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in the language of men, but of one man who had not learned the language of men; and, with himself, the key to its full interpretation was lost from amongst us. These are mystics ; men who know not clearly their own meaning, or at least cannot put it forth in formulas of thought, whereby others, with whatever difficulty, may apprehend it. Was their meaning clear to themselves, gleams of it will yet shine through, how ignorantly and unconscientiously soever it may have been delivered; was it still wavering and obscure, no science could have delivered it wisely. In either case, much more in the last, they merit and obtain the name of mystics. To scoffers they are a ready and cheap prey; but sober persons understand that pure

evil is as unknown in this lower Universe as pure good ; and that even in mystics, of an honest and deep-feeling heart, there may be much to reverence, and of the rest more to pity than to mock.

But it is not to apologize for Böhme, or Novalis, or the school of Theosophus and Flood, that we have here undertaken. Neither is it on such persons that the charge of mysticism brought against the Germans mainly rests. Böhme is little known among us ; Novalis, much as he deserves knowing, not at all; nor is it understood, that in their own country these men rank higher than they do, or might do, with ourselves. The chief mystics in Germany, it would appear, are the Transcendental Philosophers, Kant, Fichte, and Schelling! With these is the chosen seat of mysticism; these are ils “tenebrisic constellation," from which it “doth ray out darkness" over the earth. Among a certain class of thinkers, does a frantic exaggeration in sentiment, a crude fever-dream in opinion, anywhere break forth, it is directly labelled as Kantism; and the moon-struck speculator is, for the time, silenced and put to shame by this epithet. For osten in such circles, Kant's philosophy is not only an absurdity, but a wickedness and a horror; the pious and peaceful sage of Konigsberg passes for a sort of Necromancer and Blackartist in Metaphysics ; his doctrine is a region of boundless and baleful gloom, too cunningly broken here and there by splendours of unholy fire; spectres and tempting demons people it; and hovering over fathomless abysses, hang gay and gorgeous air-castles, into which the hapless traveller is seduced to enter, and so sinks to rise no more.

If anything in the history of Philosophy could surprise us, it might well be this. Perhaps among all the melaphysical writers of the eighteenth century, including Hume and Hartley ihemselves, there is not one that so ill meets the condition of a mystic as this same Immanuel Kanl. A quiet, vigilant, clear-sighted man, who had become distinguished to the world in mathematics before he attempted philosophy; who, in his writings generally, on this and other subjects, is perhaps characterised by no quality so much as precisely by the distinctness of his conceptions, and the sequence and iron strictness with which he reasons. To our minds, in the little that we know of him, he has more than once recalled Father Boscovich in Natural Philosophy; so piercing, yet so sure; so concise, so still, so simple; with such clearness and composure does he mould the complicacy of his subject; and so firm, sharp, and definite are the results he evolves from it.* Right or wrong as bis hypothesis may be, no one that knows him will suspect that he himself had not seen it, and seen over it; had not meditated it with calmness and deep thought, and studied throughout to expound it with scientific

We have heard, that the Latin Translation of his works is unintelligible, the Translator himself not having understood it; also that Villiers is no safe guide in the study of hin. Neither Villiers por those Latin works are known to us.

rigour. Neither, as we often hear, is there any superhuman faculty required to follow him. We venture to assure such of our readers as are in any measure used to metaphysical study, that the “ Kritik der reinen Vernunft” is by no means the hardest task they have tried. It is true, there is an unknown and forbidding terminology to be mastered; but is not this the case also with Chemistry, and Astronomy, and all other sciences that deserve the name of science? It is true, a careless or unprepared reader will find Kant's writing a riddle; but will a reader of this sort make much of Newton's “Principia," or D'Alembert's "Calculus of Variations ?" He will make nothing of them; perhaps less than nothing; for if he trust lo his own judgment, he will pronounce them madness. Yet, if the Philosophy of the Mind is any philosophy at all, Physics and Mathematics must be plain subjects compared with it. But these latter are happy, not only in the fixedness and simplicity of their methods, but also in the universal acknowledge ment of their claim to that prior and continual intensity of application, without which all progress in any science is impossible ; though more than one may be attempted without it, and blamed, because without it they will yield no result.

