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general laws, now assuming the form of his stated and most wise administration, the operation of which, when the greatness of the emergency demands it, he still stands ready to suspend.
Such, with the expansion and particular applications of which it will be seen at once that it is susceptible, is the argument from cause to effect, when pushed to its proper point. Thus stated, we see not how it can be evaded by one who does not deny first principles, and thus destroy the foundations of all knowledge. It goes upon no principle or assumption, that is not involved in the argument from design, the true force of which we shall not be suspected of any desire to diminish. Our only wish is, to show the foundations on which the pillars of truth in fact rest, since they always appear more massive and imposing when seen as they really are. We cannot doubt, as men are freed from the bondage of a material and atheistic philosophy, as the knowledge of mind is seen to be equally certain as that of matter, and the great facts of spiritual consciousness are more distinctly apprehended and more fully rested on, but the department of the creation of God, which alone is in direct communion with him, will be seen to be that upon which the evidence of his being and high attributes is most legibly enstamped.
In corroboration of this, we now return to the work, the title of which is placed at the head of this article, though, as the reviewers are wont to say, we have already occupied so much space, that our notice of it must be brief. Sooth to say, the body of this article was written before this work came to hand, and we availed ourselves of it, chiefly for the purpose of showing that we are not singular in the views we have taken. Aside from its general ability, we welcome it as the first work of the kind which has fallen under our notice, in which the logic of inferring from the effect only a similarity of cause, has been adhered to. The author, it is true, takes no formal exception to the argument from design ; but he does this virtually, since he bases the general argument precisely as we have done. The only extracts which our limits will allow, must bear upon this point. They will, at the same time, furnish a happy instance of the particular application of the argument of which we have spoken, and give such a specimen of the work, as we hope may lead our readers to its entire perusal.
“ All men are perpetually led to form judgments concerning actions, and emotions which lead to action, as right or wrong; as what they ought or ought not to do or feel. There is a faculty which approves and disapproves, acquits or condemns the workings of our other faculties. Now, what shall we say of such a judiciary principle, thus introduced among our motives to action ? Shall we conceive that while the other springs of action are balanced against each other by our Creator, this, the most pervading and universal regulator, was no part of the original scheme? That—while the love of animal pleasures, of power, of fame, the regard for friends, the pleasure of bestowing pleasure, were infused into man as influences by which his course of life was to be carried on, and his capacities and powers developed and exercised ;—this reverence for a moral law, this acknowledgment of the obligation of duty,-a feeling which is every where found, and which may become a powerful, a predominating motive of action,- was given for no purpose, and belongs not to the design ? Such an opinion would be much as if we should acknowledge the skill and contrivance manifested in the other parts of a ship, but should refuse to recognize the rudder as exhibiting any evidence of a purpose. Without the reverence which the opinion of right inspires, and the scourge of general disapprobation inflicted on that which is accounted wicked, society could scarcely go on; and certainly the feelings and thoughts and characters of men could not be what they are. Those impulses of nature which involve no acknowledgment of responsibility, and the play and struggle of interfering wishes, might preserve the species in some shape of existence, as we see in the case of brutes. But a person must be strangely constituted, who, living amid the respect for law, the admiration of what is good, the order and virtues and graces of civilized nations, (all which have their origin in some degree in the feeling of responsibility,) can maintain that all these are casual and extraneous circumstances, no way contemplated in the formation of man; and that a condition in which there should be no obligation in law, no merit in self-restraint, no beauty in virtue, is equally suited to the powers and the nature of man, and was equally contemplated when those powers were given him.
“ If this supposition be too extravagant to be admitted, as it appears to be, it remains then that man, intended, as we have already seen from his structure and properties, to be a discoursing, social being, acting under the influence of affections, desires, and purposes, was also intended to act under the influence of a sense of duty; and that the acknowledgment of the obligation of a moral law is as much a part of his nature, as hunger or thirst, maternal love or the desire of power ; that, therefore, in conceiving man as the work of a Creator, we imagine his VOL. I.
powers and character given him with an intention on the Creator's part that this sense of duty should occupy its place in his constitution as an active and thinking being : and that this directive and judiciary principle is a part of the work of the same Author who made the elements to minister to the material functions, and the arrangements of the world to occupy the individual and social affections of his living creatures.
“ This principle of conscience, it may be further observed, does not stand upon the same level as the other impulses of our constitution by which we are prompted or restrained. By its very nature and essence, it possesses a supremacy over all others. *Your obligation to obey this law is its being the law of your nature. That your conscience approves of and attests such a course of action is itself alone an obligation. Conscience does not only offer itself to show us the way we should walk in, but it likewise carries its own authority with it, that it is our natural guide: the guide assigned us by the author of our nature.'* That we ought to do an action, is of itself a sufficient and ultimate answer to the questions, why we should do it ?-how we are obliged to do it? The conviction of duty implies the soundest reason, the strongest obligation, of which our nature is susceptible.
