by Paul Elmer More

We are perhaps hearing too much of Rousseau these days, and he threatens to become a kind of fetich of criticism. To the French he is, more than any other one man, the author of the Revolution with all the subsequent good or evil implied in that movement. And now the Germans have discovered in him the father of their romanticism. "In reality his influence is accomplished on German soil," says Paul Hensel in the latest monograph on the subject; "here Rousseau was not the basis of a guillotine, but of a new culture .... Kant and Herder, Goethe and Schiller are not to be conceived without Rousseau, and through them is formed the new science, the new philosophy, the new poetry of German idealism." One has an impulse to avoid a theme that has grown cheap from too much writing of this sort; but how escape the writer who gathered up in himself the floating ideas of his age, and, by simplifying them to a portable creed and infusing into them the carrying power of his own great personality, made them the chief formative influence down to our own times?

Only by keeping in view this new emotional element can we understand how the intellectual life of to-day has its source in Rousseau more than in any other single man, for the ideas themselves--liberty and progress and natural religion and innate goodness--were in no wise original with him. If, indeed, disregarding the complexities of a civilisation and obscurer influences, we undertake to analyse the revolution of the eighteenth century, we shall find that the guiding principles and the original dynamic impulse of the age came from England, that the translation of these into a homogeneous social law was the work of France, and that their conversion into a metaphysical formula was finally accomplished by Germany. Certainly, the starting place of this movement, the caldron, so to speak, in which this great fermentation began, was the turbulent England of the seventeenth century. There, the notion of liberty took practical form in the acts of the Rebellion and the Revolution and in the writings of such republicans as Algernon Sidney. Is it not almost, if not quite, the accent of Rousseau's Contrat Social we hear in Sidney's brave reply to Hobbes and Filmer: "If men are naturally free, such as have wisdom and understanding will always frame good governments; but if they are born under the necessity of a perpetual slavery, no wisdom can be of use to them"? Certainly, too, the most fecund idea taken over by the nineteenth century from its predecessor, the conception of indefinite moral progress based on the accumulating knowledge of physical laws, had been proclaimed by Bacon with the grandiose fervour of a Hebrew prophet. And the accompanying change of religion from a belief in superrational revelation to a rational deism was also formulated in England. It was Lord Herbert of Cherbury who, as far back as 1624 in his De Veritate, gave the first clear exposition of religion as the product of a purely natural instinct. Later he resolved this religious instinct into five theses which became the "charter of the deists," and which may be found simplified and summed up in the three articles of Chubb's True Gospel. There is, if we may believe that inspired tallow-chandler of Salisbury, no demand in the Gospel for subscribing to a supernatural scheme of salvation, nor is the new birth anything more than a "figure of speech." On the contrary, "the Gospel of Christ is a plain, simple, uniform thing," as thus:

First, he [Christ] requires and recommends [note the curiously unreligious word] a conformity of mind and life to that eternal and unalterable rule of action which is founded in the reason of things, and makes or declares that compliance to be the only, and the sole ground of divine acceptance, and the only, and the sure way to life eternal. Secondly, if men have lived in a violation of this righteous law, by which they have rendered themselves displeasing to God, and worthy of his just resentment; then Christ requires and recommends repentance and reformation of their evil ways as the only, and the sure grounds of the divine mercy and forgiveness. And Thirdly, Christ assures us that God has appointed a time in which he will judge the world in righteousness, and that he will then approve or condemn, reward or punish every man according to his works.[1]
It is worth while to quote this remarkably lucid summary of deism, unobscured as it is by the glamour of the imagination thrown over the creed by Shaftesbury and his school, if only to show how closely Rousseau, who was well-read in these authors, adhered to his sources. Here, in a paragraph, is the whole skeleton of the Profession de foi. And here in few words is, without the surrender of a religious semblance altogether, the last and inevitable stage of that Pelagianism against which St. Augustine had for the time inveighed so successfully and under which the Port-Royal of Pascal was at last beaten down.

