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not his friend, nor the world's law.” Need we then be surprised, that, under an excitement at once so strong and so unusual, the man's body should sympathize with the struggles of his mind; or that he should at times be so far deluded, as to mistake the tumultuous sensations of his nerves, and the co-existing spectres of his fancy, as parts or symbols of the truths which were opening on him? It has indeed been plausibly observed, that in order to derive any advantage, or to collect any intelligible meaning, from the writings of these ignorant Mystics, the reader must bring with him a spirit and judgment superior to that of the writers themselves :
And what he brings, what needs he elsewhere seek ?13
-a sophism, which I fully agree with Warburton, is unworthy of Milton ; how much more so of the awful Person, in whose mouth he has placed it? One assertion I will venture to make, as suggested by my own experience, that there exist folios on the human understanding, and the nature of man, which would have a far juster claim to their high rank and celebrity, if in the whole huge volume there could be found as much fulness of heart and intellect, as burst forth in many a simple page of George Fox, Jacob Behmen, and even of Behmen's commentator, the pious and fervid William Law.14
13 [Paradise Regained, b. iv., 1. 325. S. C.]
1* (William Law was born at King's Cliffe, Northamptonshire, in 1699, died April 9, 1761. A list of seventeen religious works written by himn is given in the Gent. Mag., Nov., 1800. Towards the latter end of his life he adopted “the mystic enthusiasm of Jacob Behmen,” which tinctured his later writings; and of that author's works he prepared an English edition. (Behmen's, Jacob, Works, to which is prefixed the Life of the Author, with figures illustrating his principles. Lest by the Rev. William Law, M.A. London, 1764-51. 4 vols., 4to )
Mr. Southey has the following passage on Law in his Life of Wesley :
“ About this time Wesley became personally acquainted with William Law, a man whose writings completed what Jeremy Taylor, and the treatise De Imitatione Christi, had begun. When first he visited him, he was prepared to object to his views of Christian duty as too elevated to be attainable ; but Law silenced and satisfied himn by replying, “We shall de well to airn at the highest degrees of perfection, if we may thereby at least attain tu mediocrity.' Law is a powerful writer : it is said that few
The feeling of gratitude which I cherish towards these men, has caused me to digress further than I had foreseen or proposed; but to have passed them over in an historical sketch of my literary life and opinions, would have seemed to me like the denial of a debt, the concealment of a boon. For the writings of these Mystics acted in no slight degree to prevent my mind from being imprisoned within the outline of any single degmatic system. They contributed to keep alive the heart in the head; gave me an indistinct, yet stirring and working presentiment, that all the products of the mere reflective faculty partook of death, and were as the rattling twigs and sprays in winter, into which a sap was yet to be propelled from some root to which I had not penetrated, if they were to afford my soul either food or shelter. If they were too often a moving cloud of smoke to me by day, yet they were always a pillar of fire throughout the night, during my wanderings through the wilderness of doubt, and enabled me to skirt, without crossing, the sandy deserts of utter unbelief. That the system is capable of being converted into an irreligious Pantheism, I well know. The Ethics of Spi. noza," may, or may not, be an instance. But at no time could I believe, that in itself and essentially it is incompatible with re.
books have ever made so many religious enthusiasts as his Christian Perfection and his Serious Call : indeed, the youth who should read them without being perilously affected, must have either a light mind or an unusually strong one. But Law himself, who has shaken so many intellects, sacrificed his own at last to the reveries and rhapsodies of Jacob Behmen. Perhaps the art of engraving was never applied to a more extraordinary purpose, nor in a more extraordinary manner, than when the nonsense of the German shoemaker was elucidated in a series of prints after Law's designs, representing the anatomy of the spiritual man. His own happiness, however, was certainly not diminished by the change : the system of the ascetic is dark and cheerless; but mysticism lives in a sunshine of its own, and dreams of the light of heaven; while the visions of the ascetic are such as the fear of the devil produces, rather than the love of God ” Vol. i., pp. 57-8
The forthcoming new edition of the Life of Wesley contains numerous marginal notes by Mr. Coleridge. Among these are two, explaining and defending some of the German shoemaker's and his commentator's sense or “nonsense.” S. C.)
15 (Ethica ordine geometrico demonstı ata. Baruche or Benedict de ligion, natural or revealed: and now I am most thoroughly per. suaded of the contrary. The writings of the illustrious sage Spinoza was born at Amsterdam, Nov. 24, 1632, was the son of a Portuguese Jew; died at the Hague, Feb. 21, 1677.
Cousin positively denies the charge of atheism, in the form in which it was laid, against Spinoza, declaring it to have originated in personal animosity, as did a similar one against Wolf. He affirms that Spinoza's is by no means, either in terms, or the spirit of the author, an atheistic system, but rather a pantheism (formal and not material like that of the Eleatics) containing and unfolding a high and worthy notion of God. “ Ce n'est qu'à une époque récente,” says he, “ qu’on a commencé à traiter avec plus de justice la personne et la doctrine de ce grand homme, et en même temps on a découvert, par la méthode critique (the method of Kant), le côté foible du système." Spindza must indeed have been a most elaborate hypocrite if he was consciously and intentionally an atheist. How strange it appears that Christians, who are commanded to hope and believe all things favorable of others, should have such an appetite for discovering unbelief and misbelief even in those who manifest no evil heart or godless temper! It would seem as if some men's faith could not be kept alive and properly exercised, unless, like the passionate lord in the play, it were
allow'd a carcase to insult on,* the vile body, to wit, of some other man's infidelity and irreligion.
