近世思想中之科學精神

維基文庫,自由的圖書館
跳到导航 跳到搜索
近世思想中之科學精神
The Scientific Spirit in Modern Thought.
作者:托馬斯·亨利·赫胥黎
1915年11月15日
譯者:劉文典
本作品收錄於《新青年/卷1

  英國赫胥黎。Huxley近代生物學大家也。生於一八二五年。卒於一八九五年。 所著天演論。 侯官嚴氏曾譯為華言。 風行中土。 斯篇乃鈔自其所著“LaySermon”中之“On the advisableness of improving natural knowledge”者也。劉叔雅識。

一、去今二百年前。當千六百六十六年正月之初旬。吾輩祖宗之居此古大城者。生息於二大災害之間。其一之淫威雖過。猶未甚遠。其他則方來者也。

二、傳聞即在吾輩今所聚處數步之內。彼癘疫之慘禍。發現於一六六四年之末。疫癘為災。雖非創見。然此度之酷烈。實從來所未有。禍我英倫人民。而於倫敦特甚。直至次年猶未已焉。小說家戴福。於其所著最翔實之小說“大疫紀”中。運其妙筆。描寫此數月間之情狀。其記“死亡”曰。“死亡”攜其伴侶痛苦恐怖輩徐步倫敦狹隘之街衢。使平昔之喧闐。化為沈寂。所聞者惟五萬死人之喪者之哭聲。發狂者淒愴之呼聲。祈禱聲。與夫絕望之余而自暴者之狂號而已。

三、然自千六百六十六年正月。死亡率減至其常度。病疫者不過往往有之而已。避疫他徒之富民。皆返其居。孑遺之民。復安其業。服務行樂如常。都會生活之潮流。以方興之勢。呈復其故道之觀矣。

四、然曇花一現。新興之希望復歸泡影矣。大疫誠不至再發。然千六百六十六年秋。復有大火。其所以禍倫敦者。猶之大疫也。其年九月。此壁壘森嚴光輝爛然之城。毀其六分之五。所余者唯灰燼焦土。與其市民不折不撓之氣而已。

五、吾輩祖宗之解釋此等災難也。自持其特別之意見焉。彼等信此疫乃上帝之裁判。故自懺悔而謹服從之。然於大火則甚憤恨。以其起於人之不仁也。彼輩之見。偏於忠君或清教徒派。故疑火為共和黨或舊教徒所縱也。

六、惟吾思設有人焉。立於當時人口最多最繁盛之區。即吾今日所立處。以吾今日向公等所陳述之理。告吾輩之祖宗。謂彼等之說盡妄。謂大疫非上帝之裁判。猶大火之非某政治宗教之黨派所為。謂火疫二者皆彼等所自造成。謂彼由各方面觀察。皆非人力所可得施。而顯為天神之震怒。敵人之陰謀。如斯二鉅災者。當自留意以防其復發。則人將斥其汙瀆天神也。

七、距大疫之發生約二十年前。二三靜慮深思之士。結為一社。以謀自然知識之進步相號召。諸公結社之目的。一發起人。道之至為明晰。其言曰。“吾輩之事業。(除卻神學與國事)在於論究哲學之探討。如物理、解剖、幾何、天文、航海、統計、磁氣、化學、機械、及自然界諸實驗。皆在所研求。傍及國內外治學之情狀。吾輩於血液之循環。血管之瓣。乳糜管。淋巴管。歌白尼氏說。彗星與新發見諸星之性質。木星之衛星。土星之為橢圓形。(當時見其如此)太陽面上之斑與其自轉。月面之不平均及月體學。金星水星之諸現像。遠鏡之改善。及磨玻璃為鏡之法。空氣之重量。可否有真空。自然果惡之否。陀力士理氏之實驗水銀。重物之下降。與其下降之速度。及其他凡百類此之事物。皆研究之。其中數者在當時猶為新發明。其他亦未為世所熟知承認如今日也。又英倫之倍根。弗羅連斯之伽理尼以還。意大利法蘭西德意誌及吾英倫。有稱新哲學者。學子競研究之。凡關於此者亦在吾輩所研求者之列也”。此宿學瓦利斯博士於千六百九十六年所著。記其前半稘事之文也。諸社友集會於阿格斯佛之威爾金博士家。博士乃定為監督牧師者也。其後相將入倫敦。遂動國王之聽矣。

