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can never be correctly represented to be in ourselves, but only the means of our discovering or receiving it. Now, among those means is the faculty of pure reasoning, which deals with abstract ideas and necessary truths. If there can be such a thing at all as à priori reasoning upon any subject, surely it may be applied to the nature of HIM of whom we cannot rationally deem otherwise than that, as the Eternal Cause and Fountain of all Being and all perfection, He must in all his perfections be infinite. Even the atheist could hardly refuse to admit that this is the true notion of the Being whose existence he denies. The argument à posteriori, invaluable as it is for the purpose of illustration, and far better adapted to affect the mind, and to awaken emotions of piety, than any abstract reasoning, yet fails as a perfect demonstration. In the absence of certain knowledge derivable from Revelation and Reason, that argument would seem to rest the perfection of the Divine character on a balance of probabilities, on the preponderance of good over evil, either at present or in futurity; and it would suspend the highest obligations of the creature upon the evidence obtainable by this philosophical induction. To argue the Divine Perfections from present appearances and probable anticipations, is to prove what is clear by what is problematical, and to build certainty upon mystery. If proof is wanted in respect to what it is insane to doubt, the demonstration à priori, properly conducted, seems to us the only effectual refutation of the cavils of scepticism, not so much as to the existence, indeed, as to the necessary and absolute perfection of the Deity.
The arguments of the ancient Theists, Lord Brougham remarks, were in great part drawn from metaphysical speculations, some of which resembled the argument à priori; and occasionally their expressions seem to glimmer with the reflected light of the Heavenly Oracles. But, continues the noble Author:
They were pressed by the difficulty of conceiving the possibility of creation, whether of matter or spirit; and their inaccurate views of physical science made them consider this difficulty as peculiar to the creative act. They were thus driven to the hypothesis, that matter and mind are eternal, and that the creative power of the Deity is only plastic. They supposed it easy to comprehend how the Divine Mind should be eternal and self-existing, and matter also eternal and selfexisting. They found no difficulty in comprehending how that Mind could, by a wish or a word, reduce chaos to order, and mould all the elements of things into their present form; but how every thing could be made out of nothing, they could not understand. When rightly considered, however, there is no more difficulty in comprehending the one, than the other operation,-the existence of the plastic, than of the creative power: or rather, the one is as incomprehensible as the other. How the Supreme Being made matter out of the void, is not easily
comprehended. This must be admitted. But is it more easy to conceive how the same Being, by his mere will, moved and fashioned the primordial atoms of an eternally existing chaos into the beauty of the natural world, or the regularity of the solar system? In truth, these difficulties meet us at every step of the argument of Natural Theology, when we would penetrate beyond those things, those facts which our faculties can easily comprehend; but they meet us just as frequently, and are just as hard to surmount, in our steps over the field of Natural Philosophy. How matter acts on matter how motion is begun, or, when begun, ceases-how impact takes place-what are the conditions and limitations of contact-whether or not matter consists of ultimate particles, endowed with opposite powers of attraction and repulsion, and how these act-how one planet acts upon another at the distance of a hundred million of miles-or how one piece of iron attracts and repels another at a distance less than any visible space-all these, and a thousand others of the like sort, are questions just as easily put, and as hard to answer, as how the universe could be made out of nothing, or how, out of chaos, order could be made to spring.'
In the fifth section, Lord Brougham treats of the deontological or ethical branch of Natural Theology, and shews that it rests upon the same kind of evidence with moral science, and is, strictly speaking, as much a branch of inductive knowledge. In the first place, the proofs of the separate and future existence of the soul, afforded by the nature of mind, are shewn to be facts belonging alike to Psychology and to Natural Theology and next, the proofs of immortality derivable from the condition of man in connexion with the attributes of the Deity, are shewn to be as truly parts of legitimate inductive science as any other branch of moral philosophy. In the former part of this section, the reader will find much that is valuable and admirable. We cannot refrain from noticing the ingenious argument against Materialism; that if the mind ceases to exist at death, it is the only example of annihilation which we know.' The argument for the separate existence of mind, and for its surviving the body, founded upon its surviving a total change of the body to which it is united, in all its parts,- a chronic dissolution' during life,— we are afraid must be pronounced more ingenious than conclusive, since what is required to be proved is, the separate existence of the soul after the interruption of the complex life which connects it with its material vehicle. The argument relating to the probable designs of the Creator, though conducted in a becoming spirit, is of necessity unsatisfactory; for the inductions of moral
* In fact, it has been remarked, that Lord Brougham's argument proves too much, since it would go far towards establishing the immortality of animals.
philosophy upon such points are nothing better than mere speculation and conjecture. The only clear and certain evidence of the will and intentions of the Supreme Governor is confessedly to be obtained from Revelation.
The sixth section is occupied with an examination of Lord Bacon's doctrine of Final Causes; it being the Author's object to shew, that the Father of Inductive Philosophy was not adverse to such speculation when kept within due bounds. The seventh section examines the true nature of inductive analysis and synthesis, and exposes some important errors prevalent on this subject.
The Notes, to which we have already referred, are on the following topics. I. Of the Classification of the Sciences. II. Of the Psychological Argument from Final Causes. III. Of the Doctrine of Cause and Effect. IV. Of the "Système de la Nature," and the Hypothesis of Materialism. V. Of Mr. Hume's Sceptical Writings. VI., VII., VIII. Of the Ancient Doctrines respecting Mind, the Deity and Matter, and the Immortality of the Soul. IX. Of Bishop Warburton's Theory concerning the ancient Doctrine of a Future State. X. Of the Character of Lord Bacon.
