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something like a philosophical estimate of events, did not proceed much farther than a sectarian attack or defence of the national or individual characters that came under
pen of the historian, and an analysis of the evidence for the truthful or the fabulous at different periods of time. By degrees, this philosophical survey of bistory took a more elevated range. Speculations arose concerning the causes of the rise and fall of nations, the sources of national greatness and of national virtue, the connection of modes of government with national prosperity, and the culture applicable to national progress and refinement. This higher description of historical inquiry was chiefly indebted for its existence to the writings of Voltaire, whose numerous and formidable assaults on prevalent superstitions—whose universal scepticism—whose entrance into all regions of knowledge only for the purpose of diffusing doubts-whose immense influence, from the keenness of his wit, the fertility of his genius, and the charm of his style, covered Europe with a deluge of infidelity of the paltriest, most pretentious, and most pragmatical kind; but at the same time destroyed many à pernicious prejudice, many a cruelty in government, many an absurdity in manners, and made men examine more shrewdly and carefully than they had ever done before, into the natural and artificial constituents of the social edifice. Voltaire's mind, however, was not a mind capable either of conceiving or of disseminating an enlarged philosophy. It was a mind singularly acute; but acute only in the field of the critical and the material. It had no glimpse of man's inner, eternal, infinite nature. The spiritual and the divine, in the deep longings of humanity, were a sealed book for this remarkable man. But two notable facts combined to complete what Voltaire had left imperfect. These were, first, the metaphy. sical theories of the Germans, which have since become famous under the name of Transcendentalism ; and, secondly, the world-fact of the French Revolution. Transcendentalism, by introducing more spiritual and universal views into the estimate of mental phenomena, and of the relation of those phenomena to God and to creation, gave a more spiritual and universal aspect to poetry, philosophy, and history. Man, under the approving eye of this
system, claimed his primeval dignity as a citizen of infinitude; and then, while the apostles of this new system, with an energetic grasp of thought and a discursive courage
of utterance worthy of their mission, were proclaiming its verities to the silent musings of the studious, came that glorious and enthusiastic explosion of unshackled France, which will thunder in the dastard and despairing heart of tyrants till tyranny shall cease to blast and to blacken the loveliness of earth. Would that its appeal had never been weakened by so much folly, selfishness, ambition, and blood! German Transcendentalism was a spiritual proclamation of man's infinitude; the French Revolution was a practical proclamation of man's brotherhood. Man the infinite, man the fraternal, these two brief phrases became the exponents of human history, so that all previous expositions became meagre, false, and cold. History, in its first form, was a chronicle; in its second form, immediately after the Reformation, a sectarian, controversial narrative ; in its third form, through the influence of Voltaire, a sceptical description of possible fables and possible facts; in its fourth and present form, a eulogy of the triumphs of civilization. Yes! my friends, this is the crowning glory of the times in which we live, that whatever the darkness or the doubtfulness of the present may be, we can see in every incident of the past a progressive humanity, and a progressive humanity in every possibility of the future. We may see no party with which we can co-operate for political freedom, no sect under whose banner we can conscientiously contend for religious truth, no class of the community that realises our idea of duty; journalism may be venal, journalists may be dishonest, preachers of the Gospel may be hypocrites, social regenerators may be selfish adventurers, even our very friends may be the basest cowards—all this may be, all this is; yet, repulsive as this may be, we are bound to believe, and we are cheered in believing, that the wheel of perfectibility will roll on, as it has rolled on before, overwhelming despots' thrones, and priestly falsehoods, and every abomination of iniquity.
The various causes to which attention has been principally directed, as determining the aspect of civilization, since historians and others have commenced to study the subject in the most elevated philosophical sense, are the following :
In the first place, the physical position of nations. It is evident that a hot country and a cold, a country of mountains and a country of plains, a barren country and a fertile, a country with a large extent of coast and one altogether inland,—it is evident, I say, that these, and many other diversified features, must all have a marked influence on the culture of the inhabitants. The speculations respecting climate have often been exceedingly fanciful; but he who, on account of such preposterous speculations, should attempt to deny the influence of the climate, and of the general physical aspects of a country, would manifest a lamentable ignorance of the facts of human history,
In the second place, civilization is modified by national character and temperament. These are much more influential than physical position. It is questionable, indeed, whether a national character can ever be much changed, except from the admixture of a foreign population. The natives of France and of Germany remain precisely, in their notablest lineaments, what they were described by Roman writers as being two thousand years ago. And this transmission of national qualities, though it often lays the foundation of a monstrous national pride, yet becomes a conservative element of the most valuable kind, by in general preventing any changes but those which have a national adaptation. It tends also powerfully to nourish the feeling of the poetical and the love of the free.
