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Hebrew Bible, and in communion with his God. After his supper and his pipe he retired early every night. An aggravated attack of his malady came on, and in November, 1614, the weary wheels of life stood still. Four days after his death his mortal dust was laid by his father's in St. Giles's, Cripplegate. All his "learned and great friends in London and a friendly concourse of the vulgar," followed him to his grave.

His domestic life had never been very happy; the only brief exception was the year in which his second wife lived. His three daughters by his first wife, it is said, could read Hebrew, Greek, and Latin to him, but it was purely a mechanical exercise, as they understood not a syllable. Their education was very defective; the eldest could not write at all, the second barely, the third could make a decent signature. He complained of their undutifulness, and they lived apart from him for several years. His widow, who survived him many years, at his death inherited £1,000, of which sum she gave his daughters £100 each.

That he had faults, that his works have faults, may be true, but who are we to point them out! We leave the thankless task to others. What if he was sometimes sour in temper, and severe and rigid in his treatment and exactions of others? What if his works have faults-if sometimes the allegory breaks down, if his "dialect" is "Babylonish," if he is frequently obscure and elliptical, his inversions harsh; if he dogmatises; if you meet now and again with poor puns, alliterations, and quibbles? What of all this, and more than this? Are they not only, as we have said, spots on the sun? marks that he was human; that we have nothing absolutely perfect in this state?

We prefer to bask in the blaze of his genius, to glory in his manly defences of liberty and right, to admire the wholeness and unstainedness of his life, to stand with awe over his tomb, and follow him in our poor imagination to the Paradise Regained.

We wonder this first of creative and speculative poets is so little read. We are sickened to see the trash called poetry which silly people write, and sillier people read. Did the first but read our great bard, they would throw down their pens for ever. Did the second but read, they would happily be unfitted to read the miserable rhymes passing for poetry.

Dryden's Epigram is now become a necessary adjunct to any writing that concerns Milton, so we lay down our pen with transcribing it

"Three Poets, in three distant ages born,

Greece, Italy, and England did adorn;
The first in loftiness of thought surpass'd
The next in majesty; in both the last.
The force of Nature could no further go;
To make a third, she joined the former two."

E. H.



REACHING the revelation of God, and hearing it, are the

two functions upon which the whole temporal and eternal welfare of mankind is made to depend. "Preach the preaching that I bid thee"; "take heed how ye hear,"-these are the two messages of God to the herald and the congregation. Both parties must hear the message, and endeavour in God's strength to come into right relations to each other, if they would receive the divine. blessing. "For," says Richard Baxter, "we bring not sermons to church, as we do a corpse for a burial. If there be life in them, and life in the hearers, the connaturality will cause such an amicable closure, that through the reception, retention, and operation of the soul, they will be the immortal seed of a life everlasting." "This passage from one of the most fervid and effective of preachers, gives the clue to Christian eloquence. Life in the preacher, and life in the hearer,-vitality upon both sides-this, under God, is the open secret of successful speech.

For the relation which properly exists between the Christian preacher and the Christian hearer, is a reciprocal one, or that of action and reaction. Yet it is too commonly supposed that eloquence depends solely upon the speaker; that the hearer is only a passive subject, and as such, is merely to absorb into himself a mighty and powerful influence that flows out from the soul of the orator, who alone is the active and passionate agent in the process. It will be found, however, upon closer examination, that eloquence in its highest forms and effects is a joint product of two factors; of an eloquent speaker and an eloquent hearer. Burning words presuppose some fuel in the souls to whom they are addressed. The thrill of the orator, however exquisite, cannot traverse a torpid or paralyzed nerve in the auditor. It is necessary, therefore, as all the rhetoricians have told us, in order to the highest effect of human speech, that the auditor be in a state of preparation and recipiency; that there be an answering chord in the mass of minds before whom the single solitary individual comes forth, with words of warning or of consolation, of terror or of joy.

It follows consequently, that if there be a true tone in preaching, there is also a true temper in hearing. If it is incumbent upon the sacred ministry to train itself to a certain style of thinking and utterance, it is equally incumbent upon the sacred auditory to school itself into the corresponding mood, so that its mental attitudes, its pre-judgments, its intellectual convictions, its wellweighed fears and forebodings, shall all be, as it were, a fluid sea,

• Baxter's sermon on Christ's absolute dominion. (Preface.)

along which the surging mind of the public teacher shall roll its billows. What then is the true tone in preaching, and what is the true temper in hearing, religious truth?

The divine interrogatory, "Is not my word like as a fire?"* suggests, it is believed, the true tone which should at all times characterize public religious address to the natural man; and the decided utterance of the psalmist, "Let the righteous smite me, it shall be a kindness,"† on the other hand, indicates the temper which the public mind should maintain in reference to such a species of address. From the voice of God, speaking through the most shrinking yet the most impassioned of his prophets; from the voice of God, emitted from the deepest, clearest, widest religious experience under the old economy, we would get our answer.

The purpose, then, of this article, will be to specify, in the first place, some distinctively biblical views of truth, that are exceedingly intense in their quality, and penetrating in their influence, and should therefore enter as constituent elements into preaching; and in the second place, to indicate the proper attitude of the popular mind towards such preaching.

I. The prophet Jeremiah, in the well-known interrogatory to which we have alluded, directs attention to those elements in revelation, which are adapted to produce a keen and pungent sensation, like fire, whenever they are brought into contact with the individual or the general mind. Just in proportion, consequently, as public address upon religious themes emits this subtle and penetrating radiance, because the preacher has inhaled the vehement and fiery temper of the Scriptures respecting a certain class of subjects, will it speak to men with an emphasis that will startle them, and hinder them from sleep.

