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what man is, but what he may become, is not only mindful of him, but visits both intellectually and morally, as we him." + have already seen; when we cast our T his may be, the objector is conmind's eye over the history of the ceived to say; but my difficulty haunts civilised section of our race, wherever and harasses me: that, while man's authentic records of their sayings and residence is, with reference to the doings exist, we find repeated and countless glistening orbs revealed by radiant instances of intellectual and Astronomy, scarcely in the proportion moral greatness, rising into sublimity of a single grain of sand to the entire -such as compel us to admit that terraqueous structure of our globe, I map is incomparably the most perfect am required to believe that the Aland highly endowed creature which mighty has dealt with him, and with appears to have ever existed on the the speck in which he resides, in the earth.
awfully exceptional manner asserted “How far previous periods of animal
in the Scriptures. Let us here remind existence were a necessary preparation
the reader of a coarser, and an insolent of the earth as the habitation of man, or and blasphemous, expression of this a gradual progression towards the exist- “difficulty," by Thomas Paine, already ence of man, we need not nowinquire. But quoted :this, at least, we may say, that man, now “The system of a plurality of worlds that he is here, forms a climax to all renders the Christian faith at once that has preceded-a term incomparably little and ridiculous, and scatters it exceeding in value all the previous parts in the mind like feathers in the air : of the series — a complex and ornate the two beliefs cannot be held together capital to the subjacent column-a per in the same mind.” With such an opsonage of vastly greater dignity and im
ponent Dr Whewell expressly states portance than all the preceding line of the procession.” *
that he has no concern; he deals
with a “ difficulty' felt by a friend :" If we are thus to regard man as wishing “rather to examine how to the climax of the creation in space, quiet the troubled and perplexed as in time, “ can we point out any believer, than how to triumph over characters," finally asks the Essayist, the dogmatical and self-satisfied un"which may tend to make it conceiv. believer." able that the Creator should thus dis “Let the difficulty," he says, be tinguish him, and care for him-should put in any way the objector pleases." prepare his habitation, if it be so, by I. Is it that it is unworthy of the ages of chaotic and rudimentary life, greatness and majesty of God, accordand by accompanying orbs of brute ing to our conception of Him, to and barren matter? If man be thus bestow such peculiar care on 80 the head, the crowned head, of the SMALL A PART of His creation ? creation, is he worthy to be thus ele- But a narrow inspection of the vated ? Has he any qualities which atom of space assigned to man, proves make it conceivable that, with such that He has done so. He has made an array of preparation and accom- the period of mankind, though only a paniment”- the reader will note the moment in the ages of animal life, the sudden introduction of these elements only period of Intelligence, Morality, of the question, the “ accompanying Religion. If it be contrary to our ! orbs / "_" he should be placed upon conception of Him, to suppose Him to the earth, his throne ? Does any have done so, it is plain that these answer now occur to us, after the conceptions are wrong. God has not views which have been presented to judged as to what is worthy of Him, us? That answer," continues the as we have presumed to judge. He Essayist, “is the one which has been has deemed it worthy of Himself to already given :" the transcendent in- bestow upon man this special care, tellectual, moral, and religious cha- though he occupy so small a portion racter of man-such as warrants him of TIME:-why not, then, though he in believing that God, in very deed, occupy so small a portion of SPACE ?