It is by no means easy to trace the evolution of our secular belief in the essential goodness of human nature. It was implicit, no doubt, in the first contention of Pelagianism that salvation is primarily the work of man, but it has become the driving force of society only since the notion of a needed reconciliation with God has been quite eliminated. Nor was it a product of the Renaissance in so far as that movement implied a return to the past. Total depravity may have been Christian and mediaeval; but total goodness can find no authority in the classical writers of Greece and Rome, and is, in fact, the mark of modern humanitarianism as distinguished from Renaissance humanism. It should seem to be rather a secularisation of mediaeval theology, if such a term is not self-contradictory. Grant the longing for personal justification and supreme bliss which passed from the Middle Ages into the freer emotional life of the Renaissance, take away the supernatural scheme of redemption, and the Pelagian confidence in man's ability to satisfy God might easily pass into a belief that human nature, being essentially right, has within itself the power to expand indefinitely, without any act of renunciation, toward some far-off, vaguely-glimpsed, "divine event."

The ideas of progress and innate goodness are thus companions; they sprang up side by side with humanism, but they are not a product of the classical revival in the sense that humanism was such a revival, and in the end they killed humanism. Nothing is more curious throughout the seventeenth and the first half of the eighteenth century than the way in which the contradictory notions of essential evil and essential goodness alternate with each other, sometimes in the same writer. The neo-classicists as a rule, the great human moralists of France, have no doubt of the inherent selfishness and depravity of the human heart; and a pure sceptic like Bayle, at a time when deism was in full vein, can still be absolutely convinced that "man is incomparably more drawn to evil than to good." The English deists on the other hand were necessarily driven to believe in man's native soundness; for what indeed is the excuse for natural religion if nature is estranged from the supreme good? Yet even here there are strange compromises and inconsistencies. A Bolingbroke might preach philosophically that this is the best of worlds, but as a politician and somewhat deeply versed man of the world he treated mankind with a perfectly cynical distrust. Nowhere does this contrast glare more impudently than in Pope, who learnt his satire from Dryden and the nco-classicists and his optimism from Bolingbroke and the deists; and Pope, it must be remembered, was accepted seriously as a moral teacher not only in England but in France and Germany as well. Nothing is more bewildering than to read Pope's general justification of human passions and instincts in his Essay on Man and then in the same poem to find his scathing denunciation of these passions in a Bacon or a Gripus (his friend Mr. Wortley Montagu). On one page we find this pleasant optimism:

The surest virtues thus from passions shoot,
Wild Nature's vigour working at the root;
but turn the leaf and all is changed:
As man, perhaps, the moment of his breath,
Receives the lurking principle of death;
The young disease, that must subdue at length,
Grows with his broth and strengthens with his strength;
So, east and mingled with his very frame,
The mind's disease, its ruling passion came.
Pope might try to carry this double-faced attitude off under the effrontery of assuming an enormous paradox in the nature of things, but it was in truth a real inconsistency due to the confusion of two diverse tendencies of thought. Did not Voltaire also, the spokesman of the age, pass his life ridiculing the pretensions of mankind to virtue and at the same time advocating the liberation of mankind from the restraints that would keep vice within bounds? It required more than one century to root out the ancient conviction that the heart of man is naturally disposed to evil.

Meanwhile, it is dear that these dominating ideas of the age, whether they received their vital force from England or France or elsewhere, all imply a denial of that sense of dualism which hitherto had lain at the base of religion and philosophy, and that lacking this sense they seem always to be shirking certain of the more troublesome problems of life. The artificiality of that literature has become a proverb. This is not to say that the eighteenth century did not have its own theories of dualism. There was in Germany, for instance, that amusing doctrine of the harmonia praestabilita, spun by a discursive wit who imposed on the world as a profound philosopher. "The soul," says Leibnitz, "follows its proper laws, and the body likewise follows those which are proper to it, and they meet in virtue of the preestablished harmony which exists between all substances, as representations of one and the same universe." According to which system, "bodies act as if there were no souls, and souls act as if there were no bodies, and yet both act as though the one influenced the other," etc. But these vagaries of a mechanical parallelism are, so to speak, a by-product of the age, developed from the metaphysics of Descartes, aside from the naturalistic influences of England. The dominating line of thought runs from Newton and Locke,[2] who formulated the laws of nature in the physical world and in the human intellect, through the French philosophes, to Condillac, who banishes dualism so far as to derive the whole man, including Locke's reflective faculty, the moral sense, and consciousness, from the effect of physical impact.

