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born, leaving the mind blank as a mirror also. The steadfast regularity of phenomena that retains no trace of what it reflects, tells with no doubtful significance of a cor. were it not instantaneously photographed responding permanence of the causes on and fixed by Memory; which, therefore, which they depend............. Behind the for practical purposes, we identify with screen of ever-shifting yet invariably reguConsciousness. The one abiding element lated phenomena, stands the abiding reality of consciousness is the sense of permanent of Force : not vaguely pervading space, Self, which has no relation to time, to bat gathered in those centres of force which space, or to any phenomena in particular ; we know as particular bodies--solid, liquid, thongh without consciousness of some gaseous ; or in their elementary form as phenomena it is inconceivable that it
atoms-presumed absolately anchangeable should ever have been awakened. I per- and indestructible. Knowledge of pheceive myself to be a widely different person nomena is the ladder by which we climb from what I remember myself to have been to the point where we leave pheromena at three years old, and at twenty-one ; yet behind." Those who most urgently insist I am conscious of being the same Self. that our knowledge is confined to phePhenomena come and go. If I gaze on a nomena are compelled to add," and their landscape and close my eyes, the phenomena lan's.” But laws are not phenomena. Our of memory take the place of the phenomena highest cognitions, or acts of thought, with of vision. When I re-open my eyes, the reference to Nature, deal with conceptsfresh phenomena are so indistinguishably condensed or crystallized clusters of judglike those which I remember that I call ments,—which do not refer to phenomena, them the same, though, in fact, they are as but to the causes at the back of them ; and distinct as if ten years had intervencd. are true or false according as they cor. But SELF does not come and go : it abides. respond with the actual course of things. Self, therefore, is not a phenomenon, nor Our concepts of atoms and of light-waves Fet a bundle of phenomena. It is a Reality may be taken as examples. A thought underlying all the phenomena of conscious- cannot indeed correspond with external ness; and whatever knowledge or certain reality in the sense of being like it. There and correct judgment I have of Myself (as is no more unmeaning question about which that I have been in existence for so many metaphysicians have done battle than the years, or that at sach & time and place I question whether our ideas of things Fas conscious of such and such phenomena) resemble the things themselves. Accuracy is a knowledge not concerning phenomena, of thought, truth of judgment, validity of bat concerning reality. The same is true
knowledge concerning any fact or subwith regard to other Selves. If other stance, consists not in resemblance (which Selves exist, -and that they do is, as we is nonsense), but in our judgment being hare seen, not one of the problems bat one such as that nature will avouch it ; such of the foundations of our knowledge,-then that if we act upon it, nature will respond they also are not phenomena, but per- to our thought.' manent realities. Phenomena are not knowledge ; but they become objects of
Students of philosophy are familiar knowledge as soon as any true and certain with the webs of fallacious word-play judgment is passed concerning them. that have been spun around the
Absolute,' regarded as an abstraction. What, then, is the relation of our know- German idealism has done wonders in ledge of Phenomena to our knowledge of this way. Nor will the feats of verbal the underlying Realities ? Much like that
sleight-of-hand performed with this of our knowledge of the alphabet to our knowledge of literature. Phenomena are
counter by Dean Mansel be forgotten related to Realities as words to thoughts, by those who have tried to follow letters or bieroglyphics to speech, symbols their gyrations. The following obserto sense. Such is the relation of a smile vations on this subject appear to us to joy, a blush to modesty, tears to sorrow, a frowning brow and flashing eye to anger,
to be very sound English sense : a tender look and warm clasp to love. • Metaphysicians, it seems, have always Phenomena are the universal language in been trying to get at the back of knowwhich Nature speaks to Man, and in which ledge ; and this impossible quest has disshe responds to his rightly-directed will. tracted them from their proper enquiry : Were that language capricious it would be What is knowledge ;-what its nature ; unintelligible. If phenomena succeeded and what its worth ? After all, what real one another at random and combined meaning is there in the high-sounding without rule, knowledge would be impos- phrase, so often repeated, “Knowledge of sible. Action and life would be impossible things in themselves ” ?
