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be brought to exercise over external na- | department of our life can be advanced ture, by virtue of our mere intelligence towards perfection, save through the presunder any other form. But now this in- ence of the same force. And shall we say, ward supremacy of mind over matter, con- then, that philosophy, the science of the stituting thus the self-consciousness of Idea, whose very province it is to bring the the world itself through the medium of world to a consciousness of its own life in the human spirit, is something which lifts this form, is not practical ? Can we unus at once into the sphere of philosophy. derstand ourselves, or possess our own It is emphatically at last the power of the nature fully, in any respect, without its ideal as compared with the power of the aid ? No general activity, whether in the actual, the ascendency of the absolute, form of thought or will, can deserve to be (universal reason and universal will,) over regarded as at all complete, that is not the force of all that is simply empirical controlled by the light of philosophy, if and particular.
not directly, at least in an indirect and cirPhilosophy, we say then, is supremely cuitous way. practical. It takes hold of life, not indeed Such being the case, we may not admit, upon its immediate surface, but in the very of course, that philosophy is necessarily unfoundations of the great deep of which it friendly to religion. We have seen already, consists. Away with the heresy, dishon- that it has entered largely into the history orable to man and God alike, that this of Christianity from the beginning ; though world is ruled supremely by material efforts have been made from time to time, forces, or simply sensuous interests of any with more zeal than clear knowledge, to kind. In the face of Heaven, we proclaim sunder the church entirely from its conit false! Of all forms of power that enter nection. All such efforts have proved to into its constitution, there is none to com- be of no account thus far, and will conpare with that which belongs to mind, in tinue to be of no account always, just bethe form of the Idea. This is more than cause philosophy is a necessary condition tempest, lightning and steam ; more than of our general human life; and to renounce whirlwind, cataract and fire; more than the one in this absolute way, were to rethe noise of many waters, or the tumult nounce the other also to the same extent. of the people surging and roaring with If Christianity be truly divine, and at the passion. Not by might, nor by power, same time truly human, it must so adjust but by my Spirit, saith the Lord, shall the itself to the actual constitution of man in great purposes of this world be ultimately its previous form, or rather so take this up carried. There is nothing under heaven into its own constitution in the way of naso omnipotent among men, as the presence tural consummation, that nothing belongof an Idea, in its true conception, repre- ing to it of right shall be destroyed, but senting, as it does always in fact, the in- the whole on the contrary show itself, most and deepest consciousness of the under a higher form, more perfect than world itself. Amid all the thundering before. No wrong to the Gospel can well noise that marks the progress of history, be more egregious, than that by which its it is only here at last we communicate power is limited and restrained to a part with its soul, and are made to understand only of the general organism of the world's the true motive power which actuates its life; while other spheres, clearly included wheels. Men may talk as they please in this from the beginning, are violently about their mechanics, and politics, and thrust out from the range of its action, as tactics—the world is governed, when all is hopelessly profane, and incapable of sanedone, by the power of Ideas; and the tification. It is a libel on Christ, to say deepest thinkers, though far out of sight, that his religion has nothing to do with it may be in the solitude of the closet, are politics, or the fine arts, or the sciences, or still ever in the end, by divine right, the common social life. It must unite itself royal oligarchy, that preside over its with all these, inwardly and profoundly, affairs, and conduct them forward towards so as to transfigure them fully into its own their proper end. No great revolution image, before it shall have accomplished has ever get occurred, that took not its | its mission in the world. For how else birth first from the womb of an Idea. No should it deserve to be acknowledged the
niversal truth of man's life? And so it This is not to make Christianity dependi something monstrous also in the same ent on philosophy in any way, for its existray, to affirm of Christianity, that it has No process of thinking, on the part othing to do with philosophy. Is igno- of men, could ever originate or discover ance then, after all
, the mother of devo- religion in this form; just as little as it on; or must the inmost walks of con- might be supposed to originate or discover ciousness be barred against the approach the constitution of the natural earth and f religion, in order to preserve this sound heavens. Christ, and the new creation read pure ? Christianity claims to be the vealed through him, are not a thought simroper rightful magistracy of man's entire ply, but a fact, such as philosophy has no ature, the power to which all belongs, power either to make or unmake. But nd by which all requires to be occupied this is only to say, that philosophy has no nd ruled. It must enter then into the power to make or unmake the world's life ainking of the world, as well as into its in any view. The province of philosophy illing and working; and it cannot actu- is not to create truth in any case, but only lize itself in full, except as it is brought to to make truth clear to itself in the reflected eign thus, with proper symmetrical de consciousness of its subject. It is truth elopment, throughout its whole life. itself in the form of self-knowledge; and To say that Christianity should have no in this view, there is no reason surely why :llowship with philosophy, comes simply Christianity should treat it as false and
