Leroux on Humanity
LEROUX ON HUMANITY.*
[From the Boston Quarterly Review for July, 1842.]
M. LEROUX, though but recently known in this country, has for some time held a very high rank among the literary and scientific men of France, and indeed of Europe. He first distinguished himself, we believe, by his contributions to the Revue Encydopedique, which was in its day one of the ablest, if not the very ablest, of European periodicals. He is now one of the principal conductors of the Encydo- pedie Nouvelle, a philosophical, scientifical, literary, and industrial dictionary, intended to render an exact account of the present state of human knowledge ; a work which owes much of its value and distinctive character to his contribu tions ; and which, judging from the names of those engaged in it, must be a work of no ordinary literary and scientific merit, and proper to be consulted as an authentic record of the doctrines and aspirations of lajeune France.
We can claim no great familiarity with the writings of M. Leroux, having read but two or three of his productions; but from what we do know of him, we feel warranted in saying that he is one of the most remarkable men of our times. He possesses talents of a very high order, various and profound learning, a rare philosophical insight, and rich poetic fervor. Eew men can read him without being warmed and instructed. He is a true lover of his race, a iirm friend of liberty and equality, and a bold champion of social and religious progress. He is a democrat in the high est, as well as the lowest, sense of the word. He is no mere speculative philosopher. He is sincere, deeply, almost ter ribly in earnest ; and sometimes he speaks to us in the thril ling tones of the prophet, and makes us tremble before the awfulness of the preacher. He evidently regards himself as a man of destiny, to whom God has given a work to do, and he aspires to be the founder of a school, if not even of a religion, the school, if not the religion of Humanity.
- De l'Humanite: de son Principe, et de son Avenir: ou se trouve
exposee la vraie definition de la Religion; et ou l'on s'explique le sens, la suite, et l'enchainement du Mosaisme et du Christianisme. Par PIERRE LEROUX. Paris: 1840.
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At bottom, however, M. Leroux belongs to, and continues the school of Saint-Simon, though in some senses modifying, and in others, rejecting its teachings. This in the minds of many of our countrymen will not tell to his advantage. Saint-Simonism is not in the best possible odor, perhaps because it is so little understood. The Saint-Simonian school was a great school, and may be justly regarded as one of the profoundest and richest schools to which the race has given birth. Saint-Simon is worthy to be mentioned with Pythagoras and Plato, St. Augustine, Descartes, and Leib nitz. He was one of those providential men whom God raises up at distant intervals in the world s history, specially endows, and sends among us to disclose a loftier ideal, and to initiate us into a higher order of life. Saint-Simon will be to the church of the future very nearly what St. Augus tine has been to the church of the past. He has been in our day the truest interpreter of the thought of Jesus, the first since Jesus to comprehend the social character of the new Covenant, which God has made with man, to reinstate, if we may so speak, humanity in its rights, and give it in our systems of religion, its due place and influence. Chris tianity may now become what in the Augustine " City of God " it was but imperfectly, the Religion of Humanity, and without losing for that its character of the Religion of God.
Of course, we have no sympathy with the follies and extravagances of the Saint-Simonians ; nor with their mis take of confounding Christianity with the Catholic Church ; nor with their substitution of immortality in humanity for immortality as individual men and women ; nor with cer tain pantheistic tendencies which they have not escaped, but which are in fact no necessary elements of the school. There was an original vice somewhere when they passed from a school to a sect. During the life and influence of Bazard, one of the most distinguished men they were ever able to claim, a man of large intelligence and much practi cal sagacity, they advanced with great rapidity, and threat ened to become the dominant party in France. Bazard was a salutary restraint upon the bolder, profounder, more relig ious, but impracticable Enfantin, and prevented the school from breaking entirely with the existing social organization. But after, in a fit of disgust or discouragement, he had fool ishly and impiously shot himself, all went wrong with the Saint-Simonians, and their meetings were soon suppressed
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by the strong arm of civil power. As an outward, visible society the school, or sect is we believe, no longer extant Fere Enfantm, at the last advices, was in the service of Mehemet-Ali; and the twelve apostles that went even to the gate of the harem of the Grand Turk, in search of a woman worthy to become the mere 8upreme,lwe returned reported their ill success, and vanished in thin air ; yet the school is not dead, nor will it speedily die. The more we penetrate its spirit, the more are we struck with its inherent vitality. Its doctrines, in a modified form, freed from the extravagances and technicalities of the sect are the only doctrines really making any progress in Europe, or even in this country Its pantheistic tendencies must be abandoned its dreams of an hierarchical organization of the race must be ^definitely postponed ; but its fundamental principles, as modified by time and inquiry, will rule the future, and justiiy the confidence expressed by their early expositors
Saint-Simomsm, regarded in its elements, its fundamental principles is at present the true Weltgeist, the real spirit of the age. Men hit upon it without knowing it, and advo cate its doctrines without knowing or suspecting their ori gin. In this fact we may read the evidence of its sound ness of its adaptation to the wants of our epoch and of its future destiny.
Samt-Simonism is superior to all its rival schools in the fact that it has an ideal, and therefore is not merely specu lative The Hegelian school is erudite and profound ; and, though we are far from pretending to an intimate acquaint ance with it, we know enough of it to know that it contains a large share of truth ; but it is merely speculative ; it pro poses no ideal does not prophesy, does not legislate for the The French eclectic school, founded by Cousin, is an admirably school, a great school, rich in learni, gand original psychological researches, earnest, sincere, explaining with great truth and clearness the past and the present ; but it is dumb before the future. To the questions, What has been ? What is ( it is prompt with an answer, and an answer which is by no means to be despised ; but to the question, What ought to be ? it has no answer. It has no ideal. It cannot tell what we must do in order to inherit eternal life. It is therefore sufficient only for those rare individuals, who are satisfied with themselves and with men and things as they are; who aspire to nothing better, holier, wiser! or more beautiful; who are contented merely to speculate as ama-
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teurs on the past and the present. But these individ uals, however estimable they may be, and however admi rable and desirable may be their cool, philosophical indiffer ency, which converts them, to use the language of a popular preacher, " into statues of tranquility with forefinger point ing to heaven," toward which they move not, are far from constituting the bulk of mankind. Humanity is no mere amateur. It is terribly in earnest. It is with" it always a matter of life or death. It cannot be satisfied with mere dilettantism. It does not, cannot feel itself here merely to speculate on its appearance in time and space, and on what passes on round about it and within it. It feels itself here to act, to live ; and it demands a practical philosophy a l.ehgwn, able and prompt to answer the ever-recurring and tormenting question, "What shall I do to be saved ?
Humanity lives only on condition that it aspires, and it aspires only on condition that it has an ideal. Prophets and Messiahs redeem and sanctify the race by giving it new and loftier ideals. The true ideal of humanity is no doubt intrin sically, eternally, and universally the same, though it enlarges ever as the race advances, and therefore seems to be always changing. In seeking, in laboring to realize this ideal humanity finds its life. This is its life. The Jews lived only so far as they succeeded in realizing the ideal which Moses gave them. Jesus enlarged and generalized the ideal of Moses, translated it out of Judaism into humanity, and therefore of Jews and gentiles made one; and this enlarged and generalized ideal the race, since his coming have been laboring to realize. So far forth as we have realized it, we have lived a true life, and a life in some sense, nay, literally, derived from Jesus, who in giving us this ideal, which, by his intimate relation with God, he had himself realized, and making us aspire to its realization, has become the father of the new age, the life of the world, the redeemer and the sanctitier of humanity.
The ideal of Jesus has never, in its fulness and beauty, been the ideal of the race. The church has embraced his ideal as interpreted by St. Augustine, with which she was content till the times of Martin Luther and John Calvin. Since then she has been seeking an ideal rather than the realization of an ideal ; and hence her apparent want of faith, and the critical and atheistical tendencies of modern society. None of the philosophers have given us any sub stitute for the Christian ideal as interpreted by St. Angus-
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tine. The devout have continued as before to seek the city of God, as conceived by him, not as conceived by Jesus, and interpreted by St. Paul and St. John. Many of them have not even felt the necessity of an ideal ; some, however, have sought it ; Descartes, Bacon, Leibnitz, Price, Lessing, Herder, Condorcet, and a few others have caught glimpses of it ; but Saint-Simon has been the first since St. Paul to give it an adequate formula. He, paraphrasing the answer of Jesus, has been able to reply to the question asked by young and eager humanity, "Good Master, what good thing shall I do to inherit eternal life ?" " Love thyself in thy neighbor, and do thy utmost so to organize society, as to effect in the speediest manner possible tlie moral, intellect ual, and physical amelioration of the poorest and most numerous class of thy brethren."
Saint-Simonism does not, then, content itself with mere speculation on the past and the present. It surveys them indeed, for it is erudite and observing, grateful, no less than hopeful ; but it does it in a deep, earnest, religious spirit, for the purpose of throwing light on the future, and of determining the end toward which individuals and nations- should direct their labors. It aspires to be a religion ; that is, to legislate, to impose the law, not merely by telling what has been, and what is, with which most schools content themselves, but by telling what ought to be.
