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matter can think; and we equally deny that matter is “ the source" of any phenomena whatever. How utterly destitute Mr. Huxley is of all proof to the contrary, may appear from his own admissions.
Take, for example, his admission as to the limitation which restricts the assimilative powers of the animal world :
“A solution of smelling-salts in water, with an infinitesimal proportion of some other saline matters, contains all the elementary bodies which enter into the composition of protoplasm ; but, as I need hardly say, a hogshead of that fluid would not keep a hungry man from starving, nor would it save any animal whatever from a like fate. An animal cannot make protoplasm, but must take it ready-made from some other animal, or some plant."
In like manner, “The plant also has its limitations. Some of the fungi, for example, appear to need higher compounds to start with; and no known plant can live upon the uncompounded elements of protoplasm. A plant supplied with pure carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen, phosphorus, sulphur, and the like, would as infallibly die as the animal in his bath of smelling-salts, though it would be surrounded by all the constituents of protoplasm."*
What is this but a confession of ignorance as to the nature and origin of protoplasm itself? Certain elementary bodies are said to be the constituents of protoplasm. It is at the same time admitted that we are unable, by any combination of these elementary bodies, to produce this protoplasm, or even to detect the operation of the force by which it is produced. It is further admitted that the nature of this “complex combination,” this “very complex union,” “has never been determined with exactness ;”+ and that the causes of its most striking phenomena “are so minute that the best microscopes show only their effects, and not themselves." | And yet, notwith
* Fortnightly Review, pp. 137, 138. most eminent crystallographers, it + Ibid. p. 135.
cannot fail to carry great weight. | Ibid. p. 132.
Not as giving any idea of the comOn Monday, February 15th, at the pleteness or of the comprehensiveness ordinary Meeting of the members of of this address, but only as supplying the Victoria Institute, an able Paper something that Mr. Huxley has omit“On the doctrine of Creation, accord. ted, we subjoin a single paragraph:ing to Darwin, Agassiz, and Moses," “We have not got to ascend very by the Rev. Professor Kirk of Glasgow, high up in the scale of animal creawas read and discussed. We make tion before we find masses of proto. this reference to it, however, on ac. plasm-nothing but the pure proto. count of the admirable address with plasm he speaks of-apparently homowhich the Vice-President of the In. geneous masses displaying under the stitute, the Rev. W. Mitchell, closed microscope no traces of structure, but the discussion. For this address con. only the marvellous movement he sists almost entirely of an exposition speaks of in the protoplasm of the of facts in answer to Prof. Huxley, animal. But what do we find that and coming, as it does, from one of our living - not dead — protoplasm do. ing? We find it having the power of which they have worked upon, giving seizing upon the particles of carbonate you under the microscope all the apof lime with which it comes in con. parent markings of an engine-turned tact, while another species of proto watch. And that species of protoplasm seizes on particles of silica, and plasm has gone on from the time of its with them they build up marvellous creation, for thousands and thousands structures, not of protoplasm, but of of years, building up such masses of pure carbonate of lime or of pure silica as these, and causing them to silica. They elaborate those ma elaborate into these beautiful forms terials into some of the most beauti. -perfectly uniform, not diverse - of ful forms you have ever seen under silica crystals, or carbonate of lime the microscope. You have seen these crystals." beautiful pieces of transparent silica * Essays Civil and Moral (xvi.)
standing these admissions, so fatal to the pretensions of the theory urged upon our acceptance, we are asked to believe that this very matter-in which we see, not causes, but “only their effects”-is “the source” of all our vital phenomena. Is this philosophical ? Or is it the reverse ?
Professor Huxley is highly indignant that the “New Philosophy," which he accepts and expounds, should be identified by the Archbishop of York with the “ Positive Philosophy" of M. Comte. He says :
“Now, so far as I am concerned, the most reverend prelate might dialectically hew M. Comte in pieces, as a modern Agag, and I should not attempt to stay his hand. In so far as my study of what specially characterizes the Positive Philosophy has led me, I find therein little or nothing of any scientific value, and a great deal that is as thoroughly antagonistic to the very essence of science as anything in altramontane Catholicism. In fact, M. Comte's philosophy in practice might be compendiously described as Catholicism minus Christianity."
The worth, or worthlessness, of this disclaimer, is a question on which we are not now about to enter. Mr. Huxley's disavowal of materialism we are also for the present compelled to postpone. We cannot quit the subject, however, without observing that Mr. Huxley's method of investigation—we say nothing of his purpose-presents a striking contrast to that of the great masters of philosophy
“I had rather believe all the fables in the Legend, and the Talmud, and the Alcoran, than that this universal frame is without a mind.”* So said the author of the “ Novum Organum.” And the author of the “Principia” adds, that it “belongs to natural philosophy to inquire concerning God from the observation of phenomena.”
