The year's warm life, the honest sun,

Is swooning; more and more we see

The silent landscape's skeleton,

The woodland's grim anatomy.
A Hot noontide,
A hedgerow side

Turn to the town, its crowded time,

Its fading hopes, its arts and cheats,
A village lad,

Deceit and grasping, hate and crime,
With step so glad –

The heartless gleam of cruel streets.
A maiden.
A rosy face,

There is no path but terrors haunt,
A simple grace,

Desire is still the door to Sin ;
Some laughter,

Without, you hear the curse of Want,
A drooping head,

Possession's sated yawn within :
A few words said
What after?

Consoles us not Contentment's priest

Who nods by Hope's eternal grave;

Day springs not in his dawnless East,
A cottage door,

Life ceases when we cease to crave.
A well-swept floor,

Fire burning -
A pleasant sight

Honors and riches will not count,
To weary wight

Nor Love, for all his rapturous toys;

On things of sense the wise wiil mount

A ladder of exhausted joys :
The day's work o'er,
And home once more,

The few who reach the summit-sphere
At leisure,

Report fair fields — a glad surprise
At eventide,

For those who hear with chastened ear
By Mary's side -

And watered groves of Paradise ;
Sweet pleasure.

Rising in mist the enchanted streams
Two grass-grown graves,

Flow under trees that bloom and bend ;
Some falling leaves

Clean floods that shine in faery beams,
And shadows;

Without a burden, bar, or end.
A summer sky,
In sunshine lie

Ah, streams of life! ah, magic light!
The meadows.

Dreamed of by these, enjoyed by those ;

And — somewhere in the Infinite
Life, light, and sound

The tideless Ocean of Repose !
Above the ground

Forsake them;

They rest awhile,
Till God's own smile

Awake them.


Though years roll on,
Shall love be gone?

No, never.
While lads shall love,
And lasses prove
True ever.

Public Opinion.

Good-bye, sweetheart! The quaint old phrase
We jested at in olden days;
When Faith was fresh, and Hope was strong,
Before we knew that Love could wrong,
Or set our feet in Sorrow's ways.

Now we have learnt how Trust betrays;

And bitter doubts and terrors throng

The words half dear when all were young.

Good-bye, sweetheart !
SHUT to the lattice; make it fast;
The wind has turned austere and cold;

Oh, soft refrain of idle song,
And, borne upon the funeral blast,
The first dead leaf's poor corpse behold.

What memories lurk its notes among!

For us, no hope its pain allays.
Last month the land was gemmed with sheaves, With eyes all dim with boding haze,

And clothed in multitudinous green; Our faltering lips clelay it long,
Now, shivering under waning leaves,

Good-bye, sweetheart." The furrows gape, the forests lean.

All The Year Round.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

From The Contemporary Review. shibboleth. But suppose it were a superSCIENCE AND RELIGION.

stition too? PREACHING on New Year's Day to the

Help of an easy, accessible sort in debrethren. in Fleur-de-Lys Court, Fetter ciding this question is given to the many Lane, Mr. Frederic Harrison refreshed not conversant with Kant and Schopenthem with the announcement that “ Posi- bauer in a recent work of some pretentivism” embodies the dominant convictions, Mr. H. Coke's " Creeds of the tions of our time, and is in the air,” like Day."* This is a serious effort to comthe germs, I suppose, of typhoid fever and pare our leading thinkers with one an. the cry of the evening newspapers. One

other and with themselves, the latter no thing,” he continued, " that distinguishes holiday task, but exceedingly necessary the present epoch is its revived interest in for these times. Mr. Coke has a critical, religion; another, its submission to the well-informed mind, and the courage of his teaching of science. But to regard reli- opinions. He is candid, good-bumored, gion as the mainspring of life is the centre

not sentimental, rarely eloquent, an Angloof Positivist doctrine, and the ascendency Saxon disciple of Kant, holding by no of science is also a Positivist doctrine: it creed save the “ Critique of Pure Reason," is the basis of our religion.” In short, and severely biassed wherever the New there is one true creed, the creed of sci. or Old Testament does not agree with his ence; and M. Comte is its prophet. I ethics or history. His conclusions are in propose to examine this statement in the the main negative. Once, however, in a light, so far as it has dawned on me, moment of exaltation, he speaks of the of modern knowledge, appealing, not to primal mystery wherein he believes as “a saints or metaphysicians, but to the tribu- sphere of dazzling light.” Strange words, nal of Mr. Harrison's “science.” Does and a proof that it is not easy to stand it

agree with the preacher in Fleur-de-Lys with the master of antinomies on the edge Court or with his dead master? And is of a razor! Mr. Coke's reasonings would science indeed the basis of religion ?

