Much error, claiming to be both scientific and religious, is neither. True science and religion discover the fallacy and reject these spurious claims. Such, for illustration, is Darwin's Origin of Species. It is a book of 437 pages. Each page, upon a fair average, has ten probabilities and possibilities, and each of these hypotheticals has no more than fifty per cent, or a half chance of certainty. His argument is so conducted that each proposition must stand or fall upon the validity of all that precede it combined. Then with 437 pages and ten half chances on each page, if it is desirable to know the fraction of truth in the final assertion on the last page, we have only to regard that there are 10 X 437 half chances, in other words that one half must be raised to the 4370th power. The numerator, which would be one unit, would represent the only chance in Darwin's favor, while the denominator, minus one, will represent the chances against him. But that denominator becomes overwhelming ; it would require a round num -ber of more than fourteen hundred digits to express it, and a blackboard of one hundred and twenty feet in length to write it, allowing one inch to a figure. Thus does human reason, diverging but a little from the straight line of truth, finally separate from it into infinite distances of error.
Thus the author of the Mode of Man's Immortality, a book just published at Indianapolis, makes but a slight departure from Orthodoxy and reaches finally very erroneous conclusions. When we leave God and the Bible to follow human theories, however ingenious, we tend surely to the lower horizon of error. The following pages indirectly combat the errors of the books just alluded to, but their higher mission is to assist in directing the doctrines and faith of many a seeker of truth in these fields.
Many standard authors have been consulted, and their thoughts sometimes used, in passing, without special credit, exceptas now named. Among authors thus consulted are Hagenback, Watson, Angus, Butler, Clark, Henry, and Bishops Clark, Thompson, and Kingsley, to all of whom obligation is hereby expressed.
J. B. R.
Tilton, N. H.; Jan. 1, 1875.
WHEN Sir William Thompson would inaugurate the British Association with the announcement, that earth may have been originally peopled from the remnants of former worlds, through seed transported by meteors and comets' tails, it is time Nature, History, Revelation and God should rebuke him.
When Darwin in a well bound book, gravely suggests the probability that man started by spontaneous generation from the monad of the puddle, and grew by a series of developments to man the human, it is time such a wild lunatic should be caged
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in the asylums of public pity and contempt. Such a morbid growth of free fancy, in France, that hotbed of all bloated and perverted imagination, and such a free publication of obnoxious books as now floods Christendom, will be sufficient apology for our efforts to display truth and vindicate it. We gather into comprehensible form such a posteriori proofs of God as may occur. And first we go to:
The modern infidel or atheist, descendant of the "fool" of David's day, pretends to have a creed which demands an adverse, negative faith,infinitely beyond the faith of Abraham. These creeds he thrusts before the world in opposition to the mighty proofs of Deity, which rise to heaven, sink to hell, take the wings of the morning and fly through the Universe;—-proofs which penetrate through and through existence, expanding and germinating the grain of mustard-seed faith into the evident certainty of a God everywhere.
The Atheist [sic] with creeds which for labored effort in their birth are like the twelve labors of Hercules, for goading of spirit in their rearing and perpetuation are like the tortures of a Prometheus, cannot,
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when he denies God, account for even a grain of mustard seed.
In fact there are no sincere atheists; for those so called are only experimenting upon human credence to deduce the impossible. The problem is absurd. The so-called atheist is either tempted into deception or is an essential hypocrite, for he misrepresents himself. He does not believe his own theory, in his life or his death. Yet his theory maybe his subterfuge until death, when the proofs are transferred into eternity. Neither angels nor devils are atheists, though both are acquainted with immortality. Man alone is the doubting creature. Nor is such drizzling faith peculiar to the deaf, dumb, and blind, as we might suppose, but it pertains to men of ears and eyes, of leisure and luxury. Atheism becomes a morbid and stupefying contagion— fatal, if not checked. To its prevention or remedy all around us, let us bestir ourselves.
1. Assume the truth of Atheism in nature. Then the rational mind expects, but seeks in vain for certain circumstances in conformity with it. If plan and power and authority were wanting to the world around us, we should rationally expect order to cease and chaos to ensue. Gravity would cease to
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hold matter in its arms, and matter of earth, or planet, or star would fall wildly into space; light of day would yield to hopeless, eternal night; warmth would give place to cheerless, perpetual cold; and, with the dissolution of matter, would come the dissolution of all life, animal and vegetable; and organism would tumble into total destruction, since no uniform law could possibly exist in the absence of a law-giver. Spirit must also cease; and all that is orderly, beautiful or existent, in any form, must recede into one hopeless, helpless, chaotic, eternal oblivion. The last star would flicker and set forever, and the last Spirit would dissolve in night. What a dire sequence would be realized, were atheism true! But the very reverse of all these hypotheses is the daily wonder of this world. Every hour a myriad of mysteries, like a universe of miracles, is poured into the faith of man.
