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—the saved to have eternity of happi- ceive or be deceived, than that those ness, the lost to be with the devils in laws should have been deviated from. hell.
Of course he did not leave the matter in Again, I am not sure whether it was this position. Hume goes on to say on the same occasion, but it was in fol- that he is speaking of evidence as adlowing the same line of thought, New- dressed to the reason ; the Christian reman described closely some of the inci- ligion addresses itself to faith, and the dents of our Lord's passion ; he then credibility of it is therefore unaffected paused. For a few moments there was by his objection. What Hume said in a breathless silence. Then, in a low, irony Newman accepted in earnest. clear voice, of which the faintest vibra- Historically the proofs were insufficient, tion was audible in the farthest corner or sufficient only to create a sense of of St. Mary's, he said, “Now, I bid you probability. Christianity was apprerecollect that He to whom these things hended by a faculty essentially differwere done was Almighty God.'
ent. It was called faith. But what was as if an electric stroke had gone through faith, and on what did it rest ? Was the church, as if every person present it as if mankind had been born with but understood for the first time the mean- four senses, by which to form their ing of what he had all his life been say- notions of things external to them, and ing. I suppose it was an epoch in the that a fifth sense of sight was suddenly mental history of more than one of my conferred on favored individuals, which Oxford contemporaries.
converted conjecture into certainty ? I Another sermon left its mark upon could not tell. For myself this way of me. It was upon evidence. I had sup- putting the matter gave me no new sense posed up to that time that the chief at all, and only taught me to distrust events related in the Gospels were as my
old ones. well authenticated as any other facts of I say at once that I think it was injuhistory. I had read Paley and Grotius dicious of Newman to throw out before at school, and their arguments had been us thus abruptly an opinion so extremecompletely satisfactory to me. The ly agitating. I explain it by supposing Gospels had been written by apostles or that here, as elsewhere, his sermons concompanions of apostles. There was tained simply the workings of his own sufficient evidence, in Paley's words, mind, and were a sort of public confes" that many professing to be original sion which he made as he went along. I witnesses of the Christian miracles had -suppose that something of this kind had passed their lives in labors, dangers, and been passing through him. He was in sufferings in attestation of the accounts advance of his time.
advance of his time. He had studied which they delivered." St. Paul was a the early fathers; he had studied Church further and independent authority. It history, and the lives of the saints and was not conceivable that such men as martyrs. He knew that the hard and St. Paul and the other apostles evidently fast line which Protestants had drawn at were should have conspired to impose a which miracles had ceased was one falsehood upon the world, and should which no historical canon could reasonhave succeeded in doing it undetected in ably defend. Stories of the exercise of an age exceptionally cultivated and supernatural power ran steadily from the sceptical. Gibbon 1 had studied also, beginning to the latest period of the and had thought about the five causes Church's existence ; many of them were by which he explained how Christianity as well supported by evidence as the came to be believed ; but they had miracles of the New Testament; and if seemed to me totally inadequate. I was reason was to be the judge, no arbitrary something more than surprised, there- separation of the age of the apostles fore, when I heard Newman say that from the age of their successors was Hume's argument against the credibility possible. Some of these stories might of miracles was logically sound. The be inventions, or had no adequate laws of nature, so far as could be ob- authority for them ; but for others there served, were uniform, and in any given was authority of eye-witnesses ; and if instance it was more likely as a mere these were to be set aside by a perempmatter of evidence that men should de- tory act of will as unworthly of credit, the Gospel miracles themselves might and priests, was not a human institufall before the same methods. The tion, but was the living body through argument of Hume was already silently which the Founder of Christianity Himapplied to the entire post-apostolic self.was speaking to us. period. It had been checked by the Such, evidently, was one use to which traditionary reverence for the Bible. Hume's objection could be applied, and But this was not reason ; it was saith. to those who, like Newman, were