八、於是彼好新哲學之六青年。在阿格斯佛或倫敦。互相集會於其寓所。當十七稘中葉。人數實力皆大增。至其末葉。彼“自然知識共進會”已聲譽隆起。得國人之崇敬。視為吾邦學術之中樞。群流之冠冕。其令名直至今日保持弗墜也。

九、牛頓之得刊行其傑作“原理”一書者。由此學會助之也。縱世之一切書籍皆毀。但得此學會所刊行之“哲學紀錄”一書獨存。則物理學之基礎。絕未動搖。前二稘人智之大進步。猶得錄存其大要。此可斷言。即吾人今日。亦不見有學術衰微之朕兆也。今之時代。亦猶瓦理斯博士之時。吾儕之事業。(除神學國事外)在於討論研究哲學之問題。惟吾人今日之數學。雖牛頓復生。猶當入校而學之。今之統計學、磁氣學、化學、與自然界之實驗。實組織物理化學之知識為一團使伽理尼再生。得一瞥之。足償其所受於宗教裁判所諸僧正之苦也。今之物理學解剖學。包含無量數之物體。開拓宇宙間無數新世界。把捉至復雜之問題。彼威撒理及哈威輩。茍睹其所布之種。竟成大木。目將為之眩也。

十、今吾人已知疫癘唯蔔居於不潔者之家而已。此輩所處之都會必狹隘。街衢之水必不疏通。且糞穢狼籍。其家汙水必不宣泄。光線空氣必不足。其人必不沐浴。衣食必不精潔。千六百六十五年之倫敦。即如斯之都會也。東洋諸都會。為疫癘所永住之鄉。亦如斯者也。挽近吾人於自然略有所知。稍服從之。因吾人自然界知識有此一端之進步。與微細之服從。而疫癘自此遂絕。惟此知識猶甚簡陋。服從亦猶未至。故傷寒霍亂之害。尚未能除。然使吾人知識更進步更完全表現之。則倫敦可以永無傷寒霍亂之災。猶之十七稘初葉。疫癘之掃蕩倫敦。屈指計之。不下三度。而今則數百年不識此物。此甚可憑信。絕非過言也。

一一、以上所陳。未有不可以事實證明之者也。其事實中所包括之原理。今之思想家莫不固信不移。今吾國人之罹於火災饑饉疫癘。及其他災害之起於不能制禦自然預知自然者。其數少於彌爾頓時之人。而康寧福祉。則較其時之人為多。此多寡異同。實皆由於吾人自然界知識之進步。與施此知識於人生日用也。

一二、彼蔑視自然界知識者。好發高論。謂其進步但有裨益於物質文明。吾今姑承其說。姑認創立此學會者。舍此無復他求。然吾謂在彼能辨別大事與要事者。必視此同心戮力以謀人類自然界知識之進步之本原。較彼大疫為尤偉大。視其光輝較大火為尤燦爛。其嘉惠人類者無窮。以彼大火大疫之所損害者較之。則此區區損失真不足數。此必非過言也。

一三、每一人罹疫而死。則數百人實反賴此得生。且藉紡績機器之力以分享世間之幸福焉。大火之害雖甚烈。然不能燒絕煤炭供給之途。每日利用汽機采掘於地下。其所開發之富源。若以古倫敦所損失之鉅億較之。殆不足道也。

一四、然紡績機與汽機畢竟玩具而已。其價值亦偶然耳。自然界知識則創造無數更精練之計畫者也。惟未能直以之為起富之具。故民猶未解歌頌其功也。

一五、當人類之理性。初與自然事實相接觸之時。一切自然界知識固已植其根基矣。彼野蠻人初知一手之指。其數少於兩手渡河涉川。較捷於遠溯其源。石片不撥則不移。握於掌中。掌舒則墜。光熱與日俱來去。木片置火中則燃。動植物有生死。以梃擊人則人怒。或反擊以報之。以果實贈人則人喜。或將以魚酬之。人茍多識此類事物。則當此之時。於數學、物理學、化學、生物學、及倫理、經濟、政治諸科。固皆已粗具其大略矣。即宗教亦與科學同時萌芽也。下所舉語句。試玩味之。此雖新譯然其思想則已三千年矣。

星辰麗中天。

燦然拱明月。

風靜萬籟寂。

群峰如堵列。

碧天渺無際。

眾星光澄澈。

下有牧羊兒。

欣然自怡悅。

使彼草昧之希臘人。能受吾人之感想至於此度。則亦將如吾人之欣喜未終。淒愴繼至。此無可疑也。蓋此喚起人類智靈之微光。僅一現於彼不得知不可知之深淵中。益顯人性缺憾之不可得補。其所願望之不可得達而已。然此悲哀。此制限。(智識)此不可思議。即諸宗教本質之所在。而欲以智靈所賦之形式體現之者。即彼高深之神學所自起也。

