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work secretly ; and, thus it is, that his abilities tell for far less than, in more provident keeping, must have been their worth. That he merited a place, and not the meanest among modern writers of fiction, in this book of Mr. Horne, we hold to be unquestionable. Not that his genius has had any effect upon

the

age, or will have any in future. We are not prepared to say what might have been its influence, applied differently. But, certainly, no thoughts, traceable to him, have given impulse to any society in the living time. He has wrought no change by his genius,-he has given direction to no bodies of men,--an impulse to none of the cominunities in Christian Europe or America. He is not a man of thinking. He is a satirist in this respect, no more, and a satirist is an Iconoclast, and never a builder. He might pull down, but he set up no idol,-inspired no faith, taught no philosophies. We may trace the influence of Scott, of Carlyle, of Wordsworth, Coleridge and Bulwer, upon the age, even now, while it is passing before us. We their thoughts already in action. Their tastes, principles, sympathies and affections, have, more or less, entered into the popular heart, here and there, in most reading countries. They have spelled the fancies and governed the minds of men, through their desires and imaginations ; and, whether true or false, their ways of thinking and expression are impressed upon a generation, which is now rising into greater strength, and with greater courage, to the conflict which is continued through all ages,-the great conflict of man's soul with bis temptations and necessities,—than has ever been the case in the civilized world before. We see nothing of Mr. D’Israeli among these influences. He has only pleased, not taught,-satisfied the desires of the moment, not fastened himself, with the thousand antennæ of genius, upon the tenacious heart of the outgoing and ever-working multitude. He has thought chiefly of himself, and seldom of them. But this defect he shares with others in this volume, who had far less right to a place in its pages than himself. We pass to their consideration, but must reserve what we have to say of them for another paper. .

S.

may see

Art. IV.-RELIGION IN AMERICA, or, an account of the

Origin, Progress, Relation to the State, and present condition of the Evangelical Churches in the United States; with notices of the Unevangelical Denominations. By Robert Baird. New-York: Harper & Brothers. 1844.

A most important fact in the history of Christianity is its toleration of infidelity. If that benevolent system had not emanated from the divine mind, and if it had not been assured of its truthfulness, it could hardly have borne the assaults of its antagonist, so calmly, and so magnanimously. The spirit of intolerance is natural to man; conscious of utter weakness, he strives to compensate bimself for it by crushing his opponent. The solemn mysteries of eternity, operating on the religious sentiments, have too often imparted a terrible energy to the passions, which, in the absence of reason, has impelled its subject into violent measures against its foe. The retributions of perdition have been made the punishment of dissent; and forgetful of the distinction between intellectual infirmity and moral turpitude, fanaticism has never besitated to employ all its resources, in both worlds, to avenge itself on ihose, who declined submission to its dogmas. Heathenism has never permitted the existence of skepticism, where it could exert supreme authority. The import of the words “religiones licite," was well understood among the Romans. It was not only such men as Nero and Maximin, who persecuted the disciples of the true faith, but similar enormities were perpetrated under the direct sanction of Aurelius. The mildest form of natural religion was found in Greece, but even there, the enlightened philosopher feared to denounce the popular idolatry. Mohammedanism allows no denial of its pretensions, and hence the absence of conflicting sects, under its dominion. The greatness of God places him infinitely above the reach of puny man, and consequently, the efforts of atheism cannot interrupt his serene complacency. The representation of his wisdom and goodness-Christianity,—partakes of his spirit and remains unmoved amid the fiercest hostility.

If we consult the oracles of Christianity, we find, that it contemplated the rise and diffusion of contrary creeds. It foresaw, that the philosophy of Mars-Hill would dispute its

doctrines. It was aware that tradition would attack its claims. The light of omniscience spread over its entire path through the world, it knew, that the annals of history and the profundities of science would be employed against its revelations; but it manifested no sign of alarm. It took no pains to anticipate an adverse movement; it forestalled no judgment; it announced no condemnatory edict. Convinced of its divinity and certain of final triumph, it did not even condescend to hold an argument with its expected as. sailants, but left the contest to them alone.

The policy of the church has not always corresponded with the policy of Christianity. It has sometimes been ar. ranged on human principles. The distrust and timidity of our nature have been infused into it. Infidelity has been persecuted. So long as this course was pursued, the system of the scoffer advanced. A change was rendered apparent. The oppressive temper of England towards Woolston, was relaxed in the cases of Hume and Kaimes. The common sense of the world has long since seen, that the excesses of intellectual freedom are not to be regulated by fines and imprisonments, but that God has made provision for their cure by other and better means. The authority of government cannot decide the truth or falsity of Christianity. Its aid has never been invoked by Jehovah. If he can dispense with it, so may we; if he has left the path to the citadel open, we may at least be sure, that the walls are impregnable.

