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scene-painter because he does not give to his work the exquisite finish of Gerard Dow.
Oratory is to be estimated on principles different from those which are applied to other productions. Truth is the object of philosophy and history. Truth is the object even of those works which are peculiarly called works of fiction, but which, in fact, bear the same relation to history which algebra bears to arithmetic. The merit of poetry, in its wildest forms, still consists in its truth-truth conveyed to the understanding, not directly by the words, but circuitously by means of imaginative asscciations, which serve as its conductors. The object of oratory alone is not truth, but persuasion. The admiration of the multitude does not make Moore a greater poet than Coleridge, or Beattie a greater philosopher than Berkeley. But the criterion of eloquence is different. A speaker, who exhausts the whole philosophy of a question, who displays every grace of style, yet produces no effect on his audience, may be a great essayist, a great statesman, a great master of composition, but he is not an orator. If he miss the mark, it makes no difference whether he have taken aim too high or too low.
The effect of the great freedom of the press in England has been, in a great measure, to destroy this distinction, and to leave among us little of what I call Oratory Proper. Our legislators, our candidates, on great occasions even our advocates, address themselves less to the audience than to the reporters. They think less of the few hearers than of the innumerable readers. At Athens the case was different; there the only object of the speaker was immediate conviction and persuasion. He, therefore, who would justly appreciate the merit of the Grecian orators should place himself, as nearly as possible, in the situation of their auditors; he should divest himself of his modern feelings and acquirements, and make the prejudices and interests of the Athenian citizens his own. He who studies their works in this spirit will find that many of those things which, to an English reader, appear to be blemishes the frequent violation of those excellent rules of evidence, by which our courts of law are regulated—the introduction of extraneous matter-the reference to considerations of political expediency in judicial investigations—the assertions, without proof—the passionate entreaties—the furious invectives—are really proofs of the prudence and address of the speakers. He must not dwell maliciously on arguments or phrases ; but aquiesce in his first impressions. It requires repeated perusal and reflection to decide rightly on any other portion of literature. But, with respect to works of which the merit depends on their instantaneous effect, the most hasty judgment is likely to be best.
*40.THE CHILDREN OF Lund.
A [From the Seventh Sermon of a Volume, entitled “The Victory of Faith.' This Sermon was preached before the University of Cambridge, in 1828.]
Walk as children of light. This is the simple and beautiful substance of your Christian duty. This is your bright privilege, which, if you use it according to the grace whereby you have received it, will be a prelude and foretaste of the bliss and glory of heaven. It is to light that all nations and languages have had recourse, whenever they wanted a symbol for any thing excellent in glory ; and if we were to search through the whole of inanimate nature for an emblem of pure unadulterated happiness, where could we find such an emblem, except in light ?-traversing the illimitable regions of space with a speed surpassing that of thought, incapable of injury or stain, and, whithersoever it goes, showering beauty and gladness. In order, however, that we may in due time inherit the whole fulness of this radiant beatitude, we must begin by training and fitting ourselves for it. Nothing good bursts forth all at once. The lightning may dart out of a black cloud: but the day sends his bright heralds before him, to prepare the world for his coming. So should we endeavour to render our lives here on earth as it were the dawn of heaven's eternal day: we should endeavour to walk as children of light. Our thoughts and feelings should all be akin to light, and have something of the nature of light in them; and our actions should be like the action of light itself, and like the actions of all those powers and of all those beings which pertain to light, and may be said to form the family of light; while we should carefully abstain and shrink from all such works as pertain to darkness, and are wrought by those who may be called the brood of darkness.
Thus the children of light will walk as having the light of knowledge, stedfastly, firmly, right onward to the end that is set before them. When men are walking in the dark, through an unknown and roadless country, they walk insecurely, doubtingly, timidly. For they cannot see where they are treading; they are fearful of stumbling against a stone, or falling into a pit; they cannot even keep on for many steps certain of the course they are taking. But by day we perceive what is under us and about us, we have the end of our journey, or at least the quarter where it lies, full in view, and we are able to make for it by the safest and speediest way. The very same advantage have those who are light in the Lord, the children of spiritual light, over the children of spiritual darkness. They know whither they are going ; to heaven. They know how they are to get there: by Him who has declared Himself to be the Way ; by keeping His words, by walking in His paths, by trusting in His atonement. If you then are children of light, if you know all this. walk according to your knowledge, without stumbling or slipping, without swerving or straying, without loitering or dallying by the way, onward and ever onward beneath the light of the Sun of Righteousness, on the road which leads to heaven.
