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Professor Bascom's Lectures

Professor Bascom belongs in the main to the school of philosophy of which the late President Marsh of the Vermont University may be regarded as the American founder, and of which Dr. Mark Hopkins, ex-president of Williams College, Dr. Noah Porter, president of Yale College, and Dr. McCosh, president of Princeton College, are the best known and the most distinguished members. The school, perhaps, owes its origin to the reaction in English philosophy, begun or promoted by Coleridge, against the sensism and materialism of Locke, or rather of Hobbes, the so-called “philosopher of Malmesbury,” who is the best representative of the English mind that can be named, and whose philosophy Locke simply borrowed, diluted, and in some respects disguised. In our own youth, Locke was in our American schools the philosopher, as much so as Aristotle was for the mediaeval scholastics. The present is a reactionary school; and Professor Bascom, while asserting an order of ideas not derived from either sensation or reflection, directs his main efforts to the refutation of sensism and materialism.

            The professor’s aim is laudable, and we cannot help applauding the sincerity and earnestness with which he pursues it. But the real value of his philosophical labors depends on his success in establishing the reality or objectivity of the order of ideas not derived from the senses or reflection. If he leaves any doubt on this point, his work, as a refutation of the school of Locke, is good for nothing. We of course believe in the reality of the ideal or supersensible as the basis of all science, but the author will permit us to doubt the sufficiency of his proofs of it. He adopts the inductive method, as does the whole school, and, in defiance of my Lord Bacon, holds it to be as applicable to the study of philosophy as to the study of the physical sciences. But this method is available for the study of the physical sciences only by virtue of certain a priori principles, which the mind consciously or unconsciously applies as the principle of its inductions. The inductive method cannot attain to or supply these principles, for it presupposes them, and no induction is possible without them. The author himself labors to prove this with regard to the physical sciences; only what we call principles he calls ideas, general ideas, intuitive ideas, or simply intuitions, makes them the subject-matter of philosophy, which he places in a central position between the sciences and religion, related to each, and distinguishable from both.

            This is well enough so far; but, if induction is impossible in the physical sciences without a priori principles, or, as the author says, “general ideas,” it is manifest that the principles or ideas on which the possibility of the induction depends, are not obtained or obtainable by way of induction, and, consequently, the inductive method is not applicable to the study of philosophy. This indicates the grand defect of all, or nearly all, modern philosophy, especially in the English-speaking world. The inductive method is the proper, because the necessary, method to be adopted in the study of the sciences; but, as it presupposes and demands principles to validate the inductions, it is not applicable to the study of philosophy, which, for our present purpose, may be defined the science of principles, and, therefore, of the principles of science and religion, so far as religion has a rational or scientific basis. The error of modern philosophy, as we often have occasion to repeat, is in placing method before principles, and in seeking to determine the principles by the method, instead of determining the method by the principles. It puts, to use a homely illustration, the cart before the horse. The mind must be in possession of principles, before it is capable of any operation to obtain them, or by which they may be obtained.

            Professor Bascom, though he asserts ideas as a priori and necessary to experience, nowhere, so far as we have discovered, asserts them as objective, or as principles, whether principles of science or principles of things. This is evident from the fact that he calls them “general ideas,” that is abstractions, and, consequently, nullities. There are no abstractions in nature, or in the real order. A general idea is an abstract idea, and therefore, like all other abstractions, objectively null. A general idea is a generic idea, and idea in genere, that is, no determinate, specific, or particular idea, like the ens in genere of Rosmini, and therefore must be unreal; for whatever is real is determinate, specific, individual. We recognize and defend the reality of genera and species, but not as separated from the individuals in which they are concreted. Man is distinguishable, but not separable, from men. Humanity is more than the individual, but it is nothing without the individual; and the indeterminate, or general, without the determinate, or specific, is just as little. Ideas may be taken either as the intelligible object itself, or as the mental apprehension of it, either as the ontological reality, or as the psychological fact. If as the psychological fact, it is subjective; and then how prove or ascertain that there is an objective reality that corresponds to it, or that in apprehension anything objective is apprehended? There is no logic by which the objective can be concluded from the subjective, as the interminable and always unsatisfactory discussions of psychologists on the question of certainty, or the validity of our subjective ideas or concepts, amply prove. There is no bridge over which the mind can pass from the subjective to the objective. But we must let the author speak for himself:--

