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THE ASPECT OF THE TIMES. Who is the Oliver Cromwell of the present age ? This is a question which lately appeared in the Evangelical Maga- zine. On seeing it the writer was led into a train of curious reflections, and he thought at the time that it called for some notice. My present observations upon it, partaking as they must more of the political than of the ecclesiastical, are more suitable for the columns of a newspaper than the pages of a religious organ. A general analogy runs through all the departments: of the universe but it were quite irrelevant to our theme to trace them all on the present occasion. Suffice it now merely to con- sider man in his intellectual capacity, as bearing some re- semblance to the brute. This may appear, at first sight, insulting to the reason of the lord of the creation, and anta- gonistic even to the arrangements of the Creator, whose order in all cases is that matter should be subordinate to spirit— the body to the soul—the natural passions to the moral sen- timents but it is not exactly in this sense that we would institute a comparison now it is not the comparing of man's mind with the brute's instinct; but the intellect of man with the body of the irrational creature Geologists have found immense skeletons of animals in the earth, whose species are extinct. When they existed, the present races of creatures probably were not so numerous as they are now. The former lived as'long as their being was necessary. When the object 0 of their existence was obtained, they were no longer required, they would have been ctmiberers of the ground perhaps, as the surface of the globe and the temperature of the atmo- sphe; e became changed, they could not continue to exist. Our subject will be more simple and clear by viewing human society in reference to the brute creation. Time was, in respect to which it might be said, there were giants in those days." Here is the analogy. Those geological mon- sters which once lived on our earth may be compared to the many distinguished individuals who flourished in different and distant ages of the past-whether heroes, philosophers, poets, or orators. To go back no more than two or three centuries, the power of action centered only in some rare characters. A single individual was an embodiment of a system; the masses were only so many faint satellites, lost in the obscurity of a confused galaxy. The master-spirit contained the motive power, whilst the great multitude were but a kind of material machinery, set in motion by the im- pulse of a single mind mens agitat molem. Let this principle be applied to every department of human greatnes, cœter¿s panbus, with regard to circumstances, and the result in e\"o") case will be the same. This experimental test, if we may so call it, solves the ques- tion that heads this article. Cromwell was to the Common- wealth what Luther was to the Reformation; both were champions in their respective spheres. The generality, of the people were ignorant and inert in their day—not so now: the march of intellect has progressed with rapid strides; knowledge and activity are now universally distributed—no longer lodged in a few renowned men here and there; so that now we may say in a perfectly defined rejoinder to the ques:ion at issue, that the Oliver Cromwell ^of the present day has, by a mysterious metempsychosis, found a "local habitation, in public opinion. The constant development and application of this abstract and practical thing is quite sufficient to bring about every reform in our civil polity that is required. Every deviation from the settled order of Providence must prove futile; because out of place and un- natural. The few animals contained in a single farmyard are more useful than the huge megatherium of antidiluvian date. A would-be Cromwell in our day must be "mute and in- glorious," "guiltless of his country's blood," or run the risk of resting his bones in the soil of Bermuda. J.







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