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tuneful art. As a christian, he can take no view of the works and ways of the Almighty, or of the present situation and future destiny of man, which, as a poet, he may not render more lovely, more grand or more awful. God is an invisible spirit, and the movements of his providence are often dark and mysterious. But the poet who consecrates his genius to the service of heaven, can, as it were, conjure up the perfections of Deity from behind the curtain of creation, and show them acting in harmony for the comfort and happiness of the universe. In his view, the joyous face of spring is the smile of the Creator, winning man back to his favour and inviting him to taste of his goodness. The regular return of the seasons he regards as the fulfilment of God's ancient promise. In a partial evil he discovers a general good; in a seeming calamity he discovers a real blessing. But the plan of redemption is his darling theme. It is his delight to expatiate on the love which could devise, and on the condescension which could execute the god-like scheme. He loves to dwell on the mercy which delighted in procuring pardon for a whole world of transgressors. Often do his lines breathe the spirit of genuine repentance, and godly sorrow for sin. Often are they fraught with the aspirations of a mind panting after higher attainment in the christian life. And should the terrors of the Lord become the subject of his Muse, he arrays the realities of a judgment to come in the blackest and most appalling colours. Religious subjects present themselves to him in endless variety. He feels it to be the highest exercise of his genius to pen the hymn of praise. Never is he conscious of greater elevaion of sentiment than when he feels, as it were, the Divinity stirring within him, and awakening his en
ergies to extol his Maker. Never does the flame of piety burn higher or brighter within him, than when gratitude to his Redeemer is his gladsome theme. Often does he attempt to recall the happy feelings with which he was visited when engaged on these important topics, and is sad when the effort has been fruitless. Whilst his other works may have ceased to afford him any pleasure, his devotional strains continue to afford him new and fresh delight. And when in his more sober hours, the former may prove to him the cause of no small pain, the latter are the lines, which, in his dying moments, he would not wish to blot. We feel confident that we speak the opinion of every sober-minded person, in asserting that if any one of his productions afforded Lord Byron pleasure in the rapid moments of his dissolution, that one was his Hebrew Melodies. And if this impressive consideration were allowed to have its full weight, it might have the desirable effect of preventing many of our poets from writing, in the gay hours of health, what they will not be able to relish in the prospect of eternity. Though this world were to be the permanent abode of man, still would the poet be justified in saying;
"An Atheist's laugh's a poor exchange
But when we reflect that he who offends his Creator, must soon meet him as his judge, what madness can be compared with the folly of him, who defies the frown of Omnipotence!
We hail it as a happy symptom both of the improvement of the public taste, and the progress of religion, that immoral poetry, though the production of the most gifted genius, is, at present, reprobated alike by the critic and the public. The time, we
trust is for ever gone by, in which immorality, whether in conduct or composition, is to be regarded as a test of genius. We flatter ourselves that we already see the virtuous temper of the age, impressed on the works of our choicest authors. We long to see more of its effects, and to witness their reciprocal action on society at large.
We know not a more delightful or improving exercise, than the reading of sacred poetry. Essential truths are thereby conveyed to the mind in a form best fitted to gain them welcome admission. The advantage of this mode of communicating religious instruction has long been felt. It is especially beneficial in forming the minds of the young to a taste for religion. It is impossible, we think, to present exhortations to virtue and piety, or dissuasions from vice, in a form less repulsive than that in which they are presented by the poet. As the manners of one man are naturally more engaging than those of another man; so poetry, of its own nature, is more attractive than prose. The poet must always keep in view the first end of his art, to please; this necessarily excludes from his composition any thing that might seem harsh and forbidding. Besides, he is constantly moving the affections and raising agreeable sentiments in the mind. These circumstances will serve in some measure to explain the fact above alluded to, that the application of the doctrines and precepts of religion, is never less displeasing than when it is made by the poet. Verse seems to carry along with it the power of winning over the wayward affections of the soul, and bending them to will. Under its influence, the mind feels less aptance in submitting itself to the dominion of les which formerly seemed revolting. The obey of the heart is felt to give way before the
charm of numbers, as the evil spirit departed from Saul when the sweet singer of Israel tuned his harp before him. We are less backward in confessing our delinquencies then than at other times. The flow of penitential sorrow is never stronger or more sincere. Humility is never deeper; self-abasement never more prostrate. We are more disposed to close with the offers of mercy. Our gratitude is
more warm and lively. Our joy more glowing; and the whole train of sentiment in our bosoms more devout and fervent. That solemn appeals to the affections, are never more impressive, cannot, we think, be more convincingly shown than by presenting our readers with the following lines on the day of judgment, verses which we think it impossible for any one to read without emotion.
THE DAY OF JUDGMENT.
DAY of judgment, day of wonders! Hark! the trumpet's awful sound, Louder than a thousand thunders, Shakes the vast creation round! How the summons will the sinner's heart confound!
See the Judge our nature wearing,
Cloth'd in Majesty divine!
You who long for his appearing,
Then shall say, "This God is mine!" Gracious Saviour, own me in that day for thine!
At his call, the dead awaken,
Rise to life from earth and sea;
Careless sinner, what will then become of thee?
Horrors past imagination
Will surprise your trembling heart,
Satan, who now tries to please you,
But to those who have confessed,
He will say, "Come near, ye blessed,
You for ever shall my love and glory know:"
Under sorrows and reproaches,
May this thought your courage raise!
Sighs shall then be chang'd to praise ;
In presenting this little volume to the public we feel encouraged by the hope of its being useful, The Hymns of the excellent and pious divines, Watts and Doddridge, are very generally taught throughout the island, and thousands are at this day experiencing the good which they are calculated to impart. The Olney Hymns, too, have been found highly beneficial in furnishing instruction to persons of matured understanding, as cherishing pious and devout affections. turselves that in general usefulness the present colction will not fall behind either of these now mentoned, or any other selection of Sacred Poetry now
well as in We flatter