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“ My spirit pines behind its veil of clay
For light too heavenly perfect here to shine:
With freshened rapture in its native skies !” " A lover on his death-bed lay, and o'er his face the while, Though anguish racked his wasted frame, there swept a fit.
ful smile : A flush his sunken cheek o'erspread, and to his faded eye Came light that less spoke earthly bliss than heaven-breathed
ecstasy. And one that weeping o'er him bent, and watched the ebbing
breath, Marvelled what thought gave mastery o'er that dread hour of
death ; Ah, when the Fair, adored through life, lifts up at length,' he
cried, "The veil that sought from mortal eye immortal charms to hide,
T is thus true lovers, fevered long with that sweet mystic fire, Exulting meet the Loved One's gaze, and in the glance
expire.'” All travellers among the Súfís, all writers about them, agree in testifying that their piety is sincere, prevailing, and mysteriously fervent and absorbing. But they also agree in testifying that it is based on a theology full of all the mysticisms, extravagances; and Antinomianisms of Oriental speculation, and is fostered by artificial processes alien and unadapted in much to the Western temperament. There is undoubtedly a great deal both in their theory and in their practice that we should be warned by and beware of. But when we have discriminated these things, there is much more which may well admonish and quicken us, saying to us ever and anon,
“Though human life be reason's dream,
Rouse thine ere morning wake it,
Who else unasked will take it." If the exhibition of Súfí piety made in this article merely gratifies an intellectual curiosity and imparts a little information, though that would be something, yet
it would not be the best that may be. There are thoughts and sentiments in these poems which ought, however suggested and wherever recognized, to smite us with subduing wonder before the universe, and kindle us with sympathetic yearning after God. They ought magnetically to strike with opening life and desire that side of our souls which opens upon Infinity and Eternity, and wherethrough we thrill to the visiting influences of boundless Mystery and nameless Love. They should help to lead us to a state of faith and fruition, that healthy state of full Christian piety wherein we feel, in oft and favored hours, a rapture of calmness, a vision of heaven, a perfect communion of the Father, confessing with electric shudders of awe and joy the motions of the Spirit as the hand of God wanders solemnly among the chords of the heart. They may tell us that it were
“ Better down nature's scale to roll,
W. R. A.
ART. VI. — INFANCY.
As saith “ the Bard of holy faith,
And calm philosophy,"
About blest Infancy.”
Enchanted scroll, close-furled,!
Of its interior world.
Its waking and its sleep;
Strange gleams we cannot keep.
Serene, and deep, and clear;
To them were hovering near.
These little ones, with loving hearts,
And souls of spotless white;
Arrayed in robes of light.
And of the waving palm,
Of some celestial psalm.
Once blessed them with his love ; Upheld them in his arms, and said,
“ Of such is heaven above."
Upon the Father's face";
Some radiance or grace.
In cradle-slumber deep, Smiles of unearthly beauty play
Within their charmed sleep.
Those folded eyes could see;
To heaven's own harmony.
By angels borne away,
Upon its death-sleep lay !
And on its golden hair ; As if the spirit, in its flight,
Had stamped its glory there.
Beyond the angel's call !
Upon a head-stone small !
What falls from heathen tongue ;
S. F. c.
1854.) Osgood's Footprints of Providential Leaders. 131
ART. VII. – OSGOOD'S FOOTPRINTS OF PROVIDENTIAL
The title of Mr. Osgood's volume is attractive, and whoever turns to the table of Contents, and runs his eye over some of the heads of the lectures, — " Abraham and the Empire of Faith," — “ Moses and the Law," — " Aaron and the Priesthood," — " Saul and the Throne,” — “ David and the Psalms," — "Solomon and the Hebrew Wisdom," — " Isaiah and the Prophets," -“The Messiah in his Ministry," — “ Peter and the Keys," — “ Paul and Gospel Liberty," — “ The Disciples and the Unseen Witness," — “ The Theologians and the World to Come,"
- will be disposed and impelled to read the book. The perusal will not disappoint. The execution is as successful as the announcement is alluring and expressive. We gather from the Preface, that the contents of this volume were prepared in the course of parochial duty, for the benefit of the young people of the author's parish, and that it is published at the request of friends, - a request which will carry its own justification with it to every reader. The volume is not a theological treatise, nor a critical discussion, nor a doctrinal argument upon the whole or any part of the Christian religion. This it does not propose to be. It assumes in the reader an established Christian faith, and a somewhat familiar acquaintance with the sacred oracles, and then aims to confirm and enlarge this faith, arrange, classify, and give system and shape to this acquaintance with Scripture, by taking up the prominent representative personages in the Old and New Testament; and, through the discussion of their times, characters, influence, present a general portraiture, in bold and strong outlines, of the progress of divine revelation, and the gradual unfolding of the plan and purpose of Providence, from the call of Abraham to the coming of Christ ;- and to do this “ without cumbering the pages with philological discussion or scholastic theorizing." It was no easy task, therefore, which the author had imposed upon himself. The chances of success were against him. In all things the “juste milieu" is a difficult attainment, and in none more so than in the attempt to combine professional learning with popular instruction. To write a series of papers, covering the whole scope of the Bible, touching more or less directly upon all the important points of theology, and in relation to these points to present the best results of profound study and thorough learning, in such form as shall make them satisfactory and conclusive to the general reader, without entering into the minute details of argument and criticism by which those results are reached, — this is no easy task. Mr. Osgood's thorough scholarship, his accurate acquaintance with the minute details of every theologi. cal question, his nice discrimination as to what is important in its bearing upon the general result, and his happy power to combine and generalize, eminently qualified him for the task, which he has executed with all the success the nature of the case would admit.
* God with Men: or Footprints of Providential Leaders. By SAMUEL Osgood, Author of “Studies in Christian Biography," etc. Boston: Crosby, Nichols, and Company. New York: Charles 8. Francis and Company. 1853. 12mo. pp. 269.
We like the conception and plan of his book. It leads in the right direction, it enters a field too little cultivated, where much may be done to diffuse truth, promote and establish faith, and increase the power of the Bible over the intellect and the heart. The divinely diversified character and contents of the sacred volume, of the wide field of human history which it covers, from the Pentateuch to the Epistles, suggest various uses and applications, various modes of illustration and enforcement, of which Protestantism has been slow to avail itself. Protestants have not turned the Bible to so much account in the support of their cause, and in behalf of the practical power of religion, as they might have done. Their great principle, the sufficiency and authority of the Scriptures as the rule and ground of faith, is sound. Their efforts to diffuse the Bible without note or comment, to translate it into all languages and convey it to all lands, through such agencies as the British and Foreign and the American Bible Societies, are noble. Their commentaries, both those designed for scholars and those designed for popular use and to meet popular wants, are good and do good. But there are other modes of treating the Bible, other uses to be made of it, other ways of unfolding its contents, so that they shall confirm, quicken, and invigorate faith.