Imagens das páginas

thus interpreted, so as to throw a light on new situations analogous to, but not identical with, those from which it de rived its lessons. The flexibility of Cardinal Newman's imagination is at the root of all his intellectual power. Of that I have given already ample proof. He adapts himself at one time to the language of Scripture, and brings out of it infinitely more meaning than ordinary men; and at another, again, he adapts himself to the conventional attitude of the soul, and discerns with the most perfect delicacy the finest shades of expression, the finest distinctions between the conventionality of one kind of conventional mind and the conventionality of another. Then again observe how he enters into the spirit of the Roman breviary, and translates the invocations of the Mass into a theological defence of its significance and purport. And here, finally, we have him putting together all the indications that his great experience has given him, of mental collapse from the intermittent courage and breathlessness of ordinary deathbeds to the great climax of the Redeemer's passion in the awful words that imply His having entered into even the sense of desertion and desolation peculiar to deaths of exhaustion-and combining them all into the most powerful delineation of the last great experience of human life which English literature contains.

The idealism which thus takes up the highest actual experiences of men, and refines or raises them in the direction which the heart seems to point out as that of some change which it has never yet experienced, is the highest kind of idealism attainable by men. Idealism that attempts to go beyond this, necessarily fails from want of any real root. But Cardinal Newman's never does go beyond this. It keeps close to human experience, rising above it only by prolonging the movement of the mind in the same direction in which the highest previous experience has already risen above that which was lower. I should say that Cardinal Newman's genius reached perhaps its highest point of intensity in his old communion; but its highest point of breadth, vigor, and grandeur in the communion to which he now belongs. But throughout his life

his genius has shown itself rather in interpreting the nature of man than in interpreting the character of God. His purely theological writings are comparatively tame. It is when he has to apply his theology to human wants and pretensions that you discover how great is the scope of his genius, and how various the music of his pathos. When I speak of his purely theological writings being comparatively tame, I refer only to writings like his book on Arianism, which do not dwell on the affinity of the creed they define for the mind of man. The moment he has to describe the growth of theology in the Church, its mingled fascination and repulsion for the generations of men, his genius displays itself in its fulness, and I may instance the last University sermon which he preached in the Anglican Church, where Dr. Newman has thus described the evolution of the Christian creed, and anticipated the general scope of his Essay on Development. He describes

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how the great idea takes hold of a thousand minds by its living force, and will not be ruled or stinted, but is like a burning fire,' as the prophet speaks, shut up within them,' till they are weary of forbearing and cannot stay,' and grows in them, and at length is borne through them, perhaps in a long course of years, and even successive generations; so that the doctrine may rather be said to use the minds of Christians, than to be used by them. Wonderful is it to see with what effort, hesitation, suspense, interruption, with how many swayings to the right and to the left, with how many reverses, yet with what certainty of advance, with what precision in its march, and with what ultimate completeness, it has been evolved, till the whole truth, selfbalanced, on its centre hung,' part answering to part, one, absolute, integral, indissoluble, while the world lasts. And compare with this fine description of the evolution of the Christian creed, the description which he gives us in the same sermon of the evolution of a great and mysterious fine art: "Let us take another instance of an outward and earthly form. under which great wonders unknown seem to be typified; I mean musical sounds, as they are exhibited most per

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fectly in instrumental harmony. There are seven notes in the scale; make them fourteen, yet what a slender outfit for so vast an enterprise! What science rings so much out of so little? Out of what poor elements does some great master in it create his new world! Shall we say that all this exhuberant inventive ness is a mere ingenuity or trick of art, like some game or fashion of the day, without reality, without meaning? We We Inay do so, and then, perhaps, we shall also account the science of theology to be a matter of words; yet, as there is a divinity in the theology of the Church, which those who feel cannot communicate, so is there also in the wonderful creation of sublimity and beauty of which I am speaking. To many men, the very names which the science employs are utterly incomprehensible. To speak of an idea or a subject seems to be fanciful or trifling; to speak of the views which it opens upon us, to be childish extravagance; yet it is possible that that inexhaustible evolution and disposition of notes, so rich, yet so simple, so intricate, yet so regulated, so various, yet so majestic, should be a mere sound which is gone, and perishes? Can it be that these mysterious stirrings of the heart, and keen emotions, and strange yearnings after we know not what, and awful impressions from we know not whence, should be wrought in us by what is unsubstantial, and comes and goes, and begins and ends in itself? It is not so; it cannot be. No; they have escaped from some higher sphere; they are the outpourings of eternal harmony in the medium of created sound; they are echoes from our home; they are the voice of angels or the Magnificat of saints, or the living laws of divine governance, or the divine Attributes; something are they besides themselves which we cannot compass, which we cannot utter-though mortal man, and he, perhaps, not otherwise distinguished above his fellows, has the gift of eliciting them."

