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Taylor, Barton S b. 1820. 

Helps to a correct understanding of nature, on the 
basis of realism. By Eev. Barton S. Taylor ... Albion. 
Mich., Eogers & Wiersema, 1889. 

316 p. 20 


1 . Scien ce— Philosophy. 2. Nature. i. Title. 

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Understanding of Mure 


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Copyrighted in 1588 by Barton S. Taylor. 


The doings and mysteries in nature invite our search. 
We see that all earthly things are undergoing change ; 
what changes them ? We discover that atoms, bodies, 
earth, worlds are in motion; what moves them? Does 
matter move itself? or does something not matter move it? 
Or is there nothing that is not matter, and is matter all 
that is ? What is matter any how, is there any such thing, 
or are our thoughts of things as solids mere delusions? 
What do we know about matter, and how do we know ? 
Do we know even that we are, and what we are ? What 
is man, an atom, a monad, an ephemeron, dust, and noth- 
ing more ? Are all our thoughts baseless imaginings, and 
all our hopes delusions ? Is there no reality, and does man 

know nothing ? 

These questions are so plainly answered in the common 
consciousness of the common world that some of the ques- 
tions themselves seem absurd ; but in philosophic science 
they are questions, the questions of the day, and questions 
which are often so answered as to leave before us only a 
negation, a blank, a void. Where shall we go to find 
answers to these questions, to books ? The books of modern 
science present to us nature in the garb of some hypotheses. 
The language employed in describing facts is the language 
which the hypotheses suggest, and the hypotheses are so 
interwoven with the facts and the language is so much of 
it bom of the hypotheses, that it is often difficult to ascer- 



c I. ,i i> - y 7 . 1 . I' 



tain from books the simple facts. Before we can know 
whaf the naked facts are we have to institute a process of 
analysis, and express to ourselves the facts in language 
which does not involve the hypotheses. Instead of stating 
the facts in the common language of men, and then ex- 
plaining them by their hypotheses, scientists employ the 
language of the hypotheses in stating the facts. Take an 
example or two from • 'Story of Creation," which happens 
to lie on the table before me. This, for instance, p. 14: 
* 'The tendency of all passive Energy is to be converted into 
active Energy until a dead or uniform level is reached, 
wherein no differences of separating power remain." The 
casual reader, passing over this, might think that the 
author was telling some new and important fact. Trans- 
lated, it becomes the familiar fact known to everybody, 
that heat passes from a hot body to adjacent cool bodies 
till they all become of equal temperature. Another ex- 
ample, p. 138. The author is describing how the "star 
dust" became worlds: ''As the atoms rushed together. 
Energy, which had hitherto existed in a state of rest as 
passive separation, became active in molar and molecular 
form." Sifted from the involved hypotheses, this means: 
As the atoms rushed together they became hot, and the 
body thus formed whirled around on its axis and in an 
orbit. These cases, selected by opening the book at 
random, are examples of the common mode of stating facts 
in all such books. This writer thinks it possible to ex- 
press scientific facts in the language of common life. 

But behind these hypotheses, before these investigators 
enter upon an explanation of nature, they assert that man 
cannot know physical things, that all that we can know is 
certain appearances which pass before us, or, perhaps only 
our own thoughts and mental states; that is, they are phe- 
nomenalists or idealists, and they explain nature according 
to these systems of metaphysics. 





To present a view of nature which overthrows all our 
preconceived notions of it, is very astonishing, and it 
gives us very exalted opinions of the persons who can see 
things in such new and extraordinary aspects. We feel 
very much abashed when they tell us that we do not know 
anything, and that all our opinions of nature are errors, 
vulgar follies. But when we come to consider that those 
who thus abash us assert that they do not know, that no 
man can know, anything about real things, we think it 
possible that their views may not be entirely correct. 
They claim to know nothing about reality; then possibly 
it is not the real world that they have been describing 
to us, but an imaginary one. At all events, we who be- 
lieve that we can and do know real things have some 
confidence in our observations, and wish to know about 
nature as it is presented to us by the facts which come 
through our senses. 

Very few of the people are idealists or phenominalists, 
nearly all are in some sense realists. The idealist tells us 
that we do not know the things which we call nature, 
that we do not know that there are any such things as 
matter and material bodies. The great common mind of 
the world replies, "I know better; I know that there are 
hard, solid things— trees, houses, men, rocks. I know 
them as they are, and they are as I know them to be." 
Thus we and our guide part company in the start; and 
we do not care much what his speculations are about a 
world that he says he does not know anything about. 
Yet we wish to know more of these things than we can at 
once discover, about the relation of things to each other, 
about the phenomena and the doings and doers in nature. 
If idealists go where our realism will not permit us to 
follow, shall we therefore have no philosophy of nature ? 
If phenominalists have constructed their system of physi- 
cal philosophy in harmony with their phenominalism, may 

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not we have, ought we not to have, a system of physical 
philosophy in harmony with our realism ? 

This writer is of the opinion that the explanations of 
many natural phenomena lie much nearer the surface than 
where they have been sought, and are much more simple 
than many have supposed. Nothing is so plain, simple, 
and easy of access as truth. Nothing is so complicated, 
devious, and strange to thought as attemps to explain 
natural phenomena on the basis of a false assumption. 

This work is not an argument with idealists, or phenomi- 
nalists, or materialists, or agnostics, to convince them that 
they are mistaken. We assume that our audience is com- 
posed of persons who believe that our observations of 
nature are generally reliable data of opinion; and probably 
most of our readers believe in a personal Creator who 
created all things and adapted them to each other, and cre- 
ated the human mind and made it capable of discovering 
and knowing the things by which we are surrounded. 
Starting with the opinion that mankind are capable of 
knowing material things through their senses, and 
the invisible through process of reasons, we would inquire, 
What is science ? What is the truth in reference to na- 
ture? What explanations of natural phenomena are 
we permitted to make, can we make? 

This, then, is a humble attempt to lay the foundation 
for a system of physical philosophy in harmony with our 
system of metaphysics. We would not have realists re- 
main dependent upon phenominalists for their physical 
philosophy. I^et them have their physics in harmony with 
their metaphysics, if they wish, but let us have our physics 
in harmony with our metaphysics. No one has in recent 
years favored us with a view of nature from the stand- 
point of realism. It may be very imperfectly done here; 
but, in the absence of any other, the author has done the 
best he could. 


Everyone lives in contact with the world, daily witness- 
ing its phenomena, employing its agents, and conforming 
to their modes. From this experience every person forms 
some opinions of nature. It is probable that the deepest 
reach of philosophy will find many of these opinions cor- 
rect, and that this treatise will be found to be largely an 
exposition of nature as it is seen and known by the great 
mass of the common people of the world, as far as nature 
may be known by direct observation, and not inconsistent 
with these views in reference to the more occult processes 

of nature. 

Then let us go forth and examine nature and see how 
things appear to us. Regarding the theories of science as 
still open questions, setting aside for the time the dicta of 
authority, let us examine and think for ourselves. 

Note -This work was originally written in 1870 and 1871. Since then it 
has been re- written, and greatly abridged; but the original manuscript con- 
tained the new theory of the physical forces here presented; and that theory 
was announced and defended in a series of scientific articles published in the 
Northwestern Christian Advocate, of Chicago, in 1873 and 1874. I me;ition this 
because precisely the same theory was set forth in a book published in 1877. 
It is not certain that the author of that book caught the hint from my pub- 
lished articles of 1874. Often when public opinion has reached a certain stage 
of progress, a new thought will come to diflferent minds remote from each 
other and having no aependent relation to each other. Whether Mr. Emer- 
son's doctrine of the "Over-Soul" explains this or not, we know that such is 
often the case. But it is very certain that he who wrote in 1871 and published 
in 1874 is not indebted for his thought to a work published in 1877. See North- 
western Christian Advocate of Sept. 9 and Oct. 14, 1874, first page in both cases. 

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* <5XX5 > > 

RELATION OF Metaphysics to Sciknce, .... 9 

Modes of Investigation, 21 

Absolute Truths, 32 

Matter, 46 

Facts and their Teaching, 74 

Motion, 33 

Inertia 102 

Energy, i jq 

The PH11.0SOPHY OF KV01.UT10N, 131 

The Solution, 142 

Causes in Nature, 160 

Application to Organic Phenomena, 175 

The Process of Knowledge, 192 

Application to the Human Mind, 224 

The Use of the Intuitions in Science, ... 248 
Nature and God, 282 


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REI.ATION OF Metaphysics to Science. 

Much commendable effort has been made during the past 
few years to popularize science. Many books have been 
written to make known to the reading pubUc especially 
the theories by which scientists would explain natural 
phenomena. Many scientists agree that certain theories 
are probably true; some regard them as open questions, 
still on trial before the world; some look upon them as 
provisional theories, the best w^e have now, which are 
destined in time to give place to others; others consider 
them already established doctrines, and use them as 
evidence in other departments of truth. 

Science naturally divides itself into two questions: 
(i) What are the facts in nature? and (2) what theories 
do these facts indicate? Observers and experimenters are 
the proper persons to answer the first question; logicians 
and philosophers the second. The opinions which we 
form in answer to the second question depend very largely 
upon the logical and metaphysical principles which we 
entertain and which we take to guide us in our processes 
of thought. 

Scientists sometimes seem to regard it as an intrusion 
and impertinence when metaphysicians bring forward their 






principles as tests of scientific theories. They do not 
seem to reaUze that their own metaphysics has determined 
mainly the form and structure of their theories. They 
only need to think for a moment of the importance they 
attach to the metaphysical principle which has been 
denominated the law of continuity, or the unchangeable 
quantity of existence, to vSee the impropriety of forbidding 
the use of metaphysics in scientific theorizing. Nearly 
all that is peculiar and characteristic in modem scientific 
theories is based on the a priori assumption of endless 
continuity of being, with limitless possibility of change. 
Descriptive science is dependent mainly upon observation; 
but when we begin to construct theories and systems, we 
commence to arrange facts in certain relations, and the 
science of relations is metaphysics. One set of meta- 
physical principles suggests and allows one arrangement 
of facts in a system, and another set of principles suggests 
and allows another arrangement of the same facts. 

Popular opinion is that scientific theories depend entirely 
upon observed facts, and that the new theories which have 
appeared in late years are the results of newly discovered 
facts. Even metaphysicians who do not adopt the systems 
of metaphysics which they discover in scientific specula- 
tions, have not seemed to realize to what extent the forms 
of the theories are consequent upon the systems of meta- 
physics adopted by those who constructed the theories. 

These questions are asked: Do not scientists know the 
facts which support cm rent theories? and are they not as 
capable as any of judging whether the facts do or do not 
prove these theories? Do they not know all the facts 
which may be brought against these theories? and do they 
not know as well as any whether these facts do or do not 
disprove them? To these questions we answer: They 

know all the facts; but with one set of metaphysical prin- 
ciples, certain facts prove anc other facts do not disprove 
a theory; while with another set of principles, the fomier 
facts do not prove, and the latter facts do disprove the 
theory. The question respecting scientific theories is nol 
a question between scientists and metaphysicians, nor be- 
tween facts and metaphysics, but between one system of 
metaphysics and another system of metaphysics, while 
dealing with the same admitted facts. The system of 
metaphysics, more than the facts, determines the theory. 
We may illustrate this by presenting a specific case. 

One man believes that it is folly to inquire in reference 
to causes, thinks that we can know nothing of any such 
things, not even that they are. What is called the causal 
relation can have no guiding or limiting powers upon his 
speculations. He can construct theories which ignore the 
existence of causes, and which positively and constantly 
violate the causal relation. He may arrange his facts in 
any system that suits his convenience. ^ . 

Another man admits that causes are, but asserts that 
they are to us " unknowable. " If we say to either of 
these men: You have changes without causes, he well 
answers: We know nothing about causes, or their sup- 
posed relation to phenomena. As that supposed relation 
is unknowable, we do not consider ourselves bound to 
observe your view of it, and you do not know whether we 
have violated it or not. Such a "man does not deem it 
necessary to pay any heed to the law of cause and effect. 
He can construct his theories without any reference to it. 
,To say that his theory violates the law of cause and effect, 
is to him no proof that his theory is false or incorrect. 

Another man admits that things are related to each 
other as causes and effects; but by cause he means that 
which uniformly precedes, and by effect that which uni- 





formly succeeds. With him the causal relation is only a 
time relation — going before and following after. The day 
is the cause of the night, and the night is the cause of the 
next day, and so on. Spring is the cause of summer, 
summer the cause of autumn, and autumn the cause of 
winter. Or, speaking of effects, we may say, night is the 
effect of day, day the effect of the preceding night, and so 
on. All that is necessary For this man, in the construction 
of his theories, is that he preserve the proper order of suc- 
cession. If any one should attempt to test his theories by 
the law of cause and effect, all that is necessary in vind^'- 
cating his theory, is that he show that some phenomena 
preceded, and other phenomena succeeded, the phenomena 
with which he deals, in their true order of succession. 

Another man admits that things are related to each, 
other as causes and effects, but by cause and effect he 
means the same existence in two different successive forms. 
Thus ice is the cause of water, and water is the cause of 
steam. Or we may speak of the effects, and say water is 
the effect of ice, and steam the effect of water. All that 
is necessary in the construction of his theories is that the 
quantity of existence be preserved unchanged in the suc- 
cessive changes in form. As a proof that his theory is 
properly constructed, he shows that the order may be 
reversed, and we may say the steam is the cause of the 
water, and the water is the cause of the ice. If it be 
alleged that in his theory he has effects without causes, 
he has only to show in reply that there was an equal 
amount of existence in some other form preceding his 

Another man believes that the cause energizes to pro- 
duce the effect, and that unless it does, the two do not 
stand in the relation to each other of cause and effect. He 
believes that all changes are the results of the energizing 

of something. With him the causal relation includes the 
energizing of the cause to produce the effect. He cannot 
receive as true any theory which relates things in a way 
which violates this opinion. 

Here are five doctrines respecting cause which are more 
or less current in the world. According to the one of 
these which a man adopts will be the form of his scientific 
theories, based upon the same admitted facts. When, 
then, I am informed that certain facts prove a certain 
theory, before I can have confidence in my informant as 
an authority, I must know which of these doctrines of 
cause he adopts. With one of them his theory may be in 
accordance with the facts, while with another one, in view 
of the facts his theory may be entirely impossible. Ac- 
cording to the first four of these doctrines, theories and 
explanations of natural phenomena are allowable, which 
according to the last are impossible. The first four of 
them can co-operate, because they all agree in rejecting 
the last. The last can have no fellowship with any of the 
others, and he who adopts it can admit no theory con- 
structed according to any of the others, and in violation of 


The last of these doctrines is the one universally held 
by the popular common sense of mankind. Every man 
considers himself a cause from the fact that he energizes 
to produce results. This is the view of cause universally 
entertained by the common people. It is also the one 
that is entertained, and that has always been entertained, 
by the largest and best class of metaphysicians. But cer- 
tain metaphysicians declared and promulgated the other 
four doctrines. Scientists, after a time, adopted them, one 
or another, or all of them, and began to construct theories 
according to them, and in disregard of the last. It is thus, 
and thus only, that some of the most important theories of 





modern science have become possible. It may now be 
said that the first four of these doctrines are factors in the 
metaphysical basis of all modern science. Whoever re- 
ceives and believes the last of these doctrines, must, while 
handling the same facts, arrive at very different conclu- 
sions from those reached by men who have adopted any 
other of these doctrines of cause. Theory-constructing 
and system-building are arranging and relating facts, and 
depend upon the principle of relation which the builder 

Again, our opinions of scientific theories depend very 
much upon whether we do or do not admit the existence 
of fundamental, absolute, or necessary truths. Upon this 
question metaphysicians are divided; at least some meta- 
physicians have denied that there are any such truths. If 
we admit that there are certain fundamental truths which 
we must not violate in the construction of our theories, we 
are limited and restricted in our work — w^e must construct 
our theories according to those truths. If we deny that 
there are any such truths, ignore them, and construct our 
theories without reference to them, we have greater liberty 
— we may construct almost any theory we please. Others 
may say that one part of our theory contradicts another 
part. We may answer: That is nothing to us; we do 
not admit the authority of what is called the law of con- 
tradictions, nor of any other alleged absolute truths. On 
the other hand, if our creed embraces such truths, they 
are guides to us in the construction of our theories. If we 
do not recognize them at all, they are no guides to us, and 
they impose on us no restrictions. In the construction 
of the present prevalent system of physical philosophy 
much has been done by persons who have adopted the 
systems of metaphysics which deny the authority of any 
such truths. The question arises in the minds of many : 

To what extent are the wonderful theories which so dis- 
tinguish modem science dependent upon the systems of 
metaphysics which scientists have adopted? What mod- 
ifications in these theories would some other system of 
metaphysics require? What must be our opinion respecting 
these theories from the standpoint of some other system of 
metaphysics? There are many who do not adopt any of 
the systems of metaphysics upon which modern science is 
built; does this fact require them to modify or reject its 


We may be a little more specific and mention th , bear- 
ing of certain specific systems of metaphysics upon the 
structure of physical philosophy. Sensationalism, denying 
any innaLe cnaracteristics of mind or necessary modes of 
mental activity, turns man out upon the objective world 
alone for his evidence. Its antagonist, intuitionalism, finds 
in mind itself certain necessary modes of action, which are 
thought to be adaptations to and intimations of objective 
facts, and these necessary modes of thought are supposed 
to aid, limit and direct our opinions respecting objective 
things. Phenomenalism limits our knowledge to appear- 
ances, idealism to our own mental states and acts, and we 
know not that there is any real thing in the material 
world. All we know is that certain appearances are pre- 
sented to our minds, or that our minds perform .ertain 
acts. On the other hand, realism of various shades and 
kinds includes in our knowledge not only appearances, 
but things as they really are. The word realism has had 
two significations in philosophy. Formerly realism was 
the opposite of nominalism. These words then had refer- 
ence only to the content of general terms, such as man, 
horse, brute etc. Nominalism claimed that such words 
were only names, names having no corresponding things. 
Realism claimed that they were names of real things. 






This has ceased to be a question of much interest in philos- 
ophy. Nearly everybody has concluded that these terms 
are not names of things but only of groups of qualities. 

But in modem philosophy the word realist has come to 
be used as the opposite of phenomenalist and idealist, and 
means a believer in man's knowledge of reality, as distin- 
guished from mere appearances or mental activities. Of 
course, as our opinions are with the phenomenalist or with 
the realist, will our views of the physical world, of scien- 
tific theories, and our system of physical philosophy, be 
difierent. Sensationalists, associationalists, and phenom- 
enalists, generally deny the existence of any absolute 
truths; many idealists do not, and realists generally believe 
that there are a great many absolute, immutable, and 
eternal truths, which are and must be true, whatever else 
may be said or thought. 

Now, if any man believes that these alleged absolute 
truths are merely generalizations from obser\^ation and 
experience; or that they are merely the result of habit, 
custom in thus associating thoughts, or that we think 
them true merely because we cannot comprehend their 
oppcsites — that is, that they are grounded only in otu- 
weakness — if a man entertains any of these opinions re- 
specting alleged absolute truths, they have no weight of 
authority with him, more than any other generalizations, 
cr habits of thought, or limits from human weakness. On 
the other hand, if we believe that they are really absolute 
truths which cannot be refuted, contradicted or even 
questioned, we know that our opinions in physical science, 
and in all other departments of thought, must be con- 
formed to them. According, then, as we receive or reject 
these must cur systems of physical philosphy be very dif- 
ferent. It is not probable that any one, however positively 
he may deny the validity of absolute truths, will directly 

assert that two contradictory statements can both be true, 
or that it is not always true that a thing is equal to itself; 
yet by fixing it as a general rule that all such truths must 
be excluded, and that they must not be allowed to have 
any voice in determining our opinions of physical nature, 
great liberty is secured in the construction of theories and 
systems, and many are constructed which a regard for 
such truths would forbid, and which these truths utterly 


It is folly to exclude metaphysics from all voice In the 
construction of theories and systems of physical philoso- 
phy. As I have already said, theory-constructing and 
system-building are the application of metaphysics to 
physics. Science cannot advance a single step beyond 
observation, cannot take the first step in physical icience 
—classification— without using the metaphysical principle 
of likeness. Likeness has no corporeity, no body, form 
or size. We cannot see it, or hear it, or handle it. It is 
a super-material, meta-physical abstraction. Thus we see 
that differences of opinion in reference to scientific theories 
do not result fi-om the fact that one employs metaphysics 
as a help in their construction, and others do not — for all 
employ it — but upon the kind of metaphysics employed, 
upon the different principles used. 

A large majority of mankind, both the learned and the 
unlearned, hold to a system of metaphysics which includes 
the four following principles: (i.) Energizing is a neces- 
sary factor in the causal relation. (2.) The human mind 
has positive characteristics and necessary inborn modes of 
action. (3.) We do know things, and not merely appear- 
ances. (4.) There are absolute truths which are the 
ultimate tests of truth in all philosophy. Among those 
- who constitute this majority I class myself. The meta- 
physical system which you and I and most men adopt, 





includes these four propositions. If the existing theories 
and systems of physical philosophy have been constructed 
by those who did not include these principles in their 
system of metaphysics, if their metaphysical principles are 
the contrary of these, their system of physical philosophy 
must be different from ours, and ours different from theirs. 
If we are satisfied that our system of metaphysics is true, 
if we are certain that we have the truth in this, we cannot 
receive as true any physical system or theory of natural 
phenomena which contradicts the truth we already have. 
To do so would be to entertain a contradiction in our own 
minds. Two contradictions cannot both be true. Then 
we must either give up our metaphysics or our contra- 
dictory system of physical philosophy. But in our meta- 
physical system we have this principle that there are cer- 
tain absolute truths which lie at the foundation of all 
truth, which are the ultimate judicature in all philosophy, 
metaphysical and physical. Certainly the dependent cannot 
require that the fundamental, upon which itself depends, 
shall get out of the way, or be given up. One of these 
truths we have just employed — two contradictories cannot 
both be true. We hold this to be a bottom principle, 
applicable to all thought and all fact, physical and meta- 
physical, in all periods of time and in all worlds. Thus 
the basal principles which lie beneath all facts, and which 
must determine our opinions of all facts, and must deter- 
mine the facts themselves, lie in our metaphysics. It is 
thus the prime authority before which all else must fall. 
It is only the absoluteness of its own authority that con- 
signs one of two contradictory philosophies to oblivion; it 
is its own authoritative voice that commands one to vacate 
the arena, and it is not self-annihilative; it does not com- 
mand itself to vacate. 

But perhaps some one says: The scientist will not 

admit what you call absolute truths as evidence, nor allow 
them to be applied to scientific questions. What matter? 
I do not care whether he admits them or not; though I 
know that, whatever he may say about it, he will admit 
them practically, even the one that we have just been 
using, and if one of his experiments contradicts another 
of his experiments, he will throw away one of them, and 
say they cannot both be true, and try again. But I am 
not talking with scientists who forbid the use of meta- 
physics while using it themselves, nor with those who 
have a different system of metaphysics from that which I 
have outlined above. I do not propose to try to convince 
any one that this is the true system of metaphysics, nor to 
discuss further the propriety of applying metaphysical 
principles to scientific theories. I do not propose to try to 
convince any one who has built his physical philosophy 
upon a different metaphysical foundation that he is in error. 
I suppose myself conversing with that great majority of 
which I have spoken, who agree with me in the four meta- 
physical principles stated, and say to these my friends: 
According to these fundamental principles of philosophy 
which we all hold in common, what must be onr opinions 
of the physical world? What views must we have of 
nature? What must be our opinions of current scientific 
theories? What in general must be our conclusions re- 
specting the system of physical philosophy which appears 
now before us in the world? It has been very ably and 
laboriously wrought out as it could be on the basis of other 
systems of metaphysics; what has our system to say in 
reference to it? What modifications would our system 
require us to make in it? We enter upon an examination 
of the physical world to see what views we must take of it 
in the light of our system of metaphysics. If you agree 
with me in the general system which I have mentioned., I 



invite you to accompany me in an excursion among the 
works of God, for the purpose of endeavoring to obtain a 
true understanding of nature. If the present current sys- 
tem of physical philosophy is possible under the direction 
of the metaphysics of phenomenalism and the exclusion of 
absolute truths, how is it under the direction of any system 
of realism and the admission of such absolute truths? 



Modes of Investigation. 

In the investigation of natural phenomena five modes 
of procedure have been common in all ages. ( i . ) Observ- 
ing facts, and deducing from them principles, or laws of 
being and doing. Many facts, because of their resem- 
blances, admit of classification. These facts are all accord- 
ing to the same mode; that mode, then, is a law or prin- 
ciple in nature. Thus, we notice that bodies left unsup- 
ported in the air fall to the ground. This we have seen 
to be the case in so many instances that we say it is a law 
or principle in nature that all bodies left unsupported 
near the earth fall to the ground. Other facts, unlike 
these, but like each other, are classed together, and we 
say that their mode is another law or principle in nature. 
Thus we have noticed that when bits of wood, cork, and 
many other things, are put down in water, they rise up 
through it and rest on its surface. Hence we say it is a 
principle or law in nature that bodies of less specific grav- 
ity than water, rise up through the water and rest upon 
its surface. Any new fact is thought to be explained 
when it can be classed with or placed under any of these 
already deduced modes or laws. Thus, if we put bits of 
iron or lead in a dish of mercury, these bodies rise up 
through the mercury and rest on its surface. Explana- 
tion: These bodies are lighter than the mercury, and 






hence rise up through it, just as bits of wood do through 
water. Sometimes the principle thus obtained is so gen- 
eral that it is decided to be universal. Thus the principle, 
all bodies left unsupported in the air fall to the ground,' 
is thought to be true on all the planets, on all worlds,' 
universally. Such a principle is called a generalized 
universal, This mode of procedure has in later times 
been called the inductive method. It is also called gen- 
erahzing, and for many years it was called the scientific 

(2.) The second mode of procedure is this: When a 
principle has been found so extensive that it has been 
generalized into a universal, that principle is taken as a 
guide, to our opinions. Finding so many things accord- 
ing to this mode, we conclude that all things of this class 
are according to it. If, then, a new object of this class is 
presented to us, we say that it is according to this princi- 
ple, before we have ascertained by observation or experi- 
ment that it is so, and even when the circumstances do 
not admit of verification by observation or experiment. 
Thus, if a new planet should be discovered, we would 
say that a body left unsupported a little distance from 
that planet would fall to it. This method is sometimes 
called reasoning from analogy. All scientists use this 
method, none more so than those who say, "We have no 
right whatever to ascertain a single physical truth without 
seeking for it physically." 

(3.) The third mode of procedure is this: Men find 
themselves under the necessity of thinking after certain 
forms of thought. These necessary forms or modes ot 
thought have been denominated intuitions, or subjective 
principles. These have been taken as indications of the 
modes of objective things. This has been called the intu- 
itional method. While this has as much influence, per- 

haps, as any other method in determining the opinions of 
mankind in general respecting external things, it is not 
admitted as valid by scientists, and there is so much of 
doubt surrounding it in scientific minds that we shall not 
rely upon it or use it in our investigations of physical 
nature till we have ascertained the truth by other mothods. 
(4.) The fourth method is as follows: Men see by the 
nature of things that certain facts must be true of them, 
and cannot be otherwise — the opposite is an impossibility. 
They formulate one of these necessary facts, express it in 
words, and call it an absolute truth. From this absolute 
truth they form opinions of how things must be, and how 
otherwise it is impossible for them to be. From these we 
form opinions of undiscovere 1 things, and of facts respect- 
ing discovered things which cannot be otherwise ascer- 
tained. This may be properly called the metaphysical 

The second and fourth of these principles have been by 
some indiscriminately called the deductive method; and 
the principles obtained by both of these processes are 
sometimes called "a priori" principles. They ought to 
be carefully distinguished. They are alike in that both 
take principles as the basis of opinions respecting objective 
things. But they are very unlike in the origin and au- 
thority of the principles. A generalized principle can 
only prove that things are probably so. Take the prin- 
ciple, all small bodies left unsupported near a large body, 
fall to it. We suppose that this principle holds true of 
bodies near the remotest star. But we have no evidence 
but analogy from our solar system, and some slight indi • 
cations of motion in some other heavenly bodies, that 
there is any such power as gravity in connection with that 
star. It is possible that there is no such power as gravity 
there. When, then, this principle is applied to that star, 




its Opposite is possible, and the fact is only probable. An 
absolute truth declares that things must be so, and cannot 
possibly be otherwise. A generalized principle is proof 
only until opposite facts are discovered. If facts which 
apppir to be contrary to it are discovered, we cannot say, 
we know they are not contrary, the apparent facts must 
be S'^t aside, the principle makes it necessary that facts be 
according to it. It was a generalized universal only 
because no contrary facts were known. Now that con- 
trary facts have been discovered, it ceases to be a univer- 
sal principle — it is true of some things, of others it is not 

All four of these modes have been used in all ages of 
the world. They are distinguished from each other by 
their premises. In the first mode facts are the premise, 
and a principle is the deduction. That principle is the 
premise in the second mode. In the third mode neces- 
sary forms of thought are the premise. In the fourth 
process absolute truths are the premise. In the early 
ages of the world comparatively few facts were known, 
but men could not wait for further discoveries before 
forming systems. Man's impulse to system-building has 
led to the construction of systems of natural philosophj^ 
by every generation of men. Men have always taken as 
a basis of their systems the few facts known to them. In 
the absence of more numerous facts, there was much 
reliance upon intuitive or subjective principles and abso- 
lute truths. Their errors generally arose, however, not 
from the misguidance of subjective principles or absolute 
truths, but from mistake in reference to the facts. The 
Ptolemaic system of astronomy, for instance, was based 
upon mistaken facts — the whole heavens seemed to revolve 
around the earth. These were the supposed facts which 
constituted the basis of the system. 



(5.) The fifth process is as follows: From the intima- 
tion of a few facts, for the purpose of explaining these and 
like phenomena, a supposition is made, or an hypothesis 
is form^jd, and then efforts are made to ascertain how well 
that hypothesis will explain these phenomena. On the 
basis of this supposition can we account for and explain 
these phenomena ? Do these phenomena accord with that 
supposition ? Do they sustain that hypothesis ? I thus 
change the language of the question because it appears to 
me that the phrases, does it explain the phenomena ? does 
it account for the phenomena ? do the phenomena accord 
with it ? and do they sustain or prove it ? are practically 
the same. If the supposition or hypothesis is found to 
accord with a considerable number of the phenomena, it 
is called a theory. A theory is an hypothesis sustained 
by some gathered evidence. Efforts are still made to 
discover its accordance with other, with all related phe- 
nomena. If there are found some phenomena which can- 
not be explained by it, with which it does not accord, the 
theor>' is somewhat modified to adapt it to these new 
facts. If, on further examination, there are found some 
facts which it will not yet explain, still other modifications 
are made in it. Thus by successive modifications, the 
endeavor is to construct a theory that will explain, or 
accord with, all related facts, all facts that are within the 
field of that theory. 

This endeavor is prosecuted by different persons, in 
different countries, and through successive generations. 
These endeavors constitute a very large portion of the 
work of scientists, and comprise a large portion of scien- 
tific literature. This is the favorite method with modem 
scientists. It is not true that the Baconian method is the 
scientific method of the age. Men do not go forth accu- 
mulating facts, and deducing from them theories; the 
theory is already formed, and they are seeking facts to 



test it, or to prove it. Men do not go forth performing 
experiments haphazard to see what their teachings are, 
without any opinions of the results. The theor>^ is already 
formed, and according to it they anticipate the results, 
and now they perform the experiment to ascertain if the 
results accord with their anticipations, and thus confirm 
their theory. It is not true, as some suppose, that Lord 
Bacon discovered or invented a new scientific mode. That 
mode which I have designated as number one, was the 
method which he recommended, and it has always been 
the first method of mankind in all ages of the world. He 
defined it more clearly than it had ever been defined 
before, and analyzed it and gave names to certain classi- 
fications within It; but no man has ever followed his anal- 
ysis and classifications, but all men have gone on using it, 
as they had always been using it. 

Nor is it true that modern science is the fruit of the 
Baconian method. Because the extraordinary burst of 
progress in science which Newton inaugurated occurred 
soon after Bacon's time, many have attributed it to his 
influence. It is true that Sir Isaac Newton, who has 
been styled the father of modern science, began his brill- 
iant career of investigation soon after Bacon's death; but 
Professor W. S. Jevons says: ' ' There is no evidence, from 
his writing or from any other source, that Newton ever 
read Bacon's works. " It is certain that he did not follow 
his mode. From the intimations of a few facts — probably 
more than simply the fall of an apple — he conceived the 
thought of the force of gravity. This was then a thought, 
a supposition, an hypothesis, in his mind. He then pro- 
ceeded by observation and experiment to test and verify 
this hypothesis. During these investigations the thought 
of its law or mode of increase and decrease from distance 
was suggested to him. This was another hypothesis, or 
addition to his former one. He then proceeded by obser- 



vation to test and prove this. He has now the hypothesis 
of the force of gravity and its mode or law. He then 
asked himself the question: "Will this account for and 
explain all related natural phenomena, including the mo- 
tions of the heavenly bodies ? The endeavor to show that 
it will, constituted the largest item in the work of his 
life. This is not the Baconian method at all, but it is a 
good example of the one which we now have under 
consideration. This process of first forming an hypothe- 
sis, and then looking for the corroborating facts, is what 
Professor Tyndall calls "the use of imagination in 
science. ' ' 

This process, when used in connection with other modes 
of investigation, is often very serviceable, and can often 
be employed in the ascertainment of truth. When certain 
facts suggest a supposition, it is perfectly legitimate that 
we adopt it provisionally, and then see if other facts cor- 
roborate it. There was no occasion for the condemnation 
of this mode, by Bacon or any one else; but it is not 
proper, while using it to condemn it, or to exclude any 
other legitimate mode. 

In using this method we are liable to mistake in two 
ways: (i) in our earnest desire to find facts which accord 
with the hypothesis, the facts themselves may be distorted, 
or certain inimical facts may be excluded or covered up; 
or (2) following the indications of the hypothesis, and to 
answer its demands, certain facts may be assumed which 
are known to be facts only because the hypothesis demands 
them. Thus many opinions respecting the nature and 
doings of molecules have been assumed as facts, not be- 
cause they are by any other means known to be facts, but 
because certain hypotheses demand that they should be 
facts. It becomes us to be very careful in admitting as 
facts opinions projected from an hypothesis and applied to 
things. They are of the natiure of prophecies, and may or 



may not be true, and until they are ascertained by other 
means to be true, they cannot be regarded as facts. 

Suppose we proceed after this manner: An hypothesis 
we have formed, or a supposition we have made, indicates 
and requires certain facts. We cannot by any other means 
ascertain that they are facts, but we will assume them to 
be facts; and from these assumed facts we will construct 
another hypothesis respecting certain other things. This 
hypothesis requires certain facts respecting those things; 
we cannot by any other means discover that they are facts, 
but we will, on the strength of our hypothesis, assume 
them to be facts. From these assumed facts we will pro- 
ject another hypothesis respecting still other things; and 
this hypothesis demands other facts, and we will assume 
them to be facts; and from these assumed facts we will 
construct another hypothesis, and so on. Thus we may 
proceed according to this process until we have constructed 
an entire system of the universe. That would be a system 
constructed entirely upon imagination and faith; but these 
are not deemed a very stable foundation for a system of 
physical philosophy. If we follow back our track of pro- 
gress, we will find that our whole system rests upon the 
truthfulness of our first hypothesis. If our first hypothesis 
is true, then such are facts; if these are facts, our second 
hypothesis is true; if this hypothesis is true, such are 
other facts, and so on. Thus our whole system rests upon 
the truth of our first supposition. We find too much of 
this in modern scientific speculation; and to this the words 
of Professor Tait are applicable when he says: "We 
have no right whatever to ascertain a single physical truth 
without seeking for it physically." 

The test of this method is the law of contradictions. In 
the successive modifications of our hypothesis to adapt it 
to other facts, we may render it entirely inconsistent with 
the facts which first suggested it. We thus introduce into 




it a contradiction, and an absolute truth comes in, and, 
with a voice as decisive as the voice of Omnipotence, pro- 
nounces our hypothesis false. It is thus that the hypoth- 
esis of an universal ether has suffered. That it might be 
competent to transmit light and radiant heat at their 
known velocity, it was necessary to give it such properties 
that it became impervious to the moving worlds. If we 
give it such properties that it becomes no obstruction to 
the passing worlds, it becomes entirely incompetent to 
transmit light and heat at their known velocity. 

At best this method is a long and laborious process, 
and it can never attain unto a demonstration. The best 
we can do, usually, is to decide according to what appears 
to be the balance of testimony. Often two or more hy- 
potheses will explain the phenomena about equally well, 
then each person will be disposed to accept the hypothe- 
sis which appears to him to explain the fects most per- 
fectly. But the choice of men is not always thus deter- 
mined. Every man knows that the hypothesis of direct 
divine agency in nature will perfectly explain all natural 
phenomena; but there are many who do not receive this 
hypothesis. Nor is this surprising. It seems very prob- 
able that there are subordinate natural agencies operating 
in nature; and to endeavor to discover them, and trace 
out their working, as far as we can honestly and rever- 
ently, seems entirely legitimate. In the prosecution of 
this endeavor we sometimes meet with cases where no 
other method seems so serviceable as this, to from a few 
facts construct an hypothesis, and then test it by an appli- 
cation to other facts. But neither this nor any other 
should be our exclusive method. We have need of all 
methods, and it is only by the use of all that we can hope 
to arrive at any true system of physical philosophy. 

Here are five methods which have been more or less 
employed by all men in their endeavors to solve the mys- 




teries of nature. The investigator may not have all, or 
any, of these distinctly defined in his own mind, distinct- 
ively premeditated as an instrument that he is going to 
use; but he goes forth intuitively using them as means 
for the enlargement of the bounds of his knowledge. 
Scientists of the present day employ the first, second, and 
especially the fifth, and often repudiate the third and 
fourth. Metaphysicians attach more importance to these; 
hence, there is apt to be some antagonism between science 
and metaphysics. It is unfortunate that science and met- 
aphysics have been to so great an extent separated. It is 
folly to construct any system that requires for its main- 
tenance the exclusion of metaphysics. It is vain to 
expect that metaphysics is to be exiled and shut out for- 
ever firom its influence upon human thought. Subjective 
principles and absolute truths will in all future ages, as 
they have in all the past, lay the foundations of all endur- 
ing systems, and ultimately control opinion more than all 
other influences, and determine mainly the forms of human 

The two modes which scientists are disposed to exclude 
are necessary for the construction of any correct and com- 
plete system of physical philosophy. We can but tak 
with us our necessary subjective modes of thought. Those 
who theoretically repudiate them as guides do and must, 
of course, constantly use them, and rely upon them in all 
their mental operations. Absolute truths we need to take 
with us, for they declare beforehand what is possible and 
what is impossible, and save us the time and labor wasted 
in the construction of theories which may be easily shown 
to be impossible. They are infallible guides to us in our 
investigations. They are true, whatever else may appear. 
If our observations seem to conflict with them, we must 
set ourselves immediately at work to correct our observa- 
itons. If our supposed facts contradict them, we may 





throw our supposed facts to the winds. They and facts 
can never be at variance, and if such a conflict appears 
we may know that we have not yet obtained the facts. 
No appearances can weaken them; no number of apparent 
facts can impair their validity or stability. I do not pro- 
pose to enter the field of controversy respecting them. I 
do not propose to try to prove that there are such truths. 
If there are no such truths, there is no ultimate test of 
truth, no bed-rock of human thought, and certainty in 
anything is unattainable to man. I shall therefore freely 
use them, without apologizing to any one for their use, 
and if the reader admits them, they will guide him to the 
truth; if he does not admit them, he will have to follow 
uncertain guides, or grope in the dark. If to the reader, 
as they are presented to him, they are absolute truths, he 
may know that whatever is not supported by them is un- 
certain, and that whatever conflicts with them is false, 
I do not say that all opinions expressed in the following 
pages will be supported by them, but I would not enter- 
tain any opinion which contravenes one of them, but we 
shall find that many opinions current in science would 
never have been promulgated or entertained but for the 
previous exclusion of their testimony from the halls of 
science. In the next chapter we will present a list of 
such of them as we may have occasion to use. 


ABSOI.UTK Truths. 

As stated in the preceding chapter, we do not propose 
to discuss the question, are there absolute truths? but 
merely present some that I regard as such, and leave the 
reader to judge for himself whether he so regards them. 
But before doing so we must define what we mean by the 
words substance, property and doer. 

When we undertake to define a thing we would state 
some fact or facts respecting it that cannot be said of any- 
thing else, that distinguish it from everything else. Now, 
what can be said of substance that cannot be said of any- 
thing else ? This, and this only, that it, of itself, has 
being in space, without having anything else below it or 
behind it upon which it depends. We may define sub- 
stance, then, as existence which of itself occupies space. 
We may add by way of explanation of the word itself in 
this definition, that is not dependent upon anything else 
for the continuance of its being. We would not, in this 
sentence, join issue with those who believe that nothing 
finite continues in being except as it is sustained by divine 
power. With those who believe that nothing can subsist 
except as it is held in being by divine power, and with 
those who believe that nothing in nature moves except as 
God moves it, and those who believe that there is no real 
being but God, I have no discussion. But most people do 




not so believe. The great mass of mankind think that 
matter is itself substantial existence, continuing in being 
by virtue of its own nature indestructibly, and that some- 
thing that is not God moves matter. According to these 
views, without discussing these points, we frame our defi- 
nitions, and endeavor to explain natural phenomena. By 
this definition we would distinguish substance from prop- 
erty or attribute. Of course a property extends through 
space as much as its substance. Wherever in space the 
substance is, its property is; but the property has no exist- 
ence apart from its substance. It does not, of itself, occu- 
py space. We may take away all properties, except such 
as are inseparable from any finite existence in space — 
location, extension, form and size — and yet the substance 
is there. But take the substance away and no property 
remains, nothing remains. Hence we say, substance is 
existence which of itself occupies space. The relation of 
this definition to immaterial substance will be considered 
in subsequent chapters. 

A property is an inherent characteristic of substance. 
This definition limits the word to one class of properties, 
as they have generally been treated^. We will hereafter 
have occasion to speak of the different classes of proper- 
ties. At present we use the word only as here defined, — 
an inherent characteristic of substance, a fact which is 
not now dependent upon anything for its existence but 
its substance. Among properties, as the word is gener- 
ally used, are included many facts — such as color, weight, 
and so forth — which are dependent upon something out- 
side of the substance. We now limit the W^rd to an inhe- 
rent characteristic, dependent upon nesting external to 
its substance. , t 

A doer is that which producesmotion, or effects change. 
We sometimes exert energy u|^ bodies, and yet move 
nothing. In that case there is no doing, scientifically 



Speaking, and we are not doers. Energizing and doing, 
then, are not synonymous terms. We may energize and 
not do. Doing is energizing which effects change, or 
causes motions; and a doer is the thing which energizes, 
and thus produces the motion, or effects the change. 

Absolute truths are propositions which are true inde- 
pendent of the mind that thinks them, independent of any 
being that declares them, true necessarily in the nature 
of things— their opposite is not possible. There are many 
such truths in mathematics and other sciences, but we 
will mention only such as we may have occasion to use 
in our investigation of natural phenomena. They may 
be classified in kinds, and we will thus classify them 
under the terms Absolute Truths, Included Absolute 
Truths, and Derivative Absolute Truths. I do not say 
that they may be known as true without a mental process. 
There is no knowledge without an activity of mind. But 
their truthfulness does not depend upon any process, or 
quality, or mode, in the nature of the mind that thinks 
them. Those of the first class are known as true by sim- 
ply mentally looking at them— they are self-evident. 
Those of the second class are known as true by perceiving 
that they are included in some one of the first class. Those 
of the third class are known to be true by perceiving that 
they are included in some one of the second class. 


1. All material bodies exist in space. 

2. Every body is at a distance from all bodies that it 
does not touch. 

3. Every bo^ is some direction from all other bodies. 

4. One body ca^pot occupy two different places in 
space at the same time.i - 

5. All events occur in lime. 

6. Each event is simultaneous with other events, or 
before or after them. ^ 



7. All things in the universe are either substance or 
not substance. 

8. Where no substance is, nothing is. I would except 
time and space; some would not make even these ex- 

9. Nothing can do or be done where nothing is. 

10. Two contradictories cannot both be true. 

11. All material bodies have size, or dimensions. 

12. Some bodies are larger or smaller than some other 

13. If one body is larger or smaller than another, it is 
not of the same size. 

14. There are more or less of some things than of others. 

15. All material bodies have form. 

16. All bodies have not the same form. 

17. Things are like and unlike other things. 

These I hold to be absolute truths. They are not de- 
pendent upon the mind that thinks them. All bodies 
exist in space. It is not merely that we must so think. 
Bodies could not exist ouside of space, for there is no 
outside of space. Then if they exist at all, they must be 
in space. That is not a fact that is made or decreed. It 
is a fact the opposite of which is impossible. If any being 
in any world thinks contrary to any of these propositions, 
he thinks a falsehood. There may be beings in other 
worlds, as there are on earth, who are incapable of the 
concepts expressed in these propositions. To such beings, 
of course, they express neither truth nor falsehood; but 
to all beings who can comprehend them, they declare the 

These truths are independent of mind to make or 
unmake them. No being, not even the infinite Creator, 
could make these facts to be otherwise than as they are. 
Take, for instance, the thirteenth. If a body is larger or 
smaller than another, it is not of the same size. If upon 






a two-foot rule you place a rule that is only a foot and a 
half long, no being in any world could make it true that 
the two rules are of equal length. No being could make 
it true that when one event occurs before another, they 
occur at the same time; or that when there are more of 
some things than of others, they are the same in number; 
or that when they are alike in form, they are unlike; or 
that one body can be in two places in space at the same 
time — or, in other words, make one equal to two. 

These facts would have been as they are if there had 
been no mind connected with their first appearance in 
reality, and no mind to think and know them. When a 
material body came into being it could not have been 
otherwise than in space; and its advent could not have 
been otherwise than in time, and it could not have been 
without form and size. If the material elements evolved 
themselves into shape, or even into being, these facts 
must have been as they are. If there had been no mind to 
think them there would have been no truth or falsehood 
in reference to them— that is, no agreement of thought 
with things; but the facts would have been as they are. 

Here, then, we have a list — it might have been ex- 
tended—of absolute independent truths. These form an 
infaUible basis of universal knowledge, and every intelli- 
gent being in all worlds must think according to them, if 
he thinks the truth; and if he does not think according to 
them., he thinks a falsehood. These are infallible guides 
to us as we go. forth in the study of nature. All theories 
and systems must conform to them, or be torn in pieces by 
them. On this rock must all foundations be laid, or ruin 
and disaster await the edifice. 

Each of these propositions contains many others which 
might be made, expressing the application of some abso- 
lute truth to a class of cases, or to a limited number of 
objects. These we have denominated Included Absolute 

Truths. They are as certainly true as the absolute truths 
themselves, because they are included in the absolute 
truths, and carry with them all the authority of the abso- 
lute truth which contains them. We might swell the list 
of included propositions to great proportions, but we 
mention only a few. The sixth of the foregoing absolute 
truths includes the following: 

1 . If an event occurs before another, it does not occur 
after it; ^nd if we say it occurs after, we speak a falsehood. 

2. If it occurs after, it does not occur before; and to 
assert that it occurs before, is to assert a falsehood. 

8. If it occurs before or after, it does not occur at the 

same time. 

4. If it occurs at the same time, it does not occur before 

or after. 

The tenth of the foregoing absolute truths — two con- 
tradictions cannot both be true— includes the following: 

5. A thing cannot be and not be at the same time; be 
and not be are a contradiction. 

6. A thing cannot be and not be in the same place at 
the same time. If it is not there, to say that it is there is 
a falsehood; if it is there, to say that it is not there is a 


7. A thing which is not cannot do; do and not be are a 


8. A thing cannot do when it is not. 

9. A thing cannot do where it is not; doing where it is 
not is doing without being — a contradiction. 

10. No substance can do outside of its own limits; doing 
outside of its own limits is doing where it is not — a con- 

11. If a thing does, we know that it is, and that it is 
where it does, unless it uses some medium to effect remote 


12. All doing requires a doer. This is another way of 



stating number 7 above. Doing without being is a con- 
tradiction. Here is doing; then there must be being in 
the doer, something which is and does, and which cannot 
do unless it is. Doing without being in the doer is a 
contradiction. Doing without a doer is a contradiction. 
If there is doing, there must be being in the doer; the 
doer must be. 

13. No property can be without a substance of which it 
is a property. Property of a thing which is not contains a 
contradiction — thing and no thing. 

14. Where there is a property there must be a substance 
of which it is a property. 

The eighth of the foregoing absolute truths — where no 
substance is nothing is — contains the following: 

15. Nothing but substance can be translated in space, 
or moved from one place to another. Of course, this ad- 
mits that where substance is moved, it carries with it its 
properties. Where no substance is nothing is to be moved. 
There can be no motion without substance. When sub- 
stance is not moved, nothing is moved. Nothing but 
substance can be translated in space. Of course, that 
which does not occupy one place in space cannot be made 
to occupy successively different places in space. The ninth 
of the foregoing absolute truths — nothing can do or be 
done where nothing is — includes the following: 

16. Nothing but substance can do, or be a doer. Where 
no substance is nothing is to do. Where substance is 
nothing else is but properties and relations, and these can 
never be doers. Then there is nothing there that can be 
a doer but substance. Nothing can move or be moved in 
space but substance. Nothing that cannot move or be 
moved in space can effect changes in other things, or cause 
motion or be a doer. 

17. Then all doers are substance. Then whenever or 
wherever we discover doing or change, we know that 



there is a doer, and that there is substance which is the 

Now if what we have here called included absolute 
truths are really included, they have all the authority and 
certainty of the absolute truths themselves. The only 
question that can arise in reference to them is, Are they 
included? Th'^ only answer ever given to number 9, by 
any one, including Kant, is the impossibility of explaining 
apparent facts, supposing matter to be the doer. ^ This is 
a poor objection for a metaphysician to offer. Then the 
apparent facts are not real facts, or matter is not the doer. 
The statement in number 9 is true anyhow, and we must 
conform our physical philosophy to it. 

Each of these included absolute truths contains many 
others which are applications of these to specific cases. 
These we have denominated 


The twelfth of the foregoing included absolute truths — 
all doing requires a doer — includes the following: 

1. Pushing requires a doer. 

2. Pulling requires a doer. 

3. Lifting requires a doer. 

4. Separating requires a doer. 

5. Uniting requires a doer. 

6. Change requires a doer. 

7. All motion requires a doer. 

And as many more as there are kinds of doing. 

The thirteenth of the foregoing included absolute truths 
— no property can be without a substance — includes the 

8. No property can exist apart from its substance. 

9. No property can be separated fi-om its substance and 
continue to be. 

10. No property can be transferred or communicated 
from one substance to another. 


1 1 



11. No property can existrwhen its substance is not. 

12. No property can exist where its substance is not. 

13. No property -an exist beyond the limits of its sub- 
stance; for then it would be where its substance is not. 

14. If we discover a property, we know that its sub- 
stance is, and that it is where the property is. 

Thus we have two means of knowing when and where 
substance is: (i) If we discover doing, we know that 
there is a doer — substance — which does. (2) If we dis- 
cover a property, we know that there is substance there, 
of which it is a property. The former of these has been 
called the law of cause and effect; the latter has been 
called the law of the relation of property and substance. 
They are both intuitive or subjective principles- that is, 
the mind must so think; but we do not here base their 
authority upon this fact, but upon the fact that they are 
included in absolute truths. 

The seventh of the foregoing absolute truths asserts 
that all things in the universe are either substance or not 
substance. Whenever anything is discovered or spoken 
of, we can classify it under one or the other of these terms; 
and we should do so for the sake of clearness. Immense 
confusion has crept into natural philosophy through a 
neglect to do so. Substance and attribute are confounded, 
and one treated as the other. Properties and relations are 
treated as though they were real space-filling, independent 
existences Indeed, is would seem that some men have 
raised a cloud of dust on purpose to obscure the line of 
distinction between substance and property. I very much 
desire to know of some men who treat very largely of 
force and energy, what they mean by them, whether they 
think them substances or properties; and whether they 
consider motion a substance or a relation. There is in much 
of modern philosophy a painful indefiniteness and obscura- 
tion of the idea of substance. No doubt this has resulted 



largely from the opinion entertained by many that we can 
know nothing of substance, that we can know only prop- 
erties, or only appearances, and from the influence of 
Comteanism in scientific study. By these we are cut ofiF 
from all knowledge of reality, and shut up to phenomenal- 
ism, appearances, which may be delusions. 

Besides these absolute truths there are some generaliza- 
tions which are thought to be universals. They are 
sometimes classed among, and treated as though they 
were, absolute truths. They have no such authority as 
absolute truths, but they are often useful, though not 
infallible, guides. We will mention two or three of these: 

An exertion of energy is necessary to produce motion. 
This is a generalization from experience and observation. 
We find that in every case where we can know the fact§, 
an exertion of energy is necessarj^ to produce motion. We 
know that when we start matter in motion, we do it by an 
exertion of energy. We know that the motion of every 
moving body which comes against us is attended with an 
exertion of energy. From these facts we conclude that in 
every case of motion, there is an exertion of energy to 
produce it. We have b}- an absolute truth limited the class 
of doers to substances. By this generalization we limit the 
class doers to those substances which are capable of ener- 
gizing, or which possess the property of energy. This 
generalization is proof in all cases, until some instances of 
motion where there is no exertion of energy to produce it 
are discovered. No such instances have yet been found. 
Though this is a generalization, it is parallel with an in- 
cluded absolute truth — all doing or change requires a 

Another generalized universal is — All things in the 
universe are included in three denominations, substances, 
attributes and relations. This generalization is proof until 
something is discovered which is not included. Those 







who think that these include all, count time and space 
among the attributes; some say attributes of the human 
mind, and some attributes of the divine mind. This class- 
ification cannot be used to prove that time and space are 
attributes of God, for it is a generalization made merely 
upon the supposition that it includes all; and if there are 
some things which are not included, some other denomi- 
nations must be added. Make the classification, substan- 
ces, attributes, relations, space, and time, and I know of 
nothing that is not included. 

Another generalization is — "Nothing can never become 
something, and something can never become nothing." I 
suppose this generalization is put in this negative form for 
the sake of disproving something. The positive form of it 
is called the law 01 continuity, wliich asserts that the 
quantity of existence is unchangeable. Great use is made 
of this generalization in modern physical philosophy. It 
has been deemed sufficient to prove any po nt to which it 
can be applied. It is the basis of many scientific opinions, 
and performs a large part in the construction of many 
scientific theories. It reaches out into the invisible, and 
is deemed sufficient to prove existence of which we have 
no other evidence. It reaches back, and narrates the 
histor}' oi c -^ation in the eternal past. It reaches forward 
and prophesies of the destiny of the universe in the eternal 
future. It makes matter eternal, or else a part of God. 
Even the infinite Creator could not change the quantity of 
existence; if he brought tliiags into being, it was at the 
expense of his own being, f^r no change in the quantity 
of being is possible. It is somewhat amusing to see with 
what triumphant assurance some men use this generaliza- 
tion, while peremptorily forbidding to others the use of 
any a priori principles. 

Such men give it all the authority of an absolute trntli. 
The quantity of existence is unchangeable. Is it? Now 

how do you know? We certainly do not see this propo- 
sition to be true by merely mentally looking at it. I see 
nothing impossible in the increase or decrease of exist- 
ence. It is not a necessary fact in the nature of things, 
the opposite of which is impossible. It is not included 
in an absolute truth. Being and not being at the same 
time are a contradiction. But being at one time and not 
bein£- at another time are not a couiradiction. 

It is not an intuition, or a necessary process of mind. 
Comparatively few of the human beings who have lived 
upon the earth have thought that way. True, to many of 
them the propositio'i has not been stated, but its opposite 
has been stated to them, and they have believed that. 
Most mankind now^ believe that when a stick of wood is 
burned, something goes out of being; and they have no 
mental difficulty in thus believing. When the indestructi- 
bility of matter was first stated as a scientific fact, few 
believed it. It reiiiained the opinion of the few, even 
among philosophers, until Gay lyussac proved it by ex- 

Those philosophers who derive what are called necessary 
truths from huinan inability, place this among such truths. 
We cannot see how existence could be increased or dhnin- 
ished. Well, if principles based upon human weakness 
are the only tests of truth, we are indeed in a deplorable 

This postulate is a generalization from observed facts. 
There is a persistence in being observed in nature, observed 
long before the indestructibility of matter was declared. 
In many cases when one thing was seen to enlarge, some- 
thing else was seen to decrease. So many facts of this 
kind were discovered that men generalized that these cases 
were not a going out of being and coming into being, but 
a change from one form of being into another, and that 
the quanti y of existence in these cases remained un- 



changed. From these facts men made the generalization 
— the quantity of existence always remains the same. 
When the indestructibility of matter was demonstrated, 
that confirmed the generalization. When the idea that 
force or energy was persistent and changeable in form, 
was brought forward and some facts seemed to favor the 
idea, this strengthened still more the generalization. Thus 
we see that it is wholly dependent upon obser\'ed facts. 

There is, however, in our mental constitution, an intui- 
tion which favors and helps in the construction of this and 
all other generalizations— that is, man's natural expecta- 
tion of continuance, sameness, unity of being. What we 
see now to be, we expect has been and will be. But this 
expectation is a hmited intuition, limited by the intuition 
of individuality, or the expectation of limits and bounds 
in space, and beginnings and endings in time, which we 
find to be true of individual things. Hence we are left to 
observ-ed facts, after all, to determine what things con- 
tinue, and what begin and end. Facts prove it true of 
material substance in the present order of things; whether 
it is true of anything else or not, we must ascertain by 
research and experiment. Attempts have been made to 
show that it is true of motion, and force, and energy. 
The generalization has no authority to decide beforehand 
in reference to these, or anything else that is within the 
reach of observation. We must ascertain whether it is 
true of them or not by first ascertaining what they are, 
and then by an examination of facts. The generalization 
may, of course, include time and space, for they, being 
illimitable, are absolutely unchangeable in quantity. The 
results of observation and experiment justify us in apply- 
ing it to matter, and we may say that the quantity of 
material substance is at present unchangeable, by any 
finite power. It is probable that it may be extended to 
immaterial substance, and that we may say in general 



terms, substance is unchangeable in quantity by any 
finite power. Further than this it will probably never be 
carried; for, besides time, space, and substance, there is 
nothing more but attributes and relations ; and facts teach 
us that these are subject to change, and may begin and 
€nd, be and cease to be. 

