JMC : Essays Philosophical / by Brother Azarias

The Nature and Synthetic Principle of Philosophy.

PHILOSOPHY results from the limited nature of man's intelligence. He asks the why and wherefore of things, because he comprehends not. He cavils not about the question that he understands in all its bearings. He would be informed upon what he does not know. Man's first philosophic act was that in which he recognized his self-consciousness. Then all things stood out before him asking for a solution. Then he found that he understood not himself; nor the universe; nor the Creator with whose presence he felt penetrated. He endeavored to rid himself of his ignorance, and to solve the enigmas; and he is still working at their solution. This is yet the problem of philosophy. It would understand the mutual relations of all things. In their essences it would discover these relations, and thence ascend to their principles. It would understand society, the individual, God. In the individual, it would determine the laws of his thought, the nature of his existence, his relative position in the universe, his origin, his destiny. In society, it would discover the laws of its organization, its rights, the source of its power, its modifications as acted upon by external influences. In God, it would learn His attributes and perfections as revealed in the universe, His nature, His relations with the cosmos. "It would discover," says De Gerando, "in each phenomenon the cause that produces it, in each law the end to which it tends."{1} It is as Cicero defines it, the science of things human and divine, and of their causes.{2}

But it is alleged that philosophy has not shown itself worthy of this high function; that it is a synonym for Babel; that it carries with it no weight; for no two agree upon the same question. The fact that man is so anxious to penetrate the symbol, to rend the veil, of philosophy, shows that beneath the symbol -- behind the veil -- there is something worth the knowing. The individual may be deceived; but humanity is correct in its instincts; and in all ages, the choice spirits of humanity have devoted themselves to philosophical pursuits. Individual minds may give different solutions of the problem; but that invalidates not its existence. Philosophy is discussed by means of reflex acts. And man is averse to reflection. The natural tendency of his mind is for direct acts of thought. But when he does reflect, his ideas will be tinged by his education. A different train of reasoning satisfies each mind. But when the solution is correct, the results will agree; for truth is one, and as many individuals as there are, so many ways are there for expressing the same idea.{3}

Philosophy is no Babel. It has its principles, and its method as determined by these principles. It is therefore a science; and it is its province to investigate the nature of all sciences. It establishes for each of them a basis. It looks to the precision of terms, the legitimacy of reasoning, the soundness of premises, the value of principles. It educates the mind into the habit of looking beyond appearances, and of determining things by their essences. In its present state there is mingled with it a great deal of speculation as fruitless as it is unnecessary. But this must not be confounded with true philosophy. The one may easily be distinguished from the other; for philosophy is based upon the unerring instincts of humanity, the first principles of pure reason, common sense, and the traditionary truths that belong to all ages and nations.

In seeking this basis, the philosopher must beware of the absolute. He must consider things as they are. No object is rightly understood when withdrawn from its connections. To isolate is to misapprehend. Man is a creature of education. He commits intellectual suicide when, forgetting the fact, he breaks loose from all traditions, and attempts to set up an absolute philosophy. Only the Absolute Being knows absolute truth. Human reason can be relied on; it is, in its own sphere and acting in its normal condition, infallible; but man has never been obliged to stand alone on the platform it builds. He is supported by tradition and revelation. Christianity has opened to him new fields of thought; and it has not only proposed questions; it has solved problems of which antiquity could have had but the vaguest notion. Religion is no hindrance to philosophical discussion; it is a great assistance. He who heeds not its well-defined marks, finds himself drifting about on a chartless sea of speculation, with no compass of certainty to determine his bearing; no polar star of truth to steer his course by; and death ingulfs him, an intellectual and moral wreck:

"An infant crying in the night --
An infant crying for the light,
And with no language but a cry."{4}

The philosopher must set down theories at their true worth. A theory is only a highly probable hypothesis. It may fully account for all the facts known to-day, but to-morrow may bring with it a discovery that will shatter it to pieces as being absolutely false. At most, it is only a personal view of certain phenomena. But it is not science, for science is objective. As soon as a philosopher begins to trim facts to make them suit his hypothesis, he finds it an obstacle rather than an aid to the knowing of truth; he then prefers fancy to fact, and builds up his knowledge upon fictitious notions. Ignorance is far preferable to such knowledge, for much has to be unlearned; and divesting one's self of erroneous impressions is a slow process. Indeed, there are few men of thought who cannot say that one-half their lives is devoted to the unlearning of what they had acquired during the other half. When a man is aware of his ignorance, he has removed the greatest obstacle in the way of his arriving at the truth. Let him, then, not cling too closely to an hypothesis. It is at best but a temporary scaffolding made use of in building up the structure of knowledge, and ought to be abandoned as soon as it is found to hamper thought.

