era, in which, the scientific conception of the universe shall take the place of the metaphysical and theological. Natural science, and especially the historical and philological sciences, are to be not only the liberators of the human mind, but also the guides of human life. Politics, ethics, education—all are to be regenerated by science. Science is to establish the reign of justice among men, and to become the source and final form of religion.
It was by the advice of Augustin Thierry and M. de Sacy that Renan suppressed this volume, in the fear that its hard and dogmatic tone might repel the reader, and that its ideas would prove too new and too daring to be accepted all at once. Besides, Augustin Thierry was uneasy at seeing his young friend ready to give away at a stroke his whole intellectual capital. He persuaded him to dispense it in detail in the Revue des Deux Mondes and the Journal des Débats. And thus it was that Renan became the first of our essayists, giving currency to his most audacious conceptions, and to all the discoveries of comparative philology and rationalistic exegesis, under the light, easy, and accessible form of literary and philosophic criticism. They were republished in the volumes entitled Moral and Critical Essays, Studies in Religious History, and New Studies in Religious History. His literary fame grew fast, while his learned works obtained for him, in 1856, at the age of thirty-three, the membership of the Académie des Inscriptions.
From the year 1851 onward he was attached to the Bibliothèque Nationale; and this modest post, together with the growing income derived from his works, had enabled him to marry. This marriage had very nearly been the occasion of another dramatic episode in his private life. He had lived, since 1850, with his sister Henrietta; their fellowship of thought and feeling had grown with their fellowship in life and work; and Henrietta—who supposed that in abandoning the Church for science her brother had but exchanged one priesthood for another—had never dreamed that anything could separate them. When he told her of his intended marriage, she betrayed such acute distress that he determined to renounce the project which caused her so much unhappiness; and it was Henrietta herself who flew to Mlle. Scheffer and entreated her not to give up her brother, and Henrietta who hurried on the marriage, the mere idea of which had been too much for her self-control. The marriage did not, after all, involve her separation from her brother. She attached herself passionately to his children; and when he and his wife made a journey to Phœnicia on an archæological mission she accompanied them, and stayed with her brother when Madame Renan was obliged to return home. These few months of dual life were her last happiness. They were both attacked by fever at Beyrout.