Transcendentalism, or latest Form of Infidelity-Part II

Part II of II

Following the old Buddhists and generalizing this important fact into a principle, Leroux, instructed also by the Nihilism of the Hegelians, represents God to be Infinite Void seeking to become full ; and since God is Infinite Void seeking to become full, and since the full or plenum is the actual universe, the universe as a whole and in all its parts must needs be eternally progressive. Hence, a solid and imperishable foundation for the sublime and kindling doctrine of progress, around which gathers u la Jeune France," u das Junge Deutschland," " Young England," " Young Ireland," and u Young America,"  young indeed, and even green / But how can void become plenum, potentia actus, possibility real, without a reality to realize it ? God given as Infinite Void is given as infinite possibility, that is, merely as a metaphysical existence which no real existence contradicts.  But a possibility cannot act, because it is not in re,  is a nonentity, and therefore no subject. How, then, can God seek to realize himself in the universe ? For the tendency to reality must itself be from a reality, since what is not cannot seek or tend to be or to do. Yet into the absurdity here involved the Transcendentalists all fall in raising the ideal oyer the real, and telling us, as they do, that ideas are potent, active, and take to themselves hands and remake man and the universe to their own image and likeness. Nothing more untrue. What is not cannot act, and ideas existing only in con-ceptu are not and cannot be active. The whole doctrine of progress is an absurdity. Nothing contains in itself the force to be more than it is, and cannot be more than it is, save by the aid of what it is not ; for otherwise the stream could rise higher than the fountain, the effect exceed the cause, that is, be an effect without a cause. Man may advance by the aid of his Maker, but is not and cannot be inherently progressive. It will not, then, answer to contend that the possible man is greater than the actual man, humanity in the abstract superior to humanity concreted in individuals.

It may be replied to us, that the Transcendentalists do not mean by humanity simply humanity as abstracted horn all individuals, but as common to all individuals. We see no real difference between the one and the other. But if it be humanity as common to all individuals on which they exhort us to fall back, then it is included in each and individualized in each. Each, individual, then, has it all in himself, and affirms it in every one of his individual acts ; for if wanting, he himself would not be. Hence, the distinction between man as an individual and man as humanity, if this be the distinction contended for by the Transcendentalists, can avail them nothing ; for, in the first place, to sink the personal and fall back on the impersonal would be to sink the actual and fall back on the potential, the real and fall back on the unreal, on nothing ; in the second place, it would be to fall back on what the individual already is, for he is all the human nature there is for him to fall back upon.

There remains, then, the third distinction we pointed out, namely, the distinction between men as persons and existences not personal,  in which sense the essential characteristic of personality is reason. The distinction here is properly a distinction between rational and irrational. The distinction, we must remember, is in man, not out of him, and therefore implies in man a personal subject and an impersonal subject.    But
this is impossible ; for man is one subject, one ego, one me, not two, and human nature in him is one and the same identical nature. He may be affected on one side, so to speak, of his being, by bodily organs, and on the other by God and truth ; and he may differ, morally, very widely, as he acts from the one affection or the other ; but he is, in either case, always the one identical subject or agent. The distinction, then, in man, of a personal and impersonal subject is impossible.

But we will not now insist on this. The distinction is between personal subject and impersonal subject, and the impersonal is included in the definition of man ; therefore as properly man as the personal. What can this impersonal subject be ? It can be only what is left after the personalis eliminated. What, in eliminating personality, do we then neces-. sarily eliminate ? or rather, on what conditions is the elimination of personality possible ? Man must be retained in his substantiality and individuality, because he is to be retained as subject active and operative. But if to man in his substantiality and individuality you add rational nature or reason, he is a person. Then you can possibly remove personality only on condition of removing rational nature, either in itself or in operation. Hence, to sink personality is, practically at least, to sink reason ; for the active presence of reason necessarily and per se constitutes the personality. This assumed, the elimination of personality is possible only by eliminating reason. The Transcendental distinction, then, between the personal and impersonal in man is virtually a distinction between the rational and irrational, and the exhortation to escape from personality is virtually an exhortation to escape from the restraints of reason. To sink our personality is to sink our reason, to refuse to reason ; and to refuse to reason is to reduce ourselves, practically, to the condition of brutes,  at the very best, to that of children and the insane.

We can now catch some slight glimpse of the real character of Transcendentalism. If it adopts this last view, it represents the irrational as superior to the rational, reverses all our common notions of things, declares the imperfect more perfect than the perfect, that the less of a man one is the more of a man he is, the less he knows the more he knows, that the child is wiser than the adult, the madman more to be trusted as a guide than the sane man,  which, extravagant as it may seem, is actually admitted by our Transcendentalists, whom we have often heard contend that the unintelligible is more intelligible than the intelligible, that nothing is less known than the known, that only the unknown is known, that more is to be seen by night than by day, in the dark than in the light. We exaggerate nothing. We have heard all this said, and seriously maintained.

It has been seriously maintained that the child is far wiser than the man. We have, or had quite recently, before us a remarkable book, called Conversations on the Gospels, held by a teacher with his children, in which he affects to learn and prove the Gospel, that is, the Gospel according to the Transcendentalists, from the mouth of childhood, from what he calls its simple, unconscious utterances. Strange as it may seem, it has actually been maintained by serious persons in our good city of Boston, and, for aught we know to the contrary, is yet, that the teacher is to learn what he teaches from the child ; that teaching is merely " tempting forth " what is in the child ; in a word, that more wisdom is to be learned by sitting down by the cradle and looking into baby's eyes, than by listening to the profoundest discourses of the sage or the saint. Even no less a man than the poet Wordsworth seems to hold the same :

" Heaven lies about us in our infancy ;
Shades of the prison-house begin to close
Upon the growing boy, But he beholds the light, and whence it flows,
He sees it in his joy; The youth, who daily farther from the east Must travel, still is Nature's priest,
And by the vision splendid
Is on his way attended ;
 At length the man perceives it die away, And fade into the light of common day."

There is no mistaking the philosophy which underlies the whole of the beautiful Ode, or Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood, from which we have taken this passage,  beautiful, we mean, so far as the mere poetic sentiment and expression are concerned. It is a sort of apotheosis of childhood, as the ballad of The Idiot Boy is, one is half tempted to say, that of idiocy. All proceeds from the assumption of the superiority of man minus personality over man with the last complement of his nature.

Nor do our Transcendentalists shrink from maintaining the superior sanity of the insane over the sane. " The poet," says Mr. Emerson, in a passage already quoted, " knows that he speaks adequately, then only, when he speaks somewhat wildly,.....not with the intellect used as an organ, but with
the intellect released from service (that is, from the governance of reason) and suffered to take its direction from its celes-tiaUife ;.....not with intellect alone, but with intellect inebriated by nectar.,, And in the following he is still more explicit :

" The poets are liberating gods. The ancient British bards had for the title of their order, ' Those who are free throughout the world.' They are free, and they make free. An imaginative work renders us much more service at first, by stimulating us through its tropes, than afterwards, when we arrive at the precise sense of the author. I think nothing is of any value in books, excepting the transcendental and extraordinary. If a man is inflamed and carried away by his thought, to that degree that he forgets the author and the public, and heeds only this one dream, which holds him like an insanity, let me read his paper, and you may have all the arguments and histories and criticism. All the value which attaches to Pythagoras, Paracelsus, Cornelius Agrippa, Cardan, Kepler, Swedenborg, Schelling, Oken, or any other who introduces questionable facts into his cosmogony, as angels, devils, magic, astrology, palmistry, mesmerism, and so on, is the certificate we have of departure from routine, and that here is a new witness. That, also, is the best success in conversation, the magic of liberty, which puts the world, like a ball, in our hands. How cheap even the liberty then seems: how mean to study, when an emotion communicates to the intellect the power to sap and upheave nature : how great the perspective! nations, times, systems, enter and disappear, like threads in tapestry of large figure and many colors; dream delivers us to dream, and, while the drunkenness lasts, we will sell our bed, our philosophy, our religion, in our opulence."  Essays, 2d Series, pp. 35, 36.

