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there is no veritable statement of facts relating to Christ in the New Testament, Christianity could still survive, because the human “Consciousness” would assure us of its truth? This, in our estimation, is a stupid and enormous absurdity. The fact that Christianity has now any hold upon this consciousness, and that, (to borrow our author's phraseology,) it has hitherto “ actuated itself as a divine life in the soul," arises from the unquestioned inspiration and reliableness of these gospel narratives. Whenever their inspiration has been denied, Christianity has virtually died; and if we could really entertain the supposition which our author takes special delight in thrusting forward, it would die out of the world, and perish even from the “deep Consciousness” of all such Christian philosophers as Mr. Miles. We are astounded that any sensible man should become so perverted and bewildered by a mystical and transcendental philosophy, as to be guilty of soberly propounding such sentiments.
When Mr. Miles walks with his master, he goes into paths sufficiently dark and crooked; but when he breaks away from Mr. Morell, and strikes out into original speculations and goes to interrogating his own consciousness for oracular utterances of divine truth, his failures are signally mortifying. He has a curious chapter, which we take to be altogether an original and independent affair, entitled “ Basis in the necessary conceptions of Reason for belief in the Incarnation." The great mystery of revelation, God manifest in the flesh, is here treated as something that might have been anticipated by a philosopher of the transcendental order, whose religious consciousness was suitably developed. We presume that other sages of this School, (comprising a vast majority, no doubt,) would controvert this opinion with energetic hostility. The whole Socinian section, however pleased with the general principles of this volume, would be seriously outraged at this particular application of them, and would pronounce our author's consciousness wanting in suitable cultivation. In their estimation, the Incarnation is a pure and palpable absurdity. Indeed, one of Mr. Miles's own followers, in an approving review of his work in the Southern Quarterly, is constrained to part company with him on this subject, and proceeds to upset his boasted demonstration. It is certainly proof of our author's boldness and Christian sincerity, that, adopting a skeptical philosophy, he has sought to employ its principles in establishing the distinguishing peculiarities of our faith-though to little purpose. That the Incarnation is credible, we of course do not doubt, simply because we have sufficient evidence to commend it to our belief; but that any such basis for the doctrine can be found in the necessary conceptions of the human mind, as to render it especially rational and acceptable, is utterly without proof. If men were to let their decision upon this fact turn upon finding such a basis, this great initial doctrine of Christianity would, we fear, be generally repudiated as absurd and impossible. The truth is, it is precisely one of these momentous facts which transcend human reason, whether pure or practical, which the mind, unable to prove to be incredible, is bound to accept upon suitable testimony, in the exercise of faith.
Mr. Miles goes even further than this, and with a temerity that nothing can daunt, or restrain, brings his “intuitions" and “necessary conceptions,” to bear upon another doctrine of revelation, the highest and most awful, perhaps, of its impenetrable mysteries, the Trinity. On this subject, the solemn grandeur of which should have repelled his puny attempts at philosophizing, he gives us a considerable quantity of mystical nonsense, winding up with this, to himself, satisfactory conclusion :-"Our argument, then, may be so far useful as to show that the plurality in the Divine essence is not a mere question of scholastic paradoxes, but is bound up with ontological conceptions, which necessarily arise when we attempt to realize philosophically and definitely the idea of a personal Infinite Being." It is provoking to see men, who fling away as worthless, or discredit by the epithets of disparagement, proofs which establish a great doctrine in human conviction, bringing that doctrine to their petty square and line, and after applying, with easy grace, their Lilliputian implements of measurement, coolly assuring us that all is right now, and we may believe with entire safety!
T'here are many other points in this treatise which deserve attention, but we have prosecuted our examination as far as is proper. The principles on which we have commented, and on which this volume is constructed, have now been at work for some years. The first time that we remember to have seen them presented in a form to arrest our attention, was about ten years ago, in a philosophic religious romance, entitled “ Charles Elwood," written by the somewhat famous Orestes A. Brownson. That work was not unlike the one we have been reviewing; it is true it went somewhat furtherwas written with more boldness and power, and evinced much less respect for the vital elements of Christianity, but its principles were very much the same. It was written, too, with the specific design of converting the Atheist to sometbing
that bore the name, if it had none of the characteristics, of Christianity, and it succeded (not quite so easily perhaps as did Mr. Miles) in accomplishing this result. It is an instructive fact, that Mr. Brownson has since taken refuge from his philosophy and “ Consciousness," amidst the prodigious absurdities of Romish tradition and dogmatism. So one extreme is ever apt to drive to another. We respectfully suggest that Mr. Miles may learn a lesson from this incident.
There is one aspect in which this work is contemplated by us with some gratification. It shows that the writer, in a community where High Churchism predominates, and under a bishop understood to lean strongly towards Puseyism, is not under the bondage of " sacramental grace.” He speaks out plainly and loudly against the authority of the Church. Tradition has no charms for him. Had he evinced a stronger confidence in the sacred records, and a more moderate estimate of the powers of human reason, we should have had no occasion for controverting the positions of his “Philosophic Theology."
