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December 21. 1833.
MESSENGER OF THE COVENANT. – PRO.
PHECY. — LOGIC OF IDEAS AND OF SYLLOGISMS.
WHEN I reflect upon the subject of the messenger of the covenant, and observe the distinction taken in the prophets between the teaching and suffering Christ,—the Priest, who was to precede, and the triumphant Messiah, the Judge, who was to follow,- and how Jesus always seems to speak of the Son of Man in a future sense, and yet always at the same time as identical with himself; I sometimes think that our Lord himself in his earthly career was the Messenger; and that the way is now still preparing for the great and visible advent of the Messiah of Glory. I mention this doubtingly.
What a beautiful sermon or essay might be written on the growth of prophecy! — from
the germ, no bigger than a man's hand, in Genesis, till the column of cloud gathers size and height and substance, and assumes the shape of a perfect man; just like the smoke in the Arabian Nights' tale, which comes up and at last takes a genie's shape.*
The logic of ideas is to that of syllogisms as the infinitesimal calculus to common arithmetic; it proves, but at the same time supersedes.
* The passage in Mr. Coleridge's mind was, I suppose, the following:-“ He (the fisherman) set it before him, and while he looked upon it attentively, there came out a very thick smoke, which obliged him to retire two or three paces from it. The smoke ascended to the clouds, and extending itself along the sea, and upon the shore, formed a great mist, which, we may well imagine, did mightily astonish the fisherman. When the smoke was all out of the vessel, it reunited itself, and became a solid body, of which there was formed a genie twice as high as the greatest of giants. ”Story of the Fisherman. Ninth Night.
January 1. 1834.
W. S. LANDOR'S POETRY. – BEAUTY. CHRONOLOGICAL ARRANGEMENT OF WORKS.
What is it that Mr. Landor wants, to make him a poet ? His powers are certainly very considerable, but he seems to be totally deficient in that modifying faculty, which compresses several units into one whole. The truth is, he does not possess imagination in its highest form,— that of stamping il più nell uno. Hence his poems, taken as wholes, are unintelligible; you have eminences excessively bright, and all the ground around and between them in darkness. Besides which, he has never learned, with all his energy, how to write simple and lucid English.
The Useful, the Agreeable, the Beautiful, and the Good, are distinguishable. You are
wrong in resolving Beauty into Expression or Interest; it is quite distinct; indeed it is opposite, although not contrary. Beauty is an immediate presence, between (inter) which and the beholder nihil est. It is always one and tranquil; whereas the interesting always disturbs and is disturbed. I exceedingly regret the loss of those essays on Beauty, which I wrote in a Bristol newspaper. I would give much to recover them. *
After all you can say, I still think the chronological order the best for arranging a poet's works. All your divisions are in particular instances inadequate, and they destroy the interest which arises from watching the progress, maturity, and even the decay of genius.
* I preserve the conclusion of this passage, in the hope of its attracting the attention of some person who may have local or personal advantages in making a search for these essays, upon which Mr. C. set a high value. He had an indistinct recollection of the subject, but told me that, to the best of his belief, the essays were published in the Bristol Mercury, a paper belonging to Mr. Gutch. The years in which the inquiry should be made, would be, I presume, 1807 and 1808.- Ed.
January 3. 1834.
TOLERATION. - NORWEGIANS.
I HAVE known books written on Tolerance, the proper title of which would be — intolerant or intolerable books on tolerance. Should not a man who writes a book expressly to inculcate tolerance learn to treat with respect, or at least with indulgence, articles of faith which tens of thousands ten times told of his fellow subjects or his fellow creatures believe with all their souls, and upon the truth of which they rest their tranquillity in this world, and their hopes of salvation in the next, — those articles being at least maintainable against his arguments, and most certainly innocent in themselves ? - Is it fitting to run Jesus Christ in a silly