« PreviousContinue »
open to him as Hermanstadt,- and that constitutional England, which suffered him to hunt from city to city the Parliament of Pesth, would let him do as he liked with the Divan of Constantinople. May the minister who deceived Nicholas by apathetic words undeceive Alexander by resolute action! But, however certain it may be that Poland and Hungary, once reconstituted, would present the most reliable barrier to the advances of Russia on the West, their reorganization is a work of immense difficulty, not to be effected in a tumultuary and boundless storm. Such results can attain no solidity unless aimed at and accomplished one by one, and secured by the concentration upon each, as its turn comes, of every available resource of political sagacity and military power. We know it is said, that in this way you enable the Absolutists also to take the rising nations in detail, and put them down by an itinerant crusade. But their power to help each other is much impaired, now that Russia is pre-engaged at home, and would rather want to borrow armies than be at liberty to lend. And the necessity of peace is so extreme for Austria, so great for every German Court, that their general sympathy with Russia is paralyzed by more pressing fears.
Meanwhile, there is an earlier problem, which, notwithstanding the recent check, is emerging, we trust, by military settlement, into the stage for political solution. What is to be done with the Crimea ? To restore it to Russia would be an absurd forfeiture of securities won at so great a cost. France or England could not hold it without exciting dangerous jealousies. Turkey would hardly be able to protect it.
There are difficulties in every arrangement;, but we can think of no insuperable objection to giving it to Sardinia. Her shipping to the neighbouring ports of the province of Kherson is already, we believe, highest on the returns of tonnage. The Genoese would be at home again on the southern shore, and find the traces left by their forefathers. The military and naval power of Sardinia is fully equal to the easy defence of the Peninsula, yet would occasion no alarm to Constantinople. The Italian race has aptitudes for naturalization in the East which are not found in North Europeans. And if a new nucleus of organizing life is needed there, as a centre to counterbalance possible decay, what source could more hopefully supply it than a young, energetic, second-rate Power, whose development into a State of the first rank would certainly be for the interests of the world ?
It is, however, a cheap exercise of imagination to revise “the map of Europe.” Amid the uncertainties of war, no proposal can be more than a hint; even in the re-settlement of peace, no adjustment in the East can be regarded, we fear, as more than provisional. The political problem presented by that region of multifarious races, dissimilar languages, and hostile faiths, is the most perplexing, perhaps, that the world has ever seen, Well might statesmen be tempted to abandon it in despair. and persuade themselves that they thus leave it to a Higher Power, were it not just the one thing certain and clear amid the darkness, that this pious excuse delivers it into the hands of a Lower Power. For if we do not undertake the solution, assuredly Russia will. The distant issue is beyond our vaticination, and no part of our proper aim. But from day to day a preventive responsibility rests with us. And in various ways, by the repulse of arrogance and the protection of injured weakness, by teaching differing faiths to co-exist, and prejudiced races to obey the same law, by the example of invariable honour in commerce and equity in political intervention, it may be given to us to save the finest region of Europe from the grasp of military despotism, and develop in it the aptitudes for a just civil rule.
ART. IX.-SUMMARY OF THEOLOGY AND
The Reformation first dissolved the formal union between Theology and Philosophy, and the relation which they have since borne to each other in Protestant history is not a little tinged by the idiosyncrasies of national character. In England, the influence of theology has ever been exercised in keeping philosophy above the level of an obtuse-minded experience. In Germany, theology has had to struggle with a still more obstinate tendency to unreal and abstract currents of speculation. English philosophy without theology would have become a more or less systematic log-book of external phenomena. German philosophy without theology did frequently become a mere logical web of abstractions, spun in vacuo, and connecting a subjective zero with objective nonentity. In England, the faithful and sharp sense of duty and religion alone preserved us from yielding up every claim to an originally divine constitution in man. In Germany the same causes tended, but only tended, to call back philosophy to life from the deep oblivion of an intellectual dream. England has had but little spirit of intellectual adventure, in common with Germany, France, or even Scotland. Our truest thinkers have been goaded into philosophy, as it were, by the necessity of vindicating their due province for conscience and religion.