bring him nearer to Christianity than he That M. Comte was the last of the thinks. The process whereby we " estabprophets no one, perhaps, believes in his lish religion everlastingly” may make an heart; but the “ascendancy of science,” end of things ancient, but it reveals the denoted by the unlovely name of Posi. eternal, and though human, is not anthrotivism, is a shibboleth of to-day; and pomorphic. I cite Mr. Coke as a witness, vast numbers make it a saving formula. omni exceptione major, 10 the collapse of “ What are called the truths of science,” | materialism and the refutation of the exremarks an author to whom I shall refer travagant claims of science by science again, are assumed to possess the high. itself. And now to begin. est degree of certitude" at which we can

Science is the modern Prospero. Two arrive, as if strictly infallible and dog. hundred years are gone since he found matic. Inherited beliefs have lost much himself floating on a speck of dust through of their authority because they do not re. the infinite blue. The earth is his en. pose on lately acquired data, and presume chanted island; bis rod of power has mul. to justify themselves by other than "sci- tiplied to a thousand instruments, delicate entific" methods. If science cannot test and strong; bis books of magic are grow. or verify them, they are dismissed as the ing every day; and his sorceries, as was baseless fabric.of a vision, beautiful in. foretold of them, have wrought an im. deed, but imaginary. Mr. Huxley, with mense relief for humanity. He has broken grim satisfaction, points to the “extin. out of school into the fresh air; ranged guished theologians that lie about the the stars in their constellations, the flowcradle of every science, as the strangled ers in their orders ; measured the speed snakes beside that of Hercules," and he is of light, and counted its throbbings; siited thought to be proving that theology, nay,

* Creeds of the Day; or, Collated Opinions of Repthe old religion itself, bas expired with its utable Thinkers. By H. Coke. London : Trübner. defenders. So great is the charm of a 1883.


[ocr errors]




[ocr errors]



the colors of the rainbow as through scientific man, energies moving in time meshes of crystal; turned solid to fluid and space are all there is or can be; and and fluid back again to solid; interpreted we know already the message they bring. the message of the nebulæ by their glow. The ultimate reality is matter; and matter ing flames, and beheld the universe emerg- is that which can be weighed. Science is ing from the play of its energies as a content when it has registered the molar symphony from the playing of an orches- and molecular phenomena at which analy. tra. Science, I say it with all reverence sis arrives, and from which constructive and gratitude, has made a new heaven and chemistry sets out. It is held to explain a new earth round about us. Turned back everything, because it makes visible to into the sixteenth century, we should die the eye or the imagination how the new for want of air and room. For now the comes out of the old. Saith Mephistophroof has melted from the sky, and the eles, who has seen deeply into modern nightly horizon is brilliant with countless methods : – We feel ourselves borne through

Encheiresin Naturæ nennt's die Chemie, infinities and eternities: the dream not

Spottet ihrer selbst, und weiss nicht wie. only of Prospero, but of Faust is realized :

But the fiend is a licensed jester. Certain Ob mir durch Geistes Kraft und Mund

it is that scientific men claim infallibility Nicht manch' Geheimniss würde kund,

because they appeal to facts; and they Dass ich nicht mehr, mit saurem Schweiss,

mean that the microscope, the scalpel, or Zu sagen brauche was ich nicht weiss;

the balance brings then home to Dass ich erkenne was die Welt

Science if made “the basis of Im Innersten zusammenhält, Schau' alle Wirkenskraft und Samen,

religion” is metaphysics in masquerade;

but Positivism denounces metaphysics, Und thu' nicht mehr in Worten kramen.

and will bave no à priori methods. Fara. By what methods, then, have these day surmised that inertia may be the speciosa miracula been wrought? Byl essence of matter. Now, if science be methods, I answer, not in the least recon- the explanation of all things — and if it dite, nor, though asking a delicate touch, can but divide or combine inert particles of enormous difficulty. Keener eyes, and - it follows that thought, volition, and all fingertips made sensitive; weighing, their forms, including religion, must be measuring, counting : these are the metho referred to that plain and simple thing ods and the tools of science, and when which is subject to the law of gravitation, we have carried them to perfection, its or has weight. boundary is reached. The near explains

