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us, in every fruit and food that delight our taste, or refresh our bodily necessities. They are manifestly intended to have this effect, or they would not have been thus created. It is us whom they benefit, not their Great Provider.-P. 137.
He indeed, as Dr. Young piously observes in his Night Thoughts,
“could know No motive but their bliss ;"
and, in the infinite variety of the creation, consulted only the happiness
“made in his own image.” This has been felt and acknowledged in a striking manner by many of our first poetical writers, whose souls have been attuned to celestial harmony by the contemplation of the ever-watchful providence of God, which is beautifully exemplified by Thompson, in his hymn upon the seasons.
“These, as they change, Almighty Father! these
The rolling year
Thy bounty shines in autumn unconfin'd,
How natural in the heart thus warmed into holy rapture to add,
“ Soft roll your incense, herbs, and fruits, and flowers !
In mingled cloud to him, whose sun exalts,
We now come to the fifth day of creation, when Elohim commanded " the waters to bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven." And here it is worthy observation, that the two earliest classes of animated beings were those that were to inhabit the two fluid mediums on our globe, the water and the air. At this part of his book, Mr. Turner enters into a philosophical, but at the same time comprehensible, disquisition upon the nature and property of these elements, and the physical construction of the creatures destined to populate them. His chapter upon “the forms and colours of fishes—their general character-voices in some-their serenity and habitual comfort,” is an admirable combination of the "utile et dulce;" and the notes extracted from the writings of the most distinguished naturalists, both foreign and British, contain a fund of interesting matter which we have seldom seen equalled.
The same observations will apply to the history of "the fowls of the air;" for the same spirit of religious gratitude is displayed, whatever the subject may be. When, for instance, the multiplicity of creation forces itself upon the attention of the enquirer, he says,
As we contemplate such endless masses of living things, we are sometimes tempted to ask, Why so many? Why such an exuberance of creation ? My own reason answers, to its private satisfaction, and from its own feeling-the gift of life, for whatever space, small or great, is a gift which Deity alone can give; which is His noblest donation ; and which, being attended with comfort as its universal law and most general result, is the greatest blessing that any creature can receive. All other blessings may be added to it; but none can be enjoyed without it. The more largely it is given, the more extended is the benefaction; and, therefore, every multiplication of it becomes an ampler display of the magnificent and illimitable benevolence of its bestower. The greater the multiplicity of his creatures, the more certainty my sense and judgment perceive of his gracious, generous, and affectionate nature. He loves to make living beings of every sort and form, and to provide for their pleasurable erjoyment of the life he gives. The occasional interruptions of pain to any, are but exceptions, unavoidable in such a profusion of varied existence; always bear but a small proportion to their comfort; and are usually made conducive to good, in some respect or other. It is only wonderful that the gratifications of each, in such diversified multitudes, so little clash together; and that these, amid such an universal desire and active search for their distinct and peculiar enjoyments, should so rarely give pain to each other. As Paley has most justly said, “pain is no where the object of creation;" it is the temporary accident, but not the ruling law.-P.832.
The sixth stage, or day of creation, now claims our attention. This commenced with the formation of quadrupeds, insects, and reptiles, which completed the animals that inhabit our globe. Here, as before, the peculiar conceptions and inventions of the Deity, both in their external figure, and physical powers, are manifested. We find that the Creator has made nothing that is unuseful; nothing so insulated as to have no relations with any thing else ; nothing which is not serviceable or instrumental to other purposes besides its own existence ; nothing that is not to be applicable or convertible to the benefit of his sentient creatures, in some respect or other. And this panorama of creation cannot fail to be instrumental in preserving our minds from the fanciful theories of philosophy, as well as from those of ignorant superstition. Our understandings must of necessity be enlarged by surveying, in all its richness, grandeur, and diversity, the intelligent and benevolent productions of the will of God; and our ideas of him must consequently become more sublime, and our feelings towards him, more grateful, affectionate, and duteous.
The remainder of our space must, however, be devoted to the contemplation of our first parents and their immediate descendants. This, in the Mosaic narrative, is placed immediately after the completion of the animal kingdom, when God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness." It was the high and glorious destiny of man that he should be appointed to be the image and likeness of God. Like the animal classes, he consists of a material body, and the immaterial principle of life; but he differs from them in this great and distinguishing peculiarity, that his mental principle is of a diviner nature, and is stated to have originated from the Deity himself. For such is the plain meaning conveyed by Scripture ; where, after mentioning the material formation of the body from the “dust of the ground," it is expressly added that God breathed into his "nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.” He became a living soul, because this Divine breath was breathed into his bodily frame. This marks, in the most distinct and explicit manner, the difference of origin between man and beast. A difference recognized by the wise Solomon, in Eccl. xii. 7; where he impressively says, “ Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was ; and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it."