In this respect we are in remarkable contrast to other nations. Germany has not one really great philosophic name-unless we except those of Schleiermacher, Herder, and Jacobi--which belongs either to a professed theologian, or to a mind deeply engraved with religious characteristics. Leibnitz, Kant, Lessing, Fichte, Schelling and Hegel, were all men in whom intellectual genius took the initiative, and amongst these Kant (and perhaps Fichte) alone exhibit any well-marked ethical cast of mind. The same may be said, with equal truth, we believe, of the history of French philosophy. And in Scotland, Hume, Smith, Reid, Brown, Stewart and Hamilton, have been all determined to mental science by purely in. tellectual bent. In England, the case has been very different. Bacon, Hobbes, and Locke are the only original thinkers on mental science, whose minds have taken their impulse from intellectual causes ; while Cudworth, Cumberland, Clarke, Butler, Berkeley, Edwards, Price, Hutcheson, and Coleridge, were all obviously influenced in their researches by their eager desire to reach that magnetic pole to which human conscience and faith are ever pointing. Hence the very different course which philosophy has run in England and Germany. In England, under the pilotage of Locke, philosophy was declared fit only for the coasting trade, and kept creeping along the well-known shore of every day experience; and only by the constant interference of moral theology was her head kept far enough away to avoid its most dangerous rocks and shallows. On the same waters, under the guidance of Spinoza, the newly-launched vessel of German thought drove straight out to sea before a monsoon of violent logical speculation, and not till she had been dizzily hurried, in true Cartesian vortices, round and round the metaphysical eddies of a self-involved idealism, did theology gain any command over her, and bring her up on the other tack. But now, at last, English and German philosophy seem likely to cross each other's tracks ; English thought inclining to stand further away from the empirical quicksands, while German thought, weary of the waste of waters, seems steering for the sheltering shore. In both countries alike, however, the influence that real theology has exerted over philosophy has been always sobering and regulative, simply because all real theology must adhere to the truth of experience, and yet must command and overlook the whole. Theology draws us so far out of life, as to prevent us from confining and losing ourselves in its narrow creeks and inlets, and yet its beginning and its end is in life. It ceases to be theology, and becomes theosophy, when it ceases to teach the union between God and man-between the temporal and the Eternal—when it loses the clue of history and relapses into a mystic's dream.
English theology has raised philosophy from the dust; German theology has at least striven to bring down philosophy from the clouds. With a true instinct Theology has felt that Christ, and John, and Paul, must seem utterly dark and delirious to the pupil of Hobbes or Bentham, and, also, that they must seem earthly and human to the mind that is lost in the reverie of German speculation. We are convinced that theology and philosophy should never be severed. Theology cannot be, philosophy ought not to be ever divorced from history, and we shall always seek to regard them as different aspects of the same divine truth.
