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his hands were nailed to each end of the cross-beam, and next his feet to the main stem. He bore all patiently without a murmur, without any words but these: "Father! forgive them; they know not what they do." The two criminals abovementioned were also crucified; one on either side of him; so that he appeared the chief figure, the greatest of the malefactors.
While he hung on the cross, the four soldiers who had crucified him divided his clothes. His outer garment they parted; his inner garment, which was of a single piece, they allotted.
According to custom, the Roman procurator, Pilate, was to describe on a tablet the crime of the culprits, and to fix it up in terror over the cross. From ill-will towards us, who had accused the Nazarene of aspiring to royalty, the Roman put up this inscription; "Jesus, King of the Jews." This was considered as spiteful and contemptuous, and we applied to Pilate to write instead, "Jesus, who set up for King of the Jews:" but the Roman would not alter his tablet.
The spectacle of his execution might have atoned for many pangs and many stabs, and many mortifications, which we had experienced from him or through him. Abandoned by God and man we saw him suspended-the sabbath-breaker, the friend of publicans, the despiser of our traditions. His adherents were naturally downcast, now that they saw the effect of their premature Hosannas The scoffing at his promises of a kingdom, and at his assumed Messiahship, and at his present sorry impotence, was universal. Even some who had believed in him exclaimed: "Thou who wast in three days to build again the temple, if destroyed, save thyself from the cross."
But Jesus kept silence: his sole employment was suffering. He saw at his feet the nation which had applauded his doctrine, insulting his misfortunes and scoffing at his torments. Amid the croud of beholders were some Galilæans, and some more humane persons, who cast a tearful eye of pity towards his cross: many, especially, of those who had derived benefit from his attention to their diseases. When I caught the looks of these his friends, a secret shudder seized me; I thought of his awful speech; and my heart was wrung with remorse and pity.
By degrees, the abusive crowd forgot to insult, and his followers thickened about the cross. The very ruffians beside him felt an inexplicable superiority in his behaviour, and turned from their own sufferings to regard his deportment. They themselves were un heeded by the spectators, whose every attention was rivetted on the extraordinary man in the center. It was naturally a remarkable circumstance, that they were crucified with the person whom so many took for the Messiah, One of them, convinced by the event of the futility of his pretensions, affected to look down on him as a more impious criminal, and said to him with bitter scorn: "If thou beest the Christ, help thyself and us."
This, methought, from a fellow-sufferer, must have been the most biting of his mortifications: it seemed to me almost to extenuate my own inhumanity.
Jesus answered nothing: but the other malefactor reproved the scoffer, saying: "Our sufferings are just: but this man has done no Think of me, master, (he added,) when thou shalt take possession of thy kingdom." Then Jesus rejoined: "This day thou shalt enter with me the dwellings of the blessed."
What dost thou think of this, Josephus? O! I feel as if I could destroy myself for having refused a resting-place to this resolute and patient sufferer!
By degrees, it was perceived that the forsaken condition of his surviving relatives and friends was still the sollicitude of his dying thoughts. Close to the cross stood John, his dearest disciple and From bosom-friend, and beside him Mary, the widow of Joseph the carpenter, and mother of Jesus. Both seemed inconsolable. my youth upwards, I have felt little at the sight of woe: my heart is from nature hard; but I swear to thee, Josephus, that for I felt more than for any other mortal woe. Jesus these two persons had lived thirty years with his mother, and had long provided exclu sively for her maintenance: save for about three years that he had been engaged in preaching in Judea. She was not, perhaps, preShe read in his cisely in want of maintenance from him: but she was about to lose a son of whom she had formed the sublimest hopes. agonized features the torments which his tongue concealed. With a Mary, behold thy son;" look full of tenderness, he said to her: and to John," Behold thy mother." They understood the bond which his provident affection was creating between them. They looked at each other, and at him. I dared not dwell upon the sight; his humanity seemed to me divine.
