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admiration or the gratification of taste, for the adoring worship and divine joy of the heart.

At the close of one of the most brilliant and powerful passages contained in his work, Dean Milman observes :—

"In a lower view, not as a permanent, eternal, immutable, law of Christianity, but as one of the temporary phases through which Christianity, in its self-accommodation to the moral necessities of men, was to pass,-the hierarchical, the Papal power of the Middle Ages, by its conservative fidelity, as guardian of the most valuable relics of antiquity, of her arts, her laws, her language; by its assertion of the superiority of moral and religious motives over the brute force of man; by the safe guardianship of the great primitive and fundamental truths of religion, which were ever lurking under the exuberant mythology and ceremonial; above all, by wonderful and stirring examples of the most profound, however ascetic, devotion, of mortification, and self-sacrifice, and self-discipline, partially, at least, for the good of others; by splendid charities, munificent public works, cultivation of letters, the strong trust infused into the mind of man, that there was some being, even on earth, whose special duty it was to defend the defenceless, to succour the succourless, to be the refuge of the widow and orphan, to be the guardian of the poor: all these things, with all the poetry of the Middle Ages, in its various forms of legend, of verse, of building, of music, of art, may justify, or rather command, mankind to look back upon these fallen idols with reverence, with admiration, and with gratitude. The Hierarchy of the Middle Ages counterbalances its vast ambition, rapacity, cruelty, by the most essential benefits to human civilization."-Latin Christianity, vol. iii., pp. 201, 202.

The thrilling power of the passages immediately preceding this extract has thrown us somewhat off our guard; but we are still sufficiently self-possessed to interpose a serious protest against several things set forth in this elaborate and sweeping peroration, as not being justified by the facts of the case, and as being contradicted by the more sober judgment in which other writers generally, not being Popish, have agreed. And now,-on what principle it is, that a "power" which kept (and still keeps, so far as it may) in a "lurking" condition the truths required to be "preached to every creature," should have its unfaithful concealment of those truths put down to its account as having been a "safe guardianship" of the same,-that the "lying wonders" and pompous ritual under which those truths lay hidden, should be complimentarily passed off as having been nothing worse than "exuberant mythology and ceremonial,"

*The following may be accepted as an illustration:-"The Pope had no scruple in waging war by secular arms. Neither Gregory nor his successors, nor did the powerful churchmen in other parts of the world, hesitate to employ, even to wield, the iron arms of Knights and soldiery for spiritual purposes, as they did not spiritual arms for ends strictly secular. They put down ecclesiastical delinquents by force of arms; they anathematized their political enemies. The SWORD of St. Peter was called in to aid the keys of St. Peter."-Latin Christianity, vol. iii., p. 125.

Progress of Real Christianity.


and that "examples of ascetic devotion" should, "above all," be pressed on our notice, as the crowning enhancement of the claim of that "power" to be regarded as "a benefactor of mankind," we confess ourselves altogether at a loss to understand. The only reasonable way that seems open for escape out of the difficulty is, to conclude that, in this instance, as in some others, the Dean has been carried away by the impetuous flood of his own thought and language, and by the kindly generosity of his genial nature, beyond his original purpose. For, even admitting the justice of all that he has said, on behalf of Hildebrand, and of the ecclesiastical monarchy of which his primacy was the culminating point, it is rather too much to expect that "idols," of any description whatever, whether "fallen standing, should be gravely regarded as having a right to command, or even to ask, from any one of "mankind," either "reverence," or "admiration," or "gratitude."

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In large and deep expanses of water, however, if the surface be agitated, there is stillness beneath; and various processes and movements are continually going on, which yet cannot be seen from above, through the ever-changing refractions of light, occasioned by the agitation of the superincumbent water. Just so it was with early Christianity. What with the storms of frequent persecutions, and the scarcely less disastrous storms of its own controversies, its external aspect might be compared to that of a sea which knew no rest. But in the depths of its being and action it was in comparative quiet, doing its work, and making good progress, by the leaven which it spread through the various courses of human life. To use the metaphor employed by our Lord, the seed of evangelical truth which was sown grew up, men knew not how. Only the harvest appeared in due season; and they who had sown and they who reaped rejoiced together. And, in connexion with progress, two things were remarkable:


In the first place, it is clear that this progress did not depend on the minute and exact adjustment of an entire system of dogmatical theology, or even on the concurrence of all theological Doctors in any one form of creed. Else, at a very early period, Christianity must have halted, and then remained at a stand-still for centuries; or, within a much shorter period, have been extinguished altogether. There are some reasons for believing that heresies (justly so called) were fewer in number, and sometimes less flagrant, than ecclesiastical writers have reported them to be. But whether that were the case or not, the converts of the places where the "word of God grew and prevailed," were not always, except in points which were generally agreed to be essential, delivered into the same mould of doctrine. There are some doctrines without which a creed is nothing worth. And, on the other hand, there may be creeds VOL. IV. NO. VII.


which, with respect to personal salvation, insist upon more than is absolutely necessary. Secondly, it is also sufficiently clear, that the progress of Christianity was not dependent on any stereotyped form of ecclesiastical arrangement and discipline. The truth of this position rests on the fact, that Christianity has made progress in connexion with various forms of Church discipline, and cannot therefore be dependent for such progress on any single one. It may be added, that the instances are numerous, in which persons of piety and zeal, though not always holding an ecclesiastical commission, were by the power of their persuasion, and the still mightier influence of Christian example, the first heralds of the truth to many among whom that truth had not been previously published.

