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Title: British Quarterly Review, American Edition, Volume LIV - July and October, 1871
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "British Quarterly Review, American Edition, Volume LIV - July and October, 1871" ***

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Transcriber's Note:

  Inconsistent hyphenation and spelling in the original document have
  been preserved.  Obvious typographical errors have been corrected.

  Italic text is denoted by _underscores_.

  Page 7:  Treves possibly should be Trèves
  Page 22: First Clause possibly should be First Cause
  Page 95:  tôi eterôi tanantia possibly should be tôi heterôi tanantia



      THE
      BRITISH QUARTERLY REVIEW.
      JULY AND OCTOBER, 1871.
      VOL LIV.

      AMERICAN EDITION.

      NEW YORK:
      PUBLISHED BY THE LEONARD SCOTT PUBLISHING COMPANY.
      140 FULTON STREET, BETWEEN BROADWAY AND NASSAU STREET.

      1871.



      S. W. GREEN,
      PRINTER, STEREOTYPER, AND BINDER,
      16 and 18 Jacob St., N. Y.



THE

BRITISH QUARTERLY REVIEW.

JULY, 1871.



ART. I.--_The Roman Empire._

(1.) _Les Césars, par Franz de Champagny._ 3 vols. Paris: Bray.

(2.) _Les Antonines, par le Comte de Champagny._ 3 vols. Paris: Bray.


The history of the Roman Empire must ever have an interest peculiar to
itself. It stands alone. Nothing in the past has been, nothing in the
future can be, like it. It was the whole civilized world. It gathered
into itself the traditions of all that had ever been great and
illustrious in the human race, Assyrian, Egyptian, Persian, Hebrew,
Phoenician, Greek, Etruscan, as well as those of the multitudinous
western tribes--Italian, Gallic, Iberian or Teutonic, which had only
made themselves known as warriors. The civilization, the arts and
sciences, the laws and institutions, the poetry and philosophy, the
whole accumulated literary treasures of all past generations were
risked on a single venture. Rome had no rival on earth, and could have
no successor. She was the ark in which were preserved all the riches
of the past, all the hopes of the future. For many centuries the most
gifted races of men had been toiling and suffering, and there was no
reason to suppose that man was capable of doing more than had been
effected by their united efforts. If that was lost, all was lost. It
was no idle boast, then, when men said, 'When Rome shall fall, the
world will fall with her.' In those ages no man looked forward to
anything greater or better. The idea that 'progress' is the natural
law and condition of the world, is one quite characteristic of modern
times. The ancient notion was that its law was that of decay and
corruption. The utmost that anyone dared to hope was that things might
not change for the worse.

And so far as appears, their judgment was well founded. Man had done
all he could. The Roman Empire exhibited the highest state of society,
which, without some supernatural interference of a higher power in the
affairs of the world, he was able to develope. Viewed in this light,
as the last act of a vast drama which had been going on for ages, it
must ever be most worthy of study. And in truth there was in it very
much that was really great and noble. The impression left on the mind
by ordinary histories, which is little more than a vague idea of mad
and grotesque tyranny on the one side, and abject servitude on the
other, is very far from doing it justice. If, as we know, there has in
fact arisen out of its ashes a new world, on the whole vastly superior
to the old, this is because, by the mercy of his Creator, man has no
longer been left to find his way without light and guidance from on
high; because after having, in the old world, left man to work out to
the end all that he could do by himself, God Himself has been pleased,
in the new world, to stretch out His own right hand and His holy arm,
and to work in man and by him. Here, then, is the striking contrast
between ancient and modern history. The one shows man working without
God, the other God working by man; and man, alas! but too often,
crossing, interfering with, and maiming His work.

But this was not all; for although, while the Empire of Rome still
lasted, the kingdom of God was not as yet visibly set up among men,
yet, almost from its very foundation, the germs of that future kingdom
were working in it. It was under the reign of the first heathen
emperor that the Prince of Peace was born into the world. The grain of
mustard-seed was already sown, and through all the centuries occupied
by the heathen empire it was growing night and day, at first
unobserved by men, in later times forcing itself on their notice,
until it became a tree whose branches overshadowed the whole earth.

There are, then, two subjects which must attract attention in any
worthy description of the Roman Empire; first, the political, social,
moral, and religious condition of the heathen world, both in itself
and in comparison with that of Christian nations, and next the effect
produced on the heathen themselves by the gradual growth and
development of Christianity in the midst of them. The internal history
of Christianity, indeed, belongs in strictness to ecclesiastical
history, but no subject has a more direct claim upon the general
historian than that of its effects upon the political, moral, and
social standard, and upon the religious opinions of those who were not
Christians.

We know, however, no English book which throws light upon either of
these two subjects. Indeed, we doubt whether there is any which ever
attempted to do so. The greatest English writer who has described
those times, was made incapable of it by his hatred of Christianity,
and by his low standard of moral feeling. In our own times, no doubt,
we have had an interesting history of the 'Romans under the Empire'
from a writer whom it would be most unjust to compare to Gibbon; but
this has not been continued so far as the period when Christianity
would have forced itself on the writer's attention. And so far as
appears, his thoughts have not been sufficiently turned to the subject
to lead him to detect its influence, where it is quite as
unquestionable if not as prominent. The result is, that although Mr.
Merivale no doubt fully believes and admits the truth and importance
of Christianity, he has given us a history of the Romans under the
Empire, in which, except in one or two short recognitions of its
truth, there is nothing to remind the reader that the old world was
ignorant of the fact that God had been manifested in the flesh, while
all that is specially worth notice in the new world that has succeeded
it, is founded upon that fact.

Mr. Merivale, of course, would reply to this criticism that he
undertook to relate the history of the Romans as it had been recorded
by Tacitus, Suetonius, Dion, and others; and that if there was nothing
in Christianity which arrested their attention, and which they have
thought worthy of record, there could be nothing which came into his
subject. This, however, implies a total mistake as to the duty of an
historian. He has to tell us, of course, what really happened, and
nothing else. But it is certain that events, in their consequences of
the greatest importance, are often so much undervalued by those who
see them in progress, that they pass them over unmentioned, devoting
their attention to things which at the moment seem more important, but
which after-times see to have been of little interest. It is Arnold's
remark, that Phillip de Comines,[1] whose memoirs 'terminate about
twenty years before the Reformation, and six years after the first
voyage of Columbus,' writes without the least notion of the momentous
character of the times which he was describing. His 'memoirs are
striking, from their perfect unconsciousness. The knell of the middle
ages had already sounded, yet Comines had no other notions than such
as they had tended to foster; he describes their events, their
characters, their relations, as if they were to continue for
centuries.' And he justly blames Barante, because, while fully able to
analyze history philosophically, 'he has chosen, in his history of the
Dukes of Burgundy, to forfeit the benefits of his own wisdom, and has
described the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries no otherwise than
might have been done by their own simple chroniclers.' What else has
Merivale done in describing, for instance, the times of the Antonines
as they appeared to contemporary heathen writers, not as we know them
really to have been, who have the means of estimating the effects even
then produced upon heathen society by the influence of the Christians,
already so numerous in the midst of it, and of comparing them with
periods in the history of many Christian nations in many respects
similar.

In contrast with the deficiencies of histories in our own language, we
would call special attention to the historical works of M. de
Champagny. We have been surprised to find how little they are known in
England, not merely by men of general culture and intelligence, but by
many whose studies have been especially directed to the history of the
Roman Empire. In France they are not only well known, but so highly
appreciated that they have won for their author a seat in the Academy,
the great object of literary ambition; and this, although the tone of
religious earnestness which runs through them, if it did not hinder,
assuredly in no degree tended to promote their popularity. At
different periods during the last forty years, M. de Champagny has
published four works on Roman history, the first two of which we have
placed at the head of this article. None of these works are called by
the author, or are exactly entitled to be called histories. They
contain, indeed, a narrative strictly confined to the facts recorded
by ancient authors, and full of life and interest; yet the narrative
is the least valuable part of the work. They are _études_, a term
which, for want of one more exactly expressing it, we may render
essays. This character pervades even the narrative: but less than half
the three volumes of 'the Cæsars' is narrative even in form. It
contains a 'picture of the Roman Empire,' giving innumerable details,
full of life and reality, of the provinces, the capital, the daily
life of the Romans, their worship, their family and social life, their
morals, their literary habits, their public amusements, and ending
with an account of the Neo-stoic philosophy which filled (so far as it
was filled at all) the place of a religion, as that word is understood
among ourselves. And throughout the whole, the comparison of the old
world and the new is kept in view. We know no work in the English
language, as we have already said, which supplies what we have here.
In 'the Antonines,' the proportion devoted to similar pictures,
especially to the estimate of the indirect influence of Christianity,
is equally large and equally important.

It would be impossible within the limits of an article, to give any
idea of the contents of essays in which our author presents, in the
lucid epigrammatic form peculiar to his country and language, the
results of a life of study and thought. What we specially desire is,
that our readers should consider for themselves whether it is not the
fact, that great as is the proportion of time and attention devoted to
the classics, in English education, the Roman Empire has been far too
much overlooked, especially in comparison with the Republic. For this
it is very easy to account. It is the natural result, not of any love
for a republic, but of that too exclusive love for the writers of the
Augustan age, which has long formed a characteristic feature in the
cultivated Englishman. The historians of the Empire, and even those
who, like Pliny, Seneca, &c., reflect its manners in contemporary
writings not professedly historical, but often of even more historical
value, are wanting in the especial charm which attracts a fastidious
scholar to the earlier history. And hence we greatly doubt whether
ninety out of one hundred boys educated at a classical school do not
practically think of Roman history, as if its interest ended with
Augustus. Before Gibbon turned attention to the 'Decline and Fall of
the Empire' this must have been still more the case. Account for this
as we may, we are sure that it is greatly to be regretted. For,
beautiful as is 'Livy's pictured page,' the state of society which it
presents--(that of a simple people, denizens of a single city,
retaining many of the virtues and faults of a rude age, esteeming
courage in the field as for all citizens the first and most necessary
of virtues, and valuing temperance, a life of labour, &c., chiefly, as
conducing to it)--has so little in common with our daily life and
habits, that the practical lessons impressed upon us are hardly more
than if we read as many pages of the 'Thousand and One Nights.' In
saying this, we by no means desire to discourage the study of writers
whom we heartily love and admire. It is a great thing to store the
mind (especially in the plastic season of youth) with images of
beauty; nor do we believe that the peculiar refinement of taste formed
by such an education is attainable by any other means. The first
decade of Livy, for instance, ranks high in that class of books, at
the top of which stand the 'Iliad' and the 'Odyssey.' Still, history
has an importance of its own, and it seems to us indisputable that the
strictly historical value of later Roman times is (at least in the
present age of the world) far greater than that of the golden age of
the Republic. Allowing for the immense difference between a heathen
and a Christian society, the world ruled by Marcus Aurelius is one in
which we can easily imagine ourselves to be living. We are sure that
no thoughtful man can read many pages of M. de Champagny's works
without finding his mind filled with thoughts and lessons which bear
immediately on the state of society in which our lot is cast. The
evils and corruptions which were undermining the Roman world were, in
many respects, those against which we are called to guard or contend.
Where there is a contrast, it is one which it is well for us to
observe; for it may easily be traced to the special blessings which
the indirect action of Christianity has conferred upon every class of
modern society, even upon those who have, more or less wilfully,
rejected it.

One fact which we think will strike every reader is that the state of
things under the Empire, as compared with that under the Republic, was
far better than ordinary histories would lead us to suppose. They
detail the mad and sanguinary tyranny of Caligula and Nero, but give
us little means of estimating the peace and prosperity which, for more
than two centuries after Augustus, prevailed, almost without
interruption, through the vast extent of his empire. Nothing could be
stronger than the practical appreciation of this by the generations
who lived under it. Pliny speaks of 'the immense majesty of the Roman
peace;' and these words 'Pax Romana' seem to have been almost as much
household words in his day as the phrase 'Our glorious constitution in
Church and State' in those of George III. To say that the heathen
world had never seen anything like it would greatly understate the
fact. There has been nothing like it since, any more than there had
been before. During several centuries, peace reigned almost
uninterrupted through the vast regions which extend from the Euphrates
to the Western shores of France and Portugal, from the slopes of the
Cheviots to the slopes of the Atlas. Passing over the very brief civil
contest which followed the death of Nero, the only exception was the
Jewish rebellion. The regions most favoured by nature of any that
earth holds--those which on every side surround the Mediterranean Sea,
Spain, the South of France, Italy, Greece, Asia Minor, Syria, Egypt,
the Northern coasts of Africa--were full of rich and highly-civilized
cities, which, undisturbed by wars or rumours of wars, freely
exchanged the productions of their various climates and their
different industries. Many of them, among which we may name Athens,
Alexandria, and Carthage, were the chosen seats of learning and
philosophy. Men thought little of crossing the sea one way or the
other between Africa and Italy, France or Spain, as they might be
tempted by facilities for study or business, or even by curiosity.
When all formed part of one great empire, trade had no impediments
from laws of protection, or from the jealousy of rival nations or
governments.

Neither must it be supposed that the peace which afforded these
advantages was purchased at the cost of subjection to a great military
tyranny. Nothing is more remarkable, yet nothing more certain, than
the fact that Rome, which made herself mistress of the world by
military force, ruled and maintained her dominion over the world she
had conquered, by the superiority of her purely civil administration.
Throughout these immense regions, the Roman military establishment
consisted, under Tiberius, of between 160,000 and 180,000 men under
arms; and even these were not kept in the great cities or the interior
of the provinces to preserve order. They were stationed on the
frontiers, to guard the unarmed population of those huge countries
from the predatory invasions of the surrounding barbarians. Four
legions kept watch on the Euphrates, three (or perhaps five) on the
Danube, eight on the Rhine, and three on the Northern border of the
British province. In the whole interior of Gaul, that is to say, in
the districts which are now France, Belgium, and Germany west of the
Rhine, there were (see 'Les Césars,' vol. ii. 304) only 1,200 men
under arms. The naval force, which maintained the peace of the
Mediterranean, checking the plague of piracy which had been so
prevalent in earlier times, as it has been almost to the present day,
consisted of three fleets, stationed at Ravenna, at Misenum, and at
Forum Julii (now Frejus); the three together consisted of 15,000 men.
There were also twenty-four vessels employed in the defence of the
Rhine, and as many on the Danube. Italy and Spain were without
soldiers, except about 9,000 pretorians in the immediate neighbourhood
of Rome. Asia Minor, abounding in wealth and population, with princely
cities enjoying the civilization of a thousand years and all the
treasures of art and industry in undisturbed repose, was administered
by unarmed governors. 'Beyond the Black Sea there were 3,000 men to
guard that inhospitable coast, and retain in obedience to Rome the
kings of the Bosphorus. The other kings were responsible to Rome for
the tranquillity of their kingdoms, and exercised the police over them
at their own cost, with the aid of such troops as Rome permitted them
to levy.'

Well may M. de Champagny exclaim--

      'These feeble material forces in an empire which was never
      without some war seem marvellous when we compare them with
      the burdensome armaments of modern powers, and the enormous
      sacrifices imposed upon them in time of profound peace,
      merely to maintain their position with regard to foreign
      countries, and assure the tranquillity of their
      States.'--('Les Césars,' vol. ii. 305.)

The contrast is, indeed, remarkable. A very large portion of the old
Roman Empire no longer forms part of the modern civilised world. The
remainder probably maintained, before the outbreak of the present war,
about 3,000,000 of men under arms, none of whom were employed (like
the armies of ancient Rome) in defending the frontier of a civilised
land against the incursions of warlike barbarous neighbours, but all
in jealously watching the power of neighbouring States and maintaining
a balance--how effectually the events of the last year have but too
plainly shown--or in holding down the struggles of revolutionary
parties at home.

To point the contrast, M. de Champagny shows that the army which
guarded each province of the Empire was composed of natives of the
country in which it was stationed. Roman citizens they no doubt were,
but citizens of provincial extraction, posted to defend in arms on
behalf of Rome the very land which their fathers, only a few
generations back, had defended against her. To this very day neither
France nor England has ventured to imitate this liberal policy.
Ireland is garrisoned by soldiers of English birth, and Breton
conscripts, in times of profound peace, were sent to fulfil their time
of service at Lyons and Paris.

It need hardly be said that the rule which was thus maintained, cannot
have been felt to be severe or oppressive by the subjugated people.
Our author traces the institutions by which the people in the
conquered provinces were gradually assimilated to the conquerors. We
have no space to follow him in detail. The principle was to leave each
nation in possession of its own laws and institutions, and to preserve
to the cities the right of self-government. The degrees of liberty
were different in different cases. In many cases the only restriction
was that they abandoned the right of making war and peace, engaging to
hold as their friends and enemies all whom Rome so held.

      'No doubt when Rome was a party this liberty shrank into
      small dimensions. The ancient institutions of the peoples
      were reduced to the dimensions of municipal charters, their
      magistrates became lieutenants of police, their areopagus
      an _hôtel de ville_. But still, conquered Athens retained
      its areopagus, the Greek cities had still their senates,
      their popular assemblies, Marseilles retained that
      constitution which had been so much admired by Cicero. Some
      cities, such as Marseilles, Nismes, and Sparta, were not
      merely free, but sovereign; others remained under their own
      laws. Leagues which really meant anything, powerful
      confederations, had been dissolved, but when Greece, in
      memory of its ancient amphictyonic councils, met at Elis or
      Olympia to hold dances in honour of her gods, when all the
      Ionian peoples gathered in the Temple of the Panionium for
      sacrifices and games, these innocent memorials of a common
      origin or of hereditary alliances mattered nothing to Rome.
      More than this, the towns of Caria, or the three and twenty
      cities of Lycia, assembled their deputies not only for
      feasts and games, but to deliberate upon their affairs,
      and, provided they did not discuss peace or war, these
      traces of political liberty gave no offence to the
      liberalism of Rome. Rome had a marvellous power of
      perceiving how much of independence would suffice to
      content nations without being dangerous; and I doubt
      whether any free and sovereign city of our modern Europe,
      Cracow for instance [a note added here gives the date of
      the first publication of the passage, 1842], is so
      completely mistress at home, as Rhodes and Cizicus were
      allowed to be under Augustus; whether there is any senate
      so much respected as the curia of Tarragona or the council
      of six hundred at Marseilles; or a burgomaster whose powers
      of police are so sovereign as those of the suffete at
      Carthage or the archion at Athens were allowed to be.'
      ('Les Césars,' vol. ii. 338.)

But while leaving the conquered cities in possession of their ancient
laws and government, Rome introduced in the midst of every province
Latin and Roman franchises, which were given sometimes to old,
sometimes to newly-founded cities. Each of these colonies afforded
many steps, by which the members of the conquered countries might
ascend, more or less completely, to the privileges of the Roman
citizen, and thus the ambition of becoming Romans quickly supplanted
the aspirations after political independence, which could hardly fail
to remain among a newly-conquered people. While enlarging upon this
remarkable characteristic of the Roman system of government over
conquered nations, M. de Champagny introduces a curious episode, into
which we may venture to follow him, and in which he contrasts the
French and English systems in the government of foreign dependencies.
He says:--

      'The Frenchman is a contrast to the Roman; his conquests
      are merely military, and are therefore transient in
      comparison with those of the Roman, which were always
      political. The Frenchman is a much better master, because
      more sociable, more humane, but he always wishes to show
      that he is master, officially, prominently, forcibly. There
      is wanting to him a sort of reserve, both towards others
      and himself. Instead of disguising his power he makes a
      point of letting it be seen, felt, touched, and thus he
      makes it annoying or compromises it. He never understands
      the importance of some things which appear very small, but
      which touch the heart of a foreigner; he laughs at him as
      he does at himself; he insists that people should be like
      him. He wishes to enforce on them his own laws, his
      manners, his language, nay, his vices. He wants them all to
      be adopted at once, not gradually, but by force, openly,
      without delay. All this of course as a benefit--but what
      insults people more than anything else, is a benefit
      imposed by force. He is unpopular without being the least
      conscious of it, having no suspicion that he has been
      tyrannical, and sincerely believes that he is securing the
      happiness of the people whom he is deeply irritating, till
      all of a sudden his power is overthrown by a storm which he
      never thought of expecting. It was thus that India slipped
      out of our hands in a few years. In a few months all
      Germany roused herself for the great contest of 1813. In a
      single day the bells of Palermo gave freedom to Sicily. No
      French conquest has ever been lasting.

      'On the other hand we are reminded by this Roman invasion
      and colonization, so active, so obstinate, so universal, of
      the incessant and indefatigable advance of English
      colonization.'

He attributes this to the manner in which the English have allowed
the conquered to retain their own institutions, customs, practices,
and religion, thus making the fact of conquest as little evident as
possible.

      'England, like Rome, does not pride itself on making its
      own language and its own laws universal. The _Prætor
      peregrinus_ at Rome judged all peoples according to their
      national laws. The Lord Chancellor in London judges the
      Canadian according to French law, the inhabitant of Jersey
      according to the customs of Normandy, of the Isle of France
      (Mauritius) according to the Code Napoleon, the Indian
      according to the law of Manou. The social system of England
      is no more forced on strangers than the social system of
      Rome; the Mussulman is not obliged to drink its ale, nor
      the Hindoo to attend its church. All it demands is the
      right of introducing itself, and introduce itself it does,
      whole and entire, without modifying or conforming itself,
      retaining its proud isolation and disdainful peculiarity.
      This is the course of nations endowed alike with the spirit
      of conquest and of conservatism. Rome and England have kept
      their conquests, because their conquest has always been
      intelligent and politic, because among them the statesman
      has always been master of the warrior, when it has not
      happened that the warrior himself was a statesman.' ('Les
      Césars,' vol. ii. 333.)

Our first impression in reading this passage was that the author had
done more than justice to the wisdom of the English people. On second
thoughts, however, we believe what he says to be substantially true.
There are obvious exceptions on both sides. For instance, nothing can
be more remarkable than the manner in which France has succeeded in
attaching to herself the German provinces, stolen by Louis XIV. less
than two centuries ago; while, on the other hand, England has held
Ireland at least since the accession of James I., partially since
Henry II., and has never managed for a single day to attach it to
herself. The last case is explained, because England, however it may
be accounted for, adopted in Ireland exactly the opposite course to
that described by M. de Champagny, and forced her own institutions
upon a people for whom they were quite unfit. Mr. Gladstone evidently
hopes that it is not too late to reconcile Ireland, by allowing it (as
the Romans certainly would have done) to be governed by Irish ideas.
The loss of the English colonies in America is another instance, for
which M. de Champagny, we think, imperfectly accounts. The other
instances he mentions seem in point. We do not believe that Frenchmen
would have allowed the people of India to retain their institutions,
manners, &c., as they have actually done under English government. As
for Alsace, Lorraine, and Franche Comté, it is to be observed that
they were not held as dependencies, but were at once made an integral
part of France: and we believe that M. de Montalembert was right in
the opinion he expressed, that they had remained intensely
anti-French, until after the great Revolution, which for the first
time melted down the whole of France into one nationality. This may
easily be accounted for. Englishmen who think of that revolution are
apt to remember only the hideous crimes by which it was sullied. To
the French peasants, and perhaps more especially in the German
provinces, the revolution meant the abolition of the feudal system; a
system always oppressive to all classes, and most of all to those
lower classes on whom the whole weight of the enormous structure
rested and pressed.

But we must return to the Roman Empire. By the system we have
described it avoided what is ever the most grinding of tyrannies, the
domination of race over race. The conquered races, while retaining
their national institutions, very easily attained a place among the
Romans themselves, and before long, felt that the Empire and all it
contained was their own. Before the fall of the Republic, all Italians
either enjoyed the full privileges of Romans or knew that they could
very easily obtain them. Julius Cæsar had no sooner conquered Gaul
than he admitted some Gauls to the senate. This seems to have been
premature, and they are said to have been excluded from it by
Augustus. But the policy was steadily continued. Claudius, who was an
antiquarian, made a well-known speech on the occasion of admitting
more Gauls to the honour. Later we find men of almost every province
in the highest offices, and even attaining the imperial dignity.

The great proof of the wisdom of this system was in its working. The
civilized world was under the dominion of a single city; and yet there
was no example of any national revolt, except in the one instance of
Judæa; nay, conquered countries deprecated as the greatest of evils
separation from the Roman Empire. The 'groans of Britain' when the
Romans withdrew from her are well known. But the Gauls afforded a
still stronger example. They were among the most warlike and restless
of all ancient nations. Their very name had been the greatest terror
Rome ever knew. They were made subjects of Rome, after an heroic and
desperate resistance, in which a million of them perished, only fifty
years before the Christian era. How soon they were left without the
presence of any controlling Roman force we are not informed. Such,
unquestionably, must have been their ordinary position, to say the
least, long before the death of Nero, only one hundred and eighteen
years later (A.D. 68). In the civil commotions which followed, almost
the whole Roman force (itself, as we have already seen, composed of
natives, and employed not to enforce obedience, but to protect the
frontier against invasion) was withdrawn into Italy. A small number of
enterprising Gauls thought this a favourable opportunity for restoring
the national independence. What, however, is most remarkable is, that
it does not seem for one moment to have suggested itself, even to
them, to abolish the Roman or restore the ancient national
institutions. Their hope was to separate themselves from Italy, and
set up a Roman Empire, whose seat should be in Gaul. It seems to have
been owing to this circumstance, that the small remains of the
legionary soldiers still left in the country joined in the
movement--an event quite without example. For several months Gaul was
to all intents and purposes independent, yet its internal affairs and
government seem to have gone on without the least change. The
provincials, left wholly to themselves, convened at Treves a general
assembly of all the Gallic nations, and this assembly determined,
after full discussion, that Gaul should remain a province of the Roman
Empire.

And this was the voluntary resolution of a nation celebrated all over
the world for its warlike courage, and which had been conquered by
Rome less than one hundred and twenty years before. It seems
impossible that anything could more clearly have demonstrated that the
Empire of Rome over the conquered provinces was maintained, not by
force, but by the free will of the provincials.

M. de Champagny gives it as his deliberate opinion that the Roman
Empire, during the first two centuries, is to be regarded as 'a
federation of free nations under an absolute monarch.' He has a most
interesting chapter ('Antonines,' book iv. ch. 11) on the liberties of
the Roman Empire, in which he especially compares them with those of
the nations of modern Europe. It was published under the reign of
Louis Philippe, and is doubly interesting to English readers, both for
the contrast which it establishes between the Roman Empire and the
most free Continental States; and also because it throws much
undesigned light upon the immense difference between the meaning
attached to the word liberty in France and in England. He deliberately
declares, and, we think, proves, that a subject had much greater
personal freedom under the Antonines than under any of the most free
Continental kingdoms. Of political liberty, he says the moderns have
much more--the free press, the right of voting, the tribune (_i.e._,
the power of addressing a public legislative assembly), charters,
constitutions, _habeas corpus_.

      'And yet I venture to doubt whether Europe in the
      nineteenth century, at the present moment, is much more
      free than the ancient world, even under the Roman Empire
      (of course I do not include the slaves).... We, the proud
      citizens of a Parliamentary monarchy, who have made
      revolutions when we were called _subjects_--subjects
      nevertheless we were and still are, every day of our lives.
      We were and are unable to go from Paris to Neuilly; or to
      dine more than twenty together; or to have in our
      portmanteau three copies of the same tract; or to lend a
      book to a friend; or to put a patch of mortar on our own
      house, if it stands in a street; or to kill a partridge, or
      to plant a tree near a roadside; or to dig coal out of our
      own land; or to teach three or four children to read; or to
      gather our neighbours for prayer; or to have an oratory in
      our house (what is it that constitutes an oratory?); or to
      bleed a sick man; or to sell him a medicine; or (in some
      countries) to be married; or to do any one of a thousand
      other things, which it would fill volumes to enumerate;
      without permission from the Government, which permission,
      we are carefully told, is always, and in its very nature,
      subject to be recalled. In three cases out of four, indeed,
      the Government does not either authorise or forbid; it
      tolerates. We live by toleration. We are born, we have a
      home, a family, we bring up our children, we have a God, we
      have a religion, all by the indulgent and merciful, but
      always revocable, toleration of the ruling power. Of all
      things that man does there is only one over which the
      Government has no authority. We are allowed to die without
      its permission. Still, we do need it in order to allow us
      to be buried. At certain moments we have sovereign power
      over great and public matters, but in small matters of
      private life we are subjects, nay, inferior to subjects.
      Unluckily, these small matters make up our life, and these
      private matters are just the things important in
      life.'--('Antonines,' vol. ii. 182.)

This passage brings out in strong light the substantial difference
between our own system and that of the Continental nations. In France,
notwithstanding the passionate demand for liberty which has been
uttered from time to time, we sincerely believe there neither now is
nor ever has been any party which has ever desired what we mean by
liberty, or even understood what it is; and hence, numerous as have
been its revolutions, there is one point on which every government in
France, at least since the days of Richelieu, has been of one mind.
No one of them has respected what we mean by 'personal liberty.' No
one has seriously thought of leaving men to do what they like, as long
as they do not interfere with the liberty and rights of their
neighbour. In this there has been no substantial difference between
the _ancien régime_, the republic, the first empire, the monarchy of
the restoration, the monarchy of July, the second republic, the second
empire, the government of defence. We see no reason to hope that the
system to be authorised by the Assembly just elected will, in this
respect, differ from any of its predecessors. But this is not a thing
peculiar to France. We doubt whether it is not carried even farther in
Germany. We believe the Continental State which, in this respect, is
most like England, to be Switzerland. If Englishmen are wise they will
be on the watch to prevent the gradual introduction of this
Continental system. It is evil, not merely because it needlessly
limits and interferes with the liberty which is the choicest of the
natural gifts of God to man, but because by accustoming men to walk in
leading strings it gradually makes them incapable of walking without
them. A Prussian in England last winter expressed strong misgivings
whether it would be right to skate, because the Government had not yet
authorised it. We have known a Roman gentleman of our own day complain
of the Pope's Government, because he had never been taught to swim.
These things, ludicrous as they are, are symptoms of a very serious
evil, they show that men have been treated like children until their
minds have become childish. Mr. Göschen, some years back, said that he
saw great danger of the same system gradually creeping in among
ourselves. It was likely to come, he said, not because the Government
is anxious to interfere, but because there is a continual tendency on
the part of the people to call for its interference. We shall do well
to sacrifice something of uniformity and energy in many departments,
if they can only be obtained by the sacrifice of liberty. The very
fact that political power has lately been extended so much more widely
among us increases instead of diminishing the danger. Classes long
shut out from political power naturally feel much more eager for
equality than for liberty. In France it is this passion for equality
that makes personal liberty almost hopeless. Under the Roman Empire
equality was never dreamed of. The cities of the same province might
be divided into half a dozen classes, each of which had different
degrees of self-government. But there was none in which a man could so
little do what he liked as in modern Paris. M. de Champagny accounts
for this:--

      'The liberties of the Roman Empire consisted not in its
      laws, but in something greater or less than laws--in facts,
      and these facts may be summed up in one. The art of
      government was not then brought to perfection as it is now.
      There was more freedom because there was less civilization.
      Not to say that Cæsar had neither telegraphs nor railroads,
      he had not even any system of administration. This was his
      first want. He had no hierarchy of functionaries, depending
      upon each other, each subject to be promoted or dismissed
      by some other, or by the common master.... Then (a second
      want), he neither had nor could have a police; all he had
      was a set of volunteer spies, called _delators_,
      inconvenient and even dangerous instruments. The heart of
      Tiberius would have bounded at the very idea of a great
      system of administrative _délation_ and _espionage_ [thank
      God English writers are compelled to use Latin or French
      words to express a thought so foreign to our manners]
      organised from above, and extending its branches everywhere
      below, such as that for which I believe we are indebted to
      M. de Sartines.[2] His heart would have bounded, but his
      purse would have failed, for (his third want) Cæsar had no
      budget. The art of finance was in its infancy. Those vast
      regions, on an average as rich as they are now, and which
      now pay to their actual sovereigns, without much complaint,
      at least two hundred millions sterling, did not produce to
      Cæsar sixteen millions sterling, and inasmuch as the
      contributions which produced these sixteen millions had to
      pass through the hands of some fifty thousand publicans and
      agents of finance, the contributors, who paid perhaps twice
      as much as the Emperor received, cried out fearfully.
      Lastly, if Cæsar, wishing to compel his people, had brought
      on any serious rising, he would have had no means of
      putting it down, for (a fourth want) Cæsar, having no
      budget, had no army. Those countries, which now furnish not
      less than three millions of soldiers, in those days,
      without being much less populous than they are now, did not
      furnish more than 300,000 men, and these 300,000 were
      absorbed by the guard on the frontiers. There were whole
      provinces without a single soldier. This Empire, without
      administration, without police, without budget, without
      army, would make the lowest clerk in the prefecture of
      police, the prefecture of the Seine, the offices of the
      Minister of War, or the Minister of Finance, shrug his
      shoulders at its poverty--military, fiscal, and
      administrative--I know that. But what would have been
      thought of our monarchies, so well constituted, so
      vigilant, so rich, so powerfully armed, I do not say by the
      clerks, but by the subjects of the Roman
      Empire?'--('Anton.,' vol. ii. p. 185.)

We heartily wish we had space to give the whole of the chapter from
which we have made these extracts. The author proves in detail that
under the Empire there was liberty of property, municipal liberty,
liberty of association, liberty of worship (except for the
Christians), liberty of education, liberty of speech. This last, M. de
Champagny most truly says, was far more general at Rome under Trajan
than under Louis Philippe at Paris. 'That liberty of the tongue was
the liberty of every man: what is our liberty of the press than the
liberty of two hundred journalists?' It was this that made Tacitus
exclaim, 'Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quæ velis, et quæ
sentias licet dicere.' The effect of this was that

      'A modern European, as soon as he goes out of his own door
      and begins to act, to think, to live, among his fellows,
      must take for granted that everything is forbidden except
      what is expressly authorized. Under the Roman Empire,
      everything not expressly forbidden was understood to be
      authorized. Above all, intellectual liberty was complete.
      Every one talked, listened, gave and received information
      publicly as he pleased. Doctrines spread. Schools of
      thought raised themselves without interference of authority
      until it felt itself in danger, not from the general
      independence of thought (that misgiving had not yet come
      into anyone's mind), but from the special character of some
      teaching which arrested its attention. Even when the
      Imperial Government made up its mind to be severe, its
      rigour might often be averted, sometimes even paralyzed, by
      the municipal authority, which alone was on the spot and in
      activity in the interior of each great city. It was thus
      that the Christian teachers and apologists presented
      themselves as "philosophers," for, as a general rule,
      philosophers were at liberty to teach what they thought
      fit.'

No wonder that centuries of peace, free government of each city and
nation under its own immemorial laws and customs, and taxation little
more than nominal, led to the mighty public works, the very ruins of
which are still the wonders of the world--the roads, 'massy causeways,
whose foundations were beneath the surface, their surface many feet
above it'--the system of navigable rivers and canals which made
communication through the whole world (as it then was) easier and
swifter than it ever was in England before the time of the generation
not yet passed away. M. de Champagny quotes the words of Tertullian:--

      'The world itself is opened up, and becomes from day to day
      more civilized, and increases the sum of human enjoyment.
      Every place is reached, has been made known, is full of
      business. Solitudes, famous of old, have changed their
      aspects under the richest cultivation. The plough has
      levelled forests, and the beasts that prey on man have
      given place to those that serve him. Corn waves on the
      sea-shores; rocks are opened out into roads, marshes are
      drained, cities are more numerous now than villages in
      former times. The island has lost its savageness, and the
      cliff its desolation. Houses spring up everywhere, and men
      to dwell in them. On all sides are government and life.
      What better proof can we have of the multiplication of our
      race than that man has become a drug, while the very
      elements scarcely meet our needs; our wants outrun the
      supplies; and the complaint is general that we have
      exhausted Nature herself.'[3]

Again, he quotes Pliny:--

      'Rome has united the scattered empires. She has given
      softness to manners; she has made the industry of all
      peoples, the productiveness of all climates, a common
      possession. She has given a common language to nations
      separated by the discordance and the rudeness of their
      dialects. She has civilized the most savage and most
      distant tribes. She has taught man humanity.'

      'War,' says another writer, 'is now nothing more than a
      tale of ancient days, which our age refuses to believe; or,
      if it does chance that we learn that some Moorish or
      Getulean clan has presumed to provoke the arms of Rome, we
      seem to dream, as we hear of these distant combats. The
      world seems to keep perpetual holiday. It has laid aside
      the sword, and thinks only of rejoicings and feasts. There
      is no rivalry between cities except in magnificence and
      luxury; they are made up of porticoes, aqueducts, temples,
      and colleges. Not cities only, but the earth itself puts on
      gay attire and cultivation, like that of a sumptuous
      garden. Rome, in one word, has given to the world something
      like a new life.'

M. de Champagny thinks that our present civilization would 'seem mean
and poor to one of the contemporaries of Cicero, or even to one of the
subjects of Nero.' ('Les Césars,' vol. ii. 397.) He shows how this
would be felt, both as to public and private life, and especially
refers to Pompeii. In proof of his assertion we must refer our readers
to a passage, much too long to quote, as to the daily life of Rome
itself. He follows a Roman, 'not opulent, but merely well off' through
his day:--

      The sun has no sooner risen than his house is thronged by
      clients (_manè salutantes_). This is a hasty _levée_. Then
      the patron, surrounded by his followers, goes down to the
      forum; if he likes, he is carried in a litter by his
      slaves. There the serious business of the day is
      conducted--causes, money payments, and arrangements; "all
      is activity, chatter, noise." But, at noon, all ceases; the
      audience breaks up, the shops are deserted, the streets are
      soon silent, and during the artificial night of the
      _siesta_ no one is to be seen but stragglers returning to
      their houses, or lovers, who come, as if it were really
      night, to sigh beneath the balcony of their ladies.
      Business to-morrow. For the rest of the day Rome was free;
      Rome was asleep. The poor man lay down to sleep in the
      portico; the rich on the ground-floor of his house, in the
      silence and darkness of a room without windows, and to the
      sound of the fountains in the _cavædium_, slept, mused, or
      dreamed. Later than four o'clock, no business might be
      proposed in the Senate, and there were Romans who after
      that hour would not open a letter.

      'About two the streets began to fill again. The crowd
      flowed towards the Campus Martius. There was a vast meadow,
      where the young men practised athletics, ran, and threw the
      javelin. The elders sat, talked, and looked on. Sometimes
      they had exercises of their own; often they walked in the
      sun. The exposure of the naked body to its life-giving
      action served them instead of the gymnasium. The women had
      their walks under the porticoes. This, too, was an hour of
      activity, but of merry, gay, satisfied activity.

      'At three a bell sounded, and the baths were opened. The
      bath combined business, medical treatment, and pleasure.
      The poor enjoyed them in the public baths, the voluptuous
      rich, in their palaces.... The bath was a place of
      assembly, with a degree of boyish freedom. There was
      laughing, talk, gaming, even dancing.... There, too, the
      great affair of the day was arranged--the supper--almost
      the only social meal of a Roman. As evening came on, the
      party stretched themselves, leaning on their elbows, round
      the hospitable table, and had before them for the meal and
      for society all the hours till night. It commonly consisted
      of six or seven (never more than the Muses, said the
      proverb, or less than the Graces), stretched on couches of
      purple and gold, round a table of precious wood. A large
      band of servants was employed in the service of the feast;
      the _maître d'hôtel_ provided it, the _structor_ placed the
      dishes in symmetrical order, the _scissor_ carved. Young
      slaves, in short tunics, placed on the table the huge
      silver salver, changed for each course, upon which the
      dishes were tastefully arranged. Children kept, what
      Indians in our day call punkahs, in motion over the heads
      of the company, to drive away the flies, and to cool them.
      Young and beautiful cup-bearers, with long robes and
      flowing hair, filled the cups with wine, others sprinkled
      on the floor an infusion of vervain and Venus-hair, which
      was supposed to promote cheerfulness. Round the table are
      songs, dances, and symphonies, tricks of buffoons, or
      discussions of philosophers. In the midst of all this
      merry-making the king of the feast gives the toasts, counts
      the cups, and crowns the guests with short-lived flowers.
      "Let us lose no time to live," he said, "for death is
      drawing near; let us crown our heads before we go down to
      Pluto." In fact, the dominant thought of ancient society
      was to live, to enjoy, to shut out from life as much as
      possible everything of suffering, care, toil, and
      duty.'--('Les Césars,' vol. ii. p. 388.)[4]

One essential feature of the Roman world, as compared with ours,
judging alike by the remains which still exist, and by the hints of
ancient authors, was the far greater extent and magnificence of the
public buildings of all kinds, and the comparatively confined size of
ordinary private houses. This our author especially points out at
Pompeii, a country town of the third or fourth class, the public
buildings of which, as far as they have hitherto been uncovered,
astonish modern visitors by their extent and magnificence. Such was
the natural tendency of a society in which men spent little time in
their own houses, and mixed much with their fellows. Many a Roman in
easy circumstances seems to have used his house chiefly for sleeping
and meals. It mattered little, with such habits, how contracted might
be the other parts, if the public banqueting room was spacious and
highly ornamented; and such was the character of the houses at
Pompeii. The extreme magnificence of the baths, porticoes, theatres,
&c., at Rome, all the world knows. Our author enlarges on this part of
the subject. But we will quote a few words upon it from a living
English writer:--

      'What was the life that Rome bestowed upon her inhabitants?
      Judge of it by the gift of an emperor to his people; of
      such gifts there were many in Rome. A vast square, of more
      than a thousand feet, comprehended within its various
      courts three great divisions. One contained libraries,
      picture and sculpture galleries, music halls, and every
      need for the cultivation of the mind. A second, courts for
      gymnastics, riding, wrestling, and every bodily exercise. A
      third, the baths; but how little the word, associated with
      modern poverty conveys a notion of the thing! There were
      tepid, vapour, and swimming baths, accompanied with
      perfumes and frictions, giving to the body an elastic
      suppleness. [We believe the author has omitted the chief
      thing conveyed to a Roman by the term, viz., what we now
      call the Turkish bath, dry heat, producing perspiration.]
      Then, as to their material: alabaster vied with marble;
      mosaic pavements, with ceilings painted in fresco; walls
      were encrusted with ivory, and a softened daylight
      reflected from mirrors; while on all sides a host of
      servants were engaged in the various offices of the bath.
      The afternoon _siesta_ is over; a bell sounds, the _thermæ_
      open. There all Rome assembles, to chat, to criticise, to
      declaim. There is the coffee-house, theatre, exchange,
      palace, school, museum, parliament, and drawing-room, in
      one. There is food for the mind, exercise and refreshment
      for the body. There, if anywhere, the eye can be satisfied
      with seeing, and the ear with hearing; and every sense and
      every taste find but a too ready gratification. This feast
      of intellect, this palace of ancient power and art is open
      daily, without cost, or for the smallest sum, to every
      Roman citizen. Private wealth in modern times bestows a few
      of these gifts on a select number; but poor as well as rich
      could revel in them, without fear of exhaustion, in this
      treasure-house of material civilization.'

We have enlarged on the material blessings enjoyed under the Roman
Empire, because, as we began by saying, we are convinced that the
mass, even of those who have received a classical education, have
never sufficiently estimated them. But it is curious, on the other
hand, to observe how much the judgment even of the most learned and
thoughtful men, whose standard of excellence was merely earthly, has
been dazzled when they have allowed themselves seriously to consider
them. Gibbon goes so far as to say, 'If a man were called upon to fix
the period in the history of the world during which the condition of
the human race was most happy and prosperous, he would without
hesitation name that which elapsed from the death of Domitian to the
accession of Commodus.'

The great poet of the last generation mourns over the fall of Rome--

      'Alas! the golden city, and alas!
      The trebly kindred triumphs.'

He laments over fallen earthly greatness:

                           'Dost thou flow,
      Old Tiber, through a marble wilderness?
      Rise with thy yellow waves and mantle her distress.'

So laments the world over fallen worldly greatness and glory. Our own
estimate of the matter is the very opposite. We know, indeed, that the
time was coming, and coming apace, in which not only the great city
and its empire, but all the greatness and glory of the old heathen
world was to be so utterly swept away, that for weeks together the
very spot where Rome had once stood remained untrodden by any human
foot, and abandoned to the birds of the air and the beasts of the
field. But in all this we see nothing over which any man need lament,
unless, indeed, he esteems mere material prosperity above all that is
truly noble and exalted in man. Rather are we disposed to cry out with
exultation--

      'Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, and is become the
      habitation of devils, and hold of every foul spirit, and a
      cage of every unclean and hateful bird.--The kings of the
      earth shall bewail over her, and lament for her, when they
      shall see the smoke of her burning, standing afar off for
      the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas! that great
      city Babylon, that mighty city,... which was clothed in
      fine linen and purple and scarlet, and decked with gold
      and precious stones and pearls.--Rejoice over her, thou
      heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets, for God hath
      avenged you on her!'

For, in truth, all this splendour and luxury was not merely
associated, but inseparably one with a moral system, by far the most
execrable, the most indescribable, the most inconceivable, under which
God's earth ever groaned. The morals of the accursed race were far too
foul to be described here. They became the wonder and loathing, the
byword of contempt even of the heathen barbarians by whom they were
surrounded.[5] Lust, not merely unbridled, but wearing out and jading
itself to invent new ways of pollution; and cruelty, shedding man's
blood like water--these were the very foundations of the gorgeous
fabric. Any cure for these evils, except in the total sweeping away of
the whole order of society, was, as we shall soon see, utterly
hopeless.

First of all, the prosperity which we have described was only the
privilege of a favoured class. The mass of the population derived from
it no benefit. The whole social system was founded on slavery. The
whole domestic service, nay, the manufacturing, and what is to modern
ideas far more marvellous, even the intellectual labour, was performed
by slaves. It is calculated that in Rome itself the slave population
was twice or three times as numerous as the free. These slaves were
drawn from races fully equal to their masters in natural gifts, they
were often their equals even in culture; and every one of these slaves
was by Roman law not a person, but a thing. The male slave was not a
man, the female slave not a woman. 'The slave is without rights,
without a family, without a God.'[6] The hideous moral pollution which
this state of law not merely rendered possible, but consecrated, is
defended from exposure in the language of a Christian country by its
unutterable, inconceivable foulness; and of the moral system of
heathen Rome, as a whole, the same must be said. It is like the beast
of the American prairies, which no hunter dare touch because it emits
a stench which none can endure. We are well aware that this of
necessity prevents our exhibiting this side of the question with
anything like justice. Let us thank God that, far as our age has
fallen beneath the standard of Christianity, it is still so much
pervaded by Christian instincts that no writer, not even the most
utterly abandoned in his personal character, would dare to publish to
the world what was practised without shame or concealment by men who
were esteemed free from reproach and models of virtue. 'It is a shame
even to speak of the things that are done of them in secret.' Thus
much, however, we may say, that the men whom the heathen Romans
honoured, not merely for greatness, but especially for virtue, lived
without shame in all the horrors described by St. Paul in that
terrible first chapter of the Epistle to the Romans; and poets, as
deeply pervaded as man ever was with a sense of the beautiful, nay,
who undertook to be the moral reformers of their age, introduced into
the midst of their most delicious strains not mention merely, but
praises of things which the moral standard of our age forbids us to
mention--even for execration; for these are they of whom the Apostles
testifies that 'they not only do such things, but have pleasure in
them that do them.'

Neither must we look upon slavery, and the indescribable system of
pollution which it sprang from, as an evil accidentally attached to
heathen society. It was intimately and essentially mixed with its very
life. It is important to observe that, so far as we know, there has
never existed upon earth any purely heathen civilized society of which
slavery has not been the basis. There is no reason to suppose that if
the Roman Empire had continued in all its greatness to the present
day, and had continued heathen, slavery would at this hour have been a
less essential part of its social and moral system than it was in the
days of Nero. Before it could have been abandoned, the whole habits of
life of all the free population of the Empire, and especially of Rome,
must have been fundamentally changed; and the change must have been
such that we can hardly imagine any nation to have been reconciled to
it except by some superhuman power; for it would have implied the
sacrifice of all the habits of self-indulgence and luxury upon which
Roman society was built. It is impossible to suppose that such a
change could have been effected, especially because, as far as
experience teaches, there never has been any instance of a heathen
nation which has begun to fall into decay and has been raised in any
degree to a new life. Such a national resurrection is one of the
miracles which nothing except Christianity has ever worked.

As to the barbarity of which the slave at Rome was the victim, we
might speak with less reserve if our space allowed. But we can devote
only a few words to a subject which would fill volumes. We will, then,
confine ourselves to suggesting two subjects for the consideration of
our readers,--first, the wholesale slaughter, merely for amusement,
which was one of the most cherished and universally diffused
institutions of Roman society, and was the delight of women as well as
men; next the state of the law with regard to slaves, and the manner
in which it was administered. The life of a Roman was of course always
held subject to the despair of his slaves, and hence it was the law,
that if a master was killed by his slave, under whatever
circumstances, or for whatever cause, every one of his slaves, male
and female, old and young, however manifestly innocent of all
complicity in the murder, however without power to have prevented it,
was to die upon the cross.[7] Tacitus tells how, in the reign of Nero,
even the populace of Rome was horrified at the execution of this law
in the case of the 'family,' as it was called, of a man of consular
dignity murdered by one of his slaves, it was reported, in consequence
of rivalry in a matter of infamous passion, or because the master had
received the price of his slave's freedom and then refused to fulfil
his engagement by giving him his liberty. His slaves were four hundred
in number; among them were not only men and women, but little
children, and the matter was brought before the Senate by some who
wished to temper in this instance the severity of the law. But the
proposal was indignantly rejected by Cassius, a Roman of noble family,
and whom the philosophic historian Tacitus expressly praises for his
knowledge of the laws of Rome. He argued that although in this case
the innocent would perish with the guilty, this must happen even when
a legion was punished by decimation, and that if some injustice was
committed, it would be outweighed by the public benefit. But his chief
argument was the authority of ancestral law:

      'Our ancestors were wiser than we. I have often abstained
      from resisting proposals to dispense with their laws, when
      I felt that the change would be for the worse, lest I
      should seem to be carried away by love of my profession.
      To-day I cannot abstain. They suspected the disposition of
      their slaves, even when they had been born in the same
      lands and houses, and bred up in affection for their lords.
      But since we have begun to have in our families whole
      nations who have different customs, different religious
      rites, or none at all, this confused sediment of all
      peoples can be mastered only by terror.'

His arguments prevailed, and the whole four hundred, men, women, and
children, were sent to execution. The indignation of the populace was
overawed by soldiers supplied by the Emperor.

We have only indicated, not described the hideous state of Roman
society; what is really important is to observe, that man being what
he is, this monstrous system of blood and pollution must not be
regarded as any accidental evil; it was the natural, we do not
hesitate to say, the certain consequence of a high state of wealth,
civilization, and refinement in a heathen society. So far as we are
aware, there is no record of any heathen nation which has ever
attained to such a condition, in which moral corruption has not
overflowed all bounds, and in the end destroyed the nation itself.
Wealth, leisure, luxury, are of necessity temptations to an easy,
indulgent life. To this the experience of Christian nations forbids us
to shut our eyes. But in them, however far they may have fallen below
the practical standard of Christianity, unless all faith in the
supernatural, in the unseen world, in God, and in Christ is wholly
extinct, there are always fixed recognised principles upon which to
fall back; and there is a part at least of every nation resolved to
act on these principles, at all cost and all sacrifice. These are they
to whom our blessed Lord said, 'Ye are the salt of the earth.' In a
heathen society, on the contrary, when corruption once breaks loose,
where is the salt? There may be men like Cato the censor, who believe
that the fall of states is usually to be traced, not so much to
political as to moral and social causes, and foresee in the decay of
morals the ruin of their country. But what are they to do? They may
remonstrate, they may argue; but the evil they have to encounter is
not in the intellect, but in the will; and the will is exactly that
which they have no means of affecting. At Rome, for instance, the
danger and evil was not that men denied or doubted that it was only by
the stern and self-denying virtues that a State could be preserved, it
was that each man for himself preferred indulgence and ease, and
despaired of doing anything effectual for the public good, for he
felt, very truly, that even if he were, in his own person, to revive
all the simplicity and hardness of life of Cincinnatus or Fabricius,
he would not be able to change the national habits, or restore to the
standard of times gone by. Each, therefore, preferred to praise the
rigid virtues of former ages, and to practise the laxity of his own.
No man wrote more strongly or more eloquently in praise of ancient
manners and in condemnation of modern corruption than Sallust, the
historian. Yet no Roman palace equalled in luxury the gardens of
Sallust, the man. Nor was any Roman less scrupulous either in getting
money or in spending it. What, then, was to be done? The power of
passion was real and overpowering; virtue could only oppose to it
common-places and fine words, without being able to appeal to any
fixed principles or practical sanctions. It was a lamentable state of
things, but, as the ancients themselves believed, one which, in the
heathen world, followed by a necessary law, whenever any brave, hardy,
self-denying, and virtuous race of men, by the natural operation of
these virtues, rose to empire, and attained wealth, and the means of
luxury. The later Romans held up their own ancestors of early days as
the brightest example of virtue. Among them the gods were honoured and
worshipped, and the rules which had come down from their fathers were
strictly observed. Men were frugal, laborious, content with little,
valuing right and honour far above wealth and pleasure, and ever ready
to suffer or die for their country; women were chaste, modest,
retiring, preferring their honour to their life. That the men and
women of their own day were in all respects the opposite, was
self-evident; but it is to be observed, that they were so far from
considering this to be any special fault or misery of Rome, that even
those who most bitterly complained of the change were wont to boast
that no other nation had so long resisted the universal law, by which
wealth generated luxury, and luxury the desire of increased gain; and
this again made money, not honour and virtue, the national standard of
right and wrong, until at last, things getting ever worse and worse,
society itself was dissolved, and the national life perished. This
they considered to be the natural, nay inevitable course of things.[8]

This was a melancholy view of human affairs, but it seems certain that
with regard to a heathen state (and they knew of no other) it was
true. For to take the case of Rome itself, what sanction was there
even in the purest times of the Republic for those rules of right and
wrong--those great moral principles, which to a very considerable
extent were actually preserved; although, no doubt, men in later times
dreamed of a golden age which had never really existed. The only
religion they knew was silent about moral virtues. It taught men to
honour and worship the gods of their fathers, and to ask and hope from
them such worldly blessings as long life, health, &c. But that a man
of moral purity, justice, and mercy was a more acceptable worshipper
than one who was impure, unjust, and cruel, they never imagined, and
indeed, as long as they in any degree believed the traditions which
they had received as to the character of the gods they worshipped, it
was simply impossible that they should imagine it. There was nothing
contrary to the national religion, however men's consciences might
tell them that there was something immoral, in the prayer which Horace
attributes to one of his contemporaries--'Grant that I may succeed in
wearing a mask, that I may be supposed to be just and good. Throw a
cloud and darkness over my cheats and frauds.'

Religion, then, gave no moral rule, or at least none to individuals.
M. de Champagny ('Les Césars,' iii. p. 4) remarks, with great truth,
that so far as it had a moral code at all, that code and its sanctions
touched, not the individual man, but the State. Its morality was that
of the family, and through the family that of the city. Its object was
the prosperity, the glory, the aggrandisement of the public welfare.
The Roman virtues--courage in war, moderation in peace, economy in
private life, fidelity in marriage, these were patriotic virtues,
taught and practised as such.' What, then, was the moral code of the
early Romans? It was, as this passage suggests, the fundamental and
original law of the Roman people. Arnold well points out[9] that this
and this alone was the real moral law of the heathen nations in
general. In this sense their only standard of right and wrong was
human law; but not exactly what we mean when we speak of human law,
because we live in a state of society in which new laws are
continually passed; and to imagine that the 'statutes at large' could
be the real rule and measure of right and wrong, would go beyond the
possible limits of human credulity. But among the ancient nations new
laws were comparatively very rare. The Romans themselves had a great
system of what Jeremy Bentham used to call 'judge-made law.' This grew
to its perfection at rather a late period of the Empire, and still
forms the foundation of most of the systems of law existing in
Europe. It is not of this, however, that we are speaking. Of what we
should call statutes, there were passed in the whole of their history
very few. Only 207 in all are recorded as having been enacted in the
whole period of the Republic, and of these no less than 133 were
passed just at the latest period of its decay.[10] Their greater
frequency at this period was considered one of the signs of national
degeneracy, for it was a proverb, _corruptissimâ republicâ plurimæ
leges_. In fact, at Rome in its best days there can hardly be said to
have existed any machinery for making new statutes. There was, as we
understand the word, no legislative assembly. The judicial system out
of which grew the code of law to which we have referred already
existed; and when it was necessary, one of those grave changes which
are known among our kindred on the other side of the Atlantic as
'amendments of the constitution,' could be made by a vote of the whole
Roman people. To get one of these passed was often, during the best
periods of the Republic, a matter requiring years of furious struggle.

It is not, then, of statutes such as are passed year by year in our
Parliament that we are speaking, when we say that the law of the land
was the chief code of morals existing in heathen States. Quite
distinct from anything of this kind, and more answering to our 'common
law,' there were certain great principles of the constitution which
had come down to the Romans of the historical period by an immemorial
tradition, and which all men believed to have in them something
sacred. To touch them was to touch the very life of the Roman people.
Such principles there were in all the ancient heathen States, and
their sacredness was in each State a fundamental principle as long as
it retained any fundamental principles at all. This was, in fact, a
necessary part of heathenism itself; for the very essence of
polytheism is the belief that each people has its own gods, and,
therefore, springing from them, its own traditions of right and wrong.
From its own gods each people hoped for blessings and prosperity in
its national and corporate capacity. To offend or alienate them was to
risk the existence of the civil community, and what was the will of
the gods of any particular nation was to be learned from the primitive
original tradition of that nation.

Thus, the great principles of the ancient Roman morality, such for
instance as the sanctity of marriage, parental authority, and the
like, were, in the earlier days of the Republic, so mingled in the
notions of a Roman with patriotism, that it was impossible to separate
them. Adultery in a Roman matron, incontinence in a vestal virgin, was
an act of high treason against the common weal of the Roman people. As
such, it was monstrous and terrible to the whole people. Every man,
every woman, every child, felt it as much a personal injury, as each
would have felt the violation of the temples of their country's gods,
or the taking away of the palladium or the ancilia. The instance we
have selected was that upon which the Romans themselves felt that the
whole stability of their country rested. The sanctity of marriage was
the principle of the life of the Roman State. In the worst times a
poet, himself licentious, recognised corruption on that point as the
main cause of the ruin of the country--

      'Fecunda culpæ sæcula nuptias
      Primùm inquinavere, et genus, et domos
      Hoc fonte derivata clades
      In patriam populumque fluxit.'

But it would have been easy to mention other moral offences which in
their judgment directly threatened the safety of the common country.
Such, for instance, was the breach of a treaty, any outrage offered to
the sacred person of an ambassador, or even the removal of ancient
landmarks.

Thus it was that, in the earlier state of Roman society, the most
important moral principles--not to add that, from their nature,
conscience confirmed and enforced the national law and feeling--really
had an authority as strong as any human sanction can give. To violate
them involved loss of caste, and a great deal more. The offenders were
regarded as traitors against their country; the very mention of their
names would be the most deadly insult to those who had the misfortune
to be allied to them by blood or marriage. They became a proverb of
reproach. So terrible was this punishment that the law which gave to a
husband power of life or death over a guilty wife, and the feeling of
the nation which not only justified him in executing it, but required
it of him, hardly added to its severity. The virtues which tends to
success in war were also enforced by the circumstances of Rome. A
State contained within the walls of a single city and surrounded by
cities, many of which were as powerful as itself, and with each of
which it was liable to be at war, depended for its very existence upon
the courage, bodily strength, and military training of all its
citizens; and if the city was overcome in war, each of them was likely
enough to be sold as a slave, or at the very best to be reduced to a
position something like that of a serf. No wonder that under such
circumstances consuls and dictators were content to hold the plough,
and esteemed the success and victory of their country far more
important to each of them than their possessions or their life.

But when Rome became the head of a widespread empire, the preservation
of her early traditions became simply impossible. The contemporaries
of Augustus well knew that from war (except, indeed, civil war) they
had nothing to fear. The men of a generation earlier were no doubt
vexed and provoked by the disastrous defeat of Crassus and the
destruction of his army; but their personal comfort, nay, their very
pride of superiority to all the world, was no way affected by it. How
was it possible that they should really feel like their forefathers,

      'When Romans in Rome's quarrel
        Spared neither land nor gold,
      Nor son nor wife, nor limb nor life,
        In the brave days of old?'

And, as for the more strictly moral traditions of the early
Republicans, they were, from their nature, from the very first, of
very limited application. Men who had never learned those glorious
truths,

      'Which sages would have died to learn,
        Now taught by cottage dames,'

that 'God hath made of one blood all nations of men on the face of the
whole earth,' and (as the corollary from this) that 'God is no
respecter of persons, but that in every nation, he that feareth Him
and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him,' were by no means
offended at the supposition that there was a different rule of
morality for men of different nations. Why not, as they had different
gods? The virtues, then, on which they insisted, were duties, not of
man as man to his Creator, but of Romans to Rome. They prized, not the
virtue of chastity, but the honour of the Roman matron; not truth and
good faith, but the oath to which the gods of Rome were invoked as
witnesses. The chastity of a slave or a freedwoman or even a
foreigner, was of no value. Men, to whom the Roman was not bound by an
oath taken before the gods of his country, had no rights. It was an
essential part of this system that men could not, if they would,
transplant themselves at will from the allegiance of the gods and of
the moral traditions of their fathers to those of another nation. It
was on this principle that in the earliest times marriages between
citizens of different cities were forbidden, and for the same reason
even those between a patrician of Rome and a plebeian.

Now, when many nations were welded together into a single empire, the
whole of this tradition broke down. Arnold remarks it as one great
political benefit of Christianity, that by 'providing a fixed moral
standard independent of human law, it allows human law to be altered,
as circumstances may require, without destroying thereby the greatest
sanction of human conduct.' What, then, was the situation of a Roman,
when the mingling together of all nations had effectually destroyed
all idea of the sanctity of the original traditions of any--his own
included--and yet he had found no 'moral standard independent' of
them. It is not too much to say that he was left without moral
standard at all. Patriotism and the tradition of their fathers had
become a name to men who could hardly be said to have any
'fatherland,' and whose country was the civilized world, and they had
no higher principle to supply their place.

In this utter break-down of all fixed principles which, in a heathen
age, necessarily resulted from the substitution of one great empire
for a multitude of minute republics; and in the complete isolation in
which it left every individual, when he lost the idea of that duty to
his country and his country's traditions which had been the moral law
of his ancestors, M. de Champagny sees the explanation of the fact, so
hard to account for, that men whose fathers had been proud nobles of
free and lordly Rome should have submitted as they did to such a
tyranny as that of Tiberius. For his was not one of those which are
supported by the sword. In Italy he had only about 9,000 men under
arms, and even they were scattered in the neighbourhood of the city.
Yet the Senate allowed itself to be decimated, its chief members cut
off day by day. It seems as if each man thought only of himself, and
calculated that although, of course, none could be safe, he was safer
by remaining quiet, and taking his chance, than he would be by boldly
appealing to the Senate and people to put an end to the protracted
massacre, by depriving the tyrant of his power.

The circumstance which, perhaps, is most revolting to our feelings as
Englishmen in the tyranny of the bad Emperor is, that it was hardly
possible to draw a line between an execution and an assassination. A
great man, untried, nay, so far as he knew, unaccused, was suddenly
roused from his sleep by the arrival of half a dozen soldiers, who
came to put him to death on the spot, or, perhaps, as a great favour,
to bring him the commands of the Emperor that he should kill himself.
How does this differ from an assassination, except in the assured
impunity of the murderers? Yet, so common was it, that when the
Emperor Pertinax was suddenly awakened on the night in which Commodus
had been slain, by those who brought him the offer of the purple, he
took for granted that he was to die. The feelings with which we regard
such proceedings have been formed by the immemorial law of our country
(which not even Henry VIII., in his wildest excess of tyranny, ever
dared to violate, except in a few cases, in which he obtained an Act
of Parliament, to authorize its violation)--that no man can be
condemned without trial. The Roman law, during the best days of the
Republic, carried the notion of 'strong government' farther than even
our neighbours in France would like. Within the walls of Rome there
was an appeal to the people from the sentence of any magistrate;
everywhere else, a consul or other officer holding the 'imperium'
might order whom he pleased to be beheaded by his lictors, without
trial. This, no doubt, was because, outside the city, the office of a
Roman consul was purely military. But this 'martial law' prepared
men's minds for the abuse of the same discretion within the city
itself by the Cæsars, whose position, as everybody knows, was,
legally, only that they were servants of the Republic, privileged to
hold a number of offices at the same time, and for years together.
They, therefore, naturally inherited and abused the discretion of the
old magistrates.

When such power fell into the hands of a Caligula or a Commodus, who
would not take the trouble of governing, it was really little more
than an entire exemption of the Cæsars from all law and all
restraints. The government seems to have gone on throughout the Roman
Empire much as usual. But there was in Rome itself one miserable
youth, mad with absolute licence, who could with impunity order the
murder of any one whom it struck his fancy to destroy, for any cause,
or for no cause, or because he was in want of money, and might take
the property of any one he was pleased to murder.

It was but for a time comparatively short that this state of things
lasted. Still, under the best reigns, one can hardly doubt, that there
must have been an uneasy feeling in the mind of the Emperor, as well
as of his subjects, that his successor might renew the times of
Caligula or Nero. Under the Antonines, perhaps, when there was a long
succession of good governors for more than eighty years without
interruption, men may have learned to look back on such things as
belonging exclusively to a by-gone age. But they were too soon
undeceived, after the death of Marcus Aurelius had left the succession
open to his unworthy son. Yet the crimes even of the worst of the
Cæsars affected Rome, not the world, and, indeed, in Rome itself,
almost exclusively a single class--the senators and the rich. They
seem, therefore, hardly to have been considered as an interruption of
the general felicity of the Pax Romana; any more than an epidemic of
cholera in our own days, which for a moment strikes terror upon the
city which it attacks, but is forgotten almost as soon as it passes
away.

Nothing so effectually blinds even the naturally clearest sight as
moral perversion. Over the very soul of Gibbon, strange to say, this
Egyptian darkness brooded so thick, that after intelligently studying
this vast, pathetic, and most instructive history, the only practical
lesson he drew from it was, that the great corruptor of human society
is--_Peace_. He says, 'It was scarcely possible that the eyes of
contemporaries should discover in the public felicity the latent
causes of decay and corruption. This long peace, and the uniform
government of the Romans, introduced a slow and secret poison into the
vitals of the Empire,' and the effects of this poison he traces in the
'decline of courage and genius, and in general degeneracy.' Strange
that he could imagine that war and bloodshed are the only conceivable
prophylactics against self-indulgence, luxury, and unmanly sloth.
Within the last few months we have had a remarkable proof of the
contrary. For fifty years after Waterloo, Prussia enjoyed profound
peace. France, to mention no other wars, had a continual school of war
in Algeria. Yet, though the French are as brave as the Germans, they
have been unable to stand against them for an hour in the present war;
because the tone of the governing class and of the army had been
undermined by the moral corruption of the Second Empire. Even if war
was indispensable, no man knew better than Gibbon that the Roman
frontiers were always in a chronic state of war. The lessons really
taught by the history of the Roman Empire during the first century and
a half, are so plain that one would hardly have thought they could be
missed. Here was a great Empire upon which all the best gifts of God,
in the purely natural order, had been poured with a lavish hand. It
occupied all the fairest, most fruitful, and most illustrious regions
of the globe, to which the climate and situation can never fail to
attract intelligent travellers from all less favoured countries. The
presiding races of that Empire, which gave their character to all the
rest, were those whom God had made His instruments to convey to all
nations the best gifts of Nature--the Greek, in whom were stored and
preserved the richest powers of genius, art, eloquence and philosophy;
the Roman, who has been the example and teacher of all nations, in the
great principles of stability, law, and order. For the use and
enjoyment of this Empire were stored all the accumulated wealth of
literature, poetry, learning, philosophy and art, which all ages of
the world had produced and treasured up. To complete the whole, it was
exempted for generations together from the scourge of war. In one
word, it had everything that God could give to man, except the
supernatural gifts of Faith, Hope, and Charity. And the result showed,
that, without these, all gifts of the natural order, however precious,
were unavailing to preserve human society from utter decay and
dissolution. It was not broken in pieces by the blows of foreign
enemies, but died of its own inherent corruption. The most prominent
visible effect of this corruption, which struck the eyes even of
heathens, was that man's vices made void the primeval blessing, 'Be
fruitful and multiply.' Plutarch, a Greek of the age of Trajan,
lamented that all Greece in his day could not supply as many men as
one of its smaller cities sent out to war four hundred years earlier.
The decline of population in Rome itself was no less rapid and steady.
And men died out, not because they were wasted by war, by pestilence,
by famine, or by grinding tyranny, but because unrestrained
self-indulgence dried up the very sources of increase. If there had
been no barbarians to rush in and fill up the void, the Empire would
have fallen in pieces for want of life enough to hold it together. Its
history proved that the real causes of the ruin of States are not
political, but moral and social, and that in nations, as in
individuals, the words of the poet are most strictly fulfilled:--

      'Thou art the source and centre of all minds,
      Their only point of rest, Eternal Word.
      From Thee departing they are lost, and rove
      At random, without honour, hope, or peace;
      From Thee is all that soothes the life of man--
      His high endeavour, and his glad success,
      His strength to suffer, and his will to serve.
      But oh! Thou bounteous Giver of all good,
      Thou art of all Thy gifts Thyself the crown;
      Give what Thou canst, without Thee we are poor,
      And with Thee rich, take what Thou wilt away.'


FOOTNOTES:

[1] 'Lectures on Modern History.'

[2] A native of Barcelona, who was made head of the French police in
1759, and retired in 1780.

[3] Vol. iii., p. 196. We borrow the translation of a living author.

[4] Details are necessarily omitted, for want of space, in this
extract, as well as in the last, the loss of which weakens its force.

[5] See Salvian 'De Gubernatione Dei.'

[6] See a curious collection of passages in the notes to M. de
Champagny's chapter on Slavery. ('Les Césars,' vol. iii.)

[7] See Champagny's 'Cæsars,' vol. iii. p. 122.

[8] Thus Livy: 'Ad illa mihi pro se quisque intendat animum, quæ vita
qui mores fuerint; per quos viros, quibusque artibus, domi militiæque,
et partum et auctum imperium sit. Labente deinde paullatim disciplinâ,
velut desidentes primo mores sequatur animo, deinde ut magis magisque
lapsi sint; tum ire coeperint præcipites; donec ad hæc tempora,
quibus nec vitia nostra nec remedia pati possumus perventum est;' and
yet he is so far from considering this an evil peculiar to Rome, that
he adds, 'Nulla unquam respublica nec major nec sanctior nec bonis
exemplis ditior fuit; nec in quam civitatem tam seræ avaritia
luxuriaque immigraverint, nec ubi tantus et tam diu paupertati ac
parsimoniæ honos fuerit.'--(_Præfatio._)

[9] 'Roman History,' vol. ii. chap. xxvi.

[10] See Champagny, Appendix, 'Les Césars,' vol. i.



ART. II.--_Theism_--_Desiderata in the Theistic Argument._


It is a philosophical commonplace that all human questioning leads
back to ultimate truths which cannot be further analysed, and of which
no other explanation can be given than that _they exist_. Every
explanation of the universe rests and must rest on the inexplicable.
The borders of the known and the knowable are fringed with mystery,
and all the data of knowledge recede into it by longer or shorter
pathways. Thus, while it is the very mystery of the universe that has
given rise to human knowledge, by quickening the curiosity of man, it
is the same mystery which prescribes a limit to his insight, which
continues to overshadow him in his researches, and to girdle him, in
his latest discoveries, with its veil. In wonder all philosophy is
born; in wonder it always ends: and, to adopt a well-known
illustration, our human knowledge is a stream of which the source is
hid, and the destination unknown, although we may surmise regarding
both.

But the mystery which thus envelopes the origin and the destination of
the universe is not absolutely overpowering; nor does it lay an arrest
on the human faculties in their efforts to understand that universe as
a whole. Man strives to penetrate farther and farther into the shrine
of nature, and records in the several sciences the stages of his
progress. These sciences are of necessity inter-related and dependent.
Each section of human knowledge has a doorway leading into these on
either side, and one which opens behind into the region of first
principles. Separate inquirers may content themselves with their
special region of phenomena and its laws, which they seek to
understand more perfectly and to interpret more clearly, and never so
beyond their own domain. It is by such division of labour and
concentration of aim that the achievements of modern science have been
won. But it is only by forsaking the narrow region, and, without
entering the borderland of some new science, receding behind it, and
contemplating it from a distance, that its value as a contribution to
our knowledge of the universe can be discerned. Each of the sciences
has its own ideal, but the goal of universal science is the discovery
of one ultimate principle which will be explanatory of all observed
phenomenon.

And the speculative thinker has a similar aim. The perennial question
of philosophy is the discovery of the central principle of Existence,
its haunting problem is the ultimate explanation of the universe of
being. The universe--what is it? whence is it? whither is it tending?
can we know anything beyond the fleeting phenomena of its ever
unfolding and ever varying history? Is its source, and therefore its
central principle, accessible to our faculties of knowledge?

And this is the distinctive problem of rational theology. Philosophy
and science both lead up to theology as the apex of human knowledge.
The latter may be fitly called the _scientia scientiarum_. Questions
as to the nature and origin of Life upon our planet, the nature of
Force or energy, the problems of Substance and of Cause, the questions
of the Absolute and Infinite, all centre in this, are all the several
ways of expressing it from the point of view which the questioner
occupies, 'What is the ultimate principle of the universe, the ἀρχὴ
of all existence?' Speculative philosophy and science deal
proximately, it is true, with the problems of finite existence,
existence as presented to us in the surrounding universe, and the laws
which regulate it; but they covertly imply and remotely lead up to the
question we have stated. They are the several approaches to that
science which sits enthroned on the very summit of human knowledge.

Nevertheless, the science of speculative theology is as yet lamentably
incomplete. We have scores of treatises devoted to the subject, and
numerous professed solutions of the problem. But we have not, in the
English language, a single treatise which even contemplates a
philosophical arrangement and classification of the various theories,
actual and possible, upon the subject. It is otherwise with the great
questions of intellectual and ethical philosophy. We have elaborate
and almost exhaustive schemes of theories on the nature of perception,
or our knowledge of the external world, the laws of association, the
problem of causality, and the nature of conscience. But we look in
vain for any similar attempt to classify the several lines of
argument, or possible modes of theistic proof, so as to present a
tabular view of the various doctrines on this subject. We are limited
to the well-known but precarious scheme of proofs _à priori_ and _à
posteriori_,[11] and to the more accurate classification of Kant, the
ontological, the cosmological, and the physico-theological proofs,
with his own argument from the moral faculty or practical reason. In
addition, we are not aware of any English treatise specially devoted
to the history of this branch of philosophical literature, with the
exception of a brief essay by Dr. Waterland, in which he traverses a
small section of the whole area; and that not as the historian of
philosophical opinion, but in the interest of a special theory.[12]

The present condition of 'natural theology' in England is scarcely
creditable to the critical insight of the British mind. There has been
little earnest grappling with the problem in the light of the past
history of opinions; and traditionary stock-proofs have been relied
upon with a perilous complacency. The majority of theologians trust to
an utterly futile and treacherous argument, from what has long been
termed 'final causes,' and when beaten from that field, at once by the
rigour of speculative thought and the march of the inductive sciences,
the refuge that is taken in the region of our moral nature is scarcely
less secure, while the character of the theistic argument from
conscience is suffered to remain in the obscurity which still shrouds
it.

In the following pages we propose to show the invalidity of some of
the popular modes of proof, and to suggest a few desiderata in the
future working out of the problem.

It may be useful to preface our criticism by a classification of the
various theistic theories, rather as a provisional chart of opinion,
than as an exhaustive summary of all the arguments which have been
advanced, or of all possible varieties in the mode of proof. Many
thinkers, perhaps the majority, and notably the mediæval schoolmen,
have combined several distinct lines of evidence; and have
occasionally borrowed from a doctrine which they explicitly reject
some of the very elements of their argument. They have often forsaken
their own theory at a crisis, and not observed their departure from
the data on which they profess exclusively to build.

The first class of theories are strictly _ontological_ or
_ontotheological_. They attempt to prove the objective existence of
Deity from the subjective notion of necessary existence in the human
mind, or from the assumed objectivity of space and time which they
interpret as the attributes of a necessary substance.

The second are the _cosmological_ or _cosmo-theological_ proofs. They
essay to prove the existence of a supreme self-existent cause from the
mere fact of the existence of the world, by the application of the
principle of causality. Starting with the postulate of any single
existence whatsoever, the world or anything in the world, and
proceeding to argue backwards or upwards, the existence of one supreme
cause is held to be 'a regressive inference' from the existence of
these effects. As there cannot be, it is alleged, an infinite series
of derived or dependent effects, we at length reach the infinite or
uncaused cause. This has been termed the proof from contingency, as it
rises from the contingent to the necessary, from the relative to the
absolute. But the cosmological proof may have a threefold character,
according as it is argued: 1. That the necessary is the antithesis of
the contingent; or, 2. That because some being now exists, some being
must have always existed; or, 3. That because we now exist and have
not caused ourselves, some cause adequate to produce us, must also now
exist.

A third class of proofs are somewhat inaccurately termed
_physico-theological_, a phrase equally descriptive of them and of
those last mentioned. They are rather _teleological_ or
_teleotheological_. The former proof started from any finite
existence. It did not scrutinise its character, but rose from it to an
absolute cause, by a direct mental leap or inference. This scrutinises
the effect, and finds traces of intelligence within it. It detects the
presence or the vestiges of mind in the particular effect it examines,
viz., the phenomena of the world, and from them it infers the
existence of Deity. One branch of it is the popular argument from
design, or adaptation in nature, the fitness of means to ends
implying, it is said, an architect or designer. It may be called
_techno-theology_, and is variously treated according as the
technologist (α) starts from human contrivance and reasons to nature,
or (β) starts from nature's products and reasons toward man. Another
branch is the argument from the order of the universe, from the types
or laws of nature, indicating, it is said, an orderer or law-giver,
whose intelligence we thus discern. It is not, in this case, that the
adjustment of means to ends proves the presence of a mind that has
adjusted these. But the law itself, in its regularity and continuity,
implies a mind behind it, an intelligence animating the otherwise
soulless universe. It might be termed _nomo-theology_ or
_typo-theology_. Under the same general category may be placed the
argument from animal instinct, which is distinct at once from the
evidence of design and that of law or typical order. To take one
instance: The bee forms its cells, following unconsciously, and by
what we term 'instinct,' the most intricate, mathematical, laws. There
is mind, there is thought in the process; but whose mind, whose
thought? Not the animal's, because it is not guided by experience. The
result arrived at is a result which could be attained by man only
through the exercise of reason of the very highest order. And the
question arises, are we not warranted in supposing that a hidden pilot
guides the bee, concealed behind what we call its instinct. We do not,
meanwhile, discuss the merit of this argument; but merely indicate the
difference between it and the argument from design, and that from law
and order. It is not a question of the adjustment of phenomena. It is
the demand of the intellect for a cause adequate to account for a
unique phenomenon. It approaches the cosmo-theological argument as
closely as it approaches the techno-theological one; yet it is
different from both. The cosmo-theological rises from any particular
effect, and by a backward mental bound reaches an infinite first
cause. The techno-theological attempts to rise from the adjustment of
means to ends, to an adjuster or contriver. This simply asks, whence
comes the mind that is here in operation, perceived by its effects?

The next class of arguments are based upon the moral nature of man.
They may be termed in general _ethico-theological_; and there are, at
least, two main branches in this line of proof. The former is the
argument from conscience as a moral law, pointing to Another above it;
the law that is 'in us, yet not of us'--not the 'autonomy' of Kant,
but a _theonomy_--bearing witness to a legislator above. It is the
moral echo within the soul of a Voice louder and vaster without. And,
as evidence, it is direct and intuitive, not inferential. The latter
is the argument of Kant, (in which he was anticipated by several,
notably by Raimund of Sabunde.) It is indirect and inferential, based
upon the present phenomena of our moral nature. The moral law declares
that evil is punishable and to be punished, that virtue is rewardable
and to be rewarded; but in this life they are not so: therefore, said
Kant, there must be a futurity in which the rectification will take
place, and a moral arbiter by whom it will be effected.

Finally, there is the argument, which, when philosophically unfolded,
is the only unassailable stronghold of theism, its impregnable
fortress, that of _intuition_. As it is simply the utterance or
attestation of the soul in the presence of the Object which it does
not so much discover by searching, as _apprehend in the art of
revealing itself_, it may be called (keeping to the analogy of our
former terms) _eso-theological_ or _esoterico-theological_. It is not
an argument, an inference, a conclusion. It is an attestation, the
glimpse of a reality which is apprehended by the instinct of the
worshipper, and through the poet's vision, as much as by the gaze of
the speculative reason. It is not the verdict of one part of human
nature, of reason, or the conscience, the feelings, or the affections;
but of the whole being, when thrown into the poise or attitude of
recognition, before the presence of the self-revealing object. There
are several phases of this, which we term the eso-theological proof.
We see its most rudimental traces in the polytheism of the savage
mind, and its unconscious _personification_ of nature's forces. When
this crude conception of diverse powers in partial antagonism gives
place to the notion of one central power, the instinct asserts itself
in the common verdict of the common mind as to One above, yet kindred
to it. It is attested by the feeling of dependence, and by the
instinct of worship, which witnesses to some outward object
corresponding to the inward impulse, in analogy with all the other
instincts of our nature. It is farther attested by the poet's
interpretation of nature, the verdict of the great seers, that the
universe is pervaded by a supreme Spirit, 'haunted for ever by the
eternal mind.' We find its highest attestation in that consciousness
of the Infinite itself which is man's highest prerogative as a
rational creature. We have thus the following chart of theistic
theories.

      I. Onto-theological--
        1. From necessary notion to reality.
          (α) Anselm's proof.
          (β) Descartes' first argument.
        2. From space and time, as attributes to their substance.

      II. Cosmo-theological--
        1. Antithetic.
        2. Causal.
        3. 'Sufficient reason.' (Leibnitz.)

      III. Teleo-theological--
        1. Techno-theology.
        2. Typo-theology.
        3. (Animal instinct.)

      IV. Ethico-theological--
        1. Deonto-theological. (direct.)
        2. Indirect and inferential. (Kant.)

      V. Eso-theological--
        1. The infinite. (Fenelon. Cousin.)
        2. The world soul.
        3. The instinct of worship.

In addition, we might mention several subsidiary or sporadic proofs
which have little or no philosophical relevancy, but which have some
theological suggestiveness, viz., 1. The historical consensus. 2. The
felicity of the theist. 3. The testimony of revelation.

It is unnecessary to discuss all these alleged proofs at length; but
the powerlessness of the most of them to establish the transcendent
fact they profess to reach, demands much more serious thought than it
has yet received.

The ontological proof has always possessed a singular fascination for
the speculative mind. It promises, and would accomplish so much, if
only it were valid. It would be so powerful, if only it were
conclusive. But had demonstration been possible, the theistic
argument, like the proofs of mathematics, would have carried
conviction to the majority of thinkers long ago. The historical
failure is signal. Whether in the form in which it was originally cast
by Augustine, Anselm, and Aquinas, or in the more elaborate theory of
Descartes, or as presented by the ponderous English minds of Cudworth,
Henry More, and Dr. Samuel Clarke, it is altogether a _petitio
principii_. Under all its modifications, it reasons from the necessary
notion of God, to his necessary existence; or from the necessary
existence of space and time, which are assumed to be the properties or
attributes of a substance, to the necessary existence of that
substance. A purely subjective necessity of the reason is carried from
within, and held conclusive in the realm of objective reality. But the
very essence of the problem is the discovery of a valid pathway by
which to pass from the notions of the intellect to the realities of
the universe beyond it; we may not, therefore, summarily identify the
two, and at the outset take the existence of the one as demonstrative
of the other. In the affirmation of real existence we pass from the
notion that has entered the mind (or is innate), to the realm of
objective being, which exists independently of us who affirm it; and
how to pass warrantably from the ideal world within to the real world
without is the very problem to be solved. To be valid at its
starting-point, the ontological argument ought to prove that the
notion of God is so fixed in the very root of our intelligent nature
that it cannot be dislodged from the mind; and this some thinkers,
such as Clark, have had the hardihood to affirm. To be valid as it
proceeds, it ought to prove that the notion thus necessary in thought,
has a real counterpart in the realm of things, in order to vindicate
the step it so quietly takes from the ideal notion to the world of
real existence. It passes from thought to things, as it passes from
logical premiss to conclusion. But to be logical, it must rest
contented with an ideal conclusion deduced from its ideal premises.
And thus, the only valid issue of the ontological argument is a system
of absolute idealism, of which the theological corollary is pantheism.
But as this is not the Deity the argument essays to reach, it must be
pronounced illogical throughout.

Thus the ontological argument identifies the logical and the real. But
the illicit procedure in which it indulges would be more apparent than
it is to _à priori_ theorists, if the object they imagine they have
reached were visible in nature, and apprehensible by the senses. To
pass from the ideal to the real sphere by a transcendant act of
thought is seen at once to be unwarrantable in the case of
sense-perception. In this case, it is the presence of the object that
alone warrants the transition, else we should have as much right to
believe in the real existence of the hippogriff as in the reality of
the horse. But when the object is invisible, and is at the same time
the supreme being in the universe, the speculative thinker is more
easily deceived. We must, therefore, in every instance ask him, where
is the bridge from the notion to the reality? What is the plank thrown
across the chasm which separates these two regions, (to use an old
philosophical phrase) 'by the whole diameter of being?' We can never,
by any vault of logic pass from the one to the other. We are
imprisoned within the region of mere subjectivity in all _à priori_
demonstration, and how to escape from it, is (as we said before) the
very problem to be solved.

Anselm, who was the first to formulate the ontological proof, argued
that our idea of God is the idea of a being than whom we can conceive
nothing greater. But inasmuch as real existence is greater than mere
thought, the existence of God is guaranteed in the very idea of the
most perfect being; otherwise the contradiction of one still more
perfect would emerge. The error of Anselm was the error of his age,
the main blot in the whole mediæval philosophy. It first seemed to him
that reason and instinctive faith were separated by a wide interval.
He then wished to have a reason for his faith, cast in the form of a
syllogism. And he failed to see, or adequately to understand, that all
demonstrative reasoning hangs upon axiomatic truths which cannot be
demonstrated, not because they are inferior to reason, but because
they are superior to reasoning--the pillars upon which all
ratiocination rests. This was his first mistake. Dissatisfied with the
data upon which all reasoning hangs, he preferred the stream to the
fountain-head, while he thought (contradictory as it is) that _by
going down the stream_ he could reach the fountain! But his second
mistake was the greater of the two. He confounded the necessities of
thought with the necessities of the universe. He passed _without a
warrant_ from his own subjective thought to the region of objective
reality. And it has been the same with all who have since followed him
in this ambitious path. But after witnessing the elaborate tortures to
which the mediæval theologians subjected their intellects in the
process, we see their powers fail, and the chasm still yawning between
the abstract notions of the mind and the concrete facts of the
universe. It is remarkable that any of them were satisfied with the
accuracy of their reasonings. We can explain it only by the
intellectual habit of the age, and the (misread) traditions of the
Stagyrite. They made use, unconsciously, of that intuition which
carries us across the gulf, and they misread the process by which they
reached the other side. They set down to the credit of their intellect
what was due to the necessities of the moral nature, and the voice of
the heart.

Descartes was the most illustrious thinker, who, at the dawn of modern
philosophy, developed the scholastic theism. While inaugurating a new
method of experimental research, he nevertheless retained the most
characteristic doctrine of mediæval ontology. He argues that necessary
existence is as essential to the idea of an all-perfect being, as the
equality of its three angles to two right angles is essential to the
idea of a triangle. But though he admits that his 'thought imposes no
necessity on things,' he contradicts his own admission by adding, 'I
cannot conceive God except as existing, and hence it follows that
existence is inseparable from him.' In his 'Principles of Philosophy'
we find the following argument:--

      'As the equality of its three angles to two right angles is
      necessarily comprised in the idea of the triangle, the mind
      is firmly persuaded that the three angles of a triangle
      _are_ equal to two right angles; _so_ from its perceiving
      necessary and external existence to be comprised in the
      idea which it has of an all-perfect being, it ought
      manifestly to conclude that this all-perfect being
      exists.'--(Pt. i. sec. 14.)

This argument is more formally expounded in his 'Reply to Objections
to the Meditations,' thus:--

      'Proposition I. The existence of God is known from the
      consideration of His nature alone. Demonstration: To say
      that an attribute is contained in the nature or in the
      concept of a thing, is the same as to say that this
      attribute is true of this thing, and that it may be
      affirmed to be in it. But necessary existence is contained
      in the nature or the concept of God. Hence, it may be with
      truth affirmed that necessary existence is in God, or that
      God exists.'

A slight amount of thought will suffice to show that in this elaborate
array of argumentation, Descartes is the victim of a subtle fallacy.
Our conception of necessary existence cannot include the fact of
necessary existence, for (to repeat what we have already said) the one
is an ideal concept of the mind, the other is a fact of real
existence. The one demands an object beyond the mind conceiving it,
the other does not. All that the Cartesian argument could prove would
be that the mental concept was necessary, not that the concept had a
counterpart in the outer universe. It is, indeed, a necessary judgment
that the three angles of a triangle are equal to two right angles,
because this is _an identical proposition_; the subject and the
predicate are the same, the one being only an expansion of the other.
We cannot, therefore, destroy the predicate and leave the subject
intact. But it is otherwise when we affirm that any triangular object
_exists_, we may then destroy the predicate 'existence,' and yet leave
the subject (the notion of the triangle) intact in the mind.

It is true that Descartes has not limited himself to this futile _à
priori_ demonstration. He has buttressed his formal ontology by a much
more suggestive though logically as inconclusive an argument. He again
reasons thus in his 'Principles:' We have the idea of an all-perfect
being in the mind, but whence do we derive it? It is impossible that
we can have an idea of anything, unless there be an original somewhere
in the universe whence we derive it, as the shadow is the sign of a
substance that casts it. But it is manifest that the more perfect
cannot arise from the less perfect, and that which knows something
more perfect than itself is not the cause of its own being. Since,
therefore, we ourselves are not so perfect as the idea of perfection
which we find within us, we are forced to believe that this idea in us
is derived from a more perfect being above us, and consequently that
such a being exists.

It will be observed that this second argument of Descartes is partly
cosmological,--though ultimately it merges in the ontological, and
falls back upon it for support. Hence, Descartes himself called it an
_à posteriori_ argument. And it may therefore serve as a link of
connection and transition to the second class of arguments.

But before passing to these, we may observe that all the _à priori_
theorists, professing to conduct us to the desired conclusion on the
level road of demonstration (while they all contradict their own
principles, and furtively introduce the contingent facts of
experience), have but a faint conception of the magnitude of the
question at issue. To work out a demonstration as with algebraic
formulæ, to contemplate the problem as one of mathematical science,
under the light and guidance of the reason alone, and unaided by the
moral intuitions, betokens a lack of insight into the very problem in
question. The object of which we are in search is not a blank
colourless abstraction, or necessary entity. Suppose that a supreme
existence were demonstrable, that bare entity is not the God of
theism, the infinite Intelligence and Personality, of whose existence
the human spirit desires some assurance, if it can be had. And a
formal demonstration of a primitive source of existence (_more
geometrico_) is of no theological value. It is an absolute zero,
inaccessible alike to the reason and to the heart, before which the
human spirit freezes; and as a mere _ultimatum_ its existence is
conceded by every philosophic school.

The germs of the cosmological argument (as of the ontological) are
found in the scholastic philosophy, though its elaboration was left to
the first and second periods of the modern era. Diodorus of Tarsus,
John Damascenus, Hugo of St. Victor, and Peter of Poitiers, have each
contributed to the development of this mode of proof. It is the
argument _à contingentia mundi_, or _ex rerum mutabilitate_; and may
be briefly stated thus: If the contingent exists, the necessary also
exists. I myself, the world, the objects of sense, are contingent
existences, and there must be a cause of these, which cause must be
also an effect. Go back, therefore, to the cause of that cause, and to
its cause again, and you must at length pause in the regress; and by
rising to a First Clause, you escape from the contingent and reach the
necessary. From the observation of the manifold sequences of nature
you rise to the causal fountain-head, as you cannot travel backwards
for ever along an infinite line of dependent sequences.

But this argument is as illusory as the ontological one, from which,
indeed, it borrows its strength, and of which it shares the weakness.
For why should we ever pause in the regressive study of the phenomena
of the universe, of which we only observe the slow evolution through
immeasurable time? How do we reach a fountain-head at all? We are not
warranted in saying that because we cannot think out an endless
regress of infinite antecedents, _therefore_ we must assume a first
cause. For that assumption of the ἀρχὴ, of an uncaused cause, when we
have wearied ourselves in mounting the steps of the ladder of finite
agency, is to the speculative reason equally illicit as is its
assumption while we are standing on the first round of the ladder. Why
should we not assume it, step over to it at the first, if we may do
so, or are compelled to do so, at the last? The argument starts from
the concrete and works its way backward along the channel of the
concrete, till it turns round, bolts up, takes wing, and 'suddenly
scales the height.' The speculative reason at length essays to cross
over the chasm between the long series of dependent sequences, and the
original or uncreated cause; but it does so furtively. It crosses over
by an unknown path to an unknown source, supposed to be necessary.

But again, what light is cast by this ambitious regress on the nature
of the fountain-head. How is the being we are supposed to have reached
at length, the source of that series of effects which are supposed to
have sprung from his creative fiat? If we experienced a difficulty in
our regress in connecting the last link of the chain with the _causa
causans_, we experience the same or a counter-difficulty in our
descent, in connecting the first link of the chain with the creative
energy. And how, it may be asked, do we connect that supreme cause
with intelligence, or with personality? We have called the assumption
of this ἀρχὴ a leap in the dark, and we ask how can we ever
escape from the phenomenal series of effects which we perceive in
nature, to the noumenal source of which we are in search? By the
observation of what is or what has been, we merely ascend backwards in
time, through the ever-changing forms of phenomenal energy (our
effects being but developed causes, and our causes potential effects),
but we never reach a noumenal source. That is reserved for the flight
of the speculative reason vainly soaring into the empyrean, beyond the
very atmosphere of thought.

The admission that _some kind_ of being or substance must have always
existed in the universe, is the common property of all the systems of
philosophy. Materialist and idealist, theist and atheist, alike admit
it, but its admission is _theologically worthless_. 'The notion of a
God,' says Sir William Hamilton, in his admirable manner, 'is not
contained in the notion of a mere first cause; for, in the admission
of a first cause, atheist and theist are as one.' The being that is
assumed to exist is, therefore, a mere blank essence, a zero, an
'everything = nothing,' so far as this argument can carry us. Nature
remains a fathomless abyss, telling us nothing of its whence and
whither. It is still the fountain-head of inscrutable mystery, which
overshadows and overmasters us. The _natura naturata_ casts no light
on the _natura naturans_. The systole and diastole of the universe
goes on; the flux and reflux of its phenomena are endless. That
something always was, every one admits. The question between the rival
philosophic schools is as to what that something was and is. We may
choose to call it 'the first cause,' (an explanation which implies
that our notion of endless regression has broken down) and we may say
that we have reached the notion of an uncaused cause. But is that a
notion at all? Is it intelligible, conceivable? Do we not, in the very
assumption, bid farewell to reason, and fall back on some form of
faith?

Finally, the moment that supposed cause is reached, does not the
principle that was supposed to bring us to it break down? And by thus
destroying the bridge behind us, the very principle of casuality which
was valid in our progress and ascent, valid in the limited area of
experience--now emptied of all philosophical meaning when we desert
experience and rise to the transcendental--invalidates the whole
series of effects which are supposed to have sprung from it? We need
not rise above any single event, contingent and finite, to any other
event as the proximate cause of it; if, when we have essayed to carry
out the regress, we stop short, and, crying εὕρηκα, congratulate
ourselves that we have at length reached an uncaused cause.

Thus when the cosmological theorist asks: Does the universe contain
its own cause within itself? and answering in the negative, asserts
that it must therefore have sprung from a supra-mundane source, we may
validly reply, may it not have been eternal? May not its history be
but the ceaseless evolution, the endless transformation of unknown
primeval forces? So far as this argument conducts us, we affirm that
it may. And to pass from the present contingent state of the universe
to its originating source, the theorist must make use of the
ontological inference, of which we have already indicated the double
flaw. There is one point of affinity between all forms of the
cosmological and ontological arguments. They all profess to reach a
necessary conclusion. They are not satisfied with the contingent or
the probable. But the notion of necessity is a logical notion of the
intellect. It exists in thought alone. Whoever, therefore, would
escape from that ideal sphere must forego the evidence of necessity.
Real existence is not and never can be synonymous with necessary
existence. For necessary existence is always ideal. It is reached by
a formal process. It is the product of pure thought.

But the _teleological_ argument is that which has been most popular in
England. It has carried (apparent) conviction to many minds that have
seen the futility of the _à priori_ processes of proof. It is the
stock argument of British 'natural theology;' in explanation and
defence of which volume upon volume has been written. It is, as Kant
remarked, 'the oldest, the clearest, and the most adapted to the
ordinary human reason.' Nevertheless, its failure is the more signal,
considering that its reputation has been so great, and its claim so
vast. The argument has at least three branches, to which we have
already referred. We confine ourselves meanwhile to the first of the
three, the techno-theological argument, or that which reasons from the
phenomena of design.

Stated in brief compass, that argument amounts to the following
inference. We see marks of adaptation, of purpose, or of foresight in
the objects which, as we learn from experience, proceed from the
contrivance of man. We see similar marks of design or adaptation in
nature. We are therefore warranted in inferring a world-designer; and
from the indefinite number of these an infinite designer; and from
their harmony His unity. Or thus,--we see the traces of wise and
various purpose everywhere in nature. But nature could not of herself
have fortuitously produced this arrangement. It could not have fallen
into such harmony by accident. Therefore the cause of this wise order
cannot be a blind, unintelligent principle, but must be a free and
rational mind. The argument is based upon analogy (and might be termed
analogical as strictly as technological). It asserts that because mind
is concerned in the production of those objects of art which bear the
traces of design, therefore a resembling mind was concerned in the
production of nature.

The objections to this mode of proof are indeed 'legion.' In the
_first_ place, admitting its validity so far, it falls short of the
conclusion it attempts and professes to reach. For,

1. The effects it examines, and from which it infers a cause, are
finite, while the cause it assumes is infinite; but the infinity of
the cause can be no valid inference, from an indefinite number of
finite effects. The indefinite is still the finite; and we can never
perform the intellectual feat of educing the infinite from the finite
by any multiplication of the latter. It has been said by an acute
defender of the teleological argument, that the number of designed
phenomena (indefinitely vast) with which the universe is filled, is
sufficient to suggest the infinity of the designing cause. And it may
be admitted that it is by the ladder of finite designs that we rise to
some of our grandest conceptions of divine agency; but this ascent and
survey are only possible after we have discovered from some other
source that a divine being _exists_. The vastest range of design is of
no greater validity than one attested instance of it, so far as proof
is concerned. It is not accumulation, but relevancy of data that we
need. But,

2. At the most we only reach an artificer or protoplast, not a
creator,--one who arranged the phenomena of the world, not the
originator of its _substance_,--the architect of the cosmos, not the
maker of the universe. Traces of mind discoverable amid the phenomena
of the world cast no light upon the fact of its creation, or the
nature of its source. There is no analogy between a human artificer
arranging a finite mechanism, and a divine creator originating a world;
nor is there a parallel between the order, the method, and the plan of
nature, and what we see when we watch a mechanician working according
to a plan to produce a designed result. The only real parallel would
be our perception by sense of a world slowly evolving from chaos
according to a plan previously foreseen. From the product you are at
liberty to infer a producer only after having seen a similar product
formerly produced. But the product which supplies the basis of this
argument is unique and unparalleled, 'a singular effect,' in the
language of Hume, whose reasoning on this point has never been
successfully assailed. And the main difficulty which confronts the
theist, and which theism essays to remove, is precisely that which the
consideration of design does not touch, viz., the _origin_ and not the
arrangements of the universe. The teleological analogy is therefore
worthless. There is no parallel, we repeat, between the process of
manufacture, and the product of creation, between the act of a
carpenter working with his tools to construct a cabinet, and the
evolution of life in nature. On the contrary, there are many marked
and sharply defined contrasts between them. In the latter case there
is fixed and ordered regularity, no deviation from law; in the former
contingency enters, and often alters and mars the work. Again, the
artificer simply uses the materials, which he finds lying ready to
hand in nature. He _detaches_ them from their 'natural' connections.
He arranges them in a special fashion. But in nature, in the successive
evolution of her organisms there is no detachment, no displacement,
no interference or isolation. All things are linked together. Every
atom is dependent on every other atom, while the organisms seem to
grow and develop 'after their kind' by some vital force, but by no
manipulation similar to the architect's or builder's work. And yet
again, in the one case, the purpose is comprehensible--the end is
foreseen from the beginning. We know what the mechanician desires to
effect; but in the other case we have no clue to the 'thought' of the
architect. Who will presume to say that he has adequately fathomed the
purposes of nature in the adjustment of one of her phenomena to
another? But,

3. The only valid inference from the phenomena of design would be that
of a _phenomenal_ first cause. The inference of a personal Divine
Agent or substance from the observation of the mechanism of the
universe is invalid. What link connects the traces of mind which are
discerned in nature (those _vestigia animi_) with an agent who
produced them? There is no such link. And thus the divine personality
remains unattested. The same may be said of the divine _unity_. Why
should we rest in our inductive inference of one designer from the
phenomena of design, when these are so varied and complex? Or grant
that in all that we observe a subtle and pervading 'unity' is found,
and as a consequence all existing arrangements point to one designer,
why may not that Demiurgos have been at some remote period himself
designed? And so on _ad infinitum_.

