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It is hard to decide what to call the book, whether prose or poetry, history or epic. It seems to partake of both. Perhaps the Westminster Review spoke rightly, when, with much praise it called it a prose epic.

The lovers of Sartor will love this new child of the same genius, and many, to whom Sartor was an enigma and offence, will be charmed with the stirring narrative and spirited portraiture of the present work. All must allow it the great excellence of transporting the readers' minds to the very times and places recorded, and showing events, characters, and passions, as they actually were. We venture to say, that no man will get through the first hundred pages, which are the driest in the book, without a burning curiosity to read the whole.

Some will think that the author shows too little sensibility at the horrors he records. Indeed he does almost seem at times like a cold souled spirit, sitting on some distant planet, and looking on the scenes and strifes, and cooly smiling at the odd things, which those strange creatures, called men and women, are doing. But our author writes like a true artist, like a Shakspeare and Goethe, and deems that enough is done both for truth and sensibility when men and events are described just as they are, and all natural lights are shining on them. Indeed, that man has the noblest faith and feeling, who is willing to let God's world speak for itself, without marring the great harmony by his own squeaking explanations; and who deems the light of heaven enough for earth's scenes, without his holding up his petty candle for men to see by.

Carlyle shows us the French Revolution as it is, and lets it speak for itself. His moral, like God's and natures, breathes from

every event and character, and is not stuck on at the end. Some of his writing, as a matter of words and style, is bad. But we do not believe it is affected. It is his way, and has its merits as such. In this particular work, the style pretty well befits the theme. The rough, broken march of his periods, and the' many strange and uncouth words, make pretty appropriate music for the wild tramp of events, the infernal marsh of chaos come again, which the French Revolution presents to

We wish he would continue the work, and portray the upstart Corsican, with that same pen that has painted Louis, and Mirabeau, and Danton, and Seagreen Robespierre. What better theme?

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A FACT AND AN INFERENCE.

BY H. J. HUIDEKOPER, MEADVILLE, PENN.

THERE is a fact connected with the spread of the christian religion, which has forcibly struck me, and which yet I do not recollect having seen noticed by any writer. It is namely this: That while in the earlier ages of christianity, the christian religion spread itself rapidly over the heathen world, and was embraced by millions from a conviction of its truth and intrinsic worth, the missionary efforts of the present day for its dissemination in heathen countries, have been singularly unsuccessful, and unproductive of the desired results.

If we examine into this matter, we find, that during the first four, and at least part of the fifth, centuries, the christian religion, under almost every conceivable difficulty. and opposition, spread rapidly over every part of the known world, and was embraced by millions, apparently from no other motive than a sincere conviction of its truth. After this we find it extend itself with much less rapidity, and the motives from which it is embraced become of a much more doubtful nature. We should hardly dare to attribute the conversion of Clovis and his Franks, at the close of the fifth century, to any internal conviction of the truth, or the moral excellence of christianity; and the conversion of the Saxons in the eighth century, is known to have been the effect of military violence, and relentless persecution. Gradually we find its diffusion become slower. We even find it losing ground in those portions of Asia in which it appeared most firmly established ; and in the northern parts of Africa, in which it once flourished, it became almost wholly extirpated. And if we descend now to our own times, we find, that under far more favorable circumstances than those in which any of the early christians after the Apostolic age, were ever placed, all our missionary efforts for the conversion of heathen nations, have produced little effect.

That these facts are as I have stated them will not be denied. They rest on the concurrent testimony of the history of past times, and of our own experience; and it may not be an uninteresting inquiry, Why the missionary efforts of the present day are so unsuccessful, when compared with those of the earlier ages of christianity?

That the first promulgation of the christian religion was much assisted by the miraculous power with which its first heralds were endowed, is fully admitted ; and though it is

generally held among Protestants that these miraculous powers were limited to the Apostolic age, yet their influence must have extended itself to a somewhat later period. But from about the beginning of the second century, that religion had to depend for its promulgation solely on the same moral means which are now in operation; and yet then we find it spreading itself rapidly over the heathen countries of the known world, while now it hardly makes any progress in them. Whence is this difference?

We cannot attribute it to any superior means which the missionaries of those early times possessed over those of the present day. On the contrary, in this respect the advantage is decidedly on the side of the latter. The first heralds of the cross were commonly poor men, or men of moderate means. They lived at a time when there was little intercourse between the people of different countries, and when but few facilities for travelling existed. Besides, theirs was, comparatively speaking, an illiterate age, when they had chiefly to depend on oral communication for the promulgation of their opinions, and could derive but little assistance from books. Now, in all these respects, the missionaries of the present day have decidedly the advantage. The extensive commercial intercourse which now exists between different countries, gives to them an easy access even to the most distant parts of the globe. The zeal of their christian brethren furnish them amply with the necessary pecuniary means, and they find in the press, an auxiliary power for the dissemination of their sentiments, totally unknown to their early predecessors.