In the next place the children of light are upright, and honest, and straightforward, and open, and frank, in all their dealings. There is nothing like lurking or concealment about them, nothing like dissimulation, nothing like fraud or deceit. These are the ministers and the spawn of darkness. It is darkness that hides its face, lest any should be appalled by so dismal a sight: light is the revealer and manifester of all things. It lifts up its brow on high, that all may behold it: for it is conscious that it has nothing to dread, that the breath of shame cannot soil it. Whereas the wicked lie in wait, and roam through the dark, and screen themselves therein from the sight of the sun ; as though the sun were the only eye wherewith God can behold their doings. It is under the cover of night that the reveller commits his foulest acts of intemperance and debauchery. It is under the cover of night that the thief and the murderer prowls about to bereave his brother of his substance or of his life. These children of darkness seek the shades of darkness to hide themselves thereby from the eyes of their fellow-creatures, from the eyes of Heaven, nay, even from their own eyes, from the eye of conscience, which at such a season they find it easier to hoodwink and blind. They, on the other hand, who walk abroad and ply their tasks during the day, are those by whose labour their brethren are benefited and supported; those who make the earth yield her increase, or who convert her produce into food and clothing, or who minister to such wants as spring up in countless varieties beneath the march of civilized society. Nor is this confined to men; the brute animals seem to be under a similar instinct. The beasts of prey lie in their lair during the day time, and wait for sunset ere they sally out on their destructive wanderings; while the beneficent and household animals, those which are most useful and friendly to man, are like him in a certain sense children of light, and come forth and go to rest with the sun. They who are conscious of no evil wish or purpose, do not shun or shrink from the eyes of others :
though never forward in courting notice, they bid it welcome when it chooses to visit them. Our Saviour himself tells us, that the condemnation of the world lies in this, that although light is come into the world, yet men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil. Nothing but their having utterly depraved their nature could seduce them into loving what is so contrary and repugnant to it. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, nor cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. To the same effect He commands His disciples to let their light so shine before men, that they may see their good works, not, however, for any vain ostentatious selfish purpose this would have been directly against the whole spirit of his teaching—but in order that men may be moved thereby to glorify God
For the children of light are also meek and lowly. Even the sun, although he stands up on high, and drives his chariot across the heavens, rather averts observation from himself than attracts it. His joy is to glorify his Maker, to display the beauty, and magnificence, and harmony, and order, of all the works of God. So far, however, as it is possible for him, he withdraws himself from the eyes of mankind; not indeed in darkness, wherein the wicked hide their shame, but in excess of light, wherein God himself veils His glory. And if we look at the other children of light, that host of white-robed pilgrims that travel across the vault of the nightly sky, the imagination is unable to conceive any thing quieter, and calmer, and more unassuming. They are the exquisite and perfect emblems of meek loveliness and bumility in high station. It is only the spurious lights of the fires whereby the earth would mimic the lights of heaven, that glare and flare and challenge attention for themselves ; while, instead of illumining the darkness beyond their immediate neighbourhood, they merely make it thicker and more palpable ; as these lights alone vomit smoke, as these alone ravage and consume.
Again; the children of light are diligent, and orderly, and unweariable in the fulfilment of their duties. Here, also, they take a lesson from the sun, who pursues the path that God has marked out for him, and pours daylight on whatever is beneath him from his everlasting inexhaustible fountains, and causes the wheel of the seasons to turn round, and summer and winter to perform their annual revolutions, and has never been behindhand in his task, and never slackens, nor faints, nor pauses; nor ever will pause, until the same hand which launched him on his way, shall again stretch itself forth to arrest his course. All the children of light are careful to follow their Master's example, and to work his works while it is day; for they know that the night of the grave cometh, when no man can work, and that, unless they are working the works of light, when that night overtakes them, darkness must be their portion for ever.
The children of light are likewise pure. For light is not only the purest of all sensuous things, so pure that nothing can defile it, but whatever else is defiled, is brought to the light, and the light purifies it. And the children of light know that, although whatever darkness may cover them will be no darkness to God, it may and will be darkness to themselves. They know that, although no impurity in which they can bury their souls will be able to hide them from the sight of God, yet it will utterly hide God from their sight. They know that it is only by striving to purify their own hearts, even as God is pure, that they can at all fit themselves for the beatific vision which Christ has promised to the pure of heart.
Cheerfulness, too, is a never-failing characteristic of those who are truly children of light. For is not light at once the most joyous of all things, and the enlivener and gladdener of all nature, animate and inanimate, the dispeller of sickly cares, the calmer of restless disquietudes? Is it not as a bridegroom, tbat the sun comen
forth from his chamber ?—and does he not rejoice as a giant to run his course ? Does not all nature grow bright the moment he looks upon her, and welcome him with smiles? Do not all the birds greet him with their merriest notes ? Do not even the sad tearful clouds deck themselves out in the glowing hues of the rainbow, when he vouchsafes to shine upon them? And shall not man smile with rapture beneath the light of the Sun of Righteousness ? Shall he not hail His rising with hymns of praise and psalms of thanksgiving ? Shall he not be cheered amid his deepest affliction, when the rays of that Sun fall upon him, and paint the arch of promise on his soul ? It cannot be otherwise. Only while we are hemmed in with darkness are we harrassed by terrors and misgivings. When we see clearly on every side, we feel bold and assured ; nothing can then daunt, nothing can dismay us. Even that sorrow, which with all others is the most utterly without hope, the sorrow for sin, is to the children of light the pledge of their future bliss. For with them it is the sorrow which worketh repentance unto salvation; and having the Son of God for their Saviour, what can they fear? Or, rather, when they know and feel in their hearts that God has given His only begotten Son to suffer death for their sakes, how shall they not trust that He, who has given them His Son, will also give them whatsoever is for their real everlasting good.
