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Empiricus is said, at p. 561., to have taught that the subjective truth but not the objective truth of a sensation can be proved. This is certainly not the language of Sextus Empiricus; nor does it accurately describe bis doctrine: for he teaches that the mind is conversant with noumena only, not with phanomena ; and he denies to the forms of our perception, - to our fantasies, as he calls them, - the power of communicating truth: he admits therefore at most their subjective reality, not their subjective truth. In the twelfth part of Stanley's History of Philosophy is an excellent analysis of the system of Sextus Empiricus; which, for precision and fidelity, surpasses that of M. BUHLE; and which, though full of obsolete verbiage, still deserves to be consulted by modern metaphysicians, as a repository both of facts and of arguments that are in these days too little heeded. Cudworth, also, has displayed great knowlege of the antient metaphysicians.
The second section of the introduction, which begins at p. 456., treats of the influence of oriental philosophy on the Alexandrian school, and thus on European instruction. M. Buble attributes to the Zend-avesta a greater antiquity than it is proved to possess.
Whatever the section of that production, intitled Boundehesch, contains in common with the book of Genesis, it no doubt derived from the book of Genesis; and whatever it contains concerning the rebellion and apostacy of the fallen angels was as probably derived from the book of Enoch, which also formed a part of the Jewish and Persian Scriptures in the time of Ezra, or Zoroaster. Cyrus and Darius were both of the church of Ezra; and the whole Persian empire may be supposed to have read in its temples many of the same books, and chaunted much of the same psalter, which Nehemiah committed to the care of the priests of Jerusalem, and caused to be regularly promulgated in synagogues by Pharisees, or Persian priests. The manicheism of the oriental Hebrews never found favour with the philosophers of Alexandria, nor did the 'trinity of their Platonists with the gnostics of Babylon : whence a gradual separation took place between the unitarian Hebrews of the East, who became at last Mohammedans, and the trinitarian Hebrews of the West, who became Christians. The Parthians are so called from Prath, the eastern name of the river Euphrates, and used the same language with the other descendants of Abraham. The Magophonia of Darius, which established the religion of Zoroaster in the temples of the Persian empire, was annually commemorated by the church of Jerusalem, under the name of the feast of Purim : a fact 5*
which decisively proves the identity of Jewish and Persian religion.
A full analysis of the works of Philo occurs at pp. 504-5156 of this section. It is attentively made, but perhaps does not sufficiently bring out the peculiar pantheism of this writer, who regards matter and spirit as two co-eternal principles of the divine nature. Matter is with him uncreated, self-subsistent, plastic but indestructible: he considers it as the generating cause, and spirit as the generated cause; in pursuance of which metaphor he separates the body and soul of the universe into God the Father and God the Son, assigning to the latter the denomination of royos, the Word, or Wisdom. This system obtained a reception in the ecclesiastical schools, and continues to influence the phraseology of religious creeds: but historians of philosophy have hitherto been too inattentive to that branch of it, which became incorporated with the doctrines of the priesthood. To Plotinus a vast extent of notice is vouchsafed; and also to Saint Augustin.
The third section of the introduction begins at p. 663., and contains a concise view of the scholastic philosophy. Much is said of the influence of Arabian literature during the middle ages; and Scotus, Anselm, Roger Bacon, Richard of Middleton, Occam, Walter Burleigh, John of Salisbury, and others, pass in sufficient review.
Volume II. opens with a general sketch of the revival of literature, which occupies two chapters. In the third is criticized the philosophy of Petrarch; and from his book De Remediis utriusque Fortuna, and from his ascetic treatise De Vitá solitariá, long extracts are given. He was, in the modern world, the father of a graceful mode of philosophizing, borrowed from Cicero; and he contributed much to bring into disuse the formalities of the schoolmen, and to prepare the introduction of their questions into good company.--The history of Platonism and of Aristotelism follows; and a copious account is given of the Pneumatology of Marsilius Ficinus, who, with considerable success, attempted to revive at Florence a taste for pagan religion : many of his writings have a tendency analogous to those of Mr. Thomas Taylor among ourselves. The Cabalistic philosophy, or fatuity, is noticed; and much use is made of Eisenmenger's Judaism unveiled, which is a pervasive guide through this
dim and subterraneous apartment, inhabited by the lunatics of literature.
