But with regard to the material world, we can at least go so far as this - we can perceive that events are brought about not by insulated interpositions of Divine power, exerted in each particular case, but by the establishment of generl laws. W. WHERWELL, Bridgewater Treatise
To conclude, therefore, let no man out of a weak conceit of sobriety, or an ill-applied moderation, think or maintain, that a man can search too far or be too well studied in the book of God's word, or in the book of God's works, divinity or philosophy; but rather let men endeavour an endless progress or proficience in both. BACON, Advancement of Learning
To Alex and Anna Trench
Two of the worst of all lines of English poetry, written in 1799 by John Hookham Frere: 'The feather'd race with pinions skim te air - Not so the mackerek, and still less the bear!' However poor that verse, it has a moral. The lines come from Frere's somewhat neglected work 'The Progress of Man; Poetry of the Anti-Jacobin'. Birds, Bears and fish carry a political message. Things are as they are and it is folly to change them. The French Revolution disturbed the God-given order: to proclaim the rights of man was as absurd as to suggest that mankind - or even bears - might fly.
(An historical sketch of the progress of opinion on the origin of species)
According to a 1991 opinion poll, a hundred million Americans believe that 'God created man pretty much in his present form at one time during the last tn thusand years'.
Man has a strange relationship with his domestic animals. The Victorian explorer William Burchell found himself unable to eat zebra when he was near starvation in Africa, because of its resemblance to his favourite mare.
Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is a grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one, and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.