Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

wretchedness (comparatively, that is If Democracy was infidel in the last to say, with what might be and ought century, there was much to cause and to be)-in which society is sunk. The to excuse it; but it is now profoundly, Church has heretofore miserably neearnestly Christian; and the truest and glected its high duty to interpret and highest Christianity is democratic. apply this profound and vast meaning Long estranged, they are again coming of the religion it has so little under together, in spite of all the efforts of stood, so litle felt. It has made itself, many of the votaries of each, still blind on the contrary, as a general rule, the in their ancient prejudices against the most formidable impediment in the other, to keep them asunder. And way of all liberating, elevating and behold them now bending over the progressive reform. Democracy bas same sacred page, where they not only lately been earnestly pleading with Re- read the divine record of their own ligion, to come forth from the indolent common original, but those principles ineriness in which it has been so long and those precepts of Him who spoke sleeping, within the dim shades of the as never man spake, which it is hencesanctuary, lulled by the soporific mono- forth the joint and blessed mission of tony of a well-paid preaching, and to both to apply in practice to the regenewalk abroad hand in hand together, in ration of human society, to realize that a lovely and holy sisterhood, indisso. inconceivably glorious result, of the luble henceforth in the unity of a com- coming of the Kingdom of God upon mon origin, authority, and aim. And the earth, of which He himself prothe latter is beginning to listen to the mised the attainment, as well as taught voice once so abhorred and dreaded. the way.

THE SCULPTOR IN HIS STUDIO.*

What sweet imaginings have haunted me!
Divinities of old, and demi-gods,
With all who peopled grove, and fount, and stream!
Morn's purpled brightness, twilight's shadowy veil,
Night with her stars, and Dian's gentle beam,
Brought with them lyre-sounds, and ideal shapes
Of matchless beauty, and the fearful realms
Solemn and dread, where Pluto reigns in awe.
Ever before my vision Orpheus stood,
Seeking his lost Eurydice. I gazed
Till my brain reeled with faintness, trembling then
I poured my soul into the work, and wished
For spark Promethean, that the form might start
At once to god-like motion and to life!
When in the days of old, Olympian Jove
Arose majestic from the Athenian's hand,

• As well for its own interest as for the illustration of the above lines, we add in a note the following extract from the letter enclosing them.-ED. D. R.

" The accompanying lines were suggested by the following passage, in a letter from Mr. Crawford to his sister, accompanied by an engraving of the Orpheus :'

“ I am writing,' says he, in the midst of a terrible thunder storm, and can scarcely proceed, for the incessant flashes of lightning which dart every moment into the win. dow of my studio; my statue of Orpheus is before me, and when I look upon it in the midst of this thick darkness, which is brightened occasionally by a glare of rapid red light, it is difficult to persuade myself, that this inanimate creation of mine is not starting from its pedestal, and actually rushing into the realms of Pluto. The thunder is getting really awful, and I must stop to compose myself. I have been thinking of the story about Phidias and his wonderful statue of Jove. You know that upon finishing it, he requested some sign from the god, to know if he were pleased with the representation; it seems the nod was given, for at that moment the statue was circled ho lightning which name and nassed with sneha noise as onld only be produced

For one approving sign the artist prayed;
Swift flew the lightning forth, with fiery wreath
Circling the statue's brow; deep thunder rolled,
Peal echoing peal, till shook the gorgeous fane,
While Phidias stood, awe-struck yet proud, and felt
Immortal triumph in that hour of fame!

Were ours the age for such high fantasies,
I too would hope. Hark to the wild uproar!
The sky of Rome is darkened o'er with clouds,
Chasing like storm-waves o'er the troubled deep,
Bright lurid flashes light the darkness up,
And 'mid this awful elemental strife,
Mine own inanimate creation seems
About to dare a deeper gloom, and rush
Impetuous onward through the gate of Hell!

