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And to our minds her secret powers expos’d.
And clad with power, which form'd th’extensive heavens !" See Dr. Pemberton's "View of Sir I. Newton's Philosophy,"Introduction. yet, has been recorded to have repeatedly declared, that, “ he had been all his life but a child gathering pebbles on the sea-shore.” In Bacon therefore, we have an illustrious example of one who did not live, and think, and write, as if he believed there were not a higher link in the chain of intellectual being. He had rather upraised the depraved—the weak- the degenerate spirits of mortals to those sinless regions, where the inhabitants are beings of a more heavenly origin-of a more celestial aspect. He laboured to explode that worse species of Paganism, which drags the Deity-who dwells in awful majesty in the sanctuary above, inthroned amid the unapproachable beams of that uncreated light, which encircles the imperishable watchtower of the Great Eternal-down from his exalted eminence :-he held forth other doctrines, and instituted another example, than degrading the Almighty Parent of countless worlds--than lowering an Infinite Creator to the reach of human reason
-than investing with the weakness of humanly made attributes, and endowing with the waywardness of human philosophy, and capriciousness of human passions-Him, of whom only his own Revelation can give the faintest glimmering, or convey an adequate idea. For, though, human intelligences could grasp within their reach even the infinity of worlds—the immensity of space—and the blessed abodes of superior beings, still, in the vastness of the conception, no resting-place could be found :-and not unlike the Dove, that wandered over the trackless waste, which the Deluge's devastating floods, left without even so much of a barrier, as to be sufficient for “ the sole of the foot,”—would men in like manner, for ever stray, if not mercifully supplied, with the light of a beacon, and the directions of a guide, which point the way to an everlasting asylum--and a sheltering haven of eternal rest. But in the records of inspiration, man, is permitted to obtain a declaration of the mysteries of a love “which passeth knowledge" and of “a peace which passeth all understanding":-he is there brought to a discovery of that transcendently glorious Being—the Divine Founder of our Sacred Religion,“ in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge”-in whose person “ dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily”—and in whom we are “ compleat,” for He “is the head of all principality and power":-and in these Revealed words, whilst man reads, with deep-struck awe, of the universal sovereignty of the Supreme Creator, over those boundless realms, which his own word called into existence-even of Him “ that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy”-who“ measures the waters in the hollow of his hand,” and “ metes out heaven with a span” --and “who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters; who maketh the clouds his chariot; who walketh upon the wings of the wind :"-in them, likewise, he may see, inculcated, in characters of gold, the comforting truths of a Providence, whose especial care extends to the preservation of the most despised object-of the minutest tittle of his created works ; for, “ He dwells with him that is of a contrite and humble spirit to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones”-yea, He hath promised to “gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and to lead gently those that are with young," whilst those that are his People, “ he will never leave, nor forsake :"-to the Stranger he has declared,“ that he will be as a little sanctuary, in the countries where he shall come to the Poor and Needy, "they shall not always be forgotten, their expectation shall not perish for ever"-to the Fatherless and Widow, "he will surely
hear their cries”-to the Prisoner and Captive, “he bringeth out those which are bound with chains”-and to those, who, in the last extremity of the bitterness of despair, pour forth the incense of the prayer of faith, they need " fear no evil, for God is with them,” and He has graciously declared that He “ will loose those that are appointed to death, and save them out of their distresses."*
It was in the spirit of these grand, and heart-reviving truths, that Bacon sent out to the world, the productions of his all-comprehensive genius. He never failed, though, indeed his path was strewed with the thorns of multiplied misfortune and his life embittered with the delinquencies of human frailty,—to remember his awful accountability in the faithful discharge of his stewardship :-he laboured to increase “the talent” intrusted to him,-and in the dedication and consecration of all his powers to the cause of Religion and Truth, he unceasingly desired to glorify the Author of " every good and perfect gift,"_endeavouring by the utmost stretch of the sublimity of his genius—the fertility of his imagination and the exuberance of his fancy, to promote the honour of his Creator and Redeemer, both by example and precept among his fellow-men. He zealously sought to lead the mind “ from nature's works to nature's God:"he endeavoured to exalt the limited reason of man, when it had reached the extremest verge of its narrowed powers, -and to fix it unfettered by the dreams of earthliness-unclogged by the depression of carnality, in the more congenial regions, of a purer, and more unclouded atmosphere :—and he laid it down as the chief glory of our species, that Faith upraised our reason to a higher pinnacle,-confirming, instructing, elevating it far beyond what man had hoped for, had not the guidance of heaven's grace led him to ReveLATION.
