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make, but, to say the truth, I do not know what to mako of this book. If its author should succeed in indoctrinating the race •with his views, he will produce an intellectual revolution. Every man who thinks at

it mast relate to man as a whole rather than to individual men."

Thus does the author lay down the simple general principle from which he is speedily

draw "couclusions 8O starfi;ng. Nothing all will be constrained for the remainder of | can be morc innocuous than all fhis. Evor° his days (I must not say of his life) to think I Qne must in it_ Now come the fu/_

upon all subjects quite differently from what he has ever hitherto thought. As for readers for amusement, and for all readers who do not choose to read what cannot be read without some mental effort, they will certainly find the first half-dozen pages of this work" quite sufficient for them. Without

ther steps.

The study of nature leads to the conclusion that there is a defectiveness in man which modifies his perception of all external things; and that thus in so far as the actual fact of the universe diners from our impression of it, the actual fact is better, higher,

pretending to follow the author's views into | more com lete than our impressioa of it. the vast number of details into which they , There are qualities, there is a glory about

reach, I shall endeavor in a short compass to draw the great lines of them.

There is an interesting introduction, which gradually prepares us for the announcement of the startling fact, that all men hitherto have been entirely mistaken in their belief

both as to themselves and the universe which surrounds them. It is first impressed upon us that things may be in themselves very different indeed from that which they appear to us: that phenomenon may be somethir

the universe, which our defective condition prevents our seeing or discerning. The universe, or nature, is not in itself such as it is to man's feeling; and man's feeling of it diners from the fact by defect. All that we discern in the universe is there; and a great

deal besides.

Now, we think of nature as existing in a certain way which we call physical. We call the world the physical world. This

, - ,,.-,. , n{> I mode of existence involves inertness. That

far apart from actual being. \ct though ! which is phvsical docs not act> except pas. our conceptions, whether given by sense or sivel as ft fs acted Inertness is in

mtellect, do not correspond with the truth | acti(/n_ That which ^ ine 01 things, still they are the elements irom

which truth is to be gathered. The following passage, which occurs near the beginning of the introduction, is the sharp end of the wedge:—

"All ndvanco in knowledge is a deliverance of man from himself. Slowly and painfully wo learn that he is not the measure of truth, that the fact mny bo very different from tlio appearance to him. The lesson is hard, but the reward is great. So ho escapes from illusion and error, from ignorance and failure. Directing his thoughts and energies no longer according to his own impressions, but according to the truth of things, ho finds himself in possession of an unimaginable power nliko of understanding and of acting. To n truly marvellous extent ho is the lord of nature.

"But tho conditions of this lordship are inexorable. They arc tho surrender of prepossessions, tho abandonment of assumption, tho confession of ignorance: the open cyo and the humblo heart. Henco in all passing from error to truth we learn something respecting ourselves, as well as something respecting the object of our study. Simultaneously with our better knowledge wo recognize tho reason of our ignorance, and perceive what defect ou oar part has caused ns to think wrongly.

"Either the world is such as it appears to ns, or it is not. If it be not, there must ho some condition artccting ourselves which modifies the impression we receive from it. And this condition mast bo operative upon all mankind:

inert, therefore, differs from that which is not inert by defect, The inert wants something of being active.

Next, we have a conception of another mode of being besides the inert. We conceive of being which possesses a spontaneous and primary activity. This kind of being is called spiritual. This kind of being has shaken off the reproach of inertness. It can act, and originate action. The physical thus differs from the spiritual (as regards inertness) by defect. The physical wants something of being spiritual.

So far, my reader, we do not of necessity start back from any thing our author teaches us. Quite true, we think of matter, a kind of being which can do nothing of itself. Quite true, we think of spirit, a Icind of being which can do. And no doubt that which is able to do is (quoad hoc) a higher and more noble kind of being than that which cannot do, but only be done to. But remember here, I do not admit that in this point lies the differentia between matter and spirit. I do not grant that by taking from matter the reproach of inertness, you would make it spirit. The essential difference seems to me not to lie there. We could conceive of matter as capable of originating action, and yet as material. This is by tha by—but now be on your guard. Here is our author's great discovery—

