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honor of the solar snake. The sum of all these speculations was the personification of the reproductive and the destroying powers of nature under various forms. But throughout all the primitive religions there runs the first principle of the incarnation of deity, as a great instructor of mankind. He appears as Buddha in India, Fo-hi in China, Zoroaster in Persia, Osiris in Egypt, Thoth or Taut in Syria, Belus in Chaldæa, Hermes in Greece, Odin in Scandinavia, Saturn in Italy, Quetzalcohuatl in Mexico, Itzamal and Kukulcan in Yucatan, Theotbilahe in Nicaragua, Bochica in Colombia, Manco Capac in Peru, Votan in Guatemala, Payzume in Paraguay, Amalivaca among the Tamapacs, Wasi among the Cherokees, Manabohzo among the Algonquins, Hiawatha among the Dakotas, Hu Gadarn among the Bretons, and so on.
In all of these systems the serpent is symbolical of the active power of nature, sometimes beneficent, sometimes malevolent, an Agathodæmon and a Cacodæmon. The main difference between them is not in their fundamental principles, but in their attendant rites and ceremonies, and these partake of the respective characteristics of the nations which practise them, tempered also by the climate. Serpent-worship was, we think, the second stage of the religious development of mankind. The first was Fetish worship, such as is practised in Dahomey to-day, the lowest and most degrading form of religion which it is possible to conceive. The step from that to Sabæism was a great one, however much we may wonder at and loathe the elevation of a horrible reptile into an emblem of the sun and of the great Creator. The next step, from Sabæism and serpent-worship, into multifarious idolatry, was a retrograde one, under which mankind sank into the grossest immorality and depravity, to be redeemed from it by Christianity, at the root of which again figures the serpent.
Art. II.-1. Histoire de la Philosophie au Dix-huitième Siècle.
Par VICTOR Cousin. Paris. 1860. 2. Social Statics ; or, The Conditions Essential to Human Hap
piness Specified, and the First of them Developed. By HERBERT SPENCER. London. 1865.
3. Histoire des Systèmes de Philosophie. Par M. DEGERANDO.
Paris. 4. Geschichte der neuern Philosophie (History of the New
Philosophy). Von M. BUHLE. Leipsic. 5. L'Organisation du Travail selon la Coutume des Ateliers et
la Loi du Décalogue, etc. Par M. F. DE PLAY. Tours. 1870.—The same work translated into English, by GOUVERNEUR EMERSON, M. D. Philadelphia. 1872.
Success, failure. For man, what more significant, what more comprehensive words than these? Words, too, which, as to a possible class of sentient creatures superior to man, we may suppose to be, and which, as to the external world, organic and inorganic, that surrounds man, we know to be, quite insignificant—that is, without meaning or interest of any sort. Of all the multiform and manifold antitheses which offer themselves for our study and amazement, is not this the chief nay, to declare the whole question, is not this the sum! Having included within this field all that belongs to it, what remains ? Vast area of debatable ground enclosed between these antipodal extremes, lies there any territory beyond them, already subdued and put under cultivation by man-any possible terra incognita even, which he thinks of subduing at some future time? Quite evidently not. As of all past endeavor, whether of yesterday, and so standing out clearly revealed to our eyes in bold, sharpangled relief; or of a remoter age, and so its outline somewhat dim and shadowy, the sole question is, did it succeeddid it fail ! So, ef all possible future undertakings, the single inquiry is, shall it succeed-shall it fail ?
And it is both curious and painful to observe how, undeterred by our lamentable failure to find logical and so unanimous explanation of these opposite results, even when the undertaking is of the past, its inner mechanism, and its workings and strugglings towards completion thus laid open to our inspection, and the task, as would seem, thus made easy for us, we in no wise abate our efforts, or restrain our hopes, that hereafter we shall be more wise and more fortunate; and so, with the certainty that belongs to law, predict success or failure of this inchoate enterprise, whose workings and whose inner mechanism are still all unrevealed. In other words, we amuse ourselves with the hope that we shall, in good time, arrive at the point of predicting certain results of the future, when it is but too evident that to-day we cannot even explain, or at least do not agree in explaining, a similar class of results which are of the past. In matters where, thus far, we have displayed our incompetency as teachers, we now seek to be prophets—to be revealers, where hitherto we have failed to be illustrators.
