Memoirs of the life, writings and correspondence of W. Smellie, Volume 1

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Page 390 - A miracle is a violation of the laws of nature ; and as a firm and unalterable experience has established these laws, the proof against a miracle, from the very nature of the fact, is as entire as any argument from experience can possibly be imagined.
Page 466 - But ye are departed out of the way ; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the LORD of hosts.
Page 391 - ... its being actually reversed. If his testimony be confirmed by a few others of the same character, we cannot withhold our assent to the truth of it. Now, though the operations of nature are governed by uniform laws, and though we have not the testimony of our senses in favour of any violation of them ; still, if in particular instances we have the testimony of thousands of our...
Page 385 - I think, the reason is easy to be assigned : for there is a peculiar string in the harmony of human understanding, which, in several individuals, is exactly of the same tuning. This, if you can dexterously screw up to its right key, and then strike gently upon it, whenever you have the good fortune to light among those of the same pitch, they will, by a secret necessary sympathy, strike exactly at the same time.
Page 385 - Now, I would gladly be informed, how it is possible to account for such imaginations as these in particular men, without recourse to my phenomenon of vapours, ascending from the lower faculties to overshadow the brain, and there distilling into conceptions, for which the narrowness of our mother-tongue has not yet assigned any other name besides that of madness or phrenzy.
Page 310 - ... offices of digging for a foundation, of removing rubbish, and carrying materials ; leaving these servile employments to the drudges in science, it plans a design and raises a fabric. Invention supplies materials where they are wanting, and fancy adds colouring and every befitting ornament The work pleases the eye, and wants nothing but solidity and a good foundation. It seems even to vie with the works of nature, till some succeeding architect blows it into ruins, and builds as goodly a fabric...
Page 358 - such are the wonderful discoveries in science, that I should not be surprised if at some future time we might be able to carry the manure of an acre of land to the field in our coat pocket...
Page 384 - Cartes, and others j who, if they were now in the world, tied fast, and separate from their followers, would, in this our undistinguishing age, incur manifest danger of phlebotomy, and whips, and chains, and dark chambers, and straw.
Page 29 - was purposely published for the prize offered by the University of Edinburgh, and obtained it. It is an immaculate edition, unknown to the Bipont editors.
Page 339 - Parliament, was a feeling of some decline in his health, which had rather suffered from the long sittings and late hours with which the political warfare in the last had been attended. Though without any fixed disease, his strength was visibly declining; and though his spirits survived his strength, yet the vigour and activity of his mind were also considerably impaired. Both continued gradually to decline, till his death, which happened on Saturday the 9th July 1785, in the 71st year of his age.

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