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Wales or Arabia, seem to be perfectly naturalised with you, and are as distinguishable from our German apparitions as a dandy of your boulevards from an Alsatian porter. Your Undinas and Melusinas are princesses-ours washerwomen. What would be the horror of Morgana if she encountered a German witch, old, naked, bc-brimstoned, mounted on a broomstick, on her way to the Sabbath of the Brocken, where Satan expects her and her sisterhood under the form of a black ram ?....
• All these horrors came not directly indeed, but indirectly, from the Catholic Church; but man parts not willingly with what has been dear to his fathers-his predilections cling and glue themselves to it secretly, often, indeed, without his knowledge, even when it has been mutilated and disfigured. And thus the old system of popular superstition will probably outlive in Germany that Christian worship which has not, like it, any root in the ancient nationality. At the time of the Reformation, the memory of the Catholic legends was easily effaced, but not so the faith in enchantments and sorcerers. Luther threw overboard the miracles of popery, but he clung fast to the power of the devil and his agents.'— vol. i. pp. 19, 21, 33.
Man parts not willingly with what was dear to his fathers—and Christianity is to be supplanted by Pantheism, because Pantheism has, and Christianity has not, a root in the ancient nationality of the country of Luther and Melancthon! - This seems brave enough : but even this is nothing to what ensues ; for M. Heine wow makes a vigorous effort to connect in some sort his assault on Christianity with Luther's warfare against popery. It is impossible not to smile at the intrepidity of this undertaking ; but his view of Luther himself contains some features of truth which we never saw brought out with greater effect. This alumnus of a Saxon university is not, it would seem, without some shadowy traditions of respect for the founder of German Protestantism. Luther established freedom of thought-he was thus the harbinger—the legitimate ancestor M. Heine would fain consider him—of the Kants, the Fichtes, the Schellings, and the Hegels, who have successively reared that pyramid of rationalism on which poets and critics, animated with a pious reverence of their tattooed ancestors, are now to elevate anew the ornamental apex of pantheism.
• It is a great mistake to suppose that the war against Catholicism, which Germany waged in the days of Luther, and that which France waged against Catholicism in the eighteenth century under the guidance of Voltaire, were influenced by the same motives. The case was the reverse. The struggle in Germany was one undertaken by Spiritualism, when she found that, though she indeed retained the name and title of power—the sovereignty de jure-Sensualism had quietly managed to get possession of the real sway, and reigned de facto. It was then that the indulgence-bearers were beaten out-the beautiful concubines of the priests replaced by sober wives the
charming images of the Madonna broken-a real puritanism estàblished in the land. On the contrary, the French assault upon Catholicism was a war undertaken by Sensualism, when, feeling herself to be fully sovereign de facto, it seemed no longer to be endurable that Spiritualism (a worn-out de jure potentate) should condemn all her proceedings as illegitimate, and be continually uttering proclamations against them as disgraceful and abominable ; and so in place of combating seriously and chastely as in Germany—they carried on this war by jokes and pleasantries—for the theological disputations of the north they had merry satires—the object of which was generally to point out the contradictions and absurdities into which man falls when he aspires to be all spirit. The stories of the Queen of Navarré had already opened this fruitful subject; but the most malicious arrow of the polemical quiver was perhaps the " Tartuffe" of Molière.'-. 41.
The French, it seems, have never understood the difference of principle between Luther's warfare and Voltaire's ;-but this was only because they had failed to perceive how the practical application of Luther's principle was modified by the personal characteristics of the man.