this in the end, that the contents of profane, but every reason on the contrary uth are not formed to become ever the that it should be made welcome to the ontents of knowledge; that religion is ne- Christian sphere, as its rightful sanctuary essarily something blind in its own na- and home. rre, incapable of being reflected in the
But we are pointed to actual history in onsciousness of its subject under an intelli- proof of its pernicious power in the view ible form; that it is to be received and held, now noticed. It has been from the beginrom first to last, in the way of mechanical ning, we are told, the fruitful mother of utward tradition, on the ground, simply, heresies and corruptions in the church. f the foreign authority by which it comes And has it not ever shown a sort of native athenticated to our confidence and trust. affinity with atheism and infidelity ? Has ut is not religion the inmost life of our it not, more or less, openly proclaimed ituman being itself ; and must not the pre- self the enemy of Christ, from the days of ept, Know thyself
, extend to it always as Ammonius Saccas and Origen down to the ne necessary issue, in which alone the days of Immanuel Kant, and from the epoch nowledge for which it calls can become of the Critical Philosophy onward again, omplete? Strange that any should hold with rapid development, to the culmina
man's privilege and calling, by the inde- tion of this modern movement in the panasible right of his intelligence itself, to theism of Hegel ? enetrate the interior sense of the world This only shows, we may reply, that round him in the way of knowledge, and philosophy is not of itself Christianity; and et count it little better than profane for still further, that Christianity has not yet im to think of penetrating the interior fully mastered the inward life of the world. ense of his own nature, as unfolded to his But this is nothing more than we find onsciousness in the Christian revelation. abundantly made evident to us, in the s it not the prerogative of intellect, to be manifestation of the world's life also under elf-intelligent? and is it possible then for other forms. Art, science, government, all 'hristianity to be the absolute truth of have exhibited, in the progress of Chrisumanity, the inmost substance of its very tian history thus far, a more or less unfe, without including in itself, at the same friendly relation to the Christian consciousime, a capacity at least for being made ness, refusing to acknowledge and accept ransparent to its own vision in this way? it as the only proper form of their own t lies in its very conception, that it should being. But what then? Shall we abjure orm thus, when complete, the self-con- all art, science and politics, for this reason, ciousness of the world, in its deepest and as necessarily unholy and profane? Or host comprehensive sense.
shall we say that their whole past history has been false and without value, as not and earnestly laid to heart, is the only mespringing directly from Christ ? And why dium by which the new creation in Christ then should we entertain any such judg- Jesus can come into triumphant contact ment in regard to philosophy, which at with the actual universal life of man, as it last is but the consciousness which enters stands, in the form either of art, or science, into all these, and makes them to be what or political organization. An unphilosophthey are in fact? It comes simply to this, ical Christianity may be sufficient to save when all is done, that philosophy is not of a multitude of individual souls for heaven, itself Christianity, and that it must neces- but it can never conquer the world. sarily fall into an infidel position, if it as- Admitting, too, that philosophy has its sume to be in its own separate nature suf- dangers for Christianity as well as for life ficient for the ultimate purposes of man's generally, it must be kept in mind that the life, as comprehended in Christianity, and want of philosophy is always something in Christianity alone. But although philos- more full of peril still. Religion cannot be ophy be not thus the actual power of the made so practical as to stand in no relation divine fact itself, it may be said to consti- whatever to intelligence and thought. tute, nevertheless, the interior fundamental must ever rest in a theory of some kind, that form of the world's life, on which the pow will be found to rule and condition its iner in question is required to make itself fluence upon the world. If this theory be felt—the posture of humanity at any giv- not philosophically sound, it will be philoen time, in its relation to the great regenera- sophically unsound and false ; and as a tive process by which it is thus to be trans- medium of communication with the world's formed finally into the full image of God. life, it will to the same extent be a barrier In this view, philosophy is a great fact too to the proper power of the Gospel, as ap-nothing more nor less, indeed, than the pointed for its salvation. We have, indeed, self-consciousness always of the world it- a widely extended school, if we may so self, at such stage of its historical de- use the term, who affect to hold Christianvelopment as it may have reached at the ity (greatly differing at the same time, to time; and as such a fact, it must be re- be sure, about its true form) directly from spected by Christianity, in order that this Christ and the Bible, without the help of may at all take hold on the vast world any theory whatever, as the medium of its process to which it belongs, in a real way. apprehension. But it needs no very deep That is, Christianity, to conquer fully the philosophy certainly—though the case itworld's life, must become philosophical, self shows that it calls for some—to perby endeavoring continually to work itself ceive the utter vanity, nay, profound abinto the consciousness of the world as it surdity, of every such pretension. The stands, for the purpose of thus help- greatest slaves of theory, commonly, are ing it forward into a