תמונות בעמוד

to see.

For that to be exactly what the calm student, who surveys the whole march of the events and its final results, is enabled to see, would be a manifest impossibility. In a present war, no man can conduct himself on principles of eclecticism. But, nevertheless, there is revealed to him each day and each hour a right and a wrong, between which he is to choose; and let it be enough for us if we have reason to believe that it was his habit to choose the right. This is all that the great heroic spirits can hope to do,- to see a cause of God and of man ; to see wherein they are called to serve it, and to fight for it; to throw themselves unreservedly upon it, and, perchance, in an earthly point of view, to be overwhelmed by it. But such live not, nor strive in vain; their aspirations and their endeavours come to their true, though not exactly the wished for, issue. And, therefore, the teacher will guard his pupil against the common measurements of success in regard to historical persons; will lead him, for example, to question how far Laud has not been on the whole a victorious man, instead of the defeated one he is commonly represented ; how far, as was lately said in these pages, our existing Church of England level may not have been reached mainly through his instrumentality,-how far, therefore, he does not stand forth as an encouragement to animate us in seeking to climb to a higher range of thought and striving, instead of a beacon to warn us against the attempt.

Should the pupil be romantic and visionary, it will be requisite to guard him against another fallacy which is nearly sure to assail him,--that of sighing after a period characterized by many great men. There are several such times in the world's history, starry and magnificent as seen through the night of ages, and at the thought of our removal from which we are fain to fret and bemoan ourselves,—the age of Apostles and early Martyrs-the age of great Fathers and heroic Churchmen, of an Athanasius, a Chrysostom, and an Ambrose—the ages of noble Chivalry and cloistered Saintliness; or, again, the age of England's bright development under her maiden Queen, to which, as to a period in which magnificent strength was combined with a fresh, youthful gush of all emotion,- a time of rare sunshine and diffused joyousness, our minds are apt to turn with a fond wish that our lot had been appointed in it, and that we had been the contemporaries of Shakspeare, Raleigh, Spenser, Hooker, and Bacon. The fallacy of such estimates of the Past has been often exposed, but men's minds will go on forming them notwithstanding. Mr. Digby completed his voluminous “ Mores Catholici” in spite of all demonstrations of the deception which he was practising on himself and others,—demonstrations which he must frequently have encountered; and equally in spite of them will

gentle and visionary minds continue to delight in the book. Now, though there be little immediate harm in a dream of this sort, it is right that the teacher should expose its fallacy, both for the sake of truth in general, and also to show the true character and conditions of greatness. The existence in it of great men, as we once heard well remarked, so far from being an argument for, is one of the strongest that can be alleged against, an age; for such are not formed by the sympathy of the things and persons around them, but by the very reverse. It is through resistance to the evil around them that men are made heroes. And therefore, let the truth be continually urged which a great writer has thus expressed : “If we ask that the age in which St. Paul preached may come again, we ask that Nero may come again; if we ask that we may be transported back to the glorious period of Athanasius, we ask to live under the tyrant Constantius,—to have the world almost wholly Pagan, the Church almost wholly Arian. If we long to sit at the feet of Chrysostom, we long for the infamous corruptions of Antioch and Constantinople— for the government of Eutropius—for the horrible villanies of the eunuchs of the Palace. If we reckon that it would have been a blessing to live under the teaching of Augustine, we must be content to see Rome sacked by one set of barbarians, and the Church in Africa threatened by another; we must get our learning from a race of effete rhetoricians; we must dwell amidst all the seductions and abominations of Manicheism.” Though our teacher will delightedly put such a book as the Mores Catholici into the hands of a promising pupil, he will not fail to point out the monstrous contradiction, unconsciously perhaps, involved in its second title, Ages of Faith ; showing him how the sæculum must at any period have been the direst antagonist of faith.

But it will be right also to fight with another delusion which is pretty sure to possess the mind either of a romantic and visionary or a cold and utilitarian reader,-the delusion that any great degree of Civilization is something very modern and peculiar to ourselves. Now, if there be one thing which the records of the Past teach us more distinctly than another, it is the extreme antiquity and universality of Civilization in all its essentials. Many people may have heard of the text, • There was fine linen in Egypt,' and the conclusions respecting the extent of knowledge, and the variety of arts among the Egyptians, which necessarily follow from it. But it is not merely solving such a problem as the number of things requisite to produce fine linen that will suffice to disabuse us of our habitual notion that we, in these latter ages, have covered the earth with wonders, which reduce all previous adornments thereof to insignificance, and accomplished



feats such as make all previous aggressions of the audax Iapeti genus' upon the resisting and hostile elements around them no better than child's play.

Now, on this subject, let us, as before, compare History with Travelling. In this case, too, we start under precisely the same fallacy. Englishmen are at first apt to fancy that Civilization is confined to their own four seas: then France and Northern Germany are, through the sheer force of familiarity, included within the favoured pale. The Englishman learns to forget such trifles as door handles that will not move readily, and doors that will not perfectly shut,-in the sense of cities, enclosures, banks, credits, laws, -as essentially civilization. Let him try the wilder parts of Italy, such as Calabria, or travel in Sicily or Spain, and the same result takes place. The perfections of modern English manufacture begin to occupy very subordinate room in his mind, now occupied with the at once far more universal and far greater wonder, which has shaped the intractable úan of the planet Tellus into the forms of social life-has reduced her wild and weedy surface into an orderly and successive production of things suited to man's wants and ways—has studded her with cities—has subjected her teeming populations to law and government, and forced all their individual and varying wills into reciprocal relations and a dominant order. This he will find all over Christendom, and indeed wherever he is in the world of kingdoms and laws; everywhere except in savage life, which exhibits, as it is now happily a common phrase to say, not man in his natural, but in a strangely diseased, condition.

