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tached all the faculties of the human soul from God, and have examined them by themselves, forgetting that it is impossible to know an object without examining it in all the conditions of its nature. The second have despoiled man of his nature as a living being, and have robbed his ideas of their reality. And because they have taken them in the abstract, all their deductions, all their conclusions are void, without practical application, without other result than weariness of spirit and deadness of heart.
If we pass to the region of art, we find that its vigour depends on the recognition of the Ideal, the relation and the world; the rupture of this union is the dissolution of art. The conception of the ideal cannot furnish man with æsthetic principles apart from the relation. The Jew bad a sublime faith in the Infinite of perfection, but He was isolated from the world, the relation uniting them was unrecognized or unknown, and Jewdom was sterile of art. The Greek looked on man as perfection, his ideal did not transcend the “human form divine;" and beautiful as was the plastic art in his hands, it wanted something, the divine. The world without the idea of God, what is it? a riddle; it is without truth unless He be its law, without beauty unless He be its meaning. Take away the idea of God, the infinite perfection, and there is no sense of perfection, no power of discriminating between the beautiful and the offensive.
In discussing Christianity, I propose to apply to it the Hegelian method. Some premiss must be taken; I adopt
I that of Hegel, because I believe it to be true; and because it throws a vivid light upon a body of doctrine which has been buried in obscurity. The importance of Hegel's method I think it impossible to over-estimate. It has begun to revolutionize philosophy; if it has not at once wrought the effects which Hegel foresaw, it is because he himself was
hardly lucid enough in his exposition of it to place it at the disposition of all thinkers. He has been misunderstood, and his method has been abused; but of its importance, and of the part it is destined to play in the elucidation of the Christian scheme, I am firmly convinced. I believe that if the modern intellect is to be reconciled to the dogma of the Incarnation, it will be through Hegel's discovery. Let the reader bear in mind that I start from the premiss of two terms, opposed and defining one another, conciliated by an intermediate term; and with this key I hope to open the mysteries of the Christian religion.
The great German innovating philosopher saw that his method was destined to revivify Christianity; according to him, the dogma of the Man-God expressed the veritable unity of the subject and the object, not under the form of reflected notion, but under that of symbolic representation enshrined in the history of one person. He applied his doctrine to the orthodox dogma of the Trinity. Science, said he, teaches us that the absolute traverses three moments, that of the idea in itself, then that of the idea out of itself, or the gradual realization of the idea through innumerable negations, and finally that of the identity of the real with the ideal. The first moment is the reign of the Father, of God considered as abstract and anterior to the created world; the second moment, or the development of the world, corresponds with the second person of the Trinity, the Son. The third moment is that in which the absolute arrives at the knowledge of itself as spirit, through the procession of finite causes, and this is the Holy Ghost.
But into the doctrine of the Trinity it is not my purpose to enter specially, but to confine myself to the theory, and to the application, of the dogma of the Incarnation.
Hegel : Philosophie der Religion.
THE BASIS OF TRUTH
“Wahrheit, O Gott, ist dein Leib.")_WIELAND.
Truth is relative—The antipodes of truth-antagonistic ideas--the anti
nomy in man — Egoism and sympathy — “Contradictories radically exclude one another” an exploded axiom— The centre of gravity of Truths—The Ideal conciliates all–Conciliation of reason and sentiment-No absolute falsehood— Error the opposition of one relative truth against another to the exclusion of the latter--All truths positive-Negations are nothing—Private judgment the negation of other judgments l’rivate judgment the negation of absolute Truth—The proper function of private judgment—It is the resolution of what is true to the individual self-Universal truth the combination of all appreciations of truth.
NRUTH, such as it appears to us, can only be relative,
because we ourselves, being relative creatures, have only a relative perception and judgment. We appreciate that which is true to ourselves, not that which is universally true. And truth may well assume an aspect to one different from that it assumes to another.
When two men stand face to face, the right of one is the left of the other, and vice versa. The rising sun in one hemisphere is the setting sun in the other; the zenith of one is the nadir of the other; when one hemisphere is enjoying day the other is steeped in darkness. The winter
1 Truth, O God, is Thy body.
of the arctic regions is the summer of the antarctic pole. The descent of one scale is the ascent of the other. word, everything in the world is inverse.
When we talk to English children of the antipodes, they think that the men there walk with their heads downwards; and to New Zealanders we ourselves are reversed. This is at once true and false for each. True, if each considers the other from his own point of view, with reference to himself alone, but false to both if they consider themselves parts of a whole whose centre of gravity is under the feet of one and the other.
Before Newton discovered the law of gravitation, the New Zealanders did actually for English people walk head downwards, for the relative method of viewing the antipodes was the only method at their disposal.
But now that the law of gravitation to a centre is known, it is indicative of childish ignorance to suppose such to be actually the case, though relatively it remains unalterably the same.
In the world of ideas the notions of one man are the inverse of those in another man. And in every man's own head there is a duality, which often eventuates in an antagonism. What is head upwards to the sentiment is often head downwards to the reason. Faith and logic range themselves on opposite sides. Liberty revolts against authority, and authority imposes on liberty. That which is right to the individual is wrong to the society; that which is true to reason is false to sentiment.
In nature, the law of gravitation governing bodies is the opposition of two contrary forces, the centripetal and the centrifugal. This antinomical principle reappears in all combinations of matter as positive and negative electricity, in its composites as statics and dynamics.
“The Solarians," says Campanella, in his City of the Sun, “think that there exists a marvellous harmony between the worlds celestial, terrestrial, and moral.” The parallelism is exact. In each there is an antinomy, in all a harmonizing momentum, bringing the oppositions and contradictions to rest.
From the moment the child enters the world it manifests one pre-eminent force, the instinct of self-conservation, or of egoism. Presently, however, another instinct appears. It turns from its mother's breast, and spreads its hands towards the flowers, plays with the kitten, and smiles upon its brothers. That which draws the infant out of itself towards exterior forms is the centrifugal force—the sentiment, the sympathetic instinct, a hidden magnetism, a veiled
ray from the great hearth of love which warms and animates the universe. These twin tendencies, opposed as they are, incessantly contradicting one another, are the principle of all activity. Favoured or repressed, directed aright or warped, they determine the nature of the passions which agitate the man, and of the virtues which govern his soul.
The instinct of egoism gathers all surrounding materials into the ever self-forming and vitally persistent centre: it is an inward spiritual energy concentrating, comprehending, contracting all to one geometric point, and the instinct of sympathy is the dispersion of self over an indefinitely outspreading surface. Egoism draws the world into an apex, sympathy spreads it into an extended plain. The egoistic instinct teaches man what owes to himself, the sympathetic instinct tells him what is due to his neighbours. That they contradict one another perpetually who can deny? that they are capable of harmonization who can doubt?
If the axiom of ancient heathen logic, which laid down that contradictories radically exclude one another, that be