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in our planet, once only clothed to be endangered by a belief that there itself in humanity, resume elsewhere a are other Worlds than his own.” physical form, and expiate the guilt of
This last paragraph induces us to go unnumbered worlds?" *
so far as to doubt whether Sir David We repeat, that we abstain from
Brewster has addressed his underoffering any of the stern strictures which these passages almost extort standing deliberately, to the subject
to which so large a portion of the from us.
most elaborate reasonings of Dr WheHe proceeds to declare himself in
well have been directed. competent to comprehend the Difficulty "put in a form so unintelligible” the Essayist's account of the consti
Sir David does not quarrel with by the Essayist—that of a kind of tation of man; and we must pow existence, similar to that of men, in
see how he deals with the Essayist's respect of their intellectual, moral, arguments drawn from Geology and spiritual character, and its pro
Sir David “is not disposed to grudge gressive development, existing in any the geologist even periods so marvelregion occupied by other beings than
lous man. He denies that Progression for the formation of strata, provided
as “millions of years required has been the
character of the history they be considered as merely hypoof man, but rather frequent and vast thetical ;” and admits that " retrogressions ever since the Fall; and asks which of these ever-changing locality, and cover nearly the same
and continents have nearly the same conditions of humanity is the unique area, as they did at the creation of condition of the Essayist—incapable of repetition in the scheme of the Uni. Adam;" but demurs to the conclusion verse ?"! Why may there not be an by causes operating so gradually as the
that the earth was prepared for man intermediate race between that of diurnal change going on around us. man and the angelic beings of Scripture, where human reason shall pass deposited the earth's strata, during the
“Why may not the Almighty have into the highest form of created mind, whole period of its formation, by a and human affections into their rapid precipitation of their atoms from noblest development ?
the waters which suspended them, so “Why may not the intelligence of the as to reduce the period of the earth's spheres be ordained for the study of re- formation to little more than the gions and objects unstudied and unknown
united generations of the different on earth? Why may not labour have a
orders of plants and animals constibetter commission than to earn its bread
Why by the sweat of its brow? Why may it tuting, its organic remains ?
not still further shorten the period, by not pluck its loaf from the bread-fruit tree, or gather its manna from the ground, supposing that plants and animals, or draw its wine from the bleeding ves
requiring, in our day, a century for sels of the vine, or inhale its anodyne their development, may in primitive breath from the paradise gas of its atmo.
times have shot up in rank luxurisphere?"$
ance, and been ready, in a few And Sir David thus concludes the days ! or months! or years, for the chapter :
great purpose of exhibiting, by their
geological distribution, the progres“ The difficulties we have been con- sive formation of the earth ?"| sidering, in so far as they are of a religious
These questions, of which a myriad character, have been very unwisely in
similar ones might be asked by any troduced into the question of a Plurality of Worlds. We are not entitled to re
one, we leave to our geological monstrate with the sceptic, but we venture
readers; and hasten to inform them, to doubt the soundness of that philo
that in involuntary homage to the sopher's judgment who thinks that the
powerful reasonings of his opponent, truths of natural religion are affected by Sir David Brewster is fain to quesa belief in planetary races, and the reality tion the “inference that man did of' that Christian's faith who considers it not exist during the period of the
* More Worlds than One, pp. 141-142.
$ Ibid., p. 153.
+ Ibid., p. 151.
