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Channing on the Church and Social Reform

ART, V. — The Christian Church and Social Reform. A Discourse delivered before the Religious Union of Associationists. By WILLIAM HENKY CHANNING. Boston : Crosby & Nichols.    1848.    8vo. pp. 32.

THERE are few men outside the Church for whom we have a warmer personal affection, or a more sincere esteem, than we have for the author of this Discourse, — a nephew of the well-known and lamented William Ellery Channing, the warm-hearted philanthropist, and eloquent Unitarian minister. He is a man of singular purity of mind and sweetness of disposition, — earnest, self-denying, brave, — with more than his celebrated uncle's learning, and occasionally with more than that uncle's eloquence. We have known him for years, and, before our conversion, we loved him as we loved few men, and hoped more from him, with a single exception, than from any other man with whom we were associated, or whom we were permitted to include in the number of our personal friends. We love him not less now, though our personal intercourse with him has been nearly interrupted, and we have ceased to have any sympathy with his views, plans, or movements.

We have great confidence in Mr. Channing's integrity, as well as in his ingenuousness and candor ; we believe him not unwilling to receive the truth ; and we are sure he would shrink from no sacrifices obedience to it might demand, were he once, through the grace of God, clearly and distinctly to behold it. He is a Socialist, avowedly a Socialist, and a Socialist with as extreme and as utterly objectionable views as any one of the Socialistic sect we are acquainted with ; but he really possesses much religiosity, so to speak, and wishes to retain and practise the Christian religion. Doubtless he has, as all men of his class have, a secret pride, which revolts at the humility of the cross, and obscures the spiritual vision ; but his errors, we must believe, spring rather from his intellect than his will, and are in no small degree due to the prejudices of his education, and the unfavorable influences to which for the most of his life he has been exposed. Educated in that negation of the Christian symbol called Unitarianism,—brought up, as are all Unitarian youth, without any real knowledge of Christianity, without imbibing any thing of the distinctively Christian spirit, and with his mind, his affections, and his hopes turned away from the Gospel, — it is not strange that he was early led into the mazes of wild theories and vain philosophy. Unable to satisfy either the wants of his mind or of his heart with the negations of his sect, he early became unsettled and restless, asking in vain for something to believe, and still more earnestly for something to do ; careless of the salvation of his own soul, because without any belief in a future judgment, or in God as a remunerator, and confounding the human sentiment of philanthropy with the Christian virtue of charity, nothing in the world was more natural than that he should turn Socialist, and seek to find food for his intellect, his affections, and his activity, in efforts at Social Reform, or the realization of an earthly paradise. 

With no infallible Church to direct him, with no external criterion of truth or of good, and recognizing no revelation but the subjective inspirations of the affections, or the Divinity manifesting itself in human instincts and tendencies, he was forced to take humanity, or human nature, as his authority, and the satisfaction of its cravings in time as his end. In a word, he has been obliged, in the absence of the religion of God, to supply its place with " the religion of humanity," as he expressly calls it. But in this he shows two things which we respect, and which give us hope. Even his religion of humanity, — a religion which puts man in the place of God, as beginning, motive, and end,— though a veritable idolatry, and excusable in no one, bears witness to his religiosity, and also to his logical consistency. It is a tribute to religion not without its value, and a proof that he does not shrink from pushing the Protestant movement which he accepts to its last consequences. May we not hope that he will soon see that the worship of humanity is as sad superstition as-the worship of wood and stone, and that man falls as far below his dignity as below his duty whenever he worships any other than the infinite and eternal God ?

We have read Mr. Channing's Discourse with great attention, and with an earnest endeavour to ascertain and appreciate its meaning. Abler Socialistic discourses we may have read, but a more genuine or truthful statement of modern Socialism, under its least irreligious aspect, we have not read. It presents a synopsis of the whole teaching of the Socialistic school or sect, on God, nature, religion, the Church, man, society, association, reform, progress, economy, social and domestic. With a hope, not presumptuous we persuade ourselves, that our words may reach the author and receive from him respectful consideration, we venture to take it up somewhat in detail, and subject it to a close and even minute criticism.    If, in doing so, we prove ourselves severe, Mr. Channing, we are sure, will understand that our severity is for the author, not for the man, for whom we have begun by expressing our affection and esteem. In order not to give occasion to the author and his friends to accuse us of misapprehension and misstatement, and to enable our readers to judge of the bearing and appropriateness of our remarks, we shall copy, in its separate divisions, the entire Discourse, as far as we make it the subject of our comments. We begin with the beginning.

" In opening this winter's course of meetings, let us at once turn our attention to the problem which this age has most at heart to solve; and, in order to do so, let us consider THE RELATIONS OF THE CHURCH AND SOCIALISM. For that the Christian Church is now the centre of spiritual life in Humanity there can be no reasonable doubt, and as little that Social Reform is the characteristic political movement of this generation. " Make religion practical, and practice religious,'1'' is the command of the Divine Spirit more clearly than ever before ; and the Law of harmonious cooperation between these two extremes of man's existence is the thought which is shaping itself in all enlightened minds.

" I. REALISM.—But, in attempting to survey the tendencies of the society into which we have been born, let us be sure, in the outset, that we occupy the firm ground of Realism.    By this it is meant, that we should start in our inquiry from the life amid which we consciously exist, rather than from absolute principles assumed by Idealism, or from partial experiments to which Empiricism trusts.    If man could ascend to dwell at the fountain-head of truth, he would be reabsorbed in God; and, by becoming immersed in the flood of transient circumstances, he loses himself in Nature.    His appropriate sphere is mediate, between the Infinite One and the Finite Many. He lives by receiving and diffusing life, and grows by assimilating into his own person inspiration from above and experience from beneath.    Motives are communicated which he must study to manifest in deeds; by reflection on ends fulfilled, he gains capacity for larger impulses ; and the medium by which, in him and through him, love and beauty are married and made fruitful, is wisdom. We move and have our being amidst a Divine Reality, whose perfections are progressively revealed in societies, races, and heavens, as solar systems are evolved from parent-suns; and in proportion to our full communion with Him who is at once the centre and circumference of existence, is our real life.    This life we interchange with fellow-men ; and we live well, just in degree as to conspire with our age, our nation, our neighbours, to embody in Acts the Ideas through which Good evermore flows in to reanimate mankind.   The fatalist gazing on the vast sweeping forces of the universe, the enthusiast awaiting the accomplishment of the Almighty's plans, may be tempted to apathy or presumption. But the Idealist, who recognizes the exact order of events, and yet hears himself summoned to cooperate with an unfolding creation, becomes a hero. He is at once pious, self-relying, and brave. His energies expand amidst the mighty powers which call him to be their peer. Serene and constant, neither exaggerating nor slighting his special function, assured of the guidance of One Sovereign Will, he bears the cross, he wears his crown, emulous only to discharge the duty which Humanity intrusts to his fidelity, and aspiring to be a pure medium of Divine disinterestedness. His aim is to be made a minister of Providence in his own time and land ; calmly confiding, that thus he will be each day regenerate, and that the future will welcome him to ever-enlarging usefulness and joy."— pp. 3-5.
The problem, it will be seen from this, is the relation of the Church to Socialism, or to determine the law of harmonious cooperation between the Christian Church and Social Reform, " the two extremes of man's existence." The author should have defined his terms in the outset, and told us in what sense he uses the words Christian, Church, Social, and Reform ; but let that pass ; we shall find his definition of some of them at least, as we proceed. The first step is to fix the method of inquiry, or to determine the point of departure. This the author fixes in Realism, as distinguished, on the one hand, from Idealism, and, on the other, from Empiricism.

