Изображения страниц

ful personality, only one, of all that ever dwelt on this earth, who had more immediate, constant and perfect access to the infinite fountain of being, than was possible to the constitution of a mere creature." The volume, though diffuse in thought, shows some depth and fineness of insight in interpreting the significance of the incidental form and colouring of the circumstances of Christ's earthly career, and we follow the course of the writer's thought with perfect general sympathy. We cannot, indeed, clearly define the exact conclusion to which he would lead us ;—that the personality of Christ was more intimately blended with that of the Father he revealed, than would be otherwise conceivable to man, is its legitimate drift. The vague nature of the moral elements involved, necessarily and entirely forbids any scholastic accuracy in the conclusion. To the ομοούσιος symbol, the writer probably does not mean to point, as some portion of his book seems to indicate a Sabellian cast of thought. Bui his argument would be but a very insecure foundation for any scholastic formula in any strict acceptation.

The volume of Sermons by the late Rev. F. W. Robertson, of Brighton,* to which in a former page we have had occasion to refer, has given us as much surprise as satisfaction. Knowing that his pulpit discourses were rarely ever committed to paper, and sel. domer still written as they would have flowed from Iris lips, we were prepared to expect a very inadequate memorial of his living power and influence. And this volume is but inadequate; yet there is far more vivid life in it than we had ventured to hope for. His brother's preface tells us that they are mainly recollections, written by the preacher for the members of a family in whom he was interested. In continuity of thought these Sermons are imperfectly sustained, and not unfrequently we are obliged to regret the rhetorical mould natural to conceptions which actually grew to their full strength and stature, in the preacher's mind, under the reflex influence of a large assembly's collective sympathy. Still there is fine thought as well as powerful expression scattered through the volume before us. It exhibits a mind of the most delicate and sensitive organization, tinged with individual melancholy, yet firm in individual trust, clearsighted in discerning the elements of character-catholic and evenly developed in religious culture, or only too easily kindled by the power of present sympathy-constantly craving light with an almost restless sadness, yet on all cardinal points of faith clearly feeling the rock beneath it, and clinging with especial fervour to the general doctrine of St. John's gospel. There is a tinge of feeling throughout all Mr. Robertson's compositions, which indicates the disturbed life of imperfect health,-of a constitution stimulated to exceed its strength. Just because they so vividly recall his life, these pages seem the most vivid prophecy of his early death. In the volume of amalgamated Lectures which Mr. Maurice has

“ Sermons preached at Trinity Chapel, Brighton, by the late Rev. F. W. Robertson, M.A.” Smith, Elder, and Co. 1855.

† See page 135 of the Sermons.


just issued, * the connecting link of thought (which is but slight) is furnished by the search after the true root of social order. The theoretic results of that search are given in the last four lectures, on the special function of Rome. The application of that discovery to the needs of our modern civilization is attempted in the first six lectures on " Learning and Working" Both these courses of lectures are distinguished by even more than Mr. Maurice's usual breadth of thought and fulness of illustration. Into both, his mind has entered with profound interest. In the course on Learning and Working," he starts with illustrating the vanity of hoping to compress an education of any value into the years of childhood. Historically, Mr. Maurice maintains that the worthiest teaching had in earlier times always been associated with a later age than that of childhood. Entering on the discussion of the relation of leisure to learning, Mr. Maurice maintains that the craving for active life is really never satisfied by merely literary study and culture, and that the restlessness and morbidness of college life is caused in great measure by the student's craving to be tinging with his newly acquired thought the living tasks of the external world. He examines the historical origin of the poetry and painting of Europe, and illustrates his disbelief in leisure as the necessary condition of literature, from the biography of men like Dante, Hooker, and Milton. This is perhaps the slightest thread in his argument. After speaking of the real antagonism between a pecuniary standard of life and any real love for learning, Mr. Maurice passes on to explain that he means by education that which develops the whole sense of personal power and responsibility, so awakening a sense of freedom. In accordance with this view he develops his conception of the true studies to be attempted in a Working College, maintaing the necessity of including politics and history, and ethics and theology, as subjects to which the thoughts of a free man ought naturally to turn. The only difficulty on which Mr. Maurice has scarcely touched—and we regard it only as a removable difficulty—is the extreme distaste to mechanical labour, which a free intellectual culture is apt to inspire. The workman who can spend his education on his work, or otherwise occupy his mind while he works, will be purely elevated; but the vast amount of dead mechanical drudgery which requires the stretch of the attention, and yet occupies no one of the higher faculties of the mind, would soon be a terrible curse to a cultivated class of workers. Perhaps before the difficulty becomes urgent, machinery may be taught to relieve us of the burden. In the Lectures on Rome, Mr. Maurice seizes hold of the reverence for paternal authority-of the deference paid to the Penates, the guardians of domestic life—as the central point of the Roman worship; and brings with a good deal of skill, the old traditions

