Imágenes de páginas

fest, without either plates or calculation, first, that supposing the necessary proportion of magnitude between the central and the revolving bodies to be preserved, the ignited planet would not be sufficient to illuminate and warm the rest of the system; secondly, that its light and heat would be imparted to the other planets much more irregularly than light and heat are now received from


the sun.

still more noxious would this translation of climate have proved to life in the rest of the creation; and, most perhaps of all, in plants. The habitable earth, and its beautiful variety, might have been destroyed, by a simple mischance in the axis of rotation."

(*) III. All this, however, proceeds upon a supposition of the earth having been formed at first an oblate spheroid. There is another supposition; (*) II. Another thing, in which a choice ap- and perhaps our limited information will not enapears to be exercised, and in which, amongst the ble us to decide between them. The second suppossibilities out of which the choice was to be position is, that the earth, being a mixed mass made, the number of those which were wrong somewhat fluid, took, as it might do, its present bore an infinite proportion to the number of those form, by the joint action of the mutual gravitation which were right, is in what geometricians call of its parts and its rotatory motion. This, as we the axis of rotation. This matter I will endea- have said, is a point in the history of the earth, vour to explain. The earth, it is well known, is which our observations are not sufficient to deternot an exact globe, but an oblate spheroid, some- mine. For a very small depth below the surface, thing like an orange. Now the axes of rotation, (but extremely small, less, perhaps, than an eightor the diameters upon which such a body may be thousandth part, compared with the depth of the made to turn round, are as many as can be drawn centre,) we find vestiges of ancient fluidity. But through its centre to opposite points upon its this fluidity must have gone down many hundred whole surface: but of these axes none are perma- times farther than we can penetrate, to enable the nent, except either its shortest diameter, i. e. that earth to take its present oblate form: and whether which passes through the heart of the orange from any traces of this kind exist to that depth, we are the place where the stalk is inserted into it, and ignorant. Calculations were made a few years which is but one; or its longest diameters, at ago, of the mean density of the earth, by compar right angles with the former, which must all ter- ing the force of its attraction with the force of atminate in the single circumference which goes traction of a rock of granite, the bulk of which round the thickest part of the orange. The short-could be ascertained: and the upshot of the calest diameter is that upon which in fact the earth culation was, that the earth upon an average, turns, and it is, as the reader sees, what it ought through its whole sphere, has twice the density to be, a permanent axis; whereas, had blind of granite, or about five times that of water. chance, had a casual impulse, had a stroke or push Therefore it cannot be a hollow shell, as some at random, set the earth a-spinning, the odds were have formerly supposed; nor can its internal infinite, but that they had sent it round upon a parts be occupied by central fire, or by water, wrong axis. And what would have been the The solid parts must greatly exceed the fluid consequence? The difference between a perma-parts; and the probability is, that it is a solid mass nent axis and another axis is this: When a sphe- throughout, composed of substances more ponderroid in a state of rotatory motion gets upon a per-ous the deeper we go. Nevertheless, we may conmanent axis, it keeps there; it remains steady ceive the present face of the earth to have origiand faithful to its position; its poles preserve their nated from the revolution of a sphere, covered by direction with respect to the plane and to the cen- a surface of a compound mixture; the fluid and tre of its orbit: but, whilst it turns upon an axis solid parts separating, as the surface becomes which is not permanent (and the number of those quiescent. Here then comes in the moderating we have seen infinitely exceeds the number of the hand of the Creator. If the water had exceeded its other,) it is always liable to shift and vacillate present proportion, even but by a trifling quantity from one axis to another, with a corresponding compared with the whole globe, all the land would change in the inclination of its poles. Therefore, have been covered: had there been much less if a planet once set off revolving upon any other than there is, there would not have been enough than its shortest, or one of its longest axes, the to fertilize the continent. Had the exsiccation poles on its surface would keep perpetually chang- been progressive, such as we may suppose to have ing, and it never would attain a permanent axis been produced by an evaporating heat, how came of rotation. The effect of this unfixedness and it to stop at the point at which we see it? Why instability would be, that the equatorial parts of did it not stop sooner? why at all? The mandate the earth might become the polar, or the polar the of the Deity will account for this; nothing else equatorial; to the utter destruction of plants and will. animals, which are not capable of interchanging IV. OF CENTRIPETAL FORCES. By virtue of their situations, but are respectively adapted to the simplest law that can be imagined, riz, that a their own. As to ourselves, instead of rejoicing body continues in the state in which it is, whein our temperate zone, and annually preparing for ther of motion or rest; and, if in motion, goes on the moderate vicissitude, or rather the agreeable suc-in the line in which it was proceeding, and with cession of seasons, which we experience and ex- the same velocity, unless there be some cause for pect, we might come to be locked up in the ice change: by virtue, I say, of this law, it comes to and darkness of the arctic circle, with bodies nei pass, (what may appear to be a strange conse ther inured to its rigours, nor provided with shel- quence,) that cases arise, in which attraction, inter or defence against them. Nor would it be cessantly drawing a body towards a centre, never much better, if the trepidation of our pole, taking brings, nor ever will bring, the body to that centre, an opposite course, should place us under the but keep it in eternal circulation round it. If it heats of a vertical sun. But if it would fare so were possible to fire off a cannon ball with a veloill with the human inhabitant, who can live under city of five miles in a second, and the resistance greater varieties of latitude than any other animal; of the air could be taken away, the cannon-ball