But, in the _second_ place, not only is the argument defective
(admitting its validity so far as it goes), even partial validity
cannot be conceded to it. The phenomena of design not only limit us to
a finite designer, not only fail to lead us to the originator of the
world, or to a personal first cause, but they confine us within the
network of observed designs, and do not warrant faith in a being
detached from or independent of these designs, and therefore able to
modify them with a boundless reserve of power. These designs only
suggest mechanical agency, working in fixed forms, according to
prescribed law. In other words, the phenomena of the universe which
distantly resemble the operations of man, do not in the least suggest
an agent exterior to themselves. We are not intellectually constrained
to ascribe the arrangement of means to ends in nature to anything
supra-mundane. Such constraint would proceed from our projecting the
shadow of ourselves within the realm of nature, and investing _it_
with human characteristics, a procedure for which we have no warrant.
Why may not the arrangements of nature be due to a principle of life
imminent in nature, the mere endless evolution and development of the
world itself? We observe that phenomenon A fits into phenomena B, C,
and D, and we therefore infer that A was fitted to its place by an
intelligent mind. But suppose that A did not fit into B, C, or D, it
might in some way unknown fit into X, Y, or Z,--it would in any case
be related to its antecedent and consequent phenomena. But our
perception of the fitness or relationship gives us no information
beyond the _fact of fitness_. Any other (larger) conclusion is
illegitimate.

It is often asserted that the phenomenal changes which we observe in
nature, bear witness to their being _effects_. But what are effects?
Transformed causes, modified by the transformation--mere changed
appearances. We see the effects of volitional energy in the phenomena
which our consciousness forces us to trace back to our own personality
as the producing cause. But where do we see in nature, in the
universe, phenomena which we are similarly warranted in construing as
the effects of volitional energy, or of constructive intelligence? We
are not conscious of the power of creation, nor do we perceive it. We
have never witnessed the construction of a world. We only perceive the
everlasting flux and reflux of phenomena, the ceaseless pulsation of
nature's life,--evolution, transformation, birth, death, and birth
again. But nature is herself dumb as to her whence or whither. And, as
we have already hinted, could we detect a real analogy between the
two, we are not warranted in saying that the constructive intelligence
which explains the one class of phenomena is the only possible
explanation of the other.[13]

And thus it is that no study of the arrangements and disposition of
the mechanism can carry us beyond the mechanism itself. The
teleological argument professes to carry us above the chain of natural
sequence. It proclaims that those traces of intelligence everywhere
visible hint that long ago _mind_ was engaged in the construction of
the universe. It is not that the phenomena 'give forth at times a
little flash, a mystic hint' of a living will within or behind the
mechanism, a personality kindred to that of the artificer who observes
it. With that we should have no quarrel. But the teleological argument
is said to bring us authentic tidings of the origin of the universe.
If it does not carry us beyond the chain of dependent sequence it is
of no value. Its advocates are aware of this, and assert that it can
thus carry us beyond the adamantine links. But this is precisely what
it fails to do. It can never assure us that those traces of
intelligence to which it invites our study, proceeded from a
constructive mind detached from the universe; or that, if they did,
another mind did not fashion that mind, and so on _ad infinitum_. And
thus the perplexing puzzle of the origin of all things remains as
insoluble as before.

But farther, the validity of the teleological argument depends upon
the accuracy of our interpretation of those 'signs of intelligence' of
which it makes so much, and which it interprets analogically in the
light of human nature. But the 'interpreter' is ever 'one among a
thousand.' Who is to guarantee to us that we have not erred as to the
meaning of Nature's secret tracery? Who is to secure us against
inerrancy in this? Before we deduce so weighty a conclusion from data
so peculiar, we must obtain some assurance that no further insight
will disallow the interpretation we have given. But is not this
presumptuous in those who are acquainted in a very partial manner with
the significance of a few of nature's laws? Who will presume to say
that he has penetrated to the meaning of any one of these laws? And,
if he has not done so, can he validly single out a few resemblances he
has detected, and explain the nature of the infinite, by a sample of
the finite? Nature is so inscrutable that, even when a law is
discerned, the scientific explorer will not venture to say that he has
read its character, so as to be sure that the law reflects the
ultimate meaning of the several phenomena it explains. Nay, is he not
convinced that other and deeper meanings must lie within them? A law
of nature is but the generalized expression of the extent to which our
human insight has as yet extended into the secret laboratory of her
powers. But as that insight deepens, our explanations change. We say
the lower law is resolved back into a higher one, the more detailed
into the more comprehensive. But if our scientific conceptions
themselves are thus constantly changing, progressing, enlarging, how
can we venture to erect our natural theology on the surface
interpretation of the fleeting phenomena of the universe? 'Lo, these
are a part of His ways, but how little a portion is known of Him!'

And this conclusion we advance against those who as dogmatically deny
that there can be _any_ resemblance between the forces of nature as a
revelation of the Infinite, and the volitional energy of man. Both
assumptions are equally arbitrary and illegitimate. We shall shortly
endeavour to show on what grounds (remote from teleology) we are
warranted in believing that a resemblance does exist.

But, to return, if the inference from design is valid at all, it must
be valid everywhere--all the phenomena of the world must yield it
equally. No part of the universe is better made than any other part.
Every phenomenon is adjusted to every other phenomenon nearly or
remotely as means to ends. Therefore, if the few phenomena which our
teleologists single out from the many are a valid index to the
character of the source whence they have proceeded, everything that
exists must find its counterpart in the divine nature. If we are at
liberty to infer an Archetype above from the traces of mind beneath,
must not the phenomena of moral evil, malevolence, and sin be on the
same principle carried upwards by analogy?--a procedure which would
destroy the notion of Deity which the teleologists advocate. If we are
at liberty to conclude that a few phenomena which seem to us designed,
proceed from and find their counterpart in God, reason must be shown
why we should select a few and pass over other phenomena of the
universe. In other words, if the constructor of the universe designed
one result from the agency which he has established, must he not have
designed all the results that actually emerge; and if the character of
the architect be legitimately deduced from one or a few designs, must
we not take all the phenomena which exist _to help out our idea of his
character_? Look, then, at these phenomena as a whole. Consider the
elaborate contrivances for inflicting pain, and the apparatus so
exquisitely adjusted to produce a wholesale carnage of the animal
tribes. They have existed from the very dawn of geologic time. The
whole world teems with the proofs of such intended carnage. Every
organism has parasites which prey upon it; and not only do the
superior tribes feed upon the inferior (the less yielding to the
greater), but the inferior prey at the very same time no less
remorselessly upon the superior. If, therefore, the inference of
benevolence be valid, the inference of malevolence is at least equally
valid: and as equal and opposite, the one notion destroys the other.

But lastly, while we are philosophically impelled to consider all
events as designed, if we interpret one as such, nay, to believe that
the exact relation of every atom to every other atom in the universe
has been adjusted in 'a pre-established harmony,' the moment we do
thus universalize design, that moment the notion escapes us, is
emptied of all philosophical meaning or theological relevancy. Let it
be granted that phenomenon A is related to phenomenon B, as means to
an end. Carry out the principle (as philosophy and science alike
compel us to do), and consider A as related by remoter adaptation to
all the other phenomena of the universe; in short, regard every atom
as interrelated to every other atom, every change as co-related to
every other change; then the notion of design breaks down, from the
very width of the area it covers. We can understand a finite
mechanician planning that a finite phenomenon shall be related to
another finite phenomenon so as to produce a desired result; but if
the mechanician himself be a designed phenomenon, and all that he
works upon be equally so, every single atom and every individual
change being subtilly interlaced and all reciprocally dependent, then
the very notion of design vanishes. Seemingly valid on the limited
area of finite observation and of human agency, it disappears when the
whole universe is seen to be one vast network of interconnected law
and order.

Combining this objection with what may seem to be its opposite, but is
really a supplement to it, we may again say, that we, who are a part
of the universal order, cannot pronounce a verdict as to the intended
design of the parts, till able to see the whole. If elevated to a
station whence we could look down on the entire mechanism, if
_outside_ of the universe (a sheer impossibility to the creature), we
might see the exact bearing of part to part, and of link with link, so
as to pronounce with confidence as to the intention of the contriver.
If, like the wisdom of which Solomon writes, any creature had been
with the Almighty 'in the beginning of His way, before His works of
old, set up from everlasting, or even the earth was;' had a creature
been with Him 'when as yet He had not made the world, when He prepared
the heavens, and gave His decree' to the inanimate and animated worlds
as they severally arose, he might be able to understand the meaning of
their creation. And yet the moment this knowledge was gained, the
value of the perception would disappear; because 'being as God,' he
should no longer require the circuitous report or inference.

Thus the teleological argument must be pronounced fallacious. It is
illusive as well as incomplete: and were we to admit its relevancy, it
would afford no basis for worship, or the recognition of the object it
infers. The conception of deity as a workman, laying stress upon the
notion of cleverness in contrivance, and subordinating moral character
to skill, would never lead to reverence, or the adoration of the
architect.

It must be conceded, however, that there is a subsidiary value in this
as in all the other arguments, even while their failure is most
conspicuous. They prove (as Kant has shown) that if they cannot lead
us to the reality we are in search of, the phenomena of nature cannot
_discredit_ its existence. They do not turn the argument the other
way, or weight the scales on the opposite side. They are merely
negative, and indeed clear the ground for other and more valid modes
of proof.

They are of farther use (as Kant has also shown) in correcting our
conceptions of the Divine Being, when from other sources we have
learned his existence, in defining and enlarging our notions of his
attributes. They discourage and disallow some unworthy conceptions,
and enlarge the scope of others. But to leave those celebrated lines
of argument which have gathered around them so much of the
intellectual strife of rival philosophies, it is needful now to tread
warily when we are forced to come to so decided a conclusion against
them.

We do not deny that the idea of God exists in the human mind as one of
its ultimate and ineradicable notions: we only dispute the inference
which ontology has deduced from its existence there. We do not deny
that by regressive ascent from finite sequences we are at length
constrained to rest in some causal fountain-head; we only dispute the
validity of the process by which that fountain-head is identified with
the absolute source of existence, and that source of existence with a
personal God. We do not deny the presence of design in nature when by
that term is meant the signs or indices of mind in the relation of
phenomena to phenomena as means to ends; we only assert that these
designs have no theistic value, and are only intelligible after we
have discovered the existence of a supreme mind within the universe,
from another and independent source. Till then the book of nature
presents us only with blank, unilluminated pages. Thereafter it is
radiant with the light of design, full of that mystic tracery which
proclaims the presence of a living will behind it. To a mind that has
attained to the knowledge or belief in God, it becomes the 'garment it
thereafter sees Him by,' as one might see a pattern issuing from a
loom while the weaver was concealed, and infer some of the designs of
the workman from the characteristics of his work.

The remaining lines of proof, followed, though not worked out in the
past, are the _intuitional_ and the _moral_. And it is by a
combination of the data from which they spring and a readjustment of
their respective parts and harmonies, that the foundations of theism
can alone be securely laid. As the evidence of intuition is of
greatest value, and is also most generally disesteemed, we shall take
its testimony first, and examine the moral evidence of conscience
afterwards.

The modern spirit is suspicious of the evidence of intuition. It is
loudly proclaimed on all sides by the teachers of positive science
that instinct is a dubious guide, liable to the accidents of chance
interpretation, variously understood by various minds; that in
following it we may be pursuing an _ignis fatuus_; that it is at best
only valid for the individual who may happen to feel its force; that
it is not a universal endowment (as it should be if trustworthy), but
often altogether wanting; and that it can never yield us _certainty_,
because its root is a subjective feeling or conviction, which cannot
be verified by external test. These charges cannot be ignored, or
lightly passed over. And for the theist merely to proclaim, as an
ultimate fact, that the human soul has an intuition of God, that we
are endowed with a faculty of apprehension of which the correlative
object is divine, will carry no conviction to the atheist. Suppose
that he replies, 'This intuition may be valid evidence for you, but I
have no such irrepressible instinct; I see no evidence in favour of
innate ideas in the soul, or of a substance underneath the phenomena
of nature of which we can have any adequate knowledge;' we may close
the argument by simple re-assertion, and vindicate our procedure on
the ground that in the region of first principles there can be no
farther proof. We may also affirm that the instinct being a sacred
endowment, and delicate in proportion to the stupendous nature of the
object it attests, it may, like every other function of the human
spirit, collapse from mere disuse. But if we are to succeed in even
suggesting a doubt in the mind of our opponent as to the accuracy of
his analysis, we must verify our primary belief, and exhibit its
credentials so far as that is possible. We must show why we cannot
trace its genealogy farther back, or resolve it into simpler elements,
and we must not keep its nature shrouded in darkness, but disclose it
so far as may be. This, then, is our task.

The instinct to which we make our ultimate appeal is in its first rise
in the soul, crude, dim, and inarticulate. Gradually it shapes itself
into greater clearness, aided, in the case of most men, by the myriad
influences of religious thought and of historical tradition,--heightening
and refining it when educed, but not creating it; separating the real
gold from any spurious alloy it may have contracted. Like all our
innate instincts this one is at first infantile, and, when it begins
to assert itself, it prattles rather than speaks coherently. We do not
here raise the general question of the existence of _à priori_
principles. We assume that the mind is not originally an _abrasa
tabula_, but the endowments with which it starts are all gifts in
embryo. They are not full-formed powers, so much as the capacities and
potentialities of mental life. Their growth to maturity is most
gradual, and the difference between their adult and their rudimentary
phases is as wide as is the interval between a mature organization and
the egg from which it springs. It is therefore no evidence against the
reality or the trustworthiness of the intuition to which we appeal,
that its manifestations are not uniform, or that it sometimes seems
absent in the abnormal states of consciousness, or among the ruder
civilizations of the world. We admit that it is difficult for the
uninitiated to trace any affinity between its normal and its abnormal
manifestations, when it is modified by circumstances to any extent. We
farther admit that while never entirely absent, it may sometimes seem
to slumber not only in stray individuals, but in a race or an era, and
be transmitted from generation to generation in a latent state. It may
hybernate, and then awake as from the sleep of years, arising against
the will of its possessor and refusing to be silenced. Almost any
phenomenon may call it forth, and no single phenomenon can quench it.
It is the spontaneous utterance of the soul in presence of the object
whose existence it attests, and as such it is necessarily prior to any
act of reflection upon its character, validity, or significance.
Reflex thought, which is the product of experience, cannot in any case
originate an intuition, or account for those phenomena which we may
call by that name, supposing them to be delusive. Nothing in us, from
the simplest instinct to the loftiest intuition, could in any sense
create the object it attests, or after which it seeks and feels. And
all our ultimate principles, irreducible by analysis, simply attest
and assert.

The very existence of the intuition of which we now speak is itself a
revelation, because pointing to a Revealer within or behind itself.
And however crude in its elementary forms, it manifests itself in its
highest and purest state at once as an act of intelligence and of
faith. It may be most fitly described as a direct gaze by the inner
eye of the spirit, into a region over which mists usually brood. The
great and transcendant Reality it apprehends lies evermore behind the
veil of phenomena. It does not see far into that reality, yet it
grasps it, and recognises in it 'the open secret' of the universe.
This, then, is the main characteristic of the theistic intuition. It
proclaims a supreme Existence without and beyond the mind, which it
apprehends _in the act of revealing itself_. It perceives through the
vistas of phenomenal sequence, as through breaks in the cloud, the
glimpses of a _Presence_ which it can know only in part, but which it
does not follow in the dark, or merely infer from its obscure and
vanishing footprints. Unlike the 'necessary notion' of the Cartesian
school, unlike the space and time which are but subjective forms of
thought, unlike the 'regressive inference' from the phenomena of the
world, the conclusion it reaches is not the creation of its own
subjectivity. The God of the logical understanding, whose existence is
supposed to be attested by the necessary laws of the mind, is the mere
projected shadow of self. It has no more than an ideal significance.
The same may be said, with some abatements, of the being whose
existence is inferred from the phenomena of design. The ontologist and
the teleologist unconsciously draw their own portrait, and by an
effort of thought project it outwards on the canvass of infinity. The
intuitionalist, on the other hand, perceives that a revelation has
been made to him, descending as through an opened cloud, which closes
again. It is 'a moment seen, then gone;' for while we are always
conscious of our contact with the natural, we are less frequently
aware of the presence of the supernatural.

The difference between the evidence of intuition and the supposed
warrant of the other proofs we have reviewed is apparent. It is one
thing to create or evolve (even unconsciously) a mental image of
ourselves which we vainly attempt to magnify to infinity, and
thereafter worship the image that our minds have framed; it is another
to discern for a moment an august Presence, _other than the human_,
through a break in the clouds which usually veil Him from our eyes.
And it is to the inward recognition of this self-revealing object that
the theist makes appeal. What he discerns is at least not a 'form of
his mind's own throwing;' while his knowledge is due not to the
penetration of his own finite spirit, but to the condescension of the
infinite.

But we admit that this intuition is _not naturally luminous_. It is
the presence of the transcendant Object which makes it luminous.[14]
Its light is therefore fitful. It is itself rather an eye than a
light; (a passive organ, rather than an active power); and when not
lit up by light strictly supra-natural,--because emanating from the
object it discerns,--it is dull and lustreless. The varying
intelligence it reports of that object, corresponds to the changing
perceptions of the human eye in a day of alternate gloom and sunlight.
It is itself a human trust which ripens gradually into a matured
belief, rather than a clear perception, self-luminous from the first.

It may be needful, however, as the evidence of our intuitions is so
generally suspected, to examine a little more fully into the
credentials of this one, in common with all its allies.

Our knowledge of the object which intuition discloses is at first, in
all cases, necessarily unreflective. In the presence of that object,
the mind does not double back upon itself, to scrutinise the origin
and test the accuracy of the report that has reached it. And thus the
truth which it apprehends is at first only presumptive. It remains to
be afterwards tested by reflection, that no illusion be mistaken for
reality. What, then, are the tests of our intuitions?[15]

The following seem sufficient criteria of their validity and
truthworthiness. 1. The persistence with which they appear and
reappear after experimental reflection upon them, the obstinacy with
which they reassert themselves when silenced, the tenacity with which
they cling to us. 2. Their historical permanence; the confirmation of
ages and of generations. The hold they have upon the general mind of
the race is the sign of some 'root of endurance' planted firmly in the
soil of human nature. If 'deep in the general heart of men, their
power survives,' we may accept them as true, or interpret them as a
phase of some deeper yet kindred truth, of which they are the popular
distortion. 3. The interior harmony which they exhibit with each
other, and with the rest of our psychological nature; each of the
intuitions being in harmony with the entire circle, and with the
whole realm of knowledge. If any alleged intuition should come into
collision with any other and disturb it, there would be good reason
for suspecting its genuineness; and in that case the lower and less
authenticated must always yield to the higher and better attested. But
if the critical intellect carrying our intuition (if we may so speak
in a figure) round the circle of our nature, and in turn placing it in
juxtaposition with the rest, finds that no collision ensues, we may
safely conclude that the witness of that intuition is true. 4. If the
results of its action and influence are such as to elevate and
etherealize our nature, its validity may be assumed. This is no test
by itself, for an erroneous belief might for a time even elevate the
mind that held it; as the intellectual life evoked by many of the
erroneous theories and exploded hypotheses of the past has been great.
But no error could do so permanently. No illusion could survive as an
educative and elevating power over humanity; and no alleged instinct
could sustain its claim, and vindicate its presumptive title, if it
could not stand the test we mention. A theoretic error is seen to be
such when we attempt to reduce it to practice; as a hidden crack or
fissure in a metal becomes visible when a strain is applied, or the
folly of an ideal Utopia is seen in the actual life of a mixed
commonwealth. Many of those scientific guesses which have served as
good provisional hypotheses, have been abandoned in the actual working
of them out, and so the flaw that lurks within an alleged intuition,
(if there be a flaw) will become apparent when we try to apply it in
actual life, and take it as a regulative principle in action. Thus,
take the belief in the Divine existence, attested, as we affirm, by
intuition, and apply it in the act of worship or adoration. Does that
belief (which fulfils the conditions of our previous tests,--for it
appears everywhere and clings tenaciously to man, and comes into
collision with no other normal tendency of our nature, or defrauds any
instinct of its due) does it elevate the nature of him who holds it?
The reply of history is conclusive, and its attestation is abundantly
clear. The power of the theistic faith over the rest of human nature
is such that it has quickened the other faculties into a more vigorous
life. Its moral leverage has been vast, while it has sharpened the
æsthetic sense to some of its most delicate perceptions, and in some
instances brought a new accession of intellectual power. The intuition
which men trust in the dark, gradually leads the whole nature towards
the light. Its dimness and its dumbness are exchanged for clearness
and an intelligible voice; and while it thus grows luminous, it gains
new power, and our confidence in its verdict strengthens.

We have now stated what seems to us the general nature of the theistic
intuition, and added one or two criteria by which all intuitions must
be tested. It remains that we indicate more precisely the phases which
it assumes; and the channels in which it works. Though ultimate and
insusceptible of analysis, it has a triple character. It manifests
itself in the consciousness which the human mind has of the Infinite
(an intellectual phase); in its perception of the world-soul, which is
Nature's 'open secret' revealed to the poet (an æsthetic phase); and
in the act of worship, in which an object correlative to the
worshipper is revealed in his very sense of dependence (a moral and
religious phase).

It is not only essential to the validity of the theistic intuition
that the human mind has a positive though imperfect knowledge of the
infinite, but the assertion of this is involved in the very intuition
itself. If we had no positive knowledge of the source it seeks to
reach, the instinct, benumbed as by an intellectual frost, and unable
to rise, would be fatally paralysed; or if it could move along its
finite area, it would wander helplessly, feeling after its object, 'if
haply it might find it.' And it will be found that all who deny the
validity of our intuition, either limit us to the knowledge of
phenomena, or while admitting that we have a certain knowledge of
finite substance adopt the cold theory of nescience. From the earliest
Greek schools, or from the earlier speculation of the Chinese mind, a
powerful band of thinkers have denied to man the knowledge of aught
beyond phenomena, and from Confucius to Comte the list is an ample
one. In our own day this school includes some of the clearest and
subtilest minds devoted to philosophy. Comte, Lewes, Mill, Mr. Bain,
Herbert Spencer, and the majority of our best scientific guides
(however they differ in detail) agree in the common postulate that all
that man can know, and intelligibly reason about, are phenomena, and
the laws of these phenomena, 'that which doth appear.' There is,
however, a positivist 'religion,' which consists now in the worship of
phenomena, and again in homage paid to mystery, to the unknown and the
unknowable which lies beyond the known. Comte deified man and nature,
in their phenomenal aspects, without becoming pantheist; and the
instinct of worship though outlawed from his philosophy (which denies
the existence of its object), asserted itself within his nature--at
least in the second period of his intellectual career--and led him
not only to deify humanity, but to prescribe a minute and cumbrous
ritual, as puerile as it is inconsistent. It is true that worship is
philosophically an excrescence on his system. The advanced secularist
who disowns it is logically more consistent with the first principle
of positivism. To adore the _grande être_ as personified in woman is
as great a mimicry of worship as to offer homage to the law of
gravitation. Comte, says his acutest critic, 'forgot that the wine of
the real Presence was poured out, and adored the empty cup.' But we
may note in this latter graft upon his earlier system a testimony to
the operation of that very intuition which positivism disowns; its
uncouth form, when distorted by an alien philosophy, being a more
expressive witness to its irrepressible character.

Mr. Spencer, on the other hand, with some of our scientific teachers,
bids us bow down before the unknown and unknowable power which
subsists in the universe. The highest triumph of the human spirit,
according to him, is to ascertain the laws of phenomena, and then to
worship the dark abyss of the inscrutable beyond them. But there is
surely neither humility nor sanity in worshipping darkness, any more
than there would be in erecting an altar to chaos: and the advice
seems strange coming from those who claim to be the special teachers
of clear knowledge and comprehensible law. If we must at length erect
an altar at all, we must have some knowledge of the existence to whom
it is erected, and have some better reason for doing so than the blank
and bland confession that we have not the smallest idea of its nature!
Mr. Spencer undertakes to 'reconcile' the claims of science and
religion; and he finds the rallying-point to be the recognition of
mystery, into which all knowledge recedes. But if religion has any
function, and a reconciliation between her and science be possible,
the harmony cannot be effected by first denying the postulate from
which religion starts, and quietly sweeping her into the background of
the inconceivable, consigning her to the realm of the unknowable, and
then proclaiming that the conciliation is complete. This is to silence
or annihilate one of the two powers which the philosopher undertook to
reconcile. It is annexation accomplished by conquest, the cessation of
strife, effected by the destruction of one opposing force, not by an
armistice, or the ratification of articles of peace. Mr. Spencer does
not come between two combatants who are wounding each other
needlessly, and bid each put his sword into its sheath, for they are
brethren; but he turns round and (to his own satisfaction) slays one
of them, and then informs the other that the reconciliation is
effected.

We must therefore ask the positivist for his warrant, on the one hand,
in denying the existence of a world of substance, underneath the
fleeting phenomena of being, _out of which a revelation may emerge_,
apprehensible by man; and on the other, in denying to man positive
knowledge of the infinite as a substance. We must remind him that
infinite and finite, absolute and relative, substance and phenomena,
are terms of a relation: while we ask him for his warrant in
differentiating these terms, and proclaiming that the one set are
knowable and known, the others unknown and unknowable. He arbitrarily
singles out one of the two factors which together constitute a
relation, and are only known as complementary terms, and he bestows
upon it a spurious honour, by proclaiming that it alone is
intelligible, while he relegates the other term to the region of
darkness. We ask him on what ground he does so? and whether the law of
contrast does not render phenomena as unintelligible, without
substance, as substance without phenomena? Can we pronounce the one to
be known and the other unknown, merely because the former reaches us
through the five gateways of sense, and the latter through the avenue
of intuition? Now, no wise theist ever asserted that God was
phenomenally known. God is no phenomenon, but the noumenal essence
underlying all phenomena. We have admitted and contended that no study
of the laws of the universe can give us direct information as to the
first cause; for a first cause could never be revealed to the senses,
nor be an inference deduced from the data which sense supplies. The
assertion therefore, that nature (of which the physical sciences are
the interpretation) does not reveal God by its phenomena, is as
strongly asserted by the theist as by the positivist. It may reveal
his footprints, but we only know whose foot has left its mark on
nature when we have learned _from another source_ that He _is_. As
little, however, can the laws of nature discredit faith in a first
cause, which springs from a region at once beneath, above, and beyond
phenomena. And our theistic faith is not an _inference_; it is a
_postulate_: an axiomatic truth, affirmed on the report of that
intuition, of which the root is planted so firmly in the soil of
consciousness, that no form of the positivist philosophy can tear it
thence. Let science, therefore, march as it will, and where it will,
being hemmed in by the very laws of the universe which give rise to
it, and of which it is the exposition, it cannot interfere with or
encroach upon the theistic intuition. If there be a region behind
phenomena and their laws, accessible to knowledge or to philosophic
faith, no conclusion gathered from the scientific survey can touch it,
whether to discredit or attest.

The fundamental doctrine of both the schools of nescience is the
relativity of human knowledge, and that doctrine as taught by the
Scottish psychologists (and notably by Scotland's greatest
metaphysician since Hume, Sir William Hamilton) has been wrested out
of their hands, and turned against the theism they also advocate. Mr.
Spencer would exhibit them all as 'hoist with their own petard.' It is
necessary, therefore, to enquire whether this doctrine of relativity
favours a theory of nescience, or warrants a counter-doctrine of the
knowledge of the infinite, or is indifferent to both.

With us the relativity of knowledge is a first principle in
philosophy. But to affirm it, is merely to assert that all that is
known occupies a fixed relation to the knower. It is to affirm nothing
as to the character or contents of his knowledge. As regards the
objects known we further maintain that they are apprehended only in
their differences and contrasts. We know self only in its contrast
with what is not self, a particular portion of matter only in its
relation to other portions which surround and transcend it. So also
and for the same reason, with the finite and the infinite. The one is
not a positive notion, and the other negative; the one clear, and the
other obscure. Both are equally clear, both sharply defined, so far as
they are given us in relation. If the one notion suffers, the other
suffers with it. In short, if we discharge any notion from all
relation with its opposite or contrary, it ceases to be a notion at
all. The finite, if we take it alone, is as inconceivable as the
infinite, if we take it alone; phenomena by themselves are as
incogitable as substance by itself: and the relative as a notion cut
off from the absolute which antithetically bounds it, is not more
intelligible than the absolute as an essence absolved from all
relations. And thus the entire fabric of our knowledge being founded
on contrasts, and arising out of differences, involving in its every
datum another element hidden in the background, may be said to be a
vast double chain of relatives mutually complementary. It looks ever
in two directions, without and within, above and beneath, before and
after.

We maintain, therefore, that we have positive knowledge of the
infinite. Whosoever says that the infinite cannot be known contradicts
himself. For he must possess a notion of it before he can deny that he
has a positive knowledge of it, before he can predict aught regarding
it. And so he says he cannot know what he says, though in another
fashion, that he does know. It could never have come within the
horizon of hypothetical knowledge, never have become the subject of
discussion, unless positively (though inadequately) known; and thus
the infinite stands as the antithetic background of the finite. Sir
William Hamilton's and Dr. Mansel's doctrine of nescience, no less
than Mr. Spencer's, we regard as absolute intellectual suicide. It
implies that we have no knowledge of that which we are compelled to
conceive in order to know that it is unknowable. We could not compare
the two notions, if the one were unthinkable. For if all knowledge is
a relation, in each act of knowing I must know both the terms related.
The one term causes us no difficulty, being admitted on both sides.
But the other which so perplexes our teachers of nescience, is, it
must be owned, as to its contents a somewhat vague residuum. It is
without an outline. It is not given us with the luminous clearness
that its correlative is given. Nevertheless, it is a real term in a
real relation. The moment we proceed to analyse our consciousness of
the relative, we find it as the penumbra of the notion, its shadowy
complement. We may never obtain more than a vague, and what we might
call a moonlight view of it: nevertheless behold it we do; apprehend
it we must.

But it is objected that as human knowledge is always finite, we can
never have a positive apprehension of an infinite object; that as the
subject of knowledge is necessarily finite, its object must be the
same. Let us sift this objection.

I may know an object in itself as related to me the knower, or I may
know it in its relation to other objects also known by me the knower.
But in both and in all cases, knowledge is limited by the power of the
knower, therefore it is always finite knowledge. But it may be finite
knowledge of an infinite object, incomplete knowledge of a complete
object, partial knowledge of a transcendent object. The boundary or
fence may be within the faculty of the knower, while the object he
imperfectly grasps may not only be infinite, but be known to transcend
his faculties in the very act of conscious knowledge. For example, I
may know that a line is infinite while I have only a finite knowledge
of the points along which that line extends. And similarly my
knowledge of the Infinite Mind is partial and incomplete, but it is
clear and defined. It is definite knowledge of an indefinite object.
We may have a partial knowledge not only of a part, but of the whole.
Thus, I have a partial knowledge of a circle, because I know only a
few of its properties; but it is not to a part of the circle that my
partial knowledge extends, but to the whole which I know in part. In
like manner as the Infinite Object has no parts, it is not of a
portion of His being that we possess a partial knowledge, but of the
whole. We know Him as we know the circle, inadequately yet directly,
immediately, though in part. He is dark to us by excess of light.
Thus, although our knowledge of the infinite may be _vivified_, it is
not really _enlarged_ by goading our thought to wider and wider
imaginings, or spurring our faculties onwards over areas of space, or
intervals of time. That knowledge is directly revealed while we are
apprehending any finite object, as its correlative and complementary
antithesis.

Again it is said that to know the infinite is to know the sum of all
reality, and as that would include the universe and its source
together, it must necessarily include on the one hand the knower along
with his knowledge, and on the other all the possibilities of
existence. The possibility of our knowing the Infinite Being as
distinct from the universe is denied, since infinite existence is said
to be coextensive with the whole universe of things. But that the
source of the universe must necessarily exhaust existence and contain
within himself all actual being is a mere theoretic assumption. The
presence of the finite does not limit the infinite as if the area of
the latter were contracted by so much of the former as exists within
it. For the relation of the infinite being to the finite is not
similar to the relation between infinite space and a segment of it. It
is true that so much of finite space is so much cut out of the whole
area of infinite space--though, if the remainder is infinite, the
portion removed will not really limit it. But as our intuition of the
infinite has no resemblance to our knowledge of space, we believe that
the relations which their respective objects sustain have no affinity
with each other. The intuition of God is a purely spiritual
revelation, informing us not of the quantity but of the quality of the
supreme being in the universe. And to affirm that the finite spirit of
man standing in a fixed relation to the infinite spirit of God limits
it, by virtue of that relation, is covertly to introduce a spatial
concept into a region to which it is utterly foreign, and which it has
no right to enter.[16]

We therefore maintain, in opposition to the teachers of nescience,
that a positive knowledge of the Infinite is competent to man, because
involved in his very consciousness of the finite. And when
psychologically analysed, this intuition explains and vindicates
itself.

But there is another aspect, no less important, in which it may be
regarded. To say that the infinite is wholly inscrutable by man, is to
limit not man's faculty only, but the possibilities of the divine
nature itself. If God cannot unveil himself to man through the
openings of those clouds which ordinarily conceal His presence, can
His resources be illimitable, can He be the infinitely perfect? It is
said, on the one hand, that the unknown Force reveals itself in the
laws of nature, but cannot disclose its essence; and, on the other,
that the infinite being reveals His handiwork, from which He permits
us to infer His existence, but cannot reveal Himself. Such assertions
are either subtle instances of verbal jugglery or manifest
contradictions in terms. All revelation of whatever kind, presupposes
some knowledge of the revealer. That knowledge may be imparted the
moment the revelation is made, or prior to it, and from an independent
source; but no revelation could be made, were the being to whom it was
addressed ignorant of the source whence it came. Is there really any
special difficulty in supposing that the infinite intelligence can
directly disclose His nature to a creature fashioned in His image, the
disclosure quickening the latent power of intuition, which, thus
touched from above, springs forth to meet its source and object?

The question between the theist and the positivist is brought to its
real issue when the latter is forced to recognise that the God of
theism is no inference from phenomena, but if we may so speak, a
_postulate of intuition_. And hence it is so necessary to concede
frankly the failure of the teleological argument from final causes, as
well as the ontological argument from the necessary notions of the
intellect. We not only admit, we are forward to proclaim that by
inductive science we can never rise higher than phenomena; and hence
at the end of our researches we should be no nearer God than at the
outset. But though we cannot reach Him by induction, we may do so
before we begin our induction, by simply giving the intuition of the
soul free scope to rise towards its source. And to dislodge the theist
from his position, his opponent must succeed in proving that this
intuition, whose root springs from a region beneath phenomena, and
which in its flight outsoars phenomena, is as baseless and
unauthenticated as a dream.

There are two principles, one of them metaphysical, and the other
scientific, which are helpful at this point in our inquiry. These are
the principle of causality, and the doctrine of the correlation of
forces, or the conservation of energy. We cannot discuss them at any
length, but we shall briefly state their nature, and their relation to
the theistic intuition.

The phenomena of nature (using that term in its widest sense) are not
only a series of sequences, they are also the revelation of a
mysterious Power or living Force. All that we perceive by the senses,
and, inductively register in nature, is a series of phenomena, of
which the laws of nature are the generalized expression and
interpretation. But every change is a revelation not only of
succession, but of causal power. No matter where we take our stand
along the line of sequence, mental or material, always and at every
point this conviction is flashed in upon the mind, 'there is a hidden
Power behind.' But we instinctively ask, 'what is this power or force
determining the changes of the universe?' Is it material or spiritual?
Can the force which moves the particles of matter be material? We do
not perceive it by the senses, which take note only of the modified
phenomena of matter. It is neither visible, nor audible, nor tangible.
It is invisible; must we not therefore believe it to be incorporeal?
We cannot reach it by analysis. We conclude that it is not physical
but hyper-physical, not natural but supranatural. We have an
intellectual intuition of it. It announces its presence in every
change that occurs, but it nowhere shows its face as a material
entity. It is a mystic agency endlessly revealing its existence,
everywhere concealing its source. We watch its evolutions, but it
escapes our scrutiny; we try to detain it, and we find that it is
gone; yet it reappears in the next thing we examine, and in the very
phenomena of our search for it; the agency is manifest, but it is the
Agent we wish to discover. Must it be, like the sangreal of mediæval
legend, sought for in many lands, but nowhere found by any wanderer in
quest of it?

Before attempting an answer, we shall state the scientific principle
referred to, which is entitled to rank as one of the greatest of
modern discoveries. All the forms of force are convertible amongst
themselves. They are all ultimately identical, and are endlessly
passing and repassing into each other: the mechanical, the chemical,
the vital, are all one. 'The many' _are_ 'the one,' its varying
phrases, its protean raiment. In short, there is but a single supreme
force, ubiquitous and plastic, the fountain of all change. It now
evolves itself in heat, now masks itself in light, reveals itself in
electricity, or sleeps in the law of gravitation: one solitary pulse
within Nature's vast machine, and behind the barrier of her laws. This
force, thus endlessly changing, is neither diminished nor replenished;
it is not added to, nor subtracted from; it is perennial, and is its
own conservator. It is not synthesis, but analysis that has resolved
it into unity. But can synthesis combine its manifold phases under one
regulative notion? In realizing its general character we cannot
discharge from our minds in turn all the known features of particular
forces, so as to leave a vague resultant common to all, yet especially
identified with none. The diverse types must have an _archetype_. What
is that archetype?

It seems to us self-evident that we must seek for it, not in nature,
but in man; not in the lower plane of the cosmical forces, but in the
human _will_, the root of our personality. Comte begins with the
lowermost grade of force (to wit, the mechanical), and ascends with
it, bringing all the finer and more subtle forms under its sway, and
interpreting the higher by the lower. We, on the contrary, begin with
the highest known type, that which lies nearest ourselves, with which
we are earliest acquainted, and whence we derive our notion of force
beyond ourselves; and we descend with it as a light to guide our
footsteps amongst the lower. This we hold to be the correct, to be
indeed the only admissible philosophical procedure. If it is only
through the consciousness of force within ourselves that we have any
intelligible notion of it in nature (and are thus first initiated into
the idea), we must come back to the will for an explanation of what
the one force external to us is. Our own personality supplies us with
the archetype of which we are in search. We thus throw the plank
across the chasm between man and nature; we interpret the latter by
the former (not the reverse); and the discovery of the correlation of
forces, and the conservation of energy, becomes the scientific
equivalent of the doctrine of philosophical theology, that one supreme
Will pervades the universe, that in nature lives and moves and has
its being.

If we can vindicate this procedure, and prove our right to interpret
the forces, if not the phenomena of nature, as the outcome of a living
will, the energy of a nature like our own, our goal is reached. But,
say the Comtists, that is a mere imagination of theology, the creation
of a superstitious mind, 'transcendant audacity,' 'a form of the
mind's own throwing,' just as much as the teleological explanation of
nature. It has been spoken of as presumptuous, as well as fanciful,
betokening a lack of humility and philosophic caution; it being sheer
egotism to interpret nature by what we are, and a return to the
Protagorean doctrine that 'man is the measure of all things.' In
reply, we give only hints and suggestions, for the region is high, and
the atmosphere rarefied.

In the first place, it is to be observed that we do not take one class
of phenomena to explain the inner nature of another class; the
phenomena of will to explain, say those of electricity, in outward
nature; for in that case we might as well, with just as much reason
and plausibility, with just as much authority, take the latter class
of phenomena to explain the former; and we should learn quite as much,
that is to say, we should learn nothing at all. But we take a certain
special _noumenal_ force, one that is transcendant but revealed in our
innermost life and consciousness, in the will's _autocracy_, and by
the help and suggestion of this known force we explain (not the
phenomena of Nature nor her laws), but the darker, the unknown
noumenal Force, the pulse of nature.

In the next place, it is also to be observed that as the human will,
while noumenally free, is phenomenally under law and governed most
rigidly by motives, so the force which we interpret as the expression
of personal will in nature, acts in perfect conformity to law. The
laws of nature are the expression of its bondage. The minor scattered
forces, which may be spoken of as the messengers and servitors of the
supreme will, are no more fitful but no less capricious than is the
human will, in which the causal nexus is not broken while it remains
free. The supernatural reveals itself in an orderly fashion through
the natural. Its will is expressed by law.

In the third place, so far as bridging the chasm between the two
orders of phenomena, it is not accomplished by the poetic intuition (to
which we shall immediately refer), but by the human intellect, it
seems legitimated by _analogy_. In our inductive interpretation of
nature we perceive resemblances, and infer a likeness. 'Analogy is the
soul of induction.' If, therefore, it be an illicit act of the reason
which ventures to trace a parallel between nature and man, and
interpret the former by the latter, how fares it with the foundations
of human knowledge, and with the pillars of science herself? Is not
all physical science the rational interpretation of nature? If we may
not read the meaning of the great central force in the light of that
force which we carry in the will, how can we warrantably interpret the
laws of nature, in the light of that which we carry in the intellect?
Are we not left in uncertainty as to the character of the entire
fabric of our knowledge? The oracle is altogether dumb. If the way
which seems to lead from the interior of the human will into the
temple of outward nature be really a _cul-de-sac_, what warrant have
we for opening a door on the other side, and walking down the avenues
of positive science, imagining that in these pathways we shall find
the only key to nature? To bring the analogy into effect, let us take
two instances: the force with which I discharge a projectile and the
force of gravitation. The former proceeds from the will, which is the
originating power, though mechanical and physiological causes
intervene. Since, therefore, similar effects have similar or
resembling causes, it is a strictly analogical inference that as the
effects correspond, the causes will resemble each other, and the
essential part of the correspondence will not consist in the apparatus
used (the phenomena), but in the will underlying, which is
noumenal.[17]

In the fourth place, as the force of the will is both higher and
better known than the mechanical, chemical, and vital forces of
nature, we are warranted in interpreting the lower by the higher, and
not in reducing the higher to the level of the lower. As we ascend in
nature from the lowest vital forms to the highest type of
organization, we find that the higher is not only an advance upon the
lower, but that it _includes_ it; and no naturalist would describe a
vertebrated animal by that which it held in common with the mollusca.
That in which it differs from the types beneath it is held to be its
distinctive and descriptive feature. When, therefore, we reach man at
the top of the scale, separated by a distinct endowment from the
classes beneath him, yet conserving all their main characteristics in
his nature, and describe him not by what he has in common with the
lower animals, but by that in which he differs from them, we act on
the principle of selecting the highest feature we can find, and taking
it as our guide. And similarly when we are in search of the Supreme
Principle of the universe, the _causa causarum_, we interpret it by
the highest features in human nature, because that nature is the
highest with which we are experimentally acquainted. And we may
validly throw the burden of proof upon the positivist, and ask why the
great cosmical force that rules in nature should be radically
different from the volitional force which is the root of our
personality? Reverting again to the force of gravitation, why should
it not be the outcome in nature of a Will vaster than man's,
resembling, yet transcending it? To what does that force amount? The
phenomenalist cannot arrest our inquiry by simply drawing the veil of
nescience over it. He cannot slip a lid over the end of our telescope
turned skyward by merely exclaiming 'mystery of mysteries, all is
mystery.' And it seems to us that we must either divest the word
gravitation of all intelligible meaning, or while perceiving the
unlikeness at a glance, we must 'invest it with a human or
_quasi-human_ vitality.'

_Quasi_, for again in the fifth place, this all-pervasive protean
force assumes many a phase which is exceedingly unlike the operations
of a personal power. In many of her moods, Nature has the countenance
of the sphinx. She is sublimely silent as to her inmost essence. Cold,
stern, inflexible, neutral, taciturn, apathetic--all these terms seem
applicable to her at times, as we gaze across the chasm between man
and the universe. But the regulative idea, which we find in the
analogy of the human will, is not to be regarded as exhaustive or
exclusive of other notions which may unite with it. The personal force
may at the same time be more than personal. Its highest quality
becomes to us what we have called its regulative idea; but it contains
elements within the infinite compass of its nature, different from
those features of which we find the mirror in ourselves.[18] It is
sufficient if we know that the _causa causarum_, the all-pervading
life of the universe, can in any sense be described as personal, that
we can speak of 'the soul of nature,' without being the dupes of a
fanciful analogy, dealing merely with figure and hyperbole. Be it
admitted by every theist that there are myriad facets which the subtle
life of nature may present to the beholder. We not only may, we must
think of it as

      'He, they, one, all, within, without,
      The power in darkness which we guess.'

It reveals itself to us now as personal, awakening and responding to
the instinct of worship, calling forth our wonder and reverence, with
the hunger and the thirst of the human spirit in rising to its source;
now it turns its cold, impassive, silent face towards us; and as we
feel its immeasurable transcendency we are warned against the error of
construing it into a mere exaggeration of ourselves. We thus learn on
the one hand, the indefinite unlikeness between man and the Supreme
Spirit of the universe, and on the other their positive likeness or
kindredness. We escape the prevailing error of mediævalism, and the
equally fatal error of the modern scientific spirit. The tendency of
the schoolmen was to interpret all the laws of nature in the light of
_à priori_ notions of the mind. They did not search laboriously for
her own meaning, and wait patiently for her revelations; but distorted
nature by _outré_ hypotheses fetched altogether from within. It is,
however, an equal if not a greater onesidedness to do exactly the
reverse; to interpret the human spirit in the light of external nature
and organic law. The apotheosis of man was at least no worse--(we
think it rather better)--than making a fetish of nature, and
explaining the sublime mysteries of the human will by the phenomena of
molecular action. We therefore maintain that amid the many possible
manifestations of the infinite Life, they may be reduced to two
primary forms, the one impersonal and the other personal. God is
infinitely unlike the creature. He is also the archetype of which we
are the type. And we have less need to be philosophically warned
against the possible caricature of the latter doctrine (of which the
teachers of nescience remind us), than to be cautioned against the
partial truth of the former, which, in isolation, may so easily drift
into exaggeration and a lie.

The intellectual intuition of the infinite, which we have endeavoured
to vindicate, so far attests this correspondence; but the inspired
utterance of the Poet in reference to the soul of nature, no less
bears it witness. The identity or affinity of the force within him and
the forces without, is felt by the poet when the speculative thinker
perceives it not. He cannot analyse into its constituent elements the
mystic meaning of the universe which is flashed into his soul in
moments of glowing inspiration, as the chemist analyses his earths in
a crucible. But he is the

      'Mighty prophet, seer blest,
      With whom these truths do rest,
      Which we are toiling all our years to find
      In darkness lost.'

And he may be able to help the merely scientific explorer out of that
abyss of mystery in which he is speculatively lost, and to save him
from erecting an altar to 'the unknown God.' While his soul, in 'a
wise passiveness,' lies open to the visitations of the supernatural,
he sees a vision, and he hears a voice, of which he can give no
scientific explanation, but which announces to him the 'open secret.'

Perhaps the finest description of the characteristics of the soul's
intuitions is that given by Lowell, 'the prevailing poet' of America.
He writes--

      'As blind nestlings, unafraid,
      Stretch up wide-mouthed to every shade,
      By which their downy dream is stirred,
      Taking it for the mother-bird;
      So, when God's shadow, which is light,
      My wakening instincts falls across,
      Silent as sunbeams over moss,
      _In my heart's-nest half-conscious things
      Stir with a helpless sense of wings,
      Lift themselves up_, and tremble long
      With premonitions sweet of song.'

The poet may thus throw the plank for us where the psychologist or
metaphysician fails. He 'sees into the life of things.' His insight,
which comes and goes in flashes marvellous but fugitive, which dart
across the world and bring back this report of correspondence,
illumines every realm of nature. He tells us that it is 'haunted for
ever by the Eternal Mind.' He finds the whole temple of nature
exquisitely filled with symbols of his own deepest thought. She is a
storehouse of imagery expressing the subtlest gradations of his
feeling. Wherever he moves he finds that the forms and the forces
around him are an interpretation of what he _is_. They are the
symbolic language of his deepest thoughts and highest aspirations,
while his innermost life again interprets them. He explains the inner
world in terms of the outer, and the outward in terms of the inward.
In the grand vocation of the poet, we know of nothing grander than his
function to mediate between the baffled ontologist and the man of
science. He is a reconciler who presents a common truth which those
on either side may recognise, and the recognition of which may draw
them together.

This vast and varied region of our complex nature, the æsthetic or
poetic, thus comes to the aid of our theology. The great imaginative
poets, in their delineations of man and nature, do not idealise; they
_see_: or they see before they idealise. Who will affirm that
Wordsworth's 'inward eye'--by the use and cultivation of which he
became the greatest of all interpreters of the symbolism of nature--in
seeing visions, saw but the ghostly forms of his own imagination, and
was not in contact with _real existence_? Are his 'spiritual
presences' as unreal as the fawns and dryads of polytheistic legend?
And was not even the early personification of nature a cruder
testimony in the same direction,--the belief in these deities of the
wood and hill and stream being a dumb homage by the savage mind to a
divinity in nature kindred to man? Is the poet, then, _a seer_,[19] or
only the elaborator of fancies?--the mere creator of ideal shapes, or
the discerner of real existence? He tells us that nature is a luminous
veil, behind which visions are to be seen, and voices heard; that
sometimes, in a moment, he has come upon the footprints of the
supernatural; and that, in such moments, he is in contact with a
reality, which he calls 'the soul of the world.' Why should he call it
a _soul_, if he has no intuition of its analogy and correspondence
with his own nature? And what though he speaks continually in the
plural, and tells us of the myriad 'presences,' as the scientific
explorer speaks of manifold 'forces?' What though he lapses into a
semipolytheist interpretation of nature? It is but the sign of a
weight of inspiration too vast for one utterance. It indicates that
his feeling of the central life has broken up the diversity; that
nature's great soul--_the_ Presence--cannot reveal itself at once as
all-in-all and all inclusive; within the boundaries of the finite
mind. In its very wealth it reveals itself as manifold. But as the
poet and the philosopher may combine the manifold in the unity of
their own mind, why not also in the unity of the object revealing
itself to them?

It is to be observed, however, that the object which the poet's
insight attests and reveals, is not phenomenal, but substantial.
Hence no question arises as to its origin. It is only that which
enters on the theatre of phenomenal existence that demands a further
explanation. The entrance and the exit of phenomena are explained,
when we refer them to the substance out of which they have emerged,
and to which they return. But we do not ask for the origin of
substance, any more than for the origin of space, time, or number.

There is still another branch of the theistic evidence from intuition.
It is the instinct of worship. Our space admits of but a sentence
regarding it. It is seen in the mere uprise of the soul, spontaneously
doing homage to a higher than itself; in the sense of dependence, felt
by all men who 'know themselves;' in the need which the worshipper
feels of approaching One who is higher and holier than himself, and in
whom all perfection resides, who is recognisable by him, and is
interested in his state; in the workings of the filial instinct
seeking its source, and, as said St. Augustine, 'restless till it
rests in Thee;' in the suffrage of the heart rising amid the miseries
of its lot, and even against the surmises of the intellect, to the
'Rock that is higher than it;' in the soul's aspirations--its thirst
for the ideal, while it feels the necessity of an absolute centre or
ultimate standard of truth, beauty, and goodness; and even in the
passionate longings of the mystic to reach an utterly transcendent
good. All these things bear witness to an _instinct_, working often in
the dark, but always seeking its source. They are almost universal,
and they are certainly ineradicable. They show how deeply the roots of
the theistic faith are planted in the soil of the moral consciousness.
We cannot, however, pursue these several lines of proof in detail.
They form a fitting link of connection with the more strictly ethical
evidence, on which we must add a few paragraphs.

The Kantian argument is more intricate and much less satisfactory than
the common evidence from the phenomena of conscience itself. It is
founded on the moral law, with its 'categorical imperative,' asserting
that certain actions are right and others wrong, in a world in which
the right is often defrauded of its legitimate awards, and the wrong
is temporarily successful. This, however, says Kant, points to a
future; in which the irregularity will be redressed, and _therefore_
to a Supreme Moral Power, able to effect it. The argument is
altogether inferential. It is circuitous, its conclusion being in a
sense an appendix to the doctrine of immortality; and it has only a
secondary connection with the data of the moral law itself. But the
phenomena of conscience afford the data of theism directly. We do not
raise the question of the nature or the origin of the moral faculty.
We assume its existence, as an _à priori_ principle, carrying with it
not a contingent but an absolute and unconditional authority. But this
moral law within us is the index of another power, a higher
personality whence it emanates, and of whose character it is the
expression. The law carries in its very heart or centre the evidence
of a moral law-giver, his existence not being an inference _from_, but
a postulate _of_ this law. It is given with the direct and antithetic
clearness with which the infinite is given as the correlative of the
finite; and the ascent from the law to the supreme legislator is not
greater than is the ascent from space and time, revealed in limited
areas and intervals, to immensity and eternity. The two data are the
terms of relation. And thus we do not rise to the divine existence by
any 'regressive inference,' as the Kantian argument reaches it; we
find God _in_ conscience. Moral analysis reveals _Another_, within and
yet above our own personality: and if we _reject that implicate_ which
is folded within the very idea of conscience, it ceases to be
authoritative; and, divested of all ethical significance, it sinks to
the level of expediency.

Thus the moral part of our nature rests upon the background of another
and a divine personality. Let us analyse the notion of duty, the idea
of obligation contained in the word '_ought_.' If it resolves itself
into this, 'it is expedient to act in a certain manner, because, if we
do not, we injure the balance of our faculties, promote a schism
amongst the several powers, and put the machinery of human nature out
of working gear:' then it does not point to one behind it, any more
than the phenomenal sequences and designs in nature point in that
direction. But if we 'ought _simply because we ought_,' _i.e._,
because the law which we find within us, but did not produce, controls
us, haunts us, and claims supremacy over us, then we find in such a
fact the revelation of One from whom the law has emanated. As Fenelon
says in reference to the idea of the infinite, breathing the spirit of
St. Augustine--

      'Where have I obtained this idea, which is so much above
      me, which infinitely surpasses me, which astonishes me,
      which makes me disappear in my own eyes, which renders the
      infinite present to me. It is in me; it is more than
      myself. It seems to me everything, and myself nothing. I
      can neither efface, obscure, diminish, nor contradict it.
      It is in me; I have not put it there, I have found it
      there: and I have found it there only because it was
      already there before I sought it. It remains there
      invariable even if I do not think of it, when I think of
      something else. I find it wherever I seek it, and it often
      presents itself when I am not seeking it. It does not
      depend upon me. I depend upon it.'[20]

Similarly Newman writes of conscience,--

      'A voice within forbids, and summons us to refrain;
      And if we bid it to be silent, it yet is not still: it is
        not in our control,
      It acts without our order, without our asking, against our will.
      It is _in_ us, it belongs to us, but it is not _of_ us: it
        is _above_ us.
      It is moral, it is intelligent, it is not _we_, nor at our bidding;
      It pervades mankind, as one life pervades the trees.'[21]

Whence then comes this law which is 'in us, yet not of us, but above
us,' which we did not create, and which circumstances do not fashion,
though they modify its action? Is it not the moral echo within of a
Voice louder and vaster without--a voice which legislates, and in its
sanctity commands, issuing imperial edicts for the entire universe of
moral agency? In one sense conscience is the viceroy or representative
of a higher power; in another it is the voice of one crying in the
wilderness of the human spirit, 'Prepare ye the way for the Law.' It
ever speaks 'as one having authority,' and yet its central
characteristic (as pointed out by a living teacher) is not that the
conscience _has_ authority, but that it is 'the consciousness _of_
authority.' It testifies to another: the implanted instinct bearing
witness to its Implanter; and through the hints and intimations of
this master-faculty thus throned amidst the other powers, we are able
to ascend intuitively and directly to God. We are 'constituted to
transcend ourselves,' and conscience becomes a ladder by which we
mount to the supernatural, as well as the voice inarticulate, yet
audible, which speaks to us of God. Thus, to quote the language of one
of the Cambridge Platonists of the 17th century (Dr. John Smith)--

      'As Plotinus teaches us, "he who reflects upon himself
      reflects upon his own _original_," God has so copied forth
      himself into the whole life and energy of man's soul as
      that the character of the divinity may be most easily seen
      and read of all within themselves. And whenever we look
      upon our souls in a right manner we shall find a _Urim_ and
      a _Thummim_ there; and though the whole fabric of this
      visible universe be whispering out the notion of a Deity,
      yet we cannot understand it without _this interpreter
      within_.'

FOOTNOTES:

[11] The terms _à priori_ and _à posteriori_ are misleading. Arguments
called _à priori_ are usually mixed, and involve elements strictly _à
posteriori_: experiential facts are inlaid within them. And the proof
_à posteriori_ ascends (if it ascends high enough) by the aid of _à
priori_ principles. In its rise to the supersensible, it makes use of
the noetic principle of the reason.

[12] For other contributions we are indebted to the historians of
philosophy (see especially Buhle) and of Christian doctrine, such as
Neander and Hagenbach, and to one of the cleverest of French thinkers,
Rémusat, who, in his 'Philosophie Religieuse,' has acutely criticised
some of the developments of opinion since the rise of modern
philosophy, and more especially some of the latest phenomena of
British and Continental thought.

[13] And a _possible_ explanation is of no use. It must be the _only
possible_ one, or it has no theistic value. It merely brings the
hypothesis of deity within the limits of the conceivable.

[14] 'I would rather call it,' says John Smith in his 'Select
Discourses,' (1660), alluding to this intuition, 'were I to speak
precisely, I would rather call it ὁρμὴν πρὸς τὸν Θεὸν, than, with
Plutarch, Θεοῦ νόησιν.'

[15] There are sundry elements in every intuition on which we do not
here enlarge, as they are necessary features rather than criteria,
characteristics rather than tests. Two of them may be merely
stated--1. Every intuition is ultimate, and carries its own evidence
within itself: it cannot appeal to any higher witness beyond itself;
and 2. The fact or facts which it proclaims, while irreducible by
analysis, must be incapable of any other explanation.

[16] Similarly with the action of the infinite and absolute _cause_.
The creative energy of that cause is not inconsistent with its
changelessness. To say so, is to introduce a quantitative notion
into a sphere when quality is alone to be considered. A cause in
action is the force which determines the changes which occur in time.
But the _primum mobile_, the first cause, need not be itself changed
by the forthputting of its causal power.

[17] 'I take the notion of a cause,' said Dr. Thomas Reid, in a letter
to Dr. Gregory, 'to be derived from the power I feel in myself to
produce certain effects. _In this sense_ we say that the Deity is the
cause of the universe.'--(Works, Hamilton's Edition, p. 77).

[18] As one who sustains a fatherly relation is at the same time son,
brother, citizen, member of a commonwealth, and member of a
profession; or, as we describe a being of compound nature, such as
man, who is both body and soul, by the higher term of the two.

[19] We use this word according to its ancient meaning, as descriptive
of the way in which the inspired soul of a prophet or a poet 'became
possessed of his truths,' in distinction from his other function as an
'utterer of truths.' And we refer only to those poets who, as
'utterers of truth,' have spoken of the spiritual presences of nature,
amongst whom, Wordsworth is chief.

[20] De l'Existence de Dieu. Part II. ch. i. s. 29.

[21] Theism, pp. 13, 14.



ART. III.--_Hugh Miller._--(1). _Life and Letters of Hugh Miller._ By
PETER BAYNE, A.M. 2 vols. Strahan and Co. (2). _Works of Hugh Miller._
Nimmo.


What strikes us as most admirable in Hugh Miller is, that he was a man
of genius and yet a man of sense. There has been, and will be,
diversity of opinion as to the value or even the existence of his
genius, but there can be no doubt as to the robust and masculine
character of his mind. When we think of him we recall what Macaulay
said of Cromwell, 'He was emphatically a man.' He possessed, in an
eminent degree, that 'equally-diffused intellectual health' which can
no more be acquired by effort or artifice than a sound physical
constitution can be obtained by the use of drugs. So often, of late,
has genius been freakish, whimsical, fantastic--evinced a perverse
contempt for the moderation and equipoise of truth--substituted
feminine vehemence of assertion for clear statement and rational
inference--nay, seemed to hover on the very verge of madness--that we
are disposed to accommodate ourselves to considerable defect in
startling and meteoric qualities on the part of one who, while
veritably possessing genius, was distinguished for sagacity,
manliness, and the avoidance of extremes.

But was Hugh Miller a man of genius? We see not how any but an
affirmative answer can be returned to the question. Metaphysical
people may perplex themselves with attempts to define genius, but no
practical evil can ensue from the application of the word 'genius' to
qualities of mind, unique either in nature or in degree. It is correct
to speak of mathematical genius when we mean an altogether
extraordinary capacity for solving mathematical problems. It is
correct to speak of poetical genius when we mean an inborn tunefulness
of nature which awakens to vocal melody at the sight of beauty or the
touch of pathos. When we say Hugh Miller was a man of genius, we mean
that, take him all in all, in his life, in his character, in his
books, he was unique. In a remote Highland village, one of the
quietest, least important places in the world, amid a simple,
ruminating population, with no Alpine grandeur of surrounding scenery
or stirring memorials of local life, the sea-captain's son is born.
Nothing in the history of his father's house for generations affords
suggestion of an hereditary gift of expression; and though his mother
had a fund of ghost-stories and delighted to tell them, she passed
among her neighbours for an entirely undistinguished, commonplace
woman. And yet, before he was ten years old, the child Hugh would
quit his boyish companions for the sea-shore, and there saunter for
hours, pouring forth blank-verse effusions about sea-fights, ghosts,
and desert islands. A peculiar imaginative susceptibility and a
passion for expression revealed themselves in him from his infancy.
The strong bent of his nature regulated his education. He is
bookish--his fairy tales, voyages, 'Pilgrim's Progress,' Bible
stories, afford him enchanting pleasure--but he will pay no attention
to the books which his schoolmaster puts into his hand. He is the
dunce of the school, yet his class-fellows hang on his lips while he
charms them with extemporised narratives, and in the wood and the
caves he is acknowledged as the leader of them all. His mind is ever
open; at every moment knowledge is streaming in upon him; but the
whole method of his intellectual growth is conditioned from within,
through the peremptory determinations of his inborn spiritual force
and personality. At all hours he is an observer of nature, and
acquires, without knowing it, a perfect familiarity with every living
thing--bird, beast, fish, reptile, insect, as well as with every tree,
plant, flower, and stone, which are to be met with from the pine-wood
on the cliff, to the wet sand left by the last wave of the retreating
tide upon the shore. He thus grows up a naturalist. With a mind
opulently furnished, and well acquainted even with books, he
nevertheless finds himself, when his boyhood and early youth are
spent, entirely unqualified to proceed to College. He chooses the
trade of a mason, but the irresistible bent of his nature is obeyed
even in this choice, for he knew that masons in the Highlands of
Scotland did not work in the winter months, and in these he would
betake himself to his beloved pen. For fifteen years he worked as a
mason, earning his bread by steady, effective labour, but aware all
the time of a power within him, a force of giant mould imprisoned
beneath the mountain of adverse circumstance, which, he doubted not,
would one day make itself known to the world. This vague prophecy in
his heart, which surely was the voice of his genius speaking within
him, was fulfilled. Sorcerers in the old time professed to show
visions of the past and future in magic mirrors; but the true magical
mirror is the mind of genius; and when Hugh Miller's contemporaries
beheld, reflected in the mirror of his mind, lifted from the profound
obscurity in which they had formerly slept and set in vivid clearness
before the eyes of the world, the little town he loved, the Sutors,
the bay, the hill, they felt that the one Cromarty man of all
generations who had done this was possessed of genius. With this
decision we rest content.

The true greatness of Hugh Miller lay, however, in his moral
qualities. Here we may give our enthusiasm the rein. There was a rare
nobleness, a rare blending of magnanimity, rectitude and gentleness,
in this man. His affections were at once tender and constant, and when
you search the very deeps of his soul, you find in it no malice, no
guile, no greed, nothing which can be called base or selfish. We are
struck with admiration as we mark the high tones of his mind, his
superiority to all vulgar ambitions. There has probably been some
romancing about the peasant nobles of Scotland, but in Hugh Miller,
the journeyman mason, and in his uncles James and Sandy, the one a
saddler, the other a wood-cutter, we have three men who, so long as
the mind is the standard of the man, will be classed with the finest
type of gentleman. It is greatly to the honour of Scotland, and of the
old evangelical religion of Scotland, that she produced such men. Hugh
Miller's uncles performed for him a father's part, and he learned from
them, not so much through formal instruction as by a certain
contagion--to use the phrase in which the Londoners, a hundred years
ago, in their inscription on Blackfriars Bridge, described with
felicitous precision the manner of Pitt's influence on his
contemporaries--that sensitive uprightness, that manly independence,
and that love of nature, by which he was distinguished. The ambition
of money-making, which as it were naturally and inevitably suggests
itself to a youth of parts in an English village, never seems to have
so much as presented itself to the mind of Hugh Miller. In cultivating
the spiritual faculties of his soul, in adding province after province
to the empire of his mind, lay at once the delight and the ambition of
this young mechanic. He aspired to fame, but his conception of fame
was pure and lofty. Of the vanity which feeds on notoriety he had no
trace, and cared not for reputation if he could not deliberately
accept it as his due. A proud man he was; perhaps, at times, too
sternly proud; but from the myriad pains and pettinesses which have
their root in vanity, he was conspicuously free. Very beautiful also
is the unaffected delight which this rough-handed mason takes in the
aspects of nature. It has none of that sickliness or excess which
strong men admit to have more or less characterised the enthusiasm for
the freshness of spring and the splendour of summer of what has been
called the London school of poetry. In the rapture with which Keats
sang of trees and fields, there is something of the nature of
calenture. Pent in the heart of London, he thought of the crystal
brooks and the wood-hyacinths with a weeping fondness, instinct
indeed with finest melody, but akin to that sick and melancholy joy
with which the sailor in mid-ocean gazes on the waste of billows,
gazes and still gazes until on their broad green sides the little
meadow at his father's cottage door with its grey willows and white
maythorns seems to smile out on his tear-filled eyes. Had Keats run
about the hills and played in the twilight woods as a little boy, he
would not have loved nature less, but his poetical expression of that
love would not have struck masculine intellects as verging on the
lachrymose and the fantastic. Nature to Miller was a constant joy, a
part of the wonted aliment of his soul, an inspiring, elevating
influence, strengthening him for the tasks of life. 'I remember,' he
writes of the days of his youth,

      'how my happiness was enhanced by every little bird that
      burst out into sudden song among the trees, and then as
      suddenly became silent, or by every bright-scaled fish that
      went darting through the topaz-coloured depths of the
      water, or rose for a moment over its calm surface,--how the
      blue sheets of hyacinths that carpeted the openings in the
      wood delighted me, and every golden-tinted cloud that
      gleamed over the setting sun, and threw its bright flush on
      the river, seemed to inform the heart of a heaven beyond.'

The mason lad who could feel thus had little to envy in the gold of
the millionaire or the title of the aristocrat. Well did the ancients
match sound and sense in that phrase, _sancta simplicitas_; such
simplicity of soul is indeed holy and healing.

The sterling worth and fine moral quality of Miller are brought out in
his relations with his friends. Of passion in the common sense he was
singularly void, and there is no evidence that, until he passed his
thirtieth year, female beauty once touched his heart. But his
affection for his friends was ardent to the degree of passion, and
constant as it was ardent. Both autobiographers and biographers are
apt to paint up the youthful friendships of their heroes, and we are
glad that Mr. Bayne has been able to verify, and more than verify, by
infallible documentary evidence, all that, in his 'Schools and
Schoolmasters,' Miller tells us of his relations to his two friends,
William Ross and John Swanson. Ross was perhaps the most finely gifted
of the three, but the circumstances of his birth were hopelessly
depressing. His parents were sunk in the lowest depths of poverty; but
this was not the worst; his constitution was so feeble that sustained
and resolute effort was for him a physical impossibility. Amid the
debility of his bodily energies there burned, with strange, sad,
piercing radiance, the flame of genius. With exquisite accuracy of
discernment he took the measure of Miller, pointing out to him where
his strength lay and where his weakness. He knew his own powers, also,
but saw that Miller had stamina while he had none; and, with tragic
pathos, accused himself of indolence and vacillation, when his only
fault was that he was dying. Delicately organised in all respects, he
displayed a musical faculty more usual among peasant boys in Italy
than in Scotland, made himself a fife and clarionet of elder-shoots,
and became one of the best flute-players in the district. From the
little damp room in which Ross slept during his apprenticeship to a
house-painter, Miller used to hear the sweet sounds on which his soul
rose for the time above all its sorrows. He had a fine appreciation,
too, of the beauty of landscape. 'I have seen him,' says Miller, 'awed
into deep solemnity, in our walks, by the rising moon, as it peered
down upon us over the hill, red and broad and cloud-encircled, through
the interstices of some clump of dark firs; and have observed him
become suddenly silent, as, emerging from the moonlight woods, we
looked into a rugged dell, and saw, far beneath, the slim rippling
streamlet gleaming in the light, like a narrow strip of the _aurora
borealis_ shot athwart a dark sky, when the steep, rough sides of the
ravine, on either hand, were enveloped in gloom.' Ross had educated
his faculty of æsthetic perception and of art-criticism by study of
Hogarth's Analysis of Beauty, Fresnoy's Art of Painting, Gessner's
Letters, and Sir Joshua Reynolds's Lectures. Miller describes him as
looking constantly on nature with the eye of the artist, signalising
and selecting the characteristic beauties of the landscape. This habit
of imaginative composition would, we believe, have been fixed on by
the most accomplished instructors in the art of painting at this
moment in Europe, as the best proof that could be given by Ross of the
possession of artistic genius. Turner was at all times a composer, and
never painted a leaf with photographic correctness. But the poverty of
William Ross condemned him to the drudgery of a house-painter, and he
had no teaching in the higher departments of art. He proceeded to
Edinburgh, and thence to Glasgow, his fine talent distinguishing him
from ordinary workmen, and enabling him to procure work of such
delicacy that he could continue it when too weak to engage in the
usual tasks of house-painting. Thoughtful and kind, he assisted a
brother-workman who was dying by his side, and having shielded his
friend from want, and soothed his last moments, he followed him
speedily to the grave.

John Swanson was of a different build, physically and intellectually,
from Ross. His characteristic was energy of mind and of body. He was a
distinguished student at the University, an athlete in mathematics, an
acute metaphysician; but the mystic fire of genius, which Miller saw
in the eye of Ross, and which he believed to have fallen on himself,
threw none of its prismatic colouring over the framework of Swanson's
mind. He was the first of the three to come under strong religious
impressions. Abandoning philosophical subtleties, and accepting, with
the whole force of his robust mind, the salvation offered by Christ,
he pressed upon Miller with importunate earnestness the heavenly
treasure which himself had found. He was not at first successful.
Steady labour, indeed, in the quarry, and in the hewing shed, had
chastened the youthful wildness of Miller, and he had become, though
not religious, at least reverent and thoughtful. As Swanson's appeals
took effect, the early religious teaching of his uncles, which had
probably lain dormant in his mind, asserted its influence. He does not
appear to have been conscious of this fact, and indeed it was not the
catechetic instruction, but the personal example of his uncles, that
told upon him. At all events, after hesitating and playing shy, he was
fairly brought to a stand by Swanson; and though he underwent no
paroxysm of religious excitement, a profound change took place in his
character, a change which penetrated to the inmost depths of his
nature, changed the current of his being, and was regarded by himself
as his conversion. He was thus knit in still closer fellowship with
Swanson, and their friendship continued uninterrupted until his death.
Had his opinions not taken this shape, it seems likely that he would
have become daringly sceptical. He had assuredly, to use the words of
Coleridge, skirted the deserts of infidelity. He was familiar with the
writings of Hume, whose argument against miracles defines to this hour
the position taken up by all who, on scientific grounds deny the
supernatural origin of Christianity. There was a time when he fancied
himself an atheist, and the profane affectation might have deepened
into reality. But after his correspondence with Swanson, he never
wavered. The consideration which, from an intellectual point of view,
chiefly influenced him in pronouncing Christianity Divine, was
two-fold. Christianity, he said, was no _cunningly_ devised fable. It
offended man at too many points--it seemed too palpably to contradict
his instincts of justice--to have been invented by man. At the same
time, it was fitted, with exquisite nicety of adaptation, and with
measureless amplitude of comprehension, to meet the wants of man's
spiritual nature. Man neither would nor could have created it, any
more than he could or would have created manna; but when he took of
it, and did eat, he found that it was angels' food, making him, though
his steps were still through the wilderness of this world, the brother
of angels. Miller has not in any of his writings elaborated this idea
with the fulness of exposition, defence and illustration which the
importance of the part it played in his system of thought might render
desirable; but it is obvious that it would, for him, not only silence
the arguments which had previously seemed to tell against
Christianity, but array them on the side of belief. The more offensive
and contradictory Christianity might be to natural reason and
conscience, the stronger would be the logical chain by which he was
drawn to infer its supernatural origin. The courses of the stars might
appear to him a maze of lawless and inadmissible movements, but when
he steered his little boat by them, he was led safely across dark
billows and perilous currents; clearly, therefore, One who understood
the whole matter infinitely better than he had put together the
time-piece of the heavens. Such was his argument, and it is not
without force. Practically his religion consisted in an inexpressible
enthusiasm of devotion to Christ. The term which he uniformly applies
to the Saviour is 'The Adorable,' and he dwelt, with lingering,
wondering, rejoicing affection on the sympathy of the Man Christ Jesus
with human wants and weaknesses. Seldom have the efforts of friendship
been more nobly crowned than were those of John Swanson when this
radical change took place in the spiritual condition of Hugh Miller.

His relations with Swanson and with Ross attest the warmth and
constancy of his affections; but the gentleness of his nature does not
fully dawn upon us until we read his letters to Miss Dunbar, and
understand the friendship which subsisted between him and that lady.
She was many years his senior, and as the sister of a Scottish
Baronet, Sir Alexander Dunbar, of Boath, and a Tory of the old school,
we should have expected her to be shy of poetical masons. Something in
Miller's verses, however, attracted her, and a singularly tender and
romantic friendship sprung up between them. On his side, it was
confined to affectionate appreciation and admiring esteem; but she
wrote to him with the tenderness of a mother, and did not scruple to
tell him that he was the dearest friend she had in the world. His
letters to her are not distinguished by originality or by
extraordinary power; but they abound in delineations of nature, poetic
in their loveliness; they are just in thought, and faultless in
feeling; and in literary style they are perhaps, on the whole, the
most melodious and beautiful of his compositions. Like his other
writings these letters are full of self-portrayal, and the face which,
with pensive, fascinating smile, seems to beam on us from the page, is
that of a right noble and loveable man. We feel that this mason is a
gentleman; a gentleman of the finest strain; one whose gentleness is
of the heart, and manifests itself, not in the polished urbanity of
cities which often hides a bad and cold nature, but in a vigilant
kindness, a manly deference, and above all a delicate sympathy. The
few words of reference to Hugh Miller occurring incidentally in Dr.
McCosh's recollections of Bunsen, and published in the biography of
the latter--which, by the way, seem to us to cast a more vivid light
upon the man than the far lengthier recollections of Miller by Dr.
McCosh, printed in Mr. Bayne's biography--specify the intense
sweetness and fascination belonging to his presence. Despite his
rugged exterior, his shaggy head and rough-hewn features, his mason's
apron, his slowly enunciated speech, and his somewhat heavy manner,
this fascination was felt by all who had an opportunity of
experiencing it.

We hinted that he was singularly devoid of sensibility to the charm of
female beauty. In this respect he presents a marked contrast to Burns,
and indeed to most men of powerful intellect and vivid imagination.
But he loved once, and then he loved with all the intensity of his
nature. At the time when his name was beginning to be known through
the north of Scotland as that of one who had a future, Miss Lydia
Fraser, ten years his junior, arrived in Cromarty. She was possessed
of no small personal beauty, had received a good education, was
addicted to intellectual pursuits, wrote fluently both in prose and
verse, and was gifted with remarkable acuteness and clearness of mind.
Her temperament was more mercurial than Miller's; he was more capable
of patient thought, and, on the whole, more solidly able. It may be
doubted whether a pair thus matched enjoyed the surest prospect of
happiness in the married state, but it is evident that they were
precisely in the position to strike up a romantic friendship. He was
the literary lion of Cromarty, she the gifted beauty of the place;
their friendship and their love were as much in the order of nature
as that of Tenfelsdröckh and Blumine, though happily it had no such
tragic conclusion. The gifted beauty could not help pausing in her
walk to have a few words with the poetic mason as he hewed in the
churchyard, his head sure to be full of some book or subject, his eye
quick to catch every new light of beauty that fell upon the landscape.
They soon found that they were more to each other than friends, and
thereupon difficulties manifold interfered with their meeting. The
young lady's mother was startled at the idea that her daughter should
bestow her affections on a horn-handed mechanic, even though he had
issued a volume of poems, a volume much praised, not so much bought,
and already looked on almost with contempt by its sternly critical
author. Miller, for his own part, had no wish to rise in the world.
With a philosophy antique and astonishing in these restless times, he
had arrived at the conclusion that the world had nothing to offer
which would make him substantially happier than he was while hewing on
the hill of Cromarty. Had he not the skies and the sea, the wood and
the shore, and had not the whole world of literature and science been
thrown open to him when he learned to read? His wants were perfectly
simple, and exceedingly few, and were supplied to the utmost. He could
be quite happy in a cave with a boulder for table, and a stone for
chair, a book to read, and a pot in which to cook his homely fare; he
might well be less happy, he could not be more, in a gilded
drawing-room.

These pleasing but somewhat effeminate dreams were dissipated by his
love for Miss Fraser, as a pretty little garden on the flanks of Etna
might be torn to pieces by the heavings of the volcano. He would marry
her into the rank of a lady, or he would not marry her, in Scotland at
least, at all. If it proved impossible for him to rise in his native
country, the lovers would seek a nook in the backwoods, and place the
Atlantic between them and the conventional notions and estimates of
British society. But the necessity for this step did not occur. Miller
was offered a situation in a branch office of the Commercial Bank,
which was opened in Cromarty in 1835. He laid down the mallet, not
without satisfaction but assuredly with no exultation, and, after a
brief initiation in the mysteries of banking at Linlithgow, entered on
his duties as bank accountant. Too healthful and honest of nature to
trifle in the discharge of any duties which he undertook, he addressed
himself with vigorous application to the business of the bank, and
found his new situation an admirable post for the study of human
nature. It was in conveying the bank's money between Cromarty and
Tain that he first carried firearms, a practice which he seems to have
almost constantly maintained from this time forward. It was at the
time of his joining the bank that his first prose volume, 'Scenes and
Legends of the North of Scotland,' was published. It contains passages
of exquisite beauty, and has since attained to considerable
popularity; but it was not immediately successful, and added little to
the modest income of its author. His marriage took place in the
beginning of 1837; he was then thirty-five years old, and had been
engaged to Miss Fraser for five years.

Miller was a naturalist from his infancy, in the sense of habitually
observing nature and laying up store of natural facts in his memory;
but it was not until he had passed his thirtieth year, and until his
severe self-censure pronounced him to have failed, first in poetry and
secondly in prose literature, that he conscientiously and with the
whole force of his mind devoted himself to science. His mental changes
and processes were never sudden, and there was a transition period,
during which he hesitated between literature and science; but when his
resolution had once been taken, he cast no look behind. With intense,
absorbing, impassioned energy, he gave himself to the pursuit of
science. His experience in the quarry--of quite inestimable value to
him as a geologist--determined his choice of a scientific province for
special culture. His progress was wonderfully rapid. The geological
nomenclature which he found in books served to classify and formalise
knowledge which he had already acquired, and opened his eyes to the
fact that he was a geologist. But for the interruption of his plans,
by the agitation which issued in the disruption of the Scottish State
Church in 1843, and his being summoned to Edinburgh to undertake the
conduct of the _Witness_ newspaper, he would have published a
treatise, on the geology of the Cromarty district at least a year
earlier than the date at which he became known to the public as a man
of science.

It reminds us how fast and how far the world has travelled in the last
thirty years to note that, in the year 1840, Hugh Miller was an
enthusiast for the State Church of Scotland. There are no enthusiastic
believers in the State Church theory, or what Miller called the
'establishment principle,' now. The most logical and consistent
members of the State Church of England avow that her chance of
vindicating her claim to the name and privilege of a Church depends
upon her ceasing to be a State Church; and the back of the Established
Church of Scotland was broken by the disruption. Sensible men, with
nothing of the revolutionist in their composition, are now generally
of opinion that the days of both our ecclesiastical establishments are
numbered. The opinion, also, would be generally assented to, that it
is when viewed as a contribution to the cause of ecclesiastical
freedom throughout the United Kingdom, that the disruption of the
Scottish Presbyterian Church, in 1843, can be seen to be of historical
importance. Of this Hugh Miller had no idea. He accepted the theory of
a State Church, and he lent his championship to the Majority in the
Scottish Church, when contending against the Court of Session, because
he believed that the compact agreed upon between Church and State in
Scotland, at the time of the union of England and Scotland, had been
infringed. It would occupy too much space to explain fully to English
readers how the State Church of Scotland had become endeared to the
people, and was to them a symbol, not of oppression or of bondage, but
of freedom. Suffice it to say that the Scottish Reformation of the
sixteenth century was thoroughly popular, and essentially
Presbyterian; that, in the seventeenth century, the cause of the
Presbyterian Church was always the cause of civil freedom; and that,
when the Church was finally established, after the expulsion of James
II., she emerged from a long period of persecution, during which she
had been regarded with reverence and affection by the great body of
the Scottish people. Add to this that the lay elders, standing, as
they did, on the same level of authority with the clergy in the Church
courts, prevented the latter from becoming a mere clerical caste. It
was an eminently felicitous circumstance for the Scottish Church, in
the 'ten years' conflict,' that her dispute with the civil authorities
turned on the rights of congregations. Her offence in the eyes of the
Court of Session and the British Parliament, was that she had, in a
manner deemed by them high-handed, asserted the right of congregations
to have no ministers thrust upon them against their will. When we
think of the profound indifference with which State Churchmen, in
England, regard the whole subject of the settlement of ministers--when
we observe the stone-like apathy with which they see dawdling youths
purchase with a bit of money the privilege of consuming a parochial
income and paralysing for, say thirty years, the spiritual life of a
parish--we cannot but contemplate with a mixture of wonder and
admiration the intense excitement which thrilled through Scotland when
the Evangelical majority in the Church Courts stood up to vindicate
the right of the people to be consulted in the choice of their
pastors. It was into the popular side of the controversy that Hugh
Miller threw his force. The right of the Church of Scotland to govern
herself, a right unquestionably conceded to her at the Union, he
distinctly maintained; but his most eloquent and effective pleading
was in defence of the privileges of congregations. He contributed more
perhaps than any other man, to secure for the Church in her struggles
with the Courts, and subsequently for the Free Church, the support of
the people of Scotland. Strange to say, though one of the principal
founders of the Free Church, he had no glimpse of that future of
ecclesiastical freedom of which, as we trust, the Free Church has been
the harbinger. To the last he talked of the 'establishment principle'
and the 'voluntary principle,' and fancied that some ineffable
advantage would be derived by the Church from the State, if only the
State could be induced to make a just league with the Church, and to
stand true to its conditions. This was one of the weakest points in
Hugh Miller's system of thought, and it must be allowed to have been a
very weak one. If the disruption of the Scottish Presbyterian Church
in 1843 proved anything, it proved that, even under the most
favourable circumstances, the State Church principle will not work. If
two ride upon a horse, one must ride behind, and if Scottish
Presbyterians have yet to learn that the State, having established a
Church, will sooner or later thrust it into a position of subservience
and slavery, they may be pronounced unteachable upon that subject.

But it is was our intention to speak of Hugh Miller almost exclusively
as a man of science, and we have lingered too long upon other phases
of his history. His scientific talent was, we think, of a high order.
It consisted mainly in an admirable faculty of observation, keen,
clear, exact, comprehensive. He was habitually, and at all moments, an
observer. Mr. James Robertson, a gentleman who knew him intimately and
walked much with him in 1834, states, in some valuable recollections
of Miller, contributed to Mr. Bayne's biography, that he, Mr. R., soon
remarked how vividly alive he was to the appearances of nature,
darting now at a pebble in the bed of a brook, now, at a plant by the
wayside, never for one moment suspending his inquisition into the
scene of wonders spread around him. Such being his habit of
observation, two conditions only were required in order that he might
become famous as a man of science, first that the district in which he
pursued his researches had not been exhausted by previous explorers;
secondly, that he possessed a literary faculty adequate to the
communication of his knowledge. He was fortunate in both respects. The
Cromarty district afforded extraordinary opportunities of observation
in a department of the geological record until then but partially
known. The Old Red Sandstone system had only begun to attract the
attention of geologists. The Silurian system, below it, had been
successfully explored; the Carboniferous system, above it, had been
penetrated in all directions for its treasures of coal, and geologists
had large acquaintance with its organisms; but the Old Red Sandstone
had been comparatively overlooked. Miller found himself in the
neighbourhood of good sections of the formation, and studied them with
the utmost care and assiduity. His journeyings as a mason had made him
familiar with the rocky framework of the north of Scotland, into which
the Old Red Sandstone largely enters. He was able, therefore, on
claiming recognition as a man of science, to tender a highly important
contribution to the world's knowledge of one of the great geological
systems. His name is imperishably inscribed among the original workers
in the Old Red Sandstone, along with those of Sedgwick, Agassiz, and
Murchison. His specific contribution was connected with the ichthyic
organisms of the system, and no contribution could have been more
important. The Old Red Sandstone system is distinguished,
biologically, as that in which the vertebrate kingdom, in its lowest
or fish division, was first prominently developed; and the most
niggardly estimate of the achievement of Miller, as a geologist, must
recognise that the discoverer of Pterichthys first called the
attention of scientific men to the enormous wealth of the Old Red
Sandstone in fish. If this is so, it will be difficult to refuse the
addition that he determined the character of the formation. There are
fish in the upper beds of the Silurian system, but the characteristic
organisms are molluscan and crustacean; there are traces of reptile
existence in the Old Red, but its characteristic organisms are fish.

Unquestionably, the sudden rise of Miller into eminence and reputation
as a geologist, was due, in some measure, to the exquisite clearness
and picturesqueness of his style. From his boyhood he had made it one
of his chief aims to perfect his literary workmanship. He had striven
to attain skill in writing, as an enthusiastic painter strives to
attain skill in the technical art of realising form and laying on
colour. His descriptions of fossil organisms surprised and delighted
scientific men, while the imaginative boldness and breadth with which
he depicted the landscapes of the remote past fascinated general
readers. After all, it maybe doubted whether the extreme elaboration
and minuteness with which he described individual organisms, such as
the Pterichthys, was not labour lost. A carefully executed wood-cut
conveys a more correct and impressive idea of the creature than any
words which could be devised. At all events, the descriptions of
fossil organisms in the works of Hugh Miller are as exact and vivid as
any in the English language.

We spoke of the sincerity and earnestness of his religion. He had in
fact that quality of the true man, that he could be nothing by halves.
His religion was what genuine religion always is, a fire warming his
whole nature, and mingling with every operation of his mind. He was
thoroughly acquainted with the works of Hume, and had felt their
subtle and searching power. He had skirted, as we said, the howling
solitudes of infidelity, and now having, as he devoutly believed, been
led by a Divine hand to the green pastures and living waters and
healthful, habitable lands of faith, the central ambition of his life,
never asleep in his breast, was to lead others to the refuge which he
had found. He could not read in God's book of nature without thinking
of God, and endeavouring to trace the marks of His finger, and looking
for smooth stones to be put into his sling, and aimed at the foreheads
of the enemies of the faith. He had no sooner mastered the logic of
geology, and formed a conception of the platforms of life which have
been unveiled by the science in the remoteness of the past, than he
began to perceive, or think that he perceived, certain positions
afforded by it, which the defender of revealed religion might take up
with much advantage in carrying on the conflict with infidelity. Of
these, the best known is his scheme for reconciling the Mosaic account
of the creation of the heavens and the earth with the conclusions of
geologic science. This subject is disposed of in the 'Life and
Letters' in a single sentence; we think it deserved, and propose to
devote to it, more space and attention.

Miller frankly avowed that the view which he originally held as to the
scientific interpretation of the first chapter of the Book of Genesis
had been modified. He had believed, with Chalmers and Buckland, that
the six days were natural days of twenty-four hours each; that the
operations performed in them had reference to the world as inhabited
by man; that a 'great chaotic gap' separated the 'latest of the
geologic ages' from the human period; and the Scripture contained no
account whatever of those myriads of ages during which the several
geological formations came into the state in which we now find them.
As his geological knowledge extended, and in particular, when he
engaged in close personal inspection of the Tertiary and Post-tertiary
formations, he perceived that the hypothesis of a chaotic period,
dividing the present from the past, in the history of our planet, was
untenable. 'No blank chaotic gap of death and darkness,' thus he
announces the result of his investigations, 'separated the creation to
which man belongs from that of the old extinct elephant, hippopotamus,
and hyæna; for familiar animals, such as the red deer, the roe, the
fox, the wild-cat, and the badger, lived throughout the period which
connected their times with our own; and so I have been compelled to
hold that the days of creation were not natural, but prophetic days,
and stretched far back into the bygone eternity.'

It was legitimate for theologians, sixty years ago, to put their trust
in the theory of a chaotic state of the planet immediately before the
commencement of the human period, and to allege that Scripture had
folded up all reference to preceeding geological ages, in the words
'In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.' The
authority of Cuvier was then supreme in the world of science, and
Cuvier held that 'not much earlier than 5,000 or 6,000 years ago' the
surface of the globe underwent a sudden and subversive catastrophe.
But no theologian who now maintains this hypothesis can place his
theology on a level with the scientific acquirement of the day. Dr.
Kurtz is the only theologian of any standing who is known to us as
still holding the view of Chalmers; and if we were asked how a person
accurately acquainted with geological science might best obtain a
conception of the untenability of the theory of a recent chaos, we
should advise him to read Dr. Kurtz's defence of the hypothesis. The
German divine repeatedly specifies 6,000 years as the period during
which man and the existing order of terrestrial beings have occupied
our planet. 'According to the Scriptures,' he says, 'the present order
of things has existed for nearly 6,000 years.' He has a theory of his
own on the subject of fossils. 'The types buried in the rocks were not
destined to continue perpetually, or else have not attained their
destination.' They were mere transient phenomena. It would be
difficult to put into language a proposition more inconsistent with
geological fact. The species of the Silurian mollusca have changed,
but mollusca of Silurian type abound at this hour. Evidence amounting
almost to absolute demonstration identifies the _globigerina_ of the
Atlantic mud of to-day with the _globigerina_ of the Cretaceous
system; and Sir Charles Lyell calculates that the Cretaceous system
came to an end 80,000,000 years ago. Pronouncing the types of the past
evanescent, Dr. Kurtz pronounces the type of the present permanent.
The creatures called into existence on the six days of Genesis, which
last he holds to have been natural days, 'were intended to continue,
and not to perish, and their families were not to be petrified in
strata, but each individual was to decay in the ordinary manner, so
that their bones have mostly passed away without leaving any trace.'
This is a pure imagination. There is no reason to believe that the
petrifactive agencies are less active at present than they were in
by-gone geological epochs. The essential and irreconcilable
discrepancy, however, between the views of Dr. Kurtz and the
conclusions of geology, consists in his assumption of a universal
deluge, sweeping away all life, and leaving the surface of the world a
_tabula rasa_, immediately before the appearance of man. He speaks of
'a flood, which destroyed and prevented all life, and after the
removal of which the present state of the earth, with its plants,
animals, and man, was immediately restored.' With marvellous
simplicity he declares that 'the only thing' he 'demands,' 'and which
no geological theory _can_ or _will_ deny,' is that 'the globe was
covered with water' before the appearance of man 'and the present
plants and animals.' There is no geologist deserving the name at
present alive who would admit this proposition; and we suppose that a
large majority of living geologists would maintain that the earth has
certainly not been covered with water since the time of those forests
whose remains are preserved for us in Devonian strata. To name one
among many proofs, the state of the fauna of the Atlantic islands,
Madeira and the Desertas, demonstrates that the earth has not been
enveloped by the ocean for a period compared with which Dr. Kurtz's
6,000 years dwindle into insignificance. Geology pronounces as
decisively against the occurrence of a universal chaos upon earth
6,000 years ago as against the accumulation of all the strata of the
earth's crust in six natural days. There is no sense recognisable by
geological science in which the word 'beginning' can be applied to the
condition presented by the surface of the earth at any period nearly
so recent as 6,000 years ago.

According to the theory of Mosaic geology ultimately adopted by Hugh
Miller, the 'beginning' spoken of in the first verse of the Bible
corresponds to that period when the planet, wrapt in primeval fires,
was about to enter upon the series of changes which is inscribed in
the geologic record. The chaos, dark and formless, which preceded the
dawn of organic existence upon earth, was no temporary inundation, no
miraculous catastrophe, but an actual state of things of which the
evidence still exists in the rocks. Strictly speaking, indeed, the
term 'chaos' has no scientific meaning. Science is acquainted with no
period in time, no locality in space, where there has been a general
suspension of law; and it may be worthy of remark that, although
Scripture speaks of the original state of things as without form and
void, there is no hint that it was beyond control of Divine and
natural ordinance. Relatively to man, however, and to those changes in
the structure and organisms of the planet which the geologist
chronicles, the fiery vesture, in which advocates of the Age theory of
reconciliation between Genesis and geology allege the earth to have
been at one time enveloped, constitutes an interruption to all
research, a commencement of all that can be called scientific
discovery. If it could be shown that the first chapter of Genesis
contains an intelligible and accurate account of the changes which
have taken place in the crust of the earth from the time when form
first rose out of formlessness, and light sprang from darkness, to the
time when man began to build his cities and till his fields, no candid
judge would refuse to admit that the problem presented by the chapter
had been satisfactorily solved, and that the chapter itself formed a
sublimely appropriate vestibule to the temple of Revelation.

Let us state Miller's conception of the meaning and scientific purport
of the first chapter of Genesis in his own words:--

      'What may be termed,' we quote from the _Testimony of the
      Rocks_, 'the three geologic days--the third, fifth, and
      sixth--may be held to have extended over those
      Carboniferous periods during which the great plants were
      created--over those Oolitic and Cretaceous periods during
      which the great sea-monsters and birds were created--and
      over those Tertiary periods during which the great
      terrestrial mammals were created. For the intervening, or
      fourth day, we have that wide space represented by the
      Permian and Triassic periods, which, less conspicuous in
      their floras than the periods that went immediately before,
      and less conspicuous in their faunas than the periods that
      came immediately after, were marked by the decline and
      ultimate extinction of the Palæozoic forms, and the first
      partially developed beginnings of the secondary ones. And
      for the first and second days there remains the great Azoic
      period, during which the immensely developed gneisses,
      mica-schists, and primary clay-slates were deposited, and
      the two extended periods represented by the Silurian and
      Old Red Sandstone system. These, taken together, exhaust
      the geological scale, and may be named in their order as,
      first, the Azoic day or period; second, the Silurian, or
      Old Red Sandstone day, or period; third, the Carboniferous
      day, or period; fourth, the Permian or Triassic day, or
      period; and sixth, the Tertiary day, or period.'

It is important to observe that Miller here expressly fits into his
scheme the work of the six days. In another passage he remarks that it
is specifically his task, as a geologist, to account for the
operations of the third, fifth, and sixth days, and this circumstance
has occasioned the mistake, which has crept into so respectable a work
as Smith's 'Dictionary of the Bible,' that he did not profess to
explain the creative proceedings of the first, second, and fourth
days. In the passage we have quoted he assigns to each successive day
its distinctive character and work. The entire scheme, then, may be
thrown into a single sentence. A beginning of formlessness and fire,
indefinite in duration; a first and second day, not discriminated by
Miller from each other, during which light, though created, did not
reach, the surface of our planet, but gradually struggled through the
thick enveloping canopy of steam rising from a boiling ocean; a third
day, in which an enormous development of vegetable life took place, a
development due in part to the warm and humid atmosphere, which no
clear sunbeam could as yet penetrate; a fourth day, marked by the
emergence of sun, moon, and stars in unclouded splendour, but by no
striking phenomena of organic life; a fifth day, in which the most
imposing features in the creative procession were sea-monsters and
birds; and a sixth day, in which huge mammals crowded the stage of
existence, and man appeared. Each of these days is, of course,
supposed to have occupied an indefinite number of years.

It is obviously the principle or method of this scheme of
reconciliation between Genesis and geology to look for points in the
Mosaic narrative which correspond with the facts revealed by geology.
The words in the Scriptural account are few; are they so express,
vivid, and characteristic that they epitomise, as in a Divine
telegram, the geological history of millions of years? A consummate
artist looks upon a face and throws a few strokes, quick as
lightning, upon his canvas. The countenance seems to live. Revealings
of character, which we might have required years to trace, flash on us
from the eye, and chronicles of passion are written in a speck of
crimson on the lip. The portrait is only a sketch; weeks or months
might be spent in elaborating its colour, and perfecting its gradation
of light and shade; but not less on this account, does it accurately
correspond with the original, and show the man to those who knew him.
The advocates of the Age theory of Mosaic geology maintain that, few
as are the touches in the pictured history of the world in the first
chapter of Genesis, the geologist can recognise them as unmistakeably
true to the facts of the past. The correspondence alleged to exist has
been illustrated in yet another fashion. Look upon a mountainous
horizon, in the far distance, on a clear day, and you perceive a
delicate film of blue or pearly grey, relieved against the sky. The
outline of that film, faint though it be, is, for every kind of
mountain range, more or less characteristic. The horizon line of the
primaries will be serrated, peaked, and jagged. The horizon line of
the metamorphic hills, though fantastic, will have more of curve and
undulation. The horizon of the tertiaries will be in long sweeps, and
tenderly modulated, far-stretching lines. Those minute jags and points
of the primaries are dizzy precipices and towering peaks. The glacier
is creeping on under that filmy blue; the avalanche is thundering in
that intense silence. Rivers that will channel continents and separate
nation from nation, bound along in foaming cataracts, where you
perceive only that the tender amethyst of the sky has taken a deeper
tinge. That undulating line of the crystalline hills tells of broad,
dreary moors, dark, sullen streams, sparse fields of stunted corn.
That sweeping, melting, waving line of the tertiaries tells of stately
forest and gardened plain, of lordly mansions and bustling villages.
The Mosaic record, as interpreted by the advocates of the Age theory,
gives the _horizon lines_ of successive geological eras. Its
descriptions, they maintain, are correct, viewed as horizon lines.
They convey the largest amount of knowledge concerning the several
periods which could possibly be conveyed under the given conditions.
Such is the method or logic of the Age theory of Mosaic geology; and
it is manifest that, whatever may be its scientific value, it is no
more to be refuted by the mention of geological facts which the Mosaic
record, does not specify, than the accuracy of a map, constructed on
the scale of half an inch to the hundred miles, would be impugned by
proving that it omitted a particular wood, rock, hill, or village.

It is indispensable to the establishment of this theory, that the
geological changes which the earth has undergone, shall admit of being
arranged in certain divisions. The lines of demarcation between these
may be drawn within wide limits of variation; but should it become an
unquestioned truth of geologic science that absolute uniformity of
phenomena has reigned in our world so long as the geologist traces its
history, the Age theory would be untenable. The theory does not
require that the 'solutions of continuity' should be abrupt or
catastrophic. On the contrary, the 'morning' and' evening' of the
Mosaic record suggest gradation; and the pause of night, with its
silence, its slumber, its gathering up of force for new outgoings of
the creative energy, by no means suggests cataclysm or revolution. But
the days or periods, though they may melt into each other with the
tender modulation of broad billows on a calming sea, must possess a
true differentiation, and cannot be accepted by those who believe in
absolute geological uniformitarianism. We are not sure, however, that
any geologists profess this creed, and the views propounded by very
eminent geologists on the nature of the changes which have taken place
on the earth appear to us to satisfy the requirements of the Age
theory, in respect of division and succession. In the sixth edition of
his 'Elements of Geology' Sir Charles Lyell writes thus:--'Geology,
although it cannot prove that other planets are peopled with
appropriate races of living beings, has demonstrated the truth of
conclusions scarcely less wonderful--the existence on our planet of so
many habitable surfaces, or worlds as they have been called, each
distinct in time, and peopled with its peculiar races of aquatic and
terrestrial beings.' He proceeds to state that living nature, with its
inexhaustible variety, displaying 'infinite wisdom and power,' is 'but
the last of a great series of pre-existing creations.' Mr. Darwin, in
the fourth edition of his 'Origin of Species,' makes the weighty
remark that 'scarcely any palæontological discovery is more striking
than the fact, that the forms of life change almost simultaneously
throughout the world.' Qualifying his words by the statement that they
apply chiefly to marine forms of life, and that the simultaneity
referred to, does not necessarily fall within 'the same thousandth or
hundred-thousandth year,' he writes as follows:--

      'The fact of the forms of life changing simultaneously, in
      the above large sense, at distant parts of the world, has
      greatly struck those admirable observers, MM. de Verneuil
      and d'Archiac. After referring to the parallelism of the
      palæozoic forms of life in various parts of Europe, they
      add, "If struck by this strange sequence, we turn our
      attention to North America, and there discover a series of
      analogous phenomena, it will appear certain that all these
      modifications of species, their extinction, and the
      introduction of new ones, cannot be owing to mere changes
      in marine currents, or other causes more or less local and
      temporary, but depend on general laws which govern the
      whole animal kingdom." M. Barrande has made forcible
      remarks to precisely the same effect. It is indeed quite
      futile to look to changes of currents, climate, or physical
      conditions, as the cause of these great mutations in the
      forms of life throughout the world, under the most
      different climates.'

Mr. Darwin holds that 'looking to a remotely future epoch,' the later
tertiaries, namely, 'the upper pliocene, the pleistocene and strictly
modern beds of Europe, North and South America, and Australia, from
containing fossil remains, in some degree allied, from not including
those forms which are only found in the older under-lying deposits,
would be correctly ranked as simultaneous, in a geological sense.'

These statements afford, we think, a sufficient basis for the general
scheme of Mosaic geology which we are considering; and it may be
remarked that the latest of the geological epochs of simultaneity, as
defined by Mr. Darwin, would agree indifferently well with the last of
the Mosaic days or periods, as defined by Hugh Miller.