The truth is, German Philosophy differs not more widely from ours in the substance of its doctrines, than in its manner of communicating them. The class of disquisitions, named “ Camin Philosophie" (Parlour-fire Philosophy), in Germany, is there held in little estimalion. No right (realise on anything, it is believed, least of all on the nature of the human mind, can be profitably read, unless the reader himself co-operates : the blessing of half-sleep in such cases is denied him; he must be alert, and strain every faculty, or it profits nothing. Philosophy, with these men, pretends to be a Science, nay, the living principle and soul of all sciences, and must be trealed and studied scientifically, or not studied and treated at all. Its doctrines should be present with every cultivated writer; its spirit should pervade every piece of composition, how slight or popular soever : but to treat itself popularly would be a degradation and an impossibility. PhiJosophy dwells aloft in the Temple of Science, the divinity of its inmost , shrine; her dictates descend among Men, but she herself descends not; whoso would behold her must climb with long and laborious effort; nay, still linger in the forecourt, till manifold trial have proved him worthy of admission into the interior solemnities.

It is the false notion prevalent respecting the objects aimed at, and the purposed manner of attaining them, in German Philosophy, that causes in great part this disappointment of our attempts to study it, and the evil report which the disappointed naturally enough bring back with them. Let the reader believe us, the Critical Philosophers, whatever they may be, are no mystics, and have no fellowship with mystics. What a mystic is we have said above. But Kant, Fichte, and Schelling are men of cool judgment, and determinate energetic character; men of science and profound and universal investigation; nowhere does the world, in all its bearings, spiritual or material, theoretic or practical, lie pictured in clearer or truer colours than in such heads as these. We have heard Kant estimated as a spiritual brother of Böhme : as justly might we take Sir Isaac Newton for a spiritual brother of Swedenborg, and Laplace's “ Mechanism of the Heavens" for a peristyle to the “ Vision of the New Jerusalem.” That this is no extravagant comparison, we appeal to any man acquainted with any single volume of Kant's writings. Neither, though Schelling's system differs still more widely

from ours, can we reckon Schelling a mystic. He is a man evidently of deep insight into individual things ; speaks wisely, and reasons with the nicest accuracy, on all matters where we understand his data. Fairer might it be in us to say that we had not yet appreciated his truth, and therefore could not appreciate his error. But above all, the mysticism of Fichte might astonish us. The cold, colossal, adamantine spirit, standing erect and clear, like a Cato Major, among degenerate men; fit to have been the teacher of the Stoa, and to have discoursed of Beauty and Virtue in, the groves of Academe! Our reader has seen some words of Fichte's; are these like words of a mystic? We state Fichte's character, as it is. known and admitted by men of all parties among the Germans, when we say, that so robust an intellect, a soul so calm, so losty, massive, and immovable, has not mingled in philosophical discussion since the time of Luther. We figure his motionless look, had he heard this charge of mysticism! For the man rises before us, amid contradiction and debate, like a granite mountain amid clouds and winds. Ridicule, of the best that could be commanded, has been already tried against him; but it could not avail. What was the wit of a thousand wils to him? The cry of a thousand choughs assaulting that old cliff of granite ; seen from the summit, these as they winged the midway air showed scarce so gross as beetles, and their cry was seldom even audible. Fichte's opinions may be true or false ; but his character, as a thinker, can be slightly valued only by such as know it ill; and as a man, approved by action and suffering, in his life and in his death, he ranks with a class of men who were common only in better ages than ours.

