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now, unless the lines of history deceive us in their tendency, the case is about beginning to be reversed. That vigorous Western spirit, which gave success to the papal church in former times, is fast stealing out of it; and now, like the Greek church when identified with the Eastern empire, it has to work chiefly with effete materials. It still has many missionaries scattered through the world, and its inquisitorial machinery is still worked to some extent; but these, if we may believe such a writer as Mr. Hallam, are dying spasms—the retractile claws of the tiger who has received a death-wound. Rome's only chance of prolonging her life, and of renewing her youth, lies in the project which she has conceived, of subjecting this Western continent to her sway.1 It rests with Protestant America to complete the overthrow of the Mystery of Iniquity, which natural causes have already brought to the verge of ruin in the Old World. There Italy, Austria, Spain, and France are the main dependence of the papacy. It has no solid footing among the Northern nations of Europe. France is wayward and volatile. War, superstition, and Oriental vices, have at length wasted Italy and Spain. Austria bows before the pope, only because her fear of the Western powers just now outweighs her settled dread of the Czar. Whatever may be the successes of the Romish church in remote and Protestant countries, — and oftentimes they are not in reality so great as they appear to be, — it is plain that nearer home, and within its own dominions, it is sinking into decay. Like that great evil of slavery, which so afllicts the American government, it can live only by going forth continually to other lands. Let it be confined within the territory it has already acquired, and it will gradually dwindle till its life shall become extinct.
But on the other hand, Rome's ancient foe, the Greek church, seems to be just entering the glorious period of its history. The slumberous night, which followed the capture of Constantinople, has passed away. The morning of resurrection is now breaking. And that which was sown in
1 Dr. Edward Beecher's "Papal Conspirai-y Exposed."
weakness, has already begun to be raised with power. Greek Christianity has escaped from the embrace of Orientalism, and has become identified in its fortunes with the dynasty of the great Northern Caesars. They are gradually breathing life, hope, courage, and the spirit of conquest into it. This new inspiration is making itself felt throughout the East.
The Christians of Asia, so many of them as look to the Czar for protection, are on the alert. They do not bear the Turkish yoke as meekly as they did a hundred years ago. They feel themselves to be, in an important sense, strangers on their native soil; and they draw the spirit which animates them from their mighty champion in the Northwest. This new development has not shown itself conspicuously as yet, in all instances; but it has begun, and is steadily advancing. Such is the testimony of intelligent men, who have travelled extensively in the East. And more will be seen and known of this movement, as the plans of the Czar are more fully comprehended by the Oriental Christians. The Armenian and Nestorian churches, and that of Alexandria also, will not allow their differences to keep them from uniting under one civil protector, when they have learned that he is tolerant, that he is bent on destroying their common foe, and that he will probably restore their ancient immunities to them all. These organizations have never enjoyed an independent existence. In the early conflicts between the Greeks and Latins, they held no fixed position. Sometimes they sided with the Eastern, and sometimes with the Western church, as one or the other party seemed to offer them the more powerful protection. After the Saracen invasion, and the wars of the crusaders, they came almost entirely under the dictation of Rome, so far as Rome had the power to dictate in the Sultan's dominions. But now the tide has turned. The Greek church is in the ascendant again. And hence we may infer that those Asiatic churches, true to their ancient policy, are ready to give what influence they have to the Nort hern conqueror. It is for the interest of France and her allies to deny that such a disposition prevails in the East,
Vol. XV. No. 59. 46
and to counteract it in all possible ways;1 but the testimony, even of some English travellers is, that such a disposition does exist, and is on the increase, wherever the relations of Russia to the Turkish empire are well understood.
Are we sufficiently observant of that prodigious power of church and state combined, which is growing up in the heart of Europe, and which already casts its shadow over nearly a third of the habitable globe? That people has the advantage of every variety of soil and climate; and the blood of almost every race of man flows in its veins. "Perhaps in no country in the world does one meet so great a variety of foreigners; almost every nation has its representative in Russia, from the Norwegian and Swede to the Albanian and Turk, from the Spanish adventurer to the Moldavian and Wallachian, they are all to be encountered in society; and that not by any remarkable accident, but merely in an invitation to one's general acquaintances."1 The resident there must be able to converse in at least three languages — French, German, and the Russian — in order to any satisfactory intercourse with the people. This foreign population does not control, though it must favorably affect the national character. It is gradually absorbed. That process which scientific men term the degradation of races, has always tended to the elevation of the native population, in Russia. "The remains or the exiles of other nations are to be found in the central parts of Russia; but the emigrants seem never to have even impaired the nationality of the original inhabitants; but the rather to have become incorporated with them to the entire loss of their own distinctive character."" But this gigantic empire is fortunate not merely
1 It may not be for the interest of the Western powers to coneeal this fact at home, where they wish to excite as general a dread of the vast influence of the Czar as they can ; liut it is necessary to the safety of the Sultan's dominions, whom they wish to employ as a reason for opposing Russia. Should the people of Turkey be persuaded, l>y their knowledge of the Czar's designs, to throw ofF their present yoke, such a revolt would not only prove disastrous to France, but might also put an end to the dominion of Kn^land in countries still further cast.