It is man's defectiveness which makes him feel the world as thus defective. Nature is really not inert, though it appears so to man. We have been wont to think that nature, the universe, is inert or physical; that man is not inert or spiritual. Now, there is no doubt at all that there is inertness somewhere. Here are the two things, man and nature ; with which thing does the inertness lie? Our author maintains that it lies with man, not with nature. Science has proved to us that nature is not inert. As there is inertness somewhere, and as it is not in nature, of course the conclusion is that it is in man. Inertness is in the phenomenon; that is, in nature as it appears to us. There cannot be any question that nature seems to us to be inert. But the author of this book declares that this inertness, though in the phenomenon, is not in the fact. Nature Looks inert; it is not inert. How does the notion of inertness come at all, then? Now comes the very essence of the new theory; I give it in its author's words :—

"The inertness is introduced by man. Ho perceives defect without him, only because there is defect within liim.

"To ho inert lias the same meaning as to be dead. So we speak of nature, thinking it to be inert, as 'dead matter.' To say that man introduces inertness into nature, implies a deadness in him: it is to say that lie wants life. This is the proposition wliich is affirmed. Tiiis condition which wo call our life, is not the true life of man.

"The book tlmt hns had greater influence upon the world than all others, differs from all others, in affirming that man wants life, and in making that statement the basis of nil that it contains respecting the past and present and future of mankind.

"Science (1ms pays homage to the Bible. What that book lias declared as if with authority, so long ago, sho has at lost decyphercd on the page of nature. This is not man's true life.'1

And who is there who can doubt, looking at man as he is now, and then thinking of what he is to be in another world, that there is about him, now, great defect? There is truly much wanting which it is hoped will one day be supplied. What shall we call this lacking tiling—this one thing lacking whose absence is felt in every fibre of our being? Our author chooses to call it life ; I am doubtful with how much felicity or naturalness of expression. Of course we all know that in the New Testament life does not mean merely existence continued j eternal life does not mean merely existence continued forever; it means the highest and purest form of our being continued forever;—happiness and holiness continued forever. We know, too, that holy Scripture describes the step taken by any man in becoming an ear

nest believer in Christ, as "passing from death to life;" we remember such a text as "This is life eternal, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent." We know that a general name for the Gospel, which grasps its grand characteristics, is "The Word of Life;" and that, in religious phrase, Christianity is concerned with the revealing, the implanting, the sustaining, the crowning, of a certain better life. Nor is it difficult to trace out such analogies between natural and spiritual death, between natural and spiritual life, as tend to prove that spiritual life and death are not spoken of in Scripture merely as the strongest words which could be employed, but that there is a further and deeper meaning in their constant use. But I do not see any gain in forcing figurative language into a literal use. Every oody knowa what life and death, in ordinary language, imply. Life means sensibility, consciousness, capacity of acting, union with the living. Death means senselessness, helplessness, separation. No doubt we may trace analogies, very close and real, between the natural and the spiritual life and death. But still they are no more than analogies. You do not identify the physical with the spiritual. And it is felt by all that the usf of the words in a spiritual sense is a figurative use. To the common understanding, a man is living, when he breathes and feels and moves. He is dead when he ceases to do all that. And it is a mere twisting of words from their understood^ sense to say that in reality, and without a figure, a breathing, feeling, moving man is dead, because he lacks some spiritual quality, however great its value may be. It may be a very valuable quality ; it may be worth more than life; but it is not life, as men understand it; and as words have no meaning at all except that which men agree to give these arbitrary sounds, it matters not at all that this higher quality is what you may call true life, better life, real life. If you enlarge the meaning of the word life to include, in addition to what is generally understood by it, a higher power of spiritual action and discernment, why, all that can bo said is, that you understand by life something quite different from men in general. If I choose to enlarge the I meaning of the word black to include tehite, of course I might say with truth (relatively to myself) that white forms the usual clothing of clergymen. If I extend the meaning of the word/ast to mean slow, I might boldly declare that the Great Northern express is a slow train. And the entire result of such use of language would be, that no mortal would understand what I meant.

Thus it is, that I demur to any author's right to tell me that such and such a thing is, or is not, "the true life of man."