The Critical Philosophy has been regarded, by persons of approved judgment, and nowise directly implicated in the furthering of it, as distinctly the greatest intellectual achievement of the century in which it came to light. August Wilhelm Schlegel has stated in plain terms his belies, that in respect of its probable influence on the moral culture of Europe, it stands on a line with the Reformation. We mention Schlegel as a man whose opinion has a known value among ourselves. But the worth of kant's Philosophy is not to be gathered from votes alone. The noble system of morality, the purer theology, the lofty views of man's nature derived from it; nay, per-, haps, the very discussion of such matters, to which it gave so strong an impetus, have told with remarkable and beneficial influence on the whole spiritual character of Germany. No writer of any importance in thal country, be he acquainted or not with the Critical Philosophy, but breathes a spirit of devoulness and elevation more or less directly drawn from it. Such men as Goëthe and Schiller cannot exist without effect in any literature or in any century; but if one circumstance more than another has contributed to forward their endeavours, and introduce that higher tone into the literature of Germany, it has been this philosophical system; to which, in wisely believing its results, or even in wisely denying them, all that was losty and pure in the genius of poetry or the reason of man so readily allied, itself.

That such a system must in the end become known among ourselves, as ii is already becoming known in France and Italy, and over all Europe, no one acquainted in any measure with the character of this matter, and the characier of England, will hesitate to predict. Doubtless, it will be studied here, and by heads adequate to do it justice; it will be investigated duly and thoroughly; and sellled in our minds on the footing which belongs to it, and where thenceforth it must continue. Respecting the degrees of

truth and error which will then be found to exist in Kant's system, or in the modifications it has since received, and is still receiving, we desire to be understood as making no estimale, and little qualified to make any. We would have it studied and known, on general grounds; because, even the errors of such men are instructive; and because, without a large admixture of truth, no error can exist under such combinations, and become diffused so widely. To judge of it we pretend not: we are still inquirers in the mere outskirts of the matter; and it is but inquiry that we wish to see promoted.

Meanwhile, as an advance or first step towards this, we may state something of what has most struck ourselves as characterising Kant's system; as distinguishing it from every other known to us; and chiefly from the Metaphysical Philosophy which is taught in Britain, or rather which was taught; for, on looking round, we see not that there is any such Philosophy in exislence at the present day.* The Kantist, in direct contradiction to Locke and all his followers, both of the French and English or Scotch school, commences from within, and proceeds outwards; instead of commencing from without, and, with various precautions and hesitations, endeavouring to proceed inwards. The ultimate aim of all Philosophy must be to interpret appearances from the given symbol to ascertain the thing. Now the first step towards this, the aim of what may be called Primary or Critical Philosophy, must be to find some indubitable principle; to fix ourselves on some unchangeable basis; to discover what the Germans call the Urwahr, the Primitive Truth, the necessarily, absolutely, and eternally True. This necessarily True, this absolute basis of Truth, Locke silently, and Reid and his followers with more tumult, find in a certain modified Experience, and evidence of Sense, in the universal and natural persuasion of all men. Not so the Germans; they deny that there is here any absolute Truth, or that any Philosophy whatever can be built on such a basis; nay, they go the length of asserting, that such an appeal even to the universal persuasions of mankind, gather them with what precautions you may, amounts to a total abdication of Philosophy, strictly so called, and renders not only its farther progress, but its very existence, impossible. Whal, they would say, have the persuasions, or instinctive beliefs, or whatever they are called, of men to do in this matter? Is it not the object of Philosophy to enlighten, and rectify, and many times directly contradict these very beliefs ? Take, for instance, the voice of all generations of men on the subject of Astronomy. Will there, out of any age or climate, be one dissentient against the fact of the Sun's going round the Earth? Can any evidence be clearer; is there any persuasion more universal, any belief more instinctive? And yet the Sun moves no hairbreadth; but stands in the centre of his Planets, let us vole as we please. So is it likewise with our evidence for an external independent existence of Matter, and, in general, with our whole argument against Hume; whose reasonings, from the premises admitted both by him and us, the Germans affirm to be rigorously consistent and legitimate, and on these premises allogether uncontroverted and incontrovertible. British Philosophy, since the time of Hume, appears to them nothing more than a laborious and unsuccessful striving to build dike after dike in front of our churches and judgmenthalls, and so turn back from them the deluge of scepticism, with which that extraordinary writer overflowed us, and still threatens to destroy whatever we value most." This is Schlegel's meaning; his words are not before us.

