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of Ranke and the charm of Varnhagen von Ense were lost upon him. He could not understand the growing desire of his countrymen to learn how to write. But, with many faults, Schlosser was honest, and therefore with the truth-loving, deep-feeling German people popular. As Zittel said at his grave, "he was the mouth-piece through which spoke the conscience of the German people." It was long his intention to continue this history down to the present time. "Younger persons dare not speak the truth," he said; "I must needs do it myself."
With the exception of the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries, which he afterwards treated, Schlosser had now traversed the whole course of human history up to 1815, in twenty-four volumes. He had satisfied the conditions which Schlözer and Johannes Müller impose upon the true historian, for he had compassed the whole domain of history substantially from original sources, not consulting all authorities, of course, for he was not a special historian, but in a large way surveying, as well as unfolding, the world's vast history.
In order to make his history of the world readable and useful to the people, the industrious Professor Kriegk, of Frankfort on the Main, undertook a revision of it, with Schlosser's help, in 1844. Thus arose the "History of the World for the German People," finished, in eighteen volumes, in 1856, of which, it is said, thirty thousand copies were sold. The history of the three centuries which we have just mentioned as alone wanting to complete the circle of his vast activity, was finally written and published between 1849 and 1854.
The last years had come now, but they found him intent upon his earthly work. In 1856, on the brink of eighty, he wrote to a friend, with trembling hand, that he had resolved, after finishing his History of the World, to rest for a time, in order quietly to enjoy a not inconsiderable property in the last years of his life. "On the History of the Eighteenth Century I shall continue to work, but very slowly, and improve the opportunity of rest to read much which I have hitherto passed over, particularly the Mémoires du Roi Joseph, and the rhetorician Villemain's wretched Souvenirs. What most interests me in the former are the ipsissima verba of the Corsi
can, contained in the first part, who utters himself too characteristically for one to fail to read his true nature in his words. I have wondered a good deal," he adds, playfully alluding to his distinguished colleagues, "that Häusser's third volume has turned out so thick, and my colleague Gervinus's second volume so thin."
The successive editions of his History of the Eighteenth Century gave Schlosser an opportunity for revision which he did not neglect. It does not fall to us to indicate that revision at all in detail. We remark only that it was important and thorough. In his Preface, however, to the first volume of the fourth and last edition, in 1853, he says: "In the first three editions of the first half of his work (for the last half was not contained in the first edition) the author had fully accomplished his purpose; he did not desire to publish a fourth cdition. His sole object had been to deliver to the German people, sharply and with severity, the results of the studies of a long life, without any reference whatever to the opinions and disposition of the public. Of the great public, indeed, he had taken no account whatever, and he was not a little surprised when a learned Dutchman ventured to translate his work into Dutch, and an Englishman to publish also a translation in eight thick volumes. He had been willing to leave his work to its fate, since the public demands of its writers, and rightly, those qualities of polish, elegance, and mildness which he had intentionally rejected. And, however ridiculous a whim this may seem of his, considering the difficulty the people have, in an age like ours wholly devoted to externals, of understanding his mean opinion of literary reputation, his publisher, at least, will bear witness that it was simply to oblige him that he took the work in hand again. . . Wherever it is possible, therefore, without entire rewriting, he will soften and strike out what to a languid and servile generation is too rough, and too Scandinavian.”
