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reward of their obedience, undergo a transformation from death to life and immortality, at length prevailed against the most violent and determined opposition, that was perhaps ever aimed at a body of men and the religion they had embraced. Could a doctrine so opposed to the principles, prejudices, and worldly interests of all parties at the period of its introduction, have made such progress by appeals to proofs of the most palpable description, and by the spirit of meekness in opposition to the most determined, powerful, and cruel hostility, by any other means but the reality of the principles and facts on which it was established ? Could a system which obtained an influence at once so powerful and so salutary on the minds of its votaries, transforming them from "men of violence to quite another nature,” be any other than divine? Had their discerning enemies been able to detect a fraud or a fallacy in their statements, by the exhibition of evidence or the force of reasoning, would they have grown so furious, and bave opposed appeals to facts by torture and destruction, thus marshalling their powers against the unresisting? At length, finding attacks unsuccessful, would they have come over to their standard," and when grown too powerful for their opposition, have affected to take them under their protection? This protection, indeed, has involved Christianity in the longest and most difficult struggles wbich it hath had to encounter; but the pure gold is gradually purifying itself from the alloy, and at length it will emerge from the embraces even of this insidious enemy.

Номо. anananananananana The Character and Writings of Fenelon.

(Concluded from page 399.)

We have finished our remarks on the first element of perfection, according to Fenelon, self-crucifixion. We proceed to the second, love to God. On this topic we intended to enlarge, but have left ourselves little room. We are happy to say, that we have less to object to Fenelon's expositions under this head, than under the former. Of the grandeur and the happiness of this principle, he speaks truly, worthily, in the penetrating language of calm and deep conviction. In one particular, we think him defective. He has not stated, and, in truth, very few do state with sufficient strength and precision, the moral foundation and the moral nature of religion. He has not taught with sufficient clearness, the great truth, that love to God is, from beginning to end, the love of virtue.

He did not sufficiently feel, that religion is the expansion and most perfect form of the moral faculty of man. He sometimes teaches, that, to do God's will, we must renounce ourselves and silence reason; as if the divine will were not in accordance with our faculties; as if it were something dark and mysterious; as if to follow it, we must quench the light of our own minds. Now, the truth is, that the divine will is in harmony with our nature. It is God's approbation and injunction of that moral rectitude, of which the great lines are written on the human soul, and to which reason and conscience, even when they fail to secure obedience, do yet secretly, and in no small degree respond. The human mind and the divine law are not distinct and disconnected things. If man were not a law to bimself, he could not receive the revelation of a law from Heaven. Were not the principle of duty an essential part of his mind, he could be bound to no obedience. Religion has its foundation in our moral nature, and is indeed its most enlarged and glorious form, and we lament that this great truth does not shine more brightly in the pages of Fenelon. We intended to give to it a particular discussion; but as we cannot do it justice in the present article, we prefer to dismiss it, and to offer a few miscellaneous remarks on that sentiment of love towards God, on which our author so perpetually insists.

We are aware, that to some men Fenelon may seem an enthusiast. Some may doubt or deny the possibility of that strong, deep, supreme affection towards the Supreme Being, with which Fenelon's book overflows. We wonder at this scepticism. We know no property of human nature more undoubted than its capacity and fulness of affection. We see its love overflowing in its domestic connexions, in friendships, and especially in its interest in being separated by oceans and the lapse of ages. Let it not be said, that the affections to which we here refer, have fellow beings for their objects, and do not therefore prove our capacity of religious attachment. The truth is, that one spirit runs through all our affections, as far as they are pure; and love to mankind directed aright, is the germ and element of love to the Divinity. Whatever is excellent and venerable in human beings, is of God, and in attaching ourselves to it we are preparing our hearts for its author. Whoever sees and recognises the moral dignity of impartial justice and disinterested goodness in his fellow creatures, has begun to pay homage to the attributes of God. The first emotion awak. ened in the soul, we mean filial attachment, is the dawning of love to our Father in Heaven. Our deep interest in the history of good and great men, our veneration towards enlightened legislators, our sympathy with philanthropists, our delight in mighty efforts of intellect consecrated to a good cause, all these sentiments prove our capacity of an affectionate reverence to God; for he is at once the inspirer and the model of this intellectual and moral grandeur in his creatures. We even think, that our love of nature has an affinity with the love of God, and was meant as a preparation for it; for the harmonies of nature are only his wisdom made visible; the heavens, so sublime, are a revelation of his immensity; and the beauty of creation images to us his overflowing

