of the author will speak for themselves, in the reading

"In one remarkable passage at the close of `The Legend of Pornic', Mr. Browning, speaking apparently in his own person, proclaims his belief in one great Christian doctrine, which all pantheistic and atheistic systems formally repudiate, and which many semi-Christian thinkers implicitly reject: -- "`The candid incline to surmise of late That the Christian faith may be false, I find, For our `Essays and Reviews'*1* debate Begins to tell on the public mind, And Colenso's*2* words have weight. "`I still, to suppose it true, for my part, See reasons and reasons: this, to begin -- 'Tis the faith that launched point-blank her dart At the head of a lie, -- taught Original Sin, The Corruption of Man's Heart.'"

of the author will speak for themselves, in the reading

-- *1* A volume which appeared in 1860, made up of essays and reviews, the several authors having "written in entire independence of each other, and without concert or comparison". These essays and reviews offset the extreme high church doctrine of the Tracts for the Times. *2* John W. Colenso, Bishop of Natal, in South Africa; he published works questioning the inspiration and historical accuracy of certain parts of the Bible, among which was `The Pentateuch, and the Book of Joshua critically examined'. --

of the author will speak for themselves, in the reading

On which the Jews were forced to attend an annual Christian sermon in Rome.

of the author will speak for themselves, in the reading

The argument is sufficiently shown by what is prefixed to this poem. The `Diary by the Bishop's Secretary, 1600', is presumably imaginary.

This is, in every respect, one of Browning's grandest poems; and in all that is included in the idea of EXPRESSION, is quite perfect.

The portion of Scripture which is the germ of the poem, and it is only the germ, is contained in the First Book of Samuel 16:14-23.

To the present consolation which David administers to Saul, with harp and song, and the Scripture story does not go beyond this, is added the assurance of the transmission of his personality, and of the influence of his deeds; first, through those who have been quickened by them, and who will, in turn, transmit that quickening -- "Each deed thou hast done, dies, revives, goes to work in the world: . . .each ray of thy will, every flash of thy passion and prowess, long over, shall thrill thy whole people, the countless, with ardor, till they too give forth a like cheer to their sons: who, in turn, fill the South and the North with the radiance thy deed was the germ of"; and, then, through records that will give unborn generations their due and their part in his being.

The consolation is, moreover, carried beyond that afforded by earthly fame and influence. David's yearnings to give Saul "new life altogether, as good, ages hence, as this moment, -- had love but the warrant, love's heart to dispense", pass into a prophecy, based on his own loving desires, of the God-Man who shall throw open to Saul the gates of that new life.

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