Sidor som bilder

the earth, of man, and of several races, and still more in the delicacy of its orbeside man.

Geology, imperfect as ganization. Especially will this be we regard that science as yet, shows True, if we confine our remarks to those us the gradual formation of the globe, who are the children of Christian eiviland in the several strata it discloses isation. This is evinced again in the marks the successive steps of its pro- more generous and humane sentiments gress. The earliest remains of organic and delicate sensibility which the life are those of coarse vegetables, Christian world possess over the ancient spreading out their broad leaves as huge Pagan world, demanding in Art the life lungs, and deriving their nourishment and movement of Painting, rather than solely from the atmosphere. These de- the silence and repose of Sculpture. caying, form a mould on the hitherto The constant amelioration of physinaked rocks, whence may spring finer, cal nature, effected by the continuous more delicate, and more complicated realization by the Creator in it of more organizations, till we come to the pre- and more of his infinite Ideal, and by sent stage where we ourselves are. the re-action of man in cultivating and Everywhere does Nature seem to begin embellishing, through industry and art, rude, coarse, with an " * apprentice the world in which he is placed, is hand," and to be everywhere and al- among the causes, under Providence, ways improving upon her own types. of human amelioration and progress. The same progress may be traced in The historian, as we said, on a former the animal races. It is not true to say occasion,* of the philosopher, must that the beaver of to-day is no wiser take into view the history of the globe than the beaver of four thousand years itself, trace its changes and amelioraago. We may observe, too, the great tions, and their connection with the improvements effected in domestic ani- phenomena of human life. This is a mals, and their superiority, under vari- branch of History that has as yet been ous aspects, over those of the same but slightly cultivated; but it opens to families which have continued untam- a field of vast extent, rich in facts, ed, or that have relapsed into the sav. prolific in instruction, and affording no age state.

little food for speculation. Man, in consequence of his being 2. HUMANITY. While we reject the made to live in a body, lives in intimate notion that all in the life of humanity union with nature. He feels and re- is developed from itself, and is nothing sponds to every change in the aimo- but its own creation in answer to iis sphere that surrounds him. As nature own inherent wanis, we must still readvances in her own organization, so cognize humanity in every fact of hudoes he advance in his; which advance man history, and there too as a free, in his bodily organization is reproduced active, productive cause, though a in his moral and intellectual phenome- limited cause, working in conjunction na. It is sometimes contended that with other causes, never alone. To a the physical man has degenerated. great extent, human history depends That this is true in some localities, in on human volition. If Milliades had consequence of the artificial life to not defeated the Persians at Marathon, which individuals are driven by the or if Themistocles had not destroyed extremes of luxury and poveriy, we the Persian fleet at Salamis, the whole need not question; ihat in some favored course of ancient History would have tribes or families among the ancients, run differently; and yet ihis depended, as the Eupairids among the Greeks, to no inconsiderable extent, on the skill and the Perses proper from whom were and bravery of a few Greek leaders taken the Persian kings, the human and a mere handful of followers. Shall body was, through physical education, we, under pretence of exalting the race brought to a greater degree of perfec- taken as a mass, or even in our humility tion ihan is the case at present with the before Providence, rob those brave general average, we do not deny; Greeks of their glory, who stood in the but if we take the great mass of the gap and repelled the armed millions population of the globe, we shall find which Asia would pour in to crush that the human body has improved in young European Liberty? No; we its beauty, strength, and symmetry, who live to-day are their debtors; and

• Review of Schmucker's Psychology, Democratic Review for October, 1842.