One thing was wanting to all these theories--to the dead parallelism of Leibnitz, to the moral rationalism of Toland and Chubb, to Shaftesbury's florid deism of the imagination, to the cynical or boisterous philosophy of Voltaire and Diderot--they all excluded the sense of that deep cleft within the human soul itself, which springs from the bitter consciousness of evil. This, in a way, Rousseau supplied, and through him what was a theme of speculation for the few was vivified into a new gospel.

How thoroughly Rousseau was a child of his age is proved by the continual recurrence of English names in his works. Intellectually, he has little that is original; his deism, his passion for liberty, his doctrine of instinctive goodness, are all avowedly from over the sea, and even his minor ideas can, for the most part, be traced to various predecessors. It was because he made all these subservient to a passionate proclamation of a dualism between the individual and society, between nature and art, that he became so powerfully provocative of change. In a way, even this dogma--for it is as arbitrary a dogma as any set up by St. Augustine--was not his own. It may be found implicit in English deism, in the discrepancy between Pope's praise of the savage, to whom "full instinct is the unerring guide," and his satire of a malignant society; it underlies the Night Thoughts of Young:

... These tutelary shades
Are man's asylum from the tainted throng;
it could even, in a later day, temper the rigid orthodoxy of Cowper:
God made the country, and man made the town.
In his Fable of the Bees Mandeville had given it an odd twist by vindicating the old notion of inherent evil and making the progress of society depend on this corruption of the individual. But these were unfruitful hints and thoughtless inconsistencies; they became a social force through the temperament of one man who, as Madame de Stael said, discovered perhaps nothing, but set everything ablaze.

From lonely brooding on his own divided self, Rousseau was led to erect the dualism implicit in the philosophy of his day into a formula with all the popular persuasiveness of a religion. The Pelagian doctrine of man's potential goodness united with his intense egotism to create the idea of the individual, conceived in himself and unmodified by others, as a pure uncontaminated product of nature. He, Rousseau, was, he felt, by his instincts good, yet he was painfully aware of his actual lapses into turpitude and shame; he could only shift the responsibility of this corruption upon outside influences. Here was no room for the Augustinian idealisation of the good in man as an infinite God set over against the finite and hence erring natural man, nor for the conception of man as bearing within himself infinitely diverse promptings toward good and evil; on the contrary, he was driven to the idealisation of his own personality, and of every personality in so far as he projected himself into another, as good, and of other personalities, in so far as they are hostile to him and limit or pervert his native proclivities, as evil. Hence the dualism of the individual regarded in the state of nature and in the state of society, of the one and the many without the old accompaniment of the infinite and the finite. And evil to Rousseau was not a thing of jest and satire, but, by the whole weight of his emotional being, a power to be feared and spurned. As embodied in society it looms up in his writings like some living and malign monster, lying in wait to corrupt and destroy the unwary individual. It is the Devil of the mediaeval monks reborn in the height of the boastful age of reason to trouble the consciences of men, for who can say how long a time.

