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But supposing all these apparent marks of design apparent only, yet the mind of man is so constituted, its conditions of logic such, that the immense majority of the race could not help for the life of them judging these 'adaptations' to be the effects of design; this is confirmed by all experience, and, therefore, if Atheism was the truth, still it would be always rejected, and its advocates in fact might as well keep their mouths shut." (Selections from the Correspondence by R. E. H. Gryson, Esq., pp. 326, 327.)
Then there is, secondly, the non-radical class of objections. Professor Jowett says: "There is a further way in which the argument from final causes is suggestive of an imperfect conception of the Divine Being. It presents God to us exclusively in one aspect, not as a man, much less as a spirit holding communion with our spirit, but only as an artist. We conceive of him as in the description of the poet, standing with compasses o'er sea and land, and designing the wonderous work. These are some of the points in respect of which the argument from final causes falls short of the conception of the Divine nature which even human reason is adequate to form. It is the beginning of our knowledge of God, not the end. It is suited to the faculties of children rather than of those who are of full age." Again, he says: "The arguments from first or final causes will not bear the tests of modern metaphysical enquirers. The most highly educated minds are above them; the uneducated cannot be made to comprehend them." (p. 410.) Now, surely any one may see that these statements will not lay together. Jowett complains that this argument "presents God to us exclusively in one aspect--as an artist." If it does, what then? Surely a work of art is sufficient to evince the existence of an artist, and this is just what we want. But we don't admit the objection. While in the beautiful and endless adaptations of nature there are, as in the works of art, marks of design and purpose, we take them to be just partial expressions of an all-pervading intelligence. And why should the Professor quarrel with the argument because it gives only "an imperfect conception of the Divine nature?" We never knew that this, or any other argument, was intended or thought of as able to give an adequate conception of the Divine nature; and to throw it aside because it does not achieve everything, even the impossible, is as reasonable as it would be to refuse the use of one's eyes, on the ground that they do not sweep the utmost bounds of creation. What this argument amounts to, according to Jowett, is "the beginning of our knowledge of God, not the end. It is suited to the faculties of children, rather than those who are of full age." And yet, forsooth, he declares that "these arguments from final causes will not bear the test of modern metaphysical enquirers. The most highly educated minds are above them, the uneducated cannot
be made to comprehend them "—that is, "the uneducated cannot be made to comprehend" what is "suited to children, rather than those who are full age," "the beginning of our knowledge of God." It strikes us very forcibly that "the most highly educated minds" are in many instances childish enough. But, strange to say, this author informs us, that "the highest mark, not of design, but of intelligence, we trace everywhere in the world. No one part is better than another; it is all very good." What a marvellous distinction between intelligence and design, if only we could be made to understand what is meant by it! We should like to have a description from Mr. Jowett of the way in which intelligence is manifested, excluding marks of design and purpose: what are its indications? where do we find them? how are they understood?
Mr. Morell, with whom Carlyle and the Rev. D. Thomas coincide, writes in a similar strain, thus: "If anyone imagine that he can ever attain the full conception of the Deity by a process of logical definition or reasoning, he will be utterly disappointed of his hope. The primary conception of the Infinite, the Absolute, the Selfexistent, is altogether indefinable, and consequently those minds which have proceeded logically in their enquiry on this subject, to the denial of all other evidence, have always concluded that we have no such conception at all,--that the Infinite is purely a negative idea, that it results simply from the addition of an indefinite number of finites. And yet to the intuitional consciousness there is no idea more positive, more sure, more necessary." Surely, it is late on in the day to inform us that, "if any one imagine that he can ever attain the full conception of the Deity by a process of logical definition or reasoning, he will be utterly disappointed of his hope. The primary conception of the Infinite, the Absolute, the Self-existent, is altogether indefinable." Who ever does imagine that he can attain "a full conception of the Deity by a process of logical definition or reasoning," or even by any other process? How is it that Mr. Morell confines the impossibility to "a logical process ?" Why, he would fain make us believe it seems that, by some other process the ponderous task can be accomplished. Than "the Infinite, the Absolute, the Self-existent," "to the intuitional consciousness there is no idea more positive, more sure, more necessary." Why did not he say, also, more distinct? And what is this almighty "intuitional consciousness?" Is it a faculty of the rational soul? if so, is it entirely separate and independent of the "logical faculty?" Or is it a universal, necessary condition, that the logical faculty should be asleep while this "intuitional consciousness" is in operation? Is their con-joint exercise an impossibility? We may fairly demand some account of the matter, with directions as to how such a state of sublimation can be attained. Can all philosophers rise, or be carried, to this highest pinnacle of the temple? Is night
or day most favourable to the ascent? Is there any consciousness of a special afflatus on entering the cloud? But we fear that, after all inquiries, we shall fail of understanding an author who represents it as possible that, in approaching, by contemplation, the presence of the Infinite, a person may lose himself, and be conscious of his own annihilation. (See Phil. of Rel. p. 75.)
These are, we think, a fair sample of modern objections to our argument; and we will endeavour, briefly, to point out wherein consists their fallacy. Enough, we think, has been said of the first class already; and we shall endeavour to dispose of those of the other class. The chief objection is, "that from finite effects and indications we can never infer the Infinite; that we need to comprehend the whole nature of God, in order to have evidence of his existence." There are two fallacies in this objection : one, that it is possible for the finite to comprehend the Infinite; the other, that without this grasping of the Infinite, we cannot be assured of his being.