proPerhaps, too, he saw that the alternative vided with the antidote, there was no did not lie as sharply as Paley supposed, danger in admitting the force of it. Nor between authentic fact and deliberate would the risk have been great with his fraud. Legends might grow; they grew hearers if they had been playing with the every day, about common things and question as a dialectical exercise. But he persons, without intention to deceive. had made them feel and think seriously Imagination, emotion, affection, or, on about it by his own intense earnestness, the other side, fear and animosity, are and, brought up as most of them had busy with the histories of men who have been to believe that Christianity had played a remarkable part in the world. sufficient historical evidence for it, to be Great historic figures-a William Tell, suddenly told that the famous argument for instance-bave probably had no his- against miracles was logically valid after torical existence at all, and yet are fast- all, was at least startling. The Church ened indelibly into national traditions. theory, as making good a testimony Such reflections as these would make it otherwise defective, was new to most of evident that if the Christian miracles us, and not very readily taken in. To were to be believed, not as possibly or remove the foundation of a belief, and probably true, but as indisputably true to substitute another, is like putting new =true in such a sense that a man's life foundations to a house. The house iton earth, and his hope for the future, self may easily be overthrown in the procould be securely based upon them-the cess. I have said before that in a healhistory must be guaranteed by authority thy state of things religion is considered different in kind from the mere testi- too sacred to be argued about. It is mony to be gathered out of books. I believed as a matter of duty, and the suppose every thinking person would why or the wherefore are not so much as now acknowledge this to be true. And thought about. Revolutions are not far wę see, in fact, that Christians of vari- off when men begin to ask whence the ous persuasions supplement the evidence sovereign derives his authority. Scepin several ways.
Some assume the ver- ticism is not far off when they ask why bal inspiration of the Bible ; others are they believe their creed. We had all conscious of personal experiences which been satisfied about the Gospel history ; make doubt impossible. Others, again,
Others, again, not a shadow of doubt had crossed the appeal justly to the existence of Chris- minds of one of us ; and though we tianity as a fact, and to the power which might not have been able to give a logiit has exerted in elevating and humaniz- cal reason for our certitude, the certiing mankind. Newman found what he tude was in us, and might well have wanted in the living authority of the been let alone. I for one began to read Church, in the existence of an organized Hume attentively, and though old assobody which had been instituted by our ciations prevented me from recognizing Lord Himself, and was still actively the full force of what he had to say, no present among us as a living witness of doubt I was unconsciously affected by the truth. Thus the imperfection of the him. It must have been so, for I reoutward evidence was itself an argument member soon after insisting to a friend for the Catholic theory. All religious that the essential part of religion was people were agreed that the facts of the morality. My friend replied that Gospel narrative really happened as they morality was only possible to persons were said to have happened. Proof who received power through faith to there must be somewhere to justify the keep the commandments. But this did conviction ; and proof could only be not satisfy me, for it seemned contrary to found in the admission that the Church, fact. There were persons of great exthe organized Church with its bishops cellence whose spiritual beliefs were utterly different. I could not bring myself to admit that the goodness, for instance, of a Unitarian was only apparent. After all is said, the visible conduct of
men is the best test that we can have of their inward condition. If not the best, where are we to find a better?-Good Words.
THE UNITY OF NATURE.
BY THE DUKE OF ARGYLL,
and that even in the case of those which
are born comparatively helpless, there is THE MORAL CHARACTER
always given to them just so much of CONSIDERED IN
impulse and of power as is requisite for UNITY OF NATURE.
the attainment of their own maturity. It The consciousness of unworthiness in
may be nothing more than the mere imrespect to moral character is a fact as pulse and power of opening the mouth fundamental and as universal in the
for food, as in the case of the chicks of human mind as the consciousness of
many birds ; or it may be the much linnitation in respect to intellectual more active impulse and the much more power.
