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with a thundering despot: we are of full age and need no longer the cares of a father : nor can we consent to regard ourselves as the works of a great mechanician. Deism is a good religion for slaves, for children, for Genevese, for watchmakers.
* Pantheism is the hidden religion of Germany; and this result was well foreseen by those German writers who fifty years ago let loose such a storm of fury against Spinosa. The most rabid of these was Jacobi, an old gossip disguised in the cloak of philosophy, whose eterual chant was, that Reason does not herself know whither she conducts us—that she leads man into a labyrinth of errors and contradictions, and that Faith alone is the sure guide. Mole who could not see that Reason, like the sun, as she advances clears her way by her own rays! Nothing like the pious rancour of the worthy Jacobi against Spinosa—" the great Atheist.” It is curious to see what different parties have always conspired together against Spinosa. The aspect of the array is amusing : on one hand a swarm of monks, white and black, with their crosses and their censers-on the other a phalanx of Encyclopedists, all shooting also at “ the bold thinker." Here is the Rabbi of the Amsterdam Synagogue with his holy ram's horn—there Arouet de Voltaire with his little fute of persifluge, which also must, as in duty bound, play its flourish in favour of Deism. In the midst creeps about the old woman Jacobi-the “ vivandière" of the Army of the Faith!'-pp. 105, 106.
We think every one will trace in part to Mr. Heine's Jewish blood the last of these paragraphs ; nor shall we stop to defend, against such coarse abuse, perhaps the most spotless and venerable name of which German literature can boast. We admit the wit and adroitness of our author—but we pause very seriously on the general effect of these passages. We presume we have quoted enough to give our readers a tolerable notion of what this pantheism means—and what the aspirations of its pious preachers amount to. We should blush to waste a word on the exposure of these blasphemous crudities—the English reader of no class whatever can be as yet prepared for listening to them with any other feelings than those of wonder and horror. But how to account for the fact that here they are displayed in a treatise designed for practical political objects by so able a writer as Heine ? How to reconcile with any study of Man, either as history has painted him, or as we have him daily before our eyes, the notion-the fact—of its being seriously proposed to reform Man, and elevate his social character and position, by the establishment of a system of faith which implies, in each and all of its parts, the utter absence of any ground or source of virtuous obligation whatever !--the very essence of which is, that every member of our body is part and parcel of the Divinity of the world !-and that the gratification of our own senses is, in fact, the first species of worship which this inherent Creator. Creature demands !
We have seen that Heine resents the notion of pantheism leading to indifference. As little will he admit that there is anything in the peculiar composition of the modern German mind inconsistent with most vigorous displays of human passion in favour of pantheism, and the desired practical results of that doctrine, so soon as it shall once be generally established in the land of Luther.
• You have no idea, you French people, of what German hatred is. Even in that we are idealists. We do not distress ourselves for futile things, as you do, a scratch on one's vanity, an epigram, the neglect of a visiting card. No; in our enemies we hate that which is the most essential, the most intimate, the thought. You are quick and superficial in hate as in love. Too honest, and perhaps too awkward, to avenge ourselves with the first perfidy that comes to hand, we hate each other quietly, steadily, on to the last breath. “I know that German calm, Sir," said a lady the other day looking into me with all her eyes, and with an incredulous smile,)“ I know it well, Sir; I am aware that in your language the same word means both to pardon and to poison." She was right : the word vergeben has this double sense.' -p. 117.
We shall have to quote a longer passage on this head before we close our paper; but we now turn from the first part of this work, in which Heine labours his general thesis, to that in which he grapples with what we strongly suspect has been with himself the favourite branch of his undertaking ;-namely, his deduction of the philosophical and literary history of Germany from the days of Frederick the Great, when French infidelity, along with other French tastes, took root in the North, down through the long succession of professors and poets, ending with his own immediate friends and enemies. His chapter on Frederick himself is particularly amusing—we can only afford room for its commencement.
