« AnteriorContinuar »
of its being the production of mind or upon the face of external existence the intelligence. It was possible to throw legible characters of the divine mind. out many ingenious hypotheses of a “ It helps out the form of an argucontrary kind, but I fairly owned that ment, indeed, or is a good illustration these suppositions had scarcely any of our meaning, when we compare the weight with myself; and while i works of nature to the works of art: amused myself with starting difficul- but suppose there were, properly ties, it was hardly with any other ob- speaking, no works of art, or that ject than for the entertainment of my man had never given ' a local habifancy.”
tation and a name to the images of “ There was, however,” said Cle- his fancy, still he might perceive traces anthes, something in your objec- of intelligence in the universe of nations, and they led me to suspect that ture by which he is surrounded. BeI had not grounded my arguments so cause we are so constantly occupied firmly as I might have done. Yet I with the works of our own hands, do not perceive any imperfection in therefore, when we speak of the effects the principle on which we went." "I of design, we are more apt to make confess, too,” said I, “ that I was dis- a reference to these than to natural appointed, Philo, when I found your appearances; yet the latter have an ingenuity capable of furnishing even immediate force of themselves to awaany plausible argument against the ken in our minds the perception of existence of a God, and that, while intelligence and design, without the Cleanthes combatted you with proofs intervention of any analogical reasonwhich neither your good sense nor ing from those processes of art with good feelings could resist, yet there which we are more intimately conshould appear to be any defect in them nected.” of which your acuteness could take “ I believe, Philo,” said Cleanthes, hold.”
you have now placed the argument “ It is difficult,” said Philo, “ to on its true foundation; and I see that, find any cause, of which an active by so doing, you obviate a great many disputant may not support the worse of those cavils with which you forside with some shew of reason. I merly perplexed me. If the argument believe, however, Cleanthes, you for the existence of God were to rest granted me somewhat too easily the entirely on an analogical resemblance position, that the argument that infers between the works of human art and the existence of mind from the appear- the appearances of nature, it would ances of design, is merely an analogical really be difficult to get rid of those argument, founded on experience. The methods by which you endeavoured to fact is, that it has a much deeper foun- weaken the analogy. Analogies are dation in our understanding. It is not faint as well as strong, and a weak because I have always seen human analogy is but a slight degree of proof. operations proceeding from design, Besides, I remember, you shewed there that I judge the similar operations of were other analogies in nature besides nature to proceed from that principle, that of its resemblance to the works of but because it is impossible for me, The universe, you said, rewhile I am in possession of my present sembles an animal as much at least as faculties, not to trace the indications a machine. Why may not the prinof design, whenever any of its effects ciple of its origin be generation as well are presented to my contemplation. as reason?” Whatever bears the marks of order, “ You see now, Cleanthes,” said disposition, plan, I cannot but conceive Philo, 66 in what manner a cavil of to proceed from these principles ; and this kind must fall to the ground. this by an original faculty of my un- The universe may be a machine, or derstanding, previous to all experience. an animal, or a vegetable, or the proSuppose there were no human beings duction of a concourse of atoms, or in existence but myself, and that my whatever the most fanciful philosopher own hands had never been employed may please to call it; still, whatever in bringing into form the ideas of my it is, the mind reads intelligence in it, invention, still I believe, upon reflec- and reason was employed in putting tion, my notions of nature would be together the machine, in generating what they are at present; and with- the animal, in sowing the seeds of veout the assistance of any analogical getation, or in reducing into form and argument, I should certainly read order the ;
dance of atoms.”
