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room in his conclusions for a greater measure of moral liberty than the " Théodice'e" has conceded to man. "In respect to this matter," says Arthur Schopenhauer, " the great thinkers of all times are agreed and decided, just as surely as the mass of mankind will never see and comprehend the great truth, that the practical operation of liberty is not to be sought in single acts, but in the being and nature of man." 1 Leibniz's construction of the idea of a possihle liberty consistent with the preestablished order of the universe is substantially that of Schelling in his celebrated essay on this subject. We must not dwell upon it, but hasten to conclude our imperfect sketch.
The ground idea of the " Théodicée" is expressed in the phrase, "Best possible world." Evil is a necessary condition of finite being; but the end of creation is the realization of the greatest possible perfection within the limits of the finite. The existing universe is one of innumerable possible universes, each of which, if actualized, would have had a different measure of good and evil. The present, rather than any other, was made actual, as presenting to Divine Intelligence the smallest measure of evil and the greatest amount of good. This idea is happily embodied in the closing
i Ueber den Willen in der Natur., p. 22. Frankfurt a. M., 1854.
apologue, designed to supplement one of Laurentius Valla, a writer of the fifteenth century. Theodoras, priest of Zeus at Dodona, demands why that god has permitted to Sextus the evil will which was destined to bring so much misery on himself and others. Zeus refers him to his daughter Athene. He goes to Athens, is commanded to lie down in the temple of Pallas, and is there visited with a dream. The vision takes him to the Palace of Destinies, which contains the plans of all possible worlds. He examines one plan after another; in each the same Sextus plays a different part and experiences a different fate. The plans improve as he advances, till at last he comes upon one whose superior excellence enchants him with delight. After revelling awhile in the contemplation of this perfect world, he is told that this is the actual world in which he lives. But in this the crime of Sextus is a necessary constituent; it could not be what it is as a whole, were it other than it is in its single parts.
Whatever may be thought of Leibniz's success in demonstrating his favorite doctrine, the theory of Optimism commends itself to piety and reason as that view of human and divine things which most redounds to the glory of God and best expresses the hope of man; as the noblest, and therefore the truest, theory of divine rule and human destiny.
We recall at this moment but one English writer of supreme mark who has held and promulged, in its fullest extent, the theory of Optimism. That one is a poet. The "Essay on Man," with one or two exceptions, might almost pass for a paraphrase of the " Théodicée; " and Pope, with characteristic vigor, has concentrated the meaning of that treatise in one word, which is none the less true, in the sense intended, because of its possible perversion, —" Whatever is is right."
THE MONADOLOGY OF LEIBNIZ.
[From the French.]
1. The Monad, of which we shall here speak, is merely a simple substance entering into those which are compound; simple, that is to say, without parts.
2. And there must be simple substances, since there are compounds; for the compound is only a collection or aggregate of simples.
3. Where there are no parts, neither extension, nor figure, nor divisibility is possible; and these Monads are the veritable Atoms of Nature, — in one word, the Elements of things.
4. There is thus no danger of dissolution, and there is no conceivable way in which a simple substance can perish naturally.
5. For the same reason, there is no way in which a simple substance can begin naturally, since it could not be formed by composition.
6. Therefore we may say that the Monads can neither begin nor end in any other way than all at once; that is to say, they cannot begin except by creation, nor end except by annihilation ; whereas that which is compounded, begins and ends by parts.
7. There is also no intelligible way in which a Monad can be altered or changed in its interior by any other creature, since it would be impossible to transpose anything in it, or to conceive in it any internal movement — any movement excited, directed, augmented, or diminished within, such as may take place in compound bodies, where there is, change of parts. The Monads have no windows through which anything can enter or go forth. It would be impossible for any accidents to detach themselves and go forth from the substances, as did formerly the Sensible Species of the schoolmen. Accordingly, neither substance nor accident can enter a Monad from without
8. Nevertheless Monads must have qualities, otherwise they would not even be entities; and if simple substances did not differ in their qualities, there would be no means by which we could become aware of the changes of things, since all that is in compound bodies is derived from simple ingredients; and Monads, being without qualities, would be indistinguishable one from another, seeing also they do not differ in quantity. Consequently, a plenum being supposed, each place could in any movement receive only the just equivalent of what it had had before, and one state of things would be indistinguishable from another.
9. Moreover, each Monad must differ from every other, for there are never two beings in nature perfectly alike, and in which it is impossible to find an internal difference, or one founded on some intrinsic denomination.
10. I take it for granted, furthermore, that every created being is subject to change, — consequently, the created Monad; and likewise that this change is continual in each.
11. It follows, from what we have now said, that the natural changes of Monads proceed from an internal principle, since no external cause can influence the interior.
12. But, besides the principle of change, there must also be a detail of changes, embracing, so to speak, the specification and the variety of the simple substances.
13. This detail must involve multitude in unity