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us for those volumes to republish also, in so worthy a style, these Lectures on Ancient Philosophy. The Sermons had at once, in England, an extensive circulation, and won exalted praise as the productions of a mind singularly brilliant and philosophic, learned and devout. We are confident that they will be read more and more as they become better known ; for we are acquainted with no discourses in the English tongue — and we speak of past productions as well as present — that are better adapted to satisfy those who have meditated much and deeply on their relations to God and to their fellow men, and the mysteries of the Christian faith. The spirit and manner of this preacher, with which we are scarcely less struck than with his thoughts, are what we believe can come only of the grace of God when superadded to the most exquisite human culture; and are the same as we observe in Mr. Hobart Seymour in his Evenings with the polished Jesuit in Rome, and in his Mornings with the rude partisan in Ireland - a union of humility, courtesy, and power. Mr. Butler was born at Annerville, near Clonmel, Ireland. His father was a member of the church of England; but, in accordance with the wishes of his mother, her son was baptized and educated in the Romish faith. When nine years old, he was removed from his home to the endowed school of Clonmel and the charge of a distinguished teacher. During his pupilage here, when oppressed with a sense of his sinfulness, he attended the confessional for relief; but the treatment of his sacred feelings by the unsympathizing confessor shocked him, and that day he began to doubt. Ile then examined the controversy for himself, and his powerful mind soon found and trusted in the truth. Two years after this event, he proceeded to Trinity College, Dublin, where he signalized himself in his literary studies, and obtained his scholarship in 1832. At about this period Dublin set the example, since so worthily followed by the University of Cambridge, of giving Ethics an honorable place on the list of subjects for the examinations for degrees. In November, 1834, the first examination for the Prize for proficiency in this study, instituted by Provost Lloyd, was held, and Mr. Butler's name now stands first on the list of successful aspirants. In 1837, through the strenuous efforts of the noble Provost, a Professorship of Moral Philosophy was wisely created to secure to the College the service of the splendid talents of Mr. Butler. It was in the discharge of the duties of this office that these Lectures on Philosophy were prepared ; and it was in the midst of his Academic and Parochial labors - he having been presented to two parishes by the Board of Trinity College — that his death took place, in human judgment so premature, in 1848, when he had reached only the thirty-fourth year of his life. He made a profound impression in Ireland, both as a lecturer in the University and as a preacher, and was always heard with the greatest eagerness. Such was the opinion entertained of him in England, that Cambridge, in her admiration of genius, casting aside all jealousy of her rival, undertook the illustrious task of editing and publishing his works. The present volumes were prepared for the press by the Regius Professor of Greek; and it was done, he states, in the hope of stimulating the interest in the study of Philosophy in England; and, he adds, that though Mr. Butler was personally unknown to him, his masterly Letters on Development1 had led him to rank Professor Butler among the most gifted spirits of his generation. The same letters received a very high commendation from the learned bishop Thirlwall; and of the Lectures embraced in these volumes, the late Sir William Hamilton said they had great scientific value, and that he was gratified to find so important a subject treated with so much learning and acuteness. In England, the First Series of the Sermons have already passed to the fourth edition, and the Second Series to the second.
These volumes on Philosophy first appeared about two years since, and comprise Seven Introductory Lectures on the Science of Mind; a First Series, on Ancient and Modern Histories of Philosophy, on the Indian and the early Greek Philosophy, seven in number; a Second Series, nine lectures on Socrates and his followers, the minor sects and Plato; a Third Series, six lectures on Plato ; a Fourth Series, three lectures on the successors of Plato; of a Fifth Series, left unfinished, three lectures on the Psychology of Aristotle. Of all these, the lectures on Plato and the Platonists, which make up nearly the whole of the second volume, the Editor considers as the most important and original, and states that they may be received as a perfectly independent contribution to our knowledge of the great Master of Grecian wisdom; and that of the Dialectic and Physics of Plato they are the only exposition, at once accurate and popular, which is known to him, being more accurate than the French and incomparably more popular than the German treatises on those departments of the Platonic Philosophy. He adds that the author's intimate familiarity with the metaphysical writings of the last century, and especially with the English and Scotch school of Psychologists, has enabled him to illustrate the subtle speculations of which he treats, in a manner calculated to render them more intelligible to the English mind than they can be made by writers trained solely in the technicalities of modern German schools. The author left copious collections in MS., of which he seems to have intended to make use to give greater completeness to his treatment of certain periods; but the lectures, as he bequeathed them to us, constitute a History of the Platonic Philosophy, in its rise, maturity, and decay. The Editor has done his work with judgment and learning. That slight diffusiveness which marks Mr. Butler's brilliant style, Professor Thompson has not attempted to retrench. The references to the original writers, which were mostly wanting in the MS., have been supplied, and notes illustrative, and in some cases corrective, have been subjoined. While Mr. Butler, in transfusing and developing the ideas of Ancient Philosophy, has by an effort of his genius admirably done what mere learning never could have accomplished, these notes of the Editor greatly add to the critical character of the work, and are interesting as enabling us to form some estimate of the schol