tove and blessedness. To us, hardly any thing seems plainer, than that the soul was made for God. Not only its human af, fections guide it to him; not only its deep wants, its dangers, and helplessness, guide it to him; there are still higher indications of the end for which it was made. It has a capacity of more than human love, a principle or power of adoration, which cannot bound itself to finite natures, which carries up the thoughts above the visible universe, and which, in approaching God, rises into a solemn transport, a mingled awe and joy, prophetic of a higher life: and a brighter signature of our end and happiness cannot be conceived.

We are aware, that it may be objected, that many and great obstructions to a supreme love of God, belong to our very constitution and condition, and that these go far to disprove the doctrine of our being framed for religion as our chief good. But this argument does not move us. We learn from every survey of man's nature and history, that he is ordained to approach the end of his creation through many and great obstructions; that effort is the immutable law of his being; that a good, in proportion to its grandeur, is encompassed with hardship. The obstructions to religion are not greater than those to knowledge; and, accordingly, history gives as dark views of human ignorance as of human guilt. Yet who, on this ground, denies that man was formed for knowledge, that progress in truth is the path of nature, and that he has impulses which are to carry forward his intellectual powers without end? It is God's pleasure, in his provisions for the mind, as well as for the body, to give us in a rude state the materials of good, and to leave us to frame from them, amidst such conflict, a character of moral and religious excellence; and in this ordination we see his wise benevolence; for by this we may rise' to the unutterable happiness of a free and moral union with our Creator. We ought to add, that the obstructions to the love of God, do not lie wholly in ourselves. Perhaps the greatest is a false theology. This interposes thick clouds between the soul and its Maker. It darkens and dishonours God and his works, and leaves nothing to sustain our trust and love.

The motives which are most commonly urged for cherishing, supreme affection towards God, are drawn from our frailty and weakness, and from our need of more than human succour in the trials of life and in the pains of death. But religion has a still higher claim. It answers to the deepest want of human nature. We refer to the want of some being or beings, to whom we may give our hearts, whom we may love more than ourselves, for whom we may live and be ready to die, and whose character responds to that idea of perfection, which, however dim and undefined, is an essential element of every human soul. We cannot be happy beyond our love. At the same time, love may prove our chief woe, if bestowed unwisely, disproportionately, and on unworthy objects; if confined to beings of imperfect virtue, with whose feelings 'we cannot always innocently sympathize, whose interests we cannot always righteously promote, who narrow us to themselves instead of breathing universal charity, who are frail,

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mutable, exposed to suffering, pain, and death. To secure a grow-
ing happiness and a spotless virtue, we need for

the heart a being worthy of its whole treasure of love, to whom we may consecrate our whole being, in approaching whom we enter an atmosphere of purity and brightness, in sympathizing with whom we cherish only noble sentiments, in devoting ourselves to whom we espouse great and enduring interests, in whose character we find the spring of an ever-enlarging philanthropy, and by attachment to whom, all our other attachments are hallowed, protected, and supplied with tender and sublime consolations under bereavement and blighted hope. Such a being is at a site si

