Chapter II--Corroborative Evidences of God's Existence



Although the knowledge of God's existence is intuitive, it may be explicated and confirmed by arguments drawn from the actual universe and from the abstract ideas of the human mind.

Remark 1. These arguments are probable, not demonstrative. For this reason they supplement each other, and constitute a series of evidences which is cumulative in its nature. Though, taken singly, none of them can be considered absolutely decisive, they together furnish a corroboration of our primitive conviction of God's existence, which is of great practical value, and is in itself sufficient to bind the moral action of men.

Butler, Analogy, Introd., Holm's ed., 72: Probable evidence admits of degrees, from the highest moral certainty to the lowest presumption. Yet probability is the guide of life. In matters of morals and religion, we are not to expect mathematical or demonstrative, but only probable, evidence, and the slightest preponderance of such evidence may be sufficient to bind our moral action. Dove, Logic of Christ. Faith, 24: Value of the arguments taken together is much greater than that of any single one. Illustrated from water, air and food, together but not separately, supporting life; value of .£11X10 note, not in paper, stamp, writing, signature, taken separately. A whole bundle of rods cannot be broken, though each rod in the bundle may be broken separately. The strength of the bundle is the strength of the whole. Lord Bacon, Essay on Atheism: "A little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion. For while the mind of man looketh upon second causes scattered, it may sometimes rest in them and go no further, but, when it beholdeth the chain of them confederate and litiked together, it must needs fly to Providence and Deity." Murphy, Scientific Bases of Faith, 221-223—" The proof of a God and of a spiritual world which is to satisfy us must consist in a number of different but converging lines of proof."

Remark 2. A consideration of these arguments may also serve to explicate the contents of an intuition which has remained obscure and only half conscious for lack of reflection. The arguments, indeed, are the efforts of the mind that already has a conviction of God's existence to give to itself a formal account of its belief. An exact estimate of their logical value and of their relation to the intuition which they seek to express in syllogistic form, is essential to any proper refutation of the prevalent atheistic and pantheistic reasoning.

Diman, Theistie Argument, 303—"Nor have I claimed that the existence, even, of this Being can be demonstrated as we demonstrate the abstract truths of science. I have only claimed that the universe, as a great fact, demands a rational explanation, and that the most rational explanation that can possibly be given is that furnished in the conception of such a Being. In this conclusion reason rests, and refuses to rest in any other." Rllckert: "Wer Oott nicht fllhlt in rich und alien Lebcnskreiscn, Dem werdet ihr nicht inn beweisen mit Beweisen." Harris, Philos. Basis of Theism, 307— "Theology depends on noetic and empirical science to give the occasion on which the idea of the Absolute Being arises, and to give content to the idea." Andrew Fuller, Part of Syst. of Divin., 4: 283, questions "whether argumentation in favor of the existence of God has not made more sceptics than believers." So far as this is true, it is due to an overstatement of the arguments and an exaggerated notion of what, is to be expected from them. See Nitzsch, Christian Doctrine, translation, 140; Khrard, Doginatik, 1: 119, 130: Fisher, Essays on Supernatural Origin of Christianity, 572. 573; Van Oosterzee, 238, 241.

Bemark 3. The arguments for the divine existence may bo reduced to four, namely: I. The Cosmological; II. The Teleological; III. The Anthropological; and IV. The Ontological. We shall examine these in order, seeking first to determine the precise conclusions to which they respectively lead, and then to ascertain in what manner the four may be combined.

I. The Cossiologicai, Argument, Ok Argument From Change m Nature.

This is not properly an argument from effect to cause; for the proposition that every effect must have a cause is simply identical, and means only that every caused event must have a cause. It is rather an argument from begun existence to a sufficient cause of that beginning, and may be accurately stated as follows:

Everything begun, whether substance or phenomenon, owes its existence to some producing cause. The universe, at least so far as its present form is concerned, is a thing begun, and owes its existence to a cause which is equal to its production. This cause must be indefinitely great.

It is to bo noticed that this argument moves wholly in the realm of nature. The argument from man's constitution and beginning upon the planet is treated under another head (see Anthropological Argument). That the present form of the universe is not eternal in the past, but has begun to be, not only personal observation but the testimony of geology assures us. For statements of the argument, see Kant, Critique of Pure Reason (Bonn's transl.), 370; Gillespie, Necessary Existence of God, 3: 34-44; Dib. Sac, 1849: 613; 1850: 613; Porter, Hum. Intellect, 570; Herbert Spencer, First Principles, 03. It has often been claimed, as by Locke, Clarke, and Robert Hall, that this argument is sufficient to conduct the mind to an Eternal and Infinite First Cause. We proceed therefore to mention

1. The defects of the Cosmological Argument.

A. It is impossible to show that the universe, so far as its substance is concerned, has had a beginning. The law of causality declares, not that everything has a cause—for then God himself must have a cause—but rather that everything begun has a cause, or, in other words, that every event or change has a cause.