But what is this Realism ? We really wish the author had been more clear and precise in his definition. He obviously does not mean by it the philosophical doctrine of a school well known in the history of philosophy, for that school asserted the reality of Ideas, which he denies, since he distinguishes Realism from Idealism. The real as distinguished from the ideal is precisely what is meant by the actual. His Realism, then, is Actualism ; and that it is, we conclude from the fact that he identifies it, not with pure being, but with life, " the life amid which we consciously exist" ; for life is pure being reduced to act, — or being actualized, existing, and performing its several functions.

But what is the meaning of starting with the actual as outpoint of departure ? It must be the assumption of the justness and sufficiency of the actual ; for if we declare the actual faulty or insufficient, we must draw either upon past experiments, and seek to complete it by reproducing what has been, or upon the absolute principles of Idealism, and seek to complete it by embodying new ideas in acts, — both of which the author expressly excludes. But if the actual is just, is complete, satisfactory, what need of reform, social or individual ? It strikes us that the author suppresses, in the very beginning, one of the two extremes between which he was to find, or establish, " the law of harmonious cooperation."

According to the author, man must remain below the absolute principles of Idealism and above the partial experiments of Empiricism, — that is, if we understand it, in the actual,— or lose his identity, that is, cease to exist.    For, if he " could ascend to dwell at the fountain-head of truth, he would be reab-sorbed in God, and, by becoming immersed in the flood of transient circumstances, he loses himself in Nature."    Reabsorb is to absorb again ; for, in this word, re is iterative, not simply intensive.    Consequently, the   author   must hold that man was originally absorbed in God, and has been evolved from him. Evolution denies creation.    The author, therefore, denies the Creative Deity, and, therefore, God himself; for the radical and fundamental conception of God is that of Creator, since we recognize his being only in the category of cause, as we apprehend the cause in the effect. What, then, can the author mean, when he talks of God, of the Divinity ? and on what authority does he presume to deny God, and the fact of creation ?    Authority is as necessary to enable us to deny as to affirm.    By absorption in God, the author must mean the loss of identity *, for he makes it the opposite extreme from losing ourselves in Nature.    Hence, the saints will be unable to enjoy the beatific vision, — for in that they are supposed to u ascend to dwell at the fountain-head of truth," — without losing their identity, and ceasing to exist.    Hence, again, the author denies even   the possibility of the immortality and heaven which our Lord and his Apostles taught, and which all Christians hope for.    On what authority does he do this ?   How does he prove that man cannot dwell at the fountain-head of truth, without being absorbed in it, that is, becoming identically it ?

Man's "appropriate sphere is mediate, between the Infinite One, and the Finite Many." Will the author tell us what that is which is mediate between God and Nature, between One and Many, between Infinite and Finite, — that is, which is neither the one nor the other, neither Infinite nor Finite ? Is there any proportion between Infinite and Finite ? If not, as there is not, will he explain to us how something can be mediate between them, below the one and above the other ? We had supposed that all which is not Infinite is Finite, and all which is not Finite is Infinite.

Man "grows by assimilating into " — we should say to, not into — " his own person inspiration from above and experience from beneath." Does this mean that the inspiration is from God, and the experience from the devil ? That would be no forced interpretation. If the inspiration is actually received, is it not experience ? Why, then, may not experience be from above as well as from beneath ? Does the author use the word inspiration in its ordinary theological sense ? Then he teaches that all men are Divinely inspired. But what proof has he of this ? How can there be Divine inspiration, if God is not ? and if all men are Divinely inspired, what need of the University — for which, we shall soon see, the author contends — to instruct them, to mediate by intelligence between the Church and the State, the Divine element in man and the human ? If he uses the word in a different sense, by what right does he do so, without defining expressly in what sense ? Suppose man does grow by the means asserted, — how are we to know whether he grows good or bad, unless we know the character of the inspiration and experience which he assimilates ? By what criterion determine that character ? "By reflection on ends fulfilled, he gains capacity for larger impulses." Why on ends fulfilled, rather than on ends to be fulfilled ? And what business has the author to recur to ends fulfilled, since they can have been only partial experiments, which his Realism excludes ? What sort of impulses do we by .reflection acquire a capacity for,—good or bad ? Are we rendered impulsive by reflection ? and are they, who reflect the most, the most impulsive in their character ? Impulsive actions are not virtuous actions ; for virtuous actions are voluntary, and performed with foresight of the end. The more subject to impulse we are, the less of virtue we have. Is it desirable to enlarge our impulses and diminish our virtues ?

"The medium by which love and beauty are married, and made fruitful, is wisdom." What sort of love and beauty, spiritual or sensual, does wisdom unite in wedlock ? What children are born to the wedded pair ? What is the fruit of the union ?    Whence comes the wisdom which is its medium ?

" We move and have our being amidst a Divine reality." The author evidently means here, by "Divine reality," what he has just called. " the life amid which we consciously exist." Is the life, which we found to be the actual, the Divine reality ? or is the Divine reality simply actuality,— the actual life we live, — the actual universe ? Which is the author's meaning ? If the former, we live true life, life according to the Divine reality ; and then what need of reform ? If the latter, all actuality is Divine reality : how, then, is reform possible ? Who ever dreamed of reforming the Divine reality ?

" Whose perfections are progressively revealed in societies, races, and heavens, as solar systems are evolved from parent-suns." How know we that there are any solar systems but our own ? or if there are, that they are evolved from suns ? How know we that our earth, for instance, has been evolved from our sun ? Are the conjectures of cosmogonists and astronomers a solid basis for science ? What is the author's authority for saying that societies, races, heavens are evolved from the Divinity, instead of being created by Him ? How knows he that the Divine reality is progressively evolving societies, races, heavens ? We have great respect for the author, but we cannot believe matters of such vast moment as these on his word alone.

" In proportion to our full communion with Him " — God, the Divine reality — " is our real life." Full communion with God, with Divine reality, is the same as " to dwell at the fountain-head of truth." So our real life is in ceasing to live ; and in proportion as we attain to it, we lose it, by losing our identity 1 We have read that " he who will lose his life for Christ's sake shall find it " ; but we do not recollect having before read, that he who shall find his real life in God shall lose it. Our real life is, we agree, in full communion with God ; but what right the author has to say this, after having virtually affirmed that such communion would be the loss of our existence, and denied its possibility by virtually denying the existence of God, we are unable to comprehend.    Of contraries, one must be false.

" We live well, just in degree as we conspire with our age, our nation, our neighbours, to embody in Acts the Ideas through which Good evermore flows in to reanimate mankind." Which ideas are those ? and what right has the author to recur to the ideal ? The plain English of this is, we live well, when we conspire with our age, our nation, and our neighbours, to do good. Is the well-living in the conspiring or striving to do good, or in conspiring with our age, our nation, and our neighbours ? If the former, the author merely utters a truism ; if the latter, he assumes that our age, our nation, our neighbours, that is, all men actually living,— for neighbours, as here used, must be taken universally, — are right, conspire to the right end, and live well. If so, what is the necessity for reform, social or individual ? All are right as they are, as already implied in your Idealism ; and what more can you ask ? Surely, you would not reform right, truth, sanctity ?

