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acteristic should prevail in the Bible, that the same universalism should meet us in a nation the reverse of cosmopolitan, and in a series of books enfolding all stages of culture-this is a phenomenon which may well make the historian pause to ponder. Nothing proves the inwardness of the Bible like its timelessness. The innermost part of us belongs neither to London nor Paris nor Jerusalem, neither to the twentieth century after Christ nor to the twentieth century before Christ; it is the same yesterday and to-day and forever. But, as a rule, this changeless thing below the sea is eclipsed from the eye by the foam on the surface and curtained from the ear by the sound of waves. The literature which can disregard such outward interruptions, the literature which can look below the foam and listen for voices beneath the wave, must be deserving of all respect and worthy of all acceptation.
And such a literature is the Bible. Let us take the rudest of those ages embraced within its records. By the rudest I mean the most external-the age least touched by mental influence. What is that period of the Jewish annals? It is the age that immediately follows the return from captivity. Nowhere is the life of Israel so threatened with mental bondage. Nowhere is the nation so near to becoming a "peculiar people." Nowhere are the lines of universal humanity in such danger of being obliterated by the eccentric course of an individual stream. If at any time Judæa was unlike the rest of the world or desired to be unlike the rest of the world, it was then. She was making the most frantic efforts to show her difference from other lands. She was straining to exhibit her points of divergence from the common heart of man. She was proclaiming in trumpet voices her isolation from the general experience, her independence of those channels of revelation which are
supposed to be the property of the human race. One would say that the literature of such a period, however great its power, must at all events be the literature of a class, the product of a particular phase of culture, to be studied as an historic curiosity, but not to be quoted as a verdict of Man.
Now, what is the state of the case? According to the Higher Criticism, it is this period which is mainly responsible for the most universal manual of inward biography which has ever been written-the Book of Psalms. I say "inward biography," for that is the character of the book. The writers of the Psalms are what Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are subjects of an inward drama whose tragedy is in the heart, whose struggle is in the mind, whose dialogue is in the voices of their own souls. Sometimes the dialogue is actually uttered, sometimes it is only inferred; but whether uttered or inferred, it is there. And the result of the whole is a series of experiences absolutely cosmopolitan. We have upwards of a hundred confessions of inward biography-all the more significant because they are mostly anonymous. Like the angel of Jacob the writers give no name; they refuse to be interrogated; they bless us and let us go. Yet their blessing is a cosmopolitan blessing. Their message at once raises them "above all principalities and powers," into a world where there is neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female, bond nor free. Nationalities are superseded, environments are superseded, classes are superseded; the wants of men give place to the needs of Man. The problems of these nameless lives are the problems of human nature, always and everywhere. The bars against which they struggle belong to no local cage; they are the bars to the cage of humanity. Their difficulties are as old as creation and as new as the Higher Criticism. The experiences are vastly
varied; but there is none of them local, there is none of them transient, there is none of them peculiar to an age. They have survived their country in a different sense from that in which her actual people have survived her. The people have preserved their individual pculiarities steadfast unto the end; but the aspirings of the psalmists of Israel have even in the lifetime of their land soared beyond her and claimed a corner in every soil.
I do not know an emotion of the human heart, I do not know a phase of the human intellect revealed in these psalms which is not also an experience of mine. The diary of these nameless lives is a diary of my life-of its present problems, of its existing difficulties. Every mental struggle of these unconscious biographies is my struggle. It is I who look up to the heavens, and say, "What is Man!" It is I who marvel at the seeming impartiality between the treatment of the evil and the treatment of the good. It is I who cry out against the apparent silence in the temple of nature-the hidings of the face of God. It is I who pray for the advent of a reign of righteousness which shall be a refuge to distress and a shield from oppression. It is I who supplicate for a judgment more just than the secular tribunal, "Let my sentence come forth from Thy presence!" It is I who have made the discovery, once and forever, that the only availing sacrifice is a surrendered will, a broken and a contrite heart. It is I who have recognized the fact that forgiveness is not enough for me, that redemption is not enough for me, that what I need is a cancelling of my yesterday, a blotting out of my transgression. It is I who feel the three solemnities of life expressed in the words, "Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid Thine hand upon me." The man who said that was a cosmopolitan indeed! My religion de
mands the three-a glorified memory, a golden forecast, and the weight of a present responsibility or sense of a pressing hand. The man who has reached this threefold faith will never thirst again.
