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unnamed. We have only to fall on | Let the scales drop from our eyes, and our knees before this veiled face; won- let us look: der and adoration are our true attitude:

"The man who cannot wonder, who does not habitually wonder (and worship), were he President of innumerable Royal Societies, and carried the whole Mécanique Céleste and Hegel's Philosophy, and the epitome of all Laboratories and Observatories, with their results, in his single head,-is but a Pair of Spectacles behind which there is no Eye. Let those who have Eyes look through him, then he may be useful. "Thou wilt have no Mystery and Mysticism; wilt walk through thy world by the sunshine of what thou callest Truth, or even by the handlamp of what I call Attorney-Logic: and explain' all, account' for all, or believe nothing of it. Nay, thou wilt attempt laughter; whoso recognises the unfathomable, all-pervading domain of Mystery, which is everywhere under our feet and among our hands; to whom the Universe is an oracle and Temple, as well as a Kitchen and Cattle-stall,-he shall be a delirious Mystic; to him thou, with sniffing charity, wilt protrusively proffer thy Hand-lamp, and shriek, as one injured, when he kicks his foot through it."

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"We speak of the Volume of Nature; and truly a Volume it is,-whose Author and Writer is God. To read it! Dost thou, does man, so much as well know the Alphabet thereof? With its Words, Sentences, and grand descriptive Pages, poetical and philosophical, spread out through Solar Systems, and Thousands of Years, we shall not try thee. It is a Volume written in celestial hieroglyphs, in the true Sacred-writing; of which even Prophets are happy that they can read here a line and there a line. As for your Institutes, and Academies of Science, they strive bravely; and from amid the thick-crowded, inextricably intertwisted hieroglyphic writing, pick out, by dexterous combination, some Letters in the vulgar Character and therefrom put together this and the other economic Recipe, of high avail in Practice." +

Do we believe, perhaps,

La Nature is more than some boundless Volunte of such Recipes, or huge, well-nigh inexhaustible Domestic-Cookery Book, of which the whole secret will in this manner one day evolve tself?" t

"And what is that Science, which the scientific head alone, were it screwed off, and (like the Doctor's in the Arabian tale) set in a basin, to keep it alive, could prosecute without shadow of a heart, but one other of the mechanical and menial handicrafts, for which the Scientific Head (having a soul in it) is too noble an organ? I mean that Thought without Reverence is barren, perhans poisonous." §

•Sarto Resartus, bk. i. ch. x.; Pure Reason.

↑ Ibid. b. i. ch. viii.; Natural Supernaturalism Ibid. Ibid. bk. 1. ch. x.; Pure Reason.

"Then sawest thou that this fair Universe, were it in the meanest province thereof, is in very deed the star-domed City of God; that through every star, through every grass-blade, and most through every Living Soul, the glory of a present God still beams."

"Generation after generation takes to itself the form of a Body; and forth-issuing from Cimmerian Night, on Heaven's mission AP PEARS. What Force and Fire is in each he expends: one grinding in the mill of Industry; one, hunter-like, climbing the giudy Alpíte heights of Science; one madly dashed in pieces on the rocks of Strife, in war with his fellow :and then the Heaven-sent is recalled; his earthly Vesture falls away, and soon even to Sense becomes a vanished Shadow. Thus, like some wild-flaming, wild-thundering train of Heaven's Artillery, does this mysterious MANKIND thunder and flame, in long-drawn, quicksucceeding grandeur, through the unknown Deep. Thus, like a God-created, fire-breathing Spirit-host, we emerge from the Inane; haste stormfully across the astonished Earth, then plunge again into the Inane. ... But whence?

Heaven, whither? Sense knows not; Faith knows not; only tha. it is through Mystery to Mystery, from God and to God."


