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free, may happen or may not happen; neither do I feel myself called upon to believe in any such freedom, for if it really existed it would completely paralyse man's action, -as there could be no prevision either in God or man.

This short Treatise is dedicated to those, and to those only, who love truth above all things, for its own sake.





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The assump

Not very long ago all the world believed that the sun went round the earth ; they saw that it did ; now all the world (with a very small exception) believes in the existence of matter ; they see it, they feel it, and that is enough. doxical as it may seem, philosophers, after the most diligent research have failed to find matter anywhere, and whereas we were wont to speak of the impenetrability and indestructibility of matter, we now speak only of the persistence and conservation or indestructibility of Force. tion that the force which acts upon us, and of which only therefore we know anything, belongs to something else which we call matter, is gratuitous, unwarrantable, and altogether unnecessary. Heat and Light were until very recently thought to be matter, but the material theory with respect to those is now given up. Count Rumford boiled water by thumping upon iron, and Sir Humphrey Davy produced heat by rubbing two pieces of ice together. As concussion and friction therefore produced heat, heat was


thought to be not matter, but motion. But motion is nothing, it is the mere mode of action of Force and the transference of it in greater or less intensity, from one point of space to another. The heat from friction and arrested motion is merely an illustration of the persistence of force, of its varying action in different conditions, and of the transference of it from one centre of force (which we call body) to another. Heat and Light are the same, that is, different modes of action or motion of the same force, as are also electricity, magnetism, and chemical affinity; that is to say, they are correlates, and all change readily into each other without loss of quantity of the original Force. These forces, or rather this force, since all are convertible, is the source of the delusion we are under with respect to matter, when we say we see and feel it. For what do we see? Light, which is force, photographs a minute inverted image on the bottom of the eye-on the retina, which acting on the Brain produces consciousness of an object. All that is known to us is the mental conception,the reality of which our conception is composed is Force. It is evident there is no matter here. But surely we feel matter if we do not see it? The sense of Feeling is mere repulsion-resistance to motion. When we speak of matter as subtle, or as solid, liquid, or aeriform, we simply mean that it presents more or less resistance to motion. When the question arises," says J. S. Mill, "whether something which affects our senses in a peculiar way, as for instance whether Heat or Light, or Electricity, is, or is not matter, what seems always to be meant is, does it offer any, however trifling, resistance to motion ? If it were shown that it did, this would at once terminate all doubt.” But Resistance is repulsion or force, which acting on the sense causes a sensation; when acting on the brain, an idea.

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