And when he says " that man wants life, means that the true life of man is of another kind from this," I reply to him, tell me, what is the blessing man needs; tell me above all, where and how he is to get it: but as to its name, I really do not care what you call it, so you call it by some name that people will understand. Call it so that people will know what you mean—Salvation, Glory, Happiness, Holiness, Redemption, or what else you please. Do not mystify us by saying we want life, and then, when we are startled by the perfectly intelligible assertion, edge off by explaining that by life you mean something quite different from what we do. There is no good in that. If I were to declare that this evening, before I sleep, I shall cross the Atlantic and go to America, my readers would think the statement a sufficiently extraordinary one; but if, after thus surprising them, I went on to explain that by the Atlantic I did not mean the ocean, nor by America the western continent, but that the Atlantic meant the village green, and America the squire's house on the other side of it, I should justly gain credit for a very silly mystification. As Nicholas Nickleby very justly remarked, If Dotheboy's Hall is not a hall, why call it one? Mr. Squeers, in his reply, no doubt stated the law of the case: If a man chooses to call his house an island, what is to hinder him? If the author of Man and his Dwelling Place means to tell us only that we want some spiritual capacity, •which it pleases him to call life, but which not one man in a million understands by that word, is he not amusing himself at our expense by telling us we want life1} We know what we mean by being dead: our author means something? quite different. Let him apeak for himself:

"That man wants lifo means that the true life of man i of another kind from this. It corresponds to that true, absolute Being which he as he now ia cannot know.

"lie cannot know it because lie is out of relation with it. This is His 1-1 Adness. To know it is to have life."

Yes, reader—this is his deadness! Something, that is, which no plain mortal would ever understand by the word. When I told

. you, a long time ago, that this book taught

i that man is dead and nature living, was this

'what the words conveyed to you?

Still, though there may be something not natural in the word, the author's meaning is a broad and explicit one. For the want of that which he calls our true life (he maintains) utterly distorts and deforms this world to our view. Here is his statement as to the things which surround us:

"There is not a physical world and a spiritual world besides; but the spiritual world which alono is is physical to man, the physical liting the mode in which man, by hi* defectiveness, perceives the spiritual. Wo feel a physical world to be: that which is is the spiritual world."

The phenomenon, that is, is physical: the fact is spiritual. A tree looks to us material, because we want life: if we had life, we should see that it is spiritual. Really, there is no such thing as matter. Our own defectiveness makes us fancy that to be material which in truth is spiritual. So I was misinterpreting the author, when I said that all we see in nature is there, and a great deal more. The defect in us, it appears, not only subtracts from nature, it transforms it. Not merely do we fail to discern that which is in nature, we do actually discern that which is not in nature.

And to be delivered from all this deadness and delusion, what we have to do is to betake ourselves to the Saviour. Christianity is a system which starts from the fundamental principle that man is dead, and proposes to make him alive. Under its working man gains true life, otherwise called eternal life; and in gaining that life he finds himself iptp facto conveyed into a spiritual world. This world ceases to be physical to him, and becomes spiritual.

Such are the great lines of the new theory as to Man and Ms Dwelling Place. Thus does our author interpret nature. I trust and believe that I have not in any way misrepresented or caricatured his opinions. His Introduction sets out in outline the purport of the entire book. The remainder of the volume is given to carrying out these opinions into detail, as they are suggested by or as they affect the entire system of things. It is divided into four Books. Book I. treats Of Science; Book II. Of Philosophy ; Book III. Of Bcliaion; Book IV. Of Ethics ; and the volume is closed by four Dialogues between the Writer and Header, in which, in a desultory manner, the principles already set forth are further explained and enforced.

Early in the first chapter of the Book Of Science, the author anticipates the obvious objection to his use of the terms Life and Death. I do not think he succeeds in justifying the fashion in which he employs them. But let him speak for himself:

"It may Eecra unnatural to spent of a conscious existence as a state of death. But what is affirmed is, that n sensational existence such as ours is nottho life of Man; that n consciousness of physical life does itself imply n sadness. The affirmations that we are living men, and that man has not true and absolute life, are not opposed. Life is a relative term. Our possession of a conscious life in relation to the things that we feel around us, is itself tlio evidence of man's defect of life in a higher and truer sense. "Lot a similitude make the thought more clear. Arc not we, us individuals, at rest, steadfast in space; evidently so to our own consciousness, demonstrable so in relation to the objects around as t But is man at rest in space? By no means. We are all partakers of a motion. Nay, if wo were truly at rest, we could not have this relative steadfastness, we should not bo at rest to the things around us: they would fleet and Blip away. Our relative rest, and consciousness of steadfastness, depend upon our being not at rest. There are moving things, to which ho only can be steadfast who is moving too. Even such is the life of which we have consciousness. Wo have a life in relation to these physical things, because man wants life. True life in man would alter his relation to them. They could not be the realities any more: he could not have a life in them. As rest to moving things is not truly rest, but motion; so life to inert tilings is not truly life, but deadness.