2. Force or Power all would agree, is an attribute of Ga od [sic]. Weakness is human, and yet weakness is limited power. Inertia, or absence of power, extant in all things, as mind, soul, body, so as to disperse all in dark, perpetual death, would be a sign of truth in atheism. In such case, however the Atheist would never live to make the observation.
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But as inertia is limited, by law, to matter, the limitation is the sign of a God. It requires power to hold matter grouped into worlds, to hold worlds by fixed laws and roll them with undeviating regularity. Since power is diffused through thousands of stirring forms, and numberless life, since power is in the wave, and the cloud, and the wind, and the volcano, and the earthquake, and the gentle fire, and the pure snow-flake, and the growing tree, and the soaring bird, and the raging beast, and the sporting fish, all subject to fixed law, a God must have diffused that power, and limited, and delegated and fixed it. And the power of the God must be infinitely greater than the sum of all delegated and diffused powers. That all manifest power is put forth in obedience to laws, indicates all wisdom as an attribute of God ; that these laws produce happiness to life proves goodness as an attribute of God ; and that violated laws have penalties, indicates justice in Deity. Thus the very nature of Deity is manifest in Nature.
3. The law of attraction supposes a God. If polytheism were true and each planet had its special divinity, then repulsion would often be the disposition of planet to planet. And the war of forces
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which polytheism would bring in the dissolution of the universe, would be as calamitous as the theory of atheism, which never could have permitted the existence of a universe. See a Newton, driven by the plague of desolation from Cambridge, to the manor house at Woolsthorpe. He is the John—the Revelator on the Patmos of vision in the kingdom of Nature. He is about to have a Revelation of a God. It was autumn. He sat under a tree of the garden. The vision begins. An apple falls. Thought rises. Thought grows out of thought. Fact links to fact. All bodies near earth fall to it. Earth rises to sun, and holds out an arm of support to sister planet. Planets live in families. Families of planets are bound to other such families. Not one is isolated. The enlarging plan is linked from deep cavern to high mountain, from high mountain to distant moon, from distant moon to primary world, from primary world to bright sun, from bright sun to the burning throne of a Jehovah. One has justly said. ."In the author of the Principia, one arose, who, grasping the master key of the universe, and treading its celestial paths, opened up to the human intellect, the stupendous realities of the material world, and, in the unrolling of its harmonies, gave
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to the human heart a new song to the goodness, wisdom and majesty of the all-creating, all-sustaining, all-perfect God." Such was the vision of Newton, and such is the sublime lesson of gravitation or attraction.
4. Regular succession in nature indicates a God. When the human mind discovers that about it all things exist by the uniform operation of natural laws, that moment Deity must be admitted. The very bird and beast have discovered that day and night, summer and winter, come and go in order. It never occurred to the atheist that when order reigns, chance is banished and God is.
5. Existing truth supposes God. " What is truth ?" asked Pilate. "There's nothing true but heaven," sings the poet. We cannot believe that, abstract truth itself would exist, unless a Deity first make abstract truth. Truth is simply the exponent of a God. Without Him it cannot be asserted that even axioms are true. Without God we cannot affirm two multiplied by two equal four, nor that "the whole is equal to the sum of all its parts." Banish God and nature is a lie, mind is banished, law is banished, and all axioms, and all truth; all the primary conceptions of mathematics
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and of mind sink into inextricable chaos. Hence all the profound and beautiful propositions in Geometry, all the ever certain gradations of quantity in Calculus, first had birth in a divine mind. Thus, the square of the hypothenuse of a right-angled triangle is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides, which forced the " Eureka " of joy from old Pythagoras, was really the problem of a God. Without God the reductio ad absurdum would be as good truth as the Binomial Theorem. Polyedrons and cubes, spheres and cylinders, must die when Deity dies. The infinities of mathematics depend on the infinities of God.
