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suppose existence, which is a petitio principii.'. If, therefore self-existent, having been proved, the next therefore, properties, modes, or attributes in God be question is, whether there exists more than one such considered as perfections (and it is impossible to con- Being, or, in other words, whether we are to ascribe sider them as any thing else), then, by this confession to him an absolute unity or soleness. On this point of the great author himself, they must all or any of the testimony of the Scriptures is express and unequithem presuppose existence. It is indeed immediately vocal. “ The Lord our God is ONE Lord.” Deut. vi. 4. added in the same place, that bare necessity of exist- “ The Lord he is God, there is NONE ELSE beside him.” ence does not presuppose, but infer existence;' which Deut. iv. 35. “Thou art God ALONE.” Psalin lxxxvi. is true only if such necessity be supposed to be a prin- 10. “We know that an idol is nothing in the world, ciple extrinsic, the absurdity of which has been already and there is none other God but ONE.” Nor is this shown, and is indeed universally confessed. If it be stated in Scripture merely to exclude all other creators, a mode or property, it must presuppose the existence governors, and deities, in connexion with men, and the of its subject as certainly and as evidently as it is a system of c nated things which we behold; but absomode or a property. It might, perhaps, a posteriori lutely, so a to exclude the idea of the existence, any infer the existence of its subject, as effects may infer a where, of more than one Divine nature. cause ; but that it should infer in the other way à priori Of this Unity, the proper Scripture notion may be thus is altogether as impossible as that a triangle should be expressed. Some things are one by virtue of composia square, or a globe a parallelogram.”(5)
tion, but God hath no parts, nor is compounded; but is The true idea of the necessary existence of God is, a pure, simple Being. Some are one in kind, but admit that he thus exists because it is his nature, as an inde- many individuals of the same kind, as men, angels, pendent and uncaused being, to be ; his being is neces- and other creatures; but God is so one that there are sary because it is underived, not underived because it no other Gods, though there are other beings. Some is necessary. The first is the suber sense of the word things are so one, as that there exists no other of the among our old divines; the latter is a theory of modern same kind, as are one sun, one moon, one world, one date, and leads to no practical result whatever, except heaven; yet there might have been more, if it had to entangle the mind in difficulty, and to give a colour pleased God so to will it. But God is so one, that to some very injurious errors.
there is not, there cannot be another God. He is one Equally unsatisfactory, and therefore quite as little only, and takes up the Deity so fully, as to admit no calculated to serve the cause of truth, is the argument fellow.(7) from space; which is represented by Newton, Clarke, The proof of this in portant doctrine from Scripture and others, as an infinite mode of an infinite substance, is short and simple. We have undoubted proots of a and that substance, God; so that from the existence of revelation from the Maker and Governor of this present space itself may be argued the existence of one Su- world. Granting him to be wise and good. “it is impreme and Infinite Being. Berkeley, Law, and others, possible that God should lie," and his own testimony have however shown the fallacy of considering space assigns to him an exclusive Deity. If we admit the either as a substance or a mode, and have brought these authority of the Scriptures, we admit a Deity; if we speculations under the dominion of common sense, and admit one God, we exclude all others. The truth of rescued them from metaphysical delusion. They have Scripture resting, as we have seen, on proofs which rightly observed, that space is a mere negation, and cannot be resisted without universal skepticism, and that to suppose it to have existence because it has some universal skepticism being proved to be impossible by properties, for instance, of penetrability, or the capa- the common conduct of even the most skeptical men, city of receiving body, is the same thing as to affirm the proof of the Divine Unity resis precisely on the that darkness must be something because it has the same basis, and is sustained by the same certain evicapacity of receiving light, and silence something be- dence. cause it has the property of admitting sound, and ab- On this, as on the former point, however, there is sence the property of being supplied by presence. To much rational confirmation, to which revelation has reason in this manner is to assign absolute negations, given us the key; though without that, and even in its and such as in the same way may be applied to no- strongest form, it may be concluded from the prevalence thing, and then call them positive properties, and so of polytheism among the generality of nations, and of infer that the chimera thus clothed with them must dualism among others, that the human mind would needs be something. The arguments in favour of the have bad but too indistinct a view of this kind of evireal existence of space as something positive, have dente to rest in a conclusion se necessary to true relifailed in the hands of their first great authors, and the gion and to settled rules of morals. attempts since made to uphold them have added nothing To prove the unity of God, several arguments à pri but what is exceedingly futile, and indeed often obvi- ori have been made use of; to which mode of proof, ously absurd. The whole of this controversy has left provided the argument itself be logical, no objection us only to lament the waste of labour which has been lies. For though it appears absurd to attempt to prove employed in erecting around the impregnable ramparts à priori the existence of a first cause, seeing that nothing of the great arguments on which the cause rests with can either in order of time or order of nature be prior 80 much safety, the useless encumbrances of mud and to him, or be conceived prior to him; yet the exist. straw.