Section 2. of this Vol. is introduced with a survey of the influence exerted on philosophy by the restoration of classical literature, and by the reformation of Luther. Melanchthon's G. 3
works are examined at length; and then the Peripatetics of the sixteenth century. The fourth chapter deserves pause; ; since it contains a curiously complete account of the writings of Bruno, which are very scarce, and, though often mentioned in bibliographic catalogues, have rarely been perused. In a recent English publication intitled The Theological Inquirer, the editor undertook some account of Bruno, but could only quote passages from the Spaccio della Bestia trionfante; to which we will add, by the help of M. BUHLF, some farther information.
Giordano Bruno was born at Nola, in the Neapolitan territory, about the middle of the sixteenth century.
The condition of his parents is unknown, but was probably obscure, as he was placed in a convent of Dominicans, and there took the robes of the order. To Latin literature and mathematics he was no stranger: but the vicious orthography of the Greek words quoted by him shews that he had made no great proficiency in the language of Lucian, to whose turn of mind he had some tendency. What occasioned his flight from Italy is not exactly recorded; probably, the having handed about in manuscript some of those heretical works which he afterward printed at Paris, with the epigraph Venice. In 1582 he visited Geneva, and attended the public instructions of Calvin and Beza : but, not adopting their points of view, he quarrelled with these intolerant men, and was obliged to quit the place in less than two years. He removed first to Lyons, Thence to Toulouse, and in 1584 to Paris, where he publicly attacked the Aristotelian philosophy. Here also he became acquainted with M. de Chateauneuf, who came to London as ambassador from the court of France, and brought Bruno in his train. While in England, he was much noticed by Sir Philip Sidney; and he visited Oxford, where he probably printed in 1585 his Explicatio triginta sigillorum, a book without date or name of place. In 1586 he went to Wittenberg, and lectured there; thence to Prague, and to Helmstadt, where Henry Julius, Duke of Brunswick Luneburg, shewed him attention. At Frankfort also he gave a course of lectures, and published some books. In 1592 he ventured to establish himself at Padua: but the supposed tolerance of the Venetian government was not a sufficient protection against papal persecution. In 1598 he was arrested at Venice by the Inquisition, was arraigned for heresy, apostacy, and breach of monastic vows; and, after some length of confinement, during which the opportunity of retractation is said to have been offered in vain, he was, pursuant to his sentence, burnt alive at Rome on the seventeenth
of February 1600, “and went to tell in other worlds," says the brutal Scioppius, “ how we serve blasphemers in this." Bruno had a brilliant and creative fancy, a copious eloquence, an original turn of speculation, and was variously acquainted with the opinions of antient philosophy, in whose forms he reasoned: but his judgement was inferior to his comprehension, he wasted argumentation on trifles; and his inferences did not cohere with the consistency of a truly strong intellect. His works are, Spaccio della Bestia trionfante, 1584:- Cena delle Ceneri, 1584: – Della Causa, Principio, eå Uno, 1584 ; ---Dell infinito Universo, 1584:Explicatio triginta Sigillorum, 1585:- Degli heroici Furori, 1586: - a comedy intitled Il Candelaio; - and some indecent dialogues called Cabala del cavallo Pegaseo coll asino Cillenico are also ascribed to him. He moreover commented on the works of Raymond Lully in two books, supposed to have been printed at Lyons, and intitled De compendiosa Architectura and De Umbris Idearum, (these are of the year 1582,); and in three other books printed at Wittenberg, Prague, and Frankfort, intitled De Lampade Combinatoria, 1587, De Specierum Scrutinio, 1588, and De Monade, Numero, et Figurá, 1591. We have also to add an Oratio Valedictoria, delivered and published at Wittenberg, and an Oratio Consolatoria, delivered and published at Helmstadt. All the works of Bruno rank among the rarest bibliothecal curiosities : but they are here analyzed severally, from attentive perusal, in so satisfactory a manner, that the original treatises may in a great degree be spared by future historians of philosophy. The poetry of imagination displayed in certain works of Bruno has given to these a more popular celebrity: but for depth of reasoning M. Buhle prefers the book intitled Della Causa, Principio, ed Uno; of which an analysis is added in the words of Jacobi, and which seems both to have furnished many ideas to Spinosa and to have borrowed some from Plotinus.
