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existence, which, commencing from small beginnings, exhibits a continuous expansion or progress. From a single cell, scarcely more than a step above the inorganic state, not differing, as we may infer both from the appearance it offers and the forms through which it runs in the earlier stages of life, from the cell out of which any other animal or plant, even the humblest, is derived, a passage is made through form after form in a manner absolutely depending upon surrounding physical conditions. The history is very long, and the forms are very numerous, v
Necessity of a between the first appearance of the primitive more general trace and the hoary aspect of seventy years. It conception as
to man. is not correct to take one moment in this longman procession and make it a representative of the whole. It is not correct to say, even if the body of the mature man undergoes unceasing changes to an extent implying the reception, incorporation, and dismissal of nearly a ton and a half of material in the course of a year, that in this flux of matter there is not only a permanence of form, but, what is of infinitely more importance, an unchangeableness in his intellectual powers. It is not correct to say this; indeed, it is wholly untrue. The intellectual principle passes forward in a career as clearly marked as that in which the body runs. Even if we overlook the time antecedent to birth, how complete is the imbecility of his early days! The light shines upon his eyes, he sees not; sounds fall upon his ear, he hears not. From these low beginnings we might describe the successive re- The whole enforcements through infancy, childhood, and cycle must be youth to maturity. And what is the result to included, which all this carries us? Is it not that, in the philosophical contemplation of man, we are constrained to reject the idea of personality, of individuality, and to adopt that of a cycle of progress; to abandon all contemplation of his mere substantial form, and consider his abstract relation ? All organic forms, if compared together and examined from one common point of view, are found to be constructed upon an identical scheme. It is as in some mathematical expression containing constants and variables; the actual result changes accordingly as we assign successively different values to the variables, yet in those
different results, no matter how numerous they may be, the original formula always exists. From such a universal conception of the condition and career of man, we rise at once to the apprehension of his relations to others like himself—that is to say, his relations as a member of society. We perceive, in this light, that society must run a course the counterpart of that we have traced for the individual, and that the appearance of isolation presented by the individual is altogether illusory. Each individual
Is his man drew his life from another, and to another race connex- man he gives rise, losing, in point of fact, his
aspect of individuality when these his race connexions are considered. One epoch in life is not all life. The mature individual cannot be disentangled from the multitudinous forms through which he has passed ; and, considering the nature of his primitive conception and the issue of his reproduction, man cannot be separated from his race.
By the aid of these views of the nature and relationship of man, we can come to a decision respecting his possession of a criterion of truth. In the earliest moments of his existence he can neither feel nor think, and the universe is to him as though it did not exist. Considering the progress of his sensational powers-his sight, hearing, touch, etc.—these, as his cycle advances to its maximum, become, by nature or by education, more and more perfect; but never, at the best, as the ancient philosophers well knew, are they trustworthy. And so of his intellectual powers. They, too, begin in feebleness and gradually expand. The mind alone is no more to be relied on than the organs of sense alone. If any doubt existed on this point, the study of the phenomena of dreaming is sufficient to remove it, for dreaming manifests to us how wavering and unsteady is the mind in its operations when it is detached from the solid support of the organs of sense. How true is the remark of Philo the Jew, that the mind is like the eye; for, though it may see all other objects, it cannot see itself, and therefore cannot judge of itself. And thus we may conclude that neither are the senses to be trusted alone, nor is the mind to be trusted alone. In the conjoint action of the two, by reason of the mutual checks
established, a far higher degree of certainty is attained to, yet even in this, the utmost vouchsafed to the individual, there is not, as both Greeks and Indians ascertained, an absolute sureness. It was the knowledge of this which extorted from them so many melancholy complaints, which threw them into an intellectual despair, and made them, by applying the sad determination to which they had come to the course of their daily life, sink down into indifference and infidelity.
But yet there is something more in reserve for man. Let him cast off the clog of individuality, and remember that he has race connexions—connexions which, in this matter of a criterion of truth, indefinitely increase his chances of certainty, If he looks with contempt on the opinions of his childhood, with little consideration on
hose of his youth, with distrust on those of his manhood, what will he say about the opinions of his race? Do not such considerations teach us that, through all these successive conditions, the criterion of truth is ever advancing in precision and power, and that its maximum is found in the unanimous opinion of the whole human race ?