Hume, Philos. Works, 2: 411 sq., urges with reason that we never saw a world mnde. Many philosophers in Christian lands, as Martineau, Essays, 1: 206, and the prevailing opinion of ante-Christian times, have held matter to be eternal. Bowne, Metaphysics, 107—" For being itself, the reflective reason never asks a cause, unless the being show signs of dependence. It is change that first gives rise to the demand for cause." See also MeCosh, Intuitions, 225-241; Calderwood, Philos. of Infinite, 61. Per contra, see Murphy. Solent. Rases of Faith, 49,195, and Habit and Intelligence, 1: 55-67; Knight, Left, on Metaphysics, lect. ii, p. 19.

B. Granting that the universe, so far as its phenomena are concerned, has had a cause, it is impossible to show that any other cause is required than a cause within itself, such as the pantheist supposes.

Flint, Theism, 65—" The cosmological argument alone proves only force, and no mere force Is God. Intelligence must go with power to make a Being that can be called God." Dlman, Thcistlc Argument—"The cosmologieal argument alone cannot decide whether the force that causes change is permanent self-existent mind, or permanent self-existent matter." Only intelligence gives the basis for an answer. Only mind in the universe enables us to infer mind in the maker. Hut the argument from intelligence is not the Cosmologieal, but the Teleological, and to this last belong all proofs of Deity from order and combination in nature.

0. Granting that the universe must have had a cause outside of itself, it is impossible to show that this cause has not itself been caused, t. e., consists of an infinite series of dependent causes. The principle of causality does not require that everything begun should be traced back to an uncaused cause; it demands that we should assign a cause, but not that we should assign a first cause.

So with the whole series of causes. The materialist is bound to find a cause for this series, only when the series Is shown to have had a beginning. But the very hypothesis of an inilnite series of causes excludes the idea of such a beginning. An Infinite chain has no topmost link {vemm Robert Hall): an uncaused and eternal succession does not need a cause (rctww Clarke and Locke). See Whately, Logic, 270; New Englandcr, Jan., 1874: 75; Alexander, Moral Science, 221; Pfleiderer, Die Religion, 1: 160-104; Calderwood, Moral Philos., 225; Herbert Spencer, FirBt Principles, 37—criticised by Bowne, Review of H. Spencer, 36. Julius Mttllcr, Doct. Sin, 2: 128, says that the causal principle is not satisfied till by regress we come to a cause which is not itself an effectto one who is caum rati; Aids to Study of German Theology, 15-17: Even if the universe be eternal, its contingent and relative nature requires us to postulate an eternal Creator; Dlman, Tbelstic Argument, SO—" While the law of causation does not lead logically up to the conclusion of a first cause, it compels us to affirm it." We reply that it is not the law of causation which compels us to affirm it, for this certainly "does not lead logically up to the conclusion." If we infer an uncaused cause, we do it, not by logical process, but by virtue of the intuitive belief within us. So substantially Sceretan, and Whewell, in Indications of a Creator, and in Hist, of Scientific Ideas, 2: 321, 322—"The mind takes refuge, in the assumption of a First Cause, from an employment inconsistent with its own nature "; "wc necessarily infer a First Cause, although the palietiological sciences only point towards it, but do not lead us to it."

D. Granting that the cause of the universe has not itself been caused, it is impossible to show that this cause is not finite, like the universe itself. The causal principle requires a cause no greater than just sufficient to account for the effect.

We cannot therefore infer an infinite cause, unless the universe is infinite— which cannot be proved, but can only bo assumed—and this is assuming an infinite in order to prove an infinite. All we know of the universe is finite. An infinite universe implies infinite number. But no number can be infinite, for to any number, however great, a unit can be added, which shows that It was not infinite before. Here again we see that the most approved forms of the Cosmologicnl Argument are obliged to avail themselves of the intuition of the infinite, to supplement the logical process. On the law of parsimony, see Sir Win. Hamilton, Discussions, 828.

2. The value of (he Cosmologieal Argument, then, is simply this,—it proves the existence of some cause of the universe indefinitely great. When we go beyond this, and ask whother this cause is a cause of being, or merely a cause of change, to the universe; whether it is a cause apart from the universe, or one with it; whether it is an eternal cause, or a cause dependent upon some other cause ; whether it is intelligent or unintelligent, infinite or finite, one or many,—this argument cannot assure us.

On the whole argument, see Flint, Theism, 96-130; Mozley, Essays, Hist, and Theol., 2: 414-444; Hedge, Ways of the Spirit, 148-154; Studien und Kritiken, 1876: 9-31.

II. The Teleolooical Argument, Or Argument From Order And Useful Collocation In Nature.

This is not properly an argument from design to a designer; for that design implies a designer is simply an identical proposition. It may be more correctly stated as follows: Order and useful collocation pervading a system respectively imply intelligence and purpose as the cause of that order and collocation. Since order and usefid collocation pervade the universe, there must exist an intelligence adequate to the production of this order, and a will adequate to direct this collocation to useful ends.

