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P. 17.

able depth, which also appears from Psal. 104. v. 6. -Revelation examined with candour, p. 172.

5. The evening and the morning.-R. Saardias understands by the morning, the whole day, and by the evening all the night, which is the most probable opinion.-Simon's Crit. Hist. B. 3. c. 3.

26. Let us make man.- -The grammatical sense of this place is very difficult, and some have translated it, I will make man, or let me make man.

29. To you it shall be for meat. This positive grant of vegetables seems to imply a prohibition of flesh for meat. And when the eating of flesh was granted to Noah and his posterity, 'tis in such a manner as fairly shews that only vegetables had been granted before.-Gen. 9. 3.

CRITICAL REMARKS ON BARTON'S POEMS.

By Dr. Drake.

No. I. How delightful is it to receive a volume of poetry which, while it displays talent of no common order, exhibits, at the same time, and throughout its whole feature, sentiments the most correct, and morality the most pure! I allude to a miscellany entitled Poems by BERNARD Barton, published during the course of the last year, and of which a second edition has just issued

It might, indeed, have been expected, from the religious profession of Mr. Barton, which is that peculiar to the disciples of George Fox, that such, as to the moral tendency of his poetry, would be the result; an expectation in the highest degree honourable to the sect of which he is a member,

from the press.

and fully warranted, in fact, by its past and present history

That a society of Christians, thus remarkably distinguished for the purity and benevolence of their conduct, for a creed which, as exclusively built on the principles of peace on earth, and good-will towards men, seems to have extinguished within their bosoms every angry and intolerant feeling, should have contributed so little to the stores of our poetic wealth, is a circumstance which may be justly lamented. Yet let us not forget, that at the suggestion of Ellwood, the companion of the immortal Milton, we are indebted for the Paradise Regained ; and that from the pen of John Scott, the beloved friend of the great and good Dr. Johnson, we have a volume of considerable beauty and originality. Since the era, however, of the great bard Amwell, nothing of any importance in this department of literature has yet been produced by the Quakers; and it remained for Mr. Barton, and subsequently for Mr. Wiffen, to give further proofs how well the cultivation of the muses might accord with the spirit and the practice of their sect.

It is, and must be, with every one who thinks justly, a subject of no small astonishment, that attachment to an art, honvured, as this has been, by the adoption of the sacred writers, and calculated in itself to give added beauty and effect to the noblest sentiments of piety and devotion, should even have been deemed incompatible with, or derogatory to, even the strictest creed of Christianity. But so it has happened, that both the Quakers themselves, and the world at large, have but too generally united in considering a Quaker poet as something strange and anamalousmas a being, in short, who has stepped out of his place

and character, and from whom, in his poetical capacity, little worthy either of praise or perusal can be rationally looked for.

Of a persuasion at once so irrational and unjust, so unsupported by any thing which the nature either of religion, of poetry, or of Quakerism can supply, Mr. Barton bas, most assuredly, a right to complain ; and in some verses originally sent to me in manuscript, he endeavours to remove the prejudices which have unhappily wound themselves round the title of · A Quaker Poet,' in as far, at least, as such a designation is supposed to convey an expression of contempt or reprobation. It is scarcely necessary to add, that he has fully succeeded; for who, that considers the legitimate objects of poetry, and the aid which it has been known so frequently and so efficiently to have given to the best and finest impulses of the heart, to piety, to gratitude, to devotional admiration, can, for a moment, doubt its powers of enforcing the general motives to virtue, or of its compatibility, therefore, with the tenets of the purest and most abstracted creed. “Yes,' says our poet, in a strain of beautiful and affecting enthusiasm

Yes, I contend the Quaker creed,

By fair interpretation,
Has nothing in it to impede

Poetic aspiration.

All that fair Nature's charms display,

Of grandeur, or of beauty;
All that the human heart can say,

By grief, desire, or duty.

All these are ours- —the copious source

Of true poetic feeling ;

B

And would'st thou check the blameless course,

Our lips in silence sealing?

Natüre to ALL her ample page

Impartially unfolding,
Prohibits neither saint nor sage

Its beauties from beholding.

And thus the muse her gifts assigns

With no sectarian spirit;'
For all the wreath of fame she twines

Who fame and favour merit. But let it not be forgotten that the fame here bestowed, and so bighly and deservedly valued, is that which is exclusively built on the basis of morality. It has been the abuse of poetry, its having been forced into the cause of sophistry and sensuality, which has excited the apprehensions of the wise and good, which has, to adopt the words of Mr. Barton, in his 'Parting Address to the Muse,'

Made it a dubious gift for man to inherit

A bard's desires, or seek a poet's fame. It is a consolation, however, to the friends of social order and happiness, that this unnatural alliance between the most lovely of the human arts and the dissociating principles of evil, however popular it may be for a time among the worthless of a pampered and luxurious age, can never hope for any permanence of fame. It car ries within itself, indeed, the seeds of its own destruction ; for so strong is the general sense of mankind in favour of moral and religious restraint; so necessary are they, in fact, not only to the well-being, but to the very existence of society; that, could a poet arise endowed with the combined talents of Homer and Shakspeare,

and should he uniformly exert these in behalf of voluptuousness and impiety, nothing, I am persuaded, could prevent his ultimately sinking into the shades of utter oblivion.

From the few specimens which we possess of Quaker poetry, there is every reason to wish that the disciples of this sect would become more frequent cultivators of an art which, as associating all that most effectively acts upon the heart and imagination, is better calculated than any other for forcibly and durably impressing on the universal mind the great and unchangeable truths of practical morality.. A strenuous and more general cultivation of literature, is, perhaps, one of the principal desiderata of the Society of Friends, and would, while it operated unequivocally for the benefit of the public at large, tend, at the same time, powerfully to increase their own influence and numbers.

That the tenets of Quakerism are incompatible with any of the forms of poetry, it would be difficult to prove ; yet there seems to be a reluctance, on the part of the Quaker poets, towards adopting the more popular and exciting departments of the art, those, for instance, of epic and dramatic incident. They have, therefore, almost invariably confined themselves to the province of iniscellaneous poetry; nor does Mr. Barton's volume form an exception, It contains a vast variety of short, but interesting, pieces, on some of the most momentous topics and occurrences which agitate the human heart and feelings. Among these are two which seem more strictly devoted to the consideration of opinions and observances peculiar to the author's sect, than any other in the collection. They are entitled, Verses, supposed to be written in a Burial

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