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itself, detached from all forms, exhibiting itself in its divine purity and simplicity.
We think the time has come for us to clothe the religious sentiment with a new form, and to fix upon some religious institution, which will at once supply our craving for something positive in religion, and not offend the spirituality which Christianity loves, and towards which the human race hastens with an increasing celerity. We think, we see indications, that this presents itself to many hearts as desirable. And we think we see this especially among our own friends.
Every religious denomination must run through two phases, the one destructive, the other organic. Unitarianism could commence only by being destructive. It must demolish the old temple, clear away the rubbish, to have a place whereon to erect a new one. But that work is done ; that negative character which it was obliged to assume then, may now be abandoned. The time has now come to rear the new temple, --- for a positive work, and, if we are not mistaken, we already see the workmen coming forth with joy to their task. We already see the germ of re-organization, the nucleus, round which already gravitate the atoms of a new moral and religious world. The work of elaboration is well nigh ended, the positive institutions, so long sought, will soon be obtained, and the soul, which has so long been tossed upon a sea of dispute, or of skepticism, will soon find that repose, after which it so deeply sighs and yearns.
Here, perhaps, we ought to close; but we cannot let the occasion pass without offering some remarks upon a point very distinctly recognised in the interesting Preface to the first volume of the first of the works we have named. The point to which we allude is, that religion and morality rest not on the understanding, not on logical deductions, but on an interior sentiment. Here is an important recognition, - a recognition of two distinct orders of human faculties. This recognition is not always made by metaphysicians, but it never escapes popular language. It is found in the distinction between the head and the heart, the mind and the soul, the understanding and the affections, which obtains in all languages. And this is not strange. One cannot have made the least progress in psychological
observation, without being struck with internal phenomena, which can by no means be classed with the operations of the understanding. There belong to human nature, passions, emotions, sentiments, affections, of which, the understanding, properly so called, can take no account, which pay no deference to its ratiocinations, and even bid defiance to its laws. The feeling which we have, when contemplating a vast and tranquil sea, distant mountains with harmonious outlines, or, when marking an act of heroism, of disinterestedness, or of generous self-sacrifice for others' welfare, rises without any dependence on the understanding. We feel what we then feel, not because we have convinced ourselves by logical deductions that we ought so to feel. Reasoning may come afterwards and justify the feeling ; but it did not precede it, and, if it had, it could not have produced it. The understanding cannot feel; it cannot love, hate, be pleased, be angry, nor be exalted or depressed. It is void of emotion. It is calm, cold, calculating. Had we no faculty but those it includes, we should be strangers to pity, to sympathy, to benevolence, to love, and,
what is worse, - to enthusiasm. Bring the whole of man's nature within the laws of the understanding, and you reduce religion, morality, philosophy, to a mere system of logic ; you would, in the end, pronounce every thing which does not square with dry and barren dialectics, chimerical, and every thing which interest cannot appropriate, mischievous.
But we not only contend for the distinction of the mental phenomena into two different orders, but we contend, that the sentiments are as worthy of reliance, as the understanding; that, to speak in popular language, the testimony of the heart is as legitimate, as that of the head. We are aware, that the philosophy of sensation will condemn this position. Be it so. The philosophy of sensation reigned during the last half of the last century, and it is, as far as we have any philosophy, still the philosophy of our own country ; but it is no great favorite of ours. It undoubtedly has its truth; but, taken exclusively, freed from its inconsequences, and pushed to its last results, it would deprive man of all but a merely mechanical life, divest the heart of all emotion, wither the affections, dry up the sentiments, and sink the human race into a frigid skepticism. The
testimony of the senses requires an internal sanction, and, in the last analysis, that of the understanding is not credited till it is corroborated by that of consciousness. Neither our senses, nor our understanding, can prove to us,
that we exist, and yet it is impossible for us, in a healthy state of mind to doubt our existence; neither our senses nor our
; understanding can prove to us the existence of an external world, nor the objective reality of any thing, yet we should justly regard him as insane, who should not believe in the exisience of an external world, and there is no one, who, listening to the sweet strains of music, will not believe they come to his heart from some objective reality. It is a law of our nature, of which reasoning cannot divest us, that in these, and in a vast variety of cases, we must believe on the simple testimony of consciousness, or, in other words, we believe so, because our nature, the very laws of our being, - compel us to believe so. But the moment we recur to the testimony of consciousness, to the laws of our nature, we desert the understanding, we leave the power of ratiocination, and have recourse to an entirely different order of testimony. We