" But the Realist, who recognizes the exact order of events." Who is he ? Who, less than omniscient, can recognize the exact order of events, or even that there is an exact order of events ? Who is able to say that the order of nature has never been or never can be interrupted by miracles, — miracles, whether of mercy or of judgment ? "And yet hears himself summoned." By whom ? On what authority ? " To cooperate with an unfolding creation." To do what ? How can one cooperate with creation, if there is no creation ? If there is a creation, the author's doctrine of evolution is false. But to cooperate with an unfolding creation in doing what ? In unfolding creation ? But to unfold creation, if it is unfolded, is the part of the Creator, a portion of His work necessary to complete creation. Is man summoned to aid the Creator to create ? Or shall we say the creation develops itself, and man is summoned to take his share in the work of development ? But self-development is inconceivable, and certainly inadmissible by the Realist, who excludes the ideal ; for development is the actualization of the ideal, the fulfilment of the primitive type or idea. The development necessarily depends on the power on which its subject itself depends. If creation depends on God, He is the developer. If it develops itself, it depends on itself, that is, is independent, self-existent. But an independent, self-existent creation is a contradiction in terms. God is independent, self-existent, and therefore is, as the schoolmen say, Actus purissimus, and incapable of development. " Becomes a hero." H the first requisite is insisted on, no man can be a hero. If only the last, — since, if it means any thing, it can mean only cooperating with the actual in what the actual is actually doing, — any man can be a hero who swims with the current, and does not resist his age, country, or neighbours. Cheap heroism that !

" Emulous only to discharge the duty which Humanity intrusts to his fidelity." So man receives his duty from man, and not from God ! Man, then, is the subject of man ! Is this what Mr. Channing calls Liberty ? " His aim is to be made a minister of Providence in his own time and land." Does the author use Providence and Humanity as convertible terms ? If not, here is a mistake. The man is the minister of Him to whom he owes his duty, — from whom he receives his ministry. The author, then, unless for him God and man are identical, should say, in order to be consistent with himself, " his aim is to be made a minister of" man " in his own time and land."

But we pass to consider "CHRISTENDOM," the second division of the Discourse.

"II. CHRISTENDOM. — Planted firmly on this ground of Realism, we at once recognize that we are members of the fraternity of nations pervaded by one spiritual life, which is so rightly called Christendom. Let him who is prompted, from the basis of natural science or of arbitrary speculation, to break up, fuse anew, and remould modern civilization after his own image, attempt it. The race will gain good, alike from his truths and his errors; and he will learn self-forgetfulness from seeing how easily the growing Tree of Life absorbs into its mighty trunk the Utter of his theories and the soil of his good sense. The Realist will strive only to aid the development of Christendom, by blending with it his best life. There is no question now as to the quality or mode of the peculiar inspiration which makes a collective unity out of nations so various in blood, language, tendency. It is enough for our present purpose, to acknowledge that the LIFE of Jesus has been the fertilizing germ of the institutions and manners, of the literature, philosophy, and art, of the worship and conscience, of our progenitors; enough to own, that the Idea of a DIVINE HUMANITY, manifested through Jesus, is yet vital, — elevating the mind of this generation to an ever higher thought of that image of God, which man, collective and individual, was designed to be, and prompting classes and nations to brotherhood by an ever warmer consciousness of the unity of mankind ; enough to believe, that the promise of a HEAVEN UPON EARTH, which was the first and last word of Jesus, is in time to be realized, by the inward exaltation of these nations to a piety and humanity like his own, and an extension of their refining sway over the entire globe through the instrumentality of peace. We are assured — are we not ?—that some portion of a DIVINE CHRISM anoints us to the work of redeeming man universal from brutality by the miraculous power of good-will. Manifest tokens abound, that Providential agency impels Christendom, as a whole, and in its several communities, to Integral Culture and Unlimited Diffusion of good. Shall we hesitate with grateful reverence to give ourselves up to this heavenly leading?" — pp. 5,6.
Christendom is here rather vaguely defined "the fraternity of nations," though what nations we are left to conjecture. The author's Realism, we here see, enables him to assert that the life these nations are living is the " one spiritual life," and of course the true life, real life, the life they ought to live. This it can enable him to do only on the condition that it accepts as right and just all actual life. All actual life is right and just. But these nations live an actual life. Therefore, their life is right and just. We must take life here in the concrete, as including the facts as well as the principles of life ; for the author's Realism, we have seen, excludes the ideal, and therefore the abstract. The author then plants himself firmly on the actual right and justice of the whole actual life of his fraternity of nations, and really asserts a universal Optimism. Whence, then, we repeat, the necessity of reform ? If the actual is right and just, and may, as the author evidently maintains, be taken as the criterion of what is right and just, therefore true and good, we cannot understand his ceaseless and most urgent demand for Social Reform, and we wish he would explain it.

" The race will gain good, alike from his truths and his errors." What advantage, then, of truth over error ? and wherefore labor to correct error and disseminate truth ? How long is it since error became profitable to the human race ? The author holds that " to break up, fuse anew, and remould modern civilization " is an error, is uncalled for, and yet he says, let those undertake it who will ; and although it cannot be seriously attempted, as every body knows, without infinite confusion and disorder, fierce wars, terrible crimes, and inconceivable suffering, it will be only a useful experiment! Modern philanthropists have queer hearts, and can contemplate crime and misery with a wonderfully serene brow and marvellously quiet nerves.

" The Realist will strive only to aid the development of Christendom, by blending with it his best life." Here the author plainly tells us, that all that can be rightly demanded is development, and yet he demands reform. Reform and development are not the same, nor are they compatible one with the other. Development preserves the primitive type or idea, and seeks to fulfil or actualize it ; Reform seeks to restore the primitive type, which has been lost, or to impress a new and different one. It reforms, and necessarily presupposes the destruction of the old form ; for the materiel formula must be reduced to materia informis before it can receive a new form or a new impression of the primitive form, since there is no intercommunication of species. You must melt your wax anew, before you can give it a new impression of your old seal, or an impression of a new one. If, then, you demand reform, you oppose development ; if you demand development, you oppose reform. If you are a reformer, you must "break up, fuse anew, and remould modern civilization," and your place is with those who you say are in error ; if you are a developmentist, you must stand opposed to them, and your success must be their defeat, and their success must be your defeat. How, then, can you regard their movements with indifference, — say, let them go on, — and pretend that the race will gain by their errors as well as by your truths ?   Have you really no opposition to their erroneous method, — really no confidence in your own true method ?

We are not indulging in mere verbal criticism. Mr. Channing and his friends avowedly demand Social Reform ; and it is evident from their declamations against the past, from their condemnation of the whole present, and their untiring efforts to substitute a new order of society for the existing one, that, when they say reform, they mean reform. Yet when they philosophize, when they undertake to defend their movements, and fix the bases of their operations, they confound reform with development, and assert the continuous progressiveness and progress of man and society. But their logic is no better than their doctrine ; for it refutes itself. If there has been the progress asserted, if man and society have been continually growing better and better, reform is uncalled for ; if reform is called for, the doctrine of progress asserted is false, and the progress alleged has never taken place.

" The Realist will strive only to aid the development of Christendom, by blending with it his best K/e." But the life, we have seen, is already the true spiritual life, and u the fraternity of nations " is actually all we can ask. What need, then, of further development ? They live the true life ; what more can you ask of them ? And by what right do you, a Realist, planting yourself firmly on the actual, and excluding the absolute principles of Idealism, go to the ideal and demand its actualization ? And, furthermore, have you considered that to actualize the ideal is the province of the actual that is above it, and not of the actual that is below it ? The painter is above his picture, whether the picture in his idea, or the picture on his canvas. If there is a higher ideal for man and society than that already actualized, it is God, not we, who must actualize it. No man — as we often say — can lift himself by his own waistband.

