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Modern Idolatry

Brownson's Quarterly Review, July, 1845

Art. V. — The Aesthetic Letters, Essays, and the Philosophical Letters of Schiller ; translated, with an Introduction, by J. Weiss. Boston : Little & Brown. 1845. 16mo. pp. 379.

The position of the conductor of a Catholic literary journal, in a country where the great mass of the literature which must pass under his notice emanates from Protestant sources, is by no means a pleasant one. As a Catholic, he holds his religion paramount to every thing else, and must necessarily condemn every literary work he reviews, which contains any thing repugnant to the spirit and teachings of his Church. Whatever is repugnant to his holy religion he must regard as repugnant to truth and goodness, and therefore to the true interests of his fellow-men, both for this world and for that which is to come ; and he cannot fail to censure it and warn his readers against it, without sinning against his conscience, his God, and his neighbour.

Protestant life and culture are essentially anti-Catholic, and no Protestant writes a history, no matter of what people or tribe, in what part or age of the world, — a work on philosophy, morals, the fine arts, or on any subject, unless it be mathematics, or one or two of the physical sciences, -— into which his Protestantism does not enter in a manner offensive to Catholic faith, morals, or worship. The Catholic critic sees and feels this, even when it escapes the design and the notice of the Protestant, and, as a conscientious man, he is obliged to withhold his approbation, and caution his readers against the poison of the work, whatever may be, in other respects, its literary merits.

In this country, the great mass of publications are Protestant, and we are obliged, as a reviewer, to be almost always dealing in censures, and can rarely find an occasion to exercise our good-nature in commending, unless it be when we have under review a work from a Catholic author ; we must, necessarily, therefore, to the great body of our Protestant readers, appear ill-natured, harsh, and censorious, narrow-minded and bigoted, incapable of perceiving excellence out of our own Church, and entirely wanting in literary taste and discrimination, with no other standard of criticism but the fact that the work to be criticized is or is not written by a Catholic. This is  unavoidable.     It  is  more agreeable to approve than to
condemn, and we always aim to discriminate where we can. But such is the character of Protestant literature, that we cannot discriminate. We may admit its ability, its genius, and often its excellence as to mere form ; but its matter is always more or less objectionable. And this objectionable matter is not in a few detached passages, in a few details easily pointed out and expressly excepted to ; but it is all-pervading, inherent, the groundwork, the life and soul of the whole.

Protestantism and Catholicity are two separate worlds, and Catholic and Protestant literatures belong to two distinct and separate orders. Literature is nothing but the exponent of the life of a people, the expression of its sentiments, convictions, aims, and ideals. Such your people, such your literature. Catholic literature expresses the life of the Catholic people, Protestant literature of the Protestant people ; and as the life of the one is essentially different from the life of the other, so must be the literature of the one from the literature of the other. Catholic literature may have its faults, be exceptionable in detail ; but it is, in general, in its generic character, Christian, — pervaded by a Christian thought, and imbued with the Christian spirit. It may, or it may not, borrow the forms of ancient classical literature ; but whether it do or do not, its matter is always Christian. Protestant literature is essentially heathen, —a reproduction, under varied forms, of the literature of pagan antiquity. Its form is sometimes Christian, and so are some of its details and embellishments ; but its groundwork, its main substance, is heathen. This is the radical difference between the two literatures. The Catholic often accommodates the Christian thought to the classical form ; the Protestant, sometimes, the heathen thought to the Christian form. Thus the Catholic theologian borrows the logic of the ancients, because logic is formal, applicable equally to all subjects on which we can reason, and is necessarily the same, whatever the doctrines to be demonstrated or refuted ; the Protestant theologian generally despises the logic, but borrows the doctrines of the ancients.

Here is the real difference between Protestantism and Catholicity. Protestantism is substantially heathenism, and, at best, Christian only in some of its forms and details. It was born in the epoch termed the Revival of Letters, — an epoch in which the literature of pagan Greece and Rome was not, perhaps, much more widely studied than it had been in the preceding ages, but in which the systems of the ancients began to be revived and believed anew ; when the classics began to supply not merely the form, but the substance, of the new literature. And, at the present moment, we may find proofs not a few of the fact, that, at best, only the form of Protestant life and thought is Christian. Read our Protestant poets, and, if you know any thing of the ancient classics, you will feel the Protestant but echoes the heathen. There is the same worship of external nature, the same gloom over life, the same vanity of human pursuits, the same weariness of existence, the same uncertainty as to man's destiny, the same darkness brooding oyer the tomb. The lips may laugh, the eyes may sparkle with rosy wine, and from beneath the ivy-crowned brow ; but there is no joy of the heart, no gladness of the spirit, no buoyancy of the soul, no cheerful hope. Read Faust, Childe Harold, Cain, Heaven and Earth, and persuade yourself that you are not back in heathendom, if you can.