There is yet another proposition which must be established if the Age
theory of Mosaic geology is to be maintained. The scheme depends
essentially on the theory of central heat. We saw that Miller
undertakes to account for each of the six Mosaic days or periods. As a
geologist, indeed, he felt himself to be under a special obligation to
explain the creative operations of the third, fifth, and sixth days,
that is to say, the day on which vegetable life was created and the
successive days on which different orders of vertebrate animals were
introduced into the world; but he gives delineations of the prophetic
vision of the first two days, and he assigns the occurrences of the
fourth day, namely, the appearance of the sun and moon, to the Permian
and Triassic periods. In one word, he accepted the responsibility of
adapting his scheme of reconciliation to all the day-periods of
Genesis, and he was perfectly aware that the hypothesis would require
to be rejected if the theory of central heat were invalidated. His
geological explanation of the first four days depends explicitly upon
the opinion that, at the time when the earth entered upon those
changes which are chronicled by geological science, it was under the
influence of intense heat, and gradually cooling and solidifying. In
the first day thick darkness lay upon the surface of the earth, owing
to the canopy of steam, impermeable by light, under which it lay
shrouded. During the second day the light began to penetrate the
vapoury veil, and dim curtains of clouds raised themselves from the
sea. On the third day the forests, which were heaped up for us into
treasuries of coal, came into existence, and Miller accounts for their
luxuriance by supposing that the heated and humid state of the
atmosphere of the planet, still dependent upon the central fires,
favoured their growth. It was not until the fourth day that the
blanket of the ancient night was rent asunder, that sun, moon, and
stars beamed out, and that a state of the atmosphere and a succession
of summer and winter, day and night, identical with those we now
witness, began. Possibly enough, had Miller found himself ultimately
forced to abandon the theory of central heat, he would have entrenched
himself, as in a second line of defence, in the three specially
geological day-periods. But he never contemplated an abandonment of
the doctrine of central heat. He held that the earth was once a molten
mass, and that the series of changes through which it has passed arose
naturally out of this fact. The crust of granite he believed to have
been enveloped, in the process of cooling, by a heated ocean whose
waters held in solution the ingredients of gneiss, mica-schist,
hornblende-schist, and clay-slate. The planet gradually matured 'from
ages in which its surface was a thin earthquake-shaken crust, subject
to continual sinkings, and to fiery outbursts of the Plutonic matter,
to ages in which it is the very nature of its noblest inhabitant to
calculate on its stability as the surest and most certain of all
things.' In short, he maintained that 'there existed long periods in
the history of the earth, in which there obtained conditions of things
entirely different from any which obtain now--periods during which
life, either animal or vegetable, could not have existed on our
planet; and further, that the sedimentary rocks of this early age may
have derived, even in the forming, a constitution and texture which,
in present circumstances, sedimentary rocks cannot receive.'

Sir Charles Lyell rejects absolutely the theory of central heat as a
mode of accounting for these changes on the terrestrial surface, which
are classified by geologists. He declares that no kind of rocks known
to us can be proved to belong to 'a nascent state of the planet.'
Disclaiming the opinion 'that there never was a beginning to the
present order of things,' he nevertheless holds that geologists have
found 'no decided evidence of a commencement.' Granite, gneiss,
hornblende-schist, and the rest of the crystalline rocks, 'belong not
to an order of things which has passed away; they are not the
monuments of the primeval period, bearing inscribed upon them in
obsolete characters the words and phrases of a dead language; but they
teach us that part of the living language of nature, which we cannot
learn by our daily intercourse with what passes on the habitable
surface.'

From the phenomena of precession and nutation, Mr. Hopkins, reasoning
mathematically, inferred that the minimum present thickness of the
crust of the earth is from 800 to 1,000 miles. This conclusion is the
basis of Sir Charles Lyell's opinion respecting the Plutonic agencies
which take part, or have taken part, in the formation of rocks. He
shows by diagram that, if even 200 miles are allowed for the thickness
of the crust, seas or oceans of lava five miles deep and 5,000 miles
long might be represented by lines which, in relation to the mass of
the earth, would be extremely unimportant. 'The expansion, melting,
solidification, and shrinking of such subterranean seas of lava at
various depths, might,' he contends, 'suffice to cause great movements
or earthquakes at the surface, and even great rents in the earth's
crust several thousand miles long, such as may be implied by the
linearly-arranged cones of the Andes, or mountain-chains like the
Alps.' To invoke the igneous fusion of the whole planet, to account
for phenomena like these is, therefore, he concludes, to have recourse
to a machinery 'utterly disproportionate to the effects which it is
required to explain.'

Sir Charles Lyell derives an argument against the theory of central
heat, from the consideration that it would, in his opinion, involve
the existence of tides in the internal fire-ocean, which tides would
register themselves in the swellings and subsidences of volcanoes.
'May we not ask,' he says, 'whether, in every volcano during an
eruption, the lava which is supposed to communicate with a great
central ocean, would not rise and fall sensibly; or whether, in a
crater like Stromboli, where there is always melted matter in a state
of ebullition, the ebbing and flowing of the liquid would not be
constant?' We venture to remark that this argument does not seem
unanswerable. No one denies that the crust is at present consolidated
to the depth of at least from thirty to eighty miles. The capacity of
known chemical forces to produce intense heat in this region is not
disputed. The eruptions of now active volcanoes might arise,
therefore, from processes going on in a part of the crust separated by
solidified strata from the internal reservoir of liquid fire, and not
accessible to its tides. We might ask also, in turn, whether
observations have been made upon volcanoes in a state of eruption,
exact enough to determine whether they are or are not influenced by
internal tides?

It is affirmed by Mr. David Forbes, in a recent number of _Nature_,
that Professor Palmieri stated, as the result of observations made by
him during the last eruption of Vesuvius, 'that the moon's attraction
occasioned tides in the central zone of molten lava, in quite a
similar manner as it causes them in the ocean.' Mr. Forbes adds that
'a further corroboration of this view is seen in the results of an
examination of the records of some 7,000 earthquake shocks which
occurred during the first half of this century, compiled by Perry, and
which, according to him, demonstrate that earthquakes are much more
frequent in the conjunction and opposition of the moon than at other
times, more so when the moon is near the earth than when it is
distant, and also more frequent in the hour of its passage through the
meridian.' If these statements are correct--and we have no reason to
call them in question--the supposed fact, which Sir Charles presumed
to tell in his favour, has been converted into an ascertained fact
which tells most forcibly against him.

In the latest edition of his 'Principles of Geology,' Sir Charles
Lyell seems, in at least one passage, to assume that this controversy
is at an end.

      'It must not be forgotten,' (these are his words) 'that the
      geological speculations still in vogue respecting the
      original fluidity of the planet, and the gradual
      consolidation of its external shell, belong to a period
      when theoretical ideas were entertained as to the relative
      age of the crystalline foundations of that shell wholly at
      variance with the present state of our knowledge. It was
      formerly imagined that all granite was of very high
      antiquity, and that rocks, such as gneiss, mica-schist, and
      clay-slate, were also anterior in date to the existence of
      organic beings on a habitable surface. It was, moreover,
      supposed that these primitive formations, as they are
      called, implied a continual thickening of the crust at the
      expense of the original fluid nucleus. These notions have
      been universally abandoned. It is now ascertained that the
      granites of different regions are by no means all of the
      same antiquity, and it is hardly possible to prove any one
      of them to be as old as the oldest known fossil organic
      remains. It is likewise now admitted, that gneiss and other
      crystalline strata are sedimentary deposits which have
      undergone metamorphic action, and they can almost all be
      demonstrated to be newer than the lately-discovered fossil
      called Eozoon Canadense.'

"With all deference to one whom we acknowledge to be among the very
ablest living geologists, we must say that this language strikes us as
more emphatic than the state of the discussion warrants. We do not
undertake absolutely to maintain the theory of central heat as
explaining the formation of the granitic and metamorphic rocks, but we
cannot admit, what Sir Charles seems to imply, that the time has
arrived when investigation and experiment on the subject may be
relinquished, and the tone of dogmatic confidence assumed. The
reasonableness of permitting a certain degree of suspense of judgment
regarding it becomes the more evident when we observe that Sir Charles
is not prepared to maintain against astronomers that the planet was
not originally fluid. 'The astronomer,' he says,

      'may find good reasons for ascribing the earth's form to
      the original fluidity of the mass in times long antecedent
      to the first introduction of living beings into the planet;
      but the geologist must be content to regard the earliest
      monuments which it is his task to interpret as belonging to
      a period when the crust had already acquired great solidity
      and thickness, probably as great as it now possesses, and
      when volcanic rocks not essentially differing from those
      now produced, were formed from time to time, the intensity
      of volcanic heat being neither greater nor less than it is
      now.'

There can be no doubt that astronomers have been startled into
something like general protest against the rigid uniformitarianism of
Sir Charles Lyell. Differing as they do very widely in their
conceptions of the probable manner in which planets are formed, they
seem to agree that those bodies have their beginning in heat and in
fusion. The phenomena of variable stars, taken in connection with the
revelations of spectrum analysis, demonstrate that the combustion and
the cooling of starry masses are occurrences not unknown in the
economy of the universe. If Sir Charles declines to contest the
astronomical position of the original fluidity of the planet,
considerable plausibility will continue to attach to that geological
doctrine which connects the crystalline rocks with the fluidity in
question. Those rocks, from the most ancient granites to the most
recent clay-slates, occupy a large proportion of the earth's surface.
Their great general antiquity is indisputable. The theory that they
furnish the link between the past and the present of the earth's
crust--that they furnish the point where the lights of geological and
of astronomical science meet--strongly commends itself to the mind.

These observations derive additional force from the circumstance that
Sir Charles Lyell's doctrine of the modern and chemical origin of all
crystalline rocks is dependent upon considerations which must be
allowed to possess not a little of a hypothetical and precarious
character. The phenomena of metamorphism, as arising from heat, from
thermal springs, and so on, are well-known and important; but there is
nothing like adequate evidence that they are capable of giving the
crystalline rocks that structure and aspect under which we behold
them. The chemical substances in the crust which Sir Charles presumes
to be capable of forming seas of molten matter, five miles deep and
5,000 miles long, have never placed before human eyes a lake of fire
three miles across; is there not a trace of arbitrary hypothesis in
supposing that, during hundreds of millions of years, those chemical
agencies have been providing, beneath the surface of the world,
cauldrons of fire to melt the granites of all known ages, from the
Laurentian to the Tertiary, to produce the twistings, undulations,
contortions of the metamorphic strata throughout hundreds of thousands
of cubic miles of rock, and to feed every volcano that ever flamed on
the planet? Not even to that proposition which is avowedly at the
basis of Sir Charles's theory, namely, that the solidified shell of
the earth is at least from 800 to 1,000 miles thick, can absolute
certainty be said to belong. We are willing to admit the distinguished
ability of Mr. Hopkins; but it is a fatal mistake to impute to
solutions of problems in mixed mathematics that character of certainty
which belongs to the results of purely mathematical reasoning. Into
every problem of mixed mathematics one element at least enters which
depends for its correctness upon observation. In many cases this
correctness depends on the perfect accuracy of instruments, and upon
consummate skill in using them. A minute error in the original
observation may produce comprehensive error in the conclusion. It is
still fresh in the public memory that new and more accurate
observation corrected by millions of miles a calculation comparatively
so simple as the distance between the earth and the sun. The problem
by the solution of which Mr. Hopkins determined that the minimum
thickness of the crust is from 800 to 1,000 miles depends for its
reliability on certain obscure phenomena connected with precession and
nutation. Sir Charles Lyell admits that the problem is a 'delicate'
one. Mr. Charles MacLaren remarked, and Miller quotes the remark with
approval, that Mr. Hopkins's inference 'is somewhat like an estimate,
of the distance of the stars deduced from a difference of one or two
seconds in their apparent position, a difference scarcely
distinguishable from errors of observation.' Add to this that opinions
might be quoted from mathematicians of name as decidedly in favour of
the theory that the geological changes which have taken place in the
earth's crust are due to central heat, as the deduction of Mr. Hopkins
is opposed to it. In the ninth edition of his 'Principles,' _i.e._, in
the edition immediately preceding that now current, Sir Charles
informs us that

      'Baron Fourier, after making a curious series of
      experiments on the cooling of incandescent bodies,
      considers it to be proved mathematically, that the actual
      distribution of heat in the earth's envelope is precisely
      that which would have taken place if the globe had been
      formed in a medium of a very high temperature, and had
      afterwards been constantly cooled.'

Sir Charles replied to this in the same edition that, if the earth
were a fluid mass, a circulation would exist between centre and
circumference, and solidification of the latter could not commence
until the whole had been reduced to about the temperature of incipient
fusion. We fail to see that this is an answer to Baron Fourier. What
necessity is there for supposing that the solidification of the crust
commenced before the matter of the globe had been reduced throughout
to about the temperature of incipient fusion? The water in a pond must
be reduced to about the temperature of incipient freezing before ice
can form on the surface, but this does not prevent the formation of a
sheet of ice on the top.

In the article in _Nature_, from which we have already quoted, Mr.
David Forbes mentions that M. De Launay, Director of the Observatory
at Paris, 'an authority equally eminent as a mathematician and an
astronomer,' having carefully considered Mr. Hopkins's problem,
decided that its data were incorrect, and that it could shed no light
whatever on the question whether the globe is liquid or solid. There
is some doubt, however, as to the import of M. De Launay's statement.

We may be the more disposed to wonder at the decision with which Sir
Charles Lyell pronounces upon this subject in his latest edition, by
the fact that, since the publication of the previous edition, he has
modified, to a very serious extent, his conception of the evidence on
which the theory which he adopts is based. In the ninth edition of the
'Principles' he laid so much stress on Sir Humphry Davy's hypothesis
of an un-oxidized metallic nucleus of the globe, liable to be
oxidized at any point of its periphery by the percolation of water,
and thus to evolve heat sufficient to melt the adjacent rocks, that
Hugh Miller, in contending against Sir Charles, selected this as an
essential part of the argument. In his tenth edition Sir Charles does
not even mention Sir Humphry Davy's theory. The star under the
influence of which the tenth edition was prepared was that of Mr.
Darwin. No brighter star may be above the geological horizon, and Sir
Charles may have done well to own its influence, but we submit that
opinions which undergo important modification within a few years ought
hardly to be promulgated as marking the limit between the era of
darkness and the era of light in geological discovery.

After all, however, the crucial question is, whether the theory of
central heat has any positive evidence to support it. Here we meet, in
the first place, with the undisputed fact that heat increases as we
descend from the surface of the earth. Sir Charles Lyell admits that
the fact of augmentation is proved. Experiment and observation, no
doubt, have not yet enabled us to determine the ratio in which the
heat increases as we penetrate into the crust; but this does not
neutralise the force of the fact itself. Sir Charles endeavours to
parry its effect by remarking that if we take a certain ratio of
increase, a ratio which seems to be countenanced by experiment, we
shall, 'long before approaching the central nucleus,' arrive at a
degree of heat so great 'that we cannot conceive the external crust to
resist fusion.' It is surely a sufficient reply to this to say that
our conceptions as to the consequences arising from an admitted fact
can neither invalidate its evidence nor annul the obvious inferences
from it. The reader of the 'Principles of Geology,' besides, who has
been told by Sir Charles Lyell that the interposition of a few feet of
scoriæ and pumice enables him to stand without inconvenience on molten
lava, may be permitted to form a high estimate of the power of many
miles of stratified and unstratified rock to resist fusion by the
internal fires. Sooth to say, however, it will be time to consider an
objection grounded on the ratio of the increase in heat from the
surface of the earth downwards, when the ratio in question has been
ascertained. The fact of increase is admitted; the ratio of increase
is an unknown quantity: it is curious logic to impugn the direct
bearing of the former, on the strength of consequences conceived to
arise from the latter.

Hugh Miller believed that the existence of the equatorial ring, in
virtue of which the polar diameter of the earth is shorter than the
equatorial, furnished explicit evidence that the planet once was
molten.

      'If our earth,' he wrote, 'was always the stiff, rigid,
      unyielding mass that it is now, a huge metallic ball,
      bearing, like the rusty ball of a cannon, its crust of
      oxide, how comes it that its form so entirely belies its
      history? Its form tells that it also, like the cannon-ball,
      was once in a viscid state, and that its diurnal motion on
      its axis, when in this state of viscidity, elongated it,
      through the operation of a well-known law, at the equator,
      and flattened it at the poles, and made it altogether the
      oblate spheroid which experience demonstrates it to be.'

In other planets, he urged, the same form is due manifestly to the
action of the same law. Venus, Mars, Saturn, oblate spheroids all,
have been similarly 'spun out by their rotatory motion in exactly the
line in which, as in the earth, that motion is greatest.' In these,
however, we can only approximately determine the lengths of the
equatorial and polar diameters; 'in one great planet, Jupiter, we can
ascertain them scarce less exactly than our own earth;' and Jupiter's
equatorial diameter bears exactly that proportion to his polar
diameter which 'the integrity of the law,' as exemplified in the
relation between the equatorial and polar diameters of the earth
demands. 'Here, then,' proceeds Miller, 'is demonstration that the
oblate sphericity of the earth is a consequence of the earth's diurnal
motion on its axis; nor is it possible that it could have received
this form when in a solid state.'

Sir Charles Lyell holds that the excess of the equatorial diameter
over the polar may be accounted for on uniformitarian principles. 'The
statical figure,' he says, 'of the terrestrial spheroid (of which the
longest diameter exceeds the shortest by about twenty-five miles), may
have been the result of gradual and even of existing causes, and not
of a primitive, universal, and simultaneous fluidity.' Miller denies
this possibility; and we confess that the passage in which he assails
the position of Sir Charles Lyell appears to us to have great force.
Let us hear him:--

      'The laws of deposition are few, simple, and well known.
      The denuding and transporting agencies are floods, tides,
      waves, icebergs. The sea has its currents, the land its
      rivers; but while some of these flow from the poles towards
      the equator, others flow from the equator towards the poles
      uninfluenced by the rotatory motion; and the vast depth and
      extent of the equatorial seas show that the ratio of
      deposition is not greater in them than in the seas of the
      temperate regions. We have, indeed, in the Arctic and
      Antarctic currents, and the icebergs which they bear,
      agents of denudation and transport permanent in the present
      state of things, which bring detrital matter from the
      higher towards the lower latitudes; but they stop far short
      of the tropics; they have no connection with the rotatory
      motion; and their influence on the form of the earth must
      be infinitely slight; nay, even were the case otherwise,
      instead of tending to the formation of an equatorial ring,
      they would lead to the production of two rings widely
      distant from the equator. And, judging from what appears,
      we must hold that the laws of Plutonic intrusion or
      upheaval, though more obscure than those of deposition,
      operate quite as independently of the earth's rotatory
      motion. Were the case otherwise, the mountain systems of
      the world, and all the great continents, would be clustered
      at the equator; and the great lands and great oceans of our
      planet, instead of running, as they do, in so remarkable a
      manner, from south to north, would range, like the belts of
      Jupiter, from west to east. There is no escape for us from
      the inevitable conclusion that our globe received its form,
      as an oblate spheroid, at a time when it existed throughout
      as a viscid mass.'

Accordingly, though admitting that 'there is a wide segment of truth
embodied in the views of the metamorphists,' Miller declared his
belief on the subject of central heat in these terms: 'I must continue
to hold, with Humboldt and with Hutton, with Playfair and with Hall,
that this solid earth was at one time, from the centre to the
circumference, a mass of molten matter.' Hugh Miller saw the ninth
edition of Sir Charles Lyell's 'Principles,' and seems to have had its
reasonings in view in writing these and other passages; we cannot
persuade ourselves that he would have recalled them if he had lived to
see the tenth edition.

We wish to state in the clearest terms that, though we have stated
some of the evidence which supports the ordinary geological doctrine
of central heat, we do not adduce that evidence as absolutely
conclusive. All we argue for is, that the question be not looked upon
as decided in favour of the uniformitarians. It may be that more
minute and comprehensive observation on the age of the crystalline
rocks and on the phenomena of metamorphism will demonstrate that the
condition of no system of rocks known to us can be traced to the
influence of an originally molten state of the planet. It may be that
what seems at present the unanimous opinion of astronomers, that 'the
whole quantity of Plutonic energy must have been greater in past times
than the present,' is a mistake; it may be, in the last place, that
the primeval fusion of the planet ceased to act upon those parts of
the crust which are accessible to geological observation before those
causes came into operation to which their present state is due. But
we deny that these positions are established. A writer in the
_Edinburgh Review_ declared, so recently as last year, that M.
Durocher, in his 'Essay on Comparative Petrology,' has produced
'absolute proof that the earth was an incandescent molten sphere,
before atmospheric and aqueous agencies had clothed it with the strata
so familiar to our eyes.' Sir Roderick Murchison, who, as a student
not only of books and museums, but of the rock-systems of the world in
their own vast solitudes, is an authority as high as any living man,
holds that 'the crust and outline of the earth are full of evidences
that many of the ruptures and overflows of the strata, as well as
great denudations, could not even in millions of years have been
produced by agencies like those of our own time.' These statements may
be correct or the reverse; but they prove, we submit, that the
controversy respecting central heat is not at an end.

Those who hold that Hugh Miller's views as to the connection between
an originally molten state of the planet and the most ancient rocks
known to us, have been finally disposed of by Sir Charles Lyell, must,
we think, admit that his interpretation of the six days' work can no
longer be maintained. On the other hand, if his conception of the mode
in which the crystalline rocks were formed can be shown to be
substantially correct, we see not how any one can refuse to grant that
those correspondences between the day-periods of Genesis and
successive stages in the geological history of the globe, which he
pointed out, are highly remarkable. Ten thousand omissions of detail
go for nothing, if it can be proved that, although light existed in
space, the condition of the atmosphere of this world prevented the
sun's rays for myriads of ages from reaching the surface; that the
same atmospheric conditions which excluded light from the planet
favoured the development of vegetation in the Carboniferous epoch;
that the day-period during which the sun and moon are stated in
Genesis to have been set to rule the day and the night coincides with
that geological era when light was first poured in clear radiance on
our world; that the times of the Oolite and the Lias exhibited an
enormous development of reptilian and ornithic existence inevitably
suggestive of the creeping things, and fowls, and great sea-monsters
of the fifth day-period; and that the predominance of mammalian life,
of 'the beast of the earth after his kind, the cattle after their
kind,' distinguished alike the latest of the great geological periods
and the sixth day of the Mosaic record. Assuming the correctness of
his fundamental conception of geological progression, Miller might
challenge the geologist--_confining himself to the number of words
used by the Scriptural writers_--to name phenomena, belonging to the
successive geological epochs, more distinctive, impressive, and
spectacular than those mentioned in the first chapter of Genesis.
Admitting that life existed in the planet millions of years before the
time which he assigns to the third day, Miller might ask whether the
darkness, and the slow separation of cloud from wave, were not the
unique and universal phenomena of those primeval ages. Granting that
there was an important flora, as well as a large development of
ichthyic life, in the Devonian epoch, he might ask whether, at any
earlier period, the earth possessed forests comparable with those of
the Carboniferous epoch; and if it were urged that the Carboniferous
flora, consisting as it did in an immense proportion of ferns, cannot
be regarded as corresponding to the 'grass, the herb yielding seed,
and the fruit-tree yielding fruit after its kind, whose seed is in
itself,' of the Mosaic record, he might still reply that the _fact_ of
vegetation, apart from botanical distinctions, was then the most
conspicuous among the phenomena of the planet. In like manner, while
granting that life--animal and vegetable, of many forms--existed in
the Oolitic and Liassic ages, he might ask whether the presence in the
planet of at least four unique orders of reptilia, to wit;
Ichthyosauria, Plesiosauria, Pterosauria, Dinosauria, and perhaps, as
Professor Huxley says, 'another or two,' was not the circumstance
which a geologist would select as distinctive, and if so, whether the
coincidence between these and the creeping things and great
sea-monsters of the fifth Mosaic day is not striking. As we formerly
remarked, Miller's geological interpretation of the fifth and
succeeding day is independent of any theory as to the originally
molten state of the planet. On the sixth day-period, both in Genesis
and in the geological history of the world, we have a great
development of mammalian life, and, finally, the appearance of man.
There was a Tertiary flora, but it was not strongly marked off from
other floras; there were Tertiary reptiles, but their place was
subordinate; in respect of their beasts of the field, and in respect
of the presence of man, the Tertiary ages stand alone. The mammoths
and mastodons, the rhinoceri and hippopotami, 'the enormous
dinotherium and colossal megatherium,' elephants whose bones,
preserved in Siberian ice, have furnished 'ivory quarries,'
unexhausted by the working of upwards of a hundred years, tigers as
large again as the largest Asiatic species, distinguish the Tertiary
times from all others known to the geologist. In stating his views,
Miller availed himself of the hypothesis, put forward by Kurtz and
others, that the phenomena of the geological ages passed before the
eyes of Moses by way of panoramic vision. This, we need hardly say, is
a pure hypothesis, favourable to pictorial description, but not
essentially connected with the logic of the question. Perhaps, the
weakest point in Miller's theory--always presuming him to be right as
to the originally molten state of the planet--is the apportionment of
the present time to the seventh Mosaic day and to the Sabbatic rest of
the Creator. Geologists would now, with one voice, refuse to admit
that any essential alteration can be traced in the processes by which
the face of the earth, and the character of its living creatures, are
modified in the present geological epoch, as compared with those of,
at least, the two or three preceding epochs. Man, doubtless, effects
changes in the aspect of the world on a far greater scale than any
other animal. He can reclaim wide regions from the sea, he can arrest
the rains far up in the mountains, and lead them to water his
terraces, he can temper climates, he can people continents with new
animals and plants. It is allowable in Goethe, talking poetically, to
style him 'the little god of earth.' But his entire activity, and its
results, depend not upon a suspension of the laws and processes of
nature--not upon a withdrawal of creative energy--but upon his
capacity, as an observing, reasoning being, to ascertain the processes
of nature, and use them for his own advantage.

The strongest objection in some minds to this scheme of reconciliation
between Genesis and geology will be that it does not harmonise with
the general method of Scripture. Miller was abreast of his time as a
geologist, but from his complete unacquaintance with the original
languages of Scripture and with the history of the canon, he could
form a judgment only at secondhand on fundamental questions in
theology. That the Bible is inspired--that it is pervaded by a Divine
breathing--we have upon apostolic authority. In no part of Scripture,
however, is the nature of this Divine breathing explained to us, or
information given as to what it implies and what it does not imply.
Without question, the inspired writers were neither turned into
machines nor wholly disconnected from the circumstances, the
prevailing scientific ideas, the modes of expression, of their time.
It would seem, therefore, to be in contradiction to the analogy of
Scripture that one of the most ancient books of the Bible should
contain an elaborately correct presentation, by means of its cardinal
facts, of the history of the world for hundreds of millions of years.

Many, therefore, while cherishing the firmest assurance that the Bible
is the religious code of man, the inspired Word which authoritatively
supplements man's natural light of reason and conscience, will believe
that the first chapter of Genesis is a sublime hymn of creation,
ascribing all the glory of it to God, wedding the highest knowledge of
the primitive age in which it was written to awe-struck reverence for
the Almighty Creator, but not containing any scientific account of the
processes or periods of creation. To many it will convey the
impression that its simplicity, childlike though sublime, and its
grouping of natural phenomena, exceedingly noble and comprehensive but
naïve and unsophisticated, are not inspired science, but inspired
religion. It will appear to them that, looking out and up into the
universe, feeling that it infinitely transcended the little might of
man, thrilling with the inspired conviction that God had made it all,
the poet-sage of that ancient time named in succession each
phenomenon, or group of phenomena, which most vividly impressed him,
and said or sang that God had called it into being. The beginning he
threw into the darkness of the unfathomable past. What first arrested
and filled his imagination in the present order of things, was that
marvel of beauty and splendour which bathes the world at noontide, and
lies in delicate silver upon the crags and the green hills at dawn,
that mystery of radiance which is greater than the sun, or moon, or
stars, greater than them and before them; and he uttered the words,
'God said, Let there be light, and there was light.' Then he thought
of the dividing of the land from the sea, and of the separation
between those waters which float and flow and roll in ocean waves and
those waters which glide in filmy veils along the blue expanse, and in
which God gently folds up the treasure of the rain. The sun and the
moon he knew to be those natural ministers which mark off for man day
and night, summer and winter, and he told how God had assigned to them
this office. The creatures that inhabit the world were grouped for
him, as for the young imagination in all ages, into the living things
of the earth, cattle, and creeping things, and wild beasts; the living
things of the sea, fish and mysterious monsters; the living things of
the air, birds; and that vegetable covering which clothes the earth
with flower and forest. All these, he said, owed their being to God.
Man he discerned to be above nature. Shaped by God like other
animals, he alone had the breath, of the Almighty breathed into his
nostrils, and the image of his Maker stamped upon his soul. So be it.
Such recognitions leave the religious character and authority of the
Divine record untouched.



ART. IV.--_Hereditary Legislators._

(1.) _An Essay on the History of the English Government and
Constitution, from the Reign of Henry VII. to the Present Time._ By
JOHN, EARL RUSSELL. Longmans and Co.

(2.) _Selections from Speeches of Earl Russell, 1817-1841._ With
Introductions. Longmans and Co.


It happens sometimes that political power is transferred from one set
of hands to another without creating a panic, or even greatly
startling society. Changes, of so much moment as almost to rank with
revolutions, may be effected so calmly and quietly as to leave the
society they affect unconscious of their full meaning. If the drums
and the banners of revolution are beaten and displayed, and the other
outward and visible signs of a violent dislocation of the compact of
society are plainly to be discerned, the event takes its place as a
revolution, and the nervous system of society is fluttered and shaken.
But if the promoters of political change are content to leave
undisturbed the ancient symbols, forms, and nomenclature of the past,
the substantial alterations may be comparatively unheeded. For
example, we are told by Tacitus, in few but pregnant words, that when
political power was passing from the senate and the people of Rome
into the hands of the Cæsars, the republican forms were so carefully
preserved as to mask and veil that immense change. 'Domi res
tranquillæ; eadem magistratuum vocabula;... Tiberius cuncta per
consules incipiebat tanquam vetere republicâ.... At Romæ ruere in
servitium consules, patres, eques.'[22] Thus, without appearing to
override or annul the functions of the senate or the people, the
Emperor made himself, in fact, 'the sole fountain of the national
legislation.'[23] So, also, a vital change in the government of
Florence was brought about in the same way. The form of government was
ostensibly a republic, and was directed by a Council of ten citizens,
and a chief executive officer, called the Gonfaliere. Under this
establishment, the citizens imagined they enjoyed the full exercise of
their liberties. But, in reality, the Medici, acting apparently in
harmony with the Constitution, and working under the sanction of
republican forms, names, and offices, and ever seeming to defer to
public opinion, drew into their own hands, without fluttering or
alarming the citizens, the reins of personal government.[24] It is
even so with ourselves. The political transfer has taken place in an
opposite direction to those which have just been alluded to. But
though, in those instances, the tendency was towards the concentration
of power, and in ours towards its diffusion, yet they closely resemble
each other in that discreet preservation of ancient forms and legal
nomenclature which intercepts a veil between the eyes of society and
its real position. For the splendours of the royal court are as
imposing and attractive as ever. People still talk complacently of
royal prerogatives, the hereditary peerage, the House of Lords, and
the many shadowy forms of ancient administration. The barriers and
landmarks of fashionable society are but slightly altered. To the
superficial observer, society presents a picture differing very little
from that of earlier times. There are still some Sir Leicester
Dedlocks, who live in the contemplation of their family greatness, and
some Sir Roger de Coverleys, who sway their neighbourhoods with
unresisted authority; and there are thousands of Englishmen who are
constitutionally averse to the recognition of distasteful facts. Some
persons refuse to perceive that children have become adults, and that
they themselves are growing old and weak; and some do not choose to
perceive that, despite the ancient names and forms of government, the
constitution has been so completely re-cast that we seem destined to
live for a time under the reign and influence of democracy.

It will be useful to refer very briefly to the two great statutes
which have brought us to the present state of affairs. Prior to the
Reform Bill of 1832, the real power of the State was lodged in the
hands of certain wealthy and ennobled families, which numbered less
than five hundred. This oligarchy, to be sure, was not a pure one,
because there were some outlets for genuine popular feeling in a few
free constituencies, whose decisions were always watched with special
attention. Nottingham, Leicester, Norwich, Westminster, and Southwark
had thoroughly popular elections; Liverpool and Bristol had the same
privilege; but though these and some other constituencies constituted
safety-valves, through which the popular feelings were relieved, yet
the essential characteristic of the government was a disguised
oligarchy--that is, the possession of political power by a few. Does
this assertion seem incredible to our younger readers? Let them listen
to the testimony of a witness of the highest authority, who lived in
those times, and was profoundly versed in the history and mechanism of
governments. 'It is difficult,' says Lord Macaulay, 'to conceive any
spectacle more alarming than that which presents itself to us when we
look at the two extreme parties in this country--a _narrow_ oligarchy
above, and an infuriated multitude below.'[25] This was a description
of the British Government in 1831 by that very eminent man. And why
did he venture to affirm that a narrow oligarchy was dominant in the
State? Oligarchy is chiefly distinguished from aristocracy, by the
smaller numbers of the governing body. Before the period of Lord
Grey's Reform Bill, the signs and symbols of popular government
(inherited from times when the shell contained a kernel) were allowed
to appear, and be in use; but the substantial power was vested in the
hands of the owners of rotten boroughs, and the great proprietors of
estates in the counties. Notwithstanding a few free elections, and
many popular rights, the voting power of practical politics was
directed by that narrow oligarchy.

In the year 1792, a petition was presented by Mr. Grey, in which it
was asserted, and proof was offered, that one hundred and fifty-four
peers and rich commoners _returned_ a majority of the House of
Commons. This statement may have been somewhat overdrawn, but it had a
perfectly truthful basis. We summon the late Duke of Wellington as a
witness to prove how boroughs were manipulated, negotiated, bought,
and sold. When he was Chief Secretary for Ireland in the year 1807, he
wrote the following words:--

      'MY DEAR HENRY,--I have seen Roden this day about his
      borough. It is engaged for one more session to Lord Stair
      under an old _sale_ for years, and he must return Lord
      Stair's friend, unless Lord Stair should consent to sell
      his interest for the session which remains....
      Portarlington was sold at the late general election for a
      term of years ... &c.--Ever yours, ARTHUR WELLESLEY.'

And, again, he wrote as follows, in 1809:--

      'MY DEAR SIR CHARLES,--The name of the gentleman _to be
      returned_ for Cashel is Robert Peel, Esq., of Drayton
      Bassett, in the county of Stafford.--Ever yours, &c.,
      ARTHUR WELLESLEY.'[26]

Such were the methods by which the reigning oligarchy, operating hand
in hand with the Sovereign, secured a majority in the House of
Commons, and thus controlled the policy of the nation, under the false
pretence that it emanated from the people. To a great extent this
system was destroyed by the first Reform Bill. The great grievance of
the day was redressed by a substantial measure. It is commonly said
that the political effect of that statute was to assign the real power
of the nation to the custody of the 'middle classes.' This is not a
perfectly accurate statement of the change. The powers of the State
were not made over by that measure to the merchants and tradesmen of
the country, for the influence of the landed interest was even
augmented by the Reform Act, and, though diminished, was not abolished
in the boroughs. The effect of the new electoral law was made apparent
by its securing for a time the preponderance of the popular and
reforming party. It turned the scale for many years, and just enabled
the Liberal party to carry a series of measures in harmony with
intelligent public opinion. It was a tree of justice and freedom that
bore abundant fruit. It is hardly too much to affirm that _every great
law_ under which we are now living and working was made or amended in
the quarter of a century which followed the Reform Act, and is due to
the Liberal party. But useful and fruitful as that measure was, it was
not in the nature of things that it should be final. The opinions of
enlightened men, and the desire of the masses, agreed in promoting
some extension of the franchise, and after several futile attempts it
was reserved for the Tories to effect it. The surrender was a strange
and inexplicable transaction. Carlyle thus deals with it in that queer
phraseology in which he chooses to address society:--

      'Have I not a kind of secret satisfaction of the malicious,
      or even the judiciary kind (mischief-joy the Germans call
      it, but really it is justice-joy withal), that he they call
      "Dizzy" is to do it--a superlative conjuror, spell-binding
      all the great lords, great parties, great interests of
      England to his hand in this manner, and leading them by the
      nose like helpless, mesmerised, somnambulant cattle, to
      such issue?'[27]

In other words, we obtained from the natural opponents of
constitutional change a political act which may be likened to the
'happy despatch,' and was hardly inferior to a revolution. The very
centre of political gravity was displaced. The middle classes were
dethroned. The late Lord Derby described his own operation as a 'leap
in the dark,' and in a facetious mood is said to have confessed that
it was intended 'to diddle the Whigs.' Surely this act of prodigious
inconsistency was beyond justification or even excuse. The Liberal
party would have shrunk from so vast a change until education had
struck its roots more deeply into the unenfranchised population. The
Tory party, on the contrary, determined to enfranchise the people,
before they educated them, and it is our duty to acquiesce and realize
our position. It is not for us to predict the future fate and fortunes
of that incomprehensible party. They will gradually open their eyes to
the full meaning of their own political deeds, and that meaning,
expressed in one pregnant word, is Democracy.

But though we cannot reconcile the Conservative theories with
Conservative practice, Tory professions with democratic statutes, it
is not difficult to discover causes which pushed the party into such
violent action. The obvious tendency of the age is to advance towards
democratic institutions. Everywhere in Europe--Russia and Turkey
excepted--power now springs from popular opinion and liberal
institutions, of which the invariable impulse is not to rest, sleep,
and be thankful, but to move, advance, and be doing.

      'When a nation modifies the electoral qualification, it may
      easily be foreseen that sooner or later that qualification
      will be entirely abolished. There is no more invariable
      rule in the history of society. The further the electoral
      rights are extended, the more is felt the need of them; for
      after each concession the strength of the democracy
      increases, and its demands increase with its strength.
      Concession follows concession, and no stop can be made
      short of universal suffrage.'[28]

To apply this theory to the facts of Europe, it is evident that while
at no distant period the policy of almost the whole continent was
directed by the reigning sovereigns, we now discern the sovereignty of
the people, in _esse_ or _posse_, not less widely established. The
causes which have led to this consummation are by no means obscure.
The creation of municipal corporations introduced a democratic element
into the area of despotisms. The invention of printing cheapened the
diffusion of ideas. The post circulated information further and
further, until its work seems to be almost perfected by steam and
electricity. The Reformation lifted vast weights from the human mind.
Slowly, but surely, the European populations have arrived at the
comprehension of their just claims, and have decided that the end of
government shall be the happiness of the people, and not the
exaltation of the few. Thus it has come to pass that everywhere
democracy is in the ascendant, and prerogative on the wane. Is not
this assertion corroborated and exemplified in the political affairs
of our own country? Can anyone honestly and fairly deny that the
supremacy of the popular will is established? 'The people'--that
mighty aggregate of millions of minds, whom Aristophanes delighted to
caricature under the _sobriquet_ of 'Demus'--is certainly invested
with sovereign power. It may be that, like him, we are sometimes
crotchety, sometimes too fond of oratorical blandishment, sometimes
hasty in our judgments, and occasionally liable to panics.
Notwithstanding these and other infirmities, public opinion, formed by
the leading spirits of the day, 'rules and reigns without control.'

      'You, Demus, have a nice domain!
      For all men fear you, and you reign
      As though you were a king.'[29]

It is true that we have to act by delegation, because we cannot meet
to legislate _en masse_. It is also true that the authority of the
people is veiled and masked by antiquated forms and customs, which,
perhaps, are wisely retained. 'Why, every one,' says Monarchicus,
'calls it a monarchy.' 'It may be very audacious,' says
Aristocraticus, 'but I consider it a republic. By a republic, I mean
every government in which sovereign power is distributed in form and
substance among a body of persons.' This was the language of the late
lamented Sir George Cornewall Lewis before Mr. Disraeli's democratic
change. How would he have made Aristocraticus describe the
Constitution now? Not, surely, as a republic, but as a democratic
republic. So, on the 17th of February, 1870, Lord Lyveden, speaking in
the House of Lords, said,--'The real truth is that the _government is
in the House of Commons_.' If it be argued that the well-settled Crown
and the hereditary peerage are incidents which still distinguish our
constitution from those of republican and democratic states, we answer
that the constitution does not depend upon names, forms, and symbols,
but upon the answer to this question, 'Where does the real power
reside?' No candid and well-informed person would now attempt to
contend that either the Crown or the peerage, or both, can offer any
permanent obstruction to the measures desired and indicated by the
popular will. With reference to the Crown, the _Times_ has recently
held the following remarkable language:--'What can one say but that
the Crown has no right or will in this free country but that which is
consistent, and does not clash with the rights and will of the people
as represented in Parliament?' With reference to the House of Lords,
it would be easy, if space were at our command, to cite sentence after
sentence from speeches in that highly-educated assembly, which would
show the opinion of its leading members that its functions are now
limited to amendments, to modifications, and to postponements of
measures, and do not extend to the act of thwarting or nullifying the
clearly-expressed will of the representative House, with respect to
any important subject. It is true that in one respect the democratic
power seems to be kept in abeyance. We do not see the working man in
Parliament. Plutocracy, or the money power, has still great influence
in the representative House. The elections and the social position are
too expensive for busy working people. But the pecuniary obstacles
will be gradually removed, and many men of humble position, but real
ability, will make their way into the House. This is a mere question
of time. For the present, the representatives of the people must needs
be wealthy. But the day is not distant when many a borough, and even
some counties, will be represented by men of the class and order which
form the basis of the constituencies. There cannot be a doubt that the
work of a very few years will diminish, if not abolish, the expenses
of elections, and make the all-powerful House almost as democratic as
the constituencies.

It is under these circumstances that we approach two great questions,
the public discussion of which cannot be much longer deferred. First,
can the continuance of a purely hereditary and ennobled branch of the
legislature be reconciled with the state of things we have portrayed?
Secondly, ought the further and continuous creation of hereditary
social honours to be permitted by the people of a free and
substantially democratic state?

In dealing with the first of these inquiries, the thought that
naturally comes into the mind is this--what a wonderful anomaly and
apparent departure from sound sense is the creation of an
_hereditary_ legislature! The function of making laws for millions of
free people is calculated to tax to the utmost the mental energy of
the ablest men. The high duties of a lawgiver have always, in theory
at least, been entrusted by civilized states to their best and wisest
citizens. But our knowledge of the laws of succession does not teach
us that as a rule the wise beget the wise. On the contrary, experience
continually confirms the truth of Solomon's lamentation, 'I hated all
my labour which I had taken under the sun: because I should leave it
unto the man that shall come after me, and who knoweth whether he
shall be a wise man or a fool?'[30] 'Fortes creantur fortibus et
bonis,' said Horace. No doubt that is physically true to a great
extent, but the transmission of intellect is a very different matter.
We have heard it asserted that no bishop ever left an eminent son. The
present Lord Ellenborough, a son of the late Bishop Law, is a signal
exception; but where is another to be found? How many British peers
whose honours are derived from ancestors of genius and capacity, who
in their day rendered good service to the nation, are now contributing
anything to the legislative power of the House of Lords? Do we now
hear the senatorial utterances, or obtain any political counsels, from
our contemporary Portland or Wellington, Bedford or Leeds, Exeter or
Camden; Macclesfield or Oxford, Somers or Effingham; Sandwich,
Hardwicke, Mansfield, or Eldon; Hood, St. Vincent, Exmouth, or
Bridport; Kenyon, Erskine, Tenterden, or Wynford; Rodney, Abinger,
Hill, or Keane? Yet all these are honourable titles held and enjoyed
by men who inherited them from ancestors who deserved well of their
country. Nor are these all the peers who have never done anything in
public life to justify the hereditary honours bestowed on their
meritorious ancestors. The list might be greatly enlarged. Others,
again, may be counted by the hundred, whose honours have no nobler
origin than Court favour or Parliamentary influence, and who utterly
abdicate their legislative functions. In truth, the working department
of the House of Lords is generally in the hands of five or six aged
barristers, who have won their coronets by their brains, and a dozen
or so of active peers, whose high attainments attract the confidence
of their fellows. Is it possible to contend that this is a healthy
organization of a co-ordinate branch of the imperial legislature? It
is true that there are many men of great ability in the House, and
many more of truly noble but retiring character, who reside wholly or
for the most part on their estates. But of these a very small
proportion take the trouble to attend the debates, and even in the
present session, Lord Granville was obliged to remark, that 'the large
number of peers _who do not attend the debates_ ought to be called
upon to serve on committees.' There is no doubt that the peerage
contains excellent materials for a senate, and that practically the
power of the whole is now delegated to a part. But though this is the
case under ordinary circumstances, it cannot be right that the
majority of the House, idle hereditary legislators, should lie dormant
and apart from the working bees during the ordinary days of the
session, and only wake up and rush to town under the extraordinary
pressure of a great party division. It may be argued, however, that a
second chamber is a valuable element in the Constitution, and that the
hereditary principle is of the very essence of our political system.
As to the importance of a second chamber, we make no dispute. On the
principle of a division of labour, it is wanted for the despatch of
business, and it is also required for the interposition of discussion
and delay between the hasty introduction of bills and the final act of
legislation. As to the hereditary element, it cannot be denied that
for several centuries it has been fully recognised and established.
But there are good reasons to believe that it is part and parcel of a
comparatively modern Constitution, and that it did not prevail in
those days when the germs of our institutions were in their early
growth. The fact is that all our titles of honour seem to have been
originally derived _from offices_. That of duke, the highest of the
hereditary titles, is evidently derived from 'dux' and 'duc;' words
used to signify a leader, and a man of merit. But this was a foreign
use of the word which never obtained in England, and it was not
introduced at all before the time of Edward the Black Prince. The
title of 'marquess' designated originally the persons who had charge
of the 'marches' of the country; that is, the boundaries, _marks_, or
border lands between Scotland and England, and England and Wales. An
earl derives his title from the earldorman of the Anglo-Saxons, and
the earle of the Danes. It was afterwards adopted by the Conqueror,
and both in his time and previously, was the designation of certain
high officials. The viscount or vicecomes, was originally the deputy
of the earl, count or comes, but its adoption as an English dignity is
involved in some obscurity. The lowest of our hereditary titles is
that of 'baron,' which originally designated those persons who held
lands of a superior by military and other services, and who were bound
to give attendance in the court of the superior, and assist in the
business there transacted. In plain language, these ancient titles
indicated _appointments_ for life of various kinds, or duties
connected with property which, as a rule, had been bestowed as a
reward for merit.

                          'From virtue first began,
      The difference that distinguished man from man;
      He claimed no title from descent of blood,
      But that which made him noble made him good.'[31]

Such being the origin of the British titles of nobility, we pass to
the origin of the aggregate peerage in their position as a separate
and hereditary branch of the legislature. It is well ascertained that
the Saxon kings were not authorized to make new laws or impose taxes
without the sanction of the 'witan,' in which the Thanes and the
prelates of the church had seats. It is also certain that in Normandy
there was a council of Norman barons, which the dukes were bound to
consult on all important occasions. The Anglo-Norman kings of England
continued to recognise the custom, and duly summoned and consulted
their great council. All who held land immediately from the Crown had
a right to attend, and these were originally designated the king's
barons. Besides these, the prelates and the principal abbots and
priors were expected to attend. No other persons had the right to
appear except in the attitude of petitioners. It is probable that many
of the Crown tenants found it inconvenient and expensive to be present
as regularly as the great proprietors, and by degrees the title of
'peer' and 'baron,' which at first had been common to all the king's
immediate tenants, came to be applied to a few great feudatories of
the Crown. This state of things is actually recognised in Magna Charta
in these words,--'We shall cause the archbishops, bishops, abbots,
earls, and _greater barons_ to be separately summoned by our letters.'
Here, then, we have the origin of the temporal peers of the realm in
their own House. The temporal peerage was evidently a body of the most
powerful landowners. Now, at that time and for many years after, there
was no legal power of devising real estates by will. The estates
descended from heir to heir, and the successor of a great feudal baron
came in course of time to be regarded as standing in the position of
his predecessors as to the right to be summoned by letters patent to
the royal council. Thus the notion of hereditary descent became
associated with the position and privileges of a great baron. At a
later period the status of peerage was extended to others, who were
not tenants in chief, but were summoned by writ to take their places
in the council. Still later, the sovereign took upon himself to
_create_ peerages by letters patent, which seem to have conferred the
privilege of hereditary descent. Finally, it became a fixed maxim in
constitutional laws that the person summoned by royal writ to the
House of Lords acquired a right not only to sit in that particular
parliament, but the right for himself and certain heirs to become
hereditary peers of the realm. Thus a complete inroad was gradually
made upon the early connection between the peerage and the tenure of
property; and the general result was that Lords of Parliament took
their seats by virtue of tenure, of writs, of letters patent, and, in
a few isolated cases, by Act of Parliament.[32] In the time of Lord
Coke the number of peers was about 100; at the time of the Revolution
of 1688 the House consisted of about 150 lay and 26 spiritual peers,
and at the present time it reckons nearly 500 members. We found no
argument upon the special privileges possessed by the order of nobles.
With the exception of their appellate jurisdiction, they are neither
numerous nor important, and the judicial functions which are now very
efficiently exercised by some of the ablest lawyers of the day will
probably be remodelled in the course of the reforms in the
administration of justice which are now very near at hand.

The facts and circumstances thus briefly stated form the materials for
an answer to our first question, namely, Can the continuance of a
purely hereditary branch of the legislature harmonize with the vast
democratic change which was described in the earlier pages of this
article? The answer is short and simple. Considering the spread of
education, the increasing circulation of literature and newspapers,
the growing influence of commerce and manufactures, the omnipotent
force of public opinion, and the increasing importance of the middle
classes, it certainly appears that the House of Lords is not now
satisfactorily constituted for a senate. It consists of a large number
of members who feel themselves under no obligation to take part in its
deliberations. It is acted upon only _indirectly_ by public opinion.
Its members belong almost exclusively to one class and interest, and
all stand on the same social platform. Moreover, two out of the three
chief interests of the nation--that is, the manufacturing and
commercial interests--are scarcely represented in that House. Under
these circumstances, it appears to us that some alteration in the
constitution of this noble House is a mere question of time. In the
famous debate of April, 1866, upon Lord Russell's project of reform,
Mr. Lowe, in one of the cleverest speeches ever delivered in the House
of Commons, used the following words:--

      'Let us suppose democracy established more or less in this
      country: with what eyes would it look upon institutions
      such as I have described--what would be the relation of
      this House to the House of Peers? I shall call a witness
      who will tell you. Eight years ago the honourable member
      for Birmingham inverted the course he is now taking; he now
      seeks to secure the means, he then proclaimed the end. Then
      he said, "See what I'll do for you if you give me reform."
      Now he says, "Give me reform, and I shall do nothing." His
      words were, "As to the House of Peers, I do not believe
      they themselves believe that they are a permanent
      institution." What do you suppose would become of the House
      of Peers with democratic franchises?'

Such was the prophecy of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Its
realization may be distant, but we venture to say it is certain. What
the nature of the change ought to be, we can but faintly hint. And, be
it remembered, that it is in no wild spirit of revolution, but rather
in the temper of sober conservation, that even a suggestion of this
kind is hazarded. We believe, then, that the needful change may be
made in perfect harmony with recognised principles of the present
Constitution. Surely a more serviceable House would be secured by
introducing the same system of election and delegation amongst the
peers of the realm that now prevails among the peers of Scotland and
Ireland. In the next place, a certain number of high offices of State
might be connected with life-seats in the House of Lords. The Crown
might be empowered to introduce a limited number of peers for life.
Lastly, it might be practicable, though doubtless very difficult, to
import into the House the direct influence of public opinion by some
kind of public election. The composition of the Herrenhaus, or House
of Lords of Prussia, offers the model of a very useful assembly. It
consists of princes of the royal family; sixteen chiefs of certain
other princely houses; about fifty heads of the territorial nobility;
a number of life peers chosen by the king from the class of rich
landowners, great manufacturers, and _national celebrities_; eight
titled noblemen _elected_ in the eight provinces of Prussia by the
resident landowners of all degrees; the representatives of the
Universities; the heads of religious chapters; the mayors of towns of
more than 50,000 inhabitants; and a few other peers nominated by the
king, under certain limitations, for a less period than life. The
Upper House in Spain is partly composed of hereditary peers, and
partly of peers for life. The peerage of Portugal is for life. And
thus we might go on, from Chamber to Chamber, and prove that the
British House of Lords is the only legislative Chamber in the world in
which the hereditary system alone prevails. This fact alone, taken in
connection with the rapid progress of political events, and the other
circumstances which have been slightly touched upon, may suffice to
justify us in affirming that the continuance of a purely hereditary
House of Lords, unmodified by delegation or election, is not in
harmony with the rest of our Constitution.

The last question to be answered is this: Ought the further creation
of hereditary dignities to be permitted by a people enjoying the wide
and liberal franchises of this country? It must not, however, be
supposed that this inquiry must needs touch or involve the advantages
or disadvantages of an hereditary sovereign. The king or reigning
queen of these realms has special functions by virtue of the
Constitution, which, under any circumstances, must be intrusted to
some hands, and it is hard to imagine any order of affairs more
beneficial to the people than the present; for our sovereign is not
merely entrusted with attributes which affect the imagination, she
holds a position not less useful than splendid as the visible head of
this mighty Commonwealth. There ought to be the least possible
latitude for the jealousies and rivalries of the leading spirits of
the State. But if the most exalted position is open to competition,
the most powerful minds may be diverted by evil influences from the
line of duty. The hereditary office of the sovereign ought to be
tenderly and loyally upheld as being not merely a picturesque
decoration of the State, but subserving most important purposes, by
preventing intrigue, and by visibly representing the nation in a form
most attractive to society. The present question, therefore, has no
reference to the sovereign. The inquiry is, whether the _minor_
hereditary dignities can be continuously and freshly created
consistently with our apparent advances towards social and political
equality. The answer may be found in the lines of Dr. Johnson:

      'Let observation with extensive view,
      Survey mankind from China to Peru.'

He who thus looks from the watch-tower must perceive that the
political movement of nations is almost everywhere in _one_ direction.
He might suppose that one transcendental law was slowly overruling the
world--the law under which equality is advancing, and artificial
inequalities disappearing. It would seem that the desire for equality
marches hand in hand with civilization. Nowhere in the world will the
inquirer discover that _hereditary_ privileges _are being created_
except in England, though the order of ancient nobility is by no means
rare. The defenders of the order of nobility will urge that the
distinction of rank is necessary for the reward of public services,
and to stimulate and encourage others. Virtuous ambition is,
doubtless, a spring of action which produces excellent results.
Blackstone says that 'a body of nobility creates and preserves that
gradual scale of dignity which proceeds from the peasant to the
prince, rising like a pyramid from a broad foundation, and diminishing
to a point as it rises. It is this ascending and contracting
proportion _which adds stability_ to any government.'[33] Historical
research can alone determine the amount of truth contained in these
assertions. The general proposition that public honours of some kind
are valuable incidents in every country can hardly be disputed. But
does it necessarily follow that those honours should be hereditary? We
know that many of the truest patriots in ancient and modern times have
desired no other reward than posthumous fame and the esteem of their
fellow-citizens. Was Washington, for example, moved by the glitter of
any hereditary honours to devote himself to the good of his country?
Or Pericles, Epaminondas, or Tell; Pym, Hampden, Peel, or Cobden? Peel
had inherited his baronetcy, and by will forbade his heirs to accept
the hereditary peerage. Take the case of Mr. Peabody. Society
regretted that he declined the riband of the Bath, but how unsuitable
a reward for his grand Christian munificence would a coronet and a
title have been. It was natural to ask in his case, 'What shall be
done to the man whom the king delighteth to honour?' The only answer
is, 'Let his memory be embalmed in the loving esteem of two great
nations.' To him virtue was its own reward. The mass of mankind are of
less elevated quality. It would be unwise, and even dangerous, to
dispense with public rewards for public services. But surely it is an
unreasonable method of recompensing the services of a great citizen to
confer title, dignity, and rank, not only upon himself, but upon his
descendants for ever. The services of the great Duke of Marlborough
may have merited a high recompense, but it is strange that one hundred
and fifty years after his decease his great-great-grandson should be
born a duke on the score of his ancestor's merits--

               'Honours best thrive
      When rather from _our_ acts we them derive
      Than our foregoers.'[34]

It seems monstrous that in a State in which the power of the people is
fully recognised, any artificial exaltation of one family above
another should be perpetuated apart from personal merit. Far be it,
however, from the writer of these pages to desire the abolition of
existing dignities. They are vested interests which it becomes us to
respect, though it is difficult to tolerate any longer the fresh and
needless elevation of more families above the rest in perpetuity. The
political exigencies of the State cannot possibly require it, and if
it is not necessary it is unjust. It may be said that the House of
Lords must be recruited by the infusion of fresh blood; but it has
been shown that the House is already too full, and rather needs
reduction than expansion. At all events, the grants of peerages for
life would enable the Crown to place many 'national celebrities' in
the Upper House who, from want of fortune, would decline the honour if
it must necessarily descend to a poor son. It may also be urged that
the objection to a further creation of hereditary honours has its
source in the envy of the human heart; but in truth the objection is
simply founded upon a sense of the abstract _injustice_ of the
inheritance of honour, title, and exalted social rank unless it be
justified by merit of some kind. How can it be _just_ that if neither
policy nor merit justify the ordinance, the State should make one
family superior in perpetuity in all the social incidents of
precedence and rank to thousands of other families? It is affectation
to deny that social circumstances of this nature are greatly valued.
They influence the life and fortunes of the men and women of the
ennobled families in a high degree. _Cæteris paribus_, the son of the
nobleman and the son of the commoner do not start in the race of life
upon equal terms. The younger son of a peer will, in all probability,
attain any object he may have in view with less difficulty than the
son of a plain esquire. He will have a better chance of entering the
diplomatic service, of becoming a member of the House of Commons, of
obtaining a nomination for the civil service, of entering the navy, of
getting a commission in one of the best regiments, and of preferment
in the Church. Is it just that these purely artificial advantages
should be accorded to more families than those which already
accidentally possess them? There may be enthusiastic admirers of the
order of nobles, who will affirm that they are necessary for the
safety and balance of society. But such enthusiasts will do well to
listen to the weighty words of Bacon, who, treating of 'nobility,'
wrote thus: 'For democracies, they need it not, and they are commonly
more quiet, and less subject to sedition than where they are stirps of
nobles. For men's eyes are upon the business and not upon the
persons.... We see the Switzers last well, notwithstanding their
diversity of religion and of cantons. For utility is their bond and
not respects. The United Provinces of the Low Countries in their
Government excel. For where there is equality the consultations are
more indifferent, and the payments and tributes more cheerful.'[35]

Thus this great man goes further than the present argument is intended
to advance. It is not suggested that a flat social equality is
practicable or desirable in civilized life. It may exist in theory,
but it fails in practice. Dr. Johnson proved this in his peculiar
fashion to a lady who was an enthusiastic republican,--'Madame,' said
he, 'I am become a convert to your way of thinking; I am convinced
that all mankind are upon an equal footing; and to give you an
unquestionable proof that I am in earnest, here is a sensible, civil,
well-behaved fellow-citizen--_your footman_; I beg that he may be
allowed to sit down and dine with us. I thus, sir, showed her the
absurdity of the levelling doctrine. She has never liked me since.' So
Count Mirabeau was unable to tolerate his own theory of equality.
Returning one day from the assembly in which he had pressed that
doctrine with great power, he ordered and entered a warm bath. 'More
hot, Antoine.' 'Yes, citizen,' said Antoine. Whereupon Mirabeau seized
his man by the head and plunged it into the bath. It may be that Dr.
Johnson, who was an earnest advocate for the subordination of ranks,
was sound in his views with reference to general happiness. But it
must be admitted that the greatest experiment ever made of theoretical
equality--that of the United States--has not been unsuccessful. It may
be true, as affirmed by De Tocqueville, that 'the men who are entrusted
with the direction of public affairs in that country are frequently
inferior, both in capacity and morality, to those whom aristocratic
institutions would raise to power. But their interest _is identified
with that of the majority_ of their fellow-citizens. They may
frequently be faithless, and frequently mistaken; but they will never
systematically adopt a line of conduct opposed to the will of the
majority.' If we turn to our own great political experiments--those of
our principal colonies--the result is upon the whole satisfactory. No
local dignities are there created or inherited. It would, perhaps, be
expedient that great public services should be rewarded by the
creation of baronetcies for life in the colonies. But though nothing
of this kind is known in any of them--except by the casual importation
of some poor cadet of a noble British family--prosperity, good order,
and all the elements of social and political well-being, are secured
and developed more and more. The great colonies of Australia, which
enjoy the full rights of autonomy, and are only connected with the
mother country by one slender thread, through which no maternal
influence really passes, have thus furnished evidence that liberty,
equality, and order may exist together.

We have already averred that this article is not intended to promote
any levelling assault upon any existing dignity. Nor do we think it is
expedient that a flat table-land of social equality should be created
in this old country. Let public services be rewarded not only by
gratitude and esteem, but by dignities and honours coincident with the
life of the grantees. Honorary decorations, too, might be more
extensively conferred, and would surely be worn with as much
gratification by the deserving plebeian as the blue or red ribbon by
the noblest aristocrat of the bluest blood. Let sculpture, painting,
and architecture do their best to perpetuate the memory of 'national
celebrities.' Let us construct a Walhalla of worthies in which
Englishmen shall deem it the highest attainable honour to be reckoned.
And as Pericles nobly said to the Athenians,--'I shall begin with our
forefathers, for it is fair and right that the honours of
commemoration should be accorded to them. For the same people
constantly dwelling in this land did by their valour hand it down in
freedom to posterity. Well worthy of praise were they, and still more
worthy are our own fathers; for they, in addition to their
inheritance, won by the sweat of their brow the imperial position we
now hold, and transmitted it to us of the present generation.' So let
us recall and commemorate every unselfish public life, all genius
dedicated to the nation's good, and all those _quasi_ inspirations of
the native mind which set a mark upon their age, and tinge the thought
of successive generations. Nor let us shrink and shiver as we see the
irresistible advance of the democratic wave. The most timid may take
courage by studying the attempted legislation of the Commonwealth. To
that period may be traced the source of nearly all our best laws and
largest reforms. The reactionary powers blighted the attempted work of
enlightened men, and it has only come to maturity within living
memory, or is even now ripening. Let us never forget that it is our
first duty to educate the democracy, to purify its morals, and so to
modify the distribution of public honours that merit and its reward
may never be severed. Exalted rank derived from birth alone must be
permitted to die out by flux of time, and meritorious industry must be
warmly cherished.

                        'The smoke ascends
      To heaven, as lightly from the cottage hearth
      As from the haughty palace. He whose soul
      Ponders this true equality may walk
      The fields of earth with gratitude and hope.'[36]

FOOTNOTES:

[22] 'Quiet reigned at home; the public offices kept their old
titles;... Tiberius initiated all his measures under the mask of the
consuls, as if it was the old republic.... Yet at Rome there was a
race for servitude; consuls, senators, and knights alike.'

[23] See 'Merivale,' vol. iii. p. 464.

[24] Roscoe's 'Life of Lorenzo de Medici,' p. 6.

[25] 'Macaulay's Speeches,' p. 36.

[26] 'Civil Correspondence of the Duke of Wellington' (Ireland), pp.
28 and 627.

[27] 'Shooting Niagara,' p. 12.

[28] 'De Tocqueville,' vol. i.

[29] Rudd's 'Aristophanes,' 'The Knights.'

[30] Ecclesiastes ii. 18, 19.

[31] Dryden.

[32] Creasy 'On the Constitution.' Hallam's 'Middle Ages,' vol. ii.,
p. 319.

[33] Stephen's 'Blackstone,' vol. ii., p. 361.

[34] 'All's Well that ends Well.'

[35] 'Essays,' p. 45.



ART. V.--_The Genius of Nonconformity and the Progress of Society._


Archbishop Laud, in his conference with Fisher, the Jesuit, when he
was Bishop of St. David's, sets forth the ample basis and
justification of Nonconformity. It is impossible that the platform can
be laid for our principles and action more broadly and firmly than by
this highest of High Churchmen in the following admirable and explicit
words:--

      'Another Church may separate from Rome if Rome will
      separate from Christ. And so far as it separates from them
      and the faith, so far may another church sever from it....
      The Protestants did not get that name by protesting against
      the Church of Rome, but by protesting (and that when
      nothing else would serve) against her errors and
      superstitions. Do you but remove them from the Church of
      Rome, and our protestation is ended, and the separation
      too. The Protestants did not depart, for departure is
      voluntary; so was not theirs. I say, not theirs, taking
      their whole body and cause together.... The cause of
      schism is yours, for you thrust us out from you because we
      called for truth and the redress of abuses. For a schism
      must needs be theirs whose the cause of it is. The woe was
      full out of the mouth of Christ, ever against him that
      gives the offence, not against him that takes it, ever....
      It was ill done of those, whoever they were, that made the
      first separation. But then A. C. must not understand me of
      actual only, but of causal separation. For, as I said
      before, the schism is theirs whose the cause of it is. And
      he makes the separation, that gives the first just cause of
      it; not he that makes an actual separation upon a just
      cause preceding.'--(Works, vol. ii. sec. 21.)

We cordially adopt the definitions and allegations of the great
Anglican. He describes perfectly the necessity which has constrained
and the spirit which has animated the great party, which seems at
length to stand on the very borders of that Canaan of religious
liberty and equality towards which for three centuries it has been
struggling through the wilderness, and in which it hopes to find rest
and the free play of its life at last.

      'Schism is separation--cutting off; cutting ourselves off
      from that to which we ought to be united. The root of
      schism is the separation of man from God. He is thereby out
      of harmony with the universal and ruling system of things.
      In this way he is out of harmony with all that remains
      under that presiding system. And the crime of schism lies
      in this; that it is a contest with Him who has instituted
      that system--that it arises out of our repugnancy to Him,
      or (to take the lowest view of it) out of our want of
      understanding of the principles which he has established
      for the unity of the world which He has made.'--(A. J.
      Scott, 'Discourses,' p. 230.)

Schism, then, is separation from that with which God made us to be
united. The only schism about which we need be anxious is separation
from the truth which can make Divine order in our lives; to which by
inward affinities we are related; to which we are bound to attach
ourselves, or rather to maintain our attachment, under penalty of
perpetual unrest, harm, and loss. The fundamental question of schism
is truth--the truth which God has made known as the one basis of the
vital fellowships and activities of mankind.

The only principle which could fairly rob us of the justification
which the Anglican Archbishop's words afford to us would be, that the
State is absolutely the highest expression of the Lord who made and
who rules the world, as to the conduct of man's life in the spiritual
as well as in the secular sphere. There are secular sects in Europe
who lay down this dogma as the fundamental principle of the
constitution of society. The State, in their view, has the sole right
and the sole power to organize everything, from industry to worship,
and there is no higher will than that of the community known to or
knowable by man. But this principle presupposes the abolition of the
spiritual. Worship and the whole region of man's religious activity
must have been already relegated to the domain of senseless
superstition, before such an idea could reign. Religion ceases to be
an intrusive and disturbing element in the secular realm under such
conditions, because it has already ceased to have an independent life.
We have no need to spend time in controverting this position. Amongst
Christian politicians, lay or ecclesiastical, there can be no need to
demonstrate the falseness of a principle which would make Christ and
His Apostles the chief schismatics of the world. Even Mr. Arnold, who
is as hard upon Nonconformity as a man can be, allows that there _are_
things which may compel separation; and where those are found, by
Laud's own definition, the word schism can no longer apply.

Man, like all things, animate and inanimate, is made in concord. There
are relations with beings and with things, with the world, with man,
and with God, in which his nature moves freely and all his powers are
drawn forth to their full strain of work. The secret of free movement
in the universe is equipoise. It is not otherwise with man. He is made
to sustain certain relations, to exchange certain influences, to
fulfil certain functions. There is a condition conceivable in which
man would be in entire harmony with all things around him, would move
with perfect freedom, and give full expression to all the functions
and possibilities of his life. Out of that condition he has fallen; to
it he hopes and aspires to return. Schism is that which breaks the
harmony, which places him in a wrong relation with all around him, and
sets him at war with himself. The first, the fundamental schism, as we
have seen, is sin. The Archschismatic, the father of schism, is the
Devil. Next, that is of the essence of schism which prevents man
struggling back into the harmony; which introduces any unnatural
limitations or compulsions into the movements of his soul with regard
to that Being, the righting of his relations with whom sets him right
with himself and with all the world. Whatever hinders the free
movement of man's spirit in relation to God, or limits or thwarts the
relations with his fellow-men into which he is drawn by the Spirit;
whatever, in fact, makes an order which is not spiritual in the sphere
of his duties and life, is schismatic. The first condition of the
higher order, the order of the Spirit, is liberty; the free movement
of the spiritual element, the free play of the spiritual life, is the
essential condition of that unity of the Church for which the Saviour
prayed, and for which the Spirit is striving still. When human orders
or forms are established as essential bases of communion, schism is
inevitable, simply because no human arrangement of man's relations can
be co-extensive and conterminous with the plan by which the Spirit is
working out the unity of the Church, and which is realizable only
through the entire freedom of the movement of His energy in individual
human hearts. The cause of schism, adhering to Laud's definitions, is
inherent in the very constitution of a system like that of our
national Established Church. It is but the repetition, within the
limits of a nation, and under national auspices, of the Roman
endeavour to found and to govern a church which should be conterminous
with Christendom. That which broke up the Roman system and shattered
the Roman idea of the Church, was the development of a true national
life in the countries of the west, which, speaking roundly, we may
date from the thirteenth century. The national development of France
in that century really broke up the Mediæval idea of unity, whether
conceived of, as by the nobler spirits, under the form of the Holy
Roman Empire, or by the commoner under the form of the Holy Roman
Church. The great Papal schism which immediately followed, and the
seventy years' captivity at Avignon, were the beginning of the end.
The dream was dreamed out. The vision of the unity of Christendom
under a visible vicar of Christ vanished for ever.

The vision which has replaced it is that of a Federal Christendom--a
confederation of national churches, each under its national head,
establishing in the spiritual some such order as the Commune dreams of
establishing in the political sphere. But it is the same enterprise.
We wish our able advocates of Establishment would consider it. It is
the endeavour to build the Church on a basis of authority, whether
external to the nation, as the Pope, in the ages in which Christendom
was conceived of as a visible kingdom, or internal to the nation, as
is necessary when the nation rises to the consciousness of
individuality, and the assertion of the independence of the national
life. It is an aiming at a kind of order in Christ's kingdom which has
the root of all disorders in the heart of it; and it has for three
centuries blocked the way of the true successor to the Mediæval idea
of the unity of Christendom, a unity of spirit unexpressed in
formularies or organizations, reigning in all the provinces of man's
social, political, and national life.

The Mediæval idea of the unity of the Church was a noble and beautiful
vision; far nobler and more beautiful, broader, deeper, grander, than
anything that is proposed or that can be proposed under the conditions
of a Law-established National Church. The movement of the Reformation
both in England and in Germany was a grand step of progress as regards
the actual condition and relations of men. The overthrow of the Roman
System, the branding it as of the Devil and not of Christ, was an
unspeakable gain and progress. But, yet as regards the idea of the
Church, in the form which the Reformation assumed in both countries,
we hold that it was distinctly a fall. That which England had to
substitute for the idea of a Church co-extensive with the Christian
name, ruled by a power which professed and was believed to rest its
rights and to draw its influence from a sphere beyond this world,
perpetuating in Christendom the tradition and the right of apostolic
rule, was a miserably narrow, shallow, and selfish assertion of the
right of a class to represent Christ in legislating or the Church, and
of a James I. to represent Him in ruling it. The inner life of the
Church System which the Reformation established in England shines
brightly only against the background of Roman atrocity; it is dark
enough against any conception of Christ's Kingdom inspired by the
Spirit or drawn from the word of God.

If the Establishment principle, as some of its passionate advocates
seem to imagine, is to be the permanent form of church life which is
to supplant in Christendom the idea which the Roman Church enshrined,
but marred and murdered in embodiment, then we say deliberately,
Europe, in the long run, will have lost immensely by the Reformation;
then the hope of the establishment of a Kingdom of Christ, in which
the weary heart of humanity shall realize the fulfilment of the hope
which poets and prophets have kept bright before the mind of the
world, will be forever dead.

The words Dissenter and Non-conformist are in one sense ugly words;
and Protestant must be put in the same category. They define unhappily
by negation, that which in its essential nature is strongly
affirmative, that which has the spirit of the 'Everlasting Yea' in it
as fully as any belief which has ever been formulated by or
promulgated among men. It is most unfortunate that the creeds and
principles which are most closely related to the political and
industrial, as well as to the spiritual progress of mankind, have by
accident, as it were, assumed this negative shape in their
proclamation of themselves to the world. It is their aspect to their
opponents which has become their definition; and this has affixed to
them a kind of stigma which has acted most injuriously on their
progress. We little realize how this negation has stood in our way.
The 'Dis' or the 'Non' is the essential part of us in the estimation
of a large number of Churchmen; while the Romanist still finds in the
word Protestant a perpetual justification of his antipathy, and a mark
for the shafts of his scorn. We have in all generations been regarded
as a dissatisfied and dissident race; strong only in opposition, and
living by envy and hatred of that which commands the support of the
great majority of mankind. It has been believed, in fact, that we
rather nurse our grievances, and make the most of them, lest if they
were to cease, our _raison d'être_ would at once expire. We believe
that this has been to a very large extent the popular notion of us
among the members of the Establishment; and the main reason for the
impression, were it probed, would be found to be the negation implied
in our name. To this day the term Protestant is perhaps the gravest
difficulty in the way of the spread of Evangelical ideas and of the
Evangelical spirit among the Latin nations of the West.

But in truth the 'yea' is with us rather than with our opponents. The
Establishment is the natural home of the true 'Negative Theology.'
'The moderation of the Church of England' is the chief boast of her
children--that is, of those who are most loyal to her principle of
Establishment, and to whom the term Erastian conveys nothing of which
they feel the slightest disposition to be ashamed. And it describes
something which is very characteristic of her policy, and which fills
a large place in the various 'Apologies' which several schools of
Essayists have recently given to the world. Moreover, it seems to us
to set forth something which must be maintained if the Established
Church is to endure. Just in the measure in which Church parties feel
themselves possessed by very positive convictions, and inspired by
burning zeal, so the limits of the system grow irksome; while the
strongest parties which have arisen within her communion, those with
the most intense convictions and the most spiritual aims, have been
driven to develope themselves outside her pale.

At this moment the party in the Church which is the most strongly
devoted to the Establishment principle is, theologically, the most
colourless. The most solid argument, as it seems to us, which sustains
the Establishment platform, would lead us to regard its ministers as a
kind of Levitical order--the clerisy, as Coleridge has it--which would
aim at little higher than a civilising, humanizing mission to the
ignorant, the vicious, and the wretched in the land. God forbid that
we should for a moment speak slightingly of such a service, rendered
by such men as are now at the disposal of the State for this most
blessed work. But it is no longer specially clerical work. The world
is busy about it by a thousand agencies, which more than compete with
the clerical; and it is hardly a question whether the world at large
would be prepared to maintain a costly and highly-favoured order of
men to do the work which in these days is the general charge of
society. But the work of the Gospel, of which St. Paul strikes the
key-note in the first chapters of his first Epistle to the
Corinthians, is of a widely different order. The school of which we
have spoken deals chiefly with the diffused light of Christianity
which is abroad in the atmosphere of a Christian state; the preacher
after the Pauline type (and the world cannot spare him yet) unveils
the solar light and fire. The affirmative force, the penetrating,
searching fire of Christianity, has from the first been mainly with
the communities which have been unable to find room within the bosom
of the moderation of the Church of England for their truth and for
their zeal. The moderation paled the one and chilled the other, and
drove them forth into a separation which seemed to them in those days
as bitter and unnatural as the violent disruption of a Christian home,
so strongly did the idea of the family life of a nation possess men's
hearts, so strongly did man's imagination cling to the visible unity
of the Church.

Few who love the truth of the Gospel would, we imagine, be disposed to
question that the higher life of the Church, that which makes its
gospel the power of God unto salvation, was more fully represented in
the early days of King James by men like Dr. Rainolds than by Bancroft
and the party which he and Whitgift represented at the Conference at
Hampton Court; by the Nonconforming clergy rather than by the Court
party in the early days of the Restoration; by the Methodists rather
than by the bishops and clergy of the Georgian Church; by the Free
Churchmen rather than by the residue of the Established clergy of
Scotland in the early days of our Queen. The affirmative side, the
energy of strong belief, strong assertion, strong purpose and
endeavour, has been seen mainly in the Nonconformist communities;
while the Established Churchmen have on the whole cultivated, with a
fair measure of energy and with conspicuous ability, the broad fields
of thought and life which the energy of more enterprising and earnest
communities has won. We claim for our fathers that they represented on
the whole the affirmation of the Gospel; the belief which sets a man's
face like a rock against the tide of worldly temptations and
seductions, which so few churches find strength to stem, while it
nerves his arm to wield effectually that sword of the Spirit which
cuts its way most deeply into the camp of the Devil, which the Lord
came to storm and to destroy. Apology and exposition have been the
main strength of Anglican Church literature and activity. The words
which have been the advanced guards as it were of liberty and
progress; the pointed, pungent, vivid, stirring treatises which have
laid hold most powerfully on the popular heart, and have been the
chief auxiliaries of the Gospel in turning men from darkness to light,
and from the power of Satan unto God, have come forth mainly from the
Nonconformist schools. Not that there has been, or can be, any
monopoly of gifts or functions in a country in which classes and
orders are so happily mixed and forced into association as in England.
The Church has not neglected the Sword of the Spirit, the
Nonconformists have not laid by the implements of culture; but still,
on the whole, taking a broad view of the character and work of the two
communions, we believe that there is substantial justice in the
distinctions which we have laid down.

The culture of the Church of England is a favourite topic with her
apologists. And most justly. On the whole, she has probably been the
most learned, polished, and politic Church in Christendom. We
Nonconformists have no long list of names of the first eminence in the
ranks of scholarship which may compare with the long line of able
scholars and champions of the faith whom the Anglican Church has sent
forth. But then the conditions of life in the Church of England are
precisely those which are most favourable to this special development;
and unfavourable, we think, in no small measure, to the growth and
free activity of yet higher things. Our men in all generations have
had in the main yet higher work on hand than theological scholarship;
and work, we venture to think, still more profoundly important to the
best interests of the community. The exiles in Holland in the early
years of the 17th century produced works of scholarship which may
compare with anything, save such a master-piece as Hooker's, which
emanated from the Anglican divines of their time. Henry Ainsworth was
one of the ablest Biblical scholars in Europe. He was 'living on
ninepence a week and some boiled roots' as a bookseller's porter, when
his master discovered his skill in Hebrew, and put him in the way of
more congenial work. In Moreri's Dictionary full justice is done to
Henry Ainsworth--'the able commentator on the Scriptures;' while he is
carefully distinguished from 'Ainsworth the heresiarch, one of the
chiefs of the Brownists;' nothing being more indubitable than that the
two were the same man. John Robinson, too, was a man of large culture
as well as conspicuous intellectual power. His controversial works
reveal a learning, a wisdom, a breadth of view, a foresight, a
large-hearted charity, joined to the most intense conviction on the
points which made him a separatist, which are rarely to be found in a
great theological champion in any age of the world.

But, after all, these men had higher and harder work on hand than
thinking and writing as scholars, and work which the world could less
easily spare. Those exiles in Holland, by their toil and their
suffering, were nursing and training that spirit which created the
American Republic, and which rules it still. The world probably wanted
that work just then more than the rarest scholarship; though
intellectual power was at a low ebb at that particular crisis in the
Anglican Church. And the world found what it supremely wanted, the
simplest, purest, toughest, noblest band of colonists ever sent forth
from any country. In the rude, rough times which succeeded, the
leaders of the great action which settled on a sure basis for ever the
liberties of our country, were of the Nonconformist Schools. The men
who did such work for England as the conduct of that long and
tremendous struggle to its glorious issue, might well be pardoned if
their culture were of a poorer type than that of their antagonists.
But it is really marvellous how, during the storm of the Civil War,
Nonconformist learning and intellectual ability flourished. Lord Brook
and Peter Sterry, leading spirits among the Independents, were deeply
tinctured with Platonic learning; they drew their large and liberal
ideas from a deeper than an Arminian spring. In John Howe strong
traces of the same Platonic element may be discovered. There seems to
have been a certain native affinity between this young Independency
and the thoughts of the great master of ideal philosophy in the
ancient world. At the time of the Restoration, probably the most
many-sided, variously-accomplished, and masterly man was Richard
Baxter. His position in relation to the Church and Nonconformity
through the most active part of his career, was not unlike the
position which Erasmus held during the Reformation between
Protestantism and Rome. But most certainly, despite his views 'on
National Churches,' it was mainly from the Nonconformist springs that
his life was nourished, and the weight of his influence was thrown
practically into the Nonconformist scale.

But perhaps of all the able men who were busy about things theological
and political, about the time of the Westminster Assembly, there was
not one who thought so freely and wrote so liberally as John Goodwin,
the Independent.[37] Far from feeling himself shut up, as we
Independents hear that we are shut up, to the traditions of the
elders, which were unquestionably strongly Calvinistic, he discerned
and grasped whatever good there might be in the Arminian scheme of
doctrine; while his views on public affairs, on political and
religious liberty, on toleration, on the welfare and progress of
states, were more in the key of modern ideas than anything else which
is to be met with in the literature of those times. A man must have
had a far sight and a brave heart who could write concerning the
Scriptures in those days and in such an atmosphere, 'The true and
proper foundation of the Christian religion is not ink and paper, not
any book or books, not any writing or writings whatsoever, whether
translations or originals, but that substance of matter, those
glorious counsels of God concerning the salvation of the world by
Jesus Christ, which are indeed represented and declared both in the
translations and the originals, but are distinct from both.'

Passing on to the midst of the next century, the Nonconformist
evangelists of the great Methodist revival were busy in other work
than that which occupied the scholars and divines of the not
over-earnest or spiritual Georgian Church. But it was more distinctly
church work; and it lay far nearer to the heart of the true welfare
and progress of the state. The men who established a strong Christian
influence over those classes of the population who in times of
political ferment are truly the dangerous classes, were mainly
Nonconformist. What England owed, socially and politically, to the
leaders and ministers of the great Evangelical revival, when the storm
of the Revolution swept through Europe, has never been calculated,
and never can be. The work of the evangelists among the colliers and
miners, and generally among the poorest of the poor, was a grand
safeguard to us when our turn of revolutionary trial came. The chief
reason why the Revolution in England ran in the main a peaceful and
orderly course, while in France it was convulsive and destructive, is
to be found in the nexus of the classes which the great Evangelical
movement established, and in the gleam of hope which it kindled in the
popular heart.

And it is not a little noteworthy that the party in the Church of
England which is seeking to repeat, though under widely different,
and, as we judge, quite lower forms, the Methodist revival, and is
striving hard, and not unsuccessfully, to bring some Christian
influence (though many would deny its right to the name) to bear on
the vast heathen class in our cities which perplexes and saddens all
churches, is that which bears most uneasily the yoke of Establishment,
and talks enthusiastically of Disestablishment as emancipation. One of
its orators the other day at St. James's Hall, young and enthusiastic,
no doubt, but the meeting cheered him to the echo, thus delivered
himself: 'Nothing is so fatal as this Establishment, and if the
suspension of Mr. Mackonochie should lead to the overturning of that
rooks'-nest, so much the better.' (Tumultuous cheering.)

But it may be said, and with a specious colour of truth, that one of
the chief virtues of the Establishment principle is, that it
comprehends these extreme parties and keeps them under some moderating
control. It seems to us that in the past it was entirely for the good
of England that the Church did not comprehend the Puritan, the
Nonconformist, the Methodist elements. Happily, it was not in the
nature of the Church to comprehend them in any sense. Had she been
capable of retaining them and subjecting them to her moderating hand,
the nation would have lost its ablest leaders, and the Church the most
glowing breath of its life. And the best thing that could happen now
would be that the High Anglicans should be let alone, to work out in
entire freedom their ideas. The State influence lends importance and
power to their movement with one hand, while it maddens them by
limiting and crippling their freedom of action on the other. There is
a spirit working within them which, whether we like it or not, has a
definite meaning and purpose, and is destined to become a power. It
may be trammelled, cramped, crippled by the action of authority, but
it cannot be exorcised or expelled. In the present temper of the
public mind, it has a distinct vocation of its own, which it would be
well for itself and for the world that it should work out freely. The
sooner that it is set perfectly free to try with its own resources
what its method is worth, the better for itself, and the better for
the people whom it dreams that it can lead and save.

We have spoken casually of the Calvinistic and Arminian creeds. The
subject is worthy of some close examination from the point of view of
the present article; inasmuch as it is often urged by the advocates of
the Establishment, as a strong point in its favour, that the leading
Anglican divines of King James and King Charles led the reaction
against Calvinism, and made room for Arminian doctrine and influence
in the Established Church. It is a point which is urged in the able
and temperate article on the Church and Nonconformity which appeared
in the last number of the _Quarterly Review_, which, as well as its
liberal rival, evidently feels that the question is no longer
speculative but practical, and must be dealt with as one of the
leading and most pressing public questions of the day. The tone of
both those articles is most significant and assuring to
Nonconformists. They both recognise most cordially the large service
which the free churches of England have rendered to the cause of
liberty and progress, though they do not, of course, yet see their way
to make the principle of religious freedom supreme in the conduct of
our ecclesiastical affairs. Hear the _Quarterly_:--'The sects of
Nonconformity have been of great service to English progress; it does
not follow from this that it would be a great gain to England if there
were nothing but sects in which its religion could take refuge and
find expression.' (_Quarterly Review_, No. 260, p. 234.) The change of
tone surely is most significant here.

But to return to our immediate subject. King James had no sooner
reached England and tested the adulation, so grateful to his coarse,
vain nature, with which the Anglican prelates were ready to welcome
him, than he discovered that Presbytery agreed with monarchy 'as God
agreed with the devil.' Still he was a strong Calvinist, and held the
Genevan doctrines in common with Whitgift and the leading doctors of
the Anglican Church. He was not without shrewd native wit, and in the
Hampton Court Conference, bitter and even brutal as he was to the
Puritans, his strong common sense rebelled against the policy which
the Bishops would have forced upon him. We owe probably to him that
the Lambeth Articles were not incorporated in the formularies of the
Church. But before the end of his reign he found that Calvinism agreed
with monarchy as ill as Presbytery, and the Church lapsed slowly but
steadily, or rose as some may prefer to call it, into Arminian
doctrine. But the remarkable thing about the matter is that Calvinism
declined and Arminianism rose in favour, just in the measure in which
the clergy lent themselves to be ministers of the Court. As matter of
history, the vaunted reaction against Calvinism was coincident and
consonant with the cry, 'Church and King.' And this opens out an
important truth on which it is worth our while for a moment to dwell.

Mr. Froude has recently indulged, in a wild, vigorous way, in a
glorification of Calvinism, before an audience whose traditional
sympathies, at any rate, must have been strongly on his side. He
suggests a pregnant question: How is it that a system which is so
terribly dishonouring to the goodness and righteousness of God, should
have afforded such an inspiration to some of the very noblest men who
have ever left their trace on the history of mankind? He gives a list
of great names, noble names, among the noblest of our race; and with
regard to most of them, at any rate, the claim or charge of being
strongly under the influence of Augustinian ideas of the Divine
government cannot be denied. And yet there is something horrible in
the picture of the Divine principles and methods of action, which
Calvinism in its pure and naked form presents. It is difficult for us
to contemplate, without shuddering, the ideas of divine and human
things which seem to have been adopted with grim satisfaction by some
of the very strongest and most high-minded men who have ever swayed
the destinies of the world. How are we to account for it?

Surely the solution of the difficulty is to be found in the fact that
the great Calvinists held more vitally to the affirmations than to the
negations of their creed. Its bearing on them and their lives, in an
age of strong swift action, was the thing of vital personal moment;
its bearing on their fellow-men and the universal government of God,
though expressed in terribly clear and logical formularies, held a
very secondary place in their minds. The grand idea, God's
election--man the chosen agent of God, raised up, though all unworthy,
for the setting forth of His counsels, and the execution of His
will--seized and possessed them wholly; and the outside bearing of the
truths, so to speak, appeared but partially to their moral sight. The
world was then a great camp, in which the fiercest martial passions
were raging. Sections of society, as well as nations, were in chronic
and stern antagonism; and it was not so unnatural to regard in those
days as reprobate children of the devil those whom it was almost a
matter of religious duty to afflict and to destroy. A man easily
persuades himself that an enemy is a child of darkness when his sword
will soon be at his throat. Terms have changed; but the language and
thoughts of the French army and the National Guards in Paris about
each other, repeat in substance the relations of Protestant and
Romanist, Englishman and Spaniard, Cavalier and Roundhead, in the
Elizabethan and Caroline days. The thing appeared to them quite
otherwise than to us, who have been studying for ages the Christian
doctrine of the brotherhood of mankind; a doctrine which, to our shame
be it spoken, was first forced on the public notice of peoples by
profane and godless writers who laid the train of the first French
Revolution.

We need only read the language in which Hawkins or Raleigh utter the
thoughts of their hearts about the Spaniards, to comprehend how easy
it was for them to regard themselves as elect instruments for the
overthrow of the devil and his works, in their daring, but
semi-piratical forays into the harbours and the treasure fleets of
Spain. Hawkins, with his cargo of slaves on board, crowded so close
that fever began to rage among his crew, could hardly have comforted
himself so complacently, in the midst of a terrible calm in the
tropics, with the thought that 'God never suffers His elect to
perish,' unless his whole thought had been occupied with what he was
doing against those whom he believed to be ministers of darkness,
while his relations and duties to his hapless fellow-creatures were
dropped out of sight. Calvinism easily inspires men, that is, the
larger sort of men, who are capable of the inspiration, with the sense
of a Divine call to a Divine service, and it makes them sharp as flint
and hard as iron in working out their mission. And these great
Protestants and Puritans in the age of the struggle for life saw,
partly, no doubt, through prejudiced eyes, so much moral foulness in
those with whom they were contending, that reprobation did not seem so
dread a doctrine in their sight as it seems in ours; who sit down
calmly, after the great battle is over, to think out the system in all
its bearings, and to examine its principles in the light of modern
cosmopolitan sympathy and charity. To us much of it seems simply
revolting, and we marvel how it could ever have commended itself as
of God, as it unquestionably did commend itself, to some of the
wisest, noblest, and most merciful of our race.

The Calvinism of the Reformers, as a body, is of course
unquestionable. Even Whitgift, bitterly as he hated, and hard as he
struck the Puritans, shared their profoundest convictions as
theologians, as the Lambeth Articles fully reveal. So long as the
battle with Rome was a life and death struggle, that is, through the
whole reign of Elizabeth, Calvinistic ideas strung the courage and
energy of the chief actors to the keenest tension. When the Church had
won its position, and was settling down into a respectable
institution, one of whose chief functions seemed to be to sustain the
dogma of the divine right of kings, then the Arminian bed was made
ready for it; and most of the chief actors in the next stage of the
drama in which the Church was the main prop of the monarchy, leaned
strongly to the Arminian side. The men, on the other hand, who had to
fight the battle of liberty--liberty of body, liberty of thought,
liberty of spirit--against all the force which the world of authority
could bring to bear against them, were Calvinist to the backbone.
God's elect they held themselves to be, weak, unworthy instruments, by
whom He was yet pleased to manifest His glory, and to accomplish His
will. And this was the backbone of their strength, '_'Not I, but the
grace of God which is in me._'

It may well be questioned whether anything weaker than this sense of a
personal call, a personal inspiration, to which the Calvinist readily
opened his soul, could have borne the conquerors through that
tremendous struggle which assured the liberties of Englishmen forever,
first against the spiritual tyrant at Rome, next against the domestic
tyrant on the throne of their own realm. Perhaps the Puritan struggle
against episcopal and regal tyranny, which brought the Independents to
the front, was the sternest ever fought out in the world. The best
measure of the grandeur of Cromwell's proportions is to be found in
the measure of the men whom he ruled. The English under Elizabeth
proved themselves, in the Narrow Seas, on the Spanish Main, amid
Arctic ice, and all around the world, the most masterful race upon
earth. The spirit had not died out in the Caroline days. The Puritan
party nursed its traditions and cherished its fire, as, among other
significant signs, these words of Pym reveal:--'Blasted may that
tongue be, that in the smallest degree shall derogate from the glory
of those halcyon days which our fathers enjoyed during the government
of that ever-blessed, never-to-be-forgotten, royal Elizabeth.'

The struggle within the bosom of such a nation demanded powers of the
highest and strongest order, and drew them forth. And the man who
could conduct that struggle to a successful issue and rule such a
strong-handed, imperious race as the English of the Commonwealth,
could have found little beyond his strength in any enterprise in any
age of the world; and nothing but that spirit which from the positive
side of their Calvinistic creed entered into Cromwell, and the men of
whom he became the organ and the head, could have borne them through
the tremendous pressure. No 'sweetness and light' of intellectual
culture, no sense of 'natural human power' could have borne John
Robinson's company of pilgrims first to Holland, and then across the
stormy Atlantic, and given them strength to hold together, as they say
of themselves touchingly, 'in a most strict and sacred bond and
covenant of the Lord, of the violation of which we make great
conscience; and by virtue whereof we do hold ourselves strictly tied
to all care for each other's good, and of the whole by every, and so
mutual.'--(Letter of Robinson and Brewster to Sir E. Sandys.) It was
this spirit, which no conformity to an Elizabethan, still less to a
Jacobean church, could have nurtured, which made New England, and
through New England made America.

Calvinism was so profoundly associated through that age with the
advancing cause of the spiritual and political liberties of our
country that the Arminian bias of the dignified clergy of the
Establishment, which began to manifest itself after the settlement of
the Church and the kingdom under King James, is by no means a noble or
beautiful feature in its history. Arminianism in the Church went hand
in hand with worldly compliance, slavish homage to princes, idolatrous
rites, gorgeous ritual, and episcopal tyranny; and it went down with
the Church righteously to ruin under the shock of the men who did
believe themselves called, quickened, and raised up as witnesses, by
the God of righteousness and truth.

We look too little at these doctrinal developments in the light of the
political life of the times which produce them. The connection is a
profound one between schemes of doctrine and political ideas. A point
too little considered is the truth of a scheme of doctrine for its
times. They must be blind indeed who cannot see that with the
Calvinistic Puritans, and not with the Arminian Anglicans, rapidly
tending to the Laudian Church, were stirring through the whole of
that struggle the motive forces of the progress of society.

But the question now arises, and it is the central point of this
discussion of the genius of Nonconformity in its relation to the
progress of society, What is this affirmation of Nonconformity which
has made it in all ages a factor of supreme importance in the culture
and development of mankind? It stands as a witness against the State
organization of Christianity, but that is not its strength. Not what
it stands against, but what it stands for, is the secret of its power.
Briefly, then, it witnesses for the ancient historic and Christian
idea of the Church, as the manifestation and the organ of the Spirit
working freely in individual consciences and hearts. It is
Nonconformity which truly inherits and cherishes the legacy of early
and mediæval Christian society, which the Roman organization of
Christendom did its best to destroy. Throughout the whole of the
Mediæval period the true development of the Church was carried on, not
on the basis of authority, or by the application of accepted doctrines
and methods, but by the original energetic action of individual men
and the disciples whom they might gather round them, who brought new
ideas into the Church, and leavened it with their own independent
life. The antagonism of constituted Church authorities to all the
leaders of new modes of Christian activity and development, is
precisely parallel to the treatment which original men of genius in
all ages have met with at the hand of the constituted authorities of
society. The young monasticism had to fight its way desperately into
the hallowed sphere of Church organization. 'It is the ancient advice
of the Fathers,' says Cassianus, 'advice which endures, that a monk at
any cost must fly bishops and women.' And the bishops repaid the
antipathy with interest. The struggles of the monks and bishops in the
West, in the sixth and seventh centuries, form the most interesting
and pregnant chapter of their ecclesiastical history. The monks had to
fight hard for their independence, and to fight their way into
influence. But no intelligent student of the history of that period,
we imagine, can doubt that the higher life and aim of the Church was
on the whole more fully represented in the irregular than in the
regular line.

How far such a man as St. Bernard was in his day a Nonconformist,
would be an interesting subject to discuss. Champion of orthodoxy as
he was, and maker of Popes, his position was far more like that of the
Puritan in the Anglican Church of King James than at first sight
appears. But the discussion of this question would lead us too far out
of the direct line of our argument. What hard work St. Francis had to
wring recognition for himself and his tattered mendicant company from
Pope Innocent III., great and far-seeing man as he was, is well known
to all students of Mediæval history. And yet St. Francis and holy
poverty for the time saved the Church. Though the mendicant orders
soon grew fearfully corrupt, and made the Reformation doubly
imperative, yet their brief career of purity and power added, it is
not too much to say, two centuries to the life of the Roman system,
and staved off the Ecclesiastical Revolution till the Western nations
were full-grown, and were strong enough to use nobly the freedom which
they might win. The life of the Church has been cherished, and its
influence has been fed in all ages, by men who drew fresh ideas, fresh
inspiration, from the life of the Saviour as set forth in the Divine
Word. And the Mediæval Church had room for them. There was nothing out
of tune with its professed organization in this direct appeal to the
fountain head of truth. It could include its Nonconformists, and find
room and work for them; though it had but a dim eye to distinguish
between its Nonconformists and its heretics, and was prone to harry
the last with fearful brutality,--a brutality which would be blankly
incomprehensible, for they were often far from brutal men who
exercised it, but for the idea which filled the minds of Churchmen,
that heresy was the spawn of hell. When the Catholic Church, like the
Anglican in after ages, was unable to comprehend its Nonconformists,
could only cast out its Luthers, as Anglicanism cast out its Barrowes,
its Robinsons, its Baxters, its Whitfields, it ceased to be Catholic
and became Roman, and all the living energy of the Church, and all its
promise, passed over to the opposite side.

A church like the Anglican, in which its judges of doctrine confess
frankly that really they have nothing to do with Scripture or with
truth in settling Church controversies, but simply with the legal,
and, therefore, we freely allow, the liberal construction of certain
documents settled by the legislative authority of the State centuries
ago, would have been regarded with simple horror by the great Mediæval
Churchmen, on whose limited views of things we somewhat loftily look
down. The belief did then survive in the Church that the Spirit of the
Lord is a free Spirit; and that the Church is constituted, not by
documents, but by the perpetual presence and manifestation of that
Spirit, though it came at last to believe that He dwelt in a shrine so
narrow and foul as the Roman Court. This idea the Anglican Church has
deliberately renounced, while the Nonconformists have upheld it. The
constitution of the Establishment is distinctly not by the Spirit, but
by the letter of legal documents; and those in whom the Spirit stirs
new energies, and moves to new agencies, have no choice but to pass
outside her pale.

The great churchmen of Mediæval Christendom--Benedict, Boniface,
Dunstan, Anselm, Bernard, Francis--would have found themselves not out
of tune with the Independent, John Robinson, when he said to his
pilgrims as he sent them forth, that he

      'miserably bewailed the state and condition of the Reformed
      Churches who were come to a period in religion, and would
      go no further than the instruments of their reformation.
      As, for example, the Lutherans, they could not be drawn to
      go beyond what Luther saw; for whatever part of God's will
      he had further imparted and revealed to Calvin they will
      rather die than embrace it. And so also you see the
      Calvinists, they stick where he left them--a misery much to
      be lamented; for though they were precious shining lights
      in their times, yet God had not revealed his whole will to
      them; and were they now living, they would be as ready and
      willing to embrace further light as that which they had
      received. I beseech you to remember it, it is an article of
      your Church Covenant, that you be ready to receive whatever
      truth shall be made known unto you from the written Word of
      God.'... 'I am very confident the Lord hath more truth yet
      to break forth out of his holy word.'[38]--_Robinson's
      Farewell Address to the Pilgrims._

But we think that these great Churchmen would have found themselves
entirely out of tune with the ablest doctors who should seek to settle
the faith on the basis of legal authority, and whose Church courts
could give no dispensation to the word of the Bible, or the
illumination of the Spirit, to move men to think and speak in the
Church otherwise than it had been determined that they should think
and speak three centuries ago. We hear much of historic Churches. It
is, we believe, Mr. Arnold's term. The writer of the very able and
liberal article in the current number of the _Edinburgh Review_ adopts
the term with high approval, and sustains Mr. Arnold's argument
against us, that by separation we cut ourselves off from history. We
answer that the Church of England made a new thing in history at the
Reformation,--a poor, base image of a Divine idea; while the
Nonconformists maintain and cherish the traditions of history, and are
in full tune with all that has been deepest and strongest in the life
of Christendom, in holding fast this liberty, to watch for, to
entertain, and to reflect, the 'fresh light that is ever breaking
forth from the word of God.' It was the Article of the Church Covenant
of the Pilgrims, it is in our Church Covenant still, and it will
remain in our Church Covenant while Independency endures.

And herein our Church Covenant is at war with the idea which Sir
Roundell Palmer developed briefly, in his able and earnest argument
for establishment in the debate on Mr. Miall's motion. His speech was
probably the ablest which was delivered on his side of the question.
He seemed to think that there was a certain fixity in religious truth,
which offers a strong contrast to the continually progressive
character of scientific truth, and which renders Establishment a more
feasible thing in relation to religion than it would be in relation to
truths belonging to the continually shifting and expanding scientific
sphere. There can be no question, we imagine, that this idea of fixity
possessed the minds of the men who created the Anglican formularies,
and is behind the defence of their integrity which a powerful party in
the Church so strenuously maintains. Some of the ablest and most loyal
of English Churchmen hold firmly this finality doctrine; indeed it is
the only logical justification of the subscription which has hitherto
been the imperative demand of the Church. Lord Bacon's remarks on this
point are interesting and important. He presses the question, 'Why the
civil state should be purged and restored by good and wholesome laws
made every three or four years by Parliament assembled, devising
remedies as fast as time breedeth mischief; and contrariwise the
Ecclesiastical Estate should still continue upon the dregs of time,
and receive no attention now for these five and forty years and more?'
With Bacon in his question stand Greenwood, Barrowe, Ainsworth,
Robinson, Jacob, and the long line of Nonconformists; while the
principle of finality has ruled in all ages the policy of the National
Church, and has been decisively and even vehemently expressed at
critical periods of its history. New adjustments of doctrinal belief
establish themselves within the Anglican pale; but it is by doing
violence to the fundamental principle on which the Church is founded,
for it is unquestioned in our ecclesiastical courts that the Articles
of Religion were intended to fix the form of truth to be developed in
the teaching of the Church of England so long as that Church should
endure.

