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Its stringent Lutheran stand-point is of course more prominent than in the first part. With the Formula Concordiæ he makes moral ability consequent upon baptism. His passing attacks upon "Methodism," pp. 227 and 335, we will forgive him, in consideration of his utter ignorance of what Methodism really teaches. We repeat our hearty acknowledgements of the unsurpassed excellences of the work.
Die Göttliche Offenbarung. Ein apologetischer Versuch. Von CARL A. AUBERLEN. Zweiter Band, (soweit er vom Verfasser druckfertig hinterlassen worden.) 8vo., pp. 143. Basel. 1864.
Four days after finishing the editorial supervision of Wizenmann's work, on the 2d of May, 1864, Carl A. Auberlen, also a Wirtemberger by birth, well known in England and America through his work on Daniel and the Apocalypse, passed from earthly labors to another state. He too had projected an Apology of Revealed Religion, a work which was to be the grand fruit of his life; and he too was called away, leaving his task but half completed. The first volume, issued in 1861, we noticed at large soon after its appearance. The plan of the whole work, as then described, embraced three volumes; the first treating of the Fact, the second of the Philosophy, the third of the History of Revelation. The above-named issue is the beginning of the second volume, extending as far as he had elaborated before his death. He merely treats of man as one of the presuppositions of revelation, the section on Conscience being perhaps the most valuable of any. Beyond the circle of the author's more immediate ecclesiastical and doctrinal relatives, the work will attract little notice. The arch which promised to be so beautiful and strong is left a fragment, and must soon turn to a ruin. Such works sadden every thoughtful reader.
Philosophy, Metaphysics, and General Science.
Know the Truth: A Critique on the Hamiltonian including some Strictures upon the Theories of and Mr. Herbert Spencer. By JESSE H. JONES. lished for the author by Hurd & Houghton, Nichols & Noyes. 1865.
Theory of Limitation,
Mr. Jones in this little volume essays, as his title indicates, to furnish an antidote to the evils produced in the public mind by the philosophies of Hamilton and Spencer. The former of these two philosophers, very much in accordance with the philosophy of Locke, affirming that all our legitimate knowledge is derived from the sense modified by the understanding, maintains that all our supposed ideas
of the Infinite and the Absolute, of God, immortality, and freedom, are without the scope of knowledge proper. "We cannot know God” is his great maxim. The moment that we ascend into these empyrean regions we flounder amid contradictions which show that all those conceptions are the results, not so much of our mental powers as of our mental impotencies. At this point we seem to be landed by this philosophy into blank atheism. By what expedient does Hamilton save us from that dark result? For knowledge of God, which we cannot have, he here substitutes faith. Our belief may legitimately transcend our knowledge. We may not be able to know or conceive an object, and yet it may be real and true. God may be no object of knowledge or conception, and yet be none the less a legitimate object of belief. Mr. Spencer, accepting the doctrine of the unknowableness of the Absolute and its cognates, rejects with indignation Hamilton's expedient to escape from atheism. He solely acknowledges the actuality of an unknowable Absolute as the ground of all the phenomena of the universe. But to ascribe to that Absolute the attributes of intelligence, design, providence, he holds to be a pure gratuity. This Absolute is a pure blank characterless power. Hence he recognizes no God; all the dogmas of theology are fiction; theism is a phantom, and worship a transient folly.
Against these two philosophers Mr. Jones rallies the system of intuitionalism. Above the faculty of sense, which secures us merely the raw material of knowledge derived through the five senses, and above the faculty of understanding, which is limited to the task of arranging, classifying, and judging upon the material furnished by sense, he enthrones a third faculty, the intuition, or pure reason, by which we attain the legitimate possession of those truths that transcend the sense and understanding. And of these truths our knowledge is legitimate. It is in fact the surest of all knowledge. By sense and understanding I cognize this table upon which I write, and the legs upon which it is supported; but that cognition is not half so sure as that two and two make four, or that space is infinite, or time is endless. The four legs of the table may be demolished; but the fact that two and two make four no power can destroy. The table itself may be burned up, but the space it occupies forever remains irremovable and indestructible. The objects of sense are therefore contingent and transient; the objects of pure reason are necessary and permanent.
Mr. Jones brings the transcendental philosophy to bear upon Hamilton, Mansel, and Spencer, with a considerable degree of effect in the details of the argument. He avails himself of the labors of some of our best American thinkers, such as President Hopkins and Professor
Hickock. The philosophy of the latter especially, with its modifica tions and obvious improvements upon Kant, furnishes him with valuable material for the battle. At the same time he is an independent as well as a zealous Christian philosophical thinker. His style is idiomatic, earnest, generally clear, often fervid, and sometimes eloquent. It is wanting in chasteness and finish. Those who desire a treatment of the great philosophical question of the day, or rather we might say the question of past ages since man began to think, in brief compass, and as simple language as the subject admits, will find some aid in this volume.
Lectures on the Science of Language. Delivered at the Royal Institution of Great Britain in February, March, April, and May, 1863. By MAX MULLER, M. A., Fellow of all Souls College, Oxford: Correspondant de l'Institut de France. Second Series, with thirty-one illustrations. 12mo., pp. 622. New York: Charles Scribner. 1865. Published by arrangement with the author.