“ It is true, Philo,” said I, “ the but am I as certain of this truth as most careless observer must read in that two and two are equal to four ?” nature the indications of design ; but “ If,” said Philo, you ask me ean he be certain that he reads right? whether the marks of design are as Is it impossible that he should be clearly indicative of design as that two mistaken? There are many natural and two make four, I shall answer appearances which seem to be the work that they are, because when you speak of design, but which philosophy can of the marks of design, you presuppose explain, and can point out the natural design, in the same way as when you causes which produce the apparent or speak of two and two, you presuppose der observed in them. Crystallization, the idea of four: and the only quesfor instance, is a process which pro- tion is, whether, on throwing your duces appearances more regular than thoughts over the universe, the
of human art can imitate; and yet you your mind has not as clear a percepsurely will not say that there is design tion of the existence of design as of in the process."
any truth whatever.” “Indeed,” said Philo,“ but I will «r Your idea then,” said I, say so; and I should like to know to be, that design is rather perceived what philosophy can point out to me than inferred. Yet in what manner those blind powers of nature which perceived ? Surely we do not know as could of themselves produce the ap- certainly the existence of design from pearances which crystallization exhi- its effects, as from the consciousness of bits. Admitting certain principles to it in ourselves.” exist, and to operate in a certain man- “ Pretty nearly,” said Philo.--" I ner, you say the forms of crystals fol- am about as certain that you are an low as a necessary consequence; but I intelligent being as that I am one mymaintain, that design must have been self. Yet I do not pretend to be conemployed in giving to those principles scious of your intelligence. Your their energies, and the degree of their words, your actions convey indications energy.”
of intelligence which seem to be as in“ Perhaps, Philo," said I, “this in- disputable proofs as consciousness itstance may be of very little moment in self." “ It is really very difficult,” our inquiry, yet you will allow me to replied I, “ to catch the exact foundasay, that if there is any meaning at- tions of some of our daily and invaritached to the word fortuitous, the forms able opinions, and they may often have produced by crystallization are as for- a less firm basis than we are willing to tuitous as any thing else, although allow them. You, I think, are not they exhibit marks of design. Do you unaccustomed to the sceptical language really think there is more evidence of that, as agents, we must be quite satisthe existence of God to be adduced fied, while, as speculative reasoners, from the form of crystals than from we may be allowed to doubt. Pers that of the most irregular rock ?" haps our only ground for believing
“ If you are right,” said Philo, “all others to be reasonable beings as well that is to be concluded from your ob- as ourselves, is a kind of analogy drawn servation is, that regularity of form from the similarity between curselves alone is not sufficient to prove design, and them. You are conscious of using although it may be a common indica- certain words and gestures with meantion of it.” “ Then what is suffici- ing, and you ascribe, in like manner, ent,” replied I.-“ Means,” said he, meaning to others, when you hear “ employed for the accomplishment of their words, or perceive their actions. an end. Innumerable instances of this This is ground enough for conduct and kind occur in nature, and whenever belief, for we have no other ; but is it we find them, we cannot hesitate for a reasonable, or can it be ascribed to any moment about the intention. Who other operation of mind, except the doubts that the eye was intended for influence of custom?" the purposes of vision?”
“ I grant,"
Then,” said Philo, “ said I, as the mind naturally forms this that the proofs of design in nature are conclusion, but still is it a necessary at least as reasonable a ground for the conclusion? Is it possible that the fact belief of the existence of God, as the should be otherwise ? I may think the proofs which men exhibit of intelliuniverse is conducted by intelligence, gence are, that they are possessed of and it may be the only rational thought that principle: a proof, to my apprewhich I can form upon the subject, hension, tolerably strong." No," said
I, “ the proof for the existence of God like ourselves. What is the foundais not so strong as the other. There tion of this habit? Custom may conis no reason, we shall suppose, in ei- tinue it, and we may lose sight of its ther case.