            “The point about which the conflicts in philosophy, and more especially between the philosophical and scientific tendencies, the metaphysical and the physical methods, are becoming increasingly warm, is that of intuitive ideas. Does the mind, as mind, independently bring any thing to the explanation of the world about it; or, are the initiations of thought and the forms of thought alike from without? This is the pregnant question, which, put in a great variety of ways, is seeking an answer. Spencer laboriously handles it through many pages. Mill returns to it again and again. It is the germinant point of the philosophy of the unconditioned, as urged by Hamilton and Mansell. It reappears in every treatise on ethics, and a negative answer is assumed by every disciple of Positive Philosophy, and every physicist who fancies himself solving problems of mind as well as of matter. Nor is this discussion unworthy of the attention that is bestowed upon it. The bias of our philosophy, of our thinking, must be received at this point; and the answer given by us to this question will discover at once our lines and our methods of investigation, and settle the general character of the results to be attained by us. To broach this inquiry clearly, in the outset, therefore, and answer it squarely, is necessary to perspicuity and soundness of method; since some answer to it, explicit or implicit, will be lurking in our entire discussion. No man ever ridiculed metaphysics, and then proceeded to handle any system of thought, to present any conceptions whatever with breadth, who did not plainly involve in the treatment this very point, --the source and authority of our general ideas. Those ideas have been variously designated, each name striving to seize upon something in their connection with the mind, or with other ideas, peculiar to them and fitted to define them. They have been called intuitive ideas—that is, ideas directly seen by the mind; ideas furnished neither by the senses nor by reflection. They have been termed innate ideas, thereby expressing their independence of experience and priority to it; having the same end in view, they have been spoken of as a-priori ideas; and, in reference to their power to bring order, cast light into all our conceptions, they have been designated as formative, regulative, rational, general ideas. We need merely to understand exactly what we are seeking for, under these various appellations, to wit: notions, which owe their origin—fitting occasions being given in experience—exclusively to the mind, to its penetrative, explanatory power; its intuitive, rational, comprehensive grasp. The one philosophy claims, that, in the last analysis, the mind furnishes the notions in the light of which it sees and understands the external world; brings with it its own intellectual solvents, reducing matter, otherwise opaque, to a transparent and penetrable form. The other philosophy asserts that all thought, knowledge, are exclusively the product of matter in its action upon mind—the ripple-marks left by the restless ways of physical forces; that our settled convictions are but the worn pathways in which repeated perceptions and sensations have passed along, lining out for us the roads of intellectual travel. Here we take issue, and affirm unhesitatingly, the mind does furnish ideas, and those, too, the essential ones which give order, system, reason, to all its actions.”—pp. 27-29.

            The author makes the question turn on “the source and authority of ideas,” which proves that he is a mere psychologist and no philosopher. The question turns on what ideas are, and it is only in determining what they are, or what is the ideal, that we can determine their source and authority. Unhappily, the professor pretermits this the first and most important question of all, and spends his while strength on the question, what is the origin of indeterminate ideas, or of we know not what? All he tells us is, that they are general ideas and have been variously designated. “They have been called intuitive ideas, that is, ideas directly seen by the mind, ideas furnished neither by the senses nor by reflection; they have been termed innate ideas, thereby expressing their independence of experience and priority to it; having the same end in view, they have been spoken of as a priori ideas,” &c. “We need,” he adds, “merely to understand exactly what we are seeking for under these appellations, to wit: notions which owe their origin—fitting occasions being given by experience—to the mind, to its penetrative, explanatory power; its intuitive, rational, comprehensive grasp.” These statements refer to the source of ideas, and simply affirm that they are not derived from sensation or reflection, as held by Locke, but are notions furnished by the mind itself. But is there any thing noted in these notions really objective and independent of the human mind or soul itself? This is a question the professor does not answer or even raise; and yet it is the real question in the case.

            It is true, he calls the general ideas intuitions, or ideas directly seen by the mind; but he also accepts the assertion, that they are innate and a priori ideas, because they are independent of experience and prior to it. But if they are directly seen by the mind they are facts of experience, not prior to it, and are a posteriori, not a priori. Then, being abstractions, the mind cannot directly see or apprehend them, for abstractions are formed by the mind operating on the concrete, as roundness from round, whiteness from white, and have as abstractions no existence in rerum natura. The author says the ideas are furnished by the mind, on the occasion presented by experience, but it is not clear what he means by this. If he holds, as it would seem he does, that the mind furnishes them from itself, they are not objective, independent of the mind, but subjective, simply the mind itself, or its inherent law, mode, or affection projected; and the professor simply reproduces the subjectivism of Kant, who makes the categories forms of the understanding, which is easily resolved into the egoism of Fichte.

