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poetry of the church. So one fine autumn day, once upon topics of mutual interest. He was I took the express train for a little place not far delighted to meet a brother from America, and from Winchester and the nearest landing point to that church in America who claims its origin Hursley. Being whirled along at the almost in from Christ and His apostles through the chancredible rate of seventy miles an hour, in about nel of England's time-honored church. He had three-quarters of an hour we reached Winches- a thousand questions to ask, a multitude of inter, and some little while afterwards, by another quiries to make; and his interest in our days of train, the terminus of my journey by railway. It prosperity and trial, our growth in numbers, our chanced that I was the only passenger for this soundness in the faith, was warm, deep and abiplace, (the name of which I cannot now call to ding. It was my happiness to be able to answer mind,) and on getting out and looking about me his inquiries, and to tell him the story of our I saw a gentleman on horseback, having just left Church's progress, of the vigorous efforts of the station-house, and slowly riding away. He Rome, and the no less vigorous efforts of the Proturned to look back several times, as though not testants in America against her anti-scriptural quite satisfied, and so soon as he espied me, (for and debasing dogmas and practices, and of the I had got out of the cars on the opposite side, glorious field which our country presents for the and so was not visible immediately,) he rode back labors of all those who love the Lord Jesus in at once to the station-house. Dismounting he sincerity. And ever and anon, with that ease came directly up to me, held out his hand very and delicacy which marks the Christian gentlecordially, and said in a sweet-toned voice. Oh, man, he would ask me to note some point in the Mr. Spencer, I am very glad to see you; I was landscape, or some spot connected with Engafraid you had not been able to come to-day: land's eventful history, and would so connect it come now, take my horse and ride." I assured with some quiet, deep-toned remark, as evidenhim that I could not think of doing so, since in that ced the gentleness of spirit as well as energy of case he would have to walk; and I begged that thought of the true poet and the man of God. he would remount and allow me to walk by his Truly, as I listened to him, I could not but think side, this being a homage I was very willing to that such as he, must have been the saintly George pay to Keble. He refused decidedly to do this Herbert, and the no less saintly Jeremy Taylor, and tried hard to persuade me to bestride the true types of the country parson, and the bishop back of the gentle and yet spirited animal await- over Christ's flocks. ing the result of our conference. "Well, then," In about an hour, we drew near to the village, said he, on my declining again, "since you are when suddenly, as is common enough in Engdetermined to walk, I will walk too; and Jenny land at this season, a shower came upon us quite shall not have the honor of carrying either of us."unprepared for such a thing. It was pleasant to So passing his arm through the bridle, and lead- see how kindly the villagers felt and acted; one ing the intelligent animal, who, I opine, was and another came out to see and to speak to their nothing loth to forego the honor just spoken of, vicar, (who is by no means a stranger to them,) we walked forward toward Hursley. and several of them bustled about to furnish us with umbrellas. These are not, as you may well imagine, quite so common here with rural districts as with us, among the poor, and so it took some time to get what was wanted; but at last they succeeded, and we started again towards the vicarage. The thing itself was of little consequence, and perhaps hardly worth mentioning, but as it was one of those indicatious of the esteem in which Keble is held among the poorer and less cultivated of his people, (who, we may safely assert, know next to nothing of his poetic and theological fame,) it seemed to me worth a passing notice. In a little while, passing close to the church, we reached the residence of the poet, of which I need only say that it is one of the pleasantest, most commodious, and most attractive of the parsonages of England.* I shall not attempt
It was just such a region of country as Washington Irving has written about so charmingly, and was full of those many delightful scenes which only the rural districts of England can present. I would I were able to speak of them as they deserve, and to tell you how the hawthorn hedge, the flowing field of grain,or grass, the clump of trees, the orchards and the gardens, not less than the mansion of the noble or the gentleman, the substantial dwelling of the thrifty farmer, the cottage of the laborer, and the country church with its spire pointing heavenward, told a tale of English life and character in all their manly strength; but I cannot, interesting as was this present walk with one who loves nature most devotedly, and with a true poet's regard watches and notes her every variety of beauty and grace. We entered immediately into animated conversation; no stiffness, no chilling reserve, no hesitancy on his part: but as though we had been acquaintances and friends for years, we fell at
