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the fallacy of Archbishop King and others;-after fairly acknowledging that the problem is insoluble, and stating with much lucidity and beauty the mitigations founded on the immense preponderance of indications of benevolent design,—falls into precisely the same error, the moment he ceases to demolish theories, and begins himself to build one. After admitting that death is an evil, he says,* That man might have been created 'immortal is not denied; but if it were the will of the Deity to ' form a limited being, and to place him upon the earth for only a certain period of time, his death was the necessary consequence of this determination.' Certainly: but why it should have been the will of God to create-not a limited being, for that was inevitable-but a being subject to death and pain, is the very question ;-not whether, if God determined to create such a being, his death was inevitable. In such a way we might get rid of the whole difficulty of the great problem, by saying, that if it were the will of God to admit evil into the Universe, its admission was the necessary consequence of that determination. Again, his Lordship says, (p. 72,) To create sen'tient beings devoid of all feelings of affection, was no doubt 'possible to Omnipotence; but to endow those beings with such 'feelings as should give the constant gratification derived from 'the benevolent affections, and yet to make them wholly indifferent to the loss of the objects of those affections, was not possible even for Omnipotence; because it was a contradiction. • in terms equivalent to making a thing both exist and not exist at one and the same time.' Certainly but, as before, how is it shown to be necessary that these beings should have been subjected to such loss, or a contradiction to suppose them exempt from it? for this is the very question on which we want light. This sharp-sighted writer has, in a word, been betrayed into the very sophism which he has himself so clearly exposed in Archbishop King, (p. 34.) The difficult question then,' says the Archbishop, whence comes evil? is not unanswerable. For it ' arises from the very nature and constitution of created beings, and could not be avoided without a contradiction.'
But, though we certainly cannot demonstrate that this is the best of all possible worlds,' and that it was necessary that some evil should be admitted, we are far enough from affirming that that faith to which, as we have said, the appeal is sure to be ultimately relegated, is a faith entirely without reason; or that it is destitute of those grounds of probability upon which alone an
* Dissertations on Paley, vol. ii. p. 71.
intelligent reliance on the truths, whether of natural or revealed theology, can be maintained. And here the immensely prevailing character of benevolent design which pervades the Universe, contrasted with the fact that evil always appears either simply concomitant, or involved as a consequence, never as an ultimate end, and that an apparent evil is often found to be connected with real good, is of incalculable benefit as suggesting an approximate solution. And this confidence is yet further increased, when we see that in proportion as our knowledge advances, many of the ancient objections against the wisdom, and some against the goodness of the constitution of the Universe disappear;-that they were in fact nothing more than the offspring of ignorance. We thus learn to believe that ail would vanish in like manner if we were but omniscient. The course of reasoning is much the same as that by which we experimentally establish the first law of motion; it is but an approximate solution, yet conclusive: or we are led to suppose that the anomalies which we behold, are like those regressions of the planets which so much perplexed the early astronomers, and which arise from our seeing them from a false centre of observation. Place us in the true centre of the system, and, as science has now shown, all these irregularities disappear. Thus may it also be in the moral world.
All discord, harmony ill understood,
All partial evil, universal good.'
But, to believe this is one thing; to prove it, is another.
So strong, however, is the conviction arising from these presumptions, in every well-constituted mind, that probably no man ever reflected, in moments of health, on the exquisite organization of his body and mind, and their evident adaptation to promote his happiness, or looked from them outwards and upwards upon the earth and the sky, and saw how there too almost every thing was adjusted to that organization; that every object was accommodated to our senses, and every sense an inlet of delight; how to the eye all is beauty, and to the ear all music,-without feeling a triumphant consciousness that the Universe must be under the dominion of paternal love; without recoiling from the supposition, as from a most revolting absurdity, that such an Universe can have been the product of malevolence; or that if so, such power and such wisdom should so signally have failed of the end. Nor, probably, has there ever been a sceptic-even he who has brooded longest and most darkly on this most mournful mystery-who has not at times joyfully surrendered himself to this instinctive consciousness,- and felt, with a gush of rapture, that it has at once swept away, as with a pure and healthful
breeze, the vapours which a hypochondriacal metaphysics had diffused over his soul. We confess that we lay more stress upon this instinctive consciousness, for baffling this difficulty, than on the subtlest and profoundest metaphysical reasonings which man ever framed.
Apart from his main hypothesis, Leibnitz states the alleviations of this overwhelming difficulty, and the probabilities which may justify the supposition that partial evil is universal good,' with characteristic comprehensiveness; and has illustrated them with much vivacity. Thus he remarks, that many things which once appeared only evil, appeared so only to a shallow philosophy, and that as science enlarged, the asserted anomaly vanished; that some infusion of evil may be necessary to give us the highest possible appreciation of the good; as only he who knows what sickness is, can enjoy the exquisite sensations of health in all their rapture, a point which he illustrates with a liveliness which reminds the reader of the celebrated passage at the close of Paley's Treatise on Natural Theology-that two ingredients, one bitter and one sweet, in the cup of destiny, may make a more pleasant draught than the sweet alone. Un peu d'acide, d'acre, ou d'amer, plait souvent mieux que du sucre ; les ombres rehaussent les couleurs; et même une dissonance, placée où il faut, donne du relief à l'harmonie.'