Philosophic schools are the bane of philosophy. The man abandoned to them does not think; he remembers, repeats; he becomes a routinist. He lacks the first quality of a good philosopher, which is, to love truth for truth's sake; for he loves it only as it tallies with the teachings of his school. He becomes partisan in his views. His eyes are veiled to the real condition of things. His intellectual vision is diseased. In his zeal to defend one opinion at the expense of another, he rushes to an opposite extreme and falls into an error equally great with that he would avoid. Therefore the expression of Pascal's, "to laugh at philosophy is to philosophize truly,"{5} when applied to philosophic schools, loses its exaggeration and becomes one of the characteristics of a true philosopher. Truth is simple, and when presented in its naked reality, the mind embraces it, holds to it, and makes it the fruitful source of a large offspring of new ideas. And when the presentation of a subject lacks this character of simplicity -- when it abounds in ingenious thoughts and fine-spun arguments, when it is enveloped in a cloud of words -- the recipient may well doubt its claim to veracity; with caution ought he to examine it, and reduce what is in it to the language of common sense. Truth asks not to be propped up by partisan views, by distorted systems, by party abuse. It requires of human intelligence but one thing, viz.: to be presented as it is.

Philosophy suffers because system-mongers abuse one another; and thus thought remains undeveloped, the truth untold, and philosophy is dragged from her eminence to degradation. Accusation is not refutation. When passion cries out, reason ceases to speak. True, in developing philosophy men cease not to be human. Therefore it is that the history of philosophy contains so much that is unphilosophic mixed up with so many partial truths.

Philosophy appeals to the reason; not to the taste, the memory, or educational prejudices. Let the reason think, examine, discuss, conclude. It is competent to apprehend truth with certainty; for all men perceive by the same light. That light they have not of themselves. It comes from Him who raineth blessings on the good and the bad. It is the Word, which enlighteneth every man that cometh into this World.{6}

Conclusions and convictions are not altogether based upon a syllogism, which, as Bacon remarks, "gives assents, not things." More subtle influences are at work drawing for us our conclusions. Likings and dislikings, prejudices of education and degrees of delicacy of organization, are all effectual in converging their forces upon a thought and determining its direction and character. Its roots seem entwined in every fold of the brain -- every fibre of the heart, and every nerve of the body. "There is," says Balmes, "not only the intercourse of mind with mind, but of heart with heart; besides the reciprocal influence of ideas, there is also that of sentiments."{7} It behooves the philosopher to be cautious in reasoning, and to take into account all these determining elements of thought.

But reason is not alone in the exercise of its functions. All the other faculties of the soul accompany it, and while some help, others impede the progress of thought. Men strongly imaginative are easily led into error; for their language abounds in figurative expressions, and it not unfrequently happens that the figure is an inadequate representation of the thought. In the heat of reasoning they forget this fact; they become involved in their subject, mistake the figure for the idea, and in the end find themselves landed upon conclusions that their premises never warranted. In philosophy the meaning and import of terms must be thoroughly understood. It is only the consummate philosopher that knows how to define well. For that, rare acuteness of mind and complete mastery of language are required. Many -- perhaps all -- the erroneous systems in the world might be traced to bad defining.

Spinoza builds up a colossal system of pantheism on the misapprehension of a term. But were the good and pious Monseigneur Bouvier consistent with the fundamental ideas he lays down in his little work on philosophy -- as when he includes being in the idea of genus{8} -- he would have been an equally great pantheist. And so it is with the majority of good and well-meaning writers of philosophical treatises. Their faith is one thing; their philosophy another; and both their faith and philosophy are in their first principles or last results either contrary or contradictory. This antagonism between forms of faith and philosophic systems has led men to recoil from all philosophy, and live either in the despair of scepticism, or in the ardent exercise of mysticism.

