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From this point of view, Bossuet God, or in the history of the People of proceeds to sketch the two Empires, God, he recognizes and asserts, as the but more especially the Religious Em- Church has uniformly done, under the pire, and to trace the uninterrupted dogmas of Communion and Apostolic succession of the PEOPLE OF God, the Succession. But, though the Life depositaries of the Supreme Law. In communicated from one subject 10 the History of this Empire he finds the another, is supernatural, yet that it is history of God's providential interven- communicated by a natural, not by a tion in human affairs. The Design of supernatural law-ihis is what this this providential intervention is to raise eminent Prelate does not seem to have up, educate, and conduct to truth, and learned. But we are so made that justice, and love, an elect people, emi. we do transinit our lives to others by nently and strictly the People of God. another mode than that of natural Bossuet traces the history of this people generation. We will try and explain from the Creation, down through Seth, ihis fact, though at the expense of reNoah, the Patriarchs, Moses, the Jew. peating what we have said on several ish nation, 10 the coming of Christ, and former occasions. then no longer in a single nation, but Life is the term by which, when men in the Apostles and the Church, gather- are the subject of it, we express all the ing and forming into one compact body phenomena which a human being exthe People of God from all nations; for hibits in time and space. Life, predicatin the seed of Abraham, which is ed of the supernatural agent sent to Christ, all the families, kindreds, and redeem, enlighten, and sanctify us, nations of the earth 10 be is the phenomena exhibited by that blessed.
agent; but when received by us, it beIt will be seen from this statement, comes in us, not life, bui the power of that the Catholic Bishop writes his life. Hence, the life of Moses became, History solely from the point of view when communicated, the power of a of the Christian Church. His point of higher life to the Jews; so the Life of departure is in Genesis, and his point our blessed Savior communicated to us, of arrival is the consummation of the becomes in us the power of life, or the People of God in Jesus Christ, through power of God in the soul, to live a the Gospel. We, of course, have no higher and a truer life. fault to find with this point of view. Life is communicated from one subIt is the only point of view from which ject to another, between which there the History of Humanity can be writ- is intercourse, by viriue of the fact, ten, or should be written. But, then, that no subjecı lives but by communion we must understand it well, and be with an object. I cannot see, when or careful that we overlook nothing which where there is nothing but me to be it permits us to see. Undoubtedly, seen. Yet to see is a fact of life. SeeProvidence intervenes through the me. ing, if decomposed, will be found 10 be dium of an elect people; undoubtedly, compounded of two elements, one of too, the Jewish people prior to the which is I myself, the subject; the coming of Christ, and the Christian oiher is that which I see, namely, the Church, are to be regarded as standing object. The seeing, that is, the fact at the head of this people; but it would expressed by the word, will vary as you be unjust to leave all the rest of man- vary either of these elements. Change kind to the mere law of nature, and the subject, or change the object, and untrue, to say that no rays of Divine the fact itself assumes a new character. light had penetrated to them but Take another fact of life, namely, love. through the inherent and necessary Now I may, perhaps, experience the laws of nature and humanity. The want to love, where there is no object false religions of antiquiiy were not to be loved; but this want or need altogether the creations of the devil, of loving is not love. but corruptions, or imperfect, incom- where ihere is something loved. Love, plete embodiments of the true religion. then, as a fact of life, is compounded, The grand defect of Bossuet is in not in like manner as seeing, of two elecomprehending, except in its theologi. ments—the subject loving, and object cal sense, the spiritual communicability loved. Now, change me, the subject or transmissibility of Life. The fact loving, and you change the character of this communicability in the City of of the love; change the character of the
I love only
VOL. XII.-NO. LX
object loved, and you equally change us, and that we ourselves are listed up, the character of the love. So of any and are no longer, and never can te other fact of what I call my life. Now, again, what we were before ? This from this, I obtain the important con- law, which we call the spiritual com clusion, that what I call my life, or my municability of Lite, creates what we act, is NOT ALL IN MYSELF, DOES NOT denominate, from a French legal term, ALL DEPEND ON MYSELF, NOR DERIVE ITS the mutual solidarity of the life of the WHOLE CHARACTER FROM MYSELF, BUT human race. By this all are not only DEPENDS JOINTLY ON ME AND ON THAT ontologically, that is, in the comm WHICH IS NOT ME, and derives its char- principles of their nature, members a acter JoinTLY from me and from the one race; but all are members of one object in conjunction wilh which I live and the same community, and members or act. Here is the profound signifi- one of another, living, in their various cance of the Christian doctrine of con- degrees, one and the same life. MUNION.
