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43. First. If it be impossible, as I have affirmed, to conceive of power—either physical or mental—without motion, necessarily, forming an ingredient in the idea ; so is it equally impossible to conceive of freedom the most limited, but entire freedom particularly, without at the same time imagining space to move in, and the whole or parts moved : now, it is affirmed of the simple, sole being that it has no parts and is without motion; it follows, consequently, that such being is not free, either partially or entirely.
44. Second. According to what is laid down in part 1 of this division (par. 2) that 'what is not of intelligence cannot make intelligence begin to be,' it follows, that a being without motion canNOT MAKE MOTION BEGIN TO BE, or be the author and cause of motion ; now, the simple, solo being of this argument is asserted to be a being without motion, consequently such being could not confer upon matter an attribute or property of which it is itself deficient.
45, Proposition. "The simple, sole being of infinity of expansion and of duration, who is all-knowing, all-powerful, and entirely free, is, necessarily, completely happy. 1. Every position which we cannot but believe is a necessary truth. But we cannot but believe that the simple, solo being of infinity of expansion and of duration, who is all-knowing, all-powerful, and entirely free, is completely happy. Therefore, that this being is completely happy, is a necessary truth. 2. Before we could righteously predicate unhappiness of the simple, sole being of infinity of expansion and of duration, who is all-knowing, all-powerful, and entirely free, we would require to know of some su ficient reason for the predication. But we can know of none. For every kind and degree of unhappiness must proceed, or be resolvable into what proceeds, from some natural defect or imperfection : and what imperfection can that simple being be subject to, who, only, is of infinity of expansion and of duration, who is all-knowing, all-powerful, and entirely free? 3. And as we can have no sufficient reason for ascribing unhappiness to that being ; so, on the other hand, there is a sufficient reason why we cannot help ascribing to it happiness the most complete. The being is a mind, conscious of itself: that is, it perceives its own attributes or perfections, and is conscious of the thoughts whereby it perceives them. How could a mind conscious of perceiving, as appertaining to itself, such attributes as infinity of expansion and of duration, all-powerfulness, entire freeness, be supposed otherwise than as most consummately happy ? 4. Truly, therefore, we cannot but believe that the simple, sole being of infinity of expansion and of duration, who is all-knowing, all-powerful, and entirely free, is completely happy. 5. The simple, sole being of infinity of expansion and of duration, who is all-knowing, all-powerful, and entirely free, is, then, necessarily, completely happy.'
46. Sub-proposition. The simple, sole being of infinity of expansion and of duration, who is all-knowing, all-powerful, entirely free, and completely happy, is, necessarily, perfectly good. 1. On the supposition that the simple, sole being of infinity of expansion and of duration, who is all-knowing, all-powerful, entirely free, and completely happy, created intellectual and moral beings, indeed, any animal natures whatever; the only motive, or, if you think there were more motives than one, one of the motives, to create, must be believed to have been, a desire to make happiness besides its own consummate happiness begin to be. Should there be assigned any additional motive, it cannot be believed to have been incompatible with such desire. The reason is very plain : a being labouring with incongruous motives cannot be happy. 2. But 'tis the case, that the simple, sole being of infinity of expansion and of duration, who is all-knowing, all-powerful,
entirely free, and completely happy, created intellectual and moral, or, to employ a most comprehensive term, sentient, substances or beings. 3. Therefore, the only motive, or, at least, one of the motives to create, must have been, a desire to produce creaturely happiness. 4. The consequentially necessary connection between the consummate happiness of the simple, sole being of infinity of expansion and of duration, who is all-knowing, all-powerful, and entirely free ; and its desire to communicate happiness, all possible happiness (for there is no sufficient reason why we should suppose the amount of happiness to be bestowed on the creatures, as creatores, to be less than it might be): the necessary connection, we say, is intuitively evident. By no stretch of imagination can we conceive, that the simple, sole being of infinity of expansion and of duration, who is all-knowing, all-powerful, and completely happy, could be the free cause of misery, or aught but happiness, to its creatures : unless we can conceive that happiness, as happiness, can give birth to its opposite ; the cause being wholly disproportionate to the effect. 5. Now, to produce, in consequence of desire to produce, all possible creaturely happiness, is to be perfectly good. 6. From all which, it is most obvious, that the simple, sole being of infinity of expansion and of duration, who is all-knowing, all-powerful, entirely free, and completely happy, is, necessarily, perfectly good. 7. The simple, sole being of infinity of expansion and of duration, who is allknowing, all-powerful, entirely free, and completely happy, is then, necessarily, perfectly good.
47. First. The proposition asserts that a being who is all-knowing, all-powerful, and entirely free, must be, necessarily and consequently, completely happy in the contemplation of its own attributes or perfections, and that this is the case with the simple, sole being of this argument. Now, we have seen it demonstrated that this simple, sole being is not, necessarily, all-knowing, and that he cannot be allpowerful or entirely free: consequently, the simple, sole being is wanting in those attributes which, according to the argument, are essential to making it completely happy, and therefore cannot be completely happy.
