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ics, when, for example, they display their evidences that the Fourth Gospel is neither genuine nor authentic ?
But the greatness of the difficulties, to which allusion has just been made, only enhances, the value of any work which can, partially or wholly, overcome them. It is for this reason that we are inclined to give to the last work of Professor Fisher a peculiarly cordial welcome. It would be difficult to find any one else in this country who so well as he combines the gifts of philosopher, critic, historian, and practical man, with a rare skill in making the fruits of such gifts intelligible and palatable for educated people generally.
Our answer to the question, whether this book meets the want of a compendious and trustworthy survey of the evidences of Christianity, in a worthy and interesting way, has already been indicated. It meets this particular want as no other book has yet done. We specify a few instances in confirmation of this general conclusion.
All the so-called evidences of Christianity may be--not very precisely to be sure-divided into those three classes, the nature of which was indicated above. Is Christianity rational, in the highest sense of the word “rational ?" Is it historical,--comprehensively and validly historical in respect to its beginnings, as the biblical writings and the faith of the Church represent it to be? And, finally, does it satisfy the conscience and heart; and does it serve to build up a good and true life in respect to morals and religion? The apologist must answer these three questions affirmatively.
There are, then, three classes of evidence which we may venture to call the philosophical, the historical, and the practical. Professor Fisher treats each one of these three classes, although without suggesting the division, and treats them in substantially the same order in which they have just been named. The first four chapters of the book deal with the first of these classes. Of course, and from the very nature of the design formed by the author, the grounds of theism, as distinguished from the grounds of historical Christianity, are gone over in a more summary way.
But in the first four chapters, the personality of God and of man, the arguments for the being of God, with a criticism of certain materialistic and agnostic theories, and the nature and function of miracles in a scheme of divine self-revelation, are all discussed. The number of points touched, and very briefly but forcesully presented, is surprisingly large, considering the limitations of space to wbich the author subjects himself. This excellence is especially notable in the short chapter of only seventeen pages (pp. 103-120) on miracles. Here the most important elements of a correct view of the subject, whether as against the extremes of supernaturalism or the denial of naturalism, are at least suggested for the further consideration of the reader.
The chapters (V.-XII. and XVII.) which treat of more specifically historical and critical defences of Christianity are even better examples of how much on the subject can be indicated in the briefest possible space. Chapter VI., which considers the "Proof of the miracles of Christ independently of special inquiry into the authorship of the Gospels,” is masterly in this regard. About everything which can be suggested or said in the line of such proof, is here, at least for a brief mention, brought to our consideration; the order and proportion are also admirable. Chapter X., on the “Miracles of the Gospel in contrast with heathen and ecclesiastical miracles" is also a much needed piece of work admirably done. It is indefinitely more considerate and trustworthy in its picture of the real state of the case than is the pretentious but unsatisfactory discussion of the subject in “Supernatural Religion.” And yet, Professor Fisher's work is avowedly apologetic, while that of the author of “Supernatural Religion” is,—to say the best, not apologetic.
The evidences of Christianity, so far as they consist in its ability to satisfy and guide the demands of the practical, moral, and religious life, are considered in the chapters from the thirteenth onward, -with the partial exception of the eighteenth, which treats of the “Canon of the New Testament in its relation to the Christian Faith."
In this connection we wish to call attention to a conspicuous example of the rather unusual candor wbich fitly leads the author of this book, even in an apologetic work, to bring forward considerations which are not thought by some to have an apologetic value. We refer to his treatment of the disputed books of the New Testament (the so-called Antilegomena), and of the undoubted fact that other books than the canonical were considered as inspired by the early Church, --some such being in certain places, at times, read in the public services of the early Christians. A goodly number of the facts bearing upon this subject will be found by the reader as they are stated and discussed on pages
428-444. It is both suggestive and amusing to notice that a few of Professor Fisher's critics are at a loss to know what he can mean by allyding to so many facts, disagreeable to these critics, which they are pleased to speak of as “ unnecessary concessions," or as “going further than they should themselves be inclined to do." Plainly--and most fortunately-the mind of the author does not work after the pattern of certain editors of religious newspapers who have their own orthodoxy to vindicate in every review of a theological book which they set themselves to write. With Professor Fisher, apologetics is not now, and never has been, in any sense a synonym for concealment, twisting of facts, or slipping through the gaps in the argument of an opponent. And we are heartily glad that this is so. For this book could not be the admirable compend of apologetic considerations which it really is, if the mind of its author were accustomed to consider plain historical truths in the light of "admissions” and “concessions."
In brief: this book deserves, and will receive, a warm welcome, high commendation, and a large sale. It is quite the thing for the intelligent layman to read, and to place in the hands of his family for their reading. It is also much better than anything else obtainable for use as a text-book in the Evidences of Christianity. It is, furthermore, an admirable volume for the Sunday School and parish library. And in commending it thus highly for a wide sale, and for popular reading, we do not intend to detract in the least from our bigh estimate of the breadth and depth of its thinking, the fullness and accuracy of its scholarship.
