Page images

Contributions to the Science of Correspondences. 235

him empty himself, "but," he continued, "it took a long while, for thou wast vast full."

Another of his maxims was that, when he felt dissatisfied with things about him and his family, as like every one else, he was sometimes inclined to be, when returning jaded from his journeys, he concluded that he was not sufficiently tired, and sought for some duty to perform, domestic or otherwise, and continued until he had regained his customary tranquillity and cheerfulness.


When at home on the Sabbath, as may be supposed, he took a prominent part in the Sunday morning conversations. On one occasion, as he told a friend of mine, he felt great unwillingness to be present, was, however, determined not to yield; so, to repeat his own words, addressing his corporeal part, he said, "Come, old body, thou fanciest thou'rt tired; but thou'll be like to go." And never, he said, had he experienced so delightful a season. The Word opened to him as he was expounding it, so that his mind quite overflowed with joy, till on returning he began to question in himself, whether he had not mixed something of self in the satisfaction he felt so tender were his susceptibilities to the approach of any extraneous influences. He was

of a truly peaceful disposition; and on the institution of the Manchester and Salford Missionary Society, he remarked that the missionaries might sometimes have to fight, and urged that, whenever that was the case, they would be sure first to dip their swords in oil. (To be continued.)


THE recent winter has exceeded those of many past years in the number and magnificence of its auroral displays. Every one remembers those of the 24th and 25th of October last, when not only in our comparatively northern clime, but in Paris also, and Bordeaux, Rome, Naples, and Athens, a large part of the midnight sky was glorious with living, changing hues of crimson and gold. On Sunday evening, 2nd April, the sky was marked across, from nearly north-west to south-east, with eight or ten well-defined lines, so as to present a strong resemblance to the meridian lines on an artificial globe; these lines shone with a faint yellowish green light. But, perhaps, the most splendid display of the season was that of Sunday, 16th April, when the crimson light appearing about half-past ten, and lasting till shortly after eleven o'clock, was continually varying both its extent and appearance; now appearing like the sky-glare of a distant conflagration, and then

236 Contributions to the Science of Correspondences.

making more than the northern half of the sky change from its deep blue dye to an even hue of purple, richer than the robes of kings; and then it was ruled across with shifting rays of pale gold, now shortening, now lengthening, and then disappearing, when the red seemed to be gathered into flame-flakes as from a city on fire.

One of the first reflections suggested by a gorgeous display of this kind, is the reminding us of the weakness and ignorance of man. In our greatest endeavours to command and control appearances of light, so as to produce a nocturnal pageant, how far short the results fall from those which, in such everchanging forms and tints of beauty, stream across the heavens. Then, too, our ignorance how great! If we are asked for the cause of this beauty, we may answer by saying that the northern lights are connected with this or that of the forces of nature, but a full answer is beyond our powers. If asked for the reason of the appearance,

or for the way in which it is brought about, silence is our best reply, for we know not either the aim or means. Nevertheless, the change in scientific opinion on this subject is very suggestive and instructive, showing as it does one of the great scientific tendencies of the new age -a tendency which is just what might have been looked for by any thoughtful student of the science of correspondences.

I can remember something of the scientific opinions of thirty years ago, when one was told that the opinion of our grandfathers was a mistake, that there was no reason for believing that the sun was a globe of fire, but that on the contrary it might very probably be an inhabited world, not more torrid in climate than the most favoured climes of earth. To about the same period belong my recollections of graphic descriptions of the horrors of an Arctic winter, and of the alleviation of the long winter gloom by the almost continual gleam of the northern aurora. And how was this wonder explained? By suggestions which were true in part, and which, like all partial truths, were partially false, and left a false impression on the mind. It is true that often the central point of the northern lights corresponds in direction with the magnetic pole, that the flickering of the streamers was always attended with a quivering of the needle of the mariner's compass, and the conclusion was true that the streamers were connected with terrestrial magnetism, but they are not caused thereby. So, by passing a stream of electricity through thin air, in a partially exhausted vessel, we can produce a stream of light strongly resembling that which lights the arctic sky. But though the aurora is connected with electricity, it would be false to say that electricity is its cause.


Towards the end of 1861, two independent observers of the at a distance of hundreds of miles apart, but at the same moment, saw a sudden outburst of light on the sun's surface, and this phenomenon was attended by a series of remarkable results, which all may be confidently referred to the sun as their common cause. Magnetic storms, many of the currents of electricity continually playing about our world, and the aurora borealis and its southern twin, aurora australis, are all caused by the action of the sun.

