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of eminence, balances them one against another, and assigns such preference to John as throws the rest into the shade. The Old Testament foundation of the faith is so little noticed by him, that we find no distinct solution of any question connected with the pre-existence of the Son of God, who is throughout the work, indeed, presented to the reader in his official, not in his personal or essential relations. His view of the temptation of our Lord is little else than the wayward subjective interpretation which is current in Germany, and discovers no correct idea either of the tempter, or of his power, or of his methods of assault. His remarks on the Transfiguration on the Mount are as little satisfactory, and savour of the rationalistic age in which he lived. His view of miracles, though these are indeed admitted as natural and necessary discoveries of the glory of the Son of God, is defective in several respects, and especially in this, that he ignores the Old Testament attestation to the reality of such interpositions. He sometimes, too, betrays ideas of inspiration so low, that. he ventures to correct the evangelists for the construction which they put on the Redeemer's words, and presumes to suggest fitter and more appropriate acceptations than they have given.*
The other publications proceeding from Neander's pen, and sufficiently attesting the unwearied diligence with which he laboured in the vineyard of his Lord, were smaller and more occasional productions. Many of these are equally attractive with his more elaborate performances; and in general they are much more pointed, nervous, and condensed. They are all highly edifying, which was their primary design, and are for the most part of a biographical or historical nature. Neander was always ready, at every call addressed to him, with some pregnant theme drawn from his extraordinary stores of historical reading, and which needed only to be put in a prac tical or edifying point of view, Many of those occasional papers were furnished by him as a director of the Bible Society. Among these attractive productions we find memorials of Chillingworth, of Baxter, of Wilberforce, the latter of whom came nearer than almost any other to Neander's ideal; sketches of Oberlin, of Huss, of Marco Antonio Flaminio, and of the Reformation in Italy. Besides these we have his Scientific Essays, read at the Berlin Academy of Sciences, and particularly his essays on Pascal, for whom his admiration grew and
* See p. 143, on John ii. 19.
Kleine Gelegentheitschriften: Berlin 1829.
Das Eine und Mannichfaltige des Christlichen Lebens: Berlin 1840.
deepened with age. We have also his monography* on Theobald Thamer. We have the expositions† on Philippians, James, and John, which Schneider seems to have received from his mouth, not so much by express dictation as in easy conversation, and to have wrought up in his own style and manner; for besides Neander's professorial duties in connection with church history, to which he mainly devoted himself, his exegetical course, distinguished as it was by his experimental and practical turn, and conducted with a view to the active work of the ministry, did more than can be told to equip and form his students for the duties of their office. But to all these publications, and to his countless prefaces to books, as well as the essays, reviews, and tracts, which he produced in such number and with such indefatigable industry, it is impossible to extend our remarks.
We now take leave of our subject with mingled love and veneration. Such a character would lead us to linger with growing interest in his society, and almost to throw a veil over his faults. But love to the living, and regard to the honour of that Master in whose unclouded light Neander now dwells, remind us to be faithful to the truth. The fire-proof of history, and the judging or refining process called into activity by the course of time, will try his work of what sort it is. The gold, and much of real gold is found in him, will abide the trial. The rest will be burnt up. He has been called‡ the disciple who said, "It is the Lord," the first to recognise the Lord, and the first to remind his fellows of it: and we may with special appropriateness apply the remark to the peculiar attitude which he occupied in his historic labours. He is the first who has stood upon that platform as a great teacher of the Christian church; and his attitude here is peculiarly that of the disciple who said, "It is the Lord." Abiding in communion with Christ, Neander follows his goings and traces the operation of his hand through the lapse of ages. Himself dwelling in His fellowship, he ever seems to say, amid his whole historical investigations, "It is the Lord," and to remind the reader how the living Head interposes to make all things new, to usher in creative epochs, and to guide the church onward to her glorious future. His undiverted gaze was fixed on that living One whose presence has glorified all centuries. History has been his field of labour, and it has been a grateful soil. He has through this channel done more than any other man ever did to revive the church, and to expand as well as
* Theobald Thamer der Representant und Vorganger moderner Geistesrichtung in dem Reformationszeitalter: Berlin 1842.
+Der Brief Pauli an die Philipper: Berlin 1849. Der Este Brief S. Johannis: Berlin 1851.
See Redegehalten am Sterbehause von Dr Fr. Strauss.
to enrich theology. His impress is already seen on every living church in Christendom; and the circumstances of his position no more account for the extraordinary impulse which has been given by his labours than they explain any other spiritual movement in the kingdom of God. The principle which he so frequently applies to others is no less applicable to himself. From without nothing is effected; all must be developed from within. His great usefulness must be traced to his eminent holiness, which has embalmed his name in the memory of Germany as her model professor, and in the church at large, as the teacher to whom, of all others, she most willingly defers as the witness to Christ in history.
ART. VII.-Secret Societies:-The Assasins-The Thugs-The Vehm-Gerichte-The Jesuits.
