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ure, should make us swerve a hair from the path of rectitude. And let me say, that a little more candor, or more of that deep thinking which you so highly recommend, would correct your idea of the true happiness-principle, as held by its intelligent advocates.

Mr. A. I never will admit that as a principle in morals. Man, godlike man, is something more, or he is something less, than a mere motive grinder, or, as Carlyle calls it, a mere balance for weighing hay and thistles, pains and pleasures.

Mr. B. Well, permit me to correct your conception of the principle; for I apprehend that if we look at things and not at terms only, we shall not be so wide apart here as you suppose. Follow truth and duty, we both say, without regard to consequences. We both say that the mind is such a thing, that it can see truth-that it does this, either by the faculty you call Reason, or by what some call the Inner Light, or by what others call Reflectiontruth, moral, spiritual truth it can know. So far we are agreed. Here you stop, and protest "that farther than this we should not go in our inquiry; and can not with safety or advantage." I too am willing to stop here to leave entirely out of view the utility of virtue, and simply inculcate the duty. But I do not believe it hazardous or wrong to take one step more in our reasoning, and inquire-Why do we spontaneously feel that certain truths are truths? that is right? that is duty? Why do we feel, and intuitively see, the truthfulness, the beauty, the righteousness, the goodness of certain actions? You say, "Because we are so made!" Undoubt edly. And do we not find ourselves so made that these things would not so appear, were they not adapted to our spiritual nature? And do we not see this adaptation in their tendency so directly and so certainly to ennoble and bless us?

Were they not thus adapted, did they not harmonize with the reality of things-did they tend to pain, rather than to happiness, I have some doubt whether the happinessprinciple would have received such unqualified condemnation by your philosophers. And when, in some connections, you so extol the noble qualities and tendencies of your own system, I have fancied I saw you expose the cloven foot of this same happiness-principle. It would not be a difficult matter to find the very thing in the works of your favorite Carlyle; his French Revolution and his Chartism are full of it, and it is impossible for him or any other man, to write upon such subjects and not tacitly recognize it. In his last work, "Past and Present," p. 25, is the following: "They (quacks) are the one bane of the world. Once clear the world of them, it ceases to be a Devil's-world, in all fibres of it wretched, accursed; and begins to be a God's-world, blessed, and working hourly towards blessedness." Also, p. 27, "When a Nation is unhappy, the old Prophet was right and not wrong in saying to it: ye have forgotten God, ye have quitted the ways of God, or ye would not have been unhappy." And the same idea is conveyed more than fifty times in this same book. And if you call this "stomach-happiness," inasmuch as it has reference to governing and feeding men; then let me ask, why will you, night after night, till the oil is gone from your lamp, sit reading with glistening eyes the works of your Carlyle? O such thoughts, heaven-born, soul-inspired, they rivet a man to his chair!" exclaim you. Will you do yourself the kindness to think a little more deeply upon that answer? If the belief of this principle tends necessarily to selfishness, I have not yet discovered it. Moses, Paul, Christ himself, alluded to it approvingly. The more a man loves the true, and

the good, and is stimulated by this love to pursue them, the better he is. To say of men, they delight in iniquity, is to rank them with fallen spirits. To say that they delight in holiness, is to rank them with celestial beings. But as you will not listen to any thing in favor of this principle, I propose another topic-your idea of a God. I grant you are peculiar in your views of the Divine existence, and also respecting several important subjects intimately connected with it. Transcendentalism, if I comprehend it, is rather a religion than a philosophy. Your principal oracles often repeat the idea, that religion is the one chief fact in regard to man. And all your writings have a direct bearing upon this point.

Mr. A. It is time some men raised their voice in its favor; for religion, except in what is outward and ceremonial, has well nigh been banished the civilized world. Your sensual systems of faith as well as philosophy, have left little hope, or belief, or spirituality in the soul. You have separated God from his works, seated him upon a throne somewhere in infinite space, at an immeasurable distance from man, and taking it for granted that He had retired from the business of inspiring the heart, working mira cles, and controlling all things, you have taken the work of religion into your own hands. And truly you make noise enough about it. God's voice in the soul is hushed; the earnest, rapt spirit is wanting. Your religion is empty and hollow-hearted, a product of the senses and not of the soul. It has not the silent strength of the river, but the rustling noise of the brook rushing over its stony bed. You take a false view of God, and consequently your worship is idolatry.

Mr. B. Do favor me with a clear statement of your idea of God.

Mr. A. God is Good, or Goodness; or the animating Principle of

goodness, truth, beauty, every where operating in nature and in the soul of man.

External nature is but the emblem or garment of the Deity, and serves to body Him forth to the eye. But it is the eye of reason which sees Him, and the soul that feels his presence, while conscience continually whispers his voice in our hearing. God is within us and around us.