            The professor seems to us to be grappling with a philosophy which he has not mastered. He protests against the sensism and materialism of Locke, which is to his credit; but he would seem to be not aware that, if he adopts Locke’s principles and follows his method, he cannot refute either the one or the other. Leibnitz, in his remarks on Locke’s essay, and even in his Nouveaux Essais, fails to refute Locke’s doctrine. He proposes, indeed, an amendment to the peripatetic maxim, so that it should read: Nihil est in intellectu quod non prius fuerit in sensu NISI intellectus ipse. This really adds nothing, except the subject, to the sensation and reflection of Locke. Nothing objective we mean; for, what ever the forms, inherent ideas, or innate faculties of the mind, they are subjective, and apprehension of them does not extend our knowledge beyond the sphere of the subject, and it remains true, as Locke held that all our ideas implying a reality beyond the subject—which is the real doctrine of Locke—are derived from sensation and reflection.

            What the professor is required to establish, to effect his purpose, is not the existence of abstract ideas in the mind, but an intelligible world, transcending matter and the senses, independent of the understanding and its faculties, and in which are the principles of all the real and the knowable, whether sensible or non-sensible. This the professor, though he talks largely of ideas, does not succeed in doing, because he makes the intuition our act, and the ideas subjective, furnished by the mind, instead of being furnished to it from a source independent of itself. The professor is a psychologist, and attempts, as does all modern German heterodox philosophy, to explain the fact of human knowledge from the soul itself, as if the soul were an independent existence, and capable of operating from and by itself alone. We need not wonder at the prevalence of atheism, when the official philosophy of the day assumes that, in the fact of knowledge, the soul is independent of God and his creative act. The soul, no matter in what sphere, can no more know than it can exist without the presence of the creative act of God. The creative act of God is a continuous act, and creates us from nothing every moment of our existence; and were God for a single instant to withdraw his creative act, we should drop into nothingness. The creative act is identically the act of conservation. God did not create the world, give it a kick, and say, “There, go ahead, on your own hook,” as modern Deists hold. He is immanent in all his works, not immanent indeed, in the pantheistic sense, as the subject acting in their acts, but as the cause creating and sustaining their activity. We are dependent on him for every thought we think, for every act we perform, for every breath we draw.

            God has created us substantial and intelligent existences, but capable, in neither respect, of acting or knowing without him; and his creative act is as necessary to enable us to know as to act or to exist: our intelligence is as dependent on him as our existence itself. If the soul were capable of thinking or knowing in and of itself, and without him, it would be an independent being, would be God; and the words of Satan, “Ye shall be as gods,” instead of being false, would be true. Nearly all the philosophy that has obtained since Descartes, who was in philosophy that what Luther was in theology, assumes that the soul is God, and needs not God in order to be intelligent.

            Intuition may be taken in two senses: the one, as the immediate presentation of the object; the other, as its immediate or direct apprehension, in which sense it stands opposed to discursion. The first we call ideal intuition, the second we call empirical intuition, and is impossible without ideal intuition. In both the object is active and presents or affirms itself; but in the ideal intuition the object, that is, the idea, creates the intellect and is simultaneously its immediate object and light. The human soul, being dependent, cannot think in or by itself alone; but, alike in ideal intuition and in empirical, there must be presented the object, or there is no thought. Thought is the product of two activities acting and meeting from opposite directions. But what is not or does not exist, cannot act. The object in every intuition is therefore real; for, if it were not, it could not present itself; and if it did not present itself, there could be no thought, since the soul can act only in conjunction with its object.

            In ideal intuition, or intuition of ideas, the principle is the same. The ideas must be active, offer a counterpressure to the mind, and therefore cannot be the mind’s own creations or products, or laws even; but must be objective, independent of the subject, and real, or exist a parte rei, as say the schoolmen. They are not, then, as professor Bascom imagines, notions, but principles, alike of science and of things, and given a priori; for, without them, as the professor justly maintains, no experience or empirical intuition is possible. The error of the professor is in not establishing the independence and reality of ideas, which follow necessarily from the fact, which he himself asserts, that they are intuitively given, and in making them purely subjective, and therefore scientifically worthless. His error is that of Reid, Kant, and Fichte.

