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must be Infinite.—Infinitude again will necessarily exalt its subject beyond our comprehension, in his natural attributes, and in the manner of possessing and exercising his moral perfections. It will exalt him too beyond all measurement, with regard to intellect, activity, and the sphere of both. It necessarily determines also the unity of the Deity. As the result of these properties, he must be self-existent, and all-sufficient, that is sufficient to himself and to the creatures to whom he may be pleased to give being.–Supremacy follows, founded on his priority, his excellence, and his relation to the creatures. He must be regarded as their Creator, their Preserver, their Proprietor, and, according to their place in the scale of being, also their Governor, their Lawgiver and Judge.


III.-The existence of such a Being involves no contradiction.

The only cavil on this head is, that the mystery of the subject must render a decision on its conformity to reason utterly impossible. If by a mystery be meant something either wholly or partially unknown, then indeed, as long as the secrecy continues, we must be incapable of deciding whether it involves a contradiction or not. But if it only mean something so sublime, that though the outline be before the mind, the pleroma or fulness stretches far beyond the power of human intellect, we are sufficiently qualified for judging. The idea of a God is mysterious not in the first, but solely in the second respect. The several parts of the outline, usually denominated the attributes of Deity, are presented to the mind as distinctly and as clearly as the properties of matter. They are Intelligence, Power, Wisdom, Moral Excellence, Spirituality, Supremacy, &c. None of these involves a contradiction ; nor does the ascription of the whole to one Being, for this is only to suppose a Being different from all those to which imperfection in some degree or form is essential ; and it cannot be proved that imperfection is so necessarily connected with existence, that there can be no being exalted above it.

If it be alleged that as there might have been other senses in the creatures of which we can form no idea, so, on the principle of infinitude, properties the very conception of which never entered the human mind, may and even must belong to the Being supposed, and that therefore we are still precluded from judging, since the very outline cannot be said to be before the mind, -the allegation will terminate in a mere sophism ; for it is by what reason already imputes or attributes to such a Being, that it must judge of all that may be possible, though unknown or even beyond the grasp of conception,--and since the very formation of the idea is the effect of reason, it is essential to the idea that every thing which could imply contradiction be removed.

The question in fact relates not to the idea, on which alone the cavil is founded, but to the existence of the Being of whom this idea is formed in the mind. And certainly the supposition that such a Being exists is nowise at variance with any principle of right reason. Set aside the objections a posteriori, which constitute the difficulties relative to Providence to be afterwards considered, and no Atheist has ever attempted to prove a priori that such a Being as the Deity must be supposed to be, cannot possibly exist.

IV.–Man is distinguished from the inferior animals by the possession of powers specifically adapted for recognising the being of a God.

The powers of the inferior animals, however similar to those of the human race, and whether different in kind or only in degree, have evidently a limit beyond which they cannot be advanced. They know that they are not supreme, many tribes either spontaneously, or through the impulse of fear, yielding to others, and all of them capable of being impressed with some sense of their subjection to man. Of any being superior to man, they seem to have no idea.* Certain it is, they give no indications of the smallest approach to the conception of a God, The faintest rays of this sublime truth have never yet dawned upon brutal intellect; for even the respect which the inferior animals shew to man, is so different from the homage expressive of a sense of divinity, that it cannot be alleged they have the idea and have only mistaken the object. Nor is this all, the experience of ages has been unable to discover the least susceptibility of such an idea. To the human intellect, the conviction that though we rank higher than they, we are not supreme, is equally congenial; and although the power of con

• The unaccountable dread which some of them have occasionally discovered, their horror in passing through scenes dishonoured by murder and other crimes, or when their eyes have been opened to see what was invisible to man,-will not be pleaded by tbe Atheist, as the facts are in various respects hostile to his negation of Providence, but though the facts may be so well attested as to be worthy of a place among the evidences of a special Providence, it is likely that the fear which affects the animal, if it be not simply instinctive, is nothing more than an apprehension of danger from buman beings or material objects, as the only things of which it can form an idea.

ceiving superior created beings belongs to us, so well adapted are our minds for conceiving a Being possessed of all possible perfection that the very idea of his existence is no sooner presented than admitted.

The Moral Faculty, or Conscience, whether a power distinct from judgment or only a certain modification of it, presents another form in which the existence of a Deity is recognised by the human race. The inferior animals are chiefly guided by instinct; but whatever degree of intelligence those which are more immediately connected with man or dependant upon him may possess, any thing resembling the idea of right and wrong, seems with them to originate entirely from a sense of responsibility, which, whether native or impressed, seems to have its ultimate reference to the power of the human race. Granting that in some instances they have given indications of a sense of equity, or a discernment of what was their due both on the head of rewards and punishments, still it is the equity of man to which they appeal as the last tribunal. In the hu. man race the idea of right and wrong assumes a higher character. Although it may be greatly affected by circumstances, by education, by the complexion of civil or religious institutions, by custom, by personal habits, and even by the present state of man, it is nevertheless common and universal. As soon as a subject calculated to excite it is presented, it gives its decision, and the range of its acting is very extensive. Its decisions are not confined to the mere principle of retributive equity, they respect every species of moral qualities, and these not in the individual alone, or in those who may have wronged him or who have it in their power to punish or reward him, but wherever such qualities appear, and often without reference to personal interest. Now what is the basis of the obvious difference between this power in man, and the corresponding principle by which the inferior animals are properly adapted to the place they hold in the scale of being ? Does it not lie in its reference to a universal