There are no
things in themselves ; that is, things with. exist; eren if we do not raise the question out relation to other things, to the universe, of His relation to eternal daration and to God. That which has no properties is infinite space ; we must think of Him as nothing. But properties are all relative; sustaining the greatest and most intimate as of oxygen to form various compounds of all relations to the whole as yet Dodby uniting in fixed proportions with almost existent universe : that of comprehending every other element; or of iron to melt at it with all its undeveloped possibilities in a definite heat. What (for want of a more His
foresight, power, and will. significant name) we call Ether may have • It is true, then, that knowledge is rela. a thousand properties besides that of trans- tive ; that is, that it is conversant with mitting the undulations of light, warmth, things or persons in relation to self, to and chemical action ; that is, undulations other minds, to one another, and to God. having certain relations to particular It is so because it is knowledge. All knownerves, or to particular chemical states of ledge is composed of judgments, and every atoms. It may, for aught we know, be the judgment implies the relation of two terms basis of matter. The more of its properties as necessarily as every magnet implies the we actually know, the truer and more relation between two poles. But it is not useful our knowledge of it will be. The true that this relativity of knowledge is ady more properties it actually possesses imperfection, circumscription, or disability; (whether knowable by us or not), the more or that there is any conceivable or possible fully and mightily does it exist as a part of knowledge of things in themselves, as the universe. But if All its properties opposed to the knowledge of their proper. could be destroyed, what would remain ? ties and relations, which, if attainable, Nothing. “ EXISTENCE" is not a vague would be a higher kind of knowledge, and mysterious Somewhat, which could remain in comparison with which our actual knowif all properties--all relations, active, pas- ledge is illusory.' sive, or latent, to things or to mind-were annihilated. It is simply our highest intel.
The students of Sir William Hamil. lectual abstraction, drawn from the gene- ton's writings must always have been ralization of all possible states, qualities, in perplexity to understand what his potencies, and reactions. Existence with
doctrine was as
to the difference out relation, substance without qualities,like a magnet without peles, a line without
between belief and knowledge, so length, a circle with no area and no cir- uncertainly does he use these words ; cumference, a number that is neither frac- now indeed making them to be contional nor integral, neither odd nor even, trasted and mutually exclusive in —is as impossible in reality as in thought. Are we, then, to deny not only the con
their meanings, and then again speakceivableness but the existence of the Abso- ing of belief as the highest form of lute? Certainly. The term "absolute" knowledge. Mr. Conder's discriminasimply stands for an intellectual generali. tion between the two is acute and zation. It expresses an attribute, and is therefore a relative term, standing for a
valuable : thought (whether we are pleased to call Belief and knowledge resemble two that thought positive or negative), and circles of different sizes partly overlapping: nothing but a thought. We may say that Belief agrees with knowledge in thet it God exists absolutely, or is the Absolute consists in judgments expressible in propo, Being, if we are careful to explain that we sitions. It differs in admitting doubt and oppose “absolute” to “dependent." God error. Our beliefs may be certain yet false; alone has being in Himself. But“ absolute or doubtful yet true; or both false sod existence," if we do not explain what kind doubtful. True and certain belief is knowof existence we are speaking of, is a phrase ledge. Such, for example, is our knowledge absolutely without meaning. And if we of countries we have never visited, and of take "absolute" to mean “ without rela- events outside our own experience ; tion,” then it is not simply unmeaning, but knowledge which even a scientific man has untrue, to say that God exists absolutely. of experiments, observations, and calculaFor since all other being whatever exists in tions which he has not verified, but securely the relation of dependence on God (not to takes on trust. The largest, though not speak of other relations, such as those of the most vital, part of every one's knowmoral beings to His will, His authority, His ledge is of this kind ; and the proportion love), it is manifest that God sustains augments as onr knowledge grows. Yet infinitely numerous relations to His crea- we do not call all knowledge tures. And even if we strain our intellect Primary judgments (such as that every to think of God as existing in Himself change must have a cause) are often called when as yet other beings had not begrin to beliefs, though “ intuitions” would be a
better term. But a geometer does not say treating of the fundamental principles that he belieres the angles of a triangle to be equal to two right angles. This distinc
of philosophy and of evidence necestion, however, is perhaps rather objective,
sary to be cleared and settled in order that is, depending on the nature of the to a complete argumentative dealing proof, than traly subjective. It is more with the questions involved ; the important to remark (though the fact
second, presenting the course and conbelongs rather to Psychology than to Metaphysics) that while Belief regarded as mere
nection of evidence in its clear conassent is intellectual, it extends likewise secutiveness and completeness. The into the other two great regions of our lecturer would then have been able spiritual nature. As an emotion or affection, and as a voluntary act, we name it
to develop more fully, and therefore Trust, Confidence, or Faith. Faith in the
more impressively, the compressed fullest sense-- voluntary, affectionate, trust- argumentation which mikes
the ful credence-is the highest because the substance of his later lectures. most comprehensive exercise of our natare.' The first lecture-on Religion-is Our space will not allow us to quote chiefly occupied
chiefly occupied with verbal and any more from the fourth lecture. logical definitions and discriminations. Of the other eight we may perhaps
This work-needful in all formal be allowed to say that the last three, argument—is peculiarly needful in although very able, and sometimes discussing the evidences of Christian exceedingly beautiful and powerful,
