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THE death of Dr. Channing at Bennington in Vermont, on the 2d October, is an event of great note to the whole country. The great loss of the community is mitigated by the new interest which intellectual power always acquires by the death of the possessor. Dr. Channing was a man of so much rectitude, and such power to express his sense of right, that his value to this country, of which he was a kind of public Conscience, can hardly be overestimated. Not only his merits, but his limitations also, which made all his virtues and talents intelligible and available for the correction and elevation of society, made our Cato dear, and his loss not to be repaired. His interest in the times, and the fidelity and independence, with which, for so many years, he had exercised that censorship on commercial, political, and literary morals, which was the spontaneous dictate of his character, had earned for him an accumulated capital of veneration, which caused his opinion to be waited for in each emergency, as that of the wisest and most upright of judges. We shall probably soon have an opportunity to give an extended account of his character and genius. In most parts of this country notice has been taken of this event, and in London also. Beside the published discourses of Messrs. Gannett, Hedge, Clarke, Parker, Pierpont, and Bellows, Mr. Bancroft made Dr. Channing's genius the topic of a just tribute in a lecture before the Diffusion Society at the Masonic Temple. We regret that the city has not yet felt the propriety of paying a public honor to the memory of one of the truest and noblest of its citizens.
The French papers have announced the death of Baron Degerando, author of an excellent History of Philosophy, but more generally known in this country by his work on Self-Education.
From Germany, we have received letters rich in details on the Universities and Professors, and a copy of Schelling's Introductory Lecture at Berlin. We translate, below, the entire lecture, although its interest, to our disappointment, is that of position and not of thought. Yet it will have value for those who have watched the progress of German philosophy since Kant, whether with that earnest expectation which awaits the perfect development of human thought on the highest themes, or with that what next? kind of curiosity which loves to see the mill of human ingenuity going, and cares little whether the product be an Identitäts-Philosophie or a spinning-jenny. One good thing we note, Das Heil der Deutschen ist in der Wissenschaft.
HEIDELBERG, Oct. 20, 1842.
I have taken up my abode for the winter here in Heidelberg. I will spare you the story of my journey hither, of the sunsets and the sea, of Rouen churches and Belgian cathedrals, and of the pictures of Rubens. I shall tell you nothing of the Rhine (which, apart from its castles and history, will compare well with the Hudson)-nothing of the antiquities of Aix la Chapelle and Cologne, and shall pass without stopping by Rolandseck, Ehrenbreitstein, the Rheinfels, Bishop Hatto's Tower, and Johannisberg. Of Heidelberg, I will give you presently some details. There is general desire, now noticeable in many continental cities, of restoring and finishing the principal churches and other buildings of architectural pretensions. At Rouen, this fact came under my observation; and again at Antwerp and Brussels; but especially at Cologne. The cathedral there has for centuries been something between a fragment and a ruin. It is now to be restored and completed. Thirty years is, I believe, the lowest computation of the time requisite therefor, and the sum of money needed, enormous. But it is not doubted that the spirit now awakened in both Protestants and Catholics will ensure its contribution. And then Germany will have a church to compare with anything in Italy; the St. Peters of Gothic architecture will be completed. The King of Prussia is the leader in this business. It is understood to be a political movement on his part. His Rhenish provinces, which are strong holds of the Catholic religion, were quite disaffected to his father, the late king, for several reasons; particularly for his perseverance in opposing the Catholic clergy on the subject of marriages between Papists and Protestants. The present king adheres to the policy of his father on this question; but of course has not the personal unpopularity which the introducer of the policy could not escape. And now he has apparently won the hearts of his Catholic subjects by this interest shown in the completion of the cathedral of Cologne; the original plans have been carefully preserved, and will be exactly followed. If, when completed, it shall possess all the beauty of which the engraving gives promise, it will be well worth a pilgrimage to Cologne to see. Pity that its interior should be defiled with the nonsense of the skulls of the three kings, the bones of St. Matthew, &c. &c.
