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An a priori Autobiography

Brownson’s Quarterly Review, January, 1850

ART. I.—Remarks on the Science of History; followed by an a priori Autobiography. Boston: Crosby & Nichols. 1849. 12mo.    pp.   164.

THIS work appears without the author's name ; but we presume we betray no confidence in saying that it is by a Unitarian minister, in whom, while he was pursuing his preparatory studies, we took a deep personal interest, and who was one of our most intimate and highly esteemed young friends. If we submit, in the course of the following remarks, some of its reasonings and speculations to a severe, this fact may assure the author that it is to no unfriendly, criticism.

The author inscribes his work to "Citoyen Pierre Leroux, Republican and Philosopher," and tells us that the materials requisite for its construction are to be found in the works of Jacob Boehme, Fabre d'Olivet, and P. J. B. Buchez ; but this, though creditable to his independence and frankness, can hardly be regarded as a recommendation of his work itself. We have, it is true, never studied the writings of Jacob Boehme, but we have looked into them far enough to see that their author was a wild enthusiast, who mistook his own heated fancies for the illuminations of the Holy Ghost. Fabre d'Olivet we know only as cited by Leroux in his L’Humaniti; but we hazard nothing in classing him with those profound scholars who draw their erudition from their theories, and then support their theories by it. Buchez, best known to our public as the first President of the French National Assembly, appears to be a man of moderate abilities and respectable attainments, a half disciple of Lamennais, and a visionary, who would conform the Church to the spirit of the age, and make her on earth the Church Triumphant, by effecting an impossible amalgamation between Catholicity and modern pantheistic Socialism. AH three are men with whom we have little sympathy, and the last from whose works we should expect materials suitable for a work to be composed and published by a professedly Christian minister.

Leroux is, unquestionably, a man of ability, endowed with no small portion of the philosophical spirit, and possessed of various and extensive, though ill-digested, erudition. He has been well characterized by M. Lerminier, in one of the French periodicals, — we cannot now recollect which, — as an author with " numerous notions on a variety of subjects, but acquired in a manner somewhat confused," as having " more fervor of spirit than strength of mind, more impetuosity in the pursuit of ideas than power to master and translate them, and more boldness of imagination than solidity of judgment." The present writer, as editor of The Boston Quarterly Review, had, we believe, the very questionable honor of being the first to introduce him to the American public ; and we cannot deny that there was a brief period when he exerted a very great influence over our own philosophical speculations. Indeed, the study of his writings formed an epoch in our mental history, and we drew largely upon him in constructing our Synthetic Philosophy, some chapters of which were published in The Democratic Review for 1842 and 1843 ; and we are indebted to him for much that is sound, and nearly all that is unsound, chimerical, extravagant, and pantheistic, in the various philosophical essays which we published during the period beginning with January, 1842, and ending with July, 1844, and which we hope no one will regard as indicative of the philosophical doctrines we have since held or now hold.

We learned, it is true, much from Leroux which we have seen no reason to reject, but still more which we now regard as false and absurd. We learned from him to substitute, intentionally at least, the ontological method of philosophizing for the psychological, which we had hitherto professed, and this was much ; but, unhappily, we learned from him, at the same time, a vicious ontology, conducting, though we saw it not then, necessarily to pantheism or nihilism. We learned from him, though for false and insufficient reasons, to respect scientific tradition, the continuity of science through the ages, and that every system which breaks it is to be rejected, — a great and important truth ; but we learned from him to confound scientific and theological tradition, and to subject both to a psychological instead of an ontological test. We learned from him to assert the direct intuition of ideas, or the intelligible, as Reid had taught us to assert the direct perception of bodies, — a fact, the neglect or denial of which has ruined modern philosophy ; but we were, at the same time, led by him to disregard all distinction between intuition and reflection, and therefore to contend that reflection, as well as intuition, reproduces the order of being ; which involves the absurdity of supposing that, in the order of being, the abstract precedes the concrete, the possible the real, and that the creator is fulfilled or completed in the creature. In fine, we learned from him to assert an ontological basis for Christianity, and to regard the Christian mysteries as great ontological truths or facts ; but were led by him to assert natural ontology, or the ontological truths and facts of the natural order, in the place of those of the supernatural order, the peculiarly Christian ontology. These errors vitiated the truths we borrowed from Leroux, and which we might better have learned from far purer sources, if we had had any thing like that acquaintance with philosophical literature which every one should have who assumes the altitude of a teacher of philosophy.

The author of the small, but ambitious and not insignificant volume before us, appears to have adopted from Leroux, substantially, these same truths, coupled with these same errors, however widely he may differ from his master in his development of them. He is not a plagiarist, he is not a mere compiler, but he fails to give his own fine metaphysical genius fair play. He thinks and writes too much under the influence of masters, and relies with too generous a confidence on the acuteness, depth, and erudition of the school to which he finds himself accidentally attached. In consequence of this, though possessing the capacity for original thought, and no ordinary aptitude for free and independent philosophical speculation, he does not work freely, and gives us, after all, little else than what we may find in the authors he has studied. He will, we trust, emancipate himself, one of these days, and justify the expectation we long ago indulged, that he would prove a valuable contributor to American philosophical science.

The author has bestowed much thought and labor on his work, and yet it bears the marks of haste. It is not equally elaborated throughout, and it wants  artistic conception and finish. Its several parts do not seem to us to cohere, or to have originated in the same design. We feel, in reading it, that it lacks unity and regular scientific development. It is not easy to discover the connection between the author's Remarks on the Science of History, and his A priori Autobiography, which follows, avowedly for the purpose of illustrating and verifying them. The Autobiography is said to be constructed according to the a priori methods ; that is, as we understand it, deduced, geometrically, from necessary and eternal principles. No such principles appear to be enunciated, and there is nothing in the Autobiography itself to lead one to regard it as any thing else than an autobiographical sketch of the religious experience of a serious young man, of a speculative turn, exhibiting with spirit and fidelity the various doubts he encountered, and the methods and reasonings by which he solved or attempted to solve them. But as the author really has a philosophical genius, we must presume that he connects the several parts of his work in his own mind, and has, underlying them, a philosophy which he regards as moulding them all into a uniform and systematic whole. This philosophy, which he presupposes rather than states, we must seize in the best way we can, and appreciate, as the condition of understanding and appreciating what he has written.

It is evident from the Remarks on the Science of History, with which the author prefaces his A priori Autobiography, that he holds, — 1st, that the human race is progressive, and that the history of its progress is universal history ; 2d, that universal history may be written in the form of the biography of any given individual ; and 3d, that biography, and therefore universal history, may be constructed a priori. The following extract will clearly prove this much.

" Desire, according to Buchez, the first President of the present French National Assembly, is a movement of the will, an outbreak, and energetic operation, of the active principle, toward something we have not as yet.

" When we do not understand our desire, we are conscious of uneasiness, doubt, and trouble : as soon, however, as the intelligence begins to comprehend the blind appetency, a formula for it rises to the mind, and it becomes transformed at once into acceptation, hope, determinate volition, aspiration in view of an ideal, a conviction, a form of faith, a belief, &c. ;-—it becoftics, moreover, a thesis proposed for reasoning. Thus the movement for the comprehension of a desire may be considered as containing the progress and completion of a distinct event, viz. the acquisition of a clearly defined sentiment; and, for this reason, that movement may be subdivided as follows: (1.) The appetency, or longing tendency, toward something we do not possess, and of whose nature we have no clear apprehension ; (2.) The reasoning we institute within ourselves to discover the origin of our uneasiness,— to discover also the object which is necessary for the satisfaction of our desires; (3.) The full and conscious act of desire, which is the operation of instinctive tendencies, with un open knowledge of the object desired.

" The progress of any event, in which men are actors, takes place always in three stages : the first is the great epoch of DESIRE, which is subdivided, as we have seen, into three sub-epochs ; -the second is the great epoch of REASONING, wherein are discovered the ways and means by which the object necessary in order to the gratification of desire may be obtained ; and the last is the great epoch of EXECUTION or REALIZATION. The epochs of Reasoning and Execution are, like that of Desire, each of them subdivided into three sub-epochs, — as shall be fully exemplified in the sequel.

"These three Grand Epochs, each of which is composed of three sub-epochs, form, when taken together, the great Logical Series by Nines, the series of Buchez.*(footnote: * Introduction to the Science of History, by P. J. 13. Buchez. Paris. 1842.    2 vols.   8vo.)

" No example, in illustration of the movement of this series, would carry so much conviction to the mind of the reader, as one that could be verified by each individual from his own private experience : such an example is possible for us, for the ordinary process of a religious experience lends itself very readily for the purposes of scientific investigation, and, moreover, fulfils the requisite conditions. To test, therefore, the correctness of the serial order and movement, we will proceed to construct, by the a priori methods, a sort of imaginary spiritual Autobiography. And we shall take the liberty, for the sake of securing facility of composition, and avoiding circumlocution, to commence at once by speaking in the first person.

" The method of writing universal history under the form of a biography, and of writing biography under the forms of universal history, is philosophically correct.
u As it was necessary for the race to go through the Mosaic dispensation, in order to become prepared for the reception of Christianity, so it was necessary for it to go through the Patriarchal dispensation, in order to become prepared for the religion revealed through Moses. In like manner, in the experience of the private Christian, the understanding of the Old Testament must pave the way for the understanding of the New.   Every thing moves forward in regular progressions. He who thoroughly understands the present epoch must have reproduced, and lived through, in his private experience, all the religions, dispensations, and civilizations that preceded it." — pp. v. - viii.

