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proach, at least, great abysses of discovery), may be found in
“ Head with foot hath private amity,
eyes dismount the highest star :
Find their acquaintance there."
6 More servants wait on Man, Than he'll take notice of: in every path
He treads down that which doth befriend him,
When sickness makes him pale and wan.
Another to attend him."
How strikingly do these words bring before us the thought of Man the Mystery! “ What a piece of workmanship” verily he is! He is formed as of a thousand lights and shadows. He is compacted out of all contradictions. While his feet touch the dust, and are of miry clay, his head is of gold, and strikes the Empyrean. He is mysteriously linked on the one side to the beasts that perish, and has an affinity as mysterious, on the other, to the angels of God. Nay, inanimate nature itself claims “ acquaintance” with this
" with this “quintessence of dust.” The periods of his life bear a striking analogy to the seasons; his brain at times moves to the moon; his heart, as well as cheek, is coloured by the sun; his advancement as a species bears a distinct relation to the changes of the earth's surface and to its place in the heavens; he is the representative of the universe, has imbibed at once its glories and its glooms, has snatched from the star its fire and its mystery, and vibrates like the string of a harp to every breath of the great system with which he is indissolubly connected. Made in the image of God, and having notions of and aspirations
after absolute perfection, he is, and in some measure knows himself to be, a vile sinner. Lord of earth, sea, air, and all their riches, he is a fretful, discontented, hating, hateful, and, on the whole, so far as his present life goes, miserable wretch. He is in one view a whole, and in another a yawning fragment; and, according to the angle at which you see him, resembles now a full moon, now a crescent, and now a waning orb. Able to “ weigh the sun,” span the fields of space, acquainted with the times and seasons of the heavenly bodies, full of “thoughts that wander through eternity,” he is yet doomed to sicken, to die, and to have his low grave kissed, in scorn or pity, by the orbs whose spots he has numbered and whose eclipses he has foretold.. Humboldt speaks of the Andes as including the world in their vast sweep, all climates, and seasons, and productions of earth
, being found between their base and their summit, between the ocean below and the hoary head of Chimborazo above ; thus man rises from his dim embryo up to his grey head in age, touching, as he ascends, all conditions of being, and rising in parallel to all gradations of the universe, and remaining in each and all a mystery, having, indeed, all mysteries. compounded and compressed in his one mysterious self. “ When I consider the heavens,” says David, “what is: man?” But may we not with all reverence invert David's statement, although not his spirit, and say, “When we consider man, what (in grandeur, incomprehensibility, and terror). are the heavens?"
“For us the winds do blow; The earth doth rest, heaven move, and fountains flow." Many of Herbert's modern admirers, while quoting the rest of these verses on “Man," omit its last stanza, although it seems to contain the moral of the wondrous Fable he had told, the solution of the Great Riddle he had propounded. Man is in a great measure a mystery, because he has forsaken his God; he is a wondrous Palace untenanted by the only Being whose presence can fill the crevices, supply the deficiencies, occupy the vast rooms, glorify the gloomy places, explain the mysteriousness, and fulfil the destiny of the fabric; and when
ON THE POETICAL WORKS OF G. HERBERT.
ever He shall return to it, Man's contradictions shall be reconciled, his controversies ended, all that is now ambiguous about him shall be explained, and while his microcosmal character shall continue, it shall assume a diviner meaning, and become as pure as it is universal.
“Since then, my God, thou hast
Till then, afford us so much wit
And both thy Servants be.” We need not dwell on his minor productions. His Latin poems we have decided to omit, as not calculated to interest the general reader, preferring, rather, to give his collection of “Proverbs," on account of their exceeding richness and point. The Latin poems of Milton, on the other hand, stand in the very first category, and far excel those of Herbert. We have, with former editors, annexed “The Synagogue,” a poem written in imitation of “The Temple,” by Christopher Harvey, which, in piety, if not altogether in poetic genius, forms a proper pendant to Herbert's works, and ranks to it as the “ History of Tender Conscience” does to the “ Pilgrim's Progress.” Herbert has, besides, written a prose work, entitled, The Priest to the Temple; or, The Country Parson, full of childlike piety and pithy advice, bordering sometimes, indeed, on the superstitious, and sometimes on the austere. Altogether, there are few places on earth nearer Heaven, filled with a richer and holier light, adorned with chaster and nobler ornaments, or where our souls can worship with a more entire forgetfulness of self, and a more thorough realisation of the things unseen and eternal, than in “ The Temple” of George Herbert. You say, as you stand breathless below its solemn arches, " This is none other than the house of God, it is the gate of Heaven. How dreadful, yet how dear is this place!”
183 A Dialogue-Anthem
178 Affliction 40, 58, 70, 89, 97 Anagram
75 An Offering
48, 92 A Parody
162 A True Hymn
74 A Wreath
114 Charms and Knots
79 Church Lock and Key
62 Church Monuments
61 Church Music
62 Church Rents and Schisms 145 Clasping of Hands
164 Coloss. iii. 3, “ Our life is hid with Christ in God"
52, 76 Eph. iv. 30, “Grieve not the Holy Spirit,” &c.
130 Good Friday
199 Holy Baptism
38 Holy Communion
113 52, 102
198 95, 146
85 94 154 200 118 132
90 134 182
58 100 98 39 104 136 127
3 57, 152, 165 46, 103
118 34 43 179 35
81 40, 59
124 107 94 72 19 31 19 177 157 191 110 131 163 19 63
3 159 172 113 150 197
Matins | Misery
87 147 193 168 167
29 181 179 64 82 125 75 64 80
93 84, 112
"THE SYNAGOGUE, by the Rev. C. HARVEY, M.A.:--
243 A Stepping-stone to the Thres
219 hold of Mr George Herbert's The Circumcision, or New" Church-porch 218 year's Day
255 Church Festivals
240 Church Officers 238 The Communion Table
234 Church Utensils 224 The Curb
277 Comfort in Extremity 268 The Deacon
245 Communion Plate
270 The Epiphany, or Twelfth-Day 257 Engines 287 The Font
225 Inmates 273 The Journey
286 Inundations 282 The Loss
267 The Nativity, or Christmas-Day 254 Resolution and Assurance 269 The Overseer of the Poor 241 Sin
284 The Passion, or Good Friday · 258 Subterliminare 217 The Priest
247 The Annunciation, or Lady-Day 253 The Pulpit
231 The Ascension, or Holy Thurs
262 The Resurrection, or Easter Day 260 The Bible 229 The Return
281 The Bishop
249 The Sabbath, or Lord's Day 252 The Book of Common Prayer 228 The Search
279 The Church 221 The Sexton
239 The Church-gate 220 Travels at Home
285 The Church-porch 222 Trinity Sunday
265 The Church-stile
219 Vows Broken and Renewed 269 The Church-walls
JACULA PRUDENTUM; or, OUTLANDISH PROVERBS, SENTENCES, &c.