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as the physiology of the human mind is made use of, the latter is the conception by which, in all probability, it has been suggested. It is thus that Dr. Thomas Brown designates the science of mind as mental physiology. With him, in fact, it is altogether a science of sequences, his very analysis being the analysis of results, and not of compounds.
4. Now, in either view of our mental constitution there is the same strength of evidence for a God. It matters not for this, whether the mind be regarded as consisting of so many useful parts, or as endowed with as many useful properties. It is the number, whether the one or other, of these out of which the product is formed of evidence for a designing cause. The only reason why the useful dispositions of matter are so greatly more prolific of this evidence than the useful laws of matter, is, that the former so greatly outnumber the latter. Of the twenty independent circumstances which enter into beneficial concurrence in the formation of an eye, that each of them should be found in a situation of optimism, and none of them occupying either an indifferent or a hurtful position_it is this which speaks so emphatically against the hypothesis of a random distribution, and for the hypothesis of an intelligent order. Yet this is but one out of the many like specimens, wherewith the animal economy thickens and teems in such marvellous profusion. By the doctrine of probabilities, the mathematical evidence, in this question between the two suppositions of intelligence or chance, will be found, even on many a single organ of the human framework, to preponderate vastly more than a million-fold on the side of the former. We do not affirm of the human mind that it is so des titute of all complication and variety, as to be deficient altogether in this sort of evidence. Let there be but six laws or ultimate facts in the mental constitution, with the circumstance of each of them being beneficial; and this of itself would yield no inconsiderable amount of precise and calculable proof, for our mental economy being a formation of contrivance, rather than one that is fortuitous or of blind necessity. It will at once be seen, however, why mind, just from its greater simplicity than matter, should contribute so much less to the support of natural theism, of that definite and mathematical evidence which is founded on combination. . :
5. But, although in the mental department of creation, the argument for a God that is gathered out of such materials, is not so strong as in the other great department—yet it does furnish a peculiar argument of its own, which, though not grounded on mathematical data, and not derived from a lengthened and logical process of reasoning, is of a highly effective and practical character notwithstanding. It has not less in it of the substance, though it may have greatly less in it of the semblance of demonstration, that it consists of but one step between the premises and the conclusion. It is briefly, but cannot be more clearly and emphatically expressed than in the following sentence.“ He that formed the eye, shall he not see? He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? He that teacheth man knowledge, shall he not know ?”
That the parent cause of intelligent beings shall be itself intelligent is an aphorism, which, if not demonstrable in the forms of logic, carries in the very announcement of it a challenging power over the acquiescence of almost all spirits. It is a thing of instant conviction, as if seen in the light of its own evidence, more than a thing of lengthened and laborious proof. It may be stigmatized as a mere impression—nevertheless the most of intellects go as readily along with it, as they would from one contiguous step to another of many a stately argumentation. If it cannot be exhibited as the conclusion of a syllogism, it is because of its own inherent right to be admitted there as the major proposition.
To proscribe every such truth, or to disown it from being truth, merely because incapable of deduction, would be to cast away the first principles of all reasoning. It would banish the authority of intuition, and so reduce all philosophy and knowledge to a state of universal scepticism—for what is the first departure of every argument but an intuition, and what but a series of intuitions are its successive stepping-stones ? We should soon involve ourselves in helpless perplexity and darkness, did we insist on every thing being proved and on nothing being assumed—for valid assumptions are the materials of truth, and the only office of argument is to weave them together into so many pieces of instruction for the bettering or enlightening of the species.
6. We are not to estimate the strength or clearness of that Natural Theology which obtains throughout the mass of our population, by the impression of our scientific arguments upon their understandings—whether these be metaphysical, or drawn from the study of external nature. Whether they comprehend the reasoning that is grounded on the arrangements of the material world or not, they are in immediate contact with other phenomena, which far more promptly suggest and far more powerfully convince them of a God. With all the defect and inferiority which have been ascribed to the department of mind, as being less fertile of evidence for a God than the department of matter, it is really in the former where the most influential of that evidence is to be found. There may be a greater difficulty in evolving the mental than the material proofs; but they are not on that account the less effective on the popular understandingwhen, without the formality of an inferential process, the most illiterate of the species recognise a presiding Deity in the felt workings of their own spirit, and more especially the felt supremacy of conscience within them. There seems but one step from the consciousness of the mind that is felt, to the conviction of the mind that originated—for that blind and unconscious matter cannot, by any of her combinations, evolve the phenomena of mind, is a proposition seen in its own immediate light, and felt to be true with all the speed and certainty of an axiom. It is to such truth, as being of instant and almost universal consent, that, more than to any other, we owe the existence of a natural theology among men: yet, because of the occult mysticism wherewith it is charged, it is well that ours is a cause of such rich and various argument; that in her service we can build up syllogisms, and
expatiate over wide fields of induction, and amass stores of evidence, and, on the useful dispositions of matter alone, can ground such large computations of probability in favour of an intelligent cause or maker for all things, as might silence and satisfy the reasoners.
7. Still both with philosophers and with the common people, the belief of a God may be altogether a thing of inference, and not of direct intuition—and perhaps it were safer, did we confine ourselves to this idea. Yet let us advert though but briefly and incidentally to the notion, that among all men there is a certain immediate and irresistible sense of God. We are by no means sure but there may. We at least conceive that with but one fact within the hold and the intimate conviction of all, and but one step of an inferential process therefrom, we come to the most powerful and practical impression which nature gives of a Deity. This fact is the felt supremacy of conscience within us—and the conclusion is the actual supremacy of a living Judge and Ruler over us. We shall not pretend to say whether there may not be a quicker discernment than this—nay even the instantaneous view of a God in the light of a still more direct manifestation. We should feel as if liable to the charge of mysticism, did we make any confident averment of such an intuition. But we may at least say of all innate thoughts and impressions of the Divinity, that, if they do exist, it is no mysticism to affirm of them, that they will be of great practical effect in religion—even though we should not be able to ascertain them. They