Examples of this are men like Novalis, Carlyle and Emerson, in whom philosophy may be said to be impatient of its own task.
As a youth Rothe had a bent towards a supernatural mysticism; his chosen authors were those of the romantic school, and Novalis remained throughout his life a special favourite.
An end had already come to the brilliant epoch at Jena, when the romantic poets, Tieck, Novalis and the Schlegels made it the headquarters of their fantastic mysticism, and Fichte turned the results of Kant into the banner of revolutionary ideas.
The sharpness of the conflict was, however, blunted by the fact that, without exception, the young Romantic writers looked up to Goethe as its master; they modelled their fiction on Wilhelm Meister; they regarded his lyrics as the high-water mark of German poetry; Goethe, Novalis declared, was the "Statthalter of poetry on earth."
Lessing, Goethe, Herder, Novalis and Schleiermacher, not to mention philosophers like Schelling and Hegel, united in recognizing the unique strength and sincerity of Spinoza's thought, and in setting him in his rightful place among the speculative leaders of mankind.
Instead of his atheism Hegel speaks of his acosmism, and Novalis dubs him a God-intoxicated man.
Certainly the most able metaphysician and the most influential religious thinker of America, he must rank in theology, dialectics, mysticism and philosophy with Calvin and Fenelon, Augustine and Aquinas, Spinoza and Novalis; with Berkeley and Hume as the great English philosophers of the 18th century; and with Hamilton and Franklin as the three American thinkers of the same century of more than provincial importance.