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Brownson's Quarterly Review, October, 1846

Art. I.--A Discourse of Matters pertaining to Religion.  By Theodore Parker.  Boston: Little & Brown. 1842.     8vo.    pp. 504.

In the analysts we gave, in our Review for last year, of the teaching of Transcendentalism,  we reduced that teaching to three fundamental propositions, namely: --1. Man is the measure of truth and goodness ; 2. Religion is a  fact or principle of human nature ;   3. All  religious  institutions,  which have been or are, have thcr principle and cause in human nature.  We disposed of the first proposition in the number for July 1845, and of the  second in  the number for the October following.  There remains for us now to consider and dispose of only the third and last.

After what we established in our Review for last July, it is evident that Transcendentalism is virtually the ground on which the enemies of the Church, generally, are rallying and endeavouring to make a stand, and the ground on which they are to be met and vanquished. Protestantism, as set forth by the early Reformers, is virtually no more. It yielded to the well directed blows of Bossuet, and other Catholic divines in the seventeenth century. But its spirit was not extinguished.   It survived, and, in the beginning of the eighteenth century, reappeared in England under the form of infidelity, or the denial of all supernatural revelation from God to men ; and, by the aid of Voltaire, Rousseau and other French philosophes, soon passed into France and Germany, and, to no inconsiderable extent penetrated even into Italy and Spain. Forced to abandon the form with which it had been clothed by Luther and Calvin and their associates, it found it could subsist and mainiain its influence only by falling back on natural religion, and finally,  on no religion. But this did not long avail it. The world protested against incredulity, and the human race would not consent to regard itself as a "child without a sire," condemned to eternal orphanage. Either Protestantism must assume the semblance at least of religion, or yield up the race once more to Catholicity. But the latter alternative was more than could be expected of human pride and human weakness. The Reform party could not willingly forego all their dreams of human perfectibility, " the march of mind," " the progress of the species," the realization of what they called " Liberty, Equality, Fraternity," which they had emblazoned on their banners, and in the name of which they had established the Reign of Terror, and drenched Europe in her noblest and richest blood. To abandon these glorious dreams, these sublime hopes, to bow down their lofty heads before priests and monks, to sheathe the sword and embrace the cross, to give up the Age of Reason, and readmit the Age of Faith, was a sacrifice too great for poor human nature. Yet what other alternative was left ? The race demanded a religion,  would have some kind of faith and worship. To stand on open, avowed infidel ground was impossible. To return to the elder Protestantism was also impossible, for that had ceased to exist ; and if it had not, a return to it would have been only subjecting itself anew to the necessity of going farther, and reuniting with Rome, or of falling back once more on deism, and then on atheism. It must, then, either vanish in thin air, or invent some new form of error, which, in appearance at least, should be neither the Protestantism of the sixteenth century nor the unbelief of the eighteenth. The last hope of the party was in the invention of this new form. Germany, mother of the Reformation, saw the extremities to which it was reduced, and charged herself with conceiving and bringing it forth, as sin conceives and brings forth death. The period of gestation was brief; the child was forthwith ushered into the world. France applauded ; young America hurraed ; and even Old England pricked up her ears, and calculated the practical advantages she might derive from adopting the bantling.-
The bantling is named Transcendentalism, and not inappropriately. The name defines the thing. The Reform party found itself compelled to avoid in appearance alike the younger infidelity and the older Protestantism, and both without any advance towards Catholicity. It must neither assert nor deny revelation, and yet must do both in  the same breath ; it must
be a believer to the believer, an unbeliever to the unbeliever appear to the Christian to assert the supernatural order, to the infidel to admit only the natural order ; and thus reconcile all repugnances, harmonize all discords, and lay the firm and imperishable foundation of u union and progress." The task was, no doubt, difficult and delicate ; but life or death was at stake ; and the Reform party showed itself equal to the emergency. It boldly faced the difficulty, and solved it, in general terms, by asserting that the soul is furnished with a Transcendental faculty, or power which transcends the senses and intellect, and places us in immediate relation with the world of spirit, as the senses do with the world of matter. This faculty receives various names, but all agree in asserting its reality ; some call it instinct, some spontaneity, some consciousness,, some the divine in the human, and others reason, distinguishing, or attempting to distinguish, between reason and understanding. These last^ suppose understanding to be in the centre of the human subject ; on one side the five senses, through which the material world flows into it,  and on the other, reason, through winch flows in the spiritual world, or world of absolute and necessary truth. But, as all admit the reality of a faculty transcending the understanding and senses, however diversely named or defined, they are all denominated Tran-scendentalists, and their doctrine, Transcendentalism,that is, a doctrine founded on that which transcends or surpasses sense and understanding.
According to Mr. Parker, this Transcendental faculty is a sort of pipe, or conduit, through which the Divinity flows naturally into the human soul. The soul has a double set of faculties, one set on each side. Each at the terminus is furnished with a valve, which the soul opens and shuts at will. If it opens one set, the external world flows in, and it lives a purely material or animal life ; if the other, the Divinity flows in, it becomes filled to its capacity with God, and lives a divine life. As the pipe or conduit through which the Divinity is let in is a natural endowment essential to the soul, and as we open or close its valve, and let in or shut out God at will, the " supply of God" obtained is said to be obtained naturally, and as it is really God who runs in and fills the soul, the influx is said to be divine, or divine inspiration. As it is of God, and received through a natural inlet in a natural manner, it is natural inspiration, and distinguishable, on the one hand, from the mere light of nature, and on  the other, from supernatural inspiration, and may be termed, if you will, natural supernat-uralism, natural spiritualism, or " the natural religious view."

Religious institutions are constructed by the human intellect and passions, on the ideas of God furnished the soul through this natural channel. They are the more or less successful efforts of men to realize outwardly as well as inwardly the ideas and sentiments of God, of spirit, of the true, permanent, eternal, and absolute, which are supplied by this natural influx of God. Considered in their idea and sentiment, all religious institutions are true, sacred, divine, immutable, and eternal ; but considered solely as institutions, they are human, partial, incomplete, variable, and transitory. They may even, as institutions, in relation to their time and place, when they are in harmony with the actual intelligence of the race and respond to the actual wants of the soul, be useful and legitimate. They spring from, at least are occasioned by, what is purest and best in the human soul, and do, then, really embody its highest conceptions of what is highest and holiest.

" Out from the heart of nature rolled The burdens of the Bible old ; And the litanies of nations came, Like the volcano's tongue of flame, Up from the burning core below,  The canticles of love and woe."

It is not necessary to denounce the race for having formed to itself religious instil'.itions, nor even to denounce religious institutions themselves, regarded in relation to their legitimate time and place. We should rather view them with indulgence and seek to explain them, to ascertain their real significance, the great and eternal ideas they are intended to symbolize. It is foolish, for instance, to unite with the unbelievers of the last century in their denunciations of the Bible. We should accept the sacred books of Christians ; ay, and of all nations,  the Veda, the Zendavesta, the writings of Confucius, the Koran, and the Book of Mormon. All are the sincere and earnest efforts of the soul to utter the Divinity with which it is filled, and each in its degree, and after its manner, is authentic Scripture. Every sincere utterance of an earnest soul is a divine word ; for every sincere soul is filled with God, burns with an elemental fire, and is big with a divine message. Hence the worth of sincere souls ; hence the importance of studying individualities, what is peculiar, exceptional, without regard to what is common to  men  in general.    If you are a true man, you can make me a new revelation of God. What can you tell me ? Under what new and peculiar phase can you show me the Universal Being ? In what new tone are you able to speak ?