ence of an independent and self-existent cause of all The proof of the being of a God reposes wholly then things being made known to us by revelation, and conupon arguments à posteriori, and it needs no other; firmed by the phenomena of actual and dependent exthough we shall see as we proceed, that even these ar- istence, a ground is laid for considering from this fact, guments, strong and irrefutable as they are when which is antecedent in order of nature, though not in rightly applied, have been used to prove more as to order of time, the consequent attributes with which some of the attributes of God, than can satisfactorily such a Being must be invested. be drawn from them. Even with this safe and con- Among the arguinents of this class to prove the Di. vineing process of reasoning at our command, we shall vine Unity, the following are the principal. find at every step of an inquiry into the Divine Nature Dr. S. Clarke argues from his view of the necessary our entire dependence upon divine revelation for our existence of the Divine Being. “Necessity," he obprimary light. That must both originate our investi- serves, “absolute in itself, is simple, and uniform, gations, and conduct them to a satisfactory result. and universal, without any possible difference, dif
formity, or variety whatsoever; and all variety or difference of existence must needs arise from some ex.
ternal cause, and be dependent upon it." And again, CHAPTER II.
"To suppose two or more distinct beings existing of ATTRIBUTES of God:(6) Unity, Spirituality.
themselves necessarily, and independent of each other, The existence of a Supreme Creator and First Cause distinguish him from all other beings. Perfections, of all things, himself uncaused and independent, and because they are the several representations of thaí
one perfection, which is himself. Names and terms, (5) Law's Inquiry:
because they express and signify something of his (6) “ They are called attributes, because God attri- essence. Notions, because they are so many apprebutes them to, and affirms them of, himself. Proper- hensions of his being as we conceive of him in our ties, because we conceive them proper to God, and such minds.”-Lawson's Theo-Politica. as can be predicated only of him, so that by them we
implies this contradiction—that each of them being in- , that being, seems to require some ground or reason; dependent of each other, they may either of them be which reason, as it is foreign from the being itself, must supposed to exist alone; so that it will be no contra- be the effect of some other external cause, and consediction to suppose the other not to exist, and consequently cannot have place in the first cause. That the quently neither of them will be necessarily existing.”(8) self-existent being is capable of perfection, or absolute These arguments being, however, wholly founded infinity, must be granted; because he is manifestly the upon that peculiar notion of necessary existence which subject of one infinite or perfect attribute, namely, eteris advocated by the author, derive their whole authority nity, or absolute invariable existence. In this respect from the principle itself, to which some objections his existence is perfect, and therefore it may be perfect have been off ed.
in every other respect also. Now, that which is the The argument from space must share the same fate. subject of one infinite attribute or perfection must have If space be an infinite attribute of an infinite substance, all its attributes infinitely or in perfection ; since to and an essential attribute of Deity, then the existence have any perfections in a finite, limited manner, when of one infinite substance, and one only, ay probably the subject and these perfections are both capable be argued from the existence of this infinite property; of strict infinity, would be the fore-mentioned abbut if space be a mere negation, and neither substance surdity of positive limitation without a cause. nor attribute, which has been sufficiently proved by pose this eternal and independent being limited in or the writers before referred to, then it is worth nothing by its own nature, is to suppose some antecedent naas a proof of the unity of God.
