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Federal Teles 15 of Humanity.
199 science and give him peace with Flearet, de
conviction of the real value of man his spirit will be to him unique in its to
ed the idea of humanity as distinct authority , and a debtor to that scheme da
re most pointedly recognises the
lual character and national charself, like Augustine, and Comper
, and Ches that school where Revelation is absolute
, alte fia
s for the true development of each, saith the Lord" makes an end of every s.
ns may form members of one great alleging that a long process of personal selin
a false uniformity, the cowardly right commencement of the Christian let's
ividual vocation, this seems to have that the converts whose Christianity has tilassa Loe
Babel, who would not go out and usually joined that theological school which in altese
self-devised material unity fell to makes least account of man and most accusat dole
, as a witness that such unity never Taylor, and Hammond, and Bumur, van
ns were forced to pursue their proreligion their business; but still they were
In order that they might eventually religion as a life for God rather than a life fra Gold
d spiritual unity in the Kingdom of ue spirit of Christianity, we cannot aded either our plans of colonization, nce in which man and his works are he Church of the middle ages reittle. The Reformation restored his nulated the mind to search into man
the feeling of the sacredness of the fects on science were long one-sided. holic spirit, the perception of unity 2 a large survey and a bold and hopevhich seem at first sight to have no
are, however, many indications in the of the present age of a more correct
The experience of the last few years e world grows old, the feeling of race ace are not extinguished, but are per
than ever, and that as races rise in the ir peculiar characteristics are magnified
we trust (and we would take the Exhi
industry and art of all nations this year 08:- A Vida
Che nations, though they feel their distinct-
to each other, that they are designed
By encouraging the exercise of and reconciling spirit, it has been to the study of the Languages of ndeed of this critical philosophy,
whose writings recognitions of Divine many elements
, in the age of their own demerit led to from first to last to the sovereign pre It was in deep contrition and med Owen's career began; and that we the religion of a broken hest le Children, live like Christie
: The feel upon." Such was the lingale tected so well England and the was the food with which the land time were nourished. The
servient to correction and instruction in righteousness. Many writers have done more for the details of Christian conduct; but for purposes of heart-discipline and for the nurture of devout affections, there is little uninspired authorship equal to the more practical publications of Owen. In the Life of that noble-hearted Christian philosopher, the late Dr. Welsh, it is mentioned that in his latter days, besides the Bible, he read nothing but “Owen on Spiritual-Mindedness,” and the “Olney Hymns ;” and we shall never despair of the Christianity of a country which finds numerous readers for his “Meditations on the Glory of Christ,” and his “ Exposition of the hundred and thirtieth Psalm.”
And here we may notice a peculiarity of Owen's treatises, which is at once an excellence and a main cause of their redundancies. So systematic was his mind that he could only discuss a special topic with reference to the entire scheme of truth; and so constructive was his mind, that, not content with the confutation of his adversary, he loved to state and establish positively the truth impugned: to which we may add, so devout was his disposition, that, instead of leaving his thesis a dry demonstration, he was anxious to suffuse its doctrine with those spiritual charms which it wore to his own contemplation. All this adds to the bulk of his polemical writings. At the same time it adds to their value. Dr. Owen makes his reader feel that the point in debate is not an isolated dogma, but a part of the whole counsel of God ;” and by the positive as well as practical form in which he presents it, he does all which a disputant can to counteract the sceptical and pragmatical tendencies of religious controversy. Hence, too, it comes to pass that, with one of the commonplaces of Protestantism or Calvinism for a nucleus, his works are most of them virtual systems of doctrino-practical divinity.
The alluvial surface of a country takes its complexion from the prevailing rock-formation. The Essays of Foster, and the Sermons of Chalmers excepted, the evangelical theology of the last hundred years has been chiefly alluvial; and in its miscellaneous composition the element which we chiefly recognise is a detritus from Mount Owen. To be sure, a good deal of it is the decomposition of a more recent conglomerate, but a conglomerate in which larger boulders of the original formation are still discernible. The sermon-makers of the present day may read Cecil and Romaine and Andrew Fuller; and in doing this they are studying the men who studied Owen. But why not study the original? It does good to an ordinary understanding to hold fellowship with a master mind; and it would greatly freshen the ministrations of our pulpits, if, with the eclectic eye
of modern culture, and with minds alive to our modern exigency, preachers held converse direct with the prime sources of British theology. We could imagine the reader of Boston producing a sermon as good as Robert Walker's, and the reader of Henry producing a commentary as good as Thomas Scott's, and the reader of Bishop Hall producing sketches as good as the “Horæ Homileticæ;" but we grow sleepy when we try to imagine Scott diluted or Walker desiccated, and from a congregation top-dressed with bone-dust from the “Skeletons,” the crop we should expect would be neither fervent Christians nor enlightened Churchmen. And, even so, a reproduction of the men who have repeated or translated Owen, is sure to be commonplace and feeble ; but from warm hearts and active intellects employed on Owen himself, we could expect a multitude of new Cecils and Romaines and Fullers.
