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geometry draws out with infallible accuracy, the whole mathematical science. In like manner, from this metaphysical idea of one substance, Spinoza deduces the whole material, intellectual, and moral universe. He allows nothing to enter the evolving process but the point,—the one eternally expanding and contracting substance.
But are matter and inind diverse only in form: a thought and a stone simply different stages in the eternal circle : love and a lobster unlike only in degree of refinement ? Such a boundless generalization confuses every thing. It throws into chaos the most important discriminations between Creator and creature; freedom and fate; virtue and vice; order and anarchy.
“We have followed Spinoza step by step," writes the acute George Henry Lewes, “dragged on by his irresistible logic; and yet, the final impression left on our mind is, that the system has a logical, not vital, truth. We shrink back from the consequences whither it so irresistibly leads us; we gaze over the abyss to the edge of which we have been dragged, and, seeing naught but chaos and despair, we refuse to build our temple there.” It has no more logical than real truth. It is false in first principles—no solid reasoning can be built upon them. Yet, M. Saissez, the learned biographer of Spinoza, declares that “the ultimate struggle will be, not between Christianity and Philosophy, but between Christianity and Spinozism, its strongest and most inveterate antagonist.' And there is an important truth here; for, althongh essentially false, Spinozism is to a class of minds exceedingly fascinating.
About the middle of the last century, the essential principles of pantheism were gathered up by Emanuel Swedenborg and elaborately wrought into a remarkable philosophical scheme. In 1743, at the age of fifty-five, having received what he regarded, as a special commission from God, as the evolutionist of the spiritual sense of the Bible, he devoted the remainder of his life exclusively to the development of his system into what he conceived as the correct philosophy—the true Christian religion. Esse and Existere, substance and forms, emanations and conjunctions, spheres and atmospheres, innermosts and extremes, degrees of altitude and latitude, discrete and continuous, constitute the nomenclature and the ligatures of his philosophy and theology. “His object,” says one of his biographers, “was to open a new way through
a natural knowledge to religious faith.”
Swedenborg, like Spinoza, assumes the one-substance doctrine as the starting-point in all his speculations and interpretations. Of this primal Esse or God, all things in the universe are only modes or forms. Person has no significance when applied to the infinite, for it limits the ideal to what is finite; and only thing extends it to the infinite. “Without the exclusion of person, the thought cannot,” he says, “become universal and extend to the ineffable and the infinite."
Creation—the production of another substance-is held to be impossible and absurd, and emanation is brought in as the substitute. “God first made his infinite finite by substances emitted from himself.” These, in concentric spheres and atmospheres, move outward, and cooling and condensing, form the spirit world, and ultimate in matter.
This identity of God and the universe is a pivotal axiom on which the Swedish seer's whole system is made to turn. “Whatever proceeds from an Esse, makes one with the Esse; because it is one from the Esse, and the one is all and all in the other as in itself.” What proceeds from any one is himself. “God is man and the only man, no one is man but Jehovah alone.” Others are men only “by derivation from him." It is not man's eye that sees, though it appears so, but the Lord's; for he alone lives and acts. If there existed in man one grain of will, the whole human race would perish.
Providence by emanation proceeds from God, and is called the proceeding divine,-an endless “operation ” of the one substance going out from itself and returning to itself. History is a cardinal pulsation of the divine One-All from eternity to eternity, self-wasting and self-repairing ; now sending out its finited particles through the spheres and atmospheres, condensing into matter, and then, by refining influx and infillings, drawing them back again toward conjunction.
Hence, the accredited providential history of the world for the first sixteen centuries is not accepted by Swedenborg as a record of physical events, but of merely mental and moral
processes. It is an allegory, and not a history of a literal creation, fall, and deluge.
The last phase of the pantheistic philosophy is the recent German. The skilful elaborators were Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel,—all building, as did the Swede, on Spinoza's foundation, and, for the most part, out of his material, though not all after his fashion.
Fichte, following the idealism of Kant, developed the onesubstance into a mere phantasmal outer world. The mind creates whatever it is not, and then negates it as an illusion. The subject, the me, is every thing, and the object, the not-me, nothing.
Schelling reversed this method, and assuming the reality of the outer world ran into objective pantheism, in the identity of the me and not-me.