48. Second. Granting to the simple, sole being the possession of the attributes contended for, the continual contemplation of those attributes alone would not, reasoning by analogy of what is essential to man's happiness (and this is the only means we have of forming an opinion), constitute complete happiness. It is essential to man's happiness that he should have objects, actions, and principles external to himself to contemplate, as well as the contemplation of his own mind, to make him completely happy. We cannot conceive a simple, sole being to be completely happy in the contemplation of itself alone; and the simple, sole being of the 'argument' is proved, by the sub-proposition, not to have been so completely happy in its self-contemplation, but that it sought to increase that happiness by the creation of sentient substances or beings. For, to suppose that, in such creation, such being did not design to add to its own happiness, would be to suppose such being acting without sufficient motive; for no stronger or more sufficient motive can be imagined than the desire to add to its own happiness: to suppose the contrary, is to suppose such being, in such creation, to have been indifferent as to the result, or to have designed to detract from its happiness; and as either of such suppositions, in connection with such being, is an evident absurdity, we are bound to reject them both. We conclude, ther, that the simple, sole being was not completely happy in its self-contemplation.
49. Third. There is, then, in the above arguments sufficient reason for the predication, that it is not a ' necessary truth' that the simple, sole being 'was completely happy' (on the grounds advanced in the proposition); and in the examination of the sub-proposition we shall see other sufficient reasons' for coming to the same conclusion.
THE SUB-PROPOSITION. 50. First. The sub-proposition, which closes the argument, is designed to prove that the simple, sole being, in addition to its other attributes, is perfectly good, and the evidence of this perfect goodness is asserted to rest on its desire to make happiness besides its own consummate happiness begin to be ;' and that the only motive, or, at least, one of the motives, to create, must have been a desire to produce creaturely happiness ;' further, that by no stretch of imagination can we conceive that the simple, sole being......could be the free cause of misery, or aught but happiness, to its creatures,' We are free to admit that a desire to communicate' happiness to others is proof of goodness; but, to secure happiness for ourselves, it is necessary we should accomplish our desires. Now, we know, by the presence of misery in the earth, that the desire of the simple, sole being to coinmunicate happiness, all possible happiness to the sentient beings of its creation, was a most signal failure ; and we conclude, consequently, that such being must be unhappy, through such failure, in the exact ratio of the strength of such desire. The sub-proposition, then, though it might prove the perfect goodness of the simple, sole being, destroys the claim of such being to be considered com- ! pletely happy.
51. Second. The sub-proposition affirms that it is impossible to imagine that the simple, sole being could be the free cause of misery; but, as misery exists, if the simple, sole being is not the free cause of it, we are compelled to conclude that such being is the constrained cause of it. Now, it is perfectly inconsistent, both with logic and common sense, to imagine a being all-powerful and entirely free constrained to do anything, or to be the author and creator of anything, contrary to or opposed to its free will and desire. But as by the words of the sub-proposition, it is evident that the simple, sole being is the constrained or unwilling cause of misery, it follows that such being, independently of all other considerations, is neither all-powerful nor entirely free ; for, iť such being were all-powerful and entirely free, it could easily have accomplished its desire, and have communicated all possible happiness to its creatures. As to what are the obstacles to the absolute power and entire freedom of the simple, sole being, Mr. Gillespie says nothing.
52. Third. It is quite inconsistent with our notions of a being of infinite intelligence, a being all-knowing, to imagine such being labouring with a desire beyond its powers of accomplishment; but it is evident from the sub-proposition that the simple, sole being desired to endow all sentient beings with all possible happiness, and that such being failed to realise such desire: and it follows, then, independently of all other considerations, that the simple, sole being is not all-knowiny.
53. The above reasons are conclusive that the sub-proposition, independently of all other considerations, proves that the simple, sole being of Mr. Gillespie's 'argument'is
Nor completely happy. And that, in reality, Mr. Gillespie's own arguments destroy themselves, and his book is its own retutation.
The consideration which I have given to Mr. Gillespie’s ‘Argument' has impressed me with the belief that it is not to be taken as a serious exposition of that gentleman's opinions on the subject of which it treats; but that it is intended as an atheistical puzzle, or an attempt to show that the existence of a Great First Cause may be logically demonstrated, any opinions of atheists of the real or probuble existence of such being, notwithstanding.
Now, if Mr. Gillespie had succeeded in his attempt to logically demonstrate the existence of a Great First Cause, it would, as I stated in the beginning, have sufficed for the virtual destruction of atheism ; but as he has most signally and entirely failed in his attempt, the foundations of atheism are still untouched, standing in all their integrity, and his ‘Argument is another proof that atheism is not the flimsy and stupid ism which theists affirm it to be that it is not built upon the shifting sands of ignorance and assumption, but is based upon the eternal rock of reason and science.