It is only the bent of my foundation, but it must rest originally mind, the train of my thought, which upon perception. Mind perceives mind. leads me to conclude that other men We not only think that others are inare reasonable beings; but this is a telligent beings, but we know them to train of thought without which I could be so. not exist for a moment among them : “ But what has all this to do," said it is necessary for me as an agent. Cleanthes, “ with your question about The belief of the existence of God is the sun-rising, or rather, why did you only necessary for me if I am to be re- ask that question ?” “If our belief of ligious; but it remains to be proved this common fact,” replied Philo, “ is that religion is a necessary part of hu- founded neither on blind instinct, nor man nature. We can go through life on a mere habit of thought, I can see without it.” “ True,” said Philo, only one ground on which it rests, and
we may, in a great measure, go that is a very firm one. To me it through life without the moral senti- seems certain that it rests upon our ments of religion : but I will venture observation of the plan or order of nato say, no reasonable being can exist ture. We perceive that the regular without perceiving the fact that there rising of the sun forms a part of the is design in nature, and without found- plan of the universe, and we predict, ing all his conduct upon his percep- therefore, this event, with entire contion.” “ Make out this position,” fidence in the ruling mind by which said Cleanthes, “ and you will do a
the universe is conducted. Mind per
ceives mind. If we had no perception “Pray, Cleanthes,” said Philo, “why that there is mind in nature, we should do you believe that the sun will rise have no grounds for believing that the to-morrow?" " There are two an
sun will rise to-morrow.” swers,” said Cleanthes, “ to your ques- “I confess, Philo,” said Cleanthes, tion, between which you may choose." you place this argument in a point The belief is either instinctive, and no of view which never occurred to me, account can be given of it; or it is an and if you are in the right, you inter
ect of custom on the mind. There weave the proofs of the existence of never has been a day without the ap- God with all the first principles of hupearance of the sun. I cannot think man belief. But how can you prove of to-morrow without supposing this so extraordinary a position ? Has a appearance. I therefore believe that child in his mother's arms a perception the sun will rise to-morrow.”
of the existence of mind in nature?" “ I am not satisfied,” replied Fhilo, “ I really think so," said Philo, 6 with either of these answers.
“ and I see nothing at all miraculous conscious of no instinctive belief such in the supposition. Does a child peras you mention. That the sun will ceive that its mother is a being posrise to-morrow seems a reasonable be- cessed of feelings and faculties similar lief, and not to rest upon any unac
to its own ? Surely it does, whenever countable principle. That the prin- it has sense to perceive any thing. ciple is not custom, I think may ap- Why may it not trace, as well, indicapear from this, that custom cannot be tions of order, plan, design, in every the principle of any thing. An opinion thing round about it? A child is not must exist in the mind before it can a deist, does not form to itself an abbe customary. When it has existed a stract notion of God, as either an incertain time, I can easily conceive that telligent or a moral being ; but still custom may rivet it more forcibly, and the merest infant has a perception that may continue it with scarcely any re- there is a system in which it moves. ference to the principle on which it The order of nature, in a word, is acrests. But it must rest on some prin- commodated to the human understandciple antecedent to all custom. And ing. Mind cannot exist without feel. this, by the way, is an answer to the ing the impressions of mind from the supposition stated by Pamphilus, that surrounding universe, and it surrenthe whole ground for our belief of the ders itself almost without its own conintelligence of other men is derived sciousness to the sentiments of trust from a customary habit of thought and dependence which those imprese which leads us to conceive others to be sions inspire !"
LITERARY AND SCIENTIFIC INTELLIGENCE.
Discovery of a New Metab.- Professor ous gas, no larger than a small pea. Scarcely Berzelius of Stockholm, has communicat- had I perceived the hepatic taste in the ed to Dr Marcet an account of the dis- fauces, when I experienced another acute covery a new metal, which, from its re- sensation : I was seized with a giddiness, semblance to tellurium, he has called seleni. which, however, soon left me, and the sen.
