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In arguing against Dr. Richard Smyth, who alledged the sixth of John in defense of transubstantiation, Cranmer says:
“There can be nothing more manifest than that, in this place, Christ spake not of the sacrament of his flesh, but of his very flesh. And that, as well for that the sacrament was not yet instituted, as also that Christ said not in the future tense, “ The bread which I will give shall be my flesh,' but in the present tense, ' The bread which I will give is my flesh;' which sacramental bread was neither then his flesh, nor was then instituted for a sacrament, nor was afterward given to death for the life of the world.
“But as Christ, when he said unto the woman of Samaria, “The water which I will give shall spring into everlasting life,' he meant it neither of material water nor of the accidents of water, but of the Holy Ghost, which is the heavenly fountain that springeth unto everlasting life ; so likewise, when he said, “ The bread which I will give is my flesh which I will give for the life of the world,' he meant it neither of the material bread, neither of the accidents of bread, but of his own flesh; which, although of itself it availeth nothing, yet being in unity of person joined to his divinity, it is the same heavenly bread which he gave to death upon the cross for the life of the world.”
“ But your understanding of the sixth chapter of John is such as was never uttered of any man before your time, and as declareth you to be utterly ignorant of God's mysteries. For who ever said or taught before this time, that the sacrament was the cause why Christ said, If we eat not the flesh of the Son of man, we have no life in us? The spiritual eating of his flesh and drinking of his blood by faith, by digesting his death in our minds as our only price, and ransom, and redemption from eternal damnation, is the cause wherefore Christ said, that if we eat not his flesh and drink not his blood, we have no life in us; and if we eat his flesh and drink his blood, we have everlasting life. And if Christ had never ordained this sacrament, yet should we have eaten his flesh and drunken his blood, and have had thereby everlasting life, as all the faithful did before it was ordained, and do daily when they receive not the sacrament. And so did the holy men that wandered in the wilderness, and in all their lifetime very seldom received the sacrament, and many holy martyrs, either exiled or kept in prison, did daily feed of the food of Christ's body, and drank daily the blood which sprang out of his side, (or else they could not have had everlasting life, as Christ himself said in the Gospel of St. John,) and yet they were not suffered, with other Christian people, to have the use of the sacrament."
she is one of the most learned and accomplished scholars among the writers of England; having a thorough knowledge of Greek, even to the mastering of the immortal Plato; a critical knowledge of the oriental languages, necessary to a thorough reading of the Bible in its original tongues; and at the same time “as wide and diffuse acquaintance with literature, that of the present day inclusive, as any living individual.” It is with such varied attainments and extensive culture, with the influence of suffering in developing her genius and character, sanctified by the deepest religious faith, that she has devoted herself with unwearied labor to those poetical productions which, at the same time, have consoled her in her own affliction and elevated her thoughts above the body's sufferings; while they have secured her a loving memory and an affectionate gratitude among a circle of friends daily increasing in number, and established a poetic reputation which time will largely increase.
With the exception of a few miscellaneous articles, translations, etc., in various periodicals, her first publication was entitled, “ The Seraphim, and other Poems," and was issued in 1838. Of this there has been no American edition. Her other work, which we propose to notice, was given to the American public,- for whom, she
says, “I have felt a love and admiration as long as I have felt proud of being an Englishwoman, and almost as long as I have loved poetry itself,"-some little time in anticipation of its publication in England.
The “ DRAMA Of Exile” is a poem of about one hundred and twenty pages: the foundation being blank verse, interspersed with chants and choruses of irregular metres. The object of the work, as stated by herself, is, “the new and strange experience of the fallen humanity, as it went forth from Paradise : with a peculiar reference to Eve's allotted grief, which, considering that selfsacrifice belonged to her womanhood, and the consciousness of being the organ of the fall, to her offense,--appeared to me imperfectly apprehended hitherto, and more expressible by a woman than a man." The time occupied is the twilight after their expulsion from Eden; and the action of the drama is not too long for this space, when we consider that we have scientific reasons for believing twilight before the flood to have been longer than at present; besides, Miss Barrett's poetic excuse, that she can never, for her part, believe in an Eden without the longest of purple twi. lights.” The scene commences where Milton closes; when the guilty pair
-“ hand in hand with wand'ring steps and slow, Through Eden took their solitary way.”
They are seen in the distance, flying along from the sword-glare which shut them for ever out of Paradise, and seeking the wilderness before them. Lucifer opens the poem with a taunt on Gabriel, the keeper of the gate. Gabriel bids him depart. Lucifer claims the earth for his; and exclaims,
“ Here's a brave earth to sin and suffer on!
It holds fast still-it cracks not under curse :
The red sign
Can bear more curse.
O miserable earth!
Well! and if it be,
I do volitient, not obedient.” The reply of Gabriel to the boasted independence of Satan, is, for its metaphysical acumen, (though Miss Barrett has generally chosen more to display feeling than logic,) worthy of Milton-we had almost said worthy of the personage who uses it.
“Spirit of scorn!
That who despairs, acts; that who acts, connives
The law of a Life-maker." At length Gabriel asks Lucifer whether he knows aught of the future of mankind; he replies,
"Only as much as this: That evil will increase and multiply
Without a benediction.
That he is God,
Unheeding this intimation of God's gracious providence, Satan at length goes his way, leaving this terrible threat behind him:
"I assert my will.
The heart of a lost angel in the earth.” Now is heard the “chorus of Eden spirits ;" and the “spirit of the trees,” the “river-spirits,” the “bịrd-spirits,” and the “flowerspirits," chant their mournful, plaintive farewell, and the awful “never-more,” to the hearts of the exiles. This imbodiment of the feelings suggested to Adam and Eve by the thought of the joys of nature left for ever behind in Paradise, and its expression in the spirits' voices is most exquisitely beautiful and pathetic; while it is full of poetic power.
Adam and Eve are now first introduced as pausing a moment in their flight as they reach the extremity of the sword-glare. Here Eve bitterly bewails her transgression, and especially reproaches herself as the cause of the curse to Adam. She beseeches him to put her straight away and seek God's mercy thereby ;-—"thy wrath against the sinner giving proof of inward abrogation of the sin." Adam replies, that he is “deepest in the guilt, if last in the transgression;" having also sinned against the “last best gift of God," his Eve; and comforts her, declaring it is God's will they should bear the curse together. Eve recovers her strength, and tells him,
“ Because I comprehend
human death." Yet she now confesses that all day long in their desolate journey this prayer had trembled on her lips :
“ O Lord God!
Where peradventure I might sin anew
It is not good for him to be alone.
My unkind Eve, betwixt our mutual lives?
Eve confesses that“'twas an ill prayer; it shall be prayed no more;" and taking courage, the woman's heart within made strong by Adam's love, she declares,
“ Since I was the first
As they go on, a faint song of the "invisible angels," the love-angels that ministered to them in Paradise, breathes a sad lament; but yet with tender pity assures them, that though "this pure door of opal God hath shut between us,” that still,
“ Yet across the doorway,
Past the silence reaching,
As the tones of the angels die away, Satan meets Adam and Eve. Most beautifully, with a single stroke of the pen, has Miss Barrett here delineated the trusting, confiding nature of woman, and her instinctive disposition, since she was first overcome, to ever cling closer to man in the hour of danger. Eve calls to Adam,
“ Adam! hold
Lucifer proceeds to taunt them; his first salutation is,
“Now may all fruits be pleasant to thy lips,
Albeit ye are not gods yet.” It is here that we are almost inclined to place the greatest power of the drama; in this picture of Satan coming to taunt the guilty