It is not often that English theologians, while holding firmly to the details of history, have grasped with so vivid a thought its living spirit, and followed so faithfully the guidance of critical principle, as Mr. Stanley, in the delightful volumes on St. Paul's Epistles to the Corinthians, now before us.* With an historical insight, as clear as that of Dr. Arnold's maturest writings, Mr. Stanley enters into, and reanimates for us the past. And he has brought to his task, not merely a deep appreciation of St. Paul's personal character, but an inward picture of the early church, and a keen geographical and topographical eye. The book is divided into sections, determined by the continuity or discontinuity of the apostle's subjects, and around each section are grouped the materials for its illustration, in the form of introduction, notes, paraphrase, and, wherever necessary, a retrospective dissertation. Nevertheless, there is nothing cumbrous about the volumes. The brief introductions just fix the mind upon the centre of St. Paul's thought; the notes clear the way without diverting the reader to the minutiæ of an ostentatious scholarship; the paraphrases frequently restore to life the spirit buried for us under too familiar terms; and the dissertations always faithfully state the unsolved difficulty where they do not lighten its pressure. The Greek is reprinted from Lachmann's approximation to the text of the three first centuries. In one dissertation, Mr. Stanley touches, in a few striking words, on the change introduced in consequence of St. Paul's first Corinthian letter into the mode of celebrating the Lord's Supper. He paints for us the manner in which it was first celebrated by those for whom “the earthly and the heavenly, the social and the religious aspect of life were indistinguishably blended," contrasting it with the change of form that became necessary in order that the spirit of the institution might be saved. In another dissertation, on the fourteenth chapter of the first epistle, he opens up the vexed question of the gift of tongues, inclining clearly to the view taken by Neander. Again, he enters with so full and entire a reverence into the inspired chapter in which Paul writes of the resurrection of the dead, that he does not even feel tempted to disguise from himself that personal expectation of St. Paul's, that the end of the world was at hand, to which we owe the condensation into the compass of a single vision of the full power of his inspiration. In the introduction to the second epistle, Mr. Stanley gives a very interesting account of the Judaizing party, by which Paul was denounced as the rival of Peter, the same party which, later on, dared to introduce him in the “ Clementines," under the name of Simon Magus. This is the argument on which Baur, of Tübrigen, has laid so much
“ The Epistles of St. Paul to the Corinthians; with Critical Notes and Dissertations." By Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, M.A. 2 vols. Murray. 1855.
stress in criticizing the book of Acts. Mr. Stanley has an able final dissertation on the relation of these epistles to the Gospel history. It is impossible in this brief notice to give any true impression of these volumes. But we can truly say that the author's vivid conception of St. Paul's life, internal and external, seems to shine through his whole work, and to light up even the most trivial comments. With all the delicacy of touch of a modern historian, Mr. Stanley yet conveys to us an impression of the strong but abruptly changing outlines of the great character which is his theme. He raises vividly before us the eager gestures of mind, the alternating moods. the rapidly dilating and contracting emotions, the incessant lightning of thought--now striking with forked tongue, now playing in broad sheets of flame-which distinguish the whole life and writings of this greatest of the apostles.
The concluding volume of Mr. Higginson's "Spirit of the Bible, "* completes a work which embodies a considerable range of illustrative learning in a compendious and popular form. The first volume, and the early portion of the second, will probably be found to be the most valuable part of the book, mainly because historical and critical help on the prophetic and apocryphal writings has hitherto been almost as inaccessible to the unlearned English reader, as it is absolutely essential to an intelligent study of those difficult books. When Mr. Higginson reaches the New Testament, the general points (to the illustration of which his limits necessarily confine him) have been already so much more frequently treated, that a cursory discussion is less satisfactory, and his summary of Christian principles deduced from the four Gospels, does not seem to us to seize satisfactorily the essence of the Christian faith. No doubt, this would be impossible, not merely within such limits, but in any summary of principles whatever; yet in Mr. Higginson's account of Paul's epistles, we cannot but feel as if an essential portion of Paul's faith were constantly eluding the grasp of his critic. By omitting the scarcely needful summaries of the New Testament books, Mr. Higginson might have gained a freer range for his critical learn. ing. His readers would have gladly received from him a fuller discussion of such questions as those concerning the authenticity of John's Gospel, its relation to the other three, and to the Apocalypse, its distinct account of the Lord's Supper, and others of a similar nature which he has had little or no room to touch. The merit of these volumes consists in collecting widely scattered critical and historic aids to the popular apprehension of the Scriptures within moderate limits.
In the little volume called “the Christ of History," + Mr. Young starts from the purely human side of the life of Jesus, and infers from the analysis to which he subjects it, that there is “ One wonder
• “The Spirit of the Bible ; or, the Nature and Value of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures, discriminated in an Analysis of their Several Books." By Edward Higginson. 2 vols. Whitfield. 1855.
+ “ The Christ of History; an Argument grounded on the Facts of his Life on Earth.” By John Young, M.Ă. Longman. 1855.