This reminds us of the conversation of a gentleman walking through Bedlam with one of its inmates, with whom he had been previously acquainted.
" Ah, Tom, you here ! How is this ?" " O, I was outvoted." " Outvoted ! how so ? " " I said the world was mad ; they said I was mad, and being the majority, they outvoted me, and sent me here." Tom, according to the Transcendentalists, was in the right, the world in the wrong. He had merely broken loose from routine, and rnadehimself ua new witness."

The same philosophy at bottom, though different in form, and apparently less extravagant, runs through our own former writings, and was adopted by us as the basis of our theory of art and of religion.    We hope we may be pardoned the egotism of quoting a paragraph or two in this connexion ; for it cannot be denied, that, in a history of American Transcendentalism, the Editor of the Boston Quarterly Review should not be forgotten, pronounced as he was by Blackwood's Magazine the Coryphaeus of the sect, and by M. Victor Cousin one who promised to be " a philosophical writer of the first order," &c. In a review of Wordsworth's poetry, we took occasion to bring out a theory of art in general, and of poetry in particular,  a theory which had the good fortune to meet Mr. Parker's entire approbation, if we may credit his personal assurances to the writer, although he differed somewhat from us in its application to Wordsworth's poetry.

"The poet is always a seer; and it is worthy of note that the common-sense of mankind, which makes languages, frequently calls the poet and seer, or prophet, by the same name. Thus, in Latin, vates is either a prophet or a poet. The poet is not, strictly speaking, a maker, as the Greek name implies. He does not create, - he finds ; hence poetry has, with justice, been made to consist in invention, in discovering, seeing, finding, that which ordinary men heed not, see not, or do not imagine to exist. He catches glimpses, more or less perfect, of the infinite reality which lies back of the phenomena observed by the senses, or which shines out through them, whether under the aspect of truth, of beauty, or of goodness; and his sensibility is agitated, his soul takes fire, and he utters what he sees in words that burn, in tones which make those who hear him feel as he feels and burn as he burns. This he may do, because the spontaneous reason, by means of which he obtains the glimpses which fill his soul with so much joy, is in all men, and thus lays the foundation of a secret but entire sympathy between him and them, making them capable of recognizincr the infinite he recognizes, and of joining their voices with" his in sublime chorus to the God of truth, beauty, goodness.

" The poet, we have said, is a seer. He is a spectator. He stands before the spiritual universe, and merely sees what is before him. He does not make that universe; nay, he has not sought to behold it. It has risen in its majesty, or in its loveliness, before him. He does not seek his song; it comes to him ; it is given him. He is, to a certain extent, a passive, though not an unmoved, recipient of it. To^this fact he always bears witness. It is not he that sings; it is fiis Muse :
* Musa, mihi causae memora.'

Apollo, or some God, inspires him. The power he feels, the beauty he sees, he cannot ascribe to himself. The song he sings is a mystery unto himself, and he feels that it must have been given him from abroad, from above. A spirit glows within him, a mind agitates him, which he feels is not his spirit, is not his mind, but the mind of his mind, the spirit of his spirit, the soul of his soul. In this he is right. The spontaneous reason, spontaneity, from which his song proceeds, is, as we have said, the divine in man, and it acts without being put into action by the human will. We may by effort, by discipline, place ourselves in relation with it, bring ourselves within the sphere of its action ; but it is impersonal and divine......It follows from the view now taken, that
there is always truth in poetry. Of all known modes of utterance, poetry is one of the truest; for it is the voice of the spontaneous reason, the word of God, which is in immediate relation with truth. It is truer than philosophy j for in poetry God speaks, whereas in philosophy it is only man that speaks. The reflective reason, which gives us philosophy, is personal, subject to all the infirmities of the flesh, short-sighted, and exclusive ; but the spontaneous reason, of which poetry is one of the. inodes of utterance, is impersonal, broad, universal; embracing, as it were, the whole infinitude of truth. Hence the confidence mankind have universally reposed in their sacred prophets, in the inspired 'chants of their divine bards, and the distrust they have pretty uniformly manifested for the speculations of philosophers......Poetry, if it be poetry, is always
inspired. It is inspiration clothing itself in words. And inspiration is never referred to ourselves; we always refer it to God. ' In inspiration,'*(footnote: * Introduction a PHistoire de la Philosophie,    Paris, 1828.   Lecon vi. p. 11, et seq.) says Cousin,' we are simple spectators. We are not actors; or at best, our action consists merely in being conscious of what is taking place, This, doubtless, is activity, but not a premeditated, voluntary, personal activity. The characteristic of inspiration is enthusiasm; it is accompanied by that strong emotion which forces the soul out of its ordinary and subaltern state, and calls into action the sublime and divine part of its nature. Est Deus in nobis, agitante calescimus Mo.' "  Boston Quarterly Review, April, 1839, Vol. II., pp. 142- 144.

There is no mistaking this. It is genuine Transcendentalism, and differs from it as set forth by others only in the fact, that they make the whole of human nature, minus the personality, the measure of truth and goodness ; whereas we, in our exposition, take merely a part, the faculty of reason, minus its last complement. This, in reality, amounts to nothing, and constitutes no fundamental difference. The theory we bring out is, the more effectually a man abandons himself to spontaneity, to his impersonal nature, and the less he interferes in its operations, that is, the less he exercises reason and volition, the more in accordance with truth are his views, and the more worthy of confidence are his words. This abandonment is, so to speak, a sort of voluntary or premeditated insanity ; and the more complete it becomes, the more nearly do we approach the state of insanity. The only difference between a man voluntarily placing himself in the state required and the actually insane is, that the former has the power of resuming the reins, and recovering himself when he chooses, whereas the latter has not. But while in, and so far as in, this state, the resemblance, the identity, is complete. Hence, the nearer we approach to the state of insanity, the more divine do we become, the more open is the universe to our view, and the more trustworthy are our utterances. Mr. Parker, as we shall have occasion hereafter to show, adopts the same general doctrine, and makes the man who comes nearest to God, who stands in the most immediate relation with absolute truth, beauty, and goodness, a sort of maniac.

" There is a new soul in the man, which takes him, as it were, by the hair of his head, and sets him down where the idea he wishes for demands......It takes the rose out of the cheek, and
turns the man in on himself, and gives him more of truth. Then in a poetic fancy, the man sees visions; has wondrous revelations; every mountain thunders ; God bums in every bush; flames out in the crimson cloud ; speaks in the wind ; descends with every dove; is all in all. The soul deep-wrought, in its intense struggle, gives outness to its thought, and on the trees and stars, the fields, the floods, the corn ripe for the sickle, on man and woman, it sees its burden writ. The spirit within constrains the man. It is like wine that hath no vent. He is full of God. While he muses the fire burns; his bosom will scarce hold his heart. He must speak, or he dies, though the earth quake at his word. Timid flesh may resist, and Moses say, I am slow of speech. What avails that ? The soul says, Go, and I will be with thy mouth, to quicken thy
tardy tongue......Then are the man's lips touched with a coal
from the altar of Truth, brought by a seraph's hand. He is baptized with the spirit of fire. His countenance is like lightning. Truth thunders from his tongue; his words eloquent as persuasion : no terror is terrible; ano foe formidable. The peaceful is satisfied to be a man of strife and contention, his hand against every man to root up, pluck down, and destroy." Discourse, pp. 223, 224.'

