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OR, COMPENDIUM OF RELIGIOUS, MORAL, & PHILOSOPHICAL KNOWLEDGE.
VARCH.] “ SOCIAL REFINEMENT HAS NO FXISTENCE WHERE LITERATURE IS UNKNOWN.”
THE PHYSICAL AND MORAL WORLD. wind returneth again according to its
circuits. All the rivers run into the No.3.—The Connection between Natural sea, yet thc sea is not full; onto the and Revealed Truths further insist- place whence the rivers come, thither
they return again.” ed on.
Thus, according to the method of (Contined from col. 115.)
nuture in all her works, there are As the system proposed by Mr. Mac- intervolutions, circles within circles, nab is somewhat new, and founded and wheels within wheels; so that upon principles very different from each object depends, not merely upon such as in the present day carry popu- those which precede or follow it, but larity in their favour; it may not be also upon those which surround it, improper to suggest a caution against and the great whole of which it fortos premature judgment, merely from its a part. And what is more astonishfirst appearance. But what need we ing, all is so arranged, that every say? Has there ever appeared in this part is, as it were, a miniature of the fastidious world, any general improve whole. The little circle is a miniature ment, which has not met the most of the great circle; and all the inforformidable opposition? How mightily, mediate circles are so intervolved and for instance, was the Herverian doc blended with each other, in such an trine of the circulation of the blood at endless variety of ways, as to connect first opposed ? His demonstrations, the whole in a manner into one. however, being founded on facts, Matter may thus represent mind,* after a few struggles, at length gained either by analogy or antithesis, likea victory so complete, that no one now ness or uplikeness. This world, in ever calls the subject in question. Iu like manner, may represent the other like manner, What opposition had the worlds of the system; and the planetary present received theory of the planet- system, as a whole, may represent the ary system to encounter, ere it was various other systems of the universe. fairly established, that the planets and Yca, man himself may be considered the earth move round the sun, instead as a microcosm, a world in miniature, of the sun, planets, stars, and the involving in his constitution all the whole heavens, moving round the constituent principles which compose earth?— And what is proposed here, the universe. The whole universe, it pray, but just an extension of the is evident, is under two different kinds same principle? For in truth, What of laws, the one physical, and the is the circulation of the blood, but a other moral: and man, from the naconstant going to and fro from the ture of his constitution, as a comheart, or centre, to the extremities, pound being, made up of body and and from the extremities to the heart, mind, is alike allied to both. or centre, again? Or, What is the We may therefore conclude, a priori, motion of the planets of our system, that, as the whole universe, both of and by analogy of all other systems, matter and mind, bad its origin from but a demonstration of the same thing one common source, namely, the Di. -See how beautifully the wise and vine Being, the laws of the physical philosophical King of Jerusalem de- part will correspond with those of the scribes these circumvolutions of na-moral ; and that whatever can be ture: in the language of common life, proved as evidently proceeding from he says, Eccl. i. 5-7. “ The sun also this one source,-whether it regard ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and the subject of Creation, that is, the hasteth to his place where he arose. The wind goeth toward the north ; it * See Introduction to Butler's Analogy, whirleth about continually; and the where the same thing is hinted, No. 38.–VOL. IV.
physical laws under which creatures upon reasoning, without foundation are placed, -Or of Providence, that for the principles which we assume, is, the laws by which they are govern- whether from the attributes of God or ed,--Or of Redemption, that is, the any thing else, is building a world principle upon which they are restor- opon hypothesis, like Des Cartes. ed from their lapsed state ; must har- Forming our notions upon reasoning monize, not only with the nature of from principles which are certain, but God their author, but with the nature applied to cases to which we have no of man for whom they are designed, ground to apply them, (like those who and the whole system of both the explain the structure of the human worlds of matter and mind, to which body, and the nature of diseases, and he stands related.
medicines, from mere mathematics, “When therefore, we compare the without sufficient data) is an error known constitution and course of much akin to the former'; since w bat things, or what is said to be the moral is assumed, in order to make the system of nature, namely, the ac- reasoning applicable, is hypothesis.”* knowledged dispensations of Provi. For example, we have said, that dence, or that government under man is a microcosm, or world in miniawhich we find ourselves placed, with ture, involving in his constitution all what the scripture teaches us to be the constituent principles which comlicve and expect, in order to see whe- pose the universe. But this, certainther they are analogous and of a piece; ly, does not mean that the globe of “it will be found, I think,” says the this earth, is to be compared with the celebrated Bishop Butler, “upon such corporcal parts of a human being, a comparison, that they are very much with heart and lungs, thoracic and so; that both may be traced up to the abdominal viscera, with internal linsame general laws, and resolved ings, surrounded by ribs, muscles, into the same principles of divine con- and external integuments. To such duct.”