Now, this being the character of Protestantism, it is easy to understand why its literature must, notwithstanding the ability and genius which we are far from denying it, be generally objectionable to the devout Catholic. We do not object to the study of the classics, in their place ; for in them the heathenism, both as to matter and form, is expected, and the reader is on his guard. He is forewarned, and therefore forearmed. But when we come to a literature professing to be Christian, using to a considerable extent the Christian terminology, and which in some of its details really is Christian, the heathenism is offensive, because out of place, because it is unavowed, because there is an attempt to conceal it, and because the simple and but partially instructed, not expecting it, are poisoned by it before becoming aware of its presence. For these reasons, there is and must be the same hostility between Catholic and Protestant literatures as between the Catholic and Protestant religions. We cannot conceal this fact, if we would ; and we would not, if we could. We are familiar with the chefs-d'oeuvre of Protestant literature ; we are not insensible to Protestant genius and talent; we trust we can admire excellence, whenever we can discover it ; but we are certain never to find excellence in a Protestant not coupled with something which must offend us as a Catholic.   

One Protestant sect may approve and read with pleasure the literary productions of another ; for all Protestant sects belong to the same family, and differ from one another only m a few details, — in the shade of the hair, the hue of the eyes,
the shape of the nose or the mouth, the size of the bust, or of the hands and feet ; but between Catholics and Protestants, there is a generic difference, — no family relation or likeness ; and, consequently, in Protestant literature the Catholic can at best admire only individual traits, only a few details, while he does and must condemn it as a whole. This is no loss to the Catholic, for he has no need of Protestant literature. It can give him nothing that is true or beautiful which he has not already, and what is neither true nor beautiful he does not want. He may, therefore, leave to Protestants their own literature, and content himself with the richer, broader, truer, and more beautiful literature of his own. He may be accused of being narrow-minded, bigoted, exclusive ; but he has for his consolation the fact, that he knows, without resorting to his Protestant neighbours, all they have that is worth knowing, while he has in his own literature, belonging to ages which he is but too ready to forget, vast treasures of which the Protestant has no suspicion.

We have been led into this train of remark, in part, by the work before us, — the work of a man who enjoys a high reputation as one of the most distinguished chiefs of modern German literature, and which has been admirably translated by a most worthy young man, whom we are happy to reckon among our personal friends. We would like to entertain for Schiller that respect which his countrymen and a great many of our own entertain for him, and, above all, should we like to commend any literary labor of our young friend, the translator ; but we have no high admiration of Schiller ; we do not like the spirit of his works ; we do not like their doctrines or their tendency. Mr. Weiss has labored conscientiously on the work before us, and performed his duty of translator more than well. We have seen no translations from the German better, if so well, executed. The Letters and Essays do not read as translations at all ; but have the clearness, distinctness, freshness, gracefulness, and ease of original compositions, — the highest praise to which a translator can aspire. Thus far we can commend the work, and wish the translator the success he has richly merited by his skill, his industry, and his pains ; but further than this we cannot go. We acknowledge the high literary merits of the volume, we acknowledge the good intention and the philosophical ability of the author ; but we regard the work as false in its leading doctrines, and unwholesome in its general tendency.

