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MARTINEAU, JAMES

occupy the pulpit of Little Portland Street chapel in London, which he did at first for two years in conjunction with the Rev. ]. ]. Tayler, who was also his colleague in the college, and then for twelve years alone. In 1866 the chair of the philosophy of mind and logic in University College, London, fell vacant, and Martineau became a candidate. But potent opposition was offered to the appointment of a minister of religion, and the chair went to George Croom Robertson-then an untried man between whom and Martineau a cordial friendship came to exist. In 1885 he retired, full of years and honours, from the principal ship of the college he had so long served and adorned. Martineau, who was in his youth denied the benefit of a university education, yet in his age found famous universities eager to confer upon him their highest distinctions. He was made LL.D. of Harvard in 1872, S.T.D. of Leiden in 1874, D.D. of Edinburgh in 1884, D.C.L. of Oxford in 1888 and D.Litt. of Dublin in 1891. He died in London on the 11th of ]anuary 1900.

The life of Martineau was so essentially the life of the thinker, and was so typical of the century in which he lived and the society within which he moved, that he can be better understood through his spoken mind than through his outward history. He was a man happy in his ancestry; he inherited the dignity, the reserve, the keen and vivid intellect, and the picturesque imagination of the French Huguenot, though they came to him chastened and purified by generations of Puritan discipline exercised under the gravest ecclesiastical disabilities, and of culture maintained in the face of exclusion from academic privileges. He had the sweet and patient temper which knew how to live, unrepining and unsoured, in the midst of the most watchful persecution, public and private; and it is wonderful how rarely he used his splendid rhetoric for the purposes of invective against the spirit and policy from which he must have suffered deeply, while, it may be added, he never hid an innuendo under a metaphor or a trope. He was fundamentally too much a man of strong convictions to be correctly described as open-minded, for if nature ever determined any man's faith, it was his; the root of his whole intellectual life, which was too deep to be disturbed by any superficial change in his philosophy, being the feeling for God. He has, indeed, described in graphic terms the greatest of the more superficial changes he underwent; how he had “ carried into logical and ethical problems the maxims and postulates of physical knowledge, ” and had moved within the narrow lines drawn by the philosophical instructions of the class-room “interpreting human phenomena by the analogy of external nature ”; how he served in willing captivity “ the 'empirical and ' necessarian ' mode of thought, ” even though “ shocked ” by the dogmatism and acrid humours “ of certain distinguished representatives ”;1 and how in a period of “ second education ” at Berlin, “ mainly under the admirable guidance of Professor Trendelenburg, ” he experienced “ a new intellectual birth” which “ was essentially the gift of fresh conceptions, the unsealing of hidden openings of self-consciousness, with unmeasured corridors and sacred halls behind; and, once gained, was more or less available throughout the history of philosophy, and lifted the darkness from the pages of Kant and even Hegel.” But though this momentous change of view illuminated his old beliefs and helped him to re-interpret and re-articulate them, yet it made him no more of a theist than he had been before. And as his theism was, so was his religion and his philosophy. Certainly it was true of him, in a far higher degree than of John Henry Newman, that the being of God and himself were to his mind two absolutely self-luminous truths-though both his God and his self were almost infinitely remote from Newman's. And as these truths were self-evident, so the religion he deduced from them was sufficient, not only for his own moral and intellectual nature, but also for man as he conceived him, for history as he knew it, and for society as he saw it.

