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West Point Academy,
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72 | Whaling,
LITTELL'S LIVING AGE.No. 294.-5 JANUARY, 1850.
From the Edinburgh Review.
honey," and to both of whom the promise of a 1. Historic Doubts relative to Napoleon Bonaparte. rich inheritance there, was given—and, in due
Eighth edition, pp. 60. 8vo. London. 2. The Nemesis of Faith. By J. A. Froude, time, amply redeemed. Or, rather, if we might
M. A., Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford be permitted to pursue the same vein a little fur12mo. London: pp. 227.
ther, and throw over our shoulders for a moment 3. Popular Christianity, ils Transition State and that mantle of allegory which none but Bunyan
Probable Development. By F. J. Foxton, could wear long and successfully, we should repB. A. ; formerly of Pembroke College, Ox- resent Reason and Faith as twin-born beingsford, and Perpetual Curate of Stoke Prior the one in form and features the image of manly and Docklow, Herefordshire. 12mo. Lon
beauty-the other, of feminine grace and gentledon: pp. 226.
ness; but to each of whom, alas! was allotted a sad “ Reason and Faith," says one of our old divines, privation. While the bright eyes of Reason are full with the quaintness characteristic of his day, re- of piercing and restless intelligence, his ear is closed semble the two sons of the patriarch ; Reason is to sound, and while Faith has an ear of exquisite the firstborn, but Faith inherits the blessing.” | delicacy, on her sightless orbs, as she lifts them The image is ingenious, and the antithesis strik- towards heaven, the sunbeam plays in vain. Hand ing ; but nevertheless the sentiment is far from in hand the brother and sister, in all mutual love, just. It is hardly right to represent Faith as pursue their way, through a world on which, like younger than Reason : the fact undoubtedly being, ours, day breaks and night falls alternate ; by that human creatures trust and believe, long be-day the eyes of Reason are the guide of Faith, and fore they reason or know. But the truth is, that by night the ear of Faith is the guide of Reason. both Reason and Faith are coeval with the nature As is wont with those who labor under these priof man, and were designed to dwell in his heart vations respectively, Reason is apt to be eager,
imtogether. In truth they are, and were, and, in petuous, impatient of that instruction which his such creatures as ourselves, must be, reciprocally infirmity will not permit him readily to apprehend; complementary ;--neither can exclude the other. while Faith, gentle and docile, is ever willing to It is as impossible to exercise an acceptable faith listen to the voice by which alone truth and wiswithout reason for so exercising it—that is, dom can effectually reach her. without exercising reason while we exercise faith,* It has been shown by Butler, in the fourth and —as it is to apprehend by our reason, exclu- fifth chapters (Part I.) of his great work, that the sive of faith, all the truths on which we are entire constitution and condition of man, viewed daily compelled to act, whether in relation to this in relation to the present world alone, and conseworld or the next. Neither is it right to repre- quently all the analogies derived from that fact in sent either of them as failing of the promised relation to a future world, suggest the conclusion heritage, except as both may fail alike, by per- that we are here the subjects of a probationary version from their true end, and depravation of discipline, or in a course of education for another their genuine nature; for if to the faith of which state of existence. But it has not, perhaps, been the New Testament speaks so much, a peculiar sufficiently insisted on, that if in the actual course blessing is promised, it is evident from that same of that education, of which enlightened obedience volume that it is not a “ faith without reason,' to the “ law of virtue," as Butler expresses it, or, any more than a “faith without works,” which is which is the same thing, to the dictates of supreme approved by the Author of Christianity. And wisdom and goodness, is the great end, we give this is sufficiently proved by the injunction an unchecked ascendency to either Reason or Faith, be ready to give a reason for the hope”—and we vitiate the whole process. The chief instrutherefore for the faith—" which is in us."
