Friday, November 07, 2014


I learned of a woman, Anna Laetitia Barbauld, a prominent English poet, essayist, literary critic, editor, and children's author. She is a Christian, and in this quote she is answering her critics regarding the Christian's inner life. 

"Yet there is a religious devotion, generous, liberal, and humane, the child of more exalted feelings than base minds can enter into, which assimilates man to higher natures, and lifts him "above this visible diurnal sphere." Its pleasures are ultimate, and, when early cultivated, continue even in that uncomfortable season of life when some of the passions are extinct, when imagination is dead, and the heart begins to contract within itself. Those who lack this taste, lack a sense, a part of their nature, and should not presume to judge of feelings to which they must ever be strangers. No one pretends to be a judge in poetry or the fine arts, who has not both a natural and a cultivated relish for them; and shall the narrow-minded children of earth, absorbed in low pursuits, dare to treat as visionary, objects which they have never made themselves acquainted with? Silence on such subjects will better become them." Anna Laetitia Barbauld. 1700's.
  

2 comments:

Eric Blauer said...

"...that uncomfortable season of life when some of the passions are extinct, when imagination is dead, and the heart begins to contract within itself."

Goodness that sounds frightening.

FCB said...

I thank God that I have only experienced this in some lesser degree, but then, how can one objectively assess those things in oneself? No doubt I have been with some in whom I consider are deep within this season, and I think age can have that effect on some.