Upon the whole, the volume must be regarded as, under all the circumstances, an extraordinary production, displaying the versatile, brilliant, and all-excursive mind of the noble Author in a new phase, and affording honourable indications of a sincere desire to promote the best interests of his fellow men. Lord Brougham is evidently conscious that the purest fame is neither that of the great lawyer, nor of the accomplished orator, nor of the astute politician, nor even of the man of science, but such as attaches only to the memory of those who have laboured to make their generation more wise and good; and never can ambition take so useful a direction as in prompting endeavours that have this aim. We trust that his Lordship's performance may, on the one hand, prove extensively beneficial to a class of readers little accustomed to have their attention directed to any theological inquiries. And should it, on the other hand, serve to recommend the study of the works of God to good men, it will answer a not less useful purpose. In His works, as well as in His word, God reveals himself to those who seek Him, "as he does not unto the world." It were a worthy object, to rescue Natural Theology out of the hands of those philosophers who would fain construct a scientific religion that might perchance rival the religion of faith. Deo erexit Voltaire,' inscribed the unhappy enemy of Christ on the porch of his church at Ferney. But if Revelation is true, there is but one way to the Father"; and "without faith, it is impossible to please Him."
We should be glad to feel warranted in receiving this volume
as a protest against that tacit exclusion of religion from scientific and useful knowledge, which has been advocated on the hollow and delusive plea, that religious truth is altogether matter of controversy*. What has not been controverted? The existence of mind, of matter, of Deity, has been disputed. Science owes every thing to controversy. Religion has nothing to fear from it. To exclude the highest, most essential, and most certain of knowledge from popular literature upon such ground, is, teste the noble Author of this Treatise, as contrary to true philosophy as it is impious.
Art. II. Memoirs of the Life, Character, and Writings of Sir Matthew Hale, Knt., Lord Chief Justice of England. By J. B. Williams, Esq., LL.D., F.S.A. Sm. 8vo, pp. xxiv, 408. London, 1835.
THE life of Sir Matthew Hale presents one of the most instructive and exemplary characters of the British Nepos. In his singularly equable and prosperous course amid troublous times, we seem to have a striking verification of the truth, that "Godliness has the promise of this life as well as of that which is to come." One of these promises is, "Discretion shall preserve thee"; and never was the virtue of discretion without cunning or simulation more finely exemplified. In early life the friend and disciple of Selden and Usher, his high reputation at the bar is evinced by his being one of the counsel assigned to the Earl of Strafford in 1640, and to Archbishop Laud on his arraignment in 1644. He was nominated by the parliamentary party to assist, as counsel, the commissioners who had to treat with those of the King as to the reduction of Oxford; and again, was retained by the Oxonians against the Parliament on the questions mooted with reference to the celebrated visitation of the University. He afterwards appears as counsel for the eleven members of Parliament who, in 1647, becoming obnoxious to Cromwell, were impeached by the army; and he is, on authority which appears to us satisfactory, believed to have been engaged on behalf of Charles I., and to have afforded the arraigned monarch the aid of his professional advice. In the State trials
It seems that even the republication of Dr. Paley's Natural Theology under the auspices of the Diffusion Society, was objected to by certain colleagues, under the apprehension that it might open the door of religious controversy among the Committee !! Can those individuals be much less than atheists who could speak of such a subject as related to controversy ?
under the Commonwealth, he is found appearing as counsel on behalf of the Duke of Hamilton, the Earl of Holland, and the Lords Capel and Craven; and such was the power of his argu'mentation,' in the last of these cases, that the Attorney Ge'neral threatened him for appearing against the Government.' Again, when the unfortunate Christopher Love was arraigned for treason in 1651, the plea against the charge and evidence was entrusted to Mr. Hale; and though his efforts proved unsuccessful, Love, in a tract left behind him, bears testimony to the ability displayed by his counsel, which he attributes to 'Divine assistance'. Such a man could not be overlooked in Cromwell's politic arrangements. On his installation as Protector, one new judge only was made, and that was Hale; who not without avowed scruples accepted the proffered dignity, influenced, it is said, by several eminent royalists. In 1654, he was returned to Cromwell's second Parliament as one of the five Knights of the Shire for the county of Gloucester, at no expense to himself, and in opposition to another candidate. His exertions in Parliament were directed to the moderating so far as possible of the violence of parties. Of the Parliament summoned in 1656, he appears not to have been a member; but in that which was summoned by the new Protector, Richard Cromwell, in 1658, he represented the University of Oxford. In the famous Convention Parliament, Hale appeared as one of the Members for Gloucestershire, and he took a prominent part in the proceedings for restoring the exiled monarch. He was one of those who conceived the opportunity to be a favourable one for limiting the prerogative; but Monk's selfish policy defeated his 'pa'triotic suggestion'. Hale had afterwards the honour of being nominated one of the Committee for bringing in the Act of Indemnity. He framed, carried on, and supported the Bill, which, on the 11th of July, 1660, passed the Commons.
There was obviously nothing in Hale's professional or political career, thus far, that rendered it inconsistent with the general tenor of his principles, to accept of a legal appointment under the restored government. Yet, in a private document, he sets down among his reasons for desiring to be spared from any place of public employment, that his having formerly served under a now odious interest' might, by them that understand not, or observe not, or will willingly upon their own passions or interest 'mistake' his reasons for it, be objected even in his very prac'tice of judicature, which is fit to be preserved without the least 'blemish or disrepute in the person who exerciseth it.' His reasons were, however, overruled, and on the 7th of Nov. 1660, Hale was created Lord Chief Baron of England.
Misprinted, new, odious.' p. 81.