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stance for the sake of reminding the reader of the very delightful glimpse of an American landscape, presented in the opening stanzas of Gertrude :
“ Delightful Wyoming! beneath thy skies,
The happy shepherd swains had nought to do
Would echo flagelet from some romantic town.
His leave, how might you the flamingo see
Unhunted, sought his woods and wilderness again." By the side of this picture we will hang up another, from the second part of the same poem, drawn with the same accuracy, and recommended by the same mellowness.
“ A valley from the river shore withdrawn
Was Albert's home, two quiet woods between,
To sport by summer moons, had shaped it for themselves. " Yet wanted not the eye far scope to muse,
Nor vistas opened by the wandering stream ;
Or buffalo remote lowed far from human home." In contrasting the poetry of Campbell and Rogers, we usually assign the praise of vigour and elegance to the first, refinement
grace to the second; neither are richly endowed with imagination, and neither are able to sustain a long or an elevated flight; Campbell, upon the whole, is to be deemed the superior, since he might have softened the lines of his verse into the delicacy and smoothness of Rogers; but Rogers could never have quickened his stream of thought into the torrent which hurries along the story of “ O'Connor's Child.” Campbell might have grouped the affecting incidents of " Human Life;" but Rogers could never have poured forth the fearful blast of “ Lochiel's Warning.” The late Mr. Hazlitt, with that ineffable supremacy of conceit which characterised his criticisms, not satisfied with declaring that the reader of Rogers's poems is never shocked by meeting with a homely phrase, or intelligible idea, that the picture was hidden by the varnish, and that evanescent brilliancy and tremulous imbecility everywhere prevailed, presumes to discover, also, a want of taste in the “ Pleasures of Memory!” This is like lamenting Milton's poverty of classical allusion, or Pope's ignorance of the heroic metre, or Titian's coldness of colouring, or Rembrandt's unskilful use of light and shade, or Canaletti's perfect inability to comprehend the principles of perspective. If we were to name the presiding spirits of Mr. Rogers's poetry, they would be Taste and Elegance. If he errs, it is in the excess of his devotion to them, in the fastidiousness of a literary Tremaine; every composition seems almost written to illustrate a remark of Ben Jonson, in his “Discoveries,"—it is smooth, gentle, and soft, like a table, upon which you may run your finger without rubs, and your nail cannot find a joint.- True taste he knew to be an excellent economist; and, accordingly, he neither indulges in the perpetual glitter of Darwin, nor stiffens into the cold abstractions of Glover; his Helen may not always be beautiful, but she is never fine; and when he fails to remind us of Apelles, we never, at least, think of his scholar. We
propose in a future article to combine the new editions of Wordsworth, Southey, and Bowles, and to carry out some of the principles to which we have only here alluded.
ART. VIII.—The Church and Dissent considered in their prac
tical Influence. By EDWARD OSLER. London: Smith and Elder. 1836.
WE do not know of any other work which in the same compass, and in such clear and intelligible language, describes so much at large the general character and more prominent features of schism in its various branches. Mr. Osler, indeed, appears to have possessed opportunities for observing the nature and character of dissent. To use his own words, “I have been enabled to observe it closely for the last thirty years : I was brought up a dissenter, educated under the roof of a dissenting minister: and have had those means of knowing the personal and domestic character and habits of individuals in all ranks, and of all opinions, which only a medical practitioner can obtain." He has
certainly made an excellent use of these opportunities, since we may reasonably infer, it was from the light which they afforded him that he was induced to relinquish the form of faith in which he had been educated, and to become a member of the church of England; and, judging from his writings, we have no hesitation in pronouncing him a most zealous professor of her doctrines, and an intrepid assertor of her rights and privileges.
But this is not the only use which he has made of his advantages. They have enabled him to present to the notice of his countrymen an admirable view of the principles of dissent, illustrated by a comparative view of the principles of the church of England. In this view he has not merely confined himself to describing the doctrines or opinions held by this or that sect; by one or the other party or denomination of schismatics; but he has entered on a far more extensive field of investigation. He has examined into the nature and character of dissent taken in the abstract, he has penetrated into its innermost recesses, and has laid bare those governing motives which actuate the different classes who range themselves under its banners.
