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Title: God and the World - A Survey of Thought
Author: Robinson, Arthur William, 1856-1928
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "God and the World - A Survey of Thought" ***

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  This is one of a series of evidential books drawn up at the
  instance of the _Christian Evidence Society_.





Warden of the College of Allhallows Barking

With a Prefatory Note by SIR OLIVER LODGE









       PREFATORY NOTE  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     5
       INTRODUCTION  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     7
    I. THE OLDER ORTHODOXY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    13
   II. THE PROGRESS OF DISCOVERY . . . . . . . . . . . . .    21
  III. THEOLOGICAL DIFFICULTIES  . . . . . . . . . . . . .    27
   IV. THE COUNTER-ARGUMENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    37
    V. THE COUNTER-ARGUMENTS (_continued_) . . . . . . . .    46
   VI. THE COUNTER-ARGUMENTS (_continued_) . . . . . . . .    53
  VII. LATER SCIENCE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    68
 VIII. LATER SCIENCE (_continued_) . . . . . . . . . . . .    76
   IX. LATER SCIENCE (_continued_) . . . . . . . . . . . .    87
       CONCLUSION  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    98



I have read what Dr. Arthur Robinson has written, and find it a most
interesting, singularly fair, and I may add, within its limits, able
and comprehensive survey of the thoughts of the past and passing age.
I commend it to the coming generation as a useful means of acquiring
some notion of the main puzzles and controversies of the strenuous time
through which their fathers have lived.  Fossil remains of these
occasionally fierce discussions they will find embedded in literature;
and although we are emerging from that conflict, it can only be to find
fresh opportunities for discovery, fresh fields of interest, in the
newer age.  Towards a wise reception of these discoveries, as they are
gradually arrived at in the future, this little book will give some





A man, so it has been said, is distinguished from the creatures beneath
him by his power to ask a question.  To which we may add that one man
is distinguished from another by the kind of question that he asks.  A
man is to be measured by the size of his question.  Small men ask small
questions: of here and now; of to-day and to-morrow and the next day;
of how they may quickest fill their pockets, or gain another step upon
the social ladder.  Great men are concerned with great questions: of
life, of man, of history, of God.

So again, the size of an age can be determined by the size of its
questions.  It has been claimed that the age through which we have
passed was a great age, and tried by this test we need not hesitate to
admit the claim.  It was full of questions, and they were great
questions.  As never before, the eyes of men strained upwards and
backwards into the dim {8} recesses of the past to discover something,
if it might be, of the beginnings of things: of matter and life; of the
earth and its contents; of the solar system and the universe.  We know
with what interest inquiries of this sort were regarded, and how ready
the people were to read the books that dealt with them; to attend
lectures and discussions about them, and to give their money for the
purposes of such research.  It was a great age that could devote itself
so eagerly to questions of this importance and magnitude.

But as men cannot live upon appetite, so neither can they be for ever
satisfied with questions.  Hence it follows that a period of
questioning is ordinarily followed by another, in which the accumulated
information is sorted and digested and turned to practical account; a
time in which constructive work is attempted, and some understanding is
arrived at as to the relation that exists between the old knowledge and
the new.  It looks as if we were nearing such a time, when, for a while
at all events, there will be a pause for reconsideration and
reconstruction, and the human spirit will gather strength and
confidence before again setting out upon its quest of the Infinite.
Already we are asked to give attention to statements that are intended
to review the whole situation and to summarise, provisionally at {9}
all events, the results that have been attained.  Each of these
attempts will, in its turn, be superseded by something that is wider in
its outlook and wiser in its verdicts.  This little book is an effort
of this nature, and it is offered in the hope that it may serve some
such useful and temporary purpose.

Much more competent writers than its author might well apologise for
consenting to enter upon the task which he has been invited to
undertake.  All that he can say, by way of excuse for his boldness in
complying, is that for many years he has endeavoured to follow the
trend of modern thinking, and that the growing interest with which he
has done this encourages him to hope that he may be able to make what
he has to tell about it both intelligible and interesting to others.
He does not imagine that he can escape mistakes, and he will most
gladly submit himself to the correction of others who know better and
see more clearly than he does.  He only begs that those who disagree
with his judgments will try to give him credit for a sincere desire to
be true to facts, and to welcome the light, from whatever quarter it
may have come.

When we speak of the age that is passing, we shall have in mind what
may roughly be reckoned as the last hundred years.  That space
includes, for those of us who are not in our first youth, the time of
our {10} parents, and even, it may be, of our grandparents.  The period
has a certain distinctiveness of character in spite of superficial
diversities.  It was marked, as we have said, by the intelligence and
vigour of its questionings.  It was a time of intellectual movement and
turmoil.  It witnessed a succession of wonderful discoveries leading on
to ever bolder investigations.  Rapid generalisations were advanced, to
be often as quickly abandoned.  Only by degrees was it possible to see
the new facts in their proper proportion and significance.  Nor was it
at all easy for men to keep their discussions free from heat and
bitterness, when the most deeply-rooted convictions appeared to be
assailed, and the most sacred associations to be regarded as of little
account.  Looking back, as we can, it is possible to see that in spite
of the eddies and backwaters a steady progress was made.  And it is of
that progress that it will now be our endeavour to speak.

We know how it has happened to us over and over again in our own
individual experiences to have been made conscious of a gradual
modification of our opinions as new evidence has reached us, and we
have had time to relate it to our previous understanding and knowledge.
We have had our first thoughts, and our second thoughts, and then there
have come third thoughts, which were the ripest {11} and soundest of
all.  Just such a process of which we can mark the stages in ourselves
is to be seen on a larger scale--in bigger print, as it were--in the
thought movements of an age.  In the case of the period which we are to
review, the three stages have been more than commonly clear, as we
shall aim to shew in the survey we are to make.

We shall begin with the First thoughts, which were those of what may be
termed the older orthodoxy.  These were very generally accepted;
indeed, they were regarded as for the most part beyond the reach of
serious contradiction.  Then we shall pass to the Second thoughts,
which were forced upon an astonished and bewildered generation by the
onslaughts upon traditional views that were made from the side of
physical science.  For fifty years or more the debate went on, with
challenge and counter-challenge, and much noise and dust of
controversy.  They were great days, and in them great men fought with
great courage in great issues.  We shall seek to do justice to both
sides, to those who dared to proclaim and suffer for the new, and to
those who shewed an equal courage in their resolute determination to be
loyal to what they held to be the truth of the old.

Then, finally, it will be our difficult task to discriminate between
the surging thoughts of that {12} second period and those of the Third
stage, through which we are advancing, and to shew what can already be
made out of a common ground of agreement and co-operation, now much
more likely to be reached than could at one time have been foreseen by
the most optimistic imagination.




Never had there been greater unanimity of opinion in England in regard
to the religious interpretation of the world than that which prevailed
at the beginning of the nineteenth century.  The excesses on the
Continent which had accompanied the advocacy of free thought had
disposed men's mind to fall back upon authority, and most of all in
matters that affected the basis on which the continuance of social
order and moral conduct depended.  The general position was clearly
apprehended, and was accepted as if beyond dispute.  Men spoke and
thought of the Order of Nature.  The world was a Cosmos, a regulated
system.  Order implied an Orderer.  It was regarded by them as obvious
that there must have been a First Cause, a great Architect and Maker of
the Universe.  They agreed with Aquinas that "things which have no
perception can only tend toward an end if directed by a conscious and
intelligent being.  Therefore there is an {14} Intelligence by which
all natural things are ordered to an end."[1]  They were fully prepared
to endorse the indignant protest of Bacon: "I had rather believe all
the folly of the 'Legend,' and the 'Talmud,' and the 'Alcoran,' than
that this universal frame is without a mind."[2]  In fact no other
hypothesis seemed to them thinkable.

If at any time they felt a need for a more elaborate justification of
their conviction, they had it ready to their hand in the familiar
argument from design.  Paley, when he set this out in his famous
_Natural Theology_ (1802), was only expressing with conspicuous ability
the view that was then accepted in all circles from the highest to the
lowest.  He was preaching to those who were already in the fullest
accord with his doctrine.  They followed with eager approbation his
reasoning about the watch that he supposed himself to have found on the
heath.  According to his assumption he had never seen a watch made, nor
known of anyone capable of making such a thing.  He concludes,
nevertheless, that it must have been made by someone.  "There must have
existed, at some time, and at some place or other, an artificer or
artificers who formed it for {15} the purpose which we find it actually
to answer; who comprehended its structure, and designed its use."
"Neither would it invalidate our conclusion that the watch sometimes
went wrong, or that it seldom went exactly right.  The purpose of the
machinery, the design and the designer, might be evident in whatever
way we accounted for the irregularity of the movement, or whether we
could account for it at all."  "Nor would it bring any uncertainty into
the argument if there were a few parts of the watch concerning which we
could not discover, or had not yet discovered, in what manner they
conducted to the general effect; or even some parts concerning which we
could not ascertain whether they conducted to that effect in any manner
whatever."  Least of all could it be sufficient to explain that the
watch was "nothing more than the result of the laws of metallic
nature."  "It is a perversion of language to assign any law as the
efficient operative cause of any thing.  A law presupposes an agent,
for it is only the mode according to which our agent proceeds: it
implies a power, for it is the order according to which that power
acts.  Without this agent, without this power, which are both distinct
from itself, the law does nothing, is nothing."

From the watch we are led on to the eye, which exhibits a skill of
design not less, but far greater, {16} than that of the man who gave us
the telescope.  Then follows a detailed examination of the use of the
various bodily organs, the contrivances to be met with in vegetables
and animals, the marvellous adaptations of anatomical structure, the
provisions for the flight of birds, and for the movements of fishes;
with instances of arrangements to suit particular conditions--the long
neck of the swan, the minute eye of the mole, the beak of the parrot,
the sting of the bee--all furnishing an ever accumulating body of
irrefutable evidence to attest the existence and operation of an
intelligent Author of Nature.

That these arrangements had been expressly intended to meet the
circumstances of each particular case was assumed as necessarily
involved in the acceptance of any design at all.  It is interesting to
observe that Paley did not think it improbable that the Deity may have
committed to another being--"nay, there may be many such agents and
many ranks of them"--the task of "drawing forth" special creations out
of the materials He had made and in subordination to His rules.  This,
he thought, might in some degree account for the fact that contrivances
are not always perfected at once, and that many instruments and methods
are employed.


Of the goodness of the Creator no manner of doubt was entertained.  For
proof of it attention was called to the fact that "in a vast plurality
of instances in which contrivance is perceived, the design of the
contrivance is beneficial," and to the further fact that "the Deity has
superadded pleasure to animal sensations beyond what was necessary for
any other purposes or when the purpose, so far as it was necessary,
might have been effected by the function of pain."  Venomous animals
there were, no doubt, but the fang and the sting "may be no less
merciful to the victim, than salutary to the devourer"; and it was to
be noted "that whilst only a few species possess the venomous property,
that property guards the whole tribe."  Then again, before we condemn
the ordering whereby animals devour one another we must consider what
would happen if they did not.  "Is it to see the world filled with
drooping, superannuated, half-starved, helpless and unhelped animals,
that you would alter the present system of pursuit and prey?"  "A hare,
notwithstanding the number of its dangers and its enemies, is as
playful an animal as any other."  "It is a happy world after all.  The
air, the earth, the water teem with delighted existence.  In a spring
noon, or a summer evening, on whichever side I turn my eyes myriads of
happy beings crowd upon my {18} view.  'The insect youth are on the
wing.'  Swarms of new-born flies are trying their pinions in the air.
Their sportive motions, their wanton mazes, their gratuitous activity,
their continual change of place without use or purpose, testify their
joy, and the exultation which they feel in their lately discovered
faculties....  The whole winged insect tribe, it is probable, are
equally intent upon their proper employments, and under every variety
of constitution, gratified, and perhaps equally gratified, by the
offices which the Author of their nature has assigned to them."  Where
it might have been imagined that there were to be seen miscarriages of
the Creator's intentions, these were to be attributed to the presence
and influence of mysterious forces of evil.  Such attempts to hinder or
frustrate the workings of good might be part of a purpose of good
because they only afforded fresh opportunities for a display of the
Divine wisdom, whose ordinary interventions were accepted as
Providences, whilst Miracles supplied the rarer exhibitions of its

For the rest, it was our duty to remember that such difficulties as
might still be felt must be largely the result of our ignorance.  With
patience we should learn to know more.  A day was coming when much that
is now hidden would be made clear, and when the greatness and wisdom
and justice {19} of the Almighty Ruler would be wonderfully and
fearfully revealed.

