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of history who have been morally unscrupulous have not been great on account of, but in spite of this blot. They have grasped, and felt, and embodied the latent cravings and necessities of their time more than others, and in proportion as these have been healthy and noble, has their work been healthy and good. But it is possible to embody evil and destructive tendencies, and then barring the intellectual and moral power in it) the work is chiefly admirable to the vulgar and the evil onlyas, e.g., the ambitious ravages of a Napoleon.
We wish here to say a word about the moral teaching of Quietism. There are wonderful and beautiful things in Madame Guyon and Fenelon, concerning the absorption of the human will in the Divine. But, withal, it affects one with the sense that it is somewhat inhuman, too bloodless, too narrow, too cold, for the ideal of human life. You have so much love for God,
dear,' said Madame Guyon's husband to her one day, that you • have no love left for me.' Is this as it should be ? Each human being is an individual person, surrounded by individual persons with distinct characters, needs, and aspirations, with many of whom he is capable of sympathizing, and some of whom he is adapted ardently to love. Moreover, there are external things toward which our desires by nature tend, and which we may make our own ; there is excellence and beauty in these ; we have capacities corresponding to these, and adapted to find gratification in them; give only to each its proper place, and let it not encroach upon that of another; but God is the source of these things and of the corresponding capacities in us. By all means let the human will be absorbed in the Divine; but let us not arbitrarily and ignorantly limit the Divine. Acquiescence in suffering is very desirable and excellent; but of course it is rendered comparatively easy when the proper affections are withdrawn from the proper objects, so that the loss of these lacerates us but little, and it may fairly be questioned whether such acquiescence may not be too dearly purchased. This was the principle of Stoicism.
Not to admire's the only art I know,
To make men happy, or to keep them so.' It may, however, be questioned of how much value such happiness may be. If we arbitrarily determine that such and such objects are to be accounted worthless, and such and such pursuits to be accounted sinful and godless, it is not difficult to bow to the will of Providence when deprived of them, or no longer able to follow them. Doubtless, the idolatry of the creature is wrong; but it may be asked, how shall we know, love, and adore the Creator,
Conscience the Voice of God.
if we shut our eyes and our sympathy to the manifestation of His glory in the creature, or, in simpler and weightier words, • He that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how shall · he love God whom he hath not seen?' In like manner, there is no doubt that each person is formed by nature to seek and consult his own happiness. It is absurd and vain to deny it. It is not wrong to seek to be happy, only, we must have a wider scope than this, and yet by no means at every moment. Otherwise, we could not seek our own happiness; we should have to be ever seeking something else. The pure and unmixed pursuit of happiness is no more wicked than the gambols of a child, than his exultation in mere exuberant life and health, are wrong. It ought to be sought at times, with no afterthought. Only in the well-ordered moral nature, when such pursuit would clash with the happiness or the moral welfare of another person, or even with that of any other sentient thing, it would be happiness no more. And, doubtless, active love and benevolence will make up a large portion of the existence of a well-ordered moral nature, where there is scope and opportunity for it. But each will decide on his line of life, according to his circumstances and the bent of his nature; there must, in a well-ordered society, be a certain division of labour. And men have distinct duties to perform towards themselves. The moral systems which place the sole ethical standard in benevolence, though amiable and very superior to selfish systems, are certainly one-sided. A mañ must cultivate himself
, so far as circumstances permit, for his own good and the good of society. Nor can any one duty that we may set before us be efficiently performed, if we neglect to think of other duties.
It is not right, not according to the will of God, to make ourselves miserable, any more than it is to seek, like the Indian Fakir, to annihilate personality by getting rid of consciousnesswbich is not, as he fancies, to be absorbed into the absolute, but to be absorbed into mere dull clay. For humanity to be worthily absorbed in the Divine, it must not lose that which is essential to itself; but, taking that with it, blend that, so far as may be, with the Divine--not extinguish its own will--for how poor an offering to God is an extinguished will !—but conform the living human will to the Divine. Acquiescence in suffering, if it be inevitable except by the sacrifice of principle, is a part of duty, but certainly not the whole. Simple, cheerful, and healthy acceptance of all joy, nay, and clearing from obstruction the spirit and body's numerous inlets of joy, except circumstance point to some higher duty inevitably inconsistent with this, these things are as undeniably a part of duty. All our faculties
and all the objects corresponding to them are from God, even in a surer and more direct sense than suffering and misfortune-this seems often to be forgotten by religious peopleand earthly enjoyments, however innocent, come to be regarded as mere lures appointed for the trial of our constancy and faithfulness in refusing and scorning them—which seems entirely a morbid and untenable view. Even the ordinary and necessary avocations of life are too much regarded as more or less necessary evils to be got over with as much dispatch as possible, as obstacles to religious contemplation and acts of devotion, which must naturally have a bad effect on the care and conscientiousness with which ordinary duties are discharged ; whereas they have a manifest claim to be counted as sacred things, notwithstanding their homeliness, just because they are duties. But it is equally undeniable and important to be remembered, that in proportion as a person increases his wants and means of enjoyment, in the same proportion does he increase not only his chances of suffering, but his liability to moral danger. Conscience has a greater multitude of desires to keep in order and duly co-ordinate—there is a greater probability of some one desire overcoming it, assuming undue proininence in the spiritual polity, and so doing general moral injury to the system. There is, therefore, a good deal of irrational dog. matism, talked by genial, commonplace people, about the peculiar sinfulness of genius when it goes wrong, since its possessor has more opportunity of knowing what is right. There is an element, no doubt, of truth in this; but such persons forget what is due per contra to the other side of the argument—they forget the peculiar temptations of genius, in fact, they are scarcely capable of estimating them. The thinner, poorer nature can scarcely comprehend the richer. But how much more comprehensive is Christianity according to Christ than even stoicism, the noblest moral system after it ! * Your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things;' yet seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.'