Whilst dissent exhibited itself in a number of different forms of belief, without any principles of union, or qualities which admitted of combination, each one standing alone, and being much more occupied in petty disputes with some one of its brethren in schism, than in attacking the venerable edifice of truth, from which it had originally separated, it was sufficient to examine these systems in detail, without seeking out the general principle, or primum mobile, of separation. Such a principle, perhaps, scarcely existed, or at least if it did exist, those who entertained it were not yet bold enough to avow it. Each sect put forth different reasons to justify its division from the Church, and these reasons were generally of a religious nature. It was either an impatience of the restrictions imposed by the Church on her members, an unwillingness to be tied down by articles of faith, a disbelief of the doctrines expressed in those articles, or an objection to the form of government and discipline adopted by the Church, or some other pretences of the same kind, which were generally alleged by separatists from the establishment. It remained for the present times to bring forth, or rather to reproduce, a principle of division, or more correctly speaking, a ground of attack against the church of England, which we may term political, and to the professors of which, we may assign the denomination of political dissenters. The political dissenter is one who, whatever may be the sect to which he belongs, or the religious opinions which he holds, quarrels not with the Church on spiritual but on temporal grounds. He cares not for her forms of faith or modes of doctrine, except in so far as he may fancy them to interfere with his acquisition of certain privileges. His hostility is directed against the honours which the dignitaries of the Church enjoy, against the revenues which her ministers possess, against the rank held by her clergy, and the consideration and respect accorded to them in society. He quarrels with her, because the universities of the land require of their members belief in her doctrines, and conformity to her government and discipline ; and, moreover, because those same members share amongst themselves certain offices and situations which he imagines would be very desirable for himself. He quarrels with her, because she is the established religion of the country, and for the grace which her alliance with the state confers upon her. He quarrels with her, because the best, the noblest, the richest, and the most learned of the land are enrolled beneath her banners, and think it a proud and honourable privilege to bear the name of churchmen; because the sovereign, the nobles, the gentry, the independent yeomanry, the honest peasantry of England, attend upon her services and worship at her altars. And, lastly, he quarrels with her, because she is interwoven so closely with every institution of the country, because in the existence of the Church is bound up that of the monarchy, the peerage, and the whole constitution of England.
These are the real causes of offence which the Church affords to the political dissenter, and not those which might be supposed to spring from difference of belief, or conscientious scruples respecting matters of government and discipline. It is true, he may occasionally pretend to the existence of these latter, and when it suits his purpose, may perhaps allege them as a ground of complaint. But this is only the flimsy veil, intended as a covering for less specious motives, which is put on in compliance with the feelings of those with whom he happens to be associated. The real motive of those dissenters, who are now so clamorous against the Church, is the desire to accomplish her overthrow, in order that they may obtain possession of her revenues, and share in the honours and immunities enjoyed by her ministers. This is the principle of union which brings together those who formerly stood solitary and apart, regarding each other with suspicion, distrust, and enmity. This is the combining power, which, exhibiting to all sects and parties of dissent a common ground of attack, animates them with friendly and social feelings for the time, and forms into one concentrate mass, filled with inveterate hostility against the Church, the professors of creeds the most dissimilar in faith, in character, and modes of discipline. On this common field we see ranged in close array, the Presbyterian, the Independent, the Baptist, the Quaker, and the Unitarian. The orthodox dissenter, who believes in the fundamental articles of christian faith, but rejects those points of government and discipline, which the true Christian is bound to consider as sanctioned by divine authority, stands in friendly concert with the individual who rejects the divinity of our blessed Lord and
of the Holy Spirit, and scarcely deserves the name of Christian. And for what purpose is this unseenly and disgraceful union formed ? to overthrow a church, confessed by the most learned and most respectable of those who have separated from her communion, to be an uncorrupted depository of christian truth, a faithful witness of the faith once delivered unto the saints !
But in speaking thus, we would not be thought to confound all dissenters indiscriminately together; far from it. We believe there are many worthy individuals in every class of dissent, who have separated from the church of England on what appear to them to be conscientious motives, and whose division, therefore, however much we may regret it, we can only speak of with feelings of sorrow, rather than of indignation. These persons, although they differ from the Church, regard her not with hostility, and refuse to join in any attempts against the safety of her institutions.
There is also a very numerous class which always appear indignant at being called Dissenters; this is the sect or body known by the name of Wesleyan Methodists.* But the enmity of the other branches of schism still remains. The political dissenter, the individual whose separation from the establishment is based upon interested, corrupt, or evil motives, those factious and disloyal persons, who embrace the cause of dissent as a plausible covering for their seditious and treasonable schemes; the infidel, who scruples not to ally himself with that religious sect which rejects all the essential characters of Christianity, that by its assistance he may weaken the church of England, and thus display his hostility against religion in general; all these still compose a large, although discordant band, directing its malignant efforts against the integrity of our pure and apostolical Church with never-ceasing and untiring zeal. This must not be considered as a harsh or severe statement. In order to prove its truth, we have only to observe the general tenor of the conduct of these persons towards the Church, as displayed in the addresses of their teachers, in their publications, and in their speeches at public meetings. We will cite a few instances of some of these, sufficiently strong, we should imagine, to convince the most incredulous of the real nature of the enmity of which we have spoken.
What is the language used by Mr. Sibree, a dissenting teacher at Coventry ? “ The short and the long of the matter is, we won't have an established religion at all, one religion is as good as another. We will all be put on an equality. There shall be
* In the time of Wesley they could not be called Dissenters ; Wesley never intended that they should dissent from the Church; but, now, from the irregularity of many of their proceedings-their neglect of ecclesiastical discipline, and their disrespect to episcopal order and harmony, we are compelled to change our opinion.