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wonder without doing harm, and practise the art of discovery as boldly and adventurously as they choose, and sharpen their intellectual faculties, and learn the truth, but innocently and safely? This, then, is the great value of the Greek philosophy. It is the anatomical preparation — with all the fibres, muscles, and veins, drawn out and injected of that ethical system, which in Christianity comes before us as a living and breathing form ; its mechanism covered with a veil, glowing with life and action; its eye, its hand, its limbs, its head, all visible— but the chords by which they are moved buried out of sight.

And as men, who would study to perfection the human form, seek for it in its highest models -- as they reject a specimen where limbs are deficient, and organs indistinct (except indeed as a monstrosity), -so those who know any thing of ethical science will study it in the works of the two greatest philosophers that ever lived, Plato and Aristotle. Modern systems are but fragments; or they are deficient in essential parts; or they are monstrous, from the disproportioned development of some par

The Greeks are not perfect; but they are as near to perfection as human reason has ever approached.

And there is another point of view in which the ethics of heathenism, and of human philosophy generally, will often strike your mind, but in which you will require a caution. You will see in them the human mind struggling by itself to attain its perfection - uttering faint cries like an infant, to signify wants which it cannot express - yearning for some light to fall on it, some hand to guide it — wandering now into the wildest errors, now reaching grand truths, and now arriving, by the use of reason, at paradoxes and mysteries; and you

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will then turn to Christianity, and see the aid promised to those struggles- the interpretation and the answer given to those cries— the light and the hand vouchsafed—the errors marked with warning landmarks--the truths brought home, by simple faith, to the child and the peasant—the paradoxes and mysteries set forth, not to the perplexity of reason, but to confirm and support it. No evidence to the truth of Christianity is so wonderful and so overpowering as the testimony of heathen philosophers. And yet, what do you want with such evidence? And is it not full of danger? And — what will come more home to your young and doubting intellect is it not irrational to admit it? What would you say to a man who, in telling you some simple fact, about which there could be no reasonable doubt, should insist on proving it to you by an abundance of argument? “ I met Mr. So and So in the street.Very well; I dare say you did.” “ But I assure you I did.” 6 I have no reason to doubt it.” “ But do let me give you some proof.” “ I never knew you tell an untruth; and you can have no object in deceiving, and I none in disbelieving you; pray, spare me.

“ But I must shew you the internal probability, how likely it was that I should meet him.” “ I am quite content with

" I wish you would not trust my word; I do wish you would look to the evidence.”

Why, is not your own word sufficient evidence ?" “ No; as a rational being, you ought not to listen to me; you ought to look to your own understanding.” 6. What, on a matter of fact?”

“ Yes; on every thing."

This is the dialogue which has been passing now for many years between the Church of Christ, and the young whom it has received into its fold. Add to it, that the matter in question is one of the

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deepest importance: in which infinite good must follow from believing, and no harm ; and infinite harın from disbelieving, and no good. Add to it, that the very office of the Church is to educate and govern; and that the very first thing required for this purpose is, that the pupil should put implicit confidence in the truth of the teacher; and that the teacher should never permit his word to be disputed, or his character for veracity slighted. Add that She is the messenger of God, armed with His authority and name. Add that the reason to which She appeals, in preference to her own voice, is the judgment of an ignorant fallible individual. Add that in no other branch of knowledge does man permit a demand for evidence, except from a superior. Add that, to distrust man's word is of all insults the most offensive, and one which the law of human pride cannot wipe out, except with blood. Add that this very evidence on which the poor, weak, self-distrusting mind is thus cruelly thrown, rests, and must rest ultimately on the same basis of historical testimony, which by the appeal is set at nought. Add, lastly, not as if it ought to come last, but because an unbelieving age will not listen to positive law till it has consulted expediency and reason, that God himself has commanded us to believe His voice and the voice of His messengers. Think of all these things, and then you will see why I warn you against looking to the philosophy of Christian morality, brought out though it be into fullest light by the darkness of antecedent heathenism, as an evidence of the truth of Christianity. You do not want it. You have already two good legs, why insist on fastening on a third, and that a wooden one? You may indeed use it as a walking-stick. It will strengthen you when weak; may save you at times from a fall; will enable you to use your own limbs


with more energy and freedom; and

drive off dogs with it, and beat down brambles that entangle you; and sound the path, when you are walking where others have not walked before; and amuse yourself with it as with a companion. But if you lean on it wholly, it will break and pierce your hand. It is full of flaws. It never was intended to bear the weight of your faith, which nothing can support but the pillar of the Catholic Church. You put confidence in a friend's character. A man brings forward a new proof of its goodness. You may delight in hearing it - contemplating it—not as an evidence, scarcely as a confirmation, for no one requires proof of that which he believes already ; but it is a new portraiture, an additional instance, a fresh phenomenon; and it gratifies you, as a philosopher is gratified by tracing an indisputable principle in an infinite variety of forms. But tell your friend that you trust him, not because of his word, but because your reason is convinced by the plausibility of his story, and what becomes of your friendship? And accept the statements of the Church of Christ, not on its voice, but on the internal evidence of their correctness, and what becomes of your love, and respect, and allegiance, and all the other moral affections which a poor, miserable, blind child owes to a great, good, and glorious body the blessing of the world—and the ambassador, and more than ambassador of God-affections which the Bible sums up in the one word, Faithwithout which, what is man?

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And now I have suggested to you two great truths, which must be laid as the foundation of the study of Ethics :—first, that in prosecuting that study you must take the Catholic Church as your guide ; secondly, that you must also borrow the assistance of the great heathen writers of antiquity.

But before we pass from this point, let me bring out more distinctly certain other precepts involved in these, of which, till you become more deeply acquainted with the philosophical disputes of the day, you will not see all the importance, but which, be assured, you will require thoroughly to understand, and to apply them in a variety of ways. For Ethics, remember, is the science of the mind of man; and the mind of man is the agent to which all sublunary moral movement, not generated mechanically or by a miraculous power, must be traced ; and a false bias given to it will penetrate into all its operations ; and the risk of such a bias at present exists, and must be studiously avoided.

When, then, you are placed down before the collection of ethical facts which history, biography, daily life, the creations of art, the records of our own consciousness, present to us,-just as the earth, in its mines, and strata, and landslips, and fossils, exhibits its collection of geological facts; and when by the side of these, yet lying unarranged and scattered, you find also a variety of distinct theories marshalled under separate leaders,—you have the choice of proceeding in your study in one of the three following ways.

You may

become either a Ration

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