This substance has the properties of sibility of the schneiderian membrane was a metal, combined with those of sulphur, to so far destroyed, that the strongest ammonia so great a degree, that it might be supposed produced scarcely any effect upon the nose. to be a new species of sulphur. The fol- Selenium combines with the alkalies, both lowing are some of its properties : In its me- in the humid way and by fusion; these comtallic state, it has a brilliant metallic lustre binations are red. The selenurets of barytes on the external surface, with a tinge of red; and of lime are also red, but they are insothe fracture is vitreous, like that of sulphur, luble. It also dissolves in melted wax and but with a very brilliant lustre, of a gray in the fat oils; the solutions are red, but colour. At the temperature of boiling wa- have no hepatic odour. There exist also seter it is softened, and at a high temperature lenuretted hydroselenurets of the alkalies it melts ; it may be distilled at a tempera
and of the earths. ture approaching to that of boiling mercury. Selenium dissolves in nitric acid by the Its gas, with which the heated part of the assistance of heat ; the solution, evaporated vessel may be filled, is yellow, exactly like and sublimated, yields a mass crystallized that of sulphur. If it be sublimed in a large in needles, which is a pretty strong acid ; vessel, it is deposited in the form of flowers, it has a pure acid flavour, and forms specific of the colour of cinnabar, which are not, salts with the alkalies, earths, and metallic however, in the state of an oxide. During oxides. The selenic acid is soluble in water its cooling, it preserves for some time a cer- and in alcohol; its combinations with pote tain degree of Auidity, so that it may be ash and ammonia are deliquescent; the latmoulded between the fingers, and drawn ter is decomposed by fire, water is given out, into threads. The threads, when drawn out and the selenium is reduced. The selenates to a great degree of fineness, if held between of barytes and of lime are soluble in water. the eye and the light, are transparent, and The selenic acid mixed with muriatic acid of a ruby colour ; while by reflected light is decomposed by zinc, and the selenium is they exhibit a brilliant metallic lustre. precipitated in the form of a red powder ; When this new substance is heated by a by sulphuretted hydrogen gas, an orangecandle, it burns with an azure-blue flame, yellow precipitate is formed. and exhales a strong odour of horse radish, The above contains a concise exposition of which led Berzelius to suppose that it was tel. the characters of this interesting substance. lurium. It is not easy to produce this odour With respect to its origin, it is evident that from purified tellurium, either because it it proceeds from the pyrites of Fahlun, does not belong to it, except in as much as where, according to the observation of M. it contains this new substance, or because it Gahn, its odour may be often perceived is difficult to make it undergo the change when the copper ore is roasted. The pyrites which is necessary to produce this odour. from which the sulphur of Fahlun is ex
Selenium combines with metals, and ge- tracted, is combined with galena, and it is nerally produces a reddish flame. The alprobable that this contains selenium in the loys have commonly a gray colour, and a form of selenuret of lead. metallic lustre. The selenuret of potassium Discovery of a New Alkali.—Mr Arved. dissolves in water, without evolving any gas, son, a young Swedish chemist, has disand produces a fluid of a red colour, which covered a new fixed alkali, in a new mi. has the taste of the hydrosulphuret of pot- neral, called petalite, which was discoverash. If we pour diluted muriatic acid upon ed some time ago (See our last Number, the selenuret of potassium, a selenuretted p. 699.) by M. Ď’Andrada, in the mine of hydrogen gas is disengaged, which is soluble Uten, in Sweden. It is distinguished from in water, and precipitates all metallic solu- the old alkalies : 1st, By the fusibility of its tions, even those of zinc and iron. The gas salts : 2d, By its muriate, which is delihas the odour of sulphuretted hydrogen gas, quescent, like the muriate of lime ; 3d, By when it is diluted with air; but if it is breath- its carbonate, which does not readily dised less diluted, it produces a painful sensation solve in water; and, 4th, By its great capa. in the nose, and a violent inflammation, end- city of saturating acids, in which it even ing in a catarrh, which continues for a con- surpasses magnesia. siderable length of time. I am still suffering, New Lamp.--The new lamp which we says Berzelius, from having breathed, some describe in our last Number, p. 699, and days ago, a bubble of selenuretted hydrogen- which has since been called the aphlogistic
lamp, appears to have been invented first invented by Mr Robert Garbutt of Kingby Mr Francis Ellis of Bath, who performed ston-upon-Hull, for the Greenland fishery ; the experiment in August 1817.