a • Russians at Home, by a Ten years' Resident in that Country," p. 303.
* Bancroft's " Studies in History." See " Miscellanies," p. 319.
in the composition of its people. Its geographical extent should also be considered. It stretches from the land of the vine and olive to the frozen ocean; from the Baltic sea across the Eastern hemisphere, beyond the Pacific, nearly to the confines of Oregon. Its two-headed eagle rides supreme on the Caspian; and, though recently driven from the Black Sea, will never rest till it has returned. Russian energy is pressing outward, with unwearied exertion, in all directions ; and, although checked now and then at some point, Russia has not been prostrated or discouraged. No defeats which her armies may experience along her distant borders, can ever persuade her to give up the belief, wrought into the national mind, that the harbors of the Mediterranean are destined to be her entry-ports. Nothing but a domestic revolution — some general uprising of the people against the fixed policy of the government — can ever oblige her to desist from these aggressions. But of such a revolution there is hardly a probability. "Is there not the tie of kindred in the great nucleus of the empire? Is not the whole well annealed and firmly joined? Is it not cut off and separated from the rest of Christendom by its peculiar church discipline? Is it not one and undivided by its descent? Is it not bound together by having the same military heroes, the same saints, the same recollections, civil and sacred? Next to France it is, of all the states of Europe, the one which is safest against division." 1 Every nation on the bordefs of Russia, either obeys it or fears to provoke its wrath. That portion of Poland which fell to the Czar at the time of its dismemberment, has become an integrant part of the empire; and those Poles who remain under the Prussian monarchy, are said to sigh for the better fortune of their countrymen in Russia. Many of the dependents of Austria would be glad to transfer their allegiance from the House of Hapsburg to the Czars. But even if Russia should be assailed by her neighbors, could she be overcome? What invading army has ever penetrated to the centre of her territory? This has never been accomplished
1 Bancroft's " Studies in History."
save in one instance; and to Napoleon belongs the honor, such as it is, of the achievement. According to the saying of Napoleon himself, it was a sublime undertaking and a ridiculous failure. The retreat from Moscow proves that Russia is invincible. If the records of historians may be relied on, it is the only country within the borders of civilization, which still remains in the hands of its original possessors. Its recovery from barbarism is not due to colonies, planted by other nations within its territory, but to the elevation of the indigenous races. It has been so wise an imitator of surrounding nations as never to become their prey.
We often speak of the youth of the Russian empire. It is young, as a member of the family of civilized States; but it has a traditional history, which goes back to the beginning of time. The Eddas, from which we obtain our knowledge of the religious belief of the Scandinavians, give a detailed account of the creation of the world. That cosmogony, though rugged in its forms of expression, — as we might anticipate from the kind of natural scenery amid which it grew up, — has yet more intrinsic dignity than some of the cosmogonies of the ancient classic poets. The Russian mythology is as old, as wild and grand, as that of Rome. Heroes and gods were the founders, and are now the patron saints, of the empire of the Czar. Greek fable contains but little, which is really more captivating than the stories of Valhalla, of the Ygdrasill, of Odin, and the thunderer Thor. And what is more, this vast antiquity has never been yielded up to a foreign power. Russians still rule Russia, as they did in the ages of Solon and Lycurgus. They have never lost their faith, either in their own strength or that destiny which they believe is with them. Nevertheless, a century and a half ago Muscovy was almost unknown to the world. She must be named among the youngest of civilized States. Thus, to all the advantages of a history reaching into the remote past, are added the advantages of a vigorous, aspiring youth. The Russian monarchy, throughout the long periods of its concealment, has been, so to speak, developing under ground; thrusting abroad, and striking down into