This vehement religious poetry, charged as it is with memories of Milton and Shakspeare, is but an English transcription of German ideas. There is a fixed rule for transposing,—that is, for converting into one another the ideas of a positivist, a pantheist, a spiritualist, a mystic, a poet, a head given to images, and a head given to formulas. We may mark all the steps which lead simple philosophical conception to its extreme and violent state. Take the world as science shows it; it is a regular group or series which has a law; according to science, it is nothing more. As from the law we deduce the series, we may say that the law engenders it, and consider this law as a force. If we are an ar tist, we will seize in the aggregate the force, the series of effects, and the fine regular manner in which force pro duces the series. To my mind, this sympathetic representation is of all the most exact and complete: know!edge is limited, as long as it does not arrive at this, and it is complete wher it has arrived there. But beyond, there commence the phantoms which Ibid. bk. iii. ch. viii.: Natural Super ↑ Ibid.


the mind creates, and by which it dupes itself. If we have a little imagination, we will make of this force a distinct existence, situated beyond the reach of experience, spiritual, the principle and the substance of concrete things. That is a metaphysical existence. Let us add one degree to our imagination and enthusiasm, and we will say that this spirit, situated beyond time and space, is manifested through these, that it subsists and animates every thing, that we have in it motion, existence, and life. When carried to the limits of vision and ecstasy, we will declare that this principle is the only reality, that the rest is but appearance: thenceforth we are deprived of all the means of defining it; we can affirm nothing of it, but that it is the source of things, and that nothing can be affirmed of it; we consider it as a grand unfathomable abyss; we seek, in order to come at it, a path other than that of clear ideas; we extol sentiment, exaltation. If we have a gloomy temperament, we seek it, like the sectarians, painfully, amongst prostrations and agonies. By this scale of transformations, the general idea becomes a poetical, then a philosphical, then a mystical existence; and German metaphysics, concentrated and heated, is changed into English Puritanism.


What distinguishes this mysticism from others is its practicality. The Puritan is troubled not only about what he ought to believe, but about what he ought to do; he craves an answer to his doubts, but especially a rule for his conduct; he is tormented by the notion of his ignorance, as well as by the horror of his vices; he seeks God, but duty also. In his eyes the two are but one; moral sense is the promoter and guide of philosophy:

(wohlgemuth), spend much of his time in fid. grinder, who in thy Logic-mill hast an earthly dling? Foolish Word-monger and Motive mechanism for the Godlike itself, and woulds fain grind me out Virtue from the husks of pleasure,-I tell thee, Nay!"* There is an instinct within us which says Nay. We discover within us something higher than love of happiness,-the love of sacrifice. That is the divine part of our soul. We perceive in it and by it the God, who otherwise would continue ever un. known. By it we penetrate an un known and sublime world. There is an extraordinary state of the soul, by which it leaves selfishness, renounces picasure, cares no more for itself, adores pain, comprehends holiness.†

This obscure beyond, which the senses cannot reach, the reason cannot define, which the imagination figures as a king and a person; this is holiness, this is the sublime. "The hero is he who lives in the inward sphere of things, in the True, Divine, Eternal, which exists always, unseen to most, under the Temporary, Trivial; his being is in that. His life is a piece of the everlasting heart of nature itself." Virtue is a revelation, heroism is a light, conscience a philosophy; and we shall express in the abstract this moral mysticism, by saying that God, for Carlyle, is a mystery whose only name is the Ideal.


This faculty for perceiving the inner sense of things, and this disposition to search out the moral sense of things, have produced in him all his doctrines, and first his Christianity. This Chris tianity is very broad: Carlyle takes religion in the German manner, after a symbolical fashion. This is why he is

* Sartor Resartus, bk. ii. ch. vii.; The Everlasting No.

