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eration, that it may have some influence on minds of a peculiar cast; but he blames the proceeding of those, who, "out of an over-fondness for that darling invention, cashier, or at least endeavour to invalidate all other arguments, and forbid us to hearken to those proofs, as being weak or fallacious, which our own existence and the sensible parts of the universe offer so clearly and so cogently to our thoughts, that I deem it impossible for a considering inan to withstand them.” A more wise and catholic doctrine than this it would be difficult to imagine ; it stands opposed to that narrow bigotry, which Cousin has contributed of late to revive among us, which, in the foolish dread of a Sensualist tendency, would reject all appeals to that glorious book of external nature, that lies constantly open before us, written all over, within and without, with the name of the Father of all.

The original argument of Descartes has been reproduced in later times under various forms, the most noted of which are those of Cousin and Benjamin Constant. Admitting, as we do without reserve, that ihis argument bas its weight and should be allowed full companionship with the others, we may still resuse to discard all the rest for its sake, or even 10 allow it the chief place among them. Considered alone, it lies open to the serious objection, that it affords no direct answer to the reasoning of the skeptic. Establish as strongly

be the fact, that the human inind is never without the idea of a superior and more persect directing Intelligence, prove both from history and philosophy, that man is naturally and of necessity a religious being, — the scoffer, and the doubter will both demand to be shown, that this idea corresponds to a real existence, that this faith rests upon a solid foundation, that man is not that unhappy being compelled to accept what he cannot defend, and to believe where he can produce no evidence. They will say that it is doing little honor to our faith to reduce it to the rank of a necessary prejudice. We mistake the scope and purpose of skepticism, when we assume, that its sole object is to refute certain articles of faith. The intention of the Pyrrhonist is to discredit the whole intellectual faculty, to sap ihe very foundations of belief, by establishing ceaseless warfare between instinctive faith and calm, investigating reason. No one is more forward than Hume to admit, that we must believe in the principle of causality, in our own existence, in the reality of an external world. But it was the aim of his sophistry to show, that these primitive beliefs were at variance with known facts and sound logic, were contradictory and self-destructive, and that we were compelled to entertain them, even when their veracity bad been successfully impeached 10 ourselves. Behind all these admissions, the presence of which in bis writings has perplexed many of his assailants, we perceive the mocking glee of the acute logician, who triumphs by the use of bis adversary's own weapon. Hence the contemptuous satisfaction with which he received the attacks of his unskilful opponents, Beattie and others, and sometimes of a more redoubtable champion, Reid himself, who, by their appeals to common sense and universal belief, often played into his hands and strengthened his argument. Before skepticism of this sort, it is evident, that the reasoning of the French philosophers is powerless, for it does not touch the point.

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Our examination of the peculiarities of Cousin's speculations has been necessarily brief, but it may convey some idea of the spirit and tendency of bis philosophy, and of the points of contrast which it presents with systemis previously established. We have criticized his writings wiih perfect freedom, though with no hostile feeling or preconceived prejudice, but from a sincere desire to do that justice to him, which he has certainly failed to render to one of the greatest names in the list of English pbilosophers. Nothing bas been said of the strong national feeling, which has evidently blunted bis perception of the defects of the Cartesian philosophy, caused him to treat with the utmost tenderness even bis avowed opponents of Condillac's school, and betrayed bim into an illiberal and unjust attack upon the principles of Locke. Had bis gross misconceptions and unfounded criticism of these principles been confined to his own country, they might well be passed over here without exposure. But there are those among us, who, incapable of judging or too indolent to examine for themselves, have taken up these charges at second hand and repeated them so often and confidently, that a name once alinost venerated wherever the English language was known, has become associated in the minds of many with all that is degrading, skeptical, and unsound in philosophical opinion. It would be asking quite too much from such persons, to entreat them to weigh and ponder with caution the shallow and fantastic speculations, which it is intended to substitute for the ostracized philosophy ; but in the name of all truth and fairness, let them cease to echo borrowed charges, until they have, - we do not say, examined, — but read the writings against which they are directed. We are far, very far, from being indiscriminate admirers of Locke. It would be strange, indeed, if the progress of speculative inquiry since his time had not opened many new fields of research, and corrected many errors, into which he had fallen. But the catholic spirit in which his great work is written, the entire absence of pretension in enunciating his opinions, the wisdom of his practical views, the sagacity and good sense with which the inquiry is conducted, and, - we do not scruple to say it, — the general soundness of his doctrines, are qualities that must insure to him study and respect, as long as the language shall endure.