"'* and to suggest Sir David abstains from quoting these that “there may have existed in- last expressions, and alleges that the tellectual races in present unex- Essayist, "quitting the ground of ansplored continental localities, or the logy," founds an elaborate argument immense regions of the earth now on the mutual relation of an atom of under water 1" 66 The future of time and an atom of space. The geology may be pregnant with start- argument" Sir David thus presents ling discoveries of the remains of in- to his readers, the capital and italic tellectual races, even beneath the letters being his own : That is, the primitive Azoic † formations of the earth, the ATOM OF SPACE, is the only earth! ... Who can tell what sleeps one of the planetary and sidereal worlds beyond? Another creation may be that is inhabited, because it was so long beneath ! more glorious creatures may without inhabitants, and has been ocbe entombed there! the mortal coils cupied only an ATOM OF TIME.” Ş “ If of beings more lovely, more pure, any of our readers,” he adds, more divine than man, may yet read the force of this argument, they must to us the unexpected lesson that we possess an acuteness of perception to have not been the first, and may not which we lay no claim. To us, it is be the last of the intellectual race!"# not only illogical ; it is a mere sound Is he who can entertain and publish in the ear, without any sense in the conjectures like these, entitled to brain." This is the nguage possistigmatise so severely those of other · bly befitting an irritated Professor speculators — as “inconceivable ab- towards an ignorant and conceited surdities, which no sane mind can student, but hardly suitable when Sir cherish-suppositions too ridiculous David Brewster is speaking of such an even for a writer of romance !” This antagonist as he cannot but know he wild license given to the fancy may
has to deal with. It does not appear not be amiss in a poet, whose privi- to us the Essayist's attempt, or purlege it is that bis "eye in a fine pose, to establish any arbitrary absophrenzy rolling" may • give to airy lute relation between time and space, nothing a local habitation, and a or definite proportions of either, as name:"—but when set in the scale concurring or alternative elements for against the solemnly magnificent ar- determining the probability of a pluray of facts in the earth's history rality of worlds. But he says to the established by Geology, may be sum- dogmatic astronomical objector to marily discarded by sober and grave Christianity, Such arguments as you inquirers.
have hitherto derived from your conThe Essayist's suggested analogy sideration of SPACE, MULTITUDE, and between man's relation to time and MAGNITUDE, for the purpose of deto space appears to us not understood, pressing man into a being beneath his in either its scope or nature, by Sir Maker's special notice, I encounter David Brewster. At this we are as by arguments derived from recent much surprised, as at the roughness disclosures concerning another conwith which he characterises the argu- dition of existence- DURATION, or ment, as “the most ingenious though TIME. Protesting that neither Time shallow piece of sophistry he has nor Space has any true connection ever encountered in modern dialectics." with the subject, nevertheless I will The Essayist suggests a comparison turn your own weapons against yourbetween the numbers expressing the self. My argument from Time shall four magnitudes and distances,- of the at least neutralise yours from Space : earth, the solar system, the fixed stars, mine shall involve the conditions of and the nebulæ—and the numbers yours, fraught with their supposed expressing the antiquity of the four irresistible force, and falsify them in geological periods " for the sake of fact, as forming premises whence may giving definiteness to our notions.” be deduced derogatory inferences con
* More Worlds than One, p. 47.
+ Azoic signifies those primary rocks which contain no traces of organic life, no remains of plants or animals. I More Worlds than One, p. 52.
|| Ibid., p. 206.
cerning man. The Essayist's inge- that analogy on which the pluralist nious and suggestive argument is relies ? intended not to prove an opinion, but For the existence of Life several to remove an objection; which, accord- conditions must concur; and any of ing to the profound thinker, Bishop these failing, life, so far as we know Butler, is the proper office of analogy. anything about it, is impossible. Not It is asked, for instance, how can you air, only, and moisture, but a certain suppose that man, such as he is repre- temperature, neither too hot nor too sented to be, occupies only an immea. cold, and a certain consistence, on surably minute fraction of existing which the living frame can rest. matter? and it is answered, I find Without the other conditions, an atthat man occupies only an immeasur- mosphere alone does not make life ably minute fraction of elapsed time: possible; still less, prove its existence. and this is, to me, an answer to the A globe of red-hot metal, or of solid " How," as concluding improbability. ice, however well provided with an How is balanced against How : Diff- atmosphere, could not be inhabited, culty against difficulty: they neu- so far as we can conceive. The old tralise each other, and leave the great maxim of the logicians is true : that question, the great reality, stand- it requires all the conditions to estaing as it did before either was sug- blish the affirmative, but that the gested, to be dealt with according to negative of any one proves the negasuch evidence as God has vouchsafed tive. us. We, therefore, do not see that First, as to the smallest tenants of the Essayist is driven to say, as Sir our system, the thirty + planetoids, David Brewster alleges he is, either some of which are certainly no larger that because man has occupied only than Mont Blanc. an atom of space, he must live only Sir David Brewster dare not venan atom of time on the earth ; * or ture to suggest that they are inha. that because he has lived only an bited, or in any condition to become atom of time, he must occupy but an so, any more than meteoric stones, atom of space. In dismissing this which modern science regards as leading portion of the Essayist's rea- masses of matter, moving, like the sonings, we shall say only that we planets, in the celestial spaces, subconsider it worthy of the attention ject to the gravitating attraction of of all persons occupied in speculations the Sun; the Earth encountering them of this nature, as calculated to sug- occasionally, either striking directly gest trains of novel, profitable, and upon them, or approaching to them deeply interesting reflection.
