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insufficient attraction in a religion which addresses the heart equally with the head, and is conspicuous for the absence of that onesidedness which is their especial pride. Such allegations are in no respect more reasonable than the objection urged by the half-drunken Udaller against the two-handled plough_proposed by Triptolemus Yellowley,- Tell me,' said Magnus Troil, how it were possible for Neil of Lupness, that lost one arm by his fall from the crag of Nekbrechan, to manage a plough with 'two handles.'

The best surviving remnants of Roman civilization were the class of educated country gentlemen. They are found in the fifth century throughout the western empire residing on their estates, the petty lords of the neighbourhood, men of large property and cultivated taste. They have fine libraries, houses beautifully furnished, often a private theatre where some rhetorician performs his comedy before the patron, himself a writer of odes and epigrams, and perhaps no indifferent composer of music. Their time is given to the chase, to elegant banquets, to literary conversaziones. Looking with disdain as philosophers on the degeneracy around them, and with indifference as men of wealth on the ordinary objects of ambition, they take little part in public affairs. Indifferent on religious matters, they make no effort to revive the old faith, or to oppose the new. Give them their books, and their hounds, their generous wines, and their little circle of dilettanti, a pleasant friend to rattle the dice with them, or a lively party at tennis, and they are happy. They will chat the morning through under the vines without touching once on a theme of moment to church or state, to gods or men. The news of battle and revolt, of lost provinces and changing empire, they will vote a bore, and forget it presently, as, with a jest or a yawn, they return to a new drama, or the last impromptu, to a critical conjecture, or a disputed etymology.

Meanwhile the earnest business of life goes on without these trifling egotists, and power is daily passing into other hands. Men find the Christian bishop everything which such luxurious idlers are not. They detest business; he toils in a whirl of it from morning to night. They stand aloof from the people; he lives among them, visits, preaches, catechises, settles disputes, has an ear for every applicant, finds time for every duty. While they are given up to self-enjoyment, he is the admiration of the country round for his austerity and active self-denial. While they are occupied by fits and starts with the curious indolence of a rhetorical philosophy, he is proclaiming a living truth to the multitude. He teaches the wakeful earnest husbandry of life,

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while they are dreaming it away with questions which, to the working many, are not worth a straw.

It was to be expected that, in process of time, these two characters would frequently unite in the same person. The more thoughtful, active, or benevolent among the members of this imperial squirearchy would discern, ere long, that through the church alone could they take any effective part in the real work of their day. Some embracing more, and others less of the popular Christian doctrine, they entered the episcopal or priestly office, and exercised an influence they could never otherwise have acquired. While thus far identifying themselves with the new order of things, they did not, however, relinquish all their old tastes and pleasures. The man of the world and the man of wit, the devotee of pagan philosophy and the wooer of the classic muse, were still apparent beneath the robes of the bishop. Such was Synesius in Cyrene, Sidonius Apollinaris in Gaul, and many more.

But leaving these occupants of the frontier line, let us visit the camp of the enemy, and endeavour to realize the character and purpose of the last antagonist arrayed by antiquity against the youthful faith of the Cross.

First of all, as to what Neo-Platonism really was, and then as to the cause of its feebleness and utter failure when tested in conflict, even with the Christianity of the fifth century. Let us hear a part of the lecture Mr. Kingsley puts into the mouth of Hypatia. She has read aloud, from the Iliad, the well-known parting of Hector and Andromache, and then gives the following spiritualized exposition of the passage, treating it, in the style of her school, not as a tale of human passion, but as a philosophical allegory. Such,' she says, 'is the myth.'

'Do you fancy that in it Homer meant to hand down to the admiration of ages such earthly commonplaces as a mother's brute affection, and the terrors of an infant? Surely the deeper insight of the philosopher may be allowed, without the reproach of fancifulness, to see in it the adumbration of some deeper mystery.

