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spirit do not exhaust God. He transcends the world of matter and of spirit; and in virtue of that transcendence continually makes the world of matter fairer, and the world of spirit wiser. So there is really a progress in the manifestation of God, not a progress in God the manifesting.” Professor Ferrier, of St. Andrew's, says, “ All absolute existences are contingent except one ; in other words, there is One, but only one, Absolute Existence which is strictly necessary; and that existence is a supreme and infinite and everlasting Mind in synthesis with all things."*
Carlyle also :-“This fair universe, in the meanest province thereof, is in very deed the star-domed City of God; through every star, through every grass-blade, and most through every living soul, the glory of a present God still beams: But Nature, which is the Time-vesture of God, and reveals Him to the wise, hides Him from the foolish.”+
The Christian doctrine is, that “In Him (God) we live and move and have our being." That God is all in all, and the Devil something besides, is only the unanswerable logic of the pulpit. :
* Institutes of Metaphysics : The Theory of Knowing and Being. + Sartor Resartus, p. 274.
We are told repeatedly by those who support this influence or personage that we are not to rest in second causes, and yet they make the Devil the “ Origin of Evil” and not his Maker. The fact is that a Being who is always in pursuit of pain, that is, of evil, who, with above ordinary intelligence, is always systematically acting in opposition to his own interest, is an impossibility. We know of no creature who is not seeking the greatest apparent good, in the “pursuit of pleasure or the avoidance of pain.” God is the Great First Cause-- the Author of all things, and if He could have made a world like this earth, with all the happiness it now contains, without pain, no doubt he would have done so.
We must limit either His Goodness or His Power, and we prefer the latter, as it is not derogatory to the character of God that he cannot perform impossibilities. He could not make that not to have
The Duke of Argyle, in the admirable paper on the Reign of Law, from which we have already quoted, says :-“Science, in the modern doctrine of the Conservation of Energy, and Convertibility of Forces, is already getting something like a firm hold of the idea that all kinds of force are but forms and manifestations of some one central Force, issuing from some one fountain-head of power. Sir John Herschel has not hesitated to say that it is but reasonable to regard the force of gravitation as the direct or indirect result of a consciousness and a will existing somewhere.' And even if we cannot assume that force, in all its forms, is due to the direct working of the Creator, at least let us not think or speak of the forces of nature as if they were independent of, or even separate from, His Power.
Nothing is more remarkable in the present state of physical research than what may be called the transcendental character of its results. And what is transcendentalism but the tendency to trace up all things to the relation in which they stand to abstract ideas? And what is this but to bring all physical phenomena nearer and nearer into relation with the phenomena of mind? The old speculations of philosophy which cut the ground from materialism by showing how little we know of matter, are now being daily reinforced by the subtle analysis of the physiologist, the chemist, and the electrician. Under that analysis matter dissolves and disappears, surviving only as the phenomena of Force; which again is seen converging along all its lines to some common centre --- sloping through darkness up to God."
Creation by Law - Evolution by Law
been, which has been, or the half equal to the whole, or give finite beings infinite attributes, which is the same thing. Limited intelligence therefore must be always liable to error, and we cannot conceive of a more effectual check to error than pain.
Development by Law, or as including all these kindred ideas, the Reign of Law, is nothing but the Reign of Creative Force, directed by Creative Knowledge, worked under the control of Creative Power, and in fulfilment of Creative Purpose."
Mr. R. S. Wyld, in a paper read before the Royal Society of Edinburgh, says, “ Recent discoveries have established that heat is mechanical force, the two being mutually convertible without loss. The attraction of gravity and chemical attractions and repulsions are all the same physical force, and the entire external world is nothing but a manifestation of it, simple and grand conception, and one which enters alike the domain of physics, of speculative philosophy, and of theology, and which in all of these sciences is equally important. It represents the external world and its Creator as possessed of one immaterial and spiritual essence-power and intelligence being the attributes of the Creator, and power subordinate and sustained the characteristic of the Creation.” *
Bishop Berkeley holds that Deity inspires or causes the various mental sensations, and that there is no external world; Mr. Wyld that there is no such thing as matter, but that the world is a manifestation of Divine powerexhibited in space—so that the outer world has a real existence. For myself, I am not able to see how it is possible to separate the power of God from God himself; this conception may suit the exigencies of an ethical creed not based on Law, but as mind and matter are only the phenomenal modifications of the same common substance, so God and the power of God are equally inseparable, and I know nothing of power subordinate and sustained as something
* On the World as a Dynamical and Immaterial World. — Proceedings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, vol. v., 1864-5. No. 67,
separate from the Creator Himself. I can arrive at no other conclusion but that God and Nature — the Creator and the Creation — are One and Indivisible.
And need we fear to accept this conclusion ? If we have God manifest in the flesh, surely the Universe in its Unity and Beauty is a not less worthy representation of the Absolute. “All we see is but the vesture of God, and what we call laws of Nature are attributes of Deity.”* We feel that:
" The awful shadow of some unseen Power
Floats tho’ unseen among us." - Shelley.
" And I have felt
• There lives and works
“ Earth, ocean, air, beloved brotherhood !
If our great Mother have imbued my soul
Philosophy of Necessity, p. 445.
If spring's voluptuous pantings when she breathes
no bright bird, insect, or gentle beast,
“ Neither is it only to the Old Pantheism, and nothing more, that we have been destined to return after all ; but surely to something much higher :-something higher, in degree at least, if not in kind, than that to which the purest wisdom of antiquity was able to attain. For the self-knowledge which we may now say that our whole of Nature has gained of itself, is that it is the farthest possible from being entitled to claim absolutely for itself the proud name of the Whole of Things ! That is to say, the utmost that man is enabled to embrace even in his vaguest conceptions, is immeasurably inferior to the actual tò pân. Outside and beyond that which is the Whole to us, is always the unknown and unknowable that belongs to God only. The clear separation of the ideas,—the Whole that is our's, and the Whole that is not our's, but that includes our's as a part, -is our great gain over those highest minds of antiquity that may still have been dimly conscious of it. That Deity which was the Pan in the highest form to the philosophic world in general, has become to us subordinate to the still higher conception of the Divine Mystery that never can be unveiled to men.
“And the lower domain of Pantheism,—that which we call lower because it is accessible, though to them it was the higher because they had yet no means of estimating the degrees of remoteness :this present belief which has come aga to agree with that of Old, in recognizing that through the entirety of the Universe exists the whole of Deity that we can either know or conceive, -has at the same time the advantage over it, by all that the ages of experience have added. It is a Pantheism which contains within itself the rich contents of all the Religions and all the Philosophies the world has hitherto possessed; and yet farther, having the power now seen to be contained in it, the blessed necessity, of going on to make more and better !—Say we are returned to a parallel condition with that of the world in the time of Xenophanes ; — what is there other than reason for rejoicing if we have also before us, in prophetic anticipation, a parallel repetition to be undergone, on a higher stage, of that succession of reigning mythologies whose early phase has