一六、宗教學術諸知識之堂構。雖歷千載。猶甚微弱。至關於宇宙攝理。唯有其泛概之意見。然其基礎則不得謂非植於人智初放曙光之時也。自始彼野蠻人亦必見有表示因果之現象在。且知無論若何。必有一定之秩序存乎其間以為之準則焉。嘗思雖在最愚之崇拜偶像者。當亦想像石中有神。司其墜落。果中有神。使其味甘也。如上所陳。人類蓋自始即懷積極的科學之見地。無可疑矣。

一七、然關於一切較高遠之事。彼不學者。常以其己身為比較之標準。自居為世界之中樞。裁量之尺度彼蓋不得不如此也。見其己身偶發之意誌。其力足以生甚多之事件也。自以其他更大之事。歸之其他更大之意誌。視宇宙間萬物。為與己相類之大力者之意誌所生。以其己身之可慰可激也。謂此大力者亦有喜怒之情焉。舉幾人類對於世界之規畫動作。莫不經過此等觀念。或尚有未能全脫者也。人之知識既達於此級。且修養自然界知識以求增加神之光榮。改善人之境況。此外無復他望。然則其視自然界知識進步之效果為何如耶。今試一研究之。

一八、今試舉例以明之。古人以春秋之代序。定稼穡之次第。以星辰之方位。作航海之指南。以物質之見地觀之。猶有視此更聰敏者乎。就宗教之見地觀之。猶有視此更富於天機者乎。研求如是有裨實用之自然知識。其效果若何。公等當皆能言之。此即天文學也。天文學在諸科學中與人以無關日用之觀念。而又最足使人破除先民所傳來之信念者也。使吾人知此狀若甚堅之大地。不過為旋轉太空無數微塵之一。吾人頂上所謂平和之穹蒼者。其實為至精微之物質所滿布。其諸分子奔騰澎湃。有若怒濤焉。示吾人以此廣大無極不可思議之空間。唯質與力。循其定律以運行。啟迪吾人使致思於宇宙現像。以其性質考之。宇宙現像必有其終極。然揆之吾人之時間觀念。即此亦足證其始之遙遠無涯。猶其終之不可測度也。凡此諸端。皆天文學之教也。

一九、雖然。彼求食而得思想者。非僅研究天文學者也。世界有較以唧筒撒水為更有利無害者乎。然由此唧筒遂生自然能容真空與否之問題。而自然界之容真空。與空氣之有重量。乃因以發明矣。由此以推知發生重量之力。實與宇宙並存。約言之。即普遍重力。與勢力不滅之理。皆由此而得闡明也。吾人研究如何使用瓦斯之際。遂發明酸素。進而為近世化學。與夫物質不滅之說。

二十、又當車輪回轉極速。求防其軸生熱之方法。事之簡單而又全屬實用。寧復有過於此者耶。禦車者能略解此。其益何限。茍有機巧之士。能明其所以生熱之故。因以推得防熱之方。寧不大佳。而魯姆佛伯爵即其人也。伯爵與其後繼者。實示吾人以勢力不滅之理者也。彼研求自然界知識。號為物理化學家者。小之至於秋毫。大之至於六合。皆能隨地得其一定之秩序。不易之連續焉。

二一、然物理學與解剖學則何如耶。解剖學者。生理學者。醫學者。其事業在減少人類之痛苦。蓋皆委身於最實用直接之事者也。然彼輩目先果局促於實利之一隅耶。吾恐彼輩殆破除舊思想之健將也。使天文學者以空間遠大無極。宇宙實無窮盡之理臚列吾人之前。物理化學者。說物體組織之精微。道物質與力之實無終極。又二者皆倡道宇宙間無所不有一定之秩序。不易之連續。則彼生物學者。不特盡承諸說。且將益以更足驚人之言。猶之天文學家。明地球非宇宙之中心。而為離心之一點。彼博物學者。亦明人類非生物界之中心。而視為生物無數變化中之一種。猶之天文學者。於太陽系之組織上。見時間無窮之徵。彼生物學者。亦得睹太古處此世界諸生物之狀態。以人類經驗徵之。此亦無窮也。又生理學者之發明生命亦猶之物理化學之現像。實起於特殊分子之配置焉。任彼探討至何地步。一定之秩序。不易之因果。實隨處表現。與在自然界他處無以異也。