We will not affect not to understand what the author means by blending his best life with that of the fraternity of nations, for he has told us that man interchanges his real life with his fellow-men, — which, with some important qualifications, we accept. But, if the life blended is not better than the life it is blended with, it cannot aid the development contended for. My life must be better than the actual life of these nations, or I cannot improve the quality of theirs by blending mine with it. Now will the author tell us where he gets a life better than the actual life he wishes to develop ? We know he has said that our real life is just in degree to our full communion with the Divine reality, and " this life we interchange with fellow-men." But his doctrine is, that we commune with this Divine reality only in its evolutions. This reality is in the centre of our race, and it is, if not only, yet principally, with God in man that we commune, — through the Divine Humanity that we reach Him and receive life from Him. That this is his doctrine, he will not deny. Consequently, we can receive no more Divine life than is in the life of the race, that is, than the race is actually living. The highest degree of this life actualized—and he is confined by his own principles to the actual — is the actual life of Christendom, or " the fraternity of nations," of which we are assumed to be members. Now we demand how the Realist, by communion with this life, which is for him the Divine reality itself, can get a life better than that life now is ? If he can get no better life, what aid can he give to its development by blending with it his own best life ? JVewo dat, quod non habet. If he has no better life, he can communicate no better life. If he can communicate no better life, he cannot improve the actual life of the fraternity of nations.

The author has been deceived by his silent assumption that the doctrines of the Church all symbolize great philosophic truths, or principles of the natural order. We, as members of the Church, are said to live a Divine life by communion with the Church, and by that communion only. This, Mr. Channing supposes, is merely a symbolical way of expressing a great natural fact, or truth of philosophy. The Church here symbolizes humanity in its relations to God, and life by communion with her means, when translated from the symbolical language of faith into the language of science, life by communion with God in man, or the communion of man with his race. When it is said the Christian derives Divine life from God through association with the Church, the scientific meaning is, that man derives Divine life from God through association with humanity. Hence the necessity of association as the mode or medium of Divine life. But were we to concede all this, it would avail the author nothing, because no Christian ever dreams of deriving from his association xoith the Church a higher life than that which she has, or which she herself actually lives. If we profess to derive from communion with her a supernatural life, it is because we believe her to be actually living a supernatural life. Grant, then, the symbolical character of the Church, grant that the interpretation of the symbol given is the true one, the author could, on the strength of the concession, only assert that by communion with our race we can derive such life as it is actually living, that is, its natural life ; not by any means a higher life, nor that the life we derive from it can react, and exalt its actual life.

Here is the mistake. The author evidently supposes that by communion with his race he can derive a life above the actual life of humanity, and that he can react on humanity, blend this higher life with hers, and thus assist her in actualizing a higher life for herself. But the symbolism on which he relies, even conceding it, does not bear him out. By communion with the Church we receive a higher than our natural life ; but she receives no life from us in return. We receive all from her, we return her nothing. Hence she remains without development. The life she lives was as perfect at first as it is now, and she had as high a life to impart to her children in the Apostolic age as she has in the nineteenth century. She is susceptible of no development from the recipients of her life, and can be developed, if at all, only by the direct and supernatural agency of her Founder. So if she symbolizes, as you pretend, the natural communion of humanity, you must concede, that, though individuals may receive from humanity through that communion such life as humanity has, they can give her back no life in exchange.

We beg Mr. Channing to meditate this point, for, to use a term which he will understand, it is pivotal in his system. He evidently supposes that the Divine reality actualizes or perfects itself by its evolutions, and that the evolutions, by a sort of reaction, perform a part in perfecting the evolver ; which is to suppose that the effect reacts on its cause, and develops it. But this is very bad philosophy ; for one might as well say the effect produces its own cause. But it is precisely in this supposition that lies the whole foundation of the modern doctrine of progress. It presupposes a mutual action and reaction of cause and effect, and that both, by this action and reaction, are developed and enlarged. The individual life is derived from humanity, and then reacts on and enlarges hers, which again reacts on and enlarges his ; and thus on ad infinitum. Hence, universal and eternal progress is the necessary law of all beings and of all being.
Mr. Channing speaks of " the Idea of a Divine Humanity manifested through Jesus," and assumes it to be yet vital in " the fraternity of nations " which he calls Christendom. But is it correct to speak of ideas as vital, that is, living ? Living ideas are ideas actualized, therefore no longer ideas. By the Idea of a Divine Humanity manifested through Jesus, he intends us to understand that the mystery of the Incarnation simply symbolizes the Divinity of humanity, or the fact, as he holds it, that humanity, that is, man, — that is, again, human nature, — is Divine. But what proof has he that man is Divine, — that is, that the human and Divine are identical ? What is his authority for asserting that the doctrine of the Incarnation implies any such thing ? Who made him the interpreter of the Christian mysteries ? Suppose man even to be Divine, whence follows it that that is the sense of the mystery ? The Christian doctrine of the Incarnation, as understood by Christians,—and they are, unquestionably, the proper judges of what it is that they believe, — is the reverse of what Mr. Channing supposes ; for it asserts the distinction of the two natures in our Lord. The Divine nature is not mingled with or absorbed in the human, nor the human mingled with or absorbed in the Divine ; and he only generalizes the doctrines condemned in the Eutychian and Monothelite heresies. He has, therefore, no right to set forth his doctrine under the name of Jesus, or as the hidden sense of the Christian mysteries. If he would avail himself of Christian authority, he must accept it in the Christian sense.

Mr. Channing asserts that " a heaven upon earth was the first and last word of Jesus." Suppose it was ; what then ? Does he admit the authority of Jesus ? If he does, he should remember that Jesus said, " The poor ye have always with you." Yet Mr. Channing considers it perfectly practicable to remove all poverty. Jesus said, " It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven." Yet Mr. Channing is busy with schemes for augmenting the wealth of the world, and for making all men rich. Jesus said, " Seek first the kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you." Mr. Channing says, seek these things first, and then the kingdom of God and his justice will follow. We do not, therefore, see what it can avail Mr. Channing, even if our Lord did say what is alleged.

" A heaven upon earth was the first and last word of Jesus." Be it so. Yet never did Jesus propose a heaven upon earth as the end of man. It was not on the earth, and in time, that he went to prepare mansions in his Father's house for his followers. But let that pass. " My kingdom," he said, " is not of this world" ; and therefore, even if he proposed a heaven on. earth, he proposed not a heaven of the earth, or a heaven derived from this world, consisting in the happiness which comes from it, — the precise order of happiness Mr. Channing and his friends are avowedly laboring to secure to all men. If our author admits the authority of Jesus at all, he must admit it throughout. Our Lord either was what he professed to be, or he was an impostor. U an impostor, his authority is good for nothing ; if what he professed to be, his authority is sufficient for all he said, and we are then bound to believe all he said, for he was God himself. The practice which our Socialists have of referring to his authority, when it suits their purpose, and taking his words in a sense of their own, — a sense which even they will not pretend was his sense, but at most only what would have been his sense, if he had thought like them, — is by no means logical, and is utterly unworthy of such a man as Mr. Channing.

" Some portion of a DIVINE CHRISM anoints us to the work of redeeming man universal from brutality by the miraculous power of good-will."    How does Mr. Channing reconcile the idea of redemption with his doctrine of progress ?   A moment ago we had presented to us the Divine Humanity, and Mr. Channing, as is evident from a subsequent part of his Discourse, maintains that it is only in humanity that we commune with God ; now we have this same humanity, u man universal," reduced below his nature, degraded to the category of brutes, and needing redemption from brutality.    If man universal is Divine and progressive, how can he become brutalized, and in need of redemption ?   Need we tell the author that the idea of redemption negatives the idea of progress ?    Why, again, does the author call good-will miraculous ?   Nothing is miraculous that is natural.   Will is certainly natural, for man is inconceivable without it.    Is it the good, then, that is wanting in human nature, and that can be supplied only by a miracle ?    If man's nature is destitute of good, by what authority do you call him Divine, or speak of " Divine Humanity " ?    Or is it that the author means not that good-will itself is miraculous, but that it works miracles, is thaumaturgic ?    But if the will is natural, in the order of man's nature, how can it work miracles, since a miracle, by its very definition, is an effect produced in the natural order by a supernatural cause ?    Will Mr. Channing maintain that natural causes can produce supernatural effects ?    If not, why, then, we ask again, does he call the power of good-will miraculous ?    If miraculous, it is more than human, and the good does not belong to man, and then can be his only through a supernatural medium of communication.    But Mr. Channing admits no such medium, for the only medium he admits is man, or humanity.

