Dialogues on divine providence (1856) PDF ebook

Dialogues on divine providence

Dialogues on divine providence


The following pages were originally intended to embody the substance of an unwritten sermon. But the form has been entirely changed, and the matter has received many additions and modifications. The result is a very small book indeed; but, small and insignificant though it be, it is commended, with all its im- perfections, to the Providence which is its subject. Its main positions will probably appear truisms at first; and yet they may surprise some readers by their consequences. But this, it is submitted, is no argument against their correctness
 We underrate the scale of most things, till we have to do with them in detail. We only appreciate the extent of a Country by traveling over it, and of a Truth by seeing what it contains. A simple colossal form strikes us at first as nothing extraordinary, till we come near it, and walk around it, and take in its measure by the eye and the mind; and then it starts into sublimity.

In pursuing his subject, the author has touched, of necessity, on some of the deep and difficult topics to which Philosophy and Religion make a common claim. To discuss them fully was foreign to his purpose. He has certainly felt it no part of his duty to adjudge the disputed territory to the advocates of either side exclusively. Religion and Philosophy ought to have much in common. Religion tells us of the Unseen, and Philosophy would tell us of the Unknown. 

And these are surely two spheres of thought which are far from excluding each other. They meet in that vast Infinite of which we see and know so little. And as they have much of their subject in common, they should have much of their temper also. Neither will suffer by being associated with the other in Awe, and Wonder, and a free confession of Ignorance. As Philosophy is a word that is apt to alarm some readers, it may be well to add, that the author believes the following pages to contain nothing unintelligible to a person of ordinary education.


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