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is as much as saying that the mind can a certain state, called sight ; another, when know nothing but its own ideas; and yet, in relation with the tympanum, excites the by a curious perversion, the subjects of state we call sound. These states of sight ontological speculation are still thought and sound are relatively true—they are cognizable, and still occupy many a restless positive facts of consciousness; but they mind! With subtle truth is the Greek do not at all represent the actual nature of word for opinion the same as appearance the peculiar on-goings per se, which excited (doğa); and the more we meditate this them. The phenomena have only this rematter, the more we shall be convinced of lation to us. Light is not light to a flower it. What is perception ? A state of the -it is not what we call light; but it is, perceiving minda change from a previous nevertheless, something. The flower, supstate. We are conscious of these changes, posing it to formalize its experience into a and to their exciting causes we give forms definition, would give a very different one and names; but we are not conscious of from ours; simply because its experience any thing beyond these changes-i.e. exter- must be different from ours, owing to the nal to our own consciousness. Turn it different relations in which it stands to the how you will, there is nothing in the fact exciting cause. The world, apart from our of consciousness but consciousness itself. consciousness—i. e. the non-ego quá non-ego Being and knowing are here one; to know -is something utterly different from the more, would involve the necessity to be world in our consciousness of it, for our
consciousness is not the world in itself, but Some of the ancients supposed that a state of ourselves. Nature is an eternal things threw off airy forms of themselves, darkness, an eternal silence! Light, with which were grasped by the mind as the its myriad forms and colors-sound, with things themselves were grasped by the its thousand-voiced life-are but buman hand. This rude bypothesis was soon phenomena—are but states of the mind. felt to be inapplicable ; and a further The great mistake lies in taking a metastep in the philosophy of perception was phor for a fact, and arguing as if the mind taken, when it was explained by the were a mirror. It is no mirror; it gives mind reflecting, as a' mirror, the images no faithful reflection of the world; it gives (ideas) of things. A final step was only a faithful report of its own states, as taken, when it was shown that the mind excited by the world. Hence the common does not contemplate forms as the eye sees error respecting the “deception of the them that the mind is not apart from its senses.” The senses never deceive us! perceptions, but that it is the perceptions— Whatever popular prejudice, or popular that a perception is a state of the percipient, philosophy, may assert
, the testimony of and that mind is the collective unity of the sen: es is inviolable, and must be acthese various states. This immortal dis- cepted as such. Let us prove this by recovery belongs to Hume; though Spinoza ference to a common instance: a tower had, in his way, also foreseen it.* If, appears round at a certain distance, but therefore, an idea is a state of the ideator, square when you approach near to it. This, and not an image of some external thing, you say, is a deception of the senses? This, then it follows that it is the mind which we say, is the truth of the senses. To all "gives the forms to things unknown;" that men, at the former distance, it will appear space-time-extension - light--sound-round, and to all men, at the latter distance, smell-order-beauty, &c., are not inhe- square. This because the senses faithfully rent in the essences of things, but are the report the impressions, and the actual imforms with which Consciousness endows pressions are in the first instance what we things-are the states excited in the mind by call round, and in the second what we call external things. This discovery is the square. Nothing can be more plain. The glory of modern psychology.
impression is a consequence of the relation Such has been the progress of the philo. in which your eye stands to the tower—it sophy of perception; and its final result is A+B=c. When, in walking up to the leaves us now no doubt but that the facts tower, you change the relation, and alter it of consciousness are purely relative and not to A+D, then of course you have another absolute facts. Thus a certain on-going of result in E (square); would you have the external nature, when in proper relation result the same in both cases? That, in. with the human retina, excites in the mind deed, would be a deception of the senses, distance the tower appears round, at remarkable, however, because he had also another, square ; it all the while is neither, seen that in some sense the subjective was for round and square are the forms of the not the absolute expression of the ubjectmind, and not the constituents of things. ive: as is proved by his celebrated argu
for A plus B, and A plus D would then * Primum quod actuale mentis humanæ esse constituit, quàm idea rei alicujus singularis actu
both equal C. As it is, the result of the reexistentis. - Elhicæ, pars ii., prop. xi.