so closely that they are drawn by Thus far the Essayist, as followed the terrestrial attraction, first withby his opponent, on the assumption in the atmosphere, and afterwards to that the other bodies of the universe the earth's surface. Here our Essay. are fitted, equally with the earth, to ist gives a thrust at his Pluralist be the abodes of life. But are they? opponent not to be parried, asking Here we are brought to the last stage him why he shrunk from asserting of the Essayist's speculations-What the planetoids and meteoric stones to physical EVIDENCE have we that the be inhabited ? If it be because of other bodies of the Solar System, be- their being found to be uninhabited, sides the Earth, the Fixed Stars, and or of their smallness, then “the arthe Nebulæ, are structures capable of gument that they are inhabited besupporting human life, of being in- cause they are planets fails him." $ habited by Rational and Moral
“ There is, then," says elsewhere the Beings ?
wary Essayist, " a degree of smallness The great question, in its physical which makes you reject the supposition of aspect, is now fully before us : Is there inhabitants. But where does that degree
* More Worlds than One, pp. 206, 207.
+ A thirtieth planetoid was discovered by Mr Hind since the publication of the second edition of the Essay. I LARDNER, Museum of Science and Art, vol. i. p. 156.
§ Dial., p. 60. || Ibid., p. 28. VOL. LXXYI.-NO. CCCCLXVIII.
of smallness begin? The surface of Mars account of the physical condition of is only one-fourth that of the Earth. this satellite of ours, we will cite the Moreover, if you allow all the planetoids recent testimony of one accredited by to be uninhabited, those planets which Sir David Brewster & as “a matheyou acknowledge to be probably uniuha- matician and a natural philosopher, bited far outnumber those with regard to who has studied, more than any prewhich even the most resolute Pluralist holds to be inhabited. The majority swells ceding writer, the analogies between every year; the planetoids are now thirty. the Earth and the other planets ” The fact of a planet being inhabited, then, Dr Lardner, who, in the third volume is, at any rate, rather the exception than (published since our last Number apthe rule ; and therefore must be proved, peared) of the work placed at the head in each case, by special evidence. of of this article, thus concludes his elasuch evidence I know not a trace ! ” borate account of the Moon, as now
We may add, also, that Dr Lard- regarded by the most enlightened ner, vouched by Sir David Brewster, astronomers--after proving it to be as we shall soon see, to be a thorough- “ as exempt from an atmosphere as ly competent witness, gives up the is the utterly exhausted receiver of a planetoids as seats of habitation for good air-pump!” animal life.*
“ In fine, the entire geographical Let us now,
would say our Essay character of the moon, thus ascertained ist, proceed on our negative tour, so
by long-continued and exact telescopic to speak, and hasten to pay our re- surveys, leads to the conclusion, that spects to the Moon, our nearest neigh- no analogy exists between it and the earth bour, and whose distance from the Sun which could confer any probability on the is admitted to adapt her, so far, for conjecture that it fulfils the same purhabitation.t If appear, by strong poses in the economy of the universe; evidence, that the Moon is not inba- and we must infer, that whatever be its bited, then there is an end of the gene
uses in the solar system, or in the general principle, that all the bodies of the
ral purposes of creation, it is not
world inhabited by organised races such solar system are inhabited, and that
as those to which the earth is approwe must begin our speculation about each with this assumption.
priated. ” ||
If the Moon be not inhabited, then, it would We must leave Sir David and Dr seem, the belief that each special body Lardner to settle their small amount of in the system is inhabited, must de- differences together; for Sir David pend upon reasons specially belonging will have it that “ the moon exhibits to that body, and cannot be taken such proofs of an atmosphere that we for granted without these reasons. I have a new ground from analogy for Now, as to the Moon, we have latter- believing that she either has, or is in a ly acquired the means of making such state of preparation for receiving, inexact and minute inquiries, that at habitants; "I whom, " with monuthe meeting of the British Association ments of their hands,” he “bopes may at Hull last year, Mr Phillips, an emi. be discovered with some magnificent nent geologist, stated that astrono- telescope which may be constructmers can discern the shape of a spot ed !"** And he is compelled to on the Moon's surface, only a few believe that “all the other unseen hundred feet in breadth. Passing by, satellites of the solar system are however, the Essayist's brief but able homes to animal and intellectual
* Museum, &c., vol. i. p. 64.
