Transcendentalism in New England; A History

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9781231063743: Transcendentalism in New England; A History

This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1903 Excerpt: ...for instance, asks the Transcendentalist, can the sensational philosophy of Locke and his disciples give us anything approaching to a certainty of the existence of God? The senses furnish no evidence of it. God is not art object of sensation. He is not seen, felt, heard, tasted or smelt. The objects of sense are material, local, incidental; God is immaterial, universal, eternal. The objects of sense are finite; but a finite God is no God; for God is infinite. Is it said that by men of old, bible men, God was seen, heard, clasped in human arms? The reply is, that whatever Being was so apparent and tangible, could not have been God. To the assertion that the Being announced himself as God,--the infinite,the eternal God,--the challenge straightway is given: To whom did he say it? How can it be proved that he said it? Is the record of his saying it authentic? Might not the Being have made a false statement? Can we be certain there was no mental hallucination? Suppose these and other doubts of a similar character dispelled, still, hearing is not knowing. All we have is a tradition of God, a legend, a rumor, a dim reminiscence, that passes like a shadow across men's minds. The appeal to miracle is set aside by historical skepticism. The wonder lacks evidence; and to prove the wonder a miracle, is beyond achievement. A possibility, or at most, a probability of God's existence is all that sensationalism, with every advantage given it, can supply. And if this philosophy fails to give an assurance of God's existence, the failure to throw light on his attributes is more signal. The senses report things as they exist in relations, not as they exist in themselves. Neither absolute power, absolute wisdom nor absolute goodness is hinted at by the senses. The visible syste...

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