As all religious institutions have a common origin in the soul, and do, in their degree and after their manner, shadow forth the same idea and sentiment, they are all,-as to their idea and sentiment, identical. Mumbo-.Tumbo of the African, or Manitou of the North American savage, is, at bottom, the true God, as much as the Zeus of the Greeks, the Jupiter of the Romans,  and either of these as much as the Jehovah of the Jews, or God the Father of the Christians. One or another is nothing but the form with which, in different ages and in different nations, men cloth the eternal and immutable idea of the Highest and Best, which is the same in all ages and nations and in all individuals. The difference is all in the form ; there is none in the idea. Mumbo-Jumbo is to the African all the Father is to the Christian ; save that he marks a lower stage of civilization, a less advanced state of moral and intellectual refinement, in his worshippers. So far as concerns his worshippers, the service he receives is as sincere, as pure, as available, as acceptable, as that rendered by a Bossuet, a Fene-lon, a St. Bernard, a St. Francis, a St. Benedict, or a St. Theresa. Foolish men talk of idolaters bowing down to idols ol wood and stone, to images rudely or cunningly carved or painted, adoring creeping things and fourfooted beasts, the elements of nature, or the hosts of heaven ; but these idolaters, as they are called, adore what to them is Highest and Best, and we only adore what is Highest and Best to us ; and we fall as far short of the Infinite Reality in our conceptions, as they do in theirs. The only idolatry is in substituting the Eidolon for the Idea, the symbol for the symbolized, in attaching ourselves to obsolete institutions, and refusing to advance with the race.

The unbelievers were unwise in making war on Christianity. The Christian religion is, no doubt, the sublimest product of man, the least inadequate form with which he has thus far clothed his conceptions of the true, the beautiful, and the good, and as such should be respected. The elder Protestantism is inexcusable for its hostility to Catholicity. The Catholic Church was in its day the highest expression the world could appreciate of the lofty and ennobling ideas which Jesus of Nazareth taught and lived.    All honor to those by whose toils, sufferings, prayers, tears, fastings, watchings, and blood, it was established ; but none, indeed, to the stupid Catholic of to-day, pouring over the legends of dead saints, and foolishly imagining, that, because his church was once beautiful and holy, it must needs be so now, or that, because it could once produce saints, heroes, martyrs, it must needs produce them through all time to come. Poor man ! he gazes so intently on the glory that was, that he is stark blind to the glory that is, or is to be. Foolish man ! he sees not that he is left behind, and that the race goes on without him. O my brother, why lingerest thou amongst the tombs ? The Lord has risen, and goes before thee into Galilee. Seek not the future in the past ; the living among the dead ; but go on with humanity, live its life, and share its progress. The world is not superannuated ; it is still in the heyday of youth, and has a long career before it. Behold, new prophets and new mes-siahs arise in long succession. Each man may be for his age a new and worthier messiah ; for each, did he but know it, is an incarnation of the living God.

After all, religious forms, institutions, though inevitable and perhaps even useful, for a time and under certain circumstances, are not essential to religion. They are inevitable and natural, when the human race has not advanced far enough to perceive that all which is really essential is the divine idea and sentiment, which are the same in all men. Weak and ignorant men naturally imagine that the idea and sentiment must be inoperative and inefficacious, unless clothed with positive institutions. The African no sooner becomes conscious of the divine idea and sentiment of religion, than he supposes he must embody them. Hence, he proceeds forthwith to locate them, and to clothe them with the attributes of his own humanity, as he has ascertained them. Hence Mumbo-Jumbo and his service. The conception of pure spirit transcends the African's stage of progress, and he fancies ideas must needs want substance, reality, unless materialized, and fixed in a local habitation. But the race has now advanced far enough to correct this mistake. Jesus saw the mistake, and his superiority lies in his having risen superior to all forms, and asserted the sufficiency of the idea and sentiment alone, that is, of Absolute Religion. He discarded all forms, all institutions, all contrivances of men, and fell back on absolute religion, on the naked idea and sentiment, and taught his followers  to  do the same.     Here was his transcendent merit. Here he proved himself in advance of his age,  nay, in advance of all ages since. Unhappily, the world knew him not. His immediate disciples did not comprehend his divine work, They foolishly imagined that he came to introduce a new form, or to found a new religious institution, which, like Aaron's rod, should swallow up all the rest; and even to this day the great mass of his professed followers have supposed, that, to be Christians, they must sustain some formal institution, believe certain formal dogmas, and observe certain prescribed rites and ceremonies. Nevertheless, in all ages, a bold few, branded as heretics by the orthodox of their time, have had some glimpses of the real significance of the Christian movement, and have stood forth the prophets and harbingers of the glory hereafter to be revealed. In our day their number is greatly augmented. Catholics and old-fashioned Protestants may call them heretics, and fear they will deprive the world of its Maker, and man of the Spirit in which he lives and moves and has his being ; but this need not disturb us ; for these are the Scribes and Pharisees of our time, and do but reproduce the rage of the old Jews and pagans against the early Christian missionaries. Opposition from them we must expect. All who will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. We must be prepared for the malice of those who see the world escaping from their tyranny. But what of that ? The brave spirit quails not, and will on its way, though earth and hell oppose. Brave spirits now there are. Germany, classic land of Reform, teems with them ; France, the land of beautiful prose, teems with them ; England, staid and haughty England, land of deeds and not of ideas, feels their quickening impulse ; and young America, daughter of Freedom, and promised land of the Future, leaps with joy to receive them. The mighty Welt-Grist^ the world-spirit, is on their side, moves in them, and fights and conquers for them ; and we may trust that the time draws near, when, in this country at least, we can dispense with all religious forms and institutions, and carry out the sublime thought of Jesus, for proclaiming which, a corrupt and formal age crucified him between two thieves. Then men will be satisfied with absolute religion ; then the noble spirit of man will be emancipated, and the godlike mind that would explore all things, and rise to its primal source, will spurn all formal dogmas, all contracting and debasing forms, and scorn to seek the living word of God in the dead petrifactions  of crafty priests and  besotted  monks. Then  God himself will be our teacher, and the soul nestle in the bosom of the All-Father ; then man will be man, dare act out himself, and bow to no authority but that of the Invisible Spirit, to whom gravitation and purity of heart, a man, a maggot, a mountain, a moss, are all the same ; and then the human race
will------what ?

Such, in general terms, is Transcendentalism in its most religious aspect, virtually, if not formally, the view taken by all who to-day represent and continue the Reformers of the sixteenth century.    By asserting the influx of God into the soul, they  have  the   appearance  of recognizing  divine  revelation and   assistance ;   and   by   asserting  this   influx   to   be   by  a natural channel and in a natural manner, they escape the su-pernaturalism  they abhor and know it would be  suicidal  for them  to  admit.    They have, then, apparently, in Transcendentalism, all that is necessary to meet the present emergency.    In it the party seem to have all the advantages  of both belief and unbelief, without the responsibilities of either.    By Us means they can contradict themselves on  principle, without incurring the charge of inconsistency ; make any assertion they find  convenient,  without the necessity of proving it; reason against unreason, and take refuge in unreason against reason ; appeal from feeling to argument, and  from  argument to feeling, from reason and feeling both to the soul's Transcendental faculty, and laugh at  their puny assailants.    When  all fail and no subterfuge is  left, they can  refuse to reply, and make their silence a merit.    It is unworthy the prophet to engage in controversy, in repelling personal attacks.   It is nobler to be silent.    Jesus, when accused, opened not his mouth ; why should we ?    We  only say our say, and you are free to say yours. We throw out our word; take it for what it is  worth.    If worth something, as every sincere word  must be, take it and be  thankful ; if worth nothing, let it go ; why dispute about what is worthless ?    It can be but a worthless  dispute, and, emstut das Lebcn, life is too serious to be wasted in worthless disputes.    Evidently, Transcendentalism is the very thine tor our present Reform party.                                                