Very ingeniously thought out: very skillfully put, with probably the only illustration which would go on all fours. But to me all this is extremely unsatisfactory: and unsatisfactory in a much farther sense than merely that it is using terms in a non-natural sense. I know, of course, that to look at nature through blue spectacles will make nature blue; but I cannot see that to look at nature through dead eyes should make nature dead. I see no proof that nature, in fact, is living and active, though it admittedly looks inert and dead. And I can discover nothing more than a daring assertion, in the statement that we are dead, and that we project our own deadness upon living nature. I cannot see how to the purest and most elerated of beings, a tree should look less solid than it does to me. I cannot discover how greater purity of heart, and more entire faith in Christ, should turn this material world into a world of spirit. I doubt the doctrine that spirit in itself, as usually und_erstood (apart from its power of originating action) is a higher and holier existence than matter. It seems to me that very much from a wrong idea that it is, come those vague, unreal, intangible notions as to the Christian heaven, which do so much to make it a chill}', unattractive thing, to human wishes and hopes. It is hard enough for us to feel the reality of the things beyond the grave, without having the additional stumbling-block cast in our way, of being told that truly there is nothing real there for us to feel. As for the following eloquent passage, in which our author subsequently returns to the justification of his great doctrine, no more need be said than that it is rhetoric, not logic:—

"That man has not his true life, must havo

taken him long to learn. All our prepossessions, all our natural convictions, are opposed to that belief. If these activities, these powers, these capacities of enjoyment and suffering, tliU consciousness of free will, this command of the material world, be not life, what is life 1 What more do we want to make us truly man 1 This s the feeling that has held man captive, and irinssed all their thoughts so that they could not perceive what they themselves were saying.

"Yet the sad undercurrent has belied the boast. From all ages and all lands the cry of anguish, the prayer for life unconscious of itself, has gone up to heaven. In groans and curses, in despair and cruel rage, man pours out his secret to the universe ; writing it in blood, and lust, and savage wrong, upon the fair bosom of the earth; ho alone not knowing what ho does. If this be i be life of man, what is his death?

No doubt this would form a very eloquent and effective paragraph in a popular sermon. But in a philosophic treatise, where an author is tied to the severely precise use of terms, and where it will not do to call a thing death merely because it is very bad, nor call a thing life because it is very good, the_ argument appears to have but little weight.

You must see, intelligent reader, that one thing which we are entitled to require our author to satisfactorily prove, is the fact that nature is not inert, as it appears to man. If you can make it certain that nature is living and active, then, no doubt, some explanation will be needful as to how it comes to look so different to us; though, even then, I do not see that it necessarily follows that the inertness is to be supposed to exist in ourselves. But unless the author can prove that nature is not inert, he has no foundation to build on. He states three arguments, from which he derives the grand principle :—

"1. Inertness necessarily belongs to all phenomena. That which is only felt to be, and does not truly or absolutely "exist, must have the character of inaction. It must bo felt as passive. A phenomena must be inert because it i> a phenomena. Wo cannot argno from inertness in that which appears to us, to incrtnesss in that which is. Of whatsoever kind the essence of nature may be, if it be unknown, the phenomenon must be equally inert. We have no ground, therefore, in the inertness which we feel, for affirming of nature that it ;'•; inert. We must feel it so, by virtue of our known rotation to it, us not perceiving its essence.

