"The object of this volume is to afford the English reader an opportunity of forming an estimate, on somewhat extended grounds, of the distinguished individual whose name stands at the head of its title-page. Spinoza may, indeed, be said to be a name among us and nothing more. It is much if he be remembered as a man of Jewish descent who had an evil theological reputation while he lived. Save the two or three summary notices referred to in my pages, we have nothing in English calculated to convey a true idea of the life and writings of the man who nevertheless continues, two centuries after his death, to influence the philosophy and religious thought of Europe more powerfully than any individual who has lived since the days of Luther. 'Father of the speculation of our age, ' says Dr Strauss, 'Spinoza is also Father of our Biblical criticism; ' and philosophy and religion--assuming the Bible as the exponent of religion--are the poles around which revolves the intellectual and emotional world of man. In the following pages I have, therefore, given the Life of Spinoza, deriving my chief information from the common source of every biography of the philosopher yet published: 'La Vie de Benoit de Spinoza, ' by Colerus; adding to and eking out the scanty tale with such further particulars as have been furnished by others, and the writings of Spinoza himself supply. But the grand object I have had in view in this volume has been to give the English reader a version in his mother tongue of the 'Ethics' of Spinoza; 'Man's revelation to man of the dealings of God with the world, ' as the book, made the subject of their most intimate studies, has long been held by our German brothers and by some few among ourselves"--Introduction. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).