6. Every part of Astronomy makes a God a positive-necessity. The naked eye of David " considered the heavens," and his heart bounded out to God. The telescope, though voiceless, is a most eloquent preacher of Theism. The spectroscope comes with its great load of testimony, and tells of the constituents of the heavenly bodies, and indentifies their iron, oxygen, hydrogen with that of earth thus proving sister worlds blood of our blood and flesh of our flesh, as to constituents; this makes the God of the stars our God. The atheist must not look up, the meteors of night confound him. Luminous
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foot-prints of God, walking in the sky, confront him everywhere. " Who made these?" is a question which leads to God. " Who upholds them ? " It can only be an Almighty. " Who hurls them harmoniously into stupendous motion for ages?" The answer must be, only All-mighty power with Almighty wisdom. Where is the undevout astronomer ? In the mad house. He is at home there. The intimation that lunacy comes from looking at the moon is an exploded theory; we recommend such gazing for a cure of the moral lunacy of atheism. Let me live where the stars spread out their potent formulas to reason. Let my soul look up when the sun showers beams of evidence. The poet holds up this mirror of God :
7. The Almanac publisher is indebted to a God for the accuracy and value of his book. Since he can predict an eclipse, or the moment of the rising or set-
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ting of the sun, moon or planet it is an evidence that a Being capable of moving these bodies governs them each moment. Almanacs are Revelations of God.
8. Whence comes light but from God? Is it from chaos and wild chance ? It supposes both the luminous body and the transparent media. Swift as thought it leaps from its source and pours its lucid streams upon the world. Who can account for the phenomena unless upon the hypothesis that a God said " Let there be light and there was light?" Space is illuminated so that when the telescope peers into any path of ether, the path is lit up. Light fills the universe. Light is positive and must have an origin ; darkness is negative and requires no other origin than the absence of God— than atheism made true. Human vision, spreading from the horizon of the east to the west, from north to south, and rounded up into the concave of the heavens is one ceaseless flood of testimony of the sublime Architect of Light bearing witness of Himself. Then the great cloud abyss of darkness flies; darkness cannot stay where God is, since " God is light."
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" And never but in unapproached light, Dwelt from eternity, dwelt then in thee, Bright effluence of bright essence increate."
9. Heat, a positive force of the universe, affirms a God. Motion arrested is converted into heat. The anvil is warmed by the arrested stroke of the constant sledge. The same atheistical inertia which opposes motion, would also soon cool the ardor of the world, were not potent energies constantly feeding the exhausting caloric. So that, were there no God, instantly to the gloom of eternal night would be added the cheerlessness of eternal cold-nature in the cold death-sweat. Heat, an essential element to all life, attests its author God. From the distant sun, heat diffuses to the spaces at the benignant command of the Maker. Some of this reserve force is shut in the bowels of earth, raising its temperature, communicating to the ocean, lifting up the mountain by the earthquake and the volcano. The internal fire is in perfect control; gravity neutralizes its explosiveness and binds the earth in a unity.
10. The rocky masonry of earth is certainly the work of a God. Chance never planted the firm granite and the syenite as a key-stone arch around the in-
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ternal fires. None but a God could have put above these the useful marble, the sandstones and the argillaceous clays, and protected the inexhaustible coals of the mine from the fires within. What substantial masonry is the globe ! What a plan of design! What a splendid stepping-stone to the city of mansions ! how guarded in its mathematical form against the crushing power of gravity !
11. The Soil on the rocks is a token of divine Wisdom. What were barren rocks for a habitation, were the whole surface polished and paved with the finest marble ? It was not chance that fell upon the rocks and ground them to powder to make the layers of soils and clays. The mill of a God ground them, for benign purposes, in the ages. Let faithless man count the strata of the crust and examine their grand designs, let him dig into the deep mine and emerge with the gold and silver, and ask him if no profound plan lingers among the rocks. Ask Hugh Miller, as he gazes in astonishment at the writings on the natural rocks beneath us, if aught is there. He replies " Footprints of the Creator."
12. Earth's uneven surface discloses God. If the crust were perfectly level, of uniform rotundity, no land would appear. The waters would prevail over
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all the surface. Earth were then one great deep. But the wisdom which elevated a part, and dipped out vast depressions elsewhere, is indubitable evi-dence of design. By these inequalities the ocean is confined safely within its shores; the plains and lowlands, full of rich loam, are leveled and convenient for cultivation; the hills are made to furnish essential soil formany productions; and the mountains are made the vast reservoirs of snow and rain, and the inducing cause of wind and variety. Diversified scenery is served, monotony is relieved, and man's love of the beautiful is fostered. There may be awful desolation in the mountain's top, but there the infant river is born, and there it laughs and sings and skips until its strength and size invite it down the mountain side. Thus have their birth the Nile, the Hoang Ho, the Volga, the Amazon and the great Mississippi. The same unevenness of surface leads out all the arms of ocean and builds up all inland lakes, makes the lands accessible by natural highways of water, and prepares for the commerce of the globe.
