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the more acute and logical pupil. It was the ardent piety of Malebranche, his strong hold upon the personal Jehovah, that saved him. 6 The union of the soul to God," says he, " is the only means by which we acquire a knowledge of truth. Let my readers judge of my opinions according to the clear and distinct answers they shall receive from the Lord of all men. Let us repose in this tenet, that God is the intelligible world, or the place of spirits, like as the material world is the place of bodies; that it is from his power they receive all their modifications; that it is in his wisdom they find all their ideas; and that it is by his love they feel all their well-regulated emotions. And since his power, and his wisdom, and his love are but himself, let us believe, with St. Paul, that he is not far from each one of us, and that in him we live, and move, and have our being."1 No doubt the keen-eyed Spinoza would have found his own doctrine here, as easily as in Descartes. But Malebranche was not a logical machine, and therefore not a pantheist. His language expresses his deep sense of the need of divine illumination in the search for truth ; the conviction that we see falsely through the senses, the imagination, the understanding, the inclinations, and the passions; but always truly, when we see all things through reason restored to its right relations with God. The world-renowned Leibnitz was
a Cartesian; and he bent all the energies of his great mind to refute the conclusions of Spinoza. He did refute them, in the judgment of his friends, but not till he had added to the philosophy of Descartes certain very important principles. He restored to the idea of a Supreme
1 Hallam's Literature of Europe.
Being that creative power for which Descartes had too nearly substituted simple emanation; and in his theory of Monals, or independent forces, not only is the doctrine of second causes restored, but the later doctrine of intuitions or necessary truths is foreshadowed. Herein it was that he hinted at the basis on which alone the a-priori philoso
phy can be saved from pantheism. With him, guard.
as with Malebranche, faith in a personal God, and in his own independent personality, predominated over any logical faith in Cartesianism. Like many others, both in earlier and later times, they walked safely along the “high priori road” cast up before them. But it was not in themselves, while they thus went forward, nor in the system they adopted, to direct their steps. That Great Light, which is the only true light of philosophy, illumined their pathway; and the Hand on which the universe depends upheld their goings.
THE GERMAN SUCCESSION.
The startling conclusion which Spinoza had reached, and from which he could not be driven by Cartesianism, was followed by a general revolt from that philosophy. Thinkers gave up their faith in consciousness as the basis of a system of truth, and began to build more and more on experience. The a-priori method yielded to the a-posteriori. Deduction was exchanged for induction. Sensuous observation took the place of spiritual conviction. Thus a fresh impulse was given to the philos
Empiricism. ophy expounded by Bacon, and which had been carried forward into the realm of mind by Gassendi and Locke. Bacon wrote a century earlier than Spinoza, Gassendi just before him, and Locke was his contemporary. This school had therefore gained a foothold, and could boast of powerful adherents, when the real nature of Spinozism began to be known. Hence the ripened seed of Descartes' philosophy, which the astute Hebrew had gathered, was not immediately sown broadcast. It lay buried in the congenial soil of Germany; destined, however, to spring forth into a prodigious growth, when empiricism should have run its course and proved itself, too, a failure.
It does not belong to the present part of my ment to be plan to trace this empirical movement in the passed over
world of thought; a movement which became present.
so powerful towards the close of the seventeenth century, and which was subverted in the eighteenth. The Positivism of our times may, I think, find in this its lineal predecessor. Condillac, Bonnet, Helvetius, Saint Lambert, Condorcet, Baron d'Holbach, were its high priests in France. One of its strongest early advocates in England was Thomas Hobbes. David Hume held the same relation to it as a critic which Spinoza held to Cartesianism. Taking it upon its own premises, that is, he showed its logical ultimate to be universal scepticism; just as Spinoza had shown that Descartes' principles led to pantheism. This keen sighted Scotchman was to arise, and cut up by the roots the empirical metaphysics of Locke; then Kant was to introduce, instead thereof, the germs of a-priori thinking again ; and then the doctrine of Spinoza was to experience a resurrection, and to have a development which is one of the marvels of speculative
philosophy. “The God of Spinoza, which the seventeenth century had broken as an idol,” is
the remark of Saisset, “becomes the God of Lessing, of Goethe, of Novalis.” It is with this German pantheism, - only so far, however, as it appears in the philosophy of the period, - that I am now concerned. Lessing the sceptic, who deemed it less blessed to possess truth than to search for truth, was among the earliest of the Germans to awaken an interest in the study of Spinoza; but he belongs to the department of criticism and literature, rather than that of philosophy. His Nathan the
Wise is perhaps as good a reproduction as we have of the spirit of Spinozism, and I shall repeatedly have occasion to refer to him; but the present starting point is more properly Kant's Critique of the Pure Reason, from which the stream of pantheistic thought flows steadily on, through the writings of Fichte and Schelling more especially, till it comes to an end in the Absolute Idea of Hegel. It is with very great diffidence that I enter this path, along which so many able critics have been found stumbling. There is a tradition that Hegel, near the close of his life, said, “Only one of my followers has understood me; and he has misunderstood me." Even with the best of qualifications, therefore, I might well shrink from the attempt to represent German pantheism with thoroughness. But fortunately my plan does not require this; nor is it probable that the numerous class which I hope to reach would be greatly aided by such an effort, however successful in itself. I shall undertake only so much as is requisite in order that certain forms of unbelief, more or less popular at the present day, may be seen in their historical connections. I
tempted. do not claim to be a master of the German tongue, nor to have read the works of the famous authors just referred to, in the original text; but I have taken pains to verify any statements which seemed to me to require it by recourse to that text, and have used only those translations which have the sanction of high authority. Though preferring to walk over the bridge rather than swim the river, as Mr. Emerson puts the case, I have not hesitated to plunge in and make examination, where anything seemed insecure. The writer whom I
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