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Nevertheless, Locke speaks of the 'eternal and 'unalterable nature of right and wrong,' and declares that morality is capaable of demonstration as well as mathematics.' This vacillation which makes moral truth alternately uncertain and demonstrable, is but another instance of his general inconsistency. His style, again, is lacking in precision. In every page we miss the translucent simplicity of Hobbes and the French psychologists. There has been almost endless controversy about his meaning. From him will be drawn the Utilitarianism of Mandeville, who will make virtue a sham; the Idealism of Berkeley; the Scepticism of Hume; the Materialism of Condillac and his school, who, though not accurately representing the doctrines of their master, represent the general tendency of his teaching. He learned as he wrote, and, we are disposed to add, has left passages involving the conclusions of all schools. His Essay too often suggests what Pope has said of the Bible, and Hamilton has reiterated of Consciousness:'
• This is the book where each his dogma seeks,
This is the book where each his dogma finds.' Résumé.-English hereditary forces,- moral instinct and practical aptitude,—now worked out their proper results. The revolution, long in accomplishment, was finally completed, by the abolition of feudal tenures and the institution of Habeas Corpus under Charles II, by the establishment of the Constitution, the act of toleration, and the emancipation of the press, under William III.
Literature still sought in the sunshine of royal and aristocratic favor, where it had chiefly sprung and flourished, the warmth and shelter which popular appreciation was not yet sufficiently extended to give. Its spirit therefore was in the main courtly. In its polite forms, it reflected forcibly the social and political characteristics of the Restoration. Manners were gross and trivial. It stooped to be the pander of every low desire. Tragedy, moulded on the tastes of Paris, went out in declamation. The dignity of blank gave way to the sensual effect of rhyme. Comedy sank into a repertory of viciousness. As the readiest fashion of serving the appetitive life it fed, it clothed its garbage of vulgarity in prose. Striving to assume the sprightly refinement of the French stage, it acquired new corruption. The abasement of the drama consisted, not merely in licentious expression, but in licentious intrigue. The sentimental enshrinement of occasional virtue served only to show how fearfully and shamelessly men had fallen into vice.
with limbs and senses indeed well fitted to the material world, yet powerless from want of use; and as for knowledge, his soul is one unvaried blank; yet has this blank been already touched by a celestial hand, and when plunged in the colors which surround it, it takes not his tinge from accident but design, and comes forth covered with a glorious pattern.
1 of such as resort thither in confirmation of preconceived opinions. The original of this couplet is in the Latin confession of a Calvinist divine.
Artificial and frigid images replaced sentiment and beauty. The elegant loved but the varnish of truth-compliments and
salutations, tender words and insipidities. Poets wrote like men of the world, — with ease, wit, and spirit, but without noble ardor or moral depth. The lyric, chiefly amatory, was cultivated, though not a favorite. Satire was conspicuous. The Hudibras presents the best embodiment, perhaps, of the true spirit of the cavalier,— witty, sensual, disconnected, bitter, exaggerated, and radically false.
The literature of a theological and practical cast was largely Puritan. Amid the classical coldness and the social excess, two minds possessed the imaginative faculty in an eminent degree,Milton, who lingered from the preceding age, and Bunyan, the hero and martyr of this.
As constructive power failed, style improved, becoming more strictly idiomatic, polished, and fluent. Theory and observation sprang forward with emulous energy. Boyle disengaged chemistry from astrology, and Newton shed lustre upon the age by his brilliant discoveries in astronomy. The Royal Society afforded convenient and ornamental shelter to the gathered fruits of science, and gave an impulse to progress by the spirit it excited and diffused.
The bent which philosophy received from Bacon, though in itself excellent, was physical. In Hobbes it became declared materialism. He denied the spontaneity of mind, relaxed the obligations of morality, reduced religion to an affair of state, and resolved right into the assertion of selfishness. The dissenting tendency was represented by Cudworth. Locke was peculiarly influential in his view of the origin of knowledge. The mind, according to him, is a sheet of white paper; the soul a blank sensorium. Its characters, its ideas, its materials, are traceable directly or indirectly to the senses,- sensible objects, or the states which sensible objects produce.
On the whole, a rocking, revolutionary age, an age of actions and reactions. The waves rushed forward, broke, and rolled back; but the great tide moved steadily on. That movement, in general, was from faith to scepticism, from enthusiasm to cynicism, from the imagination to the understanding. To the creators succeeded the critics. To the impassioned and intuitive minds succeeded the plodding thinkers and the clear logicians. In polite letters, Dryden is chief of the transition, the central nexus between a period of creativeness and a period of preëminent art.