Fond dreamer! what glorious visions are thine,

A worshipper, thou in wild rapture hast bowed,
At each soul-thrilling, hallowed, and beautiful shrine,

Round which loveliness floats like a glory-hued cloud.
Thou livest in light, in a world of thine own,
Gemmed with stars of the past, which resplendently shone,
In those days when mount, river, and valley, and grot,
Were each teeming with beauty, a wild haunted spot.
Fond dreamer! might each ideal form

To rapt enthusiast dear,
Wearing a halo bright and warm,

For ever linger near.
Couldst thou still dream of fame-wreaths wove
Around thy brow hy hand of love,
Soar on through cloud-land and yet live,
Without the pangs deep feelings give.
Vain wish! the fire that lights the soul,

And upward sends each piercing ray,
The thoughts that spurn earth's dull control,

Like birds that heavenward shape their way,
Too oft like love-fraught censers fling

Their treasure on a heartless shrine,
Too often plume their spirit's wing

To fall, as falls the mountain pine,
By lightning blasted and upturned,
Beneath the lowly shrub it spurned.
Pray God, a happier fate be thine,

Than aught that's emblemed here,
And may thy spirit's light divine,

Caught from a high and heavenly sphere,
Burn on, till earth's bright forms shall be
Dimmed, lost, in Immortality.

J. C. by heaven's artillery. Were we living in that age, or were ours the religion of the ancient Greeks, I too might interpret the sign in my favor.'

“ In a letter received a short time since, the artist states that the Orfeo will be in Boston this summer.' Another group now in his studio, 'Hebe and Ganymede,' has, both from Thorwaldsen and others, elicited the warmest praise. There are also three noble designs for statues of Washington, Jefferson, and the late Dr. Channing. The writer of this, has a tracing of the bas-relief for Mr. Tiffany of Baltimore, mentioned by Mr. Sumner, and also one illustrative of the sixty-second Ode of Anacreon, designed for the Boston Athenæum. It would exceed the limits of a note, to mention the designs for many works, some of which have been ordered by private individuals. The artist has commenced the publication of a series of engravings in Numbers; each of the Numbers will contain three engravings, illustrative of designs which he has executed while in Rome; the first of these is about being published.

“There is a mistake in the note to your paper on the Orpheus. Crawford was born the city of New York, and always resided here. until his departure for Italy »

REMARKS ON UNIVERSAL HISTORY.

SECOND ARTICLE.

BY 0. A. BROWNSON.

In a former article Universal His. be conceived of as at work in human tory, we stated that the History of affairs. But granting that he admits Humanity is subjected to a plan, that all the elements, does he in his account Providence is realizing in it a pre- of them, recognize and describe them scribed end, in reference to which it all in their true character? In order should be studied and written ; and to answer this question, we must rethat because so subjected it is capable turn upon his system for a few moof scientific exposition. Without going ments, and contemplate it under a difinto any particular consideration of this ferent point of view from that under plan, or the end for which man and which we contemplated in our former men exist, we assumed man's progres- article. He recognizes five elements siveness as our point of departure, and in human history, five original ideas, opened the inquiry-In what does pro- whence have proceeded, and to which gress consist, and by what agencies is may be referred as their source, all the it effected? We ihen proceeded to facis of the life of humanity considdiscuss, 1. The War Theory, which ered collectively or individually. places progress in the struggle with, 1. The idea of the Useful; and in overcoming, as far as possible, 2. The idea of the Just; outward and eternally irreconcilable 3. The idea of the Beautiful; enemies; 2. The Humanitarian Theo. 4. The idea of the Holy ; ry, which places the principle of change, 5. The idea of the True. and therefore of progress, in human The first creates Industry, and the things, in the human intelligence alone; mathematical and physical sciences; and 3. The Rationalistic Theory, which the second, the State, government, finds this principle, and therefore the jurisprudence; the third, the Fine Arts ; origin of the facts of human history, the fourth, Religion (cultus); the fifth, in the Spontaneous or Impersonal Rea- Philosophy, which clears up, accounts son, reservation being made in regard to for, and verifies the other four. That nature, the theatre on which it dis- these five elements exhaust human naplays itself. In accordance with the ture, there can be no doubt; that all promise at the close of that article, we the facts of human history in time and now proceed to discuss another theory, space, however various or complex, which we shall denominate

can be all included by the historian un

der the respective heads of industry, THE PROVIDENTIAL THEORY. politics, art, religion, and philosophy,

is unquestionably true; and so far M. The Providential Theory, which pro- Cousin's boast of having in his Eclectibably in some form is recognized or in- cism overlooked no element of human tended to be recognized by all philoso- life, is well founded. But in the creaphers, may be contemplated under two tion of industry, politics, art, religion, different points of view :

philosophy, does humanity work alone I. The Pantheistic view. and on her own funds; or does Provi.