lation is faithfully recorded. At a certain Vol. II. No. IV. 35
The result of this long but indispensable ment for the destruction of final causes, digression is, that ideas are the images of wherein he showed that order was a thing things as they exist in relation to us, but of the imagination, as were also right and not the formula of things as they exist in wrong, useful and hurtful—these being themselves. If, therefore, we cannot get merely such in relation to us. Suill more deeper than phenomena—if every way we striking is his anticipation of Kant, in this turn a thing we can only get an appearance passage-“Ex quibus clarè videre est, of it, and cannot absorb its being in our mensuram, tempus et numerum nihil esse own-how then shall we speculate on things præter cogitandi, seu potiùs imaginandi in themselves? If we cannot penetrate the modos;" which should have led him 10 essence of a flower, how shall we penetrate suspect that the same law of mental forms the essence of God?
was also applicable to all other subjects. This consideration, therefore, that the Thus, then, may the inquirer escape mind is not a passive mirror reflecting the Spinozism by denying the possibility of nature of things, but the partial creator of metaphysical science ; thus, and thus only. its own forms—that in perception there is But in denying it he will not the less be nothing but certain changes in the perci- grateful to the great thinker who elaborated pient—this consideration, we say, is the it. He will revere him as one of ibe im. destruction of the very basis of Ontology, mortal intellects whose labors cleared the for it expressly teaches that the subjective way for the present state of things; and idea is not the correlate of the objective he will affectionately trace the coincidences fact; and only upon the belief that our of Spinoza with those who went besore and ideas are the perfect and adequate images those who came after him. Pantheism is of external things can any metaphysical as old as philosophy. It was taught in the speculation rest. Misled by the nature of old Greek schools-by Plato, by St. Augusgeometry, which draws its truths from the tine, * and by the Jews. Indeed, one may mind, as the spider draws the web from its say that pantheism, under one of its various bosom, Des Cartes assumed that metaphy- shapes, is the necessary consequence of sical truths could be attained in the same all metaphysical inquiry, when pushed to way. This was a confusion of reasoning, its logical limits; and from this reason do yet Spinoza, Leibnitz, and their successors, we find it in every age and nation. The followed him unhesitatingly. Spinoza, dreamy contemplative Indian, the quick however, had read Bacon's denouncement versatile Greek, the practical Roman, the of this à priori method, though evidently quibbling Scholastic, the ardent Italian, the unprepared to see the truth of the protest. lively Frenchinan, and the slow EnglishIt is curious to read his criticism of Bacon; man, have all pronounced it as the final he looks on it as that writer's great error truth of philosophy. Wherein consists to have mistaken the knowledge of the first Spinoza's originality ?-what is his merit? cause and origin of things. On the nature -are natural questions, when we see him of mind, he says, Bacon speaks very con. only lead to the same result as others had fusedly, and while he proves nothing, judges before proclaimed. His merii and origimuch. For, in the first place, he supposes nality consist in the systematic exposition that the human intellect, besides the de- and development of that doctrine: in bis ceptions of the senses, is subject to the bands, for the first time, it assumes the deceptions of its own nature, and that it conceives every thing according to the an- * St. Augustine says—". Substantialitèr Deus alogies of its own nature, and not accord- ubique diffusus est. Sed sic est Deus per concia ing to the analogies of the universe, so that diffusus, ut non sit qualitas mundi, sed substantia it is like an unequal mirror to the rays of creatrix mundi, sine labore regens et sine onere
continens mundum. Non tamen per spatia lucothings which mixes the conditions of its rum, quasi mole diffusa, ita ut in dimidio mundi own nature with those of external things. corpore sit dimidius, atque ita per totum totus; We look upon Spinoza's aberration as sed in solo cælo totus, et in solâ terrâ rotus, et in
cælo et in terrá totus, et nulla contentus loco, sed “Nam primò supponit, quod intellectus bu. in se ipso ubique totus.”—Quoted in Mrs. Austin manus præter fallaciam sensuun kuâ solâ naturâ on Goethe, vol.ii. p. 272.) fallitur, omniaque fingit ex analogiâ suæ naturæ et + The Cabbalists taught, however, a more vague non ex analogiâ universi, adeò ut sit instar speculi and fanciful pantheism, founded on material ana. inæqualis ad radias rerum, qui suam naturam na. logies and metaphors.-See Salvador : Jesus Christ turæ rerum immiscet."-Epist. ii. Opera, p. 398. et sa Doctrine, come i. p. 122.