1. That mankind are progressive, though not in the sense
the modern progressists, or humanists, pretend, we do not dis
pute, and could not, without denying the propriety of all efforts
for their moral, physical, intellectual, and religious improve
ment, and of all exhortations, admonitions, instructions, schools,
colleges, seminaries, and churches.    But it is no less certain
that they are also retrogressive, and that, if in one time or
place they advance, they in another decline and suffer deterio
ration.    Their history, or what the author terms universal his
tory, must take note of this fact, and record the decline and
fall of individuals, of nations, states, and empires, as well as
their rise and progress.    The author's conception of history,
then, omits a very real and a very important class of facts, and
is therefore inadequate.

2. The history of mankind can be written in the form of
biography only on condition that there is no difference between
individual and individual, and none between the individual and
the species, which, since the species is identical in all individ
uals, is to deny all individual existence, and therefore all exist
ences, — for existence is, and must be, individual.    Genera and
species are, no doubt, very real; but, considered apart from in
dividuals, in which they are concreted, their reality is God, and
distinct or distinguishable from him they are not.    As God,
they are the possibility of actual existences, but are themselves
only possible, not actual, existences.    But history is always of
the actual, and existence resolved into its possibility has no
history.   If, then, the author admits no difference between indi
vidual and species, he cannot write history at all; for there is
then no history conceivable.    If he admits a difference between
individual and species, he cannot write universal history in the
form of biography, or biography in the form of universal history ;
for biography must note what is peculiar to one individual, and
history must record, not only what is common to all individuals,
but also that wherein different ages and nations differ from one
another.    The biography of Theodore Parker will not be the
biography of Plato ; nor the biography of Aristotle, or even
that of our author, the history-of all men.    It  is  true,  the
author cites Ralph Waldo Emerson in proof of his doctrine,
but the passage he cites is not precisely to his purpose ; besides,
Mr. Emerson is not conclusive philosophical authority.

3. But passing over this, neither history nor biography can be written a priori, because the supposition denies free creation, that is to say all creation, and then all contingent existence, and therefore all existences, as distinguishable from necessary Being, or God. To write or construct a priori is to deduce from necessary principles their eternal and necessary consequences. A priori reasoning is simply analysis, and gives only what is already contained in the matter analyzed ; for nothing can be in the conclusion not contained in the premises. If the premises are necessary and eternal, the consequences must be necessary and eternal ; and if the premises are not necessary and eternal, the reasoning is not, strictly speaking, a priori. To assert that history can be constructed a priori is, then, either to assert that history takes note only of the essences or forms of things, or that all men, nay, all existences, are necessary and eternal. The author can assert neither ; not the latter, because if he makes all existences necessary and eternal, he identifies them with God, and denies them as existences, and of course what is not can have no history ; not the former, because the essences or forms of things are necessary and eternal, as he himself strenuously maintains ; and the necessary and eternal has no history, for it is immutable and immovable, neither progressive nor retrogressive. History is predicable only of the contingent, subjected to the accidents of space and time ; and if the author denies space and time, he cannot assert his theory of the progress of the race by the " great logical series by nines," which, though logical, he evidently holds to be also chronological. Evidently, then, the author is mistaken in saying that history or biography can be constructed a priori ; for the only condition on which he can suppose it would deny its possibility, by asserting that existences are necessary and eternal, therefore only necessary and eternal modes or affections of the Divine Being, who, as not subjected to the accidents of space and time, has and can have no history.

But waiving this, the author's theory of history is inconsistent with itself. He is, like Buchez and Leroux, a devout believer in progress. He holds, as may be seen from the passage cited, that mankind commence their career in space and time at the lowest conceivable point, in the epoch of Desire, and in the lowest sub-epoch of this grand epoch, namely, in that of mere " blind appetency," and that they gradually work their way up through the several epochs and sub-epochs to the grand epoch of Execution  or of Realization, both logically and chronologically. But from the connection he asserts between history and biography, it is evident that he holds that every individual of every successive generation must commence at the same point, and traverse the same number of epochs, and in the same order. Where, then, is the progress of mankind ? Their progress would seem to be in a circle, that is, a progress in which there is no advance. The ages accumulate nothing ; every newborn individual has to begin where the first began, and no one can derive any advantage from his predecessors.
Assuming that the starting-point for the race and for the individual is in mere blind appetency, the author takes, as the point of departure for his Autobiography, the mere blind religious appetency, and conducts himself, step by step, through his several epochs and sub-epochs, to the grand epoch of Realization, that is, the realization of the appetency in full scientific belief in God and the Christian revelation, — at least such is his pretension. But in reading his work, we cannot help feeling that he very effectually refutes himself; for his reasoning powers appear to have been as fully developed in the first epoch as in the last, and the reasons by which he sustains his doubts to be every whit as conclusive as those by which he sustains his belief. He, moreover, does not adhere rigidly to his plan of proceeding, by geometrical reasoning, from blind appetency to its final realization. His chain of deduction, here and there, lacks a link, and he is obliged to toggle it with frequent sudden revelations. These sudden revelations are of great assistance to him, and appear as accommodating as were the gods to Homer, when the blind old bard wished to excuse or cover the retreat of a favorite hero, or enable him to elude a blow which might send him prematurely to the land of shadows. We trust this is the only likeness between them and the Homeric gods, and far be it from us to intimate that they proceed from the author's imagination.

We cannot follow the author, step by step, through his Autobiography, of which we are to presume that he is himself no more the subject (ban is every other man. All we can do is to seize upon a few prominent points, which will serve best to bring out his philosophy, and enable us to set forth what we regard as his more fundamental errors. It is clear to the philosophical reader, that his theory is based, on the one hand, on the Cartesian enthymem, cogito, ergo sum, and on a false Platonism, on the other. The pretension of Cartesianism is to demonstrate, after the manner of the geometricians, from the
simple sentiment or conception of our personal existence, or rather entity, the being of God and the existence of the universe, — an absurd pretension, which vitiates all modern philosophy, and leads, as Gioberti has unanswerably proved, necessarily to the sensism of Locke and Condillac, and the skepticism and atheism of the French school, on the one side, and on the other, to the pantheism of Spinoza and of the recent German philosophers. Nothing can be deduced from the conception of our personal existence, regarded as entity, but that existence itself; for deduction is analysis, and analysis adds nothing to the intuition, as Kant has for ever settled in his masterly Critik der reinen Vernunft. Hence it is that the syllogism, which is nothing but the instrument of analysis, as Mill in his Logic has sufficiently proved, never advances knowledge beyond direct intuition. It serves to clear up and render distinct the reality already intuitively revealed, but not to extend the perception of that reality. If the great men among the Scholastics have sometimes the air of teaching the contrary,.it is because they are accustomed to speak of knowledge only as reduced to the form of science, that is, of knowledge in the order of reflection, not in the order of intuition. In the order of reflection, the syllogism may be said, inasmuch as it is its province to clear up and distinguish, to advance science, for knowledge is termed science only by reason of its being clear and distinct; but in the order of intuition it does not, as is evident from the fact universally conceded, that nothing can be in the conclusion which is not affirmed in the premises. There is no logic by which we can go from the known to the strictly unknown.

The conception of ourselves, as obtained by Descartes, must be considered either as psychological or as ontological, — in modern language, either as subjective or as objective. As the former, that is, reflection taking as its direct object, not the reality intuitively revealed, but the intuition itself, as a psychological fact, it is a mere sensitive affection, external or internal, and necessarily leads, if regarded as external, to the sensism of Hobbes, Locke, Condillac, Volney, Cabanis, Destutt de Tracy, and Broussais ; if as internal, to the senlimentalistn of Hutcheson, Adam Smith, Bernardin Saint-Pierre, Madame de Stael, the Schlegels, Benjamin Constant, Jacobi and a host of Germans, men and women, too numerous to be mentioned. As the latter, which is reflection taking as its object,   not the mere intuition,  but the substance or being revealed in it, it must take substance or being either as concrete or as abstract. If as concrete, it leads necessarily to the auto-theism of Fichte, Waldo Emerson, Bronson Alcott, and our author. The substance or being asserted is / or Ego; as analysis adds nothing to the intuitive assertion, from this it can obtain only /or Ego. Then /or Ego is all that is or exists, which is autotheism. If as abstract, as the ens in genere of the Abbate Rosmini, it leads necessarily to the pantheism of Spinoza, who pretends to construct all, geometrically, from the single conception of substance or being. But substance or being in genere is a pure abstraction, an empty word, therefore a mere nullity. From nothing, nothing can be obtained. Hence the nullism or nihilism of Hegel and his followers, and also of our author, —the last result of Cartesianism, as was already implied in its making universal doubt its point of departure.

That our author virtually reaches this sad result is evident enough from the following paragraphs : —

" I had, indeed, become really ill. But in the midst of the excitement of my physical system, this great formula seemed to be continually repeating itself: — Life is the activity of an Efficient Cause, LIFE IS THE ACTIVITY OF AN EFFICIENT CAUSE. I saw that I had unconsciously built up all my speculations upon the premise that I myself was dead: and now when the evidence to my mind was irresistible that I was ALIVE, an efficient cause, that is, A FREE AGENT, no one can tell how I loathed the practical conclusions of all my preceding theories.

