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worked out, Professor Tal's own pamphlet gives us striking proofs that the spirit of the Talmud is legal and traditional in the highest degree, and in so far opposed to the spirit of the Gospel. We can hardly restrain a smile at the naïveté of Rabbi Tal's citation of the following sentiment amongst the parallels to Matthew v. 6—(Blessed are they that do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.) “He whose good
. deeds exceed his evil deeds, even by one, to him shall it be well; his days shall be lengthened, and at last he shall obtain eternal blessedness." Again, the following story furnishes an interesting illustration of its better known companion, in which Hillel declares the “golden rule" in its negative form) to be the “whole law" :-"A heathen came to Shammai and said to him, 'I want to be a Jew, but only to believe in the written, and not in the traditional, law. Shammai chased bim out of the house with words of wrath. The heathen went to Hillel with the same proposal. Very good,' said Hillel, I will accept you.' The first day Hillel taught him the Hebrew letters. The next day Hillel said the letters in the wrong order. • That isn't right,' said the heathen. You taught me differently yesterday.' • Well then,' said Hillel, if you trust me in my way of teaching you to read the written law according to fixed rules why will you not trust me when I teach you to interpret the law according to the fixed rules of the oral tradition?'” We may remind our readers that Hillel was the inventor or systematiser of a wonderfully elaborate method of Scriptural interpretation, which enabled the Rabbis to prove anything they liked from Scripture. Dr. Oort's thesis is as follows: "The morality of the Gospel
“ is in many respects diametrically opposed to that of the Talmud. Not only is the former far purer and more exalted than the latter, but their characters are so diverse that if a man is to understand and comply with the demands of Jesus he must shake himself entirely free from the morality of the Talmud.” Dr. Oort defends this position wind great vigour and penetration, and carries the controversy into a region where the precepts and illustrations of morality are shown in due subordination to the spirit and principles that underlie them. The comparison of Gospel and Talmud cannot be fairly made on the strength of selected “parallels." But perhaps the most noteworthy portion of Dr. Oort's pamphlet will be found in his examination of some of the alleged parables themselves. The results he gives us serve to impress upon our minds the extreme caution with which we should receive statements we are most of us quite unable to check concerning the Talmud and its contents. For instance, Rabbi Tal cites as a parallel to Matt. v. 33–37 (the prohibition of oaths) the following story from the Talmud :“Once, in a time of famine, a man gave a golden denarius to a widow to keep for him. She put it into her meal-measure, and it got into the meal, and finally into a loaf which the widow gave away to a poor man. After a time the owner came and asked for the coin, and, of course, it could not be found. Then the widow cried, “May the poison of death strike one of my children if I have had any profit from your piece of gold.' A few days afterwards one of her children died. When the Scribes heard of this they said, See! so heavily is he punished who adds oaths to his assurances, even if they are perfectly true. How stern, then, shall the penalty be of him who swears falsely ?” Here Rabbi Tal breaks off. But Dr. Oort corrects and continues his translation, by a reference to the original, thus :-“If it goes thus with him who swears in good faith, how much more to him who swears deceitfully. Why [was she punished]? She was '
] punished because she had profited by the space occupied by the coin.” That is to say, she had more meal left for her own use than she would have had if the loaf she had given away had not had the coin in it! Her oath was, therefore, false, though sworn in good faith, and she was punished. The reader may now judge of the aptness of this citation to dispel the belief that the Talmud deals in hair-splitting subtleties, and to foster the conviction that its morality is identical in spirit with that of the Gospel.
Perhaps a still more instructive lesson is taught by the following passage. Rabbi Tal, to show the gentle and forgiving spirit of the Talmud, cites : “If you should meet your friend's beast bowed down under his burden, and your enemy should be standing near, and should need your help to load his beast, then you should help your enemy first. Even if your friend's beast must suffer pain a few moments longer as he lies under his burden, yet help your enemy first. For you must not cherish any hate against your brother in your heart, and sternly to repress the evil disposition to do so, must go before everything." Now, we are prepared to learn that translations from such a book as the Talmud must not be made too literal if they are to be de intelligible. But with all due allowance for this necessity, we are a little startled to learn from Professor Oort that the passage so freely rendered by Rabbi Tal runs thus when translated literally : “One must help a friend to unlade, an enemy to lade. We are bidden to help the enemy in order to restrain his hatred. If cruelty to aniinals were forbidden in the Law, then must not the first (unlading the friend's beast] have precedence? Yes, but to restrain his passion comes first.” Dr. Dort shows that the passage comes in a long and complicated discussion of the question whether cruelty to animals is or is not forbidden in the Law, and shows also from the context, and from the best Jewish authorities, that the "passion” which is to be so carefully restrained is not our hatred of our enemy, but our enemy's hatred of us—which might be dangerously excited if we gave our friend the precedence !
