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regard to the ritual, the questions are comparatively unimportant. But whatever changes might be introduced in either of these respects, must, in order to be healthy and lasting, be in a forward, not backward direction; they must tend to a more consistent development of the principles of Protestantism, not to any return to those of Popery. They will consequently lead to greater simplicity (in the phraseology of our antagonists, greater barrenness), not to increased richness. There is a reason for this tendency in ritual and liturgy, from the nature of the case; for it is much more fitting that any person should add for himself what he deems necessary, than that he should take away what is laid down for him, if he finds it burdensome; nor is it just that a ceremony or a form which some may feel to suit them, should therefore be made positively binding upon all. Hence it is that we think all complaints of deficiencies on the part of members of our Church not well-grounded. Considering the infinite variety of men's minds, it seems to follow that the simpler and fewer the outward ceremonies they are required to join in, the more probability there is of union. Two only have been imposed by divine authority on all men,—we should be very careful how we add to them.

It will now be obvious in what sense we consider the conduct of the Reformation to have been defective; but we have hitherto limited our view almost exclusively to externals, to church government or ritual. With reference to the former more particularly we have endeavoured to show, that much was left undone in the early period of the Reformation; that, whatever palliations may be alleged, too long a time was suffered to elapse without any advance made. But we must remember that all outward institutions,-be they the constitution of a church, or its ritual, or its formal confession of doctrine,are but signs and representatives of a reality which they intend to express, and which is the true object of historical inquiry. The outward change introduced by the Reformation is really important only by virtue of that which it symbolizes, the change in men's religious ideas and feelings,the return from an erroneous to a truer view of Christianity. We have spoken of Roman Catholicism as involving a false view, and being a false scheme of life; and it is precisely insofar as Protestantism advocates a very different view, and

is a very different scheme, that it is exposed to fierce attacks from the party which we have mentioned above as hostile to it in principle. Many of their objections are aimed against abuses, which may easily be distinguished from essential elements; but it seems that no clearing away of abuses would altogether disarm them,—that their thorough adoption of opposite principles is a complete obstacle to their forming a right judgement of Protestantism.

They look upon man, and not unjustly, as a creature of sense, whom it is difficult to rescue from the influence of this earth with all its numerous attractions; he is weighed down by them, by his senses, by his daily work, by the ties which nature has formed for him, or which he forms for himself. His object is to become a spiritual being. What then must he do but zealously separate himself from all hindrances? He must conquer his body by asceticism; he must avoid the clogs of kindred by monasticism: such is the highest mode of life; others are tolerated, but in this alone he breathes freely. The common actions of men he must recoil from; prayer and contemplation are the proper employments of his life, which must be a communion with the infinite, a destruction of the finite. Common sense shrinks from this view, as a revolt against the practical laws of nature; but in shrinking back men rush to the opposite extreme. They have been aiming too high; they have lost sight of the actual, and their aspirations have ended in evil; they will turn them to their proper home, the earth; they will direct their attention to their duties as citizens and as men; they are finite beings, why should they endeavour to shake off this the primary condition of their existence? They turn from the infinite to the finite, and become earthly and sensual. The view which leads to this state is worse even than the former. But let us combine the truth which lies in either, and duly value the institutions of family and social life; let us not seek to disguise the conditions under which this earth is given to us to possess it, but cultivate our nature in all its various parts, shrinking from none of the duties which in our impatience we consider as hindrances; let us do all this, because it is the appointed means by which we are to rise; not turning our back on this earth, but conquering it, and changing the low and trivial into the noble and great, by the spirit in which we

labour. Our appointed task is not to destroy the finite in the hope of attaining the infinite, but to bring the infinite to the finite, and by their union to attain the perfection of our nature. We cannot here do more than appeal to the corroboration of this view given in the Gospel history; the highest idea of which is, God made man, the Word becoming flesh and dwelling amongst us.

This Protestantism aims at embodying, although as yet it has fallen very far short of success. All that it has accomplished is the destruction of the strongholds of the opposite view: hence its suppression of monasteries, its inveterate enmity to the celibacy of the clergy, its attack on the excessive number of ceremonies, and the tendency of the Romish church to multiply appeals to the senses. Its idea is the more difficult one to realize; in this lies the strength of Romanism. A thorough logical development of it is not attainable; like almost all other practical ideas, it has its necessary limits. But we may advance towards it much more boldly than we have hitherto attempted to do.

