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We come now to the second part of our subject. All that we have yet endeavoured to show is that the theory of a future life is not in any way whatever in contradiction to any ascertained facts or principles of science. But we have not succeeded in finding any proof that arrangements have been made in the Unseen world for our translation thither after death.

It has been shown that there is nothing in the whole range of science to lead us to suppose that life is impossible after death; but we have yet to inquire what evidence, if any, exists in favour of a future state. Now it is well known that the followers of Christianity believe they have received such evidence in virtue of the resurrection of Christ, and it is equally well known that of late years a school of scientific men have arisen who reject such an event as one impossible to be believed.

It is not, however, rejected mainly because it is an uncommon event, or one unconfirmed by modern experience, for it is sufficiently well known that uncommon events have a recognised place in the universe. Thus, for instance, there are certain conjunctions of the planets which are very uncommon, and have not occurred in modern experience, but we do not hesitate for a moment to believe in the possibility of their occurrence. Nay, we are in a position to

go further, and to assert that at particular epochs of time, which we are capable of defining with greater or less precision, such uncommon conjunctions took place in the past, and will again take place in the future. An absolutely new comet, one which (from the fact that its orbit is hyperbolic) was probably never in the solar system before, and probably cannot again return to it, is by no means a rarity.

Now we believe that an extension of purely scientific logic drives us to receive as quite certain the occurrence of two events which are as incomprehensible as any miracle; these are:the introduction of visible matter and its energy, and of visible living things into the universe. Furthermore, we are led by scientific analogy to regard the agency in virtue of which these two astounding events were brought about as an intelligent agency, an agency whose choice of the time for action is determined by considerations similar in their nature to those which influence a human being when he chooses the proper moment for the accomplishment of his purpose.

If this be true, the discussion regarding miracles must be removed altogether from the domain of science, and this for the very good reason that scientific logic admits the occurrence of events at least as astounding. The question is now rather one for the historian and the moral

philosopher to decide. The first of these is clearly bound to examine the evidence in favour of the life and resurrection of Christ, while the latter is bound to look around and ask what moral necessity there was for the interference of this peculiar intelligent agency, and also whether, as a matter of fact, the interference has proved beneficial.

But neither of these two ways of regarding the subject is at all cognate to our inquiry.

We simply show that a reception of the miracles of Christ leads to no intellectual confusion. Meanwhile, there are some who regard such a reception as tending to historical confusion, or to moral confusion, or to both; but with these sources of doubt we have nothing whatever to do. It may be thought by some of our readers that here our discussion ought to end; but, as it appears to us, there yet remains another point vitally connected with our inquiry. There is, perhaps, hardly a human being who seriously questions the moral beauty of the character of Christ; there are many who question the truth of the miracles recorded as having been wrought by Him; while still more, it may be, question the truth of certain of His sayings, especially such as have reference to the constitution of the Unseen world.

Entertaining the most profound reverence for

Christ Himself, many of the latter class, rather than believe that Christ enuntiated the doctrine to which they object, maintain that it may have been a late human fiction which grew up with and finally incrusted itself around the true sayings of Christ some again maintain that the sayings were really those of Christ, but insist that the common interpretation of them is erroneous. On this account we conceive that in order to complete our programme we should extend our inquiry beyond the miracles of Christ so as to embrace those of His sayings which have reference to Himself and to the constitution of the Unseen world. We are thus led to the consideration of another subject, which is, we venture to think, intimately connected with that which appears on our title-page; and in this respect the Bishop of Manchester has very clearly defined our position by stating that (from a purely physical point of view) we contend for the possibility of immortality and of a personal God.

We must now, however, start from a new basis and assume the existence of a Deity who is the Creator and Upholder of all things. It is not our intention to enter into the argument by which the existence of a Deity may be derived from a consideration of His works. Here, therefore, we must necessarily part com

pany with our materialistic friends, for while they may have been content to go along with us in our first argument to a greater or less length, they will most assuredly not even set foot upon the second stage of our journey. We cannot help it.

Assuming therefore the existence of a Deity, who is the Creator and Upholder of all things, we further look upon the laws of the universe as those laws according to which the beings in the universe are conditioned by the Governor thereof, as regards time, place, and sensation.

Nothing whatever lies, or can be even conceived to lie, outside of this sovereign and paramount influence. There is no impression made upon the bodily senses-no thought or other mental operation which does not take place under conditions imposed by the will of God.

If it be asked how we can imagine any free will or moral responsibility to exist consistently with this doctrine, we may reply that we cannot tell in virtue of what peculiar constitution of things the sovereignty of God is consistent with our moral responsibility, nor can we even conceive the possibility of our obtaining the knowledge requisite to reply to this question. But it may, we think, be shown that the doctrine of the sovereign power of God as above defined is not inconsistent with moral responsibility.

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