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really a product of the age of the Revolution. What in its own way can be more touching than “The Wail of the Cornish Mother” (p. 19) ?
They say 'tis a sin to sorrow,
That what God doth is best;
I buried it from my breast.
I thought it would call me “Mother,
The very first words it said ;
Like the blessed babe that's dead.
It was carried to Ohurch and blessed,
Such children to their rest.
I shall make my best endeavour
That my sins may be forgiven.
To meet my child in heaven.
For what God doth is best;
I buried it from my breast.
All merciful ! the day, the doom were Thine :
Thou didst surround them on the seething sea;
To quench them in an hour unmeet for Thee.
If their feet failed them, in Thy midst they trod;
Or rond the quivering helm-away from God. We should like also to have quoted “The Dirge," "The Storm," and “ The Figure-head of the Caledonia," all of which take a high rank. Mr. Hawker's most elaborate piece is “The Quest of the Sangreal.” The subject is one that exactly suited his powers. The Arthurian legends had a strong fascination for him, and there are in this poem lines in which he rises to the full height of his power. It is to its disadvantage that Mr. Tennyson has written on the same theme, and that he takes a different view of Arthur's relation to the Quest. Mr. Hawker's piece, moreover, full as it is both of power and beauty, is only a fragment, and awakens expectations which it fails to fulfil. We had marked a number of lines for quotation,-e.g., the reference to Christ's death; the description of Orient Syria; the
in vain our land Of noble name, high deed, and famous men; Vain the proud homage of our thrall-the sea, If we be shorn of God;
the description of the Chief Knights, &c.—but our space is exhausted. Let us, remark, however, that Mr. Hawker was surely wrong in flattering himself with the idea that he introduced the Arthurian legends to the attention of the Laureate. He might converse with him about them before the publication of “ The Idylls,” in 1859; but the “Morte D'Arthur” was published in 1842, and was composed some years previously. The whole series was, in fact, “an early project ” of Tennyson's, formed, we imagine, long before his acquaintance with Hawker.
We must not convey the impression that Hawker's poetry is unalloyed gold. It contains an admixture of base metals, and no small amount of “wood, hay and stubble.” But if we can overlook his ecclesiastical weaknesses and mysticism, his occasional technicalities and pedantries, we shall find in the perusal of his “Cornish Ballads and other Poems,” a rare pleasure. His verse is often flowing and sonorous, abounding in noble thoughts and felicitous turns of expression, and few readers will deny to its author an honourable place among the minor poets of England.
On the Supernatural Element in the History of the
I.-THE TRAINING OF THE DISCIPLES. BY THE REV. W. K. ARMSTRONG, B.A., OF TUNBRIDGE WELLS. THI THE miraculous works of the Lord recorded in the gospels are so
many and so instructive that they may be said to have absorbed
the attention of readers of the Scriptures. In some respects they deserve this undivided attention. They are, in not a few instances, of unparalleled character, and in others, where their circumstances admit of comparison with previous signs and wonders, they so greatly surpass them as to increase the impression of originality and grandeur they created. Even more important in this age is the ethical purport of our Saviour's miracles, a quality in which they not merely stand unrivalled, but well-nigh alone. They teach while they attract, and are in themselves revelations of truths otherwise unknown or imperfectly understood. Some of them might be appropriately described as acted parables, and all of them contain unexhausted treasures of spiritual knowledge and wisdom. As never man spake like this Man, and He did works no other could attempt, so both in His words and in His works they who seek find the fulness of grace and truth.
But although the miracles in the gospels have received more attention, they are not more important than those recorded in the Acts of the Apostles; in truth, the latter are the greater of the two; as might justly have been expected from the exertion of the fulness of power by the glorified Saviour, in comparison with its manifestations during the period of His humiliation. His own miracles are so numerous and so distinctive as to form a second and more brilliant cycle, separated from the first by the Ascension, and even more by the specific characteristics they exhibit; while the manifestations of derived power displayed by His disciples do not fall short of His own works, whether as signs and wonders, or as revelations of spiritual verities. It is not His will that the works of His disciples should be passed over with slight consideration. He appears to have been more concerned for them on this account than He was for Himself, although by no means unmindful of the value of His own mighty deeds. But the care and fulness with which He taught the nature and use of the powers wherewith He clothed His immediate followers, and the liberality of His gifts to them, when considered in connection with His repeated assurances of special assistance and continual aid, prove that on no subject related to their course as His servants was the Lord more deeply interested. Nor can a close examination of this subject fail to produce the impression that this deep interest was not devoted to a temporary provision, but to a matter, in its essential principles, of permanent and vital importance to the successful proclamation and the saving reception of His truth in all ages. The transfer of His own supernatural powers may have been intended to terminate upon the first recipients, but, although that has been the practical result, it is possible to indicate another which might have been realised, and to affirm that His own wonder-working interference and watchful care could never be intended to be withdrawn, however much apostasy and unbelief may have darkened human understanding, and contracted the scope of their manifestations. It is as true of His Church as it was of His own country; He displays not many powers there because of their unbelief.
