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the per of producing the in our creatie soul has in
by means of ideas." He then proceeds to enumerate all the possible ways by which the ideas of sensible objects may be presented to the mind : either, Ist, they come from the bodies, which we perceive; or, 2dly, the soul has the power of producing them in itself; or, 3dly, they are produced by the Deity in our creation, or occasionally as there is use for them; or, 4thly, the soul has in itself virtually and eminently, as the schools speak, all the perfections which it perceives in bodies: or, 5thly, the soul is united with a Being possessed of all perfection, who has in himself the ideas of all created things. The last mode is that which he adopts, and which he endeavours to confirm by various arguments. The Deity, being always present to our minds in a more intimate manner than any other being, may, upon occasion of the impressions made on our bodies, discover to us, as far as he thinks proper, and according to fixed laws, his own ideas of the object; and thus we see all things in God, or in the divine ideas.
However visionary this system may appear on a superficial view, yet when we consider, says Dr. Reid, that he agreed with the whole tribe of philosophers in conceivingideas to be the immediate objects of perception, and, that he found insuperable difficulties, and even absurdities, in every other hypothesis concerning thein, it will not seem so wonderful that a man of very great genius should fall into this ; and probably it pleased so devout a man the more, that it sets in the most striking light our dependence upon God, and his continual presence with us. He dis. tinguished more accurately than any pbilosopher had done before, the objects which we perceive from the sensations in our own minds, which, by the laws of nature, always accompany the perception of the object: and in this respect, as well as in many others, he had great merit. For this, as Dr. Reid apprehends, is a key that opens the way to a right understanding, both of our external senses, and of other powers of the mind.
The next piece which Malebranche published, was his « Conversations Chretiennes, dans lesquelles sont justifié la verité de la religion & de la morale de J. C.” Paris, 1676. He was moved, it is said, to write this piece, at the desire of the duke de Chevreuse, to shew the consistency and agreement between his philosophy and religion. His “ Traité de la nature & de la grace,” 1680, was occasioned by a conference he had with M. Arnaud, about those
peculiar notions of grace into which Malebranche's systen had led that divine. This was followed by other pieces, which were all the result of the philosophical and theological dispute our author had with M. Arnaud. In 1688, he published his “ Entretien sur la metaphysique & la religion :" in which work be collected wbat he had written against M. Arnaud, but disengaged it from that air of dispute which is not agreeable to every reader. In 1697, he published his “ Traité de l'amour de Dieu.” When the doctrine of the new mystics began to be much talked of in France, father Lamy, a Benedictine, in bis book “ De la connoissance de soi-même," cited some passages out of this author's “ Recherche de la verité,” as favourable to that party ; upon this, Malebranche thought proper to defend himself in this book, by shewiog in what sense it may be said, without clashing with the authority of the church or reason, that the love of God is disinterested. In 1708, he published his “ Entretiens d'un philosophe Chrétien, & d'un philosophe Chinois sur l'existence & la nature de Dieu :" or, « Dialogues between a Christian philosopher and a Chinese philosopher, upon the existence and nature of God.” The bishop of Rozalie having remarked some conformity between the opinions of the Chinese, and the notions laid down in the “ Recherche de la Verité,” mentioned it to the author, who on that account thought himself obliged to write this tract. Malebranche wrote many other pieces besides what we have mentioned, all tending some way or other to confirm bis main system established in the « Recherche,” and to clear it from the objections which were brought against it, or from the consequences which were deduced from it : and, if he has not attained what he aimed at in these several productions, he has certainly shewn great ingenuity and abilities.
MALELAS, or MALALAS (JOHN), of Antioch, a sophist, who was a teacher of rhetoric, and a member of the church of Antioch, is supposed to have lived about the year 900, though some authors have been inclined to place him earlier. He is a writer of little value, and abounds in words of a barbarous Greek. He must not be confounded with John of Antioch, another historian of the same place, who was a monk. We have a chronicle written by Malelas,
I Gen. Dict.-Niceron, vol. II.-Brucker.--Reid's Essays. Rees's Cyclopædia.
which extends from the creation to the reign of Justinian, but is imperfect. His history was published by Edward Chilmead at Oxford, in 1691, in 8vo, from a manuscript in the Bodleian library; and republished among the Byzantine historians, as a kind of appendix, at Venice, in 1733. The Oxford edition contains an interpretation and notes by Chilmead, with three indexes, one of events, a second of authors, a third of barbarous words. Prefixed is a discourse concerning the author, by Humphrey Hody ; and an epistle is subjoined from Bentley to Mill, with an index of authors who are there amended.'