Generalizations never render contrary facts impossible. 
They are universals only so long as all discovered facts 
accord with them. The discovery of one contrary fact 
destroys at once a generalized universal. A generaliza- 
tion must give way before facts. An absolute truth will 
override any number of apparent facts — of course, there 
can be no conflict between an absolute truth and real facts. 
A generalization declares what probably is ; an absolute 
truth, what must necessarily be. 




We are now to enter upon the study of the material 
world. We must first explain and vindicate our definition 
of substance. We have defined substance as existence 
which of itself occupies space. It is the reality of which 
all appearances and properties are attributes. Much 
pleasantry and even ridicule have been bestowed upon 
the substratum which lies back of all properties, ''pure 
being," into which properties are ''stuck, Hke pins in a 
pincushion." This is a misrepresentation of the opinions 
of realists. No one believes in pure being as existence 
separated from all properties. Substance and properties 
may be logically, in thought, separated ; but in reality no 
substance exists without properties. Here we have, at 
the beginning of our investigation, occasion for the use 
of some of our absolute truths : All material bodies have 
location in space, extension, fonn, aitd size, I^ocation, 
extension, form, and size, are properties without which 
no material substance can be. And yet the substance 
does not exist only in these properties— it is not true that 
only location, extension, form, and size exist, or that 
these properties constitute the existence ; but somethmg 
exists which is located and extended, and which has form 
and size. Nor are these properties external to the sub- 
stance, added to being, or "stuck into it ;" but they are 
facts respecting being, and inseparable from it. These 
properties are not attached to bodies by their Creator, but 
they are necessary facts respecting existence. They are 
not created attributes ; but if a body be by any means 




created, these facts necessarily attach to it. There is no 
"pure being" separable in reality from these properties. 
When we have gone down to the bottom and reached the 
ultimate finite reality, we have existence located and 
extended, with form and size. This is to us the ultimate 
reality, and there is no finite being back of this, or purer 
than this. Such an ultimate reality is neither nonde- 
script nor inconceivable. We do in thought, for logical 
and scientific purposes, distinguish between the located 
and extended reality, and location and extension, and 
call the former substance, and the latter attributes or 


It has been said that "A power of action is the only 
assignable difference between something and nothing." 
This statement assumes the whole dynamic theory of 
matter. Whether the molecules of matter are in constant 
motion, and have power to move themselves or not, is a 
question open for discussion, and the affirmative of this 
question is not proven by any a priori assumption of it. 
Whether matter has the power of action or not we shall 
subsequently consider, but before that, is the question of 
the existence and reality of matter. Is not filled space 
and empty space an "assignable difference?" I can 
conceive of material bodies either in motion or at rest, but 
in both cases they occupy space. The fact of their occur 
pancy of space is more primary, then, than the question 
of their activity. Again it has been said, "Being has its 
existence only in its action." This is an expression 
of opinion, or it may be considered a thesis to be 
proven; but it cannot be advanced as proof. No 
theor>^ of the nature of being can be established by 
inferences derived from the dynamic theory of matter. 
If that theory is denied, these inferences derived from 
it prove nothing in regard to the nature of being or 






I have defined substance by a fact which is never 
absent from substance, and never present with anything 
else, and which therefore clearly distinguishes it from 
everything else. Substance, having location and exten- 
sion, occupies space, and each body or mass of substance 
fills a portion of space. IV/iere no substance is not/mig is. 
There can be no attributes, properties, or relations in 
space where there is no substance. Attributes, properties, 
and relations never do of themselves occupy space. A 
property occupies the same space that its substance does, 
and is as extended as its substance — wherever that 
substance is, that property is. The property occupies 
that space only because its subhtance does, and in the 
absence of its substance it has no being, and hence does 
not of itself occupy space. All space-filling existence is 
substance ; all existence which does not of itself fill or 
occupy space is not substance. What more perfect defi- 
nition can there be than one which exactly describes 
the thing defined, and distinguishes it from everything 
else ? Of every mass of substance which occupies space, 
and has extension, form, and size, every person can have 
a clear and satisfactory conception. 

Having obtained a clear conception of substance, we 
say that that substance which has weight, inertia and im- 
penetrabiHty we call matter. We may define matter, then, 
as substance which has weight, inertia, and impenetrabil- 
ity. There may be substances which are not subject to the 
force of gravity, and which have no inertia, and which 
are penetrable to other substances. Such substances are 
not matter, but immaterial substances. Weight, inertia, 
and impenetrability distinguish matter from immaterial 
substance. Weight is also taken to be a correct measure 
of the quantity of matter. 

In regard to the ultimate structure of matter there are 



a variety of opinions. I will mention some of these 
theories here, not for the purpose of discussing them, but 
that we may have them before our minds, and that others 
may know what we mean when we refer to them. 

Boscovich is credited with a theory which makes each 
atom of matter a resisting center of force. According to 
this theory the material universe is made up of resisting 
centers of force. There is nothing in the universe but 
force. In this theory there is the same indefiniteness and 
vagueness in regard to the meaning of the word force, or 
what force is, which pervades so much of modern science : 
we are not told whether he means by the word force a 
substance or an attribute. 

Dr. Laurens P. Hickok, in "Creator and Creation," 
brings forward another theory. According to this, in 
creation the divine will went forth in action. An action 
necessitates a reaction. Hence two divine energizings 
went forth in opposite directions, producing a revolvirg 
sphere of energizing. Each one of these spheres is an 
atom of matter. These atoms, or revolving spheres of 
the divine energy, become in a sense objective to God, 
and persist in indestructible existence, and perpetual 
activity. The material universe is made up of such 

Dr. Herman Lotze, of Germany, suggested a theory a 
little different from this. Like Hickok he has each atom 
a sphere or point of divine energizing, but these atoms 
never become in any sense objective to God, never have a 
separate or self-perpetuating existence, but are perpetual 
divine energiznig. Each atom of the material world is a 
constant divine energizing. 

Sir William Thompson, of Scotland, has proposed still 
another theory of matter. According to this theory each 
atom of matter is a revolving portion of the supposed 
universal ether. When the ether is at rest, we can live 

■I 1 ■ 




and move around in it and not be conscious of its pres- 
ence ; but when certain motions are started in it, it 
becomes impenetrable and tangible. When the motion is 
of one kind, it is one kind of matter ; when the motion is 
different, it is another kind of matter, and so on. 

All these theories come so in conflict with the evidence 
of our senses, and are so contrary to the conclusions 
reached by mankind in all ages from observation, that 
only the most conclusive and indubitable proofs could 
render any one of them rational or acceptable to the mass 
of mankind. No such indubitable proofs have been pre- 
sented. If we say with Lotze, and all other idealists, that 
our senses can give us no knowledge whatever of the 
material world, that all we know is our own thoughts and 
mental states, of course, we may form any opinion or 
theory we please respecting the nature of that unknown 
something which we call the material universe. Shut up 
to our own thoughts, or, as phenomenalists, to the 
shadows that float before our minds, we are shut away 
from all contact with matter and the worlds, and we can 
sit and dream of what is beyond ourselves, and weave our 
somnambulic visions into any /orm we please. Remember 
that the first step in the formation of these theories is to 
say, We know nothing of the material world through our 

But if we take our senses as guides, and believe that 
things are as our senses give them to us, no one can 
believe that any of the foregoing theories of matter are 
true. We know that in some instances the opinions we 
form immediately through our senses alone are not true, 
and we have to correct them by processes of reasoning,' 
but those processes must be based upon facts, and not 
upon some theory we have formed respecting that un- 
known something which we suppose lo be outside of us. 
The question is : What opinions or theory of matter best 



accord with observed facts, with what we know of matter 
through our senses ? Take the facts as we discover them 
to be, w^hat must be our opinions of matter ? When this 
is the question before us, and w^e take observed facts 
as our premise, I think no rational being will take any of 
the foregoing theories of matter in preference to the old 
atomic theory. 

We return then to the atomic theory of matter. This 
theory supposes that matter is composed of ultimate 
particles which cannot be further practically divided. 
They are hard, solid bodies. If a solid or liquid ele- 
mentary substance is vaporized by heat, its atoms are 
separated from each other, but each atom retains its 
structure and form, as solid and compact as ever, a 
minute solid body. The atoms of an element are not 
susceptible of any change in properties or structure or 
size by any means known to man. The atoms of the 
same substance are always of the same size. The atoms 
of different substances vary in size. All the properties of 
any substance inhere in each of its atoms. 

If two or more atoms of the same substance or of 
unlike substances unite together chemically, the resulting 
body is called a molecule. If the atoms are of the same 
substance, there is no change in their chemical properties 
— it is still the same elementary substance. When two 
or more atoms of different substances unite chemically and 
form a molecule, many of the properties of the two con- 
stituents are lost, and a new substance with new properties 
is formed. If two substances chemically unite, they unite 
atom to atom. If further union is effected, the number 
of atoms of one or both the constituents is doubled, or 
trebled, or quadrupled. When two atoms unite, one of 
each of two different substances, a compound with one 
set of properties is formed. When one atom of one 
constituent, and|two atoms of the other unite, a substance 



with Other properties is formed, and so on. The smallest 
particle of a compound substance is a molecule. If a 
molecule is divided, it is chemically decomposed, resolved 
into ultimate atoms. 

All modern chemistry is based upon this theory of 
matter. If any other theory should be adopted an entire 
reconstruction of chemistry would be necessary. This is 
the simplest, and to common observation the most rational 
theory of matter. But it alone cannot account for the 
actions and reactions which appear to be going on in 
matter. It is to account for these that those other 
theories of matter have been proposed. But there are 
ways of explaining these activities which allow us to 
retain this natural view of matter. Scientists, while 
holding to the atomic theor>', have endeavored to account 
for the activities in matter in three different ways, or by 
three different theories. We see that matter is to a very 
large extent in motion. Atoms appear to act upon 
other atoms, molecules upon other molecules, and masses 
upon other masses. Now the question is : How can we 
explain these activities? What is the mover or movers 
in these cases? In answer to these questions three 
theories have been proposed by scientists. 

One of them is that energy is a persistent, indestruc- 
tible something which is forever working on in matter, 
an unchangeable quantity of energizing. Its advocates 
do not tell us how it came to be. Many of them, after 
the teaching of Comte, do not think it the business of 
philosophy to inquire into the origin and cause of things. 
On coming to years of understanding we find ourselves in 
the midst of a universe of moving matter. We are not to 
inquire how it came to be, but only what is the mover? 
This question is answered by saying that moving matter 
coming against other matter moves that, and that moves 
other matter, and so on. The power of moving matter to 



move other matter, is called energy, or sometimes dyna- 
mic or kinetic energy.' This working energy is inde- 
structible, and remains always the same in quantity on 
earth, except as it is dissipated away in space in the 
form of heat and light. When bodies of sensible size are 
moving, it is called molar motion. When bodies of 
insensible size — atoms and molecules — are moving, it is- 
called molecular motion. This working energy may 
change from masses to molecules and from molecules to 
masses, from molecular to molar motion, and back again, 
remaining unchanged in quantity. This working energy 
may change from one to another, and another, and another 
form of working energy, or mode of motion ; its quan- 
tity remaining forever the same. When molecular motion 
appears in one form, it is called heat ; when it appears in 
another form, it is called light ; when it appears in another 
form, it is called electricity ; when it appears in another 
form, it is called magnetism, and so on. Thus moving 
matter is the worker, doer, in all natural phenomena, and 
is supposed to account for all the motions, changes and 
doings in the universe. This is the original dynamic 
theory of matter. 

According to this theory moving matter is the mover. 
What moves the matter? Moving matter. What moves 
that matter ? Moving matter. Matter moves ; therefore 
it moves. It is simply a declaration of the fact that 
matter moves, without any attempt to give a cause of 
motion, or a mover, or a doer. Those who elaborated 
this theory did not pretend to go behind appearances for 
the cause, or doers. And yet a great many who were not 
phenominalists have thought that this was an explanation 
of natural phenemena. Let us see. No motion without a 
mover. No doing without a doer. This theory assumes 
the self-perpetuating power of motion. But no one claims 
that the quantity of motion always remains the same on 






earth, hence the introduction of potential motion, or 
motion that may be. Then the theory assumes that 
dynamic energy is a self-perpetuating power and doer, 
transferable and communicable from one body to another. 
Here again our absolute truths come in. Dynamic energy 
is not substance. Nothino; hut substance can be moved hi 
spare, or transferred from one place to another. Nothing 
but substance can be a doer. Then, as dynamic energy is 
not substance, this whole system of dynamic philosophy 
is thrown out at once. As we find that this theory 
violates absolute truths, we may drop it and throw it 
away as worthless. But as those who planned this 
theory, before proceeding to their work, threw out all 
absolute truths, and proposed to proceed without tlieir 
intermeddling, and will not admit tliem as testimony, w^e 
will hereafter consider it in the light of facts. 

The palpable weakness and insufficiency of tlie forego- 
ing theory led to the construction of another theory, or it 
may be considered only a modification of this. This new 
theory, like the former, holds that moving matter is the 
mover and doer in nature; but it endowes atoms and 
molecules wnth a self-moving power, power to start them- 
selves in motion. They do not move merely when moved 
by something, but they move of themselves. Their nor- 
mal state is that of motion. It is their nature to be 
forever moving. Some external agent is necessar>^ to 
stop them, rather than to start them. If they are stopped 
by something external to themselves, as soon as the 
obstruction is removed, they commence their motion 



This theory supplies a mover, which was lacking in the 
former theory— that is, it gives to molecules the power to 
move themselves. But it fails to supply changers. What 
changes the mode of motion from gravity to heat, and 
from heat to electricity, and from heat to life, from attrac- 

tion to repulsion, and so on ? " Why, physical conditions, 
of course." But when we undertake to find those physi- 
cal conditions, and trace them out in each particular case, 
all we have to sa}- is that we cannot find them. In a few 
cases men have found something which might possibly 
answer as reasons for the change ; but if they were satis- 
factory, they were so only because they wished to find 
them. Some men are still holding on to this theory, in 
hope that some changers ma}- yet be iound or thought of. 

Finding it impossible to discover changers, another 
theor}' has been devised, or the original theory has under- 
gone another modification, returning to the old Lucretian 
doctrine of Atoms. This theory endows molecules, not 
only with the power to move themselves, but also with 
the power to change their own mode of motion as occa- 
sion may require. They are made competent to do all 
that is done in nature. What becomes actual, was before 
potential in the molecules. Tae plieiioai-Mi of the uni- 
verse flow on as a necessary succession, a necessary order 
of sequences. The antecedents which would necessarily 
result in the present, existed in all molecules in all past 
time. Thus all the phenomena of the universe are 
explained by assuming that the molecules are competent 
to do the work. That the molecules are the doers, is 
assumed, and then the occurrence of the phenomena is 
supposed to show their competence. Something does 
these things; we assume that molecules are competent to 
do these things ; therefore these phenomena are the work 
of molecules. There is no other evidence that such is the 
nature of molecules, but we will put into their nature all 
that is necessary to enable them to work out these results. 

Of course, this theor>^ is theoretically competent to 
explain all natural phenomena, all the activities found in 
nature. Whatever doing we discover we can assert the 
competence of molecules to do. If so iie new 








wonderful doings are discovered, beyond the ability 
which we have hitherto assigned to the molecules, we 
only have to load up our molecules with new powers 
to make them competent. If we would account for the 
appearance of sensation in nature, we can assert the 
competence of molecules to produce sensation, or even 
that the molecules themselves possess sensation. If 
we see the manifestation of intelligence in nature, we 
can assert that molecules possess the power to produce 
intelligence, or that they have the power to act intelli- 
gently, and with a plan and purpose. There is no 
power that we may not theoretically attribute to them. 
This theory, then, can be tested only by a practical 
examination of natural phenomena, to see if molecules 
do really possess these powers, and to see if it is possible 
that molecules should perfonn all these doings. Absolute 
truths demolish at once the original dynamic theory of 
matter, and also that modified form of it which gives 
to molecules the power to move themselves. But in 
reference to the bare assertion that molecules are com- 
petent to do all that is done in nature, absolute truths 
can say nothing. 

But in the practical application of the theory- to actual 
phenomena, we find that most natural phenomena are 
produced across intervals of space, in portions of space 
other than that which the molecules which are supposed 
to be the doers occupy ; .and then an absolute truth comes 
in to limit our freedom of supposition — nothing can do 
where it is not— and we are com.manded with an im- 
perative voice to halt; and we find that our theory 
is utterly impracticable and impossible in its application 
to actual phenomena. Whatever powers we may give 
to molecules, they camiot do ivhere they are Jiot. 

Well, after carefully examinin?:- ^H ether theories of 
matter, and candidly weighing the evidence presented 


in their support, we are back to the old passive *' lump'* 
theory of matter, as it is sometimes deridingly called. 
The explanation of the activities in nature according 
to any purely physical theory are entirely unsatisfactory, 
even impossible, as we have seen. The arguments in 
favor of the theory of I^otze are based upon the suppo- 
sition that all our knowledge of matter is dynamic, and 
that action between molecules is action between separated 
bodies ; and as I admit neither of these premises of the 
arguments, they have little weight with me. Our senses 
very positively declare to us that matter is hard, solid sub- 
stance. If we rely at all upon the evidence of our senses, 
this is the fact. It needs something more than an 
hj^pothesis, devised to account for the activities in nature, 
to overthrow this evidence of our senses, especially as 
there are ways of explaining these activities which do not 
conflict with sense appearances. 

We will now consider some further suppositions respect- 
ing matter. 

It is supposed that the molecules of matter are always 
detatched bodies, and are never in contact, not even in the 
most dense liquids and solids. It is admitted by all that 
the molecules of gases are separated from each other by 
intervals of space. It is claimed that the same is true of 
the molecules of liquids and solids, only that the spaces 
between them are less. 

We know that according to our senses the molecules of 
. liquids and solids appear to be in contact. The permanent 
form, the sharp angles and polished surfaces of solids 
indicate that these appearances are true. It does not 
seem possible that sharp angles and polished surfaces 
should remain permanent and unchanged through many 
years, resisting so strongly influences which tend to dis- 
turb them, if the molecules are detached bodies in 
constant motion. The great power which is necessary 






to move tfcese molecules, and with which they resist 
efforts to separate them, seems inconsistent with this 
supposition. In all cases where the molecules are known 
to be detached — in gases and vapors— the}^ are easily 
moved among each other, and easily separated. We 
cannot see why this should not be the fact in all cases 
of detached molecules. Indeed, it would seem that we 
might say that it must be so. On a point which seems so 
plain and certain, only the most positive testimony can 
set aside these considerations and the evidence of our 
senses. What proof is there that the molecules of liquids 
and solids do not touch each other? No doubt many will 
be surprised when they see the meager proof by which 
this opinion has been made current and almost universal 
among scientific men. 

First, it is ascertained by experiment that all Hquids 
and solids are compressible. This proves that either the 
molecules are separate, or that, touching at points or 
surfaces, like round bodies, they have interstices of unoc- 
cupied space among them. Kither of these facts satisfac- 
toril}^ accounts for compressibility. We know that a mass 
of bodies — as a barrel of apples — is compressible, because, 
though the apples may touch each other, there are inter- 
stices among them. This seems to be the most rational 
explanation of compressibility. Water is so little com- 
pressible that for many years it was thought to be entirely 
incompressible. Yet if water freezes it occupies more 
space. The agent which is supposed mainly to keep the 
molecules apart, heat, has been greatly diminished in it, 
yet it cannot now by any means be compressed into the 
same space that the same matter occupied as water. 
Have the molecules been moved farther apart, or have 
they been arranged in crystalline forms which leave 
larger interstices among them ? 

Another reason for supposing that molecules do not 


touch each other is this : Heat is supposed to be molecu- 
lar motion, and there is some heat in all bodies, and the 
molecules must be separated to allow of this motion. A 
theory is supposed, and facts are made to conform to it, or 
are deduced from it. Is that the inductive method, which 
scientists declare to be the only allowable one in science ? 
Pacts must determine theories, and not theories facts. 

Again, the supposed ether, in order to accommodate 
other suppositions, must be supposed to pass through 
all material bodies ; hence there must be supposed to 
be intervals between their molecules. If there were a 
few more suppositions in this argument, it might possibly 
become a supposed proof 

These are the evidences that the molecules of matter 
are separated by intervals of space. Is it not strange 
that an opinion so meagerly supported, without one 
discovered fact to sustain it, should be regarded as a 
settled doctrine in science ? These proofs are entirely 
insufficient to set aside the evidence of our senses and 
the other considerations mentioned. 

Then while this supposition accommodates some theo- 
ries, it greatly increases the difficulties of others, and 
renders the explanation of natural phenomena in many 
respects more difficult. Action between separated bodies 
through intervals of space, has always been the most 
difficult problem in nature to solve, and it has defied 
longest the ingenuity of man. If we suppose molecules 
to be separated bodies, we greatly increase this difficulty, 
we make all the doings in nature action between sep- 
arated bodies. If it was before impossible for scientists to 
explain how the earth and moon could act upon each 
other, it now becomes equally impossible for them to 
explain how one atom or molecule can act upon another, 
and over all natural phenomena we have spread the 
shadow of an impenetrable mystery. I believe that 






the molecules of liquids and solids are in actual contact. 

There are one or two other forms of matter that we 
must notice. We have spoken of matter in a liquid 
and solid state. We know that some matter exists in 
the forms of gas and vapor. We have concluded that 
the molecules of liquids and solids are in actual contact. 
But the molecules of gases and vapors we know to be 
detached and separate. The question now is, By what 
means are they kept apart ? 

A theor}^ has been devised by which the molecules of 
gases and vapors are said to keep themselves apart. Their 
molecules are supposed to be in motion, flying about and 
knocking against each other, and this knocking tends to 
drive them apart, and enlarge the volume of the mass. 
This is a part of the dynamic theory of matter, which has 
an undiminishable stream of dynamic energy running 
through the world, passing from one body to another, etc. 

This theory of expansion is contrary to all appearances 
received through the senses. But in speculative science, 
though we are forbidden to use any other evidence than 
that received through the senses, little importance is at- 
tached to that here. 

But this theory involves some impossibilities. If mole- 
cules are little bodies of matter, they are subject to the 
laws of motion as found true of other bodies of matter. 
We know from experiment that flying bodies of matter 
can be stopped; and that if they are stopped, when the 
obstacle is removed they do not resume their motion again. 
Reduce a gas by cold and pressure to a liquid or solid. 
The molecules no longer move as flying detached bodies; 
they have no velocity. Remove the pressure, keeping 
the temperature the same. Without any impact from 
anything outside of themselves, they immediately rise up 
and commence their flying again, with - the same velocity 
they had before they were stopped. Bodies of matter that 

have been stopped do not start themselves in motion again. 
Matter does not perform such doings as this. Other evi- 
dence will be given in the chapter on motion. 

But according to that fonu of the dynamic theory of 
matter which gives to molecules the power to move them- 
selves, and, if they are stopped, of starting themselves in 
motion again, cannot this theory of expansion be main- 
tained? Certainly; and according to that theory there is 
no need of supposing any knocking at all, or any motion. 
We can just as well suppose that molecules have power to 
hold themselves at a certain distance from their neighbors 
without motion, as to suppose that they have power to 
start themselves in motion after having been stopped. 
After we depart from all basis in discovered facts, we may 
suppose anything we please, anything that will favor our 
theory; we are on the wing, and there are no limits to our 
supposing, except our power of flight. This theory of 
expansion by molecular knocking is of no use at all, ex- 
cept in the original dynamic theory of matter. 

There is still another supposed form of matter to which 
we must give attention. I mean what is called the lumin- 
iferous or universal ether. The supposition is that all 
siderial space is filled with a gas made up of particles so 
fine and so far apart that it presents no obstruction to the 
worlds passing through it, and that light and radiant heat 
are waves or vibrations in this gas or ether. 

I am not able to receive this hypothesis as true, for the 
following reasons: In the first place, it seems to be an 
awkward and laborious way of transporting light through 
space. It is an attempt to conjoin that which is weight- 
less as thought, and swift as thought, with slow and cum- 
brous matter. It is like harnessing as two steeds the 
lightning and the glacier. The result must be to reduce 
light to the conditions of matter, or to exalt matter to the 
conditions of light. But certain facts respecting light 






have been determined, and certain facts respecting matter 
have been determined; and these two classes of facts are 
as incompatible as light and darkness. Either we must 
give up the known facts of light, or else the known facts 
of matter. Scientists have elected to do the latter, and 
have supposed a form of matter which is unlike all other 
matter, and which cannot be held to, or tested by, the 
known laws and properties of other matter. A theory 
which carries us into such a wide departure from all 
basis in the known, and which is obliged to supply so- 
much from imagination that is unlike the known, has a 
reasonable presumption against it to start with. 

Then, after we have supposed such a medium for the 
transmission of light we have provided for only one of 
the many mysterious relations existing between the earth 
and the sun. The supposed magnetic and electrical in- 
fluences of the sun upon the earth, and the known 
attraction of the earth by the sun, remain still unex- 
plained. Such a medium could not be used by the sun 
as a line with which to draw the earth from a straight line 
into an orbit. Certainly some medium is as needful for 
this w^ork as for the transmission of light; and it is 
equally certain that a rare gas, whose particles are strug- 
gling to get further apart, could not be used for this 
purpose. Nothing can do where it is not, or outside of 
its own limits; then some medium must fill this inter- 
vening space, through which this work is performed. The 
sun appears to perform several different kinds of work 
upon the earth. This supposition of an ether attempts 
to explain one of them, and does not profess to explain 
the others, when there are other suppositions that will 
satisfactorily explain them all. Why should such 
strained and desperate efforts be made to overcome 
obstacles and surmount difficulties, making successively 
new and multiplied suppositions, imagining something: 


which is unlike everything else in the universe, to main- 
tain this hypothesis, when other suppositions require no 
such labored effort, and meet with no such difficulties, 
and are easily satisfied with only the known materials of 

nature ? 

When the thought of such a medium was first suggested 
the question w^as not, is such a medium possible? but, 
supposing it to be, can optical phenomena be explained by 
it ? At that time the properties which the medium must 
possess to render it competent for its w^ork were not so 
well understood as they are now. It was easy to suppose 
that the inter-stellar spaces were filled with a gas so rare 
that it would be no obstruction to the planets in their 
orbits, and that it might be a medium for the transmission 
of light; but when m^n came to inquire what its proper- 
ties must be to enable it to convey light at the tremen- 
dous velocity of 185,000 miles in a second of time, the real 
difficulties in the case began to be apparent. 

It was agreed by philosophers that the velocity of 
vibrations in any medium depends upon the rarity and 
elasticity of the medium. To increase the velocity there 
must be less matter in a given space, or the resistance to 
pressure must be greater. Ascertaining a rule by experi- 
ments w4th gases of different densities, it was decided that 
in order to attain the velocity of light, the elasticity of the 
ether must be at least 1,000,000,000,000 times the elas- 
ticity of the air at the earth's surface. Now let us 
understand what this means. These numerals are the 
measure of the resistance of the ether to pressure, and 
the measure of the pressure of the ether upon bodies that 
are in it and upon the surface of the earth. Its resistance 
to pressure is greater, then, than an ordinary solid. If 
the pressure of the atmosphere upon the earth is fifteen 
pounds upon every square inch, the pressure of this ether 
is 15,000,000,000,000 pounds upon every square inch of 


surface: "Equal," says Prof. J. P. Cook, Jr., in New 
Chemistry, "to the weight of a cubic mile of granite 
rock." There are on an average man's body at least 
1,500 square inches of surface ; then each of us is living 
and moving about under the weight of 1,500 cubic miles 
of granite rock. 

Then, the two requisites of great velocity— rarity and 
great resistance to pressure— when carried to such an 
extent, seem inconsistent and contradictory. Reduce the 
quantity of matter in the ether to the requisite extent 
and there seems to be practically almost nothing left, 
and yet if a cubic inch of it could be confined to its inch 
of space, and a cubic mile of granite rock were placed 
upon it, that pressure would not reduce it to smaller 

Then the question arises, if its particles are so fine and 
so far apart that there is only this amount of matter in 
it, what keeps its particles apart with such tremendous 
power that a cubic mile of granite rock pressing upon 
a single inch of it cannot drive them nearer together ? 
Shall we apply to it the dynamic theory of gases, and 
say that its atoms are kept apart by the momentum of 
their own motion knocking against each other? Who 
can believe that the particles of matter where they are 
so fine and so far apart that there is no more than 
one one-hundred-millionth as much matter there as 
there is in the same space of common air, could have 
sufficient momentum to lift a cubic mile of granite 
rock? (These suppositions of science make prodigious 
demands upon our marvelousness and credulity.) If its 
particles have this tremendous momentum, they would 
tear in pieces the hardest steel body that they might 
come in contact with, and a wave or vibration passing 
through them and striking upon the earth, would be 
equal to the explosion of a ton of nitro glycerine. If 

\ ; 


their motion be supposed to be the motion of heat, the 
temperature ought to be a million times greater than 
any temperature known to man. If we suppose that 
the molecules of a gas are held apart by an invisible 
force called molecular repulsion acting between them, 
and apply this to the ether, we find that its atoms are 
held apart millions of times more strongly than the 
molecules of any known gas. It cannot then be the 
same force as that which operates in gases, and to main- 
tain our former suppositions we must make still another 
supposition, and suppose another, a new and otherwise 
unknown force, of far greater power than any force 
known on earth. 

The particles of this immensely rare gas are held 
apart so strongly that the space occupied by it is really 
filled with a solid. Although there is comparatively 
almost no matter there, yet the particles that are there 
are held apart with as much power as they would be 
if the spaces between them were filled with ordinary 
matter. Hence the ether really becomes a solid, and 
it is so described and named by scientists. Sir William 
Thompson thus speaks of it: ''This luminiferous ether 
is an elastic solid. It is matter millions of times less 
dense than the air, but possessing the most prodigious 
rigidity in proportion to its* density." Professor Tyn- 
dall, more cautiously, perhaps lest he should too vio- 
lently shock the prejudice of his readers, calls it a 
* 'jelly," or "more like a solid." Dr. Thomas Young, 
who is credited with more agency in making the un- 
dulatory theory of light acceptable to mankind than any 
other man, says: "The luminiferous ether, pervading 
all space, and penetrating almost all substances, is not 
only highly elastic, but absolutely solid." (Young's 
Works, vol. I, p. 415, quoted by Jevons in Principles 
of Science, second edition, page 515.) Professor Jevons 





himself, says on the same page: ''Herscliel calculated 
the force which may be supposed, according to the 
undulator>^ theor}^ of light, to be constantly exerted at 
each point in space, and finds it to be 1,148,000,000,- 
000 times the elastic force of ordinar>^ air at the earth's 
surface, so that the pressure of the ether per square 
inch must be about seventeen billions of pounds. Yet 
we live and move without appreciable resistance through 
this medium, immensely harder and more elastic than 

Here are four or five men of the ver>' highest authority 
in physical science, who declare that this ether, that 
it be capable of transmitting light at its known velocity, 
must press upon the human body with a weight of 
billions of pounds to every square inch of surface, must 
be an ''absolute soHd," "prodigiously rigid," and "harder 
than adamant." I,et me ask you, reader, are you living 
and moving about under the pressure of a good sized 
world, and through a medium that is harder than 
adamant? You may not have obtained membership in 
the guild of professional scientists ; but have you there- 
fore no common sense, no power to see and know? 
and must you form no opinion but such as professional 
scientists give you ? Standing upon the bare surface of 
^ a granite rock, let them tell you that the rock upon 
' which you stand is softer than the matter which invests 
your body, that the space above the rock, the space 
through which you move, through which you move 
your legs and swing your arms, is filled with a solid 
*' harder" and "more rigid" than the rock upon which 
you stand, and believe them if you can ! 

But the greatest difficulty of all remains to be men- 
tioned. If the inter-stellar spaces are filled with an 
absolute solid, harder than adamant and of prodigious 
rigidity, how are the worids to pass through without 


obstruction? To obviate this difficulty some have sup- 
posed that the ether has no weight nor inertia. Then 
it is not matter, it lacks two of the three essential charac- 
teristics of matter, which distinguish it from immaterial 
substance, and it belongs to the class immaterial sub- 
stances, rather than to the class matter. To this 
supposition other scientists answered that if it has no 
weight or inertia, no vibrations can be transmitted 
through it. Without gravity one body hitting another 
would have no momentum to move the hit body. With- 
out inertia no body would move any farther than the 
push of the hitting body. Because of these considerations 
these suppositions were discarded. The attempt was 
made to obviate this difficulty by supposing great mobility 
among the particles of ether. But the properties of mo- 
bility and rigidity are a contradiction. That which dis- 
tinguishes a solid is its rigidity, or absence of mobility. 
We must give up either its rigidity or its mobility. If we 
give up its rigidity, it cannot answer the purpose for which 
we supposed it to be. If we give up its mobility, the worids 
cannot move in it. We must not give up the theory ; 
therefore we must hold on to its rigidity. Then we have 
the planets whirling around the sun at the rate of a 
thousand and more miles a minute, through a hard, 
rigid, absolute solid, and meeting no resistance ? 

If we admit that the ether is solid, we have to change 
our views of the form of the waves or vibrations. Waves 
in an aerial substance consist of successive alternate denser 
and rarer portions of the medium. Vibrations in a solid 
are transverse deviations from a straight line, as vibra- 
tions run along a taut wire. Vibrations in a solid 
cannot be transmitted through it unless its molecules 
touch each other or are held together by cohesion. When 
one atom moves to the right or left of a line, it cannot 
move any other atom in that line, unless it touches or is 


bound to it by cohesion ; and the degree of elasticity 
depends upon the firmness with which the atoms are 
bound together. As this supposed ether transmits vibra- 
tions milUons of times more rapidly than a steel wire, the 
best conductor of vibrations known, the atoms of this 
ether must be bound together with millions of times more 
strength than the molecules of a steel wire ; and yet we 
have the worlds passing through it without meeting any 
resistance or obstruction. 

It would seem that by this time we ought to abandon 
this hypothesis altogether, and contrive some other way 
for getting light from the sun to the earth. But no ; we 
have espoused this theory, and we will not retreat,' but 
will go on, making new and more wonderful and wilder 
suppositions, and plunging into deeper and ever deeper 
absurdities. We will conclude that, after all, we know 
nothing about matter, and can therefore project from it 
no Hmitations to theorizing or possibilities; it is only 
appearances anyhow, and may not be anything like what 
we suppose it to be ; and after we have gone so far, 
we have run ourselves out of all science and all phi- 
losophy for the sake of maintaining a theory. It has 
been suggested that this supposed ether embraces all 
there is of science and philosophy, and that it is all there 
is of the material universe, and that the worlds and all 
things therein are only different forms of this ether, and 
all that mankind in the past have thought to be knowl- 
edge was only delusions. 

Of cou rse , if matter is only resisting centres of force, 
which may take on or lay off their resistance according to 
circumstances ; or if matter is only points of the divine 
energizing, which may resist or not resist at the pleasure 
of the energizer ; or if we suppose matter to be only 
different forms of motion in the universal ether ; if we set 
ourselves in any way to construct a purely imaginary 



system of the universe, we may suppose that in certain 
circumstances matter is not impenetrable, and that worlds 
may pass through the hardest and most rigid matter with- 
out encountering any resistance, or make any other 
supposition we please ; but if we are to erect our edifice 
upon discovered facts and the known properties and laws 
of matter, if we are to give any validity to any knowledge • 
obtained through the senses-; we must pronounce the 
existence of any material medium, filling the entire space 
of the solar system, capable of transmitting vibrations at 
the known velocity of light, and at the same time offering 
no resistance to the revolving planets, a direct contradic- 
tion and an utter impossibility. 

These considerations explain why some great and 
learned men hold on to this hypothesis in full view of 
all these apparent absurdities and contradictions ; for I 
would not for a moment intimate that these difiiculties 
and contradictions have not presented themselves to these 
men. The great and learned are subject to prejudices, as 
well as any others. "I When such a man has championed a 
theory, and devotedjall his energies to its maintenance, if 
some great obstacle^rises up before him, which perempto- 
rily stops him and defeats him, he does not propose to 
acknowledge defeat or turn back, but he bends all his 
energies in effortjto overcome the obstacle. Thus men 
have adopted the hypothesis that light is conveyed fi-om 
the sun to the earth through a material medium, and that 
light is vibrations in this medium, then when it is dis- 
covered that, according to all known properties and 
laws of matter, thisfis an impossibility, instead of dis- 
carding the hypothesis, [as would seem most rational, 
they begin to make suppositionslrespecting the nature 
of this medium, make it unlike all other matter, de- 
prive it of the properties essential to matter, endow it 
with properties found;^:in no other matter, assign to it 


laws which are a contradiction to the laws of all other 
matter, and whicli in the different parts of the theory 
contradict each other, and still hold on to the h3^pothesis. 
Nor is this all, bit reViniinj^ from these regions of 
imagination, they tell u i that the supposed facts of 
sensible matter are all wrong, and from the properties 
and laws w^ith whicli they have found it necessary to 
endow their ether, tliat it may be able to accomplish 
what they desire of it, they would correct our concepts 
of sensible matter and require us to receive as established 
science the visions which float in the fields of imagination. 
It appears to me to be time to call a halt, and return to 
terra firma, and start again from the foundations of the 
known, and to discard a theory which has hard, solid, 
prodigiously rigid matter which is no hindrance to our 
motion in it and no obstruction to the passing worlds. 

Yet, notwithstanding all these wonders and difficulties 
and contradictions, scientists tell us that we must believe 
all this, and receive this as. the true theory of light. 
AVhy? Because many optical phenomena can be ex- 
plained by it ; because it will explain optical phenomena 
better than Newton's corpuscular theory. If we were 
shut up to the alternative of believing in Newton's theory 
or this, we might consider which of the tw^o impossibil- 
ities w^e would try to endure until something better 
should be presented. But we are not thus limited to 
these two theories. Facts show that Newton's theory 
is false and impossible. Facts, even the facts which 
have been mentioned in these pages, show that this 
theory- is false and impossible. What is needful for us, 
then, is not to try to swallow either of these absurdities, 
but to look for some other theory which is not an ab- 
surdity. We shall see in future pages that another 
supposition respecting the nature of light is possible, 
which will explain optical phenomena more perfectly 


than this, and which meets with none of the difficulties, 
contradictions, and impossibilities which overwhelm this. 


We defined properties as inherent characteristics of 
substance. Many attributes which in both popular and 
scientific language are cilled properties are not included 
in this definition. An accurate classification requires at 
least three terms to designate the different things which 
have been called properties. The old division into 
primary and secondary properties is not enough. In 
the first class we would place ceitain necessary facts 
respecting bodies: location, extension, form and size. 
These are absolute facts respecting all bodies. These 
may be denominated necessary properties of bodies. 
In our second class we would place those characteristics 
of material substances as masses, which result from the 
action of the natural forces in them and on them; 
such as weight, color, hardness, softness, elasticity, duc- 
tility, solidity, fluidity, etc. These are consequent upon 
the action of the forces of gravity, light, cohesion, 
molecular repulsion, and heat in and on the substances. 
We may, according to popular custom call these properties, 
but it should be understood in what sense we use the 
word. A proper term to designate these would be 
contingent properties. In our third class we would place 
those characteristics which permanently inhere in the 
substances, the real properties, according to our definition, 
such as impenetrability, indestructibility, sweetness, sour- 
ness, bitterness, and a thousand others, many of which 
have never been named. We have, then, necessary prop- 
erties of bodies, contingent properties, and properties of 


Some of these real properties of substances are discov- 



ered immediately by the sense of touch, taste, and smell. 
The mind in immediate contact with substances perceives 
certain of their properties. There is a certain real property 
in some substances which we perceive through the sense 
of taste and call it sour. The statement that this is only 
a name of a sensation is, in my view, not correct. This 
was the statement of the case according to the theory of 
mediate perception. But if we immediately perceive any- 
thing, this is one of the facts in that substance which we 
immediately perceive. All of the real properties of 
substances, except impenetrability and those which are 
perceived by the senses of taste and smell, are discovered 
only by the results of the action of the forces in and on 
them. They are not, like contingent properties, conse- 
quent upon the action of the forces, but they are discov- 
ered by this means. 

Some of them are discovered by the action of light upon 
matter. The properties of one subject are such that when 
light falls upon it, all the light enters it, and we call it a 
black body. The properties of another substance are 
such that when light falls upon it, all the light turns 
away from it, and we call it a white body. The properties 
of another substance are such that when light falls upon 
it, all the light enters it, except the red rays; they turn and 
fly away from it, and we call it a red body. The properties 
of another substance are such that when light falls upon it, 
all the light enters it, except the blue rays; they turn and 
fly away from it, and we call it a blue body, and so 
on. Thus the different results of the action of light upon 
different substances are consequent upon certain prop- 
erties existing in those substances, which properties can 
be discovered by no other means. 

We discover another set of properties by the action of 
heat upon different substances. One substance is said to 
reflect more of the heat which comes against it. Another 


is said to absorb more. Another is said to radiate heat 
more rapidly. Some are said to be conductors. Some 
are said to transmit radiant heat, and others not. There 
must be some different properties in these substances 
which are the conditions of these different results of the 
action of heat upon them. The different results must be 
consequent upon varying properties in the different 
substances. What those properties are, and that they 
are, we can know only by the results of the action of 
heat in contact with them. 

Another set of properties is discovered b)' differences m 
the doings of the vital forces in their presence. One sub- 
stance taken into the stomach results in perspiration, 
another in emesis, another in catharsis, another in 
diuresis. These substances must all have different 
properties which condition these different results, or in 
the presence of which the vital forces act thus differently. 
These have been called medicinal properties. That they 
are, and what they are, we can ascertain only by experi- 
ment and the results. 

We present these cases as examples of the manner of 
the discovery of properties by the action of the forces on 
matter In none of these cases does the matter act to 
produce the results. The matter does not act upon the 
licrht to cause it, in one case to enter in, and m another 
cie to fly away. The light is the only doer in these 
cases The matter does not act upon the heat to produce 
the diversities in the results. The heat is the only doer 
in these cases. So likewise, the medicinal substances 
do not act upon the animal system, except where the 
chemical force in them decomposes the tissues. The vital 
forces are the doers in these cases. Other properties 
are discovered by the action of other forces on matter, 
but these are sufficient to show the manner of discovery. 

chapte:r v. 

P'acts and thkir teachings. 

Before proceeding to the examination of facts we must 
understand the signification we attach to certain words. 
In our experience we find that bodies at rest do not start 
themselves in motion, and that an exertion of energy is 
necessary to start them in motion. We find also that an 
exertion of energy is necessarj^ to stop the motion of a 
moving body. We learn from this that motion is never 
practically separated from energizing. Wherever there 
is motion there is energizing, either to start it or to con- 
tinue it. Energizing is necessary to start the body in 
motion, and there is constant energizing in it to continue 
its motion. Motion is always dependent upon energizing 
for its existence. There is no motion without energizing 
to produce it ; and if there is energizing, there must be an 

The energizer we call a force. By the word force we 
mean something which energizes to produce motion, or to 
prevent motion, to produce or prevent change. To pro- 
duce motion, is to produce change ; and to produce 
change, is to produce motion, stop motion, or alter the 
direction of motion. We have designated that which 
produces change by the word doer. Force and doer, 
then, are synonymous terms, except that a force may 
energize without producing motion, and even to pre- 


vent motion ; but a force is a doer only when it causes 
motion or produces change. All doers are forces ; and as 
a force is that which produces motion or effects change, 
and as a doer is that which produces motion or effects 
change, and as the word forces includes everything that 
does produce motion or effect change, the word forces 
includes all doers. We do not here state by what other 
names some of the forces may be called, whether the 
specific names of the inorganic forces, or matter, man, or 
God, but everything which produces motion or effects 
change is a doer and a force, and there are no doers but 

the forces. 

Now we advance another step. All doers are sub- 
stance ; all doers are forces ; then all forces are substance. 
Nothing is a doer or a force that is not substance. If we 
talk about motion without a mover, or about doings with- 
out a doer, or about movers, doers, or forces that are not 
substance, we are talking nonsense. This does not 
determine whether the forces are material or immaterial 
substances ; but they are and must be substance. 

According to this definition of force, it is not proper to 
say The man has great force, but rather, The man has 
great energy. It is not proper to say, The cannon ball 
moves with great force, but rather, The cannon ball 
moves with great power. It is proper to say. The force 
of gravity, the force of electricity, the force of inertia, and 
so forth ; and we mean by such expressions the substance 
which is called gravity, inertia, etc. We do not mean by 
the force of gravity, a law, or a mode, or a class of phe- 
nomena, but a substance which is and does. There is 
something which energizes to pull bodies down to the 
earth, and that something is substance, and to that sub- 
stance we give the name gravity. There is something 
which produces the motions attributed to heat, and that 
something is substance, and to that substance we give 




the name heat. There is something which energizes to 
hold matter at rest when it is at rest, and to continue its 
motion after it has been started, and that something is 
substance, and to that substance we give the name 
inertia. There is something which energizes to cause the 
motions attributed to electricity, and the motions attrib- 
uted to magnetism, and the motions of hght, and to hold 
molecules together in masses, and to place molecules 
together in the form of crystals, and to unite atoms and 
molecules chemically, and to push molecules apart ; and 
in each case that something is substance, and to the sub- 
stance which is the actor or doer in each case we give a 
specific name. These are what are called the inorganic 
forces. There are ten and, it is thought, only ten of 
them. This does not say whether they are material or 
immaterial substance, but they are substances. If they 
are molecular motions, or molecules moving, those 
molecules are substance, and to molecules in a particular 
form of motion we give a specific name. If they are the . 
divine substance energizing, they are substance, and to the 
divine substance in a particular form of energizing we 
give a specific name. Now let us use the word force in 
this sense, and in no other. 

Here we have been using the words energize and ener- 
gizing. No one has been at a loss to know^ what we 
meant by those words. We all know that we energize, 
and that we effect changes in matter by energizing. This 
thought is familiar to us, both in our language and our 
experience. We know the meaning of these words, and 
they have fixed and uniform significations. We energize, 
we exert energy. We all know and all say that we exert 
energy. What do we mean when we so speak ? We mean 
that we exert or use an inherent characteristic of our- 
selves, a property of ourselves, when we produce motion. 
We call that property of ourselves energy. All men call 

it energy. It has been called energy during the ages. 
What do we gain now by departing from this usage, and 
constructing a definition conformed to, or derived from, a 
theory, a definition which, if our theory turns out not to 
be true, will only stand as a monument of our folly? 
That which we are conscious of using or exerting to pro- 
duce motion or to prevent motion we call energy. We 
know it in our consciousness as a property of ourselves, 
an inherent characteristic permanent in ourselves, whether 
we use it or not, which we may use or not use. If 
from sickness, or any other circumstance, we become 
incapable of exerting energy, we find that we can do 
nothing, move nothing,— we are partially or wholly de- 
prived of that property which we did possess which we 
call energy. Our ability to effect changes in matter de- 
pends entirely upon the amount of this property m us 
available for use. We may, then, define energy as tbat 
property of some substances which enables them to do or 
to effect changes in matter. Then no substance can be 
a doer or a force, unless it possesses the property of energy. 
In all cases of physical motion the matter itself must 
possess the property of energy, and be able to start itself 
in motion, and to perpetuate its own motion : or else there 
is some other substance in it which does possess the 
property of energy and moves it ; or else somethmg out- 
side of it is acting upon it and moving it. It requires 
the exertion of the same amount of energy to continue 
the motion of a moving body as was required to start it 
in motion. This is evident from the fact that it requires 
precisely the same amount of energizing to stop it as was 
used in starting it. If there was no energy exerted to 
continue the motion, no exertion of energy would be 
required to stop it. In all flying detached bodies there is 
as much energy exerted to continue their motion as was 
exerted to start them in motion. 



As in all moving bodies there must have been an exer- 
tion of energy to start them in motion ; and of as much 
to continue their motion, and as in all exertion of energy 
there must be something exerting it, some substance of 
which this energy is a property ; as all motion requires a 
mover, all doing a doer, and as all doers are substance ; 
the question arises, Is the matter itself the doer? or is 
there some other substance outside of it acting upon it to 
move it? These questions involve the question, Is 
energy a property of matter? In determining whether 
matter is itself the doer in natural phenomena or not, it 
will be necessary to examine a number of cases of moving 
matter to see whether it is possible that matter should be 
the doer. This we now proceed to do. 

We see bodies falling toward the earth. The matter of 
the earth and bodies do not meet; there is an interval of 
space between them. Then the matter of the earth can 
not draw those bodies. This is not merely that we can 
not see how it could. It is not merely that the phenom- 
ena of gravity are yet unexplained. It is that we know 
that it is not possible that the matter of the earth and 
body should be the doer in these cases. Nothing can do 
where it is not. No substance can do ontside of its own 
limits. The atmosphere which fills the space between 
those bodies is made up of detached particles which are 
struggling to get farther apart, hence that cannot be used 
to draw with. If there was any other matter in that 
space that could be used to draw with, we could by its 
properties of weight, inertia, and impenetrability discover 
it. We have found abundant reasons for discarding en- 
tirely the supposition of a universal ether ; but if that 
space be filled with such an ether, according to any sup- 
position which has ever been made respecting it, it could 
not be used to draw with. It is impossible that the mat- 
ter of the earth should do anything to the matter of the 



bodies. It is impossible that the matter of the bodies 
should do any thing to the matter of the earth. Nothing 
can do where it is not, or outside of its own limits. Then 
if the process is by attraction, if there is any such thing 
as the attraction of gravitation, as has always been sup- 
posed, matter cannot be the doer in this case. If the 
process is by attraction, it is impossible that matter should 
be the doer in any case of motion caused by gravity ; for 
unless bodies are separated by intervals of space, attrac- 
tion can never cause motion. Then that substance which 
we call gravity is not matter, or material substance. 

The same is true of all other attractions. The opposite 
poles of two magnets attract each other through intervals 
of space. Two bodies, one charged with positive and 
the other with negative electricity, attract each other 
through intervals of space. Chemical attraction between 
atoms and molecules acts across inten^als of space. 
Scientists say that it is the falling together of the atoms 
through these intervals which produces the heat conse- 
quent upon chemical action. The cr>'stallizing force 
attracts across intervals of space, drawing together mole- 
cules which are separated by solution. Now, if the pro- 
cess is by attraction, if these are attractions, as they have 
always been called, it is not possible that matter should 
be the doer in any of these cases. It is not possible in 
any of these cases that one body should act upon another 
across an interval of space. Then if the process is by 
attraction, that substance which we call magnetism is not 
matter, or material substance ; and that substance which 
we call electricity, and that substance which we call the 
chemical force, and that substance which we call the crys- 
tallizing force,— none of these can possibly be matter. 

We reach similar conclusions in cases of repulsion 
across intervals of space. The north poles of two mag- 
nets, and the south poles of two magnets, repel each 





other across intervals of space. Two bodies charged with 
positive, and two charged with negative, electricity 
repel each other across intervals of space. The mole- 
cules of all the permanent gases are held apart across 
intervals of space. If the process in these cases is by 
repulsion, if in any of these cases the one body does have 
any influence upon the other body, in none of these cases 
can matter be the doer; and it is not possible that mag- 
netism, electricit}', or molecular repulsion should be 

There are many other cases of action across intervals 
of space. In all cases of electrical induction, in all cases 
of magnetic induction, in all cases of the action of mag- 
netism upon electricity, and electricity upon magnetism, 
and of magnetism upon magnetism in separated bodies, 
and of electricitv upon electricitv in separated bodies, — in 
all these cases there is action across intervals of space. 
All of these cases can be classed under attractions and 
repulsions. If thej- are attractions and repulsions, if one 
body does in these cases have any actional relation to the 
other body, in none of these cases can matter be the 
doer, and none of the forces here mentioned can be matter. 

If there is no material medium between the earth and 
the sun, as we have abundant reason to conclude, heat 
and light exist and move in space where no matter is. 
There is no greater necessity for supposing a material 
medium between the earth and the sun than between 
bodies drawn together by gravity, or between bodies in 
which electrical or magnetic phenomena are manifested, 
or between bodies drawn together by chemical or crystal- 
lizing attraction, or between bodies that are kept apart by 
molecular repulsions, or, if the supposition of scientists 
that all molecules are separated bodies be true, between 
all molecules. And no material medium can lie supposed 
with properties which would answer all these purposes, 

and yet allow of these motions. And if there was any 
material medium in all these places which would answer 
these purposes, we could detect it by our senses. The 
only legitimate conclusion to which we are ultimately led 
bv the supposition that the natural forces are physical 
processes, is that which Sir Wm. Thompson has suggested 
that the entire universe is a mass of continuous matter;, 
and then all our knowledge is a delusion, and the science 
and philosophy of the past are fictions. If molecules can 
act upon each other through inter^'als of space in the 
phenomena of crystallization and chemical action, and in 
electric and magnetic phenomena, and in the work of 
gravity, without using a material medium, I see no rea,son 
why masses, worlds, may not act upon each other through 
intervals of space without any material medium. There 
is no more necessity for supposing a material medium for 

light than for gravity. 

We have, then, gravity, electricity, magnetism, the 
chemical force, the crj-staUizing force, molecular repulsion, 
light and heat, eight of the ten inorganic forces, which 
are plainly shown to be not matter, not material processes, 
and we see that what have been called the physical forces 
are not molecular motions. As the other two of these 
forces cohesion and inertia, never act beyond the hmits 
of their bodies, they cannot be thus shown to be not 


But now, it may be supposed that these processes are 
not attraction and repulsion, and that there is no such 
process as action and reaction among molecules or masses ; 
but that each moves itself does as it does with reference 
to other bodies, by its own inherent power, unacted upon 
by anything outside of itself This is an old supposition, 
and has been often answered, but we give it place here. 
This <nves to masses as well as molecules, a self-moving 
and self-directing power. They must also be capable of 



perception, must be able to see the bodies toward which 
they would move. They must also resolve that, when 
they move toward other bodies, they will increase their 
velocity according to a fixed law. They must possess 
remarkable power to form judgments of distance, or they 
might make a mistake and start to move toward a body 
that is at greater distance from them. They must pOvSsess 
great ability to form judgments of size, of the quantity of 
matter, or they might start toward a body that contained 
a less quantity of matter. After forming perfect judg- 
ments of distance and size, they must possess wonderful 
mathematical power to calculate the resultant of many 
bodies around them in all directions. They must possess 
skill in execution, in marking out straight lines, curves, 
and circles, far beyond human powers. They must be 
capable of contemplating purposes and ends beforehand, 
and great wisdom in the selections of means and ways to 
accomplish those ends. To believe that molecules and 
masses of matter possess such wonderful powers requires 
a degree of credulity that I do not claim to possess. 

Unless matter does possess these wonderful powers, 
molecules and masses, or something else in them, must 
act and react upon each other. Then matter can never be 
the doer in any natural phenomena, except where one 
moving body comes against another body and moves that. 
In all motions resulting from gravity, electricity, mag- 
netism, the chemical force, the crystallizing force, mole- 
cular repulsion, light, and heat, the mover and doer can- 
not be matter. 

We find, then, that the whole of what is called the 
dynamic theory of matter is included in the doings of the 
force of inertia. The force of inertia energizes to hold 
matter at rest if it is now at rest, and to perpetuate its 
motion if it is now in motion. This is the whole basis of 
the dynamic theory of matter, this includes all the facts 



which support it, and these facts are all there is of it. 
The other nine forces have their modes of doing, and none 
of them can be brought under the mode of inertia. The 
attempt to extend the law of inertia into a universal prin- 
ciple, explaining all natural phenomena, is one of the 

follies of this age. 

The fact that most of the phenomena of nature are 
effected through intervals of space, where the supposed 
doer is not, is conclusive proof that matter is not the doer, 
proof that is equal to a mathematical demonstration, pro- 
vided it be true that a thing cannot do where it is not. 
But the reader may think, has not the difficulty of action 
between remote bodies presented itself to philosophers 
during all the past, and yet they have gone on admitting 
the fact of such action ? And has not the postulate, which 
declares that a thing cannot do where it is not, been known 
to philosophers during the centuries, and yet they have 
not objected to the physical philosophy which assumes 
that separated bodies do act upon each other ? To these 
questions we answer, yes. "Then why do you say that 
action of separate bodies upon each other is impossible, 
when Aristotle and Kant and all the other great philoso- 
phers, in full view of this postulate, have not condemned 
the physical philosophy which has separate bodies acting 
upon each other? Have you discerned what these men 
failed to discern?" These questions are natural; but 
when we learn how those philosophers disposed of the 
difficulty, these questions lose much of their importance. 
The postulate — nothing can do where it is not— was 
known to the Greek philosophers ; but when they looked 
out upon nature, they saw a world of facts which seemed 
to contradict it. Bewildered, dazed, they knew not what 
to say. Either the apparent facts or the postulate must 
give way. The facts, they said, are constantly before our 
eyes, separate bodies are drawn together, no one can deny 

I ' 


• that. The apparent facts prevailed, and the postulate 
was laid quietlj' awa}', and the mystery was frankly ad- 
mitted to be beyond human comprehension. Occasionalh' 
during the ages a philosopher would bring the postulate 
out of its retirement and object to the contrary popular 
opinion, but he had nothing but matter to present as the 
doer, and the apparent facts would still hold their suprem- 
acy. The philosopher said, it is not possible for separate 
bodies to act upon each other, yet they appear to do so — 
it is a mystery we cannot explain. They held on to the 
postulate, but made little use of it, because facts seemed 
to so pOvSitively contradict it. 