“ I have often thought,” says Mr. Coleridge, in his Notes on Noble's Appeal, “ of writing a work to be entitled Vindiciæ Heterodoxæ, sive cele. brium virorum rapadoyparılóvrwv defensio; that is Vindication of Great Men unjustly branded; and at such times the names prominent to my mind's eye have been Giordano Bruno, Jacob Behmen, Benedict Spinoza and Emanuel Swedenborg."
Still it was Mr. Coleridge's ultimate opinion, that Spinoza's system ex. cluded or wanted the true ground of faith in God as the Supreme Intelli. gence and Absolute Will, to whom man owes religious fealty. He speaks thus in The Friend, vol. iii., Essay xi., p. 214, 5th edit.
“ The inevitable result of all consequent reasoning, in which the intellect resuses to acknowledge a higher or deeper ground than it can itself supply, and weens to possess within itself the centre of its own system, is -and from Zeno the Eleatic to Spinoza, and from Spinoza to the Schellings, Okens, and their adherents of the present day, ever has been-pan. theism under one or other of its modes, the least repulsive of which differs from the rest, not in its consequences, which are one and the same in all, and in all alike are practically atheistic, but only as it may express the striving of the philosopher himself to hide these consequences from his own mind.” S. C.]
* This line, from The Nice Valour or The Passionate Madman of Beauront and Fletcho 'first saw quoted by Mr. Southey in a letter to Mr. Murray
of Koenigsberg, the founder of the Critical Philosophy, more than any other work, at once invigorated and disciplined my understanding. The originality, the depth, and the compression of the thoughts; the novelty and subtlety, yet solidity and importance of the distinctions; the adamantine chain of the logic; and I will venture to add—(paradox as it will appear to those who have taken their notion of Immanuel Kant from Reviewers and Frenchmen)-the clearness and evidence of the Critique of the Pure Reason ; and Critique of the Judgment; of the Metaphysical Elements of Natural Philosophy; and of his Religion within the bounds of Pure Reason, took possession of me as with a giant's hand. After fifteen years' familiarity with them, I still read these and all his other productions with undiminished delight and increasing admiration. The few passages that remained obscure to me, after due efforts of thought (as the chapter on original apperception)" and the apparent contradictions
16 (The Critique of the pure Reason, Kritik der reinen Vernunft, oc cupies vol. ii. of the collective edition of the works of Kant in ten vols., Leipzig, 1838. It first appeared in 1781. The Critique of the Judgment, Kritik der Urtheilskraft, 1790, is contained in vol. vii. The Met. El. of N. Philosophy, Metaphysische Anfangsgründe der Naturwissenschaft, 1786, may be found in vol. viii., at p. 439. Religion within the bounds of pure reason-Religion innerhalb der Grenzen der blosen Vernunft, 1793, in vol. vi., p. 159.
Immanuel Kant was born at Koenigsberg in 1724, was appointed Rector of the University there in 1786, after having declined repeated offers from the King of Prussia, of a Professorship in the Universities of Jena, Erlangen, Mittau, and Halle, with the rank of privy counsellor; and died at his native place, nearly 80 years old, Feb. 12, 1804. S. C.
The following note is pencilled in Mr. C.'s copy of Schelling's Philosophische Schriften, but the date does not appear.
“I believe in my depth of being, that the three great works since the introduction of Christianity are,-Bacon's Vovum Organum, and his other works, as fa, as they are commentaries on it:-Spinoza's Ethica, with his Letters and other pieces, as far as they are comments on his Ethics; and Kant's Critique of the Pure Reason, and his other works as coinmentaries on, and applications of the same.” Ed.]
17 (Kritik der reinen Vernunft. Transsc. Elementarlehre ii., Th. 1, Abth. i., Buch. 2. Hauptst. 2. Abschen. Transsc. Deduction der reinen Verstandesbegriffe, $ 16 Von der ursprünglichsynthetischen Einheit der Apperception. Works, Leipzig, 1838, vol. ii , p. 129. Apperception is treated of, or referred to generally, throughout the division of the work
which occur, I soon found were hints and insinuations referring to ideas, which Kant either did not think it prudent to avow, or which he considered as consistently left behind in a pure analy. sis, not of human nature in toto, but of the speculative intellect alone. Here, therefore, he was constrained to commence at the point of reflection, or natural consciousness; while in his moral system he was permitted to assume a higher ground (the autono. my of the will) as a postulate deducible from the unconditional cornmand, or (in the technical language of his school) the categorical imperative, of the conscience. He had been in immi. I nent danger of persecution during the reign of the late King of Prussia, that strange compound of lawless debauchery and priestridden superstition: and it is probable that he had little inclination, in his old age, to act over again the fortunes and hairbreadth escapes of Wolf. The expulsion of the first among
entitled Transcendental Deduction of the pure conceptions of the Understanding, ending at p. 153.
Apperception is thus defined by Dr. Willich, in his elements of the Critical Philosophy, p. 143.
Apperception or Consciousness, or the faculty of becoming conscious, signifies
1. In general, the same as representation, or the faculty of representing
2. In rticular, the representation as distinct from the subject that re-
state at any time of our observations. This is as subject to change
It is that self-consciousness, which generates the bare idea • ,' or · I think,' as being the simple correlate of all other ideas,
and the condition of their unity and necessary connexion." See also Nitsch's General and Introductory View of Professor Kant's Principles, a very clear summary, pp. 111-113. S. C.]
18 (Christian Wolf, the most celebrated supporter of the school of Leibnitz, was born at Breslau in 1679. In 1707 he became Professor of Mathe. matics at Halle; was accused of atheism by his envious colleagues, was driven from his employ by their cabals in 1723, and went to teach at Marburg, as Professor of Philosophy; he was afterwards honorably reculled to