« הקודםהמשך »
a breach of natural laws if God should effect it affected falls within and not without nature's by laws as yet unknown to man, provided they laws. are brought into play with no other agency than It may be objected that, since it is only living the motion of matter.
substance which can be acted on by the human It would be folly as well as impiety to assert mind, it is contrary to law that dead matter that it is in such ways only that miracles are per- should be acted on by the divine mind. But this formed. No such assertion is made. But when, is a simple begging of the question at issue. It is on the other side, it is asserted that the miracles constructing a law for the purpose of charging narrated in Scripture can not be true because God with breaking it. Where do we find evithey must involve a breach of the immutable laws dence in nature that matter can not be moved by of nature, the answer is justifiable and is suffi- the divine mind ? Science reveals no such law. cient, that they do not necessarily involve any Science is simply silent on the subject; it admits breach of any law, save of that one law of inertia its utter ignorance, and declares the question bewhich at every instant is broken by created things, yond its scope. Undoubtedly it does not prowithout any disturbances being introduced into nounce that God does move matter, but it equally the serene march of nature's laws. The scien- abstains from asserting that God does not. For tific revelation is reconciled with the written reve- when it traces back material effects from cause lation when it is shown that neither necessarily to cause, it comes at last to something for which implies the falsity of the other.
it has no explanation. When we say that an But, supposing the argument thus far to be acid and an alkali combine by the law of affinity, conceded, it will be urged that the real “mir- that a stone falls by the law of gravity, we merely acle” remains yet behind. When man moves generalize facts under a name, we do not account matter, his hand is visible; when an animal for them. What causes affinity, what causes gnaws a tree, its teeth are seen working; when gravity? Suppose we say the one is polar eleca river flows down a valley, its force is heard tricity, the other is the impact of particles in viand felt. How different, it will be said, is God's bration (both of which statements are unproved working, where there is no arm of flesh, no sound guesses), what do we gain? The next question of power, no sign of presence !
is only, what causes electricity and what causes Unquestionably it is a deep marvel and a vibration? Suppose, again, we answer that both mystery, that impalpable spirit should act upon are modes of motion, we only come to the further gross matter; but it is a mystery of humanity as question, what causes motion ? And since mowell as of Godhead. What moves the hand ? tion is a breach of the law of inertia, what is it Contraction of the muscles. But what causes that first excited motion in this dead matter? contraction of the muscles? The influence trans- Carry back our analysis as far as we will or can, mitted from the brain by the nerves. But what at last we reach a point where matter must be sends that influence? It is mind, which some- acted upon by something that is not matter. where, somehow, moves animal tissues—tissues This something is Mind; and God also is Mind. consisting of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, Again, when any one affirms that only living phosphorus, and sulphur. At some point of our matter can be acted on by mind, whether human frames, we know not yet where, mind does act or divine, we may fairly ask him, not indeed what directly on matter. It is a law of nature that it is life, which is a problem as yet beyond science, should so act there. But, if God exists, his mind but how life changes matter, which is a question must, by the same law, act on matter somewhere. strictly within the range of science dealing with Can we call it an offense against law if it acts on matter. But to this inquiry we shall get no anmatter elsewhere than in that mass of organized swer. The cells in an organism, the protoplasm pulp which we call brains? If no possibility in the cells, are living when the organism is livof communication between mind and matter ing, dead when the organism is dead, and, as could anywhere be found in nature, we might matter, no difference is discoverable between call such communication contrary to natural law. them in the state of living and dead. The cells In other words, if it were one of the properties consist of cellulose, the protoplasm of some of matter that it could not receive motion from “proteine " compounds; no element is added or that which is not matter, its motion without a subtracted, no compound is altered, when it lives material cause would be supernatural. But, since or when it dies. Nor can science even tell us it is of the very essence of existence that matter when an organic compound becomes alive or in certain combinations should be capable of be- dead. Every instant crude sap is becoming living endowed with life, and by such endowment ing plants, every instant crude chyle is becoming become capable of being affected in motion by living blood, every instant living organisms die mind, it is indisputable that such capability is and are expelled from plants by the leaves, from one of matter's properties, and that its being so animals by the lungs, the skin, and the kidneys, Yet no physician can say at what moment any for fine weather, for bodily health, for removal of of these carbon compounds become living, or any plague, for averting of any corporeal danger, when they cease to have life. Since of this per- is asking God to change the laws of nature for petual birth and death in all nature we know ab- our benefit, that this is what he never does, what solutely nothing, it is manifestly unreasonable to would produce endless confusion if he should, lay down laws respecting them. If life and death and consequently what he certainly will not do. make (as far as we can discover) absolutely no But, if in point of fact God can confer on us immediate physical change in the matter which all these gifts which we ask from him without they affect, how can we propound as a dogma of breaking a single law by which nature is bound, physical science that God can not move "dead" we are restored to the older confidence that he matter, when our own experience tells us that will, provided that such gifts are at the same our spirits can move“ living" matter?