would for ever wheel round the earth, instead of falling down upon it. This is the principle which sustains the heavenly motions. The Deity, having appointed this law to matter, (than which, as we have said before, no law could be more simple,) has turned it to a wonderful account in constructing planetary systems.

The actuating cause in these systems, is an attraction which varies reciprocally as the square of the distance; that is, at double the distance, has a quarter of the force; at half the distance, four times the strength; and so on. Now, concerning this law of variation, we have three things to observe: First; that attraction, for any thing we know about it, was just as capable of one law of variation, as of another: Secondly; that, out of an infinite number of possible laws, those which were admissible for the purpose of supporting the heavenly motions, lay within certain narrow limits: Thirdly; that of the admissible laws, or those which come within the limits prescribed, the law that actually prevails is the most beneficial. So far as these propositions can be made out, we may be said, I think, to prove choice and regulation: choice, out of boundless variety; and regulation, of that which, by its own nature, was, in respect of the property regulated, indifferent and indefinite.

I. First then, attraction, for any thing we know about it, was originally indifferent to all laws of variation depending upon change of distance, i. e. just as susceptible of one law as of another. It might have been the same at all distances; it might have increased as the distance increased: or it might have diminished with the increase of the distance, yet in ten thousand different proportions from the present; it might have followed no stated law at all. If attraction be what Cotes, with many other Newtonians, thought it to be, a primordial property of matter, not dependent upon, or traceable to, any other material cause; then, by the very nature and definition of a primordial property, it stood indifferent to all laws. If it be the agency of something immaterial; then also, for any thing we know of it, it was indifferent to all laws. If the revolution of bodies round a centre depend upon vortices, neither are these limited to one law more than another.

There is, I know, an account given of attraction, which should seem, in its very cause, to assign to it the law which we find it to observe; and which, therefore, makes that law, a law, not of choice, but of necessity: and it is the account, which ascribes attraction to an emanation from the attracting body. It is probable, that the influence of such an emanation will be proportioned to the spissitude of the rays of which it is composed; which spissitude, supposing the rays to issue in right lines on all sides from a point, will be reciprocally as the square of the distance. The mathematics of this solution we do not call in question: the question with us is, whether there be any sufficient reason for believing that attraction is produced by an emanation. For my part, I am totally at a loss to comprehend how particles streaming from a centre should draw a body towards it. The impulse, if impulse it be, is all the other way. Nor shall we find less difficulty in conceiving a conflux of particles, incessantly flowing to a centre, and carrying down all bodies along with it, that centre also itself being in a state of rapid motion through absolute space; for,

by what source is the stream fed, or what becomes of the accumulation? Add to which, that it seems to imply a contrariety of properties, to suppose an ethereal fluid to act, but not to resist; powerful enough to carry down bodies with great force towards a centre, yet, inconsistently with the nature of inert matter, powerless and perfectly yielding with respect to the motions which result from the projectile impulse. By calculations drawn from ancient notices of eclipses of the moon, we can prove that, if such a fluid exist at all, its resistance has had no sensible effect upon the moon's motion for two thousand five hundred years. The truth is, that, except this one circumstance of the variation of the attracting force at different distances agreeing with the variation of the spissitude, there is no reason whatever to support the hypothesis of an emanation; and, as it seems to me, almost insuperable reasons against it.