Finally, the children of light will also be children of love. Indeed, it is only another name for the same thing. For light is the most immediate outward agent and minister of God's love, the most powerful and rapid diffuser of His blessings through the whole universe of His creation. It blesses the earth, and makes her bring forth herbs and plants. It blesses the herbs and plants, and makes them bring forth their grain and their fruit. It blesses every living creature, and enables all to support and enjoy their existence. Above all, it blesses man, in his goings out and his comings in, in his body and in his soul, in his senses and in his injagination, and in his affections ; in his social intercourse with his brother, and in his solitary communion with his Maker. Merely blot out light from the earth, and joy will pass away from it; and health will pass away from it; and life will pass away from it; and it will sink back into a confused turmoiling chaos. In no way can the children of light so well prove that this is indeed their parentage, as by becoming the instruments of God in shedding His blessings around them. Light illumines every thing, the lowly valley as well as the lofty mountain ; it fructifies every thing, the humblest herb as well as the lordliest tree ; and there is nothing hid from its heat. Nor does Christ the Original, of whom light is the image, make any distinction between the high and the low, between the humble and the lordly. He comes to all, unless they drive him from their doors. He calls to all, unless they obstinately close their cars against Him. He blesses all, unless they cast away His blessing. Nay, although they cast it away, He still perseveres in blessing them, even unto seven times, even unto seventy times seven. Ye, then, who desire to be children of light, ye who would gladly enjoy the full glory and blessedness of that heavenly name, take heed to yourselves, that ye walk as children of light in this respect more especially. No part of your duty is easier ; you may find daily and hourly opportunity of practising it. No part of your duty is more delightful; the joy you kindle in the heart of another cannot fail of shedding back its brightness on your own. No part of your duty is more godlike. They who attempted to become like God in knowledge, fell in the garden of Eden. They who strove to become like God in power, were confounded on the plain of Shinar. They who endeavour to become like God in love, will feel His approving smile and His helping arm; every effort they make will bring them nearer to His presence; and they will find His renewed image grow more and more vivid within them, until the time comes, when they too shall shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.
246.-THE SCOTTISH BORDERERS.
SCOTT. [The extract which we give from the most popular author of his time is neither from his poetical nor his prose romances. Those works are in the hands of every reader; and we exclude them from the plan of this selection, for the same reason that we exclude scenes from Shakspere. The following account is from the original introduction to the Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border,' and was written in 1802. That work was the first publication of Scott which developed the nature of his tastes and acquirements. It was the germ, at once, of the • Lay of the Last Minstrel,' and of Waverley. The life of Scott is not to be told in a brief notice like this. He was born on the 15th of August, 1771; and died on the 21st of September, 1832. His father was a highly respectable writer to the signet in Edinburgh, and was connected by blood with several noble families. Scott was a sickly boy, and lame from his infancy. His delicate health led to the cultivation of his mind according to his own tastes; and the love of fiction gave the chief direction to his studies and amusements. Gradually, however, his constitution was established, though he remained always lame, but wonderfully active. He went through the formalities of a lawyer's education; was called to the Scottish bar in 1802; was appointed Sheriff of Selkirkshire in 1799 ;. and one of the principal Clerks of Session in 1806. During this period he had some independence and much leisure; and from the time when he published a German translation in 1790, to the appearance of the Lord of the Isles,' in 1814, he was cultivating that taste which during ten years rendered him the most popular poet of the day. In 1814 Waverley' was published anonymously. The success of this remarkable novel, and the rapid appearance of a succession of works by the same master, produced an era in our literature. Never was such triumphant success witnessed during an author's life-time. In 1826, Scott, who was mixed up with commercial undertakings, and who had too freely used the dangerous power of anticipating revenue by unlimited credit, was brought to ruin by the failure of these artificial resources, in connection with publishers and printers. This is the heroic period of his life. His struggles to do justice to his creditors are beyond praise--they are for example, and are sacred. He fell in the contest with circumstances. The last words which he used in a public asseinbly were significant ones—they were those of the dying gladiator.]
Their morality was of a singular kind.' The rapine by which they subsisted, they accounted lawful and honourable. Ever liable to lose their whole -substance by an incursion of the English on a sudden breach of truce, they cared little to waste their time in cultivating crops to be reaped by their foes. Their cattle was, therefore, their chief property ; and thesc were nightly exposed to the southern Borderers, as rapacious and active as themselves. Hence robbery assumed the appearance of fair reprisal. The fatal privilege of pursuing the marauders into their own country, for recovery of stolen goods, led to continual skirmishes. The warden also, himself frequently the chieftain of a Border ho.'e, when redress was not instantly granted by the opposite officer for depredations sustained by his district, was Untitled to retaliate upon England by a warden raid. In such cases, the mosstroopers, who crowded to his standard, found themselves pursuing their craft under legal authority, and became the followers and favourites of the military magistrate, whose ordinary duty it was to check and suppress them. Equally unable and unwilling to make nice distinctions, they were not to be convinced that what was