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interpretation of Holy Scripture. Swedenborg contended for an Inner Sense in Scripture, which was to be brought out according to a system of correspondence which he unfolded in his works. We need not remind our readers that the Catholic Church, from the earliest ages, has tolerated the doctrine of an Inner Sense, and that it needed no ghost to tell a churchman that the Sacred Scriptures were patient of spiritual, allegorical, mystical, as well as of literal interpretations. In passing, we may observe, that Swedenborg rejected from the canon of the Old Testament the books of Ruth, Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon; also from the canon of the New Testament, the Acts of the Apostles and all the Epistles, as not possessing the internal sense, and consequently as not being what he chose to designate 'the Word.'

We close this book with the conviction that it would have been better for Swedenborg's fame if it had never been written. Now the prophet is unveiled, and we discern the lay-figure, around which hung the drapery of a mystical reputation, to be composed of the most ordinary materials. A good man of science, changed into a crazy philosopher, and finally settled down into an eccentric dreamer of coarse and fantastic dreamsthis is the result of the dissecting process to which Swedenborg's life is subjected in these volumes, The Bollandists did much to improve the characters of obscure and equivocal saints; but Mr. White has ruined Swedenborg by his candour. If he had only left him alone, the world might have imagined something sublime and majestic about the author of the Arcana Coelestia.' But the enchantment is destroyed, and the Prophet of the New Church must henceforth occupy a humbler place in general estimation than the world has been hitherto willing to assign to the writer of many 'spiritualistic' works, which possess-even for the unbelievers--a certain fascination in the boldness of their assertions, and the novelty, and sometimes the beauty, of their ideas.


Art. IV. The Early Years of His Royal Highness the Prince Consort. Compiled under the direction of HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN, BY LIEUT.-GENERAL THE HON. C. GREY. Smith, Elder and Co. 1867.

THE present work is of a nature entirely new to our English experience, and has been received with all the interest which attaches to novelty, in addition to that deeper sentiment which its author in part, and that the more important part-and its subject must alike inspire. How enthusiastic its reception has been may be gathered from the unanimous voice of the press, and perhaps even more emphatically from the difficulty the publishers seem to have found in supplying copies enough to satisfy the public demand. That this remarkable book has awakened a very warm and intimate sympathy, that it has added to the Queen's popularity and stimulated the loyalty of the nation, are facts beyond dispute: whether, as a new experiment in kingcraft, it is one that can safely be imitated or become a precedent, is another question. Perhaps as the subject is unique, so should be the mode chosen for doing that subject justice. In ordinary cases the veil which hides the inner life of supreme rank and station from the world, is a very necessary provision. It cannot be raised without causing a revelation inexpedient and unwise. Mystery tells upon every body. We may reason about human nature being alike in all, but the points and occasions for this likeness showing itself may yet be beyond our guessing, and something is lost by making these occasions clear and patent to the world. A king-a typical prince-is supposed to view life from another plane; his pleasures, his vexations, have an element in them distinguishing them from those of the vulgar; but this supposition we suspect can rarely stand the test of investigation and experiment. The present case we receive as an exception. Prince Albert is a typical prince. This book shows him always a hero, always instigated by motives superior to the common run of men, under the consciousness of a great position, and the responsibilities of place and rank; responsibilities from first to last seen in their most stringent and exacting light. We accept the character here set before us, as a faithful portrait. No faults have been intentionally concealed or glossed over; such as he is here portrayed, he lives in the memory of her who now sets him as an example before her people. We suspect no weakness which it was thought excusable or expedient to hide. This is one

of those characters essentially fit for representation, as acting up to an ideal a character rare in all ranks, but we cannot but suppose exceptionally rare among princes; and therefore this book must not be regarded as a precedent; in which light alone could it be otherwise than a valuable contribution at once to history and to literature. Such a reservation is the more necessary in our day, when there is unquestionably a stronger desire than heretofore for publicity; a desire, that is, that more persons should know what concerns ourselves—our intimate selves, our private especial gifts,-which all classes and each sex share alike. It is a feature of the day influencing everybody; a withdrawal from the seclusion of closed doors, in idea if not in fact, into a wider range of observation. Many things that were impossible in our youth, and more impossible to our fathers, are common now. Everything befriends this; our faces become public property; we see ourselves and each other in shop-windows, and may buy an exact presentment of our neighbour for a shilling. Royalty, which used to be represented conventionally in robe and sceptre, and generally with but lax fidelity to everyday truth, is now familiar to us in the garb of ordinary humanity; and divested of all adventitious aids to the awe and reverence of the vulgar. As the publicity of state goes out of fashion, this more intimate or pervading desire for publicity prevails among us. Even the highest share it; and, as the barriers of parade and splendour become irksome, out of mere sympathy with the spirit of the age, they descend into the arena, and test the joys, excitements, and collisions of common life. True, there have always been noble authors, but it is something new for these to hang on the award of critics, and the verdict of the press: and it is through this means our dukes and earls have of late tasted a pleasure which, while fresh, probably more than equals that derived from the sense of wealth and hereditary importance, the proper privileges of their station. And may we not presume to hope that even our Queen will have felt her spirits cheered, and life a more endurable condition, under the loyal tribute so universally paid to the vigour and ease of her style, as well as to the virtues and graces which this book, in the ardour of portraying another character, unconsciously brings before us. Frank and natural, may we not regard such a temperament as peculiarly susceptible to the influences of an age? These have prompted the desire that the object of her enthusiastic affection should be known to the world as he was known to herself, and induced her to waive certain conventional reserves hitherto assumed as part of rank and high office, in order to make the life she lays before her people more complete. Candid in her admissions-even in her confessions-with the one object of

