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Volume LIV, by Various

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Title: British Quarterly Review, American Edition, Volume LIV
       July and October, 1871

Author: Various

Release Date: July 13, 2012 [EBook #40223]

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8


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

Page 7: Treves possibly should be Trèves
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16 and 18 Jacob St., N.Y.


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, Phœnician, 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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 12 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 13 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 14 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, 15 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 16 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 17 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.' 18

Art. II.TheismDesiderata 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 19 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 20 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.

In addition, we might mention several subsidiary or sporadic proofs which have little or no philosophical relevancy, but 21 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 22 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 23 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 24 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 25 (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 26 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 27 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 28 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 29 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] 30 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 31 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; 32 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 33 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, 35 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 36 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 37 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 38 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 39 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.'


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. 41

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, 42 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 43 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 44 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 45 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 46 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 47 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. 48

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, 49 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 50 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 51 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 52 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 53 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 54 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 55 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 56 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 57 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, 58 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 60 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, 61 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 62 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 63chosen 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. 64It 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 65of 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]

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 66cause 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 67of 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 68closely 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 69communities; 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, 70probably 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 71or 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 72which 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 73days 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 74James 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 75poor, 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 76and 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 77the 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 78Nonconformity 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 79dealt 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 80community 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.

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 81well 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 82nor 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 Phœnix, 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. Phœnix, 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 διηγεὶτο, 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 83as 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 84love,' 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 85composition 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 έπιτηδεύματα, '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 ᾦ 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 ᾦ 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 86faculty 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 εἱρχμοῦ 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 ἤ 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 87had 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).' 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, 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 88that 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, ἰδοῦ θρόνος ἔκειτο ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ, καὶ ἐπὶ τοῦ θρόνου καθήμενος· καὶ ὁ καθήμενος ἦν ὅμοιος ὁπάσει (al. σαρδίῳ) · καὶ ἶρις κυκλόθεν τοῦ θρόνου ὅμοιος ὅράσει 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 89drug). 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 ἄνθρώπῳ (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 90best 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 91physical 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 92of 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.) ἥιλεῳ 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 έξευρημένην.

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. 93Antisthenes 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 τὰχος 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 94a 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 τοῦτ 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 ἑνι 95 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 ἵωμεν 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 αἰσυήσεως 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 96never 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 μικτός 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 97it 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 98who 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 99was 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, 100there 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 101dilated, 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 102bill, 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 103are 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, 104possibly, 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 105successfully 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 106of 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 107issues 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.

Contemporary Literature.


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 108persistency 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 109maddened 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 110bears 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 111only, 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 112affirms 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 113discover 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 œcumenical, 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 114friends 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 115all 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, 116and 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; 117only 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 118of 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 119from 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 120an 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.


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 121and 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. 122


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 123was 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 124to 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 125through 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, 126Grant, 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 127from 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, 128in 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 129letters, 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 130saying 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 131rector—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 132by 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.


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; 133further, 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 134even 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 135great 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. 136 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 137myself—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. 138

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, 139which 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 140French, 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 141is 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 142highest 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; 143that 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 144spiritual 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 145feeble. 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 146cause. 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 147indicates, 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 œcumenical 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 œcumenical council, because in the year 680 A.D., i.e., 355 years after the Council of Nicæa, it is said that the sixth œcumenical 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 the πρόεδροι 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 148Church 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 149first 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.


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 152his 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 153then 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 154to 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 155than 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. 156He 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 157subsequently 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 158with 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. 159He 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 160his 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 161possibly 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 162on 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.'

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 163asked 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 manœuvring 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 manœuvre 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. 164During 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 165one 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 166by 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 167characteristic 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 168that 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 miles""16·7 "
"  4 miles""13·7 "
"  5 miles""11·3 "
"10 miles""  4·7 "
"15 miles""  1·6 "
"20 miles""  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 169the 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 170the 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 171deadly 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 172within 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 173before 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 174which 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 175suspended 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 176down, 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 177slung 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