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assumed dogmatically, but evolved by an exposition of historical facts.
Many things which would naturally be discussed in a complete philosophy of history are omitted. Some also are taken for granted, as known or conceded by the reader. Indeed, the attention is necessarily limited to the specific view which it is the design of the author to vindicate.
In the course of the investigation, Christianity is shown to be not only an historical reality, but a divine and supernatural power, by which all other realities and powers are explained and controlled. The theories of the sceptical rationalists, to account for Christianity on natural, local, or superficial grounds, are shown to be untenable. The natural or human factor, of course, is not denied ; another, however, is added, namely, the supernatural or divine. In a word, Christianity, in its interior relations and vital energies, is shown to be nothing less than the presence of God, through Jesus Christ, among men, renovating the hearts of individuals, and preparing the transformation of society.
The author has endeavored to conduct the investigation in the freest and most liberal manner, holding himself aloof as much as possible from unproved preconceptions, and less anxious, therefore, to favor or deny orthodoxy, heterodoxy, or what Luther calls cacodoxy, than to establish the simple truth.
On a theme so vast and comprehensive, his work cannot be otherwise than imperfect.
No one can be more sensible of its defects than himself. Though the labor of years, it is not offered as any thing approaching a complete or scientific view of the subject, but rather as a slight contribution, or preparation for such a view. Perhaps he might venture to call it an introduction to universal history, or at least an introduction to the history of Christianity.
NOTE TO SECOND EDITION.
In issuing this edition the author desires to say that he has availed himself of the opportunity to give the work a thorough revision.
He has not indeed touched its essence; he has only endeavored to give it a more perfect form.
Perhaps he ought to add that he is grateful for its cordial reception, especially by thoughtful readers and reviewers in this country and in Europe, and for the assurances which some of them have communicated of their personal interest in it as a sort of guide-book in their historical and theological studies. He has received such assurances, in some instances, from quite unexpected quarters. He hopes, therefore, that it may continue to prove useful to sincere inquirers after truth.
HARTFORD, Conn., Jan. 21, 1860.
CHRIST IN HISTORY.
THE CENTRAL POWER.
The farther science advances, the more clearly is the great fact discovered that all things have their centres of life and motion, and that they belong to a single system. Acting and interacting, moving, now this way, now that, all at last tend one way.
The stars revolve around their suns, and suns themselves, with attendant planets, revolve around a central point. Unity and variety, as in a circle, with its starlike radii, the unity ever passing into variety, and the variety into unity, pervade the visible creation. Nothing is insulated, nothing irregular. One mysterious law comprehends and governs the whole. All proceed from, and gravitate to, one centre.
Not only the larger masses, suns, and constellations, gravitate thus, but the inferior parts, the