• People in France have conceived a totally false idea both of the German reformation and of the principal person that accomplished it. The chief cause of this misapprehension is, that Luther was not only the greatest man, but the most thoroughly German one, that has ever appeared in our annals; that his character united in perfection all the virtues and all the faults of the Germans and that he is the living symbol of all the German Marvellous. He had, in fact, qualities which are so rarely conjoined, that we commonly consider them as incompatible with each other. He was at once a mystical dreamer and a man of action. His thoughts had not only wings but hands. He spoke and (rare occurrence) he did too: he was both the tongue and the sword of his age. Luther was, at the same time, a cold scholastic, a splitter of words, and an inspired prophet, intoxicated with the influence of the Divinity. After having passed the day painfully in wearing out his mind with dogmatical discussions, when evening came he would take his lute, and gazing on the stars surrender himself to ecstatic musings of piety, and dissolve his soul in melody. The same man who could throttle his antagonists with the coarseness of a fishwoman, could also modulate himself to a tone of language soft and sweet as that of an amorous virgin. Full of the sacred terrors of the Lord, ready for all sacrifices to the Spirit, he could lift himself to the purest realms of heavenly contemplation; and yet he was perfectly acquainted with the magnificences of this earth, and appreciated them honestly, and from his mouth fell that famous proverb,
Wer nicht liebl Wein, Weiber, und Gesang,
Der bleibt ein Narr sein Lebenlang-i. e.- Who loves not wonien, wine, and song,
Will be a fool his lifetime long.In short, he was a complete man. To call him a spiritualist would be as absurd as to give him the title of a sensualist. What shall I say? there was something about him fresh, original, miraculous, inconceivable—that which all the Providential men have, a certain terrible simplicity, a rude and uncouth wisdom: he was sublime and narrowminded. Little does it become us to complain of the narrowness of his views. The dwarf mounted on the giant's shoulders may, no doubt, see farther than him, especially if he wears spectacles too-but with our high position we miss the lofty sentiment—the giant's heart which we cannot make our own. Still less does it become us to speak harshly of his faults: they have been more useful to us than the virtues of thousands of others. The delicacy of Erasmus and the mildness of Melancthon would never have given us such an impulse as we owe to the brutality of Brother Martin.'—p. 51.
Brutality was, then, the best possible pioneer for the army of Spiritualism! The great triumph of Martin Luther, however, was the degradation of the saints, and the extirpation of the belief that miracles were still at the command of the church. Thanks to him " the saints are all mediatized—and there are no more miracles. Even the establishment of the new religion of St. Simonism has not produced a single miracle-except, indeed, the payment of a tailor's bill, which St. Simon himself had left undischarged, ten years after his death, by a subscription among his disciples. Methinks I have still before me the excellent Père Olinde, as he drew himself up with enthusiasm in the Salle Tailbout, and exhibited to the assembly in one hand the bill, in the other the receipt; and grocers gaped, and tailors began to believe.'-vol. i. p. 53.
M. Heine thus resumes his Lutheran pedigree of Pantheism.
· Nowhere, not even in old Greece, has the human mind expanded and developed itself more freely, than it did in Germany from the middle of the last century down to the date of the French revolution. In Prussia, above all, the liberty of thought was boundless. The Marquis of Brandenburgh had comprehended that he who could only become a legitimate king in virtue of the great Protestant principle, that of liberty of thought, must of necessity maintain it. Since then things have altered, and the natural protector of our protestant freedom has come to an understanding with the ultramontane party: he has embraced the design to stifle it, and turned against us a weapon forged and used of old by the Popedom-the censure of the press. What a strange thing! We Germans are the most powerful and the most ingenious of the nations. Princes of our race are seated on all the thrones of Europe ; our Rothschilds govern the exchanges of the world; our philosophers are at the head of all the sciences; we have invented gunpowder and printing-and yet if any one of us pulls the trigger of a pistol, he must pay a fine of three dollars--and if I insert in the Hamburgh Gazette these lines, “ I inform my friends and acquaintance that my wife has been safely
delivered delivered of a boy beautiful as liberty,” Doctor Hoffman takes a red pencil and scratches out the last three words of my advertisement.* But can all this last much longer? I know not-but I well know that the liberty of the press, a question so violently debated at this time in Germany, is the first-born and dearest offspring of the liberty of thought-in other words, a Protestant right. I know that Germany has already shed her best blood for rights of that order, and I think it quite possible that this same cause may once more rouse her to the lists.
• The song with which Luther and his companions entered the cathedral of Worms was a true battle-song. The old cathedral trembled at its new sounds, and the old ravens were alarmed in their dark nests at the top of the towers. That hymn, the Marseillaise of the Reformation, has preserved to this day its energetic power, and, perhaps, in similar combats we may yet thunder again those old words, hard and sonorous as the iron heart of Luther,“Our God is a fortress, a sword, and a good shield;
The prince of this world shall not prevail against us." '--p. 67. And now we are afforded some hints of what the LutheroPantheistic doctrine is to produce in the shape of practical results. It is, as we have seen, a deeper and nobler thing than the French materialism ; and though it is to work so far in the same course, its ultimate effects are to outgo the warmest aspirations of even the Encyclopedists—their children, the English Utilitarians-or their as yet unfortunate successors, the St. Simonians.