Since the revival of philosophy in modem times the 
difficulty has been generally disposed of in about this 
manner: *'It is true we cannot explain how remote 
bodies can act upon each other ; neither can we explain 
how contiguous bodies can act upon each other — it is as 
great a myster}^ in one case as in the other." Of course, 
it is no explanation of one mystery to bring another 
mystery and place beside it. This is simply an admission 
that both are inexplicable mysteries, considering matter 
as the mover. If it be admitted that the molecules of all 
matter are separated bodies, the difficulty is as great 
whether we consider tlie bodies remote or near, for in 
both cases it is action between separated bodies, and the 
postulate — nothing can do where it is not — applies as well 
to bodies that are near and appear to touch as to those 
which are remote. In that case matter cannot be the actor 
or doer in any case, even within solid bodies, and we have 
matter as a doer thrown entirely out of nature and phi- 
losophy. But if we have the molecules of matter in 
actual contact, the two cases are not similar ; in one case 
it is action between separated bodies, and in the other 
case it is action between bodies which touch, and we do 
not -have matter acting where it is not. 


But Kant, acknowledged to be the most profound and 
penetrating philosopher that has appeared among men 
since Aristotle, while he does as others have done, offsets 
one of these mysteries against the other, and declares 
them both impossible. We quote from Professor John 
Watson's "Kant and his English Critics," p. 250 : " To 
the objection of attraction, as action at a distance, it is ■ 
commonly objected that matter cannot act where it is not. 
How, it may be asked, can the earth immediately attract 
the moon, which is thousands of miles distant from it ? 
To this Kant replies that matter cannot act where it is, on 
any hypothesis that we may adopt, since each part of it is 
necessarily outside of every other. Even if the earth and 
moon were in physical contact, their point of contact 
would lie in the limit between the two parts touching 
each other, and therefore each part, to act on the other 
must act where it is not." It will be noticed that Kant 
here admits that separate bodies cannot act on each other, 
and also declares that bodies which touch each other can- 
not act upon each other, because, though they may touch 
at one point or surface, all the rest of the substance mak- 
ing up the two bodies is separated, the matter of one body 
from the matter of the other body, by an interval of space. 
Thus he fully admits the validity of the postulate- 
no thing can do where it is not. Kant, so far from deny- 
ing this postulate, positively asserts its validity, and de- 
clares that a thing cannot do where it is not. 

The difficulty of matter acting at a distance is not 
removed by saying, neither can it act in contact,— it re- 
mains true that matter cannot act at a distance. I believe 
that matter cannot act anywhere, and what I am endeav- 
oring to show here is that most natural phenomena are 
effected through intervals of space where the matter which 
is supposed to be the doer is not, and therefore that matter 
cannot be the doer. 



Kant knew, and every other philosopher who admits 
that two contradictories cannot both be true, knows that 
bodies cannot act where they are not. But apparent facts 
seem to contradict this, and the apparent facts and this 
cannot be reconciled; so scientists disregard the contra- 
dictions, and go on talking about separate bodies acting 
upon each other, still calling matter the doer. The 
apparent facts which dispute this postulate are like the 
apparent facts which disputed the Copernican system of 
astronomy — the heavenly bodies seemed to revolve around 
the earth. The fact is, separate bodies cannot act upon 
each other — a thing cannot do where it is not. Then 
matter cannot be the actor or doer in anv case of attrac- 
tion, nor in any case of repulsion, except where one body 
in contact pushes another, and none of the so-called phy- 
sical forces are matter, or material processes. 

We are now prepared to answer the question. Is energy 
a property of matter? All natural phenomena in inor- 
ganic nature are produced through the processes of attrac- 
tion and repulsion. We have found that in all cases of 
attraction, and in all cases of repulsion, except where one 
body moves against another and moves that, matter can- 
not possibly be the doer. We have found that five of the 
ten inorganic forces — gravitj-, electricity, magnetism, the 
chemical force, and the crystallizing force — do attract 
bodies through intervals of space, and that therefore they 
cannot be matter or material processes. If we discard the 
universal ether, which this writer thinks we have abun- 
dant reason for doing, we have light and heat moving 
through empty space, then the}^ are not matter or material 
processes. We have found that electricity and magnetism 
do repel bodies through inter^'als of space ; hence there 
are repulsions in nature w^hich are not material processes, 
or molecular knocking. I think w^e have abundant rea- 
sons for discarding the dj-namic as molecular knocking 


theory of gases and vapors ; then we have molecular re- 
pulsion and heat acting through inter\^als of space, then 
in these cases matter cannot be the doer. 

We have now left only the two forces— cohesion and 
inertia— that are not shown to be not matter. These two 
forces never act beyond the limits of their bodies, so they 
cannot be shown by this test to be not matter. They do 
not offer any proof that they are matter, or that they are 
not not-matter ; only the circumstances do not admit of 
their being shown to be not matter— they cannot be posi- 
tively included among the not-matter forces. 

When scientists thought they had shown that two of 
the inorganic forces were material processes, they did not 
hesitate to generalize that all of them are, and made but 
little effort to prove that the others were, and that without 
success, resting their generalization upon these two alone. 
We have shown five of them to be positively not matter, 
three of them to be probably not matter, and two of them 
not positively included, but giving no evidence to the 
contrary. Here, then, is ample foundation for the gen- 
eralization that none of these are physical processes, and 
that matter is never the actor or doer in the physical 
phenomena of nature. In all the motions and doings in 
nature there is a manifestation of energy. If matter is 
not the doer, this energy is a property of something not 
matter. If matter is not the doer, this energy is not a 
property of matter. Even if energy were a property of 
matter, in the cases cited of action at a distance its energy 
could not be the effective energy, for a property cannot 
extend beyond the limits of its substance. Here, then, is 
ample basis for the generalization that energy is never a 
property of matter. There are few scientific generaliza- 
tions so well established as this. 





Motion is a fact that a portion of substance occupies 
different places in space in successive periods of time. It 
is not substance or property, but a relation. It is a space 
relation, a constantly varying space relation. It differs 
from location in the fact that the location of the substance 
is constantly changing. Location is a fixed space relation, 
at least in reference to other bodies. If a body occupies 
constantly the same space relation with reference to other 
bodies, we call it a fixed or located body. If it occupies 
constantly the same portions of space— if there are any 
such cases — it is really a fixed or located body. If it is 
constantly changing its place in space, or its relative dis- 
tance and direction from other bodies, we say it is moving, 
and we call the fact of this change in its space relations 
motion. It involves also a time relation— successive 
periods of time. It is, then, both a space and time rela- 
tion. Being only a relation, it is improper to speak of it 
as a doer. Nothing but substaiue can do or be a doer. 
Neither can motion be properly spoken of as a correlative 
of force or energy. These are not relations, and to speak 
of converting motion into force or energy, or force or 
energy into motion, is to speak of converting a relation 
into a substance or property, or a substance or property 
into a relation. If we speak of the equivalence between 
motion and force or energy, we talk nonsense. There can 


'be no equivalence between things so unlike, between a 
relation and a substance or property. How would this 
sound? above ^ extension, direction = matter, motion 
^^ substance. . 

Matter has no power to start itself in motion, or to 
move itself after it has been started in motion. In our 
previous examinations we have reached the following 
generalizations : Energy is never a property of matter, 
and nothing which does not possess the property of,energy 
•can move itself, or move anything else. We know from 
experience that all motion in matter is attended with an 
exertion of energy. If we start matter in motion, we do 
•so by the exertion of energy. If moving matter comes 
against us we have to exert energy to resist it. By this 
we know that the motion of a detached flying body is 
attended with a constant exertion of energy, that its 
motion is continued by a constant exertion of energy, and 
by experiment we learn that the amount of energy 
exerted to continue the motion is just equal to that which 
started the motion. Thus we conclude that there is no 
motion in matter without the exertion of energy to move 
it, that the energizing continues as long as the motion 
continues, and that the motion would cease at once if the 
energizing should cease, that there is no continuance of 
motion after the energizing ceases. 


Motion, then, in order to be perpetual must be con- 
tinued by a constant exertion of energy. There is no 
such thing as self-perpetuated motion. There is not in 
motion itself any tendency to perpetuity. Motion is the 
result of the energizing of something. To talk about a 
relation being self-perpetuating, and self-continuing, is 
to give to a relation causal power, and make it capable 
•of doing, make it a doer. Nothing but substance can be a 
doer. If there is any decrease in the energizing, there is 



a corresponding decrease in the motion, or in the velocity 
of motion. The energy of amoving body is not conse- 
quent upon its n.otion, but its motion is consequent upon 
the energizing of something to move it. The motion is- 
the effect, and not the cause in this case. Motion — a 
relation — can never be a cause or doer. 

Again, motion, to be perpetual must be without obstruct 
tion; that is, the energizing which is moving the body 
must not be counteracted by other energizing. As the- 
motion of a moving detached body is continued by the 
continued exertion of energy, only something which ener- 
gizes, something which possesses and exerts energy, can 
stop or retard the motion of the body. As nothing but a 
force, a substance possessing the property of energy, can 
move matter or cause motion, so nothing else can stop 
the motion of a flying body. All flying bodies moving 
in regions adjacent to other matter are acted upon, 
retarded, obstructed, by the forces iu that other matter, 
and hence their motion is brought to an end. All visible 
motions, except those of the planetary worlds, continue 
for a little time, and then end. The planets are the only 
bodies known to us that move without obstruction ; these 
meet with slight obstruction in the meteoric ar^d aerolite 
bodies, but not enough to scarcely sensibly retard their 
motion. All known bodies moving in space adjacent to- 
other bodies are obstructed and retarded. This, accord- 
ing to all rules of logic, is a legitimate basis for the gen- 
eralization that all bodies moving in like circumstances, 
are obstructed and retarded. 

But some are disposed to limit this generalization to. 
xnsible or molar motion, and suppose that in the invisible 
or molecular realm of matter, motions may be perpetual. 
This supposition cannot be proven, and no attempt is 
made to prove it. It is merely an hypothesis by which 


they would remove some difficulties out of the way of 
other hypotheses. All our knowledge of matter is of 
sensible bodies. In all our examination of nature we 
must proceed from the known to the unknown. What 
we find to be true of known matter we legitimately apply 
to unknown matter. When we find that a sensible mass 
of matter possesses the properties of impenetrability, in- 
ertia, and gravity, we conclude that any subdivision of 
that mass, however minute, must possess those properties. 
But scientists suppose that in one respect matter in the 
form of molecules difiers from matter in the form of masses: 
masses are never perfectly elastic ; molecules are supposed 
to be perfectly elastic. 

We will consider this question in reference to the mole- 
cules of gases, and according to what is called the 
dynamic theory of gases. In this theory the molecules 
are supposed to fly about and knock against each other, 
and to be kept apart by this knocking. 

Now, what ground have we for supposing that mole- 
cules are perfectly elastic ? It is well known that sen- 
sible bodies of matter are never perfectly elastic. These 
are the facts which are to govern our opinions respecting 
unknown or insensible bodies of matter. These are the 
facts from which we generalize an induction in reference 
to all matter. In all known cases, in all instances discov- 
ered by man, bodies of matter are not perfectly elastic. 
From these facts we generalize the statement: Matter is 
never perfectly elastic ; molecules are matter ; therefore 
molecules are not perfectly elastic. 

No reason is assigned why we should not include mole- 
cules in this generalization, except the usefulness of the 
supposition that they are perfectly elastic in the support 
of other suppositions. One supposition is made, and to 
accommodate that, another, and so on, till at last we have 
a system of physical philosophy resting entirely on a 



series of suppositions ; and in this case in direct contra- 
diction to all known and discovered facts respecting matter. ' 

This is not an hypothesis devised and then tested by an 
application to facts; but a supposition made to clear the 
way for other suppositions. Heat is supposed to be mole- 
cules in motion; all molecules are supposed to be in con- 
stant motion, moving forever of themselves; therefore we 
must not admit of any decrease in motion or kinetic 
energy, else we would not have an eternally self-moving 
universe; therefore we will suppose that molecules are 
perfectly elastic. 

Though the mass is a gas, each molecule is a solid, so 
the question is of elasticity in solids. I^et us consider the 
process of motion from elasticity in solids. When a marble 
ball is thrown against a solid block of marble it rebounds. 
This is explained by saying that the two bodies by col- 
lision are indented, the matter that has been thus indented 
springs back to its original form, and thus, like a spring, 
pushes the bodies apart. But the ball never leaves the 
block with the same velocity it had during its approach. 
This loss of motion is sometimes explained by saying that 
a quantity of heat is produced by the collision, and some- 
times by saying that some of the matter composing the 
indentations is permanently displaced, and the indenta- 
tions are not entirely restored. 

We may give a»more exact explanation of rebounding 
motion. The force of cohesion which holds the particles 
of matter together and keeps them in place, in its efforts 
to restore the indented portions to their former places, 
pushes the two bodies apart. The agent in this rebound- 
ing motion is cohesion. All rebounding motion from 
elasticity in solids is the result of the energizing of cohe- 
sion to keep the body in its original shape. Cohesion in 
solids is the agent which mainly stops the forward motion 
of a colliding body and sends it back; but inertia tends to 



hold at rest matter w^hich is now at rest, and perpetuate 
the motion of moving matter in a straight line. When 
the colliding ball strikes the surface of the block it meets 
with the resistance of cohesion and also of holding inertia 
in the block. It overcomes these resistances sufficiently 
to move a portion of the matter of the block so as to form 
an indentation in the block, and also so as to indent or 
flatten the ball, so that it is not perfectly round. A portion 
of the matter of the block is thus started in motion toward 
the center of the block. Cohesion soon stops the motion 
of that portion of the block and also of the 'ball in that 
direction, and starts them both back in the opposite 
direction. Cohesion thus starts back, as from a state of 
rest, the matter of both the ball and the indentation, a 
quantity of matter greater than the ball alone contains. 
The impact that started the ball in motion at first had to 
move only the matter in the ball; the agent which sends 
it back has to move more matter and can consequently 
move it at a less velocity. 

If two balls moving in opposite directions collide, both 
balls are flattened. Cohesion in both balls pushes the 
flattened portions so as to restore the balls to their former 
globular form. This push drives the balls apart. Thus 
a portion of each ball, the portion forming the indentation, 
is started in motion in the opposite direction from that 
in which the ball itself is moving. This backward motion 
constitutes a jerk or pull backward upon the ball which 
must be overcome by the momentum of its forward motion, 
and which retards and lessens its forward motion, so the 
two balls do not move away from each other with the 
same velocity that they had in their approach. 

These facts fully explain the loss of motion in all col- 
lisions in sensible bodies, where the bodies are not per- 
manently changed in form, and they are just as applicable 
to bodies of insensible size, and they show the impossi- 
bility of what is called perfect elasticity. 


Of course, if we say that molecules are centers of force 
or points of divine energizing, we can apply to them no 
induction drawn from sensible bodies of matter, and we 
may suppose any thing we please respecting them; and the 
convenient dodge of the idealist is always available-he 
can always say with Professor Huxley: "After all what 
do we know of matter, except as a name for the unknown 
and hypothetical cause of states of our own consciousness>- 
But after we have supposed perfect elasticity in mole- 
cules there are still difficulties in the way of perpetual 
molecular motion in gases. All bodies moving near the 
earth are obstructed by the gravity of the earth. When 
the molecules of a mass of gas move away from the earth 
they UK retarded; when they move toward the earth they 
are accelerated; thus the motion in the mass away from 
the earth must be less than toward it. When the mole- 
cules strike the earth they strike a body that we know is 
not perfectly elastic, and they do not rebound as far as 
they have fallen. On the lower surface of the mass of gas 
there is a layer of molecules that are beyond the reach of 
any molecules to knock them back, they are the outside 
molecules, and there are no molecules outside of them to 
knock them back, and they must fall to the earth. Other 
mo ecules are then the outside molecules, and there are no 
molecules outside of them to knock them back. Thus 

^a^^A f r/^'^"'^" ^^'^' ^"°"'^'' '""^t escape from the 
mass and fall to the earth, until they have all fallen. 

Thus admitting the perfect elasticity of molecules, per- 
petual motion of molecules in gases under this theorTof 
gases, seems to be an impossibility. 
But some believe in the perpetual motion of molecules 

Sfeve thl/"^ ' '^^ ^^""'°'" '^^'''y «f g««^«- Such 
believe that the molecules of a gas are held apart 

rL S"^' '°'''!^»'«'- repulsion, an invisible, undis- 
coverable something, which holds the molecules at a 
distance from each other. Each molecule in a mass 




, -is pushed on every side from all its neighbors. It is 
/ /known by experiment that this push increases in power 
<Kas the molecules approach each other. Then there is a 
point at which each molecule will be pressed equally on 
every side, where the repulsion from all other molecules 
^vill be in equilibrium. There that molecule will rest, 
and any attempt to move it from that point will meet with 
the resistance of this push. If it be by some power ex- 
ternal to the mass knocked from that position, it may 
vibrate back and forth for a little time ; but every time it 
passes that point, it will be pushed upon one side more 
than on the other, and will soon be forced to a rest at that 

It is understood that gravity acts between the molQcules, 
:and tends to draw them together. Some have seemed to 
suppose that the molecules might vibrate back and forth 
from the alternate prevalence of gravity acting between 
the molecules and the molecular repulsion. But there 
^can be no such alternate prevalence. Both forces increase 
Tin the same proportion as the molecules approach, and 
decrease in the same proportion "vvhen the molecules 
-recede. If, then, they are in equilibrium at any point, 
they are at all points of distance. But the attraction be- 
tween molecules is so little that it has no power at all 
against the powerful repulsion. It is so little that Mr. 
Tyndall throws it entirely out of the calculation. 

The attraction of the gravity of the earth tends to 
■press the molecules of all gases together at the surface of 
the earth. This is as an outside power pressing the 
molecules together. This pressure is resisted by molecu- 
lar repulsion acting between the molecules. The outside 
-pressure is a steady and uniform pull, and when it presses 
the molecules together until the resistance of repulsion 
"between the molecules becomes equal to it, there the 
miolecules stop, and remain at rest. This is the case 

9^ MOTION ' 

first considered under this head ; the outside pressure of 
the gravity of the earth upon the mass of gas was pre- 
sumed in that case. I see no chance, then, for perpetual 
molecular motion, under this theory of gases. 

The foregoing discussion applies to all gaseous sub-^ 
stances, and also to all liquids and solids if their molecules, 
are detached and separate from each other, as in gases, 
only separated by less distances. But we know that the 
molecules of liquids and solids are held together and all 
motion among them resisted by cohesion. The process 
of vibrations in liquids and solids, as it differs from that 
in gases, has not been agreed upon and definitely described. 
It does not seem proper to call these vibrations waves ; 
they certainly cannot be inequalities in surface, like water 
waves, nor inequalities in density, like aerial waves. They 
have sometimes been represented by the communication 
of an impulse through a row of detached bodies. In such 
a case all the bodies in the row successively move forward,, 
and hit those in front of them. Scratch the end of an 
iron shaft weighing ten tons with a pin, and the scratch, 
may be heard at the other end, and at all points on its. 
surface. We know that a very light tap with an iron 
instrument at one end, can be not only heard but felt, at 
the other end, and at every point on the surface of that 
end. Now, we cannot suppose that that scratch with a- 
pin, or that light tap, was of sufficient power to move the 
whole of those ten tons of matter forward a little. This 
explanation of the process does not seem to be reasonable 
or possible. 

These vibrations have sometimes been represented by 
the motion of a taut cord or wire. We know that the- 
vibration of such a wire consist of deviations from a 
straight line. It may be a mere trembling, but that even 
is variation from a straight hne. This seems to more 
fitly represent vibrations in a solid. But whatever be the- 



. IN SOLIDS. 97 

form of the motion, we know that cohesion resists motion 
of any kind in liquids and solids. The shortest distance 
between any two points is a straight line. When a taut 
wire is made to vibrate, every time it moves to the right 
or left of a straight line, it becomes more taut, and cohe- 
sion in it resists its further motion in that direction, and 
draws it back. This resistance of cohesion to any devia- 
tion from a straight line soon brings the motion to an end. 
It has been said that the motion of the wire is stopped by 
the resistance of the air. Admitting that the air is some 
obstruction, we learn by experiment that the motion of 
the wire will come to an end nearly as soon in a vacuum^ 
But the motion of molecules in a solid body is resisted,. 
not only by cohesion acting lengthwise as in a wire, but 
also by cohesion acting laterally. Every molecule in the 
body is held firmly in its place, bound to all contiguous 
molecules, by cohesion, and their motion thereby ob- 
structed, whether the molecules toitch each other or not. 
Then it is admitted that the vibrations of a taut wire are 
obstructed by the molecules of air around it. Suppose 
this wire to be surrounded by other wires, so that every 
time it moved one way or the other it would hit against 
another wire, would not its motion be obstructed much 
more than by the air ? We may suppose vibrations in a 
solid body to be like vibrations in a bundle of wires, col- 
liding with others at every move. This seems to be indi- 
cated by the fact that sound vibrations move more rapidly 
and further when they mof e lengthwise of the fibers of 
wood than when they move across them ; and when the 
motion is parallel with the lamina of crystalline substan- 
ces, than when transverse to them. 

Now it is very easy to say that the molecules of all' 
solids are in constant motion, and that they are a little 
way apart so as to admit of that motion ; but whether 
they are in contact or not, we know that they are firmly 


lield in their places, and that their motion is resisted, by 
cohesion, and by collision with other matter. It is cer- 
tain that in such circumstances perpetual motion is not 
possible. To satisfy the demands of a theory we cannot 
■do such violence to all common sense, nor so contradict 
•all the facts respecting matter known by observation and 

We have still to consider the possibility of perpetual 

:motion of waves in an ethereal medium. It is well 

known that all sensible waves soon come to an end. 

Friction and imperfect elasticity are alleged as reasons for 

this. But we know that these do not include all the 

reasons. Take as an example water waves. When a 

wave has been raised by wind, or any other means, above 

the common level of the surface, it is drawn down by 

gravity, and a portion of the water forming the w^ave 

flows down both inclined planes of the wave. If the 

wave is moving before the wind, some of the raised water 

flows down the back side of the wave, and reacts as an 

obstruction against the next oncoming wave. This is the 

main reason why water waves flow on for a little time, 

-continually diminishing, and then cease to be, if the force 

which raised them ceases to act. 

B}' the same process does gravity soon destroy all waves 
in an aerial medium. All such waves consist of alternate 
denser and rarer portions of the medium. ' Such are un- 
derstood to be the waves of air which in our ears produce 
the sensation of sound. Why do these waves so soon 
•end ? What ends them ? It is well known that gravity 
resists inequalities in density as much as inequalities in 
surface. This is given by all as the explanation of wind. 
The molecules of the atmosphere are pressed together on 
to the surface of the earth by the gravity of the earth. 
They are held apart by molecular repulsion acting between 
the molecules. The power of this expanding force in- 


creases as they are pressed nearer together, as the square 
of the distance decreases. The pressure of gravity is a 
constant quantity. When the pressure and repulsion are 
equal, the molecules remain at rest ; w^hen they are driven 
nearer together — condensed — repulsion is stronger than 
the pressures and they are driven apart ; w^hen they be- 
come rarer than the equilibrium, the pressure exceeds the 
repulsion, and molecules from the surrounding denser 
portions are pressed into the rarer to restore the equilib- 
rium. As the wave flows along, some of the molecules ' 
composing the denser portion are driven backward to fill 
up the rarer portion behind it, — some molecules on the 
border of that denser portion are pressed by repulsion on 
one side more than on the other, and are thus pushed 
back into the rarer portion. Thus the denser portion is 
constantly depleted, and the inequality between the denser 
and rarer portions is constantly diminished, until the two 
portions at last become equally dense, and the wave 
ceases to be. Thus all known waves in all serial substan- 
ces are known to be ended. In proportion to the strength 
of the two forces which press the molecules together and 
repel them apart, will be the rapidity of this destructive 
process. If the pressure of gravity upon the molecules 
of our atmosphere were a thousand times greater than it 
is, inequality in density in contiguous portions would con- 
tinue only one-thousandth of the time that they now con- 
tinue ; but as the progress of the wave would be much 
more rapid than it is now% it would flow more than one- 
thousandth of the distance that it now flows. Now, in 
order that the supposed ether may be capable of transmit- 
ting the supposed waves of light and radiant heat at their 
known velocity, it has been decided that the pressure 
w^hich pushes the atoms of the ether together, correspond- 
ing to the pressure of gravity which pushes the mole- 
cules of air together, must be a million million times as 


great as the pressure of our atmosphere. How lone 
would contiguous inequalities in density continue in a 
gaseous substance under such a tremendous pressure > 

that this e her ,s a "jelly," a "solid," the " densest of 
a mat ter,"-that is to say, there is no material medium 
filling the interstellar spaces, and the undulatory theor.^ 
of light IS an impossibility. , ^ 

According to the plan of this work, this is perhaps a* 
much as It IS proper for me to say here ; but I will add 
that Sir Isaac Newton's famous argument against the 

He irS: ; r7 "' "^'* ""'' "^^'^^ ''' been^nswer d 
He said that hght cannot be waves of ether, for then an 

ot,ect would form no shadow. Waves of water and o 

•sound flow around an intervening object, and leave no 

unoccupied space corresponding to a shadow, behind it 

This argument stood as an insurmountable rock in the 

luS th/l!," Tr"- ^""^ """^^ «^"^^* do flow 
around the body, they say, but they are cut off and 

quenched by the process of interference. Then the pro- 

Z„ TT""'"^ "^^' ''^ "^'^^ '''''' '^t^^^r light and pro- 
ducing darkness must be a very simple process. Every 
opaque body that the sun or moon or any other light h^ 
shone against has had its shadow, with clear cut edges • 

be difficult to contrive some apparatus by which this sim- 
ple process can be effected. Yet all the ingenuity of man 

mTn T" ' V"' '' '^""^^™'^* ^"'^'^ ^» «tL. N^ 

result m darkness. "Why! are not numerous instances; 

ZZVk 7 f'"''°'^ ■ " ^° ' *^>- ^^y h-e led you 
o so think ; but you have been deceived. No such in- 
stance can be found in any text-book on earth. No mat. 
has ever yet been able to make one ray of light quench 





:anotlier. As the reader may not have time or opportunity 
to search through all the books on light to see for himself 
that the foregoing assertions are true, I will quote the 
language of a very high authority corroborating them. 
In Deschanel's Natural Philosophy, translated by Pro- 
fessor J. D. Everett, and published by D. Appleton & 
Company, on page 1049, we find the following words: 
** Beams of light from different sources, even from differ- 
ent points of the same flame, or from different parts of the 
sun's disc, cannot, by any treatment whatever, be made 
to exhibit the phenomena of mutual interference. ' ' He 
gives a reason why, but that reason applies as well to 
light in the case of shadows. All kinds of light, from all 
sources, in all circumstances, if the rays are intercepted 
by an opaque body, produce a shadow — they say because 
the rays behind the intervening body are cut off by inter- 
ference; that is, the rays which flow around the body 
on different sides of it meet and cross each other, and in 
the language of common life, put out each other, and 
result in "darkness ; and yet man has never been able, 
*' by any treatment whatever," to cause one beam of light 
to cut off or darken another beam or ray. Until men can 
show by some experimental process that the phenomena 
of interference is possible, it is vain to say that it occurs 
constantly in every case of a shadow. 

Well, if the teachings of this chapter are true, they are 
very iconoclastic. We have shown that perpetual motion 
in gases, liquids, and solids is impossible ; then the dy- 
namic theory of heat is impossible. We have shown that 
perpetual waves in a supposed ether are an impossibility ; 
then the undulatory theory of Hght is impossible. 






The first law of inertia is : Matter has no power to start 
Itself in motion. This is another way of saying that an 
exertion of energy is necessary to stari matter in motion. 
This follows fom the fact that energy is not a property of 
matter ; and it is also another proof that enei-y is not a 
property of matter. Knergy is that property of things 
by which they cause motion. If matter possessed this 
property, it could start itself in motion. 

We state as a second law of inertia: Matter cannot 
move itselj after it has been started hi motion. Energizing 
IS as necessary to continue motion as to start it. We know 
that the motion of flying bodies is continued by the ex- 
ertion of energy, by the fict that an exertion of ener-y is 
necessary to stop them. Newton's third law of motion- 
Action and reaction are equal and in opposite directions- 
is admitted by all scientists. If this be true the reaction 
which stops a body i. only equal to the action in the body- 
there must be something theie which acts. It is not the 
force which gave the starting impulse, for that has ceased 
to act upon the body. It is not the matter of the body 
for energy is not a property of matter. No energiH^io; 
Without an energi-jer. 'i'hen there must be something else 
there which is the energizer, which does possesss the 
property of energy. We have found that in four-fifths of 
all natural phenomena, the forces which produce them 

extend and work beyond the limits of the material bodies,, 
and know thereby that they are not matter. In the case 
of flying bodies there is something which energizes ta 
cause motion which does not extend and' do beyond the 
limits of the bodies. In all those other cases we know 
that the energizer is not matter ; hence we conclude that 
in this case the energizer is not matter. 

We present as the third law of inertia : When matter 
has been started in motion something tends to move it per- 
petually. We see bodies every day moving be3^ond the 
reach of the impulse which started them. In all such 
cases motion continues for a time, and then stops. We 
can see why it stops. In the case of detached bodies 
flying through the air, the motion is stopped by the ob- 
struction of the air and bj^ gravit}^ As we can discover 
the stopping agencies, we conclude that if they were 
absent, the motion would be perpetual. Then in the 
case of the planets, we have bodies moving without ob- 
struction, and their motion is perpetual. 

Hence w^e present as the fourth law of inertia : Motion 
to be perpetual rnust be without obstruction. The condition 
of perpetual motion is the absence of obstruction. The 
obstruction can be nothing but a force. Energizing is 
necessary to stop moving matter ; hence nothing can be a 
stopper, or an obstruction, that does not possess the prop- 
erty of energy. The obstruction may be an attractive 
force acting through space behind the moving body, or a 
repellant force acting through space in front of it, or a force 
which energizes to hold matter at rest. A body stopped 
by collision with other matter is stopped by the force or 
forces which are holding that matter together and in its 
present place in space. The only perpetually moving 
bodies 3^et discovered by man are the planetary bodies, 
and these are the only moving bodies known to man that 
move without obstruction. By bodies here we mean 






atoms and molecules, as well as masses. See preceding 

We present as tlie fifth law of inertia: Moving matter ^ 
if 7iot acted itpon by a7iy thing outside of itself^ alivays moves 

in straight lines. The force which moves detached bodies 
always energizes to move them in straight lines. Prac- 
tically the motion of flying bodies is never in straight 
lines; but we know what agents turn them from right 
lines, and we can see that if these agents did not operate 
upon them, their motion would be rectilinear. All inor- 
ganic bodies moved only by a force within themselves 
move in right lines, and no other. The force which 
moves detached bodies persists in right-line motion ; it 
will not move bodies in any other way. If the body 
strikes against another body and glances, or if it is knocked 
by another body out of its course, it immediately re- 
sumed straight-line motion in another direction. Discov- 
ering thus the mode of this force, we know that if any 
bod}^ mass or molecule, moves according to any other 
mode, it is not moved by the force which perpetuates the 
motion of flying bodies, — we know that some other force 
outside of the body is acting upon it, and turning it out 
of a straight line. All circular and zig zag motion must 
be the result of two or more forces. No one can argue from 
the fact that straight line motion is perpetual, that any 
other mode of motion is. The facts and phenomena 
which occur under this law of motion can never be 
adduced to prove that any other mode of motion is per- 
sistent. All motion of bodies without an external mover 
known to man is in straight lines, except as some other 
force outside of the body turns it from a straight line. 

This force resists any other mode of motion. An exer- 
tion of energy is necessary to turn a flying body out of 
its course. It is strange that any man should write, 
"* * No power, no energy is required to deflect a bullet from 

its path, provided the deflecting force acts always at right 
-angles to that path," (Unseen Universe, p. 180). When 
it was said that no work was done by turning a flying 
body out of its course, we could understand that the worcj 
ivork could be so defined as to make the assertion true ; 
but when it is said that no * ' power or energy ' ' is re- 
quired, it is a great mystery. The degree of energy wdth 
which this force persists in tr>dng to keep its motion in a 
straight line may be seen in the bursting of millstones, 
grindstones, wheels, and threshing machine cylinders, 
when revolving with great velocity. It requires as much 
-energy to turn a flying body out of its course forty- five 
•degrees as was required to start it in motion at its present 
velocity. The pull of this force in the earth in its efforts 
to make the motion of the earth a straight line is suffi- 
cient to draw the sun out of its place in space, and move it 
.around in an orbit. Thus some astronomers also suppose 
sthe worlds have been thrown off from the surface of the 
.skrinking sun. 

If circular motion is produced by collision, the collision 
must be continuous. One collision would only turn the 
two bodies out of t^eir course in straight lines in different 
directions. If the two bodies adhered together, the mass 
made up of the two would continue to revolve on its axis, 
if unobstructed, forever; but if they parted, they would 
fly off" from each other in straight lines. It matters not 
hy what force a flying body is turned out of its course, nor 
how many times it is turned, as soon as the force which 
•turned it ceases to act upon it, it resumes its normal straight 
-line motion. 

As it requires an exertion of energy to turn a flying 
^body out of a straight hue, as it costs a flying body the 
loss of dynamic energy to turn another flying body out of 
.a straight line, the loss of dynamic energy in circular 
motion produced by collision must be continuous. Sup- 


pose that two currents of molecules, moving in opposite 
directions, meet each other. We will designate one cur- 
rent by the letter A, and the other by the letter B. The 
molecules of A collide against the molecules of B, and 
whirl them around in a revolving motion. The molecules- 
of B do the same to the molecules of A, and we have a. 
vortex or whirl of molecules. The molecules of both 
currents lost some of their dynamic energy by their work 
of turning the molecules of the other out of their course. 
After all these molecules have been deflected by the first 
collision, they would of themselves resume their straight 
line motion in a multitude of tangents from the periphery 
of the whirl in all directions. The circular mode of 
motion is constantly resisted by a force which dwells con- 
stantly in matter. The collision and turning of A by B, 
and of B by A must be constant to produce vortex motion, 
and the waste of dynamic energy must be continuous, 
without any possibility of replenishing it, and the two 
currents must soon destroy each other. The struggle for 
straight line motion is a continuous exertion, and must be 
forever counteracted by a continuous contrary exertion, 
and the waste of dynamic energy must be continuous, 
until it is all used up. There is no waste in the energy 
that persists in right-line motion ; there is waste in the 
dynamic energy which turns the body ; the wasteless 
must survive the wasting and exist alone. Perpetual 
vortex or circular motion from dynamic energy is an utter 

We present the following as the sixth law of inertia : 
This force has two modes of action, holdi^ig and moving. 
Matter at rest remains at rest not merely because some- 
thing is not moving it, but because something is holding 
it at rest and resisting efforts to move it. There is as 
much energy exerted in the matter to hold it at rest as 
there is exerted afterward to move it. The amount of 

tAws OF. 107 

energy required to start it in motion is just equal to the 
dynamic energj^ it will possess after it is started. The 
matter is at rest, but the energy is constantly exerted. 
On the condition of rest, the force exerts its energy to 
maintain that rest. On the condition of motion, it exerts 
its energy to perpetuate that motion. On the condition of 
motion in one direction, it exerts its energy to continue 
that direction, and to resist motion in any other direc- 
tion. Its energy is always exerted to keep matter in its- 
present state of rest, motion, and direction. It is a con- 
stant resistance to change. 

When a body is started in motion in one direction, only 
its holding energy which corresponds with that direction is 
affected by the change. If an attempt be now made to 
move it at right angles with the line of its present motion, 
it resists our effort just as much as it would if it was at rest. 
If an exertion of energy is necessary to start a body in 
motion, precisely the same amount of energy is required 
to turn it forty-five degrees from its present line of motion. 

We present the following as the seventh law of inertia : 
This force increases or decreases its energizing in propor- 
tion as the square of the velocity of its body increases or 
decreases. If a body is at rest, and we undertake to move 
it slowly, its resistance to our effort is little. If we un- 
dertake to move it at great velocity, its resistance to our 
effort is great. Its resistance to our effort does not 
increase merely as the velocity at which we attempt to 
move it increases, but as the square of that velocity in- 
creases. If we start a body in motion at the rate of one 
foot in a second, its resistance is a ; if we undertake to 
move it at the rate of ten feet in a second, its resistance 
is not merely ten a, but the square of ten, one hundred a. 
If a body is now in motion at the rate of one foot in a 
second, it requires a energy to stop it. If it is moving at 



the rate of ten feet in a second, a quantit)- of energy equal 
to one hundred a will be required to stop it. 

Thus we see that matter is held at rest and moved by a 
force which has a peculiar mode of action, a force which 
has a peculiar mode in relation to velocity. We see that 
the force which holds and the force which moves has the 
same peculiar mode with reference to velocity ; hence we 
conclude that it is the same force. 

We find, then, that in this class of phenomena there is 
in bodies something which energizes, something which 
possesses the property of energy. We have found that 
in almost all other natural phenomena the something 
which energizes can not be matter ; hence we conclude 
that this something is not matter. We see also that this 
something has peculiar properties and modes, (i) energy, 
which we do not find in matter anywhere else ; (2) modes 
of action that we do not find in any other force ; it resists 
motion, and continues motion, it resists motion after a 
peculiar manner with reference to velocity, and it con- 
tinues motion after the same peculiar manner. These are 
fixed modes and permanent properties of something. No 
property without a substance. There is some substance 
there which possesses these properties, and which is the 
doer. That substance is not matter. That substance is 
what we call the force of inertia. 

When one body moves against another and starts that 
in motion, v/hat takes place? Is energy imparted to the 
moved body? A property imparted, transferred from one 
body to another ! Is motion imparted ? A relation im- 
parted, transferred ! W^e will have to use language more 
carefully than this, or we deceive ourselves. The ex- 
planation is this : the static mode of inertia is changed 
to the moving mode— static inertia is changed to 
moving inertia. There is no more energ>' in the body, 
but the energy that was employed holding, is now em- 

LAWS OF. 109 

ployed moving. The energy which resisted the motion 
was just as much as that which is now moving it. . The 
dynamic energy of a flying body is the energizing of the 
force of inertia. Here is a true case of conversion, not of 
one force into another, not of one form of energy into 
another, but of one mode into another mode of the same 
force. This is the only conversion in nature. Discover- 
ing cases of this, and not understanding them, men have 
been led into all this talk about the conversion of one 
force into another, of one form of energy into another. 
This is all there is of it. Out of the modes of this force 
also grew the dynamic theory of matter ; and this is all 
there is of it. When men have talked about one moving 
body imparting motion to another, the moving body did 
not impart anything to the moved body ; the energy that 
was energizing to move the body used its body with which 
to push or move the other body. • When they have talked 
of one body imparting energy to another body, the ener- 
gizing in one body has changed static inertia into moving 
inertia in the other body, — changed holding energ>' into 
moving energy. The hitting body lost nothing ; just as 
much energy is now employed holding it, as was before 
employed moving it. The hit body has gained nothing ; 
just as much energy was before employed holding it, as is 
now employed moving it. This is all there is of the 
dynamic theory of matter. It was a great undertaking to 
show that all natural phenomena — even gravity, and all 
the other forces — were only the doings of the force of 
inertia. It is not the first time that men have found a 
limited and local principle, and have endeavered to inflate 
it into a universe. 






Without reviewing the opinions and theories of others 
respecting energy, I will endeavor to present what appears 
to me to be its true exposition. First we must endeavor 
to obtain a clear conception of what energy is. Is it sub- 
stance, or an attribute or property, or a relation? Does it 
occupy space ? Does each portion of energy occupy a 
certain portion of space ? Has each mass of energy ex- 
tension, form, and dimensions ? Is it capable of independ- 
ent existence in space, without being attached to, or held 
in being by something else ? Can we conceive of a por- 
tion of energy existing in space, occupying a certain 
portion of space, existing independently and alone, having 
extension, form and size? If this be a description of 
energy it is substance. Substance, and only substance 
is capable of self-existence in space. Only substance 
of itself occupies space. Only that which of itself 
occupies space can be moved, or made to occupy suc- 
cessively different places in space— that which does not 
occupy one place cannot be made to occupy two places 
successively. All that is, except substance, exists in 
space only because of the existence of substance there, 
kept in dependent being by the presence of substance. 
Nothing else can exist in space disconnected from substance. 
If energy is substance it may exist in space detached from 
all other substance; if it is not substance it cannot thus 

^xist. If it is substance, it may be moved through space; 
if it is not substance it cannot be thus moved, nor thus 
move itself— it is utterly incapable of motion. If it is 
substance it may be transferred, communicated, translated 
irom one body to another; if it is not substance it cannot 
be thus translated; incapable of independent being in 
:space, as soon as it is detached from one body it goes out 
•of being and in the space between the two bodies it has 
no being, and that is the end of it. 

Now, what do we know of energy in objective nature 
-entirely outside of our experience ? Can we see it or feel 
it — can we discover it through any of our senses? We 
can discover through our senses matter and motion, noth- 
ing more. Energy is not matter, and motion is not ener- 
gy. We have already mentioned two ways by which we 
^can discover substance: (i.) where we discover a property 
we know there is substance; (2) where we discover 
doing we know there is a doer, and all doers are substance. 
Neither of these means lead us to the discovery of 
^energy. The existence of energy in objective nature is 
:an inference based upon our subjective conscious exper- 
ience. We energize; that is all we know about energy; 
all else that we may think, or believe, or say about energy 
is made up of inferences from this fact. Then, as all our 
[knowledge of energy is our subjective experience of ener- 
gy, and as all the philosophy of energy is made up of 
inferences from this experience, we must go to our con- 
sciousness to learn what energy is, and all our philosophy 
•of energy must be determined by what we discover re- 
specting energy in our subjective experience of energy. 
We come then to the question: what is energy? We 
answer, primarily it is an ultimate fact of consciousness, 
of which no definition can be given, except to point 
to that in our conscious experience to which this 
word has been applied as a name. When we move our 



bodies and through them other things, we are said to- 
energize, or to exert energy. When other bodies pull or 
push us we energize to resist them, and prevent motion 
and maintain our place in space. That which we are con- 
scious of using at such times, for these purposes, and in 
this work, is called energy. It is a power inherent in us^ 
a property of ourselves. These are the facts as given in 
consciousness. We start our bodies in motion by the 
exertion of energy. We start other bodies in motion by 
the exertion of energy. We resist efforts to move our 
bodies, and we keep them in the same place in space 
wdth reference to other bodies, by the exertion of energy. 
We hold other bodies from being moved by the exertion 
of energy. The man who has great power to move things- 
is said to possess a great amount of energy. To that 
which we use in all these activities, the common usage of 
mankind has applied the word energy as a name. There 
is nothing in the discoveries of modern science which 
demands any change in this usage. Unproved hypotheses, 
and unestablished theories cannot revolutionize language. 
Webster's definition of energy is as good for science and 
philosophy as for common life and literature. He de- 
fines it as * 'Internal or inherent power; the power of 
operating whether exerted or not." Knowing that that 
which we use in our activities is a property of ourselves, 
we may define energy as that property of some substances 
by which they are enabled to cause motion, and continue 
jnotion, and prevent motion, and maintain rest. 

Objective energy is not directly discoverable by us. 
According to a necessary mode of our minds, when we 
see motions and changes we believe that the cause of" 
those changes is. But we know the process of causa- 
tion only by our experience. We might see bodies 
moving, we might see one body move against another and 
see that begin to move, but we would not and could not 

t ill 



know that there is any energy involved in the phenome- 
non, except by reference to the knowledge of energy- 
obtained in our conscious experience. We know from 
our experience that there must be an exertion of ener- 
gy to move matter. We know by our energizing to 
resist it, that when a moving body comes against us, 
it energizes upon us. When, therefore, a moving body • 
strikes against another body, and that begins to move, 
we understand that it does to that body what moving 
bodies do to us, exerts energy upon it. Thus from 
our experience we are able to understand the fact of 
energizing in phenomena which are entirely objective to 
us. We have no knowledge whatever of any energy in 
nature, except as that knowledge is based upon our ex- 
perience of energy. We discover objective energy only 
by the fact that the circumstances and results are the same 
as when we energize and effect results. The connection 
between subjective and objective energy is the subjective 
principles: Like doings are the effect of like doers. Know- 
ing the circumstances and results when, we energize, and 
seeing the same circumstances and results in objective 
nature, we sav there is energizing there. Thus all our 
knowledge of objective energy is merely the transference 
of facts known in subjective experience to objective things. 
Then the energy which we conclude to be in external 
things is not and cannot be anything different from that 
known in experience. We cannot transfer from our ex- 
perience, and locate in external things, something unlike 
what is in our experience— we cannot transfer from us 
what is not in us. Then it is such energy as we find in 
our experience that we suppose to be in external things. 
When we speak of energy in external nature, we mean 
just the same that we mean when we speak of energy in 
ourselves. Objective energy is just like subjective energy. 
We know in our consciousness that the energy we exert 

114 ENERGY, 

to move our bodies and to move other things is something 
which is inherent in us. It is not something communicat- 
•ed to us, and through us operating on other things. We 
have power in ourselves without receiving any impact 
from objects outside of us, to move our bodies, to start 
them from a state of rest to activity. It is a power inher- 
ent in our bodies. It is an inherent attribute, character- 
istic, property of ourselves. Subjective energy, then, is 
a property. That point is settled, subjective energy is a 
property. Then, as all our knowledge of objective ener- 
gy is but a transference of this subjective knowledge to 
-external things, all objective energy is a property,, and if 
a property it must be a property of some substance. Not- 
withstanding the involved inconsistency, the latest defi- 
nitions of energy given by scientists, notwithstanding 
their designedly restricted form, make energy to be a 
property — "power to overcome resistance," "power of 
work." Power is not something which may exist in 
space apart from substance. Power is an attribute or 
propert}^ of something. Something has this power. It 
must abide in, be possessed by, something. Energy is 
always a property of some substance, and there is no 
■energy that is not a property. 

No property can exist without its substance. Then 
wherever energy is manifested, wherever there is energiz- 
ing, there must be a substance of which the energ>' is a 
property. No motion without energizing; no energizing 
without an energizer; no energizer that is not substance; 
no substance can be an energizer that does not possess the 
property of energy. No matter ever did move, or ever 
will move, without the exertion of energy upon it or in it. 
It is not enough that something did energize to start the 
motion. No matter ever continues in motion after the 
energizer that moves it ceases to energize. The energy 

A PROPERTY. ' 115 

must abide in some substance, and that abiding energy is 
the property of that substance which enables it to move 

matter. . 

If energy is a property, it can have no existence apart 
from its substance. Then it is not something which has 
-real objective existence." If it is a property, it can 
never be communicated from one body to another. A 
property separated from its substance ceases to be. Dur- 
ing its transit from one body to the other it is connected 
with neither, and if it exist at all, it must exist in space 
attached to nothing. In view of this how does the the- 
•ory of a stream of energy running on through the chang- 
ino- phenomena of matter, passing from one body to 
another appear? A stream of elasticity running on 
through the world, passing from one body to another, 
dividing up into a thousand little streams of elasticity, 
leaping here and there, and running on forever! 

There are not several kinds of energy; there is only 
•one kind, only that kind which is known to us in con- 
sciousness as a property of ourselves. What is the mean- 
ing then, of kinetic, dynamic and potential energy? 
Kinetic or dynamic energy is defined as the power a mov- 
ing body has to move other bodies. What is it really ? 
Let us see. Here is a body moving toward the earth. It 
is said to possess dynamic energy. What makes it fall? 
What is the mover ? We answer, gravity in the earth and 
in the body. Gravity is pulling the body toward the 
•earth. If gravity did not pull, the body would not move. 
If at any time during its falling, gravity should cease to 
pull upon it it would move on at the velocity it has 
already acquired, moved by the force of inertia in it. It 
is the pulling of gravity that accelerates its velocity as it 
approaches the earth. The movers are gravity and iner- 
tia. The dynamic energy possessed by it in consequence 
•of its motion is attributable to them. It is their energiz- 



ing which causes and continues its motion. It is their 
energizing that we would encounter if we should try to 
stop it. What, then, is the dynamic energy of a falling 
body ? It is the energizing of gravity and inertia. Some 
physicists may smile as I speak of the energizing of iner- 
tia. Some others smile when they speak of inertia as a 
mere passivity. 

Again, there are some molecules of air driven before 
the lightning. They strike against other molecules, and 
their dynamic energy is such that they produce a flame of 
heat and light. What is the dynamic energy of these 
moving air molecules? It is the energizing of electricity. 
Atoms and molecules are drawn together by the chemical 
force with so much power that they make sensible a large 
quantity of heat. What is their dynamic energy ? It is 
the energizing of the chemical force. Molecular repul- 
sion moves molecules apart, and thus moves masses. 
What is their dynamic energy ? It is the energizing of 
the force of molecular repulsion. Heat moves molecules 
apart, and thus moves masses. What is their dynamic 
energy? It is the energizing of heat.. If a man pushes 
a billiard rod, what is its dynamic energy ? It is the ener- 
gizing of the muscular force in the man. If he runs, 
what is the dynamic energy of his body? It is the ener- 
gizing of the muscular force and the force of inertia in his. 
body. If he strikes downward with a sledge, what is the 
dynamic energy of the sledge? It is the energizing of 
the muscular force in the man, and of the force of gravity 
in the earth and sledge, and of the force of inertia in the 
sledge. What is the dynamic energy of a train of cars, 
or of a steamboat, or a steam mill? It is the energizing 
of heat and inertia. What is the dynamic energy of 
wind, and of falling water, and of an ascending balloon ? 
It is the energizing of gravity. What is the dynamic 


energy of detached flying bodies? It is the energizing of 
the force of inertia. 

I care not what question you ask of any case of dynam- 
ic or kinetic energy found on earth, in every case I can. 
answer that it is the energizing of one or more of the 
already known and named forces. In all cases of moving 
matter the force of inertia in it continues the motion in 
straight lines after the force that started the motion has 
ceased to energize upon it, until the motion is stopped by 

some obstruction. 

The answers to all the foregoing questions contain one 
common word— energizing. However, many more simi- 
lar questions may be asked, if they cover all possible 
cases of dynamic energy, all the answers, if true, would 
contain that word. In general, then, what is dynamic 
energy? It is energizing. All dynamic energy is the 
energizing of some force. What is called dynamic energy 
is not energy at all, but energizing. It is a name given 
to a certain class of energizings. All moving bodies are 
moved by the energizings of some force, and the powers 
of the moved body— as it is said— to move other bodies 
is not the bod3% but the force which is moving the body. 
Here, then, is no new or different kind of energy from 
that which we subjectively know. Nor are the facts in 
this case any different from the facts in our experience of en- 
ergy. Some substance here, possessing the property of 
energy, energizes to move matter; and if that matter moves 
other bodies, it is the force which is moving it that moves 
them, through the medium of that matter; just as a man 
can take a stick and move by it another body. 

Dynamic energy is not substance. Then it has no 
permanent independent existence. It is not a property. 
It is not a permanent inherent characteristic of substance. 
A body may possess it— as the expression is— one minute, 
and the next minute not possess it. It ceases to be as 




soon as the force which is moving the body ceases to en- 
ergize upon it, or as soon as the circumstances render it 
impossible that the energizing should produce motion. 
Dynamic energy is a relation. Energy is a property, but 
energizing is a relation. It is a relation existing between 
the energizer and the work done. Energizer; energizing; 
work done. Force; energizing; work done. Force; 
dynamic energy; work done. The last two sentences are 
identical statements, because dynamic energy is the ener- 
gizing of something. What do you think of the proprie- 
ty of talking about a relation doing ? We might as well 
talk about distance, or direction, or above, or below, or 
any other relation, doing, as to talk about dynamic energy 
doing. The doer lies back of the dynamic energy. The 
work accomplished is the work of the doer, and not of 
the doing. It is strange that men will say that gravity 
in the earth draws a falling body down to it, and then 
say that the dynamic energy of the falling body is the 
doer of the work done when that body reaches the earth. 
If the fisherman should say, The spear killed the fish, or 
the billiard player should say, the rod moved the ball, 
you would call it a vulgar misuse of language. When a 
a boy throws a stone and kills a bird, you do not say, the 
dynamic energy of the stone killed the bird. The im- 
mediate agent in this case is the force of inertia in the 
stone, but the boy started that into active energizing; 
hence everybody says, the boy killed the bird with the 
stone. In all cases of moving bodies, the bodies are only 
the instruments which some of the forces are using with 
which to do work. In the common language of every- 
day life, it may be excusable if people sometimes speak 
of the instrument as the agent, but in science, when pro- 
fessing to give the exact explanation of phenomena, to do 
so, and to carry out that mode of speech in a well consid- 
ered and voluminously elaborated system, by which all 



natural phenomena are to be explained, what must we 
think of it? The whole system of philosophy which rep- 
resents dynamic or kinetic energy as the doer is reduci- 
ble to, the spear killed the fish, the stone killed the bird. 
What is potential energy? Well, it is not much of 
anything; it is an empty name. Scientists mean by it the . 
kinetic energy which may at some future time be. Let 
us examine the meaning of that sentence. May at some 
future time be — ^then it is not anything that now is. Speak- 
ing of a future possibility as a thing now existing, and 
quantifying this non-existence, and placing it in an equa- 
tion with existence, seems to be very loose philosophy, ta 
say the least. But when we consider that that something 
which may be, when it comes to be will be no thhig at all ^ 
but only a relation, the energizing of some force in cir- 
cumstances which admit of its producing motion, the 
promise of that future existence becomes a very small 
matter — the promise of an agent, which when it comes to 
be is not an agent. Gravity pulls upon a body when it 
lies motionless upon the brink of a precipice; it pulls no 
more upon it while it is falling; it pulls just as much 
upon it after it has fallen. The only difference in these 
cases is that in one of them the circumstances are such 
that its pulling produces motion. These circumstances 
are only a condition of the motion; gravity is the ener- 
gizer, the doer. In the first case, the body on the brink 
of the precipice is the condition in the presence of which 
gravity may do; in the second case, the condition is such 
that gravity is doing; in the third ease, the condition is 
such that gravity cannot do — it energizes the same, but 
its energizing cannot cause motion. If the work which 
in the first case gravity can do, and the work which in the 
second case gravity does, are correctly quantified, of course 
they are the same, for it is the same work which is quan- 
tified. After part of the work which it could do is done„ 


there is so much less to be done. As the body descends, 
the work done continually increases, and, of course, the 
work to be done continually decreases. Is it not strange 
that any man should have called this a conversion of 
potential into dynamic energy? 

" Energy of position " is only another name for that 
non-existence which we have described under the name 
of potential energy— the body is in a position which 

allows some force to move it. 

And now, what about the ''conservation of energ>'?*' 
I once said to a very distinguished college president, 
There is no truth in the modern doctrine of the conserva- 
tion of energy. He replied, "You must be mistaken; 
you know that it has always been held that the quantity 
of energy is unchangeable, however varied the ma- 
chiner3^ through which it works. ' ' Thus the old and well 
established doctrine that a certain amount of energy will 
accomplish a certain amount of work, and that that amount 
of work cannot be increased by any mechanical contrivances 
is supposed to be identical with the modern doctrine of 
the conservation of energ>'. Suppose you push upon a 
lever, that push cannot be made to do more work— esti- 
mating work by multiplying the weight of the body 
moved by the distance moved through— by any mechan- 
ical appliance. That push extends through all the wheels, 
pulleys and bands, unchanged in quantity, except as it 
may be decreased by friction. That is one fact. But 
suppose you stop pushing, will that push continue to run 
on in the machinery, after you have stopped pushing, on 
and on forever? That is another question. The two 
questions are not at all identical. This latter question 
answered afiimatively is the modern doctrine of the con- 
servation of energy. One doctrine is that a push cannot 
be varied in quantity while the pushing continues. The 
other doctrine is that a push once started will never stop. 



Suppose you try it and see if the push you make with 
that lever will continue to run on forever. 

When the doctrine of the conservation and correlation of 
forces, as it was then called, was first published in this 
country, I received it enthusiastically. As I read the 
proofs of the doctrine, and saw that Mr. Grove and others 
mixed up motion, energy, and force, and counted motion 
in the equation, giving it a dynamic value, I was set 
back somewhat; but I was so earnest in the reception of 
the doctrine that, I passed over that. Then when I saw 
that the energizing of a man in lifting a body from the 
earth was stated as the antecedent of the energy mani- 
fested during its falling; and the energizing of a man in 
mixing together an acid and an alkali was presented as the 
antecedent of the energ}^ manifested in the chemical 
action which followed, I again paused and demurred. But, 
notwithstanding these slips in its advocacy, I thought the 
doctrine must be true, it is so nice, so rational in appear- 
ance, and so beautiful. So I passed over these and other 
like absurdities, and came out as I started, a firm believer 
in the doctrine. When I came to review the arguments, 
and sift out all such absurdities, I found that the doctrine 
had rather a slender foundation, and I began to doubt. Then 
I thought, this is a new doctrine, these men are exploring 
a new cavern, it is to be expected that they will make 
some mistakes; it seems that the doctrine ought to be true, 
and by continued investigation it may j^et be adjusted 
to the facts. 

I saw that the theory required that when a force accomp- 
lishes any results, it should to the same extent itself 
decrease; but the facts seemed to be that the forces do 
energize constantly through ages, centuries, and aeons, 
without any waste or decrease in their own power. If grav- 
ity weakened by its energizing to turn the worlds into 
orbits, they would begin to move off farther from the sun. 