The Saint-Simonian City of God, no doubt, differs from the Augustine ; but we have not been able to perceive any discrepancy between its ideal and that of Jesus, as inter preted by St. John and St. Paul. We do not find that Saint-Simon considered his ideal repugnant to the Christian.. In his secret thought he was a disciple of Jesus, as must be every full-grown man brought up in the bosom of Chris tian civilization ; and in calling his system Nouveau Chris- tianisme, he did not mean to intimate that it was new in relation to the Christianity of Christ, but in relation to the- Cliristianity enjoined and realized by the Augustine church. His followers have not always been careful to mark the distinction between the Christianity of Christ and the Christianity of the church, and hence the source of their most fatal errors; but the ideal of their master was implic itly at least, in the teachings of Jesus, and explicitly in the philosophic commentaries by St. Paul. The church, how- ever,^ seeking the Augustine City of God, instead of the- Pauline, has failed to perceive the important fact, that
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though humanity is indeed actualized, lives only in individ ual men and women, it has, nevertheless, a being, develop ment, and growth of its own, as a race ; and individual men and women have no real existence but in their union with it. There is in the Augustine City of God no clear, distinct recognition of the unity of individuals in the race. There is no humanity, no unity of individuals in one human life, running through them, and identical with them all. Individuals are not members of one and the same indis soluble bodyj or if so, it is in a sense which tends to absorb man in God, virtually annihilating him, as may be seen in the pantheistic tendencies of that church as inter preted by Luther and Calvin. These last have a perpetual tendency to lose the individual in God. Man is nothing before God, has no power, no agency, no virtue of his own. If, on the other hand an effort is made to save man, the church runs into pure individualism, asserting the reality of individual men and women, but denying the existence of humanity, without which individuals would be as if they were not ; nay, would not be at all. But breaking the unity of the ^ race, the church has isolated individuals from humanity, and conceived them, in the sense they are human, to exist as individuals and as individuals only. She recognizes^then men and women, but no man, no Adam, as in the beginning, male and female. Now the salvation the church can seek with this view, can be only the salvation of individuals, mere isolated individuals. Her efforts, there fore, are not to redeem humanity and save individuals in the race, by leading them back to unity, and making them one in the bosom of humanity, as Christ was one with the Father, but to save these isolated individuals, which as iso lated individuals, have no existence at all ; for individuals always have their being in the species, and through the species in God.
In consequence of this error on the part of the Augustine church, the ideal of Christianity has necessa rily been interpreted to be the improvement of mere individual men and women. It has not been felt that Christ enjoined the improvement of man, and of men only in so far as they are man, and because they are man. Yet Saint-Simon is right, and the Christian ideal is rightly affirmed to be the indefinite progress of humanity, and of individual men and women in the bosom of human ity. This is what St. Paul asserts, when he asserts that " as
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in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." Indeed, notwithstanding what we have just alleged, the church herself asserts the same, or would assert the same, if she but comprehended the profound significance of her own symbols. She has taught us that in Adam all men sinned, so that all men have become corrupt and guilty. But we could not sin in Adam as individuals, for as individuals we had no actual existence, and nothing can be more absurd than to make men responsible for acts in which they do not and^ cannot participate. We sinned, and still continue to sin in Adam ; but not as individual men and women. We sinned and sin in him as the race, as humanity. The cor ruption is therefore rightly termed a corruption of human ity, of human nature ; and we partake of it only in so far as, and because we partake of human nature. It was the race, not individuals that died in Adam, or individuals only as existing potentially, virtually, but not actually, in the race. So it is the race that is redeemed by Christ the Lord, termed by St. Paul himself, the second Adam., come to repair the damage done by the first. As the fall was that of the race, otherwise it could not have implicated us, but have been merely the fall of two individuals, for which they alone would have been responsible ; so the redemption must be that of. the race. Adam and Eve eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, are humanity falling into sin, and dying ^ a moral death ; Christ is humanity, for so may the Hebraism, Son of Man, be interpreted, rising from their moral death, from their grave of sin, and reascending to unity in God. The true Christian redemption is, then, that of humanity, and of individuals only so far forth as they exist in humanity, and because it is in them only that humanity lives and is actualized. The church herself, then, virtually ^ rejects the individualism she has countenanced. This individualism is repugnant not only to the deeper sense of the symbols of the church, but to "the whole spirit of Christianity. The Christian ideal is not sauve qui peut, but " Love thy neighbor as thyself." It is not the regener ation and sanctification of individuals, as so many separate, independent forces, without mutual relation or solidarity, that it proposes, but the regeneration and sanctification of the species, of the race, by means of the new life which God, through his only begotten Son, Jesus, communicated to it. This new life was not actually communicated to all individuals, but it was communicated to the race, and
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through the race to all individuals virtually, because all exist virtually in the race, and actually to all who com mune with regenerate humanity." Translate this doc- fc trine of the redemption of the race, and of individuals only so far ^as they commune with redeemed humanity, into ^ a doctrine of social and political life, and it becomes precisely the doctrine of social progress, for which Saint- Simon contends, and which he proposes as the true ideal of all who will live godly, inherit eternal life, in other words live a true life conformable to the will of the Creator.
We have no time to pause on this doctrine, and our read ers must forgive the apparent digression already indulged in ; for we have a sort of affection for Saint-Simon and his school, which it would be vain for us to attempt to disguise if we would, and which we would not if we could. More over, we have thought it not improper to say thus much of the school in which M. Leroux was formed, and to which in all that concerns the elements of his system, he still belongs. He retains, since he came out of the school, or since its^ dispersion, nearly all it had worth retaining. He retains its ideal, is true" to its spirit, and obedient to its inspirations ; while he avoids its extravagances, and shows, in the development and defense of its leading principles, a freedom of spirit, a warmth of feeling, a depth and originality of thought, not altogether unworthy of a man who aspires to found a school. But with all this, M. Leroux is no artist. His mind is a wild, weltering chaos, into which are thrown in the greatest confusion imaginable, materials various and rich, difficult to obtain, rare and of great
- Unsound as this reasoning must appear to the orthodox reader, it is
really profound and as near the truth as it is possible for the rationalist to reach. Understand that the Incarnation is the basis a new and supernatural order, is a new creation in reality, and it becomes plain that humanity, the race was redeemed in the sense understood by the author, and that the new (supernatural) life was not actually communi cated to all individuals, but it was communicated to the race (that is, Un church, which in the supernatural order is what the race is in the nat ural) and through the church to all individuals virtually, because all may, and actually to all who, commune with regenerate humanity, through the new birth. All that the author wanted to correct his view was the doctrine of the supernatural order, so thoroughly and clearly dis cussed in the third volume of these works. Indeed all the false views contained in this fourth volume find their refutation in the argu ments of the third. ED.
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price, in ample abundance for a new intellectual world ; but they will not coalesce, combine, assume unity, and clothe themselves with form and beauty, till a more creative spirit than his passes over them. His views are various, profound, often original, ingenious, and striking, but incomplete. Nevertheless he gives us some admirable criticisms, throws light on several dark problems in philosophy and theology, suggests numerous trains of rich and captivating thought, and kindles up many pure and noble aspirations. We honor him for his heartiness, honesty, deep earnestness, and lofty aims. There is nothing little, insignificant, or dilettanteish about him. He is a man ; thinks, feels, and speaks as a man.
With these remarks on the general character of M. Leroux and the school to which he virtually belongs, we pass to the consideration of the work before us, which comes, as the author tells us, in the train of his Essai sur rJEgalite^ which it continues. In that essay he had analyzed the present and explained his views of the past, detected the law of progress, found that the human race, having passed successively through all the phases of inequality, stands now on the borders of equality and a happier future. But before this future, so far as that work was concerned, the author stopped short, daring neither to prophesy nor to dogmatize. The questions came up, What is this future to me? What relation between me and humanity? between its destiny and mine ? Shall I be on the earth when justice and equality reign among men? Shall I hope for the future, love it, and seek to usher it in ? or shall I repel it, and withdraw myself as much as possible from it? The work before us was written professedly to answer these and similar questions.
The work is preceded by an Introduction on Happiness, of considerable length, originally an article in the Encyclo pedic Nouvelle. It makes a complete work in itself of great value. We should be glad to give an analysis of it, but must pass it over ; for the slightest notice of its contents would carry us quite away from our present purpose.
M. Leroux divides his work into six books, the sixth book occupying about one-third of the first volume, and the whole of the second. The first book is taken up with defi nitions of man, and their application. Psychologically, Leroux defines man, not the man of ancient theologies, but the abstract man of modern thinkers, to be sensation-senti-
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orient-cognition indivisibly united. He does not demon strate or attempt to demonstrate the truth of this definition. He collects it historically, taking one element from Des cartes, another from Gassendi and Locke, another from Leib nitz. This is not a very scientific method, and is the more remarkable in Leroux, since he condemns it without mercy in his work against eclecticism, in which he unjustly charges this method upon Cousin. But this is a small matter. Leroux assumes it as embracing in itself all the psychologi cal knowledge that we possess on what may be called the abstract, or isolated mind of man.
Critically considered, we have somewhat to object to this definition. Cognition abstracted, sensation and sentiment are virtually the same. They have a common basis, and depend on one and the same faculty of human nature, to wit, the sensibility, or power to feel. The two terms are thus reducible at bottom to one ; and instead of " sensation-sen timent-cognition," we should define man to be feeling- cognition. But this loses the trinity of ancient and modern psychology, and moreover is not broad enough to cover the whole man. Man acts, as well as feels and knows. We ought, then, to define him to be action-seutimeut-cogm- tion, indivisibly united. Furthermore, we see no good rea son why Leroux should define man phenomenally, rather than ontologically, since he, as well as we, admits man s onto- logical existence. Undoubtedly man recognizes his exist ence, the fact that he exists, only in the phenomenon : but he does recognize his existence, and never as phenomenon. The ontological is always revealed in the phenomenal, and our knowledge of being, as the subject of the phe nomenon, is as direct and as positive as our knowledge of the phenomenon itself. This follows from what Leroux himself assumes in his Refutation de V Edecticisme. Man never confounds himself with his phenomena. He is never a pain, a joy, or a grief, is never sensation, sentiment, or cog nition; but the subject who joys or grieves, is pained or pleased, feels, acts, or knows. He should be defined onto logically, then, from his powers, not from the effect of their exercise. Instead, then, of being defined action-sentiment- cognition indivisibly united, he should be defined activity- sensibility-intelligence indivisibly united ; that is, man is a being who acts, knows, and feels, and all these at once in each and all of his phenomena. Thus corrected, it is the
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definition adopted by the Saint-Simonians, by Cousin, and as Leroux contends, virtually by all modern thinkers.
