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be brought to exercise over external nature, by virtue of our mere intelligence under any other form. But now this inward supremacy of mind over matter, constituting thus the self-consciousness of the world itself through the medium of the human spirit, is something which lifts us at once into the sphere of philosophy. It is emphatically at last the power of the ideal as compared with the power of the actual, the ascendency of the absolute, (universal reason and universal will,) over the force of all that is simply empirical and particular.
Philosophy, we say then, is supremely practical. It takes hold of life, not indeed upon its immediate surface, but in the very foundations of the great deep of which it consists. Away with the heresy, dishonorable to man and God alike, that this world is ruled supremely by material forces, or simply sensuous interests of any kind. In the face of Heaven, we proclaim it false! Of all forms of power that enter into its constitution, there is none to compare with that which belongs to mind, in the form of the Idea. This is more than tempest, lightning and steam; more than whirlwind, cataract and fire; more than the noise of many waters, or the tumult of the people surging and roaring with passion. Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord, shall the great purposes of this world be ultimately carried. There is nothing under heaven so omnipotent among men, as the presence of an Idea, in its true conception, representing, as it does always in fact, the inmost and deepest consciousness of the world itself. Amid all the thundering noise that marks the progress of history, it is only here at last we communicate with its soul, and are made to understand the true motive power which actuates its wheels. Men may talk as they please about their mechanics, and politics, and tactics—the world is governed, when all is done, by the power of Ideas; and the deepest thinkers, though far out of sight, it may be in the solitude of the closet, are still ever in the end, by divine right, the royal oligarchy, that preside over its affairs, and conduct them forward towards their proper end. No great revolution has ever yet occurred, that took not its birth first from the womb of an Idea. No
department of our life can be advanced towards perfection, save through the presence of the same force. And shall we say, then, that philosophy, the science of li* Idea, whose very province it is to bring ik world to a consciousness of its own life a this form, is not practical? Can we understand ourselves, or possess our o*o nature fully, in any respect, without hi aid? No general activity, whether in tk form of thought or will, can deserve to t* regarded as at all complete, that is M controlled by the light of philosophy, if not directly, at least in an indirect and circuitous way.
Such being the case, we may not admit, of course, that philosophy is necessarily unfriendly to religion. We have seen already. that it has entered largely into the history of Christianity from the beginning; though efforts have been made from time to time, with more zeal than clear knowledge, to sunder the church entirely from its connection. All such efforts have proved ui be of no account thus far, and will continue to be of no account always, just because philosophy is a necessary conditio: of our general human life; and to renounce the one in this absolute way, were to renounce the other also to the same extent If Christianity be truly divine, and at lissome time truly human, it must so adjust itself to the actual constitution of man i» its previous form, or rather so take thisuj into its own constitution in the way of a* tural consummation, that nothing belong ing to it of right shall be destroyed, M the whole on the contrary show itstK under a higher form, more perfect thai before. No wrong to the Gospel can wel be more egregious, than that by which it power is limited and restrained to a par only of the general organism of the world life; while other spheres, clearly include in this from the beginning, are violent!] thrust out from the range of its action,» hopelessly profane, and incapable of saw tification. It is a libel on Christ, to that his religion has nothing to do »' politics, or the fine arts, or the sciences, common social life. It must unite ii with all these, inwardly and profoundl so as to transfigure them fully into its o% image, before it shall have accomplish* its mission in the world. For how ek should it deserve to be acknowledged tl nivereal truth of man's life? And so it something monstrous also in the same ray, to affirm of Christianity, that it has o:hing to do with philosophy. Is ignoinec then, after all, the mother of devoon; or must the inmost walks of con•iousness be barred against the approach f religion, in order to preserve this sound tid pure? Christianity claims to be the roper rightful magistracy of man's entire ature, the power to which all belongs, ad by which all requires to be occupied id ruled. It must enter then into the linking of the world, as well as into its illing and working; and it cannot actutize itself in full, except as it is brought to •ign thus, with proper symmetrical dei lopment, throughout its whole life. To say that Christianity should hare no :llowship with philosophy, comes simply ) this in the end, that the contents of ith are not formed to become ever the Dntents of knowledge; that religion is nejssarily something blind in its own najre, incapable of being reflected in the onsciousness of its subject under an intelliible form; that it is to be received and held, ■nm first to last, in the way of mechanical utward tradition, on the ground, simply, f the foreign authority by which it comes uthenticated to our confidence and trust. >ut is not religion the inmost life of our uman being itself; and must not the pre>pt, Know thyself, extend to it always as ic necessary issue, in which alone the nowledge for which it calls can become >mplete'? Strange that any should hold man's privilege and calling, by the indexible right of his intelligence itself, to •metratc the interior sense of the world round him in the way of knowledge, and et count it little better than profane for im to think of penetrating the interior ■nse of his own nature, as unfolded to his •nsciousness in the Christian revelation. s it not the prerogative of intellect, to be •If-intelligent? and is it possible then for 'hristianity to be the absolute truth of umanity, the inmost substance of its very fe, without including in itself, at the same rae, a capacity at least for being made -ansparent to its own vision in this way'? t lies in its very conception, that it should >nn thus, when complete, the self-conciousntts of the world, in its deepest and lost comprehensive sense.
