« ZurückWeiter »
Review.- Divine Origin of Revelation.
are proposed under each problem, to authenticity of scripture, from moral which the pupil, by referring to his motives, without entering into any globes, according to the rules given, is metaphysical disquisitions, or taking expected to find an answer, which he its stand on philosophical ground. must insert in columns or blank spaces We do not mean, however, to insinuate left for this purpose.
| that these important sources of eviWe have no doubt that the plan laid dence are disregarded by our author. down by the author will prove highly | He admits their value, but assigns to advantageous, by enabling the pupils, them their respective limits, in the when advanced to maturity, to refresh following passages: their memories with the acquirements of their youthful years, and by operat
" It is not intended in the following pages ing as an incentive on their posterity,
to violate any acknowledged principle of sound
philosophy, while at the same time it is as little to equal, if not to surpass, in geographi
intended to compose a mere philosophical cal knowledge, the attainments of their essay. Philosophy and Theology are distinct ancestors.
things : nor do we suppose that the former has any just title to arrogate a claim, as valuable as
its rules, and as sober and sound as its spirit Review.- Reasons for admitting the may be, to dictate in a peremptory manner Divine Origin of Revelation. By
about the latter. We undoubtedly owe to Joseph Jones, M.A. Longman, Hurst,
reason and philosophy a very profound and sin
cere regard; but we must wisely assign to &c. London. pp. 111. 1820.
them their proper provinces and limits; and ALTHOUGH Revelation has been as
we must always remember, that theology is a sailed during the many ages of its
pecaliar subject. existence. its truth still remains un “The evidences of our religion are external shaken. Attack has produced defence,
and internal ; the first description of evidence and this has elicited in its favour a
being composed of accredited testimony to cer
tain facts; and the second resulting from the complication of evidence arising from
examination of the discoveries which the rethe most unexpected quarters.
cords themselves contain. Historical eviIt is a maxim among lawyers, that dence, of which we are competent judges, the title of an estate which has been
stands, if it be firmly established, as an impreg
nable fortress, not to be in the slightest degree questioned, submitted to legal exa
affected by the most ingenious, or virulent, or mination, and pronounced valid, ac reiterated assaults. If the impagners of revelaquires additional strength by the scru tion acted with candour and fairness, they tiny it has undergone. It is much the would desist from desseminating their calumsame with the Book of Divine Reve
nies, till by the complete subversion of historilation. It has been assailed in every
cal evidence, they had shewn the justice of
them. Let them dispassionately examine the part that was thought vulnerable, but
labours of a Paley and a Chalmers; let them those attacks have been regularly re shew, if they are able to do it, by a method of pelled, and Christianity has risen with reasoning and philosophizing as sober, as judicinew triumphs from each contest.
ous, and as acute, as that which those great The enemies, however, of those doc- |
men have exhibited, that their statements are
fallacious, and that there is no credit whatever trines which the sacred writings con- to be given to historical testimony. The whole tain, although unable to advance any subject will then at least assume a new comthing new, have been assiduous in plexion. giving circulation to long-refuted ob 1 “Internal evidence is a very different thing. jections and half-forgotten calumnies, It rests on certain moral notions and feelings and in disseminating them in pam
that belong to our nature, and on certain assumpphlets among a description of persons,
tions that are made in agreement with them. who know little or nothing of their
We advance certain positions ; or, at least, we
form and entertain certain notions; and we antiquity or refutation. This circum
then apply them as so many tests by which we stance, renders a circulation of the judge of the character of revelation, and of its popular evidences in favour of Christi claim to our esteem. Is this process proper, anity peculiarly necessary, especially | justifiable, and philosophical? We see nothing at the present time, to counteract the historical evidence is sufficient in itself, and
| in it to the contrary. It is allowed, that the influence of that moral and intellectual
incontrovertible; and some, on this ground, poison, which the emissaries of infi may deem anything farther to be entirely delity are thus endeavouring to diffuse superfluous. We are not prepared to adopt among the artisans, mechanics, and
this notion in its full extent, until we have
been convinced, that the very idea of internal labouring classes of society.
evidence is a vain fabrication of the mind; The work before us is rather persua- that all our moral notions and feelings are so sive than argumentative, urging the delusive as not to deserve the slightest creditNo. 24.-VOL. III.