WE propose to turn aside for a little to the contemplation. of those anomalous unions generally termed Secret Societies, by whom the principle, "Let us do evil that good may come, has been formally enunciated and acted on. Four strange sodalities emerge successively to our view, all existing at different periods, and amid different forms of social life, and all equally professing to be the champions of religion and virtue. The Assassins-the Thugs-the Secret Tribunals of Westphalia-the Jesuits! On each of these we shall turn a cursory glance, and show how much they have been identified in principle, and with what correspondence of character and means they have pursued their perverted mission. Two of them have already passed away; the third languishes on the point of extinction; while the fourth, the latest and mightiest of them all-although doomed ultimately to perish among the ruins of that seven-hilled city of which it has been the chief protector-is still instinct with life, and doing its deadly work in the midst of us.
We begin with the Assassins, and their founder, Hassan Sabah. The early career of this man, as far as it can be traced in eastern tradition and the history of Mirkhand, gave distinct indications that his would be no common destiny. He would be the originator of a new faith, or at least the leader of a sect. Even from boyhood, he had been inured to craft and dissimulation, for as he belonged to the sect of the Sheahs, where that of the Soonites prevailed, he was obliged to conceal his obnoxious opinions, and outwardly conform to the
dominant faith. After a course of solitary study that extended over several years, during which he must have meditated many a strange theory, he resolved to commence his mission through the agency of political power, that great instrument of Asiatic religious conviction. With this view, he presented himself at the court of Malek Shah, the third sovereign of the Seljukian dynasty, as soon as the latter had mounted the throne. His arrival was opportune; for the new king required a financial statement of the revenues and expenditure of his growing empire, but for such a balance-sheet the vizier demanded a whole year of preparation. Hassan boldly undertook to complete the task in forty days, and accomplished it. A feat so wondrous excited against him that fierce jealousy for which Asiatic courts have always been famed, so that, instead of being rewarded with the vizierate, he was obliged to flee for his life, and became a wanderer in many lands. This was about the year 1078. During these migrations, he allowed himself to be converted from the harmless sect of the Sheahs to that of the Ismailites, a class of Moslems whose chief delight was in mystical doctrines and secret initiations; and in this way he was fully trained for that strange work which he afterwards accomplished. Having finally settled in Persia, where he made many converts as an Ismailite Dai or missionary, and obtained both wealth and political influence, he made himself master in 1090 of the hill fort of Alamoot, in the province of Irak, which he forthwith proceeded so greatly to enlarge and fortify as to render it impregnable to the ordinary modes of besieging. There, surrounded by throngs of enthusiastic followers, the homeless wanderer had become a powerful prince. But he had far other work in hand than to contend with rival sheikhs and plunder wealthy caravans. All this was but the attainment of the first step in a career that was to make him more than Shah or Sultan. He would be lord of the conscience and director of its faith; he would now establish and advance his own religious doctrines from the impregnable fortress of Alamoot, until the whole east should do homage to their authority, and to himself as their living representative.
The order which Hassan had so long contemplated was soon established under the name of Assassins, a word that was forthwith to become one of terror wherever it was heard. As might be expected, he was himself the uncontrolled sovereign of the order, under the title of Sheikh al Jebal, or mountain chief, which European writers were pleased to translate into "Old Man of the Mountains." Refining upon the doctrines of the Ismailites which he had embraced-and which, by the way, had enjoyed for one of their prophets Mokhanna with the Golden Mask, better known to the lovers of English poetry as
the "Veiled Prophet of Khorasan"-Hassan Sabah instituted seven steps or degrees, into each of which his disciples were initiated, from the first principles of implicit faith to the last stages of universal doubt or unbelief. The seventh class, which consisted of a chosen few who could be trusted, and from whom the leaders of the order were selected, were indoctrinated in a mystical Pantheism, that viewed God as every thing or nothing, according to the pleasure of the believer. These favoured entrants into the veiled church of mystery were taught that all religions were alike; that the distinctions of virtue and vice were fluctuating according to time and place; and that every means was lawful by which their own creed could be advanced -that is to say, the Ismailite doctrines, which were a transcendental Islamism, supposed to be better suited to an oriental imagination than the mere literal interpretation of the Koran. Such were the directors of this strange society-men who had hearts to conceive and hands to plan any amount of treachery or atrocity, for the advancement of their religious cause. But still, instruments were needed who would execute what was planned without fear and without scruple. These were only to be found among the mass of blind believers, to whom the esoteric doctrines were unknown; and from among them therefore the Fedani or devoted ones were chosen, and fitted for the task of slaying and circumventing. These men, like the Janizaries of Turkey, or the Mamelukes of Egypt, had been stout healthy children, purchased from their parents, and reared in the doctrines of Ismailism, but only taught as much as would raise them to the height of fanaticism, and make them the implicit slaves of their spiritual guides; and on their admission into the honoured ranks of the Fedani, they were invested with the costume of a white robe and red boots, the former to indicate their purity, and the latter that their steps were to be in blood. To these were also added a red cap and girdle, as if they could not be too closely reminded of the character and complexion of their duties. But when they were sent upon a mission, disguise was necessary, and therefore they assumed not only the costume, but the language, the manners, and even the religious practices of the people, into whose streets and houses they glided like an unsuspected pestilence. Even the cloak of the Christian monk or the red cross of the crusader was no obstacle to these fanatical Moslems, who donned them as readily as the Fakir's robe, in the name of Allah and the prophet. The manner in which they were sent forth upon their errand was also characteristic of the principles in which they were trained. They were to reckon no sin half so grievous as the blunder of detection; to pursue their purpose not only with every kind of simulation and fraud, but