This is a tolerable description of a madman, whose frenzy has taken the turn of religious reform. It is designed as the description of an inspired man,not supernaturally, but naturally inspired, by the "great Soul, wide as yesterday, to-day, and for ever," which seizes and overpowers the man ; and is a very good proof that the Transcendentalists regard the insane as better measures of truth and goodness than the sane ; which is what they ought to do in order to be consistent with themselves.

Something of this same doctrine seems to have spread far and wide. The prevailing notion in our community of the prophet seems to be borrowed from the insane or drunken Pythoness, and the man whom God chooses to communicate his word is looked upon as one possessed. The man is not himself, but beside himself. Thus Washington Allston, in his picture of Jeremiah, seeks to indicate the prophetic character by giving to the prophet the eyes of a maniac. The poet, painter, sculptor, artists of all sorts, it seems to be believed, in order to have genius, to be what their names imply, should be a sort of madmen, doing what they know not, and do not will,  mastered and carried away by a power they are not, and comprehend not; and attain to excellence, gain a right to immortal fame, only by abandoning themselves without resistance to its direction.

We are not disposed to undertake the refutation of this theory, which may be termed the demoniacal, or madman's theory, for none but a madman will attempt to reason a madman out of his crotchets. The characteristic of the madman is that he has lost the power to reason, and therefore, to be reasoned out of error or into truth. Nevertheless, though not entirely ignorant of the class of facts which are or may be appealed to in support of this theory, we believe every scholar or literary man is able from his own experience to refute it. The man is always greatest, sees the farthest, and produces the most effect on others^ when he himself is most self-collected, self-possessed. The most eloquent passages of your most eloquent orators are produced when the orator is intensely active, indeed, but when he has the fullest command of himself, and is the most perfectly conscious and master of his thoughts and words. The orator who would command his audience must first command himself. If he allows them, or his own thought, passion, or imagination, to master him, he fails. So your poets, so far as genuine, write not with " eyes in a fine frenzy rolling," but with a calm, quiet self-possession, perfectly master of what they are saying, and of the mode or manner in which they say it.    We need but read Shakspeare to be satisfied of this. Shakspeare inflames your passions, makes you rave, rant, weep, laugh, love, hate, sigh, muse, philosophize, at will ; but he himself is in no passion, never loses the command of his verse, nor of his tears, laughter, loves, hates, or musings. You never dream of identifying him with any one of his characters. He is himself no more Macbeth, Hamlet, Othello, than he is Iago, King Lear, or Jack Falstaff. They are his creatures, not himself. And herein is the test of genius, which holds itself always distinct from and above its productions,  sends them forth, yet conceals itself. Great power is always sedate and silent. The ancients represented their gods as asleep, and spread over their features an air of ineffable repose.    Real majesty

" Rides on the whirlwind and directs the storm."

We  feel  this   in  Homer, Dante,   Shakspeare, and even Goethe.     They are all remarkable for their   self-possession, their easy grandeur and simple majesty, and hence the command they have over men.    When one loses his self-possession, -loses, as it were, his personality, and suffers himself to be carried  away by his thoughts, his passion, or his imagination,you feel that he is internally weak, that he is but a child, with whom indeed you may amuse yourself for a moment, if in playful mood, but to whom you can surrender neither your heart nor your judgment.    Mr. Emerson himself, in his own character, is a striking proof of the falseness of his theory, and the contrast between him and Mr. Parker forcibly illustrates the  comparative worth of  that theory and its opposite.    In the very tempest and whirlwind of his passion, in the very access of his madness, uttering the most incoherent ravings, the wildest extravagances, Mr. Emerson is eminently himself, perfectly cool and self-possessed, and proceeds as deliberately as a mathematician   solving his problems,  or  a stone-cutter in squaring his block of granite.    We dissent from his doctrines, we shrink from his impiety and his blasphemy, but we see and feel his intense  personality, that he is master of his thought, that he knows what he says, and intends it.   No man can listen to the silvery tones..of his voice, mark his quiet composure, or read his exquisitely chiselled sentences, and not say, Here is a man to whom Almighty God has given ability and genius of the first order, and of whom he will demand a large account. No man is more intensely personal, or practises more contrary to the rule he lays down ; none can demand of all books, all thoughts, words, deeds, that pass under his observation, a more , rigid account of what they are, and of their right to be. And yet he is the first poet of his country, and has written passages unsurpassed for true poetic conception, sentiment, and expression, by any living poet, with whose productions we are acquainted, whether in England, France, or Germany. The man wants but faith, faith in the Son of God, to be the glory of his country, and a blessing to his race. But, alas ! wanting this, he wants all. His splendid talents, his keen, penetrating insight, his deep and probing thought, his patient study, and his rich and creative genius avail him nothing. May we not take the wail that now and then escapes him as an indication that he himself is not altogether unconscious of this ? O, would that he could bow lowly at the foot of the cross, and consecrate ¦ himself, his talents and genius, to the service of the Crucified ! May the infinite God, whose goodness is over all, and unto all, bestow upon him the inestimable gift of faith, and enable him to worship the God who in the beginning created the heavens and the earth, instead of seeking to make to himself a god from the unconscious energies of Nature !

Mr. Parker is a very different man from Mr. Emerson. We see that he has read much, that he has a burning thirst for knowledge, that he has wit, fancy, imagination, passion, but that he is not their master. They, each by turns, overpower him, and carry him whithersoever they will. He mounts, indeed, the whirlwind, he rides on the tempest, but he does not direct it ; it directs him, and whirls and tosses him as it pleases. He, to no inconsiderable extent, sinks himself, and abandons himself to his instinctive nature. But we feel, as we read him, that he is weak. He has no simple grandeur, no quiet strength, no sedate command. His brow is not imperial. He soars not with ease and grace, as one native to the higher regions, on wings fitted to sustain him, and we fear every moment that they will prove insufficient. His conclusions inspire no confidence, for we see he knows not whence he has obtained them, and has come to them simply as borne onward by the winds and clouds of passion. Never does the man stand above his thought and command his speech. He whirls and tosses with all the whirlings and tossings of his discourse, and we feel that he is not one of those great men whose lives serve to chronicle the ages."

