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not in the realms of thought. In politics, however, circumstances will arise in every age to call them into existence; and though they seldom attain their direct object, yet are they not without influence on the relations between ruler and ruled, advantageously for the latter in the long run, though not immediately. But thought—religious, philosophical and political—is free—if not as yet in every country, it is so certainly in the lands inhabited by the Saxon races. And though the bigot and the fool would crush it, the former because it undermines his absolutism, and the latter because it interferes with his ease, yet shall it only grow stronger by the opposition. Science becomes the powerful bulwark against the invasion of dogmatic absurdities; and there is growing up a scientific church, wherein knowledge, and not humility, labour, and not penance and fasting, are considered essentials. Various phenomena in modern life are proofs of this. Man during ages of intellectual gloom annihilated himself in behalf of the great deified All; now he studies and respects himself, destroys the fetishes, and combats for Truth, which is the true deity.
In ancient times the mind rose from religion to philosophy; in our times, by a violent reaction, it will ascend from philosophy to religion. And the men whose religion is so arrived at, whose universal sympathy has cast out fearsuch men are the true regenerators of mankind, and need neither secret signs nor passwords to recognise each other; in fact, they are opposed to all such devices, because they know that liberty consists in publicity. In a despotically ruled country, as Russia, for instance, secret societies are even now the only means of stirring up the people to fight for freedom; but wherever liberty rules, secrecy is no longer necessary to effect any good and useful work; once it needed secret societies in order to triumph, now it wants open union to maintain itself. Not that the time is come when every truth may be uttered without fear of calumny and cavil and opposition, especially in religious matters; far from it, as some recent notable instances have shown. The words of Faust still have their application :
“Who dare call the child by its right name?
Certes, bodily crucifying or burning are out of the question
now, but statecraft, and especially priestcraft, still have a few thumbscrews and red-hot irons to hold a man's bands or sear his reputation; wherefore, though I doubt the policy, and in most cases the success, of secret associations, yet I cannot withhold my tribute of admiration for those who have acted or do act up to the words of the poet Lowell:
“They are slaves who dare not speak
For the fallen and the weak;
“Of man's original relation to Nature, whence we start, in order to render the essentials of physical science and Nature comprehensible in their inmost depth, we find but obscure hints. In the mysteries and the holy initiations of those nations that as yet were nearest to the primeval people, the mind apprehends a few scarcely intelligible sounds, which, arising deep from the nature of our being, move it mightily. Now our hearts are wrung by the mournful sounds of the first human race and of Nature ; now they are stirred by an exalted Nature - worship, and penetrated by the breath of an eternal inspiration! We shall hear that suppressed sound from the temple of Isis, from the speaking pillars of Thot, in the hymns of the Egyptian priests. On the lonely coast under the black rocks of Iceland the Edda will convey to us a sound from the graves, and fancy shall bring us face to face with those priests who by a stern silence have concealed from future ages the holy science of their worship. Yea, the eye shall yet discover the lost features of the noble past in the altars of Mexico, and on the pyramid which saw the blood and tears of thousands of human victims.”_V. SCHUBERT.