• Materialism has fulfilled its mission in France. Perhaps it is at this moment accomplishing the same task in England-it is upon it, undoubtedly, that the Benthamists, the preachers of utilitarianism, have taken their stand. These are the potent spirits who have seized the true lever for rousing John Bull. John is born a materialisthis Christian spiritualism is made up of traditional hypocrisy, and a stupid resignation : his flesh resigns him to it, but his mind gives him no help in the business. It is far otherwise in Germany, and the German revolutionists are deplorably mistaken if they fancy that a mere materialist philosophy will favour their projects.'—p. 81.
Mere Materialism' will not do—but still less will any modification of mere Spiritualism : indeed, in the following passages, we think 'mere Materialism' has found anything but a stern censor:
*Our Protestant pietists are mystics without imagination : our orthodox Protestants are dogmatists without ability.'--p. 87. "Vain efforts, lost labour all! Humanity sighs for more solid food. It smiles with compassion at the dreams of its early days, dreams which, in spite of all its painful exertions, it has never been able to realize.
* The German edition of this book was printed at Hamburgh, and many of its most offensive pages were suppressed by the official dele of Dr. Hofiman-who, however, is an old victim of Heine's sarcasm. The French copy, issued under Heine's own superintendence, is that from which we translate throughout this article.
Humanity is now full grown and has practical views. Her sacrifices are now at the shrine of terrestrial utility: she thinks seriously of an establishment of household comfort—of a decently-ordered interiorof abundance and repose for our old days. The great thing, and the foremost, is to recover our health, for our limbs are still but feeble, so cruelly have the vampires of the middle ages sucked our precious blood. And then we owe to Malter great expiatory sacrifices, that our old offences against her may be pardoned. It would even be no harm to institute sensual festivals in order to indemnify Matter for her past sufferings : for Christianity, incapable of destroying her, has, on every occasion, outraged her shamefully—it has discountenanced the noblest enjoyments—it has reduced the senses to hypocrisy—and one heard everywhere of nothing but sins. Our women in particular must be clad with new shifts and new sentiments—and we must puss all our opinions through the smoke of perfumes, as after the ravages of a plague.
• It is a mistake to suppose that the religion of Pantheism leads men to indifference. On the contrary, the sentiment of his own divinity will excite man to erect himself, and it is from that moment that true greatness and true heroism will appear to glorify this earth. The political revolution which rests on the principles of French materialism will find no adversaries in the Pantheists, but auxiliaries who have drawn their conviction from a profounder source. We, too, pursue the happiness of matter, the material good of the nations—but we do so not because we despise spirit, like the materialists, but because we know that the divinity of man displays itself equally in his corporeal form that poverty and misery degrade the body, and that body cannot be degraded without pulling down mind along with it. We struggle not for the human rights of nations, but for the divine rights of humanity. And here, as on many other points, we separate ourselves from the men of that French revolution. We want neither sans-culotles, nor frugal citizens—nor modest presidents : we desire to found a democracy of terrestrial gods, all equals in happiness and in holiness. You ask simple raiment, austere manners, cheap pleasures -we, on the contrary, wish for nectar and ambrosia, mantles of purple, the voluptuousness of perfumes, the dancing of nymphs, music and comedies. Be not angry with us, virtuous republicans. We answer all your reproaches in the words of Shakspeare's jester,“ Do you think that, because you are virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?”
• The St. Simonians seem to have understood and desired something analogous, but they appeared on an unfavourable scene, and the materialism which surrounded them has crushed them, at least for some time. They were better appreciated in Germany, for Germany is at present the fertile soil of Pantheism; that is the religion of all our greatest thinkers, of all our best artists and Deism is already destroyed there in theory. You do not hear it spoken of-but every one knoirs it : Pantheism is the public secret of Germany. We have, in fact, outgrown Deism. We are free, and desire to have nothing to do