Hodge, Popular Lectures, 45, 99 ? ?The system of natural laws is far more flexible in God?s hands than it is in ours. We act on second causes externally; God acts on them internally. We act upon them at only a few isolated points; God acts upon every point of the system at the same time. The whole of nature may be as plastic to his will as the air in the organs of the great Singer who articulates it into a fit expression of every thought and passion of his soaring soul.? Upton, Hibbert Lectures, 155 ? ?If all the chemical elements of our solar system preexisted in the fiery cosmic mist, there must have been a time when quite suddenly the attractions between these elements overcame the degree of caloric force which held them apart. The rush of elements into chemical union must have been consummated with inconceivable rapidity. Uniformitarianism is not universal.?
Shaler, Interpretation of Nature, chap. 2 ? ?By a little increase of centrifugal force the elliptical orbit is changed into a parabola and the planet becomes a comet. By a little reduction in temperature water becomes solid and loses many of its powers. So unexpected results are brought about and surprises as revolutionary as if a Supreme Power immediately intervened.? William James, Address before Soc. for Psycho. Research: ?Thought transference may involve a critical point, as the physicists call it. This is passed only when certain psychic conditions are realized and otherwise not reached at all ? just as a big conflagration will break out at a certain temperature, below which no conflagration whatever, whether big or little, can occur.? Tennyson, Life, 1:324 ? ?Prayer is like opening a sluice between the great ocean and our little channels, when the great sea gathers itself together and flows in at full tide.?
Since prayer is nothing more nor less than an appeal to a personal and present God, whose granting or withholding of the requested blessing is believed to be determined by the prayer itself, we must conclude that prayer moves God. In other words, prayer induces the putting forth on his part of an imperative volition.
The view that in answering prayer God combines natural forces is elaborated by Chalmers. Works, 2:314, and 7:234. See Diman, Theistic Argument, 111 ? ?When laws are conceived of, not as single but as combined, instead of being immutable in their operation, they are the agencies of ceaseless change. Phenomena are governed, not by invariable forces but by endlessly varying combinations of invariable forces.? Diman seems to have followed Argyll, Reign of Law, 100.
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