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i Riego , 1816, and 1817, Part I. by Himself estigated by Anatomy; with

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Art. I. Tableaur de L'Histoire Philosophique du Christianisme, ou

'Etudes de Philosophie Religieuse. Par Chaples Coquerel. 18mo.

Paris. 1829.
THAT very frequent phrase,' the dark ages,' which we

have heard and used so often from the time of our earliest
initiation into history, has become, perhaps, in most minds,
surrounded with images of physical obscurity. Even among
our maturer thoughts, there may remain an indistinct im-
pression that, during the period usually so designated, there
was stretched over the nations a constant shroud of wintry
vapours, reaching from the flats of Holland to the steppes of the
Crimea, and from the stormy bay of Biscay to the frozen gulf
of Finland. And a momentary effort of reason may be required
before we can persuade ourselves, that, in those days of intel-
lectual dimness, when men seemed to dream, rather than to think,
when the lamp of Science had gone out in the sepulchre of
Truth, and when the spider wrought her web from year to
year without disturbance over the records of mind, that in
those days, as in these, placid lakes reflected bright blue
skies, and dashing streams sparkled in the rays of an un-
clouded sun. And it may be supposed, that a similar prejudice
of the imagination insensibly influences the notions we form
of the present state of the moral world. Thus, for example,
while we see that our days are made glad by brilliant suns, we
do not readily believe, that the times we live in will be spoken
of by posterity as times of darkness. This sort of illusive as-
sociation in the mind between material images and abstract
facts, may make us hesitate for a moment to admit, that this
vaunted nineteenth century is, throughout the continent of
Europe, as well as over the neighbouring divisions of the globe,
as dark an age as any that have preceded it.



1817--1820 2-1894 7, the Propbet

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2 periodical work

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cts; translated from the ut Ministers dia, &c. us Denominations, &c. and Fables from La Fon

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59. R.A.

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