aspect of a science. The Greek and In- do the most useful, and seemingly the most dian pantheism is a vague, fanciful doc. obvious arts, make their way among mantrine, carrying with it no scientific convic. kind."* tion; it may be true-it looks true-but This pleasant satire points to a great the proof is wanting. But with Spinoza truth.
But with Spinoza truth. We might have gone on baffled, there is no choice: if you understand his yet persisting, seeking the unknowable, terms, admit the possibility of his science, and building palaces on air, “miracles of and seize his meaning, you can no more rare delight,”—but uninhabitable, untendoubt his conclusions than you can doubt able--had not a Bacon, answering the im. Euclid; no mere opinion is possible, con. perious wants of his age, arisen to point viction only is possible.
out that the method men were pursuing Did, then, Philosophy stop with Spinoza ? was no path of transit to the truth, but led did it either accept his conclusions, or re-only to the land of chimeras. Bacon, we examine their foundations ? No: it is one say, energetically denounced all existing of the sad conditions of metaphysics (or methods, and pointed out a new one, such rather of ontology) to have no rest, no re- as Time alone could appreciate. With how pose. Age rolls over age as the wave fol. noble a confidence does he rely upon the Jows its brother, and each casts upon the Future ! and how gloriously that Future shore its glittering foam ; only foam, alas! has filled the measure of his prophecies ! and scattered by the next breeze; dazzling, But humanity could not at once relinbewitching, evanescent. It is one of the quish its habits, and with the great Leibnitz cnrious points in the history of humanity, at its head again endeavored to prove the that methods are so seldom altered. Each secret of the world. Leibnitz, who refused man follows his father, and endeavors to to acknowledge Spinoza, never doubted the succeed where generations have failed; efficiency of his method; he went on he never once suspects the nature of the burning down his house” after his own method he employs—that he takes for magnificent fashion, and never questioned granted ; yet, in most cases, it is precisely its success. What were the results? We there that the cause of failure lies. This speak not of his mathematical genius, but explains the slowness of inventions, and of his ontological discoveries. The results the repugnance to novel methods; what were his famous monadologie, and his still has been tried must be the right. When more famous pre-established harmony : Bo.bo discovered the virtues of roast pig, wonderful conceptions, no doubt, but bar. by the accidental burning of his house, ac- ren as the east wind. These he transmitted cording to that charming philosopher Elia, to Wolff. Kant demolished them, and the only way he could think of again pro- established Spinoza's notion respecting curing the luxury, was by again burning space and time, as forms of the mind. down his house." It was observed that Fichte followed with his idealistic SpinoHo-ti's cottage was burned down now more zism, as he himself calls it, to prove that frequently than ever.” The secret got there is “ ursprünglich nur eine Substanz, abroad; every one was anxious to have his das Ich ; in dieser einen Substanz sind alle
h roast pig; and “now there was nothing möglichen Accidenzen, also alle möglichen but fires to be seen in every direction. Realitäten gesetzt.'' Then came SchelFuel and pigs grew enormously dear all ling, whose philosophy is saturated with over the district. The insurance offices Spinozism, and from which it will only be one and all shut up shop. People built necessary to notice two or three fundaslighter and slighter every day, until it was mental positions, to see how perfectly they feared that the very science of architecture agree with those of the Ethica : “ Gott is would in no long time be lost to the world. das einzig Reale, ausserdem es schlechterd. Thus, this custom of firing houses con- ings kein Seyn giebt. Was also existirt, tinued till, in the process of time (says my existirt mit Goit, und was ist, ist dem manuscript), a sage arose like our Locke, Wesen nach, ihm gleich.” Compare Spiwho made a discovery that the flesh of noza, Def. vi. and Prop. xv.-"Quicquid swine, or indeed, of any other animal, est in Deo est et nihil 'sine Deo esse nec might be cooked (burnt as they called it) concepi potest.” Again,-“ Gott ist nicht