Curdanus was insane, and scarcely deserves the extent of notice here allotted to him. Pomponazzi is not duly named in chronological order. Both these writers tinged considerably the mind of Vanini; who, like Bruno, fell a victim to the persecuting intolerance of the church of Rome. In Vanini, however, a coarseness of invective and of profaneness is observable which tends to excite animosity: for example: “ Ex bibliorum contextu infertur, Dæmonem Deo prævalere. Reluctante Dei voluntate, Adamum et Evam totumque genus humanum ad interitum duxit; cumque malo huic Dei filius occurrere vellet, et ipso etiam Dæmone judicum animos solliciGg 4
tante, Christus asserit : haec est hora vestra et potestas tene brarum : morte turpissimâ damnatus est. Efficacior est juxta biblicum codicem Diaboli quam Dei voluntas. Vult Deus, omnes homines salvos fieri ; perpauci tamen servantur. Vult Dæmon, damnari omnes; innumeri damnantur. Ex amplissimo terræ gremio soli Christiano Catholici, qui in augustissimis Italia, Hispaniæ, nonnullarum Gallia, Germaniæ et Poloniæ provinciarum limitibus continentur, servari possunt. Ab his si auferas Judæos, occultos Hereticos, Atheos, Simoniacos, Adulteros, masculorum Concubitores, qui regnum Dei non possidebunt, vix e mille millibus unus electus aderit,” This, however, was advanced principally with a view to tease; for to the priest who attended shortly before his execution, and exhorted him to recant, he answered that there were no dæmons but bad men, and no gods but kings and princes; that in this faith he had lived, and in this he would die. He was burnt alive at Toulouse at the age of thirty-four.
A fifth and concluding chapter brings down the history of philosophy to the appearance of Lord Bacon. Not sufficient justice is done here to that improvement of the mode of reasoning which was introduced by his powerful mind, the substitution of induction for argumentation à priori : but the Germans, and especially the followers of Kant, still attach value to the Aristotelian method.
The Third Volume begins with the system of Descartes; and the writer dwells on his correspondence with Hobbes, who discussed many of his writings. A second chapter treats of his antagonist Gassendi, who also commented on Lord Herbert's book on truth. The third chapter is allotted to Hobbes, and Grotius ; the latter of whom is severely criticized. A fourth treats of the Jesuits, of Pascal, of Huet, and of Glanvill, to whom is ascribed the invention of an argument adopted by Hume in his essay on the Idea of necessary Connection. The fifth chapter pursues the history of Cartesianism; the sixth analyzes Malebranche : while the seventh treats of the pneumatology of the seventeenth century, and assigns great merit to Bekker for overthrowing the popular belief in ghosts. The eighth chapter is a very long and laborious epitome of the doctrine of Spinosa, whose virtuous life is duly praised, and whose singular system is expounded in phraseology not much clearer than that of the original Tractatus theologicopoliticus, which first appeared in 1670. In substance, his theory is the material pantheism of antient philosophy, translated into the disgusting jargon of the modern scholastics. The ninth and concluding chapter treats of Cudworth, More, and the Platonists.