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IN order to commence a course of consistent reasoning on the subject of the primitive origin of matter, the mind must necessarily seek, not simply some original source of Power, but also some uncreated fountain of materials from which the myriad currents of life proceed. The idea of mere force will not account for the existence of created forms. Something must have existed in the beginning on which force could operate, in order that material organizations might be created. For this reason it is apparently absurd to affirm that in the beginning there was no substance apart from simple power, and that accordingly the universe was created out of nothing. Mere force acting alone and having no connection with any elements or substances on which its influence might be exerted, could not possibly produce any external effects. It is evident that from nothing, nothing can be produced; and the result would be precisely the same if infinite power were the acting agent. Indeed no power, however great, could be outwardly manifested in any manner, without the presence of something to be affected by its movements. Motion and matter are the sole parents of all outward effects.” Neither can exist without the , other, and both are necessary in the production of every visible form. Hence it appears that the original germ of being could not have been power or motion alone, but also a repository of materials, which were capable of being acted upon, moved and arranged, in accordance with the controlling movements of the indwelling force. These suggestions have relation to the Original Soul as the source from which all created forms are supposed to be derived. In its conception of the Divine Being, the human mind has been liable, by regarding Him as a mere force, to lose sight of the real substantiality of his nature. It should be observed that, though God is a spirit, He must be likewise a substance, else He could have no positive existence as an entity. Hence there must be comprehended in the Divine constitution not merely power, as this term is commonly understood, but likewise matter, through which only as a medium the former can be manifested and expressed. In accordance with this truth, the mind has to conceive that the First Cause represented matter in its most simple form, containing within itself the elements and forces necessary to the production of all other forms, in order to perceive the reality that in the depths of his nature is contained the primitive germ of being. The rational and consistent mind will not seek to avoid the acknowledgment of this reality. There is indeed no other view of this subject which can be fully reconciled with the inductions of reason. To say that visible matter has existed from eternity is absurd, because 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 no 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 consider 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 cause 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 in 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?—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 consti
*By the term “matter,” as here used, is of course signified simply substance, whether physical or spiritual; so that the idea of Divine agency is not excluded in the general expression.