II. The Religious view. dence come to her assistance? If In what we have to offer on each, Providence intervenes, is it in the form we shall make M. Cousin our repre- of a fixed, permanent and necessary sentative of the first, and Bossuet of law of humanity; or in the form of a the second.

free, sovereign power, distinct from I. M. Cousin is a professed Eclectic, humanity, graciously supplying her and it is the boast of his system of from time to time with new strength history, that it excludes no element and materials to work with ? Here from its appropriate share. Under a lies the whole question between Provicertain point of view, he assuredly dence in the pantheistic sense, and dous admit all the elements that can Providence in the religious sense.

Under the point of view we are now new generation, and you have ascerconsidering the subject, M. Cousin is tained the word, the law, and the prorito no small extent a disciple of John dence of God so far as concerns hu. Baptist Vico, born at Naples 1668, man beings. Whatever of wisdom, educated in the study of the ancient energy, power, there may be for good, languages, the scholastique philosophy, to aid us in achieving our destiny, in theology, and jurisprudence, known the spontaneous reason which lies at as the author of the Scienza Nuova, the basis of human life, so much aid or New Science, a work of vast con we receive and continue to receive from pass, of inmense power, and a mine our Maker, but no more. of rich and profound thought, too little To justify us in this statement, we prized and studied by even our best trapslate his own account of “ History scholars. Vico, though recognizing re as a manifestation of Providence." ligion, and the action of Providence, History reflects not merely the yet starts from the principle that hu- movement of humanity; but as humanity is, so to speak, her own work. manity is the résumé of the universe, God acts upon the race, but only by it, which is a manifestation of God, it folin its instinctive operations. He ex- lows that, in the last.analysis, history plains nearly all the facts of human is and can be only the last counterhistory from the political point of view; stroke of the Divine Action. The adbut he traces the various laws of na- mirable order which reigns in it is a tions, the inanners and customs, and all reflex of the eternal order; the necesthe materials which enter into the his- sity of its laws has for ultimate printory of humanity, to the “common ciple God himself-God considered in sense of nations.” Humanity is divine, his relatioris with the world, and parbut there is no divine man. The great ticularly with humanity, the last word men of ancient history, poets, prophets, of the world. Now God considered in sages, legislators, are not to be iaken his perpetual action on the world and as individuals. They are mythical on humanity is Providence. It is bepersonages, creations of the national cause God, or Providence, is in nature, thought of their respective nations and that nature has its necessary laws, epochs, formed by the slow accretions which the vulgar call fatality; it is beof centuries. God does not speak to cause Providence is in humanity and in men by special messengers, does not history, that humanity has its necesguide and govern them by outward re- sary laws, and history its necessity. ligious establishments; but he speaks This necessity, which the vulgar acto the race in its own instincts, and out cuse, and which they confound with from these spring up all the religious, the exterior and physical fatality which artistic, philosophical and political in- does not exist, and by which they destitutions of all nations and epochs. signate and disfigure the Divine Wisdom

The only objection we can find that applied to the universe,—this necessity M. Cousin makes to this doctrine is, is the unanswerable demonstration of that Vico takes, in his explanation the intervention of Providence in buof the facts of history, too exclusive- man affairs, the demonstration of the ly the political point of view, and government of the moral world. The makes too much depend on the gov- great facts of history are the decrees of ernment and the laws;-an objection this government revealed to humanity which we feel is well founded. But by its own history, and promulgated Cousin agrees with Vico, if not in de by the voice of Time. History is the ducing all from the “common sense of manifestation of God's providential nations,” at least from what amounts views in relation to humanity; the to the same thing, the common instinct- judgments of history are the judge ive wants and aspirations of the race. ments of God himself. If humanity God undoubtedly is; and undoubtedly has three epochs, it is because Proviis in all the events of history; for it is dence has so determined; if these in Him that we live, move and have epochs follow one the other in a given our being : but He enters there only in order, it is still by an effect of the laws and through the instincts, or spontane- of Providence. Providence has not ous intelligence of humanity. Ascer- merely permitted, it has ordained (for tain what is common to the race, regu- necessity is everywhere its proper and hir, permanent, reproduced with each essential characteristic) that humanity