Ihe mam point in this definition to be observed in its applications to morals and politics, is that according to it man is a unity in triplicity, a trinity. He is not sensation and sentiment and cognition, any more than a neutral salt is an acid and an alkali ; but he is a simple unity, inherently and essentially activity-intelligence-sensibility, and there- lore each one of his phenomena is indissolubly action-feel- ing-cpgnition. The distinction of faculties implies no division of essence ; the triplicity of elements does not break the unity of man s being. We cannot, then, as do our psychologers, separate the mental phenomena into actions or volitions; sensations, or sentiments; and cognitions or ideas; because in actual life there is no separation at all but each phenomenon is the product of the three elements in their indissoluble unity.
This fact marks the true distinction between a syn- thetu J and an eclectic philosophy, though it does not mark the distinction, as Leroux fancies, between himself and Oousin ; ior, save in name, Cousin is as synthetic as Leroux and even more so; and he insists every whit as earnestly on the primitive and essential synthesis of our faculties in each of our phenomena. Man, according to Cousin, is a trinity fundamentally and indissolubly, and the fact of con sciousness is always action-cognition-sentiment indivisiblv Cousin s error consists principally in the infelici tous choice of a name, which misleads the greater part of the public, and sometimes even himself. His philosophy ought not to be called eclecticism, for by eclectic he really understands synthetic. Had Leroux been aware of this lact ?i he might have spared himself and philosophy several portions of his very able Refutation de V Edecticisine.
Inis definition of man, Leroux thinks, was not unknown to the ancients; but the failure of philosophers in all ages has been caused by their exaggerating one of its three terms, sensation sentiment, or cognition. Plato exaggerates the last, Machiavelli and Hobbes the first, and Rousseau the second. Plato, by exaggerating the cognitive element, subordinates to it the other two, which, when transferred to political and social life, will be the subjection of the men of industry and the artists or warriors to priests and men of science, as we see in his Republic. Machiavelli and Hobbes exaggerating sensation, see in men only a troop of animals
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which must be reduced for their own advantage to submis
IT* am f P Wer r ^ artiflce cning. Konsseau , in nne, exaggerating sentiment, the me, the indi vidual will, arrives at a mere individualism, or mere aggre gation of equal and mutually repellant individual forfes winch can be bound together in society, harmonized only by means of a social compact, according to which each individ ual surrenders his own freedom to the community, to become
to" cC 7 7, a " mtef? - al Part , f tbe Ci ^ r State > a d c "t to clothe the majority with sovereign power to do as it
pleases even to employ force to execute its decisions In any of these cases we have despotism. According to Plato we should have the despotism of a theocracy; SachkveUi and Hobbes would give us the despotism of the law incar-
Philosophers break the unity of the human being ; divide man into separate faculties, nay, into separate beings, as it were ; then seize specially upon one or another of the frag ments into which they have broken him, and with that alone seek to reconstruct man and society. But the man and society thus reconstructed are at best fragmentary, incomplete, and must needs be ever at loggerheads with man and society as God and nature intended them. Our consolation in this case is that (rod and nature are stronger than the philosophers, and humanity, preserving in actual life her own unity in triplic- it v, makes her way through the ages, leaving behind the philosophers and their systems.
From a psychological definition of man, Leroux proceeds to give us what he terms a philosophical definition ; that is a dehmtion ot man not as an abstraction, but as a real being living and developing himself in the bosom of the race thaUs, again, man defined not from the individual, but the species. The ancients defined man to be a " social and polit ical animal." This definition included all they knew of man. Have we moderns nothing to add to it ? We add to it this, Man is progressive, society is progressive, the human race itself v,s progressive.
Leroux assumes this last definition as his point of depart ure, and takes as an axiom assented to, this thought of Leibnitz, videtur homo ad perfectionem venire posse. He does not attempt to prove that man is progressive, but merely that his capacity for progress is an admitted fact, an integral part of the present intellectual life of the race, no
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more in need of proof than the fact of life itself. In order to prove this he quotes a large number of modern thinkers, among whom we may mention Saint-Simon, Pascal, Perrault, Fonteneile, Bacon, Descartes, Leibnitz, Lessing, Turgot, and Condorcet.
Saint-Simon asserts that " the golden age, which blind superstition has hitherto placed in the past, is in the future ; a paradise on earth is before us," not behind us. He fully sustains Leroux, for Leroux is one of his disciples ; but we are not sure that the others quoted sustain his doctrine, save indistinctly, vaguely, and at best merely by implication. This doctrine, as Leroux, after Saint-Simon, maintains it, is that humanity is a collective being, living in the bosom of universal life, a life properly its own, and developing itself by a law of growth strictly analogous to that of the individ ual ; that the race, taken as the ideal (in the Platonic sense) or virtuality of man, that is, as human nature, which may be termed the potentiality of the individual, has a growth by way of accretion, or assimilation, which is as truly a growth as that we witness in the individual in passing from infancy to manhood ; not that humanity, as an aggregation of indi viduals, through successive generations, merely augments its accumulations of monuments, whether industrial, scien tific, or artistic, and its skill and wisdom in the application and use of these monuments, but that humanity as the virtuality of the individual becomes really enlarged, that the possibilities or capabilities of human nature itself increase from generation to generation, so that children of later generations are born not only with greater external advan tages, owing to the labors of preceding generations, but with greater internal capacities. This is the doctrine for which Leroux contends, and is set forth at some length in our paper on Reform and Conservatism.
This doctrine consists of two articles ; first, the collective life of humanity ; and second, that humanity, as well as individuals, is progressive. Pascal maintains that "not merely individual men advance in the sciences, but all men taken collectively advance in them, as the world grows older ; for it is with successive generations of men, as with the different ages of the individual, so that the whole series of individuals, continued throughout the ages, should be con sidered as one and the same man^ persisting always and continually learning" Charles Perrault says, " the human race ought to be considered as a single eternal man, so that
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the life of mankind, like that of the individual, has had its infancy, has now its manhood, but will have no decline." Fontenelle expresses himself to the same effect. Assuredly mankind taken collectively have in both ancient and mod ern times been likened to the individual, and said to have four ages, infancy, youth, manhood, and old a<?e ; but neither the ancient nor the modern thinkers referred to, seem to us to have had any conception of the doctrine as we have set it forth. The progress, of which Pascal, Per- rault, and Fontenelle speak, is external, in the arts and sci ences; and their "one and the same man " their " single -eternal man, " is merely a figure of speech, by which they express their faith in the continuance of the species, and that each successive generation shall enlarge the accumula tions, not the growth, of the race. No doubt the language of these thinkers in the mouth of Leroux would imply the doctrine in question ; but in the mouth of those thinkers themselves, it means something altogether more superficial and common-place.
Bacon was a great man, a man no doubt, as Leroux con tends^ who was an idealist in relation to progress in the material order; he unquestionably believed that man, by means of science, would be able to extend his empire over nature, and to improve his external condition ; but we do not find in him any trace of the doctrine of the collective life of humanity, as we embrace it ; no evidence of any faith in the progress of man s inherent capabilities, of humanity, human nature itself. We yield to no one in our admiration of Leibnitz, whom we dare maintain to be the
Greatest thinker of modern times ; but we confess that we ave not found our doctrine of progress in any of his works that have fallen under our notice. Leroux thinks that he finds it in Leibnitz s Law of Continuity. We think the doctrine we are maintaining is the only true explication of the facts which Leibnitz has under his eyes, but he himself meant, by the law of continuity, not progress, but that nature never proceeds by leaps, that she tolerates no void, no chasms, but is a universal pleroma, at least a just grada tion of being from the highest to the lowest, as versified by Pope :
"Vast chain of Being! which from God began, Natures ethereal, human, angel, man, Beast, bird, fish, insect, which no eye can see, No glass can reach, from infinite to thee, From thee to nothing." Vol. IV-8
LEEOUX ON HUMANITY.
His mdetur homo ad perfectionem venire posse, seems to ns to ^ express, not the doctrine, that man is indefinitely pro gressive, but the reverse, that he is perfectible, able to come to perfection, that is, to become perfect ; or in other terms, to realize the utmost capacity of his nature ; which is by no means the doctrine contended for. Bacon, Descartes, Locke, Leibnitz indeed all modern thinkers a little distinguished have no doubt had a sort of presentiment of the doctrine of progress ; have felt that man must be in some way improv able, and that his future must be holier, happier than his present or his past ; but none of them, prior at least to Con- dprcet, have, so far as we are able to ascertain, given it a distinct, scientific statement.
Leroux contends that the ancients had no sentiment not even vague, of the collective life of humanity; we are not sure but he is virtually correct in this ; yet we can find the doctrine in beneca even more clearly and energetically ex pressed than in Pascal or Perrault, if we may be permitted to adopt the same principles in the interpretation of him that Leroux adopts in deducing it from the moderns "Men indeed die," says the Eoman philosopher, "but humanity itse.lt, in whose image man was made, survives, and remains unattected by the sufferings and decay of individuals."*
After all, the doctrine of progress, veiled indeed and not always recognizable by careless observers, runs through all the religions of antiquity; and so does also that of the col lective life of humanity. The doctrine of progress is the real significance of the old universal faith in the periodical
destruction, sometimes by water and sometimes by fire
and renovation of man and nature. The palingenesia of the ancients is the imperfect statement of the progress of the moderns. ^ Christianity, which is Judaism translated from the tribe into the race, making of Jew and gentile one reveals, at least to us, both the doctrine of the collective life of humanity, and of the progress of the race and its institu tions. ^ llns is the doctrine which lies at the bottom of the faith in the millennium, so rife in the early ages of the church, so prevalent even yet, and the realization of which
Christians pray for in the petitions, Thy Kingdom come.