ture or limiting quality superior to that being, to the Wollaston argues, that if two or more independent existence of which no thing, no quality, is in any beings exist, their natures must be the same or differ- respect antecedent or superior. The same method of ent; it different, either contrary or various. If con- reasoning will prove knowledge and every other pertrary, each must destroy the operations of the other; fection to be infinite in the Deity, when once we have if various, one must have what the other wants, and proved that perfection to belong to him at all; at least, both cannot be perfect. If their nature be perfectly the it will show that to suppose it limited is unreasonable, same, then they would coincide and indeed be but one, since we can find no manner of ground for limitation in though called two.(9)
any respect ; and this is as far as we need go, or perBishop Wilkins says, if God be an infinitely perfect haps as natural light will lead us.”(4) Being, it is impossible to imagine two such Beings at The connexion between the steps of the argument the same time, because they must have several perfec- from the self-existence and infinity of the Deity to his tions, or the same. If the former, neither of them can unity, may be thus traced. There is actually existing be God, because neither of them has all possible per- an absolute, entire fulness of wisdom, power, and of all fections. If they have both equal perfections, neither other perfection. This absolute, entire fulness of perof them can be absolutely perfect; because it is not so fection is infinite. This infinite perfection must have great to have the same equal perfections in common its seat somewhere. Its primary, original seat can be with another as to be superior to all others. (1)
nowhere but in necessary self-subsisting being. If “ The nature of God," says Bishop Pearson, then we suppose a plurality of self-originate beings sists in this, that he is the prime and original cause of concurring to make up the seat or subject of this infiall things, as an independent Being, upon whom all nite perfection, each one must either be of finite and things else depend, and likewise the ultimate end or partial perfection, or infinite and absolute. Infinite and final cause of all; but in this sense, two prime causes absolute it cannot be, because one self-originate, infiare unimaginable : and for all things to depend on one, nitely and absolutely perfect being will necessarily and yet for there to be more independent beings than comprehend all perfection, and leave nothing to the one, is a clear contradiction."(2)
rest. Nor finite, because many finites can never make The best argument of this kind is, however, that one infinite; nor many broken parcels or fragments of which arises from absolute perfection; the idea of perfection ever make infinite and absolute perfection, which forces itself upon our minds, when we reflect even though their number, if that were possible, were upon the nature of a self-existent and independent infinite. Being. Such a Being there is, as is sufficiently proved To these arguments from the Divine Nature, proofs from the existence of beings dependent and derived; and of his unity are to be drawn from his works. While we it is impossible to admit that without concluding, that have no revelation of or from any other being than he who is independent and underived, who subsists from him whom we worship as God: so the frame wholly and only of himself, without depending on any and constitution of nature present us with a harmony other, must owe this absoluteness to so peculiar an and order which show, that their Creator and Preserver excellence of his own nature, as we cannot well con- is but one. We see but one will and one intelligence, ceive to be less than that by which it comprehends in and therefore there is but one Being. The light of this itself the most boundless and unlimited fulness of being, truth must have been greatly obscured to heathens, who life, power, or whatsoever can be conceived under the knew not how to account for the admixture of good name of a perfection. “To such a Being, infinity may and evil which are in the world, and many of them be justly ascribed; and infinity, not extrinsically con- therefore supposed both a good and evil deity. To sidered with respect to time and place, but intrinsi- us, however, who know how to account for this fact cally, as imparting bottomless profundity of essence, from the relation in which man stands to the moral and the full confluence of all kinds and degrees of per- government of an offended Deity, and the connexion of fection without bound or limit."(3) “Limitation is the this present state with another; and that it is to man effect of some superior cause, which, in the present a state of correction and discipline; not only is this instance, there cannot be; consequently, to suppose difficulty removed, but additional proof is assorded, that limits where there can be no limiter, is to suppose an the Creator and the Ruler of the world is but one Beeffect without a cause. For a being to be limited or ing. If two independent beings of equal power condeficient in any respect, is to be dependent in that curred to make the world, the good and the evil would respect on some other being, which gave it just so be equal; but the good predominates.- Between the much and no more; consequently, that being which in good and the evil there could also be no harmony or no respect depends upon any other, is in no respect connexion; but we plainly see evil subjected to the limited or deficient. In all beings capable of increase purposes of benevolence, and so to accord with it, which or diminution, and consequently incapable of perfection at once removes the objection. or absolute infinity, limitation or defect is indeed a ne- “Of the Unity of the Deity," says Paley," the proof cessary consequence of existence, and is only a nega- is, the uniformity of plan observable in the Universe, tion of that perfection which is wholly incompatible The Universe itself is a system; each part either dewith their nature; and therefore, in these beings, it re-pending upon other parts, or being connected with other quires no farther cause. But in a being naturally parts by some common law of motion, or by the precapable of perfection or absolute infinity, all imperfec- sence of some common substance.--One principle of tion or finiteness, as it cannot flow from the nature of gravitation causes a stone to drop towards the earth,
and the moon to wheel round it. One law of attrac(8) Demonstration, prop. 7.
tion carries all the different planets about the sun. (9) Religion of Nature.