" 1 expected a great deal from this formula, which thus revealed itself to me in the midst of a tumult of thought; and, verily, I was not disappointed : for, first of all, it utterly annihilated my Pantheism.    I reasoned as follows: —
" I am revealed to myself, by observation in consciousness, as TRANSCENDING TIME : for I perceive the facts of my memory, and say of them, They are facts of memory, and I contradistinguish myself from them in consciousness, — therefore they are not. me. T am not a fact of memory, but a living, perceiving subject. I see also the relation between these facts of memory, and call it lime ; but say, it is a relation between things which are not me, and, therefore, it also is not me. I perceive it, — it is time. Time is the relation in which the facts of memory stand to each other, and not the relation in which they stand to me. The events and their relation stand before me in the relation of objects perceived ; but to each other they stand in the relation of time. To me, a transaction of ten years' date is as present as an affair of yesterday; for if it were not thus present, I should not be able to see its relation to the affair of yesterday, affirming that it took place exactly ten years ago, all but one day. I contradistinguish myself from time, and am independent of it: nevertheless, all my acts fall in time. When I perceive, think, will, the perception, thought, volition, is an act which is an event, following some events, and preceding others; but /, who originate these events, remain still transcending time ; for only the acts, and not the I, find a place in time. The I, therefore, is in ETERNITY, but exists in lime.

" If we abstract from the soul its active existence, there will remain its essential Being, which is rooted in eternity, — not an eternity which is time indefinitely extended, but an eternity altogether independent of time, having nothing in common with time, for it altogether transcends it. It is a matter of no importance to me, if some men see fit not to understand all this ; for they are unable to understand it, because they are incapable of that observation in consciousness wherein the soul perceives itself as subject, — wherein the soul perceives itself, not as thought, feeling, volition, but as the I which thinks, feels, and wills. I perceive myself in consciousness, not as an activity, but as the efficient cause which exerts an activity. I know that I shall not be annihilated when my activity ceases, but that I shall merely hold my activity in potentia, ready to deploy it again when the moment comes. This /, this efficient cause, this essential being of the soul, could not have been created at any former time, neither can it be annihilated at any future time, because it is in eternity, in an eternal NOW ; and, if it is once, that once is eternity: there is no before or after for it.
" I perceive myself in consciousness as an efficient cause. By efficient cause I mean a cause which operates by virtue of efficiency inhering in itself, — I mean a cause which is itself the ground, origin, and reason of its own activity. Without doubt, I have a notion of efficiency, which notion I could have obtained from no source whatever other than the observation of the activity of my own soul. In the outward world I perceive only effects; — will any man pretend that he ever perceived an efficient cause in the external world ? He may indeed have perceived the operation of such a cause, but he surely never perceived the cause itself. If I perceive the Divine activity, I perceive only the activity, and never the Efficient Cause, which is the Divine Substance. Will any one pretend that he has seen God directly ? Does not the very fact of our possessing a notion of efficiency prove the existence of the efficiency which inheres in our own souls ? But what is all this reasoning to me ? After prolonged meditation, I have attained to be able to carry on investigations in my own consciousness : I am able, on rare occasions, to perceive myself directly, as an efficient cause, — as subject: and, by more extended observation, I find that nowhere else can I directly observe any efficiency."— pp. 76-80.

The author defines pantheism to be the assertion of God as the only efficient cause, and contends that he refutes it by asserting another efficient cause, namely, himself. If he does really assert another efficient cause, he certainly does refute it; but this he does not do. It is true, he asserts himself as efficient cause, but as uncreated, independent, and eternal efficient cause ; therefore, if words have meaning, he asserts that he is himself God, which, if he recognizes other efficient causes, is polytheism ; if no other, is autotheism. But he recognizes no other efficient cause, for he says expressly, " I find that nowhere else can I directly observe any efficiency "; that is, he lias direct intuition of no efficiency but his own. Then he can obtain no other by reflection or analysis. From the fact that I am an efficient cause, I cannot conclude something else, which is not myself and of which I have no intuition, is an efficient cause. Then he must take himself as the only efficient cause. Then, since he asserts himself as uncreated, eternal, independent, and indestructible efficient cause, he asserts himself as God, and the only God, — all that is or exists. He may call this pantheism or autotheism as he will; it makes no difference, for at bottom both are one and the same thing.

But the uncreated, eternal, and indestructible / or Ego he asserts as efficient cause is, after all, a mere abstraction, and must be so ; for, as actual, we are, in fact, subject to the accidents of space and time, — too evidently contingent for any man to assert seriously the contrary. Hence says the author, "If we abstract from the soul its active existence, there remains its essential being, which is rooted in eternity." " This, this efficient cause, this essential being of the soul, could not have been created, neither can it be annihilated." Undeniably, then, the soul he asserts as efficient cause is not the soul as concrete existence, but the soul as abstract being. But abstract being is a nullity, and therefore the author's philosophy, which rests on it as its foundation, is, in the last analysis, nullism or nihilism.

This is where the author finds, or rather loses, himself in following Descartes, as must every man of tolerable reasoning powers who follows that psychologue, whether he takes one or the other of the two routes we have indicated ; for that sensism leads to nullism has long since been amply established. Our author, consciously or unconsciously, seeks to save himself by means of a bastard Platonism. Descartes makes ideas mere abstractions, formed by reflection operating on intuition as a
psychological fact; according to Plato, ideas are real objects of intuition, necessary and eternal, anterior to all actual existences, the necessary and eternal forms or essences of things. The author attempts to combine both doctrines, and therefore asserts ideas as abstractions, and abstractions as real, necessary, and eternal, — the very absurdity, justly or unjustly, charged to the account of the old realists. It is neither more nor less than setting forth abstractions as real entities, and clothing the possible with the attributes of the real. This will appear if we examine the author's note H, in his Appendix.

" The affirmation that GOD CREATED THE WORLDS OUT OF NOTH ING annihilates itself: 

"For, if God created them out of nothing, their creation was evidently possible to him. This possibility existed as a necessary condition of the creation, before the worlds were created ; for, had the creation not been possible, it is evident that it would never have taken place. The possibility existed, therefore, in the logical order (for we have nothing to do here with chronology) prior to the creation. — This possibility was not created, but existed prior to the very first act of creation ; for, if it was created, its creation was possible, and this new possibility preceded the creation of the created possibility, else that creation could not have taken place. This possibility of a possibility, if it was created, must have been preceded by still another possibility, and thus, by continuing the hypothesis, we fall upon an infinite series, — an evident sign of the absurdity of the supposition.

" Therefore the creation of the worlds was preceded by the POSSIBILITY of that creation, and this possibility was itself uncreated.

" The very first act of the Divine Will must have been preceded by the possibility of that act, else it could not have taken place. This possibility is independent of the Divine Will, for it is anterior to the very first act of that Will, and is, indeed, that upon which the operation of the Divine Will depends.

" It is evident, therefore, that two Powers concurred in the creation of the Worlds, (1.) The Divine Will, and (2.) That which made the creation of the Worlds, and the operation of the Divine Will, possible.

" God, therefore, is not only the voluntary cause of the existence of the universe, he is also the eminent cause ; and he knows the things which are made, partly by perceiving them in the operations of his Will, and partly by perceiving them in Himself as eminent cause.

"The soul of man has its root of being, not in the Divine Will, but in God as eminent cause; for the Soul, as is made evident in the text, transcends all time so far as its essence is concerned, and therefore never began to be, and never can cease to be, — that is, it is uncreated. The possibility of the soul's existence is indeed that root of substance, hid in God as eminent cause, which is the essential being of the soul.

" The Divine Will depends, for its ability to operate, upon its possibility inhering in the very Being of God, and the Will of Man depends also, for Us ability to operate, upon its possibility, inhering in the same Being of God : the Will of Man, therefore, having its ground and root in the soul's substance, is dependent upon the Being, but not upon the Will, of God. God sees all our actions in himself; he sees our subjective movements in himself as eminent cause, and he sees the operation of the circumstances which act upon us in his Will: and thus he sees us as free agents, beings capable of acting in opposition to his Will, — beings whose actions he cannot control by his Will, because those actions have their origin in regions of Divine Essence as ancient and as remote as is the source of the Divine Will itself: beings whose actions he cannot control by his Will, because the Will of God is subsequent in the order of nature to the sublime ground which is the spring of the activity of the human soul.

"Thus the doctrine of a creation out of nothing defeats itself; for it is equivalent to the doctrine, that all creation is effected by the leading forth of visible things, through the energy of the Divine Will, from POTENTIALITY into ACTUALITY. God brings forth, according to his Will, from potentiality into actuality, just what he pleases; but when any human soul is brought into actual relations, it acts from itself, independently of God's Will, for it acts from an origin transcending God's Will. —God may drive any human soul back into potentiality, that is, may destroy its life, but while he suffers it to live, he cannot alter its will by any direct exertion of power. If he wishes to alter its will, he must change the circumstances which surround it, or change its bodily conditions. In short, he cannot chancre the subjective action of the soul, and, if he wish to change its life, he must do it by changing the objective element with which it concurs, or by changing the instrument by which the concurrence is effected.

" Is this Pantheism ? Nay, is it not the doctrine which truly and especially avoids all Pantheism ? Atheism sinks the Will of God and the Will of Man in the movement of Destiny : Pantheism sinks Man and Nature in the Will of God: and New England Transcendentalism sinks God and Nature in Man. The true doctrine must, be sought in a Synthesis of the operation of the three great Powers." — pp. 148 - 152.

Here the author with admirable gravity assures us, that " the affirmation that God created the worlds out of nothing annihilates itself." The creation of the worlds out of nothing, he reasons, if we understand him, either was possible to God or it was not. If it was not, he could not have so created them, and the affirmation is false. If it was possible, the affirmation is still false, for their creation was then preceded by its possibility, and could have been only the bringing forth of that possibility into actuality. But, conceding the latter supposition, the conclusion does not follow. If the creation of the worlds out of nothing was not possible to God, the affirmation is false, we concede, for God cannot do what he cannot. If it was possible, — then it was not possible ? Not at all. Then, by the very terms of the supposition, it was possible ; therefore the affirmation may be true, and does not annihilate itself.

