This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1904 edition. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER II THE PROLOGUE TO " A DEATH IN THE DESERT" (1-12) It seems that Browning's early theology and religion were what is often ...Read MoreThis historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1904 edition. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER II THE PROLOGUE TO " A DEATH IN THE DESERT" (1-12) It seems that Browning's early theology and religion were what is often called Puritanic. In after life he changed in many ways and passed through many intellectual phases; but profound reverence for Holy Scripture and for the essential verities of the Christian system remained with him (not perhaps without certain vacillations) to the end of his life. Whenever in his poetry he approaches a religious idea his spirit rises, and he seems to realize with unspeakable fervour the grandeur of the theme. This, at least, is the impression his poetry creates. Certainly in his delineation of the " Beloved Disciple " he is at his best. It may be added that in this poem there is an air of profound solemnity--we have passed from the busy haunts of men to the lonely desert, and are with the dying Apostle and his loving attendants: " Put thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground." It must never be forgotten that Browning's works form a consistent, yet ever developing, whole. They contain and inculcate, with every kind of illustration, and with marvellous variety of exposition, one great homogeneous system of practical, and mainly religious, philosophy--oftentimes much more subtle and profound than readers in general might suppose. Almost every piece throws light upon many others. What is merely hinted at in one poem is expanded in another. There is scarcely any author who so thoroughly expounds himself-, and whose writings require such a minute comparison and sifting. In his later poems he presupposes an acquaintance with what -he has written before, and so they should be read with regard to their chronological order. Thus Paracelsus and Sordello, difficult...Read Less
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