二二、以上所陳皆自然界知識之進步所印於吾人心中之新觀念也。吾人已識上下四方古往今來之為無窮。且知地球為宇宙間目所得見處之一微塵。唯其期間。若以吾人之時間標準較之。則為無窮耳。又人類者。不過圓輿上無量數生物中之一而已。且實歷無數級進化。乃成今日之狀態也。加之。自然界知識每進一步。則宇宙間為有一定秩序之觀念益廣且堅。(此一定之秩序。現於所謂自然律者之中)且使人信無定律之心為之弛懈。其範圍為之狹隘。於偶然之變化不復置信焉。

二三、此等觀念。其組織之良否非所問也。此等觀念之存在。與其為自然界知識之進步所不可逃免之結果。實無人能否認之。誠如是則其方事變更吾人所懷最重要之信念。決無疑義也。

英文[编辑]

1. This time two hnndred years ago—in the beginning of January,1666—those of our forefathers who inhabited this great and ancient city[1.謂英京倫敦] took breath[2.生息.] between the shocks of two fearful calamities:one not quite past, although its fury had abated; the other to come.[3.The other to come=The other calamidy is to come.]

2.Within a few yards of the very spot on which we are assembled,so the tradition runs, that painful and deadly malady, the plague ,appeared in the latter months of 1664; and, though no new visitor [4.直譯當作“雖非生客”意譯作“雖非創見”]smote the people of England, and especially of her capital, with a violence unknown before, in the course of the following year. The hand of a master [5.大家之手筆.] has pictured what happened in those dismal months; and in that truest of fictions, The History of the Plague Year,Defoe [ 6. Daniel Defoe(1661?—1731)即著魯賓生漂流記者也。] shows Death,[7. 此 Death之用法在修辭學謂之 Personification. 擬之為人者也。 ] with

every accompaniment of pain and terror,stalking through the narrow streets of old London, and changing their busy hum [8.倫敦市中之喧聲] into a silence broken only by the wailing of the mourners of fifty thousand dead; by the woful denunciations and mad prayers of fanatics; and by the madder yells of despairing profligates.[9.此Profligates 不作無賴解乃謂絕望之余而自暴自棄者也]

3.But, about this time[1.指正月]in 1666, the deathrate had sunk tonearly its ordinary amount; a case of plague occurred only here and there,and the richer citizens who had flown from the pest had returnedto their dwellings. The remnant of the people began to toil at the accustomed round [2.The accustomed round & c.如常.] of duty or ofpleasure; and the stream of city life bid fair[3.有望。]to flow backalong its old bed, with renewed and uninterrupted vigor.

4.The newly kindled hope was deceitful. The great plague indeed,returned no more; but what it had done for the Londoners, the great fire, which broke out in the autumn of 1666, did for London; and, in September of that year, a heap of ashes and the indestrucible energy of the people were all that remained of the glory of five sixths of the city within the walls [4.The city within the walls=London, 蓋古代倫敦固有城垣也。]

5.Our forefathers had their own ways of accounting for[5.解釋。 說明。]each of these calamities. They submitted to the plague in humility and in penitence, for they believed it to be the judgment of God. But towards the fire they were furiously indignant, interpretingit as the effect af the malice of man, as the work of the Republicans,or of the Papists, according as their prepossessions ran in favor of loyalty or of Puritanism. [ 6. Their prepossessions ran …… of Puritanism. 彼等之偏見傾於忠君及清教徒主義。]

6.It would, I fancy, have fared but ill [1.Have fared but ill —but=only, fared ill=happed ill. ] with one who, standing where I now stand, in what was then a thickly peopled and fashionable part of London, should have broached to our ancestors the doctrine which I now propound to you—that all their hypotheses were alike wrong; that the plague was no more, in their sense, Divine judgment, than the fire was the work of any political, or of any religious, sect; but that they were themselves the authors of both plague and fire, and that they must look to themselves to prevent the recurrence of calamities, toall appearance [2.To. all appearance=由各方面觀之] so peculiary beyond the reach of human control—so evidently the result of the wrath of God or of the craft and subtlety of an enemy [ 3 .Enemy 謂共和黨及舊教徒。]…

