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THE following marginalia of Mr. Coleridge's, which were spoken of in a note to chap. ix. were transcribed for a new edition of the Biographia by Mr. C.'s late editor, with the passages referred to in the original German. These passages are here given upon the whole a little more at large, and in English, but with a clear understanding that entire justice can not in this way bo done to the notions of Schelling, which, to be perfectly estimated, must be considered in the disquisitions to which they belong, as plants and flowers must be viewed in their native situations in order to be fully understood and admired.*S. C.
MS. note on Schelling's Philosoph. Untersuchungen über das Wesen der menschlichen Freyheit und die damit Zusammenhängenden Gegenstände. Phil. Schrift. p. 397.
There are indeed many just and excellent observations in this work of Schelling's, and yet even more than usual over-meaning or unmeaning quid pro quos-thing-phrases, such as "Licht," Finsterniss," Feuer," "centre," ," "circumference," ," "ground," and the like-which seem to involve the dilemma, that either they are mere similes, where that which they are meant to illustrate has never been stated, or that they are degrees of a kind, which kind has not been defined. Hence Schelling seems to be looking objectively at one thing, and imagining himself thinking of another; and after all this mysticism, what is the result? Still the old questions return, and I find none but the old anThis ground to God's existence either lessens, or does not les sen, his power. In the first case it is, in effect, a co-existent God,evil, because the ground of all evil;-in the second it leaves us as before. With that "before" my understanding is perfectly satisfied;
I wish the reader to know before perusing these notes, on the authority of Archdeacon Hare, that "for the last twelve years Schelling has been strongly contending against Hegel, and has made, or at all events professes to make, the idea of personality and of a personal God the central principle of his system." Quoted from the Archdeacon's admirable defence of Luther, Mission of the Comforter. Vol. ii. note 10, p. 800.
and, vehemently as Schelling condemns that theory of freedom, which makes it consist in the paramountcy of the Reason over the Will, wherein does his own solution differ from this, except in expressing with uncouth mysticism the very same notion? For what can be meant by the "individuality, or Ichheit, becoming eccentric, and usurping the circumference," if not this? He himself plainly says that moral evil arises not from privation-much less negation,—but from the same constituents losing their proper ordination, that is, becoming C. B. A. instead of A. B. C. But wherein does this differ from the assertion, that the freedom of man consists in all the selfishness of his nature being subordinated to, and used as the instrument and materia of, his Reason, that is, his sense of the universal Will?
In short nothing seems gained. To creation-Werden-he himself admits that we must resort; he himself admits it, in even a much higher sense, in the Logos, or the alter Deus et idem. Other creations were still possible, from the will of God, and not from His essence, and yet partaking of His goodness. A mere machine could be made happy, but not deserving of happiness; but if God created a Being with a power of choosing good, that Being must have been created with a power of choosing evil; otherwise there is no meaning in the word Choice. And thus we come round again to the necessity arising out of finiteness, with Leibnitz and Plato. For it is evident that by Matter Plato and Plotinus meant Finiteness;-or how else could they call it rò μǹ ov, without any qualities, and yet capable of all? The whole question of the origin of Evil resolves itself into one. Is the Holy Will good in and of itself, or only relative, that is, as a mean to pleasure, joy, happiness and the like? If the latter be the truth, no solution can be given of the origin of Evil compatible with the attributes of God; but (as in the problem of the squaring of the circle), we can demonstrate that it is impossible to be solved. If the former be true, as I more than believe, the solution is easy, and almost selfevident. Man can not be a moral being without having had the choice of good and evil, and he can not choose good without having been able to choose evil. God, as infinite and self-existing, is the alone One, in whom Freedom and Necessity can be one and the same from the beginning: in all finite beings it must have been arrived at by a primary act, as in Angels, or by a succession of acts as in Man. In addition it seems to me that Schelling unfairly represents Kant's system as the mere subjecting of the appetites to the Reason. Whereas Kant makes the enjoyment of freedom, not freedom itself, consist in the subjection of the particular to the universal Will, in order to their identification: and does not Schelling use Freedom often when he means no more than others mean by Life-that is, the power of originating motion.-S. T. C.
Ibid. p. 403. "Through Freedom, a power is asserted, in principle unconditioned, without and by the side of the divine power, which according to those conceptions is inconceivable. As the sun in the Firmament extinguishes all heavenly lights, even so, and far more does the Infinite Might (extinguish) every finite, absolute Causality in one Being leaves to all others unconditioned Passibility as their only portion."
Note. But is not this still a carrying of the physical Dynamic into the moral? Even admitting the incongruous predicate, Time, in the Deity, I can not see any absolute incompossibility of Foresight with Freedom.-S. T. C.
Ibid. p. 413. "It is not absurd, says Leibnitz, that he who is God, should nevertheless be produced, or conversely: no more than it is contradictory that he who is the son of a Man should himself be Man."
Note. I do not see the propriety of the instance; unless "God" is here assumed as an Ens genericum even as "Man." If this be a mere nominalism it proves nothing;-if it be meant as a realism, it is a petitio principii sub lite; just as the following instance of the eye; but this is a far better illustration.-S. T. C.
Ibid. p. 421. "But it will ever be remarkable, that Kant, when he had at first distinguished things in themselves from phænomena only negatively, through independence of Time, and subsequently, in the metaphysical investigation of his Critique of the Practical Reason, had treated independence of Time and Freedom as really correlative conceptions, did not proceed to the thought of extending to the things also this only possible positive conception of the in themselves, whereby he would have raised himself immediately to a higher standing-point of contemplation, and above the negativity, which is the character of his theoretic philosophy.”—Schell.
Note. But would not this have been opposite to Kant's aim? His purpose was a kаÐAρTIKÒV TĪS YUкns. In order to effect this thoroughly, within this he, by an act of choice, confined himself.-S. T. C.
Ibid. p. 422. "For whether there are single things conceived in an Absolute Substance, or just so many single wills, conceived in one Arch Will (or original will Urwille), for Pantheism, as such, is all one."
Note. The question is, do not these single wills, so included in the one "Urwille" become "Things?"—S. T. C.
Ibid. p. 424. “For, if Freedom is a power unto evil (Vermögen zum Bösen), it must have a root independent of God.”