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gions, Germans, and the Slavic tribes, demonstrated from language, religion, and customs, etc. :" as also some other works of reputation in Germany. The plan of Dr. Rauch's work is the following. After an introduction relating to the general characteristics of infidelity, he proceeds to a discussion of neology, under several distinct topics, viz.: What can I know of God by means of reason ?-Rationalism sensu eminentiori, or the idealistic and poetico-mystical schools.-Rationalism in theology, particularly in dogmaties, and ethics.-Rationalism in relation to the general contents of the bible.—Rationalism in relation to the inspiration of the bible,-to the existence of God, and the nature of the Trinity, -to the free agency of man,--to the origin of sin,—to redemption, to the effects of divine grace,-and to predestination.The philosophy of G. F. W. Hegel, with reference to the influence which it has exercised on religion. It has been the author's design, to give a fair view of the philosophy of Kant, Jacobi, Schelling, Fichte, and others, in relation to the great doctrines of religion. From what we have seen of the work, we have no doubt it will be better adapted to make the reader acquainted with the influence of rationalism on Germany, and its causes, than any other work which is accessible to the English student. We add a single extract or two, taken almost at random from the introduction, which we have been permitted to transfer from the manuscript to our own pages.

In proposing to sketch the history of a period of infidelity peculias to Germany, we cannot conceal from ourselves the fact, that an exclusive, intolerant orthodoxy, which consists in a mere speculative belief of the doctrines of christianity, without entering into a cordial union with him, has done much to foster neology ; undoubtedly contrary to the intentions and wishes of its adherents, but nevertheless by their own fault. Though there have been other causes, also, by which infidelity has been more strikingly and systematically developed in Germany than in

any other country, still we are far from accusing Germany only, on this point.

The character of the English nation is practical, seeking for facts which may open the way to inquiry, and serve for a proper foundation to the same. "It is this earnest desire for a ground-work of facts, from which it may be possible to enter upon inquiries, and on which these inquiries may be based; it is this earnest desire for such a foundation, and an unwillingness to engage in inquiries without securing it, which prevents the English from being lost in a boundless field of speculations, from whence, but too frequently, no valuable results are obtained, none at least which can be practically useful in the discharge of our duties in life. The English, then, in guiding all their inquiries by the degree of utility of which they may become productive in life, avoid such consequences as are positively injurious, and which must undermine morality. On this account it is, that with the English, infidelity generally assumes the form of deism,

*

that worst and most inconsistent of all infidel systems,--one which is incapable of explaining the most important enigmas of our existence,our liberty in relation to the divine independence, our being in relation to that of God, the relation of the finite to the infinite, etc. In the national character of the French, we observe a great want of stability, and a remarkable readiness for receiving momentary impressions. Quick as the blood flows in their veins, thus easily are they excited by every external or internal impulse. Influenced by a strong tendency to a constant but unsteady activity, the French are strangers to long continued self-possession. Readily passing from one object to another, their thirst for knowledge is as great as is their inability of satisfying it, or of exhausting the subject; a deficiency arising from their want of perseverance. Inquiries in which the last principles of science or art are concerned, they either reject as useless, or enter upon in a restless and superficial spirit; and hence they rarely engage in forming systems. Their motto is, non multum sed multa. Hence it is obvious, why the French pursue particular branches thoroughly, though they seldom prosecute science as a whole ; and hence it is, that there is no system in the infidelity of the French, or, if there is one, why it is generally materialism. To overthrow and destroy, rather than to preserve, by a closer development, is the congenial occupation of the French. The speculative and imaginative faculties are predominant in the national character of the Germans. The remark has often been justly made, that the Germans are phlegmatic. This circumstance, nevertheless, it is

, that they are phlegmatic without being indolent, which enables them to labor with perseverance and energy, and to preserve themselves from the influence of transient impressions. Aided by this trait in their character, they are capacitated for forming and developing systems which are distinguished for their stability. It is true, that the German directs his efforts especially to the attainment of pure truth, without caring about the practical results of which his inquiries may be productive ; he desires truth, simply because it is truth, not from any intention of making it the means of obtaining any thing else. It is true, too, that the German speculatist is never startled, whatever may be the consequences at which he may arrive, pressing forward unhesitatingly and boldly, to the utmost limits of the possible: yet it is indeed on this account, that his productions have acquired a high degree of perfection, and have been made to bear the stamp of genius ; they are more or less under the influence of philosophy, a science which, if it had not already existed, would have been invented by the Germans, and to the perfection of which they have contributed as much as, if not more than, any other nation. Hence it is evident, why infidelity in Germany is more consistent and systematic, and most generally appears as Pantheism, the only system which is admissible, even in its relations to philosophy, viewed apart from religion.'

* The first principle from which practical rationalism springs, is the following : practical reason is, in relation to religion, the supreme founder; as this is to determine what is to be included within the boundaries of religion, so has it likewise to fill up these limits by its own

activity. Hence it is, that the rationalist denies a supernatural ongin to religion, and on this ground opposes the christian revelation. Accordingly, to the rationalist, Reason has nothing to occupy herself with, except what she has herself produced ; and the assumption of a supernatural revelation is a falsehood, and contradictory,-1. To the laws of nature. 2. To the laws of reason, which does not suffer apy

knowledge to be forced upon her assent. 3. To itself, since it contains mysteries, and in respect to these mysteries, is no revelation. 4. To the wisdom of God, which, from the very beginning, must create man in such a manner as to need no change for the better, at a later period. 5. To the love of God, which would not have suffered so many generations of men to have existed without a revelation, if this revelation were necessary to man.

