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blé value of the dispensation under which we live. On the re→ ciprocal conduct of pastors and their flocks, there occurs one passage in this volume of so much feeling and such precious admonition, that, hoping it may find its way into all those parishes where its instruction may be wanted, we have determined to give it a place.
"It is not, however, our own interest only that is affected by our attachment or hostility towards our spiritual pastor. We cannot estimate the future consequences of rancour or even coolness towards one who is really the servant of God. Our example may influence our friends and dependants, so that many, who, like the Ninevites, might have been brought to repent of their sins, and have thus received the divine mercy through faith in their Redeemer, may have eternal cause to reproach us as the instruments of their destruction. Nothing, on the other hand, more promotes true religion than Christian amity between ministers and their flock; even the persecutors of the primitive church could not but feel admiration while they exclaimed, Behold how these Christians love one another.' But where enmity, or even indifference, exists, our spiritual enemy takes advantage of them to obstruct the cause of religion; and to lay an insuperable impediment for the weak and uninformed. Where therefore we find a minister faithful to his heavenly-delegated trust, great mutual advantages will result from our confidence and regard; for few things will more constrain him to constant zeal, watchfulness, prayer, self-denial, humility, and general consistency of conduct, than finding that he is the spiritual adviser of those, who, as well as himself, are really in earnest respecting their salvation.
"Should it be asked, what is the proper line of conduct where a minister is evidently not a man of piety, or personally deserving of religious esteem, it would be difficult to give a precise reply. The circumstances of the case will, however, almost always direct a conscientious mind; and a prudent and religious friend is usually the best casuist. General casuistry, however occasionally useful to persons really sincere, is much oftener consulted to discover plausible evasions of duty, than really to enlighten a scrupulous conscience. It is a grievous task, as in the supposed instance, to provide rules for what ought not to exist. There are, besides, a thousand minute shades of character from him who is only not decidedly religious, to him who is decidedly profligate and abandoned; so that no one rule can possibly apply to every individual case. We may conscientiously respect and regard, and even derive partial profit from many an individual, in whom, however, we cannot implicitly confide respecting all the essentials of salvation.
"But what, it may be asked, are the effects of this divine grace of Christian affection where it exists in its due power and extent? "On the part of ministers, it will produce Christian diligence and faithfulness. To reprove, rebuke, exhort,' so far from being inconsistent with true affection, are its surest marks; provided they be performed, as the Apostle directs, with all long-suffering and doctrine
VOL. X. NO. XIX.
On the contrary, to speak' peace, peace, where there is no peace,' is a refinement in cruelty, at which Christian tenderness would shudder. The clerical function was not appointed in order to delude men, and to make them happy with the hopes of heaven, while they persist in the way that leads to destruction. It is the part of ministerial charity to show even professed Christians, even the moral and sincere, that they are inheritors of a corrupted nature; that they are very far gone from original righteousness;' that born with innate propensities to evil, they have wilfully and continually indulged those propensities by their actual practice; that they have sinned against light and against knowledge; against the silent remonstrances of God's Spirit in their consciences, and the open prohibitions and mandates of his word. A minister who really desires the spiritual welfare of his hearers, will go on to state the awful consequences of sin. He will delineate it in all its terrific proportions, not only as a moral and political evil, but as directly hostile to the divine nature and the divine law, and meriting the utmost indignation of our offended Creator. Far from extenuating its guilt, or reducing it to an almost pardonable human frailty, he will exhibit the denunciations of Scripture against it, and shew the awfulness of the eternal punishment to which it has rendered us exposed. To point out unseen and unsuspected danger is an indispensable duty of genuine affection. A faithful minister will therefore warn his hearer with fervour and a heart-felt interest for his eternal safety; invariably accompanying his exhortations with earnest prayer to that divine Enlightener of the human understanding, who alone can render them effectual." (Vol. ii. p. 69-73.)
We are truly sorry that the pressure of other matter separates us so soon from this amiable, instructive, and pious writer, towards whom we really feel too grateful for beauty of sentiment, accuracy of observation, and theological precision, to notice the few blemishes which occur in the style, and occasional amplifications and redundancies in the matter.
ART. V.-Manfred; a Dramatic Poem. By Lord Byron. 8vo. pp. 80. Murray. London, 1817.
As we have long considered Lord Byron as our patient, every resource of our medical skill has been exerted upon his morbid intellect: every thing has been tried from a soothing syrup, to a blistering plaster; but since this poem of " Manfred" has appeared, we doubt whether any thing less potent than hellebore will prove efficacious. Sometimes, indeed, we are induced to doubt whether a cure might be altogether desirable, since, if the complaint is habitual, and constitutional, the removal of it might give room to some worse disease, or let in a general languor upon the system. Perhaps, after all, Dr. Spurzheim could show that some
incurable tendency resides in the organs, to which the creation of such a monotonous series of whimsical hypochondriacs is scientifically to be ascribed.
