Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

BOOKS RECEIVED.

Congregational Sunday-school and Publishing Society, Boston and Chicago. Honda the Samurai. A Story of Modern Japan. By William Elliot Grittis, D. D., Pastor of the Shawniut Congregational Church, Boston, Mass., and author of " The Mikado's Empire," etc. With Illustrations. Pp. 390. 1.50.

Massachusetts New-Church Union, Boston. The Spiritual Interpretation of the Scriptures. Lectures on Genesis and Exodus. By Joseph Worcester. Pp. 183. 1890. 75 cents.

Tuttle, Morehouse, Taylor, New Haven. The Philosophical Works of Leibnitz. Comprising the Monadology, New System of Nature, Principles of Nature and of Grace, Letters to Clarke, Refutation of Spinoza, and his other important Opuscules, together with the Abridgment of the Theodicy, and extracts from the New Essays on the Human Understanding. Translated from the original Latin and French. With Notes by George Martin Duncan, Instructor in Mental and Moral Philosophy, Yale University. 8vo, pp. 392. 1890. $2.50.

A. C. Armstrong & Son, New York. The Expositor's Bible. The Book of Isaiah By the Rev. George Adam Smith, M. A., Minister of Queen's Cross Church, Aberdeen. In two volumes. Vol. II. Isaiah xl.-Ixvi. With a Sketch of the History of Israel from Isaiah to the Exile. Pp. xvi, 474. 1890. $1.50. For sale by De Wolfe, Fiske & Co., Boston. — The Miracles of our Saviour. Expounded and Illustrated. By William M. Taylor, D. D., LL.D., Pastor of the Broadway Tabernacle, New York city. Pp. vi, 449. 1890. $1.75. For sale by De Wolfe, Fiske & Co., Boston. The Living Christ and the Four Gospels. By R. W. Dale, LL. D., Birmingham. Pp. xii, 299. 1890. A. W. Mackay, Pioneer Missionary of the Church Missionary Society to Uganda. By bis Sister. With Portrait and Map. Author's Edition. Pp. viii, 488. 1890.

The Baker f. Taylor Co., New York. How to be a Pastor. By Theodore L. Cuyler, D. D., late Pastor of the Lafayette Avenue Church, Brooklyn. 16mo, pp. 151. 75 cents.

E. P. Dutton & Co., New York. The Light of the World and other Sermons. By Phillips Brooks, Rector of Trinity Church, Boston. Fifth Series. Pp. 373. 1890. ^ $1.75.

* Funk &. Wagnalls, New York. Lyrics. Fjelda, The Great Bridge, In the Happy Summer Time, etc. By Joseph Hudson Young. Pp. 131. 1889. $1.00.

Hunt & Eaton, New York ; Cranston g. Stowe, Cincinnati. Boston Homilies. Short Sermons on the luternational Sunday-school Lessons for 1891. By Members of the Alpha Chapter of the Convocation of Boston University. First Series. Pp. viii, 408. 1890. $1.25. - The Sibylline Oracles. Translated from the Greek into English Blank Verse. By Milton S. Terry, Professor in Garrett Biblical Institute. Pp. 261. 1890. $1.50.

Anson D. F. Randolph & Co., New York. The Great Discourse of Jesus the Christ, the Son of God. A Topical Arrangement and Analysis of all bis Words recorded in the New Testament separated from the context. Pp. xxxi, 361. $1.50.

Scribner & Welford, New York. Handbooks for Bible Classes and Private Students. Edited by Professor Marcus Dods, D. D., and Rev. Alexander Whyte, D. D. The Six Intermediate Minor Prophets : Obadialı - Zephaniah. By George C. M. Douglas, D. D., Principal and Professor of Hebrew in the Free Church College, Glasgow ; author of the Handbooks on “ Joshua” and “Judges,'' etc. Pp. 157. 60 cents.

Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. My Note Book. Fragmentary Studies in Theology, and subjects adjacent thereto. By Austin Phelps, D. D., LL. D. With a Portrait. Pp. viii, 324. 1891. $1.50.