"Is there no God, then: but at best an ab- ↑ "Only this I know, If what thou namest entee God, sitting idle, ever since the first Sab- Happiness be our true aim, then are we all astray. bath, at the outside of his Universe, and seeing With Stupidity and sound Digestion man may it go? Has the word Duty no meaning; is front much. But what, in these dull, unimagina what we call Duty no divine Messenger and tive days, are the terrors of Conscience to the Guide, but a false earthly Fantasm, made-up of diseases of the Liver! Not on Morality, but Desire and Fear, of emanations from the gal-on Cookery, let us build our stronghold: :here lows and from Dr. Graham's Celestial-Bed? brandishing our frying-pan, as censer, let us Happiness of an approving Conscience! Did offer sweet incense to the Devil, and live at eas not Paul of Tarsus, whom amiring men have on the fat things he has provided for his Elect' since named Saint, feel that he was the chief-Sartor Resartus, bk. ii. ch. vii

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of sinners;' and Nero of Rome, jocund in spirit + Lectures on Heroes.

called a Pantheist, which in plain language means a madman or a rogue. In England, too, he is exorcised. His friend Sterling sent him long dissertations, to bring him back to a personal God. Every moment he wounds to the quick the theologians, who make of the prime cause an architect or an administrator. He shocks them still more when he touches upon dogma; he considers Christianity as a myth, of which the essence is the Worship of Sorrow:

"Knowest thou that Worship of Sorrow?' The Temple thereof founded some eighteen centuries ago, now lies in ruins, overgrown with jungle, tne habitation of doleful creatures: nevertheless, venture forward; in a low crypt, arched out of falling fragments, thou findest the Altar still there, and its sacred Lamp perennially burning."*


But its guardians know it no more. frippery of conventional adornments hides it from the eyes of men. The Protestant Church in the nineteenth century, like the Catholic Church in the sixteenth, needs a reformation. We want a new Luther:

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"Idol is Eidolon, a thing seen, a symbol. It is not God, but a symbol of God.... Is not all worship whatsoever a worship by Symbols, by eidola, or things seen?... The most rigor. ous Puritan has his Confession of Faith, and intellectual Representation of Divine things, "For if Government is, so to speak, the out-gies, religious forms, conceptions that fitly inand worships thereby. . . . All creeds, liturward SKIN of the Body Politic, holding the whole together and protecting it; and if all your Craft-Guilds and Associations for Industry, of hand or of head, are the Fleshly Clothes, the muscular and osseous Tissues (lying under such SKIN), whereby Society stands and works; -then is Religion the inmost Pericardial and Nervous Tissue which ministers Life and warm Circulation to the whole.

"Meanwhile, in our era of the World, those same Church Clothes have gone sorrowfully out-at-elbows: nay, far worse, many of them have become mere hollow Shapes, or Masks, under which no living Figure or Spirit any longer dwells; but only spiders and unclean beetles, in horrid accumulation, drive their trade; and the mask still glares on you with its glass-eyes, in ghastly affectation of Life,some generation and half after Religion has quite withdrawn from it, and in unnoticed nooks is weaving for herself new Vestures, wherewith to reappear and bless us, or our sons or grandsons." +

Christianity once reduced to the sentiment of abnegation, other religions resume, in consequence, dignity and importance. They are, like Christianity, forms of universal religion. "They have all had a truth in them, or men would not have taken them up."

Sartor Resartus, bk. ii. ch. ix.; The Everlasting Yea.

↑ Ibid. bk. iii. ch. ii.; Church Clothes. Lectures on Heroes i.; The Hero as Di vinity.

things seen. All worship whatsoever must provest religious feelings, are in this sense eidola, ceed by Symbols, by Idols:-we may say, all Idolatry is comparative, and the worst Idolatry is only more idolatrous." ‡

The only detestable idolatry is that from which the sentiment has departed, which consists only in ceremonies learned by rote, in mechanical repetition of las not understood. The deep venera prayers, in decent profession of formution of a monk of the twelfth century, prostrated before the relics of St. Ed mund, was worth more than the con ventional piety and cold philosophical religion of a Protestant of to-day. Whatever the worship, it is the senti ment which gives it its whole value And this sentiment is that of morality:

"The one end, essence, and use of all relig To keep that same Moral Conscience or Inner ion past, present, and to come, was this only: Light of ours alive and shining.... All religion was here to remind us, better or worse, of what we already know better or worse, of the Good man and a Bad; to bid us love infinitely quite infinite difference there is between a the one, abhor and avoid infinitely the other,strive infinitely to be the one, and ot to be the

* Ibid. ↑ Ibid. iv.; The Hero as Priest. Ibid.

other. All religion issues in due Practical | picture of his race and of his time Hero-worship."""