The last volume of this edition was published in 1860, and its Preface contains Schlosser's last printed words: "For the rest, in our eighty-fourth year, we abandon to others all criticism upon our age and our contemporaries, acknowledging that we are unequal to the task of longer exhorting, and
thereby improving, a generation in divers ways so corrupt. These last years and their culture are at variance with us, and we with them, so that we have ceased in a measure to be a contemporary of the events transpiring about us. It cannot, therefore, but be salutary for a writer, who has labored for so many years, to take his final leave of the public at a time when he is altogether ready also to end his life, putting his trust, not in himself or in any human being, but in that divine strength which has sustained him hitherto, and has not yet wholly deserted him. Therewith closeth the writer a work of many years of study." And so the patriarch, weary of earth, his work done, goes from us forever. Every life leaves behind it some trace of its existence, if we could but see it; and it is often the widest activities which become the hardest to follow. But when a life like that of Schlosser sets its results in the written letter, it becomes doubly dear to us; for thus it survives accident and defies decay, illustrating its age and forever blending with its story. The writer really classic stands out ever as an example and a possession. Schlosser was not a classic,-very far from it,-a man only of great ability persistently applied. Hence he passes away with his age, which he has wrought on,— if so be an age can be said to pass away at all, and not rather draw closer to us ever, purified and at last intelligible. But to have helped to keep a nation's aims pure and high, to have fought its corruptions, and to have withstood its temptations, is a result which cannot be less brilliant because it sprang from a self-sacrificing and unselfish life. Schlosser's influence upon his age will be more apparent as the years recede ; — when it is forgotten how success was ever thought to excuse and consecrate wrong; when the tide floods again, and the restless spirit of man takes courage, and Europe learns, at what price it will, that the final object of human institutions is not to minister to the few at the expense of the many; when also the true ideal of life becomes clear again to the blinded eyes of the people, and it learns there and here and everywhere that man does not live by bread alone. Schlosser's writings are not distinct from his life, but the expression of it in action. He was not in any sense an artist. He could not create. He could only examine and judge; VOL. LXXII. 5TH S. VOL. X. NO. II.
hence he was substantially a critic. He could gather material, but he could not use it so as to erect a structure which should withstand the storms of the centuries, as fresh and as beautiful on the last day as on the first. But in his day and generation he was a valiant worker. He seems to us ever with the battle-axe of revolution in his hands, his face illumined by the red glare flashed back upon it from the fires through which he strode down to us.
In the Heidelberg Jahrbücher we find some words of Schlosser which illustrate the religious depth of the man better than any of ours could do. It will be wholesome to read them. "The writer is so near," he says, "the limit of human life appointed in Holy Writ, that he may be permitted to appeal to his own experience when he esteems himself fortunate in having been brought up and instructed in the Bible, and not theologically. He, and all with him who honor the spirit and not the letter of Scripture, await on the brink of the grave, without fear or trembling, the finer day whose red morning beams already, in the evening of this earthly life, illumine their souls. They fear no judgment from the curse of priests, and expect none to be averted by their blessings. Their hope is the infinitely compassionate love of Him who has so wonderfully guided them in life, and who will not desert them in death. They fear no judgment, for they pass judgment upon themselves daily. They await with joy the approaching day when this mortal coil shall fall away, and their immortal spirit, light born of heavenly light, purified from the dross of earth, shall contemplate in God that truth or the sake of which they have in life, here below, fought the hard fight."*
* Since the above article was written, we observe that Gervinus has published, at Leipzig, a necrologue of Schlosser, which he who seeks a profounder estimate of the writer and a nearer acquaintance with the man will do well to consult.
ART. VI. — THE REFORMATION AND ITS RESULTS.
AND ITS RESULTS 7.16.0
A Text-Book of Church History, By DR. JOHN C. L. GIESELER. Translated and edited by HENRY B. SMITH. Vol. IV. A. D. 1517-1648. The Reformation and its Results, to the Peace of Westphalia. New York: Harper and Brothers.
WE have already given our brief word of welcome to this volume, whose admirable qualities are too well known to all students of church history to need further exposition here. But the title, no less than the substance of the book, suggests a train of thought besides, which may possibly be a help to those who are drawn to the study of a work so necessarily scholastic and dry, or to the vast body of literature which is its appropriate illustration.
There is no period of history more precisely outlined and defined than that bounded by these two dates. Up to the protest of Martin Luther, the Catholic hierarchy has been a power, if not always unchallenged, at least victorious and unbroken. After the peace of Westphalia, the great struggles of Europe take another form; secular ambition crowds back religious conviction; a century of "dynastic wars" succeeds the tremendous conflict waged about the hostile faiths of Christendom; the passions of the strife are at once baser and more moderate, less heroic and less vindictive and fierce; the field of religious enterprise is limited more and more to missions abroad and piety at home. In the interval between the two, the Reformation is a distinct, well-defined, aggressive, antagonistic force. It is a spirit and a power, compelling all thinking men, all governments, states, and towns, all bodies of armed men,—almost, we might say, all trades, all professions, and every man,-to take sides in the contest for or against the Pope. It is like a new chemical agent, of affinities powerful and before unknown, that compels new combinations among all the elements it touches. Like an electro-magnetic current, it develops the antagonistic forces of the two opposite poles, which seek their balance since in vain.
To specify its action more precisely. Within the limits we