It is not intended to suggest that there were no dissentients ready to
bring forward objections to these almost unanimously accepted
doctrines.  We know that there were such, if only because it was deemed
worth while to argue against them.  Kepler and Newton had stirred men's
minds by their account of the prodigious scale upon which the mechanism
of the Universe was constructed, and Laplace had already enunciated the
theory according to which the cosmic bodies were originally formed in
obedience to the law of gravitation by the condensation of rotating
nebulous spheres.  And there were those who used these discoveries of
astronomy to cast doubts upon the likelihood that the Divine attention
would be concentrated upon the concerns of so tiny a speck as this
planet of ours.  There were others who maintained that the unbroken
persistency of the order of Nature was evidence enough to shew that it
had no beginning and could have no end.

Against both these objectors the irony and the oratory of a Chalmers
was directed with what was held to be overwhelming effect.  If the
telescope had shewn us wonderful things, there was another instrument,
he said, which had been given to us {20} about the same time.  If by
the telescope we had been led to see "a system in every star," it was
no less true that the microscope had disclosed "a world in every atom,"
thus proving to us that "no minuteness, however shrunk from the notice
of the human eye, is beneath the notice of His regard."

So again, in an oration upon "The constancy of Nature," the thesis is
most eloquently defended that "the strict order of the goodly universe
which we inhabit" is nothing else than "a noble attestation to the
wisdom and beneficence of its great Architect."[3]

Little did men dream at that time of the wealth of other discoveries
that was soon to increase enormously the complexity of their problems;
or of the inferences that would be drawn from them with an ingenuity
and an assurance that would task to the utmost the ability and the
patience of the defenders of the old beliefs.

It is of the new facts disclosed and of the further thoughts suggested
by them that we must next proceed to tell.

[1] _Summa_, I., ii. 3.

[2] Essay on "Atheism and Superstition."

[3] _Astronomical Discourses_ (1817), pp. 80, 211.




We find it hard to realise that not so very long ago the steam-engine
and the electric telegraph were unknown; and we are right when we say
that life must have worn a very different aspect in those days.  It is
scarcely less difficult for us to realise the change that has been
wrought in men's thoughts since the time when the biological cell was
unrecognised, and the theory of evolution had not yet been formulated.
The rapidity with which advances of knowledge were made in the physical
sphere was astonishing, and it was only to be expected that they should
have seemed not a little bewildering.  We must try to note the main
steps of the movement, giving the names of some of the representative
workers and thinkers.

It is generally agreed that the foundations of modern chemistry were
laid by Dalton (1808).  He it was who revived the old atomic theory,
and determined the weights of the atoms and the {22} proportions in
which they are combined into molecules--the smallest particles which
could exist in a free condition.  By so doing he prepared the way for
the subsequent researches of Faraday and Clerk-Maxwell into the
properties of electricity and magnetism, and for the investigations by
Helmholtz and others into the connexion between electric attraction and
chemical affinities.

The forerunner of the wonderful advances of modern biology was the
French naturalist Lamarck (1809), who, in opposition to the accepted
doctrine of separate creations, suggested that all the species of
living creatures, not excepting the human, have arisen from older
species in the course of long periods of time.  The common parent forms
he held to have been simple and lowly organisms, and he accounted for
the gradual differentiation of types by the hypothesis that they were
the results of the inheritance of characteristics which had been
acquired by continued use--as, for example, in the case of the giraffe
who was supposed to have owed the length of its neck to the efforts of
its ancestors to browse upon trees that were just beyond their reach.
He maintained that the changes produced in the parents by temperature,
nutrition, repeated use or disuse, were inherited so that they
reappeared in their offspring.  But the evidence adduced was {23}
judged to be insufficient, and the balance of scientific opinion was
decidedly against his views.

Lyell (1830) gave a new direction to the science of geology by
accumulating evidence to prove the certainty of a natural and
continuous development in the formation of the crust of the earth, thus
opposing the catastrophic idea which had previously prevailed.  One
outcome of his researches was to make it plain that the history of this
development must have extended over enormous tracts of time.

More revolutionary still in its effects was the epoch-making discovery
of the protoplasmic cell as the common element of life in the plant and
animal world, made by the Germans Schleiden and Schwann (1838).  It was
this that first bridged over what were held to be the fundamental
distinctions of animate nature, and made possible the conception of a
vital physical continuity which has since been accepted as an axiom of
biological science.

By Joule's great discovery (1840) that the same amount of work, whether
mechanical or electrical, and however expended, always produced exactly
the same amount of heat--that, in effect, heat and work were equivalent
and interchangeable--the way was opened to the conclusion that the
total energy of the material universe is constant in amount through all
its changes.


A theory to account for the black lines crossing the coloured band of
light, or spectrum, which is obtained by passing sunlight through a
glass prism, originally suggested by Sir George Stokes, and
subsequently reintroduced and verified by the German chemists, Bunsen
and Kirchhoff, led to the important discovery that the sun and the
stars are constituted of the very same elements as those of the earth
beneath our feet.  Spectrum analysis, moreover, soon detected new
elements, _e.g._, helium, so-called because first observed as existing
in the sun.

But great and stimulating as these discoveries were, their effect upon
the thought of the age was not to be compared with that which was to be
exercised by a theory which, starting in the domain of biological
science, soon passed on to far more extended applications.  The theory
took its rise from a suggestion made in two papers, by Charles Darwin
and Alfred Russel Wallace, which were read before the Linnean Society
on July 1st, 1858.

The Darwinian theory--for so it was soon named--undertook to explain
the formation of species by the principle of natural selection through
the survival of the fittest in the struggle for life.[1] {25} Darwin
started from the admitted achievements of artificial selection; from
the results attained by nurserymen and cattle breeders, who, by
selecting the kinds they wished to perpetuate, had been able to vary
and improve their stocks.  He conceived that a like process had been
carried on by Nature through vast spaces of time, and that it was this
picking, choosing, continuing and abandoning of traits and qualities
which had resulted in the preservation of the types which it had been
best to retain--the reason in all cases being the fitness to correspond
effectively to the conditions prescribed by environment.

It is important to remember that Darwin never claimed that his doctrine
of evolution could account for the occurrence of variations.  That it
could do so he expressly denied.  "Some," he said, in his great work,
_The Origin of Species_ (1859) "have, even imagined that natural
selection induces variability, whereas it implies only the preservation
of such variations as arise....  Unless such occur, natural selection
can do nothing."  What he saw, and proved by an amazing wealth of
illustrative facts, was that any variation in structure or character
which gave to an organism ever so slight an advantage might determine
whether or not it would survive amid the fierce competition around it,
and whether {26} it would obtain a mate and produce offspring.  He
shewed that all innate variations (which are to be distinguished from
the acquired characteristics upon the inheritance of which Lamarck had
depended) tend to be transmitted, so that in this manner a favourable
variation might be perpetuated, and in time a new species be developed.

Simple as this account of the matter sounds when once it has been
clearly stated, the discovery--for such it was--opened an entirely new
chapter in the history of science, inasmuch as it completely
revolutionised the conceptions which had previously been entertained
with regard to the relationships and the progress of all living things.

It was Darwinism, accordingly, that provided the principal subject of
the controversy which was waged between the upholders and the
assailants of the older opinions during the latter half of the
nineteenth century.

[1] The actual phrase "Survival of the fittest" was Herbert Spencer's.
Darwin had spoken of "The preservation of favoured races."




We shall not exaggerate if we say that the chief interest aroused by
these discoveries was a theological interest.  Of course the men of
science were keenly concerned to understand the new facts and the new
interpretations, and among them there were divided camps and serious
contentions.  Sir Richard Owen, for instance, was a vigorous opponent
of Darwin's views.  But we cannot think it surprising that the men of
religion should feel that their positions were not only being attacked,
but undermined; and that issues were being raised which were more vital
for them than for any other students of the problems of existence.

When we thus speak of men of science and men of religion we do not mean
to imply that there were two distinct classes which could be sharply
divided.  By no means.  It was not so much that there were two camps as
that there were two positions, with much passing to and fro between
them, and the {28} keenest interest and anxiety felt on both sides as
to what the future might have to bring of widening divergence or
ultimate reconciliation.

There could be no doubt at all that most formidable questions had to be
faced and answered.  These were the chief of them:--

Is it any longer necessary, or even possible, to insist upon a First
Cause for all that exists?  Can the argument from Design be said to
retain its validity as a proof of the working of a controlling Mind?
If we admit the evidence for the existence of a Creator, can we know
anything about Him?  Can we, in particular, still assert with any
confidence that He is good?

Let us take the questions in order and give the replies that were made
to them from the different sides.  And, first of all, from the side of

The number of those who directly denied that there must have been a
First Cause were very few.  But there were many who did their utmost to
discredit the idea as due to what they held to be an illegitimate
deduction from our limited human experiences.  Others were disposed to
quarrel with the word "Cause" altogether, and to dispute the propriety
of its employment.

They wished to banish it altogether from the scientific vocabulary, and
to substitute for the terms {29} cause and effect, antecedent and
consequent, reducing causation to conjunction.  But it was generally
admitted that, where we have to deal with an invariable antecedent
followed by an invariable consequent, nothing was to be gained by a
change in the common phraseology.  John Stuart Mill refused to abandon
the word.  Speaking of one who had done so, he said, "I consider him to
be entirely wrong."  "The beginning of a phenomenon is what implies a
Cause."[1]  There were, he allowed, "permanent causes," but, he added,
"we can give no account of the origin of the permanent causes"--which
was virtually to abandon the subject as being beyond the domain of

In regard to the second question, it very soon became evident that the
old views of Design would be subjected to the most incisive criticism.
To many it appeared as if the new doctrine of evolution had supplied an
explanation which left no room for the recognition of the particular
contrivances upon which Paley had constructed his argument.  No one
asserted this more strongly than Haeckel, the German biologist.  To
quote his words, "The development of the universe is a monistic
mechanical process, in which we discover no aim or purpose {30}
whatever; what we call design in the organic world is a special result
of biological agencies; neither in the evolution of the heavenly
bodies, nor in that of the crust of our earth, do we find any trace of
controlling purpose."  "Nowhere in the evolution of animals and plants
do we find any trace of design, but merely the inevitable outcome of
the struggle for existence, the blind controller."  "All is the result
of chance."  We ought to add that he somewhat qualified this last
statement by explaining that "chance" itself must be considered as
coming under "the universal sovereignty of nature's supreme law."[2]

It is not to be supposed that anyone was to be found who denied the
general intelligibility of Nature.  To have done this would have been
to reduce science to an absurdity.  Science is bound to proceed upon
the assumption that there are "reasons" for things.  Moreover, there is
mind in man, who is part of the order of Nature.  It follows that what
is in the part cannot be denied to the whole.  All this could be freely
admitted.  But then the question arose, Is mind the originating source
of the movements of matter, or is it not rather itself the product of


There were those who did not shrink from affirming that matter produces
thought, even as the liver secretes bile.  Others preferred to take
what seemed to be an intermediate course.  They were not prepared to
give priority to either mind or matter.  Thus Haeckel maintained that
matter and thought are only two different aspects, or two fundamental
attributes of an underlying something which he defined as "substance."
It was to the action of this universal substance that he imagined the
"monistic mechanical process" to be due.  He went so far as to state
his conviction that not even the atom is without "a rudimentary form of
sensation and will."[3]

In like manner Tyndall had claimed a two-sidedness for matter, and
traced all higher developments back to the side which held in it the
element of spirit and thought; while admitting that "the production of
consciousness by molecular action is quite as inconceivable on
mechanical principles as the production of molecular action by

The bearing of all this upon the question of Design was plain, for, if
thought and intention are the outcome and result of the mechanical
operations of Nature, it might well seem to follow that mind {32} had
been removed from its high place as the dominant and directing power.

But these difficulties with which the theologian was thus confronted in
respect of a First Cause and the recognition of Design, were even less
formidable than those which were arrayed under the other heads that we
have enumerated.  It was Huxley who invented the term Agnosticism to
describe the position of such of his contemporaries as were not
inclined to deny that there was a great Power at work behind the
phenomena of the Universe, but were not prepared to admit that this
Power could be any degree comprehensible by us.  The most systematic
exponent of this view was Herbert Spencer.  He allowed that we are
obliged to refer the phenomenal world and its law and order to a First
Cause.  "And the First Cause," he said, "must be in every sense
perfect, complete, total--including within itself all power, and
transcending all law."  But he insisted that, "it cannot in any manner
or degree be known, in the strict sense of knowing."[5]  Elsewhere he
suggested that it may belong to "a mode of being as much transcending
intelligence and will as these transcend mechanical motion."  "Our only
conception of what we know as Mind in ourselves is the {33} conception
of a series of states of consciousness."  "How," he asked, "is the
'originating Mind' to be thought of as having states produced by things
objective to it, as discriminating among these states, and classing
them as like and unlike; and as preferring one objective result to
another."[6]  It was by a similar line of reasoning that Romanes
reached the like conclusions.[7]  "In my opinion," he said, "no
explanation of natural order can either be conceived or named other
than that of intelligence as the supreme directing cause."  But "this
cause must be widely different from anything that we know of Mind in
ourselves."  "If such a Mind exists, it is not conceivable as existing,
and we are precluded from assigning to it any attributes."

