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ticular race of mankind to which it belongs. As the State is in the individual, as really as the individual is in the State, so the nation is in the individual, as really as the individual is in the nation. By virtue of a political nature and element in his constitution, the individual contains the groundwork and inward reality of the commonwealth of which he is outwardly a member; and by virtue of a national and idiomatic element in his mind, the individual contains the groundwork and inward reality of the nation of which he is outwardly a member. In neither case could any conceivable heightening of the merely and strictly individual, possibly produce the national. No degree, however intense, of private and individual feeling could possibly produce patriotism. Private interest and private feeling spring out of the individual in the man, and public interest and public feeling spring out of the State in the man. Both natures co-exist in one subject, in harmony when human nature is in a normal condition, and in antagonism when it is not; but each has its distinct characteristics, and forms the basis of a distinct activity.
These remarks hold true in relation to literature, as well as politics. In respect, therefore, to culture and to authorship, the national is, or should be, in the individual. While the individual opens his mind and heart to all that is true and genial in the productions of foreign minds, he should retain his own nationality in its most independent and determined form. The Englishman should think like an Englishman, and compose like an Englishman.
Now the thoughtful and ever repeated perusal of such products of the great English minds as have been specified above, contributes to strengthen and develop that which is national and idiomatic in the individual intellect. And in the present influx of foreign literature, of foreign modes of thought and expression, the conservative influence of these great English masters and models should be felt more than ever. It is only by a more profound acquaintance with these, that the good elements in other literatures and other national minds can be assimilated, and the bad rejected. An
ardent attention to French literature, for example, would induce an excessive materialism, and an ardent attention to German literature a hyper-spiritualism, in the English mind and literature, if each were not counteracted by the sober sense and calm reason of our own thinkers.
The influence of German literature upon the student, in this connection, merits a moment's consideration. At this late day, no respectable scholar will deny that this literature ranks among the very first, as a source of knowledge and an instrument of culture. Probably none exerts a more profound inflence upon the stuff and substance of literature; upon thought itself, than this. Eminently speculative and thoughtful, it seizes with a strong grasp upon the laws of thought, and habits of thought, and style of thought, and exerts a wonderfully modifying, moulding, and internally revolutionizing power. But it cannot safely be made the principal instrument of education. It must be kept in check and subordination by others. Its strong spiritualizing tendency must be counteracted by opposite tendencies; and this in order that this very spiritualizing tendency itself may do its best work. For this bias, if left
on indefinitely, results, as the history of some of the most interesting schools of philosophy and literature shows, in the sheerest and merest materialism. Any tendency if excessive, annihilates itself by turning into its own contrary. And the Englishman, especially, is liable to this result. If his large round-about sense and sober reason, are once over-mastered by the tendency and influence in question, he becomes the most ultra of spiritualists. The wines and luxury of the south of Europe entering into the strong and coarse nature of the northern tribes, generated an intoxication and a debauch, at which the Southron himself stood aghast. When Caliban feels the fumes, the drunkenness is absolute.
In furnishing a proper counteraction to this tendency, and to all other foreign tendencies, and thus preserving the true nationality of the scholar, the works in question are invaluable and indispensable. They are by no means destitute of
speculation, but they are remarkable for their sobriety and
Even when they verge strongly in the direction of materialism, they are valuable aids; especially in the reference now under consideration. Take, for example, the treatise of Locke on the Conduct of the Understanding, the best tract yet written upon education. It is less a model product of the English mind, than some others in the list, because it sprang from a root that had too strong a tang of earth; because it grew out of an extravagantly sensuous system of philosophy, and a culture corresponding thereto. But it furnishes a most excellent and efficacious corrective to a wan and bloodless hyper-spirituality. If the Englishman or Anglo-American has weakened himself by too much dreaming over such interesting, but, after all, essentially feeble products, as those of the German Novalis, or the French Chateaubriand and Lamartine, or the English Tennyson, let him transfuse into his veins the blood of John Locke. If he has become thin and pale in the process, let him feed upon the pulp and brawn of as masculine a mind as ever lived.
