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ORESTES A. BROWNSON

COLLECTED AND ARRANGED

BY

HENRY F. BROWNSON.

VOLUME VI.

CONTAINING THE SECOND PART OF THE WRITINGS IN DEFENCE OF

THE CHURCH.

DETROIT:
THORNDIKE NOURSE, PUBLISHER.

1884.

TRANSCENDENTALISM.*

(From Brownson's Quarterly Review for 1845 and 1846.]

ARTICLE I.

We have nothing to say of the general character of the author of this volume and very little of the volume itself, as a simple literary production, detached from the system in exposition and defence of which it appears to have been written. It is loosely, and even heavily written, in a flippant and affected style, and sins hardly less against grammar and rhetoric than against piety and truth. It bears the marks of haste, and seems to have been hurriedly thrown together, from the author's commonplace-book and the fag ends of his sermons and discourses, and sent forth to the public without his having taken the time or the pains to melt his heterogeneous materials down into a common mass, or to think out, so to speak, the principles he had rashly adopted, in their systematic relations, and logical connexions and consequences. It is crude, confused; without method, order, systematic unity, or scientific development. As the production of a vain, conceited pedant and scoffer, it may pass ; but as the production of a scholar, a theologian, a man ambitious of contributing to the literature of his country, and establishing a high literary and scientific character of his own,--the less we say of it, the more shall we consult the credit of the author.

But we are not concerned with the author, nor with his book, save so far as one or the other is connected with the system he attempts to set forth, and is to be taken as its exponent. This system we propose to examine,—not simply the author or his book; neither of which, separated from this system, which is not without numerous adherents, both at home and abroad, would deserve any serious attention. But this system, called ordinarily Transcendentalism, by Mr. Parker Natural Religionism, and not inaptly, by Mr. Andrews Norton The latest Form of Infidelity, it is by no means

ER.

* A Discourse of Matters pertaining to Religion. By THEODORE PARKBoston: 1842. VOL. VI-1

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