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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 universal 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.
OethodOXY 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 H. 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; Religion 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 trae 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, menber 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.
fore consists in his perfection and the happiness incident thereto. This implies a law by which all pleasures and their sources may be estimated and which imposes obligation to seek the true good which is perfection. Virtue is a person's character conformed to the law and realizing, or intended to realize, the perfection which is the true good. The work is divided into three books, which treat in succession the three subjects just named: The Good; Duty or Law; and Virtue. Merit and Demerit he defines as not representing the relation of the moral agent to reward or punishment, but as expressing the increase or diminution of the internal worth of the moral agent by the action of his will—the increase of worth being attested by the agent's moral satisfaction and the esteem of men, its diminution by the contrary. Well-being or beatitude is not the reward of virtue, it is virtue itself. future life should not be considered as a recompense, but as the peaceable enjoyment of the only thing which has any worthperfection.”
It is the design of the author to give real content to the ethics of Kant, which recognizes only the formal principle of the law, without losing its grand truth in the recognition of imperative law; and, on the other hand, by recognizing the law by which we estimate the value or worth of enjoyment and its sources, to elevate into a rational and spiritual ethics the gross utilitarianism of Bentham without losing its recognition of happiness as an element in the good. He has succeeded in doing this. We think, however, he would have presented the result with more power, and would have escaped a considerable number of the difficulties which he recognizes and tries to remove, if, instead of beginning with natural good, he had begun with the Absolute Reason, the Eternal Spirit, that is the ultimate ground of the universe, and in whom all truths, laws, ideals of perfection, and all norms or standards of good are eternal and archetypal, and of whom man, as endowed with Reason and free-will, is the image. These archetypal truths, laws, ideals, and good are thus the constitution of the universe and make sure that the good of man must be in the perfection of his being, its harmony with the constitution of things which are his environment, and the happiness involved therein. Starting as he does with natural good, he finds a difficulty in accepting the fundamental ethical fact that personal beings are always and in themselves ends or objects of service, and may never rightly be used as means to good. Hence he speaks of virtue as “the love of good or the love of order.” But Cbrist presents as the object of love required in the law, not order, nor good, nor truth, nor right, nor duty, nor any abstraction, but personal beings; thou shalt love God and thy neighbor.
The work is well worth translating. It is rich in historical notices of the course of ethical thought; it is suggestive and stimulating to thought; it is written in a lively and attractive style; and, whatever may be the criticism of the order and method of his development of the subject, the result wbicb he reaches and the tone of the discussion are morally healthy and bracing
CERTITUDE, PROVIDENCE, AND PRAYER.* -- This is the title of the fourth number of Dr. McCosh's Philosophical Series, already widely and favorably known. It treats in successive sections the following topics: “Realism and Certainty; Evolution and Certitude; Evolution and Morality; Providence; Prayer; What is our World ?” He states clearly the doctrines as to Certitude, Providence, and Prayer, and answers recent objections against God's Providence and his answer to prayer, founded on the law of Continuity or the Uniformity of Nature, as now understood in the light of Evolution. His treatment of the subject is clear and incisive, and sustains the reputation of its distinguished author.
He relates in a note the following interesting incident: “Some years ago I had a call at my house in Ireland by a young nobleman with whom I was at that time intimate, and who has since risen to eminence as a statesman (I mean Earl Dufferin), who introduced to me his friend Lord Ashburton. The nobleman introduced took me aside and said: “You know that I have lately lost my dear wife, who was a great friend of Mr. Carlyle's, and I bave applied to Mr. Carlyle to tell me what I should do to have peace, and make me what I should be. On my making this request he simply bade me read Goethe's Wilhelm Meister. I did so, and did not find anything there fitted to improve me. I went back to Mr. Carlyle and asked him what precise lesson he meant me to gather from the book, and he said : Read Wilhelm Meister a second time. I have done so earnestly, but I
* Philosophical Series-- Vo. IV.: Certitude, Providence, and Prayer. By JAMES MCCOSH, D.D., L.L.D., D.L., President of Princeton College, author of " Method of Divine Government," "* Intuitions, Laws of Discursive Thought," " Emotions,'' etc. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.
1883. 46 pages.
Price 50 cents.
confess I am utterly unable to find anything there to meet my anxiety, and I wish you, if you can, to explain what Mr. Carlyle could mean.' I told him that I was not the man to explain Carlyle's meaning, if indeed he had any definite meaning, I told him plainly that neither Goethe nor. Carlyle, though men of eminent literary genius, could supply the balm which his spirit needed; and I remarked that Goethe's work contained not a little that was sensual. I did my best to point to a better way, and to the deliverance promised and secured in the gospel. I do not know the issue, but I got an eager listener.”
The PARABLES OF Christ.* _The author divides the parables into three divisions: Theoretic Parables, uttered as a teacher for the instruction of his disciples; The Parables of Grace, uttered as a preacher of the glad tidings of redemption to the people; and the Parables of Judgment, of which those of the wicked husbandmen and the ten virgins are examples. Thirty-three parables are examined and eight “parable-germs;” of the latter the new patch on the old garment and the wise and foolish builders are examples. The treatment is not exegetical in form, but is a genial and practical exposition of the didactic significance of these beautiful sayings of our Lord. The exposition, however, is scholarly and critical, and is careful to present the exact meaning of our Lord. The author does not draw from the patristic interpretations so richly as Trench bas done; but be avails himself of the results of the most recent scholarship and notices the current skeptical criticism. There is no work on the Parables better fitted for the use both of the clergy and the laity at the present time. .
BIBLICAL STUDY.t-The author has published in reviews and other periodicals articles on some of the topies treated in this volume. These he has freely used in treating of the same subjects in this volume. But the whole matter has been worked over anew,
* The Parabolic Teaching of Christ: A Systematic and Critical Study of the Parables of our Lord. By ALEXANDER BALMAIN BRUCE, D.D., Professor of Apologetics and New Testament Exegesis, Free Church College, Glasgow. New York: A. C. Armstrong & Son, 714 Broadway. 1883. xii. and 515 pages.
+ Biblical Sudy: Its Principles, Methods, and History; together with a Catalogue of Borks of Reference. By CHARLES AUGUSTUS BRIGGS, D.D., Davenport Professor of Hebrew and the cognate languages in the Union Theological Seminary, New York City. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. 1883. XV. and 506 pages. Price $2.50.