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and its People. By the Rev. The facts with which its 370 pages SAMUEL MATEER, F.L.S., of the are literally packed full are ad. Lopdon Missionary Society. Lon. mirably classified. It treats of the don: John Snow and Co. 1871,- natural history and physical chaSome books suit certain readers racteristics of the country; of the only, but this one is calculated to manners, customs, and various replease and instruct everybody. It ligions of the people; and of the has much of the charm of novelty, mighty influence which the Gospel it being the first book that has is exerting amongst them. Young appeared on the subject. Travan- people and general readers will core, the province of India about linger over its illustrative engraywbich it treats, is called, in poetic ings and its anecdotes with peculiar language, “ The Land of Charity interest, whilst the naturalist, the or Piety," which just means that it Bible student, and he who takes has long been the home of the an interest in foreign missions will most degrading idolatry, being find much information suited to his called “The Land of Piety" in a taste. The gifted author relates similar sense to that in which Ire- his facts from personal knowledge. land is called "The Island of Communicated. Saints.” But the book before us is not a treatise on idolatry merely:
PERIODICALS RECEIVED. it may be designated a “ Handbook The Methodist Quarterly for of Travancore," as it answers every March. question which an intelligent inquirer would propose to a mission
Leisure Hour for March. ary just returned from that country. Sunday Magazine for March.
To lead us with a gentle hand
Into the Silent Land.
THE SILENT LAND.
INTO the Silent Land!
Thither, oh! thither
To you, ye boundless regions
pledge and hand! Who in Life's battle firm doth stand Shall bear Hope's tender blossoms
· Into the Silent Land !
BE ALWAYS GIVING.
Give, give, be always giving,
The more you give,
The more you live.
deeds, give pelf,
O Land! O Land!
Give, give, be always giving,
The more we give,
NEW CONNEXION MAGAZINE.
Theology and General Literature.
SPOILED BY PHILOSOPHY.
BY THE EDITOR. “PHILOSOPHY is a graceful thing when it is moderately cultivated in youth, but if any one occupies himself with it beyond the proper age, it ruins him ; for, however great may be his natural capacity, if he philosophizes too long, he must of necessity be inexperienced in all those things which one who would be great and eminent must be experienced in. He must be unacquainted with the laws of his country, and with the mode of influencing other men in the intercourse of life-whether private or public—and with the pleasures and passions of men ; in short, with human characters and manners. And when such men are called upon to act, whether on a private or public occasion, they expose themselves to ridicule.”
So says Callicles in Plato's “ Gorgias,” and he says truth, begging the pardon of all the philosophers in this philosophic generation.
Paul says, “ Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”
Philosophy, then, according to Paul, can “spoil” a Christian, and, according to Callicles, it can “ruin ” a man ; both of which statements are of a very serious character, and should be pondered by all men, and especially by all philosophers. ... inun
But what philosophy ? It was the philosophy of the time—the "ancient” philosophy. It began with Thales and ended with Philo. It embraced all the schools of thought between these extremes, and they were as many as the names they bear. How much of these various philosophies Paul had studied we do not know. To which of them he might be most favourably inclined before his conversion he does not tell us. But the warning he addressed to the Colossians he addressed to Greeks, for they were Greeks, and we may presume that the Greek philosophy was the philosophy he referred to, and that philosophy as it was placed before him and them at the time he
ndrine schder of the anguage of by philoso
wrote. That philosophy had the sanction of many illustrious names, and was the same that Proclus—four hundred years after Paul—took up and attempted to reconcile with faith. How it fared with him, and with others who had preceded him, in the endeavour to solve by philosophy alone the mysterious problems which they had placed before them, or to solve those problems by philosophy and faith united, may be stated in the language of Lewis, perhaps the best historian and expounder of the subject. “With Proclus,” says he, “the Alexandrine school expired; with Proclus philosophy ceased. Religion and religion only was capable of affording satisfactory answers to the questions which perplexed the human race, and philosophy was reduced to the subordinate office which the Alexandrians had consigned to the Aristotelian logic. Philosophy became the servant of religion, but no longer reigned in its own right. Thus was the circle of endeavour completed. With Thales reason separated itself from faith ; with the Alexandrians the two were again united. The centuries between those epochs were filled with helpless struggles to overcome an insuperable difficulty. ... But to the reflective student, who thus sees these men, after centuries of endeavour, fixed on the self-same spot, the Alexandrian straining his eager eyes after the same object as the Ionian, and neither within the possible range of vision, there is something which would be unutterably sad were it not corrected by the conviction that these men were fixed to one spot because they had not discovered the only true pathway, a pathway which those who came after them securely trod. The spectacle of human failure, especially on so gigantic a scale, cannot be without some pain. So many hopes thwarted, so many great intellects wandering in error, are not to be thought of without sadness. But it bears a lesson which we hope those who have followed us thus far will not fail to read. It is a lesson on the vanity of philosophy—a lesson which almost amounts to a demonstration of the impossibility of the human mind ever compassing those exalted objects which its speculative ingenuity suggests as worthy of its pursuit. It points to that profound remark of Auguste Comte, that there exists in all classes of our investigations a constant and necessary harmony between the extent of our real intellectual wants and the efficient extent, actual or future, of our real knowledge."
Exactly so ; and this opens up the whole subject of being " spoiled by philosophy.” Mark, it is the Christian who can be, and may be, spoiled by philosophy. As to other men, they cannot well be more spoiled than they are, for multitudes are without God and without hope in the world. Multitudes are not only this, but they are “sensual and devilish,” and it would be a mercy if these latter especially were to take up philosophy, as we take up dumb