The author asserts the contrary, because he conceives the possibility of creation is something, is res or reality, which, since it does and must precede creation, cannot but be something uncreated, necessary, and eternal.    Therefore, since creation is nothing but the reduction of possibility to actuality, creation could not have been out of nothing, but, if at all, must have been out of this very something called possibility.    We   grant that creation must have been possible, or it could not have been created.  We grant that the possibility of creation was itself uncreated, necessary, and eternal, and yet not therefore does it follow that God could not have created the worlds out of nothing ; because this very possibility is an abstraction, and therefore in itself nothing.    Grant, then, that God creates only by reducing potentiality to actuality, nothing is granted against the affirmation ; for since abstract possibility is nothing, to "bring forth from it into actuality " is precisely to create out of nothing ; as the author himself not only concedes, but even asserts, when he says, as he does, that the doctrine of a creation out of. nothing "is equivalent to the doctrine, that all creation is effected by the leading forth of visible things, f why not of invisible things also ?] through the energy of the Divine Will, from potentiality into actuality."    Then the leading forth from potentiality into actuality must be equivalent to creation out of nothing.

The assertion of creation out of nothing does not mean that nothing creates, or that the Creator creates his own ability to create ; that is, creates himself. It is intended, on the one hand, to deny that God creates out of preexisting matter, or that creation is merely impressing matter with form, as the Platonists maintained, and, on the other, to assert that God creates by himself alone, from his own omnipotent energy or inherent ability to create. Creation certainly implies, or rather connotes, the uncreated possibility of creation, and we readily concede that the possibility of the creation of the worlds was not created, but eternal. Thus far we have no quarrel with the author. But the POSSIBILITY of creation is the ABILITY of the Creator, and the possibility of the creation of the worlds is the eternal, underived, inherent ability of the Creator to create them., as the author himself, apparently without being fully aware of the import of his language, asserts, when he tells us it " inheres in the very being of God." The possibility of creation inhering in the Divine Essence itself is precisely what all theologians and philosophers generally understand by the Divine ability to create. Understood in this sense, the author's reasoning amounts simply to this : The worlds could not have been created if God could not have created them, and God could not have created them if he had not been able to create them \ but God was able to create them ; therefore their creation was possible, and he may have created them. No Christian philosopher will find any difficulty in acceding to all this.

But, assuming the reality of abstractions, the author thinks he finds in the assertion, that the possibility of creation is itself uncreated, the assertion of a solid and indestructible basis of free agency, or the freedom and independence of the human will. The human will has the root of its activity in the soul's substance, and the soul's substance, since eternally possible, is itself eternal, uncreated, and therefore independent of the Divine Will, and therefore the human will must be independent of the Divine Will, and not controllable by it. God can neither will nor create a human soul, unless it- be possible to him. The possibility, whether of an act of the Divine Will or of the creation of the human soul, is therefore anterior to either, and therefore uncreated. But this uncreated possibility inheres in the very being of God. Therefore " the Divine Will depends, for its ability to operate, upon its possibility inhering in the very being of God, and the human will depends, for its ability to operate, upon its possibility, inhering in the same being of God." Therefore the human will depends on the being, but not on the will, of God. Therefore we are free agents, and God cannot control our actions by his will, because they "have their origin in regions of Divine Essence as ancient and as remote as is the source of the Divine Will itself," "and because the Will of God is subsequent in the order of nature to the sublime ground which is the spring of the activity of the human soul."

This discovery, like most new discoveries in the fundamental principles of philosophy, is more specious than solid. The author has evidently thought long and hard to obtain his conclusion, but that conclusion rests on the supposition, that the soul which acts is identically the uncreated, eternal soul, — that is to say, the uncreated and eternal ability of God to create the soul, — which is not true in itself, and is, moreover, contrary to the author's own doctrine. The soul that acts is the soul as " active existence"; but the soul, which the author asserts as eternal, which "could not have been created, and cannot be annihilated," is the essential soul, the soul "abstracted from its active existence," as we have already seen; that is to say, no soul at all, for abstractions are nothing. There are no abstractions in nature, or the ontological order; that is, in the order of being, of reality. But the soul, as actual or active existence, the author concedes, depends on the will of God ; and since, then, it is only in the sense in which we depend on the will of God that we do or can act, it does not follow that our actions are independent of that will, and uncontrollable by it. Nay, on the author's own principles, it follows that they are controllable by it.

The author seems not to have considered, that to assert that the possibility of an existence inheres in the being of God is to assert, in regard to the existence itself, that it cannot exist without the intervention of the Divine creative act. To say that a being depends upon its possibility so inhering, is only saying that it cannot exist without God, and can be only what he has the inherent ability to make it; which is to assert its limitation, not its ability, and God's ability, not his limitation. Grant that the human soul depends upon its possibility inhering in the very being of God, what follows ? Therefore the soul is eternal ? Not at all ; but therefore the soul is not eternal, is created, or else does not exist ; because the possible does not exist till rendered actual, and to render the possible actual, the author himself tells us, is equivalent to creation out of nothing. The author has fallen into a slight mistake ; he has n.ade the soul's possibility God's inability, and the soul's want of existence its eternal and independent existence. The soul is possible in God, therefore God is unable to create it; therefore the soul is, and is eternal, capable of acting freely and independently of the Divine will.    As much as to say,  if the creation of the soul is possible, it is impossible. We can hardly believe that this logic has been borrowed from Aristotle.

The author protests against pantheism, and, we doubt not, with sincerity. He wishes, we presume, to distinguish, and fully believes that he does distinguish, between the human will and the Divine. Yet his doctrine, if he excludes the Divine creative act, makes the human will, physically as well as morally, the Divine will. " The Will of Man," he says expressly, u depends, for its ability to operate, upon its possibility inhering in the very being of God." The possibility of a will inhering in the Divine Being must mean, either the ability of God to will, or his ability to create a will. If the author understands it in the latter sense, he loses his argument for the freedom of the will founded on the supposition that it is not created ; if in the former sense, he makes it identically the Divine will itself, for the inherent ability to will is the will, and all that is ever meant by the will, ontologically considered. But to make the human will identically the Divine will, and on that ground to assert its freedom, is to assert its freedom by making it physically the will of God, and annihilating it as human, — pure pantheism. Divest us of the substantive force that wills, and restore it to God, and what remains to be called we ? It is not a little surprising that the author did not see this, for he is very careful to tell us that the Divine will and the human will are alike dependent, and in the same sense dependent, upon their respective possibilities inhering in the very being of God ; and it is on the ground that they are so dependent, and that the activity of each is the inherent activity of the same Divine Essence, that he asserts one is independent of the other. But if so dependent, either both are the will of God, and then identical, or neither is. The author's mathematics should have taught him, that two things respectively equal to a third are equal to one another.

It is not difficult to seize the truth the author has in his mind, and which, interpreted by his doctrine that abstractions are real, may well seem to support his conclusion. " God," he says, " brings forth, according to his Will, from potentiality into actuality, just what he pleases ; but when any human soul is brought into actual relations, it acts from itself, independently of God's Will, for it acts from an origin transcending God's Will. — God may drive any human soul back into potentiality, that is, may destroy its life, but while he suffers it to live, he cannot alter its will by any direct [how any more by indirect?] exertion of power." It is easy to see what the author is driving at, though he does not appear to have very distinctly apprehended it, and he is far from expressing it correctly. What he wishes to say appears to us very briefly and very accurately expressed by Vasquez:*(footnote: * Apud Perrone, De Deo, Part II. Cap. 1, note.)

 — Essential rerum ordine rationis sunt ante omnem Dei scientiam et voluntatem: quare licet possit cuilibet rei tribuere, aut non tribuere exislentiam, non potest illius naturam intrinsicus immature. " The essences of things, in the order of reason, are before all science and will of God ; and hence, though God may or may not give existence to any thing he pleases, he cannot intrinsically change its nature." Here is evidently what the author has in view. The essences of things are what are also called the possibilities, forms, or ideas of things, and being prior, in the order of reason, — not, by the way, in the order of nature,

— to the science and the will of God, are uncreated, there
fore necessary and   eternal.     God may or may  not endow
them with existence, bring them forth into actuality, actualize
them, as he pleases, but if he wills to actualize or  render
actually  existent  any   one of them, he must conform to its
intrinsic nature.      Thus, if he choose to actualize the man-
idea, to clothe it with actual existence, he must do so with
out altering, or in any respect impairing, the intrinsic nature
of that idea, — what our author calls the possibility of a human
soul.   Hence, by virtue of this necessary and eternal man-idea,
— our possibility inhering in the very being of God, — we are
rendered, as actual existences, free agents, and our actions are
independent of the will of God.    This is really the process,
we suppose, by which the author obtains his startling conclu
sion.    But his conclusion is invalid, because it is obtained only
by reasoning a posse ad esse, which the logicians tell us is not
allowable.    We act not as possible, but as actual existences,
and we cannot conclude what we actually are from what it
was possible for God to make us.    Before we can assert what
we are, we must know, not only that God has actualized an
idea, but what idea he has actualized in creating us.    If the
idea is that of free agents, or existences capable of free will,
then we may say, God must, necessitate a suppositione,, as it is
called, treat us as such, because he cannot both do and not do
the same thing at the same time; but not otherwise.    The error of the author is not in asserting that we are free agents, and that God cannot, while he suffers us to live, make us any thing else, for that is a fact; but in concluding our free agency, not from the idea of the existence which we are, but from the fact that our existence is the actualization of an idea. This cannot be done, for, since every existence is the actualization of some idea, it would imply that all existences have free will, and that minerals, plants, and animals have free will as well as men ; which would destroy the author's notion of Destiny, compel him to abate one of the three great powers he supposes to concur in the movement and government of things, thus razing the ontological basis of his three grand epochs, and oblige him to a very essential modification of the mysterious figure poised on three forces coalescing in their action, which adorns his title-page, and is, we presume, emblematical of his theory of God, man, and nature. Besides, it would limit the Divine omnipotence, deny to God the power to create different orders of existence, resolve all genera and species into one, and bring us back by another route — the ordinary route of American Transcendentalisls—once more to pantheism.

