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say all this, and could
the two sexes cannot mingle in certain spheres, and on the terms Miss Fuller proposes, without the mutual corruption of both. The fault is not woman's more than man's, perhaps not so much ; but the fact is no less certain. While we live in the flesh, restraint and mortification are our law, — whether for men or for women. The things which look to us so enchanting, which even are not bad within certain limits, the glowing pictures of our innocent imaginations, the bright ideals of our youth, — alas ! human nature is rotten, trust it not. They who imposed the restraints against which Miss Fuller protests, who separated the sphere of the sexes, and assigned to each as far as possible a separate line of duty, if they were men, must have known all too well what they were about. They may have been men who had lost their innocency; but if so, they had gained — experience.
The first mistake which Miss Fuller commits is the mistake committed by all reformers, — from him who undertook in the Garden to reform God's commandment to our first parents, down to the author of the “Orphic Sayings,” – that the true moral and social state is to be introduced and secured by the free, full, and harmonious development of human nature. This mistake is committed everywhere. Go where we will, out of the Catholic world, we meet it. We find it with Deists and Atheists, with German Rationalists and American Transcendentalists, in the fanciful theories of Gall and Spurzheim, in the dreams of Charles Fourier and Saint-Simon. It is the settled doctrine, and only settled doctrine, of modern philosophy, and apparently the fixed creed of the whole Protestant and infidel worlds, - exception to be made, perhaps, in favor of the Puseyites, and the few remnants of the old Calvinistic sects. It is embraced and hoily defended by hundreds and thousands who have no suspicion of its direct and glaring hostility to experience and revelation. Nothing can be falser or more dangerous than this delusion. Nature does not suffice. Nature cannot be trusted. Away with your wretched cant about “faith in man, in man's nature,” his “ lofty capacities,” “glorious affinities,” and “Godlike tendencies.” Nature, we repeat, is rotten ; trust it not. The fairest, sweetest, purest, dearest affections nature ever knows lead us most wofully astray, and will do so, if not restrained, whatever your moral codes or social arrangements. There is no such thing as a harmonious development of nature. Cultivate nature as you will, observe the nicest balance between all its tendencies, and, before you know it, before you can dream of it, one rascally passion has suddenly gained the mastery, and all is confusion and anarchy within. Nature is cursed. For six thousand years you have cultivated it, and it has yielded you only briers and thorns ; cultivate it as you will for six thousand years to come, and it will yield you nothing else.
“ He that soweth to the flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption.”
Another mistake, not less fatal, is also committed by our reformers. They see there are evils, that men and women suffer, and suffer horribly. Their sympathies are awakened, and they seek if relief cannot be found. All this is well, commendable even. But they assume that relief is to come here, and the good craved, but found not, is to be realized in this world, in this probationary life. " The highest ideal man can form of his own powers,” says Miss Fuller, that he is destined to attain." And this ideal is to be attained here. But Eden, the terrestrial paradise, is lost, never to be regained. Man forfeited it, and has been driven forth from it, never to repose again in its fragrant bowers, or beneath its refreshing shades. The earth is cursed ; do what you will, rebel as you please, the curse is irrevocable. This world is a prison-house, and escape you cannot till death sets you free. The sooner you come to this conclusion, the better for you, the better for all. This life is and must be a discipline, a probation, a warfare. You must stand on your guard, always in arms, sleepless, and fight, fight for your life, with enemies from all quarters, and of all sorts and sizes, till you are called home to enjoy the victory and the triumph.
We know this is an unpalatable truth to our zealous philanthropists, and we know the scorn and derision with which they will treat it. But the realization of a heaven on earth is not the end for which the Gospel was given us. Our Maker has not abandoned us ; far from it. He has prepared something far better for us than a terrestrial paradise. He has prepared heaven and its eternal beatitude for us. But we can enjoy that here only through faith and hope. It is ours here only by promise. It is set before us as a glorious prize, as an exceeding rich reward ; but it is not to be gained without the dust and heat of the race; nor will it be bestowed till the race is run, till the battle is fought, till the victory is won. Consolations we may bave, consolations which the world knows not, cannot give, cannot take away. Angels will minister unto us and revive our fainting strength ; but happiness, the full freedom and joy Beati pau
of the soul, are tasted not till the songs and harps of angels welcome us home to our Father's house.
True wisdom consists in fixing our eyes on this heavenly reward, and throwing off all that we may win it. We must count the sufferings of this present life not worthy to be compared with the glory hereafter to be revealed ; we must despise the joys of this life, and trample the world under our feet. Beati peres spiritu. We must despise riches and honors, we must joy in poverty and destitution, and count all things as mere dross for the sake of Chrst. This is the law imposed upon us, and no reforms which come not from obedience to this law will avail us aught. Here the struggle, the warfare ; there the triumph, the joy.