exhibiting the character of her husband in its fairest colours, she has done whatsoever seemed needful for this purpose, disregarding all beside. We are very sure that she will gain in the love and sympathy of her people by this obedience to the tendencies of her time; for her own part in the story is wonderfully engaging in its simple self-forgetting unreserve. We are not so confident that such a step would have fallen in with the character of the adviser and counseller she has never ceased to lament and sigh for. That the work is really the Queen's we may surely assume. Her hands collected the material, her testimony is the authority, and at every crisis and at each point of interest her pen is conspicuously and avowedly at work. General Grey has regarded himself as little more than her amanuensis; nor can we think it quite handsome in some critics to bestow on him certain touches of their severer style, as though an occasional redundance of epithets was the consequence of his courtier habits, and not rather the exuberant expression of a devoted wife's admiration and homage.

We have said that the distinction of Prince Albert's character is its completeness and faithfulness to an ideal. His fitness to be the husband of our Queen is shown in this book, more than ever, to lie not in likeness, but dissimilarity of temperament and natural disposition, so that the rule and system of the one should direct the impulses of the other. Method, rule, consistency, order, plan, were the unchanging features of Prince Albert's mind. Professor Sedgwick remarks this in graceful, courtly language, when he notes the beautiful consistency of the Prince's character :

'He was a lovely boy, with a gentle temper; yet even then he had a mental strength above his years, which gave him the mastery over his elder brother. Those gentler qualities, which made him the purest pattern of domestic love, never for a moment degenerated into feebleness or effeminacy, but were carried out with a noble purpose, by their unbroken union with the firm will of his great unselfish heart. From his earliest years he seems never to have flinched from labour.'—Preface.

On the threshold of our subject we approach a difficulty. It is very clear that, perfect as this character shows itself to the delineator, there is a veiled tone of reproach, a touch of soreness, hinting at a lack of enthusiastic appreciation in the English people. Upon this we would remark that the habit of mind that is always forming plans for its own guidance, and arranging these into system, that acts always upon rule, and has a reason to give on the spot,-and this from earliest childhood, for every step and every action, is not one calculated to make a nation's favourite. That sympathy in the observer which results in mere fondness and liking, as distinguished from respect, trust, and admiration, is not asked for

here; it would not be appreciated if it came. There are reflections in this book, echoed by certain portions of the press, which arise, we believe, from a misapprehension of the qualities likely to excite popular affection. Where there is a distinct nationality it is hard, under any case, to excite the sort of enthusiasm desired; and therefore M. Perthès, under whom the Prince studied at Bonn, forgot that what, as being peculiarly German in Prince Albert, excited this emotion in himself was not likely to touch English hearts on the same key :—

'The earnestness and gravity with which the Prince has obeyed this early call to take an European position, give him dignity and standing in spite of his youth, and increase the charm of his whole aspect. Queen Victoria will find him the right sort of man, and unless some unlucky fatality interpose, he is sure to become the idol of the English nation; silently to influence the English aristocracy, and deeply to affect the destinies of Europe.'-P. 295.

It must be admitted that the term idol, take it for whatever it is worth, was never applicable to the relation of Prince Albert and the English people. We may with regret admit that, in some degree, the following charge against the nation is not unjust :

'It must be admitted, however, that constantly, unostentatiously, and perseveringly as he now gave himself up to the discharge of his new duties, he was exposed, almost during the whole period of his life in this country, to much misconception and much misrepresentation. Not for that, however, did he for one moment relax in his efforts, or allow his zeal to flag in seeking to promote all that was for the good of the British people. His actions might be misunderstood, his opinions might be misrepresented, but supported by his own conscious rectitude, he still pursued the even tenor of his way, he accepted such injustice as the inevitable lot of one placed, as he was, in high station, trusting surely to the coming time when his motives and actions would be better understood and better appreciated by his adopted country.'

When we consider the matter we must perceive that there is a particular understanding implied in the term popularity, a sympathy between the liked and the likers, which it was not in the nature of things should exist here; because this book entirely fails to show that Prince Albert, who, from a sense of duty, was ready to devote his thoughts, and time, and energies to the English nation, ever really liked us. His was a nature that despised ease and ignoble joys, and that rejoiced in the idea of self-sacrifice. And this virtue is dwelt upon with the fondest, tenderest admiration in these pages; but if the English nation could have seen into Prince Albert's private correspondence, and been admitted into the fullest knowledge of the elevation and purity of his motives, he would still have been, not our idol, but the object of our respectful admiration. It is as little flattering to a nation, as to an individual, to cause only ideas of sacrifice, however cordially we may be believers in

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