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tered by glowing descriptions of our godlike powers, affinities, and tendencies; we have been transported by the assurance that we may dispense with priests, prophets, intercessors, and mediators, and of ourselves approach the Infinite One face to face, and drink our supply at the primal Fountain of Truth itself; but now, having lingered till the ascending sun has exhaled the dewdrops and exhausted the gems and precious stones which sparkled in rich profusion at our feet, what is the real and positive value of what has so long detained and charmed us? Things are what they are ; man is what he is, and by a right use of his faculties may be, do, and know all he can be, do, and know. So far as we are wise, good, and loving, so far we have and know wisdom, goodness, love; and so far as we have and know wisdom, goodness, love, we have and know God, in so far as he is wisdom, goodness, love. He who knows more of these knows more than he who knows less. If the possession of wisdom, goodness, love, be inspiration, then he who has the most wisdom, goodness, love, is the most inspired,—and to be more inspired, he must get more wisdom, goodness, love. To be more inspired, he must be more inspired. If white be white, then white is white; if black be black, then what is black is black; if two be two, then two are two. Or, in two grand formulas from Mr. Parker, "Goodness is goodness," and “ Be good and do good,” and you will be good and do good! If this is not the whole of transcendentalism, when divested of its denials, its blasphemy, and its impiety, and reduced to its simple dogmatic teaching, then we have given days, weeks, months, and years, to its study to no purpose. Stated in plain and simple terms, it is the veriest commonplace imaginable. It is merely“ much ado about nothing, or “a tempest in a teapot." Dressed up in the glittering robes of a tawdry rhetoric, or wrapped in the mystic folds. of an unusual and unintelligible dialect, it may impose on the simple and credulous; but to attempt to satisfy one's spiritual wants with it is as vain as to attempt to fill one's self with the east wind, or to warm one's freezing hands on a cold winter's night by holding them up to the moon. Yet its teachers are the great lights of this age of light, before whom all the great lights of past times pale as the stars before the

Men and women, through some mistake not in a lunatic hospital, run after them with eagerness, hang with delight on their words, and smack their lips as if feeding on honey. Our Protestant populations, on whom the sun of the reformation shines in its effulgence, are moved, run towards their teaching, and are about to hail it as the Tenth Avatar come to redeem the world. Wonderful teachers! Wonderful populations! Wonderful age !

sun.

In conclusion; while surveying the mass of absurdities and impieties heaped together under the name of transcendentalism, and which attract so many, and even some of our own friends, whose kindness of heart, whose simple manners, and whose soundness of judgment on all other subjects command our love and esteem, we have been forcibly struck with the utter impotence of human reason to devise a scheme which reason herself shall not laugh to scorn. As often as man has attempted of himself alone to build a tower which should reach to heaven, or to connect by his own skill and labor the earthly with the celestial, and make a free and easy passage from one to the other, the Lord has derided his impotent efforts, confounded his language, and made confusion more confused. Uniform failure should teach us the folly of the attempt, and lead us to ask, if it be not the highest reason to bow to the divine reason, and the most perfect freedom to have no will but the will of God. “O Israel I thou destroyest thyself; in me is thy help.”

PROTESTANTISM ENDS IN TRANSCEN

DENTALISM.*

(From Brownson's Quarterly Review for July, 1816.]

We have no intention of reviewing at length the book the title of which we have just quoted. Indeed, we have read it only by proxy. We have heard it spoken of in certain literary circles as a remarkable production, almost as one of the wonders of the age. The Protestant lady who read it for us tells us that it is a weak and silly book, unnatural in its scenes and characters, coarse and vulgar in its language

*

* Margaret, a Tale of the cal and Ideal, Blight and Bloom, including Sketches of a Place not before described, called Mons Christi. Boston: 1846.

VOL. VI-8

and details, wild and visionary in its speculations; and, judging from the portions here and there which we actually have read, and from the source whence it emanates, we can hardly run any risk in endorsing our Protestant friend's criticism. The author is a man not deficient in natural gifts; he has respectable attainments; and makes, we believe, a tolerably successful minister of the latest form of Protestantism with which we chance to be acquainted ; though, since we have not been introduced to any new form for several months, it must not be inferred from the fact that we are acquainted with no later form, that none later exists.