As to Frederick, (that crowned incarnation of materialism,) you have sufficient information. You know that he made French verses, played very well on the flute, gained the battle of Rosbach, took a great deal of snuff, and had no faith but in cannon. Some of you have, no doubt, visited Sans-Souci, and the old invalide who has charge of the chateau has shown you in the library some of those French novels which Frederick, when Prince Royal, had bound in black morocco, that when he read them in church his father might believe them to be our good books of Lutheran Hymns. You are, in short, well acquainted with that wise king whom you have styled the Solomon of the North, France, indeed, was the Ophir of that hyperborean Solomon, and it was thence that he drew his poets and philosophers, just as the Solomon of the South had in the old time drawn from the eastern Ophir, by help of his friend Hiram, whole cargoes of gold, silver, ivory, poets, and philosophers—as you may read
in the Book of Kings—“ Classis Regis per mare cum classe Hiram semel per tres annos ibat, deferens inde aurum et argentum et dentes elephantorum, et simias et pavos.” This preference for foreign talents certainly prevented Frederick the Great from obtaining the influence he might otherwise have exerted over the mind of Germany; he offended and wounded the national pride: and, indeed, the contempt he showed for our national literature ought still to afflict us, the descendants of those writers. With the exception of old Gellert, not one of them was encouraged by his gracious benevolence. The conversation which took place between them is curious.'-p. 122.
It is amusing enough; and it has, as far as we know, escaped all the king's biographers. Heine found it in the preface to an old edition of Gellert's poems. Coming to Leipsig, Frederick asked who was the most celebrated savant of the place—and the result of this inquiry was an immediate summons of Professor Gellert. Our old friend Major Quintus Icilius waited till the poet was shaved and equipped with a clean shirt, and then escorted him to the hotel, where the King forth with received him. Gellert looked ill, and complained of his health. • Poh!' said Frederick, 'get on horseback for two or three hours every day, and take a dose of rhubarb once a week, and I'll answer for your cure. I used to have the same symptoms myself in my studious youth. •The rhubarb may do,' replies the professor, but even if I had a horse I could not ride him.' . In that case, doctor, you must take your airing in a carriage. Please your majesty I can't afford that.' 'Aye, aye, doctor, that's always the real complaint of the learned—you must come back and see me sometimes ;' and so the great king bowed out the poor poetand he was never again honoured with any summons to his presence, or other token of his recognition.
We shall not dwell on Mr. Heine's chapter on Kant, who, he says, 'proved the utter worthlessness of all the usual arguments for the existence of a God;' and afterwards had what our author considers as the melancholy baseness to explain or retract this chef-d'æuvre of his genius. Heine assumes, then, that Kant, in his prime vigour of mind was an atheist; but we conceive that he does not state the case correctly. Kant in his first treatise asserted, and he thought no doubt that he had proved, the impossibility of man's establishing the existence of the Deity, without a revelation, by the mere power of his own intellect; and in his second treatise he withdrew from this position. But Heine has no right to overlook the fact that Kant might have adhered to his original doctrine, and been nevertheless a believer in revelation; nor is there, in our opinion, any evidence whatever that Kant at any period of his life disbelieved the existence of the Deity. We next
arrive at the second great name in this illustrious procession, s that of Fichte—whose atheism, or whatever it is to be called,
appears to shock in some degree the pious sensitiveness of our pantheist. M. Heine, who believes his own thumb to be a part of the Divinity, directs his pen as follows:
We who believe in a real God, who reveals himself to our senses in the infinity of space, and to our spirits in the infinity of thoughtwe who adore a God visible in nature, and hear his sacred voice in our own souls—we are affected disagreeably by the cutting, and even ironical, tone in which Fichte declares our God to be a mere chimera. In fact, one can hardly be sure whether it is an irony or an extravagance, when Fichte strips God of all attributes soever, and refuses him even existence, “ because existence is a sensible notion, and is only possible on that condition.” “The doctrine of science,” says he, “ knows no mode of existence but a sensible one, and as we can only ascribe being to the objects of experience, that title can by no means be applicable to God." Thus, the God of Fichte has no existence he is not-he manifests himself only as a pure action, an order of occurrences-ordo ordinans — as the law of the universe. Thus idealism filtered away the deity until there remained of it just nothing." '-vol. i. p. 204.
