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moral distinctions, by subjecting man and the universe to a blind fatalism. If it be regarded as simply absurd, for any man to attempt to reason his way towards such conclusions, then we might say that the publication of this volume has been simply an absurdity. But these terms are not adequate. The book is full of representations which are grossly one-sided or positively false, and for all its uncorrected misrepresentations and unrefuted falsehoods its author is responsible. It matters not into whose mouth he may have put such things; if there, and left without antidote, the just inference is, that the mischief they are adapted to do is that which he intends should be done by them. It has become very common in our literature tacitly to assume, that what an author gives as the language of some fictitious personage is not to be reckoned as his own. But in all such cases, we adhere to the above principle. To lie, is to convey a false impression, and to send out a book, whatever be its texture, the decided tendency of which is to convey a false impression, is to lie in that shape.

Mr. Froude, it is evident, regards his reasoning as so cogent, that no man who is not knave or fool can fail of owning himself converted by it. We have only space to give a passage or two to show the sort of ground on which this confidence rests. Our selections are made almost at random. The following passage introduces the hero of the tale at the juncture when his faith in Tractarianism had been somewhat shaken, and describes the straw-like incident which sufficed to plunge him from that position into utter scepticism:

• Newman talked much to us of the surrender of reason. Reason, first of everything must be swept away, so daily more and more unreasonable appeared to modern eyes so many of the doctrines to which the church was committed. As I began to look into what he said about it, the more difficult it seemed to me. What did it mean? Reason could only be surrendered by an act of reason. Even the church's infallible judgments could only be received through the senses, and apprehended by reason. Why, if reason was a false guide, should we trust one act of it more than another? Fall back on human faculty somewhere we must; and how could a superstructure of stone be raised on a chaff foundation? While

was perplexing myself about this, there came a sermon from him in St. Mary's, once much spoken of, containing a celebrated sentence. The sermon is that on the development of religious doctrine-the sentence is this : Scripture says the earth is stationary, and the sun moves; science, that the sun is stationary, and that the earth moves. For a moment, it seemed as though every one present heard, in those words, the very thing they had all wished for and had long waited for the final mesothesis for the reconciling the two great rivals, Science and Revelation; and yet it was that sentence which at once cleared up my doubts the other way, and finally destroyed the faith I had in Newman after “Tract 90' had shaken it. For to what conclusions will it drive us? If Scripture does not use the word 'motion,' in the sense in which common writers use it, it uses it in some transcendental sense, by hypothesis, beyond our knowledge. Therefore, Scripture tells us nothing, except what may be a metaphysical unattainable truth. But if Scripture uses one word in such sense, without giving us warning, why not more words? Why not every word and every sentence.'-pp. 157, 158.

We hardly need say, that a mind which cannot conceive of a spiritual revelation made to mankind some three thousand years ago, without expecting that its references to physical science should be such as to anticipate the progress of the species on such subjects to the end of time, is not a mind likely to furnish the world with anything very edifying on matters of this nature. Following out the above style of inference, the

author says:

6

My eyes were opening slowly, to see for myself the strangeness of this being of ours. I had flung myself off into space, and seen this little earth-ball careering through its depths; this miserable ball, not a sand-grain in the huge universe of suns, and yet to which such a strange, mysterious destiny was said to have been attached. I had said to myself, Can it be that God, Almighty God, He, the Creator himself, went down and took the form of one of those miserable insects crawling on its surface, and died Himself to save their souls? I had asked the question. Did ever man ask it honestly, and answer Yes! Many men have asked it with a foregone conclusion; but that is not to ask it. I say, did ever man who doubted, find his own heart give him back the church's answer?'-p. 162.

Our answer to this last question, judging from our own experience, is, yes--myriads of men who have doubted on this point, have found their heart give them back this answer. But this has happened, because in contemplating it they have done something more than ‘fling themselves off into space.' They have felt that nothing could be more unreasonable than to call on men to judge concerning a doctrine of this nature thus abstractedly. No man is capable of judging of it at all, who does not take something of a 'foregone conclusion' along with him. This conclusion embraces, not only the historical evidence in favour of the church's answer, but a world of existences like ours-a world the mysteries of whose evil, viewed as coming in some way from the Divine hand, are far more confounding than the mystery of this special act of the Divine nature as intended to remove them. Beside, what has the existence or nonexistence of very many worlds, of very great worlds or very

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little worlds, to do with this question? If we believe in the infinitude of the Divine nature, the difficulty of this conception begins and ends in that truth. We see at a glance that such a nature could give existence to all but an infinite number of worlds if so disposed; and thus the question whether he has so done or not, comes to be a mere accident or circumstance, not at all affecting the reasonableness of the tenet under consideration. But our author, it seems, must have something like a materialized infinity spread out to his senses before he can rise to any tolerable idea as to what spiritual infinity really means. In man, too, by reason of this sensualized vision, he sees only the crawling insect,' not the mind, which no space can limit, which Omnipotence only can doom to crawl. The great difficulty with our author, it appears, is, that men are not physically big enough to be much cared about by their maker. they but a few thousand feet taller, the doctrine might then be admissible. And this is philosophy—the philosophy which is to set the thinking of this nineteenth century of ours fully to rights !

