generous letter from the Author who, above all others, had called my own intellectual life into active energy, excited, in my mind, a warmth of feeling absolutely indescribable.

When, therefore, a Prize on this subject was offered for adjudication subject to the appointment of my own University, I felt glad to embrace an occasion which might be called in the truest sense an “Opportunity." What I have produced is to

” be found in the following pages. When engaged in writing them, it was my most anxious wish and endeavour to be honest: to advocate what I thought and still think true, without disguising the difficulties of my own conclusion, or assailing its antagonists by gratuitous insinuations or unfairnesses of any sort. Should such a meanness appear, I would earnestly desire the leaf on which it is printed to be torn from my book.

The delays which have befallen these pages since they were first sent to press in the former half of 1873, have caused much regret to both author and publishers. Our troubles began with a singular misadventure to a quantity of MS.; which, together with other circumstances, delayed printing till after the time originally fixed for publication. The next season was lost in consequence of severe domestic affliction. Those of my readers who have ever gone into print, will most readily commiserate the anxiety caused by such unlooked for disappointments.

The ensuing line of argument was suggested to my mind when a young Oxonian, in consequence of circumstances with which it is needless to trouble my readers. What I then thought its special strength, lay in the point of its combining two totally different kinds of proof:-one, drawn from a survey of the world we live in the other, from what is nearer to ourselves—the moral truth given us by our personal conscious

I also thought that any particular weakness alleged


against one proof, could not be incident to the other; and, therefore, that since both lines of evidence, (kept apart while under examination), met at last in one and the same result, my inquiry had arrived at a demonstrably certain conclusion. At the same time, I could not but feel a wholesome distrust of my reasonings on a subject, which, though often discussed, had never, as I then believed, been looked at exactly from my own point of view.

Somewhat later in life, I learned from Paley's commentators and continuators, that the attack and defence of Natural Theology had for years been conformed to the position taken up by the Archdeacon, so far at least as the popular science of this country was concerned. But the sceptical tactics of Hume shewed me a much wider plan of assault; and in studying his great German antagonist I saw that a double line of defence had been contemplated by him. I have since observed that no part of Kant's philosophy is less commonly known to English readers than his method and results in those most priceless of his critical investigations, the treatises forming a groundwork of Moral Science. As may at once be supposed, the discovery that I really had a sort of sympathiser in Kant, was the greatest possible encouragement to my mind.

Yet there remained a very heavy discouragement. Evidently, any one who should try to pursue two very separate but convergent lines of reasoning, must undergo a most toilsome task, and one little likely to be performed without long and continued effort. And, harder yet to answer was the question next following: Who will read your patiently obtained results, to say nothing of the collateral topics which must in logical fairness be argued by the way? After all, the inevitable drawback to Natural Theology lies in the fact that, in order to be held a valid science, it must necessarily become a complex one.

This last difficulty remains my chiefest apprehension still. Neither in the Essay itself, nor yet in the additions made to it, have I introduced any one point which it seemed permissible to omit with justice to the real issue. Yet I dare not hope that many eyes, except those of the practised student, will easily perceive how germane to that issue are several among the subjects discussed. One class of thinkers will, however, welcome the whole of these inquiries; and this class contains the earnest men for whom above all others I have written.

The amount of MS. sent to the Registrar was much less in compass than the present volume. But Notes and Illustrations

vere intended from the first, and, had there existed a doubt as to their propriety, it would have been at once removed by the counsel of competent advisers. The risks attaching to the Essay in its smaller shape were said to be two: (1) An evident appearance of unwilling brevity, and (2) a possible charge of novel thought, bordering on paradox. In attempting to overcome these obstacles to favourable attention, I have pursued the following course :

The text of the Essay is printed as originally written, with only a very few verbal changes for the sake of improved clearness. A number of foot-notes belonging to its first draft, remain distinguished by the ordinary marks of reference.*

In reperusing the text, I set myself to consider how many sympathisers I could find. The best answer to any possible charge of Paradox, seemed to be a roll-call of thinkers who, for their own purposes, have asserted positions more or less approaching those I had attempted to maintain. The number of auxiliaries I have thus succeeded in assembling, is, I confess, a matter of considerable self-gratulation. Yet, I do not appeal to such opinions as authorities, in any other sense than so far

* All citations made in the original draft, or in the foot-notes belonging to it, have been revised and altered to suit later editions of the authorities cited. Thus there are several extracts from books which may appear to be recent publications, but are, in fact, authorized rifaccimenti.

forth as they are the decisions of experts in different provinces of knowledge. In whatever concerns his own department, each scientific worker has assuredly a right to be heard. The weight of confirmation thus given to my own previous results, is enhanced by the fact that most of the authors cited, pursued different objects from mine, and wrote without any bias favourable to Natural Theology. Respecting more than one of them, I feel inclined to repeat the ancient adage, “My antagonist has become my helper.”

The Quotations themselves have been divided into separate classes. The greatest number illustrate particular expressions, sentences, and paragraphs. These are arranged as foot-notes on the several pages of Text, and are referred to by the small letters of the alphabet. Others, explaining or confirming principles, of general importance to the argument, have been distinguished by capital letters, and placed at the end of the chapters to which they appertain. With this latter division are classed a third set of extracts, which aim at expounding certain special thoughts, and opening out to the real student useful paths of prolonged investigation.

One circumstance connected with the Additional Notes, is alluded to at the bottom of page 27. Originally, I had made only a few citations from thoroughly sceptical writers. But, against this plan were urged the following objections. (1.) In arguing questions of all kinds, definite points are present to the mind of every disputant, and against them he directs his argument. His expressions are always antithetic to these points, and should they be left in the shadow, all antithesis is lost, and the real force of the argument obscured. Sometimes it is even mistaken ;-a truth which may be illustrated by comparing the positions of great leaders in politics or theology with the positions occupied by their disciples. The former always speak by way of antithesis,-the latter seldom construe their leaders' words antithetically. Hence, the disciples never fail to outrun

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their teachers. Antithesis is in truth a verbal counterpoise; and where it disappears, balance is not seldom overthrown. Thus, said my advisers, your reasoning must necessarily suffer by a general loss of clear definition. Again, (2) they continued ;-Since the time when you began your Essay, Scepticism in general, Materialism and Mechanism in particular, or, to speak briefly, the various denials of Theism, have ceased to be subjects on which reticence is feasible. An Address of Mr. Gladstone's delivered in a room, and spoken to a company of youths, soon became world-wide; it has been, and will be, read, quoted, and commented on, wheresoever the English language is understood. One daily newspaper attractively written, devotes many of its clever pages to making known in a forensic manner the many different phases of sceptical opinion. And some religious journals explain, with complete freedom, what the disbeliefs are which they consider most reprehensible. Reticence, therefore, is simply thrown away. Some may desire to see it practised towards young people, but

economizers are, in effect, theoretical. They forget that the Battle of Thought comes to educated young minds along with the Battle of Life; and woe to the unprepared either way! They become, one and all, bewildered.

These reasons have satisfied my own judgment up to a certain point. I have consequently added such quotations from sceptical authors, as seemed desirable for the purpose of limiting my several positions with antithetic distinctness; a kind of definition which I admit to be the most distinct of all. And to these extracts I have appended some others, plainly expressing the conclusions which the opponents of Theism ought to reach, provided their views are carried out with fairness and consistency. Conclusions of this kind can only be obtained from Sceptics themselves. In what are called “ logical consequences” put by an author into the mouth of his adversaries, I, for one, have no confidence whatever. To draw such

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