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As if her trinkets Nature chose to hide
Where nought invaded but the flowing tide.' One regrets that Miss Taylor did not more frequently employ her delicate pencil in such sketches as this. The lines serve to introduce the imaginary character of whose auto-biographical narrative the poem was designed to consist, -the misanthropist who has chosen this gloomy spot as his congenial dwelling, where one servant forms his whole establishment.
Peggy, his sole domestic, slowly grew
', A chair she took ;--less easy when she had'; But soon resum'd her tale, and both were glad. Thus she became, at length, a parlour guest; And he was happier, though 'twas ne'er confess'd. Rocks, seas, and hills were here his friends by choice; But there is music in the human voice.
• So pass'd their evenings oft; but now and then,
Old Peggy sent the manuscript to me.' The narrative itself is a truly affecting picture of a lad with mind and manncrs above his fortunes, timid, bashful, and oppressed. It is only too brief. We should have been delighted to see how his character would have been developed. One of the latest, if not the last poetical effusion, and, in our opinion, one of the most touching and beautiful poems in the volume, though marked by perfect simplicity, and having all the character of a private record of feeling, is the following hymn, with which we close our extracts.
" THE THINGS THAT ARE UNSEEN ARE ETERNAL.'
• There is a state unknown, unseen,
Where parted souls must be ;
That world of souls and me.
With whom I sojourned here :
she not be near?
When midnight shades are spread;
And guard my quiet bed.
And clouds conveyed him hence ;
Beyond our feeble sense.
To bring him from above ?
The children of his love.
And would, but cannot see-
And will he dwell with me?
Yet Lord, restore my sight!
The mental vision clear:
And let me know them near.
That charmed my ardent youth;
And learn thy perfect truth,
That wrapt my soul around;
While treading earthly ground.
That still in darkness lies;
And bid the day-star rise !
Impart the faith that soars on high,
Beyond this earthly strife,
And lives Eternal Life! For a full delineation of Miss Taylor's religious sentiments and feelings, we must refer our readers to the volumes before us. There is one passage in the memoir, however, on which we could wish that a remark or two had been added by the Biographer, to guard young persons more especially from mistaking Miss Taylor's sentiments on the subject. She represents herself as having been suddenly relieved from the cloud of discomfort and perplexity which had long rested on her mind prior to the year 1817, when the circumstance referred to took place, by a burst of light which disclosed to her, with a cleai ess and vividness in which she had never before viewed it, the pardoning mercy and love of God, The effect was so * powerful,' she says, that I was almost dissolved by it.' She considered the change in her feelings thus produced, ' as a * most kind and timely preparation for what, but a few weeks • before, would have overwhelmed' her with consternation * and distress,'-alluding to the first communication made to her by the London surgeons respecting the alarming nature of her complaint. It enabled her, too, so far to overcome the extreme reserve of her temper as to make that public profession of faith in Christ by becoming a member of her father's church, from which she had only been withheld by diffidence and the fear of self-deception. The religious world is in so much greater danger in the present day on the side of a Sadducean philosophy, than on that of enthusiasm, that few persons require to be admonished not to lay an undue stress on frames, impressions, and emotions, as a test of religious character or condition. Miss Taylor's own sentiments on this point are expressed in one of the letters, of an earlier date than the occurrence above mentioned.
I have heard the most judicious Christians reply, that a holy walk with God, a humble consciousness of preferring him and his service to any other thing, is a better and safer evidence of a real change of heart, than a reference to the most remarkable emotions of mind at any particular time.?
There is nothing, we make no doubt, that she would more strongly have deprecated, than a reliance upon extraordinary impressions, by which physical alternations are confounded with the genuine exercise of the religious affections, and the accidents of fancy, perhaps, are mistaken for the act of faith. There is no great danger, however, of being misled by impres
sions, in whatever manner they originate, so long as they consist of revealed truth; for it is in such impressions, conveyed with more or less force, that saving faith and all true consolation originate. A declaration, heard a thousand times with indifference, shall arrest the mind with a power, and distinctness, and authority, as a truth of personal interest, which it never carried with it before. A familiar passage of Scripture shall, as by a sudden ray of light falling upon the words, disclose itself in all the fulness of its meaning, so that it shall seem never to have been read or at least understood till now. In these cases, there is nothing vague or imaginary, and there can be no delusion in the impression. The cause is real, and the effect is rational, and corresponds to it. And all that seems unaccountable to the individual is, that the same truth should not long ago have made its due impression. Sometimes, however, the understanding receives a real accession of light, by the actual development of what had hitherto appeared enigmatical ; and there are moral problems and perplexities of the heart, the solution of which will produce a transport not inferior to that of the ancient Geometrician when he exclaimed, • I have found it.' In such cases, the thought which succeeds to the joy of discovery is, ' Why did I not see this before ?? Persuasions, then, that correspond to truths in themselves certain, cannot be unreal; nor can the strong emotions which their strength or suddenness occasions, be justly charged with enthusiasm.
The cause by which we mean the instrumental cause-is, we say, real; it is truth; that by which alone a rational mind can be rationally operated upon, the only instrument by which the Divine Spirit works on the heart of man. And by this unfailing test, all genuine religious impressions, whether sudden, violent, or of an ordinary character, are distinguished from indefinite, imaginary, and fanatical ones. But, in speaking of the instrumental cause, we cannot be understood as excluding a supernatural cause, imparting to it all its efficiency. The reason why truth acts on different minds, or on the same mind at different times, so differently, is not that its certainty varics even to the apprehension of the individual. The variation, therefore, must be in the subject of its influence--in the mind or heart itself. Responsible, however, as man is, for the government of his thoughts, their origin is alike beyond his knowledge and control. That sensible objects and physical emotions ordinarily set the machinery of thought in motion, is certain; but often the thoughts seem as spontaneous and uncaused as they are involuntary, although every thought, not less than every pulsation and every mechanical movement,