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She turns to the Canadian's loud complaints
An unstopped ear,—and to his low-breathed threats-
Low, but alarming, awful, deep, and full,
The jeer deriding and the laugh of scorn.
«() Britain ! thou who standest so secure
In thine own might, to thine own power trusting,
Take heed and ponder, that thou fallest not.
Laugh on, and take thy fill of joy while joy
And smiles remain,—while thou hast pow'r to laugh;
Aye, revel in thy bliss, while bliss is thine
And thou canst revel ; for afar I see
In the horizon's outskirts, half obscured
By hazy mists impervious by the sight,
A seeming speck, portending, O my land!
My country ? thy humiliation deep,
Thy slavery, thy fall; unless thou turn
Thee from thy evil ways,

-repent and live.
Like the approach of prowling midnight thief
Deceitful, shall it come, unseen, unheard.
Thou in thy bed shalt lie thee down in peace,
But wake in sadness sorrowful; thy laugh
Shall turn to weeping, and to grief thy joy,---
To slavery thy vaunted freedom ;--dust
Shall be thy garments,-ashes be thy bed,
Thy meat affliction,—and thy tears thy drink--
And marred shall be thy beauty; so despoiled,
That even thy familiar friends shall pass
And know thee not ;, while they, thine enemies,
To scorn shall laugh thee, shall revile thy state,
Mock at thy fallen grandeur and thy pride
Reproach,--and tread thy glory under foot.
Be wise ! avert the evil day, and live.' pp

120_127. But are subjects of political economy and great national questions a fit theme for satire or poetical declamation? We think not: they are beyond its grasp and reach. Satire may aim its light shafts at flying follies with success; and sometimes, though rarely, may put to Hight, or at least put to shame, some palpable improprieties. If vice can be made ridiculous, something is gained for the cause of virtue. But national sins and legislative delinquencies, the political vices of statesmen, the deep-seated disorders of the heart, ambition, pride, avarice, the sins of the church and the priesthood, these kinds go not out by means of such exorcism. We question whether Cowper himself, the most virtuous and amiable of satirists, ever effected much by lashing the Church and State of his age. Had he lived in the present day, he would have chosen a far different strain. The present Writer, however, we must do him the justice to say, is not blind to the more pleasing features of the age he sings.

• I envy not the spirit that alone
In the dark vista of futurity,
Known to God only, can discern dark shapes
And fearful spectres, apparitions dull ;
Can hear alone the bitter wailing cry,
The startling screech, and the dread voice of doom ;-

eye I feast on many a scene of joy ;
Behind the darkest cloud is visible
To me, the splendour of a noon-day sun ;-
Forms I perceive, and shadows ;- but the forms
Are angel-spirits stretching out their arms,--
Auspicious signal !-and the shadows dark
To me appear the ghosts of sin and woe,
From earth their bodies banished ;-and I hear
A choir of heav'nly music, soft as sweet,
And sweet as cheering ;—and a burst of joy
From bands of souls immortal, in their bliss !
• But wander back, my harp, again to earth,
And tell one other cause, which, manifest
In Britain, helps to light within my soul
The torch of hope, - to drive away despair!

There seems a watchfulness, a looking for,
An expectation, an anxiety
For some great change approaching. Ev'ry rank
And party, of a crisis seem aware:
Some, eager for its coming. They will stir
Their every energy, and exercise
Their influence, to aid th' expected birth,
To urge on its arrival, -to prepare.
Their fellow creatures for this great event ;
While on the rest appears a look of doubt,
Of terror and alarm ;--each whispers each
Of former warnings known to Ages past,
Of old, portentous signals ;-but abroad
They speak not of it; stillness then and gloom
Distinguish them ;-like nature, gloomy, still,
Prior to an eruption, to a crash,
A fierce contention of her elements !
"And in America there too appear
Like symptoms, like prognostics of a fate
At no great distance.-But America
Than her less ardent parent, shows more life,
More stir, more motion, more of gladsome joy!
And in her history of late are seen
Blessings more copious,--more of charity
And love divine,-and more of the effusion
Of the most Holy Spirit of our God !
She has attained a giant's strength, ere Time
Her energies hath dried ;--and wisdom's crown,
Before her locks are sprinkled through with gray,

Or wasted are her powers !—Shall she lead
The triumph in Creation's jubilee?-
Known unto God are all things, and his will
Shall prosper! ever shall his counsel stand!' pp. 288–291.


