Janet, Final Causes, 219 ? ?I kindle a fire in my grate. I only intervene to produce and combine together the different agents whose natural action behooves to produce the effect I have need of. The first step once taken, all the phenomena constituting combustion engender each other, conformably to their laws, without a new intervention of the agent. An observer who should study the series of these phenomena, without perceiving the first hand that had prepared all, could not seize that hand in any especial act, and yet there is a preconceived plan and combination.?
Hopkins, Sermon on Prayer-gauge: Man, by sprinkling plaster on his field, may cause the corn to grow more luxuriantly; by kindling great fires and by firing cannon, he may cause rain; and God can surely, in answer to prayer, do as much as man can. Lewes says that the fundamental character of all theological philosophy is conceiving of phenomena as subject to supernatural volition and consequently as eminently and irregularly variable. This notion, he says, is refuted first, by exact and rational prevision of phenomena and secondly by the possibility of our modifying these phenomena which promotes our own advantage. But we ask in reply: If we can modify them, cannot God? But, lest this should seem to imply mutability in God or inconsistency in nature, we remark, in addition, that:
(b) God may have so prearranged the laws of the material universe and the events of history that while the answer to prayer is an expression of his will, it is granted through the working of natural agencies and in perfect accordance with the general principle. Both temporal and spiritual results are to be attained by intelligent creatures through the use of the appropriate and appointed means.
J. P. Cooke, Credentials of Science, 194 ? ?The Jacquard loom of itself would weave a perfectly uniform plain fabric; the perforated cards determine a selection of the threads, and through a combination of these variable conditions, so complex that the observer cannot follow their intricate workings, the pre-designed pattern appears.? E. G. Robinson: ?The most formidable objection to this theory is the apparent countenance it lends to the doctrine of necessitarianism. But if it presupposes that free actions have been taken into account, it cannot easily be shown to be false.? The bishop who was asked by his curate to sanction prayers for rain was unduly skeptical when he replied: ?First consult the barometer.? Phillips Brooks: ?Prayer is not the conquering of God?s reluctance, but the taking hold of God?s willingness.?
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