— without the necessity of consuming a whole das Höchste, sondern er ist das schlechtin house to dress it. Then first began the Eine ; er ist nicht anzuschauen als Gipfel rude form of a gridiron. Roasting by the oder Ende, sondern als Centrum, nicht im string or spit came in a century or two Gegensatz einer Peripherie, sondern als later, I forget in whose dynasty. By such slow degrees (concludes the manuscript) " Essays of Elia :" Dissertation upon Roast Pig. Alles in Allem."-Spinoza, passim. Again, This audacious speculation Strauss first -“Gott enthält die möglichkeit seines made the ground of a serious scbism; its Seyns in sich selbst."-Spinoza, Prop. vi. ; wants of philosophical fundus, however, Coroll. ii. ; and Def. i. and iii. The position sufficiently guards us from its reception of Spinoza, that the universe is but the here. England can well afford to bear the aspect of God, considered under his infi- sneers of Germany and France at her innite attribute of extension, is thus stated capacity for metaphysical speculation, when by Schelling :-“ Die Unendlichkeit ist she contemplates the results of that specuGott, angeschaut von Seite seines Affirmirt. lation in the works of modern metaphysi. Seyns.” Respecting the impersonality of cians. The strong practical sense of our the human mind, and its dependence on the countrymen revolis at the curious subtleties universal mind, Spinoza writes,—“ Hinc and cobwebs so indefatigably produced by sequitur mentem humanam partem esse be arachnæ philosophers of Germany; and infiniti intellectus Dei; ac proinde cum di- though revolting more from instinct than cimus mentem humanam hoc, vel illud per- from a clear vision into the causes of metacipere, aliud nihil dicimus, quàm quòd physical impossibilities, yet the instinct is Deus, non quatenus infinitus est sed qua. a happy one. Foreigners accuse us, and lenus per naturam humanæ mentis expli- accuse us justly, of a want of appreciation of catur, sive quatenus humanæ mentis essen. generalities—a want of the true philosophical tiam constituit, hanc vel illam habet ideam.” faculty of generalization: but this accusa. (Ethicæ, pars. ii. prop. xi. coroll.) Schel. tion is by them coupled with an artifice of ling, precisely to the same effect, says - which they are unconscious. We are averse “ Das Denken ist nicht mein Denken, und to generalization, but it does not follow that das Seyn nicht mein Seyn; denn Alles ist those who are fond of it manifest a greater nur Gottes oder des Alles. Ueberhaupt aptitude for philosophy because they apply gibt es nicht eine Vernunft, die wir hätten, it to metaphysics-on the contrary, such sondern nur eine Vernunft, die uns hat." an application is in itself eminently unphi. (Jahrbücher der Medicin, bd. i. p. 13.) We losophical in the present state of the human have dragged these fundamental notions mind. They, however, couple the subjects forward to show how, in spite of different of metaphysics with the powers of generaterminology, and a more enthusiastic poet. lization, and fancy that the one includes ical manner, Schelling is the same as Spi- and presupposes the other, so that those noza in his philosophy; he is far less rigo- who are not metaphysicians are averse to rous and scientific in his method. Hegel's generalities. But in truth it is our weakmind was more akin 10 Spinoza's than any ness that we do not comprehend the imof the others, and accordingly, in his writ- portance of generalities, and it is our ings we still more distinctly