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will probably remain to be fought over on debatable ground for generations to come. It is of the nature of metaphysical' and philosophical discussions that the attainment of settled. truth respecting them is impossible.
Again, this philosophy of the direct activity of God in nature has a strong flavor of pantheism. It is God everywhere, in everything-in every moving leaf, every whispering wind, every sailing cloud, every hot sirocco that sweeps over the burning south, every cold wave that pinches and paralyzes the frozen north, every firearm that sends its bullet on a mission either of mercy or of murder, every accident that brings untimely death to scores of human beings, every "pestilence that walketh in darkness," every "destruction that wasteth at noonday." If all activities are God immediately acting, then the Deity has in part placed himself at the beck of the assassin as well as the saint, subject to the unhallowed will of every sinner that walks the earth; because saint and sinner exercise physical force, a part of animate nature, in which it is asserted God is immediately active. To such extremes of absurdity are these philosophers brought in order to be consistent in maintaining their primary principles.
Scientists everywhere regard energy as an entity as fully as they regard matter as an entity, and hold that its quantity, rightly measured, is as certainly fixed beyond our control, either to create or destroy, as is the quantity of matter. It is no objection to this rule that energy, or the capacity of doing work, is never known apart from matter. Neither is spirit known by us apart from matter. Even the conception of incorporeal spirit is beyond our grasp. The denial of energy as an entity on this ground would lead to an equal denial of spirit as a real existence. Neither is energy a property of matter,
because material properties do not pass from one body to another as does energy. Color, hardness, brittleness, etc., can not be passed on from body to body, yet heat passes rapidly by conduction and radiation from mass to mass, and heat is a form of energy. So also energy is transmitted from place to place and from one body to another by means of electricity. A certain amount of energy is employed in uttering these words. The energy of muscular contraction first passes over to that of aerial vibration, which we call sound; these vibrations, variously distributed, pass into the ears of the listener and there cause motions of membrane, bone, liquids, and nerve fiber; others are shivered into minuter motions by impact against the walls of the room, the furniture, the floors— these minuter motions representing energy in the form of heat; finally this energy of heat passes by radiation into space, and no further transformation lies within the range of our perceptions or observations. Is it reasonable and in accordance with sound philosophy to consider this energy, thus dárting from matter to matter, and changing its complexion with every leap, as merely a property of matter?
One great reason for our belief in the real existence of matter is that we have learned, since the introduction of sensitive balances in chemical analysis, that we can neither create nor destroy one particle of it. It may be made to pass through many physical changes and to enter into myriad chemical combinations; but its amount, as determined by weight, is not abated one jot or one tittle. If Prof. Bowen's tree is merely a temporarily persistent form of divine activity, what is it when it has ceased to live and grow, or when it has been resolved again into its elements? It is a persistent something still. What has been said of matter may be said of energy. The
great law of conservation of energy established in modern times teaches us that we have no power to create and none to destroy energy. Even the little that we exercise as muscular strength, and the origin of which we are prone to ascribe to the action of our will, is derived from the fuel that we take into the system as food, in conjunction with the oxygen that we breathe. We no more create it by our will than the engineer creates by his will the energy of the steam in the huge boiler under which glows the burning coal when he opens the throttle and sets the engine running. The persistence of conservation of energy is then quite analogous to the persistence or conservation of matter. It is no more detached from the Creator and self-existent than matter is.
I wind up a spring or weight and leave it to run a clock. The clock runs for a week without attention. I am neither consciously nor unconsciously present in the activity of the clock. The spring or weight is not a conscious agent to do work; but there is constant activity with no intelligence present and at work. Motion, planned by intelligence, continues, but not as the result of constant intelligent activity. If the clock becomes deranged it stops, and will not start again without the aid of intelligence to set it in order. But that is peculiar to human inventions and devices; no such limitation of stoppages applies to the regular and orderly motion of the heavenly bodies. So I conceive of the action of forces in nature. God created matter and endowed it with certain remarkable properties, by virtue of which it becomes the vehicle for the manifestation and transmission of energy, which He also created. In consequence of this creation and endowment, every atom and molecule of the physical world is in constant motion. They all appear, moreover, to be endowed with
certain attractions, or at least tendencies toward one another that seem to result from attractions. By reason of these attractions and motions we have the physical world built up of a limited number of elements, combining with one another in almost endless variety. Molecular motion is convertible into visible or mass motion, and mass motion is convertible into molecular motion. Not including miracles in this discussion, because they are not processes subject to our investigation, the processes of nature go forward, in my thought, without any necessary interposition of divine power, but simply because matter was originally endowed with certain persistent properties, and the Almighty breathed into it the breath of energy. So in the last analysis all power is derived from the Creator, but the Creator is not therefore present in every motion and activity of nature. It appears to me to lead to palpable absurdity to say that all causes are directly mental ones; that matter in itself as divinely constituted, cannot manifest remarkable activities unless mind is actually present in that activity. Professor Bowen says that "the force or active agency by which a stone is moved does not reside in the stick, or even in the hand that pushes it, but in the conscious or intelligent mind or will, which thrusts the hand or stick with a preconceived or definite purpose and a conscious effort." How he could explain the spasmodic muscular contraction of the limbs or other bodily parts in unconsciousness or even in opposition to the conscious effort of the intelligent mind or will, he does not tell us. The ancients furnished an easy way out of the difficulty by ascribing them to demoniacal possessions. His logic appears to be about as follows: Efficient causation can act only ab extra, that is, outside of and beyond itself, in producing changes; matter cannot act on other matter without getting outside of
itself, which is unthinkable; therefore mind is the only efficient cause. It follows of course that mind acts outside of itself. To establish the latter conclusion and render it intelligible, he enumerates certain functions of the mind in which he conceives it to act outside of itself, without the limitations of time and space. One of these functions is knowledge. We know both the past and the distant; and so, he continues, the mind extends its field of operations outside of itself, and even goes beyond the limits of the body. "All that is inside the skin," he says, "is also inside of consciousness. I feel not only at my finger tips, but over the whole surface of my body." "I localize a pain as in the head, the knee, or the back, and put my finger at once upon the spot where a mosquito has stung me. These statements are their own refutation. In a philosophical sense we no more feel at our fingertips than we see at infinity when we look at a star.
Prof. Bowen imagines that he sees the action of mind outside of itself even in the simplest act of memory. It sets at naught both time and space in recalling the past. Not merely a picture or mental image of what has been, but the past itself must be actually present to consciousness, he says. In deciding that a portrait is a faithful copy or reproduction of the features of a friend, he declares that even the living face of the dead friend must actually be present to consciousness. It would seem to be a sufficient answer to such a theory to draw attention to the fact that the mistakes of memory are utterly inexplicable if the past is actually present to consciousness. On the other hand, the greatest diversity exists in the ability of different individuals to form and recall mental images. Some recall a landscape or a street scene only in outline, or with all sharp contrasts shaded down, or with outlines dimly drawn