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save the Jews, were his and Jehovah's enemies, and could be favored only by bowing their necks to his yoke. So was it with all his successors, whether among the bards and minstrels, or prophets and kings, unless an exception be made in favor of Solomon, who seems, in the latter part of his life, to have relaxed somewhat from the rigid national bigotry of his countrymen, and to have felt that other nations besides his own were worthy of regard and even of imitation. Perhaps a slight exception ought also to be made in the case of Isaiah, for though he was a Jew, a stern, unrelenting Jew, and doubtless held all other nations in suitable abhorrence, he does seem to have had some dream or dim presentiment, that the time would come at least, when the Gentiles would enjoy a share of Jehovah's regard, though probably, in his mind, only by being converted to Judaism.
If from the Jews, we pass to the Greeks and Romans, albeit we find a difference, we shall still find the Christ only partially formed. The religious aspect of the Christ is less striking ; the love of country suffers no diminution, and that of Science, and in the case of the Greeks, that of the Beautiful, are superadded. But we do not find the sentiment of Humanity. No precept betrays it, no life reveals it. There is certainly a greater approximation towards universal brotherhood, than with the Jews. You meet a more human and cosmopolitan spirit. Still the Greek looks with a sort of contempt upon all races but his own. The Roman deems liberty, freedom, the especial property, or deserving to be the especial property, of the Roman citizen alone. In either country, there is no want of men who can die for family and friends, and especially for country; but there are none to die for Humanity. Instances of the most striking devotion to one's country meet us at every step. Rome up to the epoch of the Empire was always full of men ready to immolate themselves for the safety or glory of the City; but I have found no instance, recorded in her history, of a man who immolated himself for mankind. She furnished heroes and patriots, but not philanthropists.
Socrates, as Plato has given him to us, is in my judgment the greatest of the predecessors of Jesus, and the only one of them that may with any propriety be brought into comparison with him. History presents me in none of her favorites, before Jesus, a single individual who comes up so near to my conception of a complete man, as Socrates; and yet he has nothing of the completeness we perceive in Jesus. He has a strong devotional spirit. The religious phase of the Christ was, perhaps, as striking in him as in Jesus. He had equal sincerity, modesty, firmness, and moral courage, though less warmth and earnestness. But he was an Athenian; the greatest of the Athenians, the noblest race of antiquity, but he was not great enough for Humanity. Great as he was, it is questionable whether his love stretched beyond his native Athens, at most beyond the Hellenic race. His life and his death was a noble homage to virtue and truth and philosophy, but not a homage to philanthropy. He did not submit to death because he loved the human race, but because he loved wisdom; not because he was a philanthropist, but because he was a philosopher.
Now all these whom I have mentioned, and to whom my remarks naturally refer though I have not given their names, did much, and did nobly. They prepared the way for Jesus; but he is distinguished from them all by a broad line. His originality and his peculiarity consist in the fact that he was not the man of a clique or coterie, of a tribe, or a people, that he was not a patriot nor a philosopher; but a philanthropist. In him, if we may credit history, the Christ for the first time leaped the narrow enclosures of the Temple, the priesthood, the school, the sect, the family, the clan, the country, and bounded forth, with a free step and a joyous heart, over the immense plains of Humanity. Then, for the first time, there was a man on the earth; one who might, in the significant idiom of
VOL. I. NO. II.
the Hebrews, call himself the Son of Man; and who was a type of the universal man, the man of all ages, and countries, the man formed not by conventions, but by the free, full, and harmonious development of human nature itself.
