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labour if we succeed in persuading the people to this conduct without communicating the doctrines of the philosophy to every individual. Only for kings or their advisers, or for the heads of the aristocracy, will the philosophy be of value, since these must take care to keep the whole in its course. These stringent inferences from the doctrine of Hobbes look, in fact, as though they had been simply abstracted from the more recent intellectual history of England, so closely has the nation, on the whole, developed itself after the pattern prescribed by Hobbes. The higher aristocracy retains a personal freedom of thought, together with a sincere, or shall we say, what has become a sincere, respect for ecclesiastical institutions, Men of business regard all doubt of the verities of religion as 'unpractical;' for the arguments for or against their theological foundations they have no appreciation; and if they shudder at "Germanism,' that is rather with reference to the security of the present life than with any reference to the expectation of a life beyond the grave. Women, children, and the sentimental are unreservedly devoted to religion. But in the lower classes of society, for whose maintenance in a state of subjection a life of refined sentiment does not seem requisite, there is again scarcely any remnant of religion, except the fear of God and the clergy. Speculative philosophy is thought superfluous, if not mischievous. The notion of a philosophy of nature has passed into that of physical science; and a modified selfishness, which has secured an excellent understanding with Christianity, is fully recognised by all classes of society as the only foundation of individual or public morality.
We are far indeed from referring to the influence of a Hobbes this wholly original, and, in its way, model development of modern England; nay, it is much rather the lively characteristic of the nature of this people in their process of development; it is the sum of all the historical and material circumstances, from which both are to be explained—the philosophy of Hobbes, and the subsequent turn taken by the national character. But at all events, we must regard Hobbes in a higher light when we see, as it were, prophetically figured in his doctrines the later phenomena of the English national life.39 Reality is often much more paradoxical than any philosophical system, and the actual behaviour of mankind contains more inconsistencies than a thinker could with all bis efforts heap together; and of this orthodox but Materialistic England affords us a striking example.
And again, in the sphere of natural science there arose at this time that peculiar combination, which even to this day causes so much surprise to the scholars of the Continent, of a thoroughly Materialistic philosophy with a great respect for the dogmas and customs of religious tradition. Two men there are in particular who represent this spirit in the generation after Hobbes—the chemist Robert Boyle, and Sir Isaac Newton.
39 Buckle, Hist. of Civil. in Engl., in his speculations eagerly welcomed i. 390, says of Hobbes :
“The most a theory which, while it exalted the dangerous opponent of the clergy in kingly office, relaxed the obligations the seventeenth century was certainly of morality, and degraded religion Hobbes, the subtlest dialectician of into a mere affair of state. Hobbism his time; a writer, too, of singular soon became an almost essential part clearness, and, among British meta- of the character of the fine gentlephysicians, inferior only to Berke- man.” Further on, however, it is ley (?). . . . During his life, and for said very truly of this same sort of several years after his death, every frivolous gentlemen, that by their man who ventured to think for him. means the English High Church came self was stigmatised as a Hobbist, or, again to wealth and honour. Little as it was sometimes called, a Hobbian." as these elegant voluptuaries were in. These observations are not incorrect, clined to regulate their life accordalthough, unless we take the other ing to the precepts of the Church, side of the matter into account, they they were soon just as ready “to present an incorrect picture of Hobbes fight knee-deep in blood” for her and his infuence. This other side cathedrals and palaces, for every lipe is described by Macaulay, Hist. of of her formularies, and every thread Engl., i. 86, pop. ed. (c. ii.)—“Change of her vestments. In Macaulay's wellin the Morals of the Community :' known Essay on Bacon occurs the “ Thomas Hobbes had, in language following noteworthy passage as to more precise and luminous than has Hobbes : “... His quick eye soon ever been employed by any other discerned the superior abilities of metaphysical writer, maintained that Thomas Hobbes. It is not probable, the will of the prince was the stan. however, that he fully appreciated dard of right and wrong, and that the powers of his disciple, or foresaw every subject ought to be ready to the vast influence, both for good or profess Popery, Mahometanism, or for evil, which that most vigorous Paganism at the royal command. and acute of human intellects was Thousands who were incompetent to destined to exercise on the two sucappreciate what was really valuable ceeding generations."