Etymologieally, "tcloologleal argument" = argument to ends or flnnl causes, that is, "causes which, beginning as u thought, work themselves out into a fact as an end or result" (Porter, Hum. Intellect, 5A2-618>. This definition of the argument would be broad enough to cover the proof of a designing intelligence drawn frotn-the constitution of man. This last, however, is treated as a part of the Anthropological Argument, which follows this, and the Teleoiogieal Argument covers only the proof of a designing intelligence drawn from nature. Hence Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, Holm's trans.. 381, calls it the physieo-theological argument. On methods of stating the argument, see Bib. Sac., Oct., 1887: 635. See also Hedge, Ways of the Spirit, 155-185; Mozley, Essays Hist, and Theol., 2: 385-413.

Hicks, in his Critique of Design-arguments. 3*7-389, makes two arguments instead of one: (1) the argument from ortltr to intelligence, to which he gives the name Eutaxiological; (2) the argument from adaptation to j/urpow, to which he would restrict the name Topological. He holds that Teleology proper cannot prove intrllitieiiee, because in speaking of "ends" at all, it must assume the very intelligence which it seeks to prove; that it actually does prove simply the intentional exercise of an intelligence whose existence has been previously established. "Circumstances, forces or agencies converging to a definite rational result, imply volition—imply that this result is intended —is an end. This is the major premise of the new teleology." He objects to the term "final cause." The end is not a cause at all—it is a motive. The characteristic element of cause is power to produce an effect. Ends have no such power. The will may choose them or set them aside. As already assuming intelligence, ends cannot prove intelligence.

With this in the main we agree, and count it a valuable help to the statement and understanding of the argument. In the very observation of order, however, as well as in arguing from it, we are obliged to assume the same all-arranging Intelligence. We see no objection therefore to making Eutaxiology the first part of the Teleoiogieal Argument, as we do above. See review of Hicks, in Meth. Quar. Rev., July, 1883: 689576. We proceed however to certain

1. Further explanations.

A. The major premise expresses a primitive conviction. It is not invalidated by the objections: (a) that order and useful collocation may exist without being purposed—for we are compelled by our very mental constitution to deny this in all cases where the order and collocation pervade a system; (b) that order and useful collocation may result from the mere operation of physical forces and laws—for these very forces and lawB imply, instead of excluding, an originating and superintending intelligence and will.

Janet, in his work on Final Causes, 8, denies that finality is a primitive conviction, like causality, and calls it the result of an induction. He therefore proceeds from (1) marks of order and useful collocation to (21 finality In nature, and then to (3) an intelligent cause of this finality or " pre-conformity to future event." So Dlman, Theistic Argument, 105, claims simply that, as change requires cause, so orderly ehango requires intelligent cause. We have shown, however, that induction nnd argument of every kind presupposes intuitive belief in final cause. Nature does not give us final cause; but no more does she give us eflicient cause. Mind gives us both, and gives them as clearly upon one experience as after a thousand.

la) Illustration of unpurposed order, In the single throwing of " double sixes "—constant throwing of double sixes Indicates design. So arrangement of detritus at mouth of river. See Chuuneey Wright, in N. Y. Nation, Jan. 15,1874; Murphy. Scientific liases of Faith, 308.

(b) Bowne, Review of H. Spencer, 231-217—" Law is mcthixl, not cmw. A man cannot offer the very fact to be explained, as its sufficient explanation." Martineau, Essays, 1: 144—" Patterned damask made not by the weaver but by the loom?" Joseph Cook: "Books written by the laws of spelling and grammar?" Dr. Stevenson: "House requires no architect because it is built by stonemasons and carpenters?" Huxley, Critiques and Addresses, 274, 275, 307—"The teleologieal and the mechanical views of the universe an; not mutually exclusive." Sir Win. Hamilton, Metaphysics: "Intelligence stands first in the order of existence. Efficient causes are preceded by final causes." See also Thornton, Old Fashioned Ethics, 19it 205. Evolution has to do with the /line, not with the why, of phenomena, and therefore Is not inconsistent with design, but rather is a new and higher illustration of design. Frances Power Cobbe: "11 Is a singular fact that, whenever we find out how a thing is done, our first conclusion seems to be that God did not do it." Bp. Temple, Bampton Leot., 1864: 99-123; Owen, Anat. of Vertebrates, 3: 798; Pierce, Ideality in the Physical Sciences, 1-35.

B. The minor premise expresses a working-principle of all science, namely, that all things have their uses, that order pervades the universe, and that the methods of nature are rational methods. Evidences of this appear in the correlation of the chemical elements to each other; in the fitness of the inanimate world to be the basis and support of life; in the typical forms and unity of plan apparent in the organic creation; in the existence and cooperation of natural laws; in cosmical order and compensations.

This minor premise is not invalidated by the objections: (a) That we frequently misunderstand the end actually subserved by natural events and objects; for the principle is, not that we necessarily know the actual end, but that we necessarily believe that there is some end, in every case of systematic order and collocation. (6) That the order of the universe is manifestly imperfect; for this, if granted, would argue, not absence of contrivance, but some special reason for imperfection, either in the limitations of the contriving intelligence itself, or in the nature of the end sought (as, for example, correspondence with the moral state and probation of sinners).

