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tain modifications. The idea of manifoldness and plurality had permeated the Indo-European mind. The characteristic method of their religions was the exaltation of the wonderful, mighty, or beneficent powers of nature to Godhead. Following this tendency, the Indo-European deified Christ; developed the doctrine of the Trinity ; established the worship of saints ; and in that religion which began with the Hebrew horror of graven images bred an idolatry which grew to be the horror of Ishmael. Saints were substituted for heroes; and then images of saints for images of heroes. True to his Semitic instincts, Ishmael revolted from this elevated Paganism, and became a Mohammedan. There came another revolution. The Indo-European spirit still feared not to place God in contact with the world, but it individualized and limited him; the most evident and highest manifestation of God it took to be God. We trust that it is freeing itself from this littleness.
And so, at the present day, the great opposing forces — pure Monotheism, as represented by the yet more numerous Jews and Mohammedans, and the modified Monotheism of Christendom — stand with confronting faces. Out of the conflict will come the victory and peace of truth.
We ought to venture, even in the most general terms, no rash predictions for the future. But we have no belief that any system of unqualified Monotheism, as held by the Jews, will ever prevail or have a continued existence among the Indo-European races, with whom the idea of plurality is no weaker now than the idea of unity. We are speaking of facts. Read the history of Christendom. The idea of plurality mingles everywhere with the idea of unity. Nor were all the various forms of this idea of manifoldness which have existed or do exist in Christendom foisted upon Christianity. Preparation for their development was made by its Founder. Believing as we do that the hand of God guides the progress of Christianity, we cannot suppose that his Divine plan has been thwarted for twenty centuries. Christianity, based upon eternal religious principles, has been developing itself continuously in the comprehension and consciousness of humanity.
Modern thought, unfolding and embracing, through science, the unity of nature, the unity of the universe, amid
such varied manifoldness, hopes, and may be able, to reach a true conception of the Christian doctrine of Monotheism. God is not divided, but the universe is made one in him. He is present in all, but specially manifest in part. The doctrine of Trinity in Unity is rooted in the life of the Indo-European races. Will it ever be eradicated ? Can it be more than corrected, and placed as a Christian doctrine upon its true philosophical basis ?
The Semitic races, clinging exclusively to the strictest Monotheism, and shutting the door against science and civilization, seem destined to perish. The Indo-European, receiving from the Semitic the only element in which they were deficient— religious truth — develop a modified Monotheism, and advance in civilization. The Indo-European is now the historic man, bridging the gulf that lies between the experience of the Past and the needs of the Present, and marching to the dominion of the world. In the progress of that march, what further union and change may be effected we cannot foresee. This we know,— the conquering race contains within itself the powers of invention, art, philosophy, and holds in trust for the world that most inestimable treasure of all, the doctrine of the one omnipotent, omnipresent, indwelling, providential Spirit, as declared by the Revealer; and, through all change and seeming disaster, humanity as a whole must move onward to freedom from error, ignorance, and superstition.
Art. III. – BUCKLE'S TREATMENT OF HISTORY.
History of Civilization in England. By Henry Thomas BUCKLE.
Vols. I. and II. New York: D. Appleton & Co.
LITERATURE has met with no light loss, though philosophy is less bereaved, in the death of Henry Thomas Buckle. A scholar in earnest, whose stores of information were wonderful in extent and wonderfully under command; a vigorous writer, fluent, perspicuous, copious; a thoroughgoing liberal in poli
VOL. LXXIV. — 5TH S. VOL. XII. NO. I.
tics and theology, hating bigotry, cruelty, and strong governments, believing with ardent faith in political economy and the popular catchwords; an enthusiast in his patronage of to-day as against all past time, an enthusiast no less in behalf of outward and material progress; an admirable popularizer, easily putting into good, firm, every-day English the ideas of thinkers abler than himself; an admirable hoper, sanguine, sure, putting into his statements just that one-sidedness and extravagance which would at once render them piquant, and better assimilate them with popular modes of thought; courageous in thought, bold in utterance; gifted with great self-assurance, and rich also in that easy, native, unembittered superciliousness, and that confident blindness to all ideas going beyond his depth, which make him seem always to be entire master of the situation;— he had many qualifications for the making of books that should be in a very high degree attractive, and in no in. considerable degree instructive. On the other hand, he is limited strictly to the outsides of things, — has no inwardness, no intuition of interior principles; while discursive, with great surface-reach, he is astonishingly deficient in Aristotelian stable breadth and coherency of thought; keen and eager in immediate reasonings, he can deal only in the narrowest linear logic, and this lies in broken unrelated lines, so that the attempt to pursue his argument is like following a road which is now firmly beaten and now suddenly disappears, and when again found runs in another direction. He wants all that constitutes a great thinker, and he attempts what the greatest of thinkers might find too severe a task ; yet his faults are so overlaid with merits, real or apparent, that only he who carries some large categories in his mind will discover them without assiduous study.
