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qualified to entertain or even to perceive any scientific objection. They acknowledge that certain deductions made by men of science appear to contradict or to be incompatible with certain truths of their religion. But these they regard as premature conclusions, averring that when the laws of nature have been more deeply investigated, there will be found a perfect concord between science and revelation. Certain scientific truths they readily assent to, and it is only the altogether human superstructure of speculation built upon these that they profess to question. 'You have built,' they say, 'upon the rock of truth a structure of wood, hay, stubble, and you would persuade us that it is the very temple of God. We will not enter it, but will patiently wait in the expectation of seeing it speedily consumed with fire.'
Now, whatever be the merits or demerits of such men, it is not for them we write. Their merit may consist in having made a perfectly true charge against certain classes of scientific men-their demerit probably in having themselves treated religion precisely as they accuse their adversaries of having treated scientific truth. We must let them alone-they will not be influenced by anything that we can say. We may perhaps be praised by them in a certain measure if it be thought that we have helped to overthrow the superstructure built by their adversaries; we shall certainly be condemned by them if it be thought that we have helped to weaken any portion of the superstructure which they themselves have reared.
51. In the next place, and occupying a middle position, we have those who see strong grounds for believing in a future life for man and in the existence
of an invisible world, but who at the same time are forced to acknowledge the strength of the objections urged against these doctrines by certain men of science. Some of this class attach much weight to the evidence in favour of these doctrines derived from the Christian records; others again, unable to believe in these records, are yet powerfully impressed by the universal longing for immortality which civilised man has always shown, while others attach nearly equal importance to both kinds of evidence. Nevertheless, all of the class of which we now speak have deeply studied the scientific objections, and do not well see how to surmount them. It is to this class that we shall especially address ourselves in the following chapters.
52. The third class of men are those of the extreme materialistic school. All human history, including the life of Christ and that which took place in connection with it, all yearnings of man for immortality, all life, from that of the noblest of human beings to that of the primordial animated germ, are explained by this class as the result of the interaction of material atoms guided by certain measurable physical forces. They consider that they have no reason to believe that there is anything beyond or beside the visible universe, and in consequence they decline entering into any argument upon the subject. Their premiss may be wrong, but their conclusion follows from it as a matter of course. We have examined (say they) all the evidence in favour of another universe, and find it utterly worthless, why then should we discuss the subject ?-it is one of those delusions. that are common in man. When a traveller pretends
to have received information about some strange and distant country, our first step is to inquire whether he is a trustworthy and sane man, and if we find he is otherwise, it is quite unnecessary for us to discuss either the information which he brings, or the objections to that information. You pretend to show the scientific possibility that this information may be correct, but why should we study your argument since there is no evidence for supposing that there is any such place?
53. To these men we would reply that, even assuming their own point of view, our scheme will, we venture to suggest, be found to give a more complete and continuous explanation of the visible order of things than one which proceeds upon the assumption tha there is nothing else. In this respect we may liken it to the hypothesis of atoms, or that of an ethereal medium, for neither of which have we the direct evidence of our senses, both of which have nevertheless been adopted as affording the best xplanations of the phenomena of the visible universe.
54. Our readers being thus classed will now be anxious to learn our position. Let us begin by stating at once that we assume, as absolutely selfevident, the existence of a Deity who is the Creator and Upholder of all things. (Romans i. 19-21.)
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.
It is for instance on account of these laws that we cannot be present in different places at the same time; or move over more than a certain space in a
certain time, or think more than a certain number of thoughts; or feel more than a certain number of sensations in a certain given time.
And hence while we can very easily imagine an intelligence superior to ourselves, but yet finite, to be very differently conditioned, we cannot imagine any finite intelligence to be absolutely without conditions. At any rate, if finite intelligences unconditioned with respect to time and space be conceivable existences, they must of necessity be so absolutely unconnected with the present universe, which has reference to time and space, that their existence need not be contemplated so far at least as our argument is concerned.
55. It will thus be seen that we cannot conceive of finite intelligences existing in the universe without being in some way conditioned; but we now come to a point which deserves a somewhat fuller discussion. We can imagine the materialists saying to us:
'You are right in asserting the inconceivability of such intelligence as that of man existing without being conditioned, which to our mind implies some sort of association with matter--that is precisely the view we ourselves take. But, on the other hand, we can very well conceive of matter existing without intelligence, as for instance a block of wood, or a bar of iron.1 Thus the connection between these two things, matter and mind, is of such a nature, that mind cannot exist
1 We are aware that a certain class of thinkers regard all matter and combinations of matter as in some unexplained sense alive. We will discuss this doctrine in another place; meanwhile it must be understood that we do not here allude to this peculiar life, which from its very conception must exist as truly in a dead body as in a living one; what we are discussing at present is individual consciousness of the ordinary recognised type.
without matter, while matter can and does exist without mind. Is there not therefore a reality about matter which there is not about mind?1 Can we conceive a single particle of matter to go out of the universe for six or eight hours and then to return to it; but do we not every day see our consciousness disappearing in the case of deep sleep, or in a swoon, and then returning to us again? Far be it from us to deny that we have something which is called consciousness, and is utterly distinct from matter and the properties of matter, as these are regarded in Physics. But may not the connection between the two be of this nature?-When a certain number of material particles consisting of phosphorus, carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, and perhaps some other elements, are, in consequence of the operations of their mutual forces, in certain positions with respect to each other, and in certain states of motion, consciousness is the result, but whenever this relative state is brought to an end, there is also an end of consciousness and the sense of individual existence, while however the particles of phosphorus, carbon, etc., remain as truly as ever.'
56. Now this means that matter must be looked upon as mistress of the house, and individual consciousness as an occasional visitor whom she permits to partake of her hospitality, turning him out of doors whenever the larder is empty. It is worth while to investigate the process of thought which gives rise to this curious conception of the economy of the universe.
As will be seen in Chap. III., the more important half of the realities of the physical world are forms of Energy, which cannot exist except when associated with Matter. We mention this merely in a footnote now, as we do not wish to diverge too far from our present line of argument.