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him " 'per legem talionis," we should reward him as he would serve us, indeed in the very line he has chalked out for himself. He cannot object to our sentence, as it seems to be the beauideal of the ministry after which his imagination is straining. We should first take hold of his property (we believe he is not a poor man; if he were he would think more of the value of money). This should be invested with trustees for the benefit of his family, on the strict condition that he should not have a shilling of it until he recants his errors. We should then compel him to labour for his subsistence, as the free and independent minister of a large congregation in a manufacturing town. Though he would allow his brethren but 130., we should allow him double or even treble that sum; but we should strictly stipulate that the congregation should be the true spiritual rulers, having full power to call or dismiss the minister, to pay his salary or to withhold it. He should in this sense be in the position of his own imaginary Levites, and involved in the actual difficulties by which every American pastor is surrounded.

We should look out for a couple of churchwardens or lay deacons, to superintend the secular interests of our Free Church. The senior should be an anti-corn-law-leaguer, with as much Radicalism as Mr. Noel, with religion enough to produce spiritual pride, and as much divinity as should enable him to distinguish between a laboured sermon and a careless one. The other should be a man totally ignorant of all the common usages of life, except the art of making money. In fact, we should select a gentleman who had realized a fortune of 100,000l., by retailing sixpenny loaves at sevenpence halfpenny. He should withal be a man who was willing to pay largely for the most conspicuous seat in the church, provided he might exclude all others from the occupation of it. As he had only turned his mind to religion at a late period of life, he should pursue the subject with the restless inquisitiveness of an elderly amateur. These men should be perfectly blameless in their outward conduct, regular in their attendance on all the ordinances of religion, punctilious in enforcing the duties of the minister, and strictly correct in all the social relations of life, except in the determination to disobey their spiritual ruler. When he had thus laboured for seven, ten, or fourteen years, on the recantation of his errors and a promise of amendment, we should recommend him for a stall at the top of the steeple of some very High Church cathedral, or appoint him a major-canon of the whispering gallery of St. Paul's. We only fear that the force of reaction would be rather too strong for a sensitive mind, and that we should find him either editing a new version of "Tract 90," or going boldly forward and professing his adhesion to the pope.

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Mr. Noel cannot complain of the harshness of our decision, he has worked for it, nay, we believe at this moment he earnestly desires it. The public cannot find fault with us, for we can produce numberless precedents to confirm our views, and to prove that punishment often overtakes the guilty by tracking their steps in their own path. Hogarth has left us his opinion on cutting down the Crown," in his print of the general election: his Radical is mounted upon the sign, and is busily engaged in sawing through the beam which supports it, so that when the crown falls, he must be the first to suffer. Samson's desire of vengeance for his two eyes, led him to pull down the temple which crushed him in its ruins. Pius IX. began his reign by assisting democracy, which soon shook his throne and sent him as a wanderer to Gaeta. The French Revolutionists, Albert, Raspail, Blanqui, and Barbes, (the personations of the rights of labour, Socialism, the guillotine of '93, and conspiracy against all government,) have met their fate by transportation. Had they gone a step farther, and "erected the guillotine," as some of them proposed, they must ere this have fallen under the axe.

When Garrick was attacked in lampoons by Dr. Hill, he replied, as we should say to Mr. Noel,

"The worst that we wish you for all your bad crimes,

Is to take your own physic, and read your own rhymes."

When Perillus first imagined the idea of a bull for burning refractory Sicilians, he, doubtless, considered it a triumph of thought; he executed his plan, and gloried in the notion that his flaming conceptions were starting into life. His bull, however, proved worse to him than an ordinary Irish blunder, for Phalaris the tyrant roasted him in it by way of a trial. The contriver was punished by his own instrument, and the Sicilians refused to pity the hunter who perished in his own snare.

"Pœna est nec justior ulla,

Quam necis artifices arte perire suâ.”

Since the above was written, Mr. Noel has published a Letter to the Bishop of London, in which (like Jack in the Tale of a Tub) he begs that the bishop will favour him with a little persecution. He will not avail himself of the law, because it implies a deposition from holy orders, to which he will not submit. His promise at ordination is still binding upon him, though he renounces the authority which admitted him to the priesthood. He is therefore, we suppose, self-ordained. We only hope the bishop will not notice this weak production, as Mr. Noel is evidently anxious to follow in the steps of Mr. Shore, and we neither wish him the trouble nor the celebrity attendant upon modern martyrdom.

ART. IV." The Christian Life. A Manual of Sacred Verse." By ROBERT MONTGOMERY, M.A., Oxon.; Author of "The Omnipresence of the Deity," "Luther," " Gospel in Advance of the Age," &c. &c. London: Arthur Hall and Co. 1849.

