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-a type of absolute perfection by which one compares everything upon which one is called to judge; a relation between this prototype and the object or being which is compared with it; and an act which judges of the relation of perfection in which one stands to the other.

The living type of absolute perfection is God. “Not only,” said Descartes, “ do I know that I am an imperfect being, incomplete and dependent on another, who tend and aspire incessantly towards something greater and better than I am; but I know at the same time that He from whom I depend possesses in Himself all those great things to which I aspire, not indefinitely and potentially, alone, but actually and infinitely, and that thus He is God.” 1

The act which affirms the relation between the divine type of absolute perfection and us, is ourselves in our liberty and free-will judging according to our reason, our will, and our sentiment.

And what is the relation, the axis uniting the type with the antitype, the positive with the negative pole?

What is that relation which touches on one side the infinite and on the other the finite, the absolute and the limited, spirit and matter?

That is what we shall answer when we speak of the Incarnate Word.

The good, the true, and the beautiful, are three faces of the same ideal of perfection, the Infinite. The good is not separable from the true, nor the true from the beautiful. They are distinct, yet indissolubly one. That which is good is also true and beautiful. That which is false cannot be good, nor can it be beautiful. That which is beautiful must be true and good. It is impossible to scind these distinct aspects of perfection. The philosopher seeking truth errs if he attempts to oppose what is certain to what is goodly. The artist is mistaken if he seeks beauty apart from truth; and what pure act of virtue is not marvellous in its loveliness!

1 Méditations, i. p. 290.

The three sciences, ethics, logic, æsthetics, based on these three aspects of the Infinite, are therefore not to be separated and opposedl, for they complement one another and complete what would otherwise be fragmentary.

In ethics, the conscience judges, according to a sliding scale; what it judges at one time to be admissible and good, it decides, as its experience grows, or as circumstances alter, to be inadmissible and bad. That which was right one day is wrong the next, for as conscience grows, its perception strengthens, and it discriminates with greater acuteness; its powers of analysis increase, not for the purpose of dividing and opposing, but for the purpose of reducing what is divided and opposed to unity.

Evil is the rejection of the infinite for the finite, the declension from one pole to the other, and perversion of the moral sense. When the infinite is lost sight of, the sentiment of the indefinite loses its character, and the science of ethics is at an end. Morality is impossible without a sense of the indefinite, and the sense of the indefinite supposes the infinite source of good,or God. How can there be morality without a law, and how can there be law without a lawgiver.

If we pass from conscience to the world of reason, we find that the cause of all error in the science of God, man and the universe, consists in oblivion or an insufficient notion of one of these three terms. Psychologists and ontologists have not clearly seen that the co-ordination of these three terms is necessary for the attainment of certainty. All, starting from one of these terms, by method of division, have ended in abstraction. In placing man outside of unity, they have placed him outside of life. The first have de

tached all the faculties of the human soul from God, and have examined them by themselves, forgetting that it is impossible to know an object without examining it in all the conditions of its nature. The second have despoiled man of his nature as a living being, and have robbed his ideas of their reality. And because they have taken them in the abstract, all their deductions, all their conclusions are void, without practical application, without other result than weariness of spirit and deadness of heart.

If we pass to the region of art, we find that its vigour depends on the recognition of the Ideal, the relation and the world; the rupture of this union is the dissolution of art. The conception of the ideal cannot furnish man with æsthetic principles apart from the relation. The Jew bad a sublime faith in the Infinite of perfection, but He was isolated from the world, the relation uniting them was unrecoguized or unknown, and Jewdom was sterile of art. The Greek looked on man as perfection, his ideal did not transcend the “human form divine;” and beautiful as was the plastic art in his hands, it wanted something, the divine. The world without the idea of God, what is it? a riddle; it is without truth unless He be its law, without beauty unless He be its meaning. Take away the idea of God, the infinite perfection, and there is no sense of perfection, no power of discriminating between the beautiful and the offensive.

In discussing Christianity, I propose to apply to it the Hegelian method. Some premiss must be taken; I adopt that of Hegel, because I believe it to be true; and because it throws a vivid light upon a body of doctrine which has been buried in obscurity. The importance of Hegel's method I think it impossible to over-estimate. It has begun to revolutionize philosophy; if it has not at once wrought the effects which Hegel foresaw, it is because he himself was

if he attempts to oppose what is certain to what is goodly. The artist is mistaken if he seeks beauty apart from truth; and what pure act of virtue is not marvellous in its loveliness!

The three sciences, ethics, logic, æsthetics, based on these three aspects of the Infinite, are therefore not to be separated and opposel, for they complement one another and complete what would otherwise be fragmentary.

In ethics, the conscience judges, according to a sliding scale; what it judges at one time to be admissible and good, it decides, as its experience grows, or as circumstances alter, to be inadmissible and bad. That which was right one day is wrong the next, for as conscience grows, its perception strengthens, and it discriminates with greater acuteness; its powers of analysis increase, not for the purpose of dividing and opposing, but for the purpose of reducing what is divided and opposed to unity.

Evil is the rejection of the infinite for the finite, the declension from one pole to the other, and perversion of the moral sense. When the infinite is lost sight of, the sentiment of the indefinite loses its character, and the science of ethics is at an end. Morality is impossible without a sense of the indefinite, and the sense of the indefinite supposes the infinite source of good, or God. How can there be morality without a law, and how can there be law without a lawgiver.

If we pass from conscience to the world of reason, we find that the cause of all error in the science of God, man and the universe, consists in oblivion or an insufficient notion of one of these three terms. Psychologists and ontologists have not clearly seen that the co-ordination of these three terms is necessary for the attainment of certainty. All, starting from one of these terms, by method of division, have ended in abstraction. In placing man outside of unity, they have placed him outside of life. The first have de

tached all the faculties of the human soul from God, and have examined them by themselves, forgetting that it is impossible to know an object without examining it in all the conditions of its nature. The second have despoiled man of his nature as a living being, and have robbed his ideas of their reality. And because they have taken them in the abstract, all their deductions, all their conclusions are void, without practical application, without other result than weariness of spirit and deadness of heart.

If we pass to the region of art, we find that its vigour depends on the recognition of the Ideal, the relation and the world; the rupture of this union is the dissolution of art. The conception of the ideal cannot furnish man with æsthetic principles apart from the relation. The Jew bad a sublime faith in the Infinite of perfection, but he was isolated from the world, the relation uniting them was unrecognized or unknown, and Jewdom was sterile of art. The Greek looked on man as perfection, his ideal did not transcend the “human form divine;” and beautiful as was the plastic art in his hands, it wanted something, the divine. The world without the idea of God, what is it? a riddle; it is without truth unless He be its law, without beauty unless He be its meaning. Take away the idea of God, the infinite perfection, and there is no sense of perfection, no power of discriminating between the beautiful and the offensive.

In discussing Christianity, I propose to apply to it the Hegelian method. Some premiss must be taken; I adopt that of Hegel, because I believe it to be true; and because it throws a vivid light upon a body of doctrine which has been buried in obscurity. The importance of Hegel's method I think it impossible to over-estimate. It has begun to revolutionize philosophy; if it has not at once wrought the effects which Hegel foresaw, it is because he himself was

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