The author obtains his conclusion from the assumption, that ideas, genera, and species, regarded in themselves, abstracted from the existences in which they are concreted, are active, causative, not merely causte essentiales, but causes efficientes. This is a most grave error, and yet it is not peculiar to the author, it is the common error of all who assert the reality of abstractions. We ourselves fell into it in the essays we have referred to, and which we wish to be considered as retracting. Leroux avowedly asserts it, and it is fundamental in nearly all the humanistic theories of the day, — theories which glorify humanity at the expense of individuals, and absorb the individual in the race. Even Cousin, who should have escaped it, expressly teaches it, and makes it the principle of the solution of the problem proposed by Porphyry, and so furiously debated by the Scholastics.*(footnote: * Fragments Philosophiques: Philosophic Scholastique, edit. 2e.    Paris. 1810.)

 But the idea is the mere possibility of existence, and it is a contradiction in terms to assert that the possible is active. Only the actual is active. All reality is, no doubt, in a certain manner, active ; and this fact, since ideas are real, is what misled us, and, we presume, is that which has misled others. Ideas are certainly real, and in some sense active ; but their activity is not the activity of the things of which they are the ideas or the necessary and eternal forms, but of the Divine Intelligence or Reason, in which they are real. If the ideas are considered as concreted in existences, the activity is the activity of the existences themselves ; if they are considered as not so concreted, yet as real, the activity is the activity of the Divine mind which contains them, and is the power to concrete or actualize them.

The author's errors seem to us to result solely from his attempt, consciously or unconsciously made, to combine Carte-sianism and Platonism in a single doctrine, and will vanish of themselves, if he will just bear in mind that ideas, the forms, essences, or possibilities of things, are before the science and will of God only in the order of reflection, not in the order of being, and that they are God himself, infinite in number, indeed, if regarded in relation to the eflects which God is able to produce, but regarded in relation to his ability one only, and identically his own real, necessary, and eternal being. It is in regard to these two points that modern philosophy is principally at fault. Let it once be set right as to these, and its other errors, so far as of grave magnitude, will fall of themselves.

The author confounds the order of reflection with the order of being. If he had not been betrayed by the prevailing psy-chologism of the age, he would hardly have done this, for his own genius is philosophical rather than psychological. His mistake arises from not distinguishing between reflection and intuition. The Scholastics are aware of the distinction, and presuppose it, but we rarely find them treating it ex professo. Cousin and the modern Germans have, indeed, distinguished between reflection and spontaneity, which would virtually be the true distinction, if they did not contrive to identify the intellect and its object, the vis intellective/, with the intelligibile, sometimes making both human, sometimes both Divine. Cousin comes nearer than most others to the truth, but misses it, in consequence of supposing that method must take precedence of principles; that it is by method we obtain the principles of philosophy, and not that it is the principles that precede and determine the method. He has been misled by Descartes, who makes the consideration of method precede that of principles, whereas method is nothing but the application of principles, and necessarily presupposes them. It does not obtain or discover principles, it merely applies them to the solution of special problems.    The principles must precede, and be given a priori, or no practical application of method is possible. Cousin has virtually acknowledged this, but he has still supposed that it is our reason, not, indeed, in its reflective, but in its spontaneous movement, that supplies or discovers and affirms them ; which is to suppose that reason can operate without them, that the intellect can act without the intelligible ! Every act of intellect is an intellection; and so there can be intellection in which nothing is understood, or known, — a sheer contradiction in terms. Here is his mistake. The principles are necessary to constitute the intellect, intellect in actu, and the understanding cannot operate at all without the intelligible object. Consequently, as destitute of the intelligible, it cannot go forth, either spontaneously or at the command of the will, to seek the intelligible, the principles, which method is subsequently to apply. The principles are not and cannot be sought, for the mind without them is incapable of action, and therefore incapable of seeking. Hence it is never we who seek or who find them, but they who find us, reveal and self-affirm themselves in direct intuition. It is they that affirm themselves, not we who affirm them ; and they affirm themselves in affirming their own intelligibility, for what is not is not intelligible, and therefore no object of intuition. Here is what Reid has attempted to state, in his doctrine of the constituent principles of human belief, but which he has failed to state in its true philosophical light, with scientific precision.

The philosopher and the psychologist, or rather psycho-logue, both depend alike on intuitions for the intelligible, and both do and must work with and on materials supplied by them, and have and can have no materials not so supplied. Thus far, both agree. But the philosopher proceeds to construct his philosophy ontologically, as we say, that is, by contemplation of the being, reality, or objects revealed and self-affirmed in the intuitions : while the psychologue proceeds to construct philosophy psychologically, that is, by reflection on the intuitions themselves, taken as mere psychological facts or phenomena. As the idea is that which is primarily and immediately intelligible, and that by whose intelligibility all else is intelligible, and as the idea which is obtained by reflection operating upon mere psychological phenomena is and can be only an abstract idea, the psychologue is compelled to place the abstract before the concrete, the possible before the real, which, transferred to theology, asserts the Divine essence before the Divine esse, and the Divine esse before the Divine
attributes. But this, as we have seen, leads necessarily to skepticism and nihilism, because there are no abstractions in the order of reality, —because an abstract idea is a mere nullity. To place the abstract before the concrete, the possible before the real, is to place nullity for the starting-point; and he who starts from nothing will have to travel a long way before he arrives at something. Ex nihilo, nihilfil. Either, then, for result, nihilism, or we must start with reality. If we start with reality, God must be conceived primarily as real being, and then we cannot conceive his essence as prior to his esse, or his esse as prior to his attributes.

If the author had paused a moment to compel modern psy-chologism to give an account of itself, he could hardly have failed to perceive, that to suppose the possible precedes the real, the abstract the concrete, is as false psychologically as it is ontologically. The conception of essence as prior to being, or being as prior to its attributes, is a mere abstraction, and like all abstractions is the product of reflection operating on conceptions. But if the product of reflection, it cannot be psychologically primary. Certainly, men do not begin with reflection, that is, re-think before they think. In the order of knowledge, the abstract must be subsequent to the concrete, precisely because reflection must always be subsequent to intuition ; for it is formed by reflection operating on intuition, and only the concrete is revealed in the intuition, since what is not is no object of intuition. Neither ontologically nor psychologically, neither in the order of being nor in the order of knowledge, therefore, is the abstract prior to the concrete, the possible to the real, the essence to the subsisting being, or the being to the attributes of God. Then no potentiality in God ; then God is pure act, actus purissimus, and then in his nature simple, simplicissimus, — a fact our author denies, but which he cannot deny without assuming a principle of reasoning false in itself, and involving absolute and universal negation.*(footnote: * Certainly, in asserting that the order of knowledge follows and reproduces the order of being, we do not intend to deny the distinctio rationis asserted by our theologians, and which we could not deny without falling1 into the error or heresy of the old Aetians and Eunomians. But this distinction — the dislinctio rationis ratiocinates, for the distinctio rationis ratiocinantis presents no difficulty — does not of itself imply any difference between the order of knowing and the order of being ; it merely implies the inadequacy of our knowledge, — not that we know reality in an order not real, but that we do not know all reality, and are not able to embrace even what we do know in a single conception.   Owing to the infinity of God and our finiteness, we are obliged to conceive what is revealed to us of God, whether naturally or supernaturnlly revealed, in separate and successive conceptions ; and hence, when we wish to reduce it to the forms of reflective science, we are obliged to treat the essence of God as if it preceded his esse, his cssc as if it preceded his attributes, and his attributes as if distinguished from and following one another. That some of the Schoolmen, especially the Scotists, have introduced distinctions uncalled for, and which have given rise to much unsound theology, and still more unsound philosophy, is very possible, and, in our judgment, very true ; but that the distinction in question is allowable and necessary cannot be denied. That our theologians do not understand it as implying any difference between the order of knowledge and the order of being is evident from their efforts to show that it is founded in reality, — that it is eminently or virtually contained in God, in the respect that there is in him what is equivalent and more than equivalent to all that we embrace in our separate and successive conceptions. In conceiving God distinctly as Being, Truth, Intelligence, Wisdom, Goodness, &c, we ascribe to him nothing that he is not; and though he is all these at once in their indissoluble unity and indistinguishable simplicity, the distinctions admitted do not falsify our knowledge, for they are privative, not positive, and suppose, not that we add what is not, but that we fail to embrace in our conceptions all that is, in the Divine Being. The distinction asserts a defect in our knowledge, — not that it is not true, as far as it goes, but that it is inadequate ; and a similar defect in our knowledge is universal, for always above what is intelligible'to us rises that which is superintelli-gible to us, indicating that reality is infinite, and proving that finite intellects do not and cannot comprehend it.)