When Mr. Channing speaks of the Divine Chrism, he makes allusion to the Christian Sacrament of Holy Orders. If he takes that Sacrament in the sense of the Church, even he himself will not pretend that he has received it ; if he takes it in some other sense, it is another thing, and does not answer to that Sacrament at all. His notion, that the Sacrament symbolizes a great natural fact, and that he has the thing symbolized, is not authorized, for the Sacrament is not symbolical at all. It is either an empty form, a vain ceremony, or it is a Divinely instituted medium through which a peculiar grace is really and supernaturally communicated to the recipient, and which can, in hac Providentia, be communicated through no other medium. It is this, or it is nothing, just as the authority of the Church herself is all, or is nothing, or worse than nothing. Mr. Channing has no right to give the Sacrament of Orders any other interpretation than the Church gives it. To suppose a hidden sense to the Sacrament, which was not apprehended by the Church, nay, was denied by her, yet was implied in what she taught, will not be allowable, if you accept, and can avail you nothing, if you reject, her authority ; for if you reject her authority, you reject it for what she teaches implicitly as well as for what she teaches explicitly. If you reject her authority, why do you wish to make it appear that what you teach is only the hidden sense of her teaching, — is the real sense of her sacred mysteries ? Suppose it to be so, is that, on your principles, any proof that it is true ? You have, undoubtedly, as every man has, the right from Almighty God to engage, mind, heart, soul, and body, in the work of redeeming man, universal and individual, from brutality. There is no question of that. But, recollect you, only by the means, and in the way and manner, which He who gives you the right ordains ; for it is never lawful to do good by unlawful means. We may not do evil that good may come. The end does not justify the means, — a principle in morals, which we commend to the serious consideration and daily meditation of all non-Catholics in general, and of all modern philanthropists and reformers in particular. But we proceed to the author's third division.

" III. THE PRESENT PERIOD. -— Now, to take our part efficiently in the allotted to Christendom to-day, we need to form a comprehensive judgment as to the present period of its development. This alone will give us conviction, wisdom, zeal. We must not trust to the piety of earlier times to enliven us, or to the opinions of even the wisest of by-gone ages to point out our path.    Other men labored, and we have entered into their labors. True loyalty is to perfect what they planned, to fulfil and more- than fulfil their highest longings. A brief historical review will show us where we stand, and what Humanity expects of us.

" Before proceeding, however, to the rapid survey which we must take of the development of Christendom, let us define three terms which will frequently recur in the subsequent remarks. These terms are, THE CHURCH, THE UNIVERSITY, THE STATE.

" Every man, every community, every nation, Humanity as a whole, is constituted of three elements, which may be variously designated as love, truth, power, — or affection, intellect, energy, &c. These elements stand related as inmost, mediate, outmost; and mutually influence each other as motive, means, and end. Once again, by their instrumentality, communion is maintained with God, with Spirits, with Nature ; so that they may with propriety be named the Divine, the Spiritual, the Natural elements.

" The CHURCH is the Divine element in man, the sphere of will. Opening from the central spring of feeling, — Love, One and Universal,— through which the inspiration of God for ever flows in, it widens into the four grand humanitary affections by which man is made one with his kind. These are Friendship, Conjugal Love, the Family Sentiment, Honor.

" The STATE is the Natural element in man, the sphere of use. Commencing from the supply of the lowest necessities of sensitive creatures, — food, clothing, shelter, — it aspires to form substantial conditions of comfort, refinement, and beauty, whereon the social affections may find materials of growth and symbolic manifestation, and whence happiness may raise the religious affection in thankfulness to the Author of good.

" The UNIVERSITY is the Spiritual element in man, the sphere of wisdom. Its function is harmonious distribution, — law, — order. It is the bond of reconciliation, the mediator between the Church and State. It determines the relations which should interlink the different departments of existence , it reveals the method of a truly human life.

" From these definitions it is obvious that the Church and State are to each other as Spirit and Body, and that the University serves as connecting Soul. The Church gives inspirations, which the University translates into ideas, that the State may embody them in deeds. Again, from the want or wealth, the success or failure, of the State, the University receives lessons, and thence deduces forms of law, which it presents to the Church, that it may animate them with moral life. In every man, individual and collective, these three elements exist with different degrees of vitality ; and sanity, integrity, blessedness, depend upon their equilibrium and harmonious action." — pp. 6-8.

These three constituent elements " stand related as inmost, mediate, outmost ; and mutually influence each other as motive, means, and end." The inmost, love, supplies the motive, truth or intellect furnishes the means, power or energy is the end. Here we observe that these are all three constituent elements of man, humanity, and therefore man has his motive, means, and end in himself ! This is very convenient, and saves him from the necessity of going out of himself. Why, then, does the author insist on Association, assert the Solidarity of the race, and tell us man " lives by receiving and diffusing life," — that is, receiving life from, and imparting it to, other men ? Love, or the inmost, is the motive, the outmost is the end. But love, or the inmost, is, again, the Divine element, or God, in man. The end we are to seek, then, since it is the outmost, is the end farthest removed from God. We are continuously progressive ; progress consists in going towards our end. Consequently, we are continually removing farther and farther from God, .and our progress is in proportion to the distance we remove from Him. Is this the reason why modern society is asserted to have made such remarkable progress, and why our own age is supposed to have so far outstripped all its predecessors ?

" By their instrumentality communion is maintained with God, with Spirits, with Nature." A moment ago, these three elements were presented as motive, means, and end ; now they are all three presented as means. But as means to what end ? By love we commune with God, by intelligence with spirits, by power or energy with nature. Love is ihe motive power, intellect is the means, power the end ; that is, love moves us, intelligence enables us, to exercise power over nature. So man is constituted, and is bound to exert himself, to acquire power over nature, or the outward ! But the intellect is mediate between the two, and simply furnishes the means. So the motive and the end are both blind, and the man acts from darkness to darkness, — which we doubt not is the case with our modern Socialists.

We commune with God, according to the author, by love ; that is, God is the object of love, as spirits of intellect, nature of power ; whence we conclude that God is not the object of the intellect, or, in other words, that, though we may love God, we do not know or intellectually apprehend him. If we could intellectually apprehend him, we could commune with him intellectually, and intellect would be as rightfully termed Divine, on the author's own principles, as the element of love itself. But how is it possible to commune with God by love without communing with him by intellect ? To commune with God by love must imply loving him as well as receiving love from him, — unless the author uses language in a non-natural sense, like the Puseyites. But can we love what we do not intellectually apprehend ? Can love act before the intellect acts and presents the object to be loved ? Has Mr. Channing forgotten his philosophy ?