But there is a complete confusion in this notion between the subject
matter of theology and the modes of its manifestation in the forms of
human thought. In the sense in which theology takes its place among
the creations of the human intellect, the highest, the noblest, the
most influential on the culture of mankind, it is subject to movement
and progress like the rest. Because the science of divine things has
been treated systematically as a fixed form of truth, capable of at
any rate approximately complete expression in the propositions which
form the creeds of the Church; because the measures of bygone
centuries are rigidly applied, and all excursion of the reason beyond
their logical pale is treated with stern repression, theology has
fallen from the upper heaven of man's intellectual sphere, and grovels
weakly and painfully in the dust. Theology learns nothing and forgets
nothing, like the Bourbons; and, like the Bourbons, she has fallen out
of the march of the world. There is no province of human thought about
which men so shrug their shoulders as about theology.

We believe that those champions of the Church of England who glory in
their formularies, as containing and maintaining the 'form of sound
words once delivered to the saints,' and who regard them as the
strongest bulwarks of the truth, are glorying in her weakness. She has
followed systematically the policy against which the great Founder of
the empire of modern thought so energetically protested. She suffers
no revision, no readjustment, except by tricks of interpretation which
fill timid men with distress and honest men with shame. And yet
readjustment is imperative. Theology, in the very nature of things,
must progress with the progresses of the world or fall out of its
march. The connection is a profound one, as we have said, between the
secular life of an age and its religious beliefs. The history of the
growth of the Augustinian, the Calvinistic, and the Arminian
theologies is profoundly interesting, when studied in the light of the
vital secular movements of the ages which gave them birth. The present
collapse of the Augustinian theology has its springs distinctly in the
secular sphere. Because the world has been progressing so rapidly,
enlarging its views of all things around it, searching out the secrets
of nature and of man, theology must move on or perish. And, in truth,
in no province of human thought and life is there stronger
fermentation; spirit working out new forms of expression and action,
and working so strongly that the old vessels of the State creed can
contain it no longer; they must be unbound, or it will burst them to
pieces. The belief of this age about God, man's relation to God, God's
work for man, God's way in the government of the world, demands
readjustment quite as much as the biography, the chemistry, the
geology which our fathers handed down to us; and the idea that this
new spirit must be made to let theology alone, that theology is too
sacred, too settled in a fixed form by a Divine hand, to be capable of
progress or expansion, is the nurse of atheism and the mother of
despair.

But it seems to us that a State Churchman, to be entirely consistent,
is bound to maintain this as the fundamental principle of the
constitution of his Church. Room for vital growth and progress cannot
be afforded openly without involving the destruction of the whole
system. The ultimate test is not the word of truth or the mind of the
Spirit, but the construction, more or less liberal, and this is
largely a matter of accident, of formal, and on some points narrowly
dogmatic documents, formulated in the heat of intense controversy
three centuries ago. We recognise fully and cordially rejoice in the
progress of belief which the thinkers and writers of the Anglican
Church have practically secured, in spite of their bonds. There is no
little truth, to our shame be it spoken, in the boast which is often
on their lips, that the progress of theology in our generation is due
far more largely to the labours of Anglican than of Nonconformist
divines.

But the reason of this does not lie in our system; it was founded in
freedom, and to maintain and develop freedom; it lies in our own weak,
timid, and faithless hearts. But the very fact of the large
development of liberal ideas, of an expansive and progressive theology
in the Anglican Church, must surely call not only serious but decisive
attention to the miserably uncertain and insufficient basis on which
it rests. There is nothing broader and firmer for an Anglican of the
liberal school to rest upon than the chance of a liberal
interpretation of stringent articles, by a court the composition of
which is always changing, the most influential member of which is the
State officer, who has risen to the proud pre-eminence of the first
lay subject in the realm by the arts and services of legal and
political life. A latitudinarian chancellor, a Gallio, it may be,
'caring for none of these things'--not but that Gallio was in his day
and with his duties quite right--may pronounce a judgment which fills
one great party in the Church with dismay, and strains the system
nigh to bursting on that side. A pious and conscientious chancellor
may, by another judgment, strain the system as strongly on the other.
But recently the pious and able Lord Hatherley pronounced a judgment,
in which he laid down certain propositions concerning the penal
character of the sufferings of Christ, which led to much searching of
heart, and a great deal of anxious correspondence, before it could be
settled whether with a good conscience the Broad Churchman could
remain in the Church if the dicta of the Voysey judgment were to be
accepted as law. And these swayings on one side or the other are pure
matter of accident. A Dean of the Arches with one bias gives offence
to one party, a Dean with another bias offends equally their
opponents. And Churchmen are kept in constant and painful uncertainty
as to the authoritative decisions which may at any moment be laid down
on matters which they feel to be of supreme, of sacred importance, and
on which they believe that a man, rather than be untrue to his own
convictions, should be prepared to die.

It appears to us that this growing freedom in the Church, the fact of
which we gladly recognise, is revealing, by the new decisions which it
is constantly challenging, the miserably narrow and uncertain basis on
which this boasted culture and liberty rest. What progress the advance
of society compels Church teachers to make is made in violation of the
fundamental pact on which the community rests; and it seems to be
inevitable that sooner or later this fact will become so glaring, that
the attempt to maintain the articles of religion in face of the
opinion of Churchmen will be abandoned in very shame.

So much the better, many broad Churchmen will say. The articles are
the skeleton of a dead theology, it would be well if it were buried
out of sight. Not so, say Sir R. Palmer and the great body of zealous
Churchmen whom he represents so ably. And of the rest--the synagogue
of the Libertines, we might call them--we may surely say that a Church
in which all sorts of opinions are endowed and invested with such
sanction and influence as a State establishment can impart, would
become in time more like a synagogue of Satan than a Church.

We contend, then, strenuously for an _honest_ liberty of thought,
bounded only by the broad limits of Scripture and the teachings of the
Holy Ghost; and we hold that it is only possible to realize it under
our independent conditions. The attempt to square the free movements
of the Christian mind of the community with the legal construction of
ancient Church documents must grow increasingly impracticable, and in
the end hateful to all upright, earnest, truth-loving souls.

But it is not as the minister to the intellectual progress of the
community, though the progress of an age is never secure until it is
keyed by its theology, that the genius of Nonconformity has rendered
the most conspicuous service to the world. Its great mission in all
ages has been to care for the purity and intensity of the spiritual
life of society. Power to live in holier, closer fellowship as
Christians, to make the Church more like what Christ meant it to be,
and through the Church the world, has been the one thing which
Nonconformists have striven to secure by separation, and to cherish
for the help and salvation of mankind. They have done much for the
light of divine truth; they have done more for the life of God in
society. It may be said of them with a truth of which Lucretius little
dreamed, noble dreamer as he was--

      'Et quasi cursores vitäi lampada tradunt.'

And to estimate this fairly we must turn again to the past, to the
_fons et origo_ of our power.

The English Reformation differed in one most essential point, be it
for good, be it for evil, from all the other Reformations of Europe.
It was distinctly a constitutional movement, carried out from the
commencement to the close by the constituted authorities of the land.
It was not forced on the rulers by a burst of popular enthusiasm,
stirred by some great preacher; nor on the other hand, and on this
point we often do it scant justice, was it forced by the rulers on a
careless or unwilling people. In the first and second Parliaments of
Elizabeth, the House of Commons was far in advance both of the Lords
and of the Queen. It was fairly the movement of the nation acting
through its political organs. Hence it had a character of compromise
here in England which it bore nowhere abroad. Various interests had to
be conciliated, as is inevitable in government under a mixed
constitution like ours. The laggards had to be thought of as well as
the vanguard. Catholics as well as Puritans had to be considered in
every bill that was passed through Parliament; and thus our cumbrous
incoherent Church system, the child of policy and compromise, was
shaped and grew.

This method was the parent of many miserable evils. The monarchical
and aristocratic influence was altogether too potent. Had the House of
Commons under Elizabeth been free to carry out its judgment, a Church
might have grown up pure, noble, beautiful, compared with the
present, and might have spared the nation some of the sorest pains of
Nonconformity. A hint of what might have been possible we see in the
curious account of the Church at Northampton in 1571; and still more
perfectly in the first draft of the Constitution of the Hessian
Church. But then the result would have been gained most probably, and
none knew it better than Elizabeth, at the cost of a tremendous and
premature civil war. The key of Elizabeth's policy, and the secret of
the great work which she accomplished, was that beyond even Cecil she
was a national politician. But on the whole, and in the long run, we
are bound to confess that the evils were not without at any rate some
counterbalancing advantages. It is always thus with all great human
institutions and movements. More or less of evil mingles with the good
in all of them; and even in those in which the evil seems largely to
preponderate, there are always some elements of blessing to be set in
the opposite scale.

Now this feature of our English Reformation has had one remarkable
result. Being essentially a compromise, a concession to parties on
this side and on that; being the fruit, not of the toil and travail of
our most spiritual men, but of the politic judgment, of the average
intelligence and spiritual life of the community, the purer spirits,
the men of the higher order, touched with the diviner fire, were from
the very first driven into opposition. Instead of resting in the
movement and ruling it, they found that it stopped miserably short of
what they believed to be practicable, and were sure was right. The
foremost men of the nation in point of spiritual insight and power
from the first were discontent, and then, as time wore on, malcontent,
through the earlier days of the Puritan struggle; and then, when time
brought no reform, but rather tightening of bonds, they were
constrained to become Separatists. A pure and intense, if not
powerful, Nonconformist party began to organize itself, of whose life
and aims in the early days we could say much did our space allow,
which, sealing its testimony with its tears and its blood, handed down
its sacred legacy to succeeding generations. We owe it to the special
constitution of the Anglican Church, the method of whose growth we
have glanced at, that in all generations since the Reformation there
has been a considerable, earnest, enthusiastic body of Christian men
and women in England devoted to the cause of political and
ecclesiastical reform.

This state of things, the coincidence of political and ecclesiastical
tyranny on the one side, and of political and ecclesiastical
Nonconformity on the other, due to the special organization of the
National Church, has had two notable and benign results. It has
identified the spiritual and the secular progress of society in
England. With us the great political questions fell early into
spiritual hands. The men who sympathized with the 'Millenary
Petition,' were the men who commenced under James the Parliamentary
struggle which was conducted to a triumphant issue under Charles. And
if we contrast our own revolutionary struggles with the French, the
last--dare we say the last?--the ghastliest, and most horrible act of
which is but now complete, we shall estimate the full significance of
the fact which we have noted. Then, and not less important, it has
kept our best and most earnest men constantly in opposition--in the
wilderness as it were, voices crying in the desert--whereby the purest
life of the nation has been kept free from the corruption which never
fails to attend on worldly prosperity and power. Thus it has been able
to preserve its life pure, its light intense, to illumine the darkness
and enlighten the dulness of the whole community.

We hear much of what the culture of the Church has done for
Nonconformity; and we gladly acknowledge it. We hear less of what the
life of Nonconformity has done for the Church. The balance of the
exchange would show the largest debt, the debt of life, due to the
Nonconformist side.

And this great Nonconformist party has been in all generations the
salt of our national life, politically as well as spiritually. The
resistance of the seven Bishops to the despotic tolerating edict of
King James, is often quoted by Church writers as a noble contribution
of the Establishment to the cause of political liberty; and justly,
though the Non-jurors must be set in the opposite scale. But we cannot
but think of the nobler Nonconformists, persecuted and ground down, to
whom the edict would have offered a door of escape from grievous ills,
but who stood with the party of resistance, because they cared more
for the liberty of the nation than for their own welfare, and
preferred to suffer still if the constitutional liberties of England
might thereby be sustained. This despised and persecuted band has at
the critical moment ruled our revolutions, it has kindled our
revivals, it has won and watched our liberties. By the stimulus it has
afforded, and the confidence it has created, it has saved us the
tremendous catastrophes, the cataclysms, through which alone progress
has won its way in less favoured countries. And this is one of the
high elements of our happy estate as a people, which we owe
incidentally--no thanks, however, to the founders of the
Establishment--to the special form which the Reformation assumed in
England, and to the organization of our national Church.

Whether the incidental good has or has not been counterbalanced by the
very grave and palpable evils which our establishment of religion
generated, we have no time here to consider. But a comparison of the
actual state of religion, the vigour and vitality of the religious
life in England at this moment, with that of Germany, Scandinavia,
Holland, and Switzerland,[39] where we should say that the Reformation
had at once freer course than in England and more decisive results,
may suggest the question whether, looking at the matter on a large
scale, and through a long day, the loss is altogether on our side.

Now, it is just this Nonconformist element, this light, this leaven,
as we contend, of our national life for ages, which it is proposed by
an able and influential party to bring into the national
Establishment, making it thereby partaker of the fatness of the olive
tree of the State Church. But if our argument is worth anything, it is
just the missing this through all these ages which has been its
salvation. Bring it in, make it rich and powerful, give it State props
and stays, and you will rob it of all that makes its life so pungent
and stimulating, and will rob the nation thereby of an element which
nothing else can supply, and which it would most surely miss. Endow
it, and write over its temple, 'Ichabod: The Lord has left it, the
glory is gone.'

But why should it be so? Here we approach the core of the controversy
between ourselves and the ablest and most liberal of our opponents,
with a glance at which we shall conclude. It may be said, and is said,
by the broadest of the advocates of Establishment: This spirit has
done its work as Nonconformist, and done it bravely; but in that form
its work is done. The time is come, we are told, when it should leave
the wilderness and enter the pale of society, to work from within,
inside the legal pale, at the building up of the Christian State.
Surely, it is urged, there is something unhealthy in the life of a
community when so much that is purest and most intense is
Nonconformist; the more it can be brought in, the better manifestly
for the State. On this point the real controversy with those of our
opponents whom we most respect and sympathize with, hinges; and it can
only be dealt with by opening a yet deeper question, out of which the
true answer must come. In such a world as this, the purest spirit, the
spirit of Christ, must always to a large extent be Nonconformist. It
was so with the Patriarchs, it was so with the Judges, it was so with
the Prophets, it was so with the Lord, it was so with the Apostles, it
was so with the founders of the great Orders, it was so with all the
chief leaders of Reformations and Revivals, who at critical moments
have brought salvation for a nation or for the world.

And it must be so, at least, until some far off millennial day.
Perfect amalgamation of elements is not possible in a world
constituted like this. Unity of form, a visible body comprehending all
the higher movements of the life of society, is a thing we may dream
of, but shall never see. Just as spirit and flesh keep up an interior
antagonism, and progression is possible only through this inward
conflict, so there must be this interior discord in every human
political society; and its progress will be realized by the action on
its mass, its material, of some finer spirit, which must in some
measure dwell apart, feeding its life from a diviner spring.

And this separation is the reverse of isolation. 'In the world, not of
the world,' is the Christian rule, and it is the very opposite of that
of the ascetic. It is the glory of England that there is the freest
opportunity for the play of the influence of the smaller communities,
which are held together by some special sympathies and beliefs, on the
great community at large. And now at last the nation, by opening the
Universities, has allowed to these communities the fullest advantages
for the culture of their own individual life. It appears to us, to sum
up the argument, that the subjection of the free Christian spirit,
which seeks and strives to gather light and inspiration continually in
fellowships which rest on the word of truth and watch for the guidance
of the Spirit, to the regimen of legal authority, just destroys that
in it which makes it mordant to the lust and the selfishness of the
world around it, that which has been kept in comparative purity
through all these ages by being Nonconformist, and which will remain
Nonconformist, or, at any rate--for when there is no Church there can
be no Nonconformity--will remain free with the freedom which reigns
where the Spirit of the Lord is, while the world endures.

No doubt it is at first sight a fair vision, this inclusion of all
decently orderly and decently Christian ministries in the land within
one pale of order and law: one service, one liturgy, one recognised
ministry, one administration of ordinances, throughout the whole
country,--the whole people taught out of the same books, at the same
time, and by men who have the same claim to their attention, until the
nation, in the visible uniformity of its religious acts and
expressions, presents a fair image of one visible Church. But it is a
mere _mirage_, a mocking image, no more. The kind of spiritual order
which would grow up under such conditions would be deathlike and not
lifelike; and the visible uniformity could be maintained only by the
strong repression of all that makes the life and progress of a Church.

There is, in the intellectual sphere, something very like this in
France. The course of instruction for the youth of France, in all the
institutions which are sustained and directed by the State, is very
elaborately and admirably organized. It used to be said of a recent
Minister of Public Instruction, that it was his glory to reflect that
he could sit in his bureau and read from a manual on his table the
lesson which was being taught at that particular moment in all the
public schools in France. Now, the French Government manuals are
admirable. There has been an immense improvement in our English
schoolbooks since their compilers condescended to look into the
schoolbooks of France. The lesson thus given at a particular hour
throughout the country would probably be in every way excellent--the
best of its kind. But what is the broad result of this monstrous
uniformity, this _par ordre supérieur_, in every department of a
youth's education? It turns out admirable scholars, devoted to
scholarship, and admirable theoretical politicians educated in the
philosophy of citizenship above every nation in the world. But when a
tremendous shock, as at this moment, has broken up their accustomed
order, and thrown each in a measure on his own resources to choose the
wisest course in perilous emergencies, an utter want of the highest
faculty--the faculty of self-guidance in emergencies--is revealed; the
people have been as shepherdless sheep, and for want of the higher
leadership, we may say, France has been lost.

We see, then, all that is fair in aspect in this vision of one happy,
united, and prosperous Church in the country, leaving no room for
Nonconformity; but we see too plainly the disastrous cost at which it
would be purchased. And we turn to gaze upon another vision, fairer,
nobler, more fruitful by far, which would realize our aspiration for
the religious future of our land. The country full of a zealous and
independent ministry of the Gospel, independent in the highest sense,
which includes dependence on Christ; each community working out in
entire freedom its conception of what a Church ought to be and what a
Church ought to do, and under the guidance of one whom it recognises
as Christ's minister, ordained for its service by the manifest unction
of the Spirit: diversities of gifts, diversities of methods,
diversities of operations, diversities of results; but each Christian
company honouring the other and rejoicing in its work, recognising
that each one is adding a contribution to a great whole which can be
built up only of these independent cells of spiritual life; the whole
spiritual body, the Church of England, having no visible form of
unity, but manifesting itself spiritually in the whole social estate,
the commercial, intellectual, and political activity of England; a
fair image, it seems to us, whose grand and solemn aspect could only
be parodied by the most elaborate and comprehensive pattern of a
law-made National Church.

The broad truth about our times from a spiritual point of view is--and
it is a truth on which both Churchmen and Nonconformists may
stand--that we have utterly outgrown the power of Establishment to
help us, if it ever had any; and that the spiritual conversion and
education of the community must be carried on by some higher method,
or abandoned in despair. We are struggling out of the _pupa_ state of
protection, when the ark of our religious estate was slung tenderly by
a net-work of bands and ligatures to the government wall. Slowly, with
sore effort and pain, as is the way with all these supreme acts of
development, we are emerging into a higher, because freer and more
spiritual stage of our religious life as a people. Anxiously and
fearfully those who have been trained under the shadow of Protection
watch the process. We Independents, who have been nursed in a freer
school, look calmly on the pains and struggles: we have faith in the
destiny of the fair, bright-winged creature which is being born.

FOOTNOTES:

[36] Wordsworth's 'Excursion.'

[37] He must not be confounded with Thomas Goodwin, also an
Independent, who was a member of the Assembly.

[38] This was not, so to speak, Robinson's private word. It was the
tradition of the Separatists. Greenwood writes from his prison to the
same effect in Elizabeth's days.

[39] The action of Nonconformity in reviving religious life, as in the
Free Church of the Canton de Vaud, is a very instructive chapter of
modern Continental ecclesiastical history.



ART. VI.--_The Dialogues of Plato._ Translated into English, with
Analyses and Introductions, by B. JOWETT, M.A., Master of Balliol
College, Oxford and Regius Professor of Greek. Four vols. 8vo. Oxford,
1871.


PROFESSOR JOWETT has accomplished a great feat in giving to the world
a complete English translation of Plato's 'Dialogues;' for it
certainly is no small matter to have placed Plato in the hands of
all, conveyed in language, divested, as far as possible, of mere
technicalities and scholasticism, and put in a form equally accessible
and alluring to average students of ancient or modern philosophy. And
as this is a real benefit to non-classical readers, so the work itself
is a real translation, in so far as nothing is intentionally omitted.
We have the genuine Platonic dialogues in their integrity, without
foot-note or comment, in the place of the excerpts or extracts which
the nature of Mr. Grote's great work rendered necessary, and of the
occasional and somewhat too frequent omissions of passages in Dr.
Whewell's equally laudable, but, perhaps, not equally successful,
endeavour to present Plato--in part, at least--in a popular form to
the English reader. From the very nature of Plato's philosophy, which
is to a considerable extent tentative and progressive, and which is
constantly working out with variations the same leading ideas, it is
essential to the English student to have the work complete. The
_Republic_, of which an excellent version by Messrs. Davies and
Vaughan has for some time been before the world, is to a
considerable extent a _résumé_ of Plato's earlier views--an epitome of
Platonism, in fact; but a student may know the _Republic_ fairly well,
and yet have a vast deal to learn from such dialogues as the
_Theætetus_, the _Philebus_, the _Parmenides_, the _Timæus_--all very
difficult in their way; or from the more genial _Protagoras_, _Phædo_,
and _Gorgias_; or the more transcendental and imaginative _Phædrus_
and _Symposium_, which last may be called the most fascinating and
brilliant of the dialogues, excepting always the _Republic_ itself.
Some of the minor, easier, and shorter dialogues, which fall within
the range of average school reading--the _Apology_, the _Crito_, the
_Menexenus_, the _Lysis_, the _Charmides_, the _Ion_--hardly touch the
Socratic philosophy in its deeper sense; they are genial sketches of
the idiosyncrasies of the wise old man, or deal with matters distinct
from dialectics properly so called. Very little of Plato proper (so to
speak) will be learnt from these alone. But the subtle reasonings of
Plato, in some of his greater works, are sufficiently difficult to
make even the best Greek scholars glad to have occasional recourse to
studied English versions, on which they can with tolerable confidence
rely.

Mr. Jowett has not given us a general introductory dissertation on
Plato, or Socrates, or on the Sophists, or on the influence of
ῥητορικὴ, or on the progress of Greek philosophy--subjects in
themselves, as he doubtless felt, almost interminable, and already so
well discussed in Mr. Grote's great work, 'Plato and the other
Companions of Socrates,' and his 'History of Greece.' His preface,
comprised in the modest limits of four pages of large print, might
seem intended as a protest against the licence of writing long
introductions, which, after all, are, perhaps, seldom read. We could
have wished, indeed, to see some opinion expressed on a point of not
less interest than importance--how far the Socrates of Plato, who
differs so widely from the Socrates of Aristophanes, partook of the
Platonic _ideality_, and was a typical and imaginary talker, used as a
peg, so to speak, to hang speculative opinions upon, rather than the
real author of all or any of the conversations attributed to him by
his pupil. Mr. Jowett, however, though he has given us no general
introduction, has been liberal, even to diffuseness, in the special
introductions to the separate dialogues. In these, which are drawn
with a masterly hand, and are of great value and interest, he gives us
the object and scope, as well as the condensed and analyzed matter of
each dialogue, so as to form a most useful summary to the right
understanding of it. Such introductions, though they add greatly to
the bulk of the work, are necessary, and all editors and translators
of single dialogues have adopted them, _e.g._, Dr. Thompson in his
_Phædrus_ and _Georgias_, Mr. Cope in his translation of the latter
dialogue, Mr. Campbell in his _Theætetus_, Messrs. Davies and Vaughan
in their translation of the _Republic_, Professor Geddes in his
edition of the _Phædo_, and Stallbaum in all his dialogues. In fact,
the diffuseness and almost desultoriness of some dialogues--the
ποικιλία, or variety of matter introduced--render a clear and
well-arranged analysis of each absolutely necessary for the right
understanding of it. Such a work, with the further advantage of a good
index of Platonic words and topics, by Dr. Alfred Day, had been
published the year before (Bell and Daldy, 1870). By such aids, we
more easily attain the real scope of a dialogue than by the perusal of
the dialogue itself. A casual reader would think that the _Phædrus_
and the _Symposium_ are primarily essays on 'Platonic Love,' or the
_Gorgias_ a satire upon the vanity of the Sophists, and that each of
these ends with a topic totally alien from that with which it
commenced. Thus Plato might appear a desultory essayist rather than a
close thinker. But when a student is forewarned that the _Phædrus_ is,
in fact, a critical and psychological essay on the true principles of
rhetoric, or, rather, of dialectic as distinct from rhetoric; that the
point of the _Gorgias_ (in the words of the Master of Trinity) is 'a
discussion of the ethical principles which conduct to political
well-being,' or, as Mr. Jowett somewhat differently puts it, 'not to
answer questions about a future world, but to place in antagonism the
true and false life, and to contrast the judgments and opinions of men
with judgment according to the truth;' and that the _Symposium_ is a
sketch of the course of transcendental thought and education in the
science of abstract beauty, which can alone fit man for the
inheritance and enjoyment of a blessed eternity;--when all this is
made perfectly clear to a reader at the outset, he not only sees each
dialogue in quite a new light, but what is far more important, he then
only realizes why it was written, and what it was really designed to
inculcate. Thus much we have said, almost apologetically, for the
addition of so very much introductory matter in four octavo volumes,
already of a bulk sufficient to discourage some of the less
enterprising class of readers.

Viewed as a literary composition, and as emanating from one who has
the highest reputation for Greek scholarship, as well as for
Platonism, we must plainly say that Professor Jowett's work has its
serious demerits as well as its merits. The style is somewhat jaunty
rather than closely faithful to the original. It is throughout far
more of a paraphrase than of a translation, in the accurate sense of
the word. Over the verbal difficulties, the subtle syntactical
niceties, even the grammatical meaning of the more involved sentences,
the author passes very lightly. He shows that unconcern for Greek, as
mere Greek, that ῥᾳστώνη of an interpreter of philosophy
rather than of a philosopher's very words, which we should hardly have
looked for in a professor of the language. The grammarian, in fact, is
so merged in the philosopher that his peculiar province has become
quite secondary. No doubt considerable latitude must be conceded to
those who would win the attention of purely English readers. Between
the Greek and the English idioms, where no compromise can be made, the
preference must be given to the latter; otherwise, the version will
be, or, at least, is liable to be, somewhat stiff, pedantic, awkward,
and wanting in that brilliant and genial spirit of _talk_ that the
original undoubtedly had to a Greek, and which, in truth, gives the
chief fascination to the exquisite and perfect language of Plato.

With all this, and more that might be pleaded in Mr. Jowett's defence
or excuse, there are certainly very many of his renderings which show
a laxity that is neither necessary for the relief of the English
reader nor satisfactory to the accurate Greek scholar. There seem to
us even indications of haste, which, though not, perhaps, to be
wondered at, when the vastness of the whole work is considered, must
certainly be set down as a blemish in the performance of it. We may go
considerably further, and express our fears that actual errors in the
rendering are by no means very infrequent. We say this, not in a
random way, nor from a casual inspection, but after having carefully
gone over _five_ of the dialogues (_Phædo_, _Phædrus_, _Theætetus_,
_Philebus_, _Symposium_) _verbatim_ with Plato and Mr. Jowett's
translation. Some passages we have noted for critical remark, not, of
course, as exhausting all that could be said with truth, but as
examples of the kind of incompleteness, or vagueness, or faultiness of
rendering of which we have taken occasion rather seriously to
complain.

Let us take first the opening of the _Symposium_, of which the
following is a _close_ translation, made with due regard to tenses,
moods, arrangement of words, and other niceties of the original:

      '_Apollodorus._ I flatter myself I am pretty well practised
      in the matter you are asking about. The fact is, only the
      day before yesterday I chanced to be going up to town from
      my house at Phalerum, when an acquaintance of mine, who had
      caught sight of me from behind, called to me from a
      distance, and with a joke on my name as he called,
      exclaimed, "_Ho there! you, Apollodorus, of Phalerum, wait
      for me!_" So I stopped till he came up. "Why, Apollodorus!"
      he said, "I was looking for you just now, as I wanted to
      hear a full account about the party Agathon gave to
      Socrates and Alcibiades and the rest of the company who
      were present at the feast,--in a word, to learn what was
      said in their speeches about _Love_. Another friend did
      indeed essay to give me some account--he had heard it from
      Phoenix, the son of Philippus, and he said that you also
      knew--but, to confess the truth, he had nothing definite to
      tell. Do _you_, therefore, give me information in full; for
      none so fit as yourself to report the conversations of your
      bosom-friend. But first tell me," he said, "Were you
      present yourself at this party, or not?"'

We do not think that the above, though quite a literal version,
strikes on the English ear as in any way harsh. Whether the much
looser rendering of Professor Jowett has a more truly English ring, or
any other advantage, as a set-off to the evident laxity of it, we
leave as an open question for others to decide. Here it is _in
extenso_:--

      'I believe that I am prepared with an answer. For the day
      before yesterday I was coming from my own home at Phalerum
      to the city, and one of my acquaintances who had caught a
      sight of the back of me at a distance, in a merry mood
      commanded me to halt. "Apollodorus," he cried, "O thou man
      of Phalerum, halt!" So I did as I was bid; and then he
      said, "I was looking for you, Apollodorus, only just now,
      that I might hear about the discourses in praise of love,
      which were delivered by Socrates, Alcibiades, and others,
      at Agathon's supper. Phoenix, the son of Philip, told
      another person who told me of them, and he said that you
      knew; but he was himself very indistinct, and I wish that
      you would give me an account of them. Who but you should be
      the reporter of the words of your friend? And first tell
      me," he said, "were you present at this meeting?"'

It might, perhaps, seem to savour of pedantry, to remark, that the
nice distinctions between the aorists διαπυθέσθαι and διήγησαι and the
imperfect διηγεῖτο, are needlessly slurred over; but the clause παίζων
ἅμα τῇ κλήσει must mean something more than 'in merry mood.' We do not
know precisely what the joke was; but probably φαληρὸς or φαλαρὸς was
applied to one who had a bare patch on his head, a white whisker
perhaps, or some such facial peculiarity.

Let this, however, pass. We admit there is no serious error here, but
the passage will fairly well illustrate the kind of paraphrastic
version Professor Jowett has generally adopted,--we do not say
wrongly, for we repeat that it is quite a matter of taste and
judgment; and neither of these qualities in so experienced a scholar
is it our desire to impugn. His object was to give the _matter_ of
Plato, certainly not to compose 'a crib' for young students. But,
whatever the motive was, we are rather afraid that this slipshod way
of translating, and of inverting or perverting the order of the Greek
words, not unfrequently borders closely on inaccuracy. For instance,
and not to go further than the first chapter of this same _Symposium_
(p. 173, A.), Apollodorus says, in his impulsive way, that he has kept
close company with Socrates for something less than three years;
'Before that, I used to run from one to another without any fixed
object; and though I persuaded myself I was doing something, I was the
most miserable of men; aye, as miserable as you (Glaucon) are, in
thinking you ought to do anything rather than study philosophy.'

The point of the passage is the hit at his friend as one of the
χρηματιστικοὶ (not 'traders,' but) those absorbed in
money-making, and the eulogy of his own novitiate in philosophy. In
Mr. Jowett's version the passage stands thus: 'I used to be running
about the world, thinking that I was doing something, and would have
done anything rather than be a philosopher; I was almost as miserable
as you are now.' A little further down (173, D.) he appears to us to
miss the true sense, or, at least, to misrepresent it. The friend
(ἕταιρος) says to Apollodorus, 'How ever you came to be
called by this name, "The Excitable," I know not; for in your
conversations you are always the same; you are savage at yourself and
everybody else except Socrates.'

An impulsive man does things by fits and starts, and does not, like
Apollodorus, in this matter at least, follow a consistent course. We
doubt if the right meaning is conveyed by the following: 'True in this
to your old name, which, however deserved, I know not how you
acquired, of Apollodorus the madman, for your humour is always to be
out of humour with yourself and with everybody except Socrates.'

One more instance of what seems a very slovenly rendering, we will add
from _Symp._, p. 179, E. In this passage every clause of the original
seems, for some reason inexplicable to us, to be disarranged, and the
whole to be hashed up, as it were, into a new hodge-podge:--

      'Far other was the reward of the true love of Achilles
      towards his lover Patroclus--his lover and not his love
      (the notion that Patroclus was the beloved one is a foolish
      error into which Æschylus has fallen, for Achilles was
      surely the fairer of the two, fairer also than all the
      other heroes; and he was much younger, as Homer informs us,
      and he had no beard). And greatly as the gods honour the
      virtue of love, still the return of love on the part of the
      beloved to the lover is more admired, and valued, and
      rewarded by them, for the lover has a nature more divine
      and more worthy of worship. Now Achilles was quite aware,
      for he had been told by his mother, that he might avoid
      death, and return home, and live to a good old age, if he
      abstained from slaying Hector. Nevertheless, he gave his
      life to revenge his friend, and dared to die, not only on
      his behalf, but after his death. Wherefore the gods
      honoured him even above Alcestis, and sent him to the
      Islands of the Blest.'

What Plato really says, with all the logical accuracy of carefully
balanced sentences, is as follows:--

      'Far different was the honour they paid to Achilles, the
      son of Thetis, in sending him to the Islands of the Blest,
      because when he knew from his mother that he was destined
      to die on the field if he slew Hector, but if he did not,
      to return home and die old, he had the courage to make the
      nobler choice,--to take the part of his lover Patroclus and
      avenge his death, and so not only to die for him, but to do
      more, to die after him (_i.e._, when he could no longer
      help him). _That_ was the reason why the gods held him in
      such extraordinary regard, and paid him such special
      honour, viz., because he held his lover in such high
      esteem. Æschylus, by the way, talks absurdly in saying that
      it was Achilles who was the lover of Patroclus. For
      Achilles was much better looking, not only than Patroclus,
      but than all the heroes without exception; and besides
      that, beardless, and so greatly his junior, as Homer
      affirms. But, be that as it may, it is a truth that the
      gods do hold in special honour this chivalrous spirit when
      it is shown in attachment to another; albeit they feel more
      regard and admiration, and have more disposition to confer
      benefits, when the favourite shows affection for his lover,
      than when the lover does so towards his favourite; for the
      lover has more of the divine in him than the favourite,
      since he is inspired by them. For these reasons also they
      honoured Achilles more than Alcestis, by sending him to the
      Isles of the Blest.'

A comparison of these two versions will show how widely--we had nearly
said, how recklessly--the Greek Professor departs from the letter of
his author. A conspicuous example of this occurs also at p. 194, E.,
where about one hundred Greek words are expressed in less than seventy
of English; whereas the differences of idiom require, as a rule, in
really accurate translation from Greek, the use of, at the very least,
one-third more English words. The difficulty to us is to see wherein
lies the gain on the side of the loose paraphrase--unless, perhaps, in
brevity, _i.e._, in giving something less than Plato gives. Even as a
matter of accuracy, we might object to the rendering of τὴν ἀρετὴν τὴν
περὶ τὸν ἔρωτα, 'the virtue of love.' It means evidently, 'bravery
shown in the cause of love,' which surely is a very different thing.
So, too, in p. 183, A., δουλείας δουλεύειν οἵας οὐδ' ἂν δοῦλος οὐδεὶς,
is not 'to be a servant of servants,' but 'to perform services such as
no menial would.' In p. 186, E., ἡ ἰατρικὴ πᾶσα διὰ τοῦ θεοῦ τούτου
κυβερνᾶται, 'it is by the influence of love (_i.e._, a knowledge of
the natural loves and desires) that the whole art of the physicians is
regulated,' Mr. Jowett wrongly refers τοῦ θεοῦ to Æsculapius, whereas
Ἔρως is clearly meant. Just below (p. 187, B.), ὁ ῥυθμὸς ἐκ τοῦ ταχέος
καὶ βραδέος γέγονε, is not 'rhythm is composed of elements short and
long'--a proposition hardly intelligible--but 'time (in music) is made
up of quick and slow,' _i.e._, when two instruments either slacken or
quicken their pace so as to harmonize with each other and keep true
time. And in p. 205, D., τὸ μὲν κεφάλαιόν ἐστι πᾶσα ἡ τῶν ἀγαθῶν
ἐπιθυμία καὶ τοῦ εὐδαιμονεῖν, ὁ μέγιστός τε καὶ δολερὸς ἔρως παντὶ, is
not, 'You may say generally that all desire of good and happiness is
due to the great and subtile power of love,' but 'Love is, in its most
general sense, all that desire which men feel for good things and for
happiness--that greatest of all loves, which every man finds so
deceptive.' The meaning is, that no form of love is so generally
deceptive and disappointing as the desire to be happy. Again, in p.
206, D., is a passage very badly rendered. All the delicate and
accurate points in the imagery are missed, and the coyness of an
animal not in a state of desire, compared with the free and ecstatic
surrender of itself to the favourite when it is so disposed, so
exquisitely expressed by the Platonic words, is not expressed at all,
or in phrases neither appropriate nor significant. The sense, in fact,
is very superficially given. The philosopher is speaking of mental,
not of bodily τόκος, and means to say that when an idea has been
conceived, the author of it keeps it to himself till he can find a
congenial person (the καλὸς, and not the αἰσχρὸς) who will help him to
bring it into the world. The same notion exactly occurs in _Theætet._,
p. 150, and is repeated more explicitly shortly below, p. 209, B.,
though even that passage is very inaccurately rendered:--

      'And he who in youth has the seed of these implanted in
      him, and is himself inspired, when he comes to maturity
      desires to beget and generate. And he wanders about seeking
      beauty, that he may beget offspring--for in deformity he
      will beget nothing--and embraces the beautiful rather than
      the deformed; and when he finds a fair, and noble, and
      well-nurtured soul, and there is a union of the two in one
      person, he gladly embraces him, and to such an one he is
      full of fair speech about virtue, and the nature and
      pursuits of a good man.'

In this version the words, 'and there is a union of the two in one
person,' are hardly intelligible. But in a correct rendering, as
follows, their meaning is at once apparent:--

      'When, again, one of these (viz., whose aspirations are for
      mental rather than for bodily offspring) has been pregnant
      with some great idea from early youth--as may be expected
      in one possessing a god-like nature--and when at length,
      the proper age having arrived, he first feels a desire to
      bring forth and give it birth, then he, too, I take it,
      goes about looking for the beautiful, on which (_i.e._, in
      contact with which) he may generate; for on the unsightly
      he will never be able to do so. Accordingly, he not only
      likes to keep company (ἀσπάζεται) with the persons (bodies)
      which are comely rather than with those which are ugly,
      as being in a condition of pregnancy, but, whenever he
      falls in with a soul which is beautiful, noble, and apt
      to learn, then he does heartily welcome the union of the
      two (viz., the handsome body combined with the beautiful
      soul); and in his converse with such a man as this, he at
      once finds himself at no loss for words about virtue, and
      the duties that a good man ought to engage in, and his
      pursuits.'

Of course, all this is said in respect of that philosophic and
unsensual παιδεραστία which is a favourite fiction with Plato. A
well-disposed youth, who has some idea or theory to communicate, is
supposed to keep it to himself till he meets with some older friend,
whose mental qualities, as well as bodily appearance, inspire him with
affection and confidence. The result is the τόκος ἐν καλῷ, the
bringing out the idea or eliciting and giving tangible form to it, by
the aid, the sympathy, and the co-operation of the good-looking and
congenial friend.

A little below (p. 210, D.), an erroneous rendering goes far to make
nonsense of a very grand and transcendental passage--one of the first
passages, probably, in all Plato. The philosopher says, that a youth
should be trained gradually in the science of beauty, rising ever
higher and higher in the objects of his admiration, 'that by looking
to the beautiful, now wide in its scope (πολὺ ἤδη), he may no longer
by a menial service (δουλεύων ὥσπερ οἰκέτης) to the beauty in some
one--that is, being content to admire the comeliness of a stripling,
or of some particular person, or institution--became a feeble and
trifling character, but, betaking himself to the vast ocean of beauty,
and contemplating it, may give birth to many fine and stately
discourses and sentiments on the boundless field of philosophy.'

The confusion of Mr. Jowett's rendering here appears to us
extraordinary. 'Being not like a servant in love with the beauty of
one youth, or man, or institution, himself a slave, mean and
calculating, but looking at the abundance of beauty, and drawing
towards the sea of beauty, and creating and beholding(!) many fair and
noble thoughts and notions in boundless love of wisdom.'

We are compelled to ask, in all earnestness, Would such construing as
this be tolerated from a boy of the sixth form in any public school in
the kingdom? Our suspicions are aroused, that the Oxford Greek
Professor has admitted aid from less competent hands, and, in a too
generous confidence, has failed to look closely over the contributions
which he invited and received. Plato, we cannot doubt, in the above
passage, has been expounding his own aspirations for leaving behind
him what he elsewhere calls 'offspring of the mind,'--viz., immortal
records of his own genius in the composition of his Dialogues. He goes
on to speak of the ultimate attainment of that highest καλὸν, the
knowledge of abstract science, or rather of science, ἐπιστήμη, in the
abstract; and in language evidently borrowed from the economy of the
Eleusinian mysteries, he proceeds to ask what must be the happiness of
those who, as the result of a right discipline on earth, attain
hereafter to the enjoyment of the τὸ θεῖον μονοεῖδες, the Beatific
Vision of God, or rather (if we might say) of 'Godness,' unmixed with
human frailties and imperfections. The passage itself reads almost
like one inspired; and it is very remarkable how exalted and spiritual
an idea of the Deity Plato had realized. He seems to transcend the
_anthropomorphic_ doings and sayings attributed to the Jehovah of the
Old Testament. In rendering such a passage, Mr. Jowett should have
devoted especial pains to attain the closest accuracy possible, for
every word is a jewel. Yet he wrongfully renders τὰ καλὰ ἐπιτηδεύματα,
'fair actions,' and τὰ καλὰ μαθήματα, 'fair notions,' (p. 211, C.),
whereas 'institutions' (laws, &c.), and 'lessons,' or 'instructions,'
are really meant; and the important words, ἐκεῖνο ᾧ δεῖ θεωμένου,
'contemplating that beauty by and with the proper faculty, _i.e._, νῷ,
with mind, not with mere eyes,' he omits, apparently because ὁρῶντι ᾧ
ὁρατὸν τὸ καλὸν occurs a little further on.

We have devoted some space to the examination of the _Symposium_,
because we have found in it, perhaps more than elsewhere, indications
of hasty and superficial rendering. Yet Mr. Jowett himself says, in
his introduction, 'Of all the works of Plato, the _Symposium_ is the
most perfect in form,--more than any other Platonic dialogue, it is
Greek both in style and subject, having a beauty "as of a statue."'
Special care, therefore, should have been taken in presenting it
accurately to the English reader. Turn we now to the _Phædo_,--that
remarkable essay, which has exercised more influence than some are
willing to suppose on all subsequent theology, and which, though of
little weight as an argument in _proof_ of the immortality of the
soul, is of such special interest as standing alone among the writings
of the age in advocating anything approaching to the Christian idea of
a good man's hopes and prospects of a happy existence hereafter. For
even Aristotle, it is well known, in a professed treatise on the laws
and ends that influence men's action (the 'Ethics'), in no case
appeals to moral responsibility, obedience to Divine commands, or the
hopes of a happy eternity. He does not seem to rise above the
conception of the half-conscious Homeric ghost or εἴδωλον wandering
disconsolate in the shades below. And even of this state of existence
he speaks doubtfully (Eth. i. ch. x.) In this treatise, the _Phædo_,
we may say at once, and with pleasure, Mr. Jowett has given us a
tolerably close, as well as a fairly accurate rendering throughout. It
is hard indeed to believe that the two dialogues can have been
translated by the same hand. Let us cite, as a good example, the
following extract (p. 66, B.):--

      'And when they consider all this, must not true
      philosophers make a reflection, of which they will speak to
      one another in such words as these: We have found, they
      will say, a path of speculation which seems to bring us and
      the argument to the conclusion, that while we are in the
      body, and while the soul is mingled with this mass of evil,
      our desire will not be satisfied, and our desire is of the
      truth? For the body is a source of endless trouble to us by
      reason of the mere requirement of food; and also is liable
      to diseases which overtake and impede us in the search
      after truth, and by filling us as full of loves, and lusts,
      and fears, and fancies, and idols, and every sort of folly,
      prevents our ever having, as people say, so much as a
      thought. For whence come wars, and fightings, and
      factions--whence, but from the lusts of the body? For wars
      are occasioned by the love of money, and money has to be
      acquired for the sake and in the service of the body; and
      in consequence of all these things, the time which ought to
      be given to philosophy is lost. Moreover, if there is time,
      and an inclination towards philosophy, yet the body
      introduces a turmoil, and confusion, and fears into the
      course of speculation, and hinders us from seeing the
      truth; and all experience shows that if we would have pure
      knowledge of anything, we must be quit of the body, and the
      soul in herself must behold all things in themselves; then,
      I suppose, that we shall attain that which we desire, and
      of which we say that we are lovers, and that is wisdom: not
      while we live, but after death, as the argument shows; for
      if, while in company with the body, the soul cannot have
      pure knowledge, one of two things seems to follow--either
      knowledge is not to be attained at all, or, if at all,
      after death. For then, and not till then, the soul will be
      in herself alone and without the body.'

There is not a word we could wish altered in the above, except,
indeed, that 'a path of speculation which seems to bring us _and the
argument_ to the conclusion,' should rather have been, 'a kind of path
which carries us on, _with reason for our guide_ (μετὰ τοῦ λόγου), in
the speculation.' A little below (67, B.), μὴ καθαρῷ καθαροῦ
ἐφάπτεσθαι, is not exactly, 'no impure thing is allowed to approach
the pure'--a version that savours too much of the language of
Christian theology--but, 'to realize the pure with that faculty which
is not itself pure,' _i.e._, with νοῦς not entirely dissociated from
σῶμα. The abstract, he says, cannot be realized by the intellect while
bound up with the concrete. In p. 80, B., τὸ νοητὸν and τὸ ἀνόητον are
not 'the intelligible and the unintelligible;' nor, in p. 81, D., is
τὸ ὁρατὸν, 'sight.' Everyone knows that τὰ αἰσθητὰ, 'the sensuous,' or
things which are the objects of sense, are opposed to τὰ νοητὰ, those
which are abstract, and can be realized only by the mind; and a soul,
or ghost, is said μετέχειν τοῦ ὁρατοῦ, not as 'cloyed with sight,' but
as 'having yet something of the visible,' or concrete, _i.e._, some
lingering remnants of _body_, which render it visible.

The passage in p. 82, E., is rather difficult, and has been
misunderstood by others. Mr. Jowett's rendering is, 'the soul is only
able to view existence through the bars of a prison, and not in her
own nature; she is wallowing in the mire of all ignorance; and
philosophy, seeing the horrible nature of her confinement, and that
the captive through desire is led to conspire in her own captivity,'
&c. We think that τοῦ εἱργμοῦ ἡ δεινότης means, 'the strong tie, or
hold, that the prison--_i.e._, the body--has on the soul;' and that
ὅτι δι' ἐπιθυμίας ἐστὶ means, 'that it, the prison, is actually
_liked_.' Thus, says Plato, attached as the soul is to the allurements
and pleasures of the body, the latter 'helps the captive to remain in
captivity.' Thus, in Æsch., Prom. v. 39:

      Τὸ συγγενές τοι δεινὸν ἥ θ' ὁμιλία,

and elsewhere, δεινὸν, 'a serious matter,' is opposed to φαῦλον, what
is trifling and unimportant.

On the whole, this version of the _Phædo_ is well and carefully
executed. As a treatise, it is of the highest interest, if only from
the firm belief it everywhere shows in the immortality of the soul--a
belief which is nothing short of a real faith, and which seems almost
to _labour_ at demonstration by varied and often very subtle
arguments, as if the writer was half conscious, all the while, that
demonstration in such a matter is quite beyond the province either of
logic or physics. But 'dialectics' were thought equal to any
difficulty. Says Cebes (p. 72, E.), 'Yes, I entirely think so; we are
not walking in a vain imagination; but I am confident in the belief
that there truly is such a thing as living again, and that _the living
spring from the dead_; and that the souls of the dead are in
existence, and that the good souls have a better portion than the
evil.' In this remarkable passage we recognise the same sublime faith
which gave birth to the ecstatic exclamation, 'I _know_ that my
Redeemer liveth,' and also the germs of the doctrine of a Resurrection
in τὸ ἀναβιώσκεσθαι τοὺς τεθνηκότας. No pagan writer before Plato had
attained to such exalted ideas of the destiny of a good man, _to be
with God_ in the life hereafter. He is full of hope, Socrates says (p.
63, B.), that he shall meet in the other world the wise and the good
who have departed hence before him, and still more sure that he shall
go to those blessed beings whom (with his usual acquiescence in the
popular mythology) he calls ἀγαθοὶ δεσπόται. The doctrine of
Resurrection is not really distinct from that of Metempsychosis, both
being in fact held by Orphic or Pythagorean teachers (ὁ παλαιὸς λόγος,
p. 70, C.), as was that of a final judgment, often insisted on by
Plato, as by Pindar and Æschylus before him. The fixed notion with the
ancient physicists was, that _soul_ (ψυχὴ, or vitality) was air
(πνεῦμα, _spiritus_, _animus_, ἄνεμος),--for all turn upon this
notion. When a person died, his last gasp was supposed to be the vital
air or soul leaving the body, and departing into its kindred and
eternal ether. The air, in fact, was thought to be full of souls; and
each nascent form, whether of man or animal, in drawing its first
breath, might inhale _a life_, _i.e._, the actual ψυχὴ that had
animated some former body. Hence arose the notion of cycles of
existence, of more or less duration, and of triple lives of probation
on earth (Pind. ol. ii. 68). This doctrine of a return to earth after
some period of residence in Hades is plainly affirmed, _Phæd._, p.
107, E., and 113, A., and _Phædr._, p. 249. One of the penalties of a
misspent life was thought to be a detention on earth in an inferior
and grovelling state of existence. 'If we tell the wicked' (says
Socrates in _Theætetus_, p. 177, A.) 'that if they do not get rid of
that cleverness of theirs, that place which is pure and free from evil
will never receive them after they are dead, but that here on earth
they will have to pass an existence like to themselves--bad
associating with bad; all this they will hear as the language of fools
addressed to men of cunning and genius.'

The oft-expressed fear of the loss, destruction, or dissipation of the
soul after death, lest, as Cebes says (_Phæd._, p. 70, A.), 'the
moment it leaves the body it should be dispersed and fly away like a
puff of wind or smoke, and be nowhere,' arose from the philosophical
value attached to the soul as the organ and instrument, or perhaps the
seat, of true φρόνησις, intellectuality, and comprehension of things
abstract and divine. This faculty the thinkers of this school regarded
as impeded and retarded by the union with the body. Of nervous force
and brain-power as the real source of intelligence, they had no idea.
In this respect, modern science is even more materialistic than
ancient philosophy. 'If,' says Socrates (p. 107, B.), 'the soul is
really immortal, what care should be taken of her, not only in respect
of the portion of time which is called life, but of eternity! And the
danger of neglecting her, from this point of view, does indeed appear
to be awful. If death had only been the end of all, the wicked would
have had a good bargain in dying, for they would have been happily
quit not only of their body, but of their own evil, together with
their souls. But now, as the soul plainly appears to be immortal,
there is no release or salvation from evil except the attainment of
the highest virtue and wisdom (ὡς βελτίστην καὶ φρονιμωτάτην
γενέσθαι).' Life, then, according to Plato, should be a constant
process of assimilation to God (ὁμοίωσις θεῷ, _Theæt._, p. 176, B.), a
discipline and a learning how to die (_Phæd._, p. 67, D.), because God
is the type and fount as it were of all justice, wisdom, and truth.
'The release from evil,' ἀποφυγὴ κακῶν, was a favourite topic with
Plato, whose mind had received a strongly cynical impression from the
prevalent selfishness and injustice of the Athenians, and especially
from the crowning act of fanatical injustice, as he considered it, in
putting Socrates to death. That, in his view, was simply to extinguish
truth, to banish justice, to ignore intellectuality, reason, and
philosophy as the guides of life. His speculations on the _origin_ of
evil, and the permission of its existence on earth, are very
interesting. In the grand passage (_Theætet._, p. 176, A.), he thinks
that its existence, as a correlative of good, is a necessary law,
_i.e._, there would be no such thing as _good_ if it were not in
contrast with what is bad; just as we can conceive of cold only by the
opposite quality of heat, or death by the contrasted state of life.
But Plato had no idea of an evil spirit--the Semitic doctrine of a
Satan--as the personal author of evil. In _Republ._, ii. p. 379, C.,
he says that God is the author only of good; but as there is more of
evil in the world than of good, God is not the cause of all things
that happen to man; 'but of evil we must look for _some other causes'_
(ἄλλ' ἄττα δεῖ ζητεῖν τὰ αἴτια, ἀλλ' οὐ τὸν θεόν). The Aryan mind did
not realize the personality of an Evil Being. 'The Aryan nations had
no devil' ('Chips from a German Workshop,' ii., p. 235). Of penal
abodes in the other world, however, Socrates had an idea; in truth,
the doctrine of a purgatory (δικαιωτήριον, _Phædr._, p. 249, A.; τὸ
τῆς τίσεως τε καὶ δίκης δεσμωτήριον, _Gorg._, p. 523, B.), as well as
of a hell, is distinctly Platonic. Into the one the ἰάσιμοι, into the
other the ἀνίατοι, the curable and the incurable sinners respectively
go. (_Gorg._, p. 526, B.) So _Phædo_, p. 113, D.:--

      'When the dead arrive at the place to which the genius of
      each severally conveys them, first of all, they have
      sentence passed upon them, as they have lived well and
      piously or not. And those who appear to have lived neither
      well nor ill go to the river Acheron, and mount such
      conveyances as they can get, and are carried in them to the
      lake, and there they dwell and are purified of their evil
      deeds, and suffer the penalty of the wrongs which they have
      done to others, and are absolved, and receive the rewards
      of their good deeds according to their deserts. But those
      who appear to be incurable by reason of the greatness of
      their crimes--who have committed many and terrible deeds of
      sacrilege, murders foul and violent, or the like--such are
      hurled into Tartarus, which is their suitable destiny, and
      _they never come out_.' (Jowett, p. 464.)

The whole of this theory is developed in detail in the tenth book of
the _Republic_.

Thinkers will not be deterred from asking themselves, with all
solemnity and in all love of truth, How far is this doctrine of a hell
really a revealed truth, or a Platonic speculation, or both? If it is
both one and the other, either Plato anticipated Christian Revelation,
or Revelation confirmed Plato. Plato, without doubt, did not _invent_
a doctrine which was familiar to the Semitic theology long before him.
Still, it may be true that the Platonic theories are totally
independent of Jewish traditions, and that the belief in a penal state
of existence after death (so clearly developed in the well-known
passage of Virgil, _Æn._, vi. 735, _seq._), like that of a last
Judgment, had its origin rather in the speculation of mystics, and
passed into the popular theology of Christian teachers. The doctrine
of retribution for sin (τίσις) may be clearly traced to the
Pythagorean dogma δράσαντι παθεῖν, so often insisted upon by
Æschylus,--'the doer must suffer.' It was manifest to all, that such
suffering was no rule upon earth, since many villains escaped
scot-free; and therefore a filling up of the measure hereafter was
thought a necessary condition for the sinner. The beneficence of
Christianity consisted primarily in this, that it held out a hope that
such a debt of suffering could be paid vicariously; whereas the only
hope of release held out by Plato (p. 114, A.) was the forgiveness of
the persons who had been wronged on earth. This ancient idea of a
stern law of reciprocity, 'an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,'
is distinctly attributed by Aristotle, who calls it τὸ ἀντιπεπονθὸς,
to Pythagoras, Eth. N. V. ch. 8. Be this as it may, it is a very
interesting fact that Plato, the first writer of pagan antiquity who
describes a bright, supernal heaven, the abode of gods and blessed men
who hold converse with them, and a dismal, infernal abode of fire
(_Phædo_, p. 110-113,) derives all his imagery in describing the
latter from the effects of volcanic outbreaks, to which he even
definitely compares it (p. 111, D.) His description of heaven, which
in the _Phædrus_ (p. 247, C.) he places far above the sky, the
ὑπερουράνιος τόπος, with some reference to the Hesiodic doctrine of a
supernal firmament or floor, in the _Phædo_ is a singular compound of
the Homeric Olympus and the Elysium and Isles of the Blest in the
legends of the earlier poets. Those legends placed Elysium below, and
the Isles of the Blest _on_ the earth. Plato's heaven is on the earth
indeed, but on a part of it elevated far above the Mediterranean
basin, where, he says, men live in a comparatively dim and misty
atmosphere. His account suggests the idea that he had heard some
tradition of the healthy and prosperous life of the natives on the
sunny slopes of the giant Himalaya mountains. But Plato's heaven is
also, to a considerable extent, the heaven of the Revelation. Both are
described in very materialistic terms. To this day, the popular notion
of heaven is undoubtedly associated with saints in white garments,
crowns and thrones of gold and gems, music, brightness, and eternal
hallelujahs. One little coincidence between the Platonic and the
Apocalyptic account is too remarkable to be omitted. In Plato (p. 110,
D.) we are told that, besides silver and gold, heaven is spangled with
gems of which earthly gems are but fragments, σάρδια τε καὶ ἰάσπιδας
καὶ σμαράγδους. In the fourth chapter of the Revelation (ver. 3) we
read, ἰδοὺ θρόνος ἔκειτο ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ, καὶ ἐπὶ τοῦ θρόνου καθήμενος·
καὶ ὁ καθήμενος ἦν ὅμοιος ὁράσει λίθῳ ἰάσπιδι καὶ σαρδίνῳ (al.
σαρδίῳ)· καὶ ἶρις κυκλόθεν τοῦ θρόνου ὅμοιος ὁράσει σμαραγδίνῳ.

Scarcely less remarkable is the coincidence of the _four rivers_ that
surround the abode of shades in the under world (_Phædo_, p. 112, E.),
and the four rivers that encompassed the 'Garden of Eden' (Genesis ii.
10-14). As for the river Acheron and the Acherusian lake, not only
does the word contain, like _Achelöus_, the root _aq_, water, but the
involved notion of ἄχος, 'grief,' suggested its fitness as
an infernal river, not less than the Κώκυτος, named from
groans. The disappearance of a river in a chasm or 'swallow,' like the
Styx in Arcadia and the Erasinus in Argolis, also gave credibility to
the existence of infernal rivers, as much as volcanic ebullitions
seemed to be proofs of subterranean fire lakes. But it is rather
curious that a geographical identity in name should exist between the
Acherusian lake and river in Thesprotia (Thucyd., i. 46), and the
semi-mythical lake and river in the above passages of the _Phædo_. The
tendency to localize adits to the regions below was very strong; so
the lake Avernus, and the promontory of Tænarus, and the καταῤῥάκτης ὀδὸς
at Colonus (Soph. Œd. Col. 1590) were all regarded with awe as places
giving direct communication with the shades below.

The simple but very touching narrative of the death of Socrates at the
conclusion of the dialogue, sets forth in golden words the calm
resignation, the perfect faith and happiness of the death of a truly
good man. The brevity and want of detail in the last scene is very
remarkable. Mr. Jowett gives it thus:--

      'Socrates alone retained his calmness. What is this strange
      outcry? he said. I sent away the women mainly in order that
      they might not offend in this way, for I have heard that a
      man should die in peace. Be quiet, then, and have patience.
      When we heard that, we were ashamed, and refrained our
      tears; and he walked about until, as he said, his legs
      began to fail, and then he lay on his back, according to
      the directions, and the man who gave him the poison now and
      then looked at his feet and legs; and after a while he
      pressed his foot hard, and asked him if he could feel, and
      he said, No; and then his leg, and so upwards and upwards,
      and showed us that he was cold and stiff. And he felt them
      himself, and said, When the poison reaches the heart, that
      will be the end. He was beginning to grow cold about the
      groin, when he uncovered his face, for he had covered
      himself up, and said (they were his last words)--he said,
      Crito, I owe a cock to Asclepius; will you remember to pay
      the debt? The debt shall be paid, said Crito; is there
      anything else? There was no answer to this question: but in
      a minute or two a movement was heard, and the attendants
      uncovered him; his eyes were set, and Crito closed his eyes
      and mouth.'

We will make bold to observe on this celebrated passage, that it bears
the impress of a dramatic scene rather than of a history. That Plato
himself was not present as an eye-witness is expressly told us at the
beginning of the dialogue (p. 59, B.) The narrative, to say nothing of
the improbability of the execution of a distinguished criminal taking
place before a company of friends at a social meeting, seems to us
framed in ignorance of the medical nature of either narcotic or
alkaloid poisons, and to have been compiled to suit the popular
notions of the effects of κώνειον (whether the word means 'hemlock' or
some other compound drug). The idea was, as is clear from the verse in
the _Frogs_ of Aristophanes--

      εὐθὺς γὰρ ἀποπήγνυσι τἀντικνήμια,--

that death by this poison was caused by a gradual _freezing up_, or
suspension of vital power, beginning at the lower extremities, and
creeping up to the heart. Whether a vigorous old man would die in this
easy, gradual, and painless way by any known poison, is a medical
question we should like to see answered. It may be observed, too, that
if the poison were a narcotic, like laudanum, the 'walking about' was
precisely the wrong course to take. _That_ is the method specially
adopted to prevent and counteract the numbness caused by an overdose
of morphia or laudanum. That Socrates was really poisoned, there can
be no doubt; but the deed was probably done, as we think, in the
darkness of a prison, and the Platonic scene was invented to give a
vivid picture of the grand old man's calmness and dignity to the last.

Be this as it may, it may be fairly assumed that the deep injustice of
the Athenian republic in thus removing from a scene of usefulness, and
of harmless, if somewhat unpopular banter, this great teacher, rankled
very deeply in the heart of Plato. It is the real source of that most
favourite of all topics, that theme on which all his disquisitions on
moral worth turn--ἀδικία, or injustice. This may be called the
key-note of the _Republic_, as it is, in fact, of the _Gorgias_ and
the _Protagoras_, not to mention the very numerous passages in other
dialogues. Plato is ever fond of putting in the mouth either of
Socrates or his friends passages which he could hardly have uttered,
for they have a clear reference to the want of success in his
'Apologia' at the trial, through the non-use of clap-trap, δημηγορία,
and ῥητορική. (See _Gorgias_, p. 486, A.; _Theætet._, p. 172, C., 174,
C.) Modern writers on morals or casuistry do not, directly, at least,
take _injustice_ as the basis of all their teaching, even though, in a
sense, all vice is a form of injustice, either to oneself or one's
neighbour. The fate of Socrates, and the reasons of it, bear some
analogy to the unpopularity and harsh treatment which great moral
reformers have received in almost every country and under every form
of government. The alleged interference both in public and private
affairs, the resistance to popular indulgences and vicious pleasures,
and the persistent _lecturing_ men of deadened conscience, are more
than human nature is prepared to stand, if pressed beyond a certain
point. In the _Theætetus_ (p. 149, A.), Socrates sums up the popular
odium against himself in these words: 'They say of me that I am an
exceedingly strange being, who drives men to their wits' end;' and in
the _Apology_ he distinctly traces the διαβολὴ, or misrepresentation
of his motives and practices, to the ridicule brought upon him (some
twenty years before) by the _Clouds_ of Aristophanes. But the real
cause of his unpopularity was the fearless way in which he told
unpalatable truths: as that men should care for their souls more than
for their money, and that a life without self-examination was not
worth the living, ὁ ἀνεξέταστος βίος οὐ βιωτὸς ἀνθρώπῳ (_Apol._, p.
29, E., 36, C., 38, A.) This was stronger doctrine, at least so far as
concerns the preference of money to all religious cares, than could
safely be preached now-a-days from a pulpit in London. We remember the
case of a clergyman being quite recently bemobbed and rather roughly
treated because he attempted to do so. No! the sophist and the
Christian moralist alike must give way when resistance to the career
of human feeling is pressed too far, just as a river will surmount or
wash away altogether the dam constructed to check its course.

Before parting with the _Phædo_, we must be allowed to cite one
passage, describing the earlier career of Socrates as a philosopher,
because it has always seemed to us the true key to the understanding
of the widely different views taken by Aristophanes and Plato of the
real character of Socrates. The passage occurs in p. 96, A., and is
rendered by Mr. Jowett thus:

      'When I was young, Cebes, I had a prodigious desire to know
      that department of philosophy which is called Natural
      Science; this appeared to me to have lofty aims, as being
      the science which has to do with the causes of things, and
      which teaches why a thing is, and is created and destroyed;
      and I was always agitating myself with the consideration of
      such questions as these: Is the growth of animals the
      result of some decay which the hot and cold principle
      [principles] contract, as some have said? Is the blood the
      element with which we think, or the air, or the fire? or
      perhaps nothing of this sort--but the brain may be the
      originating power of the perceptions of hearing, and sight,
      and smell, and memory, and opinion may come from them, and
      science may be based on memory and opinion when no longer
      in motion, but at rest.... Then I heard (p. 97, B.) some
      one who had a book of Anaxagoras, as he said, out of which
      he read that mind was the disposer and cause of all, and I
      was quite delighted at the notion of this, which appeared
      admirable, and I said to myself, If mind is the disposer,
      mind will dispose all for the best, and put each particular
      in the best place; and I argued that if any one desired to
      find out the cause of the generation or destruction or
      existence of anything, he must find out what state of being
      or suffering or doing was best for that thing, and
      therefore a man had only to consider the best for himself
      and others, and then he would also know the worse, for that
      the same science comprised both. And I rejoiced to think
      that I had found in Anaxagoras a teacher of the causes of
      existence such as I desired, and I imagined that he would
      tell me first whether the earth is flat or round; and then
      he would further explain the cause and the necessity of
      this, and would teach me the nature of the best, and show
      that this was best; and if he said that the earth was in
      the centre, he would explain that this position was the
      best, and I should be satisfied if this were shown to me,
      and not want any other sort of cause.'

Now this avowal on the part of Socrates, that in his earlier career he
was a follower of the physical philosophers, goes far to explain
several important points. In the first place, it explains to us the
propriety, and in some sense the _justice_, of Aristophanes' sketch of
Socrates, some twenty years earlier than we know of the philosopher's
mind from Plato, viz., as a speculator on meteorics after the fashion
of Anaxagoras himself, a star-gazer, a lecturer on clouds and thunder
and circling motions, rain and mist, and phenomena celestial and
subterranean. We know, indeed, from Diogenes Laertius, ii. 4, that
Socrates had been a hearer of Archelaus, himself a pupil of
Anaxagoras. And thus we understand why Socrates was identified with
the other sophists or schoolmen of the day, who taught 'wisdom'
generally, ethics not less than physics. As subverters of the
established traditions about the gods, and exponents of truth to the
best of their knowledge, they met with the same opposition and the
same obloquy, in their day, that the Huxleys and the Darwins, and
other conspicuous men of our own times, are not wholly exempt from.
Their teaching was thought to be 'latitudinarian,' and so they were
credited with many views from which they would have recoiled with
horror. In the _Nubes_ (902), Socrates is charged with denying the
existence of justice, and defending the proposition by the example of
the gods, who themselves set it at nought, as when Zeus maltreated and
imprisoned his own father, Cronus; and in the same play (1415), the
lawfulness of a son beating his father is maintained as a part of the
new-fangled Socratic creed. Now in the second book of the _Republic_
(p. 377, _fin._), this case of Cronus is expressly repudiated by
Socrates as monstrous and unnatural; as also the doctrine that a son
may lawfully beat his own father for wrong-doing. In a very curious
passage of the 'Wasps' (1037), Aristophanes bitterly blames the
Athenians for not having supported him in putting down the _nuisance_
of the philosophers, whom he calls ἠπίαλοι and πυρετοὶ, 'agues' and
'fevers,' teachers of parricide, and base informers. By not giving the
prize, he says, to his play of the 'Clouds,' only the year before,
they had frustrated all his hopes of crushing and extinguishing the
philosophers. Now, these philosophers are represented as headed by
Socrates, and Socrates was the very worst of them. That he was at that
period (about twenty years before his death) essentially a sophist,
and incurring with the rest of them the odium of the popular opinion,
seems undeniable. The precise views that he held on ethics, and
consequently the exact nature of his teaching at that period, we have
no other means of knowing. But it seems inconceivable that
Aristophanes should have so grossly misrepresented his character with
the slightest chance of success; and we know that it was his ardent
desire that his play of the 'Clouds' should succeed. On the whole, we
should say, there is a greater chance that Aristophanes truly
represented the feeling of his age about Socrates than Plato, who, at
best, gives us the Socrates as endeared to his private friends--the
man of matured thought, and possibly of much altered and more
chastened views. Nor ought we to forget that Plato is as severe
against the Sophists generally as Aristophanes is against Socrates in
particular. All high teaching at Athens--all that we include in the
idea of a college education--was done by the Sophists. The art of
ῥητορικὴ was one of the most important: we can see the effect of the
training incidentally in the style and the speeches of Euripides and
Thucydides. Socrates saw that the ethical principles of the Sophists
were wrong, and he engaged in the dangerous task of trying to reform
them.

But secondly, the Platonic passage gives us a clue to that sympathy
which Socrates, or at least Plato, always shows for the Eleatic school
of philosophy as represented by Zeno and Parmenides. 'Of all the
pre-Socratic philosophers, Plato speaks of the Eleatic with the
greatest respect,' says Mr. Jowett (Preface to _Philebus_, p. 227).
That school was a reaction from the teaching of the Ionic physicists,
Thales, Anaximenes, and others, who were speculators on natural
phenomena without any true system of induction. Anaxagoras' doctrine
of Νοῦς, or pervading intelligence, though purely a pantheistic one,
stood half-way between the two schools. Xenocrates, the founder of the
Eleatics, taught that Creation emanated from a One Being, and not from
a fortuitous concurrence of atoms, from water or air, or states of
repose, or flux, or any other mere physical reason. In the Philebus
(p. 28, C., and p. 30, D.) we find an express eulogy and sympathy with
Anaxagoras, whose views were in truth much more adapted to the
doctrine of ἰδέαι and abstractions than the materialistic views of the
Ionic school. And in the _Parmenides_, one of the most obscure of the
Platonic dialogues, the discussions on τὸ ἓν, The One, and the
relations of the real to the phenomenal, though a great advance over
the Eleatic doctrines, which, as Mr. Jowett says, 'had not gone beyond
the contradictions of matter, motion, space, and the like' (Introd.
_Parmen._, p. 234), still are based on the views of Zeno in the main.
Parmenides, indeed, was 'the founder of idealism, and also of
dialectic, or, in modern phraseology, of metaphysics and logic.'
(_Ibid._)

We proceed now to the _Theætetus_, one of the most important, as well
as difficult, of the Platonic dialogues. To this Mr. Jowett has
written a rather long but excellent Introduction, replete with large
views of the Platonic philosophy, and containing many original and
striking remarks, _e.g._ (p. 329): 'The Greeks, in the fourth century
before Christ, had no words for "subject" and "object," and no
distinct conception of them; yet they were always hovering about the
question involved in them.' (We should be inclined to say, that the
familiar distinction between τὰ νοητὰ and τὰ αἰσθητὰ, to a considerable
extent represented our terms 'subjective' and 'objective.') Again (p.
328): 'The writings of Plato belong to an age in which the power of
analysis had outrun the means of knowledge; and through a spurious use
of dialectic, the distinctions which had been already "won from the
void and formless infinite," seemed to be rapidly returning to their
original chaos.' And (p. 353), 'The relativity of knowledge' (viz., to
the individual mind) 'is a truism to us, but was a great psychological
discovery in the fifth century before Christ.' In p. 360 the remark is
a shrewd one: 'The ancient philosophers in the age of Plato thought of
science' (_i.e._, ἐπιστήμη, exact knowledge) 'only as pure
abstraction, and to this _opinion_ (δόξα) stood in no relation.' The
subject of _Theætetus_, 'What _is_ knowledge?' involving, as it
doubtless does, some satire on Sophists, who professed to teach what
they were themselves unable to explain, has been well called 'A
critical history of Greek psychology as it existed down to the fourth
century.' In this treatise, the views of the earlier philosophers,
that there is no test of existence or reality except perception,
αἴσθησις, are impugned. Plato did not, perhaps, himself hold the
opinion that objective truth existed, independently of opinion; but
his favourite theory of ἰδέαι, or abstracts, implied the existence of
_some_ typical, eternal, absolute standard of goodness and justice, as
well as of the beautiful. If this were not the case, then all moral as
well as all physical οὐσίαι would depend on our sense of them. There
would be no φύσει δίκαιον, but only νόμῳ δίκαιον. That would be right
in every state which the laws enacted; and thus in two neighbouring
states one course of acting (say, lying or stealing, or promiscuous
intercourse) would be right, because it is legalised; in another it
would be wrong, because punishable by the law. Nor is this difficulty
wholly imaginary, as Aristotle felt. (Eth. Nic. V. ch. 7.) The old
law, for instance, sanctioned polygamy, as modern usage does in some
parts of the East; while the law of Europe condemns it. So in the case
of murder: a Greek thought it a solemn and absolute duty to slay the
slayer of his father; while we should regard it as one murder added to
another. There was a good deal of sense therefore in what Protagoras
taught, that 'man is the measure,' μέτρον ἄνθρωπος. If I feel it hot,
it _is_ hot to me; if cold, then it _is_ cold: or if wine tastes sour,
or bitter, because my digestion is in an abnormal state, then to me it
_is_ sour or bitter; and it is no use to argue with me that it is not,
but you must set right my disordered stomach, and then the wine will
taste as it should. Apply this doctrine to the diversities of
religious belief; the Christian says the Buddhist and the Mahommedan
are wrong; and each of these retort the same on the Christian and on
each other. A thing cannot be absolutely true _merely_ because this or
that party asserts it, which is but a 'petitio principii.' Protagoras
would have said, had he lived much later, and not altogether absurdly,
'If this form of religion is one that you embrace from conviction, and
with entire faith in it, then to you it _is_ true.' And after saying
this to the Christian, he would have turned to the Buddhist and the
Mahommedan, and have repeated the same formula to each.

Now Plato, to make the victory over Protagoras more complete, first
shows, in the _Theætetus_, that he, Protagoras, by his doctrine of
μέτρον ἄνθρωπος, virtually holds the same opinion as those (1) who
make αἴσθησις the sole test of truth; (2) who, like Heraclitus, allow
of no fixed existence, but hold that πάντα γίγνεται, states of things
are always _coming into being_, because everything is in a state of
perpetual flux. For it is evident that each of these views denies any
permanent, stable, or objective existence of anything. Even a
momentary perception is a fleeting sensation, not a true and real
sense. While I say this paper is 'white,' _some_ discoloration of it
occurred while the monosyllable was being pronounced, and therefore it
was not true that the paper was _absolutely_ white. It appears to us
that the question which Mr. Jowett moots as a difficulty in his
Introduction (p. 326) is not really very important: 'Would Protagoras
have identified his own thesis, "Man is the measure of all things,"
with the other, "All knowledge is sensible perception?" Secondly,
would he have based the relativity of knowledge on the Heraclitean
flux?' The latter, we think, Protagoras clearly does, when he says (p.
168, B.) ἵλεῳ τῇ διανοίᾳ ξυγκαθεὶς ὡς ἀληθῶς σκέψει, τί ποτε λέγομεν
κινεῖσθαί τε ἀποφαινόμενοι τὰ πάντα τό τε δοκοῦν ἑκάστῳ τοῦτο καὶ
εἶναι ἰδιώτῃ τε καὶ πόλει. To us it appears that Plato classed them
together, simply because they are logically coherent and inseparable.
He insists that all sensations imply a patient and an agent. Fire does
not burn if there is nothing for it to consume. Colour is non-existent
(being a mere effect of light), unless there is an eye to behold it.
That indeed is true, and Epicurus and Lucretius also perceived (Lucr.,
ii. 795) that three conditions are wanted to produce colour--viz.,
light, an object to be seen, and an eye to see it. It is quite true,
that a person sees a red or a blue cloth on a table while he looks at
it, but that when he turns his back upon it, it has _no_ colour,
because one of the three conditions, the sight, has been withdrawn.
Mr. Jowett seems, however (with the disciples of a modern school), to
press this doctrine of relativity too far in asserting (Introd., p.
332), 'There would be no world, if there neither were, nor never had
been, any one to perceive the world.' For we cannot escape from the
conclusion that the world must have existed (in the sense in which we
know of existence) prior to life, _i.e._, any perceptive faculty,
being placed upon it.

What appears to have struck Plato most strongly in considering the
doctrine of Protagoras was this--that if everybody is right, or as
right as any other, all reasoning, argument, persuasion, in fine, the
whole science of dialectics, becomes _ipso facto_ useless and absurd
(p. 161, E.) There are no such characters as _wise_ and _foolish_.
Protagoras himself felt the difficulty, but evaded it thus: the wise
man is not one who tries to argue a person out of his convictions,
_e.g._, that justice is only tyranny, or that sweet is bitter, but who
so trains and educates the mind or appetite that the sounder and
better view will spontaneously present itself. Thus a good sophist or
a wise legislator will endeavour so to educate and so to govern, that
right and reasonable views will approve themselves to the people.
Again, in judging of what will be good or useful in the end, sagacity
is needed, which clearly is not the property of everyone alike. A
thing is right or wrong only as individual conviction or the law of a
State makes it so for the time being; but in advising a certain course
of action, where result, and therefore, forethought are involved, one
counsellor may be greatly superior to another (p. 172). Hence, as
legislation is prospective, it is not true that one man's opinion as
to the wisdom or expediency of a measure is as good as another's; but
there are some things at least in which one man's must be better than
another's judgment.

It was thus that Protagoras endeavoured to reconcile the obvious fact
that some men were more clever than others, with the theory that all
morality is based on mere human opinion. And those persons would take
a very shallow view who think that all this is merely an ingenious
quibbling. The difficulties which Protagoras attempted to solve are
real ones, and only thinkers know to what extent all questions, both
of religion and casuistry, are bound up with them.

We proceed to perform, somewhat in brief, the less agreeable task of
showing that Mr. Jowett's version of the _Theætetus_, though always
fluent and pleasant to read, is not always as accurate as might have
been desired.

In p. 149, A., Socrates playfully asks Theætetus if he has never heard
that he, Socrates, is the son of a midwife, by name, Phænaretè, μάλα
γενναίας τε καὶ βλοσυρᾶς, 'a sour-faced old lady,' we should say. Mr.
Jowett somewhat oddly renders this phrase, a 'midwife, brave and
burly.' The epithets mean something very different. The first is an
ironical allusion to the humble station of the professional midwife,
the latter to the alarm which her presence might inspire in the
timid.... For βλοσυρὸν is something that shocks and causes terror, as in
Æschylus, Suppl. 813; Eumen. 161. To this real or supposed parentage
of the philosopher, a joke is directed by Aristophanes in the _Nubes_,
137--

      καὶ φροντίδ' ἐξήμβλωκας ἐξευρημένην.

Perhaps also the Φαιναρέτη in Acharn. 49, may have reference to this
person. In p. 151, B., προσφέρου πρὸς ἐμὲ is not 'come to me,' but
'behave towards me,' 'deal with me.' And in p. 156, A., ἀντίτυποι
ἄνθρωποι are not 'repulsive' mortals (at least, according to our
established use of the word), but 'refractory,' 'men on whom one can
make no impression,' but from whom a blow rebounds as a hammer does
from an anvil. Antisthenes and the cynical party seem to be meant. In
p. 156, D., we come to a very obscure passage. Mr. Jowett's version
is, 'And the slower elements have their motions in the same place and
about things near them, and thus beget; but the things begotten are
quicker, for their motions are from place to place.' This is not very
intelligible. For ἡ κίνησις, it seems to us that we should read ἡ
γένεσις. The figure of speech is taken from the notion of sexual
contact, and by πρὸς τὰ πλησιάζοντα τὴν κίνησιν ἴσχει, Socrates seems
to mean that certain impressions or objects meet certain senses,
_e.g._, sounds the ear, scents the nose, objects the eye, but
severally 'have their rate of motion according to the speed of those
faculties with which they naturally unite;' but, he adds, the
sensations of hearing, smelling, seeing are more instantaneously
perceived, when once produced, because the γένεσις or production of
such sensation takes place ἐν φορᾷ, while the αἴσθησις and the
αἰσθητὸν are moving in space towards each other, and thus, as it were,
the offspring partakes of the speed of the parents. In plain words,
sight and sound and smell are produced at very different intervals of
time, but are equally sudden sensations _when_ produced; and even
those which are more slowly generated are as quickly felt. (Compare
Aristot., Eth. x. ch. iii. s. 4. πάσῃ (κινήσει) γὰρ οἰκεῖον εἶναι
δοκεῖ τάχος καὶ βραδυτής.) In p. 159, D., ἡ γλυκύτης πρὸς τοῦ οἴνου
περὶ αὐτὸν φερομένη seems to us to mean, the sense of sweetness from
the wine moving to and coming upon _the patient_,' τὸν πάσχοντα
(unless, indeed, we should read περὶ αὐτὴν, _i.e._, γλῶσσαν, which
would render the meaning rather clearer). Mr. Jowett's version is,
'the quality of sweetness which arises out of, and is moving about the
wine.' Just below, περὶ δὲ τὸν οἶνον γιγνομένην καὶ φερομένην
πικρότητα, the words καὶ φερομένην read very like an interpolation, as
an attentive consideration of the passage, we think, will show.

In p. 161, A., we come upon some rather loose rendering. Theætetus
asks Socrates whether he has not been all along speaking in irony, and
whether, having proved that black is white, he is not prepared equally
to prove that white is black. This, of course, is a playful satire on
his skill in dialectics. The words ἀλλὰ πρὸς θεῶν εἰπὲ, ἦ αὖ οὐχ οὕτως
ἔχει, literally mean, 'But tell me in heaven's name, is not all this,
on the other hand, _not_ so?' And so just below, Socrates says, 'You
are, indeed, a lover of arguments and a worthy good soul, my
Theodorus, for thinking that I am a mere bag of words, and can easily
bring them out when wanted, and prove that, on the other hand, these
things are _not_ so.' In the very next words, τὸ δὲ γιγνόμενον οὐκ
ἐννοεῖς, there is a joke, and not a bad one, on the doctrine, οὐδὲν
ἔστιν ἀλλὰ πάντα γίγνεται. Mr. Jowett's version of the whole passage
seems rather careless: 'But I should like to know, Socrates, by heaven
I should, whether you mean to say that all this is untrue? Socrates:
You are fond of argument, Theodorus, and now you innocently fancy that
I am a bag full of arguments, and can easily pull one out which will
prove the reverse of all this. But you do not see that in reality none
of these arguments come from me. They all come from him who talks with
me. I only know just enough to extract them from the wisdom of
another, and to receive them in a spirit of fairness.' The last words,
ἀποδέξασθαι μετρίως, more accurately mean, 'to take it from its parent
fairly well,' _i.e._, as a theme for discussion. The phrase μητρόθεν
δέχεσθαι, said of the nurse taking a newly-born infant, is playfully
alluded to.

In p. 161, C., Mr. Jowett's version but poorly represents the real
sense of a keenly ironical passage:--'Then, when we were reverencing
him as a god, he might have condescended to inform us that he was no
wiser than a tadpole, and did not even aspire to be a man: would not
this have produced an overpowering effect?' The exact words of Plato
are these: 'In which case he would have commenced his address to us in
grand style, and very contemptuously, by letting us see that we have
been looking up to him, as to a god, for his wisdom, while he all the
time was in no degree superior, in respect of intelligence, to a
tadpole, not to say to any other man.' The point is, that if
Protagoras had commenced his work entitled 'Truth,' with the
proposition, 'A pig is the measure of all things' (_i.e._, the
standard by which feelings and notions are to be tested), 'he would
have well shown his contempt of men who foolishly took _him_ for an
authority.' Of course the very object and heart's desire of Protagoras
in writing such a book was to be thought supremely clever. Hence the
irony is apparent.

Again, in p. 160, B., Socrates says to Theodorus:--

      'You have capitally expressed my weakness by your simile
      (τὴν νόσον μου ἀπείκασας). I, however, am stouter
      (ἰσχυρικώτερος) than they; for before now many and many a
      Hercules and Theseus' (meaning, of course, many Sophists),
      'on meeting me, men brave at talk, have pounded me right
      well; but I don't give it up for all that, so strong a
      passion has taken possession of my soul for this kind of
      exercise. Therefore, do not refuse on your part to prepare
      for a contest with me, and so to benefit yourself and me
      alike.'

We see no reason whatever why the above should have been diluted down
to such a version as this:--

      'I see, Theodorus, that you perfectly apprehend the nature
      of my complaint; but I am even more pugnacious than the
      giants of old, for I have met with no end of heroes. Many a
      Hercules, many a Theseus, mighty in words, have broken my
      head; nevertheless, I am always at this rough game, which
      inspires me like a passion. Please, then, to indulge me
      with a trial, for your own edification as well as mine.'

The following (p. 175, A.) is not satisfactory:--

      'And when some one boasts of a catalogue of twenty-five
      ancestors, and goes back to Heracles, the son of
      Amphitryon, he cannot understand his poverty of ideas. Why
      is he unable to calculate that Amphitryon had a
      twenty-fifth ancestor, who might have been anybody, and was
      such as fortune made him, and he had a fiftieth, and so on?
      He is amused at the notion that he cannot do a sum, and
      thinks that a little arithmetic would have got rid of his
      senseless vanity.'

What Plato really says is this:--

      'But, when men pride themselves on a list of
      five-and-twenty ancestors, and trace them back to Heracles,
      the son of Amphitryon, it seems to him surprising that they
      should make these trumpery reckonings; and they should not
      be able (further) to calculate that the twenty-fifth from
      Amphitryon backwards was just such a person as fortune
      chanced to make him, or at least the fiftieth from him, and
      thus to get rid of the vanity of a senseless mind,--at this
      he cannot suppress a smile.'

In p. 194, C., the words τὰ ἰόντα διὰ τῶν αἰσθήσεων, ἐνσημαινόμενα εἰς
τοῦτο τὸ τῆς ψυχῆς κέαρ, ὃ ἔφη Ὅμηρος, &c., should be rendered, 'the
impressions entering us through our senses, leaving their marks on
this _heart's core_, as Homer called it, intending to express in
allegory the resemblance between κῆρ and κηρός,' &c. Mr. Jowett rather
loosely turns it,--'the impressions which pass through the senses and
_sink into the_ [waxen] _heart of the soul_, as Homer says in a
parable,' &c. And just below, the words εἶτα οὐ παραλλάττουσι τῶν
αἰσθήσεων τὰ σημεῖα, which he renders 'and are not liable to
confusion,' might just as well have been brought out in their true
sense, 'and further, they do not misapply the impressions of (or left
by) the senses;' for παραλλάσσειν is 'to change wrongly,' and is a
word selected as exactly and most happily representing the idea Plato
wished to convey, that confused memories owe their confusion to not
keeping distinctly apart the impressions formerly received. A few
lines further on, ὅταν λάσιόν του τὸ κέαρ ᾖ, ὃ δὴ ἐπῄνεσεν ὁ πάντα
σοφὸς ποιητὴς, ἢ ὅταν κοπρῶδες &c., there are some points which only a
careful rendering will bring out. In taking a delicate impression of a
seal or gem on clarified wax, a hair left in it would mar the
impression. And the dark yellow colour of natural wax was thought by
the Greeks to be made foul by the dirt of the insects; clarifying it,
in fact, was 'defæcation.' So we render it thus:--'When, then, a man's
heart has hairs in it, which is the state the all-wise poet referred
to [in calling it λάσιον κῆρ], or when it has dirt left in it, or is
made of wax that is not pure [but adulterated], or too soft or too
hard, then,' &c. Now this hardly appears in Mr. Jowett's version, 'But
when the heart of any one _is shaggy_, as the poet who knew everything
says, or muddy and of impure wax, or very soft, or very hard, then,'
&c.

Of the _Phædrus_, as a whole, Mr. Jowett appears to us to give a
correct account, in saying (Introd., p. 552) that

      'the continuous thread which appears and reappears
      throughout is rhetoric. This is the ground into which the
      rest of the dialogue is inlaid, in parts embroidered with
      fine words, "in order to please Phædrus." The speech of
      Lysias and the first speech of Socrates are examples of the
      false rhetoric, as the second speech of Socrates is adduced
      as an instance of the true. But the true rhetoric is based
      upon dialectic, and dialectic is a sort of inspiration akin
      to love; they are two aspects of philosophy in which the
      technicalities of rhetoric are absorbed. The true knowledge
      of things in heaven and earth is based upon enthusiasm or
      love of the ideas; and the true order of speech or writing
      proceeds according to them.'

With regard to the first speech of Socrates on Love (p. 237, C., to
241, D.) it appears to us that it is not so much 'an example of the
false rhetoric,' as a proof how much better and more logically even a
paradoxical subject can be treated by a dialectician than by a mere
rhetorician. The hit at Phædrus for having given no definition
whatever of his subject (p. 237, C.) is one of the points of contrast
which is very significant; and there is this subtle irony underlying
the whole speech, that whereas Socrates undertook to prove that
χαρίζεσθαι μὴ ἐρῶντι was better than χαρίζεσθαι ἐρῶντι, his essay is
made to turn, in fact, simply on the latter point, μὴ χαρίζεσθαι
ἐρῶντι, so as to be a diatribe against vicious παιδεραστία; only a
word or two at the end being added in _apparent_ sanction of the
other, and by way of verbally fulfilling the engagement he had made:
λέγω οὖν ἑνὶ λόγῳ, ὅτι ὅσα τὸν ἕτερον λελοιδορήκαμεν, τῷ ἑτέρῳ
τἀναντία τούτων ἀγαθὰ πρόσεστι(p. 341, _fin._) And the _palinodia_, or
pretended recantation (p. 244, _seq._), cleverly pursues the same
theme, by showing that love, in its philosophical and nonsensual
phase, is a divine emotion, and the source of every blessing to man.
The famous allegory that follows, which means that Reason should
control Passion, gives a sketch of the orderly and well-trained man,
gradually recovering, even as the depraved mind gradually loses, the
impressions and memories of the god-like existence men enjoyed in a
previous state. The latter part of the dialogue hangs on to the
allegory, not indeed very directly; rather, we should say, it reverts
to the former part, and is intended to show, by a critique of the two
essays, that no essayist or speech-maker can hope to succeed, who
derives all his art from rules and treatises and the pedantic
phraseology of the teachers. He must trust to dialectic, _i.e._, the
science of hard and close reasoning, if he would rise above mere
δημηγορία, or clap-trap; and psychology itself must form the basis of
dialectic.

Mr. Jowett's version of this dialogue is fully as lax as that of the
_Symposium_. Still it reads pleasantly, and if one could forget the
incomparable and often so much more expressive Greek, one would be
fairly content with the general correctness of the paraphrase. Almost
at the outset, he renders εἴ σοι σχολὴ προϊόντι ἀκούειν, 'if you have
leisure to _stay and listen_,' instead of 'to _walk on_ and listen,'
where a slight satire is intended on the 'constitutional' and
prescribed exercise of the effeminate youth. And γέγραφε γὰρ δὴ ὁ
Λυσίας πειρώμενόν τινα τῶν καλῶν, οὐχ ὑπ' ἐραστοῦ δὲ, ἀλλ' αὐτὸ τοῦτο
καὶ κεκόμψευται means, 'Lysias, you must know, has written about one
of the handsome youths having proposals made to him, not, however, by
a lover; but this is the very point he has put in a new and quaint
light.' (Of course, κεκόμψευται, to which we have given a medial
sense, may also be taken as a passive.) Mr. Jowett gives us nothing
nearer to the above than 'Lysias _imagined_ a fair youth who was being
tempted, but not by a lover; and this was the point; he ingeniously
proved that,' &c. In p. 229, A., κατὰ τὸν Ἰλισσὸν ἴωμεν should be
rendered, 'let us go _along_ or _down_ the Ilissus,' _i.e._, in the
bed or channel, or even along the bank; certainly not, 'let us go _to_
the Ilissus.' Nor is ἀγροίκῳ τινὶ σοφίᾳ (p. 329, _fin._), this sort of
'_crude_ philosophy,' but 'an uncourteous (or uncivil) kind of
philosophy,' viz., that which employs itself in giving the lie to
received traditions.

The charming and justly celebrated passage in p. 230, B.--one of the
few in Greek literature that indicate intense feeling for the beauties
of nature--we propose to render as follows, nearly every word being a
_close_ representative of the equivalent Greek:--

      'Upon my word, the retreat is a charming one; for not only
      is this plane-tree of ample size and height, but the dense
      shade of this tall _agnus_ is quite beautiful to behold; in
      full flower too, so as to make the place most fragrant! Yon
      spring, also, is most grateful, that flows from under the
      plane-tree with a stream of very cold water, as one may
      judge by the feeling to the foot. Moreover, there appears,
      from the images and ornaments, to be a shrine here to
      certain Nymphs and to the Achelöus. Pray notice, also, the
      balmy air of the place, how delightful and exceeding sweet,
      and how it rings with the shrill summer chirp of the chorus
      of cicadas! But the quaintest thing of all is the growth of
      the grass, which on this gentle slope springs up in just
      enough abundance for one to recline one's head and be quite
      comfortable. So that you have proved a most excellent guide
      for a strange visitor, my dear Phædrus.'

Some extra pains might have been fairly bestowed on a passage almost
without rival in Greek literature. But Mr. Jowett gives us the
following bare and clipped paraphrase of it:--

      'Yes, indeed, and a fair and shady resting-place, full of
      summer sounds and scents. There is the lofty and spreading
      plane-tree, and the agnus castus, high and clustering, in
      the fullest blossom and the greatest fragrance; and the
      stream which flows beneath the plane-tree is deliciously
      cold to the feet. Judging from the ornaments and images,
      this must be a spot sacred to Achelöus and the Nymphs;
      moreover, there is a sweet breeze, and the grasshoppers
      chirrup; and the greatest charm of all is the grass like a
      pillow gently sloping to the head. My dear Phædrus, you
      have been an admirable guide.'

In p. 248, C., θεσμὸς Ἀδραστείας is not 'a law of the goddess
Retribution,' but simply 'a law of necessity.' Had we space, we could
point out not a few very inadequate, not to say inaccurate, renderings
in the grand and mystical passage about the ἰδέα of beauty, p. 250.
For instance, Mr. Jowett does not see that we should construe
κατειλήφαμεν αὐτὸ (viz., κάλλος) διὰ τῆς ἐναργεστάτης αἰσθήσεως τῶν
ἡμετέρων, 'we realize it (here on earth) by the clearest of all our
senses,' viz., the sight of the eye. The whole translation of the
great allegory, in fact, reads as if it came from one who had never
taken the trouble to make out _exactly_ what the Greek meant; and, as
it is very difficult, and the passage itself very sublime, the student
ought to have found in Professor Jowett a safe and cautious and
accurate guide to the language as well as to the mind of Plato.

We are compelled to pass on, rapidly and very briefly, to that most
difficult of Platonic dialogues, the _Philebus_. This treats of a life
made up of pleasure and intellectuality, φρόνησις, combined in certain
proportions, a μικτὸς βίος, as the best and happiest. And the doctrine
of πέρας and ἄπειρον, the Finite and the Infinite, which Aristotle
(Eth., ii. 5) attributes to Protagoras,τὸ κακὸν τοῦ ἀπείρου, ὡς οἱ
Πυθαγόρειοι εἴκαζον, τὸ δ' ἀγαθὸν τοῦ πεπερασμένου, is so applied as
to show that mere pleasure carried to excess is self-destroying. This
also is touched upon in the Tenth Book of the Ethics, ch. ii., where
the μικτὸς βίος of ἡδονὴ and φρόνησις combined is preferred to either
alone. It has sometimes occurred to us, that in this dialogue Plato
has purposely used involved constructions and an affected obscurity of
style, as if to satirize Heraclitus, or some sophist of the Ephesian
school. The scholastic formulæ ἓν καὶ πολλὰ, implying synthesis and
analysis, and μᾶλλον καὶ ἧττον, 'the more or less,' to denote the
ἄπειρον, which can always be carried forward or backward, as in 'hot
and cold,' till πέρας, or definite quantity, is brought to limit
them,--these and other subtleties give to the _Philebus_, besides its
linguistic difficulties, which are great, an aspect which is seldom
inviting to younger students.

In the difficult passage (p. 15, B.), about ἰδέαι, Mr. Jowett has
again failed to give the exact sense. Plato says, one difficulty about
them is, 'whether we must assume that the abstract principle of each
quality (_e.g._, abstract beauty) pervades concretes and infinites,
dispersed and separated in each, or exists _as a whole outside of
itself_.' That is to say, if an abstract or ἰδέα is one thing
indivisible, which yet exists in different objects, it must reside
outside itself, and apart from the centre of its own οὐσία, or
essence. The words εἴθ' ὅλην αὐτὴν αὑτῆς χωρὶς, Mr. Jowett oddly
translates, 'or as still entire, _and yet contained in others_.' In p.
15, D., ταὐτὸν ἓν καὶ πολλὰ ὑπὸ λόγων γιγνόμενα is, 'this doctrine of
"one and many" being the same, brought into existence (or, as we say,
brought before our notice) by discussions,' not 'the one and many are
identified _by the reasoning power_;' nor is ἄγηρων πάθος τῶν λόγων
αὐτῶν, just below, 'a quality of reason, as such, which never grows
old,' but 'a conditions of discussion themselves,' &c. Surely, to
render the plural λόγοι by 'reason,' is a singular error. In p. 23,
D., by not noticing the emphatic ἐγὼ the author has failed to see that
there is a reference to the clumsy attempts of _tiros_ at synthesis
and analysis, p. 15. _fin._; so that Socrates intends to say that he
fears _he_ is not much more skilful. A few lines below, where the
doctrine of causation is introduced, the words τῆς ξυμμίξεως τούτων
πρὸς ἄλληλα τὴν αἰτίαν ὅρα, 'consider now the _cause_ of the union of
these conditions (the finite and the infinite) with each other,' is
poorly rendered by 'find the cause of the third or compound.' In p.
24, D., Socrates argues that, if the principle of limitation (πέρας)
were admissible in, or could co-exist with, 'more or less,' _i.e._
progressive degree, the infinite would cease, by _ipso facto_ becoming
finite. And he concludes, κατὰ δὴ τοῦτον τὸν λόγον ἄπειρον γίγνοιτ' ἂν
τὸ θερμότερον καὶ τοὐναντίον ἅμα, 'according to this way of putting
it, the "hotter" would become at the same time infinite and finite.'
Surely Mr. Jowett quite misses the sense in rendering it, 'which
proves that comparatives, such as the hotter and the colder, are to be
ranked in _the class of the infinite_.' In p. 26, B., Socrates says
that 'the goddess Harmony, perceiving the general lewdness and badness
of men, and that there was no limiting principle in them, either of
pleasures or of satisfying them, introduced law and order, containing
in themselves the finite. And you, Protarchus (he adds), say that she
thereby spoiled our pleasures; whereas I say, on the contrary, that
she saved them.' If the text is right, πέρας οὐδὲν ἐνὸν is the
accusative absolute; but we propose to read καὶ πέρας, &c., so that
the accusative will depend on κατιδοῦσα. Mr. Jowett's version
is--'Methinks that the goddess saw the universal wantonness and
wickedness of all things, having no limit of pleasure or satiety, and
she devised the limit of the law and order, tormenting the soul, as
you say, Philebus, or, as I affirm, saving the soul.'

It is no disparagement to the best of scholars to say that a perfect
translation of the whole of Plato is too great a task for any one
person to perform. It would be hardly possible to have the same
knowledge of every dialogue, and those less familiar to the translator
would not be wholly free from some mistakes. The scholarship that can
grapple with and gain a perfect mastery over the Greek of Plato, to
say nothing of his philosophy, must be of a very high order. No man,
perhaps, could have done the task better than Professor Jowett; and no
man, probably, is more fully aware that it might have been a good
deal better even than it is.



ART. VII.--_Mr. Miall's Motion on Disestablishment._

_Debate on the Motion of Edward Miall, Esq., M.P., May 9th, 1871.
Reprinted from the Nonconformist._


We doubt whether when the opponents of Mr. Gladstone's Irish Church
policy, during the electoral campaign of 1868, insisted that
disestablishment in Ireland would inevitably be followed by
disestablishment in England, they expected that such a debate as that
which took place in the House of Commons on the 9th of May last would
furnish a seeming justification of their prediction. The prediction,
however, was one which tended to fulfil itself; for, if it did not
suggest, it encouraged the movement which has followed it. The
plea--in the mouths of English Episcopalians, at least--was an
essentially selfish one, and has brought with it its own punishment.
Mr. Gladstone has reminded us that he did his best to convince the
electors of Lancashire that, neither on logical, nor on practical
grounds, did his proposal necessarily involve the sweeping away of all
the Established churches; and he has also said, and, no doubt, with
truth, that while Mr. Miall and his supporters may be entitled to
speak of the Irish Church Act of 1869 as the initiation of a policy,
that was not the intention of its authors, who regarded it simply as a
measure of justice to the Irish people. The upholders of
Establishment, however, were too heated and unreflecting to see that,
in refusing to allow Mr. Gladstone and the Liberal party to escape by
this flying bridge, they were virtually bringing down the enemy on a
portion of their territory hitherto comparatively secure. The less,
they insisted, involved the greater, and the public at large, taking
them at their word, was prepared for an advance movement on the part
of the opponents of all national religious establishments which a few
years ago would have been regarded as the blunder of a party
altogether bereft of political prudence.

