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LECTURES ON THE ATOMIC THEORY
ESSAYS SCIENTIFIC AND LITERARY
BY SAMUEL BROWN
EDINBURGH: THOMAS CONSTABLE AND CO.
HAMILTON, ADAMS, AND CO., LONDON,
THE FINITE AND THE INFINITE.
It is the inalienable prerogative of man to pray to God. It is the royal condition on which he wears the crown of Nature; although the condition is ill fulfilled, and his glory is therefore dim. In every clime and in every age, however, he builds himself an altar. Nor is there any man, be his metaphysical creed what it may, or be he ever so far from God in the spirit of his mind, but sometimes utters himself in willing or involuntary prayers. Superstitions, holidays, pagodas, temples, , mosques, images and pictures, churches and chapels, even amulets and charms, do all attest the fact that the distinguishing attitude of man is on his knees. Curses themselves are but inverted prayers; like the images of things within the eyeball, which the eye within the eye' restores to their real position in the act of vision. The common sense, or public reason of humanity, undoubtingly declares its conscious allegiance to Him who cannot be adequately named. Even if it is not possible to generalise a philosophy of man from the principles of common sense, as they are called, it is yet inconceivable