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into the infinite atomism of time and space, that is to say into Nature; the third is the return out of heterousia into ousia, the resolution of the heterization of nature, and in this way it becomes at last actual, self-cognizant thought.
This cursory review of the speculations of the great minds of antiquity and modern times, on the subject of the relation existing between God and the world, has been necessary, as synoptic exhibition of thought oscillating between theism and pantheism, or standing still in despair of a solution and proclaiming materialism.
The irresistible tendency towards one or other view, the existence of God outside of and apart from matter, or His immanence in matter, show that the truth must be sought, not on one side or the other exclusively, but in one point which will conciliate the two. May not theism and pantheism be two aspects of the same truth? And may not one without the other be but half a truth? If it were not so, the argument on each side would not be so assailable Theism pierces the joints of pantheistic argument, expecting to slay it, and pantheism strikes blows at theism meant to be deadly, but without ever reaching its vital centre. Possibly each is true in its affirmations, and each is false in its negations.
1 Hegel's Werke: Berlin, 1834-45. Stirling : The Secret of Hegel : and Stirling's translation of Schwegler's Handbook of the History of Philo. sophy ; 1868.
THE IDEA OF EVIL
The idea of evil a generalization from the perception of pain-personitica
tion of evil—The first idea of evil the idea God—The second stage is the belief in the capriciousness of the gods—The third stage is dualism --The fourth stage is Satanism-The fifth stage the denial of the absolute existence of evil-Objections to this theory.
a of If frost did not nip, and fire blister the skin, man would have no idea of the harmful; and the harmful is the evil.
Infant humanity behaved towards what hurt it, after the manner of children. The boy who has been stung by a nettle, takes a stick and beats down the weed. The girl who has torn her clothes in scrambling over a hedge, lays the blame on the brambles. The child, far from seeing that the fault lies in its own actions, attributes to the object that has caused the pain malignant motives and a hostile will. This habit survives in the adult, who gives character to the ship and temper to the sun and wind.
· It is unavoidable, in treating of the origin of the idea of evil, not to go over part of the ground already trodden in the consideration of the origin of the idea of God, and of morality.
When pain is felt without any tangible object to which to attribute a motive and a will to hurt, as in disease, some object is feigned, and given imaginary being. Plague, and famine, and war, are conditions of suffering; but instead of man looking to his own neglect of sanitary precaution as the cause of plague, to his own bad husbandry as the reason why his barns are empty, to his own bad government as the generator of war, he supposes plague, famine, and war to be active genii of evil David speaks of the “pestilence that walketh in darkness," and Horace of “Pallid death with equal foot tapping at the door of the pauper's hovel and the prince’s hall.” What to David and Horace is mere prosopopeia, to the savage is not metaphor at all, but is a reality. He regards death, pestilence, and famine as vengeful divinities whose wrath must be deprecated.
Man must find a reason which will account for every phenomenon, good or evil. The Huron Indian, when attacked by small-pox, supposed that it was produced by the breath of a wicked demon, who prowled at night about his wigwam. The Australian savage, when gorged with mutton and suffering from nightmare, attributes his pain to a fiend who is pestering him for a light, and he flings a firebrand into the night to relieve himself of his distress. When the North American Indians are afflicted with drought, they seek a cause, and however absurd that cause may be, it satisfies them because it does account for their discomfort. “The crops were withering under a severe drought,” says a historian of Canadian missions ; "the pitiless sky was cloudless. There was thunder in the east, and thunder in the west ; but over Ihonatiria all was
1 Le Mercier : Relation des Hurons, p. 134 ; 1637.
A renowned rainmaker, seeing his reputation tottering under his repeated failures, bethought him of accusing the Jesuits, and gave out that the red colour of the cross which stood before their house scared the bird of thunder, and caused him to fly another way."
Man in his lowest term has no other conception of God than one of power, and power exercised for his bane. At first he took cognizance only of that which injured him. Everything that is agreeable and useful he accepted tacitly, as a matter of course; but his attention was riveted by antagonistic forces. The earth is the grave of his race; the sea opens its mouth to suck him in, and then to spew him forth a mangled corpse. Heaven retreats behind a veil of blackness, that it may draw the bow and shoot lightning shafts at murderable men; the beasts are his natural enemies; the jackal robs his hoards of blubber, the bear hugs the wind out of his body, the wolf steeps its muzzle in his children's blood, and the hyæna crunches the bones of his parents. He tills a little patch of field, and the river overleaps its banks and sweeps his grain away. He builds a hovel of birch-bark, and the wind, with an exultant howl, rips it from the soil and scatters it like dead leaves over the tundra. He strives with palsied fingers to light a fire, but the rain has soaked the sticks, and they cannot be made to ignite, so he crouches in the darkness and cold with chattering teeth, hating earth and heaven and the life he lives.
A hostile power is in arms against him, armed with sunbeam, thunderbolt, flood, and gale. His life is a contest with this power that is about his path and about his bed, thwarting him, wounding him, blighting his happiness, smiting him with disease, and finally dragging him under
1 Parkman ; Jesuits in Canada, p. 68; 1868.
ground to rottenness. He feels that he has no weapons to oppose to this mighty power. He may send an arrow on high, like the Chinese emperor, and he is smitten into the ground with a meteoric bolt. He may throw chains over the deep, like Xerxes, but he cannot bind the thundering
He may build a tower against the flood, and like Babel in the plains of Shinar, it will melt away as wax before the dropping rains. He has but one course open to him: it is to fling away his weapons and lift up his bare hands to heaven, and bow his naked knee, and by prayer and sacrifice pacify that awful potency which weighs him down. Thus every infant people has risen like an infant plant, with expanded palms, as seed leaves, beseechingly.
“The idea of the devil,” observes Jacob Grimm, "is foreign to all primitive religions,” for this reason, that in all primitive religions the idea of God is the idea of a devil. New Englanders supposed Hobbamock to be the arch-fiend of the Indians, because the myths told of him represented him as malevolent; but, in fact, he was their Supreme Oki, or God.' Juripari, worshipped by certain tribes of the pampas of Buenos Ayres, and said to be their wicked spirit, is in fact the only name in their language for a spiritual existence.
From this it follows that the first stage in the conception of a devil is the attribution of evil to God. But from this stage of belief man strides to a second. He begins to observe that those influences which at one time are hostile to him, at another are beneficent; that the power which at one time blighted his interests, at another time favours them. Night, whilst filling his mind with terror, is at the same time a soother after toil. The sun, which at one time burns up his herbage, in spring brings it forward. The
1 Brinton: Myths of the New World, p. 60 ; 1868.