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craving of man's spirit for nobler nourishment than the swinish husks which alone Materialism has to offer. It represents that aspiration after the supersensual, the eternal, the divine, which no fork of Positivism will ever expel from humanity. To this craving, this aspiration, M. Renan ministers, with poetry derived from the Old Testament, and with piety borrowed from the New. It is very possible that he may even yet favour the world with the manual of • Lectures Pieuses,' of which we spoke in an earlier page. It would not be hazardous to predict for it a popularity as great as that which his · Vie de Jésus' has obtained. But with its Positivism on the one side, and its Mysticism on the other, France is still at heart Voltairian, So is M. Renan. And.cor ad cor loquitur. In him his admiring countrymen have another, and, in some respects, a better Voltaire : à Voltaire with far less esprit, indeed, but with far greater intellectual cultivation, and far less sectarian animosity; preaching the same word of wisdom-the dictum of the elder sage, 'La vie est un enfant qu'il faut bercer jusqu'à ce qu'il s'endort,' sums up his successor's life philosophy—and exhibiting, to the last, the same inexhaustible gaiety:
• Toujours un pied dans le cercueil,
De l'autre faisant des gambades.' M. Renan, then, is all things to such men. There is, in him, as he tells us, in an amusing passage of his "Souvenirs,' an irresistible impulse to give to everyone that asketh of him just the answer which he knows will be agreeable. * raison’ is his habitual response in conversation. He interests, amuses, fascinates his generation. It is natural enough that he should be the fashion. But will the fashion last? We very confidently predict that it will not. Great literary artist as he is, M. Renan will not live, because, with all their varied erudition, his works enshrine no real contribution to the world's thought. It is the sad fate of the careful student of his writings • au bout de tout de trouver presque rien.' He is a philologist, an historian, a philosopher. But in philology we owe to him rash conjectures and no discoveries : his history is inexact, speculative, and partisan ; his philosophy is a thing of shreds and patches, starting from no principles, and leading to no conclusions.f Even to the discussion of that great religious question, with which all his writings, more or less directly, deal, he seems to us to have brought nothing of any real value.
* Mon attention, quand je suis avec quelqu'un, est de deviner ses idées et par excès de déférence de les lui servir anticipées.'—P. 152.
† He expressly tells us, indeed, “Saisir la physionomie des choses, voilà toute la philosophie.'— Fragments Philosophiques,' p. 299. Vol. 171.–No. 342. 2 C
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Let us now explain, in the fewest possible words, why we so think. We have seen, in a previous page, what were the reasons which led M. Renan, malgré lui, to throw off the faith of his fathers. Now, to begin with, if Christianity depended upon pseudo-scientific view of its sacred books, formed at an unscientific period, and irreconcilable with the conclusions of real science, Christianity would be doomed. The traditional thesis,' as M. Renan expounds it, is, to a certain extent, in this case.
the same of old unhistorical views of Christian dogma : such as that which represents the doctrines of Christianity to have sprung, full formed, from its Divine Founder, like Pallas from the head of Zeus. The metaphysical formulas, in which faith embodies its ideals, have antecedents and require due preparation in time. Creeds are as essential to religion as words are to thought. Neither can exist without symbols. But the symbolized is greater and deeper and older than the symbol — Alles vergängliche ist nur ein Gleichniss.' Nor does this view in the least deny or impugn the Christian revelation. The facts of the Divine Life, with their redemptive and recreative energy, are not the subject of evolution. The Confessions, in which we sum up our appreciation and interpretation of those facts, are slowly elaborated by the human intellect. It is impossible to deny this without shutting our eyes to the plainest lessons of ecclesiastical history. But we cannot, for one moment, allow that the historical fact of the gradual growth of the Christian creed—occulto velut arbor ævo'—supplies a valid argument against it, any more than we can allow that facts established by modern exegesis regarding the date, authorship, or scientific language of the Christian Sacred Books, affect their real claims upon our religious reverence. Does M. Renan assert that this view of the Scriptures and dogmas of Christianity is not regarded as tenable by the Roman theologians? Well, we doubt much whether the Roman theologians,* to whose astuteness M. Renan, we think, does scanty justice, would acknowledge the things
* As to that apprehension of the gradual evolution of dogma, which M. Renan thought incompatible with the sincere profession of the Roman Catholic religion, we may remark that it is, in substance, the foundation of Cardinal Newman's * Essay on Development,' the orthodoxy of which, so far as we know, has never been called in question by the authorities of his Church. The same eminent ecclesiastic, in his articleOn the Inspiration of Scripture'-published in the
Nineteenth Century,' of February, 1884—observed: “The titles of the Canonical books, and their ascription to definite authors, either do not come under their inspiration or need not be accepted literally.' 'Nor does it matter whether one or two Isaiahs wrote the book which bears that prophet's name; the Church, without settling this point, pronounces it inspired in respect of faith and morals, both Isaiahs being inspired : and if this be assured to us, all other questions are irrelevant and unnecessary.'