We think it not difficult now to comprehend the essential character of Transcendentalism. It exhorts us to sink our personality, and abandon ourselves to the impersonal soul, the unconscious energy that underlies it. The essential characteristic of personality is reason, and therefore to sink personality is, as we have seen, practically to sink reason itself. If vye discard reason, we must also discard will, for will is not simply acting from one's self as subject, nor from one's self as subject to an end ; but from one's self as subject propter finem, to an end and on account of it, which is not possible without reason. Eliminate from man, that is, from what comes properly within the definition of man, reason and will, and nothing remains of man but passion, or, if you will, passion and phantasy, or imagination. At most, then, we have for the impersonal nature, on which to fall back, only passion and imagination ; for passion and imagination, together with reason and will, are the whole man, all that can be covered, in any sense; by the word man, or by the term human nature. But, in order to be as liberal as possible, we will gratuitously suppose, after reason is discarded, will remains ; it can remain only as a simple executive force, for that is all it is at any time. Reason discarded, it can remain only as the executor of the suggestions of passion and imagination. The plain, simple Transcendental doctrine, then, is, passion and imagination are superior to reason. Give loose reins to passion and imagination, and your head will be filled with wilder dreams and stranger fancies than if you subject them to the surveillance and restraints of reason ; and these dreams and fancies are to be regarded as superior to the dictates of reason, because these are spontaneous and the dictates of reason are personal !
Passion and imagination, or what remains of man, after the elimination of reason,  are precisely what the Schoolmen call the inferior soul, and hold to be the seat of concupiscence. What Christian theology calls the superior soul is the rational nature as distinguished from the sensitive soul, or, as termed by some modern psychologists, internal sensibility, or principle of the sentiments or feelings as distinguished from sensations, or perceptions of sense. It has three faculties,  will, understanding, and memory. To make passion and imagination the superior is simply asserting the superiority of the sensitive nature over the rational. The subject now begins to open, and we approach a territory very well known. The distinction contended for is now quite intelligible, and though not properly a distinction between the personal and impersonal, yet a very real distinction, and one not now noted for the first time, ft is the distinction which renders possible and intelligible that spiritual conflict which has been noted in all ages, and which every man experiences who undertakes to live a Christian life. The impersonal soul of the Transcen-dentalists is the u carnal mind " of the Sacred Scriptures, the inferior nature, which, according to Christian faith, has been disordered by the Fall, and become prone to evil and that continually,  that " old man of sin," the seat of all inordinate desires and affections,  u the flesh," which our religion commands us to " put off," to " mortify with its deeds," and to bring into subjection to the law of Christ Jesus after the inner man. This is what it is, and all that it is, and under these names it is no new acquaintance.

Now, the peculiarity, we cannot say the originality, of Transcendentalism consists precisely in declaring the flesh superior to the spirit ; this inferior soul, or what Christianity pronounces the inferior soul, superior to the rational soul, or what Christianity declares to be the superior soul ; in giving as its higher nature, noble soul, spirit, instinct, spontaneity, the divine in man, to which we are to abandon ourselves, and which we are to take as the infallible revelation of the will of our Maker, and the measure of truth and goodness, this very carnal mind, flesh, corrupt nature, against which the saint wars, which he mortifies, and through his whole life labors incessantly to subdue, to subject to reason and will, healed of the wounds of the Fall, elevated and purified by the infusion of supernatural grace. It makes this struggle not only unnecessary, but wrong ; and requires us, as the rule of life, to give up reason, and abandon ourselves to the solicitations of the flesh !

The mist now vanishes ; and this Transcendentalism, which has puzzled so many simple-minded people, becomes as plain and as unmistakable as the nose on a man's face. It has revealed no mystery, has detected no new facts or elements in human nature, but has simply called higher what the Gospel calls lower, that true and good which the Gospel calls false and evil, and vice versa. It would simply liberate us from the restraints of reason, and deliver us to the license of passion and imagination, free us from the struggle, and permit us to follow nature instead of commanding us to crucify it. It merely gives the lie to our blessed Saviour ; and where he says, " Deny thyself," it says, " Obey thyself." It ridicules the notion, that a holy life must be a life of incessant warfare against one's self, and teaches that we are to gain heaven by swimming with the current, not against it ; a pleasant docrine, and, if universally adopted and acted on, would, no doubt, produce some effects.

People who do not believe much in the modern doctrine of progress, and who are not aware that we live in the age of light, may be strongly inclined to believe that we misrepresent the Transcendentalists ; but they should bear in mind that it was foretold thousands of years ago, that there would come a race of men who would call the churl liberal, evil good, and bitter sweet. The doctrine we charge upon the Transcendentalists is but a necessary logical inference from the principles they lay down in the passages we have quoted from their writings. Absolute religion and morality are, we presume, the highest expression of truth and goodness ; and absolute religion and morality, Mr. Parker tells us, are " religion as it exists in the facts of man's nature," " what answers exactly to the religious sentiment." By sentiment, we presume also, he means sentiment, for he so calls it, defines it to be a want, and distinguishes it from cognition, discursive reason, and volition ; if a sentiment, then a fact of the sensitive or inferior soul, which is the seat or principle of all the sentiments, whether good or bad. If absolute religion and morality answer exactly to the religious sentiment, or if that which answers exactly to the religious sentiment is absolute religion and morality, then the sensitive soul is their measure, and then the measure of truth and goodness.

The Transcendentalists, moreover, claim to be Spiritualists, and they call their doctrine Spiritualism. Their impersonal soul, it is well known, they term spirit, and distinguish, on the one hand, from reason, and on the other from external sense. They pretend to have detected here an element in man, or a faculty of man's soul, which is overlooked by the Rationalists and the Materialists, as also by the Supernaturalists, whom Mr. Parker classes with the Materialists. This element or faculty is the principle of their doctrine, and that which characterizes their school. In their view it transcends reason and external sense, and hence their name of Transcendentalists. They are pneumatici, differing from those of the old Gnostic stamp only in claiming for all men what the old Gnostics claimed for merely a select few.

Now strike out reason and external sense, and you have nothing left of man but this very sensitive soul to which you can possibly apply the term spirit ; for these and  it are the whole man. Therefore the Transcendentalists must mean this, if they mean any thing, by the spirit ; for there is nothing else in man they can mean.

That they do mean this is evident enough from 'the fact that they deny the necessity, nay, the propriety, of struggling against it. There is, as most men know, an internal opposition between the rational soul and the sensitive, and in order to be virtuous, it is generally held that we should make the latter yield to the former ; but this the Transcendentalists deny.
" In some men," says Mr. Parker, " religion is of a continual growth. They are always in harmony with God. Silently and unconscious, erect as a palm-tree, they grow up to the measure of a man. To them reason and religion are of the same birth. They are born saints, the aborigines of heaven. Betwixt their idea of life and their fact of life there has at no time been a gulf. But others join themselves to the armada of sin, and get scarred all over as they do thankless battle in that leprous host. Before these men become religious, there must be a change,  a well defined, a deeply marked change,  a change that will be remembered. The saints who have been sinners tell us of the struggle between the flesh and the spirit. It is as if the devil and the archangel contended. Well says John Bunyan, 'The devil fought with me weeks long, and I with the devil.' To take the leap of Niagara, and stop when half-way down, and by the proper motion reascend, is no slight thing, nor the remembrance thereof like to pass away. The passage from sin to salvation, this second birth of the soul, as both Christians and heathens call it, is one of the many mysteries of man. Two elements meet in the soul. There is a negation of the past; an affirmation of the future. Terror and hope, penitence and faith, rush together, and a new life begins."  Discourse, p. 151.

This, though vaguely expressed, is intelligible enough. It evidently recognizes no corrupt nature to be warred against, and by the help of divine grace reduced to subjection. Many never know any struggle at all; and those who are subjected to a momentary struggle, in consequence of past misbehaviour, have to struggle, not against their own nature, but simply against their past deeds. The sin is. simply in the fact that there is a gult between their fact of life and their idea of life, that is, a discrepancy between the actual and the ideal. The sinner is one who has not realized his ideals. The wrong is entirely in the fact that his actual conduct does not satisfy or please  himself.    Let him leap the gulf which separates his actual from his ideal, or let him by a bold effort satisfy his interior longings, and be pleased with himself, recover self-complacency, and the sin is removed, the evil is done away, and the man stands on the mountain-top of life, that is, has got to the top of his ideal. u Absolve yourself," says Mr. Emerson, " and you shall have the suffrage of the world."