As North British Reviewers, we congratulate our country on having produced this beautiful reprint of the illustrious Puritan; and from the fact that they have offered it at a price which has introduced it to four thousand libraries, we must regard the publishers as benefactors to modern theology. The editor has consecrated all his learning and all his industry to his labour of love; and, by all accounts, the previous copies needed a reviser as careful and as competent as Mr. Goold. Dr. Thomson's memoir of the author we have read with singular pleasure. It exhibits much research, and a fine appreciation of Dr. Owen's characteristic excellencies, and its tone is kind and catholic. Such reprints, rightly used, will be a new era in our Christian literature. They can scarcely fail to intensify the devotion and invigorate the faculties of such as read them. And if these readers be chiefly professed divines, the people will in the longrun reap the benefit. Let taste and scholarship and eloquence by all means do their utmost; but it is little which these can do without materials. The works of Owen are an exhaustless magazine; and, without forgetting the source whence they were themselves supplied, there is many an empty mill which their garner could put into productive motion. Like the gardens of Malta, many a region, now bald and barren, might be rendered fair and profitable with loam imported from their Holy Land; and many is the fair structure which might be reared from a single block of their cyclopean masonry.
ART. VII.- On the Kawi Language in the Island of Java, with
an Introduction on the Difference of Structure observable in the Languages of Mankind, and its influence on the Intellectual Development of the Human Race. 'By William von HumBOLDT. 3 Vols. Berlin, 1836. (The INTRODUCTION is reprinted in the Collected Works of WILLIAM VON HUMBOLDT. Vol. 6. Berlin, 1848.)
The comparative study of language is of quite modern date. It was hardly known in Europe thirty years ago; for that unscientific comparison of single words, without principle or analogy, which made itself so often ridiculous in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, does not deserve the name. We will just mention two reasons for its tardy appearance amongst the number of the sciences. In the first place, it requires the possession of a considerable amount of materials drawn from the most various sources, and these, either from want of opportunity of collecting them, or want of interest in the pursuit, have not been very long within our reach. It implies, secondly, a particular temper of mind.
The Roman Empire included under its vast dominion people speaking an immense number of different languages, but their scientific men felt very little interest in these languages, just because they felt very little interest in the men by whom they were spoken. The great difficulty of intercommunication partly produced this result, but not altogether. The Romans had a clear idea of what is high and noble in the individual character, and a full appreciation of it; but the idea of looking with interest upon men, and what concerned them, on the grounds of a common humanity, had not risen before them with any distinctness, still less had it convinced them of the duty of endeavouring to raise their fellow-men with themselves. In their colonies, the Romans rather drove back the original inhabitants than mixed themselves up with them. We may see, however, from the well-known anecdote, of the effect produced in the theatre by Terence's glorious sentiment, that the idea of which we speak was not wholly wanting amongst the Romans. It was absorbed, however, in the strong feeling of their own nationality. The nearest approach to the wider contemplation of man, in the writers of the ancient world with which we are acquainted, is to be found in the introduction to the history of Polybius. That author there speaks of nations as being constituted like the members of a body, and declares his opinion, that the history of one nation cannot be understood without taking that of others into account.
The Idea of Humanity.
Christianity first gave the conviction of the real value of man as an individual, and implanted the idea of humanity as distinct from nationality. It therefore most pointedly recognises the value and existence of individual character and national character, whilst it provides means for the true development of each, so that both persons and nations may form members of one great whole. The endeavour after a false uniformity, the cowardly fear of following out their individual vocation, this seems to have been the sin of the builders of Babel, who would not go out and replenish the earth; but their self-devised material unity fell to pieces under God's own hand, as a witness that such unity never could continue, and the nations were forced to pursue their proper course of development, in order that they might eventually be gathered into a higher and spiritual unity in the Kingdom of Christ.
But though this is the true spirit of Christianity, we cannot say that it has hitherto pervaded either our plans of colonization, or those departments of science in which man and his works are the objects of research. The Church of the middle ages regarded the individual too little. The Reformation restored his rights to the individual, stimulated the mind to search into man and nature, and awakened the feeling of the sacredness of the national tongues, but its effects on science were long one-sided. It required the true Catholic spirit, the perception of unity amidst difference, to induce a large survey and a bold and hopeful comparison of things which seem at first sight to have nothing in common. There are, however, many indications in the expressions and writings of the present age of a more correct feeling in this respect. The experience of the last few years has taught us, that as the world grows old, the feeling of race and the distinctions of race are not extinguished, but are perhaps more strongly felt than ever, and that as races rise in the scale of humanity, their peculiar characteristics are magnified also : at the same time, we trust (and we would take the Exhibition of the works of industry and art of all nations this year as a proof of it) that the nations, though they feel their distinctness most as they exercise their peculiar gifts most successfully, are not on that account more separate, but more deeply assured that they are complementary to each other, that they are designed to work together as an organic whole.
That the universal is manifested in the particular, and cannot be realized apart from it, is perhaps the leading principle of the higher philosophy of our day. By encouraging the exercise of critical analysis in a hopeful and reconciling spirit, it has been most useful in its application to the study of the Languages of mankind. The concurrence indeed of this critical philosophy,