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order of things, because in the first place the forces which cause those motions are derived from the unseen, and because, secondly, the motions themselves must act upon the unseen, and thus it follows, that Thought conceived to affect the matter of another universe simultaneously with this may explain a future state' (see Anagram, Nature, October 15, 1874).
200. This idea, however, requires further development and explanation. Let us therefore begin by supposing that we possess a frame, or the rudiments of a frame, connecting us with the invisible universe, which we may call the soul.
Now each thought we think is accompanied by certain molecular motions and displacements in the brain, and parts of these, let us allow, are in some way stored up in that organ, so as to produce what may be termed our material or physical memory. Other parts of these motions are, however, communicated to the invisible body, and are there stored up, forming a memory which may be made use of when that body is free to exercise its functions.
201. Again, one of the arguments (Art. 84) which proves the existence of the invisible universe, demands that it shall be full of energy when the present universe is defunct. We can therefore very well imagine that after death, when the soul is free to exercise its functions, it may be replete with energy, and have eminently the power of action in the present, retaining also, as we have shown above, a hold upon the past, inasmuch as the memory of past events has been stored up in it, and thus preserving the two essential requisites (Art. 61) of a continuous intelligent existence.
202. The conception of an unseen universe is not a new one, even among men of science. The deservedly
famous Dr. Thomas Young has the following passage in his lectures on Natural Philosophy :-' Besides this porosity, there is still room for the supposition, that even the ultimate particles of matter may be permeable to the causes of attractions of various kinds, especially if those causes are immaterial: nor is there anything in the unprejudiced study of physical philosophy that can induce us to doubt the existence of immaterial substances; on the contrary, we see analogies that lead us almost directly to such an opinion. The electrical fluid is supposed to be essentially different from common matter; the general medium of light and heat, according to some, or the principle of caloric, according to others, is equally distinct from it. We see forms of matter, differing in subtility and mobility, under the names of solids, liquids, and gases; above these are the semi-material existences, which produce the phenomena of electricity and magnetism, and either caloric or a universal ether. Higher still, perhaps, are the causes of gravitation, and the immediate agents in attractions of all kinds, which exhibit some phenomena apparently still more remote from all that is compatible with material bodies. And of these different orders of beings, the more refined and immaterial appear to pervade freely the grosser. It seems therefore natural to believe that the analogy may be continued still further, until it rises into existences absolutely immaterial and spiritual. We know not but that thousands of spiritual worlds may exist unseen for ever by human eyes; nor have we any reason to suppose that even the presence of matter, in a given sarily excludes these existences from it.
spot, necesThose who
maintain that nature always teems with life, wherever living beings can be placed, may therefore speculate with freedom on the possibility of independent worlds; some existing in different parts of space, others pervading each other unseen and unknown, in the same space, and others again to which space may not be a necessary mode of existence.'
203. It may now be desirable to reply by anticipation to certain objections which are likely to be made to the theory we have proposed. Let us divide these into three categories—religious, theological, and scientific.
Objection First (Religious).—It may be said to us, 'Who are you who are wise beyond what is written? Are ye of them to whom it was said of old, "Eritis sicut Deus scientes bonum et malum"? Beware of the words of the great Apostle of the Gentiles :— Φάσκοντες εἶναι σοφοὶ ἐμωράνθησαν.
Reply. As we have already said (Art. 50), we do not write for those who are so assured of the truth of their religion that they are unable to entertain the smallest objection to it. We write for honest inquirers for honest doubters, it may be ;-who desire to know what science, when allowed perfect liberty of thought, and loyally followed, has to say upon those points which so much concern us all. We are content in this work to view the universe from the physical standpoint; you may therefore perchance esteem us of the earth earthy; nevertheless we think that our strength lies in keeping up a communication with those verities which we all acknowledge.
204. Objection Second (Theological).—Your idea of the spiritual universe is analogous to that of Sweden
borg, and we must therefore dismiss it as untrue, inasmuch as we cannot recognise the assumption of the spiritual body until after the resurrection.
Reply. All that we have done is to remove the scientific objection to a future state, supposed to be furnished by the principle of Continuity. We know nothing about the laws of this state, and conceive it to be quite possible, if otherwise likely, that the soul may remain veiled or in abeyance until the resurrection. We maintain only that we are logically constrained to admit the existence of some frame or organ which is not of this earth, and which survives dissolution-if we regard the principle of Continuity and the doctrine of a future state as both true. Besides, the analogy of Paul, in which the body of the believer at death is compared to a seed put into the ground, not only implies some sort of continuity, but also expresses his belief in a present spiritual body. There is, says the apostle (observe, not there shall be), a spiritual body. Again the same apostle tells us (2 Corinthians v. 1), 'That if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.'
205. Objection Third (Theological).—Your argument will apply to the brute creation as well as to man; now we cannot recognise the immortality of the brutes.
Reply-As before stated, we know nothing about the laws of the invisible universe, except that it is related by bonds of some kind, possibly of energy, to the present. All we have attempted has been to remove an objection to the doctrine of immortality
which has been wrongly put forth as scientific, or at least as consistent with scientific knowledge.
206. Objection Fourth (Theological).-The reasoning you adopt being founded on the law of continuity, seems to imply the development of man's frame from those of the inferior animals, and therefore by implication contradicts the scriptural account of the creation and fall of man.
Reply. We cannot perceive that our reasoning is in the least degree inconsistent with the account of man's origin given in Scripture. This account implies no doubt a peculiar operation of the invisible universe, but our reasoning compels us to look in this direction for the origin of certain occurrences. Whether the production of man has been the occasion for a peculiar interposition of the unseen it is not within our province to discuss. We can only say that we see no reason from our principles to question the view which asserts that man was made by a peculiar operation out of a pre-existent universe.
207. Objection Fifth (Theological).—The resurrection consistent with your theory could not be a resurrection of the same particles as were laid in the grave, and in this respect it would be dissimilar to that of Christ.
Reply.-A dissimilarity between the two exists under any theory, for the body of Christ did not experience corruption, while the bodies of believers in Christ are manifestly dissolved by death.
[We make the following suggestion with much hesitation.
What we have to say is founded upon an exceedingly able work by Edward White, entitled Life in