Listen to Mr. Huxley: “If there be one the distant; large and small are relative

thing clear,” he says,

- about the prog. to the glass through which we view them. ress of modern science, it is the tendency The man of science, if Mr. Arnold will to reduce all scientific problems, except excuse me, is a "magnified, non-natural those which are purely mathematical, to," whose eyes, ears, and fingers have questions of molecular physics; that is to been stolen from the thief in our fairy say, to the attractions, repulsions, motales. He stands up between heaven and tions, and co-ordinations of the ultimate earth, a good-natured Briareus, touching, particles of matter." * Religion is not tasting, and experimenting at large in the pure mathematics,” I presume; therezodiac, as though he were the mildest of fore, if its foundation be science, we must apothecaries, and the universe his back reckon it among the problems that are parlor. He has a hundred arms, as many solved by "attractions and repulsions.” eyes as there are in a peacock's tail, and Mr. Huxley believes that “consciousness the clearest of spectacles; but at last helis a function of matter, when matter has can only see and feel. Some day he will attained a certain degree of organization.” be perfect master of time, space, and mo. But, evidently, religion is a function of tion — the slaves of his lamp ; he will consciousness; and to account for one is walk to the edge of the world, or not think it worth the trouble. For to the merely

* Lay Sermons, p. 183.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

to account for the other. Dr. Maudsley, see? By evolution, we are told; and of again declares that “matter rises in dig. this the conditions are an indestructible nity and function until its energies merge matter, the conservation of energy, and insensibly into functions which are de- the mobility and homogeneousness of the scribed as mental.” And Physicus, in his elements at starting. All which conceded, “ Candid Examination of Theism," bluntly we stand face to face with the nebular concludes that "the hypothesis of mind hypothesis. Now the question I ask is,

“ in nature is as certainly superfluous to whether we can accept this as a final exaccount for any of the phenomena of na- planation; whether in the “primordial ture, as the scientific doctrine of the per. arrangement,” to quote Mr. Huxley, of sistency of force and indestructibility of the “ cosmic dust,” we have reached that matter is certainly true.”* On the same TTOV OTÔ whence we may build up the unipage, dismissing God from the universe, verse, material, mental, and spiritual. I, he says, “ There is no need of any such for my part, believe that no elephant and hypothesis at all, cosmic harmony result- tortoise arrangement is more inadequate ing as a physically necessary consequence to explain the statics of the world than this from the combined action of natural laws, to explain its dynamics. Here are some which in turn result as a physically neces of iny reasons: sary consequence of the persistence of The “primordial arrangement” of the force, and the primary qualities of matter." nebula is either an absolute beginning or Physicus would agree with Mr. Tyndall it is not. Say it is not. Then it is the in tracing the genius of Shakespeare and result of a previous state in which its Raphael to the fires of the sun. Grant forces were subject to the law of the conthe law of gravitation, and, according to servation of energy.*

Those forces were him, “the final mystery of things is abol. either exhausted by the work done, or ished.” There is nothing left to explain: they were not. The state of homogeneous if we feel dissatisfied, the reason must lie diffusion, or equally balanced inaction,

How,” it is asked, “can you get proves that exhausted they were. As lit. beyond an ultimate fact?" An ultimate tle can we suppose a sheet of water on fact – in other words, a phenomenon of which there is no ripple under a breeze, which you render no account -is your as a state of homogeneous diffusion whilst only Q.E.D. I call this bold and clear; a particle of energy is unexhausted. But if science be the application of physical from exhausted energies nothing can be methods, where they stop science stops ; drawn, much less sun and planets in pernor can they transcend an ultimate sen sistent motion. If the cosinic dust be sible fact. But silence may instruct as homogeneous, it is the end, not the begin. well as speech, and the impotence of our ning, of a universe. And if it be not methods may be due to an infinitude in homogeneous, we are in the middle of nature. Telescopes are not fresh senses ; things, and not at the starting point. We spectrum analysis registers color but is cannot, even .to please M. du Boisnot a power added to the spirit. And a Reymond, begin with “ like and unlike fact without explanation is a dead wall, energies." were it lofty as the Alps.