1. Commencing the analysis, then, we find these elements of force and of fire, of which we are speaking, in the Biblical representation of God as an emotional Person, or, in Scripture phrase, the "living God."

And here we shall pass by all those more general aspects of the Divine personality which have been abundantly brought to view in the recent and still existing contest between theism and pantheism, and confine ourselves to a notice of those more specific qualities, which have been somewhat overlooked in this controversy, and which constitute the core and life of the personal character of God. For the Bible representation of the Deity not merely excludes all those conceptions of him, which convert him into a Gnostic abyss, and place him in such unrevealed depths that he ceases to be an object of either love or fear, but it clothes him with what may be called individuality of emotion, or feeling. Revelation is not content with that inadequate and frigid form of theism, that deism, + Psalm cxli. 5.

* Jeremiah xxiii. 29.

which merely asserts the Divine existence and unity with the fewest predicates possible, but it enunciates the whole plenitude of the Divine Nature upon the side of the affections, as well as of the understanding. When the Bible denominates the Supreme Being the "living God," it has in view that blending of thought with emotion, that fusion of intellect with feeling, which renders the Divine Essence a throbbing centre of self-consciousness. For subtract emotion from the Godhead, and there remains merely an abstract system of laws and truths. Subtract the intellect, and there remains the mystic and dreamy deity of sentimentalism. In the Scriptures we find the union of both elements. According to the Bible, God possesses emotions. He loves and He abhors. The Old and New Testaments are vivid as lightning with the feelings of the Deity. And these feelings flash out in the direct unambiguous statement of the psalmist " God loveth the righteous; God is angry with the wicked every day ;" in the winning words of St. John, "God is love," and in the terrible accents of St. Paul," Our God is a consuming fire." Complacency and displeasure, then, are the two specific characteristics in which reside all the vitality of the doctrine that God is personal. These are the most purely individual qualities that can be conceived of. They are continually attributed to the Supreme Being in the Scriptures, and every rational spirit is represented as destined to for ever feel the impression of the one or the other of them, according as its own inward appetences and adaptations shall be. While therefore, the other truths that enter into Christian theism are to be stated and defended in the great debate, the philosopher and theologian must look with a lynx's eye at these emotional elements in the Essence of God. For these, so to speak, are the living points of contact between the Infinite and Finite; and that theory of the Godhead which rejects them, or omits them, or blunts them, will, in the end, itself succumb to naturalism and pantheism.

There are no two positions in Revelation more unqualified and categorical, than that "God is love," and "God is a consuming fire."

Either one of these affirmations is as true as the other; and therefore the complete unmutilated idea of the Deity must comprehend both the love and the displeasure in their harmony and reciprocal relations. Both of these feelings are equally necessary to personality. A being who cannot love is impersonal; and so is a being who cannot abhor. Torpor in one direction implies torpor in the other. "He who loves the good," argued Lactantius fifteen centuries ago, "by that very fact hates the evil; and he who does not hate the evil, does not love the good; because the love of goodness flows directly out of the hatred of evil, and the hatred of evil springs directly out of the love of goodness. There is no one who can love life without abhorring death; no one who has

an appetency for light without an antipathy to darkness."* He who is able to love that which is lovely, cannot but hate that which is hateful. One class of emotions towards moral good implies an opposite class towards moral evil. Every ethical feeling necessitates its counterpart; and therefore God's personal love towards the seraph necessitates God's personal wrath towards the fiend. There is, therefore, no true middle position between the full scriptural conception of God, and the deistical conception of him. We must either, with some of the English deists, deny both love and indignation to the Deity, or else we must, with the prophets and apostles, attribute both love and indignation to him. Self-consistency drives us to one side or the other. We may hold that God is mere intellect, without heart, without feeling of any kind; that he is as impassive and unemotional as the law of gravitation, or a geometrical axiom; that he neither loves the holy, nor hates the wicked; that feeling, in short, stands in no sort of relation to an infinite Nature and Essence; or we may believe that the Divine Nature is no more destitute of emotional than it is of intellectual qualities, and that all forms of righteous and legitimate feeling enter into the Divine self-consciousness, we may take one side or the other, and we shall be self-consistent. But it is in the highest degree illogical and inconsistent, to attribute one class of emotions to God, and deny the other; to attribute the love of goodness, and repudiate the indignation at sin. What reason is there in attributing the feeling of complacency to the nature of the Infinite and Eternal, and denying the existence of the feeling of indignation, as so many do in this and every age? Is it said that emotion is always, and of necessity, beneath the Divine Nature? Then why insist and emphasise that "God is love?" Is it said that wrath is an unworthy feeling? But this, like love itself, depends upon the nature of the object upon which it is expended. What species of feeling ought to possess the Holy One when he looks down upon the orgies of Tiberius? when he sees John Baptist's head in the charger? Is it a mere illicit and unworthy passion, when the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against those sins mentioned in the first chapter of Romans, and continually practised by mankind? And may not love be an unworthy feeling? Is not this emotion as capable of degenerating into a blind appetite, into a mere passion, as any other one? Which is most august and venerable, the pure and spiritual abhorrence of the seraphim, wakened by the sight of the sin and uncleanness of fallen Babylon, or the selfish fondness, and guilty weakness of some of the unprincipled affections of earth? Which is most permeated with eternal truth and reason, and so most worthy of entering into the

* Lactantius, De ira Dei, c. 5. Compare also Tertullian, De testimentio animæ,

c. 2.

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