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of sophistry, which we! (Sir David circling about them!—though " oar Brewster) have encountered in mo- faltering reason utterly fails us! " be dern times;" * referring his “theories owns, 7 “ when called on to believe and speculations to no better a feeling that even the Nebula must be surthan a love of notoriety." ^ It is not rendered to life and reason! Wherto be supposed that Sir David was ever there is matter there must be not perfectly aware who his oppon- life!” One can by this time almost ent was, I which occasions extreme pardon the excitement, the alarm surprise at the tone adopted through- rather, and anger, with which Sir out dfore Worlds than one. In his David ruefully beheld Dr Whewell go preface, he explains as a cause of forth on his exterminating expedition his anger, that he found that "the through Infinitude! It was like a author of the Essay, " under a father gazing on the ruthless slaughtitle calculated to mislead the public, ter of his offspring. Planet after had made an elaborate attack upon planet, satellite after satellite, star opinions consecrated, as Sir David after star, sun after sun, single suns had thought, by reason and revela- and double suns, system after system, tion,”-that the author had not only nebula after nebula, all disappeared adopted a theory (the Nebular) so before this sidereal Quixote! As for universally condemned as a dangerous Jupiter and Saturn, the pet planets speculation, "but had taken a view of Sir David, they were dealt with in of the condition of the solar system a way perfectly shocking. The former calculated to disparage the science of turned ont, to the disordered optics astronomy, and throw a doubt over and unsteady brain of the Essayist, to the noblest of its truths." We dismiss be a sphere of water, with perhaps a this topic with a repetition of our re- few cinders at the centre, and peopled gret, that so splendid a subject was "with cartilaginous and glutinous not approached in a serener spirit; monsters—boneless, watery, pulpy that greater respect was not shown by creatures, floating in the fluid;” while one of his contemporaries for one of poor Saturn may be supposed turning the most eminent men of the age; and aghast on hearing that, for all his that suflicient time was not taken, grand appearance, he was little else in order to avoid divers surprising than a sphere of vapour, with a little macula occurring in even the compo- water, tenanted, if at all, by "aqueous, sition, and certain rash and unguarded gelatinous creatures — too sluggish expressions and speculations.
almost to be deemed alive-floating If Dr Whewell may be regarded as in their ice-cold waters, shrowded for (pace tanti viri !) å sort of Star- ever by their humid skies!” But Smasher, his opponent is in very talk after this of the pensive Moon! truth a Star-Peopler. Though he ad- “She is a mere cinder! a collection mits that “there are some difficulties of sheets of rigid slag, and inacto be removed, and some additional tive craters !” This could be borne analogies to be adduced, before the no longer; so thus Sir David pours mind can admit the startling propo- forth the grief and indignation of sition that the Sun, Moon, and all the Soul Astronomic, in a passage the satellites, are inhabited spheres” fraught with the spirit, and embody- yet he believes that they are: || ing the results, of his whole book, and that all the planets of their respec" which we give, as evidently laboured tive systems are so; as well as all by the author with peculiar care. the single stars, double stars, and “ Those ungenial minds that can be nebulæ, with all planets and satellites brought to believe that the earth is the
+ Ibid., p. 199.' # In fact, in a note to page 247, Sir David thus slily alludes to those "conjectures" of Dr Whewell in his Bridgewater Treatise, to which we have refered (ante, pp. 290, 291) :-"A very different opinion is stated by Dr Whewell, in his Bridgewater Treatise;" adding, after citing the passages, “ the rest of the chapter, “On the castness of the Universe,' is well worthy of the perusal of the reader, and forms a striking contrast with the opinions of the Essayist.”—This is perfectly fair. $ More Worlds than One, p. 98.
* More Worlds than One, p. 202.
|| Ibid., p. 108. | Ibid., p. 166.
