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ing prevailing here, and of a probable move in the right direction. The liberals all declare the existing concordat to be doomed, and if the Pope opposes the great alterations that will be made in the present system, and which will doubtless include the expulsion of the Jesuits, and a great reduction in the hierarchical establishment in Spain, it is by no means impossible that the whole fabric of papal interference will be swept away, and that Spain will have the Spanish church as France has the Gallican.
There still are certainly considerable difficulties in the way of the union of the two crowns and countries. In the first place, is it sure that the King of Portugal would accept the arduous task of governing Spain? Would it be wise of him to exchange his present humble but safe and respectable position amongst the sovereigns of Europe for one certainly much more exalted, but also infinitely more arduous, and even dangerous? Admitting, however, that he made up his mind to this, how would the Portuguese like the plan? Waiving the question of national antipathies, to which exaggerated weight has been given, how would Portuguese pride endure that Portugal should be absorbed in Spain, even whilst giving her a king? And what would they say to the loss of the valuable smuggling trade of which Portugal is now the depôt, and which is carried on through her ports and territory? If there be not a customs union, there can be no real union between the countries. It is not likely, however, that Portugal will long benefit in the way it now does by the absurd Spanish tariff, of which a reform is inevitably approach
ing. That tariff is doomed by the increasing good sense of the nation and by the example of others, and its existence can be a question only of time. There are other difficulties, such as the fusion of the two debts and the election of one capital (is Madrid or Lisbon to be sacrificed?) but it is thought that all these things might be reconciled and arranged in a satisfactory manner. It is hoped France would not object, and England's co-operation and aid are reckoned upon-as they are admitted to be indispensable. The Iberian monarchy, with Pedro V. on the throne and an English princess for his wife
such is the dream of many here. That at least a part of it may be realised, is certainly not improbable. And I have reason to know that such a plan has occurred, some years since, to persons in high places, not in this country, whose influence, if steadily and perseveringly applied, would go far towards carrying it out. No time could be more favourable for that than the present, when England and France are bound in close alliance and cordial amity, and when Spain is thoroughly disgusted with the dynasty that has so long misruled her.
There is much more to be said on this subject of a change of dynasty, but for the present I must conclude, for here is the middle of the month; and moreover writing long letters with the thermometer at fever-heat is almost too much exertion. And so, for at least another moon, I quit the complicated question of Spanish politics, and bid you a hearty farewell.
Printed by William Blackwood & Sons, Edinburgh.
Whatever we talk, Things are as they are-not as we grant, dispute, or hope; depending on neither our affirmative nor negative.*-JEREMY TAYLOR.
LET us bear in mind the above passage, pregnant with solemnising reflection, while dealing with the question before us; always remembering that it is one purely speculative, however interesting, however exciting, to imaginative persons; but to weak and superficial ones - to those of unsettled opinions-capable of becoming mischievous.
The state of that question is exactly this: The heavenly bodies around us, some or all of them, are, or are not, in point of fact, the abodes of intellectual and moral beings like ourselvesthat is, be it observed, consisting of body and soul. That there are other and higher orders of intelligent existence, both the Christian and the mere philosopher may, and the former must, admit as an article of his "creed;" but what may be the mode of that exist
ence, and its relations to that physical world of which we are sensible, we know not, and conjecture would be idle. That beings like ourselves exist elsewhere than here, is not revealed in Scripture; and the question, consequently, for us to concern ourselves with is, whether there nevertheless exist rational grounds for believing the fact to be so. The accomplished and eminent person who has so suddenly started this discussion, has, since his Essay appeared, † and in strict consistency with it, emphatically declared-"I do not pretend to disprove a plurality of worlds; but I ask in vain for any argument which makes the doctrine probable. And as I conceive the unity of the world to be the result of its being the work of one Divine Mind, exercising creative power according to His own Ideas;
Of the Plurality of Worlds; an Essay. Also a Dialogue on the same subject. Second Edition. Parker and Son, 1854.
More Worlds than One, the Creed of the Philosopher, and the Hope of the Christian, By Sir DAVID BREWSTER, K.H., D.C.L. Murray, 1854.
The Planets: Are they Inhabited Worlds? Museum of Science and Art. By DIONYSIUS LARDNER, D.C.L., Chapters i., ii., iii., iv. Walton and Maberly, 1854.
* Works, vol. xi. p. 198 (Bishop Heber's edition). The following is the entire sentence of which the above is the commencing section: "Whatever we talk, things are as they are-not as we grant, dispute, or hope; depending on neither our affirmative nor negative, but upon the rate and value which God sets upon things," + Dialogue, p. 37.
VOL. LXXVI.-NO. CCCCLXVIII.
so it seems to me not unreasonable to suppose that man, the being which can apprehend, in some degree, those Ideas, is a creature unique in the creation." But what says Sir David Brewster, speaking of the greatest known member of our planetary system, Jupiter?
