페이지 이미지


[ocr errors]



*In the fourth or Vegetable, Strength and Weakness.
In the fifth or animal,

Action and Passion.
In the sixth or Intellectual, Knowledge and Ignorance.

In the seventh or Moral, . Right and Wrong. Now, as it is the main design of our implies moral guilt, and had no existauthor here to shew, that notwith- ence prior to the introduction of sin ; standing such vicissitudes and contra- but in the last sense, it arises from the rieties did indeed exist from the constitution of the animal nature of an beginning of the creation, or period imbodied spirit, to which no blame when the whole order of this visible can be attached, being analogous to universe was adjusted and set a-going, the obscuration which takes place in yet that these vicissitudes and contra- all the different planets by their rotarieties did not imply at that time the tory motion on their axis. existence of Physical or Moral Evil. In the same way may attraction and For as light and darkness, in the first of repulsion, composition and decomposithe scale, may be produced either by tion, strength and weakness, and all the an elongation of the planet's distance mechanical, chemical, and vegetable from the source of light, or by the phenomena of nature, with their corchemical opacity of the planet's body; responding phenomena of spirit, be even so in the seventh of the scale, easily conceived as existing in a state which is the step that harmonizes with analogous to this world in every rethe first, there is Moral Illumination, spect, yet without either physical or when the eye of the intellect beholds moral evil. Such, it is probable, is the glory of the “Son of righteous- the condition of every other world in ness ;” and Moral Obscuration, when the universe ; and such was the coneither by an elongation of the distance dition of our own, anterior to the first from God, which is not applicable to transgression. But by the introduca state of innocence, or by the animal tion of sin and death into our world, its nature of an imbodied spirit, it is cast whole nature underwent fatal into a passive state, and hence is in- change. Let, therefore, the epithet capable of active and direct Moral Noxious be added to the foregoing Illumination at the time, as in the scale of Vicissitudes and Contrariesleep of Adam in Paradise. Moral ties, and the scale of Physical and MoObscuration in the first signification, ' ral Evil will be as follows. There is, In the first or Elemental, .. Noxious Light and Noxious darkness. In the second or Mechanical, Noxious Attraction and Noxious Repulsion. In the third or Chemical, · Noxious Composition and Noxious Decomposi

tion. *In the fourth or Vegetable, Noxious Strength and Noxious Weakness. In the fifth or Animal, Noxious Action and Noxious Passion. In the sixth or Intellectual, Noxious Knowledge and Noxious Ignorance. In the seventh or Moral, . . . Noxious Moral Illumination and Noxious Moral

Obscuration. “ These symbols are expressive of intelligence or knowledge, a retrogradathe whole compass of Moral and Phy- tion or looking back to the nakedness sical Evil, so that each of them may of nature, devoid of moral virtue. By be conceived to represent a class, or turning the back upon the prospect of catalogue of evils, sliding into each glory, as the Final End in the seventh other by insensible gradation, and or moral step of the scale, and looking resolvable only by approximation towards the six preceding steps, the The subject of inquiry is, the mystery heart is inverted, or perverted, and of moral and physical evil. Now, never can, by any natural means, be evil having been first introduced rectified.” through the moral faculty of man, we 1. We begin then, with Noxious begin with the seventh or last of the Moral Illumination, and Noxious Moral scale, and proceed contrary to the natu- | Obscuration. The first has for its final ral order to the first.

end, false glory, or pride, which is the “ Evil arises from the inversion of root of all evil. It has for its author, the affections of a moral agent, from Satan, who seduced mankind by inthe prospect of glory (to which they spiring them with a principle of false were at first directed) towards mere ' glory, and made even the same at.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

tempt on the Son of God himself. I world like the present, among morally Matt. iv. 8, 9. And for its object of depraved agents. What a group of worship or of faith, or of imitation and moral chemists could we here menlove, it has the god of this world, tion, who are all busily employed in generally worshipped under the form the devil's service, in this sort of exof the three-headed monster of lust, ercise! pride, and false glory.-The second 6. Noxious Attraction and Noxious consists in the most dark, midnight, Repulsion, in a moral sense, is, either and horrific views, of the great Author when like draws to like, or when the of all light, whether physical or moral. wicked persecute the godly.