“Learning and Working ; Six Lectures delivered in Willis's Rooms, London, in June and July, 1854.” “ The Religion of Rome, and its Influence on Modern Civilization; Five Lectures delivered in Edinburgh, in December, 1854, by Frederick Denison Maurice, M.A.” Macmillan. 1855.

and the evidence of Roman poets and Roman historians to support his thesis. The same function-of impressing the idea of God's fatherhood on the German nations-he assigns to the Roman church. Perhaps it would have been truer had Mr. Maurice taken the reverence for the gods as the spring of social law and order (including domestic order) as his starting point. There is little trace in the Roman character of any faith in the divine affection, which is essential to the idea of a father. Their reverence was rather paid to the commanding authority of a just Will; and it was from such a notion that the complex law connected with the patria potestas was apparently unfolded. Mr. Maurice has infused his study with the dye of his own thought.

To Miss Goldsmid we owe our introduction to the able volume of Dr. Philippsohn,* who maintains throughout twelve lectures, with a boldness even surpassing Dr. Newman's similar faith in the self-renovation of Catholicism, that as the disabilities of the Jews are removed, their divine system will more and more powerfully assert itself in Europe, until, at last, Christ is lost in Moses, and Paul's “tables on the heart” are retransformed into the ancient granite of Horeb. Dr. Philippsohn distinguishes Judaism from all other primary religions in this, that while all of these were attempts proceeding from man to solve the problem of his divine origin,-that was a solution proceeding from God. Revelation is the essence of Mosaism. God revealing Himself—not man feeling out into the surrounding mystery-is its starting point. In Judaism there are three stages to be distinguished. Mosaism, which is the unity of spirit and life ;-Prophetism, in which the life had become so corrupt that the idea or spirit had to be severed from its appropriate outward form ;-Talmudism, in which the outward form is divorced from its informing spirit. Primitive Christianity he considers to have been not essentially hostile to Mosaism ; but, in fact, a weak form of prophetism, that had begun to lay too much stress on mere acceptance of the idea or creed. Here, he conceives (with too much truth,) has been the permanent weakness in Christianity, that it has offered to save men by belief rather than life. Mahometanism he regards as a heathen reproduction of the purely doctrinal portion of Judaism, consistently allying with a heathen life the same central error of salvation by belief, and consequent moral fatalism, which Christianity with fortunate inconsistency fails to carry into practice. Dr. Philippsohn insists much on the thoroughly libertarian theory of human action in Judaism, and denies that the idea of heathen sacrifice in any way enters into their ceremonial system of purification. Judaism entirely disowns, he tells us, all transmission of moral evil, making sin (and apparently even temptation) to depend wholly on the voluntary relations of the individual soul. The "The Development of the Religious Idea in Judaism, Christianity,

and Mahommedanism, considered in Twelve Lectures on the History and Purport of Judaism, delivered in Magdeburg, 1847, by Dr. Ludwig Philippsohn; translated from the German with Notes, by Anna Maria Goldsmid.” Longman. 1855.

Mosaic law he represents as the only political system which carries righteousness and wisdom into the whole detail of daily life. Miss Goldsmid's translation is executed with taste and simplicity. We are sure that Christianity can never disown its source in Judaism, but a more powerful spell than Dr. Philippsohn's philosophy is needed to charm back the stately river into the narrow, rugged, picturesque ravine, out of which, centuries ago, it found its way,