1 Letters on Romanism in Reply to Mr. Newman's Essay on Development. 8vo. Cambridge: MacMillan and Co.
arship of the successor of Porson at Cambridge. England has, as yet, done very little for Piato. But the University of Dublin, having previously given us a beautiful and valuable edition of the Phaedo by the hand of Mr. Stanford, has now, to use Mr. Thompson's words, furnished the first or one of the first examples, in recent times, of an upright and intelligent History of Platonism. Apart from these two works, British scholarship bas produced scarcely anything, if we except the Republic, edited by Messrs. Davis and Vaughan, which can be compared with our edition of the Gorgias by President Woolsey, and of the Tenth Book of the Laws by Dr. Tayler Lewis, the excursus to which are an important contribution to metaphysical studies. We have therefore, with much pleasure, just read the announcement that a volume of Plato, containing the Gorgias, Phædrus, and Symposium, is soon to appear in the Bibliotheca Classica, prepared by the accomplished and generous Editor of these Lectures. While that work will be eagerly looked for by the classical scholar, the present volumes will be welcomed by all students and readers of Philosophy, and especially by those who would make or extend an acquaintance with the Philosophy of Plato - that Philosophy which seems to have carried the human mind in certain directions to its utmost limits, and whose defects, in its highest speculations, could be repaired only by the Revelation from God.
10.— Dr. Schmitz's MANUAL OF ANCIENT GEOGRAPHY.' • Tis work is designed as a companion to the Manual of Ancient History, by the same author, which was reproduced in this country two years ago by the publishers of the present volume. This treatise is intended to furnish the student with that amount of Geographical and Ethnological information which he requires in reading the Greek and Latin authors and in studying the history of the nations of Antiquity. It is divided into Four Books, of which the First gives, in some thirty pages, closely printed, an outline of the gradual extension of Geographical knowledge among the nations of ancient times, serving as an introduction to the general subject. We are not acquainted with any other book in our language that contains the curious and valuable information brought together in this portion of the work. The Second Book treats of Europe; the Third, of Asia ; the Fourth, of Africa; the whole presenting a complete survey of Ancient Geography in a very interesting manner, the author not confining himself, as was the custom in the old treatises on this subject, to a dry description of the political
1 A Manual of Ancient Geography. By Dr. Leonhard Schmitz, F. R. S. E., Rector of the High School of Edinburgh, Author of a Manual of Ancient History, etc. With a Map showing the Retreat of the 10,000 Greeks under Xenophon. 12mo. cl. pp. x and 428. Reprinted from the Edinburgh edition. Philadelphia: Blanchard and Lea. 1857.
2 A Manual of Ancient History, from the remotest times to the overthrow of the Western Empire, A. D. 476. With Copious Chronological Tables. 12mo. pp. viii and 466.
divisions and an enumeration of the mere names of the natural features of
relating to Ethnology, Mythology, and general Antiquities, wherever he found occasion so to do. It is hardly necessary to add that the Pupil of Niebuhr and Editor of his works, possessed in an eminent degree the qualifications requisite for preparing these two treatises, and that their contents are the fruit of the author's own studies and of the exact researches of the best scholars of Germany, his native country. Our readers will here find many a venerable blunder of our old books corrected, and many of their misty forms dispelled.
Subjoined to the work is a Map showing the route probably taken by the 10,000 Greeks in their return. This Map and the Notes accompanying it, which fill several pages, were contributed by Gen. Monteith, and will be very useful to the student of Xenophon.
No Atlas is prepared expressly for this Geography, but the author refers the student for such a work to Long's Classical Atlas,' which, he says, is in every respect the best and most accurate yet published in Great Britain.