Now, admitting the providential inNow, assume a Providential Man, tervention to be in the form and manthat is, a man qualified by the special ner asserted by Bossuet, that is, through interposition of his Maker, to exhibit a peculiar, an elect people of God, it to the world a higher order of spiritual does not follow that it was necessarily and moral life ihan the world had confined to that people. We admit hitherto known or been capable of the insulation of ihe Jewish people, They who should come into personal for a long series of years, that is to say, communion with him, would live by from their settlement in Palestine uphim, and their life would partake of his der Joshua to the Babylonish Captivity; fullness. He would be the object—not but the providential 'intervention was the end in reference to which--but the not delayed till Moses. The name of object in conjunction with which, they Abraham is spread all through the would live; consequently his higher East, and reappears in the Brahma of and diviner character would be com- the Hindoos-a sure evidence that this municated to their acts, so that in act. Patriarch was not the patriarch merely ing they would act him as well as of a petty tribe, living isolated from the themselves, would literally live his life. human race. The memory of Noah is Here is the secret of the well-known preserved in the universal iraditions of influence of example. The fact of this the Asiatic, and in fact of the ancient influence has always been known and European world. The Bereshith is a insisted on; the law or philosophy of compend of a divine philosophy, which this fact has not, till quite recently, evidently was diffused far and wide been discovered. “Evil communica- long before Moses-at least in a furm tions corrupt good manners.” Where- more or less pure. Moreover, man had fore? Because our life is composed of 'no sooner fallen, than the gracious Cre two elements, one the subjeci, which ator interposed in his behalf, and conis myself, the other the object I am in menced the Divine Economy that was relation with, which is not me; and as to effect his final recovery and exaltathe life partakes of the character of both tion to a state far above that which he the subject and the object, it follows had lost by his expulsion from Eden. necessarily that, if the object be corrupt, The evidence of this is in Genesis. that part of my act depending on it will “* Adam also knew his wife again, and also be corrupt. So good communica- she brought forth a son, and called his tions have the opposite effect, and pu. name Seih, saying, God hath given me rify our manners, and for the same another seed for Abel whom Cain reason. The object in relation with slew.” The meaning of the word which I live being better than I am, Seth is “Repairer," and strictly, “remore elevated and holy, evidently, as pairer by way of knowledge;" thereby my acts must derive somewhat from it, indicating that the work of reparation my life will be purified and elevated. had commenced, the divine knowledge The fact here staied everybody knows; was communicated to the race which the reason of the fact is all that is novel was finally to grow brighter and brightin the statement. Who of us have ever er till it deepened and broadened into conversed for one half-hour with a re the Sun of Righteousness, through ally great and good man, but have felt whom the race was to be renewed and that a virtue has come out of him to sanctified.
This Divine Economy for the recovery fore must the New Life be communicatof man, commenced in the infancy of ed and diffused; so that the grace of the race, before the Flood. The light God which bringeth salvation would is transmitted through the line of Seth, in some sense, and to a certain extent, or people of God, till the Flood, then really appear unto all men. Who continued through Noah and his Sons, will undertake to say that there is, at who commence, as it were, a new se- this moment, a single people on the ries for the human race. But this was globe, to which more or less of the Life before the building of Babel, and the of Christ, by virtue of the communion Dispersion of mankind, and consequeni- of the human race, has not been comby while the whole race dwelt together municated ? and spoke one and the same language. While, then, we accept the Prelate's They lived then all in communion one general point of view, and readily adwith another, and consequently all init that Providence is specially manimust in some degree have partaken of fested in the Religious Empire, reprethe divine life which had been renew. sented by the Jewish people prior to ed after the Fall, and which was still the coming of Christ, and by the Chrispreserved among them. All commu- tian Church since, yet we are not willnication was not cut off even by the ing to regard the effects of this proviDispersion, which took place at the dential interference as shut up within building of Babel, as we learn from the limits of this Empire, or as conthe universal reverence paid to the fined exclusively to the peculiar people Patriarch Abraham. Consequently, of God. The Patriarchs, the Jews and keeping in mind the spiritual commu- the Church were made the depositaries, nicability of life, we may reasonably so to speak, of Providence, not for theminfer that the providential life deposited selves as ends, but as the instruments with the children of Seth, was com- and ministers of God in accomplishing municated even to the Gentiles, and his purposes, which concern the entire was the seed of whatever was true, human race. In explaining what is callbeautiful and good in their respective ed profane history, as well as in explaintraditions. We are loath, then, to be- ing sacred history, we are to recognize, hieve that the Gentiles were disinherit- in its true religious sense, the providened by their heavenly Father, and left, tial intervention, mediate at least, if not exclusively to the dim and flickering immediate. light of the law of nature. Placed as We have here another objection to the people of God were in the midst of the Discourse on Universal History. the empires of the world, the law of If we have not mistaken its scope and human life must have been miracu- design, the end it represents Providence lously changed, if they had not com- to have in view in his intervention in municated to even the heathen some. human affairs, is the rearing up and what of their own divine life.
