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reform and enlargement; and to emphasize in such a way their dependence, as to shame them into efforts to break loose from it. The Commission furnished no hospital supplies except on requisition of the surgeon himself, who thereby acknowledged his dependence on outside help for what it was his pride and his duty to obtain from the department he represented. No distribution by outside parties was allowed. The discipline of the hospitals, with the authority of the officers, medical and otherwise, was to be carefully upheld. No help that could be extended to individual cases of suffering would atone for the injustice done the general principle itself.
That which has often been made an objection to the Sanitary Commission, that it did not fill the hospitals with resident relief-agents, or nurses, who should themselves be the judges of the wants of the sick, and the direct vehicles of relief, in the form of clothing, delicacies, or medicines, was one of its cardinal virtues. Such intrusion into military hospitals was not only fatal to discipline, to due responsibility, to the quietude of the place, and the control of the diet and treatment of the sick, but it was fatal to the peace, the self-respect, and the esprit de corps of the Medical Department. Wherever it was allowed, it did little but harm, and if the Sanitary Commission had encouraged or countenanced it, they would soon have lost all the influence they had with the department and the surgeons. Instead of this, they appointed experts to visit the hospitals, observe their wants, see the officers, nurses, and men, and, after conference with the surgeon in charge, to obtain from him a requisition on their supplies for what he felt the hospital to need, — to be applied under his own orders, and by his own agents, to his own patients. Skilled and judicious women, offering their services as nurses, and accepted through the free and hearty consent of the surgeons in charge, have rendered invaluable services to the sick ever since the hospitals were opened. But they have owed their usefulness to their strict obedience and conformity to army regulations, and only those docile and wise enough to respect the superior knowledge and authority of the surgeons have been for any considerable time able to keep their places, or to make themselves greatly serviceable. Perhaps two hundred such women exist in the whole VOL. XCVIII. - NO. 202.
army, to whose noble, devoted, and gentle hearts, skilful hands, and administrative faculties are due a considerable part of the success which has attended the operation of our military nursing. The main dependence is, at all times, on detailed or enlisted male nurses, who, to the number of perhaps two thousand, are always on duty, and to the unwearied labors of our surgeons, — who, as a class, are not only utterly incapable of the negligence, drunkenness, fraud, and greediness with which they have been publicly charged, but have really rendered illustrious services, not only by gallant self-exposure in the field, but in watching and waiting on their charges with a vigilance which has cost many of them their lives. The cruel aspersions with which bigots and fanatics have often visited their conduct on battle-fields, where three or four consecutive nights passed in hard service, with only two or three hours' sleep, has made their ability to do any work, or to keep themselves alive, dependent on the use of stimulants, - charging them with general drunkenness, as at Chancellorsville, – are a scandal and slander which the closest and longest opportunities of observation enable us utterly to refute. The ordinary percentage of incompetency, lack of principle, and inhumanity doubtless exists among the army surgeons ; but on the whole we judge them to be superior to any other equally large class of officers in the field, while their duties are probably more constant, and at times more exhausting, than those of any other class.
It is by strict fidelity to these general principles that the Sanitary Commission has endeavored to avoid the peril which threatened the efficiency of the government service, by outside interposition ; and its success as an organization is due to the genuineness of the faith in which it has carried out its pledges to the government, to be a strictly subordinate and ancillary body; loyal to the Medical Department, - its fearless critic, but never its rival or supplanter, - its watchful spur, but never its sly traducer or its disguised enemy.
It remains now to unfold the actual organization and working of the Commission. But this we must defer to another paper.
ART. VIII. - 1. Vie de Jésus. Par ERNEST RENAN, Membre de
l'Institut. Paris : Michel Lévy Frères. 1863. 8vo. pp. 462. 2. The Life of Jesus. By ERNEST RENAN, Member of the In
stitute. Translated by CHARLES EDWIN WILBOUR, Translator of Les Miserables. New York : Carleton. 1864. 12mo.
3. Revue des Deux Mondes, 15 Octobre, 1863. Les Sciences
de la Nature et les Sciences Historiques. Par M. E. RENAN,
de l'Institut. 4. La Divinité de Jésus, prouvée par les Faits ; Réponse à
M. Renan. Par M. L'ABBE PIOGER, du Diocèse de Paris. Paris : C. Dillet. 1863. 18mo.
1863. 18mo. pp. 72. 5. L'Evangile selon Renan. Par HENRI LASSERRE. 12me
Edition. Paris : Victor Palmé. 1863. 16mo. pp. 80. 6. EUGÈNE POTREL. Vie de N. S. Jésus-Christ; Réponse au
Livre de M. Renan. Paris : Martin-Beaupré Frères. 1863.
8vo. pp. 194. 7. M. Renan et la Vie de Jésus. Par ERNEST HELLO.
Edition. Paris : Palmé. 1863. 8vo. pp. 23. 8. A Chacun selon ses Euvres !!! Observations de Mgr.