form that may be just those who profess to have none; only found fully commensurate at last with their theory includes in itself no life, but its own divine contents. The ultimate resolves itself at last into the power of problem, of course, is the full reconcilia- blind, tyrannical, tradition. tion of the two powers here brought into be cautioned against philosophy, we need view, in such way that neither shall -be still more perhaps at this time, at least here allowed to do violence to the other, but in America, to be cautioned against the tenboth come finally to harmonious union, as dency that seeks to bring all philosophy form and substance in the actualization of among us into discredit, and which would all that is comprehended in the idea of hu- exclude its authority, only the more effecmanity. But it lies in this conception it- tually to bind the yoke of its own ceremoself, that they should continually seek each nialism upon our necks. other in the resolution also of this prob- However it may be with the rest of the lem, and be more or less interwoven world, it is clear indeed that what is want. through all the process by which it is to ed among ourselves, to bring our life genbe accomplished. Christianity must enter erally into right form, is not less philosothe mind of the world as it is, to secure phy than we have at present, but, if it any permanent power in its life. Philoso- were possible, a great deal more. There phy, it deserves to be well remembered | is a sad disproportion, in our general American life, between outward activity in the form of philosophy, and we shall and inward consciousness ; which implies, then be prepared to fulfill indeed the high however, so far as it prevails, a want of destiny that seems to be assigned to us on full self-possession and self-control, in the the part of Heaven. Such a union of accase of our outward activity itself; a want tion and speculation, joined with the vast that is extensively felt already throughout resources of our outward life, and the the social system to which it belongs, and mighty scope thrown open to us by the that may be expected to work itself out genius of our political institutions, might sooner or later, if not met with proper be expected to carry us, in due time, far seasonable remedy, into the most disas- beyond all the world has yet been permittrous, if not absolutely fatal, practical re- ted to reach, in the way of moral progress, sults. We need earnest, profound Thought, under any other form. May we not say, born and cradled in the inmost philoso- indeed, that this is the very problem of phical consciousness of the age, by which problems, which our new-born America to understand the problem we are called is called at this time to solve, for the unito solve as a nation, and so to turn our versal benefit of men in all time to come ? action to right account. Action, of course, At present, as already remarked, we are is all important for the proper use of life; manifestly suffering through the want of it belongs to our nature, not simply to speculation, and not from its excess. Acmirror in itself the sense of the surround- tion is allowed too often to overwhelm or ing world, but to mould this also into its crowd out thought. There reigns among own image ; and it is only under this us, indeed, a wide-spread prejudice against form, that it can ever possibly show itself philosophy, in its true and proper characcomplete. Philosophy without action, is ter, which makes it difficult to secure any always something helpless, and liable to earnest attention to its claims in any quardisease, as we see exemplified on a large ter. In the mean time, besides, to make scale in the history of speculation among the the case still worse, a false empirical modern Germans. But then, action with scheme of thought, (since all action must out philosophy will be found just as little have some spiritual bottom on which to worthy to be trusted also, in the end, for rest in this way,) claiming to be philosothe great purposes of human life. No phy itself, though only its wretched cariimagination can well be more false, than cature, in fact, has come to underlie our to suppose that our American practical activity on all sides, and is now ready to talent is sufficient of itself to accomplish resist all, deeper thinking, as an invasion all that is comprehended properly in our upon its own rights. The general characvocation as a people. Power, to be ter of this bastard philosophy is, that it efficient for moral ends, must be accom- affects to measure all things, both on earth panied with light. The force of mind, and in heaven, by the categories of the -undered from the inward illustration that common abstract understanding, as it should of right go with it always, is made stands related simply to the world of time to resemble, more or less, the force of and sense. These categories, however, mere nature, and becomes of the same being in themselves the forms or types order with the strength of the whirlwind only of things in this outward world, and or mountain torrent. It may carry all be- representing therefore the conditions merefore it for a time, but the action, at last, ly of existence in space and time—someis neither rational nor free. We need not thing relative always and finite by the only the energy of will, which now dis- very nature of the case-become necessatinguishes us above all the nations of the rily one-sided and false, the moment we earth, but the clear insight of speculative attempt to carry their authority beyond reason, also, to clothe our will with its full these limits, and to apply them to the right to be thus energetic and strong. truths of the pure reason. This has been Let our national spirit be brought to know triumphantly shown by Kant, in his imand possess itself fully in a free way, so mortal work on the subject; whose arguthat the action of the nation, in all the ment thus far, at least, can never be nullispheres of its life, may be filled and ruled fied by the skeptical use to which it was with the soul of a true self-consciousness, I turned in his own hands, but only makes VOL. I. NO. II. NEW SERIES.
