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1851.]

Depth of Culture.

499

distinction between the contemplating subject, and the contemplated object, vanishes for the time being; the mind, as we say popularly, and yet with strict philosophic truth, is lost in the theme, and the theme during this temporary process, becomes but a particular state of the mind. The object of contemplation, which at first was before the mind is now in the mind; that to which the mind came up as to a thing objective and extant, has now been transmuted into the very consciousness of the mind itself, and is therefore the mind itself, taken and held in this temporary process. It follows, consequently, that the style in which this fusion of truth with intellect flows out, must be as near the perfection of form as it can be. The style of such a mind is similar to the style of the Infinite mind, as it is seen in nature. It is characterized by the simplicity and freedom of nature itself. Nor let this be regarded either as irreverent or extravagant. We are confessedly within the sphere of the finite and the created, and therefore are at an infinite remove from Him "who is wonderful in working," and yet there is something strongly resembling the workings of creative power, in the operations of a mind deeply absorbed in truth and full of the idea. As the Divine idea becomes a phenomenon — manifests itself in external nature-by its own movement and guidance, it necessarily assumes the very perfection of manner. The great attributes of nature, the sublimity and beauty of creation, arise from the oneness of the form with the idea of the transfusion of mind into matter. In like manner, though in an infinitely lower sphere and degree, the human idea, profound, full, and clear in consciousness, throws itself out into language, in a style, free, simple, beautiful, and it may be, sublime like nature itself. And all this arises because thought does its own perfect work because truth arrived at in the consciousness of the profound thinker is simply suffered to exercise its own vitality and to organize itself into existence.

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1 The doctrine of the identity of subject and object in the act of consciousness is a true and safe one, it seems to us, only when stated with the limitation above; only when the identity is regarded as merely relative—as existing only in, and during the act of consciousness. If, however, the identity is regarded as absolute and essential - if apart from consciousness and back of consciousness the subject and object-the mind and the truth. are absolutely but one essence, then we see no difference between the doctrine and that of the "substantia una et unica " of Spinoza. The identity in this case, notwithstanding the disclaimer of Schelling, is sameness of substance, and there is but one substance in the universe. The truth is, that subject and object are not absolutely, one essence, but two; but become one temporarily, in the act of consciousness, by virtue of a homogeneity, rather than an absolute identity of essence.

It is not so much because the individual makes an effort to embody the results of his meditation, as because these results have their own way, and take their own form, that the style of their appearance is so grand. It has been asserted above, that style, in its most abstract definition, is the universal, appearing in the particular. In other words, it is the particular and peculiar manner, in which the individual mind conceives and expresses truth, which is universal. Now it is only by and through depth of mental cultivation, that truth, in its absolute reality and in its vital energy, is reached at all. A superficial education never reaches the heart of a subject-never brings the mind into contact and fusion with the real substance of the topic of discourse. Of course, a mind thus superficially educated, in reality has nothing to express. It has not reached that depth of apprehension, that central point, where the solid and real truth lies, at which, and only at which, it is qualified to discourse. It may, it is true, speak about the given topic, but before it can speak it out, in a grand, impressive style, and in discourse which, while it is weighty and solid, also dilates and thrills and glows with the living verity, it must, by deep thought, have effected that mental union with it, of which we have spoken.

A mind, on the contrary, that has received a central development, and whose power of contemplation is strong, instead of working at the surface, and about the accidents, strikes down into the heart and essence, and obtains an actual view of truth; and under the impulse imparted by it, and by the light radiated from it at all points, simply represents it. In all this there is no effort at expression — no endeavor at style -on the part of the individual. He is but the medium of communication, now that by his own voluntary thought, the union between his mind and truth, has been brought about. All that he needs to do is, to absorb himself still more profoundly in the great theme, and to let it use him as its organ. It will flow through his individualism, and take form and hue from it, as inevitably as the formless and colorless light, acquires both form and color, by coming into the beautiful arch of the sky.

(2) By clearness, as an element in culture, is meant such an education of the mind, as arms it with a penetrating and clear vision, so that it beholds objects in distinct outline. When united with depth of culture, this element is of great worth, and diffuses through the productions of the mind, some of the most desirable qualities. Depth, without clearness of intuition, is obscurity. Though there may be substantial thinking, and real truth may be reached by the

1851.]

Clearness as an Element of Culture.

501

mind, yet, like the vλŋ out of which the material universe was formed, according to the ancient philosophy, it needs to be irradiated by light, before it becomes a defined, distinct, and beautiful form. Indeed, without clearness of intuition, truth must remain in the depths of the mind, and cannot be really expressed. The mind, without close and clear thinking, is but a dark chaos of ideas, intimations, and feelings. It is true, that in these is the substance of truth, for the human mind is, by its constitution, full of truth; yet these its contents need to be elaborated. These undefined ideas need to become clear conceptions; these dark and pregnant intimations need to be converted into substantial verities; and these swelling but vague feelings must acquire definition and shape, not merely that the consciousness of one mind may be conveyed over into that of another, but also in order to the mind's full understanding of itself.

