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his understanding and by meditation, at the knowledge of God and of his own intellectual and moral nature. This idea, though improbable perhaps in itself, is developed with great elegance. The philosophical theory is in substance that of the Alexandrian Platonists. The Arabian Crusoe, called by the author Hai Ebn Jockdan, is supposed to discover in the course of his solitary walks and reflections, that the only source of real knowledge is an immediate and mystical union with the divine mind in a state of ecstacy. In one of these ecstacies he sees the heavenly sphere, the essence of which is immaterial, and the splendor beyond all expression. He here perceives a spiritual being, who is neither the first of beings, nor the sphere itself, nor yet entirely different from either; as the image of the sun in a mirror is neither the sun nor the mirror, but something akin to both. He also sees in the inferior sphere of the fixed stars another spiritual being, resembling the image of the sun in the first mirror reflected in a second. By this illustration he attempts to reconcile the variety of thinking substances with the Pantheism of the school to which he belonged.'

The account of the Arabians forms an episode in the history of the fourth epoch, which commences about the seventh century, when learning was at the lowest point throughout the Christian world, and finishes with its revival in modern Europe. It is thus wholly occupied with the philosophy of the dark ages. The intellectual night, which then prevailed, appears to us doubly gloomy, by its intervention in the order of time and place between the two brightest days in the civilization of the world. The first three or four centuries of this period are almost wholly barren, not only of interesting results, but of celebrated names.

Isidore of Seville, Herbert, Pope Sylvester II.] who is supposed to have introduced the Arabic numerals, and John the Scotchman, are almost the only persons whose reputations have come down to us with any degree of distinction. In the schools of Charlemagne little was taught, but reading, singing, and arithmetic. The first impulse, that led to a better state of things, was given by the Arabians; and, indeed, our forefathers seem to have been indebted to this miscreant race for almost everything valuable in their institutions, and habits, during the middle ages; for their sciences, metaphysical and physical; for their beautiful Gothic architecture, as they called it, the only art that flourished among them; and finally for the high sense of honor, which did so much to correct the existing vices in the frame of society, and to form the modern European character. Even the enmity of the Saracens was not without its positive advantages; and the crusades, that were undertaken to drive them out of Palestine, had the effect of enlarging the general sphere of observation, and giving a new spring to intellect.

In the eleventh century we begin to perceive the dawn of improvement in philosophy. A metaphysical controversy was then started, which continued for several centuries to agitate the monasteries, and which is not wholly foreign to the learning of the present day. This was the famous dispute between the Realists and the Nominalists, on the true nature of general notions or ideas. The Alexandrian philosophy, which had hitherto prevailed in the schools, considered general ideas as the only things entitled to the name of realities. Matter, individual objects, were mere negations, unworthy the attention of thinking men, who could only satisfy their thirst for knowledge by an ecstatic and mystical union with the universal mind. This system appears to have been first called in question by one John, who suggested the new, and, at that time, monstrous and alarming heresy, that individuals are the real substances, and universals mere names or creatures of the intellect. Little, however, is known of this philosopher or his opinions. He was in all probability a very unpopular man, like most others who are, or pretend to be, wiser than their neighbors. His contemporaries did not decorate him, as may well be supposed, with any of the usual surnames of the irrefragable, the solemn, the subtle, the solid, the fundamental, the admirable, and the angelic, which they were in the habit of bestowing on each other; and he is only recorded as plain John. Roselinus is said to have been his disciple, and is the first Nominalist of whom we have any certain account; but the theory was received at this time with general disapprobation, and did not begin to obtain favor till the revival of the controversy two or three centuries later. St Anselm, one of the lights of this age, treats with undisguised contempt 'those heretical logicians, who cannot conceive the existence of color without a body, or intelligence without a mind.' Such persons, he observes, ought not to be allowed to argue. The Saint's opinion, in this latter point, seems to have been adopted. The doctrine of the Nominalists was formally condemned as heretical at the Council of Soissons in the year 1092; and Roscelinus was banished from France and England. The nature of Anselm's opinions on this head gives us a high idea of his general acuteness and sagacity, which are not less clearly shewn in his dialogue entitled, The Grammarian. In this work he discusses very seriously the questions, whether a grammarian be or be not a substance, and whether it be possible, that there should be a grammarian, who is not at the same time a man. Having settled these difficult points, he next proves to his own satisfaction, that man is not grammar, and that he who knows grammar is a grammarian. This learned and ingenious logician was archbishop of Canterbury.

Abelard, and his disciple John of Salisbury, the two greatest scholars of the next age, took a part in this dispute; but so little is known of the details of the affair, that it is not even certain on which side they enlisted. It would seem, however, that they professed a mitigated Realism, perhaps to avoid persecution, and save their popularity. Abelard, in some of his letters, undertakes to refute the theory of Roscelinus; but his fame with the present generation rests principally on his correspondence with his celebrated female pupil Eloisa. In the following passage our author alludes to some of the principal circumstances in his life and history.