In his Introduction, the translator speaks of the comparison which people, and especially the Germans, are in the habit of instituting between Schiller and Goethe.   We do not feel competent to decide which of the two must be called the greater man ; but, for our part, we should never think of raising the question.    Goethe was unquestionably a heathen, and we know not that he ever pretended to be any thing else.    His works are none of them free from the charge of immoral tendency, and some of them are abominable ; and yet he is the most readable of all the Germans of our acquaintance.    He was an extraordinary man, of high and varied culture, and of correct taste in all that related to simple art.   He was free from cant, — cant religious, cant political, cant moral, and, above all, from the cant of the radical and reformer.    The ephemeral philosophers of his countrymen could not deceive him ; the schemes and movements of the reformers, the- pretended friends of the people, of universal freedom, clamoring and intriguing for an earthly paradise, and seeking to obtain it by means that would realize a hell on earth, could not enlist him ; and none of the various forms of defunct or galvanized Protestantism could ever win his respect.    He wanted faith, and he knew it; but he never sought to supply its place by any of the substitutes of the reformers, whether of the genus fanatic, or the genus infidel.    We do not admire him, but we see and acknowledge what he was, and learn wisdom from his errors and blindness. But  Schiller was an inbred radical.    His soul spoke out in The Robbers, in the hero of which  he impersonated his own inner man, —a work not less reprehensible,  to say the least, than the Wahlverwandtschaften.    Subsequently, he grew calmer ;   " a change had come  over the spirit of  his  dream " ; but he remained  ever the ingrained radical.    He sought to chasten and legitimate his radicalism by his philosophy, we admit ; but, in so doing, only labored to corrupt the principles as well as the passions of his countrymen.
As a poet, Schiller, to our taste and judgment, falls far below Goethe. He has, not unfrequently, earnestness, force, fine thoughts, and noble expressions ; but he wants always the ease, the grace, the delicacy, the good sense, the keen insight, the sedate majesty, and commanding port of his great rival. He aims at more, but accomplishes less. Many of his poems, especially his minor poems, are hard reading. They fetch no echo from the heart or understanding. . What Goethe does is always exquisite in its way, always a masterpiece of its kind.    Goethe does not disdain the classics, and reproduces them often, but rarely except in what they have that is universal, as  applicable to one age or one  people as to  another. Schiller is too often overpowered by classical antiquity, and actually worships in  the   old   pagan   fane.    We turn  away from some of his minor poems with sorrow and disgust, as we do from Crawford's Orpheus.    What business have they here ?, Why galvanize the dead ?    There is life now as well as formerly ; and do seek your inspiration from the spirit that nevekf  ' dies, and do try to embody the living, not the defunct, beauty.* What is Crawford's Orpheus to me ?    It is a wonderful creation of genius, you say.    Doubted, or, rather,  denied ; for your first impression, on seeing it, is, that it is about to tumble over.    But admit all you claim for it, it but embodies a heathen thought, unconnected with Christian life, and having no relation with the humanity that now is, save on the side of a passion which were better left unsung and unsculptured, for it makes us full trouble enough when not artificially inflamed.

But we have no intention of entering upon a critical estimate of the merits of Schiller, and we could not do so if we would ; for, though we certainly have read his principal works, we have never studied them, and have never had any disposition to study them. He has never struck us favorably. This maybe our fault, and perhaps it is, but, if so, we cannot help it. We have not read the whole volume before us. We have, however, we think, mastered the Aesthetic Letters. They are intelligible enough to those who have some tolerable acquaintance with the Kantian philosophy ; not that they are constructed on pure Kantian principles, — for they are not, — but nevertheless assume Kantism as their point of departure. They are, as a whole, heavily and painfully written. We see the author laboring as the slave at the oar, putting forth all his strength, making his utmost efforts, to bring out and make intelligible his leading thoughts, which, after all, are rather commonplace so far as true, and when not commonplace are radically false. The Letters appear to have been written at the time of the French Revolution, when all Europe was in a ferment, with all manner of notions fermenting in its brain as in one great fermenting vat; and the aim of the author seems to have been to discover some way of bringing order out of the confusion in the midst of which he lived. His great merit — and it was a merit at that time — consists in his clearly perceiving that the world was not to be reformed by the principles of the French Revolution, which sought to realize an earthly paradise merely by modifying the external condition.    He saw that these principles, if acted upon, left the intellectual and moral man uncultivated, and therefore could generate  only a state of barbarism.    He   further saw,   that  a   purely  intellectual   culture, confined to the inner life of the individual, would be insufficient, because it would lead to no practical result in the world ? of reality.    If we confine ourselves to the outward, we lapse ifcto barbarism ; if to the inward, we effect no progress in our condition, no practical amelioration  of our race.    The two must be combined, and work together.    But to this a third term is necessary.    The problem is, find this third term by which the inner life and external condition may be united, and both peacefully and effectively carried forward.

This third term is the Ideal or Beauty ; not beauty as the mere object of sense and imagination, not merely intellectual beauty, — but beauty, so to speak, as the ideal of all the faculties, responding to man's whole nature. This beauty is to be sought in every department of life, and the aim of all culture should be to reveal and realize it. Hence all culture is to be aesthetic, and through aesthetic culture, or the revelation and realization of the beautiful in every department of life, order will be brought out of confusion, the world will be saved, on the one hand, from lapsing into barbarism, and, on the other, from vyasting itself in an intellectual culture which leads to no practical results, and the human race will be carried forward to the realization of its destiny. Such, in general terms, appears to us to be Schiller's solution of the problem.