time consonant with our spiritual good. It is clear that, if we are not warranted in Now, as it has been shown that God can afmaking a law, we are not warranted in saying fect matter to the full extent for which we ever that it is broken. Our concern with laws is to petition by means of nature's own laws, set in see that such as we do know are uniform, for operation by no other agency than the mere comthis is the basis of science. But true science re- munication of motion to matter, it has been pudiates dogmas on subjects of which it avows shown that he will break no law in giving what its ignorance.
we ask. Let us sum up the argument as it has now For example, what is fine weather? It is the been stated. The propositions are the follow- result of the due motion of the winds, which ing:
bear the clouds on their bosom, and carry the 1. Matter is subject to unalterable laws, warmth of equatorial sunshine to the colder which express its properties. No created being north. It is still as true as eighteen hundred can originate, alter, or destroy any of these prop- years ago, “The wind bloweth where it listeth, erties.
and ye hear the sound thereof, but can not tell 2. It is possible, however, for one property to whence it cometh or whither it goeth.” But, if it overpower the action of another property, either be no breach of law to give motion to the air, it in the same matter or in other matter.
is in God's power to bring us favorable winds. 3. By placing matter in a position in which But the winds we wish are not necessarily moved one or other property has its natural action, man, immediately by God's breath. They depend as well as animals and inanimate matter, can probably on certain electric repulsions, which overpower a law of nature with almost bound- make the colder or the warmer current come
closer to the surface of the earth. And electri4. The sole means by which such results are city is motion. It may be directly, it may be ineffected, are by affecting the law of inertia. directly, through electricity; it may be by some Therefore, whatever is effected by natural laws, cause still further back that God sends forth the without other interference than by affecting iner- winds; but, if he can give motion, he can direct tia, is consistent with the uniformity of natural their currents, and by such agency give to his law.
creatures the weather best suited for their wants. 5. All strictly physical “miracles” recorded Or what is disease ? Probably, in many cases, in the Bible are capable of being effected by nat- germs; let us then suppose germs, because it is ural law, without other interference than by af- what the latest science tells us. But germs need fecting inertia, and therefore are consistent with a suitable nidus, and we know that merely what the uniformity of natural law.
we call “ change of air" is one of the most po6. It is consistent with natural law that cre- tent means of defending or restoring our bodies ated minds should affect the inertia of certain from the assault of germs to which it is exposed. forms of matter directly.
We change our air by moving to another place ; 7. It is not inconsistent with natural law that what violation of law would there be if God, to the Divine mind should affect the inertia of other our prayer, were to change our air by moving a forms of matter directly.
different air to us? This is but a rude illustra
tion; the marvelous economy of the body sugThe bearing of these conclusions upon pray- gests a thousand others, none of which may be er, in so far as it affects physical conditions, may true, but which yet all agree in this, that they now be briefly shown. It has been argued that, would work our cure by strictly natural laws, set in the light of modern discovery, prayer ought in action merely by motion given to matter. to be restricted to spiritual objects, and that at That even an impending rock should not fall all events it can have none but spiritual effects. upon us would be a petition involving no further It has, for example, been asserted that to pray disturbance of natural law. Had we appliances
to enhance our force, we could uphold it without some scientific men would have us do, for somebreaking natural law. God has superhuman thing in order to see if God would grant it, would force, and, if he upholds it by an arm we can not be an experiment which, applied to an earthly see, he will break no law.
superior, would be an insult—to God is impiety. It were needless to pursue examples; but the To prayers as these there is no promise subject must not be dismissed without reference made, for they can not be in Christ's name. to the spiritual laws, which we are bound to re- Neither can those prayers be in his name gard in praying for aught we may desire. which come from men regardless of his precepts.
