« EelmineJätka »
piece, of gold, diamonds, and pearls.
Glad and blithe they were all iij,
of the sights that they had seen, It is asserted (but doubted) that the
By dene-a, tomb and its contents are of the value
The company was clean-a." of £240,000."
From the offerings of the three I will conclude with a modern speckings arose the practice of Christmas imen of a legendary carol written by gifts, and the festival of the Epiphany the Rev. Dr. Neale, and published in has always been observed in remem- Novello's shilling collection. The brance of their visit to Bethlehem ; it story of St. Wenceslaus, the good King has also been the custom from earliest of Bohemia, is given by Bishop Jeremy times for our sovereigns to offer the Taylor in his “Life of Christ :" three mystic gifts of gold, myrrh, and “One winter night, going to his deincense at the altar on the day of the votions in a remote church, barefooted Epiphany, which custom is still ob- in the snow, * * his servant Podaserved at the Chapel Royal, the royal vius, who waited on his master's piety, oblations being received by the dean and endeavored to imitate his affections, or his deputy in a bag of crimson and began to faint through the violence of gold. The Epiphany is also a the snow and cold, till the king com“scarlet day" at the universities. manded him to follow him, and set his After this long roundabout discourse, feet in the same footsteps which his I am almost afraid to weary my feet should mark for him; the servant readers with a second edition of the did so, and either fancied a cure, or wanderings of the Wise Men, but I found one, for he followed his prince, must rely upon their generous forbear helped forward with shame and zeal ance; the accompanying carol is from to his imitation, and by the forming
manuscript of the time of King footsteps for him in the snow.” Henry VII.:
“Good King Wenceslaus look'd out,
On the Feast of Stephen;
When the snow lay round about,
Deep and crisp and even:
Brightly shone the moon that night,
Thongh the frost was cruel,
When a poor man came in sight,
Gath'ring winter fuel.
** Hither, page, and stand by me,
While thou know'st it telling,
Yonder peasant who is he?
Where and what his dwelling?'
". Sire, he lives a good league hence
Underneath the mountain;
Right against the forest fence,
By Saint Agnes' fountain.'
“. Bring me flesh and bring me wine, * Her. Of whence be ye, you kings iij?
Bring me pine loga hither; "Leg. Of the East, as ye may see,
Thou and I will see him dine,
When we bear them thither.'
Page and monarch forth they went,
Forth they went together;
Through the rude wiad's wild lament,
And the bitter weather.
And the wind blows stronger,
Fails my heart, I know not how,
I can go no longer.'
Tread thou in them boldly:
Thou shalt find the winter's rage
Freeze thy blood less coldly."
* In his master's steps he trod,
Where the snow lay dinted;
Heat was in the very sod
Which the saint had printed,
Therefore, Christian men-be sure
Wealth or rank possessing,
Ye who now will bless the poor,
Shall yourselves find blessing."
From The Dublin Review.
THE FORMATION OF CHRISTENDOM.
The Formation of Christendom. Part may arrive at it. History, in its ori
First. By T. W. ALLIES. Lon- gin, was far more akin to poetry than don: Longmans.
to philosophy, and even when it passes
into prose it is in the half-legendary It is somewhat paradoxical, but form, which makes the narrative of strictly true, to say that the greatest Herodotus and of the annalists of the and most important revolution which middle ages so charming to all readever took place upon carth is that to ers. They are ballads without metre. which least attention has hitherto been Next came that style of which Thupaid, and concerning which least is cydides is the model, and which Mr. known—the substitution of “ Chris Allies calls“ political history." Its tendom” for the heathen world. Be- limit is the nation, and it deals with fore our own day no historian, no phi- all that interests the nation.” “Great, losopher of modern times has felt any indeed, is the charm where the writer interest in this vast theme, and what can describe with the pencil of a poet ever information with regard to it is and analyze with the mental grasp of attainable must be sought in the frag- a philosopher. Such is the double mentary remains of ancient writers, merit of Thucydides. And so it has or in works very recently published happened that the deepest students of on the continent. In the volume be- human nature have searched for two tore us Mr. Allies has taken ground thousand years the records of a war not yet occupied by any English au- wherein the territory of the chief bel. thor. He has availed himself of two ligerents was not larger than a modworks — Döllinger's “ Christenthum ern English or Irish county. What und Kirche" and Champagny's Histo- should we say if a quarrel between ries—and he acknowledges in the Kent and Essex, hetween Cork and most liberal and loyal manner his ob- Kerry, had kept the world at gaze ligation to them ; but, in the main, he ever since ? Yet Attica and Laconia has been left to find his way for him- were no larger.” self, and no man could well be more And yet it needed something more highly qualified for the task, whether than territorial greatness in the states by the gifts of nature or by the ac- of which he wrote to enable even quirements of many years. We infer Thucydides himself to realize the idea from the work itself that his attention of a philosophical history. For the was immediately turned to the sub- five hundred years which followed the ject by his appointment as professor Peloponnesian war brought to maturiof the “ Philosophy of History” in ty the greatest empire which has ever the Catholic university of Dublin, un- existed among men, and although, at der the rectorship of Dr. Newman. the close of that period, one of the The duties of his post obliged him to ablest and most thoughtful of writers weigh the question, “ what is the phi- devoted himself especially to its hislosophy of history?" and the inaugural tory, yet, says our author, “I do not lecture with which the volume before know that in reading the pages of us commences, although it gives no Polybius, of Livy, or even of Tacitus, formal definition of the phrase (which we are conscious of a wider grasp of is to be regretted), supplies abundant thought, a more enlarged experience considerations by the aid of which we of political interests, a higher idea of