A peculiar excellence of Transcendentalism is, that it permits its advocates to use the consecrated words of faith and piety in impious and infidel senses, and with so much specious-ness as to deceive men and women, not contemptible eithe for their intelligence or their motives. All religious institutions are symbolical, and shadow forth, or conceal, real facts.   Every rite, every ceremony, every dogma of religion has  its root in the soul, and conceals some  truth of the soul.    This truth is a truth, and therefore not to be rejected ; but this truth, or fact, is all that in the symbol is valuable, or that it is essential to retain.   Penetrate the symbol, then, ascertain this fact, and you have its real meaning, all that it has ever meant, even for the race.  Thus, the human race believes  in divine  inspiration. Very well.    Then divine inspiration is a fact.    But the human race believes that divine inspiration is the  supernatural communication, through chosen individuals, of truths pertaining to the supernatural order.    But this is not the fact; it is only the form  with which, through craft,  ignorance, or credulity, the fact has been clothed ; not the fact itself, but its symbol.   The real fact is, that every  man's soul is furnished  with  a  pipe through  which  God  runs  into  it as it wills, in  any quantity not exceeding its capacity.  The Church asserts the Incarnation, that the human nature and the divine nature were united in Jesus in one person.    Very true.    She also asserts that the two natures were so united in him  and  in  no  other.    There she is wrong ; for there she gives not the fact, but its symbol. The real fact is the union of the human and divine in all men, or that no man need look out of his own  nature  to find God, who is  one with the nature of each man.    I and my Father are one.  The Christian life is a combat, a warfare ; we must take up  the cross, and fight constantly against the world, the flesh, and  the  devil.     All very true.    But the world, flesh, and devil against which  we   are  to fight  are  not what stupid ascetics dream ; but low and debasing views of religion, attachment to obsolete forms, and unwillingness to receive new light. The real devil is the conservative  spirit.    At one time it is the Church ; at another, civil government ; among Protestants, it is the Bible ; among Christians  generally, the authority of Jesus.    In a word, the devil is always that particular thing, institution, or party which restrains the free action of the soul, and confines it to a prescribed formula, whether of religion, politics, or morals, or whatever would subject the soul to any law or authority distinguishable from itself.    Against this, in our own time and country, be it what it may, we must take up arms, fight the good fight, regardless  of what may be the  consequences to ourselves.  In this way, Transcendentalists appropriate to their own use all the sacred language of religion, and utter the  foulest blasphemy in the  terms  of faith and piety. If we accuse them of  rejecting religion, they smile at our simplicity, and ask us what sacred terms we have they cannot and do not use. But you use them in a false sense. Be not the dupe of words ; we use them to designate the real facts in the case, what you yourselves mean by them, if you mean any thing real by them. Not quite so fast, good friends, if you please. How do you know that it is not we who state the real fact, and you who misstate it, or substitute your interpretations of the fact for the fact itself ? We, by your own admission, are your equals, have all the faculties you have, even the Transcendental faculty itself, if it be a faculty. Wherefore, then, are not our assertions as good as yours ? And why is not the fact that we differ from you as strong a proof that you are wrong, as your difference from us that you are right ?

It is evident from the mode in which Transcendentalists interpret the symbols, notwithstanding some appearances to the contrary, that they hold that religious institutions, regarded as institutions, originate in the human element of religion rather than in the divine. Tn fact, they are the peculiarly human element itself. In this they show their descent from the Protestant world. Protestants, with the exception of a few high-church men, hardly worth counting, agree that our Lord, though he may have revealed formal doctrines, founded no formal church, but simply deposited in the hearts of his followers certain principles, which, fecundated by our faith and love, lead to the establishment of such forms of ecclesiastical government and discipline as in human prudence are judged to be most convenient. Many go farther, and say he revealed no formal faith or worship, and that his revelation consists solely in placing in the hearts of men certain great " seminal " principles of action. These, warmed into life by our love and obedience, tend naturally to expand and purify our affections, and gradually to extend and clarify our views, and thus enable us to form sounder judgments than we otherwise could.of the attributes of God, the nature, relations, and destiny of the human soul, and therefore of moral and religious duties. These judgments, moulded into form, become respectively dogmas, precepts, and rites, and approximate absolute truth of doctrine, morals, and worship, in proportion to the love and fidelity with which we cultivate the principles, or, more strictly, our own intellectual and moral powers. The first class reduce all forms of ecclesiastical government to the same level, and, so far as the form is concerned, find the true church alike under the Papal, Episcopal, Presbyterian,  or Congregational  form.

The second class not only reduce all forms of ecclesiastical government to the same level, but also all forms of faith and worship, and thus place all professedly Christian sects and denominations, how widely soever they may differ from one another, on the same broad platform, and render it a matter of indifference to which of them one may be attached. Tran-scendentalists only follow in the same direction, and, by a little broader generalization, bring all religions within one and the same category, whether Pagan, Jewish, Christian, Mahometan, or Mormon. The great majority of Protestants agree with them that all forms of religion, whether ecclesiastical, doctrinal, moral, or liturgical, that is to say, all religious institutions, are purely of human origin, and spring from human prudence, or from human weakness. If there is any difference, it is that the Protestant holds that he is moved to their creation by the supernatural principles deposited in his heart, while the Transcendentalist holds that he is moved to their creation by what is purely human. The Protestant makes them a human work, but on a divine principle ; the Transcendentalist makes them human in both their cause and their principle. This may seem to be some difference, but it amounts practically to nothing.

The Transcendentalist restricts all that he acknowledges to be divine in religion to the simple idea and sentiment. These are what he calls the permanent in religion, absolute religion, all that is needed, or in fact admissible. This is evident from Mr. Parker everywhere. He professes to reverence Jesus because he proclaimed the sufficiency of absolute religion. He himself holds that all forms of religion are not only not necessary, but mischievous. They tend to hide absolute religion, and to generate idolatry by inducing us to mistake the symbol for what is symbolized, the shadow for the substance. Iheir existence through all ages and in all countries is a proof of the universal and permanent presence of absolute religion ; but they are not it, nor does it need them, or of itself move us to create them. It occasions, but does not cause them. Undoubtedly, if man had no religious idea or sentiment, he would form no religious institutions ; but the principle of the institutions is in his own nature,in his natural tendency, when he is conscious of an idea, to conceive it under some form, to measure it, determine it, and fix its value, give it a location,  that is, an institution,  and to take his conceptions for the idea itself, to imagine that to reject them is to reject it, and, therefore, to seek always to impose them on himself and on others. But if lie only knew that the idea is of itself sufficient, and would, or could, distinguish between it and his conceptions, and refrain from imposing his conceptions as it, he would never form any religious institutions, would be satisfied with absolute religion itself, and never seek to go beyond it. It is clear, then, that Transcen-dentalists hold that forms or institutions have their principle and cause, not in the religious idea and sentiment themselves, but in human nature as distinguished from them.

But if this be questioned, and it be alleged that the institutions have their principle and cause in the religious idea and sentiment, it will still be true that Transcendentalists teach that they have their principle and cause in human nature ; for they teach that the idea and sentiment are not only natural, but essential elements of human nature, as is proved by their second fundamental proposition, namely, Religion is a fact or principle of human nature, and from the whole drift of their writings and speculations. It is on this assumption that they rest their whole defence of religion against the incredulity of the last century. It is the grand discovery which entitles them to the admiration and gratitude of mankind. The unbelievers of the last century held religion to be an accident in human history, originating in local and transitory causes. This was their primal error ; and it is precisely this error Transcendentalists profess to correct, by showing that religion, reducible in the last analysis to the simple idea and sentiment, is a permanent and indestructible fact of man's nature, an essential element of his very being as man. Grant, then, that the institutions originate in the idea and sentiment, which would seem to be their natural genesis, it is still true that they have their principle and cause in human nature.