II. Is the difficulty this:- That sup- giving such a peculiar dignity and imposing the earth, alone, to be occupied portance to the earth is CONTRARY by inhabitants, all the other globes of TO THE ANALOGY OF CREATION? the universe are wasted ?-turned to This objection, be it observed, NO PURPOSE ?*
assumes that there are so many globes Is " waste" of this kind to be con- similar to the earth, and like her residered unsuited to the character of volving, -some accompanied as she is, our Creator? But here again we have by satellites, on their axis, and that the like " waste" in the occupation of therefore it is reasonable to suppose this earth! All its previous ages, its the destination and office of all, the seas and its continents, have been same ;-that there are so many stars, " wasted" upon mere brute life: often, each, like our sun, a source of light, apparently, on the lowest, the least probably also of heat; and that it is conscious forms of life :-upon sponges, consequently reasonable to suppose coral, shell-fish. Why, then, should their light and heat, like his, imparted, not the seas and continents of other as from so many centres of systems, planets be occupied with life of this to uphold life ;-and that all this order, or with no life at all? Who affords strong ground for believing all shall tell how many ages elapsed such planets, as well those of our own before this earth was tenanted by life as of other systems, inhabited like at all? Will the occupation of a spot our planet. .. of land, or a little water, by the life But the Essayist again directs the of a sponge, a coral, or an oyster, eye of the questioner to the state of save it from being “wasted"? If a our own planet, as demonstrated by spot of rock or water be sufficiently Geology, in order to show the precaemployed by its being the mere seat riousness, if not futility, of supposing of organisation, of however low and such an analogy to exist. It would simple a type,- why not, by its being lead us to a palpably false conclusion the mere seat of attraction ? cohesion? - viz., that during all the vast crystalline power? All parts of the successive periods of the Earth's universe appear pervaded by attrac- history, that Earth was occupied with tion, by forces of aggregation and life of the same order-pay, even, atomic relation, by light and heat: that since the Earth is now the seat wb, may not these be sufficient, in of an intelligent population, it must the eyes of the Creator, to prevent have been so in all its former conthe space from being “wasted," as, ditions. For it was then able, and during a great part of the earth's past adapted, to support animal life, and history, and over vast portions of its that of creatures pretty closely resemmass in its present form, they are bling man I in physical structure. actually held by Him to be sufficient ? Nevertheless, if evidence go for any. since these powers, or forces, are all thing, the Earth did not do so! that occupy such portions. This “Even," says Dr Whewell, “those notion, therefore, of the improbability geologists who have dwelt most on of there being in the universe so vast the discovery of fossil monkeys, and an amount of “waste" spaces, or other animals nearest to man, have “waste" bodies, as is implied in the not dreamed that there existed, before notion that the earth alone is the seat him, a race of rational, intelligent, of life, or of intelligence, is confuted and progressive creatures." Here, by matter of fact, existing, in respect however, he is mistaken, as we shall of vast spaces, waste districts, and presently see Sir David Brewster especially waste times, upon our own revelling in such a dream. As, then, earth. The avoidance of such “waste," the notion that one period of time in according to our notions of waste, the Earth's history must resemble is no part of the economy of creation, another in the character of its populaso far as we can discern that economy tion, because it resembles it in physical in its most certain exemplification. conditions, is negatived by the history
III. Is the difficulty this :--That of the Earth itself; so the notion that
* Essay, p. 195.
+ Ibid., p. 196. I Even of monkeys, there have been found fossil remains.
§ Essay, p. 197.
one part of the universe must resemble this startling Essay; presenting as another in its population, because it full and fair an account of it as is conhas a resemblance in physical con. sistent with our limits. Though the ditions, is negatived, as a law of crea- author professes that he “ does not tion. Analogy really affords no sup- pretend to disprove the Plurality of port to such a notion.
Worlds, but to deny the existence of IV. Nay, continues Dr Whewell, * arguments making the doctrine prowe may go further : instead of the bable," his undisguised object is to analogy of creation pointing to such assign cogent reasons for holding the entire resemblance of similar parts, it opposite to be the true doctrine—the points in the opposite direction : it is Unity of the World. What has gone not entire resemblance, but universal before is, moreover, on the assumption difference, that we discover : not the that the other bodies of the universe repetition of exactly similar cases, but are fitted, equally with the Earth, to a series of cases perpetually dissimilar, be the abodes of life. Before passing presents itself: not constancy, but on, however, to the remaining section change - perhaps advance; not one of the Essay, which is decidedly hospermanent and pervading scheme, tile to that assumption, let us here inbut preparation, and completion of troduce on the scene Dr Whewell's successive schemes :—not uniformity, only hitherto avowed antagonist, Sir and a fixed type of existences, but David Brewster. progression and a climax.
Though it is impossible to treat Viewing the advent of Man, and otherwise than with much considera. what preceded it, it seems the analogy tion, whatever is published by this of nature that there should be inferior, gentleman, we must express our reas well as superior, provinces in the gret that he did not more deliberately universe, and that the inferior may approach so formidable an opponent occupy an immensely larger portion as Dr Whewell, and, as we are comof Time than the superior. Why pelled to add, in a more calm and not, then, of Space ?
