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that the absolute holiness of God is demonstrative. Their object is not the original fountain, and ultimate to ascertain truth strictly speaking, standard, of all holiness in the uni- that is, truth relating to real existverse. Our judgment of right and ences, but to prove the logical conwrong, however, is formed, not by nexion between conclusions and prethe immediate contemplation of the mises, between consequences and Divine nature, this is beyond the an assumed bypothesis. reach of our faculties; but by the re This is the opinion entertained by velation of his will, which he has that most accomplished philosopher given in his laws and dispensations. and profound metaphysician, 'Mr. To the view of the Divine mind, the Dugald Stewart, who with equal oristandard of all moral excellence is ginality, and sound judgment, estab the absolute and unchangeable holi- lishes what evidently appears to be ness of his own nature; but to us the a correct view of the subject. “It only standard of moral excellence was already remarked,” says he, “in is the law which he has revealed, ac the first chapter of this part, that cording to which we are bound to whereas, in all other sciences, the regulate our judgments and our con- propositions which we attempt to duct. This law is holy, just and establish, express facts real or supgood, because it is agreeable to his posed,-in mathematicks, the propoholy nature, and because, so far as it sitions which we demonstrate only goes, it is a transcript of it.
assert a connexion between certain It may perhaps be thought by suppositions and certain consesome, that the principles and conclu- quences. Our reasonings therefore sions of mathematicks furnish an ex in mathematicks are directed to an ample in opposition to the doctrine object essentially different from which I have stated, that there are what we have in view, in any other no necessary and eternal truths dis- employment of our intellectual fatinct from the Divine Being. This culties;—not to ascertain truths with example is adduced by Dr. Emmons, respect to actual existences, but to for this express purpose. And it trace the logical filiation of conseinust be conceded, that the princi- quences which follow from an asples of mathematicks have often been sumed hypothesis. If from this hy. pronounced to be eternal and neces- pothesis we reason with correctness, sary, independently of the nature nothing, it is manifest, can be want. and will of any being whatever. ing to complete the evidence of the Nor does this representation appear result; as this result only asserts a destitute of plausibility, when we necessary connexion between the contemplate the clearness and co- supposition and the conclusion.gency of mathematical reasoning, The terms true and false caunot be and the absurdity of attempting to applied to them; at least in the invalidate its legitimate deductions. sense in which they are applicable To obviate the objection derived to propositions relative to facts. All from this source, I beg leave to ob- that can be said is, that they are, or serve, that it proceeds upon a mis are not, connected with the definitaken notion of the peculiarity of the tions which form the principles of demonstrative sciences, and of the the science; and, therefore, if we kind of truths about which they are choose to call our conclusions true conversant. Truth relates to real in the one case, and false in the existences, to God and created be- other, these epithets must be underings; or it is merely hypothetical, stood merely to refer to their conexpressing a connexion between cer. nexion with the data, and not to tair. suppositions and certain conse- their correspondence with things acquences. of the latter kind are the tually existing, or with events which truths of Geometry, and of the other we expect to be realized in future.” sciences which are properly called To these excellent remarks, in
the justness of which I apprehend The following quotation from a every reader capable of comprehende distinguished advocate of the theory ing them will acquiesce, it may not we have been considering, contains be improper to add, that the use of an exbibition of his views on the pure reasoning, in every instance, is subject, and a specimen of the reamerely to evince the logical con soning employed in support of them. nexion between certain premises and “Every thing,” says Dr. Emmons, their legitimate consequences. Whe “has a nature which is peculiar to ther our premises correspond with itself, and which is essential to its facts or not, does not affect the very existence. Light has a nature, clearness and validity of the reason. by which it is distinguished from ing process. If our premises be darkness. Sweet has a nature by truths relative to real existences, our which it is distinguished from bitter. conclusions will be of the same cha- Animals have a nature by which racter; but if they be mere assump- they are distinguished from men. tions, our conclusions will be nothing Men have a nature by which they more than the logical consequences distinguished from angels. of mere assumptions. To determine Angels have a nature by which they whether the principles of our reason are distinguished from God. And ing correspond with facts or not, re God has a nature by which he is quires a different, and in most cases, distinguished from all other beings. a higher exercise of our intellectual Now such different natures lay a faculties; an exercise to which many
foundation for different obligations; persons, who are able to pursue with and different obligations lay a founaccuracy the longest train of reason dation for virtue and vice in all their ing, appear, in many instances, to be different degrees. As virtue and incompetent.