It nevertheless required no small degree of courage on the part of Mr.
Miall to give notice so soon as a year after the passing of the Irish
Church Act that he would, in the following session, ask Parliament to
apply the principle of that measure to the other Established Churches
of the kingdom, and we are not surprised to know that the time
selected was, in part, determined by accidental circumstances, as much
as by deliberate choice. It is true that the honourable member was not
a novice in the matter; seeing that in 1856 he had submitted a motion
which similarly aimed at the extinction of the Irish Establishment.
But the Irish question, even in 1856, was, so far as public sentiment
was concerned, more advanced than the English Church question is now;
for Protestant ascendancy in Ireland had long been condemned by
English Liberalism, though the mode of bringing it to an end
occasioned a wide divergence of opinion. Nobody could and nobody did,
then deny Mr. Miall's facts, however much they dissented from his
practical conclusions; while the absence of concurring circumstances
gave to the debate an air of languor strangely in contrast with the
excitement occasioned by the same topic in after years. It is true
that the recent disestablishment motion is not the first which has
been submitted to the House of Commons, even in regard to the Church
of England. For nearly forty years ago--on the 16th of April,
1833--Mr. Faithfull, the member for Brighton--a borough then, as now,
intrepidly represented in Parliament--moved: 'That the Church of
England, as by law established, is not recommended by practical
utility: that its resources have always been subjected to
parliamentary enactments, and that the greater part, if not the whole,
of those resources ought to be appropriated to the relief of the
nation;' but on this occasion the question excited too little interest
to subject the mover to any sharp antagonism; Lord Althorpe declining
to reply to Mr. Faithfull's speech, and moving the previous question,
while the motion was negatived without a division. Mr. Gladstone's
memorable declaration, in 1868, that 'in the settlement of the Irish
Church that Church, as a State-Church, must cease to exist,' required
high moral courage; but the speaker knew that he was the mouthpiece of
a party powerful within, as well as without, the walls of Parliament,
and that he was sounding the tocsin for an immediate, and a
comparatively brief struggle, in which success was already assured.
Mr. Miall, on the contrary, knew that he would have no powerful
backing in the House of Commons, however great the moral strength
which he represented, and he knew also that he headed a skirmishing
party, rather than led a final attack; while he must also have been
conscious that the wisdom of his procedure would, by friendly, as well
as hostile, critics, be judged by the measure of success.

That the success was great, few persons who combine intelligence with
candour will be likely to deny, and probably it was greater than
either Mr. Miall, or the most sanguine of his friends, had ventured to
expect. Success, of course, has relation to the objects aimed at, and
these were well defined, and such as can be readily compared with the
actual results. We assume that Mr. Miall wished, by means of his
motion, to give a practical direction to the out-door agitation with
which he has been so many years identified; to put the subject in the
category of practical political questions, by forcing it on the notice
of politicians by the ordinary political methods; to place before the
greatest legislative assembly in the world, with something like
completeness, views held by a large and growing party in the country,
but never before directly and fully advocated in Parliament; to draw
out the forces enlisted on the side of establishments, and to put them
on the defensive, at a time when the difficulties in the way of
defence were by no means inconsiderable; and, finally, to secure such
a thorough discussion of the whole subject by the country as would
hasten the time when it must be dealt with with a view to a practical
settlement. If this is an accurate description of Mr. Miall's aims,
can it be said of any one of them that there has been even an approach
to failure? Could any parliamentary question, in the hands of an
independent member, have been launched with greater _éclat_, or with
more hopeful presages, than characterized the discussion in the House
of Commons on the 9th of May last? A large house--a speech which the
most competent critics in England have pronounced to be of the highest
class--a seven hours' debate sustained, for the most part, by members
of the greatest mark--a weakness of argument and of tone on the part
of the opponents of the motion which has excited general surprise--a
division almost exactly tallying with the calculations of those at
whose instance it was taken--leading articles and correspondence on
the subject in every journal in the kingdom, and an almost universal
impression that disestablishment is nearer at hand than it was thought
to be before the motion was submitted--if these do not satisfy the
most ardent of 'Liberationists,' the patience which has hitherto
distinguished them must have given way to unreasoning haste.

On one point, at least, in regard to which there was, at one time,
room for reasonable doubt, Mr. Miall's triumph must be considered
complete. Although it would have been difficult for any Nonconformist
member to have successfully vindicated a refusal to support the
motion, on the plea that it was 'premature,' yet there was something
to be urged in support of the plea itself, and it required a
recognition of some facts scarcely known to the public at large to
decide unhesitatingly in favour of the course actually adopted. But,
now that the motion has been made, the plea of prematureness can
scarcely be repeated. Even Sir Roundell Palmer frankly admitted that,
having regard to the feeling excited by the subject, both in the house
and in the country, it was one which was rightly brought under
discussion, and, notwithstanding the embarrassment which it was likely
to occasion the ministry, Mr. Gladstone tendered his thanks to Mr.
Miall for initiating the discussion, since, 'by introducing this
question, he has absorbed minor matters, which really involve his
motion as an ulterior consequence, but which do not fully express it,'
and has 'raised the question in a clear, comprehensive, and manly
manner, calculated to keep it from all debasing contact, and to raise
a fair trial of the great national question involved in the motion.'
These admissions are in singular contrast to the reception given to
Mr. Miall's Irish Church motion in 1856, when a Conservative member
actually tried to avert discussion by moving the adjournment of the
house, and Lord Palmerston, the then Premier, though he did not
venture to sanction the attempt, deprecated as 'unfortunate' the
enforced consideration of the subject.

If Mr. Miall has not acquired fame as a parliamentary debater, he has
made two speeches which will live in the political history of this
half century. Of that of 1856 it may, perhaps, be said that its
influence was greatest in the effect which it produced on the minds of
Liberal politicians whose minds were made up in condemnation of the
Irish Establishment, but whose notions in regard to remedial measures
were confused and undecided, or were radically unsound. The principle
which he then affirmed was as bread cast upon waters seen after many
days; and seen in the unequivocal shape of a statute of the realm
giving practical effect to the views enunciated thirteen years ago.
But the task undertaken then was far less difficult than that of 1871,
the area of discussion was much narrower, and the issues raised much
less complicated. Of Mr. Miall's recent speech, Mr. Leatham happily
said that it seemed to him 'as though it were the condensation of the
thought of a life-time;' but, in truth, the speaker had to disengage
his mind from many thoughts which had for years engaged the highest
powers of his intellect and the warmest sympathies of his heart. He
had to remember that he was standing, not on a Liberation platform,
but on the floor of the House of Commons, and that he was addressing
not the eagerly responsive readers of the _Nonconformist_, but the
cold and critical readers of journals of a very different type. And,
further, while avowing that the religious side of the question was
that which most powerfully affected his own mind, and conscious that
the most potent arguments which he could employ were those which
derive their force from religious considerations, he had to leave that
vantage ground, from the admitted unwillingness and unfitness of the
House of Commons to deal with the subject in its spiritual aspects,
and to take the lower ground involved in objections of an exclusively
political and social character. It required no small degree of
self-restraint, and of practical skill, for a speaker of such
antecedents as those of Mr. Miall to keep strictly within the lines
which he had laid down for himself; and the unstinted admiration
expressed by all the subsequent speakers and especially by public
journals, which--within a week of his Metropolitan Tabernacle
speech--were little likely to be biased in his favour, have shown
conclusively the completeness of his success. When the usually
moderate _Guardian_ affirms that Mr. Miall's speech was a signal
example of dissenting exaggeration, dissenting narrowness of view, and
dissenting shortness of thought and inability to comprehend the higher
aspects of a great religious and national question; and the _Record_
asserts that 'never was a speech delivered on a great question more
damaging to the cause it was intended to support:' the very
recklessness of the misrepresentations indicate a consciousness that
the impression produced was of a kind which has given great uneasiness
to the supporters of the Establishment. We expect, moreover, that the
_reading_ of the speech, in the complete form in which it has since
been published and widely circulated, will be found to have deepened
the impression produced by its delivery, and by a first hasty perusal.
Its calm yet forcible statements--its close reasoning--its apt and
pungent illustrations--its incontrovertible facts, and its elevation
of tone and style will, we are confident, perceptibly affect the minds
of thoughtful men on whom, for some time past, the truth has been
dawning that there must be something radically wrong in the existing
relations between the State and the several religious bodies of the
country. By a process of filtration, the truths enunciated by Mr.
Miall in this speech will, aided by other influences, find their way
into quarters into which none of his previous utterances on the same
subject have penetrated, and, unless the tendency of ecclesiastical
events greatly changes, it may be expected that the seed now sown will
germinate, and produce its fruits, with a degree of rapidity for which
previous efforts furnish no precedent.

Nor would justice be done to others were there no recognition of the
valuable aid given to the mover of the resolution by those who
supported him in the debate. It was fitting that a proposal so deeply
affecting the welfare of the Church of England should be seconded by a
member of that body, and the duty which Mr. J. D. Lewis voluntarily
undertook was discharged with both ability and courage. The facts and
figures supplied by Mr. Richard admirably supplemented Mr. Miall's
exposition of principle; while, so far as the Principality is
concerned, they demolished some of the boldest allegations of the
advocates of the existing system. If Mr. Leatham's speech must be
spoken of in terms of qualified praise--and notably in regard to his
insinuation respecting the views previously expressed by Mr.
Winterbotham--it must be admitted that he blurted out some truths
which were required to be told, however roughly, and presented with
admirable force, as well as vivacity, some aspects of the question
which ought not to have been neglected in such a discussion, and which
will tell upon minds but little affected by the less graphic method of
the philosophical and unrhetorical member for Bradford.

We do not wonder that the Dean of Norwich has expressed
dissatisfaction with the apologetic and low-toned character of the
replies given by the upholders of the Establishment; for an
ecclesiastic who holds it to be the duty of the State to find out
which is Christ's Church, and, having found it, to uphold and extend
it to the utmost, must have heard, or read, the debate with downright
dismay. The proverb that 'one story's good till another's told' does
not apply in this case; for strong as was Mr. Miall's case when he had
concluded his speech, it was stronger still after the weakness of the
other side had been shown by the reply. 'Is that all?' might have been
asked by any one conversant with all the traditionary arguments used
in defence of Church Establishments, after hearing Mr. Bruce, Sir
Roundell Palmer, Dr. Ball, Mr. Disraeli, and Mr. Gladstone. Of the
'national conscience' which enjoins the provision by the State of the
means of grace for the nation, or of the 'national atheism' involved
in the absence of such provision; or, in fact, of any theory whatever
on which it may be supposed to be possible to base an Establishment,
there was heard nothing. The friends of the Church, indeed, so far
abandoned theory, that Sir Roundell Palmer reproached Mr. Miall with
the theoretical character of his arguments, and was himself forced to
fall back on statements of the most prosaic and practical character;
while Mr. Disraeli, though vaguely asserting that 'the State ought to
recognise and support some religious expression in the community,' was
content to rest the case of the Establishment chiefly on 'the manifold
and ineffable blessings it bestows.'

It was perhaps a misfortune for that establishment that its defence
was mainly undertaken by official and ex-official advocates. They, it
is clear, were more concerned for their own position, in relation to
the question, now or hereafter--and especially hereafter--than
affected by a noble zeal on behalf of Church Establishments. Of
course, if it had been felt that the foundations of those institutions
were firm as the everlasting hills, that fact would have given
firmness of tone, if not vigour of expression, to those who were under
the necessity of doing battle on their behalf. But the insecurity of
the position renders necessary a system of Parliamentary 'hedging'--to
use sporting phraseology--on the part of those who wish to continue to
be, or to become, the depositaries of political power; and that,
perhaps, is the most alarming fact which the late debate has forced on
the notice of those who once thought that Church and State never
_could_ be separated.

The Home Secretary, in particular, described the ministerial policy in
this matter with a frankness which revealed in an almost amusing way
the embarrassment of official Liberalism. He admitted that 'the
question of an Established Church was seriously occupying the minds of
the people of Scotland,' but added that 'nothing, he was assured,
would be done in the matter until the great majority of the people
were in favour of disestablishment.' With respect, however, to
England, 'the question was far less mature.' No fair-minded man, he
added, could deny 'that there was a great deal of truth in many of the
statements' made by Mr. Miall, in regard to the shortcomings of the
Establishment, and the extent to which the spiritual necessities of
the people had been met by Nonconformists. But, he continued:--

      'The practical question for the House to consider was
      whether they were for those reasons prepared to pass a
      resolution which would bind them at once to legislate on
      the subject. No Government would, he thought, be justified
      in undertaking such a task in the present state of public
      opinion. The calmness of his hon. friend in dealing with
      the question would, he was afraid, not be imitated by the
      country at large, and its discussion must lead to great
      dissension and controversy, although in the end the result
      might tend to promote peace and harmony. It was a subject
      on which no Government should attempt to legislate without
      the assurance of success. (Ironical cheers.) He was
      speaking without reference to the present or any other
      Government, and he must repeat that no Ministry would be
      justified in proceeding to deal with a question of such
      great importance without some assurance of success. ("Hear,
      hear," and a laugh.) It was the business of private members
      to ventilate such questions, and the duty of the Government
      to take them up only when public opinion declared it to be
      expedient.'

And then, as a _solatium_ to those whom these ominous statements were
calculated to disturb, he proceeded to say a few civil words about the
great work which is being done by the Church of England, and the deep
root she has taken in the affections of the people; returning,
however, to the official line on which he started, by admitting that
he 'was not prepared to defend the Established Church with any
abstract arguments,' and insisting that, as prudent men, they must see
their way more clearly before adopting such a motion. 'Call you that
backing your friends?' was the indignant, and not unnatural reply of
the fervent Dr. Ball, who declared that 'the Church would be defended
as long as it did not imperil the interests of the Government, and no
longer.'

Mr. Disraeli's milder expression of the opinion that 'when it comes to
a question of maintaining the union between Church and State, I think
your adhesion to the proposal, or your objection to it, should be
founded on some principle which cannot be disputed, and guided by some
policy which the country can comprehend,' did elicit from the Prime
Minister 'very different sounds'--to use the language of Mr.
Disraeli--but the substance was substantially the same. He could
remind the Opposition leader that, notwithstanding his appreciation of
principles, he himself was content to rest his defence of the
Establishment, 'not so much upon adhesion to any abstract theory, or
principle, as upon the fact that the convictions of the nation are in
its favour, or, in other words, that public opinion is adverse to the
motion of my honourable friend.' And it was, practically, upon this
proposition Mr. Gladstone took his stand; while he, at the same time,
strengthened his position by descriptions of the 'vastness of the
operation' pointed at in the motion, and the immense difficulties
which it would involve, and also dilated, with characteristic grace
and copiousness, on the pre-eminent advantages resulting from the
manner in which the Church of England discharges its practical duties.
And his closing declaration went no further, and rose no higher, than
this:--

      'I cannot but stand upon the firm conviction that the
      nation which sent us here does not wish us to adopt the
      motion of the hon. member.... I do not think that it is
      necessary for us--indeed, I don't think the hon. gentleman
      expects that we should do so--to vote for a motion which we
      are firmly convinced is at variance with the established
      convictions of the country, and I shall venture to say to
      my hon. friend, what I am sure he will not resent, that if
      he seeks to convert the majority of the House of Commons to
      his opinions, he must begin by undertaking the preliminary
      work of converting to those opinions the majority of the
      people of England.'

When Mr. Miall led the attack on the Irish Establishment, in 1856, it
was stated that the task of replying to him was assigned to Mr.
Whiteside, but that the vehement representative of Dublin University
was quite unprepared to deal with a case so dispassionately put as it
was by Mr. Miall; while it is certain that he found his physical force
oratory--as Mr. Bright once described it--much more available in a
subsequent session, in denouncing the anticipated betrayal of the
Church by Mr. Gladstone. Sir Roundell Palmer, however, did not shrink
from fulfilling the intention which had been ascribed to him previous
to the debate, and, perhaps, no fitter representative man could have
been chosen for the purpose. Certainly no one could have succeeded
more fully in keeping the discussion up to the high level to which its
originator had sought to raise it. No one could be more candid in his
recognition of the ability, and the admirable spirit, with which Mr.
Miall had placed the subject before the House.[40] No one could be
more discriminating in choosing the grounds on which his resistance
was offered to the motion; and no one could put the case of the Church
more suavely, or more willingly. But, notwithstanding all these high
recommendations, the speech was a singularly weak one, in regard to
both its reasoning and its facts. The latter, indeed, constituted the
weakest part of his case--though, in some quarters, they are relied
upon with a confidence which seems to us to be attributable either to
imperfect knowledge, or to mistaken views of their bearing on the
question in dispute.

The two main facts urged by Sir Roundell Palmer were these--first,
that the existence of an Established Church no longer involves
injustice to Nonconformists; second, that 'this great institution does
a work of inestimable value over the whole land, and in every part of
society,' and, more especially, that, to the poor, and in the rural
parishes, it is of 'priceless value.'

If the first of these propositions can be sustained, the most
effective weapon at their command will be taken out of the hands of
the assailants of the Establishment. Mr. Miall, of course, insisted on
the converse of that proposition with the utmost emphasis--denouncing,
as he did, 'the essential and inseparable injustice involved in
lifting one Church from among many into political ascendancy, and
endowing it with property belonging to the people in their corporate
capacity;' and affirming that 'the inmost principle of a Church
Establishment is necessarily unjust in its operation,' and that 'man
suffers injustice at the hands of the State when the State places him
in a position of exceptional disadvantage on account of his religious
faith, or his ecclesiastical associations.' Sir Roundell Palmer has
two replies to this, viz., that what Dissenters 'call ascendancy' is
'no longer an ascendancy involving any civil rights, privileges, or
advantage whatever,' and that those who do not participate in the
benefit derived from the property in the hands of the Establishment
'fail to do so from simple choice.' He further asserts that the idea
'that no State institution intended for the public good can be just
which everybody does not equally participate in,' would 'lead us into
communism, or some other system of the kind.'

The plea that, the Establishment being open to all, no injustice is
done to these who stay outside, is one which it is difficult to
discuss with patience, even when seriously urged, as it seems to have
been, by an opponent like Sir Roundell Palmer. We saw nothing of the
inadequacy, as regards quantity, of that which the Establishment
offers to all--an inadequacy so great that the offer becomes a
mockery: it is enough to point out that that offer is one which, from
the necessity of the case, cannot possibly be accepted. The well-known
saying of Horne Tooke's that the London Tavern was open to every
man--who could afford to pay the bill, suggests the answer to the
shallow averment that the injustice endured by Nonconformists is,
after all, self-inflicted. If they are ready to pay the price at which
the advantages of the Establishment are offered to them, to sin
against their convictions, and to swallow their conscientious
scruples, they may enjoy religious equality within its pale, instead
of struggling for it without. It is a new use of the old defence of
the Irish Establishment so happily ridiculed by Thomas Moore, in his
'Dream of Hindostan:'--

      '"And pray," asked I, "by whom is paid
      The expense of this strange masquerade?"
      "The expense!--Oh that's of course defrayed,"
      (Said one of these well-fed Hecatombers)
      "By yonder rascally rice consumers."
      "What! _they_, who mustn't eat meat!"--

                                    "No matter--"
      (And while he spoke his cheeks grew fatter),
      "The rogues may munch their _Paddy_ crop,
      But the rogues must still support our shop.
      And, depend upon it, the way to treat
      Heretical stomachs that thus dissent,
      Is to burden all that won't eat meat,
      With a costly MEAT ESTABLISHMENT."'

Sir Roundell Palmer thinks that he has conceded everything which
equity requires when he expresses entire agreement with Mr. Miall that
'no State authority ought to interfere with any man's religious
belief,' and he clenches that admission by the bold assertion, that
the ascendancy of the Church of England no longer involves 'any civil
rights, privileges, or advantages whatever.' It might have occurred to
him that, even if his statement were strictly accurate, the words 'no
longer' pointed to a history of suffering and of struggle which
resulted from the existence of an Establishment, and in which
Nonconformists have figured as the victims. But is it accurate? Why at
the moment the statement was made there was before Parliament--as
there is likely to be for some time to come--a measure for
extinguishing the clerical monopoly in parochial churchyards; the
disabilities of Dissenters at Oxford and Cambridge had not been
removed,[41] and there had just been published the new Statutes of
Winchester and Harrow schools, which expressly insist that none but
members of the Church shall be qualified to act as members of the
governing bodies of those institutions! And, even when these grounds
of just complaint have been removed, there will still exist in
numerous Statutes, or Trusts, or Schemes, or Regulations, affecting
matters of parochial, educational, or charitable administration,
provisions which, directly or indirectly, exclude Dissenters from the
national Church from the enjoyment of rights, privileges, and
advantages, which Sir Roundell Palmer would have us believe are as
much within the reach of Nonconformists as of Conformists.

That, however, is a very limited view of the subject which supposes
that the principle of religious equality is violated only by means of
Statutes of the realm which, in so many words, place the members of
unestablished bodies on a different footing, as regards civil rights,
from that occupied by members of the Establishment. For it may be
safely asserted that for every act of exclusion, and every violation
of the principle of equity, for which the legislature is responsible,
in connection with an Established system, there are twenty others
which are the indirect, though inevitable, result of that system.
Establishment is a name for more than a collection of Statutes, and a
particular mode of appropriating national property: it represents a
powerful source of influence--a spring the force of which is felt
throughout all the ramifications of society, and is often experienced
by those who are unconsciously affected by it. Notwithstanding the
lip-homage now paid to the principle of religious equality, even by
politicians who once persistently fought against it, the ascendancy of
the Church Establishment is sought to be upheld by public
functionaries, by corporate bodies, and by individuals, organized and
unorganized, in a hundred ways which are independent of legislation,
but which, nevertheless, inflict, whether intentionally or not, great
injustice on those who are attached to other religious communities.

No one would now venture to declare, as a Conservative journal did
years ago, that a 'Dissenter is only half an Englishman,' but, so far
as a right to share in all the advantages afforded by civilized
society is concerned, that is the position in which he is, or is
sought to be placed, even now. The question with which Mr. Leatham
fairly startled Mr. Gladstone, 'How long are we, a party of
Dissenters, to be led by a cabinet of Churchmen?' suggests other
inquiries, of a more searching kind, which are even more strictly
relevant to the point we are now considering. Take the public
functionaries throughout the kingdom--the Commissioners who administer
the affairs of important departments, some of which decide matters
vitally affecting the interests of Nonconformists--the occupants of
the magisterial bench--the trustees of public charities--the holders
of municipal and parochial offices, great and small, and it will be
seen that the large majority are connected with the State-favoured
Church, and that offices of responsibility and influence, as well as
of emolument, are filled by Dissenters in an inverse proportion to
their numbers, their intelligence, and their energetic devotion to
public duty.

These are some of the allegations with which we meet Sir Roundell
Palmer's assertion that the Establishment no longer inflicts wrong on
those who think it right to dissent; but there are others, the aptness
of which will be still more apparent, because the facts come within
the knowledge of a far larger class. Whatever may be the case in the
great centres of population, it is certain that in the small towns,
and especially in those rural districts, in which, we are told, the
Establishment is so great a blessing, petty persecution, aiming at the
repression of dissent, is as rife as when that Establishment could
persecute by law. Is the dissenter a farmer? He is kept by Church
landlords and landladies out of a whole district, as carefully as the
rinderpest itself; or if he happens to be already in it, he is
deported as quickly as lease, or agreement, will allow. Is he a
shopkeeper? He must hold his head low, and consent to sell his
principles with his wares, or he loses half his customers. Does he
require education for his children? The day-school is, indeed, open to
them, but attendance at the Sunday-school and the church is insisted
upon, as part of the price to be paid for the education for which he,
in common with other tax-payers, largely pays. Is he poor? So much the
worse for him, when coals, blankets, and soup are distributed at
Christmas; when parochial charities, intended to be unsectarian, are
dispensed, or when misfortune makes him a fitting object for the help
and sympathy of all his neighbours. Nay! he may be wholly independent
of all around in regard to pecuniary circumstances--may have fortune,
culture, and all the gifts and graces of refined and of Christian
life; yet, if in the matter of the Lord his God he differs from those
who worship at the altars of the Establishment, he, too, pays the
penalty for conscientious Nonconformity, in the social exclusion, and
the haughty contempt, which to certain minds make country life one of
the hardest things to bear, and strongly tempt the children of wealthy
Nonconformists to desert, and ultimately to despise, the communities
to which they were once attached.

To these representations, as well as to others relating to the social
discord created by an Establishment, it has been replied that they
describe as much the result of the caste-feeling, which, rightly or
wrongly, exists among us, as the result of the Church being
established; that hard and fast lines will be drawn by individuals
even when State-made distinctions have ceased; that we 'shall not get
rid of the Church of England by disestablishing it;' and that 'so far
from being less energetic in the assertion of its claims,' it will be
'more energetic than ever.' The rejoinder is, that the existence of a
state-maintained Church aggravates social tendencies sufficiently bad
enough in themselves to require no encouragement--that, when the
possessors of invidious privileges find their privileges endangered,
they think themselves justified in doing what they would otherwise
condemn--that acts such as we have indicated are committed to a far
greater extent by the members of established than of unestablished
bodies, and that Episcopalianism in America, and in our own colonies,
does not adopt the repressive, and the oppressive, policy to which it
resorts at home. Sir Roundell Palmer's dictum that 'One of the
advantages of a union which subsists between Church and State is, that
it gives to the former an inducement to act in a more liberal and
conciliatory spirit than can be relied upon if the relations between
the two were different,' is, in our judgment, contrary to the facts of
history; and if the Church is, at the present time, 'bound over to
keep the peace' as it has not been before, it is just because the ties
between Church and State are loosened, and liberality and moderation
are necessary to prevent their being quickly severed.

There is one other aspect of the case to which, perhaps, full justice
was not done by any of the speakers in the late debate, and that is
the influence exerted by the Establishment, in regard to opinion, as
affecting both theological belief and ecclesiastical practice. The
Nonconformist objection to an Establishment, as popularly put, is,
that it appropriates public property to the maintenance of a Church,
the advantages of which cannot be shared by large sections of the
community. That is true, but it is not the whole truth; for even if
the Church found its own capital, and the State gave nothing but
authority and privilege, the Nonconformist would still have ground to
complain of the injustice done to him by the junction of the two
bodies. The pocket objection, strong as it is, is, after all, neither
the strongest nor the highest. To the man who, in these days of
shifting and uncertain belief, holds definite views of truth, and
especially of the highest forms of truth, it is less a grievance that
the State should deprive him of his share of public property than that
it should exert its influence on behalf of what he believes to be
mischievous error--error, possibly, dishonouring to God, as well as
detrimental to men. The member for Richmond says that he is at one
with the member for Bradford in thinking that 'no State authority
ought to interfere with any man's religious belief;' but what is
interference with man's religious belief? Is no one's belief
interfered with when the Canons of a national Church excommunicate
_ipso facto_ all impugners of the Articles, the worship, or the
government of that Church, until they have repented, and publicly
revoked, their 'wicked errors?' Is the Unitarian belief not interfered
with by the state-sanctioned Athanasian creed? Or the Baptist belief
by the baptismal service? Or the Quaker belief by the eucharistic
doctrines of the Church? Or, to put the question in the broadest form,
is the Roman Catholic's belief not interfered with when there is
established a Protestant Church, which asserts that the leading
tenets, or practices, of the Romish Church are damnable and
idolatrous?

It is true that everybody in the country is free to protest against
the creed and practices of the Establishment, but why should anyone
have to protest at all? The Nonconformist may enforce his own views of
truth and religious duty, but why should the State, which is invested
with authority derived from him, in common with his fellow-citizens,
not only compel him to become a Nonconformist, but put a heavy premium
on the acceptance of that which he feels it to be his duty to
denounce? This is a question, the force of which increases in
proportion as the Established clergy assert their right to set at
defiance authorized doctrinal standards and rubrics, as well as to
disregard the most solemn judicial decisions; for the points of
theological antagonism between their teaching and the views of
Nonconformists will multiply as confusion grows within the Church. But
we are content to enforce our present point by an illustration drawn
from a state of things with which we have long been familiar, rather
than from any new development of clerical extravagance. Here, for
instance, are specimens of the teaching of one of the authorized
instructors of the people, taken from a twopenny catechism, entitled
_Some questions of the Church Catechism, and doctrines involved,
briefly explained, for the use of families and parochial schools_; by
the Rev. J. A. Gace, M.A., Vicar of Great Barling, Essex,[42] and
which, we understand, is circulated widely in many parishes far
distant from the author's.

      '85. _Q._ We have amongst us various Sects and
      Denominations who go by the general name of Dissenters. In
      what light are we to consider them? _A._ As heretics; and
      in our Litany we expressly pray to be delivered from the
      sins of "false doctrine, heresy, and schism."

      '86. _Q._ Is then their worship a laudable service? _A._
      No; because they worship God according to their own evil
      and corrupt imaginations, and not according to His revealed
      will, and therefore their worship is idolatrous.

      '87. _Q._ Is Dissent a great sin? _A._ Yes; it is in direct
      opposition to our duty towards God.

      '94. _Q._ But why have not Dissenters been excommunicated?
      _A._ Because the law of the land does not allow the
      wholesome law of the Church to be acted upon; but
      Dissenters have virtually excommunicated themselves by
      setting up a religion of their own, and leaving the ark of
      God's Church.

      '98. _Q._ Is it wicked then to enter a meeting-house at
      all? _A._ Most assuredly; because, as was said above, it is
      a house where God is worshipped otherwise than He has
      commanded, and therefore it is not dedicated to His honour
      and glory; and besides this, we run the risk of being led
      away by wicked enticing words; at the same time, by our
      presence we are witnessing our approval of their heresy,
      wounding the consciences of our weaker brethren, and by our
      example teaching others to go astray.

      '99. _Q._ But is language such as this consistent with
      charity? _A._ Quite so: for when there is danger of the
      true worshippers of God falling into error we cannot speak
      too plainly, or warn them too strongly of their perilous
      state; at the same time that it is our duty to declare in
      express terms to those who are without, that they are
      living separate from Christ's body, and consequently out of
      the pale of salvation, so far, at least, as God has thought
      fit to reveal.'

Assuming, as we may fairly do, that the author of all this--well! we
need not describe it--preaches as he publishes, have the heretics and
sinners whom he thus consigns to perdition no right to complain that,
besides receiving--according to the 'Clergy List'--£230 a year of
public money, he should also be invested with authority by the State?
It is idle to say that truth is truth, and falsehood falsehood, and
that the one will prevail, and the other perish, no matter whether he
who utters it is an established clergyman, or a dissenting preacher.
In the long run it will be so, but the struggle between truth and
falsehood is prolonged when, instead of the two being left fairly to
grapple with each other, the weight of State-influence, as well as of
State-gold, is thrown into the wrong scale. To speak plainly, the
establishment of a Church is an organized system of bribery in favour
of that Church. It may fail to buy the adherence of strong and
independent minds, but the minds of the majority are neither the one
nor the other. It appeals successfully to the self-seeking, the
timid, the conventional, the fashion-loving, and _they_ are to be
found among every class of the community. And, in doing so, it
inflicts injustice--injustice to those who reject the established
doctrines, even though they may be in possession of every civil right.

'The Established Church will certainly not be weakened by the debate
of Tuesday,' was the final conclusion of the _Times_, in the three
fluctuating leaders devoted to the subject, and that is true in the
sense in which it is true that an army hard pressed by an enemy is not
weakened by abandoning an untenable position, and by retreating within
its inner line of defence. And that is just what the English
Establishment has done, so far as its present position is indicated by
the late debate. Almost everything in the shape of _à priori_ argument
on its behalf has been given up, and it has fallen back on the plea of
utility alone. In doing so, it has adapted itself to a characteristic
of Englishmen, of whom Emerson has smartly said that, while there is
nothing which they hate so much as a theory, they will bow down and
worship a fact. It does not, however, follow that objectors to the
Establishment are bound to confine themselves to the same weapons as
those selected for the defence. The reasoning based on religious
principle which--strange anomaly! seeing that Parliament charges
itself with responsibility for the religious concerns of the
nation--is thought to be unfit for the House of Commons, may still be
employed with effect in influencing pious and thoughtful minds
elsewhere. Nor can the reasoning which appeals to men's sense of
equity be disposed of in the summary fashion adopted by Sir Roundell
Palmer. An institution based on principles which are radically unsound
cannot long be vindicated solely with reference to its alleged
usefulness. That which is unjust cannot be permanently upheld, because
it is seemingly successful. The painted sepulchre is a sepulchre,
though painted; and if an establishment really contravenes the rules
of right, its most brilliant, and even its most solid achievements,
will ultimately fail to prolong its existence.

When the Church of England, put upon its defence as a Church
established by law, insists that it is the source of blessings to the
community, amply worth the price which the community is required to
pay for them, it indicates no lack of Christian or of generous feeling
to examine these claims in the same practical way in which they are
put forward. Especially is it necessary to discriminate between the
action of the Church simply as such, and its action as a Church
specially favoured by the State, as well as to see that, while
acknowledging all its deeds of goodness, we do not draw from them a
totally erroneous inference. It does not seem to us that very much is
conceded, if we admit the correctness of Sir Roundell Palmer's
assertion that the Church of England is exerting more influence over
the country than all the other religious bodies put together. Why--to
quote the language of the _Times_, used for an opposite purpose--'a
man of education might be expected to remember that modern Dissent can
only boast a history of a hundred and fifty years, and that before it
arose the whole system of the Church of England was firmly
consolidated.' And, besides the advantage of a long start, she has had
wealth, power, and prestige--all three being enjoyed at the expense of
Nonconformity, and yet the nett result is, that she only does more
than all the unestablished bodies, and in doing so, leaves masses of
the people almost untouched by her ministrations! Let it be remembered
also, that these descriptions of the Establishment, which are intended
to reconcile us to its existence, are descriptions which, to a large
extent, have been applicable only during the last fifty years. No one
would speak of the Church in the days of the Georges as he may rightly
speak of her in the days of Victoria; for one of her own clergy--the
Rev. Sydney Smith--has characteristically declared that during the
former period 'the clergy of England had no more influence over the
people than the cheesemongers of England.' And whence the change? Is
it attributable to the action of the Establishment principle--to the
retention of Parliamentary grants, or to the multiplication of
political privileges? On the contrary, not until voluntaryism had to
so great an extent supplied the deficiency existing in connection with
State-endowments and compulsory exactions, and not until the process
of disestablishment had, in principle, been commenced, has the Church
of England earned the eulogiums of which she is now deservedly the
subject. Sir Roundell Palmer asks for the gratitude of Dissenters
because the zeal and energy of the Church have given to them a
powerful stimulus, and reminds us that, in regard to architecture, to
music, and to modes of worship, they have not hesitated to copy the
Church from which they dissent. Well! we are as thankful as he is for
that 'community of feeling between the most enlightened and best of
men on both sides,' which not only brings them together, but leads
them to select for imitation each other's wisest and best methods. But
is the obligation all on one side? Does the Church owe nothing to
Nonconformity, in regard to zeal, to organization, to education, to
hymnology, to preaching, and, above all, to the pecuniary aspects of
voluntaryism? She is welcome to all she has borrowed, and we hope that
it may be possible to import into her own system other admitted
excellencies, to be found in those of Nonconformists; but does this
interchange of influence between different Churches justify the
placing of one in an exceptional position, to the prejudice of the
rest; and is Nonconformity,

      'Like a young eagle, who has lost his plume
      To fledge the shaft by which he meets his doom,'

to have an Establishment foisted upon it in perpetuity, because it has
done so much to make such institution more tolerable than in days of
yore? And what authority had Sir Roundell Palmer for the assertion
that Mr. Miall wished, 'for certain theoretical reasons, to destroy
the whole of the immense machinery by which all this good is done?' If
by this it was intended to suggest that all the good effected by the
Church of England comes out of its legal position, Mr. Miall would
deny the correctness of the suggestion; while, on the other hand, if
no inconsiderable portion of that good be the result of the piety and
devotedness of Churchmen--manifested in spite, rather than as the
result, of Establishment--he would repudiate any intention to destroy,
or in any way to hinder their work.

We have said that the case of the Establishment has been made to rest
solely on the utilitarian argument; and we now add that the range of
that argument is practically limited to the rural parishes. Sir
Roundell Palmer admits that in the large towns the Church of England
is not overtaking the spiritual wants of the population; though he
thinks that its efforts to do so are greater than those of Dissenters.
That is to say, the influence of the Establishment is smallest where
the intellectual and moral forces which ultimately decide the
country's destinies exist--a large admission, and one which will have
cumulative weight as time progresses. Mr. Miall, he complained, 'did
not sufficiently distinguish between the position of the working
classes in the towns and the working classes in the country,' and,
with regard to the last, he affirmed that, 'speaking generally, they
are members of the Church, and through the Church they are partakers
of benefits of every description, spiritual, moral, and even
temporal.' 'Those,' he added, 'who know the rural districts of this
country, will bear testimony to the existence of multitudes upon
multitudes of poor people who have in them both "sweetness and
light."' And then--utterly ignoring the influence exercised by all
other agencies--he stated that he could not 'imagine any institution
to which this character of the labouring poor is due more than to that
which has placed in the centre of the population of every part of the
country a man educated and intelligent, whose business it is to do
them good, whose whole and sole business is to take care of their
souls as far as by God's help he is enabled to do so, in every way and
in all circumstances of life to be their friend and counsellor.'

We assume that Scotland is not included in the sphere within which the
Established system has wrought thus beneficently. We assume also that,
after the facts and figures for which the House and country are
indebted to Mr. Richard, M.P., the Principality of Wales also may be
excluded from the map of the territory over which the sun of the
Establishment sheds these blessings, and, probably, a candid
Episcopalian would hesitate to claim for his Church credit for all the
civilization and Christianity to be found in Cornwall, and some other
districts. So that, tried by a geographical test, the argument may be
pared down even yet lower than it has been by the speaker himself.

But are we to be satisfied with Arcadian pictures, or to seek to build
on solid fact? We repeat Mr. Miall's question--what is the condition
of the rural parishes? and for an answer refer, not to Blue Books
alone, but to the knowledge of living men. How are 'the men whose
whole and sole business it is to take care of the souls' of our
villagers discharging their high function? Are they feeding them with
the bread of life, or with 'the husks which the swine do eat,' in the
shape of superstitious teaching, or of vapid formalism? Is it not in
our village parishes that there are to be found the most stolid
ignorance and the grossest superstition? Can there not be reckoned up
by hundreds parishes in which spiritual deadness and intellectual
stagnation are the prevailing characteristics of the population--or
where the only ray of light issues from the mission-station of the
despised itinerant preacher, and the only mental activity is due to
the self-sacrificing efforts of a handful of, perhaps, persecuted
Dissenters? These are the kind of questions which will be stirred up
by Sir Roundell Palmer's statements, and other recent utterances of
the like kind. Those statements are, no doubt, true of certain
parishes, and the number of those parishes is, we are glad to believe,
increasing; but that they accurately describe the majority of rural
parishes we utterly disbelieve, and surprise must not be felt if,
henceforth, there is less reticence than there has been in regard to
the real working of the Establishment in those districts in which it
is now alleged to be the greatest blessing.

We have heard of those who represent the world as resting upon the
back of a tortoise; and now the case of the English Establishment is
based upon the agricultural labourer. Even a journal having so
unclerical a bias as the _Pall Mall Gazette_ gravely declares that

      'Without the parson of the parish the English parish itself
      would revert to that barbarism from which it is, even under
      existing circumstances, not so very distantly removed. The
      agricultural labourers of this country have been not
      altogether unjustly described as a class without hope; but
      whatever chance of kindness or consolation they may have in
      need, sickness, or the approach of death, depends in the
      main on the presence and the comparative affluence of the
      parish clergyman.'

Thus, as Earl Russell once vindicated the Irish Establishment by
alleging that it gave the farmer in every parish a customer for his
eggs and butter, so in England it has now become the fashion to look
upon the Established clergy as auxiliary relieving officers, or as a
supplementary county police. It is not a high conception of their
functions; while it indicates the kind of impression which the Church,
as a spiritual institution, has made upon the political and
religiously-indifferent class. Nor will it reconcile good men, whether
in the Church of England or out of it, to a continuance of the evils,
the anomalies and the perplexities which are now admitted to be
inseparably connected with its position as an establishment. The eggs
and butter argument did not save the Irish Establishment; and neither
will the resident gentlemen theory save that of England. An
institution is, in fact, doomed when its advocates are thus obliged to
descend from the higher ground which they previously occupied, to
one--comparatively speaking--so miserably low. The question 'what will
become of the rural parishes if the Church be disestablished?' is one
which should be and can be answered; but, even if no satisfactory
answer were forthcoming, it would not be practicable to maintain
intact all the elaborate and costly machinery which goes by the name
of an establishment.

It is not our purpose to deduce from the debate on which we have been
commenting any practical lessons for the guidance of those whose
principles and aims it was the object of Mr. Miall to advance. The
leaders of the movement are not likely to be led by any elation of
feeling, resulting from the recent rapidity of their progress, to
relax the exertions needed to overcome the difficulties still awaiting
them; while they are acute enough to perceive the direction in which
they must in future work. If the passing of the Irish Church Act
demonstrated the possibility of disuniting Church and State by
peaceful, legal, and constitutional means, it has now been made
equally evident that, whenever public opinion calls for a similar
measure for England and for Scotland, our statesmen will be prepared
to comply with the demand. And, although we are not sanguine enough to
expect that the remaining stages of the controversy will be passed
through with the placidity which characterized the recent debate, we
yet hope that the fairness of spirit, and the generosity of feeling,
which were conspicuous from its commencement to its close, will exert
a perceptible influence on disputants in a less elevated arena. The
issue to be tried is one which, from its very nature, should restrain,
rather than excite evil passions, and which pre-eminently calls for
the manifestation of a broad and catholic feeling, instead of a narrow
and acrid sectarianism. If it be useless to cry 'Peace--peace!' amid
the din of conflict, that conflict may yet be carried on in a spirit
which will make it easy for victor and vanquished presently to rejoice
together, in what will be ultimately felt to be a gain for interests
which are equally precious to both.

FOOTNOTES:

[40] Remembering the bitter vituperation of which the Liberation
Society has been the subject, the following passage from Sir Roundell
Palmer's speech, while creditable to the speaker, is amusing
also:--'When we see considerable bodies connected--_I won't call them
with agitations, for that is a word that might not be acceptable_--but
with movements out of doors for the purpose of influencing public
opinion on this subject.... I cannot pretend to deny that the question
should be brought under our attention.' This is substituting
rose-water for vitriol!

[41] The University Tests Abolition Bill received the royal assent on
the 16th of June.

[42] London: J. and C. Mozley, and Masters and Son, 1870.



CONTEMPORARY LITERATURE.



HISTORY, BIOGRAPHY, AND TRAVELS.


_The Cromwellian Settlement of Ireland._ By J. P. PRENDERGAST,
Barrister-at-law. Second Edition. Enlarged. With a Facsimile of a
Cromwellian Debenture. Longmans. 1870.

It is the tritest of common places to deplore the persistency with
which the Irish will go back to early times, and explain the failure
of the well-meant attempts of modern legislation by narrating old
persecutions. They will do it; and the practical effect of their doing
so is seen, in the agitation for 'home government' among the wilder
spirits in Fenianism, among men like Mr. Butt and Mr. J. Martin. But,
though we regret the 'over-long memory' of the Irish, we cannot but
feel that Englishmen have never paid attention enough to the history
of the sister island. To most English readers everything beyond what
it suited the purpose of Macaulay and Carlyle and Froude to tell them,
is a mere blank. Educated men read with surprise in Mr. Hill-Burton's
Scotland, the statement that Ireland was the old _Scotia_, the _Scotia
major_ when it becomes necessary to make a distinction, and that the
_perfervidum ingenium_ which carried four Scotia missionaries over the
whole continent, is that very temperament which makes the Irish of
to-day so impatient of English rule. Mr. Reichel's lectures, again
(chiefly known, we fear, only through the appreciative notices of them
in the _Saturday Review_) have been a sort of new revelation of the
way in which Popery was forced upon Ireland by the English invaders,
and of the general state of the country in Plantagenet times. Even Mr.
Froude continually overthrows preconceived opinions--as when he proves
that in Elizabeth's time the only part of Ireland where there was
anything like peace and security was that which was still ruled by
native princes; 'the pale' being ground down by taxation and ravaged
by an unpaid soldiery, the successors of those 'paddy persons' who
under Leicester had made England despicable in the Netherlands, whilst
Ulster, under Shane O'Neil, was quiet and prosperous. What Englishman,
again, had anything like a true notion of the disgraceful horrors of
'98, till he read Massey's George the Third? Yet Irishmen know and
ponder over all these things. A whole library of cheap historical
monographs has for many years spread the knowledge of them broadcast;
and to this reading, unhappily so one-sided, is due that stubborn
'ingratitude' as we call it, which even the Disestablishment and the
Land Bill fail to satisfy.

Mr. Prendergast's book (which we see has reached a second edition) is
perhaps the very best that an Englishman could read in order to master
the causes of Irish discontent. It is well written in every sense;
full of minute research, which the author's office as cataloguer of
the Carte papers in the Bodleian enabled him to make; graphic in its
descriptions, and abounding in a kind of grim humour which suits the
story well. It is the work, in fact, of an educated Irishman.

Its object is to show how the Long Parliament, taking occasion from
the massacre of 1641, declared the whole of Ireland forfeited, and,
assigning Connaught as a home for the native population, divided the
rest into lots, which were given, partly to those who advanced money
to raise the Parliamentary army, partly in lieu of pay to the officers
and soldiers of that army. Mr. Prendergast does not give many details
of Cromwell's conquest--sufficiently known from Carlyle's Letters; but
he traces narrowly the history of the deportation, and shows how,
after causing incredible misery, it failed in 'thoroughness.'

The only doubtful portion of the book is the preliminary attempt to
explain away what our author styles 'the so-called massacre of 1641.'
The attempt will hardly satisfy anyone, and in some it may awaken an
unfair prejudice against the rest of the work. No doubt as to this
'massacre' there was immense exaggeration. It gave occasion for just
the sort of cry which the Parliament wanted to strengthen their hands
against Charles. He and Strafford, tolerant for their own ends, had no
prejudice against the use of those Irish Papists whom the great
majority of the King's party looked on much as Chatham in the American
war looked on our Red Indian allies. He therefore encouraged the Irish
of the North, smarting under the sense of James's confiscations and
Strafford's oppression, to arm with the view of helping him against
the Scots. They were to have come over and joined the Highlanders in
crushing the army of the Covenant. There is no doubt about it: since
Mr. Prendergast wrote, facts cited by Mr. Burton in his recent
history, prove that O'Neil's commission was not (as one historian
after another has repeated) 'a forgery with an old seal torn off an
abbey charter stuck upon it,' it was a bonâ fide document sealed with
_the Great Seal of Scotland_--a bit of that clumsy 'statecraft' which
the Stuarts learned from Elizabeth, for the Scotch seal had, of
course, no real power in Ireland.

Unfortunately for Charles both Irish and Scotch went to work more
quickly than he had expected. The first thought was naturally enough
that to recover their own lands was at least as important as to aid
Charles; so Sir Phelim O'Neil began his rising by driving out all the
English settlers instead of waiting till Ormonde was ready to seize
the strong places, and above all to get possession of Dublin. The
Scots, again, did not stop till Charles, who knew well enough that he
could not trust his English troops, had brought over his Irish forces
against them. They crossed the border, and the fight at Newburn and
the capture of Newcastle were the results. The actual killing done by
the rebels in 1641 has (we have said) been vastly exaggerated; the
mischief was that thousands were turned out of house and home and
driven off Dublin-wards in very inclement weather. Mr. Prendergast
stoutly asserts that it was the English and Scotch who began the
killing: their reprisals were certainly fearfully severe. Even Sir J.
Turner, seasoned as he had been to cruelty in the thirty years' war,
shuddered at the work which he was expected to do in Ireland: his
description of the massacre at Newry-bridge, where priests ('popish
pedlars'), merchants who had taken no share in the defence of the
town, and women were flung into the river and then fired at like
drowning-rats, is very shocking (Hill-Burton, vol. vii. 154). The fact
is that the report of Irish atrocities, industriously magnified by the
Parliament, had maddened the other side; and the Indian Mutiny, and
the Jamaica trouble, show what the Anglo-Saxon is capable of when he
is excited by garbled reports. Along with this feeling of race was
mixed that religious rancour which led the 'new English' to include
the 'old English' (mostly Papists) in the same category as the
aborigines. Parliament fostered--conscientiously, but still in
opposition to all sound toleration principles--this religious hatred,
in order to alarm the Cavaliers, who were mostly as anti-Romanist as
their opponents, and so to deprive Charles of any advantage from the
Irish Romanists. Parliament, moreover, knew that the 'massacre' was
exaggerated; else they would not have been content to levy troops for
the Irish war, and then to employ them in England instead, quietly
leaving Ireland to itself till Cromwell had leisure to conquer it.

Mr. Prendergast's strong points are, first, the silence of all
records--a silence which is complete (he says) till the Commission,
sent over five years after, begins to get up evidence. Second, the
certainty (in his eyes) that the English began the murderings: on this
we have the counter-evidence of Sir Charles Coote, in the trial of
Maguire; but Coote was emphatically a man of blood even in that bloody
age; he had made a great part of Connaught a desert; and as a witness
he is worthless. Third, the assertion that nearly all such killing as
there was, was in the way of ordinary war, as war then and there was
carried on.

But whether the reader is persuaded or not that our author has proved
his point as to 1641, there is unfortunately no doubt at all as to
what follows. The transplantation was an attempt to exile a whole
nation; and it failed as it deserved to fail. No doubt there was
plenty of justification for such a deed. The Jesuits and the house of
Austria had already done something of the kind on a small scale in
several parts of Germany; the St. Bartholomew had shown how impossible
it is for Rome to keep politics and religion apart. And the theory of
a compact Protestant Saxondom with the Shannon for its western
boundary was just what would commend itself to the most earnest minds
of the time. When even M. Guizot nowadays doubts whether we can extend
to Rome the same measures of toleration to which other sects have an
undoubted right, we can well understand how the men of that day, fresh
from the smart of Rome's blows, should have felt all pact with her to
be impossible. The priest was one of the 'three burdensome
beasts'--the others being the wolf (whose numbers had vastly increased
during this time of misery) and the 'Tory' _i.e._, the dispossessed
landowner who refused to go into Connaught, and lived as a freebooter
till he was shot down or hanged. For all these three, as we have said,
rewards were offered, and for the 'sport' of hunting them we refer the
reader to our author's pages. The anti-Popish feeling was equally
strong in the king's party. Hyde (afterwards Lord Clarendon) writes in
1654, 'Fiennes is made Chancellor of Ireland. And they doubt not to
_plant_ that kingdom without opposition. And truly if we can get it
again, we shall find difficulties removed which a virtuous prince and
more quiet times could never have compassed.' The plan was not
original: in Henry VIII.'s time it was regularly systematized (State
Papers, vol. i. 177); and Cowley's treatise in the State Papers (i.
323) is in this respect but an anticipation of Spenser's well-known
State of Ireland.

Of the misery which was caused by this wholesale eviction--after the
work had been facilitated by the banishment to Spanish service of
40,000 fighting men and the transportation of crowds more to Barbadoes
and elsewhere--some idea may be formed from the following picture. 'A
party of horse (Prendergast, p. 308), Tory-hunting on a dark night,
saw a light in the distance, which they found to proceed from a ruined
cabin, wherein was a great fire of wood, and sitting round about it a
company of miserable old women and children, and betwixt them and the
fire a dead corpse lay broiling, which as the fire roasted they cut
off collops and ate.' This is the record of Colonel Richard Lawrence,
an eye-witness. No wonder the wolves multiplied so that even the
environs of Dublin became unsafe.

That part of the Parliament's doings which grates most on modern ears
is their abundant use of Old Testament passages to enforce their
edicts. The Irish had such 'an evil witchery,' as Mr. Froude calls it,
that even the incoming Puritans got on friendly terms with them. The
most stringent orders were therefore issued to keep the two asunder.
The Irish are 'a people of God's wrath,' and to intermarry with them
is forbidden in the language used by Ezra to forbid the mixed
marriages of the Jews. Officers guilty of such a crime are cashiered;
dragoons are reduced to common soldiers; soldiers are flogged and made
pioneers. 'The moderate Cavalier,' 1675, says that he and his fellows

      Rather than marrie an Irish wife
      Would batchellers remain for tearme of life.

Of course the mode of paying troops with patches of land was wholly
delusive, as the history of the Roman Cæsars might have warned those
who adopted it that it would be. Instead of getting a compact body of
settlers forming a sort of 'military frontier,' the Parliament
unwittingly created vast estates and introduced absenteeism. The
soldiers did not care to stay in a poor wasted country where native
labour was scarcely to be had: they sold their 'lots' to their
officers or others for a horse, a barrel of beer, a little ready
money, &c. Thus was laid the foundation of colossal estates like that
of the Pettys. It was the same with the small debenture holders; a
London vintner or cook who had contributed £25 to the good cause, and
held a debenture to that amount for land in Kerry, was not likely to
go out and turn backwoodsman. He sold to one of the larger holders;
and these larger holders were soon obliged to connive at the gradual
return of the dispossessed Irish, who were content (except the Tories)
to till as cottiers and hinds the lands which they had lately owned.
Thus it was that, despite such a mixture of zeal and cruelty as that
to which the book bears witness, the Puritan idea was never realized.

We shall not be suspected of undervaluing our Puritan forefathers:
they were the salt of the earth in their day; they did the Lord's work
right well in many ways. But in Ireland they failed because, while
taking Scripture for their guide, they forgot the truth that 'the
wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.'


_The English Colonization of America during the Seventeenth Century._
By EDWARD D. NEILL. Strahan and Co.

Mr. Neill is one of those inconvenient persons who will permit no
romance of story-telling to condone falsehood or exaggeration. He
would have been a terrible bore to Hume, who is said to have
deprecated fresh materials from the State Paper Office, lest they
should disturb his conclusions. He would spoil the best anecdote in
the world by asking, 'Is it true?' His book is written avowedly to
rectify historical fictions respecting the English colonization of
America; and it certainly does destroy some very pretty stories, which
have furnished themes for both romance and poetry. His book, however,
is in itself a history, as well as a correction; and although it can
boast no glowing narrative or artistic skill, it reads very
pleasantly. One of the romances that he entirely destroys is that of
'Pocahontas and John Rolfe.' Even Bancroft speaks of Rolfe as a young,
amiable, enthusiastic Englishman, who, even in his dreams, heard 'a
voice crying in his ears that he should strive to make Pocahontas, a
young Indian maiden, a Christian, and constrained by the love of
Christ, uniting her to himself by the holy bonds of matrimony.' Mr.
Neill conclusively proves, by documentary evidence, drawn from the
records of the London Company's Transactions, that Rolfe had been for
some years previously a married man, and that at his death he left a
white widow and some children, beside his son by Pocahontas; and that
Pocahontas herself, instead of a romantic Indian maiden, was a bit of
an intriguer--with a slightly disreputable character.

Another myth to which Bancroft gives his sanction is that 'the
settlers of Maryland were most of them Roman Catholic gentlemen.' Mr.
Neill proves that, so far from the old Virginian families being
derived from any aristocratic source, the colony was an early Van
Dieman's Land, to which King James transported 'divers dissolute
persons' and other convicts. It was, in short, a penal settlement,
whose residents hailed from 'Bridewell,' fifty or a hundred at a time.
Edinburgh used to banish there its 'night-walking women.' Thus,
according to Sir Josiah Child's 'New Discourse of Trade,'
1698,--'Virginia and Barbadoes were first peopled by a sort of loose,
vagrant people, and destitute of means at home, being either unfit for
labour, or such as could find none to employ themselves about, or had
so misbehaved themselves by whoreing, thieving, and debauchery, that
none would give them work; which merchants and masters of ships, by
their agents or spirits, as they were called, gathered up about the
streets of London and other places, to be employed upon plantations.'
'As the descendants of these people,' says Mr. Neill, 'increased in
wealth, they grew ashamed of their fathers, and became manufacturers,
not of useful wares, but of spurious pedigrees'--illustrations of
which he gives. The preamble to the statutes of Williamsburgh College
presents a dark picture of the illiterate condition of Virginia at the
commencement of the eighteenth century. In striking contrast with
which is a recent report of Professor Henry B. Smith, D.D., which
proves that the largest development and increase of Christianity in
this century has been in the United States, the increase of Church
membership having relatively outrun the increase of the population. It
was in the ratio of one to fifteen in 1800; it is now in the ratio of
one to six.

Mr. Neill gives us interesting details concerning the settlement of
the American colonies, derived from records, statutes, memoirs, and
letters. The history is one of heroic enterprise and romantic
experiences. It comprises the emigration of the New England
Pilgrims--the _May Flower_ seems to have been destined for Northern
Virginia, and to have been treacherously taken to Cape Cod; the
singular history too of American Quakerism. We regret that we cannot
follow into details the information of Mr. Neill's honest and
singularly interesting book.


_The Annals of our Time; a Diurnal of Events Social and Political,
Home and Foreign, from the Accession of Queen Victoria, June 20,
1837._ By JOSEPH IRVING. A new edition, carefully revised, and brought
down to the peace of Versailles, February 20, 1871. Macmillan and Co.

History is just now made very fast, and is of a character that will
stand out very prominently in the annals of our century. The Peace of
Versailles is certainly not a _terminus ad quem_. It is already half
forgotten in the astounding events that have followed; but Mr. Irving
could not wait for the stream to stop, and every presumption was that
the Peace of Versailles was a _finale_ at which an ordinary annalist
might pause. Mr. Irving's book has been before the public more than
two years, and its plan and execution have alike commended themselves
to the student and the statesman. Proceeding in a chronological order,
he records, after the manner of a diarist, the noteworthy events and
incidents of our national history--politics, ecclesiastical events,
incidents of fire and flood, everything, indeed, that one would care
to know about; these he narrates in a succinct way, and illustrates by
quotations from the journals--from the speeches and sayings of
remarkable men--from official reports, biographies, histories--nothing
comes amiss to him that gives information. He supplies precisely that
information which has not yet passed into history, but which memory
can only imperfectly retain. He also preserves for us that class of
events which is interesting for a generation or two only, and of
which no educated man can conveniently be ignorant. The loving labour
bestowed by Mr. Irving on his work has been immense. In this second
edition of it he has corrected errors, supplied omissions, readjusted
proportions, condensed information, and carried on his chronicle to
the time of publication. Every name and date and entry has been
verified. The ten years between 1837 and 1847 have grown from 127 to
230 pages; the obituary notices, from 425 to 1,000; the volume itself,
from 734 to 1,034. The index has been carefully revised and extended.
The book, indeed, is as invaluable as it is unique; it is a dictionary
of dates expanded into a history; it is a history condensed into a
chronicle; it is the cream of our social life for thirty-five years;
it links together in a light and useful way, so as to present each as
a whole, chains of events and incidents in Parliament, Church and
social life, debates, duels, controversies, and personal incidents. We
have read on from page to page, unwilling to leave off. It is
indispensable for every public man.


_The Red River Expedition._ By Captain G. L. HUYSHE. Macmillan and Co.

This is a curious episode in the history of our Canadian colonies,
which, at the time of its occurrence last year, attracted but little
attention, owing to the absorbing interest of the Franco-Prussian war.
The present writer was in Toronto before the return of the expedition,
but even there heard no mention of it. The Red River settlement is an
almost unapproachable position, near the centre of our North American
Dominions, about 600 miles northwest of Lake Superior, and about 1,200
miles from Toronto. It is reached by crossing the Lakes Huron and
Superior, by traversing rivers, and by prairie tracks. The settlement
was made by Lord Selkirk in 1813, and was planted by Scotch emigrants.
It has attained a mixed population of 15,000 souls. In the
negotiations about the confederation of the British North American
Provinces, in 1867, the Hudson's Bay Company, the Dominion Government,
and the Imperial Government, do not seem sufficiently to have
considered the feelings of the little Red River Colony. The French
half-breeds in the colony took advantage of this; disputes about lands
aggravated it; the Roman Catholic priests fomented it. Louis Riel was
placed at their head. They resolved to oppose the Canadian,
authorities; formed a 'Provisional Government,' seized Fort Garry, a
little fortified town just on the border line of British and American
territory; expelled Mr. M'Dougall, the Lieutenant Governor, sent by
the Canadian authorities, and proclaimed their independence. After
fruitless negotiations, it was resolved to send an armed expedition
from Toronto to re-establish Canadian, or rather Imperial authority,
and to punish the rebels, especially as Riel had shot one of the
Canadian soldiers, after a trial by court-martial. 1,200 troops, under
Colonel Wolseley, were, after careful selection and thoughtful
provision, sent off. Captain Huyshe was one of the expedition, and
this is the record of it. The rebellion itself affords but little
incident; it collapsed at once on the arrival of the force, and Riel
escaped across the frontier. We regret to find that the American
authorities at first threw every obstacle in the way of the
expedition, hoping to profit by the disturbance. They refused
permission to it to pass through the canal connecting Lake Huron with
Lake Superior, and even stopped the _Chicora_ steamer on her regular
trip, lest it should give facilities. This involved great
embarrassment, delay, and expense. The remonstrances of Mr. Thornton,
at Washington, at length procured the removal of this interdict. All
means of progression known to the human race, except balloons, had to
be made use of. 200 boats had to be built, a commissariat organized,
road-makers, &c., to be employed. The time occupied by the expedition
was eight months, the cost £400,000. The organization and success were
perfect. Captain Huyshe's record is interesting, both as a journal of
travel, and as a military operation. It is an Abyssinian expedition on
a small scale; not a shot was fired, not a life was lost. The
achievement was altogether a remarkable and a creditable one, and has
found a capable and pleasant historian.


_A Manual of Systematic History._ By Dr. MARTIN REED. Containing, I.,
Chronological, Genealogical, and Statistical Tables of Modern History;
II., the Biography of Modern History; III., the Facts of English
History, Military, Diplomatic, Constitutional, and Social. Jarrold and
Sons.

It is impossible to do more than describe this stout and useful
volume, which is one of those admirable manuals for the library, desk,
or school which enable a ready reference to the facts of history,
biography, and social economy that constantly turn up in the work of
the student.

In the first part, a series of chronological tables present the
memorable facts of British and general history in divisions of
centuries, with the names of sovereigns and the date of their
accession, of statesmen, authors, artists, &c., together with
genealogies and full statistical tables, especially of the cost of
different wars in money and men. The second part is a brief
biographical dictionary brought down to the present day. The third
part is a synopsis and chronology of the principal facts of British
history, military, constitutional, institutional, and social--a
cyclopædia, indeed, of useful information. Of course we have attempted
no verifications of dates, but assuming accuracy, Dr. Reed has
furnished a very valuable manual for every literary man's desk.


_The Life of John Milton, narrated in connection with the Political,
Ecclesiastical, and Literary History of his time._ By DAVID MASSON,
M.A., LL.D. Vol. II. Macmillan and Co.

Professor Masson has not convinced us of the excellence of his method
by his formal defence of it, in which he urges, first, his deliberate
purpose, and next his disregard of preconceived ideas of literary
form. The former simply affirms that his book has not drifted by
accident into its present shape; in the latter every writer is to be
judged solely by success. There is, moreover, a strong presumption in
favour of a 'combination of a biography with a contemporary history.'
Every biography is a necessary part of contemporary history, and the
question is simply one of degree. Whether a method such as Professor
Masson's is justified, depends solely upon the degree in which the
hero of the biography contributes to the history with which his name
is associated, and in which he can say, _quorum pars magna fuit_.
Concerning Cromwell, for instance, there could scarcely be a doubt as
to its propriety. Mr. Christie is justified in adopting the same
method in his biography of the first Earl of Shaftesbury; both were
men whose lives entered greatly into the history of their time, not
only in the sense of being identified with it, in all that made them
notable, but in the sense of moulding and constituting it; so that
without them--the former especially--the history itself would have
been very different. Milton scarcely played such a part in the history
of the Commonwealth; although the most illustrious man in it, the
sphere of his especial greatness was not of it. It is difficult to
suppose that the course and character of the Commonwealth would in any
important particular have been essentially different had he not
existed. As Cromwell's secretary, and still more as a vigorous
pamphleteer, he doubtless contributed powerfully to the idea and
defence of the Commonwealth, especially of its ecclesiastical polity;
but only as Dryden and Swift contributed to the polity of their day.
In the period which this volume comprises--1638-1643--we are almost
ludicrously impressed with the insignificant relations of Milton to
the events that it narrates. In the huge sandwich which the volume
constitutes, the biographical chapters are not even the thinnest
slices of meat, they are at the most the mustard. Professor Masson has
not been able to avoid in history the solecism in geography of the
renowned minister of the lesser Cumbrae. It is a study of the
individual man in his relations to the universe. It is, therefore,
neither a perfectly detailed history, nor an independent biography;
while the biography is full and perfect, such portions of the history
only are narrated as are supposed to relate to the life and thought of
Milton, but of necessity this is an arbitrary and fluctuating
quantity. There is a sense of disproportion and of artificiality
throughout which disturbs our enjoyment of the scholarly and vigorous
qualities of the book; for Professor Masson is justly entitled to take
his place among the few genuine historians of the day. Every page
bears witness to his unwearied labour, his great learning, his
original research, and his perfect conscientiousness; both as a
historian and a biographer, he is equally able and trustworthy. It is,
as he affirms, 'a work of independent research and method from first
to last.' Much of his labour was done before the State papers relating
to the period were calendared. 'There is not a single domestic
document extant of those that used to be in the State Paper Office
which I have not passed through my hands and scrutinized.' His book,
therefore, both in its facts and in its judgments, is an independent
and valuable contribution to history. There is about the style a
little squaring of the elbows, and what might not irreverently be
called a little fussiness, which makes some parts unnecessarily
diffuse; but with this qualification, the work is vigorous in
expression, noble in sentiment, and elevated in its judicial fairness.
It is full of vivid portraits and pictures of the men and of the
times, and, better still, it is inspired with noble sympathies for the
great principles of political and religious freedom which were so
grandly contested. The present volume opens with a narration of the
Presbyterian revolt in Scotland and the two 'Bishops' Wars,' which
Professor Masson thinks have hardly had attached to them sufficient
relative importance. Between the first and the second, the Short
Parliament lived its little life; after the second, the Long
Parliament was called, a detailed account of the composition of which
is given by Professor Masson. After nine months of general
legislation, the movement for the reform of the English Church took
shape, the chief question being the exclusion of the bishops from
Parliament; which, after long debate, fluctuating opinion, and
abortive reaction, was effected in February, 1642, chiefly at the
moment through the blind blunder of Archbishop Williams in engaging
the bishops to a protest against all laws, &c., passed in their
absence from the House of Peers. 'The bishops,' said Lord Falkland,
'had been the destruction of unity under pretence of uniformity.' They
had been some of them so 'absolutely, directly, and cordially Papists,
that it is all that fifteen hundred pounds a year can do to keep them
from confessing it.'

The relation of Milton to public affairs at this time was solely that
of a pamphleteer. The Church question was uppermost, both in Scotland
and in England. Milton is supposed to have aided the _Smectymnuans_ in
the composition of their famous pamphlet. The word was made up of the
initials of the writers, Stephen Marshall, Edmund Calamy, Thomas
Young, Matthew Newcomen, and William Spurstow. It was a reply to
Bishop Hall's 'Humble Remonstrance,' and to his 'Episcopacy by Divine
Right.' Soon after, Milton began to publish his anti-Episcopal
pamphlets, of five of which Professor Masson gives an account. These
were directed against Hall, Bishop of Exeter, afterwards of Norwich,
so often belauded for his moderation and spirituality, but of whose
scholarship and conduct Milton had not a very exalted estimate, in
which Professor Masson agrees with him. 'I have seen,' says Professor
Masson, 'disagreeable private letters of information written by him to
Laud respecting nests of sectaries in London whom it would be well to
extirpate; and my distinct impression is, that in his conduct
generally, and even in his writings, when carefully examined, there
will be found a meaner element than our literary _dilettanti_ and
antiquaries have been able to discover in so celebrated a bishop.' No
reader of Milton's prose works needs to be told that, while their
arguments are cogent, their fierce and terrific declamation is simply
overwhelming; indeed, the coarse vituperation of both sides is hardly
conceivable to those who have not read the controversy. We may commend
the arguments, as, indeed, the public questions that were debated, and
the course of events, to the consideration of Church parties of the
present day. Those too who are so enthusiastic about 'our incomparable
liturgy,' may with advantage read Milton's incisive criticisms
thereupon. An ominous parallel--happily, however, not in spirit--might
be traced between the questions of that day and our own. The secular
claims of bishops, and the implication in secular politics of the
Established Church, have from that time to this been a fruitful source
of political and social embarrassment and evil.

Professor Masson traces the way in which the nation drifted into civil
war, and makes a valuable contribution to history by giving a detailed
statistical and personal account of the forces and leaders on both
sides. The history is a thrilling one. Both Mr. Christie and Professor
Masson give us new recitals of it. It cannot be told too often, if
told in the spirit of conscientious fidelity and generous sympathy of
these writers. The greatest lesson that Englishmen can learn, the
seeds of the noblest things they can realize, were contained in it.
All that is to be said of Milton is, that he was not in the army,
which Professor Masson regrets for his own sake, and that about this
time he married Mary Powell.

The volume concludes with a most able and valuable account of English
Presbyterianism and English Independency, introduced by a biographical
analysis of the Westminster Assembly.

Professor Masson, in a very masterly way, traces the rise and history
of English Independency from the first Brownists of 1580; gives an
account of the Separatists in Holland from 1592 to 1640; of the
Separatist congregations in London from 1610 to 1632; of the New
England Pilgrims and their Church from 1620 to 1640; of the
persistency, reinvigoration, and growth of Independency in England
from 1632 to 1643; and closes his volume by representing the array of
Presbyterianism and Independency in July, 1643, and their prospects in
the Westminster Assembly, which met on the first day of that month,
and which, as Professor Masson justly observes, 'for more than five
years and a half is to be borne in mind as a power or institution in
the English realm, existing side by side with the Long Parliament, and
in constant conference and co-operation with it. The number of its
sittings during these five years and a half was 1,163 in all, which is
at the rate of about four sittings every week for the whole time. The
earliest years of the Assembly were the most important. All in all, it
was an Assembly which left remarkable and permanent effects in the
British Islands, and the history of which ought to be more
interesting, in some homely respects, to Britons now, than the
history of the Council of Basel, the Council of Trent, or any other
of the great ecclesiastical councils, more ancient and oecumenical,
about which we hear so much.' We can neither condense nor criticise
here the very able and impartial narrative of this section of
Professor Masson's history. We may at a future time return to it. We
simply commend it to the attention of both Churchmen and
Nonconformists, as a very masterly sketch of a historic movement which
both should be familiar with, which the former is too apt to speak of
with a sneer which only ignorance could render possible, and which is
destined to produce great ecclesiastical and national results.


_A Life of Anthony Ashley Cooper, First Earl of Shaftesbury,
1621-1683._ By W. D. CHRISTIE. Macmillan and Co.

Mr. Christie's qualities as an historian are critical rather than
philosophical, scholarly rather than pictorial. He laudably prides
himself upon scrupulous accuracy, and has the patient industry and
conscientious truthfulness which deem no labour too great, no
minuteness too trivial, for the achievement of this result. His work,
therefore, is a critical rather than a constructive work: or, rather,
he constructs by a critical process of vindication. The first Earl of
Shaftesbury has fared badly at the hands of history. 'He lived in
times of violent party fury, and calumny, which fiercely assailed him
living, pursued him in his grave, and still darkens his name. He lived
in times when the public had little or no authentic information about
the proceedings of members of the Government or of Parliament, when
errors in judging public men were more easy than now, and when venal
pamphleteers, poets, and play-writers drove a profitable trade in
libels on public men.' Shaftesbury not only fell into the hands of
political enemies, but his political tergiversations rendered his
vindication difficult for his friends. A young man of twenty-one at
the commencement of the Civil War, his life ran parallel with the
events of that eventful period; he lived through the Restoration to
within five years of the Revolution of 1688, and was closely connected
with political affairs through the greater part of his life. A
Royalist in early life, he became an ardent Parliamentarian; a
Royalist again, he played an important part with Monk in bringing back
Charles II.; and the problem which Mr. Christie has set himself is to
vindicate his honour in these convenient changes; and with the array
of great names against him, including even those of Hallam and
Macaulay, an arduous task it is; the invective of Macaulay is almost
as terrible as that of Dryden. Of course such a career affords rich
material for writers on both sides. Dryden, whose unscrupulous pen is
no condemnation, unmercifully consigned Shaftesbury to infamy in the
judgment of the multitude who read poetry, and know nothing of
political history, by making him the Achitophel of his great satire,
published just a week before Shaftesbury's trial for high treason, and
by lampooning him in 'The Medal,' referring to the medal which
Shaftesbury's friends had struck on his acquittal. Hume, again, by
the power of his literary genius, for a long time brought popular
condemnation upon all Whigs and Whiggery, and until his Tory
proclivities for the Stuarts were counteracted by recent and more
careful historians, made the worse appear the better reason. These
falsehoods of detraction, as Mr. Christie justly observed, 'produced
counter-falsehoods of excuse and eulogy, and the result has been a
greater agglomeration of errors.' In his old age, Shaftesbury began an
autobiography, doubtless with a view of self-vindication, but
proceeded only so far as his twenty-first year. Locke, who resided in
Shaftesbury's house many years as his physician and friend, meditated
a biography, but only collected a few materials for it. The fourth
Earl, the son of the author of the 'Characteristics,' placed all the
materials he possessed in the hands of a Mr. Benjamin Martin, for the
purpose of a biography, which he began in 1734, but he was unfitted
for the task, and the result was unsatisfactory. The MS., in 1766, was
put, for improvement, into the hands of Dr. Sharpe, Master of the
Temple; then into those of Dr. Kippis, editor of the 'Biographia
Britannica,' after which it was printed, but the fifth Earl was so
dissatisfied with it that the whole impression was destroyed, with the
exception of two copies. Mr. Bentley republished it in 1836,
edited--incompetently, Mr. Christie says--by Mr. George Wingrove
Cooke. Stringer, Shaftesbury's solicitor, seems to have furnished
Locke with information, fragments of which, in MS., in Locke's
handwriting, are among the Shaftesbury papers at St. Giles's; but
Stringer is inaccurate and confused. With these materials, and, of
course, access to all the family papers, Mr. Christie has constructed
his history--or, rather, his vindication--for his book has,
throughout, the character of a polemic. It would have been more
interesting, and more generally valuable, had Mr. Christie written an
affirmative history relegating to appendices or footnotes the
polemical discussions which different points demanded. As it is, he
has furnished material and sifted it, for the use of the historian
proper, and he has done this with rare acuteness and scrupulous
fairness.

The entire history of the Great Revolution, the Commonwealth, and the
Restoration, passes under review before us, and it could not be
examined by a more competent critic.

Anthony Ashley Cooper was of good Hampshire blood on both sides. His
father, John Cooper, of Rockborne, was made a baronet the year after
his son's birth. His mother was the only daughter of Sir Anthony
Ashley, Knt., who was also made a baronet the day before Mr. Cooper;
the order of baronets having been created by James I. ten years
before; it was to be limited to two hundred. Every baronet paid £1,095
for the honour, and had to be possessed of £1,000 per annum clear of
all incumbrances. It was imperative, too, that he should have had a
grandfather who had borne arms. Anthony was a little, fragile fellow,
but of great abilities, and his family connections gave him a good
standing in Oxford, where he became a reformer of abuses. Against one
savage and stupid custom, 'tucking freshmen,' he led a successful
resistance. The seniors made the freshmen 'hold out their chin, and
they, with the nail of their right thumb left long for the purpose,
grate off all the skin from the lip to the chin, and then cause them
to drink a beer glass of water and salt.' Senators of the House of
Commons were then chosen young; some being only sixteen. Cooper was
the champion of the Tewkesbury yeomen against a bullying squire at a
civic feast, and was rewarded by being sent, at the age of nineteen,
as their representative to the House of Commons. Henceforth his life
is part of the history of the county. Cooper was with King Charles at
Nottingham, and gallantly stormed Wareham; but he soon after, and, as
we think Mr. Christie has proved, honourably, went over to the side of
the Parliament, and became one of Cromwell's privy counsellors. The
motives of neither of his great changes are very clear, but Mr.
Christie has shown that they were at least disinterested and
unsuspected. He was an intriguer, like most of the men of his time,
but his sympathies were uniformly liberal, and he resisted oppressive
measures--the Act of Uniformity for instance--at much risk to his own
interests. As a reward for his part in the Restoration of Charles, he
was made Baron Ashley. He became Lord of the Treasury, and Lord
Chancellor. He was one of the notorious Cabal ministry, but Mr.
Christie has succeeded in proving that he opposed, though
unsuccessfully, the worst measures of that miserable clique,
especially the notorious 'Stop of the Exchequer.' The most suspicious
thing about him is that he continued in Charles's favour, who made him
his Lord Chancellor and created him Earl of Shaftesbury. It seems odd
to us that a man without special legal knowledge should have been made
the head of the legal profession. In this capacity he is included in
Lord Campbell's 'Lives of the Chancellors,' from whose inaccurate
criticism Mr. Christie has to rescue him. Charles is said to have
justified his choice by saying that Shaftesbury had more law than all
his judges, and more religion than all his bishops. Charles's bishops
may have been doubtful, but Sir Matthew Hale was one of his judges. He
gave general satisfaction to suitors during his year of office, which
is saying much. His dismission probably influenced his politics, for
he joined the Whig Opposition. His closing years were characterized by
fierce conflict with the king, and he was twice sent a prisoner to the
Tower, accused of high treason; his acquittal was celebrated by great
public rejoicings. At length he concocted, with Russell and Monmouth,
a rising against the King, and had to escape to Holland, where, in
1683, just before James II. came to the throne, he died. He was a man
of brilliant genius, and a great statesman. He played a not ignoble
part in the greatest drama of our English history. He was frail in
health, but courageous and high-minded, and an uncompromising champion
of liberty. By no means immaculate, either in political principles or
personal morals, he has yet, beyond all question, been grossly
calumniated. Mr. Christie's volumes throw much interesting light upon
not only the political events, but the manners and morals of the
times. There are few more melancholy chapters in English history than
the reign of Charles II. Political venality, patriotic dishonour, and
personal vice vie with each other. Mr. Christie's volumes abundantly
justify the conclusions which have at length been reached by Liberals
in politics and by Nonconformists in ecclesiastical matters. We
earnestly commend them to all students of history as scholarly, acute,
and just.


_The Life and Times of Henry Lord Brougham, written by himself._ Vol.
II. Blackwood and Co.

Reserving until the completion of this work the more ample consideration
and criticism to which The Life and Character of Lord Brougham are
entitled, we simply report concerning this second volume that it
covers the eventful period between 1808-1828, and narrates Brougham's
strenuous and successful struggle for the repeal of the Orders in
Council, which he terms 'my greatest achievement'--ultimately achieved
under the excitement caused by the assassination of Spencer Perceval.
Even Horner described Brougham's exertions as 'unexampled in the
modern history of Parliament.' Also, his costly and unsuccessful
struggle for the representation of Liverpool, which cost the Liberals
£8,000 and the Tories £20,000, during which Brougham made 160
speeches, two or three persons were killed, others severely wounded,
and votes were bought at £30 apiece. 'All who knew Liverpool formerly
say nothing was ever seen so quiet at an election there.' There were
five candidates. Canning beat Brougham by some 200 votes. Such were
the good old times. The description of the election is very racy. The
chief interest of the volume, however, centres in its detailed account
of the family feuds of George III., the relations of the Prince and
Princess of Wales, and the trial of the Queen. In 1810, Brougham
became the legal adviser of the Princess, and from that time took an
active part on her side in the vicissitudes of this dirty and
ignominious history. Brougham most strongly affirms, in contradiction
of much gossip to the contrary, that he and all the legal advisers of
the Queen had a clear and unhesitating conviction of her innocence.
The narrative throws a clearer light than has hitherto been thrown
upon the whole history, clears away many misconceptions, and solves
some mysteries.

In an explanatory note, the editor informs us that Lord Brougham, then
in his eighty-fourth year, began his account of the trial, after
examining his letters and papers, on the 8th of October, 1861. In
September, 1862, he began the political part. In November, 1863, he
began the account of his early life. In his search for materials he
found the manuscript of 'Memnon.' This he marked in pencil, on the first
page, thus--'At B----m (Brougham), 1792.' He believed he had '_composed_
it, entirely forgetting that it was only a translation--probably a
task set him by his tutor--a very pardonable mistake, after a lapse of
seventy years.' No doubt; but is not the responsibility the editor's,
and not Brougham's?

There is, of course, a great deal of characteristic egotism in the
narrative; but it is amusing rather than offensive, and is, perhaps,
not much in excess of the necessary consciousness of a man who has
played a prominent part in life.


_Francis of Assisi._ By MRS. OLIPHANT. Macmillan & Co. (Sunday
Library.)

Almost the whole of Mrs. Oliphant's story may be read in the charming
gossip of 'Alban Butler;' but here the hand of a true artist has
arranged the dramatic material furnished by the celebrated biographer
of St. Francis. An almost faultless piece of literary work, a cabinet
portrait of exceeding beauty and grace, is the result. The authorities
on which Mrs. Oliphant relies for her facts are unimpeachably good.
The biographies of De Celano and Bonaventura are suffused and
interpenetrated with exceeding reverence for the founder of the Friars
Minor. They can hardly, indeed, be acquitted of an admiration akin to
worship for the hero of their pious romance, and they often leave us
in some perplexity as to the respective limits of fact and fiction in
this strange and wonderful life. Mrs. Oliphant, however, holds the
balance very fairly. Every visitor to Assisi who has tried to drink in
the spirit of the scene, or to understand the historic reality that
underlies the mythic splendour of the tomb of the great apostle of
poverty, must have felt it difficult to free his mind from strange
reveries as to the power of the human will not only to compel the
obedience of other minds, but to evolve a whole world of facts out of
its moral consciousness. Francis was a devout son of the Roman Church,
scrupulously obedient to sacerdotal authority, and profoundly anxious
to secure the authentication of his 'Order' from the Holy See; and yet
his career is a striking illustration of the triumph of the prophetic
rather than of the sacramental or priestly power. He was the founder
of a religion, the originator of a society, the fashioner and for many
years the master of a rule and organization which were absolutely at
war with all the passions of the flesh, all the current tendencies of
society, and the whole spirit of the so-called Christian world.

Mrs. Oliphant has thrown much light upon the condition of Italy in the
thirteenth century, and has used her historic imagination to great
effect in portraying the scenes in the early life of her hero, the
grand crises of his career, and the extremes of poverty and
self-abnegation to which he submitted. She devotes considerable space
to the beautiful romance which led to the foundation of his second
Order for women, and to the circumstances which induced him to frame a
rule for those in secular life who wished to aim at the counsels of
perfection. His visit to the East and the attempt he made to convert
the Sultan to Christianity by the offer of the ordeal of fire, as well
as by other urgent appeals, are told with dramatic force. The history
of the success which attended his labours, and the sketch of some of
the 'Chapters' of his Order which assembled at his bidding for
conference and prayer, bear strong resemblance to some of the legends
of Sakya-Mouni Buddha.

The enthusiasm shown by Francis for the beauties of nature, his sense
of brotherhood to all created things, his fellowship with birds and
beasts and creeping things, atone for the touch of fanaticism with
which he addressed even the fire that was to be applied to his own
flesh in medical cautery, as Frater Ignis. With deep pathos Mrs.
Oliphant tells the 'legend' of the origination of the 'stigmata' of
the Lord Jesus in the hands, feet, and side of Francis. She shows the
strength of the evidence for the existence of these mysterious marks
on the emaciated frame of the pious enthusiast; but she also indicates
the silence of any satisfactory eye-witness for the astounding
miracle, and proves that, though his disciples assert the fact, they
do not say they saw this portentous sign of resemblance to the Saviour
of sinners. That St. Francis--in virtue of this supposed imitation in
his body of the 'marks' of the Christ--has received an idolatrous
reverence, will hardly be denied; but that St. Francis ever called the
smallest attention to such a marvel, or mentioned the mysterious
circumstance to his dearest friend, cannot be proved. The story is
improbable, and to some extent sickening, yet it appears to us the
coarse and exaggerated expression which his less spiritual disciples
gave to that 'supernatural rapture of love to God in which his history
culminates.' Mrs. Oliphant says very justly and beautifully--'The
distinction between the active servant of God, who gives up all things
to serve Him, and the mystic, who gives up the privilege of serving
him in the deeper joy of beholding, is to a great extent a difference
of temperament, but in St. Francis occurs the unusual spectacle of the
two combined.... No man ever kept his eyes more open to the wants of
common humanity, and yet few mystics can show so strange a chapter of
absolute communion with the Almighty.' We almost wonder that our
author has not given even more ample specimens of the poetic
enthusiasm of the great prophet of Assisi. The Italian canticles said
to have been written by him, which were published by Wadding in 1623,
are full of wild, holy rapture. The closing lines (in Butler's
translation) of one may express the true significance of the
mysterious stigmata:--

      "Grant one request of dying love--
      Grant, oh! my God, who diest for me--
      I, sinful wretch, may die for thee
      Of love's deep wounds; love to embrace--
      To swim in its sweet sea! Thy face
      To see; then joined with Thee above,
      Shall I myself pass into love."


_The Life of Hernando Cortes._ By ARTHUR HELPS. Bell and Daldy.

_Conversations on War and General Culture._ By the Author of 'Friends
in Council.' Smith and Elder.

Mr. Helps is rendering a substantial service to history and to popular
literature, by this re-cast and republication of biographies from his
greater work on the 'Spanish Conquest of America.' As he proceeds his
interest in his work deepens. So far from this life of Cortes being
the carving out of a journeyman, under Mr. Helps' superintendence, it
is practically a new work, upon which much patient thought and loving
labour has been expended. While Mr. Helps has properly enough made use
of that part of his history which relates to the conquest of Mexico,
he has, he tells us, gone 'carefully over every sentence quoted from
that history, to see whether, by the aid of additional knowledge, he
could correct or improve it.' He has also added much new material,
especially to those parts which relate to the private life of Cortes.
Mr. Helps has the great gift of succinctness. He never wearies us, but
often makes us wish that his canvas was filled in with more detail.
His style, as readers of 'Friends in Council' know, is dignified,
easy, archaic, and sententious. His narrative abounds in sage
reflections and wise apothegms--he has a knack of condensing a
philosophy into an epigram. A common-place book might be greatly
enriched by choice sentences from these volumes. Mr. Helps'
impartiality is very rigid, and his summaries of character and of the
moral quality of actions severe. His narrative does not flow into
glowing descriptions or romantic enthusiasm. He is always calmly, we
might say coldly, master of himself. He has a dread of brilliant
writing, but he attains to archaic picturesqueness, and arrests the
interest of his readers while he satisfies the judgment of his
critics. Not Hallam himself is more scrupulously accurate.

Mr. Helps is as unlike Prescott as any two writers of history can be:
but his minute accuracy, if it does not produce broad effects,
determines exact relations, and with enough of literary skill to make
the result very pleasing. The noble virtues and the signal faults of
the great soldier are admirably discriminated. On the whole, we admire
more than we blame. Cortes was a great-minded, generous-hearted,
religious-souled man. Nothing in history could be more unjustifiable
than the siege of Mexico, and the massacre of its brave inhabitants,
of whom 50,000 were slain--nearly the number estimated as killed in
the recent horrors of Paris; but we must not try him by the notions of
our nineteenth century. The civilized splendour of the Mexicans almost
provokes incredulity. Mr. Helps has to assure even Mr. Carlyle of it;
and the evidence abundantly establishes it. We heartily thank Mr.
Helps for his book, and trust he will complete his series after its
model.

The _Conversations on War and General Culture_ were suggested by the
early victories of the Germans over the French last summer. They are
miscellaneous in character--general, rather than specific in aim. They
vindicate no doctrine, elaborate no themes; they are what they profess
to be, conversations, and not sermons or lectures. Unlike 'Friends in
Council,' the conversations are not appendages to essays; only one
essay is introduced. They wander about in the pleasant but more
vagrant places of conversation, and do not escape the garrulousness
and inconsequence to which their literary form tempts. They are,
however, full of thoughtful suggestions, wise teachings, and apt
illustrations. They are transparent and simple--often ingenious and
striking. They are indeed, with a difference, a new series of 'Friends
in Council,' although inferior in freshness and force. They are to be
read as we read such books, by bits. Their gentle wisdom and benign
humour will not greatly excite us, but they will instruct and interest
us. We should say that the characters of 'Friends in Council' are
reproduced. There is neither table of contents, chapter headings, nor
index. The reader, therefore, may open where he likes, taking his
chance of what he may find; but whether it be woman's place and
culture, competitive examinations, or the war, he will certainly find
much subtle wisdom, genial feeling, and literary beauty.


_Memoir of the Rev. Thomas Madge, late Minister of Essex-street
Chapel, London._ By the Rev. WILLIAM JAMES. Longmans, Green, and Co.

Mr. Madge was one of the older school of Unitarians, who hold fast by
the supernatural, and believe in the special Divine mission of Jesus.
He was originally a member of the Church of England, but early
embraced Unitarian views, and gave himself to the Unitarian ministry.
He was an intelligent, devout man, and a clear, spiritual, and
effective preacher. The successor of Belsham at Essex-street, he
sustained a pastorate there of thirty years, retired a few years ago,
esteemed and beloved by all who knew him, and died in August last
year, at the advanced age of eighty-three.

Mr. Madge did not publish much--chiefly separate sermons, the
publication of which was requested. He was a clear thinker, moderate
in sentiment, devout in feeling, and elegant and eloquent in
expression. His ministry attracted persons of culture, and some of
high rank. Few men have been more highly, universally, and deservedly
esteemed in the circle in which they have moved. In his relations to
men differing from himself he was catholic-hearted and generous. His
distinctive opinions were not permitted to check his sympathies, or to
hinder his joining in worship with all who love Jesus Christ. Mr.
James has prepared his memoir with great good taste and skill.


_An Earnest Pastorate: Memorials of the Rev. Alexander Leitch, M.A.,
Minister of South Church, Stirling._ By the Rev. NORMAN L. WALKER.
Edinburgh: Andrew Elliott.

The simplicity, evangelical fervour, methodical and well-sustained
zeal of a holy man are well portrayed in this volume. The plans of an
earnest pastor, the secret of his practical success, the spirit of a
saintly and laborious life, are always worthy of attentive
consideration by those who are trying to do similar work. Mr. Leitch,
early in life, began ministerial work in the Kirk of Scotland; passed
through the agony of the disruption with unfaltering courage, and
left behind him a name which will long be had in remembrance.


_Life of Ambrose Bonwicke._ By his FATHER. Edited by JOHN E. B. MAYOR,
M.A. Cambridge: Deighton, Bell and Co.

Ambrose Bonwicke, whose father was a non-juror, the ejected Head
Master of Merchant Taylors' School, was a student at Cambridge in the
beginning of the last century, and died of hemorrhage on the lungs at
twenty-three. He was what would now be called an Anglican of the
purest water, and we cannot help a feeling of regret and pity at the
ritual forms which his piety took; but the piety itself was very
beautiful. Ambrose was a model of gentleness, goodness, and
self-denial; a saintly youth, reminding one more of the old ascetic
monks than of a young English gentleman. The memoir throws a little
light, but not much, upon the manners and customs of Cambridge a
century and a-half ago. Incidentally we learn that the students had to
write Latin verses in eulogy of Dr. Gower on the very day that he
died, and that college chums sometimes slept in the same bed.

The notes, which make up almost half the volume, are rather in excess
of their occasion, but they are instructive and amusing. Mr. Mayor is
an indefatigable and learned antiquary.


_Scrambles Among the Alps, in the Years 1860-1869._ By EDWARD WHYMPER.
John Murray.

Mr. Whymper has written the history of the conquest of the Matterhorn
_quorum pars magna fuit_, and his book is a worthy record of a great
achievement. Making a not unreasonable allowance for the difficulties
of a writer who is the hero of his own story, and for the necessary
conflict between his modesty and his fidelity, and with the single
remark that the former is not unduly sacrificed to the latter, we may
commend to our readers a most interesting and exciting narrative,
written with lucidity and skill, terseness and pertinence, and
illustrated by Mr. Whymper himself, whose pencil, he tells us, has
been employed upon the work for the greater part of the last six
years. The illustrations are very numerous and effective, and,
generally speaking, all of a high artistic quality; with the
letterpress, they make a really sumptuous Alpine volume. From the very
nature of some of the subjects, some little has been supplied by the
imagination. For instance, the flying fragments in the 'Cannonade on
the Matterhorn' are not all of them in the line of any conceivable
projectile force; and certainly the 'Fall of Reynaud,' as represented
p. 229, could have had, for him, but one issue, and that not of a kind
to produce 'roars of laughter' from his companions. Had Mr. Whymper
fallen, as pictorially represented p. 120, he would never have written
his book save, indeed, with the assistance of Mr. Home. His survival
is, indeed, a miracle. He fell, he tells us, 200 feet 'in seven or
eight bounds--ten feet more would have taken me, in one gigantic leap
of 800 feet, on to the glacier below.' He describes his sensations as
by no means unpleasant, and thinks that death by a fall from a great
height is painless. Hardly, again, should we have fancied the suicidal
position of Croz cutting away the cornice on the summit of the Monning
Pass. Photographs, had such been possible, would, we imagine, have
presented some striking divergencies from these imaginary positions.
But, making allowance for pictorial effect in these two or three
instances, the illustrations appear to have been done with great care,
as well as with great spirit. Some excellent maps are also furnished;
two are transferred from the plates of the Dufour Map; two, a map of
the chain of Mont Blanc, based upon the Government maps of France and
Switzerland, and the survey of Mr. Reilly, and a map of the Matterhorn
and its glaciers, being an enlargement, with corrections, from the
Dufour Map, are original. The fifth is a general route map.

Mr. Whymper's first escalade in the Alps was the ascent of Mont
Pelvoux in Dauphiné, the account of which is reprinted from 'Peaks,
Passes, and Glaciers.' Sundry other subordinate, and yet novel and
arduous ascents are recounted; with interspersed dissertations on
Alpine climbing, on glaciers, on mountain lakes, &c., with criticisms
on the erosion theories of Professors Tyndall and Ramsay. But the
book, as we have said, is a history of the conquest of the Matterhorn.
Between the years 1861-1865, Mr. Whymper made seven unsuccessful
attempts to ascend the Matterhorn--four or five attempts having also
been made by others; two by Professor Tyndall in 1860 and 1862, who,
on the latter occasion, reached within 600 feet of the summit. These
attempts were made on the south-west ridge. Mr. Whymper's successful
attempt was made on the east face, which, from the Gorner Grat, is so
familiar to tourists, and looks like the side of an obelisk; its
profile, however, shows the angle to be less than 45°, and the ascent
is comparatively easy. Some of the most experienced guides had given
up the Matterhorn as inaccessible. Almer decidedly declined it.
'Anything but the Matterhorn,' said he, thinking it hopeless. The two
Cassels proved treacherous, and finessed with Mr. Whymper, while
completing arrangements with Signor Giordano, who started up the
south-west side from Breil, on July 11, 1865. On the 12th, Mr. Whymper
crossed the St. Theodule, for Zermatt, having been joined by Lord
Francis Douglas and Peter Taugwalder the younger; at Zermatt he found
Michael Croz, who had been engaged by the Rev. Charles Hudson and his
friend, Mr. Hadow, to attempt the Matterhorn. The two parties united,
and started on the 13th at half-past five, four tourists and four
guides; by twelve o'clock they had easily ascended 11,000 feet; they
halted for the day, and pitched their tent. At 9.55 on the 14th they
had reached the height of 14,000 feet, at the base of what, from the
Riffell, seems the overhanging summit. They then crossed the ridge to
the northern side, the general slope of the mountain being less than
40°. Only one part, of about 400 feet, was really difficult; it was
surmounted, and 200 feet of easy snow brought them to the summit at
1.40. The party from Breil had been four days on the mountain; they
were seen at an immense distance below; the shouts of Mr. Whymper's
party, and some stones which they rolled down to attract attention,
frightened them. 'The Italians turned and fled,' but whether from
superstition, as Mr. Whymper implies, or from fear of the stone
avalanche, so ominously directed upon them, we are not told. The fatal
accident on the descent, when five out of the eight perished--three
travellers and two guides--seems, like the accident on the Col du
Géant two or three years before, to have been caused by no special
difficulty. Mr. Hadow's foot slipped; he fell against one of the
guides, and knocked him down; the party was roped together, and but
for the providential breaking of the rope the three who were saved
must have been precipitated with the rest 4,000 feet, down to the
Matterhorngletscher. Some sixteen ascents of the Matterhorn have been
subsequently made, but it must ever be an arduous and perilous
expedition, save to the best trained and most experienced cragsmen.


_At Last: A Christmas in the West Indies._ By CHARLES KINGSLEY.
Macmillan and Co.

Readers of 'Westward Ho!' will remember the singular vividness with
which Mr. Kingsley described West Indian scenery. It was difficult to
believe that he had not seen it, and that his minute and glowing
pictures were productions of the artistic and pictorial imagination
purely. 'At last,' he has actually visited the region about which he
has read and dreamed and written for forty years, and the result is a
book of luxuriant and gorgeous description, such as nobody but Mr.
Kingsley could have written, and no one can read without catching
something of his enthusiasm. He fairly revels in West Indian fauna and
flora. Wherever he goes he sees some insect, or shell, or plant, or
flower, or forest-tree, or geological phenomenon worth noting. His
knowledge as a naturalist--his imagination as a poet--his skill as a
literary artist--all combine to produce a book which is a naturalistic
romance, gorgeous with colour, and riotous with enthusiasm on every
page. It would be difficult to find a stronger illustration of the
difference between 'Eyes and no eyes,' or of the wealth of beauty and
æsthetic and devout stimulus that an instructed eye can command. Mr.
Kingsley discovers nature for us as well as interprets it, and clothes
the earth with a glory that duller eyes only dimly observe. It is
difficult to imagine a better preparation for such a journey, or a
finer combination of qualifications for describing it. Mr. Hugh
Macmillan has great gifts of this character, but he must yield the
palm to Mr. Kingsley. Every footstep is on fairyland. His touch opens
our eyes, and we see mountain and forest, cliff and glade, shore and
sea, full of the chariots and horses of God. If the book is for
criticism at all, it is to be criticised as we criticise a picture.
From the first departure from Hurst Castle to the return to it, Mr.
Kingsley has some unthought-of thing to say, or some undiscovered
beauty to point out in common things; the phosphorescent sea suffices
for the prelude to his grand prose poem, and the gorgeous vegetation
of the West Indian islands furnishes inexhaustible material for its
substance. The book is not without its details of personal incident,
its snatches of historical reminiscence and of superstitious legend,
its sketches of negro life and of romantic adventure, its touches of
social and political disquisition; these are skilfully woven together
as only Mr. Kingsley could weave them, but they are entirely
subordinate to the visions and revels of the rapturous naturalist, his
pictures of tropical forests, pitch lakes, mangrove swamps, volcanic
mountains, and cultured gardens. Mr. Kingsley spent seven weeks in the
island of Trinidad, only glancing at other West Indian islands as the
touches of the steamer enabled. His descriptions are therefore almost
limited to that island. We are sorely tempted to cull some of the racy
anecdotes that Mr. Kingsley tells, and to reproduce some of the superb
pictures that he has painted, but we must forbear. We will say only
that his science is simply the framework of popular descriptions, that
his book is for the multitude, and not so much for natural
philosophers, and that from beginning to end it is simply a gorgeous
series of pictures, a fairyland of colour and form and wonderful
adaptation, a psalm not of life but of nature, a prolonged
'Benedicite,' a companion-book to 'Glaucus,' and to the 'Essay in a
Chalk Pit;' only richer in detail, more novel in phenomena, and more
gorgeous in colour. The world was as beautiful when he found it, but
he has made it more beautiful to our apprehension. His book has
excited our enthusiasm almost as much as the scenes which it describes
excited his.


_To Sinai and Syene and back, in 1860-61._ By WILLIAM BEAUMONT, Esq.
Smith and Elder.

A very fairly written narrative of the author's journey, having the
drawback that the writer is slightly given to bad jokes--thus,
'Suli-_man_, the boy of our party,' 'the cam-els are coming,' &c.

The route to Sinai from the wells of Moses was the more eastern one,
taken by Robinson, whereby the writer missed the fine Wady Feiran, the
Bedouin Paradise, which, however, he afterwards visited on his return.
He was admitted to the convent of Sinai by the looped chain; more
fortunate than the writer of this notice, who, arriving after sunset,
had to sleep at the door in the open air, the archbishop's letter
notwithstanding, but was afterwards admitted at sunrise through the
postern. Surely Mr. Beaumont is wrong in saying that Tischendorf found
his famous Codex at Cairo, and not at Sinai.

We can only say concerning Mr. Beaumont's book, that it is one of
those painstaking records of travel which gather together round each
locality, most of the important things done, and interesting things
said concerning it. It has not grown, it has been made; but it is
written with intelligence and commendable accuracy.


_Peeps at the Far East: a Familiar Account of a Visit to India._ By
NORMAN MACLEOD, D.D. Strahan and Co.

India is almost as well travelled as Palestine, and a cursory
traveller must have great gifts of suggestive imagination and of
description to interest us in a book about it. Dr. Macleod does
interest us: in addition to the gifts we have named, he has an
unfailing geniality and an indomitable optimism, which give a glow of
kindly interest to his pages. He went to India on official business in
connection with the Missions of the Church of Scotland. Elsewhere he
has reported concerning them. In this volume he only incidentally
refers to them, chiefly in relation to the genial brotherhood of
Christian Ministers and members of all Churches which he experienced.
It is a melancholy reflection upon our home religious life that such a
sensation of relief and enjoyment in this particular is realized by
the traveller in America or India. We hardly know in what a bitter
sectarian element we live until we get out of it. Dr. Macleod's broad,
healthy, human soul heartily rejoiced in deliverance from it.

