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140 HARVARD THEOLOGICAL REVIEW 

out to be "primary instincts," and so to possess an authoritative- 
ness above that of the intellect which would discredit them (pp. 
133-134). This might be the case if morality and religion were 
instinctive — and there is every reason to believe that they are not — 
or if instincts were beliefs which could be either true or false. The 
proposal to establish beliefs by claiming that they are in some loose 
sense "instinctive," can only prove that Bergsonism lends comfort 
to obscurantism through its limited but ill-guarded treatment of 
"instinct" as cognitive. As for the more fundamental question 
of the "purposiveness" of the world, Dr. Dodson finds it necessary 
to dissent from Bergson, and succeeds only in showing the opposi- 
tion in Bergson of two notions, that of sheer impetus or vis a tergo, 
and that of direction, growth, or realization; and the further oppo- 
sition between the unity of life and the extreme diversity of its 
fortunes. If Bergsonism means only that man and nature are 
continuous, or that man may be taken to be a product of nature 
by which nature herself may be judged, Bergsonism enjoys no relig- 
ious advantage over any other evolutionary philosophy. If one 
requires a guarantee that nature is progressively dominated by life 
of the human sort, and that things are sure to move and move 
consistently in this direction, one will not find it in Bergson's phi- 
losophy. On the contrary, one will find that the somewhat spo- 
radic and exceptional character of human life, and the essentially 
spontaneous and unpredictable character of all life, both argue 
against it. 

M. LeRoy is on safer ground when he protests against estimating 
the ethical and religious possibilities of Bergson in terms of his 
present thought. It is characteristic of Bergson to take up one 
problem at a time, and it is also characteristic that each new book 
reveals something essentially new and unexpected. Hence though 
we must wait, we have good ground for hope. Though we may be 
confident that there will be a Bergsonian ethics or religion, it would 
scarcely be Bergsonian if we could predict it in advance. 

Ralph Barton Perry. 

Habvakd University. 

Schleiermacheb: A Critical and Historical Study. W. B. Selbie, M.A., 
D.D., Principal of Mansfield College, Oxford. E. P. Button & Co. 
1913. Pp. ix, 272. 

The announcement of a new work on Schleiej-macher in English 
raises great expectations; all the more when the one who under- 
takes it is the Principal of Mansfield College. No book could be 



BOOK REVIEWS 141 

more needed, and no source could be more appropriate. One must 
confess, however, to some disappointment that Dr. Selbie has con- 
ceived his task so narrowly. He confines his attention almost ex- 
clusively to Schleiermacher, the systematic theologian. Of the 
other aspects of this many-sided character, at once philosopher, 
moralist, man of letters, preacher, and patriot, we have but the 
briefest notice. 

This restriction is perhaps natural in a book whose subject is pro- 
fessedly theological. The series in which Dr. Selbie's book appears 
has as its title. The Great Theologies, and under the circum- 
stances the author can hardly be blamed for concentrating his at- 
tention upon Schleiermacher's significance as a theologian, especially 
when he is dealing with one who is confessedly the father of modern 
Protestant theology. 

Yet theology is after all an effect of wider causes. For its under- 
standing one must know not only the philosophical background but 
also the social and religious environment in the widest sense. This 
is particularly true of Schleiermacher, whose many-sided personality 
touched the life of his times at every point and from each drew 
something of value for his work. Dr. Selbie recognizes this fully 
in his introductory chapter, but he does not follow out its conse- 
quences in detail. As a result, his exposition of Schleiermacher's 
system assumes a technical character suggestive of the classroom, 
and its wider human aspects receive inadequate illustration. 

This is due in part to the method which Dr. Selbie has followed. 
He confines himself closely to an exposition of Schleiermacher's 
teaching, using often his own words. But Schleiermacher is a 
German in habits of thought and feeling as well as in style, and 
needs translation not simply into English words but into English 
methods of thought and expression. The very fidelity with which 
our author confines himself to Schleiermacher's own language 
obscures rather than clarifies his subject-matter. Indeed the Ger- 
man atmosphere in which his hero moves affects Dr. Selbie's own 
style — words like Vermittler and Romantiker more than once find- 
ing their way into the English text (pp. 21, 83). 

Of the eight chapters on Schleiermacher's theology two are given 
to an exposition of his philosophy of religion, and the remaining 
six to his system as such. The material of the former is derived 
from the Reden and follows the order of Schleiermacher's own treat- 
ment. In the latter, which is based largely upon the Glaubenslehre, 
Dr. Selbie has exercised greater freedom, using the familiar rubrics 
of the theological system: God, the Person of Christ, man and sin. 



142 HARVARD THEOLOGICAL REVIEW 

the work of Christ, the Christian Hfe, the church. This arrange- 
ment is convenient for the theological student who desires to know 
what Schleiermacher taught topic by topic, but it is not adapted 
to give the reader the best introduction to the genesis of Schleier- 
macher's own thought or the relative importance of the different 
themes which he treated. For this we have to refer to other works 
of Schleiermacher, notably his Kurze Darstellung des theologischen 
Studiums. Dr. Selbie recognizes the importance of this, rightly 
saying that it lays the foundation of all future systems of theology. 
But he makes little use of it in his discussion, and the reader is left 
without information as to how it has come to pass that a book 
whose theoretical positions have been rejected with practical una- 
nimity by Schleiermacher's successors, should have exercised so 
profound an influence. 

If we were to criticise Dr. Selbie's book (apart from the formal 
matters already mentioned) it would be that in his discussion of 
his author he does not discriminate clearly enough between the 
fundamental structural questions on which Schleiermacher's work 
was epoch-making, and the more familiar theological material 
which he shares with other Christian teachers. One could wish 
that to the chapters he has given us he had added others dealing 
with such subjects as the Nature of Religion, the Essence of Chris- 
tianity, and above all, theology itself; in which all the materials 
in Schleiermacher's work could have been grouped which deal with 
these fundamental questions, the genesis of his thought traced, 
the difference between his earlier and his later positions explained, 
his relations to his predecessors, his contemporaries, and his suc- 
cessors pointed out, and his distinctive contribution to theological 
science estimated. Dr. Selbie has furnished the materials for such 
a study, but he has not himself given it to us. 

But criticism is ungracious in a field where there is so great a 
dearth of literature and every new book is to be welcomed. It is 
a reproach to our English theology that for so many years we have 
neglected the greatest of the modern Protestant theologians. Dr. 
Selbie has helped to wipe away this reproach by calling attention 
more clearly than before to the importance of the subject and the 
greatness of the need. It is to be hoped that his book will serve to 
prepare the way for the more exhaustive treatment of this great 
figure for which the world still waits. 

William Adams Bkown. 
Union Theolooical Seminabt.