the happiest of the homes of earth, the thought was conWhile reposing in these sweetest nestling places, stantly suggested, what a book might that be which should be called THE PARSONAGES OF ENGLAND! From them,
to describe it in detail, for that would be quite and left me no room to feel that I was not at
unnecessary, and would in reality give very little home in Hursley Vicarage. Mrs. K. had been satisfaction to the reader who desires rather to having a little child's party, and there were some know whom and what it contains. Externally twelve or fifteen of the children of the parish asas well as internally it seemed a meet residence sembled in her drawing room, all of them quite for one whose life is devoted to doing good: only young, but yet appearing to feel quite at their imagine a neat two story cottage house, situate, ease. I was very glad to have the opportunity of as it were, in the centre of a lovely garden and seeing these little folks, and strove to make mysurrounded by shrubbery and trees, very near to self acquainted with some of them, inasmuch as the church with its ancient Norman tower, and they reminded me very forcibly of those dear on every side the evidence of cultivated taste and ones whom I had been compelled to leave berefinement, and you have the home of Keble hind in America. I succeeded only partially in before you. We entered the house as soon as my efforts; but Keble was entirely at home in we reached it, and as it was known that I was their midst; like a child himself he entered into an invalid, the poet hurried me up stairs without their childish pleasures and amusements, and a moment's delay, and insisted upon my taking stooping down he was surrounded immediately measures immediately for drying my feet, (which by a group, some with their arms round his neck, were a little damp,) and in every needful respect some questioning him eagerly, some pressing to making myself comfortable and at home. The get near him, and all perfectly assured that he wood was laid in an open fire-place, all ready to was their true and sympathizing friend. It was be lighted, and my kind host set himself at work a lovely sight, that of the christian and shepherd to kindle a fire; it did not burn readily or as so gently tending "the lambs" of Christ's flock, speedily as he desired on my account, so, without and appearing so practically to exemplify the hesitation, he got down before it on his hands and truth of our Saviour's words, "of such is the knees and strove to expedite its burning by means kingdom of heaven;"-yes, of such, these gentle, which were in use, doubtless, before the days of trustful, loving, docile spirits, is our Lord's kingthe invention of bellows. He did not stop to call a dom composed, and only to such as become as servant, or think it needful to wait for the bellows: little children does He vouchsafe to manifest his whole thoughts were intent upon how quickly Himself; happy is that man who thoroughly behe could provide for the immediate wants of his lieves and makes this truth his own! guest, and he did not think it beneath him to do as he did for that guest. Fastidious persons, no doubt, would say that this was quite beneath the dignity of Keble, the former Professor of Poetry at Oxford, the profound scholar, the gifted poet; but it did not so appear to me at the time, nor does it now, and when I saw that it arose out of his genuine kindness and goodness of heart, I was struck with it, and have often thought of it since as indicating one of those lovely traits of character which belong eminently to the author of the Christian Year."
During the afternoon, which was very pleasant after the rain, I went with the poet to look at the new church, which was not quite completed. A very old Norman tower is incorporated into the new edifice, which is one of the most chaste and beautiful of the modern Gothic, and every way creditable to the patron of the living, Sir William Heathcote, of Hursley Park. The workmen were just about laying the floors of the aisles, and it was expected that in a month or so the church would be ready for consecration. The poet did me the honor of asking my opinion of several matters purely of taste connected with the finishing of the sacred edifice; I expressed myself with all frankness, even as he had spoken, at the same time being perfectly well aware that I had no claim to scientific or artistic knowledge on any of these points.
as fountains among palm trees, what living streams have flowed to purify and refresh the world! How much of Between five and six, the whole family attended England's greatness and of England's glory-what schol- Evening Prayer in an old building temporarily ars, what artists, what soldiers, what sailors, what mer-in use till the church should be finished. It was chants, what statesmen, what philosophers, what patriots, some distance from the parsonage and more in what divines, what saints!-have sprung from the Parsonages of England! What a theme would this have the midst of the village; in company with Keble been for Southey! Besides the two sweet homes which I reached it by walking through the private I have named above, and several others, I was at three, grounds of Sir Wm. Heathcote, and was much which will ever be honored as the abodes of consecrated gratified to see how numerous was the attendance genius, taste and learning-Mr. Perceval's at East Hors- of the working class in their every day garb and ley, Archdeacon Manning's at West Lavington, and Mr.
