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positions are now in the course of publication in London. He is known as the author of various political, literary, and philosophical articles, in the Edinburgh Review. It would be difficult to mention any writer, whose name has been connected with the literary journals of the nineteenth century, who has carried into the task of criticism so much fairness and moderation as Mackintosh. His nature was singularly free from asperity and dogmatism. To a large understanding, and boundless stores of knowledge, he united candor, and even humility, in their employment. His mind was eminently judicial. From the character of his intellectual powers, and the moral qualities from which they received their direction, it was natural for him to look at things with an impartial desire to arrive at truth, and to view both sides of every ques. tion. He had no intellectual pride, no love for principles simply because they were his by discovery or adoption. His mind was always open to new truth. As far as his perceptions extended, he ever did full and complete justice to all systems of philosophy or legislation which came under his notice. He was incapable of misrepresenting a personal enemy or a political opponent. We have sometimes thought that an argument for the whig party of Great Britain might be built on the simple fact that their general principles and conduct were warmly approved by a man of so much comprehensiveness of heart and understanding, and so much freedom from partisanship, as Sir James Mackintosh.

The intellectual and moral character of this eminent man are so closely connected that it is difficult to view them separately. We do not think his works are fair and full exponents of his nature; and his reputation was always justly greater for what he was than for what he


performed, valuable as were most of his performances. His friends and associates were among the greatest intellects of his time, and he was respected and venerated by them all. His name always carried with it a moral influence; and wherever heard, it was always associated with sound and weighty views of philosophy, with liberal principles of government, with learning, humanity, justice, and freedom. His influence was great, although it was not so palpable as that of many among his contemporaries; and it will be permanent. A man of so much uprightness and virtue, placed in such a prominent position, and mingling daily with his contemporaries as a practical statesman and philosopher, could not fail to wield unconsciously great power over the opinions and actions of his generation; and the beauty of his charac ter will long continue to exert an influence, in insensibly moulding the minds of scholars and statesmen, and give ing a humane and moral direction to their powers.

Among the critical essays contributed by Mackintosh to the Edinburgh Review, the most distinguished are his two articles on Dugald Stewart's review of the “Progress of Ethical, Metaphysical, and Political Science.” These are eminently characteristic of his mind and character, being remarkable rather for largeness of view than strength of grasp, and free altogether from the fanaticism of system. The sketches of Aquinas, Bacon, Descartes, Hobbes, Locke, Boyle, Leibnitz, Machiavel, Montaigne, Grotius, Puffendorf, Barrow, and Jeremy Taylor, abound in profound remark, and often in delicate criticism. The different thinkers who pass before him for review he treats with admirable fairness, and sets forth their leading principles in a clear light. Though the style elegant and condensed, it is at times languid, as if it


paused in its movement with the pauses of the writer's judgment, or its pace was retarded by the mass of thought and erudition it conveyed. Occasionally it becomes a little verbose, from the introduction of words to restrain the full force of general epithets, or to indicate minute distinctions. A large number of striking thoughts might be quoted from these articles. They can be read again and again, with pleasure and instruction. The weight, solidity, and coolness of understanding, of which Mackintosh's disquisitions give so marked an example, remind the reader more of the judicial minds of the old English prose writers, than of the pugnacious and partisan intellects of the moderns. They lack the fire both of passion and prejudice; but their mingled gravity and sweetness of feeling, and amplitude of comprehension, will always preserve their interest. His miscellaneous essays and reviews, when collected, will occupy, we think, a permanent place in the higher literature of the generation of thinkers to which he belongs.

The various disquisitions of SIR WILLIAM HAMILTON seem to have attracted but little attention on this side of the Atlantic, from the fact that they deal with subjects somewhat removed from popular taste and popular apprehension; yet it would be difficult to name any contributions to a review which display such a despotic command of all the resources of logic and metaphysics as his articles in the Edinburgh Review on Cousin, Dr. Brown, and Bishop Whately. Apart from their scientific value, they should be read as specimens of intellectual power. They evince more intense strength of understanding than any other writings of the age; and in the blended merits of their logic, rhetoric, and learning, they may challenge comparison with the best works of any British metaphysicians. He seems to have read every writer, ancient and modern, on logic and metaphysics, and is conversant with every philosophical theory, from the lowest form of materialism to the most abstract development of idealism; and yet his learning is not so remarkable as the thorough manner in which he has digested it, and the perfect command he has of all its stores. Everything that he comprehends, no matter how abstruse, he comprehends with the utmost clear. ness, and employs with consummate skill. He is altogether the best trained reasoner on abstract subjects of his time. He is a most terrible adversary, because his logic is unalloyed by an atom of passion or prejudice; and nothing is more merciless than the intellect. No fallacy, or sophism, or half-proof, can escape his analysis, and he is pitiless in its exposure. His method is to strike directly at his object, and he accomplishes it in a few stern, brief sentences. His path is over the wreck of opinions, which he demolishes as he goes. After he has decided a question, it seems to be at rest forever, for his rigorous logic leaves no room for controversy. He will not allow his adversary a single loop-hole for escape. He forces him back from one position to another, he trips up his most ingenious reasonings, and leaves him at the end naked and defenceless, mournfully gathering up the scattered fragments of his once symmetrical system. The article on “Cousin's Course of Philosophy," and that on “Reid and Brown,” are grand examples of this gladiatorial exercise of intellectual power.

Hamilton is not only a great logician, but a great rhetorician. His matter is arranged with the utmost art; his style is a model of philosophical clearness, conciseness, and energy. Every word is in its right place, has


a precise scientific meaning, can stand the severest tests of analysis, and bears but one interpretation. He is as impregnable in his terms as in his argument; and with all the hard accuracy of his language, the movement of his style is as rapid, and sometimes as brilliant, as that of Macaulay. It seems to drag on the mind of the student by pure force. The key to a whole philosophical system is often given in a single emphatic sentence, whose stern compression has sometimes the effect of epigram, - as when he condenses the results of the Scotch philosophy into these few words :—“It proved that intelligence supposed principles, which, as the conditions of its activity, could not be the results of its operation; and that the mind contained notions, which, as primitive, necessary, and universal, were not to be explained as generalizations from the contingent and particular, about which alone our external experience was conversant. The phenomena of mind were thus distinguished from the phenomena of matter, and if the impossibility of materialism were not demonstrated, there was, at least, demonstrated the impossibility of its proof.” The mastery of his subject, which Hamilton possesses, the perfect order with which his thoughts are arranged, and his exact knowledge of terms, free him altogether from that comparative vassalage to words which so often confuses the understandings of metaphysicians. His style has the hard brilliancy of polished steel ; its lustre comes from its strength and compactness.

Among his contributions to the Edinburgh Review, besides those already enumerated, are the articles on the “ Universities of England,” on “Recent Publications on Logical Science,” and on “ Johnson's Translation of Tenneman's History of Philosophy.” The most pleas

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