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Singing the while its triumph to the skies,-
A shroud of death in life for human hearts.”—p. 60. The individuality, the inward life and soul of courage in Perpetua, are finely pictured in these lines :
“ The world I fear not,-
The final scene with her father in the prison is one of the most powerful in the poem,—but we must forbear to quote those passages of it which utterly annihilate all sympathy with Vivius, and destroy, to our feeling, all pain in her filial sacrifice for the love of Christ. In Perpetua's case we are not made to sympathize with the daughter's struggle in her obedience to the Lord, “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me:" and we are too forcibly reminded of the other scriptural form of expressing the same sentiment, “ He that hateth not father or mother is not worthy of me.”
No bitterness !--gods,
My father, that thou could'st
No more! forbear !
The last extract we must give is the speech of Perpetua to her servant and sister, her fellow Christian and fellow martyr, as they pass on together to their death : “ Courage, Felicitas !--my sister, peace !
[She throws her arm round FELICITAs, and they pass
within the gate.”—p. 196.
We would, in conclusion, speak most respectfully of a mind whose taste and sympathies have led to the adoption of so pure a theme,—and of the powers that have turned its capabilities to such rich account. Numberless are the beauties of feeling, the unfoldings of the deep, sacred, and mysterious heart, which keep alive a constant interest, and manifest the poet's insight. The faults we have suggested, and we are by no means infallible in such matters, and would speak with modesty, are rather failures in Art than deficiencies of Nature. If this, as we believe, is a first attempt in poetry, it raises high hopes for the future, and we shall rejoice to meet the author again in this most difficult walk of literature, when she shall have taken confidence to write solely from the simplicity and earnestness of her own heart, without departing from reality, or seeking, afar, the adventitious charm of fancy or ornament, as though she modestly distrusted what herself supplied.
ce to write of literature, meet the abigh hopes the be
He leaves bis play, and resting his small hand
Waiting in patience till I set him free ;
Without a shade of doubt at my command,
Of pure affection in his eyes I see.
Such willing duty, loving reverence,
From the free spirit of his spotless child,
His erring children, but doth e'er dispense
ART. II.-TWELVE LECTURES, IN ILLUSTRATION AND DEFENCE OF CHRISTIAN UNITARIANISM. By J. Scott PORTER. 8vo. pp. 170. London: Green, Mardon.
This is a work admirably adapted for popular use. It is a broad and effective, yet just, statement of the relative claims, merits, and evidences of Unitarianism and Trinitarianism. It is direct, plain, and vigorous, presenting the great features of the question in full and striking lights. It does not pretend to more than this, nor does it accomplish more. It is a popular statement, manifestation, and defence of Christian Unitarianism. It affects no originality, yet it is always fresh, and conveys that charm the most delightful to a reader, the feeling that the sentiments and thoughts are reproduced by the writer, and are springing into life from a moved and earnest heart. We know not that there is a new thought or illustration in the book, yet there is not a page that is stale, or borrowed, or tame. Every where there is the impress of a living mind, speaking from itself, and clothing even familiar views with its own individuality. This is exactly the exhibition of Unitarianism that the great mass of Trinitarians require, not too critical, or philosophical, or refined, yet partaking of all these qualities, and presented in the lights of Scripture, of history, of reason, of feeling, of the moral nature and requirements of man.
Mr. Porter is an Arian, but he attaches no essential importance to the doctrine of the pre-existence of Christ. This is an honourable peculiarity, by which we fear he is almost distinguished amongst Arians. Few men will admit a gratuitous difficulty into their creed : if they cannot find a practical reason for a doctrine they will not encumber themselves with its defence. The Trinitarian Theology has mainly sprung from the necessity of finding offices for the three persons in the Trinity. Mr. Porter thinks that the example of Christ is equally obligatory and influential on the Arian and the Humanitarian view. But if Christ was a man, our powers, our destinies, our possible perfection, were exhibited on one of like nature with ourselves; not so, if he was a pre-existent angel. As an exhibition of God's will, Christ's life, if Christ was an angel, would still hold good, but not as an exhibition of man's power to do God's will. The moral, the personally binding power of the example ceases to exist. How can the example of an angel be urged home on the conscience of a man? If there is no alliance between their