courteous spirit. We never read a “ The earth was brute and inert, com
performance less calculated than this pared with its present condition ; dark
Essay, from its modesty and moderaand chaotic. so far as the light of 'reason tion of tone, and the high and aband intelligence are concerned, for count stract nature of the topics which it less centuries before man was created. discusses with such powerful logic, Why then may not other parts of creation and such a profusion of knowledge of be still in this brute and inert and chaotic every kind, to provoke an acrimonious state, while the earth is under the influ- answer. It is happily rare, in recent ence of a higher exercise of creative times, for one of two philosophic power? If the earth was for ages a tur- disputants, to speak of the other's bid abyss of lava and of mud, why may not exhibiting an amount of knowledge Mars or Saturn be so still ? ... The
so massive as occasionally to smother possibility that the planets are such rude masses, is quite as tenable, on astrono
his reason ; "I “ascribing his sentimical grounds, as the possibility that the ments only to some morbid condition planets resemble the earth, in matters of of the mental powers, which feeds which astronomy can tell us nothing. We upon paradox, and delights in doing say, therefore, that the example of geology violence to sentiments deeply cherishrefutes the argument drawn from the sup- ed, and to opinions universally beposed analogy of one part of the universe lieved ; " & characterising some of his with another; and suggests a strong sus- reasonings as “ dialectics in which & picion that the force of analogy, better large dose of banter and ridicule is known, may tend in the opposite direc
seasoned with a little condiment of tion.” +
science ;" | and an elaborate arguWe have now gone through a large ment, of great strength and origi. portion, embracing two of the three nality, whether sound or not, as "the sections into which we had divided most ingenious, though shallow piece
of sophistry, which we! (Sir David circling about them !-though " our Brewster) have encountered in mo- faltering reason utterly fails us !” he dern times ;" * referring his "theories owns, “when called on to believe and speculations to no better a feeling that even the Nebulæ must be surthan a love of notoriety." It is not rendered to life and reason! Wherto be supposed that Sir David was ever there is matter there must be not perfectly aware who his oppon- life !” One can by this time almost ent was, I which occasions extreme pardon the excitement, the alarm surprise at the tone adopted through- rather, and anger, with which Sir out More Worlds than one. In his David ruefully bebeld Dr Whewell go preface, he explains as a cause of forth on his exterminating expedition his anger, that he found that “the through Infinitude! It was like a author" of the Essay, “under a father gazing on the ruthless slaughtitle calculated to mislead the public, ter of his offspring. Planet after had made an elaborate attack upon planet, satellite after satellite, star opinions consecrated, as Sir David after star, sun after sun, single suns had thought, by reason and revela- and double suns, system after system, tion,"—that the author had not only nebula after nebula, all disappeared adopted a theory (the Nebular) so before this sidereal Quixote! As for universally condemned as a dangerous Jupiter and Saturn, the pet planets speculation, “but had taken a view of Sir David, they were dealt with in of the condition of the solar system a way perfectly shocking. The former calculated to disparage the science of turned out, to the disordered optics astronomy, and throw a doubt over and unsteady brain of the Essayist, to the noblest of its truths." We dismiss be a sphere of water, with perhaps & this topic with a repetition of our re- few cinders at the centre, and peopled gret, that so splendid a subject was " with cartilaginous and glutinous not approached in a serener spirit; monsters-boneless, watery, pulpy that greater respect was not shown by creatures, floating in the fluid;" while one of his contemporaries for one of poor Saturn may be supposed turning the most eminent men of the age; and aghast on hearing that, for all his that sufficient time was not taken, grand appearance, he was little else in order to avoid divers surprising than a sphere of vapour, with a little maculæ occurring in even the compo- water, tenanted, if at all, by "aqueous, sition, and certain rash and unguarded gelatinous creatures - too sluggish expressions and speculations.
almost to be deemed alive-floating İf Dr Whewell may be regarded as in their ice-cold waters, shrowded for (pace tanti viri !) a sort of Star ever by their humid skies !" But Smasher, his opponent is in very talk after this of the pensive Moon! truth a Star-Peopler. Though he ad. “She is a mere cinder! a collection mits that “there are some difficulties of sheets of rigid slag, and inacto be removed, and some additional tive craters !" This could be borne analogies to be adduced, before the no longer; so thus Sir David pours mind can admit the startling propo- forth the grief and indignation of sition that the Sun, Moon, and all the Soul Astronomic, in a passage the satellites, are inbabited spheres" fraught with the spirit, and embody- yet he believes that they are : ing the results, of his whole book, and that all the planets of their respec- which we give, as evidently laboured tive systems are so; as well as all by the author with peculiar care. the single stars, double stars, and « Those ungenial minds that can be nebulæ, with all planets and satellites brought to believe that the earth is the
# More Worlds than One, p. 202.
+ Ibid., p. 199.! In fact, in a note to page 247, Sir David thus slily alludes to those "conjectures" of Dr Whewell in his Bridgewater Treatise, to which we have refered (ante, pp. 290, 291):-"A very different opinion is stated by Dr Whewell, in his Bridgewater Treatise;" adding, after citing the passages, “the rest of the chapter, . On the vastness of the Universe,' is well worthy of the perusal of the reader, and forms a striking contrast with the opinions of the Essayist.”- This is perfectly fair, S More Worlds than One, p. 98.
|| Ibid., p. 108.
