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Does then the process consist merely in this, that we examine every individual of a class, or number of objects before us, and finding each one to possess a particular property, affirm that as a common property of the class? This certainly would imply no exercise of reasoning, and would hardly be worthy the name of induction. We should be merely affirming a proposition for whose truth we had the direct evidence of our senses. Yet, perhaps, even among cases of this sort, there may exist much difference as to the extent and labour of the research we may have to go through, in detecting the one property, which is common to all the individual cases, and constitutes the characteristic by which we give them a common classification and a generic name. The point in which all the examined instances agree, may, indeed, be manifest at first sight. But, again, it may be far otherwise; and though we have all the cases before us, (especially if they be numerous,) it may yet require no small labour and skill to succeed in tracing out what the property or circumstance is in which they all agree, amidst a variety of others in which they differ. The first case requires nothing further than the bare inspection of the instances: the latter may call forth much discriminative skill. The former is the work of the mere collector: the latter may involve that of the philosopher. But in any case other than the most immediately obvious there is this to be remarked, and it is deserving of particular attention it is almost certain that in the first instance the mind will conjecturally fix upon some property, which is imagined (whether correctly or not) most likely to be the common one sought, long before a complete examination of all the individuals has taken place. Let us suppose, on the other hand, that we have not all the individual facts before us. We observe a certain number of them, and finding them agree in some property, we are almost invariably prone at once to infer that all the rest possess it likewise. We infer more than we see. There is certainly a strong natural tendency in the human mind (even upon very slight apparent grounds) to advance from individual facts to general conclusions, to hazard inferences from the known to the unknown.

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"We have then next to inquire with what reasonable confidence can we make such inference? For instance, suppose that feeling a number of balls in a bag, we take out a few, and finding them white, infer that all the balls in the bag are white: is this a legitimate induction? Is it correct reasoning; is it not rather a most groundless presumption? Yet it may be asked, does it not possess all the characteristics of induction, as they have been laid down by some logical writers? For wherein does the case we have supposed differ from their commonly-cited example : ‹ This, that, and the other loadstone attracts iron, therefore all loadstones do?' Or, why is not the former of these instances as good reasoning as the latter? In the case of the balls, we cannot assign or imagine any reason why one should be white because others are so; any supposable connexion between the circumstance of the balls being together in the bag, and their colour. There is no tendency to fancy or expect it. On the other hand, in the case of the loadstone, having observed the effect in a few instances, we feel a natural tendency to imagine that the same VOL. I. No. 2.-New Series.

magnetic property subsists wherever we perceive the same external characteristics. We cannot avoid being persuaded that there is a connexion between that particular darkness of colour, weight, hardness, texture, &c., by which we recognize the mineral, and a magnetic power, though we may be at a loss to explain or assign the ground for it.”

There is an extraordinary looseness in this last statement. Surely the "induction" has nothing to do with our persuasion of a subsisting connexion, but with our experience of an actual connexion in every observed case. The induction is good in the one case, because we have no experience of a loadstone that does not attract iron: it is false in the other case, because we have experience of balls that are not white. This is hardly worth observing for its own sake, but is only one instance of a very general want of precision through the work, which, in connexion with its unquestionable philosophical merits, excites surprise.

We shall close with one or two unconnected extracts, exhibiting, we think, not more than the average character of its contents; and we aim at nothing more in this imperfect notice than to direct attention to a philosophical work on Theology, replete with valuable matter.

Secondary Causes, and the First Cause.


By such considerations we establish the momentous and elevated · truth, of one great moral cause of all things; and in this sense, as referring to the idea of designing wisdom and infinite intelligence, we perceive the wide distinction between the use of the term ' Cause,' and that adopted when we speak of secondary or physical 'causes.'

"We have already noticed, in other cases, the ambiguities arising from the diversity of meaning attached to the same term 'cause.' Here, then, it becomes more peculiarly necessary if we adopt the popular expression, 'the First Cause,' to recur carefully to the distinction, if we would preserve any clearness of reasoning.