- Homines quidem pereunt ; ipsa antem humanitas, ad quam homo
efflngitur permanet; et hominibus laborantibus, intereuntibus ilia nil patitiir.-L. Annaei Senecas, Epist. 65. Even the doctrine of process which we call a modern doctrine, was not altogether unknown & this pmlosopher. Jeculli nato postmille soecula praecluditur occasio aliquid
LEBOUX ON HUMANITY. 115
Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven." It is the significance of the faith in a Messiah, who, all Christendom still, in common with the Jews, believes, is to .come, it is what is implied in the hope of "a latter-day glory;" what Isaiah promises when, enraptured with his vision of the Messiah s reign, he breaks forth, " He shall not fail, nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth, and the isles shall wait for his law." It was chanted in the chorus of angels over the manger-cradle of the infant Redeemer, and was preached by Paul as "the liberty of the sons of God," into which the whole creation groaned to be delivered. The doctrine is, as we have shown in commenting on the Saint-Simonian ideal, peculiarly a Christian doctrine, and to Christianity are we indebted for its principal developments; but it has required eighteen hundred years of training under the Christian dispensation, to enable us to give it a clear, distinct, and scientific statement. As a doctrine clearly, distinctly, and scientifically stated, it is probably not older than the close of the last century ; but as a doctrine forefelt and foreshadowed, it is older than Bacon and Descartes, than Paul and Jesus, than Plato and Pythagoras, as old as Moses, and we know not but as old as the first aspiration of the race. Leroux, in his second book, not the least valuable part of his work, considers man s nature, destiny, and right. He holds, and in this we coincide with him, that man, taken alone, is never competent to the task of his own manifesta tion. He remains in a virtual or latent state, a mere poten tiality, till assisted to actualize himself by that which is^ not himself. He cannot exist in his own eyes, be conscious, without acting, and he cannot act without an object which he is not, and cannot of himself furnish. For instance, he- is made with the capacity to love, but he does not from the- first actually love. ^This capacity, when he does not actu ally love, is still love, but love in a virtual or latent state, love in potentia, not in actu. From this virtual or latent state- love can be brought only by means of an object. Or, in simple terms, man is created with the power to love ; but he cannot manifest this power to love without loving ; and he cannot love without loving something, some object. An object which is loved is as essential to the production of actual love as is a subject that loves.
Love, so far forth as man loves, is his life. But as this love is, if we may so speak, the joint product of the sub ject loving, which is the man himself, and of the object
116 LEROUX ON HUMANITY.
beloved, which is not himself, his life must be partly in and partly out of himself, and depend partly on himself and partly on that which is not himself. Now this which we say of the capacity to love, we say of all man s capacities. They are all latent, except so far as by means of appropriate objects he is enabled to develop, to manifest, or actualize them. His whole life, then, whether intellectual, sentient, or sentimental, is jointly in himself and in that which is not himself, in the me and in the not-me. His life unquestion ably consists in the manifestation, or actualization, of his latent capacities. As this manifestation, or actualization, is but the echo of the intershock of the me and the not-me, or of his communion with that which is not himself, it follows that he can live only so far as he has an object. His life, then, is ^at once subjective and objective. Other men and the world furnish the objective portion of his life. Thev furnish it only by means of an uninterrupted communion between him and them. As he has need of living, so has he need of this communion ; and his right to this communion must be commensurate with his right to live ; for it is the necessary, the indispensable condition of his life.
There is a portion of man s nature, what we usually term the domestic affections, which finds its object only in the bosom of the family ; another portion, the social, which finds its object only in having a country, a fatherland ; and still another, only in acquiring and possessing property. In order, then, to be able to develop, to manifest himself, that is, to live, man needs a free, uninterrupted communication with other men and with the world, under the three forms of family, country, and property. This conclusion, though not remarkable for its novelty, save in the light in which it is placed by the metaphysics of the author, is of great prac tical importance. It is worth considering by all those zealous world-reformers, who are seeking to obtain the palingenesia by destroying family, country, or property. They, who contend for a community of goods, would annihilate property. Hence the dangerous tendency those must guard against who in our days are advocating " the community system." They who declaim against the marriage relation, or who would intro duce the general liberty of "divorce, and they who strike at separate households, as do the disciples of Charles Fourier, together with those who seek to transfer the responsibility of educating and rearing their children from themselves to the community, as was advocated by Frances Wright, in her
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scheme of a national education, annihilate the family, and therefore the domestic part of man s life. They who main tain that all government is a sin and a usurpation, and acknowledge the legitimacy of no government, but each individual s moral convictions of right and duty, which seems to be the doctrine of our New England non-resistants and no-government men, by making the state impracticable, annihilate country. Each thus in turn takes away from man objects indispensable to the development of his latent pow ers, to the actualization of his virtuality, and therefore the necessary conditions of his life.
The nature of man is to live by means of an uninter rupted communion with other men and with nature, under the three precise and definite forms of family, coun try and property. His destiny, that is, the design of his Creator in his constitution, is not, then, to place himself physically, sentimentally, and intellectually in unlimited communion with all men, and with all the beings of the universe. This were to annihilate him by the vast solitude of Sahara, equally destructive with the solitude obtained between four walls in our modern penitentiaries. He would roam from man to man, from object to object, without rest ing his mind or his heart upon any ; weary and desolate in the midst of endless variety and perpetual change, he would die for the want of something permanent and unchangeable. He must concentrate to increase his energy. His philan thropy is too gaseous to be of any practical utility, till con densed into love of family and fatherland. His intellectual powers are tod feeble to attain to science, unless he confines himself to a limited range of studies. The finite seeks in vain to master the infinite. "Man, from the first moment of his life is placed in relation with certain of his like, and with certain beings of nature, which his true destiny requires him never to quit."
Nevertheless, by the normal methods God has established, man has the right to communicate with all men, and with all nature. No one has the right to forbid this unlimited communion. To forbid it, to restrict man in an absolute manner to a particular communion with certain other men, and certain beings of the universe, were to build a prison around him, which, though a palace, were none the less a prison, and in which he would be annihilated by solitude. The recognition of his right to unrestricted communion with other men, and with nature, is what makes his liberty.
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^ Who in fact would restrict this right? The scientific? Science claims the right to know every tiling, to send her searching glance into every thing that can be known ; and this is what is cherished as the freedom of science, freedom of mind, freedom of thought. Artists? Art knows no limit ; it claims the right to seek the beau tiful anywhere and everywhere in God s universe; and this is what we denominate the freedom of art. Men of industry? Industry claims in turn the right to possess all, and by her labors to increase its fruitfulness ; and in this consists the freedom of industry. While, then, man must, in point of fact, because he is finite, restrict himself to precise and definite relations with other men and with nature, yet he has the right to unlimited communion with all men and with all nature. This conclusion is not with out significance, as we shall see in approaching the third book, which treats of Evil and its Remedy.
Family, country, and property are in themselves good, -excellent, indispensable conditions of man s life ; but their excess is mischievous ; and they may, and often do, exist in excess. The family may absorb man; the nation may absorb him ; property may absorb him. He may be the slave of his birth, the slave of his nation, the slave of his property. Hitherto he has been the slave of all three simultaneously, and of each successively.
The past has been evil, and only evil, because neither the family, nor the nation, nor property has been so organized as to admit, in the bosom of each respectively, man s free development and progress. Leroux labors this point at great length, and shows that the evils of society, all the wrongs and outrages man inflicts or receives, result never from the inherent depravity of man, nor from the original vice of the family, state, or property ; but from the fact that through ignorance these three forms of man s com munion have been organized with a special reference to themselves, so that each becomes, instead of a help, a let and a hindrance to the free communion of each man with all other men^and with all nature. That there has hitherto been antagonisrn between the family and the nation, and between the nation and the race, between the individual and the family and the nation, and between man and the proprietor, there can be no doubt. That this is the cause, the veritable cause of our evils, would seem to be pretty satisfactorily demonstrated. The conclusion at
LEROTJX ON HUMANITY. Hi)
which Leroux arrives is not peculiar to him ; but wo confess that, though many have asserted it, he is the first- writer we have known to demonstrate its philosophic truth. We have all said that by injuring others we injure ourselves ; but no one to our knowledge before Leroux has shown us why it is so. We see now that it is so, because, .according to him, to live is to manifest one s self ; and one cannot manifest one s self without an object, and this object is our brethren. Our life exists jointly in us and in them, and to injure them is to injure the objective part of our life, every whit as essential as the subjective part. This is the richest discovery of modern philosophy, and contains in itself the seeds of a whole philosophical, moral, relig ious, and political revolution. Let it be pondered well.