In descending to particular doctrines, he must place virtue in inclination, in an affection of the passive nature, rather than in an affection of the active nature, and require truth and goodness to be presented always under the form of beauty, and because beauty wins love, enlists instead of repelling sense and imagination. He demands in all room for what he calls, after Kant, the play-impulse, which, if we understand it, is best expressed in our language by the word love. We are, then, to do our duty, not merely from the conviction that it is our duty, from the stern sense of its obligation, as Kant contended, but from inclination, from love of it. His theory, therefore, practically resolves itself into the Theory of Attraction, the basis of Fourierism.

The translator commends him for this, and thinks that Schiller, in  diverging from the asceticism of Kant, has given a
more Christian statement of duty ; but we question this. Duty cannot in this world be made play. In play, we act to please ourselves, because what we do is pleasure to ourselves ; in duty, vye act to please God, because what we do is his will. This, instead of being a pleasure to ourselves, is often a crucifixion of ourselves ; for sapientia carnis inimica est Deo ; legi enim Dei non subjecta : nee enim potest. Rom. viii. 7. Or, as says our blessed Saviour, " If any man will be my disciple, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me." u Christianity is " not, as the translator says Schiller asserts, " the moral imperative (that is, obligation) transfigured by love," unless we understand the love of the Lawgiver, which provides for the remission of the guilt of the transgressor through the merits of Jesus Christ, on condition of faith and repentance. This is a sufficient refutation of Schiller's doctrine, so far as it concerns morals.

There is in these times a great deal of nonsense babbled about love. The rage is to have all things " made easy." We have all sorts of learning, and even thinking, by means of newspapers and other contrivances, " made easy " ; and we would fain have duty " made easy," and we therefore seek to transform it into love. But it is not love, in its ordinary sense, the Gospel demands, but charity. Love is a fact of the passive nature, charity of the voluntary nature ; love is a natural affection, charity a supernatural affection. Yet nearly the whole Protestant world, especially the more advanced portion of it, confound the one with the other, or, rather, raise love above charity. But the heart which God demands is the voluntary heart, over which we have control; and the love he requires is the love yielded by the will, not the love yielded by the passive or sensitive soul. Sensible, sentimental, or passional love is worth nothing, adds nothing to the merit of the act it accompanies, and takes nothing from the merit of the act it does not accompany. On this point our enlightened and liberal Protestant Christians have not a little to learn ; for, with all the marvellous progress they have made, they do not seem to have attained to any clear or definite conceptions of the nature of duty. Duty is what God commands, and is to be done solely because he commands it. It is not enough that we contrive, in some way, to get what God commands done ; we must do it solely and simply for the reason that he commands it. Its whole merit is in this alone. The intrinsic character of an action, aside from the motive of the actor, has nothing to do with its merit; for its merit is solely in the fact that it is done as an act of allegiance to the sovereign. The act of the slightest intrinsic importancej in itself considered, is meritorious, when done simply as an act of allegiance. " Whosoever," says our blessed Saviour, " shall give to one of these little ones but a cup of cold water, amen, I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward." On the other hand, the act, the most serviceable to the cause of our country or the Church, is without merit, may even be our condemnation, if done without reference to God, and merely to please ourselves.

It would do our Protestant friends, who are earnestly striving to discover some way by which duty may be " made easy," no harm to bear this in mind. They fancy, or seem to fancy, that nothing is or can be meritorious, unless it be done, not from charity, but from love, or accompanied, at least, by a sensible affection. They feel, for instance, no inclination to pray, find no love for prayer, no sensible delight in praying ; then they will not pray, must not pray, for their prayers would be mockery. Prayers which do not please themselves cannot please God ! Do they pray to please themselves, or to please God ? If to please God, what prayers can be more pleasing to him than those which are offered solely to please him, — solely for the purpose of doing his will ? These same enlightened Christians, who charge Catholics with placing religion in mere forms and in sensible emotions, seem to place religion entirely in feeling, in sensible affection, and to suppose one repents only as moved to tears, and loves God only as he feels a sensible affection for him. But this sensible repentance and this sensible devotion are worth nothing, and are often hindrances rather than helps to true spiritual life. What our God demands is the homage of our higher nature, that we give him our reason and our will. But this is rarely, if ever, done, without a struggle with the sensitive soul, nor often without the crucifixion of this very love for which these modern improvers on the Gospel of our Lord contend.

