Their view was that "matter is not indefinitely divisible, but that all substances are formed of indivisible particles or atoms which are eternal and unchangeable, that the atoms are separated from one another by void, and that these atoms, by their combinations, form the matter we are conscious of."
But modern discoveries in radioactivity 2 are in favour of the existence of the atom, although they lead to the belief that the atom is not so eternal and unchangeable a thing as Dalton and his predecessors imagined, and in fact, that the atom itself may be subject to that eternal law of growth and decay of which Lucretius speaks.
Lotze for the decision of the question lays down the broad principle, " All that has once come to be will eternally continue so soon as for the organic unity of the world it has an unchangeable value, but it will obviously again cease to be, when that is not the case " (Gr.
Wollaston's Religion of Nature, which falls between Clarke's Discourse of the Unchangeable Obligations of Natural Religion and Butler's Sermons, was one of the popular philosophical books of its day.
But that view which admits a life of God that is not benumbed in an unchangeable sameness will be able to understand his eternal co-working as a variable quantity, the transforming influence of which comes forth at particular moments and attests that the course of nature is not shut up within itself.