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is, in fact, to go in search of causes. On the same ground, or nearly so, he speaks contemptuously of the vulgar herd of atheists who reject the very idea of religion, and propose all sorts of imaginary causes to account for the origin and movement of things. Comte, however ingenious in thus distinguishing himself from the grosser "atheistic crew," after all refines a little too much, and must in the common-sense view of the matter be set down in this "bad company." For, he sees within or without no evidence of a Supreme Intelligence. He denies, in fact, the very existence of spirit, whether human, angelic, or divine. At least, he claims that neither nature nor the mind of man furnishes any proof whatever of the existence of such a Being. To him, man, like nature, is a congeries of forces, of whose origin or cause we know and can know nothing. Of his nature, essence, or destiny, beyond the sphere of space or time, we are profoundly ignorant. The laws which govern him, or rather, the conditions and circumstances under which the various facts or phenomena occur comprehended in the idea of man, may be ascertained, but nothing more. So of the universe or nature around us; all we know, or ever can know, are the methods of its working, or the various circumstances under which its changes occur in space and time.
The essence then of positivism, as Comte calls his philosophy, consists in this, that science can not go beyond the limits. of space and time. It is thus essentially finite, knows nothing either of first or of final causes, nothing of God as a spirit, or of man as a spirit.
Within the domain of space and time, the proper sphere of natural or physical science, Comte therefore may be admirable in his way. Here his method, unquestionably, has certain advantages. In this field it may make beautiful discoveries, discoveries which may ameliorate the condition of man. respect, also, it is superior to the crude atheism of by-gone days. Kept within the limits of nature, as bounded by space and time, it may even be defended as a legitimate method of investigation, in the matter of purely physical science.
But Comte extends it infinitely beyond this. He applies it not only to nature but to man, not simply in his physical or animal, but in his moral and spiritual relations. In fine, he denies that we can know man as a spirit, as he denies that we can know God as a spirit. He thus ignores all the facts of consciousness. And denying these, of course he excludes all ideas of cause, of creation and miracle, of God and immortality.
In this respect, however, he is more consistent than Feuerbach, who admits the facts of consciousness, and contends for
the spirituality of man. Comte sees nothing but by the senses, knows nothing but by outward observation. It is true, that in his "Politique Positive" he admits the instinctive affections; but this was an after-thought, as in fact he himself intimates. Falling in love with Madame Clotilde de Vaux, his "mediating angel," (ange mediatrix,) he awoke to the great fact of affection; but in his "Philosophie Positive" there is no place for it, there can be no place for it. Consciousness, or spiritual introspection, he not only abjures, but ridicules as absurd. We might verify this by several quotations, but the fact is so well known that it is unnecessary. Moreover, we must be brief. And happily, as in the case of Feuerbach's system, the ground-principle of positivism lies on the surface, and can be indicated in a very few words. We have taken great pains to inform ourselves of the views of M. Comte, both from translations and expositions of his works, and from such of the originals as we could procure. Some of his minor works we have not seen, but his "Philosophie Positive," in six volumes, and his "Politique Positive," in three (to be completed by one or two more volumes), we have examined; and though they cover an immense field, and abound in nice distinctions and ingenious illustrations, we can unhesitatingly affirm that their grand peculiarity consists in denying the fact or principle of causation, in rejecting the testimony of consciousness, and by implication, the idea of a supreme controlling Intelligence of the universe. In the whole domain of astronomy, for example, as he boldly and blasphemously affirms, he sees not the glory of God," but "the glory of man." Nay, he goes further even than this, and with an insane self-confidence, declares that the elements of the solar system are not disposed in the best manner, and that science (Comte himself) can easily conceive a happier arrangement. But we will quote his own words from the "Philosophie Positive:".
"To those who are strangers to the study of the heavenly bodies, though frequently masters of the other parts of natural philosophy, astronomy has still the reputation of being an eminently religious science, as if the famous verse, 'The heavens declare the glory of God, still preserved all its value. To minds early familiarised with true philosophical astronomy, the heavens declare no other glory than that of Hipparchus, of Kepler, of Newton, and of all those who have aided in establishing their laws. It is, however, certain, as I have shown, that all real science is in radical and necessary opposition to all theology; and this characteristic is more decided in astronomy than anywhere else, just because astronomy is, so to speak, more a science than any other, according to the comparison made above.. . . . . Besides, the accurate exploration of our solar system could not but dispel that blind and unlimited wonder which the general order of nature inspired, by showing, in the most sensible manner, and in various respects, that the
elements of this system are certainly not disposed in the most adrantageous manner, and that science permits us easily to conceive a happier arrangement."
Science, Comte maintains, has three stages; first, the theological; secondly, the metaphysical; and lastly, the positive. In the theological, all phenomena are referred to the gods or God; in the metaphysical, to certain spiritual entities; in the positive, those causes, and indeed all real causes, are ignored, and facts alone, with their laws, or the conditions of their occurrence, are recognised. This is the last and most perfect state of scientific inquiry, in which the positive philosophy, by an absolute "prevision of nature, can detect her secrets and foretell her changes. The system, therefore, is purely natural. It comes to the same result as the more vulgar materialism. It is atheism in its scientific development. But this allegation M. Comte dislikes. With him "theology is atheism!" He gives it this name over and over again. The idea of the "soul" as an immaterial, immortal essence, and of God as the supreme Creator and Preserver of all, is peculiarly abhorrent. He has made up his mind that "will" must necessarily be capricious, and thence inconsistent with the idea of uniform method or law, which science can alone recognise; and whether, therefore, will, as a creative and controlling cause, is claimed for man or for God, it must be rejected. Thus, then, according to Comte, we have no soul, no Creator, no Father in heaven, no Redeemer on earth, no immortality, no heaven beyond this world and time.
