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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 16

Note B.—Page 16

Note B.—Page 16.

"If therefore, we speak of the mind as a series of feelings, we are obliged to complete the statement by calling it a series of feelings which is aware of itself as past and future; and we are reduced to the alternative of believing that the mind, or Ego, is something different from any series of feelings or possibilities of them, or of accepting the paradox, that something which ex hypothesi is but a series of feelings, can be aware of itself as series."—(Mill. Ex. Sir W. H.'s Phil., pp. 212, 213.)

"Belief in the reality of self is indeed a belief which no hypothesis enables us to escape. . . . . But now, unavoidable as is this belief—established though it is, not only by the assent of mankind at large, endorsed by divers philosophers, but by the suicide of the sceptical argument, it is yet a belief admitting of no justification by reason; nay, indeed, it is a belief which reason, when pressed for a distinct answer, rejects—(H. Spencer's Principles.)

The proof of the existence of a personal God comes from within man's own soul. The following passage from Jacobi page 23 is given by Sir W. Hamilton (Lect. Metaph., vol. 1, pp. 40, 41.) "But is it unreasonable to confess that we believe in God, not by reason of the nature (in contrast to the world of intelligence) which conceals, but by reason of the supernatural in man, which alone reveals and proves Him to exist?

"Nature conceals God: for through her whole domain Nature reveals only fate, only an indissoluble chain of mere efficient causes, without beginning and without end, excluding with equal necessity both providence and chance. An independent agency, a free original commencement within her sphere and proceeding from her powers, is absolutely impossible. Working without will, she takes counsel neither of the good nor of the beautiful; creating nothing, she casts up from her dark abyss only eternal transformations of herself, un-consciously and without an end; furthering with the same ceaseless industry, decline and increase, death and life—never producing what alone is of God, and what supposes liberty—the virtuous, the immortal. Man reveals God: for man by his intelligence rises above nature, and in virtue of this intelligence is conscious of himself as a power not only independent of, but opposed to, nature, and capable of resisting, conquering, and controlling her. As man has a living faith in this power, superior to nature, which dwells in him, so has he a belief in God, a feeling, an experience of His existence. As he does not believe in this power, so does he not believe in God; he sees, he experiences nought in existence but nature, necessity, fate."