* The name of Dugald Stewart is a name venerable to all Europe, and 10 none more dear and venerable than to ourselves. Nevertheless his writings are not a Philosophy, but a making ready for one. He does not enter on the field to till it, he only encompasses it with fences, invites culuvators, and drives away inunders; often (fallen on evil days) he is reduced to long arguents with the passers by, to prove that it is a field, that this so highly prized domain of his is, in truth, soil and substance, not clouds and shadow. We regard his discussions on the nature of philosophic language, and his unwearied efforts to set forih aud guard against its fallacies, as worthy of all acknowledgment; as indeed forming the greatest, perhaps the only true improvement which Philosophy has received among us in our age. It is only to a superficial observer that the import of these discussions can seem trivial: rightly understood, they give sufficient and final answer io Hartley's and Darwin's, and all other possible forms of Materialism, the grand Idolatry, as we may rightly call it, by which, in all times, the true Worship, that of the Invisible, has been polJuied and withstood. Mr. Stewart has written warmly against Kant; but it would surprise him to find low moch of a Kantist he himself essentially is. Has not the whole scope of his labours been to reconcile what a Kantist would call his Understanding with his Reason; a noble, but still too fruitless effort to overarch the chasm which, for all minds but his own, separates his Science from the Religion? We regard the assiduous study of his works as the best preparation for studying those of Kan!.

The Germans take up the matter differently, and would assail Hume, not in his outworks, but in the centre of his citadel. They deny his first principle, that Sense is the only inlet of Knowledge, that Experience is the primary ground of Belief. Their Primitive Truth, however, they seek not, historically and by experiment, in the universal persuasions of men, but by intuition, in the deepest and purest nature of Man. Instead of attempting, which they consider vain, to prove the existence of God, Virtue, an immaterial Soul, by inferences drawn, as the conclusion of all Philosophy, from the world of sense, they find these things written as the beginning of all Philosophy, in obscured but in ineffaceable characters, within our inmost being; and themselves first affording any certainty and clear meaning to that very world of sense, by which we endeavour to demonstrate them. God is, nay alone is, for with like emphasis we cannot say that anything else is. This is the Absolute, the Primitively True, which the philosopher seeks. Endeavouring, by logical argument, to prove the existence of God, a Kantist might say, would be like taking out a candle to look for the sun; nay, gaze steadily into your candle-light, and the Sun himself may be invisible. To open the inward eye to the sight of this Primitively True; or rather, we might call it, to clear off the obscurations of sense which eclipse this truth within us, so that we may see it, and believe it not only to be true, but the foundation and essence of all other truth, may, in such language as we are here using, be said to be the problem of Critical Philosophy.

In this point of view, Kant's system may be thought to have a remote affinity to those of Malebranche and Descartes. But if they in some measure agree as to their aim, there is the widest difference as to the means. We state what to ourselves has long appeared the grand characteristic of Kant's Philosophy, when we mention his distinction, seldom perhaps expressed so broadly, but uniformly implied, between Understanding and Reason ( Verstand and Vernunft). To most of our readers this may seem a distinction without a difference ; nevertheless, to the Kantists it is by no means such. They believe that both Understanding and Reason are organs, or rather we should say modes of operation, by which the mind discovers truth; but they think that their manner of proceeding is essentially different : that their provinces are separable and distinguishable, nay, that it is of the last imporiance to separalo and distinguish them.. Reason, the Kantists say, is of a higher nature than Understanding; it works by subtler methods on higher objects, and requires a sar finer culture for its development; indeed in many men it is never developed at all : bul ils results are no less certain, nay rather

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