13. God is in the clouds and the rain. To test the strength of chance or of man let all other conditions be bestowed, but let the rain and the clouds
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be withheld. Then what of life upon the earth ? Drought and death must suddenly begin, as the cooling showers cease, until desolation reigns with no abatement. No man can change destiny, no fate can lift the water in the white cloud and fill the earth with joy. No power can rise aloft to spread out the cloud as a garment. It is the prerogative of a God to send the rains in their seasons, and to fill the rivers with leaping fountains. The evaporation which creates clouds sifts the salt back into ocean and brings only the pure mountain stream for universal use. This is Divine wisdom. It matters not if the cloud be congealed into the white snow that covers earth. Catch the flakes; apply the microscope; do you find chaos ? No : the flakes fall down in symmetry, now like the bright wheel in the chariot of Elijah, now like the gorgeous chandeliers of St. Peter's, and now beautiful and rich as the array of a constellation of night. The snows flake is a part of God's mathematics, it is his winged manna, so pure, to feed faith and send it up above earth to where the crystals are formed by Jehovah's fingers in the white cloud.
14. Vegetation is a God's handy work. Give the atheist all the previous conditions and let him exert
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his skill in the production of a vegetable, independent of God. He may make an artifical flower by borrowing the thought and the material from God ; but it is a daub without life or growth, But see sprigs of grass arising out of clay! Now the blade rises into tender green. If this be a modification of the clod, it is a miracle; if not, it is a greater miracle. It is superhuman in perfection, in life, in continuance.
Again, I see from a small seed, radicle and plumule start for their destinations; from blade toba d, from bud to flower, from flower to fruit, onward they go to perfection. What delicate fringes and hues adorn that flower! what nectarine sweets fill its cup ! what delicious perfumes distil from its petals ! The acorn falls, sinks in earth, but lo! soon peers the infant oak. It rises despite gravity, despite winds, despite change, and stands, ages after, monarch of the forest, hardened into solidity, venerable with age, magnificent in grandeur, pointing to the stars. Its rings refer back to the days of Richard the Lion-Hearted and to the Saxon Heptarchy. Is it chance ? No. Design is in every leaf, and twig, and sap vescicle and fibre, No part can be, accident. A myriad of miracles make the Summer
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glorious; and amid the infinite variety there is no failure. Silently and slowly the vegetable world inspires the noxious carbon, eliminating the healthful oxygen. Thus the forest is a laboratory whose changes prepare for and invite animal life. The conceptions of man are impotent for such stupendous plans, and the weakness of man is too enervating for their execution.
No principle of order could ever make a leaf, for without God, inertia, darkness, chaos, and death is the order. The leaves and the forest cannot possibly be regarded as the absurd result of shaking up the elements by accident. If accident could act without Providence, the result must be " only evil continually". Or, is nature prankish and only making appearances to deceive us all, after first making credence susceptible to pranks and deception ? Old Dame Nature must be a cruel mother to be making mental buffoons of her children.
" There is not a plant, a tree, a leaf, a flower, But contains a folio volume."
And every word of this vast library of the vegetable world is inscribed with the motto, " There is one God."
15. Animal forms denote a Creator. What are
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these creeping things ? What are these well wrought masses of walking matter ? What are these phantoms that swim? What are these flying phenomena? Nature is rising up in living forms. What prank is this ? Is there not danger that in this tendency of things, the old earth itself will some day assume tusks and a proboscis and walk off with us all on its back? Let the atheist beware of that day, for the elephant may possibly become carnivorous in those unique changes!
Hark ! I hear this animal life breathe : it moves. Now it sings, or twitters, or croaks, or neighs, or lows, or roars, or barks, or hisses, or coos, or brays, or bleats, or whistles. Now it moves: it walks, or runs, or skips, or swims, or soars, or leaps, or trots, or dances. Now it sleeps, or loves, or hates, or fights, or retreats, or shivers, or swelters, or laughs, or weeps. Now it builds houses, or hoards food, or immigrates, or eats, or drinks, or revels in society. Now it lives and now it dies. This is animal life. They are the profound lessons of design and of evident Deity around us: they are sermons to convince our faith in God. The fish comes with his fins and his air vescicles; the beast comes with his fur or hair or thick skin, with his sharp or flat teeth, as
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his wants require ; with his hoofs or his claws, with his strong limbs for offensive, or his nimble ones for defensive use; the bird comes with his fairy feathers, and his light bones, all harmonious with his mode of existence ; the ground mole, the worm, the eel, and the dwellers in caves come with their eyeless brows, thankful for deliverance from eyes which to them would be fatal; and these all have one lesson and voice, that of adaptation and providence.