it is not too much to say that Marathon, tion on the large scale on which histoPlatea, and Salamis, prepared Bunker ry contemplates it, as well as on the Hill, Saratoga, and Yorkiown. These narrow scale on which it is contemGreeks might have proved cowards plated by practical ethics, is alike the and traitors, been false to themselves action of individuals. In a former and to humanity; and had they been pumber of this Review, when discussso, we should all have fared the worse. ing the Community System, and going If Alexander had not invaded Asia and back to the origin and ground of socieAfrica, and by so doing founded the ty itself, we showed that humanity, Egypto-Grecian and the Syro-Grecian though itself transcending all individuempires, who will say that the course als, yet lives and actualizes itself oply of human history would hare flowed in individuals. All human action then on all the same?' Or if Cæsar had not is individual action, and is subjected 10 conquered Gaul and Britain, and with the laws of individual action, and each his Celtic legions crossed the Rubicon? individual is accountable, in his indi. And did the failure of Porsena to dis- vidual capacity, for his share of that mantle Rome, or of Hannibal, after the action, whether it be good or whether battle of Cannæ, to march upon the it be evil. A nation can be rewarded city, change nothing in human history? or punished only by rewarding or punA little more concert, skill, and bravery ishing the individuals that compose it; on the part of the Anglo-Saxons, prior therefore we protest against any ethicto and at the battle of Hastings; or on al rule that would declare the action of the part of the Burghers at Rosebeck; a given nation good, moral, right in or more prompt obedience on the part relation to the national will, but moralof some of Napoleon's officers at Wa- ly wrong in relation to the individual terloo; or less firmness in sustaining a volitions of which it is the aggregate. murderous fire on the part of the Eng. No people can be separated from its lish, and how different would have government. The individuals which been the history of the world! Or if compose the nation, just in proportion General La Fayette placed at the head to their co-operation or acquiescence in of the French Revolution of 1789, at the action of the government, share its the head of the Legislative Assembly merit or its blame. If then we acquit, in 1815, or at the head of the nation in with M. Cousin, the History of Human1830, had been at all equal to his posi- ity of all blame, so must we acquit all tion at either of those epochs, who sees individuals of all blame in their private not thai the course of events would as well as their public capacity, which have been very different from what it would be to assert contrary to the unihas since been? The wisdom and versal convictions of the race, that virtue of individual statesmen and there is never in human action any sin, leaders, of nations, and of private cili- iniquity, or transgression of the laws zens or subjects, must count for much of God. in human history; and it is permitted In recognizing the intervention of to hold in execration the trajtor who, Providence, then, we must not so relike Dermot M'Morogh, sells his coun- cognize it, as to imply that all goes on try to the foreigner, or like Burke turns in obedience to the laws of God, as if renegade to liberty, and prostitutes his man and men were at every moment powerful intelleci and gorgeous elo- doing what God wills or commands quence to the cause of the tyrants and them to do. The purpose of God, it is oppressors of the people, as this great admitted, is not frustrated; but this mau did in his aitack on the French purpose is to leave man free within Revolution.

given limits, and to reward him if he 3. PROVIDENCE. Providence undoubt. exercise his freedom properly, and 10 edly intervenes so as to secure in the chastise him if he abuse it. Provi. details of history, the execution of the dence is unquestionably to be found in Divine purposes; but it does not follow all the facts of human history, but not from this that nothing is to be found in there to contravene human freedom, human history not there by the express and by a sovereign agency to compel will and appointment of God. "For men io do this or to do ihat. He is were it so there would be small space there to make the very wrath of man to left for human agency, and there would praise him, and to restrain indeed the and could be no crimes. Human ac. effects of that wrath so far as it cannot

be made subservient to the Divine life of humanity, since no face of life is Economy for the government of humani- the product of a single factor, it fol1y. The general course of humanity lows that everywhere the object of the is onward, towards the realization in religious sentiment, to wit, the Divinity, individual and social life of the perfect must be universally, to a greater or less law of liberty. When the Jews refuse extent, immediately or mediately pre10 perform a certain work in this pro- sent with humanity, and cognizable, or gress, God rejects them and calls the rather perceptible, by the human intelGentiles. He has given us Americans ligence. The universal belief in God a certain work, for humanity; he is becomes therefore a proof of the fact with us ready to grant us all ihe assist that God is; as the universal belief in ance we need in executing it; but if his providential intervention becomes a we refuse to do it, he will cast us off, proof of that intervention. and raise up another people to inherit They who question Providence, and the glory that might have been ours. undertake to explain all on the theory Whether we execute this work or not, of DEVELOPMENT, the theory in vogue will depend on ourselves, on our own with our American Transcendentalists, intelligence and virtue.

and which is reproduced in nearly all The true view of providential inter- our works on education, proceed on the vention in human affairs is that taken hypothesis that man natural aspires. by Lessing in his tract on the Education This natural aspiration, the theatre of the Human Race, which represents being given, suffices for all. If ihis our heavenly Father intervening as an were so, a doubt might indeed be cast educator, giving us now one lesson, and on the reality of providential intervennow another, according to our wants tion. Man, we admit, aspires, and is and proficiency. But the educator does progressive because he aspires. But not do all. The pupil must work; man is not naturally progressive, sav. and if he exert not his own faculties, ing progress only as he is carried along the lessons and offers of assistance of with the onward course of the universe the educator will prove unavailing. itself, which, as leaving him in the

