« ElőzőTovább »
much as repose was needed, the price was too dear. Louis Philippe's fortune did not let him die on a throne. He presumed too far on the endurance of his nation, and they thrust him out of the place to which they had raised him.
As property became the ruling, and perhaps the tyrannizing, power, during the epoch succeeding the downfall of the legitimate Bourbons, we naturally find the revolutionary spirit re-acting against this undue influence, until even the extreme point of protest is reached, in the maxim of the French socialist, that " property is robbery.” Social reform became the great problem. Political and personal liberty were to some extent secured ; but the free right of labor, and the maintenance of physical existence, were questions which agitated the community. No longer demanding merely that government should cease to interfere with work, the workman claimed that government should provide work, and its ample reward. This is only possible in the sense that government should regulate all the work of the community and distribute all the proceeds, which only perfect wisdom or absolute tyranny can do. If, according to the doctrine of absolutism, all its land belongs to the king, and all the people also, then government is responsible for the fruits of the land and the results of labor; but, in the epoch of individual freedom, how can we demand from government the results of that industry which it has no power to compel or control? The advocates of association maintain, that, under favorable circumstances, industry will be so attractive, that all will labor for the common good with as much zeal as each one now does for his own. But this pleasing theory by no means meets the wants of the present time, when many clearly intend to consume as much, and to labor as little, as possible; and others are entirely unfit to work to any advantage. The laboring classes of our Southern States, before the war, made no complaint of want of work; but they were cheated of its results. So was it with the French subjects of absolute power. The evils of competition and isolated labor, which Dr. Springer feels so keenly, are a re-action from this forced union of capital and labor. He says, –
“ With a faith hostile to nature and destructive to the soul, disappeared also the order of the hierarchy in state and church; with scientific ignorance, the narrowed form of labor. All the movements of the universal life were infused with the breath of freedom ; all nearly concerned the right of individuals. But this freedom is rather a release from the old than the perfected form of a new political system, which may rule the world for centuries. . . . Religious toleration, the ascendency of national feeling over political interests, the merely formal freedom of labor, the isolation of individuals and nations, are necessary steps from the form of society in the middle ages towards a new one; but they are not the new one, since they lack definite form and universal principles. i. . At any price, humanity will overcome her present isolation and division, and change the critical spirit of the time into a productive one. Already has this longing received a determined name, and the need has called into life many attempts to satisfy it. The social reform to be actualized in the new era forms the long-desired, positive side of the revolution, the last result of all the present struggle.”
The aim of this reform is to attract men into a new unity, grounded on the essential laws of their nature, instead of binding them into a false and unnatural union by the outward pressure of arbitrary power. This is the ideal of a government, - unity of action with individual freedom. It is a distant future to long for, but it is also a present good to work for; for every right effort in any direction helps forward the grand consummation. It can never be obtained while the rights or well-being of any nation, class, or individual, are postponed to those of another.
This great movement underlies every partial reform of our times. In Hungary and Italy, it demands national independence; in England and France, education and bread for the working classes ; in our country, social and political equality for the subject races, free schools for the South, and the equality of woman before the law. The universality of the claim shuts out all hope of speedy attainment. A sect may be quickly established, and do its narrow and special good with success, while the great truths of religion and morality, ever more widening their influence, are scarcely recognized as the motive-power of the world.
VOL. LXXXIII. - NEW SERIES, VOL. IV. NO. 11.
While looking and longing for the accomplishment of this grand ideal of humanity, even the intelligent Germans little realized the important part which an individual was to play in the next twenty years. It is amusing to read Dr. Springer's account “ of the idle, strange character who, from his accidental likeness to Napoleon, imagined himself to be called to the continuation of his task. When, after one or two unsuccessful attempts, which the government wisely tried to make people forget by clemency, Louis Napoleon was seized and imprisoned at Ham, the peers before wbose tribunal he was placed declared him to be fit for the mad-house. They had little suspicion, that the nation would ever sink so low in its political morality, through endless division, as to choose this man, ten years later, for President of the French Republic.” Perhaps our author felt no less surprise when ten years more made this adventurer the most important statesman of Europe; and gave him such entire control of France, that he can make war or peace at his will, and introduce the most important commercial changes in spite of the prejudices and interests of a large portion of the community.