ment by which that process is carried on is not If, therefore, we were to imitate the quaintness Reason alone, or Faith alone, but their wellof the old divine, on whose diclum we have been balanced and reciprocal interaction. It is a system commenting, we should rather compare Reason of alternate checks and limitations, in which Reason and Faith to the two trusty spies, “ faithful among does not supersede Faith, nor Faith encroach on the faithless," who confirmed each other's report Reason. But our meaning will be more evident of “that good land which flowed with milk and when we have inade one or two remarks on what * Let it not be said that we are here playing upon an
are conceived to be their respective provinces. ambiguity in the word reason ;--considered in the first In the domain of Reason men generally include, clause as an argument; and in the second, as the characteristic endowment of our species. The distinction ist, what are called “ intuitions,” 2d, necessary between reason and reasoning (though most important) deductions” from them; and 3d, deductions from does not affect our statement ; for though reason may be their own direct “experience ;" while in the domain exercised where there is no giving of reasons, there can be no giving of reasons without the exercise of reason.
of Faith are ranked all truths and propositione 1
which are received, not without reasons indeed, than, from mere ignorance of the mode in which but for reasons underived from the intrinsic evidence these difficulties can be solved, he can infer them (whether intuitive or deductive, or from our own to be false. “Probabilities,” says Bishop Butler, experience) of the propositions themselves ;-for" are to us the very guide of life ;” and when the reasons (such as credible testimony, for example) probabilities arise out of evidence on which we are extrinsic to the proper meaning and significance competent to pronounce, and the improbabilities of such propositions : although such reasons, by merely from our surmises, where we have no accumulation and convergency, may be capable of evidence to deal with, and perhaps, from the limisubduing the force of any difficulties or improba- tation of our capacities, could not deal with it, if bilities, which cannot be demonstrated to involve we had it, it is not difficult to see what course absolute contradictions.*
practical wisdom tells man he ought to pursue ; In receiving important doctrines on the strength and which he always does pursue, whatever diffiof such evidence, and in holding to them against culties beset him-in all cases except one! the perplexities they involve, or, what is harder Such is that strict union- that mutual dependstill, against the prejudices they oppose, every ence of Reason and Faith—which would seem to exercise of an intelligent faith will, on analysis, be the great law under which the moral school in be found to consist ; its only necessary limit will which we are being educated is conducted. This be proven contradictions in the propositions sub- law is equally, or almost equally, its characteristic, mitted to it; for, then, no evidence can justify whether we regard man simply in his present belief, or even render it possible. But no other condition, or in his present in relation to his future difficulties, however great, will justify unbelief, condition-as an inhabitant only of this world, or where man has all that he can justly demanda candidate for another; and to this law, by a series evidence such in its nature as he can deal with, of analogies as striking as any of those which and on which he is accustomed to act in his most Butler has pointed out, (and on which we heartily important affairs in this world, (thus admitting its wish his comprehensive genius had expended a validity,) and such in amount as to render it more chapter or two,) Christianity, in the demands it likely that the doctrines it substantiates are true, makes on both principles conjointly, is evidently
adapted. * or the first kind of truths, or those perceived by intuition, we have examples in what are called “self
Men often speak, indeed, as if the exercise of evident axioms," "and fundamental laws" or "conditions faith was excluded from their condition as inhabiof thought,” which no wise inan has ever attempted to tants of the present world. But it requires but a prove. of the second, we have examples in the whole fabric of mathematical science, reared from its basis of very slight consideration to show that the boasted axioms and definitions, as well as in every other necessary prerogative of reason is here also that of a limited includes any conclusion in science based on direct experi monarch ; and that its attempts to make itself ment, or observation ; though the belief of the truth even absolute can only end in its own dethronement, of Newton's systein of the world, when received as Locke and, after successive revolutions. in all the anarchy says he received, and as the generality of men receive ilwithout being able to follow the steps by which the great