Thomas Whittaker, New York. The Theological Educator. Edited by the Rev. W. Robertson Nicoll, M. A., LL. D., Editor of “The Expositor.” The Writers of the New Testament, their Style and Characteristics. By the late Rev. William Henry Simcox, M. A., Rector of Harlaxton. The Second Part of The Language of the New Testament. Pp. viii, 190. 75 cents.

Charles L. Webster & Co., New York. A Concise Cyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Biblical, Biographical, Theological, Historical, and Practical. Edited by Elias Benjamin Sanford, M. A. Illustrated. Pp. 985. 1890.

The Johns Hopkins Press, Baltimore. The Intercourse between the United States and Japan. An Historical Sketch. By Inazo (Ota) Nitobe, A. B. extra ordinem (J. H. U.), A. M. and Ph. D. (Halle), Associate Professor, Sapporo, Japan. 8vo, pp. ix, 198. 1891. $1.25.

S. C. Griggs & Co., Chicago. Hindu Literature; or, The Ancient Books of India. By Elizabeth A. Reed, Member of the Philosophical Society of Great Britain. Pp. xviii, 410. 1891.

James Speirs, London. The Two Christianities, Old and New. By the Rev. James F. Buss. Pp. xi, 107. 1890.

The University Press, Cambridge; C. J. Clay & Sons, London. The Smaller Cambridge Bible for Schools. The Acts of the Apostles ; with Introduction and Notes. By J. Rawson Lumby, D, D., Norrisian Professor of Divinity, Edited for the Syndics of the University Press. Pp. 160. 1890. — Pitt Press Mathematical Series. Elementary Algebra. Edited for the Syndics of the University Press by W. W. Rouse Ball, Fellow and Mathematical Lecturer of Trinity College, Cambridge. Pp. xv, 486. 1890. Pitt Press Series. Gai Iuli Cæsaris Commentariorum de Bello Civili, Liber Primus. With Introduction, Notes, and Maps. By A. G. Peskett, M. A., Fellow, Assistant Tutor, and Lecturer of Magdalene College, Cambridge. Edited for the Syndics of the University Press. Pp. xx, 172. 1890. EENODONTOZ KTPOT NAIAEIAS F'Z' H'. The Cyropædeia of Xenophon. Books VI., VII., VIII., with Notes, By the Rev. Hubert A. Holden, M. A., LL. D., Fellow of the University of London. Edited for the Syndics of the University Press. Pp. 296. 1890.

Librairie Fischbacher, Paris. Le Problème de L'Immortalité. Par E. Petavel-Olliff, Ancien Pasteur, Docteur en Théologie. Étude Précédée d'une Lettre de Charles Secrétan, Professeur de Philosopbie à l'Université de Lausanne. Pp. xii, 441. 1891.

THE

ANDOVER REVIEW:

A RELIGIOUS AND THEOLOGICAL MONTHLY.

Vol. XV.- APRIL, 1891.- No. LXXXVIII.

THE LIFE AND TIMES OF PLATO.

Most men, most great men, are the natural and inevitable product of their antecedents and surroundings. They can be accounted for, and we feel that when we know little of their biography we lose a valuable portion of history. But in our spiritual astronomy the greatest men are what comets used to be, entirely exceptional and abnormal. Who can account for Homer, in the dim twilight of civilization, his conceptions of life, manners, , and usages showing an almost savage condition of society, yet his epics the cynosure of the ages? Who can account for Shakespeare ? Least of all those who have sought out the vestiges of him in his birthplace, seen the squalidness of his native home, and thence tracked bis errant footsteps which can have led him into the purlieus of liberal culture only when his transcendent genius had won his citizenship there. Who can account for Raphael ? The very term pre-Raphaelite denotes not preparation, but contrast, and his tutor's pictures explain nothing in him except faults in his earlier that disappear in his later works. The few greatest men that make epochs in their several departments, the fixed stars that have no secular parallax, but hold their unchanged place in midheaven while other luminaries shine for a time, and then grow pale and vanish, have in mind and soul no earthly parents or kindred. What is called their biography teaches us very little about them, and sometimes, as in the case of Shakespeare, is so utterly incommensurate with the man himself as to suggest doubts of the genuineness of his works. We there

Copyright, 1891, by HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN & Co.

fore need regret the meagreness of our knowledge about Plato less than if he were less of a man.

