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SUPERNATURAL IN NATURE
BY FREE USE OF SCIENCE
JOSEPH WILLIAM REYNOLDS, M.A.
PRESIDENT OF SION COLLEGE,
VICAR OF ST. STEPHEN'S, SPITALFIELDS
VERBUM DOMINI MANET IN ÆTERNUM
C. KEGAN PAUL & CO., 1, PATERNOSTER SQUARE
"Now, if the natural and revealed dispensation of things are both from God, if they coincide with each other, and together make up one scheme of Providence, our being incompetent judges of one, must render it credible that we may be incompetent judges also of the other. Since, upon experience, the acknowledged constitution and course of nature is found to be greatly different from what, before experience, would have been expected; and such as, men fancy, there lie great objections against; this renders it beforehand highly credible, that they may find the revealed dispensation likewise, if they judge of it as they do of the constitution of nature, very different from expectations formed beforehand, and liable, in appearance, to great objections-objections against the scheme itself, and against the degrees and manners of the miraculous interpositions by which it was attested and carried on."-BUTLER'S " Analogy of Religion," Part II. Revealed Religion, Chap. iii.
IS RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED AS A SMALL TOKEN OF ESTEEM AND LOVE
FOR THAT GENTLE HOLINESS AND PURITY WHICH,
UNITED WITH WISE FIRMNESS,
RENDER HIM BELOVED AND HONOURED IN THE HIGH STATION
WHICH HE HAS BEEN CALLED IN THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD
“THOUGH one were to allow any confused undetermined sense, which people might please to put upon the word natural, it would be a shortness of thought scarce credible to imagine, that no system or course of things can be so, but only what we see at present; . . . . . . the only distinct meaning of that word is stated, fixed, or settled; since what is natural as much requires and presupposes an intelligent agent to render it so, i.e., to effect it continually, or at stated times, as what is supernatural or miraculous does to effect it at once."-BUTLER'S " Analogy of Religion," Part I. Natural Religion, Chap. i.
This book went forth with its parentage unacknowledged, lest scientists, who boast that they have fought and won the intellectual battle against Christianity, should refuse to hear an argument drawn from their own line of things by a clerical pen. Now that it has received and endured not a little fearless criticism; now that every line of its statement appears to the author to remain unturned, and is allowed by the thoughtful to be capable of further production into new regions of thought; it would be cowardice, not humility, to shrink from the responsibility of authorship. Honoured by your request so to do, I affix my name; and being President of Sion College this year, I have the honour to use that title at the express wish of the Court of Governors.
I respectfully offer to you, the Visitor of that College, a second edition of the work, as a mark of my sense of the great forbearance, cordial sympathy, wise counsel, and effective help, with which, to the utmost of your strength, you encourage even the lowliest in the sacred ministry of our Church.
This College, your Lordship well knows, is not only used for devotional, intellectual, and social meetings of the clergy; but is the place where those who conceive that the possession of advanced science is incompatible with the childlike faith