" Two elements meet in the soul." What are these two elements ? Reason and concupiscence,  the spirit and the flesh ? Not at all. They are no elements of human nature, but simply the fact of life and the idea of life, that is, the actual and the ideal. The man, somehow, one day, as leaping down Niagara at his leisure, and admiring the spray, the current, the rainbow, suddenly comes to see that he is leaping away from his ideal, falling below it, and, comparing one with the other, says to himself, " This will never do," and therefore arrests himself, turns a somerset, and with his proper motion reascends and grasps his ideal. A difficult feat, no doubt, for ordinary mortals ; but within the natural power of all men, and quite easy to a Transcendentalism who is thoroughly exercised in all spiritual ground-and-lofty tumbling. But be this as it may, the only struggle is between the man's actual and his ideal. Is this actual the creature of the inferior soul ? Nothing says so. Is this ideal the revelation of the superior soul, of reason divinely strengthened or illuminated ? Nothing proves it; and, for aught that appears, it may itself be nothing but the longings, cravings, of the inferior soul itself.

A struggle of a different kind Mr. Parker, indeed, admits, and a struggle which the man wages not in becoming a saint, but in being one. But this is not against the inferior or sensitive soul. It is a struggle against old ideas and institutions. The man is to do brave battle, but not against himself,  win immortal victories, but not over himself. He is to stand erect against existing moral, religious, and social institutions, and wage war to the death against whatever may impose a restraint on the soul, or hinder it from acting out itself. So, he says, did our blessed Saviour, whom, in his more compliant moods, he permits to be taken as a model; so did Peter, and Paul, and Stephen, and so all the prophets and sages of all times past, and so should we. But this implies no condemnation of any part of human nature, nor does it require the rational soul to be placed above the sensitive.
Mr. Emerson, the real chief, or sovereign pontiff, of Transcendentalism, denies in plain terms the struggle.

" People," says he, " represent virtue as a struggle, and take to themselves great airs on their attainments, and the question is every where vexed, when a noble nature is commended, Whether the man is not better who strives with temptation 1 But there is no merit in the matter. Either God is there, or he is not there. We love characters in proportion as they are impulsive and spontaneous. . . . . When we see a soul whose acts are all regal, graceful and pleasant as roses, we must thank God that such things can be and are, and not turn sourly on the angel, and say, " Crump is a better man with his resistance to all his native devils.' "  Essays, p. 109.                                                                                 

This is conclusive. Now, since the Transcendentalists avowedly contemn personality, whose basis is reason, and do not condemn in any respect the sensitive soul, and since they call upon us to obey the soul, and since the sensitive soul, after personality is discarded, is all the soul there is left for us to obey, it follows necessarily, that they do, intentionally or unintentionally, raise the sensitive soul over the rational, as wo have alleged.

1.   It may be objected to this, that the Transcendentalists also call their impersonal soul reason, and therefore do not intend to distinguish it from the rational nature. They distinguish between reason and understanding. Understanding is the intellectual principle of sensation ; reason, of spiritual cognition, and is above understanding. Reason, as understanding, they discard ; reason, as the principle of spiritual cognition, of intuition, they do not discard, because it is precisely what they mean by spirit. We deny the validity of this distinction, which is supported by no facts alleged, or which can be alleged. Reason is the principle of understanding, and without reason man would cease not only to be rational, but to be intelligent,  for intelligence in man is not the intelligence of animals plus reason, but reason itself, as is affirmed when man is affirmed to be of a rational nature. There is not in man an intelligent nature and a rational nature ; but the intelligent nature in man is essentially and integrally rational nature. The intelligent principle is, then, one and the same, whatever the conditions of its operation, or the sphere or degree of knowledge.

2.   But we may be told, again, that the Transcendentalists contend that man's whole nature should be retained and exercised, and that his supreme good consists in the harmonious development and action of all his faculties ; therefore they cannot assert the superiority of the sensitive soul alleged.    We deny the conclusion ;   for they contend, that, though man's whole nature is to be retained and exercised,  which, by the way, is hardly consistent with what else they say,yet all is to be retained and exercised in subordination to the instinctive nature, which we have identified with the sensitive soul.   " We love characters," says Mr. Emerson, "in proportion as they are impulsive and spontaneous.,,    " Absolute religion," says Mr. Parker, " is that which answers exactly to the religious sentiment.."     Instinctive, sensitive nature is evidently, then, placed above personal nature, which is identical, as we have seen, with rational nature, and this is all our argument asserts. That all man's faculties, although said to be retained, are to be retained and exercised in subordination to the sensitive or inferior soul is maintained even in general thesis by not a few of our modern speculators and reformers.     The  Fourierists all place, confessedly, the passional nature, which corresponds exactly to the impersonal nature of the Transcendentalists, at the summit of the psychical hierarchy, and contend that man's good consists not in controlling his passions, but in harmonizing them, and that they are to be harmonized not by being crucified, but by having all things so arranged as to secure their free and full satisfaction.    They expressly make the passional nature legislative, and the rational simply ministerial; and their writings and discourses are filled with tirades against philosophers, moralists, theologians, and legislators, for having sought to make reason legislative, and the passions subservient.    Fou-rierism is nothing but a form of Transcendentalism, as may be inferred from the fact that nearly all the Transcendentalists are either avovyed Fourierists or very favorable to them.    Fou-rierism is simply an attempt to realize in society the leading principles of^ Transcendentalism ;  and if some Transcendentalists reject it, it is not because they question the philosophy on which it rests, but because they doubt its competency, as a practical scheme of social organization, to secure the end proposed.

The same doctrine lies at the basis of the ethical system of the French Eclectic. School. He must be a tyro indeed in philosophical studies, who does not perceive at a glance that the instinctive and spontaneous nature of the Transcendentalists, the passional nature of the Fourierists, and the primitive facts or instinctive tendencies of human nature, as set forth by M. JoufFroy, are all only so many different names for one and the same thing. In M. Jouffroy, the tendencies, notwithstanding some pretences to the contrary, reveal and impose the law ; reason and will are merely ministerial, and have for their mission simply the realization of the end to which the tendencies aspire ; that is, their full and perfect satisfaction. And what is this but raising the instinctive nature, that is, the sensitive soul, over the rational ?

Substantially the same doctrine is inculcated by Gall and Spurzheim and their followers. The primitive faculties of the Phrenologists are, according to M. Jouffroy himself, identical with what he calls the primitive or instinctive tendencies; and these every one at all acquainted with such matters can identify, saving some difference of detail and terminology, with the passional nature of the Fourierists, and the impersonal soul of the Transcendentalists. The primitive faculties, according to the Phrenologists, are all instinctive and legislative, and reason and will are to accept them, develope and harmonize them by obeying them.

We might go farther, and show that every moral code ever promulgated, not resting on positive law, human or divine, rests on the same basis ; for, aside from positive law, human or divine, it is not possible, in the nature of things, to find any other basis for a moral code.

If we leave the philosophers, and consult the more popular modern theologians and preachers, we shall find again the same doctrine. The dominant tendency of our age and country is to place the essence of religion in sentiment. The appeal is rarely to reason,  almost always to the feelings. The rational conviction, the firm resolve, count for little. Religion is expressed by the word Theophilanthropy,  love to God and love to man. So says Dr. Channing, so says Mr. Parker, and Come-outers of all sorts and sizes. And by love they mean the natural sentiment of love, a fact of the sensitive soul, not an affection of the will inflamed by supernatural grace, exalting the affection into the supernatural virtue of charity. We know of no popular preacher among liberal Christians who contends that man should possess and practise supernatural virtues. With the great mass, religion is not something to be believed, something to be done, but something to be felt. Its office is to cherish kindly sentiments, humane and generous feelings, to war with whatever restrains the sentiments and hinders the development of the soul, and to harmonize and perfect human nature, by stimulating its faculties and subordinating all to the law imposed by the simple feeling or sentiment of love.

