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identic ideas come? Those of men, it seems, come all from sensation. And whence come God's ideas? Not, surely, from sensation too: for this we can hardly venture to affirm, without giving to body that notable precedence of being prior to the intellection of even God himself. Let them, then, be original; let them be connate and essential to the Divine Mind: if this be true, is it not a fortunate event, that ideas of corporeal rise, and others of mental, (things derived from subjects so totally distinct,) should so happily coincide in the same wonderful identity?
Had we not better reason thus upon so abstruse a subject ? Either all minds have their ideas derived, or all have them original; or some them have them original, and some derived. If all minds have them derived, they must be derived from something, which is itself not mind, and thus we fall insensibly into a kind of atheism. If all have them original, then are all minds divine; an hypothesis by far more plausible than the former. But if this be not admitted, then must one mind (at least) have original ideas, and the rest have them derived. Now, supposing this last, whence are those minds, whose ideas are derived, most likely to derive them? From mind or from body? From mind, a thing homogeneous; or from body, a thing heterogeneous ? From mind, such as (from the hypothesis) has original ideas; or from body, which we cannot discover to have any ideas at all?P An examination of this kind, pursued with accuracy and temper, is the most probable method of solving these doubts. It is thus we shall be enabled with more assurance to decide, whether we are to admit the doctrine of the Epicurean poet,
Corporea natura animum constare, animamque ; or trust the Mantuan bard, when he sings, in divine numbers,
Igneus est ollis vigor, et cælestis origo
Scminibus. But it is now time to quit these speculations. Those who would trace them further, and have leisure for such studies, may perhaps find themselves led into regions of contemplation, affording them prospects both interesting and pleasant. We have at present said as much as was requisite to our subject, and shall therefore pass from hence to our concluding chapter.
P Nούν δε ουδέν σώμα γεννά πως γάρ void of mind produce mind? Sallust. de âu và ảnónTa vouv Y€vicot; “Nobody Diis et Mundo, c. 8. produces mind: for how should things de
SUBORDINATION OF INTELLIGENCE. DIFFERENCE OF IDEAS, BOTH IN
PARTICULAR MEN AND IN WHOLE NATIONS. DIFFERENT GENIUS OF DIFFERENT LANGUAGES. CHARACTER OF THE ENGLISH, THE ORIENTAL, THE LATIN, AND THE GREEK LANGUAGES. SUPERLATIVE EXCELLENCE OF THE LAST. CONCLUSION.
Original truth having the most intimate connexion with the Supreme Intelligence, 9 may be said (as it were) to shine with unchangeable splendor, enlightening throughout the universe every possible subject, by nature susceptible of its benign influence. Passions and other obstacles may prevent, indeed, its efficacy, as clouds and vapours may obscure the sun; but itself neither admits diminution nor change, because the darkness respects only particular percipients. Among these, therefore, we must look for ignorance and error, and for that subordination of intelligence which is their natural consequence.
We have daily experience in the works of art, that a partial knowledge will suffice for contemplation, though we know not enough to profess ourselves artists. Much more is this true with respect to nature; and well for mankind is it found to be true, else never could we attain any natural knowledge at all. For if the constitutive proportions of a clock are so subtle, that few conceive them truly but the artist himself; what shall we say to those seminal proportions, which make the essence and character of every natural subject ? Partial views, the imperfections of sense ; inattention, idleness, the turbulence of passions ; education, local sentiments, opinions, and belief, conspire in many instances to furnish us with ideas; some too general, some too partial, and (what is worse than all this) with many that are erroneous, and contrary to truth. These it behoves us to correct as far as possible, by cool suspense and candid examination.
Those philosophers, whose ideas of count of truth itself; as if to describe the being and knowledge are derived from body road to London could be called a descripand sensation, have a short method to ex- tion of that metropolis. plain the nature of truth. It is a factitious For my own part, when I read the detail thing, made by every man for himself; which about sensation and reflection, and am comes and goes, just as it is remembered taught the process at large how my ideas and forgot ; which in the order of things are all generated, I seem to view the human makes its appearance the last of any, being soul in the light of a crucible, where truths not only subsequent to sensible objects, but are produced by a kind of logical chemistry. even to our sensations of them. According They may consist (for aught we know) of to this hypothesis, there are many truths natural materials, but are as much creatures which have been, and are no longer; others of our own as a bolus or elixir. that will be, and have not been yet; and If Milton by his Urania intended to remultitudes that possibly may never exist present truth, he certainly referred her to a at all.
much more ancient, as well as a far more But there are other reasoners, who must noble origin. sarely have had very different notions ;
Heavenly born! those, I mean, who represent truth, not as Before the hills appeard, or fountains flow'd, the last, but the first of beings; who call Thou with Eternal Wisdom didst converse, it immutable, eternal, omnipresent ; at- Wisdom thy sister; and with her didst play tributes that all indicate something more In presence of th' almighty Father, pleasd than human. To these it must appear With thy celestial song. somewhat strange, how men should imagine
Paradise Lost, vii. that a crude account of the method how See Prov, viii. 22, &c. Jer. x. 10. Marc. they perceive truth was to pass for an ac- Antonin. ix, 1.