“We appear then to be using only language which is well capable of being justified, when we speak of this irresistible esteem for what is right, this conviction of a rule of action ex- . tending beyond the gratification of our irreflective impulses, as an impress stamped upon the human mind by the Deity himself; a trace of His nature; an indication of His will; an announcement of His purpose ; a promise of His favor : and though this faculty may need to be confirmed and unfolded, instructed and assisted by other aids, it still seems to contain in itself a sufficient intimation that the highest objects of man's existence are to be attained, by means of a direct and intimate reference of his thoughts and actions to the Divine Author of his being.
“Such, then, is the Deity to which the researches of natural theology point; and so far is the train of reflections in which we have engaged, from being merely speculative and barren. With the material world we cannot stop. If a superior Intelligence have ordered and adjusted the succession of seasons and the structure of the plants of the field, we must allow far more than this at first sight would seem to imply. We must admit still greater powers, still higher wisdom for the creation of the beasts of the forest with their faculties; and higher wisdom still and more transcendent attributes, for the creation of man. And when we reach this point, we find that it is not knowledge only, not power only, not foresight and beneficence alone, which we
* Butler, Serm. 3.
must attribute to the Maker of the World ; but that we must consider him as the Author, in us, of a reverence for moral purity and rectitude; and, if the author of such emotions in us, how can we conceive of Him otherwise, than that these qualities are parts of his nature; and that he is not only wise and great, and good, incomparably beyond our highest conceptions, but also conformed in his purposes to the rule which he thus impresses upon us, that is, Holy in the highest degree which we can imagine to ourselves as possible.”—pp. 202, et. seq.
“ But with sense and consciousness the history of living things only begins. They have instincts, affections, passions, will. How entirely lost and bewildered do we find ourselves when we endeavor to conceive these faculties communicated by means of general laws! Yet they are so communicated from God, and of such laws he is the lawgiver. At what an immeasurable interval is he thus placed above every thing which the creation of the inanimate world alone would imply ; and how far must he transcend all ideas founded on such laws as we find there!"--p. 278.
To these it will suffice to add a single brief extract; and we do it, partly because it seems indirectly to recognize the truth of the assertion made by some, that our capacity of conceiving of God, is itself a proof of his existence.
“ It would indeed be extravagant to assert that the imagination of the creature, itself the work of God, can invent a higher point of goodness, of justice, of holiness, than the Creator himself possesses : that the Eternal Mind, from whom our notions of good and right are derived, is not himself directed by the rules which these notions imply."-p. 282.
There are several parts of this work which we would gladly notice ; but we can only commend to the especial attention of our readers the two original chapters, one on inductive, the other on deductive habits. In these the author shows, together with the reason of it, that the great discoverers in the several departments of nature have been theists ; and accounts philosophically for the deplorable atheism of such men as Laplace.
INFLUENCE OF MORAL TRUTH ON THE UNDER
The adaptation of the Christian religion to invigorate the human understanding, like its tendency to improve all and each of the other faculties of the soul, has never yet received that attention which it ought, and which it eventually will receive from moral and mental philosophers. We are glad to commit ourselves both in writing and in speaking, upon this subject whenever a fair opportunity occurs, for we firmly believe it to be one of interesting and instructive discovery.
At present, we ask the attention of our readers to but one of the aspects in which this subject presents itself to the mind ;—the adaptation of a correct religious faith, when embraced by the understanding, but especially when experimentally felt by the heart-to keep the deductions of the intellect in harmony with facts.
The God of heaven has instituted so intimate a connection between his providence and his word, that we daily meet with facts exhibited in the one, which can only be satisfactorily explained by the truths which are recorded in the other. If a disbeliever in those truths undertakes to reason upon such facts, although he may proceed very well for a little way, by mingling perhaps a little truth forced upon him by conscience, with much error-still he cannot hold out long in the support of his own theory. He will find it to be continually at war with the things which he is constantly meeting, and he will be embarrassed, and he will hesitate; or, finding himself hindered thus by insurmountable difficulties in his apparently eloquent and successful career, he will beg, after the manner of some popular writers of the present day, whom we could designate if required not to be misunderstood; and without attempting to push his theory to its legitimate consequences, by cutting his way through a huge wall of opposing facts, he will leave that part of the field for better and greater men to clear, and go to some other part of the subject, less at war with what he has been advancing,