When all has been said, let it, however, be remembered that self-sacrifice, self-devoting love, is the noblest principle in human nature. If its claims come into collision with those of any other principle, conscience gives the casting-vote for this. The world in its secret heart always admired this more than anything else ; but now that there has been manifested the crowning instance of it, and others have followed in the footprints of Him, men are generally agreed to place that virtue first and foremost. Happy the man who takes this principle to his bosom, living and dying, according to his opportunities,
in accordance with it—not merely admiring it at a distance. No creature may live only for self; but man is privileged, if he will, to take the life-law to his heart.
ART. VI.-(1.) Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile. By JAMES
BRUCE, of Kinnaird, Esq. London. 1790. (2.) The Highlands of Ethiopia. By Major W. CORNWALLIS HARRIS.
London : Longmans. 1844. (3.) Voyage en Abyssinie. Par Messrs. FERRET et GALINIER. Paris.
1847. (4.) Life in Abyssinia : being Notes collected during Three Years'
Residence and Travels in that Country. By MANSFIELD PARKYNS.
London. 1853. (5.) Wanderings among the Falashas in Abyssinia. By the Rev.
H. A. STERN. London : Wertheim & Co. 1862. (6.) The British Captives in Abyssinia. By CHARLES T. BEKE,
Ph.D., F.S.A., F.R.G.S., &c. London : Longmans. 1867. (7.) The Nile Tributaries of Abyssinia. By Sir SAMUEL W. BAKER,
M.A., F.R.G.S., &c. London: Macmillan & Co. 1867. (8.) Narrative of a Journey through Abyssinia in 1862–3.
By HENRY DUFTON. London : Chapman and Hall. 1867. (9.) Further Correspondence respecting the British Captives in
Abyssinia Presented to the House of Commons by command of
Her Majesty. 1867. (10.) Map of Abyssinia. By JAMES WYLD, Geographer to the
Queen, &c. 1867. THE tenour of the debates in the House of Commons seemed to show that the Abyssinian expedition is an inevitable calamity, whose necessity has generally been realized with genuine reluctance. The interests of a commercial nation are necessarily those of peace, and no people are more powerfully affected than ourselves when the tranquillity of the world is disturbed. But in addition to this, an enlightened community will always see in war those evils whose moral tendency is degrading, and will recognise the production of disastrous effects that have no relation to the more material financial considerations. Our reluctance to declare war against the sovereign of Abyssinia cannot be said to have been caused by any apprehension of danger to
our commerce, for the connection that we have maintained with that country has hung upon the merest thread. It is rather that we see Abyssinia the only nation in Africa professing the Christian religion-a rude form of it indeed, but still Christianto which the people have clung tenaciously since its introduction early in the fourth century. At that remote period the Abyssinians possessed a native version of the Holy Scriptures; and so firmly was the creed thus derived grafted on the national mind, that when Islamism, offering the alternative of the Koran or death, spread its powerful influence in every direction, these Christians offered effectual opposition, and bravely adhered to the tenets of their faith. The key to Eastern Africa, as well as affording the easiest means of access to those magnificent lake regions that recent discovery has shown to exist in the centre of the continent, Abyssinia possesses the elements that are necessary to constitute a nation capable of exercising an appreciable influence on the future of the world. But, unhappily, the country has been torn by internal conflicts, its interests have been made subservient to the ambition of turbulent chiefs, and the weakness thus occasioned has induced invasion by the Egyptians in the north and by the Gallas in the south. The gradual and substantial progress made by these powers, that are at once enemies to Christi. anity and to Abyssinian independence, goes far to justify the proud boast of the Mohammedan, that those provinces in which the Christian spark still flickers must soon yield allegiance to the Prophet. Abyssinia, moreover, possesses a soil exceedingly rich in mineral and vegetable productions, and is blessed with a healthy climate ; so that under all circumstances the nation is peculiarly calculated to excite our interest and sympathy. It is, therefore, extremely to be regretted that events should have compelled us to send a hostile expedition to a country whose strength we should obviously preserve rather than destroy. Lord Derby declared, on the opening of Parliament, and his remarks have been reiterated by his subordinates in the Government, that the expedition is sent for a single purpose, and that when that purpose is effected, Her Majesty's troops will at once retire from Abyssinia. As this object is avowedly and simply to effect the release of the unfortunate captives who have so long, in defiance of all law and honour, been held in durance by the Emperor Theodore, it is to be questioned whether it might not have been obtained by a less expensive method than the despatch of a military expedition. The most complete success that could attend the efforts of Sir Robert Napier could add no lustre to the glory of the British arms, and it is doubtful—though this is considered to be most essential- whether it would in the slightest degree affect the