Is the author correct in making the motive proceed from love, that is, will, instead of being addressed to it ? Motive, if we understand it, is supplied by intellect, and is that which moves the will to act. It is the ground or reason of the act. The author identifies love and will, to which we do not object; but we never before heard will and motive identified. We have always supposed that the power to act and the motive to act were very distinguishable, — as much so as the belief of a proposition and the reason or evidence for believing it. Will, we have always been taught, is the power or faculty which we possess of acting from rational motives, or motives presented by intelligence, and hence of acting freely, without physical compulsion, — in which respect the action of will is distinguished from physical action, as the action of the lungs, the circulation of the blood, the contraction of the muscles, or the lightning rending the oak. The action of will is for an end, —propter finem ; physical action, or even instinctive action, is simply to an end, — ad finem. The reason presents the end and the motive for seeking it, and the will chooses or rejects it, determines to gain or not to gain it. Mr. Channing, therefore, cannot be correct in making the will the motive. By doing so, he destroys the essential character of will, and reduces all human activity to simple impulsive or instinctive activity. Indeed, it is the characteristic of Mr. Channing's school to place instinctive action, which they call spontaneity, above will or voluntary action. But is Mr. Channing aware, that, in doing this, in reducing will to instinct, he is destroying the very condition of all moral action, of all ethics, of all merit or demerit, and placing the goodness of a man in the same category with the goodness of the dog, the borse, or the pig ? If he is, we ask him if he expects to reform society, and to realize an earthly paradise, by denying all moral distinctions, all moral accountability, that is, by striking out the whole moral order ? Can it be that Fourievism has entirely obliterated that fine moral sense, that rare conscientiousness, that intense, almost morbid, feeling of accountability, which we so admired and loved and reverenced years ago in our young friend, and which made him so dear to us, and to all who knew how to appreciate him ?

" The Church is the Divine element in man, the sphere of will." The Church, then, is in man, a constituent element of man's nature ; then not an outward institution, a visible organization, or congregation. As it is restricted to the sphere of will, it can have no authority to teach or to govern, and therefore nothing to do with faith, morals, or discipline. These belong respectively to the University and the State. Have we here the Christian conception ? Is such a Church the Christian Church ? Does it bear any analogy to any thing called the Church in any speech or tongue of men ? Assuredly not. By what right, then, does Mr. Channing call it the Church ? He is an honest man and a brave, and therefore cannot wish to make people believe that he holds to what he does not, or does not hold what he does. How can he justify himself in using a common and well-known term in a sense purely arbitrary, and unauthorized by any analogy in the ordinary sense ? Language is not his or ours ; it is common property, and not even Socialists have the right to enter upon and appropriate it as private property, — Communists as many of them are.

"Opening from the central spring of feeling, — Love, One and Universal,—through which the inspiration of God for ever flows in, it [the Church, Love, the Divine element in man] widens into the four grand humanitary affections by which man is made one with his kind." Here it is to be remarked, that the Divine element is identified with love, one and universal. This love, one and universal, we take it, is what the author means by God, or the Divine Being himself. So God, at least in his essence, is one of the constituent elements of man, that is, of human nature ! We do not understand this, or, if we do, we have some difficulty in accepting it. We are made after the image and likeness of God, and we live and move and have our being in him, but not as God. If this is the author's meaning, why does he make the Divinity merely one of the three constituent elements of man ? In this sense, He constitutes our whole being, is the being of our being, under the aspects of intellect and power or energy, as under that of love. But if he means something else, what can he mean, but that man, in so far as he is love, or loves, is God, and in all other respects is to be distinguished from God, so that man is at once man, a creature, and God, the Creator ? Is this his meaning, and what he means by u Divine Humanity," that is, a humanity constituted by a blending or confusion of the human and Divine natures ? By restricting the Divine to a single element, and asserting two elements not Divine, he recognizes a proper human nature as distinct from God, at least an imperfect or inchoate human nature ; and by making the other element, necessary to the constitution of man, identically God, he compounds man of both natures, and regards the human, on one side, as the complement of the Divine, and the Divine, on the other, as the complement of the human. This is the only meaning we can extract from his several statements. If this is his meaning, it has all the difficulties to contend with, which the Spinozaists allege lie in the way of creation from nothing, and all the unanswerable objections to which pantheism is itself exposed. Mr. Channing seems to have devised it expressly for the purpose of harmonizing the conception of a creative Deity, on the one hand, with the pantheistic conception on the other; the assertion of created beings distinct from God, with the assertion that all is God, and nothing can be distinguished from him, — two assertions, which, being eternally irreconcilable, can give birth only to a monstrous syncretism.

If the author had given man complete as man, having his being in God, yet distinct from God, as the effect from the cause, the creature from the Creator, and merely supposed, over and above, a supernaturally Divine element operative in him, we could easily have understood and accepted his view. If he had, then, defined the Church to be the Divinely constituted medium through which this Divine element, or Divine life, is communicated to man and kept alive and active in him, we should have recognized with pleasure the Christian doctrine, and have had little fault to find with his fundamental principle. And, after all, this is precisely the doctrine which he needs, and to which he must come in order to meet the demands of his own system. But this is not his meaning, as is evident from the fact that this Divine element itself only "widens into the hu-manitary affections, Friendship, Conjugal Love, the Family Sentiment, Honor." With all his influx of the Divinity, therefore, he does not elevate our life above the human. Evidently, then, the Divinity he recognizes in man is the Divinity in our nature, not the Divinity above it.

Taking our author's definition of the Church, what is his problem ?

" The Christian Church and Social Reform," he says, are "the two extremes of man's existence," and "the law of harmonious cooperation between them is the thought which is shaping itself in all enlightened minds." But the Christian Church is love, one of the three constituent elements of human nature, and in its expansion gives us the humanitary affections of friendship, conjugal love, family sentiment, and honor. Here is one extreme. The other is Social Reform. What means a law of harmonious cooperation between them ? Is it the reconciliation of Social Reform with friendship and honor, marriage, and parental and filial love and duty ? that is, to show how Social Reform can be carried on without wounding these ? That is a problem, indeed, but hardly Mr. Channing's. Is it by Social Reform to provide freer and fuller scope for these humanitary affections ? No ; for that would make them the end, and they are the inmost, and not the end, since, as the author expressly tells us, the outmost, the other extreme, is the end.

The author says the Church is love, opening from the central feeling, love, one and universal; and that the Church is one extreme, and Social Reform the other. The other extreme from love is hatred. If, then, the Church opens from love, Social Reform must open from hatred. The law of harmonious cooperation between love and hatred must, then, be " the thought which is shaping itself in all enlightened minds." We shall be curious to see that thought when it has fairly shaped itself.

" It [the State] aspires to form substantial conditions of comfort, refinement, and beauty, whereon the social affections may find materials of growth and symbolic manifestation, and whence happiness may raise the religious affection in thankfulness to the Author of good." There is much here not easily reconcilable with some other things which have been said, but we let it pass, for we are growing somewhat weary. We remark simply that the author makes the happiness derived from the world, from nature, represented by the State, the condition of religious activity. Happiness produces religion. Men are devout in proportion as they are filled with this world's goods, and " their eyes stand out with fatness" ! This is evidently a new discovery ; at least, it does not appear to have been known by St. Paul, or by our Lord. We have been accustomed to expect happiness from religion, not religion from happiness.    So far as we have observed, prosperity is a far greater enemy to religion than adversity *, and the poor and suffering, the wronged and afflicted, we have generally found more ready to raise their hearts in devout thanksgiving to God, than those who want for nothing, and " have more than heart can wish."

" It [the University] determines the relations which should interlink the different departments of existence ; it reveals the method of a truly human life." But what guaranties the University ? On one side you have a blind Church, through which streams of generous and noble feelings are pouring themselves in, and on the other the State, equally blind, wielding the whole might of physical power; between these two blind forces you place the University, and make the truth and sanctity of the one and the wisdom and utility of the other depend on it alone. It is under no regimen, subject to no law, has no Divine revelations, and, even on your own principles, no Divine guidance. Whence is it to derive its own light, and what surety have you that it will not be made the tool of blind zeal, or of equally blind sensuality, and, in either case, precipitate you into the bottomless pit of error and corruption ?