Among the re-actionary movements in Prussia, our author notes the return towards the Catholic Church, which of course always favors the doctrine of arbitrary rule. The craft of the priesthood hastened to take advantage of this backward inclination. One cunning measure was the prohibition of marriage between lovers of differing creed, unless with the express provision, that children should be educated in the Catholic Church. This measure was very odious to a people long accustomed to regard marriage as a civil contract, and great opposition was roused. All was in vain. Under the rule of the romantically devout William IV., Prussia lost its essentially Protestant character, and bowed down before the Pope.
“The last seven years” – that is, from 1840 to 1848— make the period of the last struggle of re-action, and of the beginning of those revolutionary movements still agitating Europe. Here we find the thread of all the present political questions. The Oriental question, the Russian system, the temporal power of the Pope, the constitutional relations of Austria, all begin to have their place in the discussion of the general politics of Europe. In 1848, Dr. Springer writes in the full glow of hope, that the day of deliverance for humanity is right at hand. Eighteen years have done much to show that his hope was not baseless. Italy is regenerated! That is enough for one generation to rejoice in.
And with what a deep sense of gratitude do we think of the contrast in our own country to the scene it presented eighteen, nay, eight years ago! How can we doubt, how can we fear, when such a deliverance has been vouchsafed to us? With the dead weight of slavery lifted from our young energies, what giant strides may we not take in the march of humanity! Now we may turn, conscience free, to the great questions which the intellect presses upon us. We have done the duty which lay nearest to us: the next has already become clearer. Universal suffrage, education for all, the right to existence guaranteed by the state, the harmony of capital and labor, the advancement of science, the development of art, - all these grand problems may justly claim our attention; and we see that our era of revolutions still remains to be accomplished, not, we trust, by the sword, but by patient labor, and fidelity to truth.
Art. III. — NOYES'S HEBREW POETS. A New Translation of Job, Ecclesiastes, and the Canticles, with Intro
duction and Notes, chiefly explanatory. By George R. Noyes, D.D., Hancock Professor of Hebrew, &c., and Dexter Lecturer in Harvard University. Third edition, carefully revised, with addi
tional Notes. Boston: American Unitarian Association. 1867. A New Translation of the Book of Psalms and of the Proverbs, with
Introductions and Notes, chiefly explanatory. By GEORGE R. Noyes, D.D., Hancock Professor, &c. Third edition. Boston :
American Unitarian Association. 1867. In a former article * we commented on those volumes of Dr. Noyes's collected Translations, which contain his version of the Prophets. We have now to speak of the remaining portion, of which one volume comprises Job, Ecclesiastes, and the Canticles; the other, the Psalms and the Proverbs. The character of these works suggests to us, after briefly noticing Dr. Noyes's labors upon them respectively, to add some remarks on the nature and structure of Hebrew Poetry.
* See Christian Examiner for July, 1867.
The Book of Job was the first part of the Scriptures which engaged the attention of our translator; and upon none were his labors more needed, or more fully appreciated by the public. It was indeed a noble beginning for a scholar's course, and meet to be held in view by every student who feels the impulse of a worthy ambition, that was presented, when the young candidate for the ministry, instead of confining his stud. ies to the preparation of a few sermons, or extending them superficially over the whole range of literature, chose for the object of his efforts a single, laborious, honorable, and useful task; prepared himself for it by obtaining an intimate knowl. edge of that difficult language, which, to most of us, is known only in its rudiments; and carried forward his undertaking to successful completion, making for himself, at his very entrance on the active ministry, a name among the first Hebrew scholars of his country.
The Introduction to the Book of Job, as now presented to us, has been carefully revised from that in the second edition, which was itself improved from the first. The difference will be particularly noticed in the portion added on the 21st and following pages, in reply to Davidson's argument against the genuineness of the speech of Elihu; an addition presenting the result of much study in small compass. In an examination of the Notes, we have been struck with the fact that the altera. tions did not consist exclusively in additions. Dr. Noyes, for instance, has unsparingly struck out the greater part of his note on Job vi. 4, with its references to Cicero's quotation from Sophocles, and to other writers; and that on vii. 14, with its quotation from Ovid's Epistles: probably feeling, that, elegant and apposite as these illustrations were, the text was sufficiently plain without them.
In the Introduction, our translator discusses the character