That, however, has been suggested. So, then, let the whole glorious pano. The forces are conceived to have been rama, the constellations, galaxies, and latent and then to have come into play. nebulæ, stretching outward into the un. Upon the homogeneous particles many known, the bewildering maze of star sys- writers would bestow unlike energies by tems, and the ether in which they move, way of launching them on their voyage. send back a uniform message, combine But have they reflected on the conseinto one immeasurable fact, and that fact quence? For this would violate the law be matter. By what process, according to of the conservation of energy; it would what law, does it become the things we allow motion to arise from absolute rest,

in us.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

• A Candid Examination, p. 109.

* Coke, vol. ii., p. 119.

and energies to emerge solely out of the pull the primary atoms in numberless potential. It would be what moderns directions. There is a flux of all things ierm a miracle, letting in creation by the and all their particles, and the result postern gate whilst thrusting it away from would be instant chaos, were not that flux the grand entrance. For, in respect of regulated by the nature of the energies, this new energy to which it contributes according to which they build compara. nothing, the nebula may as well be non- tively stable compounds. Forces are re. existent.

lated in an order which cannot be broken ; Thus, either a beginning is impossible, as Mr. Clerk Maxwell said, “ The world or it involves the creation of energy. The is not a reversible engine.” This correhomogeneous nebula is in no case a be. lation may be expressed by numerical ginning; for unless energy come into it, formulæ; nor is an energy conceivable in no start can be made. But that which space and time unlessit admit of measureproduces energy cannot be another form ment. Matter and force, did numerical of energy in time and space, else the distinction cease, would disappear. The wheel is set rolling again, and our begin. physical universe is nothing but numbers ning is a make-believe. Now, science endowed with energy, or units that are with its conservation of energy, protests capable of doing so much work, and that of a form of force not existing in neither more nor less. All matter gravitime and space it knows nothing: such tates inversely as the square of the disan agent is beyond phenomena — is tran- tance, and this law alone makes the scendental. If any science transcends beavens intelligible. The stars are contime and space it is no longer physics but crete mathematics. As an effort of genius metaphysics. Apparent diræ facies! The the Newtonian theory is equal or superior beginning of things of which the mode to 10 the tragedies of Shakespeare and the strictly measuring science is inconceiv: frescos of Michael Angelo. But the able, must be denied, or the existence of mathematics lay objective in the solar sys. the Creator admitted. The nebular hy. tem before Newton, before any human pothesis will not work without God. Such consciousness was there to discern them. was the conviction of Aristotle and St. The law of gravitation is not mere moveThomas Aquinas; the first cause, they ment: it is presupposed by motion, and is said, is movens non motum : an energy purely intellectual. Now'can we believe not in space or time.*

in the intellectual and deny the intellect? “Let us then,” say some, “deny a begin. The primordial structure is no ning, rather than transcend physical sci-thinkable without a mind to determine it ence." But this, too, would run counter than without a mind to understand it. If to physics, which will no more allow that the law of gravitation governed the nebula the stars have been burning from eternity myriads of ages ago, there must have been - I mean the stars now kindled in the a consciousness there, a mind controlling heavens -than that a clock which is half | all the forces within it. That is why the run down has been ticking forever. The primary atoms have been termed " various-colored suns are a graduated scale factured articles.” Were it not so, there on which is marked their distance in time would be thing for science to grasp in from the parent nebula. Vast as may be them. But a mind that in one formula the energy in these great fires, it was contains all laws and energies — and their never infinite. We are taken back to the smooth and endless interaction proves homogeneous dust, and there compelled that to one formula they are reducible – to meditate on the source of its activity. a mind wherein the eternities and infini. Evidently that source was in a higher, lies are one sole harmony, who can realize nonphenomenal sphere, yet did and does that such there is and not be overexist. “We are offered,” says Mr. Coke, whelmed? The light of law spreads like "a theory of evolution, when what we a boundless sky wherever we gaze; and need is a theory of involution.” Through at every luminous point the mind (not the such a gateway do we pass into the uno telescope) perceives a mind eternal. Na. seen. But now it is possible to take a ture reposes on thought - it is the exfurther step.

pression of thought. There must be an In the eyes of science, the world is a intelligent Creator, though not existing in combination, endlessly complex and nec. time and space, since he is everywhere essarily unstable, of forces that push or manifest in the intelligible struciure of

energy: Summa Theol., P. I., Qu. 2, Ar. 3: and Arist.

But what of the cosmic dust itself ? I Phys. vi., etc.

reply, that matter apart from energy is an



[ocr errors]


« VorigeDoorgaan »