Many of his relations and confidants were now close about the Not only his adherents, but all of us, beheld with admiration the calm sufferer, neither expressing any want of reliance on God, nor any surprize that his own previous conduct should thus terminate. The impressions of awe, regret, sympathy, and interest, which these scenes had made on every feeling soul, were now by an extraordinary event extended to the rudest. Jesus, (an inexplicable shudder convulses me as often as I name him,) Jesus had been three hours in torture: the insolence of the most savage was exhausted: the most conspicuous of his female friends, Mary Magdalen, suffocated with grief, had swooned at the foot of the fatal tree: when, about noon, it became totally dark; and this darkness, which lasted three hours, extended to the whole country. I am not learned in the motions of the sun, moon, and stars: but I do not think that it resembled a common eclipse, I am sure that it made a great impression, and passed for a token of the displeasure of heaven. People began to Perhaps this crucified man was without guilt." O Josephus, say: if there be not dæmons to have wrought this, what may I not apprehend?
The terrors of darkness dispersed the multitude: a few only staid, silent, near to Jesus. He remained for a long time mute: at length, shortly before the shadows, vanished, he repeated aloud with He now appeared exhausted, and lofty tone a triumphal psalm.
complained of thirst. By the centurion's order, a soldier brought him a sponge sopt in wine, which was lifted to his mouth at the end of a pole. Some fresh spectators, who as they drew nigh had misunderstood him, called out: "He has been invoking Elias,-let us see if Elias will come to help him." When he had tasted of the wine, he was heard to say:" It is accomplished." The young man his friend watched his every movement; and it was soon per ceived that he was about to die. It is not usual to expire so soon on the cross: but it must have been more consolatory to his relatives to know that he was dead, than to behold him in torment, He exerted himself once more, apparently confident of his innocence and purity, and said aloud: "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.' He then bowed his head, and died.
What followed, Flavius, I cannot now describe to thee. I am too much agitated. I comprehend it not. But thou shalt know all. The more I think of the past, the more I startle at having refused him rest. It is not, surely, possible that his words should affect my frame. I am tired of life: I am very old; and yet my strength feels green. I shall shortly write more. God help thee.'
On the whole, these letters have not an antichristian tendency, but appear rather designed to predispose the Jews for embracing a sort of Socinianism. The work ranks, therefore, among the sacred novels of the Unitarians.
ART. XIII. Geist der Spekulativen Philosophie, &c. i. e. The Spirit of Speculative Philosophy. By THEODORE TIEDEMANN. Vol. VI. 8vo. pp. 650. Marburg. 1797,
TH HE age of the Antonines has been compared with the present for the diffusion of intellectual culture, and the corruptions of luxurious refinement: but, in the literary history of the antient world, we find the disputations of philosophy losing ground before those of theology, the controversies of the Platonist and the Epicurist superseded by those of the Arian and the Athanasian, the lectures of the sophist neglected for the homilies of the presbyter, and the academy forsaken for the church. Now an opposite spirit characterises the votaries of inquiry; at least on the continent of Europe: where they are discanonizing the heroes of religion, and raising altars to the apostles of philosophy: the founders of the Reformation are forgotton in favor of Hobbes and Berkel:3, of Helvetius and Rousseau: ecclesiastical is abandoned for metaphysical history; and Mosheim is replaced by Brucker.
With such a bias of the public mind, it was natural to expect that there would appear, in some of the vernacular tongues of Europe, a work of the compass, the labor, the comprehension, and the information of the present: of the former
volumes of which we have already spoken at considerable length in our 20th vol. Appendix, p. 573, and in our 21st vol. Appendix, p. 504. The sixth and concluding part now solicits our attention: not but that the author professes sufficient zeal for his subject to resume, at some future period, the history of speculative opinion during the eighteenth century: but he wishes first to collect the sentiments of his contem poraries respecting his qualification for the task :-they cannot but tend to animate his perseverance in so meritorious a
The first chapter is occupied with the civil history of the seventeenth century, and points out those events which (like the English republican revolution of 1648) had a tendency to affect the progress and character of philosophic speculation.