And that men do not abate their efforts or chasten their hopes in this regard--that in imagination, at least, they behold placed in their hands the one sole, legitimate key for this Bramah lock of many wards, to be presently substituted with happiest results for the surreptitious keys which have long hung suspended from the girdle of pretentious locksmiths and lock-pickers, is evident enough. For, why otherwise give audience at all to the innumerable tribe of vaticinators, or rather soothsayers—for, be it observed, this latter word includes as possible in its signification, not only a sayer of truth, but a sayer of pleasing things also, as, indeed, it ought, when we consider by whom it has been appropriated why give audience to these who so lonely and so confidertly predict a “ better time coming”? If there be better things in store for us, if the better time coming, so long heralded as close at hand, prove not in the coming years the same illusive ignis fatuus it has proved in the years that are past, such change must happen to us by reason of redeeming somewhat, somewhere, from the domain of accident and conjecture, and referring the same to some fixed but hitherto unobserved, or, at least, unapplied law.
If not upon such new discovery, or upon the more full recognition of some such law, where, we may ask, does rest the foundation of these hopeful predictions! If to “ Count Cagliostros” and “Madame Le Normands”-if to magicians, and necromancers, and astrologers, and clairvoyants, with all their paraphernalia of divining-rods, and crucibles, and sulphurous fumes, and whatnot other devices Gif to these and such as these we are to look for guidanceif we are still shut up to such altogether inarticulate, ambiguous oracles to learn whether success or failure waits upon the newly launched enterprise, how may we at all hope for other results than those which have happened to us aforetime No. When we make that certain which has hitherto been uncertain, we secure a new instrument of progress, and, not irrationally, may count upon making, with greater or less, with more rapid or slower strides, an advance. So far as what has hitherto rested in conjecture, even if it be the conjecture of the wisest man, or of all wisest men united, comes instead thereof to rest in demonstration, so far a step is gained. Then, we need have no fear lest the light that is in us be darkness. Then, we need not be disturbed, fearing that we have kindled our beacon on some floating Delos island, which, instead of guiding the truthful navigator into port, shall betray him to destruction.
Now, the question which salutes us at the very threshold is this: Is there any general, fixed law whatever appertaining to this matter of success—failure, which, in virtue of its being more formally and distinctly announced, and so more fully recognized and acted upon than has been hitherto done, promises to contribute, in a slight degree even, towards making that certain, which to-day, of all things whatever, seems most uncertain ! There is a law of gravitation, a law of combustion, each making certain what would otherwise be all uncertain, knowing which, men escape much they would, if ignorant of this law, be exposed to. Is there in any similar sense a law of success, to be termed, shall we say, the “ Law of Equivalents," which, once reduced into formal possession, we may better give heed to, and so be less exposed to disappointment and other untoward consequences, which, as of one sort and another they result from the neglect of all laws, so must attend upon the infraction of this law ? Does this foundling, hitherto, as would seem, not deemed worthy of a name at all, deserve the name we have given him ? Admit that we may raise him up out of the ditch into which he has fallen, and bestow upon him such decent apparel as shall prove to be at hand, to thus make him, after a fashion; presentable. Is it quite certain we are not arrogating for him a name beyond his deserts ? Is he of such lofty lineage, such honorable extraction, that he can be said to belong at all to the family into which we now propose to introduce him ?
Pertinent questions these, for, consider a moment how much is included under this word “law." What is law, but uniformity ? and for man, whose many weaknesses, and tender infirmities, and proneness to stumble, would seem to require soft and cottony swaddling-clothes, whose pliant folds should have thought for, and accommodate themselves to, this infantile unsteadiness of his—we say, for
what more terrible word than this—this hard, angular, inexorable uniformity? There is no dangling, no caressing, no soothing lullaby here ; but, instead thereof, rude, rough handling, as of some hirsute, untonsured giant, with grasp like a vice-a letting-fall, nay, rather a dashing-down to the frozeu earth of this limp babyhood, with nonchalance almost devilish-this, or something like this, is what we are made to look upon, when we consider and ask ourselves what is the ful -gnificance of this word law-uniformity; and we ask ag.. what more terrible word for man than this? And since law, however it may differ in that it has to do now wi h tters