Review- Tributes to Truth.
and that every assumption that proceeds upon has at least one good trait, that of them, must, in the very nature of things, be brevity, we shall transcribe it. purely gratuitous." ; The preceding quotations furnish a
“ Dedicated to the GUARDIAN fair specimen, not only of the author's Spirit OF THE BRITISH Isles. style and manner of writing, but of Protecting Spirit! Thou hast ever been those views which he has taken of the regarded as one easily yielding to corporeal momentous subject which employs
pleasures, and more especially to that lowest his pen.
of all the pleasures of the stomach. Certainly, What these introductory if thou hadst not been formed for such pleaobservations promise, the subsequent
sures, thou wouldest not have been fitted for pages amply fulfil. In these, the our protector; but equally certain is it, that a moral nature of God, the responsi formation, fitting thee for other pleasures, was bility of man, and, from his lapsed
infinitely more necessary. Long hast thou condition, the necessity of such a de
been cherished as our Protector; but seldom
has it been acknowledged, that it is to thee we velopment of the Divine will as the are chiefly indebted for all the pleasures of the Bible supplies, are urged with much mind, which every British subject must feel, affectionate solicitude; and the con- and which is the very height of his enjoyment sequences which flow from the use or
here. abuse of those precepts and mercies
• Long hast thou been the Protector of our
mental pleasure! Truth hast thou ever supwhich Christianity presents, are anti
ported! and every British subject, relying on cipated with a strong feeling of re- thy ever-supporting, and unconquerable power, gard. When this book becomes known must hail thee with delight,
a certain class of readers. it will l Padstow, 1819. Ás does the Author.' not want any other recommendation. I We have often read of Bacchus
presiding over the flowing Can, cheerReview.-Tributes to Truth, by Nicho- | ing his votaries to excess, and exciting
las Littleton. Wherein a few obscu-them to madness, by his all-powerful rities, made or left by Locke and narcotics; but we never heard of him others, are removed, and Philosophy as the patron, or encourager of literaand Common Sense go hand in hand. | ture; or that it is to him we are Vol. I. Part I. 4to. pp. 126.-1819.
chiefly indebted for all the pleasures
of the mind.' It is generally sup“ Truth is never ashamed.”
posed, that men of the most sober
habits have the clearest understandThat venal motives are more common ings:— that spirit, therefore, must be ly the object of dedications, than pure made up of very contradictory princirespect or gratitude, cannot be ques- ples, which can at one time recommend tionep.-Our being permitted to at-food to the mind, and at another be tach certain great names of respecta- strenuous in advocating habits, which bility among the literary world, to will tend to annihilate its digestion. publications, or such as have great! That protector must be indeed of the weight with the public as patrons of unaccountable sort, which bids his disliterature, must tend frequently to in- ciples, first inhale “the pleasures of crease their sale, if not their value. the mind,' and then instil such poiBut what additional support the author son as will, in most instances, counterof the work before us can possibly act its influence. We must confess, suppose to derive, either of celebrity we should approach such a spirit, let or gain, by dedicating to the Guardian our adulation be ever so well got up, Spirit of the British Isles,' we cannot with rather a doubtful submission, lest easily conceive. Neither can we un- we should be so unfortunate as to offer derstand who or what this aerial being it at a time when his capricious dispomay be; and we must confess, as some sition might savour more of destrucpalliation of our stupidity, that our tion than condescension! In fine, we friends who have seen this volume, are hesitate not to say, that we do not coninvolved in the same mysterious doubt. sider this imagined protector will be Many have paid their devoirs to nobi- any safeguard, or do any credit, to the lity, and even to majesty: but no one morality or celebrity of our author. within our recollection, before Mr. L. The volume before us, is made up of has ever ventured to solicit prefatory a dedication, a preface, and an introprotection from any such imaginary duction, upon which we shall immedibeing. We shall not extend our re-ately enter, dwelling chiefly on such marks; for as this dedicatory epistle parts only as appear most likely to give 189
Review- Tributes to Truth.
