Front Page Titles (by Subject) Theism - The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume X - Essays on Ethics, Religion, and Society
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Theism - John Stuart Mill, The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume X - Essays on Ethics, Religion, and Society 
The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume X - Essays on Ethics, Religion, and Society, ed. John M. Robson, Introduction by F.E.L. Priestley (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1985).
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the contest which subsists from of old between believers and unbelievers in natural and revealed religion, has, like other permanent contests, varied materially in its character from age to age; and the present generation, at least in the higher regions of controversy, shows, as compared with the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century, a marked alteration in the aspect of the dispute. One feature of this change is so apparent as to be generally acknowledged; the more softened temper in which the debate is conducted on the part of unbelievers. The reactionary violence, provoked by the intolerance of the other side, has in a great measure exhausted itself. Experience has abated the ardent hopes once entertained of the regeneration of the human race by merely negative doctrine—by the destruction of superstition. The philosophical study of history, one of the most important creations of recent times, has rendered possible an impartial estimate of the doctrines and institutions of the past, from a relative instead of an absolute point of view—as incidents of human development at which it is useless to grumble, and which may deserve admiration and gratitude for their effects in the past, even though they may be thought incapable of rendering similar services to the future. And the position assigned to Christianity or Theism by the more instructed of those who reject the supernatural, is that of things once of great value but which can now be done without; rather than, as formerly, of things misleading and noxious ab initio.
Along with this change in the moral attitude of thoughtful unbelievers towards the religious ideas of mankind, a corresponding difference has manifested itself in their intellectual attitude. The war against religious beliefs, in the last century was carried on principally on the ground of common sense or of logic; in the present age, on the ground of science. The progress of the physical sciences is considered to have established, by conclusive evidence, matters of fact with which the religious traditions of mankind are not reconcileable; while the science of human nature and history, is considered to show that the creeds of the past are natural growths of the human mind, in particular stages of its career, destined to disappear and give place to other convictions in a more advanced stage. In the progress of discussion this last class of considerations seems even to be superseding those which address themselves directly to the question of truth. Religions tend to be discussed, at least by those who reject them, less as intrinsically true or false than as products thrown up by certain states of civilization, and which, like the animal and vegetable productions of a geological period perish in those which succeed it from the cessation of the conditions necessary to their continued existence.
This tendency of recent speculation to look upon human opinions preeminently from an historical point of view, as facts obeying laws of their own, and requiring, like other observed facts, an historical or a scientific explanation (a tendency not confined to religious subjects), is by no means to be blamed, but to be applauded; not solely as drawing attention to an important and previously neglected aspect of human opinions, but because it has a real though indirect bearing upon the question of their truth. For, whatever opinion a person may adopt on any subject that admits of controversy, his assurance if he be a cautious thinker cannot be complete unless he is able to account for the existence of the opposite opinion. To ascribe it to the weakness of the human understanding is an explanation which cannot be sufficient for such a thinker, for he will be slow to assume that he has himself a less share of that infirmity than the rest of mankind and that error is more likely to be on the other side than on his own. In his examination of evidence, the persuasion of others, perhaps of mankind in general, is one of the data of the case—one of the phenomena to be accounted for. As the human intellect though weak is not essentially perverted, there is a certain presumption of the truth of any opinion held by many human minds, requiring to be rebutted by assigning some other real or possible cause for its prevalence. And this consideration has a special relevancy to the inquiry concerning the foundations of theism, inasmuch as no argument for the truth of theism is more commonly invoked or more confidently relied on, than the general assent of mankind.
But while giving its full value to this historical treatment of the religious question, we ought not therefore to let it supersede the dogmatic. The most important quality of an opinion on any momentous subject is its truth or falsity, which to us resolves itself into the sufficiency of the evidence on which it rests. It is indispensable that the subject of religion should from time to time be reviewed as a strictly scientific question, and that its evidences should be tested by the same scientific methods, and on the same principles as those of any of the speculative conclusions drawn by physical science. It being granted then that the legitimate conclusions of science are entitled to prevail over all opinions, however widely held, which conflict with them, and that the canons of scientific evidence which the successes and failures of two thousand years have established, are applicable to all subjects on which knowledge is attainable, let us proceed to consider what place there is for religious beliefs on the platform of science; what evidences they can appeal to, such as science can recognize, and what foundation there is for the doctrines of religion, considered as scientific theorems.
In this inquiry we of course begin with Natural Religion, the doctrine of the existence and attributes of God.
Though I have defined the problem of Natural Theology, to be that of the existence of God or of a God, rather than of Gods, there is the amplest historical evidence that the belief in Gods is immeasurably more natural to the human mind than the belief in one author and ruler of nature; and that this more elevated belief is, compared with the former, an artificial product, requiring (except when impressed by early education) a considerable amount of intellectual culture before it can be reached. For a long time, the supposition appeared forced and unnatural that the diversity we see in the operations of nature can all be the work of a single will. To the untaught mind, and to all minds in pre-scientific times, the phenomena of nature seem to be the result of forces altogether heterogeneous, each taking its course quite independently of the others; and though to attribute them to conscious wills is eminently natural, the natural tendency is to suppose as many such independent wills as there are distinguishable forces of sufficient importance and interest to have been remarked and named. There is no tendency in polytheism as such to transform itself spontaneously into monotheism. It is true that in polytheistic systems generally the deity whose special attributes inspire the greatest degree of awe, is usually supposed to have a power of controlling the other deities; and even in the most degraded perhaps of all such systems, the Hindoo, adulation heaps upon the divinity who is the immediate object of adoration, epithets like those habitual to believers in a single God. But there is no real acknowledgment of one Governor. Every God normally rules his particular department though there may be a still stronger God whose power when he chooses to exert it can frustrate the purposes of the inferior divinity. There could be no real belief in one Creator and Governor until mankind had begun to see in the apparently confused phenomena which surrounded them, a system capable of being viewed as the possible working out of a single plan. This conception of the world was perhaps anticipated (though less frequently than is often supposed) by individuals of exceptional genius, but it could only become common after a rather long cultivation of scientific thought.
The special mode in which scientific study operates to instil Monotheism in place of the more natural Polytheism, is in no way mysterious. The specific effect of science is to show by accumulating evidence, that every event in nature is connected by laws with some fact or facts which preceded it, or in other words, depends for its existence on some antecedent; but yet not so strictly on one, as not to be liable to frustration or modification from others: for these distinct chains of causation are so entangled with one another; the action of each cause is so interfered with by other causes, though each acts according to its own fixed law; that every effect is truly the result rather of the aggregate of all causes in existence than of any one only; and nothing takes place in the world of our experience without spreading a perceptible influence of some sort through a greater or less portion of Nature, and making perhaps every portion of it slightly different from what it would have been if that event had not taken place. Now, when once the double conviction has found entry into the mind—that every event depends on antecedents; and at the same time that to bring it about many antecedents must concur, perhaps all the antecedents in Nature, insomuch that a slight difference in any one of them might have prevented the phenomenon, or materially altered its character—the conviction follows that no one event, certainly no one kind of events, can be absolutely preordained or governed by any Being but one who holds in his hand the reins of all Nature and not of some department only. At least if a plurality be supposed, it is necessary to assume so complete a concert of action and unity of will among them that the difference is for most purposes immaterial between such a theory and that of the absolute unity of the Godhead.
The reason, then, why Monotheism may be accepted as the representative of Theism in the abstract, is not so much because it is the Theism of all the more improved portions of the human race, as because it is the only Theism which can claim for itself any footing on scientific ground. Every other theory of the government of the universe by supernatural beings, is inconsistent either with the carrying on of that government through a continual series of natural antecedents according to fixed laws, or with the interdependence of each of these series upon all the rest, which are the two most general results of science.
Setting out therefore from the scientific view of nature as one connected system, or united whole, united not like a web composed of separate threads in passive juxtaposition with one another, but rather like the human or animal frame, an apparatus kept going by perpetual action and reaction among all its parts; it must be acknowledged that the question, to which Theism is an answer, is at least a very natural one, and issues from an obvious want of the human mind. Accustomed as we are to find, in proportion to our means of observation, a definite beginning to each individual fact; and since wherever there is a beginning we find that there was an antecedent fact (called by us a cause), a fact but for which, the phenomenon which thus commences would not have been; it was impossible that the human mind should not ask itself whether the whole, of which these particular phenomena are a part, had not also a beginning, and if so, whether that beginning was not an origin; whether there was not something antecedent to the whole series of causes and effects that we term Nature, and but for which Nature itself would not have been. From the first recorded speculation this question has never remained without an hypothetical answer. The only answer which has long continued to afford satisfaction is Theism.
Looking at the problem, as it is our business to do, merely as a scientific inquiry, it resolves itself into two questions. First: Is the theory, which refers the origin of all the phenomena of nature to the will of a Creator, consistent or not with the ascertained results of science? Secondly, assuming it to be consistent, will its proofs bear to be tested by the principles of evidence and canons of belief by which our long experience of scientific inquiry has proved the necessity of being guided?
First, then: there is one conception of Theism which is consistent, another which is radically inconsistent, with the most general truths that have been made known to us by scientific investigation.
The one which is inconsistent is the conception of a God governing the world by acts of variable will. The one which is consistent, is the conception of a God governing the world by invariable laws.
The primitive, and even in our own day the vulgar, conception of the divine rule, is that the one God, like the many Gods of antiquity, carries on the government of the world by special decrees, made pro hac vice. Although supposed to be omniscient as well as omnipotent, he is thought not to make up his mind until the moment of action; or at least not so conclusively, but that his intentions may be altered up to the very last moment by appropriate solicitation. Without entering into the difficulties of reconciling this view of the divine government with the prescience and the perfect wisdom ascribed to the Deity, we may content ourselves with the fact that it contradicts what experience has taught us of the manner in which things actually take place. The phenomena of Nature do take place according to general laws. They do originate from definite natural antecedents. Therefore if their ultimate origin is derived from a will, that will must have established the general laws and willed the antecedents. If there be a Creator, his intention must have been that events should depend upon antecedents and be produced according to fixed laws. But this being conceded, there is nothing in scientific experience inconsistent with the belief that those laws and sequences are themselves due to a divine will. Neither are we obliged to suppose that the divine will exerted itself once for all, and after putting a power into the system which enabled it to go on of itself, has ever since let it alone. Science contains nothing repugnant to the supposition that every event which takes place results from a specific volition of the presiding Power, provided that this Power adheres in its particular volitions to general laws laid down by itself. The common opinion is that this hypothesis tends more to the glory of the Deity than the supposition that the universe was made so that it could go on of itself. There have been thinkers however—of no ordinary eminence (of whom Leibnitz was one)—who thought the last the only supposition worthy of the Deity, and protested against likening God to a clockmaker whose clock will not go unless he puts his hand to the machinery and keeps it going. With such considerations we have no concern in this place. We are looking at the subject not from the point of view of reverence but from that of science; and with science both these suppositions as to the mode of the divine action are equally consistent.
We must now, however, pass to the next question. There is nothing to disprove the creation and government of Nature by a sovereign will; but is there anything to prove it? Of what nature are its evidences; and weighed in the scientific balance, what is their value?
THE EVIDENCES OF THEISM
The evidences of a Creator are not only of several distinct kinds but of such diverse characters, that they are adapted to minds of very different descriptions, and it is hardly possible for any mind to be equally impressed by them all. The familiar classification of them into proofs à priori and à posteriori, marks that when looked at in a purely scientific view they belong to different schools of thought. Accordingly though the unthoughtful believer whose creed really rests on authority gives an equal welcome to all plausible arguments in support of the belief in which he has been brought up, philosophers who have had to make a choice between the à priori and the à posteriori methods in general science seldom fail, while insisting on one of these modes of support for religion, to speak with more or less of disparagement of the other. It is our duty in the present inquiry to maintain complete impartiality and to give a fair examination to both. At the same time I entertain a strong conviction that one of the two modes of argument is in its nature scientific, the other not only unscientific but condemned by science. The scientific argument is that which reasons from the facts and analogies of human experience as a geologist does when he infers the past states of our terrestrial globe, or an astronomical observer when he draws conclusions respecting the physical composition of the heavenly bodies. This is the à posteriori method, the principal application of which to Theism is the argument (as it is called) of design. The mode of reasoning which I call unscientific, though in the opinion of some thinkers it is also a legitimate mode of scientific procedure, is that which infers external objective facts from ideas or convictions of our minds. I say this independently of any opinion of my own respecting the origin of our ideas or convictions; for even if we were unable to point out any manner in which the idea of God, for example, can have grown up from the impressions of experience, still the idea can only prove the idea, and not the objective fact, unless indeed the fact is supposed (agreeably to the book of Genesis) to have been handed down by tradition from a time when there was direct personal intercourse with the Divine Being; in which case the argument is no longer à priori. The supposition that an idea, or a wish, or a need, even if native to the mind proves the reality of a corresponding object, derives all its plausibility from the belief already in our minds that we were made by a benignant Being who would not have implanted in us a groundless belief, or a want which he did not afford us the means of satisfying; and is therefore a palpable petitio principii if adduced as an argument to support the very belief which it presupposes.
At the same time, it must be admitted that all à priori systems whether in philosophy or religion, do, in some sense profess to be founded on experience, since though they affirm the possibility of arriving at truths which transcend experience, they yet make the facts of experience their starting point (as what other starting point is possible?). They are entitled to consideration in so far as it can be shown that experience gives any countenance either to them or to their method of inquiry. Professedly à priori arguments are not unfrequently of a mixed nature, partaking in some degree of the à posteriori character, and may often be said to be à posteriori arguments in disguise; the à priori considerations acting chiefly in the way of making some particular à posteriori argument tell for more than its worth. This is emphatically true of the argument for Theism which I shall first examine, the necessity of a First Cause. For this has in truth a wide basis of experience in the universality of the relation of Cause and Effect among the phenomena of nature; while at the same time, theological philosophers have not been content to let it rest upon this basis, but have affirmed Causation as a truth of reason apprehended intuitively by its own light.
ARGUMENT FOR A FIRST CAUSE
The argument for a First Cause admits of being, and is, presented as a conclusion from the whole of human experience. Everything that we know (it is argued) had a cause, and owed its existence to that cause. How then can it be but that the world, which is but a name for the aggregate of all that we know, has a cause to which it is indebted for its existence?
The fact of experience however, when correctly expressed, turns out to be, not that everything which we know derives its existence from a cause, but only every event or change. There is in Nature a permanent element, and also a changeable: the changes are always the effects of previous changes; the permanent existences, so far as we know, are not effects at all. It is true we are accustomed to say not only of events, but of objects, that they are produced by causes, as water by the union of hydrogen and oxygen. But by this we only mean that when they begin to exist, their beginning is the effect of a cause. But their beginning to exist is not an object, it is an event. If it be objected that the cause of a thing’s beginning to exist may be said with propriety to be the cause of the thing itself, I shall not quarrel with the expression. But that which in an object begins to exist, is that in it which belongs to the changeable element in nature; the outward form and the properties depending on mechanical or chemical combinations of its component parts. There is in every object another and a permanent element, viz., the specific elementary substance or substances of which it consists and their inherent properties. These are not known to us as beginning to exist: within the range of human knowledge they had no beginning, consequently no cause; though they themselves are causes or con-causes of everything that takes place. Experience therefore, affords no evidences, not even analogies, to justify our extending to the apparently immutable, a generalization grounded only on our observation of the changeable.
As a fact of experience, then, causation cannot legitimately be extended to the material universe itself, but only to its changeable phenomena; of these, indeed, causes may be affirmed without any exception. But what causes? The cause of every change is a prior change; and such it cannot but be; for if there were no new antecedent, there would not be a new consequent. If the state of facts which brings the phenomenon into existence, had existed always or for an indefinite duration, the effect also would have existed always or been produced an indefinite time ago. It is thus a necessary part of the fact of causation, within the sphere of our experience, that the causes as well as the effects had a beginning in time, and were themselves caused. It would seem therefore that our experience, instead of furnishing an argument for a first cause, is repugnant to it; and that the very essence of causation as it exists within the limits of our knowledge, is incompatible with a First Cause.
But it is necessary to look more particularly into the matter, and analyse more closely the nature of the causes of which mankind have experience. For if it should turn out that though all causes have a beginning, there is in all of them a permanent element which had no beginning, this permanent element may with some justice be termed a first or universal cause, inasmuch as though not sufficient of itself to cause anything, it enters as a con-cause into all causation. Now it happens that the last result of physical inquiry, derived from the converging evidences of all branches of physical science, does, if it holds good, land us so far as the material world is concerned, in a result of this sort. Whenever a physical phenomenon is traced to its cause, that cause when analysed is found to be a certain quantum of Force, combined with certain collocations. And the last great generalization of science, the Conservation of Force, teaches us that the variety in the effects depends partly upon the amount of the force, and partly upon the diversity of the collocations. The force itself is essentially one and the same; and there exists of it in nature a fixed quantity, which (if the theory be true) is never increased or diminished. Here then we find, even in the changes of material nature, a permanent element; to all appearance the very one of which we were in quest. This it is apparently to which if to anything we must assign the character of First Cause, the cause of the material universe. For all effects may be traced up to it, while it cannot be traced up, by our experience, to anything beyond: its transformations alone can be so traced, and of them the cause always includes the force itself: the same quantity of force, in some previous form. It would seem then that in the only sense in which experience supports in any shape the doctrine of a First Cause, viz., as the primæval and universal element in all causes, the First Cause can be no other than Force.
We are, however, by no means at the end of the question. On the contrary, the greatest stress of the argument is exactly at the point which we have now reached. For it is maintained that Mind is the only possible cause of Force; or rather perhaps, that Mind is a Force, and that all other force must be derived from it inasmuch as mind is the only thing which is capable of originating change. This is said to be the lesson of human experience. In the phenomena of inanimate nature the force which works is always a pre-existing force, not originated, but transferred. One physical object moves another by giving out to it the force by which it has first been itself moved. The wind communicates to the waves, or to a windmill, or a ship, part of the motion which has been given to itself by some other agent. In voluntary action alone we see a commencement, an origination of motion; since all other causes appear incapable of this origination experience is in favour of the conclusion that all the motion in existence owed its beginning to this one cause, voluntary agency, if not that of man, then of a more powerful Being.
This argument is a very old one. It is to be found in Plato; not as might have been expected, in the Phædon, where the arguments are not such as would now be deemed of any weight, but in his latest production, the Leges.[*] And it is still one of the most telling arguments with the more metaphysical class of defenders of Natural Theology.
Now, in the first place, if there be truth in the doctrine of the Conservation of Force, in other words the constancy of the total amount of Force in existence, this doctrine does not change from true to false when it reaches the field of voluntary agency. The will does not, any more than other causes, create Force: granting that it originates motion, it has no means of doing so but by converting into that particular manifestation a portion of Force which already existed in other forms. It is known that the source from which this portion of Force is derived, is chiefly, or entirely, the Force evolved in the processes of chemical composition and decomposition which constitute the body of nutrition: the force so liberated becomes a fund upon which every muscular and even every merely nervous action, as of the brain in thought, is a draft. It is in this sense only that, according to the best lights of science, volition is an originating cause. Volition, therefore, does not answer to the idea of a First Cause; since Force must in every instance be assumed as prior to it; and there is not the slightest colour, derived from experience, for supposing Force itself to have been created by a volition. As far as anything can be concluded from human experience Force has all the attributes of a thing eternal and uncreated.
This, however, does not close the discussion. For though whatever verdict experience can give in the case is against the possibility that will ever originates Force, yet if we can be assured that neither does Force originate Will, Will must be held to be an agency, if not prior to Force yet coeternal with it: and if it be true that Will can originate, not indeed Force but the transformation of Force from some other of its manifestations into that of mechanical motion, and that there is within human experience no other agency capable of doing so, the argument for a Will as the originator, though not of the universe, yet of the kosmos, or order of the universe, remains unanswered.
But the case thus stated is not conformable to fact. Whatever volition can do in the way of creating motion out of other forms of force, and generally of evolving force from a latent into a visible state, can be done by many other causes. Chemical action, for instance; electricity; heat; the mere presence of a gravitating body; all these are causes of mechanical motion on a far larger scale than any volitions which experience presents to us: and in most of the effects thus produced the motion given by one body to another, is not, as in the ordinary cases of mechanical action, motion that has first been given to that other by some third body. The phenomenon is not a mere passing on of mechanical motion, but a creation of it out of a force previously latent or manifesting itself in some other form. Volition, therefore, regarded as an agent in the material universe, has no exclusive privilege of origination: all that it can originate is also originated by other transforming agents. If it be said that those other agents must have had the force they give out put into them from elsewhere, I answer, that this is no less true of the force which volition disposes of. We know that this force comes from an external source, the chemical action of the food and air. The force by which the phenomena of the material world are produced, circulates through all physical agencies in a never ending though sometimes intermitting stream. I am, of course, speaking of volition only in its action on the material world. We have nothing to do here with the freedom of the will itself as a mental phenomenon—with the vexata questio whether volition is self-determining or determined by causes. To the question now in hand it is only the effects of volition that are relevant, not its origin. The assertion is that physical nature must have been produced by a Will, because nothing but Will is known to us as having the power of originating the production of phenomena. We have seen that, on the contrary, all the power that Will possesses over phenomena is shared, as far as we have the means of judging, by other and much more powerful agents, and that in the only sense in which those agents do not originate, neither does Will originate. No prerogative, therefore, can, on the ground of experience, be assigned to volition above other natural agents, as a producing cause of phenomena. All that can be affirmed by the strongest assertor of the Freedom of the Will, is that volitions are themselves uncaused and are therefore alone fit to be the first or universal Cause. But, even assuming volitions to be uncaused, the properties of matter, so far as experience discloses, are uncaused also, and have the advantage over any particular volition, in being so far as experience can show, eternal. Theism, therefore, in so far as it rests on the necessity of a First Cause, has no support from experience.
To those who, in default of Experience, consider the necessity of a first cause as matter of intuition, I would say that it is needless, in this discussion, to contest their premises; since admitting that there is and must be a First Cause, it has now been shown that several other agencies than Will can lay equal claim to that character. One thing only may be said which requires notice here. Among the facts of the universe to be accounted for, it may be said, is Mind; and it is self-evident that nothing can have produced Mind but Mind.
The special indications that Mind is deemed to give, pointing to intelligent contrivance, belong to a different portion of this inquiry. But if the mere existence of Mind is supposed to require, as a necessary antecedent, another Mind greater and more powerful, the difficulty is not removed by going one step back: the creating mind stands as much in need of another mind to be the source of its existence, as the created mind. Be it remembered that we have no direct knowledge (at least apart from Revelation) of a Mind which is even apparently eternal, as Force and Matter are: an eternal mind is, as far as the present argument is concerned, a simple hypothesis to account for the minds which we know to exist. Now it is essential to an hypothesis that if admitted it should at least remove the difficulty and account for the facts. But it does not account for Mind to refer one mind to a prior mind for its origin. The problem remains unsolved, the difficulty undiminished, nay, rather increased.
To this it may be objected that the causation of every human mind is matter of fact, since we know that it had a beginning in time. We even know, or have the strongest grounds for believing that the human species itself had a beginning in time. For there is a vast amount of evidence that the state of our planet was once such as to be incompatible with animal life, and that human life is of very much more modern origin than animal life. In any case, therefore, the fact must be faced that there must have been a cause which called the first human mind, nay the very first germ of organic life, into existence. No such difficulty exists in the supposition of an Eternal Mind. If we did not know that Mind on our earth began to exist, we might suppose it to be uncaused; and we may still suppose this of the mind to which we ascribe its existence.
To take this ground is to return into the field of human experience, and to become subject to its canons, and we are then entitled to ask where is the proof that nothing can have caused a mind except another mind. From what, except from experience, can we know what can produce what—what causes are adequate to what effects? That nothing can consciously produce Mind but Mind, is self-evident, being involved in the meaning of the words; but that there cannot be unconscious production must not be assumed, for it is the very point to be proved. Apart from experience, and arguing on what is called reason, that is on supposed self-evidence, the notion seems to be, that no causes can give rise to products of a more precious or elevated kind than themselves. But this is at variance with the known analogies of Nature. How vastly nobler and more precious, for instance, are the higher vegetables and animals than the soil and manure out of which, and by the properties of which they are raised up! The tendency of all recent speculation is towards the opinion that the development of inferior orders of existence into superior, the substitution of greater elaboration and higher organization for lower, is the general rule of Nature. Whether it is so or not, there are at least in Nature a multitude of facts bearing that character, and this is sufficient for the argument.
Here, then, this part of the discussion may stop. The result it leads to is that the First Cause argument is in itself of no value for the establishment of Theism: because no cause is needed for the existence of that which has no beginning; and both Matter and Force (whatever metaphysical theory we may give of the one or the other) have had, so far as our experience can teach us, no beginning—which cannot be said of Mind. The phenomena or changes in the universe have indeed each of them a beginning and a cause, but their cause is always a prior change; nor do the analogies of experience give us any reason to expect, from the mere occurrence of changes, that if we could trace back the series far enough we should arrive at a Primæval Volition. The world does not, by its mere existence, bear witness to a God: if it gives indications of one, these must be given by the special nature of the phenomena, by what they present that resembles adaptation to an end: of which hereafter. If, in default of evidence from experience, the evidence of intuition is relied upon, it may be answered that if Mind, as Mind, presents intuitive evidence of having been created, the Creative Mind must do the same, and we are no nearer to the First Cause than before. But if there be nothing in the nature of mind which in itself implies a Creator, the minds which have a beginning in time, as all minds have which are known to our experience, must indeed have been caused, but it is not necessary that their cause should have been a prior Intelligence.
ARGUMENT FROM THE GENERAL CONSENT OF MANKIND
Before proceeding to the argument from Marks of Design, which, as it seems to me, must always be the main strength of Natural Theism, we may dispose briefly of some other arguments which are of little scientific weight but which have greater influence on the human mind than much better arguments, because they are appeals to authority, and it is by authority that the opinions of the bulk of mankind are principally and not unnaturally governed. The authority invoked is that of mankind generally, and specially of some of its wisest men; particularly such as were in other respects conspicuous examples of breaking loose from received prejudices. Socrates and Plato, Bacon, Locke, and Newton, Descartes and Leibnitz, are common examples.
It may doubtless be good advice to persons who in point of knowledge and cultivation are not entitled to think themselves competent judges of difficult questions, to bid them content themselves with holding that true which mankind generally believe, and so long as they believe it; or that which has been believed by those who pass for the most eminent among the minds of the past. But to a thinker the argument from other people’s opinions has little weight. It is but second-hand evidence; and merely admonishes us to look out for and weigh the reasons on which this conviction of mankind or of wise men was founded. Accordingly, those who make any claim to philosophic treatment of the subject, employ this general consent chiefly as evidence that there is in the mind of man an intuitive perception, or an instinctive sense, of Deity. From the generality of the belief, they infer that it is inherent in our constitution; from which they draw the conclusion, a precarious one indeed, but conformable to the general mode of proceeding of the intuitive philosophy, that the belief must be true; though as applied to Theism this argument begs the question, since it has itself nothing to rest upon but the belief that the human mind was made by a God, who would not deceive his creatures.
But, indeed, what ground does the general prevalence of the belief in Deity afford us for inferring that this belief is native to the human mind, and independent of evidence? Is it then so very devoid of evidence, even apparent? Has it so little semblance of foundation in fact, that it can only be accounted for by the supposition of its being innate? We should not expect to find Theists believing that the appearances in Nature of a contriving Intelligence are not only insufficient but are not even plausible, and cannot be supposed to have carried conviction either to the general or to the wiser mind. If there are external evidences of theism, even if not perfectly conclusive, why need we suppose that the belief of its truth was the result of anything else? The superior minds to whom an appeal is made, from Socrates downwards, when they professed to give the grounds of their opinion, did not say that they found the belief in themselves without knowing from whence it came, but ascribed it, if not to revelation, either to some metaphysical argument, or to those very external evidences which are the basis of the argument from Design.
If it be said that the belief in Deity is universal among barbarous tribes, and among the ignorant portion of civilized populations, who cannot be supposed to have been impressed by the marvellous adaptations of Nature most of which are unknown to them; I answer, that the ignorant in civilized countries take their opinions from the educated, and that in the case of savages, if the evidence is insufficient, so is the belief. The religious belief of savages is not belief in the God of Natural Theology, but a mere modification of the crude generalization which ascribes life, consciousness and will to all natural powers of which they cannot perceive the source or control the operation. And the divinities believed in are as numerous as those powers. Each river, fountain or tree has a divinity of its own. To see in this blunder of primitive ignorance the hand of the Supreme Being implanting in his creatures an instinctive knowledge of his existence, is a poor compliment to the Deity. The religion of savages is Fetichism of the grossest kind, ascribing animation and will to individual objects, and seeking to propitiate them by prayer and sacrifice. That this should be the case is the less surprising when we remember that there is not a definite boundary line, broadly separating the conscious human being from inanimate objects. Between these and man there is an intermediate class of objects, sometimes much more powerful than man, which do possess life and will, viz. the brute animals, which in an early stage of existence play a very great part in human life; making it the less surprising that the line should not at first be quite distinguishable between the animate and the inanimate part of Nature. As observation advances, it is perceived that the majority of outward objects have all their important qualities in common with entire classes or groups of objects which comport themselves exactly alike in the same circumstances, and in these cases the worship of visible objects is exchanged for that of an invisible Being supposed to preside over the whole class. This step in generalization is slowly made, with hesitation and even terror; as we still see in the case of ignorant populations with what difficulty experience disabuses them of belief in the supernatural powers and terrible resentment of a particular idol. Chiefly by these terrors the religious impressions of barbarians are kept alive, with only slight modifications, until the Theism of cultivated minds is ready to take their place. And the Theism of cultivated minds, if we take their own word for it, is always a conclusion either from arguments called rational, or from the appearances in Nature.
It is needless here to dwell upon the difficulty of the hypothesis of a natural belief not common to all human beings, an instinct not universal. It is conceivable, doubtless, that some men might be born without a particular natural faculty, as some are born without a particular sense. But when this is the case we ought to be much more particular as to the proof that it really is a natural faculty. If it were not a matter of observation but of speculation that men can see; if they had no apparent organ of sight, and no perceptions or knowledge but such as they might conceivably have acquired by some circuitous process through their other senses, the fact that men exist who do not even suppose themselves to see, would be a considerable argument against the theory of a visual sense. But it would carry us too far to press, for the purposes of this discussion, an argument which applies so largely to the whole of the intuitional philosophy. The strongest Intuitionist will not maintain that a belief should be held for instinctive when evidence (real or apparent), sufficient to engender it, is universally admitted to exist. To the force of the evidence must be, in this case, added all the emotional or moral causes which incline men to the belief; the satisfaction which it gives to the obstinate questionings with which men torment themselves respecting the past; the hopes which it opens for the future; the fears also, since fear as well as hope predisposes to belief; and to these in the case of the more active spirits must always have been added a perception of the power which belief in the supernatural affords for governing mankind, either for their own good, or for the selfish purposes of the governors.
The general consent of mankind does not, therefore, afford ground for admitting, even as an hypothesis, the origin in an inherent law of the human mind, of a fact otherwise so more than sufficiently, so amply, accounted for.
THE ARGUMENT FROM CONSCIOUSNESS
There have been numerous arguments, indeed almost every religious metaphysician has one of his own, to prove the existence and attributes of God from what are called truths of reason, supposed to be independent of experience. Descartes, who is the real founder of the intuitional metaphysics, draws the conclusion immediately from the first premise of his philosophy, the celebrated assumption that whatever he could very clearly and distinctly apprehend, must be true. The idea of a God, perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness, is a clear and distinct idea, and must therefore, on this principle correspond to a real object. This bold generalization, however, that a conception of the human mind proves its own objective reality, Descartes is obliged to limit by the qualification—“if the idea includes existence.”[*] Now the idea of God implying the union of all perfections, and existence being a perfection, the idea of God proves his existence. This very simple argument, which denies to man one of his most familiar and most precious attributes, that of idealizing as it is called—of constructing from the materials of experience a conception more perfect than experience itself affords—is not likely to satisfy any one in the present day. More elaborate, though scarcely more successful efforts, have been made by many of Descartes’ successors, to derive knowledge of the Deity from an inward light: to make it a truth not dependent on external evidence, a fact of direct perception, or, as they are accustomed to call it, of consciousness. The philosophical world is familiar with the attempt of Cousin to make out that whenever we perceive a particular object, we perceive along with it, or are conscious of, God; and also with the celebrated refutation of this doctrine by Sir William Hamilton. It would be waste of time to examine any of these theories in detail. While each has its own particular logical fallacies, they labour under the common infirmity, that one man cannot by proclaiming with ever so much confidence that he perceives an object, convince other people that they see it too. If, indeed, he laid claim to a divine faculty of vision, vouchsafed to him alone, and making him cognizant of things which men not thus assisted have not the capacity to see, the case might be different. Men have been able to get such claims admitted; and other people can only require of them to show their credentials. But when no claim is set up to any peculiar gift, but we are told that all of us are as capable as the prophet of seeing what he sees, feeling what he feels, nay, that we actually do so, and when the utmost effort of which we are capable fails to make us aware of what we are told we perceive, this supposed universal faculty of intuition is but
and the bearers may fairly be asked to consider whether it is not more likely that they are mistaken as to the origin of an impression in their minds, than that others are ignorant of the very existence of an impression in theirs.
The inconclusiveness, in a speculative point of view, of all arguments from the subjective notion of Deity to its objective reality, was well seen by Kant, the most discriminating of the à priori metaphysicians, who always kept the two questions, the origin and composition of our ideas, and the reality of the corresponding objects, perfectly distinct. According to Kant the idea of the Deity is native to the mind, in the sense that it is constructed by the mind’s own laws and not derived from without: but this Idea of Speculative Reason cannot be shown by any logical process or perceived by direct apprehension, to have a corresponding Reality outside the human mind. To Kant, God is neither an object of direct consciousness nor a conclusion of reasoning, but a Necessary Assumption; necessary, not by a logical, but a practical necessity, imposed by the reality of the Moral Law. Duty is a fact of consciousness: “Thou shalt” is a command issuing from the recesses of our being, and not to be accounted for by any impressions derived from experience; and this command requires a commander, though it is not perfectly clear whether Kant’s meaning is that conviction of a law includes conviction of a lawgiver, or only that a Being of whose will the law is an expression, is eminently desirable. If the former be intended, the argument is founded on a double meaning of the word Law. A rule to which we feel it a duty to conform has in common with laws commonly so called, the fact of claiming our obedience; but it does not follow that the rule must originate, like the laws of the land, in the will of a legislator or legislators external to the mind. We may even say that a feeling of obligation which is merely the result of a command is not what is meant by moral obligation, which, on the contrary, supposes something that the internal conscience bears witness to as binding in its own nature; and which God, in superadding his command, conforms to and perhaps declares, but does not create. Conceding, then, for the sake of the argument, that the moral sentiment is as purely of the mind’s own growth, the obligation of duty as entirely independent of experience and acquired impressions, as Kant or any other metaphysician ever contended, it may yet be maintained that this feeling of obligation rather excludes, than compels, the belief in a Divine legislator merely as the source of the obligation: and as a matter of fact, the obligation of duty is both theoretically acknowledged and practically felt in the fullest manner by many who have no positive belief in God, though seldom, probably, without habitual and familiar reference to him as an ideal conception. But if the existence of God as a wise and just lawgiver, is not a necessary part of the feelings of morality, it may still be maintained that those feelings make his existence eminently desirable. No doubt they do, and that is the great reason why we find that good men and women cling to the belief, and are pained by its being questioned. But surely it is not legitimate to assume that in the order of the Universe, whatever is desirable is true. Optimism, even when a God is already believed in, is a thorny doctrine to maintain, and had to be taken by Leibnitz in the limited sense, that the universe being made by a good being, is the best universe possible, not the best absolutely: that the Divine power, in short, was not equal to making it more free from imperfections than it is. But optimism prior to belief in a God, and as the ground of that belief, seems one of the oddest of all speculative delusions. Nothing, however, I believe, contributes more to keep up the belief in the general mind of humanity than this feeling of its desirableness, which, when clothed, as it very often is, in the forms of an argument, is a naïf expression of the tendency of the human mind to believe what is agreeable to it. Positive value the argument of course has none.