It was obvious that, if no satisfactory reply were forthcoming to such
a contention, the very word Theology must be discarded, since there
would be no longer any need for it, or justification of its use.

But there was yet a further criticism that was supposed by not a few to
complete the discomfiture of those who still clung to the traditional
beliefs.  We can find it forcibly expressed in one of the earlier
writings of Romanes, who in this case was endorsing the verdict of
Mill.  "Supposing the Deity to be {34} omnipotent, there can be no
inference more transparent than that such wholesale suffering, for
whatever ends designed, exhibits an incalculably greater deficiency of
beneficence in the divine character than that which we know in any, the
very worst, of human characters.  For let us pause for one moment to
think of what suffering in Nature means.  Some hundreds of millions of
years ago, some millions of millions of animals must be supposed to
have become sentient.  Since that time till the present there must have
been millions and millions of generations of millions and millions of
individuals.  And throughout all this period of incalculable duration,
this inconceivable host of sentient organisms have been in a state of
unceasing battle, dread, ravin, pain.  Looking to the outcome, we find
that more than one-half of the species which have survived the
ceaseless struggle are parasitic in their habits, lower and insentient
forms of life feasting on higher and sentient forms; we find teeth and
talons whetted for slaughter, hooks and suckers moulded for
torment--everywhere a reign of terror, hunger, sickness, with oozing
blood and quivering limbs, with gasping breath and eyes of innocence
that dimly close in deaths of cruel torture!"[8]


Huxley, arguing to the same effect, concluded that "since thousands of
times a minute, were our ears sharp enough, we should hear sighs and
groans of pain like those heard by Dante at the gate of hell, the world
cannot be governed by what we call benevolence."[9]

Haeckel went so far as to propose to describe by the term
"dysteleology" that part of the science of Biology which collected the
facts that gave direct contradiction to the idea of beneficial
"purposive arrangement."

Such were the difficulties which loomed largest before the minds of
vast numbers of thinking men and women, and did much to shake the
general confidence in religion, in the years that followed the
discoveries which culminated in the Darwinian theory of evolution.  It
must not be supposed that these thoughts were lightly entertained, nor
may we imagine that they gave no distress to those who sincerely
believed that they were bound to accept what seemed to be their
inevitable consequences.  To quote again from the _Candid Examination_
of Romanes, we may take it that he was speaking for many others when he
said, "Forasmuch as I am far from being able to agree with those who
affirm {36} that the twilight doctrine of the new faith is a desirable
substitute for the waning splendour of 'the old,' I am not ashamed to
confess that, with this virtual negation of God, the universe to me has
lost its soul of loveliness; and although, from henceforth the precept
'to work while it is day' will doubtless but gain an intensified force
from the terribly intensified meaning of the words 'that the night
cometh when no man can work,' yet when at times I think, as think at
times I must, of the appalling contrast between the hallowed glory of
that creed which once was mine, and the lonely mystery of existence as
now I find it--at such times I shall ever feel it impossible to avoid
the sharpest pang of which my nature is susceptible."

[1] _Logic_, Chap. V.

[2] _The Riddle of the Universe_, Chaps. XIV, XV.

[3] Chap. XII.

[4] _Fragments of Science_, p. 222.

[5] _First Principles_, i., pp. 33-39.

[6] _Essays_, Vol. III., pp. 246, f.

[7] In an essay written before 1889.

[8] _A Candid Examination of Theism_ (1876), pp. 171, f.

[9] _Nineteenth Century_, February, 1888.




It must not be imagined that all the arguments were on one side.  Far
from it.  The defenders of the old faith were many, and not the least
able of them were drawn from the ranks of the men of science.  The list
of scientific leaders who avowedly ranged themselves on the Christian
side, if it were made out, would be a long one.  It would include
distinguished names such as those of Faraday, Joule, the Duke of
Argyll, Lord Kelvin, Stokes, Tait, Adams, Clerk Maxwell, Salmon,
Cayley, and Pasteur.  And others would have to be added who, after
contending for a while as materialists or agnostics, ultimately changed
their attitude and joined the supporters of Theism.  Haeckel frankly
admitted that there were such defaulters from his cause in Germany,
giving the names of "two of the most famous of living scientists, R.
Virchow and E. Du Bois Raymond," amongst others.  On the other hand he
recommended his readers to study "the profound work of Romanes," {38}
without, it would seem, being aware of the transformation that took
place in that thinker's opinions towards the end of his life.

We have now to indicate the nature of the replies that were made to the
difficulties of which we spoke in our last chapter.  Let us follow the
order in which they were presented.

About the necessity for a First Cause not much had to be said.  Even if
the whole course of organic development could be proved to have been
continuous without a break from the first movements of matter, through
all the changes of physical life, up to the highest exhibition of human
powers--and no one ventured to say that this had been proved--there
would still be the necessity for an initial impulse to set the process
in action.  Spencer, as we have seen, declared that there must have
been a First Cause, and Tyndall agreed that "the hypothesis" of
Evolution "does nothing more than transport the conception of life's
origin to an indefinitely distant past."[1]

Darwin himself never hesitated on this point.  "The theory of
evolution," he insisted, "is quite compatible with the belief in
God."[2]  The words which he expressly added to the conclusion of the
{39} _Origin of Species_ are well known.  After describing once again
the production of the innumerable forms of being as the result of
natural selection, he said: "There is a grandeur in this view of life,
with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator
into a few forms or into one."

It is well also to keep on record the striking dictum of Lord Kelvin,
addressed to the students of University College.[3]  "Science," he told
them, "positively affirmed creative power."

It will be remembered that we quoted Mill as speaking of "permanent
causes."  We may be grateful to him for the suggestion.  We could not
readily think of a better term than the great "Permanent Cause" by
which to describe, in modern language, the "I AM" of the Biblical

But, if on this point there was no serious conflict of opinion, it was
otherwise in regard to the next.  Here it did look as if the new
discoveries might have {40} changed the whole situation.  Huxley
acknowledged that what struck him most forcibly on his first perusal of
the Origin of Species, was that "teleology, as commonly understood, had
received its death-blow at Mr. Darwin's hands."[5]  But Huxley was a
born fighter, and he could turn his weapons with facility and effect
against his friends when he thought they had overstated their case.  It
is interesting to find him, in 1867, criticising Haeckel for his
repudiation of the principle of Design.

"The Doctrine of Evolution," he says, "is the most formidable opponent
of the commoner and coarser forms of teleology."

"The teleology which supposes that the eye such as we see it in man, or
one of the higher vertebrata, was made with the precise structure it
exhibits, for the purpose of enabling the animal which possesses it to
see, has undoubtedly received its death-blow.  Nevertheless, it is
necessary to remember that there is a wider teleology which is not
touched by the doctrine of evolution, but is actually based upon the
fundamental proposition of evolution."  Then, referring to the appeal
which had been made to the existence of rudimentary organs as
discrediting teleology, he says in his {41} characteristic way: "Either
these rudiments are of no use to the animals, in which case they ought
to have disappeared; or they are of some use to the animal, in which
case they are of no use as an argument against teleology."[6]

Darwin himself felt the grave difficulty in which the ordinary
arguments had become involved; but he was most unwilling to abandon his
belief in Design.

"The old argument from design in nature as given by Paley," he wrote,
"which formerly seemed to me so conclusive, fails now that the law of
natural selection has been discovered.  We can no longer argue that,
for instance, the beautiful hinge of a bivalve shell must have been
made by an intelligent being, like the hinge of a door by a man."  On
the other hand, he could not shut his eyes to the fact that there are
"endless beautiful adaptations which we everywhere meet with,"[7] and
to the further fact that "the mind refuses to look at this universe,
being what it is, without having been designed."[8]

A few years later, when Dr. Asa Gray had sent him from America a review
in which he had written of "Mr. Darwin's great service to natural
science {42} in bringing back teleology," on the ground that in
Darwinism usefulness and purpose come to the front again as working
principles of the first order, Darwin replied, "What you say about
teleology pleases me especially."[9]  Later still, in 1878, Romanes
sent him a copy of his _Candid Examination_.  Darwin in his letter of
acknowledgment wrote more than half seriously, in the person as it were
of an imaginary correspondent, to this effect:

"I should like to hear what you would say if a theologian addressed you
as follows:

"'I grant you the attraction of gravity, persistence of force (or
conservation of energy), and one kind of matter, though the latter is
an immense addition, but I maintain that God must have given such
attributes to this force, independently of its persistence, that under
certain conditions it develops or changes into light, heat,
electricity, galvanism, perhaps into life.

"'You cannot prove that force (which physicists define as that which
causes motion) would invariably thus change its character under the
above conditions.  Again, I maintain that matter, though it may be in
the future eternal, was created by God with the most marvellous
affinities, leading to {43} complex definite compounds, and with
polarities leading to beautiful crystals, etc., etc.  You cannot prove
that matter would necessarily possess these attributes.  Therefore you
have no right to say that you have "demonstrated" that all natural laws
necessarily follow from gravity, the persistence of force, and
existence of matter.  If you say that nebulous matter existed
aboriginally and from eternity, with all its present complex powers in
a potential state, you seem to me to beg the whole question.'

"Please observe it is not I, but a theologian, who has thus addressed
you, but I could not answer him."[10]

The alternatives to Design, _i.e._, to the recognition of directive
activity, would be Necessity or Chance.  From both of these the deepest
instincts of humanity--which in such matters are as fully to be relied
on as its logical faculty--strongly recoil.  No one has spoken out more
strongly about the first than Huxley did.

"What is the dire necessity and 'iron' law under which you groan?" he
asks.  "Truly, most gratuitously invented bugbears.  I suppose if there
be an 'iron' law, it is that of gravitation; and if {44} there be a
physical necessity, it is that a stone, unsupported, must fall to the
ground....  But when, as commonly happens, we change _will_ into
_must_, we introduce an idea of necessity which most assuredly does not
lie in the observed facts, and has no warranty that I can discover.
For my part, I utterly repudiate and anathematise the intruder....  The
notion of necessity is something illegitimately thrust into the
perfectly legitimate conception of law; the materialistic position that
there is nothing in the world but matter, force, and necessity, is as
utterly devoid of justification as the most baseless of theological

But a dogma of Necessity would be more tolerable than a doctrine of
Chance.  In Lord Kelvin's address, to which reference has been made, he
declared his conviction that "directive power" was "an article of
belief which science compelled him to accept."

There was nothing, he said, between such a belief and the acceptance of
the theory of a fortuitous concourse of atoms.  And, in a letter to the
_Times_ justifying this assertion, he told how forty years before he
had asked Liebig, when walking with him in the country, whether he
believed that the grass {45} and flowers they saw around them "grew by
mere chemical forces."  "No," he answered, "no more than I could
believe that a book of botany describing them could grow by mere
chemical forces."

Discussions may continue as to whether what Huxley called "the wider
teleology," or some other form of the doctrine of Design is to be
preferred; but thoughtful men are likely to agree with the judgment
given by Sir George Stokes--that recognised master of masters--when he
said: "We meet with such overwhelming evidence of design, of purpose,
especially in the study of living things, that we are compelled to
think of mind as being involved in the constitution of the

[1] _Fragments of Science_, p. 166.

[2] _Life and Letters_, I., p. 307.

[3] May 2nd, 1903.

[4] The debate as to the accuracy of the Mosaic account of Creation
does not come directly within the scope of our survey; but,
nevertheless, it may be worth while to recall the following statement
in view of the very confident assertions that have often been made, by
no less an authority than Romanes.  "The order in which the flora and
fauna are said by the Mosaic account to have appeared upon the earth
corresponds with that which the theory of evolution requires and the
evidence of geology proves."--(_Nature_, August 11th, 1881.)

[5] _Lay Sermons_.

[6] _Critiques and Addresses_, pp. 305, 308.

[7] _Life and Letters_, I., p. 309.

[8] I., p. 314.

[9] _Life and Letters_, III., p. 189.

[10] _Life and Letters_ of Romanes, pp. 88.

[11] Essay on "The Physical Basis of Life" (1868).

[12] _Gifford Lectures_ (1891), p. 196.




