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in which the idea of gravity realizes itself freely, they have their force of determination, to accomplish the destiny involved in their particular natures. One is therefore the general centre of all abstract relations to itself. The planetary orbs, as the direct or immediate concrete, are in their existence the most perfect. We are accustomed to consider the sun the most excellent, inasmuch as the understanding prefers the abstract to the concrete, as also even the fixed stars are regarded with more consideration than the bodies of the solar system.” Although these declarations contain no satisfactory explanation, they nevertheless express a decided tendency: First, to exalt the bodies of the solar system over the fixed stars ; second, to set the planets of our solar system over the sun; and thirdly, in this system to consider one as the general centre. Thus then the earth is the culminating point in the universe. And on the earth is the hearth-home around which culminates the so-called philosophy of that spirit which has come to a conscious apprehension of itself. And without doubt the notion of the infinite littleness of the earth, as represented by Hegel is only secondary--a consequence of the primary notion concerning the infinite greatness of the human spirit. ESCHENMAYER, too, in his work entitled : “ The religious Philosophy of Hegel compared with the Christian Principle,” has charged this system with taking this view of the enormous littleness of the universe. He says $. 32, “ Hegel confines his God chiefly to this small speck of earth. In nature, life, history and individual self-consciousness here, it is that God is expected to come to a full revelation of himself. For Hegel there exists no higher beings, no higher nature, no higher life, no higher scheme of creation, but what is produced and perfected out of this poor race of earth. He who in regard to God and the universe, confines his thoughts to the earth and the race which inhabits it, resembles the mole, which considers the ridge which he himself has cast up as the whole world. Such a philosophy belongs to the Platonic cave, in which the formula of reason, like the stalactites, construct a world of their own of figures, which he who is confined in it at first takes as his world, till he looks out at the cave's narrow mouth, and thus sets himself right in reference to the vast extent of the heavens above him. Who can believe, that this small fragment of human history is to be taken as the measure of God's universal scheme, which comprehends all the stars in the universe—that the physical and organic evolutions of earth are to be taken as the archetype of all the vast world of spheres—that, in general, the individual self-consciousness of man is to be taken as the mirror of God. This is the pride of philosophy, which deifies its own conceptions, and with the drop of a bucket would measure the ocean." With propriety and force, it appears to us, does Eschenmayer exhibit the unreconciled contradiction between the theses of the above-named philosophy and the clear known results of the latest science of the earth and the heavens, in condemnation of this philosophy.* Yes, the stars of heaven, under the influence of this system, are all threatened with a transformation into monsters. And how will it defend itself, when it has arrayed against it all the Scriptural hosts and rolling orbs of heaven which glorify God, and above which even He is exalted and praised as the LORD OF SABAOTH. How will it stand against these bright and blazing arguments of day and night, which prove the littleness of earth and the greatness of the heavens, and which induce us so easily, so naturally, and so necessarily to infer the existence of manifold orders of heavenly spirits over and above the human race ! Are even the above-mentioned conceptions defended by strong and good men, yet, in the long run, they will not be able to accomplish anything in opposition to the heavenly armies; they will drop their colors when the Great and Little Bear, the Lion and all the threatening powers of the starry world are marshalled out against them. We confess that the system, in its dialectics, may be called strong; it arises like a true Achilles ; but the astronomical conceptions which it publishes as its own, this is its weakness, this is the heel of Achilles. Hence it will not in the least astonish us, if sooner or later, the blazing Dragon-the Northern Serpent of the heavens, shall dart forth like lightning to wound the heel of this Achilles with a deadly bite; or if the Archer of the firmament shall let fly his golden arrow, and triumphantly prostrate this heroic enemy. The proud giant form will fall and sink, but the immortal part of it will be saved. We may, then, from the same work, from which the most of the Hegelian quotations are made—Gæthe’s Faustus—select its epitaph, and, with the alteration of but one word, say:
* When therefore Strauss holds up to view thephilosophy of Eschenmayer as somnambulistic, it may be remarked in reference to it, that it is nevertheless not monomaniac through the magnetic influence of one moon, but rather has become clear-sighted through the united influence of the bright universal which it contemplates.
To give the human spirit honor rare,
And stars, like vapors into empty air.
ART. VI. SHORT NOTICES.