It would be impossible within the limits of an article to give any impression of the many sides of Cardinal Newman's flexible and subtle, and above all luminous and lucid intellect. His greatest efforts are never ambitious; and whether you go with him or not, he is

sure to interest you more than you anticipated, and to leave you with a sense of a wider horizon and of closer spiritual ties. If any one asks how one who is not a Roman Catholic can think the upshot of Dr. Newman's career an immense gain to the world, when he, more than any living Englishman, has done so much to make men Roman Catholics, I should reply that, in our age at least, it is no small gain to have made the Roman Church interesting and intelligible to so many Protestants, and to have made at the same time a considerable number of Protestant convictions interesting and intelligible to so many Roman Catholics. And this, at least, Dr. Newman has done, though this is the least part of his work. The greatest of his claims on our gratitude is that he has added so much to our knowledge of human nature, and especially to our knowledge of the links which connect human nature with the supernatural life above us. If it has been the special philosophical work of the last generation to show us how much of almost mechanical intelligence there is in the very structure of our bodies, to say nothing of the habits of our minds, it has been Cardinal Newman's special work to explain the operation of implicit and unconscious, as distinguished from explicit and conscious, reasoning, on the higher life of men, and to vindicate the trustworthiness of that implicit reasoning wherever it is made the instrument of a constant and earnest purpose. But he has done much more than enlarge the philosophy of religious belief. Alike for Roman Catholics and for Protestants, he has invested religious subjects with a new and peculiar charm. He has shed on Scripture itself a silver light which, in the minds of many of us, connects indissolubly some of its greatest passages with his name and genius, and does this without intruding a single forced or artificial association. That he has enriched English literature with the most delicate and the most apt, the most musical and the most lustrous of English styles, would be nothing, if that style itself were not a living witness of the supernatural life in him which it expresses and reveals. For no one can love the style and not feel that its tenderness and its severity, its keen thrusts

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A STEP was taken not long ago with regard to the system of examination in one of the English universities which ought to be welcomed with joy and thankfulness by all to whom the rational study of history is a matter of any concern. It is perhaps more valuable as asserting a principle than because it is likely to work any great immediate results. But, as the assertion of a principle, it is invaluable. There is one university which has at last openly acknowledged the truth of the unity of history. For the first time a real school of history has been founded, a school which adopts the wise principle which Arnold laid down forty years back, but which has as yet found no follower in practice. A school has actually arisen at Cambridge in which it is possible to take up ancient and "modern authors side by side. It is perhaps too soon to judge of the working of the school or of its details. But, at any rate, the beginning has been made; the true principle has been acknowledged, practically acknowledged, in the examination system of one of our great universities. No doubt the new school will have its struggles to go through; it is as yet but a tender herb, which may need some years of small rain to water it before it grows into a tree putting forth great branches. We must not despise the day of small things. All new schools, all new studies, must expect to be despised

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at first. There was a time when Greek was a new study, which had to fight its way against a Trojan opposition. New schools and studies are despised, as all discoveries, all reforms, are for a while despised. Lord Macaulay speaks of the fools of a period before recorded history, who objected to the introduction of the plough and of alphabetic writing. The line of their successors has never yet failed; and men who might at least be mistaken for members of the class have sometimes been seen even in the high places of universities.

The new tripos at Cambridge is a great step indeed in advance. It is the first attempt that has been made in English university teaching to grapple with the great facts of the history of the world. It is the first attempt to deal with the history of the world on a reasonable basis, to bind together branches of study which lose their chief meaning if kept apart from one another. Starting from the principle which the new tripos implies, it will for the first time be possible to deal with history as a whole, to bring out into its fitting prominence the great fact which is the centre of the history of the civilized world, but which, so long as his tory is unnaturally parted asunder into an ancient and a modern division, can never find its proper acknowledgment in either.

Looked at from the cecumenical

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of "ancient" and "modern."
strange to say, while the latter does
come in for some little recognition in
ordinary study, the former, it is hardly
too much to say, is passed by alto-

Let us try to set forth the main features of these two great but neglected periods. The earlier answers mainly to the second century before Christ. The process by which the Roman dominion was formed begins earlier and goes on later; but it is in that century that its main features come out most strongly. The second period is longer and less easy to define, the more so as its definition would be different in different parts of Europe. It is essentially a transitional period, and something of a transitional character spreads over the whole time from the moment when the Teutonic races become seriously dangerous to the Empire to the moment when they make the Empire itself their own. That is, the period would reach from Marcus Aurelius to Charles the Great. This is a Western way of looking at things; in the East we should have to draw other chronological limits, and to speak of other invaders. And within this long time we might pick out some shorter periods, say the fourth and fifth centuries of our æra, in which the general character of the period comes out most strongly of all. This latter period, its Western side at least, does draw somewhat more attraction to it than the other. The ordinary "ancient"

