Page images
PDF
EPUB

« In all super

if we are precluded from the exercise of reason in Religion, and are not "to tie the study of the natural sciences and religion together," we can have no hope of finding God in Nature, or of discriminating between the grossest superstition of the age and country in which we are born and the Religion of the Universe. Sir John Lubbock bears his testimony “ that without science true religion is impossible.” Faraday, however, was not without precedent. “ The most enlightened theologians of the Catholic Church — Pascal, Malebranche, Bossuet, and Fenelon, received what they called Catholic doctrines, and mysterious dogmas to which no principles of reason could be applied. Some even said that the more the mysteries shocked the reason and the conscience, the more devoutly they were to be believed.” stition,” says Lord Bacon, 6 wise men follow fools; and arguments are fitted to practice in a reversed order.” Again, the Duke of Argyll (Contemporary Review, May, 1871): "I do not know that the discoveries of modern science, great as they have been, and much as they are vaunted, have contributed anything towards the solution of the final problems of all human speculation. These, in so far as mere speculation is capable of dealing with them, seem to remain very much where the great intellects of the ancient world found them and left them.” Surely Science, with those who, unlike Faraday, think it right to use it, has taken many of these problems out of the field of mere speculation. It has tested more than one Revelation, and shown that the sun no more goes round the earth in Ethics than in Physics, however in the one case, as in the other, appearances may deceive us.

COVENTRY, October, 1871.

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I.

IN THE BEGINNING.

The length of time that life has existed on the earth. Difficulty of

fixing dates. The earth originally a fiery mist. Cooling down.
What has become of the heat? Heat a "mode of motion,” which
has merely changed its form : all the phenomena in the universe
consist but in these changes of form or transformation of energy.
Heat the least condensed form of force-mind the most condensed.
Sun-force and earth-force. Unity of force ; all force the force of
some unknown Spiritual Essence. Prof. Tyndall and the earth's
atmosphere. The sun's atmosphere, and the composition of the
sun, planets, and stars. Earliest form of life. “To draw nutrition,
propagate and rot,” the earliest functions differentiated. Scale of
Being. The difference between highest and lowest one of degree,
not of kind. Sensibility, Mind, or Consciousness. Connection with
the nervous system, which increases in weight and complexity as
mental power and energy increase. Each creature has a world of
its own proportionate to its powers of feeling. Inferiority of man's
mental faculties, in some respects, to insects and other animals.
Unity of sensibility in the network of nerve spread over the whole
world. Matter and Spirit mere names for groups of phenomena.
Wonderful constitution of matter.

pp. 1-18

CHAPTER II.

MAN.

Man probably one hundred thousand years old, and one hundred

million years in making. The creatures to whom the earth be-
longed before man. The missing link not yet found. Man's pro-
genitor according to Darwin. Advance measured by brain and
nervous system. The foetal changes. The functions of the brain
and nervous system. Mind—the highest development of force.
Comparative slow rate at which nerve force travels. Dr. Gall's
discoveries in cerebral physiology. Neglect of Gall's discoveries

Morality the science of man's duties; it concerns the why and the

how, or the principles and practice. THE PRINCIPLES OF MORALITY.
All action the result of pre-existent persistent force. No difference
therefore in actions themselves ; the differences purely subjective.
We are conscious of the action of the mind and of the will, but
unconscious of the forces that govern both. Statistics prove these
forces to act as much in accordance with law in the moral as in the
physical world. No spontaneous act of will, and free-will a delusion.
Actions good or bad, not in themselves, but as they tend to promote
the general well-being, or greatest happiness of the whole sensitive
creation. A future state of rewards and punishments only carrying
Utilitarianism into another world. The Intuitionist—the source of
his error in the fact that none of our faculties seek happiness
directly, but have other ends, from which happiness results. Con-
science, an instinct based upon transmitted experience of utility,
requires the guiding hand of Reason to adapt it to present conditions.
Each age has had its own standard of right. No such things as
sin and evil-only pain and pleasure ; the pain the necessary guar-
dian of the pleasure. Natural Selection, or the preservation of the
fittest, the doctrine of Utilitarianism in its last form. Objections
to Darwinism. The Natural Law and the right to live. The
Causes of Pauperism and the Remedies.

[blocks in formation]

THE PRACTICE OF MORALITY requires that we should make all as

happy as possible. Our wants point to our duties. Happiness

found in the legitimate and constant use of all our faculties.

Christian and Roman morals. Lecky on European morals. Moral

science a pure system of dynamics ; the action of the will always

representing the strongest force, and as the strongest force is
always dependent upon the largest organs, a man's conduct must
depend upon the balance of his organisation. The Civil Service
Examination furnishes no test of character: only of intellectual
power and aptitudes. Petition of Sir George S. Mackenzie to
Lord Glenelg on the classification of criminals upon these prin-
ciples. Lunacy and vice the same, and require the same treat-
ment.

pp. 106–153

pp. 154-192

The feelings and faculties by which the religious world is created.

Early history of religion. The Hebrew and Christian God. Super-
stition. Atheism preferable to Calvinism. Lecky on the Christian
Hell, and on persecution as the legitimate consequence.

The
Shakers, who have no children, alone consistent. Old creeds pass-
ing away. Trimming. Religious language metaphorical. The
Theological Universe. Anthropomorphism. A new reformation

natural tendency to increase faster than the means of subsistence

keeps down the rate of wages, and causes an unfair division of the

produce of industry. The relation of Capital to Labour the great

question of the day. Prof. Jacoby on wages and co-operation.

Periodical distress. Effects of free trade. The national income

and mode of its distribution. Evils of the great inequality. The

working man's legislature. The good in the present social system.

The British Constitution. Republicanism. Democracy must ad-

vance. The Income of the Queen and of the Gold Sticks in Waiting.

The schemes for producing a more fair and equal division. Co-

operation for Distribution, and in Manufactures and Agriculture.

Present condition of the rural population in France and England.

The slow growth of improvement in men and institutions. The

people not prepared for a Republic. Revolutions merely destructive.

Opinion, its various character. Does not govern, all permanent

charge a growth and we have to grow the brains necessary for a

new social system. The International Working Men's Association.

Communism or Positivism.

pp. 264-303

« EelmineJätka »