The preservation of nationality, in all respects and relations, is of the highest importance in this age of the world, when the ease, and frequency, and intimacy, of intercommunication, are erasing some lines that ought to be scored still more deeply rather than obliterated. The extinction of nationality, like the extinction of individuality, would be the death of all the great interests of the human race. The confusion of tongues, and the origination of many languages, though primarily a curse, yet like the curse of labor, brings many blessings in its train. The formation of nations and of languages has unquestionably contributed to a more profound and exhaustive development of the fallen human soul, than could have been attained without it. And the further progress of the race in art, in science, in literature, in philosophy, and in religion, is dependent upon the preservation, , and the quickening collision, of this variety in unity. The moment a mind loses its nationality, it loses its charm and power for other minds; even for that other mind in which it has servilely sunk its own nationality.
By this thoughtful and prolonged perusal of the products of the master-minds of the literature, the student will preserve and strengthen what is national and idiomatic in his mental structure, while at the same time he will more genially appreciate, and heartily relish, what is national and idiomatic in other literatures. And, what is not less important, he will be storing his mind with the best sense and reason of the nation to which he belongs; he will be planting the seeds and germs of all noble and ennobling truths, thereby preparing himself to be an original and influential thinker and author in his own day and generation. For the words of Chaucer are as true now as ever:
Out of the olde fieldes, as men saithe,
Cometh all this newe corn fro yere to yere ;
Cometh all this newe science, that men lere.1
THE HISTORICAL AND LEGAL JUDGMENT OF THE OLD
TESTAMENT SCRIPTURES AGAINST SLAVERY.
By George B. Cheever, D. D., New York.
[Continued from p. 48.]
Statute for the Protection of Oppressed Fugitives. The Mosaic legislation, the more it is examined, is seen to be a system of supernatural, divine wisdom. Amidst a congeries of particulars, sometimes seemingly disconnected, great underlying and controlling principles break out. The principle revealed in the statute against man-stealing, is the same developed in the next statute which we are to consider, in the order of the logical and historical argument from the
1 Assembly of Foules. Stanza IV.
Old Testament Scriptures against slavery. The principle is that of the sacredness of the human personality, which cannot be made an article of traffic, cannot be bought and sold, without a degree of criminality in the action like the criminality of murder. As the sacredness of human life is guarded by the penalty of death for the crime of maliciously killing a man, so the sacredness of human liberty, the property of a man's personality, as residing solely in himself, is guarded by the same penalty against the crime of stealing a man. The theft is that of himself from himself, and from God his Maker. As murder is the destruction of the life, so manstealing and selling is the destruction of the personality, the degradation of the man into a thing, a chattel, an article of property, transferred, bartered for a price, as if there were no immortal soul nor personal will in existence.
The statute in Deut. 23: 15, 16, is properly to be examined next after that in Exod. 21:16 and Deut. 24: 7. The whole form of the statute is as follows : “ Thou shalt not deliver unto his master the servant which is escaped from his master unto thee. He shall dwell with thee, even among you, in that place which he shall choose in one of thy gates, where it liketh him best : thou shalt not oppress him.” Of the interpretation of this statute, there cannot be the least doubt; as to its application only can there remain, in any mind, some little question.
The first thing to be considered is the language : “ Thou shalt not deliver up the servant to his master, which is escaped unto thee from his master.” The servant to his master, at b. It is not, the slave to his owner, or the heathen slave to his owner, which would have been the proper form of expression, if either slaves at any rate were under consideration, or heathen slaves alone. The word for servant is the ordinary 7, and the word for his master is not, which is to be compared and contrasted with the word for owner (5:a), the latter word being used when a beast or an article of property instead of a human being is spoken of. The contrast may be fairly and fully seen, and the usage demonstrated, by comparing Ex. 21: 4, 5, 6, 8, with Ex. 21: 28, 29