« ПретходнаНастави »
truly say that Father Cahier's magnificent quartos, especially the latest instalment, are to all intents and purposes an ouvrage de circonstance.
The volume opens, as we have already said, with an elaborate reply to M. Libri's stupid disquisition on the obscurantist character of Christianity. The next chapter, devoted to mediæval book-collections, may be considered as a further development of the same subject; churches and convents vied with each other in the foundation of libraries, and a religious establishment would have been regarded as grossly neglecting its duties if it could not have offered to its inmates ample means of acquiring knowledge of every kind. Father Cahier has brought together on this most interesting topic a number of details which we recommend to the attention of our readers. The difficulties which abbots, bishops, deans, and chapters had to overcome in procuring MSS. were very serious, and when the loan of valuable codices had been obtained, they had to be copied by intelligent and able scribes. The transcription of these literary treasures was made an essential part of monastic rules, and religious of both sexes deemed it an honour to be employed on such labours. The names of Hrosvita, the Abbess of Gandersheim (tenth century), and of Herrada, of Landsperg, in Alsace (twelfth century), are well known to archæologists, and the Hortus Deliciarum especially of the latter, destroyed by the Prussians during the siege of Strasburg in 1870, could not be the work of an ignorant woman, thoroughly tainted as she certainly was with clericalism. By a natural transition, from libraries we pass on to calligraphy, miniature-painting, and all the other subjects bearing upon the production of those MSS. which still constitute one of the most remarkable elements of European and foreign libraries. Father Cahier here draws largely from the portfolios of his late collaborateur, and the numerous illustrations which add so much to the beauty and interest of his volume, give us an admirable idea of mediæval art. As our author truly observes, savants who bring out pictorial editions of old chronicles, romances, &c., should borrow their engravings from contemporary sources, instead of having recourse to fanciful woodcuts, which are absolutely meaningless. This, let us add, is the plan adopted by the eminent publishers, Messrs. Didot, of Paris, in their splendid reprints of Joinville and Villehardouin.
The second part of the work we are now noticing is taken up by a long appendix on Spanish libraries during the middle ages. Father Tailhan, the author of this monograph, brings new and important arguments in favour of the wholesome influence of the mediæval clergy on literary and scientific culture; he shows in the most conclusive manner that the Visigothic priesthood, far from ruining the HispanoRomish Church, as Don A. de Los Rios pretends, added much to its efficiency, and that the wonderful development of civilisation which Spain enjoyed under the sway of the Gothic monarchs of Toledo was entirely the result of what M. Libri, M. Letronne, and their disciples, are pleased to designate as fanaticism and ignorance. Let us hope that publications such as the Nouveaux Mélanges will help to clear away a few prejudices, and to place in its true light the character of the Church during the middle ages.
Etude sur le Travail. Par S. MONY, Ancien Député. 8vo. (Paris :
L. Hachette et Cie.) M. MONY's volume is the best work that has been published since M. Bastiat's Harmonies Economiques on the important question of capital and labour. The distinctive feature which recommends it specially to the attention of all serious and impartial readers is its essentially practical character, and it is a great relief to find at last facts and observations taken as the substratum of an inquiry which by most politicians and economists has been hitherto conducted from the à priori point of view.
The following quotation will serve to illustrate the spirit of M. Mony's excellent volume. It seems that the author, before sending it to the press, had submitted it to the judgment of a few friends; they all encouraged him to go on, but one did so avec des réserves, and objected to the great and, as he thought, undue share allotted to the influence of Christianity. M. Mony thus answers his critic :
“To treat a social question otherwise than in a Christian spirit is to do as futile a work as if we treated it irrespective of human nature. We are told that Christianity does not enjoy, just now, the favour of the people; but of what people do our adversaries speak, and who has tbe right to put himself forward as the interpreter and mouthpiece of the people ? Let us admit that there exists at present a transitory disturbance, it would still be necessary to ascertain how far down the revolutionary effervescence against religion has penetrated. Has that fact been properly determined ? But supposing even that the anti-religious idea enjoys the power claimed on its behalf, ought we then, for the purpose of propitiating it, to cast a veil over the Christian spirit in a work of which Christianity is the foundation ? If I have assigned to religion the first place in this volume, it is because that place is its due; as I meant, in the introductory chapters of my Etude, to discuss the generating principles of human society, I could not but show, at the very outset, the imperishable foundation on which these principles rest, and that foundation is Christianity:
After so clear and so frank a profession of faith, we can only add that M. Mony has carefully avoided falling into the fault of which he accuses his opponents, namely, that of adopting the d priori line, and of theorising, as is the wont of the Rousseau school of politicians. He is a man who speaks with the more authority on the respective claims of capital and labour, because he has himself done long and good service in the army of the travailleurs ; he knows full well that if we want to address with some tangible result, not a small coterie of thinkers, but an audience of practical men, we must appeal to logic, to nature, to experience, and to common sense; the use of any other means of persuasion would be perfectly and absolutely futile.