(*) II. Our second proposition is, that, whilst the possible laws of variation were infinite, the admissible laws, or the laws compatible with the preservation of the system, lie within narrow limits. If the attracting force had varied according to any direct law of the distance, let it have been what it would, great destruction and confusion would have taken place. The direct simple proportion of the distance would, it is true, have produced an ellipse: but the perturbing forces would have acted with so much advantage, as to be continually changing the dimensions of the ellipse, in a manner inconsistent with our terrestrial creation. For instance; if the planet Saturn, so large and so remote, had attracted the Earth, both in proportion to the quantity of matter contained in it, which it does; and also in any proportion to its distance, i. e. if it had pulled the harder for being the farther off (instead of the reverse of it,) it would have dragged out of its course the globe which we inhabit, and have perplexed its motions, to a degree incompatible with our security, our enjoyments, and probably our existence. Of the inverse laws, if the centripetal force had changed as the cube of the distance, or in any higher proportion, that is, (for I speak to the unlearned,) if, at double the distance, the attractive force had been diminished to an eighth part, or to less than that, the consequence would have been, that the planets, if they once began to approach the sun, would have fallen into his body; if they once, though by ever so little, increased their distance from the centre, would for ever have receded from it. The laws therefore of attraction, by which a system of revolving bodies could be upholden in their motions, lie within narrow limits, compared with the possible laws. I much underrate the restriction, when I say that, in a scale of a mile, they are confined to an inch. All direct ratios of the distance are excluded, on account of danger from perturbing forces: all reciprocal ratios, except what lie beneath the cube of the distance, by the demonstrable consequence, that every the least change of distance would, under the operation of such laws, have been fatal to the repose and order of the system. We do not know, that is, we seldom reflect, how interested we are in this matter. Small irregularities may be endured; but, changes within these limits being allowed for, the permanency of our ellipse is a question of life and death to our whole sensitive world.

(*) III. That the subsisting law of attraction falls within the limits which utility requires, when

these limits bear so small a proportion to the range of possibilities upon which chance might equally have cast it, is not, with any appearance of reason, to be accounted for by any other cause than a regulation proceeding from a designing mind. But our next proposition carries the matter somewhat farther. We say, in the third place, that, out of the different laws which lie within the limits of admissible laws, the best is made choice of; that there are advantages in this particular law which cannot be demonstrated to belong to any other law; and, concerning some of which, it can be demonstrated that they do not belong to any other.

(*) 1. Whilst this law prevails between each particle of matter, the united attraction of a sphere, composed of that matter, observes the same law. This property of the law is necessary, to render it applicable to a system composed of spheres, but it is a property which belongs to no other law of attraction that is admissible. The law of variation of the united attraction is in no other case the same as the law of attraction of each particle, one case excepted, and that is of the attraction varying directly as the distance; the inconveniency of which law, in other respects, we have already noticed.

compared with that of the body at the centre; the orbits not much inclined to one another; and their eccentricity little. In such a system, the grand points are secure. The mean distances and periodic times, upon which depend our temperature, and the regularity of our year, are constant. The eccentricities, it is true, will still vary; but so slowly, and to so small an extent, as to produce no inconveniency from fluctuation of temperature and season. The same as to the obliquity of the planes of the orbits. For instance, the inclination of the ecliptic to the equator will never change above two degrees (out of ninety,) and that will require many thousand years in performing.

It has been rightly also remarked, that, if the great planets, Jupiter and Saturn, had moved in lower spheres, their influences would have had much more effect as to disturbing the planetary motions, than they now have. While they revolve at so great distances from the rest, they act almost equally on the sun and on the inferior planets; which has nearly the same consequences as not acting at all upon either.

If it be said that the planets might have been sent round the sun in exact circles, in which case, no change of distance from the centre taking place, the law of variation of the attracting power would have never come in question, one law

