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'overruling and using of nature for some personal intent, and 'is the recognition of a Personality independent of and absolute 'above nature.' (2.) 'The recognition of miraculous interpositions in nature,' which Dr. Hickok maintains to be natural to the human mind. (3.) 'The order of nature's formations, as given in geological facts.' These show that man's existence on the earth is comparatively recent, and that every species of life came into existence subsequently to the existence of vast effects produced by attraction and repulsion, by chemical and crystalline farces: they likewise show that life cannot be produced by any of those forces, or any other natural power. Life, therefore, was superinduced upon nature, and demands a power above and external to nature; and yet it is so in harmony with all nature, that the hand which interposed and put it into nature is evidently the hand which holds all nature together; in short, 'we 'recognise in it a supernatural Personality, who is absolute for 'it and for all nature.' (4.) 'The recognition of a free personality in humanity.' This is known to be distinct from nature, but it is in combination with it. This, then, was a force superinduced upon nature; and, being ethical, it leads up to 'the absolute ethical personality of the Deity.'
The second step is, to establish, that 'the fact of a compre'hending operation for universal nature is only by the compass 'of this absolute Personality' (p. 701).
We attain a comprehension of all nature by a conception of this absolute Personality; and wherever man has no notion of such an absolute Personality, or has discarded it,—such minds have no rational comprehension of the universe. Neither Atheism, Polytheism, nor Manicheism could afford such a comprehension. Still less can we comprehend the ethical system under which man lives,—corrupted and perverted as it manifestly is from what it professes, and what we can conceive possible. This still requires the existence of an Absolute Sovereign, who originated the system, who knows how every part of it is working and will work, and who will carry it on to its consummation.
We have thus arrived, as Dr. Hickok thinks, at a science for an intelligent comprehension of universal humanity and universal nature (p. 712). We possess, in short, the science of our intellectual being, including the sense, the understanding, and the reason: we have a complete philosophy of the human mind.
Such is a brief digest of the 'Rational Psychology:' and there is, at all events, one striking coincidence between this and Aristotle's work; viz. that they both lead up to God; in the work of Aristotle viewed as the original and primary Cause of motion and the absolute Ovaia; in Dr. Hickok likewise as the Cause of motion, by putting into operation antagonistic forces; but still more than this, as He who comprehends within the perfect reason of His absolute free Personality, the cause of the existence of all being but Himself, spiritual and material.
And the point which the author insists upon as characteristic of this work is, that his process is strictly scientific: that he has proceeded as all have proceeded who have added to our strictly scientific knowledge: that he has first of all proceeded by reasoning to establish a theory, and then has compared it with facts and confirmed it by theories; that this is the process by which all true science has been formed; e. g. the science of the solar system: and consequently that, unless any flaw can be discovered in this process, the results ought to be accepted as fixed and certain truth. And if so accepted, he conceives that he has settled all the leading controversies, which have existed from the very commencement of philosophy, on the subjects usually called metaphysical.
It would require much more ample and accurate acquaintance with such subjects than we pretend to, to decide how far this may be the case or not. It would require a person, like Sir William Hamilton, minutely acquainted with the whole range of metaphysical inquiry in all its bearings,—with all the systems which have been brought forward in all its departments,—with the relative meaning of the various terminologies which successive writers, especially amongst the Germans, have adopted. Such a knowledge would require a mind supremely devoted to such pursuits; whilst our lot has been to pursue these inquiries in the midst of other avocations, and more congenial objects. But still we do venture to say that Dr. Hickok has made out a good prima facie case, and that his processes of investigation appear original, based upon sound principles, and deserving careiul examination, in spite of the manifold defects of his style, which at first sight gives the impression that he is but a dealer in pompous and pedantic nothings. And if it should appear that he has established some definite landmarks in the ever-&hifting sea of metaphysics, he will have rendered good service to all speculative inquirers. The difficulty in making his labours available will be, first, in getting persons to comprehend his meaning in the affected and obscure style which he has created for himself; and then, supposing that he has really fixed some principles, in getting speculative inquirers to acquiesce in any settled principles. Unfortunately, in every succeeding generation there is some individual of marked character and original turn of mind, who has a tendency to the formation of abstract principles, and sufficient confidence in his own impressions,—without any sufficient acquaintance with the previous history of philosophy,—whose enthusiasm impels him to give his views to the world, and to strive to influence the current of thought in his day. Such a man carries away large numbers of minds,—first, by the force of his own character; secondly, by the attachment they acquire to his system from the very difficulty they have had in comprehending it; thirdly, by the fact that, after all, they never reach to the bottom of his system, and therefore have always something to look forward to. And so he unsettles all previous habits of thought, and influences by sympathy and contact the thinking minds of his day, and yet perhaps obtains only a temporary establishment for any system of his own. Such was Des Cartes and his follower Locke; such was Kant; such Gioberti has striven to be; and perhaps might have been, if he had not so mixed himself up in the political agitation of his day, as to leave him no time to complete his philosophical works. The result is, that system after system obtains a temporary popularity, only to be supplanted by something newer. The further result seems to be, that nothing is ever settled; that the ancient disputes are ever reappearing under new aspects,—that men are continually bringing forward as new, opinions which date from before the days of Socrates. What the remedy is to be we scarcely know; but we do think