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“ Another school of this kind is called the Hindoo Benevolent Institution, and is entirely supported by two benevolent native gentlemen. Three or four native teachers instruct about 100 scholars in English. It is a morning school.
Another school of this description is situated at Chor Bagan, and is also supported by two native gentlemen. Four native teachers instruct about 60 scholars in English in the morning hours.” — pp. 39-41.
Besides these, there are English schools in almost every District, designed chiefly for the instruction of children of Christian parents, but from which natives are not excluded. There are also two English colleges: Bishop's College at Calcutta, and Serampore College, in a Danish settlement of that name. The funds of the former have been derived, for the most part, froin the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, and other societies and individuals in the Church of England, and the whole constitution and government are under Episcopal influence and discipline. Those of the latter are dependent, for the most part, on subscriptions and contributions collected among the liberal and munificent friends of the missionary cause, in England, Scotland and the United States, the college itself, we believe, not being pledged to any denomination of Christians, though it has been built up mainly by the Baptists, and the instruction is chiefly in the hands of their missionaries at that station. Both have been in operation about fifteen years. The following is given as the most recent authentic report of the condition of the institution at Serampore.
“On the 31st December, 1834, there were in the college 10 European and East-Indian students; 48 native Christian students ; and 34 native students not Christian. The European and EastIndian students are taught Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Bengalee, and mathematics, and attend lectures on mental philosophy, chemistry, and ancient and ecclesiastical history. The native Christian students and the native students not Christian are taught Sanscrit, Bengalee, and English, and they pursue their studies together in no classification except what is required from the difference of their attainments. The non-Christian students are the sons of Brahmans and other natives residing in Serampore and its vicinity, who neither board in the college nor do any thing that may compromise their caste, but attend daily for instruction on their tutors, and at the lectures delivered in the college. In Latin — Cicero, Horace, and Juvenal are read; and in Greek — Homer, Xenophon, and Demosthenes. The Bengalee language is sedulously cultivated, and the chemical studies are grounded on a treatise drawn up by Professor Mack as a text-book. The logical course includes a summary of the inductive or Baconian system, as well as an analysis of the ancient or Aristotelian method, and an explanation of the nature, the varieties, and the laws of evidence; while the divinity course comprehends a series of lectures on some book of Scripture read in the original language, and on the principles of biblical interpretation.” — pp. 70, 71.
The Report contains a full, interesting, and on the whole, encouraging account of the origin, history, and policy of these institutions; though it is impossible to conceal the fact, that they have not, as yet, accomplished any thing like so much as might reasonably have been expected from so large an expenditure of money, labor, and good intention. But those who have the management of them are growing wiser every day. Without losing sight of the primary purpose of the East-Indian colleges, as connected with the dissemination of Christianity, they are continually adopting a more liberal course in regard to notions not Christian, and making more and more account of the bearings and influence which these institutions ought to have on the general interests of education. In this point of view, we regard them as destined to prove a great and universal blessing to Bengal, by making literature conspire with religion in becoming the vehicle of European civilization.
ART. III. – 1. Introduction to the History of Philosophy.
By Victor Cousin, Professor of Philosophy of the Faculty of Literature at Paris. Translated from the French.
By H. G. LINBERG. Boston. 1932. 2. Elements of Psychology, included in a critical Examination
of Locke's Essay on the Human Understanding. By the Same. Translated from the French, with an Introduction, Notes, and Additions; by C. S. HENRY: Hartford,
(Ct.) 1834. 3. Fragmens Philosophiques. By the Same. 2d edition.
WHOEVER would see the American people as remarkable for their philosophy as they are for their industry, enterprise,
and political freedom, must be gratified that these works have already attracted considerable attention among us, and are beginning to exert no little influence on our philosophical speculations, It is a proof that our philosophical speculations are taking a wholesome direction, and especially that the great problems of mental and moral science are assuming in our eyes a new importance, and calling to their solution a greater and an increasing amount of mind. We are, in fact, turning our attention to matters of deeper interest, than those which relate merely to the physical well-being of humanity. We are beginning to perceive that Providence, in the peculiar circumstances in which it has placed us, in the free institutions it has given us, has made it our duty to bring out the ideal man, and to prove, by a practical demonstration, what the human race may be, when and where it has free scope for the full and harmonious developement of all its faculties. In proportion as we perceive and comprehend this duty, we cannot fail to inquire for a sound philosophy, one which will enumerate and characterize all the faculties of the human soul, and determine the proper order and most efficient means of their developement.
