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In the church of sainted Lawrence stands a Pix of sculpture rare,
This image of the thought gathered like a flower from the crevice of the pavement, is truly natural and poetical.
Here is another image which came into the mind of the writer as he looked at the subject of his verse, and which pleases accor.
dingly. It is from one of the new poems, addressed to Driving Cloud, " chief of the mighty Omahaws.”
Wrapt in thy scarlet blanket I see thee stalk through the city's
A feeling of sadness and longing,
That is not akin to pain,
As the mist resembles rain.
I will forget her! All dear recollections,
Shall be torn out and scattered to the winds. The drama from which this is taken is an elegant exercise of the pen, after the fashion of the best models. Plans, figures, all are academical. It is a faint reflex of the actions and passions of men, tame in the conduct and lifeless in the characters, but not heavy, and containing good meditative passages.
And now farewell to the handsome book, with its Preciosos and Preciosas, its Vikings and knights, and cavaliers, its flowers of all climes, and wild flowers of none. We have not wished to depreciate these writings below their current value more than truth absolutely demands. We have not forgotten that, if a man cannot himself sit at the feet of the muse, it is much if he prizes those who may; it makes him a teacher to the people. Neither have we forgotten that Mr. Longfellow has a genuine respect for his pen, never writes carelessly, nor when he does not wish to, nor for money alone. Nor are we intolerant to those who prize hot-house bouquets beyond all the free beauty of nature ; that helps the gardener and has its uses. But still let us not forget Excelsior !!
NOBLE'S APPEAL IN BEHALF OF THE VIEWS HELD BY THE NEW (or Swe
denborgian) Church. Second edition, 1845. Boston: T. H. Carter &
Co.-Otis Clapp. ESSAYS BY TheophilUS PARSONS. Boston: Otis Clapp, School-st. 1845. THE CORNER STONE OF THE NEW JERUSALEM, by B. F. BARRETT. New
York: Bartlett and Wellford, Astor House; John Allen, 139 Nassau-street, 1845.
The claim to be the New Church, or peculiarly the founders of a New Jerusalem, is like exclusive claims to the title of Or. thodox. We have no sympathy with it. We believe that all kinds of inspiration and forms of faith have been made by the power that rules the world to cooperate in the development of mental life with a view to the eventual elucidation of truth.
That ruling power overrules the vanity of men, or just the contrary would ensue. For men love the letter that killeth better than the spirit that continually refreshes its immortal life. They wish to compress truth into a nut-shell that it may be grasped in the hand. They wish to feel sure that they and theirs hold it all. In vain! More incompressible than light, it flows forth anew, and, while the preacher was finishing the sermon in which he proclaimed that now the last and greatest dispensation had arrived, and that all the truth could henceforward be encased within the walls of a church—it has already sped its way to unnumbered zones, planted in myriad new-born souls the seeds of life, and wakened in myriads more a pulse that cannot be tamed down by dogma or doctrine, but must always throb at each new revelation of the glories of the infinite.
Were there, indeed, a catholic church which should be based on a recognition of universal truths, simple as that proposed by Jesus, Love God with all thy soul and strength, thy neighbour as thyself; such a church would include all sincere motions of the spirit, and sects and opinions would no more war with one another than roses in the garden, but, like them, all contentedly grace a common soil and render their tribute to one heaven.
Then we should hear no more of the church, creed, or teacher, but of a church, creed or teacher. Each man would adopt contentedly what best answered his spiritual wants, lovingly granting the same liberality to others. Then the variety of opinions would produce its natural benefit of testing and animating each mind in its natural tendency, without those bitter accompaniments that make theological systems so repulsive to religious minds.
Religious tolerance will, probably, come last in the progress of civilization, for, in those interests which search deepest, the weeds of prejudice have struck root deepest, too. But it will come; for we see its practicability sometimes proved in the intercourse between friends; and so shall it be between parties and groups of men, when intercourse shall have belth placed on the same basis of mutual good-will and respect for one another's rights. Then those ugliest taints of spiritual arrogance and vanity shall begin to be washed out of this world.
As with all other cases, so with this ! We believe in no new church par excellence. Swedenborgians are to us those taught of Swedenborg, a great, a learned, a wise, a good man—also one instructed by direct influx from a higher sphere, but one of a constellation, and needing the aid of congenial influences to con. firm and illustrate his.
That the body of his followers do not constitute a catholic church would be sufficiently proved to us by the fact, asserted by all who come in contact with them, that they attach an ex. aggerated importance to the teachings of their master, which
shuts them in a great measure from the benefit of other teach. ings, and threatens to make them bigots, though of such mild strain as shows them to be the followers of one singularly mild and magnanimous.
For Swedenborg was one who, though entirely open and stead. fast in the maintenance of his pretensions, knew how to live with kings, nobles, clergy, and people, without being the object of persecution to any. They viewed with respect, if not with confidence, his conviction that he was “in fellowship with angels.' They knew the deep discipline and wide attainments of his mind. They saw that he forced his convictions on no one, but relied for their diffusion upon spiritual laws. They saw that he made none but an incidental use of his miraculous powers, and that it was not to him a matter of any consequence whether others recognized them or not ; for he knew that those whoin truth does not reach by its spiritual efficacy cannot be made to believe by dint of signs and wonders.
Thus his life was, for its steady growth, its soft majesty, and exhibition of a faith never fierce and sparkling, never diin, a happy omen for the age. Thus gently and gradually may new organizations of great principles be effected now! May it prove that, at least in the more advanced part of the world, revolutions may be effected without painful throes! Sứch a life was in corres. pondence with his system, which is one of gradation and harmony.
1 have used the word system, and yet it is not the right one. The works of Swedenborg contain intimations of a system, but it is one whose full derelopment must be coincident with the perfection of all things. Some great rules he proffers, some ways of thinking opens; we have centre and radii, but the cir. cumference is not closed in.
This is to us the greatness of Swedenborg and the ground of our pleasure in his works, that in them we can expatiate freely ; there is room enough. We can take what does us good, and de