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WE have no reason to believe that the sheep or the dog,
or, indeed, any of the lower animals, feel an interest in the
laws by which natural phenomena are regulated. A herd
may be terrified by a thunder-storm; birds may go to roost,
and cattle return to their stalls during a solar eclipse; but
neither birds nor cattle, as far as we know, ever think of
inquiring into the causes of these things. It is otherwise
with man. The presence of natural objects, the occurrence
of natural events, the varied appearances of the universe in
which he dwells, penetrate beyond his organs of sense, and
appeal to an inner power of which the senses are the mere
instruments and eXcitants. No fact is to him either final
or original. He cannot limit himself to the contemplation,
of it alone, but endeavors to ascertain its position in a
series to which the constitution of his mind assures him it
must belong. He regards all that he witnesses in the
present as the efflux and sequence of something that has
gone before, and as the source of a system of events which
is to follow. The notion of spontaneity, by which in his
ruder state he accounted for natural events, is abandoned;
the idea that Nature is an aggregate of independent parts
also disappears, as the connection and mutual dependence
of physical powers become more and more manifest: until
he is finally led, and that chiefly by the science of which
I happen this evening to be the exponent, to regard

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