of absolute pyrrhonism. geometer proves his conclusions-may be represented For in the intellectual and moral education of rather as an act of Faith than an act of Reason; as much so as a belief in the truth of Christianity, founded on its man, considered merely as a citizen of the present historic and other evidences. The greater part of men's world, we see the constant and inseparable union knowledge, indeed, even of science--even the greater of the two principles, and provision made for their pari of a scientific man's knowledge of science, based as
He cannot advance a step, it is on testimony alone, (and which so often coin pels him perpetual exercise. to renounce to-day what he thonghi certain yesterday,) -- indeed, without both. We see faith demanded not than Reason. It inay he said, perhaps, that the above only amidst the dependence and ignorance in classification of the truths received by Reason and Faith which childhood and youth are passed ; not only respectively is arbitrary: that even as to some of their in the whole process by which we acquire the imalleged sources, they are not always clearly distinguishable ; that the evidence of experience inay in some sort perfect knowledge which is to fit us for being men ; he reduced to testimony-that of sense ; and testimony but to the very last we may be truly said to believe reduced to experience that of human veracity under far more than we know. Indeed," says Butler, given circumstances; both being founded on the observed uniformily of certain phenomena under similar conditions. “the unsatisfactory nature of the evidence with We admit the truth of this ; and we admit it the more which we are obliged to take up in the daily course willingly, as it shows that 'so inextricably intertwined of life, is scarce to be expressed.” Nay, in an inare the roots both of Reason and Faith in our nature, that no definitions that can be framed will completely telligible sense, even the primary truths,” or “first separate them; none that will not involve many phenom- principles," or "fundamental laws of thought,” as much as of the other. We have been content, for our or “self-evident maxims,” or “intuitions,” or practical purpose, without any too subtle refinement, 10 by whatever other names philosophers have been take the line of demarcation which is, perhaps, as obvious pleased to designate them, which, in a special as any, and as generally recognized. Few would say thal a generalized inference from direct experiment was not sense, are the very province of reason, as contramatter of reason rather than of faith ; though an act of distinguished from “reasoning” or logical deduoconfidence in testimony where probabilities were nearly tion, may be said almost as truly to depend on faith balanced, ly the name of faith rather than reason, though as on reason for their reception.* For the only an act of reason is involved in that process.
We are much more anxious to show their general involution with * Common language seems to indicate this: since we one another than the points of discrimination between call that disposition of mind which leads some men to them.
deny the above fundamental truths, (or afect to deny them,)
ground for believing them true is that man cannot am confident," says one, “ that I never do cease help so believing them! The same may be said to think-not even in the soundest sleep.” “You of that great fact, without which the whole world do, for a long time, every night of your life," exwould be at a stand-still-a belief in the uniformity claims another, equally confident and equally ignoof the phenomena of external nature ; that the rant. “Where do I exist ?" it goes on. “ An same sun, for example, which rose yesterday and I in the brain ? Am I in the whole body? Am to-day, will rise again to-morrow. That this can- I anywhere? Am I nowhere?” “I cannot have not be demonstrated, is admitted on all hands; and any local existence, for I know I am immaterial," that it is not absolutely proved from experience is says one. “I have a local existence, because I evident, both from the fact that experience cannot am material," says another. “I have a local exprove anything future, and from the fact that the istence, though I am not material,” says a third uniformity supposed is only accepted as partially “ Are my habitual actions voluntary," it exclaims and transiently true; the great bulk of mankind,“ however rapid they become ; though I am uneven while they so confidently act upon that uni- conscious of these volitions when they have attained formity, rejecting the idea of its being an elernal a certain rapidity ; or do I become a mere automauniformity. Every theist believes that the order ton as respects such actions ? and therefore an auof the universe once began to be ; and every Chris- tomaton nine times out of ten, when I act at all ?”! tian and most other men believe that it will also To this query two opposite answers are given by one day cease to be.