growth of the Religious Empire. This So, too, when we come down to the was already asserted in Saint Austin ; times of the People of God under the it is repeated still more emphatically Church. We unhesitatingly admit the in the Philosophy of History, by FredChurch to have been the depositary of eric Schlegel—a work unduly praised the faith, of the sacred traditions; in by some, and unjustly decried by others. one word, of the New Life, communi- Schlegel represents God as having in cated to the human race by him who view in the whole life of humanity was the way, the Truth, and the Life; solely the manifestation, the glory, and, and that it was only through it the Life so to speak, the realization, ofihe WORD. could spread out and permeate and re- To this all is subordinated, and made new the mass of men in time and subsidiary. We do not question the space. But by this very law of which truth of this, under a ceriain point of we speak, placed as the Church was in view. But what we do question, is the every land, as an illuminated city, its assumed fact that the People of God light must spread beyond the bounda- are selected out from the world, placed ries of the city itself. The Church under the Religious Empire, solely for and those, not in a Protestant sense, their own exclusive good. That the technically of it, must necessarily meet end is the revelation, the glory, and the at a thousand different points in the realization in humanity of the divine general commerce of life, and there. WoRd, which selects the people of God,
and is their power of life, we freely nition of three elements as at work in admit; but we venture, with all defer. its production. ence, to affirm, that the true sense of
1. Nature; the Church is and always has been,
2. Humanity; that the People of God in this world
13. Providence. are selected as the medium of God's Jouffroy excludes Nature and Proriprovidence to the race,-not merely dence; for he finds the principle of that the divine life may be communi. change in human things only in the cated to the chosen people themselves, human intelligence; Cousin, by trae. but that through them it may be com- ing all to the Impersonal Reason, and municated to all men. The Jews be- recognizing the Divine Action only in fore, and the Church since the coming the fixed, the permanent, and the ne of Christ, are to be regarded as the de- cessary, viriually, while contending for positaries of the faith, the witnesses to them, excludes both Humanity and the truth, the agents and ministers of Providence; Bossuet takes no note of God in effecting or carrying on his pur. Nature, and makes quite little of Huposes of love and mercy towards all manity, and therefore gives us an er. mankind; for God is no respecter of aggerated view of Providence. But persons, but the God and father of all, neither can be excluded without vitiatover all, blessed for ever more. ing our philosophy of history.
NATURE is not the mere passive thea.
tre on which man is placed to display Leaving now all further criticism by his activity, but is herself an active the way, passing over Herder, who, in force, and progressive even. M. Cousin, his Reflections on the Universal Histo, after Leibnitz, has demonstrated-and ry of Humanity, is an inveterate Ra- we also, in our Synthetic Philosophy, tionalist, and may be read with more have done the same to all who underpleasure for his poetry than for the stand us—that no being or object is light he sheds on the philosophy of conceivable by us but under the cate history, we proceed to sum up, and set gory of cause, and only in and so far forth, briefly, but distinctly, our own as it is a causative force. The grain answer to the question which now of sand on the sea-shore is cognizable concerns us, namely,-By what agen- by us, conceivable even, only in that it cies is progress effected ?