We may follow this regulation somewhat farther, and still more strikingly perceive that it pro-would have served as well as another; an answer ceeded from a designing mind. A law both ad- to the scheme may be drawn from the consideramissible and convenient was requisite. In what tion of these same perturbing forces. The system way is the law of the attracting globes obtained? retaining in other respects its present constitution, Astronomical observations and terrestrial experi- though the planets had been at first sent round ments show that the attraction of the globes of the in exact circular orbits, they could not have kept system is made up of the attraction of their parts; them; and if the law of attraction had not been the attraction of each globe being compounded of what it is, or, at least, if the prevailing law had the attractions of its parts. Now the admissible transgressed the limits above assigned, every evaand convenient law which exists, could not be ob- gation would have been fatal: the planet once tained in a system of bodies gravitating by the drawn, as drawn it necessarily must have been, united gravitation of their parts, unless each par- out of its course, would have wandered in endless ticle of matter were attracted by a force varying error. by one particular law, viz. varying inversely as the square of the distance: for, if the action of the particles be according to any other law whatever, the admissible and convenient law, which is adopted, could not be obtained. Here then are clearly shown regulation and design. A law both admissible and convenient was to be obtained: the mode chosen for obtaining that law was by making each particle of matter act. After this choice was made, then farther attention was to be given to each particle of matter, and one, and one only, particular law of action to be assigned to it. No other law would have answered the purpose intended.

(*) 2. All systems must be liable to perturbations. And, therefore, to guard against these perturbations, or rather to guard against their running to destructive lengths, is perhaps the strongest evidence of care and foresight that can be given. Now, we are able to demonstrate of our law of attraction, what can be demonstrated of no other, and what qualifies the dangers which arise from cross but unavoidable influences; that the action of the parts of our system upon one another will not cause permanently increasing irregularities, but merely periodical or vibratory ones; that is, they will come to a limit, and then go back again. This we can demonstrate only of a system, in which the following properties concur, viz. that the force shall be inversely as the square of the distance; the masses of the revolving bodies small,

(*) V. What we have seen in the law of the centripetal force, viz. a choice guided by views of utility, and a choice of one law out of thousands which might equally have taken place, we see no less in the figures of the planetary orbits. It was not enough to fix the law of the centripetal force, though by the wisest choice; for, even under that law, it was still competent to the planets to have moved in paths possessing so great a degree of eccentricity, as, in the course of every revolution, to be brought very near to the sun, and carried away to immense distances from him. The comets actually move in orbits of this sort: and, had the planets done so, instead of going round in orbits nearly circular, the change from one extremity of temperature to another must, in ours at least, have destroyed every animal and plant upon its surface. Now, the distance from the centre at which a planet sets off, and the absolute force of attraction at that distance, being fixed, the figure of its orbit, its being a circle, or nearer to, or farther off from a circle, viz. a rounder or a longer oval, depends upon two things, the velocity with, and the direction in which, the planet is projected. And these, in order to produce a right result, must be both brought within certain narrow limits. One, and only one, velocity, united with one, and only one, direction, will produce a perfect circle. And the velocity must be near to this velocity, and the direction also near to this direction, to produce orbits, such as the planetary

[ocr errors]