Diman, Theistic Argument: "Not only do we observe in the world the change which is the basis of the Cosmological Argument, but we perceive that this change proceeds according to a fixed and invariable rule. In inorganic nature, general order, or regularity; in organic nature, special order, or a/taptatitm." Bowne, Review of H. Spencer, 113-115. 224-230: "Inductive science proceeds upon the postulate that the reasonable and the natural are one." This furnished the guiding clue to Harvey and Cuvier; see Whewell, Hist. Induct. Sciences, 2: 48!M91. Kant: "The anatomist must assume that nothing in man is in vain." On molecules as manufactured articles, see Cooke, Religion and Chemistry, and New Chemistry, lect. 1; also, Maxwell, in Nature, Sept. 25, 1873. See also Tulloch, Theism, 116, 120; LeConte, Religion and Science, lect. 2 and 3; McCosh. Typical Forms, 81, 420; Agassiz, Essay on ffllassitlcation, », 10; Bib. Sac, 1849: 028, and 1850: 613; Hopkins, in Princeton Review, Sept., 1882: 181.

(n) Design, in fact that rivers always run by large towns? that springs are always found at gambling places? Plants made for man, and man for worms? Voltaire: "Noses are made for spectacles—let us wear them!" Pope: "While man exclaims 'See all things for my use,' 'See man for mine' replies the pampered goose." Many of the objections to design arise from mistaking a part of the creation for the whole, or a structure in process of development for a structure completed. For illustration of mistaken ends, see Janet, Final Causes.

(h) Alphonso of Castile took offense at the Ptolemaic system. See John Stuart Mill's indictment of nature, in his posthumous Essays on Religion. So also Schopenhauer and von Hartmann. Per contra, see Bowne, Kevlew of H. Spencer, 264, 285; McCosh, Christianity and Positivism, 82 ;Martincau, Essays, 1: 50; Porter, Human Intellect, 599; Mlvart, Lessons from Nature, 368-371; Princeton Review, Mar., 1878: 272-303; Shaw on Positivism.

2. Defects of the Teleological Argument. These attach not to the premises but to the conclusion sought to be drawn therefrom.

A. The argument cannot prove a personal God. The order and useful collocations of the universe may be only the changing phenomena of an impersonal intelligence and will, such as pantheism supposes. The finality may be only immanent finality.

There is such a thing as immanent and unconscious finality. National spirit, without set purpose, constructs language. The l>ee works unconsciously to ends. Strato of LampsaciiB regarded the world as a vast animal. Hopkins, Miscellanies, 18-36—" So long as there is such a thing as impersonal and adapting intelligence in the brute creation, we cannot necessarily infer from unchanging laws a free and personal God." See Fisher, Supernat. Origin of Christianity, 576-578. Kant shows that the argument does not prove an Intelligence apart from the world (Critique, 370). We must bring mind to the world, if we would find mind in it. Leave out man, and nature cannot be properly interpreted; the intelligence and will in nature may still be unconscious. But, taking in man, we are bound to get our idea of the intelligence and will in nature from the highest type of intelligence and will we know, and that is mnn's. Nullus in mierocosmo spiritus, nullus in macroeosmo Deus. "We receive but what we give. And in our life alone does Nature live."

The Teleological Argument therefore needs to be supplemented by the Anthropological Argument, or the argument from the mental and moral constitution of man. By itself, it does not prove a Creator. See Calderwood, Moral Philosophy, 28; Bitter, Hist. Anc. Philos., bk. 9, chap. 6: Foundations of our Faith, 38; Murphy, Scientific Bases, 215; Habit and Intelligence, 2; 6, and chap. 27. On immanent finality, see Janet, Final Causes, 345-415; Diman, Theistic Argument, 201-203. Since righteousness belongs only to personality, this argument cannot prove righteousness in God. Flint, Theism, 68— "Power and intelligence alone do not constitute God, though they be infinite. A being may have these, and, if lacking righteousness, may be a devil." Here again we see the need of the Anthropological Argument to supplement this.

B. Even if this argument could prove personality in the intelligence and will that originated the order of the universe, it could not prove either the unity, the eternity, or the infinity of God; not the unity—for the useful collocations of the universe might be the result of oneness of counsel, instead of oneness of essence, in the contriving intelligence; not the eternity—for a created demiurge might conceivably have designed the universe; not the infinity—since all marks of order and collocation within our observation are simply finite.

Diman asserts (Theistic Argument, 114) that all the phenomena of the universe must be due to the same source—since all alike are subject to the same method of sequence, c. (/. gravitation—and that the evidence points us Irresistibly to some one explanatory cause. We can regard this assertion only as the utterance of a primitive belief in a first cause, not as the conclusion of logical demonstration, for we know only an infinitesimal part of the universe. From the point of view of the intuition of an Absolute Reason, however, we can cordiallj' assent to the words of F. L. Patton: "When we consider Matthew Arnold's 'stream of tendency,' Spencer's 'unknowable,' Schopenhauer's 'world as will,' and Hartmann's elaborate defence of finality as the product of unconscious intelligence, we may well ask if the theists, with their belief in one personal God, are not in possession of the only hypothesis that can save the language of these writers from the charge of meaningless and idiotic raving" (Journ. Christ. Philos., April, 1883: 283-307).