These works will, we think, afford us important aid in rescuing the Church, and religious matters in general, from their present lamentable condition. Religion subsists among us, and always will, for it has its seat in the human heart; but to a great extent it has lost its hold upon the understanding. Men are no longer satisfied with the arguments by which it has heretofore been defended; the old forms, in which it has been clothed, fail to meet the new wants which time and events have developed, and there is everywhere, in a greater or less degree, a tendency to doubt, unbelief, indifference, infidelity. We have outgrown tradition, and authority no longer seems to us a valid argument. We demand conviction. We do not, as in the middle ages, go to religion to prove our philosophy, but to our philosophy to prove our religion. This may or may not be an evil, but it is unavoidable.
We must accept and conform to it. Henceforth religion must, if sustained at all, except as a vague, intangible sentiment, be sustained by philosophy. To doubt this, is to prove ourselves ignorant of the age in which we live.
But the philosophy, which has hitherto prevailed, and whose results now control our reasonings, cannot sustain religion. Everybody knows, that our religion and our philosophy are at war. We are religious only at the expense of our logic. This accounts for the fact, that, on the one hand, we disclaim logic, unchurch philosophy, and pronounce it a dangerous thing to reason; while, on the other, we reject religion, declaim against the clergy, and represent it exceedingly foolish to believe. This opposition cannot be concealed. It is found not only in the same community, but to a great extent in the same individual. The result cannot be doubtful. Philosophy will gain the victory. The friends of religion may seek to prevent it, labor to divert men's minds from inquiry by engaging them in vast associations for practical benevolence, or to frighten them from philosophizing by powerful appeals to hopes and fears; but the desire to philosophize, to account to ourselves for what we believe, cannot be suppressed. Instead, then, of quarrelling with this state of things, instead of denouncing the religious as do professed free inquirers, or the philosophizers, as is the case with too many of the friends of religion, we should reëxamine our philosophy, and inquire if there be not a philosophy true to human nature, and able to explain and verify, instead of destroying, the religious belief of mankind? We evidently need such a philosoplıy; such a philosophy we believe there is, and we know of no works so well fitted to assist us in finding it, as those of M. Cousin.
We welcome the appearance of M. Cousin's works, also, as indications, perhaps we should say, results, of a revolution which, within a few years, has been effected in French philosophy. As Americans, we cannot be indifferent to France. She is associated with what is most soul-stirring in our national history, and with much that is most hallowed in our memories. She has exerted by her opinions, her literature, and especially by her pbilosophy, and must long continue to exert, a great influence on our destiny. Aside, then, from the general concern which we take in what affects our race for good or for evil, and the deep sympathy we feel with man wherever and whatever we find him, we cannot but take a very great interest in every thing which relates to France; and we consider it of vast importance to ourselves, the future welfare of our own country, that she has renounced that chilling materialism, which was preached with such fervent and fanatical zeal by her philosophers of the last century.
What has been known, and what is now considered by many, in an especial sense, as French philosophy, is sensualism, so called from its professing to trace back all the facts of consciousness to sensation. France was ready for this philosophy when Voltaire introduced it to her acquaintance, from England, where he had borrowed it from Locke and his disciples. Condillac simplified it, gave it systematic unity, constructed its logic, and fitted it for empire, which it obtained and held for nearly a century, without contradiction and without example in the whole history of philosophy. It penetrated everywhere, into the court and saloons, into literature, the sacred desk, and, as the most decisive proof of its popularity, even into all the branches of instruction. The Revolution, in 1789, came to swallow it up for a time, as it did every thing else but unchained passion, exalted enthusiasm, and terrible
energy in action; but, as soon as the storm abated and there was a momentary calm, under the Directory, it reappeared and resumed its dominion. No one thought of questioning its legitimacy. That brilliant coterie who philosophized with so much eclat at the close of the last century and during the first days of the present, among whom were Cabanis, Destutt de Tracy, Volney, Degerando, and Laromiguière, however they might differ among themselves on some minor points, all received sensualism, systematized and perfected by Condillac, as the last word of pbilosophy. In their opinion, so far as its essential principles are concerned, Condillac had finished philosophy, and left nothing for future workmen but to illustrate and adorn it. Even down to the last moments of the Empire, sensualism was philosophy par excellence, and scarcely a scientific voice above a whisper was heard against it.
But its reign is now ended, and its glory departed. The works before us, together with their popularity in France, and that of their author, are sufficient proof of it. Providence, doubtless, assigned it an important mission ; but that mission ended with the destruction of the old Catholic Church and the feudal monarchy, and, though it continued to reign some time after, it was as a tradition rather than as a living system.
* See Damiron's Essai sur l'Histoire de la Philosophie en France du XIXe Siècle, in 2 vols., 8vo. A work we can recommend without reserve, to all who would become acquainted with French philosophy during the present century. We think we have seen a third edition of it. Ours is the second : Paris, 1828.