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APPLICATION OF PHYSICAL
I. THE RELATION OF PHYSICAL SCIENCE
TO NATURAL THEOLOGY.
II. THE RELATION OF PHYSICAL SCIENCE
AND OF NATURAL THEOLOGY
THE RELATION OF PHYSICAL SCIENCE
TO NATURAL THEOLOGY.
“ Human knowledge is in truth the interpretation of those laws that God himself has impressed on his creation.”
BABBAGE, (Ninth Bridgewater Treatise, p. 24.)
“ Hæc cum meditaris studiosè, invenies Deum.”
LUTHER, (Op., vi. 204.)
Namque eos qui autumant nimiam scientiam inclinare mentem in Atheismum, ignorantiamque Secundarum Causarum pietati erga Primam obstetricari, libenter compellarem Jobi* questione, “An oporteat mentiri pro Deo, et ejus gratiâ dolum loqui conveniat, ut ipsi gratificemur ? liquet enim Deum nihil operari ordinatio in naturâ, nisi per Secundus Causas, cujus diversum credi si vellent impostura mera esset, quasi in gratiam Dei, et nihil aliud quam Authori veritatis immundam mendacii hostiam immolare.'»
Bacon, (De Augm., i. 1.)
“ Adeo ut tantum absit, ut causæ physicæ homines a Deo et providentiâ abducant, ut contrà potius philosophi illi qui in iisdem eruendis occupati fuerunt, nullum exitum rei reperiant, nisi postremo ad Deum et providentiam confugiant.”
Bacon, (De Augm., iii. 4.)
In the preceding remarks, we have pursued an inquiry into the nature of physical causes ; and in introducing this discussion by an examination of the nature of inductive evidence, by which all
* Job xiii. 7.
our knowledge of physical causes must be obtained, it has probably been made sufficiently manifest how intimately the principle of inductive generalization is connected with all our substantial and satisfactory ideas of cause and effect.
It appeared in the first instance, that a belief in the permanence of uniformity, and the preservation of analogies throughout nature, is in fact the very soul of the inductive philosophy. This supplies at once the first conjectural guide to our belief in fixed physical laws, (without which the very process of induction could not be carried on). And the unlimited extension of it is the grand and universal conclusion to which all experimental evidence leads, and to which all induction ministers increasing and abundant confirmation. In considering further our natural persuasion of the intimate connexion of physical cause and effect, I have endeavoured to explain it by regarding it as dependent simply upon the continually accumulating force of inductive evidence, and the endless order and mutual dependence of vast series of physical laws, of successively higher generality and wider comprehensiveness.
Having thus examined the nature of physical causes, the extent to which we trace their influence, and the origin of our ideas of a necessary connexion or efficiency in them; and having further considered the entirely distinct nature of what is commonly described by the same term “cause,”—but which ought to be carefully distinguished in meaning when