PhilosoPHY AND CHRISTIANITY.*—This volume contains eight lectures on the following subjects: Religion and Intelligence; The Philosophic Theory of Knowledge; The Absolute Object of Intelligence, or the Philosophic Theory of Reality; The Biblical Theory of Knowledge; Biblical Ontology-The Absolute; Biblical Ontology- The World; Biblical Ontology-Man; Comparative Philosophie ('ontent of Christianity.
* Phileas phy and Christianity. A Series of Lectures delivered in New York in 1883, on the Ely Foundation of the l’nion Theological Seminary. By GEORGE S. Morris, Ph.D., Professor of Ethics, History of Philosophy and Logic in the University of Michigan, and Lecturer on Ethies and the History of Philosophy in the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. New York: Robert ('arter & Brothers, 630 Broadway, 1883. mv, and 315 pages Price $1.75.
Perhaps the most complete characterization of this book in a single line is to say that it is an attempt to infuse into our accepted evangelical theology the truths suggested by the philosophy of Hegel; although no such intention is avowed. Christianity is comprehensive of all spiritual truth. As the one absolute and aniversal religion, it must be able to take up all spiritual truth and to accord with all spiritual reality. The profound philosophy of Hegel suggests truths, aspects of reality and lines of thought by which our accepted theology may be broadened, deepened, and enriched, and the rationale be to some extent found of doctrines received on the authority of revelation; I say suggests, for Hegel himself, beclouded in his dialectics and his a priori methods, can scarcely be said to have grasped and clearly enunciated the theistic and Christian truths which his philosophy approximates and points to, but never reaches and clearly declares. It is legitimate for Christian theists to seek whatever truth is suggested by it, and use the same to enrich and support the Christian faith. Among those who have attempted to do this are Dr. Caird in his Philosophy of Religion, Mr. Mulford in his strangely named book, the Republic of God, Dr. Dorner in his System of Christian Doetrine, and now Professor Morris. It must be said, however, of them all that, whatever of value they bring to Christian theology, they bring it encompassed with the obscurity and the tenuous speculation characteristic of the Hegelian philosophy, and with forms of expression which easily lead to idealistic Pantheism and to the mistaking of logical notions and processes for concrete beings and their activities and relations. We think Professor Morris has succeeded better than any one of the others. He is a vigorous thinker and learned in philosophy. No one sufficiently informed to read his lectures intelligently can fail to find in them much that is suggestive and quickening to thought, and the presentation of sides of truth and views of the true position of Christian theology in its relation to skepticism and unbelief, which deserve earnest consideration.
ORTHODOXY AND HERESY.*_These lectures were delivered ten years ago by Mr. Hall, now pastor of the First Parish in Cambridge, before the congregation of which he was then pastor in the Second Parish of Worcester, Mass. They were afterward
* Ten Lectures on Orthodoxy and Heresy in the Christian Church. By EDWARD A. HALL. Boston: American Unitarian Association. 1883, 238 pages.
privately printed for their use. In compliance with the earnest request of leading Unitarian ministers, the American Unitarian Association has obtained the author's consent to their publication. The lectures are on the following subjects: Paul and the Apostles; Views of the early Church repecting Christ; Arianism and the Council of Nicæa; Controversy concerning the two natures; The Pelagian Controversy; The Catholic Church; The Lutheran Heresy; Other Trinitarian Heresies; Unitarian Heresies; Relig. ion and Dogma. The author's point of view corresponds in the main with that of the Tübingen School. The conclusion reached is “that dogma is no essential part of religion. It means, not that this doctrine or that is false, but that doctrine as such carries no final authority for the soul. It means that Christianity is really, what it seemed 2,000 years ago, not a verbal system, but a religion; and that if it be a true religion, it must necessarily lead us constantly into new and nobler beliefs.” If this conclusion is correct, the doctrines that there is a God and that God is a Spirit are not essential to religion and carry no final authority for the soul.
JANET'S THEORY OF MORALS.*_This work has been translated by Miss Mary Chapman under the supervision of President Porter of Yale College, and is published by arrangement with and under the authority of the author. In 1869 M. Janet published " The Elements of Morals,” presenting the results of the science in a practical way and designed to be accessible to all minds, especially to the young. The present volume is a new work, discussing the theory of morals and containing only a few pages in common with the other.
The fundamental principle of the theory is that moral good presupposes natural good. But natural goods are not to be estimated according to the pleasure which they give, but according to their intrinsic character, which he calls excellence, and which is independent of our feeling. The most excellent thing in man is the excellence of his soul, of his personality, that is, of his reasonable will; but not merely of the personality in itself, but in its fraternity with other men, and its devotion to such goods as the true, the beautiful, and the holy. The good of a man there
* The Theory of Morals. By PAUL JANET, member of the Institute, author of * Final Causes," etc. Translated from the latest French edition. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. 1883. x. and 490 pages.