The characters most approved by the Transcendentalists are such as appeal with the most success to our sensitive nature. " We love characters," says Mr. Emerson, " in proportion as they are impulsive and spontaneous." Thomas Carlyle, a leading English Transcendentalism who found his earliest and warmest admirers among our American Transcendentalists, ridicules without mercy poor Robespierre, not because his aims were bad, his views false, his means unjustifiable and cruel, but because he knew what he was about, had a " formula," and acted after a preconceived plan ; but lavishes the warmest praise upon such men as Mirabeau and Danton, because they had large impulsive natures, and acted from natural impulse and suggestion, not from rational design. In his Heroes and Hero-Worship, he everywhere labors to show that the more a man sinks his personality, and resolves himself into pure nature, makes or suffers himself to be a mere conduit to the stream of natural forces, the more heroic and divine he becomes. In general, the tendency of Transcendentalists is to admire characters in whom sentiment or passion predominates. Miss Fuller, in her Woman in the Nineteenth Century, patronizes several renowned courtesans ; and the chief ground of her complaint against our masculine social order seems to be, that it imposes undue restraints on woman's nature, and does not permit her to follow her natural sentiments and affections. A sweet young lady gave us one day as her reason for joining what is now a Fourier community, that she was disgusted with conventionalism, and wished to be free from its galling restraints, and to live in the simplicity of nature. Poor girl ! we will not relate her history ; nor that of the young Adonis who was willing to aid her in her struggles for freedom. It is not always safe jesting with Nature. She sometimes cracks practical jokes, which are a little too expensive.
In most of our more popular educational schemes we may detect the same doctrine lurking at the bottom. Intellect is cried down, and the sentiments are cried up. The sentiment of love is to be always our guide and motive. Duty is an ugly word, and not to be named. We have heard parents in public and private protest against any restraint being laid on children, that the child should never be required to act from a sense of duty ; for what is done from a sense of duty is worthless, unmeritorious. We should act, say they, always from love, and never do or exact what love does not prompt. We should leave our children free, and not interfere with their natures. To exact obedience, where they are not inclined to yield it, is to interfere with the free development of their natures,  will mar the beauty of their pure, sweet, and gentle natures, and destroy their integrity ;  a pleasant doctrine, no doubt, to the pretty dears, and, judging from the number of graceless urchins one everywhere meets, not seldom acted upon.

These considerations, and many more of the same kind, which could be adduced, may tend to confirm the position we have taken, and satisfy our readers that we have not mistaken or misrepresented Transcendentalism,'when we have charged it with raising the inferior soul over the superior, and making the sensitive nature, instead of the rational, the measure of truth and goodness.

But can it be possible that men of ordinary capacity, and not without some claims to personal decency and morality, do really advocate such glaring absurdity in doctrine, and what would prove, and is already beginning to prove, such gross license in practice ? We own it appears hardly credible, and we are sure would not be possible, if they looked upon the subject as we do, or as do the great majority of our readers. But many of the inevitable consequences which would flow from their doctrine they do not regard as evil, but as good and desirable. We have in our possession a pamphlet written with no mean ability, and brought out from England by some English Transcendentalists, which boldly controverts the Christian doctrine of chastity and marriage, and in the sacred name of God and humanity, in the name of morals, " universal brotherhood," and social progress, advocates a promiscuous sexual intercourse, contends that games and amusements should be instituted for the express purpose of inflaming passion, and that our public halls and theatres should be surrounded with private apartments, fitted up in the most luxurious style, and with the most exquisite taste, for the special purpose of affording an easy and speedy opportunity of satisfying desire before it abates. We have met in public and in private, we have entertained in our own house, the men who circulate, if they do not write such books, and advocate similar doctrines ; and when we have opposed them, have been assured that we opposed them because we had too much of the devil in us to understand them, or to appreciate and relish the pure teachings of the spirit ! Nor should this surprise us. These men are no new phenomena.     We have known them well in all ages of the world, and especially under the names of Carpocratians, Pris-cilians, and Manichaeans or Albigenses. They differ not essentially from the Pantheistic sect which gathered, in the thirteenth century, around what was called the « Eternal Gospel." Mr. Emerson, a man of great personal purity and rigid morals, does not hesitate to avow the legitimate consequences ot I ranscendentalism. Speaking of the Transcendentalist, he says :  " In action he easily incurs the charge of Antinomian-ism, by his avowal that he who has the Lawgiver may with safety not only neglect, but even contravene, every written commandment." Dial, Vol. III., p. 300.

They cannot avoid this conclusion. They assume nature as the standard ; and as in that which is instinctive and spontaneous it is nature that operates, they must conclude that whatev-ever is instinctive and spontaneous, whatever is natural, or prompted by the permanent and essential nature of man, is true and good, and will be accepted as such by the brave man, let the world say or do what it will.

But whence the evidence that nature is the standard, the measure of truth and goodness ? What right have the Tran-scendentahsts to make this very important assumption with which they set out ? On this point they are far from being explicit, and far from being agreed among themselves. But generalizing their views as much as we can, and premising that what we allege must be understood not in all cases of the whole school, but some portion of one section and some of another, we find them alleging in its support,

1. That God, who is wise and good, is the author of nature, and must have made nature wise and good,  and therefore the expression or revelation of his will. If the revelation of his will, we have the right to assume it as the standard or measure of truth and goodness.

But they have no right to this conclusion ; 1. because none of them admit that God is in reality the author or creator of nature ; and, 2. because they call God wise and good only because they hold him to be what their own nature reveals him to be. I his last is a plain begging of the question. For, according to their mode of reasoning, their natures must be assumed to be wise and good, as the condition of demonstrating the wisdom and goodness of God. Whence the proof that God is wise and good ? In the fact that he is what our natures reveal him to be.    On what condition is this a proof of his wisdom and goodness ? Obviously, only on the condition that our natures themselves are wise and good. Moreover, 3. because, for aught they show, and as the whole Christian world believes, it may be that nature is not now in its normal state, but has fallen, and is cursed. Admitting nature was wise and good as it came from the hands of its Maker, it must still be shown to be what it was then, before they can have the right to assume it as the standard. But if nature be in its origin wise and good, and there has been no change, no fall, no curse, how will they account for the innumerable evils, the multiplied wrongs, which afflict the human race, and which force even them to become reformers, and to declaim against nearly all that has been or is in human life ?

2. But, secondly, the moment man sinks his personality, he becomes absorbed, as it were, in universal nature, which, in the unity of its force, is God. It is, then, God that acts in what is instinctive and spontaneous, and, in obeying our instinctive nature, we are really and literally obeying God. He who obeys God obeys the Highest, and of course what he ought to obey.    It is with a view like this, that Mr. Emerson says :

" His [man's] thought  is the Universe. His experience inclines him to behold the procession of facts you call the world as flowing perpetually outward from an invisible, unsounded centre in himself, centre alike of. him and of them, and necessitating him to regard all things as subjective and relative to that unknown existence, relative to that aforesaid centre of him."  Dial, supra. p. 299.