To his example, more than to any other single cause, the healthy and judicious tone of English speculations in philosophy for more than a century is properly to be attributed. He is the proper father of Reid and Stewart with their school, who, we must say, have rendered him but scanty justice, and the proper opposite of Cousin, who has treated him with no justice at all. There are many points in his “Essay, ” which now require to be limited and explained. There are some doctrines, which we would fain cut away altogether. But there remains after all, as we verily believe, a greater body of truths first clearly set forth by him and still unimpeached, than in any other single work on a corresponding subject, that has appeared since the revival of letters.

Art. II. — The Papers of James Madison, purchased by

Order of Congress, being his Correspondence and Reports of Debates during the Congress of the Confederation and his Reports of Debates in the Federal Convention, now published from the original Manuscripts deposited in the Department of State, by Direction of the Joint Library Committee of Congress, under the Supervision of HENRY D. Gilpin. Svo. Vols. I. II. III. pp. 580, xxii. ; 662 ; 382, ccxlvi. Washington : Langtree & O'Sulli

1840.

van.

Not contented with a life of eminent usefulness to his country, in the course of which Mr. Madison passed with honor through the most exalted and responsible public stations, he determined to signalize the moment of his death by the communication of these papers to his countrymen.

How much he valued them himself, was shown by the care o bich he took in preparing them for publication. How much he believed the people of the United States would value them, he proved by the testamentary provision which he made respecting them. He conceived that such would be the curiosity to read them, booksellers would vie with each other in the endeavour to secure the copy-right from his widow, and hence that it was a perfectly safe calculation in him to charge upon the sale of it legacies to the amount of twelve hundred dollars, whilst leaving the residuary nett proceeds to Mrs. Madison. He was greatly mistaken in this expectation. In the grand lottery of book publication, it is not certain that a meritorious work will always turn out a prize. And publishers have, in America as well as elsewhere, so ofien realized this truth, that they are excusably slow in venturing upon new and untried experiments, however promising they may appear. The consequence in this instance was, aster it became certain that private enterprise would not undertake the publication of the work, that Mrs. Madison determined to offer it to Congress and to the Nation. By them it was subsequently purchased for the sum of thirty thousand dollars, and under their authority it has now been published. We are glad that this disposition has been made of it, as well because of the fitness that the original manuscripts should make a part of the National Archives, as because by it the services of a compeVOL. LIII. - NO. 112.

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tent and responsible Editor were secured to their publication in a proper form. Mr. Gilpin appears to have done every thing in his power to facilitate the understanding of the text by the public.

But although we attach very great value to the Madison papers, we are by no means disposed to go the length of Mr. Robbins, the Senator from Rhode Island, who in his place described them as the most valuable work that has appeared since the days when Bacon gave to the world his Novum Organon.” This is a fair specimen of the magniloquence for which this country is so remarkable, and which has its focus in the Congress of the United States. It is altogether too long a period of time to look back upon, and too many profound men and brilliant geniuses have lived and written in the interval, for us to like to venture upon such a comparison. Besides, it appears to us to be doing great injustice to the work and its author, to take it up in this tone. It is neither a work of genius, nor does it treat very profoundly of any department of human knowledge. Its value, so far as we can understand it, is of a peculiar and somewhat unique character. It is the record of an extraordinary coincidence, in the same assembly, of men of practical skill, legislative talent, and disinterested purposes, such as the world had not often seen before, and such as it may never see again. The result was a written form of government which has already braved half a century of trial, and which bids fair for some time longer to be reckoned as a solitary exception to the rule in regard to similar instruments. The process by which this remarkable instrument was produced in a country where so many elements have always existed, and still exist, to defeat it, will always be deserving of profound study by all who interest themselves in political science. But we ought, at the same time, carefully to guard ourselves against the supposition, that the same measures which brought this assembly to a happy conclusion, could be repeated at pleasure with similar results upon any future occasion. It is very doubtful whether an equally good constitution with that which we are now considering, could now be made, notwithstanding all the knowledge we have acquired of its operation in the lapse of years. And it is still more doubtful, whether the very same men could or would have made the very same instrument at any other moment, before or since, than that in which they did make it, or

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