"In the powers of fire, light, and electricity, we have glorious proof of what God can do; and who can trace the services in which He employs those mighty, but mindless things, without asking, to what style of achievement may He not yet con. duct the spirit of man, which daily demonstrates its superiority
to them by making them all its instruments ? The man who discovers and exhibits the servants whom our Maker has been pleased to create, and employ in nature's mechanism, helps me to adore more humbly His eternal power and Godhead; as also to take conceptions of the possible attainments of my own soul, which more impress me with the responsibility of its possession, the need to be sedulous in its culture. His industry deserves, and has, my gratitude. But if he descants on the wonders of agents which, after all, have neither will nor judgment, no, not the knowledge of their own existence, without rising higher; he forces me to think of a mechanic who would account for all the marvels of the factory, the telegraph, or the calculating machine, by referring you to the engine-room, the battery, or the frame-work, without one allusion to an inventive or presiding mind. Light is at this moment rejoicing every eye in a hundred nations : but it knows it not; it has no share in the vivacity which it bestows on living things; no sense of the beauty wherewith it decks the inanimate. It is ennobling to ponder the laws under which nature operates. But laws never make themselves.”* And so thought the immortal Newton, when he said, “ A God without dominion, providence, and final causes, is nothing but fate and nature.” But Professor Huxley thinks otherwise. Final causes, like providential intervention, must give way before his “crushing argument.” If the myriad-minded Shakespeare, or the sublime Dante, do differ at all from the prating parrot, or the jabbering baboon, it is in degree, but not in kind; for “even the highest faculties of feeling and of intellect begin to germinate in lower forms of life.” The greatness of Alfred, the prowess of Charlemagne, the art of Raphael, the conceptions of Leibnitz, the creations of Handel and Beethoven, the science of Faraday and Owen, the Provincial Letters, the Principia, and Paradise Lost-not to speak of the strains of Isaiah, or David, or Paul;-write “Ichabod” upon all of them ! for the glory is departed; man is imbruited; the highest, the best, the noblest, of our race, are “in substance and in structure one with the brutes,” and “the acts of all living things are fundamentally one." Truly, it is not without reason, that Mr. Huxley describes his ladder as being “the reverse of Jacob's," and leading “to the antipodes of heaven."
For ourselves, we prefer the guidance of the illustrious Faraday, the last name entered on the bright roll of philosophers, the profundity of whose science is equalled only by the sincerity of their faith. To the speculations of Professor
* Rev. W. Arthur: “Mission to the Mysore," ch. iii.
Huxley we oppose the fact, that Michael Faraday, the most thorough experimentalist of our day, the man who held more familiar converse with nature than any other of his contemporaries, lived and died one of the stanchest of believers. The rungs of his scientific ladder were certainly not “the reverse of Jacob's." We cannot more fitly conclude this paper than with a single extract from his own words by way of proof :
“When I consider the multitude of associated forces which are diffused through nature—when I think of that calm and tranquil balancing of their energies which enables elements most powerful in themselves, most destructive to the world's creatures and economy-to dwell associated together, and be made subservient to the wants of creation, I rise from the contemplation more than ever impressed with the wisdom, the beneficence, and grandeur, beyond our language to express, of the Great Disposer of all !"
Night's sable wing o'ershadows
And hushes all to rest;
And hold sweet converse with the blest !
O Sun, who dread'st the night?
Jesus, my heart's unchanging Light !
Illume heaven's vaulted hall;
From out this vale of tears doth call.
Unclothed we lay us down;
And robe with glory like His own.
When this world's toil is ended,
Head, hands, and feet repose :
And sin and pain shall quickly close !
While gently laid in bed,
Ye must lie down among the dead !
O Christ, from dread of hell :
O Thou that keepest Israël !
Spread out Thy healing wing:
Thy shield and buckler o'er me fling!
When I am gone away!
And we shall meet one happy day! -(From P. GERHARDT.)
NOTICES OF NEW BOOKS.
On the Knee of the Church: Female Training in Romish Convents and Schools. London: Mackintosh. 1869.—This is a translation of the work of M. Charles Sauvestre, “ Sur les Genoux de l'Eglise,” of which the fifth edition was published in Paris last year. It gives us & warning which was much needed; for all things are tending, in England, to the same point which they have reached in France. “The census of 1861 states that there are in France nearly 72,000 monks and nuns who have devoted themselves to teaching” (p. 52). And in Ireland first, and probably in England soon afterwarde, there will be great efforts made to place large funds, heretofore “Church revenues," in the hands of Dr. Cullen and Dr. Manning, for the increase of Romish teaching among our people. Vol. 68.-No. 375.