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want the freedom to do it. Authority is against them, and armed soldiery are ready to repulse them. But here is a virgin soil, an open field, a new people, full of the future, with unbounded faith in ideas, and the most ample freedom. Here, if anywhere on earth, may the philosopher experiment on human nature, and demonstrate what man has it in him to be when and where he has the freedom and the means to be himself. Let Germany then explore the mines, and bring out the ore, let France smelt it, extract the pure metal, determine its weight and fineness, and we will work it up into vessels of ornament or utility, apply it to the practical purposes of life.
In passing from the proposed series of translations and the importance of the undertaking to the volumes before us, we would remark that, viewed simply as translations, they must possess in the estimation of every scholar a high worth. We doubt whether better specimens of translation are to be found in the language, better specimens certainly we have never met. Familiar as we are with the originals, we read these translations with pleasure. They do not seem to be translations. They have all the freedom and freshness of original compositions. Yet they are faithful and literal even, altogether more so than translations in general. They are true reproductions, and could have been made only by a man who comprehended their subject-matter hardly less thoroughly than did their original authors. Mr. Ripley deserves high praise for the example he has set to all future translators. He has not only reproduced his authors, but he has done it in pure classic English, in which the most fastidious critic will be troubled to find a single idiom, word, or phrase at which to take offence. In doing this he has done much. He has proved that translations may be made without corrupting the language. He has also rendered an important service, in these volumes, to the philosophical student, by doing much to fix our philosophical language, and to free it from that vagueness and uncertainty, which have heretofore so grievously afflicted all who have attempted to write or read on philosophical subjects.
The several pieces which make up these volumes are selected with great judgment and taste. They are, of their shorter productions, the most important productions of their authors, and are superior to any thing else of the kind that we know of in any language. They are so selected and arranged as to form, with the Introductory and Critical Notices by the translator, very nearly a continuous whole, and to constitute something like a regular treatise on the object, method, and history of philosophy, the philosophy of history, morals, and religion, and the destiny of man and society. The Notices are in part original, and in part selected or translated. They are of great value, and were other proof wanting, would prove the translator an acute critic, an accomplished soholar, an able philosopher, and a true and warm-hearted friend of his race.
As to the general merits of the authors of these Miscellanies, we refer our readers to the introductory notices by the translator. They are three authors, , who are an honor to France, and to mankind. Benjamin Constant was long known throughout Europe as an ardent lover of liberty, as the devoted advocate of constitutional government, and as a distinguished literary and political writer. His great work, De la Religion considerée dans sa Source, ses Formes, et ses Developpements, exhibits much erudition, philosophic insight, and religious and philanthropic sentiment. We are glad to find that it is to be included in Mr. Ripley's series. It is just the work needed in the present state of religious doubt, indifference, and fanaticism in this country, and its study would do much to reconcile Faith and Reason, and to restore us to a pure, rational, and living faith in Christianity. Jouffroy is a profound psychologist, a clear and eloquent writer, and one of the ablest and safest moral philosophers, it has ever been our good fortune to meet. He was a pupil of Cousin, is a professor of philosophy in the Faculty of Letters at Paris, and one of the principal disciples of the New French School. Cousin is well known as the chief of the New French Philosophy, and he is unquestionably, if not the first, one of the first philosophers of the age.
The subject-matter of these volumes is worthy of the most serious attention. The time has gone by in this country, when it could be accounted a mark of good taste or of superior wisdom to sneer at metaphysical studies. The public mind has been awakened, and mental and moral science is henceforth one of our most cherished studies. Men have outgrown tradition, and they begin to find themselves unable to legitimate their beliefs. They begin to be troubled with the problem of human destiny. They ask themselves, wherefore they are here; what is the solution of the enigma of human existence; what man knows, and wherefore he can know that he knows. They find themselves forced by the state of their spiritual affairs to give an account to themselves of themselves, of their knowledge and their belief, their hopes, fears, and doubts. They are compelled therefore to philosophize. And they must continue to philosophize, for the problem once raised, it will not down till it is solved. Every work therefore that treats on this problem which torments the soul, every work which proposes to aid us to meet this inward questioning, of which we have become conscious, and which we indulge more and more every day, must be hailed with joy, and sought after with avidity. We have lost the early faith of childhood, we have arraigned the catechism, and we must now wear out a life of painful doubt, or attain to a rational conviction.
These Miscellanies will aid us. They state with great clearness and distinctness the principal problems which have tormented the soul in all ages; and if they do not solve them, they at least give us the law of their solution. If they do not give us a philosophy which is perfectly satisfactory, which exhausts human nature, they do give us the true method of philosophizing, of legitimating scientifically the universal beliefs of mankind. More appropriate to the present state of the public mind they could not be. The scholar will read them with delight; the divine, the moralist, the statesman will find them invaluable in directing them in the discharge of their several functions, and in solving the theological, moral, and political doubts they everywhere meet, and which seem almost to paralyze the spiritual powers of man. They are full of masculine thought. They breathe a liberal tone, assert with earnestness and power the rights and the worth of man, as man, and show a profound reverence for truth, beauty, goodness, — God. They are just the volumes for us young Americans, to quicken within us a sense of the dignity and reach of our mission, to kindle our faith in ourselves and in Providence, and to enable us to elaborate the glorious future which awaits mankind.
Art. V. - 1. Principles and Results of the Ministry
at Large in Boston. By JOSEPH TUCKERMAN. Bos
ton: James Munroe & Co. 1838. 12mo. pp. 327. 2. Affaires de Rome., Mémoires addressés au Pape;
des Maux de l'Eglise et de la Société, et des Moyens d'y remédier. Par M. F. DE LA MENNAIS.
Bruxelles : J. P. Meline. 1837. 3. Paroles d'un Croyant. Septième Édition, augmen
tée de De l’Absolutisme et de la Liberté. Par le même. Paris : Eugène Renduel. 1834. 8vo.
It is not our intention in this article to review at length the works, the titles of which we have quoted, though we desist from doing it not without much selfdenial. We have introduced these works together
because they have something kindred in their spirit and object, and because they show us men, reared in widely different communions and countries, coming to virtually the same general conclusions. Dr. Tuckerman's work needs no commendation from us in this community. His own character and the Ministry, with which he has inseparably connected his name, speak for him as no reviewer can. The works of the Abbé de la Mennais, here introduced, are not his greatest works, but the most in consonance with our present purpose of any we have seen. They possess a high value, and should be in the hands of every one who believes Christianity has yet a mission to fulfil.
In a foregoing article we have endeavored to prove that the natural association of men of letters is with the democracy; we design in what follows to present some considerations which may tend to show, that the natural association of the clergy and of Christians generally is also with the democracy.
In attempting to do this we shall enter into no discussion concerning theological dogmas; we shall take sides with no sect, and show a preference for no particular communion; we shall by no means approach the borders of another world, and attempt to determine the happiness or the misery that awaits us hereafter, or the means of gaining the one or avoiding the other. We propose to speak of Christianity merely in its social and political aspects, in its bearings upon man's earthly condition.
We regard the mission of Jesus as twofold. One of its objects, and perhaps its most important object, was to make an atonement for sin, and raise man to God and heaven in the world to come. Of this object, — the more exclusively theological object, - we have nothing to say in this journal. The other object of his mission was to found a new order of things on the earth, to establish a kingdom of righteousness and peace for men while yet in the flesh. In this sense Christianity has a social and political character.
VOL. I. NO. IV.