ture of pain and the permanent nature of Good are illustrated by the effects of a sunrise seen at a moment of Suffering. But the question arises, what was the connection of Sickness with the peculiar effects of that sunrise? The Suffering is called “the conditions of the gain,” but the picture did not proceed from the pain, except in the mere accident of calling the wearied watcher to the window,—nor was in any sense its fruit and experience. Good is permanent, and pain transient, but, what is the good that proceeds from Pain ? Much of the remembered effect of that sudden glimpse of God's glory must have depended on the mental and physical state of the Sufferer; the ordinary impression of such a scene must have been largely qualified by the peculiar insight and faculty of suffering, -and it is this addition to our spiritual knowledge which we ardently long to obtain from one who possesses the experience. The passage itself is too true, and too beautiful, to be omitted here, though it has no particular connexion with the insight of Sickness.

“For one instance, which will well illustrate what I mean, let us look back so far as the Spring, and take one particular night of severe pain, which made all rest impossible. A short intermission, which enabled me to send my servant to rest, having ended in pain, I was unwilling to give further disturbance, and wandered, from mere misery, from my bed and my dim room, which seemed full of pain, to the next apartment, where some glimmer through the thick window-curtain, showed that there was light abroad. Light indeed! as I found on looking forth. The sun, resting on the edge of the sea, was hidden from me by the walls of the old priory: but a flood of rays poured through the windows of the ruin, and gushed over the waters, strewing them with diamonds, and then across the green down before my windows, gilding its furrows, and then lighting up the yellow sands on the opposite shore of the harbour, while the market garden below was glittering with dew, and busy with early bees and butterflies. Besides these bees and butterflies, nothing seemed stirring, except the earliest riser of the neighbourhood, to whom the garden belongs. At the moment, she was passing down to feed her pigs, and let out her cows; and her easy pace, arms a-kimbo, and complacent survey of her early greens, presented me with a picture of ease so opposite to my own state, as to impress me ineffaceably. I was suffering too much to enjoy this picture at the moment: but how was it at the end of the year? The pains of all those hours were anni. hilated—as completely vanished as if they had never been; while the momentary peep behind the window-curtain made me possessor of this radiant picture for evermore. This is an illustration of the universal fact. That brief instant of good has swallowed up long weary hours of pain. An inexperienced observer might, at the moment, have thought the conditions of my gain heavy enough ; but the conditions being not only discharged, but annihilated long ago, and the treasure remaining for ever, would not my best friend congratulate me on that sunrise ? Suppose it shining on, now and for ever, in the souls of a hundred other invalids or mourners, who may have marked it in the same manner, and who shall estimate its glory and its good!”—p. 7.

The work is dedicated to an anonymous and, if we infer rightly, an unknown fellow-sufferer, with whom the writer cherishes the belief of no common sympathy.

There is something mysterious in the Dedication, which raises a doubt whether it has a general or an individual direction. We believe the latter to be the truth, though there is something very pleasing and soothing in the thought of the wearied mind taking refuge with all fellow-sufferers, diverting the sense of pain, and freshening the heart, by realizing for them, as for one's self, the consolations of God. What a household of God' this communion of sufferers, each tenderly remembering the other, and eager even to dismiss the Angel, that he may carry his comfort elsewhere!

“ In our wakeful night-seasons, when the healthy and the happy are asleep, we may call to each other from our retreats, to know each how the other fares; and, whether we are at the moment dreary or at peace, it may be that there are angels abroad (perhaps the messengers of our own sympathies), who may bear our mutual greetings, and drop them on their rounds. Often has this been my fancy, when the images close about me have been terrific enough; and when, in the very throng of these horrors, I have cast about for some charm or talisman wherewith to rid myself of them, and some voice of prayer has presently reached me from a temple on the farthest horizon of my life- -or some sweet or triumphant hymn of submission or praise has floated to my spirit's ear from the far shores of my childhood—I have hoped, in the midst of the heaven thus brought down about me, that the same consolations were visiting you, who in the same need would, I knew, make the same appeal.”—p. x.

The first Essay on the Transient, and the Permanent in a Sick Room,' should bear the heading Good and Pain,' rather than Good and Evil, for there is no attempt in it to prove the transitory nature of any Evil except physical suffering. And even this we fear is only an individual experience, and that many are the sufferers with whom their pain assumes a terrible distinctness,—and when not actually present with them disturbs every moment with the fearful apprehension of return. It would be a great mistake to assume that one's own case was the common type of human agony. The writer is not quite consistent even in his own testimony to the transitoriness of pain. There are melancholy acknowledgments of its permanent effects. “The mind, though clear and active, has been so far affected by the bodily state as to lose all its gaiety, and, by disuse, almost to forget its sense of enjoyment.” The language used would seem to imply that all evil was considered transitory in its nature, but this Doctrine would not be true nor safe; and there are other


in the work which show that this was not the author's fixed intention.

One of the most painful trials of long sickness and seclusion is, that all old pains, all past moral sufferings, are renewed and magnified ; that in sleepless nights, and especially on waking in the morning, every old sin and folly, and even the most trifling error, rises up anew, however long ago repented of and forgiven, and, in the activity of ordinary life, forgotten. Any sort of ghost is more easily laid than this kind.”—p. 21.

There is some confusion made between physical and moral evil in the following passage:

“ It is no contradiction, that some are soured by suffering. Their pains, like mine, are gone; and with them, as with others, it is ideas which remain ; and ideas are essentially good, a part of the indestructible inner life which must, from its very nature, sooner or later part with its evil, through experience of the superabounding good of the Universe. If one so soured by pain dies in this mood, the ideal part of him is that which remains to be carried into a fresh scene, where the mood cannot be fed by the experience which nourished it here.”—p. 9.

