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From this point of view, Bossuet proceeds to sketch the two Empires, but more especially the Religious Empire, and to trace the uninterrupted succession of the PEOPLE OF GOD, the depositaries of the Supreme Law. In the History of this Empire he finds the history of God's providential intervention in human affairs. The Design of this providential intervention is to raise up, educate, and conduct to truth, and justice, and love, an elect people, eminently and strictly the PEOPLE OF GOD. Bossuet traces the history of this people from the Creation, down through Seth, Noah, the Patriarchs, Moses, the Jewish nation, to the coming of Christ, and then no longer in a single nation, but in the Apostles and the Church, gathering and forming into one compact body the People of God from all nations; for in the seed of Abraham, which is Christ, all the families, kindreds, and nations of the earth were to be blessed.

It will be seen from this statement, that the Catholic Bishop writes his History solely from the point of view of the Christian Church. His point of departure is in Genesis, and his point of arrival is the consummation of the People of God in Jesus Christ, through the Gospel. We, of course, have no fault to find with this point of view. It is the only point of view from which the History of Humanity can be writ ten, or should be written. But, then, we must understand it well, and be careful that we overlook nothing which it permits us to see. Undoubtedly, Providence intervenes through the medium of an elect people; undoubtedly, too, the Jewish people prior to the coming of Christ, and the Christian Church, are to be regarded as standing at the head of this people; but it would be unjust to leave all the rest of mankind to the mere law of nature, and untrue, to say that no rays of Divine light had penetrated to them but through the inherent and necessary laws of nature and humanity. The false religions of antiquity were not altogether the creations of the devil, but corruptions, or imperfect, incomplete embodiments of the true religion. The grand defect of Bossuet is in not comprehending, except in its theological sense, the spiritual communicability or transmissibility of Life. The fact of this communicability in the City of



God, or in the history of the People of God, he recognizes and asserts, as the Church has uniformly done, under the dogmas of Communion and Apostolic Succession. But, though the Life communicated from one subject to another, is supernatural, yet that it is communicated by a natural, not by a supernatural law-this is what this eminent Prelate does not seem to have learned. But we are so made that we do transmit our lives to others by another mode than that of natural generation. We will try and explain this fact, though at the expense of repeating what we have said on several former occasions.

Life is the term by which, when men are the subject of it, we express all the phenomena which a human being exhibits in time and space. Life, predicated of the supernatural agent sent to redeem, enlighten, and sanctify us, is the phenomena exhibited by that agent; but when received by us, it becomes in us, not life, but the power of life. Hence, the life of Moses became, when communicated, the power of a higher life to the Jews; so the Life of our blessed Savior communicated to us, becomes in us the power of life, or the power of God in the soul, to live a higher and a truer life.

Life is communicated from one subject to another, between which there is intercourse, by virtue of the fact, that no subject lives but by communion with an object. I cannot see, when or where there is nothing but me to be seen. Yet to see is a fact of life. Seeing, if decomposed, will be found to be compounded of two elements, one of which is I myself, the subject; the other is that which I see, namely, the object. The seeing, that is, the fact expressed by the word, will vary as you vary either of these elements. Change the subject, or change the object, and the fact itself assumes a new character. Take another fact of life, namely, love. Now I may, perhaps, experience the want to love, where there is no object to be loved; but this want or need of loving is not love. I love only where there is something loved. Love, then, as a fact of life, is compounded, in like manner as seeing, of two elements-the subject loving, and object loved. Now, change me, the subject loving, and you change the character of the love; change the character of the

object loved, and you equally change the character of the love. So of any other fact of what I call my life. Now, from this, I obtain the important conclusion, that what I call my life, or my act, IS NOT ALL IN MYSELF, DOES NOT


WHOLE CHARACTER FROM MYSELF, BUT DEPENDS JOINTLY ON ME AND ON THAT WHICH IS NOT ME, and derives its character JOINTLY from me and from the object in conjunction with which I live or act. Here is the profound significance of the Christian doctrine of COM