only inhabited body in the universe, will whether a gigantic clod slumbering in have no difficulty in conceiving that it space, or a noble planet equipped like also might have been without inhabitants. our own, and duly performing its appointNay, if such minds are imbued with geo- ed task, to have no living occupants, or logical truth, they must admit that for not in a state of preparation to receive millions of years the earth was without them, seems to us one of those notions inhabitants; and hence we are led to the which could be harboured only in an ill. extraordinary result, that for millions of educated and ill-regulated mind--a mind years there was not an intelligent crea- without faith and without hope : but to ture in the vast dominions of the univer- conceive a whole universe of moving and sal King ; and that before the formation revolving worlds in such a category, inof the protozoic strata, there was neither dicates, in our apprehension, a mind dead a plant nor an animal throughout the in- to feeling and shorn of reason."* finity of space! During this long period " It is doubtless possible," observes of universal death, when Nature herself Sir David, however, a little further on,+ was asleep-the sun, with his magnificent as if with a twinge of misgiving, “ that attendants—the planets, with their faith- the Mighty Architect of the universe ful satellites—the stars in the binary may have had other objects in view, insystems—the solar system itself, were performing their daily, their annual, and comprehensible by us, than that of suptheir secular movements unseen, unheed- porting animal and vegetable life in ed, and fulfilling no purpose that human these magnificent spheres." Would reason can conceive ; lamps lighting no
that Sir David Brewster would allow thing - fires heating nothing — waters himself to be largely influenced by this quenching nothing-clouds screening no- rational and devout sentiment! His thing -- breezes fanning nothing — and book is, on the contrary, crammed everything around, mountain and valley, with assertions from beginning to end, hill and dale, earth and ocean, all mean
and of a peremptory and intolerant ing nothing.
character unknown to the spirit of • The stars Did wander darkling in the eternal space.' genuine philosophy. To our apprehension, such a condition of
The Essayist, however, is not inthe earth, of the solar system, and of the capable of quiet humour : and the folsidereal universe, would be the same as
lowing pregnant passage is at least that of our own globe if all its vessels of worthy to stand side by side with that war and of commerce were traversing its which we have just quoted from his seas with empty cabins and freightless indignant and eloquent opponent:holds; as if all the railways on its sur “ Undoubtedly, all true astronomers, face were in full activity without pas- taught caution and temperance of thought sengers and goods ; and all our machinery by the discipline of their magnificent beating the air and gnashing their iron science, abstain from founding such asteeth without work performed. A house sumptions upon their discoveries. They without tenants, a city without citizens, know how necessary it is to be upon their present to our minds the same idea as a guard against the tricks which fancy plays planet without life, and a universe with with the senses; and if they see appearout inhabitants. Why the house was ances of which they cannot interpret the built, why the city was founded, why meaning, they are content that they should the planet was made, and why the uni- bave no meaning for them, till the due verse was created, it would be difficult explanation comes. We have innumereven to conjecture. Equally great would able examples of this wise and cautious be the difficulty were the planets shape- temper in all periods of astronomy. One less lumps of matter, poised in ether, and has occurred lately. Several careful still and motionless as the grave. But astronomers, observing the stars by day, when we consider them as chiselled had been surprised to see globes of light spheres, and teeming with inorganic glide across the field of view of their beauty, and in full mechanical activity, telescopes, often in rapid succession, and performing their appointed motions with in great numbers. They did not, as may such miraculous precision that their days be supposed, rush to the assumption that and their years never err a second of these globes were celestial bodies of a new time in hundreds of centuries, the diffi- kind, before unseen, and that, from the culty of believing them to be without life peculiarity of their appearance and moveis, if possible, immeasurably increased. ment, they were probably inhabited by To conceive any one material globe, beings of a peculiar kind. They pro* More Worlds than One, pp. 180, 183.
+ Ibid., p. 185.
ceeded differently. They altered the Sir David BREWSTER.—“Life is almost focus of their telescopes, looked with a property of matter. ... Wherever other glasses, made various changes and there is Matter, there must be Life :trials; and finally discovered that these Life physical, to enjoy its beauties ; Life globes of light were the winged seeds of Moral, to worship its Maker ; and Life certain plants, which were wafted through Intellectual, to proclaim His wisdom and the air, and which, illuminated by the His power. Universal Life upon sun, were made globular by being at Universal matter, is an idea to which the distances unsuited to the focus of the mind instinctively clings. . . Every star telescopes ! ” *
in the Heavens, and every point in a ne
bula which the most powerful telescope Before proceeding to give our readers has not separated from its neighbour, is some idea of the mode in which Sir a sun surrounded by inhabited planets David Brewster encounters Dr Whe- like our own. ... In peopling such well, let us offer a general observa. worlds with life and intelligence, we tion concerning both these eminent assign the cause of their existence, and gentlemen. While the latter exhibits when the mind is once alive to this great throughout his Essay a spirit of can- combination of infinity of life with infinity