trace the in- strength that we reject as frivolous all mefluence of the Ethica, disguised under taphysics. pedantic terminologies, and useless dis- The deplorable paradoxes and absurdities tinctions. It may be curious here to quote into which the modern thinkers have been Spinoza's anticipation of the Hegelian led, are owing to the vicious method which Christology, which, in the hands of Strauss, they follow, and which we have above comFeuerbach, and Bruno Baur, has made so bated. In Spinoza's time this Method was much noise in the theological world :-“1 the only one which with his education he tell you,” says Spinoza, in his letter to could adopt. In Spinoza Ontology reachOldenburg, " that it is not necessary for ed its consummation ; it remained for posyour salvation that you should believe in terity to apply this doctrine to every special Christ according to the flesh; but of that case, or else to re-examine its foundations eternal Son of God, i. e. the eternal wisdom to see if they were sound. Posterity did of God, which is manifested in all things, neither of these (with the exception of an but mostly in the human mind, and most of insignificant number of Baconian thinkers), all in Jesus Christ; a very different con- and the progress of humanity has been ception must be formed.”_" Dico ad salu- sensibly retarded in consequence. tem non esse omninò necesse, Christum Such was Benedict Spinoza-thus he secundùm carnem noscere, sed de æterno lived and thought. A brave and simple illo filio Dei, hoc est, Dei æternâ sapientiâ, man, earnestly meditating on the deepest quæ sese in omnibus rebus, et maximè in subjects that can occupy the human race, mente humanâ et omnium maximè in Chris. he produced a system which will ever reto Jesu manifestavit, longè aliter sentien- main as one of the most astounding efforts dum.'
of abstract speculation ; a system that has # " Opera Posthuma," p. 450. been decried for nearly two centuries, as
BY WILLIAM JONES.
the most iniquitous and blasphemous of | THE MOTHER ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF human invention; and which has now,
HER CHILD'S DEATH. within the last sixty years, become the acknowledged parent of a whole nation's phi. losophy, ranking among its admirers some
From Bentley's Miscellany. of the most pious and illustrious intellects
“ Bring ine fowers all young and sweet, of the age. The ribald Atheist turns out,
1 hat I way strew the winding-sheet, on nearer acquaintance, to be a “God-in.
Where calm thou sleepest, baby fair,
With roseless cheek, aud auburn hair !" toxicated man.” The blasphemous Jew, becomes a pious, virtuous, and creative
My beautiful ! 'tis now a year thinker. The dissolute Heretic becomes Since thou wert laid beneath the sod, a child-like, simple, self-denying and heroic
And though the thought brings many a tear,
It glads me—thou art with thy God. man. We look into his works with calm
Ay! though 'tis long ere I shall see earnestness, and read there another curious Thy lineaments again, my boy, page of human history: the majestic strug. Yet in the thought that thou art free
I feel a calm and boly joy. gle with the mysteries of existence has failed, as it always must fail; but the struggle demands our warmest admiration,
A year ago ! thou then hadst life,
But feeble strength was with it given; and the man our ardent sympathy. Spi. How couldst thou stem the world's rude strife ? noza stands out from the dim past like a Far better thus to dwell in heav'n! tall beacon, whose shadow is thrown A pure, angelic, spotless one, athwart the sea, and whose light will serve
Amidst the seraphim above;
For this I can remain alone, to warn the wanderers from the shoals
Foregoing e'en thine artless love! and rocks on which hundreds of their brethren have perished.
G. H. L.
A year ago! It seems a day
Since last I gazed upon thy face;
I sought thy future weal io trace.
Long after I should be forgot ;
No more the light of hope doth shine,
But brighter is thy present lot!