If inertia weakened by its hurling, the worlds would begin 
to approach the sun. If the chemical force weakens by 
its energizing, chemical compounds would begin to fall in 
pieces, and if it varied in strength, no calculations could 
be made respecting chemical reactions. Of course, 
scientists saw this, and so modified the doctrine as to 
make it demand a decrease in the agent only when work 
is done, change effected. But it appeared to me that 
turning flving bodies out of their course is work, change, 
and we know that it costs another flying body the loss of 
energy to effect this change-see page 92 Hurling worlds 
through space must certainly be work. Gravity draws 
bodies to the earth, yet there is no decrease in the agent. 
The chemical force draws atoms and molecules together, 
yet it suffers no decrease. The cr^'stalizing force works in 
the construction of cr>'stals, but loses nothing of its own 
power. Electricity works on and on, producing, as it is 
said, heat and magnetism, but suffers no decrease in 
strength. Magnetism works, producing heat and elec- 
tricity, and mechanical work, yet growing stronger itself. 
Heat is the only force that ever seems to suffer loss by 
work, and all cases where this appears can be as well ex- 
plained, better I think, by the old method of supposing 
that the disappearing heat goes into a state of latency. 

Then the theory requires that the forces be convertible, 
or transmutable, one into another; but facts do not in this 
accord with the requirements of the theory. Gravity is 
said to produce heat, but there is no decrease m gravity. 
Inertia in flying bodies is said to produce heat, but there 
is no decrease in inertia. The chemical force is said to pro- 
duce neariv all our artificial heat, but there is no decrease in 
the chemical force. Electricity is said to produce heat 
and magnetism, but there is no corresponding decrease in 
electricity. Magnetism is said to produce heat and elec- 
tricity, but there is no decrease in the magnetism. Electric- 



ity appears to produce by induction other electricity, but 
there is no decrease in the producing electricity. Magne- 
tism appears to produce by induction other magnetism, but 
there is no decrease in the producing magnetism. A case 
of the conversion of one force into another has never yet 
been discovered by man. In all these cases of what is called 
production, it is evident that there is no real production. 
It is probable that what is called production of heat is only 
bringing heat out of a state of latency into a sensible 
state, and that what is called the producion of electricity 
and magnetism is a separation of the two kinds of each 
which exist in a state of quiescent union in all matter. 

It is admitted by all that practically, experimentally, 
there is never any equivalence between the different forms 
of energy. A certain amount of heat is said to produce 
a certain amount of mechanical energ3% but in no case 
can that mechanical energy be made to produce as much 
heat as w^as employed to produce it. Heat is said to pro- 
duce mechanical energy in the armature of the electro- 
motor, and this mechanical energy is said to be converted 
into electrical energy, which is carried away through the 
conductors. Now, the heat energy is more than the me- 
chanical energy, and the mechanical energy is more than 
the electrical energy. The electricity can never be made 
to produce as much mechanical energy as was required to 
produce it, and the mechanical energy can never be made 
to produce as much heat as was required to produce it. 
In every series of successive forms of energy, ev^er>^ sub- 
sequent form is less than its predecessor, unless some 
other form of energy comes in to make up the loss. Thus 
all experimental tests pronounce their verdict against the 
doctrine of constant equivalence. This is admitted by all, 
and various reasons assigned for it — the dissipation of 
heat into surrounding bodies, the loss of energy in over- 
coming friction, the production of heat energy through 

124 ENERGY. 

friction, the dissipation of electricity into the surrounding 
air and of heat into remote space, etc. 

Fully admitting all these facts, and to avoid the admis- 
sion of decrease, Thompson and Tait have called this a 
degradation of energy, instead of a decrease of energy. 
They talk about grades of energ>% and when energy drops 
from a higher into a lower grade of energy, it is less 
effective for work. Now, all energy is measured by 
the amount of work it is capable of doing, and when it 
becomes less capable of doing work, we say there is less 
energy, and we do not evade the fact by calling it by an- 
other name, by calling it a degradation of energy. If we 
rep-esent the successive forms of energy by the letters of 
the alphabet, and estimate the amount of energy by the 
amount of work it is capable of doing, it is never true that 
A=B=C, and so on, but each successive form is a dimin- 
ished quantity. It is never possible to reverse the process 
and work back through C, B, A, and reach the same quan- 
tity of A with which we started. Hence the conclusion to 
which scientists have reached, that the quantity of energy 
upon the earth has been continually diminishing ever 
since it was a world of fire, and that it will continue to 
diminish in quantity, until the earth, a cold, dead world, 
will at last revolve around a cold, dead sun, unless the 
members of the solar system shall before this have fallen 
together. This I found to be the present stage of the 
doctrine of the conservation of energy, whichisnot a con- 
servation at all, nor a constant equivalence, but a constant 
decrease, and ultimate annihilation of energy. 

Now, as some of the forces continually energize, effect- 
ing changes in physical things, without suffering any loss 
themselves, and as one of the forces is never transformed 
into another, and as in all cases of successional forms of . 
energy each succeeding form is demonstrably shown by 
experiment to be less than its predecessor, what is there 


Still remaining of the theory of the conservation of energy ? 
When I took a still broader view, and observed the 
relation of this doctrine to other doctrines, and to the 
whole field of physics, my doubts were confirmed. The 
theory requires that the molecules of all solids be detached 
bodies and in constant motion, and that I could not 
believe. It required that all the inorganic forces be molec- 
ular motions, or moving molecules. When I first learned 
of this, I thought, may be that is so; I will see. Then 
the question arose. How can moving molecules draw 
other moving molecules from which they are separated by 
intervals of space? No one could answer this question; 
so all the attractive forces, gravity, electricity, "magnetism, 
chemical attraction, and crystallizing, attraction remained 
unexplained. I will wait and see; perhaps some way of 
explaining them may be discovered. But no; years and 
decades passed, and no explanation appeared. Neither 
was it explained how one mass of moving molecules could 
repel another mass of moving molecules from which they 
were separated by intervals of space. Nor was it possible 
to explain how one mass of molecules acts upon a remote 
mass of molecules in the phenomena of electrical and 
magnetic induction. Thus the theory that the forces are 
moving molecules was found capable of explaining only a 
very few of the natural phenomena involved in it. On 
further reflection it was seen that the action of one mass 
of moving molecules upon another mass of moving mole- 
cules separated from it by an inter\^al of space, was, not 
only unexplained, but inexplicable, impossible, absurd. 
Then he who would receive this theory of the forces must 
do so without evidence in its support in face of its known 
incompetence to explain phenomena, and in face of a 
positive contradiction, involving in itself a contradiction 
— having a thing doing where it is not. 

Then it became necessar}^ to exclude the inorganic 




forces from the problem. The original proposition was: 
All molar motion (kinetic energy), plus all molecular 
motion (the forces), plus all potential energy, are a constant 
quantity. Throwing out the forces as molecular motions, 
the proposition is. All molar motion that is, plus all molar 
motion that may be,— or in other words, All dynamic 
energy that is plus all dynamic energy that may be, are a 
constant quantity. Then, when we consider that molar 
or kinetic energ>% the energy of moving bodies of sensible 
size, is not the energ>^ of those bodies, is not energy at all, 
but the energizing of some one or more of the forces 
moving those bodies, we see that our proposition has van- 
ished into nothing, and we have no thesis to maintain. 
What will the proposition then be? The question will 
not then be, Do the forces always energize to the same 
extent, for we know that some of them— as gravity and 
inertia— do always energize with precisely the same power 
upon all matter, admitting the variation of gravity from 
distance, and of inertia from velocity, while some of the 
forces— as the chemical and crystalizing forces— often do 
not energize upon bodies, because they are beyond their 
reach; but the question is. Is there always the same num- 
ber of bodies, or the same amount of matter, so situated 
that the energizing of the forces can move it? Thus our 
original proposition has vanished out of our hands, and 
the question is not now anything respecting energy, but 
only a question of the position of bodies. Thus in any 
true systemof physical philosophy, the question of the 
conservation of energy becomes a vain and useless ques- 
tion, which no one can answer, and which no one has any 
interest in if it could be answered. 

I trust now we have some clear ideas of what we are 
talking about. Energy is a property of some substance. 
Dynamic or kinetic energy is the energizing of some force 
in circumstances which admit of motion. Potential ener- 


gy or energy of position is the possible future occurrence 
of conditions which allow of motion by the energizing of 

some force. 

One point more we will briefly notice. In our defini- 
tion of energy occurs the phrase, to prevent motion and 
maintain rest. The energy that is thus employed receives 
little attention in the dynamic philosophy. Indeed, in 
its very nature it is limited to the study of moving mat- 
ter. Moving matter is the only agent in nature, and it 
cannot go outside of moving matter in its explanations. 
It is the philosophy of moving matter, and static philos- 
ophy, or the philosophy of matter at rest, is left unex- 
pounded. The effort is made, even, to show that there is 
no such fact as rest, that all matter is moving, and there- 
fore the philosophy of moving matter includes all there is 
of philosophy. The word motion has no significance, 
except as the antithesis of rest; and we know that much 
matter is in that state which has been called rest, as dis- 
tinguished from the state of motion. Of course, rest 
means to occupy the same place in space with reference to 
surrounding bodies. As nearly all definitions have been 
conformed to current theories, rest has been defined as 
' ' the equilibrium of opposing forces. ' ' We will consider 
this definition hereafter. 

The extent of the omission in the dynamic philosophy, 
and the propriety of this clause in our definition, will be 
seen by a little consideration. We know that we do en- 
ergize to hold our bodies motionless against the efforts of 
other forces to move them. All reaction is some force 
energizing to prevent motion. Cohesion holds the mole- 
cules of all solids together to prevent motion. That it 
does energize to do this we know, because if we attempt 
to pull the molecules apart, it resists our pulling. The 
chemical force energizes to hold the atoms and molecules 
of all compound substances together, as we know by the 



large amount of energizing necessary to separate them. 
The crystallizing force energizes to hold together the 
molecules of crystals. Gravity holds all loose bodies up- 
on the surface of the earth, and resists attempts to move 
them. The force of inertia constantly energizes to hold 
all matter at rest that is now at rest, and to resist any 
other motion than that which now is. Any attempt to 
move matter must overcome the resistance of some hold- 
ing force or forces. In the present age of the earth's 
progress, there is far more energy employed holding mat- 
ter at rest and resisting motion, than is employed in mov- 
ing matter. I do not see how it can be said that this is 
matter resting in equilibrium between two antagonistic 
forces. Between what two forces are the molecules of 
chemical compounds suspended? We might say that 
molecular repulsion would push them apart, and the 
chemical force hold them together, but they do not rest in 
equilibrium between those forces: the chemical force is 
greatly the stronger, overcomes repulsion, and holds the 
molecules in actual contact. When gravity holds loose 
bodies on the earth, between what two forces are they 
suspended ? When inertia holds bodies in their present 
places upon the earth, between what two forces are they 
suspended? The force of inertia simply holds bodies 
where they are, and resists any attempt to move them. 
That definition of rest seems, then, to be very imperfect, 

at least. 

Now, all these energizings are left entirely out of the 
dynamic philosophy, and the definition of energy is so 
framed as to purposely include only the energy of moving 
matter, and exclude all other energy and energizing. 
What about this, the greater part of energizing now on 
earth? Are we to have no account of this? Does phil- 
osophy take no cognizance of this ? When we take into 
consideration all the energy that is employed holding 



ENERGY. 1 29 

matter at rest, it is evident that the philosophy which has 
no energy but moving matter, must come very far short 
of a complete explanation of nature. 

I am sometimes met by such statements as this: ' 'These 
theories which you discard have been mathematically 
reasoned out, mathematically demonstrated. Can your 
metaphysics overthrow mathematics ? ' ' This seems to be 
quite an extinguisher. But let us see. Suppose two con- 
tradictory hypotheses are both thus mathematically rea- 
soned out to certain conclusions. Does this prove that 
both of these contradictory hypotheses are true? In this 
case which shall hold the field, mathematics or metaphy- 
sics? It is well known that all mathematical reasoning 
in science is based upon some hypothesis. The mathe- 
matical reasoning based upon that hypothesis does not 
demonstrate that that hypothesis is true. The case men- 
tioned above often occurs, where two contradictory hy- 
potheses may both be reasoned out to certain harmonious 
results. The fact that an hypothesis can be thus handled 
seems to give it a shade of increased probability; and if 
the conclusions reached by such a process correspond with 
facts already known by other means, it is quite a strong 
confirmation of the hypothesis. In that case the mathe- 
matician is traveling along the line of our fifth mode of 
investigation, ascertaining if the hypothesis will explain 
known facts. But usually mathematical reasoning is not 
toward known facts, but further into the unknown. As- 
suming that the basal hypothesis is true, we may by a 
mathematical process of reasoning ascertain facts in the 
otherwise unknown. For instance, assuming as an hypo- 
thesis the dynamic theory of gases, and assuming as true 
Avogadro's law that there is the same number of mole- 
cules in the same measure, under the same pressure, of 
all gases, and knowing the relative weight of the mole- 
cules of the different substances, we may approximately 




determine by mathematical processes the velocity of the 
molecules of the different gases. Mathematical reasoning 
in science may increase the probability of the hypothesis, 
or show that it accords with known facts, or ascertain 
otherwise unknown facts; but it can never demonstrate 
the truthfulness of the hypothesis upon which it is based. 


The Philosophy of Evolution. 

In a philosophical discussion with an evolutionist I 
cannot introduce my metaphysics. He does not admit 
the authority of any absolute truths. He claims to re- 
ject all metaphysics; but he has a system of metaphysics 
of his own; it consists very largely of negations. The 
fundamental principle of his metaphysics is: We can 
know nothing of causes or reality. It is not the aim and 
purpose of philosophy to look for causes. It is not phil- 
osophically proper to ask for them, or to talk about them. 
They are entirely and forever outside of the limits of true 
philosophy. We are not to take them into our thought, 
nor allow them to be introduced into our discussion, nor 
allow them in any way to influence our opinions. After 
this, evolutionists are freed from the necessity of assigning 
causes for the doings and changes which they describe; 
the causal relation can now impose no restraints upon 


We can know appearances, and nothing more. Nature 
moves before us as a pictured panorama moves before the 
audience. We can see the pictures, and describe them 
and their order of succession; but we are not permitted to 
inquire respecting the artist who painted them, nor look 
behind the curtain for the man who turns the crank. The 
train of clouds floats by, the clouds perpetually involving 



and evolving, floating in endless succession, forever chang- 
ing; we may describe each successive appearance and note 
the order of succession, and possibly the laws of change; 
but we must not ask what there is behind appearances, 
nor why appearances move, nor why they change, nor 
what moves and changes them. The evolutionist does not 
admit that he is under any obligations to try to answer 
these questions; he says they ought not to be asked. It 
is no matter then if he has motions without movers, doings 
without doers, changes without changers. The business 
of philosophy is to describe what can be known through 
the senses, and to take no thought of what cannot be thus 
known, nor allow any inquiry or discussion respecting 
things otherwise supposed to be. We are not to even 
presume upon the existence of anything else, nor admit 
that anything invisible has any relation to or influence 
upon the appearances which pass before us. The only 
relations admitted to exist are space relations, like and 
unlike, and succession in time. 

The reader recognizes this as that system of philosophy 
which is called positivism. That this is the metaphysi- 
cal basis of evolution may be seen, even when not directly 
avowed, by the definitions given. Take as an example 
Mr. Herbert Spencer's definition of evolution: ' ' Evolution 
is a change from an indefinite, inchoherent homogeneity, to 
a definite, coherent heterogeneity, through continuous 
differentiations and integrations.*" Here is change in 
appearances from one state to another state, but no speci- 
fication of what it is that is changed, and no allusion to 
anything which effects these changes. It is a description 
of the kind of changes which take place in the floating 
panorama of clouds, as before stated. He would be under- 
stood as telling the process of change, by "differentiations 
and integrations," but still no allusion to anything that 

*Firs>t Priuciples, p. 'ilt'.. 


MR. spencer's definition. 


differentiates. There is a studied purpose in this definition, 
and in all the definitions of the earlier evolutionists to 
ignore and shut out of thought all doers and changers. 
The word differentiation in this definition is a superfluity 
and a tautology; of course, if anything changes, it differ- 
entiates— defferentiation is only another word for change. 
This definition then is. Things change through chang- 
ing; but still no changer. 

Take as another example Mr. Darwin's definition of 
nature: ''The aggregate action and product of natural 
laws; and laws are the sequence of events as ascertained 
by us."* The action and product of laws; and laws are 
the sequence of events. Nature is the product of the 
sequence of events. The sequence of events produces 
the sequence of events. The sequence of events is some- 
thing which acts and produces, is it? He meant to say, 
The clouds float, therefore they float, and we see them 
floating. He cannot have meant that the sequence of 
events is a producer. 

The aim of evolutionists is to describe the succession of 
appearances as they pass before us in nature, and to ascer- 
tain the laws of change discoverable in this series of 
appearances. We all notice that things do change. They 
endeavor to discover some general modes according to 
which these changes occur. Some of these which Mr. 
Spencer thinks he has discovered he mentions in his 
definition of evolution. He concludes that it is a general 
law that things change from the homogeneous to the 
heterogeneous, from the incoherent to the coherent, fronv 
the indefinite to the definite. Such he concludes from 
observation and history to be the general modes of change, 
and he calls these modes laws of evolution. He does not 
attempt to give any account of what it is which effects 
these changes; this inquiry is outside of the limits of 

♦Origin of Species, Chap. IV, p. 85. 




ohilosophy. Mr. Darwin, giving more especial attention 
?o evXL in the vegetable and animal k„,gdoms of 
nature, emphasizes a mode of change which he discovers 
there- The stronger survive; the weaker pensh. This he 
notices as a common fact among plants and ammals, and 
he calls it a mode or law of evolution. 

According to the system of philosophy upon which evo- 
lution was founded, this was as far as evolutionists were 
required, or even permitted, to go. They were required 
to describe the changes which take place, ^and note the 
general laws according to which those changes occur, 
lerhaps we ought to have been content to let evolution- 
ists pursue their way in their path of cloud. They pro 
fess to know nothing of doers, and intentionally construct 
their philosophy without reference to them and say they 
do not propose to try to answer the demand for them As 
they profess to know nothing of doers, peope might ha^ e 
been content to leave them in their -^nowledged ignor- 
ance if they had not claimed that descnptions of the pass- 
ing clouds were complete explanations of phenomena. 
But people would persist in demanding doers for domg^ 
and changers for changes, and would not admit it to be 
a complete explanation till these were supplied 

It became necessary to yield to this demand, if evolu- 
tion was to make any progress among the V^^^^^^f 
first move was to supply the appearance of doers, though 
in fact no doer was supplied. This Mr. Darwin did first 
in the name which he gave to the fact of the survival of 
the stronger. He called it "natural selection^ Selec- 
tion carries with it the thought of selecting and selector. 
Selection implies intelligent action, a knowledge of two, 
and choice between them. Thus there was produced m 
the mind of the reader the illusion that he had supplied 
an actor and a doer, and men could read of the doings of 
natural selection without any painful feeling of unsatisfac- 


tion because of the demand of the mind for a doer— natural 
selection is the doer. Only those who saw clearly enough 
to see that this was only a name for a mode of change, 
and that no actor or changer was really supplied, felt any 
deep dissatisfaction at representations of the doings of nat- 
ural selection. 

But Mr. Darwin fostered this illusion, not merely by 
giving this name to a fact, but also by continually using 
language expressive of acting and doing in connection 
with the name. Thus in his description of how an eye 
may be formed^ he has natural selection ' ' always intently 
watching," and "carefully preserving," and "picking 
out with unerring skill." These words, watching, pre- 
serving, picking out, and skill, can be used only in refer- 
ence to an actor, doer, an intelligent doer. He thus 
deepens the impression of a doer, and carries the reader 
along in the illusion that he has met the demand of the 
human mind for a doer. I do not say that he thus inten- 
tionally tried to deceive people. It seems rather probable 
that, wishing to show the competence of natural selection 
for this work, and feeling in his own mind a demand for 
these powers to make it competent, he created this illu- 
sion in his own mind, and did not look at it closely 
enough to see that he had endowed it with powers which 
it came far short of possessing. When called to account 
for such use of language, he said he was only personifying 
the fact that the strongest and best fitted survive. But if 
we take out of the explanation these personifying words, 
it ceases to be any explanation at all, — only a thing really 
possessing these powers could accomplish this work, while 
that which he endows with these powers is simply a fact, 
and not a thing at all, possessing no power at all. It 
seems that Mr. Darwin did not have clear conceptions of 
what constitutes a doer; through all his writings he is 

Origin ot Species, p. ISl. 

'I i. 




constantly treating modes or laws as doers and ghing 
them active, productive, creative power. Whether this 
be a mistake or an intention to deceive the unwary, even' 
one must judge for himself. He and other evolutionists 
often use the words differentiate and differentiation so as 
to produce the impression that they are agents PO^^sing 
active and effective power, instead of the mere fact that a 
change is now occurring, or that a change has been efiect- 

ed by something. . , , j , • n,^ 

The demand for changers was further yielded to in the 
introd,;ction of the word environments. These, physical 
surroundings, dietetic and climatic influences etc were 
introduced as changers, causes of change. Then the phi- 
losophy of evolution borrowed many of the doctnnes of 
current physics. The theory that the inorganic forces are 
physical motions, the theory that moving matter is the 
only doer in nature, the theory of the conservation of 
energy and the convertibility of the different forms of 
energy, were adopted and made to include vegetable and 
animal life, the physiological forces and instincts of brutes, 
and the mind and mental activities of man. were 
all decided to be physical motions. Then the way was 
fully open for the introduction of causes into the philos- 
ophv of evolution. Causes were excluded at first because 
they' were supposed to be invisible. The rule was tha 
nothing should be introduced into philosophy or sought 
for that is not discoverable by the senses; that rule was 
supposed to exclude causes. Now that all causes operat- 
ing on earth are supposed to be material, and matter is 
discoverable by the senses, causes may be freely used in 
philosophy. It is no matter whether causes are excluded 
from or included in philosophy, if only the divine is ex- 

''^ Evolutioni.sts had now attained to a position where 
they could freely use causes, and talk, as other philoso- 



phers, of the causal relation. The causal relation which 
they adopt is that of precedent and sequent — the cause is 
that which uniformly precedes, the effect that which un- 
iformly succeeds — or else the law of continuity — the cause 
and the effect are the same substance in precedent and 
subsequent states. Either of these will answer, and one 
or the other may be used as it will most favor the case in 
hand. No other doctrine of cause is admissible, for all 
causes are physical, and all that is and all that occurs, all 
agencies and all influences, even those which we have 
been in the practice of denominating mental and moral, 
are all reducible to the laws of physics and mathematics* 

The causal relation is now exalted into wonderful inl' 
portance. Everything that has appeared since the world 
of fire cooled off, is the effect of natural causes, and nat- 
ural causes are matter in motion and at rest^-or in motion, 
for there is no rest. Matter in various forms of motion 
is all there was at the beginning, and all that ever has 
been, and all that ever will be. The various forms of' 
moving matter, interacting, brought forth the beginning o^ 
life. The various forms of moving matter, interworking, 
developed from that successively higher and higher forms 
of being. The various forms of moving matter have 
wrought out the history of earth, and the history of the 
human race, and they will continue to develop these to 
their final destiny. 

Everything that ever has been was a necessary effect of 
natural causes. Everything that is, is a necessary effect 
of natural causes. The causes existing and acting, the 
effects necessarily follow. Nothing in the past could 
have been otherwise than as it has been, nothing in the 
present could have been otherwise than as it is. Nothing 
in the future can be otherwise than as the causes around 
it make it to be. This includes the bodies and minds of 
men, their forms, natures, and characteristics. It in- 


eludes also the activities of mind and body. No one 
can think otherwise than as the causesmake hun to think. 
No one can believe otherwise than as the causes make 
him to believe. No one can will otherwise than as the 
causes make him to will. No one can do otherwise than 
as the causes make him to do. , , • • 

The peculiar organization of each individual bram is 
the result of environments in the midst of which it has 
come to be. The molecular motions which we call heat 
outside of the brain, become another form of molecular 
motions in the brain, and these are mind and these are our 
thoughts If diverse environments produce different bram 
motions, we have different thoughts and different behefs 
Our thoughts and our opinions are necessary effects oi 
surrounding causes. One man is made by his environ- 
ments to think and believe one way, and another man is 
made by his environments to think and beheve directly 
the opposite, and there is just as much truth and certainty 
in one as in the other. One set of causes has just as much 
authority as the other, or any other. One behef is just as 
valid as the other; both are produced by their causes; 
both are positively necessary; neither could possibly have 
been otherwise than as it is. Each man's opinions are to 
him true. The fact that the opinions of two men are 
contradictor^^ is no disproof of either, for not even the law 
of contradictions is any test of truth. One opinion is just 
as true as any other. All opinions accord with the causal 
facts which produced them. Then there is no such thing 
as truth or falsehood, no reasonable and no unreasonable, 
no rational and no absurd. 

Then according to all principles which men have 
agreed upon as conditions of responsibility, man is not a 
responsible being. Every man thinks and believes and 
does as the surrounding causes compel him t<) think and 
believe and do. Then no man is blamable for whatever 


he may think or believe or do. The causes made the 
ihief to steal, and he could not help it. The murderer 
was only an instrument in the hands of causes; he is not 
.at all to blame. The anarchist can truly say, It is utterly 
a tyranny and a wrong to hurt a man for whatever he 
may do. You call stealing a crime. We call accumulating 
•a large amount of property a crime. One is as great an 
^vil as the other. We have the same right to punish you 
for being rich that you have to punish us for stealing. 
There is no right or wrong about it. No man has any 
more right to govern than any other man. The judges 
are the criminals. Jails and penitentiaries are engines of 
crime. The criminals are those who put men there for 
adts which they could not avoid doing. Lawmakers are 
tyrants. Governments are hyenas devouring mankind. 
I have the same right to shoot the sheriff for his acts that 
lie has to put me in jail for stealing. The causes make 
one man to build a fine house. The causes make me to 
burn it. The causes make one man to accumulate a large 
amount of money. The causes make me to knock him 
down and take it from him. He was as much to blame as 
I. The philosophers of evolution have given us the prin- 
ciples upon which our philosophy, our political economy, 
and our sociology are founded. You will please reserve 
your denunciations of us while you teach us the principles. 
Again, as all opinions are necessary effects of physical 
causes, the opinions against evolution are just as vaHd and 
certain as opinions in its favor. Truth is only to the man 
who thinks it. The opinions of one man are to him truth; 
the opposite opinions of another man are to him truth. 
The evolutionist cannot ask another man to think as he 
does. He certainly would not think of asking me to 
iDelieve his theor>% w^hile he asserts that both his and my 
opinions are necessar>^ effects of our diverse environments, 
:and that my opinions against it have the same foundation 



that his have for it, and that mine are just as valid as his. 
This doctrine renders all truth and knowledge unattain- 
able, and all science impossible. There can be no estab- 
lished principles of science, for each one thinks as the 
environments make him to think. No science or philoso- 
phy can be common to any, except those who happen to 
be subject to the same environments. There can be no 
system of truth which can claim, above all others, to be 
the truth. No theory or system is any more valid than 
any other theory or system. Even evolution cannot claim 
to be a true system; it rests only upon the fact that the 
peculiar organization or peculiar environments have made 
some men to so think, while the mass of mankind have 
been made by their environments to think otherwise. 
Thus the system buries itself at last, with all other sci- 
ence, in the grave of nothingness. 

This is evolution. It is built upon the foundation of 
the exclusion of all invisible doers. It assumes that mat- 
ter, with the help of natural causes, can evolve itself into 
new forms, into all the forms in which matter appears, and 
into all the forms of being and life which are found on 
earth. The essential feature of evolution is the evolving 
of matter by its own power and forces into new forms of 
being. Evolution means self- unfolding, self-producing. 
This is what those who adopted the w^ord and constructed 
the system meant by it. Any system of belief which does 
not embrace this thought, which does not have matter 
self-evolving, which introduces any agent from outside of 
nature, is not evolution What is called theistic evolution 
seems to me to be clearly a misnomer. It is not evolution 
at all, but a theory of the mode of divine creation. In 
evolution nature does it all; in theistic evolution the 
divine Creator does it all. Why the same word should 
be used to name two systems so directly contrary to each 
other, I do not know, and it seems to me to be very un- 



wise. It is not only a philosophic impropriety to call 
things so unlike by the same name, but it is misleading, 
confusing the public mind, and giving to the word evolu- 
tion a respectability which does not belong to it. 

In preceding pages we have seen that the pillars upon 
which the evolutional system of philosophy rests — that 
matter is a doer, that the inorganic forces are moving 
molecules, that they are convertible into one another — are 
not found in nature, and if these supporting pillars are 
removed how can the edifice stand ? 


The Solution. 

We have found in our investigations that in all processes 
of doing in nature, in all natural phenomena, except where 
one body moves against another body and starts that in 
motion, the doing is accomplished across intervals of 
space, where the matter that is supposed to do is not, and 
therefore that matter cannot be the doer in any of these 
cases. From these facts we made the generalization that 
matter is never a doer. We have subsequently found 
that in the excepted case — inertia — there were many evi- 
dences that there was a mover in the matter that is not 
the matter, w^hich has its own peculiar and distinctive 
properties and modes, which indicate a sin generis sub- 
stance. In all the other cases we have to suppose some 
immaterial substance w^hich extends and reaches across 
these intervals of space, which is the doer. If we extend 
this supposition to the excepted case, as facts seem to 
indicate, and suppose that there is in matter an immaterial 
substance which acts according to the modes there mani- 
fested, we see that this case can be fully and perfectly 
explained without supposing matter to be the doer. In 
all other cases matter cannot be the doer; the supposition 
which we are compelled to make in the other cases per- 
fectly explains this. 

We have also found that that whole system of physical 
philosophy which has dynamic energy for the doer in- 



volves the absurdity of counting doing, energizing, a 
relation, as a doer, and has energizing without an cner- 
gizer. In all that system of philosophy, laws, modes, 
motion, and energizing, are spoken of as doers, and the 
whole universe is an eternal pushing without any pusher, 
and an eternal pulling without any puller. 

Some of the sources of this stream of philosophy are 
found in the remote past, but its largest tributary ap- 
peared when it was asserted that heat is a mode of motion — 
motion without any mover. When the public and scien- 
tific consciousness became adapted to the thought of a 
perpetual moving without any mover, in case of heat, the 
stream soon became broad enough to embrace all physical 
philosophy. The well known fact that matter started in 
motion, if unobstructed, moves perpetually in straight 
lines, is manipulated and expanded into a universal mode 
in nature, embracing all kinds of motions, in all possible 
circumstances, and in the midst of constant obstructions. 
Matter does not move perpetually, even in straight lines, 
and in the absence of obstruction, without a mover; there 
is a mover there, and that mover is not matter. What 
folly to talk about bodies of matter moving perpetually in 
the midst of perpetual obstruction! Then a well known 
law in mechanics — the constant quantity of work which a 
certain amount of energizing will accomplish — passes 
through the same transforming process, and is metamor- 
phosed into an eternally flowing current of energizing, 
and by their belief in one thing men are made to believe 
in an entirely different thing. 

Heat is a mode of motion. What is the mover? The 
molecules have been knocked, and now they go on moving 
forever, in the midst of constant obstruction, and con- 
stantly changing their directions. Many of those who 
elaborated this theory did not deem it necessary to look 
behind motion for a mover, and many others have received 



the theory on the authority of their teachers and their 
text-books, without considering its a priori possibility. 
(See page 97.) Then, as there is some heat in all matter, 
the molecules of all matter must be detached bodies, in 
perpetual motion, and we have what is called the dynamic 
theory of matter. Light is said to be eternally flowing 
waves of matter. What moves the matter? Some of its 
atoms have been knocked, and they knock others, and 
they others, and thus the waves move on forever, a per- 
petual motion in the midst of obstructions, without any 
mover. Then the constant energizings which are going 
on in nature, by which matter is constantly moved, were 
named energy, as though they were a substantive thing 
and doer, and the theoretical framework of modem physi- 
cal philosophy was erected. 

As we have seen in preceding pages, this system meets 
with many difficulties — not only with phenomena which 
it is unable to explain, but also with what appear to me 
to be impossibilities. 

Now there are ways of obviating all these difficulties. 
Doers may be supplied in all these cases. This may be 
done by supposing that God is the universal doer, and 
that all motions in nature are the effects of His energizing, 
and that all dynamic energy is His constant energizing. 
This is the opinion of many theologians and some scien- 
tists and philosophers. A competent doer is by this 
supposition supplied for every doing in nature. No one 
questions the competence of this supposition to explain 
all natural phenomena. 

It is surprising to hear some men advocate this theory, 
and at the same time adopt and maintain the current 
theories of science. That theory and these seem to me to 
directly contradict and exclude each other. The dynamic 
theory of matter, for instance, declares that the molecules 
of all matter are in constant motion, and that molecules 





and masses once started in motion, no matter what the 
form of motion, nor what the circumstances, move of them- 
selves forever afterwards, unless they impart their motion 
to other bodies. The theory of divine doing declares that 
matter never moves of itself, never moves except as God 
moves it. One theory says, matter moves itself perpet- 
ually; the other says, matter never moves itself. How 
can ^ny one mind embrace and support both of these 
assertions? The dynamic theory of heat also asserts that 
molecules of matter move themselves perpetually. This 
theory declares that matter never moves itself. Yet many 
who hold to this theory of divine doing, embrace, defend, 
and teach the dynamic theory of heat. Thus they have in 
their creed both members of a direct contradiction. The 
undulatory theory of light also includes the endless self- 
perpetuated motion of matter, and involves the same con- 
tradictions with this theory. If the motion of light is the 
doing of God, what need is there of supposing an ether 
between the sun and the earth. God can move through 
space without any ether to move in. The theory of the 
self-persistence and constant equivalence of energy also 
contradicts the theory of the divine doing. Yet many 
who hold to this theory, hold also and maintain that 
theory. If we have in our creed both members of a con- 
tradiction, we would be wiser if we threw one of them 

The theory of the divine doing meets all the require- 
ments of the case, and is sufficient for all demands that 
may be put upon it. But it is not to the human mind the 
most satisfactory way of explaining nature. It seems to 
be almost instinctive to look for natural causes. Men of 
all religious creeds, the most devout as well as the most 
profane, have in all ages been trying thus to account for 
and explain natural phenomena. Perhaps our own modes 
of doing incline us to thus think of God. We do largely 


by the agency of others; especially is this true of sover- 
eigns and those in authority. It seems to us to be a 
derogation of His dignity as sovereign of the universe to 
suppose Him constantly engaged in the details and minu- 
tiae of doing that is going on in nature. This seems to be 
a laborious and toilsome way. It is not as we would do 
if we possessed all power and authority. Whatever be the 
reasons for it, mankind do constantly look for intermediate 
agents and finite doers in nature; and the most of mankind 
have always looked, and probably always will continue t© 
look, for them and believe in them. 

If we suppose that the different forms of energy op- 
erative in nature are emanations from God, detached, and 
objective to him, now running on of themselves, we sup- 
pose an absurdity; for energy is a property, and nothing 
but substance can be detached, and exist apart and inde- 

If we suppose that God has started currents of dynamic 
energy, and then, ceasing to energize Himself, allows those 
currents to flow on of themselves, we suppose another 
absurdity; for dynamic energy is only the energizing of 
some substance, and the moment that that substance 
ceases t6 energize, the dynamic energy ceases to be. 

What supposition can we make that will meet the de- 
mands of the case, and still allow us to have finite agents 
as doers in nature? These agents must be immaterial sub- 
stance: for we have seen that their work is such, and in 
such circumstances, that matter could not do it; or if they 
were matter extending across the intervals of space which 
separates bodies, we could detect its presence. If we sup- 
pose that God has created some finite immaterial substan- 
ces capable of performing this work, we could meet all 
the demands of the case. They must be substance that 
they be capable of detached and independent existence, 
and that they be doers. They must possess the property 




of energy that they be capable of moving themselves and 
moving matter. They must possess other properties or 
modes of action, each of its own kind, to qualify it for its 
specific work. By such a supposition we obviate all the 
difficulties we have met with in any physical theory, sup- 
ply doers in all natural phenomena, and yet satisfy our 
demand for second or natural causes, and leave an oppor- 
tunity for science. 

It is thought that all phenomena in inorganic nature 
can be attributed to ten doers. They are gravity, inertia, 
cohesion, chemical attraction, molecular repulsion, elec- 
tricity, magnetism, the crystallizing force, heat, and light. 
These cannot be matter in any state or form. It is im- 
possible to explain a hundredth part of the phenomena of 
nature on this supposition. Then, as we have seen, in a 
very large proportion of natural phenomena it is utterly 
impossible that they should be matter. All doers are 
substance; they are not material substance; then they are 
immaterial substance. Each one of these ten is a specific 
kind of immaterial substance. They are discovered by 
their doings, and distinguished firom each other by differ- 
ences in their doings. As each material substance has its- 
own distinctive properties which characterize it, so each 
immaterial substance has its own modes of action which 
characterize it. The properties of matter are passive, and 
are discovered through various processes. The properties 
of immaterial substances are active, and we call them 
modes of action. Their properties are inherent in them, 
and are never imparted to them by any finite agency or 
physical circumstance. Gravity draws matter together 
because that is its nature, its increated mode of action. 
Cohesion holds molecules together in masses. Chemical 
attraction unites molecules and atoms together chemically. 
The cr5^stallizing force places atoms and molecules to- 
gether in the form of cr>^stals. Each does work of its own. 



kind with matter, because of its own increated mode of 

Material substances are distinguished from immaterial 
substances by their properties. Matter has weight and 
inertia, and is impenetrable to other matter. Immaterial 
substance has not weight nor inertia, and it is penetrable 
to other substance, to matter. Material substance has not, 
and immaterial substance has, the property of energy. 
These forces are not fluids, gases, vapors, or moving 
molecules. All these have weight, and are in their ulti- 
mate particles impenetrable. It is probable that each 
force exists in connection with the earth in unchangeable 
quantity, except as heat and light pass away into space. 
We cannot create one of them, nor add to the quantity of 
any one of them, nor make that quantity less. But many 
of them may lie in a quiescent, latent state in matter, 
when they are not discoverable by us. Producing them, 
as it is generally called, is only bringing them out from 
their state of latency into activity, when they become 
discoverable by us. In their unchangeable quantity they 
are like the material elements. The quantity of iron, 
carbon, oxygen, and so forth, is unchangeable. This is 
equally true of the immaterial substances. One of them is 
never converted or transformed into another. We might 
as well try to change iron into gold, or oxygen into hy- 
drogen, as to try to change one of the inorganic forces 
into another. Bach possesses its own invariable properties, 
and exists in its own unchangeable quantity. 

Some persons profess to be unable to obtain a clear con- 
ception of immaterial substance. This difficulty has been 
greatly increased by the philosophy which denies exten- 
sion to immaterial substance. We can have no conception, 
in the sense of image in the mind, of anything which has 
not extension and form. In giving to all substance, in 
our definition, space relations, we allow to immaterial 



substances extension, form, and size. We can form a 
conception of that which has size and form. 

The difficulty of obtaining a conception of immaterial 
substance has been increased also by the philosophy which 
denies all knowledge of even material substance. I think 
that we know material substance immediately through the 
sense of touch. We discover that there is something 
which fills space to the exclusion of other matter. That 
which we find to thus fill space to the exclusion of other 
matter, we call substance. We know it as space-filling, 
other-matter-excluding substance, before we know any of 
its properties, or anything else about it. We susequently 
discover its form and size. We are able then to form a 
conception of it as a space-filling thing with form and size. 

We have now a conception of material substance. We 
know it as something filling space, excluding other mat- 
ter, with a defijiite form, and a discoverable size. Let us 
now subtract from this knowledge one of these four facts — 
impenetrability — and we have a conception of it as space- 
filling substance, with size and form. It is true that 
property which enabled us to first discover it is gone, but 
we can conceive it there, having the same size and form, 
filling the same space, yet allowing other substance to 
enter that space. What is it that we now have a concep- 
tion of? It is substance filling space, yet not excluding 
other substance from the same space — that is, it is imma- 
terial substance. 

Here is a block of crystalline marble. There is, first, 
the material substance which we call marble. Dwelling 
in it, occupying the same space, of precisely the same form 
and size, is another substance, an immaterial substance, 
which we call cohesion. This substance holds the mole- 
cules of the material substance strongly together. Within 
the marble, occupying the same space, of precisely the 
same form and size, is another immaterial substance which. 

»' I 



unites and holds the atoms of calcium, oxygen, and car- 
bon together to form the marble. This substance we call 
chemical attraction. Dwelling in that marble, occupying 
the same space, of the same form and size, are other im- 
material substances— inertia, the crystallizing force, elec- 
tricity, magnetism and molecular repulsion, each united to 
the marble by attraction. Within that marble, occupying 
the same space, united to it by attraction, but extending 
indefinitely beyond its bounds, is another immaterial sub- 
stance, which we call the force of gravity. Within that 
marble, occupying the same space, much of it remaining 
there, undiscoverable by us, but some of it letting go of 
the marble and flying away from it, is another immaterial 
substance which we call heat, and another which we call 

If we believe in mind as an immaterial substance, we 
can aid our conception of immaterial substances by com- 
paring them with mind. The mind occupies the same 
space that the body does. Mind and the inorganic forces 
are alike in that they both are imponderable and penetra- 
ble, both possess the property of energy, and both are- 
united to matter. The inorganic forces are unlike mind, 
in that they do not possess sensibility, intelligence, or will. 
W^e have stated that these forces are joined to matter 
by attraction. Of course, the ultimate how of this attrac- 
tion no one can explain. Here w^e enter the department 
of properties, where no one professes to give any explana- 
tion. We cannot see how one substance can be made to 
possess one property, and another substance another prop- 
erty. One substance possesses a property by which it 
joins itself with and clings to another substance. We call 
this attraction. Different portions of the same immaterial 
substance cling together. We call this attraction. We 
say they do so because such is their nature, their property, 
their mode of action. This is as far back as we can go in 



our explanations. I can see no explanation back of that,/ 
or reason why they are so, or do so, only that such prop- 
erties or modes of action their Creator saw fit to give them. 
(In the original manuscript I had here written over a 
liundred pages applying this theory to natural phenomena 
in all their details. In that trial of the theory I found it 
competent to explain natural phenomena more perfectly 
and more completely than any other theory which has 
been proposed, except, of course, the theory of mimediate 
divine doing. But I have thought best, in this abridge- 
ment, to omit all this, and dismiss this branch of the sub- 
ject wath only a few w^ords.) 

As we know the forces by their doings, as we deduce 
their properties and powers from their doings, of course 
we can give to each force properties and powers which 
render it capable of performing the work that it does. 
The only test in such a process is contradictions, as when, 
by giving it properties which render it competent for one 
part of its work, we destroy its competence for another 
part of its work. It is thus that the hypothesis of a 
luminiferous ether is shown to be untenable. When it is 
fitted for the transmission of light, it becomes impermea- 
ble to the worlds. When it is modified so as not to be 
an obstruction to the worlds, it becomes incapable of 
transmitting light at its known velocity. When a true 
explanation of facts is hit upon, no such contradiction can 
occur. In applying and testing this theory in all the 
details of scientific facts, I found no such instance of con- 
tradiction. On the other hand, I was often surprised to 
find how perfectly an inference made from one set of facts 
harmonized with all the other facts. I will mention one or 
two instances of this kind. The specific heat of water is 
greater than that of any other liquid or solid. Inference 
from this : Heat has more attraction for water than for 
any other liquid or solid. Now test this inference in other 



phenomena of heat in relation to water. It absorbs more 
transmitted heat — heat stops in it ; it is a poor conductor — 
heat moves slowly through it ; it is a poor radiator — heat 
clings to it ; it is a strong refractor — heat is retarded much 
in its passage through it. Thus we find that all the other 
classes of facts corroborate the inference. Another in- 
stance : The specific heat of the metals, as a class, is low. 
The inference from this is : Heat has little attraction for 
the metals. Test this inference by other classes of facts. 
The metals are good conductors —heat passes rapidly 
through them ; they are good radiators — heat leaves them 
readily and rapidly ; they are good reflectors — much heat 
turns away from them. I found very many such instances^ 
and none where a contradiction appears. 

Under the guidance of this theory many new facts are 
discovered, and many old ones verified. I will mention a 
few facts. Gravity and inertia have an equal attraction 
for all kinds of matter. All the other forces have unequal 
degrees of attraction for different substances. Heat and 
light have an attraction for some substances, and a repul- 
sion for others. Some portions of the same beam of light 
and heat have an attraction, and other portions a repul- 
sion, for the same substance. The chemical force is an 
attractive force only. The diflerence in quantity of this 
force in different substances determines their relative at- 
traction for each other; — those two substances which have 
most of this force in them are attracted together most 
strongly. (The opinion here expressed is largely h3'po- 
thetical, it not having been fully tested by experiment.) 
There are, however, many circumstances which modify 
this rule in practical u^^e; such as electrical state, distance, 
solution, chemical bonds, or relative position of the atoms 
to each other, and so forth. 

Some of the forces are simple, and others compound. 
There are two kinds of electricity, and two kinds of mng- 



netism. As this is the common opinion of scientists of 
the present day, I need say no more about it. There are 
at least three kinds of heat, distiguished from each other 
by different degrees of attraction and repulsion for differ- 
ent substances. They are discovered and separated from 
each other by reflection, absorption, and transmission in 
the same substance. I^et a beam of radiant heat fall upon 
the surface of water. Part of it is reflec;ted away from that 
surface; that is one kind of heat; part of it stops in the 
water and raises its temperature ; that is another kind of 
heat; and part of it passes through the water; that is 
another kind of heat. That this is a separation of par- 
ticular specific kinds of heat appears from the following 
fact: The heat which has passed through water will pass 
through ice without melting it or raising its temperature ; 
all the heat which has an attraction for water in any form 
has stopped in the water, so that none of it stops in the 
ice to warm it. .^^ 

There are three kinds of light discovered an3 separated 
in the same manner. Let a beam of light fall obliquely 
upon a plate of glass ; part is reflected from the surface of 
the glass ; part is absorbed in it, and part passes through 
it. The first is a kind of light which has a repulsion for 
the glass ; hence it turns and flies away. The second is a 
kind of light which has so strong an attraction for the 
glass that it clings to it and remains in it; the third is a 
kind of light which has not sufficient repulsion for the 
glass to turn it away, nor sufficient attraction for the 
glass to stop it, so it goes on through. If the light strikes 
the glass at a very acute angle with its surface, more of 
the light will fly away from it. If its angle with the sur- 
face is obtuse, more of it will be by its velocity and tend- 
ency to straight forward motion driven through, even 
some which has sufficient repulsion for the glass to at 
other angles turn it away. If the light strikes the surface 



of the glass at a certain angle, the light separated from 
the beam by reflection is what is called polarized light. 
The same portion of the light is separated from the common 
beam by refraction in plates of tourmaline, Iceland spar, 
and some other substances. I see no necessity for suppos- 
ing that any change is effected by these means in the nature 
of the light. I think all the facts involved can be ex- 
plained by understanding that this is merely a separation 
from the common beam of a certain kind of light. Polar- 
ized light, as it is called, is, then, only a certain kind of 
light which exists in the common ray, but which is sep- 
arated from the other kinds by these means. 

There are also three or more kinds of light which are 
distinguished from each other by color. Red light is 
one kind of light, blue is another kind, etc. Color in 
bodies is explained by different degrees of attraction and 
repulsion which the different color kinds of light have 
for different substances. For one body all the light in 
the beam has an attraction, except the red rays; all the 
other rays pass into the body and remain there; the red 
rays, having a repulsion for that matter, turn and fly away 
from it, and we call it a red body. The same facts apply 
to the explanation of the other colors. 

This theory changes our concepts respecting many nat- 
ural processes, and the meaning of the words by which 
they are designated. Thus the words conduction, re- 
flection, refraction, transmission etc., imply that the in- 
volved matter is the doer, whereas matter never does any- 
thing; the forces are the only actors. No conductor is 
necessar>^ for heat or electricity. Heat passes away from 
a hot body much more rapidly in a vacuum than in the 
air. Radiated heat moves much more rapidly than con- 
ducted heat. Heat and light have a natural mode of mo- 
tion, which is in straight lines through space, at a cer- 
tain definite and fixed and great velocity. All forms of 


:matter are more or less obstruction to them, and retard 
ttheir velocity more or less. They are retarded by their 
.attraction for that matter. For some substances they 
have a stronger attraction, and are retarded more; and for 
^some substances their attraction is so great that they stop 
in it, attaching themselves to it. Bodies are opaque to 
light', not because the light cannot pass through them, but 
"because the light has so strong an attraction for them that 
it stops in them and remains attached to them. It is not 
that certain substances are good conductors of heat, but 
ras heat has less attraction for them, it is retarded less in 
its passage through them. Electricity needs no conduc- 
tor; through perfectly empty space it would pass more 
freely and rapidly than through any substance. Through 
the partial vacuum which man can make it passes much 
freer and farther between the electrodes than through the 
air. The purpose of conductors is to make an opening 
through the air, which is an absolute obstruction to elec- 
tricity. The combined electricity is so strongly attached 
to some substances that it cannot be decomposed in them 
nor moved from them by the process of induction; hence 
there can be no transmission through them. Such sub- 
stances are called non-conductors. The combined elec- 
tricity in other substances is more loosley joined to them 
—has a weaker attraction for them— and any decom- 
posed portion of electricity near them, decomposes the 
•electricity in them, drawing the opposite kind toward it, 
and pushing its own kind away from it. Then there are 
portions of decomposed electricity in that end of the con- 
-ductor. These separated portions in the conductor de- 
<compose the electricity in the contiguous part of the con- 
ductor, or wire, and that decomposes a portion further on, 
iand that a portion still further on, and so on through the 
whole length of the wire, whatever be its length. If the 
jstarting electricity is positive, the negative electricity 


throup:h the whole length of the wire is shifted one step 
toward that end of the wire, and the positive electricity 
through the whole length of the wire is shifted one step 
toward the other end of the wire; the result is that there 
is some free positive electridity at the other end of the wire 
to be utilized. If the circuit is completed, and the pro- 
cess continued, the results are a current of positive elec- 
tricity flowing in one direction, and a current of negative 
electricity flowing in the opposite direction. These are 
the facts as demonstrated by experiment; and for these 
facts, these two currents of electricity in oppsite direc- 
tions, the physical theory of electricity has no explana- 

There are many other natural phenomena for which 
the physical theory of the forces can give no explanation, 
which are perfectly explained by this. 

Reflection of heat and light is explained b}^ supposing 
that the portions of heat and light which are reflected — 
as it is called — have a repulsion for the bodies from 
which they fly away. For the substances in which they 
are absorbed, they have an attraction. If that attrac- 
tion is sufficiently strong to overcome their disposition to 
move forward in straight lines, they stop there perma- 
nently, and remain there insensible to us, become latent. 
It was long ago thought that heat did thus go into a 
state of latency; it appears to be quite as common a fact 
with light. We too might talk about storing up the sun- 
beams of the geological ages in the coal beds, not storing 
energy, a property, which is nonsense; but storing up the 
substances which we call light and heat. When the attrac- 
tion of heat and light for the material substances is such 
as to hold them less strongly, they slowly move away 
from those bodies, assume their natural mode of motion, and 
become sensible to us. Heat is sensible to us, and dis- 
coverable by us, only when it leaves other bodies and en- 


ters our bodies. This is called radiation. When the 
disposition to move forward in straight lines overcomes 
its attraction to the bodies, heat moves away from those 
bodies. This is a very familiar fact in reference to heat. 
Some cases of it in light are known. Phosphorus is of- 
ten luminous without combustion. The firefly, the glow 
worm, some kinds of fish, and sea insects, and luminous 
paint, are instances of luminosity without combustion. 

These are cases where the latent light in bodies passes 
away frop them without change in temperature. When 
substances are heated to a certain temperature, light 
ceases to be bound by its attraction to them, and it bursts 
away from them in floods, and commences its nonnal 

Refraction is the result of an attraction for the sub- 
stance which is sufficient to retard, but not stop, the 
light and heat. When a beam of light strikes obliquely 
upon the surface of a plate of glass which has parallel 
surfaces, the lower edge of the beam touches the glass 
first and is retarded first, and the other portions of the 
beam in succession, and the result is that the face of the 
beam is turned downward. When it emerges from the 
glass, the lower side of the beam emerges first, and re- 
sumes its normal velocity first, and other portions of the 
beam in succession, and the result is that the direction of 
the beam is restored to its original. This is the ex- 
planation given in the physical theory; but the reason of 
its return to its former direction here — its normal velocity 
— is far more satisfactory than that given in the physical 

As I have declared that the physical theory of the forces 
is impossible because the work is done through inter- 
vals of space, it is perhaps incumbent upon me to explain 
how this difficulty is obviated in this theory. Gravity 
extends in unbroken continuity through all the region of 


our solar system, it may through all the stellar space.. 
But we do not know that the different solar systems have- 
any attractive power upon each other, although it is sup- 
posed they have. 

In the supposition of a material ether it was necessary 
to extend it to all suns from whence light comes to us. 
In this theory the immaterial substance which we calli 
gravity, may extend to only the limits of each solar sys- 
tem, binding and holding all its members together, but. 
not reaching to other systems. It is certainly a no wilder 
supposition to suppose that an immaterial substance fills, 
all this space, than to suppose that a material substance 
does, while this obviates all the objections of its imcom- 
petency, and its obstruction to the passing worlds. 

Molecular repulsion, while it centers in the molecule as, 
a nucleus from which it radiates, extends a certain 
distance beyond the limits of the molecule and pushes, 
others away from it. Magnetism and electricity, the two 
kinds united together, fill all bodies. A magnet decom- 
poses the magnetism of the intervening air, and it prob- 
ably extends to a limited distance beyond the limits of 
the magnet, and outside of the limits of the molecules of 
air, so as to make it continuous magnetic substance from 
one magnet to another. All electrical attractions and re- 
pulsions are accomplished through nonconductors. The 
electricity of the air, and other nonconductors cannot be 
decomposed by other electricity; but it appears to use the 
electricity of the intervening nonconductor to push and 
pull the electricity of a body from which it is separated 
by that nonconductor. At all events, in the cases of 
both magnetism and electricity, they fill all the space be- 
tween the body where the action is, and the body where 
the effect appears, and we are not guilty of the absurdity 
of having substance doing where it is not. 



I present here these few hints merely as indications of 
the explanations which are possible under this theory. 
In going over the whole field, I find no natural phenome- 
na that are not as well explained as by the physical theory, 
hundreds of phenomena that are better explained by it, 
and many others that this will explain which that cannot. 
Then we must remember that the effort of explanation of 
phenomena under the physical theory has been prose- 
cuted for a hundred years, by all the most learned and 
able scientists of the age, while this has been but briefly 
considered by only one, and that one claims nothing but 
an ordinary degree of common sense. I invite the sever- 
est testing by practical scientists; but if they commence 
their investigations by ignoring and shutting out meta- 
physics—absolute truths— I shall claim to have a far 
higher source of information than they, and a far more 

conclusive test of truth. Or if they claim to know only 

appearances, I shall claim to have a much more intimate 

aquaintance with things than they have. 

In the next chapter we will, from the standpoint to 

which we have now attained, consider the causal relation 

as it exists in nature. 


Causes in Nature. 

In the foregoing pages I have avoided the use of the 
word cause. I have done so because the word lias come 
to have so many significations that it suggests no defi- 
nite thought to the mind. I have substituted the word 
doer as the name of Aristotle's efficient cause. If we use 
any other word instead of cause while discussing the 
causal relation, it may not be recognized as that which 
others mean by the causal relation. We use the word as 
synonymous with doer, and define it as follows: A cause 
is that which energizes to produce motion or effect 
change. These words also define doer, and because of 
the uncertainty in the meaning of the word cause, I think 
it better generally to use the former word. However 
many meanings we may attach to the word cause, in con- 
sidering the causal relation we can mean only Aristotle's 
efficient cause, or a doer, or that which energizes to pro- 
duce the effect. 

Mr. Hume said respecting causes: "It is impossible to 
point to any one quality which universally belongs to all 
beings, and gives them a title to that denomination." 
This is true if we take the word cause in all the dozen 
meanings which have been attached to it. But if we lim- 
it it as above, use it in the sense of doer, that which en- 
ergizes, it is not true. We can say, a cause possesses the 
property of energy, and nothing else in the universe does 



ti ' 

possess that property. All things in the universe are 
thus at once classified into causes and not causes. All 
-existences which possess the property of energy are 
causes; and all things in the universe which do not 
possess the property of energ}^ are not causes. There 
is never any crossing of the line which separates causes 
from non-causes. Nothing that is not now included in 
the class causes can ever be made to become a cause. No 
such process as imparting energy to a body, or of transfer- 
ing energy from one body to another, is possible. Things 
that were created causes remain such through all the ages. 
Things that were not created causes can never become 
such by any agency less than creative power. Man 
can never bestow a property, or create a property, any 
more than he can create a substance. 

This single classification clears away at once much of 
the fog that has enveloped this subject. Everything that 
possesses the property of energy is a cause. Is this thing 
a cause ? Does it possess the property of energy ? That 
question may be determined by experiment, or by an ex- 
amination of facts. If it does not possess the property of en- 
ergy, it is not a cause, and never can become a cause. In 
ascertaining the cause or causes of any change or phe- 
nomenon, all we have to do is to discover what things 
connected with the phenomenon possess and exert energy 
in that case. Nothing can produce motion or effect change 
but by the exertion of energy. Nothing can exert energy 
that does not possess it. Nothing can be a cause of mo- 
tion or change that does not possess the property of en- 

We may limit our classification still further. Nothing 
but substance can do. Then all doers, all causes, are 
substance. If the property of energy is involved in all 
causation, we know that that property cannot exist ex- 
cept in connection with substance. The substance is the 



doer or cause. Every cause is something which of itself 
occupies space. Then no property, or attribute, or rela- 
tion, or event, or phenomenon, can be a doer or cause. 

We have found in our examination of phenomena in 
preceding pages that those things which possess the prop- 
erty of energy do not possess the properties of weight, 
inertia, and impenetrability. We have found the prop- 
erty of energy uniformly associated with imponderability 
and penetrability, never with ponderability and impene- 
trability. From these facts we are able to make these gen- 
eralizations: All causes are immaterial substance; ma- 
terial substance is never a cause or doer. These are gen- 
eralizations from observed facts; and, as there are found 
no exceptions to them, they are generalized universals. 