which he lays to their charge. That, however, is a matter which we are not concerned here to discuss. Ipsividering Again, to M. Renan's peremptory declaration, that there never has been a supernatural fact, we may reply : Quod gratis asseritur gratis negatur.' It is a question of evidence. M. Renan does not go by the evidence in this matter. His method is à priori. His argument really is, that a supernatural fact—a miracle—is impossible, because it would be abnormal; an infraction of the order of the universe; a violation of law. But everything depends upon what is meant by mormorder ofthe universe,' 'law.' 'Le miracle c'est l'inexpliqué,' M. Renan tells us. Yes. It is that. But it is something more than that. Better is Kant's definition : Should it be asked what is to be understood by the word miracle, then-since all we are concerned to know is what miracles are for us, that is, what they are for the practical use of our understanding—we must define them as events in the world, with the laws of whose working we are, and always must be unacquainted M. Renan constantly speaks of the miraculous as "irrational' and absurd.' But "irrational' means contrary to reason ; 'absurd' means contradictory, impossible. Do we assert that which is contrary to reason, or contradictory, or impossible, when we say that there are events with the laws of whose working we are, and ever must remain, unacquainted ? As Kant well says: “Sensible people willingly admit in theory that miracles are possible; but in the business of life they count upon
none.' But we must not further consider these great questions here. We will, in conclusion, merely observe, that in discussing them, no real help is obtainable from the persiflage of Voltaire or the badinage of M. Renan. There is profound truth in Goethe's dictum, that the mere Understanding finds matter for laughter in everything, the Reason in hardly anything. •Der Verständige findet fast alles lächerlich, der Vernunftige fast Nichts.' Reason—Vernunft'-is an endowment in which M. Renan, like Voltaire before him, is terribly deficient. And it is precisely the quality essential for a just view of those supreme problems of thought with which he has so much occupied himself. Hence it is that he has left them just where he found them. He has, in effect, added nothing to the doctrine which Voltaire's 'esprit infini’ taught a century ago. And, to quote certain words of his own, written in another connection, we may say, Voltaire suffit :' one Voltaire is enough.
* Religion innerhalb der Grenzen der blossen Vernunft,' book ii. apot. 2.
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ART. IV.-- The Journal of Sir Walter Scott, 1825–1832. From
the Original Manuscript at Abbotsford. 2 vols. Edinburgh, 1890.
was then presented to the little Princess Victoria.' Thirtynine years later the little Princess' of Sir Walter's day paid a visit as Queen to Abbotsford, and was shown the most interesting of the many treasures which are fondly preserved there; this being the manuscript Journal in two volumes wherein Sir Walter entered the inmost thoughts of his heart during the closing and overcast years of his life. Her Majesty wrote her name on the inner side of the vellum cover of the first volume in remembrance of her visit.
In Lockhart's “Life of Scott,' a work which has but one equal in English biographical literature, it is stated that, in the autumn of 1825, the late Mr. Murray sent Lockhart a transcript of the Diary which Byron kept at Ravenna, and gave him permission to hand it to Sir Walter, who, being impressed with what he read, resolved to follow Byron's example. Accordingly, he procured a thick quarto volume, bound in vellum and fitted with a lock and key, and wrote on the title-page, “Sir Walter Scott of Abbotsford, Bart., his Gurnal.' This was followed by the motto :
"As I walked by myself,
And thus myself said to me.'-(Old Song.) A footnote to Gurnal' runs:- A hard word, so spelt on the authority of Miss Sophia Scott, now Mrs. Lockhart.' When his elder daughter was a little girl she had kept a note-book during an expedition to the Highlands and styled it her • Gurnal.' The first entry which Sir Walter made is dated the 20th of November, 1825, and he then wrote :- I have all my life regretted that I did not keep a regular Journal. I have myself lost recollection of much that was interesting, and have deprived my family and the public of some curious information, by not carrying this resolution into effect.' Lockhart reproduced many passages from this Journal. Before doing so, he wrote that no chapter in it could be printed in extenso within a few years of the writer's death,' and that he had 'found it necessary to omit some passages altogether--to abridge others-and very frequently to substitute asterisks or arbitrary initials for names. Nearly sixty years have now elapsed since Sir Walter's death, and the reasons which rightly weighed with Lockhart are no longer valid, and Mrs. Maxwell Scott, the possessor of the Journal, has very properly decided to give it to the world. Mr. David Douglas, who has edited the Journal with great care and ability, has had at his disposal unpublished letters of Scott, the Reminiscences' in manuscript of James Skene, one of Sir Walter Scott's oldest and most intimate friends, as well as those of James Ballantyne, who was Sir Walter's school companion and partner in the printing business. Many explanatory notes, drawn from these unpublished sources, appear in the Journal; they throw a new light upon the things and persons mentioned in the text, while other notes elucidate references and quotations which might puzzle those readers whose acquaintance with literature and history is less minute and comprehensive than that of Mr. Douglas.
Lest it should be supposed that the extracts given in Lockhart's * Life’ represent the greater part of what was worth reproducing from Sir Walter's Journal, it may be stated that nearly half of the matter in the two printed volumes is now made public for the first time, while much that is familiar to the readers of the · Life’ had passed through the editorial alembic and undergone a change in the process. Lockhart's task was very delicate and trying. He had to choose between suppressing interesting matter which might give offence to living persons, and producing passages which would excite controversy as well as cause annoyance. Though acting on the whole with singular skill and discretion, yet he may have been too rigid at times in his editorial supervision. The reader of the extracts given by him would naturally ask :—Would Sir Walter approve of any part of the Journal being published ?' This question remains unanswered, though the answer was easy. The second sentence in the Journal puts Sir Walter's view beyond doubt, as he says he regrets not having kept a regular Journal on the twofold ground, that he had lost recollection of much that was interesting, and had deprived his family and the public' of some curious information. Lockhart struck out the words and the public,' and by so doing he left a doubt as to his father-in-law's expectation concerning the fate of his Journal. Yet he had no doubt in his own mind, as is shown by the following words in a letter which he wrote to Croker on the 26th of May, 1853: Scott clearly, and indeed avowedly, considered himself as writing (in his Journal] what would one day be published.'
On the 18th of December, 1825, when Sir Walter's fears as to impending bankruptcy had been momentarily dispelled, he writes :-- An odd thought strikes me : when í die will the