Keble's at Hursley."-BP. DOANE'S "Impressions of the just having left their daily occupation to assemble Church of England." p. 75. with God's minister, and offer up their prayers
It was my privilege, soon after, to be introduced to Mrs. Keble; she had long been au invalid and was still in very delicate health: she gave me a very kind and courteous reception,
and thanksgiving for the blessings of the past the great man before him might, perhaps wished day. The service was read by the Vicar, in a to say on the subject under discussion, I may be quiet, subdued manner; he was extremely reve- doing him injustice, which I should deeply regret, rential in every tone, and yet, I will confess it, and I ought and do beg the reader to recollect he had not that chastened animation which that I speak with only very limited time for obseems to me to add so much to the impressive-servation, and cannot claim any very great confiness and majesty of our liturgy. I trust that I am dence for the correctness of my impressions in this not hypercritical, but it has very frequently struck particular. I dare say that I was too pertinacious me in England, that the clergy of the Established on one point-the Reformation in England-inChurch, do not, as a general thing, perform divine asmuch as I had published a small volume on service with as much life and energy as in our that subject, and thought naturally enough that church at home; and I am sure that oftentimes it must be as interesting to every body else as to the most impressive sermons in the world are me. Very quietly, but very decidedly, he waived preached by a faithful, earnest, intelligent as well the discussion of the merits, or advantages, or as intelligible reading of God's Holy Word and the disadvantages of the Reformation, and turned prayers and praises of the Church, as ordered in the conversation to the present condition and fuour book of Common Prayer. On returning, the ture prospects of the Church of England. Did poet asked me to take a stroll with him, and note I deem it right so to do, I might record here what some of the finer points in the surrounding land- I recollect that he said on this deeply interesting scape; while doing so we entered into conversa- topic; but I may not without his permission, and tion, which by degrees became so interesting to that I have never asked. We found other themes me that I forgot altogether the natural beauties almost as interesting, and I can truly say that I which lay around and turned my every thought to was gratified to hear words of wisdom and learnthe sentiments and principles avowed by my com- ing fall from the mouth of one so eminent for panion. The fine old residence of Sir William sanctified scholarship, and I trust that I may profit Heathcote, the highly cultivated garden, several by them as I ought. I took occasion to speak of noble trees of great age, with which is connected the "Christian Year," and to tell him how highly a true story of Cromwell's days, all have left an it was appreciated, and how widely his name was indistinct impression upon my mind; but I do known in America. He was by no means innot think that I can ever forget the tone and senisble to this tribute from a far off land to his spirit of Keble in these hours of fraternal inter- genius aud taste, and he expressed his gratificacourse; I say, the tone and spirit, for I would tion at hearing again what he knew from other not dare go further, and even if it were in accord- sources, that his poetry had soothed and comance with my views of right and honor to spread forted and inspirited many a heart in our beloved before the world what was said in the free inter- country. I have often since thought of his own course of social life, I should not venture to speak animated words, of Keble's opinions and principles, only as they have been authoritatively stated by himself. But I may say never mau was more in earuest, never man appeared to possess deeper convictions. never man more pure spirited, more unselfish, more kind-hearted, more thoughtful, ventured into the arena of polemic contest, to do battle for what he is thoroughly persuaded is God's truth, and so man's highest glory. Thus much I may say, and say it, too. with the more freedom, because I was compelled to differ from him on several points which were discussed during our ramble. The evening passed rapidly away, while seated in the poet's study, and engaged in talking over some of the topics of our afternoon's walk. Keble's manner of conversing was rather peculiar; he spoke freely and cheerfully, and yet there seemed to be, as it were, something on his mind which he did not express; no one could complain of his want of frankness and openness, when speaking of the church and her trials, and yet after all there would be to the listener an indistinct notion or idea that he had not heard all that
"Ye whose hearts are beating high
(If the word be not too bold) Giving virtue a new birth,
And a life that ne'er grows old-
His hosannas here below,
-we, like Heaven's star sprinkled floor,
And untunable the parts,
If it flow from childlike hearts."
I can now, too, understand the better the charm
of his sweetly moving verse, and I think that I can see how it is with him, as with others, that
"You must love him, ere to you, He will seem worthy of your love."-Wordsworth.
