« AnteriorContinuar »
civilized man. No country which fosters such a spirit can attain the highest respectability or prosperity. The purest spirit of nationality is entirely compatible with a generous regard for the rights and welfare of other nations ; just as, in the individual, the purest and most devoted love of one's own may co-exist with the most elevated and diffusive spirit of love for the race.
'The Christian religion has modified essentially the laws which regulate international intercourse. The selfish, overbearing, all-grasping spirit of conquest and dominion, which in former ages has desolated and oppressed the world, the Gospel utterly condemns. But while it requires us to love our fellow men, it is as far from quenching peculiar love for our own land and institutions, as peculiar love for our kindred. As was remarked in the beginning of our discussion, true nationality is an instinct of our being. Our Creator designed that we should exercise and cherish it. We add, in conclusion, that there is a manifest tendency to ideas of unity in the human mind for higher ends than will be developed, probably, in the present state of our being. The family is one throughout its generations. The honor or distinction of an ancestor we feel to be a portion of our inheritance. So is it with the nation. That is one. We perceive this sense of oneness in our quick sensibility to national glory or disgrace. Why should a national victory or defeat cause us to exult, or fill us with mortification, when we had no personal share in either? Why cherish pride in our eminent citizens, or feel humiliation if a fellow countryman, in conspicuous station, has exposed to the world his inefficiency, or want of skill, or character? Their wisdom or their folly is not our wisdom or folly. Why exult or be humbled? Because, whether we will or not, we have within us a feeling of unity with all associated with us under the same institutions or laws. All are part of one great whole. It is not a mere fancy, a mere prejudice; it is ordered so by our Creator; and, when we urge to the cultivation of national feeling, we but carry out His designs. All are interested in whatever affects national character and welfare; and this is the important point to which we conceive an enlightened, true-hearted spirit of nationality tends. The honor of the nation is reflected back on ourselves; the shadow of her disgrace falls upon ourselves, likewise. It is, then, a duty to cultivate a spirit of true nationality for the general good; for our own good. Every citizen should cherish the feeling that his interests, as a member of the political system, are identified with the interests of the whole. Still, let him not forget that his individual responsibility is not, cannot be, merged in the general responsibility. If the nation violates justice and equity, a part of the sin lies at our door; if we ourselves trample law and good morals under foot, our country suffers for our folly and our sin. ARTICLE VII. NOTICES OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
I. Tulloch's Prize Essay.1
"mr. Burnett, a merchant in Aberdeen, whose character appears to have been marked by a rare degree of Christian sensibility and benevolence, among other acts of liberality, bequeathed certain sums, to be expended at intervals of forty years, in the shape of two Premiums, inviting to the discussion of the evidences of religious truth, and especially to the consideration and confirmation of the attributes of Divine Wisdom and Goodness." Preface, p. vii. On a previous occasion, "the first of the Premiums was awarded to the late Principal Brown, of Aberdeen, and the second, to the Rev. John Bird Sumner, Fellow of Eton College, and now Archbishop of Canterbury. On this occasion, the First Premium of £1,800 has been adjudged to 1 Theism: the Witness of Reason and Nature to an All-wise and Beneficent Creator. By the Rev. John Tulloch, D. D., Principal and Primarius Professor of Theology, St. Mary's College, St. Andrews. New York: Robert Carter and Brothers. 1855. 12mo. pp. 431.
the Rev. R A. Thompson, M. A., Lincolnshire; and the second, of £600, to the present writer;—the judges having been Mr. Isaac Taylor, Mr. Henry Rogers, and the Rev. Baden Powell." Preface, p. viii. This volume gives evidence of independent thought and extensive investigation. It is divided into four Sections; the first treats of the "Principles of Inductive Evidence;" the second, of " Blustrative (Inductive) Evidence;" the third, of "Moral Inductive Evidence;" and the fourth, of "Difficulties regarding the Divine Wisdom and Goodness." Perhaps it would be a valid criticism to say of the second Section, that it is too condensed; the vast amount of material collected in it, fails to make its due impression. The mere intimations which it gives, ought to be expanded in order to exert their needed influence. The chief interest of the volume lies in the first, third, and fourth Sections. To all the statements in these Sections, we are unable to subscribe. To many of them we yield our full assent . As a whole, the Sections are peculiarly interesting, not only in the mental power, and fine moral feeling which they develop, but also in the evidence which they afford of the philosophical spirit cherished by the religious writers of Great Britain. We learn from this volume the theological tendency of such men as John Tulloch, Isaac Taylor, Henry Rogers, and Baden Powell. It is not the tendency which begins to develop itself among certain writers in our own land, to an obscure compound of mediaeval scholasticism with modern Hegelianism; but it is a tendency to a system sanctioned by common sense, a sound conscience, and the inspired word. We think that, in some respects, the direction of these writers is not exactly what it should be, but in all respects it merits our careful observation. The second chapter of Dr. Tulloch's first Section is devoted to the doctrine of causation. He rejects the idea that causation is mere antecedence. He affirms that a cause must be an agent, a mental agent, a rational and free mental agent . The idea of causation, he affirms, resolves "itself into that of the operation of a rational will or mind in nature," p. 47. A cause has "its primitive type in the Ego, the living root of our being," and is "specially represented in that which constitutes the highest expression of our being, Free Will," p. 43. The chief argument adduced for this statement, is the fact that, so far forth as we have any direct knowledge of causation, of power, it consists in mind, in free will. "Causation, therefore* implies power. What we mean by a cause is something quite different from a mere antecedent, however we may define the conditions of its relation to the consequent. It is peculiarly an Agent. "But in order to see this more fully, it will be necessary to consider whence we have the idea of power, which we have seen to constitute the main element of causation. That