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120 FRAGMENTS OF SCIENCE.

sacred historian, confessedly because he knew nothing
about it. Whether, therefore, we consider the miracle as
purely evidential, or as a practical means of vengeance, the
same lavish squandering of energy stares the scientific man
in the face. If evidential, the energy was wasted, because
the Israelites knew nothing of its amount; if simply de-
structive, then the ratio of the quantity lost to that em-
ployed may be inferred from the foregoing figures.

To other miracles similar remarks apply. Transferring
thought from our little sand-grain of an earth to the im-
measurable heavens, where countless worlds, with their
freights of life, probably revolve unseen, the very suns which
warm them being barely seen by us across abysmal space ;
reflecting that beyond these sparks of solar fire suns innu-
merable may lie, whose light can never stir the optic nerve
at all; and, bringing this conception face to face with the
idea that the Builder and Sustainer of it all should contract
himself to a burning bush, or behave in other familiar ways
ascribed to him—it is easy to understand how astounding
the incongruity must appear to the scientific man. Did
this credulous prattle of the ancients about miracles stand
alone; were it not locally associated with words of imper-
ishable wisdom, and with examples of moral grandeur un-
matched elsewhere in the history of the human race, both,
the miracles and their “ evidences ” would have long since
ceased to be the transmitted inheritance of intelligent men.
Under the pressure of the awe which this universe inspires,
well may we exclaim in David’s spirit, if not in David’s
words : “ When I consider the heavens the work of thy
fingers, the moon, and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
What is man that thou shouldst be mindful of him, or the
son of man that thou shouldst so regard him?”

If you ask me who is to limit the outgoings of Al-
mighty power, my answer is, not I. If you should urge
that if the Builder and the Maker of this universe chose to

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