"All true Work is religion; and whatsoever religion is not Work may go and dwell among the Brahmins, Antinomians, Spinning Dervishes, or where it will; with me it shall have no harbour." +

Though it has "no harbor" with Carlyle, it has elsewhere. We touch here the English and narrow feature of this German and broad conception. There are many religions which are not moral; there are more still which are not practical. Carlyle would reduce the heart of man to the English sentiment of duty, and his imagination to the English sentiment of respect. The half of human poetry escapes his grasp. For if a part of ourselves raises us to abnegation and virtue, another part leads us to enjoyment and pleasure. Man is pagan as well as Christian; nature has two faces: several races, India, Greece, Italy, have only comprehended the second, and have had for religions merely the adoration of overflowing force and the ecstasy of grand imagination; or otherwise, the admiration of harmonious form, with the culture of pleasure, beauty, and happi

This discovery has renewed criticism. Carlyle owes to it his finest views his lessons on Shakspeare_and Dante, his studies on Goethe, Dr. Johnson, Burns, and Rousseau. Thus, by a natural enthusiasm, he becomes the herald of German literature; he makes himself the apostle of Goethe; he has praised him with a neophyte's fervor, to the extent of lacking on this subject skill and perspicacity; he calls him a Hero presents his life as an example to al. the men of our century; he will not see his paganism, manifest as it is, and so repellent to a Puritan. Through the same causes, he has made of JeanPaul Richter, an affected clown, and an extravagant humorist, “a giant,” a sort of prophet; he has heaped eulogy on Novalis and the mystic dreamers; he has set the democrat Burns above Byron; he has exalted Dr. Johnson, that honest pedant, the most grotesque of literary behemoths. His principle is, that in a work of the mind, form is little, the basis alone is important. As soon as a man has a profound sentiment, a strong conviction, his book is beautiful. A writing, be it what it will, only manifests the soul: if the soul is serious, if it is inHis criticism of literary works is of timately and habitually shaken by the the same character and violence, and grave thoughts which ought to preochas the same scope and the same lim-cupy a soul; if it loves what is good, its, the same principle and the same is devoted, endeavors with its whole conclusions, as his criticism of relig- effort, without any mental reservation ious works. Carlyle has introduced of interest or self-love, to publish the the great ideas of Hegel and Goethe, truth which strikes it, it has reached and has confined them under the nar: the talent; we need not to be pleased its goal. We have nothing to do with row discipline of Puritan sentiment. ‡ He considers the poet, the writer, the by beautiful forms; our sole object is artist, as an interpreter of "the Divine to find ourselves face to face with the Idea of the World, that which lies at sublime; the whole destiny of man is the bottom of Appearance; to perceive heroism; poetry and art vealer of the infinite, as representing We see how far and with what excess have no other employment or merit. his century, his nation, his age: we recognize here all the German formulas. Carlyle possesses the Germanic senThey signify that the artist detects timent, why he loves the mystics, hu and expresses better than any one, the morists, prophets, illiterate writers, salient and durable features of the and men of action, spontaneous poets, world which surrounds him, so that we all who violate regular beauty through might draw from his work a theory of ignorance, brutality, folly, or deliberate man and of nature, together with a ly. He goes so far as to excuse the rhetoric of Dr. Johnson, because John



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as a re

* Past and Present, bk. iii. ch. xv.; Mor-son was loyal and sincere; he does no zson Again.

↑ Ibid. t. iii. ch. xii.; Reward.

distinguish in him the literary man

↑ Lectures on Heroes; Miscellanies, passim. | from the practical; he av vids seeing

lifetime to build, could be unbuilt by one mad man, in a single hour."