"2. The question, therefore, rests entirely upon its own evidence. Since we have no reason, from the inertness of the phenomenal, for inferring the inertness of the essential, can we know whether that essential bo inert or not 1 We can know. Inertness, as being absolutely inaction, cannot belong to that which truly is. Being and absolute inaction are contraries. Inertness, therefore, must be a property by which the phenomenal differs from the essential or absolute. "3. Agiiin nature docs act: it nets upon us, or we could not perceive it at all. The true being of nature is active therefore. That we feel it otherwise shows that we do not feel it as it is. We must look for the source of nature's apparent or felt inertness in man's condition. Never should man have thought to judge of nature without remembering his own defectiveness.

Such are the grounds upon which rests the belief, that nature is not inert. It appears to mo that there is little force in them. To a great extent they are mere assumptions and assertions j and any thing they contain in the nature of argument is easily answered.

First: Why must every phenomenon be felt as inert? Why must a "phenomenon be inert because it is a phenomenon?" I cannot see why. We know nothing but phenomenon; that is, things as they appear to us. Where did we get the ideas of life and activity, if not from phenomena? Many things appear to ns to have life and activity. That is, there are phenomena which are not inert.

Secondly: Wherefore should we conclude that the phenomenon differs essentially from the factr1 The phenomenon is the fact as discerned by us. And granting that our defectiveness forbids our having a full and complete discernment of the fact, why should we doubt that our discernment is right so far as it goes? It is incomparably more likely that things (not individual things, but the entire system, I mean) are what they seem, than that they are not. Why believe we are gratuitously and needlessly deluded? God made the universe; he placed us in it; he gave us powers whereby to discern it. Is it reasonable to think that he did so in a fashion so blundering or so deceitful that we can only discern it wrong? And if nature seems inert, is not the rational conclusion that it it so?

Thirdly: Why cannot" inertness, as being absolute inaction, belong to that which truly is?" Why cannot a thing exist without doing any thing? Is not that just what millions of things actually do? Or if you intend to twist the meaning of the substantive verb, and to say that merely to be is to do something,—that simply to exist is a certain form of exertion and action,—I shall grant, of course, that nothing whatever that exists is in that sense inert; but I shall affirm that you use the word inert in quite a different sense from the usual one. And in that extreme and non-natural sense of the word, the phenomenon is no more inert than is the essence. Certainly things seem to tu to be;

THIRD SERIES. LIVING AGE. 538

and if just to be is to be active, then no phenomenon is inert; no single thing discerned by us appears to be inert.

Fourthly: I grant that "nature does act upon us, or we could not perceive it at all." But then I maintain that this kind of action is not action as men understand the word. This kind of action is quite consistent with the general notion of inertness. A thing may be inert, as mankind understand the word; and also active, as the author of this work understands the word. To discern this sort of activity and life in nature we have no need to "pass from death to life" ourselves. We simply need to have the thing pointed out to us, and it is seen at once. It is playing with words to say that nature acts upon us, or we could not perceive it. When you stand before a tree, and look at it, it does act in so far as that it depicts itself upon your retina; but that action is quite consistent with what we understand by inertness. It does not matter whether you say your eye takes hold of the tree, or that the tree takes hold of your eye. When you hook a trout you may say either that you catch the fish, or that the fish catches you. Is the alternative worth fighting about? Which is the natural way of speaking: to say that the man sees the tree, or that the tree shows itself to the man? All the activity which our author claims for nature goes no

farther than that, not activity at all.

Our reply is that that is If that is all he contends

for, we grant it at once; and we say that it is not in the faintest degree inconsistent with the fact of nature's being inert, as that word is understood. You come and tell mo that Mr. Smith has just passed your window flying. I say no; I saw him; he was not flying but walking. Ah, you reply, I hold that walking is an inchoate flying; it is a rudimentary flying, the lowest form of flying; and therefore I maintain that he flew past the window. My friend, I answer, if it be any satisfaction to use words in that way, do so and rejoice j only do not expect "any human being to understand what you mean; and beware of the lunatic asylum".

Why, I ask again, are we to cry down man for the sake of crying up nature? Why are we to depreciate the dweller that we may magnify the dwelling-place? Is notman (to say the least) one of the works of God? Did not God make both man and nature? And does not llevelation (which our author holds in so deep reverence) teach that man was the last and noblest of the handiworks of the Creator? And thus it is that I do not hesitate to answer such a question as that which follows, and to answer it contrariwise to what the author expects. It is from the human soul that glory and meaning are projected upon in

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