This philosophers demonstrate. There are also other (1) Principles of Natural Religion.
points of agreement among them, which may be con(2) Exposition of the Creed. (3) Howe's Living Temple.
(4) Dr. GLEIG.
sidered as marks of the identity of their origin, and of fixed basis or immoveable fulcrum, without which metheir intelligent author. In all are found the con-chanically they could not act. The crust of an insect venience and stability derived from gravitation. They is its shell, and answers the like purpose. The shell all experience vicissitudes of days and nights, and also of an oyster stands in the place of a bone; the changes of season. They all, at least Jupiter, Mars, bases of the muscles being fixed to it, in the same manand Venus, have the saine advantages from their at- ner as, in other animals, they are fixed to the bones, mospheres as we have. In all the planets, the axes of All which (under wonderful varieties, indeed, and adaptarotation are permanent. Nothing is more probable, tions of form) confesses an imitation, a remembrance, than that the same attracting infinence, acting accord- a carrying on of the same plan." ing to the same rule, reaches to the fixed stars; but if If in a large house, wherein are many mansions and this be only probable, another thing is certain, namely, a vast variety of inhabitants, there appears exact order, that the same element of light does. The light from a all from the highest to the lowest continually attending fixed star affects our eyes in the same manner, is re- their proper business, and all lodged and constantly fracted and reflected according to the same laws, as provided for suitably to their several conditions, we the light of a candle. The velocity of the light of the find ourselves obliged to acknowledge one wise econofixed stars is also the same as the velocity of the light my; and if in a great city or commonwealth there is a of the sun, reflected from the satellites of Jupiter. The perfectly regular administration, so that not only the heat of the sun, in kind, differs nothing from the heat whole society enjoys an undisturbed peace, but every of a coal fire.
member has the station assigned him which he is best “In our own globe the case is clearer. New coun- qualified to fill, the unenvied chiefs constantly attendtries are continually discovered, but the old laws of ing their more important cares, served by the busy innature are always found in them; new plants perhaps, feriors, who have all a suitable accommodation, and or animals, but always in company with plants and food convenient for them, the very meanest ministering animals which we already know; and always possess to the public utility, and protected by the public care; ing many of the same general properties. We never –if, I say, in such a community we must conclude get among such original or totally different modes of there is a ruling counsel, which if not naturally yet is existence, as to indicate, that we are come into the politically one, and unless united, could not produce province of a different Creator, or under the direction such harmony and order; much more have we reason of a different will. In truth, the same order of things to recognise one governing intelligence in the earth, in attends us wherever we go. The elements act upon which ihere are so many ranks of beings disposed of in one another, electricity operates, the tides rise and fall, the most convenient manner, having all their several the magnetic needle elects its position in one region of provinces appointed to them, and their several kinds the earth and sea as well as in another. One atmos- and degrees of enjoyment liberally provided for, withphere invests all parts of the globe, and connects all ; out encroaching upon, but rather being mutually useful one sun illuminates ; one moon exerts its specific at- to each other, according to a settled and obvious subor. traction upon all parts. If there be a variety in natural dination. What else can account for this but a sove. effects, as, for example, in the tides of different seas, reign wisdom, a common provident nature presiding that very variety is the result of the same cause, acting over, and caring for the whole?(5) under different circumstances. In many cases this is The importance of the doctrine of the Divine Unity is proved; in all, is probable.
obvious. The existence of one God is the basis of all “ The inspection and comparison of living forms add true religion. Polytheism confounds and unsettles all to this argument examples without number. Of all moral distinction, divides and destroys obligation, and large terrestrial animals, the structure is very much takes away all sure trust and hope from man. There alike ; their senses nearly the same ; their natu- is one God who created us; we are therefore his proral functions and passions nearly the same; their perty, and bound to him by an absolute obligation of viscera nearly the same, both in substance, shape, obedience. He is the sole Ruler of the world, and his and office; digestion, nutrition, circulation, secre- one immutable will constitutes the one immutable law tion, go on, in a similar manner, in all; the great cf our actions, and thus questions of morality are set. circulating fluid is the same ; for I think no difference tled on permanent foundations. To him alone we owe has been discovered in the properties of blood from repentance, and confession of sin; to one Being alone whatever animal it be drawn. The experiment of we are directed to look for pardon, in the method he transfusion proves that the blood of one animal will has appointed; and if he be at peace with us, we need serve for another. The skeletons also of the larger ter- fear the wrath of no other, for he is supreme; we are restrial animals show particular varieties, but still not at a loss among a crowd of supposed deities, to under a great general affinity. The resemblance is which of them we shall turn in trouble; he alone resomewhat less, yet sufficiently evident, between quad-ceives prayer, and he is the sole and sufficient object of rupeds and birds. They are all alike in five respects, trust. When we know Him, we know a Being of ab. for one in which they differ.