Without dwelling further on these or on any other of the à priori arguments for Theism, we will no longer delay passing to the far more important argument of the appearances of Contrivance in Nature.
THE ARGUMENT FROM MARKS OF DESIGN IN NATURE
We now at last reach an argument of a really scientific character, which does not shrink from scientific tests, but claims to be judged by the established canons of Induction. The Design argument is wholly grounded on experience. Certain qualities, it is alleged, are found to be characteristic of such things as are made by an intelligent mind for a purpose. The order of Nature, or some considerable parts of it, exhibit these qualities in a remarkable degree. We are entitled, from this great similarity in the effects, to infer similarity in the cause, and to believe that things which it is beyond the power of man to make, but which resemble the works of man in all but power, must also have been made by Intelligence, armed with a power greater than human.
I have stated this argument in its fullest strength, as it is stated by its most thoroughgoing assertors. A very little consideration, however, suffices to show that though it has some force, its force is very generally overrated. Paley’s illustration of a watch puts the case much too strongly.[*] If I found a watch on an apparently desolate island, I should indeed infer that it had been left there by a human being; but the inference would not be from marks of design, but because I already knew by direct experience that watches are made by men. I should draw the inference no less confidently from a foot print, or from any relic however insignificant which experience has taught me to attribute to man: as geologists infer the past existence of animals from coprolites, though no one sees marks of design in a coprolite. The evidence of design in creation can never reach the height of direct induction; it amounts only to the inferior kind of inductive evidence called analogy. Analogy agrees with induction in this, that they both argue that a thing known to resemble another in certain circumstances (call those circumstances A and B) will resemble it in another circumstance (call it C). But the difference is that in induction, A and B are known, by a previous comparison of many instances, to be the very circumstances on which C depends, or with which it is in some way connected. When this has not been ascertained, the argument amounts only to this, that since it is not known with which of the circumstances existing in the known case C is connected, they may as well be A and B as any others; and therefore there is a greater probability of C in cases where we know that A and B exist, than in cases of which we know nothing at all. This argument is of a weight very difficult to estimate at all, and impossible to estimate precisely. It may be very strong, when the known points of agreement, A and B &c. are numerous and the known points of difference few; or very weak, when the reverse is the case: but it can never be equal in validity to a real induction. The resemblances between some of the arrangements in nature and some of those made by man are considerable, and even as mere resemblances afford a certain presumption of similarity of cause: but how great that presumption is, it is hard to say. All that can be said with certainty is that these likenesses make creation by intelligence considerably more probable than if the likenesses had been less, or than if there had been no likenesses at all.
This mode, however, of stating the case does not do full justice to the evidence of Theism. The Design argument is not drawn from mere resemblances in Nature to the works of human intelligence, but from the special character of those resemblances. The circumstances in which it is alleged that the world resembles the works of man are not circumstances taken at random, but are particular instances of a circumstance which experience shows to have a real connection with an intelligent origin, the fact of conspiring to an end. The argument therefore is not one of mere analogy. As mere analogy it has its weight, but it is more than analogy. It surpasses analogy exactly as induction surpasses it. It is an inductive argument.
This, I think, is undeniable, and it remains to test the argument by the logical principles applicable to Induction. For this purpose it will be convenient to handle, not the argument as a whole, but some one of the most impressive cases of it, such as the structure of the eye, or of the ear. It is maintained that the structure of the eye proves a designing mind. To what class of inductive arguments does this belong? and what is its degree of force?
The species of inductive arguments are four in number, corresponding to the four Inductive Methods; the Methods of Agreement, of Difference, of Residues, and of Concomitant Variations. The argument under consideration falls within the first of these divisions, the Method of Agreement. This is, for reasons known to inductive logicians, the weakest of the four, but the particular argument is a strong one of the kind. It may be logically analysed as follows:
The parts of which the eye is composed, and the collocations which constitute the arrangement of those parts, resemble one another in this very remarkable property, that they all conduce to enabling the animal to see. These things being as they are, the animal sees: if any one of them were different from what it is, the animal, for the most part, would either not see, or would not see equally well. And this is the only marked resemblance that we can trace among the different parts of this structure, beyond the general likeness of composition and organization which exists among all other parts of the animal. Now the particular combination of organic elements called an eye had, in every instance, a beginning in time and must therefore have been brought together by a cause or causes. The number of instances is immeasurably greater than is, by the principles of inductive logic, required for the exclusion of a random concurrence of independent causes, or speaking technically, for the elimination of chance. We are therefore warranted by the canons of induction in concluding that what brought all these elements together was some cause common to them all; and inasmuch as the elements agree in the single circumstance of conspiring to produce sight, there must be some connection by way of causation between the cause which brought those elements together, and the fact of sight.
This I conceive to be a legitimate inductive inference, and the sum and substance of what Induction can do for Theism. The natural sequel of the argument would be this. Sight, being a fact not precedent but subsequent to the putting together of the organic structure of the eye, can only be connected with the production of that structure in the character of a final, not an efficient cause; that is, it is not Sight itself but an antecedent Idea of it, that must be the efficient cause. But this at once marks the origin as proceeding from an intelligent will.
I regret to say, however, that this latter half of the argument is not so inexpugnable as the former half. Creative forethought is not absolutely the only link by which the origin of the wonderful mechanism of the eye may be connected with the fact of sight. There is another connecting link on which attention has been greatly fixed by recent speculations, and the reality of which cannot be called in question, though its adequacy to account for such truly admirable combinations as some of those in Nature, is still and will probably long remain problematical. This is the principle of “the survival of the fittest.”
This principle does not pretend to account for the commencement of sensation or of animal or vegetable life. But assuming the existence of some one or more very low forms of organic life, in which there are no complex adaptations nor any marked appearances of contrivance, and supposing, as experience warrants us in doing, that many small variations from those simple types would be thrown out in all directions, which would be transmissible by inheritance, and of which some would be advantageous to the creature in its struggle for existence and others disadvantageous, the forms which are advantageous would always tend to survive and those which are disadvantageous to perish. And thus there would be a constant though slow general improvement of the type as it branched out into many different varieties, adapting it to different media and modes of existence, until it might possibly, in countless ages, attain to the most advanced examples which now exist.
It must be acknowledged that there is something very startling, and prima facie improbable in this hypothetical history of Nature. It would require us, for example, to suppose that the primæval animal of whatever nature it may have been, could not see, and had at most such slight preparation for seeing as might be constituted by some chemical action of light upon its cellular structure. One of the accidental variations which are liable to take place in all organic beings would at some time or other produce a variety that could see, in some imperfect manner, and this peculiarity being transmitted by inheritance, while other variations continued to take place in other directions, a number of races would be produced who, by the power of even imperfect sight, would have a great advantage over all other creatures which could not see and would in time extirpate them from all places, except, perhaps, a few very peculiar situations underground. Fresh variations supervening would give rise to races with better and better seeing powers until we might at last reach as extraordinary a combination of structures and functions as are seen in the eye of man and of the more important animals. Of this theory when pushed to this extreme point, all that can now be said is that it is not so absurd as it looks, and that the analogies which have been discovered in experience, favourable to its possibility, far exceed what any one could have supposed beforehand. Whether it will ever be possible to say more than this, is at present uncertain. The theory if admitted would be in no way whatever inconsistent with Creation. But it must be acknowledged that it would greatly attenuate the evidence for it.
Leaving this remarkable speculation to whatever fate the progress of discovery may have in store for it, I think it must be allowed that, in the present state of our knowledge, the adaptations in Nature afford a large balance of probability in favour of creation by intelligence. It is equally certain that this is no more than a probability; and that the various other arguments of Natural Theology which we have considered, add nothing to its force. Whatever ground there is, revelation apart, to believe in an Author of Nature, is derived from the appearances in the universe. Their mere resemblance to the works of man, or to what man could do if he had the same power over the materials of organized bodies which he has over the materials of a watch, is of some value as an argument of analogy: but the argument is greatly strengthened by the properly inductive considerations which establish that there is some connection through causation between the origin of the arrangements of nature and the ends they fulfil; an argument which is in many cases slight, but in others, and chiefly in the nice and intricate combinations of vegetable and animal life, is of considerable strength.
the question of the existence of a Deity, in its purely scientific aspect, standing as is shown in the First Part, it is next to be considered, given the indications of a Deity, what sort of a Deity do they point to? What attributes are we warranted, by the evidence which Nature affords of a creative mind, in assigning to that mind?
It needs no showing that the power if not the intelligence, must be so far superior to that of Man, as to surpass all human estimate. But from this to Omnipotence and Omniscience there is a wide interval. And the distinction is of immense practical importance.
It is not too much to say that every indication of Design in the Kosmos is so much evidence against the Omnipotence of the Designer. For what is meant by Design? Contrivance: the adaptation of means to an end. But the necessity for contrivance—the need of employing means—is a consequence of the limitation of power. Who would have recourse to means if to attain his end his mere word was sufficient? The very idea of means implies that the means have an efficacy which the direct action of the being who employs them has not. Otherwise they are not means, but an incumbrance. A man does not use machinery to move his arms. If he did, it could only be when paralysis had deprived him of the power of moving them by volition. But if the employment of contrivance is in itself a sign of limited power, how much more so is the careful and skilful choice of contrivances? Can any wisdom be shown in the selection of means, when the means have no efficacy but what is given them by the will of him who employs them, and when his will could have bestowed the same efficacy on any other means? Wisdom and contrivance are shown in overcoming difficulties, and there is no room for them in a Being for whom no difficulties exist. The evidences, therefore, of Natural Theology distinctly imply that the author of the Kosmos worked under limitations; that he was obliged to adapt himself to conditions independent of his will, and to attain his ends by such arrangements as those conditions admitted of.
And this hypothesis agrees with what we have seen to be the tendency of the evidences in another respect. We found that the appearances in Nature point indeed to an origin of the Kosmos, or order in Nature, and indicate that origin to be Design but do not point to any commencement, still less creation, of the two great elements of the Universe, the passive element and the active element, Matter and Force. There is in Nature no reason whatever to suppose that either Matter or Force, or any of their properties, were made by the Being who was the author of the collocations by which the world is adapted to what we consider as its purposes; or that he has power to alter any of those properties. It is only when we consent to entertain this negative supposition that there arises a need for wisdom and contrivance in the order of the universe. The Deity had on this hypothesis to work out his ends by combining materials of a given nature and properties. Out of these materials he had to construct a world in which his designs should be carried into effect through given properties of Matter and Force, working together and fitting into one another. This did require skill and contrivance, and the means by which it is effected are often such as justly excite our wonder and admiration: but exactly because it requires wisdom, it implies limitation of power, or rather the two phrases express different sides of the same fact.
If it be said, that an Omnipotent Creator, though under no necessity of employing contrivances such as man must use, thought fit to do so in order to leave traces by which man might recognize his creative hand, the answer is that this equally supposes a limit to his omnipotence. For if it was his will that men should know that they themselves and the world are his work, he, being omnipotent, had only to will that they should be aware of it. Ingenious men have sought for reasons why God might choose to leave his existence so far a matter of doubt that men should not be under an absolute necessity of knowing it, as they are of knowing that three and two make five. These imagined reasons are very unfortunate specimens of casuistry; but even did we admit their validity, they are of no avail on the supposition of omnipotence, since if it did not please God to implant in man a complete conviction of his existence, nothing hindered him from making the conviction fall short of completeness by any margin he chose to leave. It is usual to dispose of arguments of this description by the easy answer, that we do not know what wise reasons the Omniscient may have had for leaving undone things which he had the power to do. It is not perceived that this plea itself implies a limit to Omnipotence. When a thing is obviously good and obviously in accordance with what all the evidences of creation imply to have been the Creator’s design, and we say we do not know what good reason he may have had for not doing it, we mean that we do not know to what other, still better object—to what object still more completely in the line of his purposes, he may have seen fit to postpone it. But the necessity of postponing one thing to another belongs only to limited power. Omnipotence could have made the objects compatible. Omnipotence does not need to weigh one consideration against another. If the Creator, like a human ruler, had to adapt himself to a set of conditions which he did not make, it is as unphilosophical as presumptuous in us to call him to account for any imperfections in his work; to complain that he left anything in it contrary to what, if the indications of design prove anything, he must have intended. He must at least know more than we know, and we cannot judge what greater good would have had to be sacrificed, or what greater evil incurred, if he had decided to remove this particular blot. Not so if he be omnipotent. If he be that, he must himself have willed that the two desirable objects should be incompatible; he must himself have willed that the obstacle to his supposed design should be insuperable. It cannot therefore be his design. It will not do to say that it was, but that he had other designs which interfered with it; for no one purpose imposes necessary limitations on another in the case of a Being not restricted by conditions of possibility.
Omnipotence, therefore, cannot be predicated of the Creator on grounds of natural theology. The fundamental principles of natural religion as deduced from the facts of the universe, negative his omnipotence. They do not, in the same manner, exclude omniscience: if we suppose limitation of power, there is nothing to contradict the supposition of perfect knowledge and absolute wisdom. But neither is there anything to prove it. The knowledge of the powers and properties of things necessary for planning and executing the arrangements of the Kosmos, is no doubt as much in excess of human knowledge as the power implied in creation is in excess of human power. And the skill, the subtlety of contrivance, the ingenuity as it would be called in the case of a human work, is often marvellous. But nothing obliges us to suppose that either the knowledge or the skill is infinite. We are not even compelled to suppose that the contrivances were always the best possible. If we venture to judge them as we judge the works of human artificers, we find abundant defects. The human body, for example, is one of the most striking instances of artful and ingenious contrivance which nature offers, but we may well ask whether so complicated a machine could not have been made to last longer, and not to get so easily and frequently out of order. We may ask why the human race should have been so constituted as to grovel in wretchedness and degradation for countless ages before a small portion of it was enabled to lift itself into the very imperfect state of intelligence, goodness and happiness which we enjoy. The divine power may not have been equal to doing more; the obstacles to a better arrangement of things may have been insuperable. But it is also possible that they were not. The skill of the Demiourgos was sufficient to produce what we see; but we cannot tell that this skill reached the extreme limit of perfection compatible with the material it employed and the forces it had to work with. I know not how we can even satisfy ourselves on grounds of natural theology, that the Creator foresees all the future; that he foreknows all the effects that will issue from his own contrivances. There may be great wisdom without the power of foreseeing and calculating everything: and human workmanship teaches us the possibility that the workman’s knowledge of the properties of the things he works on may enable him to make arrangements admirably fitted to produce a given result, while he may have very little power of foreseeing the agencies of another kind which may modify or counteract the operation of the machinery he has made. Perhaps a knowledge of the laws of nature on which organic life depends, not much more perfect than the knowledge which man even now possesses of some other natural laws, would enable man, if he had the same power over the materials and the forces concerned which he has over some of those of inanimate nature, to create organized beings not less wonderful nor less adapted to their conditions of existence than those in Nature.
Assuming then that while we confine ourselves to Natural Religion we must rest content with a Creator less than Almighty; the question presents itself, of what nature is the limitation of his power? Does the obstacle at which the power of the Creator stops, which says to it: Thus far shalt thou go and no further, lie in the power of other Intelligent Beings; or in the insufficiency and refractoriness of the materials of the universe; or must we resign ourselves to admitting the hypothesis that the author of the Kosmos, though wise and knowing, was not all-wise and all-knowing, and may not always have done the best that was possible under the conditions of the problem?
The first of these suppositions has until a very recent period been and in many quarters still is, the prevalent theory even of Christianity. Though attributing, and in a certain sense sincerely, omnipotence to the Creator, the received religion represents him as for some inscrutable reason tolerating the perpetual counteraction of his purposes by the will of another Being of opposite character and of great though inferior power, the Devil. The only difference on this matter between popular Christianity and the religion of Ormuzd and Ahriman, is that the former pays its good Creator the bad compliment of having been the maker of the Devil and of being at all times able to crush and annihilate him and his evil deeds and counsels, which nevertheless he does not do. But, as I have already remarked, all forms of polytheism, and this among the rest, are with difficulty reconcileable with an universe governed by general laws. Obedience to law is the note of a settled government, and not of a conflict always going on. When powers are at war with one another for the rule of the world, the boundary between them is not fixed but constantly fluctuating. This may seem to be the case on our planet as between the powers of good and evil when we look only at the results; but when we consider the inner springs, we find that both the good and the evil take place in the common course of nature, by virtue of the same general laws originally impressed—the same machinery turning out now good, now evil things, and oftener still, the two combined. The division of power is only apparently variable, but really so regular that, were we speaking of human potentates, we should declare without hesitation that the share of each must have been fixed by previous consent. Upon that supposition indeed, the result of the combination of antagonist forces might be much the same as on that of a single creator with divided purposes.
But when we come to consider, not what hypothesis may be conceived, and possibly reconciled with known facts, but what supposition is pointed to by the evidences of natural religion; the case is different. The indications of design point strongly in one direction, the preservation of the creatures in whose structure the indications are found. Along with the preserving agencies there are destroying agencies, which we might be tempted to ascribe to the will of a different Creator: but there are rarely appearances of the recondite contrivance of means of destruction, except when the destruction of one creature is the means of preservation to others. Nor can it be supposed that the preserving agencies are wielded by one Being, the destroying agencies by another. The destroying agencies are a necessary part of the preserving agencies: the chemical compositions by which life is carried on could not take place without a parallel series of decompositions. The great agent of decay in both organic and inorganic substances is oxidation, and it is only by oxidation that life is continued for even the length of a minute. The imperfections in the attainment of the purposes which the appearances indicate, have not the air of having been designed. They are like the unintended results of accidents insufficiently guarded against, or of a little excess or deficiency in the quantity of some of the agencies by which the good purpose is carried on, or else they are consequences of the wearing out of a machinery not made to last for ever: they point either to shortcomings in the workmanship as regards its intended purpose, or to external forces not under the control of the workman, but which forces bear no mark of being wielded and aimed by any other and rival Intelligence.
We may conclude, then, that there is no ground in Natural Theology for attributing intelligence or personality to the obstacles which partially thwart what seem the purposes of the Creator. The limitation of his power more probably results either from the qualities of the material—the substances and forces of which the universe is composed not admitting of any arrangements by which his purposes could be more completely fulfilled; or else, the purposes might have been more fully attained, but the Creator did not know how to do it; creative skill, wonderful as it is, was not sufficiently perfect to accomplish his purposes more thoroughly.
We now pass to the moral attributes of the Deity, so far as indicated in the Creation; or (stating the problem in the broadest manner) to the question, what indications Nature gives of the purposes of its author. This question bears a very different aspect to us from what it bears to those teachers of Natural Theology who are incumbered with the necessity of admitting the omnipotence of the Creator. We have not to attempt the impossible problem of reconciling infinite benevolence and justice with infinite power in the Creator of such a world as this. The attempt to do so not only involves absolute contradiction in an intellectual point of view but exhibits to excess the revolting spectacle of a jesuitical defence of moral enormities.
On this topic I need not add to the illustrations given of this portion of the subject in my Essay on Nature.[*] At the stage which our argument has reached there is none of this moral perplexity. Grant that creative power was limited by conditions the nature and extent of which are wholly unknown to us, and the goodness and justice of the Creator may be all that the most pious believe; and all in the work that conflicts with those moral attributes may be the fault of the conditions which left to the Creator only a choice of evils.
It is, however, one question whether any given conclusion is consistent with known facts, and another whether there is evidence to prove it: and if we have no means for judging of the design but from the work actually produced, it is a somewhat hazardous speculation to suppose that the work designed was of a different quality from the result realized. Still, though the ground is unsafe we may, with due caution, journey a certain distance on it. Some parts of the order of nature give much more indication of contrivance than others; many, it is not too much to say, give no sign of it at all. The signs of contrivance are most conspicuous in the structure and processes of vegetable and animal life. But for these, it is probable that the appearances in nature would never have seemed to the thinking part of mankind to afford any proofs of a God. But when a God had been inferred from the organization of living beings, other parts of Nature, such as the structure of the solar system, seemed to afford evidences, more or less strong, in confirmation of the belief: granting, then, a design in Nature, we can best hope to be enlightened as to what that design was, by examining it in the parts of Nature in which its traces are the most conspicuous.
To what purpose, then, do the expedients in the construction of animals and vegetables, which excite the admiration of naturalists, appear to tend? There is no blinking the fact that they tend principally to no more exalted object than to make the structure remain in life and in working order for a certain time: the individual for a few years, the species or race for a longer but still a limited period. And the similar though less conspicuous marks of creation which are recognized in inorganic Nature, are generally of the same character. The adaptations, for instance, which appear in the solar system consist in placing it under conditions which enable the mutual action of its parts to maintain instead of destroying its stability, and even that only for a time, vast indeed if measured against our short span of animated existence, but which can be perceived even by us to be limited: for even the feeble means which we possess of exploring the past, are believed by those who have examined the subject by the most recent lights, to yield evidence that the solar system was once a vast sphere of nebula or vapour, and is going through a process which in the course of ages will reduce it to a single and not very large mass of solid matter frozen up with more than arctic cold. If the machinery of the system is adapted to keep itself at work only for a time, still less perfect is the adaptation of it for the abode of living beings since it is only adapted to them during the relatively short portion of its total duration which intervenes between the time when each planet was too hot and the time when it became or will become too cold to admit of life under the only conditions in which we have experience of its possibility. Or we should perhaps reverse the statement, and say that organization and life are only adapted to the conditions of the solar system during a relatively short portion of the system’s existence.
The greater part, therefore, of the design of which there is indication in Nature, however wonderful its mechanism, is no evidence of any moral attributes, because the end to which it is directed, and its adaptation to which end is the evidence of its being directed to an end at all, is not a moral end: it is not the good of any sentient creature, it is but the qualified permanence, for a limited period, of the work itself, whether animate or inanimate. The only inference that can be drawn from most of it, respecting the character of the Creator, is that he does not wish his works to perish as soon as created; he wills them to have a certain duration. From this alone nothing can be justly inferred as to the manner in which he is affected towards his animate or rational creatures.
After deduction of the great number of adaptations which have no apparent object but to keep the machine going, there remain a certain number of provisions for giving pleasure to living beings, and a certain number of provisions for giving them pain. There is no positive certainty that the whole of these ought not to take their place among the contrivances for keeping the creature or its species in existence; for both the pleasures and the pains have a conservative tendency; the pleasures being generally so disposed as to attract to the things which maintain individual or collective existence, the pains so as to deter from such as would destroy it.
When all these things are considered it is evident that a vast deduction must be made from the evidences of a Creator before they can be counted as evidences of a benevolent purpose: so vast indeed that some may doubt whether after such a deduction there remains any balance. Yet endeavouring to look at the question without partiality or prejudice and without allowing wishes to have any influence over judgment, it does appear that granting the existence of design, there is a preponderance of evidence that the Creator desired the pleasure of his creatures. This is indicated by the fact that pleasure of one description or another is afforded by almost everything, the mere play of the faculties, physical and mental, being a never-ending source of pleasure, and even painful things giving pleasure by the satisfaction of curiosity and the agreeable sense of acquiring knowledge; and also that pleasure, when experienced, seems to result from the normal working of the machinery, while pain usually arises from some external interference with it, and resembles in each particular case the result of an accident. Even in cases when pain results, like pleasure, from the machinery itself, the appearances do not indicate that contrivance was brought into play purposely to produce pain: what is indicated is rather a clumsiness in the contrivance employed for some other purpose. The author of the machinery is no doubt accountable for having made it susceptible of pain; but this may have been a necessary condition of its susceptibility to pleasure; a supposition which avails nothing on the theory of an Omnipotent Creator but is an extremely probable one in the case of a contriver working under the limitation of inexorable laws and indestructible properties of matter. The susceptibility being conceded as a thing which did enter into design, the pain itself usually seems like a thing undesigned; a casual result of the collision of the organism with some outward force to which it was not intended to be exposed, and which, in many cases, provision is even made to hinder it from being exposed to. There is, therefore, much appearance that pleasure is agreeable to the Creator, while there is very little if any appearance that pain is so: and there is a certain amount of justification for inferring, on grounds of Natural Theology alone, that benevolence is one of the attributes of the Creator. But to jump from this to the inference that his sole or chief purposes are those of benevolence, and that the single end and aim of Creation was the happiness of his creatures, is not only not justified by any evidence but is a conclusion in opposition to such evidence as we have. If the motive of the Deity for creating sentient beings was the happiness of the beings he created, his purpose, in our corner of the universe at least, must be pronounced, taking past ages and all countries and races into account, to have been thus far an ignominious failure; and if God had no purpose but our happiness and that of other living creatures it is not credible that he would have called them into existence with the prospect of being so completely baffled. If man had not the power by the exercise of his own energies for the improvement both of himself and of his outward circumstances, to do for himself and other creatures vastly more than God had in the first instance done, the Being who called him into existence would deserve something very different from thanks at his hands. Of course it may be said that this very capacity of improving himself and the world was given to him by God, and that the change which he will be thereby enabled ultimately to effect in human existence will be worth purchasing by the sufferings and wasted lives of entire geological periods. This may be so; but to suppose that God could not have given him these blessings at a less frightful cost, is to make a very strange supposition concerning the Deity. It is to suppose that God could not, in the first instance, create anything better than a Bosjesman or an Andaman islander, or something still lower; and yet was able to endow the Bosjesman or the Andaman islander with the power of raising himself into a Newton or a Fénelon. We certainly do not know the nature of the barriers which limit the divine omnipotence; but it is a very odd notion of them that they enable the Deity to confer on an almost bestial creature the power of producing by a succession of efforts what God himself had no other means of creating.
Such are the indications of Natural Religion in respect to the divine benevolence. If we look for any other of the moral attributes which a certain class of philosophers are accustomed to distinguish from benevolence, as for example Justice, we find a total blank. There is no evidence whatever in Nature for divine justice, whatever standard of justice our ethical opinions may lead us to recognize. There is no shadow of justice in the general arrangements of Nature; and what imperfect realization it obtains in any human society (a most imperfect realization as yet) is the work of man himself, struggling upwards against immense natural difficulties, into civilization, and making to himself a second nature, far better and more unselfish than he was created with. But on this point enough has been said in another Essay, already referred to, on Nature.[*]
These, then, are the net results of Natural Theology on the question of the divine attributes. A Being of great but limited power, how or by what limited we cannot even conjecture; of great, and perhaps unlimited intelligence, but perhaps, also, more narrowly limited than his power: who desires, and pays some regard to, the happiness of his creatures, but who seems to have other motives of action which he cares more for, and who can hardly be supposed to have created the universe for that purpose alone. Such is the Deity whom Natural Religion points to; and any idea of God more captivating than this comes only from human wishes, or from the teaching of either real or imaginary Revelation.
We shall next examine whether the light of nature gives any indications concerning the immortality of the soul, and a future life.
the indications of immortality may be considered in two divisions: those which are independent of any theory respecting the Creator and his intentions, and those which depend upon an antecedent belief on that subject.
Of the former class of arguments speculative men have in different ages put forward a considerable variety, of which those in the Phædon of Plato are an example; but they are for the most part such as have no adherents, and need not be seriously refuted, now. They are generally founded upon preconceived theories as to the nature of the thinking principle in man, considered as distinct and separable from the body, and on other preconceived theories respecting death. As, for example, that death, or dissolution, is always a separation of parts; and the soul being without parts, being simple and indivisible, is not susceptible of this separation. Curiously enough, one of the interlocutors in the Phædon anticipates the answer by which an objector of the present day would meet this argument: namely, that thought and consciousness, though mentally distinguishable from the body, may not be a substance separable from it, but a result of it, standing in a relation to it (the illustration is Plato’s) like that of a tune to the musical instrument on which it is played; and that the arguments used to prove that the soul does not die with the body, would equally prove that the tune does not die with the instrument, but survives its destruction and continues to exist apart.[*] In fact, those moderns who dispute the evidences of the immortality of the soul, do not, in general, believe the soul to be a substance per se, but regard it as the name of a bundle of attributes, the attributes of feeling, thinking, reasoning, believing, willing, &c., and these attributes they regard as a consequence of the bodily organization, which therefore, they argue, it is as unreasonable to suppose surviving when that organization is dispersed, as to suppose the colour or odour of a rose surviving when the rose itself has perished. Those, therefore, who would deduce the immortality of the soul from its own nature have first to prove that the attributes in question are not attributes of the body but of a separate substance. Now what is the verdict of science on this point? It is not perfectly conclusive either way. In the first place, it does not prove, experimentally, that any mode of organization has the power of producing feeling or thought. To make that proof good it would be necessary that we should be able to produce an organism, and try whether it would feel; which we cannot do; organisms cannot by any human means be produced, they can only be developed out of a previous organism. On the other hand, the evidence is well nigh complete that all thought and feeling has some action of the bodily organism for its immediate antecedent or accompaniment; that the specific variations and especially the different degrees of complication of the nervous and cerebral organization, correspond to differences in the development of the mental faculties; and though we have no evidence, except negative, that the mental consciousness ceases for ever when the functions of the brain are at an end, we do know that diseases of the brain disturb the mental functions and that decay or weakness of the brain enfeebles them. We have therefore sufficient evidence that cerebral action is, if not the cause, at least, in our present state of existence, a condition sine quâ non of mental operations; and that assuming the mind to be a distinct substance, its separation from the body would not be, as some have vainly flattered themselves, a liberation from trammels and restoration to freedom, but would simply put a stop to its functions and remand it to unconsciousness, unless and until some other set of conditions supervenes, capable of recalling it into activity, but of the existence of which experience does not give us the smallest indication.
At the same time it is of importance to remark that these considerations only amount to defect of evidence; they afford no positive argument against immortality. We must beware of giving à priori validity to the conclusions of an à posteriori philosophy. The root of all à priori thinking is the tendency to transfer to outward things a strong association between the corresponding ideas in our own minds; and the thinkers who most sincerely attempt to limit their beliefs by experience, and honestly believe that they do so, are not always sufficiently on their guard against this mistake. There are thinkers who regard it as a truth of reason that miracles are impossible; and in like manner there are others who because the phenomena of life and consciousness are associated in their minds by undeviating experience with the action of material organs, think it an absurdity per se to imagine it possible that those phenomena can exist under any other conditions. But they should remember that the uniform coexistence of one fact with another does not make the one fact a part of the other, or the same with it. The relation of thought to a material brain is no metaphysical necessity; but simply a constant coexistence within the limits of observation. And when analysed to the bottom on the principles of the Associative Psychology, the brain, just as much as the mental functions is, like matter itself, merely a set of human sensations either actual or inferred as possible, namely those which the anatomist has when he opens the skull, and the impressions which we suppose we should receive of molecular or some other movements when the cerebral action was going on, if there were no bony envelope and our senses or our instruments were sufficiently delicate. Experience furnishes us with no example of any series of states of consciousness, without this group of contingent sensations attached to it; but it is as easy to imagine such a series of states without, as with, this accompaniment, and we know of no reason in the nature of things against the possibility of its being thus disjoined. We may suppose that the same thoughts, emotions, volitions and even sensations which we have here, may persist or recommence somewhere else under other conditions, just as we may suppose that other thoughts and sensations may exist under other conditions in other parts of the universe. And in entertaining this supposition we need not be embarrassed by any metaphysical difficulties about a thinking substance. Substance is but a general name for the perdurability of attributes: wherever there is a series of thoughts connected together by memories, that constitutes a thinking substance. This absolute distinction in thought and separability in representation of our states of consciousness from the set of conditions with which they are united only by constancy of concomitance, is equivalent in a practical point of view to the old distinction of the two substances, Matter and Mind.
There is, therefore, in science, no evidence against the immortality of the soul but that negative evidence, which consists in the absence of evidence in its favour. And even the negative evidence is not so strong as negative evidence often is. In the case of witchcraft, for instance, the fact that there is no proof which will stand examination of its having ever existed, is as conclusive as the most positive evidence of its non-existence would be; for it exists, if it does exist, on this earth, where if it had existed the evidence of fact would certainly have been available to prove it. But it is not so as to the soul’s existence after death. That it does not remain on earth and go about visibly or interfere in the events of life, is proved by the same weight of evidence which disproves witchcraft. But that it does not exist elsewhere, there is absolutely no proof. A very faint, if any, presumption, is all that is afforded by its disappearance from the surface of this planet.
Some may think that there is an additional and very strong presumption against the immortality of the thinking and conscious principle, from the analysis of all the other objects of Nature. All things in Nature perish, the most beautiful and perfect being, as philosophers and poets alike complain, the most perishable. A flower of the most exquisite form and colouring grows up from a root, comes to perfection in weeks or months, and lasts only a few hours or days. Why should it be otherwise with man? Why indeed. But why, also, should it not be otherwise? Feeling and thought are not merely different from what we call inanimate matter, but are at the opposite pole of existence, and analogical inference has little or no validity from the one to the other. Feeling and thought are much more real than anything else; they are the only things which we directly know to be real, all things else being merely the unknown conditions on which these, in our present state of existence or in some other, depend. All matter apart from the feelings of sentient beings has but an hypothetical and unsubstantial existence: it is a mere assumption to account for our sensations; itself we do not perceive, we are not conscious of it, but only of the sensations which we are said to receive from it: in reality it is a mere name for our expectation of sensations, or for our belief that we can have certain sensations when certain other sensations give indication of them. Because these contingent possibilities of sensation sooner or later come to an end and give place to others, is it implied in this, that the series of our feelings must itself be broken off? This would not be to reason from one kind of substantive reality to another, but to draw from something which has no reality except in reference to something else, conclusions applicable to that which is the only substantive reality. Mind, (or whatever name we give to what is implied in consciousness of a continued series of feelings) is in a philosophical point of view the only reality of which we have any evidence; and no analogy can be recognized or comparison made between it and other realities because there are no other known realities to compare it with. That is quite consistent with its being perishable; but the question whether it is so or not is res integra, untouched by any of the results of human knowledge and experience. The case is one of those very rare cases in which there is really a total absence of evidence on either side, and in which the absence of evidence for the affirmative does not, as in so many cases it does, create a strong presumption in favour of the negative.
The belief, however, in human immortality, in the minds of mankind generally, is probably not grounded on any scientific arguments either physical or metaphysical, but on foundations with most minds much stronger, namely on one hand the disagreeableness of giving up existence, (to those at least to whom it has hitherto been pleasant) and on the other the general traditions of mankind. The natural tendency of belief to follow these two inducements, our own wishes and the general assent of other people, has been in this instance reinforced by the utmost exertion of the power of public and private teaching; rulers and instructors having at all times, with the view of giving greater effect to their mandates whether from selfish or from public motives, encouraged to the utmost of their power the belief that there is a life after death, in which pleasures and sufferings far greater than on earth, depend on our doing or leaving undone while alive, what we are commanded to do in the name of the unseen powers. As causes of belief these various circumstances are most powerful. As rational grounds of it they carry no weight at all.
That what is called the consoling nature of an opinion, that is, the pleasure we should have in believing it to be true, can be a ground for believing it, is a doctrine irrational in itself and which would sanction half the mischievous illusions recorded in history or which mislead individual life. It is sometimes, in the case now under consideration, wrapt up in a quasi-scientific language. We are told that the desire of immortality is one of our instincts, and that there is no instinct which has not corresponding to it a real object fitted to satisfy it. Where there is hunger there is somewhere food, where there is sexual feeling there is somewhere sex, where there is love there is somewhere something to be loved, and so forth: in like manner since there is the instinctive desire of eternal life, eternal life there must be. The answer to this is patent on the very surface of the subject. It is unnecessary to go into any recondite considerations concerning instincts, or to discuss whether the desire in question is an instinct or not. Granting that wherever there is an instinct there exists something such as that instinct demands, can it be affirmed that this something exists in boundless quantity, or sufficient to satisfy the infinite craving of human desires? What is called the desire of eternal life is simply the desire of life; and does there not exist that which this desire calls for? Is there not life? And is not the instinct, if it be an instinct, gratified by the possession and preservation of life? To suppose that the desire of life guarantees to us personally the reality of life through all eternity, is like supposing that the desire of food assures us that we shall always have as much as we can eat through our whole lives and as much longer as we can conceive our lives to be protracted to.