3. The value of the Teleological Argument is simply this,—it proves from certain useful collocations and instances of order which have clearly had a beginning, or in other words, from the present harmony of the universe, that there exists an intelligence and will adequate to its contrivance. But whether this intelligence and will is personal or impersonal, creator or only fashioner, one or many, finite or infinite, eternal or owing its being to another, necessary or free, this argument cannot assure us.

In it, however, we take a step forward. The causative power which we have proved by the Cosmologies! Argument has now become an intelligent and voluntary power.

John Stuart Mill, Three Essays on Theism, 108-170—" In the present state of our knowledge, the adaptations in nature afford a large balance of probability In favor of causation by intelligence." On the whole argument, see Bib. Sac, 1849: 6S4; Murpby, Scientific Bases of Faltti, 216; Flint, Theism, 131-210; Pfleiderer, Die Religion, 1: 164-174.

III. The Anthropological Argument, Ob Argument Prom Man's Mental And Moral Nature.

This is an argument from the mental and moral constitution of man to the existence of an Author, Lawgiver, and End. It is sometimes called the Moral Argument.

The common title "Moral Argument" is much too narrow, for it seems to take account only of conscience in man, whereas the argument which this title so imperfectly designates really proceeds from man's intellectual and emotional, as well as from his moral, naturo. In choosing the designation we have adopted, we desire, moreover, to rescue from the mere physicist the term "Anthropology "—a term to which he has attached altogether too limited a signification, and which, in his use of it, implies that man is a mere animal. Anthropology means, not simply the science of man's physical nature, origin, and relations, but also the science which treats of his higher spiritual being. Hence, In Theology, the term Anthropology designates that division of the subject which treats of man's spiritual nature and endowments, his original state and his subsequent apostasy. As an argument, therefore, from man's mental and moral nature, we can with perfect propriety call the present argument the Anthropological Argument.

The argument is a complex one, and may be divided into three parts.

1. Man's intellectual and moral nature must have had for its author nn intellectual and moral Being. The elements of the proof are as follows:— (a) Man, as an intellectual and moral Being, has had a beginning upon the planet. (6) Material and unconscious forces do not afford a sufficient cause for man's reason, conscience, and free will, (c) Man, as an effect, can be referred only to a cause possessing self-consciousness and a moral nature, in other words, personality.

This argument is In part an application to man of the principles of both the Cosmological and the Teleologieal Arguments. Flint, Theism, "4—"Although causality does not involve design, nor design goodness, yet design involves causality, and goodness both causality and design." Jacob!: "Nature conceals God; tnan reveals him."

Man is an effect. The history of the geologic ages proves that man has not always existed, and even if the lower creatures were his progenitors, his intellect and freedom are not eternal a jmrte mile. We consider man, not as a physical, but as a spiritual, being. Thompson, Christian Theism, 75—" Every true cause must be sufficient to account for the effect." Locke, Essay, book 4, chap. 10—" Cogitable existence cannot be produced out of incogitable."

Personality = self-consciousness self-determination in view of moral ends. The brute has intelligence and will, but has neither self-consciousness, conscience, nor freewill. See Julius MUller, Doctrine of Sin, 1: 78 «j. Diumn, Theistlc Argument, til, 251— "Suppose 'the intuitions of the moral faculty are the slowly organized results of experience received from the race'; still, having found that the universe affords evidence of a supremely intelligent cause, we may believe that man's moral nature affords the hit?heat illustration of its mode of working"; 358: "Shall we explain the lower forms of will by the higher, or the higher by the lower f"

2. Man's moral nature proves the existence of a holy Lawgiver and Judge. The elements of the proof are:—(a) Conscience recognizes the existence of a moral law which has supreme authority. (6) Known violations of this moral law are followed by feelings of ill-desert and fears of judgment, (c) This moral law, since it is not self-imposed, and these threats of judgment, since they are not self-executing, respectively argue the existence of a holy will that has imposed the law, and of a punitive power that will execute the threats of the moral nature.

See Bishop Butler's Sermons on Human Nature, in Works, Dohn's ed., 385-tH. Butler's great discovery was that of the supremacy of conscience in the moral constitution of man: "Had it strength as it has right, had it power as it has manifest authority, it would absolutely govern the world." Conscience = the moral judiciary of the soul — not law, nor sheriff, but Judge; Sin- under Anthropology. Diman. Theistic Argument, 251 —" Conscience does not lay down a law; it warns us of the existence of a law; and not only of a law, but of a purpose—not our own, but the purpose of another, which it is our mission to realize." See Murphy, Scientific Bases of Faith, 218 w/. It proves personality in the Lawgiver, because Its utterances are not abstract, like those of reason, but are in the nature of command; they arc not in the indicative, but in the imperative, mood; it says, "thou shalt" and "thou shalt not." This argues icill.

