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name further than by saying that he was a travelling companion of the late Mr. Buckle, the author of the History of Civilization.
If Josephus really mentioned our Lord, and intended, however darkly, to hint at this vile insinuation, we are deeply sorry for this blot on his memory, of all blots the worst and most degrading. But to our minds it is not proven, and we think that he ought to have the benefit of the doubt.
With regard to his gross flattery of the Flavian family it must be remembered that that house had saved him from a cruel and ignominious death, and had given him not only life but property, position, and the shield of their exalted patronage. We cannot wonder that his countrymen still resent his conduct. ‘A chacun selon ses cuvres,' says Salvador, bitterly contrasting 'this gilded servitude with the fate of the real patriots of Jerusalem.'' But however unpatriotic may have been his conduct, he did not become a renegade to his creed. He did not become a worshipper of gods many and lords many, and whatever his mistakes in the direction of rationalism, he did at least try to let the world know something of the greatness of the treasures committed to his race. His latest work was his best, and if he had deserted his countrymen in the struggle of arms he had at least fought for them in the realms of thought, and had challenged the world to show any other example of a nation which not only cherished the books which it esteemed sacred, but had had martyrs on behalf of the belief in the truth of that sacredness. One German-Jewish writer (Hamburger) is cited by Dr. Edersheim as a solitary exception to the general chorus of condemnation. Hamburger holds that the merits of Josephus outweigh his demerits, and would fain demand from his countrymen the solemn verdict, “ He hath made his peace with us !' Touching words they seem to us. Josephus not only believed in God's general providence, but also in His especial manifestations towards himself. He had indeed a right to do so-spared in the shipwreck from which less than one-seventh part of the passengers were saved ; spared in the siege of Jotapata ; spared from a cruel, insulting death at the hands of Nero; spared from the javelins of his compatriots at Jerusalem; spared from assailants at the Roman Court from the days of Vespasian to those of Domitian.
And can we Christians say that he was spared for nothing ? Think what we will of his vanity, his partialities, his possibly insidious attempts at slander of the Holy Faith, yet if his works had perished what a blank would be left, not only as regards Judaism but even (though in a lesser degree) as regards
Quoted by Merivale, Romans under the Empire, chap. lix.
Christianity. His temptations were very great, but we must not think lightly of that activity of mind which prompted writings in Hebrew and in Greek for the edification of mankind. And if his general tone be far from worthy of the lofty themes which he tried to handle, yet with how many must such a diminution of merit be shared ? May not in a measure be applied to him mutatis mutandis the noble and generous language in which a writer of our day has spoken of the first Christian Emperor ?
Constantine was neither great enough nor pure enough for his task. The contrast, but too manifest to all eyes, has justly shocked posterity. Nevertheless history has seen so fezei sovereigns devote to the service of a noble cause their power, and even their ambition, that it has a right, when it meets with such, to demand for them the justice of men, and to hope for the mercy of God.'!
Art. VI.—PESSIMISM. 1. Die Philosophie des Unbewusstseins. Von E. VON HART
MANN. Siebente erweiterte Auflage. (Berlin, 1876.) 2. Pessimism. A History and a Criticism. By JAMES
Sully, M.A., LL.D. Second Edition. (London,
1891.) 3. The Ultimatum of Pessimism. An Ethical Study. By
J. W. BARLOW, M.A. (London, 1882.) 4. Studies in Pessimism. A Series of Essays by ARTHUR
SCHOPENHAUER. Selected and Translated by T.
(London, 1892.) 5. The Wisdom of Life and Counsels and Maxims. Parts i.
and ii. of Arthur Schopenhauer's Aphorismen zur Lebensweisheit. Translated by T. BAILEY SAUNDERS, M.A. Schopenhauer Series. Second Edition. (London,
1892.) An article in this Review ? has already dealt with · Pessimism and Scientific Meliorism.' We propose in this article to confine our attention to an examination of a few general features of the Pessimistic system and its practical import, for it has been well said that 'If Pessimism be true it differs from other truths by its uselessness.'
1 Duc de Broglie, L'Eglise et l'Empire au Quatrième Siècle, tome ii. p. 130. Paris, 1856.
3 April 1888.
It was not left for the nineteenth century or its fortunate philosophers to discover that existence involved, and from its very nature must continue to involve, more pain than pleasure, or even to formulate and systematize such a thesis. The Buddhist sages anticipated by centuries the whole conception, while, in all ages and climes, men, who were sore wounded by the arrows of affliction and disappointment, have said with the Preacher that they hated life, and in the season of the evil days summed up their experience of it as 'vanity of vanities. The philosophy of Schopenhauer, admittedly borrowed from the East, has been aptly described as occidental Buddhism.'
The poets of all races have taken their themes from the darker and more tragic side of man's existence, bemoaned the shortness of his days, dwelt upon the sorrows to which he was subject, and the unhappy fate which so often dashed the cup of pleasure from his lips. Many a saying like that striking one, ‘Call no man happy until he be dead,' may be read in the books of the philosophers.