L'ÉVÊQUE D'ALGER sur le Roman intitulé Vie de Jésus, par M. Ernest Renan. 3me Edition. Alger, Paris et Con
stantine. 1863. 8vo. pp. 90. 9. Le Livre de M. E. Renan sur la vie de Jésus. Par M.
LAURENTIE. Paris : E. Dentu. 1863. 8vo. pp. 39. 10. M. Renan et sa Vie de Jésus. Lettre au R. P. Mertian,
Directeur des Etudes Religieuses, Historiques et Littéraires. Par le R. P. Félix, de la Compagnie de Jésus. 3me
Edition. Paris : Douniol. 1863. 8vo. pp. 48. 11. Une Prétendue Vie de Jésus, ou M. Ernest Renan, Histo
rien, Philosophe et Poete. Par M. L'ABBÉ JULES-THÉODOSE Loyson, Docteur de la Faculté de Théologie de Paris. 3me
Edition. Paris : Charles Douniol. 1863. 8vo. pp. 76. 12. E.camen Critique de la Vie de Jésus de M. Renan. Par
M. L'ABBÉ FREPPEL, Professeur d'Éloquence sacrée à la Sor
bonne. 6me Edition. Paris: A. Bray. 1863. 8vo. pp. 148. 13. La Critique et la Tactique. Étude sur les Procédés de
l'Antichristianisme moderne, a propos de M. Renan. Par le P. DELAPORTE, de la Société de la Miséricorde, &c., &c.
Paris : Charles Douniol. 1863. 8vo. pp. 101. 14. L'ABBÉ J. H. MICHON. Leçon Préliminaire à M. Renan,
sur la vie de Jésus. 2me Edition. Paris : E. Dentu. 1863. 12mo. pp. 70.
WHEN we take up a new book on any old and familiar subject, on which many books have been written, we naturally ask, first, Was there any need of a new book on this subject ? and if so, then, Was its author the man to write it? and the second of these questions there are two ways of answering: either to inform ourselves from other sources who and what the man is, or to read the book itself, and judge from that in what spirit he undertook his work, and with what success he has accomplished it.
These questions will come to one and another reader with peculiar force, when the new book is a Life of Jesus. We trust there are few readers that will be likely to say, “ We have four Lives of Christ already, why do we want another?” To such one might reply : For that very reason; we want a fifth to reduce the four into one. But the four Gospels are far from being, or professing to be, any of them, biographies of their subject; they are simply memorabilia, more or less loose collections of his most impressive words, deeds, and sufferings, recorded not for the purpose of satisfying curiosity as to who he was and how he came to be what he was (which are prime questions with biography proper), but, as St. John says, for the spiritual and practical purpose of convincing us that he was sent by God to teach men how to live a godly life.
The many unsuccessful attempts that have been made to reproduce the life of Jesus in a regular biography suggest the inquiry, whether there may not be something in the nature of the case which makes this impossible ; whether it may not be the intention of the Divine Providence, that at least around the beginning and the end of that remarkable life an impenetrable cloud of mystery should forever hang; whether, inasmuch as conscience, and not curiosity, was to be edified by the Gospel, and Jesus lived mainly as the instrument of awakening us to a knowledge of ourselves and of God, it may not have been meant that his own personal history should be left in a fragmentary state; - in fine, whether that saying of Jesus himself does not bear on this very subject, that " no man knoweth who the Son is but the Father.”
If this is so, then the need of a new Life of Jesus seems to be out of the question, a biography of him in any proper sense of the word being impracticable. But now, admitting the alleged difficulty, does it, after all, though it may properly check any presumptuous expectation of a complete picture of the Christ's earthly manifestation, disprove the possibility or the desirableness of our forming for ourselves a more clear, consecutive, and consequently stimulative idea than has hitherto been gained, of so much of the life of our Master and Model as lies (however scattered in the Evangelic memoirs) within the daylight of history?
It seems to be a just opinion, that no one should undertake a biography without a love for the person who is the subject of it. Accordingly, the life of Christ, it would seem, should be written by a Christian. Now to a Christian the very expression, The Life of Jesus, is almost inseparably associated in the mind with something more, higher, and deeper than any series of past earthly incidents, - with something interior and eternal, a spirit and a power still living and striving in human souls, and connecting earth with heaven. This is what the Life of Jesus meant to Paul and his brethren; and the feeling of this may seem, at first, to give a little repulsiveness to the thought of writing and rewriting the life of Jesus in the book-making spirit of secular literature.
But still, giving due weight to all these considerations and cautions, we return to the question, Was there need of a new Life of Jesus? and we answer it confidently in the affirmative, for two reasons. The question may mean, either, Does the cause of truth demand any further attempts to make clear the method of Christ's life? or, Does the public good demand such ? Now, certainly, no thoughtful observer of the progress of theological inquiry in the last generation, no one who has had any glimpse of the material which has been on all hands and in all lands accumulating towards a temple of rational faith in the Christ of history and of the spirit, can help having