The argument from tradition or the general belief of the human race, if we accept it as a guide to our own belief, must be accepted entire: if so we are bound to believe that the souls of human beings not only survive after death but show themselves as ghosts to the living; for we find no people who have had the one belief without the other. Indeed it is probable that the former belief originated in the latter, and that primitive men would never have supposed that the soul did not die with the body if they had not fancied that it visited them after death. Nothing could be more natural than such a fancy; it is, in appearance, completely realized in dreams, which in Homer and in all ages like Homer’s, are supposed to be real apparitions. To dreams we have to add not merely waking hallucinations but the delusions, however baseless, of sight and hearing, or rather the misinterpretations of those senses, sight or hearing supplying mere hints from which imagination paints a complete picture and invests it with reality. These delusions are not to be judged of by a modern standard: in early times the line between imagination and perception was by no means clearly defined; there was little or none of the knowledge we now possess of the actual course of nature, which makes us distrust or disbelieve any appearance which is at variance with known laws. In the ignorance of men as to what were the limits of nature and what was or was not compatible with it, no one thing seemed, as far as physical considerations went, to be much more improbable than another. In rejecting, therefore, as we do, and as we have the best reason to do, the tales and legends of the actual appearance of disembodied spirits, we take from under the general belief of mankind in a life after death, what in all probability was its chief ground and support, and deprive it of even the very little value which the opinion of rude ages can ever have as evidence of truth. If it be said that this belief has maintained itself in ages which have ceased to be rude and which reject the superstitions with which it once was accompanied, the same may be said of many other opinions of rude ages, and especially on the most important and interesting subjects, because it is on those subjects that the reigning opinion, whatever it may be, is the most sedulously inculcated upon all who are born into the world. This particular opinion, moreover, if it has on the whole kept its ground, has done so with a constantly increasing number of dissentients, and those especially among cultivated minds. Finally, those cultivated minds which adhere to the belief ground it, we may reasonably suppose, not on the belief of others, but on arguments and evidences; and those arguments and evidences, therefore, are what it concerns us to estimate and judge.
The preceding are a sufficient sample of the arguments for a future life which do not suppose an antecedent belief in the existence, or any theory respecting the attributes of the Godhead. It remains to consider what arguments are supplied by such lights, or such grounds of conjecture, as natural theology affords, on those great questions.
We have seen that these lights are but faint; that of the existence of a Creator they afford no more than a preponderance of probability; of his benevolence a considerably less preponderance; that there is, however, some reason to think that he cares for the pleasures of his creatures, but by no means that this is his sole care, or that other purposes do not often take precedence of it. His intelligence must be adequate to the contrivances apparent in the universe, but need not be more than adequate to them, and his power is not only not proved to be infinite, but the only real evidences in natural theology tend to show that it is limited, contrivance being a mode of overcoming difficulties, and always supposing difficulties to be overcome.
We have now to consider what inference can legitimately be drawn from these premises, in favour of a future life. It seems to me, apart from express revelation, none at all.
The common arguments are, the goodness of God; the improbability that he would ordain the annihilation of his noblest and richest work, after the greater part of its few years of life had been spent in the acquisition of faculties which time is not allowed him to turn to fruit; and the special improbability that he would have implanted in us an instinctive desire of eternal life, and doomed that desire to complete disappointment.
These might be arguments in a world the constitution of which made it possible without contradiction to hold it for the work of a Being at once omnipotent and benevolent. But they are not arguments in a world like that in which we live. The benevolence of the divine Being may be perfect, but his power being subject to unknown limitations, we know not that he could have given us what we so confidently assert that he must have given; could (that is) without sacrificing something more important. Even his benevolence, however justly inferred, is by no means indicated as the interpretation of his whole purpose, and since we cannot tell how far other purposes may have interfered with the exercise of his benevolence, we know not that he would, even if he could have granted us eternal life. With regard to the supposed improbability of his having given the wish without its gratification, the same answer may be made; the scheme which either limitation of power, or conflict of purposes, compelled him to adopt, may have required that we should have the wish although it were not destined to be gratified. One thing, however, is quite certain in respect to God’s government of the world; that he either could not, or would not, grant to us every thing we wish. We wish for life, and he has granted some life: that we wish (or some of us wish) for a boundless extent of life and that it is not granted, is no exception to the ordinary modes of his government. Many a man would like to be a Crœsus or an Augustus Cæsar, but has his wishes gratified only to the moderate extent of a pound a week or the Secretaryship of his Trades Union. There is, therefore, no assurance whatever of a life after death, on grounds of natural religion. But to any one who feels it conducive either to his satisfaction or to his usefulness to hope for a future state as a possibility, there is no hindrance to his indulging that hope. Appearances point to the existence of a Being who has great power over us—all the power implied in the creation of the Kosmos, or of its organized beings at least—and of whose goodness we have evidence though not of its being his predominant attribute: and as we do not know the limits either of his power or of his goodness, there is room to hope that both the one and the other may extend to granting us this gift provided that it would really be beneficial to us. The same ground which permits the hope warrants us in expecting that if there be a future life it will be at least as good as the present, and will not be wanting in the best feature of the present life, improvability by our own efforts. Nothing can be more opposed to every estimate we can form of probability, than the common idea of the future life as a state of rewards and punishments in any other sense than that the consequences of our actions upon our own character and susceptibilities will follow us in the future as they have done in the past and present. Whatever be the probabilities of a future life, all the probabilities in case of a future life are that such as we have been made or have made ourselves before the change, such we shall enter into the life hereafter; and that the fact of death will make no sudden break in our spiritual life, nor influence our character any otherwise than as any important change in our mode of existence may always be expected to modify it. Our thinking principle has its laws which in this life are invariable, and any analogies drawn from this life must assume that the same laws will continue. To imagine that a miracle will be wrought at death by the act of God making perfect every one whom it is his will to include among his elect, might be justified by an express revelation duly authenticated, but is utterly opposed to every presumption that can be deduced from the light of Nature.
the discussion in the preceding pages respecting the evidences of Theism has been strictly confined to those which are derived from the light of Nature. It is a different question what addition has been made to those evidences, and to what extent the conclusions obtainable from them have been amplified or modified, by the establishment of a direct communication with the Supreme Being. It would be beyond the purpose of this Essay, to take into consideration the positive evidences of the Christian, or any other belief, which claims to be a revelation from Heaven. But such general considerations as are applicable not to a particular system, but to Revelation generally, may properly find a place here, and are indeed necessary to give a sufficiently practical bearing to the results of the preceding investigation.
In the first place, then, the indications of a Creator and of his attributes which we have been able to find in Nature, though so much slighter and less conclusive even as to his existence than the pious mind would wish to consider them, and still more unsatisfactory in the information they afford as to his attributes, are yet sufficient to give to the supposition of a Revelation a standing point which it would not otherwise have had. The alleged Revelation is not obliged to build up its case from the foundation; it has not to prove the very existence of the Being from whom it professes to come. It claims to be a message from a Being whose existence, whose power, and to a certain extent whose wisdom and goodness, are, if not proved, at least indicated with more or less of probability by the phenomena of Nature. The sender of the alleged message is not a sheer invention; there are grounds independent of the message itself for belief in his reality; grounds which, though insufficient for proof, are sufficient to take away all antecedent improbability from the supposition that a message may really have been received from him. It is, moreover, much to the purpose to take notice, that the very imperfection of the evidences which Natural Theology can produce of the Divine attributes, removes some of the chief stumbling blocks to the belief of a Revelation; since the objections grounded on imperfections in the Revelation itself, however conclusive against it if it is considered as a record of the acts or an expression of the wisdom of a Being of infinite power combined with infinite wisdom and goodness, are no reason whatever against its having come from a Being such as the course of nature points to, whose wisdom is possibly, his power certainly, limited, and whose goodness, though real, is not likely to have been the only motive which actuated him in the work of Creation. The argument of Butler’s Analogy, is, from its own point of view, conclusive: the Christian religion is open to no objections, either moral or intellectual, which do not apply at least equally to the common theory of Deism; the morality of the Gospels is far higher and better than that which shows itself in the order of Nature; and what is morally objectionable in the Christian theory of the world, is objectionable only when taken in conjunction with the doctrine of an omnipotent God: and (at least as understood by the most enlightened Christians) by no means imports any moral obliquity in a Being whose power is supposed to be restricted by real, though unknown obstacles, which prevented him from fully carrying out his design. The grave error of Butler was that he shrank from admitting the hypothesis of limited powers; and his appeal consequently amounts to this: The belief of Christians is neither more absurd nor more immoral than the belief of Deists who acknowledge an Omnipotent Creator, let us, therefore, in spite of the absurdity and immorality, believe both. He ought to have said, let us cut down our belief of either to what does not involve absurdity or immorality; to what is neither intellectually self-contradictory nor morally perverted.
To return, however, to the main subject: on the hypothesis of a God, who made the world, and in making it had regard, however that regard may have been limited by other considerations, to the happiness of his sentient creatures, there is no antecedent improbability in the supposition that his concern for their good would continue, and that he might once or oftener give proof of it by communicating to them some knowledge of himself beyond what they were able to make out by their unassisted faculties, and some knowledge or precepts useful for guiding them through the difficulties of life. Neither on the only tenable hypothesis, that of limited power, is it open to us to object that these helps ought to have been greater, or in any way other than they are. The only question to be entertained, and which we cannot dispense ourselves from entertaining, is that of evidence. Can any evidence suffice to prove a Divine Revelation? And of what nature, and what amount, must that evidence be? Whether the special evidences of Christianity, or of any other alleged revelation, do or do not come up to the mark, is a different question, into which I do not propose directly to enter. The question I intend to consider, is, what evidence is required; what general conditions it ought to satisfy; and whether they are such as, according to the known constitution of things, can be satisfied.
The evidences of Revelation are commonly distinguished as external or internal. External evidences are the testimony of the senses or of witnesses. By the internal evidences are meant the indications which the Revelation itself is thought to furnish of its divine origin; indications supposed to consist chiefly in the excellence of its precepts, and its general suitability to the circumstances and needs of human nature.
The consideration of these internal evidences is very important, but their importance is principally negative; they may be conclusive grounds for rejecting a Revelation, but cannot of themselves warrant the acceptance of it as divine. If the moral character of the doctrines of an alleged Revelation is bad and perverting, we ought to reject it from whomsoever it comes; for it cannot come from a good and wise Being. But the excellence of their morality can never entitle us to ascribe to them a supernatural origin: for we cannot have conclusive reason for believing that the human faculties were incompetent to find out moral doctrines of which the human faculties can perceive and recognize the excellence. A Revelation, therefore, cannot be proved divine unless by external evidence; that is, by the exhibition of supernatural facts. And we have to consider, whether it is possible to prove supernatural facts, and if it is, what evidence is required to prove them.
This question has only, so far as I know, been seriously raised on the sceptical side, by Hume. It is the question involved in his famous argument against Miracles:[*] an argument which goes down to the depths of the subject, but the exact scope and effect of which, (perhaps not conceived with perfect correctness by that great thinker himself), have in general been utterly misconceived by those who have attempted to answer him. Dr. Campbell, for example, one of the acutest of his antagonists, has thought himself obliged, in order to support the credibility of miracles, to lay down doctrines which virtually go the length of maintaining that antecedent improbability is never a sufficient ground for refusing credence to a statement, if it is well attested.[†] Dr. Campbell’s fallacy lay in overlooking a double meaning of the word improbability; as I have pointed out in my Logic, and, still earlier, in an editorial note to Bentham’s treatise on Evidence.[‡]
Taking the question from the very beginning; it is evidently impossible to maintain that if a supernatural fact really occurs, proof of its occurrence cannot be accessible to the human faculties. The evidence of our senses could prove this as it can prove other things. To put the most extreme case: suppose that I actually saw and heard a Being, either of the human form, or of some form previously unknown to me, commanding a world to exist, and a new world actually starting into existence and commencing a movement through space, at his command. There can be no doubt that this evidence would convert the creation of worlds from a speculation into a fact of experience. It may be said, I could not know that so singular an appearance was anything more than a hallucination of my senses. True; but the same doubt exists at first respecting every unsuspected and surprising fact which comes to light in our physical researches. That our senses have been deceived, is a possibility which has to be met and dealt with, and we do deal with it by several means. If we repeat the experiment, and again with the same result; if at the time of the observation the impressions of our senses are in all other respects the same as usual, rendering the supposition of their being morbidly affected in this one particular, extremely improbable; above all, if other people’s senses confirm the testimony of our own; we conclude, with reason, that we may trust our senses. Indeed our senses are all that we have to trust to. We depend on them for the ultimate premises even of our reasonings. There is no other appeal against their decision than an appeal from the senses without precautions to the senses with all due precautions. When the evidence, on which an opinion rests, is equal to that upon which the whole conduct and safety of our lives is founded, we need ask no further. Objections which apply equally to all evidence are valid against none. They only prove abstract fallibility.
But the evidence of miracles, at least to Protestant Christians, is not, in our own day, of this cogent description. It is not the evidence of our senses, but of witnesses, and even this not at first hand, but resting on the attestation of books and traditions. And even in the case of the original eye-witnesses, the supernatural facts asserted on their alleged testimony, are not of the transcendant character supposed in our example, about the nature of which, or the impossibility of their having had a natural origin, there could be little room for doubt. On the contrary, the recorded miracles are, in the first place, generally such as it would have been extremely difficult to verify as matters of fact, and in the next place, are hardly ever beyond the possibility of having been brought about by human means or by the spontaneous agencies of nature. It is to cases of this kind that Hume’s argument against the credibility of miracles was meant to apply.
His argument is: The evidence of miracles consists of testimony. The ground of our reliance on testimony is our experience that certain conditions being supposed, testimony is generally veracious. But the same experience tells us that even under the best conditions testimony is frequently either intentionally or unintentionally, false. When, therefore, the fact to which testimony is produced is one the happening of which would be more at variance with experience than the falsehood of testimony, we ought not to believe it. And this rule all prudent persons observe in the conduct of life. Those who do not, are sure to suffer for their credulity.
Now a miracle (the argument goes on to say) is, in the highest possible degree, contradictory to experience: for if it were not contradictory to experience it would not be a miracle. The very reason for its being regarded as a miracle is that it is a breach of a law of nature, that is, of an otherwise invariable and inviolable uniformity in the succession of natural events. There is, therefore, the very strongest reason for disbelieving it, that experience can give for disbelieving anything. But the mendacity or error of witnesses, even though numerous and of fair character, is quite within the bounds of even common experience. That supposition, therefore, ought to be preferred.
There are two apparently weak points in this argument. One is, that the evidence of experience to which its appeal is made is only negative evidence, which is not so conclusive as positive; since facts of which there had been no previous experience are often discovered, and proved by positive experience to be true. The other seemingly vulnerable point is this. The argument has the appearance of assuming that the testimony of experience against miracles is undeviating and indubitable, as it would be if the whole question was about the probability of future miracles, none having taken place in the past; whereas the very thing asserted on the other side is that there have been miracles, and that the testimony of experience is not wholly on the negative side. All the evidence alleged in favour of any miracle ought to be reckoned as counter evidence in refutation of the ground on which it is asserted that miracles ought to be disbelieved. The question can only be stated fairly as depending on a balance of evidence: a certain amount of positive evidence in favour of miracles, and a negative presumption from the general course of human experience against them.
In order to support the argument under this double correction, it has to be shown that the negative presumption against a miracle is very much stronger than that against a merely new and surprising fact. This, however, is evidently the case. A new physical discovery even if it consists in the defeating of a well established law of nature, is but the discovery of another law previously unknown. There is nothing in this but what is familiar to our experience: we were aware that we did not know all the laws of nature, and we were aware that one such law is liable to be counteracted by others. The new phenomenon, when brought to light, is found still to depend on law; it is always exactly reproduced when the same circumstances are repeated. Its occurrence, therefore, is within the limits of variation in experience, which experience itself discloses. But a miracle, in the very fact of being a miracle, declares itself to be a supersession not of one natural law by another, but of the law which includes all others, which experience shows to be universal for all phenomena, viz., that they depend on some law; that they are always the same when there are the same phenomenal antecedents, and neither take place in the absence of their phenomenal causes, nor ever fail to take place when the phenomenal conditions are all present.
It is evident that this argument against belief in miracles had very little to rest upon until a comparatively modern stage in the progress of science. A few generations ago the universal dependence of phenomena on invariable laws was not only not recognized by mankind in general but could not be regarded by the instructed as a scientifically established truth. There were many phenomena which seemed quite irregular in their course, without dependence on any known antecedents: and though, no doubt, a certain regularity in the occurrence of the most familiar phenomena must always have been recognized, yet, even in these, the exceptions which were constantly occurring had not yet, by an investigation and generalization of the circumstances of their occurrence, been reconciled with the general rule. The heavenly bodies were from of old the most conspicuous types of regular and unvarying order: yet even among them comets were a phenomenon apparently originating without any law, and eclipses, one which seemed to take place in violation of law. Accordingly both comets and eclipses long continued to be regarded as of a miraculous nature, intended as signs and omens of human fortunes. It would have been impossible in those days to prove to any one that this supposition was antecedently improbable. It seemed more conformable to appearances than the hypothesis of an unknown law.
Now, however, when, in the progress of science, all phenomena have been shown, by indisputable evidence, to be amenable to law, and even in the cases in which those laws have not yet been exactly ascertained, delay in ascertaining them is fully accounted for by the special difficulties of the subject; the defenders of miracles have adapted their argument to this altered state of things, by maintaining that a miracle need not necessarily be a violation of law. It may, they say, take place in fulfilment of a more recondite law, to us unknown.
If by this it be only meant that the Divine Being, in the exercise of his power of interfering with and suspending his own laws, guides himself by some general principle or rule of action, this, of course, cannot be disproved, and is in itself the most probable supposition. But if the argument means that a miracle may be the fulfilment of a law in the same sense in which the ordinary events of Nature are fulfilments of laws, it seems to indicate an imperfect conception of what is meant by a law, and of what constitutes a miracle.
When we say that an ordinary physical fact always takes place according to some invariable law, we mean that it is connected by uniform sequence or coexistence with some definite set of physical antecedents; that whenever that set is exactly reproduced the same phenomenon will take place, unless counteracted by the similar laws of some other physical antecedents; and that whenever it does take place, it would always be found that its special set of antecedents (or one of its sets if it has more than one) has pre-existed. Now, an event which takes place in this manner, is not a miracle. To make it a miracle it must be produced by a direct volition, without the use of means; or at least, of any means which if simply repeated would produce it. To constitute a miracle a phenomenon must take place without having been preceded by any antecedent phenomenal conditions sufficient again to reproduce it; or a phenomenon for the production of which the antecedent conditions existed, must be arrested or prevented without the intervention of any phenomenal antecedents which would arrest or prevent it in a future case. The test of a miracle is: Were there present in the case such external conditions, such second causes we may call them, that whenever these conditions or causes reappear the event will be reproduced? If there were, it is not a miracle; if there were not, it is a miracle, but it is not according to law: it is an event produced, without, or in spite of law.
It will perhaps be said that a miracle does not necessarily exclude the intervention of second causes. If it were the will of God to raise a thunderstorm by miracle, he might do it by means of winds and clouds. Undoubtedly; but the winds and clouds were either sufficient when produced to excite the thunderstorm without other divine assistance, or they were not. If they were not, the storm is not a fulfilment of law, but a violation of it. If they were sufficient, there is a miracle, but it is not the storm; it is the production of the winds and clouds, or whatever link in the chain of causation it was at which the influence of physical antecedents was dispensed with. If that influence was never dispensed with, but the event called miraculous was produced by natural means, and those again by others, and so on from the beginning of things; if the event is no otherwise the act of God than in having been foreseen and ordained by him as the consequence of the forces put in action at the Creation; then there is no miracle at all, nor anything different from the ordinary working of God’s providence.
For another example: a person professing to be divinely commissioned, cures a sick person, by some apparently insignificant external application. Would this application, administered by a person not specially commissioned from above, have effected the cure? If so, there is no miracle; if not, there is a miracle, but there is a violation of law.
It will be said, however, that if these be violations of law, then law is violated every time that any outward effect is produced by a voluntary act of a human being. Human volition is constantly modifying natural phenomena, not by violating their laws, but by using their laws. Why may not divine volition do the same? The power of volitions over phenomena is itself a law, and one of the earliest known and acknowledged laws of nature. It is true, the human will exercises power over objects in general indirectly, through the direct power which it possesses only over the human muscles. God, however, has direct power not merely over one thing, but over all the objects which he has made. There is, therefore, no more a supposition of violation of law in supposing that events are produced, prevented, or modified by God’s action, than in the supposition of their being produced, prevented, or modified by man’s action. Both are equally in the course of nature, both equally consistent with what we know of the government of all things by law.
Those who thus argue are mostly believers in Free Will, and maintain that every human volition originates a new chain of causation, of which it is itself the commencing link, not connected by invariable sequence with any anterior fact. Even, therefore, if a divine interposition did constitute a breaking-in upon the connected chain of events, by the introduction of a new originating cause without root in the past, this would be no reason for discrediting it, since every human act of volition does precisely the same. If the one is a breach of law, so are the others. In fact, the reign of law does not extend to the origination of volition.
Those who dispute the Free Will theory, and regard volition as no exception to the Universal law of Cause and Effect, may answer, that volitions do not interrupt the chain of causation, but carry it on, the connection of cause and effect being of just the same nature between motive and act as between a combination of physical antecedents and a physical consequent. But this, whether true or not, does not really affect the argument: for the interference of human will with the course of nature is only not an exception to law when we include among laws the relation of motive to volition; and by the same rule interference by the Divine will would not be an exception either; since we cannot but suppose the Deity, in every one of his acts, to be determined by motives.
The alleged analogy therefore holds good: but what it proves is only what I have from the first maintained—that divine interference with nature could be proved if we had the same sort of evidence for it which we have for human interferences. The question of antecedent improbability only arises because divine interposition is not certified by the direct evidence of perception, but is always matter of inference, and more or less of speculative inference. And a little consideration will show that in these circumstances the antecedent presumption against the truth of the inference is extremely strong.
When the human will interferes to produce any physical phenomenon, except the movements of the human body, it does so by the employment of means: and is obliged to employ such means as are by their own physical properties sufficient to bring about the effect. Divine interference, by hypothesis, proceeds in a different manner from this: it produces its effect without means, or with such as are in themselves insufficient. In the first case, all the physical phenomena except the first bodily movement are produced in strict conformity to physical causation; while that first movement is traced by positive observation, to the cause (the volition) which produced it. In the other case, the event is supposed not to have been produced at all through physical causation, while there is no direct evidence to connect it with any volition. The ground on which it is ascribed to a volition is only negative, because there is no other apparent way of accounting for its existence.
But in this merely speculative explanation there is always another hypothesis possible, viz., that the event may have been produced by physical causes, in a manner not apparent. It may either be due to a law of physical nature not yet known, or to the unknown presence of the conditions necessary for producing it according to some known law. Supposing even that the event, supposed to be miraculous, does not reach us through the uncertain medium of human testimony but rests on the direct evidence of our own senses; even then so long as there is no direct evidence of its production by a divine volition, like that we have for the production of bodily movements by human volitions—so long, therefore, as the miraculous character of the event is but an inference from the supposed inadequacy of the laws of physical nature to account for it,—so long will the hypothesis of a natural origin for the phenomenon be entitled to preference over that of a supernatural one. The commonest principles of sound judgment forbid us to suppose for any effect a cause of which we have absolutely no experience, unless all those of which we have experience are ascertained to be absent. Now there are few things of which we have more frequent experience than of physical facts which our knowledge does not enable us to account for, because they depend either on laws which observation, aided by science, has not yet brought to light, or on facts the presence of which in the particular case is unsuspected by us. Accordingly when we hear of a prodigy we always, in these modern times, believe that if it really occurred it was neither the work of God nor of a demon, but the consequence of some unknown natural law or of some hidden fact. Nor is either of these suppositions precluded when, as in the case of a miracle properly so called, the wonderful event seemed to depend upon the will of a human being. It is always possible that there may be at work some undetected law of nature which the wonder-worker may have acquired, consciously or unconsciously, the power of calling into action; or that the wonder may have been wrought (as in the truly extraordinary feats of jugglers) by the employment, unperceived by us, of ordinary laws: which also need not necessarily be a case of voluntary deception; or, lastly, the event may have had no connection with the volition at all, but the coincidence between them may be the effect of craft or accident, the miracle-worker having seemed or affected to produce by his will that which was already about to take place, as if one were to command an eclipse of the sun at the moment when one knew by astronomy that an eclipse was on the point of taking place. In a case of this description, the miracle might be tested by a challenge to repeat it; but it is worthy of remark, that recorded miracles were seldom or never put to this test. No miracle-worker seems ever to have made a practice of raising the dead: that and the other most signal of the miraculous operations are reported to have been performed only in one or a few isolated cases, which may have been either cunningly selected cases, or accidental coincidences. There is, in short, nothing to exclude the supposition that every alleged miracle was due to natural causes: and as long as that supposition remains possible, no scientific observer, and no man of ordinary practical judgment, would assume by conjecture a cause which no reason existed for supposing to be real, save the necessity of accounting for something which is sufficiently accounted for without it.
Were we to stop here, the case against miracles might seem to be complete. But on further inspection it will be seen that we cannot, from the above considerations, conclude absolutely that the miraculous theory of the production of a phenomenon ought to be at once rejected. We can conclude only that no extraordinary powers which have ever been alleged to be exercised by any human being over nature, can be evidence of miraculous gifts to any one to whom the existence of a supernatural Being, and his interference in human affairs, is not already a vera causa. The existence of God cannot possibly be proved by miracles, for unless a God is already recognized, the apparent miracle can always be accounted for on a more probable hypothesis than that of the interference of a Being of whose very existence it is supposed to be the sole evidence. Thus far Hume’s argument is conclusive. But it is far from being equally so when the existence of a Being who created the present order of Nature, and, therefore, may well be thought to have power to modify it, is accepted as a fact, or even as a probability resting on independent evidence. Once admit a God, and the production by his direct volition of an effect which in any case owed its origin to his creative will, is no longer a purely arbitrary hypothesis to account for the fact, but must be reckoned with as a serious possibility. The question then changes its character, and the decision of it must now rest upon what is known or reasonably surmised as to the manner of God’s government of the universe: whether this knowledge or surmise makes it the more probable supposition that the event was brought about by the agencies by which his government is ordinarily carried on, or that it is the result of a special and extraordinary interposition of his will in supersession of those ordinary agencies.
In the first place, then, assuming as a fact the existence and providence of God, the whole of our observation of Nature proves to us by incontrovertible evidence that the rule of his government is by means of second causes; that all facts, or at least all physical facts, follow uniformly upon given physical conditions, and never occur but when the appropriate collection of physical conditions is realized. I limit the assertion to physical facts, in order to leave the case of human volition an open question: though indeed I need not do so, for if the human will is free, it has been left free by the Creator, and is not controlled by him either through second causes or directly, so that, not being governed, it is not a specimen of his mode of government. Whatever he does govern, he governs by second causes. This was not obvious in the infancy of science; it was more and more recognized as the processes of nature were more carefully and accurately examined, until there now remains no class of phenomena of which it is not positively known, save some cases which from their obscurity and complication our scientific processes have not yet been able completely to clear up and disentangle, and in which, therefore, the proof that they also are governed by natural laws could not, in the present state of science, be more complete. The evidence, though merely negative, which these circumstances afford that government by second causes is universal, is admitted for all except directly religious purposes to be conclusive. When either a man of science for scientific or a man of the world for practical purposes inquires into an event, he asks himself what is its cause? and not, has it any natural cause? A man would be laughed at who set down as one of the alternative suppositions that there is no other cause for it than the will of God.
Against this weight of negative evidence we have to set such positive evidence as is produced in attestation of exceptions; in other words, the positive evidences of miracles. And I have already admitted that this evidence might conceivably have been such as to make the exception equally certain with the rule. If we had the direct testimony of our senses to a supernatural fact, it might be as completely authenticated and made certain as any natural one. But we never have. The supernatural character of the fact is always, as I have said, matter of inference and speculation: and the mystery always admits the possibility of a solution not supernatural. To those who already believe in supernatural power, the supernatural hypothesis may appear more probable than the natural one; but only if it accords with what we know or reasonably surmise respecting the ways of the supernatural agent. Now all that we know, from the evidence of nature, concerning his ways, is in harmony with the natural theory and repugnant to the supernatural. There is, therefore, a vast preponderance of probability against a miracle, to counterbalance which would require a very extraordinary and indisputable congruity in the supposed miracle and its circumstances with something which we conceive ourselves to know, or to have grounds for believing, with regard to the divine attributes.
This extraordinary congruity is supposed to exist when the purpose of the miracle is extremely beneficial to mankind, as when it serves to accredit some highly important belief. The goodness of God, it is supposed, affords a high degree of antecedent probability that he would make an exception to his general rule of government, for so excellent a purpose. For reasons, however, which have already been entered into, any inference drawn by us from the goodness of God to what he has or has not actually done, is to the last degree precarious. If we reason directly from God’s goodness to positive facts, no misery, nor vice nor crime ought to exist in the world. We can see no reason in God’s goodness why if he deviated once from the ordinary system of his government in order to do good to man, he should not have done so on a hundred other occasions; nor why, if the benefit aimed at by some given deviation, such as the revelation of Christianity, was transcendent and unique, that precious gift should only have been vouchsafed after the lapse of many ages; or why, when it was at last given, the evidence of it should have been left open to so much doubt and difficulty. Let it be remembered also that the goodness of God affords no presumption in favour of a deviation from his general system of government unless the good purpose could not have been attained without deviation. If God intended that mankind should receive Christianity or any other gift, it would have agreed better with all that we know of his government to have made provision in the scheme of creation for its arising at the appointed time by natural development; which, let it be added, all the knowledge we now possess concerning the history of the human mind, tends to the conclusion that it actually did.
To all these considerations ought to be added the extremely imperfect nature of the testimony itself which we possess for the miracles, real or supposed, which accompanied the foundation of Christianity and of every other revealed religion. Take it at the best, it is the uncross-examined testimony of extremely ignorant people, credulous as such usually are, honourably credulous when the excellence of the doctrine or just reverence for the teacher makes them eager to believe; unaccustomed to draw the line between the perceptions of sense, and what is superinduced upon them by the suggestions of a lively imagination; unversed in the difficult art of deciding between appearance and reality, and between the natural and the supernatural; in times, moreover, when no one thought it worth while to contradict any alleged miracle, because it was the belief of the age that miracles in themselves proved nothing, since they could be worked by a lying spirit as well as by the spirit of God. Such were the witnesses; and even of them we do not possess the direct testimony; the documents, of date long subsequent, even on the orthodox theory, which contain the only history of these events, very often do not even name the supposed eye-witnesses. They put down (it is but just to admit), the best and least absurd of the wonderful stories such multitudes of which were current among the early Christians; but when they do, exceptionally, name any of the persons who were the subjects or spectators of the miracle, they doubtless draw from tradition, and mention those names with which the story was in the popular mind, (perhaps accidentally) connected: for whoever has observed the way in which even now a story grows up from some small foundation, taking on additional details at every step, knows well how from being at first anonymous it gets names attached to it; the name of some one by whom perhaps the story has been told, being brought into the story itself first as a witness, and still later as a party concerned.
It is also noticeable and is a very important consideration, that stories of miracles only grow up among the ignorant and are adopted, if ever, by the educated when they have already become the belief of multitudes. Those which are believed by Protestants all originate in ages and nations in which there was hardly any canon of probability, and miracles were thought to be among the commonest of all phenomena. The Catholic Church, indeed, holds as an article of faith that miracles have never ceased, and new ones continue to be now and then brought forth and believed, even in the present incredulous age—yet if in an incredulous generation certainly not among the incredulous portion of it, but always among people who, in addition to the most childish ignorance, have grown up (as all do who are educated by the Catholic clergy) trained in the persuasion that it is a duty to believe and a sin to doubt; that it is dangerous to be sceptical about anything which is tendered for belief in the name of the true religion; and that nothing is so contrary to piety as incredulity. But these miracles which no one but a Roman Catholic, and by no means every Roman Catholic believes, rest frequently upon an amount of testimony greatly surpassing that which we possess for any of the early miracles; and superior especially in one of the most essential points, that in many cases the alleged eye-witnesses are known, and we have their story at first hand.
Thus, then, stands the balance of evidence in respect to the reality of miracles, assuming the existence and government of God to be proved by other evidence. On the one side, the great negative presumption arising from the whole of what the course of nature discloses to us of the divine government, as carried on through second causes and by invariable sequences of physical effects upon constant antecedents. On the other side, a few exceptional instances, attested by evidence not of a character to warrant belief in any facts in the smallest degree unusual or improbable; the eye-witnesses in most cases unknown, in none competent by character or education to scrutinize the real nature of the appearances which they may have seen,* and moved moreover by a union of the strongest motives which can inspire human beings to persuade, first themselves, and then others, that what they had seen was a miracle. The facts, too, even if faithfully reported, are never incompatible with the supposition that they were either mere coincidences, or were produced by natural means; even when no specific conjecture can be made as to those means, which in general it can. The conclusion I draw is that miracles have no claim whatever to the character of historical facts and are wholly invalid as evidences of any revelation.
What can be said with truth on the side of miracles amounts only to this: Considering that the order of nature affords some evidence of the reality of a Creator, and of his bearing good will to his creatures though not of its being the sole prompter of his conduct towards them: considering, again, that all the evidence of his existence is evidence also that he is not all-powerful, and considering that in our ignorance of the limits of his power we cannot positively decide that he was able to provide for us by the original plan of Creation all the good which it entered into his intentions to bestow upon us, or even to bestow any part of it at any earlier period than that at which we actually received it—considering these things, when we consider further that a gift, extremely precious, came to us which though facilitated was not apparently necessitated by what had gone before, but was due, as far as appearances go, to the peculiar mental and moral endowments of one man, and that man openly proclaimed that it did not come from himself but from God through him, then we are entitled to say that there is nothing so inherently impossible or absolutely incredible in this supposition as to preclude any one from hoping that it may perhaps be true. I say from hoping; I go no further; for I cannot attach any evidentiary value to the testimony even of Christ on such a subject, since he is never said to have declared any evidence of his mission (unless his own interpretations of the Prophecies be so considered) except internal conviction; and everybody knows that in prescientific times men always supposed that any unusual faculties which came to them they knew not how, were an inspiration from God; the best men always being the readiest to ascribe any honourable peculiarity in themselves to that higher source, rather than to their own merits.
from the result of the preceding examination of the evidences of Theism, and (Theism being presupposed) of the evidences of any Revelation, it follows that the rational attitude of a thinking mind towards the supernatural, whether in natural or in revealed religion, is that of scepticism as distinguished from belief on the one hand, and from atheism on the other: including, in the present case, under atheism, the negative as well as the positive form of disbelief in a God, viz., not only the dogmatic denial of his existence, but the denial that there is any evidence on either side, which for most practical purposes amounts to the same thing as if the existence of a God had been disproved. If we are right in the conclusions to which we have been led by the preceding inquiry there is evidence, but insufficient for proof, and amounting only to one of the lower degrees of probability. The indication given by such evidence as there is, points to the creation, not indeed of the universe, but of the present order of it by an Intelligent Mind, whose power over the materials was not absolute, whose love for his creatures was not his sole actuating inducement, but who nevertheless desired their good. The notion of a providential government by an omnipotent Being for the good of his creatures must be entirely dismissed. Even of the continued existence of the Creator we have no other guarantee than that he cannot be subject to the law of death which affects terrestrial beings, since the conditions that produce this liability wherever it is known to exist are of his creating. That this Being, not being omnipotent, may have produced a machinery falling short of his intentions, and which may require the occasional interposition of the Maker’s hand, is a supposition not in itself absurd nor impossible, though in none of the cases in which such interposition is believed to have occurred is the evidence such as could possibly prove it; it remains a simple possibility, which those may dwell on to whom it yields comfort to suppose that blessings which ordinary human power is inadequate to attain, may come not from extraordinary human power, but from the bounty of an intelligence beyond the human, and which continuously cares for man. The possibility of a life after death rests on the same footing—of a boon which this powerful Being who wishes well to man, may have the power to grant, and which if the message alleged to have been sent by him was really sent, he has actually promised. The whole domain of the supernatural is thus removed from the region of Belief into that of simple Hope; and in that, for anything we can see, it is likely always to remain; for we can hardly anticipate either that any positive evidence will be acquired of the direct agency of Divine Benevolence in human destiny, or that any reason will be discovered for considering the realization of human hopes on that subject as beyond the pale of possibility.