The history of philosophy may be divided into three periods: first, the period of religious revelation; second, that of natural philosophy, and third, that of ideistic rationalism. All three periods are good, and become an evil only when one or the other attempts to monopolize the whole of philosophy. It is well that we know ourselves -- the faculties of our soul, the desires of our heart, even the organism of our brain; well also is it that we reason according to secondary causes and consider the nature of things; and it is equally well that we reconcile reason with revelation.

1. There is the period of religious revelation. This begins with the primitive man. But as his descendants departed from the original source, they retained only broken fragments of the first tradition in which the race was educated. All the great truths relating to man's origin and destiny were then present to him, and if he asked "Who is the God to whom we shall offer our sacrifices?"{9} -- it was only to assert more positively the eternal existence of the great Divinity.

"It is very remarkable," says Kant, "though naturally it could not have been otherwise, that in the infancy of philosophy, the study of the nature of God, and the hope as well as the constitution of a future world, formed the commencement rather than the conclusion, as we should have it, of the speculative efforts of the human mind."{10}

Not alone in the Mosaic account is revelation to be found. It runs in silent and feeble rills through the traditions of all nations; it forms the undercurrent of their sacred books; and tinged though it be with individual feelings, and adulterated by the fictions of national fancy, it is still in its essence the same divine knowledge that was revealed to Adam and preserved by Noah. In this period, men knew not what it was to doubt. To live and to believe were for them one and the same act. All the great religious and philosophic truths -- the greatness and goodness of God, the spiritual nature of the soul, its immortality, a future life -- were as intimately present to these men as their own existence. Their humanity still seemed to vibrate under the touch of the creative fiat with which it had lately been launched into existence. And as with the advance of the ages, they felt the growth of human corruption, the one great problem with them was how to stay their downward course, and propitiate the divinity. Hence their sacrifices. Hence that lingering regret with which they looked back to the golden period that had passed from them forever. That man's first conception of the Divinity was that of "an awful Power, terrible in its might, vague in outline, and mysterious in its nature,"{11} is a mistaken notion opposed by the primitive writings of all nations. In "Genesis" we read that after God had created all forms of life, He "blessed them" -- which is not the action of an angry God, "an awful power, terrible in its might." So too in the Rig-Veda it is written, "Varuna is merciful even to him who has sinned." To conceive man acquiring the idea of God through fear is based upon the mistaken notion that the primitive condition of man was that of a savage, and that he is but a development of some of the lower forms of life -- a notion warranted neither by the history and traditions of nations, by the nature of things, nor by true science.{12} The great primitive truths, preserved in the traditions of all nations, have a common source. "So then," says Clement of Alexandria, "the barbarian and Greek philosophy has torn off a fragment of eternal truth, not from the mythology of Dionysius, but from the theology of the ever-living Word."{13}

2. There is the period of natural philosophy. As the stream of tradition grew more adulterated with human thought, and the ages became more secularized, the religious sentiment, becoming weaker, entered philosophy less as an element than formerly. Progress in the material arts gave rise to the observation of physical phenomena, and men sought rather to consider secondary causes than the great first and final Cause. Thales makes water the principle of all things. Anaximenes endeavors to account for the basis of matter by considering the gaseous, solid and liquid states as so many conditions of air. Heraclitus makes fire the principle of existence. But it is already found necessary to prove the existence and immortality of the soul. This Pherecides attempts.{14} The philosophy based on physics necessarily gravitates to materialism. And such was the case with the Ionic school until Anaxagoras asserted the duality of matter and spirit. But whether the philosophers of this period assert or deny the Divinity, they seek causes in the nature of things and independent of Him; while those believing in Him make Him external to the universe -- a master-artist with Plato, or with Anaxagoras, a nous outside of His creation.