Both of them may exist in a complicated power by which the young form so rudimentary as to be hardly mammalia seek and secure their nourishrecognizable. The limits of our intelli- ment; or it may be such wonderful spegence may be felt only in a dim sense of cial instincts as that by which the newly unsatisfied curiosity. The faultiness of hatched Cuckoo, although blind and our character may be recognized only in otherwise helpless, is yet enabled to expel the vaguest emotions of occasional self- its rivals from the nest, and thus secure reproach. But as the knowledge of that undivided supply of food without mankind extends, and as the cultivation which it could not survive. But whatof their moral faculties improves, both ever the impulse or the power may be, these great elements of consciousness be- it is always just enough for the work come more and more prominent, and which is to be done. We have seen, too, occupy a larger and larger place in the that the amount of prevision which is horizon of their thoughts. It is always involved in those instinctive disposithe men who know niost who feel most tions and actions of animals is often how limited their knowledge is. And greatest in those which are low in the so likewise it is always the loftiest spirits scale of life, so that the results for who are most conscious of the infirmities which they work, and which they do acwhich beset them.
tually attain, must be completely out of But although these two great facts in sight to them. In the wonderful metahuman consciousness are parallel facts, morphoses of insect life, the imperfect there is a profound difference between creature is guided with certainty to the them ; and to the nature and bearing of choice and enjoyment of the conditions this difference very careful attention which are necessary to its own developmust be paid.
ment; and when the time comes it We have seen in regard to all living selects the position, and constructs the things what the relation is between the cell in which its own mysterious transphysical powers which they possess and formations are accomplished. the ability which they have to use them. All this is in conformity with an abIt is a relation of close and perfect cor- solute and universal law in virtue of respondence. Everything requisite to which there is established a perfect unity be done for the unfolding and uphold- between these three things :-first, the ing of their life they have impulses uni- physical powers and structure of all livversally disposing them to do, and facul- ing creatures ; secondly, those disposities fully enabling them to accomplish. tions and instinctive appetites which are We have seen that in the case of some seated in that structure to impel and animals this correspondence is already guide its powers ; and thirdly, the experfect from the infancy of the creature, ternal conditions in which the creature's life is passed, and in which its faculties nite prospects of attainment which are find an appropriate field of exercise. at once the glory and the burden of hu
If man has any place in the unity of manity. nature, this law must prevail with him. It is impossible to mistake, then, the There must be the same correspondence, place which is occupied among the between his powers and the instincts unities of nature by that sense of ignowhich incite and direct him in their use. rance which is universal among men. It Accordingly it is in this law that we find belongs to the number of those primary the explanation and the meaning of his mental conditions which impel all living sense of ignorance. For without a sense things to do that which it is their special of ignorance there could be no desire of work to do, and in the doing of which knowledge, and without his desire of the highest law of their being is fulfilled. knowledge man would not be man. His In the case of the lower animals, this whole place in nature depends upon it. law, as to the part they have to play and His curiosity, and his wonder, and his the ends they have to serve in the econadmiration, and his awe--these are allomy of the world, is simple, definite, and but the adjuncts and subsidiary allies of always perfectly attained. No advance that supreme affection which incites him is with them possible, no capacity of to inquire and know. Nor is this de- improvement, no dormant or undevelsire capable of being resolved into his oped powers leading up to wider and tendency to seek for an increased com- wider spheres of action. With man, on mand over the comforts and conven- the contrary, the law of his being is a iences of life. It is wholly independent law which demands progress, which enof that kind of value which consists in dows him with faculties enabling him to the physical utility of things. The ap- make it, and fills him with aspirations plication of knowledge comes after the which cause him to desire it. Among acquisition of it, and is not the only, or the lowest savages there is some cueven the most powerful, inducement to riosity and some sense of wonder, else its pursuit. The real incitement is an even the rude inventions they have innate appetite of the mind-conscious achieved would never have been made, in various degrees of the mystery, and of and their degraded superstitions would the beauty, and of the majesty of the not have kept their hold. Man's sense system in which it lives and moves ; con- of ignorance is the greatest of his gifts, scious, too, that its own relations to that for it is the secret of his wish to know. system are but dimly seen and very im- The whole structure and the whole furperfectly understood. In a former chap- niture of his mind is adapted to this conter we have seen that this appetite of dition. The highest law of his being is knowledge is never satisfied, even by to advance in wisdom and knowledge ; the highest and most successful exertion and his sense of the presence and of of those faculties which are, neverthe- the power of things which he can only less, our only instrụments of research. partially understand is an abiding witWe have seen, too, what is the meaning ness of this law, and an abiding incenand significance of that great reserve of tive to its fulfilment. power which must exist within us, seeing In all these aspects there is an absothat it remains unexhausted and inex- lute contrast between our sense of limihaustible by the proudest successes of tation in respect to intellectual power discovery. In this sense it is literally (or knowledge) and our sense of unwortrue that the eye is not satisfied with thiness in respect to moral character. It seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. is not of ignorance, but of knowledge, Every new advance has its new horizon.