different minds; and by others, perhaps wiser, But perhaps the most striking example of the none at all; while, often, opposite answers are helplessness to which man is soon reduced if he given by the same mind at different times. In like relies upon his reason alone, is the spectacle of the manner has every action, every operation, every issue of his investigations into that which one emotion of the mind been made the subject of endwould imagine he must know most intimately, if less doubt and disputation. Surely if, as Soame he knows anything ; and that is, his own nature— Jenyns imagined, the infirmities of man, and even his own mind. There is something, to one who graver evils, were permitted in order to afford reflects long enough upon it, inexpressibly whim- amusement to superior intelligences, and make the sical in the questions which the mind is forever angels laugh, few things could afford them better putting to itself respecting itself; and to which sport than the perplexities of this child of clay the said mind returns from its dark caverns only an engaged in the study of himself. “Alas !” execho. We are apt, when we speculate about the claims at last the baffled spirit of this babe in inmind, to forget for the moment, that it is at once tellect, as he surveys his shattered toys—his broken the querist and the oracle ; and to regard it as theories of metaphysics, “ I know that I am ; but something out of itself, like a mineral in the hands what I am-where I am-even how I act-not of the analytic chemist. We cannot fully enter only what is my essence, but what even my mode, into the absurdities of its condition, except by re- of operation-of all this I know nothing ; and, membering that it is our own wise selves who so boast of reason as I may, all that I think on these grotesquely bewilder us. The mind, on such oc- points is matter of opinion-or is matter of faith!” casions, takes itself (if we may so speak) into its He resembles, in fact, nothing so much as a kitten own hands, turns itself about as a savage would a first introduced to its own image in a mirror : she watch, or a monkey a letter ; interrogates itself, runs to the back of it, she leaps over it, she turns listens to the echo of its own voice, and is obliged, and twists, and jumps and frisks, in all directions, after all, to lay itself down again with a very in the vain attempt to reach the fair illusion ; and, puzzled expression—and acknowledge that of its at length, turns away in weariness from that invery self, itself knows little or nothing! “I am comprehensible enigma- the image of herself! material," exclaims one of these whimsical beings, One would imagine-perhaps not untruly—that to whom the heaven-descended “Know thyself" the Divine Creator had subjected us to these diffiwould seem to have been ironically addressed. culties--and especially that incomprehensible tri• No !-immaterial," says another. “I am both lemma--that there is an union and interaction of material and immaterial,” exclaims, perhaps, the two totally distinct substances, or that matter is but very same mind at different times. “ Thought itself thought, or that thought is but matter-one of may be matter modified," says one. “Rather," which must be true, and all of which approach as says another of the same perplexed species," matter near to mutual contradictions as can well be conis thought modified ; for what you call matter is ceived—for the very purpose of rebuking the prebut a phenomenon.” “Both are independent and sumption of man, and of teaching him humility; totally distinct substances, mysteriously, inexpli- that He had left these obscurities at the very threshcably conjoined,” says a third. “ How they are old—nay, within the very mansion of the mind conjoined we know no more than the dead. Not itself—for the express purpose of deterring man 80 much, perhaps.” “Do I ever cease to think," from playing the dogmatizing fool when he looked says the mind to itself, “ even in sleep? Is not abroad. Yet, in spite of his raggedness and povmy essence thought?” “ You ought to know your erty at home, no sooner does man look out of his own essence best,” all creation will reply. “Il dosky dwelling, than, like Goldsmith's little beau,
who, io his garrct op five pair of staire, boasts not by a word which indicates the opposite of reason, but the opposite of faith--Scepticism, Unbeliet, Incredulity. l of liis friendship with lords, he is apt to assume
airs of magnificence, and, glancing at the Infinite object of man's moral education here ; and to justify through his little eye-glass, to affect an intimate both the partial evidence 'addressed to his reason, acquaintance with the most respectable secrets of and the abundant difficulties which it leaves to his the universe !
faith. “ The evidence of religion,” says Builer, It is undeniable, then, that the perplexities which is fully sufficient for all the purposes of probauniformly puzzle man in the physical world, and tion, how far soever it is from being satisfactory even in the little world of his own mind, when he as to the purposes of curiosity, or any other : and, passes a certain limit, are just as unmanageable as indeed, it answers the purposes of the former in those found in the moral constitution and govern- several respects which it would not do if it were ment of the universe, or in the disclosures of the as over-bearing as is required."* Or as Pascal volume of Revelation. In both we find abundance beautifully puts it :-" There is light enough for of inexplicable difficulties ; sometimes arising from those whose sincere wish is to see and darkness our absolute ignorance, and perhaps quite as often enough to confound those of an opposite dispofrom our partial knowledge. These difficulties are sition.''; probably left on the pages of both volumes for some of the same reasons ; many of them, it may
* " Analogy," part 2, chap, viii.
