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eunuchs, and the afterflow was such as Jehu desired and the eunuchs determined. Certainly, as Professor Huxley says, our volition counts for something as a condition of the course of events—a truth which can be verified experimentally as often as we like to try, and therefore one of our highest truths; and to pass by volition in the above case was like tracing back for the source of a river by one of its branches, and overlooking the important tributary which came in at the fork. It seems a fair inference from this, that the continued necessary evolution of new states and events from those which preceded is not of itself a disproof of the existence of a Will superior to man's, and “ n's, and "counting for " more than man's as a condition of events that fall out.

It will of course be said that each portion of energy exerted by a man-energy of will as well as mechanical energy-implies the transformation of as much organic matter as contained this energy in a latent state; that will force also is transformed sun force, and volition one of the necessary events in a line of events serially dependent. Human will is part of the universe of things-its force part of the general sum of force—and to make a show of proving that the Will that formed and controls the universe is at the same time a part of it would be irreverent and absurd. Not disputing the force of this, it may still be shown that the fount and origin of a stream or chain of events may be of the same nature as some one particular event of the series. The heat given out by an ordinary fire is so much force in that particular form: the fuel once grew as vegetation, and the vegetation maintained its life through chemical action aided by the sun's rays. The heat On the Physical Basis of Life.



force now given out by the fire is the equivalent of that which was derived from the sun, and it is of a similar kind (for the sun is incandescent), and can do similar work (e.g., can cause the evaporation of water), the difference being chiefly one of degree, though the sun is the originator of a series of phenomena, and the glowing coal has its place in the series. It seems fair to infer from this, that the fact of human volition having its place in a line of events serially dependent is not of itself a disproof that a similar though greater Will originated the series.

Further, if there be a greater Will than ours, it must be of similar kind to ours, the difference being chiefly in degree. Mr Spencer says that we everywhere see fading away the anthropomorphic conception of the Unknown Cause: in one case after another is abandoned that interpretation which ascribes phenomena to a will analogous to the human will, working by methods analogous to human methods.1 But Mr Spencer has just referred to epidemics regarded as punishments inflicted by an angry Deity. Of course, we do not suppose that human whim or caprice would have its analogue in the Divine mind. But mind is mind, will is will, the universe over. A will not at all like a will would be a contradiction. Mind does not cease to be mind because it is great, nor even because it is infinite. The infinite differs from the finite, but the difference is not in all respects: that which makes each to be a mind remains unchanged, for it is the same in both.

Still further: if a greater Will operated in nature, making itself to be felt-to" count for something as a condition of the course of events"-its action would be 1 Principles of Biology, i. 335.


of the same kind as that of human wills in this respect, that it would not violate natural law, but work by means of it; and the results would appear to come about by natural processes, much as in the illustration given of Jehu and Jezebel. Truth is eternal and unchangeable persistently the same;—and the truths of mathematics must be seen to be truths, as well by the highest mind as by the lowest mind that can understand a demonstration. Matter exists-persists in existence; it moves, and the laws of motion are necessary and unalterable; and to various modes of motion are traceable the phenomena of the universe. When human will operates, it is like another force striking a body which is already moving under the influence of one or more forces, and it of course produces a new resultant, the resultant which was willed. What the volition can effect is conditioned by the proportion of its force to the other forces concerned, and the antagonism of the angle at which it strikes in. All changes effected are but new collocations given to matter, new directions given to force. Greater wills can do more than lesser wills; but to the one as well as the other, matter, motion, the laws of motion, force, are the same; with the one as well as the other, the result of action is to produce the condition of things which is willed, and to leave the chain of natural causes unbroken. If the Will be Supreme, by which we mean, if it be the will of an Infinite Intelligence, all the relations and possibilities of things will be seen at a glance; the impossible will never be attempted; the possible will present no difficulty; skill, in the sense of contrivance to overcome actual obstacles, will be out of the question; yet, since the nature of things will remain the same, means and


processes will be used, because they are the right means to produce the result. Wisdom shows itself in recognising the nature of things, the necessary conditions of action, and in adjusting suitable means to required ends, without mistake or tentative experiment, and waiting patiently for the sure result. Therefore, if it be true that triangles and ellipses have unchanging properties, that bodies moving in straight lines must continue so to move unless obstructed, that a number of bodies revolving about a centre, and attracting one another with a force varying inversely as the square of the distance, must have the squares of their periodic times related as the cubes of their mean distances, &c. &c., it follows that the working of Infinite Intelligence will show results which conform to "natural law," and in their nature admit of being compared with the results of man's intelligence. Mr Lewes complains that there is a traditional phrase much in vogue among the anthropomorphists, which arose naturally enough from the tendency to take human method as an explanation of the Divine--a phrase which becomes a sort of argument-"The Great Architect."1 But unless there can be two sorts of geometrical truth, and two sets of laws to govern moving bodies, or two utterly distinct attributes, each of which deserves to be called Intelligence, a great will becoming a great worker might fairly be called a great architect. If man is really made in the image of God, so far as intelligence is concerned, though his capacity to discern truth be small, yet let him not deny its genuineness so far as it goes, and refuse to rise to his divine position because it may seem like degrading God to the human level. They judge much better, 1 Fortnightly Review, June 1868.



says Maclaurin, who, without scruple, measure the Divine Omnipotence itself, and the possibility of things, by their own clear ideas concerning them; affirming that God himself cannot make contradictions to be true at the same time, and represent the certain part of our knowledge in some degree as the knowledge and wisdom of the Deity imparted to us, in the views of nature which He has laid before us.1

Is there, then, such a Will and Intelligence above us? Mr Spencer asks, Is it not just possible that there is a mode of being as much transcending Intelligence and Will as these transcend mechanical motion? It is difficult to admit the possibility. He thinks that the Ultimate Cause cannot in any respect be conceived by us, because it is in every respect greater than can be conceived (sic); and asks, May we not therefore rightly refrain from assigning to it any attributes whatever, on the ground that such attributes, derived as they must be from our own natures, are not elevations but degradations? All that Mr Spencer says is the result of deep thought, and deserves to be pondered; but would it not follow from such reasoning, that we know nothing of Space, and should refrain from ascribing to it extension, or defining it as "unoccupied extension," because Space is infinite, and the infinite cannot be conceived? Yet Mr Spencer allows that we have a "consciousness of Space, a product of accumulated experiences, partly our own, but chiefly ancestral."3 May we not to the same extent know what Wisdom and Beneficence are? And if we speak of Infinite Wisdom, will our conception be more inadequate than when we speak of Infinite Space?

3 Ibid., p. 166.

1 Account of Newton's Discoveries, iv. 9.
2 First Principles, third edition, p. 109.

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