It is now to be considered whether the indulgence of hope, in a region of imagination merely, in which there is no prospect that any probable grounds of expectation will ever be obtained, is irrational, and ought to be discouraged as a departure from the rational principle of regulating our feelings as well as opinions strictly by evidence.
This is a point which different thinkers are likely, for a long time at least, to decide differently, according to their individual temperament. The principles which ought to govern the cultivation and the regulation of the imagination—with a view on the one hand of preventing it from disturbing the rectitude of the intellect and the right direction of the actions and will, and on the other hand of employing it as a power for increasing the happiness of life and giving elevation to the character—are a subject which has never yet engaged the serious consideration of philosophers, though some opinion on it is implied in almost all modes of thinking on human character and education. And, I expect, that this will hereafter be regarded as a very important branch of study for practical purposes, and the more, in proportion as the weakening of positive beliefs respecting states of existence superior to the human, leaves the imagination of higher things less provided with material from the domain of supposed reality. To me it seems that human life, small and confined as it is, and as, considered merely in the present, it is likely to remain even when the progress of material and moral improvement may have freed it from the greater part of its present calamities, stands greatly in need of any wider range and greater height of aspiration for itself and its destination, which the exercise of imagination can yield to it without running counter to the evidence of fact; and that it is a part of wisdom to make the most of any, even small, probabilities on this subject, which furnish imagination with any footing to support itself upon. And I am satisfied that the cultivation of such a tendency in the imagination, provided it goes on pari passu with the cultivation of severe reason, has no necessary tendency to pervert the judgment; but that it is possible to form a perfectly sober estimate of the evidences on both sides of a question and yet to let the imagination dwell by preference on those possibilities, which are at once the most comforting and the most improving, without in the least degree overrating the solidity of the grounds for expecting that these rather than any others will be the possibilities actually realized.
Though this is not in the number of the practical maxims handed down by tradition and recognized as rules for the conduct of life, a great part of the happiness of life depends upon the tacit observance of it. What, for instance, is the meaning of that which is always accounted one of the chief blessings of life, a cheerful disposition? What but the tendency, either from constitution or habit, to dwell chiefly on the brighter side both of the present and of the future? If every aspect, whether agreeable or odious of every thing, ought to occupy exactly the same place in our imagination which it fills in fact, and therefore ought to fill in our deliberate reason, what we call a cheerful disposition would be but one of the forms of folly, on a par except in agreeableness with the opposite disposition in which the gloomy and painful view of all things is habitually predominant. But it is not found in practice that those who take life cheerfully are less alive to rational prospects of evil or danger and more careless of making due provision against them, than other people. The tendency is rather the other way, for a hopeful disposition gives a spur to the faculties and keeps all the active energies in good working order. When imagination and reason receive each its appropriate culture they do not succeed in usurping each other’s prerogatives. It is not necessary for keeping up our conviction that we must die, that we should be always brooding over death. It is far better that we should think no further about what we cannot possibly avert, than is required for observing the rules of prudence in regard to our own life and that of others, and fulfilling whatever duties devolve upon us in contemplation of the inevitable event. The way to secure this is not to think perpetually of death, but to think perpetually of our duties, and of the rule of life. The true rule of practical wisdom is not that of making all the aspects of things equally prominent in our habitual contemplations, but of giving the greatest prominence to those of their aspects which depend on, or can be modified by, our own conduct. In things which do not depend on us, it is not solely for the sake of a more enjoyable life that the habit is desirable of looking at things and at mankind by preference on their pleasant side; it is also in order that we may be able to love them better and work with more heart for their improvement. To what purpose, indeed, should we feed our imagination with the unlovely aspect of persons and things? All unnecessary dwelling upon the evils of life is at best a useless expenditure of nervous force: and when I say unnecessary I mean all that is not necessary either in the sense of being unavoidable, or in that of being needed for the performance of our duties and for preventing our sense of the reality of those evils from becoming speculative and dim. But if it is often waste of strength to dwell on the evils of life, it is worse than waste to dwell habitually on its meannesses and basenesses. It is necessary to be aware of them; but to live in their contemplation makes it scarcely possible to keep up in oneself a high tone of mind. The imagination and feelings become tuned to a lower pitch; degrading instead of elevating associations become connected with the daily objects and incidents of life, and give their colour to the thoughts, just as associations of sensuality do in those who indulge freely in that sort of contemplations. Men have often felt what it is to have had their imaginations corrupted by one class of ideas, and I think they must have felt with the same kind of pain how the poetry is taken out of the things fullest of it, by mean associations, as when a beautiful air that had been associated with highly poetical words is heard sung with trivial and vulgar ones. All these things are said in mere illustration of the principle that in the regulation of the imagination literal truth of facts is not the only thing to be considered. Truth is the province of reason, and it is by the cultivation of the rational faculty that provision is made for its being known always, and thought of as often as is required by duty and the circumstances of human life. But when the reason is strongly cultivated, the imagination may safely follow its own end, and do its best to make life pleasant and lovely inside the castle, in reliance on the fortifications raised and maintained by Reason round the outward bounds.
On these principles it appears to me that the indulgence of hope with regard to the government of the universe and the destiny of man after death, while we recognize as a clear truth that we have no ground for more than a hope, is legitimate and philosophically defensible. The beneficial effect of such a hope is far from trifling. It makes life and human nature a far greater thing to the feelings, and gives greater strength as well as greater solemnity to all the sentiments which are awakened in us by our fellow-creatures and by mankind at large. It allays the sense of that irony of Nature which is so painfully felt when we see the exertions and sacrifices of a life culminating in the formation of a wise and noble mind, only to disappear from the world when the time has just arrived at which the world seems about to begin reaping the benefit of it. The truth that life is short and art is long[*] is from of old one of the most discouraging parts of our condition; this hope admits the possibility that the art employed in improving and beautifying the soul itself may avail for good in some other life, even when seemingly useless for this. But the benefit consists less in the presence of any specific hope than in the enlargement of the general scale of the feelings; the loftier aspirations being no longer in the same degree checked and kept down by a sense of the insignificance of human life—by the disastrous feeling of “not worth while.” The gain obtained in the increased inducement to cultivate the improvement of character up to the end of life, is obvious without being specified.
There is another and a most important exercise of imagination which, in the past and present, has been kept up principally by means of religious belief and which is infinitely precious to mankind, so much so that human excellence greatly depends upon the sufficiency of the provision made for it. This consists of the familiarity of the imagination with the conception of a morally perfect Being, and the habit of taking the approbation of such a Being as the norma or standard to which to refer and by which to regulate our own characters and lives. This idealization of our standard of excellence in a Person is quite possible, even when that Person is conceived as merely imaginary. But religion, since the birth of Christianity, has inculcated the belief that our highest conceptions of combined wisdom and goodness exist in the concerete in a living Being who has his eyes on us and cares for our good. Through the darkest and most corrupt periods Christianity has raised this torch on high—has kept this object of veneration and imitation before the eyes of man. True, the image of perfection has been a most imperfect, and, in many respects a perverting and corrupting one, not only from the low moral ideas of the times, but from the mass of moral contradictions which the deluded worshipper was compelled to swallow by the supposed necessity of complimenting the Good Principle with the possession of infinite power. But it is one of the most universal as well as of the most surprising characteristics of human nature, and one of the most speaking proofs of the low stage to which the reason of mankind at large has ever yet advanced, that they are capable of overlooking any amount of either moral or intellectual contradictions and receiving into their minds propositions utterly inconsistent with one another, not only without being shocked by the contradiction, but without preventing both the contradictory beliefs from producing a part at least of their natural consequences in the mind. Pious men and women have gone on ascribing to God particular acts and a general course of will and conduct incompatible with even the most ordinary and limited conception of moral goodness, and have had their own ideas of morality, in many important particulars, totally warped and distorted, and notwithstanding this have continued to conceive their God as clothed with all the attributes of the highest ideal goodness which their state of mind enabled them to conceive, and have had their aspirations towards goodness stimulated and encouraged by that conception. And, it cannot be questioned that the undoubting belief of the real existence of a Being who realizes our own best ideas of perfection, and of our being in the hands of that Being as the ruler of the universe, gives an increase of force to these feelings beyond what they can receive from reference to a merely ideal conception.
This particular advantage it is not possible for those to enjoy, who take a rational view of the nature and amount of the evidence for the existence and attributes of the Creator. On the other hand, they are not encumbered with the moral contradictions which beset every form of religion which aims at justifying in a moral point of view the whole government of the world. They are, therefore, enabled to form a far truer and more consistent conception of Ideal Goodness, than is possible to any one who thinks it necessary to find ideal goodness in an omnipotent ruler of the world. The power of the Creator once recognized as limited, there is nothing to disprove the supposition that his goodness is complete and that the ideally perfect character in whose likeness we should wish to form ourselves and to whose supposed approbation we refer our actions, may have a real existence in a Being to whom we owe all such good as we enjoy.
Above all, the most valuable part of the effect on the character which Christianity has produced by holding up in a Divine Person a standard of excellence and a model for imitation, is available even to the absolute unbeliever and can never more be lost to humanity. For it is Christ, rather than God, whom Christianity has held up to believers as the pattern of perfection for humanity. It is the God incarnate, more than the God of the Jews or of Nature, who being idealized has taken so great and salutary a hold on the modern mind. And whatever else may be taken away from us by rational criticism, Christ is still left; a unique figure, not more unlike all his precursors than all his followers, even those who had the direct benefit of his personal teaching. It is of no use to say that Christ as exhibited in the Gospels is not historical and that we know not how much of what is admirable has been superadded by the tradition of his followers. The tradition of followers suffices to insert any number of marvels, and may have inserted all the miracles which he is reputed to have wrought. But who among his disciples or among their proselytes was capable of inventing the sayings ascribed to Jesus or of imagining the life and character revealed in the Gospels? Certainly not the fishermen of Galilee; as certainly not St. Paul, whose character and idiosyncrasies were of a totally different sort; still less the early Christian writers in whom nothing is more evident than that the good which was in them was all derived, as they always professed that it was derived, from the higher source. What could be added and interpolated by a disciple we may see in the mystical parts of the Gospel of St. John, matter imported from Philo and the Alexandrian Platonists and put into the mouth of the Saviour in long speeches about himself such as the other Gospels contain not the slightest vestige of, though pretended to have been delivered on occasions of the deepest interest and when his principal followers were all present; most prominently at the last supper. The East was full of men who could have stolen any quantity of this poor stuff, as the multitudinous Oriental sects of Gnostics afterwards did. But about the life and sayings of Jesus there is a stamp of personal originality combined with profundity of insight, which if we abandon the idle expectation of finding scientific precision where something very different was aimed at, must place the Prophet of Nazareth, even in the estimation of those who have no belief in his inspiration, in the very first rank of the men of sublime genius of whom our species can boast. When this pre-eminent genius is combined with the qualities of probably the greatest moral reformer, and martyr to that mission, who ever existed upon earth, religion cannot be said to have made a bad choice in pitching on this man as the ideal representative and guide of humanity; nor, even now, would it be easy, even for an unbeliever, to find a better translation of the rule of virtue from the abstract into the concrete, than to endeavour so to live that Christ would approve our life. When to this we add that, to the conception of the rational sceptic, it remains a possibility that Christ actually was what he supposed himself to be—not God, for he never made the smallest pretension to that character and would probably have thought such a pretension as blasphemous as it seemed to the men who condemned him—but a man charged with a special, express and unique commission from God to lead mankind to truth and virtue; we may well conclude that the influences of religion on the character which will remain after rational criticism has done its utmost against the evidences of religion, are well worth preserving, and that what they lack in direct strength as compared with those of a firmer belief, is more than compensated by the greater truth and rectitude of the morality they sanction.
Impressions such as these, though not in themselves amounting to what can properly be called a religion, seem to me excellently fitted to aid and fortify that real, though purely human religion, which sometimes calls itself the Religion of Humanity and sometimes that of Duty. To the other inducements for cultivating a religious devotion to the welfare of our fellow-creatures as an obligatory limit to every selfish aim, and an end for the direct promotion of which no sacrifice can be too great, it superadds the feeling that in making this the rule of our life, we may be co-operating with the unseen Being to whom we owe all that is enjoyable in life. One elevated feeling this form of religious idea admits of, which is not open to those who believe in the omnipotence of the good principle in the universe, the feeling of helping God—of requiting the good he has given by a voluntary co-operation which he, not being omnipotent, really needs, and by which a somewhat nearer approach may be made to the fulfilment of his purposes. The conditions of human existence are highly favourable to the growth of such a feeling inasmuch as a battle is constantly going on, in which the humblest human creature is not incapable of taking some part, between the powers of good and those of evil, and in which every even the smallest help to the right side has its value in promoting the very slow and often almost insensible progress by which good is gradually gaining ground from evil, yet gaining it so visibly at considerable intervals as to promise the very distant but not uncertain final victory of Good. To do something during life, on even the humblest scale if nothing more is within reach, towards bringing this consummation ever so little nearer, is the most animating and invigorating thought which can inspire a human creature; and that it is destined, with or without supernatural sanctions, to be the religion of the Future I cannot entertain a doubt. But it appears to me that supernatural hopes, in the degree and kind in which what I have called rational scepticism does not refuse to sanction them, may still contribute not a little to give to this religion its due ascendancy over the human mind.
Preface to Dissertations and Discussions (1859)
Dissertations and Discussions, I, iii-vi. For a discussion of this Preface (unaltered in the 2nd ed. of D&D) see the Textual Introduction, cxviff. above. JSM’s views on republication of his essays is discussed in the Textual Introduction to Essays on Economics and Society, in Collected Works, IV, xliv-xlv.
the republication in a more durable form, of papers originally contributed to periodicals, has grown into so common a practice as scarcely to need an apology; and I follow this practice the more willingly, as I hold it to be decidedly a beneficial one. It would be well if all frequent writers in periodicals looked forward, as far as the case admitted, to this reappearance of their productions. The prospect might be some guarantee against the crudity in the formation of opinions, and carelessness in their expression, which are the besetting sins of writings put forth under the screen of anonymousness, to be read only during the next few weeks or months, if so long, and the defects of which it is seldom probable that any one will think it worth while to expose.
The following papers, selected from a much greater number, include all of the writer’s miscellaneous productions which he considers it in any way desirable to preserve. The remainder were either of too little value at any time, or what value they might have was too exclusively temporary, or the thoughts they contained were inextricably mixed up with comments, now totally uninteresting, on passing events, or on some book not generally known; or lastly, any utility they may have possessed has since been superseded by other and more mature writings of the author.
Every one whose mind is progressive, or even whose opinions keep up with the changing facts that surround him, must necessarily, in looking back to his own writings during a series of years, find many things which, if they were to be written again, he would write differently, and some, even, which he has altogether ceased to think true. From these last I have endeavoured to clear the present pages. Beyond this, I have not attempted to render papers written at so many different, and some of them at such distant, times, a faithful representation of my present state of opinion and feeling. I leave them in all their imperfection, as memorials of the states of mind in which they were written, in the hope that they may possibly be useful to such readers as are in a corresponding stage of their own mental progress. Where what I had written appears a fair statement of part of the truth, but defective inasmuch as there exists another part respecting which nothing, or too little, is said, I leave the deficiency to be supplied by the reader’s own thoughts; the rather, as he will, in many cases, find the balance restored in some other part of this collection. Thus, the review of Mr. Sedgwick’s Discourse,[*] taken by itself, might give an impression of more complete adhesion to the philosophy of Locke, Bentham, and the eighteenth century, than is really the case, and of an inadequate sense of its deficiencies; but that notion will be rectified by the subsequent essays on Bentham and on Coleridge.[†] These, again, if they stood alone, would give just as much too strong an impression of the writer’s sympathy with the reaction of the nineteenth century against the eighteenth: but this exaggeration will be corrected by the more recent defence of the “greatest happiness” ethics against Dr. Whewell.[‡]
Only a small number of these papers are controversial, and in but two am I aware of anything like asperity of tone. In both these cases some degree of it was justifiable, as I was defending maligned doctrines or individuals, against unmerited onslaughts by persons who, on the evidence afforded by themselves, were in no respect entitled to sit in judgment on them: and the same misrepresentations have been and still are so incessantly reiterated by a crowd of writers, that emphatic protests against them are as needful now as when the papers in question were first written. My adversaries, too, were men not themselves remarkable for mild treatment of opponents, and quite capable of holding their own in any form of reviewing or pamphleteering polemics. I believe that I have in no case fought with other than fair weapons, and any strong expressions which I have used were extorted from me by my subject, not prompted by the smallest feeling of personal ill-will towards my antagonists. In the revision, I have endeavoured to retain only as much of this strength of expression, as could not be foregone without weakening the force of the protest.
Obituary of Bentham (1832)
Examiner, 10 June, 1832, 370-2. This, JSM’s first published commentary on Bentham, is described in his bibliography as “An obituary notice of Jeremy Bentham in the Examiner of 10th June 1832” (MacMinn, 21). The passage reprinted here is the central part of the obituary; the full text will be found in the volume of this edition given to newspaper writings. While the tone is more eulogistic, many of the remarks are paralleled in the more critical account in the Appendix to Bulwer (3-18 above) and in the passage from Bulwer’s text given below in Appendix C. See also my “John Stuart Mill and Jeremy Bentham,” 259.
Let it be remembered what was the state of jurisprudence and legislation, and of the philosophy of jurisprudence and legislation, when he [Bentham] began his career. A labyrinth without a clue—a jungle, through which no path had ever been cut. All systems of law then established, but most of all that in which he himself was nurtured, were masses of deformity, in the construction of which reason in any shape whatever had had little to do, a comprehensive consideration of ends and means nothing at all: their foundation the rude contrivances of a barbarous age, even more deeply barbarous in this than in aught else; the superstructure an infinite series of patches, some larger, some smaller, stuck on in succession wherever a hole appeared, and plastered one over another until the monstrous mass exceeded all measurable bulk, and went beyond the reach of the strongest understanding and the finest memory. Such was the practice of law: was its theory in any better state? And how could it be so? for of what did that theory consist, but either of purely technical principles, got at by abstraction from these established systems, (or rather, constructed, generally in utter defiance of logic, with the sole view of giving something like coherence and consistency in appearance to provisions which in reality were utterly heterogeneous); or of vague cloudy generalities arbitrarily assumed à priori, and called laws of nature, or principles of natural law.
Such was existing jurisprudence; and that it should be such, was less surprising than the superstition by which, being such, it was protected. The English people had contrived to persuade themselves, and had to a great degree persuaded the rest of the world, that the English law, as it was when Mr. Bentham found it, was the perfection of reason. That it was otherwise, was the only political heresy, which no one had been found hardy enough to avow; even the English constitution you might (if you did it very gently) speak ill of,—but not the English law: Whig, Tory, and Democrat joined in one chorus of clamorous admiration, whenever the law or the courts of justice were the subject of discourse: and to doubt the merits of either appeared a greater stretch of absurdity than to question the doctrine of gravitation.
This superstition was at its height, when Mr. Bentham betook himself to the study of English law, with no other object than the ordinary one of gaining his living by practising a liberal profession. But he soon found that it would not do for him, and that he could have no dealing or concern with it in an honest way, except to destroy it. And there is a deep interest now, at the close of his life, in looking back to his very first publication, the Fragment on Government, which appeared considerably more than half a century ago, and which exhibits, at that remote period, a no less strong and steady conviction than appears in his very latest production, that the worship of the English law was a degrading idolatry—that instead of being the perfection of reason, it was a disgrace to the human understanding—and that a task worthy of him, or any other wise and brave man, to devote a life to, was that of utterly eradicating it and sweeping it away. This accordingly became the task of his own existence: glory to him! for he has successfully accomplished it. The monster has received from him its death wound. After losing many a limb, it still drags on, and will drag on for a few years more, a feeble and exanimate existence; but it never will recover. It is going down rapidly to the grave.
Mr. Bentham has fought this battle for now almost sixty years; the greater part of that time without assistance from any human being, except latterly what M. Dumont gave him in putting his ideas into French; and for a long time almost without making one human being a convert to his opinions. He exhausted every mode of attack; he assailed the enemy with every weapon, and at all points; now he fell upon the generalities, now upon the details; now he combatted evil by stripping it naked, and showing that it was evil; and now by contrasting it with good. At length his energy and perseverance triumphed. Some of the most potent leaders of the public became convinced; and they, in their turn, convinced or persuaded others: until at last the English law, as a systematic whole, is given up by every body, and the question, with all thinking minds even among lawyers, is no longer about keeping it as it is, but only whether, in rebuilding, there be a possibility of using any of the old materials.*
Mr. Bentham was the original mover in this mighty change. His hand gave the impulse which set all the others at work. To him the debt is due, as much as any other great work has ever been owing to the man who first guided other men to the accomplishment of it. The man who has achieved this, can afford to die. He has done enough to render his name for ever illustrious.
But Mr. Bentham has been much more than merely a destroyer. Like all who discredit erroneous systems by arguments drawn from principles, and not from mere results, he could not fail, even while destroying the old edifice, to lay a solid foundation for the new. Indeed he considered it a positive duty never to assail what is established, without having a clear view of what ought to be substituted. It is to the intrinsic value of his speculations on the philosophy of law in general, that he owes the greater part of his existing reputation; for by these alone is he known to his continental readers, who are far the most numerous, and by whom, in general, he is far more justly appreciated than in England. There are some most important branches of the science of law, which were in a more wretched state than almost any of the others when he took them in hand, and which he has so exhausted, that he seems to have left nothing to be sought by future enquirers; we mean the departments of Procedure, Evidence, and the Judicial Establishment. He has done almost all that remained to perfect the theory of punishment. It is with regard to (what is the foundation of all) the civil code, that he has done least, and left most to be done. Yet even here his services have been invaluable, by making far clearer and more familiar than they were before, both the ultimate and the immediate ends of civil law; the essential characteristics of a good law; the expediency of codification, that is, of law written and systematic; by exposing the viciousness of the existing language of jurisprudence, guarding the student against the fallacies which lurk in it, and accustoming him to demand a more precise and logically-constructed nomenclature.
Mr. Bentham’s exertions have not been limited to the field of jurisprudence, or even to that of general politics, in which he ranks as the first name among the philosophic radicals. He has extended his speculations to morals, though never (at least in his published works) in any great detail; and on this, as on every other subject which he touched, he cannot be read without great benefit.
Some of his admirers have claimed for him the title of founder of the science of morals, as well as of the science of legislation; on the score of his having been the first person who established the principle of general utility, as the philosophic foundation of morality and law. But Mr. Bentham’s originality does not stand in need of any such exaggerations. The doctrine of utility, as the foundation of virtue, he himself professes to have derived from Hume: he applied it more consistently and in greater detail, than his predecessors; but the idea itself is as old as the earliest Greek philosophers, and has divided the philosophic world, in every age of philosophy, since their time. Mr. Bentham’s real merit, in respect to the foundation of morals, consists in his having cleared it more thoroughly than any of his predecessors, from the rubbish of pretended natural law, natural justice, and the like, by which men were wont to consecrate as a rule of morality, whatever they felt inclined to approve of without knowing why.
The most prominent moral qualities which appear in Mr. Bentham’s writings, are love of justice, and hatred of imposture: his most remarkable intellectual endowments, a penetrating deep-sighted acuteness, precision in the use of scientific language, and sagacity and inventiveness in matters of detail. There have been few minds so perfectly original. He has often, we think, been surpassed in powers of metaphysical analysis, as well as in comprehensiveness and many-sidedness of mind. He frequently contemplates a subject only from one or a few of its aspects; though he very often sees further into it, from the one side on which he looks at it, than was seen before even by those who had gone all round it. There is something very striking, occasionally, in the minute elaborateness with which he works out, into its smallest details, one half-view of a question, contrasted with his entire neglect of the remaining half-view, though equally indispensable to a correct judgment of the whole. To this occasional one-sidedness, he failed to apply the natural cure; for, from the time when he embarked in original speculation, he occupied himself very little in studying the ideas of others. This, in almost any other than himself, would have been a fault; in him, we shall only say, that, but for it, he would have been a greater man.
Mr. Bentham’s style has been much criticised; and undoubtedly, in his latter writings, the complicated structure of his sentences renders it impossible, without some familiarity, to read them with rapidity and ease. But his earlier, among which are some of his most valuable productions, are not only free from this defect, but may even, in point of ease and elegance, be ranked among the best English compositions. Felicity of expression abounds even in those of his works which are generally unreadable; and volumes might be filled with passages selected from his later as well as his earlier publications, which, for wit and eloquence, have seldom been surpassed.
Comment on Bentham in Bulwer’s England and the English (1833)
edward lytton bulwer (later Bulwer-Lytton, later 1st Baron Lytton), England and the English (London: Bentley, 1833), II, 163-70. JSM comments in his Autobiography (139) that, in addition to the Appendix on Bentham (the first essay printed above), Bulwer also “incorporated” in his text “a small part” of JSM’s critique of Bentham. (See Textual Introduction, cxvi-cxvii above). It cannot be determined which part of the following passage is JSM’s, but the images of Bentham as destroyer and reconstructor, the description of Bentham as the great questioner (cf. 78), the reference to an age of transition, and the suggestion of Bentham’s seminality, are all typical of his attitude at the time; and both in wording and idea the fourth paragraph closely approximates comments on Bentham known to be his.
[In] legislative and moral philosophy, Bentham must assuredly be considered the most celebrated and influential teacher of the age—a master, indeed, whom few have acknowledged, but from whom thousands have, mediately and unconsciously, imbibed their opinions.
The same causes which gave so great a fertility to the school of the Economists, had their effect upon the philosophy of Bentham; they drew his genius mainly towards examinations of men rather than of man—of the defects of Law, and of the hypocrisies and fallacies of our Social System; they contributed to the material form and genus of his code, and to those notions of Utility which he considered his own invention, but which had been incorporated with half the systems that had risen in Europe since the sensualism of Condillac had been grafted upon the reflection of Locke. But causes far more latent, and perhaps more powerful, contributed also to form the mind and philosophy of Bentham. He had preceded the great French Revolution—the materials of his thoughts had been compounded from the same foundations of opinion as those on which the more enlightened advocates of the Revolution would have built up that edifice which was to defy a second deluge, and which is but a record of the confusion of the workmen. With the philosophy of the eighteenth century, which first adopted what the French reasoners term the Principle of Humanity—(that is, the principle of philanthropy—a paramount regard for multitudes rather than for sectarian interests,)—with this philosophy, I say, the whole mind of Bentham was imbued and saturate. He had no mercy, no toleration for the knots and companies of men whom he considered interrupters or monopolists of the power of the many—to his mind they were invariably actuated by base and designing motives, and such motives, according to his philosophy, they were even compelled to entertain. His intellect was as the aqueduct which bore aloft, and over the wastes and wrecks below, the stream of the philosophy of one century to the generations of the other. His code of morals, original in its results, is in many parts (unconsciously to himself) an eclecticism of nearly all the best parts of the various theories of a century. “The system of Condillac required its ‘moral’ code, and Helvetius supplied it.” The moral code of Helvetius required its legislative, and in Bentham it obtained it. I consider, then, that two series of causes conspired to produce Bentham—the one national, the other belonging to all Europe; the same causes on the one hand which produced with us the Economists—the same causes on the other hand which produced in France, Helvetius and Diderot, Volney, Condorcet, and Voltaire. He combined what had not been yet done, the spirit of the Philanthropic with that of the Practical. He did not declaim about abuses; he went at once to their root: he did not idly penetrate the sophistries of Corruption; he smote Corruption herself. He was the very Theseus of legislative reform,—he not only pierced the labyrinth—he destroyed the monster.
As he drew his vigour from the stream of Change, all his writings tended to their original source. He collected from the Past the scattered remnants of a defeated innovation, and led them on against the Future. Every age may be called an age of transition—the passing on, as it were, from one state to another never ceases; but in our age the transition is visible, and Bentham’s philosophy is the philosophy of a visible transition. Much has already happened, much is already happening every instant, in his country—throughout Europe—throughout the world, which might not have occurred if Bentham had not been; yet of all his works, none have been read by great numbers; and most of them, from their difficulties of style and subject, have little chance of ever being generally popular. He acted upon the destinies of his race by influencing the thoughts of a minute fraction of the few who think—from them the broad principles travelled onward—became known—(their source unknown)—became familiar and successful. I have said that we live in an age of visible transition—an age of disquietude and doubt—of the removal of time-worn landmarks, and the breaking up of the hereditary elements of society—old opinions, feelings—ancestral customs and institutions are crumbling away, and both the spiritual and temporal worlds are darkened by the shadow of change. The commencement of one of these epochs—periodical in the history of mankind—is hailed by the sanguine as the coming of a new Millennium—a great inconoclastic reformation, by which all false gods shall be overthrown. To me such epochs appear but as the dark passages in the appointed progress of mankind—the times of greatest unhappiness to our species—passages into which we have no reason to rejoice at our entrance, save from the hope of being sooner landed on the opposite side. Uncertainty is the greatest of all our evils. And I know of no happiness where there is not a firm unwavering belief in its duration.
The age then is one of destruction! disguise it as we will, it must be so characterized; miserable would be our lot were it not also an age of preparation for reconstructing. What has been the influence of Bentham upon his age?—it has been twofold—he has helped to destroy and also to rebuild. No one has done so much to forward, at least in this country, the work of destruction, as Mr. Bentham. The spirit of examination and questioning has become through him, more than through any one person besides, the prevailing spirit of the age. For he questioned all things. The tendencies of a mind at once sceptical and systematic, (and both in the utmost possible degree,) made him endeavour to trace all speculative phenomena back to their primitive elements, and to reconsider not only the received conclusions, but the received premises. He treated all subjects as if they were virgin subjects, never before embraced or approached by man. He never set up an established doctrine as a thesis to be disputed about, but put it aside altogether, commenced from first principles, and deliberately tasked himself systematically to discover the truth, or to re-discover it if it were already known. By this process, if he ever annihilated a received opinion, he was sure of having something either good or bad to offer as a substitute for it; and in this he was most favourably distinguished from those French philosophers who preceded and even surpassed him, as destroyers of established institutions on the continent of Europe. And we shall owe largely to one who reconstructed while he destroyed, if our country is destined to pass more smoothly through this crisis of transition than the nations of the continent, and to lose less of the good it already enjoys in working itself free from the evil;—his be the merit, if while the wreck of the old vessel is still navigable, the masts of the new one, which brings relief, are dimly showing themselves above the horizon! For it is certain, and will be seen every day more clearly, that the initiation of all the changes which are now making in opinions and in institutions, may be claimed chiefly by men who have been indebted to his writings, and to the spirit of his philosophy, for the most important part of their intellectual cultivation.
I had originally proposed in this part of my work to give a slight sketch of the principal tenets of Bentham, with an exposition of what I conceive to be his errors; pointing out at once the benefits he has conferred, and also the mischief he has effected. But slight as would be that sketch, it must necessarily be somewhat abstract; and I have therefore, for the sake of the general reader, added it to the volume in the form of an appendix.* I have there, regarding him as a legislator and a moralist, ventured to estimate him much more highly in the former capacity than the latter; endeavouring to combat the infallibility of his application of the principle of Utility, and to show the dangerous and debasing theories, which may be, and are, deduced from it. Even, however, in legislation, his greatest happiness principle is not so clear and undeniable as it is usually conceded to be. “The greatest happiness of the greatest number” is to be our invariable guide! Is it so?—the greatest happiness of the greatest number of men living, I suppose, not of men to come; for if of all posterity, what legislator can be our guide? who can prejudge the future? Of men living, then?—well—how often would their greatest happiness consist in concession to their greatest errors.
In the dark ages, (said once to me very happily the wittiest writer of the day, and one who has perhaps done more to familiarize Bentham’s general doctrines to the public than any other individual,) in the dark ages, it would have been for the greatest happiness of the greatest number of burn the witches; it must have made the greatest number, (all credulous of wizardry,) very uncomfortable to refuse their request for so reasonable a conflagration; they would have been given up to fear and disquietude—they would have imagined their safety disregarded and their cattle despised—if witches were to live with impunity, riding on broomsticks, and sailing in oyster-shells;—their happiness demanded a bonfire of old women. To grant such a bonfire would have been really to consult the greatest happiness of the greatest number, yet ought it to have been the principle of wise, nay, of perfect, (for so the dogma states,) of unimpugnable legislation? In fact, the greatest happiness principle, is an excellent general rule, but it is not an undeniable axiom.
Quotation from “Coleridge” in Mill’s System of Logic (8th ed., 1872), 519-23 (VI, x, 5)
As indicated in the Textual Introduction, there is little evidence concerning the dating of the revisions of the essays in Dissertations and Discussions between their first periodical publication and their republication in 1859. However, Mill’s inclusion in his Logic of the long passage from “Coleridge” printed below supplies some interesting internal evidence.
The variant notes give all the substantive changes in the three versions of “Coleridge” and the nine versions of the Logic. The “Coleridge” versions are indicated by italic numerals: 40 = the periodical version, 1840; 59 = Dissertations and Discussions, 1st ed., 1859; 67 = Dissertations and Discussions, 2nd ed., 1867. The Logic versions are indicated by numerals in roman type: MS = manuscript (1840, with revisions through 1842); 43 = 1st ed., 1843; 46 = 2nd ed., 1846; 51 = 3rd ed., 1851; 56 = 4th ed., 1856; 62 = 5th ed., 1862; 65 = 6th ed., 1865; 68 = 7th ed., 1868; 72 = 8th ed., 1872 (the last in Mill’s lifetime).
An examination of the variants, substantive and accidental (the latter not here recorded), shows that there are two main groups: in the first and larger group, 59 and 67 (the 1st and 2nd eds. of D&D) agree with 51 and subsequent eds. of the Logic, but not with 40 (the periodical version) or MS, 43, 46 (the manuscript and first two eds. of the Logic); in the second, 59 and 67 agree with 40 and MS, 43, 46, but not with 51 and subsequent eds. of the Logic. Changes in the Logic that appear only prior to or subsequent to 1851 did not affect the text of 59 and 67; similarly, changes in 59 and 67 that do not appear in 51 do not appear in subsequent eds. of the Logic. In the absence of external evidence, of marked proof, and of all copy-texts except the manuscript of the Logic, the most likely explanation of these phenomena is that Mill, after having copied the passage into the Logic MS, revised the “Coleridge” with a view to republication (which did not occur until 1859); these revisions he transferred to the Logic when making the most extensive rewriting of that work, that is, for the 3rd ed. (1851). The revised “Coleridge,” with no further changes except a few accidentals, became the copy-text for 59. Further, it appears that when the time came for printing the 3rd ed. of the Logic, Mill made a few further changes, probably in proof, changes that are retained in subsequent eds. of the Logic, but do not appear in the reprinted “Coleridge” of 59 and 67.