Hegel, dismissing both subject and object, and resolving every thing into the mere relation of being and not-being, something and nothing, matured a system of mental gymnastics which has been claimed by a few as Christianly theistic, while the majority of his pupils are open pantheists or atheists. History here, as in all pantheistic schemes, is more a chemical process than a course of intelligible, providential events. The one-substance in its first form, Hegel calls nature —God, spirit, sonl, matter,-all is nature.
In this is an eternal molecular movement; a primum mobile, tending to emanation and discrimination ; yet, uuconscious and unfree. In a second stage, spirit is eliminated and reaches consciousness,—God becoming conscious of himself as an individual, or as finited in man. The third stage is a return movement and carries the spirit from conscious freedom and personality back to the universal and unconscious impersonality. God is man, and man, so far as he nullifies the natural, is God.
“God,” says Fichte, “is the moral order” of the world, and personality has no significance except in the finite. Light, thought, being, is not mine, but God's; for every thing belongs to him and is God, and what is not God is nothing.
The most remarkable character in history, the truest and most representative man of the race, by some students in this
philosophy, is resolved into a myth; while the grandest events of his life are explained by magic or mental hallucinations. Emanation, development, flux and reflux of the one-all and all-one, this is providence, this history; and God-worship nature-worship, self-worship, all-worship, and nothing-worship --this is religion.
Art. III.-- Memoirs of the Life and Ministry of the Rev.
Thomus Raffles, D.D., LL.D. By Thomas RAFFLES, Esq., B. A. Second edition. London: Jackson, Walford & Hod
der, 27 Paternoster Row. 1865. Pp. 515. The late Dr. Rafiles, of Liverpool, was one of the lights of the English pulpit. He needs no introduction to our readers, for his fame long since reached our shores. Indeed, it was from an American college that he received his degree of Doctor of Divinity. The work before us has been accomplished by his son, who, in this memoir of his father, has shown excellent taste and feeling. It has gone through two editions in England, but as it is not likely to be reprinted among us, we propose to furnish a succinct account of its subject, derived from the book itself.
Dr. Raffles, during a large portion of his life, kept diaries, and some extracts from them we expect to give before we conclude; but our readers will find that they reveal little in regard to his inward life. What he wrote down in regard to the secret exercises of his soul, if indeed he recorded any thing touching that matter, his biographer has withheld from public gaze, and has only given us what the writer penned with a willingness that others should read. This negative excellence which the volume possesses, would, of itself, we had almost said, be enough, in these days, to make us respect it highly; for there is now very little secrecy in this world. As a genial writer once said: “It is well understood that if a man gains a battle for his country, or writes a book for its entertainment, the penalty he must pay for it is the vulgar exposure of every emotion that he had ever written down for one near his heart, and of every treasured thought and feeling that he had recorded for his soul's good.” To write such a journal as that of the late Henry Crabb Robinson, one which shall embody instruction or information, designed either for friends or the public, is one thing; bnt to write a diary filled with accounts of one's secret religious experience, and of the results of the soul's self-scrutiny, intended for the writer's eye alone, is another thing, and is what should be eschewed, unless the writer could be certain, as he cannot be, that before his exit from the world he will have the opportunity, and, we may add, the grace, given him to commit all to the flames.
Thomas Raffles was born at the house of his father, Mr. William Rafiles, in Princes Street, Spitalfields, London, on the 17th of May, 1788. His mother, an excellent woman, belonged to the body of Wesleyan Methodists. His religious impressions seem to have begun at an early age. He became a member of the Methodist society soon after the completion of his tenth year, and so continued until he was sent to a large boarding-school in Peckham, where he joined the Independent Church. In 1805, he entered Homerton College, an institution for the education of young men for the ministry among Congregational Dissenters, then under the care of Rev. Thomas Hill, as resident tutor, and of Rev. Dr. John Pye Smith, as theological tutor. In 1809 he was called to the church of Hammersmith, near London, and immediately entered upon his ministerial and pastoral duties. As a settled minister, he was from the first most abundant in his labors. One evening of each week he occupied some pulpit in London, and undertook, in addition, various week-day services. He began now to form the nucleus of the valuable library which, after many years, he accumulated, and which was especially rich in old and curious theological books. His fondness for antiquarian literature was maintained throughout his life. He delighted in poring over an old book-stall, and was familiar with every place in London where there was a chance that any thing curious might be met with. Topography was always a favorite branch of study, and he was in the habit of collecting materials for history, some of which have already been used by writers at whose disposal he placed them. Since the appearance of these memoirs, the