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CHARACTERISTICS OF WILL-FORCE.
"If I am informed that the world is ruled by a being whose attributes are infinite, but what they are we cannot learn, nor what the principles of his government, except that the highest human morality which we are capable of conceiving' does not sanction them; convince me of it and I will bear my fate as I may, but I will call no being good, who is not what I mean when I apply that epithet to my fellow-creature.1 However, our immediate question is, not whether there exists a being possessing infinite attributes, but whether there is a Will and Intelligence above our own? Human will shows its power, as we have seen, in co-operating with other forces to produce a new resultant; human intelligence shows itself in making several resultants converge to effect the mind's purposes; that is to say, to bring about a condition of things which does not come about when intelligence is not concerned, and which therefore becomes the mark or note of intelligence. Light, heat, electricity, and the other forms of force, are mutually convertible, but each has its own peculiar manifestations while existing apart: both light and electricity may effect chemical decompositions; but with electricity there is a power of attraction, with light there is not; light may be reflected and refracted, electricity cannot be. In like manner will force may direct a stone to the ground, and the force of gravity may do the same; but when successive acts of will have brought materials into the form and category of a steam-engine or a printing-press, we have the mark or note of intelligencegravity does not do this. None of the forces unaided by intelligence produce mechanism; although, when mechanism is produced, the forces of nature are concerned, the 1 John Stuart Mill: Sir Wm. Hamilton's Philosophy, p. 103.
properties of bodies have admitted of the result, and it could be shown that the machine must work as it does, its parts being related as they are. The contents of a chemist's laboratory upset would give us terrible explosions, and a medley of new compounds, not by chance, but in precise accordance with unalterable laws; yet the results would be distinctly different from those elaborated by a skilful chemist conducting systematic analyses and syntheses with the same materials subject to the same laws. When, in the case of metamorphic rocks, we wish to know whether heat has changed their internal structure, we look for the marks or notes of heat as we find those marks in other materials which we know have been subjected to a high temperature; when in the case of irregularities in a ship's compass we suspect magnetism in the iron of the vessel, or in the iron which lies in the hold as freight, we test the iron for those marks or signs of magnetism usually exhibited by magnetic bodies; and in the same way, if we suspect or search for design in nature, we must look for marks like those which we know require intelligence to bring them about; as, for instance, mechanism. What Mr Lewes says in speaking of other matters is true in this matter also" It is important to bear in mind, that whenever an analogy occurs it is founded on a corresponding similarity in the momenta;" and again, "It seems a truism to insist that similarity in the results must be due to similarity in the conditions.”1
The question comes to be this: Are there collocations and appearances in nature analogous to those which require human will and intelligence to bring them about? Mr Spencer, basing his reasonings on the
1 Fortnightly Review, June 1868.
WILL-FORCE IN NATURE.
unalterable laws of matter and motion, and the axiomatic truth of the persistence of force, derives everythingfrom stones and sand up to flowers and birds, and men with their thoughts-from the original nebulous haze1 by a natural process of evolution. The great clock of the universe is running down, and the running down is the condition of all phenomena and work. Very well: do we see only the weights making straight for the floor, or is there a system of wheels and a dial? Are the hours pointed out, and the minutes and the seconds; and does the descent of the weight to the earth necessarily produce these results? How is it that we have the flowers and birds, the men with intellect and conscience? They are worked out by the running down of the clock; but could not the clock have run down without them? The clouds over a district are a wound-up universe of force on a small scale: they are destined to come down in rain, and the rain must descend to the sea or to some lake, taking the route which offers the least resistance. At any particular point of the stream's course it could be shown that, considering all the antecedents-the amount of vapour condensed, the nature of the ground, and so on-the volume of water must be what it is, and must move as it moves, every previous stage paving the way for this. Come back to the same point in a few years, other things we will suppose are the same-the rain is condensed in the same way, and its destination, as before, is the ocean; but some of the water is now running in canals, some is turning mills, and some passes
1 Helmholtz showed, in 1854, that the nebulous matter need not have been originally fiery. Sir W. Thomson, the same year, urged that it was probably solid, and may have been like the meteoric stones. (See Address, British Association, 1871.)
through a series of pipes ramifying into the streets and houses of a town. Still it is true that the stream must be as it is, and move as it moves, the canals, millapparatus, &c., being disposed as they are, and that all the previous stages-the configuration of the ground, the course of the stream higher up, the descent of the rain, &c., are necessary antecedents of these results. Therefore to show that the water must flow as it flows, &c., does not tell us whether will and intelligence have been at work: this must be tested by looking for marks of what will and intelligence usually do, and what the forces of nature unaided by intelligence fail to accomplish. And this is what we have to do in order to learn whether there be Design in nature. We are not obliged, as Descartes held, to know God before we can attribute Design to Him. We are not compelled, as Mr Spencer believes, to rest in utter ignorance of God, the Ultimate Cause being unknowable. Man's intelligence constructs machines, and resorts to contrivances, to overcome difficulties and effect desired ends. Nature, it is well known, is full of collocations and appearances so closely correspondent to these, that even writers who disbelieve in teleology constantly use its language, and speak of the mechanism of animal organisms, the contrivances by which orchids are fertilized, the purpose for which an organ has been developed, &c.; for truly, as the Duke of Argyle remarks, it seems as if all that is done in nature, as well as all that is done in art, were done by knowing how to do it. In the opinion of Professor Owen, the analogy of the animal organs, and systems of organs, to the machines of man's invention, is so close, that, comprehending and admiring the rare degree of constructive 1 Reign of Law, second edition, p. 130.
skill, foresight, and purposive adaption in many artificial machines, the healthy intellect, studying the more refined and perfect natural structures, cannot but conceive therein the like faculties in a transcendently higher degree.1 No such analogy to machinery is found in a stone, in a handful of earth, or a pool of water: for although these consist of parts, it is not manifest that the parts are fitted together for any special purpose their collocation is such as might be produced by natural forces unguided by intelligence, and may fitly be called accidental.
One point remains. Is this Intelligence supreme, or only superior? If we are right so far, and there be in the natural world collocations and appearances resembling man's contrivances-as, for instance, in the machinery of the human organism-then the control of the Contriver (if we may be allowed the term) extends to all the parts thus brought into unity; and no Power has prevented the accomplishment of the result He willed. But we find that throughout space and time, as far as we can trace, the most distant parts of nature are thus intelligently linked together; and the eye of a man, for instance, is connected on the one hand with the sun, distant by millions of miles; and on the other with the eye of the trilobite, distant by millions of years. Therefore (to quote Baden Powell) the unity of science is the reflection of the unity of nature, and of the unity of that Supreme Reason and Intelligence which pervades and rules over nature, and from whence all reason and all science is derived, and the universality of order in time and space is the manifestation of the universality and eternity of the Supreme Mind.2 In adopting the
1 Instances of the Power of God: A Lecture by Professor Owen. 2"Unity of the Sciences," and " Uniformity of Nature."