With so many striking points of resemblance between the Earth and Jupiter, the unprejudiced mind cannot resist the conclusion, that Jupiter has been created, like the Earth, for the express purpose of being the seat of animal and intellectual life. The Atheist and the Infidel, the Christian and the Mahom medan, men of all creeds, nations, and tongues, the philosopher and the unlet tered peasant, have all rejoiced in this universal truth; and we do not believe that any individual who confides in the facts of astronomy seriously rejects it. If such a person exists, we would gravely ask him, for what purpose could so gigantic a world have been framed!"*
I am such a person, would say Dr Whewell, and I declare that I cannot tell why Jupiter was created. "I do not pretend to know for what purpose the stars were made, any more than the flowers, or the crystalline gems, or other innumerable beautiful objects. ... No doubt the Creator might make creatures fitted to live in the stars, or in the small planetoids, or in the clouds, or on meteoric stones; but we cannot believe that he has done this, without further evidence." And as to the "facts of astronomy," let me patiently examine them, and the inferences you seek to deduce from them. Besides which, I will bring forward certain facts of which you seem to have taken
As we foresaw, Dr Whewell's Essay is attracting increased attention in all directions; and, as far as we can ascertain the scope of contemporaneous criticism hitherto pronounced, it is hostile to his views, while uniformly recognising the power and scientific knowledge with which they are enforced. "We scarcely expect ed," observes an accomplished diurnal London reviewer, that in the middle of the nineteenth century, a serious attempt would have been
More Worlds than One, p. 59. + Daily News.
made to restore the exploded ideas of man's supremacy over all other creatures in the universe; and still less that such an attempt would have been made by any one whose mind was stored with scientific truths. Nevertheless a champion has actually appeared, who boldly dares to combat against all the rational inhabitants of other spheres; and though as yet he wears his vizor down, his dominant bearing, and the peculiar dexterity and power with which he wields his arms, indicate that this knight-errant of nursery notions can be no other than the Master of Trinity College, Cambridge." The reviewer falls, it appears to us, into a serious error as to the sentiments of Dr Whewell, when charging him with requiring us "to assume that, in the creation of intelligent beings, Omnipotence must be limited, in its operations, to the ideas which human faculties can conceive of them: that such beings must be men like ourselves, with similar powers, and have had their faculties developed by like means." In the very passage cited to support this charge, Dr Whewell will be found thus exactly limiting his proposition so as to exclude so impious and absurd a supposition :-"In order to conceive, on the Moon, or on Jupiter, a race of beings intelligent like man, we must conceive there colonies of men, with histories resembling, more or less, the histories of human colonies: and, indeed, resembling the history of those nations whose knowledge we inherit, far more closely than the history of any other terrestrial nation resembles that part of terrestrial history."§ In the passage which we have quoted in the preceding column, Dr Whewell expressly declares, as of course he could not help declaring, that the Creator no doubt might make creatures fitted to live on the stars, or anywhere; but the passage misunderstood by the reviewer, appears to us possessed of an extensive significance, of which he has hastily lost sight, but which is closely connected with that portion of the author's speculations with which we briefly dealt in our last number, especially that which regards
+ Dialogue, pp. 5, 6. § Essay, p. 120.
Man as a being of progressive* development. To this we shall hereafter return, reminding the reader of the course of Dr Whewell's argument as thus far disclosed-namely, that man's intellectual, moral, religious, and spiritual nature, is of so peculiar and high an order, as to warrant our regarding him as a special and unique existence, worthy of the station here assigned him in creation. Intellectually considered, man has an element of community with God: whereupon it is so far conceivable that man should be, in a special manner, the object of God's care and favour. The human mind, with its wonderful and perhaps illimitable powers, is something of which we can believe God to be mindful:"+ that He may very reasonably be thus mindful of a being whom he has vouchsafed to make in his own Image, after His likeness the image and likeness of the awful Creator of all things.
"The privileges of man," observes Dr Whewell, in a passage essential to be considered by those who would follow his argument," which make the difficulty in assigning him his place in the Vast Scheme of the universe, we have described as consisting in his being an Intellectual, Moral, and Religious creature. Perhaps the privileges implied in the last term, and their place in our argument, may justify a word more of explanation.
We are now called upon," proceeds the Essayist, after a striking sketch of the character and capacity of man, especially as a spiritual creature, "to proceed to exhibit the Answer which a somewhat different view of modern science suggests to this difficulty or objection."
-"The difficulty § appears great either way of considering it. Can the earth alone be the theatre of such intelligent, moral, religious, and spiritual action? Or can we conceive such action to go on in the other bodies of the universe? Between these two difficulties the choice is embarrassing, and the decision must be
* Ante, p. 300, No. cccclxvii. Ibid., pp. 134-136.
unsatisfactory, except we can find some further ground of judgment. But this, perhaps, is not hopeless. We have hitherto referred to the evidence and analogies supplied by one science, namely, Astronomy. But there are other sciences which give us information concerning the nature and history of the Earth. From some of
these we may perhaps obtain some knowledge of the place of the Earth in the scheme of creation; how far it is, in its present condition, a thing unique, or only one thing among many like it. Any science which supplies us with evidence or information on this head, will give us aid in forming a judgment upon the question under our consideration."