But, it may be asked, if the idea and sentiment, or absolute religion, be constitutive principles of our nature, how can they be divine ? The answer to this question is in the identity of the divine nature and the human. In our Review for July, 1845, we proved that Transcendentalists deny all distinct natures, and assert the unity and identity of one and the same nature under all forms of existence,  material in matter, spiritual in spirit, mineral in minerals, vegetable in vegetables, animal in animals, rational and moral in man,  changing through all, and yet in all the same,  nature, substance, being, of all that is or appears. Besides this one nature, identical under all forms, there is no reality.    Forms are phenomenal, variable, unsubstantial, evanescent. This one nature, considered in itself, detached from all forms or phenomena in which it appears, or through which it manifests itself, is God. Hence, nature is divine ; and as this one nature is the particular nature of each specific form of existence, the nature of each is divine, and therefore the nature of man. Then whatever is constitutive of the nature of man is divine, and therefore the religious idea and sentiment.

This, it may be alleged, is only saying, in other words, that they are human ; and then what is gained by calling them divine ? At bottom, so far as he is real being or substance, that is, in his nature, man is, indeed, identical with Cod, and it matters not which term, man or God, is used ; for one is the equivalent of the other. In this sense we are indistinguishable from God ; for in him we live and move and have our being. Hence, to know God, one has only to know his nature,  hence the profound significance of the ancient inscription on the portals of the temple, Know thyself ; and to obey God, one has only to obey his own nature ; hence the maxim of the ancients, Follow nature, and of the Tran-scendentalists, Obey thyself. But man may be considered in his form, as a-particular form of existence ; and in this sense he is formally, though not really, distinguishable from God. The form is the humanity (humanitas), and is in itself empty, limited, transitory. It is, properly speaking, what is meant by personality, which is not the last complement of rational nature, as Schoolmen dream, but its limitation, that which individualizes, renders the nature determinate, particular, and then, of course, as predicable of a tree, a stone, an ox, a maggot, as of man. It is not predicable of God at all ; for to call God personal would be to deny his universality and his infinity, and to make him particular and limited. Hence Tran-scendentalists are accustomed to say, We believe in God, but not in a personal God. All individual things, all particular existences, are indeed God as to their nature, so far as they have real being, and can be said to be ; but in quantum individual, particular, they are distinguishable from him, and are merely individual, particular, specific forms of him. When we speak of any one of these, we are accustomed to call by its name, not only the form, but the one nature, or God as under that form, or manifesting himself through it. We ordinarily think and speak of man as an individual or personal existence, and do not take note of the fact that his  nature is God, or is nothing but God under the form of humanity. Thus we are led to content ourselves with the human form, and to neglect the divine nature. When we content ourselves with the form, which as form is empty, we live an empty and godless life ; but when we lose sight of the form, and fall back on the great nature under it, we live a divine life, the life of God himself. Here is the advantage of knowing that our nature is one with God, and of calling it divine rather than human.

This answer may be very clear  and satisfactory to Tran-scendentalists, but to us it is not free from embarrassment.   To distinguish man  from  his  nature, in which is  his  whole substance, being, reality, active force,  and yet to conceive him, when so distinguished, therefore as mere unsubstantial form, as capable of acting, confining himself to his personality, or sinking his personality and falling back on the great nature underlying him, decidedly transcends our ability.    The Transcendentahst evidently struggles to keep clear of pantheism, and perhaps, for the most part, fancies that he succeeds ; but, having begun by denying substantial forms, or all real  differences ot nature, and by affirming the reality of only one and  the same nature under  all forms, however numerous or diversified they may appear, he has rendered success  impossible, save  in appearance, and hardly even in appearance.    If man has no substantive existence distinct from the universal substance, no nature of his own distinguishable from one universal nature, he has in himself,  in  his  distinctive character,  no active  force,   is  no active  force, and therefore can perform no act, can be the subject of no predicate.    If you  assume that his personality, his individuality, is a mere limitation, an empty or unsubstantial form, you must concede that  he as personal  or individual is really nothing, and  therefore can neither sink his  personality nor confine himself to it.   The vis actively or vis agendi, is not man as  personal, as  an  individuality, but man  as nature, in which sense you  assume  him to be not distinguishable from God.    Consequently, whatever you predicate of him is predicated of God, and what you disapprove in him and what you approve are alike the work of God ; for God is the only active or productive force you acknowledge ; and  to acknowledge no active or productive force but God is  to profess pantheism.

But passing over this, we are still embarrassed. We understand, indeed, how Transcendentalists can call the religious idea and sentiment divine, even while making them constitutive of human nature. But they go farther, and make the sentiment and idea the whole of religion, define them to he absolute religion, and, as religion, all-sufficing. These we have always and everywhere ; the same and in the same degree ; for they are invariable, permanent, and indestructible facts of nature. Assuming this, our difficulty is to understand the significance and office of inspiration. Here the oracle grows mysterious, and utters only a vague and uncertain response, and, after all our consultations, gives us nothing satisfactory. We confess ourselves at a loss, and altogether unable to discover any good reason why Transcendentalists should recognize the fact of inspiration at all.
In order to throw what light we can on this intricate question, we must observe that Transcendentalists do not all adopt precisely the same ontological views. The American and English Transcendentalists, best represented by Bronson Al-cott, and the late J. P. Greaves, take the view we have given, and hold that God is the one universal and indeterminable nature of all particular existences, which particular existences, in fact, are nothing but mere phenomena, or modes in which the Universal Being manifests itself. But the German and French Transcendentalists, the former represented by Hegel, and the latter by Pierre Leroux, though perhaps coming at last to the same result, take a somewhat different view. They undertake to construct God and the universe from the analysis of human Thought, which they reduce to three terms, translatable in plain English by the terms Possibility, Ideality, Reality. These three terms, then, comprise the universe of Being, in all its actual, conceivable, or possible modes of existence or manifestation.    We have, then, first, possible being,second, ideal being,  and last, real being.    The Possible called by Hegel das Seyn, as identical with das Nicht-seyn, by Leroux, le Ciel, the Tien of the Chinese, the Void of the Buddhists, and the Bythos of the Gnostics  may be defined the infinite possibility of being. The Real, das Wesen, is the plenum, or so much of the Possible as has been filled up or become actual being. The Ideal is the mediator between the Possible and Real, or that by which they are made one.

Now, we may contemplate the universe of Being under the three points of view respectively, of the Possible, the Ideal, and the Real. If, under the first point of view, we ask, What is God ? the answer is, He is Infinite Possibility. If  under the  second,  He is  the  Infinite Ideal.     If under the third, He is the actual universe, or sum total of real beings. The Possible tends always to the Ideal and the Real ; the Real seeks always its own Ideal and Possible, ana1 in this consists universal life. The Possible realizing itself through the Ideal is the fact we mortals term creation. God as possible, realizing himself through the Ideal in actual beings, or in creation, becomes das Wesen, real or living God. He lives a real life in the life of living beings, and only in their life. Thus we may say God lives and moves and has his being in lis, instead of our living, moving, and having our being in him. God, or Being, realizes itself progressively, not perhaps as to time, but as to order,  and passes successively through all the grades of real beings, till arriving at personality and self-consciousness in man, the highest form of real being. He is everywhere, and everywhere infinitely active ; but he is conscious activity, activity that knows itself, knows that it is, only in man, that is, in man's consciousness ; and man, therefore, is his Thought, his Word,  in the language of theology, his Son, his first-born and only begotten Son, the image and likeness of himself.
Each particular being is God, or the entire universe, in miniature, and therefore at once Possible, Ideal, Real ; and its life or living consists in realizing its Ideal and Possible. As Real, it is limited, finite ; as Ideal and Possible, unlimited, infinite. Hence, there is always room for it to continue and extend its realization. Man's life consists in realizing his own Ideal and Possible. Ever does the Ideal, the form under which the Possible is revealed, stretch out beyond him, hover over and float before him. By means of the Transcendental faculty of the soul, he apprehends this Ideal and aspires to it. Gontemplating it, he perceives that his real being is not full, that it contains a void not filled up, that he may be more and better than he is,  better because more. His soul is quickened, his heart inflamed, his whole being moved, by the view of the Ideal ever floating before him, the revelation to him of the Infinitely Possible ; and he is urged on by an all but irresistible power to seize it, appropriate it, realize it, and thus augment his being, fill up its void. Here is the fact of inspiration. This Ideal is God, from the point of view of the Ideal, and therefore the inspiration is divine ; it is also man's own nature as Ideal, and therefore the inspiration is natural. It is literally an aspiration, or effect of an aspiration, to the Ideal; and by obeying it we realize God, take up more of God into our being, augment our own real being and that of God.