These are expressed and summed up in the These are contained in the Book of Nature as command, “ Ask in my name." There is a prev- well as in the Bible, and to both alike we owe alent misunderstanding of these words, arising reverence. We are bound to learn his will as out of the theological dogma which interprets far as our powers extend, we are bound to inform them as if they were written, “for my sake." It ourselves as fully as we can of the physical as is unnecessary here to enter into the inquiry how well as of the moral laws set for our guidance, far any prayer is granted because of the merits and having learned we are bound to obey. It or for the sake of Christ. It is sufficient that were vain to pray for help in an act of wrongthe words here used mean something else. When doing, and equally vain to pray for relief from we desire another person to ask anything from a consequences of our own neglect or defiance of superior in our name, we mean to ask as if we such rules of the government of nature as we asked. It must be something, then, which we have learned, or as with due diligence we might should ask for personally. Therefore, Christ, de- have learned. No man so acting can presume to siring us to ask in his name, limits us to ask those think that he may ask in Christ's name for sucthings which we can presume he would ask for cor. Christ could not ask it for such as he. us.
But to what we can truly ask in his name there It is obvious how this interpretation defines is no limit set. We may ask for all worldly and the range of petition. It must be confined to all spiritual good, which we can conceive him to what he, all-knowing, knows to be for our good. ask for us, in assurance that it will be given, if he It must be, in our ignorance, subject to the con- sees it really to be for our good. How it may be dition that he should see it best for us. It utter- reconciled with good to other men is not for us ly excludes all seeking for worldly advantage, for to inquire. The Omnipotent rules all, and he which he would never bid us pray. It equally who can do all is able to do what is best for us excludes all spiritual benefits which are not those as well as for every other creature he has made, of a godly, humble spirit. Above all, it excludes without breach of one of these laws which he all things which would be suggested by Satan as has set as guides for all. a tempting of the Lord our God. To ask, as
J. BOYD KINNEAR (Contemporary Review).
LIFE IN BRITTANY.
AM not a traveler or a tourist, but a resident, I can not see the sea as I write, because my
and I don't sit down to write an article, a window looks into the garden, and at the end of journal, or a book; I only feel that I must give the garden there is an artificial bank with a expression to my feelings, and therefore I talk on raised walk on the top of it, constructed partly paper.
to keep back the waves at high tides, and partly This life is still new to me; it possesses all for the sake of the walk, which (placed on the the attractions of surprise. The day will come top) gives a good view of the sea. But I am so when I shall find it difficult to describe common near to the sea that, whenever I like, I open the things around me, because they will appear so garden-door and emerge ready for a plunge into common that they will seem to be unworthy of it; only I look out for tides, because at low wanotice. Yet, after all, these common things make ter there is a quarter of a mile of mud between up life ; and it is precisely these common things me and the briny deep. When the tide comes in, which English people want to know, so I write it not only covers the mud, but runs up over the them down while i can appreciate and realize beautiful sand which lies outside my garden-gate, them.
where like a merman I can roll and bask and comb my hair (by the by, I doubt whether there cultivated. It yields a profit, if you calculate the ever were any mermans, and whether they ever market value of the oysters exported, but it had long hair—but let that pass). Mine is an would yield a far larger profit if properly worked, inner bay; outside roll the waves of the Bay of as doubtless it would be worked by a private inBiscay. My sea à moi borders on a parc aux dividual; by which it appears that governmental huîtres, or (as it is written on the boards which control is not always the most profitable. mark its boundaries) parc d huitres, belonging Now come inside my garden. First, look at to the French Government, which is kept up as a my pleasure-garden. It is elaborately laid out feeder for all the rivers, estuaries, and other pos- with lawns and fountains and beds, but, like all sible spots where oysters can be sown by a pa- other ideal plans, it has yielded to the necessities ternal government.
