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infinitely just is to deny his existence, but your statement supposes his existence, and therefore grants his infinite justice.”

All this is mere assertion without attempt at proof. It is worse; it is an unintelligible medley. Suppose we had never before heard of God, and were told for the first time that he is a self-existent, infinite being, would not our first inquiry be: " Infinite in what?" If assured that he is infinite in every holy attribute, would we not further ask: "How do you know it?” The Scriptures do not deal in this kind of patristic logic, but refer us to the works of God, and to his providential care over his creatures, in attestation of his goodness, and to his punishment of vice and reward of virtue, as proof of his justice. But to dispose of the assertion that infinity of being combined with self-existence implies “infinite justice,” we remark, that infinity can scarcely be predicated of justice, and it is doubtful whether any attribute can be properly described as infinite, which does not admit of degrees of comparison. We cannot say with philosophical propriety-just, more just, most just. When we say just, we have expressed a quality or attribute in its fullness. Conventionally speaking, and for convenience, we employ the words“ more just " and

most just,” as when we say, A is a more just judge than B; or, as we say that one mathematician is more correct than another. But philosophical diction is not so indulgent to us; for when we wish to draw an important conclusion by the use of words, we should employ them with regard to their strict meaning. But "infinite ” is a word which strikes the popular

“ mind as exceedingly eulogistic, and it can scarcely realize that when we call God just we have accorded to him as great praise as when we declare him “infinitely” just. Neither can any being be more than perfect. Therefore we ascribe to deity as complete and entire perfection when we say that he is perfect as when we say that he is infinitely perfect.

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We may concede the perfection of his every attribute, and aver that he is infinitely wise, infinitely glorious, etc.; but to say that he is infinitely perfeet or infinitely just is as redundant as to describe an object as infinitely round or infinitely square. We multiply words without addition of meaning when we say more than that one is round, the other square. No man is truthful who will tell one lie. He may approximate truthfulness, but he is not completely, absolutely-in short, he is not truthful; or, as one lexicon defines the word, he is not " wholly full of truth." In this definition the word "wholly” is superfluous. We read of infinite fullness. Can a vessel be more than full ? We so often confound poetical with philosophical diction; the figurative with the real; the double superlative of adoration and affection with the literal realities of fact, that we do injustice to both poetry and philosophy.

Passing this, how do we know that self-existence necessitates the possession of any specific qualities, good or bad? The oldest man is not always the best or wisest, and neither power nor wisdom measures the justice of men ; why should they the ethics of deity? The truth is, fear constrains the theological world to adopt certain dogmatic and complimentary forms of expression when speaking of deity. Likening the infinite to the finite--the human to the divinc-it is supposed the vanity of God delights itself in adulatory phrases and in the self-abnegation of his subjects. That he is especially glorified by the abasement and self-imposed torture of his creatures—such are the conceptions born of fear.

Lambert.-" The finite cannot be the measure of the infinite. God's justice is infinite; the human mind is finite. Hence the latter cannot be the measure of the former.”

We are here told, “ The finite cannot be the measure of the infinite." True, but it may test its nature and quality if it


may not measure its extent. We know enough of space included between two material objects to render it inconceivable to us that space, in any part of the universe, can differ from it save in extent.

You say that “God's justice is infinite;" we admit its perfection, but the question is whether the God of your conception is just. If we know aught of God we are compelled by the laws of our mental and moral being to judge him. If we say that he is righteous we pronounce judgment upon him, which, according to the Father's logic, we cannot do, because the finite cannot judge the infinite. And if not, we can neither affirm nor deny his justice, nor any other of his attributes; and, with regard to his character, the human mind must ever remain in equilibrio. The Father (p. 43, 4th ed.) virtually concedes the right of examination but not of judgment. But it is apparent that if we have the right to think and exaniine any subject, it must be with a view to the formation of an opinion in regard to it, and opinion is judgment.



The Priest “ Begs the Question ”—Should we Pin our Faith to the Sleeves of

Great Men?—The Spirit of Inquiry in the Air--Subtle and Ingenious Argument from Brownson's Quarterly Review ; its Fallacy-Logic and Logical Quibbles~Good-bye to Metaphysics—Is the Bible Inspired ?

INGERSOLL.-" This question cannot be settled by saying that it would be a mere waste of time and space to enumerate the proofs that show that the universe was created by a preexistent and self-conscious being."

The learned priest takes issue with this statement and claims that Mr. Ingersoll is refuted by his, the Father's, averment, that the books are full of refutations of Mr. Ingersoll's arguments, and of proofs positive of the doctrines he controverts! Considering that the good priest is a volunteer, and not, like me, invited to join the intellectual tourney, would not a little modesty on his part become the situation? Should he not, at least, name the books where those invincible proofs may be found? for he says, “it would appear you are ignorant of these proofs." We are told, “The wisest and greatest of mankind have known, studied and pondered these proofs, and been convinced by them.” Francis Bacon was termed by a great poet the “greatest and wisest,” even if the “meanest, of mankind,” yet he believed in witchcraft; and because he did shall we endorse the delusion? He did not believe in “Catholicity," nor did Milton, nor Newton; will you therefore renounce it?

This is the nineteenth century. The spirit of inquiry is in the air, and pervades every avenue of knowledge. With untiring vigilance it watches every new development, and re-examines every scientific fact, every dogma, every metaphysical conclusion, be it old or new. No impediment can stay the grand current of human thought.

We are glad to publish, word for word, the argument in proof of the existence of God, taken from Brownson's Quarterly Review, and which is incorporated in the "Notes.” It is

“ marked by a subtlety and ingenuity of logic which must command respect even with those who dispute its conclusions. It runs thus: “I allow you to doubt all things if you wish, till you come to the point where doubt denies itself. Doubt is an act of intelligence; only an intelligent agent can doubt. It as much demands intellect to doubt as it does to believe, to deny as it does to affirm. Universal doubt is, therefore, an impossibility, for doubt cannot, if it would, doubt the intelligence that doubts, since to doubt that would be to doubt itself. You cannot doubt that you doubt, and then, if you doubt, you know that you doubt, and there is one thing, at least, you do not doubt, namely, that you doubt. To doubt the intelligence that doubts would be to doubt that you doubt, for without intelligence there can be no more doubt than belief. Intelligence then you must assert, for without intelligence you cannot even deny intelligence, and the denial of intelligence by intelligence contradicts itself, and affirms intelligence in the very act of denying it. Doubt, then, as much as you will, you must still affirm intelligence as the condition of doubting, or of asserting the possibility of doubt, for what is not cannot act.

“ This much, then, is certain, that however far you may carry your denials, you cannot carry them so far as to deny intelligence, because that would be denial of denial itself.

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