In intimate association with this absence of the idea of time from Bible portraiture, there is another characteristic which seems to me to constitute a unique literary peculiarity. I allude to the fact that in delineating its types of heroism there is an annulling of the distinction between youth and age. I know not where to find a parallel to this experience. In all nations, and specially in the earliest nations, there is a tendency to magnify youth. rarely that romance selects its hero from the ranks of middle age. The glow of the morning sun seems indispensable to the poet's gallery. But the city of the Bible has no need of the morning sun. The inhabitants of this city have lost the distinction between dawn and twilight. There is no night there; the gates of promise are open continually. It would almost seem at times as if the motto of the historian were, "They shall bring forth fruit in old age." It is oftenest at eveningtime that in the Bible city there is light. The heroism of this gallery only begins where the heroism of other galleries is ended. The phenomenon is so striking that we are constrained to linger over it.
Did it ever occur to you that each successive picture of these Bible times is a picture of heroic old age? I see an old man breasting a storm that has drowned the world and surveying from Ararat the vanquished flood. I see an old man climbing the heights of Moriah to become the prophet of a new age. I see an old man, who has spent all his youth and middle life in moneymaking, break forth on his deathbed into the grandest poetry; it is Jacob leaning on the point of his staff and
singing the songs of the morning. I see an old man getting the first vision of the promised land-the aged Moses with his mountain view, with his eye undimmed and his natural strength unabated. I see an old man wrapped in the shadows of the grave, proclaiming the advent of a higher and a purer government; it is Samuel, the first of the prophets. I see an old man at the very moment when he feels his body failing, at the very moment when he sees his empire tottering, break forth into the most exultant music, "God has made with me an everlasting covenant which is well-ordered and sure;" it is David, the king. It is the old who greet the rising sun of Jesus-Elizabeth and Zacharias and Anna and Simeon. It is to "such a one as Paul the aged" that this earth which had been despised by Paul the young becomes a possible scene of glory. And it is to the gaze of age, not of youth, that there comes in Patmos Isle the most optimistic vision that has ever flashed before the eye of man-the vision of that city of Christ which has reached the harmony of a "length and a breadth and a height that are equal."
Can we account for this phase of Jewish literature? At first sight it seems a contradiction to the national life. Why should a nation which for centuries is silent about a future state have annulled from the outset the distinction between youth and age? You forget one point. Why is this nation silent about that future life of which we speak so much? It is because our future was its present. What we look for mainly beyond the grave was to the Jew a fact of every day-the ushering into the immediate presence of God. We do not think of the dead as growing old; why? Simply because we think of them as being "ever with the Lord." The Jew reached that thought apart from death. He did not hold that to be with the Lord a man must
be caught up in the air; his motto rather was, "Whither shall I flee from Thy presence!" To him there was only one source of the national life-the inspiration of the Eternal. It was by no human strength that Abraham climbed the mount of sacrifice. It was by no human strength that Jacob sang his song in death. It was by no human strength that Moses had in old age the aspiration of a youth. The life which did these things was the life of the Eternal. The Jew was thoroughly consistent. He believed that his heroes were animated by the breath of a timeless God, and therefore he felt that old age was to them as favorable as youth. He said with the prophet, "Thou art from everlasting; therefore I shall not die!" That is the reason why he is not eager to exhibit his heroes in the morning. To him the evening and the morning were not only one day, but one intensity of light. Each was God's light, and therefore each was equally near the vital stream. What youth achieved was by the breath of God; what age achieved was also by the breath of God. The thought which animated the nation, the thought which permeated the national literature, was the voice which summed up the experience of generations, "Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts."
And it is this that to my mind explains the fact that Judæa, unlike other lands, has accepted a paradise at both ends. There have been nations, and these have been the majority, who have had their paradise in the past; their glory is seen in retrospect; they look back to their morning as their age of gold. There have been nations, on the other hand, who have placed their paradise in the future; their golden age is coming; their El Dorado is in tomorrow's sky. But here is a nation, here is a literature, which combines the two! In the life of this Jewish
people memory and hope have met together, yesterday and to morrow have embraced each other. There is a paradise in the rear, and there is a paradise in the van. Behind, is the glory of the Cherubim; before, is the glory of the Christ. They are lit by two lamps,the one shining from the past, the other gleaming from the future-the one the light of Eden, the other the light of the Messiah. Each is a proclamation in favor of the timeless. The light of Eden proclaims that the nation's morn. ing was not the nation's childhood; the light of the Messiah proclaims that the nation's evening will not be the nation's old age. This land and its literature are on every side "bound with gold chains about the feet of God."
