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all the other faculties. It is easy to see, when we examine systems of this sort, that they rely not at all on observation, for which they profess a profound contempt, and which they regard at best as the means of acquiring some ideas of an inferior order, and useless as to philosophy. They launch out, at once, towards regions inaccessible to human ken, and which it seems to common sense not possible to attain but by slow and timid inductions, built on observations well made and long studied. The point from which these systems would start
, is precisely that at which a philosophy more reserved arrives at length, with difficulty and after much toiling labor. But, posting itself on ground concealed from human view, and disdaining to take for a point of departure what can be known by us, how can speculative pantheism establish any system? Some pantheists, it is true, have pretended that the invisible world is concealed only from profane and gross minds. The Neoplatonists talk of a possibility of seeing God, and we have already said that Schelling admits in man a faculty, which he calls intellectual intuition, by which we can have a view of hyperphysical things. But, besides that this is proved to be a psychological error, and that the understanding is not an intuitive faculty, the more logical pantheists, as Hegel, for instance, reject this opinion. How, then, can they know any thing of the intellectual world, since they cannot have any intuition of it, and do not attain to it by reasoning through induction on the things which we know? The only method remaining to them is that of reasoning a priori on the intellectual world. And, reasoning a priori is at once the method and the origin of speculative pantheism. It is to the judgment alone it addresses itself; on it alone it stakes all; it rejects totally our other means of knowledge.
The judgment is a discerning faculty; its proper office is, to be exercised on what we acquire by observation, in order to deduce conclusions by different species of reasoning. But here it is not employed in exerting its powers on matters of . experience, on a basis furnished by the senses. Pantheism must create its own proper subject : how will it set about it? It can only be done by forming to itself some notions a priori of what seems to it necessary, and as it cannot be bound by ideas derived from experience, and often very difficult to arrange in order, it determines its notions according to the laws of logic. Thus the ensemble of ihe ideas so formed is eminent
ly logical ; nor is this astonishing, since logic alone has been concerned in their production ; and the systems constructed after this fashion possess a unity and aitractiveness which are very seductive; but they resemble Roland's horse, which would have been perfect, but for one single fault, that he was without life.
These systems, in fact, do not represent what is; but what, according to their authors, may logically be. They are indeed very beautiful romance, but are they the history of actual being? What would be thought of a man who, proposing to unfold the causes which have operated in producing human events, would not consult every testimony, every chronicle, every work--and who, proceeding on an a priori conception of man and society, should construct a history of the human race with the logical deductions he might make from that ideal notion? But this is nevertheless just what the pantheists do. True, they pretend that the inutual relations of being are the same as the relations of our ideas among themselves ; so that logic is sufficient to supply us with metaphysical ideas. But on what does such an opinion rest, which nothing seems to authorize? On an idea true in itself, we confess, but abused in this case and wrested from its proper signification. It is certain that we only know things by the ideas we have of them. A parallelism may therefore be struck between what actually is, and our idea of that which is. But between this and the identity of being and idea, as pantheism assumes, the distance is very great. That identity could, at most, he established by means of ideas derived from experience, and things which fall within the field of observation; and yet it has been denied under these restricted limits. But nothing could warrant us to extend it in all cases to ideas which we form a priori, and to beings inaccessible to us; nothing could authorize us to believe that thelogical relations of our ideas are identical with the real relations of being.
Here, however, is the foundation of speculative pan sm. It describes the relations of beings according to the logical 1elations of our thoughts, and it considers logic a branch of metaphysics. We come now to show this system to be nothing less than a confusion of the laws of thought with those of matter. We shall confine ourselves to some principal traits.
Speculative pantheism wishes to represent what is the first being, and what are its relations to other beings. It asks of logic to teach it what that being is. That being must necessarily be the condition of all other beings, and as it is the property of a condition to contain in itself all of which it is the condition, that primary being must contain in itself all other beings. That is not all. The being containing all being in itself
, must be of such a nature as to be able to become this and that, good and evil, the whole and a part ; in a word, capable of assuming every species of determination, even the most opposite. All pantheistic systems agree in describing that first existence as something vague, indefinite, indeterminate, soft wax, susceptible of taking all forms. Schelling calls it the indifference of thedifferent ; Hegel considers it so very indeterminate, that he represents it almost as the nihility of existence; Plotinus regards it as so simple, that, properly speaking, it is nothing at all. This indeterminateness, this simplicity, is so much the essential character of every pantheistic system, that it alone renders possible the existence of other beings. It is clear that, were the first being something well defined, it would not be able to become another thing, and, a fortiori, a thing the opposite of itself.