calculated to secure the whale in the event New Photometer. A new photometer of the shank of the instrument breaking. has been invented by Mr Horner of Zurich. The improvement consists in placing a kind It consists of various discs of fine varnished of preventer, made fast to the eye of the China paper placed in a tube. The num- foregager, which passing along the shank of ber of discs necessary to exclude the light, the harpoon, is attached to the thick part of is then a measure of the intensity of the ex- it in such a manner, as neither to lessen its cluded light. According to this instrument, strength nor impede its entrance when the the light of the sun in a clear sky, and at fish is struck. an elevation of 30°, is 75° ; the light of the Nautical Instrument.-Among other infull moon 34°; and the light of a common genious inventions submitted to the Board candle 48°. These results are nearly ridi. of Longitude, one countenanced by the culous. Mr Leslie's photometer informs Board, and recommended to the Lords of
that the moon has no light at all, even the Admiralty for immediate trial, is likely when concentrated by the most powerful to facilitate the object intended in exploring burning lens ; but Mr Horner, going to the the polar regions. The merit of this inven. opposite extreme, makes the moon's light tion is, that it works horizontally and veralmost one-half of the sun's; while Drtically, assuming the magnetic meridian by Smith informs us, in his Optics, that it its own action. The inventor is Mr Lock would require 180,000 moons to produce a
wood of the navy. light equal to common day-light. The art Test for Sugar.-It has been proposed of measuring the intensity of light appears, by M. Dobereiner, to test sugar in solution, from these results, to be in a state of de- in small quantities, by adding to a portion plorable imperfection.
of the liquid a few grains of yeast, and New Comet.-A new comet was discover placing it in a vessel closed by mercury. A ed at Marseilles on the night of the 26th fermentation takes places, and the bulk of December last, by M. Pons, in the constel gas liberated indicates the quantity of sugar. lation of the Swan, near the northern wing. Change of Colour by Acids. The effects It had a nebulous appearance. Its light was of muriatic acid gas and ammoniacal gas extremely feeble, and its figure indetermi- upon turmeric paper, are so similar, that it
It had neither nucleus nor tail. It is difficult to distinguish the two by this test was seen again on the 29th of the same alone. The acid reddens it almost as much month, in the evening, but only for a few as the alkali. Phosphoric, nitric, muriatic, minutes, in consequence of clouds. Its si- and particularly sulphuric acid, also redden tuation was then about two degrees south of turmeric paper ; but in all these cases, waits first position. Its light was more bright, ter, even in small quantities, immediately and its apparent size increased. A small restores the original colour. nucleus could then also be distinguished. Cholesteric Acid.-MM. Pelletier and Ca.
It was seen again on the morning of Fe- venton have obtained a new acid from chobruary 14th, and was still in the constella- lesterine, or the pearly substance of human tion of the Swan, but farther south.
biliary calculi, discovered by Poulletier-deThe same comet has been observed at Lasselle, and named by Chevreul. CholesAugsburg on the 2d of this month.
terine is to be heated with its weight of found near the star i of the fourth magni. strong nitric acid, until it ceases to give off tude, on the outside of the wing of the Swan, nitrous gas. A yellow substance separates and above the constellation of the Fox. It on cooling, scarcely soluble in water, and is considerably enlarged, and its nucleus is which, when well washed, is pure cholestenow very distinct.
ric acid. New Observatory at Cambridge. It is It is soluble in alcohol, and may be crys proposed to build an observatory within the tallized by evaporation. It is decomposed precincts of Cambridge University, the ex- by a heat above that of boiling water, and pense of which is estimated at about gives products containing oxygen, hydrogen, £10,000. A grace will be proposed to the and charcoal, as their elements. "It comSenate for a donation of £5,000 from the bines with bases, and forms salts. Those of University chest, and a subscription opened potash, soda, and ammonia, are very solufor raising the remainder of the sum. Ap- ble; the rest are nearly insoluble. plication is to be made to Government to Water Spout.-On Saturday, March 7th, appoint an observer and an assistant, with an immense water-spout descended at Sten. adequate salaries.
bury, near Whitwell, in the Isle of Wight. M. de Lalande's Medal.-The gold me- The weather was very stormy immediately dal founded by the late M. de Lalande has before its fall, and for one half hour was been awarded by the Institute and Royal in a continual terrific roar. The descent of Academy of Sciences at Paris, to Mr Pond, the water was compared to the influx of the the Astronomer Royal at Greenwich, for his sea, so great was its quantity, and destrucinteresting and important researches on the tion to those on the spot appeared inevitable. annual parallax of the fixed stars.
Walls were broken down, and cattle were New Harpoon.“A new harpoon has been carried away and dispersed..