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of the laws or properties of matter in any conceivable state. 3dly. If motion were productive of thought, then thought would be confined to a single point, not only in relation to time but to place ; it could only be where the moved particle was.
Thus it appears that even Sensation, which is directly connected with the bodily organs, must be the property of some thing distinct from matter and motion ; much more the powers of memory, judgment, reason and volition. The aeting of these faculties is still farther removed from all intercourse with matter and all relation to its properties. Did thought consist merely in sensation or perception of the sensible qualities of matter, there might be some plausibility in attributing its existence to matter and motion, though only the plausibility of a fanciful hypothesis, scarcely delusive, and almost instantly rejected by sound reason ; but since there are powers of recollection, abstraction, and deduction, which, when once furnished by means of the senses with basis on which to operate, can either conjunctly or separately generate thought, and pursue it in long trains of association, it is most undeniable, that the subject in which these faculties reside is distinct from the body and really immaterial.
Thus then stands the argument, A thinking principle exists possessed of all the properties of spirit. As it is entirely dis
. tinct from matter, and incomparably more excellent, it cannot have derived its origin from matter. It must therefore either be self-existent and consequently eternal, which is absurd and contrary to known fact, or it must be the effect of some Great Cause, able to form it, able to connect it most wondrously with matter, and yet to uphold it in all its distinct and peculiar actings. This is the Agent in whom “we live and move and have our being." He is “ the Father of lights, the Father of spirits.
PROOFS OF AN INTELLIGENT FIRST CAUJE:
If there be a First Cause to which the origin both of matter and spirit must be traced, that cause must of necessity be immaterial or spiritual,--for otherwise, 1st, He could not possess the requisite property of self-existence ; 2dly, It would still be matter that produced matter, and consequently matter would be eternal in direct contradiction to the proposition, and all the reasoning by which it has been proved ; 3dly, The effect, in the production of spirit, would be superior to the cause, and entirely out of the sphere of all its possible operation.
Again, the First Cause must not only be spiritual, but spirit of the highest order, such as is exclusive of the co-existence of any similar spirit,-for unless this were the case, Ist, He could not possess the independence necessarily implied in the idea of the First Cause of all other beings; 2d, He would be on a level with the effect,—the other spirits produced, which is inconsistent with the notion of an originating Cause ; nay 3d, The cause would be inferior to the effect, if not upon the score of quality, yet in regard to quantity, myriads of spirits proceeding from one spirit of the same order with themselves.
But if the first cause be spirit, and spirit in the highest perfection, then, according to the properties of spirit, he will be possessed not only of volition and the power of voluntary action, (which is common to all animated beings, however low the state of their faculties, and even in those cases in which they are guided merely by instinct,) but of intelligence, and of intelligence in its highest possible degree.
Although the controversy might justly be terminated by this conclusion from the demonstration of a first cause, the design will be gained still more completely, and the point more convincingly established, by adducing the EVIDENCE OF FACTS. We will therefore suppose the proposition anticipated by the sceptic,
66 That if there be a first cause distinct from matter, he must, of course, be intelligent ;" but that the argument is made to turn on this very hinge, and proofs of intelligence demanded as the most satisfactory species of evidence.
The questions connected with a regular investigation, under this form of the argument, are these,-Do we perceive any proofs of volition or of arbitrary constitution and arrangement in the universe ?—Can we discover
indications of design, in the evident ordination of means to an end ? Among these indications, again, are there any facts in which even mechanical contrivance decisively appears ?
I. Matter, as has already been proved, is not necessarily existent; its existence therefore must have depended on the Will of a First Cause.
II. Nothing but the common properties of matter are essential to its existence as matter; all its different modifications therefore,—its determination to different degrees of cohesion in the constitution of different metals, the number and properties of the gases, its capacity of exhibiting the phenomena of light and colours, &c. must either have originated from chance, or been owing to the will of the First Cause. But chance could have no place in their production, for, ascribe to it as much as we please, it can only give play to properties already existing; and, previous to the diversity referred to, we have no conception of any thing but the common properties of matter, which could not be the cause of that diversity. We must resort therefore to the Will of a Creator.