this idea is not derived from without, that it does not come through any phase of sensational experience, is already clear in the fact admitted on all hands, that we only perceive succession, that we are only conversant, through the senses, with the two terms of a sequence. But if not from without, it must be from within; we must have the idea of power given us in our own mental experience. This we hold to be the fact; and recent psychological analysis has pretty sufficiently explained the more special origin of this prime intellectual element . It flows from the depths of our self-consciousness; or, more truly speaking, it is nothing else than the ideal projection of our self-consciousness. With the first dawn of mind we apprehend ourselves as distinct from the objective phenomena surrounding us; the Ego emerges, face to face, with the non-Ego. And in this springing forth of self, so far back in the mental history as to elude all trace, is primarily given the idea of power."What is commonly called the Will, therefore, is, according to this view, the ultimate source or fountain of the notion of causation. We apprehend ourselves as agents, and in this apprehension we have already, in the fullest sense, the idea of cause. Had we not this apprehension, it seems impossible that we could have ever risen above sequence, as the obvious fact given us in outward observation. With this apprehension lying at the very root of our being, and constituting it essentially, it is equally impossible that we can hold by that fact as furnishing the exhaustive conception of the Universe. According to the radical and imperative character of our mental constitution, we must recognize a deeper life than mere sequence, however grand and orderly, in the phenomena of nature; and this deeper life is just what we mean by a cause. Not sequency, therefore, but agency, or, in other words, efficiency, is the attribute commensurate with our notion of causation."The question before us then really passes into the old one as to the origin of our knowledge. Let it only be admitted that our knowledge is the product of a spiritual as well as a material factor, and then it is quite beside the question to argue that because cause, according to our interpretation of it, is not given in external nature, the notion of it is not a valid and real portion of human knowledge; on the very contrary, it becomes, in such a case, only an obvious and expected conclusion that we should find more in outward phenomena than they, so to speak, contain. The subjective brings its element of knowledge as well as the objective; and it is not merely what we apprehend by the senses, but what, through the whole mental life awakened in us by the original contact of subject and object, spirit and matter, we intuitively know or believe to be the truth—that wo must hold as the truth. The only available argument against this position, save on a basis of pure materialism, would be to dispute the reality of any such primitive mental experience as we have asserted, the fact of that consciousness of agency, which we have assumed as indisputable." pp. 85-87.
Coincidently with this principle, Dr. Tulloch defines Providence, or the course of nature, to be "nothing else than a continued forth-putting of originally creative energy," p. 92; and says that a law of nature, " instead of explaining the phenomena which seem to issue from it, is merely the general condition in which these phenomena express themselves, and apart from which it has no existence. Instead of the law explaining the phenomena, therefore, it might be more truly said that the phenomena explain the law, just as a sum in arithmetic gives the answer, rather than the answer the sum. The true realities are the separate parts. The law is only the summary expression by which we hold these facts before our mind." p. 76. The tenth chapter of Dr. Tulloch's second Section, introduces the subject of sensation, and this suggests the topic of Divine Goodness. The phenomena of sensation, it is said, "possess a special interest for the Theist. Their peculiar significance consists, not in the fact that in them also we see wisdom, but that in them, for the first time, we perceive goodness. In this new reality of creation we have a new testimony to the Creator. With the dawn of sense, we have the kindling of the light of love around the great First Cause. We behold no longer a merely exquisite mechanism, nor even the elaborately beautiful action of unconscious life, but the yet higher and richer workings of sentient being. In these workings there emerges for the first time the fact of enjoyment, and this fact in nature it is which alone enables us inductively to find goodness in God. Apart from this fact, Paley has said, with his wonted brief simplicity, 'the attribute has no object, the term has no meaning.' It is only the presence of a sentient subject in organism, which enables us to pronounce that the tendency of its design is beneficial. It is only its relation to consciousness which makes anything good or evil," p. 221. According to Dr. Tulloch, then, the capability of happiness is the first object which calls into our view an exercise of the divine goodness. As a moral attribute, Dr. Tulloch regards this divine goodness as completing itself in the divine righteousness. In a subsequent part of the volume, while considering the phenomena of conscience, he says: "But the divine goodness, to which conscience testifies, is at the same time divine Righteousness. This is a further very significant and wholly peculiar element of theistic evidence disclosed in conscience. The Supreme Good interprets itself here as the Supreme Right. . This idea of Right is one which, hitherto, we could not possibly have encountered; for it only finds an application in the region of free moral life, where it emerges correlatively with duty. It is the idea in which alone duty finds its complement, and so becomes the sacred bond which holds our moral being in harmony. The element or attribute of righteousness is one, therefore, which a comprehensive natural theology must ever recognize in the Divine Being. The broad and earnest mind of Dr. Chalmers did, perhaps, especial service in making this clear and prominent. And it has since become more and more a matter of conviction, that Theism is not only bound to take up this clement, but that it furnishes, to some extent, the key to the profound mysteries which lie around the special attribute of divine goodness. For in order to perceive a benevolent meaning in much that would otherwise seem opposed to benevolence, we have only to see that goodness completes itself in righteousness, and can never validly come short of it. The conception of goodness becomes thus not only exalted, but discriminated. Whereas, in the lower regions of sentient and intellectual life, the former attribute is apparent merely as a disposition to bestow happiness; here, in Vol. XIIL No. 49. 18