And hence there is one more strange phenomenon. This nation's ideal of its future glory becomes the ideal of its past glory. What is its ideal of future glory? It is the reign of One who shall be called the Prince of Peace-this is its standard of coming heroism. But this is also its standard for estimating the heroism of the past-and here lies the uniqueness of its literature. Take the earliest literature of other lands; of what does it sing? Of wars and rumors of war, of mighty deeds of arms, of prodigies of strength and paragons of valor; of the beginners of history the London Quarterly Review.
physically bravest are deemed the fittest to survive. But for the beginners of this nation's history there has been a reversal of the rule. The men of the past on whom this people put the wreath are the men, not of war, but of peace. The lives that receive the
crown are the lives of the family altar, of the fireside, of the home. Other empires delight to tell how they were established by the sword-Persia, Assyria, Babylon, Greece, Rome. But Judæa delights to tell how she was established on the virtues of the hearthon domestic purity, on paternal love,. on filial devotion, on deference to woman, on fidelity to the marriage vow, on sympathy with the needs of Man. It is from the fireside virtues of an Abraham, from the homely duties of an Isaac, from the commercial success of a Jacob, from the peaceful economics of a Joseph, that in the eyes of Israel her public greatness is derived. And the beginning of her actual power is: traced back to a deed of humanitarian charity-the picking up of a little waif for a foundling hospital. Rome tells how the founder of her empire was suckled by a wolf; Judæa is proud to record how the initial stage of her glory was the philanthropy of a human heart who rescued a drowning infant from the waters of the Nile. George Matheson.
If you are travelling from the south, the country becomes more and more riven by earthquakes, more and more parched and burnt by the fires of extinct volcanoes as you approach Siena. There are no flowers, there is no grass, there is scarcely any vegetation at all, yet the district has a weird, witch-like charm, and, in the hazy distance the
beautiful twin peaks of Monte Amiata rise majestically above the sweeping hills, which have no feature of their own. As spring comes on, even this wild district assumes a certain softness. A gray-green tint clothes the miles upon miles of open countrytreeless, hedgeless, houseless-swooping towards one another with the
strangest sinuosities, and rifts, and knobs of earth, till at last they sink into faint mists, only to rise again in vaporous pink and blue distances, so far off, so pale and aërial, that they can scarcely be distinguished from the atmosphere itself.
This description, however, only applies to the old approach by carriage to Siena; the railway enters many deep cuttings before it reaches the city, and then, at a sudden opening, the brown earthquake-riven hills are grandly crested by the great cathedral townintensely stately and imposing:
Siena, bride of Solitude, whose eyes
Are lifted o'er the russet hills to scan Immeasurable tracts of limpid skies, Arching those silent, sullen plains where man
Fades like a weed mid mouldering marshes wan;
Where cane and pine and cypress, poison-proof,
For death and fever spread their stately roof. 1
Few Italian towns are better suited than Siena for a summer residence. It is never excessively hot, and there are no mosquitoes; the art-interests are inexhaustible; the accommodation is comfortable; and the inhabitants are well-bred and pleasant, and far more cordial to strangers than residents in most Italian towns are now. "Cor magis tibi Sena pandit"-"more than her gates Siena opens her heart to you" -is the pleasant welcome which meets you as you enter the town gates.
The city is like a star, jutting out between deep ravines in long, narrow promontories covered with houses and crowned by convents and churches; and the centre from which all these hill-promontories diverge is the noble Piazza del Campo, completely mediæval still, and surrounded by gothic palaces.
Its south side is entirely oc
1 J. A. Symonds.
cupied by the grand Palazzo Pubblico, built by Agostino and Agnolo da Siena between 1295 and 1327, and surmounted by the magnificent tower of La Mangia. A museum of early fourteenth-century art is to be found in the paintings of its noble halls and beautiful chapel, chiefly illustrative of the blessings of Peace with Wisdom and Justice as her hand-maidens, and the horrors of Tyranny with Fraud, Treason and Cruelty, Fury, Division and War in her train. Below, in the Piazza, is a modern copy of the exquisite fountain which was the masterpiece of Jacopo della Quercia, but the original basin has been removed since the change of government. Conduits to supply fountains within the city were not finished till the middle of the fourteenth century, and then, in their joy at seeing its crystal waters gush forth, the people called their new fountain Fonte Gaja, a name which has always clung to it.
Owing to the extreme depth of its ravines, it is difficult to find one's way in Siena, but from the Piazza the Via di Città and the Via del Capitano, each passing a most grand gothic palace, lead along one of the high ridges till we come quite suddenly upon the glowing and sumptuous western façade of the cathedral.
It is of black and white marble, with slight intermixture of red and yellow, but all its color is wonderfully toned together by age. Its architecture is of the most exuberant variety and the most delicate detail. "What I never can express," says Hawthorne, "is the multitudinous richness of the ornamentation, the arches within arches, sculptured inch by inch, of the wide doorways; the statues of saints, some making a hermitage of a niche, others standing forth; the scores of busts, that look like the faces of ancient people, gazing down out of the cathedral; the projecting shapes of stone