These are big words; we will not employ the like. I will simply say, that if a man were to judge Carlyle, as a French man, as he judges Voltaire as an Eng


the classic declaimer, a strange compound of Scaliger, Boileau, and La Harpe, majestically decked out in the Ciceronian gown, in order to see only a man of faith and conviction. Such a habit prevents a man seeing one half of things. Carlyle speaks with scorn-lishman, he would draw a different ful indifference of modern dilettan- picture of Carlyle from that which 1 tism, seems to despise painters, admits am trying here to draw. no sensible beauty. Wholly on the side of the authors, he neglects the artists; for the source of art is the This trade of calumny was in vcgue sentiment of form; and the greatest fifty years ago; in fifty more it will artists, the Italians, the Greeks, did probably have altogether ceased. The not know, like their priests and poets, French are beginning to comprehend any beauty beyond that of voluptu- the gravity of the Puritans; perhaps ousness and force. Thence also it the English will end by comprehending comes that he has no taste for French the gayety of Voltaire: the first are literature. The exact order, the fine laboring to appreciate Shakspeare ; proportions, the perpetual regard for the second will doubtless attempt tc the agreeable and proper, the harmoni-appreciate Racine. Goethe, the mas ous structure of clear and consecutive ideas, the delicate picture of society, the perfection of style,-nothing which moves us, has attraction for him. His mode of comprehending life is too far removed from ours. In vain he tries to understand Voltaire, all he can do is to slander him:

"We find no heroism of character in him, from first to last; nay, there is not, that we know of, one great thought in all his six-andthirty quartos.... He sees but a little way into Nature; the mighty All, in its beauty and infinite mysterious grandeur, humbling the small me into nothingness, has never even for moments been revealed to him; only this and that other atom of it, and the differences and discrepancies of these two, has he looked into and noted down. His theory of the world, his picture of man and man's life is little; for a poet and philosopher, even pitiful. The Divine idea, that which lies at the bottom of appear


was never more invisible to any man. He reads history not with the eyes of a devout seer, or even of a critic, but through a pair of mere anticatholic spectacles. It is not a mighty drama enacted on the theatre of Infinitude, with suns for lamps and Eternity as a background, but a poor wearisome debatingclub dispute, spun through ten centuries, between the Encyclopédie and the Sorbonne.... God's Universe is a larger patrimony of St. Peter, from which it were well and pleasant to hunt out the Pope. . . . The still higher praise of having had a right or noble aim cannot be cor.ceded him without many limitations, and may, plausibly enough, be altogether denied.... The force necessary for him was nowise a great and noble one; but small, in some respects a mean one, to be nimbly and seasonably put into use. The Ephesian temple, which it had employed many wise heads and strong arms for a

* Life of Sterling.

ter of all modern minds, knew wel
how to appreciate both. The critic
must add to his natural and nationa.
soul five or six artificial and acquired
souls, and his flexible sympathy must
introduce him to extinct or foreign
sentiments. The best fruit of criti-
cism is to detach ourselves from our-
selves, to constrain us to make allow-
live, to teach us to distinguish objects
ance for the surroundings in which we
themselves through the transient ap-
pearances, with which our character
and our age never fail to clothe them.
Each person regards them through
glasses of diverse focus and hue, and
no one can reach the truth save by
taking into account the form and tint
which his glasses give to the objects
which he sees.
Hitherto we have been
wrangling and pummelling one another,
this man declaring that things are
green, another that they are yellow;
others, again, that they are red; each
accusing his neighbor of seeing wrong,
and being disingenuous. Now, at last,
we are learning moral optics; we are
finding that the color is not in the ob
jects, but in ourselves; we pardon our
neighbors for seeing differently from
us; we recognize that they may see
red what to us appears blue, green
what to us appears yellow; we can
even define the kind of glasses which

* Critical and Miscellaneous Essays, 4 vols. ii. Voltaire.

+ See this double praise in Wilhelm Meister

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