No comments are necessary to show that this theory, which is at present so highly esteemed in Germany, is really nothing but another form of stating what the world has known under the name of French Philosophy, or French Atheism. At bottom, it is simply the doctrine we find in the Systeme de la Nature, attributed to Baron d'Holbach, as JVI. Leroux, though virtually adopting it himself, has very clearly shown, in one of the numbers of his Revue Independante for 1843. This sublime doctrine does not seem to be wholly unknown to our American Transcendentalisls, and we find decided traces of it in The Present, a periodical lately published in New York, and edited by a man of whom we had the right to hope something better, and of whom, if God preserve his reason, we dare yet hope something better, for he seems to us a man of singular purity and ingenuousness ; and we also not unfre-quently find traces of it in Mr. Parker. But whether Mr. Parker adopts its view of inspiration we are not able to say. He has read much, but digested little. He brings together scraps from Plato, Plotinus, Proclus, Julian, Spinoza, Leibnitz, Kant, Hegel, Goethe, Schleiermacher, De Wette, Schelling, Coleridge, Jacobi, Locke, Cudworth, Voltaire, Cousin, George Fox, Benjamin Constant, and Tom Paine, but throws them together in such singular confusion, that, with the best intentions in the world to do him justice, we find it all but impossible to determine what is the precise view he would be willing to have us take as his own. But systematizing his general views as well as we are able, and making him as coherent and consequent as possible, we take him to hold inspiration to be the spontaneous activity of the universal and impersonal nature of which we have so often spoken. This impersonal nature, which, in itself considered, is God, is, as to its essentia^ qualities, power, wisdom, and goodness, and therefore its action is always the action of wisdom and goodness, or, from the point of view of reason, truth, of the affections, goodness, and the sentiments, beauty. Being power or vis activa, it is necessarily active, and from within, by its own inherent laws. As its nature never varies, its quantity of action and the direction of its action must be always the same. It is a sort of machine fixed in immensity, immovable under all forms, and generating and supplying to each the quantity of inherently wise, good, and beautiful power each needs, or has the capacity to receive.    It is always there, and the particular being has but to raise a gate, and it flows in, to the measure of the particular being's capacity.     This flowing in is inspiration.
But this flowing in is not from abroad. To be inspired, we need not receive any thing not already in ourselves. The source of the inspiration is our own nature.

But this is what embarrasses us. How our own nature can inspire us, or we from our nature receive more than we receive in having our nature, puzzles us, and we cannot solve the mystery. But, be this as it may, it is certain man is not required to go out of himself for inspiration.

"The word is nigh him, even in his heart......As God fills all space, so all spirit; as he influences and constrains unconscious and necessitated matter, so he inspires and helps free and conscious man......There are windows towards God, as towards the world. There is no intercessor, angel, mediator, between man and God ; for man can speak and God can hear, each for himself. He requires no advocate to plead for man, who needs not to pray by attorney. Each soul stands close to the Omnipresent God ; may feel his beautiful presence, and have familiar access to the All-Father; get truth at firsthand from its Author. Wisdom, righteousness, and love are the spirit of God in the soul of man ; wherever these are, and in proportion to their power, there is inspiration from God." pp. 216, 217.

That is, in proportion as a man is inspired, he is inspired. There is no gainsaying that.    But

" God's action on matter and on man is perhaps the same thing to him, though it appear differently modified to us. But it is plain, from the nature of things, that there can be but one kind of inspiration, as of Truth, Faith, or Love ; it is the direct and intuitive perception of some truth of thought or of sentiment;  there can be but one mode of inspiration ; it is the action of the Highest loit.hin the soul, the divine presence imparting light; this presence, as of truth, justice, holiness, love, infusing itself into the soul, giving it new life; the breathing in of Deity, the in-come of God to the soul, in the form of truth through reason, of right through conscience, of love and faith through the affections and religious sentiment. Is inspiration confined to theological matters ? Is Newton less inspired than Simon Peter? "  p. 218.

Why not ? And, if inspiration be taken not in its authorized sense, how are Mr. Parker's readers to decide the question he asks ? Suppose they should deny Newton's inspiration, how would he prove it ? And what absurdity is there in asserting that St. Peter was inspired, and that Sir Isaac Newton was not ?

" If God be infinitely perfect, he does not change; then his modes of action are perfect and unchangeable. The laws of mind like those of matter, remain immutable and not transcended. As God has left no age nor man destitute of reason, conscience, re-ligion, so he leaves none destitute of inspiration. It is, therefore, the light of our being ; the back-ground of all human faculties ; the sole means by which we gain a knowledge, of what is not seen and felt, the logical condition of all sensual knowledge ; our highway to the world of spirit. Man cannot exist without God, more than matter. Inspiration, then, like vision, must be everywhere the same thing in kind, however it differs in degree, from race to race, from man to man. The degree of inspiration must depend on two things: first, on the natural ability, the particular intellectual, moral, and religious endowment, or genius, wherewith each man is furnished by God ; and next, on the use each man makes of that endowment;  in one word, on the man's quantity of Being,
and his quantity of Obedience......A man of noble intellect, of
deep, rich, benevolent afTections, is by his endowments capable of more than one less gifted. He that perfectly keeps the soul's law, thus fulfilling the conditions of inspiration, has more than he who keeps it imperfectly ; the former must receive all his soul can contain at that stage of its growth. Thus it depends on a man's own will, in great measure, to what extent he will be inspired"  pp. 219, 220.                                                                   

All this is clear enough, as to the fact, that inspiration is the action of the impersonal nature, which is our real self; but it is not unencumbered with difficulties. " God's action on matter and on man is perhaps the same thing to him, though it appear differently modified to us." This action is inspiration. Then the stone, the moss, the tree, the maggot, is inspired in like manner, and in the same sense, as man, and the effect differs only in its appearance to us. The action is always the same. God does his best to inspire one as much as another ; and if one is not as much inspired as another, it is because one has a less quantity of being, or because it makes a less faithful use of its faculties. But he tells us, again, that "inspiration is the consequence of the faithful use of our faculties ; each man is its subject [he might have added, each block or stone], God its source, truth its only test."p. 220. Here we are thrown out, quite off the centre of gravity ; for we have just been told, that inspiration is "the light of our being; the back-ground of all human faculties ; the sole means by which we gain a knowledge of what is not seen and felt, the logical condition of all sensual knowledge." Hence it follows necessarily, that without inspiration we have no sensual knowledge, that is, knowledge hy the senses, no light, and no faculties ; and yet inspiration is the consequence of the faithful use of our faculties ! Decidedly this is too bad. To compel us, without knowledge, without light, without faculties, to use our faculties, and to use them faithfully, and thus gain inspiration, is worse than the tyranny of Pharao, in compelling the Israelites to make brick without straw, for they could wander over the fields and gather up stubble. Furthermore, truth is the only test of inspiration. Then the inspiration is not the communication of truth, for truth is something we must be already in possession of, as a criterion by which to test it.