Νήφε, και μέμνησ’ απιστεϊν, άρθρα ταύτα των φρενών. And thus, by a connexion perhaps little expected, the cause of letters and that of virtue appear to coincide; it being the business of both to examine our ideas, and to amend them by the standard of nature and of truth."
In this important work we shall be led to observe, how nations, like single men, have their peculiar ideas; how these peculiar ideas become the genius of their language, since the symbol must of course correspond to its archetype; how the wisest nations, having the most and best ideas, will consequently have the best and most copious languages;t how others, whose languages are motley and compounded, and who have borrowed from different countries different arts and practices, discover by words to whom they are indebted for things.
To illustrate what has been said, by a few examples. We Britons in our time have been remarkable borrowers, as our multiform language may sufficiently shew. Our terms in polite literature prove, that this came from Greece; our terms in music and painting, that these came from Italy; our phrases in cookery and war, that we learnt these from the French; and our phrases in navigation, that we were taught by the Flemings and Low Dutch. These many and very different sources of our language may be the cause why it is so deficient in regularity and analogy. Yet we have this advantage to compensate the defect, that what we want in elegance we gain in copiousness; in which last respect few languages will be found superior to our own.
Let us pass from ourselves to the nations of the East. The eastern world, “ from the earliest days, has been at all times the
r How useful to ethic science, and, in- l. 1. p. 58. et Men. Com. Tusc. Disp. v. 16. deed, to knowledge in general, a gramma- It is well observed by Muretus, Nulli tical disquisition into the etymology and unquam, qui res ignorarent, nomina, quibus meaning of words was esteemed by the chief eas exprimerent, quæsierunt. Var. Lect. and ablest philosophers, may be seen by vi. 1. consulting Plato in his Cratylus; Xenoph. 1 Διά γάρ το δουλικώτεροι είναι τα ήθη Mem. iv. 5, 6. Arrian. Epict. 1. 17. ii. 10. οι μεν Βάρβαροι των Ελλήνων, οι δε περί Marc. Anton. ii. 11. v. 8. x. 8.
την Ασίαν των περί την Ευρώπην, υπομέ5 'Ηθούς χαράκτηρ έστι τ' ανθρώπου λό- νουσι την δεσποτικής αρχήν, ουδέν δυσχεgos. Stob. Capiuntur signa haud levia, sed palvovTES. “For the Barbarians, by being observatu digna (quod fortasse quispiam more slavish in their manners than the non putarit) de ingeniis et moribus popu- Greeks, and those of Asia than those of lorum et nationum ex linguis ipsorum. Europe, submit to despotic government Bacon. de Augm. Scient. vi. 1. Vid. etiam. without murmuring or discontent.” Arist. Quinctil. 1. xi. p. 675. edit. Capperon. Diog. Polit. iii. 4.
seat of enormous monarchy: on its natives fair liberty never shed its genial influence. If at any time civil discords arose among them, (and arise there did innumerable,) the contest was never about the form of their government, (for this was an object of which the combatants had no conception ;) it was all from the poor motive of who should be their master, whether a Cyrus or an Artaxerxes, a Mahomet or a Mustapha.
Such was their condition: and what was the consequence ? Their ideas became consonant to their servile state, and their words became consonant to their servile ideas. The great distinction, for ever in their sight, was that of tyrant and slave; the most unnatural one conceivable, and the most susceptible of pomp and empty exaggeration. Hence they talked of kings as gods, and of themselves as the meanest and most abject reptiles. Nothing was either great or little in moderation, but every sentiment was heightened by incredible hyperbole. Thus, though they sometimes ascended into the great and magnificent,* they as frequently degenerated into the tumid and bombast. The Greeks too of Asia became infected by their neighbours, who were often, at times, not only their neighbours but their masters; and hence that luxuriance of the Asiatic style, unknown to the chaste eloquence and purity of Athens. But of the Greeks we forbear to speak now, as we shall speak of them more fully when we have first considered the nature or genius of the Romans.
And what sort of people may we pronounce the Romans ?-A nation engaged in wars and commotions, some foreign, some domestic, which for seven hundred years wholly engrossed their thoughts. Hence, therefore, their language became, like their ideas, copious in all terms expressive of things political, and well adapted to the purposes both of history and popular eloquence. But what was their philosophy?y-As a nation it was none, if we may credit their ablest writers. And hence the unfitness of their language to this subject; a defect which even Cicero is compelled to confess, and more fully makes appear, when he writes philosophy himself, from the number of terms which he is obliged to invent. Virgil seems to have judged the most truly of his countrymen, when, admitting their inferiority in the more elegant arts, he concludes at last with his usual majesty,
* The truest sublime of the East may be ritia, quod ab ambitione, quod a voluptatibus found in the scriptures, of which, perhaps, reliquum erat temporis, ejus si partem alithe principal cause is the intrinsic greatness quam aut ad audiendum Græcum quempiam of the subjects there treated ; the creation philosophum, aut ad aliquem de philosophia of the universe, the dispensations of Divine libellum vel legendum vel scribendum conProvidence, &c.