            It would carry us beyond the purpose of this article to analyze the ideal intuition and give its formula. That we have done in an Essay in Refutation of Atheism. We will only add here, that ideas in our sense are not abstract or general, but real, and, if real, they must be the principles both of the real and the knowable, without which nothing could be known or exist. They bear the characteristics of necessity, universality, and immutability, and therefore must be real and necessary being, or God in the respect that he is intelligible to the human intellect, not God as he is in himself, but as by his creative act he affirms himself to created intelligences. As he affirms himself to us, he affirms our existence as his creatures in one and the same intuition. That God is or exists, we know with precisely the same certainty that w know we exist ourselves; only we do not know by direct or immediate intuition that the ideal intuitively given in God. We learn that from reflection or reasoning, not from intuition, which, if we are not greatly mistaken, escapes the error censured by the Holy See in the first proposition of the Louvain professors.

            We remark, in passing, that we do not take, with these same professors and Father Rothenflue, the primum ontologicum, any more than we do with Descartes the primum psychologicum, as our primum philosophicum. The ideal is real and necessary being, in the respect that being is intelligible to us; but it is intelligible to us only as intuitively given by its creative act, and the intuition being given to us who are placed by it, and therefore contingent existences, it includes both in their synthetic relation. The principium of philosophy is then neither alone, but the real synthesis of the primum ontologicum and the primum psychologicum. But this by the way.

            The proof we have given of the objectivity and reality of ideas, which follows necessarily from the fact that ideas are intuitively given, places science beyond the attacks of skepticism, and supplies the defect we have noted in the professor’s doctrine of ideas. The ideas, he himself says, are intuitions; but in every intuition the object presents or affirms itself, and therefore must be real and exist a parte rei, or independently of the percipient or intuitive subject. As we have said, ideas are furnished to the mind, not, as the professor holds, by the mind on the occasion of experience. Man, whatever else he may be, is a dependent existence, and as dependent in all his acts or operations as he is in his simple existence itself. He can in no case be his own object; he cannot look into his own eyes and see himself in himself, and he can know or be conscious of his own existence only as he finds it reflected as in a mirror from the object, or that which is not himself. Only God, who is infinite, and being in its plenitude, can be at once abject and object of his own intelligence, or know himself in himself.  Man never knows or can know himself in himself, for, if he could, he would be God, or independent being, being in its plenitude. The object, then, must be other than the subject, and always, as Cousin truly says, le nonmoi, that is, neither the soul nor its product.

            Now, as the author holds that ideas, what he calls “general ideas,” are a priori and necessary conditions of experience, he must concede not only that they are objective, but are the real and necessary principles of all science, and therefore of things, or reality, for what is not, is not intelligible, and can be no principle of science. The author errs through his imperfect analysis of thought, and his overlooking the active part of the object in the fact of intuition. He is led into this error not through any defect of philosophical acumen, but through the fault of modern philosophy itself, which follows the inductive method, and treats the question of method before treating that of principles. Not being able to establish the objective reality of the ideal, he fails utterly in his attempt to refute sensism and materialism, by establishing the reality of an order of supersensible and spiritual truth.

            We hold with St. Thomas, that the mind, through the medium of the species intelligibilis, attains to the intelligible object or idea, but we do not accept the transcendental doctrine that the soul has a faculty of directly or immediately apprehending the ideal, noetic, intelligible, or spiritual. Man in this life is the union of soul and body; and though the soul, as the church has defined, is forma corporis, it never acts without the body. The ideal, indeed, is objectively presented or affirmed to the mind; but it is never an object of empirical intuition or contemplation, unless sensibly represented. This is the objection that both Aristotle and St. Thomas make to Plato’s doctrine as to the apprehension of pure ideas. For ourselves, we accept the peripatetic maxim, without the amendment proposed by Leibnitz: Nihil est in intellectu quod prius non fuerit in sensu, and in what we believe to be the sense in which the peripatetics themselves understood it. If we understand St. Thomas, he holds that the intelligible, or ideal, is presented in the phantasmata to the passive intellect, and is disengaged from them, that is, from the sensible representation, by the intellectus agens, or active intellect, which we hold to be both rue and profound. The objections that have been urged against it grow out of a misapprehension of the real doctrine of the holy doctor, that of supposing the intelligible species is obtained from the phantasms by way of logical inference, which is by no means his or the peripatetic doctrine. The intellectus agens abstracts, that is, separates, or disengages the intelligible from the sensible, but does not derive it from the sensible data, as do Locke and the sensists. There is separation of what is presented together, or as a complex whole, but no inference, logical deduction, or induction.

