records contained in these volumes,

our youth might speedily enter into the right course of a virtuous life;" and the poet is represented as saying, in reply, that "he hath already undertaken a work tending to the same effect, which was in heroic verse, under the title of a Faerie Queene,' to represent all the moral virtues, assigning to every virtue a knight, to be the patron and defender of the same; in whose actions, the feats of arms and chivalry, the operations of that virtue whereof he is the protector are to be expressed; and the vices and unruly appetites that oppose themselves against the same are to be beaten down and overcome." We must remember how congenial such a plan was with the spirit of the age, and how likely to render his work generally popular. In the present era of invention and excitement, we can neither sympathise with his imaginary personages, nor fairly decide as to the propriety of selecting such a fabulous foundation on which to erect the fabric of truth.

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Robert Southwell: born 1560, died 1595. The poetical compositions of this author, though not remarkable for lofty flights of imagination, are rendered peculiarly delightful by the simplicity and quaintness which pervade them. There is a richness of pathos in many of his minor pieces which cuts to the heart. So inexpressibly sweet, yet mournful, are some of his poems, that we willingly pardon, and allow the justice of Southwell's own conceit, when he said, that "his tunes were tears." Southwell was a Jesuit, and possessed in no small degree the deep-rooted bigotry and indefatigable perseverance which characterise the body of which he was a member. He was executed on a charge of treason; and though there are many reasons for supposing him innocent of this crime, we must excuse some precipitation at a time when conspiracies against the life of Elizabeth, originating among, and directed by, the Jesuits, were daily discovered; conspiracies peculiarly dangerous on account of the mystery which enveloped them, and the extraordinary talents of their leaders.

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

His lines on "the Picture of Death" are very striking. They cannot be read without thoughts which quell the heart of the strong man, but make the weakest believer rejoice with unspeakable joy, that there is laid up for him in the heavens a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

"Before my face the picture hangs,

That daily should put me in mind
Of those cold names and bitter pangs
That shortly I am like to find:

But yet, alas, full little I

Do think thereon that I must die.

I often look upon a face

Most ugly, grisly, bare, and thin;

I often view the hollow place,

Where eyes and nose have sometimes been:

I see the bones across that lie,

Yet little think that I must die.

The gown which I do use to wear,

The knife wherewith I cut my meat,
And eke that old ancient chair

Which is my only usual seat,-
All these do tell me I must die,
And yet my life amend not I.

My ancestors are turned to clay,

And many of my mates are gone;

My youngers daily drop away,

And can I hope to 'scape alone?
No, no, I know that I must die,
And yet my life amend not I.

If none can 'scape death's dreadful dart ;
If rich and poor his beck obey;

If strong, if wise, if all, do smart,

Then I to 'scape shall have no way.

O grant me grace, O God, that I

My life may mend, sitht I must die!"

I think that much of the pleasure derived from reading the above poem may be attributed to the conviction produced on the mind of the reader, that the sentiments expressed were really those of the author. There is a simple sincerity and earnestness in every line, which furnish internal evidence that the feelings were neither fabricated for the occasion, nor forced upon the author by some refractory rhyme.

The works of Barnes, Constable, and Francis Davison, though almost wholly unknown to modern readers, contain many passages of great beauty. I know few more exquisite paraphrases of Scripture than a version of the 86th Psalm by Davison.

"Save my soul, which thou didst cherish

Until now, now like to perish;

Save thy servant, that hath none

Help nor hope but thee alone.

After thy sweet, wonted fashion,
Shower down mercy and compassion
On me, sinful wretch, that cry
Unto thee incessantly.

Send, O send, relieving gladness
To my soul oppress'd with sadness;
Which, from clog of earth set free,
Wing'd with zeal flies up to thee.

Let thine ears, which long have tarried
Barred up, be now unbarrèd,
That my cries may entrance gain;
And, being entered, grace obtain.

• These stanzas have been attributed (I know not on what foundation) to Simon Wastell, author of " Microbiblion." They were published among Southwell's poems in 1595.

ti. e. since.

For Thou, darter of dread thunders,
Thou art great, and workest wonders;
Other gods are wood and stone,
Thou the living God alone.
Heavenly Tutor, of thy kindness
Teach my dulness-guide my blindness;
That my steps thy paths may tread,
Which to endless bliss do lead.

In knots to be loosed never
Knit my heart to thee for ever,
That I to thy name may bear
Fearful love and loving fear.

Mighty men, with malice endless,

Band against me helpless, friendless;
Using, without fear of thee,

Force and fraud to ruin me.

But thy might their malice passes,
And thy grace thy might surpasses;
Swift to mercy, slow to wrath,
Bound nor end thy goodness hath.
Thy kind look no more deny me,
But with eyes of mercy eye me;

O give me, thy slave, at length
Easing aid or bearing strength!

