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means to obtain it. Instead of murmuring at this, we should be grateful for it, and see in it an additional motive for love and gratitude to him.
2. But why need this supernatural destiny be attainable only by violence to our nature ? I see no reason why we might not have been so made that nature and grace should aspire to the same end, so that we might have followed our nature and grace at the same tiine.
B. Such, in a certain sense, was the case with us prior to sin. Prior to sin, our nature was turned towards God, was held by grace in subjection to his law, and it required no interior struggle to fulfil it, and attain our supernatural destiny. But by sin that grace was lost, and our nature became turned
away from God, and inclined to evil. In consequence of this, our nature, that is, the flesh, is now opposed to God, and we can obey bis law and live for our supernatural destiny only by doing violence to it. Hence you see that a religion may be very true, very holy, and indispensable to our salvation, and yet be very distasteful to the natural man, and altogether repugnant to the instincts and aspirations of the natural heart.
Z. But one cannot believe what he finds repugnant to his natural feelings.
B. That were some comfort, if it were true ; but in the various vicissitudes of life, I find myself obliged to believe many things exceedingly repugnant to my feelings. There are a great many disagreeable truths even in the order of nature, which all of us are compelled to believe.
2. I am in the babit of relying on my feelings, and when I find I cannot feel with you in what you say, I say at once I do not and cannot believe with you. I do not like your doctrine, for it sacrifices the pure feelings, the noble emotions, and the gentle affections of the human heart, to the cold propositions and rigid deductions of a dry and inexorable logic.
B. Such may be your habit, but the question for you to determine is, whether it be commendable or the reverse. If the propositions and deductions of logic are true, if they conform to reality, your feelings, emotions, and affections, which are opposed to them, are false, and are neither pure nor poble, and if followed lead into falsehood and sin. They are repugnant to truth, and therefore they, not the propositions and deductions, are in fault.
Z. But I am tired of dry and rigid logic, of the cold forms of the intellect. I want the heart, the warm and loving heart, and the heart is a better guide to the truth than the understanding
B. That is to say, you are a bit of a sentimentalist, too indolent to think, and simply disposed to lie at your length under a wide-spreading beech, and indulge the luxury of feeling.
" Lentus in umbra Formosam resonare doces Amaryllida silvas." This is no uncommon case with young men, especially when smitten by the sweet face and laughing eyes of Amaryllis. But the state of mind you describe is not one to boast of, or to parade before the world. It is a state in which one is expected to say and do a thousand foolish things, but no one ever thinks of taking them as a proof of his good sense, or piety and orthodoxy. Man is not a block of marble, nor is he required to be a mere logic-grinder. The heart has its place and its office; but, when used in a good sense, it means the will, not mere sentiment, and the will, as a blind faculty, never does or can act, save in reference to objects presented to it by the intellect, or that are intellectually apprehended. The heart, distinguished from the understanding, is no guide to truth, for it cannot apprehend truth, and it can be safely trusted only when it is enlightened or informed by intellectual apprehension. .
Z. What I mean is, not that we are to follow blind feeling, but our intuitions, that is, the truth as intuitively beheld, rather than as drawn out into logical statements and formal propositions.
B. So that you can disport yourself in the vague, and never be called to an account for any thing you say, however false or absurd. Intuition, on the part of the subject, is an intellectual act, but in the intelligible order it is never a clear, distinct, conscious apprehension of the object, and one knows not that he knows what he intuitively apprehends, till he makes it an object of reflection, and logic is simply the instrument or form of the reflective understanding as distinguished from the intuitive. The intuitions are never practically available as intuitions. They must be embodied in language, and presented through it to the mind, before we can distinctly know what they are, or make any use of them. And the moment you begin to use language you are in the domain of reflection, and answerable at the bar of logic.
C. That is too metaphysical for my understanding. What is the reason you cannot talk in the plain language of common sense, so that simple men even can understand you?
B. My young friends are too hard with me. They bring out doctrines which can neither be confirmed nor refuted without resort to metaphysical principles and distinctions, and the moment I attempt to subject them to these principles and distinctions, they cry out, That is too metaphysical, — give us common sense, and speak so that we can understand you. I am accused of making too much of logic, and overlooking the feelings and affections. You tell me these are trustworthy, and our surest guides to truth. I reply, the value of these is in the fact that they are informed by truth, and conform to it, and that they can be so only as we intellectually apprehend the truth; for truth is apprehended only by the intellect. The feelings can no more apprehend it than the eye can apprehend sounds, or the ear colors. Then you shift your ground, and tell me that they are our intuitions, not properly our feelings and affections, you mean. I acknowledge the fact of intuition, and that all our knowledge in the natural order, in the order of the intelligible as distinguished from the superintelligible, rests mediately or immediately on intuition for its evidence. But intuition of the intelligible, as distinguished from the sensible object, is, though apprehension, an unconscious apprehension, that is, in intuition we apprehend the object indeed, but do not take note of the fact that it is we who apprehend it. We do not consciously connect the apprehending subject with the apprehended object, and therefore the intuition is what Leibnitz calls simple perception, wanting the character of apperception, in which we apprehend both the object and ourselves as apprehending it. How, without adverting to this fact, am I to test the value of what you allege? And how, without understanding this, are you to be disabused of your error ?
