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We are obliged to Pharez for the trouble he has taken, in copying long extracts from one only of Mr. Martin's treatises on 1 John v. 7. Our worthy Correspondent seems not to be aware, that the reasoning of the French Pastor proceeds upon an extremely superficial and erroneous acquaintance with the subject, and involves many gross misrepresentations, from ignorance we willingly believe, as to the matters of fact on which the question rests. We assure our Correspondent that we knew all that he has written to us, and a great deal more, when we expressed our persuasion of the spuriousness of the passage under consideration : and we now repeat the avowal from full conviction of its validity. In return for his charita> ble intention of enlightening and convincing us, by quotations from Martin !—we refer him to the late Mr. Porson's Letters to Archdeacon Travis, 1790.

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For MAY, 1809.

Art. 1. Reliques of Robert Burns: consisting chiefly of Original Letters Poems, and Critical Observations on Scotch Lays. Collected and published by R. H. Cromek. 8vo. pp. 454. price 9s. bds. Cadell and Davies. 1808.

IN youth, when we first become enamoured of the works of the great Poets, we naturally imagine that those must themselves be the happiest of men, who can communicate such unknown and unimagined emotions of pleasure as seem at once to create and to gratify a new sense within us, while by the magic of undefinable art they render the loveliest scenes of nature yet more lovely, make the most indifferent things interesting, and from sorrow itself awaken a sympathy of joy unútterably sublime and soothing. He, who in his early years has never been so smitten by the love of song as to have wished, nay even dreamed himself a Poet, (as Hesiod is said to have done, though few like Hesiod, awaking, have found their dream fulfilled,) is a stranger to one of the purest, noblest, and most enduring sources of earthly enjoyment. When, however, glowing with enthusiastic admiration, we turn from the works to the lives of these exalted beings, we find that they were not only liable to the same infirmities with ourselves, but that, with respect to many of them, those vehement passions which they could kindle and quell at pleasure in the bosoms of others ruled and raged with ungovernable fury in their own, hurrying them, amidst alternate penury and profusion, honour and abasement, through the changes of a miserable life, to a deplorable, and sometimes a desperate death; while, among the more amiable of this ill-starred race, those finer sensibilities, that warm the heart's blood of their readers with ineffable delight, were to the possessors slow and fatal fires feeding upon their vitals, while they languished in solitude and sunk in obscurity to the grave, after bequeathing to posterity an inheritance, in the unrewarded productions of their genius, that should last through many generations, and cast at once Vol. V.

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a lustre and a shade on the age in which they flourished, as the phrase is, in which they perished, as it ought to be. On the whole then, (though it is a frigid and disheartening conclusion,) it is well when a youth of ardent hope and splendid who has been allured into the primrose path of dalliance' with the Muses, by the songs of their most favoured lovers (heard, like the nightingale, unseen) is in due time, and before he is irrecoverably bewildered, alarmed and impelled to retreat by the affecting and humiliating sight of those lovers, discovered in their characters as men, of low estate, neglected or contemned by the multitude, trampled down by the pride of wealth and power, hypochondriac martyrs of sloth, or suicidal slaves of intemperance. If ever there were an example, of paramount genius, like the first-created Lion, bursting from the earth,

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then rampant, and bounding abroad, and shaking his brinded mane,' in all the joy of new found life,-calculated to quicken souls as sordid as the clod, and make them start from the furrow into poets, the story of Burns affords that inspiring example: and if ever there were a warning, of the degradation and destruction of powers of the highest order, calculated to scare the boldest, and even the vainest adventurer in the fields of poesy, the story of Burns too presents that terrific warning, that flaming sword turning every way,' to forbid entrance into the Paradise, wherein he flourished, and fell.

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The volume before us consists of letters, poems, and other pieces, which had either escaped the notice of Dr. Curre (whose edition of Burns's Life and Works appeared in 1800, for the benefit of his widow and children), or were then thought too insignificant for publication. Of the genuineness of most of these pieces no doubt can be entertained; of their merit we shall say a few words, and only a few, hereafter; but we shall take the opportunity of entering, as fully as our rigid limits will allow, into a consideration of the poet's general claims, as an author of original, though unequal worth.