Nay more; the very eye of an animal speaks of God. All its lenses, humors, coats, curtains, muscles, nerves, and its final vision mounting, seizing upon the phenomena of light until the very stars are photographed within us—all these are final arguments of a God. Every bone of the frame work, every muscle of the human cordage, every nerve of the animal telegraph system, every organ of the internal cavities, every meandering stream of crimson blood bespeaks creative skill.
16. The air is an emblem of an invisible spirit. "The wind bloweth where it listeth." The ocean of air with its balmy breezes and its potential storms has a significant eloquence. Now it bears up the soaring bird, now it dissipates the noxious smokes and vapors, now it buoys up the rain cloud, from the
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ocean to the distant land, and now it gently seeks the lungs of every living thing to pour in its treasures of life. We may not see it, but we can hear its voice in the pines and the mulberry trees, and we can feel its power in the breath. Were the air mixed in a little different proportion, it would become "laughing gas" which would briefly intoxicate all, and hurry life into fearful brevity. If one more element of oxygen entered the formula, the whole atmosphere would become an irrespirable poison. Blessed is the man whose daily breath is not prepared by the Chemistry of atheism or of chance.
17. The crowning proof of God is man. He has the beautiful, upright form, the cheek of dimpled loveliness, the eye of fire and the brow of God-like mien. He has the supremacy over all animal life. For without a supreme head to govern, subdue and protect, all that is noble on earth must still tumble into disorder, strife and ruin. Man is not supreme because of his strength or prowess. The lion is bolder, the whale is larger and more formidable; the eagle soars higher, but man, full of intelligence, representing the very Deity whose attributes are portrayed in nature, inherits authority
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by the power of mind and spirit. His thoughts burn, his memories recover the lost, his judgments rest upon reason, his imaginations create, his passions rise and fall, his plans comprehend the mortal and the immortal. Man is not a God; but man's nobility elevates our conceptions of a God.
Man's hands are not modifications of animal limbs, but better; they grasp with firmness, delicacy and facility. Hands portend skill and progress; they lead to trades and professions which prove man's supremacy. Such hands, put upon the forearm of a beast without mind, must be worse than useless, a power for evil. Souls are the essential counterparts of hands, Were chance or accident to cause the horse and the man to exchange hand for hoof, then man's work would be revolutionized, he would become the mauling animal; but his hoofs would be subservient to no end in his econo-my and he would die for want of hands; while the horse would become the pawing animal, but he too would soon die for want of his hoofs. Fabled monsters combining the horse and the fish, or the man and the horse, are only fanciful, not real. Not the man alone who ascends the pulpit is a preacher of God, but all preach by their wonderful forms. Man
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preaches to himself; his body preaches to his soul, and the theme absorbs existence.
But the atheist retreats from a living soul; it is the warm breath of a God. It is the most formidable and unaccountable mystery of the universe. Secured from infidelity and mortality, the soul stands defiant. It
18. Finally, the success of the entire plan is the highest possible test of its divine author. Adaptation and harmony run up through all creation. The mighty plan is a success, and the scheme a unity, from the glow worm which sends a dim lustre but a few feet, up to the burning sun that kindles glory through all space, from the parental love that rescues infancy from want, up to the divine benevolence that
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superintends the universal family, from the opportune autumn winds that shake from the trees the. rich ripe fruit, to the law of gravitation that binds world to world. Such schisms as would result from polytheism do not mar the internal government. Horrid chaos does not brood eternally as it would under atheism, with no God to say, "Let there be light." This perfect adaptation, from the infinitely insignificant of the life we behold with a microscope up to the infinitely great which astonishes us under the telescope, together with the infinite variety that fills the spaces between these extremes, speak a universal, an omnipotent, a perfect, an ever present GOD, the Creator and Preserver. The work could not be accomplished by angels, it is too formidable; it could not be divided and shared by two or more divinities, it is too harmonious and perfect in such variety. It cannot be less than the one, undivided Jehovah of the Christian, for it would weary, and stagger and crush a limited God. It can not be the chance or accident of atheism, or the development of Darwinism, for that were the most illogical, unnatural, puesile, idiotic assumption of this most stupendous effect, namely a Nature without a cause!
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Thus far we have taken the proofs of God wholly from Nature. Bat beware of Deism which admits one God, but denies Revelation and appeals to reason. This would be an appeal to darkness when light has come. Beyond Nature we may go and take the " lamp to our feet." For collateral evidences of these sublime proofs of God consult freely all the Philosophies, Astronomies, Chemistries, Zoologies, Geologies, Botanies, Physiologies, Mental Philosophies, Natural Histories, Natural Theologies and Nature Charts in the world. They are all sparkling proofs and commentaries of the theme. "The Father God." May that leading truth uphold every heart, fixed as the mountains resting on the granite ribs of the globe.