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ATWATER'S MANUAL OF ELEMENTARY Logic. Our first comment, as we take up this attractive volume, is the vain wish that Messrs. Lippincott and Co. had printed the Logic of our college days. If our text-book had been printed on paper so fairly tinted, with so clear a type and a page so open, with less than half the amount of text contained even in Whately, which was by no means an unwieldy book, the presumption to the contrary with which we started, would have been in great meas
If any subject needs the aid of an attractive mechanical presentation to the young student, it is logic.
And as we examine the book to see whether the contents are worthy of so attractive an exterior, our favorable impressions are abundantly confirmed. The author disclaims any intention of offering “any new contribution to the science of logic,” except as his “ way of illustrating known truths
may have shed some new light upon them.” Neither does he offer an exhaustive discussion of the subject. He aims to present the elements of the science in a form suited to the wants of teachers and learners, and in proportions somewhat reasonably related to the time usually allotted to the study in schools and colleges. And in this work he has shown exceljent judgment, with command of his subject. To say so much, and
it so well, and to bring the most essential facts and principles of the science, with varied illustrations, within the compass of this little manual, requires and proves high ability in the science, with that experience in the lectureroom for which the author is so favorably known.
And beyond the circle of those for whom the book was written, we commend the treatise to those who like to have at hand a vade mecum, clear, compact, and thorough, containing the essence without the details of the science, as developed by its ablest modern masters.
FROUDE's HISTORY OF ENGLAND, Vols. vii., viü., ix. and x. New York: Charles Scribner and Co.; Boston: W. H. Piper and Co.— This last instalment of a history which has done so much to awaken a new interest in the times which it portrays, and to excite a doubt at least respecting the generally received judgment concerning certain prominent characters, fully sustains the reputation of the author. While we hesitate about adopting particular judgments of Mr. Froude, we are fascinated by the power of the narrative and the living interest which events are made to assume. To those who wish to see how old and well-known events can be made almost as vivid as if they had happened within our lifetime, we would commend the chapter which describes one of the most atrocious and appalling events
1 Manual of Elementary Logic; designed especially for the use of Teachers and Learners. By Lyman H. Atwater, Professor of Mental and Moral Philosophy in the College of New Jersey. 12mo. pp. 244. Philadelphia : B. Lippincott and Co. 1867.
of a wicked age — the massacre of St. Bartholomew. We suppose that we must wait patiently for the succeeding portions of this history, for we be lieve that no more volumes have yet been issued in England.
Ecce Homo, ECCE DEUS, AND Deus HOMO.
Ecce Homo.1 The various reviews of this volume, many of which have appeared to us altogether premature, have compelled us to give a brief notice of the volume, although we had intended to defer all notice of it until its complement had appeared. Nothing is easier than to commend this work, and nothing is easier than to condemn it; for it has promising excellences and ominous faults. Had the writer of it been governed by a predominant desire to excite the curiosity of thinkers, he could not easily have achieved a more signal success. After the reading of the first chapter it is difficult to delay the reading of the second, and after perusing the entire volume it is tantalizing to be denied the immediate perusal of the volume which is to follow it. One rare art of a preacher is to discuss a topic so as to awaken his hearer's inquisitiveness to understand the topic succeeding. “What will he say next ? ” is the question which will be sure to keep his auditors awake. Here is the consummate art of a novel, and the present volume, although often abstract, and in general unimaginative, has yet to a scholar the attractiveness of a romance.
The work is condemned by some as superficial. Perhaps it is not so profound as certain expressions in it indicate. Perhaps the writer has “builded better than he knew.” But whether he meant to suggest or not, he certainly does suggest many deep thoughts; and there lie under his peculiar and often artificial style, not a few recondite principles of philosophy.