vice, therefore, take their origin These observations are I trust from the nature of things; so the sufficient to show, that mathematical difference between moral good and propositions do not furnish an example moral evil is as immutable as the of truths, in the strict sense of the nature of things from which it reword, that are necessary and eter- sults.” nal, and consequently that a refer The reasoning employed in this ence to them, will be of no avail to passage, notwithstanding a show of those who attempt to prove that mo precision, is very inaccurate and ilral truths are necessary and eternal logical. Nor can we concede the in the nature of things. It is readily soundness of the principles which conceded, that truths relating to the are assumed. It cannot be granted being and perfections of God are ne that different natures alone, lay a cessary and eternal, because his be foundation for different obligations. ing and perfections are so; and that, Light and darkness, sweetness and as it was his eternal purpose to bring bitterness, and the various tribes of active and rational beings into exista inferior animals, as they are not raence, be determined to give them tional beings, are not susceptible of laws which are holy, just and good, obligation, notwithstanding the dibecause perfectly agreeable to the versity of their natures. Nor is this absolute perfection of his nature, true in relation to rational beings. and wisely adapted to their consti- It is agreeable to the scriptures, and lution, faculties, relations and cir. to those judgments which the consticumstances. But that the nature of tution and order of society naturally things is constituted independently suggest to our minds, to believe, that of the will of God, and that virtue our relation to the Author of our and vice in all their different de being must, at least, be taken into Frees, take their origin from the na the account, in stating the grounds of ture of things, does not appear to our obligation to yield obedience to mean any thing intelligible.
As his conclusions relate excla. be judicious, the conduct is moral; sively to beings having reason and if injudicious, the contrary. But understanding, it is manifest that be- this truly pious author is far from ings should be substituted in place admitting such an interpretation of of things. After this correction the his words. Fitness in his sense hat argument will stand thus: Men have no relation to a further end. It is a nature by which they are distin- an absolute fitness, a fitness in itsell guished from angels. Angels have We are obliged to ask, what then å nature by which they are distin- is that fitness which you call abso guished from God. And God has a luter for the application of the word nature by which he is distinguished in every other case, invariably implr from all other beings. Now such ing the proper direction of means to different natures lay a foundation an end, far from affording light to for different obligations; and differ- the meaning it has here, tends di ent obligations lay a foundation for rectly to mislead us? The only anvirtue and vice in all their different swer, so far as I can learn, that hath degrees. As virtue and vice there. ever been given to this question, is fore take their origin from the na- peither more nor less than this ture of beings; so the difference be- That alone is absolutely fit, which tween moral good and moral evil is is morally good. So that in saying as immutable
as the nature of beings moral good consis teth in fitness, to from whom it results. His theory more is meant than that it consistvanishes when his argument is re- eth in moral good." duced to the rules of logic. The na The system of those writers, ture of things disappears upon ad- therefore, who make virtue to corjusting his conclusions to his pre- sist in fitness, or who assert that mises.
right and wrong have their origin ia In regard to the opinions of those fitness, deserves no other notice than who make virtue to consist in fitness, a verbal criticism, showing the in it may be observed that their lan- propriety and utter insignificance guage is very defective in perspicui- of the term, when applied in this ty and precision. The mind of the manner. reader is perplexed by the use of cer I acknowledge that the account tain words, in a way which is altoge- which represents virtue as consisting ther different from that in which they in propriety, is much less exceptionare commonly employed. In common able. There is a propriety in erers language, fitness uniformly expresses kind of virtuous conduct, and every or implies the relation of means to an kind of vice is improper and opbeend. Any thing is said to be fit coming. Yet this word is very inzwhen it is adapted to promote the dequate to express the peculiar me end in view. But according to this ture and excellence of moral goodsystem, fitness does not express the ness. The most worthless of mana adaptation of means to an end; it is kind may in certain situations act absolute fitness.
with perfect propriety. Many a The reader will be gratified with tions are strictly proper, which have the following acute remarks of Dr. nothing of the nature of moral es Campbell upon this mode of speak. cellence. Virtue and holiness poi ing: 'Moral good, says a celebrated sess a kind of excellence distinct writer, consisteth in fitness.' From from mere propriety, and far supe this account any person would at rior to it. 'Propriety of language first readily conclude, that morals of dress, and behaviour
, gives pleas according to him, are not concerned sure to the beholder; he regards in the ends which we pursue, but with approbation. Every person solely in the choice of means for at however, must be conscious that this Sining our ends; that if this choice pleasure and approbation are very
different from that with which he re finement which to me is irksome in gards the moral excellencies of cha- no small degree. The chief alleracter and action.
viation is, that the winds are moving It is equally an imperfect des- me every hour, rapidly towards the cription of vice or wickedness, to say land of my home. that it consists in impropriety. Ac- will never know the charm which tions in the highest degree impro- this word contains, until you have per, bave often little or no moral had the waves of the Atlantick rollquality. Impropriety of behaviour ing for a year between you and the sometimes proceeds from mere inad- dear place. vertence, sometimes from unavoida
Shortly after the date of my last, ble ignorance, sometimes from a de- bidding adieu to a few friends fect of acuteness or sensibility; and whose kindness I shall long rememin many instances it excites laugh- ber, I left Cheltenham, and found ter rather than disapprobation. But myself on the evening of the same wickedness always deserves disap- day at Birmingham. Here I had probation and punishment.