The first serious work of Rousseau was the prize essay, written at the age of thirty-eight, on the question proposed by the Academy of Dijon as to Whether the Progress of Science and Art has Contributed to Corrupt or Purify Morals. Either by the advice of Diderot or, more probably, by the natural bent of his mind, he there advocated the thesis, by no means so novel as he seems to have believed, that civilisation results in the perversion of society. It is at best a slight academic exercise, but it fell in with the mood of the day sufficiently to arouse discussion, and gave the author a position to defend. Five years later, in 1755, he published his Discourse on Inequality, in which this theory is found fully developed. Here we have the picture of primitive man, living in solitude, mating by chance, and following undisturbed his healthy animal instincts. The first law of nature is love of self, and in this paradise of primeval isolation there is nothing to distort that innocent impulse. When by chance man meets with man he is kept from wrongdoing by the feeling of sympathy and pity which is, after the instinct of self-preservation, the second law of nature. But--"The first man who, having enclosed some land, thought of saying 'this is mine,' and found people simple enough to believe him, was the real founder of civilised society. How many crimes, wars, murders, how many miseries and horrors would have been spared human nature had some one snatched away the stakes, or filled in the ditch, calling out to his neighbours: 'Beware of listening to this impostor'!"[3] With the acknowledgment of property comes the division of more and less out of which springs all the brood of ambitions, crimes, penalties. Sympathy is stifled in envy, and harmless amour de soi-meme is converted into that social disease amour-propre; in a word, property means society. There is nothing fanciful in comparing this marvellous change from the individual in a state of natural innocence to the same individual as corrupted by society with the theological doctrine of the Fall. They are both an attempt to transfer the inexplicable dualism within the heart of man to some ancient mythological event; nor does Rousseau denounce the evil introduced by property with less unctuous and priestly fervour than was used by a Bossuet in laying bare the depths of total depravity. For the rest of his life he merely developed in various ways the thesis of his Discourse on Inequality. As he said himself at the end of his career, speaking of his own works:

Following as best I could the thread of his meditations, I saw everywhere the development of his main principle, that nature has made man happy and good, but that society depraves him and renders him miserable. And particularly Emile, that book so much read, so little understood, and so ill appreciated, is nothing but a treatise on the original goodness of man, with the aim of showing how vice and error, strangers to his constitution, are introduced from without and imperceptibly work a change.
In reality Emile is something more than a treatise on original goodness; it is an elaborate plea for a form of education by which the individual may be rescued from the perverting influences of society and restored to his primitive state of innocence. It is thus in a manner to the Discourse what Paradise Regained is to Paradise Lost. The instincts implanted in the child by nature are right; therefore the aim of education is to place the child in such a position that these instincts may develop freely without any thwarting control from master or society. To this end he separates his typical child Emile from family and comrades, and gives him a home in the country with a guardian, whose duty is, not to instruct, but to preserve him from physical accidents, and to act as a kind of concealed Providence. Books during his early years are eschewed; all information is brought to the boy through the pleasure of observing natural processes and through play cunningly directed to manual training. Such a plan is, as Rousseau willingly acknowledged, impossible except for a favoured few, if not for all; but as an ideal toward which education might tend, it has exercised through the theories of Pestalozzi, Froebel, and other German pedagogues an enormous influence, and is still to-day the inspiration of most writers on education. In part the book is admirably wise; in its provision for training the body, in many other details, even, one gladly admits, in its opposition to an unreasoning system of compression, it was not only a wholesome reaction from the practice of the day, but is full of suggestions of permanent value. But there is a growing belief among a certain class that the fundamental thesis of the book has worked, and is still working, like a poison in the blood of society. To make instinct instead of experienced judgment the basis of education, impulse instead of control, unbridled liberty instead of obedience, nature instead of discipline, to foster the emotions as if the uniting bond of mankind were sentiment rather than reason, might seem of itself so monstrous a perversion of the truth as to awaken abhorrence in any considerate reader. And, indeed, these notions were slow in making their way against long-established traditions. Yet so honorable is the name of liberty, even when it is a mask for license, so flattering is the appeal to the individual's desire of unchecked autonomy, that Rousseau's "education of nature" has deeply modified, if it has not entirely transformed, the practice of our schools. It is seen at work in the vagaries of the elective system, in the advocating of manual training as an equivalent for books, in the unbounded enthusiasm for nature-study, in the encroachment of science on the character-discipline of the humanities, in the general substitution of persuasion for authority. To some observers certain traits of irresponsibility in the individual and certain symptoms of disintegration in society are the direct fruit of this teaching.

