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in Paradise were twin sisters, supporting and glorifying each the other, dwelling together in unity, have long ago parted company, and that our sense of beauty is rather exercised in regret than in fruition, is like a harp all unstrung, which when it does sound tells more of what is lost than of what remains, but which asserts continually its divine origin, remembers its august abode, and having lost one Paradise, will never be satisfied till another be regained.
We are not now going to try our 'prentice hand upon a New Theory of Beauty, after so many masters have failed, but we cannot help thinking that the dispute would be at end, if it were but allowed at once, that there are two kinds of beauty, that there is a material and necessary element of beauty, and another which is accidental and relative—a natural and a spiritual delightfulness to and through the eye, and that sometimes, we see both together, as in the face and' eyes of a beautiful and beloved woman; and moreover, that, there is no more reason for denying either the sense or the emotion of beauty, because everybody does not agree about the kind or measure of either of these qualities in all objects, than there is in affirining that there is no such thing as veracity or natural affection, because the Spartans commended lying, or the New Zealanders the eating of o grandmother. Why should the eye, the noblest, the amplest, the most informing of all our senses, be deprived of its own special delight. The light is sweet, and it is a pleasant thing for the eye to behold the sun and why when the ear has sound for inforning, and music for delight--when there is smell and odour, taste and flavour, and even the touch its sense of pleasant smoothness and softness--why should there not be in the eye a pleasure born and dying with the sights it sees---it is like the infinite loving kindness of Him who made the trees of the garden pleasant to the eye as well as good for food. We say nothing here of Relative or Associative Beauty, this has never been doubted either in its essence or its value. It is as much larger in its range, as much nobler in its meaning and uses, as the heavens are higher than the earth, or as the soul transcends the body. This, too, gives back to material beauty more than it received it was after man was made that God saw and behold every
thing was very good.
We shall now give some few extracts almost at random :
66 To assert that the beautiful is the true, appears, at first, like asserting that propositions are matter, and matter propositions. But giving the best and most rational interpretation we can, and supposing the holders of this strange position to mean only that things are beautiful which appear what they indeed are, and ugly which appear what
they are not, we find them instantly contradicted by each and every conclusion of experience. A stone looks as truly a stone as. a rose looks a rose, and yet is not so beautiful ; a cloud may look more like a castle than a cloud, and be the more beautiful on that account. The mirage of the desert is fairer than its sands; the false image of the under heaven fairer than the sea. I am at a loss to know how any so untenable a position could ever have been advanced; but it may, perhaps, have arisen from some confusion of the beauty of art with the beauty of nature, and from an illogical expansion of the very certain truth, that nothing is beautiful in art, which, professing to be an imitation, or a statement, is not as such in some sort true.”—Vol. ii. p. 28.
In the conclusion of the chapter of infinity, which is full of artistical experience as well as the highest mental beauty, occur these words :
“Farther expressions of infinity there are in the mystery of nature, and in some measure in her vastness, but these are dependent on our own imperfections, and therefore, though they produce sublimity, they are not connected with beauty. For what we foolishly call vastness iš, rightly considered, not more wonderful, not more impressive, than' what we insolently call littleness, and the infinity of God is not mysterious, it is unfathomable, not concealed but incomprehensible ; it is a clear infinity, the darkness of the pure unsearchable sea.”
On the repose of the divine character, and man's longiug after rest, we have the following passage :
“ As opposed to passion, changefulness, or laborious exertion, Repose is the especial and separating characteristic of the eternal mind and power ; it is the 'I an' of the Creator opposed to the 'I become' of all creatures; it is the sign alike of the supreme knowledge which is incapable of surprise, the supreme power which is incapable of labour, the supreme volition which is incapable of change; it is the stillness of the beams of the eternal chambers laid upon the variable waters of ministering creatures; and as we saw before that the infinity which was a Type of the Divine nature on the one hand, became yet more desirable on the other from its peculiar address to our prison hopes, and to the expectations of an unsatisfied and unaccomplished existence, so the types of this third attribute of the Deity might seem to have been rendered farther attractive to mortal instinct, through the inflic
the fallen creature of a curse necessitating a labour once unnatural and still most painful, so that the desire of rest planted in the heart is no sensual nor unworthy one, but a longing for renovation and for escape from a state whose every phase is mere preparation for another equally transitory, to one in which permanence shall have become possible through perfection. Hence the great call of Christ to men, that call on which St. Augustine fixed as the essential expression of Christian hope, is accompanied by the promise of rest ; and the death bequest of Christ to men is peace.”—Vol. ii. pp. 60-61.
Every man of moderate thoughtfulness, especially if he be what John Foster preeminently was, given to pensiveness, must acknowledge, that he longs after rest, and seeks it, but has as yet never found it. The theology, natural and revealed, as well as the poetry of this, we have in George Herbert :
66 When God at first made man,
Contract into a span.
So strength first made away,
RÉST in the bottom lay.
For if I should (said he)
So both would losers be.”