The fundamental error of speculative pantheism reveals itself already here. It consists in confounding perpetually the logical relations of ideas with the actual relations of things. What they say of being is true of thought. The highest thought, that which is the logical condition of all others, is also the most general, abstract, and indeterminate ; that thought contains all others, that is to say, that thought in receiving this or that determination, becomes this or that particular thought. And here is the source of the error of pantheists, who have confounded thought with matter, and built their system on this confusion. This confusion, in its turn, comes from their contempt for observation, and their hope of constructing a rational system from the resources of the reason alone, which they avert from its legitimate office.
In summing up, we are able to affirm that this species of pantheism arises from a confusion of the logical forms of thought with the laws of matter. After the inodel of the most general thought, as the logical condition of all other thoughts, it represents the first being as the real condition of
all other beings. In the logical order of the judgment, that which is at the head of the system is thought the highest and most general, that which comprehends all others, and on which, consequently, all others depend ; that thought is that of the unconditional. That logical form, speculative pantheism transfers to nature, and places at the head of all existence the universal being, in which are contained all particular beings. It thus confounds the logical order of the thoughts with the real order of things, and depicts the supreme condition of all existence under the traits of the highest condition of all thought.* Thus the God of speculative pantheists is but a visionary abstraction, to which they arbitrarily attribute a real existence; and as in the most general thought are embraced all other thoughts, and none exist logically without it, they suppose that every particular thing is contained in God. The real immanence of things in God is taken from the immanence of thought in the universal thought.
An examination of the speculative systems of pantheists easily convinces us, that they all form their first principles on the image of the most general notion of being we are capable of concejving. The év xai av of the Eleatce is nothing else than logical universality. The ideas of Plato are nothing but personifications of general notions. What is the absolute substance of Spinosa, ihat substance in which, as he himself expresses it, all possible attributes coexist, other than a general idea of being, embracing in itself all the thoughts of particular beings; for how would a real substance be able to unite in itself all attributes, even those the most contradictory? In fine, Schelling's identity of the real and ideal is still but a logical abstraction. More consecutive than those who before him have constructed systems of that kind, Hegel considers the most general notion of pure being as the absolute, and the logical development of that idea as the development of being, and lays down as the basis of his doctrine the identity of matter and thought.
* Schmid. Leçons sur la nature de la phiiosophie, 9 Leçon.
PARK'S LIFE AND WRITINGS OF WILLIAM BRADFORD HOMER,
By Rev. Edwin Holt, Pastor of the Carmine Street Presbyterian Church, New York.
Writings of Rev. William Bradford Homer, late Pastor of
the Congregational Church, in South Berwick, Me., with a Memoir. By Edwards A. Park, Bartlet Prof. in Andover Theol. Seminary. In one volume. Andover: Allen, Morrill, & Wardwell. New York : Dayton & Newman, 1842.
The 24th day of March, 1841, will be long remembered in the village of South Berwick. It was the day when a congregation crowded the sanctuary, not to listen to their pastor's voice, but to gaze for the last time on his lifeless remains. Four months had scarcely elapsed since they had met to form with him the connection that binds together the pastor and the flock. The day of his ordination was a time of joyful congratulations. The youthful minister had then reached a goal to which, from his earliest years, he had looked forward. The child of many prayers, he had enjoyed and diligently improved ample opportunities for mental and spiritual culture. With qualifications of a high order, and with a heart panting after usefulness in his Master's service, he was ordained to the work of the ministry, under auspices singularly favorable. The field of his labors was sufficiently difficult to task all his resources, and he was cheered with smiles of encouragement and prayers for his success, from every quarter. He seemed to stand, buoyant with hope and flushed with holy ardor, at the starting point of a career ihat stretched onward and upward-radiant with the light of heaven. The attachment and admiration of the people centered upon him. They were happy in the thought that he was to perform among them in future years the duties of a pastor—to consecrate the nuptial tie-to dedicate their children to God in baptism--to bury their dead-to console the afflicted--to lead their worship, and to impart the instructions of the sanctuary. SECOND SERIES, VOL. VIII. NO. I.