To find the source of the nature-cult raised by Rousseau to so predominant a place in imaginative literature it might seem sufficient to go back to English naturalism, and no doubt many pages of the Nouvelle Heloise and of Emile were in this respect inspired by Shaftesbury and Thomson and the other deists. More particularly The Wanderer (1729) of Richard Savage and that strange and neglected book, The Life of John Buncle (published in 1756, five years before the Nouvelle Heloise), are filled with a Rousselian mixture of deistic enthusiasm and grandiose eloquence on the aspect of romantic mountain scenery. But there is withal a new accent in Rousseau, which derives its penetrating quality from his developed dualism of the individual and society, and which renders him the true father of modern nature-writing. Man before the social Fall was a compound of harmless self-love and sentimental sympathy. Whoever seeks any spark of this innocence in an age when self-love is changed to egotism and sympathy to envy must go out from society and make his peace alone with Nature. There, by a pathetic fallacy, the sympathy which he vainly demands of men flows to him freely from the beauty and solitude of the inanimate world; there he meets no contrary will to frustrate his own, nothing to prevent him from personifying his emotions in some alter-ego that smiles at him benignly from field and brook, echoes his loneliness, and weeps with his self-pity.

From this it is but a step to the religion of Nature. Everybody is familiar with the scene in Emile where the Savoyard vicar leads his young friend at sunrise to a hill rising above the fair valley of the Po and looking off afar to the chain of the Alps, and there in language of melting charm expounds his profession of faith. There is much that is discordant in the ideas of that document. The retention of the old belief in a heaven and hell has no justification in Rousseau's theory of man's essential goodness, and in fact might without injury be removed from his profession. The gist of his faith is a pure deism, a trustful reliance on some beneficent God who is united with Nature by a mutual sympathy corresponding to that which he himself feels, and who is in fact no more than a magnified projection of his own innocent personality into the infinite void--himself and Nature, God and Nature. Beyond this is no need of dogma or revelation or faith. Rousseau felt the instability of such a religion, and recommended a compliance with the popular forms of worship in whatever land a man might be, as a guide and stay, so to speak, to this vague emotionalism. It is a pretty theory, not without its advantages, and has warmed the fancy of more than one poet to noble utterance. But it has one insurmountable element of weakness. It depends for its strength, for its very vitality, on the more precise faith of those whose worship it adopts. So long as these believe energetically in the virtue of forms and creeds, your deist may prey upon their emotions; but a lasting church made up of deists is inconceivable. Rousseau's deism in fact came toward the end and not at the beginning of a movement; it flashed out into a grotesque worship of the Etre Supreme at the Revolution, but it has had no permanent and fruitful results. Rousseau has, more than any other one man, given us our religion of today, but it is a religion of the State, and not of God.

That change from theology to sociology is announced in the most radical of his works. "There is then," he says, "a profession of faith purely civil of which it pertains to the sovereign [people] to fix the principles, not exactly as dogmas of religion, but as sentiments of sociability without which it is impossible to be a good citizen or a faithful subject." The determining principle of this creed is the sanctity of the Social Contract as he has developed it in his treatise of that name. Man, he declares in his opening sentence, with that precision and vehemence that have made his words the battle cry of revolution --"man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains." Property has introduced a harsh inequality among men, and established those conventions of society upon which rests the right of the stronger. There is but one way in which liberty can be restored: society itself must be transformed into a composite individual equivalent so far as possible to the isolated individual in the state of nature. That is the work of the Social Contract. His theories reduce themselves to this single proposition:

The complete alienation of each associate with all his rights to the whole community; for, in the first place, each man giving himself entirely, the condition is equal for all; and, the condition being equal for all, no one has any interest in rendering it burdensome to the others [oh, most holy innocence!] .... Each of us places his person and all his power in common under the supreme direction of the general will, and we receive back each member as an indivisible part of the whole.
It would not be fair to say that Rousseau himself was unaware of the absurdity in supposing that all men, granted even that the nature of humanity is essentially good, will thus surrender their separate desires and ambitions to this phantom of the common interest; he endeavours to obviate such criticism by a shadowy distinction between the volonte generale and the volonte de tous, and indeed, it must be remembered that always he has in mind an ideal rather than any facile and probable revolution. At bottom his proposal comes to this: by some persuasion of a divine legislator (he has an eye on himself) or some intervention of Providence that sense of sympathy, which we found in the natural man along with a harmless self-love, may miraculously take possession of mankind, now corrupted by society into a conglomeration of warring egotisms, and transform that society itself into a quasi individual with a single purpose and a single will; and so the antinomy of the one and the many shall be finally solved. It is a vain utopia or a prophecy of terrible despotism, as you will; but you cannot doubt that this ideal of social sympathy has wrought enormously in the civilisation of the present day.