The author, not fully comprehending this, fails to perceive, though he virtually asserts it, that ideas, the essences, forms, or po-sibilities of things, are God. He asserts, and very properly, that the possible, that is, the idea, in the sense of Plato, — the only sense in which we use the word in this article, — inheres in the very being of God, and therefore, if God is pure act, as we have just proved, both ontologically and psychologically, must be God himself. This is the doctrine of St. Augustine, St. Thomas, St. Bonaventura, and, indeed, of all great philosophers in all ages. Ideas, the necessary and eternal forms of things, genera and species, universals, or essential rerum metapkysicas, as they are sometimes denominated, — possibilities of things, in the terminology of our author, — are not mere words, as Roscelin and the nominalists pretend ; are not pure conceptions, as Abelard and Descartes would persuade us ; are not mere subjective forms of the understanding, as Kant teaches ; are not entities, as the old realists are said to have maintained ; are not innate ideas originally inserted in the soul, as Henry Moore, Cudvvorth, Descartes (!), Leibnitz, and some Catholic theologians, allege ; nor are they conceplions cum fundamcnto in re, as we ourselves at one time tried to hold ; but they are in the Divine mind, and are the real, necessary, eternal, and indestructible God himself.    Idea in Deo nihil est aliud quam Dei essenlia,  says  St.  Thomas.*(footnote: * Summa, 1. Q. 15, a. 1 ad 3.

I Lib. de Diversis Quceslionibus LXXXIII. Quaest. 46)  Therefore it is God, for no distinction secundum rein is admissible between God and his essence.    " Sunt ideae," says St. Augustine, " principales formae quasdam, vel rationes rerum stabiles  atque   incommutabiles, quse ipsae formata? non sunt, ac per hoc acsternffi ac semper eodem modo sese habentes, quae in divina intelligent continentur.    Et cum ipsse neque oriantur neque intereant; secundum eas tamen formari dicitur omne quod oriri et interire potest, et omne quod oritur et interit."f If contained in the Divine mind, if eternal and  immutable, neither  beginning  nor  passing  away,   but  the   forms  of all things which may be or are originated, that may or do perish, they  are unquestionably   the  necessary,   eternal, immutable, and immovable God himself,  in  the infinite plenitude of his being;   for certainly   God  is  all  that  is  uncreated,   necessary, immutable, and eternal, as all theology and all philosophy never cease to assert.    The necessary, immutable, and eternal,  abstracted from  reality,  from  real  being, who  is it, is necessary, immutable, and eternal nothing, and therefore absolutely unintelligible ; for we never cease to repeat, that what is not is not intelligible.    What is not is a pure negation, and negation is intelligible only in the intelligibleness of the affirmative, and hence God is said to know evil only by knowing its opposite, good.   Necessary and eternal possibility is intelligible only as the necessary and eternal ability of God, that is, as his Divine omnipotence.    We may consider the idea under the distinct  aspect   of  possibility  in  the   order   of   production, and  then it is simply the power or ability of God ;  under that  of  exemplar   or   archetype,   after   which   the   Creator operates or may operate, and then it is the intelligence of God ; under that of the end, the finis propter quern, of the Divine operations, and then it is the goodness, bonitas, of God ; or, in fine, under that of the essence of things, the causa essentialis, the basis, so to speak, or foundation of existence, and then it is the   being of God.     But as  power,  intelligence,  goodness, being,  &c,  are  identical and  indistinguishable  in  God,  the idea, under whatever aspect it is revealed to us, or is contemplated by us, is always and everywhere identically the one God, real, necessary, and eternal.
But if so, is not God all things, the universe itself ? Mediante the creative act, yes, otherwise no ; because, conceived simply as real, necessary, and eternal Being, Ens reale, et necessarium, he is not conceived as productive, and no universe is or can be asserted. The difference between philosophy and pantheism lies precisely in this creative act of God. Pantheism asserts, Real being is, Ens reale est, and there stops, and in doing so asserts God as real and necessary being, and nothing else. Philosophy goes a step farther, and asserts, Ens reale creator est, Real being is creator, and in doing so asserts the universe; for existences are nothing but the creative act of God in its terminus, as is asserted in asserting creation out of nothing. The difference between the two formulas, however slight at first view, is all the difference between act and no act, between existences and no existences, universe and no universe. To say that God non mediante the creative act is the universe, is not true, for then there is no universe ; to say that God mediante the creative act is all things, is the universe, is true ; for then the universe is not only asserted, but asserted in its true relation to God, as being only from him, by him, and in him, through the creative act bringing it, as our author would say, forth from potentiality into actuality. There is no possible bridge from God as real and necessary being to existences, or from existences to him, but his creative act, and therefore we must either rest in pantheism, or assert creation out of nothing.

But it follows from what we have said, that the formula, Real and necessary being is, Ens reale est, which is ontologically and psychologically primary, is not an adequate philosophical formula. We cannot attain to the conception of existences from the conception of being, or being is, any more than we can attain to the conception of God and the universe from the single conception of ourselves as simple entity. The simple formula, Ens reale est, Real entity is, is and must be unproductive, because from Real entity is, we can conclude only Real entity is. Being is intelligible of itself, and demands nothing in addition to itself to its intelligibility, as Hegel and others prove clearly enough. It does not depend on another to be, for if it did it would not be simple being, but an existence ; it does not need to produce in order to be, for it already is. It is being free from the category of relation of every sort, and it is only the category of relation of some sort that demands or connotes something beyond itself. It is what is called substance, and needs nothing beyond itself for its complete intelligibility, or, as Spinoza says, to be conceived. Unless, then, we can add to it the further conception of cause, of creator, it can be no more productive in the order of knowledge than in the order of being itself. Cousin has felt the difficulty, and has sought to escape it by resolving the category of being into that of cause, and the category of cause into that of being, and asserting that God is being only in that he is cause, thus making creation an intrinsic necessity, which, as it denies the free creative act, is pantheism. The Germans, falsely holding, that Being is, is an adequate philosophical formula, fail utterly, as all who are familiar with their theories well know, to attain to the real conception of existences, and revolve unceasingly in dead pantheism or nihilism. The error common to all is that of supposing that all conceptions are gener-able and generated from a single original conception. This is the grand error of modern philosophy itself, and that which has led it to attempt, first, with Descartes, that prince of psychologism and absurdity, to deduce geometrically all our conceptions from the single conception of our personal entity, and second, with Spinoza, Schelling, and Hegel, to do the same from the conception of what they call the Absolute, — Absolute Being, that is, simple ens reale. Some few, like Cousin and our friend Channing, following the neoplatonists, and misapprehending the sacred mystery of the Trinity, introduce plurality and variety into their original conception of God, the first cause ; but they obtain no relief, for they lose unity, dissolve the absolute, and assert the generative principle either of polytheism or of atheism.

The remedy is in supplying the defect in our formula, and rendering it productive. The productive formula must embrace the two conceptions entity and existence, connected by the creative act, the copula or medium between the two extremes. That is, the only adequate or productive formula is the synthesis or synthetic judgment, Ens reale creator est, or Being creates existences, because it is only mediante the creative act that real being is itself productive, and a formula cannot be productive in the order of knowledge unless it includes all the terms necessary to productiveness in the order of being, or ontological order. The error of modern philosophers does not lie in the denial of the necessity of having this synthetic formula, so much as in attempting to obtain it by reflection, as if reflection could add something to intuition, or operate productively before having obtained a productive formula,— in principle nothing less than supposing that the Creator creates his own creativeness, that is, creates himself. The synthesis must precede all our judgments a posteriori, because without it no judgment is possible, except the simple judgment Being is, which is not a posteriori, but a priori, for he who says Being says all he says who says Being is. It is possible, then, to obtain this synthesis, the adequate philosophical formula, only as it reveals and affirms itself a priori in direct and immediate intuition, in which we ourselves are but simple spectators ; and that it does so reveal and affirm itself is certain; for after the labors of Reid and the Scottish school, especially as that school has been developed by Sir William Hamilton, we are well permitted to assert, that we have direct intuition, not only of phenomena, but of existences themselves ; and existences, as we have seen, are and can be nothing but the Divine creative act, which, as what is called conservation of existences is nothing but the very act, unsuspended, that originally created them out of nothing, is constantly before our eyes in the simple Axct of existence itself. As this synthesis reveals and affirms itself a priori in immediate intuition, it is and cannot but be certain, both ontologically and psychologically, secundum rem and secundum nos. Here is the principle of the solution, which, for the want of space, we must leave to our readers to develop for themselves.(footnote: Consult on the philosophical formula, or " Ideal Formula," Gioberti, Introduzione allo Studio della Filosojia, Cap. IV. It is with some hesitation that we refer our readers to this work, because its author is in bad odor, and also because, though we have commenced the examination of it, we have as yet proceeded but a little way, and are far from having mastered it. We certainly do not refer to him as in himself authority, although his ability is unquestionable, nor as to a writer whose works can be safely consulted without great caution ; but on the point on which we refer to him, he is more full and satisfactory than any other writer, ancient or modern, of our acquaintance. We cannot say that we have been absolutely indebted to him for any of the views set forth in the text, for we had obtained them, substantially, before we had the least knowledge of his writings or of his doctrines; but it would be folly on our part, and injustice to him and the public, to attempt to dissemble that he has greatly aided us to clear up our previous views, and on several not unimportant points to extend them, in his hostility to the Jesuits, we have no occasion to inform the readers of this journal that we neither do nor are likely to share, and we rejoice to hear that his Gesuita Modcrno has been placed on the Index.  In the work to which we refer,  things, not immediately connected with philosophy, things affecting him as a man, a statesman, and an Italian patriot, which commend themselves neither to our judgment nor to our taste. We by no means participate in his political passions or his national prejudices; we do not expect with him to see the Church Triumphant on earth, and we wholly dissent from his doctrine that the state, instead of the Church, is the proper schoolmaster. In a word, in those of his writings we have read, we find not a little extraneous matter that we do not like, and much, if not unsound, that is easily misapprehended, and not inapt to lead to dangerous errors; but we have, in what pertains exclusively to philosophy, found much that we most heartily approve, and which, in our age especially, needs to be profoundly meditated.)