But though Materialism had to go, there was a time when it seemed to
many by no means unlikely that Agnosticism might have to be accepted as
its substitute.  And if that had been so the case would have been
scarcely less desperate.  We might have been left with a philosophy of
a kind, but we should have been deprived of any object which could
evoke within our hearts the trust and affection that are needed to
sustain a religion.  However, as it proved, there was no great cause
for fear.  Agnosticism was subjected in its turn to the ordeal of
criticism, and the result proved that it had not in it the substance
and force that could give it any permanent hold upon the best
intelligence of the age.

If Agnosticism could have been content to confine itself to positive
assertions, there might have been less cause to find fault with it.
But its name stood for negation, and its temper was in accord with its
name.  The exponents of Agnosticism were not {47} satisfied with
affirming that the Power behind phenomena is beyond all thought
mysterious.  They insisted that it is unknowable, and that not merely
in the sense that it is incomprehensible, not to be fully grasped, but
unknowable in the sense that nothing at all can be known about it.  And
then, having laid down this as their fundamental principle, they
proceeded at once, with a strange inconsistency, to assert that we can
know what it is _not_.  This above all else, they said, it is not: it
is not personal.  True, Herbert Spencer maintained that it is as far
raised above personality as personality is raised above
unconsciousness; but the stress was laid not upon the affirmation of
super-personality, but upon the denial and rejection of anything like
personality as we understand it.

The position was really untenable.  Possibly, if we could detect no
more in Nature than power, we might be content, intellectually, to stop
at the affirmation of inscrutable force.  But if there is also design,
then we are bound to go a step further.  Bishop Harvey Goodwin
expressed this exactly when he said: "Purpose means person."  No doubt
personality in the Creator must be something far higher and fuller than
personality in the creature.  The German philosopher Lotze was speaking
the truth when he declared that "to all finite minds {48} there is
allotted but a pale copy" of personality; "the finiteness of the
finite," being "not a producing condition of personality," as has often
been maintained, "but a limit and hindrance of its development."
"Perfect personality," he said, "is in God alone."[1]

To most of us it may sound paradoxical to urge that the full Christian
doctrine of the Three Persons in the Godhead is really less difficult
intellectually than the doctrine that the Divine Being consists of an
isolated unit.

This was the contention of the Greek Fathers of the Church, whose acute
and subtle minds anticipated not a few of the objections which we have
had to encounter in our days.  We cannot elaborate the statement
here,[2] but it is to the point to observe that the doctrine of the
Trinity in Unity removes from the Christian believer that which to
Spencer was one of the greatest obstacles in the way of the acceptance
of the idea of a Divine Personality; for it relieves him from the
necessity of imagining a subject without an object, since in the
Christian view the highest life in the universe is a social life, {49}
in which thought is for ever communicated with unbroken harmony of
feeling and will.

But the inadequacy of Agnosticism was to be seen not only on the
intellectual side.  Its practical effects were necessarily determined
by its negations.  Since we could know nothing of the ultimate power,
it was plainly our wisdom to turn our attention elsewhere.  It followed
that, if morality was to be upheld, it must be based upon other than
the familiar sanctions.  For awhile it was enthusiastically promised
that this could and should be done.  But the event proved otherwise.
Towards the end of his life, Herbert Spencer was constrained to admit
this.  "Now that ... I have succeeded in completing the second volume
of _The Principles of Ethics_ ... my satisfaction is somewhat dashed by
the thought that these new parts fall short of expectation.  The
doctrine of Evolution has not furnished guidance to the extent that I
had hoped."[3]

And this moral failure of the system pointed yet deeper to its
essential weakness.  It deliberately ignored the profoundest needs and
capacities of our nature.  The need is the need for God, and for One
who, though greatly above us, is yet within our reach, and ready to
give us His friendship.  "Thou {50} hast made us for Thyself, and our
heart is restless until it rests in Thee."  That cry of St. Augustine
has found its echo in unnumbered souls, and our humanity will never be
satisfied while it is offered no more than an impalpable abstraction
for the contentment of its craving.

Allusion has been made to the fact that Romanes in his latter days was
led to abandon the negative attitude which he had taken in his earlier
life.  The story of the change is to be found as told by himself in the
volume of _Life and Letters_ edited by his widow, and in the _Notes_
which he left behind him.  These he had written in preparation for a
book which was to have been entitled: _A Candid Examination of
Religion_.[4]  It is evident that no consideration weighed more with
him than this witness of the deeper needs of the soul.  We have seen
with what sorrow he had accepted as a young man the conclusions to
which he had found himself driven when Theism seemed no longer a
possible belief.  After his change he admitted that he had failed to
recognise an important element in his treatment of the problem.  "When
I wrote the preceding treatise I {51} did not sufficiently appreciate
the immense importance of _human_ nature in any enquiry touching
Theism.  But since then I have seriously studied anthropology
(including the science of comparative religions), psychology, and
metaphysics, with the result of clearly seeing that human nature is the
most important part of nature as a whole whereby to investigate the
theory of Theism."[5]

The outcome of his study was to convince him of two things.  The first
was that, "if the religious instincts of the human race point to no
reality as their object, they are out of analogy with all other
instinctive endowments.  Elsewhere in the animal kingdom we never meet
with such a thing as an instinct pointing aimlessly."[6]  And this
first conviction was only the preparation for a second.  Speaking again
of his _Candid Examination of Theism_, he says: "In that treatise I
have since come to see that I was wrong touching what I constituted the
basal argument for my negative conclusion ...  Reason is not the only
attribute of man, nor is it the only faculty which he habitually
employs for the ascertainment of truth.  Moral and spiritual faculties
are of no less importance in their respective spheres, even of everyday
life; faith, trust, taste, etc., are {52} as needful in ascertaining
truth as to character, beauty, etc., as is reason."[7]

He put the same thing with even more of the note of personal experience
when he wrote to Dean Paget of Christ Church within three months of his
death: "Strangely enough for my time of life, I have begun to discover
the truth of what you once wrote about logical processes not being the
only means of research in regions transcendental."[8]  In all this he
was following, as he knew, in the steps of Pascal, who had devoted the
whole of the first part of his treatise to the argument from the
condition of man's nature without God, and then had appealed to that
nature for its positive testimony to the reality of the spiritual.
"The heart has its reasons that the reason does not know."

Agnosticism appeared dressed in the garb of an exceeding reverence,
but, on closer acquaintance, it became evident that its acceptance
would mean the cheapening of life by banishing from it the Divine
personality, and robbing the human of the qualities that give it its
greatest worth.  Happily the disaster has been averted, and there are
not many now who would seriously undertake its defence.

[1] _Microcosmus_ (E.T.), II., p. 688.

[2] Those who may desire to see the matter clearly and ably handled
would do well to read the Essay on "The Being of God," in _Lux Mundi_,
by Aubrey Moore.

[3] Preface, Vol. II. (1893).

[4] These notes were sent by Mr. Romanes' desire after his death, in
1894, to Bishop Gore, and have been published by him in a sixpenny
volume under the title of _Thoughts on Religion_.

[5] P. 154.

[6] P. 82.

[7] Pp. 111, f.

[8] Life and Letters, p. 375.




We have still to see how the last of the difficulties of which we have
spoken was treated.  It was a difficulty which could not be regarded
with indifference.  For what would it avail to shew that men had a
right to cherish the belief in Power, and Purpose, and Personality,
unless they could also be assured that the Orderer of the world is
good?  Nay, might they not feel, if there were no such assurance, that
it would be better to be altogether without His presence and influence?
On a matter so vital to happiness and well-being the mere possibility
of a doubt was torment enough.  What was there to be said to bring
relief to the mind and heart when charges were made against the
benevolence and beneficence of Nature's ways?  What satisfactory
account could be given of the waste and cruelty which were seen to
abound on every hand?  The more clear the certainty that there is
design in the Universe, the more urgent became {54} the question as to
the character of that design, and of the motives that prompt it.

So long as the difficulty remained unrelieved, the thoughts of many of
the most sensitive minds in regard to Theism were held in suspense.
The shadow of misgiving was felt to be creeping over the mind of the
age, like the gloom of an approaching eclipse, even before the arrival
of the Darwinian hypothesis.  In words too well known to need
repeating, Tennyson had given utterance to the half-realised anxiety of
his contemporaries in the stanzas of his _In Memoriam_, published in

What the finer spirits were already beginning to feel was soon to be
proclaimed, in terms which could not fail to be understood by the
multitude, as an inevitable truth brought to light by scientific
enquiry.  We have seen how it was stated with the passion of eloquence
by Huxley and Romanes.  And Darwin, with all his detachment and
philosophic calm, was at times deeply affected by the seriousness of
the problem which he had done so much to bring into prominence.  It is
plain that he did his very utmost to retain the hopeful view, and to
put the most consoling interpretation he could upon the disquieting

He had no difficulty in shewing that the wholesale destruction of
living organisms was imperatively {55} necessary.  "There is no
exception to the rule," he said, "that every organic being naturally
increases at so high a rate that, if not destroyed, the earth would
soon be covered by the progeny of a single pair."[1]

The truth of this has been demonstrated again and again.  A pair of
rabbits, for example, would in the most favourable circumstances
increase in four or five years to a million.  The roe of a cod may
contain eight or nine millions of eggs.  More appalling still, the
female of the common flesh fly will at one time deposit 20,000 eggs.
At this rate of increase it has been calculated that, in less than a
year, a single pair would produce enough flies, if these were not
devoured by their natural foes, to cover the whole surface of the globe
to the depth of a mile and a quarter!  But all this does not, of
course, make it clear why in a beneficently ordered world such a
necessity of slaughter should ever have been allowed to arise.

Darwin, as we have said, tried hard to take the most favourable view of
the whole process.  He thus concluded his chapter on the struggle for
existence; "When we reflect on the struggle, we may console ourselves
with the full belief that {56} the war of nature is not incessant, that
no fear is felt, that death is generally prompt, and that the vigorous,
the healthy, and the happy survive and multiply."  And these are the
words with which he concluded the _Origin of Species_: "Thus from the
war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object we are
capable of conceiving, namely the production of the higher animals,
directly follows."

But a year or two later he shewed that his mind was by no means at rest
on the matter, by writing in this strain to his friend Asa Gray:

"I own that I cannot see as plainly as others do, and as I should wish
to do, evidence of design and beneficence on all sides of us.  There
seems to me too much misery in the world.  I cannot persuade myself
that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created the
Ichneumonidae with the express intention of their feeding within the
living bodies of caterpillars, or that a cat should play with mice....
I am inclined to look at everything as resulting from designed laws,
with the details, whether good or bad, left to the working out of what
we may call chance.  Not that this notion _at all_ satisfies me....
Let each man hope and believe what he can.  Certainly I agree with you
that my views are not at all necessarily atheistical."[2]


Happily there were others who were able to see their way somewhat
further than this.  Romanes, in a paper which he read before the
Aristotelian Society in 1889, shewed that he was reconsidering his
position.  He questioned whether the assertion, made by a speaker in a
previous discussion, that "the fair order of Nature is only acquired by
a wholesale waste and sacrifice," could be accepted as strictly true,
for "how can it be said that, in point of fact, there _has_ been a
waste, or _has_ been a sacrifice?  Clearly such things can only be said
when our point of view is restricted to the means (_i.e._, the
wholesale destruction of the less fit); not when we extend our view to
what, even within the limits of human observation, is unquestionably
the _end_ (_i.e._, the causal result in an ever improving world of

He had intended to write more fully on the subject, but did not live to
do so.  We only know that on the Sunday before his death he did express
to Bishop Gore his entire agreement with a statement that had been made
a short time before by Professor Knight, in his _Aspects of Theism_, to
the effect that "A larger good is evolved through the winnowing process
by which physical nature casts its weaker products {58} aside, etc."[4]
We cannot suppose that, if he had lived, he would have been content to
have left the argument thus.  That the end justifies the means, is
scarcely a doctrine which can be accepted as the last word of an
ethical defence of the constitution of the world.

No doubt there were further pleas to be put in, and we shall do well to
give them their full value.  There is the contention that the pleasures
of life as a whole outweigh the sum of its evils.  This was maintained,
and we need not hesitate to say successfully maintained, by Lord
Avebury, and not by him alone.  Indeed Darwin had emphatically said,
"According to my judgment happiness decidedly prevails."[5]  Then there
has always been urged the undoubted fact that pain, if an evil, is yet
the minister of good.  Browning's optimism may have carried him too far
when he laid it down that "when pain ends gain ends," but it is not to
be questioned that men have profited by sufferings, and that they have
had to thank their pains, if only because these have served to protect
them from yet greater misfortunes.  There is a true wisdom in the moral
of the old fable of the blacksmith, who prayed to heaven that the fire
might not burn his fingers, to discover that as {59} a result it had
charred his hand to the bone.  Medical science has had much to say with
regard to the salutary office of pain.  It has gone so far as to assert
that, "the symptoms of disease are marked by purpose, and the purpose
is beneficent."  Nay more, "the processes of disease aim not at the
destruction of life, but at the saving of it."[6]  None the less, with
what might seem a splendid inconsistency, the medical profession
devotes itself untiringly to the alleviation of the symptoms and to the
eradication of disease.

