« AnteriorContinuar »
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 real1 ities 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
tute being. Accordingly the original essence which formed the substance of infinity, existed as a necessity in the eternity of the past,—which can be conceived as easily as the eternity of the future. Thus the existence of matter may be comprehended as an eternal fact. In this case there was no alternative. Since nothing could not exist, something must be; and this primitive something was obviously that substance to which all existing matter is capable of being resolved,—or, in other terms, a spiritual essence. It is not necessary in order to comprehend this statement, that the soul should be swallowed up in the boundlessness of the past, for the same original substance even now pervades the fields of immensity, and is viewed by the interior vision as the first and last reality of [Nature. Thus it is found to be an absolute necessity which made the existence of spirit-matter, as without this there could be no space. 'v"
This subtile and all-pervading essence of which Space is formed, was, in a broad and general sense, the original germ of creation. With respect to nature this germ was a unity, though it comprehended the limitless infinitude. In other words, there could have been but one substance from which, as a primitive source, the harmonious and unitary effects of creation proceeded. But though this substance was the All—the original basis of being—the essence, in fact, from which all matter has had its birth, yet this was possessed of certain powers, qualities, and characteristics which were inherent in its nature. Besides the necessity of simple being, there were other necessities by which this being was modified and controlled. What these necessities were, need not be a matter of mere conjecture, since they are clearly set forth and manifested in the forces, tendencies, and principles which are exhibited in Nature. For instance, it is positively certain that the primitive essence was possessed of motion, as otherwise motion could not have been communicated to the grosser materials which have been derived from this source; and this motion existed as an eternal necessity, because it could not be created by any power not possessed of the same principle, and hence could not be referred to any first cause in which motion did not exist. Again, it is equally certain that the uncreated essence contained intelligence; for, as intelligence is the ultimate principle of the most perfect created form, this must have a correspondence as an end with the nature of the creative cause; or, to render the proposition more clear,' intelligence as an ultimate creation could only be derived from a source that is itself intelligent; and this primary intelligence was also a necessity, inasmuch as, it being itself an ultimate, there is no power superior to this by which it could be created, and to suppose the existence of any cause bacli of this, would be to commence a chain of causation that would lead into infinity.
But there is another consideration. Not only motion as a primary principle, and intelligence as an* ultimated fact, were comprehended by necessity in the nature of original matter, but likewise form, including series and degrees, existed as an eternal basis on which might rest the progressive development of all other forms. Without form there can be no intelligence, the latter being dependent on the former. The most refined substance in being, though it should possess in itself all the essential elements of intelligence, could never manifest this property, except the substance referred to be so arranged as to form a definite and complete system; and the reason is, that without the orderly arrangement which such a system would give, there could be no method in the action of the supposed substance, and consequently motion would tend toward no definable end. It may be stated, therefore, that form as the parent of intelligence, existed eternally by a necessity as absolute as that which belongs to being itself. Moreover, within this eternal and self-existent form, were included, as before mentioned, series and degrees, these being necessary to constitute the plane of development along which all created forms are ever advancing toward perfection. The very fact that the principle of progression now exists and is universally manifested in Nature, proves conclusively that this was inherently established in the substance from which Nature was evolved ; and hence the philosophical and far-seeing mind will regard this substance as a form containing in itself a series of gradations or different degrees of refinement, on which, as a necessity, the prevailing law of progression is dependent.
In thus tracing the beautiful chain of truth "back to the infinite source of being, the reasoning mind will now be naturally drawn towards the central and sunlike Soul, which, in the most strict and radical sense, constitutes the Original Germ. The vast expanse of spiritual substance extending through immensity, was possessed of those inherent qualities and principles by which it was rendered a complete and perfect system, the whole leading in majestic gradations toward the ever-attractive
"Magnet of the universe,
Motion existed in the refined essence of space ; and this, conforming to an established and systematic order, and tending toward a fixed aud definite end, produces intelligence. Intelligence, therefore, is the flower of form and motion; and since form exists in gradational degrees of refinement, and motion tends naturally in the direction of these degrees, this intelligence as the ultimate produced, must be an attribute or effect of the spiritual essence in its most highly sublimated and concentrated form, which is, in other language, the Divine Aliud. So matter, pervaded by the principle of motion, becomes ultimately resolved into mind,—not that mind is created by this process, but that it represents the highest form in which matter can exist. Mind is the sum and perfection of that substance which, in a more outward sphere, exists in its elementary or rudimental state ; and therefore it appears that the soul of the Divine Being comprises the Alpha and Omega of existence— the central Sun in which the essence of all matter dwells, and around which the circling realm of space revolves. Hence from the beginning of eternity, this great Soul existed as the Germ of being; and in this Germ were reposited all the elements and materials which enter into the composition of worlds and make up the existing system of the Universe.
To bring the truth here stated more fully to the comprehension of the reader, it will be wise to illustrate its force and significance by reference to certain mathematical principles, which will be recognized as an established reality. Let it be observed that all numbers are derived from a unity, and, when separated into their component parts, are resolved back to this root. For instance, the number ten is but a combination of units, or the multiplication of so many ones. And however great may be the range of numerical figures, it can proceed from only one starting-point, as it has its origin in but one basis. The unit