" He that has most of wisdom, goodness, religion, the most of truth in its highest modes, is the most inspired."  ib. Either the inspiration and these are identical, and then the sense is, He who is the most inspired is the most inspired ; or the inspiration is the effect of these, and then the possession of wisdom, goodness, religion, truth in its highest modes, is the condition of inspiration, which we suppose to be the author's meaning,  and not it the condition of possessing truth, wisdom, goodness, religion. But as the possession of these, not inspiration, is the end we should aim at, and if these are attainable without the inspiration as a means, what is the office or use of inspiration ? Really, we do not know, and we confess we cannot understand why Transcendentalists assert it at all, unless because they think it would not appear religious to deny it. Perhaps it is the homage they pay to truth ; perhaps the " pear," as Luther called the Christian miracles, which they throw to children. At any rate, the matter is left quite in the dark.

Having done our best to explain away the difficulties likely to embarrass our transcendental readers, we are led. very naturally to ask, what are the proofs by which Transcendentalists attempt to sustain their position, that all religious institutions have their principle and cause in human nature ? But Transcendentalists regard this question of proofs as a delicate one, and are apt to look upon the demand for proofs as a decided breach of politeness, a downright piece of impertinence. They do not reason ; they affirm, and we should take their simple assertion as sufficient. They are not reasoners, but seers ; and will we not believe them, when they tell us what they see ?    Their doctrine rests not on discursion, but on intuition.
The intuition is, indeed, possible to all, but not to all states of the soul. The soul must be prepared, and its vision purged by regimen, and strengthened by exercise. We must, by strict regimen and exercise, rise to the pure empyrean, and then we shall see and know for ourselves. Then no proofs will be needed ; and before then none can be appreciated. Proofs offered to one still in the low regions of the logical understanding are pearls cast before swine. What avails it to reason with a blind man on colors ? Couch his eyes first. So couch the eyes of the soul, open " the windows towards God," and you will want no proofs ; you will see as we see, and all we see. Moreover, you must take the proper attitude to see. The Transcendental attitude is to turn the eyes upside down, and look at things through your legs.*(footnote: "Turn the eyes upside down, by looking at the landscape through your legs, and how agreeable is the landscape, though you have seen it twenty times ! "  R. W. Emerson, Nature, p. 64.)  You and the objects you see will then be reversed ; and the essence of Transcendentalism is not in seeing what others do not see, but in seeing what all the world sees,  but with the seer and the seen reversed.

But if, by a rare condescension to our rationality, Transcendentalism deign to discuss the question of proofs with us, they refer us to their doctrine of the unity and identity of the one nature, which surges under all forms, and which, out of courtesy to the religious world, they are pleased to call God. What we foolishly imagine to be distinct natures are, as distinct from this one nature, mere forms, mere phenomena, and therefore unproductive. -But there can be no phenomenon without being, any more than a shadow without a substance. The being of each particular phenomenon is the one identical nature, universal in all, particular in each. But this nature is named always from the particular phenomenon or class of phenomena in which it manifests itself. Manifesting itself in the phenomenal man, it is called man or human nature, and is precisely what is meant by man considered as real instead of phenomenal. But as the phenomenal is in itself unproductive, all in the history of man must proceed from this nature, which we term human nature. Religious institutions are facts in man's history ; therefore they proceed from, or have their principle and cause in, human nature.
Moreover, if you consider the matter, your demand for proofs is exceedingly foolish.    There can be nothing in history which has not its principle and cause in nature. But all natures are really one and the same nature, however diversified the forms of its manifestation, and this one nature is the nature of all men and of each man, is in all and in each ; for no man can be without a nature. Then you need but study your own nature, look into yourselves, in order to see and know the truth of our position. All truth is in nature, arid all nature is in each man. Each man contains all the facts of history in himself, and can ascertain them from the analysis of his own consciousness. Nature is essentially intelligent, and therefore each man must needs know all that has been, is, or is to be, and therefore all phenomena past, present, and to come. We have, then, a universal intuitive power, and therefore may have the particular intuition of the fact in question. This universal intuitive power is the Transcendental faculty of the soul which we assert, and from which we derive our name of Transcendentalists. Having this faculty, we can of ourselves know all things. Hence our Mr. Parker is a perfect master of all history, corrects the statements of Moses, and gives us a full and authentic account of the creation, the primitive condition of man, and of all that has befallen or is to befall him in his pilgrimage through the ages ; and he could, if he were so disposed, tell us the precise number, age, size, and color, whether blue or ringstreaked, of the dogs that licked up Jezabel's blood. Why not ? He has but to sink the phenomenal man, the Parkeritas, which is mere form and in reality nothing, and fall back on the impersonal soul, on his real self, and he is universal nature, the Omnipresent, Omniscient, and Omnipotent God, in which sense he assists at the birth of all phenomena, not as spectator only, but also as creator. He was present when the stars were set in their course ; he beheld when the earth was fashioned and poised on nothing ; he heard the song of the sons of the morning, and to him, as creator, rose the exulting hymn of praise. What we say of Mr. Parker we may say of all men and of each man ; for each is in all, and all are in each. All, then, in and of themselves, may know all things. What need, then, of proofs ? Why carry coals to Newcastle ? This established, the Transcendentalist can have no further trouble. He carries in him the measure of all things, as he asserts in his first fundamental principle, namely,  Man is the measure of truth and goodness. Nay, not the measure only, but the source of all things. He wills, and it is ; commands, and it stands fast.    All historical facts adjust themselves to his standard, and his explanations of all phenomena are final.  What beyond his simple assertion can the most captious or the most rational demand ?    What he asserts is asserted on the highest conceivable authority.   The world believes in the fact of inspiration.     So far, so good.    It believes, or supposes it  believes, inspiration  to  be a  supernatural  fact,-the communication in a supernatural manner, of facts  pertaining to the supernatural order.  If by supernatural it means supersensual, all very well ; but if more, it is wrong, for  there is  no  supernatural, since there is but one nature, and nature cannot transcend or surpass itself.   The world has fancied that Almighty God has not only inspired particular individuals, but that he has established positive, religious  institutions, which must be accepted and obeyed as the conditio sine qua non of pleasing him : but in this it only-gives form to the great fact, that it always seeks to embody its conceptions of what is highest, and best, and to impose  on itself its embodiment as law.     It obeys in this, indeed, its highest conceptions, but nevertheless blunders.     The world has adored Jesus as the Incarnate God.    All right  for he was the Incarnate God, and  so is every man.    Jesus was only the type of what all  men may and  should  be, the most perfect model   of   the   true  man - always   excepting   Mr. Theodore   Parker - the   world   has   as   yet   beheld.      The world has said Jesus was the only Incarnate God.    In this it has  been wrong   through  ignorance  or craft, has listened to priests and monis, instead of its own great nature.  In this way Transcendentalists survey all religious institutions, and tell us, ex cathedra, what is true, what is false, where we are right, and where we are wrong. They do it all by virtue of their ,nherent godship. They cannot possibly err; for they are themselves the infallible  criterion, are in themselves the Great Soul, the Universal Soul, Impersonal Nature, the Eternal and All-perfect God.

