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after Him and so all the prophets before Him were sober, self-possessed teachers, each fully conscious of his own personality, each judging, reasoning, feeling and speaking, even in the moment of inspiration, according to his own peculiar habits of thought and mode of expressing himself. The individual was still himself, and wrote out of the fulness of his heart and in the entire consciousness of his freedom; as the apostle Paul avows in his second epistle to the Corinthians: "Out of much affliction and anguish of heart, I wrote unto you with many tears;" and again: "We are not as many which corrupt the Word of God; but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ." Were it possible to express the impulses of personal feeling as well as the entire sense of freedom, more clearly than we find them expressed by this apostle in communicating to the Corinthian church the message which the Holy Spirit was that moment inditing? Which leads us to remark:
Finally, that in these cases of direct revelation or inspiration, the truth was not only tinged, if we may so express it, with the personal peculiarities of the individual organ through whom it came, but was also unavoidably fused with another earthly element, in the historical circumstances, the immediate occasions, whatever they might happen to be, which called it forth. But the divine truth, thus doubly humanized, first by entering into the life of the individual who was its organ, next by coming into contact with the life of the time in which it was delivered, while it lost nothing thereby of its essential purity, gained a practical power, a force of reality, both for the time in which it was announced and for all succeeding times, which it could not have had otherwise. It was the highest eulogium of Socrates that he brought down philosophy from the aerial heights to the business and bosoms of men. But no less can be said of revelation than that it brought down the truth we most deeply need, from the very fountain of all truth, to the comprehension of the poorest and the weakest of our race.
BY RET. CHARLES H. IIADDUCK, D. D.. FORMERLY PROFESSOR IN DARTMOUTH
The first exercise of our faculties is spontaneous ; we begin to acquire knowledge long before we think of proposing it to ourselves as an end. As soon as the objects of knowledge and the cognitive power come into connection, that experience takes place, which, by the constitution of nature, results from this connection, and in which our intellectual life consists. And even after we come to seek for knowledge as an object and to adopt means for its attainment, and discipline, and direct the faculties, whose ollice it is to discover truth; after we have separated our acquisitions into distinct departments, and given to our various sciences a systematic character and adapted them to practice,— it is still a long time before we think of subjecting the process itself by which knowledge is acquired, to a rigid analysis.
Such analysis, however, sooner or later takes place. It cannot be that curiosity, awakened and stimulated to intensity by the world of wonders in which we are placed, should remain forever dormant in regard to the greater wonders in ourselves. The mysterious power to which all truth is revealed, and the mysterious process by which this power unfolds such secrets and appropriates such treasures, is itself in fact the most marvellous and the most inviting and absorbing of all the marvels it contemplates.
At a certain stage of mental culture, therefore, and with persons of the requisite contemplative and introspective habits, the theory of human knowledge, the origin of our ideas, becomes a subject of profound inquiry and commanding interest. The validity of our judgments, the grounds of belief upon which the vast structures of human science rest, appear to them invested with a dignity equalled only by the grandeur of our moral destiny, and permeated through all their crystal depths by brilliant, grateful rays from the sunlight life above them.
Nor is it as a matter of rational curiosity alone, that the study of the phenomenon of human knowledge is commended to thoughtful men; it is, in truth, indefensible to an intelligent delineation of the proper limits of inquiry in every department of philosophy; without it we remain in ignorance as to what our faculties are capable of teaching us, and equally in ignorance as to what they do unquestionably teach upon any of the thousand subjects within their sphere. The progress of knowledge has consisted as much in rejecting old beliefs as in establishing new ones. Things once generally and strongly believed have been disproved. Errors for which men have been willing to risk not only their reputation as philosophers, but their very life, have been abandoned. System after system of science, so called, has arisen and tlourished and passed away; and men witnessing this humiliating spectacle have been tempted to deny all certainty, to doubt every proposition, and to question the capacity of the human mind to know at all. Among every thinking people, from the time of Pyrrho, philosophy has occasionally assumed a sceptical aspect, and schools have appeared, which, like that ancient philosopher, have esteemed it the highest wisdom to doubt, and have held all knowledge to be useless.