In analysing the character and talents of Burns, philosophy and criticism have exhausted their powers, and their subject too, except on one point, a point which critics and philosophers seldom regard with a partial eye, and frequently overlook altogether, the influence which religion had in forming the heart and mind of the poet. The remarks which we may make on this neglected topic, will give some variety, hough no attractive novelty, to our review of his genius;

for the leading events of his life we shall consider solely in connection with his genius, the progress of which from childhood to maturity we purpose rapidly to trace.

Robert Burns was born at a small house, near the town of Ayr, on the 29th of January 1759. His father, William Burns, was a wanderer from the Highlands, whence he was driven by adversity in his youth; but he brought with him into the vallies of the South the untameable mountain spirit of the North, and through many a change of condition (where every change was but variety of wretchedness) he maintained that headstrong integrity, and jealous independence, which may make a poor man's cottage his castle wherein even great men may tremble to assail him, but which will inevitably shut in poverty with the very door that bars out oppression. At the birth of his son Robert, he was a gentleman's gardener; but afterwards entered first on a small and then on a larger farm, which proved only a lesser and a greater evil, till broken in spirit, and strength, and circumstances, he escaped a prison by finding a grave. From his cradle, Robert was taught the scriptures by his father, Scotish songs by his mother, and all the lore of tradition by an old woman in the neighbourhood, who had an inexhaustible stock of tales of terror and pity wherewith to feast his insatiable curiosity. Speaking of this period of his life, in a letter to Dr. Moore, he says, I was by no means a favourite with any body. I was a good deal noted for a retentive memory, a stubborn, sturdy something in my disposition, and an enthusiastic ideot-piety.' When we reflect that at the time of writing this letter (1787) poor Burns had already got rid of just so much of his piety as constituted the happiness of his infancy, and retained just enough to make him wretched with remorse during the rest of his days, (which many of his poems and letters most bitterly testify) we can lay little stress on this contemptuous description of his early piety, especially since he adds, I say ideot-piety, because I was only a child as if a child, a little child, such as Jesus took in his arms and blessed, were incapable of both feeling and exercising a piety acceptable to God; as if the loveliest sight out of heaven, an infant at prayer, were an ideot spectacle! It would be wasting time to refute a mere bravado expression. We hereby ascertain the fact, that religion made a very early, and, judging from his following life, an indelible impression on his mind; and, consequently, in a high degree influenced the growth and character of his genius. This is manifest from various passages in his writings. Two of the most beautiful and affecting stanzas in "the Cotter's Saturday Night," in

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which the bard is known to have described the felicities of his father's cabin, are on the principal subjects of the bible, and prove that not only the day-spring of poetry from on high that shines through the psalms and the prophecies had fired his infant imagination, but that the simplicity of gospel narrative and the power of gospel truth had captivated his soul with that sweet and irresistible constraint, which ever acCompanies the word of God received in a 'pure heart.' One who had always been a total stranger to the dying love of the Redeemer could never have penned the following lines, hum-` ble yet exquisite as they are.

Perhaps the Christian Volume is their theme,
How guiltless blood for guilty man was shed,
How He, who bore in heaven the second name,
Had not on earth whereon to lay his head.'


He who does not feel his heart burn within him while he reads this passage may well suspect that he wants something,whether it be taste or grace we leave him to determine. the cherished remembrance of early religious feelings, and a peculiarly happy talent of imitating the language of the Sacred Writers, the poems of Burns are indebted for much of their splendour of expression and elevation of thought, their purity, tenderness, and force.

But the wild minstrelsies of his native land, unrestrained and irregular, and infinitely variable,-confined indeed within a narrow circle, but that circle was a magical one; and limited to a single key, but that key had a minor third of surpassing sweetness,contributed likewise to awaken his fancy, interest his feelings, and enrich his memory with images and sentiments sublime and striking; while its melodies that flowed around him were mingled in his ear, and associated in his thought, with the harmonies of nature heard amidst forests and mountains, the music of birds, and winds, and waters, which they resembled in unmeasured fluency and spontaneous modulation. Then too the stories of tradition, which he learned from the beldame already mentioned, made him the inhabitant of an imaginary world, wherein all that fable yet had feigned, or fear conceived,' was realized to him; for he was a thoughtful and solitary boy, and in solitude and thought he peopled every scene that was dear and familiar to his with spirits and fairies, witches and warlocks, giants and kelpies. It is evident from almost all his pieces, that it was his delight, and indeed his forte, to localize (we use a word of his own) the personages of his poetry--whether the offspring of his brain, like Coila, supernatural beings, like the dancers in Kirk Alloway, or national heroes, like Wallace and


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