We refer to senses of the term absolutely distinct in kind. Nor is it a term of mere verbal difference. It is of importance, whether in guarding against fallacies in evidence, or in answering the cavils of scepticism. Now the result of our inquiry into the nature of physical causes was such as to carry our ideas rather to the extension of order and uniformity than to the succession of efficient acts throughout the physical world; rather to simultaneous relation than to consecutive result. Expressions involving the idea of priority in time seem, then, calculated to convey erroneous impressions, at least in reference to the nature of physical laws or causes. And when we ascend to the contemplation of creative intelligence, the distinction is not between a prior and a subsequent train of material action, but between physical order and moral volition.

"It will thus be apparent that the metaphor so often used of the chain of natural causes whose last and highest link is its immediate connexion

with the Deity;-the very phrase of a succession of secondary causes traced up to a first cause,-and the like, (so commonly employed,) are founded on a totally mistaken analogy. They refer to a mere succession of mechanical impulses, traced up to a first mechanical power; to a series of physical changes, referred successively to some more and more general physical principle. The adoption of such a mode of representation, when extended to the Deity, would seem to make the first cause but one of a continued series of physical causes, and differing from them only in order of priority or generality. It would confound the efficient intelligence with the mere material manifestation of it,—the Creator with the creation. If we retain such metaphorical language at all, it would be a more just mode of speaking to describe the Deity as the Divine artificer of the whole chain,-not to connect him with its links ;-to represent the secondary causes as combined into joint operation by his power and will -but not to make him one of them.



But the common figures, besides their manifest impropriety, are singularly ill adapted to place before one's view the most important part of the truth, nay, are even calculated to disguise and hide it. For by the familiar use of these phrases the mind is habitually directed from the consideration that this chain,' a portion of which we can handle and examine, is to be so examined to teach us the skill of the artificer; and instead of this we are led away to the irrelevant consideration of where the end of it may be fixed.

"It then surely will be allowed of no small importance to preserve carefully the distinction between moral and physical causation. It is by this distinction that we advance from mere physical relations to any inference of a higher order of things. It is this which elevates our ideas from the mere material elements to the recondite intelligence which per-' vades the harmonious arrangement of them.

we require the aid of metaphor in attempting to give utterance to those vast conceptions with which the mind is overpowered, instead of speaking of the first and secondary links in a chain of causation, and the like, let us rather recur to the analogy of the arch (before introduced), and we shall be adopting at once a more just and expressive figure, and shall here run no risk of speaking as if we confounded the stones with the builder,—their mutually supporting force with the skill of the architect who adjusted them.


These considerations may enable us, then, to perceive the entire futility of those objections which are often urged against the study of secondary causes as being injurious to our due apprehension and acknowledgment of the first cause; so far from it they, in fact, furnish the sole rational or natural means of leading us to that apprehension and acknowledgment; and, in the language of Newton, (understood agreeably to the distinctions before laid down,) though every true step made in this philosophy brings us not immediately to the knowledge of the first cause, yet it brings us nearer to it, and on that account is highly to be valued. "-pp. 179-182.


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Interposition: Permanent Laws.

"Unless we consent to reason from the analogy of known causes to those which are unknown,—from the present to the remotest epochs of the past, we must lose the whole argument from the continuance of order and arrangement; we must be deprived of our sublimest conclusions which result from the permanence of the indications of design and harmonious adaptation. If we could trace material action no further than to resolve every effect into the result of an immediate arbitrary intervention, the real evidences of Divine intelligence would be wanting.

"We thus perceive the futility of such charges, as that by establishing the uniformity of second causes we impair the evidence of the Divine interposition; that by extending our researches into nature we encroach on the dominion of the Sovereign of Nature; and that by enlarging the range of physical agency we detract from the majesty of the Divine power, whereas it is by these very researches that we establish and acknowledge His sovereignty, and find in that very agency nothing else than His delegated authority.