So far as we have ascertained the character of this book, it is intended to be the vehicle of certain crude speculations on religion, theology, philosophy, morals, society, education, and matters and things in general. The Mons Christi stands for the human heart, and Christ himself is our higher or instinctive nature, and if we but listen to our own natures, we shall at once learn, love, and obey all that our Blessed Redeemer teaches. Hence, Margaret, a poor, neglected child, who has received no instruction, who knows not even the name of her Maker, nor that of her Saviour, who, in fact, has grown up in the most brutish ignorance, is represented as possessing in herself all the elements of the most perfect Christian character, and as knowing by heart all the essential principles of Christian faith and inorals. The author seems also to have written his work, in part at least, for the purpose of instructing our instructors as to the true method of education. IIe appears to adopt a very simple and a very pleasant theory on the subject,-one which cannot fail to commend itself to our young folks. Love is the great teacher; and the true method of education is for the pupil to fall in love with the tutor, or the tutor with the ptipil, and it is perfected when the falling in love is mutual. Whence it follows, that it is a great mistake to suppose it desirable or even proper that tutor and pupil should both be of the same sex. This would be to reverse the natural order, since the sexes were evidently intended for each other. This method, we suppose, should be called learning made easy, or nature displayed, since it would enable us to dispense with school-rooms, prefects, text-books, study, and the birch, and to fall back on,our natural instincts. These two points of doctrine indicate the genus, if not the species, of the book, and show that it must be classed under the general head of transcendentalism. If we could allow ourselves to go deeper into the work and to dwell longer on its licentiousness and blasphemy, we probably might determine its species as well as its genus. But this must suffice; and when we add that the author seems to comprise in himself several species at once, besides the whole genus humbuggery, we may dismiss the book, with sincere pity for him who wrote it, and a real prayer for his speedy restoration to the simple genus humanity, and for his conversion, through grace, to that Christianity which was given to man from above, and not, spider-like, spun out of his own bowels.

Yet, bad and disgusting, false and blasphemous, as this book really is, bating a few of its details, it is a book which no Protestant, as a Protestant, has a right to censure. Many Protestants affect great contempt for transcendentalism, and horror at its extravagance and blasphemy; but they have no right to do so. Transcendentalism is a much more serious affair than they would have us believe. It is not a simple “Yankee notion,” confined to a few isolated individuals in a little corner of New England, as some of our southern friends imagine, but is in fact the dominant error of our times, is as rife in one section of our common country as in another; and, in principle, at least, is to be met with in every popular anticatholic writer of the day, whether German, French, English, or American. It is, and has been from the first, the fundamental heresy of the whole Protestant world; for, at bottom, it is nothing but the fundamental principle of the Protestant reformation itself, and without assuming it, there is no conceivable principle on which it is possible to justify the reformers in their separation from the Catholic Church. The Protestant who refuses to accept it, with all its legitimate consequences, however frightful or absurd they may be, condemns himself and his whole party.

We are far from denying that many Protestants, and, indeed, the larger part of them, as a matter of fact, profess to hold many doctrines which are incompatible with transcendentalism; but this avails them nothing, for they hold them, not as Protestants, but in despite of their Protestantism, and therefore have no right to hold them at all. In taking an account of Protestantism, we have the right, and, indeed, are bound, to exclude them from its definition. Every man is bound, as the condition of being ranked among rational beings, to be logically consistent with himself; and no one can claim as his own any doctrine which does not flow from, or which is not logically consistent with, his own first princi

ples. This follows necessarily from the principle, that of contradictories one must be false, since one necessarily excludes the other. If, then, the doctrines incompatible with transcendentalism, which Protestants profess to hold, do not flow from their own first principles, or if they are not logically compatible with them, they cannot claim them as Protestants, and we have the right, and are bound to exclude them from the definition of Protestantism. The man cannot be scientifically included in the definition of the horse, because both chance to be lodged in the same stable, or to be otherwise found in juxtaposition.

The essential mark or characteristic of Protestantism is, unquestionably, dissent from the authority of the Catholic Church, in subjection to which the first Protestants were spiritually born and reared. This is evident from the whole history of its origin, and from the well known fact, that opposition to Catholicity is the only point on which all who are called Protestants can agree among themselves. On every other question which comes up, they differ widely one from another, and not unfrequently some take views directly opposed to those taken by others; but when it concerns opposing the church, however dissimilar their doctrines and tempers, they all unite, and are ready to march as one man to the attack. As dissent, Protestantism is negative, denies the authority of the Catholic Church, and can include within its definition nothing which, even in the remotest sense, concedes or implies that authority. But no man, sect, or party can rest on a mere negation, for no mere negation is or can be an ultimate principle. Every negation implies an affirmation, and therefore an affirmative principle which authorizes it. He who dissents does so in obedience to some authority or principle which commands or requires him to dissent, and this principle, not the negation, is his fundamental principle. The essential or fundamental principle of Protestantism is, then, not dissent from the authority of the Catholic Church, but the affirmative principle on which it relies for the justification of its dissent.

What, then, is this affirmative principle? Whatever it be, it must be either out of the individual dissenting, or in him; that is, some external authority, or some internal authority. The first supposition is not admissible ; for Protestants really allege no authority for dissent, external to the individual dissenting,-have never defined any such authority, never hinted that such authority exists or is needed ; and

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