Schiller's theory makes all depend on culture ; but what provision does it make for obtaining, always, adequately qualified cultivators ? The good to be effected is to be effected by aesthetic culture, by art, that is, art understood in its sublimest sense. Be it so. But art will require artists, and artistic culture artistic cultivators. Whence are these to be obtained, and what guaranty can you give us that they will always present the true ideal, and so train men that they will always perceive, love, and obey it ? This question is pertinent; for Schiller himself admits that artists have heretofore erred, have taken a false beauty for the true, and that thus far art has rather tended to hasten the decline of virtue, than to arrest it. Do not tell us that what has been called art was false art, art that consulted only the external form, or merely sense and imagination, not the sublime beauty you propose ; for what we want is your protection against this very false art, and your guaranty of true art. It is not enough to say, that, if men forsake the worship of the lower beauty and apply themselves to the worship of the.higher, they will avoid such and such evils, and practise such and such virtues ; for this is only saying, with our friend Parker, u If you are good and do good, you will — be good and do good." Where is your power to secure always the revelation of the true ideal, the representation of true beauty to the mind of your esthetic cultivators of the race ? If artists have erred, why may they not err again ? If ajsthetic culture has, in different ages, tended to hasten the decline of virtue, why may it not again ? Have you infallible artists, an infallible academy of art, under an infallible president ?

Schiller's doctrine, that the race are to be lifted out of their present condition, and placed on the level of their destiny, by aesthetic culture, is, after all, but a theory. It is a mere fact of the intellect, and therefore, according to his own principles, must be barren of practical results. Even admitting it, then, to be true, as a theory, what advance has he made ? Where is the play-impulse to set it in motion, to sustain its practical operation, and to secure its realization in practical life for the advancement of the individual and society ? Alas ! it is a mere theory, and has no hands and cannot work,—no feet, and, like the constitutions of state turned out in such numbers in the French Revolution, can't go, can't be got a-going.

But the theory is not true, even as a theory. It proceeds on the assumption, that the end to be gained is the natural development and perfection of man, the realization, so to speak, of the potentialities of human nature. This is the common error of all modern systems. With them all, the end is the fulfilment of man's natural capacities ; and hence the method they all propose is the cultivation or complete education of all our natural powers and faculties, and the means, such as will effect this cultivation or education. The old French infidels sought these means in the abolition of the Church and religion,
and in the revolution and reorganization of the state after their own fanciful and absurd theories ; Schiller seeks them by an appeal to the play-impulse of human nature, — in art, or the representation of all that can affect human life under the winning and pleasing forms of beauty ; Fourier, and the Socialists generally, in so reorganizing society, considered as lying back of the state, as to give free play to all our primitive passions in their essential nature ; the New-England Abolitionists and Come-outers, in overthrowing the state and the Church, in breaking up all organizations, and abolishing all law, save the law each individual is unto himself; and various other classes of pretended reformers have each their own peculiar nostrums, or, as Carlyle calls them, " Morrison pills." But all, however they may differ as to the means, proceed on the assumption, that the end to be gained is the realization of the potentialities of man's nature, or the perfecting of man as a being of his kind.

Now, we must, in our reasonings on this subject, accept the Christian revelation, or reject it. If we reject it, we can affirm nothing of the destiny of man, one way or another, — and can have no certain criterion by which to determine whether our systems are true or false, good or bad ; for we defy any man to conclude logically, from what he can ascertain by the study of man and nature alone, to even man's natural destiny. But if we accept the Christian revelation, we know that the development and fulfilment of the potentialities of man's nature are not his destiny, for he has no natural destiny. According to the Christian revelation, Almighty God never made man for a natural destiny, but for a supernatural destiny, — a destiny above nature, and, since the derangement of nature by sin, in many respects against nature ; and if man fails of attaining to this destiny, he fails entirely of attaining the end for which he was made, and for ever falls below what we may imagine would have been his natural destiny, in case he had been created for a natural destiny. It is essential, that, in all our schemes for human amelioration and growth, we keep this fact in mind, and never forget that we have no natural destiny.
This granted, — and it must be, if we follow Christianity, the only light to enlighten us concerning our final cause, —the method of attaining to the end for which we were made, and which we are always to propose as the end to be sought in all our efforts, is not, and cannot be, the harmonious development and fulfilment of our nature, is not natural culture, whether sensuous, intellectual, or aesthetic. The method, following the same light, is submission to the will of God, and the entire renunciation and crucifixion of nature. The means of attaining this submission, this, renunciation, this crucifixion, are not the means of natural culture and training, but the grace of God, not attainable by natural culture, but ordinarily attainable only through the sacraments of God's Church, the visible channel of invisible grace, and by prayer, meditation, and mortification. According to our reformers, — no matter of what class,— all depends on nature, and the study must be to provide, from the moment of conception, or at least from the birth, of the child, for the free and full development and play of nature; all must be arranged so as to repress nothing, but to bring out all in its natural purity, freedom, strength, and beauty. According to Christianity, from the same moment, from birth to the grave, the study is to repress nature, to restrain it, mortify it, and to bring the individual into complete and entire subjection to God. Christianity wages an unceasing war with nature. It educates, it cultivates ; but not to produce natural virtues and graces, but supernatural. It puts off the old man, which is of the earth, earthy, and puts on the new man, which is from heaven, heavenly, and forms Christ within, the hope of glory. The two systems are, then, right in opposition, the one to the other. Hence, Christianity has and can have no fellowship with these reformers ; and this is seen, also, in the fact that they all make war on the Church of God, and none of them accept the Gospel, save as they explain away its sense, and reduce it to a system of mere naturalism.