an unbounded length, however, do Taking it for granted, then, that the some run the comparison. But such proofs of Creation, and Providence, a comparison is entirely chimerical; and Redemption, as the peculiar and should it still be insisted on, that works of God, are familiar to the man is a microcosm, or world in miniamind of every one; it will be the ob- ture, it must be taken only in a general ject of these papers to trace their con- sense, and not run up in the manner nection and correspondence, and to some have done, without sufficient adduce them as the most convincing data. If the universe be taken in a and satisfactory answers to objections general acceptation, as composed of brought against the evidence of Re- matter and mind, it is true in this velation.
sense that man is a microcosm ; for the Supposing the above observations two principles which compose both to be so many undeniable facts, it will are the same. And in this respect yet require considerable judgment man stands distinguished from every properly to apply and illustrate them. other creature that we know: he is not The utmost caution will be necessary a niere spirit, for he has a body ; por not to run the comparisons too far, or is he a mere living animal, for he has to make them speak things they were a rational mind ; and therefore, the never designed. In the analogical laws which govern man, must be those and inductive method of reasoning, it which relate not to one branch of the must be regarded as a sine qua non, subject only, but to the whole universe that the principles assumed as the both of matter and mind. foundation of our reasoning must not Upon this ground, it is reasonable be doubtful or far-fetched. They to suppose, that the Author of our ought to be self-evident truths, or, at being would afford us not only a sysleast, truths proved and established tem of nature, such as that of which as matters of fact; and all our reason our experience and reason inform us, ings from things known, to things un- which is suited to our condition prinknown, should be unforced, and flow cipally as we stand related to the manaturally and spontaneously as aterial world ; but that he would also stream from a fountain.
afford us a moral system, such as that “Forming our notions of the constitution and government of the world
* Butler's Analogs.
contained in the scriptures, which is are both divine in respect of their suited to our nature as we stand re- origin; and both are equally designed lated also to the world of spirits. This by their great Author to fulfil his etersupposition, I say, is so reasonable, nal purposes. They ought not, thereas to lead us to conclude, that at no fore, to be set in opposition the one period of the world did God leave to the other; neither ought the one to mankind to be guided by a system of be held up or extolled, at the expense nature only ; but that long before any of the other. This would be an error part of ihe scripture was wr be equally on either side ; and as it recommunicated to them all that was gards things which in their source are necessary, according to circumstan- equally divine, it is therefore inadces, of a moral system, which was missible. preserved by such as feared him, and In article 6th of his tlicory, Mr. handed down to posterity by oral tra- Macnal), for instance, attempts to dition, It is equally reasonable to demonstrate the utter uncertainty of suppose. that between these two sys- all human knowledge, declaring that tems, there should subsist the strict- there is nothing absolute in regard to est analogy and barmony; for to such it ;-that there is no fixed principle, a conclusion we are necessarily led ; no standard, to which we can appeal, first, from the circumstance of their but the “Word of God,” which “rebeing both productions of the same maineth for ever.”—“ Upon this,” Author; and secondly, from ibeir says he, “all knowledge depends. being both intended for the govern- Remove this, and universal science ment of the same creature, to wit, becomes a chaos, where every attempt man ; who, though he be a compound to systematize lias proved abortive." of two principles, distinct from each –“It is not in any human composiother, forms yet but one being, and tion, but in the bible, that we are to this one being so perfectly consistent search for the outlines of general with itself, as to constrain us to con- knowledge, and a basis on which we clude that the laws which are to go may safely build.” Art. 8th. ver man, though of a two-fold na Here, I confess, I feel myself somcture, like the being whose conduct what at a loss to understand his meanthey are to regulate, must so per- ing. Had he expressed himself in fectly agree, as to constitute but one such a manner as to imply, that nature whole.
alone, without the aid of revelaiion, Thus, is there a necessary connec was not capable of affording a sultition established between physical and cient foundation on which to build a revealed truth, arising from the very system of unirersal science ; that, in nature of things.
