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be acceptable to God, as to be a satisfactory argument to any candid and reasonable man outside of their own communion ; on the ground that they can never demonstrate from Scripture that Christians have a right to give to any ordinance of religion
-any mere rite or ceremony—and especially any mode of performing a rite or ceremony-such a prominence as to override all other distinctions, and to constitute the peculiar rule of judging of other men; on the ground that they can never demonstrate that the question about the qualification for membership in the Christian Church depends on the quantity of water that shall be used in baptism. We care not how much water any body of Christians may use, though they should insist that for themselves they prefer to be laved in the Atlantic ocean to being immersed in the Jordan; or prefer being immersed in the Jordan to being washed in “Onion river;" or should prefer being washed in Onion river to being immersed in a baptistry in Sansom street or in Spruce street.* Let them enjoy this privilege, if they deem it a privilege ; but let them not exalt this to a position to which Christ has not exalted it, or make that a test of character and of a title to heaven, when Christ has made repentance and faith in himself the only ground of being recognized as his followers all over the world.
And our Scotch brethren! Followers of John Knox, of Andrew Marvel, and of Richard Cameron! Descendants of the men who prayed, and toiled, and fought, and bled for Christian freedom—for the great principles of the Protestant Reformation for the rights of conscience—for the privilege of worshipping God freely! How often have their earnest prayers for Christian freedom and for the enjoyment of the rights of conscience, been heard on the hills and in the glens of Scotland; among its wild barren rocks and mountains, themselves pursued by fire and sword because they demanded liberty of conscience. How often have they stood up boldly and bravely before the world—defying Kings, and Popes, and
* The celebrated Lemuel Haines was riding with a Baptist brother, when they came to a certain river. “See," said the Baptist brother, “ brother Haines, here is water. What doth hinder you from going down into the Jordan ?” “Brother," replied Mr. Haines, " that is not the Jordan, it is Onion river."
Councils—that they might be recognized as true Christians ! And why should the sons of such men come to these shoresthe land where all enjoy that for which their fathers prayed, and struggled, and bled, to set up now an exclusive claim to membership in the Church of Christ; excluding from all recognition as church members, thousands—millions—who hold the same faith, and who maintain substantially the same form of worship, and who would lay down their lives in attestation of their love for the same truth? We cannot but honor them. We regard them as, in most important senses, models of Christian men in their love of truth, and in the defence of the cause of liberty and humanity. But why, 0 why, should they shut out the great body of the Protestant Christian world, as in their view, so far as Christian communion is concerned, on the same level with the Mother of harlots; why should they stand before the world practically proclaiming that Presbyterians of other names, and Methodists, and Baptists, and Episcopalians-allall, whatever may be their character, their zeal, or their success in saving souls--are to be held up to the gaze of mankind as having no right to sit down at the table which commemorates the dying love of a Saviour ?
THOUGHTS ON ATTIC TRAGEDY.
THE language of Hellas is the same now that it was three thousand years ago. The analogy of Latin and Italian is utterly false, as applied to Greek, ancient and modern. In the former case the spirit of the language has changed. Not only have foreign words entered, but foreign systems of grammar and syntax have usurped dominion, while the changes of this sort in Greek are exceptional. The Italian is a rude plaster copy of an antique, but the modern Greek is the glorious old statue, bruised and mutilated, it is true, but for all that, the identical contemporary of Solon and Pericles. People now-a-days indulge in a foolish habit of decrying the language and the people of modern Greece; they sentimentally quote Byron's “ Greece, but living Greece no more,” sigh over Marathon and Salamis, and having thus paid due respect to antiquity, turn to belaboring the modern inhabitants with Aristophanic epithets. These superficial Jeremiahs forget that historic distances are apt to hide defects, and that their idea of Greek character, and the common language of the age of Pericles, may be entirely too exalted; while, conversely, their hurried observation of modern Greek valets de place and swindling hucksters, may be a weak foundation for a judgment of the present nation.