7.Some twenty years before the outbreak of the plague, a few calm and thoughtful students banded themselves together for the purpose,asthey phrased it, of "improving natural knowledge. " The ends they proposed to attain cannot be stated more clearly than in the words ofone of the founders of the organization: "Onr business was(precluding matters of theology and state affairs) to discourse and consider of philosophical enquiries, and such as related thereunto:—as Physick, [4. Physick, Staticks; Magneticks, etc 當日之綴字法如是 ] Anatomy, Geometry, Astronomy, Navigation, Staticks, Magneticks, Chymicks, Mechanicks, and Natural Experiments; with the state of these studies and their cultivation at home and abroad. We then discoursed of the circulation of the blood, the valves in the veins, the venae lactae, [5.Venoe lacteoe 乳糜管] the lymphatic vessels, the Copernican[ 7 .Nikolaus Copernicus(1473—1543)波蘭之天文學家首倡太陽居中地球繞行之說者] hypothesis, the nature of comets and new stars, the satellites of Jupiter, the oval shape (as it then appeared) of Saturn, the spots onthe sun and its turning on its own axis, the inequalities and selenography[8.Selenography. 月體學 descriplon of the moon,] of the moon, the several phases of Venus and Mercury, the improvement of telescopes and grinding of glasses for that purpose, the weight of air, the possibility or impossibility of vacuities and nature's abhorrence there of,[9.Mature's abhorrence thereof, —thereof當上文之Vacuities直譯之作自然深惡真空, 其義即天地間無處無物質也] the Torricellian[10.Enangelista Torricelli(1608—1647) 意大利之物理學家以實驗水銀而發明晴雨表者] experiment in quicksilver,the descent of heavybodies and the degree of acceleration therein, with divers other things of like nature, some of which were then but new discoveries, and others not so generally known and embraced as now they are; with other things appertaining to what hath been called the new Philosophy, which, from the times of Galileo[11.Galileo( 1564—1642)意大意之天文家] at Florence, and Sir Francis Bacon[12. Francis Bacon.(1561—1626)英之大哲學家](Lord Verulam)in England, hath been much cultivated in Italy, France,Germany, and other parts abroad, as well as with us in England." The learned Dr. Wallis, writing in 1696 , narrates, in these words, what happened half a century before, or about 1645. The associates met at Oxford, in the rooms of Dr. Wilkins, who was destined to become a bishop; and subsequently coming together in London, they attracted the notice of the king ……

8.Thus it was that the half-dozen young men, studious of the "NewPhilosophy," who met in one another's lodgings in Oxford or in London , in the middle of the seventeenth century, grew in numerical and inreal strength, until, in its latter part, the "Royal Society for theImprovement of Natural Knowledge" had already become famous; and hadacquired a claim upon the veneration of Englishmen, which it has eversince retained, as the principal focus of scientific activity in ourislands, and the chief champion of the cause it was formed to support .

9.It was by the aid of the Royal Society that Newton publishedhis Principia,. If all the books in the world except the PhilosophicalTransactions were destroyed, it is safe to say that the foundationsof physical science would remain unshaken, and that the vastintellectual progress of the last two centuries would be largely, though incompletely, recorded. Nor have any signs of halting or ofdecrepitude manifested themselves in our own times. As in Dr. Wallis's days, so in these, "our business is, precluding theology andstate affairs, to discourse and consider of Philosophical enquiries. "But our "Mathematick" is one which Newton would have to go to schoolto learn; our "Staticks, Mechanicks, Chymicks, and NaturalExperiments" constitute a mass of Physical and chemical knowledge, aglimpse at which would compensate Galileo for the doings of a scoreof inquisitorial cardinals;[2.A glimpse at which …… inquisitorialcardinalo.昔Goliles 倡地球公轉說宗教裁判所捕之下獄備受酷虐今茍得一瞥科學之昌明足償往日所受之苦也]our "Physick" and "Anatomy" have embracedsuch infinite varieties of being, have laid open such new worlds intime and space, have grappled, not unsuccessfully, with such complexproblems, that the eyes of Vesalius[3.Andreas Vesalius (1514—1564) 和蘭國人解剖學之始祖]and of Harvey [4.William Harvey(1578—1657)英之醫學家發明血液循環者也]might be dazzled by the sight of the tree thathas grown out of their grain of mustard seed.

