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thus of cause and effect, from the conscious operation of our own minds. We think, and will, and feel conscious of an energy exerted; and thus learn to consider ourselves as causes of those effects, which follow our conscious energizing of some appropriate faculty. We then transfer this conscious energizing of the faculty in our minds to produce a given result to all external antecedents and consequents, and conceive them, as causes and effects, to be connected by some such energizing of power in the cause. From analogy therefore we conclude that all causes exert an efficient power which secures the existence of the effect. But while it may be admitted that this last has more plausibility than the former, it is still only an argument of analogy and can only be conclusive to this extent, that if all causes and effects are connected to each other as the mind is to the effects which it produces, then it is safe reasoning from effects to the existence of a cause; but all its conclusiveness rests upon the conviction, that what is true of the mind as a cause must be true of all causes. This last however is what experience can never verify; and thus if we have nothing more conclusive than our own consciousness applied to all causation by experiments, we must fail of demonstration beyond those very causes and effects which take place on the field of our own consciousness.
If then we know nothing of the law of causation but that which sense and experience can give us, we can never use an a posteriori form of argument to the proof of the being of God with any valid force and conclusiveness. At the highest point it will leave full place for the most incorrigible skepticism.
But, as was noticed in the former article, man is endowed with a far higher and nobler faculty than any thing which is indicated by sense and reflection. He has the power of rational intuition, and can thus see absolute and universal truths in their own light alone, and unhesitatingly affirm what is and eternally must be, independent of all deductions from experience. And in this very position the whole principle of causation, with its power to produce effects and its connection with its effects, is viewed by the mind. Empirical facts have no connection with it, and give no support to it. The mind intuitively and a priori sees the truth as necessarily and universally existing.
Nothing cannot produce something; ex nihilo nihil fit. This is a truth seen by the mind to be as necessary and as universal as that "the whole is greater than any of its parts." It
is an absurdity and an impossibility to conceive the opposite. And thus every event must have some adequate cause. We need only to postulate any event whatsoever, and the deduction is valid and necessary, its cause or ground of being also exists. And into this idea of cause there enters necessarily the possession of efficient power. It is not essential that we determine how the cause receives its efficiency, whether by an impartation from some constant external agency, or from the possession of a nature in which there is the perpetuated property of efficiency; but it is essential to the very idea of a cause that it have in some way efficient power. No matter how intimate or certain the connection of antecedent and consequent; if the mind does not recognize something in the antecedent as the efficient producer of the consequent, it never recognizes the antecedent as the cause of the consequent. The truth is ultimate and necessary, that the cause must possess this inherent efficiency or it is no cause. We never suppose the day to be the cause of the night in consequence of its being the invariable antecedent, nor do we give to any casual antecedent the name of a cause; but, in order to the mind's apprehending any thing as a cause, it must invest it with efficiency to produce the effect. There must be something in it which is not in any thing else to connect it with the effect, as the efficient producer of that effect. The mind may not be able, before all experience, to affirm of any thing that it possesses an efficiency to produce a given effect; but no mind will ever recognize it as a cause, until it is conceived as possessed of this efficiency. This is the essential point in the idea of causation, not as antecedent merely, but as efficient producer. We may conceive of the loadstone as a simple entity; but when we contemplate it as the antecedent to the peculiar phenomena of magnetism, it is no longer as a simple entity, but as possessing an inherent efficiency to produce these phenomena as the effects of its action. Nothing can be a substitute or an equivalent for the inherent property of efficiency in our idea of causation; there can be no idea of cause without it.
By this rational intuition of the ultimate and necessary truth, that "every event has its adequate cause," and that this cause is connected to the effect as its efficient producer, we are prepared to take any event that may offer, as a datum for a valid deduction of the existence of its cause. On this ground an a posteriori argument logically applied is a demonstration.
conclusions are not matters of mere belief and probability, but of science and certainty.
In the nature of an a posteriori argument we have then its data, which are purely empirical, and its principle, as the vinculum of all its deductions, which is purely an intuition of reason. II. Some of the methods of applying the a posteriori argument to the proof of the being of God.