It is not our purpose here to enter into a metaphysical disquisition upon the nature of the human soul; nor even to discuss the merits of the various theories of the human understanding, which have been propounded since the days of Bacon and John Locke. Nor can we devote even a page to the philosophical reveries of Kant and the German school, though we feel strongly disposed to break a lance with the continental champions. It is sufficient for us to know the great, unapproachable, and ever-increasing superiority of the human over the mere animal mind. “Its progressive, and as yet unlimited, , improvability,” observes Mr. Turner, “ is quite sufficient to distinguish it, permanently and specifically, from all other classes of life or mind that are known upon our earth. Its origin was the Divine breath." It is consequently an emanation from the Divine Spirit, in an immeasurably inferior degree capable of thinking and feeling like its great Author. In fact, in our original nature and capacities, we are essentially his image and likeness; and the further we advance to all the attainable perfections of our fallen state, the nearer we arrive at the desired assimilation. Now the greatest perfection we can aim at is the knowledge of God. Much of this knowledge can be derived from the external world ; and what is that world but his creation ? And what is creation, but the composition, structure, and arrangement of all things, according to his previous designs, plans, intentions, will and mandate ? In studying creation, therefore, in any one of its departments, we study his mind; and the book of nature thus becomes to us, in a certain sense, a second revelation.
The primeval guilt of Adam, which
“Brought death into the world, and all our woe,”
and the philosophical considerations arising therefrom, are not discussed in the present volume, because, as Mr. Turner justly observes, this subject “cannot be contemplated so fitly and so extensively as it ought to be, to be rightly comprehended and appreciated, without some reference to the course of things, and the history of mankind after the deluge." His beautiful and graphic description of this awful event
must, therefore, terminate our review of a work not more intrinsically valuable for the vast body of information it contains, than its sound and accurate views of “ Sacred History."
From the appointed visitation to accomplish the destruction of the world, one family alone was excepted and preserved in an artificial fabric, constructed, at God's immediate command, by Noah, when he received a forewarning of the impending calamity.
In this ark of safety, such of the animal world as were intended to replace the genera that should perish also found a shelter. And when these provisions for re-peopling the earth with its animated races, in the new state and course of things that were ordained to succeed this calamity, were completed, the tremendous revolution occurred. “ The fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened.” From above and below, the waters gathered upon the surface and multiplied upon it, and rolled terrifically over it till they covered the high hills, and destroyed the offending generation and every substance that was then existing with the principle of life upon the habitable ground. We can but faintly conceive the appalling scene. Mankind were surprised, in the midst of their usual festivities and employments, by the sudden alarm of fortuitous danger rapidly rushing on them from the blackening and howling sky. The sun was seen no more; midnight darkness usurped the day ; lightnings dreadfully illuminated; thunder rolled with increasing fury; all that was natural ceased ; and in its stead whirlwind and desolation ; earth rending ; cities falling ; the roar of tumultuous waters; shrieks and groans of human despair; overwhelming ruin; universal silence; and the awful quiet of executed and subsiding retribution.-P.520.
Art. III.--St. John in Patmos; a Poem. By One of the Old Living
Poets of Great Britain. 8vo. Pp. xii. 154. London : Murray. 1832.
Mr. Bowles, for he is our Magnus Apollo, informs us in the preface, that he has been induced by the Edinburgh Review “to shew his ancient harp is not yet unstrung,” and for this we thank the Reviewer most cordially, and venture to express a hope that having once more entered the arena, our poet will not retire till he has left to an admiring and grateful public, other monuments of his genius, which does not seem at all impaired by the approach of age, but merely refined and purified for higher and holier song. Of the temper of mind in which the poem before us was written, we could not have a fairer and more convincing proof than in the very beautiful lines which introduce it to the reader ;-lines breathing the purest spirit of Christianity; and tempered by the reflecting mind of a great and pious man, who is unable to shut his eyes to the dreary prospect and portentous clouds, which lower on every side, and threaten, not merely the destruction of his country, but the altar of his God.
War, and the noise of battle, and the hum
Of armies, by their watchfires, in the night,
And charging squadrons, all in harness bright-
Have been resounded, while the poet strung
Of holier homage-ere he pass away. The promise held out by such a delightful specimen of matured poetic inspiration is amply redeemed by the execution of the entire work; and we feel assured that no man, of the least religious feeling, can rise from its perusal without being sensible of having been improved in both his religious and moral conceptions. “St. John in Patmos" is of the half-narrative-half-dramatic description of poetry; and its ground-work, as will be readily imagined, is the Book of Revelations. It is foreign to our purpose here to enter into a review of the trials and sufferings of the beloved disciple after the crucifixion of his blessed Lord; and we shall therefore content ourselves with the very brief headings or contents of the six parts into which the poem is divided, in order to convey to our readers a faint view, or rather indistinct glimpse, of the plot, if we may so designate it. The time is supposed to be four days. The characters are St. John.
Robber of Mount Carmel, converted.
Grecian Girl and dying Libertine.
Part I. describes the Cave in Patmos- Apparition of Christ--Mysterious Visitant-Day, Night, and Morning.
Part II. Morning in the Ægean—Contemplative View-Seven Churches of Asia-Superstitions—Crete, Egypt-Spread of the Gospel Light through the Pagan World.
Part III. The Sounds of an approaching Storm-Vision, &c.
Part IV. Morning-Roman Commander–Vision-Babylon-New Jerusalem-Evening-Night Scene—Stars - Temptation-Dream.
Part V. Day-break-Ascend the highest Mountain-Comparison with the Vision on Mount Tabor— Transfiguration—View to East and West—Ship descried from the East-Descend.
Part VI. Reflections-Grecian Girl and dying Libertine--Reflections on the past History of the World—Angel's Disappearance-Ship brings the Elders of Ephesus to invite John to return-Parting from Patmos and last Farewell.
That the foregoing analysis will excite in the minds of our readers an anxious desire to possess the entire “parting lay,” we do not entertain a doubt; and we might safely leave the public to find out and