man, and of all that concerns his per- no really philosophical history could sonal and public life, than in those of have been written. Thucydides." Great, indeed, was the Not unnaturally, then, the first exgenius of those ancient historians, ample of the philosophy of history was magnificent were the two languages given by a man whose mind, if not which they made their instruments, the greatest ever informed by Chrislanguages very different in their ca. tianity, was at least among a very pacity, but both of them superior in few in the first class, was moreover so originality, beauty, and expressiveness thoroughly penetrated by Christian to any which have fallen to the lot of principles, that to review the events modern nations. It may be that the of the world in any other aspect, or marbles of Pentelicus and Carrara through any other medium, would insure good sculptors.” “In the nar- have been to him as impossible as to rative—that is, the poetic and pictorial examine in detail without the light of part of history--they have equal mer- the sun the expanse of plains and it. Their history is a drama in which hills, rivers and forests, which lay unthe actors and the events speak for der him as he 'stood on some predomithemselves. What was wanting was nant mountain peak. God, the Althe bearing of events on each other, mighty Creator-God incarnate, who the apprehension of great first princi- had once lived and suffered on earth, ples—the generalization of facts.” And and now reigned on high until he should this no mere lapse of time could give. put all enemies under his feet, and It is wanting in the works of the who was coming again to judge the greatest ancient masters. It is found world which he had redeemed-the in moderns in all other respects im- Church founded by him to enlighten measurably their inferiors. “ What, and govern all generations throughthen, had happened in the interval ?” out all nations, and in which dwelt Christianity had happened-Christen- the infallible guidance of God the dom had been formed. “There was a Holy Ghost—the evil spirits, powervoice in the world greater, more potent, less against the divine presence in the thrilling, and universal, than the last cry Church, but irresistible by mere huof the old society, Civis sum Romanus, man power—the saints, no longer and this voice was Sum Christianus. seen by man, but whose intercession From the time of the great sacrifice influenced and moulded all the events it was impossible to sever the history of his life,-all these were ever before of man's temporal destiny from that the mind of St. Augustine, not merely of his eternal; and when the virtue as articles of faith which he confessed, of that sacrifice had thoroughly leav- but as practical realities. To trace ened the nations, history is found the events of the world without conto assume a larger basis, to have tinually referring to all these, would lost its partial and national cast, have been to him not merely irreligto have grown with the growth of ious, but as unreal, unmeaning, and man, and to demand for its complete fallacious as it would be to a natural ness a perfect alliance with philoso- philosopher of our own day to invesremarkable phenomenon, the “ Sun- tre of man's labor and suffering. He day religion" of a respectable English passes through it as he might through gentleman, which he holds as an in- one of the arsenals of ancient Greece separable part of his respectability, or Rome, where indeed great works but which is well understood to have no were wrought, but where the hand of bearing at all upon the business of the the workman was always as visible as week. Living as St. Augustine did at the result produced. A more thoughtthe crisis at which the civilization of ful man might see proofs of some unthe ancient world was finally break- known power, just as in an arsenal of ing up, his eye was cast back in re- our day works, compared to which view over the whole gorgeous line of the fabled labors of giants and cyclops ancient history, which swept by him were as child's play, are hourly perlike a Roman triumph. Egypt, As- formed by the stroke of huge hamsyria, Greece, Rome, each had its mers welding vast masses of glowing day; the last and greatest of them all metal, while nothing is seen to cause he saw tottering to its fall. But far or explain their motion. All this is more important than this comprehen- understood by one who has once been sive survey, which the circumstances allowed to see at work the engine of his times made natural to so great itself which sets all in motion. So an intellect, was his possession of fix- does the Old Testament history unveil ed and certain principles, the truth of to the eye of faith the hidden causes, which he knew beyond the possibility not only of the Jewish history, but of of doubt, and which were wide enough the great events of secular history. All to solve every question which the his- that seemed before only results withtory of the world brought before him. out cause, is seen to be fully accounted Great men there had been before him, for ; not that we can always underbut the deeper their thoughts, the more stand the ends which the Almighty had they found that the world itself Worker designs to accomplish, or the and their own position in it were but means by which he is accomplishing a hopeless enigma without an answer them, but everywhere faith sees the a cypher without a key. A flood of operation of Almighty power directed light had been poured upon the pierc- by infinite wisdom and love, and, ing mental eye of St. Augustine when while able to understand much, it is the