'The elect soul, for instance-is not its name Astyanax, king of the city; by the fact of its ethereal parentage, the leader and lord of all around it, though it knows it not? A child as yet, it lies upon the fragrant bosom of its mother, Nature, the nurse and yet the enemy of man. Andromache, as the poet well names her, because she fights with that being, when grown to man's estate, whom as a child she nourished. Fair is she, yet unwise; pampering us, after the fashion of mothers, with weak indulgences; fearing to send us forth into the great realities of speculation, there to forget her in the pursuit of glory; she would have us while away our prime within the harem,

and play for ever round her knees. And has not the elect soul a father, too, whom it knows not? Hector, he who is without-unconfined, unconditioned by Nature, yet its husband?-the all-pervading plastic soul, informing, organizing, whom men call Zeus the lawgiver, Æther the fire, Osiris the lifegiver; whom here the poet has set forth as the defender of the mystic city, the defender of harmony, and order, and beauty, throughout the universe? Apart sits his great father-Priam, the first of existences, father of many sons, the Absolute Reason; unseen, tremendous, immovable, in distant glory; yet himself amenable to that abysmal unity which Homer calls Fate, the source of all which is, yet in Itself Nothing, without predicate, unnameable.

'From It and for It the universal Soul thrills through the whole creation, doing the behests of that Reason from which it overflowed, unwillingly, into the storm and crowd of material appearances; warring with the brute forces of gross matter, crushing all which is foul and dissonant to itself, and clasping to its bosom the beautiful, and all wherein it discovers its own reflex; impressing on it its signature, reproducing from it its own likeness, whether star, or demon, or soul of the elect: --and yet, as the poet hints in anthropomorphic language, haunted all the while by a sadness-weighed down amid all its labours by the sense of a fate-by the thought of that First One from whom the Soul is originally descended; from whom it, and its Father, the Reason before it, parted themselves when they dared to think and act, and assert their own free will.

'And in the meanwhile, alas! Hector, the father, fights around, while his children sleep and feed; and he is away in the wars, and they know him not-know not that they, the individuals, are but parts of him, the universal. And yet at moments-oh! thrice blessed they whose celestial parentage has made such moments part of their appointed destiny-at moments flashes on the human child the intuition of the unutterable secret. In the spangled glory of the summer night -in the roar of the Nile-flood, sweeping down fertility in every wave-in the awful depths of the temple shrine-in the wild melodies of old Orphic singers, or before the images of those gods, of whose perfect beauty the divine theosophists of Greece caught a fleeting shadow, and with the sudden might of artistic ecstasy smote it, as by an enchanter's wand, into an eternal sleep of snowy stone-in these there flashes on the inner eye, a vision beautiful and terrible, of a force, an energy, a soul, an idea, one and yet million-fold, rushing through all created things, like the wind across a lyre, thrilling the strings into celestial harmony-one life-blood through the million veins of the universe, from one great unseen heart, whose thunderous pulses the mind hears far away, beating for ever in the abysmal solitude, beyond the heavens and the galaxies, beyond the spaces and the times, themselves but veins and runnels from its all-teeming sea.

'Happy, thrice happy they who once have dared, even though breathless, blinded with tears of awful joy, struck down upon their

