of July 7th the bells announced fully with the music and the ancient to the impatient pilgrims that the hymns of the church. The crowd doors of the church were open opened for the procession to pass. and the first Mass about to com- Every face lights up, hands are inence. The edifice was immedi- clasped, and tears flow from all ately crammed; even the sanctu- eyes.

eyes. The president of the festival, ary was invaded. The neighbor- more than eighty years of age, proing chapels, the large court of the nounced the panegyric of the saint. monastery, and the green in front, Then followed a grand Mass, durwere soon filled; but order reigned ing which, and for two hours after, a everywhere in the multitude of all constant file of pilgrims approachages, sexes, and ranks. Every face ed to venerate a relic of the saint. expressed faith and the most fer- The ceremonies closed with Benevent devotion. Eighty priests from diction. Alsace, Lorraine, the Grand Duchy The chasse was exposed during of Baden, and even from Holland, the whole Octave. From that time enhanced by their presence the the concourse of pilgrims has conbrilliancy of this festival, at once

tinued. There were fifteen hunreligious and national. Masses suc- dred the following Sunday. Hunceeded each other till afternoon. dreds of Communions are daily The venerable Curate of Oberehn- made at Hohenbourg, and perhaps heim (the place of S. Odile's birth), the number of pilgrims has never who was the bishop's delegate, gave been greater than of late. the signal for the ceremony at nine Glorious Patroness of Alsace, o'clock A.M.

The remains of S. whose great heart, while on earth, Odile were borne in procession by was so full of pity for the unfortusix priests. Censers waved and nate, pray for thy unhappy country, the sound of the bells mingled joy- now devastated and full of woe !


I stood by the broad, deep river,

The tide flowed firm to its mouth;
I saw the sweet wind quiver,

As it rose in the golden south.
On the river's bosom it fluttered,

And kissed and caressed all day,
And joys of the south it muttered:

But the tide kept its northern way.
Tender and chaste was its suing,

Till the face of the river-bride
Rippled and gleamed in the wooing:

But northward flowed the tide.

And so, thought I, God's graces

Woo our souls the livelong day,
Which brighten and smile in their faces:

Sin bears uis another way.



To complete our investigation ble of physical division, although about the essential properties of their volume is infinitely divisible matter, one great question remains in a mathematical sense. Others, to be answered, viz. : Is the matter on the contrary, deny the material of which bodies are made up intrin- continuity of matter, and hold with sically extended so as to fill a portion Boscovich that, as all bodies are of space, or does it ultimately consist composed of discrete molecules, so of unextended points ? We call this are all molecules composed of disa great question, not indeed be- crete elements wholly destitute of cause of any great difficulty to be material extension, occupying disencountered in its solution, but be- tinct mathematical points in space, cause it has a great importance in and bound by mutual action in metaphysics, and because it has mechanical systems differently conbeen at all times much ventilated stituted, according to the different by great philosophers.

nature of the substances to which That bodies do not fill with their they belong. matter the dimensions of their vol- Which of these two opinions is ume is conceded by all, as po- right? Although scientists more rosity is a general property of generally incline to the second, bodies. That the molecules, or metaphysicians are still in favor of chemical atoms, of which the mass the first. Yet we do not hesitate of a body is composed, do not to say, though it may appear pretouch one another with their mat. sumptuous on our part, that it is ter, but are separated by appreci- not difficult to decide the question. able intervals of space, is also

Let the reader follow our reasonadmitted by our best scientists, ing upon the subject, and we confithough many of them are of opin- dently predict that he will soon be ion that those intervals are filled satisfied of the truth of our asserwith a subtle medium, by which tion. calorific and luminous vibrations Groundless assumption of continuare supposed to be propagated. ous matter.-As the true metaphyBut with regard to the molecules sics of matter must be grounded on themselves, the question, whether real facts, we may first inquire what their constitution is continuous or facts, if any, can be adduced in discrete, has not yet been settled. favor of the intrinsic extension and Some teach, with the old physicists, material continuity of molecules. that bodies are ultimately made up Is there any sensible fact which diof particles materially continuous rectly or indirectly proves such a