Now, assume a Providential Man, that is, a man qualified by the special interposition of his Maker, to exhibit to the world a higher order of spiritual and moral life than the world had hitherto known or been capable of They who should come into personal communion with him, would live by him, and their life would partake of his fullness. He would be the object-not the end in reference to which-but the object in conjunction with which, they would live; consequently his higher and diviner character would be communicated to their acts, so that in acting they would act him as well as themselves, would literally live his life. Here is the secret of the well-known influence of example. The fact of this influence has always been known and insisted on; the law or philosophy of this fact has not, till quite recently, been discovered. "Evil communications corrupt good manners." Wherefore? Because our life is composed of two elements, one the subject, which is myself, the other the object I am in relation with, which is not me; and as the life partakes of the character of both the subject and the object, it follows necessarily that, if the object be corrupt, that part of my act depending on it will also be corrupt. So good communications have the opposite effect, and purify our manners, and for the same reason. The object in relation with which I live being better than I am, more elevated and holy, evidently, as my acts must derive somewhat from it, my life will be purified and elevated. The fact here stated everybody knows; the reason of the fact is all that is novel in the statement. Who of us have ever conversed for one half-hour with a really great and good man, but have felt that a virtue has come out of him to

us, and that we ourselves are lifted up. and are no longer, and never can be again, what we were before? This law, which we call the spiritual communicability of Life, creates what we denominate, from a French legal term, the mutual solidarity of the life of the human race. By this all are not only ontologically, that is, in the common principles of their nature, members of one race; but all are members of one and the same community, and members one of another, living, in their various degrees, one and the same life.

Now, admitting the providential intervention to be in the form and manner asserted by Bossuet, that is, through a peculiar, an elect people of God, it does not follow that it was necessarily confined to that people. We admit the insulation of the Jewish people, for a long series of years, that is to say, from their settlement in Palestine under Joshua to the Babylonish Captivity; but the providential intervention was not delayed till Moses. The name of Abraham is spread all through the East, and reappears in the Brahma of the Hindoos-a sure evidence that this Patriarch was not the patriarch merely of a petty tribe, living isolated from the human race. The memory of Noah is preserved in the universal traditions of the Asiatic, and in fact of the ancient European world. The Bereshith is a compend of a divine philosophy, which evidently was diffused far and wide long before Moses-at least in a form more or less pure. Moreover, man had no sooner fallen, than the gracious Creator interposed in his behalf, and commenced the Divine Economy that was to effect his final recovery and exaltation to a state far above that which he had lost by his expulsion from Eden. The evidence of this is in Genesis. "Adam also knew his wife again, and she brought forth a son, and called his name Seth, saying, God hath given me another seed for Abel whom Cain slew." The meaning of the word Seth is "Repairer," and strictly, "repairer by way of knowledge;" thereby indicating that the work of reparation had commenced, the divine knowledge was communicated to the race which was finally to grow brighter and brighter till it deepened and broadened into the Sun of Righteousness, through whom the race was to be renewed and sanctified.

This Divine Economy for the recovery of man, commenced in the infancy of the race, before the Flood. The light is transmitted through the line of Seth, or people of God, till the Flood, then continued through Noah and his Sons, who commence, as it were, a new series for the human race. But this was before the building of Babel, and the Dispersion of mankind, and consequent ly while the whole race dwelt together and spoke one and the same language. They lived then all in communion one with another, and consequently all must in some degree have partaken of the divine life which had been renewed after the Fall, and which was still preserved among them. All communication was not cut off even by the Dispersion, which took place at the building of Babel, as we learn from the universal reverence paid to the Patriarch Abraham. Consequently, keeping in mind the spiritual communicability of life, we may reasonably infer that the providential life deposited with the children of Seth, was communicated even to the Gentiles, and was the seed of whatever was true, beautiful and good in their respective traditions. We are loath, then, to believe that the Gentiles were disinherit ed by thei heavenly Father, and left. exclusively to the dim and flickering light of the law of nature. Placed as the people of God were in the midst of the empires of the world, the law of human life must have been miraculously changed, if they had not communicated to even the heathen somewhat of their own divine life.

