Obrázky na stránke

as saying that man is a mere product of the Nature existing before him, is to be explained by the conservation of its productive energy, and is a mere product of brute beings, or still lower physical forms,-a frivolous materialistic theory. Rational beings are specifically distinct from Nature, which therefore is not a sufficient cause of spirit. The lower cannot be sufficient cause for the higher, but is the necessary medium for preserving the unity of the world, although the lower furnishes no means for explaining the higher. In order to explain the origin of man, a creative power must be supposed, not yet introduced into Nature, and not exhausted in it, but towering above it. Proceeding even on empirical grounds, we must renounce the attempt to derive absolutely from one another all that follows one upon another, or is mediated one by another. To Nature, spirit is a miracle, a miracle being that which is inexplicable from the given world-system as such, although not on this account destitute of adequate cause. With this the unity of the world very well consists, unity not requiring uniformity of being throughout creation. In the unity of the world there is room not merely for Nature, but spirit. We have even a more immediate consciousness of the necessity of spirit than of Nature. In the next place, if we would comprise in one the two grand aspects of the world— nature and spirit—the second of which cannot be derived from the first by itself, we need to seek a higher whole, in which the later stages, without springing from the earlier, are seen to be something eternally involved in this whole as an essential element, nay, in which both are included in internal relationship to each other and for each other, but yet in fitting sequence.

This whole is not the temporary worldsystem, but the divine idea of the world which, as perpetually active, becomes also, through God's creative will, the real world-cause. This eternal idea of the world, which is also the cause governing its emergence in actual reality, includes in itself the intimate coherence of all the parts of the cosmos, so that in the formation of the lower stages, which already have a reference to the higher, of which they are the necessary

a instrumental means, the formation of the higher really begins ; for the accomplishment of the end begins with the formation of that which is destined to be its instrument and organ. Since, therefore, the eternal world-idea, despite the plurality of creative acts, remains perpetually the same, even the appearance in the given world-system of a new creative manifestation, is no reason at all for alleging a dislocation of the world-system, or a change in God and His world-idea. On the contrary, it would imply an inconceivable change in the world - idea and in God, if the actual introduction of the end by a new divine act were wanting, while the former stages were in existence as the actual instrumental means in preparation for this end. How can Nature lay claim to be the entire world, and to admit into itself nothing that is not formed by its productive power, by it as the sufficient cause ? This, in case the first existence beside God were matter, would mean that the world is nothing but matter. But so little is Nature the end of the world, that in the divine world-idea (as similarly in God's inner essence itself) it is rather conceived as a medium and organ or basis, and not even in God Himself can Nature be conceived as its own end.

Observation 1.—The importance for the idea of miracle of what has been established is obvious of itself. Creation, in so far as it is inexplicable from itself, from an already existing order of nature, is in reality a miracle, nay the primary miracle, but a miracle comprehensible in the necessity of the“ that,” though not self-evident in its “how,”and springing from the rational laws of divine love,,hence a miracle only apprehended by a mind not dominated by the finite, i.e. only apprehended by faith, which may and ought to grow into knowledge of God.

Observation 2.- In the interest of the eternal immutability of the divine action, and with a view to the ostensible exaltation of divine omnipotence, Augustine supposes that God does not carry out His creative work in separate acts, but in one only, in which everything is implicitly established (cf. Aug. Dorner, Augustinus, s. theol. System, p. 35 ff., 71 ff.). But a successive creation would only be inconsistent with omnipotence, in case succession were imposed on God by something external to Him, not in case His volition itself wills it. Just as little is the true notion of God's unchangeableness infringed by the supposition of a succession in His causal action. God accompanies time, as with His knowledge ($ 27), so with His action. He need not, to maintain His unchangeableness, produce eternally the same effect, and does not, unless we suppose that there is no historical


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


in the world. Here also in Augustine the influence of Neo-Platonism upon his idea of God makes itself felt.Quite recently, chiefly in consequence of the new movement in natural science due to Darwin, opposition has arisen against the supposition of a plurality of creative acts on the part of God, in the interest of the world's unity,' the notion being, that this requires everything occurring in the world, since its beginning, to be referred to its own forces as its sufficient cause. “The germs or causes of everything to come are already implanted and present in the universe from the beginning, although at first in a latent form, and only passing into reality after perhaps a long process. Thus, e.g., man is already potentially created in Nature.” If the meaning be, that Nature as Nature is already potential man, and the animal world a sufficient reason to explain the origin of man, then man is rated as a mere animal being, and the specific distinction between Nature and spirit, between physical and moral, is denied (see infra). But if the meaning be, that in Nature animal potentialities are indeed created and present in a latent form, but at the same time, and in distinction from them, the germs of future spirits, perhaps in this case the maintenance of the specific distinction between Nature and spirit may be possible. But, to say nothing of the fact that we should thus enter upon the unknown land of latent, slumbering forces or qualitates occulto, the chief question remains, How is the emergence of the spiritual potentialities into reality to be brought about? Were it said:

Nature, which existed before man, brings spirit, which was only latent in it, forth into reality, apart from any action of God," we should again arrive at Naturalism, and that in a deistical form; and the result would be the same, if after the creation of the first man all creative activity of God, every new intervention of God, were excluded. In this case all would be seminally created in Adam. All would be absolutely the product of the human nature created in Adam, or of humanity left to itself. Hence even Schmid, in his excellent work, has here left scope for new acts of God occurring in time. He supposes that the germs of everything brought forth in the world's history, existing from the beginning, and coeval with the world's creation, are present in the first instance, inerely in a latent, imprisoned form, and in due time are liberated or “set free." But still every time a divine act is required, summoning the potentialities into actual existence, and thereby first leading the creative will to its destined goal; and in this what we desire is acknowledged, namely, the resolution of

1 K. Schmid, Die Darwinschen Theorien, 1876.

[ocr errors]

creative action into a series of acts, only that on the first theory a superfluous pre-existence of the higher in the lower would be postulated (e.g. of Christ in Adam), which only in appearance contributes more to the unity of the world than the view advocated above, according to which the real connection of specifically distinct orders lies in the receptiveness of the lower for the higher. For the specific distinction of the physical and spiritual remaining, this distinction must have asserted itself, even in relation to the germs of the spiritual alongside and in the physical, and the commencement of the real union of the two will still be dependent on the existence of living receptiveness in the lower for the higher. So that even thus the real but still sufficient safeguard for the unity of the world lies in the last resort only in the divine worldidea, which stands security for the union of the physical and spiritual


$ 35. Transition.

Conservation with Co-operation and Providence, as well as

Government of world, is to be distinguished from Creation.

Co-operation, Providence, and Government are teleological in character, and have regard to final, Creation and Conservation primarily to efficient, causes. The divine co-operation (Concursus) is the intermediate idea common to the two groups, although belonging primarily to the first. Creation itself presupposes nothing but the creative cause, while the other ideas have to do, not merely with divine, but also with finite causality, which owes it existence to the divine. The Concursus (of God) stands in relation to the reality of the world which manifests itself already in living activity. The world's existence comes about apart from the co-operation of finite causality. It is otherwise with conservation. If we take away the activity of the creature from the idea of conservation, it can no longer be distinguished from that of creation. Instead of conservation only a creatio continua is left. The latter view expresses a noble truth, provided it imply not that God every moment makes a new beginning, which would mean that He institutes nothing living, organized, continuous, and therefore no real world, provided the intention simply be not to allow the fresh, unique character of the idea of creation to disappear in that of conservation, but even in it to keep full in view the divine fount of life, without excluding the spontaneous activity of the creature. No doubt the energy in the act of self-conservation is every moment to be referred to the divine causality, which is conservative, not merely creative, only in so far as the causality originated co-operates in the preservation of its energy. The doctrine of conservation is thus essentially the doctrine of the divine concursus, and is of decisive importance in opposition to Acosmism and Deism.

§ 36.

Little as the idea of creation should be resolved into that of

conservation ($ 34, 6), just as little should the converse be done. Still, a false independence of the two ideas in regard to each other is also to be avoided. Both errors are avoided in the statement that a just idea of the divine activity in regard to the existence of the world, as a living world, is only formed by combining both views. If the creation-idea, as such, merely implies that God calls another real entity from non-existence into existence, the idea of conservation affirms that, for the purpose of giving the world a permanent character, God constitutes (setzt) it an abiding force, itself in turn a cause, and in its higher stages even a causality in its own reproduction. Conservation, therefore, is the continuance of the divine creative will, but in such a way as to embrace what is instituted (das Gesetzte) in its vitality, nay, employ its secondary causality as the means of its reproduction, by which course it becomes a creaturely image of the divine

[ocr errors]

[The Translator would remark that the word setzen (to set, place), so fre. quently occurring in Dorner, cannot always be rendered by the same word in English. Institute, constitute, originate, establish, are the most common renderings. Posit, if it were allowable, would be the best equivalent.]

« PredošláPokračovať »