Imágenes de páginas

tween the teaching of a mighty Poet,-him who wrote of "the Leech Gatherer on the lonely moor,”—and the writings of Thomas Carlyle. I see a similarity of spirit between them, inasmuch as both show how great a thing is man in his own original greatness, such as God made him and enabled him to become by his own energies, independently of all aid except from above; how noble he is in his plain native dignity, the network veil of social fictions and formalities, which "the dreary intercourse of daily life" spins out, being taken from before his face. And in this theme the one has illuminated with the glories of the poetic imagination, the other with the lambent many-colored flame of wit and humor, and a playful yet powerful eloquence, teeming with bright fancies, like a river which foams and flashes and sparkles in the sunshine, while it flows onward with a strong and steady current. Nevertheless when we have blown into thin air and transparency whatever is unsubstantial in this object of dread, still Poverty, or an insufficiency of the external means of ease and enjoyment according to our actual condition, must ever remain one of life's greatest evils; if it be not the greatest of all those which we do not create by any acts of our own will, yet surely none. is greater, seeing that it too often brings in its train all the rest—"cold, pain, labor,” with unrelieved and unprevented sickness, and want or loss of lively joyous warm affection, that scatters flowers and sunshine on the path of life. It presses hard upon the body, and both directly and indirectly it presses hard upon the mind. Richter, with all his superabundant energy, got rid of it as soon as possible, and no man who had not keenly felt how it can embitter and impoverish even a brave man's life could have written as he has done in his history of Siebenkäse, the Advocate of the Poor. Indeed the thorns of this piece may be felt ;-the fruit and flowers we can see and admire, but scarcely seem to taste them or inhale their living odors. S. C.

Note P., 343.

Trois Lettres à Mr. Remond de Mon-Mort. 1741 (opp. ed. Erdmann Berol. 1840. P. II., pp. 701–2). “Outre que j'ai eu soin de tout diriger à l'édification, j'ai tàché de déterrer et de réunir la vérité ensévelie et dissipée sous les opinions des différentes Sectes des Philosophes; et je crois y avoir ajouté quelque chose du mien pour faire quelques pas en avant."

I suppose that most philosophers attempt to traverse the ground cf all foregoing philosophies, and flatter themselves that they make quelques

in some remarks on the improved condition of literary laborers" in kir. Burton's Memoirs of David Hume, and is able to add :-"the fact of the general improvement on which he dwells cannot be doubted."

pas en avant, while the unphilosophic insist upon it, that they do but move in a circle-that there is among them vertigo quædam et agnatio perpetua el circulus,—and the anti-philosophic poet is of opinion, that

never yet did philosophic tube

That bring the planets home into the eye
Of observation, and discovers, else

Not visible, his family of worlds,
Discover Him that rules them.

After the sentence quoted verbatim by Mr. C. the letter proceeds thus. "Les Formalistes comme les Plátoniciens et les Aristotéliciens ont raison de chercher la source des choses dans les causes finales et formelles. Mais ils ont tort de négliger les efficientes et les matérielles, et d'en inferer, comme faisoit Mr. Henri Morus en Angleterre, et quelques autres Platoniciens, qu'il y a des Phénomènes qui ne peuvent être expliqués mecaniquement. Mais de l'autre côté les Materialistes, ou ceux qui s'attachent uniquement à la Philosophie mécanique, ont tort de rejeter les considérations métaphysiques, et de vouloir tout expliquer par ce qui dépend de l'imagination."

