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15. Lingard's History of England abridged ; with a Continua
tion, from 1688 to 1854. By JAMES BURKE, Esq., A. B. To which is prefixed a Memoir of Dr. Lingard, with Marginal Notes. By M. J. KERNEY, A. M. Baltimore : Murphy & Co. 1855. 8vo.
16. The Life of St. Rose of Lima. Edited by the Rev. F. W.
FABER, D.D. Philadelphia : Peter F. Cunningham. 1855. 12mo. pp. 265.
17. A Treatise on English Punctuation ; designed for Letter.
writers, Authors, Printers, and Correctors of the Press ; and for the Use of Schools and Academies. With an Appendix, containing Rules on the Use of Capitals, a List of Abbreviations, Hints on the Preparation of Copy and on Proof-reading, Specimens of Proof-sheet, etc. By John Wilson. Third Edition, enlarged. Boston: John Wilson & Son. . 1855. 16mo.
We notice with pain a disposition among our Know-Nothing writers to hold the bishops whose names are on the cover of our Review responsible for whatever sentiment doctrine is found in our pages. This is wrong. The bishops have kindly encouraged the publication of our Review, having confidence in our loyal intentions, and believing it, upon the whole, useful to the cause of truth; but they indorse no sentiment or doctrine we advance. The whole responsibility rests upon the editor alone, and no bishop is responsible for anything that appears in our pages, and every one is just as free to controvert or condemn anything in our pages as he would be were his name not on the cover. We beg our opponents to bear this in mind, and to remember that our Review does not, in any sense whatever, speak by authority of the American hierarchy, and has no other indorser than its lay editor, who is free to write and publish, simply holding himself responsible to the proper authorities, what he pleases. The merit or the blame, if either, in all cases belongs to him, and the public cannot justly hold anybody else in any respect responsible. We commend this especially to the notice of Professor McClintock and Dr. Edward Beecher.
Art. I. — Philosophie. De la Connaissance de Dieu. Par
A. GRATRY, Prêtre de l'Oratoire de l'Immaculée Conception. Paris : Douniol; Lecoffre & Cie. 1853. 2 tomes. 8vo.
In our number for January last we gave a brief and hasty notice of the Abbé Gratry's profound and learned work, and intimated that we might resume on a future occasion our examination of it. We regret that we have not yet seen the author's promised work on Logic, in which he had proposed to develop and vindicate his geometrical method of proving the existence of God, for it is possible that he may in that work have advanced something which will require us in some respects to modify the objections we urged in our former article against that method. We should be glad to find the author in the right, for he is a man from whom we do not like to dissent, and from whom we cannot dissent without an uncomfortable feeling. But as at present informed, we must abide by the objections to his method which we have urged.
We are bound in justice to the excellent author, certainly one of the ablest and most learned men in France, and with whom we have numerous points of sympathy, to confess that the more deeply we study his volumes, the more highly do we appreciate them; and we are not a little pleased to find that they have met with a success very unusual in the case of works so really learned and
THIRD SERIES. - VOL. III. NO. III.
profound. We see that they have some time since passed to a second edition, and perhaps a third edition may already be called for. The author is just such a man as France in our times needs, and he can hardly fail to exert a wide and salutary influence on the French mind. He is in a good sense a man of his age, and admirably fitted to bring out and render popular those great philosophical principles, which are now so much needed to reconcile conflicting parties, and to restore to full vigor and activity our expiring intellectual life. Amid the despotism of an exaggerated supernaturalism and a new-fangled Cæsarism on the one hand, and the no less odious despotism of socialism, Red Republicanism, or centralized democracy, on the other, it is refreshing to hear a free voice speak out in true manly tones, in defence alike of reason and of revelation. Even one such voice goes far to redeem the It proves that our God has not abandoned us to our own folly and wickedness, and that we are still under his gracious providence. Whatever faults we have found or may still find with the author on certain points, we look upon him as one whom God has raised up to render most important services, in these unhappy times, to the cause of truth, both natural and revealed.