MALESHERBES (CHRISTIAN-WILLIAM DE LAMOIGNON), born at Paris, Dec. 16, 1721, was son of the chancellor of France, William de Lamoignon, a descendant of an illustrious tarpily. He received his early education at the Jesuits' college, and having studied law and political economy, he was appointed a counsellor in the parliament of Paris, and in December 1750 be succeeded his father as president of the “court of aids," the duties of which were to regulate the public taxes. The superintendance of tbe press had been conferred upon Malesherbes by his father, at the same time that he received the presidentship of the court of aids; and this function he exercised with unusual lenity, promoting rather than checking those writings to which the subsequent miseries of his country have been attributed. His biographer classes it among his great merits that “to his care and benevolent exertions France is indebted for the Encyclopædia, the works of Rousseau, and many other productions, which he sheltered from proscription;" and both Voltaire and D'Alembert acknowledged the obligation, and seem in their letters to hint that his partiality was entirely on their side. In this view of the subject, Malesherbes must be considered as in some degree instrumental in preparing the way for that revolution which has been the pregnant source of so many calamities.
In 1771, when the government had dissolved the whole legal constitution, and banished the parliaments, Malesherbes was banished to his country-seat by a “lettre de cachet,” and the duke de Richelieu, at the head of an armed force, abolished the court of aids. During his retirement, Malesherbes's time was occupied with his family
i Moreri.—Gen. Dict. --Saxii Onomast.
and his books, and the cultivation of his grounds. His expenditure in public objects was large: he drained marshes, cut canals, constructed roads, built bridges, planted walks, and carried his attention to the comfort of the lower classes so far as to raise sheds on the sides of the river for the shelter of the women at their domestic labours. He was thus benevolently and usefully employed when the accession of Lewis XVI. recalled bim to a public station, and in 1774 Malesherbes received an order to resume the presidentship of the court of aids, on which occasion he prondunced a very affecting and patriotic harangue, and afterwards addressed the king in an eloquent speech of thanks. His majesty was so well pleased with him, and with the freedom of his sentiments, that he appointed him minister of state in June 1775, an office which gave Malesherbes an opportunity of extending his sphere of usefulness. One of his first concerns was to visit the prisons, and restore to liberty the innocent victims of former tyranny, and his praises were carried throughout France by persons of all descriptions returning to the bosoms of their families from the gloom of dungeons. Although he failed in his attempt to abolish the arbitrary power of issuing lettres de cachet, he procured the appointment of a comniission, composed of upright and enlightened magistrates, to which every application for such letters should be submitted, and whose unanimous decision should be requisite for their validity. Malesherbes was also a great encourager of commerce and agriculture, in which he had the cordial co-operation of the illustrious Turgot, at that period the comptroller of the revenue; but, owing to the rejection of some important measures which his zeal for the public good led him to propose, Malesherbes resigned in the month of May 1776. To obtain an accurate view of the manners and policy of other countries and foreign states, he set out on his travels, and visited Switzerland and Holland, and in the course of his journey he noted down every occurrence worthy of observation, and that might, hereafter, possibly be useful to himself, and promote the melioration of his country. On his return, at the end of a few years, he found his native country so much advanced in what he thought philosophical principles, that he was encouraged to present to the king two elaborate memoirs, one on the condition of the protestants, the other in favour of the principles of civil liberty, and toleration in general. Difficulties, however, were now accu. mulating in the management of the government, and the king, in 1786, called Malesherbes to bis councils, but without appointing him to any particular post in the administration. He soon found it impossible to act with the men already possessed of the powers of government, and expressed his opinion in two energetic memoirs “ On the Calamities of France, and the means of repairing them ;" but it does not appear that these ever reached his majesty, nor could Malesherbes obtain a private interview; he therefore took his final leave of the court, and retreated to his country residence, determined to consult the best means of serving his country by agricultural pursuits. In 1790 he published “ An Essay on the means of accelerating the progress of Rural Economy in France,” in which he proposed an establishment to facilitate the national improvement in this important point. In this tranquil state he was passing the evening of his days when the horrors of the revolution brought him again to Paris. During the whole of its progress, he had his eyes constantly fixed on his unhappy sovereign; and, subduing his natural fondness for retirement, went regularly to court every Sunday, to give him proofs of his respect and attachment. He simposed it as a duty on himself to give the ministers regular information of the designs of the regicide faction ; and when it was determined to bring the king to trial, he voluntarily offered to be the defender of his master, in his memorable letter of Dec. 11, 1792, that eternal monument of his loyalty and affection. Three counsel had already been appointed, but one having from prudential motives, declined the office, the king, who wept at this proof of attachment from his old servant, immediately nominated Malesherbes in his stead. Their interview was extremely affecting, and his majesty, during the short interval before his death, shewed every mark of affection for, and confidence in, his generous advocate. Malesherbes was the person who announced to him his cruel doom, and was one of the last who took leave of him pre. viously to his execution. After that catastrophe he again withdrew to his retreat, and with a deeply-wounded heart, refused to hear any thing of what was acting among the blood-thirsty Parisians. As he was one morning working in bis garden, he observed four savage-looking wretches directing their course to his house, and hastening home,