            St. Thomas distinguishes, which most modern philosophers forget to do, between the passive intellect and the active intellect. In ideal or primitive intuition the intellect is passive, and it is to the passive intellect that the object is presented. In this object the ideal, or intelligible, is presented, but the active intellect, that is, reflection, sizes it only in the phantasm in which it is presented, and disengages it, yet only by the aid of language, which is the sensible sign or representation of the intelligible. But even with the aid of language, reflection could not disengage or separate it from the phantasms, unless it were actually given or presented in them or along with them. If we understand St. Thomas, who is for us the highest authority, under the Holy See, in philosophy that we recognize, he holds that, in the species both sensible and intelligible, there is represented, or, as we prefer to say, presented, to the intellect an intelligible or ideal element, but not by itself alone, as pure idea, as Plato, according to Aristotle, held, but enveloped, so to say, in the species, from which the active intellect separates or disengages it. But if given or presented in the phantasms or species to the passive intellect, it is intuitively given, and therefore objective and real.

            We have dwelt, perhaps, at a disproportionate length on this first point in the professor’s philosophy, for all in his theory turns on it. He holds with us that the ideas, not derived either from the senses or from reflection, are the principles of science; but making them either mental abstractions, or the forms or laws of the understanding, he can assert for them no objective validity. He cannot, then, assert them as principles of things, and consequently he cannot assert the reality of science. His principles, if not the principles of things, are unreal, and therefore all this pretended science is an illusion. Starting with them, he can never attain to real science, for having nothing objective in his principles, he can have nothing objective in his conclusions, but must revolve forever in the elaborate subjectivism of Kant, or the egoism of Fichte. He can never get out of the sphere of his own Ich or Ego, for we repeat there is no bridge over which the understanding can pass from the subjective to the objective, as the vain efforts of psychologists to establish the validity of our knowledge, or to find a test of certainty, sufficiently prove. We have only thought with which to establish the validity of thought; and thought is worth as much in the field of knowledge, as it is in the effort to establish the certainty of knowledge. The real solution of the problem is in the fact that there is and can be no purely subjective thought, for the soul being finite and dependent, as we have said, cannot be its own object, and in every thought the objective is presented simultaneously with the subjective, and both are given in one and the same complex fact, both rest on the same authority, and are equally certain; and philosophers may talk till doomsday, but this is all there is to be said.

            We cannot go through the author’s metaphysics,--a word by the by, for which in its ordinary sense we have little or no use. All we will say is, that, adopting the inductive method, he places philosophy in the category of the sciences, and loses it as the science of principles, which it is. He seems to recognize no difference between the laws asserted by the scientists, which are simply generalizations or classifications of observed facts or phenomena, and principles on which the generalizations or classifications, that is, inductions, depend for their scientific value. He does not even profess to give us either the principles of science or of things; he professes only by observation of the facts or phenomena presented by the field of consciousness, to ascertain by way of induction the laws of mind, or as the physicist seeks by observation and induction in the physical world to ascertain the laws of external nature. But what is the scientific or philosophical value of these laws of mind? What do they teach us? What objective or ontological conclusions do they warrant? Does the professor need u to tell him that, as to the science of reality, the proper subject of philosophy, they lack fecundity?

            But we pass from the professor’s metaphysics to his ethics. Knowing the author’s general doctrine, we know beforehand that he must found his ethics on the idea of right in opposition to “the greatest-happiness” principle of Jeremy Bentham. Mr. Lecky, who hardly acknowledges that God is, much less that he is supreme and universal Legislator, does the same. The professor has a most marvelous faculty of using words without saying anything, and of offering definitions that define nothing. He mixes up the perception of right with an affection of our emotional nature which has nothing to do with the principle of ethics, for emotion belongs to the sensitive nature, not to our higher or rational nature. Yet he says that, on its perceptive side, our moral life consists in the perception or idea of right. But as ideas are with him, as we have seen, simply subjective facts or phenomena, right must be what each one takes it to be, and must vary as individual minds and emotions vary. The professor takes note of this objection, and attempts to answer it, but it cannot be answered, if only a subjective standard of morals is asserted. What is the objective standard or criterion of right? Is there such a standard or criterion, or is there not? If not, it is idle to talk of right or duty; if there is, what is it? The author has no answer. He can only say right is right. With all our heart; but what, hic et nunc, is right? and why is it right?