intended to remain a day, looking It is admitted with pleasure that at the exterior of “Europe's toythe different modes of speaking, shop.” But a gentleman to whom which I have ventured to controvert I had a letter of introduction, and in the preceding essay, have often to whom I stated my intentions, been used with the best intentions. having received me rather coldly; But if the remarks which have been (and I ought to mention, that it is made be correct, they do not deserve the only instance of the kind, of to be retained; since they appear to which I have had reason to combe either essentially defective, or ab- plain in England,) the next morn; solutely void of meaning.
ing, under the influence of a foolish pet, I took the wings of the stage, and fied to Manchester-distant about ninety miles. You will rea
dily allow, that a flight of such ex1820. MAN OF THE SYNOD OF PHILADEL- pedition in one day, gave very lit
tle time to notice either town or Ship Nestor, Atlantick Ocean, country, by the way. Here the Oct. 12, 1827.
very friendly reception of the Rev. My dear Friend, I hope it will W. Robey, of the Independent connot be long before our personal nexion, made up amply for the apmeeting shall supersede the use of parent coldness of my Birmingham paper communication: and under friend. At Manchester I remained this expectation, I would not write only one day, occupied chiefly in at all, (having so little to communi- reviewing this great manufacturing cate,) but, having given you a pretty place; which would require the infull detail of the little occurrences spection of months, to enable the which have marked my progress visitant to give any adequate acsince I left home, I am willing you count of it. To me it presented should have the whole upon paper; the appearance of a very busy and knowing that your friendship will crowded place, though far from as set a value on what would other- large as its population would seem wise be scarce worth reading. Be- to require. The streets are narsides I want some employment, row, crooked, and very far from the which may serve to relieve the mo- cleanness and neatness characternotony and idleness of shipboard. istick of the English towns gene. You have seen from the place where rally. For this, however, a sufla I date, that I am once more em cient apology perhaps existed, in barked on Ocean's bosom- the wetness of the weather, which VOL. V. Ch. Adr.
TRAVELS IN EUROPE FOR HEALTH IN
BY AN AMERICAN CLERGY
had been very abundant for some tion in every inn, where he only time preceding
tarried for a night. What a substiFrom Manchester, I proceeded tute would this be for the shyness, to Liverpool, where I tarried a the neglect, the suspicion, the scruweek, waiting for the packet to sail. tinizing inquiry, and ill-natured The evening of my arrival at Liver. remark, so frequently to be encoun. pool succeeded a wet day, in which, tered by the traveller, in all counof course, the travelling had been tries. unpleasant and fatiguing. The inn The week spent in Liverpool
, at which the stage stopped was afforded as much opportunity for crowded: but I was solitary and enjoyment as could well be desired, dejected, without a being to take had. I possessed the buoyancy,
of the smallest interest in any thing animal spirits incident to health, that interested me. After moping with a heart less hankering after some time by the coal fire, which home. A few letters of introduction the rawness of the evening rendered gave me access to some excellent very necessary, I ventured to accost families of the Baptist denominaa genteel looking man, whose coun- tion. Of this connexion there are tenance indicated complaisance and two congregations in Liverpool, and good nature. I found in him nothing both of them thriving. There are of the shyness and distance I have three congregations of Indepenusually met with from the English, dents, one of Scotch Presbyterians, when an introduction was wanting and one of Seceders. The differHe proved to be a merchant belong- ent denominations live together in ing to a town in Wales, very com- much harmony, and hold alternate municative, and I hope a man of meetings for divine service in each piety. On hearing that a merchant of other's churches, on week evenings. New York, a friend of his, was also I was present at one of these meeta friend of minema man who has ings, in a Baptist church, when the laid the religious community both Rev. Dr. Stewart of the Seceder in Europe and America under some connexion, took a share of the er. obligations,* he appeared at once to ercise. He was just returned from take a particular interest in me, and Glasgow, where he had been attendI spent a very pleasant evening in ing the union, lately taken place, his society. The next morning he between the Burgher and Antitook me to the house of a widow burgher synods. He gave, publickly, lady of his acquaintance, with whom a very interesting statement of that I was accommodated with comfort- occurrence. The coalition took able private lodgings while I re- place, by design, in the same church, mained in the place. The frank, where many years ago, the lamentaopen-hearted kindness of this man, ble separation had occurred, prehas left a relish on my mind, which ceded by bitter contentions, relative will not soon wear off; and made to the burgess oath. The joy and me reflect on what has often occur- gladness, the mutual greetings and red to my mind before—the im- cordial shaking of hands, between mense happiness which would accrue the members of the two bodies
, at to society, if mankind were gene- their coming together, surpassed, ho rally well instructed Christians, said, any thing he had ever witness, disposed to treat each other where ed; and produced an excitement of ever they met, with confidence and feeling, never to be forgotten. The kindness. Then would
the stranger whole scene seemed to partake of find friends wherever he went, and the joy of heaven, and indicated a enjoy the solace of kind atten- new order of things as beginning to
come about; when forbearance, har. • The late Divic Bethune, Esq.
mony and union, shall take place of