should have a regular development, so Nevertheless, this view of Providence that this development should reflect which we have given as his, and which something of itself; something intel. we find distinctly stated in the passage lectual and intelligible; because Provi. we have introduced, is, if noi panthedence, because God is intelligence in ism, at least on the declivity to panthehis essence and in his eternal action, ism; inasmuch as according to it, it is and in his fundamental moments. If only in the inherent and necessary laws history is the government of God ren- of nature, ihat we can find the Divine dered visible, all is in its place in his- Action on nature, and only in the intory; and if all is in its place, all is herent and necessary laws of humanity, good, for all conducts to an end pre- that is, in humanity itself, that we can scribed by a beneficent power. Hence find the Divine Action on humanity. the lofty historieal Optimism, which I This resolves Providence into whát do myself the honor to profess, and Vico calls the common sense of which is nothing else bui civilisation nations, into what we commonly call placed in relation with its first and last the instincts of the race, and identifies principle, with Him who has made it it with the Spontaneity, the source and in making humanity, and who has principle, according to Cousin, as we made all with weights and measures showed in our former article, of all the for the greatest good of the whole. facts of the life of humanity. Now, Either history is an insignificant phan- we are far from contending that in the tasmagoria, and therefore a bitter and life of humanity, we can always sepacruel mockery, or it is reasonable. If rate by a broad and continuous line ihe it is reasonable, it has its laws, and ne- Divine Action from the human; but, cessary and beneficent laws; for all nevertheless, we must not confound or law must have these two characters. identify the two actions, if we mean to To maintain the contrary is to blas- escape the error of pantheism. But pheme existence and the author of ex- where, on the ground here taken,

shall we find in the facts of human We do not choose to interpret this history, not the separation, but the passage without considering it in the distinction between the Divine Action light of M. Cousin's subsequent expla- and the human; or where find the force nations and modifications. We assur- properly and strictly human, and the edly, in designating his view of Provi- force properly and strictly Divine ? dence the Pantheistic View, do not wish It is a capital objection to this theory nor intend to prove him a pantheist, of Providence, thai, while it is brought which he is not, save in certain ten- forward to show, among other things, dencies, against which he always seeks a safe and solid ground in the very to guard, though in our judgment not wants of the human soul, and instincie always with complete success. Pan. ive indications of the race, for religion, theism consists in absorbing the uni- it is, when once admiuied, fatal to all verse in God; in making the universe, religious exercises. According to Joufnot an image of God, the visible oul- froy, religion belongs only to the human shadowing of the Invisible, but identi- intelligence in a given stage of its decal with God; in making the finite and velopment ; Vico bas the air of confinrelative forces at work in the universe, ing it to the first of his three epochs, pot merely work after laws originally which is the epoch of ignorance, of inimpressed upon their natures, and fancy; and Cousin himself places phiwhich are indistinct copies or transcripts losophy above religion, of which he of the law of the Divine Activity itself, makes it the judge. The moment we but in making these finite and relative have learned through philosophical forces identical with the Infinite Force; culture that religion is a creation of an so that, strictly, speaking, there is original and inherent want of the huthroughout the universe only one and man soul, and that religious institutions the same Force displaying itself. M. are only the result of the instinctive Cousin protests against this view time efforts of the race to meet and provide and again, almost to weariness, and in for this want, religion and religious ingeneral succeeds in escaping it. stitutions lose all their authority, all

istence."*

* Introduction à l'Histoire de la Philosophie, Leçon VII., pp. 37–39. Paris, 1828.

« AnteriorContinuar »