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see if there is not a more profound reality than is here brought to view. What are the laws of Nature? They are the established tendencies or modes of action which are manifested in all material substances. But whence came these tendencies or modes of action? The answer must be, that they result from the action of the interior essence by which matter is pervaded. Then the query arises, what causes the action of this interior essence? and we can only say that it is the movement of the Creative Spirit. But let us not stop here in our investigation. When we affirm that it is the primary movement of this Spirit which produces the fixed and determinate movement of all Nature, do we not at the same time affirm that it is the regular and unvarying action in the substance of which Deity is composed, which causes a corresponding action in the substance of the outward creation? This correlative fact must be admitted, since matter has no motion but that which is derived from the motion of its animating Soul. On the supposition that that Soul should cease to act, the Universe would cease to move, and all the worlds would stop in their starry track, and
"perish as a worm
Upon destruction's path."
But all things are thrilled with the breathing Life, and as the Soul moves, so Creation moves,—the one as the Cause, and the other as the Effect, yet both in harmony. What, then, shall we conclude 1 Behold the reality which stands upon the « ground-work of these premises. The same movements, or modes of action, which occur as effects in the external world, must primarily occur as causes in the substance of the Divine Spirit; and hence it is clear that what are termed the laws of Nature are the laws which originally and eternally govern the Deity himself. The mind takes cognizance, of certain settled tendencies in the visible world, which it calls the laws of Nature; but what are these tendencies but the movements of the unseen Spirit by which the visible world is pervaded? If external matter is subject to regular and systematic action, it is only because a corresponding action occurs primarily in the being of the producing Cause. It is evident, therefore, that the Deity did not create, and is not independent of, the laws of Nature, in the sense commonly supposed, since these are simply the outward reflections of what previously existed in his own constitution.
"But," says the theological reader, "this reasoning appears to be pantheistic in its tendencies, and ought, therefore, to be avoided; because in the teachings of the true religion, 'God ia God and Nature is Nature,' and the two must not be confounded with each other." By attention to the foregoing deductions, it will be seen that it is not here claimed that God and Nature* are absolutely identical, but simply that there exists a certain correspondence between the two, on which correspondence must depend the unitary and harmonious action which is universally manifested. There is a sense, as explained in a preceding chapter, in which an essential unity exists between these two grand departments of being, since the one is produced from the intrinsic essence of the other; but as to appearance, quality, and degree of refinement, there is a manifest distinction to be noted between God and Nature, and yet it must be borne in mind that this distinction can never be made so broad as to destroy the correspondence that must ever subsist between them as soul and body. It is true, then, that " God is
* Nature ia this case is supposed to signify the realm ot external matter.
God, and Nature is Nature " ; but what follows from this fact 1 Are we to suppose that, on this account, the Deity is entirely separated from his creations, or that He stands apart in solitude, and acts upon his works only by the force of a changeful will? No. God can not be disconnected from the Universe. The Spirit on whose sustaining presence all forms and beings are dependent, must pervade the minutest particles of every substance, and pour its life through the throbbing heart of Nature. What could animate the body but the sotil ?—and what could stir the mighty pulse of Creation but the breathing God? Then, if there can be no action in external matter without the presence of an internal force, the particular direction which that action takes must necessarily correspond with the movement of the force by which it is caused; and consequently, if the apparent action is found to be definite, regular, and systematic as in the visible world, we may infer that the movement of the invisible cause is of a corresponding character,—so that, wherever an established law is indicated in outward things, it may be known that that law is primarily seated in the operating Power.
Let us now view this subject in another light. Deity, it should be observed, is self-existent, and consequently did not create himself. The organization, therefore, which He possesses, including all the qualities, properties, and characteristics thereof, did not result from his own will or choice, but existed by an eternal necessity. Did the Deity create motion? No Why? Simply because this could not be created without the action of a cause identical with itself—because, in short, motion must first exist in order to produce motion, and accordingly it must be recognized as an independent and eternal principle. Again, did Deity create his own intelligence? No. Why? Because that intelligence. must exist eternally as a primary principle, since there is no cause either superior or anterior to itself by which it could be produced. Then if Deity did not create the motion or intelligence within his own being, it would be obviously impossible for him to give laws to that motion and intelligence ; for even omnipotence itself can not change the inherent qualities of that which exists by necessity. Thus, if it is asked how the established laws of Nature came to exist in Deity, they being uncreated, it will appear in answer that these laws were the essential and indwelling principles of his own self-existent constitution. The laws that govern any substance are simply the modes of action or definite tendencies which that substance manifests; and consequently, in case the substance is primitive and uncreated, these modes of action or tendencies must be likewise primitive and uncreated. And this, being a general and absolute truth, will apply to the Deity himself. As He did not create the substance of his own being, He could not have created the inherent properties of that substance; as He did not create the motion to which his very nature is forever subject, He could not have created the tendencies of that motion, and as He did not create the intelligence which is the crowning attribute of his perfect organism, He could not have created the principles by which that intelligence is governed. Hence the final conclusion is—and the writer hesitates not to express it in its full force—that the Divine Mind exists by necessity and acts by necessity, the fixed laws which govern all the movements of the external world having their established seat in the depths of his own eternal structure.
What, now, in the light of this philosophy, is the principle of Divine Action as connected with the process of creation? The general character of this priuciple may be easily determined with the aid of our previous investigations* If Deity acts by necessity, in obedience to certain laws which are the inherent properties of his being, then the principle of that action must necessarily be fixed, regular, and eternal. It is not, therefore, within his capacity either to create or to suspend the laws by virtue of which the Universe was born. The Great Spirit could not remain in. a state of inactivity, because this would foe contrary to his nature; and this activity tended inevitably to the production of certain results, which results were the natural and outflowing expressions ,of the beauty, order, and, harmony, which are the unchangeable characteristics of the Divinity. We are to regard the great Germ of being as the sun of supreme intelligence, whose resplendent glories flow out into immensity as naturally and as inevitably as the rays of the material sun go forth to the distant worlds. This Divine Germ maintains a positive relation to all other parts of the infinite space; and accordingly it attracts toward itself those portions of this refined substance which are most congenial in their nature, and these, tending to a common point, give consciousness to the Central Being,—while, at the same time, the radiant emanations which are constantly thrown off from this Germ by virtue of the same positive relation, constitute the unchanging Will and Wisdom, which now as forever reign over all created forms. Thus it appears that the free will of Deity
"Is but Necessity in play,—