The communication of supernatural powers to chosen disciples was a very early development of the Redeemer's plans. One of His first .acts was to call to Him whom He would out of the crowd of His early followers, and of these He appointed twelve—that they should be with Him, and that He might send them forth to preach, and to have power and authority to heal the sick, to cleanse lepers, to cast out demons, and to raise the dead. It appears from various allusions in the gospels that the twelve made very ample use of their authority, and could give a good account both of what they had said and of what they had done; and also that they were able to give full testimony to the fulfilment of their Lord's promises to them. But He did not confine the supernatural powers to the select band of apostles. Other seventy also were appointed, and sent out in pairs as heralds of His own approach. Nor was their message limited to the proclamation of the coming of the mighty Wonder-worker to whom the afflicted might gather for cure and blessing. They were to heal the sick themselves. Their commission appears to have expressed no further powers, but, in practice, they discovered a wider range, and on their return they related this fact to the Lord, as a subject of gratified surprise--that even the demons were obedient to them through His name, and they were promised a further extension of supernatural authority. “Behold, I give you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you." These facts, connected with the early days of the Lord's earthly ministry, are of great importance to the right understanding of the records of the early days of the Church after the visible presence of the Lord had been withdrawn. His promises were not received with incredulity or surprise, as unheard-of novelties, neither was the consciousness of supernatural endownient a strange mental experience. It had been made so familiar as to have become, in some sort, natural already, and no difficulty was entertained. They made no inquiries, expressed no doubts, and, when the powers came, experienced no difficulty in their practical application.
In one very remarkable instance some of the less advanced apostles were taught the existence of a limitation to their authority during the period of training. Their attempt to cast out the demon which tormented the boy brought to them during their Lord's absence on the Mount of Transfiguration was a mortifying failure. It showed they had not yet learned the lesson of self-distrust and entire reliance on Divine strength and power. A comparison may be drawn—not a parallel-between their failure and the failure of Paul in his resolute and protracted struggle with the messenger of Satan sent to buffet him. The Lord told His baffled disciples that prayer and fasting would make even “this kind go forth,” and that thus they might have cast out their own unbelief and the demon, too; but Paul besought the Lord thrice, in solemn, special, urgent, repeated supplication, for the removal of the thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan, and he failed. But they were shamed and humbled; he was raised and comforted, so that he could glory in his infirmities, because, through them, the power of Christ rested upon him. From the light reflected upon the subject of supernatural powers by both incidents, we perceive that a very high degree of conscious spirituality and consecration was essential to their exercise. Since, from their personal familiarity with the possession of
supernatural powers, the majority of the members of the Church at Jerusalem were quite prepared to receive the Lord's parting charges and promises with understanding, it may be useful to consider these more in detail. How much the subject pre-occupied His thoughts we learn from the reference made to it in His last discourse before He suffered. The topic was not one on which much could be said beforehand by way of explanation-partly from its own nature, and partly from the mental attitude of the disciples. It was a matter to be felt and experienced, rather than to be reasoned about. But there could be no misapprehension of the emphatic words, “ Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on Me, the work that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do, because I go unto My Father.” Here is the promise of continued and increased power to do “works”—the simple word by which the Lord, and after Him, John, chose to characterise His miracles. They were not His works only, but His Father's" The Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works.” He does not say,“ Ye whom I have chosen apostles” shall do them, but, “He that believeth on Me" shall do the same. Neither is it an assurance that His removal shall make no change, but much more, even the affirmation that because of that removal the power to do “ the works” shall be mightier than before. The calm simplicity of the language befits its amazing import. It positively declares that because the Incarnate Son hath ascended to the Father, believers on Him shall do the same, and even greater, miracles than were wrought on earth by Himself, without limitation either to persons or to time. We can trace in not a few of the miracles of the Acts the fulfilment of this promise both in the similarity and in the superiority of the works done by the apostles, as when the shadow of Peter, falling upon the sick, wrought their cure, and when God wrought “ special miracles” by the hands of Paul; yet it may well be that the faith of the apostles never rose to so sublime a height as may hereafter be reached in a time when “powers ” that have been dormant so long as to be almost forgotten, shall be put forth in a manner to which the recorded cycle of miracles affords no parallel.
Not only in themselves, but also in their effects, the miracles wrought by the disciples were greater than those of their Lord. The effects produced by the Lord's miracles were in many cases limited and transient; and we have His own direct testimony that some of the most remarkable and suggestive failed to awaken religious feelings even of a rudimentary kind. The multitude crowded round Him, not because they saw the miraculous increase of the food He blessed, but because they did eat of the loaves and were filled. Even His chosen disciples considered not the miracle of the loaves, for their hearts were hardened. When He cured ten lepers, only one showed signs of gratitude, and when He made the impotent man at Bethesda whole, one of the first uses of his restored strength was to inform the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him whole. But in nearly every case of miracle recorded in the Acts we find the effect rising above the level of a sign or a wonder into that of a powerful means of grace, quickening religious thought and feeling, and resulting in decided conversions, often rapid and numerous. We may safely say that the impression produced upon the public mind by Peter's first miracle was deeper, more salutary, and more lasting than that of any similar work of his Lord. The healing of the cripple at the Beautiful Gate of the