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vancement. Nay, rather, conductors, laid out and waiting for the electric influences of a better era. But to speak of them as ends, as objects, as living things, as aught but dead trifles, till the shadow of the divine be made to fall on them, and the power of the divine to propel them, and the spirit of the di. vine to animate them, is intolerable from one pretending to be a philosopher. We throw into the scale over against them the highest philosophy, poetry, and theology of the last two centuries in Britain, Germany, and America, all of which has been colored by the genius, and more or less inspired by the spirit, of Plato, and also the deep spiritual effects and moral movements which have sprung from these, and ask which is likely to kick the beam ? And, if it be said that we are unfairly adding Christianity as a make-weight to Platonism, we reply that the one is, in our notion, the other fulfilled—the other Deified, yet practicalized ; and that we have a right to rate the system we defend at its best.
The philosophy of Bacon has sounded the ocean, but it has ignored the profounder depth of the infinite in the soul of man. It has brought down the lightnings on its rod, but they have come reluctantly, and departed as much a mystery as ever. It has told the number, but not the meaning, of the stars, which roll on in their courses as inscrutable to us as they were to the Chaldean shepherds. Treating man as a cultivable ape, it has made his outward condition more comfortable; it hurries him along the path to his grave on railways; it smooths the harsh, outward edges of his intercourse with his fellow-man, but it leaves his heart as hard as it found it; it satisfies not, nor tries to satisfy, one of the deep thirsts of his moral nature. It has not cast a gleam of light upon the dark problems of his being, such as birth, sin, madness, or death. It casts not, nor seeks to cast, a ray upon the life beyond; it leaves a cloud of utter darkness upon his future progress on earth, and it neglects the care, if not denies the ex. istence, of that immortal instinct which points up the poorest scion of humanity to his Father in heaven. It is of the earth, earthy; nor is that earth regarded as God's footstool, or as the springboard from which undying souls are to take their bound upwards, but as the eternal womb. homestead, and grave of certain erect compositions of clay, made, worked, and
at last buried in night, by a mere mechanical power. Should* once more the Baconian appeal to the “ Great Exhibition,” and say, “Behold the triumph of my principles there,” we answer—the splendor of the instance is granted ;, we saw there " the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them, in a moment of time;" but not for the gift, instead of the sight, of all this magnificence, would we bend down before the golden calf. That exhibition was, after all, an exhibition of the works of man's industry; if we would see the works of God's industry, we must look elsewhere-to those books which his Spirit las inspired, and to those men who bear his image, and fight his battles. Millions flocked to see this great sight; but there are sentences in Plato, and far more in John, one of which is worth the whole magnificent medley. And yet, were a new truth of still more compact significance and grandeur, from the same source, inscribed upon a pillar, and the existence of that pillar announced to the ends of the earth, how few would travel to read the same. So it is, but so it shall not always be. Nay, it appears to us that the Great Exhibition brought the Baconian system to a point; it produced all that it could do for humanity—and may not this bright pinnacle of human deed and skill have shone across the gulf, as a signal to the superior and supernatural power, seeing in it man's splendid impotence, and gilded wo, to take his case, and the remainder of his otherwise hopeless destiny, by and by, into his own allwise, powerful, and merciful hands? The cry of Plato was for an avatar, and a fuller revelation of the Deity. That was fulfilled in Christianity, but Christianity, in unison with creation, is beginning to cry aloud, in her turn, for a farther and a final apotheosis. The words of John Foster are seldom to be despised, and let both Baconian and Platonic Christian hear him with attention, as he says, “Religion is utterly incompetent to reform the world, till it is armed with some new and most mighty powers-till it appears in a new and last dispensation.”