Such a man is sure to receive all the credit he deserves. Fiercely blamed he may be ; yet the chances are that the outcry against him will be raised on a ground of mere prejudice, and will therefore react with double force in his favor. Sufficiently credited and praised he is sure to be; the only danger is, that he may not be censured with fairness and discrimination. If, therefore, in the following paper, we dwell chiefly on the grave defects of his work, let the reason be understood. Let it be understood that we do not deny to him the possession of remarkable merits, and that we have no sympathy with those who clapped their hands over the news of his đeath, or raised them to heaven with thanks. We believe fully in his soundness as a man; we do not believe in the soundness of his thought. We admire his boldness, and wish his ability had been equal thereto. But because we admire so much in him and in his book, we are the more bound, and the more fitted, to point out that his thought is false in its main lines; that his book is baseless, good in secondary and bad in primary respects. And because of this favorableness to him, we shall put forth our censure without euphemism, in words, if possible, as plain as his own.
History, as defined with imposing precision by Mr Buckle, deals only with two classes of topics. It recounts, first, the ways in which man has been influenced by physical phenomena, by the outward world ; and, secondly, it shows the effect on such phenomena which the wit and toil of man have been able to produce. Whether, now, a narrower and more meagre definition of history has ever been made, one may question ; but there is hardly room for question, supposing such curiosity to have appeared, whether it proceeded from a man of such ability and of equal pretension to philosophical breadth. Man's effect on the material world, — think of this as the sum-total of his efficacy and activity! Why, if this were so, the influence and importance in history of Shakespeare would be incomparably less than that of any backwoodsman who has cleared the trees from a space of land ; than that of him who has drained a marsh or reclaimed a moor; or even than the influence of an ordinary farmer or gardener. Mr. Buckle's friends may, indeed, claim for him that he has been wholly, or largely, untrue to this definition in his subsequent work. This merit cannot be denied him ; but to have made, and published at the beginning of an elaborate work, a statement so feeble and foolish, argues an infirmity of intellect which his inconsistency, flagrant as it is, may in one aspect relieve, but in another confirms.
To the first part of his definition he more adheres, and proceeds, first, to set forth the influence upon man of his sur
roundings. Yet this topic is treated in a way singularly partial. Nothing is taken into view but those influences which are negative, - which, in their strength, preclude civilization. The matters treated under this general head are Food, Soil, Climate, and those Aspects of Nature which, by creating the impression of danger, oppress the imagination. But the statement is summarily this: where soil is fertile, climate propitious, and therefore food very abundant, there the demand for industry becomes small, which causes an equal smallness in its remuneration. Wealth, therefore, says Mr. Buckle, accumulates in few hands; this causes knowledge and culture to do the same ; and civilization, which under these bountiful skies had quickly started, has but fairly started when it is brought to a stand. To this add, that very powerful and impressive aspects of outward nature generate superstition ; superstition wars upon intellect; and here, also, civilization, to which a free action of reason is essential, fails to begin, or comes early to a pause. The outcome of all is simply, that only in Europe is a civilization possible ; and in arriving at this conclusion, Mr. Buckle reaps the fruit of this entire discussion. Whether under the term “ Europe” he intends to include all or any of America, we are unable to determine; but Asia and Africa are expressly set aside ; nor has our author any aim in treating of the influence upon man of physical phenomena other than the exclusion of these broad lands from the province of such a history as he writes. In a history of civilization, therefore, Mr. Buckle ignores the influences of outward nature; his argument is, that these are to be considered only in the history of uncivilized life. He draws the circle of civilization, and pushes all this outside it. Only where nature is a nullity can man be civilized, - this is the substance of his assertion. Accordingly, he has excluded from the history of civilization the first part of his definition of history in general, and left himself, according to the limits of his own statement, nothing else to treat of than the effect of man's activity upon physical phenomena ; and this he has already pronounced the less important of the two grand topics. But this portion of his definition, as was intimated above, is treated by himself as an impertinence, and may, therefore, be so passed by in this paper.