a general idea of its coutents. As our | Mr. L. is in some way connected with analysis will be conducted with sober the medical profession, for he supcriticism, we hope to bear in mind, ports his positions and remarks by exthroughout, the lesson of Seneca - amples drawn from the Materia Medica. Ab honesto nulla re deterribitur,-ad turpia / We cannot but remark, that our aunulla spe invitabitur.
thor has extended his preface to an To give our readers an idea of the
unnecessary length by protracted author's reasoning, we shall begin by
pieces of poetry, which, however they a quotation from the preface, which it
may tend to convey his meaning, appears to us should be explanatory
might, in our humble judgment, be of the main design of the work, but
very much curtailed. which has been converted, in this in
We always thought that system was stance, to a strange metaphysical dis
metanhusical dis. I a concatenation of links, or series of quisition !
operations, by which certain effects
might be produced, or merely the · Whenever we express ourselves accordant Linetrument hy which certain wich
instrument by which certain wished-for to oar knowledge, we are then said to speak the truth. Truth, as regarding the reality of
consequences might be effected :-but things,-the certainty of existence, is immut
our author declares that able ;-is never different; but as regarding System is a word become at last synonymind, it is otherwise : for since some know mous with supposition; each system-maker better than others, therefore the truth of dif- | dresses up a supposition in some gaudy, or ferent persons differs : one man's truth is bet- | perhaps beautiful apparel.' p. x. ter to be trusted to than is another man's truth; although the truth of one man is no more truth
How often is it the case, that we than is the truth of the other man; as in the condemn in others what we ourselves one man, truth is expressive of knowledge, so practise. Mr. L. declares, that, “ led it is in the other man; and the difference be by systems, men's minds become contween them is with regard to knowledge.
fused,' (p. x.) while he himself has As • truth is never ashamed,' so, methodically divided the volume before under every possible circumstance, it us into dedication, preface, and introadmits of no variation. Our author duction, and his remarks and positions says, “When we express ourselves are not thrown together with all the according to our knowledge, we are carelessness imaginable. And why then said to speak the truth. We does system confound men's minds? cannot subscribe to this definition of Because truth without some hesitation, for, ac- ! Supposition being overlooked for immutacording to our celebrated lexicogra- ble truth, and this truth, confounded with suppher, Johnson, “ Truth is conformity position which is known, that which is of notions to things.” Therefore there true, immutably true, becomes confounded with is a wide difference between contin
what is thought to be thus true.' p. X. gency of notions to things, and con | As we have reason to suppose Mr. formity to them. Does Mr. L. mean Littleton is connected with the faculty, to say, that because a person speaks we would ask-Whether anatomy is to the best of his knowledge and belief supported on scientific, or chimerical of any circumstance, that the truth or principles? From the little we know falsity of such a circumstance, shall be of this science, we are inclined to think made to correspond with, or be altered it as one of the most perfect; and as by, this uncertain mode of communica- we would not doubt Mr. Li's knowtion—that bare assertion shall be the ledge so much as to think him sceptitouch-stone of truth? Impossible ! cal on this point, we shall naturally Truth, without exception, and in every disclaim the position, that its systems sense of the word, must be physically I are altogether imaginary, or that they correct, and it is not to be affected by rest on any thing short of fact. Sysassertion or circumstance. If truth be tem relates only to the specific combigarbled or tarnished, the defect rests nation of materials. It matters not with him who does so, let the cause be what enters into this combination, what it may; yet the fact itself remains whether facts, theories, or supposition, unsullied, and is as much truth as if for we again repeat, that system merely stated correctly.--Veritas non recipit relates to a regular arrangement, withmagis ac minus,-truth is ipso facto im-out bearing any affinity to the nature mutable.
of the materials. It is “ any comWe should judge, by his elucida- plexure or combination of many things tions in a succeeding paragraph, that acting together; or, a scheme which
Review-Tributes to Truth.
reduces many things to regular de- impulses and actions of the mind. As pendence or co-operation.” (Johnson.) these do not differ materially from the 'It will therefore be immediately per- opinions and reasonings of previous ceived, that our author has allowed his philosophers, we should not think ourdefinition of system too extensive a selves justified in entering upon them. signification.