ART. VIII.-SKETCH OF PRESIDENT TAYLOR.
GENERAL TAYLOR is the second President of the United States who has died in the discharge of his official duties. Within the brief period of nine years, but one year more than Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, and Jackson severally administered the government, the United States has had six Presidents. Two of them, Harrison and Taylor, died in office ; Mr. Polk immediately after the expiration of his term ; the three survivors are Mr. Van Buren, Mr. Tyler, and President Fillmore.
The death of President Taylor is an event which demands something more than a formal announcement. curred so soon after the first public notice of his illness, and so soon after he had participated in the negotiation of important questions, that although we were prepared for the event, the solemn fact that he was dead startled the whole nation. That he would die before he had completed the second year of his term had not entered into the calculations of any mind. One who had encountered so many perils and
so much exposure, and who had' strengthened a vigorous constitution by his temperance and prudence, it was supposed, would endure, as he had always endured, and come out of the trial victorious. But that Divine Providence which had sheltered him in the storm of battle, and which had enabled him to bear the flag of his country triumphant over so many fields, had otherwise decreed, and he rests from bis labors.
It is our purpose to give a sketch of the life of President Taylor. The station which he adorned, no less than his many and peculiar claims to the admiration of all who admire true excellence, demnand a cordial and generous tribute to his character. In the midst of present difficulties, with the tempest of sectional jealousy blowing about us, with the rock of Disunion directly in our course, the people of all sections and parties could look to him as the good Palinurus who would guide us into the haven of peace and security.
Zachary Taylor was born in Orange county, Virginia, in the year 1784. His father was a Colonel in the Continental army, and fought at the battle of Trenton by the side of Washington. When six years old, his family emigrated to Kentucky, where they were surrounded by hostile Indians. At this distance of time, and in this hour of security, we cannot realize the extent of the dangers that awaited the pioneers in the Western country. The tomahawk, and the scalping knife, and the yell of the savage, were as familiar to them as the return of morning light. Exposed to scenes of blood and violence were the early days of General Taylor. Washington and John Quincy Adams were taught to speak the name of their Creator by pious and conscientious mothers, and it is said that Taylor's mother was scrupulously exact in his early training; and to her blessed influence he was indebted for that refined sense of honor and acute sensibility, that generosity and sincere love of the truth, which adorned his years of active life. From his father, who was an actor in the Revolution, he imbibed a love of military glory. In 1808 he received from President Jefferson his first commission as Lieutenant in the Seventh Regiment of the Army of the United States. In 1812 he had attained the rank of Captain, and was ordered to the West to aid in repelling the border warfare, which followed the surrender of Gen. Hull's army. In the course of this year he defended Fort Harrison with but fifty men, in the heart of the Indian country. The savages fired the fort at midnight. He rallied his men, extinguished the flames, and by his indomitable courage main
tained his position until relieved by superior force. For this gallant achievement he was brevetted a Major by President Madison.
The long interval of twenty years of peace, which succeeded the war of 1812, found Major Taylor at the various posts assigned him, in the quiet pursuit of his ordinary duties. In 1832 he distinguished himself in the Black Hawk war, and was promoted to the rank of Colonel. In the Florida war he commanded the Sixth Infantry. The contest with the Indians in Florida is one of the most memorable in our annals, as they had, after years of continued hostility, always evaded the skill and bravery of the American forces. Hitherto it had been found impossible to induce those Indians to undertake a general engagement, but Colonel Taylor accomplished this end, and his conduct of the campaign was so much approved by the Government, that he was intrusted with the chief command in Florida. This command he held until 1840, when he resigned it, and was ordered to the command of the First Department of the Southern Division of the Army, bearing now the title of Brigadier General by brevet.
The relations between the United States and the Republic of Mexico, growing out of the annexation of Texas, now began to assume a portentous aspect. Dr. Channing, as far back as 1836, in his celebrated letters addressed to Mr. Clay, endeavored to enlist the powerful influence of that eminent statesman against the annexation, and in those letters he portrayed the mighty evils which must ensue. Mr. Clay, at a subsequent date, both before and after the annexation, warned the country that a war with Mexico would be the result of that measure. In anticipation of a collision, General Taylor was ordered, in 1845, 10 place the forces under his command in such a position that he might defend Texas, and afterwards take up a position on the Rio Grande.
It was not long after this order was issued when our Government declared a state of war to exist with Mexico. General Taylor was now the commander of the American army of occupation. The events of that campaign, following each other in such rapid succession, are among the most remarkable in the annals of warfare. For accuracy of judgment, comprehensive detail, invincible courage, modest prudence, collected wisdom, and generous humanity, not an example can be furnished, either in ancient or modern history, in which these high qualities were so completely united and active as in this chapter in the life of Taylor.
As we recur to that interesting period in our national his