Dr. Macleod tells us about Bombay, Madras, and Calcutta--places that
we have heard about as often as about Jerusalem. He describes
peculiarities of Hindoo life, features of Indian scenery, and the
ordinary incidents of Eastern travel; but with an observation so
alert, a geniality so bright, a humour so rich, and descriptive powers
so lively, that his book has a very pleasant charm; the reader's
interest never flags. Bombay is less eastern than Cairo, which Dr.
Macleod justly thinks is the most picturesquely oriental of all
cities. European insolence to natives, which has borne such bitter
fruits, is greatly diminished in India; the Mussulman is, in moral
virtue and general tone, superior to the Hindoo; Hindoo villages
surpass in poverty and squalor the worst specimens of Irish; English
education is doing great things for India--Dr. Macleod was frequently
surprised by the familiarity of the natives with our English
literature; the Brahmo Somaj lacks an objective basis, and can never,
therefore, firmly cohere, or make real progress. A genuine reform
movement it must ever be, changing and breaking up, gaining, and
losing what it gains; it wants the positive cohesive power which
Christianity would give it. Dr. Macleod recounts again, with great
power of description and pathos, the story of the Mutiny. In short,
this book, which is elegantly got up and profusely illustrated, is
full of the manifold charms of high intelligence, generous sympathy,
and easy, yet brilliant description. A pleasanter book has not often
fallen into our hands.


_The Nile without a Dragoman._ By FREDERICK EDEN. Henry S. King and
Co.

Egypt is by no means an economical country to travel in for Europeans,
and a Nile dahabeah, which costs from £100 to £200 per month, is an
expensive luxury. Dragomans covenant to supply travellers with
everything at so much _per diem_, according to numbers. We have known
£4 paid, and we have travelled for £1 10s. Mr. Eden determined to
dispense with a dragoman, hire a dahabeah of a friend, paying,
however, the advertised price demanded, and he accomplished a pleasant
voyage of more than four months at a cost of £60 per month. This
bright and clever little book tells us how he did it. It does not deal
much in antiquities or descriptions, it chiefly narrates experiences;
tells us the things that Murray does not tell us. A dragoman is a very
pleasant luxury, relieving the traveller of all care and many
difficulties, which Mr. Eden had to overcome; but this is the final
cause of difficulties, which Mr. Eden proved, although he evinces his
utter ignorance of the customs and prejudices of his motley crew. For
his racy descriptions of his very pleasant life, and for innumerable
touches and impressions of Nile life, we must refer our readers to the
volume; it is enough to say, that it scarcely suffers by comparison
with that of Lady Duff Gordon.



POLITICS, SCIENCE, AND ART.


_Pauperism: Its Causes and Remedies._ By HENRY FAWCETT, Fellow of
Trinity Hall, and Professor of Political Economy in the University of
Cambridge. Macmillan and Co.

In this very timely book Mr. Fawcett commences the discussion of his
subject by depicting, in somewhat gloomy colours, the pauperized state
of a large class of our population. This debased condition, he
believes, is not a dismal necessity which admits of no remedy, but the
fruit of unwise legislation, which has produced and still encourages a
disregard of those social virtues of prudence and self-restraint which
can alone permanently raise and maintain the social condition of any
class in the community. He proceeds to show how powerful was the
influence upon our population exerted by the old Poor-law, which was
in operation until 1834. The evil results which flow from bad
legislation, at that time reached a height which threatened the
dissolution of society, and this was averted only by the new Poor-law,
which yet has failed to provide a perfect remedy, and in some of its
provisions has even a tendency to discourage in our people those
qualities from which we may hope for the extinction of pauperism. The
practice of outdoor relief to able-bodied paupers is shown to be
pernicious, and indeed ruinous in its tendency; and a very shrewd
suggestion is made, or rather hinted at, for its abatement. The relief
of the poor is now, it is well known, a common charge upon a union of
parishes which is under the charge of a board of guardians. Permit
this to continue in the case of indoor relief, but provide that
outdoor relief should be a charge upon the parish in which the pauper
resides. This would no doubt soon lessen the amount of outdoor relief,
and would secure its administration only in cases of real and pressing
necessity. Against the modern practice of boarding out pauper
children, which has been recommended by many kindly and philanthropic
persons, a very heavy indictment is drawn, and grave doubt is shown to
exist as to its practical operation. Broadly, it may be said, that Mr.
Fawcett judges of the administration of relief to the poor mainly
according to its ultimate moral effects upon the class to which they
belong; because he holds that the existence of a high standard of
prudence and self-restraint is the only means by which any class can
attain and keep a high social and physical condition. If the working
classes of England are taught by the Poor-law and by misdirected
charity to abandon providence and self-restraint, no power on earth
can permanently improve their position, and every temporary
amelioration must be soon lost in a still larger class depressed to
the low level existing before the benefit was received. If, on the
other hand, the virtues of providence and self-restraint be but
sufficiently cultivated, it is difficult to say how high may be the
standard of comfort reached by the working classes of our country.

The views we have thus slightly sketched are expanded and enforced
with great clearness in the first three chapters of this book, and in
the postscript, on the boarding out of pauper children. We should be
glad indeed if all our legislators could be compelled to pass an
examination in the first half of Mr. Fawcett's little volume, and
should hope for the best results from their study of his vigorous and
thoughtful sentences. In the remaining four chapters the probable
effects upon the condition of the working classes of national
education, co-partnership, and co-operation, and an improved land
tenure, are carefully examined, and many valuable suggestions are
made; but it must be obvious, on Mr. Fawcett's own principles, that
except these remedial measures have a direct tendency to produce
prudence and self-restraint, they can only afford temporary relief, to
be followed by a depression to the previous low condition. This is the
great lesson taught by the learned professor, and taught with abundant
illustration and convincing argument; and we hold that it is a lesson
which our people greatly need to learn.

At the present time, probably, the greatest hindrance to a real
improvement in the condition of the working classes is the feeble
sentimentality which prevails so widely in modern society, and which
finds its natural expression in that maudlin pity which doles out
relief alike to idle and industrious, to the vicious and the
unfortunate. By this practice, so common both in public and private
charity, and which is far more deleterious in systematic and public
charity than in private gifts, all the springs of care and prudence
are weakened, and even that degree of providence which is admitted as
needful to the middle classes, to enable them to maintain their
position, is scouted as unnatural and cruel, when urged upon the
working classes. Mr. Fawcett is an advanced Liberal, and one of the
ablest leaders of the most democratic party in our country. We think
it greatly to his honour that he has the courage and honesty so
fearlessly to proclaim the true causes of most of the pauperism which
exists among us; and we trust his words will be received with all the
weight they deserve by that great body of working people who are
especially his clients, and whose cause he is ever ready to plead.

Mr. Fawcett's book is written with great clearness and force, and we
can hardly fancy any one finding political economy dull in his
company. Sometimes, perhaps, the strength of his convictions seems to
lead to statements so strong and unqualified as to need some
correction, but we fully concur in the main drift of his argument, and
recommend his book to the careful study of all interested in the
investigation of the causes of pauperism.


_General Outline of the Organization of the Animal Kingdom, and Manual
of Comparative Anatomy._ By THOMAS RYMER JONES, F.R.S. John Van Voorst

The fourth edition of Professor T. R. Jones's 'Outline' may be taken
as an evidence that his work is still in demand, notwithstanding the
formidable rivalry of Professor Rolleston's recent work on the same
subject addressed to the same class of readers. Perhaps the less
formal and technical style of treatment may be an attraction to some
students of comparative anatomy. Men who give themselves to the study
of what are called the descriptive sciences, have often had their
attention directed to them in the first instance by their pictorial
attractions, and they retain a certain license in dealing with these
branches of learning which neither instructors nor students of the
more exact sciences would permit themselves. Professor R. Jones has
taken his full poetical license, and the parts of the work which
display it in the highest degree are peculiarly his own. There is no
objection to this mode of treatment so long as it does not take off
the attention of the learners from the more general and harder parts
of the subject. But the comparative anatomy of the whole animal
kingdom is so vast that if the author allows himself to run after the
descriptions which are of most interest, his presentation of the whole
subject is likely to be fragmentary and imperfect.

The previous editions of this work have stood almost alone as popular
elementary manuals, and this edition contains very few additions to
the former ones--such only, in fact, as have been forced on the
author. He has designedly hung in the rearward of the science, and is
a collator rather than a critic or an investigator. Thus he cannot
resist the claims of the Cælenerata to be ranked as a sub-kingdom, and
the adoption of Free and Leuckart's classification has compelled him
to transpose the positions of the Anthozoa and Hydrozoa. This,
however, is almost his only classificatory innovation. By a convenient
conservation he still retains the Cirrepedia as a distinct class,
while the Rotifera are placed under the Crustacea. The Brachiopoda
are still interposed between the Conchifera and Gasteropoda. The
Amphibians are not separated from the Reptilia. These antiquated ideas
of classification are to be regretted; but inasmuch as the object of
the volume is to describe, rather than to classify, they need not be
condemned as erroneous. When treating of the vertebrate classes, the
author becomes little more than the interpreter of Professor R. Owen,
and we deplore that a theory of the elements of a vertebra which has
never been generally adopted by the scientific world should be
introduced into a student's book without criticism or comment.

The principal additions which appear in this edition are pictorial,
and the new pictures are, for the most part, illustrative of natural
history rather than of anatomy. An exception to this is, however,
found in the introduction of Mr. Albany Harcock's very instructive
delineation of Waldheimia Australis.

An absence of dogmatism in dealing with the natural sciences is, for
some reasons, commendable, but all instructional works must be
dogmatic. To place two quite contradictory descriptions taken from two
authors side by side, without aiding the student to determine in any
way which is the truthful one, is quite inexcusable, and yet this is
precisely what is done with regard to Dugè's and Dr. Williams's
descriptions and theories of the functions of the organs of the
earth-worm. Old errors are still retained in this new edition. Thus
the description of the generative system of the common snail is
repeated word for word from the old edition, although the views there
taken are certainly wrong.

We have freely remarked on the shortcomings of the work, but with all
its faults it has been long known as a very interesting and popular
treatise on a subject which is very difficult to treat as a whole, and
we do not doubt it will retain its popularity in its present form.


_Wonders of the Human Body._ From the French of A. Le Pileur. Blackie
and Son.

This is a work on human anatomy and physiology so treated as to form
an easy, familiar, and interesting book of study for the public of
both sexes. It is not of any special 'wonders,' but of the whole
structure of the body, _minus_ those parts of anatomy which are unfit
for the young, of which the book treats. No doubt the whole body is a
world of wonder, and therefore the title is allowable, and was meant
to be attractive, but it is a little liable to mislead. This is,
indeed, a painstaking and systematic description of the structure and
functions of all the anatomical elements and complex organs throughout
the body, illustrated by good clear diagrammatic drawings. It is by no
means so charming in its style as Professor Huxley's little volume on
the same subject, but it is more equable in the attention it bestows
on the several parts of the body, and so far is better suited for the
kind of general school instruction for which we assume it is intended.



POETRY, FICTION, AND BELLES LETTRES.

_The Coming Race._ William Blackwood and Sons.


The author of 'The Coming Race' treads in the steps of the author of
'Gulliver,' _haud passibus æquis_, indeed, but with an individuality
and a power that are altogether his own, and with a geniality in the
delicate and subdued irony of his satire that makes his book as
pleasant as it is clever. In competent hands, no form of allegory so
lends itself to the castigation of the follies of an age, or to the
embodiment of previsions and prognostications. It constitutes a little
literature of its own, which boasts of some remarkable productions.

'The Coming Race' inhabit a subterranean world, into which the author
was precipitated while at the bottom of a mine; and in the inhabitants
thereof we are led to contemplate the good and evil of certain social
theories and scientific speculations realized in actual result. There
is no savage castigation of vices, nor cynical delineation of
abortions, but a quiet, keen, playful exhibition of possible good and
probable evil; of things to be desired and of things to be shunned.
The author is too serious for ridicule, and too sly for gravity. His
tone is that of a good-natured optimism, with just a touch of banter.
Probably, he himself would find it difficult to balance the exact gain
or loss of the changes he conceives. It is difficult, indeed, to
determine when he is indulging in day-dreams, when in subtle satire.
He is a citizen of the American Republic, and as such is in the best
subjective condition for appreciating the unconventional. In this also
there is a touch of sly satire. He realizes in his pallid world what
Brother Jonathan boasts so much about, the actual apotheosis of
republican liberalism, social equality, and religious and scientific
knowledge. We cannot even indicate the vast variety of problems that
in these several departments find their solution. We can only, in a
loose way, mention a few of the phenomena of life in the nether world.
Deprived of solar light, it is compensated by science, and innumerable
lamps constitute perpetual day, but of a pale hue. Its strange flora
and fauna are described. Its inhabitants are a giant race, perfected
through long processes of natural selection, and advanced to
unthought-of possibilities of scientific culture. They have attained
to a perfect practical knowledge of mesmeric force or 'vril;' a tube
in the hands of a child is charged with an agency so terrible that it
would annihilate an army, and yet so delicate and subtle that it
soothes a nervous impatience--a force so perfect that it cannot be
used in strife. Absolute equality, social harmony, and tranquil
happiness are not only the privileges, they are necessary conditions
of social existence; leisurely enjoyment, consummate knowledge, virtue
cultured into an instinct, are its natural causes. Mechanism has been
so perfected that automaton figures render all necessary domestic
service, and locomotion is equally facile on the earth, in the water,
or through the air. Of course, their laws are perfect; government is
a high social duty from which men shrink, save as moral obligation
constrains, self-seeking being annihilated. Wise provision against
over-population is made by regulations for emigration. The women are
bigger and cleverer than the men, having greater power over the
mysterious 'vril;' and in love matters have men's privilege of
'speaking first,' love being of more importance to women than to men.
Democratic government--the government, that is, of the most
ignorant--is denounced as superlative folly--Koom-Posh; and the utmost
scorn is poured upon our legislation, war, and social habits, as the
absurdities of a barbarous age and people. Learned disquisitions on
language, literature, and the arts suffice to show, at any rate, the
accomplishments of the writer: and the tender susceptibilities of
which the hero was the victim from the Vril-ya women supply a pleasant
touch of humanity. The people, in short, have attained a development
which is as far ahead of ours, as ours is of our anthropoid ancestors.
They have penetrated the chief secrets of nature, and almost got rid
of all human ills. Theirs is a paradise of physical, scientific,
social, and moral perfection; wealth is disliked, power is shunned,
crime is unknown, and force is unnecessary. But somehow the general
result is unsatisfactory and melancholy. The book is an able and
remarkable one. Much wisdom, as well as much learning, is veiled under
its ingenious allegory; the _reductio ad absurdum_ is suggested with
exquisite subtlety. It is one of the cleverest satires of its class.


_The Songstresses of Scotland._ By SARAH TYTLER and J. L. WATSON.
Strahan and Co.

Notwithstanding some slight tendency in two or three of these sketches
to attempt a story when there is no story to tell, this is as charming
a book of its class as we remember to have read. A single ballad
sometimes gives fame, as, for example, the 'Werena my Heart Licht' of
Lady Grisell Baillie; but then all that we care to know about its
author may be told in a paragraph. With others, however, it is
different. Song-writers like Mrs. Cockburn, Lady Ann Barnard, and the
Countess of Nairn, are so much more than song-writers that they amply
deserve the separate biography which has already been produced of the
latter, and which, we are glad to learn, is being prepared of the
former. Scotch ballads, like Scotch whisky, have their own peculiar
flavour, and it has a special charm for Englishmen. We should be
ashamed to have to confess how many mediocre verses in poetry, and
dialogues in novels, delight us simply in virtue of their Scottish
dialect. There are Scotch ballads, however, that, in virtue of their
intrinsic merits, will live for aye. The biographies which the
industry and skill of Miss Tytler and Miss Watson have here supplied
are those of Lady Grisell Baillie (1665-1746), author of 'Werena my
Heart Licht,' immortal chiefly in virtue of its single refrain, 'And
werena my heart licht I wad dee;' Jean Adam (1710-1765), author of
'There is nae Luck about the House,' who was a pedlar; Mrs. Cockburn
(1712-1794), author of 'The Flowers of the Forest;' Miss Jean Elliot
(1727-1805), author of another 'The Flowers of the Forest;' Miss
Susanna Blamire (1747-1794), author of 'What ails this Heart of Mine,'
and 'Ye shall walk in silk attire,' &c.; Jean Glover (1758-1801),
author of 'O'er the Muir among the Heather;' Mrs. Elizabeth Hamilton
(1758-1816), author of 'My ain Fireside;' Lady Ann Barnard
(1750-1825), author of 'Auld Robin Gray;' Baroness Nairne (1762-1851),
author of 'The Land o' the Leal,' 'Caller Herring,' 'The Laird o'
Cockpen,' &c.; and Joanna Baillie (1762-1851), author of 'Woo'd and
Married and a',' 'Saw ye Johnny Comin,' &c. A more charming miscellany
of gentle thought and lyric sweetness it would be difficult to find.
As might be expected with woman's songs, there is but little of the
national and political fierceness that inspires so many of the Scotch
ballads of the other sex. Even the Jacobite songs of Lady Nairne are
so gentle and winsome that the stoutest old Hanoverian Whig might
easily sing them. But the chief charm of the book is the sketch of the
delicious old lady, Mrs. Cockburn, the friend of Allan Ramsay, Burns,
and Scott, and surely the most vivacious, witty, and optimist
octogenarian that ever lived. She was one of the queens of Edinburgh
society, and the authoresses have had access to her letters, which
Walter Scott so highly prized, and which for gossiping fulness,
vivacious interest, intellectual sparkle, and versatile cleverness,
can hardly be surpassed. She was the life and soul of the social life
which she helped to mould. We are glad to learn that a biography of
this clever and beautiful old lady is in preparation. Meanwhile we
commend the 'Songstresses of Scotland' as a delightful book.
Everything that Miss Tytler touches she adorns, and she has here hit
upon a genial and interesting theme.


_Arber's English. Reprints._--_Tottel's Miscellany, 1550_; _Thomas
Lever's Sermons, 1550_; _William Webbe's Discourse of English Poetrie,
1587_; _The First Printed English New Testament_. Translated by
WILLIAM TYNDALE. Photo-lithographed from the Unique Fragment now in
the Grenville Collection, British Museum. London: 5 Queen-square,
Bloomsbury.

Mr. Arber continues his munificent and inestimable work with
increasing efficiency, and we infer with increasing encouragement.
Certainly no attempt to bring the curiosities and treasures of our
early English literature within the reach of the very poorest student
and the common reader is at all comparable to it. For a shilling may
be purchased copies of precious treasures which wealth could not buy.

'Tottel's Miscellany' is the first known collection of English verse,
the progenitor of the countless volumes which now load our
drawing-room tables, and defy criticism. Tottel's collection includes
poems by the Earl of Surrey, Sir Thomas Wyatt, Nicholas Grimald, and
ninety-five by 'uncertain authors.' Either our forefathers three
centuries ago had very contracted ideas about literature, or it was
more affluent than we suppose--for we find William Webbe, in his
'Discourse of English Poetrie,' thus complaining of a tribulation
which we thought was peculiar to modern reviewers. 'Among the
innumerable sortes of Englyshe bookes, and infinite fardles of printed
pamphlets, wherewith thys Countrey is pestered, all shoppes stuffed,
and euery study furnished; the greatest part, I thinke in any one
kinde, are such as are either meere Poeticall, or which tende in some
respecte (as either in matter or forme) to Poetry.' Mr. Arber has the
genuine bibliophilist's afflatus: the patience with which he picks up
bits of bibliographical information, and the caution and skill with
which he uses it, are perfect. 'Tottel's Miscellany' was very popular
in its day.

Lever was Fellow, Preacher, and Master of St. John's College,
Cambridge; Pastor in exile of the English Church at Aarau; Prebend of
Durham Cathedral, and Master of Sherburn Hospital. He was, as Mr.
Arber terms him, one of the 'spiritual children' of the Reformation,
the associate of Latimer, Bradford, and Knox. These three sermons,
after the manner of the times, deal with public and passing topics,
manners, and customs, and are valuable not only as part of the
religious but as part of the domestic history of their day. Lever was
a man of Latimer's type--superlatively faithful and fearless.

Webbe's 'Discourse of English Poetrie' is a reprint of a very rare
book, only two copies of it being known to exist. Webbe was a
Cambridge graduate, and a very accomplished, modest, and able man.
Singularly his critique on English poetry was almost synchronous with
the greater work of Puttenham, on 'the Arte of English Poesie,' which
Mr. Arber has already reprinted in this series. Webbe's discourse
contains a good deal of shrewd penetrating criticism. He was well
acquainted with the classical poets, and made experiments in
translation, with a view of naturalizing classical feet.

The facsimile of the fragment of Tyndale's 'First Printed English New
Testament' is a great literary, as well as religious curiosity. Well
may Mr. Arber speak of the reverence, almost the awe, with which he
offers the 'photographic likeness of a priceless gem in English
literature,' the progenitor of the millions of English Scriptures. Mr.
Arber accompanies the work with a very extensive and multifarious
bibliography, giving an account of Tyndale and Roy, and of the first
two editions of the English New Testament; and discussing the question
whether Tyndale's quarto was a translation of Luther's German version.
It is a perfect luxury to read the scholarly, modest, and painstaking
bibliography of Mr. Arber. We earnestly direct attention to his
invaluable labours.

_The Novels and Novelists of the Eighteenth Century._ By WILLIAM
FORSYTH, M.A., Q.C. John Murray.

Mr. Forsyth's book hardly falls within the scope of criticism. Gossip
is scarcely amenable to the laws of art, and Mr. Forsyth's research
is not wide enough, nor are his reflections profound enough to deserve
any other description. It is, however, very pleasant gossip, and will
both amuse and instruct, even if it amuses rather more than it
instructs. The eighteenth century has now passed into the region of
history, and we study it with the same merely historical interest with
which we study the fifteenth. We read the books of the eighteenth
century as we read the classics--not as we read the authors who
reflect our own ideas, and manners. Fielding is perhaps now less read
than at any other time, and chiefly by literary men in the way of
their profession, or by historical students. We would forgive Mr.
Forsyth the admitted defects of his book, if it did anything to arrest
the progress of this classical oblivion. That, however, does not seem
to be Mr. Forsyth's intention. He seems to have been a good deal
surprised when he found, in the course of his studies, that he had got
into such disreputable company, and was correspondingly disgusted.
Much of the book is accordingly occupied with criticism, in which the
author is very hard on the immoral novelists, who only aimed at
describing the times as they were. Mr. Forsyth does not maintain that
they were unfaithful to the reality, and therefore criticises the age
rather than the books which mirrored it. But that kind of criticism
belongs to an almost extinct school.


_The Life and Writings of Joseph Mazzini._ Vol. VI. Critical and
Literary. Smith, Elder, and Co.

The critical and literary writings of Mr. Mazzini are not purely
literary, and their criticism is not disinterested. The prophetic
function and the critical are not quite compatible, and Mr. Mazzini is
a prophet of the Old Testament order, though unhappily with the fate
of Cassandra. The political passion burns too hotly in him to admit of
the coexistence of that pure critical instinct which has no
enthusiasms, and which maintains its impartiality by holding aloof
from affairs. Accordingly the objects of his admiration belong to the
militant class in literature; he subordinates Homer to Dante, Goethe
to Byron, and, we suppose, Fielding to George Sand. If he would not
exactly define genius as the spirit of revolt, he would say that
sympathy with the active movements of humanity is an essential
constituent of it. An organ for apprehending thought as such, ideas
apart from their application, he does not seem to possess. The purely
spiritual side of life, the purely metaphysical side of thought, are
blanks to him; yet in even the most imperfect state of society, and
the most urgently needing reformation, these will always form a large
part of the total life of humanity. He is, in short, the high-priest
of the revolution, and grants absolution only to votaries at that
shrine. The essays in the present volume are conceived in this spirit,
and are less criticisms than impassioned orations, delivered with
crusading fervour. That on George Sand is a discourse on the 'life of
Genius,' its sorrows, aspirations, and ineradicable melancholy. That
on Goethe is a denunciation of political inaction and the worship of
indifference; while the greatness of Lamennais is recognised only when
he ceased to be a thinker, and took to abortive action. Putting aside
their absence of critical disinterestedness, and therefore of critical
value, these essays are full of eloquence and genuine enthusiasm. They
may be called the evangel of that section of the party of action which
aspires to a great democracy of the future--a transformation that
shall be more than political, more than social, that shall be almost
theocratic.


_The Orations of Cicero against Catiline; with Notes, &c._ Translated
from the German of Karl Halm, with many additions. By A. S. WILKINS,
M.A. Macmillan and Co. 1871.

_A Complete Dictionary to Cæsar's Gallic War._ By A. CREAK, M.A.
Hodder and Stoughton. 1870.

The first-mentioned of these works is, we think, the best school-book
that has ever come under our notice. The excellence of the original is
sufficiently guaranteed, by its appearing in Haupt and Sauppe's
series, and its practical usefulness fully established by the sale of
seven editions in the course of a few years. But we do not hesitate to
affirm that the English edition is rendered far superior to the
original by the extensive additions of Professor Wilkins, which bear
ample testimony, not simply to his varied critical and literary
acquirements, but also to the correctness of his judgment respecting
the difficulties and wants of the generality of students. There is
scarcely a note in the original to which important additions have not
been made by the editor. Among the most valuable helps to the English
student are the constant reference to 'Mommsen's History,' 'Ramsay's
Antiquities,' and 'Madvig's Grammar.' The etymological notes by the
translator often contain, within a narrow compass, the substance of
the views of Curtius, Schleicher, or Corsen on the subject. More
advanced students are directed for further information to the works of
Bekker, Drumann, Nägelsbach, Arnold, Niebuhr, Merivale, and Forsyth.
In fact, no source of illustration has escaped the editor, not even
essays in the _Rheinisches Museum_ and the _Fortnightly Review_. Not
the least valuable contribution is the excellent analysis of the four
orations, enabling the student to follow the argument at every step.
We cannot speak too highly of this little volume. It is our candid
opinion that here the junior student will lack nothing, and that the
mature scholar may learn much. We have the greatest satisfaction in
recommending it to all in search of an efficient help in studying the
Catiline Orations.

The second book is quite an elementary work, somewhat on the plan of
our Teutonic neighbours. The author's aim is twofold; to provide the
youthful learner with a better dictionary for the reading of Cæsar, by
delivering him from the bewilderment of a large one and the meagreness
of a small one, and to secure from the very commencement idiomatic
modes of translation. The latter is kept in view all through the
work, and is the sole object of the two appendices, the first of which
contains 116 idiomatic phrases, with their English equivalents; and
the second, hints on translation into English. Mr. Creak very rightly
maintains that a lesson in Latin translation should also be one in
English composition. This work, though small and elementary, is not
unimportant. It aims at correcting one great defect of most of the
current school-books, and exhibits the ability of a scholar, combined
with the experience of a teacher. We heartily wish the author success
in his effort to shorten the tedious and cumbrous modes of instruction
prevalent in our best institutions.


_Homer--Odyssey._ Books I--XII. By W. W. MERRY, M.A. Oxford: Clarendon
Press.

School-books, in almost every department of literature, seem to be
making their appearance in battalions. There are at present several
rival series, which travel over exactly the same classical ground. The
volume before us belongs to the Clarendon Press series, and is the
precursor of a larger work on the same subject. This will probably
account for the disappointing brevity of the notes and illustrations.
The materials for a good edition of the 'Odyssey' are abundant,
consisting of elaborate works treating of every topic connected with
this ancient poem, as well as of excellent commentaries. The notes
given by Mr. Merry are so brief and elementary as to convey but little
idea of the labours of his predecessors. We do not believe in a
school-book being overladen with explanatory matter or piled up with
references to authorities, which the schoolboy will be probably unable
and certainly unwilling to consult; but we do think that every
annotated classical book should contain ample references to our best
elementary books on grammar, antiquities, and history; the absence of
which is in our opinion a serious drawback to the present edition. Mr.
Merry has followed in the main the text of La Roche. The brief but
excellent introduction is adapted from the pamphlet of Thomaszewski.
The illustrated matter contains a sketch of the principal Homeric
forms, the metre of Homer, Homeric syntax, and notes for which the
commentaries of Nitzsch, Ameis, and Crusius have been consulted. The
notes, as far as they go, are clear, precise, pertinent, judicious,
and seem to be on the same plan, and scarcely more extensive than
those on the first six books of the Iliad, in the 'Annotated Oxford
Pocket Classics.'


_The Georgics of Virgil._ Translated by P. D. BLACKMORE, M.A. Sampson
Low, Son, and Marston.

Mr. Blackmore is not only one of the best of novelists and gardeners,
he is also a complete scholar and a charming poet. This translation of
the 'Georgics' is a most remarkable achievement; the full significance
of Virgil's words is almost always perceptible in the rendering,
notwithstanding the exigencies of rhyme. We are by no means of opinion
that the decasyllabic couplet is a fit metre for Virgil; that elegant
Roman was as nearly as possible a Tennyson, and his tricks of
versification can be admirably echoed in Tennysonian blank verse. Mr.
Blackmore has more force and a stronger idiosyncrasy than Virgil had;
hence, in the translation we think more of the English than of the
Roman poet. To such a style of translation we do not object; we read
our Virgil with a difference, with a new flavour, in fact. Just in the
same way did Dryden turn Horace into a nobler form when he wrote,

      'Not heaven itself upon the past has power,
      But what has been has been, and I have had my hour.'

If we mistake not, Mr. Blackmore himself remarks somewhere, that the
meaning of the New Testament comes out better in English than it
possibly could in Greek; similarly, we prefer Blackmore's 'Georgics'
to Virgil's. As we have here no space for anything like critical
discussion, we prefer to quote the beautiful lines with which the
translator apologises for his temerity.

      'Indulgence have ye for a gardener's dream
        (A man with native melody unblest)!
        How patient toil and love that does its best,
      Clouds though they be, may follow the sunbeam.

      'And in this waning of poetic day,
        With all so misty, moonlit, and grotesque,
        'Tis sweet to quit that medley picturesque,
      And chase the sunset of a clearer ray.

      'Too well I know, by fruitless error taught,
        How latent beauty hath fallacious clues,
        How difficult to catch, how quick to lose
      The mirage of imaginative thought.

      'And harder still to make that vision bear
        The loose refraction of a modern tongue,
        To render sight to hearing, old to young,
      And fix my purview on an English ear.

      'Too well I know, by gardener's hopes misled,
        How cheap are things which long have cost me dear;
        And though I fail to graft the poet here,
      No wilding branches may I flaunt instead.

      'But yonder, lo, my amethysts and gold,
        So please you--grapes and apricots--constrain
        These more accustomed hands; unless ye deign
      To tend with me the kine and beeves of old.'

The pregnant felicity of this prelude will show better than any
criticism Mr. Blackmore's poetic capacity.


_Ancient Classics for English Readers. The Commentaries of Cæsar._
By ANTHONY TROLLOPE. _Horace._ By THEODORE MARTIN. _Æschylus._ By
REGINALD S. COPLESTON. _Xenophon._ By Sir ALEXANDER GRANT. Edited by
Rev. W. LUCAS COLLINS, M.A. Blackwood and Sons.

This is a brilliant idea of Mr. Collins; and his collaborateurs have
well discharged their duty. It is not only the English reader who will
be thankful to Messrs. Trollope, Martin, Swayne, Grant, and Collins,
but all young students, who may now grapple with portions of those
great classics with more zest and profit after thus obtaining a
comprehensive view of the whole works which they are compelled often
to nibble at in sublime unconsciousness of their general purport or
spirit. Mr. Trollope has told the wondrous story of Cæsar as far as
his Commentaries reveal it, and has illustrated it throughout with
geographical exposition, historical parallel, and realistic art.
Bright, stirring bits of description, curt despatches, stunning
condensations of campaigns into a few pages or sentences, are given in
the mighty Cæsar's own words, and the story is told with grace and
simplicity in nervous clear English by one of the most popular writers
of the day. Mr. Martin has graduated with high honour in the school of
Classical Translation before attempting this difficult task. We must
confess to great satisfaction with his dainty and delicate work. He
has given us a sketch of the career of Horace, and by skilful
quotation has made him tell the story of his youth, of his high
military career, of his relation to Mæcenas, of his health, and his
tastes, of his love-passages, of his friendships, and of his religious
ideas. Mr. Martin has gracefully introduced Professor Conington's
translations where he preferred them to his own. Lord Lytton has not
met with equal favour at his hand, though his criticisms are not
unfrequently referred to.

If our readers will try and conceive what 'Hamlet' or the 'Revolt of
Islam' would look like if described to some younger civilization in
some language of the future, they will have an idea of the difficulty
of reproducing the dramas of the ancient tragedians in the shape of a
mere account of them in prose. It is not only that the exquisite art
of the originals evaporates in the process, but the poetry goes, and
only the great conceptions remain; even the beliefs of the ancient
world lose their simplicity in transmission. But it was hardly
necessary for Mr. Reginald Copleston to be so misleading as to speak
of the 'gloomy deities which belong to the sphere of conscience and
moral responsibility,' or to find in the Greek mythology such lessons
as the 'deep and dreadful responsibility of man, the possibility of
restoration from sin to purity, and the overruling providence of a
supreme Creator.' Some of these truths are the offspring of Roman law,
others are the growth of Christianity, but they are all modern.
Aristotle certainly knew nothing of them, and anyone who carried such
associations into his reading of the 'Prometheus' would find his ideas
of it vitiated by a fundamental misconception. Except that Mr.
Copleston's sentences are mostly halting and broken-backed, his
account of the plays is otherwise good and accurate.

'Xenophon' is the father of military history, of romance, and of
Boswelliana. He is less appreciated than 'Herodotus,' but is equally
vivacious and interesting. We do not think, therefore, that his 'chief
service to modern readers consists in the amount of information he has
preserved.' There is more in his pictures of contemporary life than
this. Sir A. Grant has done his work well, and 'Xenophon' ought
thereby to be more attractive to English readers than he has been. We
could have wished for a somewhat fuller picture of his life and times,
but the exigencies of space are imperative.


_The Works of Virgil, rendered into English Prose._ By JAMES LONSDALE,
M.A., and SAMUEL LEE, M.A. Macmillan and Co.

A prose translation of 'Virgil' is of course unreadable. We presume
this is meant as a 'crib.' Davidson certainly left room for
improvement, and may now be considered to be superseded by the
excellent translation of Messrs. Lonsdale and Lee. The introductions
are full of matter, though they are written in a pedantically antique
style which was probably suggested by a not quite accurate sense of
congruity.


_Ralph the Heir._ By ANTHONY TROLLOPE. Hurst and Blackett.

Mr. Trollope's novels contribute a distinct element to English
fiction. He is the creator, almost perfect, of commonplace. If we
limit his genius, it is not because it so embodies itself, for it
demands genius as great to create the commonplace as the heroic or the
grotesque. Extremes are always easy, they are the fault of all
undisciplined force; only well-balanced and practised power can avoid
them. The artistic defect of Mr. Trollope is that he never does
anything else. He is a Paganini among novel writers; he fiddles
exquisitely, but always upon one string. He has no situations of
passion; his characters are not conceived so as to render development
into passion possible. What heroics can be got out of the Bishop of
Barchester or his wife, or 'Ralph the Heir'? Within his range, Mr.
Trollope has wonderful variety, but before opening a new work of his
we may always predicate, if not the species, yet the genus of his
characters; no one would ascribe to him many-sidedness. 'Ralph the
Heir' is essentially commonplace--not wicked, nor good--not weak, nor
strong--in any distinctive way. A young man with a few hundreds a
year, the heir-presumptive of his uncle, he has simply gone the way of
many young men who ultimately settle down, as he does, into
respectable country gentlemen, magistrates, and fathers. He has given
himself to horse-racing, hunting, and betting, with their belongings,
and has got embarrassed, his only chance of extrication being the
reversion of the estate, the possession of which, however, his uncle
seems likely to retain for many years. Out of these circumstances,
such being his characters, the entanglements of the tale are wrought.
Ralph, who is as weak in love as he is in moral habit, commits himself
to a virtual declaration of affection for Clarissa, the daughter of
his guardian, Sir Thomas Underwood; his pecuniary necessities press
hard upon him, and drive him to the extremity of a proposal to Polly
Neefit, the daughter of a wealthy breeches-maker; a brilliant cousin
of Clarissa's--Mary Bonner--comes from the West Indies, with whom
everybody falls in love; delivered from old Neefit by the accidental
death of his uncle, Ralph proposes to her and is refused, then again
to Clarissa and is refused, and at last is married by Lady Eardham to
her daughter Augusta. The peculiar triumph of Mr. Trollope is that he
carries his hero and the ladies through all this without a single
feeling of disgust. None of the characters have much in them except
Mary, who shadows a fine conception, but they are all redeemed from
contempt. Pooly Neefit is vulgar, but she has strong common sense and
true-hearted honesty, and knows what she is; Clarissa is a coquette,
but she has tenderness and faithfulness, if not depth of feeling; the
Eardhams are the Eardhams, types of scores of common-place families,
who, if they think about affections at all, clearly regard them as
troublesome superfluities; the viciousness and vulgar ambition of old
Neefit are redeemed by a certain generosity and kindliness of social
and domestic feeling. Everybody interests, nobody excites; everybody
is tolerable, and commonplace. Indeed, so conscious of this is Mr.
Trollope, that he devotes two or three pages at the conclusion of his
novel to an apology for it, showing us how undesirable it is that
every man should be a Henry Esmond, and every woman a Jeannie Deans.
True: but the only hope for mean, selfish, common-place people is for
literary artists to paint ideal excellence. Mere portrait-painting is
not the final cause of poetry and fiction; while life-like, it must be
life-idealized. Jeannie Deans has touched myriads of common-place
hearts, and made them nobler. Why does not Mr. Trollope try to give us
a Jeannie Deans occasionally? What good to anybody is it to paint only
Ralph Newtons, except, perhaps, to excite a tolerance for
common-place, an allowance for the defective men and women one meets
with every day--an end important, no doubt; but why not delineate
virtues and vices--nobilities and meannesses--so as to do something to
excite the emulation of Ralph Newtons themselves, as well as our
charity towards them?

Mr. Trollope's masterpiece in this novel is Sir Thomas Underwood, a
barrister, living in chambers, with two daughters at Putney, who has
been Solicitor-General, and who has been all his life purposing to
write a life of Bacon--a conception, again, of a respectable form of a
somewhat selfish and irresolute character, but admirably portrayed. So
is Ontario Moggs, the son of Ralph's bootmaker, his rival in the
affections of Polly Neefit, a red-hot Communist orator, and the
working man's candidate in the Percycross election. In the description
of this election, at which Sir Thomas was returned and then unseated
on petition, Mr. Trollope has excelled himself. Contested elections
have often been described; Thackeray, Dickens, and George Eliot
especially, have found them as fruitful in humour as Hogarth did.
George Eliot excepted, we doubt if any living writer could approach
the skill and power with which the election of Percycross, the tactics
of its candidates, and the characteristics of its free and independent
electors are described; happily, it is now disfranchised for bribery.

Mr. Trollope's selection of types of characters and his successful
delineation of them are equal even to his best work. Sir Thomas and
old Neefit are not surpassed by Mrs. Proudie and Archdeacon Grantley.
Every portrait is characteristic, and is most carefully finished.
There are few things in fiction finer than the subtle admixture of
excellencies and defects in Sir Thomas. We do not care much for 'Ralph
the Heir;' we feel neither great indignation at his sins nor great
satisfaction with his virtues. He will be as happy as a nature like
his can be. Old Neefit is, in his way, as distinctive in drawing and
indelible in impression as Pickwick himself, only, of course, far less
agreeable.

Mr. Trollope is a Dutch artist, and paints with the fidelity of a
Teniers and the power of a Paul Potter. It is not the highest school
of art, but Mr. Trollope is a master in it, and 'Ralph the Heir' is
one of his greatest pictures. If one word may designate it, it is a
novel of selfishness exhibited in various striking types, not
pleasant, but unquestionably powerful, and likely to live when many
things that Mr. Trollope has done are dead and forgotten.


_Joshua Marvel._ By B. L. FARJEON. Tinsley Brothers.

The promise which we recognised in Mr. Farjeon's 'Grif' is more than
fulfilled in 'Joshua Marvel.' The author, with a rapidity which is
really surprising, has acquired a mastery of delineation and a
delicacy of touch, that give him high rank among brothers of his
craft. The opening chapters, which delineate the boyish friendship of
Joe and Dan, and the bird-fancying of the poor little cripple, are as
full of delicate beauty and pathos as anything that we have for a long
time read. Indeed, the entire history of the friendship of the two
lads is exquisitely conceived and wrought out. In its unselfishness,
tenderness, truthfulness, and moral beauty, it is like the love of
David and Jonathan. Like the author of 'Episodes from an Obscure
Life,' Mr. Farjeon's strength lies in his descriptions of East-end
life. Like him, too, he idealizes it by the delineation of noble
thoughts and faithful love. The old sailor--Mr. Meddler--the
Lascar--Minnie--Ellen--as well as Joe and Dan, are all portrayed in a
very masterly manner; while all is idealized, nothing is exaggerated.
Joe is a very noble character. The shipwreck, and the experiences in
the Australian forests, which Mr. Farjeon's colonial life qualify him
for describing with great truthfulness and power of colouring and
incident, are narrated in a very powerful way. The quiet beauty and
pathos of the story have greatly charmed and moved us. It is a pure,
wholesome book, carefully and skilfully written, the precursor, we
hope, of many more.


_Tales of the North Riding._ By STEPHEN YORKE. Smith, Elder, and Co.

The title of this book led us to expect that 'Stephen Yorke' had
attempted to do for Yorkshire what the author of 'Lorna Doone' has so
admirably done for Devonshire, or what, in his 'Wenderholme,' Mr.
Hammerton has done for the Yorkshire and Lancashire borders. We are
disappointed. 'Stephen Yorke' is not the impersonation of a _genius
loci_, although there is no reason to deny that _she_ may be a
Yorkshire-woman; nor have the four stories any very distinctive local
colouring. Neither the descriptions of natural scenery nor the
reproduction of the vernacular is characteristic enough to necessitate
a Yorkshire _locale_ rather than a Devonshire one. It might be an
imperfect representation of either, save, indeed, that the items of
natural configuration catalogued are more true of Scarborough than
they are of Lynton. The forte of the authoress certainly does not lie
in description. We can, however, speak much more favourably concerning
her powers of portraiture. The characters of her four stories are well
conceived and delicately discriminated. The tone is artistic and
tender, and the treatment skilful; a quiet and acute observation of
the gentler sorrows of human life, sometimes, however, as in
Lizzie--the heroine of Thorpe House Farm--developing into sad domestic
tragedy, and considerable power in daguerreotyping it, are the
writer's _forte_. Thorpe House Farm is the best story of the four, and
is very pathetic; when the authoress attempts stronger positions she
becomes sensational, as in the quarrel of 'Squire Hasildene and his
Son,' and the rough winter experiences of the latter in Danesborough.
There is much that is natural and touching in the delineation of Mrs.
Wynburn and her daughter; the yearnings of the mother, and the
breaking down of the cold reserve of the daughter after the not very
original mishap which befel her. Sophia Wynburn is a very clever
creation. The book is not great, but there is a certain something in
it which indicates a power of character-painting which itself has not
adequately realized, and which may, when it has shaken off what 'A. K.
H. B.' would call a little of the 'vealy,' and when it has acquired
the confidence and skill of practised writing, develope into a
distinctive gift. The stories are very pleasant reading--that is, they
are admirable in tone and interesting in execution.


_For Lack of Gold: A Novel._ By CHARLES GIBBON. Blackie and Sons.

Success has produced upon Mr. Gibbon the effect that it always does
produce upon true men: it has animated him to painstaking effort. 'For
Lack of Gold' is a piece of very genuine workmanship, and its effect
upon us is that we have to restrain our strong inclination to eulogize
instead of criticize. The defect of the story is that the painful
tension is too great; it wants the relief of quiet scenes and composed
feelings. Angus and Annie are in a chronic agony. Shakespeare
understood the tragic art better; strong passions can be only
occasional, and 'Lear' without the fool would be too painful. This,
however, is almost the only fault we have to find. The writing is
good, and the little descriptive bits evince the keen and careful eye
as well as the skilful hand of an artist. The beautiful and tender
touches with which the work is inlaid--the genuine pathos of even the
most intense feeling is very powerful; the well-regulated freedom of
the artist's hand--the carefully-studied tone of the dialogue--the
constructive skill of the plot--the fine moral atmosphere of the
whole--even the humour of the mere Scottish dialect--all are
accessories essential to the best work, but in one or more of which
even very good work is sometimes lacking. But the prime quality of
every novel is its characterization, and in this Mr. Gibbon has been
eminently successful. The conception of Annie's character, and of the
blind instinct of noble, self-sacrificing love that always guides her
rightly even when she seems to be acting most fatally, are very able
and beautiful. Angus, again, in another way exhibits the same
characteristics, the difference being chiefly that between man and
woman, for in love it is true that the superiority is with the woman.
Angus's mother is after the type of Robert Falconer's mother,--a fine
Scottish matron, full of Calvinism and stern tenderness. Annie's
father, and Dalquherrie, the evil geniuses of the piece, are also well
conceived; they exhibit two natural, types of selfishness. Nor must we
omit to mention that strange compound of incontinence, soldierliness,
eccentricity, and fidelity,--the Deil--a creation worthy of Scott.

Altogether we congratulate Mr. Gibbon on a second very marked success,
which bids fair to place him, as a describer of Scottish forms of our
common humanity, at no very great distance from George Macdonald.


_The Beautiful Miss Harrington._ By HOLME LEE, Author of 'Basil
Godfrey's Caprice,' &c. Smith, Elder, and Co.

The accomplished writer who passes by the pseudonym of Holme Lee has
added to her reputation by this novel. It is written with great care
and felicitousness of style, with perfect taste, and much delicacy of
conception. As might be expected, it is pure as the driven snow, and
very life-like in delineation. It professes to be written by one of
the principal actors in the tragic story, the wife of the rector of
the parish in which the history developes itself, and every
complication of event and thought, and all the balancings of motive
reach the reader through the heart and mind of this one individual.
She is a nimble, strong-minded little woman, with an abhorrence of
shams, and an outspokenness at times quite astonishing. This old, old
story of love arrested by family pride and selfishness, and ending in
cruel disappointment and perverse conjugal relations, in a semblance
of madness, in cruel suspicions, fever, and death, has often been
told, but not often from the standpoint of a sympathetic, loving
spectator and intimate friend of the suffering heroine. The only
drawback is, that we are never admitted to the secret heart of any
masculine actor in the drama; we are never introduced into the privacy
of the lover, or the father, or the grasping heir-at-law of the
'beautiful Miss Barrington.' The presumed biographer is always
present, or quoting extracts from Felicia Barrington's letters, or
relating the gossip of her friends or her enemies. We question whether
poetical justice is altogether done, either to the selfish father, the
long-suffering husband, or to the sneaking, hypocritical reptile who
is the marplot of Felicia's happiness. There are so many ways in which
the machinations of her enemies might have easily been disappointed,
that it is evident that Holme Lee repudiates the position of being
'privy councillor to Providence,' to use one of her own expressions.
Felicia does conquer world, flesh, and devil after a fashion, and her
cruelly-used, high-minded, but intolerably blundering lover,
notwithstanding his gentleness and his Victoria Cross, his forbearance
and patience, deserves his fate; but then, after he has intentionally
broken the tender heart of the heroine, he provokingly consoles
himself with another love. We are not sure that a ward in Chancery and
heiress of entailed estates could have conferred on her husband such
powers as the wife and daughter of Mr. Barrington successively
entrusted to him; but let that pass. We thank Holme Lee for her
fascinating story, the moral of which is,--let young lovers be true to
their plighted word, though fathers, guardians, duennas, family
dignity, titled suitors, death's heads and cross-bones all demand
instant and precipitate repudiation.


_In that State of Life._ By HAMILTON AÏDÉ. Smith, Elder, and Co.

There is not much to be said about Hamilton Aïdé's little story. The
plot is slight. Maud, the stepdaughter of Sir Andrew Herriesson, a
pompous, irascible, narrow-minded baronet, is goaded into
clandestinely leaving his house, after refusing a wealthy match upon
which he was beset. She answers an advertisement, and becomes an under
lady's maid, with a stipend of twenty pounds a year, to Mrs. Cataret,
whose son falls in love with her, and, after a due amount of
difficulty and fuming, marries her. The story is told in a simple,
straightforward way, and the characters are well delineated,
especially that of the vivacious half-French Mrs. Cataret, and of
noble-hearted John Miles, the curate. If the story does not encourage
ill-used baronets' stepdaughters to run away, it may, harmlessly
enough, fill up an idle hour.


_Squire Arden._ By Mrs. OLIPHANT. Hurst and Blackett.

Mrs. Oliphant has won such a position among our lady novelists--second
only among living writers to that of George Eliot--that it is almost
enough to announce a new story from her pen: certainly it is
superfluous to speak of her characteristics as a writer; they are as
well known as those of Anthony Trollope. Like other writers, however,
her productions are not all of equal excellence, and although there
are in 'Squire Arden' elements of literary skill and imaginative power
which would arrest the attention and excite the interest of any
critic, it cannot be designated one of her best works. The story is
not a cheerful one. Its plot is very simple. Edgar Arden, a young man
whom his father has hated and kept abroad, finds himself, soon after
attaining his majority, the Lord of Arden, with an only sister,
between whom and himself there exists a strong affection. Clare has
the Arden blood in her; with much that is excellent derived from her
mother, she has the imperious temper of her father. The redeeming
feature of her character is her love for Edgar. The new experiences of
the heir are described. A few of the village characters are
introduced, notably Dr. Somers, the village doctor, a _bon vivant_,
clever and good at heart, but somewhat cynical; his sister, Miss
Somers, a very clever creation, a kind of pious Mrs. Nickleby; Mr.
Fielding, the gentle, kindly rector, and some of the peasants. At the
house of one of them a Scotchwoman, Mrs. Murray, and her
granddaughter, Jeannie, come to lodge. The Pimpernels, Liverpool
merchants, come on the stage, but little comes of it; so do the
aristocratic neighbours, the Thornleighs. A cousin, Arthur Arden, a
half worn-out and penniless man about town, turns up, and schemes to
marry Clare, to the great distress of everybody who knows her.

The chief interest centres in Arden. Some letters are discovered in a
bureau proving that Edgar is not an Arden, but an adopted child, the
old Squire having been at enmity with his heir. Edgar at once makes
known the discovery, and surrenders the estate to Arthur Arden, the
true heir, whose coarse, servile selfishness comes out. Edgar proves
to be the grandson of Mrs. Murray. The three volumes are occupied with
the simple development of this. The fault of the story is its
prolixity; it doesn't get on. Chapter after chapter is filled with
analyses of everybody's feelings and reflections, and with details of
everybody's movements, until the reader is really wearied. The burthen
of three volumes lies heavily upon both writer and reader. Like every
story that Mrs. Oliphant writes, the book is full of good sense and
clever things, but she should either have put into it more subordinate
and varied incidents, or have made it shorter. It is altogether
melancholy. We pity the villagers who have Arthur Arden for their
Squire; we pity Edgar, who goes forth almost penniless; but most of
all we pity Clare, whose defects hardly deserved such a retribution as
Arthur for a husband.


_A Snapt Gold Ring._ By FREDERICK WEDMORE. Smith, Elder, and Co.

A story of ill-consorted marriage and of the evil that comes of it.
The point of contrast is between gifts and goodness--the power of
intellect and the greatness of love. Madeline, the simple, loving
wife, is well delineated; so is her cousin Kate, the sempstress and
actress. The writer has no great depth, but is well acquainted with
places and people, and with artist-life, and he tells his story and
points its moral fairly well.


_Shoemakers' Village._ By HENRY HOLBEACH. Two vols. Strahan and Co.

Mr. Henry Holbeach cannot write without saying many clever things. He
has an eye for the humours of men and the oddities of religious
persuasion. From an outside standpoint he can see the incongruities of
strongly marked religious profession with the common affairs of life
and business. If Serene Highnesses or great ecclesiastics were
represented with their feet in hot water, and with bowls of toddy at
their side, and seen to be intent on expelling the results of
superfluous rheum from their systems, or if Prime Ministers were
honestly painted at their sport or personal business, the
incongruities of their great professions and their positive actual
doings would seem as laughable as the toy-shop and bill-discounting
and mutton pies of 'cumbersome Christians.'

There are many scenes and bits of description in these volumes which
are almost worthy of Robert Browning, or Mrs. Oliphant; but Mr.
Holbeach seems often to be trying to produce a droll or a weird
effect, in which he never quite succeeds. For our part, we laughed
when he clearly meant us to weep, and we failed to see anything
ludicrous in the incongruities and weaknesses which he so painfully
depicts. As to plot or scheme in 'Shoemakers' Village,' there is
scarcely the apology for one. A few mysteries, of no earthly interest,
are supposed to be lying under our feet, or huddled up in dark
corners, ready to break forth upon the hum-drum life of the principal
characters, but they vanish away, without conferring any interest on
the narrative. The character of Cherry White, _alias_ Tomboy, is
freshly and vividly drawn; and the simple sweetness of her life, just
opening to the significance of love, and making her the _confidante_
of everybody in 'Shoemakers' Village,' redeems the story from absolute
insipidity; but why she should have been drowned in a horse-pond, in
the attempt to save the life of a 'malignant epilept,' who was her
only enemy, baffles our philosophy; and we feel that the ugly splash
she must have made, when she was dragged into the muddy pool,
disfigures the entire story with uncanny stains. However, the separate
characterizations of the 'Shoemakers' Village' reveal a touch of real
power. We would respectfully advise Henry Holbeach to keep to those
higher walks of literature, where he has won for himself so just a
reputation.


_Historical Narratives._ From the Russian. By H. C. ROMANOFF.
Rivingtons.

Madame Romanoff has translated six Russian tales or sketches--three by
S. N. Shoubinsky and three by V. Andrèeff. She has, she tells us,
taken great liberties with Mr. Andrèeff's original narrative, which is
extremely disorderly and rambling. She has curtailed it; and from its
parts or chapters has compiled one continuous narrative. The result is
not very satisfactory. The stories of Catherine the Great and the
Emperor Paul are very timidly told--either from the cautiousness of
the original or the courtliness of the translator. Strange romances
are possible under a despotism, and few nations have more tragic or
wonderful court tales to tell than the semi-oriental, semi-barbarous
despotism of Russia; but whether it be autocrat or favourite, it is
necessary that the story should be told fearlessly and fully. Neither
concerning the venal favourites about whom Shoubinsky tells us, nor
the scandalous monarchs upon whom Andrèeff employs his pen, do we get
this. We have read the stories with a certain interest; but we have
felt in doing so that 'the half was not told us.' Ugly facts are
covered over with gentle euphuisms, and manifest barbarians are
decently clothed. It is the shadow of history that falls upon the
disc, not history itself.


_Restored._ By the Author of 'Son and Heir.' Hurst and Blackett.

'Restored' is a very conscientious and clever novel, and deserves a
much fuller description and criticism than we can bestow upon it. It
is a piece of very honest, painstaking work; its plot and characters
are fresh, and escape the conventional type of novel-writers; its
descriptions indicate a close study of nature, an eye to observe, and
a considerable power of reproduction; while its narrations and
dialogues are inlaid with thoughtful observations and vivacious
disquisitions on men and things. The writer has made her book a
repertory for much of her philosophy of life. It would, for instance,
be possible to glean from it something like a complete theory of the
'Woman's Right' question; and we must do the authoress the justice to
say that her views are generally just and her remarks sensible. The
book, in short, is full of sterling stuff, and will bear more than one
perusal. Evidently, it has been a labour of love, written with
literary care and pride, and with a purpose much higher than that of
mere amusement. The writer's aim is high, and it has achieved a signal
success. Mr. Malreward, of Malreward Park, in Somersetshire, a
handsome, almost unmitigated scoundrel, had married the sister of the
Rev. Arthur Byrne, rector of Tintagel--we beg pardon, Trevalga--on the
northern coast of Cornwall. He soon breaks her heart; and her two
children, Victor and Frederica, become the charge of the rector, until
Harry, Mr. Malreward's eldest son by a former wife, is killed by being
thrown from his horse, and Victor becomes the heir, and has to reside
at Malreward Park. The story turns on his temptations there, under the
bad influence of his father, who is brute as well as devil, and once
almost kills him. Strong in noble principle, Victor is faithful, aided
by Deverell, the head-keeper, a striking character, an illegitimate
son of Mr. Malreward. Deverell is accused of Mr. Malreward's death,
and Victor is suspected of implication in it. After a few years,
during which, under most disheartening conditions, Victor redeems the
estate and regenerates its peasantry, he dies of fever, after a deed
of noble heroism. Freddy, his sister, has married Stansfield Erle, a
cold, selfish, self-willed lawyer, whose conversion is the most
improbable thing in the story--almost a psychological impossibility,
we think--and her son inherits the estate. Three or four of the
characters--Victor's own--Arthur Byrne, the noble-hearted
rector--Deverell's, and Freddy's--are almost original in their
conception, and are developed with admirable vigour, truth, and skill.
The drawbacks are that Victor is too hysterical, and Stansfield Erle
too much of a brute. Throughout, indeed, the agony is piled on a
little too much, but there are great power, deep truth, and a
wholesome moral in this really remarkable novel.


_Emmanuel Church: A Chapter in the Ecclesiastical History of the
Present Century._ By R. THOMAS. Hamilton, Adams and Co.

A very well-written and pleasant sketch of Nonconformist church life,
exhibiting the influence which a good and wise pastor will always
gather, and the impotence of mere faction and folly seriously to
damage it. There is great good sense in the conception of the sketch,
and considerable skill in the execution of it.


_Checkmate._ By J. SHERIDAN LE FANU. Hurst and Blackett.

Mr. Le Fanu occupies a distinctly original position among novel
writers. He is a master of what it has become the fashion to call
'sensation,' yet does not attain his ends by the ordinary methods. The
stereotype characters of such stories do not appear on his pages.
Never do we encounter the lovely female fiend whose first type was
'Miladi' in the 'Three Musketeers' of Dumas the inexhaustible, and who
has since committed bigamies and murders (the murders of best husbands
by preference) in the works of popular authors whom we need not name.
Again, Mr. Le Fanu is great at a mysterious plot, but his mysteries
have the immense advantage of being not entirely translucent; and in
the novel now under notice we think the readers of most experience in
such matters may reach the middle of the third volume without
penetrating the mystery which surrounds Longcluse. It is a real
puzzle, based upon an original contrivance which it would be unfair to
reveal. Mr. Le Fanu has also a strongly penetrative imagination,
whereby he lights up luridly the strange scenes that he describes,
producing an effect like a picture by Rembrandt, or like that
observable when the electric flame through a lighthouse lens falls
upon some scene in utter darkness. This power of giving intense
reality to description makes every chapter of our author's work worth
reading. The story of 'Checkmate' we shall leave untold; it has a
curious fascination about it, and will pretty surely be finished by
any one who commences it. Its characters are definite and varied.
Longcluse, hero and villain, successful for a long time, yet
checkmated at last, is an admirable portrait. The Arden baronets,
father and son, might almost be identified in Lodge or Debrett. The
ladies, especially Grace Maubray and Lady May Penrose, are choice
studies of patrician life; and as to Baron Vanboeren, that wonderful
patron and protector of scoundrels, he is one of the most original
conceptions in modern romance. Critics who question the existence of
romantic brilliancy may be referred to the _Times_ newspaper, which
has daily to record events that no novelist dare imagine. Therefore we
shall decline to inquire whether a Vanboeren exists or has
existed--whether, indeed, his vocation is possible,--and shall simply
say that he is an entirely new and strangely powerful character in the
world of bizarre romance.


_The Mad War-Planet._ By WILLIAM HOWITT. Longmans.

_Muriel, and other Poems._ By E. T. WEATHERLY. Whittaker and Co.

_Avenele, Desmond, and other Poems._ Two vols. By SOPHIA A. CAULFEILD.
Longmans.

With some distrust of our critical infallibility, we have selected
these four volumes of poems out of some two dozen that lie on our
table. The difference between one volume of minor poetry and another
is generally infinitesimal, and we are far from meaning to imply that
the volumes left unnoticed are much below the level of the others. We
presume that minor poetry is written chiefly for a few congenial minds
in whom similar associations produce susceptibility to similar
impressions and emotions. But the critic must judge from a _quasi_
absolute point of view, and take his stand, as it were, on the
elementary passions of the mind and the cardinal facts of nature. We
notice Mr. Howitt's volume not because we think it contains anything
even resembling poetry, but from respect for his name, and for the
sincerity of his convictions. 'The Mad War-Planet' is, unhappily, an
epic, and, still more unhappily, an epic with a theory. Mr. Howitt
believes the earth to be a spherical lunatic asylum, in which the
thousand million lunatics are unfortunately _not_ under restraint. The
theory is, of course, not new, but the working out of it is less
original and interesting than we should have expected. 'Muriel, the
Sea King's Daughter,' is musical with the tones and tinged with the
hues of the youngest school of poetry. But the art of it is delicate
and finished, and proves a real poetic gift, apart from the echoes of
Tennyson and Morris which ring through the poem. The majority of Miss
Caulfeild's poems are the manifestations of an evidently unaffected
piety. The poetry of them lies chiefly in a certain completeness of
presentation, a severity of limitation by which the ragged edges of an
emotion are made to fall off, and the mood to crystallize into a
defined and beautiful form.


_Pilgrim Songs in Cloud and Sunshine._ By NEWMAN HALL, LL.B. Hamilton
and Adams.

Few things in modern literature are much more significant than the
extraordinary diffusion of the author's first publication, 'Come to
Jesus.' The spirit of that musical and soothing refrain pervades these
'Pilgrim Songs,' and offers a loving rebuke to the cold and cynical
criticism which it is fashionable to pronounce on Evangelical
Christianity. These songs of the pilgrim are full of hope and
exultation; they all seem singable on the border-land between earth
and heaven. They reveal great sensitiveness to beauty, and show the
kind of chord that has been struck in the heart of the writer by the
loveliness of earth as well as by the deepest realities of life. There
is in them a triumphant faith, born of a deep experience--a faith
which does not battle with scientific speculation nor modern
mysticism. It knows and does not prove, it rests and does not fret.
The key-note of the volume is struck in a hymn of universal praise.
The tenderness, strength, and good cheer of many of the personal
meditations are helpful. A motto appropriate to the volume would be,
'Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage.'


_Parish Musings, or Devotional Poems._ By JOHN S. R. MONSELL, LL.D.
Rivingtons.

A new and neat edition of one of Dr. Monsell's volumes of exquisite
sacred poems. Next to Keble and to Dr. Bonar, there is no hymn-writer
of this generation to whom the Church of God owes so much. Like them,
he is intensely subjective, spiritual, and tender. Many of his hymns
have passed into the use of all sections of the Church, and minister
richly to the best forms of devotional feeling.



THEOLOGY, PHILOSOPHY, AND PHILOLOGY.


_The Doctrine of Holy Scripture respecting the Atonement._ By THOMAS
J. CRAWFORD, Professor of Divinity in the University of Edinburgh.
Blackwood and Sons. 1871.

When Dr. Crawford published his treatise on 'the Fatherhood of God,
considered in its general and special aspects, and particularly in
relation to the Atonement,' we called the attention of our readers
(_B. Q._ vol. xlvi., p. 272) to the great ability and admirable temper
with which he brought various modern theories of the Atonement to the
following test:--'How far do these theories represent the sufferings
of Christ as a manifestation altogether unparalleled of the fatherly
love of God towards all mankind.' In our opinion, he showed
triumphantly that they were lamentably defective in this prime article
of their alleged strength. The substance of these criticisms is
introduced into the present volume, and much of the able review of the
theories of Messrs. Maurice, M'Leod Campbell, Robertson, Young, and
Bushnell is here repeated, with a broader reference to the whole
question of the Atonement. The powerful _argumentum ad hominem_ is,
however, omitted, and the author's views of the limited extent of the
Atonement are so far hinted as to make us anxious to see how he will
on that hypothesis develope his strongly held thesis on the Fatherhood
of God. Doubtless, the ground taken by him would be this, that the
love of the Eternal Universal Father was so great to the whole of
mankind that He sent His Son to save all who should believe in Him.
Dr. Crawford says truly, that 'a full discussion of it would be
impracticable, apart from the difficult and mysterious subject of the
_purposes of God_.' The limitation of the _extent_ and _destination_
of the Atonement to those and those only who stand in covenant
relation with Christ in the counsels of the Godhead, or who are in
living union with the Lord Jesus Christ by faith, originates _per se_
so many grievous difficulties that it has done more than anything else
to induce the violent criticism of the orthodox doctrine of the
Atonement. The not infrequent concession of this hypothesis in this
able writer's discussion of other aspects of the Atonement, disturbs
the almost unlimited satisfaction with which we have perused the
volume. We may say further, by way of criticism, that it seems to us
scarcely legitimate to place the theory upheld by Wardlaw, Pye-Smith,
Jenkyn and others, on a lower platform than that of Martineau, Jowett,
or Bushnell. It is certainly submitted to the most scathing criticism
contained in the entire volume, and is represented in colours and
terms hardly meted out to those who arraign at the bar of conscience
the entire idea of substitution, and who entirely repudiate the
Catholic doctrine of the Atonement. We have not space here to discuss
or defend Dr. Wardlaw from this powerful attack. We have previously,
in this Review, at considerable length, shown that we consider the
rectoral or governmental theory insufficient, and exposed to serious
objection. It is well known that Dr. Campbell, in his interesting work
on the 'Nature of the Atonement,' reveals far less sympathy with the
modern Calvinism of the school of Wardlaw and Jenkyn than he does with
the more logical and profound principles of Calvin and Owen. But
Wardlaw and Campbell, though they widely differ on the _rationale_ of
the Atonement, do both, together with Dr. Crawford, stand firmly on
the position that our blessed Lord consummated a great work of
redemption _for_ human nature, which no individual of the human race
could effect for himself, and this _over_ and _above_ that work
wrought _in_ humanity by the grace of the Spirit in virtue of the work
of Christ. We beg our readers, however, to read Dr. Crawford's
examination of the 'theory of sympathy,' which is made by Campbell and
others to cover and explain the deep mystery of the sufferings of
Christ. The alternative exhibited by Luther, that forgiveness of sins
could not be conceived of in the dominion of a holy God, unless there
be either a sufficient satisfaction or an adequate repentance, was
accepted by Dr. Campbell; but instead of looking, with Luther, for
satisfaction of a violated law, he has taken the other side of the
alternative, viz., the _adequate repentance_ for the sins of the human
race, rendered from the ground of human nature, in the awful sympathy
of Jesus, and in that loving consciousness of human sin and peril
which filled the cup of sorrow, and broke the heart of the Son of God.
Now, Dr. Crawford has not referred to the various Scriptural arguments
by which Dr. Campbell endeavoured to sustain his somewhat startling
thesis, but has grappled with the main proposition itself, and shown
it to be insufficient to sustain the language of Christ or his
Apostles; that all the elements of a complete and _adequate
repentance_ for the sins of the world could not be found in one who
had no experience of sinful desire; further, that if this were
possible, and were clearly stated in Holy Scripture, then, so far from
the sufferings of Christ consequent on his agonizing sympathy with
sinners providing the ground of forgiveness of sins, this theory would
merely aggravate the offensiveness of sin, and run the danger of
transforming the entire efficacy of the Atonement of Christ into the
power of His example exercising a sanctifying influence upon the life
of the believer.

We cannot follow Dr. Crawford in his clear, calm, candid treatment of
the various hypotheses of Grotius, Maurice, Bushnell, Young, and
Robertson. These controversial chapters are models of honourable
debate, they are scrupulously fair in quotation, and complete in
rejoinder. But it would be incorrect not to state that the greater
proportion of this valuable work is expository rather than
controversial; inductive rather than deductive. The author assumes no
theory or theological definition from which to start, but simply
enumerates, with much elaboration and care, in fourteen 'groups,' all
the teaching of the New Testament on the subject of the work of
Christ. The principal interpretations of these _loci classici_ come
under review, and great care is taken to make them sustain no weight
greater than they can bear. The conclusions at which the author
arrives are given in twelve brief sections of high and sacred
eloquence. 'The confirmatory evidence of the Old Testament respecting
the Atonement' is summed up under the heading of _prophecy_ and
_sacrifice_; and, while claiming for the Levitical sacrifices a
piacular character for sins of a certain class, the non-expiatory
theories of Bähr, Hofmann, Keil, and Young are carefully reviewed.

The general objections to the Scriptural doctrine of the Atonement are
well handled. We call special attention to the manner in which Dr.
Crawford replies to the allegation that Christ manifested personal
reserve respecting the Atonement. It is well to remember that 'the
purpose of our Lord's ministry was to _make_ rather than _preach_, the
Atonement;' that 'Christ is the _subject_ as well as the _author_ of
the Gospel--His life, death, resurrection, and ascension are included
in it as its most important elements; that the teaching of Christ was
gradual and progressive, and when most advanced indicated the need of
further teaching,' and then, finally, that 'this reserve has been
greatly exaggerated.' Our author is most happy in refuting a variety
of objections raised to the atoning character of the work of Christ
from the silence of the parables, and says, most truly, that 'if we
were to proceed upon the principle that anything that is not expressly
mentioned in a particular passage which speaks of the forgiveness of
sin may be set aside as having no connection with that blessing, I
might undertake to prove that _repentance_ is not at all necessary to
forgiveness.'

We have devoted unusual space to our notice of this important book.
The intrinsic grandeur of the theme, and the masterly treatment it has
received from our author, must be our explanation. We have, however,
touched only a very few of the points with which he has grappled. It
ought to be observed, in conclusion, that he has purposely omitted all
reference to the _history_ of the doctrine of the Atonement Nor was it
necessary. The treatise is, strictly speaking, a vigorous attempt to
establish, by an inductive process, 'the Biblical theology' of the
Atonement. Dr. Crawford does not use or defend the soteriology of the
Fathers, Schoolmen, or Reformers, nor does he the confession of faith
of his own Church. We have not read a theological treatise for a long
time which, upon the whole, has given us greater satisfaction.


_The Doctrine of the Atonement, as taught by the Apostles; or, the
Sayings of the Apostles Energetically Expounded._ With Historical
Appendix. By Rev. GEORGE SMEATON, D.D. Edinburgh: T. and T. Clark.

We cannot too highly commend the conception and general execution of
this really great theological work. Professor Smeaton may claim the
honour of having inaugurated, at any rate in Scotland, a _novum
organum_ of theology. In relation to passing phases of thought in
Christendom, he opposes the severely theological character of his work
to 'a sort of spiritual religious or mystic piety, whose watchword is
spiritual life, divine love, and moral redemption, by a great teacher
and ideal man, and absolute forgiveness, as contrasted with everything
forensic.' In relation to ordinary Scottish methods of treating
theological doctrines, he proposes to establish the doctrine of the
Atonement by a severely inductive method. In his former volume he
submitted to an exegetical examination the sayings of our Lord in
relation thereto; in the present volume he submits to a similar
examination the sayings of the apostles. In this he has had
predecessors in Germany and Holland--as for example, in the works of
Schmid and Van Oosterzee, of which translations have been recently
published. But in British theology he has had no predecessor, so far
as we remember, in such treatment of the doctrine of Atonement. In his
great work on the 'Scripture Testimony to the Messiah,' Dr. Pye-Smith
adopted it in relation to our Lord's Divinity. Obviously it is the
only satisfactory method. _A priori_ theories constructed for systems
of theology can never satisfy independent inquirers concerning a
doctrine which, while it appeals to the principles and intuitions of
our moral nature, yet as to its facts is a matter of pure revelation.
The exegetical method which Professor Smeaton adopts, as opposed to
the systematic theology method usually adopted, is clearly the true
one.

The question, therefore, is, how far has Professor Smeaton been
successful in realizing his method, and what is his exegetical
ability? _First_, we regret that, with all its disadvantages of
repetitions and lack of order, he rejected the plan of 'discussing the
passages as they lie _in situ_ in the several books,' and adopted the
plan of 'digesting them under a variety of topics.' Not only does a
strictly inductive method demand the former plan, but very important
meanings depend upon the development of a strict chronological order.
Professor Smeaton even accepts the arrangement of the Epistles in the
English Testament. _Next_, in our notice of Professor Smeaton's former
volume, we were compelled to say that he brought to our Lord's sayings
much preconceived theology--that he had not thrown off the heavy
burden of the Assembly's 'Confession of Faith,'and that thus his
method was seriously vitiated. From this the strictly chronological
method would have helped to keep him. In this volume he has perhaps
been more successful, but the indications, not to say the bias, of his
school of theological thought, are everywhere cognizable, both in
phrase and in exegesis--_e.g._, the term 'surety for others' as
applied to our Lord; the statement, 'according to the will of Him that
sent Him, He comprehended in himself a body, or a vast multitude;'
with the corresponding interpretations of 1 John ii.2. The 'whole
world,' according to Professor Smeaton, is 'believers out of every
tribe and nation,' 'The redeemed of every period, place, and people.'
This bias, too, prompts the interpretation of 1 John i.7 in an
objective rather than a subjective sense. Altogether, the subjective
conditions of the Atonement are unduly disparaged, although they are
not only recognised in Scripture, but are the essential complement of
the objective conditions. Throughout, the theological and scholastic
predominate over the exegetical and inductive. Professor Smeaton is a
very accomplished scholar, and, notwithstanding the qualifications we
have mentioned, a vigorous and independent thinker. His work would
have been better had its method been more rigidly adhered to, but it
is a great and noble work--a credit to British Biblical scholarship,
and a great service to doctrinal theology.


_An Examination of Canon Liddon's Bampton Lectures in the Divinity of
our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ._ By A CLERGYMAN OF THE CHURCH OF
ENGLAND. Trübner and Co. 1871.

This writer is anxious to impale, not only Canon Liddon, but all who
hold substantially the Catholic doctrine of the Person of our Lord
Jesus, on one or other horn of the following dilemma:--Either Pure
Rationalism is our adequate guide, or the Catholic Church is the true
divine informant of man. 'Repudiate,' he virtually says, 'orthodox
doctrine, or admit that the Church is the depository and organ of
Divine revelation.' Protestant orthodoxy confessing Catholic
exposition of Holy Scripture, is, to our author's mind, inconsistent
in method and fundamentally insecure. He professes not to debate 'the
truth or falsehood of a doctrine, but the security or insecurity of a
foundation on which a minority of Christians have attempted to erect
that doctrine.' In every variety of phrase our author charges upon
Protestant interpreters of Holy Scripture, and on Mr. Liddon, as the
principal illustration of the painful phenomenon, the prepossession
and bias which blunt their exegetical tact; the traditionary and
apparently invincible blindness which prevents their understanding the
contents of the Bible; and the prejudice which so obfuscates their
spiritual perceptions that they continually wrest the true
significance of God's Word written, into irrational agreement with the
creeds of the Church. Orthodox believers 'never read the other side.'
The mastery of standard Unitarian books is no part of clerical
preparation in the Church of England, and orthodox Nonconformist
ministers are 'not genuinely and honestly acquainted with the
adversary at all.' The moral results of Protestant orthodoxy are, in
this writer's opinion, deplorable. Where anything has been effected by
it, according to our anonymous author, it has not been 'in virtue of
the dogma that God is three Persons rather than one Father, but in
virtue of truths which are the property of Theism as much as of
Ecclesiasticism.' We think he is just when he urges that 'no man or
society of men, while abjuring the Church's authoritative,
interpreting, and revealing functions, is legitimately empowered to
bind on the conscience doctrines which have not reasonable evidence
and do not admit of reasonable detailed exhibition.' He is extremely
vigorous, if not bitter, in his denunciation of those Protestant
divines who, according to him, already surcharged with Catholic or
ecclesiastical traditions, pretend to find on Protestant principles
the doctrines they know and love in the Holy Scriptures. Repeated
examinations of the Bampton lecture of Dr. Liddon have convinced him
that the lecturer's method is vicious and unsound, and that no
'unbiased individual judgment, rationally exercised, can deduce from
the Bible the doctrines of Christ's co-equal deity.' The work which
follows is a searching attempt to grapple with the Scriptural argument
as presented by Mr. Liddon. There is great ingenuity in the method of
attack. The author lays hold of the most consummate expression of Mr.
Liddon's theology--one on which Trinitarians of different schools
might join issue with him, and which can hardly be said to be the
explicit doctrine of the Nicene or Athanasian Creed--viz., 'that our
Lord's Godhead is exclusively the seat of His personality, and that
His manhood is not of itself an individual being.' There are those who
may say that in this statement Mr. Liddon somewhat verges on
Monophysitism, and therefore on a special theory which is intended to
explain what for ever must remain inexplicable, if the two halves of
the great synthesis are both to be held with equal tenacity. We are
not concerned here with this theory further than to show that the
author continually supposes this fundamental principle involved by Mr.
Liddon in every reference which Holy Scripture makes to the humanity
of our Lord. The leading features of the Catholic doctrine in the
matter seem to us to be a repudiation of any theory on the _how_ of
the hypostatic union, and a continuous assertion of the veritable
humanity as well as the eternal godhead of the Christ. Our author
refers to the various and abundant proofs contained in Holy Scripture
of the humanity, as if they were, _pro tanto_, a denial of the vast
induction of theology touching the Person of the Lord. He appears to
imply that every investigator in this great field of theological
inquiry must necessarily go through the entire induction for himself
before he is at liberty to see in any particular passage of Scripture
anything more than what a rigid grammatical praxis can make out of it.
Let us take an analogous case: The doctrine of gravitation (together
with the third law of motion) is established on a wide induction of
facts, still the realization of the truth of it requires a careful
elaboration of the facts in a generalized form, and a certain amount
of imagination. The motion of the earth towards the falling
rain-drops; or the circumstance that each fly on a window-pane drives
the round earth backwards in its upward march, is absolutely
inconceivable and incredible taken as a separate, isolated fact of
observation; and when the observer goes to the special supposed
phenomenon he must take with him pre-suppositions and broad
generalizations, which countervail all the evidence of his senses. No
one fact of attraction would be enough anywhere in the vast field to
determine the law, or even suggest it; the majority of isolated facts
taken alone would--nay, _still do_--suggest a counter theory; and yet,
for all that, the theory of universal gravitation may be held
dogmatically, and must be brought to interpret an apparently
recalcitrant fact without violating any principle of induction. It
does not follow, even if the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed be
accepted as a true induction of the facts of the Scripture, and a
broad and satisfying generalization of the revealed Essence of the
Godhead and of the Person of Christ, that those who do so accept it
are bound to believe the creed to be the result of supernatural
guidance given to the Church; nor is it just or rational in their
application of it to see _all_ it involves in _every_ text of Holy
Scripture on which its elements are presumed to rest. Our anonymous
clergyman is lavish in his terms of abuse, and, though careful to
quote Mr. Liddon's own words, he does not hesitate to speak
continually of his 'heedless rhetoric and readiness of assumption,' of
his 'reckless verbiage and stilted exposition and neglected context,'
of his 'rapacious deduction,' and 'unscrupulous eagerness, in the face
of probability, to appropriate ambiguous language.' He sings a
cuckoo-note of 'pre-supposition' and 'orthodox bias' blinding orthodox
eyes, and all the rest of it. It would seem that those who take a
diametrically opposite view of the Person of our Lord always 'calmly
review the evidence,' and are never moved by any predisposition
whatever. Now, nothing has seemed to us more obvious than that this
clergyman of the Anglican Church has gone with a thorough Arian, if
not Unitarian bias, to the New Testament, and he cannot see there what
to the consciousness of millions of honest thinkers is as plain as the
sun in the heavens. It would be just as easy for Mr. Liddon to turn
round, and with text after text accuse his critic of foregone
conclusions, of arrant scepticism, of ignorant sciolism, of
colour-blindness.

We think that it is scarcely fair of this anonymous critic to promise
to refute the Protestant method of Mr. Liddon in demonstrating the
Deity of our Lord, and then to commence by undermining, not simply the
authenticity of John's Gospel, but the trustworthiness of the
synoptists. If the New Testament is to be blown upon as well as the
Protestant principle, let us understand one another, and not waste
time in writing our rational vindication of the orthodox doctrine of
the Godhead.

It is impossible to go into the details of the criticism of Mr. Liddon
in a short notice, we therefore confine ourselves to two more remarks
on the principle of the volume. The author seems to think that nothing
but Catholic, conciliar orthodoxy can be held to account for the
perverse exegesis of Protestant theologians, and their unthinking
trust in the revealed dogma of the Divine-humanity and Deity of our
Lord. Surely the very fact may be in itself a vindication that, apart
altogether from Church authority, and apart from the Bible also, in
the history of religious thought and philosophical speculation there
are predisposing causes and tendencies which lead up to this great
induction. Apart from Christianity altogether, religious men have with
surprising frequency believed either in Divine incarnation or in
apotheosis, or in both. No wonder, when the religious instinct points
so strongly in this direction, that the exegetical faculty may be
assisted by it to see what mere grammar may sometimes fail to see.

The speculative view, the induction which this author would justify as
the final dictum of Biblical theology, would, after all, go a long way
in the direction of the truth. He admits the Christ of the New
Testament to be more than man; he cannot deny He is the giver of all
spiritual gifts to man, and possesses many other lofty sublime
superhuman functions. The difficulty in this whole class of exegesis
has been felt for ages, and appeared in the Nicene controversy; it
leads to practical tritheism, to a rivalry on the throne of God. If
the Biblical theory of the author be accepted, he who is less than God
is, practically, the God of the Christian; but this, with the Bible in
our hands, is impossible. It is the intense monotheism of the Bible,
and of Christ himself, which has driven the Protestant Christian
consciousness, as well as the Catholic Church, into the formulization
of the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity. We cannot affect to regret
that the arguments and method of Mr. Liddon should have received so
searching a criticism. Our author's extra-bilious hatred of rhetoric
has betrayed him into unnecessary severity of personal invective, but
there is a manly and obvious desire to be fair and honourable in his
treatment. It is a war to the knife over the most sacred theme in
human thought, and, while we do not attempt to justify all Cannon
Liddon's interpretations, or stand by all his philosophy, we believe
that he is much nearer to the thought of St. John and St. Paul than
his critic.

_Select English Works of John Wyclif._ Edited from original MSS., by
THOMAS ARNOLD, M.A. Oxford, at the Clarendon Press. 1869.

These volumes were undertaken by the delegates of the University
Press, at the earnest instance of the late Canon Shirley, the
accomplished editor of the 'Fasciculi Zizaniorum Magistri Johannis
Wyclif cum Tritico' of Thomas Netter, of Walden, one of the series of
'Chronicles and Memorials of Great Britain and Ireland during the
Middle Ages,' issued by the Master of the Rolls. The learned Canon
intended to have personally superintended their preparation, and to
have prefixed to them an Introduction, in which he would have
endeavoured to fix the exact theological position of the writer, in
reference both to his own and to later times, besides probably
settling, so far as the means at our disposal allow, the chronology
and authenticity of the immense mass of writings ascribed to Wyclif--a
task for which he was eminently qualified, having devoted the best
part of ten years of his life--alas! too short--to the study of the
works and age of the English Reformer. The lamented death of Dr.
Shirley devolved the duty of preparing these select works for the
press on Mr. Arnold, whom he had previously requested to act as his
editorial assistant.

Some time before his death, Dr. Shirley had compiled, partly from
previously-published catalogues of the writings of Wycliff, such as
those of Bale, Leland, Tanner, Lewis, and the late editor of this
Review, and partly from other sources, a carefully prepared catalogue
of his own, which he issued from the press in 1865, adding to each
article critical notices of the evidence on which it was assigned to
the Reformer, and intimating in the preface that one of his objects in
the publication was to solicit the aid of scholars generally, in
making the catalogue complete. What success this intimation met with
does not appear. There is but one writing of Wyclif's published in
these volumes which is not included in Dr. Shirley's catalogue, the
'Lincolniensis,' vol. iii. 230. Mr. Arnold prints it from a manuscript
in the Bodleian, in which it is inserted between two other tractates,
both of which appear in this selection, and one of which had
previously been published both by Dr. James and Dr. Vaughan, who, as
well as Ball, Lewis, and Dr. Shirley, also ascribe the other to the
Reformer. It would have been more satisfactory, therefore, if he had
given his reasons for including it in his selection, as it is scarcely
possible that it had been 'overlooked,' especially by Dr. Vaughan and
Dr. Shirley, the inference from which would be that they regarded it
as of much too doubtful authenticity to be even noticed; and all the
more so, that although he had previously said (vol. i. 3), 'I have no
doubt that this, like most of the remaining contents of the
manuscript, was written by Wyclif,' in the note which he has prefixed
to the tractate (vol. iii. 230), he confesses 'it cannot be denied
that it contains nothing which might not equally well have been
written by one of his followers, as Herford, or Repyndon, or Aston.'

Dr. Shirley's catalogue enumerates _sixty-five_ English works which
are attributed to Wyclif. Of these, however, Mr. Arnold has only
published _thirty-two_, the others being omitted on one of the
following grounds: either 'that they are certainly not by Wyclif, or
that their authenticity is more doubtful than that of those selected,
or that they are in themselves less valuable, or that they have been
already frequently printed.' It is on this last ground, especially,
that he omits the _Wycket_, the best known, and at one time also the
most popular of all Wyclif's writings. The omissions are enumerated,
vol. iii. _et seqq._, where Mr. Arnold also states his reasons for
assigning each to the head under which it is classified. Some of these
reasons are conclusive--_e.g._, when he rejects the '_Speculum vitæ
Christianæ_,' because it is found to be a little manual of religious
instruction, compiled in English by the direction of Thoresby,
Archbishop of York, in the year 1357. But those assigned in other
cases strike us as being open to considerable question--_e.g._, the
only one alleged for the rejection of the 'Early English Sermons' is,
that '_no one except Dr. Vaughan ever ascribed them_ to Wyclif, and
_the partial examination_ I was able to make of them at Cambridge last
year convinced me they were the production of a traveller in the
well-known track of homiletics, who possessed no spark of the erratic
and daring spirit of our author.' Dr. Vaughan was not the man to
rashly commit himself on such a subject, and it is quite possible that
his opinion was based on something more than 'a partial examination'
of the MS. In other cases Mr. Arnold has endorsed his opinions, though
without any reference to him; a more thorough 'examination' might,
therefore, have led him to a similar agreement with Dr. Vaughan in
this. But Mr. Arnold's omission of some of the other writings included
in Dr. Shirley's Catalogue on the ground of their authenticity 'being
more doubtful than that of others selected,' is even more summary than
his dismissal of the judgment of Dr. Vaughan on the subject of the
'Sermons.' The reason he assigns is, that after carefully reading them
through, he 'considered that whether from the absence of a tone of
authority, or from the contractedness and poverty of the style, or
from peculiarities of diction, or from the _multiplied indications of
a period of active persecution_, it was more probable that they
proceeded from some Lollard pen, writing _from ten to thirty years_
after the Reformer's death.' And this appears in the preface to vol.
iii., after his Confession in the preface to vol. i. 'Relying on the
_consensus_ of all the ordinary English historians, including Lingard.
I came to the study of the questions affecting the authenticity of
writings ascribed to Wyclif with the preconceived belief that the
attempts of the English State and hierarchy to coerce heretical or
erroneous opinions had not, previously to the enactment of the famous
statute commonly called "De Hæretico comburendo," in 1401, proceeded
to the length of inflicting capital punishment, either on the gibbet
or at the stake. The common impression certainly is--and it was shared
by myself--that no one suffered death in England for his religious
opinions, by direct infliction at the hands of the magistrate, before
William Sawtre, the first victim to the statute above-mentioned....
Being led to examine narrowly the grounds of the supposition
above-mentioned, I came upon certain facts which tended to throw doubt
... on (it). Mr. Bond, keeper of the MSS. at the British Museum, was
good enough to point out to me a passage in the Chronicles of Meaux
... which is much to the purpose.... Abbot Burton says (vol. ii. 323)
that the Franciscans or a section of them, opposed certain
constitutions of John XXIII., who therefore caused many of them to be
condemned to be burnt, some in France in 1318, others at various
places in France, Spain, Italy, and Germany in 1330; and that among
the severities practised on this last occasion, "in Anglia, in quâdam
sîlva, combusti sunt viri quinquaginta-quinque, et mulieres octo,
ejusdem sectæ et erroris." This is indefinite, certainly, but there
seems no possibility of questioning its substantial truth; and if it
be true, then men and women were burnt in England for heresy before
1401!' We have no means of judging of the 'multiplied indications of a
period of active persecution' in the writings which are ascribed for
that reason to 'from ten to thirty years after the Reformer's death,'
but they can hardly be more decided or more numerous than similar
indications, even in the 'Sermons,' contained in the first and second
of these volumes, the 'authenticity of which, taken as a whole,' Mr.
Arnold tells us, 'cannot reasonably be questioned.' The following are
examples: 'Antecrist denyeth not to alegge Goddis lawe for his power;
but he seith that, if men denyen it, thei shal be cursid, _slayn_ and
_brent_' (vol. i. 111). 'Crist diffineth thus, that who so is wroth to
his brother is worthi of judgment to be dampnyd in helle: and who so
with his ire speketh wordis of scorne, he is worthi to be dampned in
counsaile of the Trinitie. And who so with his wrathe spekith folily
wordis of sclaundre, he is worthi to be punishid with the fire of
helle. Myche more yf _preestis now_ withouten cause of bileve _sleen
many thousand_ men, thei been worthi to be dampnyd' (vol. i. 117).
'They procuren the people, bothe more and lesse, to kille Cristis
disciplis for hope of great mede' (vol. i. 153); an evident allusion
to the Act surreptitiously foisted into the Statute Book by the
prelates in 1382, like the following, 'And herfore make them statutis
stable as a stoon; and thei geten graunt of knyghtis to confirmen hem.
O Crist ... wel y wote that _knyghtis tooken gold in his case_, to
help that thi lawe be hid' (vol. i. 129). 'And this word (Luke vi. 23)
comfortith symple men, that ben clepid eretikes and enemys to the
Chirch, for thei tellen Goddis lawe: for thei ben somynned and
reprovyd _many weies and after put in prison, and brend or kild as
worse than theves_' (vol. i. 205). 'Seculer men for _muck ben_ to these
prelatis ... and these betraien Cristene men to _turment_, and
_putten hem to death_ for holdinge of Cristis lawe.'

Had Mr. Arnold consulted Burton for himself, he would have found
another passage: 'Hiis diebus (1201) idem papa Innocentius tertius,
Philippo regi Franciæ misit ut terram Albigensium converteret et
hæreticos deleret. Qui plures capiens cremari fecit; quorum _aliqui in
Angliam venientes vivi comburebantur_' ('Chronicc. Mon. de Meesa,' ed.
Bond. i. 333). And if he had pursued the subject further, he would
have found the abbot's testimony confirmed by that of Thomas of
Walden, of whom he speaks, vol. iii. 9, who says: 'Tempore Joannis
Anglorum regis veniunt in Angliam Albigenses hæretici, quorum _multi
capti vivi_ combusti sunt' ('Doctr.' i., 2d ed., 1532); and also by
Knyghton, who, speaking of the same reign, tells us: 'Albigenses
hæretici venerunt in Angliam, quorum aliqui comburebantur vivi' (ap.
Twysden, x. Script. 2418): that according to the 'Liber de Antiquis
Legibus,' there was an Albigense burnt in London in 1210 (ap. Hook,
'Lives of Abps. of Cant.,' i. 153): and that Ralph of Coggeshall tells
us of two persons that were burnt for heresy at Oxford in 1222
('Chron. Angll.' 268). He would also have discovered that, so far from
being 'the first victim to the Statute de Hæretico comburendo,' Sawtre
did not suffer under that Act at all. The warrant for his execution
had been signed and his execution had taken place before the Act was
passed. ('Rott. Parl.' iii. 459. Fascicc. lix.) Such lawyers as
Britton, Bracton, Fitzherbert, and Chief Justice Hale maintain that
heresy had previously been punished with death under the common law of
the realm. (Hale, 'Pleas of the Crown,' i. 383.)

But although for these and other reasons we cannot estimate the
critical value of these 'Select works' at all highly, we welcome their
appearance with great thankfulness as a very important addition to the
materials already supplied, especially by Dr. Vaughan, Dr. Shirley,
and Dr. Lechler, for the study of the times and works of the Reformer.
They add but little to our knowledge of his opinions or of those of
his followers, but they throw great light on his unwearied industry
and the heroic zeal in the cause which he espoused; and particularly
the 'Sermons,' which were evidently intended to be used by his 'poore
preestis' in preaching to the people, on the means by which he
acquired so paramount an influence with his countrymen generally. They
will not, by any means, supersede Dr. Vaughan's carefully prepared
'Tracts and treatises' (Wycl. Soc., 1845), but rather add to their
value. We shall yet hope that the delegates of the University Press
will issue, if not all, at least the more important of the English
writings of the Reformer which are still unpublished; and, if that
were followed by another or two of his Latin theological treatises,
under the editorship of some such competent scholar as Dr. Lechler, to
whom we are indebted for admirable editions of the 'De Officio
Pastorali' (Lips., 1863) and the 'Trialogus,' recently issued from the
Clarendon Press, they would do the ecclesiastical student a most noble
service.


_The Martyrs and Apologists._ By E. DE PRESSENSÉ, D.D. Translated by
ANNIE HARWOOD. Hodder and Stoughton.

This second volume of Dr. Pressensé's great work on the early years of
Christianity, like its predecessor, has been specially prepared by its
author for this English edition. Although not, perhaps, of such
familiar and pregnant interest as the first volume, which contained
the history of the first Christian century, it is yet hardly possible
to exaggerate the importance of the sub-apostolic age, its
crystallizing life and formulating dogmas, its incipient errors and
manifold oppositions; and we need not say that M. de Pressensé brings
to the delineation of these the rich eloquence, epigrammatic
characterization, keen spiritual insight, and ample learning which
have given him perhaps the very foremost place as a Church historian
and apologist among his contemporaries in France. Especially must we
note the scientific skill of his arrangement, and his artistic sense
of proportion--an essential feature, without which a general history
becomes a mere encyclopædia. The volume abounds in finished portraits
and descriptions. While, however, M. de Pressensé holds firmly by the
great principles of the Christian revelation, as they are held by
orthodox theologians, he is yet so essentially independent in his
judgments, and sympathetic in his charities, that he is utterly
removed from either narrowness or dogmatism. He thus combines
orthodoxy with liberality, as he does scientific exactness with
popular representation, in a way which makes his work for general uses
as valuable in England as it is in France. It takes a place of its
own, with a power, completeness, and eloquence not likely soon to be
surpassed. It is affecting to think how in the midst of the sad
tragedies of Paris during the past nine months the author has been
engaged, while the translator and printer have been doing their work.
The present volume is divided into three sections. The first treats of
the missions and persecutions of the Church; the second of its most
illustrious representatives, the Fathers of the second and third
centuries; and the third of its controversial conflicts, presenting a
complete outline of the Apology of the Early Church. We can only touch
one or two points, premising that M. de Pressensé's wonderful touch
quickens into life and beauty things that _dilettanti_ readers are
accustomed to turn from as dry and barren. M. de Pressensé first
describes in a few masterly paragraphs the conditions, and, that we
may the more vividly apprehend the magnitude of the Church's
conquests, he summarizes the elements of conflict; on the one side,
the simple, unaided spirituality of the Church, her poverty, lack of
prestige, prejudice, and simplicity; on the other, the moral
corruption, the intellectual as well as physical sensuousness, the
religious fanaticism, the philosophic materialism and infidelity of
heathenism. We had marked for quotation more than one eloquent
paragraph, but must forbear. M. de Pressensé maintains the continuance
and only gradual cessation of miraculous powers in the Church. Equally
beautiful and masterly is his picture of Christian life during
persecution, carefully gathered in its details from patristic
writings. Of the persecutions themselves he gives a discriminating
account, especially of the severest and most anomalous of all, the
persecution under Marcus Aurelius. Alexander Severus relaxed the
severity of Imperial infliction, and on one occasion even exceeded
some of our modern Churchmen; for, when some Roman tavern-keepers
memorialized him for the closing of a place of Christian worship, he
refused, saying that 'It was better that a god should be worshipped in
that house, be he who he might, than that it should fall into the
hands of tavern-keepers.' He also so much admired the principles of
Christian Church government that he sought to introduce some of them
into the administration of the empire. In this portion of his work M.
de Pressensé gives us admirable epitomes of the principal Christian
apologies. Concerning his portraits of the Fathers of the Church,
beginning with the Apostolic Fathers, then arranging in two classes
the Fathers of the Eastern and of the Western Churches, we can say
only they are most admirable. Some are medallions, some are
full-length figures; they all constitute a gallery of great richness
and brilliancy. M. de Pressensé is never greater than when
portrait-painting. We can only commend this very instructive,
eloquent, and fascinating book to all who care to know how the forms
of Christian life, which fill eighteen centuries, had their origin;
once taken up, they will find it difficult to lay it down. It is only
just to say that, aided in matters of scholarship by learned friends,
Miss Harwood has achieved the translation with great care and ability:
while converting idiomatic French into idiomatic English, she has
admirably preserved the vivacity and antithesis of M. de Pressensé's
style.


_The Ten Commandments._ By R. W. DALE, M.A. Hodder and Stoughton.

The ten 'Words' of Sinai, both as an injunction of mere authority, and
as a mere prohibition of evil, are a very inferior rule of Christian
life. They are adapted to the nonage of men, and they relate, in part,
to vices from which all men of ordinary Christian morality are far
removed; they are, in fact, an authoritative legislation for men who
have not yet risen to the intelligent recognition of the great
principles of right and wrong, and who know nothing of the love of God
and of holiness--which, by making a man a law to himself, makes
statutory legislation in the domain of religion and virtue
superfluous. The humiliating thing is, that after eighteen centuries
of the 'Sermon on the Mount,' and of the principles and constraints of
the Gospel of Christ, any teaching from the 'Ten Commandments' should
be either requisite or possible. But so it is. There are multitudes of
men and women upon whom sheer authority alone will tell, who love to
be dealt with as we deal with children; but even with these, among
ourselves, Mr. Dale has to exercise his ingenuity in finding practical
applications for the first two of the commandments, which relate to
idolatry. With the rest he has no difficulty--they furnish him with
texts for the inculcation of much practical and urgent moral teaching,
often entering, as in the fifth and ninth commandments, into domains
of life and relationship that are not often touched by preachers. We
especially commend Mr. Dale's wise and beautiful treatment of the
fifth commandment; his remarks on family relationships and duties are
very felicitous and timely. We cannot agree with Mr. Dale's conclusion
that the Sabbath originated with the Leviticus. Some of his arguments
in support of it, as, for instance, that the gathering of manna was
interdicted on the seventh day before the delivery of the decalogue,
to prepare the people for the new Sabbath-keeping, are singularly
weak, especially in an acute reasoner like Mr. Dale; while all the
presumptions are, we think, against him. We think, too, that the
Divine authority for the Lord's Day is stronger than he represents it
to be. These, however, are but exceptions to the strong approval and
admiration that the volume has constrained. The simple, nervous, lucid
style, the clear discrimination, the pointed, practical faithfulness,
and especially the manly, fearless honesty of Mr. Dale's expositions,
demand the very highest eulogy. It is a vigorous, useful, and honest
book.


_Fundamentals or Bases of Belief concerning Man, God, and the
Correlation of God and Man._ By THOMAS GRIFFITH, M.A., Prebendary of
St. Paul's. Longmans.

This extremely interesting book is justly entitled a 'Handbook of
Mental, Moral, and Religious Philosophy;' and the author, while fully
alive to the latent expression of physiological metaphysics, takes a
firm stand on the datum of consciousness, and establishes the
substantial, moral, religious, progressive, and permanent qualities of
the human being, as well as the intelligence and personality of God.
The author then proceeds to those facts of history which show that God
is carrying on a development for the human race, by awakening men to
their need of himself, by sending gifted spirits to respond to this
need, by originating the sacred family, nation, and brotherhood, by
dwelling in the midst of this brotherhood, by assimilating its members
to His own image, and perfecting them in His final kingdom. The volume
is full of quotations from the masters of human thought, and is
pervaded by a very high tone of speculation. Distinctive doctrines of
the Gospel are scarcely touched upon, but they are not ignored. The
author makes good his profession that in spite of 'the dust rained by
the conflict of opinion in this unsettled age, there are foundation
truths upon which to plant the tottering feet.'


_Seven Homilies on Ethnic Inspiration; or, on the Evidences supplied
by the Pagan Religions of both primæval and later Guidance and
Inspiration from Heaven._ By the Rev. JOSEPH TAYLOR GOODSIR, F.R.S.E.
Part First of an Apologetic Series and a sketch of an Evangelical
Preparation. Williams and Norgate. 1871.

There is a wonderful flourish of trumpets about this volume. One might
almost suppose that Mr. Goodsir was the first man who from a purely
Christian and Biblical standpoint recognised a divine order in the
evolution of the human race--a divine and supernatural guidance
afforded to the nations of the world beyond the limits of the Hebrew
people and the Christian Church. It is remarkable that in spite of his
considerable learning he makes no reference to such popular treatises
as Archbishop Trench's 'Hulsean Lectures,' or Archdeacon Hardwick's
work entitled 'Christ and Other Masters,' or the abundant labours of
Döllinger, De Pressensé, Creuzer, and others in the same region. He
does not appear in the whole discussion to look into the metaphysical
ground of the facts to which he alludes, nor attempt to generalize the
law of divine illuminations, nor even to show that the extraordinary
light possessed by the 'ethnics,' by great sages, by distinguished
races of the old world, is any vindication in itself, of the Father's
heart. We believe that Mr. Goodsir has something to say well worth
hearing, and while he is aiming to redeem what he calls catholic
history from 'rationalizing mythologers like Professor Max Müller, and
rationalizing theologians like the Rev. Baring-Gould,' it is rather
curious that he should have so little to say in reply to the theories
of Sir J. Lubbock, Mr. Tylor, Mr. Darwin, Mr. M'Lellan, and others,
whose principles and facts, if they have any truth in them, destroy
much of his position. We believe it is a rejoinder to the theory of
evolution, and of the utterly savage origin--to say the least--of all
our civilization to go back steadily on the traces of the
'intellectual antiquity of man,' and to follow the line of human
elevation along the course of certain sublime traditions. There is,
however, something mortifying in the extraordinary dependence Mr.
Goodsir places on the divine origin of the Great Pyramid. Adopting all
Professor Piazzi Smyth's most dubious speculations as to the
astronomical significance of the Great Pyramid, he comes to the
conclusion that the subtle measurements and recondite facts of modern
astronomy, must have been revealed to the builders of the Pyramid, and
that the Pyramid was not only a protest against astrology, but is
frequently referred to in Holy Scripture! The proof of this is flimsy
in the extreme. Mr. Goodsir accepts Mr. Osburn's theory of the early
history and mythology of Egypt, and Mr. Galloway's elaborate and
inconclusive arguments on the chronology of Egyptian dynasties. It is
extraordinary that he does not refer to the Vedic faith, nor make any
mention of Buddhism. There is much in the sixth and seventh homilies
worthy of careful consideration. The philosophy of the heathen
oracles, the significance of dreams, and the ethnic doctrine of Divine
Providence and judgment, deserve our hearty recognition; but the
ethnological authorities to whom he appeals for his facts are
generally of the highest speculative class, the class that may be
called crotchety.