One passage, however, on probable • But are thoughts to be corrected by evidence, appears to us of so much maxims, when even maxims must spring from consequence in a legislatorial point of thoughts? No: every thought, as we proceed, 1 view. "that perfectly as it coincides is to be examined as to its truth or falsity;
with our ideas, we cannot but give to proceeding thus, whatever ground is gained will be firm; and when we cannot do all that
our readers; and this we are the more we wish, let us be satisfied, in the doing all we willing to do, on account of our precan.' p. xiii.
vious censures. A maxim is an axiom, a general . Although the examination of the causes of position, or certain direction. It is eflects does not lead to conclusions which are not, however, derogatory to the prin
certain, nevertheless, our conclusions are often
so certain, that we confide as boldly on thein ciple of common sense,' because it is
as on certainties; and all, having the free exerthe product of thought, that it should cise of their reasoning powers, agree in their be a corrector of our thoughts. Man conclusions on numerous subjects, admitting is a fallible being; is it not therefore only probable evidence. From this universajust, that he should resort to maxims,
lity of agreement, in conclusions, arises the
uniformity of human institutions ; hence, to de(the result of thought,) to guide and
termine on the commission of crime by the direct bim? Are they not the bulwark
laws of Old England, twelve men must be of of the mens conscia recti? We might one mind,--must come to the same conclusion. ask the question, whether the Bible is In some countries a larger number than twelve a proper book of consultation, such
is required. By some governments, it is only being replete with maxims, and no
required that the majority, by other govern
I ments, that two thirds, should be of one mind. doubt they originated from thoughts! In this island, the jury is demanded to give a As we cannot question Mr. L.'s religi- decision of guilty or not guilty. Gailty or not ous tenets so much as to doubt his be- guilty, form, as it were, the two terminating lief in the Holy Scriptures, we shall points of a line; and between these two points, suspend the argument, by supposing
are the various shades of probability. Our
custom of requiring all to be of one mind, is we do not understand the drift of his
most proper, as thus less doubt remains as to axiom.
the guilt of the criminal; whereas, in countries • These maxims, however, are the offspring where only part of the jury is required to of common sense; and it would have been well agree, it seems cruel that a culprit should pay if these system-makers had applied them the debt for a crime, the commission of which strictly; for then system would soon have ap- is so doubtful. Our custom, however, though peared as synonymous with supposition.' p. xiii. leaning on the side of mercy, still seems capa
ble of improvement. It has been remarked, We should be glad to know how
that between guilty and not guilty, there are maxims, which are the offspring of the numerous shades of probability, and it common sense, should, by their ap- might so happen, (if hunger were not called in, plication, bring system on a level with in order to compel men to speak falsehood, supposition. Every, man, short of an man short of an that the majority only would be of one mind.
Now, since there are various shades of probaidiot, is endowed, we should juage, bility, as to the commission of crime, as well with some proportion of common sense; as different degrees of crime, it may he asked, and, as Mr. L. himself acknowledges, where would be the impropriety of different must be well stored with maxims. degrees of punishment, accordingly as the How then, in the name of all that is commission of crime is more or less probable ; rational, can he who is under the guid
as well as different degrees of punishment,
proportioned to the degrees of crime. ance of axioms, maxims, or fixed
In probability, when most clear, the conmoral principles, be taught to form clasion of a single individual is as certain as systematic arrangements, which are would be the conclusions of any number of pernothing short of supposition? Having
sons; all will come to the same conclusion.
