Page images

churches of the peasants, when the natural rivers, swoln with the melted snows, sweep away all things before them into the great deep, the awful symbol of the just but unfathomable judgments of God, in which they are swallowed up for ever.

The fierce bands of wolves, which in winter descend from the said mountains, bloody, and gaunt, and grim, as Thompson describes them, and thirsting for blood, are emblems of hungry informers, tax-gatherers, and soldiers, the cruel ministers of the oppressions of those wintry tyrants, the human glaciers, who like the wolves thirsting for the property or the blood of the poor, the helpless, and the harmless, devour the orphan and the widow as well as the rich and the noble; such are the bands of the human wolves of the French Republic,* (now monarchy,) who, if the country is alarmed and shut up, or entirely spoliated, fall upon the churches, the sepulchres of religion, and strip them of their wealth and vain ornaments; which things are the dead carcases, the lifeless forms of religion.

The following passage from Thompson's winter cannot be passed over without a few observations, which appear to me to be perfectly relevant to the general subject of my work, and of no trifling importance : viz.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

* This was written in the days of the French Republic.

“Wide in the spacious regions of the north
That see Bootes


his tardy course,
A boisterous race by frosty Caurus pierced,
Who little pleasure know, and fear no pain,
Prolific swarm. They once relumed the flame
Of lost mankind, in polished slavery sunk,
Drove martial horde on horde, with dreadful sweep,
Resistless rushing o'er th' enfeebled south,
And gave the vanquish'd world another form.”

The astonishing swarms of the northern barbarians who deluged the southern parts of Europe, at the time of the decline of the great Roman empire, and continued for ages to pour in fresh supplies, who overwhelmed and destroyed the feeble, degenerate dregs of that once unparalleled dominion, and at length, as the poet observes, gave the vanquished world another form, (though not another spirit, viz. evangelical); these swarms had, and have their exact parallel in the moral and intellectual world of individual man. For the barbarous actions of these northern tribes were expressive emblems of, and parallels to, the iron dominion of polar selfishness, and stern reason within their own souls; unpolished and unhumanized by the arts and sciences, and by the warmer sentiments and imaginations, together with the corrupt graces of the temperate and more southern climes. They were, in short, the rude iron ore as just taken from the mine, rough indeed and savage in appearance, but capable by refinement and polishing, by blending with the conquered south-east of more fluent imagination

, LO (water) and more warm and romantic sentiment, (earth) to lay the foundations of a new and very strong dominion therein; which was that of

CE north-western reason and philosophy, or as it is teha expressed (I apprehend) in Jeremiah, chap. XV. 1 Shall iron break the northern iron and steel?" viz, the LORD says to him, “I will make thee unto this people a fenced brazen wall, and they shall Th fight against thee, but they shall not prevail against fres thee ; for I am with thee to save thee and deliver thee, saith the LORD.” This northern iron and steel is mingled at last with miry clay, treme sensuality and profligacy.*

This dominion appears to be clearly typified in Nebuchadnezzar's vision of the great image la (for it is only an image) of the golden faith, and the silver truth, and the brazen audacity, and iron reason, and lastly, the dregs of miry clay, at or filthy, base, corrupt, venal selfishness, of the course of this world, typified by its feet of iron mixed with miry clay; as that of the old


or ex:

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]



* As pure iron represents (by analogy) human reason its true and refined, but simple state; so steel represents the same, when by a particular process, which I have explained in Essays on Magnetism and Chemistry, it is converted by vanity and curiosity, (hydrogen gas,) into the scientific and elastic form of philosophy.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

Romans to which it succeeded, and which in its day was to rule over the whole earth on a balance, was by the legs of iron. My reader will also observe what follows, viz. And in the days of these kings shall the God of Heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed : and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break to pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever :" viz. the kingdom of Christ, the last of all.

This then was the period at which the frigid zones, both animal and moral, as well as intellectual, which had hitherto been only embryos, or as a germ in the bosom of time, and general human nature, broke into day. It was in respect to the world at large, the season which occurs to every individual, more or less, sooner or later; when (tired, disgusted, and exhausted with the follies of youth, and declining also from the autumnal balance of full manhood, or right vertical reason) wintry selfishness (or the sterner, severer, colder powers of the unimpassioned intellect) can be no longer opposed by the feeble barriers of worn out, once youthful passion ; neither by the temporary equilibrium, soon passed over, of the autumnal equinox of carnal reason; but feeling their own force, and the weakness of their opponents, they rush at once like a deluge into the soul; and with an unrelenting sternness and severity,

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

uenig i

like that of the literal northern hordes, lay waste and destroy without mercy the degenerate and enervate dotards of former times, the expiring children of the moral south-east, and of the declining balance of only nominal right reason, or the light that is darkness.

Hence it appears from the coincident convergent rays of truth, proceeding from historical facts, from the general sentiments of the then civilized world, (which therefore shut the temple of Janus,) from the known phenomena of the seasons, and from rational and faithful analogy, founded on the word of God; that each zone, both natural and MORAL, has its south-east ascension, or rise into life and action; its zenith, or meridian glory, or balance; and its north-west declination, and occident, like the globe at large : because the course both of nature, and of the human soul and body is a circle; or, at least, approximates to a circle: and because, therefore, Dust thou art, from dust wast thou taken, and unto dust shalt thou return.” Genesis iii. Hence the same things, the same course, necessarily happens to all the several parts successively, and in due proportion, as to the whole at large.

Now, the meridian point, the zenith of the glory, or rational balance, and collective manhood of the TEMPERATE, the principal, the master zone, (and therefore of the whole upon a

« EelmineJätka »