And as in Greece so it is with other countries. In India, after the Mimansa of Vyasa with its interpretations of the Vedas according to tradition, we find the Sankhya of Kapila with its twofold principle of things -- matter and intelligence -- andits various branches, some material, some spiritual, some mystical, as one or other principle was exclusively considered. But among the twenty-five principles of things laid down in the Sankhya philosophy, we look in vain for a divinity. Things are there considered to stand on their own basis.

3. There is the principle of ideistic rationalism. When God was left outside as an element, He soon became ignored. Philosophy ceased to be a science of principles in their relations with things, ceased to be a serious accounting for the cosmos, its origin and destiny, or of man, his position and relations, and narrowed down with the ancients to a system of knowing. Planted in their speculations upon their own existence these men ceased to be certain of their own explanations. They became sceptics. They assert with Protagoras the relativity of all truth. With the Nyaya system of India, they build up dialectics, and reduce all philosophy to the problem of knowing.

These three periods have had their cycles. With the introduction of Christianity we find the first period again revive. Christian philosophers sought to reconcile the Pagan cosmogony and science with Christian teachings. Hence the effort of Jerome, Basil, Clement of Alexandria, Augustine. Then came the Scholastic period, when all science and religion were built up on the natural basis of the Aristotelian philosophy. Finally we are still struggling through the Cartesian period, with its one problem of knowing. The fruits of this last period are already making their appearance. The scepticism of Hume is redolent of it; so is the atheism of Mill; so is the materialism of Bain; and the evolutionism of Spencer, which merges this problem of knowing into the unknowable, is racy of the soil. Philosophic principles that lead the mind to these results, must have somewhere a flaw. It were of advantage to examine those of the leading systems of this latter period.

Descartes began by secularizing philosophy. He then reduced it to a method; after which he sought a principle that would be its basis. He undertook to doubt of many things which he believed with certainty. This was a grave error. There was already contradiction in his mind; for how doubt and be certain of the same thing at the same time? But let us hear him determine the fundamental principle of his philosophy:

"I afterward noticed that while I wished to think every thing false, it became necessary for me, who so thought, to be something, and remarking that this truth: I think and I therefore exist, was so firmly established that the most extravagant suppositions of the sceptics could not shake it, I judged that I could without scruple accept it as the first principle of the philosophy I sought."{15}

Now, this principle, while it is a necessary condition of all knowing, establishes the identity of him who thinks -- and nothing more. "The I think," Kant properly remarks, "must accompany all my speculations."{16} But, admitting nothing else than one's identity, it is impossible to rise beyond it. And as Descartes began in illusion, it was only by illusion that he got further. But a philosophy, illusory in its beginning and illusory in its process, must needs be illusory in its results. It then becomes a romance. But life is too short, and too much hangs upon it, to spend its most effectual part in unraveling the threads of a romance. Not in Descartes is the principle of philosophy.

Locke also reduced all philosophy to the operations of the understanding. His fundamental principle he bases upon the origin of ideas:

"These two, I say, viz., external material things, as the objects of sensation, and the operations of our own minds within, as the objects of reflection, are to me the only originals from whence all our ideas take their beginnings."{17}

The whole of philosophy is with him only a question of knowing. Hence throughout his book, he speaks not of time and space, of substance and accident, of finiteness and infinity; but of their ideas. Upon such a basis, if it were natural to ask, how know we that there are external objects corresponding to the ideas we possess? And this question brings us to the ideism of Berkeley. And if we are not certain of the reality of external nature, what grounds have we for believing in the reality of our ideas -- our soul? Then, we are simply subjects of impressions. This reasoning lands us at the scepticism of Hume. Again, since reflection is based upon sensation, and gives nothing that is not found in sensation, for all reflex acts assert the primitive act, and neither more nor less, why is not sensation the sole origin of all our knowledge? Here is the sensism of Condillac. "By their fruits you shall know them." The principle logically running into such extremes cannot be the true principle of philosophy. "After all," says Reid, "the improvements made by Malebranche, Locke, Berkeley, and Hume, may still be called the Cartesian system."{18} It is still the one problem of knowing. How is it with Reid himself?