But, my dear friends, you forget yourselves. On your own principles, we are God as well as you, and have the same Great Soul underlying us that you have. If you plant yourselves on your godship, we must plant ourselves on ours.  Ours, as you yourselves assert, is the equal of yours ; why, then, are we to yield to you, rather than you to us? If you are right, our godship is one and identical with yours. Why, then, is not its voice as authoritative, when in us and the race it condemns you, as when in you it condems us?  In the race and in us, it testifies alike to what you concede and what you deny. In the race and in us, it positively rejects your interpretations of the facts of religious history, and pronounces you  Transcendentallsts. If it is the voice of God always and everywhere the same, how can it testify to one thing in us and to another in you, and why is its denial in you paramount to its affirmation in us ? Is it because you look at things with the eyes turned upside down, and through your legs, and we do not ? This is something, we own ; but it can hardly avail you. How do you establish the fact that your mode of looking is preferable to ours ? Nay, it cannot be so good. Ours is unquestionably the most natural mode, as well as the easiest and least constrained. On your own principles, all truth is in nature, and the more in conformity one is with nature, the more natural his mode of looking, the truer and more trustworthy is his intuition. Decidedly, then, we and the race, who look at the landscape with our eyes in their normal position, have altogether the advantage of you who look at it with your eyes upside down, through your legs, and, in case of difference, must trust our godship in preference to yours.

The primal error of Transcendentalism, as must be obvious to the philosophic reader, is in the denial of substantial forms or distinct natures, and the assertion of the unity and identity of all natures in one and the same universal nature. Granting this denial and assertion, the greater part of their system follows as a necessary logical consequence. But the absurdity of the consequence is the refutation of the principle. Any principle which compels us to assert that there is no difference between gravitation and purity of heart, between the nature of a stone and the nature of man, and between the nature of man and the nature of God, thus making God the nature of the stone, and therefore stone itself, is refuted by that figure of logic termed rcductio ad absurdum, and may be dismissed without further comment.
Transcendentalists have probably been led philosophically to the adoption of this error, by attempting to reduce the categories of reason to the single category of being and phenomenon. Aristotle gave us ten categories, which he made forms of the object, or at least forms of the reason, with their foundation in reality ; Kant has given us fifteen, which he makes purely forms of the subject ; Transcendentalists, following Schelling, Hegel, and Cousin, attempt to identify the subject and object, and to resolve all the categories into one. Cousin, indeed, professes to recognize two, substance and cause ; but he resolves that of cause into that of substance, by defining substance, in the last analysis, after Leibnitz and some of the Schoolmen, to be vis actively or acting force ; and, by resolving the effect into the reaction of the cause, he really retains only the category of substance, or being and phenomenon,  which, as Schelling himself has admitted, is sheer Spinozaism, or downright pantheism,  the abyss in which all modern philosophy is rapidly losing itself. M. Cousin prides himself on this reduction of the categories, and regards it as his chief claim to originality as a metaphysician ; but, though we own we were simple enough to be taken with it, we consider it the rock on which he split, and the source of his failure. Kant was wrong in making the categories forms of the subject, without any foundation in reality, and thus falling into pure Con-ceptualism, the old error of Abelard, but which may be rejected without falling into the error of either the Realists or the Nominalists ; but his list of the categories is probably complete and exact, admitting neither of enlargement nor of reduction.

If being or substance, in the last analysis, be vis activa, or acting force, it is causative and productive of effects ; and if infinite, it must be capable of producing diversified effects, and effects, in their sphere and degree, themselves productive of effects. Then each of these effects, inasmuch as productive of effects, will be a being, and, as productive of effects diverse from those of others, a being of a distinct and different nature. Transcendentalists admit the category of being as vis activa; they also admit infinite being. Then they must concede the possibility of distinct and different natures. Then they cannot assert a priori, that there is only one and the same nature under all forms of existence ; and as they do not pretend to be able to assert it a posteriori, to establish it by positive proofs, they have no right to assert it at all.

Transcendentalists have been led also into the same error, by misapprehending the true doctrine of God's immanence in creation. God, say they, is not merely causa transiens, but also causa immanens, and therefore must be immanent in all his works ; which is true. He must be immanent in his essential character. True again. He is essentially being ; then he must be immanent as being ; then immanent as the being of all and of each. He is essentially cause ; then he must be immanent as cause ; then he is the causativeness of all and of each.    But the  conclusions do not follow.    He is, indeed, immanent in all as being, not as  the being of all and of each, but as that which creates and sustains the being of all and of each.    He is immanent as  cause, not as  the causativeness of all and of each ; but as that which creates and sustains the causativeness of all and of each.   He is immanent, not as the subject, but as that which creates and sustains the subject, and distinguishable from it as the cause from the effect. Non implicate  then,  to  suppose that  he  creates and   sustains   different  subjects,   different  beings,   distinguishable  by nature  or   their inherent   power  or   quality of producing diverse effects  both from himself and from one another, as all the world believes, as is implied in every speech or language of men, and which must be assumed, or it is impossible to reason a single moment, or even to make a single intelligible proposition.   This last consideration is of itself sufficient to convict the Transcendentalists, and ought to silence them for ever. The authority of the  human race is for them the highest conceivable authority ;for it is, on their principles, the authority of God.    Then, since the race never confounds  itself with any other race,since it believes, and always has believed, there is some real difference between the nature of a stone and a loaf of bread, between a maggot and a man, between man and God,  and as it never gathers grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles,  Transcendentalists are bound to admit the reality of distinct natures, by an  authority they cannot gainsay, without abandoning their whole theory.

Assuming the reality of distinct natures, -that God has made and sustains all beings, each after its kind,  that there are real genera and species, substantial forms,  and that each race of beings has its specific nature, then what comes within the scope of that nature is natural, pertains to the natural order, and what transcends it is supernatural, pertains to the supernatural order. Each specific nature, by the fact that it is specific, is limited, finite ; and then an infinite distance between it and God, who is infinite. Then necessarily an infinite order above the highest specific or created nature, that is to say, an infinite supernatural order, of which the highest conceivable created nature knows and can conceive nothing by virtue of its natural powers. If there is a God, then there is and must be a supernatural order. The Transcendentalists profess to believe in God. Then they must admit that there is a supernatural order, of which they neither have nor can have any knowledge by any  natural means.     Nothing,   then,   hinders God, if he chooses, from revealing supernaturally more or less of this supernatural order to such of his creatures as he has made naturally intelligent. It may be, that the end for which he intended man, when he made him, lies not in the plane of his natural powers, but in this very supernatural order. If so, our true end is attainable by no natural means, and is, and must be, unattainable without supernatural aid. Then either God has made us for an unattainable end, which would implicate his power, his wisdom, or his justice ; or he furnishes us the supernatural aid by which it is attainable, and without which it is not attainable. If he furnishes this aid, he may, if he chooses, furnish it through positive institutions, to the observance of which he attaches the grace needed. But whether he has made us for a supernatural destiny, for, an end which transcends the natural order and pertains to the supernatural order, whether he has furnished us the supernatural means of attaining it, and whether he has furnished these means through positive institutions, and, if so, through what or which institutions, are all questions of fact, and must be decided as questions of fact, not of reason. The human race believes that he has made us for a supernatural end, and that he furnishes us the necessary aid through positive institutions, and Catholics believe through the positive institutions which we call the Catholic Church. Transcendentalists believe, or at least assert, the contrary. Here are the parties, and here is the issue. The issue is obviously one of fact, and can" be decided only by an appeal to the proper documents and monuments in the case.

If the documents and monuments be authentic, it has been generally conceded the decision must be in favor of the super-naturalists. So have thought believers ; the unbelievers of the last century thought the same, and therefore frankly denied their authenticity. The advocates of religion met this denial, and proved the documents and monuments to be authentic, and by all the rules of evidence to be admissible and conclusive.

