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and ranged, some thousands of years ago, an animal wholly different from any we ever saw, and from any of which any account, any tradition, written or oral, has reached us, nay, from any that ever was seen by any person of whose existence we ever heard, we assuredly are led to this remote conclusion by a strict and rigorous process of reasoning; but, as certainly, we come through that process to the knowledge and belief things unseen both of us and of all men,things respecting which we have not, and cannot have, a single particle of evidence either by sense or by testimony. Yet we harbour no doubt of the fact. We go further, and not only implicitly believe the existence of this creature, for which we are forced to invent a name, but clothe it with attributes, till, reasoning step by step, we come at so accurate a notion of its form and habits, that we can represent the one and describe the other with unerring accuracy; picturing to ourselves how it looked, what it fed on, and how it continued its kind.... What perceivable difference is there between the kind of investigations we have just been considering, and those of Natural Theology; except, indeed, that the latter are far more sublime in themselves, and incomparably more interesting to us.' pp. 49, 50.

A noble reproof is here given to the unreasonableness and perverseness of scientific infidelity. In the third section, Lord Brougham shews that the evidences of design presented by the intellectual system, are not less adapted to lead to the knowledge and belief of an all-wise Creator; yet, strange to say, Ray, Derham, and Paley have apparently overlooked this branch of evidence; passing over in unaccountable silence by far the most 'singular work of Divine wisdom and power,-the mind itself." The following remarks are deserving of deep attention.

There cannot be a doubt that this extraordinary omission had its origin in the doubts which men are prone to entertain of the mind's existence independent of matter. The eminent persons above named were not materialists; that is to say, if you had asked them the question, they would have answered in the negative; they would have gone further, and asserted their belief in the separate existence of the soul independent of the body. But they never felt this as strongly as they were persuaded of the natural world's existence. Their habits of thinking led them to consider matter as the only certain existence-as that which composed the universe-as alone forming the subject of our contemplations-as furnishing the only materials for our inquirieswhether respecting structure or habits and operations. They had no firm, definite, abiding, precise idea of any other existence respecting which they could reason and speculate. They saw and they felt external objects; they could examine the lenses of the eye, the valves of the veins and arteries, the ligaments and the sockets of the joints, the bones and the drum of the ear; but, though they now and then made mention of the mind, and, when forced to the point, would acknowledge a belief in it, they never were fully and intimately persuaded of its separate existence. They thought of it and of matter very differently; they gave its structure, and its habits, and its

operations no place in their inquiries; their contemplations never rested upon it with any steadiness, and indeed scarcely ever even glanced upon it at all. That this is a very great omission, proceeding, if not upon mere carelessness, upon a grievous fallacy, there can be no doubt whatever.' PP. 54-56.

We do not now stop to inquire how far these remarks apply with justice to the Writers in question; but we wish to point out their important bearing upon the causes of scepticism. Nothing is more certain, although the fact is too often overlooked, than that belief is governed by habitual consideration; that, as a principle of action, it consists less in knowledge than in a habit of thinking. Knowledge can exert no practical influence upon us, except as it changes or determines our habitual considerations. That only which we think of, exists to us. Hence, to the anatomist or physiologist, exclusively occupied with the mechanism of the human frame, that study which would seem peculiarly adapted to lead to religious belief, proves too often the means of stripping the mind of all belief in spiritual existence, and of extinguishing all religious feeling. Lord Brougham has, in this passage, given a truly philosophical explanation of the intellectual cause of irreligion. Men become infidels, as the Writers in tion are represented as unconsciously adopting the theory of the materialist, by excluding religion and its evidence from their habits of thinking: their contemplations never rest with any steadiness upon the objects of their avowed belief, and hence they have no firm, definite, abiding, precise idea' of the unseen and the eternal world. And this suggests the explanation of the fact, that naturalists and scientific men are so apt to regard the study ' of natural religion as little connected with philosophical pur'suits,' and to stop short, in detecting the marks of infinite skill, of that seemingly inevitable inference which would lead their thoughts up to the Infinite Artificer.


To pursue our analysis: the learned Author proceeds to remark, that the evidence for the existence of mind is to the full as complete as that upon which we believe in the existence of ' matter. This subject is resumed in Section V., and followed up in a note, in which the Author exposes the flimsy and fallacious reasonings of the atheistic author of the 'Système de la Nature." The remainder of this section is occupied with giving a few brief but striking illustrations of the evidences of Creative Wisdom which are furnished by the constitution and functions of the human mind, and by the operations of instinct in the brute creation.

In Section IV., Lord Brougham has gone a little out of his straight course, in attempting to shew the unsoundness and insufficiency of the argumentum à priori, or the demonstration of the Being and attributes of God from abstract reasoning, as conducted