government condueted by a Supreme Legislator and Judge? If man, who is superior to all visible beings in this world, deemed himself absolutely supreme, the only standard of conseience would be personal utility, regulated by experience of the re action which must necessarily arise from living in society, and from mutual dependence. It might thus recognise the duties required by the different ranks and relations which exist among mankind, with the authority of civil constitutions founded op the social compact and surrender of rights. Beyond this sphere there would be no place for its actings. But do we not find that conscience anticipates all such experience, and all reasoning from the fitness of things suggested by the idea of personal utility ? Has it not shewn its reference to a universal system of government and a Supreme Legislator, even amongst the most barbarous nations, however imperfectly the one or the other might be conceived ?* An unnatural callousness may be induced, but prior to this, whence the horror that attends the most secret vices? Whence the dread that seizes the soul on the commission of a crime, even before reflection can awake to the possibility of detection or the danger of civil punishment, often when the shame of exposure and the pain of suffering are alike improbable, or equally despised? Whence too the dread that agitates the frame at the very thought of committing some deed of enormity, and prevails even amidst the fury of the passions impelling to commit it? The human being is afraid on account of his deeds, in cases and circumstances which release him from the fear of parental correction, of retaliation, and of legal punishment; afraid even when fully aware of his safety in these respects at the time.


V.–The very powers adapted to the recognising of Deity furnish a presumptive argument in favour of the being of a God.

It is not likely that the powers by which man is discriminated from the inferior animals, are wholly erroneous in their acting, or have for their ultimate object only an imaginary Being. As it is evident that in these animals, the degree of intelligence and the sense of accountableness, correspond to their place, ascertained by the known fact that man is their superior and lord, may we not justly conclude that the degree of human intelligence, and the sense of moral responsibility, correspond to our place, and argue the real existence of such a Being as that intelligence admits, and that responsibility respects ? If the capacities of the lower animals be definitive of

• To appeal only to one fact recorded in sacred history, similar to which many might be produced, the inbabitants of Melita, when they saw the viper fix upon the band of the Apostle Paul, said among themselves, “ No doubt ibis man is a murderer, whom, though he bath escaped the sea, justice (san) Eufferetb not to live.” As the emperor Julian is said to have belied bis professed conviction that Jesus was an impostor, when on being mortally wound. ed he exclaimed Vicisti Galilæe, so the most atheistical have in inoments of danger evinced the inexpugnable power of conscience, and shewn how infaltibly the idea of right and wrong is connected with that sense of responsibility which ever refers to an Almighty Judge and Avenger.

their place, the capacities of man will be definitive of his; and if the animals be not deceived in the ideas to which their capacities are adapted, we may presume that man is as little deceived in those to which his powers are adapted. The animals are right in recognising man as their lord, man in recognising a Deity as his Legislator and Judge.

Again, the place which man holds, as defined by his powers, is such as might have been expected from the ordination of an all-wise Creator and Supreme Governor. It was not necessary, nor would it have been proper that all creatures should have been of the same order, endowed with the same capacities for knowing and actively serving their Creator.-Not necessary, for the Creator may be passively glorified; and if any intelligent beings exist to observe the manifestation of his glory, it may be enough that the rest be formed solely for passively shewing forth his praises.-Nor would it have been proper that all nature should have been animated, and equally intelligent. Such uniformity would have excluded all the scope which the present constitution of things affords, for a varied display of power, wisdom, and goodness. From the very mode of living and acting which belongs to corporeal beings, some creatures must be devoted to the use of others; and it would not have been proper, that these should possess the same intellectual and moral excellence, with those for whose use they were intended. But it was certainly to be expected that in each system or world, there would be a class possessed of the highest powers for recognising and serving the Creator,-a class intellectually and morally related to the Deity.

VI.-The consent of mankind also deserves a place among the presumptions in favour of the being of a God.

It is not likely that an error should ever become universal, that it should in all ages prevail against the truth, and that instead of being detected and exposed, it should rather be confirmed, by the progress of science. The persuasion of a God is universal, and the most ancient records do not conduct us to a period in the history of any people, when it did not exist; we should search in vain for the date of its commencement. “ Nulla gens est tam fera et immansueta,” says Cicero, “quæ non, etiamsi ignoret qualem Deum habere deceat, tamen habendum sciat.” * This assertion was made with a just conception of the subject, by one who was well acquainted both with


• De Legib. lib. 1.

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