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to popular theology. I earnestly press this consideration upon all young thinkers, as it may save them trouble beforehand and annoyance afterwards. This, then, is the first prophecy which the history of philosophy compels us to make about its future.

The second point is equally certain, and perhaps more important; for it is not very likely that the rising generation will be over afraid of scepticism, and even anxious enough to repudiate the charge. It may be prophesied that whatever new system attempts to replace Kant's will be open to the second great charge made against the Critick-that it is unsatisfactory and incomplete. But this is the charge, not of the vulgar, but of consistent thinkers, who desire to see the problems of being and knowing solved, and feel keenly the doubts and difficulties that still surround them. This second great objection to Kantism is brought by all the adherents of newer systems, especially by the Hegelians. It is true, they say, that you have explained a great deal ; it is true that you have led metaphysical speculation into a new path, and that from you we must all set out henceforth on our voyage of discovery. But your system cannot satisfy us. You have tied down the human mind to a mere knowledge of phenomena, and have nevertheless admitted something beyond, a Ding an sich, which the mind requires and supplies for phenomena, and which we nevertheless cannot grasp or understand. This will never satisfy us. Let us go beyond and find out what this Ding an sich is, which is after all a mental datum of some sort. Let us not abandon our speculation upon the world, the soul, and God.

But let us ask, Have these newer systems approached one whit nearer to the goal at which they aim ? Has any modern thinker so - mapped out the chart of the human intellect and of the world which he seeks to grasp, that we can sit down and say, Here is a final solution ; here is the sum and end of metaphysic? The Hegelians have indeed boasted that this is so with their master. They say his philosophy includes and explains every thing, and that, when properly understood, it affords a solution for every difficulty. But, in the first place, it starts from an assumption, which is only verified by the consistency of the system, and which offers no other test of its truth ; and, in the second place, is it historically true that it has satisfied any but a few enthusiasts? Like every other attempt in metaphysic, it has offered a solution acceptable at a certain season and to certain minds, but perfectly sure to be superseded according as the course of time brings out new discoveries in science and new problems in the field of metaphysic. This is equally true of all the other systems which we have seen rise, flourish, decay, and die within our own time. Stewart, Brown, Hamilton, Mansel, Ferrier, and I may already add Mill, have had their day and their following ; but soon a deeper examination discovered flaws, and they were cast aside by the thinking men who are ever seeking for a firmer basis and for sounder materials.

Why, then, is not this also the case with Kant? Why has he not died out like the rest ? Because the unsatisfactory part of his system is not the outset, not the reasoning, but the residuum left when his system is complete. With Hegel we meet at the very outset when he postulates a new kind of substance called Thought, which we never knew before ; and this assumption keeps exciting our suspicions all the way through. But Kant, like the old-fashioned tuners, has gathered his Discord, his wolf, as they called it, into a single key. He has started from the data of positive science, from the data of experience, and he leaves off at the limits of this definite field. There is beyond, he admits, something more.

It is possible that in some future state we may know not only more in degree, but new things in kind. Our knowledge is not good for all things, but only for the things of this mortal experience. So far it is satisfactory, but to assert more would be to assert with Hegel that the logical process of the idea is equal to the creative and all-embracing intellect which we ascribe to the Deity.

Here, then, at the outmost limit of philosophy, Kant is unsatisfactory, if you will, but I cannot conceive any new system which will satisfy human curiosity at this point. Absolute idealism has been tried long enough. The denial of any thing per se, and the assertion that it is only a product of mind, has failed to satisfy us. Any realist system which starts by assuming it must of course fail to prove our knowledge of it by any evidence. Hence it still remains the stumbling-block of philosophy, the idea, as Kant said long ago, which all our thinking strives to attain, and which it never can possibly grasp.

This is the rock upon which every metaphysical system will strike which attempts to afford a solution to all the mysteries of knowing and being. It is perfectly idle to assume that human nature will ever unravel all its mysteries; that the mists of ignorance and the twilight of faith will ever make way for the clear light of science ; that the day will ever come when we may send our children to the sophist, and have them taught certain and universal knowledge. Whatever else, then, any new system may claim, let it not expect to attain finality ; let it not expect to escape the charge of incompleteness ; let it not hope to satisfy the eternal craving after certainty, the eternal hunger after per. fection.

