Puslapio vaizdai

chased with the price of it a small property (xwplov), and soon after falling down headlong, was so miserably mangled, that the place retained the name of the Field of Blood. The neighbourhood of Jerusalem abounds with precipices; but as the spot on which he fell was the very same which he had purchased with the wages of his iniquity (Acts, i. 19), no doubt the Christians saw in it the hand of God. They were open to all the influences which dispose man to see in extraordinary coincidences of crime and calamity the marks of a divine judgment; the moral was made more impressive in popular report ; it was not enough that Judas should have perished on the field which he had purchased; he must be the victim of remorse, and avenge his crime upon himself (Matt. xxvii. 5). Is not this what passes every day before our eyes ? Is it not equally accordant with our experience that various explanations are devised of names compounded of significant elements, such as Aceldama? The mention of the thirty pieces of silver we owe to the misapprehension of a prophecy (Zech. xi. 13); and as some very striking examples of this are found in the introductory chapters, which we have reason to believe were not in the Hebrew original, we think it may be set down to the account of the translator, who must have lived when popular tradition had had time to attain to maturity: For we are far from imputing to him the invention of facts to accord with his own views; no doubt he found the tradition which he adopted. We need only open a volume of a popular interpreter of prophecy to perceive how much the foregone conclusion that a prediction must have been accomplished in a particular series of events, predisposes the expounder to acquiesce in forced interpretations and accept doubtful statements. Yet who would call Newton or Keith dishonest men ?

The attack made by Strauss upon the evidences of Revelation was like that of the red Republicans and Socialists on the institutions of society-blind and furious, and shortlived in its effects. Yet there is something to be learnt in both cases from the assailants whom we have repelled. The distinction between myth and history cannot be fixed by any line chronologically drawn; the so-called apostolic age, within which all miraculous agency is credible, and beyond which all is fabulous, is a period not to be defined. 76 The Relation of the Third to the First Two Gospels.

The tares and the wheat, the true and the false narrative, sprang up together, the occurrence of the true wonder being indeed the excitement to the production of the false. It is not therefore by the wholesale denial of the possibility that mythic narratives should have gained belief in the Christian community, or even found admittance into our canonical histories, but by discrimination, that Strauss must be encountered. The probability of such a mixture increases in a rapid ratio with the time that intervenes between the supposed occurrence of a fact and its record in writing. If the earliest extant history of Christ's ministry had really been written no earlier than the middle or end of the second century after his birth, it would not have been easy to dissipate the haze in which Strauss has invested it. For this reason we have endeavoured to show that the second of our Gospels (we have called it Mark's for convenience, without assuming anything respecting its authorship) contains a very early if not a contemporaneous record. And we do not fear that what we have written will be considered unfavourable to the evidence of Christianity, except by those who are more concerned about the extent than the solidity of their structure, and prefer a wide area of sand for its foundation to a narrower basis of rock.



1. A System of Logic, Ratiocinative and Inductive, being a

connected View of the Principles of Evidence and the
Methods of Scientific Investigation. By John Stuart
Mill. In 2 vols. Second Edition. London: John
W. Parker, West Strand. 1846. Book III. Of In-

duction. 2. Of Induction; with especial reference to Mr. John Stuart

Mill's System of Logic. By W. Whewell, D.D., Author of the History and Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences." London: John W. Parker, West Strand. 1849.

