Puslapio vaizdai

Britain, that he may have afterwards a fair field for carrying out his plan of securing to France the hegemony of Europe and the East. But, however, in carrying out his plans, he may use the Church or the Revolution, he seeks to keep them both in his hands, to prevent either from having any independent power. He himself probably respects the one just about as much as he does the other.

In this country, where the mass of the Catholic population are Irish or of Irish descent, Napoleon has been popular with Catholics, because they have hoped that he would avenge them on England. But his equivocal attitude with regard to the Pope, his support of Sardinia, and the undeniable fact, that he is the cause of rebellion in the Papal States, are rapidly diminishing his popularity; and hereafter, perhaps, a Catholic journalist will be able to do him justice without being accused as a traitor to the Church. Vengeance on England may be desirable, but it may be obtained at too great an expense. It had better not be obtained, than be obtained at the expense of religion and the independence of the Holy Father. We hope our Catholic friends will read M. de Montalembert's pamphlet, and weigh well its facts and reasonings. We hope also they will recover a little of their old sympathy with the illustrious author, who stands faithful amid the faithless, and dares speak when all are dumb. Yet he does not stand alone in France. A large portion of the French Episcopacy are with him, and the cause he has espoused will again be in the ascendant.

3. The Admirable Life of the glorious Patriarch Saint Joseph :

taken from the Cité Mystique de Dieu. First American Edition. New York: D. & J. Sadlier & Co. 1860. 18mo. pp. 324.

This is a pious book, and is fitted to afford much edification to the devout. It is emphatically a work for the faithful, and to them it comes most highly recommended. With regard to the Civita Mystica, from which the Life of St. Joseph is taken, we have no opinion to offer, except that, while it is exceedingly edifying, we should not dare take it as authority in regard to fact or doctrine.

4. Devout Instructions on the Epistles and Gospels for the Sundays

and Holidays, with Explanations of Christian Faith and Duty, and of Church Ceremonies. By the REVEREND LEONARD Gor

FINE. Translated from the German by the REVEREND TheoDORE Nætuen. New York: Dunigan & Brother. . 1859. 12mo. pp. 901.

The title well states the object of this volume, and the many editions it has gone through in German, and the high estimation in which it is held by all who are acquainted with it is good evidence that it is one of the best books of the kind easily to be met with. As far as we have been able to examine it, we have been highly pleased with it. It is full of instruction and edification, and is an excellent book for meditation. The piety is tender and solid, and the instruction valuable, such as all good Catholics delight to obtain.

5. Saintly Characters recently presented for Canonization. Ву

the Rev. William H. NELLIGAN, LL. D. New York: Dunigan & Brother. 1859. 12mo. pp. 352.

This is an admirable volume, full of interesting matter and useful information, collected with industry and presented in a pleasing form.

NOTE TO ARTICLE II. We have inserted very willingly the article on the Activity of the Soul, signed W.J. B., which indicates great metaphysical aptitude on the part of the writer; but we are unwilling to accept the exposition of the Giobertian formula Ens creat existentias, either as given by himself, or as extracted from the Rambler, as the view taken of that formula in this Review. In neither case is the doctrine either that which we ourselves hold, or that which Gioberti seems to us to teach. Neither the author of the article, nor the writer in the Rambler seems to us to have even a remote conception of Gioberti's doctrine, for nothing can be more directly in opposition to the Italian philosopher, than to regard the intuition of the copula or creative act as a conception of the correlation of the Absolute and the Contingent. The very objeet of Gioberti is to show that it is not a conception at all. The writer in the Rambler is simply a conceptualist, and his thought does not rise above the purely subjective. W. J. B., by attempting to show that Ens creat existentias is only another manner of saying whatever exists has a cause, shows that he does not understand the formula as we do, and that he is far more of a Rosminian than a Giobertian. What he says of the activity of the soul we, in the main, accept, as the pages of our Review for years can amply prove.

Erratim.—Page 9, line 23—Erasez should read Écrasez.



A PRIL, 1860.