If it will attain even a temporary permanence, if it will seek even for a time to satisfy inquirers after truth, let its mystery, its surd quantity, its blind spot, be placed, not at the outset and among its assumptions, but in its outskirts, and beyond the bounds of its logical structure. For this sort of incompleteness may really be the necessary result of the limitations of human thought ; it may be no fault of the system, though men will not be persuaded of this, though they will try again and again to overstep the limit, and attempt to know the unknowable.

But, as each effort fails, they will revert to that system which has at least offered a simple and scientific solution of the facts and principles in our ordinary experience. This Kant claims to have done ; and as yet I can find no system which rivals or even approaches his Critick in breadth of grasp, in acuteness of insight, and in sobriety of temper.

j. P. MAHAFFY.

CHRISTIANITY AND CHRISTIANS AT THE COURT

OF THE ROMAN EMPERORS, BEFORE THE TIME OF CONSTANTINE.

the 13th of JanuaryB.C. 27the younger Cæsar, Octa

vian, gave back to the Senate and the people, in accordance with his duty, the constitutive powers which they had intrusted to his hands. On the 16th of January of the same year he received from the Senate the title of Augustus. During a period of twenty-two years, the consitutional order of the Re. public had been suspended through the exercise of extraordinary powers; now, however, it was to be established once more in a new and permanent form. And yet those days were truly the birth period of the Roman Empire; for the empire arose from the primacy of Augustus. To be sure, the form of gov. ernment which came into existence at this time was as yet far from being an absolute monarchy.

It would be more correct to designate the new rule as a dyarchy; for the supreme power was to be divided once for all between the Senate and Augustus as one in whom the community reposed the fullest confidence. Augustus himself, as the foremost citizen of the state, professed to stand not above, but

under the law.

In reality, however, that same road to absolute monarchy was again opened, which lay in perspective before the mighty Cæsar;' and Augustus-cautious and pliant, as was his wont

Cl. Mommsen, Römisches Staatsrecht, vol. ii., part ii. (1875), p. 707 seq. : Mommsen, ibid., p. 716:“No doubt the Dictator Cæsar purposed to re-establish the kingly power, either under its old name or stamped with a new des. had already set foot upon this way. His successors of the Julian and Claudian lines sought, with Cæsar-like madness, to possess themselves of this way by force. The energetic Trajan guided the ship of state into the same course with a surer hand, and the whole world submitted itself more readily to him and to his great successors. It was not, however, until the third century, at the time of the general dissolution, that the seal of reality was put upon the despotism of the emperors by the legislation of Diocletian; and it was only by Constantine and the Christian-Byzantine emperors that this despotism was carried out in due form.

"Dyarchie," p. 709.

ignation."

[graphic]

In the first Christian centuries, a part of the Roman aristocracy sought to arouse opposition to this development of power. Vain struggle! These efforts soon grew weak, though in Rome indeed they never quite died out. In the provinces-above all, in the Eastern ones—the people were from the outset favorable to the empire. The imperial rule was there felt to be a release from the severe régime of the republic. The masses too, at the capital, and indeed in every place, hailed with shouts the Cæsars, who were obliged to keep their interests in mind.

These masses were not tied to the memories of the old aristocratic republic, nor did they trouble themselves about fine points of political legality. While the aristocracy of Rome were anxiously busying themselves over the relics of the past, and were testing and weighing names and titles,' the multitude proceeded upon the practical principle—“he that has the power is the master, and he who gives bread is the father of his country'—both, in truth, lay in the hands of the emperor.

From the legal side, this process of development led, by an inherent necessity, to the unlimited sovereign (“dominus," deoTórn5); from the side of religion, under the existing relations, to the emperor as a god born in human form.'

The appellation “our lord and god ” remained in vogue as an imperial title until after the middle of the third century, and at last, to the disgrace of ancient Rome, it even appeared upon coins, as if an official designation.'

1

· Mommsen, ibid., p. 721 seq., 723 seq.

? Mommsen, ibid., p. 716. • Mommsen, ibid., p. 720, n. 3: “There are coins with the inscription ‘Deo et domino nato Aureliano Aug.' (Eckhel, 7, 482 ; Cohen, Aurel. 170), and Deo

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