* The preceding references to the Scriptures, will be found in Eph. iii. 19; Phil. iv. 7; Col. ii. 3, 9, 10; Isa. Ivii. 15. xl. 11-12; Psa. civ. 3 ; Heb. xii. 5: Ezek. xi. 16; Psa. ix. 18; Exod. xxii. 23; Psa. Ixviii. 6, xxiii. 4, cii. 20.
The best Writers, and the most approved Authorities.
" Oh, my Lord God! defend this realm from Papistrie, and mainteine thy true religion.”-Dying Prayer of King EDWARD VI. (A.D. 1533.] See Holinshed's “ Clironicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland,” folio.
" It seems an infatuation not to be accounted for--to hope to persuade a free people, in the full enjoyment of all that is dear and valuable to them, to exchange Freedom for Slavery, the ProteSTANT Religion for Popery, and to sacrifice at once the price of so much blood and treasure, as have been spent in defence of our present Establishment! Our enemies have long taken advantage of our differences and dissensions:- let it be known that the spirit of Popery, which breathes nothing but confusion to the civil and religious rights of a Protestant Church and Kingdom, has not so far possessed my people, as to make them ripe for (such a fatal change."--Speech of King George I. on the Opening of Parliament in the year 1722.
“ Was it not to oppose the power and usurpations of Popery that the Revolution originated ? Was it not the very life and soul of that memorable transaction, to secure the rights of Church and State? Are we then going to undo all that the Revolution has done ? Bear in mind, my Lords, the scenes that preceded the Revolution; they are strong proofs that the participation of equal power by Roman Catholics and Protestants is a thing incompatible with the principles of both. Are you not already convinced, by facts and history, that it is impossible for Protestants and Roman Catholics to agree in the administration of political power ?"-Speech of His Royal Highness Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, in the House of Lords. See also CHAMPION, No. 1. p. 24, & No. 2. p. 48.
“I am told, Sir, that it is perfectly safe in Ireland to admit the professors of all religions to the enjoyment of the same privileges; and after this has been accomplished, the Protestant Church is still to be retained. I know several honourable members, and among them the member for Montrose (Mr. Hume), who contended, that it is impossible. On this point he agrees with me ; for, over and over again, he has argued, that it is a mere mockery to suppose that the Roman Catholics will be satisfied with a Protestant Church Establishment. They will certainly endeavour to recover the power they have lost, by overturning a system which they view with other eyes than ours."-Speech of The Right Honourable Robert Peel, in the House of Commons, February 28th, 1825.
" That the Papists have ever since the Reformation of Religion in Europe, been most invincibly industrious in these Kingdoms, to bring the Church of England to ruin and a total subversion, there cannot remain the least doubt or scruple. For, besides apparent inatter of undeniable Fact, during the Reigns of Queen Elizabeth, King James, and King Charles the First, and our present (Charles II.] gracious Sovereign, (whom God long preserve), there are these reasons which have, and do animate them in the repeated prosecution of that desperate Enterprize, namely, an Enthusiastic belief, encouraged by the Jesuits and their tools, of the Fifth Monarchy of the Church of Rome, and the consideration that the Church of England is the only Bulwark of the Protestant Religion, and their Most Potent Enemy."- Foxes and Firebrands, 12 mo. p. 1-2. 2nd. Edit. Lond. 1682.
"A few general reflections on the majesty and Sublimity of the truths
and objects included in the contemplation of the religion of our Divine Saviour.”
[The same subject continued.] THERE is a principle at all times, and in all places, inherent in the constitution of our common humanity
-a longing desire to ascertain what are the sentiments and feelings of others, on such subjects as influence us pre-eminently, either on account of their innate importance, or their peculiar adaptation to the sensibilities and wants of human nature. Now of all the topics, which come within the varied range of our investigation, there is unquestionably none that has so frequently called forth the exertion of this deep and elemental principle, as the subject of Religion. But why should it not ? We love ourselves, and we love happiness. And Religion serves but to perfect, ennoble, and permanently secure these natural instincts. In the man of an unconvinced judgment-of an unawakened mind, there is oft-times an unsatisfied,
[Continued from Note, p. 92.1 There is not, in truth, a more disgusting trait in the policy of the Vatican Saints, than the determined intolerance, and persecuting enmity, with which they assail every improvement of Science---every effort of free inquiry-every attempt to emancipate the mind from the deeply-riveted manacles of stubborn authority: all such “ petulance,” is alike and universally consigned to the flames of the Inquisition. The exertion of the prerogatives of Infallibility might harmlessly be indulged in a fond conceit of proving a thing by itself, i. e. advancing claims of infallibility on the authority of the Church, and the authority of the Church on the authority of the Scriptures, and the authority of the Scriptures on the authority of the Church, and so running round for their amusement, in a circular route for