The Essay by Mr. Thompson, which has received the first prize from the Burnett trustees, has only just issued from the press, and we must reserve our summary of it for our next number. İf, however, we may use a mathematical ratio to determine its merit, from our knowledge of the Essay which has received a prize of one third of the value, we should esteem it to be considerable. Dr. Tulloch's Essayt is profound and well considered in its basis, but very defective, and apparently hasty in execution. Dr. Tulloch starts with the fundamental principle, that all order must be conceived as of mental origin; and to the illustration and confirmation of this principle, he devotes the first division of his volume. He points out that the stress ordinarily laid on the organic adaptations of Nature cannot be justified without some deeper basis. To reason from adaptation to an Adapter is virtually, he says, a petitio principii, as, by calling it an adaptation, the effect is already presumed to be an expected effect, and so already involves the conception of an expecting mind. All that is known of the relation between organic results and organic causes is the indissoluble uniformity of their succession ; the very point to be established is that this uniformity of succession is the product of a mental process. Dr. Tulloch does not give nearly enough space or power to the establishment of this fundamental point. The reader leaves his polemic against Mr. J. S. Mill with the impression that the point is ineffectively treated, and that its whole bearings might be far more vividly and graphically realized. There is negligence, too, in establishing the fundamental connexion between Order and Force, as the imprints, respectively, of Reason and Will (see pp. 52, 53). Dr. Tulloch's treatment of general laws as the universal methods necessarily characterizing the energy of an Infinite Mind, is more satisfactory. To this chapter the special examination of the geological hypothesis of creation adds but little. The section on the Illustrations from the Inductive Philosophy is extended to a length disproportionate to the space given to the other portions of this brief volume. The illustrations seem to be imported into the book, and not comfortably at home there. They are not engraved with the leading thought. Only the chapter on the Typical Forms of Vegetable and Organic Life is at all effective. But this chapter does bring out ably, and on purely scientific data, that an ideal conception is the central reality

Christian Theism : the Testimony of Reason and Revelation to the Existence and Character of the Supreme Being. By Robert Anchor Thompson, M.A. Rivingtons.

† “ Theism; the Witness of Reason and Nature to an All-wise and Beneficent Creator. Burnett Treatise. Second Prize. By the Rev. John Tulloch, D.D.” Blackwood. 1855.


around which the individual forms of organic life are grouped. The portion of the Essay which pursues the inductive illustrations into psychology is very poor, and has a tendency to evaporate in that invaluable resource of hard-driven philosophers—the endless declamation of Dr. Thomas Brown. The section on the Evidence from Intuitive Morality is the best and most thorough in the Essay. The writer holds firmly to the truth, that the will of man cannot anyhow be interwoven into the chain of mere natural cause and effect,—that it breaks the thread of uniform succession, and must either be held to be eternally independent, or dependent only on a free cause like to itself. Dr. Tulloch shows, however, that close to this consciousness of independence of natural causes is a con. sciousness of real but not helpless dependence on a supernatural power. Conscience, he interprets, not quite with Butler as in itself a ruling power and authority, but as the faculty which recog. nizes the Personal Holiness of God. The chapter on the rational recognition of the Infinite is ineffective. We need only add, that in answering difficulties and objections to Theism, Dr. Tulloch does not attempt to find a divine purpose and apology for sin. Consistently with his whole conception, he regards it as absolutely anti-theistic, as not originating in God. The soul of the Essay is so sound that it would well have deserved a better logical and imaginative development. The argument from adaptation would in this case lead us to infer from the execution a much poorer spiritual substratum than really exists.

MENTAL PHILOSOPHY.—By far the most considerable addition to philosophical literature that this year has produced is Professor Ferrier's “ Institutes of Metaphysic"*—the book of a masterly thinker, an accurate logician, a clear expounder, a humorous, self-confident, arrogant, scornful man. The Professor of Moral Philosophy at St. Andrew's has apparently a profound contempt for all the labours of his fellow-countrymen in his own field of thought, and speaks of “ Dr. Reid, good man,” with a benignant pity which must arouse a keen sensation at Edinburgh, somewhat disturbing, one would fear, to the clearness of perception. Mr. Ferrier has started “ quite a new hare," at least in the history of English philosophy, and his book is one long chase of " Psychology," which is finally done to death in an attempt to leap the chasm between Epistemology and Ontology. Mr. Ferrier, however, like Daniel O'Rourke, dreaming of an ascent to the moon, thinks he has succeeded better, and concludes his very able hunting, in high satisfaction, on the solid granite of Ontological reality. We believe, nevertheless, that the idea of his system is in part unsound, and in part not what he believes it to be. And when he concludes, we are sure that the feat he has performed is no spring from knowledge to absolute existence, but a mere logical caper in the subjective world. His starting point is a true proposition, and one the

truth of which he owes entirely to the Psychology he is hunting

* “Institutes of Metaphysic: the Theory of Knowing and Being. By James F. Ferrier, A.B., Oxon., Professor of Moral Philosophy and Political Economy, St. Andrew's.” Blackwood, Edinburgh. 1855.

[ocr errors]
« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »