Imágenes de páginas

therein their respective projectile motions, which, in union with their gravitations towards the sun, produce their constant periodical courses in elliptical paths. Let the patrons of materialism digest this conclusion as they may, but I see no means of avoiding the conclusion.

Let us now attend to the centripetal force, or the law by which the orbs in our system gravitate to the sun. This force is not uniform, as in the projectile force, but would cause a body to descend to the sun with a continually accelerated velocity. This force is continually acting, and would with a motion constantly accelerated draw every body in the system into the body of the sun, if it were not counteracted by the uniform projectile motion, which alone would impel them to an indefinite distance from

Here then is every moment required the presence of a causé, always operating, and which gives to the orbs, that it solicits to the sun, successive impulses of motion. A first impulse once impressed


the sun.



will not suffice, wherein the body that gave the impulse may be withdrawn from our sight; for if the impulse of body upon body be necessary to account for every bodily motion, this impulse and the body impressing it must be constantly present to our senses, as it must be constantly acting. The refuge of a body sui generis, adequate to such immense motions, but invisible to human sense, is a body of which we have no report, can form no conception from any evidence of Nature, and which exists only in the creative brain of an obstinate materialist.

But to pass from phænomena at such immense distances, and where the human sight may be supposed incompetent to an accurate investigation, What shall we say of gravitations towards our own Earth, not only within the reach of human sight, but even of the human hand; not of motions which would take place if not counteracted by the projectile force, but of motions which actually do take place, and are exhibited every


moment? A body released from the human hand does not remain where the hand quits it, but falls to the Earth : it falls with a velocity, every instant accelerated. This is a phænomenon so familiar, that we reflect not on its import; we make no inquiry into the cause; we attend not to the language which it speaks ; but it completely refutes the crude idea, that the impulse of body upon body is necessary to the production of motion. Here is a fact, not inferred from any theory, but presented to our senses, within the reach of our touch, and demands the admission of a cause, commencing the motion, and every moment impressing sucGessive increments of motion. What is this powerful agent?

Whence arises this successive impulse on the falling body, impressing on it continually increasing velocities? Nor body, for this the evidence of our senses absolutely repells ; it must be 'referred to mere will, the will of a designing mind. Body can communicate motion to body only by impulse of contact; but no body is


f 2

present, and yet the motion every instant presents itself. Let the materialist, who has no faith but in body, who admits ño action but that of body upon body, reply if he can.

It will be said, that gravity is the cause of this motion, and this forsooth is to satisfy the inquiring mind. Gravity is a mere name, the term by which we designate the orderly course of a truly astonishing phænomenon. Gravity may also include all that we know of the law which regulates this phænomenon, and thence may be of great utility in all our reasoning on this important subject. Still it is but the designation of an effect, an effect which demands a cause, and an adequate cause; and where no bodily cause presents itself, or on any satisfactory ground can be supposed, it is the



ho. nest inquirer, to refer it to the one efficient Cause of all. The immortal Newton, whose power of investigation was at least equal to that of the most zealous advocate for materialism, when he had carried his inquiry into intermediate causes as far as possible,


modestly referred the whole to the will of the universal Mind. · In fine, I see no possibility of resisting the conclusion. We behold a power acting every moment without the intervention of body, and this power indicates every quality that is characteristic of mind; it is the operation of simple will, commanding matter to be subservient to the grandest design, from which the cohesion that forms the solid masses of the whole solar system, that retains them in their orbits, that produces all, the glorious scenery of this harmonious and beneficent universe, constantly issues.

For that the same law, by which a stone gravitates to the Earth, governs all the bodies in our system, is demonstrable from this fact. By two processes totally different, the one founded on astronomical ob. servation and geometrical calculation, the other derived solely from that law of gravity by which a stone descends to the Earth, the same conclusion is obtained, viz. that the distance of the moon from our Earth is F 3


« AnteriorContinuar »