And now, is this definition of cause the true expression 
of the causal relation, as it appears in our consciousness ? 
All philosophers of every school admit energizers among 
the causes, but some of them admit many other things. 
All mankind look upon things as causes when they en- 
ergize to produce eiFects. The word doer is by all limited 
to such. We learn the process of doing by our exper- 
ience as doers. Every man calls himself a cause when 
he energizes and moves something. We know by our 
experience that we are thus related to the effect. We 
know that if we move our bodies, or move any matter 
outside of our bodies, or effect any change w^hatever in 
things around us, we do it by the exertion of energy , and 
that without the exertion of energy we do nothing, effect 
nothing, cause nothing. The essential, always present 
element in our consciousness of ourselves as causes is en- 
ergizing. We know nothing about energy, or energizing, 
or causation, in things entirely objective to us, except by 
transferring this subjective knowledge to objeclive things. 
We know that objective things which move us, exert 
energy upon us. We can have no conception of our- 


selves as causes, nor of objective things as doers, causes, 
without including energizing as one of the elements of 
that conception. 

From our experience of ourselves as causes, and from 
our experience when external things move us, we con- 
clude that energizing is always present, and is always 'the 
nexus between cause and effect in objective natural phe- 
nomena, when both the cause and the effect are abjective 
to us. But this correspondence between the subjective 
and objective causative process need not here be admitted 
as an a priori fact. We have learned, by the action of 
objective things upon as, and by our action upon them, 
when, and in what circumstances, motion, effects are 
produced. We have thus the mode of the causative pro- 
cess in our minds. Now we can go out among objective 
phenomena with this subjective mode fixed in our minds, 
and what we find in objective nature which corresponds 
with this mode we will classify under it. As we energize 
when we are causes, as things energize upon us w^hen 
they move us, we will classify all things we find in ob- 
jective nature which energize, or possess the property of 
energy, under the name causes. We will not here argue 
from the subjective mode that such are the facts in ob- 
jective nature; but what w^e find by observation to actually 
correspond with this subjective mode, w^e wdll classify un- 
der it. Then if we will go to work and ascertain what 
does and what does not possess and exert energy, we can 
make our classification complete. 

This is what we have been endeavoring to do in pre- 
ceding pages; and w^e think we have found it a plain and 
evident fact that nothing on earth possesses the property of 
energy but immaterial substance, and that therefore im- 
material substances are the only doers, causes, in nature. 
If others are not prepared to admit this, if they think that 
some material substances possess and exert energy, they 




would place such in the class causes. Whatever we find 
that possesses and exerts energy belongs to the class 
causes, and everything else is excluded. I am confident, 
however, that nothing on earth does possess and exert 
energy but immaterial substances. The definition of cause 
which we have given agrees with our intuition of cause, 
and our experience of causation, and as we know nothing 
of any other causal process, these should regulate and 
determine our classification of causes, and nothing in ob- 
jective nature should be called a cause that does not agree 
with our experience of causation. 

We are now prepared to formulate the causal relation, and 
express it in an invariable, universal, and infallible for- 
mula, applicable to all things, in all space, and in all time. 
That formula is this; 

Cause; Energizing; Effect. 

The necessary connecting link between cause and efiect, 
so often demanded, is here supplied, and the chasm which 
was the central point of Hume's destructive criticism is 
bridged. He said that if the "necessary connection" be- 
tween cause and effect can be shown, "I shall frankly give 
up the entire controversy." The necessary connection is 
the energizing of the cause to produce the effect. It is a 
necessary connection. The energizing must be there, or 
else the causal relation is not there, and the two do not 
stand in the relation to each other of cause and efiect. 

We will test this by a table of examples in which the 
causal relation is absent. 

Water; ; ice. 

Morning; : noon. 

Day; ; night. 

Spring ;- 
Clouds ;- 
Motion ;- 

•; summer. 

-; rain. 

-; another motion. 



; phenomena. 


; development. 

Natural selection; 

Homogeneous; ; heterogeneous. 

Incoherent; ; coherent. 

Indefinite; ; definite. 

Differentiation; ; a new being. 

Sequence of events; ; other events. 

Survival of the fittest; ; improvement. 

Course of nature yesterday; ; course of 

nature to-day. 

Matter; ; another form of matter. 

In this table the entire system of the physical philoso- 
phy of positivism is represented. Each one of many of 
these is the basis and material out of which theories have 
been constructed. Here is the entire philosophy of evo- 
lution. They are science constructed according lo the 
Comtean philosophy. The causal relation is wanting in 
all these cases. The word energizing cannot be placed 
in the blank between the other two members in any one of 
these statements. The doers are left entirely out of all 
these statements, and out of all such philosophy, and we 
have only a succession of existences. In these there is 
no attempt to supply doers. It is an ignoring of 
the demand for doers. Perhaps some men are satisfied 
with it. There is a desperate effort made in these days to 
keep people from looking beneath the surface of things, as 
is seen in the oft repeated sneer at metaphysics. 

In another system of physical philosophy feints are 
made at supplying doers, but they only reach to doing;, 
and to certain classes of doings substantive names are 
given, and the demand for doers is cheated by an illusion. 
In this philosophy there is energizing and effects, but 
no energizer, no thing which energizes. The formulas 
which express such philosophy are: 
; doing ; effects. 



; momentum ; motion. 

; vis viva ; change. 

; dynamic energy; phenomena; and all of 

these are simply ;energizing; effects. 

Men have imposed upon themselves and others by sup- 
posing that dynamic energy- was something that can pass 
from one body to another, an endless stream flowing on 
and on, an endless stream of doing without any doer. 
There is no doing without a doer, no energizing without 
an energizer; and as soon as the doer ceases to energize, 
the doing ends. 

The illusion which has made this system of philosophy 
to appear satisfactory to many persons results from the 
practice of using words in the substantive, instead of the 
participial form — energy, dynamic energy, kinetic energ>', 
momentum, instead of energizing. Thus the demand for 
a substantive cause seemed to be satisfied. This was an 
illusion. Motion, energ>^ dynamic energy, and momen- 
tum, are not substances. Energy- is a property. Dynamic 
energy and momentum are the energizing of some sub- 
stance. Motion is an effect of energizing. These are never 
doers or causes. They can never be placed as the first term 
in the formula. D3'namic energy and momentum must be 
placed in the middle term; and any doctrine, or theory, or 
system of philosophy, which is built upon them as causes, 
omits the cause altogether, and has the first term of the 
formula blank, as in the last foregoing table. The phil- 
osophy represented by this table includes the dynamic 
theory of matter, all explanations of phenomena where en- 
ergy and dynamic energy are represented as the doers, the 
dynamic theory of heat, and the undulatory theory of light. 
Heat is molecular motion. What moves the molecules? 
Molecules never move themselves. Molecules never 
move except as they are moved by something. Self-per- 
petual motion of molecules in any case or in any circuni- 



stances is an impossibility. The condition of perpetual 
motion from the force of inertia is without obstruction, 
and in straight lines, and no matter moves in the vicinity 
of other matter without being obstructed by some of the 
forces in that other matter. 

The first term in the formula must always be a doer. 
Nothing but substance can do. Then the first term must 
always be the name of some substance. If then we ar- 
range the formula, and place in the first term the name of 
something which we have supposed to be the cause, and 
find it to be a property, or an attribute, or a relation, we 
may know that we have not specified the cause. The ab- 
.surdity of the following statements is seen at a glance. 

Transparency; energizing; transmission of light. 

Weight; energizing; breaking down of a house. 

A fall; energizing; heat. 

Neither transparency, weight, or a fall can energize. 
"Yet there is just as much propriety in saying that weight 
ibreaks down a house, or that a fall produces heat, as in 
saying that dynamic energy does anything. Weight, 
.falling, and the dynamic energy of a falling body, are 
ithe energizing of gravity, and one is just as much a 
•cause as the other. 

The first term must always be the name of some sub- 
:Stance which possess the property of energy. We have 
.reached the conclusion that material substance, matter, 
mever possesses the property of energy. Then the first 
.term must always be the name of some immaterial sub- 
.stance. Then the work of separating out and ascertain- 
ing the causes in natural phenomena is simple and easy. 
'The one of the class of causes which energizes in the 
production of a certain phenomenon is the cause in that 
<case; or if more than one energizes to produce it, they are 
its causes. All other things and circumstances involved 
in Ihat phenomenon, even though without them it could 

1 68 


not be, are only conditions of its occurence. We suppose 
that all the doers in inorganic nature have been discov- 
ered and named. They are the only causes in inorganic 
nature. Then in *ny statement respecting any inorganic 
natural pheonmenon, one or more of those known 
doers must be the first term. All phenomena occurring in 
inorganic nature can be thus expressed, and the first 
term will in every case be one or more of the inorganic 
forces. Thus the philosophy of causes becomes the sim- 
plest department of the philosophy of science. 

The middle term of the formula must always be en- 
ergizing, or some word which is the name of some form of 
energizing. No motion, no change, no effect whatever, in 
matter can be produced without energizing. Momen- 
tum is the name given to the energizing of inertia in mov- 
ing matter. Dynamic energy is the energizing of any 
force in or on a moving body. These words, then, are 
names of certain classes of energizings. If either of these 
words is used in the formula, it must be placed in 
the middle term, and it may be there placed with or with- 
out the word energizing. Momentum is not an effect of 
the energizing of inertia, it is the energizing of inertia. 
Dynamic energy is not an effect of the energizing of some 
force; it is the energizing of some force. 

If gravity and inertia should both cease at once to ener- 
gize in a falling body, all its dynamic energy would be 

In the third term of the formula any effect may be 
placed. While, according to this exposition, the first and 
second term— the cause and the nexus— are so simple and 
easily ascertained, the effects are more complicated.. 
Without attempting any classification of effects, there are 
some differences which we must notice. Some effects are 
done, finished, and the force which produced them has- 
ceased to energize in their production. Such are a broken. 


dish, a tree shattered by lightning, an exploded boiler, a 
hole in a ship made by a cannon ball, — any change 
effected by any force in the shape, size, or structure of 
bodies, or in their direction or distance from each other 
which remains permanent after the force which effected 
the change has ceased to operate upon the matter, — these 
constitute one class of effects. 

Other effects are continued by the continued energizing 
of their cause or causes. Such is motion, all motion in 
material bodies — matter never continues in motion an 
instant after the force that is moving it ceases to energize 
to move it. Such are molecules, held together by the 
continued energizing of the chemical force. Such are 
masses, held together by the constant energizing of cohe- 
sion. Then there are other effects which are the con- 
ditions of the activity of other forces; such as, friction, 
concussion, and condensation, as conditions of the activity 
of heat; high temperature, as the condition of the activity of 
light, and so forth. When heat is made apparent by 
friction, etc., it is not produced; the heat that was lying 
latent in the matter, is made to become sensible and mov- 
ing heat. When a heated body is made to become 
luminous, the Hght is not produced, but the hght that did 
lie latent in the matter, is made to become sensible or 
moving light. And when one force acts upon another 
force, the effect may be the activity of the affected force, 
or its action in a particular manner. Electricity acts upon 
magnetism, decomposes it, and places it at right angles 
to the line of its own action. Magnetism does the same 
to electricity. Thus the effect of one is the activity of 
the other, and its action in a particular manner. It has 
always been customary to classify causes according to the 
nature of the effects; hence the general classification into 
inorganic forces, vegetable forces, animal forces, mental 
forces, and so forth. Mankind have already found, it is 



thought, all the forces, or causes, operating in inorganic 
nature, and named them individually. There are ten, 
and no more, in the present state of science. 

We here introduce a table containing all the causes, 
operating in inorganic nature, with some effects and the 

Gravity; energizing; spheres, falling bodies, etc. 
Inertia; energizing; persistent rest, perpetual motion. 
Cohesion; energizing; masses, elasticit}^ in solids. 
Chemical force; energizing; molecules, compounds. 
Molecular repulsion; energizing; gases, vapors. 

Electricity; energizing; lightning, thunder, a shat- 
tered tree. 
Magnetism; energizing; bodies moved and held. 
Heat; energizing; steam power, expansion, comfort, 

I^ight; energizing; luminousness, color, conditions of 
Crystallizing force; energizing; crystals, crystalline forms. 
We see that the word energizing as the necessar>^ con- 
nection between the cause and its effect can be introduced 
in all these cases. Of course, we could place in the col- 
umn of effects any effect of the cause we pleased. Oppo- 
site ever}^ one of these causes might be placed as an effect 
some form of motion. All rebounding motion from elas- 
ticity in solids is the effect of cohesion; and the energizing 
of light moves itself. 

If two or more forces cooperate in producing an effect, 
the names of both or all should be placed in the first term. 
Examples: — Gravity and inertia; energizing; orbital 
motion of the planets. 

Heat and molecular repulsion; energizing; bursting of 
a cannon. 

We ])efore stated that the word energizing, and any 
other word which we may use which is the name of a par- 



ticular form of energizing, should be placed in the second 

Examples: — Inertia; energizing, momentum of a can- 
aaon ball; demolished house. 

Gravity; energizing, dynamic energy of falling water; 
sawed lumber. 

Much has been said about the complication of causes 
in the production of effects. It has been said that every 
effect is the product of many causes, etc. If we say as Sir 
Wm. Hamilton did: "Everything is a cause without 
which the effect could not be," of course, we have a great 
complication of causes. But limit the word cause to doers, 
energizers, as we have here and as it should be, and all 
these complications disappear. 

Take the last of the foregoing examples. The proper- 
ties of the water are not a cause of its falling. The fluid- 
ity of the water, the mobility of its molecules is a condi- 
tion of its falling. If it w^as a solid, gravity could not 
make it run down hill and fall. The construction of the 
mill, the form of the machinery, the properties of the saw, 
the placing of the log, etc., are all conditions in the pres- 
ence of which the energizing of gravity could effect these 
results. Without these the effect would not be produced, 
they are therefore necessary conditions, but only that 
which energizes to produce the effect is the cause. Nor 
does the energizing of the man in building the mill and 
placing the log connect the man with the sawed lumber 
as a cause. The man was the cause of the mill, and of 
ihe position of the log, but not of the lumber. He thus 
supplies the necessary conditions upon which gravity 
•could effect the result. 

The three terms in our formula express the entire 
causal relation, in all its extent and limits in every possi- 
ble case. In no case is that which is expressed in the 
ifirst term produced or cau.sed. In no case is that which 



is expressed by the third term a cause. Each statement 
expresses the complete, isolated phenomonon, with no 
connecting link before or after it. No finite power can 
produce a cause. No effect can become a cause, or pro- 
duce another effect. It is not possible to place the name 
of any natural agent before the first term in any of the 
statements in the foregoing table, as its cause? What 
can be placed before gravity as its cause? Nothing below 
omnipotence can produce or create gravity. What can be 
placed before inertia as its cause ? What pan produce or 
create inertia ? Nothing can create or add to the quantity 
of any of the inorganic forces. Their existence is uncaused, 
and, their quantity unalterable by any natural agency. 
Their properties and modes are uncaused and unalterable by 
any finite power. Nor in any case can the effect of one of 
them become a cause. The word energizing can never be 
written after the third term in any statement that can be 
made. Place the word energizing after any statement in 
any of the foregoing tables, and see if it speaks the truth. 
How would energizing go after sawed lumber, a demol- 
ished house, and so forth ? 

There are cases where the action of one force supplies 
the condition of the action of another force; as when 
gravity draws a body to the earth occasioning the action 
of heat. Let us state this in a formula. 
Gravity; energizing; a falling body. 
Heat; energizing; effects. 

The word energizing cannot be placed between those 
two statements. A falling body does not energize. It is 
the energizing of gravity which moves the body down- 
ward. Bodies of matter never energize. The energizing 
of gravity supplies the condition of the activity of the 
heat which lies latent in the matter. 

. As I said, there are two cases where forces appear to 
act upon each other, electricity and magnetism. There 



are two kinds of electricity, and two kinds of magnetism. 
When the kinds are united together, they appear to lie 
latent in matter, and we cannot even discover their exis- 
tence. When they are separated they begin to manifest 
phenomena. Electricity is one of the means by which 
the two kinds of magnetism are separated; and magnetism 
is one of the means by which the two kinds of electricity 
are separated. These two forces, not only decompose 
each other, but each places the other at right angles with 
itself. Here, if anywhere, the effect might be supposed to 
be a cause. Let us state these changes in a formula: 
Electricity; energizing; decomposition of magnetism. 
Magnetism; energizing; effects. 

These two statements cannot be connected by the word 
•energizing. Decomposition of magnetism is not a thing 
that can energize. Or if we should make the third term 
in the first of these statements action of magnetism, in- 
stead of decomposition of magnetism, still energizing 
could not be placed after it — actio7i of anything is not a 
thing that can energize. Electricity may cause the action 
of magnetism, but it cannot cause or produce magnetism. 

A force may change static inertia into moving inertia, 
it may cause this change in the mode of inertia, but it 
cannot cause inertia. Take the following example. Heat; 
energizing; change from static to moving inertia. Iner- 
tia; energizing; perpetual motion. 

These two statements cannot be connected by the word 
energizing. Change from static to moving inertia is not a 
substance that can energize — change energizing would be 
nonsense. In this case the heat does not produce the 
inertia. Inertia is not the effect of the heat. The effect 
of one force is never another force. No new force nor 
new portions of an already existing force, is ever pro- 
duced in nature. No natural cause has ever yet produced 
another cause. No effect is ever a cause. There is no 



such thing as a chain of causes and effects in nature. No 
cause can be traced to anything else on earth as its 
cause. No effect can ever energize to produce other effects. 
Every phenomenon in nature can be expressed in these 
three terms. There is no series of phenomena that will 
admit of more than these three terms — cause; energizing; 
effect. No natural cause can be placed before the first 
term. The word energizing can never be placed after 
the third term. 

Any series of events, how^ever long and complicated, 
can be expressed in separate statements containing the 
causal relation, and no two of those statements will be 
connected as one the cause of the other. It matters not 
how long or how complicated the series of concatenated 
events, the doers can be separated out, and the doings of 
each one expressed in a single formula — cause; energizing; 
effect — and in no case can any two of those statements be 
connected together by the word energizing. Thus, when 
we come to have a clear and correct idea of the causal 
relation, and the word cause is properly limited, all this 
talk about endless chains of causes and effects vanishes 
into nothing. All this confusion, running through the 
ages, and often making a chaos of philosophy, has result- 
ed from using the word cause in so. many different senses. 
If we will use it in the single sense here indicated, or if 
we use it in an}^ other sense use also a qualifying word 
with it, or substitute in its place the word doer, we may 
avoid all this confusion. 


Application to Organic Phenomena. 

We have concluded (i) that matter is never an actor or 
doer. (2) That the inorganic forces are immaterial sub- 
stances. (3) That they are indestructible and unchange- 
able in quantity. (4) That one of them is never trans- 
formed into another. (5) That they are not created or 
produced by any natural agency. (6) That each one has 
its own naturally uncaused modes of action, which cannot 
be to any great extent changed. (7) That each possesses 
in itself a store of energy which it can use. (8) That 
energy is never imparted to them, nor from them to other 
things. (9) That they spontaneously act when the con- 
ditions of their action are present, without being acted 
upon by any thing outside of themselves. (10) That the 
forces are the only actors and doers, and hence the only 
causes in inorganic natural phenomena. 

These principles apply, no doubt, with little modification, 
to organic phenomena. We know that while resemblances 
run through all departments of nature, there are also 
differences. If I say that life is an immaterial substance, 
I only repeat what others have said. I am not aware that 
any one has before said that the inorganic forces are im- 
material substance, ''^ but many have said so of life. The 
appearances so plainly indicate that life is not the matter 

*After this was written and my theory imblislied in a periodical Dr. 
A Wilford Hall, of New York, proposed the same theory in his "Problem of 
Human Life," and expounded and defended it in the Periodicals which he has 
published, r^ee note at the end of Preface. 



of the body, but an invisible, imponderable something 
dwelling in the body and moving it, that this is the spon- 
taneous first thought of all mankind, in all ages of the 
world. Men see the tree or animal body full of life and 
activity; they see it again motionless, dead. The mat- 
ter of the body is there apparently the same, but some- 
thing appears to have been in it that is not now in it, that 
appears to have gone out of it. These appearances are 
sufficient for the common consciousness of the world to 
conclude that life is something else than matter. That 
something is intangible, imponderable, and penetrable. 
This is a description of immaterial substance. No evi- 
dence has been adduced which disproves this seeming, or 
proves that these facts are not as they appear to be. 
Other suppositions have been made, and attempts made to 
explain the phenomena of life according to them, but 
with very little success. I see no reason w^hy we should 
discard this natural and spontaneous deduction for any 
less satisfactory supposition. Finding the inorganic forces 
to be immaterial substances, our natural conclusion re- 
specting life is confimied by analogy. 

Our third generalization respecting the inorganic forces 
— that they are indestructible and unchangeable in quan- 
tity — is this true of the organic forces ? The generaliza- 
tion, that substance is indestructible and unchangeable in 
quantity by any finite power, is now, since the indestructi- 
bility of matter has been experimentally demonstrated, 
generally admitted. Finding, as w^e have, that this is 
true also of those substances w^hich are called the inor- 
ganic forces, we have an additional basis for this generali- 
zation, and w^e conclude that it is true of life, of the 
immaterial substances called the organic forces. Do we 
then make vegetable an4 brute life immortal? There 
are several suppositions which may be made respecting 
this question. We may suppose that each vegetable and 


brute life is an organic entity w^hich retains its identity in 
unchanged being after it separates from the body; or we 
may suppose that there is a common mass or atmosphere 
of these organic immaterial substances surrounding the 
earth, or in certain localities, existing in heterogeneous 
mixture, like the material substances of the earth. In this 
case we would not suppose each one to exist in a sensitive 
or active state, but in such state as the dormant or latent 
inorganic forces are at times. Immense quantities of 
light, heat, electricity, and magnetism lie latent in matter, 
and are brought forth to activity by some change in sur- 
rounding conditions. In such a state we may suppose 
the vegetable and brute forces to be when separated from 
their bodies. 

In regard to unchangeable quantity, w^e know that a 
vegetable or animal life force in any particular body does 
increase in quantity. It commences in the germ as min- 
ute in quantity as the matter of the germ; it increases in 
quantity as the body increases, until it becomes an adult 
being. We know that the body increases by the forces in 
it taking of other matter, assimilating it, and adding it to 
their own body. In this process the forces select certain 
matter that they can assimilate, or that is already assimi- 
lated. If the supposition that unattached vital forces 
exist in a heterogeneous mass around the earth be true, 
the forces in the body may select from this mass their own 
kind, and, adding it to themselves, increase their own 
quantity. This would make the process of grow^th alike 
in both the material and immetarial substances w^hich 
compose the being. This may explain why certain local- 
ities are more favorable for the growth of certain veget- 
ables and animals— there may be more of their kinds of 
immaterial substance in one place than in another. This 
may also account for the spontaneous appearance of cer- 
tain vegetables in soil w^here no seeds of that particular 


vegetable can be discovered. Even if there should be 
found some instances of spontaneous germination, it 
would not prove that life could be produced by the opera- 
tion of the inorganic forces upon matter; in such cases 
some of these unattached vital forces might, finding mole- 
cules in a state just adapted to their use, re-attach them- 
selves to matter. 

But we might suppose that the vital forces have power 
to take of the inorganic immaterial substances around 
them, and transform them into their own kind, without 
violating any of the principles deduced from inorganic 
phenomena. This would not be the transformation of 
one force into another by an agency external to the forces 
themselves, nor one force transforming itself into another, 
but one force taking of others and assimilating them into 
its own kind; a process analogous to their assimilation of 
matter into their own kind of matter. Either of these 
suppositions will explain the growth and increase in quan- 
tity of the vital forces in any vegetable or animal body. 

According to our fourth generalization the inorganic 
forces acting upon matter can never produce a new force, 
or new portions of an already existing force. None of 
the facts of variation brought forward by Mr. Darwin and 
others forbid the extension of this generalization to vital 
phenomena; in all these gathered facts there is not one 
instance of the production of a new vital force, nor the 
transformation by any external agency of one into another, 
nor the production by any external agent of new portions 
of an already existing force. As no facts contrary to it 
are found among vital phenomena, we are authorized to 
extend this generalization to organic phenomea; and say 
that no natural agency can transform an inorganic force 
into a vital force, nor one vital force into another. 

Hence also we may extend the fifth of the foregoing 
generalizations — They are not produced or created by any 


natural agency — to organic forces. No one thinks of 
looking among natural agencies for a cause or producer 
of gravity, or inertia, or any other one of the inorganic 
forces. Those who do not admit a divine Creator begin 
with matter and all the natural forces existing and act- 
ing in matter. But under the supposition that the inor- 
ganic forces are moving molecules, one is said to be 
changed into another, and that portion of that other is 
said to be produced, or caused to be. But we have found 
that the forces are not molecules in motion, and that 
one is never transformed into another, and that new por- 
tions of them are never produced or caused to be. Among 
the vital forces there are found no facts which contradict 
this generalization, hence we may extend it to them. 

Our sixth generalization is that each one has its own 
naturally uncaused modes of action, which cannot be to- 
any great extent changed. The mode of action of grav- 
ity is to draw matter together; of inertia, to hold matter at 
rest and move it at its present velocity. Nothing causes 
gravity to do this, or imparts to it this mode of doing. 

Nothing causes inertia to do as it does. Nothing causes 
heat to do as it does. Nothing causes any one of the in- 
organic forces to do as it does with matter. No cause, no 
natural reason why they do as they do, has ever been 
stated by any man. Even supposing them to be moving 
molecules, no reason has ever been assigned for their par- 
ticular mode of motion. As no natural reason can be 
assigned for any of the inherent characteristics of any of 
the material elements, so are the modes of action of the 
inorganic forces entirely inexplicable, and cannot be attrib- 
uted to any natural agency. So likewise no natural or 
physical reason can be assigned for the modes of action, 
of any organic force, nor any natural agent discovered 
which causes them to act according to their known modes. 
We find that the modes of the inorganic forces are en- 







tirely invariable. This is equally true of the organic 
forces by an}^ power outside of themselves. We discover 
in them, what we do not find in the inorganic forces, that 
they have a limited power to modify their own modes of 
action. This comes under the general law of conditions. 
We thus distinguish between -cause and a condition; a 
cause is that which energizes to produce the results, a 
condition is that which has some relation to the result, 
but does not energize to produce it. Gravity and inertia 
act constantly independent of conditions. But inertia 
has two modes, and its action is according to one or the 
other of these, as different conditions exist; on the con- 
dition of rest, it energizes to maintain rest; on the condi- 
tion motion, it energizes to perpetuate that motion. In 
the presence of certain conditions, heat and light are 
active; in the presence of other conditions they are latent. 
The chemical force is often dependent upon conditions of 
nearness, solution, vaporization, ignious fusion, etc., for 
its opportunit)^ to work. Other forces are dependent up- 
on other conditions for opportunity to work. 

Then the results of the action of the forces are often 
dependent upon conditions. On condition that a body is 
elevated from the earth, and unsupported, gravit}^ can 
move it down. Gravity acted upon it just as strongly be- 
fore it was raised, and after it had fallen, but in those 
conditions it could not move the body. If the body drawn 
down by gravity is iron, it is not altered in shape by the 
fall; if it is putty, it is flattened; if it is glass, it is broken 
in pieces. Thus the results are dependent upon condi- 
tions in the nature of the substance acted upon. So the 
vital forces are often dependent upon conditions in the 
nature of the substance acted upon, and for their opportun- 
ity to act, and also for the results of their action. In the 
absence of food, the digestive forces cannot act; in the 
absence of the right kinds of food, they cannot build up 

a healthy body,— the results of their action may var}^ be- 
cause of conditions in the nature of the substances digest- 
ed and assimilated. 

Besides all this, the vital forces seem to have the power 
to in a slight degree modify their own modes, to adapt 
themselves to changed physical conditions. If the changes 
in physical circumstances are not too great, they can mod- 
ify their own modes so as to adapt themselves to these 
different circumstances, and still in a manner perform their 
w^ork. If the changes are too great, they cease Iheir 
work and die. This is all there is in changes said to be 
effected in the nature of plants and animals by their en- 
vironments. External physical things never effect any 
changes in them, but they can, in a limited degree, change 
their own modes to adapt themselves to their changed 

' The relation of the vital forces to temperature and to 
time are determined by their own inherent characteristics, 
and not by their environments. Among indigenous plants 
in the same latitude, one seed germinates at one tempera- 
ture, and another at another. One dies at the slightest 
touch of frost, and another,, more fragile, endures the freez- 
ing of a whole winter. One plant reaches maturity and 
dies in a few weeks; another, with the same environments, 
has a period of a few months, another a few years, an- 
other a hundred, another a thousand years. One plant 
bears fruit in a few weeks; another waits years before it 
puts forth a blossom. One animal reaches puberty in a 
few hours, another in a few months, another in a few 
years. The periodicity of the sexual desire in female 
brutes, and of the instinct of incubation in fowls, and the 
changes which mark decrepitude, have no relation to 
environments. These and a thousand other facts show 
that each plant and animal has a nature of its own which 



determines its modes of action, and that its modes are not 
determined by its environments. 

Each one is a specific tiling, with a specific nature, and 
specific modes of action. This is true of the inorganic 
forces, and it is equally true of the animal and vegetable 
forces. The vegetable forces in all vegetables, and the 
animal forces in all animals, have some modes in common, 
and some differences. We decide that among forces it is 
another force when it does another kind of work. The 
question of classification is one of the most difficult and 
unsettled in science. When shall we call a thing the 
same, and when another thing? The answer to this ques- 
tion depends upon the degree of intention and extension 
that we employ in our classification. If we require few 
common properties, and allow of many differences, we 
may say that many things are the same. If w^e require 
many likenesses, and allow of few differences, few things 
are the same. If we mean by the word same, identity, 
there must be no difference in properties or modes or time 
or space,— it must not only have the same properties and 
modes, but must also be at the same time and occupy the 
same space. But that is not what men mean when they 
say, the same force. They mean that it is a force with the 
same modes, although it may be at another time, and in 
another place. Thus we say that the same force holds the 
sun and also the moon in their orbits; though in one case 
most of it is in the sun, and in the other case most of it is 
in the earth. When a force has the same modes, we say 
it is the same force, no matter when or where we find it; 
and we ascertain its modes by w^hat it does. Hence we 
say it is the same force when it does the same kind of 

But here arises another difficulty: When shall it be 
called the same, and when another kind of work? This 
depends again upon our classification. Animals have been 



classified on the ground of the ahmentary appetite, as car- 
nivorous, herbivorous, graminivorous, and omnivorous, 
animals. The question arises. Is eating animal food and 
vegetable food doing the same kind of work ? To this 
some would answer, yes, and some, no. We see thus the 
difficulty of establishing any dogmatic rules of classifica- 
tion, and why differences of opinion will continue to exist 
among men on this point. I have admitted that the vital 
forces can modify their own modes in a slight degree; but 
of course, I do not admit that any modification they can 
effect, makes them to become another force. In reference 
to many things there is already a common agreement 
among mankind. All agree that vegetables are not ani- 
mals, and that brutes are not men, and that the ten inor- 
ganic forces are each a different thing. Even those who 
have believed them to be convertible, have regarded them 
as different things. 

I know of no better rule than the one already given: 
That which does another kind of work is another force; 
and then we must agree when to call it the same, or an- 
other kind of work. Gravity and the chemical force both 
draw matter together; but the chemical force results in a 
change of the properties of the matter drawn together, 
and gravity does not; hence they do not both do the same 
work. Molecular repulsion and heat both push matter 
apart; but heat gives us the sensations of warmth and 
burning, and, leaving the matter which it pushes apart, 
passes on without it, and molecular repulsion does not these; 
hence they do not the same kind of work. According to 
this rule, I should regard all the doers in all the individ- 
uals of the same species as different portions of the same 
force or forces, as different portions of gravity are in 
different bodies. The differences in the results of their 
doing are explained by different physical conditions, and 
the slight modifications which they can themselves effect 


in themselves. The self-effected- variations in the modes 
of the forces of an animal are transmissible to their pos- 

Our seventh generalization is that each force has in 
itself a quantity of energy which it can use. The word 
quantity cannot be properly applied to a passive property 
of matter. But it is customary to apply terms expressive 
of quantity to the active property of energy. One man 
has much energy, another has little; in vigorous health 
the man has much, in sickness Httle. I have claimed 
that each vital force can increase its own quantity in growth 
by accretions from other forces. Decrease in sickness, in 
paralysis, and in old age, may be explained by supposing 
that the forces in these conditions of body become latent 
and their energy unusable; or the forces may be partially, 
some of it perhaps wholly, separated from the body; or 
the physical organs through which they act may have be- 
come less suitable for their use. All of these supposi- 
tions have their parallels in inorganic nature. It is a 
common occurrence for portions of the inorganic forces 
to become latent in matter; and a body cools by portions 
of the heat separating from it; and the chemical force can- 
not act through or upon matter in one state as well as 
when the matter is in another state. In death the vital 
forces separate entirely from the body, and the inorganic 
forces assume control. 

In our experience the quantity of energy in us available 
for use seems to waste by work. As this is never the case 
among the inorganic forces, it is questionable whether it is 
the fact here. Grayity, inertia, cohesion, the chemical 
force, and the crj-stallizing force energize perpetually 
without any decrease. In no case does electricity or mag- 
netism appear to decrease, except by dissipation and when 
the two kinds of each unite in a state of satisfied inactivity. 
When heat appears to decrease by work it goes into a 



state of latency. No one thought of explaining the dis- 
appearance of heat in these cases in any other way, till it 
was thought that these facts could be used to maintain the 
theory of transmutation. In all cases of expansion, as 
when a liquid becomes a vapor, there is a great decrease 
in sensible heat; but that the heat is not destroyed, trans- 
muted into something else, or diminished in quantity, is 
known by the fact that when the matter is restored to its 
former state the lost heat appears again. As far as the 
inorganic forces can teach by analogy ; when the vital forces 
appear to diminish by work, they go into a state of 
latency. No doubt it is the body that is tired, and not 
the forces. In violent exercise the absorptive process in 
the body goes on more rapidly, and the secretive process 
less rapidly; this inequality continued long would result 
in the destruction of the body. At a certain stage in this 
process, the forces refuse longer to work, that they may 
have an opportunity to replenish the waste of the body. 
Whatever energy any force ever exerts, it is all contained 
within itself, for. 

According to our eighth generalization, energy is never 
imparted to a force, nor communicated from it. This, of 
course, is unquestionable if we admit that energy is a 
property. But without this admission, we have found it 
to be a well established generalization. When gravity 
energizes to pull a body down nothing imparts to it the 
energy it uses. When cohesion energizes to join molecular 
together in masses, when the chemical force energizes to 
join atoms together in molecules, when the crystallizing 
force energizes to arrange molecules in the form of crys- 
tals, when molecular repulsion energizes to hold mole- 
cules apart in gases, — in none of these cases does any- 
thing impart to the force the energy it employs. In the 
cases of heat, light, electricity, and magnetism, some ex- 
ertion of energy often precedes their activity, but only to 



supply the conditions of their activit}-, never to impart to 
them the energy they exert. Facts show this to be 
equally true of the organic forces. When the forces in a 
vegetable seed begin their activity, nothing imparts to 
them their energy. Heat and moisture are conditions of 
their activity, but the heat does not supply their energy. 
If the heat imparted to the seed the energy that appears 
there, it could impart it to a dead seed, whose physical 
structure is precisely the same, as far as man can discover. 
The forces must be already there, then the heat supplies 
the condition of their activity. 

This is but one of the many instances of the relation of 
life to temperature. During all the stages of the veget- 
able growth, certain conditions of temperature are neces- 
sary. One seed will germinate at a low temperature, and 
send up its shoot through a coating of snow; another 
lies dormant till a tropical temperature supervenes; thus 
showing that a low temperature is the condition of activ- 
ity in one case, and a high temperature in the other case. 
When the animal begins to move, nothing imparts to him 
the energy which moves his body. When I arise from 
my chair, and leave the room, nothing outside of my body 
imparts to me the energy that moves my body. In no 
case in any department of nature does one force impart to 
another force the energy which it uses. All the energy 
which any force ever employs is inherent in that force, 
and there is never a transferrence of energy from one 
thing to another. All that one force ever does to another 
is to present before it, or to effect in it, the conditions of 
its activity, or the conditions of its activity after a certain 

The ninth generalization — they spontaneously act when 
the conditions of their action are present— follows as a 
necessary carollar>^ from the foregoing. 

The first of the foregoing generalizations asserts that 



matter is never an actor or doer. This generalization is 
based upon the fact that in four-fifths of all inorganic 
phenomena the doing is accomplished where the matter 
which is supposed to be the doer is not, and hence, it is 
not possible that matter should be the doer; and in the 
other one-fifth, none of the phenomena contradict this 
generalization, but all favor it, and, without the others, 
render it probable. We now extend this generalization 
to vital phenomena. We have already supplied actors and 
doers in vital phenomena which are entirely competent to 
do all that we see done; hence there is no necessity for 
supposing that in this respect vital phenomena are any 
different from inorganic phenomena. Indeed, the supposi- 
tion that the actors are immaterial doers, and that matter 
is not the actor, is far more evident to common observa- 
tion here than among inorganic phenomena. Still in the 
<:ommon language of the world material things here are 
often spoken of as though they were actors and doers. Soil 
is said to produce, climate to effect changes, food to do, 
medicines to effect results, etc. It is the common custom 
■to adapt the language of common life to appearances, 
without any strict conformity to even known philosophi- 
cal facts and principles. The sun is said to rise, the earth 
and sun to attract each other, molecules and atoms to 
attract other molecules and atoms, the body to grow, etc. 
If we conform our language to facts, soil does not pro- 
duce. A rich soil contains an abundance of the material 
which the vegetable forces use to build up rapidly and 
vigorously their physical bodies. The sun and earth do 
not attract each other, but gravity in them both and ex- 
tending the whole distance between them tends to draw 
them together. The chemical force in atoms, and extend- 
ing across the space between them, draws them together. 
The body does not grow, but the contained forces take of 
other matter and build up the body. Food does not do; 



but taken into the stomach, the digestive forces act upon 
it, assimilate it, and use it to supply the waste of the 
body. Medicines are not causes, they are the conditions 
of the acticn of the vital forces after a certain manner. 
In pungent, caustic, acrid, and corrosive medicines the 
chemical force in them acts upon the tissues of the body, 
disintegrating them. The result is that the vital forces 
arouse themselves to expel them from the body, or to 
resist their action, and prevent and repair the hurt. If 
the action of the chemical force in them is not so great as 
to immediately destroy the tissue, the vital forces energize 
with inordinate activity to protect the body and repair the 
hurt. This explains the results in the administration of 
all stimulants. Yet it is convenient to sometimes say, 
the medicine does, just as we say, the sun rises. The 
chemical force in all corrosive poisons so destroys the tis- 
sues of the body as to render them unfit for the use of 
the vital forces. In the presence of the narcotic poisons 
the vital forces go into a state of inactivity, or separate 
locally, partially, or wholly from their bodies. 

Thus we find it possible to explain all vital phenomena 
without supposing that matter has power to act and do; 
and we find no facts here which forbid the extension of 
this generalization to vital phenomena. Our tenth gen- 
eralization — the forces are the only actors and doers in 
nature — follows necessarily on the establishment of the 
first,— if matter does not do, the forces are the only doers. 

Here we might go into a full detail of particulars, and 
show the incompetence of any physical theory to explain 
vital phenomena, and the entire competence of the theory 
we advocate; but we content ourselves with a few observa- 
tions. According to any physical theory it is impossible 
to explain why homogeneous bioplasm becomes in one 
case an oak and in another a cabbage. Bioplasm in all 
seeds is precisely the same, as far as man can discover, 


and the environments are in many cases the same; why 
these different results ? The physical theory can give no 
answer. Our theory answers, There is in each seed a 
portion of immaterial substance whose inherent modes 
determine and constitute the nature and form of the plant 
which it constructs. Why does homogeneous bioplasm 
or albumen become in one part of the animal body bone, 
in another part flesh, in another part bloodvessels, and so 
on? For these facts the physical theory can afford no ex- 
planation. Our theory answers. There is in the bioplasm, 
and in the embryo, and in the adult being, a portion of 
immaterial substance, whose modes of action accomplish 
just these results. 

Reproduction, heredity, and personal identity are also 
inexplicable by any physical theory. No magician ever 
deceived people by any trick of jugglery more than evo- 
lutionists have by the flourish of heredity. Of course 
everything is explained by the law of continuity. But 
there is no continuity of being, either in motion or matter, 
between the parent and offspring. The motions in the bio- 
plast are not the same that they are in the parent. The 
motions in the embryo are not the same as those in the 
bioplast. The motions in the adult are not the same as 
those in the embryo. The matter is not the same in these 
successive bodies^ it is in every living body a perpetual 
flux, old matter going and new matter coming. The 
molecules in the body of the child are not the molecules 
which composed the body of the adult parent, nor those 
which are in the body when the child becomes a man. 
Thus there is no continuity of matter— it is not the same 
matter acting in the parent, in the bioplast, in the child, 
in the adult offspring. The molecular motions going on 
in these several bodies have not been the same in any two 
of them. Yet perhaps some peculiar trait discovered in 
the nature of the parent does not appear in the child un- 


' I 




til it has become an adult, and perhaps not in the first 
offspring at all, and yet does appear in the offspring of 
the second, or third, or fourth generation. Over all these 
breaks in the continuity of matter, through all these 
changes in the molecular arrangements of the matter 
composing these successive bodies, over all these breaks 
in the continuity of motion — the motions in the parent 
body ceasing to be, and other motions taking their place 
in the body of the infant, and those motions ceasing to be 
and others taking their place when the infant has become a 
man, and all the motions in that body ceasing to be and 
others taking their places through successive generations 
of beings, — through and over all these changes in matter 
and motion, certain molecules — not those which have 
been in any of the preceding bodies — certain molecules 
rise up and begin to perform such motions as other mole- 
cules did perform in other bodies, perhaps half a century 
ago, begin to do as those other molecules did, and because 
those other molecules did so, to preserve the line of her- 

The evolutionist replies: "The trait lay dormant 
through all these years." What lay dormant, the trait? 
What is the trait ? What is it made of? Is it substance, 
or what? The matter did not lie dormant; none of the 
matter in this body was in the former bodies. Motion 
cannot lie dormant; when motion ceases to move it ceases 
to be. What has the evolutionist here but matter and 
motion to lie dormant? 

According to our theory heredity is explained by saying: 
Portions of the immaterial substance which fills the bod- 
ies of the parents separate off and, uniting, form a new 
being which begins independent action apart from the 
parent life. Of course it carries with it the nature and 
characteristics of the immaterial substance from which 
it parted, each of the two parts of which it is composed 


possessing the peculiar characteristics of the parent from 
which it parted, and the two natures, more or less modi- 
fied by their differences in union, appear in the nature of 
the offspring. According to this explanation there is a 
continuity of substance, immaterial substance, running 
through successive generations, and, in consequence of 
differences in circumstances and conditions, some peculiar 
trait may not be manifest in every individual of the series, 
but may appear at intervals. 

Again, supposing matter and motion to be all, how can 
we explain oiu* consciousness of personal identity in this 
ever-flowing, ever-changing stream of matter and motion ? 
Our bodies are never entirely the same in matter and mo- 
tion on any two successive days, much less on any two 
widely separated days; why, then, do we feel ourselves to 
be the same being through all these changes, all the days 
of our lives? It appears to me that personal identity is 
based in the perpetually identical and changeless imma- 
terial substance which dwells in each of our bodies, and 
which constitutes ourselves; which maintains its unchanged 
identity while the stream of matter composing our bodies 
flows on in perpetual change. 



til it has become an adult, and perhaps not in the first 
offspring at all, and yet does appear in the offspring of 
the second, or third, or fourth generation. Over all these 
breaks in the continuity of matter, through all these 
changes in the molecular arrangements of the matter 
composing these successive bodies, over all these breaks 
in the continuity of motion — the motions in the parent 
body ceasing to be, and other motions taking their place 
in the body of the infant, and those motions ceasing to be 
and others taking their place when the infant has become a 
man, and all the motions in that body ceasing to be and 
others taking their places through successive generations 
of beings,— through and over all these changes in matter 
and motion, certain molecules — not those which have 
been in any of the preceding bodies— certain molecules 
rise up and begin to perform such motions as other mole- 
cules did perform in other bodies, perhaps half a century 
ago, begin to do as those other molecules did, and because 
those other molecules did so, to preserve the line of her- 

The evolutionist replies: *'The trait lay dormant 
through all these years." What lay dormant, the trait? 
What is the trait? What is it made of? Is it substance, 
or what? The matter did not lie dormant; none of the 
matter in this body was in the former bodies. Motion 
cannot lie dormant; when motion ceases to move it ceases 
to be. What has the evolutionist here but matter and 
motion to lie dormant? 

According to our theory heredity is explained by saying: 
Portions of the immaterial substance which fills the bod- 
ies of the parents separate off and, uniting, form a new 
being which begins independent action apart from the 
parent life. Of course it carries with it the nature and 
characteristics of the immaterial substance from which 
it parted, each of the two parts of which it is composed 



possessing the peculiar characteristics of the parent from 
which it parted, and the two natures, more or less modi- 
fied by their differences in union, appear in the nature of 
the offspring. According to this explanation there is a 
continuity of substance, immaterial substance, running 
through successive generations, and, in consequence of 
differences in circumstances and conditions, some peculiar 
trait may not be manifest in every individual of the series, 
but may appear at intervals. 

Again, supposing matter and motion to be all, how can 
we explain our consciousness of personal identity in this 
ever-flowing, ever-changing stream of matter and motion ? 
Our bodies are never entirely the same in matter and mo- 
tion on any two successive days, much less on any two 
widely separated days; why, then, do we feel ourselves to 
be the same being through all these changes, all the days 
of our lives? It appears to me that personal identity is 
based in the perpetually identical and changeless imma- 
terial substance which dwells in each of our bodies, and 
which constitutes ourselves; which maintains its unchanged 
identity while the stream of matter composing our bodies 
flows on in perpetual change. 

1 5 



The Process of Knowledge. 

The conditions of knowledge are said to be (i) a thing to 
be known and a mind knowing, and (2) that the two 
come in such relations to each other that the existence and 
properties of one shall become knowledge to the other. 
Assuming that these two— mind and thing— are, the diffi- 
culty arises when we undertake to get them into the 
necessary relation to each other. This difficulty has 
always been realized, and effi^rts have in all ages been 
made to solve the problem. Supposing mind to be located 
in the brain, how do facts respecting external things get 
to it? Various suppositions have been made respecting 
the medium which conveys the information, and respect- 
ing what is conveyed. It has been generally agreed that 
the nerves must be the channel through which something 
is conveyed. Then what is conveyed ? Images of things, 
electrical currents, nerve currents, ner\^e vibrations, etc.[ 
have been supposed. It was finally agreed that images of 
things could not be conveyed. Then how could electric- 
ity or nerve currents, or vibrations, or anything else of 
the kind, give us any correct idea of external things? It 
was alleged that there could be no resemblance between 
these currents or vibrations and objective things. Then 
the assertion was that we do not know the objective, that 
we know only our sensations, or only our subjective 
states, our thoughts and feeling. Things outside of us 




may not be anything like what we suppose them to be. 
There is no certainty in our knowledge of external things, 
knowledge of external things is not possible. All our 
supposed knowledge of the external world is a delusion. 

Finally in answer to this, a new departure was taken, 
originating with Kant, in which it was stated that the 
somethings conveyed to the mind need not bear any re- 
semblance to external things, in fact do not, — it is not 
possible for them to have any likeness to things; but on 
their reception by the mind, certain thoughts arise, the 
mind performs certain acts, not at all resembling the com- 
munications received, but like the things from which 
those communications came. The mind has within itself 
certain norms, or forms of activity, natural and spontan- 
eous to it, and on the receipt of these communications, 
certain of these native forms of thought arise in the mind. 
The communication from the external serves as a spark 
to discharge the already loaded mind. The act of mind 
which we call knowledge is mainly determined by the 
nature or inherent modes of action already fixed in the 
mind. The mind itself thus supplies a large element in 
our knowledge of the objective. The vibrations of air, 
or the consequent vibrations of the tympanum and the 
auditory nerve, have no resemblance to the sound which 
we are said to hear, but on the reception of these vibra- 
tions, the mind performs certain acts, and to those acts 
we have given the name sound. 

But the question still remained, how do we know that 
the acts of mind consequent upon the communications 
resemble the objects from which the communications 
come? Kant admitted the resemblance could not be 
proven. We must so think and believe, but we do not 
kno7iJ that our thoughts are like the things. He had 
maintained as against Locke and Hume the subjective 
origin of many of our ideas, and that the mind has posi- 


! i 

! * 

\ I 



tive qualities and necessary modes of action, but He had 
not vindicated the validity of objective knowledge. He 
finally concluded that all our real knowledge is of the 

From Kant two streams of thought diverged, one tak- 
ing the assertion that we must think and believe that the 
thoughts which arise in our minds in consequence of the 
external world, are true representations of the real, the 
other taking the assertion that our only real knowledge is 
of the subjective. The latter stream, led by Fichte and 
Shelling, ran into pure idealism — we know not that there 
is any objective world; we live in a purely ideal world. 
Those who followed the former stream asserted the exist- 
ence and reality of the external world, and endeavored 
to vindicate the reliability of our knowledge of it. They 
endeavored to show that the thoughts which arise in the 
mind on the reception of communications from external 
things do correspond with the objects from which the 
communications come. This illustration has been used: 
One man sends a written epistle to another man. The 
letters written on the paper have no likeness to the 
thoughts in the mind of the writer, nor to the thoughts 
which arise in the mind of the reader, but on the recep- 
tion of those characters on the paper, the same thoughts 
arise in the mind of the reader that were in the mind of 
the writer. 

This illustrates the supposed process, but it does not 
correspond entirely with the facts in the case. Between 
the two men there was an agreement and understanding 
as to what signs should represent certain ideas. The one 
used those signs, and the other man knew what ideas the 
writer represented by those signs, and those thoughts arose 
in his mind. We can hardly suppose that there is a mu- 
tual understanding between the object and mind as to 
what signs, what vibrations, shall represent certain facts. 



But the advocate says we do know external things, we _ 
know them as they are, — everybody practically acts as 
though he did know them; therefore these mental acts 
which arise on the reception of these communications 
must be true likenesses of external things. The fact of 
knowledge every one practically admits; but this does 
not prove that one or another theory of perception is the 
true one. Admitting that this correspondence between 
the mental forms and the objective qualities does exist, the 
validity of objective knowledge may be thus established r 
but this can hardly silence the skeptic who may deny the 
correspondence, and demand proof. Other suppositions 
besides this may bring to their support the admitted fact 
of knowledge. 

But it is claimed that the Creator so made the human 
mind that it does know the meaning of the characters on 
this epistle received from the object. The question is 
still asked, How do we know that? This explanation 
assumes that God created the external world, and that He 
so created the human mind that it does understand the 
meaning of the hieroglyphics which come to it in the 
form of nerve vibrations. His integrity and truthfulness 
are a guaranty to us that He does not deceive us, that the 
thoughts which He has caused to arise in our minds on 
the reception of these vibrations are true thoughts of the 
external world. Thus the certainty of our objective 
knowledge depends upon our belief in the veracity of 
God. This may be a sufficient basis of certainty for a 
devout believer in God, and in His immediate agency in 
creation, but how is it with those who doubt His exist- 
ence, or deny His agency in creation? How is it with 
those who have never heard of Him ? Can they have no 
confidence in their apparent knowledge of the external 

world ? 

Others have endeavored to meet this difficulty by de- 




daring that perception is not mediate, but immediate. It 
is asserted that the mind spontaneously cognizes in its 
first activity the self and the not-self, the subjective and 
the objective, in a single primitive act. We do not first 
know ourselves, and then subsequently by any process 
whatever come to know the external worid, bnt we know 
them both in a primitive single act of mind. This is 
called immediate perception. 

This is certainly an assertion that we do know both our- 
selves and the external worid, but I do not see that it is a 
very clear exposition of the process of it. I do not see 
that it explains how things external to our bodies become 
present in consciousness to be known. 

With all due deference to the many great men who 
during the ages have grappled with this problem, it 
appears to me that a more radical departure from the 
current of philosophy than has yet been taken is neces- 
sary in order that we attain to a satisfactory solution of 
the process of knowledge. I cannot see how immediate 
perception is possible if mind is an unextended something 
limited to the brain. It appears to me that if we declare 
immediate perception, we must go further and declare 
that mind is extended. And why not? When the Greek 
philosophers said ''Mind has no extension," they placed 
a mountain across the path of any explanation of percep- 
tion. Ever since that men have been trying to find out 
how we can see things on the other side of the mountain. 
That we do see them every one believes, but how ? I 
suppose the simple fact is there is no mountain there, and 
that mind is extended. The objector seems to think that 
he shows this supposition false by saying, "Have thought, 
feeling, and volition extension?" We answer, certainly 
not, for they are acts, and acts can have no extension. 
But this does not prove that the actor, the substance act- 
ing, has no extension. In our definition of substance— 



that which of itself occupies space— we assumed that all 
substances, immaterial as well as material, occupy a cer- 
tain portion of space. 

Some will be alarmed by this supposition, and think that 
by giving mind extension we make it to be matter. Not 
at all. I do not know why substance that has no weight, 
or inertia, or impenetrability cannot be extended, as well 
as substances which have these properties. Does the fact 
of extension make it necessary that the substances have 
these other properties ? If the Lotzean theory of matter be 
true, it does not deprive matter of extension, although it 
makes it to be spirit energizing. If an immaterial sub- 
stance has no space relations, it can have no relations ta 
that which has space relations, for to become related to that 
is to become related to space. An unextended substance 
can never act simultaneously over the surface of an ex- 
tended body without being itself equally extended. I 
cannot labor to explain how an unextended thing can act 
upon, or cognize, an extended thing; for to me the propo- 
sition contains a contradiction — extension and not-ex- 
tension. I see no reason why the mind may not be as 
extended as the body. All the facts of sensation indicate 
that the sensitive and cognizing mind is in every part of 
the body; and these facts, and not any a ^r/<7n judgment, 
should determine our opinions upon this subject. 

I believe that the mind is as extended as the nervous 
system. It is a common saying of physiologists that there 
is more of sensation in the ends of the fingers than in any 
part of the brain. There are some motions going on in 
the body which are disconnected from consciousness; 
these may not be classed among the ^cts of mind. All 
that constitutes the conscious mind is connected with the 
brain as its head and center; but the conscious mind ex- 
tends through the nerves of sensation and the mandatory 
nerves, and at the outer extremities of the nerves of 


sensation it comes into immediate contact with the exter- 
nal world. We then have the thing knowing and the 
thing known brought into such relations to each other 
that knowledge is possible— the necessary condition of 
knowledge is supplied. 

Now, according to this view of the relation existing be- 
tween mind and body, let us endeavor to discover the pro- 
cess of knowledge. What method shall we employ in our 
search ? I think we will not best find it by a study of adult 
consciousness, nor by any process of deductive reasoning. 
The work of first obtaining a knowledge of the objective 
world is long past with us, and our memory cannot aid us in 
ascertaining the steps by which we obtained it. It appears 
to me that this is a question to be settled by observation, 
rather than by introspection. I^t us then adopt the in- 
ductive method, leave the study of consciousness, go out 
in the observation of facts, and seek aid even from com- 
parative psychology. 

Here is a chicken that has been hatched by artificial 
means, and has never seen one of its kind. It has re- 
mained in its nest till the supply of food provided for him 
at that period— the yolk of the egg— is nearly gone. 
You take it out and place its feet upon the floor. He 
stands erect, but does not move his feet from where you have 
placed them. He maintains his erect position— he has 
already adjusted himself to the pull of gravity, one of 
his environments. Soon he looks around, looks before 
him, as if surveying the floor. He then takes two or 
three steps forward. He has seen the floor before him, 
he moves his foot forward in certain expectation of some- 
thing upon which to place his foot. He has in his mental 
constitution a disposition to walk; that something which 
he sees before him seems to be an external adaptation to 
the internal disposition, and he moves his foot forward 
confidently upon it. It turns out to be as he expected, and 


his thought cf it is verified by experience, and the floor 
has now become to him an item of knowledge. 

He sees an insect moving on the floor before him. He 
looks at it, watches it carefully for a little time, and then, 
with a quick and sudden motion, as if expecting that it 
might make an effort to escape, seizes it with his bill. 
Now, what is implied in this? In the first place, he saw 
it, knew of its existence, or he would not have made mo- 
tions toward it. In the second place, he cognized it as 
something adapted to him as food. He has in his mental 
constitution an appetite, a want, which causes him to de- 
sire food, and which has in its mode of action intimations 
of that which is adapted to the supply of that want. If 
it had been a mouse, or a toad, or a kitten, he would not 
have moved his head toward it. This implies compari- 
son, discrimination, and judgments of form, size, and 
general appearance. If it happens to be a disabled house- 
fly, after he has taken it in his bill the odor of it meets 
his mind in the gustatory and olfactory nerves, and by 
other senses than that of sight he cognizes it as something 
adapted to his subjective want, and he swallows it. If 
it happened to be a young potato bug, he would not 
through the sense of sight discover its inadaptablity to his 
want, and perhaps he moves his head toward it, but if 
before he actually seizes it its odor strikes his olfactory 
nerves, he quickly withdraws and shakes his head as if 
to get rid of it. If he does not discover its odor till he 
has seized it, he quickly drops it, and shakes his head in 


From this example it appears that the process of ob- 
taining a knowledge of objective things is not a difficult 
or complicated process. It seems not to correspond with 
any of the explanations which philosophers have given of 
the process. It is not the deduction of an existence from 
the discovery of properties, or from the fact of resistance, 



for the chicken experiences no resistance from the fly, or 
the mouse, or the potato bug. It does not appear to be a 
perception in consciousness of the self and the not-self. 
It seems that the sense of sight is so adjusted and adapted 
to the objective that through the image of light from the 
external object, met by the mind in the optic nerve, the 
object is known as an existence, and its form, size, and 
general appearance are cognized, and by its odor the 
chicken cognized in the olfactory nerves the edible quali- 
ties of the object. 