order to this, it was necessary to comNow, the object we propose, is 10 bine nature with revelation ; then we demonstrate their agreement ; and in could have understood, and admitted doing so, though hypothetical reason his position. Bui by setting aside the ing be inadmissible, yel, as Bishop truths of nature, and those composiButler observes, “it must be allowed lions of men which demonstrate such just, to join abstract reasoning with truths, as part of the basis of such the observation of facts, and argue system, I conceive he has inadverfrom such facts as are known, to tently, and without reason, run into others tbat are like them ; from that the opposite extreme of those, who part of the divine government over would allect to make what they denointelligent creatures, which comes minate the “light of nature," to be under our view, to that larger and every thing, and revelation nothing. more general government over them, Whereas, both are existences wbich which is beyond it; and, from wbat is have the divine Being for their author; present, to collect what is likely, cre- and both, therefore, must be conjoined; dible, or not incredible, will be here for every system founded on the one after.”
independently of the other, must be The two classes of physical and re for ever mutilated, inconsistent with vealed truth, though differing in their itself, and standing on the slender banature, are yet not to be separated sis of one foot, when two are evidently from each other; because, notwith its province. standing this difference, tbey agree in His reasoning, however, in regard their most essential property. They | to mero physical truths being insuffi
cient for such a purpose, seems to be upon record a better illustration of the just. He observes, art. 79th, " That truths of Christianity, than is to be unaided reason neither tells us what found in the writings of Helvetius, we are, whence we are, how we are, Diderot, Voltaire, Hume, Bolingnor why we are. She gives us no sa- broke, Volney, and other champions tisfaction as to past, present, or fu- of infidelity. By a little ingenuity, it torc; but tells us to louk to our moral is quite easy to invert their own argufeelings, and the word of God, for an ments upon themselves, and actually answer to these questions. When we to metamorphose them into the apconsult our moral feelings, every thing pearance of Christian apologists, setthere is dark and inexplicable. Rea- ting forth the perversions of the Amoson is bewildered in fathomless para- nian Idolatry." doxes, analogous to those concerning
But while we insist on the necessary the origin of matter. We cannot ac- connection between the two classes of count for our moral motives, and yet physical and revealed truths, we must they influence all our thoughts and be careful at the same time to distinactions. Reason herself is only their guish between such truths and the servant; ever busy in devising means subtleties of philosophy, by which to execute their impcrious commands, both have been so grossly perverted. whether good or evil.”
To frce ourselves from the heathenish So constantly does our author keep doctrines of philosophy, which were this grand object in view, (though he early introduced into the Christian has given us enongh to do in other church, by persons who had been edurespects) and so forcibly does he urge cated in the schools of the philosoit on all occasions, that I cannot deny phers, becoming converts to the myself the pleasure of here quoting Christian faith;t we have only to take some of his weighty sentiments which the pure word of God for our rule, and occur at the close of his work.
by no means to deviate from it to the Where there is no stable principle right hand or to the left. To avoid, stamped on the mind by moral feeling in like manner, the infidel principles and the word of God, he judiciously which are almost constantly blended remarks, “ That the quibbling of the with physical truths, we must be careintellect is endless ; so that if logic be ful to distinguish between the truths listened to, it can make black appear themselves, and the garb of sophistical white, and white black. We should reasoning with which they are clothed; not think a lawyer deserving of a fee, as it is not with the latter, but with the apless he could throw a plausible lus- former, that this subject has any thing tre on either side of a cause.—Except to do. Facts, and theories built upon ing the word of God, every thing is these facts, are very different things. fieeting, transitory, uncertain, unsta- | The former can never run contrary to ble, and susceptible of being twisted the scripture account of things, when at the pleasure of intelligent men. we take in the whole of both; but raTherefore, reserving his faith, and ther, as having the same divine origin, trust, and confidence, for the word of establish and confirm it: whereas the God alone, the Christian, in every thing latter, being founded solely upon the else, should be an unlimited sceptic. conjectures and suppositions of falliSense and reason may deceive him ; ble men, uninfluenced by, or unfriendbut if he put his trust in Christ, the ly to divine truth, cannot but stand Friend of mankind will never forsake opposed to it in all its bearings. The him in time of trouble, nor suffer hin word of God, we ought then to make to be misled by the aberrations of a the “light of our feet, and the lamp of false philosophy The bible is the our path," in all that regards our mobook of books. It contains “the one ral interests; and to be most scruputhing needful ;” and all other books lous in all that regards the system of are trash, except in so far as they nature, that we adopt no theory, or tend to illustrate that one thing.
human explanation thereof, which “But as all human science, if right- runs counter to the moral system conly understood, would tend to illustrate tained in the scriptures. And the reathat one thing, we must not (like the son is plain; for as both nature and brutal inquisitors) destroy even the writings of avowed infidels. For, in • Macnab's Theory, page 470, 1. my judgment, there does not stand + Enfield's History of Philosophy.