" The Church gives inspirations, which the University translates into ideas, that the State may embody them in deeds." These inspirations are blind sentimental impulses; nothing more, nothing less. What certainty is there that the University, which is uninspired, — which has, at best, only simple human intelligence, —will render them faithfully, and form them into sane ideas ? Is human intelligence infallible ? has it never been known to err ? Again, what certainty is there, that, even in case it should faithfully render the inspirations, the State will properly embody them ? The State represents the physical element, what modern psychologists call sensibility, or the principle of sensation, as distinguished from intellection and volition. It will be pushed by a contrary set of impulses, those of the senses ; and why may it not yield to these, instead of laboring to embody in deeds the ideas the University translates from the sentimental impulses ? Does it never happen in actual life that both understanding and will are led captive by the senses ? May it not, then, happen, as it has often happened, and, indeed, has become a characteristic of most modern states, that the State will lead captive the Church and the University, and thus establish the absolute despotism of the senses over both thought and conscience ? Mr. Channing himself tells us that " sanity, integrity, blessedness, depend upon the equilibrium of the three elements, and their harmonious action." What is the guaranty of that equilibrium ? It has been disturbed, and the author makes the evils of Christendom in the mediaeval ages flow from the predominance of the religious sentiment, the Divine element in man, that is, from the fact that man and society were too religious, too full of God, too subject to Divine inspiration. May not men run to the opposite extreme, and come to have too little of God, and too much of the senses, to answer to Mr. Channing's beau ideal 9 We grant that he is disposed to " give the devil his due," and even to treat him generously ; but we do not understand that he wishes to give him exclusive dominion. What guaranty has he, that, in the struggle not to have too much of God, we may not get quite too much of the devil ?

But these three elements, the Church, the State, the University, are, in each man, constitutive of his nature. Now, as they exist in man, they are harmonized, are in equilibrium, or they are not. If they are, pray tell us how they can be otherwise in their manifestations ? If not, pray tell us how, without something superior to them, you can contrive to reduce their manifestations to harmony ? You tell us, here is the Church, as an element of human nature, pouring in a perennial stream of inspirations ; here is the University to translate them into ideas ; and here is the State to embody them in deeds. All admirable, no doubt; but they are too much or too little. Suppose them to be enough, they are too much, for then no disruption of harmony could ever have occurred ; and we know, and you admit, the equilibrium, the harmony, has been and may be disturbed. If they are not psychologically in equilibrium, they cannot be in equilibrium in their manifestations, and are too little for your purpose. You cannot have in the effect what you have not in the cause, and the effect cannot react on its cause, and develop, perfect, or complete its causality, as we have already shown, and as is evident of itself.
It is, perhaps, but fair to the author to say, that, when he speaks of the Church, the State, and the University, as constituent elements of human nature, he probably means only that they are the products, or outward expressions, of those elements. He recognizes in man three elements, which he calls love, intellect, power, but which we may name, more intelligibly, sentiment, intellect, sensibility, or the principle of sensation. Out of sentiment springs the Church ; out of sensibility, or sensation, the State ; and out of intellect the University, the mediator between the other two. He does not wish these three institutions to be separated, to exist as separate or distinct organizations, but wishes them to be all harmoniously blended in one association, which shall be at once and indissolubly Church-State-University, --sentiment-sensation-connaisscmce, in the language of Pierre Leroux. But as all proceeds from man, and is nothing but the outward expression of the inward, there can be nothing in such association not previously in man himself. But since it is undeniable that the elements expressed do not exist in man in harmony, in equilibrium, it follows inevitably, that there cannot be the harmony, the equilibrium, between the three constituent elements of the association, which is desired or contemplated.

Here is the difficulty. Some method must be devised by which the harmony or equilibrium may be restored or established in the interior of man. How is this to be done ? One class of Socialists boldly assert the natura integray which Christians believe was lost together with original justice by the fall; that is, they deny that there is any want of harmony or equilibrium in the interior of man, and maintain that all the elements or forces of man's nature are, interiorly considered, nicely balanced and properly adjusted. The apparent disorder does not originate from within, but proceeds from obstructions without, in the outmost, which prevent the inmost from acting itself out according to its own laws. Remove, then, obstructions raised by ignorance or craft, and all will proceed harmoniously.

But Mr. Channing cannot take this view, because he sees that it is false, knows that the interior harmony asserted is a dream, and no reality ; and because he begins by assuming that all action is from within outward, and that the without is only the evolution of the within. This is clear from his definitions which we have quoted, and from his whole system of philosophy, which supposes the universe itself to be only the evolution of the Divinity in progressive series. Since, then, there is undeniable disorder and disproportion out of man, he must admit disorder and disproportion in man. Hence he says, " In every man, individual and collective, these three elements exist with different degrees of vitality ; and sanity, integrity, blessedness, depend upon their equilibrium and harmonious

To restore, establish, or maintain this equilibrium, which is wanting even in the interior of man, there are only two methods within the reach of those who reject the supernatural.    One, to organize the outward ; but that will not do, because it will be only the image of the inward. The other is to draw upon the interior itself; but that will not do, because from man's interior you can get only his interior, and that is disordered and out of proportion. Then it is obviously necessary to look beyond man's actual nature, as we say, — beyond man's actual interior life, as Mr. Channing says, — to God, who is harmony itself, and an inexhaustible supply of harmonious life. Hence the necessity of communion with God, religion, which Mr. Channing feels, and strongly asserts. In this he is more clear-sighted than most of his associates, and here we recognize the action of his religiosity.

But how to establish this communion, by means of which we may obtain from God this higher life, is now the problem. It is a difficult one for Mr. Channing, because he feels that he must confine himself to a natural communion, or, to be more strictly exact, to a natural medium of communion. He thinks, however, that he has a natural medium of supernatural communion, and therefore of supernatural life. The Church is the outward expression of inward sentiment, that is, the sentiment of love. This sentiment, he assumes, is the medium through which we commune with God, or through which his inspirations flow in to reanimate us. But this inward sentiment, which is a constituent element of our nature, without which we should want a portion of our nature, and should not be men, he next assumes, is identically the One Universal Love, the principle and life of all things, the Infinite and Eternal God. God being thus in our nature, we have in ourselves the infinite Source of life, to which we may recur, and replenish and enlarge our lives at will. Through the four humanitary affections named, we may constantly receive fresh supplies of a higher and better life. We met this same view, substantially, some time ago, when we were reviewing Mr. Parker's Discourse of Matters pertaining to Religion, and it is common to all our modern Tran-scendentalists. But this doctrine, which rests on two unproved assumptions, does not relieve the difficulty ; for the God supposed is not the God out of man and above him, but the God in him, and constitutive of his nature. Communion with him is only communion with our own nature, and, by simple communion with our nature, we can derive no life above it. Whatever be your meaning in making God one of the constituent elements of man's nature, you undoubtedly mean to assert it in a sense which leaves man distinguishable from God ; otherwise you make man God, and then God only man, which of course gives you nothing to your purpose ; for from man we can get only man. In order that there may be a higher life than man's, God must be conceived above man, and then man must be distinguished from God, and have a fixed and determinate nature, which is human nature. Grant, then, that the Divine in man is in some sense one with the Divine out of man, one as to essence, but not one as to existence, — grant that the human does not exhaust the Divine, that God in us, as the being of our being, infinitely transcends us, and contains in himself exhaustless supplies of life, infinitely higher than the life man actually lives, — still, through human nature as your medium of communion, you can derive no higher life from him than your natural life. The quantity and the quality of the life to be derived from him is determined, not by the life he contains or is, but by the nature and capacity of the medium through which it is to be communicated. To deny this would be to deny all distinction of natures, species, and even of individuals, and would be to assert that all species and individuals are one, for they all live, and move, and have their being in God, — all derive their life, whatever it is, and such as it is, from God, who is the only Source of life ; and it would, furthermore, be to assert, that man, that all men, brutes, and even inanimate things, are God, at least in potentia. The medium of communication must, then, determine both the quantity and the quality of life communicated, for God gives to each being life after its kind, and in proportion to its capacity. Then through a natural medium man can receive from God only his natural life. Can nature be a medium of any thing larger than itself ?    Of course not.