Reid is in the same sense a Cartesian. While refuting Locke -- often in a masterly manner -- he himself runs in a parallel groove. He has but a philosophy of the human mind and its intellectual powers. It is still a philosophy of knowing. Its principle is one of knowing. It is the principle of common sense. Of the judgments that make up this principle he says:

"Such original and natural judgments are therefore a part of that furniture which nature hath given to the human understanding. They are the inspiration of the Almighty, no less than our notions of simple apprehension. They serve to direct us in the common affairs of life, when our reasoning faculties would leave us in the dark. They are a part of our constitution, and all the discoveries of our reason are grounded upon them. They make up what is called the common sense of mankind; and what is manifestly contrary to any of these first principles is what we call absurd.{19}

This principle has been recognized by Fénelon and Buffler. But it is simply a motive of certitude, and cannot therefore be called a principle of philosophy, with its basis in the nature of things.

Kant undertook to revolutionize philosophy. His system is that of judgment and reason, pure and practical. It is still the philosophy of knowing. Now he thus sums up this philosophy, and its use:

"The greatest, and perhaps the only advantage of all philosophy of pure reason is but of a negative character, inasmuch as it is not an organon for the extension, but a discipline for the determination of limits; and instead of discovering truth, it simply guards against error."{20}

It is well that we possess safeguards against error and that we know the limits of thought; but the whole of philosophy cannot consist in this knowledge. Moreover, while, in points of detail, Kant is often admirable in his reflections, it must be confessed that his "Critique of Pure Reason" is the destruction of all reason; for when it attempts to show that the reasons for truth and error are equally convincing, and that on the most vital questions, it breaks down the foundation of all certainty, and, closed round by the impregnable barriers of self, it is unable to pass beyond sensible phenomena.

But if Kant destroyed certainty, Balmes vindicated its existence and laid down its principles in a masterly manner. With an ardent love for truth and a burning zeal to defend it; with a brilliant and well-trained philosophic genius, this man attacked all the great problems of philosophy, and he spoke upon no subject on which he did not say something worth remembering. Surely with Balmes we ought to find the basis of true philosophy. But, whether he wished to fight the errors of the age on their own grounds, or whether unconsciously he was influenced by the philosophic atmosphere of his day, the fact is that he too bases all philosophy upon the problem of knowing:

"The study of philosophy," he says, "ought to begin with the examination of the question of certainty; before raising the edifice the foundation must be laid."{21}

Balmes has done much for philosophy. He has overthrown many of its idols; he has thoroughly explored some of the most interesting problems of intelligence; he has cleared the ground of the weeds and briars of errors. He knew much philosophic truth; but he evidently missed the principle of philosophy. He admits that all truths have a unity of origin, and that there is "in the order of beings" a truth the source of all others. That truth he calls God.{22} But a few pages after he truly asserts that from the idea of God no man can infer either the reality or possibility of creation.{23} Were the truths of the finite order to flow from God as a necessary consequence, pantheism were good philosophy. To assert God, is to assert that God is, or God is Being -- which is that He is Himself -- and as He is infinite and necessary, He is self-sufficient -- and nothing is necessary for Himself but His own essence. Such an ideal formula gives but God. It is a reactionary extreme against the other error of Cartesianism, which asserts only man's self.

Gioberti, feeling the force of such reasoning, undertook to establish an ideal formula that would include the proper relations of the finite with the infinite. He begins by asserting that "to-day in Europe there is no longer any philosophy,"{24} and that "true philosophy no longer lives anywhere outside of religion."{25} He consequently goes to religion for the principle of philosophy. That principle he rightly conceives to express the true relation of the finite with the infinite. He finds that relation admirably expressed in the opening words of the Sacred Scriptures: "In the beginning God created heaven and earth."{26} He considers the source of philosophical errors to lie in the misapprehension of the creative act. He therefore establishes as the philosophical principle the ideal formula: Being creates existences.{27} It is a sublime philosophical truth; and it were the adequate embodiment of the whole truth were there no other than the natural order; but there is also the supernatural, of which it is the province of philosophy to take cognizance -- otherwise it would be supposing man to be what he is not.

