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but a means to an end. The end is to love and enjoy, and the beatitude of the soul is rather in the supernatural possession of God as the object of its love than as the object of its intelligence. The knowledge of God and Him whom he has sent is not a knowledge separate from love, but a knowledge which includes love and is informed by it. Love is the distinguishing mark of the Christian. “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye love one another." Love is the fulfilling of the law, the bond of perfection, the evidence that we have passed from death unto life. The Gospel is addressed to the heart, and the whole law is summed up in supreme love to God, and the love of our neighbor as ourselves. The age in which we live adopts as its watchword Love, and certain it is that if we would reach it, make a favorable impression upon it, or recall it to faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, we must recognize its craving to love, and show it the object it ought to love, and which is adequate to all the wants of the heart. There is, however, as we shall by and by show, a serious danger in all this to be guarded against. We must certainly take care not to separate love from intelligence, or to run into sentimentalism, which loses sight of moral obligation or duty, - of obedience to law. We must remember that Christian love is a rational affection, not a blind instinct, sentiment, or feeling; but we must not forget that faith is in order to charity, and that no philosophy, no religion which does not meet the craving of the heart to love, is of the least conceivable value. The moral wants of the soul, as well as its intellectual wants, must be met and answered. We are happy to see that our author has fully recognized this fact, and endeavored to conform to it. He recognizes the two wings of the soul, spoken of by Plato, by which it rises to God, that is, science and love, and insists that we are led to God by the heart even more than by the head.
Starting from the wants of the heart, from the natural desire of the heart for beatitude, the author finds that this desire can be satisfied with no created, with no limited, with no natural good, but demands a supernatural good, the possession of God as he is in himself. Hence a complete theodicy, a theodicy adequate to the wants of the soul, cannot be constructed by natural reason alone; for natural reason is by its own nature confined to the natural order, and cannot present the supernatural. Hence no adequate philosophy detached from supernatural revelation. This is in its terms what we always ourselves assert, although we probably do not maintain it in the precise sense of the author. He seems to us to suppose that natural or rational philosophy may begin and go a certain length alone, and only needs supernatural revelation to complete the knowledge of God or to reveal to us by faith God in the sense in which he is the adequate object of the soul's craving for a supernatural beatitude. He in this does nothing to reconcile the rationalists and traditionalists, but takes the ground of the rationalists, and differs essentially in no respect from Father Chastel, the unrelenting opponent of the erudite Bonnetty. We take a somewhat different view. We do not assume revelation as necessary simply to elevate reason into the supernatural order properly so called, but also as necessary to enable reason to explain and rightly understand even the first principles of rational truth. Reason and revelation must go hand in hand from the first step to the last, and there is no philosophy, in any stage, independent of revelation. Philosophy is nothing but the rational element of supernatural theology, and is incomplete on every point if detached from the supernatural light reflected from revelation. Nevertheless, the principle we contend for M. Gratry concedes, and if there be any difference between us, it is merely one of application. Perhaps, after all, the dif. ference is not even so much, and may be resolved into one of mere expression.
The central principle of the author's doctrine is, that God is apprehended primarily by the soul as the object of its moral wants its craving for beatitude, and that the soul attains to a knowledge of him by love, by an interior movement or spring by which it passes at once from the finite to the infinite, - a process which he labors to prove is purely geometrical, of which geometricians in the infinitesimal calculus make merely a special application. In this he thinks he is borne out by all the great philosophers, theologians, and sublime geniuses of all times. In order to prove it, he gives us a learned historical sketch and a masterly analysis of the theodicy of Plato and Aristotle, St. Augustine and St. Thomas, Descartes and Pascal, Malebranche and Fénelon, Bossuet and Leibnitz, Petau
and Thomassin. His work is valuable here as a history of philosophy, from Plato to Leibnitz, if for nothing else. He finds, or thinks he finds, in all these sublime geniuses the same method, the same conclusions, the same theodicy, substantially his own. He places St. Thomas of Aquin at the head of the list, and considers him greater than St. Augustine by the addition of Aristotle to Plato. We are not quite prepared to accept this estimate, as much as we reverence the Angel of the Schools. St. Thomas knew Aristotle thoroughly, and followed his method, though in some points rejecting his conclusions; but his knowledge of Plato was less complete. He added Aristotle to St. Augustine, but he did not add Plato to Aristotle. In his Summa Theologica, and especially in his Sunama contra Gentiles, he is as nearly an Aristotelian as a Catholic theologian can be, and if he departs from the Aristotelian method at all, it is where he is forced to do so by his Catholic faith and his profound reverence for St. Augustine, who, we dare hold, combined in himself all of both Aristotle and Plato that is of permanent value.