theism. Mr. Coader's work of defiare less characteristic, and possess less nition and discrimination explode3 specific value than the other five. No beforehand some
current fallacies man could, in a brief compass, say
which are often authoritatively set much that is new; no one, dealing forth as argument, and suggests at with subjects so vast and various and the same time-or, at least, prepares surpassingly great, in two or three the
way for-important counterlectures, could do more than give a arguments of Christian defence. compressed general summary-when After showing that although the in one lecture he had to sum up the
distinction between natural and regeneral argument from the Scripture vealed theology may be accepted as Revelation, in another to present the
convenient for certain purposes, no argument founded on the character sharp boundary-line can justly, or and testimony of Jesus, and in a with scientific accuracy, be drawn third to epitomize the utterances and between the two,' he proceeds to give pleadings of our human heart and à caution against using words with conscience on behalf of the Christian vague meaning, or with no meaning ; faith. These lectures were necessary and, in particular, urges this caution to complete the argument of Mr. in regard to the use, in relation to Conder; were necessary also, perhaps,
each other and by way
of contrast, of to furnish a popular element to the the words natural and supernatural : course. No doubt they would be followed with greater ease, and would
Supernatural signifies above or beyond find a readier and more general appre
nature. To connect any definite meaning
with this term, therefore, we must first ciation than the lectures preceding. know what nature (or whose nature) is in They contain passages also—as we question. What is natural to one human have already intimated-of great
being is not natural to another. What is
nataral to man would be supernatural in value, sometimes acute and sugges- the lower animals. What is perfectly tive in no ordinary degree ; at other natural in one set of circumstances may, times, most eloquent and impressive. by a very slight change in the conditions, But, on the whole, it would bave been become altogether contrary to nature.......
All the works of man...consist in the probetter if the lectures could have been duction of effects entirely out of the range delivered in two series, the first series of all that could happen if the course of
VOL. II.-SIXTH SERIES.
nature were allowed to proceed andistarbed acceptance. Nothing can be truerby human agency,
Nature means one thing if man be included, but quite another
and we regret that our limits do not if he be left out. Some writers, therefore,
allow us to quote the demonstration have proposed to confine the term "natural" -than that the development of to the material universe ; intellect, will, Monotheism from Polytheism, or of and the whole world of mind being included within the limits of the "supernatural.”:
Polytheism from Fetishism, is rationBut a mode of speech which regards the
ally inconceivable.' As Mr. Conder tossing of a tennis-ball into the air and says and shows, 'the beliefs in quescatching it as a combination of super- tion are not so related that the one natural events, is not likely to meet with general acceptance.....
can have begotten the other.' • If there exist beings superior to man,
The largest part of this first lecture living under wholly different conditions,
is occupied with the analysis of relithe powers natural to them wonld be super- gion. It is impossible for us to connatural in reference to man, just as man's dense or to analyze this disquisition. powers would be supernatural, if exercised by the lower animals. If such beings were
Mr. Conder, however, gives as his in any way to manifest themselves to mor- definition of religion in the broad tals, and to take part in human affairs, sense,'
''the sum total of man's belief, such an occurrence, from our point of view, emotion and conduct with respect to would be supernatural, while, from their point of view, it would be perfectly natural.
God.' As a briefer and, at the same Against the existence of such beings, or
time, 'more accurate' definition, he their manifestation within the range of states the essence of religion to be human observation, there can be no à priori 'the sense of God.' He passes in presumption beyond the general unlikelihood of anything very anasual ; which
brief review the teachings of Spencer goes for nothing when the event is proved and Mill respecting religion : and he to have actually occurred.
closes the lecture with the following Further, if God exist,...nothing can be
passage in relation to the final religious supernatural in relation to Him, unless we
attainment of Positivism, the worship say that everything is ; for He is above all nature except His own, and yet in closest
of Humanity : relation with it, and cannot act but in accordance with His own nature. And if • Worship, as we have seen, is of the the Divine be deemed synonymous with essence of Religion. The worship of the the supernatural, then, so far as nature Unknowable must needs be an inscrutable reveals and depends upon God, the super- mystery. But the Religion of Humanity natural element pervades nature.
Just has its fully developed scheme of worship; as wherever man comes, nature suffers a its ritual, priest, church, even sacraments. change, not merely of surface, but of Were it not that when it shall have become character and purpose ; ... so, in like man- the universal Religion of the future, no ner, what we call Nature ... becomes what profane or sceptical spectators will be left, it is, a cosmos of embodied ideas, by being it cannot be denied that the fall growth of the material vehicle of Divine will and Pananthropism would present to such thought; the garment in which the Divine observers some temptation to levity. The purpose clothes itself. Nature is thus adoration of mankind by mankind ; the everywhere pervaded and animated by the invocation of an incomprehensible and Supernatural, that is, by the Divine.' impossible ideal ; the worship of a Supreme Nothing can be more luminous
Being of which only a small part can exist
at once ; which is partly dead, partly being than the demonstration, contained in
born, and mostly awaiting development in the same lecture, that Comte's pre- a future which may destroy instead of tended law of religious development developing It ; by those who are engaged for the race through Fetishism,
in making It wiser, better and happier ; Polytheism and Monotheism, to the
certainly presents a broad mark for satire.