And such culture manifests itself in the purity and perspicuity of the style in which it conveys its thoughts. Having a distinctly clear apprehension of truth, the mind utters its conceptions with all that simplicity and pertinence of language which characterizes the narrative of an honest eye-witness. Nothing intervenes between thought and expression. The clear, direct view, instantaneously becomes the clear, direct statement. And when the clear conception is thus united with the profound intuition, thought assumes its most perfect form. The form in which it appears, is full and round with solid truth, and yet distinct and transparent. The immaterial principle is embodied in just the right amount of matter; the former does not overflow, nor does the latter overlay. The discourse exhibits the same opposite and counterbalancing excellencies, which we see in the forms of nature the simplicity and the richness, the negligence and the niceness, the solid opacity and the aërial transparence.1

1 Shakspeare affords innumerable exemplifications of the characteristic here spoken of. In the following passages notice the purity and cleanliness of the style in which he exhibits his thought. As in a perfect embodiment in nature, there is nothing ragged, or to be sloughed off:

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It is rare to find such a union of the two main elements of culture, and consequently rare to find them in style. A profoundly contemplative mind is often mystic and vague in its discourse, because it has not come to a clear, as well as profound consciousness-because distinctness has not gone along with depth of apprehension. The discourse of such a mind is thoughtful and suggestive it may be, but is lacking in that scientific, logical power which penetrates and illumines. It has warmth and glow, it may be, but it is the warmth of the stove (to use the comparison of another) - warmth without light.

On the other hand it often happens that the culture of the mind is clear but shallow. In this case nothing but the merest and most obvious commonplace is uttered, in a manner intelligible and plain enough to be sure, but without force or weight, or even genuine fire, of style. Shallow waters show a very clear bottom, and but little intensity of light is needed in order to display the pebbles and clean sand. That must be a 66 purest ray serene " - a pencil of strongest light which discloses the black, rich, wreck-strown depths. For the clearness of depth is very different from the clearness of shallowness. The former is a positive quality. It is the positive and powerful irradiation of that which is solid and dark, by that which is ethereal and light. The latter is a negative quality. It is the mere absence of darkness, because there is no substance to be dark — no body in which (if we may be allowed the expression) darkness can inhere. Nothing is more luminous than solid fire; nothing is more flashy than an ignited void.

These two fundamental characteristics of mental culture, lie at the foundation of style. Even if the secondary qualities of style could exist, without the weightiness and clearness of manner which spring from the union of profound with distinct apprehension, they would exist in vain. The ornament is worthless, if there is nothing to sus tain it. The bas-relief is worthless without the slab to support it.

Or if that surly spirit, melancholy,

Had baked thy blood, and made it heavy, thick;
Which else runs tickling up and down the veins.

King John, III. 2.

And I, of ladies most defect and wretched,
That sucked the honey of his music vows,
Now see that noble and most sovereign reason,
Like sweet bells jangled, out of tune, and harsh.

Hamlet, III. 1.

1851.]

The Four Gospels.

503

But, these secondary qualities of style-the beauty, and the elegance, and the harmony-derive all their charm and power from springing out of the primary qualities, and in this way ultimately, out of the deep and clear culture of the mind itself- from being the white flower of the black root.

Style, when having this mental and natural origin, is to be put into the first class of fine forms. It is the form of thought; and, as a piece of art, is as worthy of study and admiration, as those glorious material forms which embody the ideas of Phidias, Michael Angelo, and Raphael. It is the form in which the human mind manifests its freest, purest, and most mysterious activity-its thought. There is nothing mechanical in its origin, or stale in its nature. It is plastic and fresh as the immortal energy, of which it is the air and bearing.

ARTICLE III.

THE FOUR GOSPELS AS WE NOW HAVE THEM IN THE NEW TESTAMENT, AND THE HEGELIAN ASSAULTS UPON THEM.

By C. E. Stowe, D. D., Bowdoin College.

In this essay I propose to discuss the following topics:

I. The value of the four gospels as we now have them in the New Testament.

II. Religious character of the Hegelian philosophy.

III. Analysis and characteristics of the principal Hegelian assaults on the gospels.

IV. The real importance to be attributed to these assaults.

V. Comparison of the canonical gospels with the apocryphal gospels still extant.

VI. Comparison of the canonical gospels with the fragments of gospels supposed to be lost.

VII. What may be actually known as to the genuineness and incorruptness of the gospels as we now have them in the New Testament. VIII. General results of the whole discussion.

For the benefit of the reader who may wish to pursue the investigation, I will also select, from the very copious literature of the subject, a few of the best and most instructive works on both sides.

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