_The Problem of Evil. Seven Lectures._ By ERNEST NAVILLE. Translated
from the French, by EDWARD W. SHALDERS. Edinburgh: T. and T. Clark.

We called attention to M. Naville's very able and popular lectures
when they appeared in the original (_British Quarterly Review_, vol.
1. p. 286); we need therefore only announce this translation by Mr.
Shalders, which is done with an intelligence and a precision which
places the English reader almost upon a par with readers of the French
original. The book is a very valuable and honest apologetic, and we
shall be glad to know that English readers are induced by Mr.
Shalders' translation to make themselves acquainted with it.


_The Hidden Life of the Soul._ From the French. By the Author of 'The
Life of Madame Louise de France,' &c., &c. Rivingtons.

This volume consists of certain brief meditations of Père Jean
Nicholas Grou on some of the deepest realities of the spiritual life.
This saintly man, born in 1731, and educated by the Jesuit fathers,
lived through stormy and eventful days an uneventful life that was
hidden with Christ in God. His fellowship was with the Father and the
Son, and his spirit seemed above the need of any other companionship.
There is more of the spirit of à Kempis than of Aquinas in him, and a
clear, stainless, childlike sweetness pervades all his utterances.
With exceedingly few exceptions, there is nothing in these meditations
which would determine the ecclesiastical position of the writer. They
have to do with truth and reality, with eternal beauty and purity,
with the redemption in Christ Jesus, with the mysterious joys of the
interior life. 'Assuredly (says he) God would not have a soul which
clings to Him, scared at the thought of the last narrow passage to be
crossed in reaching Him. But no set words or thoughts will enable us
to meet death trustfully. Such trust is God's gift, and the more we
detach ourselves from all save Himself, the more freely He will give
us' this, 'as all other blessings. Once attain to losing self in God,
and death will indeed have no sting.' 'God calls such rather to a
perpetual death to self, in will, in thought, in deed; so that when
the actual moment of material death arrives, it is but the final
passage to eternal joy for them.' How near the saints of God approach
each other! What gathering together is there unto HIM!


_Breviates, or Short Texts and their Teachings._ By the Rev. P. B.
POWER, M.A. Hamilton, Adams, and Co.

The author of this volume has long been known as the writer of many
admirable, sententious, readable tracts, through which he has
exercised a wide and beneficial influence. The same happy
characteristics of sharp phrase, proverbial sentence, apt
illustration, original turns of thought, and earnest piety which mark
his tracts, are to be found in these short sermons. There is here more
sturdy thinking, taking indeed quaint, pleasant forms of expression,
than is contained in many a more pretentious work. We feel inclined to
compare it with Beecher's 'Familiar Talks,' different though it is in
its style, it has the same forceful, wise, and broad tone in dealing
with many special aspects of spiritual life. If sermons are to be
reduced to a ten minutes' limit, then we could wish them to be not
unlike these.


_One Thousand Gems from the Rev. Henry Ward Beecher._ Edited and
compiled by the Rev. G. D. EVANS. Hodder and Stoughton.

Perhaps no preacher of modern times has said so many wise and good
things as Henry Ward Beecher, or said them so well. His sermons abound
with passages of racy description, of penetrating exposition, of
rhetorical brilliancy, and of fervid, practical urgency. Mr. Beecher's
habits of preparation make this very remarkable. Most orators prepare
their best passages, and are careless about their frame-work. Mr.
Beecher does the reverse: he prepares his frame-work, and trusts to
the inspirations of his regal creative imagination to conceive and
shape his most brilliant things. Mr. Evans has culled out of the
reported sermons of this great preacher a thousand 'Gems.' They are
full of wisdom, depth, and beauty. A more precious and suggestive
table book--a book to take up in the morning, for a fresh, dewy
germinant thought to lay upon the heart, and to expand into the
religious wisdom of the day--it would be difficult to name.


_The Peace-maker; or the Religion of Jesus Christ in His own Words._
Dedicated to all His Disciples. By the Rev. ROBERT AINSLIE, of
Brighton. Longmans, Green, and Co.

We like the idea of Mr. Ainslie's little book better than we do the
preface in which he expounds it. The latter seems to undervalue those
parts of the New Testament which are not the _ipsissima verba_ of
Jesus Christ, and apparently casts a reproach at the grand science of
inductive theology. Surely there is room for the most varied approach
to the revelation of God. History of dogma is not to be despised if we
wish in true brotherhood to understand the thoughts of past ages. We
agree heartily with Mr. Ainslie in his unwillingness to allow to any
doctrinal standards whatever the place due to the words of Jesus. All
dogmatists, however, and Mr. Ainslie cannot be shut out from their
number, have a trick of believing that the words of Jesus are best
explained and enforced in their own system. We think that the
translation and arrangement are for the most part excellent. Mark's
Gospel is made the central line for the arrangement, and this always
seems to us the most satisfactory principle. Mr. Ainslie translates
from Tischendorff's eighth critical edition. We are rather surprised
to find some omissions, such as the words of our Lord addressed to
Paul and John, and a few others from Mark and Lake's Gospel. We think
that at times he becomes an interpreter as well as translator; _e.g._,
he translates δῶρον in Matthew x. 5, as 'offering to God,' and ἐν τοῖς
τοῦ πατρός μου, in Luke ii. 49, as 'in the house of My Father.' We
doubt whether Τελώνης is accurately or satisfactorily translated
'tax-_gatherer_,' nor do we see why, if ἄρχων is translated magistrate,
the Greek terms for moneys should have been retained. However, these
are minor blemishes. There is very great care and wisdom shown in the
translation as a whole, which does not aim at preserving the tone of
the authorized version, but at putting into nervous, modern English
the words of 'the Peace-maker.'


_Christ in the Pentateuch; or, Things Old and New concerning Jesus._
By HENRY H. BOURN. S. W. Partridge and Co.

This volume is the result of much careful and devout study, not only
of Holy Scripture, but of some of the best and most thoughtful
interpreters of the Pentateuch. The literature bearing on the typology
of Scripture is very extensive and unequal in value, and Mr. Bourn has
added to the long list a treatise, the aim of which is greatly to
enlarge the doctrinal significance of the ritual and sacrificial
worship of the Hebrews. The author sets aside Dr. Alexander's prudent
canon on the determination of the typical character of the Old
Testament history by the express teaching of Scripture as highly
unsatisfactory, and proceeds to find the most recondite evangelical
truth in minute circumstances and details of the old worship.
Analogies may be found between the tabernacle in the wilderness, and
the tabernacle of our Lord's humanity, but when the shittim-wood, the
gold, the silver, and the brass, have all to do special duty in
working out the analogy, when 'the _blue_ covering is made the
manifestation of God's love in the ways and death of Christ,' the
'_purple_ as the manifestation of the God-man,' the '_scarlet_ as the
manifestation of the true dignity and glory of man as seen in the Son
of Man,' the '_goat's-hair curtain_ as a memorial of the death of the
Lord Jesus Christ as an offering for sin,' and 'the rams' skins dyed
red, the outward aspect of Christ as born into this world to die, and
'the badgers' skins as the outward aspect of Christ as having neither
form nor comeliness to the natural heart,' we feel that Mr. Bourn has
gone beyond his depth, and endangers the significance of the analogy
altogether. This allegorical interpretation of Scripture runs the risk
of transforming the holy Word of God into a collection of pretty
riddles, and makes the whim, audacity, or it may be, good taste of the
interpreter, the revelation of God to mankind. It would be just as
wise, just as reverent, and perhaps more to the purpose, to see in the
seven coverings of the ark, the last seven days of our Lord's life, or
any other seven things mentioned in the Old or New Testament. We much
prefer Dr. Fairbairn's interpretation of the Cherubim to that of our
author. The sentiment that pervades the volume is admirable, but we
have very little confidence in the method of interpretation adopted by
Mr. Bourn, and the school to which he belongs.


_Keshub Chunder Sen's English Visit._ Edited by SOPHIA DOBSON COLLET.
Strahan and Co. 1871.

This is a volume of more than six hundred pages, filled with the
reports of the various public meetings which Mr. Sen attended during
his English visit, and the sermons and addresses delivered by him on
numerous occasions. We have frequently referred to the work of the
Baboo Sen, to what is noble and grand in it, and also to the striking
method in which he holds himself aloof from purely Christian thought
and enterprise. We merely remark now on the significant welcome he
received from all the leading Christian societies in England, the fine
and appreciative sympathy he won from the representatives of almost
every phase of religious thought in England. This did not prevent his
very frequent allusion to the sectarianism of our Christianity. He has
gone back to India confirmed in his bare Theism, and in the mystic
theology which has been his consolation. The mode in which he
patronizes the Bible, the Christ, and the Church of God and
Christianity, may be perfectly explicable from his education and his
standpoint, but it hardly shows that deference for the religious
consciousness of the West which he is so anxious that we should accord
to Indian religion. This patronage, often supercilious, if tendered by
one who had resiled from Christianity, instead of one who, from a
Heathen-Theist standpoint, was drawing near to the Kingdom of God,
would be mischievous and offensive. We notice that the address
presented to him by the clergy of all denominations at Nottingham is
given at length as well as his outspoken reply. The speech he made
before the Congregational Union is also included, and his sermon on
'The Prodigal Son.' We believe his mission may prove a harbinger of
light and hope for his country,--it corresponds with the attitude
assumed by philosophic reformers beyond the pale of the Church at many
crises in the history of Western Christianity.


_The Hebrew Prophets._ Translated afresh from the original, with
regard to the Anglican Version, and with illustrations for English
readers. By the late ROWLAND WILLIAMS, D.D., Vicar of Broadchalke.
Vol. II. Williams and Norgate. 1871.

This volume completes, we suppose, the publication which Dr. Williams
projected before his lamented decease. It includes the prophets
Habakkuk, Zechariah, and Jeremiah, a version of Ezekiel, and a
fragment from his translation of Isaiah lii.-liii. To the translations
of the three prophets first mentioned are prefixed introductory
dissertations, which are not, however, to be regarded as general
introductions to these prophetical Scriptures. The first is occupied
with a vigorous attempt to bring into the language of modern thought
the famous verse of Habakkuk, or rather, the thought of the Hebrew
prophet about the relations of _life_ and _faith_, as these were
subsequently conceived by the apostles of Christ, and expounded in
theological systems. We could hardly discuss the question without
occupying a space equal to that of the author. There is much hardness
coupled with his great learning; there is roughness of translation,
and lack of susceptibility to the deeper beauties of the prophetic
Scripture, which take away our highest satisfaction with these
versions; while a curious admixture of extreme rationalism with
mediæval sympathies is very noticeable. Thus, after repudiating all
the directly Messianic or predictive qualities of Jeremiah's
prophecies, he says (p. 69), 'The collapse, first of popular
predictions, and at last of those which seem well grounded, until they
are brought into contact with tests of priority or meaning, teaches us
the depth of Gibbon's sarcasm, that "with all the resources of miracle
at their disposal, the fathers of the Church betray an unaccountable
preference for the argument from prophecy." The sting of the remark
depends on the supposition that religious faith must have a ground
external to its own sphere. It disappears when we recollect that Deity
is revealed to us by moral attributes more evidently than by power or
wonder.' Surely the sting of the remark is that the great authority of
Gibbon should thus insinuate that there was no miraculous evidence
worth quoting. Is not the 'supposition' based after all on deepest
truth? Can we lose the 'sting' by being ready to inflict it upon
ourselves, by endorsing Gibbon's sneer, and making it one element of
our faith? Dr. Williams follows up these remarks by many others, which
reveal his rationalistic sympathies. Thus he speaks of 'the
aggregation of later writers under the name of Isaiah,' and says 'what
Jeremiah was for Israel (in the way of meriting Divine favour), Christ
is for mankind.' It is very amazing, after remarks of this kind, to
find that his commentary on Jeremiah i. 5--'_Before I formed thee in
the belly, I knew thee_,' &c.--is as follows: 'The eternal law that
fitness is the gift of God, though human officers or assemblies may
consign to it a sphere, appears in Jeremiah's sense of consecration
from his birth. Hence the rightful indelibility of holy orders when
deliberately accepted.' Dr. Williams's arrangement of the order of
Jeremiah's prophecies is very thoughtful, and his moral sympathies are
throughout very lofty and pure.


_The Holy Bible, according to the Authorised Version_ (1611); _with an
Explanatory and Critical Commentary, and a Revision of the
Translation, by Bishops and Clergy of the Anglican Church_. Edited by
F. C. COOK, M.A., Canon of Exeter. Vol. I. Part I. Genesis and Exodus.
Part II., Leviticus--Deuteronomy. John Murray. 1871.

This is the first instalment of a work for which scholars have waited
with considerable curiosity, and 'the ordinary reader of the English
Bible' with some impatience. The publication of 'Essays and Reviews,'
and the critical examination of the 'Pentateuch' and the 'Book of
Joshua' by a certain Anglican Bishop, who is, for the most part,
referred to in these pages as 'a living writer,' or a 'modern critic,'
and the appearance of works or translations which many acquainted with
the arguments, theories, and historical reconstructions of German
philologers and critics, created about seven years ago considerable
anxiety. It was a wise thing to combine such forces as Mr. Cook has
been able to marshal, to offer the results of modern criticism to the
intelligent readers of the Bible in a form in which Christian scholars
have received them, to reply to some objections, to vindicate some of
the impugned authorities, to take the Bible book by book, and show
what, in the estimation of Biblical students, it is reasonable to
believe with reference to its authorship, integrity, and
trustworthiness; and then to take it, chapter by chapter, and verse by
verse, and resolve to shirk no difficulties, to meet honest scepticism
by careful criticism, and dishonest conjecture by calm repudiation. It
is too soon to speak of this work as a whole, or as finally
accomplished. When the 'Speaker's Commentary' is further advanced, we
shall venture on a lengthened examination of its merits. We are not
precluded, however, from saying how the beginning strikes us. Bishop
Harold Browne and Canon Cook, the Rev. Samuel Clark and the Rev. J. E.
Espin, are the authors of the commentaries now before us. They appear
to us to have done their difficult work with singular tact, fine
spirit, and considerable learning, and to have produced a series of
exegetical and explanatory comments far in advance of anything in the
hands of the English reader. They have aimed at condensation, at
explanations of difficulty, at exposition of beauty, harmony, and
truth. The pages are not burdened with moral reflections or spiritual
homilies. Notes of considerable expansion amounting at times to the
importance of essays, on points of special interest, are introduced
between the chapters. Improved translations are given in the notes in
such a type as to strike the eye. The only deficiency of which we are
disposed to complain is the limited choice of marginal references, and
the almost entire absence of maps. The latter may be supplied in later
volumes or subsequent editions. Few things are more needed by the
average reader of the Bible than well-executed maps, conveying the
most recent information, not only as to the identification of sites,
but the configuration of the country. This noble work will be
incomplete unless it include within itself a trustworthy Biblical
atlas. It may be true that the introductions and comments on the
several books of the Pentateuch are executed with different ability;
that the reading of Mr. Espin is more extensive in this particular
line than that of the Bishop of Ely. We concede that the latter has
not expounded all the theories, or even the latest of the
speculations, which aim at the solution of the problem of the
composition of Genesis. He has mainly confined himself to the
literature which has been produced in reply to the fragmentists, and
has presented the arguments of Mr. Quarry rather than any fresh
exposition from his own standpoint. He does, however, steer quite
clear from Mr. Quarry's authority in his interpretation of the Book of
Genesis, and accumulates a mass of presumptive evidence for the
traditional belief, which no fresh evolution or re-arrangement of
Elohists or Jehovists and Redactors can overturn. Bishop Browne and
all his collaborators admit that the author of the Pentateuch may have
gone over his work with the new light of the full revelation of the
name of Jehovah; that subsequent revisions, and added notes, and
quotations from other documents may have been reverently intertwined
with the original text; and when they appear in the course of
exposition, they are pointed out. This leaves a far truer estimate of
their number and insignificance than a laboured discussion of them in
rotation. The special discussions in the comments on Genesis are of
varied value. The Cherubim, the Deluge, the Chronology of Jacob's
Life, and the Shiloh, are useful. We think it would have been well to
have given some specimens of the Hindu and Persic analogues to the
story of the Creation, the Fall, and the Deluge. Considering the
immense interest excited by the recent study of the Zendavesta, and
the light thrown on the 'Tree and Serpent Worship,' it would have been
desirable to refer to it.

Mr. Cook has had an immense field to traverse in his introduction to
'Exodus,' and his comment thereupon. He has disposed of many of the
difficulties raised by Colenso, and ignored others. He takes the
naturalistic interpretation of the passage of the Red Sea, but does
not adopt the theory of Ewald as to the multiplication of seventy
persons into a vast migratory nation. The Essays on Egyptian history
and Egyptian words in the Pentateuch, though beyond the faculty of
those who are entirely unacquainted with Hebrew, are well adapted to
build up the cumulative argument that these books must have been
written in the main by one who was learned in all the wisdom of
Egyptians, familiar with its manners, laws, language, and people. Mr.
Clark's dissertations on the sacrifices of the Levitical law are most
instructive and thoughtful; his notes on the clean and unclean beasts,
&c., on leprosy, on the various offerings, are worthy of close
attention; and Mr. Espin's introduction to Deuteronomy appears to us
to be a triumphant refutation of the theories of Colenso and Kuenen.
We have not space to enter at the present time into details, but we
are satisfied that if the learned and candid scholars who have, for
the most part, undertaken this work, complete it with corresponding
ability, there will be a practically useful commentary on Holy
Scripture, as great in advance of all previous works of the kind, as
the Dictionaries of the Bible by Kitto and Smith transcended all
cyclopædias of Biblical literature accessible before their time.


_Commentary on the Boole of Isaiah, Critical, Historical, and
Prophetical; including a Revised English Translation, with
Introduction and Appendices._ By the Rev. T. R. BIRKS, Vicar of Holy
Trinity, Cambridge. Rivingtons. 1871.

This work derives some special interest, from the circumstance that it
was originally intended for the so-called 'Speaker's Commentary.'
Circumstances, not very fully explained, led to a separate and
independent publication. We have thus the prospect of two works on
this great theme instead of one, and obtain a treatment of the whole
complicated question from different standpoints. Mr. Birks devotes
great space, in an appendix, to the question of the integrity of the
prophecies of Isaiah, and has, with extreme ability, gathered up the
arguments in favour of the Isaian authorship of the last twenty-six
chapters, answering objections with admirable vivacity and pith, and
doing much to establish the genuineness of this most sublime portion
of Hebrew prophecy. We fear that Mr. Birks overstates what he calls
the 'external evidence,' for the Isaian authorship of this portion. It
does not amount to more than this, that the book was treated as a
whole, and that the later prophecies were referred to by the Son of
Sirach, by the Baptist, by the Evangelist Matthew, and by our Lord, as
those of the prophet Esaias. The theory of the modern critics is made
to involve what Mr. Birks calls the 'spuriousness' of the prophecies,
and even the character and inspiration of our Lord. It does not appear
to us that the theory involves the _spuriousness_ of this portion of
Scripture any more than a critical examination of 'the Psalms of
David' involves their spuriousness, even though it should refer half
of them to later authors and a subsequent period. The arguments of Mr.
Birks for their true origin are very difficult for the advocates of
the modern theory to refute. He lays stress on the fact that the
prophets of the later portion of the captivity and of 'the return' are
known, and that they bear not the slightest resemblance to the
mysterious unknown author of this most precious portion of the Old
Testament. He must therefore have deviated from all his great
confraternity, in concealing his name, his date, and the circumstances
or great men of his times. He is silent about any prophetic call, and
preserves an inexplicable reticence about the names of all the great
men and notorious events in contemporary history.

Mr. Birks has elaborated an interesting argument, to show that the
structure of the whole book demands unity of authorship; that through
the second part there are references more or less distinct to the
earlier oracles; that the repeated claim to foretell future events
connected with the return from captivity would have constituted his
prophecies impudent forgeries, supposing them to have been written in
the days of Cyrus. We cannot go over a tithe of the arguments alleged
by Mr. Birks, but call special attention to the list of 'words and
phrases which the later prophecies have in common with the earlier,
but which are not found in the writings of the prophets of the close
of the exile, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, and Daniel.'

Another interesting appendix on the chronology of the Assyrian kings
differs from the opinion of the Rawlinsons and others on the matters
supplied by the Assyrian monuments. The author shows that it is
exceedingly probable that the SARGON of Isaiah and of the monuments is
identical with the SHALMANEZER of the Books of Kings, and he thus
brings the records of the prophet into harmony with the Assyrian and
Hebrew authorities.

We have no space to say in conclusion, more than that we highly value
Mr. Birks's translation of the prophecies, and the devout and
spiritual tone which pervades all his commentaries. His learning and
insight are unquestionably of a high order, and he has devoted them to
a maintenance of the integrity, the predictive character, and the
Messianic import of the visions of the great 'Isaiah, the son of Amoz,
which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah,
Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.'


_The Book of Psalms._ A new translation with Introduction and Notes
Explanatory and Critical. By J. J. STEWART PEROWNE, B.D. Vol. II. Bell
and Daldy.

We are glad to receive the completed version of Mr. Perowne's really
great and able work. No book of Scripture so thoroughly tests a
critic, not only in the lower departments of philology and theology,
but in the higher department of spiritual discernment, as the 'Book of
Psalms.' Mr. Perowne's scholarship is of a high character; his robust
common sense is equal to it, and his poetic and religious feeling are
superior to both. Introductions, translations, and comments are alike
excellent. It is not to be expected that Mr. Perowne will always carry
with him the convictions of his critical readers, but he will commend
himself very generally. The peculiar gratification that we have felt
in the use of his book is, that the higher devotional feeling of the
Psalms is neither vulgarized nor comminuted by their critic. He helps
us to meanings in a scholarly, reverent, and sympathetic spirit. We
repeat our conviction that Mr. Perowne's book is by far the best
commentary on the Psalms that English theology possesses.


_The Psalms Translated from the Hebrew. With Notes, chiefly
Exegetical._ By W. KAY, D.D. London: Rivingtons. 1871.

Notwithstanding the endless translations of this ancient hymnal, no
one who has carefully examined the subject will think that the result
is so satisfactory as to render a further attempt unnecessary and
superfluous. So much, however, has been accomplished as to justify us
in expecting from anyone who enters the field afresh a conclusive
proof of his possessing the highest qualifications for the task. The
time for mediocrity is gone by. We would not deny that Dr. Kay
possesses several important qualifications for the work. He is
orthodox in sentiment, and free from dogmatism. He has profound
reverence for Divine truth, and exhibits considerable reading, with
the power to make use of it. But we have been deeply impressed with
the fact that he lacks several of the qualities which constitute the
successful exegete, and, above all, a thorough and profound knowledge
of the Hebrew language. Hence we find him disappointing in passages
demanding the highest critical ability. There are, as all Hebrew
scholars are aware, several crucial passages which always test the
strength and quality of the translator--_e.g._, Ps. xvi., 2, 3, where
he translates, 'I have said to the Lord, My Lord art Thou, my
prosperity has no claims on Thee: 'tis for the holy ones, who are in
the land,' &c. Pss. xxxii. 6 and 9; xl. 5, 6, 7; cx. 3, 6; cxxxix.
14, 15, 16, &c. In all the instances above-mentioned, the author has
signally failed. In dealing with some of the psalms he has,
consciously or unconsciously, allowed doctrinal predilections to shape
his conclusions; we can see no other reason for such renderings as Ps.
ii. 12, 'Kiss the Son.' xvi. 10, _corruption_ for _pit_ or _grave_.
Ps. civ. 'Making his angels to be wind.' This will also account for
the wide range of the author's Messianic Psalms, and the faith he
places in the authority of the titles. The chief faults we have to
find with the translation are its obscurity, and its unnecessary
innovation, and in some instances the substitution of Latinized words
for the simpler but equally expressive Anglo-Saxon--_e.g._:

      Ps. ii. 12. 'While His wrath blazes for a moment.'

      Ps. vii. 6. 'And rouse Thee unto me.'

      Ps. xiv. 4. 'The eaters of My people have eaten bread.'

      Ps. xxvi. 8. 'O Lord, I have loved Thy house _domicile_.'

      Ps. xxxii. 9. 'With curb and rein must its gaiety be tamed,
      so as not to come near Thee.'

      Ps. xxxix. 10. 'I am wasted away because Thy hand _is cross
      to me_.'

      Ps. c. i. 'Shout ye aloud to the Lord, _all the whole
      earth_.'

      Ps. cxxxix. 14. 'Wondrously _amid awful deeds_ was I
      formed.'

We have observed many instances where literalness has been aimed at to
the violation of good taste, idiom, and rhythm.

The notes are not intended to form a full and complete commentary; we
are not, therefore, surprised at finding some of the most difficult
expressions passed over without any explanation. This is, alas! too
often the case with more extensive commentaries; but we think Dr. Kay
might, with advantage to the reader, have confined himself to a
critical explanation of the text, instead of indulging so freely in
theological and allegorical interpretations. Several literary mistakes
of minor importance might be pointed out, which, though of small
moment in themselves, yet tend to shake our confidence in the accuracy
of the author's scholarship. We regret our inability to pronounce this
volume a successful attempt to translate and explain this ancient
Psalter. We think it inferior to what we might fairly expect from one
who had before him the valuable commentaries of Hüpfeld, Hitzig,
Olshausen, Ewald, and Kamphausen. We would, however, remind our
readers that Dr. Kay has undertaken a very difficult task in appearing
on a field where so many have failed, and that, notwithstanding all
faults of the work, its excellencies are very numerous. We have
thorough sympathy with the author's spirit, and fully agree with many
of his renderings.


_Notes and Reflections on the Psalms._ By ARTHUR PRIDHAM. Second
Edition. Nisbet and Co.

These, like most notes and reflections that have come under our
notice, are exceedingly feeble. We see no reason why such books might
not be produced by the score. A person has only to exercise a little
patience and to draw freely upon his inner consciousness, disregarding
at the same time all exegetical laws and lexical meanings, and the
result will inevitably follow. We would gladly recognise in any one
the ability to evolve out of this old book any new truths which it may
be justly said to contain, but we protest against having so much
common Christian experience and so many religious platitudes crammed
into it, in violation of all the laws of common sense as well as of
interpretation. The author has full right to ventilate his own views
on Messianic prophecy, the restoration of the Jews, and the details of
the millennial reign, with which he seems to be perfectly familiar,
but we demur to his palming them off upon the authors of the Psalms.
The work is for the most part composed of pious reflections loosely
strung together, dogmatic assertions, and illogical inferences. The
author spiritualizes the Book of Psalms without ever catching its
spirit or comprehending its meaning. Mr. Pridham tells us in his
preface that his aim is twofold, to 'minister to the refreshment of
those who are already established in the grace of God,' and to 'afford
encouragement to the inexperienced but godly inquirer after truth.'
And with a view to this end he has attempted 'to present a faithful
though general outline of the Book of Psalms both as it respects the
true _prophetic_ intention of each psalm, and also its immediate
application to the Christian as a partaker of the heavenly calling.'
This will enable our readers to comprehend the writer's standpoint. It
is just the kind of work to be pronounced by certain oracles as
containing 'much precious truth and able criticism.' The pious conceit
of such productions has often secured for them an immunity from the
criticism they richly deserved. To let them pass without condemnation
is an abuse of Christian charity.


_A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures--Critical, Doctrinal, and
Homiletical--with especial reference to Ministers and Students._ By
JOHN PETER LANGE, D.D., with a number of eminent European Divines.
Translated from the German, revised, enlarged, and edited by PHILIP
SCHAFF, D.D. Vol. VII. of New Testament, containing the Epistles of
Paul to the Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians.

_The Book of the Prophet Jeremiah, theologically and homiletically
expounded._ By Dr. C. W. EDWARD NAEGELSBACH. Translated, enlarged, and
edited by SAMUEL RALPH ASBURY.

_The Lamentations of Jeremiah._ Translated by W. H. HORNBLOWER, D.D.
Edinburgh: T. and T. Clark.

This great work is advancing to completion. Whoever becomes possessed
of it will have, in a compendious form, the results of all ancient and
modern exegesis of the sacred Scriptures, with an _apparatus criticus_
of surprising copiousness. The doctrinal lessons and homiletic and
ethical comments give a sketch of the entire literature of every
verse passing under review. These two volumes equal their predecessors
in every respect; the first puts the student in possession of all the
work done by the great English scholars who have devoted so much of
their energy to the elucidation of the epistles to the Galatians,
Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians. Dr. Schmoller is the author of
the Commentary on the Galatians, and the translation is made by Mr.
Starbuck and Dr. Riddle. We have often been struck by the admirable
'additions' which are the work of the latest editor. The epistles to
the Ephesians and Colossians were originally entrusted to Dr.
Schenkel, but the present commentary has been substituted for Dr.
Schenkel's in consequence of his change of theological position. The
work has been effected by Dr. Karl Braune, and translated by Dr.
Riddle. Dr. Braune is also the author of the Commentary on the Epistle
to the Philippians. It would be obviously impossible to convey in a
brief notice any idea of the contents of this large volume by
referring to a few details of exposition.

The elaborate Commentary on Jeremiah is accompanied by a careful
introduction to the two books, in which the chronological and
historical difficulties are treated with clearness and independence.
Dr. Hornblower has criticised Dr. Naegelsbach's curious scepticism as
to the authorship of the Lamentations, and has vindicated the
traditional opinion on this matter with a great array of argument.
Although nearly seven hundred pages of closely printed matter are
devoted to these two books, a far larger proportion of the work is
occupied with the exegetical and critical departments, than in some
previous volumes of the series. The author has developed with
considerable care both in his introduction and in his commentary, the
important canon 'that all parts of the book in which the threatening
enemies are spoken of generally, without mention of Nebuchadnezzar or
the Chaldeans, belong to the period before the fourth year of
Jehoiakim, while all the portions in which Nebuchadnezzar and the
Chaldeans are named, belong to the subsequent period.' This canon
enables the author to reduce the difficulties of a chronological kind,
and the supposed confusion in the order of the prophet's discourses.
The new translation, in spite of the use of certain Latinized words,
appears to us to be singularly excellent and spirited, to preserve the
fire of the original, and to remove much of its obscurity. It is
incomparably the most elaborate work on the writings of this prophet
accessible to the English scholar. We heartily congratulate Dr. Schaff
and his English publishers on the admirable despatch and punctuality
with which this Herculean task is approaching completion.


_Commentary on Paul's Epistle to the Romans with an Introduction on
the Life, Times, Writings, and Character of Paul._ By WM. S. PLUMER,
D.D., LL.D. Edinburgh: W. Oliphant.

An imperial octavo of 650 pages on the Epistle to the Romans is
somewhat appalling, especially from Mr. Plumer, whose verbiage is
chiefly the cause. He is not very learned, and not very logical. He
heaps together a vast amount of comment from various writers,--not,
however, modern ones, whom he ignores,--in which are some things acute
and useful. We could spare the bits of sermons; _e.g._, 'Reader, have
you a good conscience? Is it purified by atoning blood? Do you study
to keep it void of offence?' Dr. Plumer should not palm off sermons
under the guise of a commentary.


_The Epistle of St. Paul to the Galatians._ A new Translation, with
Critical Notes and Doctrinal Lessons. By JOHN H. GODWIN. Hodder and
Stoughton.

The volume before us contains a treatment of the Epistle to the
Galatians after the same general principle of arrangement as that
adopted by Professor Godwin in his translation of the Gospels of
Matthew and Mark. The translation is not offered as a specimen of the
revision which it is desirable to introduce into the authorized
version, it being 'agreed by all that in this revision the fewer
changes the better, none being proper that are not necessary.' 'But it
is (continues Mr. Godwin) desirable that ordinary religious
instruction should be given in familiar modes of speech; and so there
is an advantage in looking at the writings of prophets and apostles
without the guide of an antique dress, and with the aids to clear
thought and correct reasoning which are afforded by the language we
daily use.' Mr. Godwin has taken full advantage of this principle, and
by his use of certain non-technical words and phrases, which may in
theological usage have acquired a different signification from that
intended by the Apostle, provokes inquiry and compels attention. Thus,
the word _gospel_ is uniformly translated _good message_; _grace_ is
rendered _favour_; _to be justified_ is rendered _to be judged right_;
_child-guide_ by _schoolmaster_; and _the flesh_ by a _lower nature_.
Familiar verses are thus made to startle us by unfamiliar forms.
Conscientious labour and long pondering are very evident throughout
the entire work. The notes and the apothegmatic statements of
doctrinal truth are charged with significance, and are models of lucid
condensation. The exposition of the train of thought pervading the
third chapter is singularly happy. We wish we had space to quote the
note to verse 16, as it appears to us a most felicitous removal of the
difficulty involved in Paul's use of the promise made to the seed of
Abraham. Mr. Godwin's exposition of the celebrated verse 20 of the
same chapter deserves careful study. Everywhere we have the results of
scholarship, of penetration, of strong sense, and practical sympathy
with the purpose of the Apostle.


_A Commentary on the Epistles for the Sundays and other Holy Days of
the Christian Year._ By the Rev. W. DENTON, M.A. Vol. II. Bell and
Daldy.

The great excellency of Mr. Denton's running commentary on the
Epistles of the Prayer-book is its richness of patristic reference;
while his own remarks are vigorous, spiritual, and suggestive.
Literally every paragraph has a marginal reference to some Church
writer, either as embodying his sentiments or quoting his words.
Excepting Mr. Williams's 'Devotional Commentary on the Life of our
Lord,' we know no work that in this respect is to be compared with it.
It is, however, a great defect that only the name of the writer is
given, and not the reference to his works. Mr. Denton is evangelical
in sentiment, and although a very decided Churchman, tolerant in
spirit.


_Synonyms of the New Testament._ By RICHARD CHENEVIX TRENCH, D.D.,
Archbishop of Dublin. Seventh edition. Revised and enlarged. Macmillan
and Co. 1871.

The two small duodecimo volumes which Dr. Trench, when Professor of
Divinity at King's College, published on the Greek synonyms of the New
Testament, have long been highly prized by all the students of Holy
Scripture. The seventh edition of this invaluable work in a goodly
octavo, revised and enlarged by the accomplished author, will augment
the obligation under which he has placed all who are searching for the
exact meaning of the sacred text. Dr. Trench's work even now does not
pretend to be a complete encyclopædia of reference on this profoundly
interesting theme. He gives us in the preface to the present volume a
long list of words on the mutual relations of which he would have
thrown light, if they had been included in his scheme. Among them are
many which Archbishop Trench candidly admits are among 'the most
interesting and instructive.' We have only to refer to such words as
πνεῦμα and νοῦς, ὄλεθρος and ἀπωλεία, λυτρωτὴς and σωτὴρ, προσφορὰ and
θυσία, δικαίωμα, δικαίωσις,and δικαιοσύνη, to make it evident that
certain large divisions of exegetical theology which are included in a
full discussion of the synonyms of the New Testament, have been
purposely omitted from this volume. Still this does not detract from
the extreme value of the work that has been actually done by our
author. The treatises on the words νέος and καινός, on ἀγαπάω and
φιλέω, on ζωή and βίος, on μετανοέω and μεταμέλομαι, and many others
will be fresh in the recollection of all students. The great range of
Archbishop Trench's reading, and the ease with which Greek literature
is laid under contribution to further his well-defined purpose, the
flashes of light that he throws over many difficult texts, and the
caution, candour, and fairness of his judgments, combine to render
this edition of his important work a very welcome addition to the
_apparatus criticus_ of the Biblical student.


_A History of the Christian Councils, from, the original documents, to
the close of the Council of Nicæa, A.D. 325._ By CHARLES JOSEPH
HEFELE, D.D., Bishop of Rottenburg, formerly Professor of Theology in
the University of Tübingen. Translated from the German, and edited by
WILLIAM R. CLARK, M.A., Oxon., Prebendary of Wells. Edinburgh: T. and
T. Clark.

We are glad to see this instalment of a translation of Dr. Hefele's
great work on the history of Christian Councils. As the title
indicates, this volume of five hundred pages does not bring the
history beyond the proceedings, canons, and creeds of 'the first
Œcumenical Council.' Dr. Hefele's last published volume of the
_Conciliensgeschichte_ comes down to the Council of Constance. He does
not confine the history of this volume to the preliminaries and
discussions of the Council of Nicæa, but gives what documentary
evidence is at hand to throw light on the synods relative to
Montanism, and the feast of Easter, in the first two centuries; on
those held at Carthage and Rome on account of Novatianism and the
_Lapsi_; on those held at Antioch on account of _Paul of Samosata_,
and on the African synods demanded in the Donatist controversy. He
has, moreover, presented from a thoroughly Roman standpoint a general
introduction to the history of this department of ecclesiastical
history. There is no controversial tone in the exposition of the
elements of his theme, but the divine inspiration and supernatural
guidance granted to these assemblies is quietly assumed as undoubted
and indubitable. The chief authority for such a conviction is the way
in which these sacerdotal _réunions_ were accustomed to speak of
themselves. This sublime self-consciousness has never forsaken them,
and has reached its highest expression in the Vatican Council, which,
by its infallibility dogma, has, probably, constituted itself the last
of the series. Dr. Hefele seems also more impressed than we can be,
with the opinion of the Emperor Constantine on this point. The
deference of Constantine to the bishops, and his belief in the
infallibility of their conciliar conclusions, have not the smallest
weight with those who mourn over the entire work of Constantine, and
who see in his subsequent treatment of Arius a practical refutation of
the high-sounding titles he gave to the Council of Nicæa.

Dr. Hefele assumes that an _Œcumenical_ Council must be summoned by
'the oecumenical head of the Church, the Pope; except in the case,
which is hardly an exception, in which, instead of the Pope, the
temporal protector of the Church, the Emperor, with the previous or
subsequent approval and consent of the Pope, summons a council of this
kind.' Our author refutes the arguments of Bellarmine in favour of the
_formal_ recognition by the Ancient Church of the hierarchical
initiative in this matter, because his proofs are derived 'from the
pseudo-Isidore, and, therefore, destitute of all importance;' but he
tries to build up a similar argument in support of the early
recognition of the supremacy of Rome in this matter, which is very
shaky. Constantine is _supposed_ to have consulted Sylvester, Bishop
of Rome, before issuing his summons to the bishops to attend the first
oecumenical council, _because_ in the year 680 A.D., _i.e._, 355
years after the Council of Nicæa, _it is said_ that the sixth
oecumenical council made reference to such consultation. A second
argument appears to us even more Jesuitical: 'Ruffinus says that the
Emperor summoned the Synod of Nicæa _ex sententia sacerdotum_, and
certainly, if several bishops were consulted on the subject, among
them _must have been_ the chief of them all, the Bishop of Rome.'

The way in which our author toils to make it appear that theπρόεδροι
of the council were the delegates sent from Sylvester, diminishes our
confidence in the general excellence of this elaborate, painstaking,
conscientious work. The effort is made to show the part which the Pope
took in the calling of the subsequent general councils. The volume
will not be studied for its treatment of Christian doctrine, so much
as of ecclesiastical discipline. The whole discussion of the Easter
controversies, which were brought before the Council of Nicæa, is done
with much greater clearness and fulness than the exposition of the
doctrine of the ὁμοούσιος. Indeed there is, for general purposes, no
dissertation more valuable than this in the entire volume. The
elements are contained here for a reply to the speculations of the
Tübingen school on the irreconcilability of the traditionary notices
of the Johannine practice, and the _primâ facie_ evidence of the
Fourth Gospel as to the day on which the Passover was kept in the week
of our Lord's Passion. Dr. Hefele also explains the astronomical
controversy between the Easter calculations of Rome and Alexandria,
and clearly expounds the several problems brought up for the solution
of the Council of Nicæa.

We thank Mr. Clark for this well translated and carefully-edited
volume. It supplies a great _desideratum_ in English literature, and
we hope he will be enabled to continue his task. We have no doubt it
is impossible to secure perfect accuracy in producing such a volume.
The egregious misprint on p. 309, involving a huge chronological
blunder, will almost correct itself. Polycarp is said to have visited
Amcetus 'in the middle of the _eleventh_ century.'


_Title-Deeds of the Church of England to her Parochial Endowments._ By
EDWARD MIALL, M.P. Second edition, revised. Elliot Stock.

Few people know the history of English tithes. Nothing is more common
than to hear intelligent Churchmen talk of the pious enthusiasm with
which the early English Church was parochially endowed. The very
completeness and universality of the system might make us sceptical
concerning the spiritual fervour of the people, whatever the feeling
of their rulers. Mr. Miall shows convincingly that the charter of
Ethelwolf, which is the title-deed of the English tithe system, was a
bribe to Aelstan, Bishop of Sherburn, who, during his absence in Rome,
had conspired to depose him, and that it was necessary, in order to
secure its provisions, that the charter should be renewed by
successive monarchs, sometimes in a minatory and coercive way that is
very significant. Thus Edgar, A.D. 967, enacts that if any one shall
refuse to pay tithes, the king's sheriff shall seize them by force,
causing the tenth part to be paid to the Church, four parts to the
lord of the manor, four parts to the bishops, the unfortunate owner
being left with but a tithe himself. With great minuteness, Mr. Miall
traces the history and operation of the law, and shows that the law
knows nothing of the Church as a corporate ecclesiastical body, or of
a common ecclesiastical fund. Individual bishops and clergymen may
claim personal revenues as assigned to them by Act of Parliament, but
that is all. The individual claim that is, is the only claim to be
satisfied in the event of disendowment. The Church is no more a
corporate body than the army is; in its relations to Church property,
the endowments pertain not to Protestant Episcopalianism, as such, but
to the State Church for the time being, whether Roman, Episcopalian,
or Presbyterian.

Mr. Miall has done good service in publishing his able and valuable
little book for eighteen-pence. No Nonconformist or Churchman who
wishes to be well informed concerning the questions of Church property
that are pending should be ignorant of it.


_Letters from Rome on the Council._ By QUIRINUS. Reprinted from the
_Allgemeine Zeitung_. Authorized Translation. Rivingtons.

We have already noticed the first parts of this admirable history and
critique on the Council. It is full of learning, wisdom, and wit, and
must be read so long as the Council itself engages the attention of
either theologians or historians. We do not wonder that a book so able
and well-informed should have excited denunciation and protest from
those whose trickery it exposes. Written by Liberal Catholics, it is
the most damaging exposure of the chicanery of Rome that this century
has seen.


_Reasons for Returning to the Church of England._ Strahan and Co.

This is a kind of book of Ecclesiastes, which no one will read without
interest, and which will be even instructive to some of the author's
co-churchmen; but it is almost astounding to find him detail as new
discoveries, arrived at after years of pondering, reasons for leaving
the Church of Rome which have been the _principia_ of Protestantism
from the time of the Reformation.

The real interest of the book lies in the contrasts of practical
religious life in the two churches which the peculiar experience of
the author enables him to give. Thirty-five years ago he took orders
in the Church of England. Twenty-five years ago he became a member of
the Church of Rome. After remaining in it thirteen years he seceded
from it, and has for the last twelve years passed a 'life of
isolation,' which he now ends by returning to the bosom of the
Anglican Church. Those acquainted with that Church will have no
difficulty in identifying the author with Mr. Capes. In much that he
says about the common religious life of the two Churches, and of all
Churches, we agree, although he goes too far, we think, in his
depreciation of the practical religious influence of Divine dogmas.
The credulities of intellectual ability and moral conscientiousness
chiefly strike us in reading the author's confessions; but he has
furnished us with an interesting _apologia pro vitâ suâ_.


_Pioneers and Founders; or, Recent Workers in the Mission Field._ By
C. M. YONGE. Macmillan and Co.

Miss Yonge has made a selection of biographies of eminent missionaries,
with a view of exhibiting the scope and progress of modern English
Protestant missions. The names selected are John Eliot; David
Brainerd; Christian Frederick Schwartz; Henry Martyn; Carey, Marshman,
and Ward; the Judson family; the Bishops of Calcutta--Middleton,
Heber, and Wilson; Samuel Marsden; John Williams; Allen Gardiner; and
Charles Frederick Mackenzie. Knowing Miss Yonge's strongly marked
Anglicanism, we opened her volume with some apprehension, but were
gratified to find it not justified, for, with the exception of a
certain phraseology when speaking of Nonconformists or Americans--such
as 'it is the custom of this _sect_,' the word being used with a
perceptible emphasis, as from a vantage ground of ecclesiastical
orthodoxy--the spirit of the book is admirable. We all know how
lucidly, beautifully, and sympathetically Miss Yonge can write, and
all that is best in her devout feeling flows forth without restraint
as she narrates the marvellous stories of Carey, the Judsons, and John
Williams. She cannot resist--she has no wish to resist--the power and
wisdom with which they spake, or the indubitable signs and wonders of
God's Spirit that followed them. We have only words of commendation
for her charming little book; never have the achievements of these
Christian heroes been told in a more religious or fascinating way.


_Baptist History: From the Foundation of the Christian Church to the
Present Time._ By J. M. CRAMP, D.D., with an Introduction by Rev. J.
ANGUS, D.D. Elliot Stock.

We confess to an utter and disqualifying impatience with 'the Baptist
Controversy.' We wish that our friends who prefer immersion and think
the baptism of believers the true conception of the design of the
ordinance, would follow their preferences, and cease to vex the Church
so much with their reasons, defences, and assaults. The controversy is
not worth its cost. Dr. Cramp begins fiercely with 'Pædobaptist
Concessions and the New Testament,' and finds support for his views in
the Apostolic Fathers and in the past Nicean Church. Be it so; we are
not convinced, but we will not controvert him. His book aims at being
a general history of Baptists throughout the world, as distinguished
from provincial histories of Baptists--English, American, and Foreign.
We might be glad to accept it as a chapter of Church history,
containing many things in which all good men have a common interest;
but then, conceived and based as it is, it has necessarily a
denominational twist and colour. Baptists whose faith needs
confirmation and support may derive benefit from it.


_The Practical Moral Lesson Book._ Edited by the Rev. CHARLES HOLE,
F.R.G.S. Longmans and Co.

Mr. Hole has produced a very valuable elementary lesson-book on topics
too often neglected in education. It is divided into three books--the
first which is the only one yet published, treats of duties which men
owe to themselves--(1) duties concerning the body, including the laws,
functions, and conditions of physical life, such as food, air, light,
exercise, cleanliness, rest, recreation, temperance, &c.; (2) duties
concerning the mind--treating of the right conduct of the appetites,
the senses, the intellect, the emotions, the will, the actions, &c.;
and (3) embracing the whole range of self-culture, and of moral and
social obligations.

The little work is prepared and adapted for schools, and is written
simply, popularly, and with great wisdom and completeness. We have
only good to speak concerning it. We should be thankful to know that
it was used in every elementary school in the kingdom.


_Synonyms Discriminated; a Complete Catalogue of Synonymous Words in
the English Language, with Descriptions of their Various Shades of
Meaning, and Illustration of their Usages and Specialities._ By C. J.
SMITH, M.A. Bell and Daldy.

It is impossible to exhibit the character of works of this kind by
detailed criticisms. Even the best will furnish abundant material for
adverse judgment, while the worst must be right sometimes. A thorough
knowledge of such works, moreover, can be attained only by long use.
We can only, therefore, give our impressions of Mr. Smith's work,
formed, after turning over his pages, and fixing upon examples here
and there most likely to test his knowledge and his judgment.

The task which he has set himself is a very delicate one--it demands
an equal knowledge of philology, literature, and popular usage, and a
keen faculty for discerning things that under apparent resemblances
really differ, and things that under various and unlike forms, have
common root ideas. The philologist has to deal with only one root
word. The compiler of a book of synonyms must be, so to speak, a
compound philologist, and must have in hand, for comparative purposes,
several root words. Nor, again, is philology a sufficient guide, for
the significance of words changes in popular usage; they are found
sometimes in a state of ambiguous, sometimes of even contradictory
meaning. Mr. Smith had the advantage of Crabbe's previous labours; but
to say nothing of Crabbe's inferior scholarship, his book is almost
obsolete--for, unlike dictionaries which deal with intrinsic meanings,
a book of synonyms has chiefly to do with conventional meanings.
Generally, we may say, that Mr. Smith is a very accomplished
etymological scholar, a very keen discriminator, and that his
illustrative examples are selected with great industry, and from a
wide field of English literature--although he might have laid under
greater contribution great living masters, such as Tennyson, Freeman,
Froude, Browning, and others; but it is only gradually, and by the
labour of contributive students, that a corpus of references is
formed. Perhaps the defect that we the most frequently note is in
derivations. Mr. Smith is too often contented with popular meanings,
to the neglect of etymological ones. Thus, under 'Devout, Pious,
Religious, Holy;' all that he says under the crucial word 'Religious'
is, that it is 'a wider term, and denotes one who, in a general sense,
is under the influence of religion, and is opposed to irreligious or
worldly, as the pious man is opposed to the impious or profane, and
the devout to the indifferent or irreverent.' He ventures upon no
etymology, although he has given us Fr. _dévot_--why not the Latin
_devotus_?--Lat. _pius_--A.S. _halig_. A book of synonyms is not,
however, a hook of etymological solutions; and we are very thankful to
Mr. Smith for a work incomparably superior to Crabbe, and which will
be indispensable on every scholar's desk.


_The Practical Linguist; being a System based entirely upon Natural
Principles of Learning to Speak, Read, and Write the German Language._
By DAVID NASMITH, Member of the Middle Temple. In 2 vols. Nutt.

Mr. Nasmith is the author of the ingenious chronometric characteristic
History of England, by which the student may learn at a glance, more
than it might take him hours to put together for himself. Information
obtained so easily, though impressed involuntarily upon the eye, does
not leave so deep an effect behind it. In the 'Practical Linguist' Mr.
Nasmith has endeavoured to throw into a system the principle naturally
adopted by a child or uneducated person in learning a foreign tongue.
The more frequently used words, called the 'permanent vocabulary,' are
separated from the 'auxiliary vocabulary,' and an effort is made to
bring the former into great prominence, and gradually to introduce the
latter according to the varied subject-matter of a prolonged series of
graduated exercises, terminating in translation and re-translation of
Heine and other German classics. A careful and practical arrangement
of the German accidence precedes the exercises, and grammatical
commentaries follow them; while each exercise is accompanied by a
Germanized English version of the English sentence that is to be
rendered into German. The Germanized English which is called by the
author 'Anglicized German,' forms the rock in the midst of the stream,
to and from which it is supposed more easy to throw the pontoons over
which the army of young scholars may pass from one territory to
another. This, like many other systems, will demand much effort and
patience to master. We have no doubt that if it be followed carefully
to the end, a thoroughly practical acquaintance with the German
language will be secured.



THE

BRITISH QUARTERLY REVIEW.

OCTOBER, 1871.



ART. I.--_Dr. Carl Ullmann_.[43]


Dr. Carl Ullmann is perhaps best known in this country and in America
as the author of the two apologetic treatises, 'The Sinlessness of
Jesus' and 'The Essence of Christianity;' but his name will probably
live in the history of theology mainly as the founder, and for many
years conductor of the _Theologische Studien und Kritiken_, that
oldest and ablest of all the German theological journals. Though not
what his fellow-countrymen term an epoch-making man, either in the
scientific or practical sphere, he was unquestionably a representative
man--representative of the best elements both of German thought and
German character. Both the strength and weakness of German theologians
were illustrated in his experience; the former in his successes, the
latter in his failures. There are few, if any, German theologians
whose works contain so much that applies directly to the theological
needs and efforts of the present moment.

Dr. Carl Ullmann was born on the 15th of March, 1796, at Epfenbach, a
village about half-way between Heidelberg and Mosbach, six miles from
the river Neckar, where his father was pastor of the Reformed Church.
Several of his forefathers on his mother's side had been pastors at
Epfenbach; and his father, who was a native of Heidelberg, took
possession of the living, and married the daughter of its previous
incumbent at the same time. His father was a harmless, kind-hearted,
cheerful, and pious man; his mother had a lively, imaginative,
poetical temperament; the son inherited the qualities of both. The
only other child, a daughter, died when very young.

Carl was of a delicate physical constitution, but eager to learn. Till
he reached his ninth year, he went to the village school, the
instruction at which was supplemented by his father. Among the first
things he read were the poems of Claudius and Hebel; and he learnt by
rote so easily, and took such a pleasure in declaiming poetry, that
his parents used to say--'We must make a Professor of him.' Happy as
he was at home, he began early to feel the lack of other companionship
than that supplied by the peasant children with whom he associated,
and a desire stirred in him to go out into the world. In the fragment
of an autobiography which was found among his papers, he says:--'I
remember the very spot--it was in one of the beautiful forests near my
birth-place--where I first became conscious of a yearning to leave
home. It was as strong as the yearning which one generally feels to
return home when one is away. I was then seven years old.' In his
ninth year he was accordingly sent to Mosbach, where he lodged with a
clerical brother of his mother's, and attended the Latin school. After
a year he entered the Gymnasium at Heidelberg, with the distinct idea
of becoming a pastor, and perhaps eventually of succeeding his father.
The school does not seem to have been all that it ought to have been;
but the social influences by which he was surrounded were of an
exceptionally stimulating and elevating kind. He rose from class to
class in the Gymnasium with such rapidity, that he was prepared to
pass the so-called _Abiturienten-Examen_[44] before reaching his
seventeenth year--an unusually early age.

About this time his thoughts were almost completely turned aside from
the profession he had intended to pursue, by the influence of friends
of the family with which he lived. These were the brothers Boisseree,
who were enthusiastic lovers of art, and had a fine collection of
works of the old German masters. Young Ullmann was often invited by
them to study their treasures, and became eventually so infected with
their enthusiasm; or rather, perhaps, one ought to say, his own
slumbering love of, and susceptibility to, the beautiful in nature and
art, was so awakened, that he proposed to his parents to allow him to
become a landscape painter. Two young men who were then his friends,
and in whose company he used to traverse the charming scenes which
abound in the neighbourhood of Heidelberg, afterwards became eminent
artists, and he himself produced sketches and drawings full of the
brightest promise. His parents, however, were shocked at the idea of
their son taking up a profession that brought more honour than bread,
especially as they were not in circumstances to sustain him until he
should have attained a name and position; they urged on him,
therefore, that he might secure leisure enough for the pursuit of art
as a country pastor, and promised to let him study in Munich after
completing his course at the University. The prospect thus opened up
calmed him, and by the time his theological studies were completed,
other thoughts filled his mind. To the end of his life, however,
Ullmann remained a lover of art, and the æsthetic turn of his mind
manifested itself in occasional poetic effusions, in that grace of
style for which he was reputed beyond most of his contemporaries, and
in a general refinement of culture. It is scarcely likely, however,
that he would have attained the eminence as an artist that he gained
as a theologian; and certainly the pursuit of art would not have
admitted of his exerting the direct practical influence which he
eventually wielded, and which was to him a source of such deep
satisfaction.

He matriculated at Heidelberg in the autumn of 1812. The University
had just lost one or two of its brightest ornaments--the youthful
Neander, for example,--but still, notwithstanding its losses, next to
the young and rising Berlin, it had the ablest professors, and was
inspired by the highest aims. The most eminent member of the
theological faculty was Daub; the most notorious was Paulus. The
former was a man of remarkable force, energy, simplicity and
earnestness, and so devoted to his academic vocation that he once
wrote to his then young friend Rozenkranz, now Professor of Philosophy
in Königsberg, and one of the few remaining Hegelians of the right
wing, 'Holidays, do you say? Does the old man still take no holidays?
No, my dear friend, not yet, nor do I want any; my heart's desire is,
if possible, to die in my chair, docendo.' His desire was almost
literally fulfilled; for the stroke which terminated his life, smote
him whilst lecturing on anthropology, November 19th, 1836. He has been
termed, rather wittily, but spitefully, the Talleyrand of German
Philosophy and Theology, because 'he passed from the Kantian
Revolution, through Schelling's Imperialism, to Hegel's Reactionaryism.'
Deducting the spite, there is truth in the description, for he began
his career as a thorough Kantian, then became a warm disciple of
Schelling, and finished up as a Hegelian of the right wing. The
changes he underwent were both sign and evidence of the honesty and
thoroughness with which he devoted himself to the investigation of
truth; there was not a trace in him of the frivolity of the French
diplomatist. His best-known work is 'Judas Iscariot; or, Meditations
on the Good in its relation to Evil.' Daub was still in his Schelling
stage when Ullmann began to study. Paulus was, on the other hand, the
most noted representative of the _Rationalismus vulgaris_, as it has
been termed, in the department of exegesis. He was a man of wide
reading, great learning, and acuteness, but possessed by so intense an
aversion to everything that did not square with his narrow common
sense, that he was incapable of understanding Christianity, and
therefore made it his business to explain away everything that bore a
supernatural or mystical character. Perhaps this was due in part to
the fact that his father, who had been removed from his pastorate, _ob
absurdas phantasmagorica visiones divinas_, forced him, whilst still a
boy, to take part in the conferences with spirits and demons which he
was in the habit of holding in conjunction with others like-minded.
Professor Tholuck, of Halle, rarely lets pass an opportunity, in his
exegetical lectures, of whetting his humour on some absurdity or other
of Paulus. A greater contrast than that between him and Daub could
scarcely have existed; and scientifically they may be said to have
lived like cat and dog. Beside these two, another eminent name then
graced the rolls of the University--Creuzer, author of the 'Symbolik
und Mythologie der alten Völker, insbesondere der Griechen,' a work
which was long the chief authority on its subject, and which even now
well deserves consulting.

Ullmann's mind seems at this stage to have been in the unreflective
state, in which, perhaps, a majority of German theological students
are at the outset; naturally so, too, for his vocation was rather the
choice of his parents than his own. He says about himself:--

      'As I was still young, and my father wished me to have
      plenty of time for study, I did not at once devote myself
      exclusively to strictly professional studies, but attended
      the philosophical and philological lectures of Daub and
      Creuzer, and those on the "Encyclopædia of Theology" and
      "Church History," by Paulus. During the year that I thus
      spent at Heidelberg, I cannot say that I either felt any
      specific interest in science, or evinced any independence
      of mind. I was an industrious and respectful hearer, but
      little more. With the idea of setting me on my own feet,
      and plunging me more into theology, my father wished me to
      go to another University.'

Advised by Daub, Ullmann accordingly resolved to go to Tübingen.

This custom of students pursuing their studies at more than one
University is almost universal in Germany; and where the system of
instruction is one by lectures, has, unquestionably, many advantages.
Some of the direct personal influence and stimulus that a man of
eminent vigour may exercise, is perhaps lost; but, on the other hand,
the danger of a young man being too much influenced is avoided, and a
greater manifoldness of development is favoured. This is one reason
why thought in Germany is less stereotyped than among ourselves. Some,
however, may, perhaps, deem this no advantage.

Tübingen was at that time considered the safest and soundest of all
the German universities. It was the seat of the so-called
Supranaturalistic school, and had been the refuge and stronghold of
orthodoxy during the prevalency of Rationalism. Students of theology
streamed thither from all parts of Germany. The principal theological
professors were Scheurer, Flatt the younger, Bengel, and Bahnmeier,
whose teachings tended to confirm young Ullmann on the positive
Christian belief which had been inculcated on him at home and at
school. Still he cannot be said to have been satisfied. The Tübingen
theology, based as it was on philosophical presuppositions that had
been to a large extent outgrown, was now becoming antiquated, and his
mind was unconsciously reaching out towards the new mode of
representing Christian truth, of which Schleiermacher was the
harbinger, and which he himself eventually did so much to propagate.
Some of his best and highest instincts and capabilities found
nourishment and stimulus, however, in the circle of University friends
to which he belonged. Among these were Gustav Schwab, the biographer
of Schiller, and himself a poet, and above all, Uhland, who had then
just published his first poems. The friendship formed with Schwab
continued unbroken to the end of life. Such circles, originating in
like literary interests and tastes, were then common in Germany. The
atmosphere, especially of the universities, was full of what strikes
our colder English mind as sentimental enthusiasm, but which then
appeared to be glowing love for the highest ideals in State and
Church, in science and philosophy, in prose and poetry. It were
possibly better for our national and social life if there were a
little more capability of enthusiasm for the ideal in the young men of
our universities and colleges. We are too hard, muscular, and
materialistic. Ullmann retained his susceptibility for the beautiful
in literature to the end of life; and occasionally, too, expressed his
thoughts and feelings in rhymes, of which, even poets by profession
would not have needed to be greatly ashamed. He returned home in the
autumn of 1816, and shortly afterwards passed his theological
examination at Carlsruhe. The certificate he received was so good that
he was at once offered a teachership at the Lyceum in Carlsruhe, but
declined it on the ground of health, and resolved, according to the
general custom in Baden, to become a 'vikar,' or, as we say in
England, a 'curate,' or assistant. He was ordained on the 12th of
January, 1817, in the church at Epfenbach, and immediately thereupon
entered on a _vikariat_ at Kirchheim, where a friend of his father's
was the incumbent. There he remained a year, but his wish to become a
country pastor was not to be realized. The manner in which he had
passed his examination had excited the attention of the ecclesiastical
and university authorities, and as there was at that time a strong
wish to see Baden young men selecting the _academical career_, that
is, settling as teachers at the university with a view to becoming
professors, the Government called upon him to take this course, and
offered to supply him with the means necessary to further study.
Ullmann's own inclinations responded to this invitation; but he
hesitated at first because he had a wholesome horror of adding
another to the already too long list of second-rate professors. His
parents were naturally gratified; but with noble tact and generous
self-sacrifice, at once said that they themselves would provide their
son with the requisite means, in order that he might remain free to
take whatever course seemed most suitable to himself.

In the autumn of 1817, he accordingly recommenced his university
studies. At first he hesitated whether he should go to Göttingen or
remain at Heidelberg; he wisely decided on the latter. For though the
former had not a few eminent men, it was bound too much by the
traditions of the eighteenth century, whereas Heidelberg was one of
the fountains of the new theological and philosophical life that had
begun to permeate Germany.

Philosophy was the subject to which he first devoted himself; in
particular, the philosophy of Hegel, who had then just been appointed
professor at Heidelberg. He never properly relished Hegel; indeed, to
judge from one of his letters to his friend Schwab, he seems to have
been made not a little melancholy by it. Satisfaction it could not
well afford him, for his was not a mind to put up with dry bones and
logical subtilties; but it proved to be an excellent intellectual
gymnastic, and compelled him to an examination of his own theological
and philosophical position that was greatly needed, and which would
otherwise have been scarcely possible. The _à priori_ constructive
method of the Hegelian philosophy did not accord with the native bent
of his mind. He shows, too, that he began to be aware of the line he
himself would have to take in the following words addressed to one of
his examiners who had urged him to turn his special attention to
systematic theology:--

      'I am not one of those who are able to construct an
      historical fact like the Christian religion, by starting
      from a philosophical centre. My way into science is that of
      historical inquiry; it passes from the particular to the
      general, not from the general to the particular; or,
      applied to theology, from exegesis and history to
      systematic theology and Christian ethics.'

He accordingly first took up philological, exegetical, and patristic
studies; he did so from a just though instinctive conviction that
satisfactory solutions of the great problems of theology and
philosophy are only possible on the basis of sound and thorough
historical studies. That it cost him no little self-restraint to carry
out this method, is evident from the letters he wrote about this time.
In one addressed to Schwab occur the words--

      'It is my misfortune that at present I have little time to
      give to the highest questions. I have so many of the merely
      outward parts of science which are absolutely necessary to
      fetch up, that I often groan as under a heavy burden.
      Still, even in the desert of grammatical and critical
      study, I meet with many a refreshing oasis.'

He began also to feel a deeper sympathy with the practical aspects of
the vocation on which he was entering. In the same letter from which
we have just quoted, he says--

      'I am sometimes disposed to envy the men--and there are
      many of them--who live on an untroubled life, doing the
      right without difficulty. My life appears, by comparison,
      one continuous self-torture. But should I not be acting
      unworthily? Must I not rather confess to myself that I have
      as yet no solid ground on which I can take my stand? Yes;
      and therefore, I am resolved to forego all the enjoyments
      and pleasures of life rather than not attain to
      certainty--rather than not be able to say, "I know in whom
      I have believed."'

He concluded his studies at Heidelberg by taking the degree of Doctor
of Philosophy, and in the spring of 1819 entered on a scientific tour
intended to embrace Jena, Göttingen, Dresden, Leipzig, Berlin, and
other centres of German culture. His stay in Berlin was both the
longest and the most important. He there made the personal
acquaintance of De Wette, Neander, and Schleiermacher, and his
intercourse with the last two in particular had a determining
influence on the whole of his future course. That for which his own
studies had been preparing the way was now accomplished, namely, his
emancipation from the old supranaturalistic forms of theological
thought which had hitherto hampered him. He did not, however, quit his
hold of the substance of the Christian faith; on the contrary, it
became more completely a living possession. In the sketch he wrote of
the life of his friend Umbreit, he describes his Berlin experiences as
follows:--

      'In intercourse with De Wette, Neander, and Schleiermacher,
      I absorbed into myself the elements of the new theology. In
      opposition to both Rationalism and Supranaturalism,
      Christianity presented itself to me then as a new vital
      creation and divine revelation, in the full sense of the
      term, but, at the same time, as something undergoing an
      organic development in the history of mankind. I saw
      accordingly that it was the function of the theologian to
      seek to effect a reconciliation between the Christian faith
      and the healthy elements in the culture of the age, that
      is, to exhibit it in its reasonableness, instead of in the
      form of authority.'

De Wette's influence was more an exegegetical than a critical one,
and Ullmann never showed much taste for the business of the critic.
Schleiermacher taught him the distinction between faith and theology
and the central significance of the person of the Redeemer, without,
however, seriously infecting him with his own exaggeratedly subjective
and speculative tendencies. Through Neander, his mind was open to the
appreciation of Christianity as a phenomenon and power in the history
of humanity. He was most drawn towards the last-mentioned, and always
spoke of him with deep and loving reverence. There was not a little
affinity between the two--an affinity which manifested itself even
more distinctly in later years; and if their course of development had
been more similar, the resemblance between them would have been
something very unusual. This will appear as we advance in our task.

During this tour, Ullmann visited Hamburg, and there formed an
acquaintance which was destined to become very intimate, and to have
not a little influence on his career as a theologian--it was that of
the celebrated publisher, Friedrich Perthes. The circumstances under
which the introduction took place were embarrassing enough. Ullmann
had ran short of money, and not knowing what else to do, went to
Perthes, who at once, on the credit of his honest face, as he said,
lent him a sufficient sum of money to enable him to carry out his
immediate plans. Perthes subsequently became Ullmann's publisher.[45]

In the autumn of 1819, Ullmann commenced lecturing at Heidelberg,
taking for subjects Exegesis and Church History. With unusual
consideration, the Government gave him, even as _Privat-Docent_, a
small salary, and promised him early promotion to an _Extraordinary_
Professorship, a promise which was fulfilled in 1821. The first
published fruits of his studies were a critical treatise on the Second
Epistle of Peter, in which he defended the first two chapters as a
genuine fragment of the Apostle, but admitted the remainder to be the
work of another hand; and an examination of the 'Third Epistle of Paul
to the Corinthians,' which had just been translated from the Armenian
by Rind, and which he demonstrated to be a forgery. These were the
first and last properly critical essays he ever wrote. His next
publications, which were 'An Archæological Essay on the Christian
Festivals,' originally appended to the second edition of Creuzer's
'Symbolik,' and another on the sect of the Hypsistarians, written in
Latin, as the programme when he entered on his professorship,
inaugurated the labours in the field of Church history where lay his
true vocation, and in which he achieved his best successes.

The year 1820 brought two events on which he never ceased to look back
with the intensest thankfulness--his betrothal with Hulda Moreau, who
eventually became his wife, and his friendship with Umbreit, who had
become his colleague as Professor of Oriental Languages. The strain in
which he refers to the former, when writing to his friend Schwab, was
all that the most ardent lover could demand. It will suffice to quote
one sentence:--'Never had I either in hopes or dreams represented to
myself the happiness of love so beautifully and truly as I have found
it to be in reality.' Of Umbreit he spoke in the following terms:--'He
is just the friend for whom I have longed; one who takes me and
understands me just as I am and live; who loves me faithfully with all
his heart, despite my defects, and who has insight into and sympathy
with the needs of my soul.' 'Soon,' says he, in his own sketch of
Umbreit's life, 'our hearts opened to each other, and ere long our
relation to each other was such that it became a necessity to meet
daily and exchange thoughts and experiences. We were one as to the
basis and goal of life; and yet the individuality and development of
each were so different that we supplemented each other, and were thus
for each other a perpetual stimulus.' It was due to Ullmann's
influence that Umbreit became positively Christian, both in his
theology and life.

These were the bright aspects of the life of the young professor. It
had, however, its shadows. The University numbered at this time only
fifty-five students of theology, and they were mainly divided between
Daub and Paulus; besides, the ground was so pre-occupied by
Rationalism on the one side, and Speculation on the other, that there
was no room for a theology that aimed to be at once evangelical and
historical. In 1823, Ullmann wrote to Schwab:--'In a scientific
respect, our position here is bad. The constellation of theological
studies is of such a kind that several, I might say most of the
professors, are really useless. To this number I have the honour to
belong, along with men like Abegg and Umbreit. I deliver my regular
lectures, but I have very few hearers and little hope of an
improvement.' In addition to this, his salary was so small that it did
not suffice for his own wants, much less could he marry on it. He
became at last so weary of this state of things that he begged the
Government to give him a living in the country. Instead of acceding to
his wish, however, they increased his salary, and thus enabled him to
venture on marrying in 1824.

In the following year he published his first large work--a monograph
on Gregory Nazianzen, which proved him to be a worthy compeer of
Neander, and brought him, in 1826, an invitation to the Theological
Seminary at Wittenberg. Had not the Government again increased his
salary, and made him in addition Professor in Ordinary, he would
probably then have quitted Heidelberg, much as he loved it, and
thoroughly loyal and grateful as were his feelings towards his native
land. He no longer, however, felt so happy there as he had done in
former years. The party spirit under which he had to suffer so
severely at a later period, and which has done so much to degrade both
theology and the Church in Baden, was just beginning to make itself
felt, both in the University and in private circles.

The next great event in his life, and an important event in the
history of German theology, the founding of the _Theologische Studien
und Kritiken_, shall be narrated in his own words:--

      'About this time the thought occurred to us' (referring to
      Umbreit and himself) 'of establishing a new theological
      journal, of which we proposed to ourselves to be joint
      editors. Our idea was, not to increase the already too
      numerous depositories of mere dry erudition, but to create
      an organ for the new theology which was either already in
      existence or in process of growth. After talking the matter
      over carefully between ourselves, we communicated our idea
      to our friends--Nitzsch, Lücke, and Gieseler,[46] all of
      whom were then in Bonn. As they at once promised their
      cooperation, we arranged to meet, for the maturing of our
      plans, at Rüdesheim, in the spring of 1827. Singularly
      enough, too, the publisher to whom we proposed applying,
      Friedrich Perthes, had himself also, quite independently,
      been entertaining a similar plan; and that not merely as a
      business speculation, but also for the sake of promoting
      the so-called new theology.'

As his and their wishes thus happily met, the scheme was speedily
ripened, and the first number made its appearance at Hamburg, in 1828,
bearing on its title-page the names of Drs. Ullmann and Umbreit as
editors, and of Drs. Gieseler, Lücke, and Nitzsch as collaborateurs.

During the first years of its existence, the _Studien und Kritiken_
had a severe struggle: in a commercial point of view it certainly
did not pay; indeed, as such things are now regarded in this country,
it never has paid well. The highest circulation it ever
attained--unprecedented before, and since, in Germany--was between 900
and 1,000. This was prior to that year of political and social
disturbances--1848. What the number of its subscribers at the present
moment may be, we do not know; we have been told they do not reach
500. Among its contributors it has had almost all the greatest German
theologians of the last forty years; for example, Schleiermacher, De
Wette, Rothe, Julius Müller, Twesten, Hundeshagen, Tholuck, Bleek,
Neander, Dorner, Schenkel, Schweitzer, and others too numerous to be
specified. At present, it is edited by Drs. Hundeshagen and Riehm.
Whilst from the beginning the original design of its founders--that it
should be the organ of the theology of which Neander and Nitzsch may
be said to have been the best-known representatives--was
conscientiously adhered to, its pages were constantly open to opinions
diverging very widely from those of the editors. In fact, it was a
kind of neutral ground on which men of, one might almost say, opposite
theological opinions met for courteous tourney. None were excluded
from contributing whose spirit was that of reverential inquiry. It has
accordingly been in the best sense a power, not only in Germany but
even throughout Christendom. We cannot write these words without
blushing with shame that we in Great Britain have never been able
adequately to sustain, for any length of time, any purely theological
journal at all, much less one that dared to be something more than the
mere organ of a little party or sect. It is a disgrace to us. In this
matter, we are far behind even America; how much farther behind
Germany! and that, too, notwithstanding that a certain interest in
theological questions is much more widely diffused among us than in
the latter country.

The article with which the _Studien_ opened, at once established the
character both of the journal and of its principal editor; it was one
on the 'Sinlessness of Jesus,'[47] which subsequently appeared in a
separate and considerably enlarged form. During Ullmann's lifetime it
ran through seven editions, and was translated into, at all events,
one foreign language. Few books have rendered better service to young
theologians, in their doubts and struggles, than this.

In 1829, an invitation came to him from Prussia to take the chair of
Church History at the University of Halle. Strongly as he was attached
to Heidelberg, and patriotically desirous as he was of serving Baden,
still this time he felt that it was his duty to go. Such, too, was the
opinion of his friends; even the Minister of Education in Baden raised
little objection, though he expressed the hope that when the right
moment came, Heidelberg would be able to reclaim its own. The change
was a very great one--greater than can well be appreciated by any one
who is not acquainted with the difference, not only between Halle and
Heidelberg, but also between their respective inhabitants. South
Germans do not always harmonize well with North Germans. No contrast
could be greater than that between the two towns. The praises of
Heidelberg--of its river, castle, forests, mountains, and
valleys--everybody sings, and sings with justice. Halle is known to
comparatively few, and is not likely to be loved by ordinary tourists.
And yet those who have lived in Halle for any length of time always
think of it with affection. Its streets are narrow and close; its
pavements used to be uncivilized in summer, and absolutely barbarous
in winter; its atmosphere is tainted by one general smell of the
peculiar kind of turf that is burnt, and by numerous particular
odours; the older houses and rooms are fusty, and abound in tenants
who do not pay, but exact rent from their fellow-lodgers; it is
awfully hot in summer and cold in winter; the scenery around, save in
one direction, is very dismal--and yet few who have studied there can
help saying, 'Dear old Halle!' The secret is the kind, unpretending,
truly scientific spirit that prevails among the professors and their
families, rendering them very accessible to all, and facilitating
close intercourse. Ullmann found in Halle all the diversities of point
of view that existed at Heidelberg, and, indeed, at every University.
Wegscheider and Gesenius represented Rationalism, but a better and
larger spirit possessed the faculties. More frequent opportunities
were, moreover, afforded him of meeting the other eminent men of the
age. He visited Schleiermacher and Neander in Berlin; Tieck in
Dresden; Hase and Baumgarten-Crusius in Jena; went a foot tour with
Lachmann, Hossbach, and Schleiermacher in Thuringia; and held a
conference with the co-operators and contributors of the _Studien_ in
Marburg. But the chief source of satisfaction were the 800 theological
students who then frequented Halle; for he now secured auditories
double the number of all the theological students of Heidelberg taken
together. Naturally, too, his income was more adequate to the
necessities of a man of family and learning than it had ever been
before. All these circumstances gave his letters to his friends in
South Germany a tone of unmistakeable cheerfulness.

During the early Halle years, his time and energies were so much
absorbed in the preparation of his lectures and the editing of the
_Studien_, which now devolved almost entirely on himself, that
extensive literary undertakings were out of the question. He lectured
on Church History, History of Doctrine, Symbolics, Introduction to the
New Testament, and at last also on Dogmatics. This last subject was
taken up by way of counteracting the influence of Wegscheider. In his
inaugural discourse on 'The Position of a Church Historian in the
Present Day,' afterwards printed in the _Studien_ (1829), Ullmann
sounded the key-note of his entire future teachings in words some of
which may be quoted here. The entire discourse well deserves studying
by ourselves at the present time:--

      'Sound reason and pure revelation of God are not at the
      root diverse, and cannot be opposed to each other, though
      they may present religious truth in differing forms and
      compass. A truly divine doctrine will never interfere with
      the freedom of thought and of intellectual development; on
      the contrary, it will confer true, inward liberty. That
      which separates the opposing parties in our midst is, on
      the one hand, that the defenders of reason are not always
      rational enough, not truly and impartially rational; and on
      the other hand, that the believers in revelation do not
      adhere with sufficient simplicity to the word and spirit of
      revelation.' 'Christianity is higher reason; it is reason
      in the form of history, in the form of a divine
      institution; and as such it connects itself with the
      deepest needs of the human soul.' 'Christianity and reason
      must not and cannot be separated from each other.'

The years 1831 and 1832 were years of deep sorrow: in the former he
lost his eldest daughter; in the latter his beloved wife. Severe as
was the test to which his faith was thus put, it stood it well. He was
able to say, 'The Lord gave; the Lord hath taken away: blessed be the
name of the Lord.' But the blow affected him very severely. He
withdrew from the social intercourse in which he had so greatly
delighted; his health, too, was so enfeebled that he was compelled to
go for a time to Baden on visits to friends. The following extract
from a letter to Umbreit, after his return, shows how he thought and
felt:--

      'I have found it very hard to settle down in Halle after so
      long an enjoyment of the beauties of my old home. Like an
      unwilling child, I have only given in by degrees. Nor did I
      really become contented again till I set thoroughly to
      work. And now that I am at work, I am again looking forward
      to the holidays. One always seems to remain a child, and
      life is an eternal circle, and after all a labour and
      sorrow, occasionally broken by brighter glimpses of heaven,
      of the hearts of friends, of one's own soul, and of nature.
      When one looks seriously at life, one can scarcely help
      both smiling and weeping; and it would be utterly
      unintelligible to me without God and eternity. It is not
      good, however, to think and grub too much about it; one
      must undertake some work, even though it be not much. Faith
      and work are the only sources of lasting peace.'

In the autumn of 1834 he married again. Until 1833, when his first
contribution to the 'History of the Reformers before the
Reformation'--'John Wessel and his Times'--appeared, he printed
nothing but a few essays and reviews in the _Studien_. That the time
was not a very favourable one for theological authorship would appear
from the circumstance that Perthes, the publisher of 'Wessel,'
large-minded and sympathetic as he was, did not expect it to pay
expenses. It proved, however, a success, and with the portions
subsequently issued, is now esteemed one of the best German monographs
in the domain of Church history.

Early in 1835, Ullmann wrote to a friend: 'In the world of literature
we have at present a complete ebb; nor does there seem any prospect of
our being stirred out of our quiet jogtrot existence. What a blessing
it would be, if some great light were to arise in theology--some
second Luther, or Lessing, or Goethe!' He little thought that the
stirring up that he desired would so soon come; still less that it
would come in the way in which it did come. It was not a new Luther,
or Goethe, or Lessing that arose, but Strauss, with his 'Life of
Jesus.' As is well known, this work, notwithstanding its containing
little that was really new, produced an unexampled sensation in the
theological and ecclesiastical circles of Germany. It called forth a
perfect flood of replies; and among them, Ullmann's, though small in
compass, occupied a very honourable position. He put his finger on the
weak spot in Strauss's book, in the following words of a letter
written to Schwab, immediately after he had taken a first glance at
it:--'All honour to criticism, but in Strauss's case it becomes
plainly unhistorical; for on the view with which he starts, the origin
of Christianity and the rise of men like the Apostle Paul are alike
inexplicable.' His reply consisted of two essays in the _Studien_ of
1836 and 1838, and afterwards published separately, under the title,
'Historisch oder Mythisch.' Next to Neander's 'Life of Jesus,'
Ullmann's treatise is said to have had most influence on Strauss.

Shortly after his second marriage, Ullmann wrote to a friend that he
felt he was becoming every year more and more attached to Halle and
North Germany; and yet, when the call came to him, in 1836, to resume
his position at Heidelberg, he was unable to resist it. He had
previously declined without hesitation to entertain a proposal to
remove to Kiel. Many considerations weighed with him; certainly,
however, not an increase of income, for he positively lost by the
change. The thought of revived intimacy with Umbreit; the being near
to his aged father; the beauty of Heidelberg; perhaps, too, the
sorrows associated with Halle; but, above all, the prospect held out
that his return should be the first step in the renewal of the
theological faculty, were the magnets drawing him homeward. Still he
found it difficult to decide. The Prussian Government did all in their
power to retain him, but he thought duty pointed to a return; and he
accordingly left Halle in the autumn of 1836. He could not always
congratulate himself on the step thus taken. Indeed, a certain feeling
of disappointment almost immediately took possession of him. He
missed especially the large Halle auditories. In Halle he had 100
students; in Heidelberg he began with six, who evinced, moreover,
little interest. His hope of securing Nitzsch as a colleague was
frustrated; the Government soon grew weary of special efforts to
further theological study; the old ornaments of Heidelberg died
rapidly out; and the new generation had neither faith nor refinement,
so that when a professorship was offered him in 1841 at the University
of Bonn he was strongly tempted to accept it, although he had
previously refused one at Tübingen. Indeed, he probably would have
returned to Prussia but for the renewal of the promises to do more for
theology than had been done heretofore, and an autograph letter from
the Grand Duke himself, begging him in the most flattering terms to
remain. Having, soon after this time, purchased a house and garden of
his own, he settled down inwardly and outwardly as a permanent
Heidelberg fixture.

Death again visited his household, taking this time the only remaining
daughter of his first wife, and the only child of his second. In other
respects, however, he grew more content as the years advanced; partly
because the circle of sympathizing friends gradually increased, and
partly because the state of things at the University materially
improved. The advent of new colleagues like Rothe, Hundeshagen,
Schenkel, and Schöberlein, was naturally a source of great
satisfaction.

In 1842, he completed his principal work--'The Reformers before the
Reformation.' It was his last great effort. An intention, long
entertained, of writing a life of Luther, was never realized. He
became too absorbed in the various theoretical and practical questions
that successively agitated the political, theological, and
ecclesiastical worlds, to find time or energy for extensive literary
undertakings; not that he ceased writing, but that what he wrote bore
predominant reference to questions of immediate interest, and appeared
for the most part in the pages of the _Studien und Kritiken_. Two of
the most notable of the essays written at this period are those on the
'Cultus des Genius' and 'Das Wesen des Christenthums.' The former was
directed against Strauss, who, in his 'Vergängliches und Bleibendes im
Christenthum,' having reduced Jesus Christ to the rank of a religious
genius, maintained that the cultus of genius is the only form of
public and common religion the educated of the present generation can
celebrate. The immediate occasion of his 'Sendschreiben,' as he termed
it, was an oration delivered by his friend Schwab in connection with
the inauguration of a monument to Schiller, at Marburg. It has always
been esteemed one of the freshest, completest, and most artistic
products of his pen. Of the geniality of the tone in which he
approached the subject, the following passage will be sufficient
evidence:--

      'Our age is an age of distracted spirits. Let us look at
      the greatest among them, that ideal of all who really are,
      or affect to be, at discord with themselves and God, the
      Poet-Lord! A spirit of defiance, of contempt for mankind,
      of doubt; a cold breath of hopelessness and destructiveness
      pervades his writings. Terror is his domain; the
      destruction and misery of mankind are his dwelling place;
      he knows little of those fundamental elements of piety,
      hope, humility, and self-sacrifice. And yet who dare deny
      that he is engaged in a struggle, painful and desperate it
      is true, after the highest; that he is filled with
      irrepressible longings after the noblest? Because human
      life seemed to him so vain and empty, therefore did he
      despise it; because he would fain have loved men so much
      more truly than he could, therefore did he hate them; and
      yet, when at certain moments the primal consciousness of
      the heavenly and divine welled up from the depths of his
      soul, what energy and vitality did it evince, and what a
      mighty influence did it wield!'

There is very much in this essay that deserves carefully weighing by
all who are mixed up with the intellectual struggles of the present
time; and we have noted numerous passages for quotation, but our space
forbids. The second one, on the 'Essence of Christianity,' strikes us
as a scarcely satisfactory answer to the question discussed, though
one's estimate of it naturally depends on one's own point of view. His
course of thought is as follows.

Christianity, although unchangeably one and the same, has been viewed
in different ages in different ways; first as doctrine, then as law,
then as a plan of redemption. If we wish to understand its inmost
essence, and to account for its workings in their entire compass, we
must regard it as a new life, grounded on a complex of divine deeds
and manifesting itself in human works. This life necessarily had a
creative centre; this centre must have been a living one; and as it is
life of the highest kind, the centre must have been a person. The
founder of Christianity was the person in whom was effected that which
all religions have striven after, the perfect union of God and man.
Such being his character, the relation in which he stands to the
religion founded by him, is not the outward one which subsists where
the religion is advanced as a doctrine, or a law, or an institution;
no, he himself embodies in himself the religion he founded, and his
religion is essentially faith and life in him. The essence, the
distinguishing character of Christianity, must accordingly be defined
to be the person of its founder. Many of the ideas unfolded in this
essay have exercised a very great influence on, and are now the common
property of Christendom. Schleiermacher was the first in modern times
to assign to the person of Christ the central position in
Christianity; but Ullmann purified Schleiermacher's teaching on this
subject from its speculative accessories, and made it in the best
sense popular. The wide-spread tendency among the preachers and
religious thinkers of this country to bring the person Christ to the
foreground is, unquestionably, largely traceable to this German
source. What we should blame in it is the vagueness and sentimentalism
by which it is often accompanied or marked. The treatise pleased
neither the critical nor the ultra-orthodox. An attack made on it by
Count Agenor de Gasparin, in the 'Archives du Christianisme' (1851),
called forth a reply from Ullmann which, to our mind, is far more
interesting and valuable than the work it was meant to defend. From
that reply, which appeared in the _Studien_ of 1852, we cannot forbear
making the following quotation, partly for what seems to us its
intrinsic suggestiveness, and partly because it is characteristic of
its author's position. 'The subject in dispute between Count Gasparin
and myself,' says Ullmann,

      'May be reduced to three points, the relation first between
      the outer and inner rule; secondly, between dogma and love;
      thirdly, between the person and the work of the Saviour. As
      to the first point, he appeals solely to the outer rule.
      Now an outer rule is one that comes to us from without,
      with the claim to be the norm of our spiritual life. The
      completest embodiment of the idea of the outer rule is
      Catholicism. But the Count will say, "The true outer rule
      is the Bible, not the Church." But how does he decide which
      of these outer rules is the true one? Each is a form of the
      same thing; each claims to be the only true form. In
      discriminating between them, appeal must clearly be made to
      an inner rule of some kind or other. Do I then mean to deny
      that the Scriptures are an outer rule? Certainly not! If I
      am asked, In what sense, then, is the Bible an outer
      rule?--is it in a sense that excludes all reference to an
      inner rule, to something higher, deeper, broader than the
      written word? I reply, No! In such a sense the Bible does
      not itself claim to be an outer rule. That in it which is
      outward issued forth from what was originally inward, and
      has the tendency, and is designed to become inward again.
      In thus becoming inward, it is not intended to operate as
      an outward rule, but to bear witness to itself in our inner
      life, and secure our free assent. Inward and outward thus
      act and react on each other. If the Scripture be a rule, it
      is fair to ask whence it came to us? It did not fall from
      heaven; it was not written immediately by the hand of God;
      it did not exist prior to Christianity. Christianity, on
      the contrary, existed first, and the Scripture was the
      organ through which it presented itself to, and propagated
      itself among men. That which existed before Scripture was
      the complex of saving facts, whose centre is Christ and the
      Christian life. The function of the Scripture, therefore,
      was to be the medium of making known the person and work of
      Christ, where the living message could not reach. For this
      reason its position and worth are not unconditional. Christ
      it is who conditions Scripture and gives it its worth. It
      is not the Scripture that gives authority to Christ, but
      Christ to Scripture. The proper object of faith is Christ,
      not the Scripture; the latter is merely the guide and
      educator unto Christ.'

The point of view indicated in the above extract is one that needs
taking to heart and developing by the Christian thinkers of this
country; rightly carried out, it would aid them materially in meeting
the difficulties raised by the critics or opponents of the Bible. The
exposition of the nature and function of mysticism in this same reply
is admirable.

In two things, Ullmann had always differed from the majority of German
theologians, and resembled the majority of English theologians. He
endeavoured to write so as to be intelligible and acceptable to
educated laymen, and aimed at exerting direct practical influence.
Science, including theology, is too frequently pursued and expounded
in Germany in the genuine dry-as-dust style; and theological authors
in particular have been in the habit of completely ignoring the fact
that they lived to serve the Church, and ought therefore to have an
eye to its practical needs in all their enquiries. Hence the
astonishing ignorance of theology that prevails in all but
distinctively professional circles. A better feeling on this point has
been growing up during the last ten years; but any change of practice
has been rather forced on the theologians than spontaneously
adopted--forced on them by the consideration that the laity of their
Church were being utterly robbed of faith by the popular
anti-Christian expositions of philosophy, criticism, and natural
science that abounded. We in this country have erred for the most part
in an opposite direction. Our eye to popularity and practical effect
has had a squint in it. But though our theological investigations have
lacked depth, they have, at all events, been far more widely
appreciated. And that our fault is the less serious of the two is
clear from the fact which is possibly unknown to most--that sound
German theological works like those published by the Messrs. Clark, of
Edinburgh, have had, with few exceptions, a larger circulation in the
English than in their original dress. Still, it were well if both
writers and readers in this country were a little more eager to sound
the deeper depths of the science even at the risk of creating and
meeting with difficulties.

The desire felt by Ullmann to exert a direct influence in Church
matters grew with his years. He longed to see the ideas he had
expounded becoming realities, and thought he could and ought
personally to put hand to the work. There was much, too, in the
circumstances of the ten years that preceded 1853 to draw his mind in
the direction in which it naturally tended. Germany was everywhere in
a state of ferment; especially in the domain of ecclesiastical
affairs, were new and difficult problems constantly presenting
themselves. He was also repeatedly called upon by the authorities of
various German States to supply them with _Gutachten_ on difficulties
that had arisen; and the opinions he gave carried great weight,
because of the sound judgment, thorough conscientiousness, and
reverential liberality which characterised them.

One movement in particular greatly strengthened the inclination to
which we are referring: we mean the secession from the Roman Catholic
Church of Germany that took place under Ronge. He was not, however,
carried away by it, as were many of his contemporaries, who hailed it
as the harbinger of a new era in the history of the Christian Church.
Its insignificance was clear to him from the very first. In a letter
to his friend Schwab, he says sarcastically:--'The reformers of the
nineteenth century have already passed through Heidelberg and
Mannheim, doing a notable amount of eating and drinking and halloeing
by the way.' An essay on the subject, published originally in the
_Studien_ for 1845, and afterwards as a pamphlet, contains much that
bears forcibly on efforts that are now being made among ourselves to
form churches or religious communities without either historical or
doctrinal basis.

In 1853, a post was offered to him, which seemed to meet the wish he
had cherished, to be able to wield direct practical influence in
ecclesiastical affairs. He was called to be _Prälat_ of Baden. This
office or dignity--to which nothing exactly corresponds in our own
country--conferred on its holder a seat in the Upper Chamber of
Deputies, as the representative of the Evangelical Church; but,
singularly enough, did not necessarily make him a member of the Upper
Ecclesiastical Council, so that his direct influence was more personal
than official. Ullmann hesitated at first to sacrifice the quiet and
independence of his University position, and the opportunities of free
action which he largely enjoyed, possessing, as he did, the confidence
of the better clergy throughout the country; but at length he yielded.
Considerations, such as loyalty to his prince, disgust at the
illiberal liberalism that was increasingly gaining the upper hand at
Heidelberg, and perhaps, too, an unconscious stirring of ambition,
influenced his decision; but the main reason, undoubtedly, was the one
to which reference has already been made. Before making this change,
he did as he had done when he consented to remove from Halle to
Heidelberg, and his experience, as a man of a less idealistic turn of
mind might have anticipated, was again the same. He stipulated for
many alterations, both in the principles and methods of ecclesiastical
procedure. Could the programme which he laid before the Grand Duke
have been thoroughly carried out, a great reform would have been the
consequence; but the programme was a professor's programme, and the
professor was not the man to make it a reality. He soon found that
bureaucratic redtapeism, vested interests, indifference, incapacity,
not to mention intrigue and open opposition, were as common in the
higher ecclesiastical as in the political circles, and as difficult to
vanquish.

In 1857, he was appointed to the office of Director of the Upper
Ecclesiastical Council--a position equivalent, in some respects, to
that of the Minister of Cultus in Prussia. The increase of honour
brought an increase of care, but the increase of apparent power did
not bring a corresponding increase of real power. He was associated
with men who, besides being narrow bureaucrats, and having no sympathy
with the higher interests of the Church, looked on Ullmann as a sort
of interloper; the consequence being perpetual struggles and
annoyance, without adequate compensation. Dislike to him personally
began also to spread among the clergy, and the laity charged him with
being a High Church reactionary. His difficulties culminated in the
so-called _Agenden-Streit_, and in the disputes relating to the new
constitution proposed for the Church; the upshot of the whole, being
that, in 1860, he retired from office, broken in health, and almost
broken in spirit.

He was never able to resume independent literary work, though he did
again undertake the direction of the _Studien und Kritiken_, which for
several years had mainly devolved on his colleague Umbreit. After the
death of the latter, in 1860, he associated Dr. Rothe with himself as
joint editor; but, owing to an ever-increasing divergence of their
views--both practical and theoretical--this arrangement terminated in
1864, at which date the journal passed into the hands of its present
editors.

The faith that Ullmann had expounded and defended in life, sustained
him in the decline of health and in the hour of death. In the autumn
of 1863, both bodily and intellectual vigour began seriously to fail;
and on the 12th of January, 1865, he died, surrounded by his family,
and repeating to himself the closing words of that grand, but almost
too moving hymn--

      'O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden.'

FOOTNOTES:

[43] For the materials of this paper, we are largely indebted to a
biographical sketch by Dr. W. Beyschlag, Professor of Theology in
Halle.

[44] This is the examination which every _gymnasiast_, or scholar of a
Gymnasium, who intends going to a University must pass ere quitting
school. Papers certifying that this examination has been passed have
to be laid before the University authorities prior to matriculation.

[45] F. A. Perthes, of Gotha, son of F. Perthes, has recently
published a collected and cheaper edition of the works of Ullmann.

[46] Dr. Gieseler, author of one of the most valuable Church histories
Germany has produced; Dr. Lücke, best known by his exhaustive
commentary on the writings of St. John; and Dr. Nitzsch, equally
celebrated as a theologian and practical ecclesiastic.

[47] A translation has been published by the Messrs. Clark, of
Edinburgh. The line of argument pursued by Ullmann has an important
bearing on controversies that are now arising in our midst, especially
on that relating to the Incarnation, as opened by such writers as Mr.
Hutton, in his 'Essays,' and Mr. Baring-Gould, in his work on 'The
Origin and Development of Religious Beliefs.' It is not a little
remarkable that the latter, in his discussion of the evidence for the
incarnation, should never allude to the sinlessness of our Lord--a
point on which great stress has justly been laid by some of the most
eminent of the recent apologists for Christianity. If it be true that
Christ was sinless; if it be further true that moral perfection is
impossible, save on the condition of complete fellowship and harmony
with God; if it be further true that the creature, the more intimate
its fellowship with God, the more completely it will recognise, in
word and deed, the distinction between itself and God, then, as it
seems to us, the sinlessness of Jesus, taken in connection with the
claims he advanced for himself, involves his standing in a relation to
God such as is meant by the word incarnation. Either that, or his own
very assertion of sinlessness, is one of the strongest evidences of
his sinfulness. Mr. Baring-Gould's arguments for the incarnation, in
_another form_, may be utilized by such as hold the old position; in
his hands, they seem to us a piece of caprice.



ART. II.--_Aerial Voyages._


_Travels in the Air._ By JAMES GLAISHER, F.R.S., CAMILLE FLAMMARION,
W. DE FONVIELLE, and GASTON TISSANDIER. Edited by JAMES GLAISHER,
F.R.S. With 125 illustrations. London: Richard Bentley and Son. 1871.

A few years ago a Frenchman, apostrophising the Genius of Humanity as
none but a Frenchman can do, took the liberty of reproaching that
metaphorical being for its extreme backwardness in one department of
duty. He called upon it to 'march,' an injunction which his countrymen
are so fond of issuing that they sometimes forget to tell you where,
or to state the reason why. The present age, he intimated, demanded
this movement: the coming generations would be greatly disappointed if
it were not accomplished. 'One effort,' said he encouragingly to the
Genius, 'and the future is thine (_l'avenir t'appartient_)!' The
crooked places, he promised, should be made straight, and the rough
ones delightfully smooth. There should be no more mountains (Pyrenees
or otherwise), and the valleys should become as level as the plains!

And what does the reader suppose was the duty in respect of which the
genius in question was so shamefully in arrear? It was, says M.
Farcot, in the matter of aerostation. How is it, asked this
individual, somewhat sharply, that man, who is so anxious to conquer
everything and everybody (except, we might add, himself), should not
have made greater exertions to subdue the sole element which continues
in a state of rebellion? How is it that a being who has such
magnificent forces at command, and can traverse the ocean with an ease
and a rapidity which the fleetest denizens of the deep cannot surpass,
should suffer himself to be outstripped in the air by an insignificant
fly? M. Farcot could not comprehend it; M. Farcot would not submit to
it. He therefore offered his services to mankind as the precursor of a
new era, in which the balloon was to become the prominent figure, and
entreated the object of his invocation to wake up, and with a single
bound to overleap the gulf that lay between it and its greatest
triumphs.

We are not in a position to state whether the genius in question
listened favourably to M. Farcot's fervid appeal; but it is certain
that his hopes have not yet been realized. The balloon has always
appeared to possess such splendid capabilities that it is no wonder
its admirers never weary of predicting a brilliant future for the
machine. Considering the prominent part which Frenchmen have played in
the history of aerostation, it will be readily understood that the
apparatus commenced its career with a dash and _élan_ which led
mankind to anticipate that it would accomplish marvellous things, and
become one of the foremost agents in the great work of civilization.
Our lively neighbours, ever on the alert for glory until their recent
misfortunes, and probably so still, were charmed with the idea of
conquering a new region, though it contained nothing but clouds, and
were by no means insensible to the vanity of riding in the air, though
in most cases they went up, like their famous sovereign, simply to
come down again.

Many years have elapsed--nearly a century--since Pilâtre de Rozier and
the Marquis d'Arlandes made their daring voyage into the atmosphere in
the car of a fire-balloon, this being the first excursion ever
attempted by living creatures, if we except three anonymous animals, a
sheep, a duck, and a cock, which were sent up in the previous month,
and returned in safety to the earth. But as yet, though the machine
has rendered considerable service to science, and will doubtless
assist in the solution of many interesting problems, it is a thing of
promise rather than of performance. It is still in a rudimentary
state, and should be received, says M. Glaisher, simply 'as the first
principle of some aerial instrument which remains to be suggested.'
Potentially, it may include the germ of some great invention, just as
Hiero's eolipile and Lord Worcester's 'water-commanding' engine
contained a prophecy of the most masterly of human machines--the steam
giants of Watt. But to apply the well-known metaphor of Franklin,
when asked what was the use of a balloon, we may say that the
'infant' has not grown up into a man.

Within the last twelve months, however, this largest of human
toys--the plaything of pleasure seekers, and the cynosure of all eyes
at _fêtes_ and tea-gardens--has been converted into a useful machine,
though under the pressure of circumstances which every philanthropist
must deeply deplore.

Of course, when the balloon was presented to mankind, one of the first
thoughts which suggested itself to our combative race was this--'Can
we turn it to any account in war? Will it assist us in killing our
enemies, or capturing their fortresses?' And when we remember that the
machine was reared amongst the most military people in Europe, can we
doubt that as Napoleon's great question respecting the Simplon road
was, whether it would carry cannon, so the chief point with a
Frenchman would be, whether a balloon could be rendered of any service
in a battle? Not many years were suffered to elapse before regular
experiments were instituted with this view. An aerostatic school was
established at Meudon, a company of aeronauts, under the command of
Colonel Coutelle, was formed, and a number of balloons constructed by
Couté were distributed amongst the divisions of the French army, not
even forgetting the troops despatched to Egypt. At the sieges of
Maubeuge, Charleroi, Mannheim, and Ehrenbreitstein the invention was
found to be of some value for purposes of reconnoitring; and previous
to the battle of Fleurus, Coutelle and an officer spent several hours
in the air, studying the positions of the Austrians, and this with
such effect that their information materially assisted General Jourdan
in gaining the victory. The machine was, of course, held captive
during the process, but its tether was easily extended by means of a
windlass, and thus the occupants were enabled to soar above the
enemy's fire.

