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tion. In the winter of 1672-73, when the head-quarters of the French army of invasion were at Utrecht, a certain Colonel there named Stoupe, at once a soldier and a theologian, who had printed a somewhat unfavourable criticism of Spinoza's Theologico-Political Treatise, invited Spinoza in his own name, and also in that of the Prince of Condé, to visit Utrecht, saying that Condé would recommend him for a pension if he would dedicate some book to the French King. Such an invitation does not seem at all likely to have been congenial to Spinoza's mind, and yet he accepted it, and went to Utrecht. It so happened that Condé had been suddenly called away, and the visit led to no known result, except that Spinoza said he had no wish for the proposed pension. As might be expected this visit caused him to be regarded with angry suspicion as one carrying on treasonable negotiations with the French, and on his return the populace were so excited that Van der Spijck feared that rioters would attack his house; but Spinoza reassured him by bravely declaring that if any mob came to the door he would at once go out to them and let them treat him, if they chose, as they had treated the De Witts. This shows that Spinoza, with all his timid shrinking from collision, could be courageous enough when duty demanded it. But why did he accept this invitation, and thus voluntarily take a course that threatened not only his peaceful relations with his neighbours, but even his life? Dr. Martineau suggests an explanation which may clear up the mystery. He shows that the contending parties were at that time so circumstanced that both had good reason to wish to learn whether they could prudently open negotiations for peace. “If,” says Dr. Martineau, “ on each side there was a secret wish to measure the temper of the other, no intermediary could look more innocent and be more informing than a philosophical recluse of republican sympathies whose private life was in contact with the most pacific party in the State. That some such public object should

lie hid behind the personal motive assigned for the visit would be perfectly consistent with the truest patriotism."

In 1675 Spinoza went to Amsterdam to see about the printing of the Ethica; but he found that a rumour had been set afloat, and was believed, that he was about to print a book to disprove the existence of God. He found also that owing to this rumour, not only the clergy, but also some Cartesians, were up in arms against him ; and so, with his characteristic caution and love of quietude and peace, he dropped the intention of immediate publication. He appears now to have addressed himself to the preparation of the notes for a new edition of the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus, and at the same time to have carried on some correspod. dence which had grown out of the doctrines of that work. The rapid advance of consumption was, however, undermining his strength. For some time his letters had spoken of failing health, and he had begged the indulgence of his cortespondents. On Saturday, the 20th of February, 1677, he felt somewhat worse than usual,and sent for his friend Dr. Meyer, of Amsterdam, who arrived on Sunday morning. No one seems to have supposed that his end was so near, for both the Van der Spijcks went to church in the afternoon, and learned, to their great surprise, on their return, that he hai died at three o'clock. No one was present at his death sare Dr. Meyer, the friend who afterwards superintended the publication of the manuscript works.

In concluding this meagre outline of the story of Spinoza and his writings (which can give, of course, but a very imperfect idea of the complete and artistic picture presentei in Dr. Martineau's admirable biography), we would wish to call attention to one great distinctive trait of Spinoza's philosophizing, namely, its practical character.

“Spinoza himself tells us,” says Dr. Land, t "by what road he came to philosophical enquiry. He had found that all those things which men generally seek after, riches, honour, pleasure,

Spinoza Essays, p. 17.

p. 91.

do not permanently satisfy. He asked if it were possible to discover and acquire that by means of which he would partake of perfect and enduring happiness. Nothing he saw but love to the eternal and infinite could bestow on him that joy. The highest good consisted for him in this, that he himself, and as many others as possible by his means, should come to the knowledge of * that unity which connects the mind of man with the whole of nature.''