Hutton, Essays, 1: 11—"Conscience is an ideal Moses, and thunders from an invisible Sinai;" "the Atheist regards conscience not as a skylight, opened to let in upon human nature an infinite dawn from above, but as a polished arch or dome, completing and reliecting the whole edifice bene *th." But conscience cannot be the mere reflection and expression of nature, for it represses and condemns nature. Tulloch, Theism: "Conscience, like the magnetic needle, indicates the existence of an unknown Power which from afar controls its vibrations and at whose presence it trembles." Nero spends nights of terror in wandering through the halls of his Golden House. Kant holds that faith in duty requires faith in a God who will defend and reward duty—see Critique of Pure Reason, 350-387. See also Porter, Human Intellect, 524.

3. Man's emotional and voluntary nature proves the existence of a Being who can furnish in himself a satisfying object of human affection and an end which will call forth man's highest activities and ensure his highest progress.

Only a Being of power, wisdom, holiness, and goodness, and all these indefinitely greater than any that we know upon the earth, can meet this demand of the human soul. Such a Being must exist. Otherwise man's greatest need would be unsupplied, and belief in a lie be more productive of virtue than belief in the truth.

Feuerbach calls God "the Brocken-shadow of man himself;" "consciousness of God = self-consciousness;" "religion is a dream of the human soul;" "all theology is anthropology." But conscience shows that man does not recognize in God simply his like, but also his opposite. Not as (Jalton: "Piety = conscience — instability." The finest minds are of the leaning type; see Murphy, Scientific Bases, 370; Augustine, Confessions, 1: 1—"Thou hast made us for thyself, and our heart is restless till it find rest in thee." On John Stuart Mill—" a mind that could not find God, and a heart that could not do without him"—see his Autobiography, and Browne, in Strivings for the Faith (Christ. Ev. Soc'y), 259-287. Comte, in his later days, constructed an object of worship in Universal Humanity, and invented a ritual which Huxley calls "Catholicism minus Christianity." See also Tyndall, Belfast Address: "Did I not believe, said a great man to me once, that an InteUigence exists at the heart of things, my life on earth would be intolerable."

We must freely grant, however, that this argument from man's aspirations has weight only upon the supposition that a wise, truthful, holy, and benevolent God exists, who has so constituted our minds that their thinking and their affections correspond to truth and to himself. An evil being miKht have so constituted us that all logic would lead us into error. The argument is therefore the development and expression of our intuitive idea of God. Luthardt, Fundamental Truths: "Nature is like a written document containing only consonants. It is we who must furnish the vowels that shall decipher it. Unless we bring with us the* idea of God. we shall find nature but dumb." See also Pfleiderer, Die Religion, 1: 174.

A. The defects of the Anthropological Argument are: (a) It cannot prove a creator of the material universe, (b) It cannot prove the infinity of God, since man from whom we argue is tinite. (c) It cannot prove the mercy of God. But,

B. The value of the, Argument in, that it assures us of the existence of a personal Being, who rules us in righteousness, and who is the proper object of supreme affection and service. But whether this Being is the original creator of all things, or merely the author of our own existence, whether he is infinite or finite, whether he is a Being of simple righteousness or also of mercy, this argument cannot assure us.

Among the arguments for the existence of God, however, we assign to this the chief place, since it adds to the ideas of causative power (which we derived from the Cosmological Argument) and of contriving intelligence (which we derived from the Teleological Argument), the far wider ideas of personality and righteous lordship.

Sir Wm. Hamilton, Works of Reid, 2 : 974, note V; Lect. on Metaph., 1: 33-" The only valid arguments for the existence of God and for the immortality of the soul rest upon the ground of man's moral nature"; "theology Is wholly dependent upon psychology, for with the proof of the moral nature of man stands or falls the proof of the existence of a Deity." Rut Diman, Theistic Argument, 244, very properly objects to making this argument from the nature of man the sole proof of Deity: "It should be rather used to show the attributes of the Deing whose existence has been already proved from other sources"; "hence the Anthropological Argument is its dependent upon the Cosmological and Teleological Arguments as they are upon it."

Yet the Anthropological Argument is needed to supplement the conclusions of the two others. Those who, like Herbert Spencer, recognize an infinite and absolute Reing, Power and Cause, may yet fail to recognize this being as spiritual and personal, simply because they do not recognize themselves as spiritual and personal beings, that is, do not recognize reason, conscience, and free-will in man. Agnosticism in philosophy involves agnosticism in religion. See Flint, Theism, 68; Mill, Criticism of Hamilton, 2: 268; Dove, Logic of Christian Faith, 211-3)8, 261-201); Cooke, Religion and Chemistry: "God is love; hut nature could not prove it, and the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world in order to attest it."

It is very common at this place to treat of what are called the Historical and the Diblical Arguments for the existence of God—the former arguing, from the unity of history, the latter arguing, from the unity of the Rible, that this unity must m each cast; have for its cause and explanation the existence of God. It is a sufficient reason for not discussing these arguments, that, without a previous belief in the existence of God, no one will see unity either in history or in the Rible.

