a discourse on the studies of the university of cambridge

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: $ 9. Conditions of the Mind that have led men to deny a Personal Creator—Atheism and Pantheism— Illustrations of the doctrine of Final Causes—Galvanic and Phrenological Hypotheses, Mechanical Inventions, It may perhaps be well to consider, through a few pages, under what conditions of the understanding men have been led to deny the evidence of a great personal, creative, and sustaining Power through the whole world of nature. Atheism is at least consistent with itself. If a man believe not in God, he cannot believe in a Creator; but I stop not to argue with an avowed Atheist. I pause only by the way, to express my conviction that there is a proof (sometimes called a priori) of the being of a God, derived from the mind of man and the right exercise of its inner powers, which no one can gainsay without renouncing his reason, and its supreme authority in judging of truth and falsehood: and if this proof be not accepted, or be little suited to our habits of thought, there is assuredly a proof a posteriori, based on our experience of what passes within ourselves, and on our observation of what is external to us, that brings, or ought to bring, conviction irresistible to the human heart. But this question has been discussed at sufficient length at the beginning of this Preface and in the following Discourse, and I must not dwell on it here. There is another form of unbelief, very nearly allied to Atheism, though passing under the less odious name of Pantheism. True Theism demands a personal preordaining Power. It, demands a cause for all the phenomena of the universe, whether of mind or matter: it requires, in one word, a personal, intelligent God and Creator. Pantheism will perhaps allow all we understand in our first conceptions of mind and matter. It will sometimes tell u...
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