Take this chicken now and place him near a hen which 
is caring for some others of about the same age. This 
chicken hears the cluck of the hen, and immediately runs 
toward her. He cognizes in his sense of hearing that 
sound as the call of the mother hen for her young. The 
subjective preparation and adaptation are such that he 
knows the meaning of that sound, without instruction 
and without experience, the first time he hears it. 

In a little time the hen sees a hawk flying overhead, 
and she screams out the sound of alarm. None of her 
chickens have ever heard that sound before, but they cog- 
nize it at once, and know its meaning, and run and hide 
under her or under some weeds near by. The subjective 
preparation in this case is such that cognition of the 
meaning of the objective is immediate and perfect. 

Take another case. A duck has been hatched among 
chickens under a hen. She goes about with the others, 
eats and drinks from a dish, but has never seen water 
except in a small basin. Some weeks pass, during which 
she has felt a longing for something that she has not 
found, and has never seen. She roams about in search of 
it. She believes that it exists, she has no doubt of it, 
she goes forth confident in her search, expecting to find 
it. If she had human powers of deduction, she could 
from her subjective desire for it form some opinion of the 



nature and form and purpose of the object of her search. 
There is in her mind an intellectual image, type of that 
object. She certainly knows what she desires to do with 
it; if too long a time passes before she finds it, she per- 
forms without it the motions she desires to perform in it — 
she goes through the motions of swimming, diving, and 
flapping her wings as if in water, when she is still on 
land. At last she meets a pond of water. She cognizes 
it at once as the object of her search. It corresponds 
with the thoughts which she had respecting it before she 
met it. It is the thing she was looking for. She had 
sufficiently definite ideas of it before she met it to enable 
her to cognize it at once, as soon as the image of light 
reflected from it met her mind in the retina of her eye. 
She does not hesitate in uncertainty upon the brink; she 
does not wait to verify her sight perception of it with her 
other senses; she does not stop at the edge of the water 
and feel of it with her foot to see if it really is what she 
has conceived it to be; she rushes without a pause into it, 
as confidently as an old sailor. The knowledge of this 
water does not seem to be an inference from discovered 
properties, nor from resistance, nor a simultaneous percep- 
tion in consciousness of the self and the not-self. I do 
not know that she has ever thought of herself as existing, 
or had any self consciousness; but she thought of water 
to swim and bathe and play in, thought of it before she 
met it in reality; and, on meeting-it she immediately cog- 
nized it as the thing she had been thinking about, believ- 
ing in, and longing for. 

One more example. A calf that is a few hours old will 
^get upon his feet and walk. Here he is in relations to 
the objective world. The motions that he makes in get- 
ting upon his feet are determined by subjective mental 
modes born in him. A colt in first getting upon his feet 
does not make the same motions, nor proceed in the same 


way; but the motions this calf makes are common to all 
of his kind. The subjective modes which direct his mo- 
tions imply the existence of the ground beneath him. 
It is not a logical deduction from his instinct to walk, 
but a declaration of that instinct, a declaration of the 
truthfulness of which he has no doubt. It is no compli- 
cated or difficult process by which he comes to know the 
ground. It is not a deduction from properties or from 
resistance. It is simply a cognition through the sense 
of sight and touch of the external object which his instinct 
implied, anticipated, foretold. It is therefore no mystery, 
or surprise to himself. If he could explain his mental 
act at this time he would say, Of course, I knew from my 
instinct to walk that there was ground upon which I could 
walk— my instinct declared the existence of the ground. 
If I should say that he cognized his instinct, and cognized 
in his instinct the declaration of the existence of its object, 
I supposed I would be stating the modern theory of im- 
mediate perception, but I do not suppose that he reflects 
upon his instinct, and the theory seems to me incomplete 
till some provision be made by which this subjective declara- 
tion can be verified by actual discovery. I do not sup- 
pose that the calf has any conscious thoughts of himself, 
or that his instinct is to him an object of reflection, but he 
instinctively acts out his impulse in its relation to the ex- 
ternal world, and as soon as he sees or touches the ground 
he has knowledge of it. 

The calf has to exert himself to maintain his erect posi- 
tion. He extends his feet laterally to widen his base, and 
if he is liable to fall, hethrows out his feet in that direction. 
In this he does what the philosopher would do, and the 
philosopher would do it as instinctively as he. He has 
not discovered gravity, it is not an object of knowledge to 
him, because none of his senses can cognize it, but he has 
discovered a mode of energizing upon him for which he 



is mentally prepared beforehand so perfectly that he acts 
in reference to it as the wisest philosopher. Only an in- 
tellectual being who can deduce a doer from effects, or 
from energizing, can know gravity, and some will not 
admit that this is knowledge. 

He staggers up by the side of the cow in search of 
something. He has not much trouble in finding it. He 
seems to have in his mind some already formed ideas of 
where it is to be found, on what part of the cow's body, and 
its position. If he never received food from the cow, but 
is fed by the hand of man, he instinctively places his head 
and neck in the position and shape that are necessarj^ for 
obtaining food from the cow, and if it were a lamb instead 
of a calf, he might drop on to his knees for that purpose. 
Here again we see the subjective preparation for and 
adaptation to the objective relative. 

As soon as his nose touches the teat he cognizes it at 
once as the object of his search. He does not then cog- 
nize it through its properties or through its resistance, but 
he knows it as the thing he is seeking. In order to cog- 
nize it thus, he must have had a premonition of its form 
and feel, a subjective anticipating conception of it. How 
did he know it when he touched it ? How did his antici- 
pating conception of it become knowledge? He found it 
-where his premonition located it. When he touched it, the 
reality given to him in the sense of touch corresponded per- 
fectly with his subjectively anticipating notion of it. His cog- 
nition of it is very much like our re-cognition of something 
which we have before seen. We have an image or notion 
of it preserved in our memory, and when it comes again 
before us we cognize it as the same thing because of its 
agreement with the notion of it preserved in our memory. 
The notion which the calf had of it was not the result of 
fortner discovery, but it was born in him, created in the 



first of his kind, and transmitted to all of his posterity 
according to the laws of heredity. 

These are but examples of the general process by which 
brutes obtain a knowledge of the external world. These 
are not isolated or extraordinary cases, but all of the ex- 
ternal world that meets the mental being of the brute in 
any of 'his senses, meets there a mental likeness or correl- 
ative, and the object is known, or becomes knowledge, 
by its agreement with the already existing mental notion 
of it. We may say, then, that knowledge is the dis- 
covered agreement of objective things with already exist- 
ing mental modes or types: 

Our inductions thus far have been from facts discovered 
among brutes. Is the process of knowledge in man any 
different? The human young are not provided with so 
many strong instincts to direct their actions. They are 
more helpless, and are left more dependent upon parental 
care. Then the human being is lifted somewhat out of 
the region of instinct and left more to the guidance of 
reason. But in all our observations of infants we can 
discover no difference in the process of knowledge betwen 
them and brutes. Nor can we at the time that a knowl- 
edge of the external world is obtained claim any superior- 
ity or greater capability in the human young. Indeed, 
during the first few days or even weeks of life some brute 
young seem to be quite superior to the human in intellec- 
tual, as well as in physical ability. Nor are there any 
differences in the media through which knowledge is ob- 
tained which would suggest any diflference in the mental 
process. The organs of sight, hearing, taste and smell 
are constructed after the same general type. 

From our observed facts we have concluded that brutes 
have certain premonitions, notions, mental forms, corres- 
ponding with objective things, which prepare them for the 
cognition of the objective. Are there any evidences that 


this is true of the human mind? We know, that we have 
in our natures such as those which we have been observ- 
ing in brutes, and some of these are manifested in infants 
before experience. From both our observation and the 
study of consciousness we are certain that our generic de- 
sires are bom in us. 

Then philosophers have in all ages assigned to the human 
mind certain inborn characteristics, native modes of action, 
which identify it, define it, and distinguish it from inani- 
mate things. These have been called variously inherent 
Tnodes of action, desires, propensities, propensions, incli- 
nations, dispositions, laws of thought, sentiments, powers, 
faculties, etc. It is evident that these are more than 
power to do, they are inclinations to perform some specific 
acts. They all, except will, have external objects. Their 
<3)bjects include physical things, persons, tangible and also 
intangible qualities, physical and also logical relations, 
time, space, and spiritual beings. They all desire to act, 
desire to find and meet their objects. In this sense they 
are all desires. 

We are conscious now that those of our faculties, or 
generic desires which have not yet met their objects do 
desire to do so. We know also from our consciousness 
that, in the absence of their objects, we do form, from the 
nature of the faculty itself, notions, ideas of their objects. 
Take an example: Man has a natural desire to worship. 
The real object of worship is not discoverable by our 
senses, but from the desire itself men form notions of its 
object. In the first place, men know from the faculty it- 
self what feelings should enter into the acts of worship — 
reverence, fear, love, self-depreciation, submission, sup- 
plication — these have entered into the worship of all 
nations, under all religious systems. In the second place, 
men form opinions from the faculty itself respecting the 
physical acts which properly express the sentiment of wor- 



ship The bowed head, kneeling, and prostration, are 
common to all religions in all ages. In the third place, 
men do, from the faculty itself, form ideas, notions of the 
being to be worshiped. He must be a being worthy of 
worship; he must be great, powerful, superhuman, good, 
just, kind to the obedient, and severe toward the disobe- 
dient. As all men are conscious of disobedience and de- 
merit, and as the unaided mind discovers no accepted 
intercessor and divine Redeemer, all religions outside of 
Christianity consist more of fear than of love. If the ob- 
ject of this faculty is not revealed to any people they fix 
their minds upon the greatest and most worthy object 
known to them, and pour out their devotions to it. But 
after all, the object thus fixed upon does not fill out the 
measure of the ideal fonned from the faculty itself— they 
are conscious of its incompleteness and incongruities, it is 
not entirely satisfactory to them. The ideals formed firom 
the faculty prepare mankind for the reception of the real 
God when He is brought before them in a divine revela- 
tion The object of worship there presented to mankind 
agrees with the notions and ideals of Him, and perfectly 

satisfies this want. , • t. t. 

Such is the nature of many of our faculties which have 
already met their objects that we are certain that if they 
had not met their objects, we would long for them, seek 
for them, and form ideals of them. If an infant could 
grow up on an island without ever meeting a human being, 
he would long for the object of his social sentiments,— he 
would roam over the hills and valleys of his island home 
in search of their object, he would form ideals of it from 
the nature of the faculties themselves, and if he should at 
last meet it, he would cognize it at once as the object of 
his search. He would cognize it because of its correspond- 
ence with his ideals of it, because of its agreement with 


the inborn modes of action of these faculties, with the sub- 
jective type of being which these faculties declare. 

These subjective thought- forms growing out of the 
modes of the faculties, which I have called ideals of ex- 
ternal things, are sometimes called norms. I have called 
them ideals only because that is a more familiar and gen- 
erally better understood word. The subjective forms may 
be called types, and the objective things antitypes. Kant 
so far prepared the way for what appears to me to be the 
correct explanation of the process of knowledge. But as 
he denied extension to the mind, and had it locked up in 
some deep recess of the brain, he could not contrive any 
way by which the subjective norms and their objective 
antitypes could be brought into the necessary relation to 
constitute knowledge. 

It has been often said that man can know only such 
things as he has faculties for knowing. There may be 
many things and properties and relations outside of mind 
of which there are no types within mind ; of these man 
can never have knowledge, nor even thoughts respecting 
them. They are to him as God and worship are to the 
brute who has no worshiping faculty. Man has in his 
own nature the subjective norms which prepare him to 
know every external thing which it is possible for him to 
know, or if not of that precise thing, of the class of things 
with which this can be associated. 

I will specify some of the faculties which subjectively 
prepare man for the perception of the objective. Among 
these is form. Man has inborn in his nature a faculty 
which gives him ideas of form, which enables him to cog- 
nize form in things, which leads him to anticipate and look 
for form in things, which declares the existence of form in 
objective things. The infant mind anticipates a world of 
forms around him. If a man thinks of a thing he has 
never seen, or of an imaginary being, he involuntarily 




gives it some form. He does not feel that he has a satis- 
factory conception of a thing till he has ascertained its 
form, and been able to construct an image of it in his 


He has another faculty by which he cognizes size, di- 
mension, extension, and which enables him to form judg- 
ments of relative size. In consequence of this he is dis- 
posed to give some specific dimensions to things and per- 
sons of which he has only heard. 

Another faculty enables him to cognize color, light, the 
various forms of light, and the diversities of color. 

By another faculty he cognizes number, — it enables him 
to count, makes a mathematical being of him. 

Another faculty, which has been by some denominated 
** weight," and by others "the sense of force," enables 
him to cognize resistance, energy, force, and enables him 
to form judgments of the relative strength of different man- 
ifestations of energy. 

Another faculty, which has been denominated "indi- 
viduality, ' ' views things as concrete individuals, without 
any thought of their relations, — regards each as an indi- 
vidual without reference to any other thing, with its 
boundaries in space, and, if appearances seem to so indi- 
cate, its limits in time. The relativity of knowledge is 
the knowledge of mature and learned philosophers, and 
not of infant minds in perception ; and the impossibility 
of conceiving of a beginning is an impossibility discov- 
ered in the reflections of the philosopher, and not in the 
unreflective perceptions of immaturity. Things as indi- 
viduals do have their boundaries in space and their limits 
in time, and when man conceives them in the exercise of 
this faculty he so conceives them, without any inquiry- of 
the before or after. This faculty also implies, foretells, 
and declares the existence of substance. 

It is probably in the exercise of this faculty that man's 


first perceptions of the objective world are formed. Things, 
and not relations or properties, are first conceived. The 
thing is discovered before its form, size, and color are 
thought of. The first thought is of thing, and form; size, 
and color are after thoughts, especially when two or more 
things are discovered, and the process of discrimination 
through comparison commences. 

The foregoing faculties connect man with the physical 
world, and enable him to perceive physical things. But 
things do exist in relations, and man himself exists in re- 
lations to other beings. For th€ perception and regula- 
tion of these relations man has other faculties. These 
faculties, like the former, imply, suggest, and foretell the 
objective existence of certain relations. Things may be 
related to each other in waj^s that we can not discover, of 
which we can form no conceptions, — we can discover only 
such relations as have a corresponding subjective mode in 
our minds. 

One of these subjective modes, or faculties, is called 
comparison. It suggests, foretells, and enables man to 
conceive likeness, difference, and identity. It does not, 
as some have said, impose these relations upon things, but 
these relations really existing in external things, this fac- 
ulty cognizes them, causes man to desire to discover them, 
leads him to anticipate them, — they are antitypes of which 
the types exist in the mind. This faculty, employing the 
faculties of form, size, and color, enables man to distin- 
guish one thing from another. 

Another faculty cognizes the dual relations — cause and 
effect, doer and doing, motion and mover, substance and 
property, and all other relations where one thing is de- 
pendent upon another for its existence. 

Another faculty cognizes time, enables man to form 
judgments of the lapse of time, measure time into equal 
periods, as in music, to know the relations of before and 




after, and all other time relations, and to cognize limited 
and measured periods of time. 

Another faculty takes cognizance of space, and enables 
man to form judgments of direction and distance, and all 
other space relations, and to know limited and measured 
portions of space. 

There are other faculties which cognize other objective 
relations — love of beauty, which requires things and parts 
of things to be so related as to constitute beauty ; love of 
order, which requires that things be related in an orderly 
manner, love of music, which requires sound in musical 
relations, etc. , but as I am not writing a psychology, only 
bringing examples to illustrate the process we are consid- 
ering, I need not mention more. 

The faculties all have within them, in their mode of ac- 
tion, types of which the antitypes exist in the outer world. 
When the outer world meets the mind in the organs of 
sense, the type and antitype become one in knowledge, or 
the result is knowledge. 

I have already mentioned one other fact respecting these 
mental modes or faculties, viz. , that each faculty declares 
beforehand the existence of its objective relative. Whether 
the object be substance, properties, or relations, the faculty 
itself declares before the object is met that it does exist in 
the objective world. This declaration is to the being in 
whose mind the declaration exists sufficient evidence of 
the existence of the object to give him a confident and 
undoubting belief; just as the appetite of the calf declared 
the existence of food before he had found it, and sent him 
forth in confident search of it, just as the subjective want 
of the duck declared the existence of water to swim in 
before she found it ; just as the social sentiments of our 
supposed lone man declared the existence of other beings 
like him. Every man instinctively believes in and trusts 
these subjective declarations. The man has no doubt of 


the existence of the things thus subjectively declared, un- 
less after long search he fails to find them, and even then 
he does not give up belief, unless doubt coincides with his 
wishes. Even then, though he may intellectually doubt, 
he instinctively acts when off his guard according to that 


These subjective declarations of the existence of object- 
ive things are what have been called intuitions. An in- 
tuition is a belief arising in the mind itself,— the declara- 
tions of the inborn modes of action that some objective 
thing or attribute or relation exists in the objective world. 
Knowledge is verified intuitions, or intuitions proven by 
the actual discovery of their objects. The intuitions which, 
spring from the faculties which relate man directly to the 
physical world are verified so early that we are not gen- 
erally conscious of their existence before their objects are 
met, or we have no memory of their action before they 
were merged into knowledge. An intuition alone is a 
sufficient basis for belief, an intuition verified by discovery 
through the senses, or by some other means, becomes- 


But there are intuitions whose objects cannot be discov- 
ered by the senses, (i) because the object is not within 
reach, (2) because the object has no attributes cognizable 
by the senses. Of this latter class are the intuitions of 
time and space. We have faculties which declare their 
existence,— that is, we have intuitions of them, but time 
and space have no form, size, color, or other properties 
cognizable by our senses, and no substance, hence our in- 
tuitions of them can be only partially verified. The intu- 
ition of space is partially verified by the discovery of 
limited and bounded portions of space. These bounded 
portions of space are a verified intuition— knowledge— and 
they are just as real existence to us as the matter that 
bounds them. The walls of this room are no more ob- 




jectively real to me than the portion of space which they 
inclose, ^he intuition of time is partially verified by the 
discovery of marked and measured off periods. We know 
a year, a day, an hour, just as well as we do a mountain, 
a tree, a house. Though our intuitions of space and time 
as wholes cannot be verified nor their objects perfectly 
comprehended, yet every one knows the meaning of these 
words, and there are no thoughts more familiar or more 
easily understood, even in childhood, than thoughts of 
time and space. 

We have other unverifiable intuitions — of right and 
wrong in conduct, of duty and obligation, growing out of 
conscience ; of spirit beings, immortality, and God. Though 
these intuitions are not verifiable by the senses, yet all 
men have thoughts of their objects, and they are partially 
verifiable by the testimony of other intuitions, by the ex- 
perience of mankind in society, and by some objective 
probabilities. Men do not doubt the existence of their 
objects till they turn away from these subjective witnesses, 
refuse to admit their testimony, and look for objective evi- 
dence, and refuse to consider this satisfactory, and end at 
last in a morass of eternal darkness. The want for food 
is scarcelj^ a more imperaitive want to man than the want 
for a divine object of worship and trust. The fact is the 
subjective declarations of the faculties, the intuitions, have 
in all ages determined, and will in all future ages mainlj'- 
determine human opinions and belief 

The upverifiable intuitions growing out of the faculties 
of comparison and causality are in philosophy of great 
importance. They are the processes and highways of 
nearly all philosophy. We have already mentioned the 
verifiable intuitions of comparison — likeness, difference, 
and identity — but besides these there are the intuitions of 
•classification and unity, and unity applied to being is the 
law of continuity, applied to space it is infinity, and ap- 



plied to time it is eternity. The philosophy of the condi- 
tioned is thought traveling in the paths marked out by the 
intuitions of comparison, and Sir William Hamilton says 
there is no other philosophy. This is why his philosophy, 
notwithstanding his acuteness and erudition, is so unsatis- 
factory — it is like a man trying to walk with only one leg. 
He is able to give us no satisfactory account of the causal 
relation, it is frittered away, and made to mean only our 
inability to conceive of a beginning. 

We have already stated that the intuitions of causality 
include all dual relations, all cases where one is dependent 
upon another for its existence. This faculty declares that 
its objective relative does exist, that the relation of neces- 
sary dependence does exist among objective things, that 
both the dependent and that upon which it depends do 
exist. When, therefore, we discover only one of these 
thus related objects, this intuition declares the existence 
of the other. On the discovery of the dependent, it de- 
clares the existence of that upon which it depends, even 
when it cannot be discovered by any other means. Hence 
it is said by all philosophers who use this intuition that an 
effect declares the existence of a cause. 

This is an intuition quite as important in philosophy as 
the intuition of unity; they must both go hand in hand. 
Both thrust us out where our senses cannot go, into the 
regions of the super-sensuous, into the undiscovered realms, 
of the infinite. We must take both these intuitions as. 
declarations of the truth, though but partially verifiable.. 
The intuition of unity is partially verified by the discovery 
of universal likeness, pointing to one. The intuition of 
causality is partially verified by our consciousness of our- 
selves as causes and the effects of other causes upon us. 

In confirmation of the truthfulness of our intuitions- 
there is opportunity here for a generalization, after the- 
manner of scientists. All our intuitions which relate us. 



to the physical world are found by discovery to be declara- 
tions of the truth ; only those which relate us to the super- 
sensuous are left unverified by discovery. If so many of 
our intuitions are proven to be declarations of the truth, 
we have good logical ground for the generalization that 
all of them are declarations of truth. 

The question, What of the physical world does man 
know? has engaged the attention of philosophers through 
the ages. We have anticipated this question to some ex- 
tent in the foregoing discussions. The two opinions — that 
mind is not extended and that man does not know sub- 
stance — have gone hand in hand through the centuries. 
It seems presumptuous for any ordinary man to question 
opinions so venerable and supported by so great authority ; 
but we know that grave mistakes have been made, and 
that opinions have been long entertained that have at last 
been found to be errors. In science opinions are valued 
most for their newness, in metaphysics, for their antiquity. 
But other opinions have changed, and I think some hoary 
psychological opinions must give way before there can be 
any satisfactory explanation of the process of knowledge. 
There is a tendency in the latter physiologies to locate 
mind in all parts of the body. Ufe is certainly limited 
only by the limits of the body, and certain physiological 
processes are going on in all parts, some of them con- 
nected with consciousness in the brain, and some of them 
without such connection. I have, in common with many 
physiologists, assumed that the mind occupies the whole 
body, and it follows of course that the mind is extended. 

I now take the further step that man does know sub- 
stance. In chapter third I mentioned two modes by which 
we arrive at the existence of substance — deducing it from 
properties and from doing— but this is only inferential 
knowledge, and, however satisfactory it may be to the in- 
dividual, it is not knowledge in the sense of actual dis- 



covery. I now express the opinion that man discovers 
material substance immediately by the sense of touch. 

Formerly it was declared that we know only properties 
and relations. Our knowledge consisted of bundles of 
properties, and the relations of those bundles to each other. 
It was claimed that we do not know any reality under- 
lying properties. If any such exists, it was thought to be 
entirely beyond the reach of our discovery, to us unknown. 
To this it was answered that a necessary mode of our 
minds compels us to place substance beneath every prop- 
erty ; hence we know, not merely properties, but sub- 
stances through their properties. But still this was only 
inferential knowledge. 

More recently resistance is said to be that which we dis- 
cover through our senses. Every thing is ' * dynamic ' ' in 
these days. All we discover of the objective world is re- 
sistance. We do not know whether there is any thing 
back of resistance or not ; if there is any thing, it is to us 
unknowable, and we cannot say whether it is matter or 
spirit or force, or what it is. To this it was answered, as 
before, that a necessary mode of our minds compels us to 
place behind resistance a resister,— we cannot separate re- 
sistance from thing resisting. What we know, then, is 
not resistance, but thing resisting. This is no doubt true, 
but still it is only deductive or inferential knowledge. We 
meet with resistance, and deduce from this a thing re- 

Notwithstanding I have the utmost confidence in the 
process of deducing substance from properties, and a thing 
resisting from resistance, I do not believe that this is the 
only way we obtain a knowledge of matter. I do not be- 
lieve that such a generalization as resistance is first formed 
in the infant mind. I do not believe that the infant mind 
commences its activities with deductions. Deductions and 
generalizations are the work of mature years. Thing is 


the subject, the primary thought, and the beginning of 
knowledge. As we begin our instruction to our children 
with names of things, so nature begins her culture with 
things. We do not first teach our children words express- 
ing motion or comparison, but names. Much more, we 
do not first teach them predicates, abstractions, deductions, 
generalizations, conjunctions, or any other relations. These 
are the last that we find them capable of comprehending. 
If we should undertake to reverse the order of our teach- 
ing, we would come in conflict with nature, and fail. 
Nature is too wise to undertake such an unreasonable 
course, and if she should undertake it, she too would fail. 
If mental action commences with the use of the intui- 
tion of the dual relations, by deducing from properties or 
from resistance tangible things, the process of the knowl- 
edge of matter is the same as that by which we know 
invisible causes, intangible doers, and spirit beings. Why 
then have we any clearer knowledge of material bodies 
than we have of immaterial causes and spirit beings. Do 
we not feel that we have a more real and positive knowl- 
edge of material bodies than we have of immaterial causes ? 
Why, if we know them by precisely the same process ? 

But let us return to our observations. How did the 
chicken know the disabled housefly which crawled on the 
floor before him? Did he feel resistance, and infer from 
that a thing resisting ? How did the duck know the pond 
of water before she had touched it ? Did she feel resist- 
ance, and infer from that a thing resisting? When the 
calf's nose touched the cow's teat, did he formulate in his 
mind the idea of resistance, and infer from that a thing 
resisting ? Take another case, a new-born infant. After 
suitable preparation, he is laid quietly and comfortably to 
rest. He sleeps a few hours. He has not been fed. He 
is stirred, awakened, but he does not open his eyes. A 
wet-nurses nipple is made to lightly touch his lips. He 



opens his mouth and perhaps turns his head from side to 
side, as if in search of something. He knows something 
has touched him ; he has discovered something. He knows 
nothing about its properties ; he has not thought whether 
it is round or square, white or black, hard or soft ; his 
only idea is thing. He has not thought of resistance, or 
thing resisting. It has touched his lips so lightly as not 
to indent them. Then resistance can be conceived only 
as reaction against conscious muscular exertion. He has 
discovered, not properties or resistance, but thing. What 
of the thing has he discovered ? Not attributes, not rela- 
tions, what else is there of thing but substance ? He has 
discovered a space-filling thing, substance, and nothing else. 

Then what do we now think of in contact with the ma- 
terial world? If I run against a post in a dark night, 
what do I think of, properties ? resistance ? — it resists me 
certainly, but is that what I think of? My thought is of 
post, hard, solid post. What does the farmer plow, prop- 
erties, resistance, thing resisting? or earth, space-filling 
existence, substance? What does the woodsman chop 
with his axe, properties, resistance ? or tree, a space-filling 
thing, substance ? What does the well-digger throw up 
out of the earth, properties, resistance, thing resisting ? or 
earth, space-filling matter, substance? If a grain of sand 
gets into a man's eye, he does not think of properties, or 
resistance, or thing resisting, but he is pretty sure that 
there is a hard, solid "lump" there. May be that there 
is no space filling thing there ; may be he does not know 
that there is any such thing as matter ; may be there is 
only an ideal world surrounding us, may be it is only re- 
sisting centers of force ; may be it is only God energizing, 
— that is, that it is God hurting him ; but he is pretty 
sure that there is a hard, solid lump there, a space-filling 
thing, substance, and he knows it as such. 

The ideal philosophers have led us quite away from our 


real experience, into an imaginary world, into a state of 
being quite transcending the state of mortals. Let us get 
back onto terra firma. Mankind do know matter, know 
matter as hard, solid, space-filling existence— that is, sub- 
stance, know its substance by actual contact, mind in con- 
tact with matter, mind in immediate contact with substance, 
know it first, know it better than they know any thing 
else, before and better even than they know themselves- 
Because of the certainty of our knowledge of matter, be- 
cause we do constantly touch and handle and know the 
hard, solid substance of matter, all idealizing and spirit- 
ualizing of matter, all theories of it which make it to be 
any thing different from what we know it by our experi- 
ence to be, are most incongruous nonsense to the common 
sense of mankind. I think those philosophers who really 
desire to vindicate the attainability of truth and the valid- 
ity of our knowledge, have conceded quite too much to, 
and prepared the way too well for, the agnosticism of this 


If the two new doctrines here presented— that mind is 

extended and fills the whole body, and that we do know 
substance— are true, what becomes of all the mist and 
mystery and uncertainty respecting our knowledge of the 
material world, and what becomes of all those complicated 
contrivances devised to explain the how of knowledge ? 
The process of knowledge becomes plain and simple and 
easy, just as it must be to be within the competence of 
brutes and infants and children, and the material worid 
and our knowledge of it become in philosophy, just what 
they are in practical life to every person, real and certain. 
I am not disposed to weaken or invalidate our knowledge 
obtained by the process of deducing doers from doings. 
The adult may do this, but not infants. Our knowledge 
of the material worid is certainly obtained through a pro- 
cess which is easier, more direct, and more simple than 



that. In science the test of a theory is its competence to 
explain the related phenomena. According to that test 
no other theory of perception yet divised can stand in the 
same neighborhood with this. 

Through the sense of touch we know material substance 
first. By this sense man subsequently knows certain con- 
tingent properties of substances ; such as hardness, soft- 
ness, roughness, smoothness, etc. There are real facts 
concerning material substances, facts which are immedi- 
ately perceived by mind in contact with matter. 

The sense of taste is the mind residing and acting in the 
gustatory nerves through their whole length, especially 
concentrated in the tongue, palate, and fauces. If we take 
into the mouth a lump of sugar, we perceive its presence 
by the sense of touch. The mind in the sense of taste 
does not cognize it at all until some of it is dissolved. 
When it is dissolved, some of it enters into the minute 
cells in the organs of taste, and there comes into imme- 
diate contact with mind in the gustatory nerves, and some 
of its properties are there immediately cognized. The 
sugar is then a liquid not distinguishable by sight or touch 
from the saliva with which it is mingled, but taste now 
perceives certain of its properties. No representative of 
the sugar, or of any of its properties, is conveyed by any 
means to the brain. The mind, as the sense of taste, in 
the mouth perceives a property of the sugar which we have 
named sweet. The sweet is not a thrill, or a vibration, or 
any thing else in the nerve conveyed to the brain. The 
word is not the name of a certain act of mind which en- 
sues after certain vibrations have reached it. It is the 
name of a property of the substance, a property which the 
mind then immediately perceives. All the properties that 
are known through the sense of taste are real properties 
of the substances placed in the mouth, and they are im- 
mediately perceived by the mind there. 


The sense of smell is the mind acting in and through 
the nerves which terminate in the membranesof the nose. 
J fntensest seat is there, but it extends through he 
whole length of the nerves to the brain. The odors which 
this sense^r the mind-there perceives, are real proper- 
ties of substances. Particles of some vapors are suffi- 
cientlv fine to enter into the cells in those membranes, 
and there are in direct contact with mind in those nerves, 
and Ihe mind there perceives certain of the.r properties 
The particles of other vapors enter into these cells, but 
this sense perceives none of their properties, because they 
have no properties which correspond with the m^es of 
action of miid in this sense, and we call them inodorous 
substances. Taste and smell often perceive the same prop- 

"in the process of seeing the immediate perception is of 
forms of that immaterial substance which we call light. 
This substance moves by its own energy away from bodies 
in the outline forms of those bodies, and those forms of 
visible immaterial substance picture those forms on the 
retina of the eye, and there come in immediate contact 
^ith mind in the optic nerve. The mind there perceives 
the forms of light which enter the eye perceives the^r 
forms, their color kinds if they are made up of decom- 
posed light, and the shading, or different degrees of in- 
tensity of light in different parts of those images. These 
Serent degrees of intensity of the light in different parts 
ithe imag'e furnish materials by which the child learns 
to form judgments of form other than outhnes. Convex- 
ity, concavity, irregularities in surface distance both of 
different objects and of different parts of the same object, 
-the whole art of perspective is probably learned by ex- 
perience. As far as the external object is concerned, this 
I a case of mediate perception. The image of the object 
enters the eye, and is there perceived. The immediate 



perception is of forms of light. The child soon learns, by 
the help of the other senses, that these images represent 
material bodies, or such may be the adapted preparation 
of mind that the thought of corresponding objective phy- 
sical bodies arises from the simple perception of these 
images. Such would seem to be the case in the examples 
of the chicken and the fly, and the duck and the water, 
mentioned in preceding pages. In the course of time the 
child acquires skill in forming from these images judg- 
ments of the relative size, and distance, and structural 
peculiarities of bodies which the immaterial images rep- 

In the sense of hearing the immediate perception is of 
vibrations. Here is one case where what the mind per- 
ceives is vibrations. Hence this is always taken as the 
illustration of the vibration theory of perception. When 
it was thought that images of things were conveyed to 
the mind, the sense of sight was taken as the illustration. 
I do not see the propriety of taking any one sense as an 
illustration of a process that cannot be true of any of the 
others. In hearing the communication of objective infor- 
mation to the mind in the brain though vibrations is 
possible; it is not possible in any other of the senses. I 
prefer to explain this by the others, instead of others by 
this, as I see that the others cannot be explained according 
to the supposition which is possible here. In the other four 
cases the mind must act at the place of sensation; hence 
we conclude that it does in this case. In hearing the 
vibrations are perceived by the mind in the ear. The air 
vibrations produce vibrations in the tympanum, and the 
mind in the auditory nerve there perceives them. 

But we soon learn by the help of the other senses to 
attribute these vibrations to some remote object; or such 
may be the subjective preparation for obtaining knowl- 
edge through this medium that the mind instinctively 


understands them to be representatives of objective facts. 
Certain it is that the mind instinctively understands the 
meaning of certain vibrations of the tympanum. The 
young babe that has never been hurt will be frightened 
by the mother's cry of alarm, and by other frightful and 
threatening sounds. We certainly soon come to attnbute 
these vibrations to some remote objects, first to some 
moving physical body, then to air as a medium, and 
finally to some immaterial doer in the physical body. 
These vibrations vary in length, altitude, frequency, 
order of succession, and in innumerable other character- 
istics which have never been named. By these quahties 
we learn something of the nature of remote movers, and 
by agreeing upon certain sounds to represent thoughts a 
language is formed for communication among men. 

The word sound is not, like the word sweet, the name 
of a property of some external thing. It is a general 
name given to all the acts or understandings of the mind 
fi-om these vibrations of the tympanum. We talk about 
sound coming, the vibrations come; but they are sounds 
only when the mind acts upon them in the tympanum of 

the ear 

The foregoing is the explanation which we give of the 
acquisition of knowledge through the senses. According 
to this view, sensation and perception are not so positively 
distinguishable as has been supposed. When mind was 
thought to be an unextended something somewhere in 
the brain, and sensations were thought to be impressions 
produced by external bodies, and conveyed in some un- 
known way to the mind in the brain, sensation was mani- 
festly something different from the action of mind which 
ensued when the sensation reached it. But with the view 
here presented, sensation and perception are one. The 
mind at the outer extremity of the nerve perceives and 
knows. Sensation is not an impression produced upon 




the body by matter. Matter never produces anything. 
It is true, when we press against matter we meet with 
resistance, but it is not the matter which resists, it is the 
force of cohesion holding the molecules of matter together, 
and perhaps in solid attachment to the earth or other 
great bodies, and the force of inertia that is holding mat- 
ter at rest. The mind is the actor and doer, and in 
immediate contact with matter perceives it, its substance 
first, and then its properties, and then its relations. 

I have thus given my opinion of the process of knowl- 
edge. It will probably be called by philosophers ' ' vulgar 
realism." No matter what it is called if it is only the 
truth. It is not a necessary part of this treatise. The 
criticisms and opinions of physical philosophy expressed 
elsewhere are not dependent upon this. The process by 
which we know does not in any way affect the discussions 
upon other points. Yet it has a bearing upon the general 
philosophy of agnosticism which is associated with the 
current physical philosophy. 




Application To The Human Mind. 

That the human mind is an immaterial substance has 
been largely the opinion of mankind. This opinion is 
now strengthened and confirmed by the fact that we find 
all the doers in nature to be immaterial substance. The 
opinion that the matter of the body is not the actor and 
doer, but that something not matter dwells in the body 
and moves it, and thinks, and feels, has spontaneously 
arisen in the minds of men from their consciousness, their 
experience and observation. There have always been 
some men who dissented from this view; but in their 
attempts to explain vital and mental phenomena upon the 
supposition that the matter of the body is the doer, they 
have not met with great success. Our consciousness of 
ourselves as doers has enabled us to understand objective 
doing in nature. Men have projected from their experi- 
ence facts and principles which enabled them to under- 
stand how the doers in nature accompHsh their work. In 
the primitive ages of the world men did thus, to a large 
extent, form their opinions of natural phenomena, and 
explained them as passive matter acted upon by invisible 
doers. We are now able to come from the field of the 
inorganic with facts and principles which help us to an 
understanding of mind. 

In the first place, if matter is never a doer in organic 
nature where some appearances seem to indicate that it is, 
it certainly is not in mental phenomena, where all facts 

seem to be against such a supposition. Again, if the 
doers in inorganic phenomena are not created or produced 
by any natural agency, where some appearances seem to 
favor such a supposition, it is quite certain that the, mind 
is not produced or created by any natural agency, for 
here there are no appearances which favor such a supposi- 

Our sixth generalization — each force has its own natur- 
ally uncaused modes of action — throws some light upon 
some questions in psychology over which there has been 
much contention. Nothing causes gravity to draw mat- 
ter together, it does so only because that is its own inher- 
ent mode of action. Nothing causes molecular repulsion 
to push matter apart, it does so only because it is its 
nature thus to do. It is so with all the inorganic forces. 
There is nothing in nature outside of them, or back of 
them, or anterior to them, which causes them to be and 
do as they are and do, or determines their modes of action. 
We now extend this generalization to mind, and say that 
nothing in nature causes mind to be what it is, or to do 
what it does, or gives it its modes of action. We find no 
facts in mental phenomena which conflicts with this gen- 
eralization. No cause of the modes of mind has ever 
been mentioned, or can be discovered. No reason can be 
given why mind acts as it does. Why does light act as it 
does? Why does heat act as it does ? Why does gravity 
act as it does? Why does mind act as it do^s? One of 
these questions is just as unanswerable as any other one 
of them. To all of them precisely the same answer must 
be given, because it is its nature thus to act, because of 
its own inherent modes of action. 

If modes of the human mind were products of natural 
causes or environments, difierent sets of causes, different 
environments would result in different modes, and some 
people on some portions of the earth would come to have 




mental modes differing from those of other portions of the 
earth. The fact that all human beings now found on the 
earth have precisely the same mental modes, is proof that 
they are not caused by environments. *'A11 human 
beings on earth have precisely the same mental facul- 
ties.'* But there are differences, and the question arises, 
What are faculties, or primitive mental modes ? We can- 
not here enter into a full discussion of this question. We 
will only say that men have agreed to call all mental 
modes which are common to all human beings, human 
faculties. Then, of course, all human beings have pre- 
cisely the same faculties. Take our position here, then, 
all mental modes common to all living human beings are 
the primitive mental modes, or faculties of man. Now 
look back through the history of the human race. Has 
any one of these mental modes been added to human 
nature during the historic period of the human race ? 
Some tribes have been separated from the rest of the race 
one thousand, two thousand, and perhaps three or four 
thousand years; during that time has a mental faculty, or 
mental mode, been added to or taken from human nature 
by its environments? What the human mind now is, in 
reference to its mental modes, in this city, it is in every 
city and nation and tribe of the earth. What it now is it 
always has been in every nation and tribe as far back in 
the history of the world as we have any information. 
Surely this is time and space enough for environments to 
create a new one or destroy an old one, if they have the 
power. Whether the positive proofs are satisfactory or 
not, there are no negatives, no facts found in the history 
of human nature which forbid the extension of this gen- 
eralization to the human mind. 

Now let us get a clear understanding of these mental 
modes. They are the natural and necessary modes of our 
minds, and consequently our natural and necessary modes 


of thinking. We can compare and classify them with the 
modes of the inorganic forces. It is a mode of action of 
one inorganic force to draw matter together. We name 
that mode of action attraction. It is a mode of action of 
another inorganic force to push matter apart. This mode 
of action we name repulsion. So it is a mode of mind to 
compare things; and we name that mental mode compari- 
son. It is another mental mode to love; and we name 
that mental mode love, and its acts we call loving. It is 
another mental mode to hate; and we name that mode 
hate, and its acts we call hating. It is another mental 
mode to make deductions from premises, to deduce a cause 
from an effect, a substance from a property, etc. ; and this 
mode we name causality, or the deductive faculty. All 
our mental processes are of certain kinds, and must be of 
those kinds, and can be of no other kinds. The mind can 
do nothing different from its modes, or outside of its 
modes, or that is not included in its modes, more than 
gravity can do something besides draw matter together, 
or than molecular repulsion can do something with mat- 
ter other than to push it apart. These mental modes, 
then, determine what we must necessarily think, and how 
we must think. They lay down railways on which our 
thoughts can run, must run, and they can run nowhere 
else. They therefore mark the limits of all possible 
knowledge. The mind can think of nothing, perceive no 
thing, no property, and no relation, that has not its cor- 
responding mode in the mind. 

These mental modes are also impulses; they urge, im- 
pel, and push us out into the performance of these par- 
ticular kinds of mental acts. Each one is a desire, at 
least so far as it desires to act, and, of course, it desires to 
perform that particular class of acts which are included in 
its nature, its mode of action. All of them, except will, 
have external objects, and they desire to meet and obtin 



their objects. They are generic desires, desires for a class 
or kind of things, each its own kind, its corresponding 
things. Desire for property is a mental mode, a faculty, 
a generic disease; desire for a particular piece of property 
is a specific desire. 

Thus the human mind, Hke an inorganic force is a 
specific thing, which has a nature of its own, with speci- 
fic characteristics, with specific modes of action, which 
are not produced by any thing on earth, which are not 
dependent upon their surroundings, which are the same 
in the midst of all environments, and which no surround- 
ing circumstances can to any great extent change. 

To show the mental process through which these sub- 
jective modes lead us we present two examples. Take 
the mental mode which has been named comparison. 
This enables us to perceive likenesses and differences 
among external things; these are its objective correspond- 
ents, its objects. Moved by this as an impulse, our 
minds go forth instinctively comparing things, and classi- 
fying them together according to their likenesses. It 
urges us to continue this process, forming larger and 
larger classes, with less and less resemblances, till we 
finally reach unity, or one that includes the whole. This 
is a spontaneous, instinctive mental process. Why ? Be- 
cause it is an inherent, inborn mode of action of that 
immaterial substance which we call mind. 

Another inherent mental mode takes cognizance of cer- 
tain dual relations existing among external things; these 
are its objective correspondents, its objects. It is some- 
times called casuality, and sometimes the deductive faculty. 
From accumulated facts, it deduces a principle; fi-om data, 
it deduces a conclusion; from properties it deduces a sub- 
stance; from effects it deduces a cause; from the seen it 
deduces the unseen; from the known it deduces the un- 
known. Why does it do this? Because this is an in- 


herent mode of action of that immaterial substance which 

we call mind. 

We now advance another step. These natural and 
necessary modes of mind imply things objective to the 
mind to which they are related,— the subjective mode im- 
plies a corresponding external object. The subjective 
mode of love implies external object to be loved. The 
subjective mode of appetite implies objective edible sub- ^ 
stances. The subjective mode of fear implies objective 
danger, or the existence of things that will harm the 
body. ' The subjective mode which we call hope implies 
the existence of external things which are desirable. 
The subjective mode which has been called sense of sight 
implies the objective existence of light, and of things to 
be seen. The subjective mode which has been called 
sense of hearing implies objective sounds. The subject- 
ive mode of comparison implies the relation of likeness 
and difference among external things. The subjective 
mode which has been called the deductive faculty implies 
the relation of property and substance, cause and effect, 
premise and conclusion, etc. in external things. Thus 
the subjective modes of our mind imply the existence of 
all the objective things, properties, and relations to which 
we are in any wise related, or of which we are capable of 
obtaining any knowledge. 

These subjective implications are what have been 
called intuitions. The subjective mode declares the ex- 
istence of its corresponding object. Most of the subject- 
ive modes meet their objects so eariy that their declara- 
tion of the existence of their objects is not thought of as 
an intuition. Only the declarations of those subjective 
modes whose objects are not perceptible through the 
senses have been treated by philosophers as intuitions ; only 
these are of any importance in philosophy. When the 
bjects cannot be discovered by the senses, the realiability 


ity of the subjective declarations, or intuitions, comes in 
question, and it is a very important question. But all the 
other faculties equally declare the existence of their 
objects; and it is well for us to notice this fact, and look 
upon them as so many verified intuitions. 

The external objects of some of the internal modes are 
things; of others, properties in external things; of others, 
relations among external things. The objects of that 
subjective mode which we call love are sentient beings. 
The object of the subjective mode which we call form is 
the objective fact or property of form in things. The 
object of that subjective mode which has been called color 
is the external fact or property of color in bodies. The 
object of the subjective mode called comparison is the 
relation of likeness and difference and finally unity among 
objective things. The objects of the deductive faculty 
are the dual relations among objective things. The de- 
clarations of these last two subjective modes philoso- 
phers have always recognized as intuitions. Because 
their objects are not tangible things, their existence has 
been questioned, and the declarations of these two sub- 
jective modes have been brought forward, under the 
names of the intuition of unity and the intuition of cause, 
as proofs. But this declaration of the existence of their 
objects is no more positive or authoritative than the declara- 
tion of love that its objects exist, or than the declaration 
of subjective form and color that their objects exist. 

The subjective mode declares the existence of the 
external object, and hence the person in whose mind the 
declaration is, instinctively believes in the existence of 
the object, even before it is discovered, and also when it 
cannot be sensibly discovered. When the animal is hun- 
gry, he believes in the existence of the object which will 
satisfy that hunger, and he goes forth confidently in search 
of it. So does man instinctively believe in the existence 



of the external objects of all his subjective modes, whether 
those objects are visible or invisible, things, properties, 
or relations. The subjective mode is to him a positive 
declaration of the existence of its object. It is not in his 
mind a deduction; he does not reflect upon the subjective 
mode, and deduce from it the existence of its object, but 
he goes forth unreflectingly, instinctively acting according 
to that belief. If the infant could reflect upon his generic 
desires, he might deduce from them the existence of their 
objects, and might form some opinions fi-om the nature of 
the modes, of the nature of the objects. And we can now 
study human nature, and see what man's generic desires, 
or subjective modes, are, and from them deduce the exist- 
ence of their objects; and our deductions, if correctly 
made, will always be the truth. Our subjective modes 
imply and declare the existence of all objective things to 
which we are in any way related, and thus show all our 
external relations. Even those who do not admit the 
validity of the subjective modes as proofs of external 
things, still go forth in their activities acting according to 
them, just as though they did believe them true declara- 
tions, especially when they act instinctivelj^ unreflectingly. 

Kach subjective mode is to the person himself a declara- 
tion of the existence of its object. This declaration, or 
spontaneous belief, is an intuition. Thus the origin and 
basis of intuitions, over which there has been such a 
world of discussion, is explained. First there is the mind; 
then there is the subjective mode of mind; that asserts 
the existence of its object; that assertion is the intuition. 
These intuitions are spontaneous beliefs. Whether they 
are reliable proofs of objective things or not, they are to 
us spontaneous and necessary modes of thinking. 

And now, are they reliable evidences of objective reality ? 
In a former chapter we have a list of propositions which 





are absolutely true, in the nature of things, independent 
of the mind that think them. 

These are the court of final appeal in all questions of 
philosophy. As far as absolute truths and our intuitions 
deal with the same subjects they agree. It is because of 
this agreement that we recognize absolute truths as such. 
This does not throw absolute truths back upon intuitions 
as a basis. We perceive that they are absolute truths by 
their agreement with the modes of our minds, or with our 
intuitions; but we at the same time perceive that they are 
not dependent upon those modes, or these intuitions, for 
their existence or their truthfulness. As an illustration, 
we perceive the fact of likeness and difference in physical 
things by the agreement of that fact with the mode of 
mind in comparison; but we at the same time perceive 
that that fact is not dependent upon this mode for its ex- 
istence, but that likeness and difference do actually exist 
among'physical things, whether we think of them or per- 
ceive them, or not. So absolute truths are not dependent 
upon our mental modes, but we perceive them to be abso- 
lute truths by their agreement with our mental modes. If 
absolute truths and our mental intuitions did not agree, 
we could not cognize them, thus as far as we do cognize 
them our intuitions agree with them. Our intuitions 
never declare contradictions; they never violate the law of 
identity; they never contradict one of the absolute truths 
found in our table. Thus many of our intuitions are 
verified by their agreement with absolute truths: and, as 
there are found no facts to the contrary, these form a 
legitimate basis for the generalization, that they are all 
true and reliable witnesses in all cases to which their 

testimony will apply. 

But other facts warrant a still more satisfactory general- 
ization. Nearly all our intuitions are verified by the sense 
discovery of their objects. The intuition of form is veri- 

fied by the discovery of objective forms; the intuition of 
colors, by the discovery of objective color; the intuition 
of likeness and difference, by the discovery of objective 
likeness and difference, and so on. Thus all the intui- 
tions which assert the existence of physical things and 
persons, and properties, and relations, constituting more 
than ninety one- hundredths of all our intuitions, are 
shown by actual discovery to be voices of truth. As 
none of the voices which are not verifiable are known to 
be false, this forms a very broad basis for the generaliza- 
tion that they are all true and reliable witnesses. When 
the intuition of comparison when it declares the objective 
existence of likeness and difference is found to be true by 
discovery, shall we not believe it when it declares of ulti- 
mate unity ? When we have found nearly all other intu- 
itions to be true, shall we not believe that one which 
declares the existence of a cause for an effect? Knowl- 
edge is nothing but the verification through the senses of 
those intuitions which relate to sensible things. We go 
forth in activity intuitively believing in the existence of 
the physical world, and in such a physical world as does 
actually exist, and through the senses the intuitions meet 
their objects, and become actual knowledge. Thus nearly 
all our intuitions are verified and shown to be true asser- 
tions of the actual and real. The few intuitions which 
cannot be thus verified, which relate to super-sensible 
things are shown to be true by the multitude of others 
which we know to be true. 

Some intuitions which relate to physical things cannot 
be verified in all their entirety. When an intuition is 
universal, as for instance, all things have resemblances, 
or all changes have energizing causes, it is not possible to 
verify it by an actual application to all things. Such 
an intuition is verified by the discovery of a limited num- 
ber of facts. The intuition declares the fact to be true of 



all things; we learn by actual discovery that it is true of 
all things which are within the reach of our discover>^ 
It is then a verified intuition, and becomes a vahd proof 
to the whole extent of the intuition. All known facts, 
without exception, declare the trustworthiness of the in- 
tuition. This is the basis of a generalization; hence an 
intuition thus partially verified is formed into a general- 
ization. The intuition alone declares the universal fact; 
then finding it to be a fact in many cases, we form upon 
this discovered basis the generalization that it is a univer- 
sal fact. Thus the existence of the fact in the undiscov- 
erable is proven by two witnesses, by the unverified in- 
tuition, and by the generalized universal. 

The intuition alone carries with it a necessary belief m 
the mind of the individual,— he must so think and believe. 
All men have the same intuitions. When therefore a 
proposition which accords with a human intuition is 
stated, all who hear and understand it receive it and 
believe it because it falls in with a necessary mode of 
their own minds; but when they reflect and ask them- 
selves the ground and evidence of their belief, they may 
not be able to find a satisfactory reason for it. The pro- 
position has been stated, and they have believed it; but 
why ? They may see no objective evidence that it is true. 
They believe, but cannot tell why they believe. The 
only reason is that the proposition accord^ with a neces- 
sary mode of mind, an intuition. Those who have repu- 
diated intuitions as witnesses admit that we must so 
think, but they ask why, and demand some objective evi- 
dence that it is true. The only reason is that such is a 
necessary mode of mind. Those who believe that mind is 
the product of natural causes ought to believe that the 
necessary processes of mind are reliable declarations of 
objective things, for the product would not exist in the 
mind if the producer did not exist in the objective. 


But it is certain, as we have before seen, that the modes 
of mind are no more produced by external things than is 
the mode of gravity. Only the already existing modes 
of mind enable the mind to cognize these objective things, 
and the objective things could not produce those modes 
by which alone they are cognized, — these objective things 
could not enter the mind to produce anything there be- 
fore the door through which they enter existed. When 
we instinctively look for resemblances, and proceed to 
classify, and generalize, and judge that things unknown 
resemble things known, it is not because resemblances do 
actually exist in nature, those external resemblances 
could not be known but for the corresponding mode al- 
ready existing in the mind. If the postulate, things 
have resemblances, is stated to a man, he believes it, and 
would believe it if he had no external evidence of it, be- 
cause it agrees with a spontaneous mode of his mind, an 
intuition. But he goes forth in action and finds that re- 
semblances run through all things which he can discover. 
From these facts he makss the generalization that all 
things have resemblances, and now positively asserts that 
there can be nothing in any world that has not some re- 
semblances to things in this world. 

The intuition of cause and effect is not so easily veri- 
fied; the facts are not perceived by all our senses, as re- 
semblances are. Causes are generally invisible. This in- 
tuition is mainly verified by our conscious act of causa- 
tion, and by our resistance to things which energize upon 
us. But these constitute two very extensive classes of 
facts. They are ample verification of the intuition, and 
ample basis for the generalized universal that all changes 
have energizing causes. This postulate, as a thus veri- 
fied intuition, and a generalized universal, is a sufficient 
ground for human belief respecting things which are be- 
yond the reach of our discovery. 



The assertion of a necessary mode of mind is to me a 
truth. As no natural causes can be found for the modes 
of any of the forces, I believe that they all had a super- 
natural origin,— that God created all the forces, and gave 
to each its modes of action. He created the human mind 
in its adaptation to objective nature, so that its necessary 
modes, and its intuitions, correspond with the facts of the 
physical world. He gave to the human mind such modes 
that its spontaneous and necessary activities would ex- 
press His own thoughts; and thus the realities which are, 
and the principles and modes of creation, appear in hu- 
man consciousness, in the necessary modes of mind. So 
far as truth is revealed in the modes of mind, man may 
intuitively discover it ; but only the general principles, 
and existences are thus revealed. 

The intuitions are the doors of admission for all ac- 
quired truth, and they are credible and reliable witnesses, 
as far as'^they go, in all philosophy, and science, and re- 
ligion. No science or philosophy, no knowledge what- 
ever, is possible without them. They are the basis of all 
belief ; and other testimony is received only because of its 
agreement with them. They set up, and they pull down ; 
and nothing can long stand among men as truth, which is 
at war with them. Even the revealed Word is tested and 
tried by them, and only such writings as are in harmony 
with them are preserved as canonical ; and these are re- 
ceived by men mainly because of their agreement with the 
intuitions, the feelings and impulses, the needs and long- 
ings, and hopes and fears of the human mind. The 
intuitions are reliable expressions of the true and real. 
No one doubts any calculations correctly made based 
upon the known modes of gravity; no more is anyone 
justified in rejecting any calculations correctly made 
based upon the necessary modes of mind. 

A further fact which we found true of the inorganic 



forces is that they are capable of beginning action without 
being acted upon by anything outside of themselves, that 
in all their activities the energy they use is contained in 
themselves, and never imparted to them from something 
else. But we also found that activities are often depend- 
ent upon conditions supplied by other agencies. Now the 
question arises, are these facts also true of mind ? what 
relations have external things to the action of mind ? In 
the first place, here as among the inorganic forces, 
objective things are never causes of the action of mind. 
Nothing is a cause that does not possess and exert energy. 
Matter never possesses and exerts energy. The mind, in 
the sense of touch, comes in direct contact with matter, 
and perceives it and such of its properties as the sense of 
touch is prepared to cognize. The matter does not act 
upon the mind, does not do anything to the mind ; the 
mind is the only actor in this case. The matter and its 
properties are conditions of the action of the mind after 
this manner. The sense of taste immediately perceives 
the properties of substances in contact with it which it is 
adapted to perceive. Of course, the mind could not per- 
ceive these properties in the absence of the substance ; 
the substance and its properties are necessary conditions 
of the mind's action, but not causes. All this is true of 
the action of mind in the senses of smell and sight and 
hearing. In none of these cases does the external object 
act upon the mind ; in none of them is the subjective en- 
ergizing a continuation in another form of any objective 
energizing ; there is no communication of energy from the 
condition or through the condition to the mind. All the 
energy exerted by the mind in consequence of the presence 
of the condition is inherent in the mind. Then the acts 
of mind in sensation are never caused, they are never 
effects of external causes, they are not impressions. 

If these acts of mind are not effects of external causes, 


certainly no others are, for in no other cases do external 
objects come in contact with mind. In no case where 
the object which is the condition of the mind's action is 
absent from the mind, either in space or time, can it be a 
cause of the action of mind. Sitting here, I desire a 
book. I do not see it or hear it; nothing passes from the 
book to my mind; it is separated from my mind by an in- 
terval of space— nothing can do where it is not. I arise 
and get the book. It was not a cause of the action of 
my mind, nor of the action of my body,— it did not ex- 
ert energy upon my mind to cause it to act. My mind 
starts its own action, and moves my body, using only its 
own inherent energy. I receive a letter informing me of 
the death of a friend. I make arrangements and go to 
the funeral. The person, the death, the letter,— none of 
these exert energy upon my mind, to cause it to act. 

It is the same in cases of remoteness in time. Nothing 
that was in the past, but is not now, can be a cause of the 
present action of the mind. That which does not now 
exist cannot now exert energy upon anything. The re- 
membrance of a past and gone existence may be the con- 
dition of the action of mind after a certain manner; but 
the mind in the performance of those acts uses only its 

own inherent energy. 