something desirable to prevent this study from continuing to be the ever-shifting quicksand which it has hitherto been, since the days of Des Cartes;—to prevent it from being constantly opened up afresh, and constantly made the field for ingenious speculations by men who seem to think themselves inspired, and build up systems upon oracles of which they are the sole prophets and interpreters. To this is due, we fear, a large portion of the infidelity at present abroad under the guise of Christianity, as well as that which goes to overthrow and uproot it altogether. And we much doubt whether this tendency is to be met by ignoring metaphysics altogether, as seems to be the rule in English education,—and whether it would not be much better if a resolute and careful examination of its whole field of inquiry were entered into by men of the sound senBe, diligence, accurate information, and true Christian faith, which we are happy to know is the general character of the body of instructors in our Universities. Whether it would be desirable to make these subjects a part of the Undergraduate course we do not feel quite confident; because we doubt whether the mind is during that period sufficiently matured to pursue such studies to advantage. But we do desire to see some man who has received the training of an English University, and well read in Aristotle and Plato, who shall have leisure and inclination to devote himself to a thorough investigation of the whole series of subjects, which go by the names of Psychology, Ontology, and Ideology,—and endeavour to ascertain the limits of the science,—what it can establish and what it cannot; and to settle some landmarks beyond the power of reasonable dispute. It is evident that philosophy, so called, is now making great efforts to override the whole field of human inquiry, and especially to seize upon theology; and it is equally evident that it is an antichristian philosophy. Shall we leave the field open to her, and entrench ourselves in faith? Or shall we endeavour to see what of truth she has with her, and what of falsehood; and endeavour to establish the truth and to expose the falsehood? We are inclined to think the latter the better course. No real truth can be hostile to the Gospel. On the contrary, all real truth is from God, and must, when rightly understood, stand by and confirm the truth of the Gospel.
We were in hopes, some time since, that a person so qualified had entered on the task, when we saw advertised the work which stands last at the head of this article; and our disappointment was great when we found that it was little more than a rifacciamento of the ill-understood (or incomprehensible) theory of Gioberti. To the title of' Christian Metaphysics,' the work of Dr. Hickok might advance a much better claim.
With regard to the work of Gioberti, his 'Introduction to Philosophy,' it is extremely difficult to express an opinion; because (speaking with the utmost seriousness) we have a great difficulty in deciding, upon internal evidence alone, whether it was the product of a sane mind. The excitement visible throughout; the lofty tone in which he passes judgment upon others, and pours forth his own 'utterances;' the virulence with which he treats some who differ from him, combined with the obscurity and dreaminess of the opinions expressed; the extraordinary nature of the premises he assumes, and hia dogmatism, not the less arrogant from his entire unconsciousness,—all these things on the one hand, and, on the other, his acuteness, depth, information, and power of argument, leave us much at a loss to discover whether the author was in his sober senses or not. Yet' the respect in which he was held, manifested at his recent funeral, and the reputation his philosophical writings enjoy on the continent of Europe, would lead us to suppose that the fault must be in ourselves.
We are, however, far from thinking that nothing is to be learned from him, and shall proceed to give a brief abstract of his views, so far as we have been enabled to comprehend them.
He conceives that the source of all human knowledge is in God; and that it is one whole, and in a manner identical with God Himself; and the name which he gives it is * L' Idea,' or Thought. This Divine Thought is communicated to man in proportion as he is capable of receiving it; and it is 'the light which enlighteneth every man that Cometh into the world.' Man receives it by means of his reason, which is capable of directly beholding it; and this direct beholding (or intuition) of the 'Idea,' is the origin and first cause of all the knowledge of natural things which the mind of man possesses. It is innate, inasmuch as it rises to the mind at the same moment as the thought which apprehends it; but it does not rise within the mind, but enters it from without . Its mark is evidency, of which there are various degrees. It is the principle of knowledge to the human mind, from the very first exercise of its powers as a thinking being.
The similarity of this view to that of Plato, revived and modified by Malebranche and Leibnitz, is sufficiently evident.
But this direct intuition of the Divine Thought by the reason, although the origin of all thoughts in the soul, is by itself but inchoate and imperfect. In order to render it available, it requires that this intuition should be reflected on; and this can be done only by means of language; for man cannot reflect on and (so to speak) repeat the original intuition, except by means of language, which renders determinate what was before imperfect. For this purpose language was given to man; and by means of language God originally reveals to man that which He has caused him to behold by internal and direct intuition; and by means of language this same revelation is repeated and carried on from generation to generation; and by the same medium, employed analogically, the knowledge of the Divine Thought is more and more revealed. Yet language is not the cause of human knowledge, nor is it, in the case of ordinary knowledge, the medium of the exhibition of the Divine Thought to the mind (for that shines immediately upon the mind), but it is the occasion of its being completely revealed.
For the purposes of ordinary and natural knowledge, this combination of intuition with language is the method ordained: but supernatural knowledge can be conveyed only by means of language; and divine truths are not seen by intuition, but believed. Yet all knowledge of every kind has its source in the Divine Thought, and consists of such views of it as the individual is capable of.
Besides reason, which is capable of beholding the Divine Thought, man has likewise internal and spiritual feelings or emotions, which are modifications of the mind, and preserved by feeling; and, in addition, he possesses material and external feelings, having reference to the properties of bodies, and perceived by sensation and the outward senses. The ordinary range of