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Whence come the X-rays, Rontgen rays, and other light rays with their adaptability to human suffering, if they come not from this same electro-magnetic medium? their adaptability to human suffering being dependent upon the intimate and close relationship that exists between the physical body and the electro-magnetic medium.
Where is the key to the principle underlying the gramophone, the phonograph and the telephone, if it be not in this self-same atomic and easily impressible medium?
Nay! let us go further, and ask ourselves where is the key to be found for the many marvellous effects of so-called spirit phenomena? Who can read F. W. Myer's _Human Personality and its Survival of Bodily Death_, and not feel that we are standing on the threshold of the unseen world?
Already men are asking themselves the meaning of the strange sensations which they receive from unseen sources; already men's spirits are vibrating in unison with vibrations that come from the unseen world; and to-day we see spiritual phenomena as through a gla.s.s darkly, and the question arises, what is the medium of all this communication, of all these vibrations?
Is there no medium at all which forms the medium of communication? To a.s.sert that would be to a.s.sert something opposed to all experience and therefore would be unphilosophical.
May not then the theory of an atomic universal electro-magnetic medium help us on in our groping and searching after light in this direction?
Who will uplift the veil? Already we peer almost into the spirit world.
A little more light, a little more truth, and then there will burst forth upon the hearts and minds of men the grandest and most glorious truth that Nature can reveal of her Creator, and then men shall come to know and understand the place that G.o.d holds in the Universe, such truth being advanced on its way by an atomic, universal electro-magnetic Aether which is as truly matter as our own bodies.
ART. 127. _G.o.d and the Universe._--To the superficial reader it may appear at first sight, that the theory of the Aether suggested in this work leaves no place in the Universe for the operations and existence of an Infinite and living Spirit, a G.o.d. It may be objected, that if all matter and all modes of motion find their physical origin in one common and primordial medium, the electro-magnetic Aether, where is the necessity for the existence of an Eternal and Infinite Spirit?
At first sight there appears some force in the objection, but it loses its point when we come to view the Universe from the standpoint of spirit phenomena. The purpose of the writer in this work has been to deal with natural phenomena only, purely from the philosophical and scientific standpoint. Spirit phenomena (which is equally as real and obvious as natural phenomena) have no part or place in a work which deals with scientific facts and data, but demand and will receive in a future work equal consideration and philosophic treatment. A man must indeed be lacking in vision who cannot see behind all things the evidence of a richer and fuller truth than that which merely lies on the surface, or who fails to read and learn the greatest truth that circles the Universe in its ultimate unity, which indisputably points to the existence of an Eternal and ever-living Spirit, a G.o.d. I affirm that there is no scientific truth, even including the law of the conservation of matter and motion, which has been enunciated in this work, but what is reconcilable with the existence of an Eternal and Infinite Spirit; and although such a statement may seem a paradox, yet I am convinced that before many more years have pa.s.sed, the reconciliation of natural with spiritual phenomena will be an accomplished fact. The fool to-day may say in his heart, there is no G.o.d, but ere long not only religion, but Science herself, shall expose his lack of wisdom and his folly.
For all things derive their existence primarily, with all the energies and powers they possess, from G.o.d. Look where we will, or at what we will, from the smallest atom or molecule up to the most stupendous world, or myriads of worlds that roll and sparkle in the blue infinity, in each and all we see the indisputable evidence of the existence of a mysterious spirit, or power, that controls and governs them. A spirit or power that we cannot see, but which is so indisputably evidenced that its existence cannot be denied. For example, we see forms of many kinds, some of which are simple ent.i.ties of themselves, while others are complex and made up of many parts, but while each part is inseparably connected with the other, yet each part is itself distinct from the others in nature and substance. The whole combined forms a complete mechanism or organism, and, like all mechanisms of human make, not only needs a controlling and governing power, but also evidences a maker.
Even the laws of Nature and modes of motion, whether it be heat, light, electricity, or magnetism, are, however, unable of themselves to control the mechanism, and therefore prove themselves to be but the servants of an infinite Intelligence, a G.o.d.
Thus, behind and beyond all we see, in every living form, there is the evidence of a hidden spirit, which is the governing and controlling and sustaining power, and without which the organism ceases to be an organism. A spirit which animates the mechanism, and uses its activities and powers as it wills for its own purposes and ends. This spirit or power we call its life, which gives to the form its existence, together with all that it possesses, as its powers, activities, energies and productions, for all are but the effects of the hidden life. If this mysterious something, termed its life, becomes in any way separated from the mechanism or organism, then as a distinct and separate organism it ceases to be; and though the mechanism may still exist for a time, yet all its powers are gone, while the organism, robbed of its very life, begins slowly to decay.
We cannot see this power; we cannot find it We may search for it, rend and tear part from part, only to find that it baffles all our skill, and laughs at our endeavours to discover the secret of its existence. We know that it is there, just as truly as we know that in these forms of ours, these living stoves, these perfect mechanisms called our bodies, there exists and dwells a spirit, a living, conscious, self-acting and controlling power. A spirit which we know is not the mechanism itself, and which by experience and observation we know to be distinct from the organism. It is this mysterious spirit which controls and governs all our acts, that rules and reigns as king of our bodies, and makes the physical mechanism, with all its wondrous parts, obey and do its bidding. That this is so, that the spirit is distinct from the body, and is the controlling and governing principle within us, is evident in a thousand ways. If, however, that spirit departs from the mechanism of our bodies, then the controlling and governing influence is gone; and the mechanism, robbed of its life, ceases to work, ceases to fulfil its functions, and ceases to exist in that particular form.
Just as it is with ourselves, so it is with the Universe. For look where we will, from the smallest atom to the great aggregation of atoms, as our earth, or even to the more stupendous...o...b.. of heaven, the working of a secret and mysterious power or spirit meets our gaze. A spirit or power that is not the form or the mechanism, but is separate and distinct from the mechanism, while at the same time it is inseparably connected with each and all. For everything that we see, from an atom to the Universe itself, is a perfect mechanism, or complexity of mechanisms. The entire Universe is one vast, intricate, and elaborate piece of mechanism, beginning with the simple aetherial atom, ranging through all the atomic systems, graduating by successive steps through compound substances, which, in their aggregations, form meteors, satellites, planets, suns, and stars; until the ultimate whole is reached, where everything is blended into one vast whole; a perfect, infinite, complex mechanism, a Universe.
Now if philosophy teaches anything at all regarding mechanisms of human invention, it indisputably teaches that every machine or mechanism that has ever been made, implies the existence of a maker, and that the maker possessed intelligent attributes, as reason, judgment, perception, and imagination. For example, stand before some elaborate machine of human invention, as a lace machine, and watch the working of that machine in all its details. It is composed of many parts, each of which is perfect in itself. Each part may be distinct in nature and purpose, yet each and all are inseparably and unitedly connected with each other, and all work harmoniously together for the accomplishment of a definite and specific end, that is, the production of a lace curtain of exquisite design and pattern. As we watch the machine and its workings, we see therein the evidence of the existence of a spirit or power that gave it its birth. A spirit or mind that made and formed the machine, that const.i.tuted, arranged, and gave it its governing and controlling power; fitted and ordered every part, gave to each part its allotted task, and moulded all to the harmonious fulfilment of the definite end and purpose he had in view.
Thus in the machine we see evidence of contrivance and design, of method and arrangement, of conception, perception and judgment, which are all the effects and outflowings of intelligence which belong, and alone belong, to mind; and therefore we say, "The machine was made, and there was and must have been a maker." So universally is this fact accepted, that any one who seriously challenged the statement, or dared to deny it, would be at once pitied as insane or laughed at as a fool. Thus all experience proves, and philosophy testifies, that wherever we get a machine or mechanism of any kind or sort, there must have been a living, conscious being or person, who is distinct from and outside of the machine. He made it, and therefore must have existed before it, in order to make it. Wherever, therefore, we find a mechanism that bears the marks of intelligence and design, of judgment, perception and conception, it is only logical and philosophical to infer, that such a mechanism equally evidences the existence of an intelligent being. The more intricate and elaborate the mechanism, the greater the ingenuity displayed, the more complex and perfect the design, the more harmonious the working, the greater will be the wisdom, the more profound the judgment, the keener the perception, the more perfect the understanding, and the vaster, n.o.bler, and more sublime the order of Being who originated and made it. This being so, according to philosophical reasoning, let us glance at the Universe in all its fulness and oneness, and we shall see the indisputable evidence of the existence of an Infinite Being, who made, controls and governs the infinite Universe.
In the atomic world we get an ill.u.s.tration of the perfect mechanism that underlies all atomic systems. Our conception of an aetherial atom was based upon the a.n.a.logy of our own planet, and there is every reason to believe that the little world in which all atoms live and move and have their being, is a.n.a.logous to a planetary or solar system, in which we find the two essentials of matter and motion ever a.s.sociated together, to form a larger and more complete mechanism. For atoms are not simply mere points; they possess real dimensions, with a determinate and fixed form, differing in their relative weights, and in the amount of motion or force with which each is endowed. The very fact that they possess atomic weights which are unalterable throughout the long periods of time that mark the history of the Universe, and that they combine in definite and fixed proportions, indisputably evidence the fact that they but do the bidding of an Eternal and Infinite Spirit, a G.o.d. Thus each molecule, or atomic system forms a perfect mechanism in itself, with its own centre of gravity, and subject to the same laws of repulsion and attraction, or pressures and tensions--due to the vibrations and motions of the universal electro-magnetic Aether.
In each of the planetary systems we get an ill.u.s.tration of the same perfect mechanism, which is indicative of all systems whether large or small; each system being characterised by the same beauty of order and harmony of motion which are equally characteristic of atomic systems.
Our own solar system, composed as it is of many parts, of thousands of meteors and comets, of numbers of satellites and planets, all revolving around one common centre, also forms a complete and perfect mechanism in itself. For millions and millions of years this perfect mechanism has been harmoniously working together in all its parts, as it moves in all its unity through the realms of infinite s.p.a.ce. Yet through all the unknown ages of the past, such a phenomenon as disorder in the working of any part of the system is inconceivable and unknown. Out in stellar s.p.a.ce there are, however, innumerable systems, similar to our own solar system, each distinct and perfect in itself; each being made up of similar parts, as meteors, comets, satellites, planets, and central sun.
