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to its laws; indeed, we are obliged to begin our study of phenomena with avoiding any hypothesis as to their law, in order that we may learn the law from a series of observations, and not be led astray by an abnormal instance. The material world is to the understanding a chaos, on which a foreign and opposite principle has impressed itself from without, and arranged the originally lawless Matter into order and forms belonging to itself, and not to Matter. On the other hand, Law, whencesoever it may come, is certainly found in intimate connection with Matter. To explain this, a higher, combining principle of some sort is required, and this higher principle of some sort, this indefinite something above, is that already mentioned. This, however, after all explains nothing; for the point to be explained is not how Matter and Law coexist in themselves, but how we come to know of their coexistence. That God created the Universe according to his infinite wisdom, and ordained a certain order among things, does not prove that we know this order, or that our notions in any way correspond with reality. On the contrary, Berkeley was driven to his theory precisely by this difficulty, (to him an impossibility,) of conceiving how a finite subject can have any objective knowledge. And he very consistently declares, that our ideas, as well as the order of things, are the immediate creations of God. This, indeed, is the only logical conclusion from these premises ; - only, in that case, the knowledge and the ideas are God's, and not ours, and therefore Philosophy is an empty word.
Metaphysics being nothing else than the first principles of all thought, of all intellectual and spiritual interests, wherever the views of the Inductive System have prevailed among metaphysicians, we shall recognize them also in the prevailing forms of Religion, Morals, and Government.
In Religion this is the position of the Catholic Church, (the term Catholic being used as the opposite of Protestant, as denoting that sect of Christians who rest Religion on an outward authority.) If the Highest, the object of worship, is of a different nature from the mind, and therefore inaccessible to its unassisted efforts — that is, something outward, it follows nec
essarily that it can be manifested to us only outwardly, as Law, or outward authority, which we have only to obey, and not to reason about. And if, then, following these principles, we admit that the Catholic Church ever was a Church, and its faith ever was Religion, that is, that it ever was a divine in. strument, its claims must now also be admitted as valid, to their full extent. For it never could have been a religion unless divinely ordained; religion being something which man of himself could never create.
Its creed and its forms, then, must be divinely authenticated, and its claim of infallibility just. Then those who have separated from it must have set up human reason against the Divine Will, and from the first to the last be all heretics.
Of the same sort are those theories of government and ethics which deny that the standard of Right is an inward principle. If the foundation of absolute Right is something outward, it must be unintelligible and unknown to us, and any pretence at making it a matter of conscience and free inquiry is mere rebellion, and if allowed, shows a state of anarchy and universal license. The only form of government consistent with this view is despotism, which, we are told, would be the best form of government, provided we could have always a good man for despot— the difficulty of which is urged as an answer to objections that despotisms do not work well in practice, and are found only where the people are degraded. But the organization of the universe is not such a blunder that what is true in principle can never be true in practice.
Even in Ethics, where the very nature of the problem seems to imply that the standard is inward, the system of Utilitarianism has been invented, with the sole aim, as it would seem, to contrive, as a substitute, an outward one, the adaptation of actions to ends foreign to the mind; so obedient are men to a theory, fancying themselves all the while unbiassed and practical.
As man's instincts always outrun his conscious perceptions, so here the religious and moral instincts have long since rebelled against the views upheld theoretically by the understanding ; — the religious instinct, as the deepest, leading the way-in Protestantism. Protestantism is the declaration that the authority in Religion, the mediator between God and man, is not without, merely, but also within us; and what Protestantism requires is not an outward persuasion, or belief, but Faith, or inward sight. So in Morals ; virtue is no longer obedience to a decree of fate, a command of the Church, nor (in spite of the theory,) to a calculation of profit or use; but to Conscience. Man is a law unto himself. On this ground, also, rests the right of self-government.
These principles, it is true, are as yet mostly matters of
instinct, and not of consciousness; -felt and acted upon, but not understood. Thus, few Protestants comprehend or would acknowledge the truths their Faith presupposes and rests upon. So in the theory of government, the opponents of self-government have the argument mostly on their side. In England and Germany, for example, there is no end to triumphant demonstrations that this country is irretrievably sunk in anarchy and license; the newspapers, from month to month, ever since we had a separate political existence, have reëchoed the announcement - we, on the spot, however, failing to be convinced.
Theory, also, must sooner or later come to the same level, and meanwhile must show itself to be behind the age, in not being able to comprehend or explain historical phemomena which are no longer to be overlooked or denied.