In part, Rousseau's influence was gained by his pure literary talent. His was the faculty of creating phrases which remain in the memory after all the inconsistencies and chimerical follies of his writings have been forgotten, and which ring like trumpet calls to action. But beneath it all lies the daemonic personality of the writer, the inexplicable force that imposed the experience of this man Rousseau--vagabond as he was, a foe of convention, betrayer of sacred trust, morbid self-analyst ending with fixed hallucination of a conspiracy of society against him--the magic glamour that imposed the private emotions of this man upon the world. As the creed of Christianity came to the Middle Ages coloured by the intense self-absorption of St. Augustine's Confessions, so the new faith has flamed up from the Confessions of Rousseau. The Roman had set an example for the pride of the saints; our modern confessor proclaimed a similar pride for all the weak and downtrodden. In the audacity of his self-justification as of one who dares say I am that I am, in his boastful admission that it was always impossible for him to act contrary to his inclination, in his defiant cry against a Providence that caused him to be born among men yet made him of a different species from them, in all this itching to exhibit himself, he was the father of romanticism and of a morbid individualism that seeks to hide itself under the cloak of a collective ideal.

For in reality his double motive of self-love and sympathy was one thing, and not two. The full development of the notion of sympathy will be found in Adam Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments, where either independently or through the influence of Rousseau's Discourse morality is based systematically on that sense. Both the Scot and the Frenchman would perhaps admit that, to a certain extent, sympathy, as the faculty of putting one's self in the place of another, is a phase of amour-propre, in so far as we are led thereby to convert the pain of others into fear for ourselves and the joy of others into hope for ourselves. But neither of them recognises the cognate truth that when the condition of others is conceived in a causal relation to ourselves this order is reversed. That is to say, if the pain or loss of another in any way contributes to our own advantage, we rejoice in it, even when the feeling of uneasiness remains more or less consciously present; and contrariwise with the joy or gain of another which effects our own disadvantage. Thus a son must harbour some satisfaction in the death of a father whereby he comes into an estate; while at the same time he may feel a sorrow derived both from the severance of long ties and from the uneasy foreboding of his own future fate as brought home to him by the present example. It is because of this ambiguous character of sympathy that it can never take the place of discipline and justice in regulating the affairs of men; as it is at best an extension of self-love, so it is always, when interests clash, in peril of unmasking as downright selfishness. A little honest observation of the actual working of Rousseauism in modern society would confirm this opinion only too cruelly.[4]

It will have been remarked that one leading idea of the eighteenth century finds no place in Rousseau's system; the idea of progress he even repudiated. Yet, by a paradox, the believers in progress have found in him weapons ready-forged to their hands; for that doctrine, it is clear, derives its strength from a trust in the essential and natural rightness of human instincts, which need only freedom to develop into right institutions. In practice, however, this faith in evolution has assumed seemingly diverse forms as it has attached itself to the principle of self-love or sympathy. On the one hand we have the unabashed acceptance of egotism as worked out in the philosophy of Nietzsche, and as shown in the unconscious acts of the dominant controllers of the material world. Nietzsche's theory is beautifully simple. Society as he sees it now existent is a conspiracy against the individual. The religious creeds, with their preaching of sympathy and renunciation, the curbing laws of the State, are merely an organised hypocrisy by which the few strong are held in subjection to the many weak. In time the Will to Power (der Wille zur Macht) will become conscious and assert itself; then the instincts of the strong will break from pusillanimous control, and we shall have an harmonious civilisation in which the few, following their unhampered desires, will rise on the labours of the submissive many, as now man makes use of a beast of burden. On the other side stands the whole group of theories known as Socialism. To Marx and his followers mankind is divided between the great mass of workers and the few capitalists who by the iron law of wages exploit them ruthlessly. Such a condition is the result of economic evolution; it will be cured when the workers, through the growth of class-consciousness, learn their sovereign power, and take full possession of the sources of production and wealth. Competition and all its consequent suffering will thus cease when the people are welded into a unit by sympathy. The workers are in the solidarity of their interests a kind of individual oppressed and corrupted by the privileged class who represent the traditional institutions of the State.