The terminus ab quo for the revision of “Coleridge” is, therefore, some time after the writing of the MS of Book VI of the Logic (1840-42); the terminus ad quem is between the beginning of the revision of the 3rd ed. of the Logic and its printing (1851). This conclusion is not very startling, as it narrows the possible time, that is, the time between printings (1840 and 1859), by less than half; still, it places the revision before Mill’s marriage, and bears out the contention in the Textual Introduction. Some slight evidence suggests a date near the beginning of the possible period. The final variant in the passage, the earlier form of which appears only in 40 and MS, would by itself seem to upset the argument above and, even in the context of the other changes, is inconclusive as to the transmission of text; one can tentatively infer, however, that if the change was made first in the proof of the Logic, the “Coleridge” was revised not later than 1843, whereas if it was first made in the revision of the “Coleridge,” that revision was not later than 1842. Also, when John Parker agreed, in the spring of 1842, to publish the Logic, he turned down the suggestion that he publish the collection that later appeared as Dissertations and Discussions; Mill then proposed to publish the collection himself (see Earlier Letters, XIII, 514, 520-1). Again, therefore, it would appear likely that the revisions were made in 1842-43.
Mill prefaces the passage in the Logic with the comment that it is “extracted, with some alterations, from a criticism on the negative philosophy of the eighteenth century” (in MS, 43, 46 the reading is “forming part of a criticism on the negative philosophy of the eighteenth century”); actually the major alterations, as already indicated, were probably made in that criticism (i.e., in “Coleridge”), and not for the Logic. Only one change, the deletion in the Logic of a long footnote (508o), was made in the interests of the new context.
The passage is introduced in the Logic as an example of results that, although they “amount in themselves only to empirical laws . . . are found to follow with so much probability from general laws of human nature, that the consilience of the two processes raises the evidence to proof [MS,43,46 to complete proof], and the generalizations to the rank of scientific truths.” In a typical phrase, he apologizes for the quotation, saying: “. . . I quote, though (as in some former instances) from myself, because I have no better way of illustrating the conception I have formed of the kind of theorems of which sociological statics would consist.”
a The very first element of the social union, obedience to a government of some sort, has not been found so easy a thing to establish in the world. Among a timid and spiritless race like the inhabitants of the vast plains of tropical countries, passive obedience may be of natural growth; though even there we doubt whether it has ever been found among any people with whom fatalism, or in other words, submission to the pressure of circumstances as ba divine decreeb , did not prevail as a religious doctrine. But the difficulty of inducing a brave and warlike race to submit their individual arbitrium to any common umpire, has always been felt to be so great, that nothing short of supernatural power has been deemed adequate to overcome it; and such tribes have always assigned to the first institution of civil society a divine origin. So differently did those judge who knew savage cmenc by actual experience, from those who had no acquaintance with dthemd except in the civilized state. In modern Europe itself, after the fall of the Roman empire, to subdue the feudal anarchy and bring the whole people of any European nation into subjection to government (though Christianity in ethee most concentrated form fof its influencef was co-operatingg in the work) required thrice as many centuries as have elapsed since that time.
Now if these philosophers had known human nature under any other type than that of their own age, and of the particular classes of society among whom they hlivedh , it would have occurred to them, that wherever this habitual submission to law and government has been firmly and durably established, and yet the vigour and manliness of character which resisted its establishment have been in any degree preserved, certain requisites have existed, certain conditions have been fulfilled, of which the following may be regarded as the principal.
First: there has existed, for all who were accounted citizens,—for all who were not slaves, kept down by brute force,—a system of education, beginning with infancy and continued through life, of which whatever else it might include, one main and incessant ingredient was restraining discipline. To train the human being in the habit, and thence the power, of subordinating his personal impulses and aims, to what were considered the ends of society; of adhering, against all temptation, to the course of conduct which those ends prescribed; of controlling in himself alli feelings which were liable to militate against those ends, and encouraging all such as tended towards them; this was the purpose, to which every outward motive that the authority directing the system could command, and every inward power or principle which its knowledge of human nature enabled it to evoke, were endeavoured to be rendered instrumental. jThe entire civil and military policy of the ancient commonwealths was such a system of training; in modern nations its place has been attempted to be supplied, principally, by religious teaching.j And whenever and in proportion as the strictness of kthe restrainingk discipline was relaxed, the natural tendency of mankind to anarchy re-asserted itself; the state became disorganized from within; mutual conflict for selfish ends, neutralized the energies which were required to keep up the contest against natural causes of evil; and the nation, after a longer or briefer interval of progressive decline, became either the slave of a despotism, or the prey of a foreign invader.
The second condition of permanent political society has been found to be, the existence, in some form or other, of the feeling of allegiance or loyalty. This feeling may vary in its objects, and is not confined to any particular form of government; but whether in a democracy or in a monarchy, its essence is always the same; viz. that there be in the constitution of the state something which is settled, something permanent, and not to be called in question; something which, by general agreement, has a right to be where it is, and to be secure against disturbance, whatever else may change. This feeling may attach itself, as among the Jews (andl in most of the commonwealths of antiquity), to a common God or gods, the protectors and guardians of their state. Or it may attach itself to certain persons, who are deemed to be, whether by divine appointment, by long prescription, or by the general recognition of their superior capacity and worthiness, the rightful guides and guardians of the rest. Or it may mconnect itself with laws; with ancient liberties or ordinances. Or, finally, (and this is the only shape in which the feeling is likely to exist hereafter), it may attach itself to the principles of individual freedom and political and social equality, as realized in institutions which as yet exist nowhere, or exist only in a rudimentary state.m But in all political societies which have had a durable existence, there has been some fixed point: something which npeoplenoagreedo in holding sacred; whichp, wherever freedom of discussion was a recognised principle, it was of coursep lawful to contest in theory, but which no one could either fear or hope to see shaken in practice; which, in short (except perhaps during some temporary crisis) was in the common estimation placed qbeyondq discussion. And the necessity of this may easily be made evident. A state never is, nor until mankind are vastly improved, can hope to be, for any long time exempt from internal dissension; for there neither is nor has ever been any state of society in which collisions did not occur between the immediate interests and passions of powerful sections of the people. What, then, enables rnationsr to weather these storms, and pass through turbulent times without any permanent weakening of the ssecurities for peaceable existences ? Precisely this—that however important the interests about which men tfellt out, the conflict udidu not affect the fundamental vprinciplev of the system of social union which whappenedw to exist; nor threaten large portions of the community with the subversion of that on which they xhadx built their calculations, and with which their hopes and aims yhady become identified. But when the questioning of these fundamental principles is (not zthez occasional disease, aor salutary medicine,a but) the habitual condition of the body politic, and when all the violent animosities are called forth, which spring naturally from such a situation, the state is virtually in a position of civil war; and can never long remain free from it in act and fact.
The third essential condition bof stability in political societyb , is a strong and active principle of ccohesion among the members of the same community or statec . We need scarcely say that we do not mean dnationality, in the vulgar sense of the term;d a senseless antipathy to foreigners;efindifference to the general welfare of the human race, or an unjust preference of the supposed interests of our own country;fg a cherishing of hbadh peculiarities because they are national, or a refusal to adopt what has been found good by other countries.i We mean a principle of sympathy, not of hostility; of union, not of separation. We mean a feeling of common interest among those who live under the same government, and are contained within the same natural or historical boundaries. We mean, that one part of the community jdoj not consider themselves as foreigners with regard to another part; that they kset a value on their connexion—k feel that they are one people, that their lot is cast together, that evil to any of their fellow-countrymen is evil to themselves, and ldo not desire selfishly tol free themselves from their share of any common inconvenience by severing the connexion. How strong this feeling was in mthosem ancient commonwealths nwhich attained any durable greatness,n every one knows. How happily Rome, in spite of all her tyranny, succeeded in establishing the feeling of a common country among the provinces of her vast and divided empire, will appear when any one who has given due attention to the subject shall take the trouble to point it out.o In modern times the countries which have had that feeling in the strongest degree have been the most powerful countries; England, France, and, in proportion to their territory and resources, Holland and Switzerland; while England in her connexion with Ireland, is one of the most signal examples of the consequences of its absence. Every Italian knows why Italy is under a foreign yoke; every German knows what maintains despotism in the Austrian empire;* the pevilsp of Spain flow as much from the absence of nationality among the Spaniards themselves, as from the presence of it in their relations with foreigners: while the completest illustration of all is afforded by the republics of South America, where the parts of one and the same state adhere so slightly together, that no sooner does any province think itself aggrieved by the general government than it proclaims itself a separate nation.
Bibliographic Index of Persons and Works Cited in the Essays, with Variants and Notes
Mill, like most nineteenth-century authors, is cavalier in his approach to sources, seldom identifying them with sufficient care, and frequently quoting them inaccurately. This Appendix is intended to help correct these deficiencies, and to serve as an index of names and titles (which are consequently omitted in the Index proper). Included also, at the end of the Appendix, are references to British statute law, which are entered in order of date under the heading “Statutes.” The material otherwise is arranged in alphabetical order, with an entry for each author and work quoted or referred to in the text proper and in Appendices A-D. In cases of simple reference only surnames are given. As the references in Appendix B will be found again in the volume of newspaper writings, and as those in Appendix C may be Bulwer’s rather than Mill’s they are identified as occurring in those appendices.
The entries take the following form:
1. Identification: author, title, etc., in the usual bibliographic form.
2. Notes (if required) giving information about JSM’s use of the source, indication if the work is in his library, and any other relevant information.
3. A list of the places where the author or work is quoted, and a separate list of the places where there is reference only. Those works that are reviewed are specially noted; individual works by Bentham, Coleridge, and Comte (except for the Cours) are not noted as “reviewed” because the articles on these authors are general and not specific reviews.
4. A list of substantive variants between JSM’s text and his source, in this form: Page and line reference to the present text. Reading in the present text] Reading in the source (page reference in the source).
The list of substantive variants also attempts to place quoted passages in their contexts by giving the beginnings and endings of sentences. Omissions of two sentences or less are given in full; only the length of other omissions is given. In a few cases, following the page reference to the source, cross-references are given to footnoted variants in the present text. Translated material is given in the original language. When the style has been altered by setting down quotations, the original form is retained in the entries.
Acts. See Statutes.
Addison, Joseph. Referred to: 114
— Cato. A Tragedy. London: Tonson, 1713.
12.39-40 “the woman who deliberates,”] When Love once plead’s Admission to our Hearts / (In spite of all the Virtue we can boast) / The Woman that Deliberates is lost. (P. 46; IV, i, 29-31)
Aeschylus. Referred to: 42, 324
Agrippa. Referred to: 136
note: the reference is in a quotation from Coleridge.
Alfred the Great (of England). Referred to: 151
note: the reference is in a quotation from Coleridge.
Ampère. Referred to: 354
Anaxagoras. Referred to: 276, 278
Antoninus, Marcus Aurelius. Referred to: 422
— Meditations. Referred to: 416
note: as the reference is general, no edition is cited. A Greek and Latin edition (Glasgow: Foulis, 1744) is in JSM’s library, Somerville College.
Apollonius. Referred to: 362
Archimedes. Referred to: 362
Aristotle. Referred to: 66, 125, 276, 292, 301, 309, 362
note: the reference at 301 is to G. H. Lewes’s Aristotle.
— De Anima. Quoted: 268
note: there are many editions of Aristotle in JSM’s library, Somerville College. The quoted words derive from 415a, 23.
Augustus. See Caesar Augustus.
Aurelius. See Antoninus.
Bacon, Francis. Referred to: 9, 10, 83, 88, 119, 171, 174, 266
— Novum Organum Scientiarum. 2nd ed. Amsterdam: Ravensteiny, 1660.
note: in JSM’s library, Somerville College. For convenience, reference is also given to Works (14 vols. Ed. James Spedding, Robert Leslie Ellis, and Douglas Denon Heath. London: Longman, et al., 1857-74), which is also in JSM’s library. In this standard edition, the Novum Organum is in Vol. I; the English translation is in Vol. IV. The quotations at 29 and 111 are identical (the passage is marked with a marginal pencil line in JSM’s copy of the edition of 1660; that at 379 is indirect; the reference at 88 is to 113 (Works I, 205; Bk. I, Aph. cv; cf. Vol. IV, 97-8; see also Vol. III, 504, 601).
quoted: 29, 111, 379 referred to: 88
29.29 vera illa et media axiomata] At media sunt Axiomata illa vera, & solida, & viva, in quibus humanae res, & fortunae, sitae sunt; & supra haec quoque, tandem ipsa illa generalissima; talia scilicet, quae non abstracta sint, sed per hae media vere limitantur. (112, Works, I, 205; Bk. I, Aph. civ) [Cf. Works, IV, 97.]
111.1-2 [see previous entry]
379.33-4 we can obey nature in such a way as to command it] Human knowledge and human power meet in one; for where the cause is not known the effect cannot be produced. Nature to be commanded must be obeyed; and that which in contemplation is as the cause is in operation as the rule. (47; Bk. I, Aph. iii) [Cf. 114; Bk. I, Aph. cxxix. For the Latin version, see 28; Works, I, 157, 222.]
Bain, Alexander. Referred to: 298.
— The Emotions and the Will. London: Parker, 1859.
note: the “first treatise” referred to at 246n is Bain’s The Senses and the Intellect (London: Parker, 1855).
referred to: 246n
“Balwhidder, Micah.” See Galt.
Bancroft. Referred to: 155.
Beattie. Referred to: 85, 86.
note: the reference at 85 derives from Bentham’s identification of the moralist intended in his second category (see 514:85.12 below).
“Beauchamp, Philip.” See Grote, Analysis.
Becket. Referred to: 142.
Bentham, Jeremiah. Referred to: 81.
Bentham, Jeremy. Referred to: 5-18 passim, 21, 26, 54, 77-115 passim, 119-21, 127, 128, 146, 150, 169-70, 172-4, 176, 179, 181, 183-5, 190, 191, 193n, 194, 195-6, 198-9, 201, 207, 209, 220n, 258n, 267, 290, 300, 307, 325, 394, 406, 413-14, 494, 495-8 (App. B), 499-502 (App. C).
note: the references at 172, 181, 183, 198 are in quotations from Whewell. The references at 406, 413-14 are to Bentham’s authorship of the Analysis of the Influence of Natural Religion; see under Grote.
— The Works of Jeremy Bentham. Ed. John Bowring. Parts I to IV (1838). Vols. I and IV of complete edition in 11 vols. Edinburgh: Tait, 1843.
note: for ease of reference, most citations of Bentham’s writings are taken from this edition, which is in JSM’s library, Somerville College. The edition appeared in twenty-two separate parts between 1838 and 1843, and then was issued in eleven volumes in 1843. JSM’s review (“Bentham”) is of the first four parts, all published in 1838, which form Vols. I (Parts I and II) and IV (Parts III and IV) of the complete edition. The corresponding volume and part numbers, with dates of the parts, are as follows: Vols. I (Parts I and II, 1838; J. H. Burton’s “Introduction to the Study of Jeremy Bentham’s Works,” which appeared at the end of Part XXII in 1843, is also in Vol. I), II (VII and VIII, 1839), III (IX and X, 1839), IV (III and IV, 1838), V (V and VI, 1838), VI (XI and XII, 1839), VII (XIII and XIV, 1840), VIII (XV and XVI, 1841), IX (XVII and XVIII, 1841 and 1842), X (XIX and XX, 1842), XI (XXI and XXII, 1842 and 1843; for Burton’s “Introduction,” see Vol. I above). Parts I to IV contain the following works (most of which are not referred to in JSM’s review): Part I. An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation; On the Promulgation of Laws, with Specimen of a Penal Code; On the Influence of Time and Place in Matters of Legislation; A Table of the Springs of Action; A Fragment on Government. Part II. Principles of the Civil Code; Principles of Penal Law. Part III. View of the Hard-Labour Bill; Panopticon; Postscript to Panopticon; Panopticon v. New South Wales; A Plea for the Constitution; Draught of a Code for a Judicial Establishment in France. Part IV. Bentham’s Draught for the Organization of Judicial Establishments; Emancipate Your Colonies; On Houses of Peers and Senates; Papers relative to Codification and Public Instruction; Codification Proposal.
— Analysis of the Influence of Natural Religion. See Grote, Analysis.
— The Book of Fallacies; from the unfinished papers of Jeremy Bentham. Ed. Peregrine Bingham. London: Hunt, 1824.
note: for ease of reference, the quotations are also located in Works, II, 375-487.
quoted: 14-15, 90 referred to: 81-2
14.30-1 “In every human breast (rare . . . extraordinarily . . . excitement, excepted) ] 3. [i.e., the 3rd of the premises on which the following argument is based] In every human breast, rare . . . extraordinary . . . incitement, excepted, (392-3; Works, II, 482)
14.34 “Taking] [paragraph] Taking (363; Works, II, 482)
14.35 nor . . . exist] [not in italics] (363; Works, II, 482)
14.38-9 (which . . . virtuous) of], which . . . virtuous of (363; Works, II, 482)
90.17 “vague generalities.”] [title of Part IV, Chap. iii] (230ff.; Works, II, 440ff.)
— Constitutional Code; for the use of all nations and all governments professing liberal opinions. Vol. I. London: Heward, 1830.
note: no more published until the complete work appeared in Works, IX, which was not published at the time of JSM’s review.
referred to: 106
— Defence of Usury; shewing the impolicy of the present legal restraints on the terms of pecuniary bargains. In a series of letters to a friend. To which is added, a letter to Adam Smith, on the discouragements opposed by the above restraints to the progress of inventive industry. London: Payne, 1787.
note: in Works, III.
referred to: 81-2
— Deontology. See Bowring, Deontology.
— Essay on the Influence of Time and Place in Matters of Legislation. In Works, I, 169-94.
referred to: 105, 195
— “Essay on the Promulgation of Laws, and the Reasons thereof, with Specimen of a Penal Code,” in Works, I, 155-68.
84.1 “there are] [paragraph] There are (I, 161)
84.3 them. It] them. It is necessary to demonstrate certain palpable truths, in order that others, which may depend upon them, may be adopted. It (I, 161)
— A Fragment on Government; being an examination of what is delivered, on the subject of government in general in the introduction to Sir William Blackstone’s Commentaries; with a preface, in which is given a critique on the work at large. London: Payne, 1776.
note: in JSM’s library, Somerville College. In Works, I, 240-359.
referred to: 82, 496 (App. B)
— An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation, in Works, I, 1-154.
note: for ease of reference, the passages are collated with the version in Works (which is in JSM’s library), although he probably was using the edition in 2 vols. (London: Wilson, 1823), also in his library. (The Bowring edition was of course not published at the time of the early references.) Because of the importance of this work to JSM, the page reference to the Bowring edition is followed by references to the 1st ed. (London: Payne, 1789 [printed 1780—JSM gives this as the date of publication at 186]) and to the edition of 1823. In his copy of the latter, a faint pencil line (31n) marks the end of the paragraph describing the nine kinds of mistaken moralists in his favourite quotation from Bentham. The quotation at 186 is taken by JSM from Whewell’s version. Bowring’s bracketed identifications of the moralists in the passage quoted at 85-6 and elsewhere derive from Bentham’s inked marginalia in his copy (British Museum) of the 1st ed.; the mistaken spellings are Bentham’s. In the reference at 97 to Bentham’s sanctions, JSM omits the first of Bentham’s four sanctions, the “physical” (see Introduction to the Principles, Chap. iii, especially the note to the chapter title).
quoted: 5, 85-6, 110, 177-8, 271 referred to 8, 94, 97, 175-6
5.15-16 principle . . . principle,”] [paragraph] To this denomination [“principle of utility”] has of late [written 1822] been added or substituted, the greatest happiness or greatest felicity principle: this for shortness, instead of saying at length that principle which states the greatest happiness of all those whose interest is in question, as being the right and proper, and only right and proper and universally desirable, end of human action: of human action in every situation, and in particular in that of a functionary or set of functionaries exercising the powers of Government. (I, 1n; not in 1789 ed.; 1823 ed., I, 1n-2n)
5.21-2 “law . . . sense.”] [see 85-6 above, and entries below for that passage] (I, 8n-9n; 1789 ed., xiin-xvn; 1823 ed., I, 28n-31n)
5.26 accept the] accept of the (I, 8; 1789 ed., xiii; 1823 ed., I, 28)
5.27 reason for] reason, and that a sufficient one, for (ibid.; in both 1789 and 1823 the reading is as JSM gives it)
84.32-4 “contrivance . . . itself.”] contrivances . . . itself. (I, 8; cf. entry for 5.27 above)
85.8 man says] man [Lord Shaftesbury, Hutchinson, Hume, &c.] says (8n; 1789 ed., xiiin; 1823 ed., I, 29n: the latter two do not have these or the other identifications; the square brackets are Bowring’s)
85.9 that is] that it is (ibid.)
85.9 a ‘moral sense:’] a moral sense: (ibid.; correctly quoted at 177.35)
85.12 man comes] man [Dr. Beattie] comes (ibid.)
85.13 tells] teaches (ibid.,; correctly quoted at 177.39)
85.16 out as] out of the account as (ibid.; correctly quoted at 177.43)
85.24 man comes] man [Dr. Price] comes (ibid.; 1789 ed., xivn)
85.28 part] point (ibid.; 1823 ed., I, 30n)
85.30 there] here (ibid.; “there” in 1789 and 1823, printer’s error in Bowring)
85.34 man,] man [Dr. Clark], (ibid.)
86.4 philosopher,] philosopher [Woolaston], (I, 9n; 1789 ed., xivn; 1823 ed., I, 31n)
86.9 not be] not to be (ibid.; 1789 ed., xvn) [cf. cxxxvin]
86.12 and let] that let (ibid.) [cf. cxxxvin]
86.14 but to come] but come (ibid.; 1789 and 1823 agree with JSM)
86.25 “exhaustive method of classification,”] [the passage in which Bentham “ascribes everything original” in the Introduction to his method is at I, 101n (1789 ed., ccxn; 1823 ed., II, 73n); see also ibid., 17, 96n-97n, 137-9 (cf. 237-8, and III, 172), and for a more extended discussion of his method, VIII, 101ff.]
110.18-19 “principle . . . principle.”] [see entry for 5.15-16 above]
177.7 It] XII. It (I, 8; 1789 ed., xii; 1823 ed., I, 27)
177.13 these] those (ibid.) [printer’s error?]
177.14 In] XIII. In (ibid., 1789 ed., xiii)
177.20 proportion] proportion (ibid.)
177.24 The] XIV. The (ibid.)
177.29 reason for] reason, and that a sufficient one, for (ibid.) [cf. entry for 5.27 above]
177.29 phrase is different] phrases different (ibid.)
177.29 same] same.* (ibid.) [the rest of the quotation is all in this footnote; cf. 85-6 above, and entries for that passage. The entries below indicate only differences between the version here quoted and that quoted at 85-6; errors in both passages are therefore indicated for the former only]
177.34 One] 1. One (I, 8n; 1789 ed., xiiin; 1823 ed., I, 29n)
177.38 Another] 2. Another (ibid.)
177.40 much] surely (ibid.)
178.7 Another] 4. Another (ibid.; 1823 ed., I, 30n)
178.11 Another] 5. Another (ibid.)
178.15 A] 6. A (I, 9n; ibid.)
178.18-19 nature. [paragraph] We] [JSM omits Bentham’s 7th category here, and his 9th after the next paragraph; cf. 117] (ibid.)
178.19 We] 8. We (ibid.; 1823 ed., I, 31n)
185.34 religion] religions, (I, 142n-143n; 1789 ed., cccviiin; 1823 ed., II, 235n) [this and the following variants indicate JSM’s agreement with Whewell’s misquotations from Bentham, except as indicated]
185.35 kingdom] creation (ibid.)
185.39 ought] ought (ibid.) [given correctly in “Whewell”]
185.40 given. The] [9-sentence omission, indicated in “Whewell” by ellipsis] (ibid.; 1789 ed., cccviiin-cccixn)
185.40 may] may (ibid.) [given correctly in “Whewell”]
185.42 tyranny. It] tyranny. The French have already discovered that the blackness of the skin is no reason why a human being should be abandoned without redress to the caprice of a tormentor.* [footnote:] *See Lewis XIVth Code Noir. [text:] It (ibid.; 1823 ed., II, 235n-236n) [ellipsis indicated in “Whewell”]
185.43-186.1 reasons insufficient] reasons equally insufficient (ibid.) [see previous entry]
186.1 caprice of a tormentor.] same fate? (ibid.) [see two previous entries]
186.5 day, a] day, or a (ibid.)
186.6 The] the (ibid.)
186.6-7 can they reason? nor, can they speak? but, can they suffer?] Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer? (ibid.) [italics given in “Whewell”]
271.34 fictitious entities] [a very common phrase in Bentham; see, e.g., I, 53n (1789 ed., cxin; 1823 ed., I, 191n); cf. 57n, and for a fuller treatment, VIII, 197ff.]
— Plan of Parliamentary Reform, in the Form of a Catechism, with Reasons for Each Article: with an Introduction, showing the necessity of radical, and the inadequacy of moderate, reform. London: Hunter, 1817.
note: in Works, III, 433-557; the comparative passage below is taken from this version.
257.35-6 “everybody to count for one, nobody for more than one,”] [exact wording not located, but see:] [paragraph:] 3. The happiness and unhappiness of any one member of the community—high or low, rich or poor—what greater or less part is it of the universal happiness and unhappiness, than that of any other? (III, 459) [Cf.: “And, on what ground, in the eyes of a common guardian, can any one man’s happiness be shown to have any stronger or less strong claim to regard than any others?” (Codification Proposal, in Works, IV, 540) See also I, 302, 321; II, 252, 271-2; III, 211.]
— “Principles of the Civil Code,” in Works, I, 297-364.
note: at 104n and 154, JSM refers to this work as “Principles of Civil Law”; Part I is entitled “Objects of the Civil Law” and the phrase is used by Dumont in his Introduction (I, 299) to characterize the subject.
quoted: 197 referred to: 104n, 154
197.24-5 “takes . . . themselves,”] The government which interdicts them [divorces], takes . . . themselves. (I, 355)
— Rationale of Judicial Evidence, specially applied to English Practice. Ed. J. S. Mill. 5 vols. London: Hunt and Clarke, 1827.
note: in Works, VI-VII. The reference at 470 is to one of JSM’s editorial notes to the Rationale, I, 137 (where the criticism is of Price, not of Campbell). In JSM’s library, Somerville College.
quoted: 95n referred to: 470
95.n2 “love of justice”] 2. Another reason [why one of the “mendacity-restraining sanctions” may operate] is to be found in that love of justice, which, at least in a civilized state of society, may be considered as having more or less hold on every human breast.* [footnote by the Editor, i.e., JSM:] *This love of justice, commonplace moralists, and even a certain class of philosophers, would be likely to call an original principle of human nature. Experience proves the contrary: by any attentive observer of the progress of the human mind in early youth, the gradual growth of it may be traced. [paragraph] Among the almost innumerable associations by which this love of justice is nourished and fostered, that one to which it probably owes the greatest part of its strength, arises from a conviction which cannot fail to impress itself upon the mind of every human being possessed of an ordinary share of intellect,—the conviction, that if other persons in general were habitually and universally to disregard the rules of justice in their conduct towards him, his destruction would be the speedy consequence: and that by every single instance of disregard to those rules on the part of any one, (himself included), the probability of future violations of the same nature is more or less increased. (V, 638-639n; Works, VII, 570-570n) [Another passage using “love of justice” is to be found at I, 83 (Works, VI, 227).]
— The Rationale of Reward. London: Hunt, 1825.
note: in Works, II, 189-266; the comparative passages below are taken from this version.
113.35-6 “quantity of pleasure being equal, push-pin is as good as poetry:”] Prejudice apart, the game of push-pin is of equal value with the arts and sciences of music and poetry. (II, 253)
114.1 “All poetry is misrepresentation.”] [exact wording not located, but see:] Indeed, between poetry and truth there is a natural opposition: false morals, fictitious nature. The poet always stands in need of something false. . . . Truth, exactitude of every kind, is fatal to poetry. (II, 253-4)
— A Table of the Springs of Action. London: Hunter, 1817 [printed 1815].
note: in Works, I, 195-219.
quoted: 95, 109 referred to: 12, 95, 96
95:19-21 “Conscience . . . reputation;”] [“Conscience” and “Principle” appear under the “Eulogistic” motives in Table VII, which is concerned with “Pleasures and Pains of the Moral or Popular Sanction; viz. Pleasures of Reputation, or Good-Repute,” with a reference directing attention to Tables IX and X, concerned with pleasures and pains of the “Religious Sanction” and of “Sympathy.” “Moral Rectitude” and “Moral Duty” appear in Table VIII under the “Neutral” motives.] (Works, I, 201)
109.28 “interest-begotten prejudice”] [see title of §6] (I, 217; cf. title of Book of Fallacies, Part V, Chap. iv, in Works, II, 477]
— Traités de législation civile et pénale. Ed. Etienne Dumont. 3 vols. Paris: Bossange, Mason, and Besson, 1802.
note: the “Vue générale d’un corps complet de législation” (“de lois” in Table of Contents of Vol. I) is in Vol. I (moved to Vol. III of 2nd ed. 3 vols. Paris: Bossange, Rey, and Gravier, 1820). As the reading of these volumes marked “an epoch” in JSM’s life (Autobiography [New York: Columbia University Press, 1924], 45), the contents are of special interest: Vol. I. Discours préliminaire (by Dumont); Principes généraux de législation; Vue générale d’un corps complet de législation. Vol. II. Principes du code civil; Principes du code pénal. Vol. III. Principes du code pénal (cont.); Mémoire sur le Panoptique; Promulgation des lois; De l’influence de tems et des lieux en matière de législation.
referred to: 11, 496 (App. B)
— “Vue générale d’un corps complet de législation.” See Traités de législation civile et pénale.
Berkeley. Referred to: 46
Berthelot, Marcelin-Pierre-Eugène. “La science idéale et la science positive,” Revue des Deux Mondes, 2e sér., 48 (Nov., 1863), 442-59.
referred to: 264
Beverley, Robert Mackenzie. Referred to: 36n
note: for Beverley’s writings, see Sedgwick, Four Letters.
Bible. Referred to: 27-8, 144-5, 159, 160-2, 300, 322, 382, 416
— New Testament. Referred to: 65, 161, 218, 416-17, 423, 424-5, 469, 487
— Old Testament. Referred to: 161, 224, 396, 416n
— Acts. Referred to: 480n
note: the reference is to 9: 1-19; Paul’s conversion is also described in Acts, 22:3-16, 26:4-18; Galatians, 1:11ff.
— I Corinthians.
420.14 “Let us] If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us (15:32; cf. Isaiah, 22:13)
410.29-30 “follow . . . evil;”] Thou shalt not follow . . . evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment: / Neither shalt thou countenance a poor man in his cause. (23:2-3)
— Genesis. Referred to: 27, 162, 435
note: the reference at 27 is in a quotation from Blakey.
note: the quotation is indirect.
423.40-1 its ways are not our ways] For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. (55:8)
quoted: 28, 416 referred to: 487
28.39 “He spake as never man spake.”] The officers answered, Never man spake like this man. (7:46)
416.36 “new commandment to love one another;”] A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. (13:34)
417.3-4 “he that is without sin let him throw the first stone;”] So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. (8:7)
— Judges. Referred to: 320
note: the quotation is indirect.
416.n2-3 to love . . . thyself,] Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love . . . thyself: I am the Lord. (19:18)
— Luke. Referred to: 417
note: the reference is to 10:30-7.
— Mark. Referred to: 29, 424
note: the reference at 29 is general; see 3:5.
note: the reference at 417 is to 7:12; that at 423 is to 5:1ff.
quoted: 388 referred to: 417, 423
388.7-8 “to him that . . . given, but . . . taken even] For unto every one that . . . given, and he shall have abundance: but . . . taken away even (25:29)
— Revelations. Referred to: 27, 412
note: the reference at 27 is in a quotation from Blakey; that at 412 is to Chap. 18.
424.28 “the . . . God”] Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the . . . God. (13:1)
Bichat. Referred to: 289
Blackstone. Referred to: 82, 103, 151
Blainville. Referred to: 323
Blakey, Robert.History of Moral Science. 2 vols. London: Duncan, 1833.
reviewed: 21-9 quoted: 23-7
24.39 remembrance] remembrance (II, 117)
25.15 assert] assent [printer’s error in Blakey?] (II, 117)
25.41 The] [no paragraph] In considering the nature of man, they have looked upon him as a mere insulated being, without any reference to the relations in which he stands to the Great Author of his existence; and hence it is, in the majority of cases, that the (II, 300)
25.42 mind] mind such (II, 300)
25.42 is profusely] is so profusely (II, 300)
26.3 all things should be seen in God;] The metaphysical theory of Father Malenbranche [sic] is contained in this single principle, that all things should be seen in God. (II, 308)
26.10 All] [no paragraph] All (II, 317)
26.16 vibrations,*] [JSM’s footnote] (II, 317)
26.18-20 “there are . . . truth,” and that “we cannot . . . principle,”] [paragraph] There are . . . truth; but the great imperfection which runs through them all is, that they attempt to generalise too much. We cannot . . . principle. (II, 319)
26.22 “that . . . God,”] The abstract arguments, for and against this theory [of Archbishop King] have been detailed at a considerable length, in the essay on King’s system; but I will here advance a few additional reasons, principally of a more popular complexion, in favour of the doctrine, that . . . God. (II, 319-20)
27.26 I venture] [no paragraph] If this be the case [that supernatural revelation merely confirms natural morality], then I would say that the Scriptures are a complete failure; for I venture (II, 326)
Blignières, Célestin de.Exposition abrégée et populaire de la philosophie et de la religion positives. Paris: Chamerot, 1857.
referred to: 328, 329
Böhme. Referred to: 127
Bolingbroke. Referred to: 21
Bonner. Referred to: 155
Borgias. Referred to: 386
note: the reference is not specific, but clearly Cesare, Lucrezia, and Rodrigo (Pope Alexander VI) are intended.
Bossuet. Referred to: 324
Bowring, John.Deontology; or, The Science of Morality: in which the harmony and co-incidence of duty and self-interest, virtue and felicity, prudence and benevolence, are explained and exemplified. From the MSS of Jeremy Bentham. 2 vols. London: Longman, Rees, Orme, Browne, Green, and Longman, 1834.
note: the reference at 90 is to I, 39ff. There is little reason to dispute JSM’s judgment, often expressed, that this work should be attributed in the main to Bowring, not to Bentham.
referred to: 90, 98-9, 174
Boyle. Referred to: 287n
Bridges. See Comte, A General View of Positivism.
Brougham, Henry Peter. “Law Reform: Introduction,” in Speeches of Henry Lord Brougham. 4 vols. Edinburgh: Black, 1838, II, 285-315.
note: the “character” of Bentham is on 287-304; for the “imputation” of “a jealous and splenetic disposition,” see especially 297-8. Brougham also includes, 304-6, a short sketch of James Mill.
referred to: 115n
Brown, John.Essays on the Characteristics. London: Davis, 1752.
note: in JSM’s library, Somerville College.
referred to: 87, 170
— An Estimate of the Manners and Principles of the Times. 2 vols. London: Davis and Reymers, 1757-58.
referred to: 87n
Brown, Thomas. Referred to: 21, 46, 130, 298
— Lectures on the Philosophy of the Human Mind. 4 vols. Edinburgh: Tait, 1820.
referred to: 267
Brutus. Referred to: 112
Buckle. Referred to: 287n, 322
Buonarotti. See Michelangelo.
Burke, Edmund.Reflections on the Revolution in France, and on the proceedings in certain societies in London relative to that event. In a letter intended to have been sent to a gentleman in Paris. In Works. 3 vols. London: Dodsley, 1792, III, 19-321.
note: this volume, and Vols. IV and V of the edition as later extended, formerly in JSM’s library, Somerville College.
142.36-7 “rear her mitred front in courts and palaces,”] No! we will have her [religion] to exalt her mitred front in courts and parliaments. (III, 144)
Butler, Joseph. Referred to: 21, 64n, 65, 172
note: the reference at 172 is in a quotation from Whewell.
— The Analogy of Religion, Natural and Revealed, to the Constitution and Course of Nature. To which are added two brief dissertations: I. Of Personal Identity. II. Of the Nature of Virtue. London: Knapton, 1736.
note: at 64 JSM is quoting Sedgwick’s quotation from Butler; for variants, see under Sedgwick, A Discourse, 64.12-19.
quoted: 64 referred to: 469
Butler, Samuel.Hudibras. 2 vols. Ed. Zachary Grey. London: Vernor and Hood, et al., 1801.
note: in JSM’s library, Somerville College.