We, as well as Leroux, have contended that the progress of the individual cannot be effected alone ; that it can be effected only by the progress of the race, of social institu tions, and surrounding nature. Churchmen, to some extent, have disputed us 011 this point, and assured us it is by indi vidual culture and progress that the race is advanced. In their view mankind is an aggregate of individual forces or wills, coexisting, but without necessary union, without mutual dependence ; and they have sought to reform the world by considerations addressed to these isolated, inde pendent wills or forces, as if the individual man could attain to the highest perfection of a human being, without communion with other men, or with nature ; or as if living in communion with them he could rise to a pitch of excel lence altogether superior to them. This doctrine, in great vogue with American transcendentalists, appearing under various names, but more frequently under the names of individual improvement and self-culture, and when so named opposed to the doctrine of those who seek to reform the world by ameliorating the family, the state, and prop erty, is founded on the hypothesis that man can be his own object, and that his life is all in himself, and therefore wholly subjective. Leroux has demonstrated this doctrine to be false, and the opposite doctrine to be true, by demon strating that our life must needs have an objective portion, and that this portion is in other men and nature.
It is, then, to us a matter of the deepest concern what those other men are. They are a portion of our life, and the truth and reality of our life ; its worth, its approach to the divine life God requires us to live, depend as much on
LEROUX ON HUMANITY.
the character of these other men as on our own. "We can obtain true normal life with a false object no more than with a false subject. The effort, then, to advance men, by isolating them from the race, and treating them as inde pendent wills or forces, able in and of themselves to become better, other men and nature remaining as they are, will prove, as it always has proved, unavailing. The church must enlarge its ideal, and propose, not the progress of iso lated individuals, the salvation of the isolated soul, but the progress of men in their union with humanity, and therefore necessarily propose the amelioration of the several forms under which man communes with other men. We must understand that our progress as individuals is insep arably connected with the progress of other men, with whom we stand in relation, that our lot is bound up with that of humanity, and that whatever be its degree of excel lence or depravity, that degree must be ours.
But to return. Evil results from the violation of the law of unity and fraternity. This violation of the divine law is- occasioned by the establishment of castes, under the three forms of family caste, the national caste, and property caste. The remedy for evil under its two forms, the evil of the oppressed, and that of the oppressor, must, then, be sought in a return to unity and fraternity, to the communion of the human race : men must be brought to the communion,, made to commune. To be conformed to our nature, and consequently to be happy and moral, we have need to be intentionally and virtually in communion with all men, with all nature, and through them with the infinite God, from whom they all proceed, and in whom they all breathe and live. The family must be so constituted that we can enlarge in all directions within its bosom, without restraint ; the state must be so organized as to permit us to develop ourselves and advance in its bosom, without being oppressed ; the same also must be affirmed with regard to property. In other words, these three forms, by which man communes with man and nature, must be so ameliorated as to aid our free and uninterrupted communion with all men and with all nature ; not so as to confine us necessarily to our own estate, our own family, within the narrow enclosure of our own Country. " Family, country, property must be so har monized with man s right to free communion with all men- and with all nature, without, however, on that account ceas ing to be family, country, property."
LEROUX ON HUMANITY.
This brings us to what Leroux contends is the funda mental principle of all genuine ethical and political science The ancients founded ethics and politics on the maxim! Thou shalt love % neighbor," a profound maxim which has not yet been comprehended in all its depth L hilosophy now, for the first time, demonstrates its wisdom and truth, and does so by showing that thy neighbor is thy self, because he is thy object. In other terms, thy life beiiiff indissolubly objective and subjective, and the objective part residing in thy neighbor being as much thine as the subject ive part residing in thyself, there is a oneness, a true soli darity between him and thee, which makes it necessary for thee to love him as the indispensable condition of lovino- thyself, impossible for thee to love thyself without lovin* him. Io love is to manifest thyself, whether thou lovest thyself or another. But thou canst not manifest thyself without an object, and this object must be other than" thy self. t Thou canst not love even thyself, then, save in loving an object which is not thyself. Here is the law of thv life Withdraw thyself from it thou canst not. Violate it thou mayst but never with impunity. Here, then, is self-love itself leading to charity, or love of neighbor. Leroux repro duces here the doctrine of Pope, who declares self-love and social the same, and virtually the doctrine of u Interest well understood," or enlightened self-interest, in which, under one of its principal aspects, resulted the philosophy of the last century; but under other conditions, with stronger and nobler sanctions. He unites, to speak truly, "in a pure and fundamental synthesis, both the teachings of Jesus and the conclusions of the philosophers."
We come now to the fourth book, on the Mutual Soli darity of Men. The preceding book has prepared the way for the leading doctrine of this ; but we approach now more closely the author s peculiarities, and therefore must be even more than ever on our guard.
The mutual solidarity of men, or unity of all men in the one life of humanity, is explained by the law of life already stated ; namely, that life resides jointly and inseparably in the ^ subject and the object, and therefore that in life the subject and object are not only placed in juxtaposition, mutually acting and reacting one upon the oth er, but are in fact unified, if one may so speak, soldered together, or amal gamated as the acid and the alkali in the formation of the neutral salt, so that a separation in time or space is impos-
122 LEROUX ON HUMANITY.
sible, without destroying life itself. The actual object of each man is his family and his country ; his virtual or possi ble object toward which he aspires, and should be free to aspire, is all men. Then the life of each individual man resides, so to speak, jointly and indissolubly in himself and in all other men. Each man is an undivided and an indi visible part of the life of all men, and the life of all men and of eacli man is an undivided and an indivisible part of the life of each man. Thus is each in life soldered to the whole, and the whole to each. This, as clearly and precisely as we can state it, is what Leroux and the Saint- Simonians mean by the solidarity of the race.
The doctrine may be easily realized by recalling the old theological * doctrine of the federation of mankind in Adam and Christ. According to this old theological doctrine, God made a covenant with Adam, whereby Adam became the federal head of his race, so that in his fall all his posterity were to be implicated ; God also made a covenant with Christ, the second Adam, whereby he became another fed eral head of the human race; so that through his righteous ness the elect should be redeemed, and adjudged to be righteous. Understand now by Adam the father of human ity in its anormal condition, by Christ the father of human ity in its normal condition ; and w^hat theology has hereto fore declared to exist virtually by way of covenant and imputation, but not actually, understand to exist actually and really, as the very principle and law of human life itself, and you have the doctrine in question. It is a great doctrine, and follows necessarily from the position assumed that to live is to manifest one s self ; that man in no sense whatever can manifest himself without an object ; and that his object is mankind. It is the clear, distinct, and philo sophical statement of the doctrine which lies at the founda tion of what we all say when we say, " Man is a social ani mal ; he was fitted to live in society ; he withers and dies in solitude." We confess, important and far-reaching as the doctrine is, we are forced to accept it, not only by Leroux s reasonings, but by certain considerations which had brought us independently of him to accept, as the foundation of all ound philosophy, the fact on which it all rests, namely, the absolute impossibility in which the human me is placed of manifesting itself, that is, of living, without an uninter rupted communion with the not-me.
- Calvinist. ED.
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We Lave seen that this doctrine of the mutual solidarity of men lays the foundation of a genuine charity, universal as well as special, without for that destroying the enlightened ^/-interest of the philosophers. It effects the atonement, or rather a perfect synthesis of the love of self and the love of neighbor, and the love of me and of not-me, by show- lug that one is never without the other, and can never be but by and with the other.
Leroux, while acknowledging the superiority of Christian ity over all other religions of the past, still" thinks it has failed to show this synthesis and reconcile the love of self with the love of neighbor. If he will substitute church for Christianity, and if instead of saying that Christianity has fallen into this error, lie will say that some Christians, in their interpretations of the precepts of Christianity, have fallen into it, we shall have no objections to offer. And it is proper here to observe that Leroux and others who for the most part agree with him in his general doctrines, mean by Christianity, Christianity as it has been defined, inter preted, and authoritatively enjoined by the church ; in other words, Christianity, if we may so speak, according to St. Augustine, and not according to Jesus, the Son of Mary. Leroux himself, notwithstanding what he says, exonerates Christianity from the charge he brings ; and while claiming his doctrine as a modern discovery, seems to convey the notion that Jesus borrowed it from the Essenes, a Jewish sect which had no doubt anticipated many of the elements of Christian theology and Christian ethics. That Christian ity has not metaphysically demonstrated its doctrine of charity is no doubt true, for it demonstrates no doctrine ; it teaches, it does not demonstrate ; but that it teaches the true doctrine of charity Leroux admits, and we have our selves proved it in our New Views, and in what we have just said in defence of the ideal of the Saint-Simonian school.
Nevertheless, we agree with Leroux that Christianity, as it has been widely, but not universally, nor exactly authorita tively, interpreted by both its learned and unlearned adher ents, is liable to the objections he brings. Christians have rarely comprehended the Communion, or Eucharist. It has been disjoined from charity, and instead of being a feast of Jove has become a sacred mystery; in these our days too often a mere rite, or ceremony. We know no doctor of the church who has explained, nay, who has even suspected
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its profound significance. The Catholic doctors are lesa untrue to it than the Protestant. Indeed, it may be ques tioned, if the Protestant doctors, in rejecting Transubstan tiation, have not virtually rejected the doctrine itself. The doctrine of Transubstantiation, by which man is said to feed upon the human-divine Flesh of Jesus, teaches the profound truth of the solidarity of men in humanity, and of humanity, through Jesus, in God ; and that it is only by a living communion of the individual with humanity, through humanity with Jesus, and through Jesus, with God, that he can be redeemed and sanctified ; that his true life is indissolubly united to the life of humanity, and through the life of Jesus, to the life of God. Well, well has com ing to the Communion, celebrating the Eucharist, been con sidered the most solemn expression of one s faith in Christ,, and when sincere, the most glorious act of one s life !