What individual would not conclude that the discussed this point in a preceding
sun will rise again, be again in the meridian, paragraph, we shall proceed with the
again set? Our conclusion is here founded on analysis.
universal experience; and from concluding, We have now examined some pas that the conclusions of others are like our own sages belonging to the preface; the conclusions.' p. 14 & 'j. introduction commences by some re Man, as a fallible being, is conmarks on reason, and, as it proceeds, stantly liable to err; much, therefore, takes into consideration the various as we reverence the opinions and ratio
Review – Tributes to Truth.
cinations of Mr. Locke, we should not “When in the wilderness of thought, I
boarding was much delighted with Mr. Locke's examibe the more respected by hazarding
nation of the understanding : but now, a few of the opinion, that he, as well as others,
his broad roads appear as scrambling sheepdid not partake of this kindred imperfection. On the contrary, the difficulty
In giving a short analysis of this of the subject, the talents required to volume, it is not necessary, in order to accomplish it, and the application ne- fix the judo
fix the judgment as to its intrinsic cessary to complete his grand meta-value, for us to go minutely into its physical system, will sufficiently palli
several passages. We think our ate those defects, which are compara
readers must be sufficiently convinced tively small, when put in competition already by the narts
already, by the parts already noticed. with the immensity of the design. But we shall therefore proceed rapidly to return :-Our author does not ex- through the volume, having given a actly coincide with Mr. Locke on the specimen from each of the writer's nature of complex ideas, and his reasons arrangements. The process of conare chiefly directed against chap. viii. clusion is arrived at, by and through sections 7, 8, 9, & 10, of the Essay on the authority of premises :- if the prethe Human Understanding. The con- mises be accurate, the conclusion is cluding sentence of the tenth section
necessarily supposed to be so too, and runs thus, at which Mr. L. makes a
vice versâ. We find, therefore, that we pointed charge :-“ For the power in
are enabled to give a very brief crifire to produce a new colour or con- tique, by confining ourselves to our sistency in wax or clay, by its primary author's conclusion; which, to save qualities, is as much a quality in fire, time, as well as our pages, we shall as the power it has to produce in me a immediately touch upon, as a corollary new idea, or sensation of warmth or involving the multum in parvo of the burning, which I felt not before by the whole. same primary qualities, viz. the bulk,
“Of this first part, (meaning this volume) texture and motion, of its insensible the final conclusion is, MINDS THINK ALIKEparts." To which our author re form like conclusions : and the difference beplies:
|tween us, is only with regard to the manner
of expression,-is only a difference of words." 6 - Motion of its insensible parts :" the word p. 125. insensible, as here used, cannot refer to the
Cras credemus hodie nihil! want of sensibility in such parts, but refers to
Expression, which is usually conthe balk, figure, texture, and motion of insensible, that is, of imperceptible parts. Here is
| sidered as the index of the mind, is an inadvertent absurdity; to say insensible by this hypothesis rendered null and parts affect our senses—are sensible to us. | void; and all the finer feelings of the This may be corrected by substituting the soul are completely annibilated. The word intangible for insensible. What is sensi
glowing phrenzy of the poet's imagible to one sense, may not be so to another.'
nation, and the common sense and P. 10.
philosophy' so strenuously insisted Our author has here a jeu de mots. upon by the author, must vanish into Truth is in itself a sense, therefore “air, thin air.” The intimate contitangibility and sensibility are in this guity, which is usually allowed to subcase synonymous, and therefore we do sist between thought and articulation, not think Mr. Locke's reasoning made has no longer any being :-and what more intelligible, or more correct, by can be said of a man, whose intellects this gentleman's substitution. As the do not coincide with his utterance? word sensibility refers to five distinct Why, that he is devoid of reasonspecies of sensation, it must readily that he is incapable of common sense, occur, on reading the passage, that much more of that laborious research Mr. Locke meant to be understood in / imposed by philosophy.---Alack, Sir, two of them.
he is mad. "We consider this reasoning What we have already added will as dangerous, in a moral point of view. be sufficient evidence of the nature of What! does a Christian agree sentiour author's objeciions to Mr. Locke; mentally with an Atheist and a Deist it renjains that we should now give a -“ form like conclusions-differ only specimen of the modesty with which his in expression”-“only a difference of design is carried into effect, which will words.” Is it possible, that such a at once give an idea of the opinion he conclusion can be received by any ruhas of his own powers and abilities. |tional being? Is it possible, that the