Schiller proceeds on the assumption, not only that the end to be sought is the natural perfection of man, but that the means to be adopted are such as man himself can originate and put into practical operation. This is also the case with all modern reformers, whether religious, political, or social. But if the end is supernatural, as we have seen, the means must also be supernatural; for there must be some proportion between the means and the end ; but between natural means and a supernatural end there is and can be no proportion. The true end, therefore, is never to be gained by natural means, by any set or series of causes man himself is naturally able to put in operation.

This is a conclusion we wish to press upon the serious consideration of our modern reformers. We do not suppose any man, at all imbued with Christian charity, can be satisfied with things as they are.    The condition of our fellow-men, even so
far as regards this world, is truly heart-rending. On every hand, are wrongs and outrages. The strong oppress the weak, the cunning circumvent the simple ; the state becomes an organized machine for taxing the people, and for aiding the few to plunder the many ; and the general tone of society, and of nearly all its vaunted institutions, is corrupt and corrupting. But what is the remedy ? Whence the help ? There is no help from man, no remedy of human origin and application. All labor directed to discover and apply a human remedy is worse than lost. You- may as well crack your brains and waste your substance in seeking to invent a perpetual motion. Who of you can lift himself up by his own waistbands ? The thing is as impossible in morals as in mechanics.

But can we do nothing ? Must we sit still and bear the frightful misery of our lot, without making any effort to relieve it ? We say not that. Man may work ; but, if he is to work with success, he must work in God's way. When you wish to erect a mill, you study to erect it so that nature herself shall work for you, and drive your machinery. In morals you must follow the same method, only you are here to seek to avail yourself, not of nature, but of grace. You must work, but you must work to let God himself work in and for you. He has provided for the redemption of man from all evils, and your business is to accept and conform to his provision ; and then it is no longer you that work, but he that worketh in you and for you.
But your error is in this very fact, that you reject the means Almighty God, in his infinite love and mercy, has provided, and seek to find out and apply some remedy of your own. Schiller feels the necessity of a force to unite and direct the intellect and sense, to harmonize man with himself and with nature, and direct all human forces, both individual and social, to the realization of our destiny. He seeks this force in the play-impulse, which is still a human force. This force is to be set in motion by beauty, the ideal, which is not man's creation, but something independent of man, and which his nature is fitted to perceive and love. But this force has always been an attribute of man, and this ideal beauty has always hovered over and before him ; and yet he has fallen into the deplorable condition from which these are assumed as sufficient to raise him ! How with unvaried factors do you propose to obtain a varied product ? Evidently, you must vary one of your factors, introduce a new factor, or not change your product.

This ideal beauty you talk about, we have no faith in. But be it all you allege ; as ideal, it is unreal, and therefore inoperative ; for only what is real can operate. It must be realized, then, before it can set the play-impulse in motion. But it cannot realize itself; for it must be real before it can act. Then a power foreign to itself is needed to realize it. This power must be human or divine. If human, it will not answer your purpose ; for the human force which you must assume as the force to realize it is set in motion only by this very ideal beauty, which can produce no effect till realized. If, then, you assume man's power is adequate to its realization, you assume its realization as the condition of its realization ! Here is a circle out of which no human power can extricate you.

If you assume the power is divine, then it is God that realizes it, and his realization of it must necessarily be the organization or embodiment of it in an institution capable of acting on man, and directing all his activities to the proper end ; that is, in principle, the Church. You must, then, have a divinely constituted Church, as the condition of getting your ideal beauty into the condition in which it can set your play-impulse in motion, as we proved to you, in the Essay, No Church, no Reform, in our Review for April, 1844. But God has already founded the Church, and for the express purpose of man's redemption. Place yourself in that, and you have the power you need ; for through that flows the stream of God's grace needed to drive your moral machinery.