Truth, it cannot fail to realise the grand dour and modesty, without one harsh of matter." $ expression or uncharitable insinuation with reference to the holder of doc- The composition of Sir David trines which he is bent upon impugn. Brewster, though occasionally too deing with all his mental power and clamatory and rhetorical, and so far multifarious resources; the former, as lacking the diguified simplicity bewe have seen, uses language at once fitting the subjects with which he heated, uncourteous, and unjustifiable: deals, has much merit. It is easy, especially where he more than insinu- vivid, and vigorous, but will bear reates that his opponent, whose great trenchment, and lowering of tone. As knowledge and ability he admits, to the substantial texture of his work, either deliberately countenances doc- we think it betrays, in almost every trines tending really to Atheism, or page, baste and impetuosity, and may be believed “ignorant of their evidence that the writer bas sadly tendency, and to have forgotten the under-estimated the strength of his truths of Inspiration, and even those opponent. Another feature of More of Natural Religion.” | To venture, Worlds than One, is a manifest dehowever circuitously, to hint such sire provocare ad populum—a greater imputations upon an opponent whom anxiety, in the first instance, to catch he had the slightest reason to suspect the ear of the million, than to conbeing one of such high and respon- vince the “ fit audience, though few." sible academic position, is an offence Now, however, to his work; and, as equally against personal courtesy and we bave already said, on him lies the public propriety; as we think Sir David labouring oar of proof. All that his Brewster would, on reflection, acknow- opponent professes to do, is to ask for ledge. Both Dr Whewell and Sir arguments rendering probable" that David Brewster must excuse us, if,“ doctrine" which Sir David pledges scanning both through the cold me- himself to demonstrate to be not only dium of impartial criticism, their spe- the "hope" of the Christian, but the culations, questions, or assertions ap- creed of the philosopher : as much, pear to us disturbed and deflected by that is, an article of his belief, as the à leading prepossession or foregone doctrines of attraction and gravitation, conclusion, which we shall indicate in or the existence of demonstrable astrothe words of each.
nomical facts. Dr WAEWELL.-—“ The Earth is really
He commences with a brief introdacthe largest Planetary body in the Solar tion, sketching the growth of the belief system; its domestic hearth, and the in a plurality of worlds-one steadily Only World [i. e. collection of intelligent and firmly increasing in strength, til creatures) in the Universe." I
it encountered the rude shock of the
* Essay, ch. vii. sec. 17, p. 221. + More Worlds than One, p. 248.
Essayist, whose very remarkable scarcely doubt that their future abode work” is “ably written,” and who must be on some of the primary or * defends ingeniously his novel and ex- secondary planets of the solar system, traordinary views :" “ the direct ten- whose inhabitants have ceased to dency of which is to ridicule and bring exist, like those on the earth ; or on into contempt the grand discoveries in planets which have long been in a sidereal astronomy by which the last state of preparation, as our earth was, century has been distinguished.” In his for the advent of intellectual life.' next chapter, Sir David discusses the Here, then, is “the creed of the phireligious aspect of the question," re- losopher," as well as “the hope of the presenting man, especially the philo- Christian.” Passing, according to the sopher, as always having pined after order adopted in this paper, from the a knowledge of the scene of his future first chapter (“ Religious Aspect of being. He declares that neither the the Question"), we alight on the Old nor the New Testament contains seventh, entitled “ Religious Difficul" a single expression incompatible ties.' We entertain too much conwith the great truth that there are sideration for Sir David Brewster other worlds than our own which are to speak harshly of anything falling the seats of life and intelligence;" but from his pen; but we think ourselves on the contrary, there are “ other justified in questioning whether this passages which are inexplicable with- chapter-dealing with speculations of out admitting it to be true.” He re an awful nature, among which the gards, as we have seen, the noble ex greatest religious and philosophical clamation of the Psalmist,“ What is intellects tremble as they “go soundman," as a positive argument for a ing on their dim and perilous way' plurality of worlds ;” and “cannot shows him equal to cope with his exdoubt" that he was gifted with a perienced opponent, whom every page plenary knowledge of the starry sys- devoted to such topics shows to have tem, inhabited as Sir David would fixed the DIFFICULTY with which he have it to be! Dr Chalmers, let proposed to deal, fully and steadily us remark, in passing, expressed him before his eyes, in all its moral, metaself differently, and with a more be- physical, and philosophical bearings, coming reserve: “ It is not for us and to have discussed it cautiously and to say whether inspiration revealed reverently. We shall contentourselves to the Psalmist the wonders of the with briefly indicating the course of modern astronomy,” but “even though observation on that “difficulty" adoptthe mind be a perfect stranger to ed by Sir David Brewster, and leaving the science of these enlightened times, it to the discreet reader to form his the heavens present a great and an own judgment whether Sir David has elevating spectacle, the contempla- left the difficulty where he found it, or tion of which awakened the piety removed, lessened, or enhanced it. of the Psalmist" -a view in which Dr Dr Whewell, in his Dialogue, thus Whewell concurs. Sir David then temperately and effectively deals with comes to consider the doctrine of this section of his opponent's lucu“Man, in his future state of existence, brations :consisting, as at present, of a spiritual “ His own solution of the question connature residing in a corporeal frame." cerning the redemption of other worlds We must, therefore, find for the race appears to be this, that the provision of Adam, “ if not for the races which made for the redemption of man by what preceded him "*" a material home took place upon earth eighteen hundred upon which he may reside, or from years ago, may have extended its inwhich he may travel to other localities fluence to other worlds. in the universe." That house, he says: logical hypothesis three remarks offer
" In reply to which astronomico-theocannot be the earth, for it will not
themselves : In the first place, the hypobe big enough-there will be such
thesis is entirely without warrant or coun“population as the habitable parts tenance in the revelation from which all of our globe could not possibly ac our knowledge of the scheme of redempcommodate; wherefore,
tion is derived; in the second place, the
* More Worlds than One, p. 18.