10.We have learned that pestilences will only take up their abodeamong those who have prepared unswept and ungarnished residences forthem. Their cities must have narrow, unwatened streets, foul withaccumulated garbage.[ 1. Garbage 本義為動物之臟腑此則作糞穢解] Theirhouses must be ill-drained, ill- lighted, ill- ventilated. Theirsubjects must be ill-washed, ill-fed, ill-clothed. The London of 1665was such a city. The cities of the East, where plague has an enduringdwelling, are such cities. We, in later times, have learned somewhatof Nature and partly obey her. Because of this partial improvement ofour natural knowledge and of that fractional obedience, we have noplague; because that knowledge is still very imperfect and thatobedience yet incomplete, typhus is our companion and cholera ourvisitor. But it is not presumptuous to express the belief that, whenour knowledge is more complete and our obedience the expression ofour knowledge,[2.Our obedience ……our knowledge —Our obedience tonature and the expression of our knowledge is more complete 之略也]London will count her centuries of freedom from typhus and cholera, as she now gratefully reckons her two hundred years of ignorance ofthat plague which swooped upon her thrice in the first half of theseventeenth century.

11.Surely, there is nothing in these explanations which is notfully borne out by the facts. Surely, the principles involved in themare now admitted among the fixed beliefs of all thinking men. Surely, it is true that our countrymen are less subject to fire, famine, pestilence, and all the evils which result from a want of commandover and due anticipation of the course of Nature, than were thecountrymen of Milton;[3. John Milton( 1008—1674) 英之大詩人。 ] and health, wealth, and well being are more abundant with us than withthem. But no less certainly is the difference due to the improvementof our knowledge of Nature, and the extent to which that improvedknowledge has been incorporated with the household words of men, andhas supplied the springs of their daily actions.[4.Improved knowledgehas been incorporated……their daily actions. 謂因科學進步而科學名詞化為家常日用之語。科學遂為日常行為之原動力。]

12.Granting for a moment, then, the truth of that which thedepreciators of natural knowledge are so fond of urging, that itsimprovement can only add to the resources of our material civilization; admitting it to be possible that the founders of theRoyal Society themselves looked for no other reward than this. Icannot confess that I was quilty of exaggeration when I hinted thatto him who had the gift of distinguishing between prominent eventsand important events,[1.Prominent events and important events 前者謂大疫大火。後者謂用學術以利人生也。]the origin of a combined effort onthe part of mankind to improve natural knowledge might have loomedlarger than the plague and have outshone the glare of the Fire; as asomething fraught with a wealth of beneficence to mankind, incomparison with which the damage done by those ghastly evils wouldshrink into insignificance.

13.It is very certain that, for every victim slain by the Plague, hundreds of mankind exist,[2.For every victim……mankind exist. 謂一人染疫而死醫生由此所得之經驗可以治愈多人也]and find a fair share ofhappiness in the world, by the aid of the spinningjenny.[ 3. Spinning -jenney,千七百六十七年 James Hargreave 所發明紡績機器。 ] And the Great Fire, at its woist, could not have burned the supply of coal, the daily working of which, in the bowels of the earth, made possibleby the steampump, gives rise to an amount of wealth to which themillions lost in old London are but as an old song.[4.Are but as an old song不足道]

14.But spinning-jenny and steam-pump are, after all, but toys ,possessing an accidental value; and natural knowledge creates multitudes of more subtle contrivances, the praises of which do not happen to be sung because they are not diroctly convertible iuto instruments for creatiug wcalth.

15.I cannot but think that the foundations of all naturalknowledge were laid when the reason of man first came face to facewith the facts of Nature: when the savage first learned that thefingers of one hand are fewer than those of both; that it is shorterto cross a stream than to head[1.to head 上溯其源而過]it;that a stonestops where it is unless it be moved, and that it drops from the handwhich iets it go; that light and heat come and go with the sun; thatsticks burn away in a fire; that plants and animals grow and die; that if he struck his fellow-savage a blow, he would make him angry, and perhaps get a blow in return; while if he offered him a fruit, hewonld please him, and perhaps receive a fish in exchange. When menhad acquired this much knowledge, the outlines, rude though they were ,of mathematics, of physics, of chemistry, of biology, of moral, economical and political science, were sketched. Nor did the germ ofreligion fail when science began to bud. Listen to words which, though new, are yet three thousand years old.[2.此希臘詩人Hesiod 之辭也所謂 though new 者以其為近人所譯也]

"When in heaven the stars about the noon Look beautiful, when allthe winds are laid And every height comes out, and jutting peak Andvalley, and the immeasurable heavens Break open to their highest, andall the stars Shine, and the shepherd gladdens in his heart,"

