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marriageable, belongs properly to the duty of the wife; whereas the care of the instruction of the boys, from childhood to youth, and from youth till they become capable of governing themselves, belongs properly to the duty of the husband" (n. 176).
And in the "Treatise on Heaven and Hell" we read:-"I was in the street of a great city, and I saw little boys fighting with each other, whilst a crowd flocked around them enjoying the sight with much gratification; and I was informed that the parents themselves excite their little boys to such combats; the good spirits and angels, who saw through my eyes what was passing, expressed such aversion at the sight, that I perceived their horror, and especially at this consideration, that the parents incited them to such things; they said, that thus in early life parents extinguish all mutual love, and all innocence, which infants receive from the Lord, and initiate them into principles of hatred and revenge; consequently, that they studiously exclude their children from heaven, where there is nothing but mutual love. Let parents, therefore, who wish well to their children, beware of such practices" (n. 344).
That mothers, as well as fathers, who acknowledge the New Church doctrines, may duly consider and profit by the few observations and admonitions here hastily put together, is the earnest desire of a wellwishing and affectionate GRANDFATHER.
SCIENCE AND THE CHURCH.
HERBERT SPENCER AND THEISM.
(Continued from page 270.)
THE first essential of union between Science and the Church has been disentangled from its scientific perversions-a true idea of the First Cause, to wit. It has been shown, as a development of Spencer's position, that we are logically and psychologically constrained to the acceptance of an Infinite Human Personality: a Primal Being in his essence inscrutable, indeed, but known through certain self-manifestations, and only so to be known, but therein truly known to us (and that by the very constitution of our consciousness) as Revealed Feeling and Thought. In that wonderful sentence already quoted, “An ever prescnt sense of real existence is the very basis of our intelligence," the whole truth is reflected, as, in a clear deep pool, the naked blinding heavens might be. Letters of gold! but here is a
very word of life. That Real Existence, from an ever present sense of which our intelligence exists, is it not the VERY Intelligence? That Real Existence, from which comes the ever present sense of existence, is it not THE VERY Sense or Consciousness or Feeling? From the Intelligence and Feeling of common man we reach the Feeling and Intelligence of the Very Man, or God. This, at least, is. how, and as man can know Him. And if the God be truly Immanuel, have we not the whole world-mystery solved, and a Sun of Light irradiating a shrouded, darkened universe?
But we have one other matter in hand before we close these papers, the second essential of the theistic position, the Doctrine of Creation. What is the relation of this First Cause or Personal God to the universe? Here, too, we have to disentangle truth from scientific perversion, and still keep Spencer's track.
Creation, Generation or Evolution? We think there is no need for alternatives, as the truth lies rather in reconcilement. Creation or Generation, viewed from without, could not appear otherwise to the mind of genius than as Evolution. We maintain that in form the doctrine of Evolution is true, and, as a grand guess, marvellously near the whole truth, but that the substantive fact is wanting which would give validity to it as the ultimate solution of the relation of Life to God. That missing substantive fact can only come by Revelation. Creation rightly understood, expresses the truth in fact which Evolution expresses in form: they are respectively the essential and formal sides of the same thing. And in this we once more see how the world's thought is being adapted by Providence to the New Disclosures through the Church. The intellectual forms of science (and here, as to the genesis of the universe) are the fitting body of which the Church's new truths are the soul. Hence the glory of Science and the danger. Evolution may look materialistic; alone, it is so; but, truly seen, we can only hail it with gladness as a necessary and proper work of the natural intellect for which the spiritual intellect is unfitted-necessary, because educating the world into the intellectual form and principle, on the natural plane, of those substantive spiritual truths which the Church stands prepared to unfold.1
In discussing the groundwork of his "Evolution," however, Spencer finds it necessary to show up the fallacies of the Creation-theory, as he interprets it, not dreaming, we need not say, of a higher unity in which both doctrines can merge. It is not our intention to do more
1 I see that Professor Parsons speaks of Evolution as probably "one of the methods by which God created," but I cannot discern that this answers to anything known. God could not have several methods.
at present than to vindicate the Creation-theory from the perversions of its friends and foes, as expressed through Spencer. The deeper question of the relation of Evolution and Creation we may possibly resume at another time. We will give the whole of Spencer's argument; first his general statement, and then his two heads of discussion, in turn. He says:
"There remains to be examined the commonly received or theistic hypothesis creation by external agency. Alike in the rudest creeds and in the cosmogony long current among ourselves, it is assumed that the genesis of the Heavens and the Earth is effected somewhat after the manner in which a workman shapes a piece of furniture. And this assumption is made not by theologians only, but by the immense majority of philosophers," past and present. Equally in the writings of Plato, and in those of not a few living men of science, we find it taken for granted that there is an analogy between the process of creation and the process of manufacture."
Such is Spencer's idea of the Doctrine of Creation; and it is surely significant that a mind like his not only should know no other, but should quietly condescend to discuss the truth of such a doctrine. For what is its sum? God is a carpenter, and works with hammer and nails. But, as Spencer asks in his own ponderously rational way, where do the hammer and nails come from? At any rate, the present (or past ?) idea of Creation is purely mechanical; and it is a striking testimony to the rudimentariness and puerility even yet of theologic (not to say philosophic) thought, that such a genesis of the Heavens and the Earth should be held "alike in the rudest creeds and in the cosmogomy long current among ourselves;" yes, and still current, but Spencer is a philosopher, and sees the economy of such ideas as good ás dead.