It is supposed by many that the author of this work will yet prove himself to be orthodox. Perhaps he will be found to come up to the standard of such schools as that of Neander. But if he be orthodox according to a stricter standard, he must contradict many, and modify more, of his present statements. He is supposed by others to be heterodox. He may be so; but if he be, he must retract a large number of his assertions, and qualify a still larger number. The fact is, the work does not pretend to be symmetrical, and we do not regard it as self-consistent. But the apparent contradictions of it arouse the reader's curiosity, and like acid and alkali produce a mental effervescence. Who is the author of the volume ? If he be evangelical he will be no mean defender; if he be anti-evangelical he will be no harmless opponent of the true faith. Hence there has been a general inquisitiveness to learn whether the book were written by Professor Seeley of the London University, or by some one of twenty others to
1 Ecce Homo: a Survey of the Life and Work of Jesus Christ. 16mo. Pp. 355. Boston: Roberts Brothers. 1866.
whom it has been ascribed. The very concealment of the writer's name, as in the case of Junius's Letters, has intensified the interest in his work. Omne ignotum pro mirifico.
It has been well said that “ the solar system, so long as it was viewed from the earth as a centre, was an inextricable web of confusion ”; but as soon as “ a standing-point for the imagination was found in the sun, everything fell into its right place.” When we shall have read the author's treatise on “ Christ as the Creator of Modern Theology and Religion,” that complement to the “ Ecce Homo” may show us that various ambiguous passages in the present work have a false meaning, although now they may be interpreted as true; or that they have a bad signification, although now they may seem to have a good one. We understand the author as denying the right of men to form a complete judgment with regard to the present volume of " half-truths,” because the volume was intended to be" a defective and incomplete thing," and a fragment of a whole; and the completed work may give a continuity to that which now appears disjointed, and may show that to be proper and natural which now has the appearance of affectation.
The volume is marked by originality ; still it is an originality of style more than of thought. There is a charming freshness in the treatise; but if its ideas were expressed in their wonted technical form the freshness would be dried up. Hence it is said by some that the work has no solid worth. But not every village or city or university can furnish an author who is able to clothe an ordinary thought with such an apparel that it shall awaken the admiration of men as if it were a new discovery; and to publish a mere fragment which shall arouse the interest of two continents, excite some evangelical writers to condemn it as rationalistic, and some rationalistic writers to condemn it as evangelical; comfort many
Christians with the hope that a new ally has been raised up for them, and embolden many infidels with the assurance that a new implement of warfare against Christianity has now been invented. There must be a fault somewhere, or there would not have been this indefiniteness; but perhaps the very cause of the ambiguity will be the secret of a new power in the completed treatise.
Ecce Deus." In many respects this volume resembles Ecce Homo. It is marked by originality of conception, and by pithiness of style. It is also characterized by an affectation of novelty, and an apparent straining after effect. It abounds in extravagant statements, more extravagant than those in Ecce Homo. Thus we read : “ Christ must be more than a good man, or worse than the worst man; if he be not God, he is the devil” (p. 23). Commenting on the feast given to Jesus by Simon the Pharisee, and the remarks of
1 Ecce Deus : Essays on the Life and Doctrine of Jesus Christ, with Controversial Notes on Ecce Homo. 16mo. pp. 363. Boston: Roberts Brothers. 1867.
Jesus to the woman who washed his feet, the author says: “ A case like this does more to confirm the Godhead of Jesus Christ than can be done by a sanhedrim of theologians, armed with the genius and the lore of ages. We have in it all the God we need ” (p. 97).
The volume presents various caricatures of the Calvinism which prevails at the present day. The author says (pp. 32, 33): “ It has been suggested by the narrowest and hardest school of theologians that God may, as a sovereign, damn anybody without being held accountable, or without giving any shadow of reason to his creatures.” “ The fatherly instinct of the human race, to which Christ himself appealed instantly, without flutter or misgiving, says: “If God calls all men, and yet determines that only a few shall come; if he mocks men by offering gifts which he has rendered them powerless to accept; if he makes some vessels of dishonor, and then breaks them to pieces because they are not vessels of honor; if he can sit on his judgment-seat and see men going down to hell because he determined from all eternity that they should not go to heaven; if when he says • whosoever he means but a few, — then let all honest and noble men leave him alone in his hateful heaven, and go down to hell in company
poor injured creatures who have deserved better at his hands."