Things anticipated, purposes, things hoped for, ends to 
be obtained,— all these have now no existence, and a 
thing which does not now exist cannot now energize to 
produce results. True, since the days of Aristotle it has 
been customary to call ends to be attained final causes; 
but this is not the sense in which we here use the word 
cause, and it is unfortunate for philosophy that it was ever 
so used. That which does not now exist cannot energize 
upon the mind to cause it to act. 

The properties of external things are preceived by the 
senses, and become subjective material, present in the 



mind. If those properties are the objects, or correspond- 
ences, of any particular passion, that feeling arises in their 
presence; if they are frightful properties, fear; if they are 
belligerent properties, anger, etc. It is common to say 
that these properties excite the passion. But these prop- 
erties are not things which possess the property of energy; 
they cannot energize to produce effects; they are only con- 
ditions of these acts of mind. 

When one person influences another, and that influence 
results in the passive person forming certain opinions, or 
having certain feelings, or performing certain acts, those 
opinions or feelings or acts are not caused. One mind does 
not in this case energize upon another mind to cause it to 
act, or to determine the mode of its action, it only pre- 
sents certain conditions in the presence of which it acts in 
a certain manner. The influence is exerted by placing 
before the mind of the other person the conditions in the 
presence of which he will form certain opinions, or have 
certain feelings, or perform certain acts. If it be a phy- 
sical object that is placed before the mind, the object has 
the same relation to his mind that other physical objects 
have in sense perception. If the influence be exerted by 
argument, entreaties, or authority, the process is no dif- 
ferent, one mind does not energize upon the other mind to 
move it a certain way. Thus we find that mind in its 
activities is not an exception, but, like all the other forces, 
the acts of mind are never caused by agents external to 
itself, no energy is exerted upon it, nor imparted to it, but 
in all its acts and doings it uses only its own inherent 
energy. Whatever there is in what is called insensible 
influence, mind may directly act upon mind. 

In reference to some of the internal workings of mind 
there appears to be a direct acting of mind upon mind. 
Whatever may be our opinions of the relation of the sub- 
jective modes, or faculties of mind, to the whole mind in 



unity, we cannot explain the operations of mind without 
speaking of them as distinct actors. One faculty acts upon 
another faculty. This is so in fact, and so all writers upon 
psychology are compelled by the fact to explain ihe oper- 
ations of the mind. Those faculties which are called pro- 
pensions, or propensities, act upon the will; they exert 
energy to push the person out in the performance of cer- 
tain acts; and thewnll acts upon the passions; and different 
passions antagonize each other, and strive for the mastery. 
This we may say is one part of mind acting upon another 
part of mind, as we say the hand takes hold of the foot, or 
we may say it is mind acting upon mind. Whatever 
opinions we may have upon this point, or however we may 
express them, we cannot describe the processes which take 
place in our minds without saying that one faculty acts 
upon another. But only a part of the faculties — the pro- 
pensions and will — exert. energy upon the other faculties. 
The intellectual faculties do not energize upon the other 
.faculties to cause them to act. This is an important fact 
to be noticed and remembered, the intellectual faculties do 
not energize upon the other faculties. Here is a process 
of internal working of which we find no parallel among 
the inorganic forces. If a passion does energize upon the 
will to move it, and through it to move the person in a 
certain direction, here is the true causal relation, — one 
mode of mind may act upon another mode of mind, and 
cause it to act, or to determine the direction of its activity. 
We now proceed to consider the bearing of the foregoing 
facts and principles upon the question of human freedom. 
We have found that the acts of mind are never caused by 
external agencies. Then it cannot be asserted that the 
acts of mind are effects of objective things and therefore 
man is not free. To this assertion we reply, the acts of 
mind are never caused by external things or influences. 
But this fact does not prove the freedom of the will. An 



act may not be caused, and j^et be a necessar>^ act. All 
the sense perceptions, though not caused, are necessary 
acts. If the hand touches a body, we cannot wall not to 
perceive it. If the image of a body enters the eye and 
strikes upon the retina, we cannot will not to see it. If a 
sound enters the ear, we must hear it. If a substance 
possessing properties perceptible by the sense of taste be 
placed in the mouth, we must taste it, we must perceive 
those properties. We all understand this in practical life, 
and know that if w^e would not see an object, we must 
shut our eyes, or look some other way; if we would not 
taste a substance, we must keep it out of our mouths; if 
we would not hear a sound, we must shut it away from 
our ears, or go away from it. Thus the acts of mind in 
sense perception are not caused, yet they are necessary', 
and here is no freedom. 

Again: When certain properties enter the mind, if the 
man gives attention to them, he must know of their pres- 
ence, and, although they are only conditions of the action 
of mind in a certain passion, yet that passion may neces- 
sarily arise; if the properties are frightening, fear may 
necessarily arise; if they are provoking, anger may neces- 
sarily arise. In the presence of the condition, the action 
of the mind in the corresponding passion may necessarily 
follow. Thus it appears that in all the receptive processes 
of mind, on the presentation of the condition, the mind 
necessarily acts; and freedom is not found here. 

All the freedom man has in this department of mental 
activity rests in his power to control and direct his atten- 
tion. If a man does not wish to see an object, he can 
turn and look another way; if he does wish to see it, he 
can turn his open eyes toward it. If he does not wish to 
taste a substance, he can keep it out of his mouth; if he 
does wish to taste it, he can put it in his mouth. If a 
man wishes to believe a certain doctrine, he can place be- 



fore his mind the conditions of that belief; if he does not 
wish to believe it, he can turn his attention away from the 
conditions of that belief, and fix his mind upon the con- 
ditions of the opposite belief. A man's power over his 
attention enables him to see what he wishes to see, and to 
turn away from or shut his eyes to what he does not wish 
to see, intellectually, as well as physically. Hence man- 
kind are responsible for their beliefs, — their beliefs are to 
a large extent such as they choose, and voluntarily de- 
termine. The conditions which are before the minds of 
men are to a very large extent such as they themselves 
choose, with power to choose the opposite. A man can 
thus occasion the activity of such of his faculties as he 
wishes to have active, voluntarily raise in his mind a pas- 
sion, or increase its intensity, by giving attention to its 
conditions; or he can quench it by turning his attention to 
other objects, and fixing his mind upon other subjects. 
Thus men may, to a large extent, mold tjieir own char- 
acters, determine their own beliefs, and award their owa 

Among the in working activities of mind we find other 
conditions of freedom. I admitted that when certain prop- 
erties enter the mind through the senses, the correspond- 
ing passion unavoidably arises into activity. But in this 
case we know that we have some power to check and sub- 
due the passion, and stop that emotional activity which 
unavoidably arose. We have power to do this to some 
extent by turning away from the conditions in the pres- 
ence of which it arose, and thinking of something else; 
but that is not what I here mean. We all know that if 
anger has arisen in us, if the passion is not too strong, we 
have power to avoid the physical acts that would natural- 
ly follow, and, by an internal mental effort, in a little time 
to diminish the intensity of the passion, and perhaps at 
last entirely subdue it. If the passion is too greatly ex- 



cited, we lose this power, and are swept helplessly along 
by the passion, and have for the time being lost our free- 
dom. The contrast between these two cases shows that in 
the former case we have freedom in the power to govern 
and subdue the passion. 

In the case of an excited propension which desires some 
object, it importunes, pushes, exerts energy upon, the in- 
tellectual faculties to cause them to devise plans and means 
for obtaining that object. It also energizes upon the wilt 
to cause it to act to execute those plans. Here is the 
proper causal relation — one faculty exerts energy upon 
another to cause it to act. But do the intellecual faculties 
always obey this pushing impulse ? We know that we 
have often felt the impulse of a desire pushing the intel- 
lectual faculties to plan and the will to execute, and yet 
they have refused to obey the impulse, and have acted 
contrary to it. But, it may be said, if they resist the im- 
pulse, they have some reason for resisting it. Yes; but 
that reason may not be an impulse, a mover, a cause. We 
must keep in our minds the distinction between a reason 
for action and a mover to action. A decision made in obe- 
dience to a reason for action in opposition to a motive to 
action, shows the power of mind to control its own acts in 
opposition to a cause or mover. The judgment decides 
that it would not be best to obey the impulse, and the 
man acts according to that judgment in opposition to the 
impulse. That judgment is not a cause or mover. The 
impulse exerts a causative power upon the will, the intel- 
lectual judgment does not, and to act in favor of the judg- 
ment in opposition to the mover, is an uncaused act, a free 
act. An intellectual conception of a remote advantage or 
disadvantage is not a cause, mover, motive, — it does not 
energize upon the will. That man can act according to 
such an intellectual conception in opposition to an impulse^ 
a mover, a cause, shows that man has freedom, and that it 



is not true that man must act according to the strongest 
motive. The confusion which has existed in regard to 
what constitutes a cause, or motive, has befogged the 
minds of men upon this point. A cause or motive is that 
which energizes upon the will, and nothing else is a mo- 
tive. The arguments against human freedom are based 
upon a misconception of the causal relation. Let it be 
remembered that this formula— cause; energizing; effect 
— expresses the complete causal relation in every possible 
case, and men will talk a good deal less nonsense than 
they do now. Man can act in obedience to an intellectual 
judgment in opposition to all motives, or in favor of a 
weaker and against a stronger motive. Then man is, 
within certain limits, a free and accountable being. 

Thus we find human freedom to rest, among the recep- 
tive processes of mind, in man's power to control and 
direct his attention; among the inworking processes of 
mind, in his power to check and subdue a passion; among 
the outgoing activities of mind, in his power to avoid 
those physical acts which would naturally follow, and in 
his power to act according to an intellectual judgment in 
opposition to an impulse, or motive, mover, cause. 

There is one point more which demands our attention. 
We have adopted the doctrine of the indestructibility of 
substance. But we have also seen that this does not prove 
perpetual identity of being; the substance may continue 
to be, and yet be changed, decomposed, disintegrated, and 
enter into new combinations and associations, and into the 
structure of other beings. We have thought it probable 
that the vegetable and animal forces pass through some 
such transformations, and enter into the composition of 
aew beings. What evidence have we that a like fate does 
not await men ? What differences can we discover be- 
tween man and brute upon which we can base an expec- 


tation that man will continue in conscious identical being 

after death ? 

In answer to this question I present the following con- 
siderations. We have found all along a correspondence 
between the modes of the mind and the objective proper- 
ties and things to which they relate,— the modes of mind 
correspond with their objective relations. Each mode im- 
plies the existence of its object; the intuition which arises 
from it declares the existence of the object. By an exam- 
ination of the subjective modes we can ascertain their cor- 
responding objects. The subjective modes of any living 
being adapt him to, and indicate, his objective relations. 
By an examination of his subjective modes we can ascer- 
tain what his objective relations are. He has in his nature 
all the modes which his objective relations require. He 
has no objective relations to which he is not adapted by 
his subjective modes. If he has no subjective modes 
which relate him to certain objective things, he has no re- 
lation to those things, and they are not for him. 

Now let us look at the subjective modes of brute and 
man, and note their differences, and see what objective 
differences those subjective differences imply. The brute 
has no relations to anything that is not an object of some 
of the modes existing in his nature. He has no impulses, 
no desires, no thoughts, no capabilities which indicate, or 
relate him to, anything more than the physical and tem- 
poral. He has no thoughts of immortality, no desire for 
it, no hopes which reach toward it, and no capability of 
comprehending it. He has no thoughts of eternity, or of 
the infinite, or of virtue, or justice, or mercy; nor of right 
or wrong; nor of worship, or prayer, or trust, or faith; nor 
of a supreme creator and governor; nor of divine provi- 
dence; nor of an unseen and beneficent object of trust; 
nor of a moral government involving responsibility, merit 
and demerit, rewards and penalties according to desert. 



He has modes in his nature which reach toward all things 
to which he is in any wise related; he has no modes reach- 
ing toward any of these; then he has no relations to any 
•of these. 

Man has thoughts of all these. These thoughts are the 
spontaneous outgoings of those indwelling modes in his 
nature which the brute has not. He has a mode in his 
nature which inclines him to worship, which leads him in- 
stinctively to perform acts of worship, which gives him 
thoughts of a Being worthy of worship, which prostrates 
him before that being in adoration and supplication, in 
fear or confidence as he believes his own conduct to be bad 
or good. That mode in his nature which gives him 
thoughts of right and wrong, of ought and ought not, 
causes him to expect enjoyment from right conduct, and 
pain from wrong conduct. By this mode man is related 
to a moral government of rewards and penalties according 
to desert. He has a mode in his nature which gives him 
thoughts of endless being, which awakens in him longings 
for it, and which is alone a sufficient basis for a confident 
hope. These modes relate man to all their objects; to God, 
to a moral government, and to immortality and eternal life. 

Thus the natural proofs of man's immortality are found 
in his intuitions, in the natural and necessary modes of 
action which exist in his mental constitution. While it 
is true that " Life and immortality are brought to light in 
the gospel," and clearly and positively only there, these 
inborn intuitions are sufficient to give man a belief in his 
own immortality, and to prepare him to welcome and em- 
brace the teachings of Revelation, and to awaken in him 
expectations that he will live forever. This is the spon- 
taneous, first beHef in man, and this evidence is a suffi- 
cient basis for his belief as long as he is willing to trust 
in and rest upon his intuitions. When he refuses to re- 
ceive this testimony, turns away from it, and looks for the 



evidence in the objective, he finds everything dying, de- 
caying, ceasing to be, and doubt and darkness overshadow 
him. As man is the only living being on earth of whose 
endless existence we have any proof, if he looks to other 
beings for evidence, he does not find it, and he may con- 
clude that man dies like the beasts. Against such a con- 
clusion the inborn intuitions of human nature utter a loud 
and constant and quenchless protest. These have given 
to all men, in all lands and ages, the spontaneous belief 
in their existence after death; and doubt has arisen only 
when these witnesses have been repudiated, and other 
witnesses sought. If the facts and circumstances seem to 
indicate that the immaterial part of brutes will exist after 
death only as disorganized elements, my intuitions teach 
me that such will not be my fate, but that I shall continue 
to be as a conscious, personal, organic being, in unchanged 
and changeless identity. 

The Use of Intuitions in Understanding Nature. 

We have seen that our intuitions, or mental modes, are' 
the subjective basis of all objective knowledge. The cor- 
respondence between these subjective modes and the ob- 
jects is the condition of knowledge. The intuitions are 
the subjective preparation and adaptation which render 
knowledge possible, and they limit and define all possible 
knowledge. Nothing objective can be directly known that 
has not a corresponding subjective mode. We know not 
how many things, properties, and relations there may be 
in the universe of which we have no knowledge, concern- 
ing which we have no thoughts, and can have none, be- 
cause we have no corresponding subjective modes. How- 
ever many there be, they are to us forever unknowable, 
and we can have no thoughts respecting them. Other 
beings, with other subjective modes, may think of them, 
and perceive and know them; but to us they are as though 
they were not. Everything of which man has ever had 
thoughts, or formed any kind of conceptions, is something 
which has its likeness in the subjective modes, or its like- 
ness to things which have their subjective correspondence. 
Even if it is an imaginary being, it is made up of those 
forms and properties which have their likenesses in the 
modes of the mind, and which are already known. 

For the sake of convenience we may consider the use of 
the intuitions under three objective classes, — things, prop- 
erties, and relations. Man has in his nature an intuition 

SPACE AND time. 


•which corresponds with the objective fact of thing, or sub- 
stance; so that when mind in the sense of touch comes in 
contact with space fiUing existence, it cognizes it as some- 
thing, thing, substance. Every man has such thoughts. 
These thoughts are among the common every day exper- 
iences of all mankind. When called upon to define what 
they thus discover and think of, they may not be able to 
state any fact respecting it which is true of it and of noth- 
ing else. All that I could think to say of it that is not 
true of anything else was. It of itself occupies space; 
hence I define substance as that which of itself occupies 
«pace. However we may define it, when the mind comes 
in contact with that which fills space to the exclusion of 
•other substance, this intuition is verified, it has met its 
object, and the result is knowledge; hence I say that we 
do know substance. But so far the mind only knows that 
it is, that it exists in space and occupies a portion of space. 
What do we know of space and time ? and how do we 
obtain what knowledge we have ? I will not attempt to 
define space and time, for I consider them undefinable. 
We can present many negative statements respecting them: 
They are not substance; they possess no properties by which 
they can be defined; they do nothing to which we can 
point as their work. I know of no positive fact which can 
he stated of them which would be true of them and of 
nothing else. Yet they are in every man's thoughts, and 
they are spoken of and talked about by every human 
being. All attempts to crowd them out of being, to rep- 
resent them as only attributes, or as having only a sub- 
jective existence, shock common sense, and contradict all 
the thoughts of every man respecting them. Here they 
are, then, undefinable, indescribable, and yet as famiUar 
to us as the ground on which we tread. How does man 
know them ? Has that ever been answered ? Probably 
ijome will think, after reading this, that I have not 



answered it. I only need to refer the reader to our many- 
times described process of knowledge — a subjective mode 
or intuition meeting its object. But our knowledge or 
conception of time and space is imperfect and unsatis- 
factory, because the object cannot be fully met, — they have 
no substance, properties, or modes which can enter the 
mind through the senses to meet the intuition, and make 
it to become actual knowledge. Then the mind cannot 
image in itself a formless and boundless thing. Still, the 
intuition of space is partially verified, as I have before 
said, by limited and bounded portions of space, and so far 
we have actual knowledge of it. I have knowledge, a 
clear and definite conception, of the portion of space in- 
closed by the walls of this room. This portion of space 
has form and size, and I can construct a clear image of it 
in my mind. I know that that portion of space is a real 
objective existence, and not a mode of thought or an at- 
tribute of anything. It is a real objective existence, just 
as much as the walls that inclose it. It is the same with 
all other limited and bounded portions of space, of which 
I know the form and dimensions. But I know that the 
walls of this room effect no break in the continuity of 
space; space is where the walls are, as well as this side 
and beyond. Thus the intuition of space, which is of un- 
limited space, becomes knowledge only of limited and 
bounded portions of it. Whatever thoughts we have of 
boundless space, they are the thoughts which arise from 
an intuition alone, thoughts which have not become 
knowledge by meeting their object. In this unverified 
field of the intuition we can examine specimens of the 
thoughts which arise from all the intuitions before they 
meet their objects. Knowledge is verified intuitions, but 
we have thoughts of things arising from our intuitions 
alone, before they are verified, and when it is not possible 
to verify them. 


Another mental mode or intuition corresponds precisely 
with objective time. This intuition cannot be verified by 
a sense discovery of whole time. It is, like the intuition 
of space, partially verified by measured and marked off 
periods of time. We know in consciousness from the in- 
tuition alone of the lapse of time, and we are able to form 
judgments — more or less correct — of the length of time 
that has intervened; and tell whether intervals are longer 
short, equal or unequal, uniform or irregular. We know 
that measured portions of time are more and less. We 
know that the swing of the pendulum occupies time. We 
know an hour, a day, a week, a month, a year. So far 
objective time has become actual knowledge to us; but of 
unlimited time we have only intuitional thoughts, unver- 
ified by objective discovery. We know, through a pro- 
cess which will be hereafter described, that space and time 
are limitless, infinite; but only finite portions of them be- 
come real knowledge to us by verification through the 

There is another subjective mode which has been de- 
nominated individuality. This corresponds with the ob- 
jective fact of individual things. It takes no cognizance 
of relations, but conceives each individual as an unrelated 
thing, with metes and bounds in space. By this intuition 
things are thought of as isolated individuals, without any 
reference to their relations. It is thus that physical ob- 
jects are first cognized. The man has the conception of 
thing on his first discovery of filled space, or substance 
before he has discovered or thought of any of its prop- 
erties or its relations. He knows nothing of it but as a 
thing existing in space. The thing is discovered before 
any of its properties or relations are discovered; the knowl- 
edge of the thing precedes a knowledge of any of its prop- 
erties or relations. When its properties — form, size, color, 
etc., — are discovered, his conception of the thing is not 


formed by an aggregation of these properties, but these are 
added to the already existing conception of thing, and the 
conception now is of thing with this form, this size, and 
so forth. It is not first known by comparing it with some- 
' thing else, but when two things become thus individually 
known, they are compared together. Those philosophers 
who have said, "Knowledge begins with concrete things," 
have spoken the truth; but there is not much concretion, 
for all that is known at first is the bare fact of space filling 
existence. Those philosophers who have said that knowl- 
edge begins with properties, and those who have said that 
if begins with relations, have both been mistaken, I think. 
This intuition ever afterward conceives things as isolated 
individuals. By far the largest part of human concep- 
tions is of things as isolated individuals. In common prac- 
tical life things are thus thought of and spoken of a 
hundred or more times to every one time that their rela- 
tions are thought of or spoken of. Men, animals, trees, 
houses, all physical things, are mainly thought of and 
dealt with by man in practical life as unrelated individuals. 
Comparisons are often instituted, but thousands, millions 
of times every day things are thought of when at the same 
time no thought of any of their relations to other things 
is in the mind. It is strange that so little attention has 
been given to this fact in philosophy, and that the phi- 
losopher's philosophic conceptions of things in their rela- 
tions should be thought to be the only possible concep- 
tions. The major part of human thoughts of things is of 
them as isolated individuals, Umited and bounded in space. 
According to this intuition man conceives things, not 
only limited and bounded in space, but also limited in 
time, with beginnings and endings, isolated from all before 
and after. All events beginning and ending are thought 
of by it without any reference to predecessors or succes- 
sors. The philosophy of Umitless continuity, of which we 



hear so much in these days, is based entirely upon the in- 
tuition of comparison, and ignores entirely the intuition of 
individuality. When a man looks at a house, he notices 
its color, form, dimensions, etc., but he does not think of 
the lumber of which it was constructed, of the trees of the 
forest out of which the lumber was made, and so on; he 
looks at it and thinks of it as an individual, an event, be- 
ginning and now existing in time. Nor does he usually 
refer back to the owner, the builder, the architect. Nor 
does he usually, looking forward, think that it will by and 
by rot, and its carbon uniting with the oxygen of the air 
become an invisible gas, and so on. This is not the way 
that mankind usually think of houses, or anything else. 
Almost all the common conceptions of mankind respecting 
things, are of them as temporal, individual events in time, 
beginning to be, and ceasing to be. These conceptions 
are the work of an intuition in human nature. This in- 
tuition has its objective correspondences in the innumer- 
able things which do begin and end. This intuition sep- 
arates things from their predecessors and their successors, 
from all that went before and all that may come after, and 
thinks of them without thinking of their antecedents and 
sequents, and views things as individuals isolated in time, 
as well as space. In the exercise of this intuition, men 
have no difiiculty whatever in conceiving things as begin- 
ning and ending. Such conceptions have filled the world 
of thought ever since man had a being. The mass of 
mankind are astonished when philosophers come in and 
tell them that it is not possible to begin and end. When 
philosophers, in the exclusive exercise of comparison, run 
wild with unity, they deny the possibility of beginnings 
and endings. The intuition of individuality is just as au- 
thoritative in its sphere as the intuition of comparison. 
They are not contradictor>^ but deal with different things; 
and it is the business of philosophical science to find out 



what things begin and end, and what things are eternal. 

The intuitions are equally necessary to knowledge in the 
department of properties. The mind can directly perceive 
only such properties as have corresponding modes in the 
mind. We may illustrate this by reference to the senses. 
The mind in the sense of taste perceives certain properties, 
and no others; of form, color, etc., the mind can take no 
cognizance through that sense. Through other senses the 
mind can cognize other properties. But we know that 
substances have other properties which cannot be directly 
cognized by any of the senses, such as malleability, duc- 
tility, elasticity, and a multitude of others. Why cannot 
they be directly cognized ? Because the mind has no in- 
herent modes corresponding with them. Why may other 
properties be immediately cognized ? Because the mind 
has inherent modes corresponding with them. 

That the subjective mode must exist in order to percep- 
tion and knowledge is shown by facts in reference to the 
perception of the properties of sounds. The cluck of the 
mother hen is understood by her young the first time they 
hear it. They perceive at once the characteristics of that 
sound which distinguish it from all other sounds. Why 
does not the rabbit understand that call ? Because he has 
no mental mode corresponding with it. Why does the 
chick understand it ? Because he has a mental mode cor- 
responding with it. The call of the mother among all 
species of animals is understood by their own young the 
first time they hear it. There is a subjective preparation 
which enables them to perceive the peculiar properties of 
these sounds, and to cognize them, and to know their 
meaning, the first time they hear them; that is, they have 
in their mental constitutions subjective modes — as we have 
been saying all along — which correspond with these ob- 
jective sounds, which in each species spontaneously 


cognizes the properties in sounds which are peculiar to the 
call of that species. 

The human mother shrieks, and the infant cries. The 
young of all animals cognize instinctively, and on first 
hearing, the alarming and warning properties of sounds 
uttered by their own species, and also the properties of 
sounds expressive of pain, and the properties expressive of 
joy, and of anger, and of love. All these properties of 
sounds are immediately and intuitively known. The ex- 
planation of all this is that there are subjective modes 
which correspond with these objective properties in sounds, 
and when the properties enter the mind and meet the 
modes, those properties are immediately cognized, and 
their meaning known,— the object and the mode meet, 
and the result is knowledge. 

We have already mentioned many properties of physical 
things which are thus cognized. All immediately discov- 
erable physical things, all perceptible properties in physi- 
cal things and in sounds, and all immediately discoverable 
relations among physical things are thus directly known. 
These constitute a vast fund of immediate or intuitive 
knowledge. This is the first process of knowledge, and 
the knowledge thus obtained may be called primary 
knowledge. But besides these there are some material 
substances and many properties which cannot be thus im- 
mediately known. The molecules of the permanent gases 
and vapors are so mobile that we cannot immediately dis- 
cover them by the sense of touch as substances occupying 
space. Some of them possess properties which are directly 
discoverable by the senses of smell and taste. Our knowl- 
edge of those which are not thus known is obtained through 
indirect and mediate processes. I need not here explain 
the processes by which we come to know gases and vapors, 
and to distinguish one from another; but I do say that in 
all these processes the intuitions are employed, and with- 






out them none of this knowledge is possible, and in all 
these cases the knowledge is completed by comparing and 
classifying them with things known immediately. Thus^ 
by confining a portion of gas or vapor, we find that it does 
occupy space to the exclusion of other matter; and that it 
has weight, and when the moving air comes against us, 
we discover that it has momentum, and know thereby that 
it has inertia. Thus we discover in them those properties 
which distinguish matter, and we classify them with mat- 
ter, and say we have a knowledge of them. Thus of 
things which cannot be immediately cognized by the 
senses, but which we know by other means to exist, our 
conceptions become knowledge by classifying them with 
things already immediately known. 

Many properties cannot be immediately known, because 
they have no corresponding subjective modes. A man 
strikes with a hammer upon a piece of glass, and he sees 
it break in pieces. Thus he discovers a property of glass, 
and he names that property brittleness. He heats a piece 
of iron, and pounds it with a hammer, and finds that he 
can shape it without breaking it in pieces. He thus dis- 
covers a property of iron, and he names that property 
malleability. Now, by calling these properties he classi- 
fies them with properties which are known immediately, 
or by the first process of knowledge. These properties 
are not known by their agreement with a subjective mode, 
but by their Hkeness to things which are thus known. 
Such is the nature of mind that things are deemed known 
when they are classified with things already known. Thus 
the field of knowledge is greatly enlarged by adding to 
immediate knowledge, things known by their likeness to 
things immediately known. 

The department of relations is the most important phil- 
osophically. It is here that diversity of opinions more 
extensively prevails; and this has been the arena of a 

world of controversy. People generally admit that we 
know properties through the senses, and most admit that 
we know concrete things; but when things can be known 
only through their relations, many deny that they are 
known. In knowing things through their relations, a 
something is discovered by the ordinary process of knowl- 
edge; the mind sees in it a relation to something else, and 
declares that that other thing is, though it may not be 
otherwise discoverable. The mind declares the relation, 
and bridges the chasm between this discovered thing and 
the undiscoverable thing, and declares that that undis- 
coverable thing is. Some say that this declaration of the 
mind is a reliable and infallible guide, and others deny its 
validity. We will consider some of the most important of 

these relations. 

First, the relation between property and substance. We 
discover a property— for example, form— through the 
senses. The mind declares that that property has a rela- 
tion to something else which must really exist, though we 
cannot by any other means know it. I have claimed that 
the postulate, every property declares a substance, is a de- 
rivative absolute truth. Claiming that nothing but sub- 
stance can exist independently in space; as a property can- 
not possibly exist independently in space, if a property is 
found in space, we know that its substance is there. But 
this postulate is generally regarded as only an intuition, 
or necessary mode of mind. Then, if it be assumed that 
substance is not discoverable by the senses, there is no 
evidence that substance is, except this declaration of the 
mind. Discovering a property, this necessary mode of 
mind declares that its substance is. Whether we believe 
that this declaration is an absolute truth, or a necessary 
mode of mind, if we deny that substance is discoverable 
by the senses, we must admit the truthfulness of this dec- 
laration, or else we can have no knowledge of anything: 


but properties, appearances, and all knowledge of things 
is excluded. Even if we may, as I have claimed, imme- 
diately perceive substance, it is only the bare fact of real 
-existence, and all knowledge of varieties in substance, 
and of distinctions between different substances, is impos- 
sible, unless we admit the unquestionable authority of the 
postulate: A set of properties declares the existence of a 
substance, and a different set of properties declares the ex- 
istence of a different substance. The chasm between prop- 
erty and substance is bridged by a necessary mode of mind, 
and if we do not admit that it is thus bridged, if we do 
not step confidently upon this bridge, and say that we 
know what is beyond; there is no real science for us to 
study, no real nature for us to investigate, no real object- 
ive world. I believe that the intuition which declares 
from a propert}^ the existence of a substance is verified by 
the actual discovery of substance through the sense of 
touch; but this is only a verification, and does not render 
any less necessary our reliance upon the validity of the 

Comparison is another subjective mode of which great 
use is made in science and philosophy. Some philoso- 
phers who deny the validity of subjective modes as bases 
of belief, and forbid their use in science, assert, neverthe- 
less, that the process of comparison is necessary to any 
objective knowledge; they say that we can never know 
any thing, till two things are presented to us, and we 
compare them together. We have concluded that we know 
things first as unrelated individuals, and that two things 
cannot be compared till they are both separately known. 
But we all know that our conception of a thing is very 
unsatisfactory till we have compared it with other things, 
and discovered their likenesses and differences. Why are 
our conceptions so much more satisfactory after this pro- 
cess ? Can any reason be given other than that such is 


the nature of mind ? The fact that external things have 
likenesses and differences is no reason why we should have 
clearer and more satisfactory conceptions of them after we 
have discovered those likenesses. It is a natural and nec- 
essary mode of mind, by which we are enabled to perceive 
likenesses and differences, by which we are led to spon- 
taneously look for them and expect them, and which 
renders our knowledge of things satisfactory when we 
have discovered them. Such is the nature of mind that 
we do not feel that a thing is satisfactorily known till we 
discover its relations to other things. 

The uses which have been made of this subjective mode 
in philosophy are so numerous, diverse, and complicated 
that to describe them would be to write a history of phi- 
losophy. But, following our plan, we will only consider 
a few of the leading and most important uses for which it 
has been employed. 

The subjective mode declares the existence among ob- 
jective things of the relation of likeness and difference. 
That is its primary intuition. Through the senses we 
discover this relation among objective things, and the in- 
tuition is verified. We subsequently extend this relation 
to things unknown and undiscoverable, and say they have 
their likenesses and differences to each other and to things 
known. This relation exists, not only among physical 
things, but also among immaterial substances, and they 
have their likenesses and differences. It exists also among 
motions, acts, modes of doing, thoughts, opinions, mental 
processes and modes. The intuition is also applied to time 
and space; and also to the infinite and finite, and to the 
eternal and the temporal. We see how vast its field is, 
and it is not surprising that some have thought it to em- 
brace the whole of philosophy. It is applied to a mode 
which remains essentially the same, with some changes, 
and then the likeness and difference are both within the 



one. It is applied to one material substance which is 
thought to be always the same substance, appearing in a 
variety of forms, and then the likeness and difference are 
both within the one thing. It is also applied to one thing 
which never changes, but is always like itself, when it is 
called identity. It receives other names according to the 
object to which it is applied, and the use to be made of it. 
In descriptive science it is classification; in logic, synthesis 
and generalization; in metaphysics, unity. 

The first use of this subjective mode, as we have already 
seen, is as a means of obtaining knowledge by comparing 
and classifying things discovered and but unperfectly con- 
ceived with things before known. The discovery of the 
relation of likeness between two things is the first step in 
classification. We all go forth instinctively comparing 
things, and classifying together things that are alike. The 
disposition to do this is an instinctive mode of our minds, 
and by it we obtain a clearer conception of things. So far 
it is a purely instinctive process. Then men do, as a policy 
and plan, group things together in classes for the con- 
venience of science. A reason can be given for this: it is 
the inability of the mind to grasp in a comprehension a 
great multitude of individuals. But this does not at all 
explain why we can get a more satisfactory conception of 
an individual thing by comparing it with other things. 
This can be explained only by saying that such is the 
nature of our minds, or such is an inherent mode of mind. 

We are disposed to enlarge these classes by requiring 
fewer resemblances, and throwing out more and more dif- 
ferences, and thus to group classes into larger and fewer 
classes, and these into still larger and fewer, until at last 
all things are gathered into one, which is all likeness, 
with no difference, — that is, unity, identity. This in 
philosophy, is often called the ''tendency to unity." If 
it is a tendency it is a tendency of something; of what, if 


tiot of the mind ? It is a peculiarity of mind, a mode of 
mind. The primary intuition of comparison is likeness 
and difference. But this we see is dual, there are two: 
likeness is; unlikeness is. Each of these is a declaration 
made by a subjective mode; each is an intuition. The 
intuition of likeness, as far as it finds its external 
things, finds unity there— they are so far one. It declares 
of the existence of unity, and, followed out to its ultimate, 
it terminates in absolute unity, without any differences. 
The intuition of unlikeness declares of the existence of 
diversity; and, carried out alone, without regard to its 
counter intuition, tends to disintegration and separation, 
and, fixing the mind upon the dissimilarities of things, 
leads us to view all things as unlike, and, if carried out to 
its ultimate, would exclude all likeness and unity. On 
the other hand, the intuition of likeness directs attention 
to Ukenesses, leads the mind to these, and away from dif- 
ferences, to ultimate unity. Now, both of these intuitions 
exist in the mind, and the objects of both exist in nature, 
and both must be used to obtain a correct knowledge of 
nature; and we must ascertain by observation where like- 
ness is, and where unlikeness. 

But we see, both in our consciousness, by watching the 
operations of our own minds, and in the prevailing cur- 
rents in the history of philosophy, that, while both intui- 
tions exist in the mind, the intuition of likeness is far more 
dominant and controlling in human thought than the in- 
tuition of unlikeness. The law of diversity occupies but 
a small space in philosophy; while the law of unity fills 
volumes, and gives form to almost' all science and philos- 
ophy. The mind turns instinctively away from diversity, 
and has a strong preference for unity. Man experiences 
little satisfaction in disintegration, he does really enjoy uni- 
fication. This is in him a constant controlling tendency. 
If he discover a thing, he wants to know its likenesses to 



other things; he does not care so much about its unlike- 
nesses ; he throws them out ; he does not notice them, 
he does not wish to notice them; he designedly and in- 
stinctively turns his attention from them. Thus we see 
how much stronger is our love for likeness than our love 
for unlikeness, how much more it is a controlling and 
regulating principle in the mind. Now, it is this prefer- 
ence for likeness, this tendency of human thought toward 
unity, this disposition to turn away from unlikeness, to 
shut out of notice and out of thought diversity, it is this 
instinctive mode in the operation of mind, which con- 
stitutes the basis of the intuition of unity. The predom- 
inance of our love of likeness over our love for unlike- 
ness, leads us to seek for likeness without unlikeness, for 
unity without diversity, and declares that this object of 
our desire does actually exist. The operation of these 
two intuitions in the mind, one so much stronger than the 
other, constantly leads the mind toward unity, and ulti- 
mately to pure unity without difference or diversity. 

All philosophers have admitted the existence of this ten- 
dency to unity, and this intuition of unity. Even those 
philosophers who forbid the use of intuitions, while stout- 
ly denying the validity of intuitions as guides, and per- 
emptorily forbidding their use in philosophy, do them- 
selves, nevertheless, yield an almost slavish obedience to 
this. Differences of opinion arise in reference to it when 
we come to consider how to use the intuition of unity, to 
what it should be applied, and what the unity is to which 
it points. Nothing is more prominently characteristic of 
modern physical philosophy than the abundant use of this 
intuition; but in most cases it is a misuse. It is used, not 
merely to classify things together, leaving out of mind 
admitted differences, but to obliterate differences, and run 
all things together over all lines of distinction. Things 
are not classified on the ground of resemblances, and 



traced to one in their origin; but they are regarded as one 
in substance. Motion and force are one; all forms of 
energy are one; all forces are one; force and matter are 
one; matter and mind are one; all kinds of matter are one,-; 
all things are one; and the one physical universe includes 
the all. All things are one substance; hence this uni- 
versal philosophy of transmutation. 

Notwithstanding its abuses, the intuition of unity is of 
great importance in philosophy. I will present some ex- 
amples of what I consider its legitimate use; first, in the 
formation of a generalization. Physicists make unre- 
stricted use of generalizations, while sternly repudiating 
intuitions, or subjective modes as guides. Let us notice 
the process by which a generalization is formed. A num- 
ber of things are examined and are found to be alike in 
some respect. These facts constitute a basis for a gener- 
alization. We conclude that all things of this class are 
like those which we have examined,— we extend the fact 
or principle which we have found true in these examined 
cases unlimitedly to all cases. Why do we do this ? The 
basis of facts is limited; the generalization is unlimited. 
The facts themselves can give us no information beyond 
their own limits. Upon what does that portion of the 
generalization which extends beyond the limits of the 
basal facts rest? We believe that those undiscovered 
things are in this respect like the discovered things; what 
is the basis of this belief? That belief has no foundation 
but our confidence in the intuition of unity. That portion 
of the generalization which extends beyond the limits of 
the observed facts rests upon a purely mental foundation. 
The intuition of unity extends this likeness to all of that 
kind of things. Without this intuition no generalization 
would be or could be made,— the principle could never be 
extended beyond the limits of the observed facts. It seems 



unreasonable to deny all reliable authority to intuitions, 
while placing such unlimited confidence in this. 

We will now consider some special generalizations: first, 
our belief in what is called the uniform course of nature. 
The intuition of unity applies to modes, as well as to 
things. When it is applied to two or more things or 
modes, it means their likeness to each other; when applied 
to one mode or thing, it means its continued likeness to 
itself When we have seen things move after a certain 
manner for a considerable length of time, we expect that 
they will continue to move after that manner. If the 
motions be in a series, or successional round of changes, 
we expect that that successional round will continue as it 
has been. On what basis does this expectation rest ? We 
believe that the course of nature will be essentially the 
same next year that it has been this year; on what evi- 
dence is that belief founded ? Why do we believe that 
winter will pass awa3^ and spring come, and flowers bloom, 
and that summer with its accessories, and autumn with its 
burdens of freight will follow ? Men will answer. Because 
it has uniformly so been in the past. But the past can 
give us no evidence of what the future is to be, unless we 
assume that the future will be like the past; and it is the 
ground of that assumption that we are inquiring after. 
This belief rests wholly and only upon our confidence in 
the intuition of unity. The intuition of unity declares 
that what has been for a considerable length of time in 
the past will continue to be the same in the future; and 
men go forth instinctively so thinking, in confident ex- 
pectation, without a doubt or distrust, on the platform 
projected by this intuition, entering the unknown future. 
They do not often stop to ask themselves the grounds of 
this confidence, or why they so think; and none are more 
confident than those who deny the authority of intuitions. 
If the series has already continued long, our expectation 


is more certain; a great number of facts strengthens any 

The generalization which has been denominated the law 
of continuity demands our attention. This law asserts 
that the quantity of being is unchangeable. It may 
undergo any number of mutations in form, but the quan- 
tity remains forever the same. I understand this to be a 
generalization based upon observed facts. Soqie have 
endeavored to give it other foundations. Some base this 
law upon our inability to conceive of a beginning or end- 
ing of being. This class of philosophers base all fundamen- 
tal postulates upon human impotence; andif philosophy has 
no better foundation than our ignorance and weakness, it 
is not worth our time talking and writing about it. 

Others base the law of continuity upon what is supposed 
to be an absolute truth: ''Nothing can never become 
something, and something can never become nothing." 
If this is understood to mean that nothing can never make 
itself to be something, so far it is based upon a derivative 
absolute truth. Nothing can never make any thing of 
itself, nor of any thing else, can never be a maker or doer; 
for that which has no existence cannot do; doing without 
being is a contradiction. That something can never make 
itself to become nothing, is probably true, if by thing is 
meant substance; for to suppose that it could annihilate 
itself would be contrary to a pretty well established gen- 
eralization, viz.: that substance is to all finite power 
indestructible. But this is not the common understanding 
of the postulate. Men who quote it in evidence generally 
mean by it that no power, not even infinite power, can 
make something to be when nothing was before, can begin 
being, or create any thing without using previously exist- 
ing material. In this sense the postulate is neither an 
absolute truth, nor a well founded generalization. It is 
not an absolute truth, for there is nothing in the nature of 



things which thus limits Omnipotence. Creating some- 
thing where there was nothing involves no contradiction, 
nor does it violate the law of identity, nor contradict any 
other absolute truth; and we cannot so fathom the nature 
of the Infinite as to know what He can do or not do. 
The only limits upon divine power which we are author- 
ized to make is the law of contradictions— He cannot lie, 
or act contrary to His own nature and laws. Creating 
worlds when no worlds had previously existed, without 
using any previously existing substance out of which to 
make them, is not included in this limitation. 

It is not a well founded generahzation. We can make 
no generalization of what the infinite can do or not do, 
except from what He has done. The facts upon which 
our generalization must be based are these: Matter is, 
the worlds are; we know they could not have brought 
themselves into being; we have reasons for concluding 
that they could not have eternally been; then we conclude 
that He created them. Any generalization founded upon 
these facts must be that He can increase the quantity of 
being. Nor is there any reason why we must suppose 
that He made the worlds by transforming portions of His 
own substance. There is nothing whatever to forbid our 
believing that He created the universe, without using any 
previously existing substance to make it of. 

The law of continuity, so far as it is an expression of 
truth, is a generalization, and nothing more. It is formed 
as all other generalizations are. The facts which con- 
stituted its base when it was first made, long before the 
indestructibility of matter was experimentally proven, 
were the phenomena which are the objects of common 
every day observation. Men saw matter constantly 
changed in form, but unchanged in quantity— soil became 
living vegetables, and vegetables returned to soil; sub- 
stances were chemically changed to other substances, and 


might be restored again, and a multitude of similar facts. 
From these facts men made the generalization that matter 
might be transmuted into a multitude of forms, and yet 
its quantity remain the same. The facts alone, of course, 
could teach nothing beyond their own limits, but the 
intuition of unity extended what appeared to be true in 
many cases to all cases, and that generalization has been 
in later times called the law of continuity. When this 
generalization was formed and became prevalent, then 
commenced the age of alchemy, and men ran wild in 
attempts to transmute valueless substances into things of 
value. But all these attempts failed; and the world has 
ever since had a broad smile on its face over these labor- 
ious and learned follies. But in this age the generaliza- 
tion has been revived, and proclaimed with a great flourish 
of authority, and those laborious and learned follies are 
being again repeated. 

Now, after a full examination of the question, to what 
extent is the law of continuity true ? In the first place, 
facts alone can settle this question; no absolute truth nor 
intuition settles it. Facts seem to show that substance is 
to all finite power indestructible, and unchangeable in 
quantity. Facts also show that no elementary substance, 
material or immaterial, can be by any finite power trans- 
formed into any other substance. The material elements 
may diversely combine, different elements together, and 
the same elements in different proportions, and thus result 
in the production of a great variety of compound sub- 
stances. This is all there is left of the law of continuity. 
It is not a universal generalization, it is applicable only to 
substance; and as far as transmutation is concerned it is 
never true of substance. Facts of change are very numer- 
ous in this world; and from these facts men have often 
made the generalization, all things change. But it 
seems there are exceptions, the elementary substances 



remain perpetually unchanged; and these things which 
are excluded from the last part of the law, are the only- 
things included in the first part of it. 

Another very extensive class of facts found in nature is 
included under the terms motion and change, — changes in 
form, structure, correlation, and position. These are all 
results of energizing; they are all manifestations of power. 
Comparison deals with these as with all other facts. It 
classifies them, Hke with like, and we conclude that all 
like ones, or each class, are the work of the same doer, 
and we name the doer in each class, and thus we have 
electricity, heat, gravity, and so forth. Then, urged by 
the intuition of unity, men contrive some way to unify 
these several doers. Some seek to unify them in one way, 
and others in another; but all seek to unify them. Some 
say that they are all one in that they are energy, they are 
only different forms of one energy. These mistake ener- 
gizing for energy; and have energy an entit}^ when it is 
only a property. Others unify them under the name force; 
all these forces are one force, and these different forces are 
convertible one into another. This is found to be a false 
mode of unification, for they are not convertible, one of 
them is never transformed into another. Others say they 
are all one, and that one is the divine being. 

These various endeavors to unify them show the strength 
of the intuition of unity, and how obedient men are to its 
impulse; none more so than those who repudiate intuitions 
as guides. 

We have concluded that the doers in nature are a number 
of separate agents which cannot be substantially merged 
into each other, or unified. We unite the several indi- 
vidual doers into classes for the convenience of science, 
and have the inorganic forces, the vegetable forces, the 
animal forces, and the intellectual forces of man. But 
they cannot be in any manner unified, except by tracing 


them all to one in their origin, and regarding them as 
products of the one Creator. 

Whatever mode of unification we adopt, the unity we 
reach must contain all the power and attributes which are 
found in all the individuals. If we merge them all into 
one, that one must contain a measure of power equal to 
the sum of all eo-existing powers in the universe, and also 
all the modes and qualities which are found in all the 
individual powers. If we find sensation, feeling, intelli- 
gence, and will among the individuals, these must exist 
in the aggregated one; if that one is the original, it must 
have contained all; for nothing can come out of a thing 
that is not in it. Really, then, the one that we reach as 
the original, by whatever process we reach it, must be all 
powerful and intelligent. 

We mention another class of things which comparison 
handles in the same way : the multitude of substances. 
These are in thought unified in the general term substance. 
Then we see the efforts of men, in obedience to the intui- 
tion of unity, to unify them substantially, in Spinoza's 
one sole substance, and in the attempt of many scientists 
to show that all material substances are only different forms 
of one element, and in the one sole substance of Sir Wm. 
Thompson, and in the opinion that all material substances 
are but modes, or energizings of the divine substance. 
While these instances are evidences of the power of this 
intuition in human thought, I think they are all a misuse 
and misapplication of the intuition. The unity of all 
substances is to be found only in their one original, the 
one out of which they all came. Thus this intuition was 
designed to, and thus its legitimate use does, lead us, in 
all channels of thought, back to the One from whom all 
things came, the sole primary self-existent. 

We must now consider for a few minutes how the intui- 
tion of unity handles time and space. We know time by 






the intuition of time partially verified by limited and 
measured periods of time. This would limit our real 
knowledge of it to those limited periods. Our intuition 
may be of infinite time, but our real knowledge is of only 
finite time. But we discover that the means by which 
limited periods of time are measured effect no break in the 
continuity of time. That of which we can discover no 
beginning nor end, and in which we can discover no 
change, the intuition of unity extends beyond the limited 
known, to the illimitable unknown. It is pure unchange- 
ing unity, the same eternally, and it is at once recognized 
as an object of this intuition. We know that we can say, 
time is now and here. We know that any being living in 
any world, anywhere in the universe, can say, time is now 
and here. We know that any being who has lived in the past 
of eternity could say, time is now. We know that any being 
who may live in the future of eternity can say, time is 
now. It is the same changeless unity in all eternity and 
in all space, forever identical with itself. This, then, is 
in so far the unity after which the mind is constantly 
reaching. At all times, and in all places, the same, eternal 
indentity. We have now reached the idea of the infinite. 
The intuition of unity deals the same with space. Our 
actual knowledge is of only limited portions of space; but 
as we can discover no boundaries to it, nor changes in it, 
the intuition of unity extends it beyond the known, to the 
illimitable unknown. We know that we can say, space 
is here. We know that any being, on any world, any- 
where in the universe, in all past time, and in all future 
time, can say, space is here. We know that all the suns 
and systems of worlds are in space, and that beyond the 
bounds of all worlds and systems space is. It is in all 
eternity the same unchanged and changeless unity, forever 
identical with itself. Here again we find a unity which 
is in so far that unity after which the mind is constantly 



reaching; and here again we have attained to the idea of 

the infinite. 

Time and space are infinite, each in its own respect, like 
a line of infinite length. But a line of infinite length 
does not interfere with other lines of infinite length, nor 
does infinite empty space interfere with the existence of 
an infinite which fills space, or with one that does not 
occupy space. Time and space are each a pure unity in 
itself; but they are empty and dead unities. The intui- 
tion of unity is not content to stop in many unities, though 
one-line infinites. It can never stop short of the infinite, 
but it must be one all inclusive infinite. Even time and 
space themselves must be included in the infinite. That 
one need not be without attributes or activities, as time 
and space are; but it must be without differences, unlike- 
ness, one that changes not, the same "yesterday, to-day, 
and forever. ' ' Attributes, activities, thought, intelligence, 
feeling, will, substance, personality, and power are among 
the things included; yet in all He must be infinite, a 
universal, all inclusive, infinite One. Here the intuition 
of unity can rest. Beyond this it finds nothing, and seeks 
for nothing; it folds its wings and rests; it has attained its 
end; it has reached its goal. 

We have included time and space in the one, and yet 
we have represented them as eternal self-existences. The 
One which includes all other things as their originator, 
includes time and space as attributes of His own nature. 
But this idea that time and space are attributes of God, 
must not be so understood — as it sometimes has been— as 
to forbid their real objective existence. That which is an 
attribute of mind may also have an objective existence. 
The intuition of unity is an attribute of the human mind; 
but that fact only renders more certain the objective exist- 
ence of unity. God has to a large extent objectified His 
attributes in the material imi verse; but they have not 




therefore ceased to be attributes. So time and space are 
attributes of God, and yet have an eternal objective exist- 
ence. I have no occasion nor disposition here to enter 
upon a defense of the unconditioned. Still I will say, if 
time and space are attributes of God, He acts according 
to them, acts them out, without restraint; and objective 
time and space exercise no governing authority over Him. 
We have now traced the working of the intuition of 
unity from simple likeness to the infinite, all comprehend- 
ing One. Unity among co-existing things means their 
likeness; as far as they are alike they are one. Unity in 
a single thing means its unchangeableness; it is always 
one and the same thing. Unity among co-existing modes 
means their likeness; as far as they are alike, they are one. 
Unity in a single mode is its perpetual likeness to itself; 
it is always identical with itself That which is always 
and everywhere identical is illimitable, infinite. It is 
impossible by an}^ process to unify existing things; for 
however completely we may classify them together, their 
differences still really exist, we have only placed them out 
of mind, not out of being. The things which compose 
the universe can be really unified only in their origin. 
The intuition urges us onto seek for, and attain to, a unity 
without differences, which is always and everywhere iden- 
tical, and therefore infinite, and which includes all. Such 
a unity is found only in the true and living God, revealed 
to us in His word. 


Use of the Intuition of Causality. 

We considered the causal relation in a former chapter 
and found it to be always expressed by the formula. Cause; 
energizing; effect. Thus dismissing the multitude of other 
significations in which the word cause has been used, and 
limiting it to that which energizes to produce effects, our 
work here is greatly simplified. 

intuition of cause. 


A necessary mode of mind declares that objective things 
-exist in the relation to each other of energizing causes and 
effects, — declares that this relation does exist among 
objective things. Whenever, therefore, one of the related 
objects is discovered, that the relation may be completed 
according to this subjective mode, the other is declared to 
be. The discovered thing is seen by this intuition to be 
:a related thing, and the counter-part of the relation is 
declared to be. We did, in Chapter Third, conclude that 
the postulate, Doing declares a doer, is a derivative abso- 
lute truth; and, since we limit the word cause to doer, 
this is only another way of saying that every change must 
have a cause. Thus we have given to this postulate all 
the certainty of an absolute truth. But it is also an intui- 
tion, and it is as an intuition that we are now dealing 
with it. On the discovery of energizing, the mind de- 
clares that to be one of the factors in this relation,— 
declares that that is a related fact, and that its relative, or 
counterpart, energizer. is. On the discovery of an effect, 
that is cognized as a related thing, one of the factors in 
this relation, and the mind, in order to complete this rela- 
tion according to its own subjective mode, posits the other 
two factors of the relation, and declares that energizing 
and energizer are, or have been. 

In practical life, in the use of this relation, the process 
is usually from cause to effect. We are all the time trying 
to accomplish some purposes. We think what steps, what 
processes, what energizings, will accomplish our purposes. 
We know ourselves as causes capable of a great variety of 
energizings, and we think what kinds or modes of energiz- 
ing will secure the end desired, and we make use of such 
as we think adapted to our purpose. We make use of 
natural causes by supplying the conditions of their activ- 
ity, or by supplying the conditions upon which their 
activity will accomplish certain results. Thus the relation 


between the cause and the effect is perceived by the mind 
beforehand, and made use of in the accomplishment of our 
purposes. We go forth acting according to this relation 
as it subjectively exists in our minds, as though it did 
exist objectively, with the full confidence that objective 
things are thus related to each other. 

In philosophy the process is usually from effect to cause. 
We see things moving, and we ask, What moves them ?* 
We see changes taking place, and we ask, What effected 
these changes? We see things existing, and we ask, 
What caused them to be ? Causes are generally undis- 
coverable by the senses. In many cases we can know of 
their existence only by their doings. Still, because of 
this necessary mode of our minds, we must think and 
believe that they are. It is sometimes said that all causes 
are undiscoverable through the senses. This statement 
is too general; there are exceptions. Electricity is discov- 
erable through three of our senses, in the same sense that 
material things are discoverable through their properties. 
We see the flash of the spark; we hear the sound that it 
makes; we feel it as it passes through us. Heat is sensibly 
discoverable. Do we not perceive the heat as sensibly as 
we do the stove from which it comes ? and are we not as 
certain of its existence as we are of the existence of the 
stove ? lyight is discoverable through the sense of sight. 
I^ighl is a visible cause, a visible immaterial substance. 
The other natural causes are known only through their 
doings. But when magnetism lifts a piece of iron from 
the table against the pull of gravity, and moves it upward 
to contact with another piece of iron, we are as certain 
that there is something there which does this as we would 
be if we could see it. When an iron rod hangs suspended 
in the coil of a hollow helix, touching nothing but air, 
and we take hold of the low^r end of it, and pull it down, 
and something resists our pull, and when we let go of it. 



it springs up to its place again, we are as certain that 
there is something which does this, holds and lifts this 
rod, as we would be if we could see and handle it. 

But it may be said that this is only a subjective neces- 
sity,— we must so think, but is it certain that there are 
invisible causes in objective nature, as we suppose ? Our 
opinion that there is a cause based on the discovery of an 
effect, has some objective confirmation. Our subjective 
decision is that every motion, change, phenomenon, has a 
cause. We find from an examination of facts that ten 
different doers are required for the explanation of natural 
inorganic phenomena. We subjectively decide that they 
all are. This subjective decision is verified by the sensible 
discovery of three of them. Standing at a distance and 
looking upon the raging chaos of motion in a burning 
building, we say there is a mover, cause, there. Ap- 
proaching the fire, we begin to feel the warmth and then 
the burning; now we have sensibly discovered the invis- 
ible cause. Thus three of the ten inorganic causes are 
sensibly discovered. 

Again, we see that things move according to a certain 
uniform, invariable mode, in the midst of an endless 
diversity of physical circumstances. That mode must be 
a mode of something, a property of something. It can- 
not be a property of the diverse physical circumstances; 
it is a property of something. No property without a 
substance. Then by the relation of property to substance, 
which no one can deny without denying our knowledge 
of matter, we know that there is something there of which 
this mode is a property. Again, the changes which we 
see going on in nature are doings, and the law of contra- 
dictions declares that there must be existence in the doer, 
that these doers must exist. That which is not cannot do. 
But the most satisfactory verification of this intuition is 
our own experience. We know ourselves as causes of 




objective motions and changes. We know what we do 
when we effect these motions and changes. We look 
upon these motions and changes which we produce as 
effects. We look out in nature and see other motions and 
changes that we do not produce; they, like the motions 
and changes which we produce, are effects; and we very 
naturally conclude that something produces them, just as 
we produce like effects. Then things come against us, 
and do to us as we do to other things when we move them. 
Thus we know that there are in the objective, things 
which energize upon us, which energize, which possess 
the property of energy. We have ascertained that matter 
does not energize, does not possess the property of energy. 
We know that all doers must be substance. Nothing but 
substance can possess the property of energy, or any other 
propert3\ Thus our belief in the existence of invisible 
doers in objective nature does not rest wholly upon the 
intuition of cause, but that intuition is amply verified and 
confirmed by other testimony. 

If we do not rely upon this verified intuition, we can 
know nothing of energizing, or dynamic energy, in 
objective nature. How do men know that there is any 
such thing as dynamic energy in objective nature ? We 
see bodies moving; we see one body moving against 
another body, and see that begin to move; but that there 
is any energizing, or dynamic energy involved in the phe- 
nomenon, we can never know through our senses. Scien- 
tists talk as though the fact of dynamic energy in natural 
phenomena admitted of no doubt; yet they know abso- 
lutely nothing of it, and can never know anything of it 
through the senses. They see motions and changes; these 
are effects; and from these they declare the existence of 
dynamic energy; that is. from effects they declare a cause. 
Here they use the intuition of causality with the most 
unlimited confidence, and have not the least doubt of the 


existence of that which it declares to be. Those who 
place such unquestioning confidence in this intuition, 
when it declares the existence of dynamic energy, certainly 
cannot doubt its testimony when it declares the existence 
of invisible doers. 

