Scientific Theism

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         In the May number of our Journal, there appeared a
         review of, and some extracts from, “Scientific Theism,”
10    by Phare Pleigh.

         Now, Phare Pleigh evidently means more than “hands
         off.” A live lexicographer, given to the Anglo-Saxon
         tongue, might add to the above definition the “laying
         on of hands,” as well. Whatever his nom de plume
15    means, an acquaintance with the author justifies one
         in the conclusion that he is a power in criticism, a
         big protest against injustice; but, the best may be

         One of these extracts is the story of the Cheshire Cat,
20    which “vanished quite slowly, beginning with the end
         of the tail, and ending with the grin, which remained
         some time after the rest of it had gone.” Was this a witty
         or a happy hit at idealism, to illustrate the author’s fol-
         lowing point? —

25    “When philosophy becomes fairy-land, in which neither
         laws of nature nor the laws of reason hold good, the
         attempt of phenomenism to conceive the universe as a
         phenomenon without a noumenon may succeed, but not
         before; for it is an attempt to conceive a grin without
30    a cat.”

Page 217

1      True idealism is a divine Science, which combines in
         logical sequence, nature, reason, and revelation. An
         effect without a cause is inconceivable; neither philoso-
         phy nor reason attempts to find one; but all should con-
5      ceive and understand that Spirit cannot become less than
         Spirit; hence that the universe of God is spiritual, — even
         the ideal world whose cause is the self-created Principle,
         with which its ideal or phenomenon must correspond in
         quality and quantity.

10    The fallacy of an unscientific statement is this: that
         matter and Spirit are one and eternal; or, that the phe-
         nomenon of Spirit is the antipode of Spirit, namely, mat-
         ter. Nature declares, throughout the mineral, vegetable,
         and animal kingdoms, that the specific nature of all things
15    is unchanged, and that nature is constituted of and by

         Sensuous and material realistic views presuppose that
         nature is matter, and that Deity is a finite person con-
         taining infinite Mind; and that these opposites, in sup-
20    positional unity and personality, produce matter, — a
         third quality unlike God. Again, that matter is both
         cause and effect, but that the effect is antagonistic to its
         cause; that death is at war with Life, evil with good, —
         and man a rebel against his Maker. This is neither
25    Science nor theism. According to Holy Writ, it is a
         kingdom divided against itself, that shall be brought
         to desolation.

         The nature of God must change in order to become
         matter, or to become both finite and infinite; and matter
30    must disappear, for Spirit to appear. To the material
         sense, everything is matter; but spiritualize human
         thought, and our convictions change: for spiritual sense

Page 218

1      takes in new views, in which nature becomes Spirit; and
         Spirit is God, and God is good. Science unfolds the fact
         that Deity was forever Mind, Spirit; that matter never
         produced Mind, and vice versa.

5      The visible universe declares the invisible only by re-
         version, as error declares Truth. The testimony of mate-
         rial sense in relation to existence is false; for matter can
         neither see, hear, nor feel, and mortal mind must change
         all its conceptions of life, substance, and intelligence,
10    before it can reach the immortality of Mind and its ideas.
         It is erroneous to accept the evidence of the material
         senses whence to reason out God, when it is conceded
         that the five personal senses can take no cognizance of
         Spirit or of its phenomena. False realistic views sap the
15    Science of Principle and idea; they make Deity unreal
         and inconceivable, either as mind or matter; but Truth
         comes to the rescue of reason and immortality, and unfolds
         the real nature of God and the universe to the spiri-
         ual sense, which beareth witness of things spiritual, and
20    not material.

         To begin with, the notion of Spirit as cause and end,
         with matter as its effect, is more ridiculous than the “grin
         without a cat;” for a grin expresses the nature of a cat,
         and this nature may linger in memory: but matter does
25    not express the nature of Spirit, and matter’s graven
         grins are neither eliminated nor retained by Spirit. What
         can illustrate Dr. ——’s views better than Pat’s echo,
         when he said “How do you do?” and echo answered,
         “Pretty well, I thank you!”

30    Dr. —— says: “The recognition of teleology in nature
         is necessarily the recognition of purely spiritual personality
         in God.”

Page 219

1      According to lexicography, teleology is the science of
         the final cause of things; and divine Science (and all
         Science is divine) neither reveals God in matter, cause
         in effect, nor teaches that nature and her laws are the
5      material universe, or that the personality of infinite Spirit
         is finite or material. Jesus said, “Ye do err, not know-
         ing the Scriptures, nor the power of God.” Now, what
         saith the Scripture? “God is a Spirit: and they that
         worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in
10    truth.”

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Love is the liberator.