, filling with their mass the whole continuity ? space occupied by their volume. We must answer in the negative. These last particles they call atoms, For sensible facts are perceived by because their mass is not suscepti- us in consequence of the impres

sions which objects make on our hend.* We must therefore concede senses; if, therefore, such impres- that no impression received by our sions are not calculated to reveal senses is calculated to make us anything concerning the question perceive anything like a molecule of material continuity, no sensible or to give us a clue to its constitufact can be adduced as a proof of tion. To say that molecules are so the continuity of matter. Now, many pieces of continuous matter the impressions made on our senses is therefore to assert what no sensicannot reveal anything about our ble fact can ever reveal. question. For we know that bo- Moreover, we know of no sendies contain not only millions of sible phenomenon which has any pores, which are invisible to the necessary connection with the connaked eye, but also millions of tinuity of matter. Physicists and movable and separate particles, chemists, in their scientific explanawhich are so minute that no mi- tion of phenomena, have no need of croscope can make them visible, assuming the existence of continuand which, though so extremely ous matter, and acknowledge that minute, are composed of millions there are no facts from which the of other particles still more minute, theory of simple and unextended which have independent move- elements can be refuted. And the ments, and therefore possess an in- reason of this is clear; for the phedependent existence.

There are noinena can be made the ground of many species of animalcules (in- experimental proofs only so far as fusoria) so small that millions to- they are perceived by our senses ; gether would not equal the bulk of and since our perception of them is 1 grain of sand, and thousands confined within the narrow limits might swim at once through the above described, it is impossible to eye of a needle. These almost draw from sensible phenomena any infinitesimal animals are as well distinct conclusion regarding the adapted to life as the largest beasts, constitution of molecules. Hence and their movements display all it is plain that no sensible fact the phenomena of life, sense, and exists which directly or indirectly instinct. They have nerves and proves the continuity of matter. muscles, organs of digestion and Secondly, we may ask, Can the of propagation, liquids and solids intrinsic extension and continuity of different kinds, etc. It is im- of matter be proved from the espossible to form a conception of sence of material substance ? the minute dimensions of these or- The answer must again be negaganic structures; and yet each ser- tive. For nothing can arate organ of every animalcule is manner be involved in, or result a compound of several organic sub- from, the essence of material substances, each in its turn compris- stance, unless it be required either ing numberless atoms of carbon, by the matter, or by the substantial oxygen, and hydrogen. It is form, or by the relation and proporplain from this and other tion which must exist between the amples that the actual magnitude form and the matter. But neither of the ultimate molecules of any the matter, nor the substantial form, body is something completely be- nor their mutual relation requires yond the reach of our senses to perceive or of our intellect to compre- * See Silliman's Principles of Physics, A. 20.

VOL. XX.-18

in any


material continuity or material ex- quantity or continuous extension, tension. Therefore the essence of nor is it potential with respect to it, material substance cannot supply as its potency regards only existence us with any valid argument in favor (primum esse), and evidently exis of the extension and continuity of tence is not dimensive quantity. matter.

Hence the schoolmen unanimously In this syllogism the major pro- maintain with Aristotle that the first position needs no proof, as it is matter has “no quiddity, no quality, evident that material substance, and no quantity" (nec quid, nec quali. like all other created things, essen- nec quantum)—a truth which re tially consists of act and potency; hope fully to explain in some future and it is known that its act is call- article. As actuated, the matter is ed the substantial form, while its nothing else than a substantial term potency is called the matter.* It susceptible of local motion; for we is therefore manifest that, if any- know from physics that material thing has a necessary connection substance receives no other deterwith the essence of material sub- mination than to local movement, stance, it must be of such a nature and for this reason, as we remarked as to be needed either by the matter in another place, it has been definor by the substantial form, or by ed Ens mobile, or a movable thing both together.