The formula of Gioberti is adequate for the creation prior to the appearance of man upon the arena of existence. But since he is destined to a supernatural end, and lives and moves in the atmosphere of grace, the philosophical formula that will embody the real relation of things must contain another term expressive of the supernatural. Gioberti felt the weakness of his position on this point, and therefore for the apprehension of the supernatural, gave man a distinct faculty, which he called sovrintelligenza. Schlegel imagines a similar faculty -- which he calls "the sense for divine things."{28} Gioberti identifies it in substance with the noumenon of Kant, so far as regards the subjective nature of its principle and the impenetrable reality of its object.{29} He explains its necessity by telling us that the superintelligible being, an object intrinsically different from other objects of knowing, ought to be referred to a special faculty, which differs from the other powers, not only by the nature of its aim, but also by the special manner in which it takes and possesses it.{30} This establishes the faculty of sovrintelligenza as a natural one. Now, if man has a faculty especially adapted to know any truth, it is natural for him to know it; it is within the sphere of his intelligence to know it; and the principles of his nature are sufficient for its knowing. But the superintelligible is the knowledge of the supernatural. The latter "expresses," says Gioberti, "in the order of facts what by the other is signified in the order of ideas."{31} But man can not attain to the knowledge of the supernatural by himself. The light of faith strengthens all his natural faculties to apprehend the mysterious truths it presents for their acceptance. No special faculty is given; but those already possessed are enabled by a supernatural means to know the supernatural. Grace supposes nature. And it were confounding the one with the other to make grace an essential part of man's nature. Had God so wished, man were complete without the supernatural order, because being finite, a finite happiness would have sufficed him. But being raised to the plane of the supernatural, a capacity for the enjoyment of the infinite has been given him. And it is this capacity that Gioberti misapprehends as a distinct faculty, for he defines it to be the sentiment of intellective power inexplicable in the course of time, and before the event of the second creative cycle,{32} or the passing into the other life. And the note of the superintelligible consists in our inaptitude to comprehend it.{33} We know this feeling -- this yearning, not of one faculty, but of our whole nature, after a good, superior to any that finiteness can offer. It is the note of our predestination to the supernatural. Let us recognize it for what it is. The age is but too prone to ignore it altogether. The supernatural is; in its vivifying rays we live, move, and are. Gioberti's principle was a step in the right direction; the great fault to be found with it is its inadequacy. And now, let us endeavor to find a principle embodied in a formula that will include both the natural and supernatural orders.

Truth is actuality. All generalization is based thereon. The generalizations of reasoning, therefore, have their foundation in actuality. But the primary element of all reasoning is the proposition. Its right use and application is explained in logic. Logic, then, is based upon actuality. Its origin and life it receives from the divine logos -- the Word. And as it is the same Word that speaks in the Creation, and in the Incarnation -- all logic has its foundation in these acts. But synthetic logic is the basis of philosophy. Its fundamental principle stands upon these acts in its expression. The principle sought must therefore express both acts, and can not possibly consist of one predicate; for each act is distinct. Therefore, the first principle of philosophy is:


HERE is a formula embodying the natural and supernatural elements of philosophy -- that which is of reason as well as that which is of revelation -- in their proper order and relation. Let us examine it piecemeal.

God. -- Without God there is no philosophy, no science, no existence. He is the principle and source of all things. In Him we live, move, and are. And men know it; "because that which is known of God, is manifest in them; for God hath manifested it to them."{34}

Actualizes Cosmos. -- That which from all eternity was in the divine ideal of His essence as a thing possible, He made actual by His creative act. Every thing outside of this essence -- and that is all nature, animate and inanimate, spiritual and material, the Cosmos -- He drew from nothing. "I beseech thee, my son," said the mother of the Maccabees, "look upon heaven and earth, and all that is in them, and consider that God made them out of nothing, and mankind also."{35} "For," says St. Paul, "the invisible things of Him, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made; His eternal power also and divinity."{36}

By the Word. -- He drew all things from nothingness, by means of His divine Word; for "He spoke, and they were made; He commanded, and they were created."{37} This Word is His own Nature, the second Person of His triune Divinity, and the medium of His creative act.