It was a circumstance rather agreeable to us in opening this little poem, to find that the scene was in Switzerland. This, at least, gave us a hope that we were safe from our old enemies in turbans; from languishing pirates, gentlemen-thieves, and pensive cutthroats, with all the bloody delights of the divan, the kiosk, and the haram: but, alas! the Noble Poet knows only, understands only, feels only one solitary character, the prototype of which is for ever in his imagination. The constituent parts of this strange composition of a man are easily enumerated: save that he is violently in love, he is altogether a desperate villain, with just so much of palliation as a certain degree of craziness, produced by crime, may be said to afford. Without this demon to inspire him, it seems as if his Lordship were incapable of all effort; for whenever he attempts any thing independently of his assistance, absolute failure seems to be the penalty of his desertion. Now, if this be so, however we may morally regret the necessity, we scarcely know how to blame the poet. His case, indeed, is to be lamented as well as that of his readers, since all those glowing and picturesque descriptions of scenery, in which he so eminently excels, are thus under a law which compels them to pass through the mind of this conscience-smitten hero, who is sure to mix with them, in their passage, a portion of his own ma lignant ill-humour. From the Giaour, or perhaps from the Childe, with whom Lord Byron first started in his career of sentimental poetry, an unity of character has pervaded all the principal personages of this poet, with only that variety which the deepening shades of villainy has supplied, as his muse has proceeded. The renegade, who figured in the "Siege of Corinth," was certainly in considerable advance beyond his predecessors in crime. He had assumed the costume and religion of a Turk, to participate in the massacre of his own countrymen, the Venetians, in revenge for some imagined wrong received from some of them. Parasina, a tale of woeful debauchery, presents us with an improvement upon the turpitude of Lord Byron's former heroes; we had there the amour of a bastard son with his father's wife. This favourite character of Lord It
Byron seemed in this last display to have done his worst. seemed impossible to carry him a stage further in depravity without bringing him very near his infernal home; and accordingly, in the poem now in our hands, we find our old companion in downright fellowship with familiar spirits.
Count Manfred has an insufferable load of crime upon his conscience ;-some black and atrocious deed or deeds, the na
ture of which is scarcely hinted in the course of the poem and in virtue of his crime or crimes, he appears to have been invested with a magician's art, and to have received, or acquired, the knowledge of some spells too strong for the principalities and powers of darkness to resist, whenever it was his pleasure to summon them. He has also, by what charter it is impossible to say, a controul over very odd beings, of whom but little, if any thing, has been heard in romance,-ministering destinies, and talking elements, and young and florid witches. He is withal an astrologer, and no stranger to the visions of the Apocalypse. Arimanes is also one of the spiritual persons of this unintelligible drama, whose part is as short as it is significant, almost all he has to say being condensed in the solemn monosyllable “ yea.” The other spirits, however, make up for the taciturnity and reserve of their prince. When first summoned by Manfred, they appear to be officiously disposed to serve him, and to enter into a full communication with him. But it does not seem that the Count, when he has got them about him, knows exactly what to do with them. He has no commands for them. But it occurs to him at
length to desire to see these spirits in their accustomed forms.
"MAN. (not perceiving the other.) To be thus-
Having been otherwise! Now furrow'd o'er
With wrinkles, plough'd by moments, not by years;
Ye avalanches, whom a breath draws down
In mountainous o'erwhelming, come and crush me!
Crash with a frequent conflict; but ye pass,
And hamlet of the harmless villager." (P. 23.)
Manfred is on the point of throwing himself headlong from the brow of one of the Alpine crags, when a Chamois hunter comes just in time to save him. This Chamois hunter, who talks in the strain of a buskined hero, is the character next in importance to the Count himself; he comes and goes, however, with this one scene, and contributes nothing to the developement. One address, however, of Manfred to this honest villager puts his character in very pleasing contrast with his own, and shows the poet to have very accurate views of those unsophisticated joys, of which we heartily wish he had a more practical relish, and were more frequently employed in describing.
"MAN. Myself, and thee-a peasant of the AlpsThy humble virtues, hospitable home,
And spirit patient, pious, proud and free;
Thy self-respect, grafted on innocent thoughts;
Thy days of health, and nights of sleep; thy toils,
Of cheerful old age and a quiet grave
With cross and garland over its green turf,
And thy grandchildren's love for epitaph." (P. 29.)
Among the crimes of Manfred, one great and cardinal sin is constantly in his thoughts, frequently alluded to, but never distinctly divulged. It seems, however, to have partly consisted in breaking the heart of a young lady of great perfections by his ill-treatment; and we obscurely collect that the unhappy victim was so nearly related to him as to stamp an unholy character on the sentiment with which he had regarded her. When the Chamois hunter invites him to taste his wine, the following dialogue takes place :
"MAN. Away, away! there's blood upon the brim!
Will it then never-never sink in the earth?
C. HUN. What dost thou mean? thy senses wander from thee.
Which ran in the veins of my fathers, and in ours
When we were in our youth, and had one heart,
And this was shed: but still it rises up,
Colouring the clouds, that shut me out from heaven,