It is not without reason, that original speculation in physical and metaphysical science is so seldom pursued with any very considerable success by the same mind. The process by which laws of nature are first detected, differs in one respect so essentially from that which attempts the analysis of mental phenomena, that the very habits of thought most favourable to the physical discoverer may only impede or defeat the efforts of the mental philosopher. The difference alluded to is this, that while we can recognise no ties of necessary connection between the causes and effects of the physical world, mental investigations are performed on our own minds, through the agency of a conscious reflection, which brings conviction in the very process of a true analysis, without waiting for the subsequent verifications from experience. All proofs of physical connection are only indirect; the hypothetical causes having no intrinsic evidence in their favour, but owing their reception either to the absence of any other possible cause, or to the overwhelming presumption afforded by new and correct inferences that verify the guess; but antecedent to all verification, or rather as its verification, the mental pbilosopher has the evidence of his own consciousness as to whether his analysis be correct: the cause and consequence being connected in the same fact of consciousness, he has with him the same kind of intrinsic evidence that belongs to deductive reasoning; he can tell at once whether it could or could not produce a similar effect, without recourse to experiment; -he carries some criteria of truth along with him even while he reasons, and so accustoms his mind to expect at once at least apparent presumption, a conscious perception of some internal relation between the supposed cause and the effect, even before he begins to judge. The mind of the physical discoverer, on the other hand, must be governed chiefly by general and slight analogies in its first suspicions concerning causes; analogies drawn from the physical sciences themselves, and which would have no force with a mind not already familiar with the general resemblances that they afford. By the very same consciousness by which we are cognizant of a mental effect, we have also been cognizant of the mental antecedents which produced it; but when we perceive a physical effect, we have no data whatever given us to trace the history and mode of its formation. Hence the analysis of direct inspection which serves the mental philosopher, is wholly different in its requisites from the processes of physical investigation, and he who should take to it the habits of thought he had acquired from them, would miserably fail.

This remark may, perhaps, serve to explain why so eminent a scientific philosopher as Dr. Whewell has failed so remarkably in his attempt to create a philosophy of science; why the History of Physical Science, which he wrote with so much ability, prepared him so little to analyze its mental processes, and expound its logic. A study of sciences where the mind can discover no necessary connections between cause and effect, and has to look for the indications of probability, and follow out the traces of analogy, were but little likely to discipline a mind, apparently never very subtle or exact, for the close analysis of its own actions, and the detection of its own laws. Dr. Whewell could not have shown more completely his utter incompetency to estimate the difference in kind between the various sources of moral certainty, than by classing together, as he has done, the laws of motion and even the laws of chemical composition, with the truths of mathematics, and the variously stated principle of universal causation itself. We regard it as unfortunate for the truth and perfectness of Mr. Mill's able work, that he should have had so feeble an antagonist (in its purely philosophical part) as Dr. Whewell. It will be said, perhaps, that Mr. Mill's powers of analysis might be regarded by his opponents with as little esteem as those of Dr. Whewell, because he also has classed a priori with a posteriori truths, referring them equally to the influence of constant association in experience : but there is this distinction. The theory which assigns experience and association as the source of all our knowledge, does at least provide for different gradations in moral certainty in proportion to the constancy and universality of experience; but those who

drag down all certainty to the level of empirical truths, who assign the highest degree of human certainty to the mere known succession of physical facts where no necessary connection can possibly be perceived, only show that they are utterly unable to estimate the highest degree of certainty at all, because they can discern within themselves no necessity of belief more stringent than the habits of thought which they have gained from their particular range of experience. While Mr. Mill does allow some room for our different degrees of conviction, by ascribing them entirely to various degrees in the uniformity of our experience, Dr. Whewell allows no such room, and thus puts it into Mr. Mill's power to use the very

obvious argument, as you show me what you mean by necessary truths, by adducing what is to me entirely contingent, I am quite justified in finding for them the same source, which is, on all hands, allowed to be sufficient for the latter." However, we have no business, at present, with the controversy between Mr. Mill and Dr. Whewell, to which we have alluded; it is not touched

. upon in the pamphlet on Induction, in which Mr. Mill's book on that subject is criticized and replied to; and only in connection with the inductive canons which Mr. Mill has reduced to system from Sir John Herschel's little book, will it be requisite to consider how far Mr. Mill has established a consistent theory of causation as their basis. These remarks have been made, however, to illustrate the degree of philosophical sensitiveness which we may expect to find in the minds of our authors. Dr.

« AnkstesnisTęsti »