445.3-4 The dark lantern of the Spirit / Which none see by but those who bear it:] (The “new light”] ’Tis a dark-lanthorn of the spirit, / Which none see by but those that bear it; / A light that falls down from on high, / For spiritual trades to cozen by / An ignis fatuus, that bewitches / And leads men into pools and ditches, / To make them dip themselves, and sound / For Christendom in dirty pond; / To dive, like wild-fowl, for salvation, / And fish to catch regeneration. (I, 53-4; Pt. I, Canto I, ll.505-14.)
Byron. Referred to: 92
Caesar, Augustus. Referred to: 466
Caesar, Julius. Referred to: 362
Camden. See Pratt.
Campbell, George.A Dissertation on Miracles: containing an examination of the principles advanced by David Hume, in an Essay on Miracles. Edinburgh: Kincaid and Bell, 1762.
referred to: 470
Campbell, John. Referred to: 102
note: the reference is to Campbell as Attorney-General in 1838.
Caravaggio. Referred to: 136n
note: the reference is in a quotation from Coleridge.
Cardaillac. Referred to: 296
Carlyle, Thomas. “Novalis,” in Critical and Miscellaneous Essays. 5 vols. London: Fraser, 1840, II.
note: this edition probably was in JSM’s library, Somerville College. The references derive from JSM’s citations of Novalis, but there can be little doubt that he took them from Carlyle, and so they are entered below. The quotations are indirect.
quoted: 214, 336
214.37-8 simultaneous act of suicide under certain conditions] That theory of the human species ending by a universal simultaneous act of Suicide, will, to the more simple sort of readers, be new. (II, 288) [The passage is found in Chap. ii, “Die Natur,” of Novalis’s Die Lehrlinge zu Sais; see Paul Kluckhohn and Richard Samuel, eds. Novalis Schriften. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer Verlag, 1960, I, 88-9.]
336.6 Spinoza . . . was a God-intoxicated man] [in translation from Novalis, Carlyle writes:] “Spinoza is a God-intoxicated man (Gott-trunkener Mensch).” (II, 296) [The passage is found in “Fragmente”; see Ludwig Tieck and Friedrich Schlegel, eds. Novalis Schriften. 4th ed. 3 parts. Berlin: Reimer, 1826, II, 261.]
— On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History. London: Fraser, 1841.
note: in JSM’s library, Somerville College. JSM is citing Novalis, but there is little doubt that he took the reference from Carlyle, who cites the passage not only in Heroes, but twice in Sartor Resartus, and once in “Characteristics.”
407.41-408.1 My belief has gained infinitely to me from the moment when one other human being has begun to believe the same.] “It is certain,” says Novalis, “my Conviction gains infinitely, the moment another soul will believe in it.” (93) [The passage is found in Ludwig Tieck and Friedrich Schlegel, eds. Novalis Schriften. 4th ed. 3 parts. Berlin: Reimer, 1826, II, 104.]
— Past and Present. London: Chapman and Hall, 1843.
note: presentation copy, “To Mrs Taylor / with kind regards. / T.C.”, in JSM’s library, Somerville College. The quotation is of a common phrase in Carlyle, most fully developed in Bk. IV, Chap. iv, “Captains of Industry.”
— Sartor Resartus. 2nd ed. Boston: Munroe, 1837.
note: in JSM’s library, Somerville College. The quotation at 214 is indirect.
quoted: 214, 333
214.23 What . . . be?] What Act of Legislature was there that thou shouldst be happy? A little while ago thou hadst no right to be at all. (197; Bk. II, Chap. ix)
333 “the Infinite nature of Duty,”] Thus, in spite of all motive-grinders, and mechanical profit-and-loss philosophies, with the sick ophthalmia and hallucination they had brought on, was the infinite nature of duty still dimly present to me. (170; Bk. II, Chap. vii) [the context of this comment by Teufelsdröckh gives the rest of JSM’s statement. Cf. Past and Present, 156-7 (Bk. II, Chap. xv).]
Carrier. Referred to: 386
Chalmers. Referred to: 151
Charles I (of England). Referred to: 155
note: the reference is in a quotation from Coleridge.
Charles II (of England). Referred to: 155
note: the reference is in a quotation from Coleridge.
Châteaubriand. Referred to: 92
Christ. See Jesus.
Cicero, Marcus Tullius.Brutus sive de claris oratoribus.
note: many editions of Cicero in JSM’s library, Somerville College.
145.14 instar omnium] Plato enim mihi unus instar est omnium. (51.191)
— De finibus bonorum et malorum. Referred to: 87
note: many editions of Cicero in JSM’s library, Somerville College.
— De Officiis. Referred to: 421
note: many editions of Cicero in JSM’s library, Somerville College.
Clare. Referred to: 136n
note: the reference, to “Strongbow,” is in a quotation from Coleridge.
Clarke. Referred to: 21, 85
note: the reference at 85 derives from Bentham’s identification (“Clark”) of the moralist intended in his fifth category.
Clarkson. Referred to: 188
Cogan. Referred to: 21
Coleridge, Henry Nelson. “Preface,” The Literary Remains of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, III. London: Pickering, 1838, ix-xvi.
quoted: 162. See also Coleridge, Samuel Taylor, Literary Remains.
161.28 the only] [paragraph] His [Coleridge’s] friends have always known this to be the fact [that he criticized Biblical literalism]; and he vindicated this so openly that it would be folly to attempt to conceal it: nay, he pleaded for it so earnestly—as the only (III, xi)
161.32 former; for he] former,—that to suppress this important part of his solemn convictions would be to misrepresent and betray him. For he (III, xi)
161.36 fools! . . . Of the] fools! [3½-sentence omission] He trembled at the dreadful dogma which rests God’s right to man’s obedience on the fact of his almighty power,—a position falsely inferred from a misconceived illustration of St. Paul’s, and which is less humbling to the creature than blasphemous of the Creator; and of the (III, xii-xiii)
Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. Referred to: 42, 77-8, 119-63 passim, 299, 494
— Aids to Reflection in the Formation of a Manly Character on the Several Grounds of Prudence, Morality, and Religion: Illustrated by select passages from our elder Divines, especially from Archbishop Leighton. 2nd ed. London: Hurst, Chance, 1831.
note: the 1st ed. (London: Taylor and Hessey, 1825) is in JSM’s library, Somerville College, but his page references correspond to those in the edition cited (which agree with those in the edition of 1836 [London: Pickering]).
quoted: 128, 159
159.10-11 “the outward . . . virtue” is “the . . . men,”] For the outward . . . virtue being the . . . men, it must needs include the object of an intelligent self-love, which is the greatest possible happiness of one individual; for what is true of all, must be true of each. (37)
159.11 “happiness . . . man.”] For Pleasure (and happiness . . . man, and hence by the Greeks called εὐτυχία, i.e. good-hap, or more religiously εὐδαιμονία, i.e. favorable providence)—Pleasure, I say, consists in the harmony between the specific excitability of a living creature, and the exciting causes correspondent thereto. (39)
— Biographia Literaria: or, Biographical sketches of my literary life and opinions. 2 vols in 1. London: Rest Fenner, 1817.
note: in JSM’s library, Somerville College. The passage at 158 includes a quotation from Leibnitz, Trois lettres; the quotation at 129 is indirect.
quoted: 129, 158
129.24 they required . . . afresh.] [paragraph] To which I may add from myself, that what medical physiologists affirm of certain secretions, applies equally to our thoughts; they too must be taken up again into the circulation, and be again and again re-secreted in order to ensure a healthful vigor, both to the mind and to its intellectual offspring. (I, 234n)
158.30-1 “J’ai . . . nient.] [not in italics] (I, 250; see Leibnitz, Trois lettres, below)
— Confessions of an Inquiring Spirit. Ed. Henry Nelson Coleridge. London: Pickering, 1840.
note: in JSM’s library, Somerville College.
referred to: 162n
— First Lay Sermon [The Statesman’s Manual]. 2nd ed. In On the Constitution of Church and State, and Lay Sermons. London: Pickering, 1839.
note: the indirect quotation, wrongly attributed by JSM, following Coleridge, to Bacon, actually derives from James Steuart, An Inquiry into the Principles of Political Œconomy (2 vols. London: Millar and Cadell, 1767). For the identification, see Kathleen Coburn, ed., S. T. Coleridge’s Notebooks (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1957), I (Notes), 309 (21.11).
119.7-9 If it be true, as Lord Bacon affirms, that a knowledge of the speculative opinions of the men between twenty and thirty years of age is the great source of political philosophy,] Turn over the fugitive writings, that are still extant, of the age of Luther; peruse the pamphlets and loose sheets that came out in flights during the reign of Charles I and the Republic; and you will find in these one continued comment on the aphorism of Lord Bacon (a man assuredly sufficiently acquainted with the extent of secret and personal influence), that the knowledge of the speculative principles of men in general between the age of twenty and thirty is the one great source of political prophecy. (216n) [Cf. The Friend, I, 315.] [The passage in Steuart reads:] In every country we find two generations upon the stage at a time; that is to say, we may distribute into two classes the spirit which prevails; the one amongst men between twenty and thirty, when opinions are forming; the other of those who are past fifty, when opinions and habits are formed and confirmed. A person of judgment and observation may foresee many things relative to government, from an exact application to the rise and progress of new customs and opinions, provided he preserve his mind free from all attachments and prejudices, in favour of those which he himself has adopted, and in that delicacy of sensation necessary to perceive the influence of a change of circumstances. This is the genius proper to form a great statesman. (I, 11)
— The Friend: A series of Essays, in three volumes, to aid in the formation of fixed principles in politics, morals, and religion, with literary amusements interspersed. 3 vols. London: Rest Fenner, 1818.
note: in JSM’s library, Somerville College. The quotations at 126 and 151 are indirect. See also Bacon. JSM’s reference to Coleridge as an “arrant driveller” on political economy (155) may reflect his reading of I, 283-356.
quoted: 126, 151, 158-9
126.13-14 we see, before we know that we have eyes] as “Metaphysics” are the science which determines what can, and what can not, be known of Being and the Laws of Being, a priori (that is from those necessities of the mind or forms of thinking, which, though first revealed to us by experience, must yet have pre-existed in order to make experience itself possible, even as the eye must exist previous to any particular act of seeing, though by sight only can we know that we have eyes)—so might the philosophy of Rousseau and his followers not inaptly be entitled, Metapolitics, and the Doctors of this School, Metapoliticians. (I, 309n; cf. Literary Remains, I, 326n; Table Talk, 220)
151.6-8 the balance . . . trade] I entreat my readers to recollect, that the present question does not concern the effects of taxation on the public independence and on the supposed balance of the three constitutional powers, (from which said balance, as well as from the balance of trade, I own, I have never been able to elicit one ray of common sense.) (II, 74-5)
159.4-5 “to . . . self-contradiction”] This is, indeed, the main characteristic of the moral system taught by the Friend throughout, that the distinct foresight of Consequences belongs exclusively to that infinite Wisdom which is one with that Almighty Will, on which all consequences depend; but that for Man—to . . . self-contradiction, or in other words, to produce and maintain the greatest possible Harmony in the component impulses and faculties of his nature, involves the effects of Prudence. (I, 256)
159.6 “be] So act that thou mayest be (I, 340)
299.36-7 metapolitics] [see passage quoted in entry for 126.13-14 above]
— The Literary Remains of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Ed. Henry Nelson Coleridge. 4 vols. London: Pickering, 1836-39.
note: the quotation at 155.21-4 is indirect.
quoted: 144, 150, 155, 158, 159, 160-1, 162. See also Coleridge, Henry Nelson.
144.27 bibliolatry] [e.g. of common term in Coleridge:] But in fact the age was not ripe enough even for a Hooker to feel, much less with safety to expose, the Protestants’ idol, that is, their Bibliolatry. (III, 42)
150.19-20 “constituted” . . . “the . . . apostasy.”] For it is this very interpretation of the Church [as the “Clergy, the hierarchy exclusively” by Laud and his followers] that, according to my conviction, constituted . . . apostasy; and I hold it for one of the greatest mistakes of our polemic divines in their controversies with the Romanists, that they trace all the corruptions of the Gospel faith to the Papacy. (III, 386)
155.21-4 no . . . knowledge;] [paragraph] If any man, who like myself hath attentively read the Church history of the reign of Elizabeth, and the conference before, and with, her pedant successor, can shew me any essential difference between Whitgift and Bancroft during their rule, and Bonner and Gardiner in the reign of Mary, I will be thankful to him in my heart and for him in my prayers. One difference I see, namely, that the former professing the New Testament to be their rule and guide, and making the fallibility of all churches and individuals an article of faith, were more inconsistent, and therefore less excusable, than the Popish persecutors. (II, 388-9)
158.35 “truths misunderstood,” “half-truths . . . whole,”] For we are not bound to say the truth, where we know that we cannot convey it, but very probably may impart a falsehood instead; no falsehoods being more dangerous than truths misunderstood, nay, the most mischievous errors on record having been half-truths . . . whole. (III, 145)
159.20-1 “if . . . France,”] [paragraph] This just and acute remark [by Jeremy Taylor] is, in fact, no less applicable to Scripture in all doctrinal points, and if . . . France, the same criterion (that is, the internal evidence) must be extended to all points, to the narratives no less than to the precept. (III, 263)
159.22-6 “the . . . God;” . . . “clearly . . . and St. Paul.”] [paragraph] If we are quite certain that any writing pretending to divine origin contains gross contradictions to demonstrable truths in eodem genere, or commands that outrage the clearest principles of right and wrong; then we may be equally certain that the pretence is a blasphemous falsehood, inasmuch as the . . . God. [paragraph] This principle is clearly . . . and by St. Paul. (III, 293) [234g-g.]
159.30 “the] The (I, 367)
160.31-161.1 “the . . . of the word,” . . . “wilful . . . will;”] Alas! alas! how long will it be ere Christians take the plain middle road between intolerance and indifference, by adopting the . . . of heresy, that is, wilful . . . will; and of heretics, (for such there are, nay, even orthodox heretics), that is, men wilfully unconscious of their own wilfulness, in their limpet-like adhesion to a favourite tenet? (IV, 193)
161.4-5 “pseudo-Athanasius,” . . . “interprets Catholic . . . belief,”] And lastly, who authorized either you, or the pseudo-Athanasius, to interpret Catholic . . . belief, arising out of the apparent predominance of the grounds for, over those against, the truth of the positions asserted; much more, by belief as a mere passive acquiescence of the understanding? (IV, 193)
161.5-6 “true Lutheran doctrine,” . . . “neither] How infinitely safer the true Lutheran doctrine [than Jeremy Taylor’s]: God cannot be mocked; neither (III, 359)
161.7 condemn. To] condemn;—to (III, 359)
161.10 habit.] habit;—to watch over the secret movements of the heart, remembering ever how deceitful a thing it is, and that God cannot be mocked, though we may easily dupe ourselves: these, as the ground-work with prayer, study of the Scriptures, and tenderness to all around us, as the consequents, are the Christian’s rule, and supersede all books of casuistry, which latter serve only to harden our feelings and pollute the imagination. (III, 359)
161.12 ambitious] ambition (IV, 245)
161.18-20 “The notion . . . it,”] The very same principles on which the pontifical polemics vindicate the Papal infallibility, Fuller et centum alii apply to the (if possible) still more extravagant notion . . . it. (II, 385)
161.21-2 “there . . . unbelief;”] But in all superstition there . . . unbelief, and, vice versa, where an individual’s belief is but a superficial acquiescence, credulity is the natural result and accompaniment, if only he be not required to sink into the depths of his being, where the sensual man can no longer draw breath. (III, 229-30)
161.22 “if . . . extravagant”] [see entry for 161.18-20 above] (II, 385)
— I. On the Constitution of Church and State According to the Idea of Each. II. Lay Sermons:i.The Statesman’s Manual.ii.“Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters.” Ed. Henry Nelson Coleridge. London: Pickering, 1839.
note: this edition, in JSM’s library, is the one to which his references correspond; it includes the 3rd ed. of Church and State, and the 2nd ed. of the Lay Sermons. Also in JSM’s library is the 2nd ed. of Church and State (London: Hurst, Chance, 1830). The collations for the Lay Sermons are given under First Lay Sermon and Second Lay Sermon.
quoted: 135n-136n, 146-9, 150-2, 155
135.n9 us discharge] us, however, first discharge (160)
135.n17 could be] could have been (161)
147.10 the] [paragraph] The Nationalty, therefore, was reserved for the (46)
147.32 Religion] But I affirm that in the spiritual purpose of the word, and as understood in reference to a future state, and to the abiding essential interest of the individual as a person, and not as the citizen, neighbour, or subject, religion (48)
147.35 Christ. . . . . The] [ellipsis indicates 1-page omission] (48-9)
147.35 The clerisy] [paragraph] The Clerisy (49)
147.38 architecture, with] architecture, of the physical sciences, with (49)
148.5 ideas.] ideas.* [8-sentence footnote omitted] (50)
148.14 knowledge of] knowledges that (51)
148.27 “cannot] But I do assert, that the Nationalty cannot (54)
148.28 nation never] nation it never (54)
148.29 purposes,”] purposes. (54)
148.29-30 “a . . . civilization,”] These [permanency and progression] depend on a . . . civilization. (46)
148.37 I] But I (53)
148.39 contrary. . . . . In] [ellipsis indicates 5½-page omission; the sentence indicated in the entry for 148.27 above follows immediately after contrary] (53-4, 59)
148.39 In] [paragraph] In (59)
148.40 accident,] accident,* [3-sentence footnote, explaining the sense of the phrase, omitted] (59)
148.41 God. . . . . As] God, a mighty and faithful friend, the envoy indeed and liege subject of another State, but which can neither administer the laws nor promote the ends of this other State, which is not of the world, without advantage, direct and indirect, to the true interests of the States, the aggregate of which is what we mean by the world, that is, the civilized world. As (59-60)
150.16-18 “who, . . . pastorate,”] 3, of a school-master in every parish, who . . . pastorate; so that both should be labourers in different compartments of the same field, workmen engaged in different stages of the same process, with such difference of rank, as might be suggested in the names pastor and sub-pastor, or as now exists between rector and curate, elder and deacon. (56-7) [the full sentence runs for 2 pages]
151.10 Because] [paragraph] But a Constitution is an idea arising out of the idea of a State; and because (18)
151.11 in the] on the (18) [printer’s error?]
151.12 and what] and in what (19)
151.16-17 though (even . . . idea) not] though even . . . idea not (19)
151.23 is] [paragraph] There is yet another ground for the affirmation of its reality; that, as the fundamental idea, it is (19)
151.25 system: those principles in] system—(I use the term in its widest sense, in which the crown itself is included as representing the unity of the people, the true and primary sense of the word majesty);—those principles, I say, in (19)
151.33 It] [no paragraph] It (23)
151.35-6 and growing] and the growing (23)
151.38 States . . . Now] [ellipsis indicates omission of 14-line quotation from the “Ode to the Departing Year”] (24)
151.38 Now] [paragraph] Now (24)
151.39 men, or acknowledging] men, acknowledging (24)
152.2 permanence . . . progression.] permanence . . . progression.* [2-paragraph footnote] (24)
152.7 hand,” he says, “the] hand, with as little chance of contradiction, I may assert that the (26)
152.12 These] [paragraph] These (29)
152.13 classes I] classes, by an arbitrary but convenient use of the phrase, I (29)
152.23-4 “the . . . House;”] [paragraph] Thus in the theory of the Constitution it was provided that even though both divisions of the Landed Interest should combine in any legislative attempt to encroach on the rights and privileges of the Personal Interest, yet the representatives of the latter forming the . . . House, the attempt must be abortive; the majority of votes in both Houses being indispensable in order to the presentation of a bill for the completory act,—that is, to make it a law of the land. (30)
152.26-31 “the very weight . . . landholders” . . . “in . . . scale;” . . . “now . . . check;”] [paragraph] That the burgesses were not bound to elect representatives from among their own order, individuals bona fide belonging to one or other of the four divisions above enumerated; that the elective franchise of the cities, towns, and ports, first invested with borough-rights, was not made conditional, and to a certain extent at least dependent, on their retaining the same comparative wealth and independence, and rendered subject to a periodical revisal and re-adjustment; that, in consequence of these and other causes, the very weights . . . land-holders, have, in . . . scale; that they now . . . check;—these things are no part of the Constitution, no essential ingredients in the idea, but apparent defects and imperfections in its realization; which, however, we need neither regret nor set about amending, till we have seen whether an equivalent force has not arisen to supply the deficiency;—a force great enough to have destroyed the equilibrium, had not such a transfer taken place previously to, or at the same time with, the operation of the new forces. (31-2) [the next sentence is partly used by JSM in his concluding clause]
155.15-17 “a . . . head” . . . “either . . . them.”] Our state-policy a . . . head; our measures become either . . . them; for all true insight is foresight. (69)
155.8-9 “the . . . reigns”] (the . . . reigns) (102) [the full sentence runs for 1 page]
155.27-30 “a . . . kingdom” instead of “the . . . aware.”] . . . and if, I say, Henry [VIII] had then directed the Nationalty to its true national purposes, (in order to which, however, a . . . kingdom must have superseded the . . . aware); . . . . (56) [the full sentence, including the passage at 150.16-18 above, runs for 2 pages]
— “Pitt,” in James Gillman. The Life of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. 2 vols. London: Pickering, 1838, I, 195-207.
note: reprinted from the Morning Post, 19 Mar., 1800; also appears in Coleridge’s Essays on His Own Times, A Second Series of The Friend (London: Pickering, 1850, II, 319-29).
referred to: 155
— Second Lay Sermon [Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters]. 2nd ed. In On the Constitution of Church and State, and Lay Sermons. London: Pickering, 1839.
note: in JSM’s library, Somerville College.
quoted: 155n, 156-7
155.n2 “Instead] Thus instead (403)
156.23 Let] [no paragraph] Let (414)
156.27 hope] hope* [3-sentence footnote omitted] (415)
157.25 “that] [paragraph] That agriculture requires principles essentially different from those of trade; that (413)
157.26 should] ought not to (413) [JSM puts the negative earlier in his paraphrase]
157.27 stock;”] stock,—admits of an easy proof from the different tenure of landed property,* [footnote includes sentence quoted by JSM at 157] and from the purposes of agriculture itself, which ultimately are the same as those of the State of which it is the offspring. (413-14)
— Specimens of the Table Talk of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Ed. Henry Nelson Coleridge. 2nd ed. London: Murray, 1836.
note: the quotation at 121 is indirect.
quoted: 121, 160
121.24-5 every one is born either a Platonist or an Aristotelian:] Every man is born an Aristotelian, or a Platonist. (95) [Cf. Literary Remains, III, 33: “Every man capable of philosophy at all (and there are not many such) is a born Platonist or a born Aristotelian.”]
160.3-4 Unitarians” and even infidels. “It] Unitarians and open infidels. It (91) [Cf. 160i-i.]
Combe. Referred to: 378
Comte, Auguste. Referred to: 263-368 passim, 406
— Appel aux conservateurs. Paris: Comte, Dalmont, 1855.
note: in JSM’s library, Somerville College, bound with a presentation copy of Comte’s Discours sur l’ensemble du positivisme (Paris: Mathias, Carilian-Gœury, and Dalmont, 1848).
referred to: 328n
— The Catechism of Positive Religion. Trans. Richard Congreve. London: Chapman, 1858.
referred to: 328
— Catéchisme positiviste, ou Sommaire exposition de la religion universelle, en onze entretiens systématiques entre une femme et un prêtre de l’humanité. Paris: Comte, Carilian-Gœury, and Dalmont, 1852.
note: in JSM’s library, Somerville College, where many of the cited passages are marked marginally. JSM often uses terms or ideas found repeatedly in Comte’s later works; some of the identifications are therefore typical rather than exact, and similar passages may be found in Comte’s Synthèse and Système. Where quotations (such as those at 340, 342, 346, 347) are indirect or summary, usually no collation is given.
quoted: 335, 336, 340, 342, 346, 347, 357 referred to: 323, 328n, 329
335.36 (du cœur sur l’esprit)] Toujours fondée sur un libre concours de volontés indépendantes, son existence composée, que toute discorde tend à dissoudre, consacre aussitôt la prépondérance continue du cœur sur l’esprit comme l’unique base de notre véritable unité. (19)
336.15-22 the . . . social.] [translated from:] En lui-même, il indique l’état de complète unité qui distingue notre existence, à la fois personnelle et sociale, quand toutes ses parties, tant morales que physiques, convergent habituellement vers une destination commune. [ellipsis indicates 3-sentence omission] [paragraph] Une telle harmonie, individuelle ou collective, ne pouvant jamais être pleinement réalisée dans une existence aussi compliquée que la nôtre, cette définition de la religion caractérise donc le type immuable vers lequel tend de plus en plus l’en semble des efforts humains. Notre bonheur et notre mérite consistent surtout à nous rapprocher autant que possible de cette unité, dont l’essor graduel constitue la meilleure mesure du vrai perfectionnement, personnel ou social. (2-3)
357.2 the living are more and more governed by the dead.] [translated from:] Les vivants sont toujours, et de plus en plus, gouvernés nécessairement par les morts: telle est la loi fondamentale de l’ordre humain. (32; cf. Système, III, xxxiv. Both passages marked marginally in JSM’s copies.)
— Cours de philosophie positive. 2nd ed. 6 vols. Preface, E. Littré. Paris: Ballière, 1864.
note: 1st ed. (6 vols. Paris: Bachelier, 1830-42) in JSM’s library. The 4th ed. (Paris: Baillière, 1877), in which the pagination agrees with JSM’s citations from the 2nd, is used in the following collations.
reviewed: 263-327 quoted: 294, 295-6, 298, 300, 301, 303-4, 312, 321, 330, 363
referred to: 328-9, 332, 359, 363, 366
294.13-14 “the degree . . . science,”] [translated from:] Ainsi, je ne propose point le dualisme universel et invariable comme une loi réelle de la nature, que nous ne pourrions jamais avoir aucun moyen de constater; mais je le proclame un artifice fondamental de la vraie philosophie chimique, destiné à simplifier toutes nos conceptions élémentaires, en usant judicieusement du genre spécial de liberté resté facultatif pour notre intelligence, d’après le véritable but et l’objet général de la chimie positive. (III, 81)
295.11-15 “without . . . to us”] [translated from:] [paragraph] En considérant sous un dernier aspect l’influence fondamentale d’une telle destination, suivant l’esprit de la philosophie relative, nous avons partout reconnu qu’elle détermine spontanément le genre de liberté resté facultatif pour notre intelligence, et dont nous devons savoir user, sans aucun vain scrupule, afin de satisfaire, entre les limites convenables, nos justes inclinations mentales, toujours dirigées, avec une prédilection instinctive, vers la simplicité, la continuité et la généralité des conceptions, tout en respectant constamment la réalité des lois extérieures, en tant qu’elle nous est accessible. (VI, 639-40)
295.15-19 “The most . . . wants”] [translated from:] Ainsi, le point de vue le plus philosophique conduit finalement, à ce sujet, à concevoir l’étude des lois naturelles comme destinée à nous représenter le monde extérieur, en satisfaisant aux inclinations essentielles de notre intelligence, autant que le comporte le degré d’exactitude commandé, à cet égard, par l’ensemble de nos besoins pratiques. (VI, 642)
295.21 “instinctive . . . harmony,”] [translated from:] Nos lois statiques correspondent à cette prédilection instinctive pour l’ordre et l’harmonie, dont l’esprit humain est tellement animé, que, si elle n’était pas sagement contenue, elle entraînerait souvent aux plus vicieux rapprochements; nos lois dynamiques s’accordent avec notre tendance irrésistible à croire constamment, même d’après trois observations seulement, à la perpétuité des retours déjà constatés, suivant une impulsion spontanée que nous devons aussi réprimer fréquemment pour maintenir l’indispensable réalité de nos conceptions. (VI, 642)
295.23-25 “les convenances . . . intelligence.”] Quand l’esprit relatif de la vraie philosophie moderne aura convenablement prévalu, tous les penseurs comprendront, ce que le règne de l’absolu empêche maintenant de sentir, que les convenances purement esthétiques doivent avoir une certaine part légitime dans l’usage continu du genre de liberté resté facultatif pour notre intelligence par la nature essentielle des véritables recherches scientifiques. (VI, 646-7)
295.26-9 “most eminent . . . reality”] [translated from:] Avant tout, sans doute, comme je l’ai ci-dessus expliqué, une telle liberté doit être employée de manière à faciliter le plus possible la marche ultérieure de nos conceptions réelles, en satisfaisants convenablement à nos plus éminentes inclinations mentales. Mais cette condition primordiale laissera partout subsister encore une notable indétermination, dont il conviendra de gratifier directement nos besoins d’idéalité, en embellissant nos pensées scientifiques, sans nuire aucunement à leur réalité essentielle. (VI, 647)
295.31-2 “severe . . . investigation”] [translated from:] D’éclatants exemples ont déjà montré qu’on peut obtenir aujourd’hui, en philosophie naturelle, d’éphémères triomphes, aussi faciles que désastreux, en se bornant à détruire, d’après une investigation trop minutieuse, les lois précédemment établies, sans aucune substitution quelconque de nouvelles règles; en sorte qu’une aveugle appréciation académique entraîne à récompenser expressément une conduite que tout véritable régime spéculatif frapperait nécessairement d’une sévère réprobation. (VI, 639)
295.35-6 “the . . . intelligence] [see entry for 295.15-19 above]
296.14 of moral . . . functions] [[translated from:] Sommaire. — Considérations générales sur l’étude positive des fonctions intellectuelles et morales, ou cérébrales. (III, 530; heading of Quarant-cinquième Leçon (1).)
297.31 “des diverses facultés élémentaires,”] [paragraph] A cette analyse anatomique de l’appareil cérébral, il faudra joindre, dans un ordre d’idées entièrement distinct quoique parallèle, l’analyse purement physiologique des diverses facultés élémentaires, qui devra finalement être constituée, autant que possible, en harmonie scientifique avec la première: toute idée anatomique devra, à son tour, étre provisoirement écartée dans ce second travail, au lieu de la fusion anticipée qu’on veut habituellement opérer entre les deux points de vue. (III, 573)
300.15-16 “la metaphysique constitutionnelles”] Mais ce déplorable ascendant devra vous faire attacher, en lieu convenable, une extrême importance à la discussion ultérieure de cet unique aspect spécieux de la doctrine stationnaire, qu’une exacte analyse historique caractérisera spontanément, en constatant la profonde inanité nécessaire de cette métaphysique constitutionnelle sur la pondération et l’équilibre des divers pouvoirs, d’après une judicieuse appréciation de ce même état politique qui sert de base ordinaire à de telles fictions sociales. (IV, 85-6)
301.32-3 “the absolute . . . conscience.”] [translated from:] [paragraph] En considérant maintenant la doctrine critique sous un point de vue plus spécial, il est évident que le droit absolu du libre examen, ou le dogma de la liberté illimitée de conscience, constitue son principe le plus étendu et le plus fondamental, surtout en n’en séparant point ses conséquences les plus immédiates, relatives à la liberté de la presse, de l’enseignement, ou de tout autre mode quelconque d’expression et de communication des opinions humaines. (IV, 43)
304.7-11 “the claims . . . slavery”] [translated from:] Sans doute, chaque individu, quelle que soit son infériorité, a toujours le droit naturel, à moins d’une conduite antisociale très-caractérisée, d’attendre de tous les autres le scrupuleux accomplissement continu des égards généraux inhérents à la dignité d’homme et dont l’ensemble, encore fort imparfaitement apprécié, constituera de jour en jour le principe le plus usuel de la morale universelle. Mais, malgré cette grande obligation morale, qui n’a jamais été directement niée depuis l’abolition de l’esclavage, il est évident que les hommes ne sont ni égaux entre eux, ni même équivalents, et ne sauraient, par suite, posséder, dans l’association, des droits identiques, sauf, bien entendu, le droit fondamental, nécessairement commun à tous, du libre développement normal de l’activité personnelle, une fois convenablement dirigée. (IV, 54)
304.23-5 “an arbitrary . . . kings”] [translated from:] Mais, en appréciant, comme il convient, l’indispensable office transitoire de ce dogme révolutionnaire, aucun vrai philosophe ne saurait méconnaître aujourd’hui la fatale tendance anarchique d’une telle conception métaphysique, lorsque, dans son application absolue, elle s’oppose à toute institution régulière, en condamnant indéfiniment tous les supérieurs à une arbitraire dépendance envers la multitude de leurs inférieurs, par une sorte de transport aux peuples du droit divin tant reproché aux rois. (IV, 55-6)
312.33 “dispersive speciality”] [translated from:] Quoique cette sorte d’automatisme humain ne constitue heureusement que l’extrême influence dispersive du principe de la spécialisation, sa réalisation, déjà trop fréquente, et d’ailleurs de plus en plus imminente, doit faire attacher à l’appréciation d’un tel cas une véritable importance scientifique, comme évidemment propre à caractériser la tendance générale et à manifester plus vivement l’indispensable nécessité de sa répression permanente. (IV, 430)
321.6 “consultative”] [paragraph] Il est donc évident que, bien loin de pouvoir directement dominer la conduite réelle de la vie humaine, individuelle ou sociale, l’esprit est seulement destiné, dans la véritable économie de notre invariable nature, à modifier plus ou moins profondément, par une influence consultative ou préparatoire, le règne spontané de la puissance matérielle ou pratique, soit militaire, soit industrielle. (V, 219)
330.6 “hygiène cérébrale.”] En conséquence, après avoir, dans ma première jeunesse, rapidement amassé tous les matériaux qui me paraissent convenir à la grande élaboration dont je sentais déjà l’esprit fondamental, je me suis, depuis vingt ans au moins, imposé, à titre d’hygiène cérébrale, l’obligation, quelquefois gênante, mais plus souvent heureuse, de ne jamais faire aucune lecture qui puisse offrir une importante relation, même indirecte, au sujet quelconque dont je m’occupe actuellement, sauf à ajourner judicieusement, selon ce principe, les nouvelles acquisitions extérieures que je jugerais utiles. (VI, 34)
363.13 “liberté facultative”] [see entry for 294.13-14 above] (III, 81)
— A General View of Positivism. Trans. John H. Bridges. London: Trübner, 1865.
referred to: 329
— Synthèse subjective, ou Système universel des conceptions propres à l’état normal de l’humanité. Tome premier, contenant le Système de logique positive, ou Traité de philosophie mathématique. Paris: Comte and Dalmont, 1856.
note: no more published. In JSM’s library, Somerville College, where many of the references are marginally marked. JSM often uses terms or ideas found repeatedly in Comte’s later works; some of the identifications are therefore typical rather than exact, and similar passages may be found in Comte’s Catéchisme and Système.
quoted: 346, 352, 355-7, 363-7 referred to: 328n
346.11 (vues d’ensemble).] Vainement les faux théoriciens invoquèrent-ils le développement de la science pour perpétuer le régime où les travaux de détail éteignaient les vues d’ensemble. (523-4; cf. Système, IV, 447)
352.27-8 “le plus perturbateur,”] A la science le plus abstraite appartient surtout une telle aptitude; car elle tend directement à discipliner le plus perturbateur des trois éléments humains, en faisant spontanément surgir, de son propre essor, l’irrésistible frein d’une pleine évidence. (70-1)
355.28-9 orgueil . . . sécheresse] Une invocation sagement continue de leur destination et de leur nature doit normalement suffire, quand elles sont régénérées, pour les empêcher de développer l’orgueil, et même de disposer à la sécheresse. (68-9)
356.20 la foi demontrable] [paragraph] Mieux appréciée, l’éducation encyclopédique, qui semble d’abord instituer la discussion, est surtout destinée à construire un foi toujours démontrable, mais rarement démontrée même au plus instruits. (93; cf. Système, IV, 267)
356.20-1 la foi toujours démontrée] [see entry above] (ibid.)