But as long as it is necessary for man, in his thinkings, to distinguish that which he thinks about from other things; as long as the object of thought is something distinct from the thinker; as long as the act of thought takes place in a given period of time, in any time; that is, as long as human nature is what it is, and acts under its present limits, so long will it be impossible that man should comprehend, or have a full conception of "the Infinite, the Absolute, the Self-existent." It is saying, for our position upon this point, a great deal, when Morell himself testifies that, "Those minds which have proceeded logically in their enquiry on this subject, to the denial of all other evidence, (though, how he manages to compare logically with all other evidence' is rather puzzling) have always concluded that we have no such conception at all, that the Infinite is purely a negative idea."
But because we cannot conceive of God as He is, in His own Infinitude, does it follow that we can have no evidence of His existence? Not at all. We might as well say, we had no evidence of the existence of the "milky way" till we were taught that it consisted of the combined light of countless stars; that the existence of the solar system was problematical till the days of Copernicus; that still we are uncertain as to the existence of light, because we know not its real nature. And what does the objection amount to, that the marks of design, &c., are finite, and therefore cannot give us evidence of the Infinite? Before seeing Professor Rogers' remarks on this point, we had come to his conclusion, which he elaborates and expresses in the following beautiful language: supposing the argument from "Design," just and well-founded as far as it goes;' that there is a God who is possessed of 'power and wisdom' to the extent in which He has displayed
them in His works, which is indefinitely beyond our adequate conception,—then, I maintain, that even if it were proved that these attributes-as really beyond our adequate conception as if they were infinite-nevertheless are not infinite, nothing, in the estimate of a rational creature, would depend upon it. Suppose, for example, the Divine power and wisdom capable, if you will, of being expressed mathematically, by taking as a mite of power and wisdom, Hercules and Newton combined; and that the Divine power and wisdom are to this mite in the ratio of 1,000, raised to a power expressed by a decimal number with as many cyphers as would reach from here to Saturn, to 1,-would our relations to this tremendous Being be in any conceivable way other than they are? Would he not still be that Being in whose hand our breath is, and whose are all our ways? Should we not, long before we had reached a millionth part of the way towards a conception of the meaning of that tremendous decimal' find all our faculties completely overwhelmed, and all traces of distinction, except in mere words, between infinite' and indefinite,' lost? Should we not be compelled to say, This is not infinite, because I am told it has hands, but all idea of the how much has already vanished before I have integrated the trecillionth of those limits?" (See Selections, p. 422.)*
* We would advise the reader carefully to peruse the immediately preceding article in connection with this, and then draw his own conclusion with respect to the comparative value of the arguments a priori and a posteriori.—ED.
ART. VI.-A CHAPTER IN THE HISTORY OF THE
A General view of the History of the English Bible. By CANON
The English Bible. History of the Translation of the Holy Scriptures into the English Tongue. By H. C. CONANT. Anderson's Annals of the English Bible.
1845. 2 vols.
To give an account of the transcriptions, translations and printing of the Holy Scriptures, is a work that falls equally within the province of the theologian and the literary student. The former, if he be a Protestant, regards the Bible as the only external source of revealed truth, and is therefore naturally solicitous to show, how after all the methods that have been employed for preserving and multiplying the sacred records, those records are substantially the same to-day as when originally indited. The literary student gives his attention to the external and internal
history of the Bible, because it is a book-unique in many respects, especially in its antiquity and in the influence it has exerted upon men, literature and manners. Why, there is scarcely a verse between the backs of the Bible but has its own history. This passage was a bone of contention; round it the wordy war waxed furious, and many a ponderous folio, which the polemics hurled at each other, is now stowed away in the libraries of the curious, like rusty cannon-balls picked up from old battle fields. This verse gave a new direction to the life of an Augustine, and that strengthened the faith of a martyr in the flames. Here we have a sentence that was once abused to fanaticism or wrested to Antinomianism; and there a text which was the watchword of the Reformers. When such a book is in question, it is not surprising that the merest bibliographical details respecting it are welcomed.
There is yet another reason why the literary student cannot despise any information which throws light upon the construction of the English versions. These but especially the authorized version-have done much in shaping and still more in fixing the English language. Many strong and expressive words that have maintained currency and favour by having a place in its pages would else have been displaced from the language by words more sonorous but less pithy. Our tongue has ink-horn terms in plenty, but few enough of those which are racy of the soil. With all its other claims to attention, then, the Bible has this further one-it has been a breakwater to protect the Queen's English from foreign encroachment.
The theologian and literary student therefore cannot well fail to acquaint themselves with such works as those whose titles are given at the head of this article. And even the multitudes who cannot be expected to give their days and nights to the study of the ologies, will find the story of the Bible in England a most romantic one, as it could scarcely fail to be, since it is a narrative rich in vicissitude and chequered experience, the very things by which the imagination and feelings are most powerfully excited.
Broadly speaking, the external history of the English Bible may be divided into the Manuscript period, dating from Bede's version in the seventh century, to the publication of Tyndale's Testament in 1525; and into the typographic period, extending from 1525 to the appearance of the authorized version in 1611. It was only with the year that completed the first quarter of the 16th century that the English people were able for the first time to read the printed Word of God in their mother-tongue. The year 1525 therefore marks an era in the History of the English Bible. But as every epoch-event is Janus-faced, relating as well to the past as the future, so if we would rightly appraise the event of the publication of Tyndale's Testament, we must glance at the mental