Enough has been said to indicate the extreme interest of the controversy we have been reviewing. It is a matter of congratulation that the Talmud is at last being attacked by Christian scholars who decline to submit themselves blindly to the Jewish tradition, and are determined to see with their own eyes. When Christians make an independent study of the Talmud, availing themselves of Jewish learning, and Jews make an independent study of the New Testament, availing themselves of modern criticism, we may hope to leave behind us the period of barren recriminations, and enter a fruitful epoch of intelligent and friendly co-operation between equally candid and earnest minds approaching with different and mutually supplementing traditions the same great problems of history and criticism.
PHILIP H. WICKSTEED.
DR. J. H. STIRLING'S TEXT-BOOK TO KANT.'-REMARKS ON
SOME POINTS IN THE TRANSCENDENTAL LOGIC.
E may take it as a proof of the intrinsic worth of Kant's
greatest work is signalised by the appearance in various parts of the world of a quite surprising amount of Kantian literature. But this revived interest in the exposition and criticism of Kant's writings is, in this country at least, not wholly, or perhaps even chiefly, due to any hope of finding in Kant an ultimate philosophical guide. It is in the interests of that modified Hegelianism, which is now so vigorous at some of our great centres of learning, that especial attention is being directed towards him who started the grand philosophic impulse of which the Hegelian theory is regarded as the only logical and self-consistent product. Accordingly, the more eminent of the recent English interpreters of Kant, as Edward Caird at Glasgow, J. H. Stirling at Edinburgh, and W. Wallace at Oxford, have previously distinguished themselves as able Hegelians. The same is, to some extent, true of Professor Adamson's work on Kant, and of a treatise by Dr. J. Gould Schurman on “Kantian Ethics and the Ethics of Evolution,” an able essay which (we may say in passing) will be noticed in the next number, along with Mr. Wallace's forthcoming account of Kant in Blackwood's “Philosophical Classics.”
Dr. Stirling's somewhat formidable work * is certainly no easy reading, but to the earnest student of philosophy the labour spent on it will prove both interesting and profitable. It consists of three parts; firstly, an introductory sketch of the Critique of Pure Reason, excluding, however, the final section (the Transcendental Dialectic), in which is discussed the validity of the three ideas the soul, nature, and God; secondly, a new translation of the same portion of the Critique; and finally, an elaborate commentary on the part translated.
We took up this volume with much eagerness, for in our former occasional excursions into the Kantian Philosophy we have always hitherto found ourselves brought to a vexatious standstill at certain critical points, but were never sure how far this was really due to our inability to penetrate deep enough into the master's thought. When Dr. Stirling's book reached us it seemed possible that, with so accomplished a guide, a path might be discovered through or over these apparently insurmountable obstacles. In this respect we have been disappointed. Dr. Stirling's clear and vigorous exposition has enabled us to discern more distinctly the true character and bearings of the Kantian doctrine, but in so doing has strengthened rather than weakened our conviction that that doctrine, though it has certainly made good some new and important positions which philosophy will never abandon, cannot as a whole be looked upon as a tenable account of man's cognitive faculty.
* Tert-Book to Kant. The Critique of Pure Reason : Æsthetic, Categories, Schematism. Translation, Reproduction, Commentary, Index. With Biographical Sketch. By J. H. STIRLING, LL.D. Edinburgh : Oliver and Boyd. 1881.
The section on Transcendental Æsthetic, establishing the a priori character of Space and Time, is most luminous and satisfactory; but when we pass on to the Transcendental Logic, and attempt to follow Kant in his endeavour to show that the world of experience is produced by the imposition upon our sense impressions of the twelve categories or notions which correspond to the twelve elemental forms of logical judgment, then we find ourselves in what seems to be an artificial system which does not admit of being harmonised with the facts of consciousness. Kant tells us that the impressions of sense are a mere chaos till order is superinduced upon them by the necessary modes of our understanding. But this doctrine, as Dr. Stirling shows, leads to much that is either unintelligible or self-contradictory, and it is quite impossible for us to escape the belief that the order and relations of our various sense impressions are discerned by the mind, and not imposed by the mind. While Kant maintains that the intelligibility and the order of phenomena are due to the mind's action upon the material of sensation, Dr. Stirling maintains with more reason that the material of sensation is itself an orderly whole, so that the character of our scientific knowledge is determined by the order and kind of our sensational experience, and not solely by the action of the categories of thought upon chaotic sense impressions.
In Dr. Stirling's criticism of Kant's view of the relation of sensation to experience we heartily concur ; but when he attempts to replace Kantian by Hegelian doctrine we find that the latter, though a great improvement on the Kantian scheme, is still far from satisfactory. Dr. Stirling holds that the impressions, which constitute the material of our knowledge of nature, not only exist per se in orderly relations, but also in necessary relations, and that, therefore, a belief in the uniformity of phenomenal sequences is necessitated by the constitution of our thought. But, so far as we can see, the Hegelians are as little able to show that nature must express the particular thought which it does express, as the Kantians are to show that the sensations, apart from the understanding, are an unrelated chaos of feeling. Kant and Dr. Stirling are at one in representing causation as a necessary time relation among phenomena,