Page:Popular Works of Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1889) Vol 2.djvu/225

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The one True Religion, or Christianity, must and ought to become the creative and governing principle of a new State:—this we announced at the close of our last Lecture. Such was the actual course of events, and thereby arose an entirely New Era.

Before commencing the inquiry for which we have thus opened the way, and upon which we are now to enter, we must first of all direct your attention to one remark of the highest importance in any historical survey; namely, that it is only by a very slow and tardy course that the great events of History develop themselves and become visible in their results. The historical inquirer who, with regard to such an event, does not know how to anticipate experience, and to supply what is wanting in foresight by means of the laws of human development, possesses only fragments torn from their connexion which he can never understand, being without a knowledge of the organic whole to which they belong. This is the case with the whole History of Modern Times, the true principle of which is the manifestation of Christianity. That the Old Time has passed away, and that we stand above its grave amid an intricate and wonderful concourse of new elements, any one may observe by merely opening his eyes;—but what