of actual French life. The lawns have been I went to inspect this parc a day or two ago, utilized for the growth of hay for the horses and and now consider myself quite learned in the cows. The fountain was once supplied by a cismatter of oysters, so I will put down what I tern on the roof of the kitchen, but it leaked and learned. Of course I saw it at low water, for made the house damp, so it was removed, and the whole affair is down in the deep at high the pipes, taps, and empty fountain give an exwater.
pression to an idea rather than a reality. All First, there is a series of walls about two round the fountain are beds with pear-trees as feet high and eighteen inches broad, which ap- sentinels, looking continually into the empty respear to be constructed to keep the peace among ervoir. Pear- and apple-trees stand also marthe oysters-or, in other words, to prevent cur- shaled round all the walks, and flowers grow in rents and storms disturbing their tranquil lives. happy disorder, sometimes in the beds, someInside these walls is a series of little houses, times in the paths; while the strawberries have constructed rapidly, by putting together-much crept up into the lawns and sprinkle the hay for as soldiers stack their muskets-half a dozen the horses and cows. rather narrow tiles thickly covered with lime. It is, perhaps, difficult to understand the plan
These tiles receive the milk or spat of the of this my flower-garden, but it is like a courtolder oysters, which, adhering to them, remains yard of an ancient castle inclosed within an earthand grows into the oysters which some day are en rampart upon which there is a broad walk. to be carried away as seed, or as future mothers My kitchen-garden is very large indeed, and in a future bed. I saw oysters at all stages of contains such a wealth of strawberries and astheir growth: tiny little specks of this year, ba- paragus as I have never before beheld. Day bies a year old, young people of two years, and after day we send twenty-five or thirty pounds' others ready for eating or deporting, of three, weight to market, and yet we eat them ourselves four, and five years' growth. As a rule, they are all day long, and give them in great quantities to not eaten until they are three years old, but our neighbors. I could linger long over these dredgers would not reject those of two years, al- gardens, but, as I want to keep you in good huthough at that age they would be small. Oysters mor, so that you may love this Brittany of ours are quiet people, and only ask to be left alone. with its picturesque scenery and still more pictuThey never move from the spot upon which they resque inhabitants, I pass on. are deposited, yet like all other quiet people they A few days ago, under press of circumstances, have very unquiet enemies, which not only dis- and because I could not secure our regular marturb their lives, but even destroy them. One of keter, I sent my garçon Thoma to the city, ten these enemies is sought for with great eagerness miles away, with a large basket of strawberries by the guardian of the parc, as it is most dead- for sale. He left here about four o'clock in the ly, and devastates his beds. It is a small whelk morning, arrived at the town before the market(called Luskina Bigourneau) in a spiral shell, hour, sold his strawberries, and ought to have which fastens on and bores a hole through the been back here about 10 A. M. Instead of which, shell until it reaches the oyster, upon which it Thoma, who is a sailor and jack-of-all-trades, feeds until there is no more oyster left. I saw who wears a sort of sailor's guernsey and talks many of the shells of the unfortunates which a patois between French and Breton, got into had been thus penetrated and devoured, and I temptation and fell
. saw several of the little whelks which had killed Drink did it all. Drink lays low the greater them. They did not appear to possess any part of our poor Bretons. One sees more people weapons, or to be anything but little innocents; helplessly drunk or maudlin drunk here far away such is the deceptive character of the outside ap- from towns in these rural abodes than even in pearance both of men and fishes.