But hear his first answer to the carpenter-theory:—
"Now, in the first place, not only is this conception one that cannot by any cumulative process of thought, or the fulfilment of predictions based on it, be shown to answer to anything actual; and not only is it that in the absence of all evidence respecting the process of creation, we have no proof of correspondence even between this limited conception and some limited portion of the fact; but it is that the conception is not even consistent with itself-cannot be realized in thought when all its assumptions are granted. Though it is true that the proceedings of a human artificer may vaguely symbolize to us a method after which the Universe might be shaped, yet they do not help us to comprehend the real mystery; namely, the origin of the material of which the Universe consists. The artizan does not make the iron, wood, or stone he uses; but merely fashions and combines them. If we suppose suns, and planets, and satellites, and all they contain to have been similarly formed by a "Great Artificer," we suppose merely that certain pre-existing elements were thus put into their present arrangement. But whence the pre-existing elements? The comparison helps us not in the least to understand that; and unless it helps us to understand that, it is worthless. The production of matter out of nothing is the real mystery, which neither this simile nor any other enables us to conceive; and a simile which does not enable us to conceive this may just as well be dispensed with."
So any rational man would think, and would take pleasure in the clear word and trenchant stroke of so vigorous an image-breaker, directed against an idol so mighty and so imbecile. Against that stroke we have not only nothing to object, but all to say in approval, except that the true Creation-theory remains untouched. Does it then miss its mark? Not so; but the striker mistook the mark for other than it is; and the slayer slays the slain. Spencer has not disproved Creation, but only a fluid or pseudo-theory thereof
"Let the galled jade wince; Our withers are unwrung."
The notion that "He created all things from nothing, by the word of His power, in the space of six days, and all very good," is not one that some of us ever remember believing, though the echoes of it, as the wisdom of certain divines, have come down all the grooves of mental change with us, from the earliest recollection of "The Shorter Catechism."
First, the supposition that all things were made from nothing is contradictory. The meaninglessness of the statement makes belief of it impossible. Again, the supposition is gratuitous; there is no necessity for it in Theism; we are not shut up by the belief in a Personal God to any Hobson's choice of matter from nothing. Surely of the three possible suppositions this is the most vicious, and in every sense the worst. But are there not two others each more rational than this? For our part, we should not care to say that matter, as we now find it, existed from eternity. Still, there is a certain modicum of truth underlying this, as every other error; for, since matter now exists, substance must have existed from eternity. There is at least thus much of truth in the materialistic idea. Now, by the theistic hypothesis, God is eternal; that is, God is the eternal substance. Can there, then, be any doubt as to the legitimate, rational inference from this premiss, in regard to the origin of Creation? If the existence of matter denotes pre-existent or eternal substance as its source, and that source God, are we not therein saying that matter exists from God? Indeed, from the theistic premisses there is no other legitimate inference; it only requires that we be consecutive enough, logically truthful enough, to make that inference. Right or wrong, then, this is the true development of the theistic position; and theists have only to be rationally consistent to go scot-free from the stroke of Spencer's arm.
But we must hear his second argument:
"Still more manifest does the insufficiency of this theory of creation become when we turn from material objects to that which contains them-when instead of matter
we contemplate space. Did there exist nothing but an immeasurable void, explanation would be needed as much as now. There would still arise the question, How came it so? If the theory of creation by external agency were an adequate one, it would supply an answer; and its answer would be, space was made in the same manner that matter was made. But the impossibility of conceiving this is so manifest, that no one dares to assert it. For if space were created, it must have been previously non-existent, The non-existence of space cannot, however, by any mental effort be imagined. It is one of the most familiar truths that the idea of space as surrounding us on all sides is not for a moment to be got rid of: not only are we compelled to think of space as everywhere present, but we are unable to conceive its absence either in the past or the future. And if the non-existence of space is absolutely inconceivable, then, necessarily, its creation is absolutely inconceivable."
It appears, then, that difficult as the idea of Creation from nothing may be, there is a greater difficulty behind. We should have thought that a physical impossibility presented a difficulty as great as a physical philosopher could well desire, but it appears that even a physical philosopher may hold a metaphysical difficulty in more reverence still. It is only fair all round to notice at the outset here, that to some people this question of the origin of space will by no means be the lion in the path which it is to the eyes of the all-seeing Spencer, Indeed they will think, metaphysics apart, that the responsibility of proof is by no means chargeable to the account of Theism; but we will only hint that if Spencer had not determined to exact the uttermost farthing, and at any cost to gain a victory, he might have allowed himself to see that the accounting for space is by no means essential to the establishment of Theism as a concrete doctrine of existence, though it may be essential to the completeness of an all-grasping abstract theory of things. He tells us that, if Creation by external agency were a true account of the origin of the universe, it should be able to account for the origin of the space which contains the universe; which sounds like a metaphysical patient demanding from his doctor the theory of bottle-making, in order to be satisfied fully of the efficacy of the drugs in the one sent him,-an irritating proceeding on the patient's part, though it is just possible that the good, intelligent doctor might be able, and for his patient's sake and his own, willing to supply the desired information. But if Spencer chooses to esteem Theism an omnipotent theory of things, I dare say Theism, like our good doctor, has no deeply-grounded objection to being put to the proof. And if Spencer, in putting this position, has shown himself hard-headed, he has also shown himself clear-headed beyond question, Any way, Theism has to thank him for pointing out the means towards the thoroughgoing establishment of its reputation: wise men are glad to know what constitutes full proof. We are willing to accept the task set us, and only too glad to know what we have to do.