This is not to make Christianity dependent on philosophy in any way, for its existence. No process of thinking, on the part of men, could ever originate or discover religion in this form; just as little as it might be supposed to originate or discover the constitution of the natural earth and heavens. Christ, and the new creation revealed through him, are not a thought simply-, but a fact, such as philosophy has no power either to make or unmake. But this is only to say, that philosophy has no power to make or unmake the world's life in any view. The province of philosophy is not to create truth in any case, but only to make truth clear to itself in the reflected consciousness of its subject. It is truth itself in the form of self-knowledge; and in this view, there is no reason surely why Christianity should treat it as false and profane, but every reason on the contrary that it should be made welcome to the Christian sphere, as its rightful sanctuary and home.
But we are pointed to actual history in proof of its pernicious power in the view now noticed. It has been from the beginning, we are told, the fruitful mother of heresies and corruptions in the church. And has it not ever shown a sort of native affinity with atheism and infidelity? Has it not, more or less, openly proclaimed itself the enemy of Christ, from the days of Ammonius Saccas and Origen down to the days of Immanuel Kant, and from the epoch of the Critical Philosophy onward again, with rapid development, to the culmination of this modern movement in the pantheism of Hegel?
This only shows, we may reply, that philosophy is not of itself Christianity ; and still further, that Christianity has not yet fully mastered the inward life of the world. But this is nothing more than we find abundantly made evident to us, in the manifestation of the world's life also under other forms. Art, science, government, all have exhibited, in the progress of Christian history thus far, a more or less unfriendly relation to the Christian consciousness, refusing to acknowledge and accept it as the only proper form of their own being. But what then? Shall we abjure all art, science and politics, for this reason, as necessarily unholy and profane? Or shall we say that their whole past history has been false and without value, as not springing directly from Christ? And whythen should we entertain any such judgment in regard to philosophy, which at last is but the consciousness which enters into all these, and makes them to be what they are in fact? It comes simply to this, when all is done, that philosophy is not of itself Christianity, and that it must necessarily fall into an infidel position, if it assume to be in its own separate nature s\ifficient for the ultimate purposes of man's life, as comprehended in Christianity, and in Christianity alone. But although philosophy be not thus the actual power of the divine fact itself, it may be said to constitute, nevertheless, the interior fundamental form of the world's life, on which the power in question is required to make itself felt—the posture of humanity at any given time, in its relation to the great regenerative process by which it is thus to be transformed finally into the full image of God. In this view, philosophy is a great fact too —nothing more nor less, indeed, than the self-consciousness always of the world itself, at such stage of its historical development as it may have reached at the time; and as such a fact, it must be respected by Christianity, in order that this may at all take hold on the vast worldprocess to which it belongs, in a real way. That is, Christianity, to conquer fully the world's life, must become philosophical, by endeavoring continually to work itself into the consciousness of the world as it stands, for the purpose of thus helping it forward into a form that may be found fully commensurate at last with its own divine contents. The ultimate problem, of course, is the full reconciliation of the two powers here brought into view, in such way that neither shall -be allowed to do violence to the other, but both come finally to harmonious union, as form and substance in the actualization of all that is comprehended in the idea of humanity. But it lies in this conception itself, that they should continually seek each other in the resolution also of this problem, and be more or less interwoven through all the process by which it is to be accomplished. Christianity must enter the mind of the world as it is, to secure any permanent power in its life. Philosophy, it deserves to be well remembered
and earnestly laid to heart, is the onlvm? dium by which the new creation in Chrk Jesus can come into triumphant contarf with the actual universal life of man, as i: stands, in the form either of art, orscierw or political organization. An unphilosoph ical Christianity may be sufficient tosrc a multitude of individual souls for heave;, but it can never conquer the world.
