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contributes to exhilaration of the mind. Yet let not innocent cheerfulness degenerate into unseemly and pernicious levity. This appeal is intended for the young, as well as for those of riper age. The gravity of long years would not, indeed, suit the elasticity of earlier life. But it is possible to be cheerful without levity, and serious without gloom. And right habits cannot be too early formed, or too carefully cultivated. Let all, then, aspire after what is substantially excellent,—what gives solidity to character, and will survive the flash of “ vain deluding joys," and the wreck of all ephemeral accomplishments.
In returning from Tubingen and Stuttgart, through the picturesque valley of the Neckar, diversified by wooded banks, rocks, castles, and old ruins, we stopped at last upon those verdant heights from whence, in the midst of an amphitheatre of hills, rises the city of Heidelberg.
One of our friends had asked us to pay a visit to Dr. Strauss. We hesitated. It was the University vacation. Everyone was absent. All had taken wing, and had gone to seek that repose which the Professor so much needs at the conclusion of the term. And, besides, that splendid landscape, unrivalled, perhaps, in Europe, with its mountains, woods, and waters, together with the animation lent to the scene by the crowds of eager and delighted tourists, the soft air of September, so soothing to overwrought nerves, and so refreshing to the head and heart—all conspired to cause us to forget for a while the strifes of the intellectual world, and to yield ourselves uninterruptedly to the enjoyment of those delightful impressions.
Heidelberg is little more than one long street, running parallel to the left bank of the Neckar, from the Castle to the Docks, conducting, on one hand, towards the mists of the north, on the other, towards Switzerland and the splendours of the south. The Castle ruins are incomparably magnificent, and lend to the whole picture a grandeur, majesty, and harmony truly imposing.
After having feasted our eyes with the exquisite prospect, we prepared, but not without regret, to quit this lovely neighbourhood, when, just at the last moment, it occurred to us to make an attempt to see Dr. Strauss, although at such a season we had little expectation of finding him at home. Accordingly, we set out in the direction of one of those walks which run parallel to the principal street; and there, in rather an humble-looking abode, situated at the foot of the mountains, resides the celebrated Doctor. He is solitary. A doleful silence seems to reign around him. His appear
* Translated from the Paris “ L'Espérance."
ance is frigid, and has nothing expansive in it. He is a large man, and his physiognomy is expressive of disappointment, suffering, and a general want of repose. One feels oneself frozen by the severity imprinted on those features, by their restless eagerness, by the contracted lines about the mouth, which has somewhat of a convulsive expression, and by the bitterness of his words.
The conversation turned upon Tubingen and general literature, and upon France and her politics ; for every German, to what class soever he may happen to belong, has always a series of phrases ready upon this subject.
“Do you still occupy yourself with theology?” we inquired of the Doctor.
“God preserve me from it! I only regret that it ever occupied me. For the last ten years I have never thought of it.”
“You do not take the course at the University of Heidelberg, then ?" “No.”
“ You doubtless prefer the independence of a man of letters ?—and indeed, it is the most desirable condition for a thinker.”
“Certainly ; but, on the other hand, it is not good even for a man of letters not to have fixed and regular occupation; not to be attached to some post which creates obligation,-in a word, to be nothing in the State, to hold no office which enables you to exercise a direct influence upon the mind of the nation,”
“But, by his writings, does not the man of letters exercise a very great influence—too great, perhaps ?”
“ Doubtless ; but that is not the same thing. The public functionary is sustained, supported; he does not walk alone ; he is a link in the great chain of the State.” (In order to understand this conversation, it must be known that Strauss, though a Radical in philosophy and theology, is in politics a decided Conservative.)
“Allow me to put to you a question, perhaps a little personal. Twenty years have now elapsed since your work first appeared, and in such a period of time changes have necessarily taken place; thought has progressed, and many objects are now seen from a different point of view. What do you now think of your work ?”