Ingenious dreamer, in whose well-told tale
*I have been vile myself, but have obtained mercy.' Biography.-Born near Bedford, in 1628, the son of a despised tinker; sent to a free school for the poor, where he learned to read and write; but, idle and vicious, lost in youth what he had learned in childhood; was bred to his father's trade; enlisted, while yet a boy, in the army of the Parliament; and at nineteen with the advice of friends, married a girl of his own rank, both
that they had not a spoon or a dish between them. This was the turning point. She was a pious wife, and had brought to her husband, as her only portion, two volumes bequeathed by a dying parent, - The Practice of Piety, and The Plain Man's Pathway to Heaven. Over these she helped him to recover the art of reading, enticed him to remain at home; persuaded him to attend the Baptist church, of which she was a member; and brought him by words of affection to reflect upon his evil ways. Over wild heath and through haunted bog he wandered in the usual gypsy life of his occupation, alone with his own thoughts;
g now sunk into monomania by the sense of his unregenerate condition and the fear of hell, now ravished with the trances of joy,
then plunging again into 'sin.' Gradually, not without many spiritual conflicts, he was transformed. He was appointed deacon, and presently, after solemn prayer and fasting, began to preach:
Though of myself, of all the saints the most unworthy, yet I, but with great fear and trembling at the sight of my own weakness, did set upon the work, and did according to my gift, and the proportion of my faith, preach that blessed Gospel that God had showed me in the holy Word of truth; wbich, when the country understood, they came in to hear the Word by hundreds, and that from all parts, though upon sundry and divers accounts. In connection with his ministerial labors, he began to write, and in 1658 published his second work,—A Few Sighs from Hell. Two years later, being a dissenter, he was arrested, and committed to prison. He went cheerfully:
• Verily, as I was going forth of the doors, I had much ado to forbear saying to them, that I carried the peace of God along with me, but I held my peace, and blessed be the Lord, went away to prison, with God's comfort in my poor soul.' Here he passed the time in making tagged laces for the support of his indigent family, in musing and writing on heavenly themes. With a library of only two books,-the Bible and the Book of Martyrs,- it was the period of his brilliant authorship. Toward the end of his confinement, rigor was relaxed. He was allowed to visit his family, and often preached to a congregation under the silent stars. Released in 1672, he went forth again to proclaim the Gospel publicly, extending his ministrations over the whole region between Bedford and London, with occasional visits to the metropolis itself. He died, of a fever caused by exposure, in 1688, with these last words to the friends around his bedside:
•Weep not for me, but for yourselves. I go to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will, no doubt, through the mediation of His blessed Son, receive me, though a sinner, where I hope we ere long shall meet to sing the new song, and remain everlastingly happy, world without end. Amen.'
Writings.-We close our eyes to draw a face from memory. In sleep, illusions are perfect. Poesy quenched the vision of Homer and of Milton before she lifted the veil from their glorious spirits. It was in a dungeon, shut out from the external world, that Bunyan had his immortal dream. There he wrote the first and greatest part of his Pilgrim's Progress,- a record of his experience; a record of the soul's struggles, battle-agonies, and victories, in its stages from conversion to glory. Christian, dwelling in the City of Destruction, against which a voice from
Heaven has proclaimed vengeance, flees to escape the consuming fire. Evangelist finds him in distress, and shows him the right road — through yonder wicket-gate, over a wide plain, across a desolate swamp:
Now he had run far from his own door, but his wife and children perceiving it, began to cry after him to return; but the man put his fingers in his ears, and ran on, crying, “Life! life! eternal life!" His neighbors jeer and threaten. Some follow, in order to dissuade him. One, Pliable, becomes his companion, but sinks in the Slough of Despond, and leaves him. He struggles bravely on, but is met by a treacherous man, Worldly Wiseman, who turns him aside:
• He bid me with speed get rid of my burden, and I told him it was ease I sought. And, said I, I am therefore going to yonder gate, to receive further direction how I may get to the place of deliverance. So he said that he would show me a better way, and shorter, not so attended with difficulties as the way, siľ, that you set me in; which way, said he, will direct you to a gentleman's house that has skill to take off these burdens; so I believed him, and turned out of that way into this, if haply I might be soon eased of my burden. But when I came to this place, and beheld things as they are, I stopped for fear, as I said, of danger: but I now know not what to do.'
Re-directed and admonished by Evangelist, whom he again meets, he reaches the Strait Gate, where Interpreter points out the Celestial City and instructs him by a series of visible shows, “the resemblance of which will stick by me as long as I live’; especially three,—the fire against the wall (the omnipotence of grace), the man in the iron cage (the hopeless excess of sin), and the trembling sleeper rising from his dream (the vision of the Day of Judgment). He passes before a cross, and his burden falls. Slowly, painfully, he climbs the steep Hill of Difficulty, and arrives at a great castle where Watchful, the guardian, gives him in charge to his daughters, Piety and Prudence, who warn and arm him against the foes that imperil his descent into the Valley of Humiliation. He finds his way barred by a demon, Apollyon, whom, after a long fight, he puts to flight:
'In this combat no man can imagine, unless he had seen and heard, as I did, what yelling and hideous roaring Apollyon made all the time of the fight: he spake like a dragon: and on the other side, what sighs and groans burst from Christian's heart. I never saw him all the while give so much as one pleasant look till he perceived he had wounded Apollyon with his two-edged sword; then, indeed, he did smile, and look upward: but it was the dreadfullest sight that ever I saw.'
Farther on the valley deepens, the shades thicken, ever and anon sulphurous flames reveal the hideous forms of dragons, chains