Previous Index Next
Page 100
(previous) (Page 000100) (next)

the Springs and jewelled pivots of the works within, those
qualities and powers, in short, which enable the watch to
perform accurately its work as a keeper of time. With re-
gard to the knowledge of such a watch he would be a mere
ignoramus who would content himself with outward inspec-
tion. I do not wish to say one severe word here to-day,
but I fear that many of those who are very loud in their
praise of the works of the Lord know them only in this out-
side and superficial way. It is the inner works of the uni-
verse which science reverently uncovers; it is the study of
these that she recommends as a discipline worthy of all

The ultimate problem of physics is to reduce matter by
analysis to its lowest condition of divisibility, and force to
its simplest manifestations, and then by synthesis to con-
struct from these elements the world as it stands. We are
still a long way from the final solution of this problem;
and when the solution comes, it will be one more of spir-
itual insight than of actual observation. But though we
are still a long way from this complete intellectual mastery
of Nature, we. have conquered vast regions of it, have
learned their polities and the play of their powers. We
live upon a ball of matter eight thousand miles in diameter,
swathed' by an atmosphere of unknown height. This ball
has been molten by heat, chilled to a solid, and sculptured
by water; it is made up of substances possessing distinctive
properties and modes of action, properties which have an
immediate bearing upon the continuance of man in health,
and on his recovery from disease, on which moreover de-
pend all the arts of industrial life. These properties and
modes of action offer problems to the intellect, some profit-
able to the child, and others sufficient to tax the highest
powers of the philosopher. Our native sphere turns on its
axis and revolves in space. It is one of a band which do
the same. It is illuminated by a sun which, though nearly

Previous Index Next