Leibnitz makes the remark, that each man in effect admits that his share of good in life preponderates over the ill ;—a fact which he supports by the universal reluctance of men to die; and in reply to the objection that no man is willing to live his life over again, he makes this original and just observation, that no one would object to take a new lease of life with but a new 'series of events to vary it.' 'On se contenteroit de varier, sans 'exiger une meilleure condition que celle où l'on avoit été.'†
Nor does he forget to insist very largely on the fact, (an essential point in his hypothesis, maintaining as it does, that some evil was inevitable,) that the amount of evil in the whole Universe, embracing the ample domains of innumerable worlds, the vast civitas Dei, may be as nothing compared with the amount of good; even though that evil may be absolutely fearful in extent, and eternal in duration. The great speculatist treats this tremendous theme with all the coolness of a veteran geometer. The ratio of the good to the evil is every thing with him; he deals with the latter, just as he would with a vanishing quantity in his Differential Calculus. It is sufficient with him, that, be the evil ever so great, the good is infinitely greater; and thus disease, Ibid. Part I. § 13.
* Essais sur la Bonté de Dieu, &c. Part I. § 12.
death, sin, and hell only enter as infinitesimals into his processes of moral (if we may use the phrase) differentiation. We confess that, conclusive as is the reasoning which represents mere geometrical magnitudes as nothing, which are to be compared with quantities as many times greater as we please,' we never could derive any consolation from such a species of argument, as applied to those peculiar quantities called ' happiness' and misery; nor be at all more reconciled by it to the origin ' of evil.' Each of the beings to whom this logical solace is applied, is a sentient creature, a little world in himself, to whom his weal or woe is no vanishing quantity, no infinitesimal, but a most serious matter; and, as it would be little comfort to such a being, if miserable, that he was but individually a martyr for the universal good,-(on Leibnitz's theory, that his misery was involved in the choice of the best possible world,' and that God could not but choose the best,')-so we confess we can derive as little comfort from this mode of viewing him. We might perhaps modestly suggest to the metaphysician, that each of such beings must have before him an infinity of misery; but it would be of no use; for he would still have at hand his doctrine of Ultimate Ratios, and his Differential Calculus. He would say that the individual was but an unimportant function of the universe; that the increment of happiness on the whole would be infinitely greater than the increment of misery-though it is true that in each case the weal or woe might be absolutely infinite; and that of two quantities which increase without limit, one may increase so much more rapidly than the other, as not only to increase without limit absolutely, but without limit in the ratio in which it is a multiple of the other.
The heart of a genuine metaphysician,' says Burke, is harder than a piece of the nether millstone.' The heart of Leibnitz was not a hard one; but he was too apt to treat of such matters as these, just as he would have treated problems in the higher geometry.
It is, we confess, no alleviation to us to consider as the final cause of the permission of evil, that it may possibly augment the joys of seraphim, or in some ineffable way give a piquancy and gusto to the delights of paradise; though, how it can do so, is surely as great a mystery as the origin of evil' itself. One would think that those pure and benevolent spirits would consent even to be taxed of some portion of their felicity, if they might thereby but obliterate all evil from the universe; or rather, that this obliteration of evil must necessarily be an augmentation of their happiness. The supposition that any beings could by possibility derive gratification from its presence, would, one should
think, rather apply to the opposite quarter of the universe, and form the characteristic, not of angels, but of demons.
It is true, indeed, that when Leibnitz asserts that the permission of evil is essential to the constitution of his best of all possible worlds,' he does not expressly say that it is the best' inasmuch as it involves the largest possible amount of purity and happiness, and that therefore evil was permitted that these might be augmented; but he every where implies it: and as the preponderance of these elements is the only intelligible criterion to us of one system of things being better' than another, so the supposition that there is some other unimaginable sense in which it can be said that some possible world is the best,' and that for this reason evil was permitted, is wholly gratuitous.
Viewed in any light, this argument of the permission of so much moral and spiritual evil to many, for the purpose of securing the happiness of a greater number, is unsatisfactory. For we shall only have the old difficulty re-appearing under a new form, and at another stage; and shall be just as much perplexed as before, to reconcile with our notions of justice and goodness the destination of myriads to misery, for the purpose of enhancing the happiness of some multiple of those myriads. The only answer that could be given would be that conclusive one of the Apostle'How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past find'ing out,'—an answer with which, for aught we can see, we might just as well have rested satisfied a step earlier in the controversy. The question of the origin of evil' is like a great cavern, to which there is no second outlet; we may pass through many passages and labyrinths, but we are obliged to turn back. at last, and grope our way out by the same way we got in.
On the supposition that evil was absolutely inevitable, or that the Divine being resolved to permit it, for some reasons consistent with all His attributes, but totally unknown to us, then indeed it is not unworthy of the character of Him whose prerogative it is to call light out of darkness,' to subordinate the evil to good, and to yoke the great demon to some useful labour; but to suppose it the object of suffering some worlds to be miserable, to render more worlds happy, will always leave a difficulty as trying as the original knot, and not less requiring the sharpest logical shears to cut it.
Leibnitz endeavours to show that evil was inevitable,-natural, as a certain consequence of moral evil, and moral, as a possible consequence of metaphysical imperfection. But we must confess that, in our judgment, he wholly fails to show it. Even Omnipotence, says he, cannot work contradictions. The cause of evil is privation of perfection, and that which is finite cannot