6. To the development of human reason, which, by the assumption of a revelation, is obstructed in its free course of inquiry.

Like revelation as a supernatural influence, so every ng that is inconceivable must be escluded from faith ; else the laws of reason cannot be applied, nor will it be possible to determine either that a thing is, or that it must be, as it is. "That only is admitted as true before the judgment of reason, which, according to her laws, has been recognized as necessary. On this account, miracles cannot be admitted into the religion of reason or rationalism ; because, supposing them even to be possible, reason could not conceive of them, and in relation to reason, it would be the same if they had not happened. From the principle we have just mentioned, that no truth can be received by reason, which she herself has not produced, the consequence follows, that Christ was no more than a man ; or at the utmost, it can only be admitted, that Christ and reason were identical. Christ, then, has not communicated any thing, which did not already essentially exist in reason; and consequently, he has not enlarged the boundaries of knowledge proposed by reason. The rationalist even goes so far as to assert, that the christian religio is capable of becoming more perfect. Hence the principal tenets of rationalism are the four following :-1. Reason directs and goveras itself: it is autonomous, giving to itself its own laws, rejecting all divine and human government. 2. It admits of no other source of religious knowledge, than that which is possessed within itself. 3. It removes every thing which is inconceivable from religion : and, -4 Admits of no direct influence from God, either on nature or on man. Hence, if followed up consistently, rationalism must become atheism ; but it is inconsistent, and assumes that which it is not able to prore, a belief in the existence of God, in the freedom of the human will, in the immortality of the soul, and in a retribution after life. This inconsistency the rationalist endeavors to conceal, by representing the belief in these four great truths, as a demand, which lies in the nature of reason ; or as a postulate, the necessity of which he conceives, and without which, reason itself must remain unsatisfied. On the other hand, the rationalist declares, that he finds all the truths of the christian religion already implied in the pagan and Jewish religions; and Christ, according to him, owes his doctrine to the prophets and religious teachers before him, and to his own peculiarly happy natural talents.'

THE

QUARTERLY

CHRISTIAN SPECTATOR.

VOLUME VI.-NUMBER IV.

DECEMBER, 1834.

Art. I.-CLAIMS OF THE WEST.

În an article heretofore published, * the attention of our readers bas been called to the means enjoyed by this country for promoting the highest interests of mankind.” This has been, in the hope of exciting proper feelings of responsibility among all who possess the power of urging forward such a work to its speedy accomplishment. With the same design; we now refer to that article, and invite a re-perusa), with this inquiry especially resting upon the conscience, Who are providentially called upon to be the agents in this mighty work ? We fear that the sentiment so plainly inculcated in the word of God, that the possession of the means of doing good implies an obligation to use them effectually, is toở feebly operative in our churches at the present day.

The question which we wish now to bring before our readers, is this: Shall the whole of our country be combined in the grand enterprise to bless the world; or shall the dependence be solely on the inhabitants of the Atlantic slope ? That the energies of the country, so far as they can be employed for the good of mankind, are, for the most part, at present confined to that comparatively small portion of it, is we suppose sufficiently evident. True, there are instances already, of a spirit of benevolence in many parts of the western valley, which betoken future activity and power suficient to encourage and rejoice our hearts. A vast proportion of that interesting region, however, is in a condition to require aid, rather than to yield it. Will it not then be a noble economy, a wise and happy mode of husbanding the resources of benevolence, a

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method of increasing in a rapid and incalculable ratio, the “means enjoyed by this country for promoting the highest interests of mankind,” to direct the attention still more earnestly to the west, with a view to the formation of a homogeneous christian character throughout the whole land.

The immense extent, the unequalled fertility, and the future overwhelming influence of the west, are trite subjects. Every school-boy is by this time familiar with topics which have formed so large a part, not only of the epistolary eloquence and anniversary declamation of those who live there, and who may be viewed as interested; but of the more sober statements of judicious and unprejudiced observers. Yet the triteness of the subject renders it not the less true or important; and it would be inexcusable in the christian, to overlook the practical lesson which is thus taught. Let us then calmly survey it. That region is probably destined to give laws to the great whole: nor is the time far distant, when this will be realized. We may vary, therefore, both the form and substance of the question which we have put, and solemnly ask : Shall the benevolent efforts of our country for the general good, be continued and enlarged to an indefinite extent, or shall they be crippled and destroyed by an unhappy re-action, arising from a portion of it, bereafter to exert a paramount influence, but which is yet to receive the impress of its moral character? To aid in the settlement of this question, the writer wishes to suggest some thoughts, which are the result of much reflection, after a residence of some fifteen years or more in the tract of country under consideration.

The present character and condition of the west, is an important item of the account. Much has been said and written on this point, for the information of the east; so much, indeed, that we fear the variety of statement has sometimes tended to mislead, rather than inform. This has not probably arisen so much, if at all, from a disposition to misrepresent, as from the intrinsic difficulty of the case. A passing traveler, or recent inhabitant, can scarcely have obtained the means of correct statement; to say nothing of the influence of those feelings which happen to prevail in the writer at the moment, and the slight causes which operate to produce them. If health is enjoyed, and prosperity attend him, all is beautiful and glowing. If sickness, or disappointment, or bad weather, occur, all is gloomy and wretched. Even too, if correct impressions are made on the mind of the writer, it is difficult to convey

the same to others. Human minds are not like copper, stone, or paper, capable of transferring fac similes from one to another. We remember to have heard a friend at the west, who has labored intensely to exhibit the truth on this subject, and who has been greatly abused by those whom he designed to benefit, make

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