orbits are, nearly circular; that is, ellipses with small eccentricities. The velocity and the direction must both be right. If the velocity be wrong. To conclude: in astronomy, the great thing is no direction will cure the error; if the direction to raise the imagination to the subject, and that be in any considerable degree oblique, no velocity oftentimes in opposition to the impression made will produce the orbit required. Take for exam- upon the senses. An illusion, for example, must ple the attraction of gravity at the surface of the be gotten over, arising from the distance at which earth. The force of that attraction being what we view the heavenly bodies, viz. the apparent it is, out of all the degrees of velocity, swift and slowness of their motions. The moon shall take slow, with which a ball might be shot off, none some hours in getting half a yard from a star would answer the purpose of which we are speak-which it touched. A motion so deliberate, we may ing, but what was nearly that of five miles in a think easily guided. But what is the fact? The second. If it were less than that, the body would moon, in fact, is, all this while, driving through not get round at all, but would come to the ground; the heavens, at the rate of considerably more than if it were in any considerable degree more than two thousand miles in an hour; which is more that, the body would take one of those eccentric than double of that with which a ball is shot off courses, these long ellipses, of which we have from the mouth of a cannon. Yet is this prodinoticed the inconveniency. If the velocity reached gious rapidity as much under government, as if the rate of seven miles in a second, or went be- the planet proceeded ever so slowly, or were conyond that, the ball would fly off from the earth, ducted in its course inch by inch. It is also diffiand never be heard of more. In like manner with cult to bring the imagination to conceive (what respect to the direction; out of the innumerable yet, to judge tolerably of the matter, it is necesangles in which the ball might be sent off (I mean sary to conceive) how loose, if we may so express angles formed with a line drawn to the centre,) it, the heavenly bodies are. Enormous globes, none would serve but what was nearly a right held by nothing, confined by nothing, are turned one: out of the various directions in which the into free and boundless space, each to seek its cannon might be pointed, upwards and down- course by the virtue of an invisible principle; wards, every one would fail, but what was exactly but a principle, one, common, and the same in or nearly horizontal. The same thing holds true all; and ascertainable. To preserve such bodies of the planets: of our own amongst the rest. We from being lost, from running together in heaps, are entitled therefore to ask, and to urge the ques- from hindering and distracting one another's motion, Why did the projectile velocity and projec- tions in a degree inconsistent with any continutile direction of the earth happen to be nearly ing order; h. e. to cause them to form planetary those which would retain it in a circular form? systems, systems that, when formed, can be upWhy not one of the infinite number of velocities, held, and most especially, systems accommodated one of the infinite number of directions, which to the organized and sensitive natures which the would have made it approach much nearer to, or planets sustain, as we know to be the case, where recede much farther from, the sun? alone we can know what the case is, upon our The planets going round, all in the same direc-earth: all this requires an intelligent interposition, and all nearly in the same plane, afforded to tion, because it can be demonstrated concerning Buffon a ground for asserting that they had all it, that it requires an adjustment of force, disbeen shivered from the sun by the same stroke of tance, direction, and velocity, out of the reach of a comet, and by that stroke projected into their chance to have produced; an adjustment, in its present orbits. Now, beside that this is to attri- view to utility, similar to that which we see in bute to chance the fortunate concurrence of velo- ten thousand subjects of nature which are nearer city and direction which we have been here to us, but in power, and in the extent of space noticing, the hypothesis, as I apprehend, is incon- through which that power is exerted, stupendous. sistent with the physical laws by which the heavenly motions are governed. If the planets were struck off from the surface of the sun, they would return to the surface of the sun again. Nor will this difficulty be got rid of, by supposing that the same violent blow which shattered the sun's surface, and separated large fragments from it, pushed the sun himself out of his place; for, the consequence of this would be, that the sun and system of shattered fragments would have a progressive motion, which, indeed, may possibly be the case with our system; but then each fragment would, in every revolution, return to the surface of the sun again. The hypothesis is also contradicted, by the vast difference which subsists between the diameters of the planetary orbits. The distance of Saturn from the sun (to say nothing of the Georgium Sidus) is nearly five-and-twenty times that of Mercury; a disparity, which it seems impossible to reconcile with Buffon's scheme. Bodies starting from the same place, with whatever difference of direction or velocity they set off, could not have been found at these different distances from the centre, still retaining their nearly circular orbits. They must

But many of the heavenly bodies, as the sun and fixed stars, are stationary. Their rest must be the effect of an absence or of an equilibrium of attractions. It proves also that a projectile impulse was originally given to some of the heavenly bodies, and not to others. But farther; if attraction act at all distances, there can only be one quiescent centre of gravity in the universe: and all bodies whatever must be approaching this centre, or revolving round it. According to the

have been carried to their proper distances, before they were projected.*

* If we suppose the matter of the system to be accumulated in the centre by its gravity, no mechanical principles, with the assistance of this power of gravity, could separate the vast mass into such parts as the sun and planets; and, after carrying them to their different distances, project them in their several directions, preserving still the quality of action, and reaction, or the state of the centre of gravity of the system. Such an exquisite structure of things could only arise from the contrivance and powerful influences of an intelligent, free, and most potent agent. The same powers, therefore, which, at present, govern the material universe, and conduct its various motions, are very different from those which were necessary to have produced it from nothing, or to have disposed it in the admirable form

in which it now proceeds."-Maclaurin's Account of Newton's Philos. p. 407. ed. 3.

first of these suppositions, if the duration of the world had been long enough to allow of it, all its parts, all the great bodies of which it is composed, must have been gathered together in a heap round this point. No changes however which have been observed, afford us the smallest reason for believing, that either the one supposition or the other is true; and then it will follow, that attraction itself is controlled or suspended by a superior agent; that there is a power above the highest of the powers of material nature; a will which restrains and circumscribes the operations of the