The second chapter treats of Hobbes. Our author appears to know him rather from his Latin than from his English works, and not always to state his opinions correctly. Nor is sufficient notice done to his improvements of the science of mind': he laid the ground-work of the doctrine of association. It is by no means clear, from the 12th chapter of the Leviathan, that Hobbes adopted atheism: it can only thence be inferred that he was a materialist, and that he thought the grounds of natural religion insufficient; but not that he rejected the Christian revelation. He maintains, indeed, the right of the magistrate to interpret revelation: but, from his Christian Commonweath, it should seem that he inclined to the institution of a specific interpretation, not very remote from that of the Socinians; and that this was at least his exoteric religion. Bishop Bramhall certainly charges him with denying the Trinity. Professor TIEDEMANN attempts (p. 61 and 62) unsuc cessfully, we think, to manifest a chasm in Hobbes's train of argument for fatalism.
The third chapter analyzes, after Bernier, the works of Peter Gassendi; and the fourth, those of Descartes. To this vain but acute man, a higher importance is assigned than the permanence of his subtle speculations will warrant. improved the art of reasoning is indubitable.
The more prominent Cartesians, Hecrebord of Leyden, Geulins of Louvain, Clauberg of Solingen, and others, are particularized in the fifth chapter; and especially Mallebranche, whose ingenuity and originality pointed out to both Leibnitz and Berkelez many of their most celebrated paths of investigation.
The sixth chapter analyzes the theory of Spinoza. This celebrated man makes an epocha in modern philosophy. He was descended from Portuguese Jews, and was born at Amster dam in 1632. The system of emanation, which in his early
youth he imbibed from the Talmud, had its influence in suggesting the material pantheism which he taught in his riper years. Morteira was his instructor, and took much pains to prevent those early ebullitions of heterodoxy, which at length drew on him the excommunication of his sect. He fell in love with the daughter of Van der Enden, a physician of Amsterdam, whose conversation is supposed to have strengthened his atheistical tendency. The intolerance of the Jews drove him to Reynsburg, where he maintained himself by polishing glass: an occupation which his great temperance and self-denial rendered sufficient for his wants, even with great intervals of leisure. His complete disinterestedness declined invitations, presents, and patronage. Simon van Vries offered him 2000 Guldens in a moment of pressure, which was refused; and he bequeathed to him an annuity of 300 Guldens, in lieu of a much larger sum which Spinoza would not permit to be settled on him. He voluntarily resigned his whole patrimony to his sisters. His equanimity was remarkable. He frequently attended public worship, and recommended it to his host. He practised the most exemplary toleration, and seemed to delight in the zeal of others. The Elector of the Palatinate invited him to a professor's chair at Heidelberg, with an intimation of the most complete philosophical indulgence: but he refused to accept a situation which might be thought to impose a deference for the established religion. Even his love of fame partook of his habitual moderation: attack and contradiction left him unmoved. He died in 1677 at the age of 45, in the presence of his physician, with unaltered
The theories of Berkeley and of Spinoza are precisely antithetic. Both maintain that there is only one substance: Berkeley that this substance is spirit; Spinoza that it is matter. With both, the phænomena of the external world are the immediate action of Deity on our minds: with Berkeley, these phænomena are ideas which have no material substratum; with Spinoza, things are the only ideas of the universal God.
John Ray, Samuel Parker, and De Stair, occupy the seventh chapter. The latter published at Leyden, Physiologia nova Experimentalis explerata, in 1686, and attended Charles the Second into England, where probably some farther notices of his life might be found.' He deserves more attention than he has obtained. Glisson's Tractatus de Natura Substantia energetica, and Norris's Essay on the Material World, should not be overlooked.
The eighth chapter is consecrated to Locke. has obtained in philosophy a reputation not
As this writer
unequal to his merits,