Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 47.djvu/610

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themselves on the sides of these men; persecution but intrenched them more firmly in the hearts of all intelligent well-wishers of Christianity. The triumphs won by their opponents in assemblies, synods, conventions, and conferences were really victories for the nominally defeated, since they revealed to the world the fact that in each of these bodies the strong and fruitful thought of the Church, the thought which alone can have any hold on the future, was with the new race of thinkers; no theological triumphs more surely fatal to the victors have been won since the Vatican defeated Copernicus and Galileo.

And here reference must be made to a series of events which, in the second half of the nineteenth century, have contributed most powerful aid to the new school of biblical research.




HOW, in their rudimentary forms, the several arts which express feelings and thoughts by actions, sounds, and words, as well as the professors of such arts, originated together in a mingled state, we have seen in the last two chapters. Continuing the analysis, we have now to observe how there simultaneously arose, in the same undifferentiated germ, the rudiments of certain other products, and of those devoted to the production of them. The primitive orator, poet, and musician, was at the same time the primitive biographer, historian, and litterateur. The hero's deeds constituted the common subject-matter; and, taking this or that form, the celebration of them became, now the oration, now the song, now the recited poem, now that personal history which constitutes a biography, now that larger history which associates the doings of one with the doings of many, and now that variously developed comment on men's doings and the course of things which constitutes literature.

Before setting out to observe the facts which illustrate afresh this simultaneous genesis, let us note that in the nature of things there could not be any other root for these diverse growths; and that this root is deeply implanted in human nature. If we go back to a group of savages sitting round a camp-fire, and ask what of necessity are their ordinary subjects of conversation, we find that there is nothing for them to talk about save their own doings and the doings of others in war and the chase. Though they have surrounding Nature and its changes, sometimes striking, to describe and comment upon, yet even these are usually of