These systems are, however, united together into one vast aggregation of worlds, having one common controlling centre of their own, and by their unity form a constellation, a larger and grander mechanism. Throughout the whole constellation there is the same order, and harmonious working of part with part, that characterise the solar system. Then these constellations increasing in their aggregations form a still larger complexity of systems, called a Galaxy; and galaxy being added to galaxy, constellation to constellation, there is formed by such union, an ocean of suns and stars like our own Milky Way, the ultimate whole being characterised by the same mechanical order and harmonious working that characterise the solar system. It may even be, that there are numbers of these oceans of suns and stars existing in infinite s.p.a.ce, all bound together by one common bond, the universal electro-magnetic Aether, and forming one vast ultimate whole, a Universe; with all its oceans of suns moving around one central Orb or ma.s.s of Orbs called the Throne of G.o.d.
Thus the whole Universe is a mechanism, complete and perfect in every detail, and forming a system, so great, so grand, so sublime, so magnificent that it puts all mechanisms of human origin to shame and scorn. Now, if a mechanism of human invention evidences the existence of intelligence and mind, and proves itself to be the production of a living, sentient, conscious, and intelligent being, how much more, incomparably more, does the Universe with its infinite complexity evidence a Maker also; and that Maker must be as infinitely greater in wisdom, knowledge, perception and judgment as the Universe is infinitely greater in mechanical perfection than any mechanism of human origin.
The Universe is G.o.d's teaching in symbol and in type. It is His great picture-book, where in living form He has portrayed Himself, and all that belongs to Him--His nature, character, wisdom; His greatness, glory, and His power. The Universe is a temple, where He sits enshrined in the things His own hands have made, and where those who have eyes to see, and hearts to learn and understand, may adore and worship Him.
Thus is it true that "the heavens declare the glory of G.o.d," _i. e._ the character of G.o.d, His infinite wisdom, His infinite knowledge, His profound judgment, and His eternal righteousness; while the firmament showeth His handiwork. "Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth (His) knowledge."
"The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth, by understanding hath He established the heavens."
"He hath made the earth by His power. He hath established the world by His wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by His discretion."
"Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Thy hands; they shall perish, but Thou remainest; and they all shall wax old, as doth a garment; and as a vesture shalt Thou fold them up, and they shall be changed; but Thou art the same, and Thy years shall not fail."
To prove the validity of these statements from a scientific and philosophic standpoint, and to show the harmony that exists between the natural and the Divine revelation as given in the Word of G.o.d, will form the subject of a future work.
According to Sir Oliver Lodge the fact that electricity possesses ma.s.s or inertia has now pa.s.sed out of the hypothetical stage into the realm of fact and experiment. In his Romanes Lecture recently published, he states, page 4: "My first thesis is that an electric charge possesses the most fundamental and characteristic property of matter, viz. ma.s.s or inertia; so that if any one were to speak of a milligramme or an ounce or a ton of electricity, though he would certainly be speaking inconveniently, he might not necessarily be speaking erroneously."
Now in view of the ident.i.ty that exists between Aether and electricity, as proved by Hertz' experiments, the only logical conclusion that can be arrived at is, that Aether must also possess ma.s.s and inertia. So that the most recent experiments in relation to electricity confirm the theory of the Aether presented in this work, viz. that it also possesses ma.s.s and inertia, otherwise we should have a ma.s.sless medium being composed of electrons which possess ma.s.s, and that would be a violation of all experience, and therefore an unphilosophical statement.
The hypothesis of electricity being the fundamental basis of all matter made in the last chapter on the "Unity of the Universe," receives confirmation from Sir Oliver Lodge in his _Modern Views of Matter_, where he writes, page 13: "The fundamental ingredient of which, in this view, the whole of matter is made up, is nothing more or less than electricity, in the form of an aggregate of an equal number of positive and negative electric charges. This, when established, will be a unification of matter such as has through all the ages been sought; it goes further than had been hoped, for the substratum is not an unknown and hypothetical protile, but the familiar electric charge."
The hypothesis that all elements have definite quant.i.ties of electricity in them, or a definite number of electrons, as suggested on page 335, receives added weight by the testimony of Sir Oliver Lodge in the work already referred to. Writing on the subject, he says: "It is a fascinating guess that the electrons const.i.tute the fundamental substratum of which all matter is composed. That a grouping of say 700 electrons, 350 positive and 350 negative, interleaved or interlocked in a state of violent motion so as to produce a stable configuration under the influence of their centrifugal inertia and their electric forces, const.i.tutes an atom of hydrogen. That sixteen times as many, in another stable grouping, const.i.tute an atom of oxygen. That some 16,000 of them go to form an atom of sodium; about 100,000 an atom of barium; and 160,000 an atom of radium."
From these extracts, taken from _Modern Views of Matter_, the author claims that the theory of the Aether presented to the reader in _Aether and Gravitation_ receives added confirmation and support.