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Whenever the sacred writers introduce physical General rule for statements, thev may fairly be understood as speaking physical 3 difficulties conformably to the existing state of knowledge, or in Scrip- ture.

In any such cases it would be irrational for us at the present day to insist too lite- rally on such representations, and especially to reason on them in cases where we are precluded from ex- amining into all the circumstances, or canvassing the evidence. But if after all, in any instance the letter of the narrative or form of expression may be found irreconcileably at variance best thesis writing services with physical truth, without trenching on the integrity of the text, or x 2 308 UNITY OF WORLDS. Objections from want of distinc- tion be- tween the different parts of the Bible. Difficulties of this kind in many instances, especially as regards the Old Testament, derive their whole importance from the common want of due discrimination as to the distinct object and cha- racter of the different portions of the Bible. But the more perfect and universal religion of Christianity, if in its first outward manifestations accommodated to the convictions of the people among whom it originated, yet in its essential characteristics and more full development to the rest of the world, as set forth in the Pauline Epistles, while it ex- pressly disclaims the peculiarities of the older dis- ESSAY II. If we look to its more special doctrines, as regards Doctrines of the Di- the Divine nature, we may observe that a physico- vme nature - theology supplies no such idea of the Deity as can offer any antecedent contradiction to the repre- sentations of His nature and attributes (neces- sarily more or less anthropomorphic), or to the spiritual mysteries of redemption and a future state, as announced in the language of the New Testament. And as to the condition of man, the language of the Christian doctrine represents it not in reference to any material, metaphysical, or moral hypotheses, but to peculiar spiritual principles. It does not dwell on external events in any physical detail, but always with a doctrinal application, or in a spiritualised meaning. It also includes an able de- fence of this belief against its supposed unfavourable influence on the doctrine of original sin. ON THE PHILOSOPHY OF CREATION, 315 THE PHILOSOPHY OF CREATION. Interest of universe, and of all physical causes, or in the se- the ques- tion, condary and more accessible meaning, of the earliest history of the cosmical arrangements of stellar or planetary systems, or more particularly of our own globe, of its physical revolutions, or of the successive introduction of new forms of organised 316 PHILOSOPHY best thesis writing services OF CREATION. Various And the discussion which has been called forth has grounds of discussion, exhibited the greatest variety of tone and character. By others, again, it has been taken up on religious grounds, or mixed up in various degrees with the influence of a theological creed, to which speculations of a more scientific kind have been deemed hostile.

The truth is, the same observa- tions will in a great degree apply to this question ESSAY III. And until these distinctions are properly drawn in the mind of the inquirer, it will be to little purpose to discuss the best thesis writing services details of controversy. It will be allowed, then, in conformity to prin- Properly a subject for ciples before laid down, that on purely physical and pky sical J r J conjecture. Meaning of It must also be borne in mind, that we have by the term " creation. The very use of the term " creation " may in- deed be supposed to point to associations of a higher kind, which are altogether beyond the simple scientific question. Even in earlier times, and under very erroneous systems of philosophy, we trace some recognition of these sounder principles.

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In carrying on this inquiry with special reference 320 PHILOSOPHY OF CREATION. IN any question as to the origin of the world pur- Sources of informa- sued on scientific grounds, the sources to which we tion - FossU remains. More recently, however, this has been much dis- puted. Not only have particular instances sup- posed to invalidate this law, been brought forward as demanding certain modifications in the statement of it, but the entire principle has been contested and positively denied. And those who have pursued the inquiry (restricted merely to the question of fact) have been ranked under the two schools of Progres- sion and Non-progression. It may, indeed, be fairly questioned whether such distinct designations, applied without qualification, can be fairly supposed to characterise any parties in the scientific world, or whether we may not rather regard the differences as of a more limited character. At any rate, a very brief summary of the principal arguments on either side will materially conduce to our object. Throughout the long period of the Silurian formations, he con- tends that we have little evidence of any advance or progress in the scale of organisation. In general, that the remains actually preserved in any formation furnish us with no certain standard or adequate representation of the entire existing state of the organic world at the time, is evident from the very partial, local, and accidental manner Address to Geological Society, 1851. But in some instances, it is further urged, we Analogies of species.

We infer, as it were, the absence of the principals from the presence of their substitutes. The argu- ment, of course, depends on the force and correctness of this analogy, and the general evidence of such a system. With regard to the absence of terrestrial remains, Marine formations.

But there must have been Y 3 326 PHILOSOPHY OF CREATION. Changes Again, if progression be supposed, it is an ad- chiefly in higher mitted part of the law that in the lower forms, forms. Thus it would be in proportion as we ascend to the higher classes, that any marked signs of change or improvement might be ex- pected, influence of There is one material consideration the force of terrestrial heat. On the other hand, these considerations may admit Supposed local causes of qualification, if we should agree with those who as- of heat. Nor need we dwell upon those more immediate local causes of change of climate in the variations of physical feature in the continents and oceans, universally recognised by geologists, which might interfere greatly with any general pro- gressive change of temperature in particular localities. In fact, the discussion of the question of progression or non-progression is per- haps less valuable on its own account than as it leads to a more searching review and analysis of the ground on which all geological reasoning proceeds. We are thus led to consider generally the proper Force of negative force of negative evidence as such : in other words, evidence. Negative evidence is strong in proportion as we may be able to show from circumstances a high probability that instances would be found if they existed, or a high probabi- lity, from other analogies, that they did not exist. Non-appearance would here be nearly tantamount to non-existence. Non-appearance would here be no presumption even of non-existence. Origin of As to the great question of the first origin of life globe. An azoic rock is no necessary proof of an azoic period, Animals may have lived and flourished abundantly where, from peculiar causes, none of their remains might have been imbedded.

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