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must be familiar. The life of the commonwealth is to him the main subject of history-the laws of political science, the main lesson of history—the desire of taking an active share in the great work of government—the highest earthly desire of the ripened mind." And those who read his letters will be startled at times by the interest with which he watches the changes of administration, where to many the real difference would seem to be comparatively trifling. Thus he would speak of a ministry advocating even good measures inconsistently with their position or principles," as a daily painfulness-a moral eaet wind, which made him feel uncomfortable without any particular ail ment”-or lament the ascendency of falee political views, as tending “to the sure moral degradation of the whole conimunity, and the ultimate social disorganization of our system," “not from reading the Morning Chronicle or the Edinburgh Review, but from reading the Bible and Aristotle, and all history.”
Such expressions as these must indeed be taken with the necessary qualifications which belong to all words spoken to intimate friends in a period of great excitement. But they may serve to illustrate at least the occasional strength of feeling which it is the object of these remarks to explain. It arose, no doubt, in part from his tendency to view all things in a practical and concrete form, and in part from his belief of the larger power possessed by the supreme governors of society over the social and moral condition of those intrusted to them. But there were also real principles present to his mind whenever he thus spoke, which seemed to him so certain, that “daily experience could hardly remove his wonder at finding that they did not appear so to others." (Mod. Hist. Lect., p. 391.) What these principles were in detail
, his own letters will sufficiently show. But it must be borné in mind how, whilst he certainly believed that they were exemplified to a great degree in the actual state of English politics, the meaning which he attached to them rose so far above their meaning as commonly used, that it could hardly be thought that the same subject was spoken of. Conservatism, in his mouth, was not merely the watchword of an English party, but the symbol of an evil, against which his whole life. public and private, was one continued struggle; which he dreaded in his own heart no less than in the institutions of his country, and the abhorrenee of which will be found to pervade not only the pamphlets which have been most condemned, but the sermons which have been most admired, namely, the spirit of resistance to all change. Jacobinism, again, in his use of the word, included not only the extreme movement party in France or England, to which he usually applied it, but all the natural tendencies of mankind, whether “democratical, priestly, or chivalrous," to oppose the authority of Law, divine and human, which he regarded with so deep a reverence. Popular principles and democracy (when he used these words in a good sense) were not the opposition to an hereditary monarchy or peerage, which he always valued as precious elements of national life, but were inseparably blended with his strong belief in the injustice and want of sympathy generally shown by the higher 10 the lower orders,-a belief which he often declared had been first brought home to him, when after having, as a young man at Oxford, held the opposite view, he first began seriously to study the language used with regard to it by St. James and the Old Testament Prophets. Liberal principles were not merely the expression of his adherence to a Whig ministry, but of his belief in the constant necessity of applying those principles of advance and reform, which, in their most perfect development, he conceived to be identical with Christianity itself. Even in their lower exemplifications, and in every age of the world except that before the Fall of man from Paradise, he maintained them to have been by the very constitution of human society the representatives of the cause of wisdom and goodness. And this truth, no less certain in his judgment than the ordinary deductions of natural theology, he believed to have been placed on a stillfirmer basis by the higber standard held out in the Christian religion, and the revelation of a moral law, which no intermixture of races or change of national customs could possibly endanger.
That he was not, in the common sense of the word, a member of any party, is hest shown by the readiness with which all parties alike, according to the fashion of the time, claimed or renounced him as an associate. Ecclesiastically, he neither be: longed, nor felt himself to belong, to any of the existing sections of the English clergy; and from the so-called High Church, Low Church, and Evangelical bodies, he always stood, not perhaps equally, but yet decidedly aloof: Politically, indeed, he held himself to be a strong Whig; but as a matter of fact, he found that in cases of practical co-operation with that party, he differed almost as much from them as from their opponents; and would often confess with sorrow, that there were none among them who realized what seemed to him their true principles. And whilst in later years his feelings and language on these subjects were somewhat modified, he at all times, even when most tenaciously holding to his opinions, maintained the principle, that“ political truths are not, like moral iruths, to be held as absolutely certain, nor ever wholly identical with the professions or practice of any party or individual.” (Pref. to Hisi. of Rome, vol. i. p. xi.) There were few warnings to his pupils on the entrance into life more solemn, than those against party-spirit, against giving to any human party, sect, society, or cause, that undivided sympathy and service which he held to be due only to the one party and cause of all good men under their Divine
Head.' There were few more fervent aspirations for his children, than that with which he closes a letter in 1833: “ May God grant to my sons, if they live to manhood, an unshaken love of truth, and a firm resolution to follow it for themselves, with an intense abhorrence of all party ties, save that one tie, which binds them to the party of Christ agajust wickedress.”
II. But no temporary interest or excitement was allowed to infringe on the loftiness or the unity of his ultimate ends, to which every particular plan that he took up, and every particular line of thought which he followed, was completely subordinate. However open to objection may have been many of his practical suggestions, it must be remembered, that they were never the result of accidental fancies, but of fixed and ruiing ideas. However fertile he might be in supplying details, when called for, it was never on them, but on principles, that he rested his claim to be heard; often and often he declared that if these could be received and acted upon, he cared nothing for the particular application of them, which he might have proposed, and nothing for the failure of particular echemes, if he could hope that his example would excite others to execute them better.
