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Encyclopedia of sacred theology - pagina 161

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Encyclopedia of sacred theology - pagina 161

its principles ...

2 minuten leestijd

Chap.

§46.

II]

FAITH

137

all demonstration, is not fixed by demand alone by faith. This has by no means exhausted the significance of faith As faith provides us the for the "way of knowledge." starting-point for our observation and the axiomatic start-

the starting-point for onstration, but only

ing-point

for

every demonstration,

it

motive for the construction of science.

also

offers

This motive

us

the

lies in

the codification of the general laws which govern the phe-

nomena.

itself is no science yet in its higher born of observation only when from those phenomena, each of which by itself furnishes nothing more than a concrete and separate case, we have reached the universal law which governs all these phenomena in their changes. You admit that without certainty of the existence and of the validity of these laws, all scientifice effort is futile. But how do you obtain the knowledge of these laws ? Have you investigated beforehand all the phenomena that belong to one class, and do you now conclude, that because the same activity is seen to operate in all these phenomena in the same way, it should therefore be the law which, thus described, governs this class of phenomena? Of course not. It is not possible for you to do this. The very idea of such a general law even excludes such an all-embracing investiga-

sense.

Observation

Science

is

Just because it shall be a general law, it must have been valid in the ages when you were not yet born, and must

tion.

when you shall be no more. Moreover, must be valid everywhere, even in those where you are not present, in which places, therefore,

be valid in the ages while you live places

observation

is

it

impossible for you.

Moreover, suppose that

you had acquired your knowledge of this law in the aforementioned way, you would have lost your interest in it. For that which interests you in the knowledge of such a law, is the very fact that it enables you to state how this group of phenomena was conditioned before you were born, and how it shall be after you are gone. This law holds the key to the mystery, and it owes its attraction to this charm. But how did you acquire the knowledge of this law? You have observed a certain number of cases, which observation

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Bekijk de hele uitgave van zaterdag 1 januari 1898

Abraham Kuyper Collection | 708 Pagina's

Encyclopedia of sacred theology - pagina 161

Bekijk de hele uitgave van zaterdag 1 januari 1898

Abraham Kuyper Collection | 708 Pagina's

PDF Bekijken