Studies in Theism

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Phillips & Hunt, 1879 - Theism - 444 pages

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Page 415 - MAY I join the choir invisible Of those immortal dead who live again In minds made better by their presence : live In pulses stirred to generosity, In deeds of daring rectitude, in scorn For miserable aims that end with self. In thoughts sublime that pierce the night like stars, And with their mild persistence urge man's search To vaster issues.
Page 189 - We are conscious automata, endowed with free will in the only intelligible sense of that much-abused term — inasmuch as in many respects we are able to do as we like — but none the less parts of the great series of causes and effects which, in unbroken continuity, composes that which is, and has been, and shall be — the sum of existence.
Page 217 - Life is not a bully, who swaggers out into the open universe, upsetting the laws of energy in all directions, but rather a consummate strategist, who, sitting in his secret chamber, before his wires, directs the movements of a great army.* 223.
Page 163 - ... and all that they involve. Did that formless fog contain potentially the sadness with which I regarded the Matterhorn ? Did the thought which now ran back to it simply return to its primeval home ? If so, had we not better recast our definitions of matter and force ? for if life and thought be the very flower of both, any definition which omits life and thought must be inadequate, if not untrue.
Page 202 - ... planetary spheres, but also molecularly, or throughout its most intimate structure : thus every alteration of temperature produces a molecular change throughout the whole substance heated or cooled ; slow chemical or electrical actions, actions of light or invisible radiant forces, are always at play, so that as a fact we cannot predicate of any portion of matter that it is absolutely at rest.
Page 221 - If we could view the Universe as a candle not lit, then it is perhaps conceivable to regard it as having been always in existence ; but if we regard it rather as a candle that has been lit, we become absolutely certain that it cannot have been burning from eternity, and that a time will come when it will cease to burn.
Page 204 - The scientific idea of force is the idea of as pure and mysterious a unity as the One of Parmenides. It is a noumenal integer phenomenally differentiated into the glittering universe of things. The Christian who asserts that the unknowable cause of all is an intelligent and affectionate Father, a personal counterpart of himself dilated to immensity, would brand as an atheistic nothingarian the scientist who pauses with the idea of a unit of force, and denies substantive validity to everything...
Page 276 - For contrivance — the need of employing means — is a consequence of the limitation of power. Who would have recourse to means if to attain his end his mere word was sufficient? The very idea of means implies that the means have an efficacy which the direct action of the being who employs them has not. Otherwise they are not means, but an incumbrance. A man does not use machinery to move his arms. If he did, it could only be when paralysis had deprived him of the power of moving them by volition.
Page 221 - Now, it has been well pointed out by Thomson, that looked at in this light, the universe is a system that had a beginning and must have an end; for a process of degradation cannot be eternal. If we could view the universe as a candle not lit, then it is perhaps conceivable to regard it as having been always in existence ; but if we regard it rather as a candle that has been lit, we become absolutely certain that it cannot have been burning from eternity, and that a time will come when it will cease...
Page 202 - ... the whole substance heated or cooled; slow chemical or electrical actions, actions of light or invisible radiant forces, are always at play, so that as a fact we cannot predicate of any portion of matter that it is absolutely at rest. Supposing, however, that motion is not an indispensable function of matter, but that matter can be at rest, matter at rest would never of itself cease to be at rest; it would not move unless impelled to such motion by some other moving body, or body which has moved....

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