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his deism was nothing better. His God had no personality or consistent character. He had an ideal of civilization and a feeling of social justice ; he dealt with facts rather than with principles ; but he was lame as a reasoner, and a despiser of humanity with all his pretended zeal for its improvement. Absolute as was his sway as an autocrat in the world of letters, it was brief as it was universal. “ Beyond the age of the Empire, in which he had some imitators in satire and tragedy, Voltaire, as a man of literature, no longer exists in literary history."

The irony of Voltaire and the misanthrophy of Rousseau were the blind guides of that most miserable of the ages into “the blackness of darkness.” We cannot pause upon such names as Diderot, D'Alembert, Helvetius, Buffon ; nor long upon this “compound of mud and fire,” as the Edinburgh Review styled the Genevese recluse ; which volcanic combination was habitually in a state of active explosiveness or sub-base growling of suppressed wrath. Different as was constitutionally possible from Voltaire, Rousseau possessed not a grain of common-sense. Sentiment, sensibility, passionateness, imaginativeness running into a dreamy reverie, fitted him to minister to the wants of a numerous class whom the dry, keen, practical spirit of Voltaire could never attract or satisfy. He was the loadstone of the melancholic and romantic temperaments of the age. But he misled and corrupted his admirers by offering to their religious longings a worthless, deathly food

a gospel of stone, and serpent, and scorpion, instead of the bread which their hunger craved.

A precocious and meditative youth, left to his own safe-keeping, Rousseau says of himself; “at twelve, I was a Roman, at twenty, a blackguard.” The story of those years is familiar. His nature had great constitutional excellences and defects. A morbid element vitiated it which subsequent experiences aggravated into downright monomania. From the first there was a love of solitude, not only for its liberties, but from an original sympathy with its isolation from other lives. His character was marred by an utter destitution of moral firmness, filling his intercourse with society with all manner of petty deceptions and meannesses. This he was conscious of, and has himself

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minutely detailed ;. yet, by an unaccountable contradiction, he was proud to excess of himself as a pattern of manly virtue, not hesitating to write to a correspondent; “I .. always believed myself and . . still believe myself, all things considered, the best of men.” A bad friend, ungrateful, untrue, especially to women, and a father who, with all his sensitiveness, cast off his offspring upon the public charities, he nevertheless could make this appeal in his “Confessions” which he penned to clear his reputation with posterity:

“ Let the trumpet of the last judgment sound when it will, I go with this book in my hand and present myself before the sovereign Judge. I will say aloud, There is what I have done, what I have thought, what I have been. I have shown myself what I was temptible and vile when I was so; good, generous, and elevated when I was so. I have unveiled the inner man, such as thou, O eternal God, hast seen him thyself. Gather around me the innumerable number of my equals to listen to my confessions. . . . Let each of them in his turn lay open his heart at the foot of thy throne with the same sincerity, and then let a single one say, if he dare, I was better than that man.”

Libertine as he was, by his own revelations, in heart and practice, this astonishing self-conceit has an explanation in the consciousness which he felt, and has given evidence of in his productions, of a deep sense of spiritual beauty and justice; in the consent also of his understanding to a high standard of abstract morality. No one has discoursed more eloquently and tenderly of these things than this impassioned, poetical novelist. Nor was he sordid in his feelings, nor unrelenting in his hatreds, like Voltaire. When he could no longer love this vindictive rival, he could address to him a dignified and temperate letter, professing still an admiration for his contemporary's writings which could no longer be extended to his person.

Rousseau was a nature-worshipper of the intensest devoutness. He loved the still life of her sequestered haunts with an unaffected enthusiasm. He quaffed the cup of pleasure which she there mingled for him with an exquisite zest.

He understood the physical life around him, and enjoyed it thoroughly. This was one secret of his popular power — the magic wand of an interpreter to duller souls of the wonders, beauties, mysteries of the material world. By far the most subtile and penetrative genius of his age, his electrical utterances vibrated the nation as the ringing of bells or the clash of music undulates the atmosphere. His spirit was full of the minor melodies, through which a “hidden wail,” as in the singing of the slave, is always running. He had the air of a serious, earnest man. “Man at the bottom of his heart remains a serious being ; whoever speaks to him in a serious way has a better chance of

a being listened to with attention. . . . The people, when men laugh with them, think they laugh at them. The masses are serious.” He was superstitious. Musing one day in a grove on future destinies, he found himself mechanically throwing stones at the trees. A thought struck him.

