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MIRACLES AND SPECIAL PROVIDENCES. 57

the grounds of our belief in that order. With a vigor of
logic- rarely equalled, and with a confidence in its conclu-
sions never surpassed, he disposes of this belief in a manner
calculated to startle those who, without due examination,
had come to the conclusion that the order of Nature was
secure.

What we mean, he says, by our belief in the order of
Nature, is the belief that the future will be like the past.
There is not, according to Mr. Mozley, the slightest rational
basis for this belief.

“ That any cause in Nature is more permanent than its existing and
known effects, extending further, and about to produce other and more
instances besides what it has produced already, we have no evidence.
Let us imagine,” he continues, “the occurrence of a particular physical
phenomenon for the first time. Upon that single occurrence we should
have but the very faintest expectation of another. If it did occur again,
once or twice, so far from counting on another occurrence, a cessation
would occur as the most natural event to us. But let it continue one
hundred times, and we should find no hesitation in inviting persons from
a distance to see it; and if it occurred every day for years, its occur-
rence would be a certainty to us, its cessation a marvel. . . . What
ground of reason can we assign for an expectation that any part of the
course of Nature will be the next moment what it has been up to this
moment, i. e., for our belief in the uniformity of Nature? None. No
demonstrative reason can be given, for the contrary to the recurrence of
a fact of Nature is no contradiction. N o probable reason can be given,
for all probable reasoning respecting the course of Nature is founded upon.
this presumption of likeness, and, therefore, cannot be the foundation
of it. No reason can be given for this belief. It is without a reason.
It rests upon no rational grounds, and can be traced to no rational prin-
ciple.”

“ Every thing,” Mr. Mozley, however, adds, “depends
upon this belief, every provision we make for the future,
every safeguard and caution we employ against it, all cal-
culation, all adjustment of means to ends supposes this be-
lief; and yet this belief has no more producible reason for
it than a speculation of fancy. . . It is necessary, all-im-

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