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We suspect that we have not many readers who will fee! tempted to launch out into this boundless, trackless region ; but we will endeavour to keep as near the coast as possible. It is evident, that, by giving the first place to this argument, Mr. Drew lays no small stress upon it; that the Divine existence can be demonstrated from the existence of Space. It is, however, an obvious objection to this mode of argument, that what is assumed or premised, stands more in need of being demonstrated than what is inferred. That God exists, is more obviously certain than that Space exists. But, waiving this objection, we consider his definition of Space as altogether built on a sophism,
• Space,' he says, ' bas been exalted by some to the dignity of the Supreme Being; by others it has been debased to a perfect nonentity; others, again, have denominated it the mere privation of body; while those of a different class have contended, that it is no. thing more than a mere abstract idea. But, while these men have wearied themselves in settling the geography of error, and have invented arguments to give plausibility to their theories, other writers, of superior talents, more extensive views, and deeper penetration, have asserted the reality of space, and, contending for its universality and eternity, have pointed out its intimate connexion with unlimited existence, and with our ideas of unoriginated and unbounded being. Among these, the illustrious names of Newton, Locke, and Clarke may be placed in the foremost rank.'
Now it rather unfortunately happens, that Dr. Clarke, one of our Author's three authorities, has these words on the subject of infinite space, in his “ Demonstration of the Being and Attributes of God.” • Infinite Space is nothing else but an ab
stract idea of immensity or infinity ; even as infinite Duration • is of eternity; and it would not be much less proper, to say
that Eternity is the essence of the Supreme Cause, than to say, that Immensity is so. Indeed, they seem both to be but attributes of an Essence incomprehensible to us; and when we • endeavour to represent the real substance of any being what
soever in our weak imaginations, we shall find ourselves in • like manner deceived.' This question, if it be one, is not, however, to be settled by authorities; and though we cannot allow Mr. Drew the benefit of these names, yet, if he can prove that Dr. Clarke is wrong, the credit due to him will only be the greater. Let us then examine his argument.
• A material world exists.' This is his first position; yet, he is aware that this has been controverted. But' to reason * with those who assert the whole to be a mere illusion, is,' he says, ' a task which I am not disposed to undertake.' In undertaking to reason with those who assert the notion of God to
e a mere illusion, he has, however, undertaken a task not nore superfluous ; for we must deny that the proof of the existence of the material world, as attested by the evidence
of our senses,' is so strong as the proof of the Divine existence supplied by reason. But we give him this position: a material world exists. Then, that in which it exists, that is pace, inust, he argues, be either an entity or a non-entity.
• Now, if we suppose the world and its appendages to exist in an absolute nonentity, we cannot avoid concluding that these positive properties are actually existing in that from which all positive properties are necessarily excluded. But how this can be possible, I must leave for others to discover. If the world exist in an absolute nonentity, this nonentity must have extension and capacity; otherwise, that which is extended, must exist where there is no extension, and be contained in that which has no capacity ; which conclusions are evidently absurd. And, if we admit an absolute nonentity to have extension and capacity, we must ascribe these positive properties to that which we grant to be the reverse of existence. But, since nothing positive can be predicated of a nonentity,—since extension and capacity are positive properties, and matter cannot be where extension and capacity are not,-it follows, that an absolute nonentity cannot contain the material world.'
In the following sections, he argues that motion cannot 'exist in an absolute nonentity ;' that' absolute nonentity is • devoid of all assignable dimensions,' which cannot apply to Space; that Space, and our idea of it, are both positive, its reverse being a negation; yet, that Space is not a substance, nor the mode of one; that it has no parts; that, as well as our idea of it, it is strictly simple ; that it differs from the idea of mere emptiness; that, if Space were an absolute nonentity, all bodies would be in contact ; that Space is a visible display of immensity, yet, that it does not follow that that immense substance to which Space belongs, must be extended.
Now, as the word Space may to many of our readers appear a mysterious, metaphysical sort of a word, we propose, with submission, to substitute the word Somewhere. The argument, then, will run thus. A material world exists; it must exist somewhere, and that somewhere must be either an entity or a nonentity. But it cannot be a nonentity, having extension and capacity, which are positive properties. Moreover, both somewhere, and our idea of it, are positive, since the reverse of somewhere is no-where, which is a negation, and the physical
reverse of a pure negation must exist positively.' Yet, this somewhere is not a substance, nor the mode of one; nor is it mere emptiness; it is not a mere abstract idea, because it con, tains real existence; it has no parts ; it is strictly simple, This, we think, is no unfair representation of Mr. Drew's argų
ment, -only accommodated to the meanest capacity. And how edifying and convincing the conclusion-with reverence we would speak it--there is a somewhere ; ergo, there is a God! Yet, we see no real difference between this statement, and that of our Author respecting Space.