It is Every beam which their darkened either, when the equilibrium between minds may behold, and every addi- the centripetal force which binds the tional ray of the Noxious Illumination moral agent in all its motions to God they receive, either by his works of as its centre of gravity, and the cenCreation, Providence, or Grace, but trifugal, which acts in an opposite fills them with more and more dark- direction, is broken and destroyed; so ness, and dread, and shame, and hor- that the moral agent has now no incliror; for what is moral darkness, and nation to gravitate towards God as its dread, and shame, and horror, but centre; but being now wholly under the effects of false glory, or disap- the direction of the opposite force, it pointed pride, and a will and inclina- flies off, unlike every other body in tion to take part with all evil, and the Nature, into space infinite, never to author thereof?

return. 2. Noxious Knowledge and Noxious 7. Noxious Light and Noxious DarkIgnorance, is descriptive of that state ness, in a moral sense, is either what of the mind, in which it is, either may be seen with respect to religion puffed up with conceit of mere intel- and morals in the Heathen world, lectual endowments, without any re- which has never been visited with gard to moral virtue, or sunk into a the light of the gospel; or it is what state of the most abject degradation we behold in a Christian land, where through the blindness of the under- men dispute against the light, though standing, which is unable to distin- it be shining all around them; and guish between the things that dif- will not admit the light, but hate it, fer.

and will not come to it, lest their deeds: 3. Noxious Action and Noxious Pas-should be reproved. sion, are indicative of that state of the

(To be continued.) moral agent, wherein the passions are allowed to have the ascendency over reason; by means of which the man is reduced to a state of degradation be

OF SELFISHNESS, AND ENTHUSIASM. neath the brute, or is hurried on to perpetuate the actions of an infernal It has been observed, that society fury.

may arrive at such a degree of refine4. Noxious Strength and Noxious ment, as to soften down the strength Weakness, in a moral sense, is, either and energies of individual character to when a kind of supernatural energy is a general level of opinion, and one communicated to the mind in its pro- uniform spirit of taste and fashion, by secution of evil, by means of the pas- no means favourable to the display of sions or other stimuli; or an abject strong and characteristic efforts of childishness is superinduced, by means mind. We have had only one instance of ignorance or passion, so that it is of a nation arriving at this extreme incapable to distinguish truth from point of civilization in modern times, falsehood, but disposed to believe every when, after experiencing the several lie.

stages of its progress, power, and 5. Noxious Composition and Noxious luxury, it assumed a cold and atheisDecomposition, in the moral sense, is, tical philosophy, which announced either to extract all the good out of the necessity of its fall, or a terrible subjects, and convert them into their regeneration of its powers. We opposite evils; or it is, of all the evils allude to the situation of France at the of subjects, separated from their good, close of the seventeenth century. It to compound a palatable draught, was her philosophical system which such as may have proper currency in a exercised a powerful intiuence in the direction of the national mind, which taught themselves to despise exalted is, indeed, a necessary result in all feelings and opinions, as the proof of ages and nations, where opinion is a reasoning and capacious mind. widely disseminated. We may be un- Genius, truth, and beauty, were vaconscious of its progress and power, laed only according to their degree of but it is universally felt. The growth immediate utility, display, and appliand increase of a sort of scoffing scep-cation to the interests of life; not for ticism is always observable in nations intrinsic excellence in themselves. at the period of their decline.

The philosophical question applied The leading principles of this French to every thing was, Cui bono?—to what philosophy were, a vain disbelief of end or purpose, except vanity and every thing that could not be brought emolument, are the works of nature down to the test of interested calcula- and art displayed? Genuine feeling tion and the senses, a contempt of and enthusiasm became so far extinct, noble or disinterested sentiments, and that nature was considered secondary a devoted attachment to licentious- to fashion and opinion, and witty arness, in imagination, politics, and guments were employed to shew that social life. Novels, bistories, and the most sacred truths were incompamanners, proclaimed the same heart-tible with a certain air of politeness less doctrines of irony towards reli- and good society. In fact, the Parisgion, mockery of sensibility, and cal-ian bel esprit, previous to the revoluculations on the expediency of honesty tion, treated simplicity of faith and and morals.

goodness, as well as genius and enThe events of history have clearly thusiasm, like the old man who inshewn the fallacy of the views of the quired, if love still existed ? new philosophy to promote the dignity Though this selfish system has reand happiness of nations, or to exaltceived little encouragement among the character, and purify the feelings, ourselves, we not unfrequently hear of individuals and society.