'I am acquainted with sad misery
As the tann'd galley slave is with his oar' is the burden of the autobiography of many men. What more natural for a mind brooding upon misfortune to say than that pleasure was ephemeral, and that, even were it not so, the uncertainty of life's lease made the things of time a vanity ? Like the poets, men of sympathetic temperament, philanthropists, lovers of humanity ready to give their lives for their fellows, have had this view of things forced upon them. The struggle against the evil forces at work in the world, bringing them face to face with the powers of darkness, induced moments of despair, hours of physical and mental weariness, when the struggle seemed to avail nothing, and they were almost ready to abandon the field to superior might.
From the first, man has recognized plainly that this world is a battle-field, where Ormuz still fights with Ahriman, the powers of light with the powers of darkness.'
The poets, the philosophers, the moralists, the toilers in the ranks, who could claim no distinctive gifts, have all felt in some degree the sadness, and perhaps even at times the almost insupportable misery, of life; but their counsel to their disciples or their words to their companions have been counsels to set forward the standard against the enemy, and their words, however disastrous seemed the fight, words of good cheer and hope, encouraging their brothers-it was left for modern scientific Pessimism to sound one note never before so clearly heard, the signal of retreat.
To bring the subject under consideration within the scope of an inquiry such as this, conducted in an essay as distinct from a volume, the ground must be cleared, and the discussion restricted within certain definite limits. The first glance shows that ‘Pessimism' and 'Pessimist' are loose terms of an order which may mean much or little.
The Optimists may remain unclassed, while a classification of those who are frequently but wrongly numbered among the Pessimists will serve by a process of exclusion to lead us to an accurate definition. Pseudo-pessimists may be divided into three classes :
I. Those persons who hold that life, under existing circumstances, involves for them more evil than good (or more pain than pleasure), but in whom hope for better fortune, or health, or some other advantage, reversing this temporary judgment, is not extinguished. This class may bear the denomination of Temporary Pessimists.
II. Those persons-among whom a certain type of Christians may be included—who admit that the sum of evil exceeds that of good in this world, but have good hope that in a transcendental life the balance will be finally adjusted, and 'that somehow good will be the final goal of ill.'
III. Those persons who regard misery, although at present in excess of happiness, as a diminishing quantity, and, putting their trust in the progress of the race, look forward to a golden age for humanity. To this class belong the Positivists, and those scientists of the Evolutionist school who look upon mankind as in a transition stage towards a more perfected condition.
It will afterwards be seen that Von Hartmann and his school of true Pessimists consider that all such persons, whether belonging to the first, second, or third class, are victims of hallucination, not having attained to a knowledge of things as they really are.
There remains now one class—the true believers, the scientific Pessimists--who are forced both by à priori and à posteriori reasoning to conclude that life is irremediably bad, and inclines to becomes worse. This group holds, then, that the sum of pain outweighs the sum of pleasure, and it follows that existence is an evil.”
and transcendent od in this who admit ta cer
i The divisions are numerous-Stimmungspessimismus (Temperamental), Entrüstungspessimismus (Indignation Pessimists), &c.
2. Die Summe der Unlust überwiegt im Sein die Summe der Lust, daher das Sein besser nicht wäre.'—Plümacher, Der Pessimismus, p. 6.
This definition will serve to include all Pessimists proper, although, as we shall see, they are not by any means agreed among themselves as to the details of their doctrine, and sometimes not even as to the reasons for belief in it. The great Austrian poet Hamerling, for example, while to some extent concurring in the conclusions of Schopenhauer, complains that he did not go far enough—'dass er auf halbem Wege stehen geblieben ist.
An issue at the outset is of importance. To the question, 'Is life worth living?' the Pessimist answers in the negative, because, assuming that happiness is the end after which all men strive (oů trávt' ¿pletaı), he finds it impossible of attainment, or, at all events, outbalanced by the miseries. On the very threshold of the inquiry, then, we find the axiom that pleasure is the chief end of man,' and it follows that when this mark is not reached, although set up, life is a failure, and man is baulked and disappointed. Here, then, an assumption seems to be made, to which we may or may not agree, that happiness is the chief good (without it life is worthless ; its presence alone gives value to life), and that all men directly aim at it. Now it cannot be said that since all men aim at pleasure and desire it, in so doing they aim at the best, for it is conceivable that it may be in ignorance that they do so, and that with a fuller knowledge they might discover that pleasure was not indeed the highest good, but something else—' blessedness,' for example—and that even were it absolutely 'the best,' the endeavour to attain it by direct grasping might be far from the way in which it was rightly to be procured. For, as Aristotle pointed out, happiness is the accompaniment of the exercise of a faculty, a something not to be rudely seized or appropriated, as we take an object into the hand. Nor can Plato admit that pleasure is in itself the good, for he tells us, “The pleasant life is more desirable with wisdom than without; but if the combination of the two be better, pleasure itself cannot be the good, for no addition can make the good itself more desirable.
We may pass by this point, nor press the contention.” This much, however, must be made clear. Pessimism aims
In Kantian phrase, we may admit pleasure to have 'value' but not dignity'
? The ingenious 'Fallacy of Composition' by which Mill endeavours to prove the greatest Happiness principle' (chap. iv., 'Utilitarianism'), we shall not here touch upon. It is hardly worth while arguing with the person who believes that the benevolent man is a man whose selfishness happens to have taken the form of benevolence' (Bentham, Mill's philosophical father).