A Stream by Glimpses: Coleridge’s later Imagination

  • John Beer


It is not unfitting, considering the unobtrusive but important contributions of his later writings to the development of nineteenth-century theology, that a lecture to commemorate Coleridge should be given in a church; it is more particularly fitting that it should take place in this church, where, some ten years ago, his body was finally reburied after many years of neglect — and where a large congregation (including the late T. S. Eliot) gathered to honour him in a ceremony which was more like a serious marriage-feast than a second funeral. Yet one is also driven to reflect that when his most brilliant work was achieved he was a unitarian preacher veering towards pantheism; while this in turn recalls an immortal exchange with Lamb. ‘Lamb’, said Coleridge once, ‘You have heard me preach, I think?’ ‘Coleridge’, he replied, ‘I have never heard you do anything else.’1


Human Consciousness Magnetic Earnestness Primary Consciousness Brilliant Work Single Touch 
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  1. 1.
    Diary entry of 18 Dec 1836, in Caroline Fox, Memories of Old Friends (1882) p. 12.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Letter to John Carlyle, 22 Jan 1825, quoted C. R. Sanders, Coleridge and the Broad Church Movement (Durham, N.C., 1942) pp. 151–152.Google Scholar
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    Marginal note to Aurora in Jacob Boehme, Works (1764–81) I Flyleaf (BM copy C. 126.k.1).Google Scholar
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    See Lane Cooper, ‘The Power of the Eye in Coleridge’, in Studies Presented to J. M. Hart (New York, 1901) pp. 78–121. Reprinted in his Late Harvest (Ithaca, N.Y., 1952).Google Scholar
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    Thomas McFarland, Coleridge and the Pantheist Tradition (Oxford, 1969).Google Scholar
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    J. A. Heraud, Oration on the Death of S. T. Coleridge … (1834) pp. 27–8.Google Scholar
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    E. V. Lucas, Life of Lamb (1905) ii 256.Google Scholar
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    Letters of Sara Hutchinson, ed. K. Coburn (1954) p. 428.Google Scholar
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© John Beer 1974

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  • John Beer

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