The fact of providential intervention same relative position in the universe, is established by all history, in the fact is not recognizable by us as prothat in all ages, among all nations and gress. Savage tribes are not progresstribes however rude and barbarous, we ive. Hence we infer that they do not find some form or forms of religious aspire. If they did naturally aspire, worship. The universal existence of we should sometimes see them by iheir religious institutions is taken, we own, own unassisted efforts coming out of by our modern philosophers, to be only the savage state, and indigenous civilia proof of the universality and innate- sation springing up. But this is never ness of the religious sentiment. This the case. We have no record of a is to some extent the doctrine of Ben- savage tribe emerging, by its own spon. jamin Constant in bis work—a great taneous efforts, from the savage state work 100De la Religion Considérée and coming into the civilized state. dans sa Source, ses Formes et ses Dé- This is admitted by Constant, and asveloppements, and which is set forth seried by Niebuhr, either of whom with much eloquence and a good deal on this point is a competent authority. of learoing, but without any sound phi Moreover, the traditions of every losophy or true reverential feeling, by civilized people--and we own that we Mr. Theodore Parker, among ourselves, are disposed to regard all traditions as in his huge volume entitled A Dis- of great historical value-uniformly course on Matters Pertaining to Reli- ascribe the civilisation to foreign influgion. But the religious sentiment is ence, never to indigenous and spontane. a fact of human life, not an element of ous effort. It is always a sacerdotal, man's nature, and, therefore, cannot be military, or industrial colony from a innate, that is to say, born with us. people already civilized; some proviMan is not naturally religious, in the dential man; some divine interposition, sense the lion is carnivorous, and the a Vishnou, a Boudha, a Thoth, a Bacsheep gregarious, that is, by virtue of chus, or a Ceres; a Minos, a Moses, a an indestructible and essential law of Pythagoras, or a Zoroaster, that quickhis nature. But inasmuch as religion, ens their faculties, commences their in some form, is a fact of the universal education, leads them out of the savage

state, and sets them forward in the the savage to the civilized state, in path of civilisation. The facts in the the numerous facts everywhere recase, so far as we can come at them, corded and everywhere attested, tranprove that if man has the natural ca- scending the combined powers of man pacity to aspire, he does not naturally and naiure, they may find evidence aspire; that is, not by the simple force of much more to their purpose, altogether his nature.

And this follows necessa more striking and more conclusive. rily from the fact we have so often in- The works of Providence are a far sisted upon, that man cannot perform better demonstration of the existence a single act save in conjunction with of God than the works of Creation. an active force which is distinct from But we must bring our remarks to a that active force which he calls him- close. If we find in human history self. And that this other force is not three agencies at work, namely, Naexternal nature, is established by the ture, Humanity, Providence, we must fact already stated, that the savage, bear in mind that these all three inleft to his own nature and the external tervene and work after one and the universe, is not progressive, does not same Original Law, Type or Model, come out of his savage state. In eternal and essential in the Infinite order to make the savage aspire, a for. Mind or Logos. This follows from the eign influence is necessary; for he is, doctrine of CORRESPONDENCE which so far as we know him, naturally in- Swedenborg after Leibnitz, Leibnitz dolent, careless, improvident, averse to after Plato, and Plato after Pythagoras all exertion, shrinking from all con- and Moses, insists upon, and which is tinued effort. His chief luxury is to reproduced by Schelling in his doctrine eat and to sleep. If the sense of hun- of the Identity of the Real and the ger, or some outward circumstances, Ideal. In the Article in our Number arouse him to a sudden effort, tbe im- for May already_alluded to, and mediate demand complied with, he especially in the Essay on the Comrelapses without delay into his former munity System, in our Number for torpid state. *

February last, to which we refer the Taking this view, rejecting the reader for further developments, we theory of Development, as worthy believe ourselves to have demonstraonly of the genius of the author of the ted that the Original Idea, or Type, of Doctrine and Discipline of Human all creation is eternal, essential in God Culture, and the Orphic Sayingst and the Creator, and that it is represented recognizing, as an unquestionable his- by each order of creatures, and each torical fact, that man and nature com- individual creature, each in its own bined, are not sufficient to bring men degree, and from its own special point out of the savage into the civilized of view. Creation is God himself restate, civilisation itself becomes a vealing and realizing out of himself, proof, as religious people have always his own Eternal, Consubstantial WORD. considered it, of the intervention of Each creature speaking out from its Providence in human affairs. History own centre echoes it, and thus it conbecomes then a proof of Providence, tinues to be echoed, though fainter and à fortiori of the existence of God. and fainter, through all actual exist. Here is a fact which we commend to ence till we approach the infinite Void. our Natural Theologians. They seek in Could we but hear the voice of the the order, harmiony, and beauiy of na- veriest grain of sand, we should hear ture the evidences of Design from which the same WORD that in the beginning they pass by induction to an Original said, “Let there be light and there was Designer; without finding fault with light,” or that, clothed with flesh, over them for this, though some question the wild tempestuous sea of Galilee, the value of their argumentation, we said to the winds and waves, “ Peace, may tell them that in the course of be still," or at the grave of Lazarus history, in the passage of man from to the sleeping dead, “Come forth.”