But you reject the Church, and herein is your folly and your condemnation. Your folly ; for, if the Church be not a divinely founded institution for the redemption of man, you have no means of effecting that redemption, and therefore it is idle to attempt it. Your condemnation; for the Church is such an institution, and you reject it, and seek to gain your end without and in opposition to it, — which is to seek to gain it without and in opposition to God himself. In the one case, your conduct is folly ; in the other, it is criminal, high-treason against God.
But no, you are liberals, you are for freedom, and you will not submit to the Church, because that would be to abjure yourselves and become voluntary slaves to absolute power. The Church claims to be supreme under God, because through his supernatural gifts she is infallible, we admit ; and you are required to submit to her as an infallible authority, which may on no account and in no respect be disobeyed.    So far as this is slavery, you unquestionably become slaves in submitting to the Church. But do you help the matter by rejecting the Church ? You must assume absolute infallible authority somewhere, take what hypothesis you will. If you take the skeptical doctrine, and plunge into universal doubt, you still assume your right to doubt, and your absolute, infallible right to doubt. But there is no absolute, infallible right, where there is no absolute, infallible authority ; for authority is the basis of right. But where there is no absolute, infallible right, there is no absolute, infallible freedom. Therefore, you must assume absolute, infallible authority somewhere, as the condition sine qua non of absolute, infallible freedom. This absolute, infallible authority you must place in the individual, in the state, in public opinion, or in the Church ; for in any other alternative it will be, for us, only ideal, and, for all practical purposes, as if it were not.

Is the individual absolute, infallible ? Dare any man assert it, since all are acknowledged to be fallible ? Is the state absolute and infallible ? Who will pretend it ? Certainly no friend of civil freedom. Is public opinion absolute and infallible ? Does it never err, and may it never be rightfully resisted ? What is public opinion, but the opinion of those individuals, more or less numerous, who give the tone to the public ? These are confessedly fallible ; how, then, can they originate an infallible public opinion ? Say not, blasphemously, Vox pop-uliy vox Dei ; but say, rather, if you will say any thing, Fox populi) vox Diaboli. Who condemned our blessed Saviour to the cross, — Socrates to drink the hemlock ? who has, in every age, persecuted the brave, the true-hearted, and the saintly ? who burnt our convent at Mount Benedict, burnt our churches and seminaries in Philadelphia, shot down our brethren in the street, and screened the criminals, — but your wise vox jwpuli, who, we will maintain against all challengers, is as arrant a knave, as vain, fickle, conceited, malicious, and murderous a rascal, as ever walked the earth ? If you attribute absolute and infallible authority to these, you know you attribute it to what possesses it not, and has no right to claim it. Yet to one or another of these you must attribute it, if you reject the Church ; and be it to which you will, you yield yourself up to a master who has no right to your service, and make yourselves slaves in very deed. What do you gain, then, even on the score of freedom, by rejecting the Church ? Nothing at all. Be the Church precisely what you falsely allege, you, in rejecting her, to use a homely proverb, do but u jump out of the frying-pan into the fire."

If you reject the Church, you are slaves, without the possibility of becoming free ; this you cannot deny. But if you accept the Church, there is a possibility, to say the least, of freedom. It may be, the Church is what she professes to be. If so, submission to her is not slavery, but freedom ; because what she teaches and commands is absolute truth, and the truth makes free, — et Veritas liberahU vos. 1 St. John, viii. 32. True freedom is in entire submission to the will of God, and nowhere else. In abjuring yourselves, to submit to God, you do but abjure the tyrant, the usurper, in order to come under the dominion of the legitimate sovereign, — an abjuration, to say the least, more to one's honor than to his dishonor. There is no occasion, then, to seek out new and human methods of reforming the world. The world cannot be reformed, unless by the ministry of just such an institution as the Church declares herself to be, or, at least, one exactly equivalent to it. If she be not what she professes, you have nothing to do, for there is nothing you can do ; and your efforts will result only in your own disgrace, and the aggravation of the evils you seek to remove. If she be what she professes to be, it is your duty to submit to her, believe what she teaches, do what she commands, and then the evils of which you complain, so far as they are evils, will be removed.