And completes its end in the Word. -- It has been seen that as an infinitely intelligent being, God creates for a purpose. That purpose must necessarily be Himself. No other is worthy of Him. But the ratio of the finite to the infinite is infinite, as may be seen from the mathematical formula, in which f. represents any finite quantity, and &infinity; infinity:

f./0 = &infinity; f. = &infinity; x 0; 0 = f/&infinity; 0/1 = f/&infinity; 1/0 = &infinity; / f. = &infinity;

Therefore, to have a finite effect worthy of an infinite first and final cause -- to have cosmos worthy of its Creator -- God raised it above the limited plane on which it stood, and gave it a significancy that rendered it adequate to His Infinitude. As the first act was by the Word, it Was proper that the same Word should bring that act to its completion, which was done by the union of the Word with cosmos through man -- "And the Word was made flesh."{38}

Thus, in this principle we have a formula into which God and His creation- -- its origin and destiny, its alpha and omega -- are all condensed. It is the sum of all philosophy.

In the term God we have the subject of Theodicy and Natural Theology.

In the term Cosmos we have the idea that gives us the ideas of space and time, with all their concomitant ideas of number, extension, mathematics, natural history, and physics.

In the term the Word is contained the type of creation -- the basis of history -- the ideal of literature and art. "There is but one word, and that Word all things speak."{39}

In the terms completes its destiny in the Word we have the whole supernatural order -- a Church, its means of sanctification.

In the term actualizes we have the idea of pure and supreme cause expressed, and the real relations of the Creator to his creation.

When John the Evangelist, after gazing with love and reverence upon the infinity of God's Being, burst forth into the sublime words that are the opening of his gospel -- he not only gave us the relations of the Son to His eternal Father, but in words of divine inspiration he summed up the whole of philosophy. We have only sought to embody his idea in a philosophic terminology. Traces of it are to be found everywhere. They exist in the marred beauties of literature, and in the broken harmonies of the universe. The philosophy that would preserve Christianity must cling to the Word. And it will find itself more enlightened than the atheistic speculations that would reject the one and the other. All science begins and ends in mystery. The atheist shuts out from the horizon of his knowledge the mystery -- while the Christian philosopher takes it into account and endeavors to explain it. In doing so he is more consistent. That would be an inadequate theory of light that would refuse to explain the phenomena of darkness.

{1} Elle veut découvrir dans chaque phe\/nomène la cause qui le produit, dans chaque loi la fin laquelle elle tend. "Histoire Comparée des Systèmes," t. 2., ch. vi.

{2} Rerum divinarum et humanarum, causarumque quibus eae res continentur, scientia. "De Officiis," lib. ii., 2.

{3} On se persuade mieux, pour l'ordinaire, par les raisons qu'on a trouvées soi-même, que par celles qui sont venues dans l'esprit des autres. Pascal, " Pensées," 1re. partie, art. x., 10.

{4} Tennyson, "In Memoriam."

{5} Se moquer de la philosophie c'est vraiment philosopher. "Pensées," 1re. partie, art. x., 36.

{6} John, i., 9.

{7} No hay tan solo la communicacion de entendimiento con entendimiento, sino de corazon con corazon; á mas de la influencia reciproca de las ideas, hay tambien de los sentimientos. "El Criterio," p. 239.

{8} Ens, universalissimum genus. "Institutiones Philosophiae," p. 8.

{9} "Rig-Veda," x. 121.

{10} Es ist merkwürdig genug, ob es gleich natürlicherweise nicht anders zugehen konnte, dass die Menschen im Kindesalter der Philosophie davon anfingen, wo wir jetzt lieber endigen möchten nämlich, zuerst die Erkenntniss Gottes und die Hoffnung oder wohi gar die Beschaffenheit einer andern Welt zu studiren. "Kritik der reinen Vernuft," Werke, iii., 561.

{11} S. B. Gould, "Origin and Development of Religious Belief," p. 231.

{12} Vide "Genesis of the Species," by Mivart, ch. ix., x., xi., xii.

{13} houtôs houn hê te barbaros, hê te Hellênikê philosophia, tên aidion alêtheian tina, ou tês Dionusou muthologias, tês de tou Logou tou ontos aei theologias pepoiêtai. "Stromaton," lib. i. cap. xiii.

{14} Pherecides syrius primum dixit animos hominum esse sempiternos. Cicero, "Tusc.," lib. i.

