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far-reaching vision. The whole domain of hu. man affairs, like a landscape from the summit of a mountain, must lie in comprehensive unity beneath the gaze. Inspiration, indeed, long ago discerned, and in brief, pregnant utterances, indicated the true condition of humanity; but ages had to elapse before it could be comprehended, and above all exhibited, in any thing like a philosophical or coherent form. Indeed, the idea of universal history, or of history as a unit and a system, is the product of the seventeenth century. Even now there are cultivated minds, and among them a few distinguished historians, who can recognize in it no central or all-comprehending force. It is only occasionally, and as a compliment to religion, that they acknowledge the presence of the Deity in the affairs of man. Some of them would even eliminate all such conceptions from history as mystical and irrelevant. It is a happy

. circumstance, however, that the more profound and philosophical historians are the most inclined to recognize the divine element. Even those metaphysicians who have sometimes been suspected of pantheistic infidelity, Vico, Fichte, Schelling, and Cousin, have given this idea the most distinct expression. Cousin, especially, has recognized it in the fullest and most eloquent terms. It may now be regarded as the settled conviction of the leading thinkers of the world

Bossuet, in his Universal History, was the first to elucidate and apply this great thought. Still his work is neither thorough nor philosophical. It possesses the character of a grand historical sketch, intended for popular impression. In several respects its range is narrow and ecclesiastical, being confined too much to the mere theocracy of the Jews, and the hierarchy of the Papal church. The state is absorbed in the church, and the march of history is described only from the Roman Catholic view. The historical details are meagre, and sometimes inaccurate. Still it possesses the great merit of recognizing the presence of God in the affairs of men, and describing the succession of events with a grave eloquence.

Much more profound and philosophical is the sublime idea which runs through the New Science (Scienza Nuova) of John Baptist Vico, that singular Italian thinker, who united the brevity and obscurity of Heraclitus to the depth and force of Plato. He maintains that the divine element underlies humanity in all its phases, and may be recognized even in the superstitions of the heathen cultus. Still he gives undue prominence to the mere natural element, and falls into sorne singular crudities and absurdities. Had Jonathan Edwards been more familiar with general history, and in his History of Redemption applied the leading thought which pervades that work to the general course of human affairs, he would have created an era in historical, as he has done in theological research. Herder, with less depth of intellect or force of character, but with a wider and more liberal range of study, starts from the same fundamental position as Bossuet and Vico, and shows how art, science, language, poetry, and religion mingle in the march of humanity towards ideal perfection. His system, however, is too narrow and empirica! for a complete explanation of the phenomena of history. F. W. Schlegel follows in the same track, with considerable reach of thought, and a distinct recognition of fundamental principles. He does greater justice than his predecessors to the influence of the remoter Oriental nations; still his work strikes us as superficial and fragmentary. Like Bossuet, he is too much under the influence of Papal views, and fails to give a complete or philosophical exposition of the subject.

Bunsen, in the first volume of his Hippolytus, presents, in aphoristic form, a comprehensive sketch of the philosophy of history, in a manner much more complete and satisfactory than Schlegel.* Marred by rationalistic fancies, and obscure or incomplete ontological statements,

* Further expanded in a recent work.

*

his view, upon the whole, is the most satisfactory we have seen. It distinctly recognizes the great truth of God in manifested form, and especially in Christ, as lying at the foundation of all religious and historical development. From his ample learning, Bunsen clearly sees that humanity cannot permanently rise, except through the influence of the new and supernatural force imparted by Christianity.

Of late years one or two works, of a fugitive or simply practical character, have appeared in this country and in England, under the title of “ The Hand of God in History,” or simply“ God in History." The object of these is not, by a comprehensive analysis, to prove the presence of God in universal history, but rather, by a citation of facts, to indicate, within certain limits, his providential sway, or what, with special emphasis, they designate the hand of God in history." This they discover in striking junctures, or turns of affairs, sometimes called “interpositions," rather than in the grand and orderly movements of society, or the central forces which control them.

Works of this sort, interesting and praiseworthy in their practical aim, cannot certainly be described as an adequate exposition of " God in History."

For it is not in junctures alone, or in special interventions, but in “all things working together for good," that we discern the purpose and procedure of the Almighty.

We have made these remarks upon the literature of the subject to which the following work in part belongs, in order to assist us in pointing out its object and aim. And here, at the outset, we beg distinctly to say, that it does not pretend to be a philosophy of history, or to be strictly a philosophical or scientific work. Its form, in fact, is rather popular than philosophical, though based upon fundamental principles, and aiming to elucidate and apply essential elements. The title “ Christ in History” limits its character to an exposition of the relations of Christ (here taken as the highest expression or manifestation of God) to universal history.

Hence it takes the Incarnation as the central or "turning point" in the history of mankind, and attempts to show how all the forces of soci. ety converge around it, how all preceding his. tory prepares for it, how all succeeding bistory dates from it. In order to develop this fact, the reader is taken back to central facts and principles, in other words to the fountains of history in the nature of God, and the nature of man; and the attempt is made to show that the history of the world, ancient and modern, can be understood only with reference to Christ. This is not

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