Transcendentalists saw this, and thus saw that it would be of no avail to attempt to impeach the testimony. But could they not admit it, and even turn it against the supernatu-ralists ? The thing, if it could be done, would be capital ; it would be overthrowing religion by means of religion. Why can it not be done ? Protestantism has conquered for us the glorious right of private interpretation. It is done. We will accept the documents, but interpret them in our own way, and show the religionists that they have never understood them. What they have applied to the supernatural order we will apply to man's natural relations, powers, and destiny, and our cause is won.

The documents are authentic. Conceded. Then their testimony must be referred to the natural order, since tliere is no supernatural order. Then, if you attempt to interpret them in favor of a supernatural order, you attempt to impeach them by making them testify in favor of what is not. If you believe them, you must believe with us ; if you disbelieve them, you must still believe with us,  for then, according to your own principles, you have no authority for believing otherwise. You, as well as we, are bound to presume the documents are authentic ; then they must receive a Transcendental interpretation, and then they prove Transcendentalism, and you must be Transcendentalists on their authority, if on no other. Would you be guilty, or have us guilty, of the absurdity, of the blasphemy, of making them testify to what is false or absurd ? This is a fair specimen of the mode in which the author of the work before us reasons in regard to the Bible, and is but a simple statement of the exegetical canon he adopts in its interpretation. The force of the argument lies solely in the assumption that there is no supernatural order, which is false, if there be a God ; and its beauty consists in assuming the truth of Transcendentalism, and then gravely concluding that the Scriptures, for instance, if authentic, must be so interpreted as to teach it, and, if they teach it, those who believe them must believe it. This is what may be called Transcendental logic, and certainly transcends all the author of the Organon ever thought of commending.

But, after all, Transcendentalists must sustain their interpretation of the documents and monuments of religion either by an appeal to the divine and supernatural, or by an appeal to the human and natural. If by the former, they concede what they deny and wish to disprove ; if by the latter, they are refuted by the very authority to which they appeal. The human and' natural must be collected from their operation ; for, so far as inoperative, they are, so far as their authority is concerned, as if they were not. Then, after the divine and supernatural, the assent of the race must be the best and most authoritative exponent of what is human and natural ; for it is only in the race that we have a full view of the human and natural  in  operation.    But the race does not sustain the Transcendentalists ; it agrees, whether believing or not believing, that the sense of the documents and monuments relates to the supernatural. Then the Transcendentalists must abandon their interpretation, as contradicted by the only authority on which they can rely for sustaining it. Then they must admit the supernatural order ; then supernatural revelation ; then positive religious institutions ; and then the Catholic Church ; or impeach the documents. This latter alternative is out of the question, as they themselves admit, by their effort to explain them in accordance with Naturalism. Then nothing remains for them, if they do not wish to write themselves down what Dogberry wished to be written down, to confess that they have been chasing their own shadow, and to beg God to forgive their folly and absurdity, and to receive them as humble postulants at the door of his Church.

We have now gone through with what we proposed to say on Transcendentalism, or latest form of Infidelity. We have said all we have judged to be necessary to enable our readers to understand its essential character, and all that can be requisite for its refutation. It can hardly be expected that what we have said will have much influence on confirmed Transcendentalists themselves ; but we trust in God that it may serve to put those who are as yet unbitten on their guard, and make our readers generally more suspicious of the novel principles of modern literature and philosophy. The danger is not, that any man with his eyes open will espouse Transcendentalism, when fully developed, and dressed in its own robes ; but that specious principles which imply it may be imbibed by well-meaning individuals before suspecting the fatal consequences they involve. In fact, all modern philosophy and literature are more or less tinctured with Transcendentalism, and we find not unfrequently traces of it where we are not only sorry to find them, but where we little expected them. The enemy has sown its principles broadcast over the modern world, and they rarely fail to spring up, and flourish, and bear their poisonous fruit. One hardly knows when he is safe in accepting any view or doctrine of a more recent date than the Reformation. Let no man fancy, because he can laugh at the absurdity of Transcendentalism, when full grown, and displaying itself in all its deformity, absurdity, and impiety, that he is in no danger of countenancing it. Even while laughing, he may find that he is sustaining principles which logically imply it.
But, after all, what is the real sum and substance of Transcendentalism, this latest  and  noblest birth of Time,  as its friends regard it, and from which we are promised the universal jialingenesia of man and nature,  what is it, when reduced to its simple, positive teachings ?    We have been led through tomes of metaphysical lore ; we have been allured by brilliant promises of a recovered Eden ; we have been flattered by glowing descriptions of our godlike powers, affinities, and tendencies ; we have been  transported by the  assurance that we may  dispense  with  priests,   prophets,  intercessors,  and mediators, and of ourselves  approach the Infinite One face to face, and drink our supply at the primal Fountain ol Truth itself; but now, having lingered till the ascending sun has exhaled  the  dewdrops  and  exhausted   the  gems and  precious stones which sparkled in rich profusion at our feet, what is the real  and  positive  value  of   what  has   so  long  detained  and charmed us ?    Things  are what they are ; man is what he is, and by a right use of his faculties may be, do, and know all he can be, do, and know.     So far as we are wise, good, and loving, so far we have and know wisdom, goodness, love ; and so far as we have and know wisdom, goodness, love, we have and know God, in so far as he is wisdom,  goodness, love.    He who knows  more  of these knows more than he who knows less.    If the possession  of wisdom, goodness, love, be inspiration, then he who has the most wisdom, goodness, love, is the most inspired,  and to be more inspired, he must get more wisdom, goodness, love.    To be more inspired,  he must be more inspired.    If white be white,  then white is  white ; if black be  black, then what is black is black ; if two be two, then two are two.   Or, in two grand formulas from Mr. Parker, " Goodness is goodness," and " Be good and do good," and "you will be good and do good !    If this is not the whole of
Transcendentalism, when divested of its denials, its blasphemy, and its impiety, and reduced to its simple dogmatic teaching, then we have given days, weeks, months, and years, to its study to no purpose. Stated in plain and simple terms, it is the veriest commonplace imaginable. It is merely " much ado about nothing," or " a tempest in a teapot." Dressed up in the glittering robes of a tawdry rhetoric, or wrapped in the mystic folds of an unusual and unintelligible dialect, it may impose on the simple and credulous ; but to attempt to satisfy one's spiritual wants with it is as vain as to attempt to fill one's self with the east wind, or to warm one's freezing hands on a cold winter's night by holding them up to the moon. Yet its teachers are the great lights of this age of light, before whom all the great lights of past times pale as the stars before the sun. Men and women, through some mistake not in a lunatic hospital, run after them with eagerness, hang with delight o i their words, and smack their lips as if feeding on honey. Our Protestant populations, on whom the sun of the Reformation shines in its effulgence, are moved, run towards their teaching, and are about to hail it as the Tenth Avatar, come to redeem the world. Wonderful teachers ! Wonderful populations !   Wonderful age !
> In conclusion ; while surveying the mass of absurdities and impieties heaped together under the name of Transcendentalism, and which attract so many, and even some of our own friends, whose kindness of heart, whose simple manners, and whose soundness of judgment on all other subjects command our love and esteem, we have been forcibly struck with the utter impotence of human reason to devise a scheme which reason herself shall not laugh to scorn. As often as man has attempted of himself alone to build a tower which should reach to heaven, or to connect by his own skill and labor the earthly with the celestial, and make a free and easy passage from one to the other, the Lord has derided his impotent efforts, confounded his language, and made confusion more confused. Uniform failure should teach us the folly of the attempt, and lead us to ask, if it be not the highest reason to bow to the divine reason, and the most perfect freedom to have no will but the will of God. " O Israel ! thou destroy-est thyself ; in me is thy help."