So, too, when we come down to the times of the People of God under the Church. We unhesitatingly admit the Church to have been the depositary of the faith, of the sacred traditions; in one word, of the New Life, communicated to the human race by him who was the Way, the Truth, and the Life; and that it was only through it the Life could spread out and permeate and renew the mass of men in time and space. But by this very law of which we speak, placed as the Church was in every land, as an illuminated city, its light must spread beyond the boundaries of the city itself. The Church and those, not in a Protestant sense, technically of it, must necessarily meet at a thousand different points in the general commerce of life, and there

fore must the New Life be communicated and diffused; so that the grace of God which bringeth salvation would in some sense, and to a certain extent, really appear unto all men. Who will undertake to say that there is, at this moment, a single people on the globe, to which more or less of the Life of Christ, by virtue of the communion of the human race, has not been communicated?

While, then, we accept the Prelate's general point of view, and readily admit that Providence is specially manifested in the Religious Empire, represented by the Jewish people prior to the coming of Christ, and by the Christian Church since, yet we are not willing to regard the effects of this providential interference as shut up within the limits of this Empire, or as confined exclusively to the peculiar people of God. The Patriarchs, the Jews and the Church were made the depositaries, so to speak, of Providence, not for themselves as ends, but as the instruments and ministers of God in accomplishing his purposes, which concern the entire human race. In explaining what is called profane history, as well as in explaining sacred history, we are to recognize, in its true religious sense, the providential intervention, mediate at least, if not immediate.

We have here another objection to the Discourse on Universal History. If we have not mistaken its scope and design, the end it represents Providence to have in view in his intervention in human affairs, is the rearing up and growth of the Religious Empire. This was already asserted in Saint Austin; it is repeated still more emphatically in the Philosophy of History, by Frederic Schlegel-a work unduly praised. by some, and unjustly decried by others. Schlegel represents God as having in view in the whole life of humanity solely the manifestation, the glory, and, so to speak, the realization, of the WORD. To this all is subordinated, and made subsidiary. We do not question the truth of this, under a certain point of view. But what we do question, is the assumed fact that the People of God are selected out from the world, placed under the Religious Empire, solely for their own exclusive good. That the end is the revelation, the glory, and the realization in humanity of the divine WORD, which selects the people of God,

and is their power of life, we freely admit; but we venture, with all deference, to affirm, that the true sense of the Church is and always has been, that the People of God in this world are selected as the medium of God's providence to the race, not merely that the divine life may be communicated to the chosen people themselves, but that through them it may be communicated to all men. The Jews before, and the Church since the coming of Christ, are to be regarded as the depositaries of the faith, the witnesses to the truth, the agents and ministers of God in effecting or carrying on his purposes of love and mercy towards all mankind; for God is no respecter of persons, but the God and father of all, over all, blessed for ever more.

Leaving now all further criticism by the way, passing over Herder, who, in his Reflections on the Universal History of Humanity, is an inveterate Rationalist, and may be read with more pleasure for his poetry than for the light he sheds on the philosophy of history, we proceed to sum up, and set forth, briefly, but distinctly, our own answer to the question which now concerns us, namely,-By what agencies is progress effected?

The historian, who wishes to give really a universal history of mankind, must unquestionably treat that history under the five-fold division of Industry, Politics, Art, Religion, and Philosophy, as contended by M. Cousin, for these are all indestructible elements of the life of humanity; but in considering these in relation to their origin, their cause, their progress, it will not be enough to consider them as originating in certain permanent and indestructible wants of human nature. In other words, Nature given as their theatre, and man also given with his inherent and permanent wants, still all the facts of the life of mankind would not be given; we should yet have no industry, no politics, no art, no religion, no philosophy. It is here where we separate from M. Cousin. If we understand him, since Providence intervenes only in nature, and in the permanent laws of humanity, nature and humanity given, all the facts of human history are given. This we deny. Human history is explained only by the recog

nition of three elements as at work in its production.

1. Nature; 2. Humanity; 3. Providence.

Jouffroy excludes Nature and Frovidence; for he finds the principle of change in human things only in the human intelligence; Cousin, by traeing all to the Impersonal Reason, and recognizing the Divine Action only in the fixed, the permanent, and the necessary, virtually, while contending for them, excludes both Humanity and Providence; Bossuet takes no note of Nature, and makes quite little of Humanity, and therefore gives us an exaggerated view of Providence. But neither can be excluded without vitiating our philosophy of history.