M. Mony does not entertain the slightest illusion respecting the number of those who are likely to take up his book. The so-called champions of free thought are, as a matter of fact, so blindly enslaved by the vapid declamations of stump orators, that the title of the first chapter will prejudice them against it, and if any of the radical newspapers denounce it as tainted by clericalism, the freest thinkers will condemn it unread. Nothing daunted, our author has determined upon making an appeal to the good sense of the minority, and we have no doubt that the endeavour will be crowned with success.
The question of capital and labour gives rise to a number of considerations more or less important, which all deserve to be carefully discussed, and which M. Mony has examined in their various details. The most noteworthy chapters are those referring to salaries, to the budget of the working-classes, and to the perturbations of salaries ; here it was more than ever essential to reason exclusively from the study of facts, because certain political economists have attempted to determine salaries on merely theoretical grounds, without taking into consideration the data of experience.
Whatever views we may entertain on the relations between employers and employed, capitalists and workmen, it is an undisputed fact that the healthful solutions of economic problems depend, to a very great extent, on the conditions of order and of stability in political society; hence M. Mony's concluding chapter, entitled Considérations Politiques : it is one of the best in the volume. Montesquieu had said, a century ago, that Christianity required for all communities the best social and political laws; and it is quite evident that there is no security possible for labour if these laws do not exist. Our author lays down the proposition that the French civil laws are the best that can be devised, and he blames his fellowcitizens for making the very perfection of these laws an excuse for the readiness with which they run into political adventures. The example of England, so often quoted by French philosophers since the days of Montesquieu, is once more adduced here, and given as a proof that the fundamental principle of an entente cordiale between order and liberty is not a paradox; our neighbours, however, although they possess the germs of a good political legislation, have not yet gone further in that direction. The only obstacle they had to overcome, half a century ago, was that presented by centralisation-the exaggeration of authority; they have now borrowed from the arsenal of the National Convention the wild scheme of universal suffragethe exaggeration of liberty; and thus they are under the sway of two institutions, equally incompatible with a temperate monarchy and a temperate republic. M. Mony has no difficulty in demonstrating that universal suffrage, by bringing up to the surface the scum of society, and by giving exactly the same weight to idleness and industry, is in flagrant contradiction with the most elementary axioms, not only of political economy, but of Christianity; and that, accordingly, those who take it as the substratum of government are building on the sand, perpetuating discords, and sanctioning the most objectionable utopias of the Revolution.
Life of John Eadie, D.D., LL.D. By JAMES BROWNE, D.D., Author
of The Life of a Scottish Probationer. London: Macmillan and
· The uneventful life,' says the author of this memoir, 'of a pastor and scholar does not generally furnish much material for biography. In Dr. Eadie's case there is a more than usual lack of incident. He never removed from the city where he began his ministry, and he did not connect his name with the controversies of the time. He kept no journal, and he seldom wrote a letter which extended beyond the limits of a hurried business note. It was nevertheless believed by those who knew him best, that if the story of his quiet laborious life could be simply told, the record would be neither uninteresting nor unprofitable.'
The foregoing extract will explain with preciseness what is and what is not to be looked for in this brief narrative. The reader is not to expect an aperçu of the great movements ecclesiastical or political which fell during Dr. Eadie's time, for he took but little part in them, and, as a rule, exerted no influence whatever in shaping or directing them in any way. Nor must the reader look to be compensated for this paucity of connexion with the external world by any richness of character or complexity of mental history in the subject. It is the life of a scholar ; of one whose strongest passion was the impulse to study. Thus it was essentially a quiet and solitary life, yet not without its absorbing interests and its successes, mostly of a literary kind. Neither the one nor the other is very fully expressed here. Only Dr. Eadie himself could have put them into words, and he, we have seen, was so self-contained a man, and so habitually taciturn, that the knowledge of his inner life has passed away with him.
