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somewhere. It must be well founded. Hence, say they, there must be in man some principle or faculty, overlooked by philosophers generally, which takes immediate cognizance of the objects of this faith. These objects all are, or imply, the infinite; therefore man must have the subjective power of cognizing the infinite. Therefore the infinite is cognoscible. Therefore the human race believe in the mysteries, because able, by the inherent faculties of the soul, to apprehend intuitively their intrinsic truth.

But what is this power. It is not sense, it is not intellect, it is not reason in its ordinary acceptation, but a faculty sui

a generis, which may indeed be called reason, but which cannot better be defined than by calling it a spiritual sense, or power of apprehending the invisible, of approaching the inapproachable, of knowing the unknowable, of comprehending the incomprehensible, of measuring the immeasurable! It is a mysterious and incomprehensible faculty, like the matters with which it places us in relation. All very intelligible, no doubt, to those who call darkness light, and finite infinite. But what is the evidence of the reality of such faculty ? The only ground, it will be seen from our statement, for asserting the reality of such faculty is the well known fact, that mankind do believe, and always have believed, and, in spite of all obstacles, persist in believing, in mysteries whose intrinsic truth transcends both the senses and the understanding. But how could they believe in such mysteries, if they had no power above that of the senses and the understanding, by which their intrinsic truth is apprehended ?

In reply, we may simply ask how a man who has never been in China can believe there is such a city as Peking? Assuredly, he does not perceive the intrinsic truth of the proposition, There is a city in China called Peking. Yet he believes it, and because he has, or believes he has, sufficient EXTERNAL evidence of the fact. The philosophers in question assume, that, since mankind believe in the mysteries, the intrinsic truth of the mysteries must be apprehended by them, which could not be, unless we had the subjective power of knowing it. But this assumption is unwarrantable ; for faith is to believe what is not intrinsically known. The facts adduced only prove the faith of mankind in mysteries ; and if it be faith, it is not knowledge. Therefore, the fact, that mankind believe in the mysteries, is itself not proof that the intrinsic truth of the mysteries is cognoscible, but that it is not cognoscible ; and

therefore the faith of mankind in mysteries which transcend sense and understanding, instead of proving the reality of a subjective power of knowing what transcends sense and understanding, proves, so far as it goes, the reverse ; for, if we had such power, our faith would not be faith, but knowledge.

The philosophers in question assume, as their point of departure, that what is believable is intrinsically cognoscible, and that what is believed is intrinsically known, -- an evident falsehood; for faith ends where knowledge begins, and what is an object of knowledge is not an object of faith, since faith is belief of what is not known. To establish, then, the fact they contend for, these philosophers must go a step further, and prove that mankind do not merely believe the mysteries, but actually know them. If they prove that the mysteries are intrinsically known by the race, then we will admit in the soul the subjective power to know them. But this the facts they adduce do not prove. These facts only prove that mankind believe them, from which we cannot conclude that they know them.

That this faith of the race has a solid and imperishable foundation we readily admit. But because it must have such foundation, it does not necessarily follow that the foundation is in a special faculty of the soul; for we can conceive the possibility, to say the least, of its being in authority which propounds and evidences them extrinsically to the human mind, as religious people contend and always have contended. The philosophers, when they assume the foundation to be in this special subjective faculty, then, merely beg the question. They take for granted the very point the conditions of the argument require them to prove.

Moreover, they reject, in asserting the cognoscibility of the mysteries, the very authority on which their whole reasoning is founded. They infer the solidity of the faith of mankind in the mysteries from the fact, that the race has always believed, and persists in believing in them. But the race, while it has believed the mysteries, has also believed that it did not know their intrinsic truth, and has always confessed that its faith in them was faith, not knowledge. Now, if you take the faith

, of mankind as authority in the one instance, why not in the other ? Assuredly, it is worth as much in the latter case as in the former ; because no man can know without knowing that he knows, and whenever he really believes he does not know, it is certain that he does not. A man may fancy that he knows when he does not, but he cannot fancy that he does not know

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when he does. These philosophers, no doubt, are governed by a commendable motive ; but they attempt what is not possible to effect. They would fain give a philosophical basis to the religious faith of mankind. They are far from wishing to overthrow or to weaken that faith ; their ambition is to legitimate it, — not to prove it, indeed, by evidence, but to

demonstrate it, and to bring it within the province of science. But they should remember that what is of science is not of faith, that faith has its object always in a region into which science does not or cannot penetrate. It rests not on demonstration, but on authority, — and may be proved, but never demonstrated. They would fain find in man an element which bears the same relation to it that the sense of sight bears to colors, or the sense of hearing to sounds, and that we attain to its objects as naturally and as simply as we do by our senses to the objects of the material world. But this element they cannot detect; they assert its reality, but do not and cannot establish it; for, after all they may say, each man knows of himself that to him the objects of his religious faith, however certainly, infallibly, evidenced, are not known. He believes, without doubting, that they are, — but he does not know them.