England; only they are for the most part quiet: Some fifty or eighty women work daily at low they neither swear nor fight. tide among these oysters, yet the bed is not well Poor Thoma kicked quite over the traces. Perhaps he had felt too much of the English- greasy water and bits of bread, and puts even man's yoke; perhaps he had done enough work water used in cooking into the universal soup. for a month or more. At any rate, he drank, Yesterday she sent in the peas with a lot of greenthen engaged himself to marry a dirty little ugly looking water, which one of our party, disliking, woman who did his washing (that is, when he took into the kitchen to pour away; Jacquette did not do it himself), and finally he bolted with requested as a favor that it might be put into her all my strawberry-money, and I have not seen own particular plate of soup, and it was. But him since. I am grieved, not on account of the Jacquette never washes, or, if she does wash, she money, for I owed him as much in wages, but does not conquer her dirt. She is dirty in person because, now my poor Thoma is gone, I have no and dirty in cooking our food. She is a bad cook, sailor for my boat, no one so utterly droll, or so and smokes everything she cooks. She potters beautifully picturesque to look at and laugh. For about all day, yet does not even keep the rooms Thoma was the most slippery sailor, the most clean. Upon the ladies falls almost all the houseidle fellow in the world. He never did half a hold work. Why, then, do we keep Jacquette ? day's work while I had him. He waited till my First and foremost, because we can not get a back was turned, and then left spade, vessel, rope, better; next, because we like her very much for or barrow, without attempting even to put tools her good qualities; and, lastly, because when once away. Only in one way was he ever working we told her to go in a week, the dear old thing happily, and that was the way he knew was was so meek, so patient, so enduring, that we wrong. Under such circumstances he would almost wept for her, and kept her on. Just now display an energy worthy of a better cause. Once I hear her shrill voice talking to little Marie, the he went with me to buy a little pleasure-yacht, farmer's daughter, in the kitchen. Marie goes but before meeting the owner he agreed with me just where she likes, and does just what she likes. that he would only give his opinion in sly winks. She is an only child, not three years old. Her We went on board with the owner, who pointed little brother Jean died just as we were moving out the various good points of his vessel, con- in. Marie is very pretty, but also very dirty. stantly appealing to Thoma for confirmation, and She wanders about in sunshine and storm, early always being backed up by my garçon, but, when and late, with her father, mother, or grandmoththe owner for an instant turned his back, Thoma er. She pulls up plants, treads down seeds, screwed up his face into all sorts of contortions, walks knee-deep in manure, and, no matter how and managed to convey to me his disapproval of clean she may start, she makes herself into a the purchase.
little pig in half an hour. The ladies make a Our other servant is also an experiment, and great pet of Marie, for we have no little ones here. a failure. The servant difficulty not only exists Marie knows her power, talks French, plays at here as elsewhere, but it is aggravated by the in- bo-peep with us, has rather an awe of monsieur dependence of the people and their exceedingly and his great pipe; but still, even with him, pops dirty habits. Very few country girls care to go round the corner and cries“ Coocoo !" Yesterout to service, in fact, scarcely any at all. Here day, madame was playing with her some time, in the country we are driven into the towns for then turned her out into the garden, shut the servants. The women work on the land as hard door, and went up stairs, thinking all below snug as or harder than the men; moreover, they prefer and safe. In an hour or less she went down to their independent life to service; they like better her salon again, and found Marie seated amid to dig, or hoe, or weed, or get together the sea- all her knickknacks and books, which she had reweed for manure, in dirty clothes and sabots, moved from the tables on to the floor, and made than to submit to the neatness and respectability into a heap of unutterable confusion. Ere a word of domestic life. They are also in demand for could be spoken, Marie burst into a scream. She wives. The peasants marry when mere boys, knew that she was naughty, and no reproach without any apparent means of living, trusting to could be leveled at her because of her noise. Providence, and at worst content with black rye- However, she was put out in disgrace, well scoldbread and a lick of greasy soup. Our Jacquette ed by Jacquette, and presently came in very pretis a jeune fille, which is the French euphemistic tily to say, “ Pardonnez-moi, madame-pardonexpression for an old maid. She will never see nez-moi.” (Jacquette has just passed my window, fifty-five again, if she be not quite sixty; yet, in an old close-fitting nightcap, with a patched when I asked if she were veuve, I was told she petticoat and dirty face.) is a jeune fille. She is honest as daylight, which Marie can look just like a pretty Dutch doll, is more than I can say for most Bretons, who are when she is washed and dressed. She wears long pilferers, not robbers, at least in these parts. She clothes, just like her mother, only longer, with is economical to a fault; wastes nothing, almost a tight-fitting, square skull-cap embroidered with eats nothing; keeps the men on soup made of gold. Under such circumstances the little lady