At Bonn, a few miles above Cologne, I went to see A. W. Schlegel. He is a striking-looking old gentleman of seventyfive, quite gray, but not bent by age, nor weakened in his mental powers. He still lectures in the University on subjects connected with the arts, and, as he told me, has just published a volume of his miscellaneous pieces, heretofore printed in different journals. The collection is in the French language. He further
said that he was soon to publish an enlarged and improved edition of his Lectures on Dramatic Art and Literature. He was pleased that W. and I should come to see him. He kept us about an hour, making many inquiries respecting Americans whom he knew, as the Everetts and Mr. Ticknor, and mentioning with evident delight the republication of his writings in America. In the preface to his new book, he declares his consciousness that even beyond the Atlantic his name is still a living thing.
But now, of Schelling and his doings at Berlin. I send you his introductory lecture, delivered nearly a year ago on his advent here, which caused so extraordinary a sensation after his silence of twenty-five years. During the winter semestre he was attended by about three hundred auditors, and listened to with great admiration. His lectures were given in the capacity of a member of the Berlin Academy, between November 15th and March 18th. A torch-light procession of the students, who had listened to him, came in front of his residence on the evening when he concluded his lectures; and he addressed them as follows. (You are indebted to W. for the translation.)
"I accept with joy and gratitude this open testimony of your recognition of my labors. We have passed four months together in deep and hearty interchange of thought. That I am known by you is a source of pleasure to me; and you too, who five months ago were strangers to me, what has won for me, your favor, your confidence, your sympathy? It is true, gentlemen, I have exerted myself to impart somewhat to you, that will endure longer than the swiftly fleeting relation between teacher and hearer to give you particularly a philosophy, which can not only maintain itself within the narrow precincts of a school, among a scanty circle of disciples, but can bear the chill air of life, and show itself in the broad eye of day. But hearts are not won by the mere subject-matter of discourse. What, then, has personally attracted you to me? This alone; that I sought to acqnaint you with the loftiest things in all their truth and peculiarity; that I have not given you, instead of the bread that you desired, a stone, with the assurance that that was bread, that I have not concealed my aversion to every system of instruction that only trains to falsehood, my displeasure at that coollyplanned distortion, so sadly attractive, which aims at the same moral and spiritual deformity-and that too, in youthful minds, whose finest ornaments are honor, rectitude, and genuine sentiments. Gentlemen, this same uprightness, this rectitude, this love of truth, which at your age is most highly prized, you have recognised, and will still farther recognise in me. The spiritual communion which has existed between us during this winter, will not be broken now; the germ which I have planted in you, will not-I know it from repeated experience-will not rest. It will of itself grow and expand, and burst every fetter that would restrain it.
"In this I confide, upon this I ground the hope, that even when I am no longer with you, you will say, he did not come to us in vain! Let me too respond: wherever I have taught, the youth have met me with
confidence, with love, but the last have become in my heart the first; as we observe that offspring born in later years are ever dearest to the parents. Accept again my warmest thanks for this open proof of your good wishes and sympathy, and for the present season once more a heartfelt adieu."
On the 22d March an address of thanks, printed on parchment, containing many signatures, and among them Neander's and Twesten's, was presented to Schelling. It ran as follows: —
"Address of thanks to his Excellency the Privy Counsellor, &c., Von Schelling. Dignum laudi virum vetat musa mori. In the morning of your life you were already chosen to be the herald of a better time. Now, in the evening of that life so full of significance, you are called to introduce a new era of science. Yes, beloved Teacher! you have been spared to a great mission by Him, who conducts to their predestinated goal both the fates of men, and the history of science. You it was, who withheld from us none of the fruits of your many years of silent reflection, that you might indicate the path to a positive philosophy, bringing Idea and Life, Faith and Science (Glauben and Wissen) into harmony. May you, honored teacher, yet long enjoy the results of your researches, and in the service of Truth, and of Him who is the Source of all Truth, may you here proclaim, with wonted energy, to your latest days, words of light and gladness. This is the sincere wish and the free homage of the undersigned, who, having gathered round you from the various spheres of common life, hung upon your words, and followed with eager interest the train of your reflections, through the night of the past to the faint morning-red of the future."