We speak on a subject of this sort with some degree of personal confidence ; for we have devoted more than twenty of the best years of our life to its investigation. We have abated nothing of our young zeal for reform, nor are we conscious of haying lost the ability or the disposition to make as painful sacrifices for the amelioration of our brethren even in this life, as our contemporaries are prepared to make ; but we cannot make brick without straw ; and we have learned too much from our past experience to be willing to erect a mill where we can have neither wind nor water, nor even steam, to drive its machinery. No permanent or solid good is obtainable for man, either for this world or that which is to come, but through the ministry of the Holy Catholic Church, —the Holy Roman Catholic Apostolic Church, we mean. She alone has authority to teach ; she alone has charge from God of the culture of individuals and nations ; and she alone has received the authority and force necessary to educate and direct all man's faculties and sentiments so as to bring order out of the confusion ignorance and sin have generated, and to fill the earth with love, peace, and joy.    Reluct who will ;   but he who  seeks   to gainsay this statement, or by other means to work out man's redemption, shall find himself realizing the old myth of the Titan doomed ever to roll his huge stone up the steep hill, and ever to have it, ere it reach the top, roll back with thundering rebound.
In these somewhat desultory and disconnected remarks, we have, of course, had no intention of confining ourselves to a critical examination of Schiller's work. We have made his volume of aesthetic prose the occasion of some suggestions which we have felt were not uncalled for by the spirit of our age and country. In the dominant tendency of the age and country we see only unmixed evil, and we are obliged to place ourselves in direct opposition to what the great mass of the active and, if you will, philanthropic portion of our countrymen are pursuing as the supreme good. We cannot cooperate or sympathize with even our own former friends, and are obliged to wage war against the thousands of ardent minds and generous hearts who are but following the very tendency they at first received from ourselves. This painful position we must assume as the penalty of our own former heresies and errors. The tendency of the age is humanitarian, and the avowed object of those who stand, in their own judgment, at the head of the " Movement Party " is to instaurate the " religion of humanity." Humanity is put in the place of God, and it, instead of God, are we profanely called upon to worship, trust, and obey. It is the most dangerous species of idolatry ever invented ; for it is the most seductive, the least flagrant. Our modern philosophy, poetry, literature in general, politics, and institutions are rapidly conforming themselves to it, and preparing to embellish, and sanctify, and sustain it. The appeal through all is to the "mighty heart of humanity" ; the orator and the poet gather their inspirations from " the upheavings of universal humanity," and command us to bow down and adore before " the onward movements of the masses." Alas ! how little do they who are burning incense to " the masses," singing the praises of " humanity," and exulting in what they call " the triumphs of man," know of what horrible idolatry they are guilty, into what unknown depths of sin and misery they are plunging this poor human race they profess, and many of them, no doubt, honestly profess, to serve ! God forgive us for having been once one of their number !

The Devil disguises himself as an angel of light, and would, if it were possible, deceive the very elect.    Under the maddening cry of "humanity," "liberty," and « social reform," words so magical to every generous spirit, he seeks to entice the faithful from their allegiance, and " to place himself in the seat of God, and to make himself worshipped as God." All who really love our Lord Jesus Christ, all who would really serve their race, and work out for man a greater measure of good even for this life, must " watch and pray lest they enter into temptation." The enemy with whom we have to contend is as subtle, as artful, as he is wicked. He can appear in any shape and under any disguise he pleases. At present, his favorite disguise is that of Liberal, Philanthropist, and Reformer, and in this disguise he is more successful than he ever was in any former disguise he has ever adopted. We have not yet seen the end of his career under this disguise. He is yet to convulse nations, and, in many countries, to break up society to its very foundations. He seduces thousands upon thousands from their allegiance, and with his lying promises ruins them here, and effects their damnation hereafter. Brethren, be on your guard. Remember the admonition of the Apostle, " We are of God. He that knoweth God heareth us. He that is not of God heareth not us. By this we know the spirit of truth from the spirit of error." 1 St. John, iv. 6. Know that every spirit that separateth from the Church, that abideth not in her doctrine and communion, whatever high-sounding names it may adopt, whatever seducing forms it may bear, whatever kindling speech it may use, is not of God, is the spirit of error, is Antichrist, is of the Devil. Believe it not.  Go not after it. Listen not one moment to its flattering promises. Nothing will come of them but disaster and ruin here, and eternal death hereafter.

Yet be not alarmed. More are they that are for us than they that are against us. We know in whom we trust, and that he is able to thwart all the wiles of the adversary, and to keep what we have confided to him unto eternal life. Be constant, be vigilant, be watchful unto prayer. Be content to worship the God of your fathers in the way they worshipped him, the way of Jesus Christ and the Apostles, the way of the saints and martyrs, who, with white robes and palms in their hands, now celebrate their victories, and offer up their prayers as sweet incense for your final perseverance and ultimate triumph. With holy faith, and unwavering hope, and charity that believ-eth, hopeth, dareth, endureth all things, hide yourselves in the temple of your God, in his holy tabernacle, in the secret of his pavilion, till the danger be past.