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As reasonably should we construe the tranquillity of a well-ordered community into a proof of the defective energy of the sovereign power, because the daily immediate manifestation and interposition of that power was not necessary to carry on the governments. As well might we consider it to detract from the perfection of a piece of machinery, that it did not require the perpetual interposition of the artificer to keep it in action.


So far from any advantage arising to the stability of natural religion, or any augmentation of force to the impressions of natural piety, when nature remains veiled in mystery, and we are compelled to own our ignorance of the modes and laws of her operations, it is, in fact, the very unveiling of those mysteries, the dispersion of that mist of ignorance, the disclosure of the secrets of physical causation, which supply the very proof and defence of the truths of natural theology. The acknowledgment of Supreme power and wisdom, instead of being banished from that portion of nature which we can subject to inductive investigation, is there pre-eminently established as in its more peculiar sovereignty. And it is in the very advance from what has been termed the region of facts, to that of laws,' or in other words, from the region of unconnected observation and mystified speculation, into that of clear arrangement and luminous generalization, that we, in proportion, approach towards the worthy conception of the great Source of order, the eternal Cause of all the beauty and harmony of the earth and the Heavens.



"Natural science may be disparaged by some as the proud creation of human intellect, as beginning in presumption, and ending in irreligion, or at best, withdrawing us from what is spiritual to what is material. If, however, physical philosophy be human reason employed in investigating the material world, though the process may be of human origin, the subject-matter is not.

"Reason is but the instrument, and induction the art; but the materials are the universal creation. And if science be human, yet nature is divine; and the science of nature is but the rational evidence of God. But even intellect and science are his gifts, and the human mind his workmanship; when, therefore, we are able, by the exercise of these powers, to investigate his works, we are, ourselves, furnishing most recondite proofs of the fitness of his works one to another, and of the adaptation of the intellectual to the material order of things; and are but filling up an essential part in the universal harmony of his creation. When we devote our minds to the study of his works, we are but employing what he has bestowed in his own service; we are but rendering back his own, it may be hoped, with increase.'

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"If there be those who feel a disposition to undervalue inductive inquiry, (in the sense which we have shown it essentially to bear,) who are inclined to disparage physical investigation, and declaim against the inferences of experience and analogy, and the presumption of reasonings grounded on the uniformity of natural causes, let such persons be persuaded to pause for a moment, and learn caution by the consideration, that in any censure cast upon such trains of inquiry, and such principles of rational speculation, they are, in fact, casting censure on the very elements of the great argument of natural theology. Let them recollect how intimately the one is wound up in the very texture of the other, and avoid the reproach not less of inconsistency than of ignorance, not less of irreligion than of folly, which must attach to those who, under the plea of defending religion, would thus sap the very foundation of its evidences."-pp. 201-4.


Low views of Revelation.

Adopting their creed blindly from education, custom, or party, too many hold their religion only by a most loose and uncertain tenure, and are lamentably confused in their notions of its nature. Hence they dread a formidable shock to Christianity in every physical discovery; and in the obscurity which surrounds them, imagine danger to the truth in every exposure of error. Insensible to the real strength of their position, they live in groundless alarm for its security; and accustomed to cherish faith in ignorance, they apprehend, in every advance of knowledge, the approach of the enemy of their salvation.

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Too many nominal Christians entertain only the most miserable idea of the nature of the Gospel they profess to believe; their only notion too often consists in a confused general impression of a certain sacredness in Scripture, which produces little effect beyond that of making them afraid to enter its precincts, and search its recesses for themselves, and yet more fearful lest its sanctity should be invaded by others. And their dread of openly encountering any contradictions, and their anxious desire to shelter themselves under even the most frivolous explanations, if it does not betray a lurking distrust of the proper evidences of their faith, at least evinces the lowest and most unworthy conceptions of the spirit and meaning of the Bible, and an

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