solute perfection, and need no other friend or refuge. “In fish, which belong to another department, as it Among the discoveries made to us by Divine Revelawere, of nature, the points of comparison become fewer. tion, we find not only declarations of the existence and But we never lose sight of our analogy; e. g. we still unity of God, but of his nature or substance, which is meet with a stomach, a liver, a spine; with bile and plainly affirmed to be spiritual, “God is a SPIRIT." blood; with teeth; with eyes, which eyes are only The sense of the Scriptures in this respect cannot be slightly varied from our own, and which variation, in mistaken. Innumerable passages and allusions in them truth, demonstrates, not an interruption, but a con- show, that the terms spirit and body, or matter, are tinuance of the same exquisite plan; for it is the adapta- used in the popular sense for substances of a perfectly tion of the organ to the element, namely, to the dif- distinct kind, and which are manifested by distinct and ferent refraction of light passing into the eye out of a in many res vects opposite and incommunicable proper. denser medium. The provinces, also, themselves of ties: that the former only can perceive, think, reason, water and earth, are connected by the species of ani- will, and act; that the latter is passive, impercipient, mals which inhabit both: and also by a large tribe of divisible, and corruptible. Under these views and in aquatic animals, which closely resemble the terrestrial this popular language, God is spoken of in holy writ. in their internal structure; I mean the cetaceous tribe, He is spirit, not body; mind, not matter. He is pure which have hot blood, respiring lungs, bowels, and spirit, unconnected even with bodily form or organs ; other essential parts, like those of land-animals. This “the invisible God whom no man hath seen or con similitude, surely, bespeaks the same creation, and the see," an immaterial, incorruptible, impassable subsame Creator
stance, an immense mind or intelligence, self-acting,' ** Insects and shell-fish appear to me to differ from self-moving, wholly above the perception of bodily other classes of animals the most widely of any. Yet selse; free from the imperfections of matter, and all even here, besides many points of particular resem- the infirmities of corporeal beings; far more excellent blance, there exists a general relation of a peculiar than any finite and created spirits, because their Creakind. It is the relation of inversion; the law of con- tor, and therefore styled, "the Father of spirits," and trariety; namely, that whereas, in other animals, the "the God of the spirits of all flesh.” bones to which the muscles are attached lie within the Such is the express testimony of Scripture as to the body; in insects and shell-fish they lie on the outside Divine Nature. That the disiinction which it holds
The shell of a lobster performs to the animal the office of a bone, by furnishing to the tendons that
(5) ABERNETHY's Sermons.
between matter and spirit should be denied or disre- , attribute of Deity, were annihilated, a Deity without
The decision of Scripture on this point is not to be submit to the laws of chemical decomposition, its shaken by human reasoning, were it more plausible in organization is as perfect as during life. If an opponent its attempt to prove that matter is capable of originating replies, that organic violence must have been sustained, thought, and that mind is a mere result of organization. though it is indiscernible, he begs the question, and The evidence from reason is however highly confirma- assumes that thought must depend upon organization, tory of the absolute spirituality of the nature of God, the very point in dispute. If more modest, he says, and of the unthinking nature of matter.