During the summer semestre, Schelling lectured on the Philosophy of Mythology to an audience of about sixty. The smallness of this number, compared with the audience of the previous half year, occasioned many expressions of triumph, I gather in various ways, on the part of the Hegelians. They declared that Von Schelling's visit to Berlin had been only an experiment on the part of the King of Prussia, and that it had signally failed. The friends of Schelling, indeed, might say with reason, that " an outflush of foolish young enthusiasm," which would naturally and desirably die away, had perhaps attended the first appearance of the veteran philosopher in Berlin; and that circumstance, coupled with the fact, that the Philosophy of Mythology is not so generally attractive a subject as a philosophical system, which undertakes to reconcile Revelation with Reason, would fully explain the falling off in his audience in the hot weather of the summer, when the Prussian capital is neither a desirable nor a fashionable residence. But such considerations did not prevent the Hegelians from the most confident prophecies, that Schelling would, on his return to Munich in the autumn, omit to ask leave of absence from the duties of his Professorship there, for the ensuing year, and settle down into the inaction of previous years, and so, as to name, fame, and influence, quite die out. I have just learned that their prophecies have already come to nought.
Schelling returned to Munich; and has now resigned his Professorship there; it is generally supposed, after an ineffectual attempt to obtain leave of absence for another year. He now goes to Berlin as his home for the rest of his life; but, I believe, does not take the style of a Professor in the University there, but in the capacity of a member of the Academy of Sciences receives a salary of 2000 Thalers a year, and the considerable addition thereto arising from lecture-fees. He is said to be on the eve of publishing four volumes; I., On the History of Philosophy since Descartes. II., On Positive Philosophy. III., On the Philosophy of Mythology. IV., On the Philosophy of Religion. His lectures on Natural Philosophy he will not publish himself; but leave to the care of his literary executor. I am told that oldSchellingism and new-Schellingism are quite different things.
Tieck, whose apoplectic fit you may have heard of, is better, and likely perfectly to recover. But as he is now in his seventieth year the literary world can expect little more from him. The papers left by Hegel are in the course of preparation for the press. They are nearly or quite illegible, with corrections, erasures, and interlineations, innumerable; quite as inscrutable as his system, say such scoffers as have set eyes upon them. We shall doubtless now have a complete and uniform edition of the works. Of Count Platen I have as yet learned little. Munich was his home; and he has now been dead for some years. The best edition of his writings is Cotta's; a double-columned octavo, of some 500 pages. The first part of Schlosser's third volume on the History of the Eighteenth Century is published, and the second part is soon to appear.
Complaints are frequently heard in all parts of Germany, that the various governments, and of late the King of Prussia in particular, restrict the teachers in the several Universities, turning out those who teach doctrines in theology, philosophy, or politics, opposed to those of the court. The pure old-fashioned rationalism has been well nigh hunted out of the Theological Schools; at Giessen alone, which Hengstenberg calls a Hell, it has sway; and Credner says what he pleases. In Tübingen it is tolerated in the person of Baur. Hegel's followers, if they wish to keep their places in the Universities, must teach, as many of them do, that Hegelism rightly understood is the same thing as the Christian doctrine rightly understood. The Hegelian opponents of Christianity, among whom Bruno-Bauer is by many good men here in Heidelberg reckoned, and the symbolists of the same philosophical school, are not allowed to teach in any University, I believe. The removal of Bruno-Bauer was viewed with great dismay by many of the confessedly Christian Hegelians, and by the liberty party generally. Marheineke published a pamphlet