Coleridge And His American Disciples -- By: Noah Porter, Jr.

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 004:13 (Feb 1847)
Article: Coleridge And His American Disciples
Author: Noah Porter, Jr.


Coleridge And His American Disciples

Rev. Noah Porter, Jr.

The name of Coleridge is already splendid and world-renowned. Wherever English Literature is known, thereoleridge is known as a poet, critic, scholar, philosopher, and theologian. As a poet, he has not merely attained the highest fame among those with whom he has measured himself in the accustomed orbs of the poet’s flight; but he has created for himself new

circles in which to fly, and borne himself through them with a strength and grace, that compels applause. Indeed there are single poems of his, which for splendid yet appropriate imagery, for purity of sentiment refined almost above the attainment of the holiest mortal, for the use of language at once as hard and polished as the sculptured gem and as liquid as flowing oil, and for their sustained and consistent perfection to one harmonious and strong impression, are unsurpassed by any productions of the sons of song. As a critic, Coleridge benefited his own generation, and has left his impress on English literature, by introducing to notice a class of writers who had been strangely neglected and forgotten. He has given to the study of literature a high and a peculiar interest, by showing its relations to all the noblest interests of man, and its capacity to serve in his culture for this life, and to his training for heaven. Above all, by applying powers such as his, capable of creating, to the humble office of interpreting the works of others, he has left behind him critiques which are as wonderful as his own poems, and which combine the peculiar interest which pertains to two minds, the original creator and his no less gifted commentator. As a scholar, Coleridge is remarkable for the extent, the thoroughness and the vanity of his studies in so many departments of human knowledge, and perhaps more than ail else for the high moral aims, and the exciting, invigorating influence of his various productions. Animated by his example and labors, thousands of youthful scholars have widened their range of study, have been inspired to a more laborious and yet more cheerful diligence, have turned their studies to a genial and purifying influence upon their own souls, and have brought with willing steps, the first and the choicest fruits of their toils as an offering for the altar of God.

In respect to the merits of Coleridge as a theologian and philosopher, there is a diversity of judgment among those in whose opinion, on such subjects, men are accustomed to confide. None, it is believed, deny that force and acuteness of intellect, are displayed in his writings on these subjects. Much less, would any be so daring as to deny, that these writings have exerted a decisive and lasting influence in England and i...

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