356.35-6 “distrust . . . order”] [translated from:] Nous devons d’abord considérer une telle conduite comme directement incompatible avec l’ordre normal, puisqu’elle émane d’une disposition défiante, sinon hostile, envers le sacerdoce fondamental. (278)
357.11-12 “the insurrection . . . dead.”] [translated from:] Religieusement jugés, les appels absolus à la démonstration constituent des émeutes des vivants contre les morts, en aspirant à faire prévaloir le raisonnement individuel sur la raison collective, proclamée par les interprètes de l’Humanité. (278)
363.26-33 its physio-chemical . . . material force.] [translated from:] Obligée de subir constamment les lois fondamentales de la vie planétaire, la Terre, quant elle était intelligente, pouvait développer son activité physico-chimique de manière à perfectionner l’ordre astronomique en changeant ses principaux coefficients. Notre planète put ainsi rendre son orbite moins excentrique, et dès lors plus habitable, en concertant une longue suite d’explosions analogues à celles d’où proviennent les comètes, suivant la meilleure hypothèse. Reproduites avec sagesse, les mêmes secousses, secondées par la mobilité végétative, purent aussi rendre l’inclinaison de l’axe terrestre mieux conforme aux futurs besoins du Grand-Être. A plus forte raison la Terre put-elle alors modifier sa figure générale, qui n’est au-dessus de notre intervention que parce que notre ascendant spirituel ne dispose pas d’un pouvoir matériel assez considérable. (10-11)
363.36-9 In proportion . . . activity.] [translated from:] A mesure que chaque planète s’améliorait, sa vie s’épuisait par excès d’innervation, mais avec la consolation de rendre son dévouement plus efficace quand l’extinction des fonctions spéciales, d’abord animales, puis végétatives, la réduirait aux attributs universels de sentiment et d’activité. (11)
364.2 (croyance)] [paragraph] Une pareille croyance peut aussi satisfaire une curiosité spontanée qui, ne comportant aucune règle pendant notre enfance, y devint souvent abusive, mais que notre maturité doit utiliser en la disciplinant. (11)
364.3 “perfecting our unity”] [translated from:] Il convient, au contraire, de supposer des transformations antérieures à l’économie actuelle, si ces hypothèses peuvent perfectionner notre unité, soit en complétant les notions philosophiques par les fictions poétiques, soit surtout en développant nos sympathies. (11-12)
364.3-4 “by supplying . . . fictions,] [see entry for 364.3 above] (11-12)
364.4-7 and developing . . . Grand Être.”] [translated from:] Toutefois, sa principale influence concerne la poèsie et la morale, vu son aptitude directe à développer les émotions sympathiques et les inspirations esthétiques. On conçoit alors le monde comme aspirant à seconder l’homme pour améliorer l’ordre universel sous l’impulsion du Grand-Être. (12)
364.19-23 “It is . . . social.”] [translated from:] Il importe que le domaine de la fiction devienne aussi systématique que celui de la démonstration, afin que leur harmonie mutuelle soit conforme à leurs destinations respectives, également dirigées vers l’essor continu de l’unité personnelle et sociale. (12)
364.32-5 “The final . . . existence.”] [translated from:] [paragraph] Rapportée à l’Humanité, l’unité finale inspire le besoin de cultiver la sympathie en développant notre reconnaissance pour tout ce qui sert au Grand-Être. Elle doit nous disposer à vénérer la fatalité sur laquelle repose l’ensemble de notre existence. (15)
365.17-21 One . . . more.] [translated and summarized from:] Une progression n’est vraiment normale que quand elle se réduit à trois termes; une combinaison ne peut jamais admettre plus de deux éléments, tout rapport étant binaire; une synthèse devient illusoire quand elle ne procède pas d’un seul principe. (108)
365.24-8 “Composed of . . . kind.”] [translated from:] [paragraph] Formé de deux progressions suivies d’une synthèse, ou d’une progression entre deux couples, le nombre sept, succédant à la somme des trois nombres sacrés, détermine le plus vaste groupe que nous puissions distinctement imaginer. Réciproquement, il pose la limite des divisions que nous pouvons directement concevoir dans une grandeur quelconque. (127)
366.14 l’arbitraire] Une impulsion religieuse doit sagement employer les nombres pour éviter, dans tous les modes de notre existence, un arbitraire constamment favorable à l’égoïsme. (107)
366.38-9 “plan for . . . importance.”] [translated from:] Son explication m’oblige à faire d’abord connaître le plan que j’ai finalement institué pour toutes les compositions importautes [sic], et pleinement pratiqué dans tout le cours du volume que j’achève. (755)
366.39-367.17 “Every volume . . . cantos,”] [translated from:] Relativement à chaque volume vraiment susceptible de former un traité distinct, il faut normalement instituer sept chapitres, outre l’introduction et la conclusion, et composer chacun de trois parties. Dans cette distribution fondamentale, qui se borne à préciser et systématiser des usages spontanément surgis, les deux divisions comportent des titres caractéristiques, quelquefois condensés en un seul mot. Examinée envers chaque tiers d’un chapitre quelconque, la règle consiste à le partager en sept sections, composées chacune de sept groupes de phrases, séparés par les alinéas usités. Normalement formée, la section offre un groupe central de sept phrases, que précèdent et suivent trois groupes de cinq: la section initiale de chaque partie réduit à trois phrases trois de ses groupes symétriquement placés; la section finale donne sept phrases à chacun des groupes extrêmes. [paragraph] Sous cet aspect, ma règle de composition rapproche la prose de la régularité poétique, vu ma réduction antérieure du maximum de toute phrase à deux lignes manuscrites ou cinq imprimées, c’est-à-dire deux cent cinquante lettres. A mesure que la préparation humaine s’accomplit, le perfectionnement de l’expression suscita des prescriptions plus précises, surtout caractérisées par le partage des chants en stances chez la population la plus esthétique. Normalement construits, les grands poëmes forment treize chants, décomposés en parties, sections et groupes comme mes chapitres, sauf l’entière égalité des groupes et des sections: en substituant le vers à la phrase, cette extension équivaut à celle de la principale épopée. Toutefois, la différence de structure ainsi réglée entre les volumes poétiques et les tomes philosophiques est plus apparente que réelle; car l’introduction et la conclusion d’un poëme doivent chacune comprendre trois de ses treize chants. (755-6)
367.22 “a synthetic . . . signification,”] [translated from:] Toute l’efficacité de la méthode repose sur le choix des deux sortes de mots, qui doivent toujours offrir une signification synthétique ou sympathique, et se rapporter, le plus possible, à la section ou partie correspondante. (757)
367.27 “conspiracy of silence”] [translated from:] [paragraph] On peut cependant assurer que la seconde conspiration du silence aura moins de succès et de durée que la première, puisque les meneurs de la double presse britannique ne sauraient longtemps empêcher leur public de connaître la seule doctrine vraiment conforme à ses vœux sociaux. (xxxvi)
— Système de politique positive. Paris: Saint-Simon, 1824.
note: this work, with the same basic title as the next entry, is Cahier 3 of Henri, Comte de Saint-Simon’s Catéchisme des Industriels. Footnotes in the text above referring to Comte’s Système derive from the later work, unless specifically noted.
301.39-302.6 There . . . opinions] [translated from:] [paragraph] Il n’y a point de liberté de conscience en astronomie, en physique, en chimie, en physiologie, dans ce sens que chacun trouverait absurde de ne pas croire de confiance aux principes établis dans ces sciences par les homme compétens. S’il en est autrement en politique, c’est parce que les anciens principes étant tombés, et les nouveaux n’étant pas encore formés, il n’y a point, a proprement parler, dans cet intervalle, de principes établis. (14)
— Système de politique positive, ou Traité de sociologie, instituant la Religion de l’humanité. 4 vols. Paris: Mathias, 1851-54.
note: after the first reference, identified in the notes simply as Système; the Système of 1824 is given its full title. In JSM’s library, Somerville College, where many references are indicated by marginal marks. JSM often uses terms or ideas found repeatedly in Comte’s later works; some of the identifications are therefore typical rather than exact, and similar passages may be found in Comte’s Catéchisme and Synthèse. The quotations at 309n, 331, 340, 349, 350, 351, 352, 353, 355, 356, 359, 361, 362, 366 are indirect or summary, and are collated only when comparison is useful.
quoted: 282-3, 286n-287n, 309n, 324n, 331, 335-6, 343-5, 349-53, 355-6, 358-9, 361-2, 365-6 referred to: 232, 328n, 329, 359, 362. See also Thomas à Kempis.
286.n25 “Conçu] [paragraph] Ainsi conçu (III, 41)
331.20 “moral regeneration”] [translated from:] Elle résulte essentiellement de deux influences intellectuelles, l’une involontaire, l’autre volontaire, complétées, en temps opportun, par l’incomparable régénération morale que je dus à ma sainte passion. (I, Preface, 6)
331.20-1 “une angélique influence”] [paragraph] Chacun des sept pas essentiels de ma construction religieuse caractérise spécialement l’angélique influence que son début proclama. (IV, 546)
331.21 “une incomparable passion privée.”] [exact wording not located, but see:] Mais tous ceux qui connaissent le premier volume, publié en juillet 1851, de mon Système de politique positive, savent aujourd’hui que ce cours fondamental résulta lui-même de la dédicace exceptionnelle que j’écrivis secrètement en 1846, d’après une incomparable affection privée. (II, xxxi)
336.1 “les calculs personnels.”] Sans méconnaître leur véritable utilité individuelle, elle évite d’y trop insister, de peur d’entretenir l’habitude des calculs personnels. (I, 97)
336.5-6 “inevitable infirmities.” [translated from:] Une fois dégagé de l’oppression théologique et de la sécheresse métaphysique, notre cœur sent aisément que le bonheur réel, tant privé que public, consiste surtout à développer autant que possible [sic] la sociabilité, en n’accordant à la personnalité que les satisfactions indispensables, à titre d’infirmités inévitables. (I, 222)
340.22 public functionary;] [derived from:] Aussi, dans toute société régulière, chaque citoyen fut-il toujours érigé en un fonctionnaire public, remplissant, bien ou mal, son office, spontané ou systématique. (I, 363)
341.36 sexe aimant] En effet, elle est entièrement liée à l’existence purement domestique du sexe aimant; elle ne peut donc devenir, pour la vie publique, une source suffisante de conseil, de consécration, et de discipline. (II, 313)
343.11 “le bois] La célébration du jugement suprême consiste surtout dans le transport solennel des nobles restes au bois (IV, 130)
343.38 “Cette] Mais cette (IV, 100)
343.39 universels. . . . Afin] universels, que je dois maintenant indiquer; ce qui prouvera que, jusque envers un tel complément, le culte positif surpasse l’adoration théologique, d’où pourtant émana cet heureux usage. [paragraph] Afin (IV, 100)
344.2 condition] constitution (IV, 100)
344.33 “fundamental couple”] [translated from:] [paragraph] Ma théorie de la famille les réduit à deux groupes, l’un formé du couple fondamental, l’autre du produit, ordinairement triple, de l’union conjugale. (IV, 293)
345.21 “le veuvage éternel.”] Dans le cas normal, la promesse du veuvage éternel sera solennellement renouvelée six mois après l’année du deuil, sans pouvoir désormais comporter aucune dispense. (IV, 128)
361.6-7 la . . . végétatifs] [exact wording not located, but passage generally derives from II, 437ff.]
365.15 “moral and intellectual properties of numbers.”] Leurs [les nombres] éminent attributs intellectuels et moraux, presqu’oubliés aujourd’hui, sont réservés à la sociologie, qui seule doit, à cet égard, rectifier et compléter les anciens pressentiments philosophiques. (I, 542)
Comte, Caroline (née Massin). Referred to: 311
Condillac. Referred to: 129, 499 (App. C), 500 (App. C)
Condorcet. Referred to: 500 (App. C)
Congreve, Richard. See Comte, Catechism of Positive Religion.
Constantine. Referred to: 138
Cooper, Anthony Ashley. Referred to: 21, 85, 86, 170
note: usually referred to as the 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury. The reference at 85 derives from Bentham’s identification of the moralists intended in his first category.
Cousin. Referred to: 263, 444
Croesus. Referred to: 466
Cudworth. Referred to: 21
Cumberland. Referred to: 21
Dante. Referred to: 324
Darius. Referred to: 321
Davies, John Llewellyn. Quoted: 219n
note: the source, a private letter, has not been located.
De Beaumont, Gustave Auguste La Bonninière.L’Irlande sociale, politique et religieuse. 2 vols. Paris: Gosselin, 1839.
note: in JSM’s library.
referred to: 135n
Delolme. Referred to: 151
De Maistre. Referred to: 324
De Morgan. Referred to: 289n
De Quincey, Thomas. “On the True Relations to Civilisation and Barbarism of the Roman Western Empire,” Blackwoods’ Magazine, XLVI (Nov., 1839), 644-53.
note: the quotation derives from the title given the article in the Table of Contents and the running titles: “Philosophy of Roman History.”
Descartes, René. Referred to: 38n, 171, 266, 271, 359, 367-8, 441
— Dissertatio de methodo. In Principia philosophiæ. 4th ed. Amsterdam: Elzevir, 1664. (Separately paged.)
note: in JSM’s library. The passage referred to is almost certainly that in the argument following the third paragraph of Part IV (19-21), but JSM has distorted the sense (cf. Logic [8th ed.] II, 319 [V, iii, 3]). Cf. also Descartes’ Meditationes de prima philosophia, Meditation V, where the argument is given at greater length.
De Tocqueville. Referred to: 109, 325
De Vaux. Referred to: 331-2, 342, 345
Dewar. Referred to: 21
Diderot. Referred to: 323n, 500 (App. C)
Domitian. Referred to: 385
Dumont, Étienne. Ed. Jeremy Bentham, Traités de législation. See under Bentham, above.
Dunning. Referred to: 82
Eldon. See Scott.
Epicurus. Referred to: 87, 209, 210
Euclid. Referred to: 42
Fénélon. Referred to: 54, 324, 459
Ferguson. Referred to: 21
Fontenelle. Referred to: 359
Fourier. Referred to: 323
Fox. Referred to: 323n
Franklin. Referred to: 354
Galileo. Referred to: 144, 266, 287n
Gall. Referred to: 360
Galt, John (“Micah Balwidder”). Annals of the Parish; or The Chronicle of Dalmailing; during the ministry of the Rev. Micah Balwhidder. Written by himself. Edinburgh: Blackwood, 1821.
note: the relevant passage (fictionally set in 1794) reads: “I told my people that I thought they had more sense than to secede from Christianity to become Utilitarians, for that it would be a confession of ignorance of the faith they deserted, seeing that it was the main duty inculcated by our religion to do all in morals and manners, to which the new-fangled doctrine of utility pretended” (286; Chap. xxxv).
referred to: 210n
Gardiner. Referred to: 155
Gillman, James.The Life of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. See Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “Pitt.”
Gisborne. Referred to: 21
Godwin. Referred to: 21, 170
Goethe. Referred to: 92
Goldsmith. Referred to: 114
Grote, George (“Philip Beauchamp”). Analysis of the Influence of Natural Religion, on the Temporal Happiness of Mankind. London: Carlisle, 1822.
note: compiled and edited by Grote from Bentham’s MSS. A presentation copy to Helen Taylor of the French translation by M. E. Cazelles (Paris: Baillière, 1875) is in JSM’s library. At 413 JSM cites Bentham’s instances as (1) oaths, (2) duelling, (3) illicit sexual intercourse; in the Analysis the instances are (1) duelling, (2) fornication, (3) simony, (4) perjury (oaths).
referred to: 406, 413
Guizot, François Pierre Guillaume. Referred to: 92
— Cours d’histoire moderne. 6 vols. Paris: Pichon and Didier, 1828-32.
note: the 1st volume (not in JSM’s library), published separately but under the same general title as the later volumes, is subtitled Histoire générale de la civilisation en Europe, depuis la chute de l’empire Romain jusqu’à la Révolution Française; the other five volumes (in JSM’s library) are subtitled Histoire de la civilisation en France, depuis la chute de l’empire Romain jusqu’en 1789. The indirect quotation at 34 is a general summary of the latter, I, 12-13; against the beginning of this passage in JSM’s copy is pencilled (probably in his hand), “Bacon? Locke? Newton?”
quoted: 39-40 referred to: 140n
— “Du Régime municipal dans l’empire Romain, au cinquième siècle de l’ère chrétienne, lors de la grande invasion des Germains en occident,” Essais sur l’histoire de France. 2nd ed. Paris: Brière, 1824, 1-51.
note: in JSM’s library, Somerville College.
referred to: 140n
Hadrien (Publius Aelius Hadrianus). “Address to his soul.”
note: the “Address,” found in many collections is: “Animula vagula, blandula / Hospes comesque corporis, / Quae nunc abibis in loca; / Pallidula, rigida, nudula, / Nec, ut soles, dabis jocos.”
referred to: 427
Hamilton, William. Referred to: 267, 444
— Lectures on Metaphysics and Logic. 4 vols. Ed. H. L. Mansel and J. Veitch. Edinburgh: Blackwood, 1859-60.
referred to: 296n
Hartley, David. referred to: 21, 23-4, 26, 48n, 97, 127, 130, 298
—Observations on Man, His Frame, His Duty, and His Expectations. London: Hitch and Austen, 1749.
note: in JSM’s library, Somerville College.
referred to: 13
Hegel. Referred to: 171, 289
Helvétius, Claude-Adrien. Referred to: 48n, 54, 86, 131, 500 (App. C)
— De l’esprit. Paris: Durand, 1758.
note: as there is no edition in JSM’s library, the 1st is cited.
referred to: 110
Herder. Referred to: 139
Herodotus.History, Book II.
note: as the reference is general, no edition is cited. Two Greek and Latin eds. (9 vols. Glasgow: Foulis, 1761; 7 vols. Edinburgh: Laing, 1806) were formerly in JSM’s library, Somerville college.
referred to: 320n
Herschel, John F. W. Outlines of Astronomy. London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1849.
referred to: 354n
Hildebrand (Pope Gregory VII). Referred to: 142
Hipparchus. Referred to: 362
Hippocrates. Referred to: 278
— Aphorisms, i, 1.
note: as the reference is common, no edition is cited. The phrase is often found in its Latin form, taken from Seneca, De Brevitate Vitae, 1.
Hobbes, Thomas. Referred to 21, 38n, 83, 122, 169, 172, 269, 359
note: the reference at 172 is in a quotation from Whewell.
— Elementorum philosophiae Sectio prima, De Corpore. In Opera philosophica quae Latine scripsit omnia. Ed. William Molesworth. 5 vols. London: Bohn, 1839-45, I.
note: this edition is in JSM’s library, Somerville College; JSM’s reference, of course, antedates the edition. The reference is to Part II, “Sive philosophia prima,” 81ff. (1655). The term is also used by Bacon, Advancement (1605), in Works, III, 346, and occurs in the title of Descartes, Meditationes de prima philosophia (1641).
referred to: 6
Home. Referred to: 21
Homer. Referred to: 323, 324, 464
— The Odyssey.
note: as specific wording is not involved, no edition is cited. The passage referred to is XI, 489ff. A two-volume edition in Greek of The Iliad and The Odyssey (Oxford, 1800) is in JSM’s library, Somerville College.
referred to: 427
Horace.Opera. Glasgow: Mundell, 1796.
note: in JSM’s library, Somerville College.
quoted: 63-4, 382
63.40 quodam] quadam (423; Epistle I, 32)
63.40 ultra:] ultra. (ibid.)
64.1 inungi.] inungui; / Nec, quia desperes invicti membra Glyconis, / Nodasa corpus nolis prohibere cheragra. (ibid., 29-31)
382.15 vetitum nefas,] Audax omnia perpeti / Gens humana ruit per vetitum nefas. (9; Carmina I, iii, 25-6)
Howard. Referred to: 422
Hume, David. Referred to: 21, 27, 48n, 80-1, 85, 86n, 127, 170, 266-7, 497 (App. B)
note: the reference at 85 derives from Bentham’s identification of the moralists intended in his first category.
— “Of Civil Liberty,” Essays and Treatises on Several Subjects. 2 vols. Edinburgh: Cadell, 1793, I, 89-98.
note: in JSM’s library, Somerville College. Until 1757 the essay was entitled “Of Liberty and Despotism.” The quotation is indirect.
44.n2 the world is yet too young to have a political philosophy] I am apt, however, to entertain a suspicion, that the world is still too young to fix many general truths in politics, which will remain true to the latest posterity. (89-90)
— An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding, in Essays and Treatises on Several Subjects. 2 vols. Edinburgh: Cadell, 1793, II.
note: in JSM’s library, Somerville College. Until 1758 entitled Philosophical Essays Concerning Human Understanding. JSM’s references are all to Essay X, “Of Miracles,” II, 124-47.
referred to: 470, 471-3, 477
Hutcheson. Referred to: 21, 85
note: the reference at 85 derives from Bentham’s identification (“Hutchinson”) of the moralists intended in his first category.
Inglis. Referred to: 149
Iphigenia. Referred to: 405
Jenyns, Soame. Referred to: 21, 170
note: at 21 JSM refers to him as Soames rather than Soame.
— A Free Inquiry into the Nature and Origin of Evil. London: Dodsley, 1757.
referred to: 87; see also Samuel Johnson, “Review.”
Jephtha. Referred to: 320
Jesus. Referred to: 16, 28, 144, 218, 227, 376, 422-5, 481, 484-8
Jocelyn. Referred to: 146n
John (the Apostle). Referred to: 412
Johnson, Samuel. Referred to: 82, 170
— “Review of A Free Enquiry into the Nature and Origin of Evil,” in The Works of Samuel Johnson. London: Buckland, Rivington, et al., 1787, X, 220-58.
note: reprinted from the Literary Magazine.
referred to: 87
Jouffroy. Referred to: 263
note: as there is no edition in JSM’s library, none is cited.
376.8-9 “quod . . . docuit”] Jus naturale est, quod . . . docuit. (Lib. I, Tit. ii)
Kames. See Home.
Kant, Immanuel. Referred to: 125, 127, 171, 266, 445-6
— Grundlegung zur Metaphysik der Sitten. Riga: Hartknoch, 1797.
note: no copy in JSM’s library; this edition is the one used by Coleridge, in whom JSM probably found the formulation of the Categorical Imperative, which is referred to in each of the quotations. JSM refers to the Metaphysics of Ethics on 207, where the passage is identified (the earlier, on 159, being indirect, in a quotation from Coleridge).
quoted: 159, 207, 249
207.28-9 “So . . . beings.”] [paragraph] Der categorische Imperativ ist also nur ein einziger, und zwar dieser: handle nur nach derjenigen Maxime, durch die du zugleich wollen kannst, dass sie ein allgemeines Gesetz werde. (52; Chap. ii) [Cf. Kritik der Praktischen Vernunft: Handle so, dass die Maxime deines Willens jederzeit zugleich als Prinzip einer allgemeinen Gesetzgebung gelten konne” (I, i, 1, §7).]
Kepler. Referred to: 122, 287n, 288, 293
King. Referred to: 21
Knox. Referred to: 143
Kohl, Johann Georg.Kitschi-Gami, oder Erzählungen vom Obern See. Ein Beitrag zur Charakteristik der Amerikanischen Indianer. Bremen: Schünemann, 1859.
note: appeared in England in 1860 as Kitchi-Gami; Wanderings around Lake Superior. Trans. F. C. L. Wraxall. London: Chapman and Hall.
referred to: 274
Koran. Referred to: 417
Lacroix. Referred to: 42
Laffitte. Referred to: 359
note: the reference is to the “Director” of Positivism.
Lagrange. Referred to: 314
La Place, Pierre Simon de. Referred to: 314
— Traité de mécanique céleste. 5 vols. and supplement. Paris: Duprat, et al., 1798-1823.
referred to: 42
Latimer. Referred to: 143
Lavoisier. Referred to: 122, 289, 295
Leibnitz, Gottfried Wilhelm von. Referred to: 171, 367-8, 434, 441, 446
— Essais de théodicée sur la bonté de Dieu, la liberté de l’homme, et l’origine du mal. Amsterdam: I. Troyel, 1710.
referred to: 390n
— “Trois lettres à Mr. Remond de Montmort,” in Opera philosophica. 2 parts. Ed. J. E. Erdmann. Berlin: Eichler, 1840.
note: the quotation occurs in a quotation from Coleridge.
158.30 J’ai] [paragraph] J’ai [not in italics] (702)
Lewes, George Henry.Aristotle: A Chapter from the History of Science, including analyses of Aristotle’s scientific writings. London: Smith, Elder, 1864.
301.13-14 “the . . . unthinkable;”] Direct proof to the contrary would, of course, rectify this belief, but until that is furnished, the . . . unthinkable. (126)
Littré, Emile. Referred to: 264, 329
note: the reference at 264 is to Littré’s Preface to his edition of Comte’s Cours, q.v.
— Auguste Comte et la philosophie positive. Paris: Hachette, 1863.
note: in JSM’s library, Somerville College. The passage in Littré, 674, referred to by JSM at 306n is marked marginally in his copy.
referred to: 284-5, 290, 293n, 306n, 311n, 328n, 329
Livingston. Referred to: 196
note: the name is given incorrectly as “Livingstone” in Dissertations and Discussions; treated here as a typographical error.
Locke, John. Referred to: 21, 37, 54, 83, 122, 127, 128-30, 144, 169, 171, 441, 494, 499 (App. C)
— Of Human Understanding, in Works. New ed. 10 vols. London: Tegg, Sharpe, Offor, Robinson, and Evans, 1823, I.
note: in JSM’s library, Somerville College.
quoted: 49 referred to: 45-50, 62n, 125, 129-30
48.28-9 “in discoursing . . . this” . . . “before] Were it fit to trouble thee with the history of this Essay, I should tell thee, that five or six friends meeting at my chamber, and discoursing . . . this, found themselves quickly at a stand, by the difficulties that rose on every side. After we had a while puzzled ourselves, without coming any nearer a resolution of those doubts which perplexed us, it came into my thoughts, that we took a wrong course; and that before (“The Epistle to the Reader,” xlvi-xlvii)
49.3-4 “To . . . assent.”] This, therefore, being my purpose; to . . . assent—I shall not at present meddle with the physical consideration of the mind, or trouble myself to examine, wherein its essence consists, or by what motions of our spirits, or alterations of our bodies, we come to have any sensation by our organs, or any ideas in our understandings; and whether those ideas do, in their formation, any, or all of them, depend on matter or no. (1-2)
49.4-9 “To . . . discerning . . . of man . . . with.” “To give an account . . . have,” and “set down” some “measures . . . men.”] It shall suffice to my present purpose, to . . . discerning . . . of a man . . . with: and I shall imagine I have not wholly misemployed myself in the thoughts I shall have on this occasion, if, in this historical, plain method, I can give any account . . . have, and can set down any measures . . . men, so various, different, and wholly contradictory;—and yet asserted, somewhere or other, with such assurance and confidence, that he that shall take a view of the opinions of mankind, observe their opposition, and at the same time consider the fondness and devotion wherewith they are embraced, the resolution and eagerness wherewith they are maintained—may perhaps have reason to suspect, that either there is no such thing as truth at all, or that mankind hath no sufficient means to attain a certain knowledge of it. (2)
49.9-11 “To] It is, therefore, worth while to (2)
49.12-14 “by . . . understanding,” to “discover . . . us;” and thereby to “prevail] If, by . . . understanding, I can discover . . . us; I suppose it may be of use to prevail (3)
Louis XIV (of France). Referred to: 405
Louis Napoleon. See Napoleon III.
Louis Philippe (of France). Referred to: 362
Lucan. Referred to: 136n
note: the reference is in a quotation from Coleridge.
Luther. Referred to: 138
Lycurgus. Referred to: 409
Machiavelli. Referred to: 290
Malebranche. Referred to: 26
Mandeville. Referred to: 21, 60
Mansfield. See Murray.
Marcus Antoninus; Marcus Aurelius. See Antoninus.
Manzoni. Referred to: 323
Mariotte. Referred to: 287n
Massinger, Philip.A New Way to Pay Old Debts, in The Plays of Philip Massinger. Ed. W. Gifford. 4 vols. London: Nicol, et al., 1805, III.
note: in JSM’s library, Somerville College. The reference is to Sir Giles Overreach, a character in the play.
referred to: 103
Massin. See Caroline Comte.
Maurice, Frederick Denison (“Rusticus”). Subscription no Bondage, or the practical advantages afforded by the Thirty-Nine Articles as guides in all the branches of academical education. Oxford: Parker, 1835.
referred to: 149e
Michelangelo. Referred to: 136n
note: the reference is in a quotation from Coleridge.
Michelet. Referred to: 92, 139
Mill, James. Referred to: 48n, 80, 267, 298, 425
note: the reference at 425 to a “cultivated and conscientious person of our own day” who held the Manichean creed is only possibly to James Mill (see Autobiography [New York: Columbia University Press, 1924], 28); it is also possible that Harriet Taylor embraced Manicheanism, and may be here intended.
— Analysis of the Phenomena of the Human Mind. 2 vols. London: Baldwin and Cradock, 1829.
note: in JSM’s library, Somerville College, as is the 2nd ed., ed. John Stuart Mill, 2 vols. (London: Longmans, Green, Reader, and Dyer, 1869).
referred to: 24, 130f
— The History of British India. 3 vols. London: Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy, 1817.
note: the only edition now in JSM’s library, Somerville College, is the 3rd. ed., 6 vols. (London: Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy, 1826).
referred to: 320
Mill, John Stuart. “Appendix,” Dissertations and Discussions. 2 vols. London: Parker, 1859, I, 467-74.
note: abstracted from “Rationale of Representation,” London and Westminster Review, I and XXX (July, 1835), 347-9, and “De Tocqueville on Democracy in America,” ibid. (Oct., 1835), 110-112n. The 3 vol. ed. (London: Longmans, Green, Reader, and Dyer, 1867) is in JSM’s library, Somerville College, with the 2nd ed. of Vol. IV (London: Longmans, Green, Reader, and Dyer, 1875), and Vols. I and II of the 3 vol. American ed. (Boston: Spencer, 1864), and Vols. I, III, and IV of the 4 vol. American ed. (New York: Holt, 1873).
referred to: 109n
note: JSM is quoting from his own article, printed at 77-115 above.
quoted: 119 referred to: 494
119.17 “the . . . established;”] Bentham has been in this age and country the . . . established. (78 above)
note: i.e., the essay printed at 117-163 above.
referred to: 494
note: i.e., the essay printed at 373-402 above. A copy of Three Essays on Religion (London: Longmans, Green, Reader, and Dyer, 1874) is in JSM’s library, Somerville College.
referred to: 456, 459
— ed. Jeremy Bentham. Rationale of Judicial Evidence. See under Bentham.
note: i.e., the essay printed at 31-74 above.
referred to: 494
— A System of Logic, Ratiocinative and Inductive, being a connected view of the principles of evidence and the methods of scientific investigation. 2 vols. London: Longmans, Green, Reader, and Dyer, 1872.
note: the 8th ed., the last in JSM’s lifetime, and therefore definitive for purposes of this edition, is cited, although the references antedate its appearance; the references are not tied to specific wordings. The 1st (1843), 2nd (1846), 3rd (1851), 4th (1856), 6th (1865) eds. are in JSM’s library, Somerville College. The reference at 293n is to I, 373ff.; that at 238 is to II, 428-9; that at 470 is to II, 173-5.
referred to: 238, 293n, 470
note: i.e., the essay printed at 165-201 above.
referred to: 494
Milton, John.Paradise Lost.
note: as the reference is general, no edition is cited.
referred to: 42
— Sonnet XI, “A Book was Writ of Late.” In The Poetical Works of John Milton. London: Tonson, 1695.
72.21 “toad or asp”] Thy age, like ours, O Soul of Sir John Cheek, / Hated not Learning worse than Toad or Asp; / When thou taught’st Cambridge, and King Edward Greek. (25, of Poems upon Several Occasions; ll. 12-14)
Mirabeau, Honoré-Gabriel Riquetti, Comte de.Mémoires biographiques, littéraires, et politiques. 8 vols. Paris, 1834-35.
412.21 la culbute générale] Ah! Madame! le colin-maillard, poussé trop loin, finira par la culbute générale! (II, 188)
Mirabeau, Victor Riquetti, Marquis de. Referred to: 412
Mitford, William.The History of Greece. 10 vols. London: Cadell and Davies, 1818-20.
note: this is probably the edition that was formerly in JSM’s library, Somerville College. As JSM’s note indicates, this passage was written in 1834, before the appearance of Connop Thirlwall’s History of Greece (8 vols., 1835-47), and George Grote’s History of Greece (12 vols., 1846-56), which JSM admired greatly.
referred to: 45
Molière. Referred to: 343
Montesquieu, Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de la Bride et de. Referred to: 109, 290
— De l’esprit des lois, ou du Rapport que les loix doivent avoir avec la constitution de chaque gouvernement, les moeurs, le climat, la religion, le commerce, etc. 2 vols. Geneva: Barrillot, 1748.
referred to: 378
Moses. Referred to: 159
note: the reference is in a quotation from Coleridge.
Murray. Referred to: 82
Nabis. Referred to: 385
Napoleon I (of France). Referred to: 362
Napoleon III (of France). Referred to: 344, 359
Newton, Isaac. Referred to: 266, 273, 288, 441, 459
— Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. London, 1687.
note: the copy in JSM’s library, Somerville College, is the so-called “Jesuit’s Edition” (Geneva: Barrillot, 1739-42).
referred to: 23
Nisard, Jean Marie Napoléon Désiré.Etudes de moeurs et de critique sur les poètes latins de la décadence. 3 vols. Brussels: Hauman, 1834.
note: in JSM’s library, Somerville College.
referred to: 92
Novalis (Hardenberg, Friedrich von). See Carlyle, Thomas, “Novalis” and On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History.
Oken. Referred to: 289
Owen. Referred to: 252
Paley, William. Referred to: 7, 21, 27, 37, 48n, 65, 69, 169-70, 172, 173
note: the reference at 172 is in a quotation from Whewell.
— Natural Theology: or, the evidences of the existence and attributes of the Deity, collected from the appearances of nature. London: Faulder, 1802.
referred to: 426, 447
— The Principles of Moral and Political Philosophy. London: Tegg, 1824.
note: at 68 and 70 (which is repeated from 68), JSM is following Sedgwick’s quotations from Paley, which differ from the text here cited in italicizing “the precise quantityof virtue” (68.40) and substituting “their” for “the” (68.46). The 15th ed. (2 vols. London: Faulder, 1804) is in JSM’s library, Somerville College.
quoted: 68, 70 referred to: 45, 50, 52-56, 145
Peel. Referred to: 146, 149
Penny Magazine. Referred to: 39n
Phidias. Referred to: 324
Philo Judaeus. Referred to: 487
Pitt, William (the younger). Referred to: 155
note: the reference is to Coleridge’s “character” of Pitt.
Plato. Referred to: 16, 54, 60, 90, 172, 271, 278, 373, 441
note: the references at 172 are in quotations from Whewell.
— The Dialogues of Plato. Trans. Benjamin Jowett. 4 vols. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1871.
note: the reference is general, so this standard edition, which is in JSM’s library, Somerville College, is cited.
referred to: 88
— Laws (Leges). Referred to: 437
note: the reference is to Jowett, IV, 460ff. (10.891e ff.).
note: the reference at 460 is to Jowett, I, 441-2, 447-52; the interlocutor referred to is Simmias.
referred to: 437, 460
— Protagoras. Referred to: 205
note: this dialogue, translated with notes by JSM, was published in the Monthly Repository, 8 (Feb.-Mar., 1834), 89-99, 203-11.
— Sophist. Referred to: 320n
— Statesman (Politicus). Referred to: 320n, 391, 425
note: the reference at 320n is to Jowett, III, 505 (290e); those at 391 and 425 are to ibid., 485 (273c).
