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us that within the mind, some of them expressly say within the brain, of man, the immensities of time and space and all their contents lie enclosed ; in Schopenhauer's own language, “did not human brains, objects scarcely as big as a large fruit, sprout up incessantly, like mushrooms, the world would sink into nothingness.” This strange hypothesis finds a strange counterpart in the speculations of two of the latest of German atheists as to the magnitude of the brain. Schopenhauer thought it no bigger than it seemed to be, and yet supposed that it contained the universe. Czolbe and Ueberweg fancy that its apparent size is but an extremely diminished picture of its real size ; that, in fact, it is colossal, stretching beyond the fixed stars, and covering the whole field of vision. Certainly either the universe would require to be much smaller than it is, or the mind of man much greater than it is, before the notion that the latter is the source or cause of the former can be for a moment entertained. The atheism which makes the finite mind the creator and sustainer of the universe is its own best refutation.
Atheism, then, yields no satisfaction to the reason, but is in all its forms a violation of the conditions of rational belief. Does it satisfy better the demands of the heart? The atheist is without God in the world, and therefore has only the world. Will the world without God satisfy a
human heart? No man will venture to maintain that material things and outward advantagesmeat and drink and raiment, wealth, honours, influence—can satisfy it. The heart of man—the atheist himself, if he be a person of any refinement and elevation of character, will grant at once—cannot be content with merely material and earthly good ; it must have something which responds to higher faculties than the sensuous and the selfish. It would be to insult the atheist to suppose him even to doubt this. What he will say is that although without God there remains to him truth, beauty, and virtue, and that these things will yield to him such satisfaction as his nature admits of, and one of which he needs not be ashamed. Let us see.
The truth in which the atheist must seek the satisfaction of his heart can only be, of course, mere truth,—truth apprehended not as expressive of the thought and affection and will of God, but as expressive of the properties and relations of material things and human beings. Suppose, however, that a man knew not only all that science has at present to tell, but all that it will ever be able to tell about the world of matter and the mind of man and human history, would it be reasonable to expect this fully to satisfy him? I think not. Were all that is to be known about the material universe actually known, the man who
knew it would simply have within himself the true reflection of what was existing without him; on his spirit which thinks there would simply be a correct picture of that which does not think. But the soul which would not be satisfied with the very world itself, could it have it, will surely not be satisfied with that pale reflection of it which constitutes science. The soul which is itself so superior every way to the world cannot have for its highest end merely to serve as a mirror to it, and to show forth not the likeness and glory of God, but of what is without life, without reason, and without love. And were all that is to be known about the mind of man actually known, the soul which knew it would only have a knowledge of itself. But could any person except a fool rest in complacent contemplation of himself? True self-knowledge is very much the reverse of pleasant or satisfying. Shame and terror are often its most natural effects. Science, culture, truth, when separated from their one eternal source in the Infinite Life, the Infinite Love, show us nothing higher than our own poor selves, nothing that we can look up to—no object of trust, of adoration, of affection. How, then, can they satisfy hearts, the true life of which consists in the exercise of faith and hope, reverence and love? Severed from what will worthily develop the higher emotional principles of human nature, they may lead the soul into a land as waste and famishing as what only concerns the body, or even into a still more howling and hungry wilderness. The spiritual affections if denied appropriate sustenance, if presented only with purely intellectual truth, will either die of inanition to the sore impoverishment of the mind, or they will live on to torment it with a pain more grievous than that of unappeased animal appetite. For true it is, as an eloquent preacher has said, in words which I cannot exactly recall, but which are nearly as follows: “There is on earth a greater misfortune than to crave for bread and not to have it, and a sadness more complete than that of bereavement, sickness, poverty, even pushed to their extremest limits; there is the bitterness of a soul which has studied, and searched, and speculated, which has pursued with eager and anxious heart, truth in many directions, and yet, because it sought it away from the light and life which are in God, has only found in all directions doubt and nothingness.”
What we cannot find in truth, however, may we not find in the enjoyment of the beautiful in nature and art ? In his last work—'The Old and the New Faith'—this is what Strauss points to as a substitute for religion. The admiration of fair scenery, of painting, music, and poetry, may, it is hoped, fill the void in the heart caused by the absence of faith in God. The picture gallery, the concert-room, the theatre, may help us to dispense with the Church and its services. Now, certainly, it is greatly to be desired that the love of the beautiful in nature and art were more widely diffused among all classes of the community. He who contributes to its cultivation and extension confers on his fellow-men no mean boon, no slight service. But so far from being able to supply the place of the love of God, the love of the beautiful itself withers and corrupts, becomes weak or becomes foul, severed from that love. Art of a high and healthy order has ever drawn its inspiration largely from religion. The grandest buildings, the most beautiful paintings, the noblest music, the greatest poems, are religious. The arts have hitherto spread and advanced in the service of religion, or at least in connection with it. They have never flourished except in a spiritual atmosphere which is the breath of religious faith. Atheism — unbelief — has, alike in ancient and in modern times, and in all lands, been found fatal to art. Before it is entitled to point us to art as a substitute for religion, it must be able to show us where there is an art which can elevate and improve the mind that has not been directly or indirectly engendered by religion. It must show us that it can create and sustain a noble art. Atheistical art, so far as the world has yet known