Thus the Essayist reaches the second stage of his inquiry, entering on the splendid domain of GEOLOGY. this great but recently consolidated science Dr Chalmers made no allusion in his celebrated "Discourses on the Christian Revelation, viewed in connection with the Modern Astronomy," || which were delivered in the year 1817, nearly thirty-seven years ago then he spoke, in his first Discourse, of Astronomy as "the most certain and best established of the sciences." Dr Whewell, however, vindicates the claims of Geology, in respect of both the certainty and vastness of her discoveries, in a passage so just and admirable, that we must lay it before
"As to the vastness of astronomical discoveries, we must observe that those of Geology are no less vast: they extend through time, as those of Astronomy do through space; they carry us through millions of years-that is, of the earth's revolutions as those of Astronomy through millions of the earth's diameters, or of diameters of the earth's orbit. Geology fills the regions of duration with events, as Astronomy the regions of the universe with objects. She carries us backwards by the relation of cause and effect, as Astronomy carries us upwards by the relations of geometry. As Astronomy steps
+ Essay, p. 202. § Ibid., p. 137. delivered in the Tron
One or two of these "Discourses," all of which were Church, Glasgow, at noon on the week day, were heard by the writer of this paper, then a boy. He had to wait nearly four hours before he could gain admission as one of a crowd, in which he was nearly crushed to death. It was with no little effort that the great preacher could find his way to his pulpit. As soon as his fervid eloquence began to stream from it, the intense enthusiasm of the auditory became almost irrestrainable; and in that enthusiasm the writer, young as he was, fully participated. He has never since witnessed anything equal to the scene.
on from point to point of the universe by a chain of triangles, so Geology steps from epoch to epoch of the earth's history by a chain of mechanical and organical laws. If the one depends on the axioms of geometry, the other depends on the axioms
in truth, in such speculations, Geology has an immeasurable superiority. She has the command of an implement, in addition to all that Astronomy can use; and one, for the purpose of such speculations, adapted far beyond any astronomical element of discovery. She has, for one of her studies,-one of her means of dealing with her problems, the knowledge of life, animal and vegetable. Vital organisation is a subject of attention which has, in modern times, been forced upon her. It is now one of the main parts of her discipline. The geologist must study the traces of life in every form-must learn to decipher its faintest indications and its fullest development. On the question, then, whether there be, in this or that quarter, evidence of life, he can speak with the confidence derived from familiar knowledge; while the astronomer, to whom such studies are utterly foreign, because he has no facts which bear upon them, can offer, on such questions, only the loosest and most arbitrary conjectures, which, as we have had to remark, have been rebuked by eminent men as being altogether inconsistent with the acknowledged maxims of his science." *
fifth and sixth, respectively entitled, as we intimated in our last Number, "Geology," and "The Argument from Geology."
Before we proceed to state the singular and suggestive argument derived from this splendid science,† we may apprise the reader that Dr Whewell's primary object is to show, that even "supposing the other bodies of the universe to resemble the earth, so far as to seem, by their materials, forms, and motions, no less fitted than she is to be the abodes of life, yet that, knowing what we know of Man, we can believe the earth to be tenanted by a race who are the special objects of God's care." The grounds for entertaining, or rather impugning, that supposition he subsequently deals with after his own fashion in Chapters VII., VIII, IX., X.; but the two with which we are at present concerned are the
The exact object at which this leading section of the Essay is aimed is, in the Essayist's words, this:-"A complete reply to the difficulty which astronomical discoveries appeared to place in the way of religion:-the difficulty of the opinion that Man, occupying this speck of earth but as an atom in the universe, surrounded by millions of other globes larger, and to all appearance nobler, than that which he inhabits, should be the object of the peculiar care and guardianship of the favour and government of the Creator of All, in the way in which religion teaches us that he is." S
What is that "complete reply?" The following passage contains a key to the entire speculation of the Essayist, and deserves a thoughtful perusal :
"That the scale of man's insignificance is of the same order in reference to time as to space. That Man-the Human Race from its origin till now-has occupied but an atom of time as he has occupied but an atom of space." If the earth, as the habitation of Man, is a speck in the midst of an infinity of space, the Earth, as the habitation of Man, is also a speck at the end of an infinity of time. If we are as nothing in the surrounding universe, we are as nothing in the elapsed eternity; or rather in the elapsed organic antiquity during which the Earth has existed, and been the abode of life. If Man is but one small family in the midst of innumerable possible households, he is also but one small family, the successor of innumerable tribes of animals, not possible only, but actual. If the planets may be the seats of life, we know that the seas, which have given birth to our mountains, were so. If the stars may have hundreds of systems of tenanted planets rolling round them, we know that the secondary group of rocks does contain hundreds of tenanted beds, witnessing of as many systems of organic creation. If the Nebula may be planetary systems in
* Essay, pp. 193, 194.
In the "Dialogue," Dr Whewell states that it was not till after the publication of his "Essay" that he became acquainted with the fact of the coincidence of his views, on the subject of Geology, with those of Mr Hugh Miller, in his "First Impressions of England," with reference to astronomical objections to Revelation. § Ibid., chap. vi., § 27, p. 190.
Ibid., chap. vii., § 1, p. 206.