Our space is exhausted, else we would have had rich pickings of absurdity and weakness in the closing parts of Macau
* This was written when the Great Exhibition was going on in Lon
lay's Essay—where, for instance, he tells us gravely, “ that the knowledge of the theory of logic has no tendency to make men good reasoners," an assertion equivalent to the knowledge of the theory of grammar has no tendency to make men good grammarians,” or “a man may be a very good French scholar, without studying French ;" or where he reduces Bacon's claims to absolute zero, by telling us that his "rules are not wanted, because, in truth, they only tell us to do what we are all doing ;' or where, closing his estimate of what Bacon has after all done, he calls him a “person who first called the public attention to an inexhaustible mine of wealth, which had been utterly neglected, and was accessible by that road alone, and thus caused that road which had been previously trodden by peasants and higglers” (Platos and Aristotles ? nay, Johns and Pauls ?), “ to be frequented by a higher kind of travelers." By-ends Bacon, we suppose, Demas Dumont, Save-all Joe Hume, Hold-the-World Bentham, Young Atheist Holyoake, Feel-the-Skull Combe, and My-Lord-Timeserver Mr. Macaulay.
N0. 1.-CARLYLE AND STERLING.*
This volume has, for some months past, been expected, with a kind of fearful curiosity, by the literary public. As for the second shock of an earthquake-after the first had sucked a street into its jaws—so had men, in silence and terror, been waiting for its avatar. Everyone was whispering to every other, “What a bombshell is about to fall from Thomas Carlyle's battery! Nothing like it, we fear, since the Model Prisons. Let our theologians look to it!" Well, the book has come at last, and, notwithstanding the evil animus of paris of it, a milder, more tender, and more pleasant gossiping little volume we have not read for many a day. The mountain has been in labor, and lo! a nice lively field-mouse, quite frisky and good humored, has been brought forth. It is purely ridiculous and contemptible to speak, with some of our contemporaries, of this volume as Mr. Carlyle's best, or as, in any sense, a great work. The subject, as he has viewed it, was not great, and his treatment of it, while exceedingly graceful and pleasant, is by no means very powerful or very profound.
In fact we look on it as a clever evasion of the matter in hand. Why were the public so deeply interested in John Sterling ? Not on account of his genius, which was of a high, but not the highest, order, and was not at all familiar, in its fruits at least, to the generality. He was not a popular author. His conversational powers and private virtues were
* Life of John Sterling. By Thomas CARLYLE.
known only to his friends, But his mind had passed through certain speculative changes, which invested him with a profound and rather morbid interest, and gave him a typical or representative character. He had been in youth a sceptic of rather an ultra school. In early manhood he became a Coleridgean Christian, and an active curate, and ere he died, he relapsed into a modified and refined form of scepicism again. This constituted the real charm which attracted men to Sterling. This was the circle of lurid glory which bound his head, and by which we tracked his steps through his devious and dangerous wanderings.
But of all this there is far too little, although, in another sense, that little is all too much. Sterling's private story is very minutely and beautifully detailed. The current of his literary career (a river flowing under ground !) is as carefully mapped out as if it had been a Nile or a Ganges-a broad blessing to nations. But over the struggles of his inner life, the steps, swift or slow, by which he passed from Radical Rationalism to Christianity, and thence to Straussism or Carlyl. ism, there is cast a veil, through which very little light, indeed, is allowed to glimmer. To show how unfair and unsatisfactory this plan of treatment is, let us conceive a new life of Blanco White, in which all his changes of opinion were slurred over; or a life of Dr. Arnold, in which his achievements as a schoolmaster and a politician were faithfully chronicled, but the religious phases of his history were ignored. Now Sterling's fame is, even more than theirs, based on his reputation as an honest and agonised inquirer, and it is too bad to cloak up the particulars of those earnest researches under general terms, and to give us, instead of the information for which we were panting, pictures of Welsh or West Indian scenery, one or two vague ravings about the “ Bedlam delusions" of our day, and the “immensities and eternities"-or letters so selected or so garbled, that they shall cast no light upon the more secret and interesting passages of his spiritual history.
The gentleness of the tone of the work, although only comparative, is an agreeable change from that of the “Latter-Day Pamphlets,” the language of which was frecuently as coarse and vulgar, as the spirit was fierce, and the views one-sided. The Indian summer is often preceded by a short but severe