But every one immediately perceives, that Somewhere is an abstract idea, implying real existence under unknown circamstances or conditions. And what is Space but an abstract idea, related in like manner to real existence under the notion of immensity ? Mr. Drew says, that the reverse of Space is no-space, which is a pure negation, and that, therefore, Space must be a positive entity. We deny the major proposition ; for we say, that the reverse of space is place, as the reverse of what is limited is illimitable. Space is an indefinite idea by which we imply illimitable existence. The fact is, that we cannot form the idea of eristence at all, without that of time, and that of place, entering into the complex notion. The ideas of time and of place are simple abstract ideas, incapable alike of definition or further analysis; but they are related to existence as necessary conditions or attributes. We learn to measure time and place by experience, but the ideas themselves, if not innate, must be termed necessary ideas, since they are awakened by the first act of reflection, and are inseparable from the conscious notion of existence. Now, what time and place are to finite existence, that immensity and eternity are to infinite existence. And precisely in the same manner as we are rive at the idea of infinite, unoriginated Existence, do we arrive at the ideas of boundless duration and immensity, as the conditions of such Existence,-or rather, as component parts of the idea of Infinite Existence. Thus Dr. Clarke remarks, in his Fourth Reply to Leibnitz, (§ 10.) that 'space and duration • are not hors de Dieu, but are caused by, and are immediate ' and necessary consequences of his existence; and without
them, his eternity and ubiquity would be taken away.' He had before remarked, (Third Reply, $ 3.) that. Space is not a
being, but a property or a consequence of the existence of a • Being infinite and eternal : infinite space is immensity.' • Space and time,' he remarks,' are quantities. It is true that afterwards, in his Fifth Reply, he seems to abandon his simple, intelligible proposition, advanced in his " Demonstration, namely, that Space is nothing but the abstract idea of inmen: sity; maintaining, (p. 303. note,) that it is not a mere • idea,' because no idea of Space can possibly be framed • larger than finite; and yet, reason demonstrates that it is a • contradiction for Space itself not to be actually infinite.' But by this he can only mean, that it has an existence inde
pendent of our ideas, seeing that it transcends them, and is not a thing of which we can conceive, but one which reason ascertains to be necessary. For he is, in this very note, distinguishing between abstract and concrete ideas, in order to shew that space, or immensity, is an abstract idea, a property, in opposition to a substance. It is not a mere idea, just as existence is not a mere idea ; that is, there is really such a thing as existence, and space is related to what really exists. In this sense, no real property is a mere idea, any more than a real substance is. Yet, who will deny that existence, life, immensity, duration, are abstract ideas,-as much so as figure, extension, colour, power, goodness? That space is an abstract idea, is nécessarily implied, when it is admitted to be but a property, a quantity, related to existence*.
But now to apply this to the great argument. Mr. Drew, having, as he imagines, demonstrated Space to be an infinite perfection, argues, that, as a finite perfection cannot exist - without a finite substance,' so,' an infinite perfection cannot • exist without an infinite substance.' Which is something very much like a truism. But what would be thought of this mode of proof applied to finite substance ? . There is such a * thing as time and place; therefore I cannot but really exist
or, there is limited space above and around us; therefore, there cannot but be finite existences to which the property of existing in such limited space must attach.' Who does not see that the first of these positions would be absurd, the second, inconsequential? The idea of existence includes time and space as essential properties of the substance that exists; and the notion of an infinite Substance is antecedent to that of an infinite perfection. Instead of the Divine existence being inferrible from the existence of Space, Space itself is but an immediate and necessary consequence of the existence of God.
Our limits will not admit of following the Author through his argument founded on the nature of Duration, which comprises little more than a varied application of the same mode
"That Space is not any kind of substance is no less plain. Because infinite Space is immensitas, not immensum ; whereas infinite Substance is immensum, not immensitas. Just as Duration is not a substance: because infinite Duration is æternitas, not æternum ; but infinite Substance is æternum, not æternitas. It remains, therefore, by necessary consequence, that Space is a property, in like manner as Duration is. Immensilas is tou Immensi ; just as Æternitas is tou Eterni.'
of reasoning. Duration being a perfection, and infinite duration an infinite perfection, it must, he contends, inhere in some Infinite and Eternal Substance; therefore, there is a God. Ji there is a single human being whose faith in the Divine Existence can be strengthened by such a process of inverted argumentation, we would not rob him of the benefit. But he most have a mind singularly constituted-he must be at once a sorry reasoner and a good metaphysician,-no impossible compound.
Mr. Drew now proceeds to take a different ground, in which he shews the same logical acuteness and dexterity, but still, in our opinion, fails to display the character of a correct and sober reasoner. The position laid down in Chapter IV., is, that • Eternal Existence being possible, an Eternal Being must be
possible; and if an Eternal Being be possible, he must really * exist.' The whole chapter is very much like a continued quibble or play upon words; and we must say with Howe, that such reasoning looks like trifling. The very first sentence is unhappy: 'We know that actual existence is possible.' Strictly speaking, what actually exists is no longer in a state to which possibility attaches. But,' says Mr. Drew, “ few “ things can be more absurd than to suppose, that the actual
existence of any being could destroy the simple possibility of sit; for, if this were granted, it would follow, that a being ac* tually existing could have no possibility of existence,—which
is a plain contradiction. The actual existence of a being cannot destroy the possibility of its existence, because it proves it to have been antecedently possible that it should exist; and it proves its continued existence to be possible. But what is actual, loses its character of possible the moment it is known to exist, because certainty includes possibility, and possibility merges in the ascertained certainty. Possibility implies an alternative: what is possible, may be non existent, which cannot apply to actual existence when ascertained to exist. Thus, it does not class with possibles, that a man who is to-day known to be alive, was alive yesterday ; it is certain; there is no room for a contrary supposition. Probability is a degree of knowledge intermediate between possibility and certainty Actual existence, if it can be said to be possible, may as well be affirmed to be probable. What, then, should we think of a person who should say, ' I see you are alive, there• fore your actual existence is probable ? But Mr. Drew may say, that actual existence is simply possible, when we have no certain knowledge of its actually existing. This, however, would be but taking advantage of the twofold sense in which the word possibility is used ; and it is this, we think, which has