the voice of interest and selfishness Though this pernicious system is raised against the dangers of imaginow well nigh exploded, owing to the nation and enthusiasm of disposition. introduction of nobler and better We never, on the other hand, have philosophy; yet as it pretended to be observed this cautionary doctrine apgrounded upon experience, deduced plied to coldness of character and from the metaphysics of Hobbes and deficiency of feeling, when an over. Locke, it still retains its influence calculating and selfish spirit maniover the minds of those who suppose fests itself in the dispositions of the there exist no truth and beauty beyond young. the limits of demonstration and com- The affected fears displayed by older

With us, however, this people upon this subject, are likewise false theory was never put into prac- often meant in the way of derision of tice, as in France, where enthusiasm, those sentiments, whose glow and tengenius, and the best feelings of the derness they can no longer feel. With heart, were exposed to its ironical them, an enthusiastic disposition of attacks, and the shafts of wit level- mind is synonymous with folly and led at the most sacred things.

imprudence, deficient in strength and In obedience to the new social com- judgment, and liable to be led into a pact, all were expected to join in the thousand dangers and extravagancies. laugh, while a serious countenance, They tell us that sensibility is more to or a tear, were subject to derision, be dreaded than desired-that it will and made treason to philosophical involve us in disappointments and taste. National selfishness, and indi- affliction, more keen and bitter than vidual egotism, became the ruling the cold and calculating egotists ever principles of politics and conversa- fear to encounter in the world. That tion. Goodness was considered as to the real calamities of life will be allied to weakness, and the admira- added imaginary sufferings, more diftion expressed for grandeur or beauty, ficult to be alleviated, and more hopea fair opportunity for the exercise of less of cure. To cultivate generosity raillery and scorn. Even young peo- and delicacy of mind, is similar, they ple were ambitious of appearing free maintain, to offering a premium for from the shackles of authority, from duplicity, violence, and wrong-it is all enthusiasm and sentiment. They | dressing a victim for the altar, or

mon sense.


Of Selfishness, and Enthusiasm.


ordering a soldier unarmed into the transitory and inconsistent quality of battle ;—that life, only tolerable at mind, and dangerous to be indulged; best, will be converted, by sensibility are objections which might be advancand enthusiasm, into a prison house ed, with equal plausibility, against all and a purgatory.

passions and feelings of the human To this we would reply, that a firm mind. We know that reason, truth, and noble constancy is often found and even virtue itself, are liable to be united to characters of high enthusiasm carried to excess, abused, and misand exquisite delicacy of thought and directed, when unaccompanied by feeling. Fine and gentle dispositions prudence and religion, though we are often mixed with the elements of should be surprised to hear them restrength and resolution. Enthusiasm probated on this ground. Why is the does not necessarily include the faults gift of life itself considered valuable ? of imprudence, weakness, or stormy -Why do we love, or hope, or fear, passions. Although the liberal and if the danger and disappointments disinterested mind rejects the plea- which these may possibly give rise to, sures of self-love, it is only because it are considered sufficient cause for is animated by nobler pursuits. While resigning them ?-Death may at any engaged in the discharge of duties, it moment deprive us of those we love; is capable of as great exertions, as unforeseen events may shatter our characters of a colder and more calcu- wisest efforts, and clouds overshadow, lating cast—but it scorns like them to ere their noon, our fondest prospects; be chained down to so common and but must we therefore cease to hope very rational an existence. Something and to love, or introduce a saving and proud and noble naturally bears it wretched economy in employing the above the mean desires, and ascen- noblest sentiments of the soul? dency of vanity, and selfishness, The faculties entrusted to us for which it views around. There is an expansion and improvement should intellectual and moral dignity which not be allowed to lie dormant, for it aspires after, and prizes beyond the fear of misapplication--we should rapower of circumstances to alter or de- ther be eager to devote them, if posstroy; and it values its own pproba- sible, to a noble and useful pursuit, tion and good intentions beyond the and ready to sacrifice self-enjoyments world's favour and respect.

at the voice of our friends or of our If the influence of enthusiasm is country. We ought to despise the favourable to the feelings and the pitiful argument which maintains the heart, it will be found to produce expediency of narrowing the sphere of still more powerful effects in literature our feelings, and deadening our faculand the arts. It may indeed be called | ties, in order to become more insenthe soul of artists and of poets. It is sible to the dominion of pain and sorthe quality which gives life and vivid- row. It would be more wise to argue, ness to the conceptions of genius and that we should attempt to reduce our mental power. It pictures forth the lives to as small a portion of existence forms of an imaginary world, and as compatible with mere animal inspires strength and animation to propensity and enjoyments. delineate and exhibit them to view. But would it not be rather irksome