events which took place upon earth eigh- but One Son, whom He could send to teen hundred years ago, were connected save them ? ' If we can give a satiswith a train of events in the history of man, factory answer to this question, it which had begun at the creation of man, may destroy the objections of the and extended through all the intervening Intidel, while it relieves the Christian ages; and the bearing of this whole series from his difficulties." $ ... “When of events upon the condition of the inhabitants of other worlds must be so different our Saviour died, the influence of His from its bearing on the condition of man, death extended backward, in the that the hypothesis needs a dozen other Past, to millions who never heard auxiliary hypotheses to make it intelli- His name; in the Future, to millions gible ; and, in the third place, this hypo- who never will hear it .. a Force thesis, making the earth, insignificant as which did not vary with any function it seems to be in the astronomical scheme, of the distance. ... Emanating the centre of the theological scheme, from the middle planet of the system ascribes to the earth a peculiar distinc- - The earth the middle planet tion, quite as much at variance with the
of the system? How is this? In an analogies of the planets to one another, as the supposition that the earth alone is Sir David had demonstrated that
earlier portion of his book (p. 56), inhabited; to say nothing of the bearing of the critic's hypothesis on the other
" our earth is neither the middle (his systems that encircle other suns." *
own italics] planet, nor the planet
nearest the sun, nor the planet furthest “In freely discussing the subject from that luminary: that therefore of a Plurality of Worlds," says Sir the earth, as a planet, has no preDavid, “there can be no collision eminence in the solar system, to between Reason and Revelation.” induce us to believe that it is the only He regrets the extravagant conclu- inhabited world. .. Jupiter sion of some, that the inhabitants of is the middle planet (p. 55), and is all planets but our own, “are sinless otherwise highly distinguished !" and immortal beings that never broke How is this? Can the two passages the Divine Law, and enjoying that containing such direct contradictions perfect felicity reserved for only a few have emanated from the same scientific of the less favoured occupants of controversialist ?—To resume, how. earth. Thus chained to a planet, the ever : lowest and most unfortunate in the uni- - "Emanating from the middle verse, the philosopher, with all his ana- planet of the system, why may it not logies broken down, may justly re- have extended to them all, .. to the nounce his faith in a Plurality of Planetary Races in the Past, and to the Worlds, and rejoice in the more limit- Planetary Races in the Future? ... ed but safer creed of the anti-Pluralist But to bring our argument more author, who makes the earth the only within the reach of an ordinary unworld in the universe, and the special derstanding"-he supposes our earth object of God's paternal care." | He split into two parts ! the old world proceeds, in accordance with “men and the new (as Biela's comet is supof lofty minds and undoubted piety," posed to have been divided in 1846), to regard the existence of moral evil at the beginning of the Christian as a necessary part of the general era ! _" would not both fragments scheme of the universe, and conse- bave shared in the beneficence of the quently affecting all its Rational In- Cross——the penitent on the shores of habitants. I He "rejects the idea that the Mississippi, as richly as the pilthe inhabitants of the planets do not grim on the banks of the Jordan ? require a Saviour; and maintains the
Should this view prove more rational opinion, that they stand unsatisfactory to the anxious inquirer, in the same moral relation to their we may suggest another sentiment, Maker as the inhabitants of the even though we ourselves may not earth ; and seeks for a solution of the admit it into our creed. . difficulty – how can there be inhabi- May not the Divine Nature, which tants in the planets, when God had can neither suffer, nor die, and which,
Dialogue, pp. 62-64.
+ More Worlds than One, p. 131.
# Ibid. || Ibid., p. 139.
| Ibid., p. 140.