What reserves of woe, or of blessing, are in store for Latin, or for Greek, Christianity, are questions hardly of deeper interest to them, than they are also to the world at large. The doom of the former, so far as the term "Latin" may, in this case, be regarded as synonymous with "Romish," is scarcely a subject for inquiry, because the "sure word of prophecy" has already determined, with a clearness sufficient for all practical purposes, the things which shall come upon her. And for Greek Christianity, resembling so nearly, as she docs, her Western rival, the prospect is far from cheering, though not altogether without hope. She is more favourable to the dissemination of the Scriptures,rejects as an impiety the Romish purgatory, and in the Sacrament administers the elements in both kinds; but she is a worshipper of the Virgin Mary, as the "Mother of God,"believes in the mediation of departed souls, and in Transubstantiation and the Real Presence, and offers homage to pictures, as Rome does to statues. And thus partaking so largely of her sins, it does not appear how, without a repentance, of which at present there is slender hope, she can avoid receiving of her plagues."

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ART. VII.-1. A Third Gallery of Portraits. By GEORGE GILFILLAN. Edinburgh, 1854.

2. The Bards of the Bible. By GEORGE GILFILLAN. Edition. Edinburgh, 1852.


THE spirit which presides over composition of the purest sort, is known by the name of taste; the choice and order of language in which it finds expression, is denominated style. Is the former ever a superfluous gift? Is the latter a merely superficial quality? These inquiries we propose to answer, first by a direct, and then by a more explicit, negative.

There is the closest possible relation and interaction between the form and substance of literary works; and the lightest graces of a given production will be found rather characteristic than independent of its essential merits. In style we have, therefore, an indication as well as an instrument of truth. It is a test of the competence, fidelity, and triumph of an author, at least, within certain obvious limits, as well as a guarantee of his legitimate influence in the world of mind. Even the slightest product of literary taste, however frail and indefinable its graces may appear, is not to be too lightly rated; for if these graces should be closely analysed and observed, it would be found that the apposite and the truthful are their prevailing elements, and the source alike of their beauty, character, and moral worth.

It may surprise some readers to speak of the moral worth of mere works of taste; it will surprise them yet more to assert the immoral tendency of productions grossly deficient in this quality. It seems, indeed, to be very generally unsuspected, that weak, presumptuous, and foolish writings, and such as are loaded with spurious ornament, or filled with false conclusions, are actually demoralizing in their effects upon society; that they gradually, but surely, deprave the moral sense, as well as darken the understanding; that too frequently they are the source of error and confusion, in regard to some of the authoritative doctrines and duties of our sphere. Yet, as a fact, the alliance of false taste and unfixed principles is very notable in the popular literature of our day. Especially is this to be observed in the tendency to indulge in factitious sentiment, or in bold, unwarranted, and profane analogies,-in the disposition to remove ancient landmarks, and to confound important distinctions. In these respects the cause of virtue and religion is often seriously betrayed by its professed servants. While infidelity—at least in some quarters-is smitten with a fatal love of truth, with a spirit of candour, diligence, and strict inquiry; and is thus induced to bring its monstrous features to the light, and scare thereby both wise and simple

from its embrace; irreligion, on the other hand, is fostered and encouraged by loose statements and florid pictures proceeding from the hands of nominally Christian men. It is well that we should understand the real danger of our literature; that, namely, wherein its worst character begins, and which is most swift, though most insidious, in its advances. There is little to be dreaded from the pursuits of scientific men, soberly and fairly conducted, nor from their conclusions, duly weighed and openly stated, even when these men may be suspected of no love for truth beyond its material manifestations. But much evil is to be apprehended, and, indeed, is daily witnessed, from loose and passionate appeals to the imagination and affections; from a style which never deviates from the false heroic pitch, leaping from one pit of bathos to another; from a criticism which runs riot among follies it was invented to restrain, which knows neither discrimination nor temper, which deals out hasty and wholesale measures of admiration and disgust, which confounds human genius with divine inspiration, and brackets the all-unequal names of holy Prophets and profane and faithless poets.

The evils we assert and deplore may commonly be traced (as will presently be shown) to glaring incapacity and presumption in the class of writers we refer to; but they are seriously aggravated by want of common faithfulness and care in the discharge of serious duties. The lack of diligent fidelity is productive of great mischief in any calling in which man may engage. Even a single fault is never isolated in its character, but is propagated in a thousand sad results. The neglect of any duty, the most private and personal, the committal of a wrong in any sphere, the most limited and temporary, is fraught with evils which reach far beyond both our estimation and control; and only that the providence and grace of God are continually counteracting this fatal proneness of evil to extend and multiply itself, we should see such effects springing up from our daily acts of thoughtlessness, frivolity, and pride, as we now associate only with crimes of the blackest hue. But evil is not less manifestly evil because of this benignant law. Its effects still extend themselves to the third and fourth generation. The spoken lie, the momentary sneer, are neither slight nor transient in their influence; they re-appear and are re-echoed upon the lips of children's children. But in written books falsehood has a charter and dominion still more hostile to the interests and authority of truth. And literary falsehood is pernicious, not in proportion to its magnitude or malice, but to its unsuspected character, to its alliance with the semblance of some, and the reality of other, virtues, to its appeal to the vain imaginations and idle prejudices of the reader. Beginning in the thoughtless misuse of words,

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