They who believe that they have Truth ask no favour, save that of being heard: they dare the
judgment of Mankind : refused Co-operation, they invoke Opposition, for Opposition is their Opportunity.-EDITOR.
THE PLAN OF FUTURE NUMBERS.
But a small portion of space being available this week, our meaning must not be measured by the length of its expression. Opening each number of the next course with a series of articles comprising an Examination of Theological Opinion, as manifested in the events of the day, we shall then follow with the · Examination of the Press,' under which head we purpose making salient extracts from the leading Religious Journals of the day, that our readers may be made aware of what is going on in the world around them. Another feature will be Our Platform,' from which any earnest opponent may controvert our opinions, and from which any may expound views not coincident with our own, if leading to the Rationalisation of Theology. This will enable us to afford expression to the many earnest seekers after truth, who have not reached our conclusions, and who cannot adopt our abstinence from the technicalities of the churches. By this arrangement we shall afford the freest utte rance to the opinions of others, and at the same time keep clear and distinct that department devoted to the exposition of the truth as we understand it. The interior of each number will be distinct, in double columns, and be entitled 'Reasoner Tracts,' of which one will now appear in each number. Thus we hope to combine solidity and usefulness with variety. Our future will be marked with a new tone : we shall no longer keep silence while a cold perception of the right dominates around us. With the icy selfishness which rests content with the truth, and cares nothing for the ignorance of others, which treats with contempt the errors of the religious, we shall keep no terms.
The Catholic body have entered the periodical field. They have issued the penny Lamp-not a lamp which gives light in darkness, but which lights us into darkness. All the terms of liberalism, the very cant of progress is employed to advance their dread hold over the feelings of the poor. If error so gross as that of Catholicism can find such indefatigable propagandists, how deep will be the reproach, how just will be the scorn with which our avowals of a superior view of life will be received if we fail to manifest a generous devotion commensurate with the largeness of our aims !
G. J. HOLYOAKE.
[No. 12, Vol. VIII.)
THE INFLUENCE OF THE RELIGIOUS PARTY IN FRANCE.
MR. Editor,—You gave us Victor Hugo's speech on the education question against the priests. I would you had noticed an article in the Times upon the debate denouncing socialism, immorality, and infidelity, as synonymes. Inmorality may be attached to religion as well as to socialism and infidelity. Iofidelity and socialism are not necessarily linked together. One is a question of politics, the other of religion. The Times would fit the general principles of progress in politics and free opinion in religion to the fears and aversion of its readers. The Times, after making these charges by these names, warns the liberals of this country to beware of separating education from religion.
With much more trath and reason, I think, we might join religion, tyranny, and immorality. We may trace the present state of things in France to religious education, more especially arising from the union of church and state, and the payment of the former by the latter.
The issue of the first revolution in a priesthood supported by the state, engaged a body of men in the perpetual service of existing institutions. Naturally allied as religion has always been to tyranny and absolute government, in the form of all churches, and particularly of the Roman Catholic, it is a separate government independent and opposed to the general government. The churches have their heads and forms of government akin to monarchical institutions, therefore they would be in favour, as most like to themselves, of absolute rulers and slavish subjects. The Roman Catholic church, worse than any other, has its government out of the country and foreign to the state. The contrast, therefore, becomes still more deplorable when a republican government pays a church of an entirely opposite character with monarchical pretensions. The church, therefore, has always been paid to oppose liberal measures, liberal men, and liberal progress. It has occupied the vantage ground, had pecuniary resources denied to others, and is, as it were, a vast standing army distributed in every quarter to inoculate the people with its doctrines. It was an absurdity in France to proclaim a republic, after the pattern of the United States, and omit its chief characteristic, its only preservative, the having no church. Paid by the state, the ecclesiastics, allied with the haters of a republic, dared to demand the education of the people to themselves in a sense contrary to the Republic. A law is passed to remove the schoolmasters, who had been appointed by the Provisional Government, and did not please the priestly party. All this is applauded by the Thiers party in France and the Times in England, who would have society retrace its steps through the church, which in its onward progress it has left. The first use of the pay left to the church, and the protection given to it by the Provisional Government, was to elect reactionary assemblies through the instrumentality of an ignorant peasantry. The next use it made of its power was to elect a puppet in their hands, the President Louis Napoleon. Then arose the anomaly of a republic putting down a sister republic, and restoring the monarchy of the Pope: setting at defiance the law of the republic against interference with a foreign state, and imposing upon the French an immense monthly sum to support an army in the continuance of priestly domination at Rome. If the French people had not paid the priests at home, they would not have had to pay for the expedition to Ro
Reading the speech of Victor Hugo, and the interruptions made to it by the friends of religion and order, or force and fraud, you would suppose it was not a national assembly in France, but a puritanical parliament in England.