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coercion. Let there be only the requisite preponderance of force, and the requisite policy and power to use it, and the work often done in such circumstances may be done a thousand times again. But, as we all know, these oppressions and cruelties perpetrated in the name of Christianity, led to the proscription of it-the proscription of it by the infidel and the atheist, not as a religion, but as a tyranny. Protestantism was suppressed, but an antagonist greatly more terrible came in and avenged it.

Such, then, are some of the great facts in the political and religious history of France. As we look back upon them from the stand-point of 1853, what may they be said to prognosticate?

We repeat, there are limits within which the France of the past may be taken as a prophecy of the France that is to come. There is a character-a personality in nations, which retains its identity. The nation may grow, but it is the nation that so does. The seeds of national character may develop, but it is the seed of national character that does thus expand and mature. It is true, nations may ripen, may then decay, and then perish. But vicious in many respects as the social state of France may be, there are still symptoms of vitality in it which preclude us from regarding it as approaching such an issue. Nations do in general become what it is in their hearts to become. Their ideas as to their true destiny do commonly minister to the accomplishment of that destiny. The nation which becomes free, has long since willed to be free, striven to be free. It was so in old Greece, in old Rome, in the cities of Italy in the middle age, in the Netherlands, and it has been so with ourselves. In all these instances, the passion to become free grew to be a national passion; and the will to brave much, and to endure much, to become free, grew to be the national will; and in its season the freedom came. But in France, hitherto, the actual has fallen far below the ideal-the fact has been far from rising to the height of the aspiration. The intelligence to discern the good, the heart to choose it-these have not been wanting the power to realise it is the power to come. In some nations the passion for freedom has been more steady, more subject to a wise control-but in no nation has that passion been deeper, more intense, or more chivalrous and self-sacrificing. No nation has really braved so much, or suffered so much, in order to be free-and is that nation to perish without realizing the blessings of freedom? We are slow to think so. pressure brought to bear against this love of liberty in Frenchmen has seemed in each instance to have subdued and crushed it utterly, and men have given themselves to the dream that it




would never manifest itself again. But each of these dreams has proved in its turn deceptive. Pent up for a while in the bruised heart of the nation, it has brooded there over its many wrongs, until the time for its outspeaking, and something more than outspeaking, has come again. And if the history of a nation can give us the character of a nation, as it has been in this respect, so will it be again. To put down the Napoleon dynasty was the work of the invader; to set it up again has been the defiant act of the French people. Should that dynasty give to France comparatively free institutions, it may retain its place. Should it persist in an arbitrary policy, its downfall is certain; and let the casting out of the Buonapartist race be the act of France, and not that of her enemies, and it must be a very propitious wind that should ever waft that dynasty back again. It is hardly more certain that there will be a return of the moon and of the tides, than that changes of this nature will come in that land, and at no very distant day. Some new and successful move in the cause of freedom will come in its season, as heretofore, and the conduct of the Buonaparte dynasty will determine whether they are to profit or to perish by it.

Mischievous as the exaggerations of principle have been in the political history of France, even this cloud has its silver lining. One effect of this succession of actions and reactions has been, that opposite principles have been of necessity sifted and tested as they could not otherwise have been. Monarchy, aristocracy, democracy, all have been in their turn ascendant, and the good or evil in them has had ample occasion for making itself felt. Our neighbours should understand these subjects well. The school of experience in which they have been trained has been such as should have raised even the dullest among them to the position of a respectable scholarship. Nor has this teaching been wholly wasted upon them. In no country in the world do we find the principles of political science analyzed with the same degree of skill, or enunciated with the same degree of clearness. The best writers in France on this subject are the best writers in the world upon it. It must be owned, the minds of the French people generally have not reached this level; but the men capable of training the many to such wisdom are in the midst of them. The fact that at present these men dare not be teachers, is full of significance-the thought of that silence is inseparable from the sense of wrong in the minds of millions of people, and from a sense of inquietude and fear also in the mind of the man by whom that wrong is inflicted. The curse is not the less deep because it must not be loud.

It is reasonable to expect that in proportion as men apprehend

principles clearly they will apply them wisely. In this particular the French may be thought to have betrayed a singular deficiency. It is observable, however, that democracy having passed through its day of trial, as monarchy and aristocracy had done before it, the bent of the mind of France is then seen taking the direction of a constitutional government. It is not prepared, after all it has passed through, to commit itself to monarchy, or nobles, or democrats, taken alone; but it has aimed to combine these principles, somewhat after the manner of our own constitution, and has been disposed to expect good government from a polity that should be comprehensive enough to embrace all grades of the community, in place of being so narrow as to assign a special ascendancy to any. It was something to have learnt thus much. The progress of ideas thus indicated, foreshadows advances still to be made. The military rule in the hand of the first Napoleon, and the same in the hands of the present, occur as breaks in the progress which France is destined to realise. Within the last thirty years, the French people have shown, in not a few instances, that they have passed far beyond the state of feeling which prompted their predecessors of past time, and even so late as the close of the last century, to perpetrate the gravest crimes in the name of liberty and religion. We are persuaded that something wiser in theory, and something safer in its working, than anything hitherto devised by the political genius of France will make its appearance in that country; and though we have no expectation that France will cease to betray much of the weakness incident to her character, we can believe that the better portion of her history is still to come-the portion that will be best for herself, as well as for the nations that may be affected by her example or by her power.