This is perhaps somewhat enigmatical, but may be grasped if we bear in mind that Mr. Emerson's philosophy recognizes no distinct substantive existences, no distinct natures ; but under, within, over, and through all forms or modes of existence, all of which are representative and phenomenal, it asserts one and the same mighty nature, which, as it touches us, he calls Over-Soul, and as it recedes from us and loses itself in the darkness, God, or the Unnamable. We, in our personality, represent it, as the bubble represents the ocean on whose surface it floats. As from the bubble's own point of view the whole ocean underlies it, is its substantiality, so each man, from his own point of view, represents the universal nature, which is his substance, being, force, or whatever of reality he hath. Millions of bubbles may rise, but each has the whole ocean as the centre of itself; so millions of men may be born, but each has the universal centre in himself. This nature, force, substantiality, being of man, strictly and essentially one, is identical in all men and in all phenomena. It is the one (to i'y) of the Alexandrian philosophers. It works always according to its own laws, and is all that we can conceive of the divine. To sink the phenomenal and rise to the one permanent universal nature is to lose men in man, and to become one with God, the highest consummation conceivable. All that is real is this one nature. It is the only doer, the only thinker, the only speaker, the only builder. It is the Universal Artist. Hence, in verse worthy of a nobler philosophy, Mr. Emerson breaks forth :

" Not from a vain and shallow thought His awful Jove young Phidias brought: Never from lips of cunning fell The thrilling Delphic Oracle : Out from the heart of nature rolled The burdens of the Bible old j The litanies of nations came, Like the volcano's tongue of flame,
Up from the burning core below,__
The canticles of love and woe.
The hand that rounded Peter's dome,
And groined the aisles of Christian Rome,
Wrought in a sad sincerity.
Himself from God he could not free :
He builded better than he knew.
The conscious stone to beauty grew.
" Know'st thou what wove yon wood-bird's nest
Of eaves, and feathers from her breast ?
Or how the fish out-built her shell,
Painting with morn each annual cell!
Or how the sacred pine-tree adds
To her old leaves new myriads ?
Such and so grew these holy piles,
Whilst love and terror laid the tiles.
Earth proudly wears the Parthenon As the best gem upon her zone ; And morning opes with haste her lids lo gaze upon the Pyramids ; O'er England's abbeys bends the sky, As on its friends, with kindred eye : For out of Thought's interior sphere These wonders rose to upper air, And nature gladly gave them place, Adopted them into her race, And granted them an equal date With Andes and with Ararat.

" These. Temples grew as grows the grass. Art might obey, but not surpass. The passive Master lent his hand To the vast Soul that o'er him planned
And the same power that reared the shrine Bestrode the tribes that knelt within. Ever the fiery pentecost Girds with one flame the countless host, Trances the heart through chanting quires, And through the priest the mind inspires.''
Dial, Vol. I., No. 1., pp. 122, 123.

There is no mistaking the doctrine here set forth. It is the identity of all natures with the one nature, of all causes with the one cause, and of this one nature, this one cause, with the impersonal Soul, or God, unfathomed centre and being of each individual.

But, 1. This doctrine is asserted, not proved. No evidence of its truth is adduced, or attempted to be adduced. The Transcendentalists must pardon us, if we question their infallibility, and find it not easy to believe on their bare assertion, that all apparent individual substances are but one substance, and all apparently different natures are but one nature, and that that one nature is God. God is the sovereign cause of the universe ; but where is the proof that he is the substance, the nature, of the universe ?
But, 2. Admitting this, we must either say man is this one nature, or that man as a real being is not. If the latter, there is no further question of man, for it is idle to talk of that which is not. If the former, then God is man, and nothing more nor less than man. Then there is and should be no further question of God.

The attempt, then, to identify impersonal nature with God effects nothing in favor of that nature as a measure of truth and goodness ; for, grant its perfect identity, you have gained nothing, for you have nothing but man ; and the right to take man as the measure of truth and goodness is the point in question. Man is the same, whether you call him man, or call him God. Call him which you will, your measure remains always the instinctive nature ; and that nature is simply what it is, neither less nor more.

Again, if you assume the identity of human nature with all natures, and of these with the one nature, and this one nature with God ; and if you assume God to be the universal operator, operative in all phenomena, and operative as essentially true, beautiful, and good ; how do you account for evil, for the existence of so much you are obliged to condemn and war against ? You cannot ascribe it to personality, because personality, according to you, is purely representative, unreal, unsubstantial, phenomenal, and thereforethough you seem not to be aware of it  necessarily uncreative, unproductive either of good or evil ; for what is no substantive existence can be no cause, produce no effect. All force is in nature, and then none in personality. Then you must say one of two things :¦ 1. All that is and all that appears  for what appears depends wholly on what is, as there can be no shadow without a substance is true, wise, and good ; and then you condemn and refute yourselves, for you are warring against almost all that is. This warring is right, or it is wrong. If right, then that which you war against is wrong, and so there is evil ; if wrong, then is there evil, because the warring itself is an evil. Or, 2. You must say there is something which has no cause ; that is to say, there are effects without causes, which is impossible and absurd.

3. Thirdly, Reason itself has two modes of activity, one personal, the other instinctive or spontaneous. As personal, it is human ; as impersonal, spontaneous, it is God, or the word of God. Being absolute, it is one ; therefore essentially one in the personality and out of it. If we confine ourselves to its personal modes of activity, which are finite, we are misled, involved in error ; if we sink our personality and fall back on it in its spontaneous and impersonal activity, it becomes to us a perennial stream of truth, beauty, goodness, from God himself. This spontaneous activity of reason, Mr. Parker, after Cousin and the Editor of the Boston Quarterly Review, makes the principle of inspiration, which, according to him, if we would yield to it, would give us all we need.

This view, in the first place, is only another form of the one just dismissed, and differs from it only in name ; and is therefore open to all the objections we have urged against that.

In the second place, reason has and can have no instinctive, or spontaneous, or impersonal activity ; because reason is the essential characteristic of personality, which is the last complement of rational nature. Instinct or spontaneity is necessarily irrational; for the characteristic of reason is to operate propter finem, and, therefore, is possible only in a voluntary or personal agent. Reason is inconceivable without rational nature. Assume rational nature with its last complement, and it is a person ; without its last complement, it is impersonal, indeed, but unreal, and gives you no actual reason, at best only reason in potentia, which is inactive, for only what is real is active.

Therefore reason has and can have no instinctive or spontaneous activity.
Again, if you assume reason as distinct from human personality, you must assume it as a reason above man or as below him. Below him it cannot be, because man's is the lowest order of rational natures ; and moreover, if below man, it would not serve the purpose. If above man, it is either actual reason or merely possible reason. If merely possible, it is unreal and inactive ; properly speaking, not reason at all. If actual, it is a higher personality, as angel or God, and then separated from man by a difference of order, and incapable of acting instinctively in man ; for that would imply the absorption of the higher personality in the lower, which is impossible.
Man has naturally the last complement of his nature, since he is naturally a person. He has, then, naturally all the rational nature, and therefore all the reason, that belongs to rational nature of his order. His rational nature is full ; therefore his reason is full. Nothing can be more than full. Then man is not naturally susceptible of a higher reason than his own. He can receive even the aid of a higher reason only supernaturally. The higher reason is a higher person. The higher person is incommunicable to him save by hypostatic union, which absorbs his personality in the higher personality, as in the case of the Divine Word. For a hypostatic union, as really existing, in the case of all men, the Transcendentalists will not contend ; 1. because they deny it even in the case of our Saviour ; 2. because they deny the supernatural ; and 3. because they admit no union of man and the Divine Word which absorbs human personality, for they find human personality still existing as the enemy to be warred  against.
Beyond the hypostatic union, only two ways are conceivable in which it is possible for the higher reason, even God himself, to instruct the lower, in regard to what lies not within the plane of the lower nature ; 1. by supernatural revelation to faith, which takes the truth on the word of the revealer, and believes without seeing or knowing ; or 2. by the supernatural elevation of our nature itself, as is looked for in the beatific vision, the reward Almighty God has promised hereafter to them that love and serve him here.