waters of baptism fell from the willing to await in reverent adorahand of the holy Ambrose upon his tion the development of that which as outward frame. Every part of the yet is beyond its comprehension. It Old Testament history glowed before sees that the history of other nations him, as when from behind a cloud is distinguished from that of the chilwhich covers all the earth the light dren of Israel, not so much by the of the sun falls concentrated upon character of the events which it resome mountain-peak; and the man cords (for the extraordinary manifestwho reverences and ponders as divine ations of divine power were chietiy that inspired history has learned to confined to a few special periods), as read the inner meaning of the whole to the principle and spirit in which it history of the world as no one else can. has been written, and that secular hisIn every age, no doubt, Almighty God tory viewed by eyes supernaturally rules and directs in justice and mercy enlightened assumes the same appear the world which he has created; but ance. in general he hides himself behind an In fact, it is not difficult to write a inpenetrable veil. “ Clouds and dark- history of the reigns of David and Solness are round about him, justice and omon and their successors down to judgment the establishment of his the fall of the Hebrew monarchy throne.” To many an ordinary spec- which sounds very much like that of tator, the world seems only the thea- any other Oriental kingdom. The
tigate the phenomena of the material Thus, then, the “ philosophy of his world without taking into consideratory" is the comparison and arrange- tion the attraction of the earth and the ment of its great events by one whose resistance of the air. This should be mind is stored with the facts which it noticed, because we have all met men records, and who at the same time who, while professing to believe most, possesses the great first principles if not all, of these things, would conWhich qualify him to judge of it. We sider it bad taste to introduce such may, therefore, lay it down as an ab- considerations into any practical affair. solute rule, that without Christianity They are, in short, part of that very
thing has been done of late years, both fore a modern historian. In many in Germany and in England. It was instances, also, they were led by the by this that Dean Milman, many imperfect state of physical science to years ago, so greatly shocked the attribute to a supernatural interference more religious portion of English of God in the world things which we readers. Nor were they shocked are now able to refer to natural without cause ; for his was a history causes. That God has before now of the Jews from which, as far as pos- interfered with the course of nature sible, Almighty God was left out, which he has established in the world; while the characteristic of the inspired and may whenever he pleases so innarrative is, that it is a record not so terfere again, these were to them first much of the doings of men as of the principles. And so far they reasoned great acts of God by man and among truly and justly, although their impermen. Only Dean Milman was more fect acquaintance with other branches consistent than those who condemned of human knowledge sometimes led him. He was right in perceiving that them to apply amiss their true princi. the greater part of the history of the ple. Their minds were so much acJews is not materially different from customed to dwell upon the thought of that of other nations. But he went on God, and upon his acts in the world, to infer that, therefore, we may leave that they were always prepared to see God out of sight in judging of Jewish and hear him everywhere, and in history, as we do in that of other na- every event. When they heard of tions, instead of learning from the ex- any event supposed to be supernatural, ample of the Jews that in every age they might be awestruck and impressGod is as certainly working among ed, but could not be said to be surprisevery nation. That by which he of ed; and hence, no doubt, they somefended religious Protestants was the times accepted as supernatural events application of their own ordinary prin- which, if examined by a shrewd man ciples to the one history in which who starts with the first principle that they had been taught from childhood nothing supernatural can really have to see and acknowledge with ex- taken place, could have been otherceptional reverence the working of wise explained. Beside, their comAlmighty God in the affairs of the parative unacquaintance with physical world.
science led them into errors in acThis it is which gives its peculiar counting for and even in observing character to many of the chronicles of those which they themselves did not the middle ages. It is impossible not imagine to be supernatural. But to feel that the writers see no broad their first principles were true. And distinction between the history of the the modern who assumes, whether exnations and times of which they are plicitly or implicitly, that the course writing and that of the ancient people of the world is modified and governed of God. And hence in their annals only by the passions and deeds of We have far more of the philosophy of man, is in his first principles fundahistory, in the true sense of the word, mentally wrong. They fell into accithan was possible to any ancient au- dental error; he cannot be more than thor. For with all their ignorance of accidentally right. physical causes, which led them into Our author says: many mistakes, their main principles “In the middle ages, and notably in were both true and vitally important, the thirteenth century, there were and were wholly unknown to Thucydi- minds which have left us imperishable des and Tacitus. But the circum- memorials of themselves, and which stances of their times made it impos- would have taken the largest and most sible that they should survey the philosophical view of history had the extensive range of facts which lies be- materials existed ready to their hand.