Even on the subject of religion the prospect of France is by no means so discouraging as some men seem to suppose. The Romanist priesthood, by selling themselves so entirely to the policy of Louis Napoleon; and by returning so shamelessly, not only to the ultramontane doctrines, but to the most drivelling superstitions of the middle age, are sinking hatred of their whole order and system deeper than ever into the mind of all the men of thought and energy in France. All this is being scored against them, and will be forthcoming when the day of reckoning shall arrive. In the meanwhile, the appearance of such a work as Dr. Felice's History of the French Protestants, and the large sales of that work, may be taken as one among many signs of the coming of a more wisely directed religious feeling. Frenchmen have been taught, as experience only could teach them, what irreligion can do for them, and what Romanist superstitions




can do for them, and the time may not be distant, in which, divorcing themselves from both, they will be found willing to place themselves under a new and a much better guidance. The great want in order to the political, no less than to the religious renovation of Europe, is, that its intelligent men should become men of sincere religious faith. Of such faith, Romanism has denuded such men almost everywhere. It has made the men infidels, and it uses the women as fanatics.

ART. II.-Testamentum Novum Graece et Latine.


MANNUS recensuit; PHILIPPUS BUTMANNUS, Ph.F., Graece lectionis auctoritates apposuit. Tom. II. Berol. 1850.

It is well known to most intelligent readers of the New Testament, that, during the present century, many editions of the Greek text of that inspired volume have been published, differing in many places from that of which our English Testament is a version. In some instances a large portion of a chapter is omitted, as forming no part of the genuine Scripture. In many others single verses are rejected; and in almost every page brief clauses or words are either left out or altered. It is proposed in the present paper to inquire into the grounds of the alleged superiority of the so-called corrected texts of these editions to the common Stephanic and Elzevir text, from which our authorized version was taken.

One of the earliest and most illustrious of those eminent men, who have devoted their lives to the work of editing an amended text of the Greek Testament, was John James Griesbach. The result of his labours first appeared at Halle, in 1774, 1775. His second and principal edition was published at Halle and London, several years afterwards. The first volume, containing the gospels, appeared in 1796, the second in 1806. The theory on which this celebrated text was formed is thus lucidly expounded by Bishop Marsh :

From a comparison and combination of the readings exhibited by Wetstein, it was discovered that certain characteristic readings distinguished certain manuscripts, fathers, and versions; that other characteristic readings pointed out a second class; others again a third class of manuscripts, fathers, and versions. It was further discovered that this three-fold classification had an additional foundation in respect to the places where the manuscripts were written, the fathers lived, and the versions were made. Hence the three classes received the names of Recensio Alexandrina, Recensio Constantinopolitana or Byzantina, and Recensio Occidentalis; not that any formal revision of the text is known, either from history or from tradition, to have taken place

at Alexandria, Constantinople, or in Western Europe. But whatever causes, unknown to us, may have operated in producing the effect, there is no doubt of its existence: there is no doubt that those characteristic readings are really contained in the manuscripts, fathers, and versions, and that the classification which is founded on them, is founded, therefore, on truth. Hence arises a new criterion of authenticity. A majority of individual manuscripts can no longer be considered either as decisive, or even as very important, on this subject. A majority of the Recensions, or, as we should say of printed books, a majority of the editions, is alone to be regarded as far as number is concerned. The testimony of the individual manuscripts is applied to ascertain what is the reading of this or that edition; but the question of fact being once determined, it ceases to be of consequence what number of manuscripts may be produced either of the first or of the second, or of the third of those editions. For instance, when we have once ascertained that any particular reading belongs both to the Alexandrine and to the Western, but not to the Byzantine edition, the authority of that reading will not be weakened, even though it should appear, on counting the manuscripts, that the number of those which range themselves under the Byzantine edition is ten times greater than that of the other two united. . . . . The relative value of those three editions must likewise be considered. For if any one of them-the Byzantine, for instance, to which most of the modern manuscripts belong-carries with it less weight than either of the other two, a proportionable deduction must be made, whether it be thrown into the scale by itself, or in conjunction with another."*

Such was the celebrated theory which, for many years after its promulgation, was almost universally adopted by the learned, both here and on the Continent. Happily an examination of its merits is rendered altogether unnecessary, by the fact that Griesbach's system is now as generally rejected, as it was once adopted and approved. It will be sufficient, therefore, to give the following extract from the recent and valuable work of Dr. Davidson :

The classification of authorities thus proposed, though ingenious and plausible, was criticised and objected to by many succeeding critics. In Germany it was either found fault with or modified by Eichorn, Michaelis, Hug, Scholz, Schulz, Rink, Gobler, Tischendorf, Reiche, De Wette, and others. Dr. Laurence, in our own country, assailed it with much acuteness and critical ability. It has also been attacked by Norton in America. Criticised, therefore, as it has been by so many writers, and attacked from so many points, it must be weak and vulnerable. Its credit is indeed gone. Instead of standing the test of public opinion, it has been cast down. In his last publication the distinguished critic himself all but abandoned it.'t-(Commentarius Criticus in text. graec. N. T., P. II., p. 41.)

* Lectures on the Criticism of the Bible, p. 152-4. 8vo. Cambridge: 1828. + A Treatise on Biblical Criticism, vol. ii. p. 75. Edinburgh: 1852.

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