it necessary to surmount this skepticism and in pretending to do so, only drags it, by pressing forward to still higher ground. in fact, downward into its own sphere, so It should be understood, and borne in that it is in the end truly neither one nor mind always, that the skepticism of Kant the other. It reasons from time to eteris not something from which we escape by nity with vast dexterity and ease; estabfalling back simply on the sensuous phi- lishing, by striet Baconian comparison and losophy, once for all demolished by his induction, the existence of God, the imgigantic criticism. As against this, his mortality of the soul, and the truth of argument and the bad use he makes of it, revelation ; but it is all in such a way as are alike legitimate and sound. With the turns eternity itself into time, and forces premises of Locke, it is not possible suc- the whole invisible world to become a cessfully to withstand the reasoning of mere abstraction from the world of sense. David Hume; and the reasoning of David The empirical understanding affects to beHume, brought to understand itself, and come transcendent, (as Kant calls it,) and pushed out to its proper universal form, may please itself with the imagination of conducts us over with like necessity to the having actually grasped in this way the critical Idealism of Immanuel Kant. If truth which lies beyond its own horizon ; our knowledge can have no other ground but it is the illusion of one who dreams on which to rest, than that which is offer himself to be awake, and, behold, he is ed to us in the forms of the sensible world, asleep: the object grasped, when all is as apprehended through categories of done, belongs to the sphere of sense, and thought, simply answerable to their out- not to the sphere of spirit. This philosoward and finite nature, it ought to be clear, phy makes no room at all for ideas, in the surely, that it cannot reach, with any true proper sense of the term ; its ideas are all force, and as knowledge, to objects that lie intellectual abstractions merely, that as beyond this sphere. The system of Locke such carry in themselves no necessary or pretended to do so, indeed, building its universal force. How is it possible, ihat faith in the absolute and infinite upon de- such a system should have depth or ductions from the simply relative and strength ; that it should penetrate the infinite. This pretension, false from the be- terior sense of life, in any quarter; or that ginning, Kant has fairly and forever over- it should communicate true spiritual earnturned, leaving the world, so far as that estness to the general character and conphilosophy could help it, without any sure duct of men, in any direction ? All the hold upon a single truth beyond the range higher interests of our nature must necesof its present experience. And yet it is sarily be made to suffer, wherever it just this false and helpless system of think- prevails. ing that still insists, too generally among The bad power of this system is widely ourselves, on its right to rule our whole exemplified among us, in our reigning inlife, and that is ready, alas ! on all sides, difference to philosophy itself, and our to stigmatize as transcendental nonsense, want of faith generally in the objeets with if not something still worse, every attempt which it is of right concerned. Speculathat is made to go beyond itself in the ti in and action are very commonly regardway of earnest and profound speculation. ed as opposite spheres, only outwardly re
T'he whole tendency of this philosophy lated to each other; in which view, the is towards materialism and infidelity; as first must ever be shorn of all earnest inwe may see abundantly exemplified by its dependent interest, on its own account. It past history in other parts of the world, is either held to be of no force for actual particularly in France, It may be asso- life at all—the unprofitable metaphysical ciated, it is true, with an opposite system ; pugilism, merely, of the schools, by which as commonly in this country, where it the world can never be made wiser or betclaims the spiritual and supernatural, in- ter—or else, to save it from such reproach, deed, as peculiarly its own province. But it is forced to quit the skies wholly, and so far as such connection goes, it is out become the mere shadowy echo of expehard only and traditional, not inward and rience and “common sense,” as it is called,
The philosophy itself has no power in the service of directly material ends. It
the spiritual and supernatural, is pursued accordingly either as a pastime