Keeping in mind what we have established, that the idea, the ideal, in modern language, whether under the aspect of intelligibility, of wisdom, goodness, power, immutability, being, is God himself, the apparent limitation of the Divine freedom the author fancies he detects can present no difficulty.    Grant that  the   idea is  uncreated, necessary, eternal, — grant that God in producing existences operates, and can operate, so to speak, only after the idea, and must conform to its intrinsic nature, — nothing is granted but that God, in creating, must create according to his own intrinsic nature, and can neither in creating nor in dealing with existences do violence to himself. That is, God is what he is, and cannot be any thing else, — is God and cannot cease to be God, — is, and cannot annihilate himself.    As the only necessity supposed or supposable is bis own most perfect nature, he is necessarily free to do whatever is not repugnant to that nature, that is, which would not imply his non-being ; for since he is pure act, and most simple, any thing repugnant to his wisdom, intelligence, goodness, or any other attribute, would be repugnant to his very being, and imply his annihilation.   But this is no restriction of his freedom, for freedom is in being, not in not being, and  is restricted only by some defect in the being of whom it is predicated, never by that being's own perfection or plenitude.    To say that God is free to do whatever he pleases, except annihilate himself, since the exception results from the perfection, not from the defect, of his nature, is to assert his absolute freedom ; for freedom to do whatever does not imply the non-being of its possessor, and therefore the annihilation of itself, is the highest and most perfect freedom conceivable.    The Jlrbitrium Liberum, as possessed by us, in the sense that it demands deliberation, is, of course, not predicable of God, for in that sense it implies defect; but in the sense in which it is a positive perfection, it is implied in the freedom we have just asserted, and must be predicable of God as most perfect being. Then since God is pure act, and no distinction secundum rem is admissible in the Divine nature, God must be intrinsically Jlrbilrium, Liberum, and therefore whatever he does must, from the very perfection of his nature, be done by free-will. Consequently, the Divine operations are and can be subjected to no necessity but the necessity ex sup-positione, that is, the necessity which compels you, if you suppose a thing is, to suppose it is, or that compels us to say, What is is, and cannot not be without ceasing to be.

But we have dwelt longer than we intended on the author's note. We return to his text. We regret that our limits compel us to leave many things unnoticed which we should be glad to consider. The author goes into a long argument, in which he attempts to deduce from his primary conception of himself as efficient cause another conception of himself as relative efficient cause, and then from himself as relative efficient cause to conclude God as absolute efficient cause. We can only cite his summing up of his argument: —

" I have reproduced this argument as well as I could, for it passed through my mind so rapidly that I was not conscious of the steps. But all this reasoning is to no purpose. The following proposition and conclusion, if rightly considered, are self-evident : —


" The necessary corollary followed at once : —

" But every efficient cause is ALIVE, therefore the ABSOLUTE EFFICIENT CAUSE IS ALIVE. I believe, therefore, in the LIVING GOD."— pp. 99, 100.

The argument here is, substantially, the ordinary argument a posteriori of philosophers and natural theologians. As an explicative or interpretative argument addressed to believers, or even to those who through mental confusion occasioned by false science fancy themselves atheists, it certainly has its value, and a very high value ; but as an argument addressed to those supposed really to doubt that God is, it does not appear to us to be properly an argument at all, for it contains no genuine illation. " If there were no absolute efficient cause, there could be no relative efficient causes." Nothing in the world more true. So if there were no relative efficient causes, there could be no absolute efficient cause.    The argument rests on the supposition, allowable or not, that absolute and relative are correlatives, and that one cannot be without the other. But if the absolute and relative are correlatives, and cannot be, one without the other, how can you know one without knowing the other ? Correlatives do not imply, they connote, one the other. The assertion of one is then the assertion of both, and the doubt of one is the doubt of both. If, then, you place, as you necessarily do in the argument, the absolute in question, you place the relative equally in question, and how then can you obtain your conclusion without begging the question ?

" But there are relative efficient causes." We do not doubt it; but how do you know it ? You either do know it, or you do not. If you do not, you are not entitled to your conclusion, " the absolute efficient cause is." If you do, you know it either immediately, by intuition, or mediately, by discursion. If the former, you have intuition of relation, then of the absolute, for relation without the related, the two terms of the comparison, is an abstraction, a nullity, and therefore no object of intuition. If you have intuition of the absolute, you know it immediately, and therefore do not conclude it. If you say the latter, that you know the relative mediately, by discursion, you must then have some datum intuitively revealed from which you can conclude it. Whatever is intuitively revealed must be revealed either as simple entity or being, or as entity or being under the category of relation of some sort. The supposition itself excludes the latter ; therefore nothing remains but the former, that is to say, pure, unrelated being, simple, naked entity. But pure being, simple entity, is already absolute, and if you assume that you can derive the relative from it, your argument is a vicious circle, for you take the absolute to prove the relative, and then the relative to prove the absolute.

But the grand difficulty is, that you cannot conclude the relative from simple entity or being. This is what we have all along insisted upon. Have we not already shown that the simple formula, Entity is, is unproductive, and that, torture it as you will, you can get from it only Entity is ? The conception of relation is neither generated nor generable from simple entity. We grant you have the intuition of being, of entity, and that this intuition contains a judgment a priori, namely, Entity or being is. But, if this is the whole of the intuition, how without a further intuition are you to get beyond it, or to add to it ?    Conceptions without intuition, remember, Kant has for ever settled, are empty, and of no value.*(footnote: * Thus far Kant was right; his error was in denying intelligible, and admitting only sensible intuition.) As entity you know it, but, by the very supposition, you do not know it under any relation, positive or negative, of time, place, or position, of quantity or quality, of cause or effect, of habit, action, or passion. All you can say of it is, It is. Term it in conception God, and you are a pantheist; term it yourself, and you are an autotheist; term it nature, and you are an atheist.

Here is seen the folly of Descartes, who pretends to deduce God and the universe from sum, lam; but from the simple intuition / am, only / am is attainable. The author very properly adds, I am efficient cause, but from / am efficient cause, nothing follows but I and my effects. From I and my effects, I can conclude only my relation to my effects and theirs to me ; not that I am myself an effect, a creature, related to an efficient cause which 1 am not. Nor can I infer that I am a relative, dependent cause from the external causes which, in point of fact, limit and not unfrequently thwart my causality ; for with only the intuition, / am efficient cause, these really external causes, as the Idealists amply prove, are to me only sensitive affections, only myself, and therefore warrant no conclusion beyond myself. That I am a relative efficient cause cannot then be concluded from sensible impressions, nor from the intuition of myself as efficient cause. Then either I cannot conceive myself as relative efficient cause, or I have direct intuition of myself as relative efficient cause. But the relative connotes the absolute. Therefore, to have intuition of myself as relative, as an effect, as a creature, is also to have intuition of the other term of the comparison, that is, of the absolute, the creator, God.

The patrons of the argument a posteriori do not deny, they in reality assume, what we maintain, — that we have direct intuition of ourselves and external objects, as relative, as effects, as creatures, or existences ; but tbey assume that, while we know them immediately, we know God only mediately, as implied in them, and logically concluded from them, and therefore that they are more evident to us than he. They are, probably, led to make this assumption from mistaking sensible for intelligible intuition, or, at least, from regarding the sensible object as more evident than the intelligible. Certainly, we have no sensible intuition of God, and if we have sensible intuition of existences, it must be conceded  that they are in the sensible order more evident than the Creator; and this, we suppose, is what St. Thomas means, when he says the effect is more evident quoad nos than the cause.    But it must be borne in mind, that, without the intelligible, the sensible is not, or at least only a sensitive affection, from which  nothing  is con-cludable, as we have already shown : and, moreover, the effect in its character of effect, the character in which it must be asserted, if any thing is to be concluded from it, is no more a sensible intuition than the cause.   The effect as external object strikes the senses, but as effect it does not.    The  relation of effect belongs as much to the intelligible order as does the relation of cause ;  for it is only the same relation viewed from its terminus ad quern, instead of its terminus a quo.    The greater or less degree of evidence predicated or predicable of either must be in the same order, and, as the cause is confessedly in the intelligible order, the only evidence of the effect that can be any thing to the purpose must be also in the intelligible order.   We therefore deny the assumption, for we deny that we can have immediate   intuition of existences as existences without immediate intuition of God.    What  is not is  not   intelligible, and  what is not intelligible cannot be known.    Existences, therefore, cannot be immediately revealed to us in intuition without God, for without him they are unintelligible, and  unintelligible because without  him  they are not existences, that is, do not exist. To suppose a thing intelligible without that by which it exists, is only supposing that it can be intelligible without being.   Knowledge, from the very fact that what is not is not intelligible, must follow the order of being.   Then, as existences in the order of being are not and cannot be without God, it follows that they cannot be without him in the order of knowledge.    Then they cannot be more evident to us than God ; for certainly a thing can never be more evident to us than that by which it is evident, and without which it would be totally inevident.

The a priori argument, sometimes resorted to, is even less of an argument, if possible, than the argument a posteriori, because its pretension is to demonstrate God from necessary and eternal principles, and necessary and eternal principles are God already, as we have shown in showing that the idea is God. Indeed, we are unable to conceive the possibility of constructing an argument to prove that God is, which does not assume that he is, both as its necessary conditions and principle. From sensibles alone we can conclude nothing, because they have in themselves no nexus, as Hume has clearly demonstrated, that binds them to the necessary. The intelligible must supply the nexus, before we can begin to frame our argument, and the intelligible is the idea, and the idea is God. In every argument, the major term must be more general in its order than the conclusion, or nothing is concluded. But in no order, not even in that of knowledge, as we have just proved, is there any thing conceivable more general than God. Ex ipso, et per ipsum, et in ipso sunt omnia, says the inspired Apostle, and it must be so, if God is at all. How, then, frame an argument to conclude him, that does not assume him as its condition and principle ? A God that could be concluded by an argument would, it strikes us, by that fact alone, be proved to be not the true God ; for if he could be concluded, it would at least follow that something can be known without knowing him, and then that something can be without him, and if something can be without him, his very being is denied.

