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is it that gives to Coleridge's Hymn before Sunrise in the Vale of Chamouney, the deep, unutterable sublimity, that awes the soul into worship, and suffuses the eye with swelling tears ? What, but the thought of Him, to whose praise that stupendous mountain, with its sky-pointing peaks and robe of silent cataracts, rises like a cloud of incense from the earth!
“Motionless torrents! silent cataracts !
There is a spiritual world, and it is a world of light and grandeur! Man's relation to it is the greatest theme, that poet or philosopher ever yet exercised his powers upon. It broods over him like the day, a master o’er a slave,
“ A presence, which is not to be put by!” The truths that man is fallen, exposed because of sin to the just indignation of God, in peril of his soul forever, the object of all the stupendous histories and scenes of revelation recorded in the Bible, surrounded by dangers, and directed how to avoid them, pointed to Heaven, and told what to do that he may enter there, and watched in all his course with anxiety by heavenly spirits, do, rightly considered, throw round every spiritual movement a thrilling, absorbing interest; an interest, for the individual who knows and feels it personally, too deep and awful, till he is in a place of safety, to be the
subject of poetry. He can no more command attention to the sublimity of his situation, than Lot, hurried by the hand of the angel to Zoar, with the storm of fire rushing after him, could have stood to admire burning Sodom and Gomorrah. It was not amidst his distressing conflicts with the Enemy, when it seemed as if his soul would be wrested from his body, that a thought of the Pilgrim's Progress came in upon the Author's mind. It was when the Fiend had spread his dragon wings and fled forever, and the hand came to him with leaves from the Tree of Life, and the presence of God gladdened him, and on the mountain summit, light shone around him, and a blessed prospect stretched before him, with the Celestial City at its close, that that sweet vision rose upon his view. To the Pilgrim, looking back from a safe resting place, all the way is fraught with poetical recollections and associations. His imagination now sees a spiritual life full of beauty. In the new light that shines upon him, he loves to retrace it again and again, and to lift his hands in grateful, speechless wonder at the unutterable goodness of the Lord of the Way. He is like Jacob, sleeping in the open air of Padan Aram, and dreaming of Heaven. Angels of God are ascending and descending continually before his sight. His are no longer the
“Blank misgivings of a creature
Moving about in worlds not realized," but the rejoicings of a weary Pilgrim, on whose forehead the mark of Heaven has been placed, and who sees close at hand his everlasting rest. Once within the straight gate, and in the holy confidence
of being a Pilgrim bound from the City of Destruc-
“And e'en in transitory life's late day