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and the vague expression of a desire for more of nourishment and life. We have no objection, but the contrary, that the pulpit should collect the materials of religious instruction and impression from the widest possible range, and this it will do more and more as religion becomes the pervading spirit of thought, the natural and unforced light in which all things are seen; but the attempt to introduce other topics into the pulpit for their own sakes, to keep alive the interest of a congregation by Science or by History, must prove fatal to a religious Community, and indeed indicates that the spiritual life has fled already. Nature is indeed the Temple of God. The outward universe is full of the materials of the most elevating devotional influences. We only ask that natural knowledge, as it is called, should be introduced into our churches, not for its own independent interest, but for the sake of its spiritual and moral aspects, for the sake of the light thrown from it on the character of God, on the nature, wants, and well-being of man. fess that we must have resort to subjects not moral or religious, or rather not morally or religiously viewed, for the purpose of sustaining an interest, is to confess that the springs of our religious life are shallow, partial, exhaustible. Our religion holds connexions with every subject; but, except for the sake of its spiritual relations, no topic of interest or instruction can maintain the life of our churches. To appeal to other interests is to yield the point, and cease to be a Church.
In this article we have made frequent use of the word “life.” Let us not be misunderstood. We mean nothing of enthusiasm, much less of fanaticism. We mean nothing connected with the imagination, with the religious fears or passions. We mean simply a principle of development, a spring of growth and of improvement. By life we mean vigorous individuality, progression, self-dependence: and we are aware that the deeper lies this life, the more pure the minds it pervades, and the more thoroughly it pervades them, the more calm are its manifestations, natural as proceeding from an inward root, without outward force or violence.
J. H. T.
ART. III.-HISTORIANS OF GERMANY. 1. Geschichte der bilderstürmenden Kaiser des oströmischen
Reichs, mit einer Ubersicht der Geschichte der frühern Regenten desselben. Von Friedrich Christoph Schlosser. Frankfurt am Main, 1812. 1 vol. 8vo. (A History of the Iconoclast Emperors of the Eastern Roman Empire, with a general View
of the History of the earlier Sovereigns of that Realm.) 2. Allgemeine Geschichte der Christlichen Religion und Kirche.
Von Dr. August Neander. Dritter Band. Hamburg, 1834. (A General History of the Christian Religion and Church.
3rd vol.) 3. Handbuch der Kirchengeschichte.
Von Dr. H. E. Ferd. Guericke. 2e Auflage. Halle, 1836. 2 vols. 8vo. (A Manual
of Ecclesiastical History.) It is hoped that this periodical will, at a future period, possess the means to draw the attention of its readers to the richness of contemporary French literature in the historical department. It is now proposed to give some proofs of the indefatigable industry of the Germans in the same pursuit, as well as some idea of the character and turn of mind of three remarkable historical writers of that pre-eminently learned nation. But we must confine ourselves, for the present, to three works relating to ecclesiastical history. This number bears no proportion to that of the German historians of our days; but the most minute enumeration would not convey a clearer view of the very
distinct or rather opposite mental tendencies which are at work in that influential division of the civilized world, than may be derived from these specimens.
In the important requisite of profound learning, making allowance for the comparative youth of Guericke, the three writers in question may be considered as equal. This is indeed a favourable circumstance for the examination of that in which they, more or less, disagree; namely, the habitual disposition of their minds in regard to the intellectual system created and spread by the Christian priesthood, especially of the western world,—that intellectual system which, having deeply struck its roots into the political system of the middle ages, is, at this moment, the main support, especially in this country, of the practical abuses which, by opposing improvement, threaten the general tranquillity. That intellectual system has long been regarded as identified with religion; and as it requires a severe and profound study to be able to distinguish the metaphysics of the Christian priesthood from the real essence of that simple, pure, and unambitious doctrine from which they take their name, the degree of men's Christianity is now commonly estimated according to their opposition or attachment to the philosophy which divines have spread in fragments among the European people. By this rule, of the three writers just named, Schlosser is deemed hardly religious, Guericke superlatively so, whilst Neander is too enlightened and candid for Church canonization, and too deferential to fathers and councils to be decidedly anathematized by Protestant, any more than by Roman Catholic, dogmatizers.