Now, a term, to be susceptible of The minor proposition can be local motion, needs no dimensions. demonstrated as follo‘ys: In the as is evident. And therefore the first place, continuous quantity is matter, whether actuated or not, not needed by the matter, whether has nothing in its nature which ractuated or actuable. For, as actu- quires continuous extension. able, the matter is a "mere poten- In the second place, materia. cy” (pura potentia) which has yet continuity is not required by the to receive its “first actuality nature of the substantial form. (primum esse), as philosopisers agree; This form may, in fact, be considand accordingly it has no actual ered either as a principle of being of the exertion, as well as that of sicians, from whom these writers the movement, must be taken from borrowed their notion of matter) a point to a point, not from a bulk admitted the continuity of matter to a bulk; and therefore the form, on two grounds : first, because they as a principle of operation, needs thought that nature abhorred a vaonly one point of matter. Thus it cuum ; and, secondly, because they is clear that no material extension rejected the actio in distans as imis required to suit the wants of the possible. But we have already substantial form.

or as a principle of operation. As * The word “matter" ordinarily signifies "mate

a principle of being, it gives the rial substance"; but among philosophers material first existence to its matter; and it substance is that in which one of the constituciats is is plain that to give the first existthe matter, the other being the form. Physicists also take the word " matter" in the sense of one of the

ence is not to give bulk. Our adconstituents of material substance, whenever they distinguish the matter from the active power of

versaries teach that what gives bulk We are surprised to find that Father Ton

to the bodies is quantity; and yet. giorgi denics in his Cosmology (n. 102, 103) that the primitive atoms are constituted of matter and form. surely, they will not pretend that Of what, then, are they constituted? Hoe replies quantity is the substantial form that those atoms have no constituents. “Philosophers," he says, "ask what are the constituents of On the other hand, it is eviden: the atoms; and we answer that constituents of the

that to be and to have bulk are no: atoms there are none, whether with regard to their cssence or to their quantity"-Quæstioner pro- the same thing; and since the subponunt philosophi quonam sint constirutiva atomorum. Cuirespondemus,constitutira atomorain

stantial form merely causes the nulla esse, nec quoad essentiam, nec quoad qunn- matter to be, it would be absurd to titatean (n. 119). This is a curious doctrinc indeed ;

infer that it must also cause it to be for it admits that a thing may be constituted withsical analysis of the primitive being, but implicitly tion, the form needs matter only as out constituents, and not only ignores the metaphy- extended. As a principle of operadeclares it to be absurd. That all created substance essentially consists of act and potency we have a centre from which its exertion shown in THE CATHOLIC WORLD for March, 1874, p. $24.

are directed. Now, the direction


shown that no action of matter In the third place, material exten- upon matter is possible, except on sion is not required to make the the condition that the matter of matter proportionate to its substan- the agent be distant from the mattial form. We shall see later that ter of the patient; which implies no form which requires a determi- that all the material particles, to nate quantity of mass can be a sub- act on their immediate neighbors, stantial form in the strict sense of must be separately ubicated, with the expression ; at present it will intervening vacuum. And thus the suffice to keep in mind that the sub- only reasons by which the ancients stantial form must give the first be- could plausibly support the contiing to its matter, and that the mat- nuity of matter have lost all weight ter is therefore perfectly propor- in the light of modern mechanics. tioned to its substantial form by Fourthly : Can the continuity of merely being in potency to receive matter be inferred from geometrical its first being. Now, such a po- considerations? tency implies no extension; for if We reply that it cannot. For it did, the accident would precede geometric quantity is not a quantity the substance. Besides, the matter of matter, but a quantity of volumebefore its first actuation is a non- that is, the quantity of space menentity, and, as such, is incapable of surable within certain limits. Hence any positive disposition, as we shall it is evident that the continuity of more fully explain in the sequel. the geometric quantity has nothing But a determinate bulk would be to do with the continuity of matter, a positive disposition. Hence the and is not dependent on it, but matter which receives its first ac- wholly depends on the possibility tuation is proportionate to its form of a continuous movement within independently of material exten- the limits of the geometric space. sion. We can therefore safely con- In fact, we have in geometry three clude that the essence of material dimensions—length, breadth, and substance supplies no proof what- depth, which are simple lines. ever of the continuity of matter. Now, a line is not conceived as

Thirdly, we ask, Can the conti- made up of material points touchnuity of matter be proved from me- ing and continuing one another,

but as the track of a point moving Here also our answer must be between certain limits; so that the negative. For the theorems of me- continuity of the geometric dimenchanics are each and all demon- sions is not grounded on any exstrated quite independently of the tension or continuation of material question of material continuity. particles, but on the possibility of The old writers of mechanical continuous movement, on which works (or rather the old metaphy- the continuity of time also depends.

chanics ?

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