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fluxions of this force can only produce a sphere and motion, nothing
But on the theory that the mechanical force from the centre of the sun to its circumference is acted upon by forces or influences from the planets, variously, and that in consequence the solar force on the circumference is periodically disturbed, there will be produced on the sun compound forces, this result at most is nothing more than compound mechanical activity or compound motion. No power of growth from within is produced thereby; at least there is no evidence to that effect. Further, the spectroscope has revealed marvels about
Swedenborg said, nearly a century before the time of Kirchoff and Bunsen, “The sun of this world consists of created substances whose activity produces fire” (U. T. 472). When Swedenborg recorded this fact it was not known that terrestrial temperature and magnetism are due to and regulated by the fire produced by the activity here so tersely and emphatically described. All this is now * practically demonstrated, especially what Swedenborg says about the origin of the solar fire. The spectroscope tells us with unerring certainty that the substances of the sun are in a state of most intense activity. And not only is this so, but it also reveals, so far as chemical investigation has gone, that there is not a single element of the earth, whether metallic or gaseous, that is not found in a state of activity in the sun.
It has at last been discovered that oxygen exists there. Hence chemical forces are at work in the sun. But chemical forces, so far as is known of them, are not the power of growth from within. Chemical forces will produce fire, and fire in its turn will produce these forces.
Galvanic chemistry will separate the constituents of water, but fire applied to the separated hydrogen and oxygen will speedily unite them again. In these processes there is no growth, and there need be no loss. And if we ramble through the thousands of combinations and analyses due to chemical forces, we can learn no more from them, as forces, than we learn from the analysis and composition of water. If, therefore, chemical forces exist in the sun, and doubtless they do, they are only forces of analysis and combination. Hence it is easily seen that nothing can come as an ultimate result of mechanical, chemical, and, if you like, magnetic forces, excepting heat and light. This has been abundantly demonstrated by experiment. Well, then, it may be fairly asserted that no other forces exist in the sun than those which produce heat and light, and the intensity of which forces seems to exist for no other purpose. But as the earth is a sphere, yet, for a reason, not surrounded with a photosphere, but with a comparatively stable crust, its mechanical forces must be similar to those of the sun. And as the elements of the sun have been found by spectroscopic analysis to exist on the earth and to compose it, therefore the substances of the sun and the earth are identical so far as they are known. Thus we have on the earth all that is in the sun excepting intensity of force. And because our philosophers can find no other whence for the millions of things that exist on the earth besides mechanical motion, terrestrial elements,
their chemistry and gravitation, nagnetism, heat and light, forsooth they leap to this great source with the magic word mystery, ever a cover of ignorance and assurance, and silence and stifle all inquiry or conjure a whence where none can be found. And this has been done to such an extent and with so much dexterity that authority has obtained as much influence in arresting investigation in the scientific world as it has done in the theological. It is truly astonishing how a philosopher is admired when he has the pluck to say “ Mystery,” and “I don't know," and even with more vehemence to declare, “ Neither can any one else know anything about it." This mode of euphuism is really a check upon all scientific effort and research.
Now there cannot be much difficulty in seeing here that the first requisite in order to discover the whence of the power of growth from within is to see, from what we know, how such power has its place. But before this is attempted let it be distinctly recognised how any other power has place. To do this we must take a little review. First we recognise mechanical power manifest in all motion. This power, whether it be from within its subject to without, or from without to within, the only product is motion to its subject, and never in any case does it produce growth from within. There is no reason why the whence of this power may not be attributed to the sun. Indeed it is only rational to attribute its origin to that source. And if we carefully investigate chemical and magnetic forces we shall see that they are all in one way or other merely mechanical ; and for this simple reason that the calculus can be applied to them all alike, whether constructively or analytically. When, therefore, we speak of chemical affinities and combinations we really only speak of correlative mechanical power, a power which, acting on things, produces motion only. But here it must be observed that a power which produces motion only cannot be manifest or expressed without resistance. So the mechanical, chemical, and magnetic powers of the sun could not be recognised unless there were means of resistance. This resistance exists in the elements from which the metallic and gaseous vapours of the sun proceed. Resistance to mechanical power is different in each element, whether metallic or gaseous; and this difference is not merely one of intensity but of kind, for all elements have different densities or specific gravities, and are of different kinds. Hence, according to the fluxions of force and elemental resistances, there will be momentarily created compound resistances, and thence come chemical affinities or combinations. All these powers not only exist in the sun and originate there, but they exist in the world. And because the power of growth from within seems mixed up with them, the one kind (mechanical) is considered of the same kind as the other (growth). It is the inability to see that the one power is essentially different from the other that causes our natural philosophers to assign the same origin to them both.
Now we confront the question of the power of growth and its whence. It is quite true that the physical elements are the constituents of all
the subjects of growth. But is it not discernible that the power of growth exercises a very different influence in the elements of organisms than mechanical power exercises upon merely compounded or simple elements? We have seen generally all that can be said of the action and results of mechanical power; let us now observe how the power of growth deals with physical elements. Here the careful and studious eye will see marvels. A leaf grous. Whence came it? In a physical sense it has no whence. It never was till the power of growth produced it upon the tree. To say with Dr. Tyndall that this leaf is “only an organized concourse of molecules” is simply to say nothing. If Dr. Tyndall would explain, and no one is more able, the calculus is at his command—and why not, when he made the assertion, have produced the equation in proof how any merely mechanical, chemical, or magnetic force produced this “ organized concourse " the leaf?—then there could be no whence but the sun of nature or a
fiery cloud.” Dr. Tyndall says,
“As far as the eye of science has hitherto ranged through nature, no intrusion of purely creative power
series of phenomena has ever been observed.” What he means by “purely creative power” is not very clear. But taking the word “create it is literally understood, there cannot be much difficulty in seeing that all new formation which is creation is constantly of power.
Our natural philosophers strive hard to put the name and idea of God out of existence. And doubtless this is the “purely creative power” that Dr. Tyndall fails to find. And because theology has mystified the existence and attributes of God, and presents no rational conception of His Being, not only Dr. Tyndall but others fail to find a “purely creative power” such as is attributed to God. Power is the Divine Presence everywhere. All the power and consequent forces of the sun are the Divine Presence there. All the modes of action from that power and its resistances are the Divine law there. Still this power and all its forces have no other attributes than those which have been shown to belong to them. And it is not improper to say that the results of the combinations of these forces are perpetual creations. It has been said that the power of growth acts differently from mechanical power; notwithstanding, the results of the activity of that power are creations too. Hence, as has been said, a leaf has no whence, physically considered it is a creation where it is produced from the power of growth.
The mechanical forces come under the grasp of the calculus as exactly as the computation of the track of a planet or a comet enters into their respective modes of motion. But is it not self-evident that calculation cannot grasp the power of growth ?
Yet if it were in any way a physical or mechanical power this would be possible. This power, to define it, is vital energy or life, a term now to be used in contradistinction to mechanical power or force. And let it be observed that inasmuch as natural organisms are composed entirely of physical elements, mechanical forces of all kinds must act upon them and produce their own results. But at the same time it would be irrational
to say that they can produce any other. Physical waste of all kinds demands physical supply. But the marvel of the action of life in turning these physical supplies to its own use and in rejecting the effete for the purposes of growth and formation demands careful analysis. In an organism force and supply do their office from without to within, but life and its power operate from within to without. And what wonderful work is done! Growth and formationimply facts that hardly seem to strike our philosophers with sufficient force. Growth means very much more than increase, it means the development of forms. Forms that rise in ineffable grandeur and complexity, from the smallest Diatomacea to the stately and Divine form of man; from the humblest lichen to the stateliest trees of the grove. Force may produce bulk and shape, but shape is a term far from expressing the meaning involved in form. The wax leaf may be of the shape of the grown leaf. But every form, even the tiniest that the microscope can reveal within the leaf, has aided in the development of the full form, and then, if you like, the shape of the leaf. Without these forms and their holy beauty all art, painting, poetry, and song must die. Now, behold how, to the accomplishment of this work, all merely physical forces yield themselves. The circular and conical curves of mechanical force, the crystalline lines and faces of chemical action, all yield their energies beneath the gentle yet overpowering influence of life. But though these forces are thus yielded in organisms to the purposes of life, their supply remains without stint, being constantly provided from the ever-present forces and elements of the physical world, in which are included the sun as their source. Remove all these and every natural force and supply to organisms would cease. Well, then, as growth and formation are something done from within, is it not proper, “in seeking the unknown in the terms and facts of the known,” to infer that there must be constantly present in the inmost of organisms the means and source of the power of growth and formation, or of life and all its powers ? Again, if an organism be carefully considered it will be found to be simply state of existence. Indeed any form is only a state of existence. The form of the earth is only its state of existence consequent upon the fluxion of a mechanical force. And this form is momentarily sustained by the solar forces. Water is only the chemical state of being of oxygen and hydrogen consequent upon the immediate presence of the law of force or combination. So also every crystalline shape is only a state of being from mechanical force. A living form is only a living state of being consequent upon the presence of the means and power of life. But state is far more applicable to the forms of life than to the forms or rather the shapes produced by mechanical force. For though living forms are composed of physical elements only, yet life produces states upon all its forms that are not to be found at all in the elements themselves. The fragrance of flowers, the sweetness and lusciousness of fruits, the aroma and oils of trees and plants are all due, and due only, to the states which life induces through their
respective organisms. And even any attribute that distinguishes one organic form from another, and the products of one organism from the products of another, are nothing but the states which life induces upon them, of course taking into due consideration the character of the physical supplies. Hence everything of the whole organic world excepting the bare physical elements and their forces are the results of life and its powers.
But let us now return to consider the leaf. Whence came it? For really there is a whence after all. · Its whence, in the first instance, is the previous state of the elements of which it is composed, and if we trace state thus backwards to the first germ of the plant, we find the first or general state of the leaf, or even of the whole plant and all that it can produce. States thus proceed step by step or in successions. But mark, successive only in the sense of growth; for a leaf does not actually exist in the germ nor anywhere else excepting where and when it is fully formed. Then, not till then, is it in its state of existence. Hence life acted one way to form and sustain the germ, another way to form and sustain the structure and the sap, and another way to produce the leaves and fruit. And in this work life and its powers are such essential factors that no development could be produced without them. But now let it be observed that the work and the workman are as distinct as the mechanical forces of the world are distinct from the objects which are composed externally of its elements and forces. It has been shown that mechanical force cannot be made manifest, or operate anything, without resisting media, and these in the case of the sun and the world are the metallic and gaseous elements. So also it is impossible to think of the powers and operations of life without taking into view media of its own by which it can be made manifest and operate its results. From what has been said it will be seen that physical elements are only the media of physical force, and can only be so. If these, however, are acted into by another power called life, and in a manner very different from the action of physical force, that power must have its own media by which it can produce its results. Power without media is nothing. Physical force acts purely mechanically by its own media; life, acting for the production of growth and form only, must have its own peculiar media to which it can adapt itself, and by which it can produce its results. These results have been defined as states of existence. They are the creations of life. They stand alone, the results of its possibilities and operations. And there is no more reason to doubt that these possibilities and operations have originated, or created, by the arrangement or preparation of physical and living media, the initial forms, whatever they may have been, of all organisms, than that they continue to create any leaf or living form to-day. But states of existence pass away. On the physical side of an organism, when the states which life formed in it pass away, the physical elements and forces which manifested the states remain. But where are the life and its media by which it operated into the physical elements and forces and created