Again, we may be thankful to be assured that, whatever be the case with
man, the lower organisms feel pain less than he does, and much less
than he is often wont to imagine that they feel it.  This has been
argued again and again by the veteran naturalist Wallace, whose right
to speak on the subject no one is likely to dispute.  In his recently
published book, _The World of Life_, he has devoted a whole chapter to
answering the question, "Is Nature cruel?" and it is due to him, as
well as to the importance of the problem, that we should carefully note
what he has said.  The following quotations may be taken as
sufficiently indicating his position.

"The widespread idea of the cruelty of Nature is {60} almost wholly
imaginary."[7]  "Our whole tendency to transfer _our_ sensations of
pain to the other animals is grossly misleading."[8]

"No other animal _needs_ the pain-sensations that we need; it is
therefore absolutely certain--on principles of evolution--that no other
possesses such sensations in more than a fractional degree of ours."[9]

"In the category of painless or almost painless animals, I think we may
place almost all aquatic animals up to fishes, all the vast hordes of
insects, probably all mollusca and worms; thus reducing the sphere of
pain to a minimum throughout all the earlier geological ages, and very
largely even now."[10]

"The purpose and use of all parasitic diseases is to seize upon the
less adapted and less healthy individuals--those which are slowly dying
and no longer of value in the preservation of the species, and
therefore to a certain extent injurious to the race by requiring food
and occupying space needed by the more fit."[11]

Speaking of "the vicious-looking teeth and claws of the cat tribe, the
hooked beak and prehensile talons of birds of prey, the poison fangs of
serpents, the stings of wasps and many others," Dr. Wallace {61}
writes; "The idea that all these weapons exist for the _purpose_ of
shedding blood or giving pain is wholly illusory.  As a matter of fact,
their effect is wholly beneficent even to the sufferers, inasmuch as
they tend to the diminution of pain.  Their actual purpose is always to
prevent the escape of captured food--of a wounded animal, which would
then, indeed, suffer _useless_ pain, since it would certainly very soon
be captured again and be devoured."  "All conclusions derived from the
house-fed cat and mouse are fallacious."[12]  Finally he concludes by
inveighing against "the ludicrously exaggerated view adopted by men of
such eminence and usually of such calm judgment as Huxley--a view
almost as far removed from fact or science as the purely imaginary and
humanitarian dogma of the poet:

  'The poor beetle, that we tread upon,
  In corporal sufferance finds a pang as great
  As when a giant dies.'

Whatever the giant may feel, if the theory of Evolution is true, the
'poor beetle' certainly {62} feels an almost irreducible minimum of
pain, probably none at all."[13]

We may add to all these considerations the further fact that we are
constantly finding out that things have their use which had been too
hastily assumed to be mere blots upon Nature.  The desert and the
volcano, for instance, have often been regarded in that light.  But we
have lately been assured that both are needed for the supply of
atmospheric dust, which is a necessary condition of the rain-fall; so
that they are really essential to life upon the planet.  Beyond
question, then, there is very much to be said in mitigation of the
terrible difficulty occasioned by what appear to be the havoc and the
prodigality of Nature.

And yet--when all has been said--a residuum does remain of inexplicable
misery and distress, and there are times when we are all of us
constrained to cry out with Darwin that it is "too much," and to ask
whether there is not some further clue to the mystery.  And then it may
well be that there comes to our mind an answer that has been given from
the very first moment at which human beings have thought at all.  It is
an answer which has seemed inevitable alike to the simplest and the


Carlyle once told of two Scottish peasants who found themselves for the
first time at Ailsa Crag.  They stared in astonishment at the great
sea-precipices.  At last one said to the other: "Eh, Jock, Nature's
deevilish!"[14]  That was the view taken by the primitive races of the
world, as their worships and incantations bore witness.  It is a view
which cannot be lightly dismissed as having nothing at all in its
support.  We may minimise the evil that is at work around and within us
as we will, but, when we have done our utmost, we shall be unlike the
vast majority of our race if we are not compelled to admit that there
is that in the world which it is quite impossible to ascribe to the
immediate action of an entirely good and beneficent God.

Is it then to be thought incredible that the order of the world should
have been interfered with, at an early stage in its development, in
such a way that the disarrangement was left to work out its fatal
mischief by means of the very constancy of the great system of laws
which make for a regular development?  How this might conceivably have
occurred has been set out by an anonymous writer in a remarkable book
which ought to be better known than it is.  {64} It was published some
years ago,[15] and bears the suggestive title of _Evil and Evolution_.
The author maintains that the original motive in all living things was
self-preservation for self-realisation; and that this elementary law
was in itself necessary and good, the essential condition of progress.
But just as we to-day know well how hard it is to draw the line which
distinguishes a right self-seeking from the wrong, so it has been from
the outset.  The distinction is a fine one, and the balance is easily
upset.  We have but to suppose that this perversion of the right and
lawful happened at an early stage, to see that nothing more would have
been required to account for the subsequent heritage of woe.[16]  After
speaking of the innocent "kind of comparative strife that we see in the
fields and forests around us," in which "there may be nothing that we
cannot reconcile with the perfect beneficence of the Great {65}
Designer and Creator," this writer goes on to say: "But the moment that
evolution has attained that point at which the struggle begins to
involve pain and unhappiness, it becomes quite another matter.  The
moment that rudimentary but happy and congenial life begins to be
overshadowed by fear, or debased by conscious cruelty, the moment that
process of evolution begins to evolve not only cruel selfishness in its
most odious forms, but deceit and artifice and treacherous cunning in
the warfare which one animal wages with another, then I think you may
be certain of one of two things--either the Creator is not
all-benevolent, or that that scheme is somehow working out as He never
intended it should: there must have been some disturbing and hostile

This is well put, but the interest of the book chiefly consists in its
attempts to show in detailed instances how things that are evil may
have been made so.  The author boldly argues that, if the normal course
had been followed, "birds and beasts of prey and venomous reptiles
would never have been evolved."  "Evolutionists," he says, "are agreed
that it is just the fierce struggle of created things that has produced
these birds and beasts of prey, and that there can be {66} little doubt
that it is the malignity of the struggle that has produced the venom of
so many reptiles."[18]  Instances are given in which such venom may now
be developed as the result of rage or terror in an otherwise harmless

"A few years ago it was reported that the late M. Pasteur 'cultivated'
the poison of human saliva to such a point that he was able to produce
with it many of the effects of the most virulent snake poisons."[19]
Had they not been inflamed by the terror of the struggle for existence,
"tigers and hyaenas, vultures and sharks, ferrets and polecats, wasps
and spiders, puff-adders and skunks" might have turned their undoubted
abilities in other more desirable directions.[20]  Again, "it is the
perpetual effort, generation after generation, through long ages, to
repair the mischief inflicted by enemies," that accounts for "the
fecundity of the codfish and other creatures.  The more prolific it
becomes, the more enemies it can feed; and the more they multiply, the
more prolific it grows."  A vicious circle indeed!  Even "earthquakes,
storms, droughts, deluges," are explained as due to a certain want of
balance and failure in adjustment.[21]

Certainly, if we had to choose between the idea {67} of a careless or
indifferent God, and the belief in a God who has given us ample proofs
of a generally beneficent purpose, but who has, for reasons of the
meaning of which we as yet can have only the vaguest conceptions,
allowed Himself to be hindered and thwarted on the way to His goal,
with results of suffering to Himself even greater than those endured by
His creatures; if these were the alternatives before us, there can
scarcely be one of us who would hesitate to say towards which of them
his reason and conscience would confidently point him.

[1] _Origin of Species_, Chap. III.

[2] _Life and Letters_.

[3] _Thoughts on Religion_, pp. 92, f.

[4] p. 94.

[5] _Life and Letters_, I., p. 309.

[6] Address by Sir Frederick Treves at the Edinburgh Philosophical
Institution, October, 1905.

[7] p. 380.

[8] p. 377.

[9] p. 381.

[10] p. 375.

[11] p. 383.

[12] p. 377.  Among the illustrations that have been adduced of the
insensibility of the lower organisms, none perhaps is more
extraordinary than this: "A crab will continue to eat, and apparently
relish, a smaller crab while being itself slowly devoured by a larger
one!"--(Transactions of Victoria Institute, Vol. XXV., p. 257).

[13] p. 384.

[14] William Allingham's _Diary_, p. 226.

[15] In 1896, by Messrs. Macmillan.

[16] In one instance, at least, Darwin had pictured in his imagination
the steps by which a "strange and odious instinct" may have been
developed from comparatively innocent beginnings.  He was referring to
the ejection by the young cuckoo of its companions from the nest.  "I
can see no special difficulty in its having gradually acquired, during
successive generations, the blind desire, the strength and structure
necessary for the work of ejection."  "The first step towards the
acquisition of the proper instinct might have been mere unintentional
restlessness on the part of the young bird."--_Origin of Species_, p.

[17] Pp. 135, f.

[18] P. 142.

[19] P. 143.

[20] P. 144.

[21] P. 232.




The position, as we have described it, was that which may be said to
have existed up to about twenty years ago.  Since then much new light
has come.  Indeed, Lord Kelvin, speaking at Clerkenwell on February
26th, 1904, is reported in _The Times_ to have said, referring to the
extraordinary progress of scientific research, that it "had, perhaps,
been even more remarkable and striking at the beginning of the
twentieth century than during the whole of the nineteenth."

Let us take first that which he had more particularly in mind, the
advance in the knowledge of the constitution of Matter.

In an address delivered before the British Association at Bradford in
1873, Clerk Maxwell had stated the conclusions to which science had, up
to that time, been led in its investigations of matter.  Throughout the
natural universe it had been shewn, by Spectrum Analysis, that matter
is built up of {69} molecules.  These molecules, according to the most
competent judgment, were incapable of sub-division without change of
substance, and were absolutely fixed for each substance.  "A molecule
of hydrogen, for example, whether in Sirius, or in Arcturus, executes
its vibrations in precisely the same time."  The relations of the parts
and movements of the planetary systems may and do change, but "the
molecules--the foundation-stones of the natural universe--remain
unbroken and unworn."

As a result of this, it was maintained that "the exact equality of each
molecule to all others of the same kind gives it, as Sir John Herschel
has well said, the essential character of being a manufactured article,
and precludes the idea of its being eternal and self-existent."  "Not
that science is debarred from studying the internal mechanism of a
molecule which she cannot take to pieces ... but, in tracing back the
history of matter, science is arrested when she assures herself, on the
one hand, that the molecule has been made, and on the other that it has
not been made by any of the processes we call natural."

So the case had stood for some while until science, through its
indefatigable inquirers, shewed that it was in very deed "not debarred
from studying the internal mechanism of a molecule," nor, perhaps, from
taking it to pieces.  In 1895 came the {70} discovery of the X-rays by
Röntgen in Germany, to be followed in a year by Becquerel's discovery
of spontaneous radio-activity, and in a couple of years by the
remarkable further discovery, made by Madame Curie, of what was termed
"radium," a substance that went on producing heat _de novo_, keeping
itself permanently at a higher temperature than its surroundings, and
spontaneously producing electricity.

This in itself was a new fact of extraordinary interest.  For long,
discussion had been waged between two departments of scientific
inquirers.  The geologists and biologists had demanded hundreds, and
perhaps thousands, of millions of years to allow for the developments
with which they were concerned.  The physicists, led by Lord Kelvin,
refused to admit the demand, claiming that it could be proved
mathematically that it was impossible that the sun could have been
giving out heat at its present rate for more than a hundred million
years, at the very outside.  The appearance of radium robbed this
argument of its cogency.  It is true that an examination of the sun's
spectrum has not, as yet, revealed any radium lines, but it is well
known that helium, a transformation product of radium, is present in it.

And this modification of our views as to the {71} probable age of our
solar system was far from being the only result of this latest
discovery.  Investigations which followed into radio-activity led the
Cambridge professors, Larmor and Thomson, to conclude that electricity
existed in small particles, which were called "electrons."[1]  These
seem to be the ingredients of which atoms are made.  A molecule is
composed of two or more atoms.  That of hydrogen, for example, has two;
that of water three; and so on up to a thousand or more.

