S. Austin Allibone, comp. Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay. 1880.
Is it not a firmer foundation for tranquillity to believe that all things were created, and are ordered for the best, than that the whole universe is mere bungling and blundering; nothing effected for any purpose or design, but all ill-favoredly cobbled and jumbled together by the unguided agitation and rude shuffles of matter?
Is not Gods Universe a Symbol of the God-like; is not Immensity a Temple; is not Mans History, and Mens History, a perpetual Evangel? Listen, and for Organ-music thou wilt ever, as of old, hear the Morning Stars sing together.
The universe, with all its splendours and magnitudes, ascertained, conjectured, or possible, may be regardednot as a vehicle, not as an inhabitated form, or a comprehending sphere, of the Sovereign Spirit, butas a type, which signifies, though by a faint, inadequate correspondence after all, that as great as the universe is in the material attributes of extension and splendour, so great is the Divine Being in the infinitely transcendent nature of spiritual existence.
John Foster: Life and Thoughts of John Foster, by W. W. Everts, N. York, 1849, 61.
He that will consider the immensity of this fabric, and the great variety that is to be found in this inconsiderable part of it which he has to do with, may think that in other mansions of it there may be other and different intelligent beings.
Never was a human machine produced without many trials and many failures; whereas the universe, in all its endless complications, was perfect at its production, perfected in the ideas of its great Author, even from eternity.
If the atomes have by chance formd so many sorts of figures, why did it never fall out that they made a house or a shooe? Why at the same rate should we not believe that an infinite number of Greek letters strowd all over a certain place might possibly fall into the contexture of the Iliad?
Michel de Montaigne: Essays, Cottons 3d ed., ch. lxix.