standing-point, the history of Europe, as I have often striven to point out, forms one long and unbroken drama, of which Rome is the one centre, the point to which all roads lead and the point from which all roads set forth again. In the usual division of "ancient and modern," it is impossible to look at Rome in its true position; there is no opportunity to look from a single point of view at the joining of the roads and at their parting asunder. There is no opportunity to look, in the relations to one another, at the process by which the Roman dominion was formed, and at the process by which, in seeming to fall asunder, it really started on a new life under new conditions. It might hardly be too much to say that, as what is called ancient' history is commonly read, with the choice of authors which is commonly made, the Roman Empire, as such, is not studied at all. The bearings of its supposed fall on the modern world do come in for some kind of acknowledgment on the part of ordinary students of modern his tory; the process by which it came to gether is, as a rule, altogether left out by ordinary students of "ancient" his tory. Of course, this neglect is not necessarily involved in the division into ancient and modern.' It would be perfectly possible to stop at an arbitrary point in the history of the Empire, and yet to read thoroughly and connectedly, all that comes before that arbitrary point. By such a process, though the building would not be finished, the foundation at least would be laid. But, with the received system, not only are ancient" and modern history kept apart, but "ancient" history itself is looked at only in morsels. In the long drama of the life of Rome there are two special acts-that is, there are two periods in the history of the world-whose interest surpasses that of all other periods. These are the periods The terms ancient" and "modern" at which I have already hinted as that are thoroughly misleading when used to of the joining of the roads and that of mark off two portions of history by a their parting asunder. That is, they hard and fast line. Yet we may for the are the periods when the Roman nonce use those dangerous words, if dominion came together, and the period we are allowed to give them our own when, to a superficial glance, it seems definition. We may take them as mereto have split asunder. The formerly conventional ways of marking an comes wholly within the ancient earlier state of things in which the hisrange; the latter comes on the march tory of the civilized world falls wholly


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classical" student well informed, it may be, as to some earlier and some later periods, often altogether leaves out the period when Greece lost independence, when Rome rose to dominionwhen, we should rather say, from the point of view of universal history, that a new whole began to be formed in which both Greek and Roman elements had their share.


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to the lot of the Greek and Italian nations, and a later state of things in which the Teutonic and Slavonic nations also step in to play their part. In both states of things the headship of the world has belonged to Rome; but the headship of Rome has taken different forms in the two periods. Over the older world Rome ruled by direct dominion; over the later world she has ruled, and still rules, by a power of influence which has outlived her direct dominion by many ages. The two periods then of special interest and instruction are the two that ruled these two several forms of dominion should each in turn be the heritage of Rome. The first ruled that dominion over the then civilized world, the Mediterranean world, should pass to a single city of Italy. The second ruled that the dominion of that city, as a political dominion, should pass away, but that its headship, in the form of moral influence, should abide, as far as we can judge, forever. The third and second centuries before our æra, the fourth and fifth centuries after our æra, are the two great times in which the destiny of civilized man was decided. They are thus times which, in the œcumenical point of view, are the very foremost of all times for instruction and interest. And the former of the two periods has the advantage over the latter, we may say over all other periods, of being recorded by a contemporary writer such as no other period ever knew. Polybios, and Polybios alone, fully knew the place of his own generation in the general history of mankind. He alone wrote the history of his own time as part of the history of all time. He alone wrote of days in which he was no small actor from a point of view which we have no need to shift, even after the wider experience of two thousand years.


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ter of Rome. It determined that Rome should become the centre of all later history by winning a position such as never fell to the lot of any other city or power in the world before or after. A long series of struggles in her own peninsula had made Rome the head of Italy. As such she became one of the chief powers of the world, the peer of the commonwealth of Carthage, of the kingdoms of Macedonia, Asia, and Egypt. But, like a power in modern Europe, she was only one great power among several; even after the war with Pyrrhos it would have needed a far-seeing eye indeed to foretell that Rome would ever extend her power beyond Italy, or at the most beyond those neighboring lands and islands which to us seem natural appendages to Italy, but which did not come within the definition of Italy; as the name was then understood. It was the war with Pyrrhos which made it clear that Sicily could no longer form a system apart, and which suggested that it was a more natural appendage to an Italian than to an African dominion. The words attributed to Pyrrhos when he left Sicily well set forth the state of the case; he left the island as a battle-field for Rome and Carthage. The first Punic war appears in the writers nearest to the time as the

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War for Sicily." That was in truth its issue; the cession of the Carthaginian possessions in Sicily to Rome, followed by the cession of Sardinia and Corsica, the Roman advance in the northern part of what soon began to be called Italy, left Rome in possession of all that now seems to be essential to the position of an Italian power, and of little else.

Rome and Carthage were now the two great powers of the west. There was as yet nothing to show that Rome would ever become the sole power of the West, still less that she would ever become a power in the East. That is to say, there was nothing to show it beyond the inherent likelihood, a likelihood yet stronger in those days than it is now, that a power which had become so great would become greater, and the likelihood that powers in the position of Rome and Carthage would be sure to find some new ground of quarrel. Setting aside these probabilities, amounting

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