Molecules are very small.  If a drop of water were magnified to the
size of the globe, the molecules would be seen to be less than the size
of a cricket ball!

Atoms are much smaller.  "The atoms in a drop of water outnumber the
drops in an Atlantic Ocean."  Electrons are much smaller still--about
"a thousand-million-million times smaller than atoms."[2]

Within the atom thousands or tens of thousands of these electrons are
moving in orderly arrangement, at terrific speed, round and about one
another.  The amount of energy required to build up a molecule of any
degree of complexity is very great, and it is {72} by the breaking down
of complex molecules into simple ones that all our mechanical work is
done.  And this is not all, for not only can the molecule be thus
broken in pieces, but the atom itself is capable of disintegration.
"Although we do not know how to break atoms up, they are liable every
now and then themselves to explode, and so resolve themselves into
simpler forms."  "Atoms of matter are not the indestructible and
immutable things they were once thought."[3]  The idea of the amount of
energy thus revealed as available for all kinds of active work is so
vast as to baffle calculation and even imagination.  It has been said
that there is energy enough in fifteen grains of radium, if it could
all be set free at once, to blow the whole British Navy a mile high
into the air.  The thought that we are thus encompassed on every side
by pent up potentialities of force, which if uncontrolled might at any
moment work our destruction, may well deepen in us the sense of the
need, not only for an originating, but for a continually directing mind
to superintend the conduct of the universe.

We have referred to more than one change of view to which the new
discoveries have led.  We shall doubtless find that there are other
scientific theories {73} which will have ere long to be modified.
Already it is recognised that the arguments of Lord Kelvin (he was then
Sir William Thomson) and of Clerk Maxwell, which were based upon
calculations as to the "dissipation of energy," can scarcely remain
unaffected by what we now know, and suspect, of the crumbling and
re-forming of atoms.

And there are hints abroad of even more revolutionary suggestions.  If
there has been one principle more imperatively and unanimously insisted
upon than another, it has been the uniformity of Nature's laws.  What
then are we to make of a remark like the following, made by Professor
J. J. Thomson, perhaps only half-seriously, to the British Association
at Cambridge, in 1904?  "There was one law," he said, "which he felt
convinced nobody who had worked on this question"--the radio-activity
of matter--"would ever suggest, and that was the constancy of Nature."

Not less startling is it to be told that a question may yet be raised
which will challenge "the conception of a luminiferous aether, which
for half a century has dominated physical science.  It is possible," so
we are informed, "that the field of electro-magnetic energy surrounding
an electric charge in motion moves with it, and that the vibrations of
light travel through this moving {74} field, instead of through an
ocean of stagnant aether."[4]

One further quotation of singular interest may be added.  It is taken
from an address to students by the President of the Institution of
Mining and Metallurgy.[5]

"Twenty years ago," he said, "the idea held that inorganic chemistry
was almost a dead science--dead in the sense of being apparently
completed in many of its aspects, and that its records could be safely
confided to the encyclopaedia....  A modified conception of life is now
becoming co-extensive with the whole range of our experience.  Even a
simple inorganic crystal does not spring ready formed from its solvent,
but first passes through phases of granulation and striation comparable
with those which characterise the beginnings of vital growth.  Metals
exhibit in some respects phenomena similar to those possessed by
organised beings.  Thus, they show fatigue under long continued stress,
and they recover their strength with rest.  They are also susceptible
to certain of the poisons which destroy organic life.  Matter, broadly,
is no longer merely dead masonry from which the edifice to shelter life
{75} is constructed, but also appears to be the reservoir of that
energy which is developed, altered and drawn into vitality itself....
The indestructibility of matter bids fair to become relegated to the
museum of outworn theories; and with it will probably go our present
conceptions as to the conservation of energy."

It is clear, then, that the tasks awaiting the students of physical
science are likely to be as arduous, and we may hope as full of reward,
as they have been at any time in the past.  Meanwhile, it does look as
if there were truth in Mr. Balfour's remark that "Matter is not merely
explained, but is explained away."[6]

[1] The weighing and measuring of the electron were first announced by
Professor Thomson to the British Association meeting at Dover, in 1899.

[2] Sir Oliver Lodge.

[3] Sir Oliver Lodge.  _Life and Matter_, p. 28.

[4] Whetham.  _The Foundations of Science_, p. 50.

[5] H. L. Sulman, at the Sir John Cass Institute, November 29th, 1911.

[6] Presidential Address to British Association, 1904.



LATER SCIENCE (_continued_)

We have spoken of what science has recently been doing in the
investigation of the constitution of matter; we have now to talk of its
researches into the nature of Life.

The discovery that all plant and animal life is developed from living
cells was made, as we have already stated, more than seventy years ago.
Since then our knowledge of the formation and history of these cells
has been continually growing.  The size of cells varies, but as a rule
they are very minute.  They consist of what is termed protoplasm.  At
one time it was supposed that protoplasm was structureless.  Now it is
known that the protoplasmic cell contains a nucleus and a surrounding
body.  Moreover, the nucleus, or small spot in the centre, has within
it a spiral structure of a very complicated kind.  Every cell is
derived from a pre-existing cell by a process of division, the two
resulting cells being apparently identical with the parent cell.  {77}
The cells possess the power of assimilating other cells or fragments of
cells.  As they grow they move and go in search of food and light and
air and moisture.  They exhibit feeling, and shrink as if in pain.
Spots specially sensitive to vibrations become eyes and ears; and thus
the various organs and faculties are evolved under the stimulating
influence of environment.  The progress, so far as it is physical, can
be traced from the lowest blue-green algae right up to man.  And all
throughout, in so far as their chemical composition is concerned, the
constituent elements of the living structure are the same.  It is said
to be practically impossible to distinguish between the cells of a
toadstool and those of a human being.

But when all this has been explained, we have still left one great
question unanswered.  How is the protoplasm made?  Is there any
connexion of development to be traced whereby life can be shewn to have
arisen from inorganic matter?  Protoplasm, under analysis, is found to
consist of some of the commonest elements on the earth's surface, such
as carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and phosphorus.  Apart from its
very complicated structure, its contents are not hard to provide.  And
we know that there was a time when it must of necessity have been
formed out of that which was not living, {78} for there was a time when
our globe was in a state of incandescent heat in which no life that we
know could possibly have existed.  More than this we cannot say.  Sir
William Thomson, as President of the British Association in 1871,
suggested that a germ of life might have been wafted to our world on a
meteorite; but to say that is obviously only to banish the problem to a
greater distance.[1]

Huxley had, in 1868, invented the name "Bathybius" to describe the
deep-sea slime which he held to be the progenitor of life on the
planet.  But later on he frankly confessed that his suggestion was
fruitless, acknowledging that the present state of our knowledge
furnishes us with no link between the living and the not-living.

And so the problem remains.  Sir Edward Schäfer, indeed, has laid it
down that "we are compelled to believe that living matter must have
owed its origin to causes similar in character to those which have been
instrumental in producing all other forms of matter in the universe; in
other words, to {79} a process of gradual evolution,"[2] but he can
throw no further light on the process and its stages.

Sir Oliver Lodge is but speaking the admitted truth when he says that
"Science, in chagrin, has to confess that hitherto in this direction it
has failed.  It has not yet witnessed the origin of the smallest trace
of life from dead matter."[3]

No doubt there are many who are hopeful that it may yet be possible to
discover a way by which a cell, discharging all the essential functions
of life, can be constructed out of inorganic material; or, at least,
that it may be possible to frame an intelligible hypothesis as to how
this might have been done under conditions which long ago may have been
more favourable than our own.  But, on the other hand, there are not a
few who have quite deliberately abandoned any expectation of the kind.
This was made plain by some of the expressions of adverse opinion which
were elicited by Sir Edward Schäfer's address.  Of these the following
may be given as specimens: "The more they saw of the lower forms of
life, the more remote seemed to become the possibility of conceiving
how life arose."[4]


"He could not imagine anything happening in the laboratory, according
to our present knowledge, which would bring us any nearer to life."[5]

"Living protoplasm has never been chemically produced.  The assertion
that life is due to chemical and mechanical processes alone is quite
unjustified.  Neither the probability of such an origin, nor even its
possibility, has been supported by anything which can be termed
scientific fact or logical reasoning."[6]

"The phenomena of life are of a character wholly different from those
which are presented by matter viewed under any other aspect,
mechanical, electrical, chemical, or what not.  It is beside the
question to point to the fact that in Nature 'new elements are making
their appearance and old elements disappearing,' for though we may
speculate as to the manner of formation of uranium and thorium, and
though the production of radio-active matters in Nature at the present
time and always seems to be a well-established fact, such phenomena
have not even an analogy with those of a living being, however

It cannot be surprising that those who believe {81} the door to be
shut, so to speak, in the direction of any theory of development
through mechanical and chemical agencies alone, should look elsewhere
for the solution of a problem which science is bound to do its very
utmost to solve.  This is what, as a matter of fact, is happening; and
it is of the very deepest interest to observe the nature of the
suggested explanation.  It is no other than a revived form of the
ancient doctrine of a "vital force," which we had imagined to have been
finally discarded.  There is this difference, however, and it is
all-important.  The force is not, as formerly supposed, some unique
kind of energy; is not, indeed, energy at all.  But we shall do best to
state the new doctrine in the words of its leading exponents.

Professor Anton Kerner, one of the most distinguished German writers on
Botany, in his _Natural History of Plants_, speaking of the chemical
explanation, says: "It does not explain the purposeful sequence of
different operations in the same protoplasm without any change in the
external stimuli; the thorough use made of external advantages; the
resistance to injurious influences; the avoidance or encompassing of
insuperable obstacles; the punctuality with which all the functions are
performed; the periodicity which occurs with the greatest regularity
under constant conditions of environment; {82} nor, above all, the fact
that the power of discharging all the operations requisite for growth,
nutrition, renovation and multiplication is liable to be lost."

And then he gives his opinion thus: "I do not hesitate again to
designate as vital force this natural agency, not to be identified with
any other, whose immediate instrument is the protoplasm, and whose
peculiar effects we call life."

Sir Oliver Lodge is, perhaps, the most uncompromising advocate of the
newer vitalism in England.  The following striking quotations will set
forth his views:

Life, he maintains, is no more a function of matter "than the wind is a
function of the leaves which dance under its influence."[8]

"If it were true that vital energy turned into, or was anyhow
convertible into, inorganic energy, if it were true that a dead body
had more inorganic energy than a live one, if it were true that 'these
inorganic energies' always, or ever, 'reappear on the dissolution of
life,' then, undoubtedly, _cadit quaestio_, life would immediately be
proved to be a form of energy, and would enter into the scheme of
physics.  But, inasmuch as all this is untrue--the direct contrary of
the truth--I maintain that life is not a form of {83} energy, that it
is not included in our present physical categories, that its
explanation is still to seek."

"It appears to me to belong to a separate order of existence, which
interacts with this material frame of things, and, while there, exerts
guidance and control on the energy which already exists."[9]

"Life does not add to the stock of any human form of energy, nor does
death affect the sum of energy in any known way."[10]

"Life can generate no trace of energy, it can only guide its

"My contention then is--and in this contention I am practically
speaking for my brother physicists--that whereas life or mind can
neither generate energy nor directly exert force, yet it can cause
matter to exercise force on matter, and so can exercise guidance and
control; it can so prepare any scene of activity, by arranging the
position of existing material, and timing the liberation of existing
energy, as to produce results concordant with an idea or scheme or
intention; it can, in short, 'aim' and 'fire.'"[12]

"It is impossible to explain all this fully by the laws of mechanics

"On a stagnant and inactive world life would be {84} powerless: it
could only make dry bones stir in such a world if it were itself a form
of energy.  It is only potent where inorganic energy is mechanically
'available'--to use Lord Kelvin's term--that is to say, is either
potentially or actually in process of transfer and transformation.  In
other words, life can generate no trace of energy, it can only guide
its transformation."[14]

"Life possesses the power of vitalising the complex material aggregates
which exist on this planet, and of utilising their energies for a time
to display itself amid terrestrial surroundings; and then it seems to
disappear or evaporate whence it came."[15]

To these voices from Germany or England we can add that of M. Bergson
from France.  In many respects, as he says, he is at one with Sir
Oliver Lodge.  If he goes beyond him, it is mainly in these ways.  He
emphasises the element of Freedom, the power of choice as shewn by
every living thing.  It appears, he says, "from the top to the bottom
of the animal scale," "although the lower we go, the more vaguely it is
seen."  "In very truth, I believe no living organism is absolutely
without the faculty of performing actions and moving spontaneously; for
we see that even in the vegetable world, where {85} the organism is for
the most part fixed to the ground, the faculty of motion is asleep
rather than absent altogether.  Sometimes it wakes up, just when it is
likely to be useful."