Still, we own that the Communion has remained a mystery for the great mass of believers, uninterpreted, or misinter preted; and Christian charity, therefore, which with Si JPaul was " the bond of perf ectness," " the fulfilling of the law," which was " the perfect law of liberty," according to St. James, has been misconceived, theoretically degraded, almost to a nullity. The doctors of the church have erred in con demning holy and necessary love of self, and by that rend ering the love of neighbor and of God impossible. They have forbidden the Christian to love himself ; they have made his Christianity, his sanctification consist in the anni hilation of self; they have commanded him to love his neighbor only in appearance, only in view of God, which is to love him not at all ; and have ended by making his duty consist in pure, direct, and absolute love of God, which in< this case becomes an impossibility. By these three errors the Christian doctors have virtually obliterated charity from their ethical code, and would have obliterated it from the human heart, were it not that life is stronger and more per sistent than theories, however high and sacred the authority that promulgates them. "The fervent Christian, turned only toward God, really loves neither himself nor others, and is deceived in supposing he loves God as God would be loved."
^This pure and exclusive love of God, to which your pietists, your Fenelons, and your Guyons aspire, is alto gether impracticable. Men may aspire to it, enthusiasts- may struggle to obtain it, and sensitive dispositions may
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believe themselves in possession of it ; but it is never a real love of God. God, isolated from self, neighbor, and nature, is, so far as we human beings are concerned, as if he were not, is a mere illusion, an empty form, like the image of the beloved Creusa that appears to ^Eneas in his flight, and which, when he would clasp it to his acting bosom, melts and vanishes. God can be known and loved only as he manifests himself. And this doctrine, so strongly insisted <>n by Leroux, as he pretends, in opposition to Christianity, is the real Christian doctrine, and also that of the church ; for the church pronounced Fenelon s pietism a heresy. What -else means this doctrine, that we approach God never directly, but only through a mediator ? It is always in the face of the Son that we behold the glory of the Father. ^No man hath seen God at anytime; the only begotten Son that is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared, or manifested, him." " The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us." God was manifested in the flesh, that is, in humanity, and it is in and through humanity, and Jesus, the father of redeemed humanity, that we have access to the Father. Always is it God in his indissoluble union with human nature, always the God-Man Jesus, that redeems and sanctifies us. If God is known only as manifested in and through humanity, then is it only in humanity, in the love of neighbor, that we do or can love him. " No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwell- eth in us, and his love is perfected in us." " If any man say, I love Grod, and hate his brother, he is a liar ; for he that loveth not his brother, whom he hath seen, how shall he love God, whom he hath not seen ? " Can any thing more explicit be required to prove that, according to Christianity, we love God only mediately, by, and in, loving our brother? Leroux is wrong, then, in pretending that the pure, direct, and absolute love of God is a Chris tian doctrine.
The ascetic view of the world is not the view taken in the gospels, nor by St. Paul. We will not pretend to deny that we may not now and then discover a trace of asceti cism imprinted on the form of Christianity, as developed by St. Paul ; but it nowhere penetrates to the foundation, nowhere affects the real substance of the true Christian s faith. Christianity founds its claims to our love and confidence on the ground that it is the religion of reconciliation that it has power to harmonize all the antinomies of the moral,
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intellectual, and physical world, God and man, time and eternity, soul and body, heaven and earth, self and neigh bor, family and nation, nation and humanity, individually and collectively. The asceticism of the church is of foreign origin, and belongs^not to Christianity. That theology has arrived where it has through the failure of the Gospel to give it a clear and firm basis is by no means certain. If the passage already quoted from John does not touch the heart of the question, we know not what can. " If a man say, I love God, and hate his brother, he is a liar ; for he that loveth not his brother, whom he hath seen, how shall he love God, whom he hath not seen ? " Does not this plainly enjoin the love of man as well as the love of God ? nay, the love of man as the indispensable condition of loving God ? " No man hath seen God at any time ; but if we love one another he dwelleth in us, and his love is- perfected in us." What does this mean, but that we attain to our knowledge of God, and to the realization of his love in us, by loving one another; that it is through the love of one another that we commune with him ? Is not this explicit ? Jesus himself says, " A new commandment give I unto you, that ye love one another, as I have loved you. " " By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples* if ye have love one to another." This is the only new command ment Jesus ever gave, and of course, it marked the peculiar ity of his religion, since men were to be known as his disci- pies by keeping it. Did Jesus, then, lay any foundation for the asceticism Leroux condemns as Christian theology ? Nay, we will not rest here. St. Paul himself says, " He that loveth another hath fulfilled the law ; love worketh no ill to his neighbor ; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law." We say, therefore, once and again, that the Gospel, the New Testament, affords no countenance to the doctrine that has been drawn from it, and which Leroux does well to combat. The charge of leaving God out altogether, as an object of love, could be more easily sustained against the Gospel, than that of resolving the love of neighbor into the abstract love of God.
In consequence of the hostility which Christianity, as interpreted by the doctors, suffered to remain between the love of self and the love of neighbor, and the love of man and the love of God, the charity of the Gospal has never been organizable. It has never been possible to organize civil society according to its principles. Civil society has,.
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therefore, with the interests of time, been abandoned to- Caesar, that is. to ignorance, violence, and brute force. The church alone has been able, in some feeble degree, to be organized for the realization of the doctrine of "love. But able now to melt the love of God, the love of neighbor, and the love of self into one and the same love, or rather into one and the same life, we may fuse church and state, and organize the whole society under its terrestrial and its celes tial relations, according to one and the same principle, and for the realization of true Gospel charity. This will be done by ameliorating the family, the nation, and property r so that these three forms of man s communion with man and with nature, shall tend unceasingly to facilitate his free communion with all men, with all nature, and through them with God himself, in whom they all live and have their being, without being he or his being they. This is our work for the future. To the performance of this work we must bring all the energy and enterprise of industry, all the instructions and directions of science, and all the inspirations of art.
Thus far we have followed Leroux with considerable pleas ure, and as to the substance of his doctrines, with general approbation. In what follows in the fifth and sixth books r our sympathy with him is altogether less. Having brought us to see what we are in and of ourselves, what relation sub sists between us and the race, between our destiny and its, and to perceive the work to be done for the future, he has felt that some motives and sanctions were necessary to secure the performance of that work. Leroux is, as we have said, a sincere, earnest-minded man. He is no amateur phi losopher. He thinks and writes for the purpose of better ing the condition of mankind. He works, and would induce others to work, and to work zealously and effectively. But he sees and feels, and it is honorable to him that he does so see and feel, that it is impossible to induce them so to work, without the allurements and sanctions of religion. He has seen and felt the utter hopelessness of all efforts for reform not prompted and sustained by religion. He has, then, sought not a mere speculative philosophy, but a religion; not merely to make a discursion on ethics and politics, but to give men a true, inward, abiding, and all- controlling faith ; a faith which, like the early Christian faith, shall enable them to " overcome the world." To this he says he has attained by his own inductions; but after
128 LEROUX ON HUMANITY.
having tlius attained to it, he has seen its connection with ancient theologies, and he has therefore gone into elaborate historical researches to sustain his doctrines by the tradi tions, the religious and philosophical monuments of the race. Through these researches we have, as our readers must perceive, no space at present to follow him.
After having established his doctrine of the mutual solidarity of men, by which he lias shown us that the life of the individual and that of the race are inseparably united literally one and the same life ; and therefore led each to seek the good of all, and all the good of each, by all the force of both our selfish and our social affections, he has wished to strengthen this force, by showing that this solidarity, this oneness of the life of the individual and of that of the ra.ce, is not only temporary, during what we call our present existence, but eternal ; and therefore that we are as much and as directly concerned in whatever may be the future condition of the race, as we are or can be in its present condition. This established, then both the seliish and the social elements of man, the love of self and the love of neighbor, will be reinforced by all the superiority of an eternal good over a mere temporary one, and thus rein forced cannot be long in making evil disappear from the face of the earth.
But in order to establish this he has felt it and we regret that he has necessary to make war upon the old and all but universally received opinions concerning heaven and hell, time and eternity, this life and another. He rejects the dualism between heaven and earth, and heaven and hell, as commonly understood, and thinks that the immortality looked for by believers, out of this world and out of this life, is chimerical, is the veriest illusion. The only dualism he admits is the dualism of the absolute and the relative, the unmanifested and the manifestation. There are, he says, two heavens : "An absolute heaven, permanent, embracing the universe, and each creature in particular, and in the bosom of which lives the universe and each creature ; and a relative heaven, not permanent, but progressive, the manifestation of the first in time and space." The second heaven accompanies always the first, and Leroux says, " his faith is that the first heaven, which is for him God, the eternal and invisible, manifests itself more and more in creatures which succeed one another, and that adding crea tion to creation, with the view of raising creatures nearer
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and nearer to itself, It follows that creatures more and more perfect must issue from its womb in proportion as life succeeds to life." But who does not see that here is no creation at all ? The two heavens are the plenum and void of Brahminism, and especially of Buddhism. The absolute heaven is the infinite void seeking to become full. This void is the /Seyn of the Hegelians, which even they define to be the synonym of the NichLseyn, for its only quality is that it is. It is, according to Leroux himself, merely an infinite possibility seeking to become real, or an infinite virtuality seeking to actualize itself in time and space. God has, then, according to him, no real, no actual exist- ence ; that is to say, God is nothing but a possibility, or at least a virtuality, save in what we term creation. Abstract creation, and there would be no real, no actual God ; there would remain only the possibility of a God, which will become a real God in proportion as there shall be an actual creation. The whole of which seems to us to amount to this, there is no God but the universe, and the possibility, or, if you please, power of the universe to grow and expand itself indefinitely in time and space. Which in our view is, to say the least, nothing better than a mitigated form of pantheism. Leroux evidently admits creation only by way of emanation, by an efflux, to inter pret his own figure, of the infinite into the finite. This determines the character of his theodicy, and proves him a pantheist. The distinction between theism and pantheism is, that the last contends that the actual universe emanates from God, while the former contends that God has actually created it ; and that though he sustains it, and is its life and being, yet is he independent of it, and as truly God without it as within it. Emanation is the besetting sin of all oriental philosophy, except the Jewish ; and we are sorry to find it revived and contended for by a man so distinguished .as Leroux.
