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preme truth of all things real, in respect to the first class; and, in respect to the second, the imaginative truths of the mental products, or mental combinations. Of the nature and mode of operation of the Power to which we refer, we know, and can know, nothing ; it is one of those secrets of our being which He who made us has kept to himself. And we should be content with the assurance, that we have in it a sure and intuitive guide to a reverent knowledge of the beauty and grandeur of his works,

nay, of his own adorable reality. And who shall gainsay it, should we add, that this mysterious Power is essentially immanent in that “ breath of life,” by which man be

a living soul ” ? In the following remarks we shall confine ourself to the first class of Ideas, namely, the Real ; leaving the second to be noticed hereafter.

As to number, ideas are limited only by the number of kinds, without direct relation to degrees; every object, therefore, having in itself a distinctive essential, has also its distinct idea ; while two or more objects of the same kind, however differing in degree, must consequently refer only to one and the same.

For instance, though a hundred animals should differ in size, strength, or color, yet, if none of these peculiarities are essential to the species, they would all refer to the same supreme idea.

The same law applies equally, and with the same limitation, to the essential differences in the intellectual, the moral, and the spiritual. All ideas, however, have but a potential existence until they are called into the consciousness by some real object; the required condition of the object being a predetermined correspondence, or correlation. Every such object we term an assimilant.

With respect to those ideas which relate to the physical world, we remark, that, though the assimilants required are supplied by the senses, the senses have in themselves no productive, coöperating energy, being but the passive instruments, or medium, through which they are conveyed. That the

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senses, in this relation, are merely passive, admits of no question, from the obvious difference between the idea and the objects. The senses can do no more than transmit the external in its actual forms, leaving the images in the mind exactly as they found them; whereas the intuitive power rejects, or assimilates, indefinitely, until they are resolved into the proper perfect form. Now the power which prescribes that form must, of necessity, be antecedent to the presentation of the objects which it thus assimilates, as it could not else give consistence and unity to what was before separate or fragmentary. And every one who has ever realized an idea of the class in which alone we compare the assimilants with the ideal form, be he poet, painter, or philosopher, well knows the wide difference between the materials and their result. When an idea is thus realized and made objective, it affirms its own truth, nor can any process of the understanding shake its foundation ; nay, it is to the mind an essential, imperative truth, then emerging, as it were, from the dark potential into the light of reality.

If this be so, the inference is plain, that the relation between the actual and the ideal is one of necessity, and therefore, also, is the predetermined correspondence between the prescribed form of an idea and its assimilant; for how otherwise could the former become recipient of that which was repugnant or indifferent, when the presence of the latter constitutes the very condition by which it is manifested, or can be known to exist ? By actual, here, we do not mean the exclusively physical, but whatever, in the strictest sense, can be called an object, as forming the opposite to a mere subject of the mind.

It would appear, then, that what we call ourself must have a dual reality, that is, in the mind and in the senses, since neither alone could possibly explain the phenomena of the other; consequently, in the existence of either we have clearly implied the reality of both. And hence must follow the still more important truth, that, in the conscious presence of any spiritual fer,

idea, we have the surest proof of a spiritual object; nor is this the less certain, though we perceive not the assimilant. Nay, a spiritual assimilant cannot be perceived, but, to use the words of St. Paul, is “spiritually discerned,” that is, by a sense, so to speak, of our own spirit. But to illustrate by example : we could not, for instance, have the ideas of good and evil without their objective realities, nor of right and wrong, in any intelligible form, without the moral law to which they re

which law we call the Conscience; nor could we have the idea of a moral law without a moral lawgiver, and, if moral, then intelligent, and, if intelligent, then personal; in a word, we could not now have, as we know we have, the idea of conscience, without an objective, personal God. Such ideas may well be called revelations, since, without any perceived assimilant, we find them equally affirmed with those ideas which relate to the purely physical.

But here it may be asked, How are we to distinguish an Idea from a mere notion ? We answer, By its self-affirmation. For an ideal truth, having its own evidence in itself, can neither be proved nor disproved by any thing out of itself; whatever, then, impresses the mind as truth, is truth until it can be shown to be false ; and consequently, in the converse, whatever can be brought into the sphere of the understanding, as a dialectic subject, is not an Idea. It will be observed, however, that we do not say an idea may not be denied ; but

1 to deny is not to disprove. Many things are denied in direct contradiction to fact ; for the mind can comma

mand, and in no measured degree, the power of self-blinding, so that it cannot see what is actually before it. This is a psychological fact, which

may be attested by thousands, who can well remember the time when they had once clearly discerned what has now vanished from their minds. Nor does the actual cessation of these primeval forms, or the after presence of their fragmentary, nay, disfigured relics, disprove their reality, or their original integrity, as we could not else call them up in their proper forms at any future time, to the reacknowledging their

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truth : a resuscitation and result, so to speak, which many have experienced.

In conclusion: though it be but one and the same Power that prescribes the form and determines the truth of all Ideas, there is yet an essential difference between the two classes of ideas to which we have referred; for it may well be doubted whether any Primary Idea can ever be fully realized by a finite mind, — at least in the present state. Take, for instance, the idea of beauty. In its highest form, as presented to the consciousness, we still find it referring to something beyond and above itself, as if it were but an approximation to a still higher form. The truth of this, we think, will be particularly felt by the artist, whether poet or painter, whose mind may be supposed, from his natural bias, to be more peculiarly capable of its highest developement; and what true artist was ever satisfied with any idea of beauty of which he is conscious ? From this approximated form, however, he doubtless derives a high degree of pleasure, nay, one of the purest of which his nature is capable ; yet still is the pleasure modified, if we may so express it, by an undefined yearning for what he feels can never be realized. And wherefore this craving, but for the archetype of that which called it forth ?

When we say not satisfied, we do not mean discontented, but simply not in full fruition. And it is better that it should be so, since one of the happiest elements of our nature is that which continually impels it towards the indefinite and unattainable. So far as we know, the like limits may be set to every other primary idea,

as if the Creator had reserved to himself alone the possible contemplation of the archetypes of his universe.

With regard to the other class, that of Secondary Ideas, which we have called the reflex product of the mind, their distinguishing characteristic is, that they not only admit of a perfect realization, but also of outward manifestation, so as to be communicated to others. All works of imagination, so called, present examples of this. Hence they may also be termed imitative or imaginative. For, though they draw their assimilants from the actual world, and are likewise regulated by the unknown Power before mentioned, yet are they but the forms of what, as a whole, have no actual existence ; they are nevertheless true to the mind, and are made so by the same Power which affirms their possibility. This species of Truth we shall hereafter have occasion to distinguish as Poetic Truth.

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