The Method of the Divine Government
Physical and Moral
By James McCosh
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year: 2009
Online Publication Date:August 2010
Original Publication Year:1850
Chapter DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511693892.003
Subjects: History of Ideas and Intellectual History
SECT. I.—SOURCES OF OUR IDEA OF GOD.
Suppose that the sun, rising and setting as at present, had been perpetually hid from the eye by an intervening cloud or shade which concealed his body without obstructing his beams, there might still have been an universal impression that a great luminary existed as the cause of the light which daily illuminated our globe. Different persons might have fixed on different objects as reflecting the light of heaven most impressively; some on the fleecy or gilded clouds; others on the lively verdure of the grass and forests, or on the cerulean ocean, or on the rich grain of autumn glistening in the yellow beams; but all would have rejoiced to conclude, that there was a sun behind the veil.
Though God is invisible to the bodily eye—though he is, as it were, behind a veil—yet the idea of his existence is pressed on the mind from a variety of quarters. Were it not so, the apprehension of, and belief in, a supernatural power or being would not be so universally entertained. The mind which refuses the light that comes from one region, is obliged to receive the light that comes from another quarter of the heavens or earth. It may be interesting to trace to its sources the most important conception which the human mind can form.