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voice was Sum Christianus. From the time of the Great Sacrifice it was impossible to sever the history of man's temporal destiny from that of his eternal; and when the virtue of that Sacrifice had thoroughly leavened the nations, history is found to assume a larger basis, to have lost its partial and national cast, to have grown with the growth of man, and to demand for its completeness a perfect alliance with philosophy.
It is true that the breaking-up of the Roman empire— reducing the powers of society into a sort of chaos—long suspended these results. Like the seeds discovered in Egyptian tombs, they lay for hundreds of years, not losing their vital force, but buried, as it were, in the great Christian mind till the hour of awakening should come. The world of thought in which we live is, after all, formed by Christianity. Modern Europe is a relic of Christendom, the virtue of which is not gone out of it. Gregory VII. and Innocent III. have ruled over generations which ignored them; have given breadth to minds which condemned their benefactors as guilty of narrow priestcraft, and derided the work of those benefactors as an exploded theory. Let us take an example in what is, morally, perhaps the worst and most shocking period of the last three centuries—the thirty years preceding the great French revolution. We shall see that at this time even minds which had rejected, with all the firmness of a reprobate will, the re
Thus it may be termed a necessity of modern history that it should be philosophic. It must give not only the course of things, but their results; not only the facts, but their reasons. The civilisation which it ought to portray is one immensely advanced beyond that of the ancients; advanced not merely in the material arts which give prosperity to civil life, but most of all in this, that it possesses a tie and bond of the whole race in the Person of its Deliverer, which was so fatally wanting to the old world, and from the absence of which its course was obscure and fluctuating, and its end unapparent. Now, where there is no defined course and no recognised end, the philosophy of cause and effect is scarcely possible. How dreary to chronicle the rise and fall of Assyrian, and Persian, and Macedonian, and Roman dominion, until the key to them was given, until the stone cut out without hands was beginning to fill the earth! Too often has philosophy in the hand of modern writers shown itself ungrateful to the power which made it what it is; nor only ungrateful, but unconscious of its debt. Christendom, that mighty creation of the Church, has left an ineffaceable impression on modern society. It has protected it at once from the excesses and narrowness of such conquerors as the Romans. Never more can one political organisation presume to be the whole of the world, and never again can it restrict man to its own boundaries. Even now, dislocated and convulsed, heaving with half-subdued revolutions, and torn by fatal schisms, Europe feels itself to be one, and the pride of the proudest nation submits to have its history treated but as a part and member of a greater whole. We have kept the term barbarous from the old Greek, but we have altered its force. It no longer means that which is strange, foreign to us, but that which breaks away from the universal law of civilised life, shared in common by so many nations; and civilisation itself, the course of man's temporal destinies, can no longer be severed from that ocean of his eternal state into which it is seen to run.
Thus it is that the modern historian looks at society from a higher point of view than the ancient. Its centre and its law do not lie to him in the nation, but in the greater whole of humanity, which the Person of the God-man has revealed to him. He sees before him a collection of nations which has indeed been a republic with a common law, which still has parts and members, common sympathies and antagonisms, wherein no one has a moral or intellectual primacy, but virtues balanced with great defects. It is a mutual give and take; an action and reaction all around him. Here, perhaps, he sees a race at the top wave of its natural strength and energy, full of perseverance, rarely missing success, but proud, hard, and worldly; there another, wherein thought and action interpenetrate each other, more im
pulsive, frank, and tender, and withal so quick, keen, and homogeneous, that a single feeling will electrify the whole mass, a single man, the secret thought of the nation personified, assume absolute control, and weld them for a time into overwhelming force. A third, with vast and yet unknown powers, of one growth and jet, in force of barbarism, Asiatic, in flexibility of civilisation, European, knit together by an almost unreasoning obedience, and marshalled in a huge military hierarchy aspiring to future triumphs; fourth may come a troop of nations, differing in blood, in language, in social institutions, in their state of progress, but finding a single point of contact, a centre of unity, in the person of a common sovereign, and upholding his throne for centuries with unwavering fidelity. Others, again, seem like the inferior, yet not unimportant, limbs of a great confederacy; they fill up interstices in the huge fabric; while some are great rather in their past renown than in their present power, a magni nominis umbra, once rich in arts and arms, and in the thought which rules mankind. In all these a course and progress are ever going on; a common civilisation has its distinctive national colouring; race and religion produce their blended result; and philosophical history has not only to recount facts with rigid accuracy, not only to represent the panorama of war and peace, of outward action and inward development, as it goes on, but to compare and estimate