Thursday, September 27, 2018

Boyle: the object of all studies

Thursday, September 27, 2018
    Feast of Vincent de Paul, Founder of the Congregation of the Mission (Lazarists), 1660
The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they display knowledge.
There is no speech or language
    where their voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun,
    which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion,
    like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
It rises at one end of the heavens
    and makes its circuit to the other;
    nothing is hidden from its heat.
    —Psalm 19:1-6 (NIV)
    The gospel comprises indeed, and unfolds the whole mystery of man’s redemption, as far forth as it is necessary to be known for our salvation: and the corpuscularian or mechanical philosophy strives to deduce all the phenomena of nature from adiaphorous matter, and local motion. But neither the fundamental doctrine of Christianity nor that of the powers and effects of matter and motion seems to be more than an epicycle ... of the great and universal system of God’s contrivances, and makes but a part of the more general theory of things, knowable by the light of nature, improved by the information of the scriptures: so that both these doctrines... seem to be but members of the universal hypothesis, whose objects I conceive to be the natural counsels, and works of God, so far as they are discoverable by us in this life.
    ... Robert Boyle (1627-1691), The Excellency of Theology [1674], Works, v. IV, p. 19 (see the book)
    See also Ps. 19:1-6; Gen. 1; Job 38:4-14; Ps. 8:3-4; 33:4-7; 148:3-4; Isa. 40:22-26; Jer. 10:12; Rom. 1:18-20
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, Your name is written large on Your creation.
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