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dish to take the toll before the passenger spirit could step in. The æsthetic culture indicated by the relief on the marble, and the spiritual darkness of the designer, as shown by the same illustration, presented in combination a strong contrast. No people, surely without the Bible, ever enjoyed greater facilities for development in the right direction, and their attainments well corresponded with their privileges. If any people could have superseded the necessity of a Divine Revelation, they were that people; and the result was,
A failure to acquire any adequate knowledge of the true God. Their deities, with no lack of intellect, were intemperate, lustful, full of intrigue and revenge. Nor could it have been otherwise, since they were purely the products of human device. While natural religion teaches the necessity of a God, it fails in an infinite degree to present Jehovah as the true object of search. Consequently the soul is left to feel and grope in the dark, and, not finding the Creator, it makes a divinity after its own likeness, as the best pattern within its comprehension. Hence, the divinity must be susceptible of impurity, deceit and other forms of vileness; and such it is actually represented.
The Athenians failed to present any adequate standard of morality. Individuals, distinguished for justice and integrity, appeared along the ages; yet they were so evidently the exceptions, that they confirm our position rather than disprove it. Such conformity to the principles of rectitude as would coincide, in act and motive, with the second table of the decalogue, was not the standard morality of the Athenians, even at the culmination of their excellence. Their gods were cunning, with the free use of intrigue and treachery, as the means of success, and this fact proves that their human creators who were themselves the models, practiced on the same principles. Even Demosthenes, after serving his generation faithfully, fled to the temple of Neptune, and, to prevent arrest, committed suicide. Between his standard of morality and that of the Christian martyrs, there is a gulf of difference, across which the Bible alone constitutes the bridge. Even after a nominal conversion to Christianity, under Constantine's peculiar mode of appliance, the religion of the masses was little more than a baptized heathenism; their articles of belief were hardly a reformed mythology; and their morality continued in close correspondence with this standard. The brigands who, last April, captured Lord Muncaster and party, on their way from Marathon to Athens, while they were extorting an enormous ransom, at the muzzle of the musket, attended mass on Sunday, and devoutly said their prayers.
The religion of the Athenians failed still more to teach the way to be saved. This religion was not one of love, but of fear; and the highest form of its practice was to propitiate by some kind of service or some form of suffering. Socrates evidently saw further in the direction of religious truth than any of his countrymen, yet, while he seemed to believe in the existence of one Supreme Being, instructed his disciples to worship the other divinities, however ridiculous, and practiced himself, in this respect, what he taught to others. It is evident that the tendency of all heathenism is only downward. Since the heathen imagine and make their own gods, the object worshiped is inferior to the worshiper; hence the worshiper must ever look downward for the object of his devotion, and such worship must inevitably degrade. The facts of history correspond with the nature of the case. The heathenism of the present age is far more degraded than that of ancient Greece. To show this it is only needful to compare the statues of Jupiter, Minerva and Venus with those images found by modern missionaries. These facts show, also, that there is no necessary connection between æsthetic culture and true religion; for the history of heathen Athens furnishes proof that a high degree of this culture is as compatible with the worship of Bacchus as of Christ. Bacchus was originally represented as very beautiful in form, yet, in the calendar of divinities, he is by eminence, the profligate. Venus is set forth as a model for
, the female person, yet destitute of moral purity; and the statue of Jupiter denotes intellect with dignity and wisdom, while his character, as developed by anythology, is anything
but divine. There is no mystery in these facts; since the personal form and the interior life of these gods are copies of human mould and human character, as extant at that period.
