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gives a tremendous catalogue. For instance, five stanzas are devoted to heretics, of which the following is one :"Tertullianists, Arabics, Symmachists,
Homousiasts, Elxites, Origenians,
Apostolics, Angelics, Chiliasts,
But the very rankness of the weeds indicates the fertility of the soil; and in Beaumont our imagination is frequently dazzled where our taste or our judgment is grievously offended; nor can the reader fail to carry away from his work an impression of ardent personal piety, as well as extraordinary mental opulence. 66 'Psyche" resembles an inter-tropical forest, where everything is too vast and too profuse, and where creatures, as grotesque as the monkey, are intermingled with the brightest of pinions and the fairest of flowers.
The Feeding of the Multitude.
The day, now grown decrepit (for the sun
Before these numerous mouths what will you set?
To every one afford; and furnished
How shall this mighty banquet be with dishes,
As yet, they knew not that their Lord was He
Who able made the petty spring to feed,
And fill the river's vast capacity;
He who the single taper taught to breed
DR JOSEPH BEAUMONT,
That fertile flame, which lights a thousand more
He, by whose power Elijah could command
To grow upon the widow's hand,
From whom no scarceness could her bounty steal,
But now they learn'd it: Go, said He, and make
Fair heav'n His eyes, said grace; when, lo, His sweet
For, as He brake the bread, each fragment He
As when you cut a line, whose products all
Then His disciples' service he commands
Fell to, admiring how that simple meat
Made them forget all honey to be sweet.
Satiety at length, not nauseous,
Because He gave them more than they could eat.
Straightway the fragments all collected were,
By those remaining parts: the springing gift
Pursued its multiplication still,
And with the relics stuff'd twelve baskets full.
Know Psyche, that thy wise Redeemer by
A feast which shall increase upon its guests,
Moses and Elías on the Mount of Transfiguration.
As His disciples wonder'd at the sight
They wistfully looked on them, musing who
The men might be, and what they came to do.
The first wore horned beams (though something dim
A golden plate both deck'd and arm'd his breast
The other, sagely solemn in his look,
But coarse and homespun in his garb appear'd;
That vileness which in his poor raiment star'd;
The serious beams which darted from his eye
Two ravens, whose plumes taught blackness how to shine,
And, ravenous now no more, did freely join
Behind him stood a flaming chariot,
These two grand prophets, whom the Lord gave leave
Of His humanity's economy,
With high ecstatic words displaying how
At Salem He death's power should overthrow.
In his "Christian Poet," Mr Montgomery, noticing a volume entitled "Spiritual Songs; or, Songs of Praise, with Penitential Cries," &c., remarks: "The extracts hereunder given are from the twelfth edition, 1725. From the discreditable incorrectness of this copy, it cannot be supposed to have been printed under the eye of the author. Indeed, whoever he might be, it is probable that he had been long dead in that year. These compositions evidently belong to the preceding
century; and the author probably flourished between the age of Quarles and that of Watts, his style being a middle tint between the raw colouring of the former and the daylight clearness of the latter. His talent is equally poised between both, having more vigour and less versatility than that of either his forerunner or his successor. That such writings should once have been exceedingly popular (as the multitude of editions proves), and now be nearly forgotten, is little creditable to the admirers of sacred literature in this country. Dr Watts, Mr Pope, and the Wesleys, appear to have been familiar with the contents of this volume, sundry lines and phrases in verses of theirs being evidently borrowed from passages in it.”
The author of the hymns which thus commended themselves to the taste and piety of the bard of Sheffield, was John Mason, the grandfather of the better-known John Mason who wrote the treatise on "Self-Knowledge." He died in 1694. His "Spiritual Songs" retained a measure of popular favour till the middle of last century. The edition which we have used is the fourteenth, dated 1750. Dr Watts's brother, Enoch, speaks of them as attaining only to a sort of "yawning indifferency;"* but a later critic speaks of them more generously, and much more truly, as “equalled by few writers of hymns," and "remarkable for a pure and sound, though high-toned devotion."+
“Surely E come quickly.”
I sojourn in a vale of tears,
Alas, how can I sing?
My harp doth on the willows hang,
* Milner's Life of Watts, p. 177.
+ Cattermole's Sacred Poetry of the Seventeenth Century, vol. ii. p. 387.