Neither can we attribnte the superior success of the earlier missionaries to any superior devotedness to the cause. In this respect the missionaries of the present day need not fear a comparison. We see them, with a spirit of self sacrifice worthy of the Apostolic times, quit their homes and kindred for the most remote climes, and cheerfully sacrifice their ease, their comfort, their health, and even life itself, to impart the blessings of christianity to distant nations.

Nor can it be supposed, that the heathen nations who embraced christianity in those earlier ages, possessed an adaptation for the reception of truth, beyond what is possessed by the heathen nations of the present day. Converts were then made in almost every known country in Europe, Asia, and Africa; not merely in the neighborhood of Palestine, but in the remotest region on the borders of the Ganges-at the pillar of Hercules—and in the British Isles. Neither were their conversions limited to such nations as had been previously

prepared for them by a superior degree of civilization. They included equally the illiterate and rude Barbarian, and the civilized Greek and Roman; and the nation of the Goths, when converted to christianity in the fourth century, by the preaching and the virtues of Ulphilas, were certainly not superior in civilization to the Tartars of the present day.

But if we must not look to these causes, for a solution of the question under consideration, to what then can we attribute the change which has taken place? I can only account for it by the supposition, that in the fourth and fifth centuries, changes took place in the doctrines of christianity, whereby its truths were rendered less efficacious, and less acceptable to the human mind.

When we see a cause followed, and continue to be followed, by an effect which we cannot trace to any other cause, we are justified in thinking that there must be a connection between such cause and effect, even if that connection should not be strikingly apparent at first view. Now, if I mistake not, we have, in regard to the subject under consideration, such a cause in the doctrine of the Trinity, which was introduced into the church in the fourth century, and perfected in the fifth. (a) It is true, that several heathen nations embraced christianity after the date of the Council of Constantinople, which may be considered as the true era of the introduction of this new dogma; but we must consider that it would take some time before the clergy, who had decreed it, could induce the great body of believers to embrace it, or before it would produce any practical effect. It deserves notice, however, that the Goths, the Visigoths, the Ostrogoths, Burgundians, Vandals, and other barbarian nations, who voluntarily embraced christianity in the latter part of the fourth, or the fifth century, all received it in the Arian, that is, in the Unitarian form; and preserved it in that form for a great length of time; so that the historian Gibbon observes, that when Clovis, the King of the Franks, was baptized in the year 496, he alone, of all the

a Note. -- This doctrine had its origin in the scholastic philosophy of Plato. The foundation for its introduction into the christian church was laid in the year 325, at the Council of Nice, where the consubstantiation of the Son with the Father, but not his equality, was decreed; and where nothing was said respecting the Holy Spirit. At the Council of Constantinople, held in the year 331, the perfect equality of the Son and the Holy Spirit, with the Father, was established ; and at the Councils of Ephesus, in 431, and of Calcedon, in 451, this doctrine was still further modified and improveu, until id became gradually reduced to the form in which it exists at the present day.

christian Kings, belonged to the orthodox faith. It is also deserving our attention, that from the time that the doctrine of the Trinity came to be generally received by the church, voluntary conversions to christianity in a great measure ceased; 50 that after that time, persecution and violence were but too often the means resorted to, to convert men to the christian faith.

From these historical facts, I am irresistibly led to the conclusion, that it was the introduction of the doctrine of the Trinity, which at first checked, and which now continues to obstruct, the general diffusion of christianity; and which wil) ever prevent it from becoming the universal religion of mankind, so long as that dogma is retained among its articles of faith.

Let no one say, that I overrate the influence of the belief in the Divine Unity. That belief lies at the foundation of all true religion, and is at the same time so congenial to the human heart and understanding, that were it not for the unwearied pains which are taken to indoctrinate and frighten children, from their earliest years, into the belief of the doctrine of the Trinity, christians would long since have retured to the simple faith of the primitive church,

If any one should feel inclined to doubt, whether that faith possess the influence which I attribute to it, I would refer such to the present condition of the Jews, as a standing evidence of

It is now nearly eighteen centuries since that people were carried away out of their own country, and scat- y tered among the nations of the earth. Every other nation which has been thus conquered and dispersed, has entirely lost its identity and name, and has become incorporated with its conquerors. The Jews alone, after eighteen centuries, remain a perfectly distinct people. Though scattered among all nations, and subdivided into feeble societies, almost every where persecuted and oppressed, yet we never find them amalgamated with, and lost among, those with whom they dwell. They every where preserve their identity; and it is supposed, from statistical inquiries, that they are, at the present day, as numerous as they were at any time during the most prosperous days of their national independence; perhaps more so.

If it be now asked, to what cause we must attribute this singular phenomenon, I answer, that I can discover no other than their belief in the Divine Unity. It is the power of this faith which has hitherto preserved them, and served to them a bond of union in their dispersion among the nations; and I

its power.

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