The Greek now shows the same strange mingling of delicacy and cruelty, of valor and treachery, of generosity and jealousy, and the same surprising activity of mind, which characterized him during the Peloponnesian war. And his language is the same sweet, flexible and expressive utterance which formed such fitting material for poesy and oratory in the lips of Sophocles and Demosthenes-injured but not ruined by time and adversity. The vulgar notion of barbaric substitutions, as in Italy, has no historic basis, and is totally belied by the present appearances. Italy had a mongrel population in its best estate, but the Hellenic people exhibited a oneness of race which was ever their boast. Italy, under Augustus, was a congeries of races, bound to one government; but Greece, in the time of Pericles, was one race under many governments. While Italy was thus ready for its northern impregnation, Greece was naturally prepared to resist the incorporation of foreign elements into its homogeneous mass. This is the secret of the preservation of the Greek language, and this preservation is proof of the continuity of the Greek race. Italy became Gothic, but Greece, so far from changing, stamped the Byzantine Rome with her Hellenic name, language and ideas. The Church itself which radiated from Rome could not include Greece within its pale, as it did Germanic and Celtic nations ; the impenetrability of Greece resisted the Roman ecclesiastical infusion, and formed an independent centre of Church organization. All these glaring historic facts, and the duration of the Byzantine Empire for a thousand years, (Greek in warp and woof,) seem to be thoroughly ignored by those weepers, who insist on having Greece dead and buried beyond hope of resurrection. Centuries of oppression have not been without their effect on the race. It has destroyed their literature and flooded them with ignorance, but it has failed to break their spirit or annihilate their nationality. The late revival of their literature under such names as Corae, Dukas and Trikoupi is a witness to this, and the astonishing progress of the nation in educational matters during the last twenty years, shows a mental vigor that tells its pedigree. The language itself is performing a work unprecedented in the history of tongues. It is successfully shaking off its barbarisms as so much accumulated dust, and revealing the clear Hellenic in all its pristine beauty.
Modern Greece, in its educational aspect, is a model. The kingdom, numbering one million souls, (perhaps one-sixth of the entire Greek race,) is divided into 10 nomes, 50 eparchies and 300 demes, corresponding (on a small scale) to our States, counties and towns. Each nome has a gymnasium, each eparchy a grammar-school, and each deme a common-school. This does not include the city of Athens, where we find the University, three gymnasia, five grammar-schools, six common-schools, and six other special educational establishments. The number of pupils in all these institutions is 45,000, being one pupil to every twenty-two souls. It must be borne in mind that these schools are not like the schools of Austria, where a strait-jacket religion is almost the only thing taught, but are conducted on liberal occidental principles. The University shows a list of nearly 1000 students, 50 professors, and a library of 100,000 volumes. What State in Europe can make an exhibit like this? And yet this is poor dead Greece, buried twenty centuries deep. We have incontrovertible indications that Greece has never been dead, that her mangled stalk has deceived superficial observers, and that the life of the root under present favorable influences, is shooting forth verdure of the same species that once drew the admiring gaze of the world.
Although we are about to discuss some features of Greek Tragedy, yet we felt the above exordium necessary to illustrate
our first sentence in relation to the Greek language. And now we can proceed more directly to our task.
Two facts in the history of Greek Tragedy meet our attention,-its brief career and its local circumscription. We have seen that the living Greek language is three thousand years old. Of these thirty centuries, one alone includes all that is great in Greek Tragedy, the fifth century before Christ. And Athens was centre and circumference of its creation. It becomes an interesting question to inquire into the cause of these narrow limits of time and place. The glories of Greek literature extend over a thousand years from Homer to Plutarch, (and we may rightfully go farther,) and all parts of the Hellenic world contributed. Ionia, Doris, Lesbos, Athens, Thebes, Magna Græcia, Sicily and Alexandria were honored rivals in the high contest. But Tragedy, in its distinctive grandeur and excellence, kept in sight of the Athenian Acropolis, and enjoyed comparatively an ephemeral existence. Furthermore, Tragedy never existed anywhere else before its high career in Greece. Mimic representations with or without dialogue may have been common to early civilization everywhere. Nothing would be more natural even among a rude people, and such doubtless were the sources of the Greek drama in Susarion and Thespis, but we would be guilty of as great error in calling this “tragedy,” as in confounding the rhythmic chronicle with the epic. Unity, dignity, grace and consistency are needed before we reach tragedy. To comprehend tragedy we are not to delve into its beginnings, as some do, and not to bring up faces smeared with wine-lees and strolling bands of mimes, nor are we to search into Bacchic dithyrambi, sacrificial goats, and satyric dances. Historically, these may have legitimate place, but they are at best but accidents. The worship of Bacchus is no essential part of tragedy, as the very thymele, transformed from an altar to a chorusstand, abundantly testifies. Nor is it of any use to our purpose to notice the point of departure of tragedy and comedy as from the sober and jovial sides of the Dionysan festivity, and match the two dramatic forms with the death of Nature and its anastasis. All this may be true or fanciful, yet in no wise furnishes a diagnosis of the tragic art. Greek Tragedy, in its