As there is no necessary connection between personal beauty • and moral purity, so there is none between a tasteful culture
of the intellect and true piety. Those ancient men, with the intellect and culture they possessed, went as far as men can go with their means of progress, and were ready to report: No way out without additional help. To proceed further in spiritual development, they needed a spiritual heaven opened above them, through which a revelation should come down, shedding a divine light in their souls. Instead of looking down to divinities below them, they had need to contemplate Him, whom the Heaven of heavens can not contain, that by His excellence He might draw them upward in their thoughts and affections; between whom and the highest of human kind there will ever be an infinite distance for progress in knowledge and goodness. The Bible makes all the difference between heathenism and Christianity ; hence, the Bible left out of any system of education constitutes the first step backward toward heathenism; or, rather, it is the first step downward toward infidelity, and from that onward toward atheism, which is the more hopeless condition; for, while all men are born with a religious susceptibility, which the imagination can supply, in some form, with an object of worship, atheism annihilates the susceptibility itself; and after such annihilation there is, ordinarily, no resurrection to belief. Humanity, with natural religion, may rise from heathenism to Christianity. But when it leaves the Bible for a downward course, its pathway is ever in the direction of atheism, the gulf which buries all rational hope of return. A social atmosphere, therefore, rendered constantly healthful by the influence of the Bible, is essential to the highest educational success. But atinospheric air may be poisoned by changing the proportion of its constituent elements. Remove one of the principal elements, and the result is still worse. Take away the twenty-one parts of oxygen, and the result is more than a pestilence. In a moral atmosphere for the formation of character, the Bible is more than twenty-one parts. Nor will it meet the necessities of breath, to separate the component elements, and receive each in due proportion, separately, though such a course represents a theory which would give to youth only æsthetics, science and secular literature at school, depending wholly upon home and the church for morality and religion. Such, however, is not the Creator's mode of constituting our life-breath; and so leaving out the Bible, if we substitute the best of all that remains, the result is an abnormal influence for the promotion of a sound moral character.
When such piety as the gospel inculcates, is constituted the housekeeper in “ Mansoul,” there is little danger of too much æsthetic culture, there is no rational fear of too much science; for, with such a keeper, all the mental furniture of the house will be so adjusted and employed as to become the most beautiful as ornament, and the most efficient in use. Then the entire being, with all its possessions, will show the difference between the worship of Jupiter and of Jesus.
THE BOOK TABLE.
MEMOIR OF SIR WILLIAM HAMILTON, Bart., Professor of Logic and
Metaphysics in the University of Edinburgh. By John Veitch, M.A., Professor of Logic and Rhetoric in the University of Glasgow. Black wood & Sons, Edinburgh and London. 1869. Pp. 458.
To the teacher and student of philosophy, this biography is a great and choice boon. The volume is a noble one in type, paper, style; and the fine portrait of one of the handsomest of manly faces with which it opens striking for beauty of eye and chiselling of feature- befits the book and its theme. It is a minute, circumstantial, and elaborate memoir, picturing with all possible detail the life of the great logician and psychologist.
We are disposed to make but one criticism on the handling of the subject. What is said of Sir William's immense and varied and exact erudition is unquestionably true. He was a marvelous example of the combination by no means a common one, even among men of his rank in the world of letters - of great learning with the acutest philosophical acumen. But tbe impression of his lore in the mind of his biographer is such that he ever and anon asserts it, in varied phrase without illustration. Our lamented Prof. B. B. Edwards visited him in 1845, and makes the following note of it: “In company with Mr. Dunlap, I took tea and spent four or five hours at Sir William Hamilton's, in astonishment all the while at the vastness and accuracy of his knowledge.” That knowledge must have been vast indeed which produced "astonishment” in one who has been well called “a student by nature,” who was himself acquainted with ten or more different languages, who wrote or edited forty-three volumes, and who, besides holding conversations at his family meals in German, French and Latin, “always seemed to have the latest news from the British Parliament and the German Diet, from our National Congress and State Legislature, and the metropolis of his native commonwealth.” But if Prof. Edwards had written this Memoir, it would have contained more proofs of the learned investigations of its subject, and fewer of the writer's repeated judgments of them.
SIR WILLIAM HAMILTON was born Nov. 8, 1788, and died May 6, 1856, at the age of sixty-eight. It is a very good account of his life which is phrased thus in the legend on his tombstone in St. John's Chapel, Edinburgh: “ His aim was, by a pure philosophy, to teach that now we see through a glass darkly, now we know in part; his hope that, in the life to come, he should see face to face, and know even as also he is known.” He used to say: "Cousin thinks my system one of skepticism; but it is only