This doctrine of impersonal and instinctive reason is, then, unfounded and impossible in the nature of reason itself. And here is the refutation of M. Cousin's doctrine of spontaneity, and of Mr. Parker's doctrine of natural inspiration, or inspiration by a natural influx of God into the soul, on which his whole system depends for its religious character. Here we may see the source of all Mr. Parker's theoretical errors. He assumes that man and God stand in immediate natural relation, and that so much of God flows naturally into man as man's wants demand. This he asserts over and over again ; and this is what he means by looking up to God alone, with nothing between the worshipper and the great Father of all; and it is his honest belief of this, we suppose, that has concealed from his view the real character of the doctrine he inculcates.

That man may express his wants to God naturally and directly in prayer, we do not question ; and that God will hear and supernaturally answer our prayers, we most firmly believe ; but the assumption of a natural communion between man and his Maker is absurd. God may inspire individuals, may inspire all individuals, he may enlarge and elevate their natures so as to take in a higher order of truth than they now can ; but he can do it only supernaturally ; for naturally there is no communion between beings of a different nature. Man is not a possible God, nor a possible angel. He is man, with a fixed and determinate nature, and tied down to that nature and what it is capable of, save so far as his Maker is pleased to grant him supernatural assistance through faith or the infusion of grace. God is infinite reason, if you will ; then he must be infinite rational nature with its last complement, and then infinite personality, that is to say, infinite person. The natural influx of God into human reason demanded by Mr. Parker's theory would, then, be the natural influx into the human reason of the divine personality. Is this possible ? The human reason is confessedly finite. Is the finite naturally susceptible of the infinite ? Not even Mr. Parker will pretend this. Then this theory of natural inspiration, of a natural " supply of God," as it is called, proportioned to our wants, must be abandoned as untenable.

But it may be alleged that we are reasoning upon a false supposition, namely, that the divine reason and the human are different in kind. This is not admitted. The divine reason and the human are essentially one and the same. " Man," says Dr. Channing, " has a kindred nature with God." If this be so, nothing hinders the divine from flowing naturally into the human, as is contended.    We  deny that the divine reason and the human are essentially the same. They are essentially different. The human reason is a likeness, or an image, of the divine, we admit, according to the Christian doctrine, that "man was made to the image and likeness of God." But likeness presupposes a difference of nature between itself and that which it is like. The thing imaged and its image cannot be of the same nature ; for, if so, the image would be absorbed in the imaged. The child images the father, but only in that wherein he is different from the father. Moreover, God is uncreate, independent, infinite ; man is created, dependent, finite, and therefore necessarily of a nature different from the divine nature.
But assume the divine reason and the human are essentially one and the same reason, the rational nature of which this reason is the expression either has its last complement in man, or it has not. If the latter, you deny human personality, the very thing you are fighting against; if the former, you deny the personality of God, therefore, the actual existence of God as divine reason, and therefore make the divine reason itself below that of man ; for the smallest reality is above the greatest conceivable possibility. Assume, then, natural inspiration to be possible, it would be worthless ; for it could give less than man is and possesses without it. The in-coming and in-streaming God could bring you nothing you have not already.
Mr. Parker seeks to sustain his theory of natural inspiration by alleging that God is immanent in his works, the causa im-manens of nature, not merely the causa transiens ; and being immanent in all, and therefore in man, is necessarily present in man to supply all man's deficiencies. But we must distinguish. If immanent as creator and sustainer of man and all beings, each in the distinctive nature he gives them, we concede his immanence ; if immanent in each being as subject, we deny it. To assume that God is immanent in his creatures as the subject which acts in them and produces what are called their acts is Spinozaism, a doctrine which admits no existence but God and his modes,and which, though unquestionably implied by Transcendentalism generally, we understand Mr. Parker expressly to disavow. Moreover, it is a doctrine neither he nor the other Transcendentalists can admit, without falling into gross contradictions, and refuting themselves ; for they find little in the actual world they do not condemn ; and yet, if they admit this doctrine, they cannot condemn any thing without condemning God.    If they admit God can do wrong, then they gain nothing in favor of the impersonal soul as the measure of truth and goodness by identifying it with God.

If they concede that God is not immanent in his creatures as subject, but simply as cause, creator, and sustainer, then Ins immanence merely creates and sustains them in their several natures,that is, each order of being, and each individual, in its being and distinct nature.  In this case, his immanence is no pledge of the natural influx of divinely assumed.  For then nothing could be received naturally of God but the nature itself.  Whatever more may be received must be supernaturally received,  through faith or elevation of nature, which the Transcendentalists cannot admit.                           

Mr. Parker's doctrine on this point seems to be, that man's faculties  open on God,  and in proportion as he  opens them God flows in, and man may thus be strong with the strength of Omnipotence,   wise   with   the wisdom of Omniscience,   and good with the goodness of Infinite Goodness, and all this as naturally as the lungs inhale the atmosphere, or the stomach secretes the gastric juice.    But this is absurd ; for it implies that the finite subject may appropriate infinite attributes, the infinite God himself, and live and act with infinite power, wisdom, and goodness.    It would imply that the infinite is communicable, and communicable to the finite, without absorbing the finite, leaving it finite still, and a finite personality !    The immanence of God in his works is a pledge that they will be upheld, and is a ground of hope, since it implies that he is ever present to afford us the supernatural aid we need, and in a supernatural manner, if we seek this aid in the way and through the channels he has appointed ; but this is all, and it is nothing to the purpose of the Transcendentalists.

These three different considerations are all we find adduced m support of the proposition, that man is the measure of truth and goodness. They all show that the Transcendentalists would tain establish their doctrine if they could, and that they would do it by identifying, in some way, the human and divine natures ; for, after all, there is a secret feeling that God is above man, and that truth and goodness are what conforms to God, rather than what conforms to man. Their talk about man's natural relation to God, and the divinity of human nature, &c, may serve to conceal the deformity of their doctrine from their own eyes, but it amounts to just nothing at all; for all the divinity they are able to predicate of man is merely what is constitutive of human nature as human nature, leaving human nature simply what it is,  nothing more, nothing less. Then, when they abandon themselves 40 this as the only divinity, they abandon themselves to simple human nature, and are obliged to say man is the measure of truth and goodness, just as much as if they said or believed nothing of God at all.

We shall not undertake to refute the doctrine itself, because they who affirm a proposition must bring forward affirmative proofs before they can require us to accept it, or to adduce nega-ative proofs. It is a sufficient refutation to say, as we have shown is the fact, that it is not proved. The assertions of the Transcendentalists may be very good assertions, but they are not proofs, especially of a proposition denied by the common sense of all men, and affirmed by none but mere theorists, who make little account of reason, and professedly none of logic. Moreover, those who do not see the falsity-and danger of the doctrine, on its bare enunciation, are not likely to be reached by any reasoning we could offer. Those who reason at all see what it is ; those who cannot or will not reason are not to be reasoned out of error or into truth. We have merely wished to state the doctrine in its true character, and establish the fact that it is a fundamental doctrine of Transcendentalism. This we think we have done.

We know now the Transcendental rule of faith and practice. We have ascertained its method ; and knowledge of this rule, of this method, throws no little light over the whole subject of Transcendentalism. The more difficult part of our labor is accomplished ; we shall be able to dispose of the two remaining propositions with comparative ease. But we must reserve the consideration of these to a future occasion.