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religious life with all the gentle and kindly graces that render it so beautiful and lovely.
We would still follow the logical sequences of this subject in the application of its principles to various forms of the Christian faith. But our limits allow us only to indicate, rather than discuss this application.
Romanism.-A great, radical defect of this form of Christianity is, that it so much excludes God from it. This vast system has but little relation to God, and, hence, but little true religion in it. It is so filled with the ceremonial and the human, that but little room remains for the spiritual and the divine. The pope and his subordinates have taken the place of God, and psuedo-sacraments and human ceremonies have superseded the atonement and the work of the Spirit. And such a horde of priestly intruders and canonical saints have crowded in between God and the people as almost to hide him from their view. And to this extent it must be void of true religion.
Besides, this system greatly obscures and perverts the true idea of both the divine goodness and justice. The rewards of approving goodness, and the penalties of condemning justice, are dispensed to men, not upon the ground of their moral character, but of their Church relation and ceremonial observances. However pure and good, if dissenting from Rome, or without her communion, the saving mercy of God is utterly denied, and the penalties of his wrath declared infallibly sure. Can such perverted views, so contrary to all the principles of goodness and justice, benignly impress the soul? Can God be regarded either with profound reverence or earnest love? No; the religious intuitions of the soul utterly forbid it. The commercial use of justice is alike perverting and misleading. While pardons may be purchased, whether at high or low rates, without any reformation of life, divine justice must either be wholly overlooked, or regarded merely as an article of traffic and speculation. Such views never can awaken the soul to true religion. Add to all this the severity and cruelty, oppression and wrong, with which this traffic is carried on, and you have the utterness of perversion and distortion. Hence, Romanism scarcely reaches the religious affections. And with all her vast power over the nations brought under her sway,
she has exceeding little spiritual or true religious power. A true religious life formed under her influence, is rather in spite of it than by its legitimate aid.
Liberalism.-The term is not taken as exact, or of definite application. It is used simply as suggesting several forms of Christianity which deny the divinity of Christ and his atonement, and greatly restrict, or deny, the doctrine of future punishment.
In the denial of all future punishment, divine justice seems too feeble to be impressive. The holiness of God, and the turpitude and demerit of sin, are not manifest. Divine justice is brought down to a level with human justice. And as it admeasures God's estimate of sin, it no longer appears so utterly abhorrent and evil in his sight. So the evil of sin and the obligation of duty are all lessened in our own estimate. Indeed, divine justice itself is thus placed in doubt. Limit its functions to this life, and deny all future punishment to sin and all future advantage to piety, and it no longer appears that God is just. With such false ideas, no strong and moving appeal can be made to the conscience or to the religious affections. Where some future punishment is allowed, this evil is less. But another, and often a greater one, lies in other errors.
In the denial of the divinity of Christ, and the atonement, the idea of the divine goodness is rendered equally feeble. No longer can we, with any lofty significance or deep-felt admiration, exclaim, "God so loved the world!" Often, too, in connection with these errors, all pardon is denied; and, hence, all the goodness of God, and all the motive to love him manifested therein. With such insufficient views of the divine justice and goodness, of the evil of sin and the obligation of duty, and of the motives to love and reverence God, religion must be feeble. And the systems which admit these errors can have but little renovating power upon the soul, and never can awaken its religious affections to an earnest Christian life..
Calvinism.-We have nothing to utter against Calvinists, nor against Calvinism as it usually appears in the actual creed and life of its believers. Practically accepted, it has exceeding efficiency for the development and formation of an earnest, noble Christian life. The fact admits of a clear, philosophical exposition. But this is not the place for it. And the
Christian world may well rejoice for the measure of pure, earnest, spiritual religion developed under this system. Our exceptions are to its logical, rather than its accepted or actual sequences.
Necessity, so far as admitted into this system, must modify the impression which the divine goodness and justice make upon the mind of its believers. Goodness dispensing awards to actions divinely necessitated, is different from the goodness dispensing awards to the same actions, as free. The difference is greater in regard to justice. The impression which we receive from the punitive dispensations of justice upon divinely necessitated actions, must be very different from that received from its dispensations upon the same actions, as free. No power can make them alike, without a radical change of our moral constitution.