Fichte's lectures at Jena having excited the alarm of the government of Dresden-as well they might that of any government whose subjects were in the habit of sending their boys to a seat of education thus contaminated a complaint was made to the Grand Duke of Weimar. Fichte would not comprehend that Goethe, then prime minister of this small state, was really desirous of sheltering him, and meant at the worst nothing more serious than a little admonition of greater prudence; the haughty professor would not understand anything of Goethe's political management, but at the first hint of reprehension threw up his chair, and turned his back upon Jena. The poet (himself, according to Heine, a pantheist) was much blamed for what both Atheists and Pantheists in general considered as his unprincipled and illiberal conduct on this great occasion. But Heine for once vindicates the premier of Weimar:
• We can see nothing in Goethe's conduct respecting Fichte to justify the bitter reproaches of so many of their contemporaries. They did not understand the gulf which separated the natures of these two men; and least of all did they appreciate the external position of Goethe. This giant was the minister of a dwarfish state, and his movements were not free. It was said of the seated Jupiter of Phidias, that if he happened to rise he would split the roof of the temple. Such was the position of Goethe at Weimar. If, desiring to emerge from his coiled up quietude, he had but once drawn himself up to his natural stature, he must either have burst the political ceiling, or, what is more likely, cracked his own skull. And why run such a risk for a doctrine which seemed to him not only erroneous but ridiculous ? The German Jupiter remained seated quietly, and quietly submitted to let himself be be-hymned and be-incensed.' p. 201.
We shall find by and bye, that even the martyr Fichte did not quite maintain his ground in the good fight, as would have become him; but he was soon followed and surpassed in the original course of his theory by Schelling; and upon this third oracle our author dwells with greater enthusiasm than he had hitherto displayed : and why? Kant and Fichte are both dead and buried -and after all their several retractations of their primary doctrines were, he thinks, obscure, imperfect, and suspicious: but Schelling, he who far outwent Fichte in the elaboration of this mystery of iniquity-Schelling, from whose own lips Heine himself, in his earlier days, imbibed the manna of pantheism - Schelling has openly apostatised: he is still alive-nay, he may be conversed with any day in the year by any one who visits the enlightened capital of Bavaria. No wonder, then, that the chapter on Schelling should terminate in this solemn and melancholy strain :
Let us conceal or disguise nothing ; let no motive of piety or prudence engage us to be silent: the thinker who in former days developed more audaciously than any other in Germany the religion of pantheism-he who proclaimed the most loudly the sanctification of nature and the re-integration of man in his divine rights—this thinker has played apostate to his own thought; he has quitted the altar which himself had consecrated; he is at present a good catholic, and preaches an extra-mundane God, a personal deity, who has had the madness to create this world! The old believers may, if they please, ring their bells and chant Te Deum in honour of such a conversion; but it proves nothing in favour of their doctrine: it only proves that when a man is old and worn out, when his forces physical and spiritual are alike exhausted, and he can no longer either enjoy or think, he then naturally enough betakes himself to catholicism. How many freethinkers have been converted on their death-beds! But do not be too much lifted up on this account. At best these legends of conversion belong to the department of pathology...... Ballanche has said, “it is a law of nature, that initiators die so soon as they have accomplished their work of initiation.” Alas! my dear Ballanche, this is only in part true: I may maintain with better reason, tliat when the work of initiation is once accomplished, the initiator dies, or becomes an apostate. Schelling's desertion of his own doctrine ought to be considered as only a consequence of a natural law, which has decreed that when a man has consecrated all his energies to the expression or the execution of one idea, that task once fulfilled, he falls exhausted either into the arms of death or into those of his former VOL, LV, NO. cix.