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knees in utter helplessness, as they feel themselves but dead leaves in the wind which sweeps the universe-happy they who have dared to gaze, if but for an instant, on the terror of that glorious pageant; who have not, like the young Astyanax, clung shrieking to the breast of mother nature, scared by the heaven-wide flash of Hector's arms and the glitter of his rainbow-crest! Happy, thrice happy! even though their eyeballs, blasted by excess of light, wither to ashes in their sockets! Were it not a noble end to have seen Zeus, and die like Semele, burnt up by his glory? Happy, thrice happy! though their mind reel from the divine intoxication, and the hogs of Circe call them henceforth madmen and enthusiasts. Enthusiasts they are; for Deity is in them, and they in It. For the time, this burden of individuality vanishes, and recognising themselves as portions of the Universal Soul, they rise upward, through and beyond that Reason from whence the soul proceeds, to the fount of all-the ineffable and Supreme One-and seeing It, they become by that act, portions of Its essence. They speak no more, but It speaks in them, and their whole being, transmuted by that glorious sunlight into whose rays they have dared, like the eagle, to gaze without shrinking, becomes an harmonious vehicle for the words of Deity, and passive itself, utters the secrets of the immortal gods. What wonder if to the brute mass they seem like dreams? Be it so. Smile if you will. But ask me not to teach you things unspeakable, above all sciences, which the word-battle of dialectic, the discursive struggles of reason can never reach, but which must be seen only, and when seen, confessed to be unspeakable. Hence, thou disputer of the Academy!-hence, thou sneering Cynic!-hence, thou sense-worshipping Stoic, who fanciest that the soul is to derive her knowledge from those material appearances which she herself creates! . . . . hence-; and yet, no; stay and sneer, if you will. It is but a little time-a few days longer in this prison-house of our degradation, and each thing shall return to its own fountain; the blood-drop to the abysmal heart, and the water to the river, and the river to the shining sea; and the dew drop which fell from heaven shall rise to heaven again, shaking off the dust grains which weighed it down, thawed from the earth-frost which chained it here to herb and sward, upward and upward ever through stars and suns, through gods, and through the parents of the gods, purer and purer through successive lives, till it enters The Nothing, which is The All, and find its home at last.'-Vol. i. pp. 185–189.

The foregoing extract is a fair exposition of the prominent characteristics in the teaching of the more spiritual section of the New-Platonist school. The reader will have marked its subtile pantheism, its soaring mysticism, its strained and fanciful interpretation of the worshipped creations of the past. Like Swedenborgianism, such a system furnished a certain kind of intellectual ingenuity with constant employment. This chase after hidden meanings is as illimitable as it is worthless.

The idea which presided at the foundation of Alexandria was the establishment of a great Hellenic empire which should unite opposing races. Greece and Egypt were to be renewed together at the mouth of the Nile. The wisdom of Ptolemy Soter and of Philadelphus laboured to teach the pride of the Greek and the fanaticism of the Egyptian their first lesson in toleration. But it is not to the Museum of Alexandria, with all its munificent endowments, that philosophy owed those last glories which illumined, but could not avert her fall. Plotinus taught at Rome, Proclus at Athens. The apartments of the Royal Institute were tenanted, for the most part, by men like Theon,mathematicians, critics, and literati, who spent their days in laborious trifling,-who could collect and methodize, minutely commentate, or feebly copy, but who could originate little or nothing, who were alike indifferent and unequal to the mighty questions on which hung the issue of the conflict between Greek conservatism and the new religion. Such men chained philosophy to the past and starved it-they offered up the present as a funeral victim at the obsequies of antiquity, and science, in their hands, perished, like the camel which the ancient Arabs tied to the tomb of a dead hero and left to linger and expire on the desert sand.

For full five centuries, from the days of Philo to the days of Proclus, Alexandrian philosophy, half rationalist, half mystical, endeavoured to reconcile the East and the West by one neverfailing expedient-allegorical interpretation. The book of Genesis was to Philo what the Iliad was to Hypatia. In his treatise, De Confusione Linguarum, Philo declares that the sky the Babel-builders sought to reach with the top of their tower, is the mind, in which dwell the divine Powers.' Their futile attempts, he says, represents the presumption of those who place sense above intelligence, and think to storm the Intelligible World by the engine of the sensuous. Waller said that the troopers of the parliament ought to be both faithful men and good riders, -the first, lest they should run away with their horses,-the second, lest their horses should run away with them. Philo fulfilled the former condition in his advocacy of what he deemed the truth. No disputatious Greek could cavil at the books of Moses without finding himself foiled at his own dialectic weapons by the learned Jew. In the latter, he fails, and the wings of his hippogryph, Allegory, bear him far away into the dimmest realms of Phantasy.

Plato pronounces Love the child of Poverty and Plenty-the Alexandrian philosophy was the offspring of Reverence and Ambition. It combined an adoring homage to the departed

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