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century, the fermentation engendered by the fourth civilization-which had been working for so many centuries, and for which no legitimate channel had been provided-burst forth and deluged the land. In ancient or modern history no similar event to the French Revolution had occurred. The multitude rose in their might, and, under the inspiration of the Christian dogma of the Equality of all men before God, demanded emancipation for mind and body under legal guarantees. It was obtained, and can never be lost. Since then power, wealth, and knowledge are monopolized by no Class; and ignorance, poverty, and slavery are no longer the bequest of unequal laws.
In England, the withdrawal of the Romans was followed, as elsewhere, by the irruption of German tribes, which gradually fell under the influence of Christianity. Towards the end of the eighth century-the epoch of Charlemagne-order, morality, and religion began to glimmer in England. Under the Saxon régime the power and wealth were in the possession of the Upper Class, but, as in all parts of Christianized Europe, no longer monopolized. So far from that, members of the free Middle Class in England constantly ascended into the Nobility, and the slaves or Lower Class were constantly obtaining freedom. The regular development of Saxon society was disturbed by the Norman Conquest, which led to the Saxon Upper Class being superseded by the Norman Upper Class. This singular conjunction of a Norman Upper Class, a Saxon Middle Class, and a native Lower Class on
the same soil, is a peculiar feature of English history. A compromise between the interests of all ensued, and hence the origin of Magna Charta and the House of Commons. The prerogatives of the Upper Class, power and wealth, were shared with the Middle Class, which in its turn opened its ranks to the aspiring of the Lower Class. Thus it happened that the Christian dogma of Equality which in France was excluded or dammed up, as it were, was in England favored by accidental circumstances, and found natural and easy outlets. Consequently no hurricane like the French Revolution was needed in England to effect an organization of society in harmony with the fourth civilization. There the power, wealth, and knowledge, which in the ancient world were engrossed by the Upper Class, became more and more accessible to all who sought them, or whose intelligence commanded them.
The establishment at Rome in 42 A.D. of a spiritual Head for the young Church, was one of the most potent means of securing its advancement, by giving unity to the efforts, and encouragement to the zeal of the Christian Priesthood. So long as the See of Rome was solely occupied with the interests of the Church, and the propagation of the primitive doctrines, its influence was beneficial, and constantly augmented. In the progress of centuries the spiritual power of the Papacy became so vast that it grew insensible to its true mission; and instead of occupying itself with the religious and moral welfare of mankind, it began to interest itself in the temporal concerns of the world.
Worse than this, the Papacy, forgetful of its origin, and disregarding the interests of the masses, on which Christianity was founded, allied itself wholly with the Upper Classes, and thereby strengthened and prolonged their power. These derelictions from its early and true rôle weakened its hold on the Lower Class, and have in the process of time exposed it not only to damaging vicissitudes, but have greatly impaired its spiritual influence. Stripped in our day of its temporal power, and chastened by the ordeal it has undergone, the Papacy may yet return to the pious discharge of those purely spiritual offices which were once its only care, and which laid the foundation of its supremacy.
The United States.
It was shown in the preceding pages of this volume, that under the three civilizations of the ancient world Society was substantially divided into two great classes, the Upper and the Lower. The fourth civilization introduced a novel and disturbing principle when it announced the Equality of all men before God. Since then, the Lower Class in Europe has struggled through the Dark Ages, the Middle Ages, and Modern Times to obtain its emancipation, and to occupy in the framework of society its just and natural position. The repugnance of the Upper Class, and the perseverance of the Lower towards this consummation, explain in great part the convulsions of the European world for centuries past. The deliberate abandonment of their native land by the Puritans in the seventeenth century, like the retreat of the Roman Lower Class to Mons Sacer, gave a new
phase to this protracted conflict. These men of the popular class, clinging to their Christian dogma of Equality, and despairing of its recognition at home, carried it off to the wilderness where there were none to dispute it. This was the first instance of a Society established on the basis of absolute equality before God. and before the Law. This was the culmination of the fourth civilization, and the very antithesis of the three civilizations of the ancient world. In the latter, all power, wealth, and knowledge were absorbed by the Upper Class, whilst the Lower Class was consigned to perpetual exclusion; but in the wilds of North America a Society sprang up consisting of but one Class, all and equally entitled to whatever share of power, wealth, and knowledge its members could through intelligence and industry obtain. What inequalities exist in the United States are of God's making, and not of man's. He has decreed to His creatures different degrees of intelligence; and it is in harmony with this that we find in the new Society the distribution of men in Upper, Middle, and Lower Classes, but to none is given any privilege, monopoly, or advantage, save such as can be obtained by the exercise of his intellect. If one man is more influential, or richer, or wiser than another, it is the guerdon of a superior capacity, and none contest this natural preponderance. For all the rest, Religion is free, Law is equal, and Government the choice of the Majority. Whether a country so constituted is a final solution, or simply a beau idéal not compatible with the passions of men, remains to be
In closing this Summary, may I venture a comment on the Present, and a glance at the Future.
In denoting the perturbations of European society for so many centuries, I have assigned as their principal cause the efforts of the Lower Class of inferior intelligence to obtain from the Upper Class of superior intelligence an exemption from unjust oppression, and the recognition of their Equality before God and the Law. I have shown that this ground-swell, so to speak, dates from the Christian era; and it may now be said to have nearly exhausted itself in three of the leading countries of the world.
In the United States is seen a Society constructed on the basis of absolute equality, religious, legal, and political. Such social distinctions as exist flow from the inherent differences between men, and are accepted as inevitable. All that remains to be tested is the fitness of the Mass for self-government, which must be solved. by the example of the United States. Everything has favored the experiment in that country: and if it be proved that the popular control exercised there over Government cannot preserve it from corruption, folly, and crime-then all hope must be abandoned of arriving at perfect Government. But happen what may-be it the fate of the American Union to republicanize the world, or be it its fate to establish beyond all question that the laborious Majority is unable to curb the more intelligent Minority-yet it cannot be doubted that never again will it be possible to restore the ancient civilizations which gave all to the Upper Class and nothing to the multitude. No Government, hereafter, will be durable or strong which does not promote the interests of the masses, who, if not able to guide it, know they have the strength to overturn it.