The truly pious soul

feels his presence, hears his voice, and sees him working every moment. Men of genius, of true spiritual insight, have ever taken this view of God. They have seen through the dead matter of the world, and looked directly upon God. Poets, prophets, sages, and all the devout of every age and nation, have viewed all objects which we call material only as the symbol, or visible manifestation of the Eternal Spirit. Some have had a faith which saw every thing as a part of God, the keenness of their spiritual vision scarcely noticing such a thing as matter. Not only was God the animus mundi, and

"All but parts of one stupendous whole,

Whose body Nature is, and God the soul," but all was God, and God was All. Pantheism, a word full of denial. and scepticism to superficial minds, is one of the highest products of the devout spirit of man. It has been well said that Spinosa was God-intoxicated, transcending time and space, all forms and appear ances, God to him was All and in All. Few have sufficiently disentangled themselves from flesh and sense, and from the influence of a wrong education, to rise to such a height in the spiritual world. Some of the ancients, and some at the present time in Germany, and possibly in other countries, have be come thus spiritual. But while I admire their spirit, and long for their attainments, I confess I fall short of their faith. While I see God in all things, I do not, strictly

speaking, see all things to be God. For example, I can see God in that rose, as the animating principle which gives it its exquisite and esthetic form and tint, yet I can not say, that rose is God. But I do say, God is to be loved and worshiped in the rose. If we have the inner eye to see the beauty of such objects, so far we love, admire, and therefore worship their Maker. Still more clearly do we feel God present in the human soul. Man's conscience is God's voice directly speaking to him. Yielding our selves up to its clear and truthful notes, we are right. O that all would listen to it, and obey!

Mr. B. As we are upon that feature of transcendentalism which gives coloring to your whole system, I wish you to be more explicit upon one point, viz. In your view, is God, in such a sense separate from men and nature, that, as a distinct being, He controls, gov. erns, rewards and punishes his creatures? You know the prevailing idea of God in enlightened countries-a being distinct from his works; who exercises a providence over them; who takes cognizance of the moral conduct of men, pleased with all right affections and purposes of men, and displeased with their wrong conduct.

Mr. A. If you insist upon a direct answer, I would say, No. The vulgar notion that God, as a person, after creating the world and the universe, and setting causes in operation, or establishing laws for the continuance of all things, retired from his works to watch their operation, and occasionally to interfere, particularly in his moral kingdom, to give a little instruction, or to correct some of the grosser wrongs of men, I do not believe. This view is practical atheism; it virtually excludes God from nature and from the soul. Whereas God,-for he is omnipres ent, is constantly operating every where and in every thing; growing

the grass, the tree, the flower; animating and inspiring the soul; producing new forms of beauty; working, as he has eternally worked, works of wonder and goodness. If the sensual philosophy had not so benumbed the soul, men would see this. It is seen by those you call heathen. The wild Indian hears the whisper of the Great Spirit in every breeze; listens to it coming from every dell and cave of his mountains; sees God in the forest, acknowledges his hand in giving him his fishing brooks and hunting grounds. To the earnest Arab soul the star that shines upon his desert path is but the eye of God. As the sun warmed and fertilized the vineyards of the ancient Persian, he worshiped the kindly influence-God. The Ganges fertilizes his rice-fields, and the inhabitant of Hindostan pays to it the homage of the heart. Those eastern people, situated in the garden of the world, have always been a devout people. Not mere dead matter, but the spirit of beauty and goodness, which animated surrounding nature, has always been worshiped by them. In their simple way, with childlike and sincere emotions of wonder, they have bowed before the Eternal in these manifestations of himself.

Mr. B. Really, you must have a transcendental eye, for it is something more than a poet's, to see so much beauty and true piety in those eastern idolaters. You doubtless see the same in the Chinese, in their worship of those half dozen fat hogs kept as gods at Canton. The funeral pile, the hook-swinging, the infanticides, and the thousand disgusting and horrible rites of Bramah, all must come up to your mind with peculiar attractions, in as much as you think them sincere acts of devotion. But it was not my present design to ascertain your views of religious worship. I wished first to understand your idea of God.

Mr. A. I wish to say that I would

not be understood to mean that the great mass of those nations are truly spiritual. But there is among them the recognition of an omnipresent Deity, and there are real worshipers. The great body of people in every country are idolaters. They worship the image or form rather than God, the living principle of goodness. But, to come back to the point, I believe God does mark the conduct of men. How can it be otherwise, when He is every where present in his works? And that the obedient are rewarded and the wicked punished, is a matter of consciousness to every one. Not a law of man's nature can be violated without internal discord and misery, while all is harmony and sweet peace when man falls in with the eternal reality of things. The true prophet, poet and philosopher,-for they are the same,-have always represented the soul of man as a divinely constructed instrument, a true Eolian harp, which, rightly tuned, gives forth heavenly music; but, disordered by sin, its sounds are harsh and discordant.