And this is not all.  What is specially characteristic of M. Bergson is
the insistence that this power of choice is an evidence of
Consciousness.  "Life," he declares, "is nothing but consciousness
using matter for its purposes."  "There is behind life an impulse, an
immense impulse to climb higher and higher, to run greater and greater
risks in order to arrive at greater and greater efficiency."
"Obviously there is a vital impulse."[16]

"Life appears in its entirety as an immense wave which, starting from a
centre, speeds outwards, and which on almost the whole of its
circumference is stopped"--that is, as he explains, by matter--"and
converted into oscillation; at one point the obstacle has been forced,
the impulsion has poured freely.  It is this freedom that the human
form registers.  Everywhere but in man consciousness has had to come to
a stand; in man alone it has kept on its way.  Man continues the vital
movement indefinitely, although he does not draw along with him all
that life carries in itself.  On other {86} lines of evolution there
have travelled other tendencies which life implied"--the reference is
more especially to powers of instinct as distinguished from those of
intelligence--"and of which, since everything interpenetrates, man has
doubtless kept something, but of which he has kept only a little."[17]

Perhaps the most astonishing thing about M. Bergson's philosophy is his
unreadiness to allow that the consciousness, which he says is
everywhere at work, has any deliberate purpose in its working.  Mr.
Balfour has called attention to the unsatisfactoriness of what he
described as "too hesitating and uncertain a treatment."[18]

But, in spite of so serious an omission, we may be glad to believe,
with our acute statesman-critic, that "there is permanent value in his
theories."  If they indicate at all the direction in which scientific
thinking is to move, we shall soon have travelled a very long distance
from the days in which it was imagined that all vital phenomena might
be accounted for on merely materialistic and mechanical lines.

[1] "To this 'meteorite' theory the apparently fatal objection was
raised that it would take some sixty million years for a meteorite to
travel from the nearest stellar system to our earth, and it is
inconceivable that any kind of life could be maintained during such a

[2] Presidential Address to British Association, at Edinburgh (1912).

[3] _Man and the Universe_, p. 24.

[4] Prof. Wager.

[5] Dr. J. S. Haldane.

[6] Dr. A. R. Wallace.  Article in _Everyman_, October 18th, 1912.

[7] Sir William Tilden.  Letter to _The Times_, September 9th,1912.

[8] _Life and Matter_, p. 106.

[9] Pp. 132, f.

[10] P. 158.

[11] P. 160.

[12] Pp. 164, f.

[13] P. 166.

[14] P. 160.

[15] P. 198.

[16] Lecture at Birmingham, May, 1911.

[17] _Creative Evolution_, p. 280.

[18] _Hibbert Journal_, October, 1911.



LATER SCIENCE (_continued_)

The leaders of the scientific thought of last century would have been
vastly surprised if they could have foreseen the results of the
investigations which were to be made into the constitution of matter
and the nature of life; but not even these would have amazed them so
much as would other investigations that were to be carried out in a yet
deeper and more mysterious region of experience.  Perhaps it was
because science had been so busy about the more external things, that
it had seemed to have no time to spare for the thorough consideration
of that which is more truly vital to man than the matter which obeys or
opposes him, or even than the physical life which enables him to act,
in so far as he can, as its master.  It was strange that the last thing
to be thought of should be his own personality, himself; the innermost
workings of his soul.

But if this profoundest problem has been neglected, it is to be
neglected no longer.  Psychology has {88} already made good its claim
to be respectfully regarded as one of the sciences.  It is too early to
speak with any great certainty of the results that it has achieved,
though these are probably more substantial than is commonly supposed.

Anyhow, it will be best that, as before, we should give some
characteristic statements of the investigators themselves, rather than
attempt to make unauthorised summaries of our own.

And, first of all, Sir Oliver Lodge shall tell us what he understands
by the Soul.  "The soul is that controlling and guiding principle which
is responsible for our personal expression and for the construction of
the body, under the restrictions of physical condition and ancestry.
In its higher developments it includes also feeling and intelligence
and will, and is the storehouse of mental experience.  The body is its
instrument and organ, enabling it to receive and to convey physical
impressions, and to affect and be affected by matter and energy."[1]

How the soul acts by means of the body is thus explained.

"The brain is the link between the psychical and the physical, which in
themselves belong to different orders of being."[2]


"A portion of brain substance is consumed in every act of
mentation."[3]  "Destroy certain parts of brain completely, and
connexion between the psychic and the material regions is for us
severed.  True; but cutting off or damaging communication is not the
same as destroying or damaging the communicator; nor is smashing an
organ equivalent to killing the organist."[4]

M. Bergson does not differ from this when he says that, "the
soul--essentially action, will, liberty--is the creative force _par
excellence_, the productive agent of novelty in the world."  He goes on
to speak of the way by which souls have been differentiated and raised
to self-conscious existence.  "The history of this great effort is the
very history of the evolution of life on our planet.  Certain lines of
evolution seem to have failed.  But on the line of evolution which
leads to man the liberation has been accomplished and thus
personalities have been able to constitute themselves."[5]  Like many
another, M. Bergson cannot bring himself to believe that death is to be
the end of all that has been thus painfully achieved during this
process of attainment.  "When we see that consciousness is also memory,
{90} that one of its essential functions is to accumulate and preserve
the past, that very probably the brain is an instrument of
forgetfulness as much as one of remembrance, and that in pure
consciousness nothing of the past is lost, the whole life of a
conscious personality being an indivisible continuity; are we not led
to suppose that the effect continues beyond, and that in this passage
of consciousness through matter (the passage which at the tunnel's exit
gives distinct personalities) consciousness is tempered like steel, and
tests itself by clearly constituting personalities and preparing them,
by the very effort which each of them is called upon to make, for a
higher form of existence?"[6]

But the psychologist has yet more to tell us about the nature of
personality.  Although helped to distinctiveness of self-conscious
expression by means of its experience of the struggle under present
material conditions, it is not the whole of it that can be thus
expressed.  In fact its present physical embodiment is but partially
adequate to the task.  In other words, "cerebral life represents only a
small part of the mental life."  "One of the rôles of the brain is to
limit the vision of the mind, to render {91} its action more
efficacious"[7]--more efficacious, that is to say, for such uses as are
of value for survival and success under our existing conditions.

It is to Frederick Myers that we have chiefly owed the conception of
the subliminal or subconscious mind.  The full report of his researches
is given in the two volumes of his work on "Human Personality and its
Survival of Bodily Death" (1901).  He it was who invented the word
"telepathy" to express the fact that mental action can be exerted at a
distance.  And it was he who brought for the first time the phenomena
of clairvoyance and apparitions under thorough examination by the
employment of the most exacting tests.  Along such lines he was led to
the conclusion, now largely accepted, that the conscious self is only a
fraction of the entire personality, the fraction being greater or less
according to the magnitude of the individual.

By means of this subconscious part of our being we are, he held,
brought into touch with one another and are capable of attaining a
knowledge which may greatly transcend that which comes to us through
our ordinary channels of communication.  In the case of genius we watch
the emergence of exceptional {92} potentialities, which may serve as
the promise and pledge of what the future has in store for us all.  One
day like some winged insect we shall pass to a condition beyond that of
the life we now know, and then we may hope that what we "can regard as
larval characters of special service in the present stage of
existence," will prove to have been "destined to be discarded, or
modified almost out of recognition, in proportion as a higher state is

This recognition of the existence within human nature of such
capacities and powers, however imperfectly developed and understood,
would greatly help us to deal with many mysteries of experience that
have hitherto seemed completely beyond the purview of a strict
scientific research.  The American psychologist, William James, has
done good service to this highest department of critical inquiry in his
well-known work on "Varieties of Religious Experience."  A single
extract may suffice to illustrate his position, and to shew what may
yet lie before those who are prepared to press on in the direction in
which he was able to point.

"The further limits of our being plunge ... into an altogether other
dimension of existence from the sensible and merely 'understandable'
{93} world....  So far as our ideal impulses originate in this region
(and most of them do originate in it, for we find them possessing us in
a way for which we cannot articulately account) we belong to it in a
more intimate sense than that in which we belong to the visible
world...  When we commune with it, work is actually done upon our
finite personality, for we are turned into new men...  I call this
higher part of the universe by the name of God."[9]

[1] _Man and the Universe_, p. 78.

[2] P. 91.

[3] _Life and Matter_, p. 107.

[4] _Man and the Universe_, p. 93.

[5] Lecture at University College, October, 1911.

[6] Birmingham Lecture, May, 1911.

[7] Bergson.  Presidential Address to Society for Psychical Research,
May, 1913.

[8] _Op. cit._, I., p. 97.

[9] Pp. 515, f.



Since the preceding chapters were written, the meeting of the British
Association has been held at Birmingham (September, 1913).  Its
interest was unusually great inasmuch as the President's address and
the principal discussions were occupied with the most critical and
debatable scientific questions of the present moment.  The following
extracts will give a general idea of the line taken at the outset by
the President, Sir Oliver Lodge.

"Theological controversy is practically in abeyance just now."  "It is
the scientific allies, now, who are waging a more or less invigorating
conflict among themselves, with philosophers joining in."  "Ancient
postulates are being pulled up by the roots."  "The modern tendency is
to emphasise the discontinuous or atomic character of everything."
"The physical discovery of the twentieth century, so far, is the
electrical theory of matter."  "So far from Nature not making jumps, it
becomes doubtful if she does anything else."  "The corpuscular theory
of radiation is by no means so dead as in my youth we thought it was."
"But I myself am an upholder of _ultimate_ continuity, and a fervent
believer in the aether of space."


"I have been called a vitalist, and in a sense I am; but I am not a
vitalist if vitalism means an appeal to an undefined 'vital force' (an
objectionable term I have never thought of using) as against the laws
of chemistry and physics."  "There is plenty of physics and chemistry
and mechanics about every vital action, but for a complete
understanding of it something beyond physics and chemistry is needed."
"No mathematics could calculate the orbit of a common house-fly."  "I
will risk the assertion that life introduces something incalculable and
purposeful amid the laws of physics; it thus distinctly supplements
those laws, though it leaves them otherwise precisely as they were and
obeys them all."

"The Loom of Time is complicated by a multitude of free agents who can
modify the web, making the product more beautiful or more ugly
according as they are in harmony or disharmony with the general scheme.
I venture to maintain that manifest imperfections are thus accounted
for, and that freedom could be given on no other terms, nor at any less

"I will not shrink from a personal note summarising the result on my
own mind of thirty years of experience of psychical research, begun
without predilection--indeed, with the usual hostile prejudice."  "The
facts so examined have convinced me that memory and affection are not
limited to that association with matter by which alone they can
manifest themselves here and now, and that personality persists beyond
bodily death."


Of the debates on the subsequent days those on "Radiation" and "The
Origin of Life" were, perhaps, the most remarkable.  At the former the
point at issue was the amount of truth contained in Planck's "famous
hypothesis that energy was transferred by jumps instead of in a
continuous stream."  Sir Joseph Larmor evidently expressed the
prevailing opinion when he said that "some advance in that direction
had become necessary, and old-fashioned physicists like himself had
either to take part in it or run the risk of becoming obsolete."

For the discussion about "Life," the three sections of Physiology,
Zoology, and Botany were combined.  Professor Moore stood stoutly for
the older views, and "believed that he could demonstrate a step which
connected inorganic with organic creation."  Then he gave an abstruse
and highly technical account of a process by which in "solutions of
colloidal ferric hydroxide, exposed to strong sunlight," compounds
could be formed similar to those to be found in the green plant.  With
a proper grouping of molecules it might be imagined how "colloidal
aggregates appeared," and eventually "organic colloids" which "acquired
the property of transforming light energy into chemical activity."  The
speakers who followed seemed to be agreed that, even were such
"potentially living matter" to be produced, we should have reached, not
the discovery of the secret of life, but only the construction of "its
physical vehicle."  Professor Hartog strongly protested against the
notion that there was "a consensus {97} of opinion among biologists
that life was only one form of chemical and physical actions which
could be reduced in the laboratory."  He wished it to be understood
that "the preponderance of weight among scientific men" was opposed to
such a position.