is a force, producing in conjunction with The historian, who wishes to give our activity an effect ou us. The really a universal history of mankind, Atomic theory of matter is not sound, must unquestionably treat that history and must give way to the Monadic, as under the five-fold division of Industry, it already has in the minds of the most Politics, Art, Religion, and Philosophy, eminent cultivators of science. 'The as contended by M. Cousin, for these physics taught in our schools need te are all indestructible elements of the vising still more than our metaphysics; life of humanity; but in considering and the time, we trust, is not far disthese in relation to their origin, their tant when we shall cease to talk of the cause, their progress, it will not be vis inertie and the infinite divisibility enough 10 consider them as originating of matter. The chemist will find that in certain permanent and indestructi- the resolution of all material forms into ble wants of human nature. In other the gaseous is not the last word of words, Nature given as their theatre, analysis, and does by no means bring and man also given with his inherent him to the ultimate, the primitire and permanent wants, still all the facts évrché xelas, entelechias, or active forces, of the life of mankind would not be of which matter is but the compound. given; we should yet have no industry, All substance, in the last analysis, will no politics, no art, no religion, no phi- be found to be immaterial, possessing losophy. It is here where we sepa- inherent activity, capable of making an rate from M. Cousin. If we under- effort (conatum) from its own centre. stand him, since Providence intervenes Nature is not only active, but proonly in nature, and in the permanent gressive. This is demonstrable from laws of humanity, nature and humani- ihe very conception which we have, ty given, all the facts of human history and cannot but have, of God, if we are given. This wé deny. Human conceive of him at all. Our only conhistory is explained only by the recog- ception of God is of him as cause, crea
tor, but as an infinitely powerful, wise, Arise in due succession; all things speak and good cause. He is essentially Peace, harmony, and love. The universe cause, and not merely a potential cause, In nature's silent eloquence, declares but actually, eternally, and universally That all fulfil the works of love and joy,
He fabricates a cause. In causing or creating, he is All but the outcast man. realizing his own Infinite Ideal in space
The sword which stabs his peace; he and time. But space and time are limite
cherisheth ed, and can contain only the finite. Cre
The snakes that gnaw his heart; he
raiseth up ation, therefore, or the universe, view. The tyrant whose delight is in his woe, ed either as a whole or in detail, must Whose sport is in his agony." be incomplete--can be only a finite realization of the Infinite; consequently, only an imperfect realization of the
This is not true. Man is not the Divine Ideal.
only blot on the fair face of creation. It must be now and always an im- of all the Creator's works he is acperfect, that is, incomplete realization quainted with, man is the most perfect, of the Divine Ideal, because, if it were for he confessedly stands at the head not, the Ideal being infinite, the creation of this lower creation. Would-be poets would be infinite. An infinite creation and sentimental lovers of Nature may is an absurdity. The creator cannot speak of his littleness, of his weakness, create that which surpasses himself. meanness, and of the grandeur of inIf Creation were infinite, it would, as
terminable forests, of mountains and there can be but one infinite, be greater cataracts, of extended plains and boundthan the Creator himself. Then a finite less oceans; but what are these, in creator would be equal to the work of contrast with the human soul, the free an infinite creation, which, of course, thought, the disinterested affection, the no one can admit. That which can be heroic deed? They who, standing by defined, bounded, is finite. The uni- the Falls of Niagara, profess to feel verse must needs be bounded, defined, their own littleness before the huge by the power and wisdom of the Crea- mass of waters pouring over a ledge of tor, and, therefore, must always be rocks, know very little of the grandeur assumed to be finite.
of the human soul; for there is more But God is essentially a creator, al. sublimity, did they but know it, in the ways and everywhere a creator. His
faintest aspiration after God than in all Ideal is infinite, and he never relaxes, that mass of waters a thousand times so to speak, the creative effort to realize over. it. Consequently, the realization inust
But we see nowhere in Nature the be for ever becoming nearer and nearer persection boasted. The earth coinplete; which implies, through the which we stand-of what is it concontinuous creative energy of its author, structed but of the ruins of a prior a continuous PROGRESS of the universe world? Are there no pestilential towards the full and perfect realization damps, no poxious effluvia, no earihof the Infinite Ideal. Hence, the pro
quakes, volcanoes, blights, mildews, gressiveness of Nature herself. Not that abortions? “ The whole creation," Nature is internally progressive by her says Saint Paul, “groaneth in pain.” own agency, regarded as distinct from Religious men have everywhere noted the Divine Agency; but progressive by these marks of imperfection, and have virtue of the continuous creative effort accounted for them by supposing that of its Original Author.
when man sinned, all creation fell with The same conclusion, to a given ex- him, that all nature for his sake was tent, is obtained also empirically. cursed. This way of accounting for They are very careless observers, as
these imperfections may or may not be well as unsound reasoners, who say satisfactory—a point on which we are that all in God's universe is perfect, all not now called to decide—but its popubut man, whom they usually except.
larity proves, at least, that the experi
ence of mankind is against the hypo“ Look on yonder earth; thesis of the persection of all the CreaThe golden harvests spring; the unfading tor's works.
Then, on the other hand, in some Sheds light and life; the fruits, the flowmeasure, we are able to trace, as we ers, the trees,
have said, empirically, the progress of