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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

Laplace Anticipated

By Jonathan Edwards (1703–1758)

[From “Notes on Natural Science.” Written in his Sixteenth Year.]

IT is certain that, when God first created Matter, or the various Chaoses of Atoms, besides creating the Atoms and giving the whole Chaos its motion, he designed the figure and shape of every Atom, and likewise their places; which doubtless was done with infinite wisdom, and with an eye to what should follow from the particular bulk, figure and place of every Atom: and this be so ordered that, without doing anything more, the Chaoses of themselves, according to the established Laws of Matter, were brought into these various and excellent forms, adapted to every of God’s ends, excepting the more excellent works of plants and animals, which it was proper and fit God should have an immediate hand in. So the Atoms of one Chaos were created in such places, of such magnitudes and figures, that the Laws of Nature brought them into this form, fit, in every regard, for them who were to be the inhabitants.