I cannot say how much the prejudices of a theory, or of education, may have blinded my eyes and biassed my judgment, but I think every intelligent reader of the Gospels, must admit that Jesus was singularly free from every thing merely local and temporary. He has no feature of the conventional or artificial man. Though born and brought up a Jew, there is nothing Jewish in the genius and complexion of his mind. There is nothing in his character by which you can determine the age, or people, to which he belonged, nor the circumstances amid which he had grown up. Indeed it is difficult for us to conceive of his character as ever having been formed. We are almost compelled to look upon it as a spontaneous production, as coming into the world all ready formed, perfected and finished by the Creator's hand at one stroke. It is this completeness, and this fidelity to universal human nature, that enable him to commend himself to all men of all times, nations, sects, and creeds. Eighteen hundred years have rolled away since he was on the earth. Mighty revolutions have changed more than once the face of the moral and intellectual world ; his countrymen have been scattered to the four winds of heaven; the empires which in his day were in the pride of their strength and the zenith of their glory, have passed beneath the sway of the conqueror, fallen to pieces and mouldered to dust; new tribes and new peoples have issued forth from the depths of the forest, passed on and off the stage, and been succeeded by others still; new sciences, new arts, new laws, new thoughts, new feelings, new languages, new forms of government, new religions, and new modes of life, have sprung up; and yet his character is as young, as fresh, as modern, if I may so speak, as though he had been the playmate of our childhood, and the companion of our youthful studies,- is as faithful a type of human nature as it is developed to-day in this Western world and in this free republic, as it was of human nature as it was developed in the multitudes that thronged to hear him, as he went preaching through the cities of Judea and Galilee. Through the lapse of ages, and all the changes that time works in the things of this world, it has not been outgrown, has acquired nothing of the antique, the superannuated, the obsolete. Here is a proof of the universality of his nature. He was no Sadducee, no Pharisee, no Jew, no Gentile; HE WAS A MAN, true to universal human nature. The elements of his mind and heart, were the elements of all minds and hearts. Herein was his peculiarity. He was peculiar in that he was not peculiar, in his entire freedom from all idiosyncrasy, in being marked by nothing which does not belong to the universal mind and heart of Humanity.
With this character we may readily predict that his love will not be confined to his family and friends, to the individuals of a particular caste, class, sect, party, or country; but that it will be free, impartial, and universal. His sympathy will be awakened by man and by man only. All the factitious distinctions of Society will disappear before him; kings, priests, nobles, patricians, plebeians, thrones, sceptres, diadems, and mitres, all will vanish away, and there will stand before him only men, human beings in their moral strength or moral weakness, in their beauty, or their deformity. Man and men, not tribes and nations, man and men, not classes, orders, or estates, he will see, love, and die to redeem. This is his glory. This gives him the title, more honorable than any nobility ever bore, of the SON OF Man. This makes him the savior of mankind. This endears him to simple Humanity throughout all time and space, establishes his empire over the universal mind and heart, builds the temples which bear his name, and tunes the millions of voices which on each successive sabbath day, throughout all
the earth, shout forth his praise in glad and loud ho
In this, I see the originality and the peculiarity of Jesus. He was the first of our race in whom the sentiment of the universal brotherhood of the human race was developed; the first who had died a martyr to his love of mankind. His life was the earliest revelation of philanthropy, and he was the first who, sinking all considerations of father, mother, sister, brother, friend, country, creed, school, sect, party, tribe, people, order, class, estate, could let the fountains of his love overflow for simple Humanity, who could die for man as man. He was the first whose love begat Humanity; and through him the human race is installed ; and the good man directed henceforth to find his household and friends and countrymen in Humanity; and a neighbor in whomsoever needs his kind offices. With him philanthropy, love, to man as man, was born; and well did Heaven's hosts shout at his birth, “ Peace on earth and good will to man,” as well as “Glory to God in the highest.”
II. Having ascertained wherein consisted the originality, the peculiarity of the character of Jesus, there can be no difficulty in seizing the peculiar traits of the Christian Movement. The Christian Movement sprung from the life of Jesus; and as that life was the life of philanthropy, the Christian Movement must needs be a movement in the direction of love to mankind. It was not movement in behalf of piety, of patriotism, nor of art and science, but of Humanity. Its end was to reconcile men to one another and to God, to bring together in Christ, all the members of the human family, however widely estranged, and to integrate them all in the unity of the spirit of Love. In this consists what it may claim of the original and peculiar.
The Jewish Movement, commenced by Abraham, continued by Isaac and Jacob, of which Moses was the lawgiver, Joshua the hero, David the poet, and