Admitting, too, that philosophy has its dangers for Christianity as well as for life generally, it must be kept in mind that the want of philosophy is always somethi^ more full of peril still. Religion cannot be made so practical as to stand in no relatkr whatever to intelligence and thought. It must ever rest in a theory of some kind.th:: will be found to rule and condition its influence upon the world. If this theory be not philosophically sound, it will be phil" sophically unsound and false; and as a medium of communication with the world's life, it will to the same extent be a barrier to the proper power of the Gospel, as appointed for its salvation. We have, indeed, a widely extended school, if we may so use the term, who affect to hold Chrfctiar, ity (greatly differing at the same timt'. to be sure, about its true form) directly from Christ and the Bible, without the help of any theory whatever, as the medium of it* apprehension. But it needs no very deep philosophy certainly—though the case itself shows that it calls for some—to perceive the utter vanity, nay, profound absurdity, of every such pretension. The greatest slaves of theory, commonly, are just those who profess to have none; only their theory includes in itself no life, but resolves itself at last into the power of blind, tyrannical, tradition. If we need to be cautioned against philosophy, we need still more perhaps at this time, at least hew in America, to be cautioned against the tendency that seeks to bring all philosophy among us into discredit, and which would exclude its authority, only the more effectually to bind the yoke of its own ceremonialism upon our necks.
However it may be with the rest of the world, it is clear indeed that what is wanted among ourselves, to bring our life generally into right form, is not less philosophy than we have at present, but, if 'I were possible, a great deal more. Then is a sad disproportion, in our general jnerican life, between outward activity ad inward consciousness; which implies, owever, so far as it prevails, a want of ill M-lf-possession and self-control, in the »se of our outward activity itself; a want mt is extensively felt already throughout ie social system to which it belongs, and lat may be expected to work itself out xmer or later, if not met with proper asonable remedy, into the most disasrous, if not absolutely fatal, practical realU. We need earnest, profound Thought, om and cradled in the inmost philoso-hical consciousness of the age, by which J understand the problem Ave are called o solve as a nation, and so to turn our ction to right account. Action, of course, \ all important for the proper use of life; . belongs to our nature, not simply to jirror in itself the sense of the surroundng world, but to mould this also into its Iwd image; and it is only under this orm, that it can ever possibly show itself omplete. Philosophy without action, is Jwayg something helpless, and liable to Ikease, as we see exemplified on a large tide in the history of speculation among the uodern Germans. But then, action withiut philosophy will be found just as little rortby to be trusted also, in the end, for he great purposes of human life. No ^agination can well be more false, than "suppose that our American practical aknt is sufficient of itself to accomplish Jl that is comprehended properly in our vocation as a people. Power, to be ■fficient for moral ends, must be accompanied with light. The force of mind, rondered from the inward illustration that should of right go with it always, is made to resemble, more or less, the force of mere nature, and becomes of the same ^rder with the strength of the whirlwind •t mountain torrent. It may cany all bctore H for a time, but the action, at last, i» neither rational nor free. We need not ■*ly the energy of will, which now distinguishes us above all the nations of the tarta, but the clear insight of speculative ttaaon, also, to clothe our will with its full right to be thus energetic and strong. Let our national spirit be brought to know md possess iteelf fully in a free way, so iiat the action of the nation, in all the 'pheres of its life, may be filled and ruled *uh Uie soul of a true self-consciousness,
VOL. t SO. II. MEW BIRIES. 11
in the form of philosophy, and we shall then be prepared to fulfill indeed the high destiny that seems to be assigned to us on the part of Heaven. Such a union of action and speculation, joined with the vast resources of our outward life, and the mighty scope thrown open to us by the genius of our political institutions, might be expected to carry us, in due time, far beyond all the world has yet been permitted to reach, in the way of moral progress, under any other form. May we not say, indeed, that this is the very problem of problems, which our new-born America is called at this time to solve, for the universal benefit of men in all time to come? At present, as already remarked, we are manifestly suffering through the want of speculation, and not from its excess. Action is allowed too often to overwhelm or crowd out thought. There reigns among us, indeed, a wide-spread prejudice against philosophy, in its true and proper character, which makes it difficult to secure any earnest attention to its claims in any quarter. In the mean time, besides, to make the case still worse, a false empirical scheme of thought, (since all action must have some spiritual bottom on which to rest in this way,) claiming to be philosophy itself, though only its wretched caricature, in fact, has come