The word which Fenelon has most frequently used to express the happiness to which the mind ascends by a supreme love of God, is “peace,” perhaps the most expressive which language affords. We fear, however, that its full import is not always received. There is a two-fold peace. The first is negative. It is relief from disquiet and corroding care. It is repose after conflict and storms. But there is another and a higher peace, to which this is but the prelude, “a peace of God which passeth all understanding," and properly called the kingdom of heaven within us.” This state is any thing but negative. It is the

most strenuous act the harmonious action, in which all our powers and affections are blended in a beautiful proportion, and sustain and perfect one another. It is more than silence after storms. It is as the concord of all melodious sounds. Has the reader never known a season, when, in the fullest flow of thought and feeling, in the universal action of the soul, an inward calm, profound as midnight silence, yet bright as the still summer noon, full of joy, but unbroken by one throb of tumultuous passion, has been breathed through his spirit, and given him a glimpse and presage of the serenity of a happier world? Of this character, is the peace of religion. sdIt is a conscious harmony with God and the creation, an alliance of love with all beings, a sympathy with all that is pure and happy, a surrender of every separate will and interest, a participation of the spirit and life of the universe, an entire concord of purpose with its Infinite Original. This is peace, and the true happiness of man; and we think that human nature has never entirely lost sight of this its great end. It has always sighed for a repose, in which energy of thought and will might be tempered with an allpervading tranquillity. We seem to discover aspirations after this good, a dim consciousness of it, in all ages of the world. We think we see it in those systems of Oriental and Grecian philosophy, which proposed, as the consummation of present virtue, a release from all disquiet, and an intimate union and harmony with the Divine Mind. We even think, that we trace this consciousness, this aspiration, in the works of ancient art which time has spared to us, in which the sculptor, aiming to embody his deepest thoughts of human perfection,

has joined with the fulness of life and strength, a repose which breathes into the spectator, an admiration as calm as it is exalted. ° Man, we believe, never wholly loses the sentiment of his true good. There are yearnings,

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sighings, which he does not himself comprehend—which break fortb alike in his prosperous and adverse seasons—which betray a deep indestructible faith in a good that he has not found-and which, in proportion as they grow distinct, rise to God, and concentrate the soul in him, as at once its life and rest, the fountain at once of energy and of peace.

In the remarks, which have now been suggested by the writings of Fenelon, we have aimed to free religion from exaggerations, which, we fear, weaken its influence over reasonable men, and at the same time to illustrate its dignity and happiness. We want time, or we should enlarge on the importance of this great subject to every human being. We cannot however leave it, without earnestly recommending it to the attention of men of superior minds. The neglect which it generally receives from these, is one of the most discouraging signs of our times. The claims of reli. gion on intelligent men, are not yet understood; and the low place which it holds among the objects of liberal inquiry, will one day be recollected as the shame of our age. Some remarks on this topic may form a not unsuitable conclusion to the present article.

It is, we fear, an unquestionable fact, that religion, considered as an intellectual subject, is, in a great measure, left to a particular body of men, as a professional concern; and the fact is as much to be wondered at as deplored. It is wonderful that any mind, and especially a superior one, should not see in religion the highest object of thought. It is wonderful that the infinite God, the noblest theme of the universe, should be considered as a monopoly of professed theologians; that a subject so vast, awful, and exalting, as our relation to the Divinity, should be left to technical men, to be handled so much for sectarian purposes. Religion is the property and dearest interest of the human race. Every man has an equal concern in it. It should be approached with an independence on human authority. It should be rescued from all the factions, which have seized upon it as their particular possession.

Men of the highest intellect should feel, that if there be a God, then his character and our relation to him throw all other subjects into obscurity, and that the intellect, if not consecrated to him, can never attain its true use, its full dimensions, and its proper happiness. Religion, if it be true, is central truth, and all knowledge, which is not gathered round it, and quickened and illuminated by it, is hardly worthy the name.

To this great theme, we would summon all orders of mind, the scholar, the statesman, the student of nature, and the observer of life. It is a subject to wbich every faculty and every acquisition may pay tribute, which may receive aids and lights from the accuracy of the logician, from the penetrating spirit of philosophy, from the intuitions of genius, from the researches of history, from the science of the mind, from physical science, from every branch of criticism, and, though last not least, from the spontaneous suggestions and the moral aspirations of pure but unlettered men.

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