It is then clear that to settle the question between positive knowledge and general scepticism, some standard of truth must be found, some criterion, some ultimate test, to which our judgments, our supposed knowledges, may be all brought. Without a standard of truth the controversy with error can never be settled; no basis to erect a system of belief upon can be found. Hence there comes to be at last, among the sciences to which the human mind gives rise, a science of sciences, a philosophy of philosophies, whose aim is to discover the grounds upon which all other philosophies rest; a science lying back of our physics and our psychology, the great principles of which are all pre-supposed and assumed in psychology and physics. The Baconian method takes a number of things for granted. It requires phenomena to be observed and their natural order to be ascertained, and deduces from them the law, as it is called, or principle under which they are comprehended, of which they are developments and exemplifications. The assemblage of principles or laws thus deduced from experience in reference to any single subject, and combined according to the natural order of our thoughts, constitutes the science of that subject. The phenomena of the heavenly bodies, so observed and reasoned upon, give us Astronomy; the facts of our internal experience, in like manner, give us Psychology. But in these cases we assume the capacity to observe and to reflect; we take for granted the credibility of the senses and of consciousness. If not, how know we that we are reasoning upon facts? We assume, also, that our memory and our cognitive power may be trusted ; else what confidence can we repose in our reasonings upon facts? Now the philosophy to which we have referred, proposes to inquire into the validity of the judgments thus assumed in our productive methods. Under one name or another, this philosophy has clearly a field to itself, and in the progress of human thinking, an important if not essential part to perform. Without much propriety it received the name of the " Critical Philosophy," from the title of Kant's " Critique of pure reason," in which the author proposed to determine the primary laws of belief. It has also received the appellation of " Transcendental Metaphysics," because it relates to truths which lie beyond the range of experience, which indeed experience pre-supposes, without the recognition of which experience would not be possible.
It has been denominated " Spiritual Philosophy," because it has for its object to develop and vindicate ideas, which originate in the soul itself, and constitute a part of its primordial and essential feelings or intuitions, without which impressions upon us from without would not be appreciable or even possible.
It has, also, and more generally of late, and especially among the Scottish philosophers, been known as the " Philosophy of Common Sense," so called first by Reid, because the principles of this philosophy appeal for their vindication to the common original convictions of all minds.
It has received the appellation of " Fundamental Philosophy," also, because its object is to discover and justify the laws or principles of belief that lie at the bottom of all reasoning and all knowledge.
The object of this branch of the transcendental philosophy, as already said, is to discover and substantiate those primary laws of action which the human mind observes in its intellectual and practical judgments; to exhibit some of the essential elements of the reason, the forms under which it cognizes all truth, and without which it would be incapable of knowledge — would be no longer mind.
These original ideas, or forms of thought, or conditions of knowledge, are found of course in all minds, and need only to be brought into the light of a cultivated, reflective consciousness, in order to be recognized. The mode of verifying them is precisely that in which all ideas are verified, viz.: by an appeal to the mind itself, the consciousness, the experience of thinking men. It supposes that any account of the ideas to which it directs our attention would be unphilosophical; for no account can be given of them without taking them for granted. An argument, an explanation, supposes the existence and identity of the mind that makes it and the mind that demands it. To give a reason for a thing implies the idea of a reason, the notion of cause, the idea of sequence, of law. It is absurd, therefore, to argue for the existence of such ideas, every possible argument necessarily pre-s.upposing them. Such ideas exist, or they do not exist, in the consciousness; and the mind may be made by patient efforts, to recognize them there, or their existence can never be known. Their existence is the proper and only condition of our knowledge of them.
To what else can appeal be made for the vindication of knowledge, upon any theory of its nature or origin? How else establish and justify any sequence in any argument, any