If the half-savage Greek could share our feelings thus far, it isirrational to doubt that he went further, to find, as we do, thatupon that brief gladness[3.That brief gladness謂睹宇宙間森羅萬眾而心喜] there follows a certain sorrow,[4.A certain sorrow 謂繼思宇宙之玄妙非人智所能明而自傷智靈之不完全也] —the little light of awakened human intelligence shines so mere a spark amidst the abyss of the unknown and unknownable; seems so insufficient to do more than illuminate the imperfections that cannot be remedied, the aspirationsthat cannot be realized, of man's own nature. But in this sadness, this consciousness of the limitation of man, this sense ofan open secret [ 5. Open secret 以目所能見之物而其秘奧又不可探求故謂之公然之秘密]which he cannot penetrate, lies the essence of all religion; and the attempt to embody it in the forms furnished by theintellect[ 6. To embody it in the forms &c.—it 指 the essence of all religion. 義謂以科學方法組織而表現之也。]is the origin of the higher theologies.

16.Thus it seems impossible to imagine but that th feoundationsof all knowledge, secular or or sacred,[1.Secular or sacred 俗與神聖即學術與宗教之義] were laid when intelligence dawned, though thesuperstructure remained for long ages so slight and feeble as to becompatible with the existence of almost any general view respectingthe mode of governance of the universe.[2.As to be compatible. ……ofthe universe.謂關於宇宙攝理但知一班而已。]

No doubt, from the first, there were certain phenomena which, tothe rudest mind, [3.The rudest mind=The savage.]presented a constancyof occurrcnce,[4.A constancy of occurrence 謂同一原因必生同一之結果 ]and suggested that a fixed order ruled, at any rate, among them. Idoubt if the grossest of fetich- worshippers[ 5. The grossest offetichworshipers 崇拜偶像中之最愚者,fetich 之義為 a material thing, living or dead which is made the object of superstitious worship. ]ever imagined that a stone must have a god within it to make it fall ,or that a fruit had a god within it to make it taste sweet. Withregard to such matters as these, is is hardly questionable thatmankind from the first took trictly positive and scientific view.

17.But, with respect to all the less familiar occurrences whichpresent themselves, uncultured man, no doubt, has always takenhimself as the standard of comparison, as the centre and measure ofthe world; nor could he well avoid doing so. And finding that his apparently uncaused will has a powerful effect in giving rise to manyoccurrence, he naturally enough ascribed other and greater event toother and greater volitions, and came to look upon the world, allthat therein is, as the product of the volitions of persons likehimself, but stronger, and capable of being appeased or angered, ashe himself might be soothed or irritated. Through such conceptions ofthe plan and working of the universe all mankind have passed, or arepassing. And we may now consider what has been the effect of theimprovement of natural knowledge on the views of men who have reachedthis stage, and who have begun to cultivate natural knowledge with nodesire but that of "increasing God's honor and bettering man's estate .[6. man's estate=man's condition.]"

18. For example; what could seem wiser, from a mere materialpoint of view, more innocent, from a theological one, to an ancientpeople, than that they should learn the exact succession of theseasons, as warnings for their husbandmen; or the position of thestars, as guides to their rude navigators? But what has grown out ofthis search for natural knowledge of so merely useful a character? You all know the reply Astronomy,—which of all sciences has filledmen's minds with general ideas of a character most foreign to theirdaily experience, and has more than any other, rendered it impossibiefor them to accept the beliefs of their fathers! Astronomy —, whichtells them that this so vast and seemingly solid earth is but an atomamong atoms, whirling, no man knows wither, through illimitable space; which demonstrates that what we call the peaceful heaven above usis but that space, filled by an infinitely subtle matter whoseparticles are seething and surging, like the waves of an angry sea; which opens up to us infinite regions where nothing is known, or everseems to have been known, but matter and force, operating accordingto rigid rules; which leads us to contemplate phenomena the everynature of which demonstrates that they must have an end, but the verynature of which also proves that the beginning was, to ourconceptions of time, infinitely remote, and that the end asimmeasurably distant.

19. But it is not alone those who pursue astronomy who ask forbread and receive ideas[2.Ask for bread and receive idea, 此句引自Carlyle 所作 Burns 傳者也原文作 "Ask for bread and receive a stone" 喻詩人為世所輕也今 Huxlay 更" a stone" 為"idea" 意義大不同矣] What moreharmless than the attempt to lift and distribute water by pumping it; what more absolutely and grossly utilitarian? But out of pumps grewthe discussions about Nature's abhorrence of a vacuum[ 3. Nature'sabhorrence of a vacuum解見前];and then it was discovered that Nature does not abhor a vacuum, that the air has weight; and that notionpaved the force which produces weight is coextensive with theuniverse,—in short, to ihe theory of universal gravitation andendless force [4.Universal gravitation and endless force. 重力之於宇宙無所不在故謂之普遍重力,力者絕不消滅故謂之無窮力也。 ] while learninghow to handle gases led to the discovery of exygen, and to modern chemistry, and to the notion of the indestructibility of matter.