Perhaps some uneasy consciousness of this Positivist religion of Humanity, has weak side of a system which, when connot even an aspect of plausibility, fronted with Christian worship, cannot when it is really looked into, and has
help looking like stage mimicry, explains
the bitterness with which its adherents nothing besides its novelty and its
assail Christianity: Such worship as the audacity to commend it to men's Christian believes due to God, they profess
to regard as immoral : a servile and grovel- as in the recluse world of metaphysiling adulation, degrading to the offerer and
cal thought, and is as great a master to the receiver. Adulation, to confess truth! Baseness, to do that for which
of style as of speculation. He is moral excellence is the one essential quali- every way a most accomplished man ; fication ; namely, to perceive the beauty his apophthegms are polished crystals, and glory of a supreme love, purity and righteousness, of which our own can be bat
and pregnant with meaning, his illusthe faint shadow! Humiliation, to take
trations are apt and affluent in the delight in contemplating at once the highest degree. Of the close texture immeasurable distance and the essential of this magnificent lecture we can atlikeness between the spark of pure and noble life in our own bosoms and the
tempt no analysis. We must content uncreated, undecaying light which feeds
ourselves with culling an extract here the fire of goodness wherever it glows !
and there. Degradation, to look up to what is infinitely The extract which follows relates above us, and to rejoice that neither good. to Atoms and Force, their promise ness nor power, neither wisdom nor love, is finite and fragmentary; or to love with
and potency,' their nature and capaboundless love all that ought to be loved,
bilities. It is the first word on a when it is manifested on an infinite scale ! subject to which the lecturer has What is baseness, what is degradation, often to recur in the course of folWhat deserves disdain, if it be not this : to be incapable of reverence, admiration and lowing lectures : self-annihilating love ?
* Atoms and Force, then,-atoms, posLet it be forgiven me if, for a moment, sibly but a manifestation of force,-do I lose the passionless calm of untroubled these furnish wherewithal to construct or logic; because we are here on moral ground, explain the universe as we find it ? Are where it is shameful to be insensible, and we at liberty, as intelligent and honest because I am dealing with arguments thinkers, to believe that force, being supwhich appeal to a righteous sense of moral posed constant in quantity, and atoms, indignation, and seek to surround with supposed immutable and indestructible, may contempt the very idea of Divine worship. be eternal and uncaused? Or do forces in Their object is, to enlist the religious emo- their correlation and balanced action, and tions themselves on the side of the denial atoms in their total inertsess and uselessof God. Worship is morally degrading ness if any one kind of them be isolated, when offered to a base object. It is intel- their boundless activity and usefulness in lectually degrading when offered to a fic- combination, bear as distinctly as a steamtitions object. But if Christian Theism is engine, a painting, a lighthouse, or any truth ; if God is, and is what Christ taught other human work, those marks of ideal men that He is ; then we cannot assert too unity and voluntary design which are the boldly that worship is the most elevating very autograph of mind? And, further, and loftiest exercise of which human supposing atoms eternal and uncaused, can beings are capable. To revere what de- any possible quantity, quality, and relation serves reverence, to obey what rightly of atoms and atomic forces account for the elaims obedience, to trust what is worthy most important part (to as) of the universe to be trusted, to admire enthusiastically -OURSELVES ?: Granting mind, we can, what is surpassingly admirable, as well as in a certain sense, explain the material unito love with all our heart what is infinitely verse ; because all the phenomena of sensalove-worthy, is the very highway of moral tion, which are the sole channel through elevation and enmoblement.'
which the news of an outside universe The second lecture grapples close
reaches us, and on which all our reasonings home with agnosticism. Its scope is
about it rest, are in the last analysis purely
mental modifications of our own consciousto question and overthrow the attempt, ness. But, granting atoms and forces, we made by the scientific Positivists of cannot advance a step towards the explato-day, to forbid, as scientifically nation of self-conscious thought, feeling
and will. A fathomless chasm, which no illegitimate, the conception of a Su- imaginable apparatus of molecular vibrapreme Mind distinct from the universe, tion can bridge, yawns between the airas well as of human minds capable of waves impinging on the nerves of hearing surviving the wreck of their fleshly and the delicious sensations of melody and
harmony; between the light-waves affectorganisms. Mr. Conder is as much
ing the optic nerve and the radiant glory at home in the bright realms of science of colonr and delicate beauty of form.