But, let me not trespass too far upon your patience. Much more I might say, perhaps ought to say of Kebie, but I fear that in my hands the topic has already become tedious. It may suffice to state in few words, that however inadequately I have described my visit to Hursley, I shall not myself ever forget those hours of privileged intercourse with one of the noblest and best of living poets; and though I was compelled the next day to bid him adieu and return to London, and though almost certainly I shall never see him again in this world, yet I shall ever think of him with feelings of profound esteem and regard. Yes, though there may be grave theological differences between him and other brethren, and though I may not be able to stand on the ground which he and other Oxford men have occupied and still maintain, still I may and must think of him lovingly and with a heart full of hope and confidence; for if it be true of any on earth, it is of him, that
"there are souls that seem to dwell Above this earth-so rich a spell
Floats round their steps, where'er they move, From hopes fulfilled and mutual love."
And so, gentle poet and earnest lover of the truth, fare thee well!
Translated from the Fourth Eclogue of Virgil.
Virgil, in this Eclogue, is supposed by some to refer to the birth of Marcellus, the son of Octavia, the sister of Augustus; or to a son of his patron, the consul Pollio, to whom the Eclogue is inscribed. Others consider it to be founded on ancient predictions respecting the Messiah, and apply it to our blessed Saviour.-Davidson.
My rural Muse, essay a loftier flight,
Nor groves, nor lowly vineyards all delight;
The era dawns, by Sibyl bards foretold,
O, chaste Lucina, cheer th' expected birth, Now thy Apollo rules the willing earth; Propitious be, the natal moment bless,
And, with sweet smiles, the infant boy caress; In whose bright days, the iron age shall fail, And golden years, o'er all the world prevail.
This glory, Pollio, of the coming time, Shall, in thy reign, assume his course sublime; The far-fam'd months shall hence, their cycles trace, And stainless truth adorn the human race. All marks of crime and fear shall pass away, And heaven-born Justice hold her righteous sway. The illustrious boy shall lead a life divine, Shall heroes see, 'mid gods celestial shine; Himself be seen, as one of heavenly birth, And with ancestral virtue, rule the peaceful earth.
For thee, sweet boy, the soil its fruits shall bring, Spontaneous treasures of the early spring; The clasping ivy, with sweet "baccar," twin'd, And "colocasia" with "acanthus" join'd. The flocks, in sport, shall o'er the meadows bound And fear no harm, though lions prowl around; The kids, untended, through the pastures roam, And bring, at eve, their swelling udders home. Thy cradle, too, shall bloom with lovely flowers, The noxious plant, the serpent's deadly powers, No more shall harm; while, o'er the earth, be spread, The Syrian herbs, that grateful odors shed.
When thou, a youth, thy father's praise canst read And learn that fame is only virtue's meed, The dreary waste shall yellow grow with corn, And blushing grapes shall cluster on the thorn; While the hard oaks shall sweat from every pore, Honey distill'd, in many a golden shower. This age shall, still, some trace of crime retain, And men, in ships, will tempt the roaring main, With massive walls, their thriving towns surround, And, in deep furrows, cleave the fertile ground. Again, shall Tiphys at the helm preside, Another Argo distant seas shall ride, Atrocious conflicts heedless men employ, Again, Achilles storm the walls of Troy.
At length, when manly vigors o'er thee creep, The wandering sailor shall forsake the deep; The naval pine no merchandise convey, But every land shall every good display. The fruitful soil no harrows rude shall feel, The clustering vines forego the pruning-steel. The hardy ploughman from his toil shall cease, And from the yoke, his weary ox release. No colors false the spotless wool shall tinge, The ram, himself, shall dye his snowy fringe; Now golden yellow o'er the fleece shall spread, Now blushing purple change to lively redNature abroad, shall various tints diffuse, And clothe the lambs in rich vermilion hues.
The Fates, concordant in the destin'd page, Cried to their threads, " Roll on auspicious age!" Renown'd descendant of the gods above, Illustrious increase of almighty Jove, Assume thy fadeless honors, for the hour Has come, when men shall own thy rightful power. Te thee the nodding world its homage pays, Now bend the skies, the earth its joy displays. O that the last of my long life's career, May gain some inspiration, while thou'rt near! In deathless song, to celebrate thy praise, None shall surpass me in all coming days: Though Orpheus, with his mother, strike the lyre, Or Linus, aided by his graceful sire. E'en Pan, to whom Arcadia lifts her eyes,Arcadia, though the judge-shall yield the prize.