The restoration of the original spirit of Christianity towards its adversaries, has been productive of the happiest results. Had infidelity been suppressed by law, it would have had no opportunity to demonstrate its nature and tendencies. Learned men, always disposed to submit every thing to the best of actual experiment, might have imagined, that it was the system, a disordered world needed. The popular mind, dependant as it is on the senses, might have entertained the same opinion. The undue jealousy of infidelity, that the most moderate advocates of Revelation have displayed, might have strengthened the supposition. Yielding perfect liberty of thought to it, the friends of Christianity have given that system a fair, full, opportunity to exhibit its merits.

The trial of infidelity was made in connexion with politics. The range of political principles is so extensive, that,

if another system be incorporated with it, there is at once secured, the best possible chance to witness its operations. It must then be brought in contact with mankind; its latent energies must be developed ; its real type must be presented. Prior to this alliance, infidelity had been a mere speculation It had produced no general effect. The gay philosopher of Lake Leman, and the warrior of the Black Eagle, had interchanged jests upon the sacred themes of Christianity; the historian of Rome, imbibing its Pagan spirit, had not been able to trace any memorial of the divine presence amid the ruins of the Coliseum; the champion of revolutions had published his theories of reason; but its senti. mnents slumbered in the sentiments of poets and statesmen. It was yet above the world. The charge of injustice to its principles had so long been urged, that providence permitted ihe cherished system to assume form and life among men. Philosophy resigned its favorite creed to its favorite nation. Its entrance into the great arena was marked by all imaginable grace, under all imaginable advantages. The soldier welcomed it, for it taught no doctrines of peace. The pikemen of the Fauborgs welcomed it, for it promised plenteous harvests, without any providence to blight the fields; the Jacobin welcomed it, for it read no homilies on reverence lo governments. Where Christianity looks for the smallest degree of its power, infidelity realized its strongest influences, and just there, amid the glory of its coronation and enthronement, it confessed its follies, and expired. The voice of Robespierre was lifted against its treacheries, and the voice of huinanity echoed the stern rebuke.

The argument against infidelity bas consequently been transferred to a new ground. It is now no sentimental controversy. The charms of poetry, and the attractions of general literature, are not to be associated with it. The bread of the laboring man is involved in its doctrines. The stability of trade is connected with them. The gravest points of jurisprudence are interwoven with its philosophy. Whatever may be the merits of its attractions, we have no concern with them. If metaphysics, in its subtle work of refining all subjects to their elementary principles, be the general and ultimate standard, we must here beg leave to set the sovereign science aside, and come to our conclusions respecting infidelity, as its political effects appear to our sober senses. The advocates of that system chose govern

ment as their sphere of action, and we insist, that the verdict of the world should be formed in view of it. Infidelity has legislated for a noble action; it has originated and executed schemes of finance; it has announced its decisions on international law; it has controlled armies; it has used diplomatic correspondence. Patronage and power were in its hands. It had the full benefit of the secord grand revival of European mind—the revival, that gave birth to German literature—the revival, that sent Canova to his studio, and opened the scenery of the heavens to the genius of Laplace. Surrounded by these favorable circumstances, it assumed an exalted position, and carried out its cherished plans. It perished instantly. Its political pretensions vanished. As an organized system, it has never since been known.

To judge of a system by its opposite, is not a correct method of decision. If we were to form our conception of noonday by midnight, we should certainly err. The peculiar points of Christianity admit of no contrast. The towering summits of the Alps have no valley-depths to correspond with them; and so, the dignity and purity of the divine religion cannot contemplate their adverse principles in the bitterness and corruption of infidelity. The ideal of wickedness cannot measure with the ideal of goodness. If man invoke the aid of passion, and, descending still lower in the gradations of nature, summon appetite from its animal pleasures, to assist his mind in the structure of such a system as infidelity, has he then, amid all those meaner companionships, arrived at one extreme of that intellectual and moral line, of which, Jehovah, rich in the excellence, and radiant in the beauty, of moral glory, is the other? Are the finite and the infinite to be thus considered? The positive features of Christianity must be studied, to appreciate its value. It is not the mere contrariety of infidelity; it is the embodiment of Divine Thought and Divine Love; it is too sublime to have a counterpart.

The relation of Christianity to the governmental interests of society, is as definitely marked in the sacred volume, and as perfectly illustrated in human experience, as we could expect any matter of revelation to be. If man is destined for an eternal world, all his present connexions have been so ordered and arranged as to be subservient to it. Is Christianity his infallible guide to a better home? True ; but it does

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