11. — Tue BIBLE AND THE PEOPLE.? In the first place, this book appears objectionable on account of the personalities with which it abounds. It contains no small part of its author's autobiography, scattered throughout the Introduction, the Addenda, and the Notes. The volume is mainly devoted to Mental Science; and the intermixture of so much personal history with so many metaphysical discussions, is at least a violation of the canons of taste.
In the second place, the impression produced by this autobiography is, in some respects, incorrect. For example, those who are acquainted with the theology of Dr. Lyman Beecher, will be slow to believe that he ever adopted the mode of education, or ever sanctioned the mode of religious appeal, which seem to be ascribed to him on pages xvii, xviii, xxiv of the Introduction to this volume.
In the third place, nearly all the historical statements in the book are, at the best, one-sided and incomplete. The history of the “ Theological Dogma of a Departed Mental Constitution,” is singularly imperfect and wrong. Miss Beecher represents a large class of theologians as believing that Adam and Eve stood as representatives of the human race (pp. 284, 285). The controversialists whom she enumerates as contending for or against this
· Republished with additions by Blanchard and Lea, Philadelphia, 1856. For some notice of this work, see this Journal for Jan. 1857.
3 Common Sense applied to Religion, or the Bible and the People. By Catherine Beecher, author of " Letters to the People on Health and Happiness," “Physiology and Calisthenics," " Domestic Economy," " Domestic ReceiptBook," etc. etc. New York: Harper and Brothers, Publishers, Franklin Square. Montreal: Benjamin Dawson. 1857. pp. 358. 12mo. VOL. XV. No. 58.
dogma are Pelagius (p. 297), Augustine (p. 298), Arminius (p. 300). Calvin and Edwards (pp. 302—304), Dr. Edward Beecher (p. 304), the New Haven divines (p. 306), and herself; and after introducing her own views on the subject, she devotes twenty pages to her efforts in the cause of education, etc. She ascribes the prevalence of a belief in a vitiated nature, to the influence of the Councils and Emperors who sustained Augustine (p. 300).
In the fourth place, the volume is often unphilosophical in its development of the causes of phenomena. Thus in chapter xxv, it specifies the following causes of the “ wrong action of mind :” first, deficient or erroneous views of doctrine; secondly, false teachings; thirdly, the want of good habits and the early formation of bad ones; fourthly, the bad influence of other minds; fifthly, the want of a ruling purpose to do right. But what is the cause of these causes ? This want of a ruling purpose is the very thing which is to be accounted for.
In the fifth place, the volume contains various representations, the mutual consistency of which needs to be proved. Thus we read, on p. 224, that the mind has a sense of entire inability to obey the laws of the system in which it is placed.” “ Where is the mother who has not heard the distressed confession, even from the weeping infant, that he was happier in doing right than in doing wrong, that he wished to do well, and yet that he was constantly doing evil ? Where is the parent that has not witnessed, as one little being after another passed on from infancy to youth, and from youth to manhood, the perpetual warfare to sustain good purposes and oftbroken resolutions? And where is the conscious spirit that cannot look back on its whole course of existence as one continued exhibition of a conflict that gives unvarying evidence of this truth? Men feel that it is as impossible for them to be invariably perfect in thought, word, and deed, as it is to rule the winds and waves" (pp. 224, 225). This is called a “ fatal inability,” and it is said that “in these circumstances it is as impossible for a young mind to commence existence here with perfect obedience to law, and to continue through life in a course of perfect rectitude, as it is for it, by its feeble will, to regulate the winds of heaven, or turn back the tides of the ocean” (pp. 231, 232). Here and elsewhere, the doctrine of a literal and natural inability to do right and to avoid wrong is asserted; but in very many passages, throughout the book, the common doctrine of the natural and literal inability to do right is denied. It is in vain for the author to reply that the sentences just quoted have reference merely to the finiteness of human powers, to their want of absolute perfection, “ to actions which, in all the infinite relations of a vast and eternal system of free agents, are fitted to secure the most possible good with the least possible evil. In this relation, so far as we can judge by experience and reason, no finite being ever did or ever can act perfectly from the first to the last of its volitions. In this relation, every human being is certainly, necessarily, and inevitably imperfect in action” (p. 252). Angels have this kind of inability to do right; but they do not "weep" over it, and make such a " distressed