t" Pensées." 'Faugère's edition, tom. ii. p. 151. The be, because even the commentary of the Creator views bere developed will be found an expansion of some himself could not render them plain to a finite brief hints at the close of the article on Pascal's “Life and understanding, though a necessary and salutary
Genius," (Ed. Review, Jan. 1847,) though our space then
prevented us from more than touching these topics. We exercise of our humility may be involved in their may add that we gladly take this opportunity of pointing reception ; others, if not purely (which seems not:
the attention of our readers to a tract of Archbishop
Whately's, entitled “The example of children as proprobable) yet partly for the sake of exercising and
posed to Christians," which his grace, having teen training that humility, as an essential part of the struck with a coincidence between some of the thonghis education of a child ; others, surmountable, indeed,
in the tract and those expressed in the "Review," did us
the favor to transmit to us. Had we seen the tract before, in the progress of knowledge and by prolonged we should have been glad to illustrate and confirm our effort of the human intellect, may be designed to own views hy those of this highly gifted prelate. We
earnestly recommend the tract in question (as well as the stimulate that intellect to strenuous action and
whole of the remarkable volume in which it is now inhealthy effort—as well as to supply, in their solu- corporated, " Essays on some of the Peculiarities of the tion, as time rolls on, an ever-accumulating mass
Christian Religion") to the perusal of our readers, and at
the same time venture to express our conviction (having of proofs of the profundity of the wisdom which
been led by the circumstances above mentioned to a fuller has so far anticipated all the wisdom of man ; and acquaintance with his grace's theological writings than of the divine origin of both the great books which we had previously possessed) that, though this lucid and
eloquent writer may, for obvious reasons, he most widely he is privileged to study as a pupil, and even to known by his "Logic and Rhetoric,” the time will come illustrate as a commentator-but the text of which when bis theological works will be, if not more widely
read, still more highly prized. To great powers of arguhe cannot alter.
ment and illustration, and delightful transparency of dicBut, for submitting to us many profound and lion and style, he adds a higher quality still--and a very insoluble problems, the second of the above reasons
rare quality it is-an evident and intense honesty of pur
pose, an absorbing desire to arrive at the eract truth, and - the training of the intellect and heart of manlio slate it with perfect fairness and with the just limitato submission to the Supreme Intelligence-would tions. Without pretending to agree with all that Archalone be sufficient. For if, as is indicated by every
bishop Whately has written on the subject of Theology,
(though he carries his readers with him as frequently as thing in human nature, by the constitution of the any writer with whom we are acquainted,) we may reworld as adapted to that nature and by the repre mark that in relation to that whole class of subjects, to
which the present essay has reference, we know of no sentations of Scripture, which are in analogy with
writer of the present day whose contributions are more both, the present world is but the school of man numerous or more valuable. The highly ingenious ironiin this the childhood of his being, to prepare him
cal brochure, entitled "Historic Doubts relative to Napo
leon Bonaparte ;" the Essays above mentioned, "On for the enjoyment of an immortal manhood in some of the Peculiarities of the Christian Religion ;" another, everything might be expected to be sub
those “ On some of the Dangers to Christian Faith," and
on the " Errors of Romanism :" the work on the "King. ordinated to this great end ; and as the end of that
dom of Christ," not to mention others, are well worthy education can be no other than an enlightened of universal perusal. They abound in views both original obedience to God, the harmonious and concurrent
and just, stated with all the author's apiness of illustra
tion and transparency of language. We may remark, too, exercise of reason and faith becomes absolutely that in many of his occasional sermons, he has incidentnecessary-not of reason to the exclusion of faith, ally added many most beautiful fragments to that ever
accumulating mass of internal evidence which the Scripfor otherwise there would be no adequate test of
tures themselves supply in their very structure, and which man's docility and submission ; nor of a faith that is evolved by diligent investigation of the relation and would assert itself. not only independent of reason, coherence of one part of them with another. We are also
rejoiced to see that a small and unpretending, but very but in contradiction to it-which would not be powerful, little tract, by the same writer, entitled, “ Inwhat God requires, and what alone can quadrate iroductory Lessons on Christian Evidences,” has passed
al through many editions, has been translated into most of
the European languages, and, amongst the rest, very reHis offspring a reasonable obedience. Iimplicit cently into German, with an appropriate preface, by Proobedience, then, to the dictates of an all-perfect
fessor Abeltzhauser, of the University of Dublin. It
shows to demonstration that as much of the eviútike of wisdom, exercised amidst many difficulties and
Christianity as is necessary for conviction may be made perplexities, as so many tests of sincerity, and yet perfectly clear to the meanest capacity; and that, in spite siistained by evidences which justify the conclusions
of the assertions of Rome and of Oxford to the contrary,
he apostolic injunction to every Christian to be ready to which involve them, would seem to be the great render a reason for the hope that is in him," --some