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the nature and extent of that mixture and connection. Whilst they join them in ope
By overlooking the intermediate links in the great chain of Causes, and by resolving every effect into the immediate and personal act of Deity, this learned writer should reAlect, that he not only injures the beauty and contrivance, the connection and dependence so admirable in the economy of Nature, but puts a check upon the progress of Natural Philosophy, which consists entirely of an enquiry into fecond causes; and also, that, by introducing a sort of miraculous interposition, he is confounding the established
order of natural things, and introducing a method of 'philosophizing, which would give a sanction to every ridiculous hypothesis that doth not quite come up to an
impoffibility'. Ibid. p. 115.. · In allowing the Deity to act mediately by the instrumentality of his own creation, we can be in no danger of supposing that Matter is poflefled of thought and motion in itself, or that it is able to make and to support the world:: and “the Wisdom of God will be infinitely magnified' in our conception 'if he be found to bring about those things
by the mechanism of fecond Caulas, to which philoso'phers have determined the divine power itself to be absolutely necessary. And we may hence derive the only rational encouragement to a chearful and diligent study of "Nature. The Causes employed are few and simple beyond expreffion : their Effects are infinitely various and wonderful; and to those who begin upon a right found. ation they will unfold themselves every day more and more; nor will the labour of man be lost in the pursuit, till he has acquired as much knowledge of this fort, as will do him good in his present state.' Ibid. p. 225. .
ration, they should be careful not to confound them in contemplation, so as to mistake the Principles of the one for the Principles of the other; which will finally and inevitably lead to error.
That every particular science has Principles of its own, which are totally independ
· Upon the whole, both these Authors agree with our great philosopher as to the Who, and the WHERE, and the When. It is God, in all places, and at all times. But they all differ as to the Manner How. And though both may have supplanted the Newtonian Forces, their hypotheses are opposite to each other, and each may serve to prove that the other is in the wrong. And, however honourable the search, if conducted with humility and prudence, the physical Causes of things may often be among those of " his ways which are past finding out.” Whether he dispense his blessings through the world more immediately with his own hand, or through the mediation of recond Causes, the real government of the whole will terminate equally in HIMSELF. If “ in his Wifdom he made “ the worlds," He upholds them by his Power. If his Sun replenith us with its light, and invigorate us with its heat, it is HE “ who maketh it to rise on the evil and on *the good.” If the Air yield nourishment and respiration to the vegetable and animal creations, it is He “ who gi« veth life and breath and all things.” If the clouds pour down water to fertilize the earth; it is He “ who sendeth “ his rain on the just and on the unjuft;" He is both « alpha and omega,” the beginning and the end, “ in whom " we live and move, and have our being.”
to cu eat of others, is that sound and wholesome zas to mi doctrine received from Aristotle, to exemthe Pri plify and illustrate which is a main object of Enell al these Lectures ; as it leads to the due di
stination, and facilitates the just apprehenfion, of all the kinds of truth. Physical Principles, whether general Causes if they are to be found, or Phænomena which are generalized, are collected from Experiments which are particular, matters of fact, and cannot possibly originate in Geometry, which consists in the speculation of* general ideas ; however useful Geomery may sometimes be in the art of deducing them in the first place, and of applying them in the second': and it is, accordingly, observed by a very able and
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'Young Mathematicians, who are smatterers in philo. fophy, are apt to form very high and preposterous ideas of the nature and perfection of Physical Science, betrayed probably into a miitake, in regard to its Principles, by Sir Ifaac Newton having called his · Philosophiæ Principia * Mathematica :' and again by the following and similar expressions Hactenus Principia tradidi a Mathematicis
recepta, et Experientia multiplici confirmata. Præf. ad Princip. From which it seems as if he considered Mathematies as the subject matter and Experiments only as the Instrument ; just contrary to the truth,
ingenious philosopher, that · Geometry can
be of little use till data are collected to • build upon".' These data are furnished by Experiments and Inductions, and lay the
foundation of the philofophical superstruc'ture, which Mathematics sometimes lend most useful assistance in building up. If the foundation be well and firmly laid, the superstructure will be found and strong; if otherwise, it will be infirm and weak : for, however sure and invincible Mathematical reasoning may be, either considered in the abstract, or in its operation on true materials; when employed upon false and mistaken principles, it is as false and erroneous as any other that'is also misapplied."
Maclaurin, p. 35. * Geometriam atque Arithmeticam, velut Alas duas Astronomiæ datas effe, scite quidem ac vere dixit Plato : Suumque adjecit calculum Lansbergius. Atqui non solum
Alas habent volucres quibus in coelum subvehantur, sed • additur præterea Cauda, quæ Temonis inftar, volatus ea
rum regere poffit. Simili omnino ratione, quamvis Geo. metria et Arithmetica Astronomo summopere fint neceslariæ, adeo ut illis nequaquam carere poffit; per fe tamen non sufficiunt ad laborem hunc Herculeum perficiendum, nili insuper accedat ratio Phyfica, quæ tanquam Nauclerus
In their application to portions of Natural Philosophy, Mathematics are, therefore, not : to be considered as fundamental, but as ina Strumental only: and the judicious philosopher will distinguish the Physical Principles, whatever they may be, or wherever found, from the Mathematics operating upon them. The Motion of bodies on the surface of the earth is the phænomenon, which from experiment supplies the Physical Principle;
puppi infidens, totius speculationis clavum teneat. Si quis igitur Palladem hanc, difficilis licet vultus, comitem et ducem nolit; nil mirum fi, latentibus alicubi scopulis impingens, in erroris pelago naufragium fecerit. Atque hanc ego rationem existimo, quod tam diu formosiffima illa divarum Urania tam difficilem petentibus præbuit auren, quod scilicet hanc Philosophiæ partem Phyficam a rebus Aftronomicis excludentes, mediatricem illam noluerunt. Exoranda eft itaque fummoque ftudio excolenda intima hæc Astronomiæ famula, illis qui suaviffimo Uraniæ gremio, votis tandem potiti, conquiescere desiderant. Quæ qoidem ut mihi fit propitia, summis ftudiorum præmiis ac meritis contendam, ut mediante illius opera suaviffimos Dominæ fuæ vultus perspiciam. Meos amores enim celare non possum, nec tamen æmulos metuo. Sponsam habeat illibatam illam virginem (Aftrorum Scientiam) quicunque erit cui palmam ipfa concesserit, mihi sat erit fi vel tædam martialem nuptiis suis præferre me dignabatur, Horrocii Opera Pofthuma, Disp. 1. cap. 2.