may be told, that to admit, that the feelings, the sentiments, are worthy of reliance, is to go off into the mysterious, to stop we know not where. We know many are very coy of mystery. We know there are many who say, "Where mystery begins, there religion ends ;” and we know, also, that in saying it, if they mean what is inexplicable to the understanding, properly so called, they pronounce a general sentence of condemnation upon all that is elevated, generous, and touching in human nature. We can explain to the understanding, none of the workings of the sentiments of the heart, none of the emotions, the affections of the soul. Indeed, we do not wish to explain them. We
e are not afraid of the mysterious. It is one of the glories of our nature, and one of the strongest pledges of its immortal destiny, that it delights in the mysterious ; that it has cravings which go beyond what is known; that it dares rush off into the darkness, trusting to its own instincts for guidance ; and that it has powers, which can out-travel the understanding, and which can seize and shadow forth to its own eye a perfection, which reason_cannot comprehend, of which it does not even dream. To condemn the mys
terious, were to bring the soul down from the beautiful and the holy, to the merely useful, — were to kill poetry, to
, wither the fine arts, to discard all the graces, for all these have something of the mysterious, are enveloped in mystic folds, offensive it may be to the understanding, but enchanting to the soul. We say, again, we are not afraid of the mysterious. We love it. We love those mysterious emotions, which we' feel, when we survey the magnificent works of nature, or the creations of genius; when we hear the wind sigh over ruins; or when we walk among the dead, and think of those who were and are not, of the hearts which once beat, but which are now still, of the sweet voices which once spoke, but which are silent now. We love those emotions, which start within us when we think of God, of the human soul, of its immortality, of heaven, and of eternity. Reasoning is then still, and the soul, asserting her supremacy, half escaping from the body which imprisons her, catches some glorious visions of her native land, her everlasting home, and of those sublime occupations to which she feels herself equal. It is to us, then, no objection to say, our doctrine leads off into the mysterious. All to us, human beings, is mysterious, except the little that we know, and it is only that interior craving of our nature which keeps us for ever hovering beyond the horizon of what we know, that enables us, by conquests from the dominions of mystery, to enlarge the boundaries of our knowledge.
But we would not merely rely on this order of our faculties, which we call the sentiments. We would have them appealed to, as the most essential part of our nature.
We do not mean to depreciate the understanding ; we would not underrate the power of ratiocination, nor, in any case, dispense with sound logic. We value man's whole nature ; man's whole nature is essential. We should think clearly, reason closely, powerfully ; but we should also feel justly and energetically. We should retain and develope all our faculties, each in its place, so as to preserve unbroken harmony through the whole man. But if we do this, we shall find, that the sentiments, the feelings, are entitled to a much higher rank than it has been customary to assign them for the last century. To us the sentiments seem to be peculiarly the human faculties. They give to man his VOL. XVII. N. S. VOL. XII. NO. I.
distinctive character. They supply him with energy to act, and prompt bim to the performance of grand and poble deeds. We fear that their power is seldom suspected, that little attention is paid to the mission which is given them to accomplish. We have schools for the intellect. We take great pains to educate the reasoning faculty, but we almost, at least so far as our schools are concerned, entirely neglect the sentinents. We cannot but regret this ; for knowledge when not coupled with just feelings, strong reasoning powers when not under the guidance of pure and holy sentiments, only so much the better fit one for a career destructive to the best interests of humanity. And, let it be understood, men are not reasoned into good feelings, for the feelings do not depend on the intellect. Just sentiments are not the result of just knowledge. may know the truth, be able to defend it in language and with arguments that fix attention, and flash instantaneous conviction, and yet have no just, honorable, or benevolent feelings. It is an old saying, that men know better than they do ;
“ Video meliora, proboque;
Deteriora sequor." It will be so, as long as we trust to merely intellectual education to give right feelings. We would, therefore, without in the least neglecting the intellect, turn attention to the sentiments, appeal to them on all occasions, and inake it the leading object of all education to develope them, to fit them for strong and beneficent action.
We would appeal constantly to the sentiments, for all that we have of the disinterested and self-denying pertains to them. Desiroy the sentiments and we should never support any cause, however just, dear, or essential to humanity, when the nicer calculations of interest assure us that we have nothing to gain for our individual selves. Destroy the sentiments, and we could never identify ourselves with humanity, and at times come forth in its behalf with the reformer's zeal, and with the martyr's firmness. There is nothing great or good ever won without sacrifice. No man will devote himself to the defence of liberty, of justice, of his country, of religion, or of the welfare of his fellow beings in any shape, unless he has within him the power of selfdenial, and is prepared to make almost any sacrifice. Had