most extensive.*


Of the Personality of the Deity. CONTRIVANCE, if established, appears to me to prove every thing which we wish to prove. Amongst other things, it proves the personality of the Deity, as distinguished from what is sometimes called nature, sometimes called a principle: which terms, in the mouths of those who use them philosophically, seem to be intended, to admit and to express an efficacy, but to exclude and to deny a personal agent. Now that which can contrive, which can design, must be a person. These capacities constitute personality, for they imply consciousness and thought. They require that which can perceive an end or purpose; as well as the power of providing means, and of directing them to their end.t They require a centre in which perceptions unite, and from which volitions flow; which is mind. The acts of a mind prove the existence of a mind; and in whatever a mind resides, is a person. The seat of intellect is a person. We have no authority to limit the properties of mind to any corporeal form, or to any particular circumscription of space. These properties subsist, in created nature, under a great variety of sensible forms. Also every animated being has its sensorium; that is, a certain portion of space, within which perception and volition are exerted. This sphere may be enlarged to an indefinite extent; may comprehend the universe; and, being so imagined, may serve to furnish us with as good a notion, as we are capable of forming, of the immensity of the Divine Nature, i. e. of a Being, infinite, as well in essence as in power; yet nevertheless a


"No man hath seen God at any time." And this, I believe, makes the great difficulty. Now it is a difficulty which chiefly arises from our not duly estimating the state of our faculties. The

It must here however be stated, that many astrono mers deny that any of the heavenly bodies are absolute ly stationary. Some of the brightest of the fixed stars have certainly small motions; and of the rest the distance is too great, and the intervals of our observation too short, to enable us to pronounce with certainty that they may not have the same. The motions in the fixed stars which have been observed, are considered either as proper to each of them, or as compounded of the motion of our system, and of motions proper to each star. By a comparison of these motions, a motion in our system is supposed to be discovered. By continuing this analogy to other, and to all systems, it is possible to suppose that attraction is unlimited, and that the whole material universe is revolving round some fixed point within its containing sphere of space. Priestley's Letters to a Philosophical Unbeliever,

p. 153. ed. 2.

Deity, it is true, is the object of none of our senses: but reflect what limited capacities animal senses are. Many animals seem to have but one sense, or perhaps two at the most; touch and taste. Ought such an animal to conclude against the existence of odours, sounds, and colours? To another species is given the sense of smelling. This is an advance in the knowledge of the pow ers and properties of nature: but, if this favoured animal should infer from its superiority over the class last described, that it perceived every thing which was perceptible in nature, it is known to us, though perhaps not suspected by the animal itself, that it proceeded upon a false and presumptuous estimate of its faculties. To another is added the sense of hearing; which lets in a class of sensations entirely unconceived by the animal before spoken of; not only distinct, but remote from any which it had ever experienced, and greatly supe rior to them. Yet this last animal has no more ground for believing, that its senses comprehend all things, and all properties of things which exist, than might have been claimed by the tribes of animals beneath it; for we know, that it is still possible to possess another sense, that of sight, which shall disclose to the percipient a new world. This fifth sense makes the animal what the human animal is; but to infer, that possibility stops here; that either this fifth sense is the last sense, or that the five comprehend all existence; is just as unwarrantable a conclusion, as that which might have been made by any of the different species which possessed fewer, or even by that, if such there be, which possessed only one. The conclusion of the onesense animal, and the conclusion of the five-sense animal, stand upon the same authority. There may be more and other senses than those which we have. There may be senses suited to the perception of the powers, properties, and substance, of spirits. These may belong to higher orders of rational agents; for there is not the smallest reason for supposing that we are the highest, or that the scale of creation stops with us.

The great energies of nature are known to us only by their effects. The substances which produce them, are as much concealed from our sense as the divine essence itself. Gravitation, though constantly present, though constantly exerting its influence, though every where around us, near us, and within us; though diffused throughout all space, and penetrating the texture of all bodies with which we are acquainted, depends, if upon a fluid, upon a fluid which, though both powerful and universal in its operation, is no object of sense to us; if upon any other kind of substance or action, upon a substance and action, from which te receive no distinguishable impressions. Is it then to be wondered at, that it should, in some measure, be the same with the Divine nature?

Of this however we are certain, that whatever the Deity be, neither the universe, nor any part of it which we see, can be He. The universe itself is merely a collective name: its parts are all which are real; or which are things. Now inert matter is out of the question and organized substances include marks of contrivance. But whatever includes marks of contrivance, whatever, in its constitution, testifies design, necessarily carries us to something beyond itself, to some other being, to a designer prior to, and out of, itself. No animal for instance, can have contrived its own limbs senses; can have been the author to itself of


« AnteriorContinuar »