“I said to myself, I am going to cast this stone at the tree opposite to me; if I hit it, then this is a sign of salvation; if I miss it, it is a sign of damnation. In saying so, I threw the stone with a trembling hand and with a fearfully beating heart, but so successfully that it struck the very middle of the tree, which really was not difficult, for I took care to choose one very thick and very near. From that time I no longer doubted of



Singularly enough, with all his weaknesses and irregularities of mind, Rousseau possessed the reasoning power in a very high degree. His logic was almost faultless in its unstudied processes, saving this that he was almost sure to start from false premises. In this he was the most irreclaimable of sophists. But admit his postulates and his conclusions were inevitable. Hence the mischief of his influence upon the unsettled minds of his countrymen. His treatises on society, government, education, manners, religion, abound with noble, admirable passages as far beyond the range of Voltaire's conception as a star in heaven transcends the white phosphorescence of decaying wood.

But they are fraught with error, delusion, falsehood, which to believe is to die. Yet his aim was not destructive, but rather reconstructive, fatally as he mistook the only true regeneration of society. He did even more harm to the world than his greatest contemporary, because his grasp took hold of its innermost heart: but he was never irreverent like the scoffer of Ferney, though Catholic, Protestant, and neither in turn.

He died two months after Voltaire, “ in solitude, in abandonment, and almost in indigence;" haunted for years with the phantom of his own suspicions that everybody had entered into a conspiracy to blast his renown and destroy his peace — a pitiable wreck as of a golden treasure-ship on some sunken reef, with thousands of other freighted argosies following in its wake, going to pieces upon the same treacherous coast.

These men, so gifted and so reprobate, did the work, as others before us have said, to which they were sent. “They remind us of those who ravage nations, and who receive, like Genseric, this word of command: “Go to the peoples against whom the wind of God's wrath blows."



1. Memorial Volume of the First Fifty Years of the American

Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. Fifth Edi

tion. Boston : 1862. 8vo. pp. 464. 2. The Christian Eraminer. March, 1862. Art. VII. The

American Board. 3. The North American Review. April, 1862. ART. IX.

Memorial Volume of the American Board, &c. 4. The American Quarterly Church Review and Ecclesiastical

Register. January, 1862. Art. II. The American Board of Foreign Missions and the Oriental Churches.

Is Christianity better than heathenism ? Are the Gospels above the Vedas ? Is Christ more than Confucius, and the Holy Spirit more than the “Great Spirit”? These questions arose unbidden as we read the “Christian Examiner's” article on the “Memorial Volume" of the American Board. What could the volume be that suggested such a review? We had not yet opened it. What could be the critic's critical or Christian stand-point to see and say such things? We at once procured the Memorial, and read it from preface to appendix, and then again read the “Examiner.” We cannot see how it has said so much, and yet so little about the book, failed so totally to grasp it and the topics of which it makes record, and yet found so many items and phrases to set in quotation marks and surround with unamiable sayings.

“ Rev. Rufus Anderson has produced a cold and calculating official report, — a painful blue-book.” (Examiner, p. 273.) It was not the object of the author to write a history of the Board. He sought calmly and correctly to put on record in a memorial, its origin, constitution, and relations; and to give an intelligent idea of its meetings, correspondence, finances, agencies, officers, missionaries, churches, schools, deputations, fields of labor, principles and policies of working, and resultant literature. A versatile talent and style of writing, felicitous as it is varied, has attained this object, and we think that a heart warm with desire to give the heathen nations to Christ, their Redeemer, will not find the work a cold report.

The reviewer (and we think it but justice to a fair-minded and classic periodical to say the reviewer rather than the “Christian Examiner") speaks of “the odious elements of the spirit of the board,” always striving “ to make a fair show in the flesh ;” but the ground of such a reference to so noble an institution does not appear.

We class it with expressions like the following ; others can perceive as well as ourselves the ground and the spirit of them: “Dr. Anderson avoids his subject under the cover of a vigilant effort to be pious.” “The Board's Holy Ghost is guaranteed by certain rich and blameless Pharisees of benevolence, who like to be hinted at in reports and memorials.” “ It would be a curious problem to calculate how much failure would put an end to this smooth culture of corporate self-conceit.” “ The attitude of the board seems to us to no small extent an instance of unconscious false pretences.” “ This conversion' is mere wood, hay, and stubble.” would be a noble enterprise to goad this eminently pious Board into a vigorous application of common sense to their operations." “ The labored efforts to avoid the vital topics of this history.”

Probably one hundred cents represents the average desire of

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