Many seem to think that when they have reached 
dynamic energy, they have reached a cause. We have 
seen that dynamic energy is only the energizing of some 
cause; they have reached only energizing. No one would 
have been at all satisfied with the current dynamic philos- 
ophy but for the illusion— not to say deception— of treating 
energizing as a doer, substance, cause. The same voice 
which declares the existence of energizing — dynamic 
energy — declares the existence of the energizer. If we 
believe the vpice when it tells of energizing, we must 
believe it when it tells of the energizer. Thus by this 
intuition we are made acquainted with invisible doers in 
nature. We think it is not merely onadoer, because there 
are several uniform modes of doing, — the modes run 
uniformly on certain lines, but there are several lines. 
We say of matter, another set of properties indicates 
another substance. So we say, another set of doings indi- 
cates another doer. Then some of these doers exist only 
within the limits of their bodies; while others extend 
indefinitely beyond. Some are perceptible through the 
senses; and others are not. These differences indicate 
different things. Thus men have concluded that there 
are at least ten doers operating in inorganic nature. 

But the use of this intuition is not limited to the dis- 
covery of invisible causes in nature. A law indicates the 
existence of a law-maker. Government indicates the 
existence of a governor. A plan indicates the existence 
of a planner. Design indicates the existence of a designer. 
Intelligent action indicates the existence of an intelligent 
actor. Looking at either of these, we see that its nature 



implies the existence of its cause. These are not merely 
linguistic relations; but language has been thus con- 
structed in accordance with this necessary mode of mind, 
and thus conformed to facts. Words are expressions of 
thoughts; and words are related as thoughts are related; 
and thoughts are related as things are related. The real 
objective corresponds with the intuitive subjective. The 
objective fact of likeness and difference corresponds pre- 
cisely with the subjective mode of comparison. So the 
objective relation of cause and effect corresponds precisely 
with the subjective mode which cognizes it. 

There are many other applications of this intuition. 
When we look upon anything, and see that it is a con- 
structed thing, see that its parts are related to each other 
according to some thought, or according to some plan, 
or as if designed to secure some end, which plan we can 
read in its structure, and which end is suggested to us by 
its formation, we say it is a made thing, and had a maker. 
When we look upon anything and see that it is a depend- 
ent thing; we say there is something upon which it depends. 
Now, everything which is finite and limited is a depend- 
ent thing; it is related to other finite things, and is more 
or less affected by them, and dependent upon them — I do 
not say for its existence, but for what it is and does. It 
may have existence entirely independent of other finite 
things; it may have properties and modes of its own 
entirely independent of other finite things; and yet finite 
things condition it, and more or less shape its being and 
doing. The dependence of finite things upon each other, 
the relations which exist among finite things, show that 
the universe is a made thing; and the perfect and universal 
adaptation of thing to thing throughout the universe, 
shows it all to be the work of one maker. 

In the foregoing paragraph we have given some reasons 
why, in viewing the universe, we look upon i I as an effect. 


But we need not present any such reasons. In the natural 
and spontaneous action of the human mind, this intuition 
looks upon every finite thing as an effect, and asks for its 
cause, or posits before it a cause. We need to know no 
other fact about a thing but that it is finite, and this intui- 
tion asserts that it had a cause. If we can see its bound- 
aries, or if we know that it has limits, our minds spon- 
taneously judge it to be an effect, and look for its cause. 
Or if we have any reason whatever for thinking that it 
began to be, we posit its cause before it. Go back, back, 
from one stage of being to another, no matter through 
how many aeons of duration, if we come to a beginning of 
being, we declare its cause before it,~something brought 
it into being. It is only when we reach the illimitable 
and infinite that the mind ceases to demand a cause. In 
the self-existent and eternal it rests satisfied; as an intui- 
tion it has reached its ultimate. It has no disposition to 
^o any farther, or to ask anything more; it instinctively 
stops. When we reason about it, we see how vain would 
be its inquiry if it was disposed to go further. What can 
be before the eternal to cause it to be? What can be out- 
side of the illimitable to cause it to be ? There is no 
before eternity, nor outside of the illimitable. 

We see the universe made up of two classes of sub- 
stances, the material and the immaterial. Each class is 
made up of several. The individuals of one kind are 
passive and handled. The individuals of the other class 
are active doers. These doers are dependent and finite 
things. Then the intuition of causality declares them to 
be effects, created things. The intuition of unity, hand- 
ling these several doers, unifies them, not by running one 
into another, but by tracing them to the One that caused 
them to be. Causality declares that they had a cause, 
and unity unifies them in their cause. Thus both these 

! 1 



intuitions declare the existence of the one who created the 
agents operating in nature. 

The material substances are also dependent and finite 
things. Hence the intuition of causality declares them to 
be created things, effects, and places before them their 
cause. They are several. The intuition of unity unifies 
them, not by the process of conversion nor transmutation, 
but by tracing them all to the One out of whom they came. 
Both of these classes of things are substance. Have we 
not generalized that substance is unchangeable in quality ? 
Yes; by any finite power; but we cannot thus limit the 
power of the Infinite. When we go back to the bounds 
of the finite, we step off, not into the "unknown," but 
into the Infinite. The intuition of unity gathers all things 
into one at the last, and obliterates all differences and 
distinctions in the one Infinite. Then going back through 
all the changes of worlds and systems of worlds till we 
reach the formless chaos of matter, and stand, amid dark- 
ness and silence, on the periphery of the substance of 
unborn worlds, because even this is finite, the intuition of 
causality demands for this a cause, and declares that God 
brought it into being. 

In concluding this chapter, we say that, notwithstand- 
ing scientists deny the validity of intuitions, and forbid 
their use in science, without them there can be no real 
science or philosophy. Without them no philosophy but 
idealism is possible, and, and we must conclude that we 
know nothing of objective nature, not even that there is 
any objective nature to study. But scientists do constantly 
use them themselves, and receive them as proof when 
they further their purpose, and forbid their use only when 
they seem to prove what they do not want proven. They 
are not to be blamed for using them, for they could do 
nothing without them; but after admitting their validity 




by using them for their purposes, they have no right to 
forbid any legitimate use of them. 

Availing ourselves of all the means of knowledge within 
our reach, welcoming all light from all sources, the genesis 
of all things finite is traced to the infinite. One God 
created all things. He created all material substances, 
and made each element to be what it is, and to possess 
such properties as it does possess. He created the imma- 
terial substances, and gave to all of them the property of 
energy, and fixed in each such modes of using it as we 
see manifested. He gave to these doers separate and self- 
perpetuating existence, and left them, under His direction, 
to work out His general plans and purposes. Such is the 
natural, obvious, and spontaneous conception of the origin 
of things. Any other conception is reached by a strained 
effort to reach some other, by a distortion or dislocation of 
facts, by a misuse and misapplication of principles, by 
suppressing testimony and excluding witnesses, by de- 
signedly shutting out the light. **Men love darkness 
rather than light; because their deeds are evil." The 
cosmogony of Moses is the cosmogony of rational philos- 
ophy. The conception of a passive physical world oper- 
ated upon by invisible doers, the conception of undistorted 
human consciousness in all ages, is the most rational con- 
clusion; and science, after all its wanderings, will ulti- 
mately return to this first conception of primeval man, but 
with a clearer conception of immaterial substances which 
are not gods nor genii. 



Nature and God. 

Behind our intuitions, behind the doers in nature, out- 
side of all the physical and tangible universe, there is an 
unmarked and boundless ocean for thought to explore. 
By some it is called the Unknown, by some the Absolute 
and Universal Reason, and by some the Infinite God. All 
landmarks and lines of latitude and longitude there must 
be projections from consciousness and from the known 
physical. It is the delight of some persons to explore 
this trackless ocean of metaphysics, and map it out in its 
application to the known. Is it an infinite void, or abso- 
lute and impersonal reason, or an infinite God? Over 
these questions the giants delight to grapple. How came 
a universe to be ? Why are things as they are ? Why do 
natural agents do as they do ? Why are the necessary 
modes of the human mind such as they are ? Back of all 
that is they would find reasons for what is, and back of all 
modes, reasons why they are such modes. Some would 
even go farther back than this and find some one reason, 
some one fundamental principle which is the basis of all 
existence, and which has determined the nature and modes 
of all that has been and that will ever be. One explorer 
after another launches his bark upon this ocean, constructs 
his charts, and brings back to the common world the 
results of his explorations. But most men start with their 
predilections and their wishes, which give direction to 
their research; because of this and because the landmarks 
are so dim, each differs in some respects from all the 


Others. The lines projected from the known are so liable 
to be bent by prejudice and desire, and the lines are so 
indefinite that comparatively little in this realm is so cer- 
tain as to force universal acceptance. These explorations 
are no doubt among the highest and most profound exploits 
of which the human mind is capable, and the indeterm- 
inateness of the results keeps it an ever open ocean in 
which the intellectual voyagers may hope to make dis- 

Mine be a less ambitious undertaking, a humbler task. 
It is very certain that things are as they are, that natural 
workers do as they do, and that all human minds act after 
certain and the same general forms of thought. I have 
not undertaken to find behind these things and modes any 
reasons why they are so except that their Creator saw fit 
thus to create them. As I have already said, for the prop- 
erties of material things, for the modes of the forces, and 
for the intuitions, or necessary modes of the human mind, 
I find no reasons but the will and wisdom of God in adapt- 
ing them to desired ends and contemplated purposes. If 
I step off from the visible into the invisible, I step not into 
the unknown, nor into impersonal reason, but into God. 
I take what I discover as expressions of the divine wisdom 
and will, and, without trying to prove.that there is a God, 
start with the question, Why does man believe in a God ? 
Whether there is an infallible basis of certitude to be found 
in the unfathomed depths, or whether men may still find 
opportunity for doubt, questioning, and demanding proot 
for every antecedent, we know that most of mankind will 
ever believe according to the intimations of their own 
inborn intuitions. Whether such a course is reasonable 
or not, mankind always have taken, and always will take, 
their intuitions as basis of belief. We do not propose to 
go back of them in search for evidence; the willing and 
obedient are satisfied to begin here. 






We have seen that the intuitions of unity and causality 
conduct us to one infinite cause and Creator. But this is 
not tue conception of God which the mass of mankind 
have obtained by natural means. Only the very few have, 
without the aid of revelation, reached the conception of 
absolute unity in God. The intuition of unity has been, 
practically in the minds of men, less a means of the dis* 
covery of God than a confirma.tory testimony of other 
witnesses. The intuition of causality has led the mass of 
mankind to a belief in invisible doers. That is the part 
that this intuition has performed in giving man a knowl- 
edge of the invisible God. The intuitions which have 
given those who have not had the advantages of revela- 
tion a belief in the existence of gods, and finally of God, 
are these; an intuitive religious consciousness consisting of: 
(i.) The intuitive disposition to worship. This makes 
man predisposed and inclined to worship. This as a sub- 
jective mode declares the existence of its object. This, 
first of all, suggests to man the existence of a being to be 
worshiped. This is the basis of all religion, in the en- 
lightened, as well as the savage. 

(2.) Conscience; which in its operations in human nature 
is a perfect model of a moral government, and declares the 
existence of an objective moral government, with a moral 
governor, and man the subject. 

(3.) The instinctive disposition to govern and be gov- 
erned. This is the subjective basis of all government 
among men. It gives to man an instinctive cognition of 
the duties and responsibilities of the governmental rela- 
tion among men; of the rights of duly constituted author- 
ity; of the duty of submission and obedience to such 
authority, of dependence upon the governor; and it origi- 
nates an expectation of guardianship, guidance and care. 
This subjective mode suggests an objective providential 
government in which all men are subjects. The con- 


sciousness that we are subjects, and our feeling of depend- 
ence declare the existence of one to whom we are subject 
and upon whom we depend. 

(4.) That intuition which has been called marvelous- 
ness, the desire for things strange, wonderful, supernatural. 
This leads religionists of all kinds, in all nations and 
ages to expect and demand as a part of their religion the 
mysterious, wonderful, supernatural. 

(5.) That intuition which has been denominated spirit- 
uality. This enables man to form conceptions of spirit 
beings, to believe in the existence of such, declares their 
existence, prepares man to believe in the possible exist- 
ence of human spirits separate from the body, qualifies 
him for communication and intercourse with other spirits 
without the use of physical organs — perhaps to a very 
limited extent with human spirits, embodied and disem- 
bodied — but more especially with the divine Spirit, in 
conscious influence and presence, by which God is known 
in the depths of the soul as by conscious touch, really and 
certainly known in His attributes of love and tenderness 
and care, and in responsive communication, — as real and 
certain as the external tangible world; not believed in but 
known; it makes Him not the unknown, or the inferred, 
or the deduced, but the known. 

The philosopher whose unbelief has shut God out ot 
personal contact with his own nature is poorly prepared 
to say whether there is a God or not, or to say that He is 
unknown. ' ' If any man will do His will, he shall know 
of the doctrine." To the rejector God may be unknown, 
but to the devout child of faith He is the known, not 
through logical processes, not through His manifestations 
in nature, but in the soul's deep communion. "Whom 
the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither 
knoweth Him, but ye know him, for He dwelleth with 
you, and shall be in you.'* 








Sad that some men with the brightest intellects should 
turn away from the evidence they have within them, and 
plunge into the depths of metaphysics or roam the universe, 
as though God was away off beyond the limits of star- 
sprinkled space, and return alone, fatherless, homeless, 
shut up in a cold, void, lightless world, an atom in the 
jaws of fate, measuring a moment in the eternity of dark- 
ness, hoping only to end their solitary existence and cease 
to be, dead to the infinite Love which invests them with 
immortal light and life, and who ambient waits for recog- 
nition and trust. "That they should seek the Lord, if 
haply they might /^^/ after Him, and find Him; though 
He is not far from every one of us; for in Him we live, 
and move, and have our being." 

Besides the foregoing there arises in our experience a 
feeling of helplessness, of conscious inability to know 
and do the right unaided, and a sense of incompatability 
between our hopes and our conscious deserts, a conscious- 
ness of guilt and hopes of mercy. These feelings, com- 
mon to the race, prepare man to gladly welcome the an- 
nouncement made by divine revelation: " God so loved 
the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that who- 
soever belie veth in Him should not perish, but have ever- 
lasting life," 

These intuitions together constitute a religious con- 
sciousness which relates us to a supreme being, governor, 
father, judge, and object of worship. Such a subjective 
consciousness leads man instinctively to believe in the 
existence of its objective relative, and in his extremity to 

cry out unto God. 

The being thus declared was at first very naturally iden- 
tified with the invisible doers declared by the intuition of 
causality to be; and the result was a belief in many gods. 
A few of the profoundest philosophers, grounding faith 
upon these intuitions, and following to the ultimate the 


intuition of unity, have reached the thought of the one 
infinite God. These intuitions make a belief in some in- 
visible god, or gods almost a necessity to man, a necessity 
which nothing but a persistent determination not to admit 
the testimony of the intuitions can obviate; and then the 
forced unbelief can only land the soul in an agony of un- 
rest. As a man who professes to disbelieve the intuition 
of causality will, in all his dealings with nature, act as 
though he did believe it; so does the professed Atheist in 
his unpremeditated and instinctive doings in hours of 
emergency, act as though he did believe in God. What- 
ever be the declared belief, the lost and trembling soul, 
when all else fails, instinctively turns away to the Father 
for rescue. 

On the authority of these intuitions alone we may pre- 
sume upon the existence of God. Then when we find the 
verified intuitions of unity and causality corroborating 
these and adding their testimony, we find it to be a fact 
as well established as almost any scientific generalization. 
The belief in the existence of dynamic energy in the 
objective world has not so strong a foundation as the belief 
in God. The existence of God, then, becomes a fact 
which casts its light upon the mysteries of creation. We 
have thus far proceeded in the light of our senses and 
reason, including absolute truths and necessary processes 
of mind. These have guided us to God, and thus cor- 
roborated those intuitions which immediately declare Him. 
If we should now, firom the standpoint of a divine Creator, 
re-survey nature, we would have no occasion to alter any- 
thing we have said. Indeed, we have all along presumed 
upon His existence; for from such a presumption it is 
scarcely possible to separate the willing seekers after truth. 

Truth is one and never contradictory. If in examining 
one department of nature we arrive at one conclusion, and 
in otu: survey of another department we reach a different 

I * 





conclusion, we may be sure that the testimony is hot con- 
flicting, but that we have misunderstood the voices, or 
misinterpreted the language; and it becomes us to retrace 
our steps, review our observations, and correct our bear- 
ings, till the two meet in harmony. The subjective wit- 
nesses having declared that there is a God, now to say 
that we must study nature as though there was no God, 
to endeavor to explain it all with the supposition that 
there is no God, to so construe the testimony of nature as 
to, if possible, exclude God,— this is a forced effort to try 
to make the witnesses in one department of nature con- 
tradict the witnesses in another department. The sub- 
jective witnesses declare so positively that there is a God, 
that none who receive their testimony doubt it. This is 
the testimony in one department of nature. The question 
now is, not can the testimony of physical nature be so 
construed as to contradict this subjective testimony, but 
does it naturally, and according to its most obvious mean- 
ing agree with it ? 

The subjective witnesses having declared the existence 
of God, he who will not admit this testimony, but pro- 
poses to solve the problem of the universe by objective 
sense discovery only, intentionally disables and mains 
himself— for what purpose? After having been taught 
by our intuitions and our reason that there is a God, if we 
go into the objective world, and by shutting our eyes to 
some facts, distorting others, and bringing still others into 
unnatural classifications, by refusing to look beyond ap- 
pearances for substance and cause, by forbidding the use 
of subjective principles, and yet surreptitiously using such 
as will further our purpose, by suppressing testimony and 
excluding witnesses, — if by such means we can force our- 
selves into a certain state of opinion, what have we gained? 
and what motive can prompt such a course but a desire to 
get rid of the belief in God ? I^t not him who thus forces 


his own unbelief say that man is not responsible for his 

But such an effort to prove that there is no God disqual- 
ifies men for any correct understanding of nature, and 
renders unnatural and false any system of science they 
may construct. If there is a God who created and who 
governs the universe, any system of nature which ignores 
this fact, which explains and adjusts and relates things 
so as to exclude all intimations of Him, must be erron- 
eous and false science. If He created, any theory which 
excludes His agency in creation, must be false. If He 
adjusted things, any theory which supposes self- adjust- 
ment, must be false. If He created things as distinct 
substances and distinct beings, any theory which supposes 
a transformation of one thing into another, must be false. 
Thus it matters not what phenomena of nature we un- 
dertake to explain, if there is a God, they must be ex- 
plained one way; if there is no God they must be explained 
another way. If there is a God, then there can be no true 
science on the supposition that there is no God, or while 
excluding Him, or while leaving Him out of our explana- 
tions. If there is a God, if He is the most important of 
all the agencies in creation, if you believe and know that 
He is and does, you may know beforehand that any sys- 
tem of the universe which purposely excludes Him, which 
gives Him no place in the universe, which purposely 
adjusts every part of the system so as to allow Him no 
place, must be false and valueless as a system and as 

The systems of dynamism and atomism, so characteris- 
tic of the philosophy of modern science, are maintained 
with the avowed and advocated policy of admitting into 
the calculation nothing but matter, motion and energy, and 
the exclusion of all subjective and metaphj^sical witnesses. 
But for this suppression and exclusion many of the the- 




ones peculiar to modern science could not have attained 
the place they now occupy in the public mind; the ver- 
dict in their favor has been obtained by the suppression 
of the most important testimony and by presumptions in 
conflict with all our highest intuitions and universal rea- 
son. Let all the witnesses come upon the stand, let rea- 
son's voice be heard, let human nature in all its entirety 
speak, and they have no chance for life and being. 

There can be no true philosophy of science while men 
build upon false views of the causal relation, nor as long 
as men refuse to look beyond phenomena for causes, nor 
as long as men deem it not essential that phenomena have 
energizing causes. It is time that science be rescued from 
this phenomenalistic policy. It is time that the pubUc 
know what a thing it is which is called modern science. 
It is time that this everlasting doing without any doer be 
expunged from the speculations of sensible men., 

I would not under value the facts discovered by this 
sharply looking age; for these we give scientists all due 
credit. Still greater have been the achievements of this 
age in the application of discovered facts to the utilities of 
life. But it is not for these that scientists glory most, but 
for their generalizations, their theories, and their specu- 
lative systems. In reference to these modem science is 
not a marked success. 

Scientists scorn metaphysics, and yet hold most tena- 
ciously to the law of continuity, applying it to motion, 
energy, force, matter, life, mind, political economy, social 
science, philosophy, and religion, explaining all as an 
endless stream of existence, unchangeable in quantity but 
evolving itself into endless new and varied forms. We 
have found that this law, as far as it asserts transmutation 
has no application to substance, and as far as it asserts 
continuity has no application to anything else. 

This law has been identified with the law of cause and 


effect, and thus for it is claimed all the authority possessed 
by that. In the everchanging form of existence, that 
which precedes is the cause, and that which succeeds is 
the effect. All the different forms of matter are one and 
transmutable, and the days of alchemy are back upon us. 
The trouble with all this is that no such transformations 
ever do occur. Oxygen never consents to become hydro- 
gen; nor carbon, nitrogen; nor iron, gold. Gravity obsti- 
nately refuses to become heat, and every other force to 
become any other. The process of causation is contin- 
ually going on before us; yet no man has ever seen one 
case where the cause passes over into and becomes the 
effect. This is a case where we can appeal to facts and 
experiments, and have a demonstrative answer to our 
inquiry, and facts demonstrate that such a doctrine or 
process of causation has no place among natural phe- 

This supposed law of continuity has been used in ex- 
planation of the genesis of things, without a creator; and 
in solving the question of the how of creation, admitting 
a creator. Starting with the one sole substance of Spinoza, 
unchangeabfe in quantity, the process of creation was a 
self-evolution of this one substance into multiplied sub- 
stances, till the present universe of complicated varieties 
of being and life appeared; the product of a self-evolving, 
unintelligent, unconscious substance. This is pantheism. 
Facts declare that no such transformations now occur, and 
lead us to believe that none ever did thus occur. 

Others, admitting that creation began with a self-exist- 
ent, intelligent Creator, assert that creation was a conver- 
sion of portions of His own substance into finite sub- 
stances; and, as the quantity is unchangeable, all that 
has gone out of God must be included in Him to preserve 
His infinity, and we and matter are parts of God — how far 
is this removed from pantheism ? 




'i r 


I do not suppose that it is possible for us to understand 
the how of creation; but I deny that this supposed law of 
continuity imposes any restrictions upon divine power. A 
generalization based upon finite powers is limited to the 
finite, and can declare nothing in reference to the infinite, 
—the generalization is as finite as the facts from which it 
is deduced. God cannot act a contradiction without de- 
stroying His own unity. But not being at one time, and 
being at another time are no contradiction. There is 
nothing in the nature of things or in any absolute truth 
which forbids the supposition that God created matter 
without using any previously existing substance to make 
it of. The intuition of causality requires us to posit some- 
thing before every thing finite that is; but all that it re- 
quires when anything begins to be, is that some agent 
with adequate powers energized to produce it. Our in- 
tuitions do not inquire whether it was made out of previ- 
ously existing substance or not. I see no reason to doubt 
the power of the infinite God to create new substance 
where nothing before was. I think that those Theists 
who thus limit the power of God at the behest of a mis- 
applied finite generalization, concede quite too much to 


Concepts of God. 

In view of our doctrine that immaterial substance is ex- 
tended, and in view of our definition of substance — space- 
filling existence — the reader has perhaps wondered what I 
would say of God as immaterial substance. One of the 
insolvable problems of philosophy has ever been. How can 
a substance which has no space relations operate upon a 
substance which has space relations? how can a thing 
which is not extended operate upon a thing which is ex- 
tended ? I will not try to solve this problem, for to me it 
contains a contradiction. I simply say that an unex- 



tended thing cannot at the same time operate over an ex- 
tended surface. Place one measuring rule upon another, 
both of the same length, can we say that one is extended, 
and the other is not ? I can see no alternative of opinion 
here. To become related to a thing which has space rela- 
tions, is itself a space relation. To declare that God has 
no space relations, is to shut Him off from all relations to 
finite beings. 

Under the doctrine that immaterial substance has no 
extension, I can see only two possible conceptions of God: 
either He is a collection of attributes, or else He is the 
unknownable. What is God ? He is omnipotence, om- 
niscience, ubiquity, infinity, and eternity. Or we may 
express Him in more personal attributes and say, He is 
holiness, truth, love, justice, and mercy. Then we com- 
mit the absurdity of supposing that attributes may exist 
and act apart from substances. This view bore its fruit in 
the mythology of Greece, in the personification and wor- 
ship of attributes as so many distinct Gods. 

Or, secondly, we must look upon Him as the solitary 
infinite One, dwelling disconnected and remote from every 
thing else in the universe, having nothing to do with mat- 
ter or men. This ultimate the penetrating mind of the 
Hindoo long ago reached in the person of Brahm. Modern 
philosophers have reached about the same conception in 
the "unconditioned," the ''absolute," and the ''unknown." 
It matters not what path of speculation we pursue, if we 
start with the assumption that immaterial substance is 
unextended, has no space relations, we can reach no ulti- 
mate but Brahm or the Unknown. The wonder is that 
men should travel so long a circuit to reach it. It is be- 
cause the conception is so at war with all the intuitions of 
human nature that it is long before men can bring them- 
selves to accept the legitimate end of their own philosophy. 
The ultimate appears to me to be plainly contained in the 





first proposition. If God has no relations to space, He 
has no relations to anything which has relations to space. 
I know that many assert the first proposition, and yet, 
overwhelmed with the evidence of God's relations to earth 
and man, reject the ultimate conclusion; but this they do, 
as it appears to me, at the expense of their consistency, 
and embrace a contradiction. 

I do not presume to try to solve the mystery, of the 
infinite. But this we know that an attribute cannot exist 
without substance, and that we have no special interest 
in the existence of an abstract, unrelated infinite. If 
God is substance, and if He operates simultaneously over 
an extended surface. He is as extended as that surface. 
If He is here, he has a space relation. Here, there, 
everywhere are meaningless terms to apply to Him, if He 
has no space relations. Presence is a space relation, 
omnipresence is an infinite space relation. If God does 
He is where He does; then He is in a certain place in 
space. Doing without being w^here the doing is, is a 
contradiction. If He does over an extended surface. 
He is as extended as that surface. If He does in two 
places remote from each other, he is in both places— He is 
where He does— then His substance extends through the 
distance which separates those places. Extension is dis- 
tance in space occupied by substance. Is He in all parts 
of a measured distance in space, extending through that 
distance, and yet not extended ? 

How can he who thinks that God is the only doer in 
nature assert that He is not extended. Gravity and all 
the other forces are in every atom of a body of matter. 
Are these forces God, in every atom of that body, as 
broad and deep and long as that body, and yet has He no 
extension ? That which is in different portions of space 
at the same time, has extension. Because a material body 
is in different parts of space at the same time, shall we 



say it has extension and then when an immaterial sub- 
stance is in the same different parts of space, shall we say 
it has no extension ? Every substance which is in differ- 
ent parts of space at the same time is extended. 

Nor can it be said that by giving God extension we 
make Him divisible into parts, and thus destroy His unity 
and infinity. We talk about parts of space, and in our 
thoughts there are parts of space, but space is indivisible, 
and infinite. There are different portions of space, but no 
divisible parts. No more do we make God divisible into 
parts by conceiving different extended portions. The unity 
of time, space and God is not destroyed by any proper 
use of the word parts in reference to them. ' 'All of God 
is everywhere," it has been said. Yes; all His attributes, 
not all His substance. All the properties of a material 
substance are in every atom of it. All the attributes and 
powers of God are in every point of space. The concep- 
tion of God which was born in the darknes of pagan 
philosophy is still retained by Christian Theists when 
they approach the subject from the standpoint of philos- 
ophy; but when they speak of God according to the con- 
ception derived fcom the Word of God, they scarcely use 
a sentence that does not give Him space relations. 

If the writers of the Scriptures had written for the ex- 
press purpose of imparting a conception of the infinite, 
eternal and almighty One, revealing Himself in all the 
detailed relations of time and space, localized here and 
there, they could scarcely have done more than they have 
in this direction. From the beginning to the end, the 
Bible assigns space relations to God; and yet must men 
continue to echo the pagan postulate which conducts us 
only to Brahm or the unknown ? 

In reference to God's present relation to the universe 
there are a variety of opinions. Some think that He has 
no agency in natural phenomena, and some that He is the 

I I 




only agent in nature. l>t us see how nature is explained 
by those who think His agency not necessary. Men have 
been studying natural phenomena in all ages. At first 
they projected from themselves an explanation, and con- 
cluded that all moving things were moved by spirits in 
them, or by the gods. In course of time they noticed 
that the same motions uniformly occur in the presence of 
the same physical conditions, and they began to attribute 
the motions to the physical conditions. This practice 
continued and extended more and more as science ad- 
vanced, until at last men came to conclude that all motions 
in nature could be attributed to physical conditions as 
causes. It is the boast of science that it has crowded the 
supernatural back, back, back, step by step, until some 
have thought it possible to crowd it entirely out of the 
universe, and that all natural phenomena could be ex- 
plained by supposing only natural causes. 

The uniform mode of motion discovered in the presence 
of certain physical conditions began in course of time to 
be called a law of nature. When a man has discovered 
the particular mode of doing which uniformly appears in 
the presence of certain physical circumstances he has dis- 
covered what is called a law of nature. Many such 
discoveries were made, so that in time there came to be 
very many laws of nature known to science. Then these 
modes of doing, or laws, began to be called causes, and 
were spoken of and treated voluminously as agents or 
doers, and vast fields of phenomena were explained by 
them as natural cause, doers. I need not labor to show to 
intelligent readers the folly of treating modes of motion, 
modes of doing, as doers. But I will take a single ex- 
ample as an illustration of the process of explaining 
natural phenomena by natural causes. 

Water rises from the surface of the ocean in the form of 
vapor, forms a cloud, is carried by wind over the land, 



and falls as rain upon the earth. Now for the explana- 
tion. It is the nature of water at certain temperatures, 
and in a less degree at the lowest temperature, to rise in 
the form of vapor. This is attributed to the nature of the 
water. Some other substances become vapor much more 
readily and rapidly than water, while some other sub- 
stances must be raised to a verj^ high temperature before 
they become vapor. These differences are attributed to 
differences in the properties of the substances. This vapor, 
being no heavier than the atmosphere, rises and diffuses 
itself freely among the molecules of the air. A current of 
wind passing by carries this vapor over the land. The 
wind has a natural explanation. When the atmosphere in 
one locality becomes, from any cause, more rare than the 
common standard, it rises, and the heavier air around 
rushes in to fill the partial vacuum thus produced. This 
rushing air we call wind. The motion of the wind drives 
the molecules of the water vapor together, they cohere 
and form fine drops. They then become visible, and we 
say a cloud is formed. Or a portion of this vapor enters the 
ascending current of air and is carried into the cold upper 
regions, and, deprived of its heat, the molecules fall to- 
gether in fine drops, and a cloud is formed. This process 
of striking or falling together continues, the drops become 
larger, and fall to the earth in the form of rain. Then we 
can see natural reasons why this water vapor is carried 
over some countries and not over others — the prevailing 
direction of the wind, intervening mountains whose chilly 
tops catch and retain the water vapor, etc. 

Now, have we not given a tiatural explanation of the 
phenomena of rain ? We have not had to introduce the 
supernatural, nor mention any natural doers, except phy- 
sical circumstances. We have given such an explanation 
as the scientists of which we are now speaking give of 
natural phenomena, such as seem to satisfy them, and such 




as a great many people appear to think are complete ex- 
planations. But what have we done ? We have, accord- 
ing to the fashion of phenomenalists, described the passing 
panorama of successive phenomena; but we have not gone 
down once into the strata of causes or doers which under- 
lies all this. What held the molecules of water together 
in the first place, more strongly in water than in some 
other substances, and less strongly than in others ? What 
separated the molecules of water and pushed them off in 
the form of vapor ? What Hfted the water vapor up from 
the earth against the force of gravity ? What holds the 
molecules of air apart in the form of a gas ? What presses 
the molecules of air together and on to the surface of the 
earth ? In other words, what moves the air in the form 
of wind ? What pushes the molecules of air apart in the 
rarer more than in the denser portions ? When the mole- 
cules of water were driven together, what joined and held 
them together ? When the drops had become larger, what 
drew them to the earth ? 

All these questions demand doers, none of which were 
alluded to in our explanation of the phenomena. In each 
of these cases there is doing, and there must be a doer or 
doers. We see from this how far short all these panoramic 
explanations of natural phenomena come of being real and 
complete explanations, and that they are really only de- 
ceptive illusions. 

In all these cases there are doings; are they the work of 
natural doers ? Suppose we conclude that they are, then 
these doers require an explanation, and we ask, why do 
they do as they do in these cases ? Before this question 
we and all men stand stark and silent. In all the history 
of philosophy there has never been a single reason given 
or proposed why these natural doers do as they do. Why 
does gravity draw matter together ? A perpetual scientific 
blamk. Here, then, we ar at the end of natural explana- 


tion. It may be said that they do as they do because it 
is their nature to do so. Then we ask, whence came their 
nature ? from whence did they derive their specific modes 
of action ? To this no man can give any answer but, * 'In 
the beginning God created the heavens and the earth," 
and gave to each of these doers its specific modes of action. 
But are we sure that these doings are the work of natural 
doers ? Possibly we have gone a step too far, and called 
them doers when they are only modes of the divine doing. 
As I look out of my window I see a beautiful white cloud 
floating by, and I say, the wind carries that cloud, in the 
same sense that the car carries a man; but the car does not 
carry the man, the car is not the mover that moves the 
train. Nor can I think that God is now moving that 
cloud along. I have a very satisfactory consciousness of 
the divine presence; He is all about me and in me. He 
knows all my thoughts, and I believe that He sometimes 
directs my thoughts, but it does not seem to me that He 
is now energizing to move that cloud through the air. 
The physical circumstances which we find to uniformly 
attend this phenomenon, and the natural doers which we 
may suppose in this case appear to me to be the preferable 
explanation. If God does all these things directly, it 
seems to me that the storms would not always come just 
as and where they do, and that the rain would not always 
fall just where it does and where it does not. If He dis- 
tributes the rain directly, we can see no reason why He 
should not send some over Egypt and the Sahara desert. 
But we can see physical conditions which have some rela- 
tion to these phenomena and seem to be at least necessary 
conditions of their occurrence as they do occur. If He 
does all these things directly He has certainly made Him- 
self very dependent upon physical circumstances; He acts 
a certain way only in the presence of certain physical con- 
ditions, and in the absence of those conditions He does 






not act at all. It appears to me that those who say that 
God has no agency in nature, and those who say He is 
the only agent in nature, occupy the two extremes between 
which the real truth lies. But we will have to consider 
this question a little more in detail. 

Some who believe that matter is eternal, and some who 
believe that God created new substance out of which to 
form a universe, think that He is the immediate and only 
doer in nature. This has been the opinion of some relig- 
ionists perhaps in all ages. Descartes gave currency and 
authority to it in modem philosophy. When it was thought 
that the unity and transmutability of the inorganic forces 
were proven, many theologians said, ^'Yes; and that one 
is God." Those who thought that by proving the self- 
active power of the natural forces and their unity they had 
rendered the supposition of a God unnecessary were thus 
met: "You have shown that force is self-active, and that 
really there is only one force operating in nature; that is 
what we have always said. God is the only moving power 
in nature. Your philosophy confirms our doctrine." 

But the transmutability and unity of the forces have 
turned out to be fictions. Now these cannot be used to 
turn God out, nor to show His immanence; and His rela- 
tions to nature remain unaffected by these doctrines. And 
now, are all the doings in nature the doings of God ? Are 
the forces separate and independent agents ? or are they 
the energizings of God ? Are there any self-active agents 
on earth ? If there are, which and what are they ? 

Our consciousness of separateness, and independence, and 
freedom, and accountabiUty, is proof to us that the energy 
active in our minds and bodies is not the immediate ener- 
gizing of God, and that we are self-active agents. Each 
man knows for himself that he, and not God, is the doer 
in all his conscious and voluntary activities. We have, 
then, in conscious human beings examples of agents which 



are capable of separate and independent action. We thus 
know that there are agents on earth which do control and 
direct their own energy, and, within certain limits, deter- 
mine when and how they shall act. They have their 
inherent fixed modes of action, which limit their activities 
to certain channels. Within those limits we can act or not 
act, and perform one or another kind of acts, as we please. 

We have, then, the existence of self- active agents as a 
fact in nature. Here is a class of agents which we know 
to exist in nature. How extensive is this class? What 
things are included in this class ? The close resemblance 
between the forces active in the animal body and those in 
man, in the absence of any proof to the contrary, places 
them in this class. 

There are many objections to the supposition * that even 
the inorganic forces are the immediate energizing of God. 
The uniformity in their modes of action indicates that 
each is an entity with a nature, modes, and powers of its 
own. As properties indicate a substance, and a particular 
set of properties indicates a particular substance, and the 
same set of properties always the same substance ; so the 
uniform modes of the forces identify each as always the 
same substance. It is true, God could limit Himself to 
certain modes in certain circumstances. He might say to 
Himself, I will in certain circumstances always act in 
certain ways ; on the occurrence of certain conditions, I 
will always perform certain acts. I will always draw sep- 
arate bodies together with a degree of energy just pro- 
portioned to the quantity of matter ; and I will proportion 
my drawing inversely to the square of the distance between 
them. He might say and do thus; but it seems far more 
probable that He has created a separate agent to do this 
work, as He has done in the creation of man, and fixed 
in its nature such modes of doing that it will always act 
according to this manner. Then the fact that we can see 



that a radiating force— a substance located in a body, and 
radiating from it in all directions— would decrease in 
quantity in any given space as the square of the distance 
increases, seems to render it very probable that the force 
is there located, and thus radiates. But if God, who is 
equally and everywhere present, thus does, we can see no 
reason why the power varies as the square of the distance, 
except that it be His will thus to act. 

The dependence of the doers in nature upon conditions 
for their powers to act, seems inconsistent with the 
character of the infinite God. Some of the forces cannot 
act in the absence of certain conditions. Is this true of 
God in reference to physical things ? It is true. He might 
say, in the presence of certain physical conditions, I will 
energize to unite substances chemically ; in the absence 
of those conditions, I will not energize to unite them : if 
they are dissolved in water, I will energize to unite them ; 
if they are not dissolved in water, I will not energize to 
unite them. He might say, in the presence of conditions 
supplied by man. I will energize to carry a bullet through 
a man's head; and then on that condition, I will im- 
mediatelv commence the work of decomposition and decay 
in that man's body. He might say and do all this, but 
it does not seem to me at all probable that He does. 

By such a plan of management He would place Him- 
self under bonds of necessity to always act according to 
certain modes on the occurrence of certain physical condi- 
tions. He cannot act otherwise than according to those 
modes. He must always act as gravity acts, as the 
chemical force acts, as the crystallizing force acts, as cohe- 
sion acts, as electricity and magnetism and heat and light 
act. In the circumstances in which they act. He must act 
according to their modes, and He can act no other way. 
On the occurrence of the conditions. He must act, 
He has no power not to act. The conditions having 



been supplied by some finite agent, He has no option, 
He must act, right or wrong, or whether the results 
are good or bad. He must do, and he must do 
according to those pre-determined modes, whatever the 
results may be. We would think it wrong to bind our- 
selves under bond which compelled us to do, right or 
wrong, and to do after certain fixed modes, even when the 
results of so doing would be evil and crime. If the inor- 
ganic forces are God's immediate doing, He has thus 
placed Himself under the absolute necessity of obedience, 
to act according to the dictation of the most degraded and 
corrupt human beings; He has made Himself their agent, 
their slave, to dp their bidding, and thus He becomes a 
participant ia all the crimes committed by man. The 
incendiary by supplying the conditions, compels God to 
consume a house or a city. The murderer, by supplying 
the conditions, compels God to carry a bullet through the 
heart of a man. God is the executive agent in the carn- 
age of war, and the power employed in all the crimes com- 
mitted by man. All this He does at the behest of humam 
passion, and in helpless obedience to all that is most de- 
praved in man. If it- be said that God controls and 
determines the conditions also, and thus acts only when 
and as He wishes to act, then we land in absolute, irre- 
sponsible fatalism. 

It is objected to this by some, that making God the 
creator of separate and self-active agents only removes the 
responsibility one step farther back, and he is still respon- 
sible for all they do. Then is God responsible for all the 
deeds of man ? Is there no responsibility outside of the 
Creator? Is God, and He only, responsible for all the 
wrongs, and sins, and crimes of man ? Is he to be blamed 
for all His created self-acting agents do? He has endowed 
the inorganic forces with modes which are necessary for 
such a universe of related things as now exists. Without 



these forces and without their present modes of action no 
such universe could be. The acts which they perform 
when left to themselves are generally such as God ap- 
proves, and such as He designed. They of themselves 
commit no crimes. If man supplies the conditions of 
their doing wrong, not they, nor the God that made them, 
is blamable for the wrong. He made them, endowed 
them with their modes, willed the good, created them so 
that they would of themselves work out the good; but 
man comes in and supplies the conditions of their doing 
evil. If it was God, an intelligent, knowing being, that 
was there doing, knowingly doing the wrong, yet bound 
by his own self-imposed law so that He mjist do it at the 
command of criminal man. He would share the responsi- 
bility. But when unconscious and unknowing agents are 
sent forth to work, with modes which of themselves 
accomplish only good, if man turns them to evil, upon 
him only rests the responsibility. 

God created the forces, and gave them their modes. He 
also created material substances, and gave them their 
properties. The properties of the material substances are 
employed in the commission of crime, as well as the 
modes of the forces. The properties of arsenic are such 
that if it is administered to a man, he dies. Because of 
these properties in arsenic, has any one ever attempted to 
make God to share in the responsibility for a murder com- 
mitted by administering arsenic? No one thinks of at- 
taching blame to the Creator when man takes advantage 
of the properties of matter to do evil. When man takes 
advantgae of the modes of the forces to do evil, the case 
is precisely the same. But if God was Himself the doer, 
and voluntarily, or from self-imposed necessity, exerted His 
energy to do the deed of wrong, and without His energiz- 
ing the deed could not be performed. He would be respon- 
sible for the wrong. 


But there may be cases where the forces effect what 
appear to us to be disasters in which man has no part. 
The ravenous instincts of beasts of prey are the direct 
creation of God. Yes, and if the objects of prey do not 
die by some other animal, they will soon die of old age, 
the direct work of the forces in their own bodies as God 
made them. He designed that they should die. If ani- 
mals ate only vegetable food, far less animal life could be 
than under the present order of things. By endowing 
much of the food of animals with animal life, the sum of 
animal life on earth is greatly augmented. If animal life 
is a higher and more desirable state of being than vege- 
table life, if sensibility is a blessing, an enjoyment, the 
sum of enjoyment on earth is far greater than it could be 
if animals ate only vegetable foods. For a part of the 
food of animals to be endowed with life and enjoyment 
for a time, and then die, is better than to have it all 
insensate, and incapable of any enjoyment. The present 
arrangement secures the greatest total sum of enjoyment. 
If it is wrong for a wolf to kill a sheep for food, it is 
wrong for man to do so. More large animals are killed 
for food by man than by all the beasts of prey on earth. 
But animals, having the instinct of prey, may be by it 
prompted to destroy a child or a man, and we call it a 
calamity. God may or may not have designed that par- 
ticular event. Without this arrangement the sum of 
enjoyment would be much less; with it a calamity is 

A storm may bury a fleet; an avalanche a hamlet ; a^ 
earthquake a city. Without gravity no system of worlds, 
or even individual worlds, could be. Without molecular 
repulsion, heat, gravity, the chemical force, and so forth, 
no system of nature, no life could be ; with them storms, 
avalanches, and earthquakes are possible. The properties 
of matter are involved in these catastrophies, as much as 


the modes of the forces. No one thinks of blaming God 
for these catastrophies through the properties of matter ; 
no more is He to be blamed for them through the modes 
of the forces. But if He is the immediate and constant 
doer, voluntarily, or under self-imposed necessity, ener- 
gizing to effect them, He is responsible for them. They 
occur under the operation of means and agents with prop- 
erties and modes without which the good could not be. 
The finite is imperfect; and the question is, shall the 
finite and imperfect be? or shall only the infinite and per- 
fect be, sole dweller in the abode of eternity ? But some 
of these catastrophies God may have designed, designed 
for the accomplishment of greater ultimate good. They 
utter His awful voice, and manifest His dread power, and 
prostrate man in awe before Him. 

Some have designated the universal force operating in 

nature by the word will. I do not suppose that they 

mean an impersonal will, an attribute merely, without any 

persons of whom it is an attribute. This is only another 

way of stating the doctrine that God is the immediate and 

constant doer in nature. There is a manifestation of will 

in the creation of matter and forces, and endowing them 

with properties and modes, relating them to each other iu 

a system, and so arranging them that they will work out 

certain contemplated ends. All this shows that there was. 

in creation an exercise of will, directed by intelligence to 

the attainment of certain desired and designed ends. But 

there is no manifestation of will in the operation of the 

forces in nature. The modes of the forces are fixed, and 

not optional. They must act according to their modes ;. 

there is no alternative power; they must act, and act 

according to their modes. The forces are separate and 

independent agents, acting under an absolute necessity to 

do, and to do according to certain fixed modes. Will 

appears only in their creation. 

god's agency in nature. 


Here another question arises in reference to God's present 
relations to nature. Has He created material substances 
as means, and immaterial substances as doers, and left the 
doers to work upon the means, and run the universe alone? 
No view we can take of God, whether we consider Him as 
creator, proprietor, or intelligent ruler, can lead us to so 
suppose. If He created, he had some purposes in creation. 
If he is proprietor, He has some interest in and care over 
His patrimony. If He has blind, insensate, unintelligent 
agents at work, no man would leave them without super- 
intendence. Those who deny God's supervision over His 
subordinate agents, do not leave men working under them 
without looking after them, and directing them when they 
deem it necessary or best. The course they adopt in 
reference to subordinates in their employ, is the course 
they would adopt if they were in God's place, and that is 
the only rational supposition in reference to Him. 

But how can God direct the operations of His agents for 
the accomplishment of special purposes, without violating 
the "laws of nature ?" How does man do it ? He sees a 
stream of water flowing down to a lower level. He sup- 
plies the conditions in which the water in falling may be 
used for running machinery. He learns that heat will 
change water into steam, and that during its expansion a 
great amount of energy is exerted. He places around it 
such conditions that that push may be used for the accom- 
plishment of many purposes. He learns that in certain 
circumstances combined electricity is decomposed, and that 
then it will attract its opposite kind, and, if not obstructed, 
go any distance to join it. He supplies those circum- 
stances, and the force executes his will. In all these cases 
the man has not violated the laws of nature. He has only 
supplied the conditions upon which the action of the forces 
would accomplish certain desired results. Man can, by 
removing the conditions of the action of a force, prevent 

' <>\ 


its action, and prevent the results which would follow its 
action. He can, by supplying the conditions of its action, 
bring to pass the results which naturally follow its action. 
He can turn the direction of its energy, and apply it to 
this, or that. He may supply conditions in the presence 
of which its energizing will accomplish certain results; or 
he may supply other conditions, and other results will 
follow. Cannot He who created these agents do as much 
with them ? This is all that is necessary that He may ex- 
ercise a special providence over His creatures, and answer 
the prayers of His trusting children. 

The results of the action of the forces in nature are 
contingent upon conditions supplied sometimes by other 
inorganic forces, sometimes by vegetable forces, sometimes 
by brute beings, sometimes by human beings, and some- 
times by God himself. This contingency in the results of 
the energizing of the forces, when they come into rela- 
tions with conscience and intelligence and free will in man, 
suppUes the objective conditions of moral accountability, 
and renders man in his state and relations on earth a fit 
subject of moral government. Thus we have the grounds 
of a rational theodicy, and the establishment of human 


The views of nature which we have been endeavoring 
to expound, are the views which spontaneously arise in 
the minds of men from observation and experience. We 
have thus only been putting on paper the common con- 
sciousness of mankind, and showing its consistent accord- 
ance with true scientific and philosophical principles. The 
language of common life and common literature accords 
perfectly with the exposition of nature here given. When 
men undertake to correct this common consciousness, and 
substitute in its place some other, they cannot expound 
nature, nor describe its process, without using language 
which implies much that has been here written. We are 


constantly in intercourse with nature, daily, hourly, deal- 
ing with it, conforming to and using its modes or laws, 
and witnessing its doings. Its obvious processes and 
modes are plainly discovered by every one. Its occult 
doers and doings are beyond the reach of direct observa- 
tion. But the conception which spontaneously arises in 
the human mind in studying nature, in the minds of every 
generation, is passive matter and invisible doers. This 
conception we have found to be rational, and consistent 
with absolute truths, with facts and with our intuitions. 
In this age the endeavor is made to substitute in place of 
this conception self-existent motion in matter. This phi- 
losophy could make no headway till it invalidated all the 
final tests of truth, — it must first convince mankind that 
it is impossible to know anything, then this might have 
as much claim upon credence as any conception. A phi- 
losophy so contrary to the common consciousness of man- 
kind, and to all the basal principles of truth, so at war 
with human intuitions, and so destructive of all that men 
cherish as most valuable, is destined to an ephemeral ex- 
istence, and will soon take its place among the debris 
of exploded vagaries. If men could succeed in convinc- 
iHg the world that matter and motion comprise the whole 
of existence, what have they gained. They have blotted 
out the highest hopes of man. They have destroyed his 
belief in the existence and providence of God, or crowd- 
ed God back into the unknown and voiceless seons of 
past eternity, away from all relations to living mortals, 
beyond the reach of prayer and trust, covered the race 
with blasting, enveloped the world in night, and buried 
the prospects of the race, both on earth and in the here- 
after, in the grave of endless loss. Rather let me cast 
some rays amid the darkness, pour some disinfectant 
among the plagues of earth, throw around human destiny 
here and hereafter the halo of hope, and lead man to find 
his ultimate rest in the bosom of our Father. 


( ( 








Absolute truths, chapter on, 

definition of, - - . 

reliability as guides, 
table of, - - - - 

use of in science. 
Action and reaction, modes of explaining, 
Action through intervals of space, 
Acts of mind not caused, - - - - 

All things included in three denominations. 
Atomic theory of matter described, - - - 
Attention, power to control, - > - . 

Attraction through intervals of space, 
Bacon, Francis, influence on science, - 
Boscovich, theory of matter, - - - - 
Causality, intuitions of, - - - - 

Causal formula, 

Causal relation absent in the table, 

'* *' as adopted by evolutionists, 
Cause defined, . . . . , 

energy always a property of, 

absent in the table, 

every dependent thing demands a, 

every finite thing demands a, 

opinions respecting, 
Causes are never produced, - . . , 

*' three discovered by the senses, - 
Chains of causes and effects, no such things, 

Classification of forces, 

Color in bodies explained, ... 

Comparison, intuitions of, - - - - 
Comteanism, - - - « . 

Conservation of energy, - - - - 

Continuity, law of, - - - - 10,42 

Cook, Joseph P., Jr., on the ether, 

i i 






' 32-45 

. 34 



- 84-86 







■ 165 

















] I 






( ( 

t i 

t ( 




Darwin, definition of nature, . - - 

' ' formation of an eye, 
Derivative absolute truths, - - - 

Deschanell, quotation respecting light, - 
Doer, definition of, _ _ . - 

Doers in nature, immaterial substance, - 
Dynamic theory of matter, . . - 

" energy, what is it ? 

** " not a cause, - - - 

Effects, classes of, " . " " ' 

Energizing necessary to motion. 

Energy a property, . - - - 

chapter on, - - - - - 

conservation of, - 

definition of, . . - - 

employed in holding at rest, - - ] 

dynamic is energizing, 
is not a property of matter, 
never imparted, _ - - - ] 

Environments as causes, - - - - 

Ether, the luminiferous, . - - - 
Evolution, philosophy of, - - - - . 

' ' results of, 


Facts and their teaching, chapter on, - 
Fichte, on process of knowledge, 
First term in formula of causal relation. 

Force, definition of, 

Forces are substance, . - - - • 

' ' results of supposing them to be God, 
Fundamental truths as they affect science, 
Gases, dynamic theory of, - - • 

" " " '* disproof of. 

Generalizations, - . - - - 

" how they are formed, - 

'* of the infinite based on the finite. 

Generalized universals, - - - 

God, concepts of, - - - - - - 

His present relation to the universe, - 
His relation to space, - - - - 

origin of our ideas of, . - - 

superintends the work of His agents, 

( ( 

( ( 




39. 40 



I 5-1 18 



, 74» 89 

76, 114 

77. "4 



08, 185 










• 61-70 










God, the universal doer in nature ? - - 
Hall, Wilford, - - . > . 

Hamilton, Sir William, - . . . 

Heredity, ---... 

Hickok, L^aurens P. theory of matter, 
Hume, quotation in reference to cause. - 
Hypotheses, use of in science, 
Hypothetical method, - . - - 
Ideals, - - ► . ^ . 

Identity, personal, - - - - 

Immaterial doers in nature, 

substance, - - - . 

theory applied to science, 
Immediate perception, - - . . 


Impact, what occurs in, - 

Included absolute truths, - - - . - 

Individuality, intuition of, ... 

Inductive method, 

Inertia, chapter on, - - 

laws of, 

the force of, - . - . 

has two modes, . - . . 

Infinite, ideas of, how reached, 
Intuition of unity, origin of, ... 

;* " '' use of. 
Intuition of cause conducts to God, 

Intuitions, - 211, 

as evidences of external truth, 
of comparison, 

of causality, - . _ . 209, 
use of in science, chapter on, 
Jevons, W. S. , on the ether, 
Kant, action between separate bodies, - 

" on process of knowledge, 
Kinetic energy, definition of, ... 

" " loss in changing direction, 

Knowledge, process of, chapter on, 
' ' conditions of, 

theories of, - - ^ - 

subjective preparation for. 




t i 




( t 



175 note 

171. 213 

160, 164 
















106, 109 

270, 271 

261, 262 

262, 272 






65, 66 










10, 42, 265, 291 

Knowledge, secondary, 
L,aw of continuity. 

Laws of Nature, 

Life an immaterial substance, - 
Likeness in modes, etc., . - - - 

Locke, - . - - - - 

Lotze, theory of matter, . - - - 

Mathematical proofs, , . - - 

Matter, chapter on, - - - - - 

*' theories of, . - - - 

properties of, - - ■ ' ' 
no power to start itself in motion, - 
Metaphysics in relation to science, 
Metaphysical method, - - - - , 

Metaphysics, the four doctrines generally received, 
Middle term in causal formula, 
Mind as immaterial substance, - 
chapter on, - - ' 

faculties of, - - - - ' 
generalizations from other forces apphed to, 

has extension, 

" modes of, 

Modes of investigation, . ' ' " ' 
Molecules as detached bodies, 
Motion between two forces, - - - - 
" chapter on, ■ . - - - 
definition of, - . - - - 

in liquids and solids, 
in the supposed ether, 
• • ** *' " how stopped, 

obstructed by other forces, 
'' perpetual, - - - - - 

" as heat, - - - - 

" " circular, - - 94 > 

Nature and God, chapter on, - - - 

Newton, Sir Isaac, - - - ' , " 
Order of nature, origin of the generalization, - 
Organic forces, chapter on, - - 

" ** conditions of their action, 

•' ** never produced, - 

uncaused modes of action, 

( i 

i t 

i t 

















- 227 






96, 97 



91, 92 

105, 106 


26, 100 






Organic forces, unchangeable in quantity, - 
Organic forces spontaneously act, 

*' phenomena, . . . > 

Perpetual motion, - - - 

must be without obstruction, 


t ( 

Phenominalism, as it affects science, 

** as the basis of evolution, 

Polarization of light, explanation of, 
Potential energy, definition of, - . - 

Process of knowledge, chapter on, 
Properties of matter, defined and classified, 
** '' ** how discovered, - 
** ** *' immediate knowledge of, 
Property and substance, . . - . 

" definition of, - - . - 

Realism, as it affects science, 
Relation of metaphysics to science. 
Relations, knowledge of, - - - - 


Repulsion through intervals of space, - 
Resistance as a means of knowledge, 



Science on the supposition that there is no God, 
Self-active agents, - .... 

Sensationalism as it affects science, - 
Senses, the, as media of knowledge. 
Space, intuition of, - . . . 

knowledge of, - - - - 

unity of, 

Spencer, Herbert, definition of evolution, 


Substance, definition of, - - - 

immediately known, 
material and immaterial distinguished, 
** means of knowing, 

" realistic views of, - 

Summary of principles, .... 
Table containing the true causal relation. 
Tables containing no causal relation, 
Theistic evolution, - - - - . 
Third term in formula of the causal relation. 




90, 106 

15. 68, 131 




72, 73 






- 215,217 






249, 250 

32, 46 



III, 215 



164, 165, 166 


. 168 




1 t 

'\ ' 

i I 

Thompson, Sir William, on the ether. 

K '' " theory of matter, 

Time an attribute of God, 

" intuition of, - - ' ' 

" knowledge of, - * ' 

** unity of is eternity. 
Unity applied to doers, 

'' how it conducts to God, 

*' how it handles time and space, - 

** origin of the intuition, 

" use of the intuition, 
**Unseen Universe," quotation from, 
Watson, Professor John, quotation from, 
Will, freedom of, - - ■ " ' 
Young, Dr. Thomas, quotation from. 


49, 81 












► "♦<>*- 

Pagess, 15th line from bottom, for ''all molecules;' read 
the violecules. 

Page 72, 2d line of 2d paragraph, instead of one ''sub- 
ject;' read one substance. 

Page 8s, 3rd line from top, strike out "while her 

Page 228, 4th lifiefrom top, for "generic disease;' read 
generic desire. 

Page 260, 1 2th line from top, instead of "unperfectlf 
read imperfectly. 

«M"' 'W Wi 





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