But positivism must take cognizance of facts. Evidently man is a religious being. He is governed, after all, by his convictions. Worship is natural. He can be bound only by reverence. Society must organize itself around central, allcontrolling ideas. It must live and act under the dominion of thought and affection. All this Comte finally admits. His "Politique Positive," indeed, contains an exposition of these things. Man, then, must have a system of belief, of discipline, and worship. He must have a God, an order of sacraments and duties; a worship of supreme benignant powers. Comte meets the exigency. Man is his own God; not man the individual, but humanity, the life of the whole, or the whole of humanity, as a continuous and eternal life," Toute l'ensemble de l'humanité." This is Comte's Etre Supreme. Like the God of the Bible, this human Deity of course must possess unity, omnipresence, omniscience, omnipotence, eternity, &c. These attributes M. Comte insists belong to humanity. This God, then, must be inaugurated in the new and perfect condition of society, in which true order, with liberty, equality, and paternity, is to be realised. No matter if this
life of humanity, or the idea of God as constituting this collective life, be an abstraction. M. Comte is fully prepared for such an alternative; for, in the conclusion of his "Philosophie Positive," he says boldly, "Man, so termed, is in reality nothing but a pure abstraction; there is nothing real but humanity, especially in the world of intellect and morals."
The worship of such a "nouvel Etre Supreme" is made to consist in a sort of sentimental fervour, inspired by the genius of humanity, and arising especially in the contemplation or adoration of its respective saints, the priests of humanity, the great men, like Pythagoras, Plato, Socrates, Jesus, Newton, Charlemagne, and others. Whether M. Comte is to be supreme high priest, we are not informed. He would cer tainly to his stultified followers be an admirable object of religious veneration. Woman, headed by Madame Clotilde de Vaux, his ange meconnue, his pure compagnon immortelle," is to be the mediator, to whom, as to "Mary, the mother of God," the knee of man may reverently bow. Like the papal system, after which it is modelled, M. Comte's Religion of Humanity" must have not only its priests, forms, and festivals, but its social sacraments, nine of which he proposes to institute, viz., presentation, initiation, admission, alestination, marriage, maturity, retirement, transformation, and incorporation. These correspond to the infant baptism, confirmation, holy orders, marriage, &c., of the Catholic Church. Canonization is also provided for. Those who have served humanity take their place, after death, not indeed in the heaven of the Christian, for there is no such place, but in the ideal galaxy of glorified humanity!
But enough of this. We have proved our point. We have, in all the forms of unbelief, transcendental, critical, humanitarian, or positive, which have come under our observation, shown that the essence and end of infidelity, are atheism and extinction. The motto of all is, No GOD, NO SAVIOUR, no HEAVEN.
ART. VII.-The Roman Catholic Press.
THAT the power of Romanism has grown since the beginning of the present century is an indubitable fact. The history of the Papacy has for centuries been an alternation of periods of advance and retreat; we are now in the midst of one of its forward movements, to be followed, as usual, by a still greater step backward. Amid all vicissitudes, however, the aims of
Rome remain the same; and, under whatsoever guise presented, they are always inconsistent, fundamentally, with general liberty, whether religious or political.
The Roman Church has achieved her conquests, in every age, by using means adapted to the time; nay, even by turning the weapons of her enemies against themselves. So, at the present time, in countries where the press is the great power, both moral and political, Rome finds herself compelled, in spite of the essential antagonism between her system and the spread of general knowledge, in spite of her own repeated anathemas against books, newspapers, and printing in general, for the people, to make use of that very press to further her own ends. She handles the uncongenial weapon awkwardly enough, it is true; but that she handles it at all is one of the most pregnant characteristics of the age. It is our intention in this paper to give a brief survey of the principal periodical journals now published in this country in the interest of Rome. But before we proceed to details, a few remarks upon the status of journalists in the Roman Catholic Church itself will not be out of place.
The first point to be noticed is, that journalism has no proper place in the organization of the Papal Church; it is an excrescence upon the system, not its natural outgrowth. By the continuous efforts of the popes throughout the middle ages, and by the final adjustment of the Roman system made at the Council of Trent, all ecclesiastical power was secured to the priests, more especially to the bishops, and pre-eminently to the pope. According to the Tridentine theory, Christendom owes allegiance to an infallible episcopate, whose head is the bishop of Rome. None but the clergy were to be allowed to rule, to instruct, to educate the people. Journalism was at that time unknown, or doubtless its functions would have been recognised in some way. As the case stands, the luckless Roman Catholic editor, if a layman, is nowhere in the ranks of church functionaries, and can be nothing but the tool of his bishop or his pope. The papal journalists of the present age, -an age of reaction and obedience, acknowledge this position, and profess to be satisfied with it, proclaiming openly that they speak only as they are authorised to speak by the bishop or the pope.
These statements will suffice to clear up a few strange phenomena. In wholly papal countries (e. g., Italy, Spain, Portugal) religious journals are almost unknown. They begin to appear only in periods of revolution, or of general enlightenment, when the church has to struggle against enemies who know how to conduct journals. Even where the necessities of the times call forth such journals, their indiscriminate circulation is not en