We give the conclusion of the Theoretic Faculty :
“I believe that the root of almost every schism and heresy from which the Christian Church has ever suffered, has been the effort of men to earn, rather than to receive, their salvation ; and that the reason that preaching is so commonly ineffectual is, that it calls on men oftener to work for God, than to behold God working for them. If, for every rebuke that we utter of men's vices, we put forth a claim upon their hearts ; if for every assertion of God's demands from them, we could substitute a display of his kindness to them; if side by side, with every warning of death, we could exhibit proofs and promises of immortality; if, in fine, instead of assuming the being of an awful Deity, which men, though they cannot and dare not deny, are always unwilling, sometimes unable, to conceive, we were to show them a near, visible, inevitable, but all-beneficent Deity, whose presence makes the earth itself a heaven, I think there would be fewer deaf children sitting in the market-place. At all events, whatever may be the inability in this present life to mingle the full enjoyment of the Divine works with the full discharge of every practical duty, and confessedly in many cases this must be, let us not attribute the inconsistency to any indignity of the faculty of contemplation, but to the sin and the suffering of the fallen state, and the change of order from the keeping of the garden to the tilling of the ground. We cannot say how far it is right or agreeable with God's will, while men are perishing round about us, while grief, and pain, and wrath, and impiety, and death, and
all the powers of the air, are working wildly and evermore, and the cry of blood going up to heaven, that any of us should take hand from the plough; but this we know, that there will come a time when the Service of God shall be the beholding of him; and though in these stormy seas, where we are now driven up and down, his Spirit is dimly seen on the face of the waters, and we are left to cast anchors out of the stern, and wish for the day, that day will come, when, with the evangelists on the crystal and stable sea, all the creatures of God shall be full of eyes within, and there shall be no more curse, but his servants shall serve him, and shall see his Face.'-Vol. ii. pp. 133-134.
We conclude our quotations by one of these astonishing wordpictures which form one great charm and value of the work. The subject is the Crucifixion by Tintoretto. We have an engraving of it by Augustine Carracci
, and we can testify that everything he describes is in it, and much more: it is almost the only representation to the bodily eye of that awful scene which does not mar our own conception.
“ I will not insult this marvellous picture by an effort at a verbal account of it. I would not white-wash it with praise, and I refer to it only for the sake of two thoughts peculiarly illustrative of the intellectual faculty immediately under discussion. In the common and most Catholic treatment of the subject, the mind is either painfully directed to the bodily agony, coarsely expressed by outward anatomical signs, or else it is permitted to rest on that countenance inconceivable by man at any time, but chiefly so in this its consummated humiliation. In the first case, the representation is revolting: in the second, inefficient, false, and sometimes blasphemous. None even of the greatest religious painters have ever, so far as I know, succeeded here; Giotto and Angelico were cramped by the traditional treatment, and the latter especially, as before observed, is but too apt to indulge in those points of vitiated feeling which attained their worst development among the Byzantines: Perugino fails in his Christ in almost every instance (of other men than these after them we need not speak.) But Tintoret here, as in all other cases, penetrating into the root and deep places of his subject, despising all outward and bodily appearances of pain, and seeking for some means of expressing, not the rack of nerve or sinew, but the fainting of the deserted Son of God before his Eloi cry, and yet feeling himself utterly unequal to the expression of this by the countenance, has on the one hand filled his picture with such various and impetuous muscular exertion, that the body of the Crucified is, by comparison, in perfect repose, and on the other has cast the countenance altogether into shade. But the Agony is told by this, and by this only, that though there yet remains a chasm of light on the mountain horizon where the earthquake darkness closes upon the day, the broad and sunlike glory about the Head of the Redeemer has become wan, and of the colour of ashes.
“ But the great painter felt he had something more to do yet. Not
only that Agony of the Crucified, but the tumult of the people, that rage which invoked his blood upon them and their children. Not only the brutality of the soldier, the apathy of the Centurion, nor any otber merely instrumental cause of the Divine suffering, but the fury of his own people, the noise against him of those for whom he died, were to be set before the eye of the understanding, if the power of the picture was to be complete. This rage, be it remembered, was one of disappointed pride; and the disappointment dated essentially from the time, when but five days before, the King of Zion came, and was received with hosannahs, riding upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass. To this time, then, it was necessary to direct the thoughts, for therein are found both the cause and the character, the excitement of, and the witness against, this madness of the People. In the shadow behind the cross, a man, riding on an Ass colt, looks back to the multitude, while he points with a rod to the Christ crucified. The Ass is feeding on the remnants of withered Palm-leaves."-Vol. ii. pp. 170-471.
In conclusion, whatever be the estimate our readers may form of the scientific, philosophical, literary, intellectual, and moral worth of this performance, and of the degree of success with which the author has made out his positions against the elder landscape painters and in favour of the moderns, and whatever may be the place each man shall assign to the extraordinary painter who occupies so much of the mind and of the matter of the author, whatever be the general judgment formed of the true value of this author's subject, and of the merits of his treatment of it, all thoughtful, sober-minded men must be agreed as to the necessity that is laid upon each one of us for ourselves, and for our neighbour, to do and be everything that may help to counteract the master-evil of our times the fearful influence which the present, the actual, the immediate, the seen and temporal, is every day getting over every man.
God has multiplied this nation, and is multiplying it, in numbers, in intelligence, in power, with a rapidity of increase the limit and the result of which he himself alone can tell ; but he has not, in proportion, “increased its joy;" its goodness is behind its greatness, and it is one of the pillars of his throne-one of the conditions of his own existence, as it is of theirs, that his rational creatures, made in his own image, should find rest and happiness nowhere but in him; that the child should never be a happy child away from his father; and that it is not many wise men, not many mighty, not many noble, but only " the pure in heart who see him and are blessed. What is the only cure for all this no man need be ignorant of, it is shining down upon him like the sun at noon; but this is not our province. What we assert, and are prepared to prove is, that in the right exercise of the imper