Mr. B. Wherein are your sentiments different from the doctrine that man receives the full punishment of his sins in this life? How often, contrary to all human experience, in the face of what every wicked man knows to be true in his own case, is it asserted that, by the remorse of conscience and the evil consequences of sin in this life, men are equitably and fully punished! If I understand your idea of God, you do not consider him a being distinct from man and nature, possessed of personal intelligence, susceptibility and will, but a kind of vivifying principle every where and at all times operating. I do not wonder that you object to producing evidence of God's existence, for your God, or rather principle, must be seen intuitively, if seen at all, and this too by a faculty purely transcendental. You complain of the want of faith and of

the universal prevalence of scepti cism. At times you seem clothed in sackcloth, in view of the infidelity of the age. You profess the most ardent desire to revive belief and earnest spiritual life on the earth, and yet if the great mass of people could be made to understand and embrace your views, there would be nothing to restrain them from the worst of crimes. You remove from man the piercing eye of a con scious God; you place him under no government but certain natural laws, and if he will risk (as he most surely will) the natural consequences of vice in this life, there is no more for him to fear. In fact you discard all appeals to fear as a means of moral government, maintaining that man should be so educated that what you call his natural love of truth, beauty and holiness, will be sufficient. If you succeed in ma king this feature of transcendental. ism believed, it needs no prophet to foresee that it will sweep every vestige of pure religion from the world. Not what you call religion, for there will always be minds alive to the beauties of nature and art, and hearts enraptured with the works of God, in which consist your religion and religious worship. But the mass of mankind are never sufficiently re fined in their sentiments to appre ciate your sentiments, and keep de vout on your plan. They will enjoy the beauties of nature, but will never arrive, in their admiration of landscapes and beautiful thoughts, at what you would call earnest spiritual life. It is much to be desired to have the heart softened and enno. bled in the contemplation of the works of God. There may be true worship in this; but how many, who, like Byron, feel exquisitely every form of poetic beauty, are hostile to religion, when she lays a restraint upon their passions! Much which you say in this connection is good and important to be said, but it never will be all that man needs. If we

stop with mere poetic beauty, with the religion of romance, we shall soon be destitute even of this. There is no man who can not feel in some degree the beauty and grandeur of certain objects. So far you would call him religious: so far he worships your God. We might as well call him so far religious, as he loves a dish of turtle soup or a bottle of Madeira; for while the one may in dicate a higher refinement than the other, both are equally involuntary, and both may exist in bad as well as in good men. David, Job and Isaiah, to whom you often refer, all saw God in his works, all "mused on nature with a poet's eye;" but this was not all their religion. They had deep repentance for sin,-for sin committed against God as a being, and not a mere principle. There was faith in those men, but a faith widely differing from your faith, You appropriate the poetic beauty of the Bible and of nature to your system, and leave out of view those truths which are most necessary for man to believe.

Mr. A. You must be aware that, owing to the difference in genius and education of men, we must always have both the exoteric and the esoteric doctrines. The inspired sages of Greece found this to be necessary. There must be a statute religion for the mass, certainly till they are ele vated immeasurably above what they have ever been. Hence we never wish to controvert the common notions respecting the Bible, inspira. tion, religious forms, &c., since these are necessary for a season. But infidelity is chiefly among the educated. During the last century it prevailed in its worst forms in the higher circles of France, and even throughout Europe and America. The sensual philosophy led to this result. We wish to reach this class of men. Let the doctrines of Py. thagoras and of the still more divine Plato be expounded and taught, with slight modifications, and we shall Vol. I.


arrest the progress of doubt and denial.

Mr. B. Here again I must call for explanation. You apply the epithets divine, inspired, and godlike, to men unknown to sacred history. But from your idea of God, of worship, of man's reason, I sup pose we are to understand that you call Plato, Shakspeare, and certain writers of our day in Europe and America, inspired, in the same sense in which Isaiah, David and Christ were inspired. That is, they have genius, true spiritual insight, and utter what the heart spontaneously responds to as truth.

Mr. A. Exactly so! Yet there are all degrees of inspiration. And we consider Christ much more inspired than any other man, and it is owing to this that his religion is su perior to all others, and is received in the most enlightened countries. Much of it will doubtless live through all time. When the poet or sage utters true spiritual thoughts, we say he is inspired. His thoughts are the voice of God; they are beyond common ideas, and we know not what else to call them. We read them, they strike us as true, beautiful, good, and we spontaneously exclaim, "Surely this is the voice of God!" Hence we can see by the light of reason, that David had more inspiration than Moses, John far more than the other apostles, and Christ so much more than all others, that they may well call him Master. I trust we have a few in our own day, some even in New England, who listen attentively to the eternal oracle within, and utter divine responses. The Dial is a clear indi cation that there is still faith, genius and inspiration among us.

Mr. B. I give you credit for clearness and candor, whatever I may think of your common sense. This is no mysticism. To place the Dial and the Bible, as it respects their inspiration, on the same footing, is certainly intelligible, and in

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