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3°, Being, he also maintained, is incapable of change or motion in space. It cannot exist either in a state of rest or movement analogous to the rest and movement of the material world. We conceive of bodies only as in space, and of their changes only as changes of their parts relative to different points of space; but absolute being has no parts with relations to the different points of what is called space. Bodies and their parts, space and its points, are mere appearances, with which true being has nothing in common. 4°, Being, he further argued, is immobile in time. It can have neither birth nor destruction, past nor future. 5°, Being was affirmed by him to be perfect-itself alone an end or limit to itself. 6°, Being, he likewise heldanticipating Hegel as he had anticipated Kantis identical with thought. It could not otherwise be absolutely one. “Thought,” he said, “is the same thing as being. Thought must be being; for being exists, and non-being is nothing." And again, “But thought is identical with its object; for without being, on which it rests, you will not find thought-nothing, in fact, is or will be distinct from being.”
Parmenides, you will perceive, was not a man easily daunted. Pantheism has rarely been more consistent and complete than it was in his hands. The world was as entirely lost in his Being as in the Vedantist Brahma. But as in India, so in Greece, there was a pantheism of a contrary kind-one in
which unity was virtually lost in multiplicity, the absolute in the phenomenal. Perhaps the Heraclitean doctrine was the best example presented by the history of Greek philosophy of a pantheism of this kind. Heraclitus, having sought in vain for any permanent principle, for any absolute being, was led to maintain that the universe is merely a process of incessant change; that its essence is not being, but becoming ; that fire pervaded by intelligence is its universal ground and fittest symbol; and that the human mind is a portion of the all-pervasive mind, and can only attain truth through communion with it.
With Socrates and Plato the course of speculation took, on the whole, a theistic direction. In Aristotle it tended rather towards pantheism. Stoicism was originally and predominantly a materialistic or hylozoic form of pantheism; but some of its greatest representatives conceived of God in a decidedly theistic manner as the supreme moral reason. In stoicism everything was subordinated to morality, and only its ethics was sublime. Its theology was crude and confused, and I pass over it without regret.
Christianity did not arrest the progress of pantheism as it did that of materialism. On the
See Appendix XXXVI.
contrary, it seemed to stimulate and increase its! activity. In the second, third, fourth, and fifth centuries of our era there was a vast amount of pantheistic speculation influenced by and influencing Christianity, sometimes directly opposing it, sometimes endeavouring to incorporate its doctrines and establish them on a philosophical basis, and sometimes claiming to be identical with it and entitled to its authority. I need only remind you of the Gnostic systems, and of the Neo-Platonic philosophy of Alexandria. When Gnosticism and Neo-Platonism seemed to be vanquished and destroyed, they were, in reality, merely transformed. They entered into Judaism with the Cabbala, and into Christianity with the writings of the so-called Dionysius the Areopagite. On the threshold of the middle ages a very remarkable man- John Scott Erigena—made a most vigorous and elaborate attempt to reconcile and combine a pantheistic philosophy and the doctrine of the Christian Church, on the assumption that philosophy and religion are substantially one--philosophy veiled in the form of tradition being religion, and religion unveiled from the form of tradition by reason being philosophy. He explained Scripture as the symbolic self-manifestation of the absolute, and gave ingenious speculative expositions of the Trinity, the creation of the world and of man, the incarnation of the Logos, &c., according to prin
ciples derived from Plotinus and Proclus, Origen and Maximus the Confessor, and especially the pseudo-Dionysius. The latest English historian of pantheism tells us that there was little or no pantheism in the middle ages. This is about as accurate as it would be to say that there are no Methodists at present in England or Ultramontanists in France. Pantheism was prevalent all through the middle ages ; and medieval pantheism, unlike modern pantheism, was not confined to speculative individuals, but was adopted by considerable communities—the Beghards and Beguines, the Brothers and Sisters of the Free Spirit, the Turlupins, the Adamites, the Familists, the Spiritual Libertines, &c. This popular pantheism was partly due to the persistence of the ancient pagan spirit among the uneducated masses, and partly to reaction from the externality and formalism which characterised medieval Christianity. It died away before the light of the Reformation, owing to Protestantism giving to the religious instincts of the people a satisfaction which Romanism denied to them.
In the year 1600 the brilliant inaugurator of modern pantheism, Jordano Bruno, was burned at Rome. His bold, teeming, imaginative mind, susceptible to the most varied influences, originated a grandiose system, rich in its elements and vast in its scope, but devoid of self-consistency, method, and proof. It combined without harmonising the Eleatic, Neo - Platonic, and naturalistic pantheisms; naturalism being perhaps predominant, owing to the powerful hold which the discoveries of Copernicus, and the idea of an infinity of worlds, had taken of the author's mind. Bruno was the precursor of Spinoza, by whom his writings were carefully studied."
Baruch Spinoza (1632-77) is the most celebrated of all pantheists, and I must delineate as distinctly as I can within the narrow limits to which I am confined his theory of God, and of the relation of God to the universe. It is a theory which was drawn from a multitude of sources — the Talmud, the Cabbala, Maimonides, Ben Gerson, Chasdai Creskas, Bruno, Descartes, &c.—which was slowly and gradually developed, and which passed through various phases in its author's mind before it was elaborated into the shape which it assumed in the last and greatest of his works, the 'Ethica.' It is in its final form that we must look at it.
Thinking philosophy ought to be purely deductive—ought to start from a single point fixed by the necessities of reason, and be carried on by sheer force of logic in the form of a continuous demonstration to all its consequences-Spinoza very naturally, and had his supposition been cor
1 See Appendix XXXVII.