We here pass over the author's doctrine of Divine Humanity. Be it that our natural life is Divine, still, to obtain more than we already have by nature, we must have a higher than a natural medium of communion. Here is the grand defect in Mr. Channing's system. He gains nothing by asserting the identity of one element of man's nature with the Divine, for that assertion either represents man as God, or it does not. If it does, it asserts that God is man, and then he contains no more than man, and man can have no higher life than he has ; if it does not, the Divine element in man is not the infinite God, but determinate human existence, and therefore precisely what we mean by human nature, — man existing, — and can be the medium of only the proper determinate life of humanity. What the author wants is a superhuman life for man, — God supernaturally present in man, elevating him above his nature, and enabling him to live, intellectually and morally, a life above his natural life. This is what he wants, — what, day and night, he is seeking with untiring perseverance, with a zeal which we honor, with a singleness of purpose which we reverence, and with an earnestness which is worthy of all praise. He wants to live in a higher and more intimate communion with God. Unhappily, his Rationalistic education has led him to suppose that the medium of this communion must be natural. We say medium, for we do not doubt that he recognizes the necessity of a supernatural life. It is not the need of supernatural life he denies, but the need of a supernatural medium of its communication. He supposes that God must have made man's nature the adequate medium of all the good man can need or receive. Hence, instead of asking whether God has provided a supernatural medium for the communication of supernatural life, he wastes his fine feelings, his noble intellect, and his great energies, in the vain endeavour to obtain that life through association or the communion of humanity, which compels him to turn for ever within the sphere of that very nature above which it is his earnest endeavour to rise. He is unwilling to admit any extra or super-human medium of life. Thus it is, he makes the Church, the State, and the University open from elements of human nature, the simple expression of man's interior life. Doubtless he holds that they have a Divine origin, and would regard us as misapprehending or misrepresenting him, if we should assert that he makes them purely human creations ; but they are from God only mediately, through the medium of man's nature, which makes them pure human creations, in the only sense in which any thing can be a purely human creation. Here is the source of his difficulty.

That these institutions — or leaving out the University as a separate institution, for it is integral in the Church—are for man, and respond to deep and indestructible wants of his soul, and of his body, we of course do not question. But that they open from our nature, are simply the expression of these wants, is a mere assumption,—an assumption which cannot be proved, and which, if it could be, would entirely destroy their value ; for, with all deference to Mr. Channing, the end of man is not to express himself, — to' give outness to his thoughts, sentiments, and sensations, or to embody them in institutions. The expression can never be the end, because, if the being is reasonable, it must be for something, — there must be apropter quern of the expression. To deny this would be to deny reason itself. Man cannot, in hac Providentia, live his normal, natural life without the Slate, or his supernatural, Divine life without the Church ; but what proves that both have not been instituted for man by his Creator and his Redeemer, instead of having sprung out of man's own nature ? Christians assert this; only a few men assert the contrary, and they are in general more remarkable for their bold theorizing than for their science or practical wisdom. Assertion for assertion, the assertion of the former, even at the very lowest, is worth as much as the assertion of the latter. May we ask Mr. Channing to reflect on this ?

It is no part of our purpose in these remarks to throw the Church in Mr. Channing's face, for our design has been to test his system by principles which he himself admits or must admit as a philosopher. To us, who occupy the high stand-point of Catholicity, it is easy to see that his only recourse for the higher life he wants, and which he feels that he must have, is the Church, the supernaturally constituted medium of supernatural life, — that is, in Christian language, grace. He wishes to secure the supernatural life, and without superseding the necessity of human effort. God doubtless could — we certainly know no reason why he could not—communicate a supernatural life, immediately, without the Church ; but if he communicated it mediately, he would not communicate it through nature ; for to communicate it through nature, even if that were possible, would be to communicate it immediately. Moreover, if he communicated it immediately, there would be no sphere of human activity in attaining it. We could only long for it, and wait passively for its communication. If it is to be obtained by us, and we are to have any part in obtaining it, any merit in living it, there must be a medium to which we can apply, and through which we can regularly obtain it, — that is, there must be the Church. The Church is not needed by God to enable him to communicate the life, but by us, as a regular medium of obtaining it.

The Church lives a supernaturally Divine life, for she is the body of Him who is " the way, the truth, and the life," — who has life in himself, and giveth life to all who come unto him. By communion with her we commune supernaturally with God, the exhaustless Source of life, and from him, through her, derive supernatural life. This is precisely what Mr. Channing wants. This meets and removes every difficulty he feels, and gives him all, and more than all, he seeks. Let it be, that, by what Leroux calls u the Communion of Humanity," he can obtain a Divine life ; this does not diminish that life, but gives a superabundant life, — opens to him a life still more Divine, a truly supernatural life, by which man is raised to a higher participation of the Divine nature here, with the promise of a still higher participation of that nature in the lumen glories, or beatific vision hereafter. God, in giving us his Church as the supernatural medium of supernatural life, does not make the life we receive by natural communion less Divine, but provides for us a life Diviner still, and without which the natural life wants a purpose, is inadequate to our good, and can never conduct to the glory for which our God in his superabundant goodness destined us. In nature, God is a beneficent Creator, a just Sovereign, an inflexible Judge ; in the Church, he is our loving Father, our compassionate Redeemer, our warm personal Friend, who is touched with our infirmities, who pleads our cause as his own, and holds us ever in the arms of his infinite tenderness and love.

There are other things in the extracts we have made on which we should like to comment, but we have exhausted our space, and must reserve them, with the remainder of the Discourse, for a future occasion. We have commented freely, not with asperity, on Mr. Channing's statements, — not, we assure him, for the purpose of giving him pain, but for the purpose of pointing out to him and his Socialistic friends, how vague and confused is the thought, how loose and uncertain the expression, of modern Socialism. This Discourse is a fair specimen. He has written it with care, and has weighed with more than ordinary attention the words he has used. The contradictions and confusion we have pointed out, whether in the thought or the expression, belong to the system, not to the writer. We are aware that his friends accuse him of being loose and illogical ; but we are equally well aware, that, if, in this respect, he appears to disadvantage by their side, it is only because he is really more logical and consistent than they, and because his vision is clearer and more comprehensive than theirs. He is more faithful to the system, and better aware than they of its defects without religion. He has tried to harmonize their conceptions with the Christian, and to give some sort of completeness to them. It is his endeayour to render Socialism religious and systematic, that has involved him in the inextricable mazes of contradiction and absurdity. If his mind had not been in some sense religious, and more than ordinarily logical, he could never have made Socialism appear so utterly irreligious and absurd.  If his statement is, throughout, irreligious, illogical, and absurd, it is because such was the intrinsic character of what he had to state. A less ingenuous writer, a more sophistical mind, would have glossed over some things, and suppressed others, and made his statement appear more consistent to the superficial", but he would have been less faithful, and been more wanting in that higher logic which shrinks from no conclusions that follow from its premises. Let no man charge the absurdity to Mr. Channing's statement, and let every one know that he is just to the system. Mr. Channing is no every-day man, and no man of his school has clearer or more comprehensive views, though some may be more adroit sophists. He is inferior in learning to few of them, perhaps to none of them, unless it be Mr. Parker, to whom he is far superior in candor, ingenuousness, and innate reverence for truth and sanctity. Indeed, his views are so clear and comprehensive, and his sense of religion so strong, that we have little doubt that he will soon leave his school behind him, and seek what his heart craves and his mind needs, where alone it can be found, in the Church of God.