IV. The Ontological Argument, Or Argument From Our Abstract And Necessary Ideas.

This argument infers the existence of God from the abstract and necessary ideas of the human mind. It has three forms:

1. That of Samuel Clarke. Space and time are attributes of substance or being. But space and time are respectively infinite and eternal. There must therefore be an infinite and eternal substance or Being to whom these attributes belong.

Gillespie states the argument somewhat differently. Space and time are modes of existence. But space and time are respectively infinite and eternal. There must therefore be an infinite and eternal Being who subsists in these modes. But we reply:

Space and time are neither attributes of substance nor modes of existence. The argument, if valid, would prove that God is not mind but matter, for that could not be mind, but only matter, of which space and time were either attributes or modes.

The Ontological Argument is frequently called the n priori argument, that is, the argument from that which is logically prior, or earlier than experience, viz. our intuitive ideas. All the forms of the Ontological Argument are in this sense a priori. Space and time are a priori ideas. See Samuel Clarke, Works, 2: 521; Gillespie, Necessary Existence of God. Per contra, see Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, 364; Calderwood, Moral Philosophy, 226—" To begin, as Clarke did, with the proposition that 'something has existed from eternity,' is virtually to propose an argument after having assumed what is to be proved. Gillespie's form of the a priori argument, starting with the proposition 'Infinity of extension is necessarily existing,' is liable to the same objection, with the additional disadvantage of attributing a property of matter to the Deity."

H. B. Smith says that Brougham misrepresented Clarke: "Clarke's argument is in his sixth proposition, and supposes the existence proved in what goes before. He aims here to establish the infinitude and omnipresence of this First Being. He does not prove existence from immensity." But we reply, neither can he prove the infinity ot God from the immensity of space. Space and time are neither substances nor attributes, but are rather relations; see Calderwood, Pbilos. of Infinite, 331-335; Cocker, Theistic Conception of the World, 66-116. The doctrine that space and time are attributes or modes of God's existence tends to a materialistic pantheism like that of Spinoza, who held that "the one and simple substance" (substantia una et utiles) is known to us through the two attributes of thought and extension; mind = God in the mode of thought; matter = God in the mode of extension. Dove, Logic of the Christian Faith, 127, says well that an extended God is a material God; "space and time are attributes neither of matter nor mind;" "we must carry the moral idea into the natural world, not the natural idea into the moral world." See also, Blunt, Dictionary Doct. and Hist. Theol., 740; Porter, Human Intellect, 567.

2. That of Descartes. We have the idea of an infinite and perfect Being. This idea cannot be derived from imperfect and finite things. There must therefore be an infinite and perfect Being who is its cause.

But we reply that this argument confounds the idea of the infinite with an infinite idea. Man's idea of the infinite is not infinite but finite, and from a finite effect we cannot argue an infinite cause.

This form of the Ontological Argument, while It is a priori, as based upon a necessary idea of the human mind, is, unlike the other forms of the same argument, a posteriori, as arguing from this idea, as an rfiert, to the existence of a Being who is its canse. A posteriori argument = from that which is later to that which is earlier, that is, from effect to cause. The Cosmological, Teleological, and Anthropological Arguments are arguments a posteriori. Of this sort is the argument of Descartes; see Descartes, Meditation 3: "Haec idea quae in nobis est requirit Deum pro causa; Deusque proinde existit." The idea in men's minds is the impression of the workman's name stamped indelibly on his work—the shadow cast upon the human soul by that unseen One of whose being and presence it dimly informs us. Blunt, Diet, of Theol., 739; Saisset, Pantheism, 1: 54—" Descartes sets out from a fact of consciousness, while Anselm sets out from an abstract conception ;" "Descartcs's argument might be considered a branch of the Anthropological or Moral Argument, but for the fact that this last proceeds from man's constitution rather than from his abstract ideas." See Bib. Sac, 1849: 637.

3. That of Anselm. We have the idea of an absolutely perfect Being. But existence is an attribute of perfection. An absolutely perfect Being must therefore exist.

But we reply that this argument confounds ideal existence with real existence. Our ideas are not the measure of external reality.

Anselin, Proslogion, 2—Id, quo maJuB cogitari nequit, non potest esse in intolleetu solo. See translation of the Proslogion, in Mb. Sac., 1851: 5311, ««9; Kant, Critique, 368. The arguments of Descartes and Anselin, with Kant's reply, are (riven in their original form by Harris, in Journ. Spec. Philos., 15: 420-428. The major premise here is not that all perfect ideus Imply the existence of the object which they represent, for then, as Kant objects, I might argue from my perfect idea of a §100 bill that I actually possessed the same, which would be far from the fact. So I have a perfect idea of a perfectly evil being, of a centaur, of nothing—but it does not follow that the evil being, that the centaur, that nothing, exists. The argument is rather from the idea of absolute and perfect Being—of "that, no greater than which can be conceived." There can be but one such Being, and there can be but one such idea.

