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senses introduces most of the subjective elements. We are thus brought to the conclusion that this world of phenomena" is no more the actual existence than was that other world of "appearances."
At this point the question meets us, Can we know the true existence, or are we shut up to the study of these phenomena ? A large school of thinkers (of which Comte is the representative in France and Lewes in England) assure us that that is the limit of our attainable knowledge, assigning as a reason for their answer that there are subjective elements in these phenomena; that we cannot transcend our own consciousness.
Now I affirm that we can transcend this phenomenal knowledge; that we can eliminate its subjective elements; and that so far from this process being strange in our experience, it is the very means by which all intellectual progress has been made. We are, in fact, only required to repeat with regard to the intellect that which has been accomplished with the senses. Observe that our power to transcend any impression depends upon our possession of some other faculty by which that impression is interpreted. Had we been destitute of intellect, we should have been shut up to the impression of sense, but then, probably, we should never have felt the need of getting beyond them. They were felt to be unsatisfactory and imperfect only because man had within him the latent power of transcending them.
This parallel suggests the à priori probability that we possess some faculty that stands to the intellect in the same relation that the intellect does to the senses, since the need has been felt of "transcending" the knowledge gained by the intellect. This discovery that the world which science reveals is but phenomenal would probably never have been made if we had not some powers which
relate us to the true being of Nature. These powers are the moral faculties. We have used the intellect and the moral faculties apart from each other, as the Greeks used the intellect and the senses, transferring the rightness which we fail to find in this world to a "heaven" which corresponds to the "intelligible" world of the ancient philosophers.
Let us consider what is implied in the doctrine that our intellect presents to us only phenomena. If that which we think of when we think, in the best way we can, of the things around us, does not correspond with that which truly exists, then there is not this book which I hold, this floor on which I stand-but some other existence is, differing from them as the appearance of a book to the eye differs from the book itself. This difference is due to certain elements which our own consciousness introduces into the phenomena. The intellect presents the world to us as inert, dead matter; but that which acts upon us and is the cause of our experience cannot be inert. Inertness is the characteristic of the phenomenon; the true existence, which is spiritual, must act. The reason why that which is active appears to us under the form of a passive necessity is a morbid condition of man whereby negative elements are introduced into his consciousness. It is from his own defect of life that the living world becomes to him dead matter. This condition, affecting as it does the whole of humanity, could not have been detected had it not been revealed to Recognising the true existence, then, as spiritual, we see that it must and can only be apprehended by the moral faculties.
But those moral faculties have themselves to be trained and developed, as in the parallel case of the intellect; they do not come ready-made for the work, but are per
fected by that very work. Thus trained, it will be found that their judgments have an objective validity like those of the intellect, but of higher worth. But although they have to be trained, they will not be transformed; and as the ancient geometry was found to be the key to the processes of Nature, although it was founded on suprasensuous conceptions for the line, point, and plane are inapprehensible to the sense but easily conceived by the intellect so it will be in conceptions paradoxical to the intellect but clear to the moral sense that the key to the world of thought will be found. Right is, in fact, the true test of existence. If a thing is, it is right; if it is wrong, it may on that very account be proved not to be, but only to appear.
I affirm that this is the world on which the moral sense is to exercise its functions, here or nowhere shall we find rightness. If we shut our eyes on that which is, and construct for ourselves some ideal heaven to satisfy the craving of our moral nature, we are making impossible to ourselves all true interpretations of the facts of human life; just as the belief in the "intelligible world," as long as it lasted, made it impossible to find Nature intelligible. We have to "submit ourselves to the righteousness of God" in this sense, not to go about and invent a righteousness for ourselves.
One thing appears to be done in human experience ; ¦ something quite different is being truly effected. do wrong; yes, but wrong is not done. The wrong goes as deep as our our own consciousness, deep enough for responsibility, repentance, punishment, forgiveness, and all the experiences that come out of sin, but not deep enough to stain indelibly the fair work of God. Does not the inmost heart demand this satisfaction, "Yea, let God be true and every man a liar”?
Is not this the true work and privilege of faith, to lay hold on that within the veil, to be emancipated from the thraldom of the appearance through the revelation of the eternal fact?
In looking at pictures, I have noticed this, that there are three ways of painting. There is a way which is bad, atrociously bad-of which there are in many places a great deal too many specimens where the drawing has no accurate resemblance to the objects intended to be delineated. There is another way of drawing, of painting, in which the things put down are very accurately delineated. There is a third way of drawing, in which, if you regard the general impression, the general likeness to the objects much more reminds you of the first than of the second class; but it is altogether a different thing. Yet it would be very difficult indeed for a person without some knowledge of the subject to say why it was different. The objects presented are certainly not more accurately delineated than in the first class of pictures; indeed, in many specimens of the third class the resemblance is more grossly defied than in any bad picture that ever was painted. Now the first of these pictures are bad, and the last class are good; that is, the sense of the competent part of mankind pronounces them good; they give us pleasure, they affect us with a decided sense of being true, although they do absolutely embody an intense and extreme degree of untruth of a certain kind. And between them stands the other class.