Upon these principles I believe that, though we have not philosophically speaking, any absolute cri- Though no terion of truth, we rise by degrees to higher absolute criand higher certainties along an ascending scale which becomes more and more exact. I think one does. that metaphysical writers who have treated of this point have been led into error from an imperfect conception of the true position of man; they have limited their thoughts to a single epoch of his course, and have not taken an enlarged and philosophical view. In thus declining the Oriental doctrine that the individual is the centre from which the universe should be regarded, and transferring our stand-point to a more comprehensive and solid foundation, we imitate, in metaphysics, the course of astronomy when it substituted the heliocentric for the geocentric point of view, and the change promises to be equally fertile in sure results. If it were worth while, we might proceed to enforce this doctrine by an appeal to the experience of ordinary life. How often, when we distrust our own judgment, do we seek support in the advice of a
terion exists, a practical
friend. How strong is our persuasion that we are in the right when public opinion is with us. For this even the Church has not disdained to call together Councils, aiming thereby at a surer means of arriving at the truth. The Council is more trustworthy than an individual, whoever he may be. The probabilities increase with the number of The maxi consenting intellects, and hence I come to the mum of conclusion that in the unanimous consent of the certainty in the human entire human race lies the human criterion of
truth-a criterion, in its turn, capable of increased precision with the diffusion of enlightenment and knowledge. For this reason, I do not look upon the prospects of humanity in so cheerless a light as they did of old. On the contrary, everything seems full of hope. Good auguries may be drawn for philosophy from the great mechanical and material inventions which multiply the means of intercommunication, and, it may be said, annihilate terrestrial distances. In the intellectual collisions that must ensue, in the melting down of opinions, in the examinations and analyses of nations, truth will come forth. Whatever cannot stand that ordeal must submit to its fate. Lies and imposture, no matter how powerfully sustained, must prepare to depart. In that supreme tribunal man may place implicit confidence. Even though, philosophically, it is far from absolute, it is the highest criterion vouchsafed to him, and from its' decision he has no appeal.
In delivering thus emphatically my own views on this profound topic perhaps I do wrong. It is becoming to speak with humility on that which has been glorified by the great writers of Greece, of India, of Alexandria, and, in later times, of Europe.
In conclusion, I would remark that the view here presented of the results of Greek philosophy is that which offers itself to me after a long and careful study of the Complete an. subject. It is, however, the affirmative, not alogy between the negative result; for we must not forget Greek and
that if, on the one hand, the pantheistic doctrines of the Nature of God, Universal Ani
mation, the theory of Emanation, Transmutation, Absorption, Transmigration, etc., were adopted, on
Indian process of thought.
the other there was by no means an insignificant tendency to atheism and utter infidelity. Even of this negative state a corresponding condition occurred in the Buddhism of India, of which I have previously spoken; and, indeed, so complete is the parallel between the course of mental evolution in Asia and Europe, that it is difficult to designate a matter of minor detail in the philosophy of the one which cannot be pointed out in that of the other. It was not without reason, therefore, that the Alexandrian phiIosophers, who were profoundly initiated in the detail of both systems, came to the conclusion that such surprising coincidences could only be accounted for upon the admission that there had been an ancient revelation, the vestiges of which had descended to their time. In this, however, they judged erroneously; the true explanation consisting in the fact that the process of development of the intellect of man, and the final results to which he arrives in examining similar problems, are in all countries the same.
It does not fall within my plan to trace the application of these philosophical principles to practice in daily life, yet the subject is of such boundless interest that perhaps the reader will excuse a single paragraph. It may seem to superficial observation that, whatever might be the doctrinal resemblances of these philosophies, their application was very different. In a general way, it may be asserted that the same doctrines which
practical in India led to the inculcation of indifference application
explained. and quietism, led to Stoic activity in Greece and Italy. If the occasion permitted, I could, nevertheless, demonstrate in this apparent divergence an actual coincidence; for the mode of life of man is chiefly determined by geographical conditions, his instinctive disposition to activity increasing with the latitude in which he lives. Under the equinoctial line he has no disposition for exertion, his physiological relations with the climate making quietism most agreeable to him. The philosophical formula which, in the hot plains of India, finds its issue in a life of tranquillity and repose, will be interpreted in the more bracing air of Europe by a life of activity. Thus, in later ages, the monk of Africa, willingly persuading himself that any intervention to improve Nature is a revolt