At the period of our first separation from Rome many errors were unavoidably left in the new system. It would not have been possible, or wise, to root them out all at once. Moderation was the proper course at first; but all the remnants of the old opinions should have been unceasingly opposed, and one by one they would have yielded. Unfortunately the policy which was wisely adopted at first, was clung to till it was folly. At the close of Elizabeth's reign it was no longer necessary to spare many a prejudice which had been prudently respected at its beginning. The nation had grown very rapidly; in its state of comparative manhood, at the opening of the seventeenth century, it looked back with wonder at the childish thoughts it had cherished in the middle of the sixteenth. Yet it found the government just where it had been, or even more backward; it found that attempts were made to check its own growth; bands were bound round it, which impeded its free exercise. It burst them at last in its giant strength, but the full and beautiful proportions of a healthy and unfettered growth were no longer possible. Puritanism was, with all its extravagance, the noblest form of religion yet witnessed in England:had there been wisdom in the government, how much nobler would it have been without that extravagance; how much more

beneficial would have been its effects! As it was, it was beyond its time; men felt unequal to it; they betook themselves to the sneering indifference of the Restoration, and to the cold morality of the eighteenth century. But we must not be led on too far. Our more immediate object was the early part of Elizabeth's reign, but the whole of our ecclesiastical history is too intimately connected to suffer us entirely to detach any one part; and it is only as a part that a period so entirely negative has much to interest.

ARTICLE IV.

Lectures on Slavonian Literature: delivered by M. ADAM MICKIEWICZ, at the Collège de France, in Paris; 1841,

1842.

THE lectures, delivered from the newly established Chair of Slavonian Literature in Paris, by Professor Mickiewicz,— one of the most distinguished of the Polish exiles, both by his works as a poet and his sufferings as a patriot,-have a direct bearing upon important questions now pending, in which the nations of Slavonian origin are mainly concerned. To the statesman and the philosopher, they open a wide and novel field of observation upon the opposite forms of social existence developed in the countries occupied by the Slaaves. Despotism, anarchy and liberty, the yoke of the Tartar and the yoke of the German, have from time to time repressed or invigorated the efforts of populations spread over a wider space than that occupied by any other European race, numbering at this moment from sixty to eighty millions of inhabitants, and touching at once the confines of Sweden, Greece, Italy and China. Yet through all vicissitudes of good and evil, these populations have maintained their national characteristics with unshaken fidelity.

Russia, with its population and resources, with its despotic government and wondrous political intelligence, is a Slavonic empire, and to the same stock belongs that nation VOL. XVII.—No. XXXIV.

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whose struggles against Russia are hardly less matter of importance to the historian of the past and the present, than to the man of feeling and the poet, the soldier and the statesman, and the maintenance of whose rights inviolate is as much the duty as the well-understood interest of the great empires of the West. Besides these principal divisions of the race there are others, which, though under the sway of Germanic sceptres, have not forgotten their distinct origin.

It is not to be denied that, amidst all the diversities of their fortunes, these nations long remained strangers to one another, indeed until nearly the close of the last century. At that time, however, new sympathies took root: the memory of a common origin was awakened, and brought more distinctly before the consciousness of all classes, by a renewed cultivation of their ancient language and literature, the only ties which still united them. To further these studies, literary associations have now been founded in all directions: by their efforts the means have been supplied of comparing the history, statistics, social development and literature of the Slavonian and other nations; and their investigations have been hailed with interest and delight by many a population which finds in them a realization of its dreams of happiness and glory.

Many distinct causes have contributed to assist this general movement. Russia naturally looks upon herself as its centre, and the Czar aspires to be known as the Mecænas of all erudite Slavonians, whatever be their birthplace. Those races which are subject to German sway cling to this literary tendency with regret for freedom lost, perhaps not without some slight hope of emancipation to come. In Poland the Russian censorship, so severe upon Polish nationality, still permits a wide field for more general speculation; while the Poles themselves claim a preeminence among all the nations of the common stock, as due not less to the superiority of their literature than to the prestige of their ancient grandeur. Although it may not be easy to determine all the motives of this movement and its real aims, or to appreciate the power it wields and the extent which it may reach, the fact of its existence is undeniable; it is the germ of future revolutions, confined indeed at present to the sphere of the ideal, but not

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