NATURE is not the mere passive theatre on which man is placed to display his activity, but is herself an active force, and progressive even. M. Cousin, after Leibnitz, has demonstrated-and we also, in our Synthetic Philosophy, have done the same to all who understand us-that no being or object is conceivable by us but under the category of cause, and only in and so far as it is a causative force. The grain of sand on the sea-shore is cognizable by us, conceivable even, only in that it is a force, producing in conjunction with our activity an effect on us. The Atomic theory of matter is not sound, and must give way to the Monadic, as it already has in the minds of the most eminent cultivators of science. The physics taught in our schools need revising still more than our metaphysics; and the time, we trust, is not far distant when we shall cease to talk of the vis inertia and the infinite divisibility of matter. The chemist will find that the resolution of all material forms into the gaseous is not the last word of analysis, and does by no means bring him to the ultimate, the primitive vreexcias, entelechias, or active forces, of which matter is but the compound. All substance, in the last analysis, will be found to be immaterial, possessing inherent activity, capable of making an effort (conatum) from its own centre.

Nature is not only active, but progressive. This is demonstrable from the very conception which we have, and cannot but have, of God, if we conceive of him at all. Our only conception of God is of him as cause, crea

tor, but as an infinitely powerful, wise, and good cause. He is essentially cause, and not merely a potential cause, but actually, eternally, and universally a cause. In causing or creating, he is realizing his own Infinite Ideal in space and time. But space and time are limit. ed, and can contain only the finite. Creation, therefore, or the universe, viewed either as a whole or in detail, must be incomplete--can be only a finite realization of the Infinite; consequently, only an imperfect realization of the Divine Ideal.

It must be now and always an imperfect, that is, incomplete realization of the Divine Ideal, because, if it were not, the Ideal being infinite, the creation would be infinite. An infinite creation is an absurdity. The creator cannot create that which surpasses himself. If Creation were infinite, it would, as there can be but one infinite, be greater than the Creator himself. Then a finite creator would be equal to the work of an infinite creation, which, of course, no one can admit. That which can be defined, bounded, is finite. The universe must needs be bounded, defined, by the power and wisdom of the Creator, and, therefore, must always be

assumed to be finite.


But God is essentially a creator, always and everywhere a creator. Ideal is infinite, and he never relaxes, so to speak, the creative effort to realize it. Consequently, the realization must be for ever becoming nearer and nearer complete; which implies, through the continuous creative energy of its author, a continuous PROGRESS of the universe towards the full and perfect realization of the Infinite Ideal. Hence, the progressiveness of Nature herself. Not that Nature is internally progressive by her own agency, regarded as distinct from the Divine Agency; but progressive by virtue of the continuous creative effort of its Original Author.

The same conclusion, to a given extent, is obtained also empirically. They are very careless observers, as well as unsound reasoners, who say that all in God's universe is perfect, all but man, whom they usually except.

"Look on yonder earth; The golden harvests spring; the unfading


Sheds light and life; the fruits, the flow ers, the trees,

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This is not true. Man is not the only blot on the fair face of creation. Of all the Creator's works he is acquainted with, man is the most perfect, for he confessedly stands at the head of this lower creation. Would-be poets and sentimental lovers of Nature may speak of his littleness, of his weakness, meanness, and of the grandeur of interminable forests, of mountains and cataracts, of extended plains and boundless oceans; but what are these, in contrast with the human soul, the free thought, the disinterested affection, the heroic deed? They who, standing by the Falls of Niagara, profess to feel their own littleness before the huge mass of waters pouring over a ledge of rocks, know very little of the grandeur of the human soul; for there is more sublimity, did they but know it, in the faintest aspiration after God than in all that mass of waters a thousand times over.

abortions? 66

But we see nowhere in Nature the perfection boasted. The earth on which we stand-of what is it constructed but of the ruins of a prior Are there no pestilential world? damps, no noxious effluvia, no earthquakes, volcanoes, blights, mildews, The whole creation," says Saint Paul, "groaneth in pain.” Religious men have every where noted these marks of imperfection, and have accounted for them by supposing that when man sinned, all creation fell with him, that all nature for his sake was cursed. This way of accounting for these imperfections may or may not be satisfactory-a point on which we are not now called to decide-but its popu larity proves, at least, that the experience of mankind is against the hypothesis of the perfection of all the Creator's works.

Then, on the other hand, in some measure, we are able to trace, as we have said, empirically, the progress of

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