We are somewhat surprised that M. Gratry omits from his list of sublime geniuses St. Anselm of Canterbury, — the sublimest genius, the profoundest and most original philosopher of the Middle Ages, who by his own thought and contemplation reproduced all of Plato that is worth reproducing, and to whom M. Gratry is apparently more indebted than to any other philosopher for his own theodicy. There is here either strange injustice or a still more strange forgetfulness. We cannot excuse an author who includes Descartes, Pascal, and Petau in the list of sublime geniuses and profound theologians and philosophers, and excludes St. Anselm from it. St. Anselm was, so far as we are aware, the first who adopted the method of demonstrating the existence of God from the idea of God, which is the method M. Gratry himself insists upon and follows.
We are not prepared, moreover, to admit that all these great and sublime geniuses adopted the same method, and attained to their theodicy by one and the same process. We have no disposition to speak slightingly of Plato, the “ divine Plato,” as some of the Fathers call him, and who in our judgment stands at the head of all Gentile philosophers; but we think M. Gratry makes him talk quite too much like a Christian philosopher. We think that, in his translations of the passages he extracts, he gives him a meaning far more in accordance with Christian thought than Plato himself entertained, and interprets not unfrequently his mythology in a non-Platonic sense. That Plato clearly and distinctly taught the unity of God in the Christian sense, we do not believe. He held substantially the Pythagorean doctrine of the eternity of matter, had at best only a confused conception of creation, and though he asserted the immortality of the soul, he was ignorant of the future life and beatitude brought to light by Christian revelation. How, then, he could have a sound theodicy, as far as it went, is more than we are able to understand. But be this as it may, how does our author know that Plato attained to the great truths which he unquestionably held, and those still greater which he supposes him to have held, by the sole virtue of his dialectic method? Was there no tradition in the age of Plato, no wisdom of the ancients which had come down to his time? May not Plato have been indebted for these truths to tradition, to the primitive revelation, which was made to our first parents, and handed down in its purity through the patriarchs and the Synagogue, and in a corrupt and fragmentary form through the Gentile sacerdocies and philosophies? Is it certain that all in a theodicy is attained to by the method professed by its author ? Have we never known honorable inconsequences, sublime inconsistencies? How many Christian philosophers do we not meet, in whom faith triumphs over their philosophical method, and who give us sound and sublime conclusions never attained by their method of reasoning, and which they hold only at the expense of their logic? We are far from being willing to ascribe all we find in Plato to the virtue of his dialectic method, and we have not the least doubt that the sublime truths contained in his theodicy were borrowed, directly or indirectly, from the primitive revelation preserved in its purity and integrity in the Synagogue. He himself, if we recollect aright, ascribes them to tradition, to the wisdom of the ancients.
We cannot agree that Aristotle follows substantially the method of Plato, whom he continually combats and is perpetually misrepresenting, or that St. Thomas, who follows the method of Aristotle, follows the method of Plato,
St. Augustine, and St. Anselm. His method is very nearly the reverse of theirs. He combats, and in his school is held to have refuted, St. Anselm's famous demonstration of the existence of God. St. Thomas follows the syllogystic method throughout, and nowhere, so far as we have been able to discover, does he adopt the dialectic method, - the method insisted on by our author, and represented by him as that adopted by all the great philosophers and theologians in every age. Descartes, Fénelon, Thomassin, Malebranche, Bossuet, and Leibnitz follow, perhaps, the dialectic method, but Pascal did not, and, though an able geometrician, he was no philosopher. He was a sceptic, and founded his dogmatism on the denial of reason, and religion on despair. He was a brilliant genius, if you will; he had many profound thoughts, and has left behind him many pregnant remarks; but he should never be named with the great philosophers and theologians of mankind. Pascal was indeed a Frenchman, but we do not know that we are for that obliged to cite him as one of the great men of the earth. He belonged to Port-Royale, and with it we would leave him to pass into forgetfulness, or the execration he deserves for his Provincial Letlers.
But leaving all considerations of this sort by the way, we are not quite sure, after all, what it is that M. Gratry means by his dialectic method. He says reason has two processes or modes of operation; the one he calls the syllogistic, the other he calls the dialectic, and represents the former as deductive and the latter as inductive. We think we understand what Plato means by the dialectic method, for with him it is based on his doctrine of ideas, and is explained by his doctrine of reminiscence. According to Plato, the soul existed prior to its connection with the body, in close union with the Divinity, and its knowledge here is a reminiscence of what it knew by virtue of that union in its pre-existing state. By being clothed with a material body, it lost in great measure its previous knowledge, and can recover it only in proportion as it detaches itself from the body, and rises on the wings of love and contemplation to union with God, in whom are the ideas or archetypes of all things, the only objects of real science. The
for the soul to know here in this state is to recover its former knowledge, and the way to do that is by moral discipline to recover the lost union with God,
THIRD SERIES. — VOL. III. NO. I.