And some gracious token shew me,

That my foes, that watch t' o'erthrow me,

May be blamed, and vex'd to see

Thee to help and comfort me."*

Sir Walter Raleigh is the author of some sweet hymns, which evidence, from the sincerity and repentance breathing through every line, how different the feelings of his more mature years were to the sceptical and irreligious creed of his youth. The Bible, which was his sole companion in prison, contains an expression, written the evening before his execution, of the full confidence which he placed in the death, mediation, and intercession of our Saviour. The following hymn is truly beautiful :

"Rise, O my soul, with thy desires to heaven;
And with divinest contemplation use
Thy time, where time's eternity is given;

And let vain thoughts no more thy thoughts abuse;
But down in darkness let them lie-

So live thy better, let thy worse thoughts die.
And thou, my soul, inspired with holy flame,
View and review with most regardful eye
That holy cross whence thy salvation came,

On which thy Saviour and thy sin did die;
For in that sacred object is much pleasure,
And in that Saviour is my life, my treasure.

To thee, O Jesu! I direct my eyes;

To thee my hands, to thee my humble knees;

To thee my heart shall offer sacrifice:

To thee my thoughts, who my thoughts only sees;

To thee myself, myself and all, I give,

To thee I die, to thee I only live."

Would that he whose feeble hand pens these lines→→ would that every reader of this periodical could say, "To thee myself, myself and all, I give;

To thee I die, to thee I only live!"

There is an inexpressible something in the following lines, which makes the "heart to leap for very gladness:"

"Among the Harleian MSS., 6930, is a version of selected psalms by Francis and Christopher Davison, W. Bagnall, Richard Gipps, and J. Bryan. The MS. extends to 113 pages. Francis Davison, who is the principal contributor, has prefixed an introduction to the translation."-Willmott.

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THESE words set before us life and death, and both of them eternal: it is of the first importance that they should be clearly understood, in order that we may know what will be our future portion. "It is a question," "It is a question," says an old divine," that all should seriously put to themselves, Shall I be saved, or shall I be lost? If there be a spark of conscience left when sick or dying, they will then put it with anxious and trembling hearts, O my poor soul, whither art thou going?" Is it not then better, my brethren, to put this momentous question now, whilst there is yet time and opportunity to correct your error, if you have hitherto been wrong? Perhaps there is not a verse in the Bible that will sooner determine it than our text: "If ye live after the flesh, ye shall die; but if ye, through the Spirit, do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live." We will, therefore, in dependence upon the Holy Spirit's teaching and blessing, endeavour to open these words under two plain heads, viz.

I. If sin live in us, we must die eternally. II. If sin die in us, we shall live eternally. I. And, first, if sin live in us, we shall die, i. e. if it reign and rule in us: "if we live after the flesh we shall die." By the flesh we are to understand human nature in its present fallen state. Man is made up of two parts, body and soul, or flesh and spirit; but man is now called flesh, therefore the spirit is dead


to God, and he only lives a fleshly or animal life. So God spake of the wicked world before the flood: "And the Lord said, My Spirit shall not always strive with man (Gen. vi. 3), i. e. by the good counsels, pious example, and faithful warnings of Noah, and perhaps others; "for that he also is flesh," i. e. corrupt, carnal, and sensual, sunk in the mire of fleshly lusts. This is still the case of all men before they receive the grace of God; they are flesh. They take their name from that part of them which rules, which is the flesh, and not the spirit; they are wholly engaged by things which concern the body and its sensual delights. Hence the mind itself is called carnal or fleshly: "for to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace." This depraved turn of mind is called flesh; it exerts itself by means of the senses and members of the body; for carnal men, we read, " yield their members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity" (Rom. vi. 19). Now, to live after the flesh, is to obey the dictates and orders of our corrupt nature, to gratify its sinful desires, without regard to the will of God, yea, in direct contradiction to it. And this will appear more plainly, by considering the actions, the words, and the thoughts of a carnal man. Take a view, in the first place, of his actions. Amongst these the apostle mentions "adultery, fornication, uncleanness," &c. These are abominations to which corrupt nature is strongly inclined. The world is full of pollution through lust. In youth especially these sins are predominant; and, to use the apostle's words, "it is a shame even to speak of the things that are done in secret." And however lightly the sins of uncleanness may be thought of in general, the Scriptures assure us, that those which do such things "God will judge." Drunkenness is another work of the flesh. Fools make a mock of this sin also; but St. Paul declares (1 Cor. vi. 10), that "drunkards shall not inherit the kingdom of God." It is very common for people to promise themselves security in this sin, and to say, "I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of my heart to add drunkenness to thirst;" but what says God? "The Lord will not spare him, but the anger of the Lord and his jealousy shall smoke against that man" (Deut. xxix. 19, 20). The profane man also lives after the flesh. What can be a plainer proof that a man is without the fear of God, than his daring to set the Most High at defiance, and wantonly and wickedly to take his awful name in vain? The Sabbath-breaker lives after the flesh. He, having no regard to the authority of God, no love to his service, and no care for his own soul, dares to spend


nation of their own minds. They are not perhaps drunkards, swearers, or liars, "but still they mind earthly things;" and St. John assures us, that "if we love the world, the love of the Father is not in us." No, "let the dead bury their dead;" but let the Christian take up his cross and follow his Master.