This is evident from Mr. Parker himself. To know the mysteries is to know the infinite ; to know the infinite is to know God; and God, according to Mr. Parker, " is the substantiality of matter."


says, sage we have quoted, “We can know little of material things ; nothing but their phenomena." That is, the substance of

” things we cannot know. Yet, since God is this substance, “substantiality," we could know something more than their phenomena, we could know even their substance, if we coul know God. Let it not be replied to us, that Mr. Parker has told us elsewhere, that we may know God, that we may approach the Infinite One face to face ; for, if he unhappily contradicts himself, that is not our fault. He says, formally, that we can know nothing of material things but their phenomena, — also that God is the substantiality of matter, and if of matter, of course of material things. To this we hold him. The truth here got the better of his theorizing, and the man had the courage to tell it. It is idle to talk of man's power to cognize the infinite, to behold God intuitively, while you tell me that such is the limited nature of man's faculties, that even in material things he takes notice only of phenomena. In this last, Mr. Parker is right. We know only phenomena ; and substances,

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essences, only as we by reason infer them from the phenomena. Hence, in the Blessed Eucharist, though my senses, my own faculties, show me only the phenomena or the accidents of bread and wine, I am still able to believe, under those accidents, under those phenomena, there is no substance of bread, no substance of wine, but the substance of the body and blood, soul and divinity of my Lord and Saviour.

But, however this may be, it is evident, from what we have said, that, whether we define the ultimate fact in religion to be the sense of dependence, or a consciousness of the infinite, it is not, and cannot be, an element of nature. Neither notorious facts, nor consciousness, nor philosophical analysis of man's nature proves Mr. Parker's position, that religion has its principle and cause in an element of human nature.

But we go still further, and deny the existence of religious phenomena themselves, in the sense in which Mr. Parker and the Transcendentalists assert them. They contend that the so-called religious phenomena differ not merely as to their object from all other psychological phenomena, but also as to their subjective principle. This they must do, or else the existence of the phenomena would not warrant the induction of a special element of human nature as their subjective principle. If, for instance, the religious phenomena differ from the other phenomena only as to their object, then their existence would imply no special element in the soul in which they subjectively originate.

Now, we demand the proof of the existence of religious phenomena that are subjectively distinct from other phenomena not denominated religious. Mr. Parker defines the ultimate fact of religion to be a sense of dependence, that is, mental perception or apprehension of the fact that we are dependent. Is this sense or apprehension, quoad sense, essentially different from the sense or apprehension of other facts ? Or take the other definition, consciousness of the infinite, - is this consciousness, as consciousness, regarded solely in relation to the conscient agent, different from consciousness in any other case ? If not, how can Mr. Parker allege that we have in this sense religious phenomena specifically distinct, on the side of their subjective principle, from all other phenomena presented in human history?

In the passage quoted above from Mr. Parker, we find the religious sentiment identified with the sensation we experience “when a sudden calamity overtakes us,” “at a wedding or a funeral,” “by a mountain or a waterfall,” “in the twilight gloom of the primitive forest," or in the solitude of our own self-communings. What is there, then, peculiar in the religious sentiment ?

The religious phenomena, under the point of view we are now considering them, may, according to Mr. Parker, be classed under three heads ; namely, love, reverence, obedience. But love, on its subjective side, is the same, whatever the object to which it is directed. Love to God, save as to its object, is not essentially different from love to our neighbour. Reverence, as simple reverence, is the same whether directed towards one object or another. Obedience to God, as obedience, differs not from obedience to the magistrate. Indeed, we are aware of no phenomena which are peculiarly religious, save in the intention with which we exhibit them, and the object for the sake of which we exhibit them. I pray to God; I pray also to man. Prayer is simply asking a favor ; and I ask favors of man as well as of God. I sing praises to God, so also to the conquering hero, or to the father of my country ; and who dare say that I may not with the same power sing the one praises and the other? I offer sacrifice to God, and ought to offer sacrifice to no other being, because sacrifice is the peculiar, the distinctive, act of divine worship; and yet I can offer sacrifice to an idol, if I choose, and the sacrifice in the one case will not differ psychologically from what it is in the other.

If this be so, all this talk about a special religious element of man's nature is — talk, and nothing else. By the faculty of loving wherewith I love man, can I love God; and by the same power by which I sacrifice to the Supreme God, may I, if I choose, sacrifice to idols of wood and stone. The religious phenomena are peculiar, distinct from all the other phenomena man exhibits, we admit, — not because they proceed from a peculiar, distinct, special element of human nature, but because they are exhibited for the sake of a peculiar, distinct, and special end, contemplated in the exhibition of no other class of phenomena. With the same tongue I bless God and curse man; with the same power of will I will good and will evil; with the same intellectual power recognize

a man, a horse, an ox, a tree, a mathematical theorem, a metaphysical principle, and a moral precept. There is, then, no need of assuming a special element of human nature to account for the religious phenomena.

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