Recent Natural Theology

 

 

 

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only scanned through page 199 

The most enlarged view of the entire subject was that so elaborately unfolded by Kant [I See ,Oxford Essays," 1857, Essay V. ; and Cousin's 11 Lectures on Kant."]; who, while he critically analysed and exposed the defective pretensions of the transcendental metaphysical reasoning of a former age, dwelt emphatically on the true conception of the external physical evidence, based on the essential distinction between the strict conclusions of science and those higher forms of contemplation to which the moral and religious sense of mankind in all ages inclines them, and which

 

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ESSAT L 1v 3 RECENT NATURAL THEOLOGY. 199

constitute the real source of all practical views of the subject.

Among our own writers the discussion has cer English writers.

tainly assumed an aspect of higher and more scientific pretension in recent times. Some have professed to improve upon Paley, in followin up a more strictly .9

analytic and a posteriori form of the argument; but their expositions, luminous and forcible as they may be, still usually appeal more to foregone conclusions than to philosophical conceptions.

In the. numerous recent works on this subject which have attained popularity, we cannot but observe that facts and instances, examples and inferences in detail, have indeed been produced in rich and increasing profusion, as the stores of scientific knowledge of nature, have been continually augmented by ever expanding research. Yet comparatively little advance has been made in the higher analysis of those conventional modes of argument, to whose stereotyped forms most writers on the subject seem to consider themselves pledged to adhere.

The illustrations of Lord Brougham, the criticisms of Bishop Turton, and the stores of erudition and science poured forth by the writers for the

 

 

   

 

 


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