that the organs may have suffered, he can give no proof If we allow a First Cause at all, we must allow that of it; appearances are all against him. And if he argues cause to be intelligent. This has already been proved, from the phenomenon of the connexion of thought with from the design and contrivance manifested in his organization, grounding himself upon what is visible to works. The first argument for the spirituality of God is observation only, the argument is completely repulsed therefore drawn from his intelligence, and it rests upon by an appeal in like manner to the fact, that the organithis principle, that intelligence is not a property of matter.zation of the animal frame can be often exhibited,
With material substance we are largely acquainted; visibly unimpaired by those causes which have produced and as to the great mass of material bodies, we have death, and yet incapable of thought and intelligence. the means of knowing that they are wholly unintelligent. The conclusion therefore is, that mere organization This cannot be denied of every unorganized portion of cannot be the cause of intelligence, since it is plain that
Its essential properties are found to be solidity, precisely the same state of the organs shall often be extension, divisibility, inobility, passiveness, &c. In all found before and after death; and yet, without any vioits forms and mutations, from the granite rock to the lence having been done to them, in one moment man yielding atmosphere and the rapid lightning, these shall be actually intelligent, and in the next incapable essential properties are discovered; they take an infinite of a thought. So far then from the connexion between variety of accidental modes, but give no indication of mental phenomena, and the arrangement of matter in intelligence, or approach to intelligence. If then to the animal structure being “constant," the ground of know be a property of matter, it is clearly not an essen- the argument of Priestley and other materialists, it is tial property, inasmuch as it is agreed by all, that vast often visibly broken ; for a perfect organization of the masses of this substance exist without this property, animal remains after perception has become extinct. and it follows, that it must be an accidental one. This, In support of this argument, we may urge the repretherefore, would be the first absurdity into which those sentations of Scripture, upon that class of materialists would be driven who suppose the Divine Nature to be who have not proceeded to the full length of denying its material, that as intelligence, if allowed to be a property authority. Adam was formed out of the dust of the of matter, is an accidental and not an essential pro- earth, the organism of his frame was therefore comperty, on this theory it would be possible to conceive plete, before he became “a living soul.” God breathed of the existence of a Deity without any intelligence at into him “the breath of lives," and whatever different all. For, take away any property from a subject which persons may understand by that inspiration, it certainly is not essential to it, and its essence still remains; and was not an organizing operation. The man was first ir intelligence, which in this view is but an accidental formed or organized, and then life was imparted. Before
the animating breath was inspired, he was not intelli- , influence, and generally communicates, by the voice, his gent, because he lived not; yet the organization was pleasures or pains; his desires or fears.”_-" The assemcomplete before either life or the power of perception bled functions of the second class form the animal life." was imparted; thought did not arise out of his organic This strange definition of life' has been adopted by structure, as an effect from its cause.
Lawrence, and other disciples of the French school of The doctrine that mere organization is the cause of materialism ; but its absurdity as a definition is obvious, perception, &c. being clearly untenable, we shall pro- and could only have been adopted as a veil of words to bably be told, that the subject supposed in the argument hide a conclusion fatal to the favourite system. So far is a living organized being. If so, then the proof that from being a definition of life, it is no more than a dematter can think drawn from organization is given up, scription of the “functions” of a vital principle or and another cause of the phenomenon of intelligence is power, whatever that power or principle may be introduced. This is life, and the argument will be con- Function is a manner in which any power developes siderably altered. It will no longer be, as we have itself, or as Lawrence, the disciple of Bichat, has probefore quoted it from Dr. Priestley, " that the powers perly expressed it," a mode of action;" and to say that of sensation or perception, and thought, never having an assemblage of the modes in which any thing acts, been found but in conjunction with a certain organized is that which acts or “forms” that which acts, is the system of matter, the conclusion is that they depend upon greatest possible trifling and folly. such a system;" but that these powers not having been But Bichat is not the only one of modern materialists found but in conjunction with animal life, they depend who refuse honestly to pursue the inquiry, “ what is upon that as their cause.
life ?" when even affecting to describe or defend it. What then is life, which is thus exhibited as the Cuvier, another great authority in the same school, at cause of intelligence, and as the proof that matter is one time says, that, be life what it may, it cannot be capable of perception and thought? In its largest and what the vulgar suppose it, a particular principle commonly received sense, it is that inherent activity (principe particulier.) In another place he acknowwhich distinguishes vegetable and animal bodies from ledges that life can proceed only from life (la vie nast the soils in which the former grow, and on which the que de la vie). Then again he considers it an internal latter tread. A vegetable is said to live, because it has principle (un principe interieur d'entretien et de repamotion within itself, and is capable of absorption, secre- ration); and last of all says, what Mr. Lawrence has tion, nutrition, growth, and the reproduction of its kind. since repeated verbatim, that life consists in the sum With all this it exhibits no mental phenomena, no sen- total of all the functions (il consiste dans l'ensemble sation, no consciousness, no volition, no reflection, in a des functions qui servent a nourir le corps, c'est a dire word, it is utterly unintelligent. We have here a proof | la digestion, l'absorption, la circulation, &c.) Thus he then as satisfactory as our argument from organization, makes life a cause which owes its existence to its own that life, at least life of any kind, is not the cause of operations, and consequently a cause, which, had it not intelligence, for in ten thousand instances we see it operated to produce itself, had never operated nor existed existing in bodies to which it imparts no mental pro- at all!(7).“It is truly pitiful,” says a physiologist of perties at all.
