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but apparent, and arose from a difference in the mode in which these parts of Nature are presented to the sense. We see man's dawning consciousness of the necessity under which he lies, in order rightly to understand the world, to be aware of the shortcomings of his perception, and to include within his thought that which seems at first to contradict his sense.
The proposition that Life is not a distinction of the organic world, but is a common property of the whole of Nature, and only made visible to us in the organic, implies, of course, that relations are really existent in the inorganic that do not directly affect our senses ; so that we receive at first a deceptive impression. It gives us the same challenge which the affirmation that motion never ceases gives; the challenge, in a word, which is the very touchstone of science to feel in one way and think in another.
But the history of man's thought respecting motion -first assuming it as two, and then learning that it is one-has farther suggestions for us. It is true that in learning that motion does not cease, even on this earth where practically every motion so surely ends, the supposed distinct, and inferior, earthly motions are seen to differ only in mode from the heavenly motions, that had been exalted above them. But this is not the whole : we have learnt something also respecting the heavenly motions which mere observation of them never could have taught us : for motion is not presented to us as we most truly think of it, in the heavens any more than on the earth. Below, we see it under conditions which make it seem not to continue ; above, we see it under conditions which make it seem not to continue in the same straight line. We hold two properties true of motion : that it continues, and that it proceeds always in the same line. Now we nowhere see motion presenting to us both these characters. Every straight motion ceases; every continuous motion is a curve. We always perceive it under conditions which hide from us one or other of these two characters, which yet we unhesitatingly affirm always to belong to it. We always see it, either under resistance which makes it practically cease, or under gravity which makes it practically curved. What man has done is to unite in his thought of Motion at once the notending which he perceives in the heavens, and the not-bending which he discovers upon earth : from the two presentations of motion to him (which once he took for granted meant two kinds of motion), he has raised up MOTION : the one everlasting, rectilinear motion that he knows, and which Nature everywhere acknowledges for her own.
I would suggest that the very same lesson is put before us again by the diverse-seeming organic and inorganic world. There is some unity, some truth of Nature—when we know it we shall be sure to call it Life, which is presented to us under these two forms; neither truly the one Life as it is, but both together giving us the key to it. In the inorganic we miss some characters that it possesses ; in the organic we fail of others. But also each possesses some that the other lacks. The subject cannot be treated yet; it floats before us but as the misty outline of a distant shore. Yet, even now we may see so much as this: that in the inorganic we seem to discover uniformity, unchangeableness, necessity : in the organic we seem to perceive spontaneity, action, power. Yet in each, as it so appears, something is wanting: the unchangeable necessity seems to reveal no action ; the spontaneous action seems as if changelessness and necessity were absent from it. Each presents to us that which we already begin to know cannot be the truth. Nay, already we have begun, even if unconsciously, to interpret each by the other : especially to discover that in organic things there is no lack of necessity or want of perfect order of causation. So that already there glimmers before our eyes a vision [is it not the vision of the Life that truly is ?]—of an action in which also
is necessity; of a necessity that does not banish action. It is true, we directly perceive it nowhere. Neither do we, nor can we, anywhere perceive that to which alone we truly give the name of motion ; but nowhere also do we perceive anything that does not. demonstrate and reveal its presence.'
But to come to matters of demonstration : if it is proved that the force in organic things, and through the presence of which we call them living, is a force coming from the inorganic world, and returning into it, is there any longer any meaning in affirming that
Life' is confined to the organic? If it be meant that this force exists in a peculiar mode in the organic, different from any other mode, of course, it is true; but it is as true of electricity in a wire, or magnetism in an iron bar. The organic force appears to have some special relation to the properties we term chemical, and may-in some respects truly, though doubtless very inadequately—be imagined as being a resistance to certain chemical tendencies, which establishes a state of proneness to chemical change. This is like, not unlike, the inorganic. Or, if it be said that the distinction of the organic is not in its force, but in its forms, in the complexity and adaptations of its structures, so manifold in use ; then two things must be remembered : (1) that the name of life is not limited to such adaptations and formations of special structures, but is given quite apart from them—the white of egg is living; and (2) the source of these adaptations of structure that strike us so in the organic world, is exactly the question. Why is not the natural inference true, that they spring from, and express, an equal or superior adaptation, and beauty of structure and order, in the whole universe around, but which we, by the narrow range of our perception, cannot see until it is made visible to us in these smaller wholes ? Does our not perceiving a thing prove that it is not present? If our puny lives and capacities did constitute elements in a great living whole, should we be at once perceptive of it? It must be remembered that the burden of the proof lies, not on him who says the organic and inorganic worlds are one though differently related to us, but on him who says that they are different.
But it is not necessary to urge reasoning. The evidence that the structure and adaptations of the organic world are determined by demonstrable conditions around them, and so express relations that have their source in the larger Nature, is daily growing more complete. That the forms with all their delicacy are imparted from without, is as evident as that the force that works within them is imparted from.