Even in learned and philosophical to a man, even of the most rational men, it is a valuable instrument for disposition, to reconcile bimself to the acquisition of knowledge and of this system of quietism, and to these truth. Far from misleading, it only forbidding doctrines, which permit no exhorts them to patience and to toil. relish and participation of delights, Their labours are then dedicated to but what the world and the common the cause of humanity and truth. course of events may afford? They love science for its own sake, If forsaken by fortune, and the rather than for a desire of distin- pleasures of the world he loved, what guishing themselves and acquiring a will then be left to console him in the

confined and lonely sphere of his exWe think then, the cautious reason- istence ?- Incapable of feeling the ing advanced against the tendency of beauties of nature, or the charms of enthusiasm both weak and unfounded. literature and art, though virtuous That it produces an aversion to the and just, he must still feel a void in ordinary pursuits of life--that it is a his existence, and a weariness and heaviness of the heart. But warmth once took it into his head to hear the and enthusiasm of feelings, with a Latin disputes of Doctors at a Univercultivated taste, would save bim from sity. He was uncommonly attentive the fate he dreads, and he would feel to the seene before him; and his counhimself but too happy, could he fix tenance indicated the satisfaction and retain the beautiful emotions which he felt: Being asked what which sensibility and genius inspire. pleasure he could have in such com


But these are often transitory, in bats, when he was ignorant of the proportion as they are sweet. We language in which they were carried should the more endeavour to infuse on, he said, “For the matter of that, the animation and kindness of such I am not such a fool, but I can see feelings into our conduct and man- who is the first that puts the other in ners; and, lest they should be dissi- a passion, and then I know which has pated or destroyed, treasure up the the best of it.” aspirings after those truths of natural Jason Magnus and Bartholomew and moral beauty, whose dim light Socerius, two eminent lawyers of seems to visit us from a world un- Pisa, in the sixteenth century, held known.

frequent disputations on legal subAn admiration of fine sentiments jects. One day, Jason, finding himself an heroic. deeds, combined with a driven hard by his adversary, cited a love of poetry and the fine arts, are law that he had that moment forged, the means of awakening a sense of which turned the scale to his side. happiness, which, when mingled with Socerius, not less quick and ingenidevotion, seems to remind us of some ous, served him the same trick ; and illustrious origin, and higher powers, Jason, who had never heard of the law which man has unfortunately lost. which he quoted, called upon him for The indulgence of a sentiment, and a the proof: “ It stands in the same hope of something more beautiful and page with that you just mentioned,” noble than life affords, removes a load replied Socerius. from the heart, and that unquiet satiety of existence, which beholds no harmony in nature, and no manifestations of divinity and love.

We may conclude, then, that an About two centuries ago, the applicaenthusiastic tone of mind is more tion of Steam as a moving power was favourable to happiness than coldness totally unknown. Its agency was first and indifference of disposition, and employed by Brancas, an ingenious that while it alleviates the sense of philosopher of Rome, simply to move sorrow and of pain, it adds a double the valves of a wheel. But mark its charm to the energies and to the joys present state of perfection! of life.

R. T. It has been calculated that there are

at least ten thousand Steam Engines

at this time at work in Great Britain ; DISPUTATION.

performing a labour more than equal

to that of two hundred thousand When Isaac Casaubon was first shewn horses, which, if fed in the ordinary the college of the Sorbonne, and told way, would require above one milthat it was above four hundred years | lion acres of land for subsistence: since disputes were first held in that this land is capable of supplying the place, he said, “And pray in so long necessariess of life to more than a period what point has been cleared fifteen hundred thousand human beup?"

Being invited afterwards to witness One of the largest engines yet cona contest in the same place, the dis- structed, is now in action at the Uniputants argued at great length, and ted Mine, in Cornwall, being equal to with considerable vehemence, for the the power of two hundred and fifty purpose of shewing their superior skill horses; it raises eighty thousand before so learned a visitor; who, on pounds, one hundred feet in height, retiring, said, he had never in his life per minute : and to effect this enorheard so much Latin without under mous labour, it only requires about standing it.

thirty pounds of coal for the same A clown, says Lord Shaftesbury, period of time.



« 이전계속 »