This question seemed somewhat to surprise him. For a moment he appeared confused ; but, promptly recovering himself, he replied, “ Without doubt your question is just, you have a right to make it ; and I will reply to it with frankness. In answering you, then, I shall make a distinction between the form and the substance of my work. With regard to the form, I own that, had I to re-write it, I should change it in many respects; the connexion between the facts and the deductions might be closer and more logical. But, before my time, nothing had been done in this direction ; it was I who led the way. Since then, however, science has advanced, and the researches of Bruno and Bauer have thrown the light of criticism upon the darkest recesses of the subject. As to the
substance, I have concluded in my book that the Evangelical history is a myth, formed spontaneously and unconsciously in the bosom of the early church. To-day I shall conclude, with modern science, that the authors of the Gospels, and particularly St. John, had the fixed intention of deceiving, by inventing a fantastical and miraculous history.” As we remained silent, and, so to speak, oppressed with the sorrowful impression produced by the announcement he had just made, “You see,” he added, “I have explained myself candidly and clearly.” And, as he said these words, both his voice and his face expressed a bitter joy ; and it seemed as if this momentary return into the painful past had awakened within him the ntemory of all those conflicts of thought through which this mighty spirit had passed without obtaining peace.
0, heart-rending spectacle! We saw before us a man of extraordinary talent, of fresh and poetical imagination, (as his last works so amply prove,) possessed of a vast amount of knowledge and of a strong understanding ; who yet, under the influence of a strange delusion, coolly and scientifically armed with his syllogisms, like the physician with his knife, has deliberately consecrated the best part of his life to denying the existence of a personal and living God, the immortality of the soul, and the vital doctrines of the Gospel, or rather the Gospel itself !
THE GEOLOGIST OF CROMARTY.
(Concluded from page 330.) Hugh Miller, reviewing from a lofty stand-point the course and tenor of the past, pronounces a remarkable eulogy on that lowly teacher under whose guidance he spent fifteen years of humble, painstaking scholarship, from which he issued, not bespangled with academical titles, but yet with a hand and a heart that fitted him for all that was grand in purpose, and high in intelligence :-“ The best and noblest of all schools, save the Christian one, is the school in which honest labour is the teacher, in which the ability of being useful is imparted, and the spirit of independence communicated, and the habit of persevering effort acquired ; and which is more moral than the schools in which only philosophy is taught, and greatly more happy than the schools which profess to teach only the art of enjoyment. Noble, upright, self-relying toil! Who that knows thy solid worth and value would be ashamed of thy hard hands, and thy soiled vestinents, and thy obscure tasks,—thy humble cottage, and hard couch, and homely fare? But I little thought of the excellence of thy character and teachings, when, with a heavy heart, I set out to take my first lesson from thee in a sandstone-quarry.” All honour to the man who, from the loom, the plough, the mine, the anvil, or the quarry, firmly grasping the truth that the grounds of his culture and his dignity lie not in his rank but in hris nature, spurns the narrow barriers of his lot, and victoriously battles his way up to the serene realms of true, sublime, heroic life, or to the
empyrean heighits where philosophy holds her seat! “Nobles can confer no nobility on him. He bears his patent of honour in his own bosom; the escutcheon of genius is his, on the broad and exalted brow.” Hugh Miller, when the admiration and applause of his country were around him, never forgot the lowliness of his early avocation. He did not hide it beneath the trappings of respectability, as a badge of disgrace : he wore it, almost ostentatiously, as an ensign of honour. When his position would have suggested a less plain and homely garb, he still affected the habiliments of the workman ; and to the last, when wielding a pen of world-wide celebrity, he might be seen in the streets of Edinburgh in the attire of simple grey, which he wore when he handled the mallet and the chisel.