the sacred hours of the Lord's day in worldly
business, idleness, or pleasure. The conduct
of such a man plainly proves that he is indeed
flesh, and as much a stranger to the life of
God in the soul as the beasts that perish.
Let no man, then, deceive himself with
vain words; for "because of these things
cometh the wrath of God upon the children
of disobedience." But it is not only by
these grossly immoral actions that men ap-
pear to live after the flesh; a man's speech
betrayeth him ; out of the abundance
of the heart the mouth speaketh."
have already mentioned cursing and swear-
ing. Equally carnal is that ""
corrupt com-
munication which proceedeth out of the
mouth;" that "foolish talking and jesting
which is not convenient." O, how the tongue,
the boasted glory of man, is debased by evil
speaking, lying, and slandering! The apostle
(James, iii. 6) says, "the tongue is a fire, a
world of iniquity: it defileth the whole body;
and it is set on fire of hell." The conversa-
tion of carnal men is wholly carnal; they can
talk fluently for hours together upon worldly
subjects; but let the things of God be intro-ed,
duced, and they are dumb, and cannot find
a word for each other upon the great and
glorious subjects of eternal life.

But, my brethren, we must go a step further. Solomon says, "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he" (Prov. xxiii. 7); and "Out of the heart," said our Lord, "proceed evil thoughts." A good man may have bad thoughts; but a bad man, a natural man, cannot have good thoughts. A good man hates vain, wicked, and blasphemous thoughts; but a bad man delights in them. It is said of the wicked, "God is not in all his thoughts." He rises in the morning without any thoughts of Him who has preserved him through the night, refreshed him with rest and sleep, and opened his eyes on the light of another day. He enters upon his business without a thought of Him who blesses both with health and means to perform it. He sits down to his daily meals without bestowing one thought upon the bounteous hand that has spread his board; and rises from it without a breath of gratitude or praise and then retires to rest at night again, even like the beast. Hence it is said, in verse 5 of this chapter, "they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh;" they constantly and habitually consult, pursue, and delight in worldly, sensual, and sinful things. And this may serve to convince some persons how much they deceive themselves respecting their true state before God. They lay the flattering unction to their souls, that they shall be saved, be cause they are not so wicked as others but they have never noticed the prevailing incli

Doubtless there is a necessary, lawful, and commendable regard to our proper callings and worldly affairs; and there is a lawful enjoyment of worldly comforts; but the evil lies in so loving the world as to make it our portion, our chief good; to love the world more than God, who does not consider himself to be loved sincerely, unless he is loved supremely, "with all our heart, and soul, and strength." The love of God, and the love of the world, are like the two scales of a balance -as one rises, the other falls. O, let every one ask the question, how it is with him. It is melancholy to think how little place the Almighty God, the precious Redeemer, the Holy Spirit, the care of the soul, and the awful concerns of eternity, have in the hearts of natural men! We mean, by this term, unrenew


unconverted men. The thoughts of these things are seldom entertained; and when they are, they are not welcome guests, but rather considered as intruders, as burdensome and teazing; and when the mind is by some means forced to regard them, it springs back again into worldly matters with delight, as a fish into the water, which is its proper element. Now, dear brethren, as you love your souls, mark the consequence of living after the flesh "if ye do so, ye shall die." These are plain and awful words. "To be carnally minded is death." The carnal man is now dead to God-" dead while he liveth"-"dead in trespasses and sins;" and "the wages of sin is death," not only the death of the body, which is the separation of the soul from it, but the death of soul and body too, in their everlasting separation from God, who is the fountain of all happiness. "This, the second death," as it comes after that of the body, is inexpressibly more terrible, and will never end in a resurrection to eternal life. At present God exercises great patience and longsuffering towards his enemies; his sun shines and his rain descends upon the just and the unjust he gives them time, space, and opportunity for repentance, to which his mercy and goodness ought to lead them. But when all these have proved in vain, and the man has persisted in his carnal course to the end of his life, then will God's mercy be clean gone for ever, and he will be favourable no more. And oh, who shall paint the woe that falls on that man from whom God departs, and to whom he will say, "Depart from me, ye cursed!" Think of this, ye who live in


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