Pope, Alexander. Referred to: 21
— Essay on Man. In Works. New ed. Ed. Joseph Warton, et al. 9 vols. and Supplemental Vol. London: Priestley, 1822 (Supplemental Vol. London: Hearne, 1825), III.
note: in JSM’s library, Somerville College.
quoted: 384, 388-9
384.34 “whatever is, is right.”] And, spite of Pride, in erring Reason’s spite, / One truth is clear, Whatever is, is right. (III, 47; Epistle I, 11. 293-4)
384.37 “Shall gravitation cease when you go by?”] When the loose mountain trembles from on high, / Shall gravitation cease, if you go by? (III, 134; Epistle IV, 11. 127-8)
388.41-389.1 “vindicate the ways of God to man”] Together let us beat this ample field, / Try what the open, what the covert yield; / the latent tracts, the giddy heights, explore / Of all who blindly creep, or sightless soar; / Eye Nature’s walks, shoot folly as it flies, / And catch the manners living as they rise; / Laugh where we must, be candid where we can; / But vindicate the ways of God to Man. (III, 11; Epistle I, 11. 9-16)
— Satires and Epistles of Horace Imitated. In Works. New ed. Ed. Joseph Warton, et al. 9 vols. and Supplemental Vol. London: Priestley, 1822 (Supplemental Vol. London: Hearne, 1825), IV.
note: in JSM’s library, Somerville College, where the quoted passage is marked marginally, though the marking is not characteristic of him.
82.31 “above all Greek, above all Roman fame,”] To thee, the World its present homage pays, / The Harvest early, but mature the praise: / Great Friend of Liberty; in Kings a Name / Above all Greek, above all Roman Fame: / Whose Word is Truth, as sacred and rever’d, / As Heav’n’s own Oracles from altars heard. (IV, 149; Epistles, Bk. II, Epistle I, 11. 23-8)
Pratt. Referred to: 82
Price. Referred to: 21, 85
note: the reference at 85 derives from Bentham’s identification of the moralist intended in his third category.
Priestley. Referred to: 21, 122, 130
Protagoras. Referred to: 205
Pseudo-Athanasius. Referred to: 161
note: the reference is in a quotation from Coleridge.
Ptolemy. Referred to: 122
Quarterly Review. Referred to: 45
Reid, Thomas. Referred to: 6, 86, 125, 129-30
— Essays on the Active Powers of Man. Edinburgh: J. Bell, 1788.
referred to: 266
Rembrandt. Referred to: 136n
note: the reference is in a quotation from Coleridge.
Robespierre. Referred to: 123
Robinet, Jean François Eugène.Notice sur l’oeuvre et sur la vie d’Auguste Comte. Paris: Dunod, 1860.
note: in JSM’s library, Somerville College.
referred to: 328n, 329, 346
Roden. See Jocelyn.
Rousseau. Referred to: 110, 123, 299, 304, 376, 395
Royer-Collard. Referred to: 263
Rubens. Referred to: 136
note: the reference is in a quotation from Coleridge.
Russell. Referred to: 153
“Rusticus.” See Maurice.
Rutherford. Referred to: 21
St. Francis. Referred to: 324
St. George. Referred to: 103
St. Paul. Referred to: 144, 159, 275, 324, 424, 487
note: the reference at 159 is in a quotation from Coleridge.
St. Stephen. Referred to: 385
St. Vincent de Paul. Referred to: 324
Scarlett. Referred to: 61
Schelling. Referred to: 171
Scott. Referred to: 146
Sedgwick, Adam.A Discourse on the Studies of the University. 3rd ed. London: Parker, 1834.
note: the quotation at 37n is from the 4th ed. (Cambridge: Deighton and Parker, 1835).
reviewed: 33-74 quoted: 36-8, 39-45, 48-50, 51-2, 57-9, 60-1, 62-72 referred to: 494
36.25 “not . . . ears”] What I am now saying though I hope not . . . ears, is chiefly addressed to the younger members of our household. (8)
36.29 “He] [paragraph] He (vii)
37.17 world: in] world. In (10)
37.18 taste. Thirdly, the] taste. [paragraph] 3rdly. The (10)
37.19 beings: under] beings. Under (10)
39.26-30 “power of concentration;” . . . “the study . . . pride,” . . . “the narrow . . . faculties;”] Now these severe studies are on the whole favourable to self control: for, without fastening on the mind through the passions and the senses, they give it not merely a power of concentration, but save it from the languor and misery arising from vacuity of thought—the origin of perhaps half the vices of our nature. [paragraph] Again, the study . . . pride: for, in disentangling the phenomena of the material world, we encounter things which hourly tell us of the feebleness of our powers, and material combinations so infinitely beyond the reach of any intellectual analysis as to convince us at once of the narrow . . . faculties. (12)
40.12 I] [no paragraph] It is no part of my object either to praise or blame the system of early education in this country: but, before I pass on, I (33)
41.10-11 “our . . . education”] [paragraph] Assuming then that our . . . education; there still remains a question whether they are wisely followed up in the system of our University. (36)
41.12 “the] [paragraph] In following up the manly studies of this place, we ought to read the classic page, not merely to kindle delightful emotions—to gratify the imagination and the taste—but also to instruct the understanding; and to this end the (39)
41.18 It is notorious] [no paragraph] It is indeed notorious (39)
41.21 greater] greatest (39)
41.32 imitations.—] imitations— (37) [printer’s error in Sedgwick]
44.14 nature”] nature: and well it is for that country which learns wisdom by the experiments of other nations. (42)
45.11-13 “we can trace . . . life.] we can not only trace . . . life; but all the successive actions we contemplate are at such a distance from us, that we can see their true bearings on each other undistorted by that mist of prejudice with which every modern political question is surrounded. (42) [see next entry]
45.15-18 “all . . . surrounded.”] [see previous entry] (42)
47.n30-1 “distinction . . . capacities”] [paragraph] The distinction . . . capacities is almost overlooked in the work of Locke*. [6-sentence footnote] (48)
48.8 “greatest fault,” . . . “is] Its greatest fault is (57)
48.13 “the imaginative powers”] [see entry for 49.27-8 below; the phrase, which JSM says Sedgwick spends several pages “in celebrating,” occurs on 49, not as JSM suggests, after 57, and the “celebration” comes on 49-52]
48.13-15 “discards these . . . system” . . . “shutting his . . . soul”] For a metaphysician to discard these . . . system, is to shut his . . . soul, and is as unaccountable as it would be for a physiologist to overlook the very integuments of our animal frame. (49)
49.26 “deprives . . . imagination;”] [see entry for 48.8 above] (57)
49.27 “discards . . . system;”] [see entry for 48.13-15 above] (49)
49.27-8 “speaks of those powers only to condemn them;”] Of the imaginative powers he hardly says one word, or speaks of them only to condemn them. (49)
49.28-9 “denounces the . . . reason.”] [paragraph] In denouncing the . . . reason, Locke would have done well had he been considering mere demonstrative truth; but I find no such limitation to his censures. (50)
49.40-50.2 “regarding men . . . to the powers of imagination in . . . cheats”] Shall we, then, not merely overlook the [sic] powers of imagination; but, with Locke, regard men . . . to them in . . . cheats? (50)
50.10-11 “In] They [men] act in common cases through habit or affection; and in (51)
50.23 “the . . . judgment,”] [paragraph] Another great fault in the Essay of Locke (involved I think in his very system, which looking only to the functions of the soul forgets its innate capacities), is its omission of the . . . judgment. (52)
51.32-3 “denying . . . feelings”] [paragraph] To deny all natural religion is not more strange than to commence a system of moral philosophy by denying . . . feelings. (32)
58.11 “No] Some of his faculties may be powerless because untried—may have withered for want of nourishment; others by good training may have reached their full maturity: but no (54-5)
59.8 “carrying on [35,59 making] arithmetical computations.”] Virtue becomes [in the utilitarian system] a question of calculation—a matter of profit or loss; and if man gain heaven at all on such a system, it must be by arithmetical details—the computation of his daily work—the balance of his moral ledger. (67) [quoted on 92]
62.1-2 “powerless because untried.”] [see entry for 58.11 above] (54-5)
63.6-17 “Independently of . . . seems compatible] [no paragraph] Independently however of . . . seems to be compatible (63-4)
64.12-19 “However . . . yet in] [whole passage in italics] That however . . . yet that in (130) [in Butler, as cf. JSM, the passage reads:] For, as much as it has been disputed wherein Virtue consists, or whatever . . . there is in reality an . . . made Profession (“Of the Nature of Virtue,” in The Analogy of Religion, 310)
65.32 “foresight of consequences”] [see passage quoted on 63; JSM uses this phrase himself on 63]
67.17 “If] [no paragraph] If (63)
67.21 to its] to his (63) [see 67z-z]
67.28 life. It] life. [paragraph] It (63)
68.33 principle] principles (67) [cf. 70.22, where JSM quotes accurately]
71.13 “If] [no paragraph] If (176)
72.1-2 “suppressing all . . . virtue.”] Our will is swayed by passion and affection: and if we suppress all . . . virtue; do we thereby root up the bad passions that hurry us into crime? (77)
72.23-4 “the end” . . . “will . . . means”] [paragraph] If we accept a system of philosophy which looks on actions only as the means to obtain a worldly end, have we not cause to fear that the end will . . . means; and that sensual sin, in its most hideous form, will be endured, or perhaps impudently recommended, as a counterpoise to the evils that are wound about our nature, and enter into the very elements of a condition of probation? (78)
— Four Letters to the Editors of the Leeds Mercury in Reply to R. M. Beverley. Cambridge: not published, printed at the Pitt Press, 1836.
note: Sedgwick’s letters appeared on 7 Jan., c. end of Jan., 15 May, early in June, 1834. He says in the Preface that he had them reprinted in the Lent Term of 1835; whether JSM saw them in the Leeds Mercury or in the reprint we do not know. Robert Mackenzie Beverley’s part in the controversy may be seen in three pamphlets: A Letter to His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester, Chancellor,on the Present Corrupt State of the University of Cambridge (London: Dinnis, 1833); Reply to Professor Sedgwick’s Letter, in the “Leeds Mercury,” Concerning the Present Corrupt State of the University of Cambridge (London: Dinnis, 1834); Reply of R. M. Beverley, Esq. to the Last Two Letters of Professor Sedgwick (Beverley: Johnson, 1834).
referred to: 36n
Seneca. Referred to: 136n
note: the reference is in a quotation from Coleridge.
Sethôs. Referred to: 320n
Shaftesbury. See Anthony Ashley Cooper.
note: the comparative passage is taken from the Variorum Edition of Horace H. Furness.
7.35 “germane to the matter;”] The phrase would be more germane to the matter if we could carry cannon by our sides; I would it might be hangers till then. (V, ii, 152-4)
note: the comparative passage is taken from the Variorium Edition of Horace H. Furness.
139.34 “a . . . nothing,”] It is a . . . nothing. (V, v, 30)
Smith, Adam. Referred to: 21, 26, 150, 290, 305
— Essays on Philosophical Subjects. London: Cadell and Davies, 1795.
note: the quotation is indirect, and based on Comte’s reference.
288.15-16 we are not told in any age or country of a god of Weight] Fire burns, and water refreshes; heavy bodies descend, and lighter substances fly upwards, by the necessity of their own nature; nor was the invisible hand of Jupiter ever apprehended to be employed in those matters. (25; “History of Astronomy,” § 3)
Socrates. Referred to: 16, 90, 205, 212, 276, 422, 441-2
Sophocles. Referred to: 42
Spagnoletti. Referred to: 136n
note: the reference is in a quotation from Coleridge.
Spencer, Herbert. Referred to: 298, 301
— Autobiography. 2 vols. London: Williams and Norgate, 1904.
note: the reference, of course, is not to these volumes, but to the letter (24/2/63) from Spencer to JSM that is printed therein. For JSM’s reply (25/2/63) and further correspondence, see David Duncan, The Life and Letters of Herbert Spencer (London: Methuen, 1908), 108-9.
referred to: 258n
— The Classification of the Sciences: to which are added reasons for dissenting from the philosophy of M. Comte. London: Williams and Norgate, 1864.
note: in JSM’s library, Somerville College. The passage at 280n is mainly summary; in that quoted at 316, Spencer is quoting from his own Social Statics, Chap. xxx.
quoted: 280n-281n, 287n, 316 referred to: 265, 284
281.n4 “involved”] In other words, a general truth colligates a number of particular truths; while an abstract truth colligates no particular truths, but formulates a truth which certain phenomena all involve, though it is actually seen in none of them. (9)
287.n28 “M. Comte’s adherent, Mr. Buckle.”] But I am here dealing with what is known as “the Positive Philosophy;” and that the passage [from Comte] above quoted does not misrepresent it, is proved both by the fact that this doctrine is re-asserted at the commencement of the Sociology, and by the fact that M. Comte’s adherent, Mr. Buckle, re-asserts it in full. (37n)
316.22 self-interest] self-interests (37)
316.30 of society] of the society (38)
— “The Genesis of Science,” Essays: Scientific, Political, and Speculative. [1st Series.] London: Longman, Brown, Green, Longmans, and Roberts, 1858, 158-227.
note: formerly in JSM’s library, Somerville College. The article first appeared in the British Quarterly Review, XX (July, 1854), 108-62, as a review, inter alia, of Comte’s Cours.
quoted: 287n referred to: 284-5, 285n, 286n
287.n11 qualitative. . . . All . . . deductively; induction] qualitative: when inaccurately quantitative it usually consists of part induction, part deduction: and it becomes accurately quantitative only when wholly deductive. We do not mean that the deductive and the quantitative are coextensive; for there is manifestly much deduction that is qualitative only. We mean that all quantitative . . . deductively; and that induction (163-4)
Spencer.Social Statics: or, the Conditions essential to Human Happiness specified, and the First of them developed. London: Chapman, 1851.
referred to: 257n-258n
Spinoza. Referred to: 171, 336
note: the reference at 336 is in an indirect quotation from Novalis.
Spooner. Referred to: 149
Stahl. Referred to: 289
Statius, Publius Papinus.Thebais.
note: the quotation is from III, 661; as there is no edition in JSM’s library, Somerville College, none is cited.
Statutes. See 564
Steuart, James.An Inquiry into the Principles of Political Œconomy: being an essay on the science of domestic policy in free nations. 2 vols. London: Millar and Cadell, 1767.
note: JSM undoubtedly took this indirect quotation from Coleridge, who also falsely attributes it to Bacon. For the collation, see Coleridge, First Lay Sermon.
Stewart. Referred to: 6, 21, 129-30
Strongbow. See Clare.
Swedenborg. Referred to: 127
Swift. Referred to: 103
Taine, Hippolyte.Le positivisme anglais, étude sur Stuart Mill. Paris: Baillière, 1864.
note: formerly in JSM’s library, Somerville College.
referred to: 264
Taylor, Helen. “Introductory Notice” to John Stuart Mill, Three Essays on Religion. London: Longmans, Green, Reader, and Dyer, 1874.
note: included in full in text above, 371-2.
Thales (of Miletus). Referred to: 323
Thomas à Kempis.De Imitatione Christi.
note: as there is no edition in JSM’s library, Somerville College, none is cited. JSM probably took the quotation from Comte, who cites it, for example, to close his Système (IV, 556).
335.23 Amem . . . te.] Amem . . . te, / et omnes in te qui vere amant te / sicut jubet lex amoris lucens ex te. (Lib. III, Cap. v)
Tooke. Referred to: 245k
Turgot. Referred to: 290
Tycho. Referred to: 122
Ulpian (Domitius Ulpianus). In Justinian, Corpus Juris Civilis Romani, Digesta.
note: the passage given below is the original of the phrase commonly cited.
253.3 Volenti non fit injuria;] Quia nulla injuria est, quae in volentem fiat. (Lib. XLVII, Tit. x, 1, §5)
Volney. Referred to: 500 (App. C)
Voltaire, François Marie Arouet. Referred to: 80, 138, 323n, 359, 500 (App. C)
— Candide, ou l’optimisme. In Œuvres complètes. 66 vols. Paris: Renouard, 1817-25, XXXIX, 203-322.
note: in JSM’s library, Somerville College.
referred to: 26, 390n
— La Princesse de Babilone. In Œuvres complètes. 66 vols. Paris: Renouard, 1817-25, XXXIX, 203-322.
note: in JSM’s library, Somerville College. The relevant passage is translated by James Mill in his Commonplace Book in the British Library of Political and Economic Science (Mill-Taylor Collection, Vol. 59, item 94).
100.37 “conservators of ancient barbarous usages.”] [translated from:] [paragraph] D’autres occupés, en plus petit nombre, étaient les conservateurs d’anciens usages barbares contre lesquels la nature effrayée réclamait à haute voix; ils ne consultaient que leurs régistres rongés des vers. (157-8; §10)
Von Hardenberg, Friedrich Leopold (“Novalis”).
note: as JSM undoubtedly got his references from Carlyle, the entries are collated under Carlyle, “Novalis” (for 214 and 336), and under Carlyle, Heroes (for 407-8). The quotations at 214 and 336 are indirect.
quoted: 214, 336, 407-8
Washington. Referred to: 422
Whewell, William. Referred to: 166-201 passim, 292, 494
— Elements of Morality, including Polity. 2 vols. London: Parker, 1845.
note: Whewell’s paragraph numbers, which JSM omits, are not indicated in the collations. The quotation at 200.8-9 is indirect.
reviewed: 167-201 quoted: 184n, 190n, 192-3, 200
184.n5 “our . . . aim;”] We may make other objects our ultimate objects; but we can do so, only by identifying them with this. Happiness is our . . . aim. (I, 359)
184.n20 “the belief in God’s government of the world,”] This conviction [that man’s duty is his happiness], men for the most part derive from Religion; that is, from their belief respecting God, and his government of Man. (II, 3)
190.n3 “the] The (I, 225)
190.n4 whom] which (I, 225)
190.n4 mankind] man (I, 225)
192.25-6 “for . . . man,” . . . “conceive . . . rules.”] Rules of action are necessary, therefore, for . . . man. We cannot conceive . . . Rules, and making part of an Order in which Rules prevail. (I, 33)
192.39-193.1 “are . . . agreement;” . . . “tend . . . unanimous; and that such rules . . . the character] General Rules being established, the Desires are . . . agreement. [4-sentence omission] They [the Reflex Sentiments, which result from settled Moral Rules] tend . . . unanimous. [paragraph] [1-sentence omission] Such Rules . . . the general character (I, 35)
193.7 “desire . . . men;”] With the development of this conception [of Benevolence], he [man] is led to a love of man as man, and a desire . . . men;—an affection in which all mankind are ready to sympathize, and which binds together man as man. (I, 138)
193.8-9 “absence . . . them.”] The absence . . . them, may be expressed by the term Benevolence, understood in its largest and fullest sense, as including all the ties of Love which bind men together. (I, 137-8)
193.9 “the] Liberality partakes of Benevolence; but Fairness may be conceived as the (I, 138)
193.10-11 “an . . . thought,”] These qualities, conceived in their most complete form, as extending from the Acts to the Words, and from the Words to the Intentions, may be termed Integrity, as implying an entire consistence of external and internal acts; or may be termed Truth, as implying an . . . thought: and the Idea of Truth, in this full and comprehensive sense, is a part of the Central Idea, or Idea of Morality. (I, 139)
193.12 “lying] Lying (I, 138)
193.14-15 “the . . . reason.”] The . . . Reason is recommended to us by Morality, under the Conceptions of Temperance and Chastity. (I, 139) [This control is called “Purity” on the next page.]
194.13-14 law: what] Law. What (I, 164)
200.6 slavery.”] Slavery; for the Moralist cannot authorize the citizen to choose what Laws he will obey, and what he will not. (I, 351)
200.8 nation.”] nation; but the National Law must be framed according to the National view of Morality. (I, 58)
200.8-9 spirit of the law, but the letter] In cases where the Law is equitable, it is our Duty to conform to the Spirit as well as to the Letter of the Law. (I, 213)
200.14-15 managed by the parents; in such] managed altogether by the parents. In such (I, 211)
200.16-18 “Reverence . . . citizen.”] [section] This view of the Constitution of each Country, as a Compact among the citizens, by no means tends to diminish the reverence and affection towards it, which we have stated to be one of the Duties of a citizen. (II, 204)
200.22-4 “men . . . promulgation.”] [section] In stating that men . . . promulgation; we follow the judgment of mankind, as formed in other similar cases. (II, 93)
200.28-9 “the . . . truth”] [section] In reply we say, that, in other subjects than Religion, men do not proceed on the supposition that persons holding two opposite Opinions have each an equal Right to assume his Doctrine to be the true one: that on the contrary, we go upon the supposition that there is Truth and Falsehood, as well as mere Opinion; and we condemn the . . . opinions, when . . . Truth. (II, 102)
200.30 “his duty to think rationally,”] As we have said, it is his duty to act and to think rationally; and what is rational thought, he can know only, by carefully unfolding his Reason. (II, 105)
200.31-2 “done . . . truth, since a . . . truth.”] Hence, if any one were to argue that the opinions to which he had been led must be blameless, since he had done . . . Truth; we should reply, that a . . . Truth; that every man should go on to the end of his life, constantly endeavouring to obtain a clearer and clearer view of the Truths, on which his Duty depends; and that his renouncing this task, and making up his mind that he has done all which he needs to do, is itself a Transgression of Duty, which prevents his Errour and Ignorance from being blameless. (II, 106)
— The History of the Inductive Sciences, from the Earliest to the Present Time. 3rd ed. 3 vols. London: Parker, 1857.
note: this edition (which postdates JSM’s reference) formerly in JSM’s library, Somerville College.
referred to: 167
— Lectures on the History of Moral Philosophy in England. London: Parker, 1852.
note: the first quotation on 185-6 is Whewell’s quotation from Bentham.
reviewed: 167-201 quoted: 171-6, 178, 180-2, 183-4, 185-91, 195-9
172.10-11 action . . . actions] actions . . . action (x) [Printer’s error in “Whewell”?]
173.31 “discoverer . . . principle,”] This being the case [that Bentham himself referred to earlier works in which utilitarian “expressions and thoughts” appear], it is extraordinary that he should so constantly have talked of himself, and have been talked of by his admirers, as the discoverer . . . principle; the more so, as it was soon after, by Paley, put forth in a systematic manner, and unfolded into a treatise on Morality. (190)
174.15 “He showed] He adopted very early the views and doctrines which he employed his life in inculcating; and he also showed (189)
174.24 “Bentham] But Bentham (190)
175.1-5 “superfluous . . . blind,” . . . “such] [paragraph] It may seem superfluous . . . blind: but without at all wishing to deny great merit to some of Bentham’s labours, (as I shall soon have to show), I am obliged to say that such (200)
174.26 The] [no paragraph] The (202)
176.2 represented? . . . But] [ellipsis indicates 3-sentence omission] (203)
176.7-8 may be, &c.] may be. (203)
178.26 “Who] For who (205)
180.13 determine] determines (210)
180.40 “if] If (210)
180.43 Take] [no paragraph] Take (211)
181.9 value. But] value; but (211)
181.16 gratification. Who] gratification. The pleasure is evident and certain; the effect on other men’s habits obscure and uncertain. Who (211)
181.27 vices. And] vices; and (212)
181.29 impossible.] impossible.* [5-sentence footnote] (212)
182.5 How] [no paragraph] For on that principle [of utility], how (212)
183.18 Why] [no paragraph] Why (215)
184.3-4 “the . . . neighbours,”] That self-approval, and the . . . neighbours, are pleasures, cannot be denied. (216)
184.4 “fluctuating” . . . “public opinion,”] [“fluctuating” does not appear in this context, though “Public Opinion” appears several times on 217; JSM is presumably paraphrasing]
184.5-6 “loose and wide abstraction as education,” the “basis of morality.”] And thus these two wise and loose abstractions, Education and Public Opinion, become the real sources of Morality. (217)
185.36 as . . . human] [in italics] (224)
185.37 of sensibility?] [in italics] (224)
185.39 ought] ought (224)
185.40 given. The] given. . . . The (224) [ellipsis in Whewell indicates 9-sentence omission]
185.40 may] may (224)
185.42 tyranny. It] tyranny. . . . It (224) [ellipsis in Whewell indicates 1-sentence omission; see collation of passage under Bentham, Introduction, 185.42]
186.6-7 reason? . . . speak? . . . suffer?] [in italics] (224)
186.12 The] [no paragraph] The (223)
186.14 human] human (223)
186.19 We] [follows directly from previous quotation, without a paragraph break] We (223)
186.19 because we are] because we (223)
186.20 pleasures. . . . The] pleasures. The (223) [nothing here omitted]
186.21 pleasure] pleasures (223) [altered in 67 from earlier correct form, presumably because of next variant]
186.22 that] those (223) [see previous entry]
186.22 pleasures] pleasure (223)
186.23 them] them (223)
186.23 men. . . . . It] [ellipsis indicates 1½-page omission, including passage from Bentham quoted at 185.34-186.7 above] (223-5)
186.23 an obvious] our obvious (225) [printer’s error in Whewell?]
186.26 hogs.] hogs, not to say lice and fleas. (225)
187.16 “The moral rule of human action,” . . . “we must do what is right.”] [paragraph] And this supreme rule, that we must do what is right, is also the moral rule of human action. (xi) [quoted correctly at the end of the next quotation]
187.32 loss. But] loss: but (xi)
187.33 meaning. And] meaning. [paragraph] And (xi)
188.2 scheme.”] scheme; but whatever we so determine, we are involved in a moral system, as soon as we begin to use such words as right and ought. (xi)
188.4 “the] How is the (xii)
188.5-6 Rightness,” . . . “to . . . may be right.”] Rightness, brought into contact with these Impulses, these Springs of Human Action, as we may call them? [JSM skips two paragraphs, and draws from the following sentence] But the Desires which regard these great primary objects, Personal Safety, Possessions, Family, Civil Society,—how are they to . . . may conform to the condition which we have assigned; to the Supreme Rule of Human Action; in short, that they may be right? (xii-xiii)
188.8 “condition . . . requisite.”] How the Desires and Affections are to be regulated, so that they may be right in the highest sense, is an inquiry which requires a long train of careful thought: but is there no condition . . . requisite, as a general rule, in order that those Desires and Affections may be right? (xiii)
188.9-10 “other men” . . . “they] In order that the Desires and Affections with regard to the Personal Safety, Possessions, Family, Civil Condition of other men may be right, they (xiii)
188.18 “commonly] [paragraph] But these [four] large classes of Rights thus corresponding to the leading Desires and Affections of men, do not quite exhaust the kinds of Rights commonly (xiv) [in the next two paragraphs Whewell adds the fifth, Rights of Contract]
188.19 “those] And we have in like manner [to the five acting principles], five classes of Rights;—those (xv)
188.22 “in] [paragraph] In (xv)
188.22 manner do] manner, it may be asked, do (xv)
188.23 rightness?” . . . “we] Rightness? I reply, that we (xv)
188.39 “Our] [in answer to the supposed objection that “our Morality”, being derived from existing law, must necessarily be controlled by it, Whewell says:] [paragraph] To this we reply, our (xvii)
189.3 those subjects] these subjects (xvii)
189.30 “that] (V.) [i.e., objection 5] The same answer might be made if it were urged that (xviii)
189.36-7 because . . . not.] [not in italics] (xix)
190.n6 “If we] I will only observe, in order to obviate any mistakes which the statement of these opinions without any corrective might occasion, that if we (58)
190.24 condition] conditions (xx)
195.25 “that] He [Bentham] imagined that, (254)
195.34 “There] [no paragraph] There (254)
196.34-5 “at . . . system,”] He [Bentham] would not place the national historical element at the . . . system, where, however, it must be. (255)
196.40 “the . . . law”] Having thus noticed one great defect and error in Bentham’s system, his depreciation of historical law, I must now notice another point in which I think him also altogether defective and erroneous; namely in not fully recognizing the . . . Law. (257)
197.2-3 “is . . . lesson.”] Punishment is . . . Lesson (Morality, Art. 988). (257)
197.17-19 “Bentham’s . . . legislation,” . . . “what . . . marriage, and especially in] [paragraph] As an example of the results of Bentham’s . . . legislation, let us look at what . . . Marriage. [paragraph] On this subject he argues strongly in (258)
197.24-5 “takes . . . themselves,”] And as decisively condemnatory of this policy [of making marriages indissoluble] he says “The government which interdicts them [divorces] takes . . . themselves.” (Civil Code, Pt. III, c.v.) (258)
197.26 “government] Now upon this we may remark, that undoubtedly, in this and in many other cases, government (258)
197.28 and . . . them] [not in italics] (258)
198.11 it? . . . Such] it? As I understand him, he would not. Indeed such (259)
198.13 living] being (259) [printer’s error?]
198.21 “Marriage] [no paragraph] Marriage (259)
198.23 arrangement. So] arrangement. [paragraph] So (259)
198.26 universal? . . . No.] universal?—[ellipsis indicates 1-page omission] No. (259-60)
198.29 these arguments] these two arguments (260)
198.29 consistency.] consistency: no indication how marriages are to be perpetual, and yet dissoluble at will: no provision for the case in which the fickleness may come on while the children still need the cares of both parents (259-60)
199.5 “Bentham’s decision is, that liberty] Mr Bentham’s decision on this point is, that in such a case, liberty (261)
199.6 other. . . . Now] other. If a husband wish for a divorce from a wife whom he hates, and ill use her so that she gives her consent to the divorce, she may marry again, but he may not. Now (261)
199.17 “No] But we say that no (262)
— The Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences. 2 vols. London: Parker, 1840.
referred to: 167, 169
Whitgift. Referred to: 155
Wilberforce. Referred to: 188
Wollaston. Referred to: 21, 85
note: the reference at 85 derives from Bentham’s identification (“Woolaston”) of the moralist intended in his eighth category.
Wordsworth, William. Referred to: 92
— “The Excursion,” in The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth. 1st collected ed., in 5 vols. London: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green, 1827, V.
note: in JSM’s library, Somerville College.
127.36 “the . . . divine,”] Oh! many are the Poets that are sown / By Nature; Men endowed with highest gifts, / The . . . divine, / Yet wanting the accomplishment of Verse / (Which, in the docile season of their youth, / It was denied them to acquire, through lack / Of culture and the inspiring aid of books, / Or haply by a temper too severe, / Or a nice backwardness afraid of shame); / Nor having e’er, as life advanced, been led / By circumstance to take unto the height / The measure of themselves, these favour’d Beings, / All but a scattered few, live out their time, / Husbanding that which they possess within, / And go to the grave, unthought of. (6-7; Bk. I, 11. 76-90)
Xenophon. Referred to: 41
9 George IV, c. 60. An Act to amend the Laws relating to the Importation of Corn (15 July, 1828).
note: repealed by 5 & 6 Victoria, Sess. 2, c. 14 (1842), which was in turn repealed by 9 & 10 Victoria, c. 22 (1846); JSM undoubtedly deleted the passage on 152 because of the latter, the famous repealing Act.
referred to: 152
2 William IV, c. 45. An Act to amend the Representation of the People in England and Wales (7 June, 1832).
referred to: 78, 153
3 & 4 William IV, c. 74. An Act for the Abolition of Fines and Recoveries and for the Substitution of more simple Modes of Assurance (28 August, 1833).
referred to: 102
4 & 5 William IV, c. 76. An Act for the Amendment and better Administration of the Laws relating to the Poor in England and Wales (14 August, 1834).
referred to: 153
1 & 2 Victoria, c. 109. An Act to abolish Compositions for Tithes in Ireland, and to substitute Rent-charges in lieu thereof (15 August, 1838).
referred to: 78, 149
2 & 3 Victoria, c. 52. An Act for the further Regulation of the Duties on Postage until the Fifth Day of October 1840 (17 August, 1839).
referred to: 153
[[*] ]Laws, 10. 891e ff.
[[*] ]See Dissertatio de methodo. In Principia philosophiæ. 4th ed. Amsterdam: Elzevir, 1664, Part IV.
[[*] ]Samuel Butler. Hudibras. London: Vernor and Hood, 1801, Vol. I, pp. 53-4; Pt. I, Canto I, ll. 505-6.
[[*] ]See Paley, Natural Theology, pp. 1-18.
[[*] ]See above, pp. 384 ff.
[[*] ]See above, p. 396.
[[*] ]See Phædo, 85e-86d, 91d-95a.
[[*] ]David Hume. “Of Miracles,” An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding. In Essays and Treatises on Several Subjects. 2 vols. Edinburgh: Cadell, 1793, Vol. II, pp. 124-47.
[[†] ]George Campbell. A Dissertation on Miracles. Edinburgh: Kincaid and Bell, 1762.
[[‡] ]Logic, Vol. II, pp. 173-5 (Bk. III, chap. xxv, §4); Rationale, Vol. I, p. 137.
[* ]St. Paul, the only known exception to the ignorance and want of education of the first generation of Christians, attests no miracle but that of his own conversion, which of all the miracles of the New Testament is the one which admits of the easiest explanation from natural causes. [See Acts, 9:1-19.]
[[*] ]Hippocrates, Aphorisms, i, 1.
[[*] ]See pp. 31-74 above.
[[†] ]See pp. 75-115 and 117-63 above.
[[‡] ]See pp. 165-201 above.
[* ]We mean the old technical terms and distinctions; for the substantive provisions of that or any other system of law, must of course consist, in the far greater proportion, of things useful or unobjectionable.
[* ]See Appendix B. [I.e., the essays printed at 3-18 above.]
[a]40, 59, 67 [no paragraph]
[b-b]40, MS, 43, 46, 59, 67 the decree of God
[c-c]40, MS, 59, 67 man [printer’s error in 43? See d-d below.]
[d-d]40, MS, 43, 46, 59, 67 him
[e-e]40, MS, 43, 46 its
[f-f]+51, 56, 59, 62, 65, 67, 68, 72
[g]40, MS, 43, 46 with all its influences
[h-h]40, MS, 43, 46 moved
[i]40, MS, 59, 67 the] 43, 46, 51, 56 those
[j-j]40, MS, 43, 46 This system of discipline wrought, in the Grecian states, by the conjunct influence of religion, poetry, and law; among the Romans, by those of religion and law; in modern and Christian countries, mainly by religion, with little of the direct agency, but generally more or less of the indirect support and countenance, of law.
[k-k]40, MS, 43, 46 this
[l]40, MS, 43, 46, 51, 56, 59, 67 indeed
[m-m]40 attach itself to laws, to ancient liberties, or ordinances; to the whole or some part of the political, or even of the domestic, institutions of the state.] MS, 43, 46 as 40 . . . even the . . . as 40] 59, 67 as 40 . . . ordinances. Or . . . as 72
[n-n]40, MS, 43, 46, 59, 67 men
[o-o]56, 62, 65 agree [printer’s error?]
[p-p]40, MS, 43, 46 it might or might not be
[q-q]40, MS, 43 above] 46 above
[r-r]40, MS, 43, 46, 59, 67 society
[s-s]40, MS, 43, 46 ties which hold it together
[t-t]40, MS, 43, 46, 59 fall
[u-u]40, MS, 43, 46 does
[v-v]40, MS, 43, 46, 51, 59, 67 principles
[w-w]40, MS, 43, 46 happens
[x-x]40, MS, 43, 46 have
[y-y]40, MS, 43, 46 have
[z-z]40, MS, 43, 46 an
[a-a]+51, 56, 59, 62, 65, 67, 68, 72
[b-b]40, MS, 43, 46 , which has existed in all durable political societies
[c-c]40, MS, 43, 46 nationality
[d-d]+51, 56, 59, 62, 65, 67, 68, 72
[e]51, 56, 59, 67 an
[f-f]+51, 56, 59, 62, 65, 67, 68, 72
[g]40, MS, 43, 46 or
[h-h]40, MS, 43, 46 absurd
[i]40, MS, 43, 46 In all these senses, the nations which have the strongest national spirit have had the least nationality.
[j-j]40, MS, 43, 46 shall
[k-k]40, MS, 43, 46 shall cherish the tie which holds them together; shall
[l-l]40, MS, 43, 46 that they cannot selfishly
[m-m]40, MS, 43, 46 the
[n-n]+51, 56, 59, 62, 65, 67, 68, 72
[o]40, 59, 67 [footnote; see 135n-136n above]
[* ] (Written and first published in 1840.)
[p-p]40, MS woes