But we have no room to proceed. As much as we dislike Miss Fuller's book, as pernicious as we regard the doctrines ør notions it contains, as utterly as we are forced to condemn the whole race of modern reformers, - all who are seeking to recover the lost Eden on earth, from the harmonious development of nature alone, we can still believe, without difficulty, that she may be a pure-minded woman, honestly and earnestly struggling to obtain a greater good for suffering humanity. Taking her starting-point, we should arrive at her conclusion. Believing a terrestrial paradise possible, we should strive for it; believing the free, full, and harmonious development of human nature the means and condition of obtaining it, we should protest against whatever restrains nature in woman as well as in man. We believe Miss Fuller wholly in the wrong, but we see no occasion for the kind of animadversions on her or her book, which we have noticed in some newspaper
criticisms. She has done or said nothing which should be regarded as a sin by her Protestant brethren. In our remarks we have designed nothing personal against her. We are able, we trust, to distinguish between persons and doctrines. For persons, however far gone they may be in error, or even in sin, we trust we have the charity our holy religion commands, and which the recollection of our own errors and sins, equal to any we may have to deplore in others, requires us to exercise. But for erroneous doctrines we have no charity, no tolerance. Error is never harmless, and in no instance to be countenanced.
Art. V. - The United States Catholic Magazine and
Monthly Review. Edited by Rev. CHARLES I. WHITE, and Very Rev. M. J. SPALDING, D. D. Baltimore : John Murphy. Vol. IV. No. III. March, 1845. Svo.
We notice this periodical because it is the ablest and most exclusively Catholic magazine published in this country, and one deserving to be taken by every one who wishes an excellent literary periodical devoted to the exposition and defence of the doctrines and discipline of the Church. We also notice it for the purpose of making a few remarks suggested or called for by an article which appeared in the number before us, reviewing the first volume of our own Journal. The article is written with ability, but is quite too eulogistic, and speaks of ourselves in terms quite beyond our deserts. But it is not of this we wish to speak. Most men are willing to swallow all the praise they can get. Yet Catholic writers, who may be presumed to believe and to know that the greatest enemies to our progress towards Christian perfection are pride and vainglory, ought to use some measure in their praise of a poor sinner, who probably at best finds it no easy task to practise the humility his religion demands.
The Reviewer refers to an opinion said to have been expressed of us by Lord Brougham.' This opinion the newspapers friendly to us have taken considerable pains to circulate. It is a small affair, but we own that we are unwilling it should continue to be quoted ; 1. Because we have not, and never have had, any respect for Lord Brougham's opinion on any subject; and 2. Because we have good evidence that the anecdote which has circulated in the newspapers is totally false, at least so far as concerns Lord Brougham, who in all probability has never read
our writings, or even heard of our name. We are not quite so famous abroad as some of our friends now and then are pleased to represent.
The Reviewer, speaking of our philosophical principles, says we are rather an Eclectic." Now, to be called an Eclectic is worse than to be commended by Lord Brougham. Some years ago we were an Eclectic, we own, as we have been in the course of our life “ all things by turns and nothing long ” ; but we disavowed Eclecticism in the Boston Quarterly Review for January, 1842, and have not had conscious
ly any fellowship with it since. After disavowing Eclecticism, we undertook to excogitate a new system of philosophy of our own, which we termed synthetic philosophy, — based on principles wholly repugnant to Eclecticism. This system was our hobby during two years and a half, and it brought us, or rather was the occasion of bringing us, to the door of the Catholic Church. We say the door; for, though we thought at the time it opened into the temple itself, and led to the very sanctuary, it really led only to the door, and even that accidentally, not necessarily. The truth is, though during those two years and a half we talked much of the Church, and dogmatically too, we knew nothing of it except what we had learned from its enemies, the French Eclectics, the Saint-Simonians, and the Protestants. One year ago, we had read only two Catholic books, to wit, Milner's End of Controversy, and the Catechism of . the Council of Trent, and these only partially. We had never seen and conversed with an intelligent Catholic on the subject of religion the value of one hour in our whole life, and of course could have known very little of what Catholicity really is. We guessed at its leading doctrines from our knowledge of the Protestant doctrines opposed to them; and though we often guessed aright, we still oftener blundered. Nevertheless, we had formed to ourselves an ideal Catholicism, demanded by our philosophy and sustained by it; and this ideal Catholicism we imagined was substantially what the Catholic Church believes, or really intends by her articles of faith. So we concluded, about as sagely as in other cases, that we were a Catholic, and had discovered a philosophy which would legitimate the Catholic Church, and give a scientific basis to all her doctrines.
Such was our belief when we commenced the first volume of this Review, and such continued to be our belief till after the publication of our number for July last. But such ceased to be our belief before the publication of the number for October. Whether the system of philosophy for which we contended, and of which we published some fragments, is or is not sound, we do not feel able now to determine. We are sure that it does not necessarily lead to Catholicism ; but whether it is necessarily opposed to it we do not know, and cannot decide for ourselves till we have had leisure to review and compare it more fully than we have yet done with what the Church teach
Our conversion to Catholicity, which rests on other than metaphysical grounds, has so revolutionized our whole mind, presented us a world of thought so entirely new to us, and en