other opinions, “ to think of a man with so many endowIf then it be said that the life intended as the cause ments, natural and acquired, driven as if blindfold by of intelligence is not vegetable, but animal life, the the fashion of the times, a contemptible vanity, or some next step in the inquiry is, in what the life of an animal wretched inclination, endeavouring to support with all differs from that of a vegetable; and if we go into the his energy the extravagant idea that the phenomena of camp of the enemy himself, we shall find him laying it design and intelligence displayed in the form and struedown, that to animals a double life belongs, the organic ture of his species might have been the effects of some and the animal, the former of which animals, and even impulse or motion, or of some group of functions as diman, has only in common with the vegetable. One gestion, circulation, respiration, &c., which have accimodification of life, says Bichat (upon whose scheme * dentally happened to meet without any assignable cause our modern materialists have modelled their arguments), to bring them together, to hold them together, or to is common to vegetables and animals, the other peculiar direct them.”(8) to the latter. "Compare together two individuals, one These and many other examples are in proof, that the taken from each of these kingdoms: one exists only cause of vital properties cannot, we do not say be exwithin itself, has no other relations to external objects plained, but cannot even ku indicated on the material than those of nutrition ; is born, grows, and perishes, system; and we are no nearer, for any thing which attached to the soil which received its germ. The other these physiologists say, to any satisfactory account of joins to this internal life, which it possesses in a still that life which is peculiar to animals, and which has higher degree, an external life, which establishes nu- been distinguished from the organic life that is commerous relations between it and the neighbouring mon to them and to vegetables. It is not the result of objects, unites its existence to that of other beings, and organization, for that “is no living principle, no active draws it near to, or removes it from them, according to cause.” “An organ is an instrument. Organizaits wants and fears."(6) This is only in other words to tion, therefore, is nothing more than a system of parts say, that there is one kind of life in man, which, as in so constructed and arranged, as to co-operate to one the vegetable, is the cause of growth, circulation, assimi- common purpose. It is an arrangement of instruments, lation, nutrition, excretion, and similar functions; and and there must be something beyond to bring these inanother on which depend sensation, the passions, will, struments into action."(9) If life cannot, therefore, be memory, and other attributes which we attribute to organization or the effect of it, it is not that inherent, spirit. We have gained then by this distinction another mechanical, and chemical motion which is called life in step in the argument. There is a life common to ani- vegetables, and which the physiologists have decided to be mals and to vegetables. Whether this be simple me- the same kind of life which they call organic in animals; chanism or something more, matters nothing to the for even the materialist acknowledges that to be a difconclusion; it confers neither sensation, nor volition, ferent species of life in animals, on which sensation, vonor reason. That life in men, and in the inferior ani- lition, and passion depend. What then is it? It is not mals, which is common to them and to vegetables, a material substance; in that all agree. It is not the called, by Bichat and his followers, organic life, is evi- material effect of the material cause, organization; that dently not the cause of intelligence.
has been shown to be absurd. It is not that mechaniWhat then is that higher species of life called animal cal and chemical inherent motion which performs so life, on which we are told our mental powers depend? many functions in vegetables and in animals, so far as And here the French materialist, whose notions have they have it in common with them; for no sensation, been so readily adopted into our own schools of phy- or other mental phenomena are allowed to result from siology, shall speak for himself. “ The functions of the these. It is therefore plainly no material cause and no animal form two distinct classes. One of these consists effect of matter at all; for no other hypothesis remains but of an habitual succession of assimilation and concretion, that which places its source in an immaterial subject, by which it is constantly transforming into its own operating upon and by material organs. For, to quote substance the particles of other bodies, and then reject from a writer just mentioned, “that there is some inviing them when they have become useless. By the sible agent in every living organid system, seems to other he perceives surrounding objects; reflects on his sensations, performs voluntary inotions under their (7) Vide Medical Review, Sept. 1822, Art. 1.
(8) Dr. Barclay on Life and Organization. (6) Recherches sur la vie et la mort.
(9) Rennell's Remarks on Skepticism.