It is dangerous to generalise; and, when as in this survey we are
attempting to indicate broadly the trend of the thought of an age, we
have more than ordinary need to be on our guard lest we should
sacrifice truth to the desire for a seeming completeness of logical
presentation.  For fear, then, of misunderstanding, let it be clearly
remembered that in what has been said we have had no wish to suggest
that all minds have moved at the same pace, or even in the same
direction; but only that certain strong tendencies were observable,
which gave colour and character to the mental stream at the particular
stages in its course.  It is with a full sense of the possibility of
exaggeration, and of the necessity of holding the balance even, that we
shall now make our final attempt to sum up as concisely as possible
what we have been able to gather in regard to the thought-movement of
the period we have had under review.  There can be no danger of
misstatement in saying that, all throughout, the chief thoughts of the
time were intensely occupied with {99} the greatest of all questions,
those about GOD AND THE WORLD.  And, further, it has not been difficult
to perceive that there have been three distinct stages in the sequence
of these thoughts.

In the _first stage_ we can see, as we look back, that the Religious
feeling was dominant, while the scientific temper could scarcely have
been said to exist; certainly it did not exist upon any extended scale.
But, though the desire to be reverent was widespread, we are bound to
allow that the ideas about God were somewhat crudely conceived.  As a
legacy, no doubt, from the Deistic controversies of the preceding
century, the general thought did not rise above the notion of a Supreme
Mechanist and all-powerful Ruler of all things.  The Divine Being was
regarded as having originated the universe by a fiat of His will,
fashioning its several contents one after another as He pleased, and
appointing that each and all should be subjected to the laws He had
ordained; always reserving to Himself the right to intervene by some
signal display of wisdom and power, when such intervention was
required, either to remedy a defect, or yet further to set forth His
glory.  Men were very ready to admit the idea of the Supernatural, but
it was in the merely superficial and popular sense of _power working
without means_, rather than what we now {100} feel to be the far truer
sense of _superhuman knowledge of means, and power to use them_.[1]  It
followed, and this was the weakest point in the Paleyan system of
Natural Theology, that God's action was looked for not in the normal,
but in the exceptional processes of Nature.  The need of the Divine was
only felt when no other explanation was forthcoming; with the result,
of course, that as other explanations were found, the necessity for
recognising its operation grew ever less and less.  And, even apart
from such a consequence, the effects of the conception could not be
otherwise than injurious to religious faith; for, as it has been truly
and reverently observed, "a theory of occasional intervention implies
as its correlative a theory of ordinary absence."[2]

As to knowledge of the World, there was scarcely any at all, according
in our present understanding of such knowledge.  Not everybody, of
course, accounted for the existence of fossils by supposing that they
were the casts from which the Almighty had designed His creatures, or
possibly the Devil's {101} attempts to imitate His works; but the
prevailing ideas were of the most primitive kind.  Even Paley could
give us no better explanation of certain rudimentary anatomical organs,
than by suggesting that the creature in whom they were found had been
so far constructed before it was decided what its sex should be!  We
can see that if any real progress in knowledge was to be made, a change
of a very radical order had to come.  And it did come.

The _second stage_ was Scientific rather than religious.  The thought
of God occupied a less prominent place in proportion as men's minds
were yielded to the attraction of the new studies.  This was partly
due, as we have already explained, to the fact that causes were found
to account for the phenomena which had previously, for the lack of the
understanding of such causes, been attributed to the immediate exercise
of supernatural power.  Partly, also, it was due to a growing distrust
of human ability, which resulted from the belief that this was nothing
more than a recent development from a lower animal ancestry.  A mind
thus originated was supposed to be debarred from forming any
trustworthy notion of the nature of a First Cause which had operated,
if at all, at some point infinitely distant in the long succession of

The main work of this stage was to prosecute {102} research into the
elaborated mechanism, or as men soon came to prefer to think of it, the
developing growth of the world.  And wonderful, beyond all
anticipation, was the success which rewarded the pains that were
lavishly bestowed upon the inquiry.  Small marvel was it that some
men's heads were well-nigh turned, and that to many it seemed little
less than certain that science had dispensed with the supernatural
altogether; and that it only required time, and no great length of
time, to secure universal acceptance for the materialistic explanations
which were destined, as they supposed, to leave no mysteries of life
unsolved.  But such persons had reckoned with a too hasty and
superficial knowledge of the data involved.  Little by little the
counter-criticisms produced their effect.  The idea of a First and
Permanent Cause was shewn to be as indispensable as ever; not, indeed,
as an influence to be pushed far back, and to be thought of as acting
either once or occasionally.  A truer reading of the meaning of what
had been discovered led to the grateful acknowledgment that "Darwinism
has conferred upon philosophy and religion an inestimable benefit by
shewing us that we must choose between two alternatives: either God is
everywhere present in Nature, or He is nowhere."[3] {103} So, again,
with Design.  The earlier notion of the separate manufacture of species
and of special adaptations to particular ends had to give way to a
larger conception of the growth and gradual correlation of the parts
and functions of a stupendous whole.  But for the attainment of this
mighty result direction and superintendence are even more imperatively
needed.  As it was often urged with good reason, to make a world right
off would not have been so marvellous an achievement as to make that
world make itself.

The problem of Beneficence had, as we saw, come to be so entangled with
difficulties as to render it the most serious of all the problems which
pressed upon the minds and hearts of the men of this second stage of
thinking.  But here, also, the fears which were at first aroused were
found to have been exaggerated; and perhaps it is true to say that
before the end of the century there was a general disposition to
conclude that with larger knowledge we should get to understand the
utility of much that to uninstructed eyes appears to be lavish waste
and needless suffering.  The obvious fact that science could not go
forward without a loyal belief in the rational intelligibility of
nature gave justification to a corresponding belief in its ethical
intelligibility, even though in this case, as in the other, the {104}
complete proofs might not be immediately forthcoming.  And there was,
further, the possibility--to some it was more than a possibility--that
much in the world which looks contrary to goodness is really to be
accounted for as the result of a misuse of liberty on the part of
powers and forces whose action has most mysteriously been allowed to
thwart and to complicate the task of the beneficent Maker of all.

About the _third stage_ it is fitting that we should speak with more
hesitation.  We are living in it, and are as yet only at its beginning.
But we may hazard the prognostication that it will be both Religious
and Scientific; and that, "as knowledge grows from more to more," there
will be found the "more of reverence" of which our modern poet sings.
There is reason to hope that the bitterness of old controversies will
not be revived, and that we have before us a time in which Theology and
Science will co-operate and no longer conflict.  With deepening insight
it is becoming plainer than ever that the phenomena of life, and even
of matter, are the expressions of a more than physical force.
Evolution is a law under which a forward process is moving on, and
moving up.  There is an impulse of consciousness working from within,
and there is a spiritual, as well as a material, environment inviting
{105} to correspondence with itself.  Freedom and power of choice are
admitted to be present in regions where their existence was for long
most strenuously denied.  Even matter may have its own power of
insistence and resistance--how much more mind and will.  This
consideration may give us a yet clearer clue to the mysteries of
failure, miscarriage, and waste.  A world that was to produce
self-conscious, self-determining personalities needed to have freedom
through the whole of its development; and the consequent risk and
possible cost were inevitable.  Shall we not be led to admire and
revere increasingly the wonder of it all, as there grows upon us the
sense of the quietness and gentleness, the foresight, and the infinite
patience of the Being of beings, who will never obtrude His presence
and action upon us, just because He would help us to be our own, not
dead but living, selves, and would have us rise with Him to the highest

We are far from the end of our learning.  There are many enigmas yet to
be made plain.  We could not wish it otherwise.  It has ever been
through the narrow gate of difficulty that we have passed into the
wider court of truth.  We have good cause to be humble, but we have
full right to be hopeful.  We must not be afraid to face the problems
that await {106} us, whatever they may be.  We may be confident that we
are not to be deceived; but that, under a Guidance that has never
failed, we shall at length be brought to see the dawning of the
longed-for day,

  "When that in us which thinks with that which feels
  Shall everlastingly be reconciled,
  And that which questioneth with that which kneels."

[1] This important distinction was carefully drawn by the Duke of
Argyll in his _Reign of Law_ (pp. 14, 25), published in 1866.

[2] Aubrey Moore, in one of a series of remarkable articles contributed
to the _Guardian_ (January 18th, 25th, February 1st, 1888).

[3] Aubrey Moore, _Lux Mundi_.



AETHER, 73, 94.

Agnosticism, 32, 46-52.

Aquinas, St. Thomas, 13.

Argyle, George Douglas, Duke of, 37, 100.

Atoms, 21, 71, 72.

Augustine, St., 50.

Avebury, Lord, 58.


Balfour, A. J., 75, 86.

"Bathybius," 78.

Becquerel, A. C., 70.

Beneficence, Divine, 17, 18, 53-67, 103.

Bergson, Henri, 84-86, 89, 90.

Brain, 88, 89, 90.

Bunsen, R. W., 24.


Cause, 29.

Cells, The growth of, 77.

Chalmers, Thomas, 19, 20.

Chance, 30, 44, 56.

Consciousness, 85, 89, 90.

Creation, Mosaic account of 39.

Creative power, affirmed by Science, 39.

Cruelty in Nature, 34, 35, 54-67.

Curie, Mme., 70.


Darwin, Charles, 24-26, 41-43, 54, 58, 64.

Deserts, Use of, 62.

Design, Argument from, 14-16, 29, 40-45, 103.

Directive power, 44, 83, 106.

Du Bois Raymond, E., 37.

Dysteleology, 35.


Electrons, 71.

  Conservation of, 23, 42, 75.
  Dissipation of, 73.

_Evil and Evolution_, 64-66.

Evil in Nature, 18, 63-67.

Evolution, Doctrine of, 24, 25, 40, 104.


"First Cause," 13, 28, 32, 38, 39, 101, 102.

Freedom, 84, 95, 104, 105.

Future life, 89-92, 95.

GEOLOGY, 23, 39, 70.

Goodwin, Bishop Harvey, 47.

Gore, Bishop, 50, 57.

Gray, Asa, 41, 56.

HAECKEL, E., 29, 30, 31, 35, 40.

Haldane, J. S., 80.

Hartog, Professor, 96.

Heat, Mechanical equivalent of, 23.

Helium, 70.

Helmholtz, H. von, 22.

Herschel, Sir John, 69.

Huxley, T. H., 32, 35, 40, 43, 61, 78.


Insensibility of animals, 60, 61.


Joule, J. P., 23, 37.

KELVIN, LORD, 37, 39, 44, 68, 70, 78.

Kepler, J., 19.

Kerner, Anton, 81, 82.

Kirchhoff, Professor, 24.

Knight, Professor W., 57.

LAMARCK, J. B., 22, 26.

Laplace, P. S., 19.

Larmor, Sir J., 71, 96.

Liebig, J. F. von, 44.

  failure to produce out of matter, 79, 80, 96, 97.
  Meteorite theory of, 78,
  not a form of energy, 82, 83.

Lodge, Sir Oliver, 71, 79, 82-85, 88, 89, 94, 95.

Lotze, Hermann, 47.

Lyell, Sir Charles, 23.


Matter, Disintegration of, 72.

Maxwell, James Clerk, 22, 37, 68.

Metals, 74.

Mill, J. Stuart, 29, 33, 39.

Molecules, 69, 71, 72.

Monism, 31.

Moore, Aubrey, 48, 100, 102.

Moore, Professor B., 96.

Myers, Frederick W. H., 91.


Necessity, 43.

Newton, Sir Isaac, 19.


_Origin of Species_, 25, 39, 40, 55, 56.

Owen, Sir Richard, 27.


Pain, Use of, 58, 59.

Paley, William, 14-19, 100, 101.

Pascal, Blaise, 52.

Pasteur, Louis, 37, 66.

  Divine, 48, 52.
  Human, 87, 90.

Protoplasm, 23, 76, 77.

Psychical Research, 91, 95.

Psychology, 87, 90-92.

RADIUM, 70, 72.

Religious instinct, 51.

Romanes, G. J., 33-36, 37.  39, 42, 50-52, 57.

Röntgen rays, 70.


Schleiden, M. J., 23.

Schwann, T., 23.

Snake poison, 60, 66.

Soul, 87, 88, 89.

Spectrum analysis, 24, 68.

Spencer, Herbert, 32, 33, 47, 49.

Spiritual environment, 93, 104.

Stokes, Sir G. G., 24, 37, 45.

Subconsciousness, 91, 92.

Suffering, Divinely shared, 67, 105.

Sulman, H. L., 74, 75.

Supernatural, The, 99, 100.

  after death, 89-92, 95.
  of the fittest, 24, 25.


Telepathy, 91.

Tennyson, Alfred, Lord, 54.

Thomson, Sir J. J., 71, 73.

Tilden, Sir William, 80.

Treves, Sir Frederick, 59.

Tyndall, John, 31, 38.



Venomous animals, 17, 65, 66.

Virchow, R., 37.

Vitalism, 81-85, 95.

Volcanoes, Use of, 62.


Wallace, Alfred Russel, 59-61, 80.

Whetham, W. C. D., 74.

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