Imagens das páginas

ill-will. The faculties of calculation, of order, &c. &c. which formerly moved in the service of self, are no longer set to work by an ill-understood covetousness; but, by benevolence, and a thousand well-understood institutions of philanthropic economy, succeed to the sordid accumulations of selfish gain. The same faculties of wandering, and ready perception and imitation, which, inspired by self, led the wandering gipsy from clime to clime, under a thousand characters of imposition, inspired by benevolence and veneration, send the indefatigable missionary from clime to clime, os errands of love; and in his journeyings, from the Esquimaux to the fens of Surinam, from the barbarous Indian to the civilized Persian, enable him to become, like St. Paul, all things to all men, that he may win some. The same perceptive faculties of form, of colour, of music, &c. which, inspired by human ideality, so continually chain the lovers of the fine arts down to earth, become, by the parabolic style of writing, the very means of lifting the soul of the believer to heaven. Every earthly object, which the natural man desecrates as the means of expressing and decorating human passions, the book of God consecrates, by rendering the vivid type of heavenly truths. To the Christian, all the earth reflects heaven.

All which is visible, is the type of that which is invisible; and temporal things, touched by the alchemy of Scripture explanation, become at once holy and spiritual. And the perceptive faculties being the most early developed in children, so God has supplied the earliest age with this vast magazine of living spiritual types, and with a treasury of holy associations and instructions, which no believing parent will fail to apply; knowing that feelings connected with sensible associations are ever strongest. And last, though not least, we add, that the parabolic style of Scripture is eminently calculated not only to spiritualize the perceptive faculties, but the ideality of man: and by thus doing, she converts into the most powerful auxiliaries of holiness, the most dangerous instruments of human passion. The ideality, whilst the slave of human perception and passion, is ever chaining man down to earth with gilded cords, or presenting one vain phantom after another to his ever renewed, but disappointed chase; but when ideality is once inspired by the Spirit of God, the case is altered. She then starts up from earth, not a demon, but an angel, in her native magnitude. She it is, who gives wings to the soul, to bid her contemplation to soar from earth to heaven. She it is, whose faithful and vivid mirror reflects back the invisible realities and joys of heaven, to those yet groaning in misery on earth. How often has she gladdened the heart and lighted up the eyes of the wretch, pining in a dungeon on earth, with the bright (but not more bright than true) vision of heavenly joy! How often has she annibilated the pain of the martyr, by transporting his mind from the rack on which he lay, to the glory in which he should soon participate! How base is ideality, when she is the magic painter of human passion! how exalted, when the vivid painter enlisted in the service of divine truth! Then, indeed, does she resume the exalted post of giving permanence to spiritual joy, in defiance of temporal sorrow.

How truly may it be said, that ideality is the eyeglass of the soul! Like other magnifying glasses, when applied to the insects of earth, it magnifies them beyond all due bounds; but let its glass be once turned to heavenly objects, then strain all its powers, or tenfold multiply its force, though it may bring the celestial world within view, it never can show it in a hundredth part of its real glory and magnitude. .

The parabolic style of Scripture is eminently suited to the imagination and the perceptive faculties, the first that are developed; whilst its rich variety of figures, with its clearly laid down doctrine, alike afford constant scope for construction, comparison, and the higher reflecting faculties.

Nor is religion only addressed to all the knowing faculties ; but, in its reaction, it has given birth to the very first efforts of human genius in the fine arts. To this source is poetry indebted, not only for that noblest of all uninspired productions, Milton's Paradise Lost; to her, music is indebted for the invention of organs, the noblest of instruments, as well as for the discovery of thorough bass, and consequently the very creation of all true music. To her, we owe Gothic architecture; and to her, we are likewise indebted for the elevated and saintly style of countenance, which pervades the works of the great painters of sacred history.

Surely it is impossible to compare the full tide of harmony of the organ with the insigoificant melody of the Grecian lyre; the boasted elegance of the Parthenon, with the vastness, solemnity, grandeur, and get rich decoration of our Gothic cathedrals; or to put in competition the sublime dignity of Milton with the warlike ferocity of Homer; or to contrast the vaunted style of countenance of the Apollo and Venus. voluptuous and yet bard, with the dignity,

devotion, purity, grandeur, and sensibility of the Madonas of the Italian painters; without confessing, how wonderful is the difference between the fruits of the very same faculties, when inspired by human passions, or by the Spirit and love of God in Christ. *

• This idea is more fully expressed in the Essay on Gothic Architecture, in my work on the Classification of Beauty and Deformity. I extract the passage:

“ It would be irrelevant to the object of this work (Beauty and Deformity), to enter into any discussion upon its origin. To inquire whether a style of architecture (i.e. Gothic), which, from the subjects of its application in England, might be emphatically termed Christian, originated in the Oriental Saracens, or their Occidental descendants, the Moors; whether a style, whose first efforts are peculiarly characterized by impressions of contemplative piety, mysterious and venerable sanctity, and awful seclusion, could have been the offspring of a nation alternately devoted to the horrors of war, or to luxurious indulence and sloth. Nor does it belong to it, to attempt to prove that this style of architecture was the natural and spontaneous product of Christianity; that when a new and divine faith descended from heaven, the same heavenly flame which kindled devotion in the soul, and bid the invisible world start to light before the astonished view, not only gave to man a new heart, but likewise inspired with a peculiar and distinct genius all the fine arts; and gave a new and exalted impulse to the imagination, that part of our nature in which the affections and the intellect are mutually blended. A new style of beauty, the result of new affections, was imparted to the countenance; the spiritual beauty of divine love shot its heavenly radiance through the grovelling apathy of animal, or the cheerless greatness of mere intellectual expression. The saintly countenances exhibited by the pencils of Raffaelle and Guido had no antitype in the models of Phidias and Praxiteles. And the same spirit whose new creation

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