And what Travelling does for us in this respect over Space, the like will History do over Time. Just as we at first fancy every country savage that has not attained our own perfection of mechanical art, so do we of nearly every age that had not reached all the discoveries wherewith we are familiar, or thrown off every prejudice from which we may have emancipated ourselves. And yet here History, rightly digested, will disabuse us: it will teach us to regard ourselves as having only gained a small step in the accidents, without any proportionate progress in that substance, of Civilization which has been the heritage of all but the savage from the very earliest times. Cities are, after all, greater wonders than clubs or joint-stock companies - ploughs than the latest drilling machines that may have won the admiration of the Royal Agricultural Association-sailing-vessels of any kind than steamboats-regular intercourse between distant places than railroads—the weaving of linen than all the looms of Manchester-and a calendar by which times and seasons could be reckoned than the Newtonian system. We forbear to mention Language, because that alone, even in the savage, has


separate mystery and awe. But we think the teacher will not have guided his pupil through History aright unless he in some way or other impress upon him the lesson which we have been urging; unless, whether engaged with Herodotus, narrating the dawn of ancient Pagan, or the modern historian doing the same by the new Christian, Europe, or the Bible, with larger scope than either, acquainting us with the beginnings of religious society altogether, he take pains to show the learner how small and subordinate a step are our boasted achievements compared with that essential difference between the civilized man and the brute, as well as the savage, which has been stamped on the denizens of History from the very first. And then will arise the great and necessary question, Who stamped it? Then will it be right to urge the pupil to inquire, whether merely Man's independent energies, or the Giver of all Good and Perfect Things, should receive the praise thereof.

Finally, should the teacher avail himself of the recently introduced distinction between organic and critical periods? We call this distinction recently introduced, because it is said to owe its formal origin to the St. Simonians, but it has surely been long practically recognised, belonging to the class of what oft was thought, but ne'er so well expressed. An organic period, we need scarcely say, is one wherein some great Idea prevails in society, shaping its institutions, directing its thoughts, and presiding over all its sentiments; it is the period of unquestioned Faith, of habitual reverence, of dominant hierarchies, of habitual unity. In such a period first principles are assumed, and men live, without questioning and without murmuring, under the tie of the relationships in which they are placed. Sovereigns meet with cheerful loyalty from their subjects, parents receive their due honour from children and descendants, priests minister to cheerfully submissive flocks. A critical period is the reverse of all this: it is the age wherein people ask questions, wherein institutions are scrutinized and sifted, wherein men investigate and divide upon first principles. Our own age would at once be viewed as a critical, the thirteenth century would as readily be voted an organic, period.

We have already hinted at our persuasion of this distinction being by no means so new as the terms whereby it is now expressed. It is one which habitually haunts the lovers of the Past, consequently it is one which will very probably take some practical possession of our supposed learner's mind, and upon which therefore the teacher ought to make up his.

Now, viewed simply as a method, we think it one without which History can neither be written nor read to any good purpose. Without it, we cannot appreciate either characters

or actions. It seems to us real as applied to different states of affairs, though we think it a gross delusion to apply it without qualification to different periods. Every age of an European and living country is both organic and critical--organic as regards some things, critical as regards others-though woe to the age which is not more organic than critical! We trust that it may turn out of our own, the most critical, as we are apt to believe, which the world has yet beheld, that formative and unific have a larger sway over it than dissociative and individualizing tendencies. But this we think will be carefully pointed out by a judicious teacher, that both the organic and the critical tendency are designed for society, that the presence of both is a necessary condition of its life, and that both, therefore, though of course in reference to different matters, ought to be in operation together. It will be shown, too, that the critical principle never can operate safely except in strict subordination to the organic. The teacher, moreover, will carefully point out, that the periods which look to us the most organic often do so merely from having been so in reference to the searchings and their own contests on first principles. He will point to the municipal revolutions in the fourteenth century as illustrating this in politics, to S. Dominic and the Albigenses a century earlier, to the rise of the mendicant orders, or to the Realists and Nominalists as illustrating it in morals and religion. By these means he may at once save his pupil from that retroverted Socialism which looks idolatrously on an earthly Past, and that morbid sensibility which shrinks from all that is characteristic of the Present, which would shut its eyes to all that Present's real wants and cravings, which would prescribe ignoring them as the true treatment of its questionings, and stifling them as the only satisfaction of its anxieties.

Before concluding this article, which pretends only to be one of hints, we will mention one or two features of History, of which right views should be presented to every learner.

1st. The destiny and calling of the Abrahamidæ, the children of Isaac, Ishmael, Esau, &c. If Mr. Forster be right in his estimate of Saracen ascendancy, its bearing on the History of the world, and the Theocratic scheme, must needs be important enough to make it requisite for all to understand something of it,

2dly. The third universal Empire to which we have already referred. It is to be feared that comparatively few ordinary readers of History have, in any living way, filled up the space in Hebrew annals, between the return from Captivity and the coming of the Lord. Yet how important this is,-how needful

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