The immortality for which Leroux contends may now be easily conceived of. There are only two orders of exist ence, the possible and the real, the virtual and the actual. The possible, the virtual is infinite, eternal; the real, the actual is finite in regard both to time and space. It is what we call this world, this life, in one word, the present. There is, then, and can be, no actual life but the present life. The only life we have, or can have, is this life, and the infinite .possibility of living this life. Leroux, therefore, permits us
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to Aspire to no paradise beyond this life, to no heaven beyond this world. Paradise and hell are to him mere illusions. All that he permits us to aspire to is a renewed existence in t/iis life. In other words, the race is eternal, for it is the infinite virtuality of each individual, and being an infinite virtuality it will eternally tend to actualize itself in individ uals ; f which amounts to this, individuals die, but the race survives. We as individuals, as actual men and women, are after all only for a day, our life extending only from the cradle to the grave. 6, friend, is it with the allurement of such a hope as this, that you are to captivate our hearts, and make us give ourselves up, soul and body, to the work of ameliorating the condition of our fellow men on earth ? Is this what you call our being on earth when justice and equality shall reign among men ? Never have we feared that the race would become extinct ; never has it been over the possible annihilation of humanity that we have stood with sorrowing heart and streaming eyes ; but over bur own possible annihilation, and that of those we have loved. We did not ask thee to prove that we may exist hereafter as we have existed heretofore, that we may be born into this world again as we have already been in the generations which have preceded us ; but that we ourselves shall survive the tomb, and that the beloved of our heart, whose body the earth has covered from our sight, but who comes to us so oft in the sweet visions of our sleeping or our waking, is not dead to ns, survives not merely in our own deeply cherished love, but really, actually lives, and shall be again met, again clasped to our bosom, which has been true to the last. The mother did not ask thee to prove that there would continue to be mothers and new-born babes, but that her own, her darling boy, so sweet, so gentle, so beautiful, too sweet, too beautiful for earth, so suddenly taken from her, yet lives, and that she shall press him again to her maternal breast, and know and feel that it is the same, her own long lost, never forgotten child. O mock us not ! If you have no faith in such a future as this, in such another life as this, talk not to us of living again. Leave us what faith we already have ; or if we have none, leave us to the stern reality, to live, and toil, and weep, and die, and rot, and be no more.
Leroux, after all, recognizes no immortality but that of the race ; for he recognizes no life but this present life suc cessively reproduced We assuredly believe our present
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life contains in germ our future life ; and we believe that our future life, like the present, will be a life in and not out of nature, and like the present linked to the universal life of humanity ; but in a far other sense than that of merely being reborn. The departed are not departed. The generations of the past live in us and out of us. They are all here, round and about us, and we might, if we would, and some of us even do, at times, commune with them. But this by the way.
Leroux not only takes the view which we have ascribed to him, but he takes up more than two-thirds of his whole work in endeavoring to prove that his view of future life is the one taken in all the traditions of the race. We cannot at this time, as we have already said, go into any examina tion of the question, whether these traditions do or do not sustain him ; but this much we may safely assert, his immor tality is not that in which the human race has always sup posed itself to believe. Universal tradition sustains us in saying that the human race has alw r ays believed that it under stood, by a future life^ something else than a mere rebirth into this life ; and if so, would not this belief, after all, be the real traditionary belief of the race? Suppose, then, that by ingenious interpretation we can make out that the monuments of antiquity do contain the doctrine in question, we by no means prove that these monuments con tained it to their authors ; and the fact that they have never been so understood by the world at large, is no mean proof that they did not. Then again, if the doctrine in question is absolutely that of Moses, Buddha, Pythagoras, Plato, App -llonius of Tyana, of all the oriental and western worlds, throughout all antiquity, higher and lower, as Leroux con tends, wherein consists that progress of the race, for which he also contends? Where is Leroux s originality, if he merely reproduces what was the faith of mankind evens before history began ?
Leroux goes largely into the exposition of Judaism and Christianity. We may hereafter, perhaps, call attentioni again to some of his expositions, for some of them are ingenious, and not without value. He interprets the first ten chapters of Genesis, the Bereshith of the Jews, as a series, of myths, intended to teach a system of psychology and political economy. Adam means humanity ; Cain,. Abel,, and Seth reproduce the triad of the soul, sensation-senti- ment-intelligence, according to Leroux s terminology, the
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industry, science, and art of Saint-Simonism. Cain is the man of sensation, the physical man, the man of activity, who possesses himself of the earth, and kills his brother so as not to share it with him. Abel represents void, man of desire, of sentiment, who leads not, like Cain, an agricul tural, but a nomadic life. The struggle between these two is the struggle between the rich and the poor, between the Haves and the Have-nots, a struggle in which the Haves kill the Have-nots ; which we know from history is the usual termination of such struggles. Seth is the man of intelli gence, and represents the return toward good. His posterity form for a time a parallelism with the descendants of Cain ; but ultimately drawn together by the attraction of voluptu ousness the two races, knowledge and wealth (without sentiment), mingle and produce that moral corruption rep resented by the deluge. Then commences a return of the race toward a better state of things. Humanity is now called Noah, not Adam, and the triad of the soul is now Shem, Ham, and Japhet.
Now all this may be very good philosophy, and the ethi cal and political system Leroux deduces from it may be very excellent, as we cheerfully concede that it is ; but was Moses acquainted with the highest metaphysical formula to which modern philosophy has attained ? Was it embodied in a book which the world has possessed and studied for thousands of years, and yet never suspected by any one before M. Pierre Leroux ? If Leroux had not had the for mula in his own mind, we suspect he would never have dis covered it in the Beresliiih. That he can interpret Genesis in accordance with this formula, does not surprise us. All truth is homogeneous, and is reflected by the veriest monad God has created. Once have the truth, the true formula of truth, and you may find it in every fact of history, in every grain of sand on the seashore ; because all is created by one and the same mind, after one and the same original idea, which idea each race of beings and each particular being reflects from its own point of view, in each and in all of Its phenomena.
We do not complain that Leroux gives to Genesis a phil osophical interpretation, or that he treats the Bereshith, as a series of myths ; but we do complain that he does not remember that the myth has been accredited as history before becoming a myth. Bootes was a man on earth before he was a constellation in the heavens. The sacredness gen-
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erally attached to the myth, as history, is what leads to its adoption, as a myth. The mythical ideas are attached to well known and profoundly reverenced historical facts, by individual philosophers or reformers, who have new views they wish to embody and in some sort to publish. This borne in mind, we have no objection to treating the first ten chapters of Genesis as a series of myths, intended to teach certain great ethical, political, and psychological doc trines ; nor indeed to treating, with Dr. Strauss, even a portion of the New Testament in the same way. Indeed we all do so treat it, when we make its narratives cover a great psychological, moral, or religious truth ; when we accommodate, as it is called, a passage to a particular pur pose which we have in view, to which it may apply, but to which it was not applied by the original writer. We use the narrative of the Resurrection as a myth, representing the immortality of truth, of a righteous cause, and the cer tainty of its ultimate triumph. This is allowable, if it be remembered that the narrative is not only a myth, but also the record of an historical fact. This rule, carried into history, will give the philosopher his freedom, without depriving the historian of his sobriety. We think Leroux might have been worth full as much as a philosopher, and more as a historian, had he observed it. History, when interpreted so as to retain no traces of what it has always been considered to be, ceases to, be history. The belief of the race is always a running commentary, not less authori tative than the text. Leroux may find Samt-Simonism in the Jewish lawgiver, but it will not therefore follow that Moses was merely the precursor of Saint-Simon.
Moses was a real character ; and though mythical notions may have gathered up around him, he was no creation of a poet s fancy. He was no Egyptian priest, nor Indian phi losopher. He was eminently a Jew, oriental indeed by the boldness of his genius, the richness of his imagination, and the warmth of his temper ; but oriental under the Hebrew type. The attempt to confound him with any other must always be a mark of historical folly. And what we say of . him may be said of the Bereshith. The effort to resolve it into one of the cosmological books of the Egyptian priests, and to interpret it according to the Egyptian modes of thought, we should think could be made by no one capable of perceiving the connection between the philosophy of a people and their national character ; or the difference between
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the ignorant, superstitious Egyptian, worshipping leeks, onions, calves, and crocodiles, overrunning orchard and garden with gods, gods foul, stupid, uncouth, obscene, and the Jews in stern simplicity, disdaining to bend before aught finite, and standing in awe only before the living Shekinah of the invisible Jehovah. The Hebrew character has no prototypes, no analogies in any of the nations of the earth. It is distinct, peculiar, remarkable for its serene beauty, its chastity, simplicity, freedom from the extrava gant, the grotesque, the superstitious, the marvellous. It is distinguished from that of all the other nations of antiquity by- its good sense, its sobriety, its reserve, no less than by its force and energy. Yet was the Jew a poet. He struck the harp with freedom, boldness, and delicacy, and drew from it tones which had been caught only from the seraphim, and which were not heard without the heart s rising anew to its Father and its God. To the Jew, then, let us leave ungrudgingly the honor of having originated, through Providence, his own literature, and by that, of having become the chosen of God to instruct the nations in the deepest principles of philosophy, of jurisprudence, and theol ogy ; and at the same time to charm them by the divinest music, and kindle their aspirations for God by the sublimest poetry.