* Boston Quarterly Review, Vol. v., pp. 153, 155, and 446-453. The last reference is to a complete theory of inspiration, which perhaps is not altogether unworthy the consideration of our divines and philosophers.

† A. Bronson Alcott, whom a shrewd Englishman, lately come among us, is trying to persuade us to receive not only as the great man of America, but of the age, and who himself boasts of being to the nineteenth century what Jesus was to the first.

In consequence of this great funda- cannot in this way arrive at the facts mental fact, the three Agencies, Provi- of history, but merely at the law which dence, Man, and Nature, harmonize in governs the facts; which facts, owing their operations, as

three different to the element of freedom, we recog. voices in unison singing the same di. nize in both Man and Providence, can vine melody, and uniting to swell the be learned only empirically. The freesame sublime chorus of praise to Him, dom of man gives io the course of biswho is all and in all. Nature operates tory in a certain epoch or country a upon us without contravening the laws certain direction, which while it aliers of our being, and Providence in har. not the law of Providence, will yet mony with our natural constitution. determine in some sense the character Here is a refutation of the fallacy of its application. The same Provi. of Hume's Argument against Mira. dence that interposes to assist and fur. cles. Miraculous interposition is not ther, may now interpose to obstruct, a contravention of the laws of na- and to chastise; and the actual facts of ture or of humanity, and is therefore history must be different in the one case in itself as provable and as credi. from what they would be in the other. ble as any other actual or possible In conclusion, if we have made infact of human life. Miracles,—which telligible the thought with which we are nothing but a providential interven- have written, we may say that the tion in human affairs,—do not contra course of human history depends in po vene nature and humanity, but simply slight degree on the voluntary activity transcend them. They come from an of individuals. Nature and Providence agency or active force far above Man are in it, but men may by their wickedand Nature, and are therefore super- ness pervert its course, though not with natural, and superhuman, but ihey impunity; and by their wisdom, and blend in with the natural laws, and viriue, and energy, they may aid it operate in accordance with and even onward in obedience to the will of God, by virtue of them. All then that we and the good of their race. Here we need in order to prove a miracle, is to find, what theorists have denied us, establish historically a fact of human the room, the motive, and the sanelife, at a given epoch, transcending the tion needed for human virtue. The natural ability of man acting merely room is, in the space we allow in bis. in conjunction with nature at that epoch tory to human freedom; the motire is to produce. The moment you have obedience to God, and the welfare of proved that the Life of Jesus transcen- humanity, which last must always ded the natural life of humanity in his receive damage from individual ig. epoch, you have proved its superhu- norance, vice or crime; and the man and miraculous character. sanction is in the ever present Provi.

Now, inasmuch as the action of the dence to aid and reward us in wellthree Forces we have enumerated, do doing, and to chastise us, or to cut us all follow one and the same Original off, as a people, or as individuals, in Law, history, which is the product of evil-doing. Here we are free to countheir union, becomes, so far as its law sel, to warn, to rebuke. Humanity is concerned, capable of scienti ex- lives only in the life of individuals. position. We shall also obtain the Then let statesmen, kings, emperors, same general result, whether we un- priests, philosophers, and scholars, nay dertake to explain it from the point of all individuals, whatever their degree, view of Humanity alone, Nature alone, position, or ability, lose no time in makor Providence alone. This is where- ing all possible efforts to enable and to fore M. Cousin, in dividing history into induce all men, in public or in private, three epochs, and characterizing each to live in strict obedience to the Perfect epoch, in the manner we have seen, is Law of Liberty; and in making these substantially correct. Wherefore, too, efforts, let them know that God and Bossuet seizing solely upon the provi. Nature work with them, and they may dential point of view, yet gives us the do all things. And let them know also true law of history. But, this general that if they will not make them, not exposition of history must not be only shall all humanity fare the worse, taken for more than it is worth. It but the Judge of all the earth will do gives us after all only abstractions, the right, and will one day demand of them mere skeleton, not the living body, the wherefore they hare been un profitable warm flesh and blood of history. We servants.

« FöregåendeFortsätt »