"Je me flatte d'avoir plnétré l'Harmonie des differens règnes, et d'avoir vu que les deux partis ont raison, pourvu qu'ils ne se choquent point; que tout ce fait mécaniquement et métaphysiquement en même tems dans les phénomènes de la nature, mais que la source de la mecanique est dans la metaphysique. Il n'étoit pas aisé de découvrir ce mystère, par ce qu'il y a peu de gens qui se donnent la peine de joindre ces deux sortes d'études." I have often thought that probably there is much 'one-sided reasoning and halving of truth amongst us at this day, because the men who are mathematical are not deeply and systematically metaphysical, and vice versa; those who are given to philosophical studies are not minutely acquainted with the history and present state of the Christian religion; while the great patricians and theologians have not been regularly trained and disciplined in metaphysical science,—do not appear to have patiently examined what a large portion of the students would hold undoubtedly to be discoveries in that direction. They hear persons who have travelled in Germany, but never set foot in the region of German metaphysics, or inhaled one breath of its thin atmosphere, maintain that this science makes no real permanent advances,-that what one man builds up another pulls down, to erect his own equally unstable edifice in its place. Judging of the matter from without, and hearing only censure and contention instead of consent and approbation, they are not aware how large a part of his immediate predecessor's opinions the successor quietly assumes. It is strange, however, that they should be ignorant of

the general fact, that a philosopher argues more against that teacher of philosophy from whom he has derived the main body of his opinions. whose system contains great part of that which his own consists of, than he does with the whole world beside. Could all that belongs to Leibnitz be abstracted from Kant, and all that belongs to Kant be abstracted from Fichte and Schelling, I should imagine that the metaphysical system of each would straightway fall into a shapeless, baseless wreck. There is perhaps no fallacy so common and so deluding as the imagination that we can understand another man's system of thought and feeling by looking at it from the outside, without having entered into it and abode in it, and learned experimentally its true nature and character. When a man is decrying German philosophy without having studied it, or perhaps read a word of what any German philosopher has written in his own books, his speech is sure to betray him: "so dangerous is it for the ablest man to attempt speaking of what he does not understand."* S. C.

Note Q., p. 366.

See his Treatise concerning the Search after Truth.-De la Recherche de la Vérité, book iii., especially chap. 6.

Father Malebranche was born at Paris, 1638, died in the same city, Oct. 13, 1715. Cousin speaks as follows of this pious philosopher.

"Nicholas Malebranche, l'un des Pères de l'Oratoire, génie profond, caché sous un extérieur peu avantageux, et incontestablement le plus grand métaphysicien que la France ait produit, développa les id es de Descartes avec originalité, en les reproduisant sous des formes plus claires et plus animées; mais son tour d'esprit éminemment religieux lui fit donner à sa philosophie un caractère mystique qui lui est particulier. La théorie de la connoissance, celle de l'origine des erreurs, surtout des erreurs qui tiennent aux illusions de l'imagination, enfin la méthode pour bien conduire notre pensée, telles sont les parties dont il a traité avec le plus de succés. Malebranche admit la théorie de la passivité de l'entendement et de l'activité libre de la volonté ; il considéra l'étendue comme l'essence des corps, l'âme comme une substance essentiellement simple, et Dieu comme le fond commun de toute existence et de toute pensée: ces doctrines l'amenèrent à combattre les idées innées par des objections pleines de force, et à soutenir que nous voyons tout en Dieu Dieu, suivant lui, comprend en soi toutes choses de la matière dont elles s'offrent à notre intelligence; il est l'infini de l'espace et de la pensée, le monde intelligible et le lieu des esprits." Manuel, vol. ii, pp


Spoken by Mr. Dequincey in reference to a celebrated German


It has been thought that there is a resemblance between the peculiar tenets of this philosopher and the doctrines of George Fox concerning divine illumination. They certainly prepare the way for the Idealism of Berkeley.