20. Again, what simpler, or more obsolutely pracitcal, than the attempt to keep the axle of a wheel from heating when the wheel turnsround very fast? How useful for carters and gig- drivers to knowsomething about this; and how good were it, if any ingenious personwould find out the cause of such phenomena, and thence educe ageneral remedy for them! Such an ingcnious persen was Count Rumford; and he and his successors have landed us [2.Landed us &c. 使吾人臻於何境,使吾人造詣至何程度。 ] in the theory of the persistence, orindestructibility, of force. And in the in6nitely minute, as in theim6nitely, great, the seekers after natural knowledge, of the kindscalled physical and chemical, have everywhere found a definite orderand succession of events which seem never to be infringed;

21. And how has it fared with [3.How has it fared with — it 乃 indefinite。fared=happend.] "Physick" and Anatomy? Have the anatomist. the physiologist, or the physician, whose business it has been todevote themselves assiduously to that eminently practical and dir ectend, the alleviation of the sufferings of mankind, —have they beenable to confine their vision more absolutely to the sirictly useful? I fear they are worst offenders of all [4.Worst offenders of all. Has done most to overthrow old established notions. ] For if thestronomer has set before us the infinite magnitude of space, and thepractical eternity of the duration of the universe; if the physicaland chemical philosophers have demonstrated the infinite minutenessof its constituent parts, and the practical eternity of matter and offorce; and if both have alike proclaimed the universality of adefinite and predicable order and succession of events. the workersin biology have not only accepted all these, but have added morestartling theses of their own. For, as the astronomers discover inthe earth no centre of the universe, but an eccentric speck, so thenaturalists find man to be no centre of the living world but oneamidst endless modifications of life; and as the astronomer observesthe mark of practically endless time set upon the arrangements of thesolar system, so the student of life finds the records of ancientforms of existence peopling the world for ages, which, in relation tohuman experience, are infinite. Furthermore, the physiologist findslife to be as dependent for its manifestation on particular moleculararrangements as any physical or chemical phenomenon; and, wherever heextends his researches, fixed order and unchanginy causation revealthemselves, as plainly as in the rest of Nature……

22. Such are a few of the new conceptions implanted in our mindsby the improvement of natural knowledge. Men have acquired the ideasof the practically infinite extent of the universe and of itspractical eternity; they are familiar with the conception that ourearth is but an infinitesimal fragment of that part of the universewhich can be seen; and that, nevertheless, its duration is, ascompared with our standards of time, infinite. They have furtheracquired the idea that man is but one of innumerable forms of lifenow existing in the globe, and that the present existences are butthe last of an immeasurable series of predecessors[1.The last of animmeasursble series of predecessors.此predecessors 乃以前之existence之義,與present existence相對, 謂今之狀態乃經以前無數狀態始成之最後狀態也。]Moreover, every step they have made in natural knowledge hastended to extend and rivet in their minds the conception of adefinite order of the universe—which is embodied in what are called, by an unhappy metaphor[ 2. unhappy metaphor. 此unhappy= ill- chosen, incorrect.]the laws of Nature—and to narrow the range and loosen theforce of men's belief in spontaneity, or in changes other than suchas arise out of that difinite order itself[3.Changes other than ……difinite order itself.一定秩序所不生之變化即偶起之變化].

23.Whether these ideas are well or ill founded is not thequestion.No one can deny that they exist, and have been theinevitable outgrowth of the improvement of natural knowledge. And ifso,it cannot be doubted that they are changing the form of men's mostcherished and most important convictions.

The end.

本译文与其原文有分别的版权许可。译文版权状况仅适用于本版本。
原文
PD-icon.svg 本作品在全世界都属于公有领域,因为作者逝世已经超过100年,并且于1923年1月1日之前出版。
译文
PDmaybe-icon.svg#PD-old-60-1923
PDmaybe-icon.svg 这部作品在1925年1月1日以前出版,其作者1958年逝世,在美国以及版权期限是作者终身加60年以下的国家以及地区(包括两岸四地、马来西亚),属于公有领域

这部作品也可能在本国本地版权期限更长,但对外国外地作品应用较短期限规则的国家以及地区(包括新加坡、加拿大、韩国、新西兰),属于公有领域