{15} OEuvres. torn. i. "Discours de la Méthode." Ed. Cousin, p. 158.

{16} "Kritik der reinen Vernunft," sect. ii., 12.

{17} "Essay Concerning Human Understanding," book ii., ch. i., § 4.

{18} Works, vol. i., p. 430.

{19} Works, vol. i., p. 440.

{20} Der grösste und vielleicht einzige Nutzen aller Philosophie der reinen Vernunft ist also wohl nur negativ; da sie nämlich nicht, als Organon, zur Erweiterung, sondern als Disciplin zur Grenzbestimmung dient und anstatt Wahrheit zu entdecken, nur das stille Verdienst hat, Irrthümer zu verhüten. "Kritik der reinen Vernunft," Werke, b. iii., s. 526.

{21} El estudio dc la filosofía debe comenzar por el exámen de las cuestiones sobre la certeza; antes de levantar el edificio es necesario pensar en el cimiento. "Filosofia Fundamental," cap. i., 1.

{22} Ibid., cap. iv., 40.

{23} Cap. vi., sec. 67.

{24} Nel primo comincio collo stabilire, che al di d'oggi in Europa non vi ha piu filosofia. "Introduzione allo Studio della Filosofia," i., p. 4.

{25} La filosofia è morta, o per dir meglio, la vera filosofia non vive più altrove, che nella religione. Ibid., vol. ii., chap. 3, p. 147.

{26} Gen., i, 1.

{27} La vera formola ideale, suprema base di tutto lo scibile, della quale andvamo in traccia, può dunque essere enunciata nei seguenti termini; l'Ente crea le esistenze. In questa proposizione l'Idea e espressa dalla nozione di Ente creante, la quale inchiude i concetti di esistenza e di creazione; onde tali due concetti appartengono indirettamente all' Idea, e agli elementi integrali della formola, che l'esprime. L 'idea dell' Ente è il principio e il centro organico della formola; quella di creazione ne è la condizione organica: i tre concetti riuniti insieme formano l'orgànismo ideale. Senza l'idea di creazione, verrebbe meno il nesso fra gli altri due concetti, e gli estremi della formola insieme si confonderebbero, come avvenne presso i popoli e i filosofi Gentili, che smarrita quella nozione relevantissima, perturbarono più o meno tutto l'ordine delle verita razionali. "Introduzione allo studio della Filosofia," vol. ii., chap. iv., p. 201.

{28} "Philosophy of History," Bohn's Ed., p. 212.

{29} Il sovrintelligibile, rispetto alla natura subjectiva del suo principio, e all' impenetrabile realta del suo oggetto, veramente ii numeno di Emanuele Kant, e la base della sola filosofia transcendentale, che torni possibile allo spirito umano. "Introduzione," vol. iv., cap. viii., p. 18.

{30} Ora il sovrintelligibile, ossendo un oggetto intrinsecamente disforme dagli altri, dee riferirse a una facoltà speciale; la quale differisce dalle altre potenze, non solo per la natura del suo termine, ma eziandio pel modo particolare, in cui lo coglie possiede. Ibid., p. 7.

{31} Il concetto del sovrannaturale gemello del concetto del sovrintelligibile, ed esprime nell' ordine dei fatti ciò che viene significato dali' altro nell ordine delle idee. "Introduzione," vol. iv., p. 29.

{32} La sovrintelligenza non adunque altro, che il sentimento della virtù intellettiva non esplicabile nel corso del tempo, e innanzi all' esito del secondo ciclo creativo. Ibid., vol. iv., p. 12.

{33} Il contrassegno del sovrintelligibile risiede nella nostra inettitudine a comprenderlo. Ibid., p. 8.

Again, in another place he says: L'idea del sovrintelligibile, come vero, è come bene, rampolla dal sentimento oscuro e profondo, di potér conoscere e godere, non solo più largamente, ma altramente, che non si conosce e non si gode in questa vita. Ibid., p. 14.

{34} Romans, i., 19.

{35} Mach., vii., 28.

{36} Romans, i., 20.

{37} Psalms, xxxiii., 9.

{38} St. John, i., 14.

{39} "Imitation of Christ," b. i., ch. iii.

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