He was born of parents in poor circumstances, and pushed his way not without considerable effort and self-denial, to the ranks of the ministry of the denomination of United Presbyterians. He never seems to have achieved in his ministerial profession more than a succès d'estime, but as time went on, his zeal, learning, and ability in his own special department of the exegesis of Scripture, worked their way to the respect of an increasing number of hearers and readers. During his best years, his biographer relates, ‘he wrought simultaneously in three distinct spheres of labour,' viz., his pastorate, his various literary undertakings, and the Professorship of Biblical Literature in the theological institution with which the leaders of his denomination, wise unquestionably in their generation, had supplemented the classes of the university course they required their students to attend. His doings in the first and last of these capacities, however, must be considered interesting chiefly to his townsmen and co-religionists, nor do they in fact present any marked features, beyond the earnestness and thoroughness, the unflagging industry with which he was wont to carry out whatever his hand found to do. But the chapter of his life which describes his literary labours will probably attract the attention of a wider circle of readers than any other in the book. As a commentator he has many merits, among which patience and fairness are not the least conspicuous. To his ability as a compiler the various
biblical and ecclesiastical Encyclopædias which bear his name, though these are of very various merit, yet bear abundant witness. His last work, however, on The English Bible, is probably his best, as it was the monument of his life-long labours in his own special line of study.
A copy of this work was presented by him to each of his colleagues in the (New Testament) Revision Company, in April, 1876 ; and it was singular that the work proved a parting gift, for he never attended again. Dr. Eadie passed away in June, 1876.
The following description of one of his rare and infrequent seasons of recreation and travel, may serve as a good specimen of the memoir :
Our destination was St. Mary's Loch, and, at the far end of it, the rather illegitimate, but altogether comfortable hostelry of the famous Tibby Shiels. "A bit cosie bield is Tibby's," as the shepherd says in one of the Noctes ; and such, at all events, we found it. Tibby took to “the Purfessor” all at once, something, I suppose, in his bigness, and simplicity, and heartiness reminding her of that other “ Purfessor” whom, in her earlier days, she had so often entertained. Our Professor was a special care to Tibby, whether for the moment the question was about the due airing of his nether garments, drenched by a mountain shower, or the arrangements necessary for his dinner, or the measures to be taken for summoning the neighbouring shepherds to hear his sermon on the Sunday afternoon. The sermon was a great event in the district. How it got so well advertised in so short a space we never could quite understand; but, certainly, when the hour came, the hills and the dales seemed to have sent their last man to the little chapel, all aware of the name and fame of the expected preacher. There they were, shaggily but decently homespun in aspect and attire, “maud” on shoulder and crook in hand, with weatherbeaten but sagacious faces ; and the “dowgs" seemed as numerous as their masters, and were equally well-behaved. When Eadie lounged in through the little side door, and heaved himself into the pulpit, and brushing the elf-locks from his brow, looked round him, with his piercing halfhumorous glance, as he proceeded to give out the psalm, the impression produced upon his audience was evidently mingled, half expectant, half doubtful. He was not exactly clerical looking, and his manner was anything but conventional ; but there was a homely dignity about him, and indisputable weight, and soon both gravity and unction began to show themselves. When he announced his text, “How much, then, is a man better than a sheep ? ” perplexity struggled with a wondering interest in the upturned faces which dared not smile. Was the speaker quizzing them, or needlessly coming down to them ? or would he justify after all his singular choice of a subject, and give them a sober but fresh and original discourse. They were not held long in suspense'-(p. 210).
Life of Sir Titus Salt, Bart. By R. BALGARNIE. (Hodder and
Stoughton. Pp. 319.) In spite of the singularly ungainly and infelicitous manner in which this Life is written, it cannot help carrying considerable interest with it, for the subject was one of those real, substantial people whose strength is intrinsic. But, feeling how much there is we should really like to know about Titus Salt, the great Yorkshire manufacturer, it is provoking to be put off with a volume which seems to have been put together by means of a free use of scissors and paste, from local