Sweet boy, thy mother, o'er thee, joyous hangs, Repay thy mother for her ten-months' pangs :
And upon Ishmael, the waters of that unsealed fountain had first gushed forth. And even now that Isaac, the God-appointed seed, had been given and had taken the first place in his affections, yet in that capacious heart, there was room, even with a difference, for both. Was it not grievous to Abraham, in part also, because of Hagar? The sacred narrative does not so say, but are we not at liberty to suppose it? With the marriage relation esteemed among us for its exclusive and jealous sanctity, we do not readily admit the idea of divided love. And never was love stronger and purer than that of Abraham for Sarah. Had he therefore no love for the dark-browed stranger from Egypt-the mother of his child, the bold and gleesome Ishmael? She loved him well. Once before had she fled from the presence of her severe mistress, whose
ISAAC AND ISHMAEL.
"And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian which she had borne to Abraham, mocking; wherefore she said unto Abraham, cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my sou, even with Isaac-and the thing was very grievous in restless heart was exasperated at the approachAbraham's sight, because of his son." Doubting consummation of that which she herself had less it was very grievous to Abraham, for never planned. She had fled, but she returned, preferdid noble nature possess more tenderness than ring to endure servitude and contumely, rather his. With what majestic serenity, did he once than separation from him who was more than endure, and gently put aside, the forgetful petu- master to her. Surely Abraham felt for her, we lance of his hasty-tempered nephew, Lot-that will not say love, but the most fastidious will not same Lot, whom shortly after, he rescued, with object, if we call it that pity which is most nigh unexampled bravery at the head of his three hun- akin to love. To send her away, he knew not dred and eighteen trained servants, born in his whither, to wander in the desert with a lad whose own house, from the power of Chedorlaomer, feeble arm could do nothing to protect her against in the king's dale. And with what pathetic ten- the wild roving tribes, whose violence would be derness, did his heart go forth in intercession, in invited alike by the beauty of the mother and behalf of the guilty inhabitants of the doomed the child-how hard this for him whose whole cities of the plain-and how touching is his life had been radiant with acts of beneficence! princely sorrow, when in Kirjath-arba, he mourn- Might he not with justice rebuke the sensitiveed and wept for Sarah, and stood up from before ness of Sarah as unreasonable? What signifihis dead and spake unto the sons of Hith, say-cance could a mere child's mocking have? Might ing, "I am a stranger and a sojourner with you, not the lads live together? How inappropriate give me a possession of a burying place with this exclusiveness in Sarah, who alone was resyou, that I may bury my dead out of my sight." ponsible for the heterogeneous family? So AbraHis faith was not more genuine, comprehensive ham might have reasoned, and have justified himand enduring than his tenderness. If the one self by the requirements of justice, of mercy, and raised him up to communion with God, the even of religion, in obeying the dictates of his other shed its perpetual fragrance about his foot-heart, in keeping under the shelter of his tent steps on earth. Doubtless, therefore, it was very his own offspring and the mother of his child. grievous in his sight, and this because of his son. But he who was honored with the title of friend Ishmael was his son-not the son of wedlock, of God, trusting not to his own wisdom, sought but neither the son of shame. For the beautiful direction from on high. And God sanctioned― Egyptian handmaid had been brought to his arms not the tender purposes of Abraham, but the pasby Sarah herself, that with adopted fondness at sionate demand of Sarah. How often is the inleast, she might cherish the child of her lord. stinct of woman's heart wiser than the profoundNor had Almighty God, though purposing other est wisdom of man! Sarah troubled not herself things, frowned upon the offspring. Aud Ish with questions of casuistry about Hagar's rights mael had wound himself about his father's heart.-who had brought her into her present condi
He was his first born, and a child of his old age. Sarah often murmured because she had no children-Abraham never-yet who that knows anything of that human nature ever the same in Jew, Greek and barbarian, doubts that his heart si lently felt the longings, which his submissive faith
tion, and what would become of her-one thing she felt and knew-she would not brook that another should divide with her son his father's affection, his father's estate, and the glory of his uame, and therefore she said, "the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even
Begin, sweet boy, on whom, we know the while,