            The author holds that the idea or right is the ethical principium, and regards it as absurd to ask, Why we are bound to do right? yet we may ask, Why is this or that act right? Right is not ulrimate. Doubtless there is an eternal and immutable right in the sense in which we speak of the eternal law, which St. Augustine defines to be the will or reason of God, which is identical with the divine essence; and we are disposed to agree with Dr. Mark Hopkins, whom the author attempts to refute.

            But like all exclusive psychologists, the professor revolves in the sphere of the subject. He seeks the ground of duty or moral obligation in the subject, in the constitution of the human mind, and to maintain what he calls an independent morality, that is, a morality independent of all law except that which is imposed by the essential nature of man himself, that is, by the physical law of man’s own constitution. He shows by this that he does not really distinguish moral law from physical law, and consequently has no moral conception. There is no morality where, as the Trauscendentalists say, man simply acts out himself, or obeys himself, because the obeyer and the obeyed are identical, and there is no recognition of a sovereign will one is bound to obey. Morality is out of the question, when God as supreme Lawgiver is not recognized, or when his law is recognized as the rule of right, or obligatory on the conscience, only in so far as it is identified with the conscience itself, or with man’s own nature.

            Dr. Hopkins may not be right in his view of the end, or he may be, for, not having his work before us, we cannot say what the good is that he asserts must be the end of the act, if a rational act; but we agree with him when he asserts that right is not ultimate, and cannot be the end of the moral or voluntary act. Right is the rule, but not the end. Every rational act is done propter finem, and for an end that is good. Hence God, who is infinite reason, acts always for the end, and for an end which is infinitely good. But as he is himself the only infinite, the only real good, he in creating creates all things for himself, the only good for which even he could create. The moral act, the right or just act of man who is created and governed as a free moral agent, is an act done for the same end. God is the supreme good, the summum bonum itself, and also our supreme good, and therefore to have respect to his retributions, as says the Psalmist, and as the church decided against Quietism and in censuring Fenelon’s Maxims of the Saints.

            The author’s objection that this is more illogical than Benthamism, grows out of his not perceiving that the end of the act is our good IN GOD, who is the supreme good, therefore has no relation to the greatest-happiness rule, or utility, which refers to this world and this life only, on which Bentham bases his ethical and legislative codes. Bentham was not wrong in making the good of the actor the end of the act, but in placing that good where it is not, and in giving no certain rule by which it is to be sought and found. The will is ordained to good, and it, by its own nature, cannot act without willing good. Sin is not in willing evil for the reason that it is evil, but in deliberately choosing a less good instead of a greater, a present temporary good instead of a future eternal good, sensible or worldly good instead of spiritual good—a good in the creature, instead of good in God. Yet in seeking our good, if we seek it in God and in obedience to his law, we are sufficiently removed from the sensists who place it in pleasure, or from the Benthamites who place it in happiness, without regard to God, and from the interet bien entendu of the French philosophes of the last century.

            A right action is an action done from right motives for the right end, and, aside from this, right has no existence. It is the rule, not the end of the act, and depends solely on the law imposed by the end, which is God as final cause. The right is not an uncreated being and independent of God, and which gives the law to God and men, as some of the heathen maintained, because that would suppose a God above God, or would deny God to be God. As there is no right independent of God as final cause, in which sense he is the supreme good, so there is and can be no independent morality; and Dr. Hopkins is justified in maintaining that right is not ultimate, and that reason demands and end, to wit, good, beyond it. It is not improper to ask, Why are we bound to do right? The answer is, Because God the supreme good, and in whom is our good, enjoins it. It is further asked, Why are we bound to do what God enjoins, or the law of God ordains? The answer is, Because God has made us and made us for himself, and we are therefore his; he owns us and is our sovereign Lord and proprietor, and has the sole right to do with us as he pleases. If God, as our maker, owns us, we as moral agents owe ourselves to him, and are bound in justice to give ourselves to him, for the very definition of justice is, giving to every on his due.

            We have neither the patience nor the space to continue our criticisms on the professor’s book. It treats a great subject, but with hardly a conception of the real problems it involves. It deserves to be commended as an honorable protest against sensism and materialism, but it refutes neither. No doubt the author makes many just observations, and says much that is true and not unimportant; but he builds without any solid foundation. Philosophy, as the science of principles, and of principles on which are based alike the sciences, ethics, and religion, is unknown and undreamed of by him.