are conscious here-even the Every answered question brings into knowledge of the distinction between view another question unanswered, and good and evil, and of that special sense perhaps unanswerable, lying close be- which in our nature is associated with hind it. And so we come to see that it-namely, the sense of moral obligathis sense of ignorance is not only part tion. Now it is a universal fact of conof our nature, but one of its highest sciousness as regards ourselves, and of parts-necessary to its development, and observation in regard to others, that, indicative of those unknown and indefi- knowing evil to be evil, men are nevertheless prone to do it, and that, having it is itself uncompounded. All attempts this sense of moral obligation, they are to explain it do one or other of these nevertheless prone to disobey it. This two things—either they assume and infact is entirely independent of the par- clude the idea of obligation in the very ticular standard by which men in differ- circumlocutions by which they profess to ent stages of society have judged cer- explain its origin, or else they build up tain things to be good and other things a structure which, when completed, reto be evil. It is entirely independent mains as destitute of the idea of obligaof the infinite variety of rules according tion as the separate materials of which it to which they recognize the doing of is composed. In the one case, they first particular acts, and the abstention from put in the gold, and then they think that other acts, to be obligatory upon them. by some alchemy they have made it ; in Under every variety of circumstance in the other case, they do not indeed first regard to these rules, under every diver- put in the gold, but neither in the end sity of custom, of law, or of religion by do they ever get it. No combination of which they are established, the general other things will give the idea of oblifact remains the same—that what men gation, unless with and among these themselves recognize as duty they con- things there is some concealed or untinually disobey, and what according to conscious admission of itself. But in their own standard they acknowledge to this, as in other cases with which we be wrong they continually do.
have already dealt, the ambiguities of There is unquestionably much diffi- language afford an easy means or an culty in finding any place for this fact abundant source of self-deception. One among the unities of nature. It falls common phrase is enough to serve the therefore in the way of this inquiry to purpose-the association of ideas." investigate how this difficulty arises, Under this vague and indefinite form of and wherein it consists.
words all mental operations and all And here we at once encounter those mental affections may be classed. Conold fundamental questions on the na- sequently those which are elementary ture, the origin, and the authority of the may be included, without being exmoral sense which have exercised the pressly named. This is one way of puthuman mind for more than two thousand ting in the gold and then of pretending years; and on which an eminent writer to find it as a result. 'Take one of the of our own time has said that no sensi- simplest cases in which the idea of oblible progress has been made. This re- gation arises, even in the rudest minds sult may well suggest that the direction —namely, the case of gratitude to those which inquiry has taken is a direction in who have done us good. Beyond all which progress is impossible. If men question, this simple form of the sense will try to analyze something which is of obligation is one which involves the incapable of analysis, a perpetual con- association of many ideas. It involves sciousness of abortive effort will be their the idea of self as a moral agent and the . only and their inevitable reward. recipient of good. It involves the idea
For just as in the physical world there of other human beings as likewise moral are bodies or substances which are (to agents, and as related to us by a comus) elementary, so in the spiritual world mon nature, as well as, perhaps, by still there are preceptions, feelings, or emo- more special ties. It involves the idea tions which are equally elementary- of things good for them, and of our havthat is to say, which resist all attempts ing power to confer these things upon to resolve them into a combination of them. All these ideas are associated" other and simpler affections of the in the sense of gratitude toward those mind. And of this kind is the idea, or who have conferred upon us any kind of the conception, or the sentiment of ob- favor. But the mere word associa: ligation. That which we mean when we tion" throws no light whatever upon say, “ I ought,” is a meaning which is the nature of the connection.“ Associaincapable of reduction. It is a meaning tion" means nothing but grouping or which enters as an element into many contiguity of any kind. It may be the other conceptions, and into the import grouping of mere accident—the associaof many other forms of expression, but tions of things which happen to lie to