tulissent, jam se ad eruditionis culmen pery Muretus has the following passage venisse, jam victam a se et profligatam upon the Roman taste for philosophy: jacere Græciam somniabant. Var. Lect. Beati autem illi, et opulenti, et omnium vi. 1. gentium victores Romani, in petendis ho- 2 See Cic. de Fin. i. c. 1, 2, 3; iii. c. 1, noribus, et in prensandis civibus, et in 2. 4, &c.; but in particular Tusc. Disp. i. 3. exteris nationibus verbo componendis, re where he says, Philosophia jacuit usque ad compilandis occupati, philosophandi curam hanc ætatem, nec ullum habuit lumen liteservis aut libertis suis, et Græculis esuri- rarum Latinarum ; quæ illustranda et excientibus relinquebant. Ipsi, quod ab ava- tanda nobis est; ut si, &c. See also Tusc.
Disp. iv. 3. and Acad. i. 2. where it appears, the Characteristics, to whom we refer, that until Cicero applied himself to the Under a milder dominion, that of Adrian writing of philosophy, the Romans had no- and the Antonines, lived Aulus Gellius, or thing of the kind in their language, except (as some call him) Agellius, an entertaining some mcan performances of Amafanius the writer in the miscellaneous way, well skilled Epicurean, and others of the same sect. How in criticism and antiquity ; who, though he far the Romans were indebted to Cicero for can hardly be entitled to the name of a philosophy, and with what industry, as well philosopher, yet deserves not to pass unas eloquence, he cultivated the subject, may mentioned here, from the curious fragments be seen, not only from the titles of those of philosophy interspersed in bis works. works that are now lost, but much more With Aulus Gellius we range Macrobius, from the many noble ones still fortunately not because a contemporary, (for he is suppreserved.
posed to have lived under Honorius and The Epicurean poet Lucretius, who flou- Theodosius,) but from his near resemblance rished nearly at the same time, seems by in the character of a writer. His works, his silence to have overlooked the Latin like the other's, are miscellaneous ; filled writers of his own sect; deriving all his with mythology and ancient literature, philosophy, as well as Cicero, from Grecian some philosophy being intermixed. His sources ; and, like him, acknowledging the Commentary upon the Somnium Scipionis difficulty of writing in philosophy in Latin, of Cicero may be considered as wholly of both from the poverty of the tongue, and the philosophical kind, from the novelty of the subject.
In the same age with Aulus Gellius Nec me animi fullit, Graiorum obscura re- flourished Apuleius of Madaura in Africa, perta
a Platonic writer, whose inatter in general Difficile inlustrare Latinis versibus esse, far exceeds his perplexed and affected style, (Multa novis rebus præsertim quam sit a- too conformable to the false rhetoric of the gendum,)
age when he lived. Propter egestatem linguæ et rerum novita- Of the same country, but of a later age
and a harsher style, was Martianus Capella, Sed tua me virtus tamen, et sperata voluptas if indeed he deserve not the name rather Suavis amiciliæ quemvis perferre laborem of a philologist, than of a philosopher. Suadet.
Lucr. i. 137. After Capella, we may rank Chalcidius In the same age, Varro, among his nu- the Platonic, though both his age, and merous works, wrote some in the way of country, and religion are doubtful. His philosophy; as did the patriot Brutus a manner of writing is rather more agreeable treatise Concerning Virtue, much applauded than that of the two preceding, nor does he by Cicero ; but these works are now lost. appear to be their inferior in the knowledge
Soon after the writers above mentioned of philosophy, his work being a laudable came Horace, some of whose satires and commentary upon the Timæus of Plato. epistles may be justly ranked amongst the The last Latin philosopher was Boethius, most valuable pieces of Latin philosophy, who was descended from some of the noblest whether we consider the purity of their of the Roman families, and was consul in style, or the grcat address with which they the beginning of the sixth century. He treat the subject.
wrote many philosophical works, the greater After Horace, though with as long an part in the logical way: but his ethic interval as from the days of Augustus to piece, On the Consolation of Philosophy, those of Nero, caine the satirist Persius, and which is partly prose and partly verse, the friend and disciple of the Stoic Cornu- deserves great encomiums, both for the tus; to whose precepts as he did honour by matter and for the style ; in which last he his virtuous life, so his works, thongh small, approaches the purity of a far better age shew an early proficiency in the science of than his own, and is in all respects premorals. Of him it may be said, that he is ferable to those crabbed Africans already almost the single difficult writer among the mentioned. By command of Theodoric Latin classics, whose meaning has sufficient king of the Goths, it was the hard fate of merit to make it worth while to labour this worthy man to suffer death: with whom through his obscurities.
the Latin tongue, and the last remains of In the same degenerate and tyrannic Roman dignity, may be said to have sunk period, lived also Seneca ; whose character, in the western world. both as a man and a writer, is discussed There were other Romans who left philowith great accuracy by the noble author of sophical writings, such as Musonius Rufus,