1. The argument from effect to cause simply. That something does exist is a fact to which our senses and our consciousness bear witness. Changes take place within and around us. Events are occurring, and phenomena manifesting themselves on every hand. We may take any or all of these as our materials for an argument. They have all been produced by some adequate cause, and are, therefore, effects which may be traced upwards to their sources. That which is found to have been the cause of a present event is, when found, seen itself to have been an effect of some previous causation; and thus the series may be pursued upward, by sure and necessary deductions from effect to cause indefinitely. It is abundantly manifest that in tracing up these effects to causes, there is a constant convergency towards unity. Effects run up into common causes, and these again are effects of more general causes; and it is thus manifest that, as we pursue this retrogression, the number of acting causes constantly diminishes, and would thus indicate that at last they all terminate in one grand first cause of all. It is, we believe, quite manifest, if not from the action of all causes in their own nature, yet from experience and observation, that of the great mass of acting causes very few are to be considered as efficient for one effect only. They put in operation, as the effects of their action, many more causes; and thus efficient agents augment, and the branches expand incalculably as the lengthened series of causes and effects move onward. By an a posteriori argument from simple effect to cause, we necessarily approach towards the point of unity in all causation; and thus we have the highest probability that all does in fact depend upon one grand, original source of all efficiency. Thus far we can go safely by an a posteriori argument from simple effect to cause; but this is the end of our discoveries by this process. We cannot demonstrate that all does really terminate in absolute unity. And if we suppose ourselves to have arrived at the point where all causes meet, and thus find one existing being, whose efficiency is adequate
to the production of all the events and changes which have had their beginning since, yet, so far as a posteriori reasoning is concerned, we are obliged to go backward still through an unending series. This highest point of all the universe of causes needs itself a cause or ground of being, as much as any that we have found from the present upward; and mere a posteriori argument can have nothing to do in predicating self-existence, or necessary existence of any of the conclusions to which it comes. They are effects and must have their cause, so far as the nature of this argument reaches; and thus, if it finds a point in which only single links go off upward, it must follow on its solitary track without a termination. This point, moreover, in which we assume that all causation begins to diverge into its multiplied branches, has nothing else, so far as we have yet found, but simple existence in the possession of physical efficiency to produce effects. We have proved, and, by an argument from effect to cause simply, we can prove no possession of intelligence or freedom. We have nothing yet which answers our idea of God. It is the mere "plastic power" of the old infidel philosophers, a blind unconscious cause, working out its necessitated effects under the changeless destiny of its own law of development.
2. The argument from final causes. An a posteriori argument from effect to cause is valid, not only for the deduction of the existence of the cause from the effect, but also for the character stics and attributes of that cause. The intuitive, ultimate truth is " an adequate cause for every event;" and the event may be of such a nature as to prove, intuitively, that no mere blind, physical efficiency can be adequate to its production. In many things there is so nice and complicated an adaptation to an end, that we are forced to predicate intelligence and design of its cause, as alone adequate to its production. Its adaptation must have had a cause as well as its existence, and the only cause for adaptation to an end in the effect is intelligence or wisdom. The final cause to which the adaptation of the thing is directed proves the author to have seen the end, and selected the means with a design to secure it. The qualities of the effect are the data for deducing the attributes of the cause. The validity of this form of the a posteriori argument may be confirmed by two methods. One is that of consciousness. We are conscious that where we have an end to gain, we adapt means with a design to secure it; or when we are adapting
and using certain means, we are conscious that we have an end in view which is the final cause of our agency. We at once conclude, from analogy, that the same exhibitions in other cases are a proof of the same facts in other minds.
The other and more conclusive method is direct, rational intuition. Adaptation,-fitness to an end,—is an ultimate fact, which the mind can intuitively perceive in the object which is its ground or field of manifestation. When a machine is understood, the adaptation of its parts to an end is as direct an intuition, and thus as really a fact of certain knowledge, as is the truth of a mathematical demonstration, when the whole process of proof is in the mind. And this adaptation in the effect is as intuitively perceived to involve design in the cause, as the existence of an effect involves an existing cause. The adaptation is the effect of design as a cause, and thus where the effect exists the cause must be.
The ground of argument is therefore solid, and its deductions are demonstrations. It is also important to remark here, that one instance of adaptation is conclusive for the deduction of an intelligent cause. One watch, or one steam engine as conclusively evinces an intelligent cause, as would a hundred. The number and variety of the cases of adaptation disclose "the manifold wisdom" of the cause, rather than the mere facts of intelligence. The multiplication of the facts of design constitute so many separate arguments for the existence of a designing cause. The whole universe abounds with these traces of design, multiplied, minute, extended and complicated beyond description. In this broad field have been the extended researches of Derham, Ray, Paley, Brougham, and the numerous learned authors of the Bridgewater Treatises ;-all accumulating the demonstrations of an intelligent cause, from the multiplied facts of adaptation which they discover. But all tend to the same point, and stop short at the same conclusion. argument has a limit in its own nature, and it is important to find the boundaries beyond which no proof from final causes can reach.
Intelligence that can adapt means to ends in a most complicated, extended and skilful manner exists. The conclusion here is demonstration. As in the case of simple cause and effect, the constant simplification and tendency to one origin, as we follow back these causes in which adaptation appears, would indicate that ultimately they would be traced up to one