More than once it has been proposed to build huge balloons, and
freight them with shells and other missiles, which might be
conveniently dropped down upon a hostile corps, or 'plumped' into the
midst of a beleaguered town. With a view to the demolition of the
fortress of St. Juan de Ulloa, during the war between Mexico and the
United States, Mr. Wise suggested the construction of an enormous
air-ship, which was to carry up a quantity of bombs and torpedoes,
and, whilst securely moored in the atmosphere by means of a cable
several miles in length, it would be in a position to rain down death
upon the devoted place. To its honour, however, the American
Government declined the use of such an aerial battery.

Fortunately--we think we may say fortunately--for the interests of
mankind, the balloon has not succeeded to any considerable extent as a
military machine. Even the Jesuit Lana felt inclined to weep over his
abortive project (he did pray over it) when he considered how easy it
would be for warlike marauders to set the stoutest walls and ramparts
at defiance, and to hurl destruction into any city they might select.
Let us hope that the balloon is destined for more pacific purposes.
The range of modern guns, and the difficulty of manoeuvring so
rudderless an apparatus, seem to cut it off from a career of glory. If
employed for purposes of reconnoitring purely, and kept in a captive
condition, it may occasionally render service by darting suddenly into
the atmosphere, and taking a glimpse of the enemy's position or
movements. But, then, a tethered balloon, as M. de Fonvielle
intimates, belongs neither to the air nor the earth; it is a creature
compelled to serve two masters, and therefore cannot do its duty to
either; but, whilst attempting to obey the commands of its rulers
below, it is forced to yield to the caprice of the breezes above. If
free, asks M. Simonin, and if the wind were everything the aerial
heroes could wish; if, moreover, the balloon, charged with the most
formidable fulminates, were carried direct to the hostile camp, could
they expect to find the enemy massed for a review or a manoeuvre
precisely at the spot over which they sailed, and could they time
their discharges so beautifully, having due regard to the speed of the
machine, that their projectiles should explode at the most fitting
moment for damaging their foes? Happily, in neither of the two
greatest struggles of recent times--how recent none need say, for the
scent of blood is yet on the soil of Virginia, and the bones of Teuton
and Gaul still lie blended on the fields of France--has the balloon
brought itself into formidable confederacy with Krupp cannon or the
murderous mittrailleuse.

War, however, the greatest of scourges, is sometimes compelled, in the
good providence of God, to yield an incidental harvest of blessings.
Liberty has often been entrusted to the keeping of the bayonet, and
civilization has more than once depended upon the explosive virtues of
charcoal and saltpetre. It is not impossible that the recent
investment of Paris may ultimately lead to the development of aerial
navigation on a scale which would gladden the heart of M. Farcot, and
almost satisfy the expectations of some of the greatest enthusiasts in
the art. We allude, of course, to the employment of the balloon for
postal purposes. During the recent siege of that city--we mean, of
course, by the Germans, and not by Frenchmen themselves--upwards of
fifty of these aerial packets sailed from the beleaguered metropolis
with despatches for the outer world. They conveyed about
two-and-a-half millions of letters, representing a total weight of
about ten tons. Most of them took out a number of pigeons, which were
intended to act as postmen from the provinces. One, called _Le Général
Faidherbe_, was furnished with four shepherds' dogs, which it was
hoped would break through the Prussian lines, carrying with them
precious communications concealed under their collars. The greater
number of these balloons were under the management of seamen,
sometimes solitary ones, whose nautical training, it was naturally
supposed, would qualify them more especially for the duties of aerial
navigation. More than one fell into the hands of the enemy, having
dropped down right amongst the Prussians. In some of these cases the
crews were generally made prisoners, but in others they effected their
escape; and more than once their despatches were preserved in a very
remarkable way--in one instance being secreted in a dung cart, and in
another being rescued by a forester, and conveyed to Buffet, the
aeronaut of the _Archimède_, who had been sent out in search of them,
and had traversed the hostile lines on his errand. Many of these
postal vessels were carried to a considerable distance, some landing
in Belgium, Holland, or Bavaria; whilst one, _La Ville d'Orléans_, was
swept into Norway, and came to anchor about 600 miles north of
Christiania. A few, unhappily, never landed at all. _Le Jacquard_,
which left the Orleans railway station on the 28th November, with a
bold sailor for its sole occupant, disappeared like many a gallant
ship. It was last observed above Rochelle, and probably foundered at
sea, as some of its papers were picked up in the Channel. _Le Jules
Favre_ (the second of that name), which set out two days subsequently,
has arrived nowhere as yet; and one of the last of these
mail-balloons, the _Richard Wallace_, is missing, as much as if it had
sailed off the planet into infinite space. So long as these machines
continued to be launched by day, they were exposed to a fusillade
whilst traversing the girdle of the Prussian guns, the bullets
whistling round them even at an elevation of 900 or 1,000 mètres. To
avoid this peril it became necessary to start them by night, although
the disadvantages of nocturnal expeditions, in which no light could be
carried, and consequently the barometer could not be duly read, were
held by many to outweigh all the dangers attaching to German
projectiles.

Let us now attempt an imaginary voyage through the air, availing
ourselves as much as possible of the experience of the gentlemen whose
excursions are chronicled in the work which heads this article. A more
attractive volume cannot well be imagined. It is the production of one
Englishman and three Frenchmen. Mr. Glaisher is well known, in
companionship with Mr. Coxwell, as our greatest authority on the
subject. All his visits to the clouds have been for scientific
purposes, and if the question,

              Quis crederet unquam
      Aerias hominem carpere posse vias?

could be put in reference to any man, it might surely be applied to
him, for he has had the honour of ascending higher than any other
mortal from Icarus to Gay-Lussac. MM. Flammarion, Fonvielle, and
Tissandier are all enthusiasts in the matter of ballooning; the second
of these gentlemen having expressed his willingness to be shot up into
the air in connection with a sky-rocket, provided its projectile force
could be duly regulated and a proper parachute were attached. In the
narratives of their numerous ascents, there is necessarily some degree
of sameness; but the whole are not only thoroughly readable, but
thoroughly enjoyable to the last. The illustrations to the book are
really superb. As a mere portfolio of sky-sketches, it is well worth
the price. Not unreasonably indeed, one of the writers expresses his
hope that the work will form a kind of epoch in the history of the
subject, 'for it is the first time that artists have gone up in
balloons for the purpose of familiarizing the eyes of the public with
a series of aerial scenes.' We have charts of triple texture, showing,
first, the path of the machine through the air; secondly, the
geography of the country over which it passed; and thirdly, the
gradations of light and darkness during the expedition, these being so
arranged as to answer point for point. We have also pictures in which
the balloon is seen in almost every phase of adventure--sweeping
through the clouds, plodding through the snow, cruising amongst the
stars by night, exploding in the sky, plunging into the sea, dragging
on the ground, caught in the trees, stranded amongst the sheepfolds,
or tumbling upon the coast and struggling madly to escape the pursuing
billows. But we have also some gorgeous views of cloud-land, with its
marvellous scenery; now silvered with the pale radiance of the moon or
the stars, now drenched in the golden glories of the setting sun--at
one time darkening into night under the gathering thunderstorm, at
another fantastically illuminated with haloes and many-tinted spectra;
and through all these wonderful fields of air, a tiny sphere, a mere
bubble of the sky, with a bubble or two of human breath attached, may
be seen pursuing its noiseless way as if it had escaped for ever from
this turbulent earth.

Before we start, however, the great question is, Dare we start at all?
Well might the first aerial navigator, like the anonymous hero _qui
fragilem, truci commisit pelago ratem primus_, shudder at his own
audacity as he launched his miserable vessel upon the untraversed
deep. When it was first determined to send up some human beings to the
clouds in a Montgolfier, it was by no means an unnatural suggestion
that the experiment should be tried upon a couple of criminals; but
French valour would not permit even French rascality to carry off the
honour of the exploit, and Pilâtre de Rozier indignantly protested
that vile malefactors ought not to have 'the glory of being the first
to rise in the air.' Brave men, however, whose courage could not be
impeached even in the fieriest hour of battle, have been known to
shrink from a balloon when they would have calmly faced a battery. A
gallant field-marshal, says Flammarion, 'who had never hesitated to
advance through the discharge of cannon and musketry,' declared more
than once that he would not, for a whole empire, ascend even in a
captive machine! On the other hand, it is related of an old woman (who
had been an inmate of Lambeth workhouse for forty years, and who, on
losing her son at the age of seventy-five, exclaimed, 'I felt sure I
should never bring up that poor child!') that being asked on her
hundredth birthday what treat she would like by way of celebrating the
occasion, the ancient female decided upon an excursion in the great
balloon then tethered at Chelsea. Her wish was granted, and she
enjoyed a ride in the atmosphere at the foot of this huge floating
gasometer, which was fettered to the earth by a cable of two thousand
feet in length. The fair sex, indeed, have never exhibited much
timidity in dealing with balloons. Out of the seven hundred persons
carried up in the air at various times by the veteran Green, not less
than one hundred and twenty were females. 'If,' hinted he to
Fonvielle, 'you wish balloons to become popular in France, begin by
taking women in them; men will be sure to follow!' Does not this
accord to the letter with George Stephenson's dictum, that feminine
influence would draw a man from the other side of the globe when
nothing else would move him? Not that we think the advice was
specially needed for France, for the first lady who made an ascent was
a Frenchwoman, Mme. Thiblé; and the first lady who met her death on an
aerial excursion was Mme. Blanchard, who belonged to the same nation.

First of all, then, we ought to see the balloon before it is inflated.
There it lies, a vast expanse of varnished silk, or calico, or
india-rubber cloth, enveloped in netting, and covering many a square
yard of ground with its flabby, crumpled form. Nothing more lifeless
and uninteresting can well be conceived than the huge shape which, in
a short time, will lift itself by degrees from the soil, like a giant
creeping gradually into consciousness, and then standing erect in all
the pride of its newly-discovered powers, will expand into one of the
most stately and picturesque machines ever invented by man. It is even
possible to sympathise with M. Flammarion in his heroics when he
imagines an aeronaut addressing it in language of mingled insult and
adulation:--

      "Inert and formless thing, that I can now trample under my
      feet, that I can tear with my hands, here stretched dead
      upon the ground--my perfect slave--I am about to give thee
      life, that thou mayest become my sovereign! In the height
      of my generosity I shall make thee even greater than
      myself! O vile and powerless thing! I shall abandon myself
      to thy majesty, O creature of my hands, and thou shalt
      carry my kingdom unto thine own element, which I have
      created for thee; thou shalt fly off to the regions of
      storms and tempests, and I shall be forced to follow thee!
      I shall become thy plaything; thou shalt do what thou wilt
      with me, and forget that I gave thee life!"

For many reasons, carburetted hydrogen, or coal gas, is the agent
employed to give levity to the machine. In the earlier days of
aerostation, hydrogen presented strong temptations. It is the lightest
of the gases, being upwards of fourteen times rarer than atmospheric
air, and therefore it was naturally regarded as the element best
fitted to do man's bidding, and to drag him nearest to the stars. But
hydrogen is an expensive article, and needs an elaborate apparatus for
its production, whereas coal gas is burnt in every civilized street,
and may be obtained in any quantity by connecting a flexible tube with
the nearest tap. In the still darker ages of aeronautic science, it is
well known that heated air was the element employed; and, going back
into yet more benighted times, we find that Father Lana proposed to
give buoyancy to copper globes by filling them, as an Hibernian once
remarked, with a vacuum; whilst another worthy Père, Galien of
Avignon, gravely suggested that balloons should be inflated with
attenuated air, brought down from mountain tops in bags prepared for
the purpose, in which case they would, of course, ascend to similar
heights!

Let us now enter the car. The huge monster above us is swaying to and
fro in the breeze, and struggling for freedom like some giant soul
which has done its work on earth and is eager to reach its native
skies. The cords which hold us captive are loosed, and, as if by
instinct, we grasp the nearest rope, or hold fast to the wicker work,
to secure ourselves from the effects of our sudden translation--we
might almost say projection--through the air. But the first feeling is
one of surprise. We find ourselves perfectly stationary, whilst,
strange to say, the earth--the great solid globe on which we recently
stood, with all its towers and temples, its gazing crowds and
spreading landscapes--is seen shooting downwards in space with
frightful velocity! Worse still, glancing upwards, the sky appears to
be falling, as if the ceiling of the universe had given way; and
yonder big dark cloud, which seemed to be motionless when we took our
seat, is now tumbling headlong upon us, and will, infallibly, crush
our balloon like a moth. It requires some little consideration to
correct this delusion, and satisfy ourselves that here, as in many of
the moral and social phenomena of life, the change is in us, and not
in the world itself.

As we rise, the view below grows more expansive, but, at the same
time, it appears to flatten. The hills are planed down, the valleys
are filled up, and the rich undulations and inequalities which
contribute so much to the picturesque are in a great measure lost to
the aerial eye. We seem to be hovering over a huge, variegated
ordnance map, tinted for the most part with green; its rivers looking
like silver ribbons, its railways like ruled lines, its woods
represented by patches of verdure, and its towns exhibiting grooves or
gutters for streets, and kitchen areas for squares.

This effect is the more striking when we look perpendicularly down
upon tall, slender objects like steeples, pillars, or elevated
statues. The Monument of London becomes a mere gilded speck on the
pavement. The hapless column in the Place Vendôme, now overthrown by
the hands of Frenchmen themselves, was described by an aeronaut as a
kind of 'pin stuck head downwards in a cushion.' A view of the statue
of Napoleon, as seen from on high, is given by M. Flammarion, and
presents a ludicrous picture, the figure being crushed into a sort of
black amorphous lump, which would be utterly unintelligible were it
not that the shadow exhibits something of the human form, and not
inaptly suggests some strong reflections respecting the fallen
fortunes of the imperial dynasty. In fact, the landscape seems to be
flattened as if some great roller had passed over it, and ironed out
all the prominences in order to reduce it to one vast plain.

This appearance may be qualified by another, which, however, is not
visible to every voyager. Without going so far as to imagine that the
earth will display any portion of its convexity, we certainly should
not expect it to assume a concave aspect to the eye. Yet, for the same
reason that the sky above us looks like a great vault, and that the
clouds overhead slope down towards the horizon, if sufficiently
extended, the landscape beneath us should appear to be similarly
hollowed were it surveyed from a corresponding elevation. In some
degree, and to some susceptible minds, this curious impression is
realized in a balloon. The central parts of the expanse below seem to
sink and assume a dish-like form, so that, as M. Flammarion observes,
we float between two vast concavities, the blue dome of heaven resting
upon the green and shallow but inverted dome of earth.

But can we witness all this without a sensation of giddiness? Is not
our enjoyment of the scene marred by a strong disposition to vertigo,
such as is natural to human heads when raised to perilous altitudes?
This tendency, however, is far less prevalent than might be expected
in the car of a balloon. Professor Jacobi, who could not look down
from a lofty building without dizziness, made his first, perhaps his
only ascent without experiencing the least swimming of the brain. The
chief feeling of an aeronaut, according to M. Simonin, is one of
elation; his sense of individuality becoming so triumphant that he
glances down upon the poor wretched globe he has left grovelling in
its sins and sorrows, with a species of pity which is probably very
much akin to contempt! But this sentiment, according to M. Flammarion,
may be combined with another of a much more equivocal description. 'I
also felt,' says this gentleman, 'a vague desire to throw myself out
of the balloon. Though feeling convinced that it would be certain
death, I was under the influence of a mild temptation to allow myself
to fall, and my death became, for the moment, a matter of indifference
to me.' The lofty air with which this is written, and the supreme
_nonchalance_ displayed, are eminently characteristic of the soil, or
rather of the sons of France. 'Let me live or let me die,' he seems to
say; 'whether I float in these pure ethereal regions, victorious over
all the evils of earth, or whether my body lies shattered on those
rocks below, a mass of featureless pulp, is a question of no
consequence to Camille Flammarion! He is perfectly content whether he
figures as an aerial conqueror or as a poor, palpitating corpse!'

We continue rising. The balloon will, of course, persist in doing so
until the weight of the included gas and of the entire apparatus
exactly balances an equal bulk of the surrounding air. Starting from
the earth with all its buoyant power in hand, it would soon acquire a
considerable momentum were it not controlled by the resistance of the
atmosphere, which reduces its motion to a steady, uniform ascent. This
presumes, however, that nothing transpires to alter its gravity. The
addition of a few rain-drops to the machine would infallibly slacken
its speed, whilst the fall overboard of one of the passengers would
convert it for the time into a runaway balloon. When Mr. Cocking
severed his parachute from the great _Nassau_, the latter, huge as it
was, bounded aloft with such swiftness that whilst the poor fellow was
descending to death, the two aeronauts seemed to be mounting to
destruction, either by the bursting of the balloon or the stifling
emission of gas.

In another way, also, too rapid a start may lead to dangerous
consequences. In 1850, MM. Bixio and Barral took their places in the
car of a balloon inflated with pure hydrogen. Their object in using
this lightest of all aerial fluids was to climb to an elevation of
thirty or forty thousand feet; but not having made due allowance for
its buoyancy, the machine, when released, shot through the air like a
ball from a gun. The envelope expanded so rapidly that it bulged down
upon the aeronauts and shrouded them completely, the car being slung
at too slight a distance below. Struggling like men beneath a fallen
tent, one of them, in his endeavours to extricate himself, tore a hole
in the great bag, from which the gas poured upon them, producing
illness and threatening suffocation. Precipitately they began to sink,
and it was only by tossing everything overboard that they succeeded in
landing safely on the earth. They had traversed a bed of clouds 9,000
feet in thickness, reached a height of 19,000 feet, and then performed
the return journey all in the space of little more than three quarters
of an hour.

Higher and higher we mount. Shall not we knock our sublime heads
against the stars, if we continue to ascend in this indefinite way?
How rapidly we move, and what curious effects vertical travelling may
involve, a single illustration will suggest. Aeronauts may enjoy a
spectacle which, at the first mention, might almost recall the
retrograde movement of the solar shadow on the dial of Ahaz--namely,
that of two sunsets in one day. An early balloonist, M. Charles, was
very much impressed by this vision. When he left the earth for an
evening excursion, the great luminary had just disappeared, but, said
the Frenchman, proudly, 'he rose again for me alone!' 'I had the
pleasure of seeing him set twice on the same day.' For was the
spectacle such as the dwellers on the soil may command, by permitting
the orb to sink behind some elevation, and then mounting it so as to
bring him again into view--thus playing at bo-peep with the lord of
day. For, continued M. Charles, still more proudly, 'I was the only
illuminated object; all the rest of nature being plunged into shadow!'

But now, looking aloft, we observe a mass of clouds, towards which we
are rapidly speeding. There are mountains of snow and great
threatening rocks, against which it seems as if our fragile vessel
would inevitably be dashed. The novice in aerial navigation almost
instinctively holds his breath as he sees the distance narrowing
between his frail skiff and these frowning piles, and awaits the awful
collision. But they open as if by magic, and the balloon glides into
the midst without a shock, or a tremor in its frame. We are then
enveloped for a time in a sort of obscurity, but we have nothing to
fear, for the machine might travel blindfold without dread of the
slightest obstruction in these pathless expanses. Destitute of every
object which could serve as a guide, we proceed until we emerge into
sunshine once more, and then, looking down, we see the clouds through
which we have entered closing like a trap-door after us, and shutting
us out from the dear old world, where we lead such a life of charmed
misery.

Sometimes, however, it seems impossible to rise above the 'smoke and
stir of this dim spot, which men call earth.'

In an ascent from Wolverton, in June, 1863, Mr. Glaisher passed
through an extraordinary succession of fogs and showers and
rain-clouds; and though he soared to a height of 23,000 feet, the
balloon was unable to extricate itself from its earthly entanglements.
Following a fine rain came a dry fog, which continued for some
distance; this traversed, the aeronauts entered a wetting fog, and
subsequently a dry one again. When three miles in height, they
imagined that they would certainly break through the clouds, but, to
their great surprise, nebulous heaps lay above them, beneath them, and
all around them. Up they clambered, but at an elevation of four miles
dense masses still hung overhead as if to forbid any further progress,
and two clouds with fringed edges specially attracted their attention,
from the fact that they were unmistakeably nimbi, although formations
of this latter class are mostly creatures of the nether sky. On
returning, a heavy rain fell pattering on the balloon at an altitude
of three miles, and then, lower down, for a space of 5,000 feet, they
passed through a curious snowy discharge, the air being full of icy
crystals, though the season was high summer.

It is not often, however, that the atmosphere is in this nebulous
condition throughout so large a portion of its depth. For days
together terrestrials may be enveloped in fog and rain, and in that
case must wait patiently until the clouds please to roll off, and
drench some other locality; but if at such seasons we were to jump
into a balloon, we might soon pass out of the watery zone and soar
into the jocund sunshine. Continuing our ascent, therefore, through
the dense tract of moisture we first entered, our machine at last
lifts its head joyously above the surface, and shaking off the cloudy
spray, bounds into a new sphere, where the great giver of light glows
with unadulterated ray. We are, in fact, in a new world. We are
completely cut off from our native earth by a huge continent of
vapour, which appears to have been suddenly petrified into rock.

      'Above our heads,' writes Mr. Glaisher, 'rises a noble
      roof, a vast dome of the deepest blue. In the east may
      perhaps be seen the tints of a rainbow on the point of
      vanishing; in the west, the sun silvering the edges of
      broken clouds. Below these light vapours may rise a chain
      of mountains, the Alps of the sky, rearing themselves one
      above the other, mountain above mountain, till the highest
      peaks are coloured by the setting sun. Some of these
      compact masses look as if ravaged by avalanches, or rent by
      the irresistible movement of glaciers. Some clouds seem
      built up of quartz, or even diamonds: some, like immense
      cones, boldly rise upwards; others resemble pyramids whose
      sides are in rough outline. These scenes are so varied and
      beautiful that we feel we could remain for ever to wander
      above these boundless plains.'

As we ascend, however, a serious question comes into play. To the
first adventurer we may suppose that it would present itself with
alarming force. Shall we be able to breathe safely in yonder upper
regions, where the air is so thin that the lungs must work 'double
shift,' as it were, to procure their necessary supply? At the earth's
surface, it is well known that the atmosphere presses upon every
square inch with a force of from fourteen to fifteen pounds. A column
of air forty miles in height resting upon a man's hat, would, of
course, crush it flat upon his head in a moment, were it not for an
equal resistance within; and, but for the same cause (the equal
diffusion of pressure at the same level), we should all go staggering
along under our burden of thirty thousand pounds--such is our share of
the atmospheric load--or, if laid prostrate, should find ourselves
incapable of rising. But of course the pressure grows smaller as we
ascend, for the simple reason that the height of the column above us
continually decreases. Seeing, moreover, that we are adapted by our
organization to existence at the bottom of this aerial ocean, it is
natural to expect that at considerable elevations some sensible
disturbance of our functions will ensue. At the height of three miles
and three-quarters the barometer, which stands at about thirty inches
at the level of the sea, has sunk to fifteen inches, exhibiting a
pressure of some seven-and-a-half pounds to the square inch, and
showing that as much of the atmosphere in weight is below us as there
is above. Reaching an elevation of between five and six miles, the
mercury would be found to mark ten inches only, representing a
pressure of five pounds to the square inch, and proving that
two-thirds of the aerial ocean had been surmounted, leaving a thin
third alone to be traversed. The following table, as given by Mr.
Glaisher, will, however, best express this decline of density:--

      'At the height of 1 mile the barometer reading is 24·7 in.
            "           2 miles        "        "       20·3  "
            "           3   "          "        "       16·7  "
            "           4   "          "        "       13·7  "
            "           5   "          "        "       11·3  "
            "          10   "          "        "        4·2  "
            "          15   "          "        "        1·6  "
            "          20   "          "        "        1·0  " less.'

One indication of increasing rarity in the air is to be found in the
lowering of the point at which water boils. On the surface of the
earth ebullition takes place, as is well known, at 212° Fahr.; but at
the top of a mountain like Mont Blanc, where the pressure is so much
lightened, and the liquid therefore encounters so much less resistance
to its vaporous propensities, it will pass into steam at a temperature
of about 178°. At still greater elevations this point becomes so
ridiculously reduced--if the expression may be employed--that we might
plunge our hand into the fluid when in full simmer, or drink it in the
form of tea when absolutely boiling. Of course, under such
circumstances, it would be impossible to extract the full flavour of
that generous herb unless the process were carried on under artificial
pressure, and therefore the most gentle and legitimate of all
stimulants must lose much of its potency if decocted at 20,000 feet
above the level of the sea.

Another little circumstance is very significant. In opening a flask of
pure water at the earth's surface, we should not expect the cork to
fly out with an explosion as if it were a flask of Clicquot's
sprightliest champagne; but this is what occurs when we reach an
altitude where the external pressure is slight compared with the
spring of the imprisoned air. In dealing with a bottle of frisky
porter or highly impatient soda-water, it may be well to act
cautiously, lest the cork should go like a shot through the envelope
of the balloon; and in drinking the contents it will be wise to wait
till the effervescence has subsided, lest the same results should
arise as those which were experienced by the Siamese king, when,
instead of mixing his soda powders in his goblet, he put the acid and
the alkali separately into his stomach, and left them to settle their
affinities there.

Whilst urging his way aloft, therefore, the novice will probably call
to mind some of the accounts he has read of poor animals which have
been tormented and philosophically murdered in the receiver of an
air-pump. He will remember how miserable butterflies and other insects
have been unable to use their wings, and, after a few flutterings,
have fallen motionless; or how helpless mice, after gasping for a time
in hopeless distress, have expired, unwilling martyrs to science. And
can he enter such an attenuated atmosphere as the one above him
without undergoing some of their agonies, though in a milder and less
fatal form? For, on ascending a lofty mountain, the traveller is soon
reminded that his lungs are dealing with a much thinner fluid than
they inhaled below. Long before he reaches the summit he finds that
his drafts upon the atmosphere are increased in consequence of its
tenuity, and that the requisite supply can only be obtained with much
pulmonary toil. His head begins to ache, a feeling of nausea is
frequently induced, and sometimes he experiences the taste of blood in
the mouth, or the scent of the same fluid in the nostrils. With
throbbing temples and tottering limbs, he drags himself to the peak,
and then probably throws himself upon the rock utterly exhausted, his
first sentiment being one of relief that the ascent is well over, and
his next one of regret that the descent is not already accomplished.

But in estimating the results in such a case, we must remember the
great physical exertion which has been incurred. Every traveller who
plants himself upon the summit of the Dôme du Gouté must have lifted
as many pounds avoirdupois as he weighs, to say nothing of his baggage
and personal accoutrements, to a height of some 15,000 feet in the
atmosphere by the sheer force of his own muscles. To carry one's own
body about is scarcely regarded as porter's work, but what
particularly stout man would ever dream of reaching the Grand Plateau,
or even attempt to scale the Great Pyramid, without a troop of
attendants to drag him to the top? In a balloon, however, all this
expenditure of strength is spared. The aeronaut arrives at an
elevation far higher than the tallest peak in Europe without
squandering as much force as would be required to grind an ounce of
coffee. Here, therefore, the influences of rarefied air may be tested
without any of the complications arising from previous fatigue or
present muscular exhaustion.

Now, the results, as noted by different voyagers, are by no means
accordant. In his first ascent, Mr. Glaisher found his pulse throbbing
at the rate of a hundred per minute, when he had reached a height of
18,844 feet. At 19,415 feet, his heart began to palpitate audibly. At
19,435, it was beating more vehemently, his pulse had accelerated its
pace, his hands and lips were dyed of a dark bluish hue, and it was
with great difficulty that he could read his philosophical
instruments. At 21,792 feet (upwards of four miles), he seemed to lose
the power of making the requisite observations, and a feeling
analogous to sea-sickness stole over him, though there was no heaving
or rolling in the balloon. Of course, we may well suppose that
different individuals will be differently affected. There are some
terrestrials who suffer little from sea-sickness, whilst there are
others who can scarcely cross the bar of a river without incurring the
agonies of that abominable complaint. But Mr. Glaisher seems to be of
opinion that the balloon voyager may speedily master the _maladie de
l'air_, and become quite at home at any elevation hitherto attained.
It is a matter of simple acclimatization. In his own case, he found
that he could breathe without inconvenience at a height of three or
four miles, whereas his first sallies into that region, as we have
seen, were productive of considerable discomfort; and though he
regards an altitude of six or seven miles as the frontier line of
natural respiration, with a possible reserve in favour of its
extension, he hints that artificial appliances may, perhaps, be
devised for freighting the aerostat with the fluid in suitable
quantity, and so enlarging the sphere of atmospheric enterprise. We
are not certain whether this hint has reference to an apparatus for
condensing the air; but it is a pleasant fancy, whether practicable or
not, to picture a couple of excursionists feeding their lungs by
compressing the thin medium around them into pabulum of the needful
density.

There is another enemy, however, to encounter, and it is probably to
this more than to the attenuation of the air that the painful effects
in question are attributable. We allude to the extreme cold of the
upper skies. The atmosphere has its polar regions as well as the
earth. There frost builds no solid barriers it is true, but his
invisible ramparts are a surer defence against intrusion than bulwarks
of granite. Even at a height of three or four miles, explorers are apt
to find their extremities benumbed, and their faces turning purple or
blue. In a night ascent in 1804, Count Zambeccari, who subsequently
met his death in consequence of his balloon taking fire, was so
severely handled by the frost that he lost the use of his fingers, and
was compelled to have some of them amputated. On one occasion, Mr.
Coxwell, having laid hold of the grapnel with his naked hand, cried
out in pain that he was scalded, which is precisely the punishment
inflicted by metallic objects upon all who grasp them incautiously in
arctic latitudes, when the temperature is exceedingly low.

Combining, therefore, these two causes, the rarefaction of the upper
air, and the crushing influences of frost, we may readily understand
why so many bold adventurers have been smitten with asphyxia when
pushing their way into such untrodden solitudes. When Andreoli and
Brioschi ascended from Padua, in 1808, to a prodigious height, the
latter sank into a state of torpor, and shortly afterwards the former
found that he had lost the use of his left arm. In the instance
already alluded to, when Zambeccari was so mangled by the cold, he and
Dr. Grassetti both became insensible, and their companion alone
retained the control of his faculties.

On one memorable occasion, Mr. Glaisher and Mr. Coxwell rose to a
region which had certainly never been visited before, and most
probably will not be speedily visited again. The precise elevation
they reached could only be guessed, but it could scarcely be less than
35,000 feet, and might possibly extend to 37,000 feet, or seven miles.
This famous ascent was made in 1862 from Wolverhampton. When the
aeronauts had soared to a height of some 29,000 feet, about
five-and-a-half miles, Mr. Glaisher suddenly discovered that one arm
was powerless, and when he tried to move the other, it proved to have
been as suddenly stripped of its strength. He then endeavoured to
shake himself, but, strange to say, he seemed to possess no limbs. His
head fell on his left shoulder, and on his struggling to place it
erect, it reeled over to the right. Then his body sank backwards
against the side of the car, whilst one arm hung helplessly downwards
in the air. In a moment more, he found that all the muscular power
which remained in his neck and back had deserted him at a stroke. He
tried to speak to his companion, but the power of speech had departed
as well. Sight still continued, though dimly; but this, too, speedily
vanished, and darkness, black as midnight, drowned his vision in an
instant. Whether hearing survived, he could not tell, for there was no
sound to break the silence of those lofty solitudes. Consciousness
certainly remained; but the mind had ceased to control the body, and
the reins of power seemed to have slipped for ever from his grasp. Was
this the way men died? And did one faculty after another desert the
soul in its extremity, as servile courtiers steal away from the
presence of royalty when its last hour has arrived? Soon afterwards
consciousness itself disappeared.

Fortunately, this insensibility was not of long duration. He was
roused by Mr. Coxwell, but, at first, could only hear a voice
exhorting him to 'try.' Not a word could he speak, not an object could
he see, not a limb could he move. In a while, however, sight returned;
shortly afterwards he rose from his seat, and then found sufficient
tongue to exclaim, 'I have been insensible!' 'You have,' was the
reply; 'and I too, very nearly!'

At the time Mr. Glaisher was smitten with paralysis, Mr. Coxwell had
climbed up to the ring of the balloon, in order to free the
valve-rope, which had become entangled. There, his hands were so
frozen that he lost the use of them, and was compelled to drop down
into the car. His fingers were not simply blue, but positively black
with cold, and it became necessary to pour brandy over them to restore
the circulation. Observing on his return that Mr. Glaisher's
countenance was devoid of animation, he spoke to him, but, receiving
no reply, at once drew the conclusion that his companion was in a
state of utter unconsciousness. He endeavoured to approach, but found
that he himself was lapsing into the same condition. With wonderful
presence of mind, however, he attempted to open the valve of the
balloon, in order that they might escape from this deadly region, but
his hands were too much benumbed to pull the rope. In this fearful
extremity, he seized the rope with his teeth, dipped his head
downwards two or three times, and found to his relief that the machine
was rapidly descending into a more genial sphere. Fortunately, the
voyagers reached the ground in safety, without feeling any lasting
mischief from their audacious excursion; but it would be difficult to
invent a scene better calculated to make the nervous shudder than that
of a balloon floating at a height of nearly seven miles, with its
occupants awaking from a state of insensibility to discover that their
limbs were utterly powerless, that the rope which might enable them to
descend was dangling beyond their reach, and that there they must
remain until the cold, which had turned every drop of water into ice,
should eat away the feeble relics of vitality from their frames.

We proceed. We are now cruising in the full glare of the sun. The rays
of that luminary beat upon us with scorching force; but whilst the
head seems to be in the Sahara, the feet may be in Spitzbergen. For
here, as on the top of a snow-clad mountain, the temperature of the
air is one thing, the direct heat of the sun is quite another. The
difference may amount to thirty or forty degrees in an ordinary
ascent, and of course, becomes more noticeable the higher the flight.
The thin air and scanty vapour of the upper regions furnish us with
flimsy clothing; whilst in the nether world we wrap the dense medium
round us like a mantle, and keep our caloric within our frames.

Is there any law, however, by which the decrease of temperature can be
expressed? Seeing that the atmosphere is divided, as it were, into
various storeys, these being formed of changing currents, or fugitive
strata of clouds, each with its peculiar charge of heat, is it
possible that any fixed principle of decline can be detected?

Take a few results. On leaving the ground, where the temperature was
50° (in the afternoon of the 31st of March, 1863), the thermometer
indicated 33½° at one mile, 26° at two miles, 14° at three miles, 8°
at 3¾ miles, where a bed of air heated to 12° was entered, and then at
an elevation of 4½ miles, the instrument had fallen to zero. In
descending, the temperature rose to 11° at about three miles in
height, it sank to 7° in passing a cold layer, afterwards increased to
18½° at two miles, to 25½° at one mile, and finally settled at 42° on
the ground.

Again, on starting (17th July, 1862), the temperature at the surface
was 59°, at 4,000 feet, it was 45°, and at 10,000 feet it had sunk to
26°. For the next 3,000 feet it remained stationary, during which
time the aeronauts donned additional clothing, in anticipation of a
severe interview with the Frost King; but to their great surprise, the
thermometer rose to 31° at 15,500 feet, and to 42° at 19,500 feet, by
which time they found it necessary to divest themselves of their
winter habiliments. Sometimes, indeed, the changes of temperature
experienced are startling and unaccountable. At an elevation of 20,000
feet, Barral and Bixio, whilst enveloped in a cloud, found their
thermometer at 15° Fahr. Above this cloud, at a height of 23,127 feet,
the instrument had sunk to 38° below zero, making a difference of not
less than 54° of heat between the two points. Judging from this
observation, might we not expect to find all the moisture at those
cheerless altitudes curdled into ice? and if our globe is sheathed in
an envelope of frozen particles, is the fact wholly without meaning in
reference to the aurora and other meteorological phenomena?

From such capricious data, it would seem impossible to extract any
definite law; but it has been assumed by many that, taking all things
into account, the temperature decreases one degree for every 300 feet
of elevation. Putting the matter more exactly, there is, according to
Flammarion, a mean abatement of one degree for every 345 feet where
the sky is clear, and of one degree for every 354 feet when the
heavens are overcast; the decline being quicker when the day is hot
than when it is cold, and in the evening than in the morning. Mr.
Glaisher, however, feels himself compelled to repudiate this theory of
a steady, constant diminution of heat. The results of all his midday
experiments amounted to this:--

      'The change from the ground to 1,000 feet high was 4° 5´
      with a cloudy sky, and 6° 2´ with a clear sky. At 10,000
      feet high it was 2° 2´ with a cloudy sky, and 2° with a
      clear sky. At 20,000 feet high the decline of temperature
      was 1° 1´ with a cloudy sky, and 1° 2´ with a clear sky. At
      30,000 feet the whole decline of temperature was found to
      be 62°. Within the first 1,000 feet the average space
      passed through for 1° was 223 feet with a cloudy sky, and
      162 feet with a clear sky. At 10,000 feet the space passed
      through for a like decline was 455 feet for the former, and
      417 feet for the latter; and above 20,000 feet high the
      space with both states of the sky was 1,000 feet nearly for
      a decline of 1°. As regards the law just indicated, it is
      far more natural and far more consistent than that of a
      uniform rate of decrease.'

It should be carefully observed that these conclusions refer to
ascents by day; and that by night the temperature augments within
certain limits, as Marcet showed, and as numerous experiments have
confirmed.

Scarcely less interesting is the question as to the moisture in the
atmosphere. Does it decline according to any graduated law? From a
large number of observations it has been concluded that the watery
vapour increases up to a certain elevation (varying with the season of
the year, the hour of the day, and the condition of the sky), and
then, having reached this maximum, we find that the air grows
continually drier the further we climb. Upon this simple fact much of
the physical happiness of our globe depends, for it is the moisture in
the lower regions which arrests the efflux of caloric, preserves it
for home consumption, and assists the earth in the kindly production
of its fruits.

Meanwhile, the rays of the sun playing with unchecked fervour upon the
balloon, have been heating and expanding the gas. Lightened also by
the dissipation of the moisture contracted in the cloudier portion of
the ascent, it probably occurs to the voyager, particularly if he is
prone to take alarming views of events, that as the machine rises into
a rarer atmosphere the envelope may distend until it actually bursts.
Nor is this apprehension, however painful to the nerves, wholly
without foundation. Looking up at the flimsy globe above his head, he
will observe that it is now fully inflated, though purposely left
somewhat flaccid when the journey commenced; and, possibly, he may
observe signs of the sun's action on its sides, as if it were
blistering under the solar beams. Brioschi, the Neapolitan astronomer,
wishing to soar higher than Gay-Lussac, who had reached 23,000 feet on
his way to the stars, was stopped on his ambitious flight, as Icarus
had been before him, by getting too near the sun. He had no wings to
melt, it is true, but he had a balloon to rupture, and the swollen
tissue accordingly gave way, though, happily, without involving him in
the fate of the presumptuous youth. Will it be credited, however, that
any aeronaut could deliberately make an ascent with the express
intention of bursting his balloon himself? Yet this has been done
without pre-engaging a coroner, and without the slightest wish to
commit scientific suicide. The individual by whom this perilous
experiment was performed was Mr. Wise, the American. He argued that if
the explosion were neatly managed, the collapsing envelope would act
as a sort of parachute, the lower part retreating into the upper, and
forming a concavity which would present sufficient resistance to
ensure a safe and steady descent. Nor were his expectations wholly
disappointed. Having risen through a thunderstorm to a height of
13,000 feet, he fired his magazine of hydrogen gas. The car rushed
down with awful rapidity, supported, however, by the relics, like a
torn umbrella, and alighted upon the ground without inflicting any
great violence upon the daring navigator. Not many weeks afterwards,
he repeated the exploit, if such it may be called, and in exploding
the gas tore the silk receptacle from top to bottom; but, with equal
good fortune, he arrived at the earth without a broken limb, the
machine having taken a spiral course in falling, which enabled him to
descend with uniform velocity.

Having now reached the highest point to which our aerostat will mount
so long as its weight continues unchanged, we surrender ourselves to
the guidance of the current in which we are involved. In rising to a
moderate elevation, a balloon will sometimes shoot through more than
one of these aerial streams. Mr. Foster detected the existence of four
distinct currents in one experiment, namely, from the E.N.E., N.,
S.W., and S.S.E., and on the following day found there were three,
namely, from the E.N.E., S.E., and S.S.W. Sometimes an upper and an
under current may move in opposite directions. Had it not been for
this fact, M. Tissandier's _début_ in the clouds might have terminated
in his death in the ocean. Ascending with M. Duruof from Calais under
somewhat rash and defiant circumstances, their balloon was borne out
to sea, not towards the English coast, which might, perhaps, have been
reached, but right up the North Sea, where they would probably have
perished. Fortunately, after proceeding for some distance, they
observed a fleet of _cumuli_ steering for Calais at a depth of some
3,000 feet below, and by dropping into this counter stream they were
floated back to land.

There is no subject of greater moment to aeronauts than the
determination of the atmospheric currents. Upon this question in a
great measure depends the utility of ballooning as an art. We should
certainly consider that ocean navigation was in a despicable condition
if the utmost we could do for a vessel was to commit it, preciously
freighted with our own persons, to the wind and waves, without a sail
to propel it or a rudder to guide it in any particular direction. Yet
this is pretty much the state of aerial seamanship, except for
purposes of vertical travelling. If it could be ascertained that
streams flowed to different quarters at different elevations--river
rolling over river--then it might be easy to book our balloon for some
special point of the compass. But the atmosphere is comparatively
unexplored in this respect, and it will require long study before any
definite conclusions can be formed, even if such should be ever
realized.

That there is some degree of certainty in air-currents may be
indicated by a curious fact mentioned by Flammarion, namely, that the
traces of his various voyages are all represented by lines which had a
tendency to curve in one and the same general direction. 'Thus,' says
he, 'on the 23rd June, 1867, the balloon started with a north wind
directly towards the south-south-west, and, after a while, due
south-west, when we descended. A similar result was observed in every
excursion, and the fact led me to believe that above the soil of
France the currents of the atmosphere are constantly deviated
circularly, and in a south-west-north-east-south direction.'

Still more curious is a fact which Mr. Glaisher may be said to have
discovered.

We are accustomed to talk much of the Gulf Stream. It is as popular a
marine phenomenon as the Great Sea Serpent. For some time it has
figured in meteorology as the subtle agent to which all climatic
eccentricities, and not a few climatic advantages, are ascribed; but
what shall we say to a genuine 'aeria Gulf Stream?' What, to a stream
flowing through the atmosphere in kindly correspondence with the
beneficent current which sweeps through the Atlantic below?

On the 12th January, 1864, Mr. Glaisher left the earth, where a
south-east wind was prevailing. At a height of 1,300 feet he was
surprised to enter a warm current, 3,000 feet in thickness, which was
flowing from the south-west, that is, in the direction of the Gulf
Stream itself. At the elevation in question the temperature, according
to the usual calculation, should have been 4° or 5° lower than that at
the ground, whereas it was 3½° higher. In the region above, cold
reigned, for finely-powdered snow was falling into this atmospheric
river. Here, therefore, was a stream of heated air previously
unsuspected, which, if its course is steady, as it appears to be
during winter, constitutes a prodigious accession to our resources,
and adds another to the many meteorological blessings the world
enjoys.

      'The meeting with this south-west current (writes Mr.
      Glaisher) is of the highest importance, for it goes far to
      explain why England possesses a winter temperature so much
      higher than our northern latitudes. Our high winter
      temperature has hitherto been mostly referred to the
      influence of the Gulf Stream. Without doubting the
      influence of this natural agent, it is necessary to add the
      effect of a parallel atmospheric current to the oceanic
      current coming from the same regions--a true aerial Gulf
      Stream. This great energetic current meets with no
      obstruction in coming to us, or to Norway, but passes over
      the level Atlantic without interruption from mountains. It
      cannot, however, reach France without crossing Spain and
      the lofty range of the Pyrenees, and the effect of these
      cold mountains in reducing its temperature is so great that
      the former country derives but little warmth from it.'

The velocity of these atmospheric streams must, of course, differ
considerably; but, however rapid may be their motion, the balloonist
will not fail to notice the feeling of personal immobility which gives
such a peculiar character to aerial travelling. We can hardly realize
the idea of being transported, say, from London to Dover, without
experiencing sundry jars of the muscles or tremors of the nerves, even
if we escape, as is by no means certain, the chances of a collision;
but M. Flammarion remarks in reference to one of his journies, that
the distance accomplished was a hundred and twenty miles, 'during the
whole of which time we never felt ourselves in motion at all.' No
better illustration of this exemption from the jerks and joltings of
terrestrial locomotion could be given than a simple experiment. A
tumbler was filled with water till the liquid stood bulging over the
brim. The balloon was travelling with the velocity of a railway train,
and sometimes rising, sometimes falling, through hundreds of feet at a
time, yet not a single drop of the fluid was swung out of the glass!

Striking as the fact is, it would be still more surprising if it were
otherwise; for, having once entered a current of air, and surrendered
our machine to its guidance, we become, as it were, part of the medium
in which we are immersed. The balloon has no longer any will of its
own, or of its occupants, except for purposes of ascent or descent. It
glides along with the stream, and, coming athwart no obstructions, it
knows none of the bumpings to which more grovelling vehicles are
exposed. Hence results another consequence which will scarcely escape
attention, namely, that here, in the very place of winds, we
experience no wind whatever. You may sit in the car of a balloon
without undergoing much danger from draughts. There are no fierce
gales to encounter, and therefore there are no weather-beaten mariners
aloft. If we come to a spot where two breezes meet in battle, or, if
two currents of differing directions were so sharply defined that the
upper part of the machine could emerge into the superior stream whilst
the lower part was in the keeping of the inferior, then very
unpleasant results might ensue; but these are not events which aerial
navigators have frequently to record in the serener regions aloft.

And as all motion seems to have ceased, except what is due to the
rotatory action of the balloon, so all sound appears to have expired.
On earth we have nothing to compare with the awful stillness of these
airy solitudes. Some noise--be it the sighing of the wind, the
pattering of the rain, the fall of a crumbling particle of rock--will
break the tranquillity of the vale, the loneliest wilderness, the
loftiest peak. But here nature appears to be voiceless, and silence,
'the prelude of that which reigns in the interplanetary space,' seems
to be a consecrated thing, as if it were destined to remain
uninterrupted until the Trumpet of Judgment shall wake the world.

But did we say we were in absolute solitude? If so, imagine the
startled look of an aeronaut when, on issuing from a cloud, he sees
before him, at the distance of some thirty or forty yards, the figure
of another balloon! If a feeling of horror creeps over him at the
sight, he might well be pardoned, for his first thought would
doubtless be that it was some phantom of the air sent to lure him to
destruction, as the Flying Dutchman is reported to do with mariners at
sea. One remarkable feature, however, instantly attracts his
attention. The car of the stranger is placed in the centre of a huge
disc, consisting of several concentric circles--the interior one being
of yellowish white, the next pale blue, the third yellow, followed by
a ring of greyish red, and, finally, by one of light violet. That car,
too, is occupied. Its tenants are engaged in returning the scrutiny,
and their attitudes express equal surprise. By-and-bye, one of them
lifts his hand; but that is just what one of the aeronauts has done.
Another motion is made, and this is imitated to the letter. A laugh
from the living voyagers follows. They have discovered that the
stranger is an optical apparition, for on examination it is found to
correspond with their own machine, line for line, rope for rope, and
man for man, except that they, the living ones, are not surrounded by
a glory as if they were resplendent saints.

This beautiful phenomenon is due to the reflection or diffraction of
light from the little vesicles of vapour, and must not be confounded
with the ordinary shadow of the balloon which, under fitting
conditions, and in a more or less elongated form, generally appears to
accompany us like some spectral shark in pitiless pursuit of an
infected ship.

It is now time, however, to commence our homeward voyage. In other
words, we must tumble perpendicularly to the earth, but so regulate
our fall that no bones shall be broken, and no concussion, if
possible, sustained. To do this from an elevation of three or four
miles must strike us as a vastly more dangerous problem than the
ascent to a similar height. The valve at the top of the balloon
affords us the means of diminishing its relative levity by a gradual
discharge of the gas. But this process must be cautiously performed,
otherwise the machine may start off like a steed which is suddenly
inspired with a new life when its face is turned towards its home.
Hence the necessity of retaining a proper amount of ballast to control
its impatient descent. If it should sink too rapidly, the emptying of
a bag or two will check its pace, and even give it an upward turn for
the time, so that the aeronauts, in rising again, will sometimes hear
a pattering upon the balloon, which proves to be the very shower of
sand they have just ejected.

So delicately, indeed, does the machine respond to any alteration in
its weight, that once, when M. Tissandier threw out the bone of a
chicken he had been assisting to consume, his companion gravely
reproved him, and, on consulting the barometer, he was compelled to
admit that this small act of imprudence had caused them to 'rise from
twenty to thirty yards!'

Not unfrequently it happens that a balloon has to dive through such
heavy clouds, or through such a rainy region, that its weight is
considerably increased by the deposited moisture. In passing through a
dense stratum, 8,000 feet in thickness, Mr. Coxwell's aerostat, on one
occasion, became so loaded that, though he had reserved a large amount
of ballast, which was hurled overboard as fast as possible, the
machine sped to the earth with a shock which fractured nearly all the
instruments.

Lunardi, having ascended from Liverpool in July, 1785, found himself
without ballast, and in a balloon insufficiently inflated. He was
carried out to sea, retaining of course the power of sinking, which,
however, he did not wish to exercise, as he was almost without the
means of rising. To lighten the machine, he tossed off his hat, and
even this insignificant article afforded him some relief. Soon
afterwards, he removed his coat, and this enabled him to mount a
little higher, and bear away towards the land. To escape a
thunder-cloud, he subsequently divested himself of his waistcoat, and
finally succeeded in grappling the earth in a cornfield near
Liverpool, spite of his improvidence in the matter of ballast.

It is under such circumstances, however, that we discover the value of
the long rope suspended from the car, and which may be let out to the
depth of some hundreds of feet. It is a clever substitute for ballast,
with this great-advantage, that it is retained, not lost; and that it
may also be used as a kind of flexible buffer to break the force of
the descent. When the balloon is sinking, every inch of the rope which
rests upon the ground relieves it of an equivalent portion of its
weight: the process is tantamount to the discharge of so much ballast,
and, therefore, the rapidity of the descent is not only lessened, but
possibly the downward course of the machine may be arrested some time
before it reaches the soil; should it mount again, every coil of the
cable lifted from the earth adds to its gravity. In cases where the
aeronaut has from any cause lost the mastery of his vessel, this
self-manipulating agency may preserve him from a fatal reception,
whilst, on the other hand, he has it in his power, by letting out gas
when the balloon is balanced in the air, to lower himself (other
conditions being favourable) as peaceably as he chooses.

The _Géant_ of Nadar, with a weight of 7,000 to 8,000 lbs., in
descending on one occasion, after all the ballast had been exhausted,
rushed down towards the earth with the speed of an ordinary railway
train, and yet, thanks to the guide-rope, no serious accident
occurred, though the instruments were all broken, and a few contusions
were sustained. This admirable contrivance was introduced by that
'ancient mariner' of the air, Mr. Green.

In returning to our native soil, however, one of the most dangerous
conditions which can arise is the prevalence of a thick fog, or the
necessity for ploughing our way through a dense cloud. Under such
circumstances, how do we know where the earth lies? Not that we are
likely to miss it--the great fear is that we may hit it too soon, and
too forcibly. It is then that the value of the barometer is most fully
appreciated. This instrument does for the aeronaut what the compass
does for the sailor. But the observer must be prompt and careful in
his reading, for if the descent is rapid, the least inattention may
result in a fractured collarbone, or a couple of shattered bodies.

Presuming, however, that, as we sink through the cloudy trap-door by
which we entered the upper sky, we find all clear below, the old
familiar earth again bursts upon our view. For a few moments the
planet appears to be shooting upwards with considerable velocity. It
is like a huge rock which has been aimed at our little balloon, or a
star which has shot madly from its sphere, and is hastening to crush
us on our return from our sacrilegious voyage. By throwing out a
quantity of ballast, however, as if in defiance, we seem to check it
in its course, and if it continues to approach, it does so with
moderate speed. But we soon discover the deceit, and learn (probably
to our chagrin) that it is not the world which is troubling itself to
meet us, but we who are doing obeisance in our own puniness to its
irresistible will.

In one sense, indeed, the appearance of a balloon in the sky is always
the signal for a certain amount of commotion. Dogs begin to bark
furiously, poultry begin to run to and fro in evident alarm, whilst
cattle stand gazing in astonishment or scamper off in terror, as
people used to do--so we suppose--when hippogriffs were in the habit
of alighting at their doors. One French aeronaut remarks very drily
that the best mode of obtaining a correct estimate of the population
of any given district is to approach it in a balloon, for then every
individual rushes out of doors to look at the visitor, and so 'the
people can be counted like marbles.' Another states that in passing
over Calais the only figure that did not lift its head to gaze at the
travellers was the Duc de Guise, whose bust in the Place d'Armes was
incapable, for good reasons, of paying them that act of homage.

Other things being duly considered, the chief business of a balloonist
in descending is to select an open and unincumbered locality. To plump
down upon a cathedral, or impale his car upon the top of a spire; to
allow it to alight amongst the clashing trees of a forest, or to
attempt to ground it amongst the chimneys and gables of a crowded
town, would be pretty much the same as for a sailor to run his vessel
amongst the breakers, or to drive it full tilt against the nearest
lighthouse. The experienced navigator knows where to throw out his
grapnel, and this, digging into the soil or catching in the rocks, or
laying hold of any object from a tree to a tombstone, will bring the
big airship to anchor, and enable the crew, with a little management,
to disembark.

But having landed, what kind of a reception shall we encounter? That
is a question of some little consequence. There are two ways of
dealing with aeronauts: the first is to invite them to dinner and
offer them beds for the night; the other is to make an extortionate
claim for damages, or carry them before the magistrates as
trespassers. The latter practice is much in vogue in rustic regions.
You have scarcely leaped out of the car than up there comes an angry
farmer, vociferating loudly, gesticulating frantically, and when he
sees his fences broken down, and his crops trampled under foot by a
crowd of villagers who rush to the spot to inspect the stranger from
the clouds, his wrath rises to the boiling point (far below 212°
Fah.), and the brute threatens immediate arrest, or appears to be on
the eve of inflicting personal chastisement. In some instances,
attempts have been made to distrain upon the balloon, _damage
feasant_, as lawyers would say, though it would have puzzled the
bumpkins to determine how such an unmanageable object could be safely
lodged in the village pound.

When the first hydrogen balloon fell at Gonesse, near Paris (1783), a
most extraordinary scene was witnessed. The inhabitants of the village
were struck with terror upon seeing an unknown monster descending from
the sky. A genuine dragon could not have excited more consternation.
Was it some fabulous animal realized in the flesh, or was it the great
fiend in proper (or improper) person? On all sides they fled. Many
sought an asylum at the house of the _curé_, who thought that the
wisest mode of dealing with the intruder was to subject it to
exorcism. Under his guidance they proceeded falteringly to the spot
where it lay, heaving with strange contortion. They waited to see what
effect the good man's presence would produce, but the creature seemed
to be utterly insensible to his fulminations. At length one of the
crowd, more intrepid than the rest, took aim with his fowling-piece,
and tore it so severely with the shot that it began to collapse
rapidly; whereupon the rest, summoning up courage, darted forward and
battered it with flails or gashed it with pitchforks. The outrush of
gas was so great that they were driven back for the time, but when the
dying monster appeared exhausted, the peasants fastened it to the tail
of a horse and drove it along until the carcase was utterly
dismembered.

The rustics who witnessed the first descent in England--Lunardi's, in
Hertfordshire--shrank from the aeronaut as a very equivocal personage,
because he had arrived on what they called the 'devil's horse.' Nor
are these terrors wholly extinct in the present day, for Flammarion
gives a description (with the pencil as well as the pen) of a descent
in which men appear to be flying, children screaming, and animals
scampering, whilst the balloon with its flags and streamers, waving
fantastically on each side like long arms or tentaculæ, is regarded by
them as some formidable being coming from the clouds. 'It is the devil
himself!' they exclaim.

But having anchored, and escaped all the perils due to chimney-tops or
infuriated farmers, the first question we put will doubtless
be--Where are we? A more unfortunate query could scarcely be
propounded. It expresses the greatest of all the infirmities under
which the balloon labours--namely, that no mortal can tell us
beforehand where we shall alight. Would it not be rather inconvenient
if a traveller, on setting out from Derby, were unable to say whether
he should land at Liverpool or at Hull, at Brighton or at
Berwick-upon-Tweed? For aught we know, we might find ourselves, after
ascending from the most central part of England, hovering over the
Irish Sea or the English Channel, with simple power to rise into the
clouds or plunge into the waves, but with none to choose any
horizontal path or enter any particular port. Whilst drifting
tranquilly along in a current, we could hardly fail to ask whether no
means could be adopted for propelling balloons in the air as is the
case with vessels on the water. Put out our oars? Unhappily they would
do little to assist our progress, for, however broad their blades,
they would meet with small resistance from the thin medium into which
they were dipped. Rely upon paddle-wheels? Just as bad! There is no
dense fluid like water to grip, and the floats would spin around
almost as vainly as if they were worked in the receiver of an
air-pump. Besides, the inflated globe with its suspended car does not
constitute a rigid and inflexible whole, and if it did, the attempt to
drive it against or athwart a current, in its present form, would be
like rowing a man-of-war, with all its canvas stretched, right in the
teeth of a gale.

It would be impossible in an article like this to glance at the
innumerable schemes which have been propounded for the guidance and
propulsion of balloons. Wonderful ingenuity has been expended upon the
subject. In one project, for example, the waste gas, instead of being
idly discharged, was to be conveyed into an apparatus from which it
would issue with a centrifugal force capable--so it was fondly
supposed--of urging the aerostat in any given direction. In another,
the balloon itself was to be converted into a kind of screw, so that
when turned by means of a small engine, it should advance at each
motion through a space proportioned to the distance between the
threads of this monster spiral. M. Farcot gives us a description, in a
little treatise on Atmospheric Navigation,[48] of a _petit navire
aèrien de plaisance_, framed like a flying whale, 100 yards in length,
with an extensive gallery slung below, and fitted up with fins or
wings, by means of which it is to be propelled. The picture of this
marvellous structure is so enchanting, that we feel an irrepressible
desire to mingle with the passengers who seem to be lounging
luxuriously over the balcony, and who are evidently as much at home as
if they were taking a pleasure excursion in a steamer on Windermere or
the Lake of Geneva. M. Dupuy de Dôme not long since received a grant
from the French Government to enable him to construct a fish-like
machine to be worked by a screw, and assisted by a sort of swimming
bladder. Indeed, a large number of persons, either doubting or
despairing of man's power to master the balloon in its ordinary form,
rest their hopes upon the construction of machines which, whether
lighter or heavier than the air, shall be driven through the
atmosphere by brute force, if it may be so called. Mr. Glaisher does
not, of course, share in these views. He tells us that he has
attempted no improvement in the management of the balloon, that he
found it was wholly at the mercy of the winds, and that he saw no
probability of any method of steering it being ever discovered.
Fonvielle and Tissandier, on the other hand, whilst admitting that the
machine is still in its infantile stage, complain that the engineers
have not yet brought all their resources to bear upon the subject, and
entertain some vague notion that what has been done for locomotives,
for steamboats, and ordinary sailing vessels, will surely be done for
the ships of the air, forgetting that the problem to be solved is not
exactly how you shall skim the surface of the water in a boat, but
rather how you could drive a frigate through the fluid with its sails
set when sunk to a depth of many feet, and this with the whole body of
water in motion in a different direction. M. Flammarion remarks that a
bird is much heavier than its bulk of air, yet the eagle and the
condor, massive as they are, soar with ease to the tops of the tallest
rocks; and shall man, he inquires (especially a Frenchman, to whom the
empire of the air properly belongs[49]), be beaten by a bird? M.
Flammarion declines. M. Farcot positively refuses.

For all purposes of aerial travelling, however, the painful fact
remains, which may, perhaps, be most summarily expressed by saying
that there is no Bradshaw for balloons. When the day comes in which it
can be announced that 'highflyers' or 'great aerials' will leave
Trafalgar-square for Paris or Dublin, weather permitting, at a
certain hour; or that balloon trains will regularly ply between Hull
and Hamburg, or, better still, that a Cunard or Collins line of
atmospheric steamers has been established between London and New York,
then the apparatus will be admitted into the noble army of machines
which, like the ship, the locomotive, the steam-engine, the spinning
jenny, the telescope, the mariner's compass, the electric telegraph,
and many others, have rendered such splendid service to mankind.

Some dozen years ago, indeed, an aerial ship, intended to traverse the
Atlantic, was announced as in course of construction in America, by
Mr. Lowe. Weighing from three to four tons in itself, it was to
possess an ascending power equal to twenty-two tons. Its capacity was
to be five times larger than that of any previous machine. Fifteen
miles of cord were to be employed in the network alone. Beneath the
car a boat thirty feet in length was to be slung, and this skiff was
to be fitted up with masts, sails, and paddle-wheels, in order that
the crew might take to the water in case their balloon failed them at
sea. Copper condensers were to be attached, in order that additional
gas might be driven into the globe, or surplus gas abstracted, as
occasion demanded, the object of this contrivance being to enable the
navigators to raise or lower themselves without wasting any precious
material. The ship was to be directed by an apparatus containing a fan
like that of a winnowing machine, and this was to be worked by an
Ericsson's caloric engine of four-horse power. Various ingenious
appliances, amongst others a sounding line one mile in length to show
the course of the atmospheric currents, were to be adopted, and it was
confidently hoped that this _Great Eastern_ of the atmosphere, which
was to be styled the _City of New York_, would cross the Atlantic in
not less than three days, and possibly in two! We regret to say that
it has not yet put into any European port, though its arrival would be
hailed with more satisfaction than the first steamship, the _Sirius_,
was in America.

Let it not be supposed, however, that the balloon, even in its present
rudimentary condition, is available for frivolous or exceptional
purposes alone--for the former, when it is used as a brilliant
supplement to some display of fireworks; for the latter, when we
happen to be locked up in some steel-begirded city. For scientific
objects it may be difficult to overrate its value as a 'floating
observatory,' and we cannot refrain from sharing in M. Fonvielle's
chagrin when he tells us how, on one occasion, after preparing to view
an eclipse from a lofty elevation, he found that his aeronaut was not
ready to set out until the eclipse was over; or how on another, when
all had been arranged to make a sally amongst the November meteors on
one of their grand gala nights, he found, on arriving at the spot,
that the workmen had taken to flight in consequence of the escape of
the gas, and that his only chance was to go up the 'day after the
fair.' Many uses also may be found for captive balloons. Half in jest,
M. Flammarion inquires, whether these might not be pleasantly employed
in traversing the deserts where camels or dromedaries constitute the
ordinary means of conveyance. How uncomfortable is a seat upon the
back of one of these brutes--what patience it requires to endure the
tearing, jerking motions of these ships of the wilderness--most
wanderers in the East well know, and perhaps painfully remember.
Suppose, then, that an aerostat were harnessed to a dromedary and
drawn peacefully along, whilst the traveller sat softly in the
car--reading, smoking, sleeping, dreaming--without a single jolt to
mar his enjoyment, would not this be a blessed improvement in
locomotion? Half in jest, too, we might carry the idea a little
further, and ask whether, if balloons occupied by delicate voyagers
were attached to steamers, and allowed to float at a sufficient
height, so as to reduce the see-saw motion of the vessels to an
imperceptible quantity, the pains of that abhorrent malady,
sea-sickness, might not be avoided in crossing the Channel, or making
small marine excursions?

So, many homely uses for captive balloons might be imagined. A
traveller in Russia gives an account of a church at St. Petersburg
with a lofty spire crowned with a large globe, upon which stood an
angel supporting a cross. The figure began to bend, and great fears
were entertained lest it should come down with a terrible crash. How
could it be repaired was the question? To erect a proper scaffold
would involve a formidable expense, and yet to reach the object
without it seemed utterly impracticable, for the spire was covered
with gilded copper, and looked more unscaleable than the Matterhorn. A
workman, however, undertook the task. The plates of metal had been
attached by nails which were left projecting. Furnished with short
pieces of cord, looped at both extremities, he slung one end over a
nail, and placing his feet in the other, raised himself a short
distance: this enabled him to reach a little higher and fasten another
loop over another nail, and so by repeating the process, and mounting
from stirrup to stirrup, he crawled up, until by a still more daring
manoeuvre he threw a cord over the globe, and then finally
clambered to the side of the figure. A ladder of ropes was next drawn
up, and the rest of the work became comparatively easy of execution;
but with a captive balloon the needful materials might have been sent
up, and the angel put in repair, without costing an anxious thought,
or jeopardising either life or limb.

How far it is possible to employ a balloon for purposes of exploration
in quarters which are naturally inaccessible, or at any rate difficult
of approach, must be a question dependent in no small degree upon the
power of replenishing the machine with gas or heated air. It would,
doubtless, be a fine thing if men could thus sail over all the
obstructions which fence in the two poles, and pry into the Antarctic
continent, or solve the problem of a hidden Arctic sea. Many years ago
Mr. Hampton designed, and we believe completed, a big Montgolfier,
which was to be employed in the search after Sir John Franklin. The
machine was to be inflated by means of hot air produced by the agency
of a great stove; but, if the necessity for a supply of the ordinary
gas was thus avoided, the demand for fuel in regions where neither
timber nor coal could be had (blubber, indeed, might perhaps have been
procured), must have proved an insuperable difficulty, and the
enterprise would probably have terminated in leaving the aeronauts
stranded on some icy waste, without any better means of return than
were possessed by the poor lost ones themselves.

Let us not part from this subject, however, without informing the
reader that if M. Flammarion's views are correct, it is the most
important topic under the sun. 'For,' says he, with the look of a
prophet and the tone of a poet, 'when the conquest of the air shall
have been achieved, universal fraternity will be established upon the
earth, everlasting peace will descend to us from heaven, and the last
links which divide men and nations will be severed.' Without laying
any stress upon the oracular form of this prediction--and the
indefinite 'when' may conceal some sly reference to the Greek
Kalends--we regret to say that we cannot join in his jubilant
conclusion. Our firm persuasion is, that in the present state of
affairs, seeing that so large a portion of the world's revenue is
squandered upon fighting purposes, one of the first steps which would
be taken in case the 'conquest of the air' were perfected to-morrow,
would be to fit out a fleet of war-balloons, to raise a standing army
of aeronauts, to add a new and afflictive department to our annual
estimates, and to encourage the Chancellor of the Exchequer to make
another assault upon the match-sellers, and probably to double our
income-tax without compunction.

FOOTNOTES:

[48] 'La Navigation Atmosphérique.' Par M. Farcot,
Ingenieur-Mécanicien, Membre de la Société Aérostatique et
Météorologique de France. Paris, 1859.

[49]

      'Les Anglais, nation trop fière,
        S'arrogent l'empire des mers;
      Les Français, nation légère,
        S'emparent de celui des airs.'



ART. III.--_Early Sufferings of the Free Church of Scotland._

(1.) _Illustrations of the Principles of Toleration in Scotland._
Edinburgh. 1846.

(2.) _The Headship of Christ and the Rights of the Christian People._
By the late HUGH MILLER. Nimmo, Edinburgh.

(3.) _The Cruise of the Betsy._ By HUGH MILLER. Nimmo.

(4.) _Evidence before a Committee of the House of Commons on the
Refusal of Sites for Churches in Scotland, 1847._

(5.) _Statement on the Law of Church Patronage, prepared by a
Committee of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, in
compliance with a suggestion of the Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone._
William Blackwood and Sons. 1870.


We were enabled to present our readers last year with what we believe
to be the only full sketch in existence, drawn from authentic and
official documents, of the rise and progress during a quarter of a
century, of the Free Church of Scotland. From the figures there quoted
it was made clear that at the very time when the Archbishop of
Canterbury was proclaiming that this voluntary church was 'a failure'
financially, its yearly income, steadily increasing from £275,000 of
its earliest lustrum, had at last reached the highest point of
£400,000; and that just when his Grace was asserting that 'whereas for
a time it went forth triumphantly, now the ministers in all remote
places are utterly destitute,' these remote ministers had, for the
first time (although their number was doubled) attained the minimum
stipend proposed by Dr. Chalmers of £150 each. The organization and
machinery by which such a striking success has been achieved, as well
as the principles which gave the original impulse to the body, were
worthy of careful statement and study. Yet while devoting exclusive
attention to these, we became gradually conscious that we were
treading coldly upon the ashes of what history will describe as a
marvellous outburst of self-sacrifice. The pathos and the suffering of
that sad but noble year of 1843 have never yet been brought before
English readers, but there is not so much heroism among us that we can
afford to lose from the annals of this easy-going modern time so
startling a narrative.

'Ah! that was something like disestablishment,' said a minister of the
Free Kirk to us in the spring when the precedents of the Irish Church
Bill were being discussed. He had been arguing that besides assuring
their life-interests to the Irish clergy, it would be only fair to
make a present to them of their glebes and parsonages. 'You should let
a working-man take his working tools with him,' said our friend, and
he was not sorry when the House of Lords gave a million or so of money
to the new body. We were rash enough in reply to ask whether he got
any equivalent for a glebe when a quarter of a century ago he and his
two boys left the pleasant manse of B---- overlooking the Great
Strath. But we had touched too deep a sore. The old man cheerfully
turned it off with the words we have quoted above, but we could not
forgive ourselves; and the thing led us back to enquire into some
extraordinary scenes which took place in Scotland when many of the
present generation were too young to observe them.

For this chapter of forgotten heroism, in which men of kindred blood
and almost of our own generation took part, there are fortunately
authentic as well as vividly descriptive materials. The reports
presented year by year to the Scotch General Assemblies are the most
public of all documents, and are intended to invite challenge and
scrutiny. The evidence presented to the House of Commons Committee in
1848 is of great importance and of unquestioned authority. The
writings of a man of genius like Hugh Miller will carry part of the
truth down to other generations of readers. And yet, while much is
known, much must ever remain untold. Scotchmen, who are men of
education, and in a sacred office, are precisely the men to cover the
sharpest pangs of poverty, and dread of poverty, with an impenetrable
covering of reserve; and now that twenty-six years have passed, most
of those grave, suffering faces have gone down into a deeper silence.
Besides, the Free Kirk has come to be so proud of its extraordinary
success in reconstruction, that it has rather attempted (notably in
the recent debates in the House of Commons) to throw into the
background the anguish of its birth, and to dwell rather on the
achievements of the whole than on the sufferings of individuals. Our
business is now rather with the latter, and fortunately there is one
additional source whence this information can be derived. Dr. Thomas
Guthrie, of Edinburgh, is known chiefly by his philanthropic efforts,
after the example of Dr. Chalmers, to provide churches and schools
and ragged schools for the masses in the large towns of Scotland; but
the great achievement of his life, and one, too, for which men of all
parties can now join in his praise, was that marvellous tour through
Scotland in the year 1845, as the result of which parsonages, or
'manses' as they are called in Scotland, were actually provided for
the seven hundred ministers, most of whom had been left homeless a
year or two before, and whose places in the Establishment had all now
been filled up. In the course of this great 'circumnavigation of
charity,' he naturally became acquainted with facts and details, some
of which found their way into speeches published at the time, and it
is fortunate that we can still quote, from one of the greatest
platform orators whether of England or Scotland, some of the fresh
facts of that suffering time.

Until we recently came to the knowledge of these documents, we had the
feeling that this suffering must have consisted more in apprehension
or imagination than in actual privations--that the terrible dread
which haunted men who were giving up their whole livings had scarcely
any actual realization. And even though this turns out not to be the
case, it is plain from Dr. Guthrie's own statements, that all over
Scotland the approaching trial struck a chill to the hearts even of
those who were determined to face it:--

      'I remember,' he says, 'in a certain district of country, a
      minister said to me, "You think there is no chance of a
      settlement?" I said, "We are as certain of being out as
      that the sun shall rise to-morrow." I was struck by
      something like a groan, which came from the very heart of
      the mother of the family; they had had many trials in their
      day: there had been cradles and coffins in their home, and
      the place was endeared by many associations to the mother;
      there was not a flower or shrub or a tree but what was dear
      to her--some of them were planted by the hands of those who
      were in their graves,--and that woman's heart was like to
      break. I remember another instance, where there was a
      venerable mother who had gone to the place when it was a
      wilderness, but who, with her husband, had turned it into
      an Eden. Her husband had died there. Her son was now the
      minister. This venerable woman was above eighty years of
      age; yes, and I never felt more disposed to give up my work
      than in that house. I could contemplate the children being
      driven from their home; but when I looked on that venerable
      widow and mother, with the snows and sorrows of eighty
      years upon her head, and saw her anxiety about two things,
      namely, that Lord Aberdeen should bring in a bill to settle
      the question, but her anxiety, at the same time, that if
      Lord Aberdeen did not bring in a satisfactory measure, her
      son should do his duty,--I could not but feel that it was
      something like a cruel work to tear out such a venerable
      tree--to tear her away from the house that was dearest to
      her on earth.'

For, as we formerly said, compared with this blow, the
disestablishment of the Irish Church was a fall into the lap of
luxury. Every minister in Scotland who adhered to the Church lost his
income in one day--Whit-sunday of 1843. On the same day they lost
their dwellings. The professors of divinity, with Chalmers at their
head; the missionaries, with Dr. Duff at their head; the humble
schoolmasters, with no great name to sustain them--were all turned out
at the same moment. And the great strain and crisis of conscience must
have been in the spring of that year, when those who in 1842 had
pledged themselves, with two-thirds of the Assembly, 'to endure
resignedly the loss of the temporal blessings of the Establishment,'
saw that there was to be no escape from the sacrifice. The dread and
depression must often have been extreme; yet it was not unmixed with a
sustaining joy, as in the case of the following story, with reference
to Dr. Charles Mackintosh (a venerated minister in the North, whose
memorials have recently been published), for which we are indebted to
a correspondent who is a native of the Highlands:--

      'One morning in the spring of 1843, I jumped early out of
      bed, for my head was full of marbles and peg-tops, and a
      dozen or so of games before breakfast has its attractions
      for a schoolboy. To my astonishment, I found my father down
      before me; nay, he had evidently been there for some time,
      for the moment I appeared he folded up the newspaper in
      which he had been so unseasonably engaged, and--with a
      break in his voice indicating an emotion that was quite
      unaccountable to me--he asked me to take it at once over to
      the manse, with his compliments to the minister. I went
      very readily, for, besides the comfort of fingering the
      marbles in my pocket, the hedge-rows were full of young
      birds upon whom legitimate hostilities could be waged in
      passing. But as I went I reflected on the austere and
      stately image of the minister--a man everywhere respected,
      but whose face inspired awe rather than love in the
      beholder--(Had I not seen the town-boys break and scatter
      round one corner of the street as soon as he appeared at
      the other?)--and I resolved that my interview with him
      should be short. And it was shorter than I expected, for I
      had scarcely got out of the sunshine into the manse
      evergreens, when I found him in the porch; and when I
      offered him the newspaper, he showed me that he had already
      got the _Times_, by some unusual express, and as he spoke
      he patted my head and smiled--but such a smile, so full of
      radiant kindliness! I was confounded; and as I went back
      between the edges the birds sang unheeded while I thought
      what could be up with the minister. Had anybody left him a
      fortune? or had he met one of the shining ones walking
      among the hollies in that early dawn? And it was not for
      some weeks that I found out that this was what had
      happened--the newspaper that morning had brought him the
      vote of the House of Commons, finally refusing an inquiry
      into the affairs of the Scotch Church, and so making it
      certain that within a few weeks he and his aged mother
      would leave for ever the home, at the door of which I saw
      him; in which his father, the previous minister, had dwelt
      peacefully before him, but which the son would now have to
      quit without retaining a farthing of his income for the
      future. Of course he came out, and 470 ministers with him.'

For the crisis followed in May. The disruption itself (as the actual
and final wrench given to the Church came to be called) concentrated
the anguish of the general sacrifice in a very painful, but, at the
same time, a more poetical form. Sir George Harvey, the present
President of the Scottish Academy, has painted the 'Leaving of the
Manse' with much dignity and power: the grey-haired pastor moving with
feeble steps from the well-known door; his wife's quiet tears, as she
guides the child whose pet lamb refuses to accompany it in its early
exile; the awe-struck respect of the rustics around, while the men
take off their caps, and the women throw their aprons over their faces
and sob. Yet the words which immediately follow what we have already
quoted from Dr. Guthrie, are, perhaps, the most memorable record of
the feelings which accompanied the final step:--

      'I remember passing a manse on a moonlight night, with the
      minister who had left it,--for the cause of truth, his
      brother Scotchman earnestly adds--'No light shone from the
      house, and no smoke arose. Pointing to it in the moonlight,
      I said, "Oh, my friend, it was a noble thing to leave that
      house." "Ah, yes," he replied; "it was a noble thing, but
      for all that it was a bitter thing. I shall never forget
      the night I left that house till I am laid in my grave.
      When I saw my wife and children go forth in the gloaming,
      when I saw them for the last time leave our own door; and
      when in the dark I was left alone, with none but my God in
      the house; and when I had to take water and quench the fire
      on my own hearth, and put out the candle in my own house,
      and turn the key against myself, and my wife, and my little
      ones that night--God in His mercy grant that such a night I
      may never again see! It was a noble thing to leave the
      manse, and I bless God for the grace that was given to me;
      but, for all that, it was a cruel and bitter night to me."'

The actual circumstances of departure must have been very various:
'One minister writes to us that he left the manse with his family in a
snow-storm, when the mountain was white with snow, and the sky was
black with drift; but that he never knew so much of the peace of God
as he did that night, when following his wife and children as they
were carted over the mountain, without knowing where they were to find
a place to dwell in.'

And in many places over Scotland, this was the beginning of sorrows.
In some parts, and especially in the large towns, the actual hardships
were nothing worse than diminution of income and straitened
circumstances; while in not a few cases even that was not felt. But in
the country, and especially in the Highlands, it was different. It was
some years before the manses were built, and homelessness added to
poverty pressed heavily on the outed ministers.

      'I remember well,' writes the Highland correspondent we
      have already quoted from, and for whose accuracy and good
      faith we can vouch, 'how I used to watch one man, the
      minister of the neighbouring parish of E----, who, like
      many others, was unable to find a place to dwell in among
      his own people, and had to come into the neighbouring town.
      He was a scholarly and cultivated man, who in his early
      days had attained much academical distinction at a Northern
      University, but a weak chest and a threatening of heart
      complaint now bore heavily upon him. Yet week after week,
      as every Sabbath morning came round, he persisted in
      driving away for miles through that first inclement winter,
      to meet his congregation; and I can remember to this day
      his keen, delicate face set to meet a heavy snow-storm from
      the north-west, while a hacking cough shook his whole frame
      as he set out on his journey, four miles of which must pass
      ere he caught sight of the well-sheltered manse, which the
      year before he had left for ever.'

But those who, like him, found shelter in a town dwelling, however
humble, were not worst off. The great difficulty was in the country;
even where harbouring the minister was not forbidden (as in some
cases, from a desire to crush out the movement, it was) by the great
landlords. And of course it was with this that Dr. Guthrie's facts
chiefly dealt.

      'I have a letter here from a man who has suffered more for
      gospel truth than any other I know. He says that he has
      been obliged to pack two nurses and eight children into two
      beds, in the small house to which they have removed. His
      wife took a cold in October, which there was some
      apprehension might end in consumption; and at my own table
      he told me, what was enough to melt a heart of stone, that
      when he and his family gather together at the family altar,
      they have not room to kneel before Almighty God, and some
      of them require to kneel on the floor of the passage before
      they can unite together in their family devotions. Some of
      our ministers write that they live in crofter's houses;
      some in places as damp as cellars, where a candle will not
      burn. One says he sits with his great coat on; another that
      the curtains of his bed shake at night like the sails of a
      ship in a storm. One minister, a friend of mine, lives in a
      house which every wind of heaven blows through. On getting
      up one morning he found the house all comparatively
      comfortable, and wondered what good genius had been putting
      it in order, when he discovered that a heavy shower of snow
      had fallen, and stopped up the crevices of the roof.'

Narrating this to a vast meeting in Glasgow, at the close of which he
announced that upwards of £10,000 had been subscribed during that one
day for his scheme, Dr. Guthrie added, with Scotch shrewdness, 'I said
to my friend, that I was glad he had told me that story, for if that
shower of snow did not produce a shower of notes, I would be very much
disappointed.' The story of the shower of snow was hearsay; but we
must make room for what the speaker testifies to having seen with his
own eyes.

      'Some of you may have read of the death of Mr. Baird, the
      minister of Cockburnspath, a man of piety, a man of
      science, a man of amiable disposition, and of the kindest
      heart, but a man dealt most unkindly by; although he would
      not have done a cruel or unjust thing to the meanest of
      God's creatures. I was asked to go and preach for a
      collection to his manse, last winter. He left one of the
      loveliest manses in Scotland. He might have lived in
      comfort in Dunbar, seven or eight miles away, but what was
      to become of his people? They were smiting the shepherd,
      that they might scatter the sheep. No, said Mr. Baird, be
      the consequences what they may, I shall stand by my own
      people. I went out last winter, and found him in a mean
      cottage, consisting of two rooms, a _but_ and a _ben_, with
      a cellar-like closet below, and a garret above; and I
      honestly declare, that the house was so small and so cold
      that, when sitting by the fire, the one part of the body
      was almost frozen, while the other was scorched by the
      heat. Night came, and I asked where I was to sleep. He
      showed me a closet; there was a fire-place in it, but it
      was a mockery, for no fire could be put in it; the walls
      were damp. I looked horrified at the place; but there was
      no better. Now, said I to Mr. Baird, where are you to
      sleep? Come, said he, and I will show you. So he climbed a
      sort of trap stair, and got up to the garret, and there was
      the minister's study, with a chair, a table, and a flock
      bed. His health was evidently sinking under his sufferings;
      and, but that I was not well myself, I never would have
      permitted him to lie on such a bed. A few inches above were
      the slates of the roof, without any covering, and as white
      with hoar frost within, as they were white with snow
      without. When he came down next morning, after a sleepless
      night, I asked him how he had been, and he told me that he
      had never closed an eye, from the cold. His very breath on
      the blankets was frozen as hard as the ice outside. I say,
      that man lies in a martyr's grave ... and I would rather,
      like him this day, be laid in the grave, with a grateful
      Church to raise my honored monument, than dwell in the
      proudest palaces of those that sent him there.'

We have exscinded from these quotations, not only all polemics, but
such not unnatural expressions of indignation as the brethren of the
more unfortunate ministers slipped into. There is no injustice in
omitting these now, for the time has come when all parties, and in
particular most of the members of the Scotch Established Church, are
earnest in expressing their admiration of the heroism of those who
suffered. But, in order to bring out the story completely, and, in
particular, to do justice to the difficulties in the face of which the
enormous task of covering the land with voluntary churches and manses
and ministers was accomplished, it is necessary to go farther down,
and refer to another historical chapter. We allude to the facts which
came out in the Committee of the House of Commons on 'Sites for
Churches (Scotland),' in 1847. No doubt these hardships have nearly
all now passed away, and the great landowners, themselves chiefly
members of the Church of England, have, almost in every case,
consented to sell to the poorer congregations of the Church ground on
which to erect churches. But at first it was perhaps natural that men,
most of them imperfectly acquainted with their countrymen, should have
conceived it possible to stamp out, or starve out, the new church.
And, accordingly, some very strong things were done. The writer
happened to be acquainted with one district, where a gentleman of
large property, a man, too, of immense energy and public spirit,
entertained a passionate opposition to the popular movement, and had
been heard to declare, shortly before the disruption, that he would
'give five hundred trees from his woods, to hang the seceding
ministers upon.' Those innocent vegetables were, fortunately, not
called upon to bear the _novos fructus et non sua poma_, thus destined
for them; but Mr. R---- soon tried another course, which was
practically of not much more use. He suddenly issued a notice, that
every labourer on his estates, who did not go to the parish church,
should cease, after next Monday, to work on his land. Now, in that
part of the Highlands, as in most others, the people had gone out _en
masse_ with their ministers, and no one would go to the Established
Church for the heaviest bribe. What was the result of the attempt at
coercion? The result was simply this, that on that Monday no plough or
spade was touched on all his estates; and Mr. R----, proud and
passionate as he was, had simply and unconditionally to
surrender--knowing, too, that he had consolidated the whole
country-side in a bond of mutual allegiance, which would long survive
the living generation of men. The same sort of oppression was
attempted in particular cases for years afterwards. So late as 1847,
we find, in the evidence before Parliament, many cases, _e.g._, a
witness, whose family had been tenants of a farm, in Strathspey, for
many generations, 'probably since 1630,' saying, that 'there is a
general rumour prevalent in the district, and among the adherents of
the Free Church, that certain of their number may be made examples of
at the earliest opportunity, in the way of being evicted from their
farms, possessions, or holdings', and expressing his own lively
apprehensions in consequence. Nor was this general belief unfounded. A
poor woman, who had offered a shed on her holding, where the
congregation might meet, 'got a message from his lordship's factor,
through another person, that, in the event of her granting such a
site, he would withdraw her lease.' One Donald Cameron, in the same
place, who, being an elder in the church, had come out with his
brethren, was urged by the same middleman with the sensible argument,
'Why, I conceive you to be the greatest fool in the nation; might not
a minister who remained within the walls of a church, be as
instrumental in saving your soul, as those who preach in woods or
fields?' but, on this very fair reasoning failing to make him abandon
his own pastor and principles, he was summarily turned out of his
situation as the great man's overseer. But the most curious instance
of this sort of thing being carried out systematically is given in the
evidence of Mr. M----, of Skye, who was factor for Lord Macdonald, in
that island. In this case, not only was the minister refused a
holding, but a list was made out of all the collectors who ventured to
go round and gather up the small contributions of their brethren, and
all of them received summary notice to quit, some under circumstances
of the greatest hardship. The factor, who seemed, at last, to be
somewhat ashamed of the transaction, told the Committee that 'It was
Lord Macdonald himself who gave me the list of such as he wished to be
served with notices, on account of their being collectors. The day he
was leaving the country he gave me a list, and said, "Here is a list
of fellows that must have notice to quit."' One of the poor men
travelled all the way up to London to try to persuade his landlord to
be merciful; but, as the factor told the Committee, 'I rather think
his lordship did not look at his petition.' Nor was it merely the
officials connected with the Free Church who were turned out: the
innkeeper and the miller of the district were both ejected on account
of their being members, or, as the factor put it, partisans, of that
body. 'Being, as we considered, public servants, we thought it better
to remove them.' The Committee was very severe in dealing with the
allegations of partisanship made _ex post facto_ against these
unfortunate people, the factor not being able to say that he had ever
hinted such a reason to themselves. Mr. Bouverie's question to the
factor, 'Was any _locus penitentiæ_ allowed to the miller?' was met by
the curious reply, 'That would be interfering with the man's
conscience, if he thought he was acting rightly,' and Mr. Fox Maule's
rejoinder, 'And you think it was no interference with his conscience,
turning him out of his farm?' received the placid answer, 'No.' Niel
Nicholson, one of the unfortunate Free Churchmen removed at this time
to make way for a teacher of the Established Church, at the time he
received notice to quit, had a bedridden wife, and his son the eldest
of eight or ten children, laid up with a broken leg. Another man,
removed by a brother of the Established minister, after being ejected
from his land had nowhere to go, and lived for a considerable time in
a kind of tent by the roadside, at last receiving shelter from the
very factor of Lord Macdonald whose general conduct seems to have been
so harsh. The correspondence brought in evidence before the Committee
on this occasion was very instructive, as in the case of the following
laconic missive:--

          'ARMADALE, 16_th November_, 1846.
      SIR,--I refuse a site for a Free Church for your people.
          I am, sir, your obedient servant,
          MACDONALD.'

But the same minister who was thus addressed as to his church, wrote a
very respectful letter to his landlord, as to his house, trusting
'that your Lordship does not really intend to drive me, with my young
and helpless family, out of my present dwelling-house.'

      'I am willing to give any rents for the same which another
      will offer; and should your Lordship not choose to give the
      farm on any terms, I would be satisfied with the house, and
      grass for two cows and a horse. The building of this house
      cost me £150, and I have been at considerable expense in
      improving the farm, for which, from the shortness of the
      lease, I have had as yet little or no returns. Will your
      Lordship allow me to observe without offence, that at a
      time[50] when we are all suffering under the chastening
      hand of our heavenly Father, it looks somewhat unseemly
      that we should be the occasion of suffering to one another.
      I have already taken the principal part in distributing
      food supplied by the Free Church among your Lordship's
      cotters and crofters in this country. I am at this moment
      in receipt of nearly £40 (I may now say £100) from
      respectable private parties in London, Edinburgh, and
      Glasgow, with which I am helping to relieve much of the
      present distress, besides lessening the burden of
      supporting many of the people to your Lordship and tenants.
      From all these considerations, I might naturally expect
      some favour at your Lordship's hands.'

The answer to this letter came through, another factor, to the effect
that 'Lord Macdonald instructs me to inform you that he has received
your letter, and that it is not his intention either to grant you a
site or give you any lands;' adding that the landlord would not give
him any compensation for his improvements, and that 'he had brought it
all on himself' by persisting in staying with his present
congregation.

But with the House of Commons Blue-book before us, let us leave cases
of individual suffering for a time, and look at the case of whole
congregations. Throughout Scotland the Free Church was, with labour
and difficulty, erecting places in which to worship God. But in many
places the landlords refused a foot of soil on which to do it. The
congregations who met in the open air were not much to be pitied at
their starting, for it was summer, and a thorough soaking with rain
was the worst that befel them. But as the first winter of 1843
darkened down upon them, it was no wonder that men and women gathering
weekly under a canvas tent, and in some cases without even that, but
in the open air, under the bitter inclemency of the northern sky,
began to set up piteous requests to be permitted to meet under some
roof, or at least to be allowed land on which to erect a roof to cover
them. But in many instances this was refused; and during that winter,
in different districts of Scotland whole congregations of not men
only, but delicate women and children (after coming, as the Scotch
manner is, many miles to worship or to sacrament), remained through
each Sunday of December, January, and February, under whatever variety
of snow, sleet, slush, frost, rain, and ice, their native sky, rich
in such alternations, chose to pour upon them. Another year came
round, and though by this time a number of the proprietors had
relented, a great many stood firm, and the second winter showed the
same kind of suffering as the first. The following circumstances in
which one of the ordinary services in a congregation in the South of
Scotland, in February of the year 1844, was held, must have had
parallels during the same months, especially in Skye, and the Western
Isles, and the Highlands of Inverness and other counties. But it is
given by the Edinburgh minister who conducted the meeting, and whose
evidence on matters of which he was eye-witness we have already found
so graphic. In this case the congregation had met for some time in a
canvas tent on a piece of moor or waste ground by the permission of
the tenant; but the landlord, who had already refused a site,
checkmated this evasion of his will by procuring an interdict, or
order of Court, and the congregation were driven in the beginning of
winter to meet on the public road, and to try to erect their tent
there. But the tent could not be erected without digging holes for the
poles, and making holes in the public road was an illegal proceeding,
which they were afraid to attempt so soon after being driven off a
waste moor. Consequently, they met all that winter without shelter, as
described in the following private letter, written at the time, but
afterwards read publicly to the Committee of the House of Commons:--

      'Well wrapped up, I drove out yesterday morning to Canobie,
      the hills white with snow, the roads covered ankle deep in
      many places with slush, the wind high and cold, thick rain
      lashing on, and the Esk by our side all the way, roaring in
      the snow-flood between bank and brae. We passed Johnnie
      Armstrong's tower, yet strong even in its ruins, and after
      a drive of four miles a turn of the road brought me in view
      of a sight which was overpowering, and would have brought
      the salt tears into the eyes of any man of common humanity.
      There, under the naked boughs of some spreading oak trees,
      at the point where a country road joined the turnpike,
      stood a tent, around, or rather in front of which was
      gathered a large group of muffled men and women, with some
      little children, a few sitting, most of them standing, and
      some old venerable widows cowering under the shelter of an
      umbrella. On all sides each road was adding a stream of
      plaided men and muffled women to the group, till the
      congregation had increased to between 500 or 600, gathering
      on the very road, and waiting my forthcoming from a mean
      inn, where I found shelter till the hour of worship had
      come. During the psalm-singing and first prayer I was in
      the tent, but finding that I would be uncomfortably
      confined, I took up my position on a chair in front, having
      my hat on my head, my Codrington close buttoned up to my
      throat, and a pair of bands, which were wet enough with
      rain ere the service was over. The rain lashed on heavily
      during the latter part of the sermon, but none budged; and
      when my hat was off during the last prayer, some man kindly
      extended an umbrella over my head. I was so interested, and
      so were the people, that our forenoon service continued for
      about two hours. At the close I felt so much for the
      people; it was such a sad sight to see old men and women,
      some children, and one or two people pale and sickly, and
      apparently near the grave, all wet and benumbed with the
      keen wind and cold rain, that I proposed to have no
      afternoon service; but this met with universal dissent--one
      and all declared that if I would hold on they would stay on
      the road till midnight. So we met again at three o'clock,
      and it poured on almost without intermission during the
      whole service; and that over, shaken cordially by many a
      man and many a woman's hand, I got into the gig and drove
      here in time for an evening service, followed through rain
      in heaven and the wet snow on the road by a number of the
      people.'

When this letter was produced to the House it was taken advantage of
by Sir James Graham, with the view of bringing out that so sad a sight
must have had the effect of driving the minister who witnessed it into
some bitterness of expression in the pulpit, such as might perhaps
justify or excuse the Duke of Buccleuch. Said Sir James--

      'May I ask whether your own feeling was not that some
      oppression had been exercised towards those people? Ans.
      Certainly; I felt that the people were in most grievous
      circumstances, being necessitated to meet on the turnpike
      road; and not only I, but I may mention in addition that
      the person who drove me in the gig from Langholm to
      Canobie, when we came in sight of that congregation
      standing in the open air upon such a day, and in such a
      place, burst into tears, and asked me, Was there ever a
      sight seen like that?

      'You have mentioned that "oppression makes a wise man mad;"
      the feelings of the driver might be one thing, but you, a
      minister of the gospel, would be very considerably excited
      by seeing what you have described; you thinking it an act
      of oppression upon the people? Ans. Deep feeling would be
      excited--if you mean by excitement that I was ready to
      break forth into unsuitable expressions, I say certainly
      not; I felt when I saw it as if I could not preach, I was
      so overpowered by the sight--to see my fellow-creatures,
      honest, respectable, religious people, worshipping the God
      of their fathers upon the turnpike road was enough to melt
      any man's heart.'

Sir James was disappointed in the object of his examination, for it
turned out that Dr. Guthrie on this occasion had with some
deliberation avoided making any reference to the circumstances of the
congregation, and had turned all the feeling roused within him into
the channel of more fervid preaching of the common gospel.

This was in 1844; the following year the ministers, even in the
bleakest Highlands, began to have some comfort, for now the manse
scheme was set on foot, and was being pressed by Dr. Guthrie; but the
position of these unfortunate and exceptional congregations remained
the same. A minister in Skye, whom the Highlanders there regarded with
boundless veneration, but who was little fitted to face hardships (he
saw his family of eleven delicate children melt into the grave before
him), used to preach at Uig in the open air, with a covering over
himself, but none for the people. 'I have preached,' he says, 'when
the snow has been falling so heavily upon them, that when it was over
I could scarcely distinguish the congregation from the ground, except
by their faces.' Two years more passed on; and even then, in 1847,
there were still thirty-one cases in Scotland in which sites were
absolutely refused, besides many others in which very inconvenient and
humiliating places were alone offered, and in many cases had been
accepted. The House of Commons now took up the matter, and perhaps the
most curious thing in their investigation was the careful
cross-examination of medical men on the question whether it could be
proved that the members of the congregation who met winter after
winter in the open air had actually suffered, or at least had suffered
seriously and fatally from their compulsory exposure. No doubt they
were drenched with rain and chilled with sleet, and then they caught
cold and died; but were the medical men prepared to prove (so argued
the apologists of oppression in the committee)--could the medical men
say that their taking cold was the necessary consequence of the drench
and chill, or that the fatal result was due to this original cause,
and not to subsequent carelessness or blunders in the treatment? For
example, when 'Miss Stewart, Grantown, about eighty years of age, but
strong for her years, and of sound constitution, after attending
public worship of the Free Church in the open air, was attacked by
sub-acute rheumatism,' and died exhausted after four months of the
disease, no one could certainly say that the old lady might not have
taken rheumatism even if she had separated from her neighbours, and
gone peaceably back to the Established Church!

We shall quote no more, however, from the details of this Blue-book,
but it will be remembered that, after taking evidence extending to
nearly five hundred pages of print, the committee unanimously
concurred in expressing an 'earnest hope that the sites which have
hitherto been refused may no longer be withheld.' They held, and all
Englishmen will echo the opinion, that 'the compulsion to worship in
the open air, without a church, is a grievous hardship inflicted on
innocent parties;' while they found that even at that late date of
1847, about 16,000 people were still compelled so to worship, or at
least were 'deprived of church accommodation,' and were without 'a
convenient shelter from the severity of a northern climate.'

But though the site-refusing caused much distress to the people, still
the edge even of this fell chiefly upon the ministers. Driven out of
their old homes in one day, they were often refused new ones, and in
the great Highland counties denied even temporary shelter. Lodging
there was hardly to be got, and in many places the tenantry were
haunted with fears of what the consequences might be to themselves if
they gave house-room where their landlords had already refused a site.
'Many of these ministers' families,' said Dr. Guthrie in 1845, when
the facts were recent,--'some of them motherless families--are thirty,
and fifty, and sixty, and seventy miles separated from them. I think
of the hardship of many of these men going to see their own children;
and of children who see their father so seldom that they do not know
him when he visits them.' One of the most curious cases thus produced
was that of the parish of Small Isles--so called because it consists
of four little islands clustered together in the Atlantic. The
minister, Mr. Swanson, well known now as the friend from youth of Hugh
Miller--famous as a geologist, and much more famous as a Scottish
stonemason, gave up his home, 'placed far amid the melancholy main,'
and came out with the others in 1843; and a site both for manse and
Church being refused on the central island, where the whole
congregation adhered to him, he betook himself to what his friend, the
gifted editor of the _Witness_, dubbed the 'Floating Manse.' It was a
little yacht, 30 feet by 11 feet, in which he lived when visiting his
parish, his family, however, residing in Skye.

In 1844, Hugh Miller set out to visit his friend on a geological
excursion, the scientific record of which he has preserved in his
volume 'The Cruise of the _Betsy_,' where he also gives a most curious
account of the relations of Mr. Swanson, the minister, to the people
to whom he so clung. On one Sunday morning the geologist and his host
got ashore on their way to a low dingy cottage of turf and stone
(just opposite the windows of the deserted manse), which its former
occupant had built with his own money as a Gaelic school for the
people, and which they were obliged to use as a place of worship--'the
minister encased in his ample-skirted storm-jacket of oiled canvas
protected atop by a genuine _sou'-wester_, of which the broad
posterior rim sloped half-a-yard down his back; and I closely wrapped
up in my grey maud, which proved, however, a rather indifferent
protection against the penetrating powers of a true Hebridean
drizzle.' When they got in, the minister took off his sou'-wester, and
preached on 'God so loved the world,' and the visitor remarks how the
attention of his hearers to him who was not only their pastor, but the
sole physician, and that without fee or reward, in the island, was
increased by his new life of hardship and danger undertaken for their
sakes; for they had seen his little vessel driven from her anchorage
just as the evening had fallen, and always feared for his safety when
stormy nights closed over the sea. Next year Miller had himself an
opportunity of judging of this, for while he was on board the _Betsy_
'the water, pouring in through a hundred opening chinks in her upper
works, rose, despite of our exertions, high over plank, and beam, and
cabin door, and went dashing against beds and lockers. She was
evidently fast filling, and bade fair to terminate all her voyagings
by a short trip to the bottom.' They barely saved themselves by the
Point of Sleat interposing between them and the roll of the sea. The
'Floating Manse' will not be forgotten while the works of this
charming writer survive; but very much later than this, on Loch
Sunart, also in the West, a 'floating church' also had to be provided
in consequence of the refusal of a site; and the Sheriff of
Edinburghshire, himself a naval officer in his youth, testified to the
Committee of the House that in the winter of 1846 it answered very
well. It was moored about a hundred yards from the shore, and although
there was a little difficulty in the people going out in boats, still
it was possible to manage it. Many English pedestrians in Sutherland
have seen the famous Cave of Smoo, a vast cavern protected by a
natural gateway of rock, and with an interior chamber where a black
stream flows in perpetual darkness. It was here that the Free Church
congregation of Durness met.

      'One minister has preached for two years in a deep sea pit,
      which I saw in Sutherlandshire; God's sea is their
      protection. No man can say he is ruler of the sea, though
      he boasts himself possessor of the land. In a deep gully,
      where the rocks are some hundred feet high, a hollow has
      been closed in from the sea by a barrier of rocks, which
      protects them from the Western Ocean, behind this they
      meet; and there, some hundred feet down, where no man can
      see them till he stands on the verge of the precipice, and
      where they might have been safe from Claverhouse in the
      days of old, that minister with his congregation, while the
      waves of the Atlantic Ocean were roaring beside them, and
      protected by that barrier of rock, met two winters and two
      summers; and I know, from the determination of that man and
      his people, that there they would have met till their dying
      day if the Duke of Sutherland had not granted them
      redress.'

But we were treating of the hardships rather of the ministers than of
the congregations, and Dr. Guthrie's question is pertinent,

      'Where does the minister go after having preached in such
      circumstances? Not in the case I have just mentioned, but
      in another, the minister, after preaching to his hearers in
      the winter snow, where there was no barrier or creek
      sheltering them from the salt sea spray, had to go back,
      not to a comfortable home, like you and me, but to a
      miserable dwelling, where he had to climb to a lonely and
      miserable garret, and in a place where there was little
      ventilation, and in a room where he could have no fire, the
      minister had to sit from week's end to week's end, till his
      health was broken down, and he was obliged to retire from
      the battle-field, forced away from it to save himself from
      an early, and, I say, a martyr's grave.'

It need not be said that such cases as these were exceptional and
extreme; but, on the other hand, it is certain the facts in these
cases are accurately given, and are representative of other extreme
cases that were never published. Our last quotation from the eloquent
div