ESSAYS ON VARIOUS SUBJECTS. By his Eminence Cardinal
Wiseman. In three volumes. London: Dolman. Baltimore: Murphy & Co. 1853. NO ONE needs to be informed that what Cardinal Wiseman writes is always worthy of being read. As a man of varied and extensive learning, his reputation has long been firmly established on both sides of the Atlantic. Who has not heard of his celebrated “Lectures on the connection between Science and Revealed Religion,” commended to attention in this country, twenty years since, by the late Professor Stuart of Andover ? To thorough scholarship, he adds fine taste, and an exquisite sympathy with all that is classical and pure in literature and art. In both respects, his education is continental rather than insular European and not merely Anglican, uniting with English training the culture and learning also of Italy, France, Germany to some extent, and Spain. His writings in this way, have a character of teeming freshness and fulness, beyond what is common. Science, with him, is never cold and dry. The didactic, in his hands, encircles itself continually with flowers. Even where we find a want of care, as we do occasionally, in the style of some of his more hastily written productions, we seldom miss the presence of a living flow of thought, which imparts to it, notwithstanding, an interest more eloquent than that of simply fine periods. As a general thing, however, he combines the eloquence of words with this richer eloquence of thought. In the use of imagery, he is often indeed exceedingly happy. Many are familiar with the beauty of his style, as it appears in his popular course of “Lectures on the Doctrines and Practices of the Catholic Church." For its own purposes, a book could hardly be better written.
The volumes before us are made up almost entirely of articles, originally published in the “ Dublin Review;" which was started, it seems, in the year 1836, by a triumvirate, consisting of Quin, O'Connell and Wiseman, as an organ of Catholic principles and sentiments, with reference particularly to the theological movements of the time in the Church of England. The collection is so formed as to give each volume a somewhat separate character of its own.
The first is more especially for Catholic readers, containing Scriptural essays and papers intended to unfold the significance of certain parts of the Catholic worship. Here will be found of particular interest two articles on the Parables and Miracles of the New Testament, and another at the close of the volume, on the Actions of the New Testament. The second volume is occupied with articles on the Oxford Controversy; while the third is made up of papers and essays of a more miscellaneous character-historical, artistical, archeological, and controversial. The second is of special interest and importance, as having to do with the most momentous movement which has appeared in the English Church since the time of the Reformation ; for so, undoubtedly, the Tractarian controversy must be regarded, whatever opinion we may have of its merits. We have here in a series of essays, well worthy of being preserved, the argument of the Catholic Church ably maintained against the pretensions of Anglicanism, as set forth in the “ Tracts for the Times,” the “British Critic,” and other so-called Puseyite publications. Seldom has the world seen a more interesting religious controversy. There was learning and earnestness on both sides; and the questions in debate were felt all round to be of the most profound and far-reaching practical concern. Cardinal Wiseman's share in the controversy, as presented to us now in these essays, speaks greatly to his praise. He shows himself throughout, mighty in learning, powerful in argument, uncompromising in principle, kind in spirit, and gentlemanly in manner. No wonder that such controversy should have been felt to carry with it weight and force, in the minds even of his adversaries themselves. We find Dr. Newman more than once, since his conversion, acknowledging what he considers his own obligations to it in this view.
If it be asked now, what is to be thought of the actual merits of the discussion itself as a whole, we have no hesitation in saying that we consider the advantage to be completely on the side of the champion of Catholicism. The great body of the Protestant world can feel no objection, of course, to this admission; inasmuch as it refuses altogether to see or own in the Tractarian system, any true representation of what it holds to be its own proper cause. That system indeed itself disowns the cause of Protestantism in its common and general view ; and any triumph it might be able to assert in its own favor would be taken for a defeat of this general interest, almost as much as the triumph of Catholicism itself. General Protestantism, therefore, will not count it any very serious matter, to be told that this particular shape or type of Protestantism has been found totally unable to maintain its ground in controversy with Cardinal Wiseman. Of the fact itself no one can doubt, who may seriously read these able articles from the “ Dublin Review.” Anglicanism, after the Oxford fashion, is here shown to be a system which cannot stand. It is necessarily destroyed by its own premises, or first principles. Grant these, and there is no logical stopping place short of the Catholic Church itself. Whether the system choose to be called Protestant, or refuse this appellation, as it does sometimes, affecting to be a simple continuation of one particular branch of the Church, in its own separate line, makes in the end no difference, as regards this point. In either view the scheme is inconsequential and untenable. To stand at all, Episcopacy must be Protestant, must plant itself on the Protestant principle ; and this principle, by the very nature of the case, must be of wider force and range altogether than it is allowed to be by any theory of such narrow sort. All this Dr. Wiseman shows with overwhelming demonstration; and in such view it is, we may say, that the Anglo-Catholic controversy is fairly at an end. It is a matter now fixed and settled, that the cause of Protestantism can never be successfully upheld in that form. To place it on any such ground, is virtually to give it up as a mere schismatical usurpation of powers and rights that belong properly only to the Catholic Church. So regarded, its pretensions resolve themselves necessarily into sham.
It is much to know this. The case, however, involves more.