His life and letters convince us that he had found the tranquil happiness he sought for ; but the interesting question still remains whether that peace of soul had been mainly won, as he himself seems to have thought it had, by persistent intellectual striving to attain to the true knowledge of himself and nature in their relation to the eternal Substance, or whether it had really been gained by the simpler process (which, in the case of unintellectual people, he admits to be legitimate and effectual) of obeying those monitions of the heart and conscience which are felt to carry with them a divine authority. We are inclined to think the latter is the true hypothesis, and the more we study his life and writings in the light of Dr. Martineau's exposition, the greater grows our reverence and love for the man, but at the same time the clearer grows our perception that his system, so far from being a coherent and consistent chain of reasoning, resting on self-evident primary truths, is, as we think will be clearly seen when we treat of Dr. Martineau's presentation of his philosophy, neither satisfactory in its first principles nor faultless in its logic. We cannot agree with Jacobi when he says, after refuting Spinozism, that it is, after all, the only self-consistent solution of the problem of the universe that philosophy can give ; but we heartily echo his genial exclamation :Take my blessing after all, great, aye, holy Benedict. Philosophize as thou mayst, and go astray in word respecting the nature of the Supreme. His truth was in thy soul and His love was thy life.”




N omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni, nisi

in hoexkens ende boexkens.” This famous saying exhibits the history of Thomas Kempensis in an expressive miniature. We should miss the whole force of the selfdelineation, were we to treat it (with a modern writer) as in any respect an echo of the magnificent despair of Ecclesiastes. The “omnia," which constituted the limited experiences of the quiet Frater of St. Agnes' Mount, were insignificant indeed, if we measure them by the eager excursions into all fields of human interest and expectancy, made by the insatiable spirit of him who cloaks his mysterious personality under the ambiguous phrase, “a son of David, a king of Jerusalem." Requies,” which was the first quest and the assured gain of Thomas, never fell upon the cankered soul of that great writer who dared to inscribe “ Vanitas" as the epitaph alike of piety, of folly,

• 1. Prolegomena zu einer neuen Ausgabe der Imitatio Christi nack ders Autograph des Thomas von Kempen. · Von KARL HIRSCHE. Band I. (Berlin: Carl Habel.) 1873.

2. The Authorship of the De Imitatione Christi. By SAMUEL KETTLE WELL, M.A. (Rivingtons.) 1877.

3. Quæritur e quibus Nederlandicis fontibus hauserit scriptor libri cui titulus est De Imitatione Christi. Auctore G. BONET-MAURY. (Paris: Sandoz et Fischbacher.) 1878.

4. Gérard de Groote, un précurseur de la Reforme, au quatorzième siècle, d'après des documents inédits. Par G. BONET-MAURY. (Paris: Sandez et Fischbacher.) 1878.

5. Giovanni Gersen, sein Leben und sein Werk De Imitatione Christi. Von Dr. CÖLESTIN WOLFSGRUBER; Benedictiner zu den Schotten in Weis. (Augsburg: Max Huttler.) 1880.

6. Thomas a Kempis and the Brothers of Common Life. By the Rev, S. KETTLEWELL. (Kegan Paul, Trench and Co.) 1882.

, and of toil. And when Thomas, in the course of those fifteen years which he spent with laborious care in making his fair copy of the Vulgate for the Brethren of his House, came to the scornful sentence which said, “Faciendi plures libros nullus est finis: frequensque meditatio, carnis afflictio est,” he must have joyed to think how sweet was the peace which his gentler soul had found, in the "nooklets” where he delighted to meditate, and among the “booklets ” which he transcribed with unwearied pen.

Characteristic both of his feeling and of his style is that sudden dropping into his native Lowland speech, which gives quaint piquancy to the saying we have quoted. He might have phrased it in continuous Latin, with no loss of the antithetic rhyme which he loved (in angellis atque libellis). But the kindly flavour of the Teuton terms enriches the whole meaning of the home-keeping utterance. Like the Shunammite of old, Thomas could say, “I dwell among mine own people.” Not only was the horizon of his natural world bounded by the low-lying flats of Gelderland and Overyssel ; but beyond this landscape his imagination took no soaring flights. He felt no desire to penetrate into any greater field of human existence than that which, for him, was amply filled by the diligent Brothers of his Order, the simple and pious women of his own neighbourhood, the poor who resorted to the monastery gates, the children who thronged the little schoolhouse where the Brothers taught. In the souls that peopled this quiet scene, his heart, it is plain, was deeply interested. Yet even these he was prepared inwardly to renounce," with companions of every kind, yea, also all cities, towers, manor-houses, hills ,and valleys, streams and fountains, plains, meadows, and groves " (Orationes Piae). The catalogue of his renunciations, minute and extended as it is, leaves still untouched the shelter and the occupation wherein he felt most at home.

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