There are modifications of the system; none of which, however, afford any special relief. Upon the supralapsarian theory, that God decreed from eternity both the characters and destinies of men and angels, his goodness and justice are both utterly arbitrary, and, hence, cease to be either goodness or justice. In the sublapsarian theory, God, regarding all men as fallen, chooses a part to salvation, and leaves the rest to perish. But this involves the divine goodness in partial, arbitrary limitations. All are precisely the same in the view of God, and all lie equally within the reach of his grace. Now, that goodness which, under such facts, applies itself only to a part, must be partial and arbitrary. There is yet another theory, in which the divine goodness extends the grace of redemption to all, but, all rejecting its provisions, goodness sovereignly applies them to the saving of a part, leaving the rest to perish. But here again that goodness is partial and arbitrary. Now, with such erroneous ideas of the divine goodness and justice, so special in the character of God as the object of all true religious development, the impression upon the religious affections cannot be healthful and benign. Our religious intuitions forbid it. There can be no lofty inspiration of a true, grateful love, nor profound sense of a devout, admiring reverence. And where these cardinal religious affections are wanting in their higher form, the Christian life must be wanting in its completeness and symmetry.
Arminianism.-This form of the Christian faith occupies the broadest ground as to the fullness and purity of the divine justice, and excludes everything which can bring into doubt its equitableness, or the accountableness and guilt of those who suffer its penalties. It has, too, the most impressive views of the duty of obedience and the demerit of sin. With it the divine goodness is infinitely full and free; not partial, or arbitrary, but paternal and universal, flowing down to men specially in the grace of the Cross, and the redemption of all. This system of doctrine, holding the clearest and most truthful views of the goodness and justice of God, and harmonizing with the plainest teachings of revelation and the moral intuitions of the soul, has the highest moral power, and makes the mightiest appeal to the religious affections. Its whole influence is effective and healthful. These cardinal affections, so fully developed, become the source or support of all the Christian graces. And the religious life thus normally wrought is simple and spiritual, deep and earnest, symmetrical and complete.
ART. II.-GERMAN MATERIALISM-THE NATURALISTIC SCHOOL.
[FROM THE FRENCH OF THE REVUE DES DEUX MONDES.]
1. MOLESCHOTT, Kreislauf des Lebens, first edition, 1852; fourth edition, 1862. 2. BÜCHNER, Kraft und Stoff, seventh edition, 1862. Natur und Geist, Frankfort, 1857. Aus Natur und Wissenschaft, Leipzig, 1862. 3. VOGT, Bilder aus dem Thierleben, Frankfort, 1857. Physiologische Briefe, Giessen, 1856. Vorlesungen über den Menschen, seine Bildung in der Schöpfung und in der Geschichte, Giessen, 1863. 4. LÖWENTHAL, System und Geschichte des Naturalismus, Leipzig, 1863, fourth edition. 5. CZOLBE, Neue Darstellung des Sensualismus, Leipzig, 1856.
"IT is a distinctive trait of the true philosopher," says Feuerbach, "not to be a professor of philosophy." This keen and witty saying, which Mr. Taine might covet, shows us what a revolution in ideas has occurred in Germany since the time when the great professors, Kant, Fichte, Hegel, Schelling, and Herbart, inaugurated with such pomp the philosophy of the nineteenth century. To-day these great names, which our
laggard French radicals present to our admiration as models of free thought and generous daring, are in Germany superannuated and scarcely-respected names. They are treated as official philosophers, and some go so far as to call them charlatans. Hear the somber Schopenhauer, ever inclined to the worst view of things, who even in the Occident, in the old and active commercial city of Frankfort, has entertained the phantasy of renewing the Buddhistic nirvana, hear him speak of Hegel and the philosophers of his school. "Pantheism," says he, "has fallen so low, and has led to such insipidity, that it is now cultivated as a means for getting a livelihood. The chief cause of this debasement was Hegel himself, an intellect of mediocrity, who, by all known means, desired to get himself accepted as a philosopher, and succeeded in setting himself up as an idol before a few very young people, at first suborned and now forever shallow." Such assaults upon the human mind go not unpunished. The same philosopher calls Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel the three sophists, and he thus sums up the recipe for these philosophers and their disciples: "Dilute a minimum of thought in five hundred pages of nauseating phraseology, and trust for the rest to the truly German patience of the reader." So speaks Schopenhauer, one of the most esteemed philosophers of Germany for the last ten years.
Hear, now, Mr. Büchner, author of the book "Force and Matter," and one of the most decided and popular adepts of the materialistic school. "We shall remove," says he, "all the philosophic verbiage by which the théodétique philosophy glitters, especially the German philosophy, which inspires just disgust in the lettered and the illiterate. The time has gone by when learned verbiage, philosophic charlatanism, and intellectual jugglery were in vogue." The same writer speaks with the deepest contempt of the "pretended novelty" of German philosophy. "Our modern philosophers," says he, "love to warm up old vegetables, giving them new names, to serve them up to us as the last invention of philosophical cookery." We see by these gross words that it is always the lot of those who have reigned a moment to be in their turn despised and insulted. We see that the pantheistic and idealistic masters are to-day no more respected in Germany than the spiritualistic masters are in France.