The modern world sees these two men separated by a great gulf. Boyle is now named only in the history of chemistry, and is, in his significance for the general intellectual life of modern times, almost forgotten; while the name of Newton shines as a star of the first magnitude.40 Their contemporaries did not see the matter quite in this light, and still less can the more accurate investigations of history be found to affirm this judgment. Newton will have to be less exclusively valued than is usually the case, while Boyle will be found entitled to a prominent place of honour in the history of the sciences. Yet Newton remains the greater man; and even though his explanation of the movements of the heavenly bodies by means of gravitation appears to be a ripe product of time, it was, nevertheless, not a mere chance that this was gathered by a man who united, in so rare a measure, mathematical talent, physical modes of thought, and the enduring capacity for labour. In his leaning to a clear physical and mechanical conception of the course of nature, Boyle entirely agreed with Newton; and Boyle was the older of the two, and must, in regard to the introduction into natural science of Materialistic foundations, be considered as one of the greatest of the pioneers. With him chemistry enters upon a new epoch.41 The breach with alchemy
40 More correct is the judgment of mathematical talent with the qualiBuckle, Hist. Civil. in Engl., i. 367: ties of character described in the text. “After the death of Bacon one of the 41 Thus even Gmelin, Gesch. d. most distinguished Englishmen was Chemie, Gött., 1798, begins the certainly Boyle, who, if compared "Zweite Hauptepoche,” or modern with his contemporaries, may be said history of chemistry, with Boyle's to rank immediately below Newton, Zeitalter (1661-1690)." He rightly though, of course, very inferior to observes (ii. 35), that no man contrihim as an original thinker.” To the buted so largely “to destroy the aulatter remark we can scarcely sub- thority which alchemy had usurped scribe, for Newton's greatness by no over so many minds and sciences” as means consisted in the originality of did Boyle. He is treated with his thinking, but in the uniou of rare greater fulness in Kopp, Gesch. d.
and with Aristotelian notions was completed by Boyle.
Robert Boyle (born in 1626) was a son of Viscount Cork, and availed himself of his considerable property in order to live wholly for science. Naturally grave and inclined to melancholy, the doubts as to the Christian faith which were probably excited by his scientific studies were regarded by him very seriously; and as he sought to combat them in his own case by Bible-reading and reflection, he
Chemie, i. 163 ff. : “We see in in the history of the doctrine of
felt also the necessity of making others also feel that a reconciliation was possible between faith and knowledge. With this aim he founded public lectures, to which those Essays, amongst others, owe their origin by which Clarke endeavoured to convince the world of the existence of God. Clarke, who had put together a natural religion out of Newton's cosmological notions, entered the lists against every view that would not fit this system, and wrote accordingly not only against Spinoza and Leibniz, but also against Hobbes and Locke, the fathers of English Materialism and Sensationalism. And yet the whole cosmology of the great physicists Boyle and Newton, in whose footsteps he trod, peculiarly interwoven as it was with religious elements, could not have arisen without that same Materialism from which these quite other consequences were drawn.
If we think of the religious and somewhat moody character of Boyle, we must only wonder the more at the straightforwardness of judgment with which he broke through the nets of alchemy. It cannot be denied, moreover, that his scientific theories here and there in chemistry, and especially medicine, still bear traces of the mysticism which at that time was generally dominant in the sphere of those sciences, though at the same time he became the most influential opponent of this mysticism. His Chemista Scepticus' (1661), whose very title contains a declaration of war with tradition, is with justice regarded as a turningpoint in the history of chemistry. In physics he made most important discoveries, some of which were later attributed to others; yet it must be admitted that his theories often lack the necessary clearness and completeness, so that he does much more in the way of disturbance and preparation than of final accomplishment. 42
42 Buckle, Hist. Civil. in Engl., i. statics, and the original discovery of 368, attributes specially to Boyle the the law (later called after Mariotte) first exact experiments into the rela- according to which the density of air tion between colour and heat, the varies as its pressure. With regard foundation of the science of hydro- to hydrostatics, however, Buckle him.