III. Matter cannot perceive its own properties, whether common or special. The idea of hardness, of polish, or of colour, for example, is not in the stone, but in the spectator. Now, if the ideas of the sensible qualities of exterior objects reside not in them, if they only possess that which is calculated to excite the idea,—then, upon the same principle, while the
bones, the blood, the nerves, and the brain, are confessedly nothing but matter, on a level in this respect with exterior objects, existing ideas can no more reside in them as the
percipient subjects, than in exterior matter. But since it is an undeniable fact, that the properties of matter are perceived, and thus that a percipient subject exists, this also must hav been owing either to chance or to the Will of a Creator. To chance it could not be owing upon the principle formerly stated, that chance is not omnipotent, but merely operates within the sphere of previously existing properties and laws, denoting some effect, which, though the infallible result of these laws, was previously unknown to us. Such a result, the existence of a percipient subject distinct from matter, could not possibly be; it must therefore be traced, with all the diversity of powers that characterise it, to the Will of a Creator. He it was that determined the different classes of animated beings, their relations and connexions, the number of their senses, the limits of their intelligence, and the organical structure adapted to all these.
IV. Besides the existence and various modifications of matter and spirit, we find in the universe many arrangements which could not be the result either of necessity or of chance, and must therefore be regarded as the arbitrary ordinations of a First Cause possessed of volition as well as power. By detailing these, we complete our sketch of the field in which the indications of design and contrivance may be afterwards sought.
1. The proof, under this head, is doubtless most striking, in those arrangements which present other phenomena than might have been expected from what is known of the operation of natural laws ; and therefore the disposition of the fixed stars in absolute space may again be appealed to. The arrangement which appears in the various constellations is plainly reducible to no common standard of figure, or symmetry, such as the sceptic might suppose nature had some inexplicable propensity to assume. The reservoirs of light are but thinly scattered in some regions of the vast expanse, while in others they approach so near as to constitute what are called double stars, or are collected into groups, or seemingly condensed into nebulæ more or less remote from the influence of mutual attraction, each a system by itself replenished beyond the power of human calculation. This disposition of the fixed stars, together with the phenomena of variable stars, we have already shewn, could not be generated nor even sustained by any phy
sical law, of course it could not be owing to chance, according to the true definition of chance already repeatedly suggested ; it must therefore be regarded as an arbitrary arrangement evidential of volition in the great First Cause,--solely dependant on the good pleasure of Him, who, in the language of the most ancient of books, 6 stretched out the north
empty place, and hung the earth upon nothing; by his Spirit garnished the heavens and formed the crooked serpent,”—who still giveth
" the sweet influences of the Pleiades, and looseth the bands of Orion, who bringeth forth Mazzaroth in his season, and guideth Arcturus with his sons.
2. Since by analogical reasoning we conclude that the structure of other planetary systems will resemble that of our own, the position of the sun or luminous body for a centre next deserves our attention. That the magnitude of the sun, the fixed star of our system, would necessarily constitute him the centre of the system, supposing the planets to exist, will be readily granted; but whence that magnitude in the only orb adapted to be the fountain of light, and thus distinguished from the planets ? or why should the largest body in the system, which assumes the place of a centre, be luminous either in itself or as encompassed with light, while the rest are opaque ? So far as any physical law is concerned, all the primary planets might have moved around him in the same orbits, and with the same degrees of velocity, though he had been opaque, just as the secondaries or moons do about them. Why too, but one source of light in this system, while we perceive double stars revolving round one common centre of gravity in other parts of the heavens ?
3. The different sizes and densities of the planets.—The irregularity in size shows plainly that it is arbitrary, not the result of any necessary law. Ceres, situated between Mars and Jupiter, is only, according to Herschell, 163 miles in diameter, or at most 1624 according to other astronomers, while Mars is 4189, and Jupiter 89,170. Pallas, Juno, and Vesta, in the same region, differ also in size, but are all much inferior to Jupiter, who again is larger than Saturn beyond him, and than Georgium Sidus, the outermost planet.— The calculations of density are founded on the laws of gravitation ; the masses being first ascertained by the force with which the respective bodies act on one another, the mass divided by the bulk gives the density; but this last does not originate from the law. And if the calculations may be depended upon, the density varies much, Saturn's being not much greater than that of