But this inability, in the ordinary sense of the words, to demonstrate that God is, should rather rejoice than alarm us, for it proceeds from the perfection of our evidence that he is, not from its defect. We cannot prove that God is, for we have nothing more evident, secundum rem or secundum nos, than he with which to prove that he is. He is Qui EST, He who is, and from whom, and by whom, and in whom are all things, and therefore by and in whose intelligibility all things are intelligible. He is the Being of beings, himself intelligible, and the principle of all intelligibleness ; himself evident, and the principle of all evidence ; himself certain, and the principle of all certitude and of all certainty. What more can be asked ? He is light, the true light which enlighteneth every man that cometh into this world. Is the light less evident than that which it enlighteneth ? Is it the object enlightened that affirms the light, or is it the light that affirms the object, and in affirming it affirms itself? No, we have erred. It is not we who make God, but God who has made us. It is not we nor creation that affirm God, but it is God who affirms himself, in direct intuition, and the heavens and the earth, the sea and the land, all creatures great and small, catch the Divine affirmation, and echo and reecho it to every intelligence.
It is a great mistake to suppose that God may be placed in question. It is this mistake ..that has created the embarrassments from which we find it so difficult to extricate ourselves. It is agreed on all hands, that God, if at all, is real and necessary Being, — Ens reale et nccessarium,—and the characteristic of the necessary is that the contrary cannot be thought. But to place God in question is to concede that the contrary can be thought. To proceed in the face of this concession to prove that God is, can be only proceeding to prove impossible what we concede to be possible. Ex Deo, et per Deo, et in Deo sunt omnia. There-lore, to place God in question is to place all things in question, and then nothing that is not conceded to be doubtful remains from which to construct an argument. From doubtful premises we can obtain only a doubtful conclusion. The moment you concede that God is doubtful, you concede universal doubt, and that certainty is unattainable. Here, again, is the condemnation of Descartes, who makes the assumption, that all things are doubtful, or that nothing is certain, or to be accepted as certain, till demonstrated, the necessary point of departure of philosophy. But if we start with the assumption, that nothing is certain, how are we ever to arrive at certainty ? If all things can be thought as uncertain, what is there that can be thought as certain ? If all things cannot be thought as uncertain, the Cartesian doubt is impracticable, and Carlesianism proposes to arrive at truth by starting with a stupendous falsehood. Yet Descartes had some reputation in his day, and his method is still that of the majority of modern philosophers. For ourselves, we reject the Cartesian method asunphilosophical, absurd, impossible, and impious. The fool, no doubt, has said in his heart, God is not, — Dixit insipiens in conic suo : Non est Deus, — but has only evinced his folly ; for it is only by intuition of God that he is able to give a meaning to his words, since negation is intelligible only by virtue of the positive. The words " God is not" are universal negation, but universal negation is absolutely unintelligible, and consequently, if nothing is, nothing can be denied ; that is, unless something is, it is impossible to make a denial, and if something is, God is. Well, then, does the Holy Ghost say it is the fool who says in his heart, " God is not."

We deny not that there have been persons — may God in his great mercy pardon us, for we were ourselves during a brief period of the number— who persuade themselves that they doubt the Divine Being. And we certainly have encountered theories, ancient and modern, sometimes under the name of philosophy, and sometimes under the name of religion, which are explicitly atheism, or which necessarily, if pushed to their logical consequences, lead to atheism ; nevertheless, we maintain that no man ever did, ever will, or ever can really doubt that God is.   Atheism, or what passes for atheism, is rarely the vice of the unlettered and simple, but nearly always of the refined, the voluptuous, and the speculative, and is cherished, not because there is no conviction that God is, but because that conviction condemns both the practice and the speculations which atheism favors. It is not that the light does not shine, but those people resolutely refuse to let it illuminate them because their deeds are evil, or, at least, deeds that will not bear the light. Mere practical atheists, that is, those who conduct themselves as if there were no God, present no difficulty; for it is evident that their conduct necessarily implies nothing more than the inactivity, not the total absence, of belief. The so-called intellectual atheists are persons of a speculative turn of mind, and invariably take as the object of reflection, not the reality revealed in their intuitions, but their intuitions themselves, as mere psychological facts. They thus lose sight, in the reflective order, of the reality intuitively revealed, and build up a theory which excludes God. God not being included in their theories, they cannot believe in him theoretically, and therefore conclude they ought not to believe, do not, and cannot believe, in him at all. They are thus in will and in reflection really atheists. Nevertheless, the light, though they comprehend it not in their theories, continues to shine in their darkness ; their intuitions remain, but they treat them with contempt, will not hear to them, because they see clearly, that, were they to do so, their theories would fade away as the shades of night before the rising sun. It is not that they lack conviction, but that, puffed up with the pride of intellect, and confused by false science, they stifle it, — pretending that it is the creation of fear, of habit, or of early education. Their cure is not to be effected by syllogisms, or mere reasoning. Their disease lies in the fact, that they close, instead of opening, their hearts to the truth. Take a man brought up in their school, who has all his life been poring over dry psychological conceptions, and resolutely refusing to admit as true every thing he is unable to comprehend in his contracted and dead formula, and bring him one day to leave his empty conceptions, to turn his mind to the contemplation of the objects revealed to him in his intuitions, and he is surprised to see how rapidly the mists disperse, the darkness rolls back, his doubts melt away, and the glorious reality appears before him, informing with its light his intellect, and enrapturing his heart with its beauty. He stands amazed at his former blindness, astonished at his doubts of yesterday, so clear is the light to his unclosed eye, so easy is it lo
his open heart to believe. No doubt the grace of God is operating within him, but, so far as the change depends on human effort, it consists in the fact, that he lias turned round with his face towards God in his intuitions, and beholds reality in the light, no longer in the shadow cast by himself. What, humanly speaking, will best serve those who esteem themselves atheists, are such considerations as tend to draw them off from mere reflection on their own psychological phenomena, and set them with free mind and open heart to contemplating the objects revealed to them and to all men in direct and immediate intuition. These are, no doubt, such as are usually presented by the patrons of the argument a posteriori, and, if presented in the light of a sound philosophy, for what they really are, and not for what they are not, they are all, the grace of God supposed, that can be required.

If the entire drift of our reasoning be not misapprehended, the question whether God is living God or not will present no difficulty. It has been our endeavour to enter our solemn protest against the dead abstractions of modern psychologism, lo prove that there are no abstractions in nature, that abstractions are nullities, and yield only nullity, that ideas are not mere words, are not mental conceptions, are not intellections, are not subjective forms of the understanding, are not ours, but are real intelligibilia, intelligible objects, objects of our intellect, not our intellect nor the products of our intellect itself, and that they are in the Divine Mind or Eternal Reason, infinite in number considered in relation to the effects God is able to produce, considered in relation to his ability, one, and identical with himself. We have also endeavoured to establish that God reveals himself immediately to us in direct intuition as creator, actually creating, according to his own will, out of nothing, therefore as free, voluntary creator, therefore as living, personal, and therefore as proper object of worship, prayer, praise, love, and reverence.

One word more we must add, to prevent misapprehension. From the fact that we assert direct and immediate intuition of God, it must not be inferred that we assert, or intend to assert, either that we see God intuitively by himself alone, or as he is in himself, — the former of which it would be at least temerity, and the latter undeniably heresy, lo assert. We assert, indeed, intuition of intelligibles, but we do not assert pure intellections, as does exaggerated spiritualism. Of pure intellections we are not naturally capable ; for we are not pure intelligences, but intelligonce wedded to body, and therefore can naturally apprehend the intelligible only in union with the sensible. What we have denied and attempted to disprove is, that God is known only as contained implicitly in his works and discursively obtained from them ; but we have not asserted, or intended to assert, that he is known as God without his works. Invisibilia ipsius, a creaturn mundi, per ea qucc factcc sunt, intellecta, conspiciunlur, (Rom. i. 20,) says St. Paul, and he seems to us to express precisely our meaning. If we see God only discursively, as implicitly contained in his works, we do not see him clearly, for such implicit seeing is not clear seeing. It is not thus we see God ; but we clearly see him or the things of God, otherwise unknown or invisible to us, in understanding, or by understanding, his works, as we see the light in seeing the visible body which it renders visible. We actually see the light ; it is the primary and immediate object of our vision, and the medium by which we see all else that we do see ; but we do not see it in itself, nor by itself alone, for our eyes are too weak for that, and it would strike us blind were we to attempt to look directly into it, as any one may satisfy himself by attempting at mid-day to look directly into the sun. So in the intelligible world, we really and truly see God ; he is the primary and immediate object of the intellect, and the medium by which we intellectually see all else that we do intellectually see, understand, or know, but not as he is in himself; for if we cannot look into the sun, which is but the shadow of his light, without being struck blind, how much less can we look into him who is light itself; nor do we know him by himself alone, that is, apart from his works, but we know him in knowing objects, which are made intelligible objecls only in and by his intelligibility, as they are made existence only by and in his creative act, or omnipotent power.

There are several things in the author's book of considerable importance, which we have passed over ; but if he seizes the real import of what we have advanced, he will have no difficulty in understanding how we view them. We have aimed, not so much to refute his particular views, as to point out what we consider to be the fundamental mistakes into which he, misled by prevailing psychologism, has fallen, and to explain their origin and establish the principles on which they can be and are to be corrected. We take our leave of the book with kind feelings towards its author, and with the confident hope of meeting him hereafter in a work which we can cordially accept.