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Section 1

1. God, or some one of the gods, in sending the souls to their birth, placed eyes in the face to catch the light and allotted to each sense the appropriate organ, providing thus for the safety which comes by seeing and hearing in time and, seeking or avoiding under guidance of touch.

But what led to this provision?

It cannot be that other forms of being were produced first and that, these perishing in the absence of the senses, the maker at last supplied the means by which men and other living beings might avert disaster.

We may be told that it lay within the divine knowledge that animal life would be exposed to heat and cold and other such experiences incident to body and that in this knowledge he provided the senses and the organs apt to their activity in order that the living total might not fall an easy prey.

Now, either he gave these organs to souls already possessing the sensitive powers or he gave senses and organs alike.

But if the souls were given the powers as well as the organs, then, souls though they were, they had no sensation before that giving. If they possessed these powers from the moment of being souls and became souls in order to their entry into process, then it is of their very nature to belong to process, unnatural to them to be outside of process and within the Intellectual: they were made in the intent that they should belong to the alien and have their being amid evil; the divine provision would consist in holding them to their disaster; this is God's reasoned purpose, this the plan entire.

Now what is the foundation of reasoned plan?

Precedent planning, it may be; but still we are forced back to some thing or things determining it. What would these be here?

Either sense-perception or intellect. But sense-perception it cannot in this case be: intellect is left; yet, starting from intellect, the conclusion will be knowledge, not therefore the handling of the sensible; what begins with the intellectual and proceeds to the intellectual can certainly not end in dealings with the sensible. Providence, then, whether over living beings or over any part of the universe was never the outcome of plan.

There is in fact no planning There; we speak of reasoned purpose in the world of things only to convey that the universe is of the character which in the later order would point to a wise purposing; Providence implies that things are as, in the later order, a competent foreplanning would produce them. Reasoning serves, in beings not of the order above that need, to supply for the higher power; foresight is necessary in the lack of power which could dispense with it; it labours towards some one occurrence in preference to another and it goes in a sort of dread of the unfitting; where only the fitting can occur, there is no foreseeing. So with planning; where one only of two things can be, what place is there for plan? The alone and one and utterly simplex cannot involve a "this to avert that": if the "this" could not be, the "that" must; the serviceable thing appeared and at once approved itself so.

But surely this is foreseeing, deliberating: are we not back at what was said at the beginning, that God did to this end give both the senses and the powers, however perplexing that giving be?

No: all turns on the necessary completeness of Act; we cannot think anything belonging to God to be other than a whole and all and therefore in anything of God's that all must be contained; God therefore must take in the future, present beforehand. Certainly there is no later in the divine; what is There as present is future for elsewhere. If then the future is present, it must be present as having been foreconceived for later coming to be; at that divine stage therefore it lacks nothing and therefore can never lack; all existed, eternally and in such a way that at the later stage any particular thing may be said to exist for this or that purpose; the All, in its extension and so to speak unfolding, is able to present succession while yet it is simultaneous; this is because it contains the cause of all as inherent to itself.

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