If the author can cite any passages of the older Calvinistic writers which palliate such a misrepresentation of their belief, he certainly cannot cite any passages of the modern Calvinistic school which give him any excuse for such a caricature.
His views of sin and regeneration are as inaccurate as his views of divine sovereignty. He says: “ Little children are included in the kingdom of heaven; and in this particular Christ's idea of the church, which must be the true idea, is totally different from current ecclesiastical notions. It is now taught that children have to be converted; but Christ taught that men were to be converted, and to be like little children - a direct inversion of narrow theological churchmanship” (p. 102).
But notwithstanding the pert and flippant style of many passages in this volume, it is eminently suggestive, and is entitled to much of the commendation which we have bestowed on Ecce Homo.
Deus Homo.? Professor Parsons is well known as an acute jurist, a learned Professor in the Law School of Harvard College, and an ingenious advocate of the Swedenborgian theology. His present volume (with many dissimilarities), bears some resemblances to Ecce Homo and Ecce Deus ; like them it contains many startling sentences, and boldly assumes various disputed propositions. For instance we read that “in one sense every devil is in his own
1 Deus Homo : God-man. By Theophilus Parsons. 16mo. pp. 455. Chicago : E. R. Myers and Chandler. 1867.
heaven : He is in that condition of things than which he conceives of nothing better, desires nothing better, and would enjoy nothing better; for if he could he would at once have something better” (p. 152). “ The fires of hell are the life-loves of those who are there. They are given to them, not that they may be wretched, but that they may have all the enjoyment which they have left to themselves the possibility of having” (pp. 153, 154). The finally lost“ may have all that they conceive of enjoyment. They have as much of this as they can be persuaded to have, or coerced into a fitness for by a discipline which is suited to them” (p. 157). Like other Swedenborgian works, the present volume spiritualizes the plainest utterances of the Bible, and abounds in mystical theories. It is, however, more rational than the majority of the Swedenborgian treatises, and suggests many valuable thoughts in singularly pertinent language.
LIBER LIBRORUM : its Structure, Limitations, and Purpose. A friendly
Communication to a reluctant Sceptic. 16mo. pp. 232. New York: Charles Scribner and Co. 1867.
It is doubtful whether the Ecce Homo and the Ecce Deus would have been written had not Renan published his Life of Christ; and it is doubtful whether the “ Liber Librorum” would have been written had not the Ecce Homo been published. The works are exceedingly unlike each other in various respects, yet are all tinctured, more or less, by one peculiarity. The chief aim of the Liber Librorum is to prove that, although the Bible is inspired, yet it is not infallible; although it “ contains and embodies the word of God,” yet it is not “from first to last and in all parts the word of God.” Under the head of inspired scripture the author classes “ all that. we are told of God beyond what may be gathered from his works and prov idential government of the world; all the information we have as to orir future destiny, every prophetic intimation, every elevating and purifying truth which man would not otherwise reach” (p. 64). According to this theory, then, in order to prove that any truth is given by inspiration, of God, it is necessary to prove that men could not learn that truth by their own unaided reason. If we can learn that truth without inspiration., then the truth is not given by inspiration. But how can we prove that the Bible is inspired in reference to that one truth? It is, according to our cuthor, inspired in reference to no truths discoverable by reason ; it is very erroneous in many of its teachings ; what evidence have we that it is inspired in reference to those truths which the unaided reason cannot discover ? If the biblical assertions that the biblical writers are inspired do not prove that these writers are inspired where our own reason teaches us, that they speak the truth, how do these assertions prove that these writers are inspired where our own reason does not antecedently teach us that the writers speak the truth ?
What are the truths which our unaided reason cannot discern? Are