We find that this is the modern belief about the aurora, and, never doubting its truth, we claim it as a result of the advent of a new age, that effects on earth, instead of being referred to their proximate causes are referred to the sun, which of created causes is for our system the highest, and at the same time the truest, representative of the Lord. Does not this remind us of George Stephenson's celebrated utterance, in which, speaking of the motion of a long train of coal waggons, he said that the engine and train were propelled by sunshine, for, ages ago, solar heat and light were drunk in by countless leaves, and solar forces were fixed and imprisoned in that wood which was afterwards submerged and changed into coal, and now releases, in the form of heat, that energy which, originating in the sun, is employed by man as his own, and for his own purposes. When the Arctic midnight is brightened the glories of the sky are derived, not from any earth-force but from the bidden but not less potent sun. Here is a suggestive text. Is the temper of the unrenewed heart occasionally brightened by a crimson glow of kindness? Is the darkness of the untaught mind relieved by a bright and true thought? There is an evidence of the present power of an unseen and it may be of an unremembered God. It is a proof that however arctic the winter of our discontent, it shall yet be made glorious summer if we turn to Him, the Sun of righteousness. So auroral gleams, magnetic tremors, and electric currents, visit our souls, our heart, and mind, when cold and gloom have gathered over us, and all remind us of the fact that we are still controlled by the power of the unseen. We leave the reader to think out his own sermon on this theme, suggesting only one out of many beautiful texts for his meditation:- "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me." W. C. B.



A NEW and handsome edition of this little work is here provided for the youth of the Church. Besides having passed through five editions in this country, it has been published in America, and has been translated into French. These are some guarantee of its excellence, which a perusal will confirm. It is an interesting and instructive allegory.

A BLIGHTED LIFE, and other Poems, by JOSEPH DUFTY. London: Simpkin, Marshall, & Co.

POETRY as compared with prose is like the spontaneous and universal language of affection as compared with the invented and therefore restricted and conventional language of thought. All lovers sigh in

verse, breathing their passion either in their own or in borrowed rhymes. Indeed, love makes the poet, for

"Never durst poet touch a pen to write
Until his ink were tempered with love's sigh."

And it is because

"Love is heaven and heaven is love,"

that angelic speech flows naturally and unconsciously in the rythmical or harmonic cadence of canticles; because in angelic discourse the form of heaven is represented (A. C. 1648, 9; 7191). When we speak of poetry being the language of love, we do not of course mean of love alone. Love utters sounds; but ideas, and what a certain class of philosophers call ideality, are required for the production of poetry; and to please a cultivated taste the poet must express himself according to the laws of poetic composition, not mechanically, but with the consummate art which has acquired the freedom of nature. If all who feel the glow of the poetic fire, and burn with a desire to see themselves in print, would reflect how much it takes to make a poet, we should be saved the pain of declining many poetical contributions, and of passing over some books that are offered for review. The volume of Mr. Duffy is not one of these. The pieces it contains have considerable poetical merit, and will reward those who have an appreciation of poetry. The short pieces are the best. The theme of the first poem, from which the volume takes its title, we do not admire. The mute inglorious Petrarch who forms its subject should have been allowed to sink into the grave unhonoured by a song-even though it gives a faint warning. Having spoken of love as the soul of poetry, we give one on this never-failing subject


Her lips are like the red rose-bud,

When first it bursts its shell of green,
So sweet and red; her teeth just shew,
Like strings of eastern pearls between.
But when the rose in full array

Looks proudly to the summer sky,
Such is the blush upon her cheeks-
A milder yet a lovelier dye.

The pansies shadow forth her eyes

But who their changing light can tell?

Or fix upon a single flow'r,

The charms that in those blue deeps dwell.

Her skin is pure as driven snow,

With slightest rose-tints shining through :
The wreath of curls that shade her brow
May boast the richest auburn hue.

There is no flow'r on mountain side,
In garden, or uncultured grove,
But pales before the flow'r of flow'rs-
The one sweet maiden that I love.

But this it is which most I prize,

That, though all hearts her beauties move,
The stars above have heard the vows

That bind our hearts with strains of love.
So sing, ye rills; and bask, ye flow'rs,
In summer sunshine while ye may :
Ye never knew more golden hours,
Nor I a more joy-laden day.

We have no apprehension of our readers supposing that there is any incongruity in giving a love poem in the pages of a religious magazine; but as there is nothing in it which gives indication of a higher light on the subject than poets ordinarily possess, we give another poem, which shews a new idea.


Not as distant are the spirits

Who have crossed o'er Jordan's stream,
As the brilliant stars that coldly
From night's lofty concave gleam;

For in musing moments round us
Friends in silence seem to glide-
Friends who have our best affections,
Though no more seen by our side.
And at times their living voices
In a mystic manner break

Through the silence, and we hear them
To our inward spirit speak;
Bringing back the cherish'd mem'ries
Of the time when they were nigh,
Till the melancholy sweetness
Finds expression in a sigh.
Not so distant friends departed
As the chilly stars of night,
Could we with the power of prophet
See them with the inward sight.

Even as Elisha's servant,

Who beheld with heart dismayed
All the shining hosts around him,
When the holy prophet prayed.

SWEDENBORG AND MODERN BIBLICAL CRITICISM. By The Rev. EDWIN GOULD, M.A. Boston: HENRY H. & T. W. CARTER. Demy 12mo., pp. 214, toned paper.

THE claim of the sacred Scriptures to a Divine origin is well calculated to arrest the attention of mankind. The thoughtful among them were not likely to permit the circulation of writings professing such an origin to pass unchallenged. How and when they arose, and the evidence by which so serious a pretension is sustained, are questions that could not be reasonably avoided. Hence there has scarcely been an age since the preaching of the Apostles without Biblical criticism, nor a nation by which christianity has been accepted without its critics.

« PreviousContinue »