Yet even thus understood, we cannot argue from the idea to the actual existence of such a being. "Anselm's argument implies," says Fisher, in Journ. Christ. Philos., Jan., 1883: 114, "that existence in re is a constituent of the concept. It would conclude the existence of a being from the definition of a word. This inference is Justified only on the basis of philosophical realism." Dove, Logic of the Christ. Faith, HI—"The Ontological Argument is the algebraic formula of the universe, which leads to a valid conclusion with regard to veal existence, only when we till it in witli the objects with which we become acquainted in the arguments a imtterlori." See also, Shedd, Hist. Doct.. 1: 231, and in Presb. Hev., April, 1884: 212-227 (favoring the argument); Fisher, Essays, 574; Thompson. Christian Theism, 171; H.B.Smith, Introd. to Christ. Theol., 122; Pfleiderer, Die Religion, 1: 181-187; Studien und Kritiken, 1875: 611-655.

Dorner, in his Glaubenslehre, 1: 197, gives us the best statement of the Ontological Argument: "Reason thinks of God as existing. Reason would not be reason, if it did not think of God as existing. Reason only is, upon the assumption that God is." But this is evidently not argument, but only vivid statement of the necessary assumption of the existence of an absolute Reason which conditions and gives validity to ours.

Although this last must be considered the most perfect form of the ontological argument, it is evident that it conducts us only to an ideal conclusion, not to real existence. In common with the two preceding forms of the argument, moreover, it tacitly assumes, as already existing in the human mind, that very knowledge of God's existence which it would derive from logical demonstration. It has value, therefore, simply as showing what God must be, if he exists at all.

But the existence of a Being indefinitely great, a personal Cause, Contriver and Lawgiver, has been proved by the preceding arguments; for the law of parsimony requires us to apply the conclusions of the firBt three arguments to one Being, and not to many. To this one Being we may now ascribe the infinity and perfection, the idea of which lies at the basis of the Ontological Argument—ascribe them, not because they are demonstrably his, but because our mental constitution will not allow us to think otherwise. Thus clothing him with all perfections which the human mind can conceive, and these in illimitable fulness, we have one whom we may justly call God.

MeCosh, Div. Gov't, 12, note—" It is at this place, if we do not mistake, that the idea of the Infinite comes in. The capacity of the human mind to form such an idea, or rather its intuitive belief in an Infinite of which it feels that it cannot form an adequate conception, may be no proof (as Kant maintains) of the existence of an infinite Being; but it is, we are convinced, the means by which tho mind is enabled to Invest the Deity, shown on other grounds to exist, with the attributes of infinity, i. c, to look on his being, power, goodness, and all his perfections, as infinite." Even Flint, Theism, 68, who holds that we reach the existence of God by inference, speaks of "necessary conditions of thought and feeling, and Ineradicable aspirations, which force on us ideas of absolute existence, infinity, and perfection, aud will neither permit us to deny these perfections to God, nor to ascribe them to any other being." Belief In God is not the conclusion of a demonstration, but the solution of a problem. Calderwood, Moral Philosophy, **either the whole question is assximed in starting, or the Infinite is not reached in concluding."

As a logical process this is indeed defective, since all logic as well as all observation depends for its validity upon the presupposed existence of God, and since this particular process, even granting the validity of logic in general, does not warrant the conclusion that God exists, except upon a second assumption that our abstract ideas of infinity and perfection are to be applied to the Being to whom argument has actually conducted us.

But although both ends of the logical bridge are confessedly wanting, the process may serve and does serve a more useful purpose than that of mere demonstration, namely, that of awakening, explicating, and confirming a conviction which, though the most fundamental of all, may yet have been partially slumbering for lack of thought.

Morell, Philos. Fragments, 177, 179—" We can, in fact, no more prove the existence of a God by a logical argument, than we can prove the existence of an external world: but none the less may we obtain as strong a practical conviction of the one. as the other." "We arrive at a scientific belief in the existence of God just as we do at any other possible human truth. We assume it, as a hypothesis absolutely necessary to account for the phenomena of the universe: and then evidences from every quarter Ix'gin to eonverge upon It, until, in process of time, the common sense of mankind, cultivated and enlightened by ever accumulating knowledge, pronounces upon the validity of the hypothesis with a voice scarcely less decided and universal than it does in the case of our highest scientific convictions."

Fisher, Essays on Supernat. Orig. of Christ'y, 572—"What then is the purport and force of the several arguments for the existence of God? We reply that these proofs are the different modes in which faith expresses itself and seeks confirmation. In them faith, or the object of faith, is more exactly conceived and defined, and in them is found a corroboration, not arbitrary but substantial and valuable, of that faith which springs from the soul itself. Such proofs, therefore, are neither on the one hand sufficient to create and sustain faith, nor are they on the other hand to be set aside as of no value." A.J. Barrett: "The arguments are not so much a bridge in themselves, as they an.' guys, to hold firm the great suspension-bridge of intuition, by which we pass the gulf from man to God. Or, while they are not a ladder by which we may reach heaven, they are the Ossa on Pellon, from whose combined height we may descry heaven." On the whole subject, see Cudworth, Intel. System of the Universe. 3: 42; Calderwood, Philos. of the Infinite, 150 ty.; Curtis, Human Element in Inspiration, 242; Peabody, in Andover Review, July, 1884; Halm, History of the Arguments for the Existence of God.