Ibid., p. 166.
only inhabited body in the universe, will whether a gigantic clod slumbering in have no difficulty in conceiving that it space, or a noble planet equipped like also might have been without inhabitants. our own, and duly performing its appointNay, if such minds are imbued with geo- ed task, to have no living occupants, or logical truth, they must admit that for not in a state of preparation to receive millions of years the earth was without them, seems to us one of those notions inhabitants; and hence we are led to the which could be harboured only in an ill. extraordinary result, that for millions of educated and ill-regulated mind—a mind years there was not an intelligent crea without faith and without hope : but to ture in the vast dominions of the univer conceive a whole universe of moving and sal King ; and that before the formation revolving worlds in such a category, inof the protozoic strata, there was neither dicates, in our apprehension, a mind dead a plant nor an animal throughout the in- to feeling and shorn of reason."* finity of space! During this long period "It is doubtless possible," observes of universal death, when Nature herself Sir David, however, a little further on, t was asleep-the sun, with his magnificent
as if with a twinge of misgiving, “ that attendants--the planets, with their faith
the Mighty Architect of the universe ful satellites--the stars in the binary systems the solar system itself, were
may have had other objects in view, inperforming their daily, their annual, and
comprehensible by us, than that of suptheir secular movements unseen, unheed- porting animal and vegetable life in ed, and fulfilling no purpose that human these magnificent spheres." Would reason can conceive ; lamps lighting now that Sir David Brewster would allow thing - fires heating nothing - waters himself to be largely influenced by this quenching nothing-clouds screening no rational and devout sentiment! His thing - breezes fanning nothing - and book is, on the contrary, crammed everything around, mountain and valley, with assertions from beginning to end, hill and dale, earth and ocean, all mean
and of a peremptory and intolerant ing nothing.
character unknown to the spirit of Did wander darkling in the eternal space,' genuine philosophy.
The Essayist, however, is not in. To our apprehension, such a condition of the earth, of the solar system, and of the
capable of quiet humour : and the folsidereal universe, would be the same as
lowing pregnant passage is at least that of our own globe if all its vessels of
worthy to stand side by side with that war and of commerce were traversing its which we have just quoted from his seas with empty cabins and freightless indignant and eloquent opponent: holds; as if all the railways on its sur “ Undoubtedly, all true astronomers, face were in full activity without pas- taught caution and temperance of thought sengers and goods; and all our machinery by the discipline of their magnificent beating the air and gnashing their iron science, abstain from founding such asteeth without work performed. A house sumptions upon their discoveries. They without tenants, a city without citizens, know how necessary it is to be upon their present to our minds the same idea as a guard against the tricks which fancy plays planet without life, and a universe with with the senses; and if they see appearout inhabitants. Why the house was ances of which they cannot interpret the built, why the city was founded, why meaning, they are content that they should the planet was made, and why the uni- have no meaning for them, till the due verse was created, it would be difficult explanation comes. We have innumereven to conjecture. Equally great would able examples of this wise and cautious be the difficulty were the planets shape. temper in all periods of astronomy. One less lumps of matter, poised in ether, and has occurred lately. Several careful still and motionless as the grave. But astronomers, observing the stars by day, when we consider them as chiselled had been surprised to see globes of light spheres, and teeming with inorganic glide across the field of view of their beauty, and in full mechanical activity, telescopes, often in rapid succession, and performing their appointed motions with in great numbers. They did not, as may such miraculous precision that their days be supposed, rush to the assumption that and their years never err a second of these globes were celestial bodies of a new time in hundreds of centuries, the diffi- kind, before unseen, and that, from the culty of believing them to be without life peculiarity of their appearance and moveis, if possible, immeasurably increased. ment, they were probably inhabited by To conceive any one material globe, beings of a peculiar kind. They pro