The truth, and the whole truth, of the intelligible order, is undoubtedly in our primitive intuitions, in which are all the principles or data of the speculative reason in the order of nature. But in the state of pure intuition this truth is not available, is never practical knowledge. It must become apperception first, and this it cannot become without reflection. Reflection is a turning back upon or rethinking the objects revealed in the intuitions. But as the intuitions in themselves, save when intuitions of sensible objects, are simple apprehensions, and not apprehensions which we are conscious of having, the reflective intellect cannot seize this object in them and make it the object of its own action. It must be presented in language, and therefore, as it must have been already embodied in language, language must be a Divine revelation, not a human invention. Without language, intuition is very possible, but reflection is not possible at all ; and understanding by thought a reflective act, or an intellectual act in which the actor apprehends both the object perceived and himself as subject perceiving it, De Bonald is right in saying that man cannot think without language. Every human speech, however cultivated or however rude, contains the elements of all that is knowable, and through its medium is repeated, so to speak, in a tangible form, to the reflective understanding, what is revealed to primitive intuition. And when so presented, it is intuitively evident, because in intuition the intelligible object evidences itself. Intuitions, then, are practically available only as evidencing
rendering certain the truth presented to reflection through the medium of language. They are not the fountain from which we primarily draw those truths by reflection, but the authority by which we know and assert them to be truths. You cannot, then, follow pure intuition, to the neglect of reflection, if you would, and you cannot reflect without language. But if you use language, you must make use of intellectual
forms and logical statements, however great your repugnance to them, and the only question to be settled is, whether you make a good or a bad use of them. I have no more fondness for metaphysical systems than you have. I have and wish to have no metaphysical system of my own. I accept in metaphysics simply logic, or the right use of reason in its application to the various matters that fall under our observation, whether by revelation or intuition. The attempt to build up systems of philosophy, and of natural ethics, independent of theology, I cannot approve, and I hold it to be as foolish as was the attempt of the builders in the plain of Shinar to erect a tower whose top should reach to heaven. It has probably arisen from the apparent success
ith which speculative science was cultivated among the gentiles, and the use which the fathers made of it in their controversies with the heathen, and the scholastics in reducing Christian doctrine to the form of theological science. But the truth in the natural order, though barely possible to be known by our natural light, can without revelation be known only to a
The gentile philosophy was far enough from being perfect, and yet what perfection it had was by no means derived solely from the light of nature. No nation, people, or tribe has ever yet been abandoned to the simple light of nature.
A portion of the primitive revelation has been preserved to all in language, and some traditions of it have always been retained and transmitted from father to son, even in the most degraded and savage tribes. It is by virtue of these traditions of the revelations made to our first parents, embodied and preserved in every speech or language of men under heaven, that the gentile philosophy attained to what of perfection it had ; and it is the ignoring of these traditions, the discarding of the fuller revelations of the Gospel, and the attempt to build up a philosophy by simple natural reason, despoiled of whatever it has received from revelation, that has led modern philosophers into the monstrous systems of error which are boasted as the crowning glory of the modern world.
W. All that may be very plausible to those who understand it, but I still insist that a religion which contradicts my natural instincts and tendencies cannot be true. God gave me these instincts, implanted these tendencies in my nature, and as he can never be in contradiction to himself, he cannot have given me a religion that is repugnant to them.
B. That might be, if your nature was in its normal state ; but your nature has been perverted by the Fall, and turned away, as I have said, from God. Its instincts and tendencies now bear you from him, and therefore a religion which is to convert you and bear you to him must necessarily contradict them, and require their repression and mortification.
2. That proceeds on the assumption that what your Church teaches is true, which I do not concede. I hold to the innate rectitude and perfectibility of human nature.
B. And for what reason ?
Z. It must be true, if what your Church teaches, of man's corruption by sin, his need of redemption, and the necessity of
grace, is false.
B. If what the Church teaches in these respects be false, the innate rectitude and perfectibility of man must be true, conceded ; so if what she teaches be true, what you assert of this rectitude and perfectibility must be false. Pray, tell me on what authority you assert that you are right and that she is wrong.
W. She is wrong, because what she teaches is repugnant to our natural feelings and tendencies.
B. Why not, you are wrong, because your natural feelings and tendencies are repugnant to what she teaches ?
0. The Church has for eighteen hundred years been in the NEW SERIES. - VOL. IV. NO. IV.