"The writings of Abelard, most of which are still unpublished, give us a very imperfect notion of his philosophical opinions ; but his history throws much light on that of the times. His life, though devoted wholly to study, to instruction, and to pious exercises, was still a stormy one, and was troubled by constant persecutions. We learn from it several important particulars respecting the manners and notions of his contemporaries. We see, for example, that the masters, who were authorized to teach in public, received a salary from their pupils. We see the extraordinary zeal of the French youth of that day in the cause of learning ; the passionate interest, which was excited by the talents of the masters; and the eager spirit of rivalship, which existed among the chiefs of the several schools. Thousands of pupils surrounded their professor, followed him to his retreat, and even encamped in the forest of Paraclete, in order to enjoy his instruction. Other doctors, jealous of his success, denounced him to the Pope's legatees, and obtained a sentence of condemnation against him as a heretic at several Councils. The monks were so enraged at his reproofs, and perhaps at the reforms, which he was meditating, that they threatened him with steel and

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poison. On the other hand, convents and abbeys contended with each other for the advantage of possessing him. The whole popufation of Paris took interest in his sufferings. Princes cultivated his friendship, and the Pope demanded an account of his opinions. Eloisa, the object of his love, and the first cause of his misfortunes, while she excelled him in sensibility, delicacy, and virtue, seems to have nearly equalled him in talents and learning. After they were separated, she became abbess of the Paraclete convent, and instructed her young companions in the most difficult studies. The letters of Abelard and Eloisa are read, even at the present day, with all the interest of a romance ; and present, at the same time, to the historian a valuable picture of the state of information and opinions at the time they were written. Abelard himself, the principal figure in the group, is every way superior to the age with which he had been compelled to struggle, and

combined the affectionate piety of Fenelon with a manliness and independence of feeling, that for the period were truly remarkable. *** He draws with precision the dividing line between the territories of faith and reason; and holds that the former is subject to authority, the latter independent of it. He refutes the objections made by the monks to the study of the ancient philosophers, and recommends it to his pupils, observing, however, that he has never read any of them himself, and knows them only through the medium of St Austin.'

Albert the Great, and St Thomas Aquinas, commonly called the angelic doctor, are the two chief luminaries of the thirteenth century. The latter is invested, in the poem of Dante, with the honorable office of introducing to him the philosophers of the schools, who are all stationed in Paradise, while the pagans, with Aristotle at their head, are condemned without ceremony to the opposite region. The account given by our author of these two worthies is somewhat particular, and very amusing ; but we have not room to extract it. Albert was especially famous as an alchymist and magician. In the following passage of one of his works, quoted in the original Latin by our author, he states that he had himself discovered the great secret of transmuting metals, not merely, it would seem, into gold and silver, but into the sun and moon. 'I began,' says he, "to labor diligently in decoctions and sublimations, in solutions and distillations, in curations and calcinations, in coagulations of alchymy, and in many other operations, until at last I discovered, that it was possible to transmute metals into the sun and moon. Weak and ignorant as I am, I mean to write for the use of my friends and associates an easy and infallible method of doing this, but in such a style, that seeing they shall not see, and hearing shall not understand.' His friends and associates must doubtless have been greatly obliged to him for his communicative disposition. Respecting his skill in magic, he makes the following remark. The reality of apparitions is proved by the evidence of Trismegistus and of Socrates. To remove all doubt on the subject, I may add the testimony of my own experience, having raised them myself.' Such were the speculations by which in those days a man achieved greatness. Albert and Thomas were both determined Realists, the opposite opinion having indeed for the time entirely disappeared,

After these heroes of scholastic learning, rose up Duns the Scotchman, denominated the subtle doctor, better known to the public by the couplet, which Butler has dedicated to his memory, than by all his own works. The squire of Sir Hudibras is represented as having been

"In school divinity as able,
As he that hight irrefragable,
A second Thomas, or at once

To name them all-another Duns!' The Doctor, hight irrefragable, was Alexander of Hales. Duns like all his contemporaries was a Realist, and exhibited much of his peculiar subtlety in attempting to solve a problem, which then greatly exercised the learned, respecting what was called the principle of individuality. If Peter and John both possess alike the generic character of humanity, which, on the system of the schoolmen, was the only thing about them that had any real existence ; in what consists their individuality ? Or, in plainer language, since Peter and John are both men, in what do they differ from each other, and what is it that makes one Peter and the other John ? The question, thus stated, and addressed to a plain man, would not appear a very difficult one. On the principles of the schoolmen it was absolutely insoluble, or rather could never be started with propriety. In their view, general notions were the only things really existing; individuals were nothing, and of course could have no principle, either of existence, or of distinction from each other. The very proposition of this problem was, therefore, a proof that the system of Realism had begun to

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