Art. IThe Limits of Religious Thought Examined, in

Eight Lectures delivered before the University of Oxford in the year 1858 on the Bampton Foundation. By II. L. MANSEL, B. D. First American from the third London Edition, with the Notes translated. Boston; Gould and Lincoln. 1859. 12mo. Pp. 362.

The American publishers tell us, that they hope the learned reader will pardon the liberty they have taken, of having the author's notes translated. We could pardon that liberty if they had published the originals along with the translation, so that the learned reader could judge for himself whether the translation is faithful or not. Briefly, we never will pardon any liberty taken by publishers or editors with any work, without the permission and sanction of the author. The reason that induced Mr. Mansel to leave the extracts from anthors in various languages inserted in his notes untranslated, is a sufficient reason why his American editors should not translate them. We want no publishers' or editors' “improvements;” republish the work as you receive it from the author, or not at all. We say this Vol. 1.–No. II.


without any reference to the fact whether Professor Lincoln's translation is trustworthy or not. We have no doubt that he has performed his self-imposed task conscientiously, and, in the few instances in which we have compared his translation with the original, it seems to have been well made.

With regard to Mr. Mansel's book itself we must confess we find it a very difficult book on which to pass a judgment, favorable or unfavorable. The author is evidently a man of honest intentions, of ability, and varied and solid learning. He appears to be very well read in modern philosophical and theological literature, and, though not blessed with a true philosophical genius, he has much intellectual strength and logical acuteness. Whether we agree or disagree with him, we are obliged to respect him as a superior man, and, as a scholar who devotes himself honestly to serious studies. So much we willingly say of the author. But his Lectures themselves are very far from satisfying us. Though written by an Oxford scholar they are hardly English, at least are written in an English with which we are not, and hope we never shall be, familiar. Words are used in an unusual, frequently, it strikes us, in an un-English sense, and are unintelligible to one not familiar with the German schools of philosophy, either at first hand, or through the Scotsman Sir William IIamilton. His terminology is continually deceiving us, and we frequently find that we have understood his terms in a contrary sense from the one intended. His style has its merits, but is not our good old-fashioned English style; it wants the directness, clearness, and naturalness of the better class of English writers. His thought is not English, but Scoto-German, and is nearly as muddy as that of Schelling or Hegel. The reason of this is not in the original character of the author's mind, nor in the abstruse and difficult nature of the subjects treated, but in the false or defective system of philosophy which he has had the misfortune to adopt.

It is not easy to say what is or is not Mr. Mansel's thesis, or what he is really aiming at. We are even puzzled at times to decide whether he is defending or refuting certain philosophical theories and speculations; whether he is advocating or opposing skeptism, vindicating religion, or showing its vindication is impossible; and an intelligent and careful reader may innocently commend him for defending what he is refuting, and condemn him for maintaining what he really intends to deny. We are often at a loss to determine what are his premises or his conclusions, and still more to detect any relation between his conclusions and his premises. Much of his book seems to us insignificant or irrelevant, and the rest to be at bottom either unsound or mere common-place. We are not, therefore, surprised to find the book has been well received by the public, and has attained in a few months a popularity seldom reserved for works apparently of so grave a character.

The book we, suppose, must be classed with works devoted to the philosophy of religion, and its main design, most likely, is to remove the obstacles to belief in the Christian revelation, by showing that it may be trne notwith:standing the grave difficulties we find in accepting it; for these difticulties are analogous to those which reason encounters in herself, and are no greater than those which are encountered in any possible system of rationalism. If we understand him, the difficulties reason experiences in accepting revelation, are not in the revelation itself, but are inherent in our reason, and inseparable from the present constitution of our minds. He attempts to prove this by an exhibition of what Kant calls "the antinomies of reason," or showing that reason is in perpetual contradiction with herself. He shows that we are forced, by the constitution of our minds, to construct a rational theology, or so-called natural theology, and yet that reason is inadequate to the task. We are forced to believe there is an infinite, and yet obliged to confess that the infinite is inconceivable,-cannot be thought, and the word serves only to mark the limit of our ability to think. We must conceive of God as personal, and to conceive him as personal is to limit him, and therefore virtually to deny him.

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