It might seem fanciful to derive systems so contrary in tendency from the same origin, yet both are alike in that they regard the evils of civilisation as caused by that dualism of the individual and society, which was imposed upon the world as a new religion by one who sought in this way to escape the burden of personal responsibility. Both look to relief in the solution of that antinomy through the application of natural science to human affairs and through the resulting free development of man's natural instincts, one in the direction of egotism, the other of sympathy. Nor is this difference of direction so real as may appear. It is like a bad jest to suppose that under the Nietzschean regime, when the liberated superman has thrown off all sense of responsibility and self-control, the masses would not be driven by unity of interests to combine for retaliation. To many it will seem an equally bad jest to pretend that a social sympathy based avowedly on class hatred would not, if relieved from the constraint of that opposition, fly into an anarchy of egotisms. One wonders curiously, or sadly sometimes, that the preachers who abdicate the fear of God for humanitarianism, and the teachers who surrender the higher discipline for subservience to individual choice, do not see, or, seeing, do not dread, the goal toward which they are facing.

[1] If Chubb won applause by depriving faith of its superrational elements, a greater contemporary, Toland, exerted all his powers to explode what he deemed the fallacy of the religious imaginationú The very title of his chief work, Christianity Not Mysterious: or, a Treatise Showing that there is nothing in the Gospel Contrary to Reason, nor Above it: and that no Christian Doctrine can be properly call'd a Mystery, would seem to be a challenge to Sir Thomas Browne. This is not to say that in the poetry and philosophy inspired by deism there is no proper use of the imagination. That faculty, as the power which renders concrete and real, visible so to speak to the inner eye, the intellectual and spiritual life of man, varies in action as the life to which it administers varies. In the work of deistic writers it is closely akin to its use by the scientific mind, though it may be lacking in the positive utilitarian advantages of science.

[2] As early as 1694, La Fontaine had felt the power of the new English philosophy:

. . . Les Anglais pensent profondement:
Leur esprit, en cela, suit leur temperament;
Creusant tous les sujets et forts d'experiences,
Ils etendent partout l'empire des sciences.
Buckle in his History of Civilisation has an eloquent chapter on the influence of England at this time upon France, and Joseph Texte has elaborated this thesis into a well-known volume, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, et les origines du cosmopolitisme litteraire. Neither of these writers, so far as I remember, brings out the curious fact that just when England was borrowing its literary form from France the trend in philosophy was in the opposite direction. From the time of Voltaire's Lettres anglaises (1733), Newton and Locke may be called the fathers par excellence of the new philosophie. I have dwelt solely on the English sources of Rousseau because there, I think, lies the dynamic derivation; this is not to deny that many of his ideas can be found in contemporary and preceding French authors.

[3] The translation of this famous passage is taken from Jean-Jacques Rousseau, by Jules Lemaitre, translated by Jeanne Mairet. (New York: The McClure Co.) M. Lemaitre's lectures have all the bitterness of a converted Rousselian. He displays extreme cleverness in deriving all Rousseau's theories from personal weaknesses and vanities, showing in this perhaps a little too much of the animosity of a renegade. As a critical work it is not significant, except in so far as it is a sign that some of the best-instructed minds of France are turning away from the romanticism of Rousseau in which they were schooled.

[4] The place of egotism and sympathy in Rousseau's system and the general distinction between humanism and humanitarianism have been discussed fully and incisively in Irving Babbitt's Literature and the American College (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1908). I take pleasure in recording my large indebtedness to that work.--Burke's remark is well-known: "We have had the great professor and founder of the philosophy of Vanity in England... Benevolence to the whole species, and want of feeling for every individual with whom the professors come in contact, form the character of the new philosophy." The philosophy is no longer new, but its nature has not altered in this respect.

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