Of the literary ability evinced in the work we might have spoken with commendation, but our business with it has been of a graver kind. We may observe of the style that it is free, vigorous, and generally good, but, at times, much too Carlylish in its tone. And it speaks significantly as to the tendency of Mr. Carlyle's writings, that to those writings, more than to any other source, Mr. Froude has to confess his obligations for assistance in finding his way, not to the end of all controversy, but to that end of all believing, on the edge of which he stands at the close of this volume.

Before quitting this subject for the present, there is one topic on which we feel constrained to offer a word of caution. No one can have read books of the class now under review from those of Mr. Carlyle downwards—without marking the special aversion of this whole school of authors to what are called the • Evidences. By this term they mean the external and critical evidence which determines the historical truthfulness and the just interpretation of the sacred writings. There is no end to the repugnance evinced by them towards this department of investigation. But if these same evidences be so barren, so utterly worthless, a simple-hearted bystander might well ask-Why, then, not leave them to their fate? Why be at so much pains to warn men off from them, or to run them down? The fact is, these gentlemen know full well that this kind of evidence is powerfully adapted to influence the strong natural understanding of our people, and that to bring it into disrepute is strictly

necessary,

if their own refinements and abstractions are ever to produce any wide impression. There are portions of the religious press in this country that have not been wholly proof against the snare thus laid for them.

With all the respect becoming us, we would entreat these parties to consider what they do. We feel no scruple in saying, that if the sound historical verity of the sacred writings be lost, all will be lost. We rejoice to know that these assailants must completely change the cast of our national intellect before they can be greatly successful. That what is called apostolical succession should be deemed an adequate conservator of purity in ecclesiastical orders, is difficult enough to understand; but that mere sentiment—the loose and ever-fluctuating feelings of the human mind, should be deemed sufficient to transmit Christianity itself to the unborn races of men,—this is to us a far deeper mystery. God forbid that the greatest boon conferred by heaven upon humanity should ever be entrusted to such keeping !

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ART. VII. (1.) Histoire des Girondins. Par A. DE LAMARTINE.

8 tom. 8vo. Paris: Furne and Coquebert, 1847. (2.) History of the Girondists. Translated by H. T. Ryde. 3 vols.

Small 8vo. London: Bohn, 1847-48. (3.) Histoire de la Révolution Française. Par M. MICHELET. Tom.

1, 2. 8vo. Paris: Chamerd, 1847. (4.) History of the French Revolution. By J. MICHELET. Translated

by C. Cocks. [Vols. 1, 2.] Small Svo. London: Bohn,

1847-48. (5.) Histoire de la Révolution Française. Par M. Louis Blanc.

Tom. 1, 2. 8vo. Paris: Langlois and Leclercq, 1847-48. (6.) History of the French Revolution. By MiGNET. Translated

from the last Paris edition. Small 8vo. London: Bogue,

1846. (7.) History of the French Revolution. By A. THIERS. Translated

from the last Paris edition; with Notes. 8vo. London :

Whittaker, 1846. (8.) The French Revolution: a History. By THOMAS CARLYLE. A new edition.

Small 8vo. 3 vols. London: Chapman and Hall, 1847. (9.) Histoire des Journaux et des Journalistes de la Révolution Fran

çaise, précédée d'une introduction générale. Par. M. LEONARD

Gallois. 2 tom. 8vo. Paris : 1845-46. The last twenty or twenty-five years have witnessed a striking change in the appreciation, throughout nearly the whole of continental Europe, of the men and the events of the first French Revolution. Almost every work, purporting to narrate the history of that memorable epoch, which was current in France a quarter of a century ago, may be described as either a bill of indictment, an act of personal or family vengeance, or the rejoinder to such. And it might well be inferred that works written in other countries, on the same subject, and at the same time, should have been for the most part mere reproductions of the passions and prejudices of the French authors, with a sufficient admixture of international jealousies and antipathies to suit the market for which they were especially destined.

Now, however, we see amongst the foremost defenders, in France itself, of what was just and true in the Revolution, men whose earliest recollections are of furtive visits to the prisons which contained their dearest relatives, or whose family annals are overshadowed by the awful image of the revolutionary guillotine. And elsewhere, in countries which once poured out their armies to trample down · French principles' in blood, we find those principles enthusiastically vindicated in books, and adopted as a political creed by legislative assemblies. Truly

• Peace hath ber victories No less renowned than War.'

This rehabilitation of the Revolution may be said to have begun with the work of Mignet, remarkable alike for its symmetry of form, its lucid narrative, its dignified candour, its terse and elegant diction. It has many pages which, for copiousness of thought and conciseness of expression, might be placed beside those of Tacitus. But, perhaps, its greatest merit lies in its date. Written, as our neighbours say, “ in full restoration,' it was the first brave yet temperate utterance respecting the thoughts and deeds, the strength and weakness, the crimes and the virtues of the men of the Revolution; and it fell on the public ear at a time when the union of manliness with calmness was a very rare thing.

Unhappily, by way of off-set to these great merits, it must be acknowledged that M. Mignet's work is pervaded by a strong undercurrent of fatalism. The writer is too honest to disguise the atrocities which degraded the Revolution, but, whilst holding up the criminal to reprobation, he is too much inclined to view the crime as inevitable. He does not express, but he seems to imply, some such formula as this:-the Revolution was opposed within, therefore it became sanguinary; it was leagued against without, therefore it came to delight in war.

The exceeding brevity of the work, compared with the vast

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