After experiencing sundry cuffs of fortune incident to struggling authorship, and making divers appearances in prose and verse, chiefly as a correspondent of the “ Inverness Courier,” he was appointed by the Commercial Bank of Scotland to be accountant in a branch agency which was established in his native town; in which, it is said, from his habits of mental absenteeship, he acquitted himself but indifferently. Some few years later, the Non-Intrusion controversy shook the Church of Scotland to her foundations, and stirred the hearts of the people as if the voice of Knox had again resounded in thunder-tones through the land. At the outset, nearly the whole of the Edinburgh press assumed an attitude hostile to the evangelical party : respectability and expediency were everywhere heard inveighing against the madness of a conclave of ecclesiastics, assembled in their church-courts, attempting to cope with a powerful and wealthy aristocracy, backed by the prestige of the law, and the authority of the State ; and for a time the odds of battle seemed to be against them. In this crisis, Miller, believing that the most cherished rights and interests of his beloved Church were at stake, that her ancient and inviolable patrimony was about to be wrested from her by an alien and secular aristocracy,-that the Headship of Christ in His spiritual kingdom was about to be supplanted by the domination of worldly power,-buckled on the armour, and with the courage of a Christian hero threw himself into the thick of the .contest.. And now, by the first ring of his weapons, he was instinctively recognised as a valiant, knightly champion of the truth. He wrote his celebrated “ Letter to Lord Brougham on the Opinions expressed by his Lordship in the Auchterarder Case,” which O'Connell admired for its “racy English,” which Gladstone eulogized as “ an elegant and a masculine production," and which contributed no little to hurl back the tide of public opinion. He was immediately selected to conduct the journal established for the advocacy of the Church's independence in all matters ministerial and disciplinary; and, as editor, and latterly co-proprietor, of the “ Witness," he continued to promote that cause till the time of his death. In that arduous struggle, which terminated in the disruption of 1843, Miller displayed vast resources of genius; while, in the might and prowess of his arm, and in the burning enthusiasm of his heart, he was eclipsed only by one combatant. With the illustrious Chalmers he fought
side by side in that memorable conflict. By these two men of might “the faith once delivered unto the saints” was prized and guarded as a heritage more precious than houses or lands, than the ties of party or the bonds of friendship. It was the wont and happiness of Dr. Chalmers, oblivious of his own transcendent merits, to speak of his fellow-chieftain in the Church's cause as “the greatest Scotchman alive after Sir Walter Scott's death, and the man who had done more than all others to defend and make popular throughout the country the Non-Intrusion cause.” And Dr. Hanna, the son-in-law and biographer of Chalmers, delivers it as his judgment, and that of the great body of his Church, that, “ next to the writings and actings of Dr. Chalmers, the leading articles of Hugh Miller in the • Witness' did more than anything else to give the Free Church the place it holds in the affections of so many of his fellow-countrymen.” If he had a fault as a journalist and a disputant, it was a savour of bitterness and personal partisanship. In the flush of conscious victory, he was apt to forget the forbearance which a magnanimous antagonist extends to his vanquished foe. This, however, was but a mote that sometimes flickered before the splendour of the journalist's many great and noble qualities. On the whole, his virtue and his genius alike gave dignity and character to the newspaper-press of Scotland. To quote the disinterested testimony of one of the leading papers of the northern metropolis: “The purity and vigour of his English, his wealth of literary allusion, his trenchant sarcasm, his jets of true humour, never altogether wanting even in the least happy of his productions, gave to some of them a celebrity and length of life very rarely attained by any writings that make their way to the world through a newspaper.”
In 1841 he published his “Old Red Sandstone ;” part of which had first appeared in a series of sketches in the “ Witness.” This volume is the fruit of many years of laborious research ; and it gives a luminous and comprehensive survey of the formation which engirdles, like a massive belt, the northern half of Scotland. The main charm of the book, however, consists in its exquisite delineations of the strangely-shaped and delicately-sculptured ichthyolites of the three divisions of that vast system
In 1847 “ The Footprints of the Creator, or the Asterolepis of Stromness," appeared ; in which, step by step, he demolishes the sophistries and plausibilities of the “ development” hypothesis, first fabricated by Maillet, Lamarck, and Oken, but reduced to something like system in the “Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation.” The theory is, that the chasm which parts the organic from the inorganic world has been bridged over without the interposition of Creative Power,--that all the phenomena of life, from the lowest to the highest, both in extinct and existing species, have resulted from a piece of life-manufacturing mechanism, called natural law, --that all the grades of animated being have originated in a series of spontaneous transformations, the lower grade vaulting up into the higher, (animalcules into crustaceans, crustaceans into fishes, fishes into reptiles,