- History,” says Hegel, “is progress in the consciousness of Freedom.” Freedom, however, is the unity of the outward law with the inward, or the idea ; thus a free man is not coerced from without, but obeys the law of conscience. The first awakenings of this consciousness we see in the revolutions in religion and government. Philosophy, having no merely instinctive side, but requiring throughout the clearest consciousness, must be reached last. Thus the Inductive System, as we have seen, recognizes, more or less distinctly, that Reality or Truth can exist only in the unity of Matter and Law. These, however, are not of themselves united, but opposed, and we can. not discover any bond of union between them. If we resort to a third principle, by way of postulate, this is not only an unauthorized proceeding, but moreover does not at all remove the difficulty, since, the union being outward merely, the oppo sition (apart from the temporary effect of the uniting principle,) continues as before. Knowledge requires not only connection, but fundamental unity of these opposites. It is not enough that Matter should obey a law-it must be its law: else we could not generalize ; for it would not follow, that be. cause any thing is true to-day it will therefore be true to-morrow. As we have not the third principle within our power, in other words, as we do not know through God's mind, but through our own, we know at most only single instances of its action, and not its law; nor can we predict how it will act in future. Either the knowledge is impossible, or else these opposites are only superficially opposed, but in reality united of themselves, without the intervention of any other principle. Law is not, then, an outward form, impressed upon Matter, but its Idea.
The same reform is thus necessary in Philosophy which we have seen making its appearance in Religion, Morals, and Government; and the demands made on the science from without coincide with the inward requirements which it is driven to make of itself.
Art. III. – 1. City Document No. 40.— Reports of the An
nual Visiting Committees of the Public Schools of the City of Boston, 1847. Boston: 1847. 8vo. pp. 124 and 92.
2. Eleventh Annual Report of the Board of Education; together with the Eleventh Annual Report of the Secretary of the Board. Boston: 1848.
Boston: 1848. 8vo. pp. 136 and ix.
EDUCATION, in the wide sense of the word, is the harmonious development of all the natural powers of man, -- of the Body, of the Mind, Conscience, Affections, Will, and Religious Sentiment. The general means to that end are twofold the World of Matter, and the World of Men. Leaving the former out of account, the latter may be considered under four several forms, as constituting so many educational forces, which influence the development of the rising generation in this country. There is
I. The Political action of the People, represented by the State;
II. The Material action of the People, represented by Business;
III. The Literary and Scientific action of the People, represented by the Press;
IV. The Ecclesiastical action of the People, represented by the Churches.
Now these four, the State, Business, the Press, and the Churches, are the great Educational Forces which most powerfully affect the intellectual and moral development of the People, modifying the original tendency of each generation as it rises. This is so from the very nature of man and the constitution of society.
But subordinate to these general educational forces, there are likewise Special Institutions, whose design is to prepare the child, and put him in communication with these general influences. The more completely they do that, the more completely are they commonly thought to do their work; and for this purpose schools and colleges have mainly been established — to put the youth in connection with these forces, and thus enable him to do the duties and receive the instruction which the State, Business, the Press, and the Churches may demand or afford him. He who has learned to read, to write, and to calculate, has got possession of the three most important educational tools or helps ; and by the use thereof receives the aid of these great general educators. He who learns, also, a foreign language, letting alone other advantages of that study, may thereby receive the instruction which the State, Business, Press, and Churches of another land have likewise to offer him.
Were these great and general educational forces of a higher or a lower character than now with us, their influence would be modified accordingly. It is the duty of a wise educator to
. appreciate the kind and degree of influence which these forces actually exert on the young, and act with or against it, as the case may require. The State, by its actions, may teach men to reverence the eternal Right, or only the power of armies and commerce. The Business of the nation may teach respect for honesty and manly usefulness, or only the omnipotence of the dollar. The Press may direct men to honor justice, truth, and manliness, may fill them with noble ideas and sentiments, or teach them to be mean and little, taking Public Opinion as their standard. The Churches may instruct men to love God and to love man, as the supreme objects of ideal or practical affection, or they may teach men to comply with public sins, to believe a lie, and for a pretence make long prayers, hypocritically affecting a belief in all manner of absurdities and contradictions. It is the duty of such as direct the public education of the people to understand the character and influence of all these. It will be hard work for the teacher to make his pupil ascend, though by their proper motion, while these forces are contending to drive him down. But when these forces act in the right direction, it is difficult for the youth to go wrong. However, it is not our task at present to criticize these educational forces, and inquire what they actually teach in America at this day, - what good they promise, what ill they threaten,