Among the posthumous works of Locke is An Examination of P. Malebranche's opinion of Seeing all things in God (Works, fol. 1751, vol. iii., p. 410), which examination is examined again by Leibnitz in his Remarques sur le sentiment du P. Malebranche, &c., 1708 (Opp. ed., Erdmann II., p. 456). To compare those two discourses is highly instructive and interesting. There are other critiques by eminent men of the Father's doctrine. The following account of the last days of Malebranche is given in the Life of Berkeley prefixed to his Works, the materials of which were chiefly furnished by his brother. "At Paris, Mr. Berkeley took care to pay his respects to the illustrious Père Malebranche. He. found this ingenious father in his cell, cooking in a small pipkin a medicine for a disorder with which he was then troubled, an inflammation on the lungs. The conversation naturally turned on our author's system, of which the other had received some knowledge from a translation just published. But the issue of this debate proved tragical to poor Malebranche. In the heat of disputation he raised his voice so high, and gave way so freely to the natural impetuosity of a man of parts and a Frenchman, that he brought on himself a violent increase of his disorder, which carried him off a few days after."

Thus did the illustrious Father Malebranche melt away, as it were, like a man of snow, before the vigorous sun of Berkeley, who was then about one and thirty, splendid in mind and person, and potent with his tongue, while the Father had entered his seventy-eighth year; his great metaphysical mind,-the greatest perhaps that France ever produced,joined with an eager spirit, proving at last too much for the decaying tenement of his body, which appeared from the first so weakly put together that the wonder was how it kept the metaphysician within the bounds of Time and Space so long. Yet his term of earthly existence exceeded by eight years that of his robust rival, who expired Jan. 14, 1753, "as he was sitting in the midst of his family listening to a sermon," -an end very suitable to the tenor of his gentle and pious yet strenuous life. S. C.

Note Q. 2, p. 366

Etienne Bonnot de Condillac was born in 1715 at Grenoble, died in 1780. Cousin says that he labored to perfect the empirical system of Locke, and attempted to trace up all the active faculties of the soul to sensibility by means of the transformation of sensations. Others, as La

Mettrie, carried forward this system, till they pushed it by its conse quences, or what they deemed such, into Atheism, Materialism, and a rigorous Determinism. Condillac has remained to the present time the representative of French philosophy, and its avowed chief. (Manuel, pp 208-10.) Des Cartes and Malebranche, though Frenchmen, were philosophers of so different a character, that they had no more to do towards the founding of this French school than metaphysicians of other nations. S. C.

Note R., p. 366.

Dr. Reid, who is considered by many to have been, as the Biographie Universelle describes him, the founder of a new era in the history of Modern Philosophy, was born in 1710, at Strachan in Kincardineshire. In 1763 he succeeded Adam Smith in the chair of Moral Philosophy in Glasgow University; died in October, 1796. He produced many works, the principal of which is Essays on the powers of the human mind: Lond., 1803, three vols., in 8vo. ; and perhaps the most popular, Inquiry into the human mind on the principle of common sense, 8vo., which appeared in 1763: it came into a sixth edit. in 1804. He also wrote Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man: Edinb., 1786, in 4to.

Sir James Mackintosh, with his usual anxiety to give all men as well as all arguments their due, and to put down hasty and unjust depreciation, defends Dr. Reid from the charge of shallowness and popularity, and maintains his right to "a commendation more descriptive of a philosopher than that bestowed by Professor Cousin of having made a vigorous protest against scepticism on behalf of common sense." He alleges that this philosopher's "observations on suggestion, on natural signs, on the connexion between what he calls sensation and perception, though perhaps occasioned by Berkeley, whose idealism Reid had once adopted, are marked by the genuine spirit of original observation." Sir James, however, admits that "Dr. Brown very justly considered the claims of Reid to the merit of detecting the universal delusion which had betrayed philosophers into the belief that ideas, which were the sole objects of knowledge, had a separate existence, as a proof of his having mistaken their illustrative language for a metaphysical opinion." *** Whether a man who utterly misunderstands the language of preceding philosophers on a cardinal point can himself be a "deep thinker,” is a question which I do not pretend to solve; I only think it is a question, and without offering a philosophical opinion I must say that Dr. Reid's

In this misapprehension Professor Stewart has followed him, as is evident from Elements, chap. iv., section ii.

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