Herder, John Gottfried

, a German philosopher of the new school, was born in 1741, in a small town of Prussia, and was originally intended for the profession of a surgeon, but afterwards studied divinity, and was invited to Buckeburg, to officiate as minister, and to be a member of the consistory of the ecclesiastical council, In 1774 he was promoted by the duke of Saxe Weimar, to be first preacher to the court, and ecclesiastical counsellor, to which was afterwards added the dignity of vice-president cjf the consistory of Weimar, which he held until his death, Pec. 18, 1803. Some of his ficst works gained him great^ praise, both as a critic antj philosopher; such as his, 1. “Three fragments on the new German Literature,Riga, 1776. 2. “On the Writings of Thomas Abbt,Berlin, 1768; and “On the origin of Language,” ibid. 1772. But he afterwards fell into mysticism, and that obscure mode of reasoning which has too frequently been dignified, with the name of philosophy. The first specimen he gave of | this was in his “Oldest Notices of the Origin of Mankind,Riga, 1774; after which his system, if it may be so called, was more fully developed in his “Outlines of a philosophy of the history of Man,” of which an English translation was published in 1800, 4to, but without attracting much public notice. It was not indeed to be supposed that such extravagant opinions, conveyed in an obscure jargon, made up of new and fanciful terms, and frequently at variance with revealed religion, could be very acceptable to an English public. 1