We may, alternatively, describe Martineau's religion as his applied philosophy or his philosophy as his explicated religion, and both as 1 Types of Ethical rhwy, i. pp. vii.-ix. 2 ibia. p. xiii. if the expression of his singularly fine ethical and reverent nature. But to understand these in their mutual and explanatory relations it will be necessary to exhibit the conditions under which his thought grew into consistency and system. His main, function made him in his early life a preacher even more emphatically than a teacher. In all he said and all he thought he had the preacher's end in view. He was, indeed, no mere orator or speaker to multitudes. He addressed a comparatively small and select circle, a congregation of thoughtful and devout men, who cultivated reverence and loved religion all the more that their own beliefs were limited to the simplest and sublimest truths. He felt the magxesty of these truths to be the greater that they so represented to im not only the most fundamental of human beliefs, but also all that man could be reasonably expected to believe, though to believe with his whole reason. Hence the beliefs he preached were never to him mere speculative ideas, but rather the ultimate realities of being and thought, the final truths as to the character and ways of God interpreted into a law for the government of conscience and the regulation of life. And so he became a positive religious teacher by virtue of the very ideas that made the words of the Hebrew prophets so potent and sublime. But he did more than interpret to his age the significance of man's ultimate theistic beliefs, he gave them vitality b reading them through the consciousness of Jesus Christ. His religion was what he conceived the personal religion of lesus to have been; and He was to him more a person to be imitated than an authority to be obeyed, rather an ideal to be revered than a being to be worshipped.

Martineau's mental qualities fitted him to fulfil these high interpretative functions. He had the imagination that invested with personal being and ethical qualities the most abstruse notions. To him space became a mode of divine activity, alive with the presence and illuminated by the vision of God; time was an arena where the divine hand guided and the divine will reigned. And though he did not believe in the Incarnation, yet he held deity to be in a sense manifest in humanity; its saints and heroes became, in spite of innumerable frailties, after a sort divine; man underwent an apotheosis, and all life was touched with the dignity and the grace which it owed to its source. The 19th centur had no more reverent thinker than Martineau; the awe of the iiternal was the very atmosphere that he breathed, and he looked at man with the compassion of one whose thoughts were full of God. To his function as a preacher we owe some of his most characteristic and stimulating works, especially the discourses by which it may be said he won his way to wide and influential recognition-Endeavours after the Christian Life, 1st series, 1843; 2nd series, 1847; Hours of Thought, 1st series, 1876; 2nd series, 1879; the various hymn-books he issued at Dublin in 1831, at Liverpool in 1840, in London in 1873; and the Home Prayers in 1891. But besides the vocation he had freely selected and assiduously laboured to fulfil, two more external influences helped to shape Martineau's mind and define his problem and his work; the awakening of English thought to the problems which underlie both philosophy and religion, and the new and higher opportunities offered for their discussion in the periodical press. The questions which lived in the earlier and more formative period of his life concerned mainly the idea of the church, the historical interpretation of the documents which described the persons who had created the Christian religion, especially the person and work of its founder; but those most alive in his later and maturer time chiefly related to the philosophy of religion and ethics. In one respect Martineau was singularly happy; he just escaped the active and, on the whole, belittling period of the old Unitarian controversy. When his ministry began its fires were slowly dying down, though the embers still glowed. We feel its presence in his earliest notable work, The Rationale of Religious Enquiry, 1836; and may there see the rigour with which it applied audacious logic to narrow premises, the tenacity with which it clung to a limited literal super naturalism which it had no philosophy to justify, and so could not believe without historical and verbal authority. This traditional conservatism survived in the statement, which, while it caused vehement discussion when the book appeared, was yet not so much characteristic of the man as of the school in which he had been trained, that “ in no intelligible sense can any one who denies the supernatural origin of the religion of Christ be termed a Christian, ” which term, he explained, was used not as “ a name of praise, ” but simply as “ a desi nation of belief.” 3 He censured the German rationalists “ for:having preferred, by convulsive eliorts of interpretation, to compress the memoirs of Christ and His apostles into the dimensions of ordinary life, rather than admit the operation of miracle on the one hand, or proclaim their abandonment of Christianity on the other.” 4 The echoes of the dying controversy are thus distinct and not very distant in this book, though it also offers in its larger outlook, in the author's evident uneasiness under the burden of inherited beliefs, and his inability to reconcile them with his new standpoint and accepted principles, a curious forecast of his later development, while in its positive premises it presents a still more instructive contrast to the conclusions of his later dialectic. Nor did the sound of the ancient controversy ever cease to be audible to him. In 1839 he sprang 7, - f

Rationale, 2nd ed., pref., p. vii. 4 lbid. p. 135. R