THE thought which appears to have inspired this collection of Christian lyrics, is briefly and well indicated in the title-page by the motto, "To live is Christ." And whatever judgment may be formed, according to the taste and liking of each reader, touching the details of execution, few among those who are capable of forming an opinion on a subject of this nature will deny, that the fundamental idea which has given rise to these fresh effusions of the author's fertile and poetic mind, is both in itself beautiful, and beautifully worked out. That to the Christian's spiritual eye the whole universe of creation presents itself in an aspect peculiarly his own, is a truth as deep as it is precious. It is felt alike by all in whose souls the life of Christ is kindled; felt with greater intensity, the purer and brighter the flame of that inner life is burning. Many such there are, in whose hearts these songs of "The Christian Life" will waken vivid echoes, though few be they who might attempt with equal success to body forth in verse the train of thought and feeling stirred up in a Christian mind by the varied scenes and fitful vicissitudes of life. On the other hand, there are multitudes-not only among the openly worldly and profane, but among those who have an apprehension of, and desire for, better things-who have not reached the depth of Christian sentiment which alone can yield responsive sympathy to such minstrelsy of holy contemplation; and many therefore, we doubt not, will find as little to admire in this last production of a favourite author, as a blind man passing through a gallery of paintings. If Mr. Montgomery partakes at all of that keen sensitiveness to praise and censure which popular opinion attributes to authors in general, and to poets in particular, if he belongs to the genus irritabile vatum,—we trust he is prepared, in this instance, for the inevitable result, that many will regard with indifference efforts of his muse into which it is evident that he has thrown all the enthusiastic ardour of his soul. The only consolation we can offer him is the reflection, that he will be compensated for the insensibility of the uninitiated, by the

admiration of many of those who, like himself, have learned the meaning of that word, "To live is Christ."

Enlisted ourselves among the admirers of a poetry which gives a Christian significance to that aspiration of the pagan bard,

Sublimi feriam sidera vertice,

we are scarcely disposed to launch forth into critical remarks upon such blemishes as a fastidious eye might descry in turning over the pages of the volume before us. Yet, considering Mr. Montgomery's standing as an author, especially in the field of poetic literature, it would scarcely be respectful towards himself, if we omitted to subject him on his re-appearance-in the character of a poet-after an interval of nearly seven years, to a closer and more critical scrutiny than we might be prompted to by the feeling with which the perusal of these gems of religious thought, set in the bright gold of lyric verse, has inspired us. If we must needs find fault, however, and what becomes of the office of the critic if we do not?-we will at once say, that it is to the setting, and not to the gems themselves, that we feel here and there disposed to object. Those who are conversant with the general style of the poetry which has procured for him his wellearned literary reputation, will readily understand us when we say, that the chief fault of Mr. Montgomery formerly was, that his poetic thoughts were set too massively, in a superfluity of heavy, and sometimes outré ornament. It does him infinite credit that he has shown a willingness to profit by the censure which this has drawn down upon him from some quarters. There is an

evident anxiety in the poems now offered to the public, to eschew all extravagance of trope and turgidity of language, and to confine them within the bounds of chaste and sober composition. We are not prepared to say that the poet has always succeeded. He would be more than mortal, if he had escaped from the general rule—

Naturam expellas furcá, tamen usque recurret ;

but this we are prepared and bound to say, that he has succeeded to a far greater extent than we could have thought possible. Our complaint is, rather, that he has sometimes succeeded too well. Sobriety may be carried too far; it may be pushed to jejuneness. It does not answer in poetry to clip the wings of genius too close, to restrain the exuberance of fancy, and to lay aside the piquancy of ornament, until nothing is left but the naked truth, which, when thus simply stated, often assumes, however rich and deep it may be in itself, the semblance of commonplace. And in religious lyrics this is the more dangerous a rock

to split upon, because their themes are mostly supplied from topics with which all are conversant, and which, when divested of poetic auxiliaries, are apt to become assimilated to the devotional rhymes of our common Psalmody and Hymnology, whose abounding triteness is painfully familiar to us all. Such passages, where they occur in Mr. Montgomery's volume, strike upon the ear the more painfully, because they are out of keeping with the general tone and character of his poetry, and disagreeably interrupt that high flight of thought to which the reader's mind has been raised. At other times we have to complain of obscurity, arising either from the thought not being sufficiently worked out in the author's mind, or from his having suffered himself to be cramped by the necessities of metre and of rhyme. Not unfrequently the language is inadequate to the really fine ideas which underlie it, but which are to be reached by guess-work rather than by the regular process of construing the author's words. Occasionally the thought itself is at fault; the poet wandering from his own proper sphere into fields alien to the domain of song. Philosophy, even of the mind, requires careful handling to prevent it from marring all true poetry; the philosophy of nature, and mathematical science, are still more unpromising; but what shall we say to such an outré statement in rhyme as this?

"Were the huge world one atom more or less

In gravity, from centre to the pole,
The flowers would lose their bending loveliness,
Like living sympathies with Nature's whole.
"Despise not, then, Philosophy and Pride,

The golden king-cup and yon daisy small,
You could not from the universe divide

That infant bud, without deranging All!"

We have much too great a respect for Mr. Montgomery's intellect, to suspect him, for a moment, of meaning what, in effect, he has here said. We only mention it as a proof of the inconveniences which arise from poets taking it into their heads to lecture in verse on Newton's Principia. Not much more defensible is the idea expressed in the following lines:

"Since God, from Whose ideal wealth of thought

All that is bright, or beautiful, or fair,

By shaping wisdom into form was wrought
And thus committed unto the sun and air,—

"Made the wild flowers like earth-sprung stars to shine

With gleams of almost sacramental power,

Dull is the heart that hails no tone divine

When such accost him from the vernal bower!"

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