Moreover, there is no necessity of seeking to get rid of the ordinary views of the Bible, and of immortality. Leroux s motive is a good one. He wishes by establishing the soli darity of men in time, as well as in space, to enable the generations which now are, to feel a personal interest in the amelioration of man s condition on the earth, and also to vindicate the justice of Providence, by showing that all ameliorations may be retroactive ; or in other words, that in the future ^ progress of the race, the earliest generations are to participate in an equal degree with the latest. But this may be obtained without sacrificing our hopes of indi vidual immortality. If we admit the existence of races at all, we must admit a one life common to all the individuals of each race. Humanity is not an aggregate of individuals ; individuals do not precede the race, and constitute it ; humanity precedes individuals, and is their origin and sup port. It is human nature, that is, the human species, that makes individual men and women. The unity of the life of the race of necessity unifies, or makes one, all the individuals through which the race is manifested. All
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ameliorations of individuals, then, at whatever epoch they may be effected, must retroact, and affect the first-born man, as well as the one that will be the last-born.
The error of Leroux consists in supposing that, if the future life of individuals be any other than a reproduction of the present life, it must be a life disconnected with the life of humanity, and therefore no longer a human life ; then individuals, in ceasing to live this life, would cease to be men ; and ceasing to be men,, would no longer concern us. But man is already a being who exists in the three worlds of time, space, and eternity. If, then, at what we call death the individual should cease to exist in time and space, he would still exist in eternity ; and by means of the eternal in the individual in space and time could still main tain his hold on the race, arid be affected by all the changes the race undergoes in its passage through the ages. In triis way the communion between the present and the departed could still be preserved.
But we are not. yet disposed to admit that those we call the dead do not still live in time and space, and in the con dition, to say the least, of possible communion with those we call the living. Man is a being made to live in a body, and disembodied, he probably never lives ; but bodies may exist of different degrees of density. Bodies capable of penetrating the most solid with which we are acquainted, to which the most impenetrable that we have analyzed offer no resistance, are by no means impossible. Death may be nothing more than casting off this outer integument of flesh, so that we may be clad only in this more refined, as the ancient fathers contended, more " ethereal " body, a body material indeed like the present, and therefore not abso lutely impassible, therefore defining, distinguishing the individual ; but still comparatively impassible, and like the lightning, capable of penetrating and passing on its way through bodies, hard, solid to our senses, either unimpeded, or impeded but partially. These beings commune with one another, and to a certain extent even with us who still live in these grosser bodies. In our moments of great spiritual freedom, of exaltation and ecstacy, what may be called trance, by which one seems to live solely in the transcen dental, we may, and unless we choose to reject universal tradition, we do, actually commune with them face to face, though ordinarily j we must own, that it is only as through a, glass darkly. The secrets of the country lying on the other
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side of that dark river death, are not so well kept as is some times alleged. That river is continually passed and repassed Ihose who have passed from us still commune with us, are objects to us, as we are objects to them. Here is the great truth the church has shadowed forth under her doctrine of purgatory, which short-sighted Protestants have vainly not to say rashly, pronounced a popish error. Here too is the ground of that faith which all Christians have that the life and death of Christ are retroactive, and do mediate for those who died before the coining of Jesus, as well as for those who have been born since. Deny the reality of this com munion between the living and the departed, and this re troaction is not real, but fictitious, imputative. Here, once more, is the basis of the doctrine of the Communion of Saints, by which the saints above and the saints below are said to make but one communion. This doctrine also authorizes us to offer prayers for the dead, to make efforts for their salvation and sanctification, as we would were they still with us. O, it is not a popish error to pray for the dead, but a blessed privilege, proceeding from a blessed hope, which has its foundation in the everlasting truth of things ! On the other hand, if the departed may continue m some degree to be our object, we may also be theirs : and consequently it is as much to them what we are, as it would, be were they still clothed with this grosser integument of flesh. While we are poor, and miserable, and wicked, and vile, and wretched, they cannot be happy, their beatitude caimot be complete. No, wicked man ! man of vice, low and worthless, thou art not only poor and miserable thyself thou not only makest all wretched around thee, but thou earnest grief and anguish to bosoms in the world beyond the grave. The solidarity of men is universal, and no human being can find complete beatification, so long as any portion of the race is removed from its normal condition, living a sinful life. Death will not free us either from our own sins or those of others, either from the sins of past generations or future generations. We are all bound up together, are^ all literally members of one body, and one member, be it ever so insignificant, cannot suffer, but the whole body will suffer with it. This is a weighty consider ation, and should rebuke the selfishness of the sinner, and also the selfishness of the saint, who fancies that he can go to heaven alone, be happy though the larger portion of his race should be miserable both here and hereafter.
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Leroux seems also to suppose that humanity can grow only by reabsorbing individuals into herself, and pushing them out anew in successive generations. But his doctrine of reversibility, of reversion, is easily enough explained without recourse to the doctrine of rebirth in the race. The new life developed, or successively developed in the race, whether naturally or providentially, may pass from one generation to another without supposing the succeeding generation must be the preceding in any sense which implies that the preceding cannot still exist as individuals in the world lying beyond the grave. The succeeding gen eration has undoubtedly a reversionary interest in the life of the preceding, that is, the life of the preceding reverts to the succeeding generation. This reversion may be by nat ural generation. This is the view we took in our paper on Reform and Conservatism. It is true to a certain extent. The body can be improved by cultivation, and through that the man. This improved body may be transmitted by nat ural generation, and the child of the cultivated may, there fore, other things being equal, be born with superior natural capacities to the child of the uncultivated. Nevertheless, there is always danger of pushing this view too far. It is the basis of hereditary nobility, hereditary monarchy, and of hereditary property. When we assert it, if not on our guard, we so exaggerate the family as to interrupt that free communion of man with man and with the universe, which his nature demands, to which it is suited, and which it may claim as its right.
But we are wrong, if we suppose that the life of human ity can descend only by natural generation, that is, in the line of the same family. It descends by spiritual generation altogether more than by natural generation. One gener ation does not pass off, nor does one generation come on all at once. The generation that now is, laps on to the gener ation that is to succeed us, and thus becomes the objective portion of the life of our successors, and in this way trans mits to it, not according to the order of birth exclusively nor chiefly, but according to the order of capacity and of works, the higher life which has been developed naturally or providentially within us. This is the true law of pro gress. In this way, as Leroux must see, may be secured the growth of the life of humanity for which he contends, with out reabsorbing individuals in the race ; and vie also see now that in this way we can obtain this same growth with-
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out exaggerating the family. "With this view of progress we may restrict still more the principle of descent accord ing to the order of birth, within the bosom of the family, than we have heretofore considered to be possible, leavino- the^ state and property to the order of capacity and of works, as is the virtual faith of all genuine democrats whether at home or abroad.
We do not in this change any opinion. The great doc trine, for which w.e have always contended, is that the improved life of the individuals of one generation, inde pendent of its monuments, descends and becomes integrally the life of the succeeding generation. This is what Leroux, in 1833, very properly called the Law of Continuity. This descent, he now contends, is by virtue of the rebirth of indi viduals, by virtue of the fact that the new generation not only continues the preceding, but is it, the very identical generation itself ; we have contended that it descended by virtue of natural generation, taking the aristocratic ground. The truer explication than either is, that all life is at once indissolubly subjective and objective, and the objective por tion of any given generation is furnished by the preceding, by^virtue of the fact that it overlaps it, and becomes its object.
More we would say, but we have already lingered too long. We have, after all, given our readers but an inade quate notion of the contents of this remarkable book. Many, however, will read the book, and find nothing in it but absurdities and blasphemies; we have found it one of the most profitable books that we have ever read. We were, ii^ some sense, however, prepared for it, by our familiarity with the Saint-Simonian school, but more especially by the fact that we had by our independent researches attained to the great metaphysical principle on which the author bases his doctrine of life. We had not ourselves applied that principle much beyond the sphere of metaphysics. Leroux has applied it to humanity, and made it the basis of a social doctrine, at once grand, beautiful, and inspiring; in pursu ing his social application of the doctrine we have seen, -
what he does not appear to have seen, its application to the doctrine of communion with Jesus, and through him with God, by which must be effected a complete revolution, not in religious belief, but in theological science. These three applications complete the cycle" of human relations < and inquiries. We hold ourselves able now to produce a
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perfect synthesis of philosophy, politics, including ethics, and theology, all harmonizing with the " Word of Life," borne witness to by the apostles, and which Jesus was. This metaphysical principle, which becomes, as it were, a universal solvent of whatever pertains to life, is simply that the me can never manifest itself, that is, live, save in com munion with the not-me. This is the principle on which is based our new system of philosophy ; but important as we had found this principle in the region of metaphysics, we had not suspected half its importance in the region of poli tics and theology, till reading this work by Leroux. We see now the literal truth of what has been asserted of Christ as the mediator between God and men ; we see how he can be both literally and truly, and indissolubly God-Man, and therefore strictly a mediator between God and men ; how his mediation does and can hold, in God s providential plan for the salvation of men, the place commonly assigned to it, and how he can communicate his life to the world, arid by so doing become literally, really, not by way of example, representation, or imputation, the life and salvation of the world. These great doctrines, which have been asserted and held on to by the church, as if life and death depended on them, which have been great and painful mysteries, and which in these days have driven so many from the church and from Christianity, if we do not greatly deceive our selves, we can clear up, make philosophically plain and cer tain, in the most simple and literal sense, and on as high a degree of evidence, as that which we have for our own exist ence. A glorious discovery, for which we thank God, and which restores us without any subtlety, without any refining on terms, to the great household of believers.