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it is evident that this is a compound and therefore a derived substance, existing merely as a combination of simple and so invisible elements, which are apparently undergoing constant changes in their relations to each other. It would be likewise absurd to affirm that these simple elements had an existence apart from the Divine Mind as a foreign and independent substance, because in this case there would have existed from eternity two separate primal causes or germs of being, both acting on different principles, possessed of different natures, and producing different classes of effects,—all of which is entirely inconsistent with the established unity, order, and harmony that are clearly manifested in the visible Universe. If the perfect line of causation which is laid down in the system of Nature be properly traced, the mind will be led irresistibly to the one, Spirit-Fountain as the primal Germ; and it may be easily perceived that this Germ comprehends the power by which the process of creation was carried on, for the very reason that it contained within itself the substance from which the universal system was evolved.
Gazing, then, through the long line of distant ages, the earthly mind, prepared by previous investigations, may behold in the inconceivable depths of eternity the primary Germ of Creation's life. In this indefinite and undefinable period— even the beginning of eternity—there are perceived to be uo external creations, not even a form or substance which sense could comprehend; but, as the last analysis and ultimate form of matter, there is viewed the expansive Soul of the illimitable immensity—a sublimated form of spiritual intelligence resting in the bosom of the infinite space. Here was the original substance from which the universal system of Nature was brought forth into the order, beauty and harmony that now prevail, and from which also it was formed, arranged and perfected in accordance with eternal and unchanging laws. This substance, which represents matter in its primitive state, forms now the interior essence of all existing things; it is the pervading motion and life of Nature—the heart from whose rapid and powerful pulsations flow out the streams of light and beauty through all the arteries of Creation. In this essence of the existing Universe is the real being of the Universe—the being which lived in the unlimited Beginning. It should be remembered that external forms are simply the embodiment and representative of interior elements, and that these elements must be necessarily dependent on an original and spiritual essence as the source from which they are derived. Therefore it is not wise to cousider external things as the real substance of , which Nature is formed; but it is wise to look beneath the vail of outward matter, and view—in the unexplored regions of the creative Life—the divine and eternal ReAlity, of which creation itself is but a visible outbirth. Thus in its deep searchings for the Original Germ of being, the soul is led back through all the intricacies, combinations, and changes of material forms, to the vortex of the Divine Mind.
To this point the mind is naturally led by the attractive influence of the existing reality which it seeks to grasp. In gazing on the effects which are visible to the external eye, man can readily conceive of the nature of the cause by which they are produced,—so far at least as to recognize in this Gause a source of primary intelligence. By looking at the mechanism of his own mind, he may discover that intelligence is dependent on the refined substance that exists within the brain; and so by employing this fact as an illustration, he may consistently regard the intelligent First Cause as a fountain or repository of corresponding substance; and hi this manner the conception is rendered rational and clear, that the Deity contained in himself the first simple, eternal and elementary form of matter, from which grosser and more external forms have been progressively evolved in the process of creation.
But the critical and analytical mind may inquire, How came this Original Germ to exist at all 'I—in other words, how could matter in any form exist without being created? To comprehend the proper answer to this inquiry, let the questioner endeavor to become inwardly conscious of the unchanging realities of being According to that which is, and eternally must be, it is impossible for nothing to exist. The highest intelligence in the Universe can not comprehend nothing, inasmuch as no mind can even commence to act without conceiving something as a subjective object; and it must be evident that what the highest intelligence can not conceive, has, and can have, no real existence, since this, as the primary and ultimate essence of being, comprehends all lower forms. Therefore, if nothing could not exist, something must have existed from eternity. Moreover this something must have filled the immeasurable infinitude ;—it must indeed have constituted space itself, as no defined limits can be affixed to that substance which forms the essential essence of existence. It is well and generally known that there are some things which exist as philosophical necessities; for instance, eternity, or the passage of successive moments, and infinity, or the being of successive atoms. These things are not created—they exist independently of any antecedent power, and are because they must be in order to constitute being. Accordingly the original essence which formed the substance of infinity, existed as a necessity in the eternity of the past,—which can be conceived as easily as the eternity of the future. Thus the existence of matter may be comprehended as an eternal fact. In this case there was no alternative. Since nothing could not exist, something must be; and this primitive something was obviously that substance to which all existing matter is capable of being resolved,—or, in other terms, a spiritual essence. It is not necessary in order to comprehend this statement, that the soul should be swallowed up in the boundlessness of the past, for the same original substance even now pervades the fields of immensity, and is viewed by the interior vision as the first and last reality of Nature. Thus it is found to be an absolute necessity which made the existence of spirit-matter, as without this there could be no space.
This subtile and all-pervading essence of which space is formed, was, in a broad and general sense, the original germ of creation. With respect to nature this germ was a unity, though it comprehended the limitless infinitude. In other words, thcie could have been but one substance from which, as a primitive source, the harmonious and unitary effects of creation proceeded. But though this substance was the All—the original basis of being—the essence, in fact, from which all matter has had its birth, yet this was "possessed of certain powers, qualities, and characteristics which were inherent in its nature. Besides the necessity of simple being, there were other necessities by which this being was modified and controlled. What these necessities were, need not be a matter of mere conjecture, since they are clearly set forth and manifested in the forces, tendencies, and principles which are exhibited in Nature. For instance, it is positively certain that the primitive essence was possessed of motion, as otherwise motion could not have been communicated to the grosser materials which have been derived from this source; and this motion existed as an eternal necessity, because it could not be created by any power not possessed of the same principle, and hence could not be referred to any first cause in which motion did not exist. Again, it is equally certain that the uncreated essence contained intelligence; for, as intelligence is the ultimate principle of the most perfect created form, this must have a correspondence as an end with the nature of the creative cause; or, to render the proposition more clear, intelligence as an ultimate creation could only be derived from a source that is itself intelligent; and this primary intelligence was also a necessity, inasmuch as, it being itself an ultimate, there is no power superior to this by which it could be created, and to suppose the existence of any cause back of this, would be to commence a chain of causation that would lead into infinity.
But there is another consideration. Not only motion as a primary principle, and intelligence as an ultimated fact, were comprehended by necessity in the nature of original matter, but likewise, form, including series and degrees, existed as an eternal basis on which might re§t the progressive development of all other forms. Without form there can be n$ intelligence, the latter being dependent on the former. The most refined substance in being, though it should possess in itself all the essential elemeuts of intelligence, could never manifest this property, except the substance referred to be so arranged as to form a definite and complete system; and the reason is, that