+ P. 271. Her distance from us is 240,000 miles; and our Essayist, by the way, tells us (chap. x. $7) that" a railroad-carriage, at its ordinary rate of travelling, would reach her in a month.” We should not like to travel by the Lunar Express, but should prefer the parliamentary train, and hope, starting from the Hanwell station, to get to the terminus in a couple of years or so. Good Bishop Wilkins intended to be taken up by birds of flight trained for the purpose. When the Duchess of Newcastle asked him where he intended to bait by the way, he answered, “ Your Grace is the last person to ask me the question, having built so many castles in the air /" # Essay, p. 272.
& Pp. 80, 81. || Museum, &c., vol. iii. p. 48. 1 P. 108.
** P. 24.
life."* The Essayist would seem not When it was discovered that the to have deemed it necessary to deprive old planets in certain important parthe sun of inhabitants; but our con- ticulars resembled the earth, being fident Pluralist will not surrender the opaque and solid bodies, having similar stupendous body so easily. His friend motions round the sun and on their Dr Lardner properly regards it “as own axis, some accompanied by satela vast globular furnace, the heat lites, and all having arrangements proemitted from each square foot of ducing day and night, summer and which is seven times greater than the winter, who could help wondering heat issuing from a square foot of the whether they must not also have infiercest blast-furnace: to what agency habitants, reckoning and regulating the light and heat are due, no one their lives and employments by days, can do more than conjecture. Ac- months, and years? This was, at most, cording to our hypothesis, it is a great however, a mere guess or conjecture; ELECTRIC Light in the centre of the and whether it is now more probable system ;”f and “ entirely removed than then, depends on the intervenfrom all analogy with the earth”- ing progress of astronomy and science * utterly unsuited for the habitation in general. Have subsequent disof organised tribes." I Nevertheless coveries strengthened or impugned Sir David believes that “ the sun the validity of the conjecture? The is richly stored with inhabitants".
"- limits of our system have been since the probability“ being doubtless vastly extended by the discovery of greatly increased by the simple con- Uranus and Neptune; and the planesideration of its enormous size"-& tary sisterhood has also increased in “ domain so extensive, so blessed number by thirty little and very with perpetual light;" but it would eccentric ones. seem that “if it be inhabited," it is Now, as to NEPTUNE, says the probably “occupied by the highest Essayist, in substance, what reason orders of intelligence !" $ who, how- has a sensible person for believing it ever, are allowed to enjoy their pic- peopled, as the earth is, by human turesque, and, it must be owned, some- beings-i.e. consisting of body and what peculiar, but doubtless blessed soul? He is thirty times further position, only by peeping every now than we are from the sun, which will and then through the sun's spots, appear to it a mere star-about the and so "seeing distinctly the planets size of Jupiter to us ; and Neptune's and stars ”-in fact, “ large portions light and heat will be nine hundred of the heavens !" || Perhaps it may times less than ours! If it, neverbe thought that this is not a very theless, contain animal and intellechandsome way of dealing with such tual life, we must try to conceive how exalted beings!
they get on with such a modicum of The Essayist has now our seven those useful elements ! principal sister-planets to deal with But have we general grounds for —the two infra-terrestrial, Mercury assuming all the planetary bodies inand Venus, and the five extra-terres- habited ? Beginning with the moon, trial—Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, we have encountered a decided negaand Neptune;—and as to all these, tive. If any planet, however, have the question continues, do they so re- sufficient light, heat, clouds, winds, semble the earth in physical condi- and a due adjustment of gravity, and tions, as to lead us safely to the con- the strength of the materials of which clusion that they resemble it in that organisation consist, there may be other capital particular, of being the life of some sort or other. Now we habitations of intellectual and moral can measure and weigh the planets, beings? Here, be it observed, that exactly, by the law of gravitation, every symptom of unlikeness which which embraces every particle of the Essayist can detect, greatly aug- matter in our system, and find the ments the burthen of proof incumbent mass of our earth to be only five upon his opponents.
times heavier than water. Compar
* Museum, &c., vol. iii. p. 109. + P. 112.
# Ibid., vol. i. p. 63. & More Worlds than One, pp. 97, 101. Il Pp. 99, 100. 1 Essay, p. 278.