Here it is said that the ideas of one soured by suffering are essentially good,—and that when he dies, the pains are gone for ever, and only the ideal part of him remains. But this ideal part' consists of a mind ‘soured by pain. The speculation respecting the providential treatment of such a mind in fresh scenes we believe to be just, but we see in it no proof of the transient nature of Evil, nor alas ! even of Pain, if it assumes the moral form of a soured mind, and works spiritual evil.

There is an admirable Essay, perhaps the best in the book, on Sympathy to the Invalid;' though on many points it will be felt that too absolute a Rule has been founded on an individual experience which includes neither all forms of mind, nor all forms of suffering. Indeed we are constantly reminded of the apparent unconsciousness of the Author that the experience described, especially with regard to the concomitants of Sickness, both physical and moral, is decidedly of the exceptional kind. How many are the sufferers who, except in the sad fellowship of pain, could recognize nothing of their own case ! Fathers whose families may want bread whilst the working brain burns with fever, or the strong right hand lies powerless;

wives, mothers,-laid apart from their husbands, their children, and their households,-their occupation in life taken away, whilst yet its duties are incapable of being discharged by another,—their noblest work appearing to them to be on earth however submissively their wills may be God's,—these will look upon the face of Death with different feelings, and need a different sympathy and treatment from those which are entirely proper to the case presented in this book, that of an Invalid apparently with no peculiar charge, and, however closely and tenderly allied, directly accountable to God, only for his own talents and his own soul. The peculiar form of the malady, and of the mental constitution of the sufferer must, also, largely modify the kind of sympathy to be administered, as well as the manner, and even the measure, in which truths of fact, relating to their state, should be communicated. Who could say, who ought to say, to a consumptive patient, with the love of life clinging to the heart, “Why should we be bent upon your being better, and make up a bright prospect for you? I see no brightness in it; and the time seems past for expecting you ever to be well."

Such an announcement would unquestionably often shorten life, and sometimes destroy it on the spot. Yet we cannot enter this qualification without expressing our strong sympathy with the general principle of the author, and our veneration for every mind that desires, and is able to hear the exact truth. This power, indeed, of hearing the truth, in such extremity, is not always to be accounted as matter for individual praise, but rather as the gift of God.

There can be no attestation to truths that relate to peculiar states of existence so strong as a common experience; and we have witnessed the suffering, and even the resentment, produced by a description of rude and false sympathy, which the author most properly condemns, as superficial and unfeeling.

Going back to the days when I, myself, was the sympathizer, I remember how strong is the temptation to imagine, and to assure the sick one, that his pain will not last; that the time will come when he will be well again; that he is already better; or, if it be impossible to say that, that he will get used to his affliction, and find it more endurable. How was it that I did not see that such offers of consolation must be purely irritating to one who was not feeling better, nor believing that he should ever be better, nor in a state to be cheered by any speculation as to whether his pain would, or would not become more endurable by time! Exactly in proportion to the zeal with which such considerations were pressed, must have been the sufferer's clearness of perception of the disguised selfishness which dictated the topics and the words. I was (as I half suspected at the time, from my sense of restraint and

Vol. VI. No. 24.—New Series.


uneasiness,) trying to console myself and not my friend; indulging my own cowardice, my own shrinking from a painful truth, at the expense of the feelings of the sufferer for whom my heart was aching.”—p. 14.

The Author, in condemning a kind of consolation which no doubt is often very weakly and falsely offered, is led to state a general doctrine respecting the functions of Conscience which, we think, does not truly represent the religious or spiritual relations of the moral sense to the peace of the mind.

I am here reminded of a sort of consolation, often offered, which I do not at all understand. I do not quarrel with it however, for it may suit others less insensible to its claims. Sequestered sufferers, whose term of activity is over, and who apparently have only to endure as they may, and learn and enjoy what they can, till they receive their summons to enter a new career, are referred for solace to their consciences—to their consciousness of services rendered to society, and duty done in active days. I strongly doubt whether Conscience was ever appointed to the function of Consoler; I more than doubt; I disbelieve it. According to my own experience, the utmost enjoyment that Conscience is capable of is a negative state, that of ease. Its power of suffering is strong ; and its natural and best condition I take to be that of simple ease; but for enjoyment and consolation, I believe we must look to other powers and susceptibilities of our nature.”—p. 19.

It is most true that Conscience ought to administer no direct consolations, or, rather we should say, enjoyments, for a legitimate consolation under the temporary defeats of Liberty and

Truth may be derived from a well-earned conviction that no unfaithfulness of ours had contributed to the failure, and that God's good time was not yet come.

None but the emptiest fool will feast himself with self-praise, or succeed in the attempt to regard with complacency his own heart or his own life. But still, is it not Conscience that removes all obstructions to the consolations of God, and suffers a divine peace to settle upon us? Is it not Conscience that permits the true Consoler to have access to us?

The “Comforter" is our Father's spirit, but to those only whose hearts are right with him, is he enabled to manifest himself,—to come to them and make His abode with them. Conscience is the Consoler, for by withdrawing the moral obstacle, it suffers God to comfort.

It may be that the Author only meant to protest against selfapprobation as a source of happiness, without denying that a pure Conscience was an indispensable requisite, an invariable antecedent to the action of the true Consoler. But if this was the intention, we think the doctrine is not carried far enough, for we cannot admit even a negative state of enjoyment to the

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