« PreviousContinue »
the doctrine of the Roman Catholic must inevitably lead to pantheism. This notion was admirably exposed by Saisset in an article, "De la Philosophic du Clerge-," published in his 'Essais sur la Philosophic, et la Religion au xixe. Siecle' (1845).
In the 10th volume of the 'Memoirs of the Royal Society of Gottingen' there is a Latin dissertation—De ortu et progressu Pantheismi inde a Xenophane Colophonio primo ejus auctore usque ad Spinozam Commentatio—by the laborious German historian of philosophy, J. G. Buhle. G. B. Jasche's 'Pantheismus nach seinen verschiedenen Hauptformen, seinen Ursprung und Fortgange,' &c. (1826), is a three-volumed work of no great merit.
The Rev. J. Hunt's 'Essay on Pantheism' (1866) is so good that one cannot but regret that it is not better. It is the result of very wide reading, but of too rapid reading. As a statement of the opinions of others it is, I think, thoroughly accurate; but obviously the author required more time than he allowed himself to form his own opinions, and to arrange and master the materials which he had collected. If Mr Hunt, now that he has admirably finished a still more laborious task, were again to take up the subject, he might, with comparative ease, produce by far the most satisfactory history of pantheism.
The anonymous 'General Sketch of the History of Pantheism' (1878), of which only the first volume— treating of the subject from the earliest times to the age of Spinoza—has appeared, is well written, but not otherwise to be commended. The author's dislike of labour utterly disqualifies him for historical work. He says that his sketch is "chiefly a compilation, taken more frequently from translations and abridgments of originals, than from the originals themselves;" but, in reality, so far as it has yet gone, it is chiefly a compilation from three books—Maurice's 'Moral and Metaphysical Philosophy,' Lewes's 'History of Philosophy,' and Draper's • Intellectual Development of Europe.' He has given an account of oriental pantheism apparently without reading even a single translation. His independence both of originals and translations as to Greek pantheism seems also to have been nearly complete.
Note XXXV., page 350.
Besides the well-known works of Max Miiller, Muir, and Monier Williams, A. Ludwig's Philosoph. und Relig. Anschauungen des Veda' (1875), and P. Asmus's ' IndoGermanische Religion' (1875 and 1877),are t0 De recommended to those who wish to understand the thoughts which gave rise to the Vedas.
The first stage of the growth of the pantheistic philosophy of India out of its Vedic germ is that which is represented by the most ancient of the class of writings designated Upanishads. In eleven or twelve of these Upanishads the principles of the Vedanta philosophy are more or less explicitly contained. A very full account of this stage of the doctrine, supported by abundant citations from the originals, will be found in M. Regnaud's contributions to the 'Revue Philosophique' during the last three years. The Upanishads contain
merely the elements of the Vedantist philosophy. The work which sets before us its next stage consists of 555 aphorisms, known as the Vedanta or Brahma Sutras, and attributed to Vyasa, called also Badarayana, who is supposed to have lived in or near the fifth century of our era. Here the doctrine is developed in a systematic form, and the objections of rival systems are combated. A summary of the teaching of these Sutras is given by Regnaud in Rev. Phil., No. 2, 1878. The epoch of commentators followed, one of whom, Sankara, obtained an extraordinary influence, and secured for the Vedanta doctrine a decided supremacy among the philosophies of India. The work which gives the clearest and most succinct exposition of the system at the time when it was completely developed, is that designated the VedantaSara, or Essence of the Vedanta. Its author, SadanandaTogindra, is believed to have lived about the tenth century. An English translation of it by Roer was published at Calcutta in 1845.
In the Ramayana, Mahabharata, and Puranas, the pantheism of India is to be studied in alliance with its mythology. For a general view of these works see Monier Williams's ' Indian Wisdom.' Accounts of them, and translations from them, are numerous.
In none of the Hindu philosophies was the doctrine of creation admitted. The theists of India no less than its pantheists—those who affirmed no less than those who denied the personality of God — assumed the eternity of the substance of the world. Thus the ancient theistic treatise, edited and translated by Professor Cowell—the Kusumanjali—argues for the existence of a supreme personal Lord "from the existence of effects, from the combination of atoms, from the support of the earth in the sky, from traditional arts, from belief in revelation, from the Veda, from its sentences, and from particular numbers;" but it takes for granted that material atoms existed from eternity. The reasoning by which the belief in creation is set aside by Hindu philosophers is ever substantially that which we find thus expressed in a Sutra of the Sankhya system: "There cannot be the production of something out of nothing; that which is not cannot be developed into that which is: the production of what does not already exist potentially is impossible; because there must of necessity be a material out of which a product is developed; and because everything cannot occur everywhere at all times; and because anything possible must be produced from something competent to produce it."
Note XXXVI., page 355.
Pantheism so pervades all Greek philosophy that the history of Greek pantheism must be studied in the history of Greek philosophy. Hegel, Zeller, Ferrier, Grote, and others, will here serve as guides. For the literature regarding the several philosophies Ueberweg may be consulted.
Parmenides gave his thoughts to the world in a poem, IIcp! 4>vcr€<os, of which fragments remain, making up in all 153 lines. They are the chief source for a knowledge of his system. They have been edited in the 'Reliquiae' of Karsten and in the 'Fragmenta' of Mullach. The
dialogue Parmenides in the 'Corpus Platonicum,' even if a genuine work of Plato, is not an authority as to the teaching of the philosopher whose name serves as its title. There is a good French monograph on Parmenides by M. Riaux (1840).
No Greek philosopher thought of God as truly creative, or of the universe as in its very substance the result of the Divine action. Aristotle, in affirming that the ancient philosophers believed the world to have been made, has frequently been supposed to have testified that they believed the universe to have been created out of nothing. But this is an undoubtedly incorrect interpretation. The assertion that a thing is made does not imply that nothing existed out of which it could be made. Many of the ancients attributed to the universe a beginning, and at the same time regarded matter as eternal. The origin of things which they described was their origin from matter, not the origin of matter. See this learnedly proved in a dissertation of Mosheim, "On Creation out of Nothing," in the third volume of his edition of Cudworth's 'Intellectual System.'
Those who, like Clement of Alexandria, Huet, Cudworth, &c., have maintained that Plato believed in creation ex nihilo have mistaken what he taught about the phenomenal world of sense—about body as possessed of forms and qualities—with what he taught about the primary matter which the world of bodies presupposes. Those who suppose him to have meant by the eternity of matter merely the eternal existence in the Divine Mind of the idea of matter, overlook that the idea of the universe can be no less eternal than that of matter, and that a Divine idea could never be conceived of as disorderly, malignant, disobedient to the Divine will, and the