Striving to fulfil in his measure the definition of man, in which he took especial pleasure, - a being of large discourse, looking before and after," he learned more and more, whilst never losing his hold on the present, to live also habitually in the past and for the future. Vehement as he was in assailing evil, his whole mind was essentially not destructive but constructive; his love of reform was in exact proportion to his love of the institutions which he wished to reform; his hatred of shadows in exact proportion to his love of realities. “He was an idoloclast,” says Archdeacon Hare, “at once zealous and searless in demolishing the reigning idols, and at the same time animated with a reverent love for the ideas which those idols carnalize and stile." Impatient as he was, even to restlessness, of evils which seemed 10 him capable of remedy, he yet was ready, as some have thought even to excess, to repose with the most undoubting confidence on what he held to be a general law. “Ah," he said, speaking to a friend of the parable of the "earth, of herself, bringing forth first the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear, "-" how much ihere is in those words: I hope some day to be able to work at them thoroughly.” “We walk by faith and not by sight," was a truth on which in its widest sense he endeavoured to dwell alike in his private and public relations. - alike in practice and in speculation. “You know you do what God does,” was his answer to an expression of a painful sense of the increase of a child's re
1) See Sermon on “Who are partakers in our hope ?” vol. iii.
sponsibility by an early Christian education.
“We may be content, I think, to share the responsibility with Christ.” And on more general subjects, “ We must brace our minds,” he said, in an unpublished sermon,
“ We must brace our minds to the full extent of that great truth--that 'no man hath seen God at any time ;' still amidst outward darkness and inward,-ansidst a world going on, as it seems, in its own course, with no other laws than those which God has given to nature,-amidst all the doubts and perplexities of our own hearts—the deepest difficulties sitting hard beside the most blessed truths-still we must seek after the Lord with unabated faith if so be that we may find him.” It was not that he was not conscious of difficulties—but that (to apply his own words) “ before a confessed and unconquerable difficulty his mind reposed as quietly as in possession of a discovered truth."
His time for reading at Laleham and Rugby was necessarily limited by his constant engagements--hut his peculiar habits and turn of mind enabled him to accomplish much, which to others in similar circumstances would have been impossible. He had a remarkable facility for turning to account spare fragments of time-for appropriating what he casually heard, and for mastering the contents of a book by a very rapid perusal. His memory was exceedingly retentive of all subjects in which he took any interest; and the studies of his youth-especially of what he used to call the “golden time” between his degree and his leav. ing Oxford-were perpetually supplying him with materials for his later labours. The custom which he then began, of reserring at once to the sources and original documents of history, as in Rymer, Montfaucon, and the Summa Conciliorum, gave a lasting freshness and solidity to his knowledge; and, instead of merely exchanging his later for his earlier acquisitions, the one seeined to be a natural development of the other.
Whenever a new line of study was opened to him, he fearlessly followed it; a single question would often cost him much research in books for which he naturally cared but little; for philological purposes, he was endeavouring even in his later years to acquire a knowledge of the Sanscrit and Sclavonic languages; he was constantly engaged in correspondence with scientific men or scholars on minute points of history or geography; in theology he had almost always on hand one of the early Christian writers, with a view to the ultimate completion of his great work on Church and State. He had a great respect for learning, though impatient of the preteneions to the name often made by a mere amount of reading; and the standard of what was required in order to treat of any subject fully, was perpetually rising before him. It would often happen, from the necessity of the case, that his works were written in haste, and were therefore sometimes expressed nakedly and abruptly. But it would be great injustice to infer from the unblotted, unrevised manuscript, which went to the press as it came from his pen, that it was not the result of much thought and reading; although he hardly ever corrected what he had once written, yet he often approached the same subject in various forms; the substance of every paragraph had, as he often said, been in his mind for years, and sometimes had been actually written at greater length or in another shape ;-his sense of deficient knowledge often deterred him from publishing on subjects of the greatest interest to him: he always made it a point to read lar more than he expressed in writing, and to write much which he never gave to the world.
What he actually achieved in his works falls so far short of what he intended to achieve, that it seems almost like an injustice to judge of his aims and views by them. Yet, even in what he had already published in his lifetime, he was often the first to delineate in outline what others may hereafter fill up; the first to give expression in England to views, which on the Continent had been already attained; the first to propose, amidst obloquy or indifference, measures and principles, which the rapid advance of public opinion has so generally adopted, as almost to obliterate the remembrance of who first gave utterance to them. And those, who know the intentions which were interrupted by his premature death, will form their notion of what he was as an historian, philosopher, and theologian, not so much from the actual writings which he lived to complete, as from the design of the three great works, to which he looked forward as the labours of his latest years, and which, as belonging not more to one period of his life than another, and as forming, even in his mere conception of them, the centres of all that he thought or wrote, on whatever subject, would have furnished the key to all his views-a History of Rome, a Commentary on the New Testament, and, in some sense including both of these within itselt, a Treatise on Church and State, or Christian Politics.
1. His early fondness for history grew constantly upon him ; he delighted in it, as feeling it to be simply a search after truth, where, by daily becoming more fimiliar wish it, truth seems for ever more within your grasp:” the images of the past were habitually in his mind, and haunted him even in sleep, with a vividness which would bring before him some of the most striking passages in ancient history—the death of Cæsar, the wars of Sylla, the siege of Syracuse, the destruction of Jerusalem-as scenes in which he was himself taking an active part. What objects he put before him, as an historian, may best be judged from his own view of the province of history. It was, indeed, altogether imperfect, in his judgment, unless it was not only a plan but a picture; unless it represented “what men thought, what they hated, what they loved;" unless it