by Dr. Clarke and other metaphysical writers. In one point of view, we agree with his Lordship, there can be no absolutely à priori reasoning upon the subject, since the argument cannot be conducted independently of experience and consciousness; and it is impossible to prove that the existence and attributes of the Deity would have been discoverable or demonstrable by mere reasoning, in the absence of all existence à posteriori, since no such condition could exist. But we cannot admit that the argument à priori, as generally understood, is so completely useless and unsatisfactory as Lord Brougham would represent. He objects, that it would follow as a consequence of such argument, that the existence of God is a necessary, not a contingent truth; and that it is not only as impossible for the Deity not to exist as for the whole to be greater than the sum of its parts, but ' that it is equally impossible for his attributes to be other than 'the argument is supposed to prove they are.' Now we maintain this consequence to be no objection. We contend that the exist ence of God is a necessary truth, inasmuch as the atheistic hypothesis is a pure absurdity; and that it is as impossible for the Deity not to exist, and for his essential attributes to be other than they are, as for the whole to be greater than the sum of its parts. Lord Brougham observes, in exposing the sophistry of the materialists, that we cannot, in any instance, draw the inference of 'the existence of matter, without at the same time exhibiting a 'proof of the existence of mind.' The celebrated argument of Descartes, Cogito, ergo sum, had, in this sense, he remarks, a correct and profound meaning. In like manner, it may be said, we cannot prove the existence of mind, or frame to ourselves the idea of existence, without its involving the idea of a First Cause of existence, who must be of necessity Self-existent. The act of thought includes the idea of conscious existence; and from the idea of conscious existence, that of its Author is rationally inseparable. We might therefore parallel the argument of Descartes (which may be termed an abbreviated syllogism, in which the minor proposition is understood) with another of equal logical strength-Sum, ergo Deus est. The self-existence of the Creator of all things is as certain a truth, as impossible to be otherwise, as his existence: it is included in the idea of God, and therefore forms part of the proposition, There is a God. It is moreover a truth that could not be proved à posteriori. We may infer the Divine wisdom, power, and goodness from the manifestation of those Attributes; and their contraries,' it may be admitted, are not things wholly inconceivable.' 'Perfect as


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the frame of things actually is,' remarks the learned Writer, ' few apparent exceptions to the general beauty of the system ' have made many disbelieve the perfect power and perfect good'ness of the Deity, and invent Manichean theories to account

'for the existence of evil';-a proof, by the way, how imperfect and uncertain are the deductions of Natural Theology in the absence of Revelation. But we cannot infer from the works of God, either his self-existence, his eternity and immutability, or his absolute perfection. These are discovered to us, primarily, by Revelation; but they are susceptible also of demonstration by reason. Not by the argument from the existence of time and space *, (which is, after all, as Lord Brougham justly remarks, reasoning à posteriori,) but by shewing that the contrary, if not inconceivable,' would be an irrational notion, as involving a contradiction or absurdity. That the Cause of all being must be self-existent, is not more evident and certain, the terms being understood, than that, as the Cause of all perfection, he must be all perfect. Otherwise, though a cause would be assigned in the Divine Existence, for the existence of other beings, there would be perfections attaching to created beings, for which no cause would be assignable: they would be effects without a cause. And the absurdity would not be greater, that is involved in the supposition of contingent qualities without a cause, than that which attaches to the notion of contingent existence without a cause. In other words, we might as rationally suppose a finite being to have come into existence of itself, as suppose it to possess qualities of power, wisdom, and goodness for which it was not indebted to its Author, or as suppose that the Author of all power, and wisdom, and goodness, is less than infinitely powerful, wise, and good. And whereas all caused being,' remarks the Author of the Living Temple, 'is, as such, to every man's understanding, confined within certain limits, what can the Uncaused, Self-existent Being be, but most unlimited, infinite, all-comprehending, and most absolutely perfect? Nothing, therefore, can be more evident, than that the Self-existent Being must be 'the absolutely Perfect Being.'

This, however, it may be said, is still arguing from effects to their cause, which is the argument à posteriori. As we infer from the marks of design in the works of the Creator, the wisdom of the Designer, so we infer by rational deduction, the goodness of God from the quality of goodness in created beings, and from the sense of goodness which he has implanted in us. But although we might infer the wisdom and goodness of the Creator, we could not certainly prove from the manifestation of those perfections, that He is absolutely and perfectly wise and good;

* The unsatisfactory nature of this argument, we have had occasion to shew, in reviewing the acute, ingenious, but unsound reasoning of Mr. Drew, in our review of his work on the Divine Attributes. See Eclectic Review, Second Series. Vol. XXI., pp. 289–306.

-that "God is light, and in Him is no darkness; " because there exist qualities in the creature, and effects in the visible universe, which are of an evil nature, and which would therefore seem to imply a limitation at least in the exercise of those infinite attributes. Nor would it be easy, as it seems to us, by the mere force of reasoning à posteriori, to disprove and convict of absurdity the Manichean theory. The absolute perfection of God must either be regarded as purely a matter of faith, in spite of present appearances to the contrary,-a doctrine of Revelation; or, if capable of being demonstrated by reason, it must be by shewing that it is a necessary truth, the contrary of which involves absurdity.

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Lord Brougham expresses his astonishment, that so profound a thinker, and, generally speaking, so accurate a reasoner as Clarke, should have supposed that he could deduce from the self-existence of God his infinite Perfection. Prior to all experience,' he remarks, no one could ever know that there were such things as judges or governors; and without the previous idea of a finite ruler or judge, we could never gain any idea of an eternal and 'infinitely just ruler or judge.' What, then! because we arrive at the knowledge of abstract and necessary truths by means of previous ideas of actual and sensible things, does this prove that there are no such things as necessary truths or self-evident propositions? Without the previous ideas obtained by perception, it is certain that the mind would be incapable of exercising the faculty of reasoning: does this prove that mathematical truth depends upon experience and observation? We must, in our turn, express surprise, that so acute a logician as Lord Brougham should have imputed inconclusive reasoning to Clarke, upon no better ground than his own mistake in confounding the history of the intellectual phenomena (to which the explanation of our arriving at abstract ideas belongs) with the laws of reasoning. We arrive at the idea of eternity, undoubtedly, from our experience of succession, which suggests the idea of time; but does it follow from this fact, that the Eternity of God is an idea derived altogether from our consciousness, having no foundation in the nature of things, or a truth demonstrable only by induction from physical facts?

We have already said, that all reasoning must assume something that is known; and he who would prove there is a God, must assume-if this is indeed to be termed an assumption-that he, the conscious reasoner, exists. But Truth does not depend upon our knowledge of it. That God is, is a fact wholly independent of our belief. We give existence to nothing, by ascertaining its reality. The foundation of our knowledge, therefore,

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