In the third place, civilization is influenced by national tradition. All that has occurred in the history of a country, its battles for liberty, its discoveries in science, its triumphs in art, the successive changes in its government, its religious, its social, its political revolutions, its literature, its poets and its poetry, its philosophers and its philosophy, its great men, its great deeds, its great recollections,—all these are parts of an unbroken chain of national culture. They are indeed portions of the national character; the national character made visible and continuous. Even the very errors and superstitions
of a land are substantive components of its traditional successive education, and should not be left out in an estimate of that land's career.
In the fourth place, more influential than any of the preceding causes, are the general agencies that rise from time to time to mould and to rule the nations of the world. Such was Judaism; such were Grecian literature and Grecian art; such was the marvellous domination of the military genius of the Romans; such was the diffusion of the pure, and holy, and miraculous truths of Christianity; such was the appearance of Mahometanism; such were the Crusades ; such was the conquest of England by the Normans; such was the invention of printing ; such was the Reformation; such was Puritanism; such was the French Revolution; such, in our own day, is the application of the steam-engine to so many varied purposes. All these, conjoined with national culture and national character, compose what is denominated civilization.
There is one portion of civilization, however, which has not had anything like adequate attention devoted to it. Much has been said about its general agencies, but very little about its individual agents. This neglected department of one of the most beautiful of subjects, I propose to the best of my ability to traverse. I shall consider in succession, the Hero, the Poet, the Priest, the Artist, the Prophet, the Philosopher, the Apostle, and the Martyr. I do not suppose that I shall be able to accomplish all that I wish; but I shall be satisfied if I can succeed in urging you to look with more interest on the grand facts of history, and with more reverence on the missionaries whom God bath sent to live and to die for mankind.
ON THE LOGOS. To the Editor of the Christian Pioneer. SIR,- Permit me, through the medium of your useful periodical, to draw public attention to the above muchabused phrase. In all books of divinity, we find it used as synonymous with Jesus Christ.
Trinitarians are continually putting it forth as the great stalking-horse of their creed. Engage with them in argument, and they immediately evade your strongest proofs by sheltering themselves behind the Logos, which was 6 with God, and was God.” In all their controversial discourses, we hear the changes rung upon the same phrase and text of Scripture. And Unitarians, it is to be regretted, sometimes admit this erroneous meaning of the phrase, and merely oppose to it other passages of Scripture; or, at least, they frequently give such an explanation of the text as does not wholly disprove the Trinitarian assumption.
Now, from a hasty examination of the Greek Testament, I find the word Cóyos, used either in the singular or plural number, over two hundred and thirty times ; and yet, in no instance is it supposed, even by Trinitarians themselves, to mean Jesus Christ, save in this passage. In the writings of John, alone, it occurs about forty-five times ; and yet, in no other instance, if we except the spurious passage of 1 John v. 7, have they ventured to personify it, or to deduce from it an argument for the Deity of Christ. It is translated, of course, in a variety of ways, but in general means the Word or Gospel which Christ and his Apostles preached; and is not, nor can it be understood as, synonymous with him. self. Thus, in John xii. 48, Christ says, “ The word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day ;" xiv. 24, “ The word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me;" xv. 20, “Remember the word that I said unto you.”
" How unjust, then, to the Evangelist, to attach a different meaning to the phrase in this passage! Why not understand it, in its usual sense, to mean the Gospel, which was in the beginning with, or in the mind of God, and was the will of God?
But if not, let us in a few more instances explain it in the Trinitarian sense, and see what will be the result. In Mark iv. 14, we read, “ The sower soweth the word.” The usual explanation of this is, that Christ soweth the Gospel in the earth ; but according to the orthodox rendering, it must mean that Christ soweth a God in the earth, even himself, the second person of the Trinity! Again, in the next verse, we read that “Satan cometh, and taketh
the word that was sown in their hearts." According to our key, therefore, we must learn from