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the Disappointment which the clear Perception of some men's Minds—men in whose Love of Truth I trusted, has brought to my Soul. All have made their Peace, at least a long Truce, with established Error. They are miserably afraid of following it up to its Sources. What chance then is left for posi. tive Truth ? None on the part of Man's honest Exertions. The Course of Things will probably shake these monstrous Structures of Superstition by indi. rect means; but till that Crisis arrives, even the most clear-sighted men are agreed to let them be undisturbed, except when some external Advantage may be snatched out of the Hands of those who manage the Interest of the grand Delusion, by Law established.
Yet, in spite of this Despondency, I do not wish that my own course had been different. I have laboured in vain, but I have laboured in the Field of Truth : my Wages have been Pain and Misery, but I love them infinitely above the Wages of Dishonesty. I thank God that I have been able to endure so much for that which is and must be eternally true. Let the Grave close over my Sufferings, my Weaknesses, my involuntary Errors. I feel that Death will give a sort of Consecration to my imperfect Efforts. This is a most consoling Anticipation,
Jan. 7. Very unwell. Some observations of Suabedissen in his Principles of Philosophical Religion gave a religious direction to my thoughts, especially in connection with my present state. The Book continued the whole day to assist me more or less, and my feelings of Resignation and Confidence were strengthened.
Jan. 21st. I can hardly control my impatience. But I wish to keep steady to the Principle of Trust and Hope.
Feb. 6th, 1838. My very dear Friend, I cannot satisfy myself by merely sending a verbal acknowledgment of your most valuable Present. In spite of the most tormenting Cough I will prepare a few lines before I go to Bed; for in the morning I am not capable of any Effort. Every circumstance which could make the gift not only valuable but dear to me has been combined by your kindness. I can assure you I never possessed more interesting Keepsakes.
My ardent Prayers for your Happiness, now inseparable from that of my most kind and dear Friend, your Husband, will incessantly be addressed to the Supreme Fountain of Life, and Goodness, and Love. Yours ever gratefully and affectionately,
J. Blanco White.
To Professor Powell.
Liverpool, Feb. 10th, 1838. My dear B. Powell, The first use I have made of my returning power of close attention has been to read your work, for a copy of which I wish you to accept my thanks. I have derived much pleasure and instruction from it. It is written in a most excellent spirit, and shows in every page a perfect acquaintance with natural philosophy, and the whole circle of science. The examples are luminous, and the style so clear that it requires only common attention in the unscientific reader to follow the argument through every division of the subject. You have very clearly shown the nature of the argument of Induction, upon which great uncertainty and obscurity prevails among many. Induction has generally been considered as something invented by Lord Bacon. I think it unfortunate that he used that word, taken from the then powerless Aristotelian language. I have examined most of the passages in which Aristotle speaks of the imayway, especially comparing those in the Analytics with one in the 2nd or 3rd chapter of the Rhetoric, and it is clear to me that he uses that word vaguely. The prominent sense he gives it—that in which the common logics use it, arises from the superficial view of its contrast with the syllogism, whence the conclusion follows from two Universals, one of which is embraced by the other. The Induction did adutav, is mentioned merely as the counterpart of the logical universal, in which what is asserted of the whole is asserted of each individual contained in it. But Aristotle himself knew that the attempt to make out a universal from the examination of every individual is impossible. He uses the word enajwyin a loose sense, merely in opposition to syllogism, and when the argument cannot proceed by Media : in
a word, Induction, in the language of the Aristotelian logic, means, though imperfectly and without the slightest knowledge of the subject, experimental, practical proof. Lord Bacon, I believe, took it up in this sense, but by a wonderful effort of genius discovered the principal conditions which could give validity to experiment and observation, so that even one well-ascertained fact shall be the foundation, not of a logical universal, but of the belief in a universal law of Nature. You have explained and illustrated this subject most satisfactorily.
The enemies of science will be furious against you. It is in vain that we argue with them. The root of the evil lies very deep. It is my settled persuasion that most people who think they believe in God believe in an Idol. You give an excellent hint upon this at p. 156. Science opposes this idol-worship: it does not allow a belief in an extramundane God, who appears, like a clock-maker, setting now and then his own machinery to rights. But I am plunging into too deep a subject, when the paper is nearly
Tell Mrs. B. Powell that I wish her to consider this letter as a certificate that I am getting back into my old routine of health, if it deserves that name. I trust that if the weather continues tolerably mild, this severe attack will have left scarcely any trace of additional suffering in the course of ten days or a fortnight.
Believe me, with sincere esteem and friendship, my dear B. Powell,
• Yours ever truly,
J. Blanco WHITE.
Feb. 1lth. · Much better. My legs continue swelled, but I have had some appetite. Reading, but without any particular object, except in Suabadissen, to impress myself with his excellent views of Religion. Nobody to see me.
February 14th. Having very lately read Professor Powell's Work On the Connection of Natural and Revealed Truth,* where various new English Writers on Subjects which involve this Question are quoted, I was struck with the confusion of Thought which all of them betray. Yet some of these Writers exhibit great Acuteness, and can urge a Fallacy with prodigious Power. Enthusiasm, I am convinced, is generally the source of this irregular, feverish Activity ; but there is still another cause of these clever Aberrations. In this country, it may be safely affirmed, not one Mind applies itself to the Study of Religion with a due preparation by means of mental Philosophy. Even those who devote some Attention to Logic—that (as it is studied) rather barren Branch
* I take this opportunity of recording my great regard for Professor Powell as a friend, and my high estimate of his talents and knowledge as a man of Science and Literature. He has never given way to that most formidable party at Oxford, whose enmity against all enlightened views wreaked itself against Dr. Hampden, when he was appointed Regius Professor of Divinity. Professor Powell stood by his persecuted friend, with the greatest firmness. He never has disguised his opinions, or shrunk from declaring them, even when his vote had no one to support it against a numerous Convocation. I believe this happened upon the question of the admission of Dissenters to the University. But I fear my praise may be turned against him.-J. B. W. Aug. 24th, 1839.