If any man thinks that comparative philology is a dry subject, and Max Müller an unattractive author, he commits two mistakes which it might conduce to his own enjoyment to correct. He might just as well say that geology is a humbug and Hugh Miller a bore, for there is a curious analogy between geology and philology, and to our view quite a resemblance, besides the name, between the Miller and the Müller. The writers resemble in their free, genial, elastic, buoyant spirit; in their rich, strong, everflowing eloquence; in their reverent and ever devout Christian spirit in a department where skepticism is nearly fashionable; though in the more intuitional piety of the Müller there may seem something a little less reliable than in the tight-laced puritanism of the Miller.
History, Biography, and Topography.
History of Julius Cæsar. Vol. I. 8vo., pp. 463. New York: Harper & Brothers. 1865.
We suppose that this volume may be called in more than one sense an imperial octavo. It is stately in size, material, and type. Its title-page is preluded with an annunciation of authorized translations or editions for the ten nationalities of Europe, and one (for the Emperor seems not to recognize either Davis or Maximilian) for America. It opens with seven leaded pages of preface, closed with the signature "Napoleon." This first volume embraces but two books of the entire work; the first consisting of six, and the second of five
chapters. The First Book embraces an introductory history of Rome to the close of the dictatorship of Sylla, which prepares us for the Cæsarian period. The Second Book brings us down to the period of the exile of Cicero. Of how many books the work is to consist still rests, we suppose, with the imperial pleasure. Ordinary mortals must wait for the developments of time and power.
A book is a book; but people refuse to see in the present volume a mere book, but hold it as an opera-glass through which to descry the Emperor of France. And, sooth to say, there may be justifications for this peculiar view. Cæsar in his majesty's hands is not Cæsar, but a sponge wherewith to efface the odium of a coup d'etat; or rather a brush wherewith to whitewash the bold measures with which successful and boundless ambition attains and maintains its objects. Under a defense and a eulogy of Cæsar are contained an exculpation and emblazonment of the Bonapartean régime. We suppose that the character of Cæsar is no enigma. To eyes without a squint it is a figure without distortion. He possessed endowments of intellect and person rarely vouchsafed to man. And with regard to the ethical verdict which history should pronounce, it may be too clearly, concisely, and incontrovertibly expressed, to permit the necessity of either assault or defense. He was a man perfectly unscrupulous in attaining supreme power, but both magnanimous and beneficent in the use of his supremacy attained. It is a very useless question which Mr. Bonaparte discusses, whether Cæsar from the first planned with perfect "prescience" the career by which he attained the potestas summa. Certainly he drew up no exact programme of the coming events. But it is plain that he was born in a position to look for the highest honors of the state, and with an ambition that laid no limits to the power he would grasp. For the attainment of that power he was ready to commit all the crime, and no more than the crime, that was precisely necessary. It may be very possible that the supremacy of Cæsar was the best condition of which Rome was then capable. That may be a justification of his firm exercise of a beneficent supremacy once attained; but it can make no ethical difference as to the character of the motives or the means. He still stands before us as a man who obtained the empire by villainy, and ruled it for the public good. So let the contradiction stand.
But the Emperor is anxious in behalf of certain Bonapartean antecedents to sanctify both sides of this antithesis, which he does by a style of ethics at once imperial and transcendental. His "aim is to prove that, when Providence raises up such men as Cæsar, Charlemagne, and Napoleon, it is to trace out to peoples the path they
ought to follow; to stamp with the seal of their genius a new era, and to accomplish in a few years the labor of many centuries. Happy the peoples who comprehend and follow them! woe to those who misunderstand and combat them! They do as the Jews did, they crucify their Messiah." Our respectable author here precisely reverses our own version of the Gospel history. The Jews would have joyfully accepted a Bonapartean Messiah. Such a Messiah it is, that, when Satan says, "All these things will I give thee if—" drops instantly upon a worshiping knee. And it is precisely because the man of Nazareth preferred to be God's Messiah, and not Satan's Messiah—that is, the Bonapartean Messiah-that the Jews rejected him. We suppose that few of the "peoples" will deny to our present Napoleon a true Messiahship after the Satanic model. But our recognition of his high "mission" in that line of transcendent but questionable characters, strangely permitted in the providential plan for good results, does not at all brighten the ethical estimate of his character. Men are not to be morally estimated by the good which Providence overrules their Satanic qualities to eventuate. God often damns "his workmen, but carries on his work." There can be no doubt that both Napoleons have verified the first half of the Cæsarian antithesis; how far the living one will verify the second, future history will decide.
It is unnecessary to deny that the book is written with intellectual ability. It is clear and manly in style; it abounds with reflections which, if often unfounded, (as being required by a false theory,) are sententiously expressed, and it abounds with proofs of scholarship seldom exhibited in royal authorship. Almost every important statement is verified by references to original authorities, and often with the very words of the author quoted. It is a superior specimen of that questionable class of histories which are not history for history's sake, but history written to prove something.
Life of Marcus Tullius Cicero. By WILLIAM FORSYTH, M.A., Q.C., author of "Hortensius," "Napoleon at St. Helena," and "Sir Hudson Lowe," etc., and late Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. In two volumes. With Illustrations. 12mo., 2 vols., pp. 364, 341. New York: Charles Scribner & Co. 1865.
Unlike the life of Cæsar just noticed, the present beautiful volumes are history for history's sake. It seems strange that so transparent a character as Cicero's should be misinterpreted, and still stranger that so loveable and so noble a character should be vilified even by a modern historical hand. The only full life of Cicero in our language, that written by Rev. Dr. Conyers Middleton, is written in a style of