• Then is it not an Age for hope?-Hope thou,
My soul, in God ;- and to His Sovereign will
Submit the issue.-Spirit of my God, -
Thou who at Pentecost didst warm the hearts,
The tongues inspire of thy disciples,-warm
The hearts, and fire the tongues, and give success
To the endeavours, of thy faithful seed
On earth ; nor their remaining hope defer,
Till sick become their spirits. Shine O God,
Upon them ;---show thyself their watchful friend,
Their errless guide, firm stay, and sure support;
Their justifier, and their gracious God.
Give pinions to thy truth,--and bid it fly
With a resistless energy, propelled
For ever onward by thine own soft breath,
Into each bosom, into every heart.
Great Author and Proprietor of thought !
Master of clear perception !-on the earth
Diffuse still more this heav'nly principle !
Give to mankind clear judgment, to discern
Reality from falsehood,-shadows vague,
Deceitful semblances,- from honest truths,
Substance material ;-to understand
Thy will, thy holy pleasure ;-to perceive
Thy track in the deep waters ;—and to trust
To thee, Almighty,--shouldst thou bid them walk
In the dark barren desert, where to doubt
Is death ;-or on the billows of the sea,
Where infidelity is ruin,-want
Of faith, destruction ;-or in death's lone vale,
Where languishes humanity,—where flesh
Sinks unavailing, and all earthly hope
Hath fled the bosom ;—Then, my God, impart
Assurance of thy presence to their soul;
Fill them with heaven, with Thee ;-nor let them feel
A thought terrific ;-be thyself their thought!
And mingle with each impulse of their heart !
· Visit, O Lord, the earth!- It pants and thirsts
For the refreshing, vivifying dew,
The moisture of thy breath of blessing. Stay,
Defer not, Great Jehovah !-Hasten down
In fullest plenitude of mercy, clad
In all-creating love ;--and the wide carth

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Replenish with thy glory and display
Of perfect majesty nor let remain
One of thy creatures unconvinced of thee,

To raise again a carnal, sinful Age! pp. 295–297. The strain of fervent piety which pervades these lines, will shew, that if the mantle of Cowper bas not fallen upon our Poet, he has caught a portion of his spirit. As a poetical model, the Task would mislead imitation, and it has probably misled the present Writer. Cowper, in his satires, emulated with success the rough vigour of Churchill, and he improved upon his master. In the Task, he shines as a descriptive poet; and it is to descriptive poetry, that blank-verse is best adapted. Didactic verse requires the curb of rhyme, to prevent its running away with the poet. All young poets are fond of dabbling in blank verse, tempted by its apparent facility ; but it is, in fact, the mode which requires the nicest ear and the most practised hand. It is susceptible of the finest modulation on the one hand, and, on the other, is liable to become the most discordant and untunable.

Art. VIII. Memoir of the Rev. Pliny Fisk, A.M., lale Missionary

to Palestine from the American Board of Missions. By Alvan Bond, Pastor of the Congregational Church in Sturbridge, Massachusets. · 12mo. pp. 400. (Portrait.) Price 5s. Edinburgh. 1828.



HIS is in some respects the most interesting biographical

record that has been given to the public since the Memoirs of Henry Martyn, with whose name that of Pliny Fisk is well worthy of being associated in lasting remembrance. Both laboured and suffered in the same cause, the best of causes; and both, at nearly the same early period of life, were dismissed from their labours to the higher services of the heavenly world. In their characters, they had much in common. * Decision,

perseverance, intrepidity, judgement, modesty, patience, and • benevolence', were traits harmoniously combined in the wellproportioned and truly consistent character of the subject of this memoir.

• As was said of Henry Martyn, “ the symmetry of his stature in Christ, was as surprising as its height.""

This memoir is drawn up on the plan which has become of late so popular, of interweaving the biographical narrative with copious selections from letters, diaries, and other documents; a method which certainly lessens the trouble of the biographer,




and affords him the opportunity of making up a volume at the least expense of intellectual labour. It has also the apparent recommendation of giving to a memoir somewhat of the character of auto-biography; while it pays the reader the compliment of allowing him to forın his own judgement of the talents and characteristics of the individual who is made to furnish this posthumous disclosure of his feelings. These circumstances may account for its very general adoption. We have, nevertheless, strong doubts whether this is the most instructive and efficient mode of writing biography. We really think that it would be far better, were the life of the individual presented to us in a distinct form, interspersed with only such brief extracts from letters or other documents, as might be necessary to illustrate or substantiate the statements in the narration; and the letters and remains to which it would form an introduction, might be given separately. They could not then, indeed, be made to furnish a text for desultory remarks and long digressions; but they would speak for themselves. The biographer would in that case incur the responsibility, it is true, of making a competent use of his materials ; and this would require a careful examination of documents, and an effort at analysis and compression; whereas the present receipt for memoir-writing admits of a volume being made up with facility by any man, woman, or, we were going to say, child. But really, religious biography is too important a task to be carelessly or incompetently performed. The portrait of such a man as Fisk, demanded a vigorous pencil.

The interest of the present volume is not much diminished by the slovenly manner in which it is edited, as it consists almost entirely of a compilation from Mr. Fisk's papers. The value of these would, however, have been greatly enhanced by a few judicious notes and some retrenchments. For instance, Mr. Fisk, in one of his letters (p. 191), starts some Biblical inquiries, new to himself, but which have received a full discussion in the pages of Biblical scholars. These ought not to have been suffered to appear without the appropriate solutions. At Jerusalem, Mr. Fisk visited the holy sepulchre, and was induced to believe, that the spot desecrated by the Romish jugglery and mummery, is in all probability the place where our Lord lay. A want of information could alone have led him to pay any attention to Chateaubriand's authority on such a subject. There is the clearest evidence, that Calvary could not have been near that spot. Indeed, the topographical notices which occupy much of the journal, are so scanty, and sometimes so incorrect, that they should either have been accompanied with notes by the Editor, or suppressed. Many of the blunders are evidently typographical. The communications of a Christian missionary are al

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