to underlie our activity on all sides, and is now ready to resist all, deeper thinking, as an invasion upon its own rights. The general character of this bastard philosophy is, that it affects to measure all things, both on earth and in heaven, by the categories of the common abstract understanding, as it stands related simply to the world of time and sense. These categories, however, being in themselves the forms or types only of things in this outward world, and representing therefore the conditions merely of existence in space and time—something relative always and finite by the very nature of the case—become necessarily one-sided and false, the moment we attempt to carry their authority beyond these limits, and to apply''them to the truths of the pure reason. This has been triumphantly shown by Kant, in his immortal work on the subject; whose argument thus far, at least, can never be nullified by the skeptical use to which it was turned in his own hands, but only makes it necessary to surmount this skepticism by pressing forward to still higher ground. It should be understood, and borne in mind always, that the skepticism of Kant u not something from which we escape by falling back simply on the sensuous philosophy, once for all demolished by his gigantic criticism. As against this, his argument and the bad use he makes of it, are alike legitimate and sound. With the premises of Locke, it is not possible successfully to withstand the reasoning of David Hume; and the reasoning.of David Hume, brought to understand itself, and pushed out to its proper universal form, conducts us over with like necessity to the critical Idealism of Immanuel Kant. If our knowledge can have no other ground on which to rest, than that which is offered to us in the forms of the sensible world, as apprehended through categories of thought, simply answerable to their outward and finite nature, it ought to be clear, surely, that it cannot reach, with any true force, and as knowledge, to objects that lie beyond this sphere. The system of Locke pretended to do so, indeed, building its faith in the absolute and infinite upon deductions from .the simply relative and finite. This pretension, false from the beginning, Kant has fairly and forever overturned, leaving the world, so far as that philosophy could help it, without any sure hold upon a single truth beyond the range of its present experience. And yet it is just this false and helpless system of thinking that still insists, too generally among ourselves, on its right to rule our whole life, and that is ready, alas! on all sides, to stigmatize as transcendental nonsense, if not something still worse, every attempt that is made to go beyond itself in the way of earnest and profound speculation. The whole tendency of this philosophy is towards materialism and infidelity; as we may see abundantly exemplified by its past history in other parts of the world, particularly in France, It may be associated, it is true, with an opposite system; as commonly in this country, where it claims the spiritual and supernatural, indeed, as peculiarly its own province. But so far as such connection goes, it is out"l only and traditional, not inward and The philosophy itself has no power \ the spiritual and supernatural,
and in pretending to do so, only drags it, in fact, downward into its own sphere, so that it is in the end truly neither one nor the other. It reasons from time to eternity with vast dexterity and ease; establishing, by strict Baconian comparison and induction, the existence of God, the immortality of the soul, and the truth of revelation; but it is all in such a way as turns eternity itself into time, and forces the whole invisible world to become a mere abstraction from the world of sense. The empirical understanding affects to become transcendent, (as Kant calls it,) and may please itself with the imagination of having actually grasped in this way the truth which lies beyond its own horizon; but it is the illusion of one who dreams himself to be awake, and, behold, he is asleep: the object grasped, when all is done, belongs to the sphere of sense, and not to the sphere of spirit. This philosophy makes no room at all for ideas, in the proper sense of the term; its ideas are all intellectual abstractions merely, that as such carry in themselves no necessary or universal force. How is it possible, that such a system should have depth or strength; that it should penetrate the interior sense of life, in any quarter; or that it should communicate true spiritual earnestness to the general character and conduct of men, in any direction? All the higher interests of our nature must necessarily be made to suffer, wherever it prevails. ,
The bad power of this system is widely exemplified among us, in our reigning indifference to philosophy itself, and our want of faith generally in the objects with which it is of right concerned. Speculaton and action are very commonly regarded as opposite spheres, only outwardly related to each other; in which view, the first must ever be shorn of all earnest independent interest, on its own account. It is either held to be of no force for actual life at all^the unprofitable metaphysical pugilism, merely, of the schools, by which the world can never be made wiser or better—or else, to save it from such reproach. it is forced to quit the skies wholly, and become the mere shadowy echo of experience and "common sense," as it is called, in the service of directly material ends. It is pursued accordingly either as a pastime