But it may be asked, Does not Socrates account for Plato? Not by any means. On the other hand, it is to a very great degree Plato that accounts for Socrates. Socrates was, indeed, a great man in his way, and had Xenophon alone transmitted his memory, it would have been for the veneration of all time. Yet there is no reason for supposing that he transcended Xenophon's report and portrait of him; while Plato's Socrates is not only much more than Xenophon’s, but in many respects of a different type.

I may illustrate what seems to me the difference between Socrates and Plato, by the analogy of physical science. In this, observation must precede theory. Facts must be known before they can be classed under the laws that govern them, and the observer, however keen and profound his vision, holds a lower place intellectually than the theorist — perhaps incapable of accurate observation — who marshals facts in their due order and their mutual relations. Equally in moral and spiritual truth fact must precede theory. There are in this department two orders of mind. There are the practically wise men, who discern intuitively what ought to be believed and done, and who might at first thought seem worth more to the world than the philosophers, yet are really on a lower plane; and then there are those who can so reason up to these truths, and so reason from them, as to extend and elevate them from modes of human thought and action into eternal laws and principles. Highest among the ancients in the former class was Socrates ; in the latter, unsurpassed in all time, was Plato.

In comparing the two we need to take into account the forces that really shape and govern human life and character. Socrates was a moral teacher, who made as few mistakes as a pre-Christian or non-Christian moralist ever made, and who succeeded in a marvelous degree in obtaining the consent of those who heard him to his views of right and duty. I do not, however, find that he produced any extensive moral reformation. Alcibiades was, perhaps, as much under his influence as any one; but he was not made permanently better.

A clear knowledge of the right is of very small ethical value. In our time every well-educated youth knows the right as well as any sage or saint; yet how many there are who recognize it only by consciously violating it! What is needed more than knowledge is motive force, enabling power, that which can coerce the will; and that this power must come from above is no less a philosophical verity than a truth of religious experience. It is not what men fully know, but what they can know only in part, yet can press on ever into the fuller knowledge of it, — that which excites aspiration and longing, – that which one sees, yet, to borrow St. Paul's metaphor, sees but dimly, as if reflected from a metallic mirror, — it is this region of supersensual truth, with its penumbra of mystery, that attracts generous souls into its sphere, that lifts them above greed and lust, that makes them spurn the earthy elements of life and character, that gives them to breathe in its own purer, healthier atmosphere, and at the same time imparts tension and vigor to the extensor muscles of the active powers, is a tonic to the will, and gives law to word and deed. This is the office of philosophy, implied in its very name, — not knowledge or wisdorn, but the love of wisdom, denoting not the self-conceit of the finder, but the humility of the earnest seeker.

In this service Plato had predecessors, — some, like Pythagoras, who left a long line of living light behind them. But their influence was nearly spent when Plato appeared, while his lasts till now. Clement of Alexandria and other Christian fathers reckoned him, along with the Hebrew prophets, among the precursors of the Divine Teacher, of whom none would have been more ready than Plato to say, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” In the Alexandrian school of the infant church, in the revival of learning, and in later times, among the profoundest thinkers of their respective epochs, “ Christian Platonist” has been almost the only title in which the word Christian has not lost dignity and worth by association with any term qualifying it or qualified by it.

Plato's philosophy, like whatever else can claim to be called philosophy, has the unknown for its realm, — a realm which grows with knowledge; for the broader the regions of the known, the more extensive are their confines, where thought can range, imagination soar, and theory find unbounded scope. Pre-Christian philosophy called on its disciples to remain ever in the empyrean, — to look down with contempt on the varying fortunes, the paltry aims, the mean ambitions, the brief pleasures of human life; and scorn of sublunary things was the source and sum of the virtues. Christianity is philosophy, not above life, but in life, — not despising, but transfiguring things earthly, finding in them types, foreshadowings, foreshinings, prophecies of the realm transcending experience

« НазадПродовжити »