The real differences between us and M. Gratry, in regard to philosophical matters, are not, we apprehend, after all, so great as they appear. Every man who really philosophizes, who really thinks, and not merely repeats, has his own special point of view, and in some respects a language of his own. No two men approach the same problems under precisely the same aspect, or use even the same general terminology in precisely the same sense. M. Gratry denies that we have or can have naturally direct and immediate intuition of God, and maintains that our natural view of him is indirect and implicit only; yet we think a few words of mutual explanation would show that there is between him and us no essential difference even on this point. He maintains, after St. Augustine, Malebranche, and Fénelon, that we see things by the light of God (la lumière de Dieu), which alone renders them visible either to the senses or the intellect. What more have we ourselves said ?
The light of God, which renders things visible or intelligible to us, is, according to the author, as well as according to St. Augustine, Malebranche, and Fénelon, God himself, in relation with our intellective faculty, and therefore not distinguishable from God. It is the divine intelligibility, and therefore the divine being itself. It must be either God or something created, quid creatum ; for there is no intermediate existence between God and creature. Whatever is not creature is God, and whatever is not God is creature. The author does not hold that this light is created, for he distinguishes it with Fénelon from our light or reason, and calls it the universal, eternal, and immutable reason. He represents it as the light of our light, the reason of our reason, the medium by which created intelligences see or apprehend the world and our own soul. It must then be not creature, but God, as Fénelon asserts, when he asks, “ Is not this the God I seek ?
But if God is the light which enlighteneth every man coming into this world, if he is the light by which we see our own soul and created things, the medium by which they are visible to us, we do not see how the author can deny direct and immediate intuition of God. He vindicates the right to explain intellectual vision by the analogy of sensible vision. Now in sensible vision the light is that which first strikes the eye, and is that which is first, directly, and immediately seen. Other objects are seen by it as the medium of their visibility. In intellectual vision it must, if the analogy holds, be the same. Then the view of God as the light, or intuition of God as the intelligible, cannot be indirect and implicit only, as the author maintains, but must, on his own principles, be direct and immediate.
We must bear in mind that God alone is intelligible in himself, that is, intelligible without any borrowed light, and that all creatures in themselves are unintelligible. Objects are invisible in the dark, and are visible only when illumined by a borrowed light. St. Thomas teaches that man, that is, the human soul, is in itself unintelligible. This being so, it follows necessarily that created things can be intelligible to a created or participated reason, such as is ours, only as rendered intelligible or as illuminated by an uncreated light, that is, by the light of God, or the light of his own eternal being; that is, again, only as enlightened by him, or made intelligible by his own intelligibility. He then is himself the medium of their visibility, and of our apprehension of them. Then, since the medium must be immediate, for if not we should be obliged to suppose an infinite series of mediums, and is that which is seen itself without a medium, we are forced to say, with Malebranche, that “we see creatures by God,” and that our view of him is direct and immediate, unless we are prepared to say that we can see objects by the light without seeing the light itself.
The author shrinks from this conclusion, and says: “ The soul in the present state does not see God directly. It sees itself and its ideas in the light of God, as the eye sees objects in the light of day. But to see the day is not the same thing as to see the sun itself, although the day comes from the sun; to see colors and the forms of objects is still not to see the sun, although forms are visible only under the sun, and colors are only the very light of the sun, broken, refracted, and partially reflected by objects. So it is impossible to say that every idea, every view, every cognition, is immediately and directly an intuition of God, although there can be no idea without God, and every cognition implies God, as every sensible vision implies the day, and the sun's presence as its source.” This is very well said, and would be conclusive against us if we were at liberty to suppose a distinction between God and his light, analogous to that between the sun and the day, or between the sun and the light. The sun elicits the light, but is not itself the light; it makes, in the order of second causes, the day, but is not itself the day. The analogy therefore will not hold, for God is himself in his own being the light, and not simply its occasion or cause. To distinguish the light from God, as we distinguish the day from the sun, would be to make the light a creature, something created, and therefore in the last analysis to identify it with our own created reason, or with the created objects rendered visible or intelligible by it. We must therefore reject the distinction, and say, not indeed that every idea, every view, every cognition, is a direct and immediate intuition of God, but that in every idea, view, or cognition there is immediate and direct intuition of him, as in every vision there is sensible intuition of the light by which the sensible object is seen.