Schlosser has employed a long life in the study of past ages, free, from an early period of that life, from the restraint and direction which the all-pervading Church influence has exercised for sixteen centuries upon the human mind. It is not necessary to particularize the priestly bodies from which that tyrannical influence has proceeded. Since the now remote period when philosophy was transformed into theology, and (to avail ourselves of M. Guizot's words) “when certain systems became religious tenets, and certain schools were converted into sects,"* the Christian hierarchy has constantly asserted a divine right of interference, co-extensive with the range of human knowledge. Whatever intellectual view or scientific discovery either disturbed, or might, by the remotest inference, disturb, the doctrines to which they had attached the stamp of immortality was instantly branded with the name of heresy, and denounced to the secular government, with which priests have, at all times, endeavoured to be in close alliance. Every advance of true knowledge has been made with more or less danger from the opposition of divines; and as they had settled with themselves, and their political employers and protectors, the unquestionable existence of a revealed astronomy, a revealed geography, a revealed history, and a revealed chronology, it was absolutely impossible to make the least advance in these sciences, or in the various branches of knowledge with which they are inseparably connected, without rousing the fatal anger of the Doctors of the Church, whose comfortable mental slumbers were disturbed by the fear that they might have to alter even a tittle in the traditional doctrines on which their artificial importance depended. It would be needless to refer to history for the confirmation of these assertions; the facts are too well known : nor have they indeed so vanished into the shades of the past, as not to have corresponding realities in the present. The deep-seated errors, the undying passions, which bound Galileo to the rack, are still in
* Civilisation en France, 6th Lesson.
full life and vigour: if we do not see similar examples of theological intolerance, we owe it, not so much to the altered spirit of the divines themselves, as to the multitude of those who have broken loose from their yoke. Whoever can doubt that the persecutors of Dr. Hampden would employ bodily punishment, not excluding the last, if the laws of the country supported their zeal, knows nothing of the human heart, and its workings under the impulse of pride, when it can be indulged in the disguise of a sacred duty. The very best of those men (and there are one or two among them whom it is difficult not to love) “would deliberately fire the wood on which his dearest friend was about to perish for heresy, whilst his tears would flow in streams which might seem sufficient to quench it.”*
But to return to Professor Schlosser: it is both curious and instructive in the history of that distinguished veteran of literature, that he was at one time in danger of having his mind relaxed, and both his talents and his industry misdirected, by that halfnervous, half-mental disease, which is known in Germany by the names of pietism and mysticism, and whose denomination, in England, the reader will not find difficult to guess. According to information which we have reason to trustan intimacy with the able, learned, but mystical J. F. von Meyer, once involved Schlosser in the clouds of that sentimental theology; and it is difficult to decide whether his powerful reason would have been able to make him go back into a purer and more invigorating atmosphere if he had not been invited to a Professorial Chair in Heidelberg. That University, which occupies the highest rank in Germany for the instruction of physicians and jurists, boasts of men whose mental vigour rebukes, as by a natural law, the spirit of mysticism; and it has consequently made little progress there. The actual value of his emancipation can be known only to Dr.
* Such was the striking and accurate description given by an Oxonian, of one of the Oxford leaders in the persecution of the learned and amiable Dr. Hampden, long before the late confirmation of that profound observation could be even dreamt of.
+ We have collected our information both from a hearer and admirer of Schlosser, and from the Conversations-Lexicon, in 12 vols. Leipzik.
Frederic Christopher Schlosser, Privy-Councillor and Professor of History at Heidelberg, was born at Jauer, in Silesia, on the 17th November 1776. He studied at Gottingen theology, history, natural science, and distinguished himself as a mathematician. He has a profound knowledge of Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, and is well versed in the languages and literature of Italy, England, and Spain. He had intended to devote himself to the church, but he grew dissatisfied with theology, and relinquished that plan. He then indulged without restraint his decided taste for history. He was invited to Heidelberg in 1817, where he still continues as Professor of History. The work mentioned at the head of this article is his earliest historical production. This was followed by a Universal History, a History of the Eighteenth Century, a General View of the History and Civilization of the Old World, and, lastly, an Examination of the Principal Works on Napoleon Buonaparte.